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Huge Win’: Court Rules Big Telecom Must Comply With State Environmental Laws

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge last week ruled that federal law does not preempt California’s state environmental law, which requires environmental impact reviews before telecom companies can apply for permits to build new wireless infrastructure on scenic highways and historic sites.

Principia Scientifica is an interesting site with some good finds. It generally passes Cogny's "smell test." Read more here: https://thecognitiveman.com/feed/huge-win-court-rules-big-telecom-must-comply-with-state-environmental-laws/

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Were You Scanned By An Aerial Laser Beam In California Recently?

If you’re on the California coast and find yourself being scanned, don’t worry, you aren’t about to be beamed up

Principia Scientifica is an interesting site with some good finds. It generally passes Cogny's "smell test." Read more here: https://thecognitiveman.com/feed/were-you-scanned-by-an-aerial-laser-beam-in-california-recently/

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Illegal Bio-Lab Discovered in California

Ghoulish facility like something out of dystopian crime novel

Principia Scientifica is an interesting site with some good finds. It generally passes Cogny's "smell test." Read more here: https://thecognitiveman.com/feed/illegal-bio-lab-discovered-in-california/

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Focusing on What We Can Change

In California, the golden state renowned for its sunshine and diverse ecosystems, water is both a blessing and a curse.

Principia Scientifica is an interesting site with some good finds. It generally passes Cogny's "smell test." Read more here: https://thecognitiveman.com/feed/focusing-on-what-we-can-change/

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The Eight Categories of Media Bias

1. Misleading Terminology

“If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” – George Orwell

Language can be used to promote an agenda. The media must exercise caution when consciously choosing to adopt (or avoid) certain terms.

When it comes to Israel, there are many phrases that have been weaponized. Below is a small sample that downplay realities on the ground, are emotionally charged, or deliberately manipulate international law. The inclusion of any of them within a broadcast, article, or post should immediately raise a red flag:

a. “Cycle of violence” or “tit-for-tat”

b. 1967 borders, or Green Line

c. Genocide, ethnic cleansing

d. Military wing vs. political wing

e. Tel Aviv (when discussing the seat of government)

f. IOF: Israeli Occupation Forces

Passive language also serves to de-emphasize a significant event and/or downplay negative actions.

The Holocaust did not see people die. It was an active genocide of the Jewish people by Nazi Germany. October 7 did not lead to deaths. It was the worst massacre since the Holocaust. The language describing those events should convey their enormity.

2. Imbalanced Reporting

Journalism distorts news through disproportionate coverage, presenting only one side of the story, misrepresenting fringe views as mainstream, or burying important contextual information.

A casual reader of this New York Times article would not be able to easily understand that the “Palestinian Detainee” was, in fact, the leader of Islamic Jihad, a terrorist organization. The headline and teaser are written in a way to whitewash him, and the relevant information is not mentioned until the 5th paragraph of the article.

This is a purposeful obfuscation of facts.

3. Opinions Disguised as News

A journalist’s job is to report facts without infecting their own opinion or interpretation of events. Even properly labeled commentary (in the op-ed section or sidebars labeled as analysis) requires a modicum of objectivity. Opinions must be based on accurate information, sound logic, and expressed respectfully.

The West Bank and “settlements” are lightning-rod topics. How you refer to the West Bank, and one’s support for settlements or lack thereof, is a litmus test of politics. But “settlements” are not a monolithic group, and their location within the West Bank varies. To use the blanket statement of “settlements are regarded as illegal under international law” is incorrect. Similarly, the West Bank is “disputed” under international law, not occupied.

4. Lack of Context

Context describes the conditions in which something happens. Without a frame of reference for readers, journalists can dramatically distort the true picture.

During Operation Iron Swords, Israel bombed Hamas leaders who were sheltering inside a tunnel complex built beneath the Jabaliya Refugee Camp.

One might ask why Palestinians in Gaza live in a “refugee camp” or why a neighborhood of apartment complexes is referred to as a “refugee camp.”

But there is no question that the way this Washington Post columnist phrased her tweet was purposefully misleading.

5. Selective Omission

By choosing to report certain events over others, or withholding key details, the media control access to information.

In the aftermath of Hamas’ October 7 massacre, waves of protests swept across America. At one protest in California, a pro-Palestinian protester hit a pro-Israel protester over the head with a megaphone. That man ultimately died of his wounds.

Yet, news outlets across the world minimized the event. To someone who didn’t know the facts, they could believe that the Jewish man simply tripped over his own feet. Or passed out from dehydration and hit his head. Instead of the truth – that the man was killed in a violent interaction with another person.

6. Using True Facts to Draw False Conclusions

Even if all the facts are accurate, it’s still possible for journalists to draw illogical conclusions.

In this example, The New York Times equates Israeli Arabs with Palestinians living in the West Bank. The former are full citizens of Israel. They vote, serve in Knesset, sit on the Supreme Court, and hold leadership positions across every Israeli industry.

The latter are not citizens. They are eligible to vote in Palestinian elections – however infrequently those are held. Nevertheless, it is the Palestinian government that has disenfranchised them, not the Israeli one.

So, while it is technically true to say that Palestinians in the West Bank “have no vote in Israeli elections,” it is dishonest.

7. Distortion of Facts

Getting the facts wrong. Sometimes this is a result of the 24-hour news cycle and the need to be first to publish. But not always.

The “journalism of assertion” is the idea that reporters can ease up on independent verification of facts if information is directly attributed to someone. But even the most well-meaning of eyewitnesses (which in and of itself isn’t always a given) can have faulty memories or an incomplete understanding of what they witnessed.

Another worrying trend is mistranslation. Arabic has words for Israel and Zionist, yet Western translators frequently cover for antisemitism by translating “Yahud” as “Israeli” instead of “Jew.”

We saw this when a mob stormed an airport in Russia looking for Jews on a flight landing from Israel. They were misrepresented as “anti-Israel protestors” despite their chants specifically targeting Jews. We’ve also seen it in the past with a BBC documentary on Palestinians in Gaza.

8. Lack of Transparency

Failing to be open and accountable to readers.

Reporters are human. They have biases. That’s to be expected. Which is why disclosures matter. A simple editor’s note that holds a prominent place within an article can build trust with a reader, allowing them to better judge the veracity of what they are reading.

When CNN journalists were embedded with the IDF in Gaza during Operation Iron Swords, this is how they presented the article.

Yet, when journalists report from Gaza, where there is no freedom of the press, there is never any such disclaimer. There is no disclosure that Hamas rules with an iron fist and controls the flow of information.

This lack of uniformity and transparency tricks readers into believing that all information is equally valid, as opposed to helping them understand when some information should be treated with caution.

