The “Record Recovery”, At Least For Porsche

While the non-luxury auto-manufacturers suffered from a case of cannel-stuffed constipation in December, Luxury brands appeared to do very well thank you Mr. Bernanke:

  • *PORSCHE REPORTS RECORD SALES IN ’13 21% RISE OVER ’12
  • *PORSCHE CARS NORTH AMERICA DEC. SALES UP 10%

As the company notes, it “exceeded 40,000 sales for the first time in the history of Porsche in the US,” as the 911 sold 10,442 units and Cayenne 18,507 units.

 

 

Porsche PR Statement:

Porsche Reports Record Sales in 2013; 21 percent increase over 2012

Best-ever U.S. sales fueled by 911, Cayenne models

Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), the exclusive U.S. importer of Porsche sports cars including the Macan and Cayenne SUVs and the Panamera sports sedan, today announced it has once again set an all-time U.S. sales record, with 42,323 cars sold in 2013 (plus 21 percent over 2012). The previous record year for Porsche in the U.S. was 2012 when 35,043 cars were sold. In December 2013, Porsche dealers sold 3,246 cars, an increase of 10 percent over last December.

Exceeding 40,000 sales for the first time in the history of Porsche in the U.S. makes us very proud,” said Detlev von Platen, President and CEO, Porsche Cars North America, Inc. “This success was possible only through the combination of a strong product offering, a highly professional sales organization and a team of dedicated dealers,” he added. “Since introducing 22 new models and variants into the U.S. market in 2013, we are entering the New Year with our youngest product line ever – thus, we are confident that we can continue writing the success story of Porsche in the U.S. over the next 12 months.”

The flagship 911 completed a strong anniversary year in 2013, with 10,442 units sold and the introduction of six new model variants including the limited-edition “50^th Anniversary” model. In December, the top-of-the-line 911 models (GT3, Turbo, Turbo Cabriolet) arrived at U.S. dealers, with those models accounting for four percent of December 911 sales.

Sales of the mid-engine Boxster and Cayman models were equally strong, with a combined total of 7,953 units, representing a 137 percent increase year-over-year. The newly-launched Cayman and Cayman S models were popular as well, with 3,383 units sold.

The Cayenne line carried equal weight in the automaker’s 2013 sales success, with 18,507 sold in all of 2013 (plus 16 percent over last year). With sales of 5,386, the Cayenne Diesel had a 29 percent share of overall Cayenne sales. With the arrival of the Macan compact SUV, its fifth model line, in the spring of 2014 Porsche will be entering into the fastest-growing vehicle market with the sportiest cross-over in that segment.
 

Last year, Porsche recorded a roughly even split of sales between its four-door and two-door sports cars (57 percent/43 percent).

Certified Pre-Owned Sales finished 2013 at 10,130 units, up 7 percent over 2012 (9,506).

 

++++++++

Thank You Ben…


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/ywFCrhqxUyk/story01.htm Tyler Durden

The "Record Recovery", At Least For Porsche

While the non-luxury auto-manufacturers suffered from a case of cannel-stuffed constipation in December, Luxury brands appeared to do very well thank you Mr. Bernanke:

  • *PORSCHE REPORTS RECORD SALES IN ’13 21% RISE OVER ’12
  • *PORSCHE CARS NORTH AMERICA DEC. SALES UP 10%

As the company notes, it “exceeded 40,000 sales for the first time in the history of Porsche in the US,” as the 911 sold 10,442 units and Cayenne 18,507 units.

 

 

Porsche PR Statement:

Porsche Reports Record Sales in 2013; 21 percent increase over 2012

Best-ever U.S. sales fueled by 911, Cayenne models

Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), the exclusive U.S. importer of Porsche sports cars including the Macan and Cayenne SUVs and the Panamera sports sedan, today announced it has once again set an all-time U.S. sales record, with 42,323 cars sold in 2013 (plus 21 percent over 2012). The previous record year for Porsche in the U.S. was 2012 when 35,043 cars were sold. In December 2013, Porsche dealers sold 3,246 cars, an increase of 10 percent over last December.

