Tag: 杭州桑拿

first_imgChelsea owner Roman Abramovich is looking to send Fernando Torres out on loan and sign either Radamel Falcao or Diego Costa, reports in Italy claim.Tuttosport suggest Torres could end up at Inter Milan on loan if Chelsea are able to capture one of their transfer targets in the summer.Monaco striker Falcao has long been of interest to the Blues, while Torres has also been linked with a return to his former club Atletico Madrid as part of an exchange deal involving Costa.Tuttosport also reports that Samuel Eto’o would welcome a return to Inter, where he had a two-year spell before leaving Italy in 2011.The veteran forward, whose Chelsea contract expires at the end of the season, has this week been linked with a possible move back to the San Siro.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

first_img(Visited 253 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 How can scientists and reporters write articles on “evolution” when evidence shows organisms died or didn’t change?What’s going on here? Frequently, evolutionists classify papers and articles as being about “evolution” when the evidence is opposite of evolution. Darwin needs life to evolve from bacteria to human beings. He doesn’t need them to stay the same or die out. What’s evolution got to do with it?Deep Macroevolutionary Impact of Humans on New Zealand’s Unique Avifauna (Current Biology). Humans have devastated birds on the New Zealand islands. Three Darwinists talk about it, and prognosticate about how long it would take for the island nation to recover. Phys.org summarizes their thoughts:Using computers to simulate a range of human-induced extinction scenarios, the researchers found that it would take approximately 50 million years to recover the number of species lost since human’s first arrived in New Zealand. If all species currently under threat are allowed to go extinct, they report, it would require about 10 million years of evolutionary time to return to the species numbers of today.Now, wait a cotton-pickin’ minute here: the only data these evolutionists have is the number of birds that have gone extinct since the first humans landed on the shore. What do they mean it would take 50 million years to recover, and another 10 million years if the endangered species go extinct? Oh, that’s it: that’s how much “evolutionary time” would have to pass for Charlie to invent new birds to fill in the gaps left by the dead. Well, ain’t that convenient! These Darwinians will be long gone before anyone can hold them accountable for telling a fib (see confabulation and confibulation in the Darwin dictionary).Extinction and the temporal distribution of macroevolutionary bursts (bioRxiv). This preprint mentions “macroevolutionary bursts” in the title, but the actual evidence talks about extinction and the “paradox of stasis.” Readers shouldn’t care about “microevolution,” because that is not controversial to creationists. They want Darwinians to come up with evidence of macroevolution – large-scale change. They want organisms to climb tall “adaptive peaks” on the fitness landscape, and turn into wondrous new things. They want to see the evolution of new phyla, orders, classes and families. Where is it?Phenotypic evolution through deep time is slower than expected from microevolutionary rates. This is the paradox of stasis. Previous models suggest stasis occurs because populations track adaptive peaks that typically move on million-year intervals, raising the equally perplexing question of why peaks shifts are so rare. Here, we consider the possibility that peaks can move more rapidly than populations can adapt, resulting in extinction. We model peak movement with explicit population dynamics, parameterized with published microevolutionary parameters. Allowing extinction greatly increases the parameter space of peak movements that yield the appearance of stasis observed in real data through deep time. Our work highlights population ecology as an important contributor to macroevolutionary dynamics, presenting an alternative perspective on the paradox of stasis where apparent constraint on phenotypic evolution in deep time reflects our restricted view of the subset of earth’s lineages that were fortunate enough to reside on relatively stable peaks.Did anyone see macroevolution pass by in this paragraph? No; Darwin floated by like a will-o’-the-wisp, a ghost, an imaginary figure threading through a forest of stasis and extinction. Oh, but in unobservable “deep time,” Stuff Happens.Death is on Our Side: Paleontological Data Drastically Modify Phylogenetic Hypotheses (bioRxiv). Here’s another preprint by Darwinians that glorifies death as a means of evolution. Two authors, Koch and Parry, think that their fellow Darwinians have tried to trace Darwinian progress by looking at the living. They need to study the dead. But actually, how clearly do dead things show macroevolution?Fossils are the only remaining evidence of the majority of species that have ever existed, providing a direct window into events in evolutionary history that shaped the diversification of life on Earth. Phylogenies underpin our ability to make sense of evolution but are routinely inferred only from data available from living organisms. Although extinct taxa have been shown to add crucial information for inferring macroevolutionary patterns and processes including ancestral states, paleobiogeography and diversification dynamics, the role that fossils play in inferring the tree of life itself is controversial. Since the early years of phylogenetic systematics, different studies have dismissed the impact of fossils due to their incompleteness, championed their ability to overturn phylogenetic hypotheses or concluded that their behavior is indistinguishable from that of extant taxa.So far they have discredited the ability to fossils to inform evolution! Can Darwinism be rescued from this evidence?Here we show paleontological data has a remarkable effect in phylogenetic inference. Fossils often have higher levels of topological influence than extant taxa, while inducing unique topological rearrangements. Previous studies have proposed a suite of explanations for the topological behavior of fossils, such as their retention of unique morphologies or their ability to break long branches. We develop predictive models that demonstrate that the possession of distinctive character state combinations is the primary predictor of the degree of induced topological change, and that the relative impact of taxa (fossil and extant) can be predicted to some extent before any analysis. Our results bolster the consensus of recent empirical studies by showing the unique role of paleontological