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Miller: The Slippery Semantics Of Anthony Fauci

Miller: The Slippery Semantics Of Anthony Fauci Authored by Stephen L. Miller via Spectator World (emphasis ours), I do not have any accounting of what the Chinese may have done, and I’m fully in favor of any further investigation of what went on in China. However, I will repeat again: the NIH and NIAID categorically has not funded ‘gain-of-function’ research to be conducted in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”  That was Dr Anthony Fauci during a May 2021 congressional hearing. It kicked off a months-long national media effort to frame questions around gain-of-function research and US-taxpayer-funded virus manipulation as a Royal Rumble between Fauci and Senator Rand Paul. When he testifies or sits for friendly network interviews, Fauci depends on semantics. He relies on the naivety of the interviewer and the audience, employing terminology and definitions he believes only he understands. But like the ponytailed Chad in Good Will Hunting attempting to flex his big brain, Fauci’s arguments fall apart in front of the initiated. Last week, Lawrence Tabak, the principal deputy director of the NIH, sent a letter to Congress saying that EcoHealth Alliance failed to report certain aspects of the experimental work it had been conducting in China on bats and bat-borne viruses. Tabak pledged that the NIH and Fauci’s NIAID would take administrative action, but not much more than that. So Fauci’s absolutist answer from May has proven to be false. At the very least, the doctor needs to answer directly why he chose to deflect questions on gain-of-function research, something his own agency is claiming it had no idea was happening. How could have Fauci have denied back in May something so “categorically” if EcoHealth Alliance, run by Fauci ally Peter Daszak, had failed to report the full extent of their experiments? When Fauci sat for a cozy Sunday interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, he once again deployed his semantic game on the interviewer. Stephanopoulos framed the revealing letter from Tabak as “critics pouncing”: “Some critics and analysts have seized on that to say you and others have misled the public about US funding of this so-called gain-of-function research. The NIH says that’s false.” Fauci addressed Senator Rand Paul directly by responding, “The framework under which we have guidance about the conduct of research that we fund, the funding at the Wuhan Institute was to be able to determine what is out there in the environment, in bat viruses in China. And the research was very strictly under what we call a framework of oversight of the type of research.” Fauci then went on to say “And under those conditions which we have explained very, very clearly, does not constitute research of gain-of-function of concern.” In his answer, Fauci hedges by admitting that there was US funding directed to the Wuhan Institute, but, now, that funding did not directly fund “gain-of-function of concern.” “Of concern” is the new caveat Fauci has added to get around answering the question. He had never used the terminology “gain-of-function of concern” in prior interviews or testimony. He just slipped it in there because hardly anyone notices. Furthermore he knows that the general public and most of the press has no idea what “of concern” means. We know that gain-of-function research was happening in Wuhan and we know Fauci categorically denied US involvement in it. So now he’s attempting to sneak one by the audience and change the terminology, on what the definition of “gain-of-function of concern” means. So what does it mean? It all comes down to intent. “Of concern” is the term used to differentiate studying and manipulating viruses in the scientific environments as a purposeful method to produce bioweapons. Fauci said as much in 2012 when he testified that his department worked with the Defense Department on such experiments. What Fauci is seeking to do is tweak the argument with semantics and write off his critics and the critics of gain-of-function as people accusing Fauci and the Wuhan Institute of developing bioweapons. No one has done so. It’s a game: “Sure we funded gain-of-function, but how dare you insinuate we funded bioweapon research, you kook!” These are not the actions of a medical professional, with a serious interest in a transparent inquiry into the origins of the virus that has led to the deaths of 16 million people worldwide, including 750,000 Americans. These are the games a bureaucrat plays when they are attempting to cover their own ass, their career and their life’s work. Pulling this thread leads to one place: more discovery, more leaks and more gleam off Fauci’s armor in the media. How much more damning information needs to come out before he retires? *  *  * Stephen L. Miller is a contributing editor to The Spectator. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 22:50.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 26th, 2021

Millions of people have taken Yale"s free online course on how to be happier. It helped me realize which parts of my life were off-balance and led me to a new hobby I love.

Yale's Science of Well-Being course uses positive psychology and science to teach you how to live a happy life. Here's what I liked about it. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.The Science of Well-Being is a free online course adapted from Yale's most popular class ever. It uses positive psychology and research to teach you how to be happier.Alyssa Powell/Insider Yale's most popular class in history teaches you science-backed steps to becoming happier. Professor Laurie Santos' free online version, The Science of Well-Being, is also incredibly popular. I enrolled in the course and learned a lot of tips on how to improve my mood and stress levels. How do we live a meaningful life? Despite how slippery and subjective the answer may seem, Laurie Santos, a Yale professor and leading expert in positive psychology, wants you to know that leading a fulfilling life can actually be simple.The Science of Well-Being, the explosively popular online course from Coursera, is adapted Santos' 2018 Psychology and the Good Life ‚ which became Yale's most popular on-campus class in its 319-year history, eventually requiring the university to pull fellows from other schools to staff it.Coursera The Science of Well-BeingOne of Yale's most popular classes ever (and a Business Insider favorite), this class debunks some of the most common myths about happiness and teaches you how to authentically improve your well-being.$0.00 FROM COURSERA Santos' online course delves into our misconceptions about what makes us happy, explains why our expectations are so bad (spoiler: the brain doesn't always prioritize its happiness), and provides strategies for prioritizing the truly good stuff. You can take the course for free here, which takes an estimated 10 weeks (19 hours total) to complete. Or, keep reading for an overview of what to expect and a firsthand review of the online course. What to expect from the courseThe course intentionally feels warm, casual, and inviting. It was shot in Santos' home with a handful of students.Mara Leighton/Business InsiderTopics covered in The Science of Well-Being: Misconceptions about happinessWhy our expectations are so badHow we can overcome our biasesStuff that really makes us happyPutting strategies into practiceEach section includes video lectures, optional readings, and daily "rewirement" activities to build happier habits. Research suggests that if you do these rewirements as prescribed, you should experience a boost in your mood and overall well-being. After completing the five weeks above, students should commit to practicing one rewirement exercise for at least a month. What I loved about the course1. You can actually measure if you're getting happier. In the beginning, you're invited to respond to questionnaires that measure your baseline happiness. By the end of the course, you take them again to see whether your score increased. (Hopefully, your numbers rise!) To me, a before-and-after metric lent concreteness to a typically abstract topic.I also found the baseline happiness survey helpful for an unexpected reason: I had been feeling fatigued, and the questions it posed helped me locate an overlooked source of dissatisfaction — I was continually rating one part of my life much lower than the others. Within the first lecture, I was able to use the framework to see my life more clearly. Weekly "rewirement" activities help build habits that make us scientifically happier: savoring, practicing gratitude, meditating, and acts of kindness among them.Mara Leighton/Business Insider2. The lectures are fun to watch — and less pressure than an in-person class. Santos' lectures make for easy watching. They're shot in her own home with a small audience of Yale students, which makes the videos warm and inviting. In a conversational tone, Santos gives us in-depth explorations of happiness and positive psychology as an expert (most contemporary research was conceptualized and coined by Santos herself).Once I sat down to play a video, I wanted to continue. It didn't feel forced or tedious like in-person lectures sometimes can. Plus, I could easily rewind and rewatch classes without asking Santos to repeat herself. Best part? There was also zero pressure to ask or answer questions.3. The optional homework is really easy and fun.While you can take the class at your own pace, you're encouraged to do the rewiring techniques on a weekly schedule. Research suggests that improving your well-being takes daily, intentional effort over long periods, so a 10-week class is a great opportunity. But, even if you're not routine about it, you'll still learn things that can help you understand how to be happier.Overall, all the assignments are low-key, low-stress, and easy to implement. There are no required readings or grade penalties for a missed assignment deadline. For readings, the must-know information is summarized within the lecture, and, if you want to dive deeper, you'll see links to complementary readings. 4. What I learned improved my life in substantial and concrete ways.One of my key takeaways from The Science of Well-Being (and an interview I conducted with Laurie Santos on mental health) is that difficult, doable activities that put us in our flow state make us feel really happy. For me, that manifested in completing 75 pilates classes in three months because pilates is challenging, meditative, and out of my comfort zone. The course, and the flow state activities I now prioritize, have made me significantly happier and more confident. Is it worth it to get a certificate?Maybe, but most likely not. You'll have access to all the course materials and forums for this class without paying. But, if you want a certificate of completion or graded homework assignments, you can pay $49. You can also always upgrade any time during the course or afterward, so it's probably worth it to test it out for free before committing to payment. If you want but can't afford the $49 certificate, apply for the course's financial aid. Click on the "financial aid" link beneath the "enroll" button on the left. You'll be prompted to complete an application and will be notified if you're approved; applications take at least 15 days to be reviewed.The bottom lineCoursera The Science of Well-BeingOne of Yale's most popular classes ever (and a Business Insider favorite), this class debunks some of the most common myths about happiness and teaches you how to authentically improve your well-being.$0.00 FROM COURSERA I should disclose that I enjoy online classes. In the character-strengths test that you're invited to take at the course's outset, "curiosity" was my most dominant trait out of the 20 possibilities.But despite being a candidate of least resistance, I was surprised by how much I really enjoyed a few weeks in the course. The lessons felt immediately and concretely useful — most of the class legwork is completing daily "rewiring" tasks designed to build those research-backed happiness habits into your life. I can also say that what I learned in the course has substantially helped my mental health in the long term, especially over the last year. More free online classes65 free online courses from the best colleges in the US — including Princeton, Harvard, and YaleThese are the best e-learning platforms for free or affordable online classes, whether you want to switch careers or pick up a new hobbyOver 2.7 million people have enrolled in this free online course that teaches you how to learn betterRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 1st, 2021

