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“Rapidly Intensifying” Hurricane Irma Barreling Straight Toward The East Coast

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has just updated its forecast for what it is now referring to as a “rapidly intensifying” Category 2 hurricane in the Eastern Atlantic ocean and the results look disastrous for a large swath of the Caribbean and Southeastern United States.  Here is a brief summary of Hurricane Irma from the National Hurricane Center released at 11AM EST:

Satellite images indicate that Irma is rapidly intensifying. Very deep convection has formed in the central dense overcast, which is now displaying a small and clearing eye.  Dvorak estimates were up to 77 kt at 1200 UTC, and since the cloud pattern continues to quickly become more organized, the initial wind speed is set to 85 kt.


At 1100 AM AST (1500 UTC), the center of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 16.9 North, longitude 33.8 West. Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h).  This general motion is forecast through early Friday, followed by a generally westward motion on Saturday.


Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 100 mph (155 km/h) with higher gusts.  Irma is forecast to become a major hurricane by tonight and is expected to be an extremely dangerous hurricane for the next several days.


Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles (30 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km).

A 50% chance that the northern Antilles experiences a Hurricane landfall next week; topography may cause models some issues with intensity.

— Michael Ventrice (@MJVentrice) August 31, 2017

Irma is expected to grow into a “major hurricane” within the next 24 hours with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph before growing even stronger throughout the weekend and eventually becoming a Category 4 storm.


The storm is moving west at roughly 10 mph and isn’t expected to pose its first threat to land until next week.



That said, longer term models suggest that Irma could make a turn to the northwest towards the middle of next week and head straight for Florida.


Meanwhile, other computer models predict that Hurricane Irma will move through the Gulf of Mexico and make its U.S. landfall in Texas just 2 weeks after Hurricane Harvey devastated the state.

Major development: The best ECMWF EPS members via initialization score are west of ensemble mean track, taking #Irma into the Gulf of Mexico

— Michael Ventrice (@MJVentrice) August 31, 2017

That said, a lot could obviously change over the next week and, as the NHC notes, Irma is currently tracking further south than models predicted as of yesterday.

Irma has moved somewhat south of and slower than all of the model guidance since yesterday.  Consequently, it stayed longer over the warmer ocean temperatures away from the drier air to the north, possibly allowing the rapid strengthening.  Irma should move over cooler waters tomorrow with some increase in mid-level dry air, so hopefully the hurricane’s intensity will level off by then.  In a few days, the hurricane will be moving over warmer waters with light shear shown by all of the model guidance.  This should promote further strengthening of Irma, and the NHC forecast shows an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane next week, similar to the solutions provided by the HWRF and the ECMWF models. The intensity forecast is raised considerably from the previous one due to initial trends, and is on the high end of the guidance at long range.

Of course, with FEMA resources already stretched thin by Hurricane Harvey, another U.S. landfall of a Cat 4 hurricane could be devastating blow.

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As Babies are Prescribed Pharmaceuticals, Have We Reached Dystopia?

Via The Daily Bell

Would you let a five-year-old smoke a joint? I certainly hope not. Yet that would probably be less harmful than loading kids up on pharmaceuticals.

Currently, over a million American children UNDER SIX YEARS OLD are taking psychiatric drugs. Babies are literally being doped up by the pharmaceutical industry. Over 274,000 babies UNDER ONE-YEAR-OLD are given drugs, mostly for anxiety.

Anxiety drugs for babies. Have they tried motherly love? Or is that just an old fashioned, outdated concept?

You know, I like to mention society’s similarity to Orwell’s 1984. And surely the growing police state, war on drugs, and endless military campaigns–where the enemy seems to change daily–are reminiscent of the fictional dictatorship of Big Brother.

But it seems the powers that be are working tirelessly to blend together the dystopia of 1984, with that of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

In that dystopia, there is no police state or war. Society has been perfectly designed by scientists, inspired by Ford’s assembly line. Babies are grown in the lab, cloned to all look alike, depending on their class. Parents are an embarrassing relic of the past. How silly to think a child needs family when they have the state!

The lower castes are deprived of oxygen as embryos to stunt their mental development. In America, they use fluoride in the drinking water instead.

In Brave New World, children listen to 24-hour propaganda in their cribs. Betas hear:

Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they’re so frightfully clever. I’m really awfully glad I’m a Beta, because I don’t work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don’t want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse.

White pride, black pride, gay pride, national pride. Pride is not meant for accidents of birth. You should be proud of accomplishments and achievements, not genetics and geography. Perhaps someone has been whispering in these radicalized children’s ears.

And how jealous the Department of Education must be of the incubators of Brave New World! They have to sometimes wait years to indoctrinate children. But at least the government gets to drug them up at a young age! And if the TV is left on, most of the programming is done for them.

Of course, the adults are drugged up in Brave New World as well, just like in America. If anyone feels the least bit anxious, nervous, sad–or any other troublesome emotion–they get “soma.” It’s the perfect mix of drugs with only pleasant feelings and no ill side effects.

The 1 in 6 Americans on antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anti-anxiety medication still have to put up with side effects.

The 50 million plus Americans on psychiatric medication sometimes kill themselves, or go mad and kill others. I guess the government is still working out the kinks. Or it’s just another creative blending of 1984 and Brave New World. In the former, the proles must be properly terrified.

And there is one more thing I can remember from Brave New World that strikes eerily similar to modern America.

At what age does the public education system start teaching sex ed? Kindergarteners in some states receive “age appropriate”–according to the government–sexual education. Some studies suggest teen pregnancies rise in areas where sex ed is taught at younger ages.

How young is too young for a sex change? Kids can now choose between 43 genders, or make up a new one! It’s like Mr. Potato head, but with their own bodies. And they will be given corresponding drugs to enhance the “natural” changes.

