West Virginia Mining Industry Pushes for Tax Relief

first_imgWest Virginia Mining Industry Pushes for Tax Relief FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Taylor Kuykendall for SNL:The West Virginia Coal Association, or WVCA, announced a new study aiming to bolster their argument for a steep reduction in its tax burden, an effort it said could help turn the tide on the state’s flailing coal sector.The trade association hopes the West Virginia legislature will cut the coal severance tax rate from 5% to 2% to increase the state’s competitiveness with neighboring coal-producing states that have little to no severance tax. Sean O’Leary, an analyst with the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, was critical of the study. He said the paper overemphasizes the actual market impact of the severance tax and misidentifies West Virginia coal’s competitors.“We’re not competing with Maryland and Ohio, we’re competing with Wyoming and Montana and Illinois,” O’Leary said. “That argument doesn’t really hold a whole lot of weight, particularly when you look that where we’re losing our market share, we’re losing it to states that have higher taxes.”He added that at a time when there is a budget shortfall of hundreds of millions of dollars, largely due to decreased severance tax collections, the study lacks a critical examination of the resulting revenue shortfall. O’Leary said lawmakers would be unlikely to support much in the way of a tax cut as “we have no revenue to give away.” The WVCBP analysis of 2015 numbers showed a cost of $220 million to the state budget if the severance tax was reduced by the amount proposed by the WVCA.“That’s going to result in spending cuts at the state level, or they’re going to have to get that revenue from elsewhere,” O’Leary said.O’Leary said it is also bizarre the study assumes that a 3% tax reduction would result in a 3% coal production increase. He says the figure is not only not explained in the report, but also inconsistent with studies done on the impact of severance taxes on production, which he said is usually present, but minimal.“It models an increase in coal production would increase jobs and that’s kind of self-evident, but their assumption for that is that a 3% cut in the severance tax rate would be a 3% increase in production,” O’Leary said. “There’s just nothing to support that. I just don’t know where that came from.”Full article ($): W.Va. coal group trumpets study in call for steep severance tax relieflast_img read more

Lawyers in the Legislature

first_img Lawyers in the Legislature March 1, 2006 Regular News Lawyers in the Legislature Campbell wants to give back Gary Blankenship Senior Editor According to Sen. Walter G. “Skip” Campbell, D-Tamarac, it’s all the fault of his wife, Lynn.He was a pre-med student at the University of Florida and they were dating. But according to the future lawyer, Bar Board of Governors member, and state legislator, she didn’t want to wait until he got all the way through medical school to begin a life together.She and her father, a Miami judge, urged him to try law school. So Campbell took the LSAT and said if he did well enough to be accepted at the UF School of Law – the only law school to which he’d applied – then he pursue that course. And he did.Well, there may have been another factor in his change of career choices: “I found out I couldn’t stand blood,” he said with a chuckle.1996, 23 years after getting his law degree, Campbell was a highly successful trial lawyer in Broward County and a veteran member of the Bar Board of Governors, about to announce his candidacy for Bar president. Then a local state Senate seat became available and Campbell faced a choice.“God has given me a lot in life and I don’t come from wealthy parents and I don’t come from a wealthy background and I’ve been very successful,” he said. “I think you have to give back to the community a portion of what you’ve been given.”He had been fulfilling that obligation with Bar work, but the opportunity in state politics caused a reconsideration.“It was a toss-up. Should I stay active in Bar politics or should I go the state route? I went the state route because I thought we needed more lawyers involved in the state system. We still do,” Campbell said.He joined the Senate just as it was transitioning from longtime Democratic control to dominance by the Republicans.“I have been able to work closely with my Republican counterparts and have been able to get chairmanships,” Campbell said. “I think I have done some pretty good legislation on criminal issues and consumer issues, and I think I have been the voice of the people of Florida when it comes to personal issues.”He noted he fought cuts for injured workers in workers’ compensation legislation, worked against limits to medical malpractice damages, and was active on bills affecting payday loan companies, pawn shops, and hate crimes.With an end to his Senate service coming this year because of term limits, Campbell said he was approached to run for attorney general. He is the only Democrat so far, while four Republicans (three of them from the legislature) are running in that party’s primary.“I believe very strongly that to maintain checks and balances in government, you have to have involvement of both political parties,” Campbell said, noting Republicans control both chambers of the legislature, the governorship, and all the Cabinet seats. “I figured I would give back to the community and put my credentials up for the people of the state of Florida to vote for, because this is going to be their lawyer.”Issues in the race start with homeland security. While the governor is the main official charged with that duty, Campbell sees the attorney general as having an important role.“Medicaid fraud is a huge issue, affecting about $1.8 billion of our state budget,” he said. “Dependency court is a huge issue. I think civil rights are very important to many people.. . . I think protecting consumers under the Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act is critical because we have people being scammed every day.”And the attorney general must oversee and maintain the effectiveness of the statewide prosecutor, he added.Campbell expects a tough race, noting that the U.S. Senate and gubernatorial contests will get most of the money and media attention in the fall campaign.“The attorney general position is a down ticket item [on the ballot],” he said. “The most important thing for Floridians is to pick a candidate who will represent their interests.”As he leaves the Senate, Campbell hopes more lawyers will consider such public service.“Lawyers are specially equipped in looking at issues, dissecting the problems out of the issues, and coming up with solutions, and that’s all the legislative process is,” he said. “Lawyers can be effective advocates and you’ve got to remember that legislators not only represent their 120,000 or 140,000 citizens, they also represent the entire state. But the state does have divergent issues and you’ve got to be able to advocate for your position.” Saunders values public service Gary Blankenship Senior Editor As a physics major in college, working part time in NASA’s Langley Research Center, Burt Saunders came to a conclusion during his senior year.“I felt that being in a physics lab all my life was not what I wanted to do,” he said. “My older brother had become a lawyer and that got me thinking that might be what I wanted to do.”That led to a 1975 law degree from William and Mary, and in 1978 an LLM from the University of Miami School of Law in international and environmental law. Which in turn, led to a long career in public service in local and state government that Saunders now hopes to turn into service as Florida’s attorney general.As someone who concedes he got into politics almost by accident, the new quest is a bit of an irony.“It’s really the first time I’ve run for political office where I’ve given it a lot of thought in advance,” Saunders said. This is the one office I really want to occupy.“At the time I decided to run. . . I felt that I had better credentials to fill that post than other people who were considering a run for it and I felt that the job is so very important that I needed to really consider throwing my name into the hat. Quite frankly, it’s almost a tailor-made position for me based on what my experience has been.”His public service began as county attorney for Collier County, where he saw a number of problems with that local government.“I decided to run for county commission to set some things straight. I did that for eight years,” Saunders said.He had no plans to run for the legislature, but then his local representative, a 20-year veteran of legislative service, decided to retire, so Saunders decided to make that race. He won and in his first year was named Freshman of the Year by the Florida Association of Counties.After four years, his local state senators stepped down and Saunders moved to the upper chamber.There, working with the Governor’s Office, he sponsored the legislation for the state-federal joint project to restore the Everglades. As chair of the Health Care Committee, he established a subcommittee which investigated Medicaid fraud and led to legislation greatly expanding the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud investigating powers and staff.“We are literally saving hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ dollars not only by going after Medicaid fraud, but by the chilling effect of preventing fraud,” Saunders said. “We made sure that was a high priority and I consider that to be one of my more significant legislative involvements.”Interestingly, though, it’s not legislative accomplishments that Saunders mentions first or brings him the greatest pride from his current post.“One of the things I’ve prided myself on is having the best constituent service possible,” he said. “I’ve got three people working for me who spend all day every day helping constituents. It ranges from helping people with child support issues to helping physicians get their Medicaid licenses. I find that very satisfying.”That’s a view that carries over into his attorney general campaign.“I describe the attorney general as the people’s attorney; the person you can turn to if you’re a victim of identity theft, price gouging, or fraud,” he said. “The attorney general is in a strong position to coordinate law enforcement activities to protect Floridians.”In addition, Saunders said, through the attorney general’s seat on the state Cabinet, the attorney general plays an important policy role in environmental issues.Aside from his work as a county attorney, Saunders has also worked in investment banking, stock brokerage, and real estate consulting businesses, and is currently of counsel to GrayRobinson, P.A.Those legal experiences have helped his legislative career.“The experience of being an attorney is helpful because the legislative position is one of negotiation and compromise and lawyers are trained to negotiate on a variety of levels,” Saunders said. “Their knowledge of how the law works from a practical standpoint is very helpful.”He encourages other members of the legal profession to take the plunge.“I would say to lawyers aspiring to be in the legislature: It is a wonderful institution, the work is inspiring, you can help the lives of millions of Floridians, there are tremendous intellectual challenges with it, and it’s a tremendous experience overall,” Saunders said.last_img read more