Debt-Ceiling Anxiety Returns To T-Bill Market, USA Risk Rises

Debt-Ceiling Anxiety Returns To T-Bill Market, USA Risk Rises Once again, markets are quietly pricing in less than smooth resolutions to the outstanding fiscal and debt ceiling questions facing Washington in the all-too-imminent future. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said last week that the US can only continue to pay its bills until December 15, and that has renewed anxiety in the shortest-end of the Treasury Bill market as the 'kink' is back... Bloomberg reports that lawmakers face a Friday deadline to pass a stopgap funding bill to keep the federal government open. House Democrats are considering proposing a fresh stopgap spending measure that would keep the federal government funded through mid-to-late January, according to a person familiar with the matter. "Our base case continues to be that the Treasury would exhaust its fiscal resources in the first half of January in the absence of Congressional action," wrote Wrightson ICAP’s chief economist Lou Crandall. "If Congress does not increase the debt ceiling by the end of December, it is highly probable that the Treasury would have enough leeway to settle the year-end coupon auctions anyway. However, that might require it to use some of its surplus cash to pay down more bills before December 31 than our auction calendar currently assumes." House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) told reporters recently that she would like a short-term continuing resolution that would set up another deadline later in December, which would keep the pressure on lawmakers to negotiate a full-year funding package. For now, USA Sovereign risk is starting to rise once again, well above the pre-anxiety levels of the summer... The usual suspects are spewing the usual semantics... "We cannot let the full faith and credit of the United States lapse and we are focused on getting this done in a bipartisan way," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a press conference. At around the same time, McConnell said Congress would "figure out how to avoid default," adding "we always do." McConnell has said he won't offer Democrats the same deal he gave in October. Sen. Ted Cruz told Insider he doesn't have any plans to join Democrats in raising the limit, and Sen. Lindsey Graham said Republicans are "still talking about it." That leaves Democrats with just one realistic option. The party could lift the ceiling through the reconciliation process, which lets Senate Democrats approve legislation with a simple 50-vote majority. Tyler Durden Mon, 11/29/2021 - 12:50.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytNov 29th, 2021

Janet Yellen On Powell’s Re-Nomination

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC exclusive interview with United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET) today, Monday, November 22nd. Following are links to video on CNBC.com: [soros] Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Janet Yellen On Powell’s Re-Nomination: I’m Very Pleased With The President’s […] Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC exclusive interview with United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET) today, Monday, November 22nd. Following are links to video on CNBC.com: [soros] Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Janet Yellen On Powell’s Re-Nomination: I’m Very Pleased With The President’s Choice Treasury Secretary Yellen Sees An Economy On A Strong Growth Spurt SARA EISEN: Let’s get straight to the big news of the day. President Biden’s choice to renominate Jerome Powell for a second term as Federal Reserve Chair. Joining us exclusively for her first reaction to the news is Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who of course served herself as Fed Chair from 2014 to 2018. It’s great to see you Treasury Secretary Yellen, thank you for joining us. TREASURY SECRETARY JANET YELLEN: Thanks for having me. EISEN: So, the president followed your advice. What did you recommend to him on this front? YELLEN: Well look, I don’t want to say what I recommended, but I surely will say that I’m very pleased with his choice. I had the pleasure of working very closely with both Jay Powell and Lael Brainard and they are consummate professionals, support an independent Fed, are completely committed to the Fed’s dual mandate of maximum employment and price stability and have amassed tremendous records. I have confidence in them, and I believe they’ll have broad support among Congress and the public and can be counted on to do an excellent job. EISEN: It does seem that Fed Chair Powell will have no problem getting confirmed. He’s got bipartisan support, but we did hear from Senator Elizabeth Warren who had called him, “a dangerous man.” She’s going to vote against him and she cited failures on regulation, climate and ethics. Why is she wrong? YELLEN: Well look, on regulation you have the Chair Powell, Powell has the endorsement of Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, the authors of Dodd-Frank. He’s clearly someone who adheres to the core reforms that were put in place and has been supportive of them and they have basically said that they see that and feel he’s the best person to lead the Fed and I concur. I concur with that decision. We will be nominating a vice chair for supervision and Dodd-Frank gives that person a significant responsibility in supervision. Chair Powell has said he’ll be supportive of letting that person take the lead. EISEN: When— YELLEN: On climate— EISEN: We heard the announcement. Oh, go ahead. Sorry didn’t mean to cut you off. YELLEN: On climate, the Fed has made considerable strides on bringing a valuation of how climate risks affect the banks and supervises. It’s doing very good work on that and is gearing up I think to do scenario analysis of the risks facing the banks and he used it in supervision. EISEN: Yeah, that could be a slippery slope going forward if the Fed gets more involved in, in climate. Secretary Yellen, I did want to ask you of course about inflation because we heard that from President Biden today in the announcement, from Lael Brainard, from Jay Powell. Is the administration getting more concerned at this point about inflation? YELLEN: Well, I think we do have to be concerned about inflation. It’s reached the level that concerns most Americans who are seeing it in their pocketbook when they go to the store to buy food or to fill up their cars at the pump. I think it’s partly a reflection of the fact that pandemic has had a severe influence in our economy, and it’s part of demand supply imbalance and getting on track but the administration, the White House is doing everything we can to address supply chain bottlenecks that are boosting prices and over the longer run, the Fed needs to play an important role to make sure that this doesn’t become endemic. And I know they can be counted on to do that. EISEN: Should the Fed, should Powell continue to prioritize the improvement in jobs? They’re still more than 4 million loss since the pandemic over inflation because that’s been the policy so far, but many are calling for it to change. YELLEN: Well, I’m not going to weigh in on the details of Fed policy. The Fed’s mandate involves low and stable inflation over the longer term and also maximum employment. They put in place a new framework for how to handle the balancing of these two mandates and detailed questions of tactics and timing. I think we can leave to the Fed. I have confidence in their ability to make good judgments there. EISEN: Okay, so I’ll ask you an economic outlook question then. If the Fed does get a little more, if the Fed acts quicker to taper, pare back its stimulus and acts quicker to raise interest rates, does that risk a recession or choking off the growth? YELLEN: Well, I see the US economy being on a strong growth spurt at the moment. Unemployment has been falling fast. We’ve seen over 500,000 jobs a month since President Biden was elected and I think that’s going to continue into next year driving down unemployment. So, you know, there’s strong support for economic growth that’s coming from policy and from the buffer stock of savings households have built up so it’s up to the Fed to decide just how much monetary policy support is necessary, given those other factors. EISEN: The dollar, right now, Secretary Yellen, is trading at the highest level since July 2020. Does that comfort you a little in terms of taming inflation or do you worry about the impact that’s going to have on growth like exports and corporate profits? YELLEN: Well, as I said, I think growth is poised to be very strong over the coming year and unemployment to decline. But I think what we do see in the marketplace with the strong dollar in generally low, longer term interest rates is confidence that inflation is not something that is going to become long lasting or endemic in the US economy and that’s important. EISEN: We talked a bit about climate change, and it is something that President Biden mentioned in his pick, and you mentioned that the Fed is going to pay a little closer attention to it though it could be a little bit controversial if the Fed gets into this, politicization of the Fed, confusion of the mandate. What should the Federal Reserve’s role be in fighting climate change? YELLEN: Well, you know as Chair of FSOC, I call together all of the regulators, the banking and other financial regulators to discuss the importance of taking climate change into account in supervision and regulation of financial institutions. Climate change poses a major risk to financial institutions and to the financial stability of our economy and in the safety and soundness supervision that it does, just as the Fed analyzes through its regular stress tests to make sure that banks have enough capital and adequate risk management to deal with threats coming from financial market risks. Climate change needs to be added to that mix and that’s exactly what the Fed is doing is gearing up to do that kind of analysis so that it can make sure that banks understand those risks and manage them properly and effectively. EISEN: We know you have a very busy agenda today so thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us on this historic day. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, thank you. Updated on Nov 22, 2021, 4:13 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 22nd, 2021

