Canadian doc Rumble exposes unheralded influence of Native American musicians

first_imgAdvertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment The song kicks off the documentary “Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World,” from Montreal-based filmmakers Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana, which has its world premiere Sunday in competition at the Sundance Film Festival and will air on The Movie Network later this year. “That’s the secret sauce, this hidden gem of a story,” Bainbridge said of how “these incredible icons” inspired so many famous performers seen in the documentary. Many of them agreed to appear in “Rumble” because of their friendship with the film’s executive producer, guitarist Stevie Salas. “Where in this day and age can you find things that are hidden?” said Bainbridge, whose award-winning documentary “Reel Injun” explored the portrayal of Native Americans in movies and on TV. Having seen “Reel Injun,” Salas approached Rezolution Pictures — which was founded by Bainbridge and her husband Ernest Webb — about using the Smithsonian exhibit as an inspiration for a documentary. Through archival footage and powerful performances, indigenous artists are acknowledged as influences by more than three dozen marquee performers, including crooner Tony Bennett, funk father George Clinton, Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash and proto-punk legend Iggy Pop. The documentary explores the often-unheralded contributions of Native Americans in shaping popular song. Wray was a Shawnee Native American but few people were aware of his background. Like him, many of the musicians profiled in “Rumble” either kept their heritage secret or downplayed it, fearing racist backlash. Advertisement Whether the musicians in “Rumble” talked about their backgrounds or not, their heritage influenced the work, including 1920s Delta bluesman Charley Patton, “Queen of Swing” Mildred Bailey, rock legend Jimi Hendrix and guitarist Jesse Ed Davis, who worked with blues musician Taj Mahal, John Lennon and the Rolling Stones. Salas said he had no idea there were so many Native musicians until he was interviewed by Canadian writer Brian Wright-McLeod for his 2004 book “The Encyclopedia of Native Music.” Facebook “It was a learning experience for many,” Salas said. “When I was a kid, my first band was (playing with) Rod Stewart, just out of high school. I didn’t look like everybody else. I’m an Apache Indian. I was looking around, how come there’s no Indians playing rock ‘n’ roll?” “I knew nothing about Link Wray and the influence that he had,” said Bainbridge. “Musicians know these people and how influential they are. It’s time other people knew.” They were the power chords that sparked a musical revolution: three growling, fuzzy blasts that made Link Wray’s 1958 banned-by-radio instrumental “Rumble” a rule-breaking inspiration for rock guitarists who followed. Salas teamed with Tim Johnson (also an executive producer on “Rumble”) to create “Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians in Popular Culture,” an exhibit for the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. It was named for the 1982 hit song co-written by Canadian singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie, who also appears in “Rumble.” Twitter Login/Register With: Guitarist and songwriter Robbie Robertson of the Band shares childhood memories of time he spent on the Brantford, Ont.-area Six Nations of the Grand River reserve with his mother’s family. He was advised: “Be proud you are Indian; but be careful who you tell.” Advertisementlast_img read more

Continue reading

Home prices continue to climb in BC despite dramatic sales decline BCREA

first_imgVANCOUVER – Home sales in British Columbia plummeted last month compared with March of last year, but the B.C. Real Estate Association says the decline was not reflected in prices.Sales figures released by the association for March show 7,409 homes changed hands last month, a decline of 24.6 per cent over March 2017, while average property prices climbed 5.3 per cent over the same period.A news release from the association says the average home sold for $726,930 last month and it blames persistently high prices on the lack of properties available for sale.It says total active listings have changed very little since March of 2017, nudging a 12-year low across B.C.Association chief economist Cameron Muir forecasts prices will continue to climb as long as the trend continues.He is also critical of what he calls the “burdensome” mortgage qualification rules that took effect in January, saying they have had the “predictable effect of swiftly curbing housing demand.”“You simply cannot pull as much as 20 per cent of the purchasing power away from conventional mortgage borrowers and not create a downturn in consumer demand,” Muir says in the release.B.C. home sales in March tallied $5.39 billion, a 20.6 per cent tumble compared with March 2017, while the association says sales dollar volumes since January slipped 1.7 per cent to $13.9 billion, compared with the first quarter of last year.Residential sales also fell 9.4 per cent during the first three months of this year, while the association reports the average price of a home increased 8.5 per cent to just over $732,000 during the same period.last_img read more

Continue reading

Jeff Samudosky wins Chetwynd International Chainsaw Carving Competition

first_imgCHETWYND, B.C. – The 14th Annual Chetwynd International Chainsaw Carving Competition concluded on Sunday.12 carvers came from around the world to compete for a $5,000 and the title as top carver. Jeff Samudosky, who came third in the 2016 competition, was able to out-carve the other competitors to win this year’s top prize.The full results for the competition are shown below:1st: Jeff Samudosky for his piece “Joanna” – $5,0002nd: Chad Danczyk for his piece “Focus” – $3,0003rd: Takao Hayashi for his piece “Strong Combination” – $2,000Carvers Choice: Daniel Cordell for his piece “Dependance” – $500People’s Choice: Ryan Cook for his piece “Poseidon” – $1,000last_img

Continue reading

Snowfall records shattered across the Peace Region

first_imgAnother record for September 12th at the North Peace Airport station has also already been broken, as a further roughly two centimetres fell at the airport between midnight and 5:00 a.m.No snow has previously been recorded at the airport on the 12th day of September.Castellan said however that the all-time record for the Fort St. John area on September 12th still stands, as 12.7 centimetres of snow was recorded at the Baldonnel weather station back in 1936.The snowfall also broke official records in Chetwynd and Grande Prairie on both days.The Chetwynd Airport recorded two centimetres of snow on Tuesday, which is the first time snow has been recorded at the station on September 11th. The further 3.4 centimetres that has so far fallen in Chetwynd is also a first-ever.Grande Prairie has also broken back-to-back snowfall records, and a snowfall warning in the Swan City remains in effect as of noon Wednesday. The Grande Prairie Airport weather station saw one centimetre of snow on Tuesday, and since midnight has recorded a further 10 centimetres of the white stuff.No snow had previously been recorded in Grande Prairie on either the 11th or the 12th. Records in Grande Prairie date back to 1936.As for whether records were broken at any other B.C. Peace communities, Castellan said that unfortunately, snowfall data was unavailable for both the Dawson Creek and Fort Nelson airport weather stations. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The first snowfall of the 2018/2019 fall and winter season has caused a number of records to fall across the Peace Region.Environment Canada meteorologist Armel Castellan said that Fort St. John saw a new record snowfall for September 11th.The 6.2 centimetres of snow that fell at the North Peace Airport weather station yesterday was 3.8 centimetres more than the previous record of 2.4 centimetres that was set in 1993.last_img read more

