No impact on Caribbean’s call for reparations – Dr Phillips

first_img…other political and economic ramifications in the pipelineBy Alexis Rodneyguyana Reparations Commission Chairman, Dr Eric Phillips, on Monday said the fallout of Britain’s exit fromGuyana Reparations Chairman, Dr Eric PhillipsOutgoing British PM David Cameronthe European Union will have no impact on Guyana and the rest of the Caribbean in their call for reparatory justice.Guyana has been calling on Britain, and several other EU States to pay compensation for what is said to be the severe impact the Transatlantic Slave Trade has had on the descendants of slaves living in Caribbean.Caribbean countries said European Governments (in addition to being responsible for conducting slavery and genocide) had also imposed 100 years of racial apartheid and suffering on freed slaves and the survivors of that genocide.Slavery ended throughout the Caribbean in the 1800s in the wake of slave revolts, and this left many of the Region’s plantation economies in tatters. Caribbean leaders have said the Region continued to suffer from the effects of slavery today.According to Dr Phillips, Britain is considered a sovereign State when it comes to reparations, noting that its exit from the Union will not affect what the Caribbean countries have been calling for.“We are not addressing the issue as a European Union Issue, so [Barbados] Prime Minister Freundel Stuart wrote letters to several Heads of State. It shouldn’t impact us at all, Britain has its own empire and we are addressing slavery and genocide in Guyana created by the British, not by the EU, so it shouldn’t impact us at all,” he told Guyana Times on Monday.Dr Phillips said, however, that the move would very much have other political and economic ramifications, which, ultimately, may have some long-term impact. “But in terms of us specifically, I doubt,” he affirmed.Dr Phillips also stated that while British Prime Minister David Cameron would leave office, someone else would have to take up the mantle, as the issue is a sovereign one between Guyana and Britain, and to a wider extent, the Caribbean.Caribbean leaders in 2014 had approved a 10-point plan to seek reparations from the former slave-owning states of Europe.These points include those countries providing diplomatic help to persuade countries, such as Ghana and Ethiopia, to offer citizenship to the children whose foreparents were brought to the Caribbean to “return” to Africa; devising a developmental strategy to help improve the lives of poor communities in the Caribbean still devastated by the after-effects of slavery; supporting cultural exchanges between the Caribbean and West Africa to help Caribbean people of African descent rebuild their sense of history and identity; supporting literacy drives designed to improve education levels that are still low in many Caribbean communities; and providing medical assistance to the Region that is struggling with high levels of chronic diseases, such as hypertension and type two diabetes that the Caricom Reparations Commission linked to the fallout from slavery.It has been reported that if the European powers fail to publicly apologise and refuse to come to the negotiating table, the Caricom nations will file a lawsuit against them at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.Governments in the Caribbean have estimated that reparations for the slave trade could cost trillions of dollars and some have floated the idea of debt relief.Some 46,000 British slave-owners, including a distant relative of Cameron’s, were among those compensated at a current-day equivalent of £17 billion (US$36 billion) for “loss of human property” after the country emancipated its slaves in 1833.The issues of slavery and reparations have reverberated in the United States in recent years as well. Ta-Nehisi Coates, a journalist for the Atlantic and recent “genius” grant winner, wrote an influential article in 2014 making the case for reparations.Meanwhile, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Sir Hilary Beckles has warned the Region to brace for the impact of the United Kingdom’s break with the European Union, as he predicted that every aspect of life in the Caribbean would be negatively affected.The Brexit vote last Thursday has already caused ripples across the world, with the value of the pound falling and stock markets dipping.Sir Hilary said the Region’s fragile economic recovery was now under threat and Britain’s exit should trigger immediate strategic regional reactions, even before Heads of Government meet in Guyana for their July 4-6 Summit.“The predictable, highly individualistic action poses both a short-term as well as a long-term threat to the performance of Caricom economies,” he said in a statement issued Saturday.“From trade relations to immigration, tourism to financial relations, and cultural engagements to foreign policy, there will be a significant redefinition and reshaping of Caricom-United Kingdom engagements,” Sir Hilary further warned, as he urged Caricom to use the development to deepen and strengthen its internal operations and external relations with the wider world.“It’s a moment for Caricom to come closer together rather than drift apart. The Region should not be seen as mirroring this mentality of cultural and political insularity, but should reaffirm the importance of regionalism within the global context for the future.”last_img read more