data in phylogenetic inference, and provide the first quantitative assessment of its determinants, with broad consequences for the design of taxon sampling in both morphological and total-evidence analyses.Well, if you expect their promises to be fulfilled, you will be shocked that macroevolution is only mentioned one more time in the paper– and that just in passing, with no evidence to back it up. They say nothing about fitness, novelty, innovation or any other notion of positive selection leading to something new and different. Like most Darwinians, they just assume evolution occurred from all the things that went extinct. In the end, they only hope that more analysis of fossils might help solve the contradictions between molecular and paleontological tree-making (phylogenetic inference). By the way, when they say “Death is on Our Side,” to what side are they referring? Apparently, the side of Darwin storytellers.Causes and Consequences of Pleistocene Megafaunal Extinctions as Revealed from Rancho La Brea Mammals (Current Biology). This paper does not discuss macroevolution specifically, but it does try to explain why some predators died out (i.e., saber-tooth cats) and others survived (like coyotes). It does, however, discuss “adaptation” (often a synonym for Darwinian evolution), and extinction is once again the hero of the evolutionary plot. The press release about Larisa DeSantis from Vanderbilt University explains.It’s likely that those giant predators went extinct due to climate change, the arrival of humans to their environment or a combination of the two, she said, and her team is working to clarify the cause of the extinction with multiple colleagues across six institutions as part of a separate on-going study.What they know is predators alive today in the Americas were better able to adapt their diets. Instead of only feeding on large prey, they could effectively hunt small mammals, scavenge what they could from carcasses or do both.DeSantis conveniently leaves her options open. Extinction occurred because of climate change, or the arrival of humans, or a combination of the two. Cats preferred the forest, but wolves and coyotes preferred the plains, but their hunting grounds did overlap. Coyotes lasted because they learned to be opportunistic, surviving on predation and scavenging, or on human pets and trash cans. But wait; there are still mountain lions in California. DeSantis performs micro-divination on tooth samples to come up with a story that is little better than a post-hoc rationalization for the observable facts: some survived, others went extinct.Specifically, the cougar (Puma concolor), which survived the extinction event, consumed both flesh and bones with clear evidence of scavenging, in stark contrast to the extinct American lion (Panthera atrox) that had ∼30% broken canines and primarily ate tough flesh; the cougar’s opportunistic diet may have been key to its survival.The dire wolf (Canis dirus), the most abundant carnivoran at La Brea, ranged from Canada to South America during the Pleistocene before becoming extinct. However, the coyote (Canis latrans), a smaller canid, survived the late Pleistocene extinction event, as did gray wolves, cougars, bobcats, and other smaller carnivorans. As coyotes are highly opportunistic today, eating smaller prey (e.g., rodents and lagomorphs) and also scavenging larger prey, such as deer, their “key to success” may have been similar to the La Brea cougars. Alternatively, coyotes—in contrast to cougars—may have opportunistically altered their diet following the extinction of numerous large predators and prey species, only recently becoming true opportunists.But wait. Why couldn’t Darwinism help the unlucky ones develop opportunistic diets? If the big cats and dogs were too big, why didn’t natural selection make them smaller? Out of all the dire wolves from Canada to South America, did none of them adapt in those ways? When you raise the perhapsimaybecouldness index, phrases like “may have” can save you from falsification.By the way, nothing evolved. Certain animals went extinct. Others survived.last_img read more

first_imgThis video was created by MacBreakStudio. Thanks for sharing guys!Have any tips for animating logos in Motion?Share in the comments below. The following video tutorial demonstrates a solid workflow for creating an animated logo in Motion.Apple Motion is a powerful motion graphic design software specially designed for functionality with Final Cut Pro. While arguably not as powerful as software such as Adobe After Effects or The Foundry’s Nuke, Motion still serves as a great tool for people who desire to make professional quality motion graphics or composites.Is most of your motion graphics work for corporate clients? If so,  knowing how to create awesome motion logos is imperative. In the following video, the guys from MacBreak Studio show you how to use Motion to create an animated logo. The video covers:Layers and animationZoomingUsing shape layersEditing gradient layersDuplicating layersUsing the replicatorRoundness parametersUsing the font editorlast_img read more

first_imgThe Congress on Friday demanded that President Pranab Mukherjee dismiss Goa Governor Mridula Sinha for committing “constitutional impropriety” and “dereliction of duty”.The opposition party latched on to Sinha’s admission in an interview that she consulted Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before inviting the BJP for government formation in the State.“We urge the President of India to exercise his powers under Article 156 (1) and immediately dismiss the Governor of Goa for abdicating her Constitutional responsibilities and oath of secrecy,” Congress leader Pratap Singh Bajwa said.He said the President of India has already dismissed the Arunachal Pradesh Governor for similar acts of impropriety, saying this will act as a deterrent to other governors to work within constitutional limits.Bajwa said the Supreme Court has reiterated that it is the duty of the Governor to “act judiciously” while exercising their powers under Article 164 at the time of appointing the Chief Minister.“However, the atrocious admission of Governor Sinha conclusively proves that her actions were politically motivated under the clear instructions of the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley,” he told reporters.Putting forth the Congress’ demands, the party’s Rajya Sabha MP said these revelations demonstrate that the act of the governor to consult the finance minister and not the President of India “is a serious matter of constitutional impropriety and an unpardonable dereliction of duty“.He asked that since the finance minister could not have advised the governor in government formation, “why should the Prime Minister not take action against the Finance Minister?.” “Or are we to assume that he was authorised by the dirty tricks department of the BJP?” he asked.The Congress leader cited an interview of Sinha where she made the “startling and audacious revelation”, and “shockingly accepted that she consulted Union Minister Arun Jaitley” to invite the BJP for government formation in the State.