Exceeding 40,000 sales for the first time in the history of Porsche in the U.S. makes us very proud,” said Detlev von Platen, President and CEO, Porsche Cars North America, Inc. “This success was possible only through the combination of a strong product offering, a highly professional sales organization and a team of dedicated dealers,” he added. “Since introducing 22 new models and variants into the U.S. market in 2013, we are entering the New Year with our youngest product line ever – thus, we are confident that we can continue writing the success story of Porsche in the U.S. over the next 12 months.”

The flagship 911 completed a strong anniversary year in 2013, with 10,442 units sold and the introduction of six new model variants including the limited-edition “50^th Anniversary” model. In December, the top-of-the-line 911 models (GT3, Turbo, Turbo Cabriolet) arrived at U.S. dealers, with those models accounting for four percent of December 911 sales.

Sales of the mid-engine Boxster and Cayman models were equally strong, with a combined total of 7,953 units, representing a 137 percent increase year-over-year. The newly-launched Cayman and Cayman S models were popular as well, with 3,383 units sold.

The Cayenne line carried equal weight in the automaker’s 2013 sales success, with 18,507 sold in all of 2013 (plus 16 percent over last year). With sales of 5,386, the Cayenne Diesel had a 29 percent share of overall Cayenne sales. With the arrival of the Macan compact SUV, its fifth model line, in the spring of 2014 Porsche will be entering into the fastest-growing vehicle market with the sportiest cross-over in that segment.
 

Last year, Porsche recorded a roughly even split of sales between its four-door and two-door sports cars (57 percent/43 percent).

Certified Pre-Owned Sales finished 2013 at 10,130 units, up 7 percent over 2012 (9,506).

 

++++++++

Thank You Ben…


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/ywFCrhqxUyk/story01.htm Tyler Durden

A World Drowning In Fatties: 1.5 Billion Of The World’s Adults – One In Three – Are Obese Or Overweight

While it will hardly come as a surprise that in the age of pervasive, accessible and cheap pink slime fast food, more people than ever are obese, the actual numbers may be a shock to most. Conveniently, quantifying the world’s obesity epidemic is precisely what the London-based Overseas Development Institute has done with a just released report titled Future Diets (pdf link). Its findings are stunning: more than a third of all adults in the world – 1.46 billion to be exact – are obese or overweight.



The main culprit: the development world, where the number of obese has nearly quadrupled from 250 million to 904 million between 1980 and 2008. What this means for the world’s soaring healthcare costs needs little explanation: “On current trends, globally, we will see a huge increase in the number of people suffering certain types of cancer, diabetes, strokes and heart attacks, putting an enormous burden on public healthcare systems.” according to the co-author of the Future Diets report. That’s ok, the already insolvent world, drowning in record debt, obviously can afford to spend even more on a record population of fatties.

AFP summarizes the report’s main findings:

The study said the rise in obesity was down to diets changing in developing countries where incomes were rising, with people shifting away from cereals and tubers to eating more meat, fats and sugar. The overconsumption of food, coupled with increasingly sedentary lives, was also to blame. The report said there seemed to be little will among the public and leaders to take action on influencing diet in the future.

 

“Governments have focused on public awareness campaigns, but evidence shows this is not enough,” said Wiggins.

 

“The lack of action stands in stark contrast to the concerted public actions taken to limit smoking in developed countries.

 

“Politicians need to be less shy about trying to influence what food ends up on our plates. The challenge is to make healthy diets viable whilst reducing the appeal of foods which carry a less certain nutritional value.”

Below are the report’s key findings straight from the horse’s mouth:

  • Over one third of all adults across the world – 1.46 billion people – are obese or overweight. Between 1980 and 2008, the numbers of people affected in the developing world more than tripled, from 250 million to 904 million. In high-income countries the numbers increased by 1.7 times over the same period.
  • Diets are changing wherever incomes are rising in the developing world, with a marked shift from cereals and tubers to meat, fats and sugar, as well as fruit and vegetables.
  • While the forces of globalisation have led to a creeping homogenisation in diets, their continued variation suggests that there is still scope for policies that can influence the food choices that people make.
  • Future diets that are rich in animal products, especially meat, will push up prices for meat, but surprisingly, not for grains. This suggests that future diets may matter more for public health than for agriculture.
  • There seems to be little will among public and leaders to take the determined action that is needed to influence future diets, but that may change in the face of the serious health implications. Combinations of moderate measures in education, prices and regulation may achieve far more than drastic action of any one type.