BONUS – Beware of  ‘The Halo Effect’

Reporters commonly cite international agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), activists, and academics as authoritative sources beyond reproach. Their expertise needs to be balanced against a journalist’s duty to independently verify facts.

Just recently, a Human Rights Watch senior employee accused her organization of “years of politicization of its Israel-Palestine work that has frequently violated basic editorial standards related to rigor, balance, and collegiality, when it comes to Israel.”

It is imperative that journalists understand and explain that expertise can exist alongside agenda, and account for that within their reporting.

Liked this article? Follow HonestReporting on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to see even more posts and videos debunking news bias and smears, as well as other content explaining what’s really going on in Israel and the region.

Honest Reporting is a website that seeks to bring balance to the left slant in the major news media.

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As U.S. Bank Deposits Resume Outflows, How Quickly Will The U.S. Dollar Collapse?

Reprinted from NOQ report.

While it has been a relatively quiet week in the financial sector, it may not be long before the economy takes over headline news again.

ZeroHedge News reported today that U.S. banks are experiencing more runs on deposits.

US Bank Deposits Resume Outflows, Led By Large Institutions; Small Bank Loan Growth Slumped

It’s late on a Friday afternoon, but there’s still more things to worry about as The Fed’s H.8 (commercial bank deposit data) just dropped.

After yesterday’s report showed the Fed balance sheet shrinking but bank bailout facility usage higherUS commercial bank deposits (ex-large time deposits) unexpectedly resumed their freefall (during the week-ending 4/12), tumbling $68.66 billion to the lowest since April 2021…

Pam Martens of Wall Street on Parade addressed the current “credit crunch” that was revealed this week with the release of the Federal Reserve’s “Beige Book” report.

Fed’s Beige Book: The Credit Crunch Has Arrived in New York, California and Texas

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve released its Beige Book, a compilation of current economic conditions in each of its 12 Federal Reserve districts. The information that was collected in each of the regional reports was gathered on or before April 10 – so it is relatively current.

It is not a good sign that three of the Fed districts that pump out a significant chunk of U.S. GDP reported that bank credit had tightened noticeably, ostensibly as fallout from the banking collapses in March and depositor runs.

The New York Fed reported that credit conditions in the Second Fed District, which includes New York state, the 12 northern counties of New Jersey, Connecticut’s Fairfield County, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, “deteriorated sharply.” It summarized the situation as follows:

“Conditions in the broad finance sector deteriorated sharply coinciding with recent stress in the banking sector. Small to medium-sized banks in the District reported widespread declines in loan demand across all loan segments. Credit standards tightened noticeably for all loan types, and loan spreads continued to narrow. Deposit [interest] rates moved higher. Finally, delinquency rates edged up on residential and commercial mortgages.”

Almost everyone now in the corporate news media financial sector is admitting that the U.S. Dollar’s decline is a foregone conclusion in the future.

The only question left is, how quickly will it collapse?

Alasdair Macleod of Goldmoney has written the best analysis of the current U.S. Dollar situation that I have read so far, and it was republished on ZeroHedge News as well.

This is a bit of a long read, but it is well worth it to understand what is probably in store for the U.S. Dollar in the future, as he tackles the question: “How quickly will the dollar collapse?”

If you want a spoiler statement from this article, it would be this:

Assuming that foreign holders reduce their dollar exposure and at the margin buy renminbi (Chinese currency), the fall in the dollar relative to the renminbi could be unexpectedly sudden and substantial.

How Quickly Will the Dollar Collapse?

This article looks at the factors behind the growing rejection of the dollar for trade settlement purposes by non-aligned nations around the world. They no longer fear political or economic reprisals from America.

The dollar’s monopoly was notably challenged by Saudi Arabia, which removed itself from the US’s sphere of influence to that of China and Russia. Consequently, peace has broken out throughout the Arab lands.

But rising interest rates have destabilised western banking systems, which have added to the attractions of payment in China’s renminbi relative to maintaining bank deposits and investments in the currencies of the western alliance — particularly of the dollar. Foreigners hold $7 trillion of deposits and short-term bills and $24.5 trillion in bonds and equities. These balances are becoming surplus to their needs.

The outlook is for US bank credit to contract further, which will drive interest rates even higher. More banks can be expected to fail. Foreigners are bound to become increasingly reluctant to hold dollars, which they will sell. Therefore, the question now is not how much will the dollar decline, but how rapidly. 

Introduction

We know that the Russia and China’s desire to do away with the dollar is coming true, due to factors beyond their immediate control. Increasing numbers of nations are now committing to accepting payment for cross border trade in currencies other than the dollar, despite US insistence that the only currency for pricing commodities, settling international trade, and therefore the reserve currency must be its own.

We also know that since the Second World War, the US Government has acted robustly against dissenters to enforce its currency monopoly. Libya’s Ghaddafi and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein both proposed new currencies to free themselves from the dollar and came to a sticky end. But all monopolies eventually fail. Encouraged by signs that the dollar’s has now run its course, increasing numbers of nations are abandoning it.

When the US was the world’s policeman, very few countries would have dared to challenge the mighty dollar. American foreign policy was driven by its battle against communism, protecting economic freedom for nations in its sphere of influence. But for the ruling elites around the world, America created distrust and resentment. These are the world policeman’s legacy.

A seminal event, which westerners have mostly forgotten about, was the Asian crisis of 1998. China believes it was planned by the Americans for their own benefit. Here is an extract from an important speech by Major General Qiao Liang, strategist for the Peoples’ Liberation Army, to the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee in April 2016, when he laid down what has become China’s version of events:

“What was the hottest investment concept in 1980s? It was the “Asian Tigers.” Many people thought it was due to Asians’ hard work and how smart they were. Actually, the big reason was the ample investment of U.S. dollars.

“When the Asian economy started to prosper, the Americans felt it was time to harvest. Thus, in 1997, after ten years of a weak dollar, the Americans reduced the money supply to Asia and created a strong dollar. Many Asian companies and industries faced an insufficient money supply. The area showed signs of being on the verge of a recession and a financial crisis.

“A last straw was needed to break the camel’s back. What was that straw? It was a regional crisis. Should there be a war like the Argentines had? Not necessarily. War is not the only way to create a regional crisis.

“Thus, we saw that a financial investor called “Soros” took his Quantum Fund, as well as over one hundred other hedge funds in the world, and started a wolf attack on Asia’s weakest economy, Thailand. They attacked Thailand’s currency Thai Baht for a week. This created the Baht crisis. Then it spread south to Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Then it moved north to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and even Russia. Thus, the East Asia financial crisis fully exploded.

“The camel fell to the ground. The world’s investors concluded that the Asian investment environment had gone south and withdrew their money. The U.S. Federal Reserve promptly blew the horn and increased the dollar’s interest rate. The capital coming out of Asia flew to the U.S.’s three big markets, creating the second big bull market in the U.S.