Spain’s World Cup 2018 kit: All you need to know

first_imgWorld Cup Spain World Cup 2018 kit: New retro Adidas design, controversy and all you need to know Ryan Kelly Last updated 1 year ago 18:00 5/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Spain World Cup 2018 kit Adidas World Cup Spain WTF La Roja won the tournament for the first time just under a decade ago and they will be hoping their new kit can bring some luck Spain head to Russia in the summer of 2018 in search of their second World Cup title and they have released an all new kit for the occasion.Their kit manufacturers Adidas have delved into the past in search of inspiration for their latest line of national team kits and La Roja’s newest offering is a testimony to that.With the tournament around four months away, Goal takes a look at what Julen Lopetegui’s men will be wearing when they take to the field. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp What does Spain’s World Cup 2018 kit look like?World Cup 2018 kit Spain homeIn a dramatic departure from their previous home kit, Spain’s new edition features a geometric pattern which runs vertically down the right side of the front of the jersey.The colours in the pattern are yellow, blue and red, which blends into the base red of the rest of the shirt.While the previous home jersey featured Adidas’ famous three stripes on either side of the torso, they have migrated to the shoulders of the new shirt.The collar, meanwhile, seems to have remained the same, but the Adidas logo has been shifted into the centre, perhaps to highlight the design pattern on the right.How much does the new Spain jersey cost?An authentic Spain home jersey will cost you £99.95 in the UK, while a replica version will be somewhat cheaper at £69.95. Both items can be bought online.In the US, a replica Spain home jersey will set buyers back $90, while an authentic one will cost $130, and they are both available to buy from Adidas’ online store.What is the inspiration?Luis Enrique Spain 1994 World CupAdidas have sought inspiration from iconic kits of the past in their most recent design efforts and in Spain’s case, they have produced a modern take on the kit worn at the 1994 World Cup in the United States.Both the Spanish home and away kits in that tournament featured a prominent design on the right side which was made up of rows of different coloured diamonds. The colours used in the ’94 home kit were yellow, red and navy blue, while the navy blue did not feature in the white away jersey.Unlike the modern interpretation, the classic jersey incoportated a polo-neck style collar, which was navy blue with slim streaks of red and yellow. However, like the modern version, the Adidas logo was placed in the centre of the chest.Why is the Spain World Cup 2018 controversial?Spain second republic flagInterestingly, the new Spain home kit for the World Cup has proved somewhat controversial to the point where both Adidas and the Spanish football authority (RFEF) have been compelled to make statements in order to quell anger.The combination of red, yellow and blue in the pattern on the right of the jersey has been seized upon by some as deliberately provocative due to the fact that they appear to resemble the colours of the Second Spanish Republic, which is still popularly used by separatist groups.Of course, the flag of the Second Spanish Republic is red, yellow and purple. So the confusion has arisen over whether the colour on the shirt is blue or purple.Adidas and the RFEF insist that the shirt design is “free of any political connotation” but that has not prevented people from having their say and some fans were particularly upset.Spanish newspaper El Pais reported that “politics is creeping into soccer once again” and a number of politicians waded into the controversy. Alberto Garzon, leader of the United Left (IU), said that he preferred the tricolour to simple red and yellow, while Pablo Iglesias of Podemos also expressed his approval. The political climate in Spain at present is particularly tense following the Catalonian government’s decision to press ahead with a contentious independence referendum last October and their subsequent attempts to establish independence from Spanish rule. That may explain the sensitivity.What about the Spain away kit?Sergio Ramos Spain 14112017The Spain away kit for the 2018 World Cup has not yet been released, but it is expected to be launched some time in the Spring of 2018.Spain wore an all-white away kit in the qualification stage, with three red Adidas stripes on the sides and red logos on the chest.It remains unclear whether the away jersey will be similarly inspired by the 1994 World Cup style.ergi Spain Mauro Tasotti Italy World Cup 1994It is possible that they will make a change from white and in the past they have gone with a variety of colours, including light blue, blue, dark blue, gold and even black.Either way, both Adidas and the RFEF will be hopeful that it attracts less controversy than its home variant.last_img read more

Is football in the Commonwealth Games?