“This proves that BJP manufactured the Goa majority while the Governor acted in cahoots with the central leadership in Delhi,” he said.On Sinha’s claim that she heard that Congress could not elect their Legislature party leader nor get enough support, Bajwa asked “where did she hear it from? Did she hear it from anybody in the Congress party or was it ‘Akashwani’?” “How can she take such a decision without consulting the Honourable President of India or without studying its legal ramifications?” he asked.He said under the established convention in such a scenario, the Governor should have approached the President and submitted a report to him seeking guidance for the way forward.“Rather than consulting the President of India or the Attorney General of India, she consulted the Union Finance Minister who is a party in this case, hence indulging in massive Constitutional impropriety,” he alleged.The Congress party also alleged that the Constitution is left “bruised and battered, as yet again the BJP subverts the Governor for their own petty gains”.last_img read more

first_imgPercepio has announced a major update of Tracealyzer, its tool for visual software tracing of RTOS-based embedded systems and IoT devices. Tracealyzer version 4 has been redesigned from the bottom up, spanning from much faster data processing to a fresh modern user interface with live visualization. It also sports a host of new features aimed at empowering embedded developers and enabling them to get their products to market faster with fewer bugs.New features are:Unlimited tracing – Monitor your application over long test runs, spanning hours, days or even weeks, and see analysis results, such as task execution times, immediately. Find interesting spots in the new trace preview and drill down into the details using the full power of Tracealyzer.Advanced live visualization – View the trace live while recording. Pause individual views to zoom in and inspect details while recording continues in the background. This way you can spot issues in the trace directly as they occur.Tracealyzer 4 provides better support for tracing Internet-of-Things devices and other connected applications with new awareness of network and I/O events. This allows for visualizing communication data rates over time, as well as the runtime interactions between tasks and communication interfaces like TCP sockets.Adapt Tracealyzer to your specific use case and see what really matters to you. Tracealyzer 4 allows you to define custom intervals that highlight and report the time between selected software events. Moreover, with user-defined state machines you can visualize any state information in the trace, from software state variables or logged hardware states, either as state transition graphs or shown on a time line, much like in a logic analyzer.Tracealyzer version 4 will be on display in Percepio’s booth at Embedded World in Nuremberg next week. It will then be generally available in early March for Keil RTX5, FreeRTOS and Amazon FreeRTOS. Support for other RTOSs will be added during the first half of 2018.In the UK, Tracealyzer is available from high reliability and safety-critical tools specialist, Phaedrus Systems.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Tools & Software Continue Reading Previous Red Pitaya: ‘Swiss Army PenKnife for engineers’ company to exhibit at embedded worldNext Microsemi: third-party IP offerings for PolarFire FPGAs at embedded worldlast_img read more

first_imgVICTORIA, B.C. – With the last two flood and wildfire seasons the B.C. Government is reminding British Columbians the importance of being prepared.Planning and preparation for the event of of any type of emergency can help protect loved ones and reduce stress Shares the government. This Emergency Preparedness Week, May 5-11, 2019, all British Columbians are encouraged to make a plan, compile a kit and build resiliency in their homes and communities.“The best way to keep safe in the event of an emergency is to ensure your household is ready in advance,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “PreparedBC has the resources British Columbians need to get started on making plans that will help them cope through the initial stages of any emergency.” PreparedBC is getting back to basics this year by focusing on three key steps: Know the hazards in your local area; Make a plan to help keep focused and safe during an emergency; and Build an emergency kit and assemble grab-and-go bags.“It’s fantastic to see communities around B.C. taking part in emergency preparedness activities,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. “Tofino took a great step towards tsunami preparedness with its recent high-ground hike event and I applaud the many communities that are holding emergency preparedness events throughout the week.”The Alert Ready system will be tested in B.C. on Wednesday, May 8 at 1:55 p.m. The government is by participating in a national public safety emergency notification system testing. During the test, an alert will be broadcast on radio and television stations, as well as on compatible wireless devices. This testing is designed to assess the system’s readiness for an actual emergency and identify any adjustments that need to be made.For more information on how to best prepare an emergency, see the links below.PreparedBC is a one-stop shop for disaster readiness information. For tips on how to prepare an emergency plan and what to include in an emergency kit, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/PreparedBCFollow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PreparedBC/Follow on Twitter: www.twitter.com/PreparedBCFor information during active provincial emergencies, visit: www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.caFollow on Twitter: www.twitter.com/EmergencyInfoBCFor more information on the Alert Ready testing, visit: https://www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca/test-bc-emergency-alerting-system/Alert Ready frequently asked questions: https://www.alertready.ca/For information on how to prepare for wildfires, visit FireSmart: https://firesmartbc.ca/For information on how to prepare for earthquakes, visit ShakeOutBC: https://www.shakeoutbc.ca/last_img read more

