Subscribe, unsubscribe, give us your feedback... email: 11/20/2015 View this email in a browser

We really appreciate your visits! Every Friday, our goal is to provide you with a few laughs, some inspiring stories and some food for thought. We look forward to your visiting with us again next Friday! Y'all come on back now... ya hear!



Live and learn...

1. "Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time." This is borrowed from the wise and wonderful Debbie Millman, for it's hard to better capture something so fundamental yet so impatiently overlooked in our culture of immediacy. The myth of the overnight success is just that – a myth – as well as a reminder that our present definition of success needs serious retuning.

As I've reflected elsewhere, the flower doesn’t go from bud to blossom in one spritely burst and yet, as a culture, we're disinterested in the tedium of the blossoming. But that’s where all the real magic unfolds in the making of one’s character and destiny.

2. Seek out what magnifies your spirit. Patti Smith, in discussing William Blake and her creative influences, talks about writers and artists who magnified her spirit – it's a beautiful phrase and a beautiful notion. Who are the people, ideas, and books that magnify your spirit? Find them, hold on to them, and visit them often. Use them not only as a remedy once spiritual malaise has already infected your vitality... but as a vaccine administered while you are healthy to protect your radiance.

3. Don't be afraid to be an idealist. There is much to be said for our responsibility as creators and consumers of that constant dynamic interaction we call culture -- which side of the fault line between catering and creating are we to stand on? The commercial enterprise is conditioning us to believe that the road to success is paved with catering to existing demands -- give the people cat GIFs, the narrative goes, because cat GIFs are what the people want.

But E.B. White, one of our last great idealists, was eternally right when he asserted half a century ago that the role of the writer is "to lift people up, not lower them down" - a role each of us is called to with increasing urgency, whatever cog we may be in the machinery of society.

Supply creates its own demand. Only by consistently supplying it can we hope to increase the demand for the substantive over the superficial - in our individual lives and in the collective dream called culture.


This drone video of autumn in New England... will lift your soul

Everyone has heard about the incredible leaf colors that blanket parts of New England and the Midwest during autumn. But to actually see the red, yellow and orange leaves glowing like embers along hilly landscapes, around glassy lakes and dappled among harbor towns is another thing entirely.

With that in mind, we sent a drone soaring over picturesque New Hampshire scenery to give you an aerial view of an original pilgrim home in Gilmanton, a scenic train cutting through the White Mountain National Forest and more.

Watch the video:


It's Your Choice...

A huge part of forming a winning mindset is filtering what you allow into your life. That includes what you look at, what you listen to, and what you speak.

Whatever you see, hear, and speak consistently will become deep-seated beliefs which will shape your identity and your actions.
Remember, your brain is like soil. It will grow whatever you decide to plant.

If you plant watermelons, it’s no surprise that you end up getting watermelons.
After all, that’s what you planted. In your mind, you can plant beliefs that you’re healthy and you love doing the work to create the life of your dreams.

Aging well isn’t just for someone else; it’s for you. The more you plant, the more real it gets. On the other hand, if you plant images of disease, powerlessness, medication, and arthritis, what do you think you’re going to create in your life?

Choose deliberately because you’ve got the power to create the future as you want it. Each day, you’re planting seeds so make sure you’re planting exactly what you want.

Stephanie realized very quickly that filtering the influences around her was something she’d given very little thought to.

Watching the news and TV shows full of accidents, dangers, and tragedies was normal to her. While she was aware of the knowledge that your surroundings shape your beliefs, she hadn’t imagined it could affect her view of her life and future.

This was enormously freeing and troubling at the same time because she realized how deep seated the influences in her life really were. After seeing the overwhelmed look on her face, I reminded her that realizing this truth was a huge milestone in itself.

Nothing changes overnight. Simple consistent steps are all that’s required for massive change. Start small and watch as the vision for your life changes. You can do it.

As an aside, this is why I'm very intentional with what I allow inside my head. I choose not to watch TV. I choose not to watch horror movies and I hardly read the newspaper because the majority of it is just doom and gloom. I set up my life to focus on the people and things that I value so that each day, I create my ideal life more and more.

Most people give very little thought to this, and it’s tragic. In a sense, they’re haphazardly planting a random assortment of seeds in their mind, and then they’re shocked when they don’t end up with what they want.

It’s not always easy to filter what you focus on, but the more you guard what you allow to influence you, the easier your life will be.


"Radicalism" (historical) Wikipedia: As historical Radicalism became absorbed in the development of political liberalism, in the later 19th century in both the United Kingdom and in continental Europe the term "Radical" came to denote a "progressive liberal ideology."

Answer to why Obama wants to destroy America: We often hear of liberals use of "Alinsky's Rules for Radicals", and people discuss Alinsky's organizing abilities. What they omit is his underlying philosophy. Alinsky built his organizing model, on the love of creating racial, class, age, gender and income division... the goal being, social upheaval hell.

The man Alinsky, who wrote what liberals use as the definitive book on community organizing - admitted to having no virtue. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton worship the "Alinsky doctrine." This is the enormous danger, within America's government today. Radical liberals have taken control of the Democrat party - and they are determined to destroy the country we love.


In case you haven't heard, or you are oblivious to the news of the day... America's 'Debt Limit' is now again the latest fabricated crisis in Washington.

Today is November 20th... and your taxes are still going up... and our country is virtually bankrupt... and going $2 billion dollars deeper in the hole - each and every day. Yet Obama pretends all is well. Obama's debt comes right out of your pocket... 

Our nation-state is no model of fiscal responsibility. When Barack Obama took office, the national debt was already an impressive $10 trillion. Today it is $18.5 trillion. The national debt is still growing at a rate of more than $50 million an hour. 

Here's Obama's "bull crap" for the week... 11/20/2015


Obama is the founder and creator of ISIS terrorism

After the vicious attacks on Paris by Islamic terrorists (ISIS) ... a growing number of state Governors and American citizens are kicking back on Obama's plan to immigrate 10,000 Syrian refugees to the U.S.. Obama has doubled-down saying, "Refusing these Syrian refugees does not represent our values."

1) Obama does not have any ethical or moral values - he only has liberal, liar values.
2) ISIS had already threatened to infiltrate the refugees with ISIS terrorists - and they have.
3) At least one of the Paris terrorist attackers - was a recent Syrian refugee.
4) ISIS' primary plan is terrorist attacks on the American Homeland.

Obama and Democrats say they can guarantee the safety of Americans - from 10,000 Syrian refugees brought into the U.S.? Really? Does anyone actually believe that? Of course not - it's empty words and promises. Everything Obama has told us for seven years, has either been completely wrong - or a blatant lie! The world is on fire - because of Obama!

