No 971 “En mi opinión” Junio 9, 2015
“IN GOD I TRUST” Lázaro R González Miño Editor
AMENPER: Hillary dijo a los negros que tenían que saber darse su Lugar
Hablando en una arena con mucha bulla pero medio vacía en una Universidad negra en Texas, Hillary Clinton hizo la siguiente declaración:
“Ustedes necesitan saber su lugar. Hace ya mucho tiempo han tenido lecciones y clases, y yo los ayudaré lo largo de la vida.
Ustedes no necesitan educación ni trabajo ahí afuera.
Pueden estar recibiendo bienestar social hasta el final de los tiempos y voten por mí para que esto ocurra. Ustedes no le deben a nadie nada, y todo el mundo debe pagar. Puedo solucionar sus deudas y darle una vida más fácil. No necesita preocuparse por dinero, refugios, asistencia sanitaria, lo que debe hacer, quién cuidará de tu familia y otras cosas. El gobierno puede proporcionar.”
Se los paso también en inglés original, porque no puedo creer estas palabras ni viniendo de Hillary
“You people need to know your place. It has been a long time since you had lessons, and I will help you along. You need no education or job out there. You can be on welfare to the end of times, and vote for me to make it happen. You do not owe anyone anything, and everyone owes a pay. I can fix your debts and give you an easier life. No need to worry about money, shelters, health care, what to do, who will take care of your family, and other stuff. The government can provide.”
La candidata presidencial demócrata presentó un gráfico de pirámide y demostró al público negro su posición en la vida.
“Aquí estoy en la sociedad”, dijo, señalando en la parte superior de la pirámide. Entonces bajó a un segmento de línea en la parte inferior, diciendo: este es otro lugar como pueden ser todos iguales. Para que esto suceda, tenemos que darle todas las cosas iguales que el gobierno puede proporcionar.” Un aplauso surgió de la multitud como Hillary se retiró.
Otra vez se los pongo en el inglés original
“Here I am in society,” she said, pointing at the top of the pyramid. Then she pointed to a line segment at the bottom, saying: “This is everyone else as equal as they can be. To make this happen, we need to give you all the equal things the government can provide.” An applause came out of the crowd as Hillary walked off the stage.
Realmente no se qué quiere decir esto, ¿Es que ha determinado que sólo con los votos de los que dependen del Welfare puede ganar?.
Lo que le dijo a estos muchachos es que su lugar era en la dependencia, fue un discurso racista con un estereotipo del negro vago que depende de lo que le da el gobierno.
¿Piensa Hillary que con esas promesas puede ganar las elecciones?.
Pudiera ser y pudiera estar en lo correcto, cada día son menos los que trabajan y pagan impuestos y más de los que viven sin trabajar.
Sólo así se puede entender que un candidato presidencial diga esto en un discurso, cualquier candidato en otra etapa de la sociedad americana, hubiera quedado eliminado de la contienda, sin embargo Hillary sigue en primer lugar en las encuestas. Estas elecciones del 2016 determinarán que es el pueblo americano hoy en día, si todavía es el país de mejor ética de trabajo de la historia o si se ha convertido en un estado de Welfare.
“EMO” [No sé si Hilary estaba borracha o enpericada] Pero para decir eso en un lugar público, aunque todos eran negros… Hay que tener gandinga podrida y una escases total de moral y vergüenza. Pero lo que más retraquetea es que este ejemplar es el candidato de los demócratas para que sea el presidente de la nación que rige los destinos del mundo… Yo creía que obama era el “Nom Plus Ultra de la basura”, pero veo que el partido Demócrata tiene una verdadera mina de mierda que no se agota. Lázaro R González Miño.
AMENPER: BBQ….¿UN ACTO CRIMINAL?
Hay un dicho popular que dice, “En esta vida corta y pasajera, cada cual come mierda a su manera” Siempre me han intrigado las personas que tienen conceptos absurdos en cuanto a lo que debemos de hacer o comer a nombre de una religión o asociación del medio ambiente, (que son cosas parecidas), y que se autoimponen ciertas regulaciones o sacrificios higiénicos o dietéticos que son contrarias a las costumbres establecidas.
Pero como dice el dicho, cada cual puede comer lo que quiera y hacer lo que quiera
Pero cuando tratan de imponer sus creencias en los demás, esto va en contra de las libertades individuales de los que se ven forzado a cumplir los puntos de vistas y se ven obligados a cumplir los sacrificios por las creencias de otros.
El problema es que estas personas han tomado el poder, son el brazo autoritario del gobierno sin tener una autoridad por sí, pero son apoyadas tácitamente por la presente administración, con sus declaraciones, con sus discursos.
Las barbacoas, son tan americanas como la bandera, es parte de la tradición de los fines de semana como los días de la independencia y el día de dar gracias.
Nunca en ninguna época de la historia de los Estados Unidos se hubiera pensado en prohibir las celebraciones con barbacoas en los patios de las casas de los ciudadanos americanos.
Los que han logrado que esto haya sido posible, son los mismos que nos hablan de la conservación del medio ambiente, que el hombre está destruyendo el medio ambiente que nos dejaron los indios, que los indios llorarían si vieran lo que estamos haciendo con su tierra.