Some other pretty charts from the report:

So, in other words, as long as the overweight world can eat its cake, and have others pay for the diabetes medication fees, all is well. However, once this too unsustainable ponzi scheme ends, run. Or at least jog casually away, because one doesn’t have to outrun everyone… just the fattest. And there are a lot of those around.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/rPJTaa7XtjU/story01.htm Tyler Durden

A World Drowning In Fatties: 1.5 Billion Of The World's Adults – One In Three – Are Obese Or Overweight

While it will hardly come as a surprise that in the age of pervasive, accessible and cheap pink slime fast food, more people than ever are obese, the actual numbers may be a shock to most. Conveniently, quantifying the world’s obesity epidemic is precisely what the London-based Overseas Development Institute has done with a just released report titled Future Diets (pdf link). Its findings are stunning: more than a third of all adults in the world – 1.46 billion to be exact – are obese or overweight.



The main culprit: the development world, where the number of obese has nearly quadrupled from 250 million to 904 million between 1980 and 2008. What this means for the world’s soaring healthcare costs needs little explanation: “On current trends, globally, we will see a huge increase in the number of people suffering certain types of cancer, diabetes, strokes and heart attacks, putting an enormous burden on public healthcare systems.” according to the co-author of the Future Diets report. That’s ok, the already insolvent world, drowning in record debt, obviously can afford to spend even more on a record population of fatties.

AFP summarizes the report’s main findings:

The study said the rise in obesity was down to diets changing in developing countries where incomes were rising, with people shifting away from cereals and tubers to eating more meat, fats and sugar. The overconsumption of food, coupled with increasingly sedentary lives, was also to blame. The report said there seemed to be little will among the public and leaders to take action on influencing diet in the future.

 

“Governments have focused on public awareness campaigns, but evidence shows this is not enough,” said Wiggins.

 

“The lack of action stands in stark contrast to the concerted public actions taken to limit smoking in developed countries.

 

“Politicians need to be less shy about trying to influence what food ends up on our plates. The challenge is to make healthy diets viable whilst reducing the appeal of foods which carry a less certain nutritional value.”

Below are the report’s key findings straight from the horse’s mouth:

  • Over one third of all adults across the world – 1.46 billion people – are obese or overweight. Between 1980 and 2008, the numbers of people affected in the developing world more than tripled, from 250 million to 904 million. In high-income countries the numbers increased by 1.7 times over the same period.
  • Diets are changing wherever incomes are rising in the developing world, with a marked shift from cereals and tubers to meat, fats and sugar, as well as fruit and vegetables.
  • While the forces of globalisation have led to a creeping homogenisation in diets, their continued variation suggests that there is still scope for policies that can influence the food choices that people make.
  • Future diets that are rich in animal products, especially meat, will push up prices for meat, but surprisingly, not for grains. This suggests that future diets may matter more for public health than for agriculture.
  • There seems to be little will among public and leaders to take the determined action that is needed to influence future diets, but that may change in the face of the serious health implications. Combinations of moderate measures in education, prices and regulation may achieve far more than drastic action of any one type.

Some other pretty charts from the report:

So, in other words, as long as the overweight world can eat its cake, and have others pay for the diabetes medication fees, all is well. However, once this too unsustainable ponzi scheme ends, run. Or at least jog casually away, because one doesn’t have to outrun everyone… just the fattest. And there are a lot of those around.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/rPJTaa7XtjU/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Stocks Fade To Red As Oil Dumps And Gold Jumps

As Europe closes, the ‘recovery’ in US equities has faded to red for the majors (though Trannies and all the high-beta momos are still in the green thanks to JPY just not wanting the party to stop – for now) seeimngly led by AAPL’s plunge to its 50DMA. This morning’s jerk higher appears as much about BTFD catch up for Trannies than anything else. Bonds sold off modestly but the USD continues to surge (led by EUR weakness after ugly loan creation data). WTI crude (and Brent) is tumbling further – back at $94.50 – but gold is surging back to yesterday’s highs at around $1236. VIX is stable for now around 14% as stocks rotate back to play catch-down.

 

VIX is stable as stocks catch back down to it…

 

S&P 500 futures rallied to previous support and faded back quickly….