After the ISIS attack on Paris... and the ISIS promise to infiltrate their terrorists into the refugee immigrant groups - taking in 10,000 Syrian refugees into the U.S. - would be like playing Russian Roulette with a gun to your own head. The odds are extremely high - you will die.

Here's an idea... set up camps for all the refugees in Saudi Arabia, at their expense - and put a house in the center, that Barack Obama and his family can move into, for the rest of his presidency. Since he deems all the refugees are safe - he should be just fine.


Democrat Debate question, "Are we a war with radical Islam?"

Hillary Clinton came under attack from Republicans after she said using the term “radical Islam” would be “painting with too broad a brush” during the Democratic presidential debate at Drake University on Saturday night. Her comments came after CBS debate moderator John Dickerson asked if she would agree, after the Paris attacks, that “we are at war with radical Islam.”

After being pressed on whether she would use the term “radical Islam,” Clinton described it as “not particularly helpful.” “We’ve got to reach out to Muslim countries. We’ve got to have them be part of our coalition.

“You’re all grown up now. You can do it. Three words. Ten syllables. Say it with me: ‘Radical Islamic terrorism,’” former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee wrote on Twitter.

Another Liberal Progressive Coward. Got news for her and all like her. When these non-humans kill Americans on American soil - America will go to war and there will be nothing she or any of her liberal, progressive supporters can do. She had better start looking at reality and stop living in a dream world. The rich and liberal progressives always think the world should conform to the way they think... but it never has and it never will.

This is why they are dangerous. They fail over and over and over again to learn the lessons of the past so they are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. They never learn because they are unteachable. But the real problem is that the rest of us who must live in, understand and deal with reality every day - will also be hurt by these progressive idiotic do gooders - when we are attached.

They refuse to look and deal with reality in any reasonable manner so they can never come to the correct answers and therefore can never make the correct decisions nor come to the best results for the worlds ever increasing problems.

Mr. Dickerson did not say that we are at war with all Muslims or Islam! He asked "are we at war with RADICAL Islam! Hildabeast Hillary, being a liberal politician that never answers the questions truthfully, is following in the footsteps of her master Obama and not facing the truth that radical Muslims, they are our immediate biggest threat!

Why are the liberal Democrats protecting Muslims from being called our enemy and biggest threat??? I would not trust any Democrat in the White House... look how our country has fallen in the past 7 years!

This PC malarkey is getting out of hand. Only one group in the world is going out and indiscriminately murdering people on a large scale - and that is radical Muslims. Only one group is attacking us in our homelands and killing us for eating out, or going to a concert, or attending a soccer match and that would be radical Muslims.

Only one group is beheading people, crucifying people, raping women and girls, burying people alive and shooting people into mass graves and that would be radical Muslims. Not saying so only ensures that the problem will be avoided for a longer period. Eventually, some strong leader will end the PC BS and we will confront this evil. My vote is for Trump!


Hillary Clinton sites 9/11? ... for the reason she has received millions in campaign contributions from Wall Street bankers?

Hillary Clinton tried to deflect an attack on her political donations from Wall Street bankers by saying that they stemmed from her connection, as a U.S. senator from New York, to the downtown Manhattan community devastated by the Sept. 11, 2001, attack.

Clinton has received nearly $13 million in campaign dollars from “securities and investment” donors since 1999, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. Her ties to Wall Street are not unusual for New York elected officials, but they have become controversial during campaign 2016, as Sanders, a self-described Democratic socialist, has inveighed against big banks, Wall Street and “millionaires and billionaires.”

Immediately before her comment citing 9/11, Sanders told the CBS News debate moderator John Dickerson that Clinton’s plan to regulate big banks was “not enough.” He also pressed her on whether she could receive millions of dollars from Wall Street and then effectively regulate the banks whose employees had helped finance her political career.

Clinton, the frontrunner, seemed to have finally hit her limit with Sanders’ critiques, saying to Dickerson, “Well, John, wait a minute. Wait a minute, he has basically used his answer to impugn my integrity. Let’s be frank here.”

Note that Clinton was completely unable to retort, to counter Sanders' charge of her role as a corporate shill, all she did, like the petty shyster lawyer she and her husband are, was to throw out a non sequitur - "I represent New York, which is where 9-11 took place."

This utterly void response actually tells us the moral bankruptcy and mediocrity of the Clintons in every respect save ambition. It isn't news… it's merely yet another confirmation, that Sanders is 100% correct, the Clintons, just like Obama, are bought and paid for by Wall Street.


The liberal fantasy of "Democratic Socialism"

Democratic socialism is political ideology advocating a democratic political system alongside a socialist economic system. The socialist party of the United States’ website declares, “We believe socialism and democracy are one and indivisible.”

Similarly, the Democratic Socialists of America states:

“Democratic socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically - to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few. To achieve a more just society, many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed through greater economic and social democracy so that ordinary Americans can participate in the many decisions that affect our lives...

Democracy and socialism go hand in hand. All over the world, wherever the idea of democracy has taken root, the vision of socialism has taken root as well - everywhere but in the United States.”

Is it really true that socialism and democracy are inseparable? No. It’s actually a nonsensical assertion.

In fact, the whole concept of ‘Democratic Socialism’ is utterly oxymoronic. In reality, the majority of people across the world support the free market, not central planning. The only people backing central planning - are the liberal elites at the top, such as Obama and Clinton.

Consider that a 2014 Pew Research poll of 25 advanced, emerging, and developing countries, found that “in 21 of the 25 countries surveyed agree that most people are better off in a free market system, even if there is some inequality…

A global median of 66% say most people are better off under capitalism, even if some people are rich and some are poor.” 70% of the US correspondents agreed.

Another Pew poll regarding free trade, which is generally opposed by Democratic Socialists as they are more often than not also protectionists, found that an average of 58% of people in 28 European countries support a free trade agreement with the United States.

Similarly, using data from a 2006 survey of citizens in 28 formerly socialist countries, economists from UC Berkeley and the Paris School of Economics found that “there is a positive and significant effect of democracy on support for a market economy.”

The authors go on to note that “there is no historical evidence of a democratic society without a market economy.” Indeed, this is a point even the Democratic Socialists of America have conceded.

In a Q&A section on their website... they admit that “no country has fully instituted democratic socialism.” Central planning simply isn’t democratic, even if socialists would like it to be.


