Cable and broadband technology outfit Teleste’s Cableway AG subsidiary has signed a new three-year strategic partnership agreement with Vodafone Germany for installation and maintenance services to service Vodafone’s cable network customers in Germany.The agreement ensures the continued partnership with Vodafone Germany one year prior to the expiry of the previous contract. With an expected contract value in excess of €200 million over term, it will strengthen the long-term profitability and sustainability of Cableway’s services business and provide further growth opportunities for Teleste’s business footprint in Germany, according to Teleste.
German broadcasters and platform providers would benefit from teaming up to launch a common OTT TV platform to take on the likes of Netflix and Amazon, according to a senior ProSiebenSat.1 executive.A common OTT platform “that all of us could operate jointly” would be a good idea for Germany, according to Conrad Albert (left), deputy CEO and group general counsel for the commercial broadcaster.Taking part in a panel debate at ANGA COM yesterday, Albert said there was no reason that ProSiebenSat.1 could not team up with RTL and others to launch such a platform.“It is not easy to open up our own OTT platform to competitors but I think it could be to the benefit of all,” he said.Albert said that US players such as Netflix and Amazon are not subject to the same degree of regulation as German media players. He said there needs to be a change to level the playing field.“We are all hampered by regulation. I’m not afraid of competition but the media law, competition law and advertising regulations should all be amended,” he said, adding that this has to happen at EU level.Speaking on the same panel, Lutz Schuler, CEO of Liberty Global-owned cable operator Unitymedia, said it was not too late forGerman companies to jointly develop an OTT TV platform, but noted that a lot of time had been lost, allowing US companies to build a stronger presence in the market.
Sports streaming outfit DAZN is planning to bid for live German Bundesliga rights for the 2021-25 seasons when these are assigned, provided the terms make economic sense, according to local press.Sportbild quoted DAZN German managing director Thomas de Buhr as saying that the streaming outfit was “interested” in live Bundesliga rights and would “look very closely” at a deal that makes sense for the OTT TV service.DAZN already holds the rights to air Bundesliga highlights, as well as rights to UEFA Champions League games for which it pays a reported €100 million a season for 110 matches.According to Sportbild, DAZN is not looking to compete with Sky for the main block of live Bundesliga rights, but would look at the kind of package currently held by Discovery-owned Eurosport, which holds the rights to air 45 games for about €70 million a season.The paper quoted De Buhr as saying that DAZN would only be interested in a package that is “economically viable” in the context of its continued ability to provide a low-cost offering – its service is currently available for €9.99 a month without an ongoing contract. He said a deal that forced it to raise the price of the service to a Sky-like €30 “makes no sense for us”.De Buhr said that it was clear from DAZN’s experience of distributing Champions League and Europa League games that the German market was “ready” for live premium sports streaming services.The bulk of live Bundesliga rights are currently held by Sky Deutschland, with Eurosport airing a smaller set of matches.
BBC Studios’ branded services arm, which includes international channels and streaming services, delivered a solid performance for the 2018-19 financial year, with EBITDA growth of 16% that reflected a strong performance from BBC America and BritBox in the US and Canada.BBC America and BritBox passed the half million subscriber mark ahead of target.BBC Studios’ first full-year numbers as a merged entity were released as part of the BBC annual report, published today.The commercial arm as a whole delivered record returns to the BBC of £243 million (€272 million), with EBITDA up 51% to £159 million. Tortal revenues amounted to £1.373 billion, down from £1.411 million last year, however.Tim DavieBBC Studios said it was on track to meet its target of £1.2 billion of financial returns to the BBC by year five of the current Charter, although it added that its strategic decision to invest for long term sustainable growth and business phasing will likely mean marginally lower returns in the next financial year.“It has been an excellent year for BBC Studios, both creatively and financially. Two separate subsidiaries have combined swiftly and efficiently to create a new British studio operating on the world stage, able to take ideas seamlessly through funding, creation, distribution and commercialisation. An extremely strong programme slate has seen high quality and award-winning British content like Dynasties, Les Misérables, Famalam and the Festival of Remembrance play out across UK screens and internationally. Our financial performance, with record returns to both the BBC and to indie partners, underpins this creative success,” said BBC Studios CEO Tim Davie.“The markets in which BBC Studios operates remain changeable, but we know there is strong demand for premium, inspiring content – with forthcoming shows like Seven Worlds, One Planet and The Left Behind setting the standard within the industry. Our business is firmly focused on investing in talent, rights and ideas, growing our partnerships around the world, evolving our culture, creativity, diversity and innovation, and ensuring we are well positioned to meet this demand and boost our ongoing contributions to the BBC and the wider creative industry.”Separately, BBC Global News, the BBC’s commercial, international news subsidiary which operates the 24 hour news channel BBC World News and its digital counterpart BBC.com posted EBITDA of £8 million after expanding BBC World News’ footprint by 2% over the year.The channel is now available to a record 465 million households, up from 458 million the previous year. The growth was driven by gains in the Americas and South Asia. BBC.com also increased its reach, from 88 million monthly browsers in 2017-18, to 93.5 million, up 6% year on year. Jim Egan, CEO of BBC Global News, said: “Far from being outdated or irrelevant, our long-standing commitment to trust and credibility is more highly valued by our audiences and clients around the world than ever before. In a landscape where single issue, agenda-driven or simply fake news is becoming increasingly commonplace, it’s vital to ensure that there is a quality alternative which is truly impartial, accurate and independent.”
PSNI LIMAVADYPSNI WARNING: WATCH OUTRURAL DERRYTRACTOR THIEVES ARE ABOUT ShareTweet “We were conducting anti burglary patrols and looking out for farm machinery being moved,” said a police spokesperson.“It would be unusual for farm machinery being moved in the early hours of the morning at this time of year.“So if you spot anything out of the ordinary report it to us on 101 and we’ll go check it out.”PSNI WARNING: WATCH OUT, TRACTOR THIEVES ARE ABOUT was last modified: November 30th, 2016 by John2John2 Tags: POLICE are urging the rural community across Derry to be vigilant against roaming gangs of thieves on the look out to steal expensive farm machinery.Recently, a £60,000 tractor, which was stolen in the west, was found across the border by Gardai in Sligo.Police in Limavady say that overnight officers were on patrol in rural areas of the district watching out for any suspicious activity.
