http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/article/article/%3Ca%20href%3D en Nassim Taleb Crushes The 'Merchants Of Virtue' http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-28/nassim-taleb-crushes-merchants-virtue <p><a href="https://medium.com/incerto/the-merchandising-of-virtue-b548762658f0"><em>Authored by Nassim Nicholas Taleb via Medium.com,</em></a></p> <p class="graf graf--p graf-after--figure" id="6ead">I will always remember my encounter with the writer and cultural icon Susan Sontag, largely because it was on the same day that I met the great Benoit Mandelbrot. I took place in 2001, two months after the terrorist event, in a radio station in New York. Sontag who was being interviewed, was <strong>pricked by the idea of a fellow who &ldquo;studies randomness&rdquo; </strong>and came to engage me.<strong> When she discovered that I was a trader, she blurted out that she was &ldquo;against the market system&rdquo; and turned her back to me as I was in mid-sentence, just to humiliate me </strong>(note here that courtesy is an application of the Silver rule), while her female assistant gave me the look, as if I had been convicted of child killing. I sort of justified her behavior in order to forget the incident, imagining that she lived in some rural commune, grew her own vegetables, wrote on pencil and paper, engaged in barter transactions, that type of stuff.</p> <p class="graf graf--p graf-after--figure">No, she did not grow her own vegetables, it turned out. Two years later, I accidentally found her obituary (I waited a decade and a half before writing about the incident to avoid speaking ill of the departed). People in publishing were complaining about her rapacity; she had to squeeze her publisher, Farrar Strauss and Giroud of what would be several million dollars today for a book advance. <strong>She shared, with a girlfriend, a mansion in New York City, one that was later sold for $28 million dollars</strong>. Sontag probably felt that insulting people with money inducted her into some unimpeachable sainthood, exempting her from having skin in the game.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p class="graf graf--p graf-after--p" id="d52d"><strong><em class="markup--em markup--p-em">It is immoral to be in opposition of the market system and not live (like the Unabomber) in a hut isolated from it</em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p class="graf graf--p graf-after--p" id="1321">But there is worse:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p class="graf graf--p graf-after--p" id="8386"><strong><em class="markup--em markup--p-em">It is even more, much more immoral to claim virtue without </em>fully<em class="markup--em markup--p-em"> living with its direct consequences</em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p class="graf graf--p graf-after--p" id="2dbc">and this will be the main topic of the chapter: <u><em>exploiting virtue for image, personal gain, careers, social status, these kind of things &ndash;and personal gain is anything that does not share the downside of a negative action.</em></u></p> <p class="graf graf--p graf-after--p" id="3943"><strong>By contrast with Sontag, I have met a few people who live their public ideas.</strong> Ralph Nader, for instance, leads the life of a monk, identical to the member of a monastery in the sixteenth century,</p> <h3 class="graf graf--h3 graf-after--p" id="8516"><u>The Public and the&nbsp;Private</u></h3> <p class="graf graf--p graf-after--h3" id="d97c">As we saw with the interventionistas, <strong><em>a certain class of theoretical people can despise the details of reality,</em></strong> and completely so. If you believe that you are right in theory, you can completely ignore the real world &ndash;and vice versa. And you<strong> don&rsquo;t really care how your ideas affect others</strong> because your ideas make you belong to some virtuous status that is impervious to how it affects others.</p> <p class="graf graf--p graf-after--p" id="c8df">Likewise, if you <strong>believe that you are &ldquo;helping the poor&rdquo; by spending money on powerpoint presentations and international meetings</strong>, the type of meetings that lead to more meetings (and powerpoint presentations) you can completely ignore the individuals &ndash;the poor is some abstract reified construct that you do not encounter in your real life. Your efforts in conferences gives you a license to humiliate them in person. Hillary Monsanto-Malmaison, more commonly known as Hillary Clinton, found it permissible to heap abuse at secret service agents. I was recently told that a famous socialist environmentalist who was part of the same lecture series abused waiters in restaurants, between lectures on equity and fairness.</p> <p class="graf graf--p graf-after--p" id="618b"><strong>Kids with rich parents talk about &ldquo;white privilege&rdquo; at such privileged colleges as Amherst &ndash;but in one instance, one of them could not answer D&rsquo;Souza&rsquo;s simple and logical suggestion: why don&rsquo;t you go to the registrar&rsquo;s office and give your privileged spot to a minority student who was next in line?</strong></p> <p class="graf graf--p graf-after--p" id="f40b">Hence the principle:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p class="graf graf--p graf-after--p" id="ab43"><span class="markup--quote markup--p-quote is-other"><em class="markup--em markup--p-em">If your private life conflicts with your intellectual opinion, it cancels your intellectual ideas, not your private life</em></span></p> </blockquote> <p class="graf graf--p graf-after--p" id="613b">and</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p class="graf graf--p graf-after--p" id="88ae"><em class="markup--em markup--p-em">If your private actions do not generalize then you cannot have general ideas</em></p> </blockquote> <p class="graf graf--p graf-after--p" id="563f">This is not strictly about ethics, but information transfer. <strong><em>If a car salesman tries to sell you a Detroit car while driving a Honda, he is signaling that it may have a problem.</em></strong></p> <h3 class="graf graf--h3 graf-after--p" id="1efe"><u>The Virtue Merchants</u></h3> <p class="graf graf--p graf-after--h3" id="8afb">In about every hotel chain, from Argentina to South Africa, the bathroom with have a sign meant to gets your attention:<strong><em> &ldquo;protect the environment&rdquo;.</em></strong> They want you to hold off from sending the towels to the laundry and reuse them for a while, because avoiding excess laundry it saves them tens of thousand dollars a year. This is similar to the salesperson telling you what is good for you when it is mostly (and centrally) good for him. They, of course, love the environment but you can bet that they wouldn&rsquo;t have advertised it so loudly had it not been been good for their bottom line.</p> <p class="graf graf--p graf-after--p" id="23b7">So these global causes: poverty (particularly children&rsquo;s), the environment, justice for some minority trampled upon by colonial powers, or some unknown yet gender that will be persecuted; <strong>these global causes are now the last refuge of the scoundrel advertising virtue</strong>.</p> <p class="graf graf--p graf-after--p" id="d7d3"><strong>But virtue is precisely what you don&rsquo;t advertise. It is not an investment strategy. It is not a cost-cutting scheme. It is not a book selling (and worse, concert tickets selling) strategy.</strong></p> <p class="graf graf--p graf-after--p" id="5040">Now I have wondered why, by the Lindy effect, there was no mention of what is called virtue signaling in the texts. How could it be new?</p> <p class="graf graf--p graf-after--p" id="942d">Well, it is not new, but was not seen as particularly prevalent in the past. Indeed, let&rsquo;s check Matthew 5 and 6.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p class="graf graf--p graf--startsWithDoubleQuote graf-after--p" id="7fa5">&ldquo;Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.