America must get out of the mindset of fighting politically correct wars. It will lead to our defeat, and ultimately a more dangerous world. For the safety of the American people, we must do everything in our power to eliminate the global scourge of radical Islamic jihad - and stop worrying about offending people.

That means stopping President Obama from bringing 45,000 Syrian refugees to our shores.That means keeping Gitmo open. That means giving our military a clear mission, the right resources, and not tying their hands.
If we hope to pass along a safer and more prosperous world to our children and grandchildren, we're going to have to stand up and fight for our values.


Cool Photos

A police officer walks past the Khufu pyramid, left, towards the Khafre pyramid, right, in Giza, Egypt on Nov. 9. Egypt's Antiquities Ministry says a scanning project in the Giza pyramids has identified thermal anomalies, including one in the largest pyramid, built by Cheops, known locally as Khufu, which could indicate empty areas in the structures.

Lightning strikes over the Golden Gate Bridge as a storm moves in over San Francisco on Nov. 9. A storm system moving across California is bringing cool, wet weather to the low lands and snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

A woman holds a parasol as she stands in a field of fireweed, or Kochia scoparia, on a sunny autumn day at the Hitachi Seaside Park in Hitachi, north of Tokyo, on Oct. 26. Fireweed is a grass bush that takes on a bright red color in autumn.

Dogs frolic in the early morning sun at a park in Milan. In the background is the Sforzesco Castle on Nov. 11.

Riders on horseback herd bison during an annual roundup of one of the country's largest and oldest public herds on Oct. 23, on Antelope Island, Utah. Utah State Parks workers are moving the animals from across the island on Friday so they can be weighed, tagged and given health checkups. Antelope Island is on the Great Salt Lake, about 50 miles north of Salt Lake City.

Models Martha Hunt (L-R), Candice Swanepoel, Behati Prinsloo, Lily Aldridge and Alessandra Ambrosio celebrate after the 2015 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in New York

A Christmas tree stands under the dome of the Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris, France.

A photographer got more than he bargained for when a Trident missile came into view whilst snapping pictures of San Francisco last night. The incredible photographs show a Trident D5 ballistic missile launched by the USS Kentucky off the coast of Southern California.




MATH = Mental Abuse To Humans

Marriage lets you annoy one special person... for the rest of your life.

How can any reasonable person even allow Clinton to be a candidate for office, any office, with her track record of spinning outrageous lies and her web of deceit, that equals the CIA and KGB combined? This woman belongs in Jail, not in the Oval Office.

"I have never learned from a person who agreed with me." -- Robert Heinlein

Faith is like Wi-Fi... it's invisible, but it has the power to connect you to what you need.


Obama and Putin were walking around out in the country, discussing politics and enjoying the scenery and mild fall weather. On the trail, they came across a herd of sheep.

When they approached, the sheep tried to get away, but one had gotten its head caught in the fence next to the trail and became stuck.

Putin smiled, walked behind the sheep and dropped his drawers and had his way with it. When Putin was done, he turned to Obama and said, “go ahead it’s your turn!”

Obama eagerly walked over... and then stuck his head in the fence.


"Lowline" ... world's first underground park

The Concept:

The Lowline is a plan to use innovative solar technology to illuminate an historic trolley terminal on the Lower East Side of New York City. Our vision is a stunning underground park, providing a beautiful respite and a cultural attraction in one of the world’s most dense, exciting urban environments.

The Site:

The proposed location is the one-acre former Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal, just below Delancey Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The site was opened in 1908 for trolley passengers, but has been unused since 1948 when trolley service was discontinued.

Despite six decades of neglect, the space still retains some incredible features, like remnant cobblestones, crisscrossing rail tracks and vaulted ceilings. It is also directly adjacent to the existing JMZ subway track at the Essex Street subway stop – so park visitors and subway riders would interact daily.

This hidden historic site is located in one of the least green areas of New York City - presenting a unique opportunity to reclaim unused space for public good.

Watch the video:



20% of America's citizens are cloned, mindless liberals

"It is easier to fool people, than to convince them they have been fooled." -- Mark Twain

This theory is most evident with the cloned liberals in America. Obama has screwed up everything and the evidence is visible for all to see - yet he tells the naïve low-info liberal followers, "All is well." And they believe him, even though it is completely contrary to what is right before their eyes, in the non-liberal news outlets...

When other non-liberal people with common sense and a mind of their own, point out to them that Obama is a train wreck and a liar... mindless cloned liberals attack the messenger, just as they have been trained to do by their masters.

They never question what their leaders tell them. That's how systemic liberal brainwashing works.



The Oxford's online dictionary 'Word of the Year'... isn't even a word... it's an emoji

The lexicographers at Oxford Dictionaries have chosen their Word of the Year, and it's likely going to vex some language snobs - mostly due to the fact that it's not actually a word, in the traditional sense. This year, the Word of the Year is actually a pictogram. Specifically, it's an emoji. Even more specifically, it's the "Face With Tears of Joy" emoji.

Oxford Dictionaries announced the news on Monday, explaining that the iconic emoji was chosen "as the 'word' that best reflected the ethos, mood and preoccupations of 2015."

The dictionary wrote a (predictably) lengthy post outlining their decision, and explaining the history, merit and cultural significance of emoji. They also explained that the plural form can be emoji or emojis.

"Emojis are no longer the preserve of texting teens - instead, they have been embraced as a nuanced form of expression, and one which can cross language barriers," the organization contended. While some sticklers might not appreciate the pictogram, it's hard to say that any of the runner-up words would have been better.

The "Face With Tears of Joy" emoji - which was chosen to represent emojis as a whole, because it was "the most used emoji globally in 2015" -- beat out "Sharing Economy," "They," "On Fleek," "Ad Blocker," "Refugee," "Brexit," "Dark Web" and "Lumbersexual" for the honor of Word of the Year.

In 2014, Oxford Dictionaries chose "Vape" as their Word of the Year. It's up to all you dictionary fans to decide if "Face With Tears of Joy" is an improvement.


More than 80 percent of Hillary Clinton's donations... come from Wall Street, big banks and big donors... compared to just 22 percent for Sanders

Sanders attacks: “Let’s not be naive about it. Why, over her political career, has Wall Street been a major, THE major, campaign contributor to Hillary Clinton? You know, maybe they’re dumb and they don’t know what they’re going to get, but I don’t think so. Why do they make millions of dollars of campaign contributions? They expect to get something! Everybody knows that!”

Clinton pulls out a rhetorical bazooka: “Wait a minute, he has basically used his answer to impugn my integrity. Let’s be frank here: … Not only do I have hundreds of thousands of donors, most of them small. And I’m very proud that for the first time a majority of my donors are women, 60 percent.