Delaware County Sheriff receives reports of NYSEG scam

first_img(WBNG) — The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office is warning all county residents of a NYSEG phone scam. Authorities says the scammers used a technology to make it appear as if the call is coming from a NYSEG phone number. They want to warn residents that NYSEG does use automated calls ahead of scheduled maintenance, but they do not use it to ask for bank account information. The Sheriff’s Office says they have been receiving complaints regarding robotic calls and messages telling residents they have been overcharged by NYSEG.  They say the messages offer the customer 30% off their next billing cycle and asks the victim to enter their bank information so that a refund could be sent via direct deposit into their account.  They advise that if a customer receives a call like this, hang up and call the NYSEG customer service phone number, (800) 572-1111 or visit the NYSEG website: nyseg.com for more advise.last_img read more

Juan Mata hails ‘great’ Arsenal star Mesut Ozil

first_img Metro Sport ReporterFriday 18 Oct 2019 8:08 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link3.7kShares Ozil insists he can win back his place at Arsenal (Picture: Getty)And, though Mata insists the age of No.10s is fading, he says Ozil remains one of the best attacking midfielders in the world.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘To be honest, I don’t know what’s going on,’ Mata told the Athletic.‘I was with Emery for three years in Valencia and I know him very well but I don’t know the day-to-day thing in Arsenal right now. But, of course, Ozil is a creator, a player with a lot of great quality that I like watching.‘This type of player, this pure No 10, is … how do you say? Extinct? Maybe not extinct, but not as used as before‘In the past, there was always this pure No 10, behind the striker or the two strikers, depending on the team.‘With different systems now, that position has evolved into a different one.‘But these are players I like, where natural talent brings the best of them and they can change a game with a pass or something that nobody else sees.’More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errorsMata is expected to start in United’s mouth-watering clash against Liverpool on Sunday at the Theatre of Dreams.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is set to be without David De Gea and Paul Pogba, while Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial face late fitness tests.MORE: Mauricio Pochettino adamant that Spurs players are behind him after WhatsApp dinner invite Unai Emery managed Juan Mata for three years at Valencia (Picture: Getty)Manchester United star Juan Mata has hailed Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil and says the German has ‘great quality’ despite his struggles under Unai Emery.The former Germany international has started just one Premier League match for the Gunners this term and Unai Emery is keen on offloading the midfielder in January.Ozil signed a new £350,000-a-week deal before Emery took over at the Emirates and his wages are weighing heavy on the Spaniard’s budget.Despite his exile, Ozil insisted yesterday that he intends to see out his current Arsenal deal which expires in 2021.ADVERTISEMENT Comment Juan Mata hails ‘great’ Arsenal star Mesut Ozil Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

Cricket News Jason Holder says West Indies must improve sloppy fielding

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: Jason Holder, the West Indies skipper, has said West Indies can take plenty of positives from the Vizag ODI but rued the sloppy fielding effort that saw them concede a total of 300+ for the second consecutive time in the series. “Unfortunately we didn’t win the game, but there are a lot of positives. Proud of the way the guys played and there are a couple of areas that we could improve. Sloppy fielding is something that we need to really improve on. Obviously we could have picked a few more wickets in the middle overs,” Holder said in the post-match presentation. Read More |Congress demands Modi’s apology to nation, to hold protests outside CBI offices across nation on FridayVirat Kohli, who broke plenty of records in his knock of 157*, was dropped on 44 by Holder off the bowling of debutant Obed McCoy. Ambati Rayudu, who sparkled with an aggressive 73, was dropped twice and this gave India plenty of momentum as they reached 321/6.Hetmyer, Hope magnificentWest Indies were boosted by a 143-run stand for the fourth wicket between Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope. Although the 19-year-old was dismissed for 94, Hope hung in and smashed 123* as the game ended in a tie. Holder praised the efforts of the two players. Read More | AIADMK hails Madras HC verdict on disqualification of rebel MLAs, says Palaniswami’s government has proven its stabilty “Shai Hope is a young talent and he played a magnificent knock. Unfortunately we didn’t get over the line, but still a lot of positives from this game. Also Shimron Hetmyer showed his consistency again. My run-out and obviously Hetty was upset that he got out in a crucial stage when we had a very good chance. I said it at the start that we want one of our top four to stay there till the end, and it was very good to see Shai bat till the end,” Holder remarked.Lost wickets at crucial timesAlthough the game ended in a tie, Hope, who smashed a second century and scored a crucial boundary off the last ball to tie the game, was gutted that the West Indies did not get over the line.“Disappointed we didn’t get the win, fought really hard throughout the game. We lost wickets at crucial stages, especially Jason. Needed to have wickets in hand and have someone finish the game,” Hope said. last_img read more

