In The News Today

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

Stupidity! Posted without a question mark…

Employees Need Masks Even For At-Home Zoom Calls, Wisconsin Agency Says. Here’s Why
August 10, 2020

Some Wisconsin state officials aren’t fooling around when it comes to the spread of COVID-19.

In an email to employees sent out on July 31, the head of Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources not only reminded employees of Gov. Tony Evers’ mask order going into effect on Aug. 1, he also said that every DNR employee must wear a mask … even while on a teleconference.

“Also, wear your mask, even if you are home, to participate in a virtual meeting that involves being seen — such as on Zoom or another video-conferencing platform — by non-DNR staff,” Preston Cole said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Set the safety example which shows you as a DNR public service employee care about the safety and health of others.”

Evers’ executive order said that face coverings are required to be worn whenever a person is in an enclosed space — other than a private residence.

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

As a white male, I am totally triggered as this is just plain racist! I was offered a half scholarship to play hockey there which I could not afford, now I am glad I was so poor… (sarc)

U.S. Justice Department Says Yale Illegally Discriminates Against Asians, Whites
August 13, 2020

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday accused Yale University of illegally discriminating against Asian American and white applicants in its undergraduate admissions process in violation of U.S. civil rights law.

The findings are the result of a two-year investigation in response to a complaint by Asian-American groups concerning Yale’s conduct, the department said in a statement.

The department said it was prepared to file a lawsuit against Yale if the school, in New Haven, Connecticut, did not take “remedial measures.”

A Yale spokeswoman said the university “categorically denies” the allegations but has cooperated fully with the investigation.

The Justice Department made its findings before allowing Yale to provide requested documents, Yale said.

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

But wait, didn’t they tell me crypto was totally anonymous and unhackable? But yet the Fed’s can grab it? Strange world, maybe they should have buried those digits?

Global Disruption of Three Terror Finance Cyber-Enabled Campaigns
August 13, 2020

Largest Ever Seizure of Terrorist Organizations’ Cryptocurrency Accounts

The Justice Department today announced the dismantling of three terrorist financing cyber-enabled campaigns, involving the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing, al-Qaeda, and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). This coordinated operation is detailed in three forfeiture complaints and a criminal complaint unsealed today in the District of Columbia. These actions represent the government’s largest-ever seizure of cryptocurrency in the terrorism context.

These three terror finance campaigns all relied on sophisticated cyber-tools, including the solicitation of cryptocurrency donations from around the world. The action demonstrates how different terrorist groups have similarly adapted their terror finance activities to the cyber age. Each group used cryptocurrency and social media to garner attention and raise funds for their terror campaigns. Pursuant to judicially-authorized warrants, U.S. authorities seized millions of dollars, over 300 cryptocurrency accounts, four websites, and four Facebook pages all related to the criminal enterprise.

Funds successfully forfeited with a connection to a state sponsor of terrorism may in whole or in part be directed to the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund (http://www.usvsst.com/) after the conclusion of the case.

“It should not surprise anyone that our enemies use modern technology, social media platforms and cryptocurrency to facilitate their evil and violent agendas,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “The Department of Justice will employ all available resources to protect the lives and safety of the American public from terrorist groups. We will prosecute their money laundering, terrorist financing and violent illegal activities wherever we find them. And, as announced today, we will seize the funds and the instrumentalities that provide a lifeline for their operations whenever possible. I want to thank the investigators from the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the prosecutors from the D.C. United States Attorney’s Office and National Security Division for their hard and innovative work in attacking the networks that allow these terrorists to recruit for and fund their dangerous actions.”

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

Wow! What a great idea…unless you actually live in Austin. This of course was decided by people who swear 2+2=AT LEAST 5!

Austin City Council Votes To Cut Police Department Budget By One-Third, Reinvest Money In Social Services
August 13, 2020

The Austin City Council unanimously voted to cut its police department budget by $150 million on Thursday, after officers and the city’s top cop faced months of criticism over the killing of an unarmed Black and Hispanic man, the use of force against anti-police brutality protesters and the investigation of a demonstrator’s fatal shooting by another citizen.

Those criticisms coincided with protests across Texas and the country calling for reforms on police tactics and the “defunding” of law enforcement in favor of redistributing funds to social services and alternative public safety programs. The council’s move makes Austin the first of Texas’ four biggest cities to drastically cut police department funding. The share of the police department budget that was cut is among the largest percentage decreases in the nation this year.

Council member Greg Casar, who crafted the three-tiered plan to reduce the police department budget, said when the Austin community organizes and asks for change, he wants to make sure the council can respond effectively.

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

Just askin’ but, what if someone cracks down on Facebook…?

Facebook Cracks Down On Hate Speech And Expands Definition Of Antisemitism
August 11, 2020

Facebook is cracking down on hate speech, including antisemitism, on the platform, the social media company announced on Tuesday.