So, I represented New York, and I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked. Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan, where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild. That was good for New York. It was good for the economy and it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country.”

We are struck by its “breathtaking cynicism.” From D.D. Guttenplan: “Though there was a breathtaking cynicism in the way Clinton took a question about Wall Street’s influence on her and turned it into a trifecta of righteousness - not only claiming that her efforts on behalf of finance capital were really part of the fight back against 9/11, and suggesting that any suggestion to the contrary was anti–New York and pro-terrorist...

What was she thinking using 9/11 to defend all the money that she’s taken from Wall Street? I expect it will be used to attack her in primaries and in the general if she gets there.”

The second Democrat debate was on Saturday, with only 8.5 million viewers. The next two Democratic debates are also scheduled for weekends - when very few will watch: the Saturday before Christmas and the Sunday before MLK Day.

The DNC denies it, naturally, but this was an obvious ploy to minimize viewership - in order to help out the corrupt front-runner. After the first debate, suppressing viewership seemed unnecessary. After last night, it makes much more sense.



"Uprising" ... Muse Live at Rome Olympic Stadium

One of their best songs to be played live.
 I would be able to retire from a music career after performing for a crowd like this and a response like that. Must be a surreal experience.

The way Matt sings the chorus live has so much more depth, and hauntingly panoramic. I really can't explain it, it's the anthem, or stadium sound. I mean the studio production is immaculate, with the Chorus alternating speed as the song goes on.

At first it's singular, and ethereal, feels slower and softer, then it gets cranked up as the song goes on, and becomes a roaring anthem. People just don't make music like that anymore...

Watch the video:


Greatest Art...


The age of machines and unemployment: This is a tipping point - robots cheaper than any human worker.

Robots could steal 80 million U.S. jobs

One central bank has some frightening predictions when it comes to job stability in the future. 80 million jobs in the United States are at risk of being taken over by robots in the next few decades, a Bank of England (BoE) official warned on Thursday.

With U.S. data showing that total nonfarm employment hit 142.6 million in October, that's roughly over half of the total jobs at risk. And the U.S. isn't the only one who'd be at the mercy of the mechanical hands.

In a speech at the Trades Union Congress in London, the bank's chief economist, Andy Haldane, said that up to 15 million jobs in the U.K. were at risk of being lost to an age of machines, which is around half of the employed population.

To come to its conclusion, the Bank of England conducted a U.K. study which organized occupations into three categories: high, medium and low probability of automation, and demonstrated the share of employment these jobs represented.

It based its survey on research by Oxford professors Dr. Carl Benedikt Frey and Dr. Michael Osborne, who projected a similar change in the workforce over the course of the next few decades within the U.S. Thus, the BoE's own predictions suggest these developments could also materialize over the next 20 to 30 years.

Almost any job that can be described as a 'process' can be done by a computer, whether that computer is housed in a robot or embedded somewhere out of sight.


Jobs with the highest level of being taken over by a machine in the U.K. included administrative, production, and clerical tasks. Haldane gave two contrasting examples of risk, with accountants having a 95 percent probability of losing their job to machines, while hairdressers had lower risk, at 33 percent.

With robots being more cost-effective than hiring individuals in the workplace over the long term, jobs with the lowest wages were also at the highest risk of going to the machines. However, Haldane did admit that these projections "may be far too pessimistic... or things could be worse than projected... time will tell."

"The lessons of history are that rising real incomes have ridden to the rescue, boosting the demand for new goods from new industries requiring new workers," Haldane noted, adding that in the past, workers have moved up the income escalator by "skilling up," therefore staying one-step-ahead of the machine.

Haldane suggested society may have an edge against machines in jobs which require high-level reasoning, creativity and cognition, while AI (artificial intelligence) problems are more digital and data driven.

Around 65% of the jobs in ten years, have not even been invented yet. We cannot be sure what those jobs will actually look like, though futurists are not shy of making predictions.


The chief economist suggested that even if the study was accurate; a change in how society works may be underway. People may opt towards work in more tailored businesses Haldane argued, adding that there are already early signs of a move towards more flexible working and temporary contracts.

"The smarter machines become, the greater the likelihood that the space remaining for uniquely-human skills could shrink further. Machines are already undertaking tasks which were unthinkable – if not unimaginable – a decade ago. Algorithms are rapidly learning not just to process and problem-solve, but to perceive and even emote."

Haldane isn't the only one speaking out against this threat. Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller told CNBC in January that there's an "increasing fear of technology" in all its different forms. Technology seems to be leaving questions of what will life and people be like in 30 years.

Billionaire Jeff Greene also echoed these comments on CNBC's Squawk Box Thursday, saying that people in the workplace could go the same way of the "horse-and-buggy" did – out of business – due to the "exponential growth of artificial intelligence."


4 steps to finding your God-given purpose

What’s the purpose of life? Why was I created? Why am I here? Many ask these tough questions and many live their entire lives with these questions unanswered. Well I have good news! God has a great plan for you. Yes, this is easy to say and may even sound cliché; but He really does. God not only created you with purpose, but with value. 

The Bible says in Ephesians 2:10 that “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” God prepared and planned your purpose before your parents even knew you existed. You were created with this very purpose in the mind of God: to do good works!

So what are these good works? Is it being a “good person” or a law abiding citizen? Umm, well these good works go a little deeper. The good work is your unique purpose here on earth and in the Kingdom of God. God has a unique role for you to play in His divine plan. Knowing your God-given purpose will give your life direction and fulfillment.

It will also shape the course of your life. However, assuming this position takes discovering your purpose. Since we were created with a divine purpose, we must take steps to define and live in that purpose. Below are four steps that will help you discover God’s unique purpose for your life. This is not a quick fix post, but steps to help you start the process of identifying your true purpose.

1) Accept your call to be God’s image bearer

Genesis 1:27 teaches us that we were created in the image and likeness of God, which means we were created to carry or reflect the great and mighty image of God. We were created to be a representative of God’s power, love, and wisdom to an on looking world. The image of God is our role as a rational and morally responsible being, and the likeness referring to spiritual unity with the will of God. 

Once God had created both male and female he blessed (1:28) them and commissioned them to display his authority upon the earth. When we reflect a correct image of God, this honors Him. We were created to glorify God and we were chosen over all of creation to bear this glorious image.

Christ was the perfect image-bearer, for as God in the flesh, He reflected “the image of the invisible God” (2Corithinas 4:4) and all believers should follow His example. The first step to living in your God-given Purpose is to choose to reflect and live in the image of God.