Continue reading

Which College Football Teams Do The Most With The Least Talent And

107Eastern MichiganMAC344.5-15.1-7.0 44CaliforniaPac-12613.6+9.2+3.2 125North TexasC-USA366.1-18.1-11.2 60WyomingMW315.5-9.0+0.6 119South CarolinaSEC716.3+2.0-9.4 31ColoradoPac-12534.2+6.8+4.8 51Middle Tennessee StateC-USA423.2-2.2+1.7 7TempleAmerican449.3+7.5+10.0 3NavyAmerican324.8+6.4+15.4 41Virginia TechACC652.6+11.6+3.5 18BaylorBig 12639.8+15.4+7.9 42TroySun Belt363.0-3.8+3.3 48Ole MissSEC786.2+17.4+2.3 8OklahomaBig 12776.7+24.4+9.8 9WashingtonPac-12683.5+19.3+9.6 10ToledoMAC444.9+6.6+9.3 118HawaiiMW385.3-14.8-8.9 113SMUAmerican460.4-10.1-8.1 13WisconsinBig Ten639.8+15.9+8.4 55New MexicoMW364.5-5.7+1.3 25TCUBig 12648.0+15.1+7.2 37MinnesotaBig Ten525.8+5.3+3.8 92ConnecticutAmerican412.9-9.0-4.6 54TennesseeSEC812.2+18.0+1.6 99Kent StateMAC336.2-14.3-5.8 120UCFAmerican497.4-9.7-9.6 40StanfordPac-12772.2+17.9+3.5 32USFAmerican546.8+7.3+4.7 23UtahPac-12577.2+11.6+7.4 124Fresno StateMW403.8-15.9-11.0 22HoustonAmerican542.1+9.9+7.6 103BuffaloMAC330.0-15.2-6.4 70Boston CollegeACC534.0+0.2-1.7 17Brigham YoungFBS Indep.525.2+9.4+8.0 95Arizona StatePac-12687.5+5.1-4.9 100Oregon StatePac-12534.8-4.0-5.9 104FIUC-USA361.5-13.6-6.5 14Kansas StateBig 12504.5+8.7+8.3 33Ohio StateBig Ten904.9+25.6+4.3 87MissouriSEC638.3+3.8-3.6 34Georgia TechACC586.4+8.8+4.2 36AlabamaSEC982.3+29.3+4.0 28North CarolinaACC676.3+15.5+6.2 102MassachusettsFBS Indep.347.3-14.1-6.2 47Arkansas StateSun Belt439.8-0.5+2.5 74IndianaBig Ten562.3+1.3-2.1 76SyracuseACC514.5-1.3-2.2 57NorthwesternBig Ten604.7+6.4+0.8 15Oklahoma StateBig 12641.8+15.7+8.1 108Louisiana-LafayetteSun Belt425.8-11.4-7.6 4Appalachian StateSun Belt323.1+5.0+14.1 20IowaBig Ten565.9+11.3+7.7 68Michigan StateBig Ten717.5+10.3-1.2 122TexasBig 12830.1+7.3-10.1 98AkronMAC428.2-9.2-5.6 50Mississippi StateSEC679.6+11.5+2.0 49Central MichiganMAC384.3-3.8+2.1 66DukeACC581.5+3.4-1.0 38PittsburghACC630.5+10.6+3.6 112Florida AtlanticC-USA405.0-12.9-8.0 89Notre DameFBS Indep.849.8+14.4-4.0 69Iowa StateBig 12540.6+0.9-1.4 11ArmyFBS Indep.159.1-8.5+9.2 39MichiganBig Ten852.0+22.1+3.6 59LSUSEC903.5+21.8+0.6 I mentioned the service academies — Air Force, Navy and Army — because they are the biggest outliers here. Although their recruiting process works largely the same as at other schools (with the biggest exception being a lack of scholarships specifically for athletics), they face unique barriers to hauling in top talent, including mandatory military service after graduation, tougher academic requirements and even size restrictions for incoming players.2Guidelines for weight and body fat, for instance, can make it difficult for top linemen to qualify. That’s why, according to the Team Talent Composite, the academies are mostly filled with players who were lightly regarded coming out of high school. But whether because of their emphasis on character and discipline, or just their predilection for triple-option schemes that can trip up the most formidable defenses, these programs have produced far better results than their talent would suggest.Among Power Five schools, the top outperformers are a generally unsurprising collection of well-coached programs, such as the perennially overachieving Wisconsin Badgers, the Washington schools (both UW and WSU), plus Bill Snyder’s K-State and Mike Gundy’s Oklahoma State squads. But ahead of them all might be a surprising team: the Oklahoma Sooners. OU got a reputation for losing big games under former coach Bob Stoops, but Stoops probably should have also gotten more credit for putting the Sooners in position to play those games in the first place, given the way they outplayed the expectations of their recruiting classes.Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, there are programs that recruit like crazy but achieve only modest outcomes, like South Carolina, Texas and Georgia. The latter two in particular are storied programs that recruit off of their prestige, but both teams have found a way to mess up that advantage in recent seasons. There’s also no shortage of teams that field average talent but manage to be awful anyway, like Kansas and Rutgers. All of these schools serve as testament to the importance of coaching and player development in any program’s fate. Although a team like Nick Saban’s dominating Alabama squad can be No. 1 in recruiting and No. 1 in performance on the field, most schools have to make the best out of what they’ve got.How much bang does your favorite school get for its recruiting buck? Find out in our searchable table below. 61IdahoSun Belt259.6-11.9+0.5 Sources: 247Sports, ESPN Stats & Information Group FOOTBALL POWER INDEX 126Texas StateSun Belt356.1-20.6-13.2 12Washington StatePac-12531.7+10.6+8.8 121RiceC-USA397.2-15.1-9.8 94UCLAPac-12806.2+11.3-4.8 30TulsaAmerican406.6+0.9+5.6 35Georgia SouthernSun Belt413.3-0.3+4.1 64East CarolinaAmerican422.9-4.5-0.5 79NevadaMW385.0-8.5-2.6 84CincinnatiAmerican518.1-2.1-3.1 78Georgia StateSun Belt328.7-11.3-2.5 105TulaneAmerican398.1-11.7-6.5 19ClemsonACC826.8+25.0+7.8 75NebraskaBig Ten695.8+8.2-2.1 77San Jose StateMW408.5-7.0-2.3 97New Mexico StateSun Belt259.4-18.0-5.5 86Ball StateMAC357.9-10.8-3.5 81IllinoisBig Ten527.4-1.5-3.0 FOOTBALL POWER INDEX▲▼TEAM▲▼CONF.▲▼TALENT▲▼ACTUAL▲▼VS. EXPECTED▲▼ 45OhioMAC351.6-4.8+2.9 83VanderbiltSEC614.4+3.0-3.1 2Western KentuckyC-USA377.7+11.8+18.1 123CharlotteC-USA317.3-19.7-10.2 6MemphisAmerican416.5+6.8+11.0 71MiamiACC759.6+11.8-1.9 College football teams’ success vs. their recruiting programsTeam Talent Composite vs. Football Power Index rating for FBS college football programs, 2015-16 73FloridaSEC794.1+13.5-2.0 90OregonPac-12747.9+9.0-4.1 91ArizonaPac-12611.6+1.6-4.4 114South AlabamaSun Belt378.3-14.7-8.4 72Texas A&MSEC822.5+15.1-1.9 111Louisiana-MonroeSun Belt307.8-17.9-7.9 93MarshallC-USA487.6-5.1-4.6 96KentuckySEC643.3+2.2-5.4 62Texas TechBig 12623.0+6.8+0.2 101UTEPC-USA273.3-17.9-6.2 16LouisvilleACC647.6+16.0+8.1 67Wake ForestACC507.6-0.6-1.1 80Old DominionC-USA333.4-11.3-2.7 88UNLVMW354.5-11.4-3.9 5Western MichiganMAC442.6+9.1+11.9 58Bowling GreenMAC413.1-3.8+0.7 115VirginiaACC643.0-1.1-8.6 ▲▼TEAM▲▼CONF.▲▼TALENT▲▼ACTUAL▲▼VS. EXPECTED▲▼ 21Boise StateMW558.9+10.9+7.7 46N.C. StateACC613.3+8.9+2.8 53ArkansasSEC692.2+11.9+1.7 106Texas-San AntonioC-USA377.0-13.1-6.8 24San Diego StateMW488.5+6.9+7.4 109GeorgiaSEC874.9+12.0-7.7 117MarylandBig Ten627.9-1.9-8.7 College football can feel like a hopelessly deterministic sport sometimes. In this week’s preseason AP poll, for instance, it was revealed that the recruiting machines at Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State and Southern Cal are also the top favorites to win the College Football Playoff. Ho-hum.But although raw talent has a pretty strong correlation with on-field success, it doesn’t completely guarantee it. Teams with good rosters can always let their fan bases down, while others can achieve far better results than we would expect from their recruiting hauls alone. (Hello, service academies!)To get a sense of which teams have gotten the most — and the least — out of their talent, I took ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) ratings for each FBS program over the past two seasons,1Ideally, we’d be able to look at this over a longer timeframe, but the data I’m using for this story only goes back to the 2015 season. and plotted them against 247Sports.com’s Team Talent Composite scores. (The latter measures a roster’s strength by tracking how many highly touted prospects a team has at its disposal.) The overall relationship between FPI and roster talent is relatively strong — recruiting scores explain about 65 percent of the variation in team performance — but some teams have managed to rise above college football’s penchant for predestination. 82AuburnSEC865.4+16.2-3.0 116Miami (OH)MAC407.6-13.4-8.6 26Louisiana TechC-USA444.7+4.4+7.1 65Florida StateACC898.3+20.1-0.8 110PurdueBig Ten523.5-6.6-7.9 85USCPac-12931.8+19.5-3.2 52Colorado StateMW400.7-3.4+1.7 56Southern MissC-USA456.1-1.0+1.2 29Utah StateMW344.3-2.0+6.0 1Air ForceMW57.8+1.4+24.3 43Northern IllinoisMAC392.0-2.3+3.3 63Penn StateBig Ten737.4+12.3-0.3 127RutgersBig Ten593.9-8.6-13.6 128KansasBig 12495.5-14.4-14.2 27West VirginiaBig 12640.2+14.0+6.5 read more

Continue reading

OK Should The Cavs Start To Worry Now

By Neil Paine, Chris Herring and Kyle Wagner More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Embed Code Welcome to The Lab, FiveThirtyEight’s basketball podcast. On Monday’s show (April 16, 2018), Neil, Kyle and Chris recap the first games of the NBA playoffs. They focus on the weekend’s big storylines: The Pacers trounced the Cavs in Cleveland, the Blazers had no answer for Anthony Davis, and the Sixers looked like real contenders.Here are links to what the podcast discussed this week:Keep an eye on FiveThirtyEight’s NBA predictions, updated after every game.Chris wrote about how Ben Simmons is outsmarting his defenders.