Pero es que los indios fueron los que inventaron la Barbacoa, los indios fueron los que acabaron con los Búfalos, a los indios le gustaba la carne.
Pero razonar no parece ser una prioridad para ellos, son fanáticos y el fanatismo no admite razonamiento. Lo triste es que sea posible que suceda que los oficiales electos admitan sus absurdas demandas.
Pero ha sucedido, abajo pueden ver la noticia.
PORTLAND, OREGON – miembros de P.E.T.A. (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) han cabildeado con éxito para proscribir barbacoas al aire libre dentro de límites de la ciudad y los suburbios de Portland, Oregón, con una votación de 6 a 1. La prohibición se basó en una demanda P.E.T.A. que el olor de la cocción de la carne es muy ofensivo y no deben ser forzados a soportar los humos de lo que ellos llaman “un crimen peor que el Holocausto.”
Bajo la nueva ley, individuos asar carne al aire libre podrían enfrentar una multa de $2000 o un día en la cárcel. Poco después de la sentencia, los activistas de derechos animales fueron a desfilar en áreas residenciales en una “marcha de la victoria” mientras gritando por megáfonos para avergonzar residentes donde se hacían barbacoas, diciendo cosas como “Eres irreflexivo partidario del Holocausto animal” y “Para la quema de la carne de tus víctimas de asesinato sobre brasas”.
El grupo ha pasado los últimos meses con protestas al aire libre sobre los asados a la parrilla por barrios con patrullas de ataque con demostraciones a picnics y reuniones al aire libre con barbacoas llegando en casos a robar la carne para llevar a cabo lo que ellos llaman “entierros apropiados.”
Los manifestantes gritaban “Asesinos” y “Los Animales merecen justicia” a las familias y personas que han encontrado habiendo cocina al aire libre en plena propiedad privada de las personas que estaban tratando de disfrutar de actividades al aire libre con sus familias.
Al principio su movimiento parecía que iba a fallar y la ley no pasaría, pero luego el grupo de derechos animales fueron amenazados en barrios con pistolas de paintball cuando estaban demostrando a los grupos cocinando carne al aire libre. Bajo esta amenaza, el Ayuntamiento cedió a sus demandas, y aprobó la ley para evitar la violencia.
“Ya no tengo ese olor, el olor”, dijo Susie Townley, uno de los activistas entusiastas que habían estado presentes en la sentencia. “A veces rompo en un ajuste incontrolable de llanto cuando huelo la cocción de la carne. Me evitaba vivir mi vida como la quería y me siento tan feliz ahora –
“EMO” Con tantos problemas tremendos que tenemos que resolver; que la gente use su tiempo en comer “Injundia de gallina” Le sumba la gandinga. LRGM.
AMENPER: Las Escobas de Hillary
En las últimas elecciones, que perdió en la primarias contra Obama, Hillary Clinton “La Reina” compró palas de nieve para los voluntarios, durante una nevada, para que pudieran hacer un mejor trabajo que el limpiador de nieve cuando ella viniera a Chicago la próxima vez.
Aunque la tecnología de la pala era nueva para los voluntarios de su campaña en Chicago, todos los voluntarios estuvieron supuestamente felices de usar sus palas para limpiar las carreteras en pleno verano cuando ella volvió.
Este año se espera que la candidata demócrata de a sus voluntarios escobas. Como “La Reina” está supuestamente cansada de la suciedad y la suciedad en las carreteras y le gustaría poder reclamar que ella ha limpiado las calles de Nueva York, Chicago, Seattle, Oakland, Nueva Orleans y otras áreas importantes para el bien de todos los votantes.
Medios cercanos a Hillary han dicho que las escobas se traerán de China donde ella tiene muy buenas relaciones con las fracciones Maoístas.
Las escobas son importantes en esta ocasión, porque además de usarse para la limpieza Hillary y sus voluntarias pueden usarlas como medio de transportación sobre todo cuando vaya a Salem la tierra de las brujas.
AMENPER: El Modelo Chino…
Estaba conversando este fin de semana con mi hijo y mi nieto que trabajaron y vivieron temporalmente en China, y oyendo sus comentarios sobre sus experiencias me hizo recordar a la Cuba Republicana. Quizás a lo que pudieron ellos observar en esta extraña sociedad se debe los avances económicos que vemos en China y vimos en Cuba, a pesar de los gobiernos autoritarios y corruptos.
China, a pesar de su régimen totalitario no permitiendo nada que pueda afectar la autoridad del gobierno, permite una, “libertad en la parte inferior” no solamente en la economía de mercado, pero también una laxitud con las autoridades locales-
O sea que el Gobierno lleva un enfoque de no intervención que trata con asuntos locales que no afecta la autoridad política de la cúpula, y una libertad en la economía en la parte inferior.
Esto lo vimos en Cuba con Batista, la última dictadura autoritaria que tuvimos, políticamente era una república bananera autoritaria, pero permitía el libre mercado y la libertad empresarial, siempre y cuando el empresario no atentara contra la autoridad o los negocios del gobierno. Esto hizo que Cuba, como China tuviera una buena economía a pesar de tener un mal gobierno.
El secreto de China es que aunque subsiste a ciertos niveles la centralización socialista, la economía de mercado es permitida y el empresario privado puede desarrollar su ingeniosidad.