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The North Peace Savings and Credit Unions (NPSCU) is helping British Columbian students reach their post-secondary education goals through the Credit Unions of BC Bursary Program. The Fall Semester Bursary application period is September 1 – October 15, 2019. Applicants can receive up to $2,000 towards funding for their future.   To qualify for funding, applicants must meet the following criteria:  Be able to demonstrate financial need.  Reside in BC and be a Canadian Citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or designated as a protected person.  Have proof of post-secondary enrolment in an academic, vocational, technical, or technological program and transcripts. Please note: graduate and post-graduate students are not eligible.  Enrolment must be in a public Canadian post-secondary institution at the time of application. Applicants attending accredited private institutions will only be considered if their chosen program is not offered at a public institution. In this case, applicants must provide a statement as to why they are not attending a public institution, as well as a receipt for tuition.For more information and to apply; CLICK HERElast_img read more

Flight Centre Limited has raised its underlying profit before tax (PBT) expectations after achieving strong growth during the first half of the FY2012-13.Expectations were raised from the initial US$305 million-US$315 million target to US$325 million-US$340 million, in lieu of 8 percent PBT growth in the first half of the financial year.If achieved the upgraded guidance will represent a 12-17 percent increase on the US$290.4 million achieved during FY2011-12.“Year-to-date, our 10 countries are profitable and several are on track to record full year EBIT contributions,” Flight Centre Limited managing director Graham Turner said.“This includes Australia and the United Kingdom, which are typically our largest profit generators.”Australia’s leisure market has made a turn-around in the second half of FY2012-13 to more than offset the soft domestic corporate travel market.“Similarly the UK leisure business has performed well at a time when corporate clients have been down-trading,” Mr Turner said.In the United States Flight Centre’s corporate business is flourishing, now the largest individual operation in the U.S., consistently outperforming leisure and wholesale business.New Zealand is on track to record its best full year result since 2008, South African corporate is blossoming, India is suffering from local trading conditions and Canada reports soft leisure results.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T. First half growth encourages increased profits. read more

first_imgIn This Issue.*Rumors say Spain to request assistance. *RBA cuts rates. *S. African Gov’t bonds get added to an index. *What ZIRP does to savers.And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts!U.S. Manufacturing “Unexpectedly Rebounds”?Good day.  And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! One down, one to go! My beloved Cardinals just need to win 1 more game to ensure that they are a presence in the playoffs for the 3rd time in the last 4 years.  This is fingernail biting stuff for yours truly, and I had to just go to bed to keep the finger nails that I have intact!It’s fingernail biting  for Spain even with the somewhat good results of their recent bank audit. There are rumors going ’round that someone’s underground, and that Spain will finally ask for Eurozone help. There’s nothing on the docket that would give the Spanish PM an opportunity to formally ask for help, so maybe not today.  the euro has not let those rumors get in the way of adding to its gains, albeit minimum gains, VS the dollar.   Yes, the euro has gained VS the dollar the past two days, with skinny moves, but positive nonetheless. As I tell people all the time, look at this mess in the Eurozone, doesn’t it look like the euro should be trashed?  But it’s not. at least not so far, so what does that tell you about the dollar?The Big News overnight was that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) took my suggestion, (I’m sure they all read the Pfennig!) and went ahead and made that rate cut now that was thought to be in the works sometime before year-end. The RBA made certain that they made everyone understand that uncertainty in China is the main reason they cut rates.  The Aussie dollar (A$) saw some selling after the rate cut announcement, but in reality, most of the selling and downward movement in the price of the A$ had already taken place, as the markets, (like I always tell you) tried to be ahead of the crowd.I think you can get a lot of information from the reaction of the A$ to the news.  yes, it was sold right after the announcement, but it has rebounded a bit and found a home just above $1.03.  That tells me that traders view this rate cut for what it was, bringing forward the rate cut that was expected by year-end, instead of the RBA sending a signal of OMG!   The A$ would be still be getting sold, if it was the latter, so. like I  said, we can get a lot of information in the way the A$ has traded.But at the end of the day, folks. you have to wonder if the A$ can maintain these lofty figures above parity, given what the rest of the world is doing to their currencies.  I once scoffed at the idea of a currency war, but that was long ago in a far away galaxy. That’s when countries like Australia, and Norway and Sweden and Canada were raising their interest rates, and making their currencies more attractive.  Those rate hikes are a thing of the past now.  You have to question just what is the goal of debasing one’s currency just because other countries are debasing their currencies. Like I used to tell my kids, when they would tell me that “but everyone else is doing X” I would say, “but don’t you want to be better than everyone else?”   I think a few countries that have good fundamentals like the 4 I mentioned above would do well to want to be better than everyone else!Hey! Like I’ve told you a couple of times now, the A$ is getting bought by Central Banks around the world, as a diversification to their reserves, so at least it has that underpinning going for it!You know, I talk a lot about the manipulation that I believe goes on in both Silver and Gold. (we all know it goes on in stocks, can you say QE1, QE2, or QE3? I knew you could!)  And yesterday, I sat here and watched Gold soar in the morning moving to +$18 on the day. only to see that wiped out in a matter of minutes!  How does that happen? Sure, you could see some profit taking, limit the gains, but to see $18 of gains wiped out in a matter of minutes?  