Premier League Silva praises Watford’s late show as Cleverley goal downs Arsenal Rob Lancaster Last updated 2 years ago 08:39 10/15/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Premier League Watford Watford v Arsenal Arsenal The home win over the Gunners lifts the Vicarage Road side into fourth place, but their manager is refusing to get too carried away Marco Silva was delighted to see his half-time team talk have the desired effect as yet another late Watford rally secured a 2-1 win over Arsenal at Vicarage Road.Playing three at the back in the first half, the home side struggled to retain possession and eventually fell behind when Per Mertesacker headed home Granit Xhaka’s corner six minutes before the break.Brighton 11/5 to beat Everton Article continues below Editors’ Picks Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. Having told his players at the interval to be fearless in their approach, Silva watched on proudly as Watford fought back to take all three points.Substitute Troy Deeney converted a 71st-minute penalty before Tom Cleverley smashed in the winner in stoppage time, in the process sending his side above Arsenal and into the top four of the Premier League. “The first half we were shy in some moments,” Silva told BBC Sport.”I think we played for 10 or 15 minutes like I wanted us to. We started well but then we gave away the ball too easily – we started to play without confidence.”I didn’t like the last 10 minutes of the first half. We spoke well in half-time, I showed our players the plan, what they needed to do.”We needed to play without being scared. Even against big teams like Arsenal, who have a lot of quality, you need a lot of quality as well.”I think our second half was then really good.”| Reaction from Cleverley & Silva, match report, stats & the best of social media as #watfordfc beat @Arsenal!https://t.co/nAUd6d0yIg pic.twitter.com/EwmQ5cLKG1— Watford FC (@WatfordFC) October 14, 2017Watford have now scored late goals in their last three league outings, having previously snatched victory at Swansea City before rescuing a point against West Brom at the Hawthorns.However, Silva insists they should not get too carried away with their fine start to the season — even though they are now sitting in the Champions League places.”It’s good for everybody. Our fans were fantastic again today,” he added.”We got three important points. A lot of games to play yet, we will stay in a good moment — and to do that we will have to work really hard.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Celta Vigo midfielder Denis Suarez: Man City contract set up my familyby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveCelta Vigo midfielder Denis Suarez insists he enjoyed his time at Manchester City.Denis has been discussing his time in England.“At first it was fine. I got there and I went on pre-season with the first team to the United States, I debuted with the first team in the first round of cup when I was 17 years old and sportingly, I was doing well,” Suárez said.“Life was a little different, it cost my parents more because they didn’t speak English and they had trouble learning it.“The second year was a little long, also because I had been injured, and finally I decided to go to Barcelona.”The now 25-year-old also explained why he joined City in the first place.“My first decision was to stay here in the first team, but Celta did not contemplate that option.“Then I went to Manchester City because it was an important step for me, it was an important investment for the club, who at that time needed money. The contract [offered to me] at that time had my family’s life was fixed.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
I am in a wrong relationship and feel completely broken. What can I do?Name withheld, Kolkata Several actions can be taken to rid ourselves of negative relationships. First, you can attempt to fix the relationship. Explain that you’re not attempting to change them as a person – you simply want to change how your relationship works. Finally, ask them what they’d like to change about the relationship. Ask them how you can add more value. Listen attentively, act accordingly. Also Read – Feel what you fearOr, if you’re unable to change the relationship, you can end it altogether. This is incredibly difficult but applies to any relationship. If someone is doing nothing but draining your life, it’s perfectly acceptable to tell them, “This relationship is no longer right for me, I must end it – must move on.” Do what is right for you. I lost my husband four years ago, I’m 42 now. I don’t know whether to remarry or not. What’s your view? Also Read – HomecomingG. Parekh, New Delhi Your life, your choice. If you truly feel that you want to settle down, please do. If that inch of doubt remains, wait for the one who might wipe the ‘whether or not’ syndrome someday. If love rules, please follow the heart. If it doesn’t, just live your life the way that makes you happy. Time is the only power and you should be your boss. Don’t take any decision unless you are sure about it. My daughter, 32, is highly educated and well placed. She is determined to settle with a guy she met over a matrimony website. She thinks he is very smart while we think he is not suitable for her. He’s running a small dealership. We are very worried. – DC, West Bengal As parents you will always worry as you will want the best for your child. As parents, you should also trust her. She is old enough to understand her future. She will use her liberty to do what she wants. Express your concern but try to have faith on her. Try to meet the man she is dating and begin to know him as well. Don’t remain over worried about your life and lose the happy moments tucked in everyday. Your life and it’s happiness is your first priority. Choose everything wisely. I wish her the best and hope the best for you too. My husband beats me up. We are married for last 5 years and we have a 1 year old son. I’m living in hell. What can I do? Name withheld To allow a man (or anyone) to put their hands on you is a form of mental destruction. Such domestic violence is the worst thing you can allow your child to witness. Unfortunately people have the habit of repeating these sick actions if they are not stopped the very first time. I suggest you stand up and fight it out. Take strong steps and if need be, involve your family or close friends to seek legal advice. Keeping quiet and tolerating is no sign of showing strength or love. You will lose your mental peace, confidence and gradually be depressed. (Send your questions to email@example.com)
Internationally acclaimed GRAMMY Award-winning musicians Alabama Shakes and Ben Harper will join the extraordinary line-up for the Tibet House US 30th Anniversary Benefit Concert Celebrating Philip Glass’s 80th Birthday on March 16th at Carnegie Hall in New York City.Chart-topping band Alabama Shakes will grace the Tibet House US Benefit Concert for the first time with their ground-shaking brand of rock ‘n’ roll. Their celebrated 2012 album Boys & Girls and latest album Sound & Color have earned the band multiple GRAMMY Awards, critical praise, chart-topping success and countless accolades.Musician, songwriter, guitarist, producer and activist Ben Harper will light up this special evening with his world-class musicianship and signature blend of blues, folk, soul, reggae and rock which draws throngs of fans to his live shows all around the globe. Ben is currently touring the world with his original band, The Innocent Criminals, supporting their latest release, Call It What It Is.Artistic director and curator Philip Glass will also be joined by Laurie Anderson, Iggy Pop, New Order’s Bernard Sumner, Phil Cunningham, and Tom Chapman, Patti Smith and her Band, Sufjan Stevens, Tenzin Choegyal and Jesse Paris Smith, Scorchio Quartet, Lavinia Meijer and more.In addition to celebrating Glass’s 80th birthday, the evening will also honor 30 years of Tibet House US. It’s sure to be another jam-packed show full of amazing music and one-night-only collaborations in what has been a series of unforgettable concerts spanning three decades. Proceeds support the work of Tibet House US, a non-profit educational institution and cultural embassy founded in 1987 at the request of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to ensure the survival of the unique Tibetan civilization. Uma Thurman, Chuck Close, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard and Arden Wohl are Honorary Chairpersons.TICKET INFO:Tickets for the concert are on sale now ($35-$200) – visit www.carnegiehall.org to purchase, or call Carnegie Charge at 212.247.7800, or visit the Carnegie Hall Box Office (57th Street and Seventh Avenue). Also available now are special gala packages starting at $500 that include prime concert tickets and an elegant dinner reception with the performers and a who’s who of New York City society. To purchase these packages, visit www.tibethouse.us or call Tibet House US at 212.807.0563.
Bell Canada, Bell Mobility, Cogeco, Eastlink, MTS, Rogers Communications, SaskTel, Shaw, Telus and Videotron must each submit a detailed report, no later than six months for the date of the decision, concerning their respective plans to invest in the ongoing accessibility of telecommunications services. Fixed broadband Internet access service, as set out in the decision, should be available in 90% of Canadian homes and businesses by the end of 2021 and in the remaining 10% within 10-15 years. New funding mechanism Guiding principlesThe new funding mechanism will focus on underserved areas in Canada.1The CRTC will attempt to align this new funding mechanism with the broader ecosystem of current and future funding and investment.To the greatest extent possible, the funding mechanism will be managed at arm’s length from the CRTC, based on objective criteria, and administered in a manner that is transparent, fair and efficient.Fund designGeneralA competitive process will be used to distribute funds to successful applicants under the new funding mechanism.Applicants will be able to submit funding proposals to build or upgrade access and transport infrastructure for fixed and mobile wireless broadband Internet access serviceGovernment funding and private sector investmentApplicants requesting funding will be required to secure a minimum level of financial support from a government entity.2Applicants will be required to provide a minimum amount of investment for their project.The amount of funding from public and private sources cannot be nominal and must be commensurate with the nature of the project.In the assessment stage, more weight will be given to applications with higher amounts of government funding and private investment in their projects.Amount of fundingThe current local voice subsidy will now be transitioned to the new funding mechanism.The first five years of funding (amounts will be reviewed after three years) will be no more than the following:Year 1: $100 millionYear 2: $125 millionYear 3: $150 millionYear 4: $175 millionYear 5: $200 million Canadians should have access to the latest generally deployed mobile wireless technology (currently LTE). This technology should be available in Canada not only in homes and businesses, but on major transportation roads. Measurement of success Data allowance Universal service objective Backgrounders Summary of key decision points A follow-up proceeding will be initiated in early 2017 to examine these preliminary views as well as other matters related to the new funding mechanism._________________________1 An underserved area is defined as an area that does not meet the criteria used to measure achievement of the Commission’s new universal service objective.2 “Government entity” includes federal, provincial, regional and municipal entities, Aboriginal governments, community entities, and non-profit organizations. Criteria for the universal service objective New funding for broadband projectsThe CRTC is establishing a fund to support projects in areas that do not meet these targets. Applicants will be able to submit funding proposals in order to build or upgrade infrastructure for fixed and mobile broadband Internet access services. The fund will:make available up to $750 million over the first five years;be complementary to existing and future private investment and public funding;focus on underserved areas; andbe managed at arm’s length by a third party.Accessibility and tools for consumersThe CRTC wants Canadians to have access to the tools and services they need to empower themselves regarding fixed Internet access services. No later than six months from today, service providers should ensure that contracts are written in clear and plain language, and should make available online tools so consumers can easily manage their data usage.Also, all wireless service providers will have to offer and publicize, no later than six months from today, mobile service packages that meet the needs of Canadians with disabilities.The path forward for Canada’s digital economyDuring its consultations with Canadians, the CRTC also identified further gaps regarding the adoption of broadband Internet services in Canada that are outside its core mandate. Today, the CRTC is submitting a report to the Innovation Agenda, as encouraged by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, on the availability and adoption of broadband Internet services in Canada. This report includes information on access gaps resulting from infrastructure, affordability and digital literacy issues, as well as barriers to connectivity in Indigenous communities.The decision issued today complements the Government of Canada’s Innovation Agenda. Looking ahead, the CRTC will contribute in ways appropriate to its mandate. However, all stakeholders have a role to play to ensure that broadband Internet service is universally available and barriers to adoption are removed.Quick FactsBroadband Internet access services are necessary to the quality of life for Canadians and empowers them as citizens, creators and consumers.While most are well-served, many Canadians, particularly those in rural and remote communities, do not have access to broadband Internet access services that are