“When the Americans made ample money, they followed the same approach they did in Latin America: they took the money that they made from the Asian financial crisis back to Asia to buy Asia’s good assets which, by then, were at their bottom price. The Asian economy had no capacity to fight back.

“The only lucky survivor in this crisis was China.”

Whether Qiao was right in his assessment is not the point: this is what the Chinese leadership believes. And in early 2014, they became aware of US plans to stoke up dissent in Hong Kong, which led to student riots later that year. While America has tried several times to provoke China since then (trade tariffs, technology bans, the Huawei saga, Taiwan…), the only action China has taken is to defensively impose greater control over Hong Kong which was demonstrated by American action to be her weak point.

Finally, China’s patience over the dollar appears to be paying off. It has not interfered with America’s global plans, beyond ensuring with Russia that the Asian continent is their joint fiefdom.

But China’s economic tentacles are not confined to Asia. It trades everywhere, and its business and investment plans offer better prospects for all Africa, South America, and even Mexico. If it wasn’t for fear of American reprisals, their support for China and willingness to take its currency in payment would have already happened. But then America took a step too far in sanctioning Russia and leaning on Brussels-based SWIFT to cut Russia out of the dollar-based global payments system.

NATO and the EU fell in line with the Americans, while Asia, numerically far larger in population, backed Russia. The Americans had miscalculated, and for Russia it was business almost as normal while the western alliance suffered soaring energy, commodity, and food prices. This triggered rising interest rates and now credit contraction, leading to an initial banking crisis six weeks ago with the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse in Europe. In the last six months, the dollar’s trade weighted index has fallen 11%.

Not only has America now demonstrated to every non-aligned nation that its dollar’s power is overrated, but by imposing sanctions on Russia it ended up destabilising its own financial system. And now, non-aligned nations have a free choice: stick with America, its dollar, and its discredited financial system, or deepen ties with China with her credible economic plan and whose economy is now growing.

While there is an element of short-termism in this choice, for the longer-term China offers something which America, its World Bank, and regional network cannot. The World Bank dishes out some charity, which allows it to fill its glossy handouts with tales of doing good. But any emerging nation seeking credit gets it in dollars (which it has to repay, thereby maintaining demand for it) and has to satisfy a business-cum-political case for the loan.

Dealing with China is different. Because her commercial interests align with those of her trading partners, China invests in infrastructure directly on its own or in partnership, building railways, highways, and communications. China can afford to do this because she has a savings driven economy. Furthermore, there are two currencies, onshore and offshore keeping offshore credit from migrating onshore. Therefore, the consequences for consumer price inflation of credit expansion are minimised.

Arguably, a shaky banking system is proving to be the dollar’s final undoing. Nations who hesitated before settling trade in renminbi are no longer doing so, understanding that their dollar reserves and balances are now at risk. There is additional safety in their numbers, because there are too many of them to be picked off by America individually. And if the US banking system continues to crumble, the interconnectedness with the other western alliance currencies is also at risk.

Other than those in the American camp, central banks are also re-evaluating their reserve policies. We have seen them add to their gold reserves, which is the same thing as selling dollars. According to the IMF, total foreign reserves fell by the equivalent of one trillion dollars in 2022, with the dollar content alone falling by $600bn. Renminbi in reserves at the year-end were only $298bn equivalent, so presumably they will be added to.

But is there really a need for currency reserves? The only case that can be made is for exchange rate and crisis management. Extending swap lines is inflationary, and a tool deployed only between the six major central banks — the Fed, Bank of Canada, Bank of England, the ECB, Bank of Japan, and the Swiss National Bank. It’s an elite arrangement that excludes the other 149 central banks.

They only need credit liquidity to settle their trade in other currencies. Therefore, a large proportion of dollar reserves held by central banks, which the IMF puts at $6.471 trillion, is becoming available for sale. To this must be added dollars held by private sector actors in the nostro/vostro correspondent banking system.

The end of the petrodollar’s monopoly

In so far as the public is aware, the dollar’s hiatus kicked off last December, when President Biden visited Saudi Arabia, followed by President Xi. The difference in their reception said it all, with Biden accorded a low-key welcome while Xi was honoured with all the Arab pomp and ceremony Muhammad bin Salman could muster. It was at Xi’s meeting that the Saudis agreed to accept payment for oil in renminbi.

These were merely the latest in a long line of developments. In 2014, a director of one of the major Swiss gold refiners told me that they were working round the clock recasting LBMA 400-ounce bars into the new 99.99 Chinese kilo standard. Bars from the Middle East, many of which appeared to have come out of long-term storage, were being returned to their owners recast to the new kilo standard. The only conclusion is that nine years ago the Arab world saw the future for their wealth being bound up more with China and Asia than with the Europeans and Americans. Coincidently, that was when America was believed by China to be stoking up trouble in Hong Kong, and provoking Russia into taking Crimea.

Further confirmation of how the geopolitical plates were shifting came in 2018 when President Putin and MBS high-fived at the G20 conference in Buenos Aires. From their body language it was clear that there was a confidential understanding between the two leaders and that they were working together. And in the five years since, the determination of Europe and North America to ban fossil fuels entirely has confirmed the foresight of the Arabs who nine years ago were recasting their gold bars into the Chinese standard.

By promising to do away with oil and gas on a rapidly shortening timescale, the West has offered the two Asian hegemons an open goal. Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia between them have nearly all the cheap cost oil and have a high degree of price control over global energy markets.

You can tell that America has now lost its influence over the Middle East because peace has returned to the region. Saudi Arabia is mending fences with Iran, Assad of Syria is expected to visit Riyadh shortly, Qatar and Bahrain are resuming diplomatic relations, and the first round of Yemeni peace talks have been successfully concluded. But America is not happy. William Burns from the CIA recently flew to Riyadh seeking a meeting with MBS, presumably to see where the CIA stood in the light of developments and to reconnoitre the situation. The nuclear attack submarine USS Florida transited Suez, in support of the Fifth Fleet and is presumed to be on its way into the Gulf.

Clearly, America’s intention is to escalate tensions, with a threat to attack Iran, whose nuclear programme is well advanced as the excuse. But realistically, the Americans are powerless. And if they do decide to attack Iran, they would also make enemies of the entire region — as MBS surely made clear to William Burns.

Other than security matters, the big issue is over currencies. Of course, the Gulf Cooperation Council members will still accept dollars. But America now has a banking crisis, the Fed itself is deeply in negative equity along with the other major central banks, and foreign holders of dollars have too many for future trade conditions.