first_imgPremier League Is football in the Commonwealth Games? Goal 02:45 16/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Harry Kane England Getty Images Premier League UEFA Europa League The 2018 Commonwealth Games will begin on April 4 and end on April 15, but is football included in the competition? It’s taken four years, but the 2018 Commonwealth Games are now finally on the horizon.England were runaway leaders in Glasgow in the 2014 games with a total of 174 medals, 58 of which were gold, and will be hoping for a repeat performance this time round.But what is the event, who is competing, and will football be included in the schedule? Goal takes a look. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp What is the Commonwealth Games?The first Commonwealth Games was held in 1930 and was marketed as an international multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations.John Astley Cooper, who first proposed the idea of the event in 1891, wanted a ‘Pan-Britannic-Pan-Anglican Contest and Festival every four years as a means of increasing goodwill and good understanding of the British Empire’. Indeed, the Commonwealth is held every four years, with the last taking place in Glasgow, Scotland 2014.There have been a variety of Commonwealth editions, including the ‘British Empire Games’, the ‘British Empire and Commonwealth Games’, the ‘British Commonwealth Games’, and simply ‘the Commonwealth Games’ as we now know it.The Commonwealth Winter Games ran from 1958 until 1966, the Commonwealth Youth Games have been held every year since 2000, while Para-sports were introduced in 1994 for athletes with a disability before they were included as full members for their national teams in 2002.Where and when is the 2018 Commonwealth Games?The opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held on Wednesday April 5 and will be held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. The games will come to a close on Sunday April 15.Australia, all-time leaders in the medal table with 852 golds, will host the games for the fifth time in its history.Is football in the Commonwealth Games?Harry Kane Jordan Henderson EnglandIn short, no. A minimum of ten core sports and maximum of seventeen sports must be included in any Commonwealth Games schedule, with the current list including athletics, badminton, boxing, hockey, lawn bowls, netball (for women), rugby sevens, squash, swimming and weightlifting.There are also nine para-sports, in this case swimming, athletics, cycling, table tennis, powerlifting, lawn bowls, and a triathalon. On March 8 2016, Beach Volleyball was also officially included in the event list.While football, along with billiards, fencing, and golf, are recognised Commonwealth Games Federation sports, hosts may not select them as official events as the are deemed to ‘need expansion’.With the games running through the middle of April, too, it would not make sense for European club players to participate due to their domestic seasons and with the 2018 World Cup kicking off in the summer.Which sports are played at the Commonwealth Games?The official list of sports included in the 2018 Commonwealth Games is as followed: Sports  Athletics Badminton Basketball Beach volleyball Boxing Mountain biking Road cycling Track cycling Diving Artistic Gymnastics Rhythmic Gymnastics Hockey Lawn bowls Netball Powerlifting Rugby sevens Shooting Squash Swimming Table tennis Triathlon Weightlifting Wrestling Where and when is the 2018 Commonwealth Games?The opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held on Wednesday April 5 and will be held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. The games will come to a close on Sunday April 15.Australia, all-time leaders in the medal table with 852 golds, will host the games for the fifth time in its history.Commonwealth Games venuesMain arena Carrara Stadium will host both ceremonies and the athletics, while the vast majority of events will take place in the host city Gold Coast.Some other events require facilities located elsewhere, however. Venue Sport Capacity Carrara Stadium Athletics, Opening Ceremony, Closing Ceremony 40,000 Robina Stadium Rugby 7s 27,500 Gold Coast Aquatic Centre Swimming, Diving 10,000/2,500 Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre Gymnastics, Netball (finals) 7,500 Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre Basketball (finals), Netball (preliminaries) 5,000 Gold Coast Hockey Centre Hockey 5,000 Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre Badminton, Powerlifting, Weightlifting, Wrestling 5,000 Oxenford Studios Boxing, Table Tennis 2,500/2,750 Runaway Bay Sports Centre Squash 3,000 Broadbeach Bowls Club Lawn bowling 2,500 Carrara Indoor Stadium Weightlifting 2,500 Southport Broadwater Parklands Marathon, Racewalking, Triathlon 2,500 Elanora/Currumbin Valley Road cycling N/A Nerang National Park Mountain Biking 2,000 Queen Elizabeth Park[3] Beach Volleyball 4,000 Venue outside of Gold Coast Sport Capacity Cairns Convention Centre Basketball (preliminaries) 5,000 Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre Basketball (preliminaries) 5,000 Anna Meares Velodrome Track cycling 4,000 Belmont, Queensland Shooting 3,000 Which nations will compete in the Commonwealth Games? AFRICA AMERICAS ASIA CARIBBEAN EUROPE OCEANIA Botswana Bahamas Bangladesh Anguilla Cyprus Australia Cameroon Belize Brunei Darussalam Antigua and Barbuda England Cook Islands Ghana Bermuda India Barbados Gibraltar Fiji Kenya Canada Malaysia British Virgin Islands Guernsey Kiribati Lesotho Falkland Pakistan Cayman Islands Isle of Man Nauru Malawi Islands Singapore Dominica Jersey New Zealand Mauritius Guyana Sri Lanka Grenada Malta Niue Mozambique St. Helena   Jamaica Northern Ireland Norfolk Island Namibia     Montserrat Scotland Papua New Guinea Nigeria     Saint Lucia Wales Samoa Rwanda     St. Kitts & Nevis   Solomon Islands Seychelles     St. Vincent & The Grenadines   Tonga Sierra Leone     Trinidad & Tobago   Tuvalu South Africa     Turks & Caicos Islands   Vanuatu Swaziland           Tanzania           Uganda           Zambia           Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Film Look: Three Things to Watch for From the K-State Offense