Y este es el punto, lo que han hecho es imitar el sistema americano parcialmente, dejando que los pequeños empresarios desarrollen sus negocios, pero manteniendo la dictadura comunista para mantener el poder.
Así que los que dicen que China ha sido una prueba que el comunismo trabaja, piénselo dos veces, lo que ha trabajado es lo que no es comunista dentro de un régimen comunista.
Podemos preguntar a los chinos si están mejor que antes, y la respuesta para los que han tomado ventaja de la laxitud sería que están mejor, pero para los que se encuentran en sus cárceles por expresar su descontento, nos dirán que están igual que antes.
¿Por qué entonces no es mejor tener un régimen de libertad política y económica total? ¿Por qué cambiar lo que tenemos para ensayar con doctrinas foráneas que ya han fracasado y han tenido que imitarnos para mejorar?¿Por qué conformarnos con que Cuba tenga el modelo Chino?
Obama’s ‘Impeachable Offenses’ outlined
After Netanyahu Criticized World’s ‘Silence’ on Gaza Attacks, Here’s What the White House Said
The White House said it supports Israel’s right to defend itself after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday blasted the international community for what he called its “silence” in response to the recent renewal of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel.
“Clearly, the United States stands with the nation of Israel as they defend their nation and their people from these attacks,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said according to the Associated Press.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest at his June 5, 2015 daily briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)
Earnest made the comments Sunday in Germany where President Barack Obama was attending a meeting of G7 leaders.
The White House spokesman said that U.S. officials had spent “a lot of time talking about this” during the war last summer between Israel and Hamas when the terrorist group launched thousands of rockets at Israeli communities.
“This is not the first time that I’ve stood at a podium like this and strongly condemned rocket attacks by extremists in Gaza against innocent Israeli citizens,” Earnest said.
“I have not heard anyone in the international community condemn this firing; neither has U.N. said a word,” Netanyahu said at the opening of his weekly cabinet meeting Sunday.
The prime minister hinted a harsh Israeli response to future attacks: “It will be interesting if this silence continues when we use our full strength to uphold our right to defend ourselves.”
“Let it be clear: The spreading hypocrisy in the world will not tie our hands and prevent us from protecting Israel’s citizens. Thus we have acted; thus we will act,” Netanyahu said.
There have been three Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza since the end of May claimed by terrorist group rivals of the ruling Hamas.
Israeli Air Force jets Sunday morning bombed targets in Gaza in response to the latest rocket launch toward the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon Saturday night. No injuries were reported in either incident.
The Omar Brigades, a Salafist group with reported ties to the Islamic State group, claimed responsibility for two of the attacks.
Watch: What Obama Just Did When The Iraqi PM Walked Up To Him Sparked Controversy
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi ‘met’ with President Obama…
Ahead of their one-on-one discussion at the G7 Summit in Germany today, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi ‘met’ with President Obama.
The Iraqi PM walked up to the President, who was engaged in a conversation with Italian Prime Minister Mario Renzi and the President of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde. The Iraqi PM and his translator sat down next to Obama, who continued his conversation as Abadi sat merely a foot away from him.
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The three leaders then stood up, prompting Abadi to stand as well. They then walked away without paying any attention to a disgruntled Abadi. His translator then lifted his hands in visible frustration, and they eventually walked away.
You can watch the video here:
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Abadi participated in the G7 summit as a member of an outreach group to discuss terrorism and development. The battle against the Islamic State was one of the most important issues discussed by the world leaders and Abadi.
Abadi’s humiliation came a day after the chairman of the Iraqi Parliament’s Security and Defense Commission, Hakim al-Zamili, said his country is disappointed with the US and needs to approach Iran, Russia, and China in its fight against ISIS.
Speaking to the local media, al-Zamili referred to the delay in delivery of US-made F-16 fighter jets to Iraq and said that Washington is not willing to deliver them and will never do it.
Radical Liberal Lawmaker Just Claimed This Is Why God Named His Only Son Jesus.
As promised, Gutierrez concluded his speech in Spanish.
In a recent address from the U.S. House floor, Democrat Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez took aim at Republicans in Texas for opposing Barack Obama’s executive immigration orders.
“Reality and Texas should really get to know one another,” he declared.
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Gutierrez shared his belief that Texas leaders are more worried about the potential repercussions of a military exercise that labels the state “hostile” than they are about providing de facto amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.
He insisted that many of the same Republicans he disparaged for opposing Obama’s executive action are “reluctant to tell some of their base voters that no, in fact, President Obama does not have a secret plan to use Walmart department stores as internment camps for gun owners, which is the latest conspiracy theory promoted by Chuck Norris.”
According to Gutierrez, concern over the secretive Jade Helm program might be good for “a chuckle,” but warned his fellow Democrats that “for many of the Republican Party in Texas, crazy is a constituency that must be dealt with delicately.”
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- Exposed: Obama Is Bypassing Congress To Deliver A Major Blow To The Constitution
The lawmaker then ventured into the most controversial remark of an already contentious address.
“So I want to end by speaking directly to the millions of families who are waiting for Texas politicians and judges to stop the delaying actions,” he said, “and I will use the language many of them speak and which God understands as well – at least I assume he speaks Spanish, because He named his only son Jesus.”