The alternative is China and renminbi

It was reported this week that China’s GDP grew by 4.5% in the first quarter of this year, headlined by a recovery in consumer spending with retail sales growing by 10.6% in March alone. And while the west’s financial analysts’ attention is usually directed towards consumer activity first and foremost, everyone else knows that China has a savings driven economy, which allows credit to drive industrial investment without consumer prices inflating. 

There is an understandable fear that China’s demand for commodities will keep prices high at a time when America and Europe will enter recession on the back of contracting bank credit. Furthermore, there has been a lack of new mine discoveries and capital investment in commodity extraction, suggesting that commodity and energy supplies will remain tight. But as yet, in China statistical evidence that credit is driving capital formation is yet to emerge. 

Indeed, the pause in overall capital investment is consistent with China switching its strategic emphasis from its export trade to America and Europe to developing Asian markets. Furthermore, American manufacturers are reassessing their supply chain arrangements in the current geopolitical atmosphere.

But when it comes to choosing currencies, all the non-aligned nations supplying China know that her plans go far beyond domestic manufacturing with an ambition to bring about an industrial revolution throughout Asia. That is in their minds when they contrast receiving payment for exports in dollars to be lodged in the unsafe US banking system, compared with renminbi lodged in a state-guaranteed Chinese bank. And it is also in their minds when they compare the economic prospects for China compared with those of America and its close allies.

Even America’s allies are becoming unsure of their commitment to dollars. France recently accepted payment in renminbi for liquid natural gas. Other members of the European Union are plainly sitting on the fence, aware that to cut themselves off from the largest economy in the world which is growing while America’s is not, is ill-advised.

Furthermore, Europe has direct rail links across the Eurasian continent not just to China, but also to the entire continent. Shortly, they will connect directly to the Indian sub-continent as well, which is now officially the world’s most populous nation. Even the British cannot afford to follow Washington’s lead and restrain trade relations with China.

Trade imbalances are set to increase for America and much of Europe anyway. National accounting identities tell us that in the absence of changes in savings behaviour, a budget deficit leads to a matching trade deficit — the twin deficits syndrome. As contracting bank credit undermines the US economy, the US Government will face declining tax revenues, increasing welfare costs, and soaring borrowing costs.

The deficit on trade will increase in lockstep with the budget deficit— only this time, the balance of payments will almost certainly increase with the trade deficit because foreign exporters are unlikely to retain their dollar payments.

For the US Government and us all, it is likely to become a two-pronged headache. The first is that foreign demand for US Treasuries will not only disappear, but they will turn sellers when the funding requirement is rising.

Secondly, with global trade payments migrating to renminbi and China’s export trade continuing to thrive on filling America’s increasing trade gap, she will be cast as the villain of the peace. And any attempt by the US Government to introduce yet higher trade tariffs and bans on Chinese technology will not remedy the situation.

It must be acknowledged that a consequence of China’s economy expanding while America’s slumps could turn America’s current sabre-rattling over Taiwan into outright conflict.

Assessing the impact of dollar liquidation

There are two elements of dollar liquidation to consider, commencing with liquid bank deposits, certificates of deposit, Treasury, and commercial bills etc. with maturities of less than one year. According to the US’s Treasury International Capital statistics, at end-December these amounted to $7,074bn in credit liabilities due to all foreigners. This is the immediate amount that potentially hangs over foreign exchange markets.

At the same time, US residents have liabilities to them in foreign currencies of the equivalent of only $384bn. The ratio of foreign owned dollars to US owned foreign currency is 18.4 times. Put another way, this is the approximate imbalance between potential dollar selling by all foreigners and the ability of US buyers to absorb it by selling their foreign currency in return for dollars. On the face of it, this differential could fuel a rapid fall in the dollar’s exchange rate against foreign currencies.

It is also possible that a bank will buy in dollars for its own book and creates credit in a foreign currency in favour of the dollar seller. But that activity is likely to be limited to branches of foreign banks in New York with access to the relevant foreign wholesale credit markets and assumes they would wish to buy dollars.

But the most likely method to stop a sliding dollar would be either for the exchange stabilisation fund to intervene, which would reduce broad money supply when the Fed would be struggling to stop it contracting further; or for the Fed to seek cooperation from its swap line partners to buy dollars and sell their own currencies in return, which is highly inflationary.

This leads us to consider the outlook for interest rates and how foreign perceptions of financial risks might change, particularly with regard to systemic risk in the US banking system. We know that a weakening currency tends to lead to higher interest rates. And that rising interest rates might be expected to support the dollar’s exchange rate.

But there is the danger of a negative feed-back loop, whereby risks to the dollar’s exchange rate increases along with interest rates. This is because rising interest rates will destabilise the US economy and government finances, leading to higher budget and trade deficits. And portfolio assets, defined as being of more than one year’s maturity will fall in value.

The chart above shows how foreign holdings of long-term securities have been inflating in recent years on a quarter-to-quarter basis, mainly due to an increase in foreign private holdings. In January, private and public sector holdings totalled $24,548bn. And though choppy, there now appears to be a declining trend. These figures are in addition to foreign owned non-financial assets, such as real estate, farmland, factories, and offices.

US ownership of foreign long-term securities totals $14.263 trillion, of which $10,875bn is in corporate stocks. It should be noted that in the majority of cases, foreign securities are held in dollar-priced American Depository Receipts (ADRs), so that their disposal does not result in foreign exchange transactions, unlike a foreign disposal of a dollar-based asset which does.

But commercial bank credit in major jurisdictions has stopped growing or is even contracting while demand for credit continues to increase. The consequence is that interest rates will continue to rise, due to this imbalance of supply over demand. There is little that central banks can do about it without debasing their currencies.

And because they are under pressure to ensure the funding of their governments’ increasing deficits, they will be forced to accept the market’s pricing of credit. That was the experience of the 1970s.

While everyone’s attention is being misdirected to forecasts of CPI inflation, they appear to be unaware that inflation is not the immediate issue. It is the shortage of bank credit, which is now driving interest rates, not inflation expectations. Accordingly, the outlook is for yet higher bond yields which means that all financial asset values will fall further.

And as they fall, the highly financialised US banking system will be undermined by both investments held on their balance sheet and by collateral held against loans. But this outlook is not confined to dollar markets and is shared by all other western financial centres. As these dynamics become obvious to investors, a global liquidation of financial assets is bound to accelerate, with the exception perhaps of China’s financial markets which are set on a completely different course, and Russia’s which have been completely cut off from global investment flows.

In a general portfolio liquidation, the imbalance between foreign investment in long-term assets and the US ownership of foreign investments will drive relative currency outcomes. In dollars, it is a ratio of $24,548bn to $14,263bn, or approximately 1.72 times. But for foreign exchange purposes, probably less than a trillion dollars are being held denominated in foreign currencies, with the balance in ADRs.