I shake my head in disgust.   and again, tell you all that the only way we’ll see these shenanigans stop is to see truck load on truck load of buying in both physical, Gold & Silver.I had a reader send me a link to a story on what the write believed to be a manipulation of the price of Oil.  Sure, that could happen easily, but at this point, I would have to believe that with the price of Oil around $92, which happens to be close to the total cost of getting it out of the ground and to the refinery, that the manipulation is watered down right now.Did you see that the South African rand, which has really been beaten up lately, rallied on the news that Citigroup had added South African Government Bonds to the Citigroup World Government Bond Index?  This is always news when an asset gets added to an index, which means investors that follow that index have to buy the asset. And when you buy S. African Gov. Bonds, you  have to buy the rand to clear the transaction. So, the rand, visa vie the index inclusion gets to rally.Don’t expect this to carry on long though. Usually by the time everyone knows about the new addition to an index, the major buying is over. But, the good news for the rand is that it finally is a part of something that could be an underpinning.Yesterday, here in the U.S. the data cupboard brought us the news that the U.S. Manufacturing Index (ISM) unexpectedly rebounded in September from August. This was the first expansion of the manufacturing activity in the U.S. since May.  For those of you keeping score at home, the September print was 51.5, up from 49.6 in August.  But, just when you think the U.S. economy is on the rebound, Construction Spending drops by -.6% in August, marking the second straight monthly decline following the -.4% drop in July.Don’t you find it strange that the manufacturing index “unexpectedly rebounded in September?” I do. We’ve seen all the regional manufacturing reports come in negative as can be, but when you add it all together it “unexpectedly rebounds?” I can’t say it any other way than to just come out and say that it appears to me that the books have been cooked.  if I say anything in addition to that, it would sound political, so I’m not going there, no sir! Just move along, these are not the droids we’re looking for!While I’m here in the U.S. this looks like a good place to bring out the Ross Perot card. Remember Ross Perot?  Remember how people laughed at his thoughts  back in 1992? Well, he pretty much nailed everything that has happened since, way back then.   Well, he’s made a new statement, that, by the way, is pretty much in line with what I’ve been saying for years now.Here’s Ross Perot. “”We’re on the edge of the cliff, and we have got to start fixing it now. Otherwise, we’re leaving a disaster to our children’s and our grandchildren’s future,” he said.“If we are that weak, just think of who wants to come here first and take us over and the last thing I ever want to see is to see this country, our country taken over because we’re so financially weak we can’t do anything and we’re moving in that direct. . We could even lose our country if we don’t get this fixed and straightened out and nobody that’s running really talks about it, about what we have to do and why we have to do it. They would prefer not to have it discussed.”You tell ’em Ross!  It doesn’t matter whether you like him or not, what he’s saying is the same stuff I’ve been saying for 10 years now.  our national security is at risk when we have so much debt and have to depend on a country like China to keep us afloat.  Think about that for a minute and then you’ll see what I’m talking about.The U.S. data cupboard only has vehicle sales today for us to view, not a market mover, so the focus will be on the Eurozone once again.  I saw that Spanish unemployment was some astronomical number, twice the previous month’s number (80,000 I believe), but these things shouldn’t shock us, for this is what happens when a country is allowed to build up debt, make promises it shouldn’t, and then one day finds out that the game of musical chairs it was playing, had the music stop and they were without a chair! Social unrest like we saw and continue to see in Greece is to be expected, as spending cuts begin to hurt.  Now, if we here in the U.S. were to actually cut spending, and not spread it over 10 years, but cut it now to balance our budget, which is what these countries in the Eurozone are attempting to achieve, the social unrest in this country would be the same. I know, I had a reader tell me the other day that he didn’t think it would happen, because he believes that Americans have become lazy, and will just accept what the Gov’t sticks them with.  I don’t believe that to be true.  For instance. 46 million people (and the number is rising every day) received food stamps.  Tell those 46 million people that their food stamps are going to be reduced.   I for one, don’t even want to think about that!PIMCO’s Bill Gross (the bond king) backed the studies by the Congressional Budget Office, the IMF and Bank for International Settlements that suggest the U.S. needs to cut spending or raise taxes by 11% of GDP, and rather quickly over the next five to 10 years.  “Unless we begin to close this gap, then the inevitable result will be that our debt/ GDP ratio will continue to rise, the Fed would print money to pay for the deficiency, inflation would follow, and the dollar would inevitably decline”- Bill Gross..OK. on to other stuff, for all this is giving me a rash! I’m just one cheery story after another this morning, eh?  Sorry.  but it is what it is. no reason to cherry top it.Zero or near zero interest rates, are really beginning to bite! My friend Dennis, sent me this, and it illustrates the problems for savers with a zero interest rate policy or ZIRP as they call it on the street.It would take $22,000 invested in a taxable money market earning +4.54% (the national average yield 5 years ago in October 2007) to generate $1,000 of taxable income over the course of a year. It would take $3.3 million invested in a taxable money market earning +0.03% (the national average today) to generate $1,000 of taxable income over the course of a year in 2012.Chuck! You said you were going to get away from the non-cheery stuff, but then you talk about ZIRP?  Liar, liar, pants on fire!   