2) Pray for God to reveal your gift mix

As believers we all have a general call to be image bearers of God, but individually have a specific call in which to accomplish it. God has equipped you with all that you need to accomplish your purpose. In the narrative of the creation of mankind, God blesses them, and then commissions them to be fruitful and multiply and also to subdue and rule over the earth.

In the Old Testament Scripture, the word “blessing” is bārak (baw-rak’) which means-kneel; bless; to bestow power for success. God blesses His creation with “power to succeed,” to successfully fulfill our purpose as His Image Bearers.

God equips us by delegating talents and spiritual gifts to us. Talents are abilities or capabilities one receives naturally and spiritual gifts are given once we become a believer in Christ. It is crucial to identify our Gift Mix, because your Gift Mix reveals how God has wired and equipped you to live in your unique purpose

3) Identify the season you are in

The seasons of life are important because your specific purpose may shift depending on the season. The Bible describes that there is a time and season for all things. There are personal seasons of life, for example, single people have more flexibility to move and start new journeys; while a married couple with children would have to consider the needs of their spouse and children.

There are also spiritual seasons or cycles that God uses to build our character. They are similar to our earth’s natural seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. Identifying which season you are in allows you to take proper action. Like a farmer reaps in the Fall or plants new seeds in the Spring, we too need to take proper action in our current and future seasons.

4) Trust God

God has given you all that you need to fulfill your purpose, now you are called to obey. When we live outside of our purpose, we miss out on what God has in store us, our careers, our family, and our joy. But when we obey, we are blessed. One thing I have learned is that “obedience has no consequence!” When you seek God first and His purpose “all things shall be added to you” ( Matthew 6:33). 

It may feel difficult or nearly impossible to live in our purpose because of the current season you are in. Relationships, jobs, and finances may also hold you back from living in your true purpose. However unlike obedience, there are consequences for disobedience. Fear to step into your purpose will not only negatively effect you, but others.

I pray that as you identify your Gift Mix and your Spiritual Season, you will allow God to use you. When God says ”for I know the plans I have for you… plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11), believe him.


Barry worked at the coal mine

After an hour of gathering up his courage, a shy guy finally approaches the hot girl at the end of the bar. "Um, would you mind if I chatted with you for a while?" She yells, "No, I won't sleep with you tonight, you pig!" Everyone in the bar stops and stares. Completely embarrassed, the guy slinks back to his table with a red face.

After a few minutes, the woman walks over to him and apologizes. She smiles and says, "I'm sorry if I embarrassed you. I'm a graduate student in psychology, and I'm studying how people respond to embarrassing public situations." To which the guy responds as loudly as possible, "What do you mean $200 for a massage?"


In Pope Francis' latest weekly address, he criticized people who use their phones at the dinner table. Which begs the question: Who is on their phone while they eat dinner with the Pope? -- Jimmy Fallon

Marriott reached a $12 billion deal to buy Starwood Hotels and Resorts, which now makes Marriott the world's biggest hotel chain. At first the deal only cost $9 billion, but then they celebrated with a tiny bottle of champagne from the minibar, made it $12 billion. -- Jimmy Fallon

The man who invented ibuprofen said that he knew it worked when he tested some out to cure a hangover before giving an important speech. While the man who invented Viagra unfortunately also tested it out before giving a wedding toast. “I COULDN’T be more excited for you guys! I just caught the bouquet!" -- Jimmy Fallon

If you watched the last Democrat debate on mute, it looked like Bernie Sanders spent two hours angrily sending his soup back at the deli. -- Jimmy Kimmel

Donald Trump is out in front of the pack again. According to a new Reuters poll he's in first place among likely Republican voters with 42 percent. Ben Carson is in second with just under 25 percent. Only 4 percent now say they would support Jeb Bush. That number dropped to 2 percent when the pollster asked, "Really?" -- Jimmy Kimmel

Governor Chris Christie said in an interview yesterday that New Jersey would not accept Syrian refugees. Which is too bad, because Syrian refugees would be the first people ever to arrive in New Jersey and say, “Hey, this is MUCH better!” -- Seth Meyers

McDonald’s this week unveiled a successor to its Dollar Menu that will allow customers to pay $2 for two items, which include a double cheeseburger, a chicken sandwich, small fries, or mozzarella sticks. They’re calling it the “Type 2” Dollar Menu. -- Seth Meyers

Friday was “World Vasectomy Day.” Which meant that Saturday was "Frozen Peas Day." -- Seth Meyers

After one of Google’s self-driving cars was pulled over this weekend, the company released a statement touting that the cars have the human equivalent of 90 years behind the wheel. Which also explains why the left blinker was on for 17 miles. -- Seth Meyers

There's shocking news out of Japan — robot designers have now created an artificial robot that passed the standardized exams, like the SATs. The only silver lining is they might avoid a robot uprising. In medieval French literature, the robots won't be able to enslave us because they'll be too busy paying off their student loans. -- Stephen Colbert


Trump: "I think Obama is a threat to our country. I mean he must have some kind of a thing going (with the terrorists) because, you know when you see that he won’t even call them by their name - after attack, after attack, after attack...

And it’s always the same thing - it’s hatred. It’s hatred. And it is exactly that. It’s ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism.'"

Obama created ISIS... Trump will take them down

Trump’s take on the Paris attacks fits with the rest of his doctrine. He’s promised to “bomb the hell out of” the jihadist group ISIS, which is based in Syria and has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Trump has also vowed to take an aggressive approach with Muslims here in the United States and suggested there should be a national effort to monitor mosques.

He has spoken wistfully of the New York City Police Department’s mosque surveillance program, which was abandoned last year after generating substantial controversy.

Trump told Yahoo the architect of that program, former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, is someone he might think about for a position in a Trump presidential administration.

“Ray’s a great guy,” Trump said. “Ray did a fabulous job as commissioner and, sure, Ray would be somebody I’d certainly consider.”

After Paris, Trump said “security is going to rule” in the United States, in order to take on what he calls “radical Islamic terrorism.” America has currently agreed to take in 10,000 refugees from the ISIS stronghold in Syria. However, if he is elected, Trump said he would deport any Syrian refugees allowed to enter this country under President Obama.

“They’re going to be gone. They will go back. I’ve said it before, in fact, and everyone hears what I say, including them, believe it or not,” Trump said of the refugees. But if they’re here, they have to go back, because we cannot take a chance...

You look at the migration, it’s young, strong men. We cannot take a chance that the people coming over here are going to be ISIS-affiliated.”


