More money for crony corporations at the expense of the working dead. These so called “free trade agreements” are the worst. If developed nations export all the jobs overseas to third world sweatshops and call that “globalizing” economic development… it’s no wonder ppl are listening to Trump the blowhard!

♪Mozart – Nozze di Figaro – act IV – “Contessa perdono”

Le Nozze di Figaro : The Marriage of Figaro
Opera buffa in quattro atti : Comic opera in four acts
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
Libretto: Lorenzo da Ponte (1749 – 1838)
First performed: Vienna, Burgtheater 1st May 1786


COUNT ALMAVIVA – baritone.
COUNTESS ALMAVIVA – soprano, previously Rosina, ward of BARTOLO.
SUSANNA – soprano, the COUNTESS’ chambermaid, engaged to FIGARO.
FIGARO - bass, the COUNT’s manservant, previously the Barber of Seville, 
engaged to SUSANNA.
CHERUBINO – mezzo-soprano, in love with everyone.
MARCELLINA – mezzo-soprano, in love with FIGARO, previously BARTOLO’s 
DON BARTOLO – bass, previously Rosina’s guardian.
DON BASILIO - tenor, previously music teacher employed by BARTOLO to 
teach COUNTESS, now the COUNT’s middleman for his various romantic affairs.
DON CURZIO - tenor, a judge.
BARBARINA – soprano, ANTONIO’s daughter and SUSANNA’s cousin, in love with
ANTONIO - bass, gardener in the COUNT’s gardens, Barbarina's father, 
Susanna's uncle.
Two young girls.
Chorus of Peasants.

Note: Perhaps three years previously, in the events of The Barber of Seville,
Figaro helped the younger Count Almaviva win Rosina away from her cunning old
guardian Bartolo, and was hired as the Count’s manservant in gratitude. Now
tired of his wife, the Count has for some time been looking elsewhere for 
female company, and his gratitude to Figaro has soured: not least because 
his eyes have lighted on Figaro’s fiancee, the Countess’ chambermaid, 
Susanna.  Being a young man of the Age of Enlightenment, the Count has 
recently revoked his traditional droit de seigneur, and is rather regretting
it.  Bartolo, meanwhile, nurses a grudge against Figaro for his trickery in
depriving Bartolo of his ward (and the dowry he hoped to keep by marrying her
himself), while his former housekeeper, Marcellina, has her own designs on 

Final Act: IL CONTE:                            COUNT:
[s'inginocchia ai piedi              [kneeling at the Countess's feet]
della Contessa]                                        
Contessa, perdono!                   Countess, pardon me!
LA CONTESSA:                         COUNTESS:
Più docile io sono,                  I am gentler,
e dico di sì.                        and I grant it you.
TUTTI:                               ALL:
Ah, tutti contenti                   Ah, all will now
saremo così.                         be happy.
Questo giorno di tormenti,           This day of torments,
di capricci, e di follia,            of caprice, of folly,
in contenti e in allegria            in content and happiness
solo amor può terminar.              only love can end it.
Sposi, amici, al ballo, al gioco,    Friends, lovers, to dance, to play,
alle mine date foco!                 set off the fireworks!
Ed al suon di lieta marcia           And to the sound of gay music
corriam tutti a festeggiar!          let us all run to celebrate!

Translation by Hannah Kilpatrick (http://ceirseach.blogspot.com/).  
Free for private use; for use in program notes and/or productions, please 
let me know and give credit appropriately in the program.

3 signs we’ve reached ‘the top’ in the financial system

December 12, 2015

Cape Town, South Africa

It was 1720, and Paris was completely mad.

The city’s brand new stock exchange, located at the ultra-swanky Hotel de Soissons, swarmed with citizens of all stripes looking to get rich.

Stocks were still a novel concept back then, and the allure of getting rich overnight was so appealing that people lined up for hours to buy shares.

The most popular was the ill-fated Mississippi Company, whose share price frequently rose up to 20% in the course of a single morning.

It was said fortunes changed so quickly that people often woke up poor and went to bed rich.

Newfound wealth was visible everywhere. Luxury home construction boomed. Lucky speculators erected statues of themselves. The jewelry market surged.

Of course, it didn’t last. Within a few years, the market crashed, and the Mississippi Company went down in history as one of the greatest bubbles of all times.

Looking back it should have been obvious.

In fact, all great financial bubbles often have watershed moments that in many ways signify the height of lunacy.

Joseph Kennedy, for example, famously sold all of his stocks right before the great crash in 1929 after a shoeshine boy started giving him investment advice.

Pets.com, a symbol of the 1990s tech bubble, IPO’d just two years after it was founded with a $300 million market capitalization.

They were so flush with capital that they spent $2 million on a tacky Superbowl ad, only to go bust 268 days later.

Duh. It’s so obvious looking back.

I’ve long believed our entire financial system is in a similar position.

Western banking systems are dangerously illiquid and in many cases undercapitalized.

Meanwhile the central banks and governments meant to support them are nearly insolvent and bankrupt themselves.

There are a lot of flashing warning signs right now that the system is quickly running out of steam.