BTW a great old song from the Castaways!Then There Was This. from the WSJ. “New York’s top prosecutor opened a new front in efforts to hold banks accountable for the financial crisis by filing a civil lawsuit against J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., alleging widespread fraud by the company’s Bear Stearns unit in the sale of mortgage-backed securities.Since 2008, state and federal regulators have launched dozens of probes to determine whether banks broke securities laws or were simply guilty of errors of judgment. Regulators have achieved some record-breaking penalties and investors have secured some significant victories. Bank of America Corp. agreed Friday to pay $2.43 billion to settle claims it misled investors about the acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co., in the largest shareholder class-action settlement tied to the meltdown. BofA didn’t admit wrongdoing.”Chuck again. Hey, don’t the regulators have some cards in this game too? They sat there and watched all this going on, and failed to bring enforcement actions in relation to some of the biggest blowups, such as the collapse of Lehman Bros.  I just don’t think they get to get off scot-free!To recap. The RBA did go ahead and cut rates last night by 25 Basis Points (1/4%), thus bringing forward the expectation that they would cut rates one more time before year-end.  The A$ got sold following the announcement, but has found a home around $1.03. Rumors are all around that Spain will finally formally request Eurozone assistance, but not today, as nothing is on the docket for them to do so. U.S. Manufacturing “unexpectedly rebounded” in Sept from August. Chuck’s spider sense is tingling, and suspects some major book cooking!Currencies today 10/2/12. American Style: A$ $1.0315, kiwi .8325, C$ $1.0180, euro 1.2915, sterling 1.6140, Swiss $1.0670, . European Style: rand 8.3635, krone 5.7005, SEK 6.6045, forint 221.25, zloty 3.1755, koruna 19.3815, RUB 31.08, yen 78.15, sing 1.2290, HKD 7.7545, INR 52.37, China 6.3230, pesos 12.82, BRL 2.0265, Dollar Index 79.74, Oil $92.71, 10-year 1.64%, Silver $34.80, and Gold. $1,778.35That’s it for today. we have a ton of EverBank employees from everywhere in the office today. And they get a special treat when they get to hear me give them my thoughts on World’s economies. I’m going to borrow a line from my good friend, the Mogambo Guru, and simply tell them that “we are all freakin’ doomed”!   Happy Birthday to Dane Moody.. Dane is in our Wealth Management Div, and I’ve known Dane since he was about 4 or 5. His dad is a very good friend of mine, and one of my spring training traveling buddies! And one of the best cooks at a grill or smoker that I’ve ever known!  I’ve missed quite a few co-worker birthdays, in recent times, so I apologize for those omissions!  Now, let’s go out and have a Tom Terrific Tuesday!Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 www.everbank.comlast_img read more

first_imgIt’s all too easy to get lost in the misinformation and politicking surrounding Obamacare. Dr. Vliet, an independent physician and the past director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (whom I had the good fortune to meet when she spoke at the last Casey Summit) graciously agreed to sit down and clear the fog shrouding the new healthcare law for us. A warm thank you to Dr. Vliet for carving out time in her busy schedule to chat with us today.Dennis Miller: Thank you for speaking with us today. I’ve been fielding reader questions on Obamacare, and, as with all topics, I strive to give straightforward answers. Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D., former Lt. Governor of New York, has written a book titled Beating Obamacare: Your Handbook for the New Healthcare Law. According to her research, seniors will be hit the hardest. McCaughey recommends that seniors get hip and knee replacements and cataract surgeries done before January 1, 2014, as these procedures will become particularly hard to get. I want to set cost concerns aside for a moment and focus on care. There’s no point in worrying about money if medical care is unavailable or inaccessible. Can you expand on the issue of care being denied, particularly for seniors?Dr. Vliet: The goal of the new healthcare law—AKA Obamacare—has been to reduce expenditures for medical services to seniors and shift those funds into the Medicaid expansion providing medical care for younger people. Ezekiel Emanuel, Rahm Emanuel’s brother and Obama’s initial White House Health Policy Advisor, has described this fundamental transformation of American medical care in detail. He wrote a number of medical papers describing his “Complete Lives System,” in which he outlined two major goals for the delivery of medical services in the United States: Medical care is to be “attenuated” (i.e., rationed) for those older than 45 and younger than age 15, so that medical resources can be concentrated on those whom bureaucrats deem most “valuable” to society. Doctors should be taught to do away with the Oath of Hippocrates and its focus on the individual patient. Doctors should instead be taught to make medical decisions aimed at what is good for the “collective,” or society as a whole. Emanuel’s views underpin the philosophy behind the Obamacare law. They are the primary reason that over $700 billion was cut from Medicare (source: the Congressional Budget Office) and shifted into the Medicaid expansion for medical services for younger people. The older (and “less valuable” to society) one is, the harder it will be to have medical care approved. Many people have been satisfied with Medicare as delivered in the past. However, Medicare as we have known it ended with the 2010 passage of the new healthcare law. Keep in mind: You simply cannot have today’s level of medical services going forward when over $716 billion have been cut from the Medicare budget over the next decade. These Medicare cuts reduce hospital, skilled nursing care, home health, hospice, and other services for seniors that have been covered by Medicare in the past. The priorities in the 2010 healthcare law were very clear: seniors have already lived their lives, so healthcare dollars are being shifted to medical care for younger people. And that doesn’t just include the surgical procedures Betsy McCaughey mentioned. It is also medications, treatments, and procedures for cancer, cardiovascular, neurological, and many other conditions. For many years, patients in the UK and Canada have been denied the latest drugs for breast, prostate, lung, and stomach cancers. They do not have access to the same medications for early treatment of macular degeneration, MS, rheumatoid arthritis, or Alzheimer’s disease that American patients currently have. Nor do Canadian nor UK patients, under the National Health Service government-controlled approvals, have the early and frequent screenings for breast and prostate cancer currently available to American patients. Consequently, survival rates with these common