Incoming Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears said that disclosing her vaccination status is a "slippery slope" that would lead to questions about what"s in her DNA

Republican Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears is the first woman and the first woman of color to be elected to the lieutenant governorship in Virginia. Former Republican Delegate Winsome Sears celebrates winning the race for Lt. Governor of Virginia as she introduces Republican candidate for Governor Glenn Youngkin during an election night party in Chantilly, Virginia, on November 3, 2021.Reuters/Jonathan Ernst Republican Winsome Sears defeated Democrat Hala Ayala in the Virginia lieutenant governor election. Sears has encouraged others to get vaccinated against COVID-19 but has not said if she has done so. Sears said that vaccinations have been politicized and the US should prioritize freedom. During a Sunday interview with CNN correspondent Dana Bash, incoming Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears said that she will not disclose whether she has gotten vaccinated against COVID-19, despite encouraging others to do so, CNN reported.When Bash asked Sears why it's acceptable for Virginia to mandate childhood vaccinations for other diseases but not COVID-19, Sears said that vaccinations have become politicized and the US is based on freedom, so our country should "let liberty shine."Bash pressed Sears further about her own vaccination status, which she declined to share."The minute that I start telling you about my vaccine status, we're going to be down the bottom of the mountain trying to figure out how we got there, because now you'll want to know what's in my DNA," Sears responded.—Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) November 21, 2021When Sears, a Republican, was elected over Democratic candidate Hala Ayala on November 2, she became the first woman and the first woman of color to hold the lieutenant governorship.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 21st, 2021

Subaru"s first electric model is here — and the outdoorsy SUV brings the brand to peak Subaru

The 2023 Solterra is the ultimate Subaru: an outdoorsy SUV that's kind to the environment. It goes on sale in the middle of 2022. The 2023 Subaru Solterra.Subaru Subaru revealed its first-ever electric vehicle on Wednesday.  The 2023 Solterra SUV comes with all-wheel drive, at least 220 miles of range, and 215 horsepower.  It goes on sale in the middle of next year.  Subaru took the wraps off its first fully electric vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday. The 2023 Solterra SUV will hit US dealerships in the middle of 2022 with dual electric motors and signature Subie traits. The environmentally-friendly SUV feels like the natural progression for a brand that's all about getting into nature. The 2023 Subaru Solterra.SubaruSubaru's rugged vehicles are already popular among outdoorsy people who like the ability to occasionally tackle a dirt road or some snow. (Just go to a place like Vermont and try to count the number of vehicles on the road that aren't Outbacks, Foresters, or Imprezas.)The Solterra continues in that tradition but brings quiet and clean electric power to the table. The 2023 Subaru Solterra.SubaruLike most Subarus, the Solterra comes standard with all-wheel drive. That's delivered by two motors — one in front and one in the rear — generating a combined 215 horsepower. For light off-roading, Subaru included plastic cladding and X-mode, a feature that varies power to each wheel to help with grip in slippery conditions. EVs are already great for off-roading because they offer lots of torque at low speeds. The Solterra also introduces Grip Control, basically a cruise-control setting that keeps the vehicle going at a steady speed up and down steep inclines. The 2023 Subaru Solterra.SubaruThe Solterra will be able to travel at least 220 miles on a single charge, Subaru says. That's not all that impressive compared to rivals like the Hyundai Kona Electric and Volkswagen ID.4, which have ranges of at least 250 miles. But all-wheel drive deals a blow to efficiency and we'll get a better idea of the Solterra's true range once it's tested by the EPA. In terms of sizing, the Solterra is just a bit longer than the Forester SUV and smaller than the Outback. It's largely identical to Toyota's new BZ4X SUV (the companies collaborated on EV tech) but that vehicle doesn't get the Solterra's standard all-wheel-drive or its Subaru styling cues. And the Solterra doesn't offer a strange rectangular steering wheel like the Toyota does. The 2023 Subaru Solterra.SubaruSubaru hasn't shared any information about pricing or trim levels, but it'll need to start at around $40,000 to be competitive with rivals.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 18th, 2021

My coworkers refused to get vaccinated. So, I quit.