Next PostNBA plans to ban Kanye West’s Yeezy basketball sneaker, report says National NewsNewsWatch A seven-year-old boy is in critical condition after getting trapped in corn trailer By Daniella HankeyOct 03, 2018, 08:06 am 343 0 Daniella Hankey Facebook “It just hit me in the pit of my stomach,” Nolan Masser, a close friend of the family, told Scranton ABC affiliate WNEP. “We’re praying for a complete recovery for him, and we think that God will provide that.”The tragedy has made the small community even closer, Masser said, adding that local farmers are planning to harvest the family’s crops. (ABC NEWS)- A Pennsylvania boy is in critical condition on Wednesday after he fell into a full grain trailer over the weekend.Wellington Shaffer, 7, was playing on his family’s farm in central Pennsylvania on Saturday when he fell into a trailer filled with harvested corn kernels, authorities said.Rescuers had to open the trailer’s bottom to remove the boy, Hickory Corner Fire Company Chief Doug Wetzel told reporters. He did not say how long the boy may have been trapped. Wellington is a first grader at Northumberland Christian School, where some students showed support this week by wearing orange, his favorite color.“Lots of tears, lots of hugs. They’re precious, and they’re going through a really hard time,” Pastor John Rees, the school’s principal, told WNEP. “He is just the sweetest little guy. You know the kind of guy that will just come up and give you a hug.”The Shaffers did not share details about the nature of the boy’s injuries, but it expects a “long road of recovery ahead,” according to a GoFundMe campaign set up on the family’s behalf. Home NewsWatch National News A seven-year-old boy is in critical condition after getting trapped in corn trailer Linkedin Tumblr Google+ “A group of farmers got together,” he said, “so that’s one less load that they’ll have to bear.“No one would want to go through what the Shaffer family is going through right now,” Masser added. Previous PostCould Toys R Us be coming back? Twitter Wellington was airlifted to the Geisinger Medical Center in neighboring Montour County and was in listed critical condition as of early Wednesday, according to his family. Wellington celebrated his 7th birthday last Thursday.Friends and neighbors gathered for a vigil near the family’s farm in Dalmatia, about 34 miles north of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on Monday, where they burned candles and prayed for a full recovery. Mail Pinterest
What was “Federal”? Nearly all of us use the word federal to refer to the United States national government, as distinct from the state governments. This has been an error on our part. Federal was a description, not a name. It would be fair to use federative in its place. It described a type of government, not a particular organization. For example, when we say “my friend has a fast car,” we don’t think that fast is the car’s brand name – it is merely a description of the car’s acceleration and top speed. Federal was not the brand name of the government that James Madison designed, it was a description, like fast. Notice how Madison distinguishes between national and federal. We have lost this distinction, and it is crucial. James Madison Federalist #39 The proposed Constitution, therefore, is, in strictness, neither a national nor a federal Constitution, but a composition of both. The shock of ruling against the author of the Constitution aside, ‘Marbury’ brought up the important issue of constitutionality: Who decides? Even if we say there is an argument to be made for the Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution, it is NOT in the Constitution. The Court should have said something like this: Since it has fallen to us to decide such an important matter, we will render our opinion in this case. However, we request of the Congress and the States, that they pass an amendment to the Constitution clarifying this issue. There is a great deal of confusion related to Marbury v. Madison that has come down to us. This ruling is universally presented in American schools as crucial to the “checks and balances” of the US government. This is deeply misleading. Judicial review (the Supremes ruling on constitutionality) involves one branch of the national government providing a check on the other branches of the national government. Judicial Review provided no check whatsoever on the national government as a whole. The original design of the republic empowered the states to act as checks on the national government. This was the primary purpose of the federal structure. Without it, the national government has no check on its expansion and use of power. Thus it would seem that the states should be the interpreters of the Constitution – after all, it was they who created it. Rules versus Justice There is one last and important thing to mention regarding Marbury v. Madison, and that is the enthronement of rules above reality – of legal wordings over justice. The “midnight appointments” of the Federalists used rules to manipulate the power-structure of the republic and to secure power by unintended means. James Madison, above all people, understood this. He withdrew Marbury’s appointment to conclude the abuse that was done to his system. Chief Justice Marshall, however, ignored the injustice and parsed words instead: He went on at length over the distinctions of “nominate,” “appoint,” “confirm,” and the fixing of seals. Then, Marshall says this: The people have an original right to establish for their future government such principles as, in their opinion, shall most conduce to their own happiness… In the authoritative mode of introducing amendments, it is neither wholly federal nor wholly national. The exercise of this original right is a very great exertion; nor can it nor ought it to be frequently repeated. The principles, therefore, so established are deemed fundamental. What Marshall actually says here is that the American people wish not to work so hard defending their rights. He is giving them an excuse to be lazy: The rules will take over from here on out. You can relax. Liberty was the primary issue of the founding of the republic; the Constitution was subsidiary to that: it was a tool, valuable only if it helped to secure liberty. The reversal of the central order – liberty being made subsidiary to rules – dethroned liberty. Hamilton, Marshall and the Federalists were political power-seekers. To them, liberty was little more than a word that gave them legitimacy; what they really wanted was power. Madison’s design stood in their way; Marbury v. Madison pulled it apart. The 14th Amendment, 1868 The 14th Amendment filled a hole in the Constitution by declaring that no state could trample an individual’s rights, such as the southern states had done by enslaving black people. (There was an earlier precedent for this, but the amendment was probably necessary.) The key section reads: nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. Essentially, the 14th Amendment made sure that the Bill of Rights applied to everyone, no matter what their state government did. This was, in my opinion, a reasonable addition to the Constitution. The problem with the 14th Amendment is not the text itself, but that people took it to imply the moral superiority of the national government. That is a highly questionable assumption. The Central Government & Slavery When Americans talk about states’ rights, there is an instinctual objection that never fails to grip people – that without central government power, slavery would still exist. The truth, however, is the opposite. And that truth is this: Every branch of the national government of the United States assisted slavery until 1863. You can verify this yourself; go look-up The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and the Dred Scott decision. While the southern states and the national government were supporting slavery, the northern states fought it: They nullified laws supporting slavery. (Wisconsin was exemplary in this.) The secession resolution of Georgia complains specifically about this: For above twenty years the non-slave-holding States generally have wholly refused to deliver up to us persons charged with crimes affecting slave property. [Northern state officials] shield and give sanctuary to all criminals who seek to deprive us of this property. The northern states were the anti-slavery heroes, not the central government in Washington. If your school books implied the contrary, they lied. The 17th Amendment, 1913 The 17th Amendment took the powers of the states and transferred them to Washington, by mandating the popular election of senators. Previously, senators were elected by the state legislatures. That gave the states massive power in the central government. It provided a check on the power of the national government. If the states were unhappy with the direction of national government, they could instruct their senators to change it. With senators being elected directly by the populace, the states were cut-out of the equation. In their place, political parties gained massive power, and nearly all power was consolidated in the city of Washington. The argument in favor of the 17th Amendment was that state houses were corrupt and that they acted erratically, often leaving seats vacant for some time. It is certainly true that the states were unruly. This, however, was not a crucial issue; the work of the Senate could continue regardless. Respected politicians, however, did not want to be seen as part of a disorderly body. As for corruption in the states, that was often true, but the implied idea, that Washington was pristine, was – and remains – a bad, bad joke. But, even now, the moral superiority of the central government is often assumed, probably because many people find comfort trusting in the largest and most powerful thing. Power always corrupts, but a structure featuring small, separate pockets of corruption is far less dangerous than one featuring a single, large seat of corruption, to which all money is gathered. As Thomas Jefferson wrote: It is not by the consolidation or concentration of powers, but by their distribution that good government is effected. The government of the United States remains, but it is of a fundamentally different character than the federal republic designed by Madison. Yet, we all keep saying federal. Not only is this use incorrect, but it has prevented us from recognizing the crucial fact that the American federal republic was stolen from our great-grandparents. This is not a trivial argument over vocabulary. Deceptions and frauds are accomplished over time by changes in the meanings of words. Sometimes this is done purposely and sometimes it