Continue reading

United States mens soccer team silences Jamaica in Crew Stadium 10

Members of the United State’s men’s national soccer team like to think of Crew Stadium as home. The American’s most recent visit to Columbus is yet another example of why there’s no place like home. The U.S. improved its all-time record at Crew Stadium to 6-0-3 with a 1-0 win against Jamaica in a 2014 World Cup qualifying match Tuesday. American forward Herculez Gomez struck a set-piece goal in the 55th minute to give the Americans a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard also helped keep a shutout intact for the Americans, who avenged their 2-1 loss to Jamaica on Friday in Kingston, Jamaica. With the win, the U.S. moves into a three-way tie for first-place in its World Cup qualifying group with Jamaica and Guatemala. The Guatemalans defeated Antigua and Barbuda Tuesday, 1-0, to keep pace in the group, from which only the top two teams can advance in World Cup qualifying. The Americans will resume World Cup qualifying Oct. 12 with a game against the group’s last-place team, Antigua and Barbuda, in St. John’s, Antigua. Crew Stadium was a powder keg and the U.S. came close to lighting the fuse numerous times in the first half. Chance after chance went just wide of Jamaican keeper Dwayne Miller’s goal. American midfielder Graham Zusi set the tone for the first half when he clanked an 18-yard shot off the upper right corner of Miller’s goal, which was besieged in the first half. All told, three U.S. shots caromed off the posts of Miller’s net by the time 30 minutes had passed. Other U.S. attempts whistled wide as the American fans standing on temporary bleachers waited to erupt. Howard, by comparison, wasn’t tested once in the opening half, and his teammates kept the pressure up on the other end of the field, outshooting Jamaica, 8-0, in the opening 45 minutes. Jamaica was barely hanging on, but the Americans weren’t able to break through and the teams went to half in a scoreless tie. Fans remained at a roar as the second half began and before long, the moment the entire stadium had been waiting for finally arrived in the 55th minute. After the U.S. earned a free kick from about 25 yards out, Gomez stepped to the ball and bent his kick around a wall of Jamaican defenders. Miller made a full-stretch lunge to save the shot, but could only manage to get part of his left hand on Gomez’s rip from distance. The white twine of the net rippled and Gomez had put the U.S. up, 1-0, to spark Crew Stadium to life. From there on out, it was all defense for the U.S. and few additional offensive chances.  Howard and his backline of defenders managed to deal with Jamaica’s three second-half shot. In the midfield, Jermaine Jones, a dual citizen of America and Germany, pushed and muscled his way around the field to stop the Jamaican attacks. Jamaica never had a shot on goal. In the 82nd minute, Howard skied to tip a seemingly threatening corner kick away from the mouth of his goal, and most of the 23,881 still in attendance roared with approval. Jamaica, nicknamed the “Reggae Boyz,” wouldn’t mount another serious attack.  After three minutes of extra time, Honduran referee Jose Pineda blew his whistle to end the game and send the packed stadium into one final frenzied cheer. read more

Continue reading

Mens volleyball set to open season in Hawaii

Then-sophomore middle blocker Grayson Overman attempts to block an opposing spike during a match against Lewis March 4, 2011, at St. John Arena. OSU won, 3-0.Credit: Cody Cousino / For The LanternThe Ohio State men’s volleyball team is set to start the 2014 season in a location where the climate is quite the contrary to what Ohio has been facing lately.The Buckeyes are scheduled to travel to Honolulu for the fifth straight year to take part in the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Invitational.In what marks the 20th anniversary for the tournament, No. 12 OSU is slated to take on top teams in No. 14 Hawaii, No. 7 UCLA and No. 11 Penn State.“The Outrigger Volleyball Invitational is one of the oldest non-conference tournaments in college men’s volleyball. It traditionally includes Hawaii and a team from the (Mountain Pacific Sports Federation), Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) and (Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) in its four-team field,” said Nancy Daniels, the director of public relations for Outrigger Hotel and Resorts.The Buckeyes have made five appearances, Penn State has made 19 appearances with two titles, UCLA has made 13 appearances with a record eight titles and Hawaii has played in all 20 tournaments, winning six times, Daniels said.OSU is set to kick off play Thursday facing the host of the tournament, Hawaii. Hawaii leads the overall series with OSU, 3-1. The Buckeyes picked up their first win over the Rainbow Warriors last year, beating Hawaii in five sets during the first round of the 2013 Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Invitational. Friday, OSU is set to take on UCLA at 9 p.m. The Buckeyes are set to finish the invitational Saturday against Penn State at 9 p.m.The Buckeyes are coming off a 2013 season in which they finished 19-8 overall and 9-5 in MIVA conference play, good for third.OSU hosted the first round of the MIVA Tournament, falling in five sets to Grand Canyon. To end the 2013 season, OSU lost seven seniors, including experienced middle blockers John Tholen and Grayson Overman.In coach Pete Hanson’s 28th season at the helm, the Buckeyes are led by a pair of experienced redshirt juniors in setter Peter Heinen, opposite Andrew Lutz, junior outside hitter Michael Henchy and redshirt-junior middle blocker Shawn Herron.Upon returning from Hawaii, the Buckeyes are scheduled to take on Lees-McRae in Columbus, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. read more

Continue reading

Baseball Ohio State returns home to face Cincinnati

Ohio State redshirt senior pitcher Thomas Waning (14) prepares to throw a pitch during the game against Hawaii on March 23. Ohio State won 7-5. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorThe Ohio State baseball team will return to Bill Davis Stadium, the place where the Buckeyes have won seven of nine games in 2019, after beginning its Big Ten season against Rutgers on the road. On Wednesday, Cincinnati (10-16, 3-3 American Athletic) will take its struggling offense up against an Ohio State (16-12, 2-1 Big Ten) pitching staff that has been in a groove. The Bearcats are coming off a series loss to Tulane at home, in which Cincinnati was outscored 33-12 throughout the three-game series. Averaging 3.96 runs per game, the Bearcats have had trouble keeping up with opponents. The low run average can partially be explained by the team’s low batting average. Cincinnati has hit .227 as a team, with only one player hitting above .265. Cincinnati junior shortstop Joey Bellini leads the team with a .292 batting average. Bellini has started 17 games for the Bearcats, and is tied for sixth on the team with seven RBI. Cincinnati does not have the power to make up for its insufficient hitting. With only 11 home runs on the season, the Bearcats struggle to tally runs in quick fashion. The Bearcats do excel, however, in their ability to steal bases. With 48 stolen bags on the season, the Bearcats rank in the top 50 in the nation. Cincinnati redshirt junior center fielder Jeremy Johnson and junior second baseman Jace Mercer have combined for 25 stolen bases. Mercer also leads the team with 21 walks on the year. The Buckeyes have caught only seven of the 30 baserunners that have attempted stealing this season. Junior pitcher Jake Vance will likely receive the start Wednesday. Vance has allowed four steals on the season, the most of any Ohio State starter. Ohio State sophomore catcher Dillon Dingler has the arm to keep the Bearcats honest. The co-captain has thrown out 3 of 4 runners who have tried to steal on him. After allowing 15 runs in a loss to Hawaii, Ohio State has allowed only 12 runs in the past four games. In this same stretch, the pitchers have combined to strike out 40 batters. Cincinnati’s pitching has not been as successful, allowing 5.77 runs a game. Despite striking out more than eight batters a game, the Bearcats walk an average of 5.69 batters per contest.Ohio State will take on Cincinnati at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium. read more

Continue reading

Chelsea close to stunning double scoop for coach player

first_imgChelsea look set to pinch Napoli midfielder Jorginho from rivals Manchester City this summer, claims Gianluca Di MarzioWhile it has been City who were expected to sign the Italy international following long talks with Napoli since the end of last season, they have struggled to agree on a final transfer fee with the Serie A club.City boss Pep Guardiola had hoped to have Jorginho signed in time for the start of pre-season with the rest of the club’s non-World Cup players for this week, but it appears that he will now miss out on his top transfer target altogether.The Catalan coach has only ever been interested in signing new players completely committed to joining his club, which is why he elected to allow Alexis Sanchez to join City’s locals rivals Manchester United in January.Maurizio Sarri, JuventusMaurizio Sarri satisfied despite Juventus’ draw at Fiorentina Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Maurizio Sarri was satisfied with Juventus’ performance on Saturday afternoon after finishing a tough game at Fiorentina 0-0.In light of this, Chelsea have now leapfrogged City in the race for Jorginho and view him as the perfect compromise with Napoli.The Blues are hoping that by paying more for Jorginho, they can convince the Italian club to part with former head coach Maurizio Sarri after refusing to pay a huge compensation bill for his release from his contract.While City had only been willing to splash out on £45m for Jorginho, Chelsea are ready to spend up to £57m.last_img read more

Continue reading

Instagram has new rules for removing accounts

first_imgInstagram said it’ll notify users if their account is at risk of being removed along with a way to appeal the company’s decision. Users will be able to appeal if their content was taken down for violating Instagram’s rules against nudity and pornography, bullying and harassment, hate speech, drug sales, and counter-terrorism. Instagram said in the coming months it’ll expand appeals. It’s also giving users a way to submit appeals directly within the photo sharing app. Currently, users have to go through the site’s help center.The company will delete accounts right away if they violate the company’s drug sales or sexual solicitation policies. Share your voice Instagram has made changes to its policy about removing accounts. James Martin/CNET Instagram said Thursday it’s rolling out changes to how it decides what accounts to take down, a sign that the photo sharing site is getting tougher about removing offensive content that violates its rules.The Facebook-owned company will start removing accounts that rack up a number of violations within a window of time. Currently, Instagram takes down accounts that have a certain percentage of content that violates its rules.An Instagram spokeswoman said it isn’t sharing the exact number of violations or time frame because of concerns users will game the system.disable-thresholds-2-up-enInstagram will notify users if their account may be removed. Instagram “Similarly to how policies are enforced on Facebook, this change will allow us to enforce our policies more consistently and hold people accountable for what they post on Instagram,” the company said in a blog post.The announcement comes during the same week that a man suspected of killing a 17-year-old girl posted a photo of her bloody body on what appeared to be his Instagram account. Instagram pulled down the photo and deleted his account but the copies of the image still reappeared on the site and other platforms afterward, raising concerns about how well the social network and others moderate content. The company has also come under fire for not doing enough to combat bullying or shielding teenagers from images of self-harm. At the same time, Instagram and parent company Facebook continue to face allegations that it’s suppressing conservative voices. Facebook has denied those allegations. CNET Apps Today Tagscenter_img Comments Mobile Tech Industry Facebook Instagramlast_img read more