Veterinarians are part of the public-health system, which is designed to protect from disease - and ignorance. My coworkers lost sight of that. iStock; Skye Gould/Insider I recently quit my job as a veterinarian because many of my coworkers chose not to get vaccinated. Veterinarians are part of the public-health system, which is designed to protect from disease. My coworkers' decisions gave me a choice: stay and risk my health, or leave a job I loved. I left. This story was written by a veterinarian in the US. Their employment has been verified by Insider, but their byline is anonymous to prevent professional repercussions.On the day of the first lockdown in March 2020, I was in surgery, performing a spay on a large dog. The office manager broke the news, and for a minute, I stopped working - because at that moment, the world seemed to change. But while worlds change, they don't stand still. By the time I was out of surgery, I learned that veterinarians and vet techs were considered essential workers. Work would continue for us, limited to sick patients for the time being. We adapted our practice, instituting curbside service and devising ways to communicate with pet owners that did not require face-to-face contact.In the veterinary world, social distancing is impossible. Taking a blood sample from a nine-pound chihuahua requires at least two people, our heads often only six inches apart. Trimming the nails of a 90-pound dog is impossible if you cannot be closer than six feet from your assistant. Getty Images Looking back, those were golden days. Everyone at our clinic seemed to be part of the same team, working together for the good of our patients. In the wider world, I cheered as epidemiologists discovered the secrets to COVID-19 transmission and scientists turned new knowledge into safe, effective vaccines. I was awed by the bravery of my healthcare colleagues who risked their lives to treat COVID-19 patients firsthand. We had several COVID-19 exposure scares within the hospital. No vaccine was available then, and the county public-health department had us close the hospital each time while we were all tested and quarantined. While our hospital was closed, our concern was for the health of our coworkers, with text chains checking up on everyone and their families - at least, that's how it seemed to me. Veterinarians are part of the public-health system and must study public health as part of our veterinary education. We learn about epidemiology, infection statistics, vaccinations, testing, and the value of "herd health." We are part of a system designed to protect people from disease - and often from their own ignorance. For instance, I had a client who thought rabies merely causes drooling. Despite this misconception, she can safely live her life without knowing the horror of rabies because vaccination mandates for pets reduce her exposure to virtually nil. Getty Images Public-health efforts succeed when a group is united and seeks a unified goal. A population with a high vaccination rate - whether dogs, cattle, or humans - offers a wall of defense against a virus. There are fewer places for it to hide and fewer targets to infect. That wall is extremely important because breakthrough infections are possible, and there are members of our community who cannot yet be vaccinated (children under 5 years old) or who have increased risk for infection (immunocompromised people, the elderly, or those with other diseases). This is especially true in a work environment where one spends all day in close contact with colleagues and staff. That's why I felt such relief when vaccines were approved, and when, in January 2021, veterinarians and veterinary staff were added to the list of healthcare workers approved for vaccinations. Finally, we could see a glimmer of hope after so many months working with very little protection. Finally, there was a suit of armor to help us do our jobs with less risk. Finally, we could continue to provide care despite the pandemic around us. Some among us were quickly vaccinated and then eagerly shared vaccination info with co-workers so they could set up appointments. It took me about two months to realize that many of our staff who said they were having "difficulty getting the vaccine" actually had no intention of getting it. Before long, unvaccinated staff began spouting unscientific propaganda to justify why they refused the vaccine, and it became clear that I was not given the authority even to criticize their ignorance. Getty Images The inevitable happened, of course. We incurred more COVID-19 cases on staff. Unvaccinated staff were sent home while vaccinated staff continued to work, severely short-handed. At the same time, I repeatedly asked about the hospital's future vaccination plans and testing requirements, and I repeatedly received the same answer: There were no plans. No vaccination mandate, no testing requirement. Management was afraid unvaccinated staff would quit. So, I quit. The lack of COVID-19 vaccination or even testing requirements was not compatible with my training. If I wouldn't send a dog to a kennel where vaccinations were optional, why would I stay at my work? I have small children who cannot yet be vaccinated and older parents who help tend to them. Close and consistent exposure to unvaccinated staff puts my family at increased risk. I love my profession and my patients, and that love sustained me as an essential worker through the early COVID-19 lockdown. But I could not remain in a place with no intention of using the effective, available tools to insure a safer workplace. COVID-19 vaccinations and testing are part of workplace safety and public health. Allowing them to become politicized or opting out as part of an expression of political identity is a slippery slope. Getty Images No one wants to see rabies return as a widespread health hazard - nor measles, polio, mumps, diphtheria. We are able to ignore these diseases in our everyday lives because of public-health measures taken over the years to eradicate them. This requires a country united in effort and understanding, which is something I worry America has lost.Like many workers, I joined the Great Resignation. When evaluating current or future employment, everyone weighs the pros and cons: pay, benefits, childcare, commute time, career growth - and now, COVID-19 exposure. Pay is an issue for most job-seekers. But many employers may underestimate the role COVID-19 exposure plays in this evaluation. So many of us have loved ones who are at higher risk if they catch COVID-19 even while vaccinated. We love them a million times more than any job, and working in close proximity to unvaccinated coworkers increases the risk of spreading COVID-19. That's a major negative when looking at a job's overall appeal. Currently, the United States has lost more than 750,000 people to COVID-19. That equates to many grieving families. A majority of Americans are doing their part to end this pandemic by getting vaccinated. The Delta variant made it clear that, although the risks were significantly reduced for the vaccinated compared to the unvaccinated, the risks are not gone.When we look at our workplaces and see unvaccinated coworkers - some who don't even wear a mask properly - and hear management consistently refuse to require vaccinations or testing, the question becomes: Do I stay or go? I know what I chose.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 13th, 2021

Pandemic-linked stress may have fueled the deadly crowd surge at Astroworld, a sociologist says

What caused a deadly crowd swell during Travis Scott's Astroworld festival in Houston? A sociologist explains why concert mobs form. Travis Scott performs during the 2021 Astroworld festival in Houston, Texas, on November 5, 2021. Photo by Erika Goldring/WireImage Eight people died during a crowd surge at Travis Scott's Astroworld festival in Houston on Friday. Concertgoers may lose their moral compass in large crowds, a sociologist told Insider. Fans may also have had pent-up stress and anxiety from nearly two years of social isolation. A violent swell of fans killed eight people at Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival in Texas on Friday night. Crowd surges at concerts are rarely deadly - but there's a reason why they form, psychologists say.A concert's energy can heighten people's emotions, causing to them to ignore their surroundings or safety risks. Larger crowds in particular may encourage people to "follow the herd" and rush the stage if people around them are doing so - even if they know that behavior is inadvisable. But there was likely an additional factor at play during Friday's concert in Houston, according to Alexis Piquero, chair of the sociology department at the University of Miami: pent-up stress and anxiety from nearly two years of social isolation."In theory, we're getting out of this pandemic and people just need to let loose," Piquero told Insider.In he future, he added, concert planners may need to account for this bottled-up energy when deciding how many people to admit, how much security to hire, and how to control the crowd."How do you do it in a way where you allow people to have a great time, to yell and scream at the top of their lungs to let loose, but do it in a safe way?" Piquero said, adding, "Let's use Houston, Astroworld, as an example of what didn't go right."Concertgoers may lose their moral compass or sense of danger in large crowds The crowd at the the Astroworld festival in Houston, Texas, on November 5, 2021. Amy Harris/Invision/AP An estimated 50,000 people attended Astroworld. Around the time Travis Scott took the stage, concertgoers began to push against one another to reach the front, Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said in a news conference just after the event.Some people were either knocked down or lost consciousness after not having enough room to breathe. The force of the crowd eventually trampled some fans on the ground. Eight people, all of them younger than 30, died. Two were teenagers.Among the dozens of injured concertgoers, a 9-year-old boy, Ezra Blount, remains in critical condition. Blount's father, Treston, had been carrying his son on his shoulders when the crowd surged. "He kept screaming, 'I can't breathe,'" Ezra's grandmother, Tericia, told Rolling Stone. "But everyone was pushing. It was so tight with no exits. His dad couldn't breathe at all and passed out. We don't really know what happened to Ezra after that."Ezra's family later identified him at a nearby hospital, Rolling Stone reported.Piquero said it's common for concertgoers to feel anonymous in large crowds, and therefore devoid of personal responsibility - a concept known as "deindividuation.""There is an absolute direct link in the literature that crowd size leads to more feelings of - not necessarily impunity or invincibility - but you let your moral compass turn away for a second," he said.So concertgoers mimic one another's behavior, even if that behavior is dangerous."When people are part of the collective, they're like, 'Well, if that person is doing it, I guess it's OK. And if I don't rush to the front, then someone else is going to have a better view, especially if I'm a short person,'" Piquero said.Those factors combined, he added, can cause people to abandon their sense of risk in favor of the reward: in this case, getting closer to the stage.Fans may have been eager to let loose because of the pandemic Stacey Sarmiento holds up a photo of her posing with Rudy Pena, a friend who died in a crush of people at the Astroworld festival. Robert Bumsted/AP Images Piquero said there's usually a perfect storm of issues that leads to a concert mob. In 2000, for instance, nine people died in a crowd surge during a Pearl Jam performance in Denmark. Heavy rain that day may have made the ground slippery, and potentially caused some fans to fall, Rolling Stone reported at the time. Sound issues with the venue's rear speakers may have also prompted concertgoers to push toward the stage.In the case of Astroworld, Piquero said, post-lockdown anxiety and stress likely played a role."When you go to a concert, it's like going to a sporting event - you're going to forget about your boss, you're going to forget about your deadline," he said. "We're just going to go to escape from our world's problems, especially now as we're trying to come out of this 20-month crazy [period] that we've all been living in." Fans may have felt pressure to let loose or reclaim a lost sense of freedom, he added."Here you have this one thing that everybody was looking forward to," Piquero said. "People are flying from all over the country, driving from all over. This guy's concerts are electric. He blends all kinds of music. He's a superstar. And everybody's looking forward to this beautiful night in Houston and then - a tragic event."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 9th, 2021