When an ADR is sold, there is no foreign exchange transaction involved, unlike selling of foreign owned US securities. Therefore, a general portfolio liquidation would see an overwhelming excess of dollar selling by foreigners compared with foreign currency liquidation by Americans.

Assuming that foreign holders reduce their dollar exposure and at the margin buy renminbi, the fall in the dollar relative to the renminbi could be unexpectedly sudden and substantial. At least some of the dollar liquidation is likely to fuel energy and commodity prices, whose supply is in many cases too limited to support stockpiling on any scale.

Gold which is likely to be bought because it is still legal money in nearly all foreign jurisdictions. It would mark a foreigner-driven flight out of unanchored credit into physical commodities due to increasing counterparty risk.

The only offset to these negative implications for the dollar’s future is likely to come from other members of the western alliance. As major foreign holders of US Government debt, they can be relied upon to attempt mutual currency support. Doubtless, the Fed and its five partner central banks will increase their swaps to that end as well as to shore up the dollar itself.

But these actors are in the minority measured by the quantities of dollars held, and their attempts to rig foreign exchange markets will only make things worse.

We must therefore conclude that with the evidence pointing to foreign selling of the dollar, that this selling could quickly escalate. Consequently, dollar liquidation by foreigners will lead to significantly higher interest rates which can only be lessened by the expansion of central bank credit.

And that expansion can only come from the Fed because commercial banks are tapped out, seeking to contain their losses and reduce their balance sheet leverage. And if the Fed resorts to the printing press through currency swaps or by other means, the dollar will have had it anyway.

Russia’s position

The Russian economy appears to be doing remarkably well during the current conflict with Ukraine. Taxation and government debt are lower than in any other major economy, and with a few workarounds, the export trade continues in surplus. The conflict in Ukraine has been a financial burden, but not enough to destabilise Russia’s economy.

Payment flows have been diverted from dollars into Chinese yuan, permitting Russian ex-pats around the world to continue to use their credit cards. And Bangladesh has been paying Russia for its Rooppur nuclear power plant construction in yuan via a Chinese bank with access to China’s cross-border interbank payment system. As we have seen so many times in previous cases, sanctions against Russia are proving to be utterly pointless.

While the yuan payments route deals with the current situation, we can be sure that Russia will want to have a payment medium under its own control. It is to that end that on Putin’s behalf Sergey Glazyev is working on a proposal for a new trade settlement currency for the Eurasian Economic Union. The indications are that it will be based on gold, and it is likely from what Glazyev has publicly written that the rouble will move onto a gold standard of sorts as well.

The immediate benefit to Russia’s business community is that current interest rates of over 10% will fall substantially. It compares with a consumer price inflation rate of 3.5%, but that is heavily distorted by previously high CPI inflation rates. Nevertheless, anything that reduces interest rates in this lower inflation environment will encourage the growth in credit to maximise economic potential.

The key to it is for the value of credit to be anchored to gold to introduce permanent price stability. Only then can rouble interest rates decline to a few per cent permanently. 

The rouble would then be in a position to challenge a fiat yuan as a payment medium. And with Russia’s new relationship with the Gulf Cooperation Council members, no doubt a gold-backed rouble would be readily accepted by the Saudis and others for energy payments, even in preference to yuan.

The negotiations between Russia and China on this point are likely to be tricky. But given that we know China has massive undeclared gold stocks anyway, talks can be resolved in the interests of a stable monetary relationship between the two hegemons. Of more importance perhaps, is the question of at what gold value the rouble will be exchangeable for notionally or actually, given that Putin’s unfriendlies face a financial, banking, and fiat currency crisis likely to drive fiat values for gold considerably higher as they rapidly lose purchasing power.

Read the full article at Goldmoney.com, cross-posted from Medical Kidnap.

The post As U.S. Bank Deposits Resume Outflows, How Quickly Will The U.S. Dollar Collapse? appeared first on NOQ Report – Conservative Christian News, Opinions, and Quotes.

NOTE: The opinions expressed in the NOQ REPORT are not necessarily those of "Cogny Mann." But it is certain that we share a lot of overlap in our philosophies and worldviews.

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The Commercial Real Estate Tsunami Just Shifted Into Another Gear

Excerpt from "The Economic Collapse Blog."

What is going to happen to our banking system as trillions of dollars worth of commercial real estate loans go bad?  Many months ago, I warned that the greatest commercial real estate crisis in U.S. history was coming.  At the time, a lot of people didn’t believe me and that was fine.  As with so many other things, all I needed to do to be proven right was to wait.  Sadly, a commercial real estate tsunami is now here, and it appears to be accelerating even faster than many of the experts had been anticipating.  Just within the past few weeks, there have been several more high profile defaults, and San Francisco has become the epicenter of this crisis.

On Monday, we learned that Westfield has decided to purposely default on a 558 million dollar loan on the San Francisco Centre mall…

Shopping center giant Westfield is walking away from its San Francisco Centre mall, becoming the latest major company to leave the California city amid rampant crime problems.

Westfield confirmed to FOX Business Monday that the company and partner Brookfield Properties earlier this month stopped making payments on a $558 million loan securing the San Francisco Centre property.

Do you remember in 2008 when millions of Americans that were underwater on their mortgages simply walked away from them?

Well, now the same thing is happening, except that instead of homes we are talking about shopping malls and office buildings.

The San Francisco Centre mall was the most important retail destination in downtown San Francisco.

But sales have been declining for some time, and just like Park Hotels & Resorts, Westfield is identifying rapidly deteriorating conditions in the downtown area as one of the primary reasons for leaving the city…

“Given the challenging operating conditions in downtown San Francisco, which have led to declines in sales, occupancy and foot traffic, we have made the difficult decision to begin the process to transfer management of the shopping center to our lender to allow them to appoint a receiver to operate the property going forward.”

Westfield’s move comes less than a week after Park Hotels & Resorts announced it had handed two prominent hotels back to the bank. The real estate investment trust said it was abandoning the Hilton San Francisco Union Square and Parc 55, saying the city’s streets are unsafe and expressing doubts about the area’s ability to recover.

San Francisco was once such a beautiful city.

But now one of the wealthiest cities in the entire world is being systematically transformed into a hellhole, and it is all thanks to the “progressive” policies of the city’s leaders

Westfield’s struggles will pile fresh pressure on city leaders, after multiple retailers and hotels shuttered in downtown San Francisco as it continues to battle soaring crime, open drug use and homelessness.

The famously progressive city has been condemned for its ‘harm reduction’ policies, which critics say have effectively legalized drug taking. Meanwhile, its police department remains short-staffed after woke lawmakers called for defunding in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.

Even Twitter has decided to walk away.