Continue reading

Email use model appears to follow Clash of Civilizations prediction

first_img Citation: E-mail use model appears to follow “Clash of Civilizations” prediction (2013, March 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-03-e-mail-clash-civilizations.html (Phys.org) —Researchers at Stanford University have built a model based on the frequency of e-mail interactions between groups of users of Yahoo! e-mail throughout the world. In studying their results, they have found, as they report in their paper they’ve uploaded to the preprint server arXiv, it appears to adhere to societal boundaries as described by Samuel Huntington’s 1992 book “The Clash of Civilizations.” The Mesh of Civilizations. Source: Yahoo! email dataset. Rescaled densities. Only top 1,000 densities displayed. Credit: arxiv.org/abs/1303.0045 Journal information: arXiv Yahoo tries to entice users with e-mail facelift More information: The Mesh of Civilizations and International Email Flows, arXiv:1303.0045 [cs.SI] arxiv.org/abs/1303.0045AbstractIn The Clash of Civilizations, Samuel Huntington argued that the primary axis of global conflict was no longer ideological or economic but cultural and religious, and that this division would characterize the “battle lines of the future.” In contrast to the “top down” approach in previous research focused on the relations among nation states, we focused on the flows of interpersonal communication as a bottom-up view of international alignments. To that end, we mapped the locations of the world’s countries in global email networks to see if we could detect cultural fault lines. Using IP-geolocation on a worldwide anonymized dataset obtained from a large Internet company, we constructed a global email network. In computing email flows we employ a novel rescaling procedure to account for differences due to uneven adoption of a particular Internet service across the world. Our analysis shows that email flows are consistent with Huntington’s thesis. In addition to location in Huntington’s “civilizations,” our results also attest to the importance of both cultural and economic factors in the patterning of inter-country communication ties.via Arxiv Blogcenter_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2013 Phys.org Huntington famously suggested in his book that future wars would revolve around cultural and religious differences and even offered a list of groups of people in them: Sinic, Hindu, Islamic, Latin American, Western, Orthodox, African and Buddhist.The researchers at Stanford, led by Bogdan State, didn’t set out to create a model that would reflect Huntington’s vision, but instead found it came about on its own after the data was compiled and graphed. Their model is based on over ten million e-mail messages sent from Yahoo! users the world over. To show the degree of interaction between groups, the team used nodes and lines between them—the more transactions between groups, the closer they appear together on the model. They also carefully note that only Yahoo! users that agreed to have their data used in the study were included. To form geographic areas, the team compared IP numbers attached to messages with the location noted in a user’s profile, using only those that coincided.The resulting color-coded graphic model offers near instant visual clues regarding groups bound together by culture and perhaps religion. Perhaps more importantly it also shows boundaries, which State and his team claim, resemble the model first proposed by Huntington. Western nodes are clustered to form a single group with just a few outliers, for example, as are others such as those deemed Islamic, or South American.The model doesn’t hint at tensions between groups of course, but does seem to indicate that groups tend to communicate more via e-mail with others in their same group than they do with others from other groups, even if they share a physical border. Other patterns that show up indicate what would seem natural—that people who speak the same language tend to send more e-mails to each other than to people who don’t. People in Great Britain for example, appear to send more e-mails to people in Australia than to people in other, much closer, European countries. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Continue reading

Rep Griffin takes ceremonial oath of office on House floor

first_imgFROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Rep. Beth Griffin, Rep. Bronna Kahle, Rep. Annette Glenn, Dawn Crandall, Rep. Mary Whiteford and Rep. Julie Alexander.PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Beth Griffin, of Mattawan, was sworn in today for her second term as representative of the 66th District. Administering the Ceremonial Oath of Office was Supreme Court Justice Stephen Markman. Today also marks the Opening Day of the 100th Michigan Legislature. 09Jan Rep. Griffin takes ceremonial oath of office on House floor Categories: Griffin Newscenter_img ###last_img

Continue reading

Synamedia set out its vision and investment focus

first_imgSynamedia set out its vision and investment focus as a newly independent company at IBC, stressing that innovation will be at the heart of its strategy.The company, formed from the sale of Cisco’s video processing and video solutions business to private equity firm Permira funds, said it will help customers to develop new offerings and optimise their current infrastructure while adopting IP distribution.Securing revenues and tackling illegal streaming will be another priority, with Synamedia planning to bring to market products and services that “go beyond watermarking” to help customers with piracy prevention.The company will also be investing in research and development around targeted advertising technology – across both live and on-demand services such as cloud DVRs. Synamedia said this will be particularly attractive to free-to-air TV broadcasters and channels aiming to increase their revenue via OTT services including live streaming, catch-up TV and cloud DVR.“We are looking forward to helping our DTH and cable customers embrace IP distribution to complement and expand consumer choice and convenience, as well as helping telco customers and new entrants to pay TV take advantage of our end-to-end platform offering,” said Yves Padrines, the incoming CEO for Synamedia and Cisco’s current vice president of global service provider for Europe, Middle East, Africa.“At this pivotal time in the industry when the market faces a number of challenges, we will work with our customers and partners to reinvent the way people are entertained and informed.”Synamedia set out plans to work with data analytics firms, network equipment providers and application developers supporting the Synamedia Infinite Video Platform. It also plans to expand its professional services offerings with the aim of becoming “the richest and most flexible hybrid broadcast OTT platform in the market.”The company plans to support Android TV and RDK as well as devices like games consoles and connected TVs with its Infinite Video Platform. It will also improve the quality of experience with multicast ABR streaming and broadcast-equivalent streaming latency.On the Cloud DVR front, Synamedia said it will expand its solution with support for hybrid and multi-cloud environments and will work on developing a fully-managed service.“I’m particularly excited about our plans to help customers secure their revenues and enhance the consumer experience by taking advantage of the convenience of OTT technologies,” said Synamedia chairman Abe Peled.“We will be starting with a robust and secure platform and will further develop our security offerings to tackle illegal streaming. In addition, we will leverage our expertise in targeted advertising to enable our clients to create new revenue streams.”last_img read more