Courageous LA County Sheriff Tells The Truth About COVID Vax Mandates

Courageous LA County Sheriff Tells The Truth About COVID Vax Mandates Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.us, The battle over the attempted forced vaccination of 100% of the American population regardless of scientific reason or prudence has brought out the absolute worst within a certain group of people in our society. They are showing their true colors as the authoritarians they really are, desperately clamoring for the power to compel people they don’t know or care about to submit to an experimental covid “vaccine” with no long term testing to prove its safety. I noted this trend in detail in my recent article ‘Noam Chomsky Goes Off The Deep End – Proving All Socialism Leads To Tyranny’, and I have to say, there are some folks out there that are shockingly monstrous just under the surface. It makes one realize how the dictatorships and genocides of the 20th Century were made possible. Historians tend to blame the idea of the “charismatic dictator” for the rise of totalitarianism within any given culture, as if all it takes is a single well dressed and well spoken figure with the ability to manipulate the emotional output of the masses into doing things they would not otherwise do. This is a fantasy. In reality, dictators and oligarchs cannot come to power without the avid support of a certain subset of the population that WANTS and LOVES tyranny. That is to say, authoritarians in government appeal to the rotten core of the worst of humanity – the sociopaths, the narcissists, the psychopaths, the control freaks and micromanagers. They work hand-in-hand with the aberrant and the fearful, the deceitful and the grotesque, and they align with such people to make it appear as though authoritarianism is an overwhelming desire of the majority when it is actually the deviant thirst of an aggressive minority. Of course, as in physics, there is no action within human society without an equal and opposite reaction. Just as the covid mandates have brought out the worst in some people, they have also brought out the best in others. The people who love and respect logic, reason and individual liberty are massing. We are legion, and I have been consistently surprised at how many of us there are within government institutions including law enforcement. The Sheriff of LA County, Alex Villanueva, proved his courage this week with a public media address covering the destructive effects of the covid mandates on his own department, using cold hard data to show that thousands of personnel and deputies, 30% of the Sheriff’s department, will be leaving or will be forced out of work by LA County if the vaccine mandates move forward in January. He also faced down a torrent of some of the dumbest and most vitriolic questions I have ever heard from a crowd of clearly biased “journalists” (i.e. leftist activists) scrambling to cast doubt on the sheriff and his data. I recommend watching Sheriff Villanueva’s even handed and rational presentation in full here: Keep in mind that the Sheriff is a vaccinated person, but he continues to defend the rights of his deputies to make personal informed decisions on the jab. Being anti-mandate does not mean a person is necessarily “anti-vax”. I think the sheriff did an admirable job presenting his case so I won’t rehash it here. However, what I do want to talk about is some of the INSANE rhetoric coming form the reporters in the crowd as they tried to confront and brow-beat him on his information and personal stance. There were some facts that the Sheriff put forward that the media seemed to be especially triggered by, so let’s talk about these issues for a moment… Covid Mandates Are Not Laws Multiple leftist reporters were extremely perturbed by the notion that Sheriff Department personnel could be “allowed” to defy the mandates at all. This was perhaps the most revealing line of questioning from the media, showcasing their complete lack of knowledge on constitutional law and their inherent hunger for control. Primarily, the questioning asserted that deputies and other staff would be “breaking the law” by refusing to comply with the mandates, and the media compared non-compliance with the jab to criminal non-compliance with a traffic stop. Sheriff Villanueva rightly reminded reporters that covid mandates are NOT laws. The reporters didn’t seem to understand. One of them even suggested that this argument was “semantics”. No, it is not semantics. If mandates are “laws”, then our country’s legal system should be done away with entirely and all decisions should be made from on high by executive fiat, making people like Biden and his handlers dictators by default. Laws are passed by legislatures or voted on by the citizenry in the US. The vax mandates are what is called “Color of Law”; they are dictates passed down by executive order or through bureaucracy with no checks and balances and are presented as laws when they are not. There is no allowance for “mandates” in the US Constitution, and I would also remind covid cultists that there is also no allowance for “emergency powers” within the Bill of Rights. The government does not get to wake up one day and decide which rights you are allowed to have and which rights you are not allowed to have based on their arbitrary perception of a national emergency. Our rights our sacrosanct and not subject to the whims of government. One reporter asks if the Sheriff is supporting the idea that people should be allowed to pick and choose which laws they want to obey. The Sheriff says of course not, but this question is disingenuous at its core and assumes that “laws” are sacred in and of themselves. If a law is unconstitutional and immoral, then yes, each person absolutely has the right to shrug off that law. Laws do not matter. All that matters is what is right and what is wrong. One would hope that our society’s laws will reflect our society’s values and principles, but sometimes they stand in direct opposition to our moral compass. Covid mandates are not laws, and even if they were they would be both unconstitutional and immoral laws that do not deserve our respect. There is nothing wrong with refusing to obey an illegal and immoral order. Covid Cultists Don’t Think People Should Be Allowed To Leave Their Jobs Without Punishment I always thought that losing one’s job WAS supposed to be the punishment for being unvaxxed. Apparently this is not enough for the covid cultists. Reporters insinuate that people who don’t comply with the vax should be criminally prosecuted under the mandates (which are not laws), just as a person would be criminally prosecuted for not complying with a deputy during a traffic stop. This confirms my suspicion that leftists did not expect such a large number of people to risk their jobs to defy the mandates. Leftists and pro-authoritarians have no concept of valuing principles over one’s own comfort or safety, and so the large national opposition to the mandates has caught them off guard. Now they are facing the prospect that THEY will have to suffer real world consequences for their support of vax authoritarianism, and the leftists don’t like that. The Sheriff logically outlines the facts on the ground in terms of personnel and how many will be leaving or will be fired due to the mandates, and the numbers hit hard. With at least 30% of the department gone, law enforcement in LA County will be effectively crippled. They are already short-staffed as it is because of the LA County Board Of Supervisors and their woke agenda to “defund the police”. Suddenly, losing their police force is not sitting well with those same woke activists. The media was very aggressive in trying to cast doubt on the idea that many deputies and staff were leaving because of the mandates, which the Sheriff squashed immediately by making it clear that the losses could only be attributed to vax requirements and any other suggestion would be disingenuous. The bottom line is this: The system as we know it will shut down if the mandates are enforced. This is why Joe Biden and friends are waiting to enforce the mandates until AFTER the Christmas season. They know that businesses and industries across the board will be hobbled by the loss of 30% or more of their workers and that many government institutions will be unable to function with the loss of 10% of staff, let alone 30% or more. The media is already trying to paint the narrative that people forced out of their jobs because of the mandates are the BAD GUYS, not the victims. This is classic leftist gaslighting. They attack the population with their edicts, they offer a non-choice in terms of compliance, and then when a large number of people choose to make sacrifices rather than submit, the authoritarians label those people “criminals.” In other words, the message is: “Because you will not submit to my tyranny, you are hurting society. Your lack of submission to my authoritarianism is an attack on me and the greater good.” The Narrative Is More Important To Covid Cultists Than The Facts Reporters then argued that the Sheriff should be “evangelizing” for the vaccines instead of giving such a presentation. I find this use of language interesting. I have long said that pro-vaxxers are a kind of cult that ignores the science and has turned the national medical response into a political witch hunt against conservatives and liberty minded people. The media thinks the Sheriff of LA County should be “evangelizing” to his staff, which means they want him to stop publicly sharing data that disagrees with their religion because it could derail what they believe to be a “righteous crusade”. But the vax mandates have nothing to do with public health and everything to do with public control. Sheriff Villanueva rightly points out that people who are vaccinated should not be worried about the vax status of the person next to them. As I have argued over and over again ever since the vaccines were introduced: If the vaccines work then the unvaccinated pose no threat whatsoever to the vaccinated. If they don’t work, then why are they trying to mandate them in the first place? Vaccinated people still actively spread the virus. Highly vaccinated countries like Israel have the highest infection rates in the world. Vaccinated people make up the bulk of hospitalizations and deaths in majority vaccinated countries. Unvaccinated people who have natural immunity are up to 27 times more protected from covid than people who take the vaccines. These are the facts. Furthermore, the media absolutely refuses to openly discuss the actual death rate of the covid virus. The median Infection Fatality Rate of covid is a mere 0.27% according to the medical establishment and numerous peer reviewed studies. Who are the unvaxxed a threat to? 0.2% of the population? Why don’t those people take the vax and leave the rest of us alone? Does the science not matter anymore? There is no evidence that shows that the unvaccinated pose a threat to anyone. None. Zero. Yet, covid cultists are calling for the unvaxxed to suffer joblessness, poverty and possibly criminal prosecution for refusing to comply. This is madness, and when you allow insane people to take control of your society, collapse is sure to follow. I suspect that the media will attempt to bury this presentation by Sheriff Villanueva because it destroys the narrative that an overwhelming majority of law enforcement and other government employees are on board with the vax mandates. It also runs contrary to a number of lies surrounding the justifications for the experimental vaccines in general. Finally, the media reaction is so ridiculous and unhinged that one immediately sees the difference between the covid cult and a normal rational person like the Sheriff. They come off as zealots while he presents as wise. I applaud his reserve and calm demeanor in the face of such rabid stupidity, and I applaud his bravery in standing for truth in an era when truth is vilified. *  *  * If you would like to support the work that Alt-Market does while also receiving content on advanced tactics for defeating the globalist agenda, subscribe to our exclusive newsletter The Wild Bunch Dispatch.  Learn more about it HERE. Tyler Durden Mon, 11/08/2021 - 13:10.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 8th, 2021

