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Oil Prices to Remain Volatile as Irma Approaches

September 6, 2017 Oil N' Gold 0

The front-month WTI crude oil contract gained +2.9% while the Brent contract was up +1.99%. The Nymex RBOB gasoline contrac, however, fell -2.79%, after slumping -18.32% last Friday. Oil traders are cautiously monitoring the development of Category 5 h…

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Australia’s Dystopian Future: A Nation Of High-Rise Renters

September 6, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by James Fernyhough via,
Young Australians are increasingly likely to live most of their lives in high-density rented accommodation – and that’s not necessarily such a bad thing.
That was one of the more controversi…

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Mars to invest around $1 billion in sustainability plan

September 6, 2017 crude oil 0

Mars has announced its intention to spend big on sustainability.

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Hawaii Considers A “Universal Basic Income” As Robots Seen Stealing Jobs, There’s Just One Catch…

September 6, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Forget social security, medicaid and WIC, today’s progressives have moved well beyond discussing such entitlement relics of the past and nowadays dedicate their efforts to the concept of a “Universal Basic Income” for all…call it the New ‘New Deal’.  You know, because having to work for that “car in every garage and chicken in every pot” is just considered cruel and unusual punishment by today’s standards.

Of course, it should come as little surprise that the progressive state of Hawaii, which depends on easily automatable jobs tied to the tourism industry, is among the first to pursue a Universal Basic Income for its residents.  And while the idea of passing out free money to everyone seems like a genius plan, if we understand it correctly, as CBS points out, there is just one catch…figuring out who will pay for it.

Driverless trucks. Factory robots. Delivery drones. Virtual personal assistants.


As technological innovations increasingly edge into the workplace, many people fear that robots and machines are destined to take jobs that human beings have held for decades–a trend that is already happening in stores and factories around the country. For many affected workers, retraining might be out of reach —unavailable, unaffordable or inadequate.


Over the past two decades, automation has reduced the need for workers, especially in such blue-collar sectors as manufacturing, warehousing and mining. Many of the jobs that remain demand higher education or advanced technological skills. It helps explain why just 55 percent of Americans with no more than a high school diploma are employed, down from 60 percent just before the Great Recession.


Hawaii state lawmakers have voted to explore the idea of a universal basic income in light of research suggesting that a majority of waiter, cook and building cleaning jobs — vital to Hawaii’s tourism-dependent economy — will eventually be replaced by machines. The crucial question of who would pay for the program has yet to be determined. But support for the idea has taken root.


“Our economy is changing far more rapidly than anybody’s expected,” said state Rep. Chris Lee, who introduced legislation to consider a guaranteed universal income.


Lee said he felt it’s important “to be sure that everybody will benefit from the technological revolution that we’re seeing to make sure no one’s left behind.”

But taking billions from hard working Americans to “spread the wealth around” has never been all that difficult before so presumably this too should prove to be a relatively minor issue.



In all seriousness, where does Representative Lee and CBS figure Hawaii will get the funding for their guaranteed income plan?  Well, as it turns out, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes made a very generous $10mm donation to support programs just like thisthe only problem, of course, is that Hawaii would need about 1,000 times that amount to fund Chris Lee’s plan for just one year.

For now, philanthropic organizations founded by technology entrepreneurs have begun putting money into pilot programs to provide basic income. The Economic Security Project, co-led by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and others, committed $10 million over two years to basic income projects.


Tom Yamachika, president of the Tax Foundation of Hawaii, a nonprofit dedicated to limited taxes and fairness, has estimated that if all Hawaii residents were given $10,000 annually, it would cost about $10 billion a year, which he says Hawaii can’t afford given its $20 billion in unfunded pension liabilities.

That said, it’s difficult to argue with Karl Widerquist’s argument that Hawaiians deserve a “beach dividend” for their heroic efforts in being born and continuing the difficult task of breathing day in and day out.

Karl Widerquist, co-founder of the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network, an informal group that promotes the idea of a basic income, suggests that Hawaii could collect a property tax from hotels, businesses and residents that could be redistributed to residents.