Continue reading

Interviewed by Louis James Editor International

first_img(Interviewed by Louis James, Editor, International Speculator)[Skype rings: It’s Doug Casey, calling from Cafayate, Argentina. He sounds tired, but pleased with himself.]Doug: Lobo, get out your mower; it’s time to cut down some green shoots again, and debunk a bit of the so-called recovery.L: Ah. I have to say, Doug, the so-called recovery is looking more than “so-called” to a lot of smart folks. Even our own Terry Coxon says the recovery is real, albeit weak.Doug: Terry’s probably looking at it by the numbers, some of which are reported to be improving. But let’s come back to the numbers later and start with fundamentals. The first order of business, as usual, is a definition: a depression is a period of time in which the average standard of living declines significantly. I believe that’s what we’re seeing now, whatever the numbers produced by the politicians may seem to tell us.L: I was just shopping for food and noticed that the bargain bread was on sale at two for $5. My gas costs almost as much per gallon. That’s got to hurt a lot of people, especially on the lower income rungs. I don’t need to ask; a member of my family just got a job that pays $12 per hour – about three times what I made working for the university food service back when I was in college – and it’s not enough to cover his rent and basic bills. If his wife gets similar work, they’ll make ends meet, but woe unto them if anyone in their family crashes a car or requires serious medical treatment.Doug: That’s just what I mean. Actually, the trend towards both partners in a marriage having to work really started in the early ’70s – after Nixon cut all links between the dollar and gold in August of 1971. Before then, in the “Leave it to Beaver” era, the average family got by quite well with only the husband working. If he got sick or lost his job, the wife was a financial backup system. Now, if something happens to either one, the family is screwed. I think, from a very long-term perspective, historians will one day see the ’60s as the peak of American prosperity – certainly relative to the rest of the world… but perhaps even in absolute terms, even taking continued advances in technology into account. Maybe the ’59 Cadillac was the bell ringing at the top of that civilizational market.My friend Frank Trotter, president of EverBank, was just telling me that the net worth of the median US citizen is only $6,000. That’s the median, meaning that half of the people have less than that. Most people don’t even have enough stashed away to buy the cheapest new car without going into debt. It used to be that people bought cars out of savings, with cash. Now they have to finance them over at least five years… or lease them – which means they never ever have even that trivial asset, but a liability in the form of a lease.The bulk of the 49 percent below this guy don’t even have that – with the concentration of wealth among the top one percent, most of those below average have seriously negative net worth, at least compared to their earning capacity. In other words, the US, Europe, and other so-called First World countries are in a wealth-liquidation cycle that will be as profound as it will be protracted.By that I mean that people are on average consuming more than they produce. That can only be done by living out of capital – consuming savings – or accumulating debt. For a time, this may drive corporate earnings up, and give this dead-man-walking economy the appearance of returning health, but it’s essentially, necessarily, and absolutely unsustainable. This is an illusion of recovery we’re seeing – the result of our Wrong-Way Corrigan politicians continuing to encourage people to do the exact opposite of what they should do.L: Which is?Doug: Save. People shouldn’t be getting new cars, new TVs, and new clothes. They should be cutting expenses to the bone.The Obama administration, just like the Baby Bush administration before it – there really is no great difference between the Evil Party and the Stupid Party – and its minions in the US and its cronies around the world, stubbornly stick to the bankrupt idea that economic growth is driven by consumption. This is confusing cause and effect. Healthy consumption follows profitable production in excess of consumption, resulting in savings – accumulated capital – that can either be spent without harm, or invested in future growth.Consumption doesn’t cause an economy to grow at all. To paraphrase: “It’s productivity that creates wealth, stupid!”L: Policies aimed at encouraging consumption, instead of increasing production, are what turned the savings rate negative in the US and resulted in the huge sovereign debt issues we’re seeing in supposedly rich countries…Doug: Well, the governments themselves have spent way more than they had or ever will have, and that’s par for the course when you believe spending is a virtue. However, it’s the false signals government interference sends to the market that caused the huge malinvestments that only began to go into liquidation in 2008. That has to do with another definition of a depression: It’s a period of time when distortions and malinvestments in the economy are liquidated. Unfortunately, that process has barely even started. In fact, since the bailouts started in 2008, these things have gotten much worse. If the government had gone cold turkey back then, cut its spending by at least 50% for openers, and encouraged the public to do the same, the depression would already be over, and we’d be on our way to real prosperity. But they did just the opposite. So we haven’t yet entered the real meat grinder…L: Those false signals the government sends to the market being artificially low interest rates?Doug: Yes, and Helicopter Ben’s foolish leadership in the wholesale printing of trillions of currency units all around the world – I don’t really want to call dollars, euros, yen, and so forth money anymore. When individuals and corporations get those currency units, they think they’re wealthier than they really are and consume accordingly. Worse, those currency units flow first to the state – which feeds it power – and favored corporations, which get to spend it at old values. It’s very corrupting. There is also an ongoing regulatory onslaught – the government has to show it’s “doing something” – which makes it much harder for entrepreneurs to produce.In addition, keeping interest rates low encourages borrowing, and discourages saving – just the opposite of what’s needed. I don’t believe in any state intervention in the economy whatsoever, but in the crisis of the early 1980s, then-Fed Chairman Paul Volker headed off a depression and set the stage for a strong recovery by keeping rates very high – on the order of 15-18%. They can’t do that now, of course, because with the acknowledged government debt at $16 trillion, those kind of rates would mean $2.5 trillion in annual interest alone – more than the government takes in taxes. At this point, there’s no way out. And there’s much more tinkering with the system ahead, at the hands of fools who remain convinced they know what they’re doing, regardless of how abject their past failures have been.L: And yet, the interventions seem to be working. The “orderly default” in Greece seems to have saved the Eurozone for now, and critically important employment figures in the US show definite signs of improvement.Doug: Perhaps, but let’s take a closer look. I advocate the Greek government defaulting, overtly and immediately, on 100% of its debt, for several reasons. First, it would punish those who lent it money to do all the stupid and destructive things it’s done. Second, it would ensure that the Greek government wouldn’t be able to borrow again for a very long time. Third, it would liberate young and yet unborn Greeks, who are being turned into serfs by all that debt. It would also mean that most European banks would fail. Tough luck for those who relied on them. When new banks are established it will serve as a lesson to people to be more careful about where they put their capital. Anyway, it would be much less of a catastrophe than the way we’re currently heading.Here in the US, the twelve-month fiscal deficit is still over $1.2 trillion, an extreme situation that is gutting the value of the dollar, because it’s mostly financed by the Fed buying US debt. It’s temporarily expanded the eye of the storm we’re in, but it’s done nothing to dissipate the storm itself. Their easy-money policies may have bought them a little more time, but they will only make it worse when we do exit the eye of the storm.There’s a third definition of a depression that I use: a depression is the end phenomenon of an inflation-caused business cycle. Inflation is the sole cause of business cycles, and inflation is caused by governments and their central banks printing money. The government – the state – is 100% responsible for society’s economic problems. But it arrogantly represents itself as the cure. And people believe it. There’s no hope until the psychology of the average person changes.L: As Bob Lefevre used to say: “Government is a disease masquerading as its own cure.” Want to update us on when you think the economy will return to panic mode?Doug: Earlier this year, I was expecting it sooner than I do now. Unless some black-swan event upsets the apple cart suddenly, I would not expect us to exit the eye of the storm at least until after the US presidential elections this fall. Maybe not until early 2013, as the reality of what’s in store sinks in. I pity the poor fool who’s elected president. In a way, I hope it’s Obama who wins, mainly because the worthless – contemptible, actually – Republican candidates yap on about believing in the free market, which means if one of them is somehow elected, the free market will be blamed for the catastrophe. Too bad Ron Paul will be too old to run in 2016, assuming that we actually have an election then…L: So, what about those numbers, then? Employment is up, and the oxymoronic notion of a “jobless recovery” was one of our criticisms before…Doug: Yes, but look at the jobs that have been spawned; they are mostly service sector. Such jobs can create wealth for certain individuals – it looks like we’ve put more lawyers to work again, as well as waiters and paper-pushers – but they don’t amount to increased production for the whole economy. They just reshuffle the bits around within the economy.L: Unlike my favorite – mining – which reported 7,000 new jobs in the latest report, if I recall correctly.Doug: Yes, unlike mining, which was more of an exception than the rule in those numbers. But that’s making the mistake of taking the government at its word on employment figures. As we’ve discussed before, if you look at John Williams’ Shadow Stats, which show various economic figures as the US government itself used to calculate them, unemployment has actually reached Great Depression levels.The US government is dishonestly fudging the figures as badly as the Argentine government – which is, justifiably, viewed as an economic laughingstock in most parts of the world. One reason things are going to get much worse in the US is that many of those with economic decision-making power think Cristina Fernandez Kirchner is a genius. A little while ago there was an editorial in the New York Times – the mouthpiece for the establishment – written by someone named Ian Mount. Get a load of this. I’ve got it in front of me.If you can believe it, the author actually says: “Argentina has regained prosperity thanks to smart economic measures.” The Argentine government “intervened to keep the value of its currency low, which boosts local industry by making Argentina’s exports cheaper abroad while keeping foreign imports expensive. Argentina offers valuable lessons … government spending to promote local industry, pro-job infrastructure programs and unemployment benefits does not turn a country into a kind of Soviet parody.”Well, no, I guess it turns it into something the US can