The 5 best snowshoes for winter hiking or getting around town after a snowstorm

Whether you enjoy hiking in the snow or just want to be prepared for a snowstorm, you need a durable pair of snowshoes. Here are our favorites. REI Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky Snowshoeing is a fun and casual winter activity that's easy to pick up, but it can also be quite challenging. Snowshoes vary in style with some designed for running, walking around town, or with added traction for slick terrain. Our top pick, MSR's EVO Ascent, is a great all-around snowshoe with a high level of traction and a stable fit. Snowshoeing is one of the best ways to get outside and enjoy winter, whether you're out for a run, enjoying a hike, or traversing town after a snowstorm. The shoes keep you afloat while treading through packed snow or powder and provide much-needed traction in slippery conditions. Each pair of snowshoes has its own recommended range of use, not unlike the way some pairs of hiking boots are better for varied terrain than others. Some snowshoes are made for walking while others are designed specifically for winter running or serious backcountry expeditions.As a year-round hiker, I traverse as many snow-covered trails during the winter months as I do dirt paths in the summer. Needless to say, a reliable pair of snowshoes is a must in my outdoor kit. Because of that experience, I've worn dozens of pairs of snowshoes over the years, and have compiled my five favorite models below. I've also included some added insight into how I tested each of the snowshoes that made the cut, as well as answers to a few snowshoe FAQs, like how sizing differs by shoe and the different styles there are.Here are the best snowshoes:Best overall: MSR EVO AscentBest for rugged terrain: Atlas Helium MtnBest for casual outings: Crescent Moon EVABest for traction: Kahtoola Microspikes Traction SystemBest for runners: TSL Snowshoes Symbioz Hyperflex Best snowshoes overall REI MSR's EVO Ascent is a user-friendly snowshoe that's easy to adjust and highly versatile for both walkers and hikers.Pros: Highly stable, provides excellent traction on a variety of terrain, great for day hikes or casual strollsCons: Its highly useful tail extender isn't included, the rigid deck was loud on icy terrainA great do-everything snowshoe, MSR's stable and high-traction Evo Ascent has enough traction for backcountry adventures without feeling too aggressive when worn on day hikes. The shoes feature toothy underfoot rails that work in tandem with an aggressive toe claw to offer incredible traction, whether you're on ice and hardpack, or just soft snow. The EVO Ascent is built on a highly durable, injection-molded plastic deck that supports both big and smaller feet equally well. The binding fits almost any boot but because of its unique attachment system, which needs to be extremely tight to keep this shoe on, it worked best with hiking boots and shoes, or even bulky winter boots.When I was wearing sneakers or sneaker-like hikers, the tightened straps felt too tight. Once the straps were secured, they stayed tight through hours of ups and downs, even on stretches of off-camber side-hilling. When it got steep, I was even able to flip up the heel lifter without taking off my gloves.  Another feature that made these shoes so versatile was their modular tail. By adding MSR's six-inch deck extender (unfortunately, sold separately) I could turn my everyday snowshoe into one capable of handling deeper powder or that would hold up when I'd carry a heavy pack for winter camping.   And although it has aggressive traction, it's designed in such a way that on more mellow adventures, it was fun, not a burden. The EVO Ascent has been my favorite snowshoe this season. Best snowshoes for rugged terrain Atlas The Helium MTN from Atlas is the most comfortable snowshoe I've worn, and, it's one I'd depend on in challenging conditions and advanced, rough terrain. Pros: Comfortable and supportive even in rough terrain, lightweight at just over 3 lbs., uses a Boa binding to dial in a perfect fitCons: ExpensiveLight, tough, and aggressive, Atlas' Helium MTN is a comfortable and supportive snowshoe, even in the most challenging terrain. It has some of the best traction of any snowshoe I tested, too, capable of getting me through an icy hike up a mountain without the need for added traction via crampons.The Helium's composite deck is flexible at both the tip and tail which allows the vertical rows of ice-biting teeth and an under-toe claw to always be in contact with the surface you're walking on. This makes icy stretches of open rock far easier to navigate. As the shoe flexes, it also sheds snow so there's never heavy buildup on the deck weighing your foot down as you haul it along.The deck also features several big cutouts throughout, but Atlas kept enough deck material to keep the shoe afloat in soft and deep snow. This unique design lets Atlas keep the shoe light as it weighs around just 3 lbs. 3 oz. per pair.The Helium MTN's Boa-tightened binding slides on flexible plastic rails that wrapped across my foot securely while comfortably cradling it even on rugged terrain. The binding avoids any pressure points caused by individual forefoot straps, too. The pull-to-tighten Voile-style heel strap was secure and didn't slip off my boot heel regardless of what I was wearing on my feet — be it standard hiking boots or bulky, insulated winter footwear.Under the heel, these shoes have a wire heel lift that takes the stress out of steep climbs and can be adjusted without taking gloves off (though, when I was wearing mittens, I did need to remove one to pull up the lift). When I was back on flat ground, I was able to click the lift down with my gloves (and mittens) still on.  Even though these are some of the most expensive snowshoes, they're highly worth it. Best snowshoes for beginners REI For easy cruising and mellow outings, Crescent Moon's EVA Snowshoes welcome anyone to the sport. Pros: Easy to put on and take off, rockered design propels you forward, works well on packed powder or pre-groomed trailsCons: Only come in one adjustable size, light to moderate grip doesn't do well on icy inclinesThe Crocs of the snowshoe world, Crescent Moon's EVA Snowshoe is molded from the same rubbery, spongey material used in sneaker midsoles instead of composite, plastic, or aluminum like most other snowshoes. It has a simple and user-friendly binding and isn't intimidating to use, even for newbies headed out for winter walks on hard-packed snow and groomed trails.Crescent Moon's EVA Foam Snowshoe features a rockered design, so it actually propels you forward as you walk. The snowshoe's platform flexes with each step to roll you into the next one while simultaneously keeping you afloat. These are best for packed powder and groomed trails as foam sneaker treads do well to grip those kinds of surfaces. The grip is enhanced by seven low-profile underfoot ice spikes set in the foam tread that can also keep you striding with confidence when it gets a little slick underfoot. Because this snowshoe is made from foam, not only is it shock-absorbing but it insulates your foot from the cold snow underneath. It's also aggressively curved, which is hard to get used to right at first but when you do, its curved chassis is a dream on uneven terrain (and it doesn't kick snow up your back as others do). The EVA's simple Velcro strap binding was secure enough for flat to rolling terrain but it doesn't fit bulky footwear that well, so you'll want to wear a low-profile boot or regular shoes. It's important to keep snow out of the Velcro, too, as the bindings are much more inclined to come undone if that happens.Its Velcro bindings are intuitive and the metal spike-enhanced foam traction lugs provide plenty of float and make the snowshoeing a breeze. Its aggressively rockered sole rolls you right into the next step, so you'll never feel like you're dragging any extra weight on your feet. It helps that these are virtually unbreakable, too. Best snowshoes for traction REI MicroSpikes are an excellent tool for icy hikes, or when there's a lack of deep snow but you still need added traction.Pros: Highly portable, easy to slip on, they provide incredible traction, perfect for