cancers are much better in the US than in either Canada or the UK.Dennis: If Medicare or our insurance companies say they will not pay for the treatment, can we just go ahead and pay for the treatment out of pocket?Dr. Vliet: The rules and regulations are different for patients using Medicare (i.e., over age 65), Medicaid (i.e., under age 65), and for those using non-Medicare, non-Medicaid, ACA-compliant health insurance policies. For Medicare patients, payment regulations under federal law vary depending on whether the patient sees a Medicare-contracted doctor, a doctor who has legally opted out of Medicare under the federal rules for doing so, or is seeing a doctor who simply hasn’t enrolled in Medicare. Each situation is different, so there is no easy answer—and of course, that in turn makes it difficult for patients to plan for medical expenses that a particular policy does not cover. It’s likely to become very frustrating and more costly for patients. In some situations, like lab tests and imaging studies (MRI, CT scans, etc.), it is possible for patients to sign an Advance Beneficiary Notice, or ABN, in which patients agree to pay for tests that Medicare doesn’t cover. If Medicare does not cover a test and the patient does not want to pay for tests, it is more difficult for a doctor to make an accurate diagnosis. Patients sometimes think they can pay cash to get in to see a doctor who has stopped taking Medicare patients, but doctors are not allowed to use the ABN forms for services like office appointments that Medicare does cover just to allow patients to pay cash or a higher fee to be seen by that doctor. The details of these complex rules are beyond the scope of this interview. As the Medicare budget cuts continue, I fear the list of non-covered services will quickly grow and we will see fewer doctors participating in Medicare, making it harder for patients to find doctors. In fact, that is already happening. On the non-Medicare or “private” insurance side of the coin, most polices have clauses called “enrollee hold harmless” clauses that prevent patients from paying cash for medical care that a plan reviewer has deemed “medically unnecessary” based on age or condition. Frank Lobb covers the details of this hidden problem in depth in his book The Great Healthcare Fraud. Patients don’t have an easy way to find out about these obstacles to paying cash. These clauses are not found in patients’ contracts with their carriers, they are only in the contracts between doctors and insurance companies or between hospitals and insurance companies. When hit with this situation, a patient’s only option is to seek the medical treatment they need from a hospital or doctor independent from that particular insurance plan.Dennis: Who makes these arbitrary decisions, and how can we appeal them?Dr. Vliet: The Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and the newly expanded Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are the ones who write these rules. Even the people who work for Medicare and HHS can’t keep up with the complexity of it! No wonder patients are confused and bewildered. What I find really frustrating is I get different answers from Medicare offices in the different states in which I practice medicine. If I cannot get a straight answer, then I can’t very well explain it to a patient. So I legally opted out of Medicare in 1997. I answer only to my Oath to serve the patient “to the best of my ability and judgment.” Private insurance plans have always had appeals processes, and most physicians use those regularly to help patients get medical services that might be denied coverage the first time around. But once the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) goes into effect in 2015, there is no appeal to decisions made by IPAB: that’s why they are called “independent”— not even Congress nor the Supreme Court is allowed to override the IPAB decisions. Betsy McCaughey writes that the law says IPAB “recommends,” but what isn’t addressed is their “recommendations” automatically become law unless Congress passes a different plan to achieve the same cost reductions as IPAB recommended, and Congress must pass this plan with a three-fifths supermajority vote during a two-week window in 2017. That’s unlike anything we have ever had before. McCaughey points out that the IPAB is an unelected group of political appointees essentially making law and usurping the role of Congress, yet isn’t accountable to anyone except the president.Dennis: Wow! Let’s discuss cost for a moment. My friend Jeff White has voiced a concern shared by many. With no risk selection and underwriting permitted; with forced acceptance of people who clearly are not taking care of themselves or have costly medical conditions; with loss of cost controls in general, health insurance costs will have to go through the ceiling. What is your take on this?Dr. Vliet: He is exactly right. We have not had “insurance” in the correct sense of the term for more than 40 years. What we really have is prepaid healthcare—but a perversion of this since we pay the premiums and they (government bureaucrats or insurance clerks) decide what they will “reimburse” to cover medical services our doctors think we need. Most of us in the medical profession acknowledge medical care wasn’t the problem; it was our broken payment system. People in the individual (vs. employer-based) market were having a hard time getting individual coverage if they had significant medical issues. People also don’t realize two other fundamental problems in the health insurance market: These problems were not a failure of the free-market system, but rather were due to government intervention and distortion of the free-market system, primarily government regulations that affected the cost and type of insurance available to consumers. The 2010 healthcare law prohibits any private insurance company from offering a policy that does not comply with the Obamacare rules for coverage. That is why so many policies—for perhaps as many as 93 million Americans—are being canceled. It’s the healthcare law itself that is forcing insurance companies to cancel policies that do not comply with the expanded coverage requirements. When a government-required level of insurance requires the policy to cover almost all preventive services, plus medical/surgical and psychiatric treatment for the entire population, the cost is going to be exorbitantly expensive.Dennis: As a capitalist, I can see there will be a need for health care that is denied by the system—maybe doctors banding together in clinics or small hospitals, for example. Can physicians and patients just opt out of the system?Dr. Vliet: Obamacare