happens because people are more comfortable evading the original meaning. But regardless of how much intent was involved, the meaning of federal changed radically between 1803 and 1917. Our current use of the word conveys a completely different meaning than the original. This change of definition has masked a fundamental turning point in the governance of the American people. What you do about this – or whether you do anything at all – is entirely your choice. I am merely pointing as best I can to the truth. I will add only this: If you call yourself an American, be one. Paul Rosenberg FreemansPerspective.com “We Do NOT Have a Federal Government” was originally published on LewRockwell.com In the operation of these powers, it is national, not federal; Madison – six times in this passage – distinguishes between federal and national. There can be no question about this: he is referring to two different things. Federal is NOT the same as national. We no longer use these distinctions because the US government has become entirely national – we have nothing else to attach the tag federal to. At the founding – as Madison was writing the US Constitution – the meanings of the words he used were these: When Jefferson took the Presidency, Marbury’s appointment was still in the Secretary of State’s office. James Madison, who now filled that office, withdrew the appointment for precisely the reasons you’d expect (being based on dirty dealing), and went about to appoint someone else. Not all the commissions could be completed before Jefferson was inaugurated. One of these was slated for delivery to a hard-core Federalist named William Marbury. Federal powers were those that came from the contributions of the states. Marbury ran to the Supreme Court, which was entirely composed of Federalist appointees. He demanded to be given his office. The Federalists, Alexander Hamilton being the driving force, organized into a faction (a political party) that organized and pooled their power. In the sources from which the ordinary powers of the government are drawn, it is partly federal and partly national; In a complex ruling, the Court (led by John Marshall) ruled that Madison was wrong to withhold the appointment, but that this didn’t matter, since the underlying law from 1789 was unconstitutional. Facing a loss of control after the election of 1800, they pushed John Adams to appoint a large group of judges and other officials in the lame duck session before he left office. Adams complied. These appointments were written for five-year terms – long enough for the Federalists to retain control through the next election. In its foundation it is federal, not national; To be fully precise, “federal” meant a union based on a treaty. It described the type of association that was being used. Madison distinguishes between national and federal in exactly the same way that we distinguish between a business and a club. Federal Powers You can see from Madison’s words that the structure of the United States government very carefully included federally-derived powers. Madison specifies them as fundamental components. At its origin, the national government was dependent on the states, and not vice-versa. When the states shifted their positions, the central government, which rested on top of them, had to move along with them. Understand, this was not a case where the national government was supposed to shift along with the states – there was literally no other possibility. An analogy would be the surface of the ocean moving up and down as a wave passes. The national government rode on top of the federal arrangement – when and where it moved, the national government automatically followed – like the surface of the ocean moving with a wave. There was nothing else it could do or be. Madison did this on purpose. It was the central controlling and protecting mechanism of his design. Here is what Thomas Jefferson had to say about the original federal structure of government in the US: Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Johnson, 1823 The capital and leading object of the Constitution was to leave with the States all authorities which respected their own citizens only, and to transfer to the United States those which respected citizens of foreign or other States; to make us several [separate] as to ourselves, but one as to all others. Jefferson, as usual, understood the essence of the arrangement: Separate among ourselves, but as one toward the rest of the world – the outsiders who only saw the surface of the wave, not the waters underneath. Jefferson (who was certainly not alone in this) saw the centralizing movement of power from the states to the capital as the great threat to the American experiment of liberty: Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Nathaniel Macon, 1821 Our government is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction. That is: by consolidation first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence. The Path of Destruction The federal structure of the US government was abolished in steps, over time. Certainly the largest factors were the confusion, ignorance, apathy and fear of the populace, which resulted in mute compliance. There were, however, watershed moments along the way. The most important of these events were the following: Marbury v. Madison, 1803 This most important of Supreme Court rulings resulted from a complex case involving dirty deals, a politically-stacked Supreme Court and the entry of partisan politics into the operation of the American republic. By the time it was over, the Court had ruled against the man who wrote the Constitution (James Madison) and claimed the sole right to interpret it. Here’s how it went: In the extent of them, again, it is federal, not national; and, finally, National powers were those of an independent central government.
Have an opportunity to get better prices on silver than gold. If you buy during the downdrafts, you will likely reap a bigger percentage gain than gold, as history has shown. The historical record tells us that when we enter the mania, silver’s volatility will increase. If we have a similar period as in 1979-’80, we can reasonably expect volatility to double over current levels. This will be the result of more investors joining the precious-metals industry. The moves will, on some days, be breathtaking. So again, one must be prepared emotionally to handle the volatility, as well as be more nimble when it comes to buying and selling. Since current volatility is roughly half what it was during the last mania, we have yet another piece of evidence that indicates we’re not in a bubble. Yet. Ignore those who claim otherwise; you still have time to enter this market. It also means that when silver resumes its uptrend, the producers will outpace the metal by a wide margin. The “snapback” in silver stocks should be tremendous – but not every company will benefit equally, as not all producers have the same profit potential, political exposure, management prowess, and growth prospects. There’s a little-known anomaly in the precious-metals market that key institutional investors are using to buy deeply discounted gold. But you don’t have to be big-time investment firm to take advantage of it. Details here. In the last big precious-metals mania, silver also logged bigger one-day movements than gold, in this case 63.5% of the time. On average, silver gained or lost 1.41 percentage points more than gold. When gold outperformed silver, roughly one-third of the time, the average percentage-point difference was 0.81. You’ll notice another interesting point. When the market entered the Mania Phase, silver’s bigger one-day movements over gold’s grew even bigger. During the 1979-1980 period, silver outperformed gold by an average of 2.46 percentage points, almost double what it did before the mania. In contrast, gold’s average remained the same during the entire decade – 0.81. Some of the more extreme examples include September 18, 1979, where gold rose by 6.82% and silver soared 36.59%; and March 27, 1980, where gold fell 4.38% and silver dropped 18.58%. What Are the Implications for Investors? On average, silver rises higher and falls further than gold. This is true as much today as it was in the 1970s. The difference has reached as much as 15 percentage points during this cycle, while it hit 30 during the last mania. This means that investors: Must be able to stomach the bigger moves, regardless of the direction. If you have a tendency to get emotional about your investments, you may want to reduce your exposure to silver. The chart is very busy, but it clearly shows that silver’s daily price movements, more often than not, have been greater than gold’s. In fact, from January 2003 through last week, silver’s movements were larger 71.5% of the time. Regardless of the direction of precious metals on any given day, silver had a greater percentage move than gold roughly three out of four days. Further, you’ll notice that the magnitude of silver’s movement have been much greater, too. On average, silver’s price movements exceeded gold’s by 1.3 percentage points, while on days gold had the bigger move the average was 0.81 percentage points. The moving averages easily show this. Here are some of the more extreme examples. On May 12, 2011 (silver’s biggest spike in the chart), gold rose 1.23% – but silver soared 17.05%. The day gold had the biggest percentage move more than silver occurred on December 2, 2008; gold rose 0.26% to silver’s 5.05% decline. So, is this greater volatility in silver normal? And what might we expect when the Mania Phase of this bull cycle kicks in? The following chart maps the daily difference in price movement between gold and silver from January 1971 through December 1980. Most precious-metals investors know that silver is more volatile than gold. But do they know just how big that difference really is? Values below zero are days when gold moved more than silver, as depicted in orange. The values don’t tell us the direction of price movements, only how much they differed between each other on any given day. We thought it would be interesting to measure how much greater silver’s daily moves are – both in gains and declines – than gold. We documented the daily price movements for both metals, and then calculated the difference using absolute values. To interpret the charts below, you need to know that: Values above zero represent days when silver had a greater percentage move than gold, as depicted in gray. The darker horizontal lines represent the moving average of the price differences for each metal. With that in mind, here are the differences in daily price movements between silver and gold, measured in percentage points.