hikes that mix both snow and iceCons: Not a traditional snowshoe that provides floatWhen you don't need float but you do need traction, Kahtoola's spike and chain shoe covers deliver exactly that. I've used these for years for winter hiking throughout the Northeast and continue to make sure these are stashed in my winter kit any time I leave the house.Each Microspike has 12 triangular hardened-steel spikes attached to ice-biting chains threaded onto a stretchy, silicone-rubber harness through reinforced eyelets. The spikes are 3/8 inches long and heat-treated to avoid bending under strenuous conditions.To put the Microspikes on, you just need to loop the front edge of the harness over the toe of your shoe or boot and stretch the Microspike until you're able to hook it around your heel. Metal toe bales hold the spikes in place once they're on, and when you're done, it takes just a few seconds to remove them. They're even compact enough that they pack easily into a tote sack about the size of a small orange, and they weigh just 11.9 oz. in size medium.MicroSpikes have been one of my most trusted winter walking aids for years and they were even recently updated with a significantly lighter elastomer harness than previous versions. Now, the attachment stays stretchy down to -22°F.Because Microspikes use flexible chains to connect the spikes, I never once had them break on me, and I've used them for years for hikes across New York's Adirondacks or through Vermont's exposed, rocky highest peaks. Best snowshoes for runners Backcountry TSL's Symbioz Hyperflex is a great shoe for runners. They're efficient, light, and have plenty of traction on packed trails while also providing added grip on the occasional patch of ice.Pros: Flexible frame makes running feel relatively natural, binding can be pre-setCons: Hard to fit on those with big feet/shoesRunning snowshoes have their own set of specific design demands. When running on snow, not only do you need float but you want a binding that won't pinch your feet through lightweight running shoes. You need enough traction to avoid slipping on ice yet you want to be able to move fast (so you can't be weighed down). Few snowshoes check these boxes but TSL's Symbioz Hyperflex does it all. Made for snowshoe racers and runners, these have a composite frame that flexes as you push off the snow. That flex makes running feel much more natural than when wearing a stiff snowshoe, even if it's a small one.The Symbioz Hyperflex has an adjustable webbing binding riveted to a flexible toe cup that holds sneakers firmly without squeezing. It's quick to get on and off and also lets you pre-set it for your sneaker size so you won't have to fiddle with adjusting straps when you just want to head out the door.Four steel spikes on the Symbioz base deliver enough traction to run up slick hills and can prevent you from wiping out on icy straightaways. Cutouts and molded snow-probing cleats in the composite deck gripped on hardpack and packed powder providing enough stable footing to efficiently propel forward with each step.The exaggerated turned-up toe helps prevent you from catching a toe on a chunk of ice or snow, and its rockered design helps maintain momentum (and doesn't fling snow everywhere). They're an incredibly light 1.4 lbs. per pair (less than half the weight of other snowshoes), which help feel like there's barely anything strapped to your feet. Snowshoes FAQ Pixabay What are the different types of snowshoes?There are several variations of snowshoes and some are better for walking on beginner-friendly trails, while others are best for those who want to go off the trail entirely. Recreational/flat terrain: Entry-level models fit in this category, as these snowshoes are aimed at beginners. They're made for walking across a field or on a novice trail. They have simple systems for gaining traction and work well for hard-packed snow. You'll often see a wide tail on these types of shoes to help with balance.Running/rolling terrain: When hiking on normal trails in hilly areas, these types of snowshoes have a nice mixture of performance and comfort. They aren't made for the steepest conditions, but they do have solid bindings and mid-level crampons. This will be the most common style of snowshoe for most people.Backcountry/mountain terrain: When hiking on difficult trails or when hiking to a remote area for snowboarding, you'll want some top-end snowshoes. These shoes often are small, allowing the wearer to have more control while hiking on icy and steep terrain. You'll find strong, highly adjustable bindings on these shoes to ensure they stay on your feet, as well as aggressive crampons for maximum control.How do you pick out the right size of snowshoes?When you think of the size of the snowshoe, you don't want to think about the fit on the foot, as you do with other types of shoes. A snowshoe size refers to the amount of coverage area the snowshoe has. Use the right size of snowshoe and you'll enjoy wearing it a lot more.Larger shoes: A larger snowshoe will be one that has a lot of surface area. Men's snowshoes will be larger than those designed for kids or women, so they can carry more weight. You'll also want a larger surface area if you plan to be carrying a large backpack while hiking. Snowshoes with larger surface areas work better on powdery snow.Medium-sized shoes: For average-sized people, you can make use of an average-sized surface area, such as 9 by 25 to 30 inches. If you're going to be hiking with a day pack, an average-sized snowshoe should work well.Smaller shoes: If you're going for a day hike with little to no extra gear or walking on icy surfaces or hard-packed snow, a smaller-sized snowshoe works well. Both aluminum and composite snowshoes fit into this category.What's kind of snowshoe binding should I use? Picking out the right snowshoe binding is highly important. You'll notice these come in a variety of sizes, as some are meant for running shoes (and are inherently smaller) while others are for big winter boots.You'll want to choose a snowshoe with a binding that matches your preferred footwear, and one that's suited to the kind of walking or hiking you plan to do. Also, If you're hiking strictly on ice (and not on snow), spiked traction that slips over your shoes is a much better choice than a full-on snowshoe. How we test snowshoes Each pair of snowshoes in this guide went through a series of on-foot and on-snow tests to see how well they compared based on these four categories: Performance, fit, durability, and value. Here's how we specifically considered each category while testing:Performance: Though we tested a variety of snowshoes with a range of use cases, there were still a few key performance traits we looked for in each pair: traction and stability. For the pairs meant to give you float on deeper snow, we looked at how well these held up on both fluffy powder, as well as packed snow, along with how well they did in terms of providing traction and stability underfoot. For those meant strictly for hardpack (like the pairs intended for runners), stability and traction were the highest priority.Fit: An ill-fitting snowshoe can make even a casual jaunt around town an annoying affair. To judge this, we looked at how easy the fit system was to use, whether the straps stayed snug or go loose over time, and how the system fared across a variety of shoe and boot choices. We've noted where some shoes fit tighter than others, as well as how they worked with regular tennis shoes or hiking boots.Durability: Most snowshoes are designed to take a bit of a beating, as they're essentially extensions of your hiking boot (and are built to take on rugged terrain). However, testing for durability is more than just assessing build strength but also how well the fit system holds up to long-term use, if the built-in or attached spikes chip away on rougher terrain, and if the structure of the shoe can handle constant stress. Value: A snowshoe's value is a combination of the three categories above, as well as how much of an investment it entails. We often recommend that it's better to spend more on a premium pair of snowshoes than to spend less, more often on an inferior product. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 8th, 2021