USC taps Enfield as new coach

first_imgAfter weeks of speculation, USC announced Monday evening the hiring of new men’s basketball coach Andy Enfield, formerly of Florida Gulf Coast University.New Trojan · New head coach Andy Enfield turned heads and received national acclaim after leading Florida Gulf Coast University to the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16. — Courtesy of Steven M. FalkEnfield recently shocked the college basketball world by leading FGCU to the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16, the furthest a No. 15 seed had ever advanced in the tournament.Enfield’s prior head coaching experience is brief, yet he and his team left an indelible impact on this year’s tournament. In just his second year at the helm of FGCU, the Eagles became the talk of March Madness as an exciting underdog that earned the moniker “Dunk City” thanks to its thunderous slam dunks in upsets over Georgetown and San Diego State.Enfield, 43, previously worked as a shooting coach in the NBA and was later an assistant coach for five years at Florida State. After FGCU’s elimination at the hands of Florida, Enfield become a hot commodity among schools with head coaching vacancies, with his name mentioned for nearly every available major opening.In his two seasons at FGCU, Enfield’s teams posted a 41-28 record.USC is coming off of a 14-18 season in which it fired former head coach Kevin O’Neill in January. Under interim head coach Bob Cantu, the team went 7-8 and was knocked out of the first round of the Pac-12 tournament.The Trojans are expected to play an up-tempo style under Enfield, a stark contrast to the grind-it-out, deliberate game plan favored by O’Neill.last_img read more

A hot start for Woods in Boston, just not on the golf course

first_img FOLLOW US First Published: 21st August, 2020 10:00 IST WATCH US LIVE Tiger Woods got off to a hot start Thursday before even hitting his first shot.The images of Woods on the practice range rubbing his upper back with a towel and placing a cold bottle of water on the back of his neck was alarming for someone who has endured four back surgeries. He said last month at the Memorial that he has days when his back doesn’t feel right.This wasn’t one of them.Woods had some heating oils applied to his upper back before teeing off in The Northern Trust, and they were a little spicy. He was rubbing off the excess and trying to cool it down with the water.Once he got on the TPC Boston, it took him a little more time to heat up.Woods didn’t make a birdie until a two-putt on the par-5 18th hole as he made the turn, and then he ran off four birdies in a six-hole stretch on the front nine for a 3-under 68. That left him four shots behind Harris English among the early starters.“My lower back is used to it,” Woods said of the hot oils. “We do it all the time just so I can get loose. I decided to put some up on my neck, and it’s not as tolerant as my lower back, so it gets awfully hot. It’s common in pretty much every other sport, and especially hockey. Those guys put some pretty hot stuff on their legs, but you become accustomed to it.“My lower back is pretty immune to it,” he said. “But my neck is not.”His 68 was his lowest start since his last victory at the Zozo Championship in Japan, though it’s a small sample size. Woods has played only five times since then. Having played only twice since the PGA Tour resumed in June, he has slipped to No. 49 in the FedEx Cup with a goal of being among the top 30 after two weeks so he can reach the Tour Championship.Woods went back to his old putter — slightly shorter than the one he used at Harding Park in the PGA Championship two weeks ago — and didn’t have any good looks at birdie until he reached the par-5 18th in two.On the front nine, which played about a half-stroke easier, he had more chances and converted most of them. He made birdie on both par 3s, from 15 feet on No. 3 and from 6 feet below the cup on No. 8.“Whenever I gave myself a look, I made them,” he said.Both bogeys were set up by poor tee shots, one that hit a tree right of the 13th fairway and left him no shot at the green, and the other on his final hole at No. 9 when he went from the right rough to the shaggy collar of a bunker some 25 yards short of the green.Still, he made enough birdies over his last 10 holes to get going in the right direction.“Coming to a golf course I know helps,” said Woods, who has one victory and two runner-up finishes at the TPC Boston.Image credits: AP Associated Press Television News LIVE TVcenter_img SUBSCRIBE TO US Written By Last Updated: 21st August, 2020 10:00 IST A Hot Start For Woods In Boston, Just Not On The Golf Course The images of Woods on the practice range rubbing his upper back with a towel and placing a cold bottle of water on the back of his neck was alarming for someone who has endured four back surgeries. He said last month at the Memorial that he has days when his back doesn’t feel right COMMENTlast_img read more

Winners Foundation Celebrates Over 30 Years of Service to Employees of CA Horse Racing Industry

first_imgARCADIA – A few months before the doors opened for the inaugural Breeders’ Cup at Hollywood Park on November 10, 1984, the doors opened for Winners Foundation which, like the Breeders’ Cup, continues working uninterrupted to this day.   But unlike the Breeders’ Cup, which celebrates two days a year, the work of the Winners Foundation is largely uncelebrated 365 days a year, often 24 hours a day as the Foundation continually assists those who work with and care for the horses and the racetracks.The Winners Foundation provides a vital service to the California horse racing community, with a large referral base and relationships with a myriad of mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities – both in and out patient, city and county services, sober living environments and mental health practitioners. All arrangements and referrals made by Winners are at no cost to the employee or his/her family member, and confidentiality is paramount.“The racing community has always been about taking care of its own and Winners Foundation is blessed to be allowed to offer and support second chances for those employees who have life style struggles” says Bob Fletcher, Executive Director of the Foundation.In 1984, Lou Rowan, one of the original founders of the Oak Tree Racing Association, enlisted several other prominent horsemen including Gino Roncelli, Herman Smith, Jr., and Joe McAnally to develop a service to help and heal those with these afflictions. From that mission statement, Winners Foundation was established. From the backstretch to the Front Office, Winners Foundation has expanded its reach to help more employees and their families get a second chance at life and at work.“There is little room for error on the track and in the barns when dealing with the power of a race horse,” said one noted Thoroughbred trainer in support of employees helped by Winners Foundation. “We need everyone sharp-eyed and clear-headed when handling these beautiful horses. In this industry, we take care of our own. Good talent is hard to come by. Winners Foundation has counseled several of our employees back to a sense of fulfillment, peace of mind, and a productive life. We want to continue this legacy of taking care of our horses and our workers. Winners Foundation helps us get there.”“Having Winners Foundation and their services available provides an enormous value to the racing industry,” said one California race track executive. “Their referral services, programs and ongoing support allow us to help all our valued employees return to a normal life and regular employment. The return of a renewed employee outweighs the economic cost to us every time.”CONTACT:                     BOB FLETCHER       626-574-6498 OR   626-945-0880JULIE VALLANTE     626-574-6498 OR 626-233Founded in 1984, Winners Foundation is a non-profit organization established to provide information, support and referral services to employees and family members of the California thoroughbred horse racing community.Our primary purpose is to assist men and women whose personal and professional lives are being adversely affected as a result of substance abuse, compulsive gambling or mental health issues.We have a large referral network of confidential community-based services and agencies. Each situation is geared to best supporting an individual’s desire to change their lives for the better.For confidential assistance, more information or ways you can help, please call 626-574-6498 or visit us at www.winnersfoundation.org Winners Foundation is a 501 (c) 3.   Tax ID #: 95-3929755last_img read more