The company has not been paying rent on “Twitter headquarters” for months, and Elon Musk has confirmed that there is no plan to ever restart payments…

Twitter ceased paying its rent in November, the report says, and CEO Elon Musk has said he doesn’t intend on restarting payments. Those payments would go to Columbia Property, a REIT that Goldman has lent $1.7 billion to, in a consortium with (of course) Deutsche Bank.

Sadly, this is only just the beginning.

As retailers and businesses leave the downtown areas of our major cities, a lot more defaults will inevitably happen.

In New York City, the office occupancy rate was close to 100 percent before the pandemic.

Now it is hovering around 50 percent.

Of course this commercial real estate tsunami is not the only crisis that we are facing.

The residential real estate bubble has also started to burst, and sales have been falling all over the nation for months.

Higher interest rates will continue to put downward pressure on home prices, and many analysts are extremely concerned that foreclosure filings have begun to surge

May foreclosure-related filings, which include default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, were up 7% from April and up 14% from a year ago, to 35,196 properties, according to the real estate data group ATTOM.

Meanwhile, large companies all over America continue to conduct mass layoffs.

As I discussed in a previous article, the number of announced job cuts in the United States during the first five months of this year was 315 percent higher than the number of announced job cuts during the same period last year.

And we are being told that the number of media industry layoffs so far this year is the largest figure ever recorded…

The media industry has announced at least 17,436 job cuts so far this year, marking the highest year-to-date level of cuts on record, according to a new report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Despite everything that I just shared with you, many of the “experts” in the mainstream media continue to insist that the economy is in fine shape.

I honestly do not know how they can say that with a straight face.

But they are saying it.

Just like in 2008, they simply do not want to believe what is happening right in front of their eyes, and they aren’t interested in ominous warnings about our long-term future either.

In the short-term, our economic problems are going to continue to intensify in the months ahead.

In the long-term, we are going to have a real nightmare on our hands.

But for now, millions upon millions of Americans continue to trust those that are telling them that brighter days are ahead, and so they are doing nothing to prepare for the great storm that is rapidly approaching.

Michael’s new book entitled “End Times” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com, and you can check out his new Substack newsletter right here.

About the Author: My name is Michael and my brand new book entitled “End Times” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book I have written six other books that are available on Amazon.com including “7 Year Apocalypse”“Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America”“The Beginning Of The End”, and “Living A Life That Really Matters”. (#CommissionsEarned)  When you purchase any of these books you help to support the work that I am doing, and one way that you can really help is by sending copies as gifts to family and friends.  Time is short, and I need help getting these warnings into the hands of as many people as possible.  I have also started a brand new Substack newsletter, and I encourage you to subscribe so that you won’t miss any of my articles.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is definitely a great help.  These are such troubled times, and people need hope.  John 3:16 tells us about the hope that God has given us through Jesus Christ: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  If you have not already done so, I strongly urge you to invite Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior today.

 

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How Would You Fix This Colossal Multi-Trillion Dollar Mess?

Reprinted from NOQ report.

Everyone can see the slow-motion train wreck that is unfolding right in front of our eyes, but nobody has a plan to stop it.  Unfortunately, from a short-term perspective I don’t know if there is anything that can be done to prevent the commercial real estate bubble from imploding.  Vacancy rates are surging to historic highs all over the nation, and without sufficient rental income many property owners will be forced to default.

In addition, a giant mountain of commercial real estate mortgages will be up for refinancing over the next few years, and substantially higher interest rates will make refinancing those mortgages exceedingly difficult.  We really are facing a “perfect storm” for the commercial real estate industry, and the fallout is going to be absolutely devastating for U.S. banks.

This is not a small problem.  Offices are sitting empty from coast to coast, and the total commercial real estate market in this country is currently valued at somewhere around 20 trillion dollars

From Dallas and Minneapolis to New York and Los Angeles, offices sit vacant or underused, showing the staying power of the work-from-home era. But clear desks and quiet break rooms aren’t just a headache for bosses eager to gather teams in person.

Investors and regulators, on high alert for signs of trouble in the financial system following recent bank failures, are now homing in on the downturn in the $20 trillion US commercial real estate market.

The pandemic sparked a “remote work” revolution, and now we have a lot of office space that is simply not needed any longer.

In fact, office vacancies in Manhattan are now at the highest level ever recorded

In New York’s Manhattan, office vacancies are at a record high, Bloomberg reported last week, even as new properties come online, adding even more space to the struggling market. And in Los Angeles and Chicago, office vacancies sat at 22.5% as of the fourth quarter of 2022.

This is a huge problem for property owners, because many of them don’t have enough tenants paying rent.

And as I mentioned earlier, an enormous pile of commercial mortgages “will be up for refinancing in the next couple of years”

They are a bellwether for what is likely to come, as more than half of the $2.9 trillion in commercial mortgages will be up for refinancing in the next couple of years, according to Morgan Stanley.

“Even if current rates stay where they are, new lending rates are likely to be 3.5 to 4.5 percentage points higher than they are for many of CRE’s existing mortgages,” wrote Morgan Stanley Chief Investment Officer Lisa Shalett, in a recent report.

In the end, we are going to see an unprecedented wave of defaults and commercial property prices are going to crash really hard.

As I noted yesterday, Morgan Stanley is actually warning that commercial property prices “could fall as much as 40%”

With small- and medium-size banks accounting for 80% of commercial real estate lending, the situation might soon get worse, says experts.

Commercial property prices could fall as much as 40% “rivaling the decline during the 2008 financial crisis,” forecast Morgan Stanley analysts.

Actually, I believe that projection is probably too optimistic.

At this point, commercial property prices are already down 15 percent from the peak of the market…

Prices in the United States were down 15% in March from their recent peak, according to data provider Green Street. The rapid increase in interest rates over the past year has been painful, since purchases of commercial buildings are typically financed with large loans.

In some markets, the carnage that we have already seen is quite breathtaking. For example, Blackstone recently sold two office towers in southern California at a 36 percent loss

Private equity firm Blackstone sold two 13-story Class A office towers, the Griffin Towers, in Santa Ana, Orange County, California, for $82 million to a joint venture between Barker Pacific Group and Kingsbarn Realty Capital. The towers, built in 1987, have a vacancy rate of 24%.

Blackstone had bought the towers in 2014 for $129 million, according to the Commercial Observer yesterday. The selling price makes for a loss of 36%. And Blackstone was lucky on this deal.

And an office tower in Houston just sold at a loss of 47 percent

In Houston, Parkway Property sold the 960,000-sf San Felipe Plaza in Uptown, to Sovereign Partners for $82.8 million in late March. The tower was built in 1984. Parkway Property ended up with the tower when it acquired Thomas Properties, which had bought the property in 2005 for $156.5 million. So this was a loss of 47%.

I don’t know why anyone would be willing to purchase commercial real estate at this stage.