first_imgThe 24th-ranked Kansas State Wildcats head to Stillwater this Saturday boasting a 3-0 record which includes a nice nonconference win a couple of weeks ago against Mississippi State.KSU is off to an impressive start under first-year head coach Chris Klieman, who took over for the legendary Bill Snyder this past offseason. Before landing in Manhattan, Klieman had a long stint at North Dakota State (2011-18) serving first as the defensive backs coach, the defensive coordinator and then the head coach. In Klieman’s five seasons as head man, he recorded a 69-6 record and won four FCS National Championships.An incredible coaching resume is not all Klieman brought with him from NDSU, he also brought along his offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham. The former Bison OC broke multiple school and conference records during his two-year tenure, including most points scored, most touchdowns scored, total offense and rushing touchdowns.Now, Messingham’s offense has a lot of similarities to that of Snyder-led teams of recent years. He likes to get his power running game going, and then once you’re expecting run, he will hit you with play action. In addition, he utilizes RPOs and isn’t afraid to get the quarterback involved in the running game. One thing you’ll notice about Messingham’s offense is he often has the quarterback under center and he loves to have a fullback lined up in the backfield.For this post, I will cover my three key takeaways from KSU’s offense and give you a glimpse of what you might see on Saturday night in Boone Pickens Stadium.PowerPower is a run play that OSU fans are familiar with as it’s been a staple of the offense this season as well as during the Yurich tenure. Power normally involves a lineman pulling around to the play side to lead block through the hole. Messingham and the Wildcats love to run Power, specifically A-Gap Power, see the blocking scheme below. In the following clips, you’ll see two more play action concepts the Wildcats like to run. I’ve also seen Messingham utilize H-Counter and a couple of other variations of pulling linemen running plays. This keeps the defense guessing and creates different attack points for the offense, it also pairs well with the inside attack point of A-Gap Power. OSU defensive players like Amen Ogbongbemiga, Kolby Harvell-Peel, Malcolm Rodriguez, and others will have to be quick to the ball and avoid getting blocked by these big lineman attacking the second and third levels of the defense.Play Action Passing GameAs I mentioned above, Messingham likes to set teams up with his power running game and then catch them guessing with play action passes. One in particular play that he brought with him, that NSDU was running with current Philadelphia Eagle QB Carson Wentz before Messingham got there, is shown in the clip below from Ross Uglem. In addition to running back Power, the K-State teams of years past would also dial up Power with the quarterback. We haven’t seen KSU quarterback Skylar Thompson run the ball a lot this season, but he’s found success keeping it himself against past Cowboy defenses. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a little of this on Saturday. With the struggles the Cowboy defensive line has had stopping the run this season, it’s a little worrisome that KSU runs this play often and effectively. How will Jim Knowles defend the inside running game? The Pokes primarily base out of a three down linemen defense now, so will he bring the LBs up close to the line of scrimmage? Or, will he bring a safety down further into the box? It will definitely be an interesting chess match between Knowles and Messingham.Pulling Linemen to the PerimeterAlong with Power, I noticed a heavy utilization of pulling linemen to attack the perimeter in Messingham’s rushing attack. In the first clip below you see the center and the playside guard pull around the edge. Cowboy defenders will have to be disciplined in Stillwater this weekend and they can’t get caught looking with their eyes in the backfield, letting a man get behind them. If they do, it could be a long night for Jim Knowles.center_img Next, you’ll see the playside guard pull and attack a much smaller defender, creating a lane for the Wildcat running back. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. The tight end releases off the line and heads up the seam as Wentz fakes to the running back and hits the TE for a touchdown. Below you see K-State run something similar, although it doesn’t turn out so well. Ross Uglem of Bison Report explains in it more detail below and then the following video shows this play.The basic difference in the way that most teams run power and that way that NDSU does it is the shuffle pull from the pulling guard to keep his shoulders square to the hole.  Usually, a pulling guard will open up and run square to the sideline executing a “kick out” block a defensive end or outside linebacker. [GoPowerCat.com]Messingham and the Wildcats try to wear down teams by running this play over and over again throughout the course of a game. I saw them do it plenty of times against the Bulldogs, like in the example below.last_img read more