Blockchain will be responsible for major changes. Yes, we are invested in cryptos. – Charles The Next Giant Leap For Mankind? (Unbelievable) For 81 years, America’s had a secret weapon in the space race… Headquartered a thousand miles away from the Kennedy Space Center, a little-known NASA lab is home to PhDs, rocket scientists, and four-star generals. They’ve spearheaded our most historic missions: Voyager, Pioneer, Galileo. And now, there’s been an incredible twist to the story. In short: Thanks to the same scientists that put man on the moon, you can get into the market’s biggest, fastest windfalls… Before they rocket up. Click here now to continue reading. — Doug Casey on the World’s First Government-Backed Cryptocurrency I probably got around 4,000 Facebook friends. I know almost none of them. But, when I check, I only get about four a month now. I’m not sure why. As I said last time, not only are people suspicious of it, but kids think it’s clunky, dumb, and unhip. And they’re right. Only the NSA, FBI, and CIA actually like Facebook. Anyway, is the drop-off in friend requests because everyone who wants to be my friend is already my friend on Facebook? I doubt it, because I still get about 50 friend requests every week on LinkedIn. Which I’m also not crazy about, but at least business might come out of it. Justin: Maybe your Facebook social credit rating has fallen… Or maybe you said something in one of our recent interviews that ticked off Zuckerberg. Doug: Who knows? It’s a black box to me. But I’m one of those people who won’t fit in well to the brave new world that’s evolving. Justin: So, what can Americans do to protect themselves from this coming social credit system? Should they start by deleting their Facebook accounts? Should they relocate like you and I have? Or do they need to disconnect completely? Doug: Well, they could do that. But it’s suspicious if you disconnect and delete your Facebook. The Authorities might think you’re about to get rabbit fever. You become a non-person, and that’s almost as bad or possibly even worse than being a suspected bad guy. So, I don’t think that’s the answer. Instead, I suspect a lot of people will put up false personas. They’ll pretend to be something they aren’t on social media. They’ll put on a public face and act like a good little lamb, but they’ll try to keep it separate from real life. Like Batman and Bruce Wayne, or Superman and Clark Kent, or Zorro and Don Diego. Recommended Link Justin, a little feedback: Yes, I believe blockchain will help to change the world. But I also believe it must be part of a whole ecosystem change which only one company in the world is doing. The opportunity to own part of that company will be going away soon. As to bitcoin, I think some cryptocurrency will become a world leader and widely used eventually. However, I believe that it also needs to be gold-backed and have some cyber capabilities not yet in the market before that happens. It will eventually get there, I think. – Greg As always, if you have any questions or suggestions for the Dispatch, send them to us right here. In Case You Missed It… Secret societies are nothing new… Some estimates say there are over 600 secret societies in the U.S. Most of them are harmless. But right now, there’s an unseen group right here in America. And what they have planned for the country may shock you. Read the full story. Reader Mailbag Today, readers respond to our recent essay “Why This Billionaire Just Made a $500 Million Bet on Blockchain” and share their thoughts on the future of blockchain technology… I agree, blockchain is here to stay. But the Deep State will not allow a group of techies to run off with control of the currency. Look for more regulation, IRS crackdown on crypto profits, continued banning of crypto ads, FedCoin, more convictions for money laundering using blockchain and jail time for blockchain promoters. Everyone who placed billions of dollars in Swiss bank accounts over the years believed they’d escaped the long arm of the tax man. Wrong again, the Deep State wins.– Steve — Recommended Link Doug Casey on the World’s First Government-Backed Cryptocurrency, Part 2 Doug Casey on the Coming War With China Justin’s note: Yesterday, Doug and I discussed why China’s getting ready to roll out a “social credit system”—and why the U.S. could do something similar. Today, in the second part of our conversation, Doug shares more thoughts on this disturbing trend… Justin: I imagine that corporate America will also be in favor of a social credit system. After all, it sounds like the ultimate marriage between big business and big government. Doug: Absolutely. It relates to our recent conversation about Facebook and the other tech giants. The government loves these companies, and they’re hooked up with the government. The Deep State really exists. I dislike Facebook intensely, and don’t use it. Only idiots do. But you know what’s interesting? I set up my Facebook account years ago; it seemed like a good way for old pals to get back in touch. And in the beginning, I would get friend requests from a lot of strangers—I didn’t know who these people were. But neither did I care. So I said “yes” to just about everyone’s “friend request.” The whole thing will become very, very dysfunctional. It’s likely to resemble the world in the novels Neuromancer or Snow Crash, both of which I highly recommend, incidentally. If there’s any way to throw sand into the system’s gears, I would certainly do so. Of course, just saying that will ding my score. But frankly, I don’t give a damn. Which will result in another downgrade… Justin: So, you think people’s social credit ratings will be based entirely on their digital footprints? Or will these social credit systems incorporate physical surveillance like video cameras? I ask because some of the so-called offenses that will hurt your credit rating in China include things like jaywalking. That’s a petty offense. People do this every day, and I imagine these “crimes” are recorded or archived. So, I wonder if the Chinese plan to incorporate video surveillance into their system. Doug: It wouldn’t surprise me. There are already cameras everywhere. And many of them apparently already have facial recognition systems with artificial intelligence (AI). They’re highly sophisticated, and can recognize your face and correlate that with your height and walk, which is unique to each person. They can already do these things. And, as we know, AI is advancing at the rate of Moore’s Law. Soon, these cameras will be everywhere. When that time comes, the government will pretty much know where you are at all times. So, you can pretty much let your imagination run wild. In fact, I just read about a man in the United Kingdom who got 20 hours of community service for loudly singing an alleged anti-lesbian song in his own home. The people living below him are lesbians. That seems like the type of thing that would ding your social credit rating. Justin: That’s insane. Doug: Yeah, it’s like a thought crime. At this point, I don’t know if the world more resembles George Orwell’s 1984 or Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Or perhaps the movie Brazil. Maybe it’s a combination of the three. Anyway, it makes me want to spend more time in a backward country where this sort of thing isn’t happening as quickly, if only because officials are more interested in larceny than social engineering. Justin: That’s all I have for today, Doug. Thanks for taking the time to speak to me, as always. Doug: No problem. Justin’s note: If you haven’t read my other conversations with Doug, I recommend checking out the most recent ones below. They’re all fantastic discussions on today’s biggest topics… How to Finally Win The Bitcoin Game We want to send you a copy of Crypto Revolution: Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and the Future of Money 100% FREE today. Whether you’re an enthusiast or the biggest crypto skeptic, you’ll gain a complete understanding of the crypto economy. Just click here for full details. Doug Casey On Breaking Up the Tech Giants Hi Justin, I’m just getting in. I believe it’s a total game changer. – Ron
If you’re looking to bring a little country into your Christmas celebration this year, Tuscaloosa Barnyard has you covered.TUSCALOOSA BARNYARDWhen: 5-8 p.m. Fri.-Sat.Where: 11453 Turner Bridge Road, TuscaloosaWhat: Christmas lights, petting zoo, bottle-feeding animals, hay rides, photos with Country Santa and moreHow much: $15 per person“There’s lots of places in town that you can go look at lights, and of course places you can go and see Santa Claus,” said Tuscaloosa Barnyard owner Kami Kombs. “But with us, bringing the animals into it opens up a whole other avenue for families to enjoy Christmas.”The barnyard is situated on about 15 acres of land off Turner Bridge Road in Tuscaloosa, and Kombs said it takes about six weeks every year to put up the more than 200,000 Christmas lights.At the farm, you’ll find kids, college students and even grandparents out enjoying the scenery and activities.“It’s very family oriented,” Kombs said. “We cater to everybody from 1 year up to 99.”Country Christmas is open for its final event of the year Friday and Saturday, but the Tuscaloosa Barnyard is open for parties, field trips and more year-round.