</p> <p class="graf graf--p graf--startsWithDoubleQuote graf-after--p">&nbsp;</p> <p class="graf graf--p graf--startsWithDoubleQuote graf-after--p">&ldquo;So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <h3 class="graf graf--h3 graf-after--p" id="078d"><u>Unpopular Virtue</u></h3> <p class="graf graf--p graf-after--h3" id="639c">Virtue without courage is an aberration: in fact you see cowards endorsing a public face of &ldquo;virtue&rdquo; as defined by the mainstream media, because they are afraid of doing otherwise. <strong>Their cowardice leads them to avoid association with, say anti-Al Qaeda in Syria because some Saudi shill (or some AlQaeda promoter like Charles Lister) will accuse them of Putinism, racism, anti-democracy, or some accusation that will cause ostracism.</strong></p> <p class="graf graf--p graf-after--p" id="6aaf">The best virtue requires courage; accordingly it needs to be unpopular.<strong> If I were to describe the perfect virtuous acts, it would be to take currently frowned upon positions, those penalized by the common discourse (particularly when funded by lobbyists).</strong> Like fighting the Monsanto claims, and promotion through shills that they are &ldquo;saving the children&rdquo; with their poisonous products, so anyone opposing them becomes easily described as a baby killer.</p> <p class="graf graf--p graf-after--p" id="99b1">The more costly, the more virtuous the act?&mdash;?particularly if it costs you your reputation. When integrity conflicts with reputation, go with integrity.</p> <h3 class="graf graf--h3 graf-after--p" id="8c36"><u>Other Virtues</u></h3> <p class="graf graf--p graf-after--h3" id="094a">True virtue lies in being nice to those who are neglected by others, the less obvious cases, those people the grand charity business tends to miss, those causes that are not (yet) promotional.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="530" height="298" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/taleb%20teaser_0.jpg?1495996778" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-28/nassim-taleb-crushes-merchants-virtue#comments al-Qaeda AlQaeda Charity Courage De Detroit Ethics Monsanto Nassim Taleb New York City Nicomachean Ethics Philosophy Reality Susan Sontag Virtue Sun, 28 May 2017 18:20:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 596829 at http://www.zerohedge.com Is Bannon Back? Senior Trump Advisers Push Kushner To "Take A Step Back" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-28/bannon-back-senior-trump-advisers-push-kushner-take-step-back <p>Despite Kelly and McMaster both <em><strong>brushing off Kushner&#39;s &#39;Russian back-channel&#39; story as standard practice </strong></em>for new administrations, increasing controversy surrounding the president&#39;s son-in-law have reportedly prompted senior advisers to <strong>suggest it&#39;s time for Kushner to &quot;take a step back.&quot;</strong></p> <p>After <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-27/mcmaster-responds-kushners-russia-back-channel-report">McMaster&#39;s comments brushing off the WaPo story as a non-story</a>, DHS&#39; Kelly did the reounds of Sunday political shows this morning confirming <strong>Kushner&#39;s back-channeling is &quot;both normal and acceptable&quot;</strong>...</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Sw9xfDkb_I0" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>However, this is just the latest in a series of stories - fake or not - that have surrounded the president&#39;s son-in-law and for some senior Trump advisers, enough seems to be enough.</p> <p><a href="https://www.axios.com/report-top-trump-advisers-think-kushner-should-step-back-2424983173.html"><em>As Axios reports,</em></a> Jonathan Karl reports on ABC&#39;s &quot;This Week&quot; that <strong>people &quot;very close to the president&quot; think the Russia investigation&#39;s current focus on Jared Kushner means it&#39;s time for the president&#39;s son-in-law to &quot;take a step back&quot;:</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;Even if he is ultimately completed cleared, he is at the center of this investigation right now, and you hear people close to the president, quietly saying, is it too much and is it time for Jared to take a step back, maybe even take a leave of absence from the White House.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Why it matters:</strong> Some in the White House have <strong>long resented Kushner&#39;s influence, and now see an opportunity to sideline him</strong>. And Kushner allies have been noting that he and Ivanka have made no long-term commitments to the administration. But it&#39;s still far from clear that his spot in Trump&#39;s inner circle is at risk.</p> <p>It is no secret that there has been (and continues to be, despite Trump&#39;s demands that it stops), a<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-12/trump-threatens-bannon-ultimatum-over-kushner-rift-straighten-it-out-or-i-will"><strong> rift between Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon and Trimp son-in-law Jared Kushner</strong></a>.</p> <p><img alt="Trump Bannon" height="351" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/04/12/2017.04.10%20-%20Trump%20Bannon_0.JPG" width="560" /></p> <p>One wonders if the <strong>pendulum is swinging back to a more nationalist White House</strong> once again as the Kushner-ou narrative contoinues to build.</p> <p>Additionally,<a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-sons-met-gop-officials-political-strategy/story?id=47682863"> ABC News reports</a> that <strong>Family members of President Trump, including his two sons, met for hours Thursday with Republican Party officials to discuss political strategy</strong>, ABC News has learned from sources with direct knowledge of the meeting. The president&#39;s sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric, in addition to Eric&#39;s wife, Lara, attended the meeting at Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C., sources told ABC News.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="892" height="432" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170528_kushnere.jpg?1495985571" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-28/bannon-back-senior-trump-advisers-push-kushner-take-step-back#comments ABC News American people of German descent Business Charles Kushner Donald Trump Donald Trump Economy of the United States First 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency Jared Kushner Kushner Politics Republican National Committee Republican Party Trump family United States Washington D.C. White House White House Sun, 28 May 2017 17:45:43 +0000 Tyler Durden 596828 at http://www.zerohedge.com Powerful Geomagnetic Storms Hit Earth - Will Stocks Fall Next Week? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-28/powerful-geomagnetic-storms-hit-earth-will-stocks-fall-next-week <p><a href="http://stockboardasset.com/insights-and-research/powerful-geomagnetic-storm-hits-earth-stock-decline-next-week/"><em>Via StockBoardAsset.com,</em></a></p> <p><strong>Overnight and continuing into this morning a large space weather event has signaled a G-3 &lsquo;Strong&rsquo; geomagnetic storm.&nbsp;</strong>On April 22, 2017, I wrote an article titled: <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-22/yesterdays-broad-power-outage-likely-caused-geomagnetic-storm">Yesterday&rsquo;s Broad Power Outage Likely Caused By Geomagnetic Storm&nbsp;</a>&nbsp;outlining how the grid failures in&nbsp;San Fransisco, New York, and Los Angeles were likely due to a strong geomagnetic storm. As we know, geomagnetic storms <strong>can</strong>&nbsp;<strong>influence the functioning and reliability of spaceborne and ground-based systems and services or endanger property or human health.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>The Planetary K-Index is&nbsp;used to measure geomagnetic storms at&nbsp;Boulder,&nbsp;Fredericksburg, Est. Planetary, and College. The graphs below indicate a strong geomagnetic storm is currently underway and in some locations literally off the chart.