Third International TVET Conference Slated for November 29 to December 1

first_img The Joint Committee for Tertiary Education (JCTE), in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, will host the third International Conference on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) from November 29 to December 1 at the Holiday Inn Resort in Montego Bay.The JCTE’s Senior Marketing and Business Development Consultant and Conference Chair, Jacqueline Knight-Campbell, says the event will bring together individuals and organisations that are collaborating to develop the education sector.“It will explore the building of educational partnerships; strategic leadership for institutional growth development; and professional development in higher education”, she said.She was speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank at the agency’s head office in Kingston on Tuesday, October 24.The conference, which will also be supported by Delaware State University in the United States, will include concurrent sessions, workshops, exhibitions and panel discussions.Among the key events are a power breakfast, where heads of local and international companies will engage representatives from educational institutions in dialogue; and an awards ceremony to recognise outstanding educators, the Tertiary Student of the Year and outstanding corporate local and international individuals who have made indelible contributions to education.“It is a leadership conference that will provide the platform for building awareness on the readiness, activities and international exposure and exchange of what is happening in education,” Mrs. Knight-Campbell said.Additionally, she said persons are being invited to present research papers at the conference that should be submitted to the JCTE by Thursday, November 9.The focus areas include developing partnerships for an integrated approach to internationalising tertiary education; enhancing career through networking industry certification and professional organisations; and financing tertiary education for growth and sustainability, both locally and internationally. For further information on registration for the conference, persons may email theJCTE at: jctesecretariat@gmail.com, and for the submission of research papers: jctepr@gmail.com. Persons may also call 632-4136, 616-7620 or visit www.ucj.org.jm. The Joint Committee for Tertiary Education (JCTE), in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, will host the third International Conference on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) from November 29 to December 1 at the Holiday Inn Resort in Montego Bay. Among the key events are a power breakfast, where heads of local and international companies will engage representatives from educational institutions in dialogue; and an awards ceremony to recognise outstanding educators, the Tertiary Student of the Year and outstanding corporate local and international individuals who have made indelible contributions to education. Story Highlights The JCTE’s Senior Marketing and Business Development Consultant and Conference Chair, Jacqueline Knight-Campbell, says the event will bring together individuals and organisations that are collaborating to develop the education sector. last_img read more

Boom in New Home Sales

first_img in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, Market Studies, News, Origination Boom in New Home Sales The demand for housing outweighed the small existing home inventory in February, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). New home sales in February 2017 were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 592,000, a 6.1 percent increase from January’s rate of 558,000 and a 12.8 percent increase year-over-year, from February 2016’s 525,000.Realtor.com Senior Economist Joseph Kirchner noted that the increase in new home sales could be due to the warm winter which allowed construction to stay on schedule, last year’s strong home construction starts, and a gradual shift from building apartments to individual homes. However, Kirchner says that while construction is up overall, existing home sales are falling.“While this growth is encouraging, it’s important for house hunters to keep in mind that builders have been focusing on the more pricey part of the market; affordable options are still in short supply,” said Kirchner. “That’s a key reason why existing home sales dropped in February while sales of new homes went up–existing home sales include both affordable and premium homes. During that month, sales of existing homes under $100K plummeted 15 percent and sales of homes in the $100K to $250K range fell 2 percent, while sales of more expensive existing homes soared.”While new home construction booms, the existing home inventory dwindles. Existing home sales, constrained by a lack of supply, increased just 1.8 percent over the last year. February saw a 6.4 percent decline in new listings and a 12.9 percent decline in the overall number of homes for sale, marking the third month in a row that inventory has fallen by double-digits and the 17th consecutive month of year-over-year supply declines.Consumers are still looking positively at the home market. According to a National Association of Realtors survey, 62 percent of consumers said they believe the U.S. economy is improving, and 72 percent believe now is a good time to buy a home, so the housing market will still be busy. Sharecenter_img March 23, 2017 604 Views Construction sales 2017-03-23 Seth Welbornlast_img read more

Rep Hank Vaupel Weekly Column April 8 2019

first_img Categories: Vaupel News 08Apr Rep. Hank Vaupel Weekly Column: April 8, 2019 A big congratulations to Micah and Lydia DeMass on their beautiful wedding last Saturday! Micah serves as my legislative aide and works hard to provide timely and beneficial assistance to the people of our district. Lydia is a hard-working and enthusiastic individual who works at a nearby dentist office. They are a tremendous couple who love God, each other, and their community. I know they have a bright future with many happy years ahead. All the best!***This week, I concluded my March is Reading Month tour by visiting Round, Village, and Creekside elementary schools in Hartland. As in years past, it was a pleasure to dedicate some of my time in March to reading to students across the district. They never cease to impress and fill me with hope for the future of our county. A big thank you to all the teachers, principals, and staff who went out of their way to welcome me.***April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and on Wednesday, I attended LACASA’s annual Plant a Pinwheel Celebration at the Howell Carnegie District Library. Adults and children from across the county gathered to take a stand against child abuse and plant a pinwheel garden as a visible reminder. Thank you to LACASA’s Child Abuse Prevention Council for hosting this important event and to everyone who participated.***It was a pleasure to be invited by 44th Circuit Court Judge Michael Hatty to the 20th annual Michigan Association of Treatment Court Professionals conference in Lansing. It was a great inside look into our court system and the issues judges face both in and out of the courtroom. It was also an opportunity to discuss how the Legislature can make things better for everyone involved in the legal system. Thank you to Judge Hatty for the invitation and the chance to share thoughts and ideas.***If you have any ideas, comments or questions for my office, please do not hesitate to call us at 517-373-8835 or send an email to HankVaupel@house.mi.gov. We are happy to hear from you!PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Hank Vaupel reads to a group of students at Round Elementary in Hartland as part of his March is Reading Month tour.last_img read more