INDIANAPOLIS – Chuck Pagano couldn’t believe his eyes. Andrew Luck couldn’t believe his ears. Colts fans couldn’t believe the scoreboard, and the Kansas City Chiefs couldn’t believe their incredibly bad luck.It seemed unfathomable.On a day Luck appeared to be pressing and, at times, as bad as he ever has while putting Indianapolis in a 28-point deficit, the Colts quarterback somehow turned things around. He threw three of his four touchdowns in the second half, scored on a fumble return and connected with a wide-open T.Y. Hilton on a 64-yard TD pass to give the Colts an improbable 45-44 wild-card victory on Jan. 4.“One for the ages,” said Pagano, Indianapolis’ coach. “I think somebody said that it was the second-largest comeback or whatever in the history of whatever. I guess 21 wasn’t large enough at half, so we thought we’ve give them another seven, you know, just to make it interesting.”Actually, rallying from 28 down made the latest of Luck’s amazing comebacks one to remember.Indianapolis (12-5) became only the second playoff team to rally from that big a deficit, according to STATS. Buffalo rallied from 32 points to beat Houston 41-38 in January 1993, though that one required overtime.The teams’ 1,049 combined total yards set an NFL postseason record, and their 89 combined points is third on the all-time list.The Colts, winners of four straight, travel to either Denver or New England next weekend for the divisional round.Luck was an incredible mix of good and bad, finishing 29 of 45 for 443 yards, the second-highest yardage total in franchise history for a playoff game. He also matched his career high with three interceptions. Hilton broke franchise playoff records with 13 catches and 224 yards, and also caught two TDs.But it was the way Indy won that made it stunning.Luck played angry and frantic, turning a steady stream of halftime boos into a chorus of cheers.“I don’t know if it ever crossed my mind on how it would be remembered,” Luck said after winning his first playoff game four seasons quicker than it took his predecessor, Peyton Manning. “When I took a knee, and you feel the buzz and the energy of the crowd and see your teammates’ faces, that makes it special.”For Kansas City, it was another brief, miserable postseason appearance.The Chiefs (11-6) finished their remarkable turnaround season with three straight losses and an eighth straight postseason defeat — none more shocking than this one. The eight consecutive losses broke a tie with the Detroit Lions for the longest playoff skid.And they were beaten up, too.Starting running back Jamaal Charles left with a concussion on the opening possession. Knile Davis, Charles’ backup, left in the fourth quarter with what appeared to be a left knee injury. Receiver Donnie Avery and cornerback Brandon Flowers were knocked out with second-half concussions, and linebacker Justin Houston was out with a knee injury when Hilton caught the winning pass.That put even more pressure on Alex Smith, who was 30 of 46 for 378 yards with four TDs and no interceptions but lost a fumble that led to a touchdown for Indy. Just about everyone other than the Colts figured Smith sealed the win with a 10-yard TD pass to Davis less than two minutes into the third quarter.Instead, he tried to rally the Chiefs after Hilton’s score and wound up throwing to Dwayne Bowe — who caught the ball but was out of bounds — on fourth-and-11 with 1:55 to play from the Indy 43.“Anytime you’re leading like that and then have them battle back and then take it, and you end up losing by a point, it’s tough, a tough pill to swallow,” Smith said.Things appeared bleak with Indy trailing 31-10 at halftime, and they got worse when Luck’s first pass of the second half was picked off and returned to the Indy 18. Three plays later, Smith made it 38-10.But Luck had plenty of time to make the jaw-dropping rally.With Indy going no-huddle, Luck started throwing at will. He eventually caught the Chiefs defense off-guard when Donald Brown scored on a 10-yard run to start the rally. Then Luck capitalized on the fumble by hooking with Brown on a 3-yard TD pass to make it 38-24.After Luck’s third interception turned into a 42-yard field goal, he answered with a 12-yard TD pass to cut the deficit to 41-31 after three quarters.“He’s as advertised. He went out there and definitely avoided some pressure and made big plays down the field,” Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith said, referring to Luck.Even when Eric Berry jarred the ball loose from Brown near the goal line, Luck had the answer. He scooped up the bouncing ball and squirted through the middle to make it 41-38. And after a Kansas City field, goal, Luck found Hilton to win it.“It seemed surreal, being down like we were down and then you have that fourth-down stop and they had used their last timeout there at the 2-minute warning,” Pagano said. “Thinking about how good tomorrow’s going to be, snow or no snow, I don’t really care.”(Michael Marot, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Greek star Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton each scored 21 points as Milwaukee won its season-high fifth straight game by beating Indiana.John Henson added eight points, seven rebounds and four blocks for Milwaukee, which clinched the season series against Indiana. They are two of five teams competing for the final three spots in the Eastern Conference playoff race, so the Bucks secured an important tiebreaker over the Pacers.Paul George had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Indiana, which trailed for most of the second half. The Pacers cut it to 79-76 with 8:23 left before the Bucks asserted control with an 8-2 run highlighted by a 3-pointer and floater for Jason Terry.Video Playerhttp://nba.cdn.turner.com/nba/big/video/2017/03/10/26fd41c8-257b-405c-97ae-ef74482609a5.nba_1282740_1280x720_3500.mp400:0000:0001:53Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Wiggins scored 20 of his 24 points in the second half and hit the go-ahead free throws with 12.8 seconds left to lift the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 103-102 NBA victory over the scuffling Golden State Warriors on Friday night.Ricky Rubio had 17 points and 13 assists, and Karl-Anthony Towns scored 23 points to give the Timberwolves their sixth win in eight games as they try to chase down the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff race. They entered the night 2½ games behind Denver, with Portland and Dallas also ahead of them in the standings.Klay Thompson scored 30 points for Golden State, but Stephen Curry’s remarkable shooting slump continued in the Warriors’ second straight loss and fourth in six games without injured star Kevin Durant. Curry scored 26 points, but was just 10 for 27 from the field and 1 for 8 from 3-point range. And he missed an 18-footer in the closing seconds that would have won the game.ROCKETS 115, BULLS 94CHICAGO (AP) — James Harden had 19 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds as Houston used a dominant third quarter for a victory over Chicago.Ryan Anderson added 21 points as the Rockets avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season.Houston outscored Chicago 36-14 in the third quarter — after scoring the last nine points of the first half — on 13-of-22 shooting, including 7 of 12 on 3-pointers. Harden had six points, six assists and five rebounds in the period.Dwyane Wade had 21 points in 25 minutes for the Bulls after missing the previous two games with a left quad strain. Chicago has dropped four straight.HAWKS 105, RAPTORS 99ATLANTA (AP) — Dennis Schroder scored 26 points, including 13 in the final period as Atlanta beat Toronto to pull closer in the race for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with 28 points and became the first player to score 11,000 points with the Raptors.Atlanta won the season series 2-1 and would thus win a head-to-head tiebreaker if needed to determine a playoff position. Toronto is fourth in the East, two games ahead of the Hawks.Paul Millsap had 21 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 20 for Atlanta.NUGGETS 119, CELTICS 99DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic had 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in his return to the lineup, helping Denver beat Boston.Jokic played 27 minutes after missing two games through illness. Wilson Chandler had 23 points and eight rebounds for the Nuggets, and Danilo Gallinari returned from sitting out Wednesday’s game with vertigo to score 20 points.Denver increased its lead for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference to a full game over idle Portland.Isaiah Thomas had 19 points, Avery Bradley 16 and Al Horford 15 for the Celtics, who finished their road trip 2-3. Boston held Golden State to 86 points in Wednesday’s win but couldn’t contain the Nuggets, who never trailed.WIZARDS 130, KINGS 122, OTSACRAMENTO, California (AP) — Bradley Beal scored 21 of his 38 points in the fourth quarter and overtime to lead Washington to its fourth straight victory.The Wizards rallied from a 15-point deficit in the fourth to win for the sixth time in seven games. The victory, combined with a loss by Boston, gave the Wizards the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.John Wall had 25 points and 12 assists for the Wizards. Otto Porter scored 18 points and Bojan Bogdanovic had 17. The Wizards are 25-8 since Jan. 1, the NBA’s second-best mark. They have won nine of 10 on the road after struggling early on away from home.Willie Cauley-Stein had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Kings.HORNETS 121, MAGIC 81CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (AP) — Kemba Walker scored 23 points and Nic Batum and Marvin Williams had double-doubles as Charlotte beat Orlando for its third win in the last four games.Walker, who earned NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week earlier this week, was 9 of 13 from the field and knocked down five of his first seven 3-point attempts in only 24 minutes of action.Walker now has a career-high 187 3-pointers this season.Batum was smooth, finishing with 25 points and 10 assists, while Williams had 12 points and was a force on the glass with a career-high 18 rebounds. Williams also provided the highlight of the night with a monster jam over Bismack Biyombo on a three-point play.Charlotte shot 59.5 percent from the field and made 10 of 21 3-pointers.MAVERICKS 105, NETS 96DALLAS (AP) — Harrison Barnes scored 21 points and Dirk Nowitzki had 13 after a slow start in his first game since reaching 30,000 points as sluggish Dallas beat lowly Brooklyn.The Mavericks, appearing flat three nights after a raucous celebration of Nowitzki’s milestone, trailed in the fourth quarter with the NBA’s worst team missing leading scorer Brook Lopez because of an ankle injury. But they pulled away and matched a season best with a fourth straight win.Nowitzki, who missed his first four shots after making the first six on his historic night, had a pair of 3-pointers early in the fourth to help get Dallas going.Isaiah Whitehead scored 24 points for the Nets (11-53), who have dropped 36 of their past 40 games.TweetPinShare0 Shares