Trying to catch a falling knife is a very dangerous thing. Of course commercial real estate is not the only bubble that is bursting.

We have already seen the crypto bubble burst, we have seen the bond bubble burst, and residential real estate prices are starting to fall all over the nation.

So far, stock prices are hanging in there, but a number of experts are warning that a big crash is just around the corner

Legendary investor Jeremy Grantham has topped the board for an extreme prediction about US stocks. The market historian has forecasted the S&P 500 could tank as much as 50% this year to about 2,000, as an “everything bubble” bursts.

Grantham said the prices of stocks, bonds, real estate, fine art, and other investments surged to unsustainable highs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Market experts Stephanie Pomboy and Larry McDonald echoed Grantham’s view – but with a less bearish prediction. While the pair expect stocks to crash as much as 30%, McDonald said the plunge could happen over the next two months as higher interest rates choke demand.

Our leaders were able to artificially prop up the system for a number of years, but now they have lost control.

A great financial earthquake has begun, and things are going to get really bad during the years that are in front of us.

But many people out there truly believed that the party would last forever, and so now they are in a position to get very badly burned as the system melts down all around them.

Michael’s new book entitled “End Times” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com, and you can check out his new Substack newsletter right here.

About the Author: My name is Michael and my brand new book entitled “End Times” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book I have written six other books that are available on Amazon.com including “7 Year Apocalypse”“Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America”“The Beginning Of The End”, and “Living A Life That Really Matters”. (#CommissionsEarned)  When you purchase any of these books you help to support the work that I am doing, and one way that you can really help is by sending copies as gifts to family and friends.  Time is short, and I need help getting these warnings into the hands of as many people as possible.  I have also started a brand new Substack newsletter, and I encourage you to subscribe so that you won’t miss any of the latest updates.

I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.

I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is definitely a great help.  These are such troubled times, and people need hope.  John 3:16 tells us about the hope that God has given us through Jesus Christ: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  If you have not already done so, I strongly urge you to invite Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior today.

Article cross-posted from The Economic Collapse Blog.

The post How Would You Fix This Colossal Multi-Trillion Dollar Mess? appeared first on NOQ Report – Conservative Christian News, Opinions, and Quotes.

NOTE: The opinions expressed in the NOQ REPORT are not necessarily those of "Cogny Mann." But it is certain that we share a lot of overlap in our philosophies and worldviews.

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feed, MONEY AND STUFF, NEWS CURRENT EVENTS

Where You Don’t Want to Be When Things Finally Start Hitting the Fan

Reprinted from NOQ report.

Note from Cogny Mann:

This article came across my feed recently. I do post stuff from others often on this site. And this seems to be a consideration on everyone's mind lately: what happens when the whole bottom drops out.

The post Where You Don’t Want to Be When Things Finally Start Hitting the Fan appeared first on NOQ Report - Conservative Christian News, Opinions, and Quotes.

Take a look. Give it some thought.

But at the end of the day, you need to give this type of thing a healthy balance with where you know you stand with Jesus.

Jesus said, "I will never leave you or forsake you." And that is important to remember in times when we are afraid. Remember that our greatest goal is not to be safe, but to be HOLY and to be honoring to our Lord Jesus Christ.

For a different thought about all of this, you might want to check out this article I wrote some time ago, entitled, "If we should have to die for our faith."

Read that first. And then, on to the article, keeping the balance.

FROM THE ARTICLE:

Once things start getting really crazy in this country, where you live could make all the difference.  As global events have accelerated in recent months, a number of people have been seeking my advice about relocation.

Ultimately, there is no solution that is 100 percent perfect for everybody.  But there are some general principles that I do believe apply broadly, and I will share some of those principles with you in this article.

First of all, when things finally start hitting the fan you don’t want to be some place that has a high population density.

In particular, you will want to avoid the big cities, and last year we definitely witnessed a mass “exodus” from the largest cities in the country

Last year the counties that are home to LA, Chicago and New York City suffered the largest exodus of people in the country – while tens of thousands flocked to Arizona, Texas and Florida.

Crime has become a major problem in urban areas from coast to coast, and the level of violence in this nation just continues to rise.

In fact, the mass shooting that just happened in Louisville was already the 146th that we have seen so far this year

Kentucky is the latest state in America to be shaken by gun violence, as the mass shooting inside a Louisville bank marked the 146th in 2023.

The US reached the grim milestone on Monday of more Mass Shootings than days on Monday, which has already surpassed previous years – following the fatal shooting that left five dead, including the gunman, and eight injured at the Old National Bank.

And theft is completely and utterly out of control in many of our inner cities.  It is costing retailers billions upon billions of dollars, and that is one of the biggest reasons why Walmart just decided to shut down four “underperforming” stores in Chicago…

Walmart announced Tuesday it will abruptly close four underperforming Chicago stores, citing millions in annual losses.

The company said its eight Chicago stores collectively have not been profitable since the first opened 17 years ago. This has amounted to a loss of “tens of millions of dollars a year,” according to a press release, losses that have nearly doubled over the last five years.

According to a statement that was put out by Walmart, the losses that those stores have been experiencing have “nearly doubled in just the last five years”

“The simplest explanation is that collectively our Chicago stores have not been profitable since we opened the first one nearly 17 years ago — these stores lose tens of millions of dollars a year, and their annual losses nearly doubled in just the last five years,” Walmart said in a statement.

NOTE FROM COGNY:

The problem wasn’t that the stores weren’t popular. The problem was they were constantly being looted and robbed.

FROM THE ARTICLE:

 

In San Francisco, Whole Foods is closing their “flagship store” just a year after it opened

The Whole Foods Market location in downtown San Francisco is set to close at the end of business Monday, just a year or so after opening in March of 2022, KRON4 has confirmed. Employees at the store will be transferred to other locations nearby.

“To ensure the safety of our Team Members, we have made the difficult decision to close the Trinity store for the time being,” said a Whole Foods Market spokesperson. “All team members will be transferred to one of our nearby locations.”

San Francisco is an ideal location for a Whole Foods store, but “deteriorating street conditions” have forced company officials to make this move…

“Deteriorating street conditions” involving drug use and crime forced the store to close, according to one City Hall official quoted in the report.

The news didn’t shock some journalists and Bay Area residents, who blamed city and state leadership for the city’s growing problems with crime and homelessness.

Sadly, the entire state is rapidly falling to pieces, and that has resulted in California losing approximately half a million people over the past few years…

California’s population fell by 500,000 people between April 2020 and July 2022, Fox News previously reported.

“Sure San Francisco continues to decline rapidly, with Whole Foods closing just a year after opening due to rampant crime & drug dealing after SF lost ~8% of its population from 2020-2022, but hey, at least Gavin Newsom is lecturing Ron DeSantis on how to be a successful governor,” he tweeted sarcastically.