China’s vast, multi-trillion dollar stockpile of foreign reserves is dropping rapidly, down by $87 billion in November, the third highest decline on record.

A whopping $1.2 trillion worth of corporate bonds in the United States has just been downgraded by rating agencies.

Median home prices in over a third of major American cities have once again surpassed all-time highs from the last bubble.

US government debt is at an all-time high after rising an astounding $674 billion just in the month of November.

It’s pretty clear there’s an incredible amount of risk in the system.

And in the future when we look back and say, “It should have been so obvious,” here are a few events that may become famous watershed moments:

1) The $75 billion loan

AB InBev just secured an astonishing $75 BILLION loan to buy rival SABMiller.

This is the biggest commercial loan in the history of the world, roughly equivalent to the GDP of Azerbaijan.

It’s incredible that anyone is able to borrow an amount like this, let alone at the low rate of just 1.1% above LIBOR.

It’s not a stretch to think that we may look back at this and say, ‘that was the top… what an obvious example of how much money central bankers have printed.’

2) The junk bond collapse

Back in 2013, the yield on ‘high yield corporate bonds’ aka junk bonds dipped below 5% for the first time in history.

It shouldn’t have taken a rocket scientist to figure out how absurd that was, but now that the trend is reversing and the junk bond market is stalling investors are losing their shirts.

One hedge fund that had invested heavily in junk bonds just suspended redemptions for its investors, something only really done in times of crisis.

This could be the historical watershed moment that signals the beginning of the end of our massive financial bubble.

3) The POPPY Loan [my favorite]

San Francisco Federal Credit Union wants to help its customers buy unaffordable homes in the astonishingly overpriced region of northern California.

So they just rolled out a new loan program called the Proud Ownership Purchase Program for You, or POPPY for short.

POPPY loans allow customers to borrow up to $2 MILLION with absolutely no money down.

And no, I am not making this up.

$0 down. $2 million. At 4% interest.

Oh, and you don’t have to take out private mortgage insurance (PMI) either.

If you’re not familiar, PMI is something that banks typically require when borrowers don’t contribute a sufficient down payment; it insures the bank against loss in case the borrower defaults.

So here the bank is taking 100% of the financial risk lending against property in an overpriced market that’s near its all-time high.

And they’re doing it with your money.

This is a story so familiar it’s as if they ripped it from the playbook of the 2006 housing bubble.

We know what happened. We know how that bubble ended.

Central banks have printed so many trillions of dollars that there’s hardly anything that makes sense in the financial system anymore.

This is not a consequence-free environment… it’s time to find safety.

Gold and silver are traditionally great hedges against systemic risk.

Physical cash, as we’ll discuss next week, may also be a good option. Especially given that there’s minimal downside in doing so.

Private equity investments in productive, undervalued companies are also traditionally safe bets in both good times and bad.

Most of all, don’t ignore the risks or assume everything’s going to be OK because our politicians and central bankers are so smart that they can solve anything.

They’re not.

And they’ve obviously missed the message that 2006 called: he wants his bubble back.

Enjoy the week!

Schoolgirl Found Hanged after Developing Allergic Reaction to School Wi-Fi*

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Hwaairfan's Blog

Schoolgirl Found Hanged after Developing Allergic Reaction to School Wi-Fi*

By Lloyd Burrell

Fifteen-year-old Jenny Fry was found hanged in woodland in June this year. According to her parents she suffered from electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), which caused her to suffer diverse symptoms including tiredness, headaches and bladder problems.

An allergic reaction to Wi-Fi in her school made living miserable

An inquest heard that it was her allergic reaction to her school’s Wi-Fi that made her life a misery. Her mother Debra told the hearing that Jenny was severely affected by the wireless internet connections at Chipping Norton School in Oxfordshire, England, where she was a pupil.

After becoming increasingly distressed by her symptoms, which were never investigated by a doctor, Jenny Fry was found hanged in Brooke Woods, near her home on June 11 this year.

Mrs. Fry and her husband Charles Newman told the Coroners’ Court dealing with the…

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Colombia’s City of Women: The War Goes On

The Free

How a group of female victims of violence displaced by Colombia’s conflict united to build their own city.

by Maya Thomas-Davis, Julia Zulver  from AJE with thanks

Dayanera and her daughter at the stand where they sell food to neighbours; opportunities to make money are limited, and often confined to the community itself. [Julia Zulver/Al Jazeera]Dayanera and her daughter at the stand where they sell food to neighbours; opportunities to make money are limited, and often confined to the community itself. [Julia Zulver/Al Jazeera]

“We made little cardboard houses and put them in a big box, and you reached your hand in and pulled one out … ‘What number are you in? … Aiyee! you’re my neighbour!'” says Lubis proudly. “It was an amazing experience. From that moment forward, we thought as a collective.”
Lubis, one of the leaders of the League who helped to build the City of Women [Julia Zulver/Al Jazeera]Lubis, one of the leaders of the League who helped to build the City of Women [Julia Zulver/Al Jazeera]

Lubis is the owner of one of the 98 life-size, concrete realisations of those little cardboard houses and one of the leaders of…

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