JAZZ 108, KNICKS 101SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Rudy Gobert scored a career-high 35 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as Utah rallied to defeat New York.The Jazz snapped a three-game losing streak, while the Knicks dropped their third in a row.Gobert carried the Jazz throughout with the 7-foot-1 Frenchman scoring off pick-and-rolls, offensive rebound put-backs and even going full-court for a dunk after a steal. The Jazz struggled on offense, but Gobert connected on 13 of 14 shots.Gordon Hayward finished with 19 points and eight rebounds for the Jazz.Kristaps Porzingis led New York with 24 points, while Derrick Rose added 17 and Carmelo Anthony tallied 16.TweetPinShare0 Shares BUCKS 116, KINGS 98SACRAMENTO, CA (AP) — Greek star Giannis Antetokounmpo had 32 points, 13 rebounds and six assists for Milwaukee, which cruised to a victory over Sacramento.The win moved the Bucks into a tie with Indiana for the sixth spot, one game behind fifth-place Atlanta in the tight Eastern Conference playoff race. The Bucks have been the NBA’s hottest team the past three weeks, winning 10 of 12 games.Greg Monroe had 15 points for the Bucks, who have won two straight and four of five. Mirza Teletovic and Khris Middleton had 13 points each and Malcolm Brogdon had 12.The Bucks swept the season series from the Kings with a 116-98 win last night!! #OwnTheFuture pic.twitter.com/kxl3Ef15DM— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) March 23, 2017Rookie Buddy Hield had 21 points and Tyreke Evans added 18 for the Kings. Arron Afflalo and Garrett Temple had 12 points each.OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook recorded his 35th triple-double of the season with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists as the Oklahoma City Thunder cruised to a 122-97 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.The Thunder have won 16 straight games against Philadelphia, a run that stretches to the 2008-09 season, the franchise’s first in Oklahoma City.Westbrook, who made all six of his field-goal attempts and all six of his free throws, has recorded five triple-doubles against Philadelphia, his highest total against any NBA team.He needs six triple-doubles in Oklahoma City’s final 11 games to tie Oscar Robertson’s single-season record, set during the 1961-62 season.Nik Stauskas led the 76ers with 20 points, reaching the 20-point mark in consecutive games for the first time in his career.NUGGETS 126, CAVALIERS 113DENVER (AP) — Wilson Chandler scored 18 points in his return from a pulled groin and provided stellar defense on LeBron James in Denver’s victory over Cleveland.The Nuggets bounced back from consecutive heartbreaking last-second losses to Houston with a signature win that increased their lead to 1 1/2 games over idle Portland in the race for the final playoff spot in the West.Will Barton scored 20 points, Kenneth Faried added 17 and Jamal Murray had 15 off the bench for Denver, which also got 21 points from Gary Harris and 16 from Nikola Jokic.Kyrie Irving lead the Cavs with 33 points but James had just 18 and the two stars sat out much of the fourth quarter with Cleveland trailing by double digits.CELTICS 109, PACERS 100BOSTON (AP) — Isaiah Thomas scored 25 points, Avery Bradley had 18 with eight rebounds and Boston beat Indiana night for its fifth win in six games.Al Horford added 15 points with eight boards and eight assists, and Jae Crowder also scored 15 points for Boston, which won for the 12th time in 13 home games.Paul George led the Pacers with 37 points and Jeff Teague had 25. Indiana has alternated by winning and losing in its last 15 games.BULLS 117, PISTONS 95CHICAGO (AP) — Nikola Mirotic scored a season-high 28 points as Chicago beat Detroit.Mirotic shot 12 of 15 and made 4 of 6 3-point attempts to lead Chicago to an easy win after dropping eight of 10.Jimmy Butler added 16 points and 12 assists. Joffrey Lauvergne filled in for suspended center Robin Lopez and outplayed Andre Drummond with 17 points and seven rebounds. Rookie Paul Zipser added a career-high 15 points.HORNETS 109, MAGIC 102ORLANDO, Florida (AP) — Kemba Walker scored 22 points and Marco Belinelli came off the bench to add 20 as Charlotte pulled off a fourth-quarter comeback to defeat Orlando.Orlando entered the fourth quarter with a five-point lead but Frank Kaminsky came off the bench to score 13 of his 18 points and Walker added eight points to help the Hornets outscore the Magic 32-20 in the final quarter. Cody Zeller also had 15 points and Nicolas Batum added 10.Terrence Ross led five Magic in double figures with 19 points while Nikola Vucevic had 14 points and 12 rebounds.WIZARDS 104, HAWKS 100WASHINGTON (AP) — Bradley Beal scored 28 points and John Wall added all 22 of his in the second half to help Washington over Atlanta.Wall also had 10 assists on a night he shot just 6 of 21 from the floor, including two assists to Beal during a late 14-2 run that helped Washington ensure victory after Atlanta had led by as many as 12 early.Ian Mahinmi had 10 rebounds off the bench as the Wizards used a 55-44 edge on the glass to overcome 40 percent shooting.Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 29 points and Dennis Schroder had 18 to lead the Hawks, who fell to their fifth consecutive defeat.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was in intensive care after emergency surgery for a brain hemorrhage on Saturday amid an outpouring of affection and get-well messages from across football.Since retiring from United after almost 27 years in charge in 2013, the 76-year-old Ferguson has continued to attend matches at Old Trafford, participate in coaching initiatives, and has been a regular at horse racing as a prominent owner.“Sir Alex Ferguson has undergone emergency surgery today for a brain hemorrhage,” United said in a statement. “The procedure has gone very well but he needs a period of intensive care to optimize his recovery. His family request privacy in this matter.”The most successful manager in British football history, Ferguson has appeared in good health since ending his intense direct involvement in coaching. The Scot had surgery to fit a pacemaker in 2004 after a heart irregularity was discovered and had a hip operation five years ago shortly after retiring from United.Since leaving the dugout, Ferguson has traveled the world passing on his vast football knowledge to a new generation of coaches and fans through books and talks, including at Harvard University, on how he won 49 honors in his career including 38 titles at United.Starting work as a teenager in a Glasgow shipyard instilled a socialist ethos that the former Glasgow Rangers player carried throughout a career that included a spell coaching Scotland at the 1986 World Cup and eventually saw him knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.FILE – In this file photo dated Wednesday, May 24, 2017, Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, during a Europa League final against Ajax Amsterdam at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. Manchester United said Saturday May 5, 2018, that former manager Alex Ferguson has undergone emergency surgery for a brain haemorrhage. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, FILE)He also helped to made households names of two of the game’s biggest stars: David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.“My thoughts and prayers are with you, my dear friend,” Ronaldo wrote on social media accounts. “Be strong, Boss!”Alongside a picture of him signing a contract as a youngster, former United midfielder David Beckham wrote on Instagram : “Keep fighting Boss. Sending prayers and love to (wife) Cathy and the whole family.”Beckham broke into the team in the 1990s as Ferguson turned United into the country’s most successful club. Hired from Aberdeen in 1986, Ferguson held onto his United job despite taking until 1993 to end the club’s title drought. Ferguson retired a champion in 2013, lifting the Premier League trophy for a 13th time to take the club’s haul of English championship crowns to a record 20.Ferguson’s only significant career regret was he managed to win the Champions League only twice, but the first triumph was part of the 1999 treble that also included the Premier League and FA Cup.The scale of Ferguson’s achievements during his dynastic reign is underscored by United’s failure under three managers to win the Premier League in the five years since his retirement.Ferguson stepped away from management just as neighbor Manchester City, which posed little threat until a 2008 takeover by oil-rich Abu Dhabi, became the English team with the biggest spending power.“Hang in there Sir Alex,” said City captain Vincent Kompany, who has won the Premier League three times since 2012. “Thoughts are with the family and close ones.”It is just a week since Ferguson was on the Old Trafford pitch paying tribute to long-time managerial adversary Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman, whose control of Arsenal was reminiscent of Ferguson’s at United, is preparing to leave the London club after 22 years as manager.The first indications of a health emergency came after Ferguson’s son, Darren, the manager at Doncaster, missed the third-tier club’s final match of the season earlier Saturday.The detail on Ferguson’s condition was limited to the statement from United. Headway, the brain injury association, said a hemorrhage can be the result of a ruptured aneurysm or a blow to the head, including a minor injury.“The long-term implications are very difficult to predict,” Headway’s Luke Griggs said. “Every brain injury is unique, as is every individual’s recovery.”—By ROB HARRIS , AP Global Soccer WriterTweetPinShare0 Shares