ape. He goes on: “Argentina is hardly a perfect parallel for the United States. But the stark difference between its austere policies and low growth of the late 1990s and the pro-government, high-growth 2000s offers a test case for how to get an economy moving again. Washington would do well to pay attention.”The guy has obviously never been here, though he admits that “Argentina is far from perfect.” His modest concession is that the taxes to imports and exports have “scared away some foreign investment, while high spending has pushed inflation well over 20 percent. And it would be laughable to suggest that the United States follow its lead and default on its debt.”When I first read the article, I thought I was reading a parody in The Onion. I love Argentina and spend a lot of time down here. It’s a fantastic place to live – but not because of the government’s economic policies. Its only competition in state stupidity is Brazil, which regularly destroys its currency. Fortunately, though, the Argentine government is quite incompetent at people control, unlike the US. It leaves you alone. And there’s a reasonable chance the next president down here won’t be actively stupid, which isn’t asking much. But it’s amazing that the NYT can advocate Argentine government policy as something the US should follow. A collapse of the US economy would be vastly worse than that of the Argentine economy – the US dollar is the world’s currency. Here in Argentina they’re used to it and prepared for it to a good degree. Very unlike in the US.L: In the US, the welfare state has bloated beyond imagination. The damage already done is less visible because where there used to be private charity soup kitchens, there are now “food stamps” that look like ordinary credit cards, making the destitute among us look like everyone else at the supermarket. There are 50 million recipients, and that number is growing, not declining.By the way, John Williams is a speaker at the Casey Research Recovery Reality Summit we have coming up, April 27-29 in Weston, Florida. Perhaps this would be a good time to invite our readers down to hear John’s take on what the numbers really are – and to meet us. We’ll both be there.Doug: That’s true. Several readers made it to the event we just had at La Estancia de Cafayate, which went very well. We have some of the most interesting people in the world reading these conversations – it’s fun to get to meet more of them.L: Ah, that must be why you sound both upbeat and tired. A pity I didn’t get to sit in on Coffee with Casey with you in the new spa you built down there…Doug: Yes, it’s been a long couple of weeks, but I am pleased. You should see the place now; not only has the spa been completed since you were last here, they’re making good progress on the hotel, and there are houses going up all over the place. I’m tickled pink with our world-class 3,500 square-foot gym, where I was pumping iron for an hour today, and resistance swimming pool, among lots of other stuff. But the real attraction isn’t the toys, it’s the people.L: I’ll see it next time. It may be time to sit down with an architect. Meanwhile, back at the ranch here, what are the investment implications if the Crash of 2012 gets put off until the end of the year, or even becomes the crash of 2013?Doug: There are potentially many, but generally, the appearance of economic activity picking up is bullish for commodities, especially energy and raw materials like industrial metals and lumber. That’s not true for gold and silver, so we might see more weakness in the precious metals in the months ahead. I wouldn’t count on that, however, because government policy is obviously inflationary to anyone with any grasp of sound economics. That will keep many investors on the buy side. Plus, the central banks of the developing world – China, India, Russia, and many others – are constantly trading their dollars for gold. There are perhaps seven trillion dollars outside the US, and about $600 billion more are sent out each year via the US trade deficit.L: I know I bought some gold and silver in the recent dip and would love to have a chance to do so at even lower prices ahead.Doug: That’s the logical thing to do, given the fundamental realities we started this conversation with, but a lot of people will be scared into selling if gold does retreat. A good number will sell low, after buying high – happens every time, and is a big part of why commodities have such a tricky reputation. Most investors just don’t have the strength of conviction to be good speculators. Instead of looking at the world to understand what’s going on and placing intelligent bets on the logical consequences of the trends, regardless of what anyone else says or does, they go with the herd, buying when everyone else is buying and selling when everyone else is selling. This inverts the “buy low and sell high” formula. They let their thoughts be influenced by newspapers and the words of government officials.L: In other words, everything you see calls for gold continuing upward for some time – years – making any big retreats along the way great buying opportunities for those with the guts to act on them. Same for silver, and doubly so for the precious-metals mining stocks, and triply so for the junior stocks.Doug: Just so. I look forward to the day when I can sell my gold for quality growth stocks – but we’re nowhere near that point. But silver might correct less than gold if gold corrects due to the appearance of economic recovery – silver is, after all, an industrial metal as well as a monetary one.L: Agreed. And I can see the positive implications for energy as well, but Marin was just saying that natural gas has dropped below $2. That’s apparently starting to force oil and gas companies to remove reserves from their books – because reserves need to be economic, not just exist – which the market isn’t going to like. He sees some great bargains on solid companies ahead, and not just “gas” companies as many oil companies, including the major ones, produce both. Marin said one major company gets half its top line from gas sales. This is a huge shift.[Ed. Note: Louis is referring to Marin Katusa, chief energy investment strategist for Casey Research and editor of Casey Energy Opportunities and Casey Energy Report.]Doug: The devil is always in the details – it’s dangerous to oversimplify things, painting with a broad brush, as in, “A recovering economy will be bad for gold” or “A recovering economy will be good for energy.” You have to understand these markets well enough to really see how different forces and factors will affect them. Marin is unquestionably one of the sharpest analysts I’ve met in my life. He’s actually something of a genius, both academically smart and very street smart, in addition to being a workaholic. He runs a lot of my money. He’s done spectacularly well, and I expect him to do even better, because he constantly learns. Not much gets by him.L: Good reminder. So, if we’re looking at signs of economic recovery for a time, would you buy into copper, nickel, or other base-metal plays?Doug: Well, just because we might see signs of a temporary economic recovery, that doesn’t mean we will – and even if we do, they could easily be swept aside by any number of events, such as Europe taking another turn for the worse, or Japan or China starting to come apart at the seams. But, as a hedge, some near-term bets on industrial metals might not be a bad thing.L: How about agriculture?Doug: That’s one thing for which demand can never go down. Economic upturns or downturns may affect the mix of what people eat, but they won’t stop people from eating – or, if they do, we’ll have more pressing concerns than which way to play the markets. I remain especially bullish on cattle.L: Anything else?Doug: [Laughs] Many things. The right technology companies should do well; finding ways to do things faster-better-cheaper always adds value. Select mainstream equities in currently profitable sectors might do well as well – but I’d be very careful there. I can’t stress enough how close to the edge of collapse the global economic house of cards is – it could take another year or more to topple, or it could be starting today.L: Which leads to the other reason for owning precious metals – not as a speculation on skyrocketing prices, nor as an investment for good yield, but for prudence.Doug: Yes. Gold remains the only financial asset that is not simultaneously someone else’s liability. Anyone who thinks they have any measure of financial security without owning any gold – especially in the post-2008 world – is either ignorant, naïve, foolish, or all three.Look, we saw it coming, but everyone in the world could see Humpty Dumpty fall off the wall in 2008. Now we’re just waiting for the crash at the bottom, and no amount of wishful thinking otherwise is going to change that. It’s a truly dangerous world out there, and blue chips are no longer the safe investments they once seemed to be. You don’t have to be a gold bug to see the wisdom of allocating some capital – and not just a token amount – to cover the possibility that I’m right about what’s coming. There’s some opportunity cost associated with taking out this kind of insurance, but it’s not catastrophic if I’m wrong, and the cost of failing to do so if I’m right is catastrophic. That really is the bottom line.L: Financially. If you’re right about the coming Greater Depression, people also need to take steps to batten down the hatches on their physical life arrangements.Doug: Right. As we’ve said many times now, your government is the greatest threat to your well-being these days. If at all possible, you should be taking steps to diversify your political risk. Foreign bank accounts are not illegal for most people in most countries, though they need to be reported. Getting one is a good start. Buying real estate I like in various countries is one of my favorite ways to diversify risk in my life. That’s partly because I like speculating in real estate, but much more so because whichever government thinks you’re its tax slave can’t force you to repatriate real estate you own abroad. Most of all, it’s because it’s good to have places to go if things get ugly wherever you happen to be.L: Very well. Any particular triggers you think we should watch out for – warning signs that we really are about to exit the eye of the storm?Doug: In the US, the Fed being forced to raise interest rates would be one, or inflation getting visibly out of control – which would force a change in interest rates – would be another. Who knows – Obama getting reelected could tip the scales. War in the Middle East could do it, or, as we already mentioned, China or Japan going off the deep end. The ways are countless. Black swans the size of pteranodons are circling in squadron strength. A lot of them are coming in for a landing.People will just have to stay sharp – sorry, there’s no easy way to survive a depression. As my friend Richard Russell says, “In a depression everybody loses. The winner is the guy who loses the least.” It will take work and diligent attention to what’s going on in the world and around us. We’ll do our best to help with The Casey Report, but each of us is and must be responsible for ourselves.L: Okay then, thanks for the guru update. No offense, but in spite of the investments I’ve made betting that you’re right, I hope you’re wrong, because the Greater Depression is going to destroy many lives, and the famines and wars it spawns even more – millions, I’m sure. Maybe more. The mind balks.Doug: Oh, I agree. I only wish I could believe otherwise, because I’m sure it’s going to be even worse than I think it will be… although I hope to be watching it in comfort and safety on my widescreen TV, not out my front window.L: I think we need to find something more upbeat to talk about next time.Doug: [Chuckles] Maybe. If there’s something important in the news we should cover it. It’s sure to be fodder for comedy – at least black comedy.L: As you say. ‘Til next week then.last_img read more