Gutierrez used the modern Spanish pronunciation of the name to make his point perfectly clear. In her article about the controversial clip, however, The Blaze’s Pam Key pointed out a factual error in his assessment.
“Depite Gutierrez’s claim,” she wrote, “the modern ‘Jesus’ name originates from early old English Biblical translations of the Lord’s name, Yeshua, in an attempt to match pronunciation. There was no letter ‘J’ in Hebrew, Greek or Latin prior to the 14th century.”
When some readers pointed out that the representative was simply repeating an existing joke, others responded that such a remark is nonetheless inappropriate in such a setting.
“We can only hope he’s joking,” one commenter concluded. “But considering it came out of Gutierrez’s mouth, it’s impossible to be sure.”
As promised, Gutierrez concluded his speech in Spanish.
Did Gutierrez go too far? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. http://www.westernjournalism.com/radical-liberal-lawmaker-just-claimed-this-is-why-god-named-his-only-son-jesus/?utm_campaign=54ebe14371e7fc692400399a&utm_source=BoomTrain&utm_medium=email&utm_content=recommended&bt_alias=eyJ1c2VySWQiOiIwNTkxYjcxYy0xZGYzLTRhMDgtODAxMS1iNjczYTk2ODNjMDQifQ%3D%3D
Moral Capitalism, by David Bahnsen
Market “corrections” of 5-10% happen all the time; market corrections of 20% or more are almost always valuation-driven or recession-driven. We do not believe the 5% variety are: a) avoidable), or b) concerning; we defend against the malignant kind with asset allocation and valuation awareness. The U.S. dollar is the primary catalyst right now both in terms of cause and effect – big, short-term impact in commodity and rate markets. QE in Japan IS not going away any time soon, but is no substitute for organic growth. Invest for organic growth, and validate that growth through dividend practices. Yields in Europe are modestly up despite QE, and this should be no surprise to us here in the states. Floating Rate bank loans have appreciated in value 36 of the last 42 times that interest rates rose .2% or more. Energy markets face political catalysts, particularly around crude oil export restrictions and liquefied natural gas exports. Oil prices have rallied a lot, and people are stunned that U.S. producers didn’t die. Their resilience can be explained by the strongest capital markets in the world. For contrarians, recent stock market outflows from retail investors are a bullish sign.
What is your strategy for dealing with the next “market checkback”?
It depends on what one means by “market checkback.” The drops of 5-10% or so, for example, are what most people mean, and each time such a period happens the media (and many investors) do respond as if the black plague has come upon us. A mathematical fact, though, is that over the last six years we have had twelve (that is not a typo) separate incidents of a 5-20% drop (all but two of those being 5-10%), and yet the market is up 258% (also not a typo) in that time frame. The 5-10% type drops are: a) Never going to go away, b) as untimeable and unavoidable as weather, and c) of no threat to a single client’s carefully constructed portfolio. Therefore, I do not “deal” with a market checkback other than celebrating the reduced entry point they provide us via our dividend reinvestment. Now, if one means more severe “checkback” (the 20-50% variety), my “strategy” is to be very valuation conscious, to be contrarian, wary of bubble formations, concerned by risk complacency, and a research hawk around potential recession causation. “Black swan” events though – the very rare market drops out of simply invisible issues in the marketplace – are, by definition, unseeable. History tells us that a focus on risk and valuation is the best defense.
What is the most important SHORT-TERM catalyst in market action right now (bond market, rate market, stock market, and even overseas markets)?
I don’t see how anyone could answer anything other than the U.S. Dollar. That actually isn’t a very helpful answer, because it begs the question as to what actually drives the U.S. dollar, but from commodities to the Euro to interest rates to equities, there is a lot hinging on what the Dollar is doing (either as cause or effect). Is the Dollar inversely correlated to the U.S. stock market as many would have you believe? The answer is an emphatic no. Note the large rally in the Dollar in the chart below and the more recent selloff – both periods have included large U.S. stock market moves to the upside. The longer term “inverse relationship” is even more fictitious. We want a strong U.S. Dollar as American investors, and yet we also know that the Dollar and its relationship to commodity prices (oil among them) and global markets (the Euro among them) is a major factor in Fed thinking and risk markets. One thing you should know as much as you know anything: The Dollar will confound you if you try to expect a logical relationship to world events.
Why do you believe quantitative easing will continue in Japan for the foreseeable future?
One could make the argument that this logic I am about to present could be applied to a lot more places than Japan. But Japan is sort of the poster child for fiscal policy run amok, and I would argue the poster child for what happens to no-growth societies regardless of fiscal and monetary policy. Japan, like most developed countries, runs large deficits. In Japan’s case, if interest rates were to rise a very modest amount (say 2%), they would be spending 100% of tax revenues on mere debt service. So, they can’t see rates rise – period. However, it isn’t that easy to keep rates down. You have to control the demand (by being the buyer) and this is what QE is all about. It is a way to keep rates down. That’s it. The idea is that if they monetize their own debt long enough eventually they can let rates rise. This assumes they get their fiscal budget under control, and the only way to do that is by raising revenue and/or cutting expenses. Too much expense-cutting means decreasing GDP which means you’re back to where you started; increasing revenues by tax increases means decreasing GDP which also undermines the point. So, whether you are Japan, Europe, or the United States, the single variable by which all of this can be improved (not completely solved, but improved) is the idea of organic growth. Real, old-fashioned, wealthbuilding, innovation-based growth. Readers may decide where that growth is most likely to come from – I am unwilling to posit that it will come from Japan or Europe – but all the fiscal talk, monetary talk, QE talk, and Fed talk in the world is not going to replace this basic reality: Growth will be the antidote, or there will not be an antidote.