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/05/26/20170528_geo1.png"><img height="426" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/05/26/20170528_geo1.png" width="500" /></a></p> <div class="block block-system block-main block-system-main odd block-without-title"> <div class="block block-system block-main block-system-main odd block-without-title"><em>via&nbsp;watchers.news</em></div> <p><strong>A coronal mass ejection (CME) produced during the early UTC hours of May 23, 2017 hit Earth&rsquo;s magnetic field at 15:36 UTC on May 27, more than 24 hours after it was expected.&nbsp;Although the solar wind speed is relatively slow, the embedded magnetic field had a prolonged period of southward Bz that managed to spark G3 &ndash; Strong geomagnetic storm.</strong></p> <p>G3 &ndash; Strong geomagnetic storm (K-index of 7) threshold was reached at 04:19 UTC. Under G3 conditions, the&nbsp;area of impact is primarily poleward of 50 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude. Power system voltage irregularities are possible and false alarms may be triggered on some protection devices. Spacecraft systems may experience surface charging and increased drag on low Earth-orbit satellites and orientation problems may occur. Intermittent satellite navigation (GPS) problems, including loss-of-lock and increased range error may occur. HF (high frequency) radio may be intermittent, aurora may be seen as low as Pennsylvania to Iowa to Oregon.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/05/26/20170528_geo2.png"><img height="499" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/05/26/20170528_geo2.png" width="499" /></a></p> </div> <p class="block block-system block-main block-system-main odd block-without-title">Conclusion: <a href="https://www.frbatlanta.org/research/publications/wp/2003/05.aspx"> According to Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><div class="block block-system block-main block-system-main odd block-without-title">&quot;Specifically, <strong>people affected by geomagnetic storms may be more inclined to sell stocks on stormy days because they incorrectly attribute their bad mood to negative economic prospects </strong>rather than bad environmental conditions.&quot;</div> </blockquote> <div class="block block-system block-main block-system-main odd block-without-title">&nbsp;</div> <div class="block block-system block-main block-system-main odd block-without-title"><a href="https://www.frbatlanta.org/research/publications/wp/2003/05.aspx"><img height="276" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/05/26/20170528_geo3_0.png" width="500" /></a></div> <p class="block block-system block-main block-system-main odd block-without-title"><strong>Could this weekend&rsquo;s geomagnetic storm lead to stock market losses next week?&nbsp;</strong></p> <div class="block block-system block-main block-system-main odd block-without-title">&nbsp;</div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="511" height="435" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170528_geo1.png?1495984931" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-28/powerful-geomagnetic-storms-hit-earth-will-stocks-fall-next-week#comments Aurora Earth's magnetic field Electromagnetism Federal Reserve Federal Reserve Bank Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Geomagnetic storm Geomagnetism GPS Outer space Planetary science Solar phenomena Solar wind Space Space plasmas Space weather Weather Sun, 28 May 2017 17:14:30 +0000 Tyler Durden 596825 at http://www.zerohedge.com Homeland's Kelly Lashes Out At "Treasonous" Intelligence Leakers http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-28/homelands-kelly-lashes-out-treasonous-intelligence-leakers <p>Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told Meet the Press' Chuck Todd on Sunday that <strong>high-level classified leaks, like those over the Manchester attack in the U.K., are "borderline treason."</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"<strong>I don't know where the leak came from.</strong> But I... immediately called my counterpart in the UK.... She immediately brought this topic up. And, if it came from the United States, <strong>it's totally unacceptable. And I don't know why people do these kind of things, but it's borderline, if not over the line, of treason.</strong>"</p> </blockquote> <p>He added: </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"<strong><em>I believe when you leak the kind of information that seems to be routinely leaked — high, high level of classification — I think it's darn close to treason.</em></strong>"</p> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-video"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">'Close to treason:’ DHS Sec. Kelly calls out intel leaks on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MTP?src=hash">#MTP</a> <a href="https://t.co/ARyNexBtlj">pic.twitter.com/ARyNexBtlj</a></p> <p>— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) <a href="https://twitter.com/MeetThePress/status/868817934252220417">May 28, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>Shortly after Kelly's appearance on Meet The Press, President Trump took to Twitter once again, making it clear how he feels...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">British Prime Minister May was very angry that the info the U.K. gave to U.S. about Manchester was leaked. Gave me full details!</p> <p>— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/868840252227674113">May 28, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>One wonders if this 'excuse' to really go after intel leakers will finally slow down the 'sources' (real or fake) behind so many WaPo, CNN, NYT stories?</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="523" height="275" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170528_mtp.jpg?1495983601" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-28/homelands-kelly-lashes-out-treasonous-intelligence-leakers#comments Alt-right American people of German descent Climate change skepticism and denial Department of Homeland Security DHS Sec Donald Trump Economy of the United States Meet The Press National security Politics The Apprentice Treason Twitter Twitter United States WWE Hall of Fame Sun, 28 May 2017 16:35:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 596824 at http://www.zerohedge.com Chicago Population Shrinks Most Of Any City In US http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-28/chicago-population-shrinks-most-any-city-us <p><a href="https://mishtalk.com/2017/05/26/chicago-population-shrinks-most-in-entire-us-berwyn-cicero-and-peoria-worse-per-capita-high-taxes-1-reason/"><em>Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com,</em></a></p> <p>Illinoisans continue their <strong>exodus</strong>, with Chicago having the dubious distinction of the <strong>highest population loss in the nation.</strong></p> <p><strong>High taxes are the number one reason people and businesses leave the state.</strong></p> <p>What follows is a guest post by <a href="https://www.illinoispolicy.org/chicago-only-major-u-s-city-to-lose-population-from-2015-to-2016/">Michael Lucci, Vice President of Policy, Illinois Policy Institute</a>.</p> <p><u><strong>CHICAGO ONLY MAJOR U.S. CITY TO LOSE POPULATION FROM 2015 TO 2016</strong></u></p> <p>The majority of major cities in Illinois are shrinking as the Land of Lincoln depopulates due to massive out-migration to other states.</p> <p>But while most of Illinois&rsquo; cities and towns are continuing to shrink, the majority of cities and towns in Illinois&rsquo; bordering states are growing, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.<br />When Illinoisans are polled on why they are leaving, taxes are the No. 1 reason they cite. Yet Illinois politicians continue to raise taxes, showing that political leaders have not yet heard the message of the state&rsquo;s residents.</p> <p>Chicago shrank more than any other U.S. city, but Berwyn, Cicero and Peoria are shrinking faster on a per capita basis</p> <p>Chicago&rsquo;s population declined by 8,638 people from July 2015 to July 2016, a larger loss than any other major American city. Illinois has 29 cities with 50,000 people or more, and 21 of those cities also shrank in total size.