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You can learn a lot about the economy in Williston, N.D., based on Mitch Petrasek’s recent hotdog consumption.  When I met him in March outside the U-Haul where he was working in Williston, the capital of the state’s oil patch, he had eight dogs lined up on a grill. “I'll eat two now, two for dinner and two for breakfast,” he says. The remaining two, he says, would be offered to his boss. Petrasek’s diet did include a few other things, like power bars and granola bars — the kind of stuff that didn't need to be warmed up or refrigerated. “That's the worst thing off living in a car is the eating situation," he explains. Petrasek was living out of his car even though he was making nearly $18 an hour at U-Haul. That’s not entirely surprising for a place like Williston. The oil boom pushed wages sky high. Ditto for rents. “I could pay $1,000 to stay in a crappy apartment with someone or I could save a $1,000 in my bank account,” Petrasek says. But the economic forces pushing him to sleep in what he called his “house-car” were shifting right under his nose. Petrasek's boss at the Williston U-Haul, Brian Way, says it was getting hard to maintain a decent inventory of moving trucks. A slowdown in the oil patch meant people were renting trucks to leave town. “The issue now that I see it is that we just don't have many people moving in,” says Way. “We used to have two or three a day, where now we have two or three a week.” That was at the end of March. Since then, the picture hasn't brightened much for the oil industry. The number of drilling rigs in North Dakota has dropped further, to about 80 today. When I called the U-Haul for an update, I learned neither Petrasek nor Way worked there anymore. Both had gotten transferred to another facility in Fargo, N.D., on the other side of the state. Petrasek just moved a couple weeks ago. He says the situation in Williston hadn’t changed much since we last spoke. “Oh yeah there's still way more people going out than coming in,” he says. He says he’s making a lower hourly wage now in Fargo. But he can afford housing. He and Brian Way are now roommates. And Petrasek says he's expanded his diet far beyond hot dogs.

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With US markets closed for the Memorial Day holiday, and some of the key European markets likewise shuttered for public holiday including the UK, Germany and Switzerland, it is difficult to find where one can observe or trade the weekend's newsflow, which is once again centered on developments in Europe, where on Sunday Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party suffered its worst result in a municipal election in 24 years while Greece continues to threaten with default 5 some years after it should have officially pulled the plug. As DB summarizes the major swing to "anti-austerity" in yet another European country - a move that may further force the Eurozone to keep a hard line with Greece or else suffer concession demands from Spain next - the weekend the ruling People’s Party (PP) suffered a loss of support in the regional and local elections, with anti-austerity focused Podemos and the emerging Ciudadonos party making gains. In Madrid in particular (a PP
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As Tesla readies itself for the release of the Model X, the attention of some electric car fans is already shifting to the forthcoming Model 3. Little is known about this vehicle as of yet, and the company has done little to confirm any official details. Perhaps Tesla has learned something from the release of […] The post Tesla Model 3 Concept Images Emerge appeared first on ValueWalk.

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Spring and summer are often a hopeful time for anyone involved in the housing economy. Houses show well; potential buyers go looking; homebuilders are building. Bad winter weather in early 2015 made for a poor start to the year for housing. But figures for April suggest the housing economy might finally be on the rebound. “Improvement in housing really has been a missing piece to this recovery,” says Michael Baele, managing director of U.S. Bank’s wealth management division. “And we are encouraged to see some better numbers.” Here are some key recent housing indicators: • Housing starts rose 20 percent in April. (U.S. Census) • Permits were up 10 percent in April. (U.S. Census) • New home sales have increased from 434,000 units (annualized) in Q3 2014, to 513,000 units in Q1 2015. (U.S. Census) • Existing home sales fell 3.3 percent in April. (National Association of Realtors) • The one-month supply of homes rose by 0.7 to 5.3 months in April. (National Association of Realtors) • The median price of a single-family home rise 10 percent from April 2014 to April 2015. (National Association of Realtors)• Construction payrolls were up by 45,000 in April. Year-over-year, construction employment has increased by 280,000. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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On a quest to invent a smart smoker, a Harvard engineering class is partnering with Williams-Sonoma. Over the last few months, junior-year engineering students have smoked more than 200 pounds of brisket. The result? Well, as a self-admitted meat lover, I figured the only way to really know was to take a bite. It wasn't hard to find the class. The mesquite aroma led me right to teaching assistant Peyton Nesmith. The Alabama native is tending a 300 pound, black, hour glass shaped ceramic smoker. The contraption is covered with wires, gadgets and gizmos. An up-close look at the brisket Nesmith is cooking. (Eliza Grinnell/Harvard SEAS)  Nesmith gave me the low down, “This brisket’s been cooking since 3 a.m. We probably have a few hours left on it. This is our typical routine. Our cadence of our battle rhythm as our adviser would say.” That adviser is Professor Kevin Kit Parker. He’s not just an academic—he’s a towering Army Lt. Colonel in the reserves. With, he says, a Southerner's passion for barbecue. “I was walking around the parking lot of the Memphis Liberty Bowl looking at all these contraptions that people were smoking barbecue in. And I'm thinking none of these things looks the same. And that means we haven't reduced our knowledge of barbecue down to a fundamental set of laws about how to do barbecue right.” Parker proudly displays the Harvard smoker. (Eliza Grinnell/Harvard SEAS) Parker says he vetted his ideas with culinary experts,“I talked to some classically trained chefs. They said no one’s done this. No one’s ever taken a scientific approach to barbecue, to smoking." Parker teaches bioengineering and applied physics at Harvard. So he decided to give his students a real-world assignment. First he introduced them to a client, the high-end consumer retailer Williams-Sonoma. The job: come up with the perfect smoker. After five long, snowy months the data is in. It’s game day. Students present the design and physics of the Harvard smoker to class-client Williams-Sonoma. (Eliza Grinnell/Harvard SEAS) The students work up to the last minute to showcase the final product. A parade of guests checks it out in a fancy auditorium in one of Harvard’s engineering buildings. Professors, chefs and top brass from Williams-Sonoma pack the room.  The students rock.  All 16 play a part in explaining the smoker’s intricacies using Parker’s mantra—design, build and test. From the unusual shape of the smoker to a smartphone app that keeps you up to date on what temperature the meat is at and if you need to make any adjustments. As he chews, Williams-Sonoma’s Pat Connolly rates the Harvard smoker against other smokers out there. “If you look at the color you get a much more consistent color here. If you look at the moisture the moisture is fantastic compared to the competition.” Connolly says the trademarked, patent pending, app wielding, BBIQ smart smoker just might have the right stuff. And make the leap from the classroom to a future Memorial Day celebration. Members of the Harvard community, representatives from Williams-Sonoma and local celebrity chefs enjoy brisket prepared in the Harvard smoker by students of the class "Engineering Problem Solving and Design Project." (Eliza Grinnell/Harvard SEAS)