 

But gold keeps pushing higher as Oil tumbles…

 

It appears the high-beta BTFD-ers were in early but are fading now…


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/4d9_jEQFSc8/story01.htm Tyler Durden

The Future of Money: A Matter of Functions Four, a Medium, a Measure, a Standard, a Store!

So, what is money? According to Wikipedia

Money is any object or record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given socio-economic context or country. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange; a unit of account; a store of value; and, occasionally in the past, a standard of deferred payment. Any kind of object or secure verifiable record that fulfills these functions can be considered money.

When currency is stable, money can serve all four of the functions above. Things get trickier when currencies are not stable. If we were all to be honest with ourselves, we’d have to query, “What fiat currency is truly stable over time?”.

 

When unstable currencies or engineered forms of financial capital are brought into play the fourth aspect of defined money (and the least addressed) gains significantly in importance. Here we must differentiate and distinguish between true capital (economic capital) which comprises physical goods that explicitly and directly assist in the production of other goods and services, e.g. hammers for carpenters, paintbrushes for painters, wrenches for plumbers, tooling for factories, etc., and financial capital. Financial capital is funds provided by lenders and/or investors to businesses and entrepeneurs to purchase economic capital (ie.equipment) for producing real goods and services.

To explain why the 4th aspect of money’s definition is important, yet often and in my opinion purposely ignored, let’s examine the three concepts of capital maintenance in terms of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS): (1) Physical capital maintenance (2) Financial capital maintenance in nominal monetary units (3) Financial capital maintenance in units of constant purchasing power.

  1. Physical (economic) capital – We have covered already.
  2. Financial capital in monetary units is best described as basic accounting. It’s how most financial reporting is done in the states (and in Europe). It fails to take into consideration the constant destruction of value of the fiat currencies, an aspect of the definition of money that is a foundation of money itself!
  3. Financial capital measured in constant purchasing power – something that effectively never happens. It is the “Real” value of money, adjusted for destructive aspects, ex. inflation, particularly purposeful inflation brought upon by a banking system that attempts to adjust and control the prices of goods and services for its own end (as opposed to the end that will benefit the masses) through the artificial manipulation of the value of the means of exchange, the currency.

Financial capital is provided by lenders for a price, commonly known as interest. This  price to attain financial capital is not the only cost though, for the price of the financial capital provided by lenders through things such as debt does not take into account the cost of currency maintenance destruction, or the purposeful manipulation of the currency value by the lender or lending system to which the lender belongs to to further its own means. This is why the prudent may wish to identify a single standard of deferred payment to avoid purposeful manipulation (otherwise known as cheating) by transacting in a denominator of debt that the participant believes to be dropping in value, ie. fiat currency!

Relation to debt-based society

A debt in any form is essentially a deferred payment. The fourth definintion of money, standard of deferred payment,  is usually what the debts are denominated in. The value of any and all money – including the most liquid and deep, ex. dollars or euros, or the oldest and revered, ex. gold and silver, or the newest and least understood, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies – may fluctuate over time via inflation and deflation and often through direct manipulation and unforeseen results that stem from the same. The value of deferred payments (the real level of debt) likewise fluctuates.

Money, as Leading Economists Such As Paul Krugman Appear To Know It, Is Obsolete – There’s a New Sheriff In Town

The definitions of money mentioned above are predicated upon the assumption that money must be dumb! What I mean by this is that money was defined in a time when the store of value was an inanimante object designed to represent a simple binary concept of buy or sell, that had no abilities other than to look or appear as if it had the value believingly bestowed upon it by society – or at least two of the participants in a particular transaction. What if money in this digital day and age was smart? What if money was able to do things besides just sit there and be called money?

Here’s an example…

Historically, and up until now, deferred payment was/is based on enforceability of debts and rule of law. The rule of law, particularly engagement within the legal system is destructively expensive, time consuming and essentially the antithesis of friction free commerce, ex. capitalism. The rule of law is generally not relied upon when debts are unlikely to be collectable. For illegal transactions, or for low or zero trust transactions, gold or diamonds may be preferred as the medium of exchange and in those circumstaces there is no recourse in case of counterfeit currency (bogus, bank peddeled Mortgage Backed Securities, fake US dollars, etc.) is being used. — and there is rarely any deferral of payment: if there is, it will most likely be stated in dollars – which brings us back to where we started.