“If people in Alaska deserve an oil dividend, why don’t the people of Hawaii deserve a beach dividend?” he asked.

And while we have little doubt that Widerquist has fully thought through his suggestion that Hawaii just raise an incremental $10 billion every year via a tax on hotel stays…we thought we’d run the math just to make sure his plan holds water.  As it turns out, roughly 3 million families visit Hawaii for a little R&R every year which means each family would only have to pony up an extra $3,400 per hotel stay to cover Hawaii’s Universal Basic Income plan.  Seem more than reasonable, right?

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MWL forum highlights moderate approach of Islam

September 6, 2017 rbksa 0
Wed, 2017-09-06 03:00

MAKKAH: A number of muftis of Arab and Islamic countries and key Islamic figures in the world, and guests of the Muslim World League (MWL) for the current Hajj season have lauded King Salman’s efforts in serving and defending Islamic causes.
They also appreciated his generous stances in re-opening Al-Aqsa Mosque and highlighting the moderate approach and cultural dimension of Islam through the establishment of the King Salman Center for Global Peace, the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (GCCEI) and the Saudi Ideological War Center (IWC).
This came in a final statement following their participation in the Hajj forum which was organized by the MWL in Mina titled “Moderation and tolerance in Islam … texts and facts.”
Among the participants of the forum were Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, head of the Higher Council of Scholars and Chairman of the Founding Council of the WML Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Asheikh ; Secretary-General of WML, board chairman of the International Organization of Muslim Scholars and member of the Saudi Higher Council of Scholars Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa; Grand Mufti of Egypt Shawqi Allam; General Mufti of Al-Quds and Palestine Sheikh Mohammed Ahmed Husain; Grand Mufti of the Chechen Republic Sheikh Salah Medjiyev; head of the Mauritanian Higher Council of Fatwa and Grievances Sheikh Mohammed Mukhtar bin Imbala; and a number of scholars from 72 Arab and Islamic countries, in addition to Saudi scholars.
In an opening address at the forum, Al-Asheikh stressed that moderation, justice and tolerance are key features reflected by Islam and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Al-Asheikh said one of the manifestations of moderation in Islam is what is described as qualities of goodness, nobility, tenderness, justice, fairness, mercy, brotherhood, love, renunciation of unjustified violence and aggression, advocacy of forgiveness of wrong doers, patience, and charity and mercy to others.
He said all Muslims have to show the bright side of Islam by behaving with virtuous Islamic ethics, showing good treatment, demonstrating tenderness, speaking good words, correlating words with deeds, observing honesty in financial and commercial transactions, honoring contracts and promises, keeping away from injustice, treachery, lying and harming others, and respecting people in their blood, money and dignity.
Al-Asheikh called on scholars, preachers, intellectuals and writers to show the side of moderation and tolerance in Islam through their deeds and words, in writing and contributing to mass media, and through the Internet and social media and other available means to remove that which has hidden the reality of Islam to allow everyone see the virtues of this religion.
He said every one of us should try in his field and within his capabilities to reflect the bright aspects of Islam, its virtuous ethics, good conduct, and lofty teachings, so that each of us can be an honest messenger and true example of the teachings of this great religion.
Al-Issa also addressed the event and welcomed the attendees. He explained the noble values in Islam including moderation and tolerance, adding that everyone should practically translate these values away from abstract theory. Practical application will reflect correctness of the idea with its effective impact and, above all, honor one’s self by observing the true path of Islam and avoid non-compliant words with deeds that may offend the image of the religion.
He stressed the need to address the behavior of the terrorists based on the approach of knowledge of others and to deal with them with a message of wisdom, flexibility and containment without limiting to falsify, ignore or abuse them. All should know how to agree and disagree, and that logic necessitates that any verbal or practical offense committed in the name of religion is actually a crime against the religion itself, he said. He affirmed the importance of scholars, preachers and thinkers in clarifying the truth of Islam and to address the suspicions, illusions and allegations of which extremists have intentionally passed.