How is this applicable to our portfolio management?
Central bank experiments, episodes of quantitative easing, discussions of deficit expansions and deficit reductions – these all create volatility and market movements and warrant understanding and preparation. BUT longterm investors should be focused on where growth can and will come from. Profits create growth, and growth creates profits. It is the most non-vicious cycle in all of economics. And it is at the heart of our investment worldview at The Bahnsen Group.
So are rising rates in Europe these last three weeks a good thing or bad thing?
It depends on your perspective, but I will say this: The Mario Draghi-led European Central bank embarked on an all-in quantitative easing type program this year to systemically save the Euro and avoid European collapse by creating negative interest rates while key Euro countries attempt to find their footing. Yields did collapse (part of their objective) and the Euro currency did crater (part of their objective). My above paragraphs would indicate that all of this is for naught if they do not create organic growth in the years ahead, but no one would disagree that they are at least trying to can-kick now with lower interest rates and a weaker currency to stimulate growth and keep the world turning. I don’t agree with the policy prescription, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the policy prescription – it certainly is – and if they prove unsuccessful at keeping rates down even with unprecedented low yields, I would suggest that European markets are in for a world of hurt.
What do you believe is in store for energy markets from a political standpoint?
This is a great question, as so much of what we focus on in terms of energy sector impact is economic (global growth) and currency related (dollar movement), when in fact so much of the impact on the asset class comes from political activity. There is talk right now that the proposed deal the Obama Administration has on the table with Iran would free up Iran to export as much as 500,000 barrels of oil per day on world markets. I am not convinced this would happen, and frankly not convinced the whole deal will happen. I would suggest that a very interesting 2016 election issue which is highly unlikely to be a headline issue but will have a lot of weight behind the scenes is the state of future crude oil exports here in the states. Should there be a growing swell of interest in one party or the other (or one candidate or the other) in lifting and/or easing the ban on exporting crude oil, the implications could be profound. Beyond Iran and crude exports, I would point to the perpetually significant fact that the exporting of liquefied natural gas (not banned legislatively but regulated by the Department of Energy directly) is becoming more and more frequent. Approvals are not being provided quickly enough, but they have accelerated quite a bit (and this is very positive for infrastructure related gas investments). Finally, I am paying attention to chatter about how Congress and the President address Master Limited Partnership (MLP) structures. Earlier attempts in this administration to lessen the tax benefits of MLPs for oil and gas pipelines didn’t go anywhere, and bipartisan support shot them down. I am now reading that rather than try to damage the tax structure of MLPS benefits to oil and gas, there is a political effort to offer an MLP type structure for alternative sources of energy. Could be interesting.
Do you believe this recent rally in oil prices is sustainable?
I definitely do, but that is very different than saying that oil prices will not drop further. The recent increase to $60 off a low $40s price was quick and dramatic, but it also has left oil still 40% off 2014 highs. The reality is that Saudi manipulation of supply still has a profound effect on where oil prices can go and it remains to be seen whether or not Saudi Arabia has had enough of the forced pain on oil producers (themselves amongst that group). If one believes that their intention was to inflict pain upon U.S. producers so as to force a drop in production (and that was never my theory, as you know), it doesn’t seem to have worked much. U.S. energy profits are way down, obviously, and at least the oil services sector has seen some layoffs, but strong capital markets in the space has prevented the need for a catastrophic decrease in production. Production has come down, but overall the U.S. producers have hung strong which has likely forced some of the OPEC hand that they will not be creating a paradigmatic change in world energy production and pricing any time soon. Another big move down could very well shake up this situation, but for now it is clear that the refiners and infrastructure plays have been the relative winners whereas the drillers and servicers have been the most affected by oil prices.
If you could think of one data point that analysts and pundits continually get wrong from a macro standpoint, what would it be?
If you go back to some of my writing in 2009 you will see my beginning to flush out this line of thinking, but I have for some time now been mystified by the aspiration of analysts to use the consumer as an indicator of, well, anything whatsoever. Consumer confidence and sentiment has proven to be a very poor indicator of actual activity. Consumer behavior has often failed as both a leading and lagging indicator. The argument is that consumption still represents about 70% of GDP, which is true enough, but I think what pundits seem to miss is the immutable reality that consumption is a permanent part of our DNA, and that more important variables to both analyze and forecast data actually exist around Fed policy and corporate profits than they do consumer activity.
Contrarian reflection of last week?
If one was looking for a reason to be optimistic about the sustainability of this bull market, I would suggest this chart is as good as any for contrarians (like us):
Quote of the Week
“Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.”