It’s barely been two weeks since Idaho regulators said they would allow the sale of health insurance that doesn’t meet all of the Affordable Care Act’s requirements — a controversial step some experts said would likely draw legal scrutiny and, potentially, federal fines for any insurer that jumped in.And on Wednesday, Blue Cross of Idaho unveiled a menu of new health plans that break with federal health law rules in several ways, including setting premiums based on applicants’ health.”We’re trying to offer a choice that allows the middle class to get back into insurance coverage,” said Dave Jeppesen, the insurer’s executive vice president for consumer health care.The insurer filed five plans to the state for approval and hopes to start selling them as soon as next month.The Blue Cross decision ups the ante for Alex Azar, the Trump administration’s new Health and Human Services secretary. Will he use his authority under federal law to compel Idaho to follow the ACA and reject the Blues plans? Or will he allow state regulators to move forward, perhaps prompting other states to take more sweeping actions?At a congressional hearing Wednesday, even as Blue Cross rolled out its plans, Azar faced such questions. “There are rules,” Azar said. “There is a rule of law that we need to enforce.”However, he didn’t specifically indicate whether the federal government would step in.Robert Laszewski, a consultant and former insurance industry executive, says it should. “If Idaho is able to do this, it will mean other … states will do the same thing,” he said. “If a state can ignore federal law on this, it can ignore federal law on everything.”Idaho’s move stirs up more issues about the stability of individual insurance markets.Policy analysts say that allowing lower-cost plans that don’t meet the ACA’s standards to become more widespread will pull younger and healthier people out of Obamacare, raising prices for those who remain. Supporters say that is already happening, so the lower-cost plans provide more choices for people who earn too much to qualify for subsidies to help them purchase ACA coverage.Idaho’s move to allow such plans, announced in January, drew harsh and swift criticism.”Crazypants illegal,” tweeted Nicholas Bagley, a law professor at the University of Michigan and former attorney with the civil division of the U.S. Department of Justice, who said that states can’t pick and choose which parts of federal law to follow. Sabrina Corlette, a research professor at Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms, pointed out that health insurers could be liable for sharp fines if they are found to be in violation of the ACA.But both Idaho regulators and Blue Cross officials say they aren’t worried.Jeppesen said the ACA gives states regulatory authority “to make sure the market works and is stable,” and the insurer is simply “following what the state has given us guidance” to do.Other insurers in Idaho are taking a much more cautious approach, telling The Wall Street Journal they aren’t stepping up immediately to offer their own plans.Laszewski said they are likely waiting to see what legal challenges develop. “If I were running an insurance company, there’s no way I would stick my neck out until the high court has ruled in favor of this — and they’re not going to,” he said.Jeppesen said his company has consulted with legal experts and is moving ahead with confidence. The aim is to bring people back into the market, particularly the young, the healthy and those who don’t get a tax credit subsidy and can’t afford an ACA plan.For some people — especially younger or healthier applicants — the new plans, which the insurer has named Freedom Blue, cost less per month than policies that meet all ACA rules.They accomplish that by limiting coverage. If they are allowed to be sold, consumers will need to weigh the lower premiums against some of the coverage restrictions and variable premiums and deductibles, policy experts say.The plans, for example, will include a “waiting period” of up to 12 months for any pre-existing conditions if the applicant has been without coverage for more than 63 days, Jeppesen said.Additionally, they cap total medical care coverage at $1 million annually. And premiums are based, in part, on a person’s health: The healthiest consumers get rates 50 percent below standard levels, while those deemed unhealthy would be charged 50 percent more.All those conditions violate ACA rules, which forbid insurers from rejecting coverage of preexisting conditions or setting dollar caps on benefits or higher premiums for people with health problems.But the rates may prove attractive to some.Premiums for a healthy 45-year-old, for example, could be as low as $195 a month, according to a comparison issued by the insurer, while a 45-year-old with health problems could be charged $526. In that case, the 45-year old would find a lower price tag — $343 a month — for an ACA-compliant bronze plan.While Freedom Blues plans cover many of the “essential health benefits” required under the ACA, such as hospitalization, emergency care and mental health treatment, they do not include pediatric dental or vision coverage. One of the five plans doesn’t include maternity coverage.When compared with one of the Blues’ ACA-compliant plans — called the Bronze 5500 — the new standard Freedom Blue plan’s annual deductibles are a mixed bag.That’s because it has two separate deductibles — one for medical care and one for drugs. If a consumer took only generic drugs, the new plan would be less expensive, according to details provided by the plan. But with a $4,000 deductible for brand-name drugs, the Freedom Blue plan requires more upfront money before full coverage kicks in than the ACA-compliant plan it was compared with.Jeppesen said the insurer hopes to attract many of the “110,000 uninsured state residents who cannot afford [ACA] coverage.”That’s the total number of uninsured people who earn more than 100 percent of the federal poverty level in the state, he said.Sarah Lueck, senior policy analyst for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, cautioned that some of those residents might actually be eligible for subsidies under the ACA, which are available to people earning up to four times as much.”Many … could be getting subsidies for more comprehensive coverage through the [ACA-compliant state exchange] and would be better off,” Lueck said.Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation that is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Copyright 2018 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit Kaiser Health News.
One of the jazz world’s most enduring artists, the influential 87-year-old guitarist and composer Kenny Burrell, is facing financial ruin and homelessness.His plight became public after his wife, Katherine Burrell, launched a GoFundMe page on May 9, in which she chronicled a number of overwhelming circumstances that the couple is currently navigating. In her telling, the couple has faced a cataclysmic series of misfortunes — including substantial ongoing medical expenses after a 2016 accident, identity theft and ongoing litigation involving the home owners association group in their community — that has brought them to the brink.”We are facing possible foreclosure and homelessness,” Katherine Burrell wrote, adding: “It saddens and embarrasses me to desperately need and request help, but it is necessary at this point.” The page’s initial fundraising goal was $100,000; as of Tuesday morning, donations totaled almost $145,000.Burrell, who was named an NEA Jazz Master in 2005, made his first professional recording in 1951 with Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Percy Heath and Milt Jackson. Since then, he has recorded hundreds of albums, including nearly one hundred as a bandleader in a discography that spans across the Blue Note, Prestige, Savoy, Columbia, Verve, Fantasy and Concord labels, among others.Burrell first taught at UCLA in 1978 and in 1996, became the first director of the university’s jazz studies program, which he led for 20 years; the program’s graduates include the likes of saxophonist Kamasi Washington (who has since recorded with Burrell) and vocalist Gretchen Parlato. But in 2016, Burrell suffered an accident following a performance at UCLA’s Royce Hall that, according to his wife, necessitated a two-year recovery and partly triggered the couple’s misfortunes.But as the Burrells’ dire stated needs became public last week, questions quickly arose in the jazz community about the veracity of the GoFundMe effort. On Friday, the Jazz Foundation of America (JFA) — a national nonprofit that exists in part to provide emergency funding to jazz, blues and roots artists struggling with housing or medical care — felt compelled to issue a statement regarding Katherine Burrell’s campaign.”We would like to assure anyone concerned about Kenny that this campaign was indeed created by Katherine on his behalf,” the JFA wrote. “The Jazz Foundation has been in contact with Katherine for months. … Kenny and Katherine had been dealing with this situation alone for several years, because, as always, musicians are proud and self-reliant and do things on their own. They did not even contact us to ask for help but were referred by friends. The Jazz Foundation assessed the case, conferred with other helping organizations, and reviewed