Do not encroach upon anyone or their property and

first_imgDo not encroach upon anyone or their property, and keep your agreements. Number one is the “Golden Rule,” and number two is the essence of the common law – more or less an extension of #1. And that’s all that we really need. Sure, a professional philosopher can come up with weird exceptions, but that’s not a serious concern. Send the one-in-a-million scenario to a judge and get busy with the other 999,999. Yes, life is complex but that’s no reason to say, “We can’t know right from wrong.” Act with integrity and I guarantee you’ll do the right thing 99.9% of the time. The Lesson The events of 9/11 were obviously very stark, and we certainly don’t want to rely on such things to set our moral compass. But the lesson is clear: It is moral clarity that turns us into heroes and saints. So, if you want to see good conduct, talk about integrity, self-honesty, and the courage to make individual judgments. Require this of your children. Oppose people who try to cloud moral choices. I leave you with a few lines from a song called The Hero, by David Crosby: And the reason that she loved him, was the reason I loved him too. He never wondered what was right or wrong, he just knew, he just knew. Paul Rosenberg FreemansPerspective.com There is nothing inspiring about rules. While they may produce order, they don’t elevate anyone to heroism and greatness. But I know what does, and I discovered it in the rubble of 9/11. The story began, as such stories do, quite innocently. I was scheduled to be in New York for a convention in early 2002, and I sent an email to my old friend Jack. The text was along the lines of “Hey, I’m coming to NYC. Wanna get lunch?” His reply was simple: “Sure, but first I’d like you to come see my new project.” Jack’s new project, as it turns out, was the restoration of the old New York Telephone building, now called the Verizon building. It was notched into the World Trade Center site, inches from the destroyed Building 7. This building was badly damaged on September 11th, but it didn’t come down. And it was extremely important that it did remain in service – nearly every phone line serving Wall Street ran through it. Lessons from a Disaster Zone It was a cool, rainy, hazy day. Fitting, I thought. Most of the debris had been removed by the time I arrived, which gave everyone on the job a clean view of what was missing and how much work lay ahead. Since Jack and I are old electrical guys (my classical training), we began by examining the power systems. And thus began a day of epiphanies. Each new piece of information brought others to mind. Every fact implied a lesson. I thanked God for a good memory; scribbling notes in the rain was not going to work. The first item on the agenda was the 13,000 volt electrical service to the building. It was running over an aluminum scaffold, inside of a plywood box. Now, you may be thinking that 13,000 volts in a plywood box on a metal scaffold doesn’t sound very safe, and you would be right. There’s no way this installation would be acceptable in any normal circumstances. But in this case, there wasn’t much choice. This was a disaster zone and an “approved” installation wouldn’t be possible here for months. (They couldn’t even get the right kinds of wires.) So, the rules went out the window and Jack’s crew had to come up with something that would work and that wouldn’t kill anyone. Otherwise, Wall Street would shut, and half of New York would have no telephones. The rules were simply overridden by reality. I couldn’t help thinking of an old quote, attributed to the Dalai Lama: Learn the rules well, so you will be able to break them properly. But the big story of the day came after our inspection. At lunch, Jack explained that after Building 7 initially fell on 9/11, other partial collapses continued for quite a while. Each time, clouds of dust and debris filled his Verizon building. On one particular day, the FBI vault in the basement of Building 7 caved in under the weight of yet another collapse. “And I swear to you, Paul,” Jack assured me with bulging eyes, “twenty- and fifty-dollar bills came floating through the site!” Free money… it’s hard to imagine a better setup for a moral dilemma. I made some comment about the guys being very happy that day. “No,” Jack said, “they wouldn’t touch them!” I looked at him and waited for some elaboration. Finally he spoke up again. “They said ‘that’s not our money; it belongs to other people.’ And they wouldn’t touch it. They wouldn’t allow anyone to touch it. It just sat there until the FBI guys came through and picked it all up.” When the lure of free money fails, I pay attention. This was clearly no ordinary event. Here were dozens of construction workers who refused to take free money – a lot of free money – when there was no enforcer looking over their shoulders or threatening them. I looked at Jack again. He was stone serious, as serious as I have ever seen him. So I was left facing a serious question: A large group of construction workers were turned into what we used to call stand-up guys… into exemplary stand-up guys. But what was it that turned them into these paragons of ethics? Obviously it had everything to do with 9/11, but exactly how? I began analyzing the event, starting with the participants. I’ve known New York construction workers, and not many of them had any abiding interest in the study of ethics. But now these same men were acting with deep ethical convictions. Obviously it was the change of situation that mattered, not the basic nature of the men; one’s nature does not change in a moment. Then I understood: These men had never lacked basic decency; what they had lacked was a clear choice! This was the first time in their lives when the difference between right and wrong was this clear. Having clearly understood right and wrong, it would have been stupid for these men to take $50 bills belonging to others – their conscious sense of righteousness was worth far more. For the rest of their lives, these men will know that when it counted, they stepped up to the task and performed it with honor. And I would bet large that, on their death beds, this fact will pass prominently through their minds. They will feel honorable, and they will have earned it. What this Means This means that one can act with confidence only when he knows, clearly, what is right and what is wrong. It is moral clarity that makes men and women good. I know that we’ve all been taught to freeze up at questions about good and evil, but it really isn’t hard. Here is the answer in two very simple statements: center_img What is hateful to you, don’t do to anyone else.last_img read more