What if currency was smart enough to act upon a predetermined set of parameters, even after being released to the payee? What if trust never had to be a factor in negotiation fo payment, even in a negative trust environment? What if the highly ineffecient legal system could be wholly avoided in the risk/reward calculation of a monetary transaction? Would the existence of this possibility, in essence, demand a 5th definition for money – intelligence and/or malleability? You see, the cryptographic digital currencies are smart as compared to the dumb dollar or euro, or yen or yuan! It is this intelligent ability to control money during a transaction and even post transaction, the abilty to instruct money to disburse iteslf only open mutual agreement by all parties present, that appears to elude the prominent MSM economists of today. 

Furthermore, dumb money as purely fiat is truly without physical value or utility value as a physical or digital commodity. It derives its value by being declared by a government to be legal tender; that is, it must be accepted as a form of payment within the boundaries of the country, for all debts, public and private – including taxes, where in the US, it is the only currency accepted. Laws in place such as these essentially imbue fiat money with the value of any of the goods and services that it may be traded for within the nation that issues it. The fact remains though, the value of fiat money is held in belief and belief only, enforced by the whims of government. With this being the case, there is no true utility argument to be made for fiat currencies, including the USD.

Digital cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, however, have an implicit edge on the fiat currencies in that its utility (or use value) is dramatically leveraged as compared to fiat because it comes part and parcel with its own, virtually unassailable transmission system. In essence, this means that if Bitcoin, the USD and the EUR were cars, BTC would be the only one that comes with its own international roads open 24/7 that were able to bypass all of the toll roads and bridges, everywhere there was an Internet connection – not to mention power itself with a virtual fuel that was limitless and had no costs. Now, if one were to think of it, such an aspect is so valuable and useful (as in utilitarian) that not only does it qualify for significant use value, but in the very near future one could wonder how the world ever got along without it. Does this mean that a sixth aspect of the definition of money needs to be added – autonomous transferability!

This is why I say there’s a new sheriff in town and the old schoolers whose eyes are not yet open should recognize that the future of money is here!

According to famed economist and NY Times pundit Paul Krugman, “To be successful, money must be both a medium of exchange and a reasonably stable store of value. And it remains completely unclear why BitCoin should be a stable store of value.”

I counter these widely believed assumptions with the fact that the USD, the world’s reserve currency, has not been a stable store of value. As a matter of fact, from its underpinnings (as described in the BoomBustBlog link below) and throughout its history, the dollar has consistently lost its value over time to inflation. Thus, as per Krugman, the USD is not successful!

As per Wikipedia:

To be widely acceptable, a medium of exchange should have stable purchasing power (Value) and therefore it should possess the following characteristics:

  1. Value common assets
  2. Constant utility [I have explained the constant utility of Bitcoin above, a utility which trumps the relatively dumb dollar]
  3. Low cost of preservation [the cost of preservation is a fraction of that of the dollar, with constant reprinting of physical dollars and coins and the power, machinery and labor required to do so; as well as the recircutlation of those new bills, not to mention the destrcution of the old bills]
  4. Transportability [This is moderately difficult with large amounts of physical bills, but much easier with the digital manifestation of those physical bills that most institutions deal with. The mere existence of the banks as necessary intermediaries and middlemen add signficant, and in this day and age of P2P technology, unnecessary costs and frictions and rules. This hampers portability significantly – no transfers on weekends and bank holidays, no low margin business models due to artificially high transaction costs, big up Visa, Mastercard and Paypal!)
  5. Divisibility
  6. High market value in relation to volume and weight [Bitcoin can’t be beat in this regard]
  7. Recognisability
  8. Resistance to counterfeiting [A currency based on cryptography, need I say more?!]