comparable to those offered to the vast majority of Canadians in terms of speed, capacity, quality and price.Broadband Internet services would allow more Canadian entrepreneurs to easily access crucial information relating to international markets and create more business opportunities across Canada.In 2015, 82% of Canadians had access to speeds of 50 Mbps download/10 Mbps upload for fixed broadband services.The CRTC is shifting its regulatory focus from wireline voice to broadband services.Currently there is a subsidy for residential local voice services in rural and remote areas that amounted to approximately $100 million in 2016.The current local voice subsidy will now be transitioned to the new funding mechanism announced today (for projects that meet the new targets).Further to a broad consultation, more than 50,000 Canadians provided their views on the telecommunications services they need to participate in the digital economy.Quote“Access to broadband Internet service is vital and a basic telecommunication service all Canadians are entitled to receive. Canadians who participated during our process told us that no matter where they live or work in our vast country—whether in a small town in northern Yukon, a rural area of eastern Quebec or in downtown Calgary—everyone needs access to high-quality fixed Internet and mobile services. We are doing our part to bring broadband services to rural and remote communities.The availability of broadband Internet, however, is an issue that can’t be solved by the CRTC alone. All players in the Canadian communications landscape will need to do their part to ensure Canadians have access to the services they need to participate in the digital economy.All levels of government must address gaps in digital literacy. Affordability concerns are best addressed by the emergence of a dynamic market place where service providers compete on price for telecommunication services, in conjunction with social responsibility programs of telecommunications carriers and different levels of government.High quality and reliable digital connectivity is essential for the quality of life of Canadians and Canada’s economic prosperity.”– Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman and CEO, CRTC The new funding mechanism will involve two main functions: project management and accounting.Third-party administrator(s) will carry out these functions.A fairness monitor will be appointed to observe the competitive process.An audit committee will be established to verify the accounting function.CRTC will retain oversight and will approve the projects to be funded. Advertisement Consumer empowerment regarding broadband Internet access services Login/Register With: Canadian home and business subscribers of fixed broadband Internet access services can access speeds of at least 50 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload. These speeds are to be the actual speeds delivered, not merely those advertised. All providers of retail fixed broadband Internet access services must notify residential and small business customers who have incurred overage charges of where they can find information about:(i) the account management tools offered,(ii) the data usage associated with common online activities, and(iii) alternative plans that may better suit the customer’s needs. Customers should be able to opt out of these notifications at any time. Such notifications must be provided each month in which a customer incurs data overage charges, unless the customer opts out of receiving such notifications. Canadians, in urban areas as well as in rural and remote areas, have access to voice and broadband Internet access services, on both fixed and mobile wireless networks. Follow-up proceedingThe CRTC has set out preliminary views on the following aspects of the new funding mechanism: Speeds Levels for latency, jitter, and packet loss will be established to assess high quality for fixed broadband Internet access service. The CRTC wants Canadians to have access to an unlimited data plan option and speeds of at least 50 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today declared that broadband access Internet service is now considered a basic telecommunications service for all Canadians. The CRTC is also setting ambitious new speed targets and creating a new fund that will invest up to $750 million over and above existing government programs.Broadband and mobile servicesFurther to its legislative mandate, the CRTC has set the following targets for the basic telecommunications services that Canadians need to participate in the digital economy:speeds of 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download/10 Mbps upload for fixed broadband Internet access services.an unlimited data option for fixed broadband access services.the latest mobile wireless technology available not only in homes and businesses, but also along major Canadian roads. Fixed broadband service Within six months of the date of this decision, all Internet service providers that provide retail fixed broadband Internet access service are expected:(i) to ensure that contracts and related documents clearly explain, to all customers;the services included in the contract, any limits on the use of those services that could trigger overage charges, the minimum monthly charge for services included in the contract, information on where customers can find information on rates for overage charges, and whether or not there is a maximum data overage charge that might be incurred in a monthly billing cycle, and if so, the amount of that maximum charge. (ii) to provide account management tools that enable customers to monitor their data usage; and(iii) to provide plain-language information on the data usage associated with common online activities. The above-noted information and tools should also be accessible to customers with disabilities. Policy regarding modern telecommunications services for Canada’s digital economy Advertisement Mobile wireless broadband service Availability and awareness Modifications to current regulatory measures for local voice services All wireless service providers must offer and publicize, no later than six months from the date of this decision, mobile service packages that meet the needs of Canadians with disabilities who tend to rely more on data services than voice services. These packages must ensure access to 9-1-1 service, and be based on consultations with Canadians with disabilities. Current and future initiatives Quality of service Advertisement Eligibility and assessment criteria.Responsibilities of the CRTC and the third-party administrator(s) for the project-management and accounting functions. Fixed broadband Internet service criteria Facebook Accessibility Mobile wireless and fixed broadband Internet access services are key components of this new objective. In addition, Canadians living in rural and remote areas should have a level of broadband Internet access services similar to those available in urban areas. Canadians should have access to fixed broadband Internet access service offerings that meet certain levels of speed, data allowance and quality of service. Specific values and parameters for these characteristics are discussed below. Local service subsidy Awareness and notification Canadian home and business customers can subscribe to fixed broadband Internet access services that include the option to have an unlimited data allowance. The local service subsidy will be phased out. A follow-up proceeding will be launched in early 2017 to examine how it should be phased out. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment For the first five years, up to 10% of annual funding will be allocated to satellite-dependent communities to cover operational costs and certain related capital costs.Governance and accountability All wireless service providers’ websites are expected to meet the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines by June 1, 2017. Twitter
Chennai: Having lost two matches in a row, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) would be under a bit of pressure when they take on in-form Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Tuesday. On Sunday, CSK faced a heart-wrenching one-run defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Chasing a “below par total” of 162, CSK lost their top four batsman inside the first four overs. It was only MS Dhoni, who single-handedly brought them into the match and kept their hopes alive till the last ball of the inning. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhDespite two consecutive losses, CSK still sit pretty at the top of the points table with 14 points from 10 games. However, they will like their top order to perform and secure a playoffs berth. But it will be a tough ask for them against SRH, who would be riding high on confidence after their comprehensive victory against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Hyderabad. SRH, however, will be wary of the fact that Tuesday’s game would be the last match for their in-form opener Johnny Bairstow, who will be leaving to attend England’s training camp for the upcoming World Cup. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterBoth David Warner and Bairstow have scored the bulk of the runs for the SRH and their middle-order has not performed — a fact well known to them and their opponents. With five wins from nine games, the Kane Williamson-led side would want to continue with the winning momentum and move upwards in the points table. The last time these two teams met in the ongoing IPL, SRH had secured a convincing six-wicket win at their home ground.
After coming off of a cancelled home-opening match against Duquesne last Sunday, Ohio State regained momentum after its win over No. 5 Florida by gaining an 8-0 victory against Morehead State.Ohio State (2-2) tied for the third-most goals in one single game in school history. Freshmen forward Emaly Vatne scored three of the eight goals in Thursday night’s win, recording the 15th hat trick in Ohio State history, scoring in the 41st, 68th and 73rd minutes against Morehead State. Vatne said she is most proud of her team’s professionalism on the field tonight. “We approached this game with a really good attitude,” Vatne said. “We didn’t let up in one moment of the game, so I think that’s something we should really be proud of.”In the 22nd minute, freshmen defender/midfielder Talani Barnett notched a goal from eight yards inside the right post, giving Ohio State the early lead. A minute later, freshmen forward Kayla Fischer found success by scoring a goal in the first half, recording her third goal of the year. Junior midfielder Alyssa Baumbick also picked up two goals, resulting in her first pair of goals of the season. In the 57th minute, sophomore forward Marissa Birzon, crossed over from the left wing to tally Ohio State’s fifth goal of the night. Vatne said, as a group, Ohio State really found a rhythm and were able to capitalize on the moments when they got the opportunity to play. Head coach Lori Walker-Hock spoke about the importance of gaining confidence looking ahead to conference play in a couple of weeks. Walker-Hock also said the best part of this kind of a game is being able to get a lot of people on the field and gaining some experience. “That’s where a game like this really benefits us is getting that experience for some of our young players and clearly our young players connected pretty good tonight,” Walker-Hock said. The Buckeyes will resume action this Sunday as they take on Notre Dame at 1 p.m at Alumni Stadium.
Los Blancos boss Santiago Solari believes the European competition is part of the club’s history and go hand by handReal Madrid and Viktoria Plzen will face off tomorrow night in the UEFA Champions League.And for interim manager Santiago Solari, Los Blancos and the European tournament go together.“It’s always very nice, this competition, which is linked to the history of our club, inseparable,” said Solari according to Goal.Mourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.“When we hear the Champions League anthem, we all get excited. It’s fantastic to be back in this competition. This is my third game in this role, so I’m very happy that I get a chance [in the Champions League]. I enjoyed it a lot as a player.”“When you look for a solution to a problem in football, it’s never just one thing, it’s step by step,” he added.“We’ve taken two steps, two games. We had to play well to win them, you don’t win games without doing things well, and they were tough games.”“We did a lot of good things in these two games and we have to do what we did well again, but also improve what we didn’t do well. Every team can always improve,” he commented.
San Diegans report hearing a “boom” and shaking in East County. Did you hear or feel it? pic.twitter.com/TotXngwtEe— KUSI News (@KUSINews) November 2, 2017 Heard it in Tijuana. Windows rattled. No movement and I live in the 4th floor— ENZO (@Enzolote) November 2, 2017 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Posted: November 2, 2017 November 2, 2017 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A mysterious “boom” rattled San Diegans Thursday, with reports of the loud noise and shaking from all across the county.Reports of the unidentified sound and concurrent shaking began circulating on social media shortly before 11 a.m.There were no earthquakes reported in the area, according to the United States Geological Survey website. San Diegans report hearing mysterious ‘boom’ and shaking across the county Felt and heard it just before 11 AM, in Jamul.— Richard Allen (@Unit1917) November 2, 2017The cause of noise is still unknown at this time. Check back for more updates on the story. ,
Tharp was then taken to Providence Hospital in Anchorage for non-life threatening injuries. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Alaska State Troopers responded to an injured snowmachiner in the area of Turnagain Pass, on April 23. According to the Troopers, Life Med Alaska was contacted and responded to the area, but couldn’t reach the injured snowmachiner, Blake Tharp, 35, of Anchorage. A snowmachine was used to reach Tharp, and transport him to the helicopter.