I include the USs current account above because h

first_img I include the US’s current account above because historically, countries that sell goods to America invest their dollar proceeds in Treasuries. China, for example, sends goods to the US, and the US pays for them with dollars. China then takes those dollars and buys Treasuries. That’s why foreign investment in Treasuries tends to closely follow the US trade deficit. Fracking has allowed the US to produce more energy domestically, helping to improve its trade deficit. But foreigners are free to do what they want with their dollars. And recently, they’ve been doing anything but buying Treasuries—like buying American companies and Midwest farmland. It’s risky to have so many dollars and dollar-denominated assets in foreign hands, outside of US control. Other indicators confirm that foreigners are selling US debt. The Fed holds Treasuries in custody for foreign central banks, and its custody holdings recently plummeted by a disastrous $100 billion in just one week. Announcements of sanctions against Russia seem to have precipitated that fire sale. Russia itself has decreased its holdings of US Treasuries from $165 billion to $126 billion. Why should Putin loan the US money when the US is sanctioning Russia’s use of dollars? Again, since foreigners aren’t buying US government debt, the Fed will have to. That, in turn, increases the quantity of dollars, diluting the value of Treasuries those foreigners already own. Which eventually will induce foreigners to sell even more of their Treasuries, depressing the dollar’s value further. It’s a risky game, and a potential vicious cycle. The Dollar’s Importance Is Declining The dollar has the unique and special privilege of being the world’s reserve currency, which grants the US several crucial advantages: All other currencies are defined by their exchange rate to the dollar. Perhaps most importantly, the dollar’s reserve status is in steep decline too. In 2000, the dollar accounted for 55% of all foreign exchange reserves. In 14 short years, that number has dropped to 33%. By 2020, I project, it will drop to 20%. At that point, other large economies of the world won’t need dollars nearly as much for international trade. So America’s special privileges will continue to wane. You can see that US debt will continue its rapid growth that began in 2008. The question is who will fund this borrowing. Historically, foreigners have been a reliable source of US Treasury purchases. But with the US issuing so much debt, foreigners have become saturated with US dollars and so have slowed their buying considerably. Other buyers of Treasuries have been anemic, too. The banking system holds about $500 billion of Treasuries and hasn’t increased its holdings in five years. With very low interest rates, private investors aren’t buying the bonds either. That leaves the Fed, under its Quantitative Easing (QE) programs, as the only buyer in town. I expect that the Federal Reserve will continue to be the buyer of last resort and will purchase around $50 billion of Treasuries per month over the next decade. Admittedly, even the Federal Reserve doesn’t know precisely what its policies will be. It could buy more or fewer Treasuries. But until there is another buyer, the Fed is stuck picking up the tab. The most important part of this equation is how the Fed buys government debt: it creates new dollars out of thin air and swaps them for Treasuries. That’s called “monetizing the debt,” and it’s inflationary—much more so than when others buy Treasuries with dollars that already exist. Foreigners Have Stopped Accumulating US Securities I watch foreign investment in US securities closely, because small shifts are big enough to affect other US markets. In the last 12 months, foreigners have sold Treasuries at an unprecedented rate. After World War II, the dollar became the world’s preeminent currency. Convertible to gold at $35 an ounce, it was the backbone of international trade. Foreign central banks used it to back their own currencies. Nixon removed the dollar’s convertibility to gold in 1971, rendering its value dependent on prudent management by its issuer. That issuer, of course, is the Federal Reserve—which conjures dollars into existence to support the US government’s spending habit. The Fed has issued a lot of dollars since 1971, and even more since the financial crisis of 2008—thanks to Washington’s exploding debt levels. And it’s only going to get worse, as even the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) admits in its own forecasts. What’s more, CBO debt estimates are notoriously overoptimistic; so while they are daunting, reality will likely be worse. To paint a realistic picture of future US debt levels, I added 20% to the CBO’s forecast, illustrated here: The US can and has financed wars with dollars loaned to it by foreigners. In other words, the dollar’s reserve status greatly enhances US power. This allows the US to run up huge government and trade deficits that would be disastrous for most other countries. Case in point: US government debt is now over 100% of GDP, the level at which Greece became insolvent. The difference is that Greece couldn’t print euros to paper over its government debt, so it was on a much tighter leash. Because oil is priced in dollars, other countries need dollars to buy oil, even from the Middle East. That’s the #1 reason the central banks of the world have accumulated dollars as backing for their currencies: because dollars are useful for international trade. Plus, the US Treasury market is the largest and most liquid market on earth, so for foreigners, parking money in Treasuries is a logical choice, at least in the short term. All of those factors helped America dominate the global economy. But other countries are catching up—like China, which is now the clear-cut #2 world economy. The US’s relative economic power has declined sharply in the past 30 years. China is actively laying the groundwork for its yuan to become the basis for international trade. It already has developed dozens of bilateral agreements to trade with partners without using dollars. China is also acquiring over 1,000 tonnes of gold per year to support the yuan’s growing presence on the global stage. 