Continue reading

I loudly applaud Jim Sinclairs efforts to get the

first_imgI loudly applaud Jim Sinclair’s efforts to get the PM miners to do something about this outrageous price management situation.Gold began to rally in fits and starts just before 10:00 a.m. Hong Kong time…and hit its zenith less than fifteen minutes after Comex trading began in New York yesterday morning…and that, as they say, was that.The gold price got sold off, but began to rally again shortly before 10:00 a.m. in New York.  That rally also failed to get very far above the $1,590 spot price level.From there it traded more or less sideways until a thoughtful soul decided to sell it down into the Comex close.  The New York low came at precisely 2:00 p.m. in electronic trading.  From that low, gold rallied a bit before trading almost ruler flat into the 5:15 p.m. close.Gold finished the Thursday trading session at $1,581.70 spot…up $8.20 on the day.  Net volume was around 113,000 contracts, which was a few thousand contracts higher than Wednesday’s volume.Silver’s price path was very similar to gold’s right up until the 8:35 a.m. Eastern time high tick of the day.  After silver got sold down going into the London p.m. gold fix, its price never recovered for the rest of the Thursday trading session and, like gold, got sold off some more going into the close of Comex trading.The absolute New York low for silver was also at precisely 2:00 p.m. Eastern time…the same time as gold.  From there, it recovered a little going into the close.Silver finished the day at $27.28 spot…up a whole dime.  Net volume was around 27,500 contracts…a bit higher volume than on Wednesday.Here’s the New York Spot Silver [Bid] chart on its own.  Note the sell off going into the close of Comex trading…and the precise 2:00 p.m. low tick.  This sort of timing doesn’t happen by accident.The dollar index didn’t do a lot on Thursday, it just jumped around a bit either side of 83.00…and close pretty much where it opened on Thursday morning.  But you will carefully note that the low and high ticks of the dollar index in New York yesterday corresponds almost exactly with the high and low ticks for gold and silver.The shares gapped up…and then stayed up.  The stocks hit their high of the day [a hair above 400 on the HUI] came just before the sell off began going into the close of Comex trading…and the HUI finished up 1.14%.Most of the silver stocks turned in a pretty decent performance yesterday…and Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index closed up 1.63%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report is hardly worth mentioning, as zero gold and only 2 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Monday.  The number of silver contracts still open in July has now fallen all the way down to 126…so the July delivery month should finish quietly when it wraps up about ten days from now.There was a rather large 291,035 troy ounces of gold withdrawn from GLD yesterday…and no reported change in SLV.There was a tiny sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday, as only 100,000 silver eagles were reported sold.Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday, they reported receiving 608,904 troy ounces of silver…and shipped 924,891 out the door.  The link to that activity is here.Reader Scott Pluschau has a new blog posted.  It’s headlined “Complex Head-and-Shoulders on the dollar”…and the link to that is here.I have the usual number of stories for a weekday…and the final edit is up to you.It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. – Theodore RooseveltWith crude oil, copper and the grains all rallying strongly yesterday, it was obvious that the precious metals were not being allowed to join the party.  You can tell from the price action that they all attempted to move higher, but there was always that not-for-profit seller waiting in the wings to make sure that it didn’t happen.  It appears as if all four precious metals are being held in place by brute force.I loudly applaud Jim Sinclair’s efforts to get the PM miners to do something about this outrageous price management situation…but I doubt very much that they will lift a finger to help themselves, or their shareholders.  Their response will be what it has always been…stony silence.  I always like to quote John Embry at this point, as he said many years ago that the “miners are either ignorant, naïve…or complicit.”But having said all that, I would certain get on the blower and raise hell with a few of the companies that you own shares in…and try to be as polite as you can.  I’ve been doing it by phone, e-mail…and in person for over a decade now.  They all know what’s going on…and most of the gold and silver producers are complicit by their very silence.  These are not brave men when it comes to speaking up on behalf of the real company owners…us.Today we get two data points of interest…the latest Commitment of Traders Report for positions held at the close of Comex trading on Tuesday…and The Central Bank of the Russian Federation updates its website with their June numbers.  I’m hoping that they added a goodly chunk of gold to their reserves…and I’ll have all of this information for you in tomorrow’s column.The gold price traded flat through most of the Friday session in the Far East…and the tiniest of rallies has begun now that London is trading.  Volumes in both metals were exceedingly light at the London open, but have now picked up a bit as of 4:56 a.m. Eastern time, as even these small rallies in gold and silver are running into resistance.  The dollar index is up about ten basis points from Thursday’s close.Before hitting the ‘send’ button, I’d like to point out the upcoming “Casey’s Fall Summit – Navigating the Politicized Economy”. It’s being held over three days…September 7-9th at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad, California.  It’s being co-sponsored by my good friend Eric Sprott…and it will be well worth attending…and like every other Casey Research summit, it will sell out quickly.  You can find out more by clicking here.Have a good weekend…and I’ll see you on Saturday…Sunday west of the International Date Line. Sponsor Advertisement Tosca Mining Corporation’s goal is to acquire advanced stage projects that can be placed into production quickly. The company’s primary asset is the Red Hills Molybdenum/Copper project located in Presidio County, Texas. A program to confirm, and expand the considerable size and potential of the project and evaluate various economic scenarios was completed in 2011. Tosca recently received results from the 13 remaining holes from its phase two, 16,000 M (4,873 m) diamond drill program. Per Tosca’s Chairman, Dr. Sadek El-Alfy, “the drill program has successfully verified historic drill results of the shallow Copper-Molybdenum cap and confirmed the presence of a deeper, well mineralized Molybdenum Porphyry deposit.” The results of 21 holes drilled through the copper/moly cap in Tosca’s 2011 drill program give a weighted average grade of 0.39 % Cu over a core length of 113 feet (34.5 m). Since the copper cap is subhorizontal, the average core length can be interpreted as being approximately equivalent to true width. The copper/moly cap is crescent shaped, approximately 4,000 feet (1220 metres) long and 400 feet (122 m) to 1000 feet (305 m) wide.The 2011 program encountered numerous thick  Molybdenum mineralized intervals including Hole TMC-25 wich  intersected 1,189 feet (362.4 m) averaging 0.089 per cent Mo including 830 feet (253 m) of 0.1 per cent Mo from 359 feet (109.8 m) to the bottom of the hole. Hole TMC-29 cut 989 feet (301.4 m) averaging 0.09 per cent Mo including 139 feet (42.4 m) of 0.16 per cent Mo. The molybdenum grades are similar and in some cases higher than those of projects currently considered of potential economic interest.”Aggressive plans are in place for 2012 to conduct metallurgical tests, produce an updated resource estimate and  Pre Economic Assesment. Tosca is operated by an experienced mine development team, operates in Texas, a  mine-friendly jurisdiction and its property iseasily accessible with infrastructure in place to advance operations. Please visit our website to learn more about the company ad request information.last_img read more

Continue reading

Its been clear to anyone paying attention that th

first_imgIt’s been clear to anyone paying attention that the October “rollout” of Obamacare has been a turbulent, confusing disaster. Sloppy IT systems and technological failures combined to cripple Obamacare’s sign-up systems. Security flaws put Americans at risk for identity theft. In an almost comical understatement, President Obama summarized these massive failures as “a few glitches.” I think that Luke Chung, IT expert and president of database solutions firm FMS, explained the situation much more accurately: “What should clearly be an enterprise quality, highly scalable software application felt like it wouldn’t pass a basic code review. It appears the people who built the site don’t know what they’re doing, never used it and didn’t test it.” Chung went on to call it a “technological disaster.” Think about what this ineptitude means in the bigger debate about Obamacare. The administration spent 3½ years and $698 million of taxpayers’ money to develop this software. They’ve known since earlier this year that the system wasn’t ready to support the rollout of the exchanges. Yet they proceeded anyway, apparently unconcerned about their faulty software costing Americans millions of hours of frustration and lost productivity. These same bureaucrats continue to assume more and more control of our medical care. What does their incompetence say about how they will handle making life-or-death medical care decisions? Like a parasite taking over its host, Obamacare will commandeer almost 20% of our economy, crowding out private options. With 2014 fast approaching, what should we expect in its next phase? Here’s my list Top Ten list for 2014: 1. The expansion of Medicaid, with increased cost burden for taxpayers. Medicaid is a combined state-federal program initially designed to help the neediest among us. But it has burgeoned to cover medical costs for about one in every five people. Today, Medicaid pays for two of every five babies born in the United States, and three of every five people in long-term care facilities in the US. Obamacare will add another 20 million new Medicaid dependents. According to the Kasier Family Foundation, that Medicaid expansion will add an average of 13% to state budgets in costs for 2014 alone. Even though Medicaid was designed to help the poor, studies have consistently shown that Medicaid recipients receive worse medical care than people without any health insurance at all! Medicaid patients have longer waits to see a doctor, fewer specialists to choose from, and poorer medical outcomes overall. A particularly morbid piece of evidence is that on average, Medicaid patients die sooner after surgery than people who have no medical insurance. Essentially, Obamacare is forcing 20 million more Americans into second-class medical care with Medicaid. 2. “Sticker shock” as the reality of higher health insurance premiums hits home. The majority of Americans, especially those who are young and healthy and therefore have paid low premiums in the past, are seeing their health insurance premiums rise between 50% and 150%. Further, employers are cutting full-time workers back to part-time by reducing employees’ hours per week from 40 to 29 or less, to avoid having to provide those employees with expensive, Obamacare-compliant coverage. The “Affordable Care Act” has become anything but affordable for most people. 3. Large and small employers are cutting health insurance benefits. Obamacare expands the requirements for what all health insurance policies must cover. So it’s no mystery why premiums have risen: Americans now must pay for a host of features, whether they want to or not. For example, in my office, the women employees are all menopausal. Yet Obamacare requires our small-business health insurance policy to cover pregnancy and maternity care! That means our policy costs more. These higher premiums force employers to pass on the costs to employees (in the form of higher co-pays and deductibles) and/or customers (in the form of higher product costs). 2014 will bring even higher premiums for most individuals and businesses. To deal with this onslaught of rising costs, businesses have a series of bad options: fire or lay off workers, cut health insurance benefits for everyone in the company, or reduce full-time employees to part-time so they don’t qualify for health insurance benefits, as I mentioned above. Unfortunately, some businesses will be forced into the worst option of all: going out of business. 4. The employer-based health insurance policies that remain will have higher out-of-pocket costs for employees. Because businesses must pay more to purchase Obamacare-compliant plans, they will require employees to pay higher co-pays and deductibles before coverage begins. 5. Fewer types of health insurance policies can be offered under Obamacare. Many small-business plans and existing physician networks are being terminated due to the expanded coverage requirements under Obamacare. We just received notice that our own small-business plan is being terminated. Candidate and then President Obama promised, “You can keep your insurance plan.” Nope. 6. Many people cannot keep their doctors. Candidate Obama promised, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” But many patients who like their doctors are being forced to find new ones due to changes in physician networks, as well as doctors leaving insurance plans to start fee-for-service or “concierge” practices. Sadly, when a patient is pushed out of a long-standing relationship with a physician who understands their medical history, medical outcomes often deteriorate. This is especially true for special-needs patients, who often fall between the cracks when doctors are pressured to see 40 or 50 patients a day in five-minute visits. 7. Further destruction of Medicare. In 2014, Medicare patients will discover several unwanted changes: higher premiums for their supplemental policies fewer types of Medicare supplement policies available more cutbacks in Medicare-covered services longer delays to see doctors, because many doctors are closing their doors to Medicare patients due to the cuts in reimbursements fewer cancer care specialists taking Medicare patients higher costs for hospital-based cancer treatments, as private offices with lower costs are closed due to reimbursement cutbacks fewer hospital-based surgeries being approved because as of October 2012, Obamacare rules incentivize hospitals (i.e., paid more by Medicare) to do fewer surgeries and procedures. Medicare patients who sign the Advance Beneficiary Notice (ABN) agreeing to pay for services Medicare does not cover will find that they now have higher out-of-pocket costs to pay for these non-covered services. Patients over 80 are already finding reduced approvals for certain procedures and medicines. Expect to see more of this age-based rationing as the Medicare cuts increase over the next decade. 8. Loss of ownership of your medical records. Your doctors, hospitals, and other health professionals are being pressured to adopt electronic medical record systems and send patient information to the federal government’s medical database by 2015. If they don’t comply, they’ll be penalized with reduced payments for services. This means the government will own your personal, private information, and you have no say in the matter. I consider this a complete loss of your privacy, as well as a violation of the Constitution’s 5th Amendment “Takings” clause. 9. More waivers and exemptions for the political elites and Democrat cronies. The Obama Administration and its political appointee, HHS Secretary Sibelius, have granted over 1,000 waivers and special exemptions to various Democrat donors, political allies, unions, and others. Obama’s politically connected friends are the only Americans who won’t suffer under Obamacare’s onerous regulations, ballooning costs, and 20 new taxes. 10. On January 1, 2014, the Individual Mandate to purchase Obamacare-compliant health insurance goes into effect. “Mandate” may sound benign, but it carries the force of law. Those who do not comply face another Obamacare tax (as the Supreme Court defined it), though called a “penalty” by Democrats when they forced the healthcare law through Congress on a partisan vote. At the end of the day, Obamacare shifts a bigger burden onto taxpayers and increases the number of people on the dole. In other words, it pushes the US in the exact opposite direction it needs to go to solve its massive debt problems. The most serious problems of Obamacare, however, will be felt at the individual level. You’re going to wait longer to see a doctor, you’re going to pay more for fewer treatment options, and healthcare quality will deteriorate as doctors and hospitals go out of business. Obamacare seeks to replace the adaptability and efficiency of our free markets with heavy-handed government control and micromanaging by bureaucrats who don’t have a clue about what really helps patients. We need the opposite: patient-centered, free-market reforms. Such programs have been successfully implemented in states like Indiana and businesses like Whole Foods and Safeway. They used health savings accounts and other incentives to empower consumers to make their own medical spending decisions. It’s possible to reform and improve the broken payment system while keeping our excellent medical care and innovative atmosphere that relieves suffering and improves quality of life. Unfortunately, Obamacare is pushing our country in the wrong direction. Dr. Vliet writes as an independent practicing physician with medical practices in Tucson and Dallas focused on issues of endocrine aging in men and women from puberty to late life. Dr. Vliet is a registered political Independent, and is also medically independent of all health insurance contracts since 1986. Her allegiance is to and for patients. Dr. Vliet is the 2007 Voice of Women Honoree by the Arizona Foundation for Women for her pioneering work on the overlooked hormone connections in women’s health, and she is the author of six consumer books on health topics. She has appeared on nationally syndicated radio and TV shows discussing the healthcare law as well as a variety of health topics for women and men. Dr. Vliet was one of the speakers at the just-concluded 2013 Casey Research Summit. (Click here to pre-order the complete Summit Audio Collection and save $100 off the normal price. This discount offer ends tomorrow.) Dr. Vliet’s medical websites are www.herplace.com and www.InternationalHealthStrategiesLtd.com. Follow Dr. Vliet on twitter @healthandcentslast_img read more