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/05/26/20170528_IL2.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/05/26/20170528_IL2_0.png" /></a></p> <p>However, on a per capita basis, Decatur is shrinking more than any other city in Illinois. Decatur&rsquo;s population shrank by 8.5 people per 1,000 residents from July 2015 to July 2016. That means that for every 1,000 people in Decatur in 2015, there were 8.5 fewer people in Decatur in 2016.</p> <p>On a per capita basis, Decatur&rsquo;s loss was followed by Berwyn, Cicero, Peoria and Oak Park, all of which shrank by more than seven people per 1,000 residents.</p> <p>Eight of these larger Illinois cities had population growth year over year. Champaign is the only Illinois city that had more than 1 percent population growth, fueled almost entirely by the arrival of international students at the University of Illinois.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/05/26/20170528_IL1.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/05/26/20170528_IL1_0.png" style="width: 500px; height: 787px;" /></a></p> <p>Most of these cities are shrinking because there are so many people leaving for other parts of the country. Those losses to other parts of the country outweigh the normal population gains experienced across the state from having more births than deaths, and having a small inflow of international immigrants.</p> <p><strong>Illinois&rsquo; Neighbors are Watching Most of their Biggest Cities Grow</strong></p> <p>The story is different in neighboring states, where most cities with more than 50,000 people are growing. Illinois&rsquo; border states have 58 cities with more than 50,000 people, and 38 of them are growing. That means that 65 percent of such cities in neighboring states are growing.</p> <p>In Illinois, only eight of 29 cities with populations of 50,000 or more are growing, which is only 28 percent of Illinois cities with more than 50,000 people.</p> <p><a href="https://mishgea.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/illinois-shrinkage-4.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-46007" src="https://mishgea.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/illinois-shrinkage-4.png?w=529&amp;h=220" style="width: 500px; height: 208px;" /></a></p> <p>A large part of the reason Illinois&rsquo; border states have growing cities and Illinois has shrinking cities is because Illinois is losing the border wars with all of its neighbors. Illinoisans are flooding into bordering states faster than ever before. Over the last 10 years, Illinois has experienced large net migration losses to nearly all of its bordering states, and those losses have accelerated in recent years. (The exception to this 10-year trend is Michigan, which shares a lake border with Illinois and to which Illinois had net losses of residents over only the two most recent years of data.)</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/05/26/20170528_IL3.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/05/26/20170528_IL3_0.png" style="width: 500px; height: 399px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>Higher Taxes Will Push More Residents Out of State</strong></p> <p>The Census Bureau released its out-migration data the same week the Illinois Senate passed a massive tax hike bill.</p> <p>This is a significant development in a state where residents are fed up with the high tax burden, and this frustration is pushing more and more people to leave. <strong>According to a Paul Simon Public Policy Institute poll released in October 2016, 47 percent of Illinoisans surveyed said they want to leave the state. And taxes were the most commonly cited reason people gave for their desire to move</strong>.</p> <p>And according to a recent poll commissioned by the Illinois Policy Institute, fewer than 1 in 3 likely Illinois voters support raising taxes to balance the state&rsquo;s books. Yet the General Assembly continues to insist on tax hikes as the way to close the budget deficit.</p> <p>Illinoisans are taxed enough already, and the state will continue to lose residents until it reins in taxes and adopts policies to support more jobs growth.</p> <p>The General Assembly has run a losing strategy for years: raising taxes and failing to reform spending drivers. This has not brought prosperity or opportunity to the state, and will not do so over the longer term, either.<br />Illinois will not become sustainable again until the state implements reforms so that the government, its bureaucracies and special interests serve the people rather than the other way around.</p> <p>Until Illinois is fixed, Illinoisans will continue to vote with their feet against staying in the Land of Lincoln.</p> <p>Michael Lucci<br />Vice President of Policy</p> <p>* *&nbsp; *</p> <p>Those who leave are generally better educated and have higher wages than those who stay. Those who cannot find another job elsewhere have no choice but to stay.</p> <p><u><strong>Five Desperately Needed Reforms</strong></u></p> <ol> <li>Municipal bankruptcy legislation</li> <li>Pension reform</li> <li>Right-to-Work legislation</li> <li>End of prevailing wage laws</li> <li>Workers&rsquo; compensation reform</li> </ol> <p><strong>Number one on my list of Illinois reforms is bankruptcy legislation.</strong> It is the only hope for numerous Illinois cities whose hands are also tied by union-sponsored prevailing wage laws.</p> <p><em>For further discussion, including pension analysis, &nbsp;please see <a href="https://mishtalk.com/2017/05/03/puerto-rico-placed-in-bankruptcy-protection-illinois-needs-similar-deal/">Puerto Rico Placed in Bankruptcy Protection: Illinois Needs Similar Deal</a>.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="594" height="401" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170528_IL3.jpg?1495982696" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-28/chicago-population-shrinks-most-any-city-us#comments 8.5% Budget Deficit Census Bureau Chicago metropolitan area fixed General Assembly Guest Post Illinois Illinois Illinois Policy Institute Illinois Senate Michigan Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Puerto Rico Shrinking cities Social Issues Tax U.S. Census Bureau United States University of Illinois Urban planning US Federal Reserve Sun, 28 May 2017 16:00:49 +0000 Tyler Durden 596822 at http://www.zerohedge.com Spain is Holding Catalonia Hostage http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-28/spain-holding-catalonia-hostage <p><a href="http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/spain-is-holding-catalonia-hostage/">Via The Daily Bell</a></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">Imagine you are in a book club. For a few years, it was great, you liked the books and the discussion with members. But then, the club started reading steamy romance novels that you just weren’t into and would not entertain your opinions for other material. Finally, when you can’t relate to the discussion on the texts anymore, you decide to leave the club.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">But then, the book club President locks the door and tells you to sit down. You will remain in the club, the other members tell you, whether you like it or not. You will read the romance novels which don’t interest you, and you will contribute your monthly dues, by force if necessary.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">As ridiculous as that would be, that is the attitude of Spain, and many other countries, when it comes to regions wishing to secede and form their own country. Why should regions be kept in the larger “club” against their will?</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">Catalonia is a region in Spain bordering France and the Mediterranean Sea, that has been independent at times in history. The modern movement for independence began almost 100 years ago, but the region settled for autonomy instead of full-fledged independence.