It was only a matter of time. John Q. Griffin, the former National Geographic president who joined Time Inc. back in December as president of the new Time Inc. News Group, is leaving the company. He becomes the latest executive hired during Jack Griffin’s five-month stint as Time Inc. CEO to depart since Griffin (no relation) was let go in February. Kim Kelleher, who was previously promoted to publisher of TIME, now takes over as worldwide publisher while Richard Evans, president of Time & Fortune International, will report to Kelleher. Randall Rothenberg, the former IAB CEO who Jack Griffin hired last December into the new Time Inc. position of chief digital officer, went back to IAB in February. Griffin [pictured] spent nine years at National Geographic before announcing his retirement last October (he also stepped down as chairman of MPA that month as well).
The Rosslyn Harvest Festival is a brand-new celebration of autumn spanning from Oct. 27– 28, located at 1800 N Lynn St. The events are free and open to the public. The festival is family friendly as it offers a wide variety of games, arts and crafts, vendors, and more. Food and drinks will be sold as well. There will also be a live magic show, music performances, and free trick or treating offered for the youth. For adults, there will be a beer-drinking competition, scavenger hunts, and more. For more information, visit rosslynva.org.
Kolkata: The state Higher Education department has directed all universities under its aegis and colleges affiliated to these universities that admission process in undergraduate level for the 2019-20 academic session will be conducted entirely online. Students need not come to colleges during the admission process and will have to report directly on the day of commencement of classes.”We are going for online admission which will be merit-based. This will ensure transparency and students will not face any harassment during the admission process. They should not be called on campus during admission and communication with college authorities, if needed, will be through e-mail. Students will report to colleges only when the classes start,” said R S Shukla, Additional Chief Secretary of the state Higher Education department. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataShukla, however, made it clear that colleges will do physical verification of documents when classes start and if they are found to be not authentic then the concerned student’s admission is liable to be cancelled. State Education minister Partha Chatterjee chaired a meeting with vice-chancellors and principals of colleges on Monday at a private university based in New Town and informed them about the modalities of admission in the undergraduate level. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe admission process will start soon after the results of the Higher Secondary Examination on May 27. It may be mentioned that CBSE Class XII and ISC results have already been published. Student unions will not be allowed to set up any help desk in colleges and the administrative process will be entirely under the supervision of the college authorities. “We have already issued clear-cut guidelines about the admission. Today (Monday) we convened the meeting to clear any confusion. Instructions regarding admission have also been sent to the District Magistrates across the state,” a senior official of the Higher Education department said. It may be recalled that last year, there were allegations of extortion on the part of students’ unions in some colleges for admitting students. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee herself had to intervene to resolve the issue. She had reiterated that if someone is found asking for money for personal interest in lieu of granting admission, stern action will be taken against him/her. Members of students’ unions in some colleges were also arrested by the police after Banerjee’s intervention. The state Higher Education department had issued a notification directing all colleges that counselling for admission to undergraduate courses must be done strictly online and physical verification of documents, if required, can be done only after the commencement of classes. It may be mentioned that it was former Education minister Bratya Basu, who had mooted the idea of online admission for the first time.
Register Now » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals 3 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. September 2, 2010 Do you dream of giving Microsoft, Cisco, Avaya, Nortel, Symantec and all the rest of the pain-in-the-you-know-what techno giants the old heave ho? Well, potentially, now you can by entering the emerging world of small-business appliances that stuff computing and telephony into a single box.All-in-ones combine the once-uncombinable–technologies like phone servers, file servers, file walls, routers and web servers–into a single digital device that fits on any shelf. They’re not exactly cheap; units start in the $2,000 range. But they are far cheaper than the business technologies bought separately. And all-in-ones can be self-installed, easy to customize and powerful enough to support an entire small business’s techno-infrastructure.“The idea is to keep complex business technologies as simple as possible so even the smallest firms can access enterprise-level tools,” says Shawn Chute, executive vice president at Sutus, the British Columbia-based integrated business device maker.There are other cool startups worth knowing here–East Rochester, N.Y.-based Allworx and Fairfield, N.J.-based Critical Links–but Sutus makes probably the most representative device of the all-in-one market, the Business Central 200 (a three-person business will pay about $2,500 for a fully installed system). The thing combines everything from e-mail servers to wireless routers to voice mail management into one unit.To save you the hassle of testing an all-in-one–or worse yet, having you convert your shop over to one you hate–I got a thorough briefing from Sutus executives and installed a BC200 at my six-person digital content company.What’s to LoveJust as the company promises, this really is a business-ready phone, file and e-mail server–plus a ton of other stuff–in one easy-to-install box.The unit, about the size of an average desktop PC, could not be easier to get running, at least to start. Plug it into a wall outlet. Connect the swanky, business-class Polycom desk phones via a single normal Ethernet cable. Then plug in up to three phone lines and one fax line. Connect the whole system to a broadband connection–again via a normal Ethernet jack–and then sit back and do nothing at all. The unit boots up the phone, creates basic telephony and PC identities, creates voice mail, brokers a firewall, configures the e-mail server–in other words, gets you ready for business in less than one hour. Very impressive.What’s Not to LoveAs simple as it is to set up, the BC200 is still major-league technology. It will take real time and effort to get it to actually do what you need it to do.I’ll be blunt: Sutus, and probably all these integrated solutions, are configuration train wrecks waiting to happen. Yes, they can automatically set up basic voice mail, e-mail, file servers and all the rest. But you still have to configure your exact employee names, match them to passwords, get the log-ins right and manage the phone-calling sequences. And that’s just the phone. Then there’s the e-mail. And the file servers. And wireless routers and … and … and. And all of that–all of it–has to be dead right for your business to stay in business. Pretty daunting stuff.Do This NowFrom one small-business owner to another, Sutus is a legit techno solution. If you are in the market for office systems, by all means give these guys a sniff. Yes, you can dream the dream of never having to say you’re sorry to Microsoft: Just be aware that your entire business infrastructure is getting jammed into a single device.And bad data, no matter how cool is the box it sits in, is bad data.
UK broadcaster Channel 4 has confirmed the appointment of Keith Underwood as its new chief operating officer.Keith UnderwoodUnderwood took on the role in March while a full recruitment process took place and has position has now been made official. He was previously Channel 4’s director of strategy and technology.As COO Underwood will lead the Channel 4’s finance, technology, content management, workspace and business assurance teams and will be a key strategic advisor to CEO Alex Mahon.Prior to joining Channel 4, Underwood was vice president of strategy and digital media for Discovery Networks International, and previously worked in strategy roles at Sky and as a consultant at PwC.
Sponsor Advertisement The only question to be answered is…how much more is left to go to the downside.I was expecting another leg down in the precious metals sometime between Christmas and New Years…but it began yesterday. Ted Butler had been expecting since the Sunday night open in New York.Gold rose gently in early Far East trading, with the ‘high’ tick…around $1,702 spot…coming shortly after 1:00 p.m. in Hong Kong…and by the Comex open it was back to unchanged from Monday’s close.The first of many engineered price declines began shortly before 10:00 a.m. in New York…which may have been an early London p.m. gold fix. It was sold down in stair-step fashion from there, with the final down-leg coming shortly after the 1:30 p.m. Comex close. That was gold’s low price tick of the day…recorded by Kitco as $1,660.10 spot.From there the gold price recovered somewhat…but that smallish rally only lasted until 4:00 p.m. Eastern…and then it traded sideways into the 5:15 p.m. electronic close.Gold finished the Tuesday session at $1,670.90 spot…down $27.20 for the day. Net volume was a very chunky 195,000 contracts.Of course it was silver that JPMorgan et al were really after…and they certainly did a number on it. The sell-off was much more severe, but the price pattern was the same, so I’ll spare you the play-by-play.Silver’s high tick…around $32.55 spot…came shortly before noon Hong Kong time. The low price tick, like gold’s, came ten minutes after the Comex close…and Kitco reported that as $31.25 spot.The subsequent rally pared the losses by a bit…and silver finished the day at $31.64 spot…down 64 cents on the day. Once again silver had an intraday price move of well over a dollar. Net, volume was pretty decent at around 46,000 contracts…but with a price decline of that magnitude, I was hoping for more.The dollar index started the Tuesday trading session at 79.56…then rallied a hair until shortly after the London open before starting to weaken…with the biggest decline coming between 10:00 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. in New York. The index nadir [79.27] occurred at that point…and the dollar index closed at 79.36…down about 20 basis points from Monday’s close.Only Jon Nadler could find a co-relation between the precious metal price activity and the dollar index on a day like yesterday…as any sane and rational person would see no relationship at all. But if you do see some, I’d love to hear your explanation.The gold stocks held up surprisingly well in the early going, but it was the engineered price decline between 11:20 a.m. and precisely 12 o’clock noon in New York that did the most damage to the shares. But once the low was in at 1:40 p.m….the gold stocks recovered…and the HUI only finished down 1.43%.Not surprisingly, the silver stocks got hit harder…and Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 2.10%.(Click on image to enlarge)Considering the bear raid by “da boyz” yesterday, the shares held up remarkably well…and don’t forget about what I [and others] have said about buying “while blood is running in the streets”. That expression fits the circumstance before you, perfectly.The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 154 silver contracts were posted for delivery tomorrow. Jefferies was the short/issuer on all of them…and the Bank of Nova Scotia and JPMorgan were the biggest long/stoppers with 116 and 27 contracts respectively. Even with the year starting to wind down, I’m still expecting a reasonable amount of delivery activity between now and then, as the CME reported that there are 325 gold and 636 silver contracts still left open for the December delivery month…from which you have to subtract the 154 silver contracts mentioned above. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV yesterday.Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank updated their gold and silver ETFs as of December 17th. Their gold ETF showed an increase of 28,964 troy ounces…but their silver ETF showed a decline of 498,112 troy ounces.The U.S. Mint had a smallish sales report yesterday. They sold 7,500 ounces of gold eagles…and that was all.The Comex-approved depositories reported receiving 218,678 troy ounces of silver…and shipped 301,002 ounces out the door on Monday. The link to that activity is here.Well, I received an ‘answer’ from the ombudsman over at Scotiabank on Monday, but it sat unopened in my in-box until yesterday, as I didn’t want what I said in my Tuesday column to be influenced by what was in the reply.I didn’t need to worry, as he weaseled his way out of answering it in almost the same manner as the first time. He could have easily have found the answer to my question, as it would certainly be at hand if he’d been allowed to give it to me.Here are the entire contents of his e-mail…Dear Mr. Steer, I am responding to your attached follow-up e-mail, I wish to begin by assuring you that I am not trying to increase your frustration level but I must say that, as I have stated earlier, I find Scotiabank’s earlier response to you to be perfectly reasonable. In fact, I find it completely logical that any clarification about information in an article published by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission should come directly from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Yours truly, Charles Dougall OmbudsmanIn the end, it was another “non-denial denial”. They just chose to get out of it by answering a question that I never asked…and avoided the direct question that I did ask. I don’t think they’re being obtuse…I just think that they don’t want to tell the truth. It’s for this very reason that I suspect Scotiabank/Scotia Mocatta of being the “new non-U.S. bank” that suddenly got outed by the CFTC in the November Bank Participation Report. Scotiabank could have ended it all by just telling me…no, it wasn’t them. But they didn’t say that…and I’m suspecting that the reason is because they didn’t want to get caught in a lie later. I guess that’s the lesser of two evils than being caught telling the truth at this point in the game.If you didn’t read it, or don’t remember the question I presented to the ombudsman, the link to yesterday’s GSD column is here.The Queen and The GoldI stole this photo from Eric King’s website…and it’s posted in one of his blogs with James Turk further down in this column. I’m still thunderstruck that Her Majesty [and Prince Philip] were trotted out. There is obviously big trouble in River City that we just aren’t privy to.Here are a couple of charts that Nick Laird sent my way yesterday…and both are show-stoppers. The first shows how many ounces of gold can be bought for $1,000 going back to 1718.(Click on image to enlarge)This second chart shows the lost purchasing power of the U.S. dollar in percentage terms over the same 300-year period. One chart is actually a ‘derivative’ of the other.(Click on image to enlarge)They don’t teach this stuff in school…and as you’re probably already beginning to suspect, there’s a good reason for that. They don’t want the sheeple to know how badly their being fleeced…and by whom…and why.Here’s a cute photo that my sister sent me yesterday…and you though squirrels on your roof were a problem.I have a more reasonable number of news items for you today…and I hope you can find time to wade through them the ones that interest you during the busy holiday season that we all face.It is one thing for an exchange to rush to the aid of important members when an outsider may be doing something wrong and against the insider members’ interests; but it’s a very different story if there was no outside wrongdoing and the insiders were the guilty party. That’s exactly what happened in 2011 on separate occasions…and is still happening to this day in COMEX silver. It is a circumstance without precedent, namely, an exchange working against the public’s interest when there is nothing that the public is doing that is wrong. The thought that the New York Stock Exchange would diligently work to lower overall stock prices is too absurd to contemplate, as it would be shooting itself in the foot. But that’s exactly what the COMEX is doing in silver. The exchange should care less about price levels, but because the most important member of the COMEX (JPMorgan) is up to its eyeballs on the short side, that forces the exchange to be an active partner in attempting to bring about lower silver prices. This is so bad, it is almost inconceivable. Yet the evidence is right in front of us. – Silver analyst Ted Butler…15 December 2012Well, yesterday’s price action in New York should leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that JPMorgan Chase and the rest of their Merry Men showed up in New York yesterday. Using my Ovaltine secret decoder ring…and holding the Kitco chart up at a 33 degree angle in polarized light, it was easy to spot the secret message inscribed in the silver chart. It said “Season’s Greetings to all. Up yours. Jamie…et al“The only question to be answered is…how much more is left to go to the downside. The gold price took out its 200-day moving average by a whisker yesterday…but did not close below it. Silver still has a ways to go yet. But can they, or will they do more to the downside? I don’t know for sure, but suspect that the answer is yes.If they are clearing the decks for a major price rise in the New Year to correspond with the Fed’s attempt to raise the velocity of money by increasing the inflation rate…by a U.S. dollar devaluation, or other means…sending a message to the markets by running up the precious metal prices by a very noticeable amount would be one of the tools they would certainly contemplate using.In order to do that, I’m sure that “da boyz” would like to cover as many short positions as they can in the interim…and that means further price pain to the downside until they get the last possible speculative long position holders to sell. Once they get to that point…whatever prices that takes…no further price reduction is possible, as it’s the very act of technical fund selling [or buying] that ultimately drives the spot price.Here are the 1-year charts for both gold and silver. It’s hard to tell how much more damage they can do to the downside as far as price is concerned, but Ted Butler says it could be considerable…especially in silver.(Click on image to enlarge)(Click on image to enlarge)In the meantime, the CME Group and the CFTC will continue to protect the largest Commercial short holders in all four precious metals…and CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton will continue to reassure us that nothing is amiss…and the evidence provided by the weekly Commitment of Traders Report is just a figment of our collective imaginations.JPMorgan Chase is the ringleader, of course…but I’m also getting the impression that Canada’s own Scotiabank/Scotia Mocatta is a major player in this short-side price management scheme as well…along with a handful of others, including the raptors.With what’s been happening over in the gold vaults at the Bank of England these days…maybe Her Majesty will spill the beans. Maybe the pope will be next to go on the tour. Where are John Cleese and Michael Palin when you really need them? Too bad Monty Python’s Flying Circus got cancelled, as I’m sure that they would have had a field day with this story.I mentioned the COT Report just a few paragraphs back…and yesterday was the cut-off for the one that comes out on Friday. I certainly hope that all of yesterday’s price and volume action is reported to the CFTC in a timely manner. Since the cut-off was at the 1:30 p.m. close of Comex trading, I very much doubt that the volume associated with the absolute low of the day, which came after the Comex close, will be in it.Not much happened during the Far East trading day on their Wednesday…and now that London has been open a few hours, both gold and silver are trending a bit higher. Of course, that doesn’t mean much if you use yesterday’s New York price action as a template. Instead of hitting the precious metals during the thinly-traded Far East market like they’ve been doing for the past month or so, they smacked it hard in the most liquid market of all…New York…with no news associated with it. The dollar index actually fell as all this was going on.As I hit the ‘send’ button at 5:15 a.m. Eastern time, gold’s volume is sneaking up there…and silver’s volume is about average. The dollar index is down about 10 basis points.All eyes will be on the Comex when trading begins at 8:20 a.m. Eastern time. With JPMorgan Chase putting everyone on notice that they’re back in town, it’s a given that the price action in the precious metals for the balance of 2012 will not be smooth sailing.See you on Thursday. Aben Resources (TSX.V: ABN) is a Canadian gold and silver exploration company with a focus on developing properties in the Yukon and Northwest Territories. The Company owns a 100% interest in the 18,314 acre Justin Gold Project located in SE Yukon. A 2,020 metre diamond drill program was carried out in 2011 to test never before drilled zones. Aben made a significant new greenfields gold discovery when it intercepted 60m of 1.19 g/t Au in hole JN11009 at the POW Zone. Additionally, a new high grade silver-copper zone was discovered at the Kangas Zone with hole JN11003 returning 1.07m of 7320 g/t Ag (234 oz/ton) and 3.52% Cu. Aben carried out an aggressive exploration and drill program in 2012 to follow up on the initial discoveries. The first drill hole in 2012, JN12011, returned 46.4m of 1.49 g/t Au and extended the gold mineralization at the discovery zone 85 metres laterally. The Company has four other prospective Yukon and NWT projects in its portfolio along with a seasoned management and geological team. Aben’s chairman, Ron Netolitzky, is credited with exploration success on numerous properties including three Western Canadian gold and silver projects which became producing mines. Please visit our website to learn more about the company and request information.
There will never be complete clarity on who the enemy is (unless you live in a Muslim country, in which case the uniforms of the Western crusaders conveniently identify them). The global economic recovery is a fiction.Over the past week, it was revealed that Eurozone unemployment has now reached an all-time high to this point in the crisis… and real GDP has gone negative in the US. Wait a sec, some of you might say, that sure doesn’t look like a recovery!And you’d be right. Despite throwing literally trillions of dollars in new debt at the debt crisis (anyone else see something wrong with that logic?), the global economy continues to struggle.As I’m now running late, I’m not going to belabor this point. Instead, I’ll step out for a quick cup of coffee and let Casey Research Chief Economist Bud Conrad weigh in on the topic.Real GDP Dropped 0.1% in Q4 2012 – What Are the Implications?By Bud ConradExpectations were for GDP growth of about 1.6%, but a negative growth of minus 0.1% was a surprise.(Click on image to enlarge)Is a negative print indicating a possible recession ahead? Stocks were down in the US, but only by 44 points on the Dow, so the surprise was not so big a worry to the market. What’s going on?I’m reminded of the saying, “There are lies, damned lies, and (government) statistics.”This is the advance estimate of GDP, which will be revised two more times before it becomes official. It relies mostly on the first two months of the quarter and will change when December data is added. So the small negative is not really a meaningful number yet, as it will be revised.The cause of the drop was that national defense spending fell a whopping 22% in the quarter. When filtered through the various other effects on the economy, that made the real GDP 1.3% weaker than it would have been if defense were unchanged.I don’t think military spending gives us societal benefits, so I question if it should even be in GDP, but it is, and in the past it has made the economy look stronger, especially during its growth under Bush. There is also a tendency for military spending to grow in the third quarter, as that is the last quarter of the government’s calendar. The story is that once money is allocated, you have to spend it before you lose it. So a drop in relative spending in the fourth quarter is not uncommon.It was probably made worse by plans to implement the sequester at the beginning of the year (now delayed).There will be a new budget battle coming up over whether to go ahead with the sequester (cut) of defense spending in the next few months. There may be an argument that we can’t afford cuts when the economy is weak. I have my own bias that the government is too big and that, when you include the social programs that induce household spending, the GDP is far too dependent on the government for its growth. The combined effects of government are something like 40% of GDP, and that will be with us for a long time.The market is not taking the negative GDP as indicating a new recession, because other parts of the economy are continuing along with reasonable growth. Consumer spending, the main engine of US growth, rose 2.2%. Construction on new homes and apartments jumped 15.3%. Business spending on equipment and software was up. So the private-sector economy was not appearing weak.By one interpretation, the GDP number is probably a little worse than the headline because the inflation, as measured by the implicit price deflator, was also down.