XPRESSBET ANNOUNCES FIFTH ANNUAL PREAKNESS BIG BET SWEEPSTAKES

first_imgGrand Prize Winner will Receive a VIP Trip to the 2017 Preakness StakesMarch 14, 2017 (Washington, PA) – For the fifth consecutive year, Xpressbet is inviting a lucky customer to make a life-changing bet on Pimlico’s legendary Preakness Stakes in its $25K Preakness Big Bet Sweepstakes.  The Sweepstakes, which is open to all Xpressbet customers, rewards one horseplayer each year with the chance to bet $25,000 on their pick in the Preakness.The Grand Prize Package also includes a trip for two to Baltimore for the race, complete with hotel, airfare and tickets on Preakness and Black-Eyed Susan Days. Fifty Second Prize Winners each receive a $100 Xpressbet wagering voucher.Additionally, this year’s Grand Prize Winner will have the chance to meet and talk strategy with NBC Sports Handicapper, Eddie Olczyk.To play, Xpressbet customers simply need to register and start betting the races. Customers receive an entry for every bet they make between March 13 and May 6, 2017, and can earn bonus entries for wagers made on weekdays and on Stronach Group tracks, including Gulfstream, Santa Anita, Laurel and Golden Gate Fields.Xpressbet Preakness Big Bet Winners have twice parlayed winning the Sweepstakes into a life-changing score. Sweepstakes winners correctly identified American Pharoah (2015) and California Chrome (2014) as the ‘best bets’ in their respective editions of the Preakness Stakes.  This year’s Preakness Stakes takes place on Saturday, May 20.“We’re excited to bring back the Big Bet for its fifth year and once again offer this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to our customers,” said Xpressbet Senior Vice President of Marketing, Kerry Carlson. “The Preakness Stakes is one of North America’s most exciting and enjoyable sporting events and we take great pride in providing a comprehensive VIP racetrack experience to our Big Bet winners.  This year, they’ll even have the chance to meet renowned handicapper, Eddie Olczyk.”For more information and to sign up for an Xpressbet wagering account, simply visit www.xpressbet.com.Contact: Dustin FabianTel: 724.229.6240Email: [email protected] About XpressbetXpressbet provides legal and secure online wagering services to horseplayers in the United States.  It is the industry’s most comprehensive and user-friendly wagering site, allowing customers to wager on more than 300 of the world’s best racetracks from their computer, phone or mobile device.  Xpressbet operates XB SELECT, the industry’s premier destination for high-volume wagering, and XB Net, which connects bet shops and wagering sites from around the world to North American racing.  Xpressbet is a Stronach Group company, which also owns and operates Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Rosecroft Raceway, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness Stakes.  The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida, the award-winning Adena Springs operation, AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology, and Monarch Content Management, horse racing’s leading simulcast purchase and sales agent.last_img read more