As quoted from the Wikpedia link above:

“fiat money is the root cause of the continuum of economic crises, since it leads to the dominance of fraud, corruption, and manipulation precisely because it does not satisfy the criteria for a medium of exchange cited above. Specifically, prevailing fiat money is free float and depending upon its supply market finds or sets a value to it that continues to change as the supply of money is changed with respect to the economy’s demand. Increasing free floating money supply with respect to needs of the economy reduces the quantity of the basket of the goods and services to which it is linked by the market and that provides it purchasing power. Thus it is not a unit or standard measure of wealth and its manipulation impedes the market mechanism by that it sets/determine just prices. That leads us to a situation where no value-related economic data is just or reliable.[3][4] 

I will continue this missive in part 2 of the series wherein I will announce my efforts in bringing the beneftis of smart money to light. I’m sure these concepts and products will blow your socks off, even if you are an old school economist! For those who don’t follow me, this is who I am. – Who is Reggie Middleton? I believe track record speaks louder than Op-Ed columns, degrees or TV show appearances. Let me know if you agree…


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/bfCDK6VLNkw/story01.htm Reggie Middleton

NJ Weedman Leaves Jail Once a Month For Medical Marijuana Treatment, Running a “Just Say No” Campaign Against Chris Christie for President

you can vote for him sometimesIn late 2012, a New Jersey jury found
marijuana activist and medical marijuana user Ed Forchion, AKA the
NJ Weedman, not guilty of a possession with intent charge.
Subsequently, Forchion, who had moved to California and opened a
medical marijuana dispensary, claimed the DEA was targeting him and
his dispensary
in part because
he beat the New Jersey charge.

Now the Weedman is back in New Jersey,
serving
a nine month “staggered” prison sentence on a 2010
marijuana possession conviction and related probation violation.
Forchion’s sentence is staggered because he’s allowed to leave for
ten days every month for bone cancer treatment, which includes
taking medical marijuana. He’s not stopped his marijuana activism
while in jail, either. My 9 NJ
reports
:

Forchion’s latest endeavor is the “Just Say No To
Governor Christie” campaign.

“Governor Christie made a political point to be opposed to the
marijuana laws and cannabis laws and just taking a cue from the
“Just Say No” campaign I figured I would put out the ads nationally
to opposed Governor Christie’s campaign for presidency,” Forchion
said.

Forchion has voiced his displeasure in the past with the difficulty
to get a medical marijuana card in New Jersey and the lack of
recipients who have been approved compared to the amount of people
who need it.

Last year, a New Jersey medical marijuana patient and his physician

sued
the state government of New Jersey, alleging the Christie
administration was sabotaging the medical marijuana program by
deliberately delaying the approval of applications and missing
required reports.

Christie is
widely expected
to make a run for the Republican nomination for
president in 2016,
positioning
himself as an anti-libertarian candidate.

Related, Reason TV talked with Forchion last year about how jury
nullification got him his 2012 not guilty verdict. Watch below:

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/03/nj-weedman-leaves-jail-once-a-month-for
via IFTTT

General Mills Succumbs to Anti-Biotech Activist Lies – Removes GMO Ingredients from Cheerios

NoGMOCheeriosGeneral Mills has announced that it will remove
ingredients derived from genetically enhanced crops – corn starch
and sugar – from its regular Cheerios. The new Cheerios boxes will
be labelled as “Not Made With Genetically Modified Ingredients.”
The company is doing this despite the fact that it acknowledges
that there is no evidence that current varieties of biotech crops
pose any health or safety risks to people. In fact, the
company’s own crop biotechnology information
website plainly
states:

On safety – our number one priority – we find broad global
consensus among food and safety regulatory bodies that approved GM
ingredients are safe….

Global food safety experts will note there has not been a single
incident of harm to health or safety demonstrably linked to the use
of GMOs anywhere in the world. Numerous studies have found
certain benefits, however.

With regard to the company’s Cheerios announcement,
Reuters
reports:

“It’s not about safety. Biotech seeds, also known as genetically
modified seeds, have been approved by global food safety agencies
and widely used by farmers in global food crops for almost 20
years,” Tom Forsythe, vice president of Global Communications for
General Mills, said in the blog post. “And it was never about
pressure. In fact, this change is not much of a change at all.”

The company hopes that “consumers may embrace” its decision to
move away from GM ingredients.

Never about pressure? Maybe not, but the activist group
Green America
has been orchestrating an online anti-biotech
letter writing campaign against Cheerios for the past year. Green
America’s suggested letter perpetuates these
lies about the safety
of biotech crops:

As a company that purports to be nourishing lives, why do you
include ingredients in your foods that may be harmful to human
health?…

As a company that purports to be responsible, why do you include
GMOs that are causing harm to the environment and farmers?