According to its updated community standards policy, the platform will now take down content that depicts “Jewish people running the world or controlling major institutions such as media networks, the economy or the government.” The platform will also take down posts that include “caricatures of black people in the form of blackface.”

The language is similar to the text of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism, which specifically cites “the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.”

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

Isn’t this like pre-paying a prostitute?

Landscape Of Rubble Persists As Minneapolis Demands Taxes In Exchange For Permits
August 13, 2020

In Minneapolis, on a desolate lot where Don Blyly’s bookstore stood before being destroyed in the May riots, two men finish their cigarettes and then walk through a dangerous landscape filled with slippery debris and sharp objects. The city won’t let Blyly haul away his wreckage without a permit, and he can’t get a contractor to tell him how much it will cost to rebuild the store until that happens.

In St. Paul, where Jim Stage’s pharmacy burned down during the same disturbances, crews have already removed the bricks and scorched timbers. A steel fence keeps out trespassers. Stage expects construction of his new Lloyd’s Pharmacy to begin later this month.

The main reason for the different recoveries is simple: Minneapolis requires owners to prepay the second half of their 2020 property taxes in order to obtain a demolition permit. St. Paul does not.

“Minneapolis has not been particularly friendly toward business for some time,” said Blyly, who prepaid $8,847 in taxes last week but still hasn’t received his demolition permit. “They say they want to be helpful, but they certainly have not been.”

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

Does the word “distribution” come to mind?

Trucking Company Announces It Won’t Deliver To Cities Pushing To Defund Police
August 12, 2020

A trucking company based in Illinois announced recently that it will no longer deliver to cities that are calling for police to be defunded.

Mike Kucharski, co-owner of JKC Trucking near Chicago, told Fox News last week that transporting valuable cargo into areas where a police presence may be reduced unnecessarily puts his drivers at risk.

“Our first priority is to support our drivers and their safety when they are on the road,” Kucharski said during an interview on “Fox & Friends First.”

Kucharski added that he is also concerned that his insurance coverage may change for delivering into states with reduced police presence when he renews his contracts at the end of the year.

“Another issue that I am seeing in the future is I have cargo insurance, liability insurance, fiscal damage insurance, and I am very curious how when I renew my contracts at the end of the year, if there is going to be language — if I am going to even have coverage going into these places,” he said.

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

What took you so long Warren?

I can’t believe my eyes! Warren Buffett sold bankshares and taken a position in Barrick Gold last quarter? Does this mean he no longer believes gold to be a “pet rock” dug out of the ground to be refined only to go back into another dark hole in the ground? His father (a US Senator) was an avid metals advocate for all the correct reasons, but his logic never rubbed off on Warren until now? What is different now? Can it be he finally sees how obviously bankrupt the US Treasury has become? Does he finally see the credit risk…of everything paper? Did someone finally show him that gold has increased in dollar terms since the year 2000 roughly eight fold…and done so with absolutely ZERO CREDIT RISK! Another way of stating this of course is the dollar has depreciated well in excess of 80% versus gold in just the last 20 years. For whatever the reason for his change of heart, we say; WELCOME TO THE PARTY! And…what took you so long?

Buffett’s Berkshire Buys Gold Miner Barrick, Slashes Wells Fargo And JPMorgan, Dumps Goldman Stake Amid Coronavirus
August 14, 2020

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. BRK BRK unloaded more than a quarter of its stake in Wells Fargo & Co. WFC and about 61% of its position in JPMorgan Chase JPM, while acquiring a new position in Barrick Gold Corp. GOLD, according to 13F filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the period ended Jun 30, that were released Friday afternoon. Berkshire’s moves appeared to reflect a broad lightening of the conglomerates exposure to large-capitalization banks during the worst public health crisis in generations. Berkshire sold 85.6 million shares of Wells Fargo, representing about 26% of its stake and putting its ownership to about 3% from 5.3%. The insurance conglomerate also shed 35.5 million shares of JPMorgan, 61% of its position, which now represents 1% of Berkshire’s overall portfolio from 3% in the prior period. Meanwhile, the investment firm acquired nearly 21 million shares of Barrick Gold worth $563 million, representing 0.3% of Berkshire’s holding. Berkshire also reduced its holding in PNC Financial Services PNC, selling 3.85 million shares to cut its position to 0.3% from 0.5%.

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

1/3rd? Do you really understand what this means? It IS OVER, but no one will speak of this.

Nearly A Third Of Americans Had Unpaid Housing Bills In August
August 14, 2020

Nearly a third of Americans for the fourth consecutive month failed to pay rent or mortgage payments in full. Personal finances of millions of folks have quickly deteriorated through summer. Unpaid housing bills are mounting as the virus-induced downturn continues to unleash the worst employment crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

A new survey via Apartment List, an online rental platform, found 32% of renters (and homeowners) entered August with unpaid housing bills. At least 20% of respondents owed more than $1,000. Among renters with back rent due, 49% have renegotiated lease agreements with their landlords or are doing so.

renters

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