Darwinism Inspired China’s Communist Holocaust

first_imgThe Horrors of Communist China’s Holocaust Inspired by Darwinismby Jerry Bergman PhDAs history separates us from Darwin’s death, the media is more willing to expose the harm of his ideas. This, plus the release of once-sealed records have revealed a great deal about the atrocities of recent history. This is the case of the horrors of Mao Zedong in Communist China.[1] That Darwin was a major influence in communist China should not surprise us. Darwin not only supported the survival-of-the-fittest ideology, but evendivided humanity into distinct races according to differences in skin, eye or hair color. He was also convinced that evolution was progressive, and that the white races—especially the Europeans—were evolutionarily more advanced than the black races, thus establishing race differences and a racial hierarchy.[2]The flow of Darwinism to Marx, then Lenin and Stalin and lastly, Mao Karl Marx (1818-1883) as a youth was an active evangelical Christian until, in college, he was introduced to Darwinism and other anti-theists ideas. As a result, he embraced and became an aggressive anti-Christian.[3] He claimed theistic religion was the opiate (drug) of the people that prevented them from supporting communist revolutions. Religion supported capitalist systems that, he claimed, exploited the workers. Marx unified the “science” of Darwinism and the communism system and “an historian can hardly fail to agree that Marx’s claim to give scientific guidance to those who would transform society has been one of the chief reasons for his doctrine’s enormous influence.”[4]Marx was the founder of the main branch of communism that influenced both Lenin and Stalin, both whom were central in the development of Russian Communism. Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924) and Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) were both reared as Christians (Stalin was even a seminary student for a time), and were active as youth in religious activities. Lenin’s father was a devout member of the Russian Orthodox Church and baptized his children into it. His wife, Maria, was a Lutheran by upbringing.[5] Lenin and Stalin, in turn, influenced Mao Tse-tung (modernized to Zedong). Chairman Mao (1893-1976) became the leader of all China in 1949. Although reared in a religious family, he had rebelled against religion at about the time he studied Darwinism and Marxism. In the end, Darwinism had an enormous influence on several of the highest level revolutionary Chinese Communist party leaders, including Mao Zedong.[6]As a youth, Mao, the cofounder of China’s modern communist party and the first Chinese Communist dictator, “devoured” many Western authors.[7]  Though reared by a religiously devout mother, as he read Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer, Mao became “more and more skeptical” of religion, and more and more convinced that Darwinism was the future of governments.[8]So effective was China’s transformation to Darwinism that, according to one study, the number of Darwinists today in China is higher than in most nations—74% compared to 56% in Russia and 52% in Spain and Egypt. Yet, few understand its contribution to China’s recent turbulent history.[9] Mao openly advocated achieving world communism by both violence and war which was an application of Darwin’s survival-of-the-fittest worldview. The policies that Mao developed to achieve his communist goals resulted in the murder of up to “30 million excess deaths.”[10] Chinese student, Kenneth Hsü reported that it was as a youth in China that he learned the importance of Darwinism. One example was documented by Theo Sumner’s experience on a trip to China with German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. Theo personally witnessed Mao acknowledging the debt he had to Darwinism, especially to the Darwinist who also inspired Hitler and Ernst Haeckel.[11]Hsü concluded that Mao was convinced that, “without the continual pressure of natural selection,” humans as a species would degenerate. This idea inspired Mao to, in Hsü’s words, advocate “the ceaseless revolution that brought my homeland to the brink of ruin.”[12] In the minds of Lenin, Stalin, and Mao, treating people as animals was not wrong because they all believed that Darwin had “proved” humans were not God’s creation, but instead were animals descended from a “simple” one-celled organism by the survival-of-the-fittest mechanism. The extent that Darwinism was inculcated into the Chinese people is revealed by the fact that Mao was still using the Darwinian idiom “the triumph of the fittest” as late as 1957.[13]When China accepted Darwinism, the government modified the Darwinian race hierarchy. In their opinion, the Chinese race was evolutionarily more advanced than others, thus establishing their own race differences and racial hierarchy.[14] Almost everyone else who accepted Darwinism did the same thing. Steven Rose, Professor of Biology and Neurobiology at Open University in the UK, wrote “During the 150 years since Darwin wrote such views on race, gender and eugenics, whilst sometimes subterranean, they have never entirely vanished; a sorry history, often told.”[15] This view affected their treatment of both fellow Chinese and other races, which are not races (there is but one human race), but actually just people groups.The Chinese Holocaust Llewellyn H. Rockwell wrote about the horrors of Mao’s rule in an article that was recently republished in Business Insider. Rockwell correctly observes that the slaughter by the Darwinian communists is “a scandal that few Westerners are even aware, or, if they are aware, they are not conscious of the bloody reality that prevailed in China between the years 1949 and 1976, the years of communist rule by Mao Zedong.”[16] New research is expanding the number murdered by Chinese communists. Rockwell noted that other researchers have attempted to estimate the number that died as a result of persecutions and the policies of Mao, but theyhave always underestimated. As more data rolled in during the 1980s and 1990s, and specialists have devoted themselves to investigations and estimates, the figures have become ever more reliable. And yet they remain imprecise. …  It could be as high as 100 million or more. In the Great Leap Forward from 1959 to 1961 alone, figures range between 20 million to 75 million. In the period before, 20 million. In the period after, tens of millions more.[17]We will probably never know the exact number except to say it is in the multi-millions. One can reasonably assume, though,  that, if Mao had not become a Darwinist and remained a Christian and allowed the Christian church to grow instead of ruthlessly suppressing it, that the Chinese Holocaust would never have occurred.[18] Similarly, it’s safe to assume that If Marx, Lenin or Stalin and not embraced Darwinism and remained Christians, Russia and China may have never experienced their genocides. Regardless of what the body count was, the Guinness Book of Records has long given Mao Zedong the awful distinction of “greatest mass murderer in history.”The communization of China occurred in the usual three stages: purge, plan, and scapegoat. First, to bring about communism, the leaders committed purges to eliminate any opposition, real as well as potential. Lenin-style communism, which believed in nationalizing all means of production, required the government to confiscate the farms, the land, the industry and many businesses. Party bosses used informants and guerrillas to murder opponents of nationalization of land and property. Furthermore, the churches had to be destroyed because they were unnecessary for the workers’ paradise the communists were building. Besides that, Christians often opposed the government’s violence and injustice. The result was  “The land of … Confucianism (piety, social harmony, individual development) was seized by the strangest import to China ever: Marxism from Germany via Russia.”[19]Rockwell Describes the Violence Used to Achieve the Darwinian ParadiseOne of the first steps was to deal with the opposers of the revolution, called the counter-revolutionaries. These had to be suppressed, and theviolence began in the country and spread later to the cities. All peasants were first divided into four classes that were considered politically acceptable: poor, semi poor, average, and rich. Everyone else was considered a landowner and targeted for elimination. … the “rich” were often included in this group. The demonized class was ferreted out in a country-wide series of “bitterness meetings” in which people turned in their neighbors for owning property and being politically disloyal. Those who were so deemed were immediately executed along with those who sympathized with them.[20]The violence was systematic. For example, Rockwell claimedthere had to be at least one person killed per village. The number killed is estimated to be between one and five million. In addition, another four to six million landowners were slaughtered for the crime of being capital owners. If anyone was suspected of hiding wealth, he or she was tortured with hot irons to confess. The families of the killed were then tortured and the graves of their ancestors looted and pillaged. …  the land….  was divided into tiny plots and distributed among the remaining peasants.Darwin Affects the Women of ChinaDarwin had taught that women were inferior to men. Darwin wrote that the result of sexual selection was men becoming “more courageous, pugnacious and energetic than woman [with] a more inventive genius. His brain is absolutely larger … the formation of her skull is said to be intermediate between the child and the man.”[21]By contrast, Mao’s slogan, ‘The times have changed; men and women are the same’ was propagated to millions of Chinese women in an attempt to convince them that men and women were equal. Women’s public roles as revolutionaries were glorified, a claim that worked to exploit women. One example,the image of Iron Girls – strong, robust, muscular women who boldly performed physically demanding jobs traditionally done by men, such as repairing high-voltage electric wires – was widely promoted as a symbol of the Maoist slogan: ‘Whatever men comrades can accomplish, women comrades can too.’[22]Rockwell considers this a ruse. He says ofparty leaders … in reality, they cared little about gender equality or inequality as long as it was consistent with the socialist utopia they were attempting to construct…. Through political rhetoric, women were granted a superficially equal social status equivalent to that of men, but the cost was the annihilation of femininity and individuality.[23]Deaths Accelerate Under Collectivization and TreacheryIndustry existed in the cities, but their owners were subjected to ever tighter restrictions, constant scrutiny, crippling taxes, and pressure to give up their businesses for collectivization. There were many suicides among the small- and medium-sized business owners who saw their future as bleak. In Shanghai, suicide by jumping from tall buildings became so common that residents avoided walking near skyscrapers for fear that suicides might land on them.[24] Soon “As the rivers of blood rose ever higher”Mao brought about the Hundred Flowers Campaign in two months of 1957 … People were encouraged to speak freely and give their point of view, an opportunity that was very tempting for intellectuals. The liberalization was short lived. In fact, it was a trick. All those who spoke out against what was happening to China were rounded up and imprisoned, perhaps between 400,000 and 700,000 people, including 10 percent of the well-educated classes. Others were branded as right wingers and subjected to interrogation, reeducation, kicked out of their homes, and shunned…. Some prisoners were worked to death, and anyone involved in a revolt was herded with collaborators and they were all burned.[25]Fake Science Leads to Mass StarvationFollowing land collectivization, Mao decided to tell the peasants what they would grow, if anything, how they would grow it, and where they would sell it, generating history’s most deadly famine.[26] Peasants by the thousands were forced to share most everything, and production goals were raised ever higher. To boost production, hundreds of thousands of people were moved from locations where production was high to where it was low. Failure forced movement from agriculture to industry.Erosion and flooding soon became endemic. Many plants died, then the soil dried out and salt rose to the surface. To prevent birds from eating grain, the sparrows were killed, resulting in vastly increasing parasite populations. By 1957, disaster was everywhere. Some workers, too weak to effectively harvest their meager crops, died while watching rice rot. The government responded by telling people that fat and proteins were not necessary. Rockwell continues, claiming that theblack-market price of rice rose 20 to 30 times. Because trade had been forbidden between collectives millions were left to starve. … . Anyone caught hoarding grain was shot. Peasants found with the smallest amount were imprisoned. Fires were banned. Funerals were prohibited as wasteful. Villagers who tried to flee the countryside to the city were shot at the gates. Deaths from hunger reached 50 percent in some villages. Survivors boiled grass and bark to make soup and wandered the roads looking for food. Sometimes they banded together and raided houses looking for ground maize. Women were unable to conceive because of malnutrition. People in work camps were used for food experiments that led to sickness and death.Scapegoating: Don’t Blame the Dear LeaderThe third phase was scapegoating. The official reason for the calamity was anything but communism, or Mao.[27] The fault was the people, so the politically motivated roundups began again, and so came the heart of the Culture Revolution: Thousands of camps and detention centers were opened. In these prison campsthe slightest excuse was used to dispense with people — all to the good, since the prisoners were a drain on the system … . The largest penal system ever built was organized in a military fashion, with some camps holding as many as 50,000 people. … . Arrests were sweeping and indiscriminate. …  To question the reason for arrest was itself evidence of disloyalty, since the state was infallible. Once arrested, the safest path was instant and frequent confession. Guards were forbidden from using overt violence, so interrogations would go on for hundreds of hours, and often the prisoner would die during this process.Those named in the “confession” were then hunted and sent to a labor camp. They were graded according to how many hours you could work with little food. The diet lacked meat, sugar or oil. These were considered too expensive.The final phase of this incredible litany of criminality lasted from 1966 to 1976, during which the number killed fell dramatically to “only” one to three million. The government, now tired and in the first stages of demoralization, began to lose control, first within the labor camps and then in the countryside. And it was this weakening that led to the final, and in some ways the most vicious, of the communist periods in China’s history.The remaining temples were barricaded. Traditional opera was banned, with all costumes and sets in the Beijing Opera burned. Monks were expelled. The calendar was changed. All Christianity was banned. There were to be no pets such as cats and birds. Humiliation was the order of the day.The Horror Ends – PartlyFinally, in 1976, Mao died. His body was first preserved with formaldehyde, then like a god it was put on permanent display in an enormous mausoleum. His body lays inside a crystal coffin that is moved by elevator to an earthquake-proof bunker each night.[28] Within months, his closest advisers were imprisoned. And the reforms that began slowly picked up speed. Many civil liberties were restored and some camp torturers were actually prosecuted. Economic controls were gradually relaxed.Once Mao’s communist Darwinian control was released, China was transformed, allowing human and private economic initiative to thrive. Eventually, tolerance of some degree of capitalism produced one of the most vibrant economies in our modern world.  Nevertheless, China remains under dictatorial control by the communist party, and continues to persecute and suppress religion. Echoes of the Stalinist and Maoist terror regimes, including starvation and bulging prison camps, continue in the “hermit kingdom” of North Korea, which would have collapsed long ago if not propped up by China.Rockwell ends his article by stating that the above brief summary puts the reader into the tiny elite who know something about the “greatest death camp in the history of the world that China became between 1949 and 1976, an experiment in total control unlike anything else in history.”[29] As we have shared, this death camp was built on a foundation of Darwinian ideology.[1] Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.  2017. The horrors of Communist China under Mao Zedong that most Westerners don’t know about. https://mises.org/wire/horrors-communist-china. 05/01/2017. Also https://www.businessinsider.com/horrors-of-communist-china-under-mao.[2] Steven Rose. 2009. Darwin, Race and Gender. EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization) Reports. 10(4):297-298.[3] Jerry Bergman. 2014. The Darwin Effect. Its Influence on Nazism, Eugenics, Racism, Communism, Capitalism & Sexism. Chapter 14. Green Forest, AR: Master Books.[4]Joravsky, David. 1961. Soviet Marxism and Natural Science; 1917-1932. London:  Routledge and Kegan Paul, p. 4.[5] Jerry Bergman. 2014. The Darwin Effect. Its Influence on Nazism, Eugenics, Racism, Communism, Capitalism & Sexism. 2014. Chapter 15. Green Forest, AR: Master Books.[6] Pusey, James Reeve. 1983. China and Charles Darwin.  Boston, MA: Harvard University Press.[7] Devillers, Philippe. 1967. Mao. New York, NY: Schocken. p. 26.[8]Snow, Edgar. 1961. Red Star Over China. New York, NY: Grove Press, pp. 128-129.[9]Stephenson, Tony. 2009. “Darwin Survey Shows International Consensus on Acceptance of Evolution.”  British Council, www.britishcouncil.org/darwin.[10]Benton, Gregor and Lin Chun (editors). 2010. Was Mao Really a Monster: The Academic Response to Chang and Halliday’s Mao: The Unknown Story. New York, NY: Routledge, p. 15.[11] Hsü, Kenneth. 1986. The Great Dying: Cosmic Catastrophe, Dinosaurs and the Theory of Evolution.  New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich, p. 13.[12] Hsü, 1986, p. 13.[13] Pusey, 1983, p. 452.[14] Jerry Bergman. 2012. Hitler and the Nazi Darwinian Worldview: How the Nazi Eugenic Crusade for a Superior Race Caused the Greatest Holocaust in World History. Kitchener, Ontario, Canada: Joshua Press.[15] Rose, 2009, p. 297.[16] Rockwell, 2017.[17] Rockwell, 2017.[18] Short, Philip. 1999. Mao: A Life.  New York, NY: Henry Holt.[19] Rockwell, 2017.[20] Rockwell, 2017.[21] Darwin, Charles. 1871. The Descent of Man. London: John Murray. Vol. 2, pp. 316-317.[22] Wenqi Yang and Fei Yan. 2017. The annihilation of femininity in Mao’s China: Gender inequality of sent-down youth during the Cultural Revolution. China Information. 31(1): 63-83.[23] Yang and Yan. 2017. pp. 76-78.[24] “High Tide of Terror”. Time Magazine. March 5, 1956.[25] Rockwell, 2017.[26] Short, Philip. 1999. Mao: A Life. New York, NY: Henry Holt.[27] Short, Philip. 1999. Mao: A Life.  New York, NY: Henry Holt.[28] Short, Philip. 1999. Mao: A Life. New York, NY: Henry Holt.[29] Short, Philip. 1999. Mao: A Life. New York, NY: Henry Holt.Dr. Jerry Bergman has taught biology, genetics, chemistry, biochemistry, anthropology, geology, and microbiology at several colleges and universities including for over 40 years at Bowling Green State University, Medical College of Ohio where he was a research associate in experimental pathology, and The University of Toledo. He is a graduate of the Medical College of Ohio, Wayne State University in Detroit, the University of Toledo, and Bowling Green State University. He has over 1,300 publications in 12 languages and 40 books and monographs. His books and textbooks that include chapters that he authored, are in over 1,500 college libraries in 27 countries. So far over 80,000 copies of the 40 books and monographs that he has authored or co-authored are in print. For more articles by Dr Bergman, see his Author Profile.(Visited 735 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Saving Energy by Recycling