For his part, Grand Mufti of Al-Quds Sheikh Mohammed Ahmed Husain expressed thanks to the Kingdom for its care for pilgrims in the holy sites to perform their rituals peacefully. He also thanks the MWL for its invitation to this forum adding that the theme of the forum, on moderation, is the core of Islam and that such forums will enrich the Islamic path.
He said Al-Aqsa Mosque suffers from Israeli aggression. Muslims experienced an ordeal in occupied Palestine last July, and in this context, he lauded King Salman’s efforts in ending the crisis with the support of brothers in a number of Islamic countries.
Grand Mufti of Egypt Shawqi Allam expressed thanks to the MWL secretary-general and other scholars for convening this forum and, at same time, congratulated the Kingdom for the success of the Hajj season and the good arrangements in this regard.
“Islam is a civilization that enters hearts before bodies, and we have seen in our history how scholars of the companions and followers when they went out of the Arabian Peninsula did not use sermons or just talk but translated the meanings of Islam in the form of behavior that captured hearts before bodies,” he said.
In his address, Grand Mufti of the Chechen Sheikh Salah Medjiyev said Allah described the Islamic nation as a moderate nation and, therefore, the Islamic nation obtained the highest honor from the God.
He said Shariah texts that promote tolerance and coexistence are many, but tolerance is conditional on non-takfir and disrespect to the basics of Islam because takfiri ideas and terror lead to bloodshed and destruction.
For his part, the head of the Mauritanian Higher Council of Fatwa and Grievances, Sheikh Mohammed Mukhtar bin Imbala, said the responsibility to achieve tolerance and moderation rests on scholars because wars normally originate in ideas which have to be met with other ideas and logic. He said examples are so many in the religious texts, and scholars have always warned against extravagance in religion because extravagance is a great fatality.
He said our Shariah is between those who have over-excessed and shown laxity, and the Sunnis, who have kept their faith moderate between extravagance and laxity. On the political side, Islam was a moderate divine system that came between democracy and dictatorship, he said.
The participants affirmed that moderation and tolerance in Islam are key pillars of the religion, adding that any deviation comes from ignorance, error or deviant ideas. Moderation and tolerance were clear features of the Islamic nation throughout its long history in line with the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah, and in the footsteps of good men of the nation in the face of anomaly of ideas and visions on Islam.
They said Islam with its balanced moderation, good values, fair provisions, comprehensive systems, and unique cultural experiences is capable of providing solutions to chronic problems of human communities and saving them from their moral and social degradation.
The participants also stressed the need to modernize the religious message that takes into account the differences of time, place and developments, but runs consistent with the basics and identity of Islam that could address problems of contemporary societies away from immediate emotions and reactions by presenting the true Islamic vision that will bring about the interests of the Islamic nation.

They also called for the encouragement of conducting research and studies that originate the principles of moderation and tolerance in Islam, and their spread among civilizations, and refute suspicious ideas of extremists who carry deviant ideas that run counter to Islamic jurisprudence and objectives of the Islamic Shariah.
The participants further noted that scientific intellectual gatherings act as a venue for unifying the Muslim ranks, while consolidating the belief in global diversity and pluralism while explaining the right things with wisdom and good preaching.
The participants stressed the need to support the scientific and research institutions in the world to detect media campaigns against Islam and draw up suitable strategies to deter such campaigns, and correct the erroneous image on Islam and Muslims, whereby the world will know the great Islamic principles and face “Islamophobia” campaigns.
They also called for a clarification on the position of Islam on issues of the current era, its sciences, developments, and study of its social, political and economic systems and to be assessed from the Islamic moderate approach in order to work out a clear-cut, accurate and applicable Islamic vision to overpass the current problems.
Earlier, participants of the forum presented detailed work papers on themes that included moderation and tolerance, the realty of moderation and tolerance, challenges and responsibilities. They called for dealing with all issues in Islamic countries and the formulation of collective solutions that will represent the voice of one united (Islamic) nation.

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