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">In 2006, Catalonia drafted a revised Statute of Autonomy, many parts of which were ruled unconstitutional by the Spanish high court. This sparked calls for Catalonia to entirely secede from Spain, instead of settling for “autonomy.”</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">Spain however, doesn’t even want the people of Catalonia to talk about or think about secession. The former&nbsp;President of Catalonia defied the Spanish government when he held a referendum to form a new country of Catalonia. 35% of eligible voters turned out in the region with a population of 7.5 million.</p> <blockquote style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 10px 20px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 17.5px; border-left: 5px solid #eeeeee; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;"><p style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px;">The informal vote was opposed by Mariano Rajoy’s government in Madrid and was held in defiance of Constitutional Court ruling five days ahead of the poll that the&nbsp;referendum was illegal. Around 2.3 million people in Catalonia cast a ballot in the plebiscite with&nbsp;80.7 percent voting&nbsp;for&nbsp;independence.</p> </blockquote> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">The non-binding referendum was held in 2014, and because of it, earlier this year Spain&nbsp;<a href="http://www.politico.eu/article/former-catalan-president-artur-mas-banned-from-public-office-for-two-years-independence/" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;">barred</a>&nbsp;former Catalan President Artur Mas from holding public office for two years and fined him&nbsp;€36,500.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy has called Catalonia’s efforts to break away “an unacceptable attempt to blackmail the state.” Spain’s constitution makes it illegal for regions to seek independence.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">Yet the government of Catalonia remains defiant, promising the people a binding referendum for September of this year in which voters can decide if Catalonia will break away from Spain.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">Spain will attempt to prevent that referendum from being held, even though polls consistently indicate 80% of Catalonians want to be allowed to vote on the issue.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">Just in case Spain is successful in obstructing the people from voicing their will, the Catalan government has&nbsp;<a href="http://www.politico.eu/article/catalonia-independence-drafts-secret-secession-bill-report-referendum-generalitat/" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;">drafted a bill</a>&nbsp;that would declare its independence from Spain, officially making Catalonia its own country.</p> <blockquote style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 10px 20px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 17.5px; border-left: 5px solid #eeeeee; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;"><p style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px;">The bill would appropriate Catalonia-related cases from the national courts to the newly formed Catalan courts, which would dismiss all pending cases against people charged with independence-related illegal activities.</p> </blockquote> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">Catalonia has a functioning government and has a plan to implement their own courts upon becoming independent. The people at least want the freedom to choose independence, and many polls and former referendums indicate a majority would vote in favor of forming a new country that better aligns with their unique culture and interests.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">The population of 7.5 million would place the newly formed country right in the middle of worldwide countries by population, larger than Denmark and Ireland, slightly smaller than Israel and Switzerland.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">But the Spanish government is holding on tooth and nail, determined to preserve their power.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif; text-align: center;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: bold;">Why Is Spain So Adamant that Catalonia Stays?</span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">Federal governments are always weary of their power being challenged, and historically countries seek to gain territory, not lose it.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">Even amidst the Catalan movement towards independence, Spain is attempting to bring Gibraltar under the rule of their economically weak country, even though Gibraltar has not been part of Spain since 1713. Gibraltar, technically a British Territory, considers Spain a hostile and threatening neighbor. Spain cannot even keep its own house in order, yet seeks to assert sovereignty over more independent regions.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">One main reason that Spain does not want to lose Catalonia is that it is a wealthy region, that forms a solid tax base for the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/809456/Catalan-breakaway-plan-sparks-furious-backlash-Madrid" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;">Spanish government</a>&nbsp;to slurp up.</p> <blockquote style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 10px 20px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 17.5px; border-left: 5px solid #eeeeee; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;"><p style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px;">Catalan independence would mean the loss of up to 30 per cent of Spain’s gross domestic product and Minister of the Economy Luis de Guindos insisted that is something the government “will never let happen”.</p> </blockquote> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">It is a tax farm, and Spain simply wishes to remain in control over the appropriated resources of the Catalans, instead of allowing their wealth to remain in the region, and be spent how they choose through a smaller more responsive government.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">The defense minister has called the Catalan government’s attempts at secession “a grave threat to coexistence and constitutional order.”</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">But this is silly. Coexistence is exactly what Catalonia is after, as well as their own constitutional order which has been prevented by the government in Spain. Coexistence means letting people go their own ways if they wish. Coexistence means you leave people alone who wish to be left alone.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">And by constitutional order, what he really means is dictatorial order, as the Spanish government is fighting as hard as possible from allowing Catalans to follow their own constitution, run their own affairs, and be free to choose their own system.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">And with Spain’s attempt to silence any dissent, even charging those in favor of independence with crimes, it is no wonder why people would want to separate from a regime so hostile to free speech, and freedom of expression.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">It is unjust and an affront to freedom to keep people in an organization against their will. Allowing secession supports the idea that when the larger group no longer represents your will, you have the right to peacefully remove yourself from their ranks.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">Decentralizing government is a good thing, as it gives people more control over their lives, their communities, and their futures. Let’s hope we&nbsp;are only seeing the very beginning of this secessionist movement to give people more control over their government and experiment with better political systems.