first_imgWhile our homes and cars get most of the attention relative to energy savings, our materials stream also has a huge impact on energy use. Nationally, the U.S. generates about 236 million tons of municipal solid waste each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That works out to about 4 pounds of waste for every American every day.Recycling our waste saves a lot of energy. Just how much depends on the material. With very energy-intensive materials, like aluminum, carpeting, and copper, a phenomenal amount of energy is saved because the new materials take so much energy to produce. Recycling just one ton of aluminum cans saves 209 million British Thermal Units (Btu), according to EPA; with 5.8 million Btu in a barrel of crude oil, that’s equivalent to 36 barrels of oil.Here’s how much energy is conserved from recycling one ton of various other materials according to the same 2005 EPA report: carpeting–106 million Btu (18 barrels of crude oil); copper wire–83.1 million Btu (14 barrels); high-density polyethylene milk jugs–51.4 million Btu (8.9 barrels); steel cans–20.5 million Btu (3.5 barrels); newspaper–16.9 million Btu (2.9 barrels); and glass–2.7 million Btu (0.47 barrels).Nationally, our recycling rate is 30.6% (it’s about 17% in Brattleboro, Vermont), and that recycling saves the country roughly 1.5 quads of energy per year, according to the report (one quad is equal to one quadrillion or thousand-trillion Btus), or about 1.5% of our nation’s total annual energy consumption. Boosting the national recycling rate to 35% would increase the total savings by another 0.23 quads–an amount equivalent to nearly 41 million barrels of crude oil. That’s over ten times the highest estimate of the amount of oil that has entered the Gulf of Mexico from BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill during the last two months–not an insignificant amount of energy savings!Recycling not only saves energy, it also preserves natural resources and reduces pollution. A ton of virgin paper requires about 20 trees, and Americans use, on average, 730 pounds of paper (about a third of a ton) per year. Virgin aluminum is made from bauxite, much of which is mined in ecologically fragile regions, such as Brazil’s rainforests. Copper is produced from deep, open-pit mines around the world that create some of the worst water pollution anywhere. The processing of all these materials generates huge quantities of air pollution.The easiest way to encourage recycling is to make it economically attractive to do so, and the easiest way to do that is to charge people for throwing away trash. That’s the intent of pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) municipal waste programs, such as the program being considered for Brattleboro. When we pay a flat fee for trash collection, we don’t have an incentive to generate less trash and recycle more.Paying a flat fee for trash pick-up (whether that fee is hidden in property taxes, like in Brattleboro, or paid directly) is sort of like paying a flat fee for heat. Think about it. If I didn’t pay more when I use more heating oil, I wouldn’t have a financial incentive to tighten up my house or use a setback thermostat at night. That’s the fundamental flaw with standard trash collection; we don’t have any incentive to produce less.Putting market forces to work with PAYT would not only increase recycling rates, but it might also encourage us to buy stuff with less packaging and to avoid throw-away paper plates and plastic utensils. It’s great when people want to save energy because it’s the right thing to do (helping the environment, reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, etc.), but to change the habits of a lot of people we need to make it economically attractive to do so. That’s why PAYT makes so much sense. Establish a price for waste generation, and let market forces change our habits.I invite you to share comments on this blog. Any experience to share on how PAYT works in your community?Alex Wilson is the executive editor of Environmental Building News and founder of BuildingGreen, LLC. To keep up with his latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feeds.last_img read more