— Gilbert K. Chesterton
It is a very interesting time in the markets right now, but perhaps I always think that because I eat, drink, sleep, and breathe in it all day, every day. It seems to me right now that the media is, even more than normal, really tripping over themselves to generate some drama. And I will be the first to say: They do such professionally – it is hardly new. However, I have noticed a real particular frustration lately out of financial press that they can’t seem to figure out if the big story is “the blow-up of the market,” or “the thriving new highs of a rallying market.” Their agenda is not well-served by the present environment, or the call of this environment, which is poise, patience, modest adjustment, and no overreaction. We are more focused on tuning out media noise than we have ever been. Real life markets give us enough
Read more at http://affluentinvestor.com/2015/06/is-recent-rally-in-oil-prices-sustainable/#OzoD3ftFbgOz0fi8.99
by George Leef: On May 21, the Supreme Court held a conference to discuss whether or not to accept the Fisher case—again. At this time, I don’t know the decision, but I do know that a seemingly strange mixture of liberals and conservatives want the Court to take the appeal.
The case first came before the Court in 2013, where the justices reversed the Fifth Circuit’s ruling in favor of the racial preferences used by the University of Texas (UT) in its admissions. Justice Kennedy’s opinion stressed that the lower court had been far too deferential towards the university’s policy of reserving some places just for students in certain racial and ethnic groups.
Instead of applying “strict scrutiny” as courts must do when they consider public policies that categorize people by race, the Fifth Circuit had just breezily accepted the university’s claims, Justice Kennedy observed. So the case was remanded to that court for a rehearing.
The second hearing at the Fifth Circuit led to the same result—a decision in favor of UT. What’s more, the court’s approach was really no different. Again, a majority of the three-judge panel said that the university’s racial preferences were all right because school officials thought they were important.
But in dissent, Judge Emilio Garza wrote that the decision shouldn’t stand because it again failed to employ strict scrutiny. He wrote,
”Although the University has articulated its diversity goal as a ‘critical mass,’ surprisingly it has failed to define this term in any objective manner. Accordingly, it is impossible to determine whether the University’s use of racial classifications in its admissions process is narrowly tailored to its stated goal – essentially, its ends remain unknown.”
In my view, Judge Garza exposed the fatal weakness in the decision, but we will have to wait to see if at least four members of the Supreme Court agree and vote to rehear the case.
Critics of using racial preferences to give some students from “underrepresented” groups a boost into more prestigious colleges than they would otherwise be accepted into have tried to get both the courts and the general public thinking about the negative consequences of such policies. The proponents always say (without any convincing proof) that this policy is necessary to create “diversity” and in turn “diversity” brings about educational benefits for everyone. Even if that were true, we should also consider the drawbacks to using racial preferences before concluding that they advance some “compelling state interest.”
One of those drawbacks is the probability that many of the students admitted because of their ancestry are not academically matched to the college or university. A minority student might have a high school record that looks good, but still be very poorly prepared for the level of work expected of the students.
An example of mismatch is Kashawn Campbell, a black student who was admitted to UC-Berkeley. He was the star student at his high school, but so far behind the rest of the student body in reading and writing ability that he’d have flunked out except for an A in African-American studies. (I wrote about that case here.)
The mismatch problem has been widely discussed. Thomas Sowell has been decrying it for more than twenty years. More recently, Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor, Jr. published a careful examination of the trouble caused by “helping” students into schools where they’re apt to struggle entitled Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It.
Unfortunately, college officials won’t admit the possibility that their use of racial preferences might have harmful consequences. Evidently, they won’t even study it.
That is what one of the organizations opposed to racial preferences, the Center for Equal Opportunity, found when, following the Supreme Court’s Fisher ruling, it requested information from 22 public universities on how they considered the mismatch effect. As Roger Clegg and Joshua Thompson ruefully observe in this National Review piece,
“Astonishingly, half of those institutions responded that they had zero documents responsive to the request. The response at the remaining eleven universities was no better.”
You might conclude that university officials just don’t want to have any evidence that using racial preferences has drawbacks. That’s because this isn’t a carefully evaluated policy, but a feel-good social justice gesture that liberal academics can’t resist.
Looking at Fisher from a completely different perspective is Richard Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation. In this recent Chronicle of HigherEducation piece, For the Sake of Working-Class Students, Give ‘Fisher’ Another Chance, he argues that the Court should take up the case again. His reasoning overlaps with Clegg’s somewhat.
A long-time advocate of trying to make top colleges and universities more diverse socioeconomically, Kahlenberg writes,
“If the court takes the case for review, as I think it should, that would be a big victory for poor and working-class students hoping to attend selective colleges and for those who believe racial considerations should not be a factor in deciding who gets ahead in society.”
Kahlenberg dislikes racial preferences because they overwhelmingly work to the benefit of students from “underrepresented” families who are not at all poor or disadvantaged. He’s right about that and that line of criticism finds some support among other liberals. Professor Sheryll Cashin, for example, laments that the way colleges employ racial preferences creates merely “optical diversity.” (I reviewed her book here.)
Because the great majority of “minority” students who receive preferences are from successful families, Kahlenberg doesn’t see how they really contribute much “diversity.” I don’t either. Aside from skin color, they’re hardly any different in their thinking and interests from the great mass of non-minority students.