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-blog"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_blog" width="480" height="308" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230058/imageroot/catalonia.jpg?1495987081" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-28/spain-holding-catalonia-hostage#comments Artur Mas Autonomous communities of Spain Catalan government Catalan independence Catalan nationalism Catalans Catalonia Constitutional Court Crown of Aragon Decentralizing government Europe France Generalitat de Catalunya Gross Domestic Product Ireland Israel Mariano Rajoy’s government in Madrid Mediterranean Politics Politics of Catalonia Secession Spain Spanish government Switzerland Sun, 28 May 2017 15:58:01 +0000 TDB 596827 at http://www.zerohedge.com In "Watershed Moment" Merkel Says Germany Can No Longer Rely On America http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-28/watershed-moment-merkel-says-germany-can-no-longer-rely-america <p>One day after Donald Trump <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-27/merkel-furious-trump-after-unprecedented-g-7-failure-reach-consensus-climate-change">infuriated Angela Merkel </a>and the rest of his G-7 peers, when the US president refused to endorse the Paris climate treaty, prompting the German chancellor to say&nbsp; that “the whole discussion about climate has <em>been difficult, or rather very unsatisfactory</em>... here we have the situation that six members, or even seven if you want to add the EU, stand against one", Germany's prime minister made what many have dubbed, an "era-defining" statement.</p> <p>Speaking at a CDU election rally in Munich, <a href="https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article165008816/Merkel-sieht-in-den-USA-keinen-verlaesslichen-Partner-mehr.html?wtrid=socialmedia.socialflow....socialflow_twitter">Merkel said that Europe </a>"<strong>must take its fate into its own hands</strong>" or as the AFP put it, "<em><a href="https://www.afp.com/en/news/826/merkel-warns-us-britain-no-longer-reliable-partners">Merkel warns US, Britain no longer reliable partners</a></em>."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-video"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Video: Merkel's speech in Munich saying Europe can't rely on the US &amp; UK anymore &amp; "must take destiny in own hands"<a href="https://t.co/ikfbjhcxUG">pic.twitter.com/ikfbjhcxUG</a></p> <p>— Rob S (@RobPulseNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/RobPulseNews/status/868849567789453313">May 28, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>Faced with a western alliance divided by Brexit and Donald Trump's presidency, <a href="http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/angela-merkel-zeigt-sich-nach-g7-gipfel-enttaeuscht-von-donald-trump-a-1149588.html">Merkel said </a>"die zeiten, in denen wir uns auf andere völlig verlassen konnten, sind ein Stück vorbei", or loosely translated <strong>"the times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out" </strong>and added that "I've experienced that in the last few days." </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Merkel today: "The times in which [Germany] could fully rely on others are partly over. I have experienced this in the last few days."</p> <p>— Mathieu von Rohr (@mathieuvonrohr) <a href="https://twitter.com/mathieuvonrohr/status/868830949106229249">May 28, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>Merkel then said that while Germany and Europe would strive to remain on good terms with America and Britain, "<strong>we have to fight for our own destiny</strong>" and she also said that special emphasis was needed on warm relations between Berlin and newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron.</p> <p>Her comments came after Trump said during the G-7 meeting he needed more time to decide if the US would continue backing the Paris climate deal, which has frustrated European diplomats<a href="https://www.axios.com/scoop-trump-tells-confidants-he-plans-to-leave-paris-climate-deal-2424446776.html">. A subseqent report by Axios</a>, Trump privately told multiple people, including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, that "he plans to leave the Paris agreement on climate change" which will likely further infurate his European allies.</p> <p>During his trip, Trump also echoed his past criticism of NATO allies for failing to meet the defensive alliance's military spending commitment of two percent of GDP. </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Observers noted that he neglected to publicly endorse the pact's Article Five, which guarantees that member countries will aid the others they are attacked. The omission was especially striking as he unveiled a memorial to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the US, the only time the mutual defense clause has been triggered. </p> </blockquote> <p>On Friday, Trump also described German trade practices as "bad, very bad," in Brussels talks last week, complaining that Europe's largest economy sells too many cars to the US.</p> <p>Reactions to Merkel's striking comment came pouring in from the likes of Edward Snowden who called her speech an "era-defining moment":</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">This is an era-defining moment. <a href="https://t.co/01NpEriRvv">https://t.co/01NpEriRvv</a></p> <p>— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) <a href="https://twitter.com/Snowden/status/868846494509658112">May 28, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>... the president of the Council on Foreign Relations. Richard Haass, who called it a "watershed moment"</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Merkel saying Europe cannot rely on others &amp; needs to take matters into its own hands is a watershed-&amp; what US has sought to avoid since WW2</p> <p>— Richard N. Haass (@RichardHaass) <a href="https://twitter.com/RichardHaass/status/868846535274094593">May 28, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>... the editor of the Financial Times, calling it a"big moment in transatlantic relations"</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Big moment in transatlantic relations: Merkel says Trump&#39;s America no longer a reliable partner <a href="https://t.co/1isgHXm7OY">https://t.co/1isgHXm7OY</a> via <a href="https://twitter.com/welt">@welt</a></p> <p>&mdash; Lionel Barber (@lionelbarber) <a href="https://twitter.com/lionelbarber/status/868846433348276224">May 28, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>... and many others:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Unprecedented fighting talk from Merkel as she says last few days have showed her that Europe cannot rely on US anymore. Wow. <a href="https://t.co/bId3wNOTFj">pic.twitter.com/bId3wNOTFj</a></p> <p>— James Rothwell (@JamesERothwell) <a href="https://twitter.com/JamesERothwell/status/868840453113872385">May 28, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Wow. "Merkel warns US, Britain no longer reliable partners" <a href="https://t.co/dfvD8FAm3a">https://t.co/dfvD8FAm3a</a> <a href="https://t.co/Up5WI8ReQn">pic.twitter.com/Up5WI8ReQn</a></p> <p>— Eric Geller (@ericgeller) <a href="https://twitter.com/ericgeller/status/868848589719687168">May 28, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>In short, it seems that the time for a New-er World Order may be at hand, and many are not too happy.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="860" height="484" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/merkel%20rely%20on%20US.jpg?1495984978" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-28/watershed-moment-merkel-says-germany-can-no-longer-rely-america#comments Angela Merkel Council on Foreign Relations Donald Trump Donald Trump Edward Snowden Emmanuel Macron Environmental Protection Agency European Union G-7 Germany Government North Atlantic Treaty Organization Politics Richard N. Haass Twitter Twitter United States Sun, 28 May 2017 15:27:05 +0000 Tyler Durden 596826 at http://www.zerohedge.com Kim Jong-Un Watches As North Korea Tests New Anti-Aircraft Weapon http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-28/kim-jong-un-watches-north-korea-tests-new-anti-aircraft-weapon <p>With Trump back from his trip, and speculation again emerging that Trump may "wag the dog" and launch an attack on the Kim regime to deflect from the domestic media onslaught <em>a la Syria</em>, especially after last night's report that the US has deployed a third carrier group to the Western Pacific, on Sunday Korea's state news agency, KCNA reported that after weeks of defiant ballistic missile tests Kim Jong Un supervised the test of a new anti-aircraft weapon system and ordered its mass production and deployment throughout the country.