IPL 2016: Yuvraj Singh touches Sachin Tendulkar’s feet, seeks blessings

first_imgLike millions of cricket fans in the country, Yuvraj Singh is a big admirer of  the batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar. On many occasions, the all-rounder has revealed how Tendulkar never ceases to amaze and inspire him. (Full Coverage|Points Table)On Sunday, when Tendulkar appeared on the big screen, the Visakhapatnam crowd went berserk and came up with the trademark ‘Sachin, Sachin’ chant. And Yuvraj, who was playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad against Mumbai Indians at the latter’s new home ground in Visakhapatnam, went a step ahead to show his mark of respect by bending down and touching his idol’s feet after the match.Yuvraj though was stopped by Tendulkar before being embraced near the boundary line.Tendulkar, the mentor of the defending champions, was present in the dugout. Just when Tendulkar was on air, talking about how bat was dominating ball in modern-day cricket, SRH bowlers came up with a strong show and shot down Mumbai for 92 and sealed a 85-run win for their team. Yuvraj showed glimpses of his vintage self with a 23-ball 39.Yuvraj had similarly touched Tendulkar’s feet during the Lord’s Bicentenary celebration match in July 2014. Yuvraj hit a 132-ball 134 for Rest of the World against the Tendulkar-led Marylebone Cricket Club.last_img read more

