Zero Hedge – The most important force that has lifted the US dollar across the board is the sense, encouraged by official comments, of the potential divergence in the trajectory of monetary policy between the US and most of the other major high income countries.
In particular, the pendulum of market psychology has swung back toward speculation of tapering off of QE-related asset purchases by the Federal Reserve. At the same time, ECB officials continue to indicate they are carefully considering a negative deposit rate. Many still expect the Bank of England to resume its gilt purchases program and new initiatives on its forward guidance in Q3 after Carney takes the helm.
Meanwhile, Carney and the Bank of Canada continue to push further out when they anticipate full capacity will be reached and when it will remove some accommodation by increasing interest rates. The recent string of economic data, including prices, has been generally softer than expected and the forward guidance the central bank has offered is becoming less credible. Additional easing by the Reserve Bank of Australia, though the recent sharp drop in the Australian dollar appears to tempering expectations of a rate cut as early as next month.
Japan’s quantitative and qualitative easing is not even two months old. It is far too early to suggest a reassessment, though Q4 12 GDP was revised up and Q1 13 GDP came in stronger than expected and may be revised after Japan releases the latest capex figures in early June. Capital investment was an unexpected drag on Q1 GDP and may be adjusted higher. More
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The employment situation in America is more unstable than it has been in generations. Finding a job in this economy is not easy, and it is more art than science. Many people face the challenge of transferring their skills to new opportunities as old ones decline.
During this episode of Italian Tomatoes on BlogTalkRadio, we focus on the task of finding a job in America’s new normal.
Today’s job market is characterized by seemingly endless restructurings, downsizings and layoffs, events which often strike with little warning and force people to pack up their skill sets and set off to find new career paths. We will use Australia’s unofficial national anthem as our muse, which tells the tale of an itinerant laborer living in unfortunate times.
Social media plays a big role in the modern employment market, so the podcast focuses on two enormously helpful applications: LinkedIn and Glass Door. These are just the tip of the iceberg. Everyone needs to customize their search technique, and there is an array of resources to help with that. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. People whom you already know will be quite willing to lend a hand. Human resources experts emphasize that networking skills are as important as credentials, and an investment in them, which can be daunting at first, will pay big dividends in the future.
In Australia’s Northern Territory, red-collared lorikeets, a brightly colored parrot, seem to get tanked every year starting at the end of the dry season in June and August and ending with the wet season in October and November. The apparent avian alcoholics stagger about the streets and fall from trees.
“They exhibit odd behavior like falling over or difficulty flying [and] they keep running into things,” said veterinarian Stephen Cutter from The Ark Animal Hospital in Australian Geographic.
Like shy humans, the apparently blitzed birds get friendlier and lose their fear of people. But the revelry may be a sign of a deadly illness, not just bacchanal bliss from fermented fruit.
Unlike a human on a bender, the birds don’t just sleep it off. The effects last several days, and are accompanied by respiratory problems and a discharge from bird’s nostrils, mouth, and eyes. Cutter suspect a virus may be at work.
From Act for America:
The column below (highlights added) by Andrew Bostom zeroes in on one aspect of the threat of sharia to the West: Islamic polygamy. An NPR article in 2008 cited sources estimating that as many as 100,000 Muslims live in polygamous families in the U.S.
Note that the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America has issued fatwas sanctioning polygamy, in keeping with sharia law. One ruling declares American law prohibiting polygamy “against Islamic law.”
Australia: Sharia-Sanctioned Polygamy and Child Marriage
Posted By Andrew Bostom On July 21, 2011
Despite an overall apologetic tone borne of transparent obeisance to cultural relativism, two legal academics, Dr Ann Black and Dr Kerrie Sadiq from The University of Queensland TC Beirne School of Law are “suggesting ” in their research publication, “Good & Bad Sharia: Australia’s mixed response to Islamic Law” (due to be published in the University of New South Wales Law Journal on Monday July 25, 2011) that,
|Australia is right to act with caution in dealing with Sharia law.|
Why are even these obviously  devout votaries of the academic social religion of cultural relativism concerned about the practice of Sharia in Australia at all, or what they term, with revealing euphemism, “legal pluralism?”