Continue reading

The governments scheme aimed at encouraging emplo

first_imgThe government’s scheme aimed at encouraging employers to take on disabled staff is “trivially easy to abuse” and allows organisations to describe themselves as “Disability Confident” even if they do not comply with anti-discrimination laws, new research suggests.Disability Confident was relaunched this month, but disabled researcher David Gillon says his analysis shows it is little better than the scheme it has replaced, the much-criticised Two Ticks.The scheme has also been criticised this week by a leading organisation of employers, the Business Disability Forum.Gillon’s analysis comes just days after Disability News Service revealed that many of the organisations that have signed up – and have declared themselves “disability confident” – have troubling track records when it comes to their attitudes to disabled people, including outsourcing giants Capita and Maximus, as well as Northampton police, which has had to refer two separate incidents involving young autistic men to the police watchdog.Gillon says Two Ticks was “a sham” and “rarely policed”, but Disability Confident was even weaker in some key areas.He says: “The reality for disabled people was that employers would sign up to Two Ticks, add the logo to their headed paper in order to impress their customers and the great and the good, and then carry on not employing disabled people in just the same way they always had.”He says employers will be able to do exactly the same if they sign up to Disability Confident.Research published in 2014 by academics at two business schools showed that less than one in six (15 per cent) organisations that displayed the Two Ticks symbol kept all five of its commitments, while almost one in five (18 per cent) carrried out none of them.But Gillon says that employers can get away with keeping fewer commitments than under Two Ticks and still display the Disability Confident logo, while any pretence at monitoring by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been dropped.Under the newly-relaunched scheme, employers can apply for three levels: Disability Confident Committed (level one), Disability Confident Employer (level two) and Disability Confident Leader (level three).Employers can reach the first two levels simply by assessing themselves on their own performance, after which DWP will send them a badge and a certificate that they can use to promote their “disability confidence”.It is only if they want to become a Disability Confident Leader that their self-assessment has to be “validated” by another organisation.Gillon says employers can declare themselves Disability Confident by doing less than under Two Ticks, because at level one – the level likely to be chosen by most employers – there is no longer a requirement to provide disability equality training for all staff, and no annual self-assessment of how to improve.And he says that the new commitments that were not offered by Two Ticks, and which an employer must make under Disability Confident level one  – such as making reasonable adjustments for disabled staff and jobseekers, and ensuring an inclusive and accessible recruitment process – are no more than are required under the Equality Act.Of the nine level one options, of which they have to to choose only one, an employer could become Disability Confident simply by offering unpaid work experience.At level two, employers must make more commitments, but most of them would be considered reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act, says Gillon, while there are still no checks on whether the employer is carrying out these pledges.One of the few strong new measures is to encourage suppliers and partner firms to be Disability Confident, and to identify and share good practice with them, he says.But employers can still assess themselves as level two – and be assessed successfully by another organisation as a level three employer – if they have an inaccessible environment for both employers and customers.This is because “providing an environment that is inclusive and accessible for staff, clients and customers” is only an “option”, and so an employer can choose another option instead.Gillon says this suggests that membership as high as level three can therefore be granted to employers that are still breaching the Equality Act.And he says it is also possible to achieve Disability Confident level three – becoming a Disability Confident Leader – without employing a single disabled person.He concludes: “We were promised a stronger scheme with increased external supervision, [but] we have been delivered a weaker scheme with no external supervision.“The replacement for Two Ticks turns out to be worse in almost every respect.“It is trivially easy to look at the way that Two Ticks was abused and see that Disability Confident further enables that abuse rather than preventing it.”The Business Disability Forum, a membership organisation, formerly known as the Employers’ Forum on Disability, which “makes it easier and more rewarding to do business with and employ disabled people”, is also critical of aspects of Disability Confident.George Selvanera, the forum’s strategy and external affairs director, said the process of improvement on disability employment was “not straightforward” and requires “strong leadership and must always be grounded in the lived experience of disabled candidates and employees themselves”.The forum runs its own Disability Standard, a “best practice management tool that helps employers plan and measure their disability improvements across 10 functional areas of any organisation”.Selvanera said that Disability Confident was “helpful in drawing light on the benefits for employers from recruiting and retaining disabled people”, but he said the forum believed that level two status should “only be available to employers that are experienced at employing disabled people”.He said: “It seems risky to the scheme to have employers self-assess and then publicise that they’re confident at recruiting and retaining disabled people when they don’t have any actual experience, whether in the past or currently, of doing so.“We think as well that it will be helpful to make sure only organisations with appropriate expertise are validating organisations as Disability Confident Leaders.”He added: “It’s not yet clear what metrics Disability Confident will use to measure success and its own contribution to the recruitment and retention of the one million plus extra disabled people the government aims to have in paid employment as part of halving the disability employment gap.“So we think it’s important also we must not have excessive expectations of what Disability Confident on its own [will] deliver.”A DWP spokeswoman dismissed Gillon’s analysis.She said: “The researcher appears to have misunderstood the scheme. The scheme was developed by a task group that included employers, disability charities, and disabled people*. “This has helped ensure a balance between a scheme that is accessible and straight-forward for employers to use – particularly smaller employers – whilst being rigorous and commanding the confidence of disabled people.”And she suggested that Disability Confident could not be compared directly with Two Ticks.She said: “The new scheme is fundamentally different and explores a whole range of employer practices to ensure disabled people can be successfully recruited, retained and developed.“Building on the previous two ticks scheme, we have worked with employers and disabled people to develop a new Disability Confident assessment and accreditation scheme, that is both accessible for employers, particularly smaller ones, and rigorous enough to command the confidence of the disabled community.”Asked whether employers could call themselves Disability Confident while still breaching the Equality Act, she said: “Legally all employers must comply with the Equality Act.“The DC scheme is about encouraging employers to be inclusive and to do more in recruiting, retaining and training disabled people.”And asked if employers could achieve level three status with no disabled employees and an inaccessible environment for staff and customers, she said: “The scheme has been designed so that all employers, regardless of size or sector, can sign up.“Some employers may not be in a position to take on permanent employees but can still offer opportunities including apprenticeships, training or supported internships.“‘Proactively offering and making reasonable adjustments as required’ is a core action within the Disability Confident Employer level (page eight) and ‘Ensuring there are no barriers to the development and progression of disabled staff’ is also a core action (page 19).”But Gillon said in response to the statement: “As a replacement for Two Ticks, Disability Confident is confused, opaque, and has gaps so wide you could sail a supertanker through.“It could have been so much better, and could easily be reworked to address its flaws.“But ultimately, the disability employment gap will only be filled when employers treat disability as normal and employ disabled people as they would any other.”*In July, Mike Adams, the disabled chief executive of Purple (formerly ecdp) – and a member of the task group – said he would have liked to have seen the new version of Disability Confident “much stronger and more ambitious”.Picture: David Cameron speaking at the original launch of Disability Confident in 2013last_img read more

Continue reading