Kahlenberg wants elite universities to drop racial preferences, but then replace them with socio-economic preferences so that more poor and working class students will be admitted to schools like UT.
Although such preferences don’t run into the constitutional problem that racial preferences do, we would still face the mismatch problem. If Kashawn Campbell’s parents had been poor white laborers, he would still have been mismatched at Berkeley.
The essential flaw in both preference policies is the mistaken belief that going to a prestige university necessarily means a superior education for the student—that it’s much better for the student to go to UT-Austin than one of the regional Texas state schools, much better to go to Yale than to Western Connecticut State. It simply isn’t true, however, that elite colleges necessarily mean an elite education. Nor is it true that going to a low-ranked school means that you won’t get a good education.
For a strong antidote to the notion that elite colleges are better, I suggest reading the recent book by New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be.
Bruni’s big point is that education is up to the individual. A student who goes to a big-name school might just coast along and learn very little, while one who goes to a little-known school can hunt for the professors who really want to teach an eager student and benefit enormously. It’s often easier to find those motivated professors at small, teaching-oriented schools than at famous, “elite” universities where the faculty is largely immersed in research.
So here’s the best-case scenario. The Court takes Fisher again and rules that racial preferences are flatly unconstitutional. Afterward, the administrators of the nation’s colleges and universities stop trying to use admission preferences for social engineering. It’s a divisive policy that doesn’t accomplish anything.
Read more at http://affluentinvestor.com/2015/06/will-the-supreme-court-finally-scrutinize-racial-preferences/#PlIfgDLueQdsKhhz.99
Quintin George: El derecho de los cubanos a la libertad
Jorge Hernández Fonseca
Dentro de la polémica relacionada a la nueva política norteamericana hacia Cuba conviven dos enfoques que se mezclan en la discusión: por un lado, el que hace foco en colocar “el problema cubano” centrado en el diferendo Cuba-EUA; y por otro lado, el que hace foco en la estructura dictatorial que los hermanos Castro han instaurado dentro de la isla para oprimir a los cubanos.
Es importante decir que, aunque el enfoque predominante entre los no cubanos y entre la mayoría de los gobiernos extranjeros es una solución asociada al actual acercamiento entre Barack Obama y Raúl Castro, el enfoque entre cubanos lo que jerarquiza es la obtención de libertades de todo tipo, como corresponde a cualquier país civilizado en pleno Siglo XXI.
Por eso la lógica más elemental indica que todos los cubanos, vivan dentro o fuera del país quieran las mismas libertades políticas, económicas y sociales que poseen la casi totalidad de los países de Latinoamérica, los que por otra parte parecen desconocer esos derechos. La discusión entre cubanos se inscribe entonces en el orden de cómo estas libertades se obtienen durante los cambios: si primero es la libertad económica y después la política, o viceversa, pero que inequívocamente señala en el sentido de que todos quieren disfrutar de libertades.
Es natural que la enorme mayoría de los países apoyen la actual política norteamericana por el supuesto que la misma significa la solución a un diferendo internacional potencialmente peligroso. Por otro lado, para los no cubanos, una buena parte de la problemática bajo análisis está relacionada con el esquema simbólico “David contra Goliat” que justifica –inexplicablemente– los excesos del gobierno de una isla “bajo “ataque del imperio” contra unos “pocos” cubanos que inexplicablemente son opositores “al servicio de una potencia extranjera”.
Cualquiera comprende la necesidad de que los cubanos dentro de la isla tengan garantizado un mínimo de condiciones materiales, alimentación y vida digna. Pero ¿es manteniendo la dictadura represiva que los limita y ha empujado a otras tierras durante más de medio siglo como el pueblo cubano tomará el camino de su mejora material y espiritual? ¿Por qué la reticencia a reconocer el derecho que asiste a cada cubano, viva dentro o fuera de la isla a “tener derecho a sus derechos”? como repetía incansablemente Oswaldo Payá.
Cualquiera comprende la necesidad norteamericana de jerarquizar hoy en día la estabilidad dentro de Cuba muy por encima de promover el cambio de régimen, en función de sus propios intereses nacionales. Pero ¿deben los cubanos de dentro y fuera del país promover igualmente la estabilidad de un régimen que los reprime, los ningunea y los desprecia, muy por encima de luchar por la derrota de una dictadura probadamente sanguinaria, ahora, ya, sin dilaciones? Para los cubanos, subordinar sus libertades a intereses extranjeros no es una buena opción.
Los cubanos somos y seremos eternamente gratos a los EUA por haber sido el único país que inscribió en sus leyes el apoyo a su pueblo en diáspora. Pero esta gratitud no podemos de ninguna manera pagarla renunciando al sagrado derecho a la libertad y a la independencia.
Artículos de este autor pueden ser encontrados en http://www.cubalibredigital.com
THE SECRET LIFE OF FIDEL CASTRO
Mary Anastasia O’Grady
For 17 years Juan Reinaldo Sánchez was part of the elite team of Cuban security specialists charged with protecting the life and privacy of Fidel Castro. But in 1994 his loyalty came into question when, with a daughter already living abroad, a brother jumped on a raft for Florida. Castro fired him.
Sánchez was imprisoned for two years and tortured. In 2008 he defected to the U.S., making him the only member of el maximo lider’s personal escort ever to flee the island.