One reason was extracted from the forthcoming paper of Drs. Black and Sadiq, and cited by The Australian’s legal affairs editor, Chris Merrit :
|Valid Muslim polygynist marriages, lawfully entered into overseas, are recognised, with second and third wives and their children able to claim welfare and other benefits.|
Merrit’s background article on Black and Sadiq’s findings also noted  how this practice of Muslim polygamy in Australia involved “marriages where one party is under the lawful marriage age.” And Merrit provided this additional context :
|The findings come soon after Ikebal Patel, president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, triggered a backlash inside the Islamic community when he called for Australia to compromise with Islam and embrace legal pluralism …The latest research has found that while polygamy is unlawful, mainstream law accommodates men who arrive in Australia with multiple wives and gives some legal standing to multiple partnerships that originate in Australia.|
More alarming “context” not addressed by the report of Drs. Black and Sadiq, and in fact dismissed by Dr. Black  in these words, “The ‘foreignness’ of Sharia law is increased by media reports which highlight ‘differences’ and feed into fears about the Muslim presence in Australia,” was provided by The Australian Daily Telegraph :
|On Sunday, a recent convert to Islam in Sydney was allegedly lashed 40 times with electrical cable by men from his mosque, in a terrifying home invasion, as punishment for drinking alcohol – forbidden under Shariah law. Two people have been arrested in connection with the attack.|
The staid report by two Australian cultural relativist academics should (but won’t) make our mainstream media talking heads curious about how mainstream Islamic opinion views polygamy in the United States. For example, what have the esteemed mainstream Islamic clerics of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) opined regarding polygamy? The AMJA  mission statement maintains:
|[The AMJA was] founded to provide guidance for Muslims living in North America. … AMJA is a religious organization that does not exploit religion to achieve any political ends, but instead provides practical solutions within the guidelines of Islam and the nation’s laws to the various challenges experienced by Muslim communities.|
A report in The Muslim Observer  published October 21, 2010, highlighting AMJA’s “seventh annual American conference of imams,” confirms that the organization is accepted  as such by the mainstream American Muslim community. AMJA and its recent “training” conference for American imams were described  in these banal terms:
|The organization AMJA (Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America) has a list of scholars associated with it which stretches from Al-Azhar University to Virginia’s Open University, and back across the ocean to the professors at Saudi universities. Its website, amjaonline.com, provides fatawa on many issues and promises 24-hour access to scholars who can give legal opinions on the issues people face. AMJA focuses on providing fatwas to Americans, and believes it is able to provide culturally appropriate fatwas although many of their scholars are not American–because they have some American scholars and because of the technological ties that bind AMJA’s American scholars with those abroad. AMJA just had, in Houston, its seventh annual American conference of imams, and two local Michigan imams attended, namely Imam Musa of Bloomfield’s Muslim Unity Center, and Imam Ali of MCWS. Mr. Sadiqul Hassan of AMJA explained that “the event was the 7th annual imam workshop.” Mr. Hassan said that AMJA is “a fiqh council basically,” with “scholars who live abroad and inside the U.S.; we have experts in different fields to educate about life in the U.S. — fatwa are based on life in the U.S.”|
Not only does AMJA extol polygamy in accordance with the Sharia, AMJA endorses its extra-legal (i.e, vis a vis US law) application here in America, as can be readily gleaned from these two “fatwas” or Islamic legal rulings:
Fatwa 2134  Dr. Main Khalid Al-Qudah Date 2006-10-27
|Polygamy in Islam is permissible for different reasons, like:
1- The sexual energy of men is more than that of women in general. So, in some cases, one wife is not enough to fulfill the conjugal desire of her husband
2- Pregnancy and delivery negatively affect the shape and physical attraction that women have.
3- World wide, the percentage of females is always more than that of males, eventually, there must be a solution, either to permit adultery and prostitution, or to allow polygamy
4- One husband could take care of more than one wife at the same time; socially, financially, and even sexually as I mentioned above. However, the opposite is not right because of the physical and psychological capability that Allah the all mighty gave men.
Fatwa 3370  Scholar Dr. Hatem al-Haj Date 2007-08-08
|Comment from Muslim questioner: We know that polygamy is against USA law. But I heard from my friend that as long as you don`t register your marriage to the registrar, it is okay to have more than one wife here in the states, i.e., all the wives are living here. The argument that he made was that the law that prohibits marrying more than one is against the shaariah so, it is okay for us to break it…There are some scholars in the USA are practicing polygamy without the knowledge of the authorities using that argument….
Dr. Hatem al-Haj’s response: Polygamy is halal in Islam and may be highly recommended when the number of females is bigger than that of males to afford all females a decent life that suffices their physiologic, emotional and other needs. The US law about polygamy is against the Islamic law, for no one can make prohibited that which Allah specifically made allowable.
Via American Thinker
The old argument that “she was asking for it” has resurfaced in multicultural guise. Where are all the feminists? This shocking report from Melbourne, Australia tells the tale of a Libyan student recently arrived in Australia as a scholarship student, who sexually attacked 6 women, and a 13 year old girl a month after arriving in Australia.
The judge found that his sentence should be reduced because he was unable to cope with the way Australian women dress. Obviously, the implication is that Australian women should don abayas and burkas, if they want to avoid being attacked, because Muslim men just can’t control themselves.
Creeping dhimmitude, indeed.
Hat tip: iOwnTheWorld
There are two crises facing Social Security. First the program has a gigantic unfunded liability, largely thanks to demographics. Second, the program is a very bad deal for younger workers, making them pay record amounts of tax in exchange for comparatively meager benefits. This video explains how personal accounts can solve both problems, and also notes that nations as varied as Australia, Chile, Sweden, and Hong Kong have implemented this pro-growth reform. www.freedomandprosperity.org