In the classrooms of Brave New World:

“We had Elementary Sex for the first forty minutes,” she answered. “But now it’s switched over to Elementary Class Consciousness.”

The Director walked slowly down the long line of cots. Rosy and relaxed with sleep, eighty little boys and girls lay softly breathing…

He let out the amazing truth. For a very long period before the time of Our Ford, and even for some generations afterwards, erotic play between children had been regarded as abnormal (there was a roar of laughter); and not only abnormal, actually immoral (no!): and had therefore been rigorously suppressed.

Drugging the population, programming citizens with propaganda, sexualizing children, creating class divisions.

These dystopian novels were meant to be warnings, not instruction manuals.

Aldous Huxley explores how his fictional predictions progressed in his 2006 nonfiction work, Brave New World Revisited.



I like to use Audible to listen to books while doing mindless tasks like weeding the garden. Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks.

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Same Day FX Wars? Dollar Tumbles After Mnuchin Says “Weaker Dollar Better”, Undoing Euro Losses

The smell of currency war is rising in the air.

Less than six hours after the ECB lobbed the first trial balloon of the day, when Reuters reported that ECB policymakers were “growing worried” about the recent rapid gains in the Euro, sending the EURUSD sharply, if briefly lower, the entire move is now a distant memory following jawboning from US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who moments ago said on CNBC that “having a weaker dollar is somewhat better for trade“, a statement which immediately spooked algos into dumping the USD…

… selling the USDJPY by 30 pips to 109.90…

… and sending the EURUSD right back to 1.19, where it was before the ECB’s Reuters “intervention.”

And while Mnuchin also added that a strong USD in the long-term “reflects confidence”, algos decided to ignore that. His key statement below:

As it relates to trade, having a weaker dollar is somewhat better for us. What I’ve said consistently is: Where the dollar is in the short-term is less of a concern for me. I do think over long periods of time, the dollar strength is an indication of the reserve currency and the confidence that people have in the U.S. economy.”

Then again, when asked by Liesman if a strong dollar is good for the U.S., he responded “it’s not a question of whether it’s better or not, it’s somewhat inevitable given the strength of the U.S. economy and the confidence that people have.”

While not nearly as FX moving, Mnuchin also said that the Administration’s aim is to get a 15% tax rate, explicitly said he was working with Gary Cohn and other lawmakers on the tax plan. Mnuchin also said that he meets with Yellen on a weekly basis and has a “constructive dialog” with the Fed chair, although he refused to comment on her future, and said Trump would decide the next Fed chair.

More amusingly, on the topic of the tax package he vowed that “there absolutely is a tax package”, that revenue neutrality remains under discussion, and promised that the tax reform package will pacy for itself with US “growth.”

Finally, he said that while more money is needed for Harvey, he wouldn’t say how much, while on the topic of the debt ceiling he did note that “nobody would let the US default.”

His key comments courtesy of Bloomberg:


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MARKET WATCH: NYMEX gasoline climbing, crude price for October settles below $46/bbl

The light, sweet crude oil price for October delivery fell to settle below $46/bbl while gasoline futures jumped for a third consecutive day Aug. 30 in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Harvey’s flooding, prompting multiple refinery closing along the Gulf of Mexico coast.

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Motiva shutters Port Arthur refinery

Motiva Enterprises LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Aramco’s
Saudi Refining Inc. (SRI), has suspended processing operations at its
600,000-b/d Port Arthur, Tex., refinery, the largest in the US, amid
inclement weather conditions caused by Tro…

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Lebanon arrests Daesh commander

Lebanese authorities detained and interrogated a suspected Daesh commander and referred his case to a special court, Lebanon’s state news agency NNA reported today. Security forces arrested the man in Arsal, a town in northeastern Lebanon near the enclave Daesh held until a Lebanese army offensive pushed them from it last week. During interrogation the man confessed to participation in several attacks in Lebanon as well as recruitment, smuggling, kidnapping, arms procurement and financing Daesh operations, NNA reported. Read: Lebanon claims ‘victory’ over terror near Syria border A military investigative judge in Lebanon today charged 39 individuals of Syrian, Palestinian and Lebanese nationalities with belonging to and promoting the ideology of Daesh. Daesh has carried out several attacks in Lebanon […]

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US dismisses $34bn lawsuit against pro-Israeli donors

A US Federal court has dismissed a lawsuit against pro-Israeli American donors accused of contributing to war crimes and ethnic cleansing in Palestine, on the grounds that it does not have the jurisdiction to pass judgement on the case. District of Columbia Judge Tanya S. Chutkan ruled this week on the lawsuit filed in March 2016 by a group of American Palestinians who live in the occupied West Bank. Payment of damages of up to $34.5 billion was demanded from US businessmen, charities, companies and corporate profiteers who support the construction of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. The claimant, including Bassem Al-Tamimi from the village of Nabi Salah, charged 49 pro-Israeli donors including multi billionaire Sheldon Adelson of supporting […]

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Kufpec to add another 15% interest Gina Krog field off Norway

Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co. KSC
wholly owned subsidiary Kufpec Norway AS has reached agreement to
acquire 15% interest in Gina Krog field from Total E&P Norge AS for
$317 million.

The post Kufpec to add another 15% interest Gina Krog…

U.S. Taps Strategic Petroleum Reserve After Hurricane Harvey

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry authorized on Thursday an emergency release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) of 500,000 barrels of crude oil after Hurricane Harvey disrupted the petroleum industry in Texas and Louisiana, and led to motor fuel price spikes and shortages. “In response to the impacts from Hurricane Harvey, the U.S. Secretary of Energy has authorized the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to negotiate and execute an emergency exchange agreement with the Phillips 66 Lake Charles Refinery. This decision will authorize…

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