As it happens, another General Mills’ spokesperson was a bit
more forthcoming about succumbing to pressure. From the

Wall Street Journal
:

“There is broad consensus that food containing GMOs is safe, but
we decided to move forward with this in response to consumer
demand,” said Mike Siemienas, spokesman for General Mills.

General Mills is a private company and obviously has the right
to make decisions within the law that it believes will benefit its
stockholders. It’s just sad that the company has decided not to
defend its customers against activist disinformation and has
instead chosen to mislead consumers about the safety of modern
biotech agriculture.

By the way, a
comprehensive review
of the nearly 2,000 peer-reviewed studies
that have investigated the safety of biotech crops over the past
ten years was published this fall in the journal Critical
Reviews in Biotechnology
. The researchers report:

We have reviewed the scientific literature on GE [genetically
engineered] crop safety for the last 10 years that catches the
scientific consensus matured since GE plants became widely
cultivated worldwide, and we can conclude that the scientific
research conducted so far has not detected any significant hazard
directly connected with the use of GM crops.

For more background, see my article, “The
Top 5 Lies About Biotech Crops
.”

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/03/cheerios-succumbs-to-anti-biotech-activi
via IFTTT

Majority of Americans Continue To Favor Legal Marijuana

Smoke upI
wrote yesterday
about the new
AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll
(PDF) revealing
Americans’ deep disdain for the ability of government to
accomplish…anything. But that wasn’t the only good news buried in
the long survey. Tagged on to the end was a question about
marijuana legalization. Once again, a majority of respondents are
all for it.

In the case of the AP-NORC poll, released as
newly legal recreational marijuana sales
make national
headlines, 52 percent of those surveyed support legalizing
marijuana, with 45 percent opposed.

Legal pot poll

This has become something of a trend in polling, with a
49 percent plurality
telling Reason-Rupe just last month that
they support legal pot. In October,
58 percent of respondents
to a Gallup poll supported legal
marijuana.

Results vary a bit depending on how the question is framed.
Asking people if they
favor treating marijuana like alcohol
tends to get higher “yes”
numbers than asking them about legalization. The increasing
frequency of outright majorities favoring overt legalization shows
a major shift in public opinion in recent years. That’s not a
shocker in a country where
42.4 percent of us have tried grass
at one time or another,
according to the World Health Organization. Hell, the Denver
Post

hired an editor to cover the marijuana beat
full time.

David Brooks would say that we’re all
just encouraging marijuana use
, with our permissive
opinionizing. He’s wrong. I may encourage it—if it works
for you, that is—but most people likely believe it’s not worth
arresting and jailing people, and ruining their lives, because they
choose this intoxicant over a beer.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/03/majority-of-americans-continue-to-favor
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75% Of Spaniards Don’t Believe Rajoy’s “Economic Recovery” Meme

With unemployment stuck at record highs and loan delinquencies surging (as we discussed here, here and here), it is hardly surprising that El Economista reports that more than two-thirds of Spaniards do not believe the “recovery” promised by Prime Minister Rajoy has been created. While Cramer ignorantly confidently espoused this morning that Spain is recovering (and with Spanish stocks and bonds back near pre-crisis levels), a massive 75% of the Spanish people believe their personal situation will be the same or worse in 2014.

 

 

Via El Economista (Google Translate),

The Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, and closed over the 2013 promising that the new year would be the “economic recovery”…. More than two thirds of the Spanish population momentum promised by the leader of the executive is not created.

 

This emerges from a survey released Wednesday by the newspaper El Mundo… a mere 17% trust the recovery next year and 8% estimated that recovery has actually happened in the latter part of 2013.

 

Curious that, in this study by Sigma Dos, to the Popular Party voters distrust the information provided by the Government. 47% of respondents who said they voted in the party believe that the dominant trend for next year is pessimistic and start putting the recovery in 2015.

 

For other years, the hunch of Spanish has gotten worse. If a year ago 30% of Spaniards saw in 2014 the year of recovery, now that number is down to 17% already cited.

 

With regard to the personal situation of respondents, only 20% believe their life from the economic point of view better. 75% believe it will do the same or worse.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/I7edYieJNms/story01.htm Tyler Durden