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/05/12/Korea%20missile%20system.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/05/12/Korea%20missile%20system_0.jpg" width="500" height="334" /></a></p> <p>While KCNA did not report the exact nature of the weapon or the time of the test it said it was organized by the Academy of National Defence Science, a blacklisted agency that is believed to be developing missiles and nuclear weapons. </p> <p>Meanwhile, Kim - taking a page out of his father's playbook - watched...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/05/12/download%20%2851%29.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/05/12/download%20%2851%29_0.jpg" width="500" height="334" /></a></p> <p>... delighted. </p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/05/12/kim%20watches%20launch.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/05/12/kim%20watches%20launch_0.jpg" width="500" height="334" /></a></p> <p>According to KCNA, "Kim Jong Un ... watched the test of a new type of anti-aircraft guided weapon system organized by the Academy of National Defense Science." </p> <p>"This weapon system, whose operation capability has been thoroughly verified, should be mass-produced to deploy all over the country ... so as to completely spoil the enemy's wild dream to command the air, boasting of air supremacy and weapon almighty," the press agency said.</p> <p>As <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-idUSKBN18O00R">Reuters adds</a>, the North has been pushing to develop a wide range of weapon systems since early last year at an unprecedented pace including a long-range missile capable of striking the mainland United States and has in recent weeks tested its intermediate-range ballistic missile, making some technical advances. The isolated state rejects U.N. and unilateral sanctions by other states against its weapons program as an infringement of its right to self defense and says the program is "necessary to counter U.S. aggression."</p> <p>We doubt it will succeed, especially with the US piling up aircraft in North Korea's vicinity. </p> <p>And while the military posturing is set to continue on both sides until some real conflict finally emerges, a potentially more relevant story is that despite assurances by Beijing that it is isolating Pyongyang, on <a href="http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2017/05/26/0200000000AEN20170526002100315.html">Friday Yonhap reported </a>that <strong>North Korea's grain imports from China showed a more than fivefold surge last month from a year ago.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The North brought in 4,100 tons of grain from China in April, 5.4 times higher than 754 tons a year earlier, according to Kwon Tae-jin, head of South Korean agricultural think tank GS&amp;J Institute's North Korea and East Asia division. The North's combined grain imports from China during the January-April period also marked a spike of 4.3 times to 10,619 tons from a year ago, with wheat flour at the top with 3,403 tons, the broadcaster said.</p> </blockquote> <p>This has prompted the question whether China is promising Trump, and its Asian neighbors, one thing namely that it will pressure North Korea into halting its nuclear tests by limiting commerce with Kim, while in reality it is not only maintaining but expanding trade relations with its feisty neighbor.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="701" height="468" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/Korea%20missile%20system.jpg?1495982810" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-28/kim-jong-un-watches-north-korea-tests-new-anti-aircraft-weapon#comments Academy of National Defence Science Ballistic missile China East Asia Government GS&J Institute KCNA KIM Kim dynasty Kim Jong-un Korea Korean Central News Agency Military of North Korea North Korea North Korea North Korea and weapons of mass destruction North Korean nuclear test Nuclear program of North Korea Reality Reuters Underground nuclear weapons testing United Nations War Sun, 28 May 2017 14:49:44 +0000 Tyler Durden 596823 at http://www.zerohedge.com "It Wasn't Innocent": Macron Says Famous Trump Handshake "Was About Getting Respect" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-28/it-wasnt-innocent-macron-says-famous-trump-handshake-was-about-getting-respect <p>Of all the sights during Trump's first trip abroad, his handshake with France's youngest ever president, Emanual Macron, was the most memorable as well as symbolic. At their first meeting ahead of a NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday, the two men locked hands for so long and hard, their knuckles turned white. When Trump tried to let go first, the French leader held the shake for a few seconds more. Both men’s jaws seemed to clench.</p> <p><iframe width="500" height="281" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cn8IbcsSlKk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>With the handshake prompting a flurry of interpretative media reports, and on Sunday Macron told France's Le Journal du Dimanche, that his now famous white-knuckle handshake showdown with U.S. counterpart Donald Trump was "a moment of truth", designed to show that he's no pushover. Macron also said that "<strong>my handshake with him, it wasn't innocent</strong>" <a href="https://apnews.com/6b098b1f36514ce480a233d0b2757c26/Macron-says-Trump-handshake-was-'moment-of-truth?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&amp;utm_source=Twitter&amp;utm_medium=AP">according to the AP</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/05/12/macron%20trump.jpeg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/05/12/macron%20trump_0.jpeg" width="500" height="333" /></a></p> <p>Macron said that he wanted to "show he would not make small concessions, not even symbolic ones, but also not overdo things".</p> <p>Macron also told the French newspaper that his approach to the encounter had been about getting respect. </p> <p>"Donald Trump, the Turkish president or the Russian president see things in terms of power relationships, which doesn't bother me. I don't believe in diplomacy through public criticism but in my bilateral dialogues I don't let anything pass. <strong>That is how you get respect</strong>."</p> <p>Trump's hand contact with foreign leaders has been closely scrutinized since he took power. Memorable episodes include <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FghRh99z4go">nearly tearing out Japan PM Shinzo Abe's arm </a>during their first meeting in the White House which started with a bizarre 19 second handshake, <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-17/can-we-get-handshake-media-asks-trump-meets-merkel-spoiler-alert-no">refusing to shake Angela Merkel</a>'s hand in March, and a "<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2017/feb/14/donald-trumps-strange-handshake-style-and-how-justin-trudeau-beat-it-video-explainer">clever neutralization</a>" by Justin Trudeau during their first handshake encounter.