Jesse Watters... telling is like it is, about Obama

Jesse Watters left Juan Williams speechless on "The Five" after a takedown of President Obama's actions in the war on terror.

"I'm actually surprised. Obama usually golfs and flies to fundraisers after terrorist attacks," Watters said. "This time I think he released five guys from Gitmo and then showed up late for a moment of silence for the victims."

"I'm just surprised that sending James Taylor over last time didn't really help... I mean maybe Obama's got some great hashtags up his sleeve?" he said.

But Watters didn't stop there...

"When you have Bill Maher in France being tougher on terrorism than the President of the United States, you're in a lot of trouble." Watters noted that Obama has been so distracted fighting the war on cops - that he forgot about the war on terror.

And, finally, Watters listed the lies Obama told the American people about the fight against ISIS that the media called him out on. "It's crazy," Watters said at the end of his litany of Obama's failures -- leaving Juan Williams silent.

Jesse Watters was on fire! Love the nutshell approach. Just too much truth all at once… for even the best slick-talking, liar Democrat to rebut.

Watch the video:


"Anonymous" declares war on Islamic State after Paris attacks, in chilling video: 'We will hunt you down.'

The group warned: "The French people are stronger than you and will come out of this atrocity even stronger" Hacker group Anonymous have declared war against ISIS after the attacks in Paris on Friday night.

Posting a video on YouTube, the group said it would use its knowledge to "unite humanity" and warned the terrorists to "expect us". Behind their signature mask, a spokesperson speaking in French said: "Anonymous from all over the world will hunt you down.

"You should know that we will find you and we will not let you go. "We will launch the biggest operation ever against you. "Expect massive cyber attacks. War is declared. Get prepared. "The French people are stronger than you and will come out of this atrocity even stronger."

It isn't the first time the hackers have made threats against ISIS as they made similar threats after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January. The 'hacktivists' run an operation publishing a list of Twitter accounts it claims are spreading propaganda in support of ISIS.

Anonymous has now leaked details of at least five men it claims are recruiters for the terror group, as well as taking down 5,500 twitter accounts. Hitting these accounts is seen as a way of shutting down the ISIS recruitment and propaganda machine.


ISIS has claimed responsibility for the Friday night attacks. The death toll in Paris currently stands at 129 people while another 415 people were admitted to hospital of which 42 are in a critical condition.

Terrorists targeted seven locations in Paris including restaurants and cafes where people were enjoying a Friday night out and Stade de France where France was playing a friendly football match against Germany.

Eighty-nine people were killed when gunmen burst into Bataclan concert hall and started firing into the crowds who were half-an-hour into a gig by US rock band Eagles of Death Metal.

Watch the video:


7 ways to lower the cost of a holiday road trip... arrive at your destination with more money in your pocket

The holidays are nearly upon us, with many families driving long distances to spend time with each other in the next weeks. Road trips are also an annual part of my family's holiday traditions, with our extended families living at least three hours away (and many relatives even farther).

Along the way, we've developed a lot of strategies for minimizing the cost of such road trips. Here are seven tactics anyone can pull off before and during long drives.

Fill your tires with air before you leave. Check your owner's manual and find out the maximum recommended pressure for your tires. Then stop at a gas station, and fill your tires to that pressure. All you need is a small pressure gauge, which most gas stations and convenience stores sell; if you need detailed instructions, check your owner's manual.

Fill your tank with gas before you leave. This is an indirect strategy for saving money. When you're on the road and you stop to fill up for gas, it often can be tempting to go inside and get a cup of coffee or a soda or a snack. Gas station prices can be expensive, so this is just money disappearing from your pocket.

Drive the speed limit. The obvious reason for doing this is to avoid getting pulled over, which could result in a very expensive traffic ticket. However, there's another, more subtle reason -- cars tend to be more fuel efficient when you drive at around 55 mph. The faster you go, the less fuel efficient they become, meaning you're going to spend more money on fuel just to cover the same distance.

You might save five minutes an hour of driving by speeding, but over a long trip, that can add up to another stop at a gas station, which loses some of that time advantage and also gobbles up more money.

Pack snacks and meals. Another tactic for avoiding unnecessary convenience store expenses is to simply pack some snacks and beverages and even full meals before you leave. Choose items from your pantry, make sandwiches before you go, fill up a few water bottles and you'll have far less need to make an expensive stop.

Keep updated registration and proof of insurance in the car. If you do get pulled over, that stop is going to be far less painful if you have proof of insurance and registration in the car, conveniently available. If you don't have these documents, you can expect a much more expensive traffic ticket. It's well worth spending 10 seconds (and the 10 minutes it might take to print new ones if you can't find them) to make sure you have these documents in your car to avoid the possibility of hundreds of dollars in tickets.

Refill your gas on the cheaper side of state borders. If you're crossing any state borders, you'll likely find very different gas prices on each side of that border. It can be well worth your time to stop just before crossing a state border -- or holding out until after a border crossing -- to get cheaper fuel. You can check out varying prices at GasBuddy's national gas price map. Some borders have a surprisingly large difference in fuel prices. The Iowa-Missouri border, for instance, can have as much as a 40-cent a gallon difference.

Avoid toll roads, even if it adds more miles to your trip. Toll roads can be a large additional expense on your journey, easily adding $10 or more to the trip. Thankfully, many online mapping tools like Google Maps can provide you with alternate routes to your destination that avoid toll roads. Adding another few minutes to your trip to avoid several tolls can end up saving you quite a lot of money.

Just a little bit of advance planning and some smart choices on the road can save you lots of cash on a holiday road trip. Using these strategies, you'll arrive at your destination with plenty of money still in your wallet where it belongs.


Baby Otter "Fenway" vs Stuffed Walrus

A professional animal caretaker gets to spend a lot of time with adorable animals. Lucky for us, she also likes to record her play dates!

Baby Asian small clawed otter Fenway playing with toys and his brother Sidney. Fenway and Sidney are not pets. I am a professional animal caretaker at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, CA.

Otters do not make good pets and are illegal to own. You will be able to see Sidney and Fenway at the Sea Lion show at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom!

Watch the video:


7 Day Free Trial @

Thought for the day...

5 tips to gain confidence and power

Confidence is Power

Call it what you will, swagger, cocky or confidence, these traits exude Power. My blog is based on the majestic alpha animal, the all powerful lion. In the animal kingdom, this powerful alpha beast shows its dominance by his movement, posture and voice. In the real world, humans are no different.

You know the saying about the 10 second rule? You can walk into a room and size up a person within the first 10 seconds, that's why they say - make your first impressions last. 