(Click on image to enlarge)If the deflator were 2%, as it has been reported in recent months, rather than the Q4 number of 0.6%, then the real GDP would have been 1.6% worse, at a negative 1.7%.ImplicationsIn the face of the deficit crises, I have often shared my opinion that the government would “kick the can,” as it consistently has. The tax rise on the wealthy was also Obama’s political promise and had been expected. Raising taxes, including the payroll tax, which was just accomplished, could cut household spending and hurt the GDP. If the economy is too weak to cut spending, then we will continue with the huge deficits that we cannot afford.Going forward, the debt ceiling will have no effect except to elicit hot air from politicians. It is their own shell game that goes back to the fig leaf that was instigated to replace the requirement that the administration had to get approval from Congress for each new debt offering in the early part of the last century.My prediction going forward is that Congress will make no major changes to the deficit until the dollar weakens and interest rates rise, forcing action. The Fed is monetizing at the rate of a trillion dollars a year, which covers 80% of the deficit. For now, the Fed has bailed out the federal deficit so politicians don’t need to do anything.The economy has been driven by Fed bubble blowing: first the stock market dot-com bubble (Internet stocks attracted day traders), then the housing bubble (flippers and the meme that real estate never goes down), and now a massive bond bubble (there’s no other safe place to put your money). The collapse of the biggest bubble ever in bonds will start once confidence in the Fed is lost in seeing that they can’t keep rates suppressed forever.The weak GDP report suggests the Fed will keep its attempt to pump up the economy, even as each QE program is having less and less effect. Simply put, as the government won’t cut its deficits, the Fed will keep up the QE because there is no exit strategy from this mess. As rates begin to rise, the deficit will become unmanageable due to the rising scale of interest payments. But this debt bubble will burst because low interest rates cannot be forced forever. If history is any guide, the time will come when Fed stimulus will decrease confidence in the dollar more than it helps the economy, and at that point the deficit-boosted economy will collapse. The slowing GDP is an early warning we will be keeping a close eye on.Ed. Note: How much would it be worth to you personally to be thoroughly informed on the bubble in bonds, when it is likely to burst, and how you can profit – or avoid the losses? Bud Conrad will be providing his comprehensive analysis of the bond bubble in the upcoming issue of The Casey Report. You don’t want to miss it, and don’t have to… just take us up on our fully guaranteed trial offer for The Casey Report. If you don’t love the publication, simply cancel for a full refund within the first 90 days – and keep all the issues you’ve received as our way of saying thanks for giving it a try. Learning more is as easy as clicking here now.Final ThoughtsDavid again. Given the highly politicized nature of today’s world, it is important to take the effort to understand the fundamental realities, rather than blindly accept the fictions that spew forth from officialdom and its quislings on Wall Street and in the media.Things have reached the point where the reality gap between those deluded souls living in North Korea under the rule of Kim Jong Wu Ever and those living in the degraded Western democracies is rapidly narrowing. In North Korea, they are told that the South Koreans want to eat their babies or some such; in the United States, people are told that just across the border in Mexico, the streets are paved with headless corpses.(You might find the map linked to here of interest as it compares the murder rates of various countries against those in US cities. Let’s see, there are approximately 10 murders per 100,000 people in Mexico… half that of Washington and less than a third of that in Baltimore.)In North Korea, the people are told that the Jong family are one tick off from being deities and believe it. In the US and Europe, people are told that debt issuance and money printing without end is the “solution” to the financial crisis and believe that too.The bottom line on today’s musings is that it really behooves us all to revisit our beliefs and kick the tires on our assumptions, looking for some kernel of observable truth that we can use to guide us through the challenges ahead.One such reality is that gold has been considered sound money around the globe for most of recorded human history. While it’s been in a consolidation phase for over a year now, and could remain flat to down for a while longer, you have to ask yourself what’s more likely to retain its value? Currency units created out of thin air or an ounce of gold?Wherever possible, try to align your finances and your life with reality. While that may make you subject to periodic losses and inconveniences as popular delusions and the madness of crowds push markets, and countries, in unsustainable directions – in time, you’ll come out on top.Friday FunniesIf you’re not familiar with the work of Steven Wright, he’s the humorist who once said, “I woke up one morning, and all of my stuff had been stolen and replaced by exact duplicates.” His mind sees things differently than most of us do; here are some of his gems:1 – I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.2 – Borrow money from pessimists – they don’t expect it back.3 – Half the people you know are below average.4 – 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.5 – 82.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.6 – A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.7 – A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.8 – If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain.9 – All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand.10 – The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.11 – I almost had a psychic girlfriend… but she left me before we met.12 – OK, so what’s the speed of dark?13 – How do you tell when you’re out of invisible ink?14 – If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.15 – Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.16 – When everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.17 – Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.18 – Hard work pays off in the future; laziness pays off now.19 – I intend to live forever… so far, so good.20 – If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?21 – Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.22 – What happens if you get scared half to death twice?23 – My mechanic told me, “I couldn’t repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.”24 – Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?25 – If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.26 – A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.27 – Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.28 – The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.29 – To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.30 – The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.31 – The sooner you fall behind, the more time you’ll have to catch up.32 – The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it.33 – Everyone has a photographic memory; some just don’t have film.34 – If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.And the all-time favorite –35 – If your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work?Weekend Reads and WatchesInterview with Dennis Miller. Earlier this week, our own Dennis Miller sat for an interview with Kerry Lutz of the Financial Survival Network. It’s a good interview as it provides insights into the scale of the problems now facing retirees and those who would like to retire, and some of the solutions Dennis has uncovered. Here’s the link to the interview.Busy-Bodies of the Month. I really like Reason TV. In this installment, they reveal their busy-bodies of the month – in this case an absolutely mind-boggling new proposal to criminalize nicotine. Here’s the link.Perfect-Worlders Try to Kill Bambi. Along a similar line, this morning Dennis Miller sent me a link to a ridiculous story about a former police officer and his wife facing jail time for rescuing an injured deer. Here’s the link.Live Again. Earlier I mentioned the upcoming Harvest Celebration at La Estancia de Cafayate, March 14 – 19. For those of you who haven’t yet seen it, a short film titled Live Again was made at La Estancia that will give you a sense of the place. Here’s the link.Until Next Week!Sorry for going on a bit long this week. Starting work well before the crack of dawn and trying to compensate by getting juiced up on mate and coffee and ramped up with loud music has that effect on me.Before signing off, however, I want to mention that there are two new Casey Phyles forming – one in Nashville, TN, and one in Cleveland, OH. If you would like to join one of these meet-up groups, or one in your area, drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.I also want to mention that we’ve nailed down the dates for our fall Casey Research Summit in Tucson, Arizona: If you are interested in participating, mark October 4 – 6, 2013 on your calendar. We’re still working on the details, but you’ll hear from us as soon as more information becomes available. If you want to stay up to date and be the first to learn when registration opens for the Summit, simply get on our waitlist (being on the list doesn’t oblige you to attend the Summit).And with that, I will bid you farewell for the week by thanking you for reading and for being a subscriber to a Casey Research publication.David GallandManaging DirectorCasey ResearchCafayate, Argentina Dear Readers,It is said that death and taxation are the only certainties in life.Expanding on that list, however, we also know there are “physical laws” derived from extensive observations, in some cases dating back to antiquity. For example, sticking fingers in fires will result in unpleasantness.Then there is the realm of what one might call “common knowledge.” For example, the historical record makes it appear certain that, universally, power corrupts the human mind, and the greater the power, the greater the corruption.For a relevant example, look no further than Kim Jong-Il, who at an early age evidenced what psychologists term the “big six” personality disorders commonly shared by dictators: sadistic, paranoid, anti-social, narcissistic, with schizoid and schizotypal thrown in for good measure.Without the power devolved to him by his equally degraded father, Kim Jong-Il would have been hard pressed to get a date anywhere else in the world. As supreme leader, on the other hand, he was unhesitant in pressing into service a “Mansions Special Volunteer Corps” – a harem of attractive women plucked out of the population to attend to his every prurient whim.Tangling things up in this area of common knowledge is that we humans are quite adroit at adopting unproven ideas as certainties, even though they may be anything but. While the list of entries in this particular ledger are almost infinite, as just one example, I would point to the absolute certainty with which so many people view the notion that humans are the biggest culprits in climate change (previously referred to as “weather”).Another of these false certainties is that a government can create currency units out of thin air in unlimited amounts without triggering a subsequent devaluation of the currency units already in circulation. Furthermore, these days it is taken almost as common knowledge by a large swath of the population (at least by those who pay any attention at all to such things) that flooding a country with unbacked money is a good thing.Not to go on, as I am wont to do, but I would also mention the misconception by many that the United States, the most powerful country in the world (see reference to Kim Jong-Il above), remains the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.While one might subscribe to a different definition of the words “Free” and “Brave,” from where I sit, the United States is increasingly looking like a large Club Fed populated by a people whose re-education as serfs laboring on behalf of the state is almost complete.Recently, support for that contention was provided when Phil Mickelson pointed out that his taxes had reached 63% of his annual income and that, as a result, he was contemplating moving to a lower-tax state than California. For daring to want to keep more of his earnings than the state, which sinks not a single putt for its share, he was soundly pilloried in the press.Sadly, rather than telling his many critics to bugger off, he issued a series of apologies for speaking out against his tax-slave status.But the hour is growing late, and so enough of this rambling on.Moving along, I thought it worth trying to divine something approaching certainty about a few of the key aspects of today’s world that have the very real potential to affect us all in ways most profound.What We Now KnowIn no particular order, here are just a few important aspects of today’s world that appear to be true to me.The crusades are alive and well and will continue indefinitely. Since the first crusade in 1095, the Christians and the Muslims have been at war pretty much continually. In other words, the war has been going on for over 900 years.Back then, the battles were pretty straightforward affairs involving a wide range of sharpened instruments and projectiles, with no mercy asked and none given even if it was.In modernity, however, the war has evolved in most interesting ways. For example, there are no longer distinct lines of battles. Instead, thanks to the natural evolution of societies, the advent of political correctness accompanied by a whopping dollop of bureaucratic pandering, the Muslims are thoroughly embedded in previously staunchly Christian societies. (Interestingly, the opposite is not the case.)Adding to the fog of war is the nature of the weaponry and, by extension, tactics. Whereas in antiquity the warring parties had no real technological advantage, or at least not of a lasting nature, today the range of possible weapons and tactics is almost limitless.Case in point, the next attack on a major city is as likely to come in the form of a few jars of some particularly nasty germ dropped in the water supply as it is from a reengineered Stuxnet computer virus.Furthermore, as the potential enemies are numerous and reside within many borders, including your own, the possible responses to such an attack are rendered ineffective and even counterproductive. That’s how the moronic act of attacking Iraq after a small group of Saudis and Pakistanis in planes took down the World Trade Center buildings came about. The US had to attack someone, and so it picked the appropriate fall guy and set to work.Recapping what we know now in this instance:The crusades will continue indefinitely. The US government will do whatever it takes to keep the statists in power.That the nation is no longer governed by principles should be obvious to everyone at this point. Well, perhaps with the exception of the principle of self-preservation for the politicos.That they are masters at survival can be seen in the high reelection rate of members of Congress, despite the polls indicating their popularity as only a smidgeon above stepping into a pile