</p> <p><iframe src="https://embed.theguardian.com/embed/video/us-news/video/2017/feb/14/donald-trumps-strange-handshake-style-and-how-justin-trudeau-beat-it-video-explainer" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="1314" height="155" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/handshake%20trump%20macron%20teaser.jpg?1495980014" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-28/it-wasnt-innocent-macron-says-famous-trump-handshake-was-about-getting-respect#comments Donald Trump Donald Trump Emmanuel Macron Government of Andorra Greetings Handshake Japan Macron Newspaper North Atlantic Treaty Organization Politics Politics of the United States United States White House White House Sun, 28 May 2017 14:15:28 +0000 Tyler Durden 596821 at http://www.zerohedge.com Trump Returns, Unleashes Tweetstorm http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-28/trump-returns-unleashes-tweetstorm <p>On Friday evening, in previewing Trump's upcoming "war room" effort in response to the escalating media reports about Russia, the <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-26/amid-russia-crisis-trump-prepares-war-room-big-white-house-changes">WSJ reported </a>that one of the contemplated changes was a drastic cut to Trump's Twitter privileges, with lawyers allegedly tasked to comb through and preapprove the president's social media outbursts, to wit:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>One major change under consideration would vet the president’s social media posts through a team of lawyers</strong>, who would decide if any needed to be adjusted or curtailed. The idea, said one of Mr. Trump’s advisers, is to create a system so that tweets “don’t go from the president’s mind out to the universe.” Some of Mr. Trump’s tweets—from hinting that he may have taped conversations with Mr. Comey to suggesting without any evidence that former President Barack Obama wire-tapped Trump Tower—have opened him to criticism and at times confounded his communications team. </p> </blockquote> <p>As of Sunday morning, that has clearly not been implemented, because just a few hours after his return from his first international trip, Trump unleashed a 6-tweet (for now) tweetstorm, touching on everything from the "great success" of his first foreign trip, to the controversial special election in Montana, and finally going back to his favorite topic fake news in general, and "anonymous sources" in particular.</p> <p>In a series of tweets, the president focused news reports that include the words "sources say":</p> <p><em>"It is my opinion that many of the leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the #FakeNews media," </em>the president tweeted.</p> <p>"<em>Whenever you see the words 'sources say' in the fake news media, and they don't mention names...it is very possible that those sources don't exsist but are made up by fake news writers. #FakeNews is the enemy</em>!"</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">It is my opinion that many of the leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FakeNews?src=hash">#FakeNews</a> media.</p> <p>— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/868807327130025984">May 28, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Whenever you see the words 'sources say' in the fake news media, and they don't mention names....</p> <p>— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/868807754231820291">May 28, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">....it is very possible that those sources don't exist but are made up by fake news writers. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FakeNews?src=hash">#FakeNews</a> is the enemy!</p> <p>— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/868810404335673344">May 28, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>Trump's attack on "fake news" may have been spurred by a tweet from Matt Drudge, who late on Saturday took offense with a statement in a Washington Post article: </p> <p><em>"'Mainstream media organizations generally try to maintain editorial independence from their owners'&nbsp; -- funniest line ever in WASH POST!"</em></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">'Mainstream media organizations generally try to maintain editorial independence from their owners' -- funniest line ever in WASH POST!</p> <p>— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) <a href="https://twitter.com/DRUDGE/status/868608951167836160">May 27, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>Separately, Trump touted his first foreign trip, saying it brought "big results." "Just returned from Europe. Trip was a great success for America. Hard work but big results!" </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Just returned from Europe. Trip was a great success for America. Hard work but big results!</p> <p>— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/868801710038372352">May 28, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>There were four main highlights in Trump's first trip: the $350 billion arms contract he signed with the world's biggest importer of weapons, Saudi Arabia; the infamous handshake with new French president Emanuel Macron and the snubbing of NATO, calling for more funding by alliance member states, and finally Trump's refusal to endorse the G-7 position on the Paris climate treaty, <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-27/merkel-furious-trump-after-unprecedented-g-7-failure-reach-consensus-climate-change">resulting in an infuriated German chancellor </a>and even more diplomatic fallout.</p> <p>Finally, in his tweets Trump also mentioned Thursday's special election for Montana's open House seat, which the president said wasn't well covered after the Republican candidate came out victorious. </p> <p>"Does anyone notice how the Montana Congressional race was such a big deal to Dems &amp; Fake News until the Republican won?" Trump tweeted. "V was poorly covered."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Big win in Montana for Republicans!</p> <p>— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/868799536420065281">May 28, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Does anyone notice how the Montana Congressional race was such a big deal to Dems &amp; Fake News until the Republican won? V was poorly covered</p> <p>— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/868810522942164993">May 28, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>Republican Greg Gianforte won the special election last week for Montana's House seat despite an altercation ahead of the election that led to an assault charge against him. After the victory, Trump praised Gianforte's victory, calling it a "great win." Gianforte apologized to the reporter involved in the confrontation during his victory speech Thursday night.</p> <p>"Last night, I made a mistake and I took an action that I cant take back — and I'm not proud of what happened," he said. "I should not have responded in the way that I did and for that I'm sorry."</p> <p>Moments later, Democrat Adam Schiff responded to Trump stating that the president should express some disapproval over the assault charge.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">GOP victory probably a bit overshadowed by the assault charges. Between <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FakeNews?src=hash">#FakeNews</a> tweets you might express some, I don't know, disapproval? <a href="https://t.co/0DkBwrLuov">https://t.co/0DkBwrLuov</a></p> <p>— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) <a href="https://twitter.com/RepAdamSchiff/status/868816155980464128">May 28, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>In any case, it appears that any radical change in behavior out of the White House following Trump's return, and certainly a filtering of Trump's access to twitter is, if only for the time being, fake news.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="980" height="490" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/trump%20face%20dark_9.jpg?1495978112" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-28/trump-returns-unleashes-tweetstorm#comments Alt-right American people of German descent Barack Obama Business Climate change skepticism and denial Donald Trump Donald Trump and Billy Bush recording Donald Trump presidential campaign Fake news G-7 House James Comey Legal affairs of Donald Trump Montana's House North Atlantic Treaty Organization Politics Politics of the United States Republican Party Republicans Saudi Arabia The Apprentice Trump University Twitter Twitter United States White House White House WWE Hall of Fame Sun, 28 May 2017 13:30:07 +0000 Tyler Durden 596820 at http://www.zerohedge.com