documents attesting to the financial need described in the GoFundMe post. We couldn’t possibly cover the full scope of the need, and other sources of funding were explored, including a GoFundMe campaign, given how successful and lifesaving they have proven for fellow musicians. As we can see in this outpouring of love for Kenny and Katherine, it has worked.”The JFA also linked the Burrells’ situation to those being faced by other elder artists. “This is a painful but inspiring example of what we see every day at the Jazz Foundation,” the JFA wrote. “Many of our legends do not have a partner at home to help them. … This is why the organization exists, and we handle 30 emergency cases every day.”Last September, UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music announced that it had received a gift of $1.2 million to create a Kenny Burrell Chair in Jazz Studies, which was funded by a group of over 150 donors. The timing was meant to celebrate Burrell’s 85th birthday, as well as his 20-year tenure as director of UCLA’s jazz studies program.UCLA has issued a statement to NPR, saying: “UCLA was unaware of Katherine Burrell’s crowdfunding activity on behalf of herself and husband, Kenny. UCLA is concerned and is looking into the circumstances of this matter. Kenny Burrell is a Distinguished Professor of Music and Global Jazz Studies at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music. Professor Burrell is currently on sabbatical, and is scheduled to return to UCLA for the Spring Quarter in March 2020. He remains a full-time faculty member with related compensation and health benefits.” Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:52 pmFor the second time in less than a month, Wauwatosa-based real estate developer Stewart Wangard has purchased a site in Pleasant Prairie.Stewart WangardAn affiliate of Wangard’s firm, Wangard Partners, purchased 14 acres of land at 10529 65th Ave. $768,000 from Wiza Investments LLC, according to state records.The site was previously approved by the village a decade ago to be developed into condominiums and improvements were made to the land. However, the project never moved forward. Wangard said he will work with the village to determine the overall size and density of the project, but it will be apartments.“There is a tremendous need for housing in that area,” Wangard said.In late March, Wangard Partners purchased a 6.3 acre site in the LakeView Corporate Park in Pleasant Prairie for $925,000. Wangard said he plans to build a 200,000-square-foot speculative industrial building on the site. Since the purchase, Wangard said he has had at least a half dozen firms contact him with interest for the building.Construction is expected to begin in the third week of May and be complete by the end of the year, he said.Wangard said his firm started working on the project when the possibility that Foxconn would be coming to the area was just becoming known publicly. He said the firm decided that the Pleasant Prairie site had great potential whether Foxconn came or not. “We like the strength of the market from the Illinois border up to Milwaukee,” Wangard said. “We are seeing users coming from outside of the market and we expect to be able to meet the need of many (Foxconn) suppliers.” Get our email updatesBizTimes DailyManufacturing WeeklyNonprofit WeeklyReal Estate WeeklySaturday Top 10Wisconsin Morning Headlines Subscribe
Valves manufactured at Avidity Science in Waterford.Waterford-based Avidity Science has acquired Lebanon, Ohio-based CT Chemicals Inc. for an undisclosed amount, according to a Monday announcement from the company.Valves manufactured at Avidity Science in Waterford.Avidity Science was formed in August through the combination of Edstrom Industries LLC and its United Kingdom-based subsidiary, Triple Red Limited. Edstrom acquired Triple Red in 2017. The combined company makes water purification systems and laboratory equipment for scientific research and health care facilities.CT Chemicals makes a range of products for the pharmaceutical, biotech, academic and government markets. The acquisition furthers Avidity’s efforts to broaden its product and solution offerings, the company said.“By expanding Avidity’s portfolio of water purification solutions to include ion exchange and filtration media and cartridges, this acquisition supports our objective of becoming a more valuable research tools partner and is another step forward in our mission of enabling science to improve the quality of life,” said Doug Lohse, Avidity Science chief executive officer Greg Lalonde, CT Chemicals president, added: “We are excited about how this combination strengthens our operations and expands the addressable opportunity for our unique solutions around the world.”Avidity Science had around 275 employees worldwide prior to the acquisition. A company spokesperson declined to say how many employees CT Chemicals has or other terms of the deal.“We have not made any plans to relocate operations,” Clement Fang said in an email. “Our operational stategy is focused on delivery a world class cost position and we will be evaluating all opportunities to maximized manufacturing efficiencies.” Get our email updatesBizTimes DailyManufacturing WeeklyNonprofit WeeklyReal Estate WeeklySaturday Top 10Wisconsin Morning Headlines Subscribe
Credit: Molly DillLast updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 12:34 pmPort Milwaukee is seeing a significant increase in cruise ship traffic. This year, 11 cruise ships are expected to make ports of call in Milwaukee, up from three in 2018.Port Milwaukee director Adam Schlicht said the increase is the result of strategically targeting cruise companies since he took over as port director last year.“We knew that we had a lot of potential (as a cruise ship destination). We knew that we had capacity and room to grow,” he said. Recently, the Pearl Mist, a 210-passenger cruise ship in the Pearl Seas Cruises line, docked at Port Milwaukee near Discovery World. It was the first cruise ship to dock in Milwaukee this year.Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Schlicht welcomed Pearl Mist Capt. George Ciortan in a press conference, with Barrett saying the city would “lay out the red carpet” for him and his passengers.“The fact that Pearl Mist is coming here demonstrates to you that others are seeing the value of what’s going on in our city right now and the location of our dock right here, the proximity to downtown, all of the activities that go on in Milwaukee in the summer, I think are what makes this such an incredibly attractive location,” Barrett said.The Pearl Mist also docked in Milwaukee last year, and will return July 3.“It is incredible to be here,” Ciortan said. “It’s a wonderful city, everybody likes it, we have very good feedback from our guests last year.”“Milwaukee is one of the most vibrant cities on the western shore of Lake Michigan, and the perfect home port for Pearl Seas’ Great Lakes cruises,” said company spokeswoman Alexa Paolella. “We look forward to bringing thousands of tourists to the city beginning this summer. Pearl Seas Cruises looks forward to visiting Milwaukee for many years to come.”Milwaukee was a turnaround port on the latest Pearl Seas Cruises route with the Pearl Mist. The Pearl Mist left from Toronto and also stopped in Clayton and Niagara Falls, New York; and Muskegon, Mackinac Island and Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan with the cruise ending in Milwaukee. The average passenger age is 70, and most of them are well-traveled, Ciortan said.“So for our hotel industry, (being a turnaround port) likely means that there’s going to be an additional night at least, and visitors will spend more time in the City of Milwaukee,” Barrett said.Schlicht said the Milwaukee Cruise Collaborative worked with Pearl Seas Cruises and local food, sightseeing and activity tour companies to set up excursion options for passengers in Milwaukee.“Some may have decided to do biking and other activities,” he said. “Ultimately, the cruise company decides what excursion they would like to do, but we’re playing that facilitator role.” Get our email updatesBizTimes DailyManufacturing WeeklyNonprofit WeeklyReal Estate WeeklySaturday Top 10Wisconsin Morning Headlines Subscribe
FacebookTwitterPinterestAddThis0Share Leave a Comment -30- For Immediate Release May 20, 2009COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation has announced that William Dolan, recently retired CEO of the Children’s Hunger Alliance in Columbus, will be the honoree for the organization’s 2009 Golf Invitational to be held June 22 at Jefferson Golf and Country Club in Blacklick.Dolan helped the Children’s Hunger Alliance develop partnerships with government agencies, schools, child-care providers and charitable organizations. Children have benefited from alliance efforts that led to increased opportunities to participate in school breakfast and lunch programs, the growth of meal programs to feed children at home-based day-care businesses and the expansion of programs to offer meals and snacks to kids during summer, when school meals are unavailable.“Bill has been one of Ohio’s leading advocates for food assistance programs for children,” Foundation President Jack Fisher said. “Children’s Hunger Alliance has become a model for non-profit organizational efficiency, with 94% of all funds going directly to programs and services.”The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation is a 501(c) 3 public charitable organization that supports agricultural education, ecological research and economic development initiatives benefiting Ohio communities. The organization’s annual Golf Invitational honors leaders in science, business and community service whose careers and accomplishments personify Foundation objectives. Proceeds of the event as used to support the organization’s Community Grantsmanship and scholarship programs.For more information on the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, visit the organization’s website at www.ofbfoundation.org FacebookTwitterPinterestAddThis0Share Leave a Comment