of fresh dog droppings.In the current economic environment, however, their skills at blaming others and kicking cans down the road is being tested, witnessed by the adoption of concepts such as unlimited money printing, a concept previously reserved for banana republics and Weimar Germanys. Unfortunately, as I have expressed in my writings before, the quantitative easing is likely to be one of the last “soft” options as the crisis deepens.In the United States, the government is just a couple of ticks away from turning the de facto capital controls currently in place into those of a more hardened type. With the new FACTA foreign financial assets reporting regulations now in effect, all the necessary functionality is in place, leaving only a quick turn of the knobs to dial in punitive tax levels on such holdings or take some similar action to make the “unpatriotic” act of daring to move assets offshore into one that is also distinctly ill-advised.Then there is the inevitable grab for the trillions of dollars now in US pension plans, something that Doug has warned about for years. A recent story out of Bloomberg a couple of weeks ago sure looks like a straw in the wind to me. And I quote.The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is weighing whether it should take on a role in helping Americans manage the $19.4 trillion they have put into retirement savings, a move that would be the agency’s first foray into consumer investments. “That’s one of the things we’ve been exploring and are interested in in terms of whether and what authority we have,” bureau director Richard Cordray said in an interview. He didn’t provide additional details. Here’s the link…All that’s missing is the next stock market crash, and this initiative will rise to the fore. That the Sheeple will fall right in line with the logic of a government takeover of the pensions can be understood by looking at a number of surveys showing the majority of Americans don’t have any real savings.One study by the Employee Benefits Research Institute found that 56% of US workers have less than $25,000 saved. And that’s workers. Fully 54% of folks who have actually retired also report that they have less than $25,000 to live on.What this means is that over 50% of Americans are either currently, or will someday soon, be wards of the state. So, that’s something else we know.“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who are not.” Thomas JeffersonDrifting back to this particular point, this fairly startling reality is all the excuse the government needs to shove both its mitts into the nation’s pensions and take what it needs to keep Washington DC in the wealth redistribution/political pandering business.The taking is as simple as requiring that all pensions contain at least “XX%” of safe Treasury bills or some new form of government-backed paper whipped up for the scam. Or, alternatively, you must withdraw your money from your IRA and pay the penalty – the rationale being that you are bound to lose your money if you manage it yourself and therefore the penalty and taxes for withdrawing are merely a deposit on future government handouts you are sure to need.It is, of course, ironic that the very people now contemplating helping retirees with their finances are the ones most responsible for bankrupting the country and devastating the finances of retirees by rigging interest rates to an artificially low rate. I would be remiss at this point if I didn’t tip the hat in the direction of the plain-talking, straight-shooting Dennis Miller, author of Retirement Reboot and editor of the highly praised Miller’s Money Forever, a monthly publication dedicated to helping those in or nearing retirement get their financial act together, and keep it together, through good times and bad.Earlier this week, Dennis sent along 95 pages of comments he received from a survey on what his subscribers wanted to learn more about. The top three topics were all related to moves people can make to generate reliable income – annuities, reverse mortgages, and dividend-paying stocks – all topics Dennis and his team have written extensively on.In fact, he has produced a number of special reports, The Cash Book, The Yield Book and The Annuity Guide, all of which are available at no additional cost to paid-up subscribers.Listen, this stuff is serious. If you are behind the 8-ball on your retirement savings, don’t even begin to hesitate to subscribe to Dennis’ service.Of course, we’ve got to make some money, so we can’t give the service away, but at just $99 a year – and you receive Dennis’ book Retirement Reboot (a $9.95 value) as a premium – it’s an extraordinarily good value.As the publication includes a 3-month, 100% money-back guarantee, you have zero risk in trying the service out.For details, click here.Which brings me to my final entry for today’s musings about what we now know… The biggest consequence of this sloppy Forever War is that the helpless (and some would chirp, hapless) Western governments and the military-industrial complex that props them up are at liberty to improvise countermeasures and strategies without any real limitations.Thus, every new attack, or perceived new threat, results in a new set of actions pretty much made up on the spot to punish the perps and counter the next attack. To name one relatively tame example, the act of a single Jihadist fitting a bomb in his sneakers resulted in the loss of countless of hours, and more than a little dignity, when the bureaucrats instituted a requirement that John Q. Sheeple must remove his shoes in order to board a plane.In addition, because these governments have no idea where the next attack is likely to occur or what form it will take, the perfect-worlder bureaucrats increasingly in charge of Western governments have begun to exercise the precautionary principle to the point of dangerous absurdity.In the event you are not familiar with the term, the precautionary principle basically holds that if there is a threat to the public, even though it is not proven, the burden of proof that it is not a threat falls to those claiming that it is not a threat.Thus, for example, if the military states that it sees a threat emanating from, say, Iraq and certain analysts disagree, the burden of proof falls upon the dissenting analysts. Because as often as not the perceived threats are little more than abstractions that are virtually unprovable, the threat-seers invariably win out, and off go the jets.Hoping to make the point clear, one might counter the gun waving of today’s military by theorizing that the most effective way of eliminating the Jihadist threat would be to pull all the troops out of the Middle East and to stop the constant meddling in the affairs of those countries. As this thesis is unprovable without actually taking the measure in order to gauge its effectiveness, the military-industrial complex and the headline-grabbing politicians and their bureaucratic stooges are free to dismiss it out of hand and continue to layer on the countermeasures they believe will head off the threats of further attacks.Unfortunately, many of those countermeasures are not just inane and ineffective, but require stomping on personal liberties. But, for the reasons just mentioned, there is no effective argument against them.“Why do you want me to go through an X-Ray machine in order to travel?” you might ask a TSA agent.“Because we’re at war with the terrorists, and it’s our job to keep the public safe!”“But I’m not a terrorist!”“Oh, yeah? Prove it. Starting by stepping into the X-Ray machine.”Likewise, arguments against building electronic files on everyone, including all their communications and Facebook contacts, fall on the deaf ears of bureaucrats who are charged with heading off the next attack.And because of the nature of the crusade, in the absence of a radical change of direction, the hit to personal freedoms will only get worse. Because this “war” is never-ending and has no hard targets of any consequence, which means that the tentacles of the government’s countermeasures will grow until they reach into every corner of our lives.The real consequences, however, will be felt only after the next large-scale attack. After that, the ardent advocates of the precautionary principle will kick their machinations into high gear, and you won’t be able to sneeze without first getting permission.(Somewhat related is the idea that schools should be turned into day-visit penitentiaries complete with metal detectors, bullet-proof glass, and armed guards, further inculcating the culture of paranoia and fear that now exists in the US. Managing by exception, a key tenet of the precautionary principle – and attacks on schools are very much the exception – is never a good idea. But that won’t stop the US from turning its schools into mini-Camp Feds.)Any way of ending the crusades and turning this terrible trend back?Not that I can see. Well, I suppose the better-armed Western governments could really take off the gloves, turn the Middle East into the proverbial parking lot, then round up anyone within their borders unwilling to denounce Islam and throw them into gas chambers re-education camps. But that’s not going to happen (and, lest you get the wrong idea, I am not advocating it in the slightest), which means that there is no way to end the Crusade.Instead, all you can really do is recognize it for what it is and, more importantly, recognize the direct consequences to you and your family in the months and years just ahead. Personally, I opted out from a seat within ground zero and, along with Doug Casey, plan on watching events unfold on CNN while sipping on a nice Malbec here in Cafayate.(Speaking of which, the next Harvest Event and Casey Research conference at La Estancia de Cafayate is coming up March 14-19. This is the single best opportunity to find out for yourself what’s going on in this up-and-coming wine-growing town. For details and a registration form, write Dave Norden a note at dnorden@LaEst.com today.)So, what else do we know now?The United States is perilously close to becoming a one-party, socialist state. As a result of winning the last election, President Obama, a man whose ego needs no encouragement, may come to believe he has a mandate and will try to become far more than a token president – to wit, the first black elected to the office. Instead, he’ll try to become the first among firsts. The socialists in charge have effectively taken over medical services, are now focusing on taking away guns, and, based on the comments made during Obama’s inauguration speech, are planning to continue pushing the agenda of radical environmentalism, which, in turn, is a fulcrum point into more regulations on private business.It’s all about legacy at this point, and part of that legacy could very well be a follow-on term for the beloved Evita Michelle Obama, a woman whose mere presence can cause a liberal to grow weak at the knees. Or soft in the mind, as was in evidence on the always entertaining Huffington Post when one Nina Bahadur unleashed a torrent of drivel under the following masthead.(My personal favorites from Nina’s list were #21 – She’s a fan of pillow forts, and #45 – She has a sweet tooth. Who knew?!)The potential consequences of back-to-back Obamas and their devoted army of sycophants are many, and few of them good, as the roots of the tree they sprung from are of steadfast socialist stock.The historical record shows unequivocally that there is a line that, if crossed, makes the whole “from each according to their ability to each according to their needs” thing devolve into economic collapse and, often, fascism. At that point the slogan changes to something akin to, “From the burning houses of the greedy capitalists to the impoverished masses.”Any way this situation could turn around? Again, none that is easily imagined. We as a nation are way past the more genteel era when it was considered bad form for a sitting president to campaign for his party. Instead, it’s Chicago-style bare-knuckle politicking all the way, with overt distribution of favors to the inert to ensure reelection.The one possible way that the rising socialist tide is held up is if there is a major financial crash and the ruling elite somehow lose their ability to pin blame on someone else.In other words, the country is either headed for certain ruin as the productive class becomes further outnumbered by the recipient class and then turned into little more than tax cows, and the equivalent of Atlas Shrugs occurs. Or we have a whopping good crash that chases the socialists out from the shadows.Note that either scenario involves a crash. Which begs the follow-on question: how will the government react when things go off the rails?Will the population, confronted with inescapable ruin, come to their senses, starting by remembering that there actually isn’t such a thing as a free lunch? Or will they redouble their calls for the government to do more? While no one can see the future, I expect the latter. That is when the risk of socialism sliding into fascism will be greatest.Which brings us to the next certainty, if there can be any such thing (other than death and taxes)… It is nearly impossible to anticipate or to respond in any way other than with ineffective surgical strikes or blunt-force invasions.In the case of the former, as much as some misguided individuals might wish it to be the case, this is not a war that will be a series of drone strikes. And we need look no further than Afghanistan to see the failures of trying a blunt-force invasion when the enemy is fleet of foot and deeply embedded in the population, but is not the population as a whole. (If it were the population as a whole, as was believed to be the case in Germany in WWII, then the war would be a simple matter of unleashing widespread hell.) The next attack can come literally anywhere in the world and in any form.