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Iran will raise gasoline prices by some 40 percent beginning Tuesday, the country’s official news agency reported, the latest cut to the Islamic Republic’s fuel subsidies that cost it some The post Report: Iran raises gas prices by 40 percent in subsidy cut appeared first on King World News.

Read more: http://kingworldnews.com/report-iran-raises-gas-prices-by-40-percent-in-subsidy-cut/

Photographing the furthest galaxy, some 13.3 billion lights years away is no problem for the Hubble Telescope. Its been orbiting the earth for 25 years, making some of the biggest discoveries known to man.

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.   Once alienated, an "unalienable right" is apt to be forever lost, in which case we are no longer even remotely the last best hope of earth but merely a seedy imperial state whose citizens are kept in line by SWAT teams and whose way of death, not life, is universally imitated. Gore Vidal  

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[Marketwired] – Barrick Gold Corporation today announced it has reached an agreement to sell 100 percent of the Cowal mine in New South Wales, Australia to Evolution Mining for US$550 The post Barrick Announces Agreement to Divest Cowal Mine appeared first on King World News.

Read more: http://kingworldnews.com/barrick-announces-agreement-to-divest-cowal-mine/

American spy agencies have intentionally weakened digital security for many decades. This breaks the functionality of our computers and of the Internet. It reduces functionality and reduces security by – for example – creating backdoors that malicious hackers can get through. The spy agencies have treated patriotic Americans who want to use encryption to protect their privacy as extremists … or even terrorists. As Gizmodo’s Matt Novak points out, this attack started at the very birth of the internet: In the 1970s, civilian researchers at places like IBM, Stanford and MIT were developing encryption to ensure that digital data sent between businesses, academics and private citizens couldn’t be intercepted and understood by a third party. This concerned folks in the U.S. intelligence community who didn’t want to get locked out of potentially eavesdropping on anyone, regardless of their preferred communications method. Despite their most valiant
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It appears the reality that we exposed in all its unbelievable ponzi-ness has filtered into the psyche of Chinese investors.. though ever so gently for now. Hanergy's self-dealing self-referential loans collateralized by stock and Goldin financial's farcical flop, along with 500% return year-to-date stocks by the dozen, has sparked some selling with CHINEXT down around 4%, Shenzhen down 1-2% (both heavily dominated by these high-flying idiot-maker stocks) while Shanghai Composite and CSI-300 (China A-Share proxy) is bid...   because why wouldn't you greatly rotate to the index that is only up 47% YTD and not 92%?   Charts: Bloomberg