Philip Lutzenkirchen’s High School To Name Football Field In His Honor

first_imgPhil Lutzenkirchen Field is coming in the fall of 2015.Phil Lutzenkirchen FieldPhilip Lutzenkirchen, a former All-SEC tight end at Auburn, passed away last June in a single car crash near La Grange, Georgia. This summer, Lutzenkirchen’s high school, Lassiter High School in Marietta, Georgia, will unveil a new turf field installed in his honor. Thursday, the school board in Cobb County approved a $332,421.68 project (fully funded by the Lutzie 43 Foundation) to have the field completed by the end of July. Here’s more, via AL.com:Frank Filmann Stadium plays host to Lassiter High’s football games. The new field will be named “Lutzie 43 Field.” Lutzenkirchen’s family memorialized Philip inside the high school stadium three days following his shocking death in a single-vehicle accident outside La Grange, Georgia on June 29, 2014.The Lutzie 43 Foundation celebrated the decision by tweeting the news to its followers.#LutzieField is coming this fall! The @CobbSchools board passed it 7-0! pic.twitter.com/WKXWvJQT7Y— Lutzie 43 Foundation (@lutzie43) June 25, 2015[AL.com]last_img read more

Crude awakenings stabilizing oil unlikely to improve the TSXs performance in 2018

first_imgTORONTO – While stabilizing oil prices helped Canadian equities break out of their doldrums in the second half of 2017, investors expecting the Toronto Stock Exchange to catch up with its outperforming global peers in the new year should instead anticipate more modest returns with the add-on of greater market volatility.“Despite being flat in the early part of the year and then posting some gains here in the back half of the year, the swings in equity prices on the S&P/TSX composite index have been incredibly small by historical standards,” said Craig Fehr, a Canadian markets strategist with Edward Jones. “And so I think the first thing we can expect from the TSX is much bigger swings in prices, much more volatility on a daily and weekly basis.”“All that said, I think there’s still more gas left in the tank for this bull market,” he added, referencing the eight-plus years of global gains since the dark days of 2009 in the wake of the last recession. “I think we can see positive returns again in 2018. I would expect them to be relatively muted so … Canadian equities, domestic equities, still underperform international markets.”After hitting a record high of 15,922.67 on Feb. 21, the TSX steadily declined to a low of 14,951.88 by Aug. 21, down 2.2 per cent on the year at the time. A resurgence in oil — which saw crude prices rally from a 2017 low of US$42.53 per barrel on June 21 to a barrier-breaking high of US$60.42 on the final trading day of the year — sparked a surge in energy shares that saw the TSX complete its first of many record closes in the latter half of 2017. By Dec. 27 and Dec. 28, the TSX closed at consecutive record highs of 16,203.13 and 16,221.95, respectively. It finished 2017 at 16,209.13, ahead 921.54 points or about six per cent on the year.By comparison, Wall Street’s S&P 500 index — the American equivalent to the TSX — gained 434.78 points or about 19 per cent in 2017. The Dow Jones industrial average added 4,956.62 points or about 25 per cent, and the Nasdaq composite index gained 1,520.27 points or about 28 per cent.One the most dominant themes in equity markets in 2017 was the trend toward stability from cyclicality in an otherwise uncertain political and geopolitical backdrop, said Candice Bangsund, vice president and portfolio manager at Fiera Capital. This saw the more defensive U.S. equity markets, which are heavily weighted towards technological growth, thrive last year. Meanwhile, the cyclically-based Canadian equity markets made up primarily of financial, energy and materials sectors were largely underappreciated.While oil is a key influence on the commodity-heavy TSX, economist Todd Mattina of Mackenzie Investments said he expects it to remain range-bound around its current level of US$50 to US$60 a barrel going into the new year — a level that will not really help the index in a meaningful way.“The TSX has benefited in recent months because of the strong rally in oil prices. But there’s a number of uncertainties going into 2018 that also cloud the outlook,” he said. “One of them is how much further can oil prices rally? … To the extent that higher oil prices since September have supported gains in the TSX, a risk factor in 2018 is that oil prices could run into resistance if U.S. shale producers increase production at today’s higher price levels.”Still, oil only touches upon one of several possible risks for the TSX in 2018, Mattina added. “The oil price outlook is not the driver of our bearish view of Canadian stocks. We are underweight the Canadian stock market because valuations are not highly attractive relative to other major stock markets and our indicators of investor sentiment look bearish.”He said that in addition to the policy uncertainty around ongoing NAFTA renegotiations, another factor weighing on the TSX is the perennial concern about very high levels of Canadian household debt and how that will affect consumer spending in the forthcoming years. Statistics Canada reported in December that household credit market debt as a proportion of household disposable income increased to 171.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2017, up from 170.1 per cent in the second quarter. That means there was $1.71 in credit market debt, which includes consumer credit and mortgage and non-mortgage loans, for every dollar of household disposable income.While consumers were the dominant engine behind growth last year amid solid employment gains, Bangsund said she expects trade and business development to take the baton in 2018 as earlier fears of a U.S. and global economic slowdown have proven unfounded in 2017. That could see the cyclical segments of the market that favour Canadian equities regain leadership performance.“The TSX will be the main beneficiary if that scenario of stronger growth and rising commodity prices does continue into 2018 due to that cyclicality of the Canadian stock market,” she said.A 2018 global market outlook report by Russell Investments Canada Ltd. also supports higher Canadian equity prices due to late-cycle tailwinds while still cautioning that it also expects volatility to be higher over 2018 versus 2017 as markets start to consider the timing of the next recession. Given this uncertainty around the domestic equities, the Russell report concluded it’s “modestly positive on Canadian equities with a price target of 16,900 for year-end 2018 for the S&P/TSX composite index.”Should Canadian equity returns in 2018 mirror those of the prior 12 months, Fehr said investors should keep in mind that while that doesn’t stack up well against the juggernaut momentum seen in other global markets, they are still relatively healthy gains.“For the Canadian market by historical standards it’s certainly solid,” he said. “It’s underperformance but it’s positive performance, so it’s not terrible.”Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter.last_img read more

Online furniture seller Wayfair to open a store

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Furniture seller Wayfair is following the path of other online retailers by opening an actual store.The company says it its first brick-and-mortar location will open by early next year in Florence, Kentucky, about 12 miles from Cincinnati. A spokeswoman for the Boston company says the 20,000-square-foot outlet store will sell items that have been returned but are in good condition, as well as other discounted goods.News of the Wayfair store was first reported by industry magazine Furniture Today.Online retailers have been establishing a physical footprint. Amazon.com, for example, bought grocer Whole Foods last year, has opened more than a dozen bookstores. It also plans to open more cashier-less Amazon Go convenience stores.Wayfair Inc. declined to say if it plans to open more stores.last_img read more