Uranium Energy Corp. (NYSE MKT: UEC) is pleased to announce that the final authorization has been granted for production at its Goliad ISR Project in South Texas. As announced in previous press releases, the Company received all of the required authorizations from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, including an Aquifer Exemption which has now been granted concurrence from EPA Region 6. Amir Adnani, President and CEO, stated, “We are very pleased to have received this final authorization for initiating production at Goliad. Our geological and engineering teams have worked diligently toward achieving this major milestone and are to be truly commended. We are grateful to the EPA for its thorough reviews and for issuing this final concurrence. The Company’s near-term plan is to complete construction at the first production area at Goliad and to greatly increase the throughput of uranium at our centralized Hobson processing plant.” Please contact Investor Relations with questions or to request additional information, email@example.com. Sponsor Advertisement The London open is less than five minutes away as I type this paragraph—and the gold price did absolutely nothing in Far East trading on their Friday. The same goes for silver. Volumes are vanishingly small in both metals. Gold’s net volume is a hair under 8,000 contracts—and silver’s volume is 3,500 contracts. Both platinum and palladium got sold down a bit during Far East trading—and platinum is still down at the London open, but palladium is back to unchanged. The dollar index is basically unchanged from its New York close on Thursday afternoon EDT. Today we get the new Commitment of Traders Report for positions held at the close of Comex trading on Tuesday, May 20. As I said earlier this week, the price action suggests we should see further improvement in the Commercial net short positions in both gold and silver—but I also said [out of the other side of my mouth] that I reserved the right to be wrong. I’ll find out at 3:30 p.m. EDT this afternoon—and I’ll have all of it for you tomorrow. I was looking at the CME’s Preliminary Report on the Thursday trading action—and I note that there are about 127,000 gold contracts still open in June. All of those have to be sold or rolled by the end of Comex trading next Thursday—and those that aren’t, will be standing for delivery in the June delivery month. Based on that, we’ll see some really decent roll-over/trading volume during the next five business days. And as I hit the send button on today’s column at 5:05 a.m. EDT, I note that selling pressure has shown up in all four precious metals—and all are below their Thursday closing prices in New York. Gold volume is now up over 50% from the open, but still very light for this time of day—and about the same can be said for silver’s volume. So based on volume alone, I’m not prepared to read much into the current price move, regardless of direction. The dollar index, which had been ruler flat up until the London open, is now up 19 basis points, so I’d guess that the precious metal prices moves at the moment are a result of that, at least that’s what will be given as the reason by the main stream media if these trends continue. Since today is Friday, I haven’t any idea as to how the trading action will unfold in New York. Will “da boyz” take off for The Hamptons early, or will there be some fireworks of some kind? Beats me, but we won’t have long to wait to find out. Before heading out the door, I’d like to remind you once again that Casey Research has a limited-time offer [it ends at midnight EDT on Monday] on their Casey Extraordinary Technology subscription service. Alex Daley is all pumped up about the successes they’ve had over the last year, with an average return of 47%. The commentary is rather provocatively headlined “Gold is Dead: Long Live Tech“. It costs nothing to check it out, which I urge you to do when you have a spare minute. The link is here—and Casey Research is now providing a 6-month guarantee of customer satisfaction with this offer. I hope you enjoy your weekend, or what’s left of it if you live west of the International Date Line—and I’ll see you here tomorrow. As you’ve already figured out for yourself, the closing prices of all four precious metals would be have been past the orbit of Jupiter if “da boyz” hadn’t been stepped in—as the panic short-covering rally that would have commenced at some point, would have finished the job. The only thing left to be done once the smoke cleared after that, would be to make note of which short sellers were forced into bankruptcy attempting to make margin calls, or cover short positions in a “no ask” market—like what happened to Bear Stearns. The dollar index closed late on Wednesday afternoon in New York at 80.07—and then spent all of Thursday chopping very quietly higher. It finished the day at 80.22—up 15 basis points on the day. The gold stocks opened up about a percent, but that didn’t last long—and by the end of the day they were back in the red—and the HUI closed down 0.07%—about what it gained on Wednesday. The CME Daily Delivery Report didn’t show much, as there were zero gold and 6 silver contracts posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Monday. And yes, JPMorgan was the long/stopper on all six contracts. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. There were no reported changes in GLD—and as of 9:52 p.m. yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV, either. Joshua Gibbons, the “Guru of the SLV Bar List“, updated his website with the goings-on within SLV during the reporting week—and here is what he had to say: “Analysis of the 21 May 2014 bar list, and comparison to the previous week’s list. No bars were added, removed, or had a serial number change. As of the time that the bar list was produced, it was overallocated 234.2 oz. A withdrawal of 1,152,782.4 oz on Wednesday is not reflected on the bar list.” The link to Joshua’s website is here. There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint once again. Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday, there was no in/out movement in gold. But it was much busier in silver, of course, as 606,473 troy ounces were reported received—and 673,568 troy ounces were shipped out. The link to that activity is here. I have a very decent number of stories for you again today—and I hope you can find time to wade through the ones you like. The 320 million oz concentrated silver short position is 36% of all the visible silver bullion in the world’s total ETFs and exchange inventories (875 million oz) and 40% of total annual mine production (800 million oz). Can you imagine the outrage that would erupt in any market, say the stock market, if prices were down 40% and there existed eight traders (7 unidentified) holding a short position equal to 36% of total stocks in existence? And if JPMorgan was the identified king stock short, would it be swept under the rug? While it’s clear that the regulators won’t intercede and break up the illegitimate concentrated short position in COMEX silver, neither can they make it easily go away. And it appears that the 8 big shorts can’t make it go away either, or at least they haven’t until now. Not only can’t the massive short position be explained in terms of hedging legitimacy, it also can’t be explained in legitimate economic terms. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 21 May 2014 I don’t think that I need to add anything further to my prior discussion on Thursday’s price activity, as the charts pretty much speak for themselves—and I said all that was necessary about it at the top of this column. Here are the 6-month charts for both gold and silver once again with Thursday’s data added. JPMorgan et al are still keeping the gold price below its 50-day moving average—and silver, which broke above its 50-day moving average on its spike high at the New York open, closed a hair above its 20-day moving average. The rallies in platinum and palladium didn’t really get started until around 11 a.m. BST in London trading, but they to ran into the same sellers of last resort shortly after the Comex open. Although their respective prices were capped, at least they held onto a decent portion of those gains—and weren’t sold down hard like their gold and silver brethren. Here are the charts. It was almost an identical price pattern with the silver equities—and Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down another 0.42%. It was precisely the same chart pattern in silver—and that’s all I need to say about that. The low and high ticks were reported as $19.36 and $19.825 in the July contract. Silver finished the Thursday session at $19.485 spot, up a whole 10 cents from Wednesday. Volume, net of May and June, was a very hefty 43,500 contracts, of which 7,500 was in the September and December delivery months once again. As I keep saying, it seems way too early for July contract holders to be rolling out of their positions, but you just never know—and as I’ve also said, all those contracts could be one leg of spread trade. Regardless of what they are, volume yesterday was pretty big. The charts pretty much speak for themselves The gold price traded pretty flat in Far East trading on their Thursday—and began to develop a positive bias around 1 p.m. Hong Kong time. From there it rallied slowly but steadily until the 8:20 a.m. EDT New York open—and you don’t need me, or anyone else for that matter, telling you what happened next—as you’ve seen that movie before plenty of times. By the time that JPMorgan et al were done at 11:30 a.m.—all the London and New York gains had vanished into thin air—and from that point on, the gold price traded flat into the 5:15 p.m. electronic close. The CME Group recorded the low and high ticks as $1,290.10 and $1,304.10 in the June contract. The gold price finished the Thursday session in New York at $1,293.70 spot, up $1.80 from Wednesday’s close. Net volume was 102,000 contracts. The next two photos were taken in the badlands of the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota. The first one is of a mule deer doe—and the second one is of a wild tom turkey–—and a member of the Meleagris gallopavo species. He was in the process of putting the hit on three hens—and payed me scant attention. It’s too bad this photo has to be so small in the column, because at full-screen size it is stunning.