Of course most of my readers are not located in core urban areas.

But those that are living in the suburbs are not safe either.

When economic conditions get bad enough, many of the criminals in the big cities will be coming out to the suburbs to look for easy prey.

With that in mind, I am encouraging people to consider moving away from large metropolitan areas entirely.

If you are considering such a move, I would also avoid anywhere that is experiencing persistent drought.  That would include much of the Interior West, although some areas have been blessed with quite a bit of precipitation lately.

FROM COGNY MANN:

The author makes some good points about places to avoid:

  • places set up for natural disasters: the New Madrid Fault line, the west coast (California)
  • stay away from military bases – especially the ones with nukes (which sounds prudent)
  • avoid the southeast coast (which is prone to tsunamis)

But that does leave you wondering where you are safe.

Which gets back to my point. 

Ultimately, you have to find your safety in your purpose – your eternal purpose, and resting in the idea that if you’re walking with Jesus, you’re immortal until your work is done. Your ultimate goal cannot be to be “safe,” because no one goes out alive in the end.

Article cross-posted from The Economic Collapse Blog.

The post Where You Don’t Want to Be When Things Finally Start Hitting the Fan appeared first on NOQ Report – Conservative Christian News, Opinions, and Quotes.

 

NOTE: The opinions expressed in the NOQ REPORT are not necessarily those of "Cogny Mann." But it is certain that we share a lot of overlap in our philosophies and worldviews.

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Peer-reviewed paper over soft tissue in dinosaur bone results in loss of job
NEWS CURRENT EVENTS, SCIENCE AND TECH

Soft Tissue In Dinosaur Bones Causes Hard Reaction With Atheists At California State University

Mea Culpa. Putting this right up here on the top.

It seems when I originally posted this, I missed the fact that the news report I saw come up in one of my feeds was from a CBS Los Angeles article from a long time ago - like, 10 years ago. I thought it was a recent article.

The link I referenced was in a post from 2023 but it was referencing this story which actually was from 2014. "Trust but verify." And I didn't verify.

Iron sharpens iron. Sorry about that.

As such, it's more of a human interest story than a "current event." But it's still a story worth telling, although now for perhaps a different reason. Consider this the real story (after the corrections now made to the orignial I posted earlier today).

About 10 years ago, CBS Los Angeles filed an interesting report about a lawsuit filed against Southern California University. 

There was a paleontology researcher by the name of Mark Armitage who found a huge triceratops horn. It was the largest ever found at the site where he was doing his research.

Upon examination of the horn under a high-powered microscope back at CSUN, Dacus says Armitage was "fascinated" to find soft tissue on the sample - a discovery Bacus [Mark Armitage's lawyer] said stunned members of the school's biology department and even some students "because it indicates that dinosaurs roamed the earth only thousands of years in the past rather than going extinct 60 million years ago."

It seems, though, that the REAL problem is that Armitage was (and still is) a "Creationist."

And in university settings, being a "creationist" is a bad thing. You see,

Creationism implies a Creator. And at University, that is apparently not something you can say.

The problem is that soft tissue in a dinosaur bone should not be possible in a bone that is theoretically billions of years old.

So, why the firing?

Well, here is the problem.

"Since some creationists, like [Armitage], believe that the triceratops bones are only 4,000 years old at most, [Armitage's] work vindicated his view that these dinosaurs roamed the planet relatively recently," according to the complaint filed July 22 in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The lawsuit against the CSUN board of trustees cites discrimination for perceived religious views.

Armitage's findings were eventually published in July 2013 in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. But according to court documents, shortly after the original soft tissue discovery,

A CSUN official told Armitage, "We are not going to tolerate your religion in this department!"

It's frustrating but not unexpected that the religion of scientism doesn't want to tolerate the religion of the bible.

But that was never supposed to be what science is about. 

When liberalism and secularism take over, they can never tolerate honest debate. They must crush opposing opinions rather than having to give them reasoned responses.

And, years later, after the case was settled,

There was follow-up coverage in 2017 article on a website called WNG.ORG that gives more detail.

Armitage published his paper in the journal Acta Histochemica but he did not mention his thoughts on the age of the specimen or his belief in a young earth. He showed the tissue samples to some of his students and engaged them in discussion about the age of the fossil. Soon after, according to the lawsuit, his supervisor stormed into the lab and shouted, “We are not going to tolerate your religion in this department.” A few days later, the university fired him.
Even though the school denied religious discrimination and said it lacked funds to continue his position, they settled with Armitage in late 2016 for $399,500, according to Inside Higher Ed. The university said the settlement was not an admission of guilt.

They didn't settle because they believed Armitage was right. It was a settlement of "convenience."

“The decision to settle was based on a desire to avoid the costs involved in a protracted legal battle, including manpower, time, and state dollars,” CSUN spokeswoman Carmen Ramos Chandler said in an email to The Sundial, the university’s student newspaper.

In fact, according to the University of California Press, their position is (still) that this idea of soft tissue equals recent dating needs to be dismissed.

The recent discovery of preserved cells and soft tissues in certain dinosaur bones seems incompatible with an age of millions of years, given the expectation that cells and soft tissues should have decayed away after millions of years. However, evidence from radiometric dating shows that dinosaur fossils are indeed millions of years old.
Under certain circumstances, cells and soft tissues in bone are protected from complete disintegration. Formation of a mineral concretion around a bone protects biomolecules inside it from hydrolysis by groundwater. Infusion and coating with iron and iron compounds at a critical point in the decay process protects cells within a bone from autolysis. Cross-linking and association with bone mineral surfaces furnish added protection to collagen fibers in a bone. These protective factors can result in soft-tissue preservation that lasts millions of years. It would benefit educators to be aware of these phenomena, in order to better advise students whose acceptance of biological evolution has been challenged by young-Earth creationist arguments that are based on soft tissues in dinosaur fossils.

The bigger problem is that the anti-religious, scientism bias continues.

According to WMD,

Although he won the settlement, Armitage reports the discrimination hasn’t stopped. Since the university fired him, he has discovered additional soft tissue in fossils on two different digs, but he cannot find a journal willing to publish his papers. “I’m clearly being blackballed,” he said.

It seems to be the pattern. Journals refuse to publish these kinds of papers (peer pressure for peer reviewed articles, maybe) and then, when researchers try to present the research they have done, it's dismissed because it's not "peer reviewed."

I believe that's because they don't have any good, reasoned responses for their positions in the end. They must suppress what they cannot refute.

The problem is only getting worse. As I have said elsewhere, wokeism could easily kill our culture.

Reminds me of Romans 1

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

God is revealing much to those who are looking. Pray for the truth to be revealed, no matter what it is, and no matter the cost.

Because the truth will make us all free.

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