23 central banks admit to holding yuan, and another dozen hint they hold the currency  without officially declaring it. Geopolitics Hurts the Dollar The US has applied severe sanctions on Iran, forcing Iran’s customers to get creative in figuring out how to pay for oil without US dollars. They tried a number of novel solutions, including using gold via Turkey. But the US squeezed that channel as well. Now the US is sanctioning Russia—a much more powerful country than Iran—and looks to be shooting itself in the foot. Putin has announced specific plans to move away from the dollar in Russia’s international sales of energy. Gazprom, the Russian energy giant, still prices its natural gas in dollars to sell to Europe. But with US sanctions making it difficult for Russia to do business in dollars, Gazprom has announced it will issue bonds denominated in Chinese yuan. Those two countries continue to grow closer economically, as Russia has the energy that China needs. Further, Putin, along with the presidents of Gazprom and Rosneft, is actively working to conduct transactions in rubles, yuan, and even Indian rupees. Russia announced a $20 billion deal with Iran to trade oil for goods—including nuclear technology—without using dollars. The other BRIC countries, Brazil and India, are beginning to wean themselves off the dollar too. The BRICs have set up a development bank and are looking to create their own interbank currency transaction system to replace the Western-controlled Swift program that has been used for decades. All of these countries are after one thing: to decrease their dependence on the dollar. Using the dollar less in world transactions, of course, decreases the demand for dollars, which decreases its value. That would force America to seriously curtail its trade and government deficits, or else allow the value of the dollar to plummet faster than we’ve ever seen. Japan, China, the Eurozone, and most other countries are all on the same path of creating money for short-term economic gain, so the dollar’s relative exchange rate vs. other currencies hasn’t changed much. The prices of important commodities like energy, agriculture, and precious metals have risen along with stock markets. While some of these are not adequately included in government measures of price inflation, we’ve seen some price inflation already. More is coming. The bottom line is that the US is hurting its currency by using it as a political weapon. Shunning Russia only accelerates the trend of countries working to circumvent the dollar. Long-Term Financial Implications A weakening dollar is great for gold. A weakening dollar means higher prices for all things, especially imported goods like oil.center_img Most global trade transactions are denominated in dollars, including the most important commodity of all, oil. The US can borrow in its own currency and so can always pay off foreign debts by printing more dollars. Higher prices will push up interest rates. Escalating international conflicts will lead to larger military budgets, increasing future deficits and weakening not just the dollar, but all currencies. In essence, the new geopolitical strife is just another chapter in the same story that’s been unfolding for decades: the dollar’s hegemony is in decline. As you may have seen in our documentary video Meltdown America, the snowball effect of economic crises (once they start downhill, they go faster and faster) is what makes them so treacherous. By the time the full impact is felt, most ordinary people won’t even know what hit them. The prepared are spared, as they say. Diversification, across different asset classes and even different political jurisdictions, is essential to escape America’s coming meltdown unscathed, financially as well as physically. Right now, you can get our special diversification package—The Casey Report and Going Global 2014, for one low price. The Casey Report, where you can read my and my co-editors’ analysis of current economic trends and threats, focuses on crisis-proof investments as well as shorter-term profit opportunities. Going Global 2014 is a book-length report on the best time-tested strategies of protecting your money by storing some of it abroad. It offers expert advice (my colleague Terry Coxon, among others, was instrumental in writing it) for all budget and portfolio sizes—from very simple first steps to internationalize, to more complex wealth preservation plans for high net worth individuals. Plus you’ll find many ideas on how to ship yourself abroad as well, if you’re so inclined. Try a risk-free subscription to The Casey Report today and you get Going Global 2014 (which we usually sell for $99) free of charge. With our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you have three months to see if our newsletter is right for you; if not, simply cancel within that time for a full refund. Whatever you decide, you get to keep Going Global 2014 and all the newsletter issues you received thus far. Click here to get started. I don’t think we could make it any easier for you to protect yourself. The US dollar is on the brink—don’t waste another minute to get started. As Russia expands its energy sales to China, the residual supply available for Europe will be smaller, driving European energy prices higher.last_img read more