August 11, 6 a.m.—San Francisco International AirportA twenty-something woman is running the back of her hand across the base of my breasts. I stand there, legs spread as she moves on to the inside of my thighs. She runs her hand underneath the waistline of my pants and across my buttocks.I’m angry and embarrassed. The woman touching me seems embarrassed, too.When she’s done her coworker, a young woman with a large neck tattoo poorly covered with makeup, rummages through my suitcase, purse, and laptop bag. Piece by piece, she pulls out my still-damp bathing suit, my underwear, and a few crumpled up dresses. She tosses my iPad aside, jiggles a bottle of prescription medicine, and stares at my EpiPen, bewildered. She’s enjoying this—today she is in charge of me.Sad to say, if you fly often, you’ve likely had a similar experience. Mary Beth Ruskai, a Boston-based chemistry and mathematics research professor, certainly has.Dr. Ruskai works on quantum information theory, and despite having two artificial knees and an artificial hip, she’s an avid hiker and skier—at 70 years old. Ruskai counts “proving that an atom with fixed nuclear charge can bind only finitely many electrons” among her proudest achievements… along with challenging the challenging Transportation Security Administration’s policy of enhanced pat-downs in federal court.Artificial Joints Up Your Chance of an Enhanced Pat DownIn the US, 4.5 million people over age 50 have artificial knees, and over 1 million people receive some type of total joint replacement each year—most often a new knee or hip. For these people, getting through airport security with their dignity intact can be next to impossible, largely because of TSA’s current policy of performing enhanced pat-downs on anyone who sets off a walk-through metal detector.My enhanced pat-down experiences (the incident described above wasn’t the first) seem tame compared to what others routinely endure. Here’s how a few distressed travelers described their experiences in letters to the TSA:“I felt violated. If any other person had done this to me it would constitute sexual assault.”“I began shaking and felt completely violated, abused and assaulted by the TSA agent.”“I was reduced to tears—it was an utterly humiliating experience.”Even John Pistole, former FBI agent and the current head of the TSA, described the experience as uncomfortable.2010: The Year TSA Got Extra FriskyEnhanced pat-downs weren’t always de rigueur. Ruskai travels often for work, and after her right knee was replaced in 2008 and left knee and right hip was replaced in 2012, she began traveling with x-rays and other medical documents noting her metal joints. Also, the Department of Homeland Security has cleared her as a Trusted Traveler, meaning she’s already voluntarily provided copious amounts of personal information to DHS, and it’s determined she’s a low-risk flier.When Ruskai’s metal knee set off walkthrough metal detectors prior to 2010, she’d offer up medical documents noting the artificial joint, a female TSA agent would use a handheld metal detector to confirm that the metal on her was limited to her knee, and then the agent would pat down her knee area only. In other words, the process was an annoying, but that’s about it.Then in late 2010, the TSA began using enhanced pat-downs in lieu of handheld metal detectors for secondary screening at all security lines with walkthrough metal detectors. Though it had began using Advanced Imaging Technology (full body scanners) in 2008—which will cost taxpayers $2 billion by 2015 and presents its own privacy issues—around 290 of the 750 or so domestic security checkpoints still use walkthrough metal detectors as their primary mode of screening. And as you’ve likely noticed, full body scanners are often not operational at the airports that do have them.As pat-downs became the standard secondary screening measure, TSA also amplified what they involved. According to a brief filed by Ruskai’s attorneys:The new procedures involve “a more detailed tactile inspection of areas higher on the thigh and in the groin area … [and] routinely involve touching of buttocks and genitals.” … The agent is required to run the hand up the passenger’s thighs until reaching the groin twice on each leg—from the front and back. … The agent also must insert the hand into the passenger’s waistband around the entire waste, and for female passengers, around the breasts.I squirmed just typing that out. It’s exactly what happens.Between February and April of 2011, TSA agents performed four separate enhanced pat-downs on Ruskai. As these pat-downs continued, she began wearing shorts through airport security and asked that TSA agents visually inspect her legs. TSA’s answer: No.Ruskai filed complaints with TSA and DHS, and 10 months later TSA issued a final order stating it would not investigate her complaints. In April 2012, she petitioned the First Circuit Court of Appeals to review that order and determine, among other issues, whether the enhanced pat-downs violate her Fourth Amendment rights. The court heard oral arguments in January of this year, and the case drags on.What’s Reasonable?I won’t regurgitate all of the 4th Amendment case law here. (If you’re curious, you can read the Ruskai case briefs and listen to oral arguments.) The abridged version is: the 4th protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures; airport security screenings are “searches” under the 4th Amendment; and, under narrow circumstances, including where the government seeks to prevent hazardous conditions, a warrantless, non-individualized search may be reasonable, depending on the seriousness of the hazard and the invasiveness of the search.While the court gets to decide the whether routinely molesting travelers with artificial joints is reasonable under the law, the argument borders on the absurd, especially when a less invasive and equally (if not more) effective options exists: the handheld metal detectors used prior to 2010.On a side note, TSA has certified certain foreign airports as maintaining security measures comparable to those of US airports. Travelers flying into the US from these airports are not put through additional security when they arrive. Nevertheless, security at these airports does not routinely perform pat-downs on travelers with artificial joints. If the TSA itself has certified that security at these airports is equivalent to that of US airports, how can these searches be essential to safety?Take a look at the picture of the oh-so-dangerous Dr. Ruskai. Remember, she’s 70 years old, travels with medical documentation of her three artificial joints, and DHS has cleared her as a Trusted Traveler.Source: Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical SciencesThe official purpose of TSA security checkpoints is to prevent passengers from carrying weapons and explosives onto airplanes. Fine—no one in his right mind wants to be on a plane with explosives. Nevertheless, it seems downright silly to use limited resources searching people like Dr. Ruskai for weapons and explosives. As mentioned in oral arguments, why would a terrorist use someone guaranteed to set off a metal detector to smuggle dangerous material onto an airplane?TSA Pre✓For now, the millions of seniors with artificial joints have limited choices: avoid airplanes or only travel through airports that use full body scanners. Then again, there’s no guarantee those full body scanners will be up and running when you make your way through security. If you have to walk through a metal detector, prepare to be assaulted.I don’t have an artificial joint, but for whatever reason TSA often singles me out for enhanced pat-downs. Maybe the freckles and blue eyes make me look dangerous. Regardless, I’m applying to become a Trusted Traveler through TSA Pre✓ in the hope that this will stop. If you’re a US citizen or lawful permanent resident, have never been convicted of sedition, treason, murder, or other outrageous felonies, and have $85 to spare, consider doing the same.Yes, TSA Pre✓ and the other Trusted Traveler programs require you to divulge personal information. And yes, it’s frightening that you might have to considering doing this to avoid airport groping. On balance, though, I’d rather hand over personal information that the federal government surely has already than let another TSA agent stick her hand in my pants—how sad it is that anyone has to make that choice.On the Lighter SideDennis says “hello.” He and chief analyst Andrey Dashkov are wrapping up the next issue of Miller’s Money Forever, and he’ll be back next week. In the meantime, you can listen to Dennis talk about his book Retirement Reboot on WGNtv.With that, I’ll leave you with a touch (pun intended) of TSA humor:Until next week…
For 18-year-old high school senior Ellie Rapp of Pittsburgh, the sound of her family chewing their dinner can be … unbearable.”My heart starts to pound. I go one of two ways. I either start to cry or I just get really intensely angry. It’s really intense. I mean, it’s as if you’re going to die,” she says. Rapp has been experiencing this reaction to certain noises since she was a toddler. She recalls a ride home from preschool when her mother turned on the radio and started singing, which caused Rapp to scream and cry hysterically.”That’s my first memory ever,” Rapp says.Over the years, “everybody was pretty confused, but on the inside I felt like I was going insane,” she says.It wasn’t until middle school that she found a name for it. Her mom, Kathy Rapp, had been searching for years for help. Then she found an article on the Web about a condition known as misophonia.”And I read it and I said, ‘This is what I have. This is it,’ ” says Ellie Rapp.Misophonia is characterized by intense emotion like rage or fear in response to highly specific sounds, particularly ordinary sounds that other people make. The cause is unknown.For people who suffer from it, mouth sounds are common triggers. “Chewing is almost universal. Gum chewing is almost universal. They also don’t like the sound of throat clearing. Coughing, sniffing, nose blowing — a number of things,” says Jaelline Jaffe, a psychotherapist in Los Angeles who specializes in misophonia and works with Rapp.For some, the sight of someone chewing or a specific smell or even humming, tapping or pen-clicking can trigger a negative reaction.”It’s as if the survival part of the brain thinks somehow it’s being attacked or it’s in danger,” says Jaffe. Misophonia got its name just a few years ago, and it is not officially listed as a diagnosis in any medical manuals. Many doctors have never heard of it, and if patients do mention their symptoms, they are sometimes dismissed or diagnosed with a mood disorder. While many people with misophonia also have anxiety or depression, not all of them do. There are few studies on misophonia, and experts disagree over whether it should be classified as its own disorder or a subset of another.Because it’s so little understood, the people around those suffering from it have trouble believing or understanding how painful their symptoms can be. A small, recent study offers potential new insight into how misophonia works.”We’re pretty convinced that we’ve found some very good evidence for relating this disorder to particular patterns of brain activity.” says Phillip Gander, who studies how the brain makes sense of sound at the University of Iowa. He was part of a team that published a study in Current Biology in 2017 that suggests that the brains of people with misophonia respond differently to certain sounds.The team looked at 20 adults with misophonia and 22 without it. They had the participants rate the unpleasantness of different sounds, including common trigger sounds like eating and breathing, universally disliked sounds like nails on a chalkboard, and neutral sounds like footsteps or a bird chirping.”What happened was that the response to the neutral sounds and negative sounds were the same in both groups,” he says.But the people with misophonia rated the eating and breathing sounds as highly disturbing. Those without the condition did not. The ones with misophonia also showed classic signs of stress when hearing these trigger sounds: “Their heart rate increased and it made their palms sweat more,” he says.Also, the people with misophonia appeared to have some unusual brain activity when the trigger sounds were played. “In the misophonia group, the activity was far greater in particular parts of their brain,” Gander explains — including parts of the brain that process emotions.It’s an interesting study, agrees Steven Taylor, a professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of British Columbia who specializes in mood disorders. But there are a number of important problems with it, he says. First, it was very small, and the subjects’ misophonia was diagnosed with only a short questionnaire. “In studies of clinical conditions like misophonia, diagnosis by questionnaire is typically inadequate. A face-to-face interview with a trained clinician (e.g., a psychologist) is typically needed,” he says.Also, the study doesn’t show what causes misophonia, only that it is associated with some brain regions and their connections, he adds.Gander agrees that more work needs to be done. “What it does help us do is identify some targets in the brain to look at,” he says.For the misophonia community, the brain study was a big deal.Marsha Johnson is an audiologist in Portland, Ore., who specializes in misophonia. “It was phenomenal. It was the first piece of research that showed our population that what they had was real,” she says.Johnson is one of the first to identify misophonia. She began recognizing that a number of her young patients had symptoms that couldn’t be easily explained as either hearing disorders or psychological problems. “They were perfectly developing normal kids until the certain period of time from like 7 or 8 years old through about 13 or 14 — and mostly girls,” she says. Also, their triggers were most likely to come from close family members.Back in 1999, she dubbed it selective sound sensitivity syndrome.But a more melodic name — misophonia — would later catch on after it was so named by scientists who wrote a paper describing symptoms of decreased sound tolerance in 2001. Misophonia means hatred of sound, which, as Johnson points out, is not technically accurate.”Most of these people don’t hate sound; they only hate particular sounds,” she says.Johnson began speaking at conferences and leading online group chats to draw attention to misophonia, and thousands came. She developed a network of providers to work with misophonia patients, including therapist Jaelline Jaffe. But the community is still relatively small, and recognition of the condition is still not universal. Misophonia is listed by the National Institutes of Health on its rare diseases website as a chronic disorder (though Jaffe and Johnson say it is likely underdiagnosed and may not be so rare). And it’s not listed in the bible of mental disorders, the DSM-5, which makes it hard for doctors to identify it and rare for insurers to cover treatments related to it.”The problem is, the whole field currently lies undefined,” says Johnson.And there aren’t any bulletproof treatments. But there are some strategies that can help someone cope. Flooding the ears with noise, noise-canceling headphones, mindful breathing, or just getting up and taking a brisk walk can redirect attention. Others have found antidepressants or exercise helpful.For Ellie Rapp, a combination of noise-canceling headphones and learning to look at life a little differently have helped her excel in school and cope at home.”Misophonia … I would say it used to define who I am, but now I just see it as another part of my life,” she says.She graduates from high school this spring and plans to study cognitive science at Case Western Reserve University in the fall.”I want to basically be a Dr. Jaffe and get my Psy.D or Ph.D. and eventually solve the mystery and cure it,” she says.Ellie Rapp’s mom, Kathy, stresses that family support plays a big role in helping people with misophonia. At conferences and meetings, they’ve met adults who experience isolation and despair because their families did not believe them.”It sounds bizarre, but it’s very real and a family’s help I think is critical in helping somebody live a fuller life,” she says.April Fulton is a former health and food editor on NPR’s science desk. Follow her on Twitter @fultonhere.Jane Greenhalgh contributed reporting to this story. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.