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Ridding the world of Monsanto via a state buy-out would be a boon to humanity.Capitalism fails in two situations: monopoly and state-capital cronyism. Monopoly extinguishes competition and that effectively extinguishes capitalism.When the elites of the state and private capital collude, i.e. crony capitalism, the few gain power and wealth at the expense of the many.The state (broadly speaking, government) fails when it serves the few at the expense of the many, while claiming to serve the interests of the many. The state only fulfills its purpose when it serves the interests of the many at the expense of the few who control the majority of the political power and private wealth. Monsanto is the epitome of monopoly and crony-state collusion. But Monsanto's grip is not only
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``According to HSBC, average US growth in the seven years from the previous peak was 3.5 per cent after 1981, 3.1 per cent after 1990, 2.1 per cent after 2000 and 1.1 per cent since 2007. The direction is unmistakable. Some economists are even talking of a "great reset" that will require the US to adjust downwards to Japan-style growth. That is probably too gloomy... Yet the growth outlook remains checked by a very un-American sense of pessimism. If, as expected, US growth rebounds in the next two quarters, Ms Yellen may have little choice but to raise rates in September or shortly
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The music industry was the first entertainment business to confront the digital transition, although it was not exactly a willing pioneer. Rather, it was thrust into this role as a matter of survival, as it grappled with the rapid rise of online piracy in the early 2000s. The music industry was incredibly slow to respond to the digital transition. Napster, the original music piracy site, burst onto the scene in 1999, but it wasn’t until 2004 when Apple iTunes debuted that consumers grew more and more primed to free music. This was a serious error and haunted the music industry for years thereafter, costing the industry multi-billions in annual sales. The rest of the entertainment industry has taken note and, as a result, all other entertainment sectors, including video, have been comparatively quick to embrace digital distribution. The music industry, rather than focusing on a legal digital download service, initially focused all its effort on shutting down Napster by way of a
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Excerpted from John Hussman's Weekly Market Comment, Among the recurring features of speculative episodes across history is the appearance of “new era” arguments to justify the elevated prices, coupled with arguments that historically reliable measures no longer apply. In our view, the problem is not that investors search for new, more reliable tools of market analysis – that should always be an objective. The problem is when investors adopt theories and models that embed the most optimistic assumptions possible, run contrary to historical evidence, or embed subtle peculiarities that actually drive the results (see, for example, the “novel valuation measures” section of The Diva is Already Singing). Eventually, the final refuge of speculation is to abandon historically reliable measures wholesale, resting faith instead on the advent of some new era in which the old rules simply don’t apply. John Kenneth Galbraith noted this phenomenon decades
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Submitted by Ron Paul via The Misess Institute, With recent DC politicking on both the Export-Import Bank and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, we revisit Ron Paul's 1981 essay "The Case for Free Trade" which explains the basics of truly free trade:  Although we think of ourselves as a free-trading nation, it takes more than 700 pages just to list all the tariffs on imported goods, and another 400 to inventory all the non-tariff restraints, such as quotas and "orderly marketing agreements."   A tariff is a tax levied on a foreign good, to help a special interest at the expense of American consumers.   A trade restraint or marketing agreement—on the number of inexpensive Taiwanese sneakers that Americans can buy, for example—achieves the same goal, at the same cost, in a less forthright manner.   And all the trends are towards more subsidies for U.S. exporters, and more prohibitions and taxes on imports.   Trade is to be
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Portfolio Recovery Was Found Liable For Malicious Prosecution And For Violating The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

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The Spanish economy will supposedly grow at three percent. The bad news is Spanish employment is well over 20 percent and is also expected to stay that way.Angry voters unhappy with that setup took it out big time on PP, the party of prime minister Mariano Rajoy.Please consider PP Suffers Heavy Regional Losses. Spain’s ruling Popular party suffered heavy losses in Sunday’s string of regional and local elections, as two upstart movements made dramatic gains at the expense of the country’s

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Interestingly, Amazon's list of best sellers in the "monetary policy" category is a veritable parade of anti-Fed and anti-central bank books.   Having not read all of them, I certainly can't endorse all of them, and many of them surely contain questionable economics and fanciful claims about central banks. (Jim Grant's great new book is in there, though.) On the other hand, the fact that such books dominate the book sales in this category tells us a thing or two about how the near consensus of approval once enjoyed by the Fed (and other Western central banks) is long gone — thanks largely to Ron Paul's 2008 campaign. Had we a list like this from 10 or 15 years ago, it probably would have been dominated by books like Bob Woodward's Maestro, which basically made the case that Alan Greenspan was an inimitable genius. (You can pick up a hardback copy of Maestro for one cent, by the way.)   Perhaps perfectly combining the two phrases
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Documentary unfolding the science behind the idea of six degrees of separation. Originally thought to be an urban myth, it now appears that anyone on the planet can be connected in just a few steps of association. Six degrees of separation is also at the heart of a major scientific breakthrough; that there might be...Read More

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Submitted by Bruno de Landevoisin via StealthFlation.org, On the grave Greek question, it appears that the moment of truth is finally upon us. After nearly four months of frenetic, fruitless and often feckless high level deliberations and negotiations, both sides remain essentially at an impasse, right where they started.  The technocrats in Brussels want to see their austerity driven reform program carried forward and implemented unconditionally.  As for the idealogues in Athens, they have pledged to put forth their own enlightened approach to rescue their sinking society. The Technocrats hold the purse strings, but the Ideologues hold the heart strings.  For what it’s worth, that is typically a highly combustible combination, tick tock.  With their recent cocksure bravado, are the Technocrats entirely misreading the desperate determination of the Idealogues?  Get ready for yet another Euro Summer swoon……… Everyone agrees that
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