Last month Sánchez died, weeks after he published “The Double Life of Fidel Castro,” an English-language version of “La Vida Oculta de Fidel Castro,” first published in 2014 in Spain. The timing of his demise has some wondering if the long arm of the dictatorship did not reach out to exact revenge for his tell-all about his former boss. The official cause of death has been reported as lung cancer.
The legend of Castro as a great revolutionary who sacrifices for his people is preserved by keeping the details about his life a state secret. Sánchez’s account shows the real Castro: vengeful, self-absorbed and given to childish temper tantrums—aka “tropical storms.” “The best way of living with him,” Sánchez wrote, “was to accept all he said and did.”
The book is timely. The Obama administration has just removed Cuba from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism amid sharp criticism from exiles. Their concerns are sensible: Though Castro is now rumored to be feebleminded, the intelligence apparatus he built—which specializes in violence to destabilize democracy and trafficks in drugs and weapons—remains as it has been for a half century.
Sánchez witnessed firsthand Castro’s indifference to Cuban poverty. The comandante gave interminable speeches calling for revolutionary sacrifice. But he lived large, with a private island, a yacht, some 20 homes across the island, a personal chef, a full-time doctor, and a carefully selected and prepared diet.
When a Canadian company offered to build a modern sports-facility for the nation, Castro used the donation for a private basketball court. Wherever he traveled in the world, his bed was dismantled and shipped ahead to ensure the comfort he demanded.
Castro was obsessed with spreading his revolution. Outside of Havana was a secret camp called Punto Cero de Guanabo where, Sánchez wrote, Cuba “trained, shaped and advised guerrilla movements [and organizations] from all over the world.” Recruits from places like Venezuela, Colombia, Chile and Nicaragua practiced hijacking airplanes and learned to use explosives.
“The Chile of Salvador Allende at the start of the 1970s,” Sánchez wrote, “was without doubt the country in which Cuban influence had penetrated most deeply. Fidel devoted enormous energies and resources to it” and he infiltrated it heavily with Cuban intelligence operatives.
Sánchez learned about what had happened in Chile from Castro’s notorious revolutionary spymaster Manuel Piñeiro, who “was always hanging around the presidential palace” talking about it.
The Cuban regime “penetrated and infiltrated [Allende’s] entourage” with the objective of creating “an unconditional ally in Santiago de Chile.” Marxists “ Miguel Enríquez, the leader of [Chile’s] Movement of the Revolutionary Left, and Andrés Pascal Allende, co-founder of that radical movement and also nephew of President Allende” were Castro protégés who trained in Cuba.
Allende’s daughter Beatriz, married to a Cuban diplomat in Santiago, persuaded her father to fire the presidential guard he inherited. It was replaced with “militants of the left” including Cuban agents. After Allende fell, Castro continued training Chilean recruits in Cuba. One of those was Juan Gutiérrez Fischmann, who according to Sánchez has been “long sought by Interpol” for his role in the assassination of Chilean senator Jaime Guzmán.
One day in 1988 while Sánchez was posted outside of Castro’s office, the comandante received the minister of the interior. Castro instructed Sánchez to break with his normal routine by not secretly recording the meeting.
When it dragged on and Castro never opened the door to call for a whiskey as he usually did, a curious Sánchez put on his headphones and listened in. He heard the two discussing “a huge drug trafficking transaction” that was “being carried out at the highest echelons of the state.” That’s when the scales fell from his eyes, Sánchez told me in an interview in Miami in October.
The following year Castro ordered Gen. Arnoldo Ochoa—the most revered Cuban military hero from the Bay of Pigs to the Angola conflict—and three others in the high ranks of the military to face a firing squad for drug trafficking.
Sánchez came to realize that Fidel used people “and then dispose[d] of them without the slightest qualms.” It’s the story of the Cuban Revolution, but it’s not clear if the Obama administration understands it.
Write to O’Grady@wsj.com.
Cortesía de Miguel Uría
Barack Obama poised to hike wages for millions…
The Labor Department could propose a rule that would raise the current overtime threshold — $23,660 – to as much as $52,000.
The Obama administration is on the verge of possibly doubling the salary levels that would require employers to pay overtime in the most ambitious government intervention on wages in a decade. And it doesn’t need Congress’s permission.
As early as this week, the Labor Department could propose a rule that would raise the current overtime threshold — $23,660 – to as much as $52,000, extending time and a half overtime pay to millions of American workers. The rule has already come under fire from business and Republican opponents who say it will kill jobs and force employers to cut hours for salaried employees.
“The minimum wage they can’t do,” said Bill Samuel, director of legislative affairs for the AFL-CIO. “This is probably the most significant step they can take to raise wages for millions of workers.”
Congressional Republicans are gearing up for a major battle against raising the overtime threshold. The House Education and the Workforce subcommittee will devote much of a scheduled June 10 hearing on federal wage and hour standards to the overtime rule, even if it isn’t yet released. Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, said the rule—sight unseen—“seems engineered to make it as unappealing as possible to be an employer creating jobs in this country.”
Read more at http://patriotupdate.com/2015/06/barack-obama-poised-to-hike-wages-for-millions/
“FREEDOM IS NOT FREE”
“En mi opinión”