regulations severely limit doctors from starting new doctor-owned hospitals in the US. Some enterprising groups are beginning to develop such clinics in Mexico and other countries, and it may be possible to set up clinics in “medical freedom zones” on the sovereign lands of Native American tribes that avoid Obamacare restrictions. Right now, however, such options are very limited and certainly cannot serve the huge number of people who will likely need them as medical care is further rationed (especially for older people). Regarding physicians and patients opting out altogether: Patients who opt out and do not buy an ACA-compliant health insurance policy will have to pay the penalty (or tax) for not doing so. For now, physicians can opt out of Medicare, Medicaid, and even private insurance contracts and simply do “fee for service” agreements with patients, like lawyers and accountants already do. But if the US moves to the same model as Canada, doctors may be denied a license to practice medicine unless they are part of the government-controlled Medicare and Medicaid.Dennis: I have Canadian friends who tell stories about family and friends needing eye surgery or heart bypass surgery and having to wait months for those procedures. So they come to the US for care instead. In many cases, had they not done so, they wouldn’t have lived long enough to keep their Canadian appointment. Is this where we are headed?Dr. Vliet: Most certainly, that is exactly where we are headed. Long delays are the fundamental flaw in all government-run medical systems. It is only the free-market, voluntary delivery of medical services that has brought the price down and improved availability of services. Just look at Lasik eye surgery and lap band gastric surgery and note how competition and comparison shopping have brought prices way down over the last decade.Dennis: I like to think of myself as a practical guy. What can we do to stay as healthy as possible and get affordable, quality health care on our terms?Dr. Vliet: The most critical thing everyone can do is take responsibility for lifestyle choices. Our “bad choices” are the biggest cause of most of the diseases that hit us as we age and rob us of health and vitality. These are things we can all actually do that will help lower medical costs and keep ourselves healthier and better able to recover if we do have an illness. These are things my grandmother taught me—they aren’t rocket science—and you will even save money if you do them. Eat less, eat a balanced diet, always eat breakfast, exercise more, maintain a healthy body weight, get enough rest, don’t smoke, don’t drink alcohol in excess, don’t overuse prescription medicines, don’t use street drugs, practice stress management, engage in a regular spiritual practice. While this advice sounds boring, these commonsense lifestyle choices have been shown in many research studies to prolong life, preserve quality of life and vitality, and to reduce medical costs. In addition to these practical tips, for the last several years I have encouraged my patients to set up international health insurance policies to give them options later on. Not everyone has the money to pay cash for medical care, even when going to lower-cost countries. But you have to get international policies before you’re too old or too sick to qualify. Most companies do not offer these policies if you’re over 70, or in some cases 75. There are many companies offering such plans. I also encourage my patients to set up international bank accounts so they’ll have money overseas in the event they need it for to pay for medical care that may be denied or delayed here at home. Call this account your “international health savings account.” Even if it won’t have the tax advantages of HSAs under US rules, at least the money will be there if you need overseas medical care. Overseas bank accounts are legal as long you comply with US reporting rules. This is a step to take before the US government further limits our ability to move money into other jurisdictions.Dennis: Thank you for taking your time to fill in some of the blanks regarding Obamacare.Dr. Vliet: Thanks, my pleasure!Dr. Vliet writes as an independent practicing physician with medical practices in Tucson and Dallas, focused on issues of endocrine aging in men and women from puberty to late life. Dr. Vliet is also the CEO of International Health Strategies Ltd., a medical consulting company that assists patients in finding appropriate high-quality, affordable medical care overseas to maintain patients’ medical privacy and medical freedom to choose individualized treatment options free of government intrusion.Dr. Vliet is the author of six consumer health books and the 2007 Voice of Women Honoree by the Arizona Foundation for Women for her pioneering work on the overlooked hormone connections in women’s health. She has appeared on nationally syndicated radio and TV shows discussing the healthcare law as well as a variety of health topics for women and men. Dr. Vliet was one of the speakers at the recent 2013 Casey Research Summit (click here to purchase the complete Summit audio set). Dr. Vliet received her M.D. and did an internal medicine residency at Eastern Virginia Medical School, then completed specialty training at Johns Hopkins.Dr. Vliet’s medical websites are HerPlace.com and InternationalHealthStrategiesLtd.com. Follow Dr. Vliet on twitter: @healthandcents.On the Lighter Side My wife Jo and I are back in Florida after spending Christmas in Indiana. The good news was our grandson got a really cool electric guitar; the bad news is he also got an amplifier. Speaking of the grandchildren, something popped into my inbox over the holidays. It’s a sound reminder from our friend Ed D’Agostino of the Hard Assets Alliance of why we give precious metals in lieu of toys. Ed has written a short note explaining why gold and silver are the best gifts you can give your children or grandchildren and how you can do just that quickly, safely, and hassle-free. Although the holidays are over, it’s not too late to give. Click here to read Ed’s message now. For those among you unfamiliar with this part of the US, Interstate 75 runs from Michigan to Florida, and it’s particularly crowded this time of year. The cars from Ontario and Michigan were covered with gray-black dirt—the usual aftermath of snowstorms. From Atlanta to Tampa, we estimated that at least half of the vehicles headed south were from “up north,” most driven by seniors who prefer to spend Christmas with family and return to Florida until Easter. And finally… Jo sent me this to me; it seems appropriate after our recent holiday visit. Until next week…last_img read more