In corporate America, the most confident person can be spotted very easily by the way he carries himself, the way he moves and his posture when sitting or standing. He/She let's everyone knows they are there in the room and usually the non-confident person tries to make him/herself less noticeable.

So why should you care if you are confident or not?

Studies show confidence can reduce stress

In a recent study by Dana Carney, Amy Cuddy, and Andy Yap in the book "Power Posing," reveals psychological and behavioral changes typically associated with powerful people. Confident people felt more powerful, were more willing to take risks, and experienced significant increases in testosterone along with decreases in cortisol (the body's chemical response to stress.)

Ever notice why the top sales people or the fast movers and shakers in corporate America move up and keep going up, confidence is definitely the key. Besides, who doesn't want more stress in life?

So below are 5 useful tips to jump-start your confidence into power transformation.

5 tips to gain confidence and power

1.  Posture - Don't slouch, as simple as this may sound this is where people mess up the most. When you walk or sit, keep the shoulders upright, show the world you are here and be noticed. This simple fix will increase the perception that you are very confident.

Also just like the golden rule in interview techniques, always do a firm handshake even if it's a female. I remember one time I shook a female ceo's hand very lightly and she blasted me because I should always shake everyone's hand with the same firmness, never again did I shake another females hand very lightly.

Last but not least is eye contact, we all know it's important to keep eye contact but the big mistake is when we stare like a robot. Be firm with your eye contact, gaze deep in the eyes but always, always, make sure to make it seem natural by looking away at times or raising the eyebrows with emotions. Staring like a mad man just to keep eye contact is a big no no.

2.  Tone - Don't be soft spoken when you talk, a strong and firm tone can increase your confidence perception like night and day - it's that dramatic! Even if you don't have a strong voice, always make sure even if you are unsure of the words coming out your mouth to be crisp and firm.  Raise the tone when you talk and you will see a difference.

3.  Movement - There is a reason why people say that a person has swag in their walk its because when they walk they reveal that they are confident. Don't walk with a slouch(posture) and don't walk too fast to avoid people. When walking around the office, make sure people notice you, walk in the middle of the walkway (if no one is in-front of you), walk openly and lastly walk with your chin up and head held high. 

Royalty does this for a reason, its to show leadership and in order to achieve power through confidence, keep your head held high (its not just a saying folks).

4.  Mind - Do not over think things! Just be yourself and don't care what other people think, this is the biggest reason why some analytical people (nerds) gain a bad reputation. They are NOTORIOUS for over thinking. And that's why the dumb jocks are NOTORIOUS for being confident, its because they don't over-think as much. Makes sense?

5.  Attitude - POSITIVE POSITIVE POSITIVE. Leave out the insecurities and negativity, its poison. Every time you think negative or become unsure of yourself, you are actually poisoning your brain to train it in making you feel like a loser when you are actually not! Get out of the mindset and quicksand, you always want to reassure self with positive thoughts on a daily basis.

Fish for compliments, be humble and grateful and most importantly start beginning to love yourself again. You can be stuck being a normal looking person or you can display confidence in everything you do and can actually be perceived as a powerful, good looking and charismatic human being. Now which do you prefer?


$2.95 .Com at!

The U.S. government spends $10.5 billion per day, of which $4.5 billion is borrowed! ... now they want to trick you out of your savings with myRA

The government does a lot of dumb things. But this ranks among the dumbest. It stands to directly harm the financial fate of many, many unsuspecting Americans.

Thanks to Obama's myRA plan, countless investors - who think they are doing the right thing - will virtually guarantee they never overcome our arch enemy... the curse of mediocrity. We first wrote about this half-cocked savings plan immediately after Obama proposed it.

Here's an excerpt:

"Sure, a myRA comes with no risk. But the plan also come with virtually no chance of a sizeable return. After all, typical of Washington, our political pals allow just one asset in a myRA... Uncle Sam's debt."

That's right. The only asset allowed in a myRA are government-issued savings bonds (for all of you Treasury buffs, the bond replicates the G Fund). If you want to jump-start your savings, Obama says, loan your money to Washington - and earn a whopping 1.89%.

You'll be rich... in a few hundred years.

For the last year, the plans were offered to a handful of companies across the country as part of a trial program. But now that the plan is nationwide, we're pounding the table against it once again.

We're doing it not because we think you'll get sucked into the plan, but because we are convinced this myRA scheme perfectly exemplifies why so many folks simply stand in their own way of building wealth.
Here's what I mean...

I don't want to go too "inside baseball," but as publishers, we keep track of just about everything related to our editorial. It ensures we're producing the very best, most usable content possible. And one of the metrics we look at every day is the number of folks opening our daily e-letters.

And here's what we've learned... income is, by far, the most engaging topic. Any time we write about high-yielding stocks or income opportunities, the amount of folks opening our emails soars.

There is no doubt this trend has everything to do with the income crisis of the last eight years. It's been nearly a decade since the Federal Reserve started slashing interest rates... and the effects have been financially deadly.

Obama's myRA only magnifies the situation. Because it locks investors into the pitiful yields paid by U.S. Treasurys, folks who put their money into the scheme will barely overcome the effects of inflation, let alone build the sort of liberating wealth they're aiming for.

Buying Treasurys is not an investment plan. It's a very small part of a much larger plan. With yields of just 2.26% on 10-year Treasurys... a myRA will certainly not make you rich.

Most financial advisors will tell you the minimum annual income you'll need in retirement is about $40,000. That means you'll need a million-dollar portfolio returning 4% annually to meet the minimum income requirements.

If you want to travel and have even a modicum of luxury during retirement... you'll need a whole lot more.

That idea begs two questions... and a bit of math.

The first question is simple. Are you saving enough money and making the right investment choices to someday retire with a portfolio large enough to produce the kind of income you need?

And the second question: What sort of assets will provide the reliable income stream you need once you retire?

Again, investors in this country are starving for reliable income. They know the old standbys won't cut it. In the midst of an income crisis, a myRA and its paltry returns won't come close. We argue it's yet another false promise from Washington.

To ensure you don't get caught in this trap, we beg you to take some time today to do a bit of easy math. In fact, we'll help you run the numbers.
Forget the idea of a myRA and start building a diverse portfolio of assets.

True, lasting wealth starts with a foundation built on the proven idea of asset allocation.

Spread your investments among different asset classes, not just different securities or market sectors. For example, we recommends dividing your core portfolio into the following categories and allocations:

30% U.S. Stocks
30% Foreign Stocks
5% Precious Metals
5% Real Estate Investment Trusts
10% High-Grade Bonds
10% High-Yield Bonds
10% Inflation-Adjusted Treasurys

We admit, if a myRA gets folks to start investing, it does a much-needed job. But it must go much further than simply creating a new conduit to fuel Uncle Sam's debt addiction.

Investors don't need more false promises. They need education and knowledge... two things Washington isn't known for.

The key to overcoming this income crisis, in fact, is to avoid our government. Do what you can to sidestep its burdensome tax policies, record-low interest rates and volatility-inducing budget policies.

Find your numbers... diversify... and don't stand for mediocrity.

This Week's Government Goofs & Goofballs
An Independent & unbiased accounting of our government 
& political mischief

Capitalism frees us... Socialism restricts us

An economic system, at its core, is nothing more than a collection of wants and needs. The entrepreneur's job is to fill those needs.

But when government meddles, it creates things we do not want and things we do not need. And most bafflingly... it often creates things that work entirely against our wants and needs.

This is done with money, we are reminded, that could be used to create things. You guessed it... we actually want and need. Which was, before the government took it, already in the hands of productive, job-creating market makers.

In a capitalist society, you are rewarded for serving your fellow human beings in the way in which they want to be served. As long as it is consensual, it is OK.

In a socialist society, on the other hand, you are served in precisely the way the "public" (ahem... government) wants to serve you -- and you are served long and you are served hard.

[Hear that? That's the sound of socialist minds being blown all over America.]

But we're not done yet!
Regulation and government meddling also blocks the poor from finding or creating their own jobs, therefore, they end up on the government dole. Strange how that happens, eh?

Meddling also creates conflicts in other countries that endanger our families, then somehow "justifies" our being treated like terrorists in our own country, and restricts our freedom of speech and mobility. All for our "protection."

But. hold on.
Government's here to help. right? ...

Not really.

There's lots of talk these days... about how many potential small businesses are slaughtered in this country... by ridiculous government regulations and corrupt politicians who force the regulations through.

After all, most regulations are not designed to make things more fair or equal. Most regulations are designed to benefit one group of constituents or companies - at the expense of other constituents and companies. And political lobbyists are he middleman...

It's like a balloon filled with water... squeeze one end and the other grows bigger. That's exactly what 'political regulations' do.


Here's the big problem with low interest rates

Easy money expands bubbles, pinches savers, and stretches pension funds.

Since Lehman Brothers went bankrupt in September 2008, the world's central banks have injected more than $12 trillion under QE (Quantitative Easing) programs into financial markets. More than $26 trillion of government bonds are now trading at yields of below 1% with over $6 trillion currently yielding less than 0%.

These policies, according to policy makers, have been crucial to the "recovery."

Stock market valuations have increased but remain reliant on low rates and abundant liquidity. The effect on the real economy is less clear. Policy makers argue that without these actions to support growth, employment and investment would have been weaker. It is a proposition that is, of course, impossible to test.

Whatever the initial benefits, low rates and unconventional monetary policy are increasingly counterproductive. And now there is increasing confusion about future interest rate policy.

Markets expect that stronger U.S. employment numbers will drive a rate rise in December. Puzzlingly, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has also hinted that more QE or negative interest rates are also possible, should conditions dictate.

There is little agreement among Fed governors about the appropriate policy path for the U.S.. Meanwhile, other central banks are cutting rates.

In Europe, ECB President Mario Draghi has hinted that he will consider lowering rates further soon. European central banks are already operating negative deposit rate policies. The ECB is at minus 0.20%, Swiss policy rate is minus 0.75%; Sweden's policy rate is minus 0.35%.

In October, Italy sold two-year debt at a "negative yield" for the first time? Investors are now paying to lend to a country - which has one of the highest debt-to-GDP ratios in the world.

The Bank of England has suggested that U.K. interest rates may not increase until 2016 or even 2017. The Bank of Japan has promised additional easing if necessary "without hesitation."

The People's Bank of China, China's central bank, cut benchmark interest rates for the sixth time this year to a record low of 1.50% in a bid to support an economy that is forecast to grow at its slowest annual rate in 25 years.

Further interest-rate cuts are forecast in Australia, New Zealand and many emerging countries.

Central bankers argue that the case for increasing rates is limited. Despite record levels of monetary stimulus, growth remains lackluster. Forecasts of economic activity have seen regular downgrades over the past few years. Disinflation and deflationary pressures remain, with low commodity prices, especially in the energy sector, likely to continue.

Central bankers dismiss criticism that the policies are at best ineffective and at worst damaging.

Low rates have created problems for savers and retirees around the world. Pension funds are in trouble with rising levels of unfunded liabilities. Debt levels continue to rise from unsustainable to even more unsustainable. Low rates have distorted financial markets and created asset price bubbles in shares, property, and other investments.

In Japan, for example, interest rates have been around zero for almost a decade. The Bank of Japan has undertaken nine rounds of QE. The central bank's balance sheet is approaching 70% of GDP. It owns a significant proportion of the outstanding stock of government bonds and equities. But the policies have not restored growth.

The effect of further rate cuts is also diminished by continuing trade and currency wars. Each individual cut is increasingly offset by competing reductions elsewhere in the world. Despite denials by policy makers, countries are using monetary policy to devalue currencies to gain competitiveness and capture a greater share of global demand.

Individual nation's actions are now redundant in a nugatory race to the bottom in interest rates and currency values.

Maintaining interest rates at low "emergency" levels for an extended period also makes it increasingly difficult to increase them to more normal levels. Increase in debt levels, made possible by lower rates, means the financial impact of higher rates is attenuated.

This is evident in the concern that a potential 0.25% increase in U.S. rates has created.

In the U.S., a one percentage-point boost in interest rates - would increase U.S. government interest costs by around $180 billion - from its present level of around $400 billion.

Unless offset by increased economic activity, this would increase both the budget deficit and government debt levels. The normalization of rates to say 2.50%-3.00% may prove financially and economically destabilizing.

Low rates and QE have also reduced the political appetite for needed policy changes. Lower interest costs have sapped the willingness for fiscal reforms, debt reduction, and structural reforms.

Asset markets, especially equities, have rallied repeatedly on the continuation of low rates. But low rates reflect slower economic activity and economic weakness, rather than strength. This means, at some stage, a dramatic reassessment of asset prices is now inevitable, either as result of higher or lower rates.



We really appreciate your visits! Every Friday, our goal is to provide you with a few laughs, some inspiring stories and some food for thought. We look forward to your visiting with us again next Friday!
Y'all come on back now... ya hear!

Subscribe, unsubscribe, give us your feedback...

©Copyright 2009-2015,™. All rights reserved.