15 best yoga gifts for the yogi in your life, no matter their skill level or practice

Gift the yogi in your life something to help improve their practice, whether it's a new mat, some practice inspiration, or a pair of grippy socks. If you are a beginner, try taking an in-person yoga class as the instructor can help modify or correct poses. 10'000 Hours/Getty images When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. The best way to shop for a yogi is to consider where they are in their practice and what they enjoy using. For the new yogi, consider basics like comfortable athletic wear or yoga props like blocks or mats. Below are 15 thoughtful yoga gifts for yogis of all skill levels, including Glo memberships and lululemon gift cards. Practicing yoga, and any of its many forms and disciplines, is one of the best ways to manage stress, improve flexibility, and calm your mind. A practice that dates back centuries, yoga originated in ancient India with roots that tie it to Hindusim, Buddhism, Jainism, and a host of other religions.Yoga today encompasses a variety of formats. This includes Bikram Yoga, which is colloquially referred to as "hot yoga," as well as others like Ashtanga or Vinyasa (which is considered the most popular form in the western world). If someone on your holiday list is an avid yogi, coming up with gift ideas beyond a yoga mat or a pair of leggings might be challenging; let's face it, they already have these in abundance. Sticking to the basics is a solid option when you're buying gifts for someone just beginning a yoga-friendly lifestyle but shopping for seasoned practitioners requires creativity.But don't fret, we've got you covered. To some, yoga is a spiritual, mindful practice and to others, it's their dedicated form of exercise. Whatever their connection, there's a gift for every yogi on your list.Here are 15 of the best yoga gifts for yogis of any skill level or discipline: Glo Glo Membership, available via Glo, from $18The Glo app offers yogis of all levels unlimited access to more than 4,000 classes taught by world-class instructors, on-demand whenever, wherever they're itching to get on the mat. Classes are recommended based on how long you have to practice (from 10 minutes on up to a full 60-minute session), your interests (yoga, Pilates, or mediation), and user favorites. You can even browse the app's library and choose classes however you see fit. Amazon SpunkySoul New Beginnings Bracelet Stack, available via Amazon, $19SpunkySoul wants to help yogis channel their positive energy on and off the mat with its Lotus New Beginnings bracelet collection, and after all 2020 has put us through, who couldn't use the good vibes? A lotus charm hangs from each stack of bracelets, representing "good fortune, positive energy, purity, eternity, creation, enlightenment, and new beginnings."All stacks also include a bracelet made from lava beads, which can be used as a diffuser: Just add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to one of the lava beads and let the blend create an aromatic accessory that's good for the soul. Saje Saje Yoga Grounding Diffuser Blend, available via Saje, $22If your yogi is just as obsessed with essential oils as they are with yoga, they'll love Saje's grounding diffuser blend. The aromatic combination of earthy patchouli, bright orange, peaceful neroli, spicy ho wood, and crisp champaca is said to promote feelings of gratitude and Zen. It's the perfect formula to have circulating whether you're on or off the mat. Amazon Ewedoos Yoga Mat Bag, available via Amazon, from $20Whether their studio classes are back in session, or their home yoga space could use some organization, this roomy bag from Ewedoos is a storage staple. Unlike other yoga bags that are only roomy enough to fit your mat and maybe a towel, the main compartment of the Ewedoos bag is spacious enough to hold a mat and accessories like straps or a yoga block.Plus, a water bottle and towel can go in the large side pocket, while a small interior zip compartment holds the essentials you'd usually keep in a purse, like your car keys, phone, or wallet. Amazon Yogi Bare Teddy mat, available via Amazon, $70The Teddy from Yogi Bare is a machine-washable yoga mat that helps take some of the tediousness out of keeping a mat clean — just throw it in the washer and that's it, it's clean. The mat is also great for anyone who likes to do hot yoga as it features a sweat-adaptive surface that won't get slippery when wet. Gifting a mat may not always seem like the best choice for a yogi but this one is the exception.  Lululemon/Facebook Lululemon Gift Card, available via lululemonNothing motivates me to exercise quite like a new pair of leggings, so if you're struggling to find the perfect gift for a yogi, I highly recommend treating them to a shopping spree at lululemon. The store is swarming with technical athletic wear geared toward yogis because the brand acknowledges the ways clothes can make or break your flow. The brand also designs clothes for different genders, so there's something for everyone. Amazon Ajna Yoga Bolster, available via Amazon, $70Though yoga bolsters are underrated accessories compared to blocks and straps, they're essential to restorative practices. Bolsters support and alleviate pressure on joints, provide lumbar relief, deepen stretches, and help the body achieve total relaxation in times of discomfort. They're also quite versatile and can be used in a range of practices or meditations, and even work off the mat when the body needs extra support.Ajna's yoga prop is an especially great pick because it's eco-friendly, made with 100% vegan materials, free of harmful chemicals or toxic solvents, and super comfortable. The bolster also comes in a range of colors, so you can give your yogi their favorite. Amazon The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Sri Swami Satchidananda, available via Amazon, $16There's so much more to yoga than poses named after animals and an Instagram-worthy aesthetic. Yoga is rooted in Ayurvedic beliefs, spiritual connections, and Indian philosophy. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali offer readers a deep dive into some of these teachings, specifically those of Raja Yoga, which is the practice of concentration and meditation.The text is a compilation of valuable lessons from the yogic teachings on ethics, meditation, and physical postures, and also provides insight on how to cope through everyday situations both on and off the mat. Amazon AmazonBasics Foam Roller, available via Amazon, $11Foam rollers aren't typically grouped with yoga props but they can be extremely beneficial to a yogi's practice. Because yoga requires a lot of movement and fluidity from one pose to the next, your muscles need to be pliable; when they're restricted, so is your movement.Foam rollers help work out the kinks in your muscles, so they stay healthy and limber. They can be used pre-flow to warm the muscles, and post-flow as a recovery tool. Wayfair Delsanto Wall-Mounted Sports Rack, available via Wayfair, $25How and where one decides to practice looks different for almost every yogi. For anyone hopping on the mat at home, this storage display is a gift that helps make their space look and feel a little more special (and organized). Amazon Sunflower Home Foam Yoga Cushion, available via Amazon, $15As amazing as yoga is for the mind and body, it can also be extremely hard on the knees, wrists, and hands. Sunflower Home's miniature cushions help ease the strain by putting pressure off of these sensitive areas.They're made with eco-friendly PU foam, so they won't absorb much moisture (re: sweat) and are made extra thick for optimal support. The cushions are also multi-purpose and can be used off the mat anytime your joints require some relief. Urban Outfitters Calm Club Yoga Card Deck, available via Urban Outfitters, $18Pick a card, any card, then flow it out. This fun card deck from Calm Club is a compilation of 52 yoga poses — one for every week in the year. The idea is that yogis choose a card at random on a Monday and dedicate the week to incorporating the illustrated pose into their practice. By Sunday, they'll hopefully have mastered it (or, at the very least, are on their way to mastering it). Anthropologie Herban Essentials Yoga Towelettes,  available via Anthropologie, $16I don't wash my yoga mat near as much as I should, though I know I'm not the only one guilty of doing this. Do your yogi friend a favor and gift them these hygienic towelettes from Herban Essentials — they need them, I promise. Each single-use towelette is made from therapeutic-grade essential oils from organic fruits, herbs, and vegetables supplied by American farmers.They're also naturally antibacterial, antiseptic, aromatherapeutic, and leave a calming scent of lavender lingering on your mat so you're inhaling soothing fumes, not days-old sweat, Tavi Noir Tavi Noir Yoga Socks, availabe via Tavi Noir, $16Rather than a festive pair of socks, gift your yogi some cushy footwear with a little more grip this holiday season. Tavi Noir's grip socks are made of cozy cotton, are non-slip, and feature a compression arch band. Designed for yoga and Pilates, these socks do well to keep feet planted and firm on the mat. The best part is the brand is technically unisex in sizing and offers a variety of larger styles for anyone with larger feet. Amazon Yoga Poses Poster, available via Amazon, $25Spontaneity is the best way to spice up a routine, so if their practice is feeling a little stale, this yoga poses poster can help them shake things up on the mat. This poster serves as a fun way to progress in their training while also allowing them to track their progress.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 28th, 2021

Miller: The Slippery Semantics Of Anthony Fauci

Miller: The Slippery Semantics Of Anthony Fauci Authored by Stephen L. Miller via Spectator World (emphasis ours), I do not have any accounting of what the Chinese may have done, and I’m fully in favor of any further investigation of what went on in China. However, I will repeat again: the NIH and NIAID categorically has not funded ‘gain-of-function’ research to be conducted in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”  That was Dr Anthony Fauci during a May 2021 congressional hearing. It kicked off a months-long national media effort to frame questions around gain-of-function research and US-taxpayer-funded virus manipulation as a Royal Rumble between Fauci and Senator Rand Paul. When he testifies or sits for friendly network interviews, Fauci depends on semantics. He relies on the naivety of the interviewer and the audience, employing terminology and definitions he believes only he understands. But like the ponytailed Chad in Good Will Hunting attempting to flex his big brain, Fauci’s arguments fall apart in front of the initiated. Last week, Lawrence Tabak, the principal deputy director of the NIH, sent a letter to Congress saying that EcoHealth Alliance failed to report certain aspects of the experimental work it had been conducting in China on bats and bat-borne viruses. Tabak pledged that the NIH and Fauci’s NIAID would take administrative action, but not much more than that. So Fauci’s absolutist answer from May has proven to be false. At the very least, the doctor needs to answer directly why he chose to deflect questions on gain-of-function research, something his own agency is claiming it had no idea was happening. How could have Fauci have denied back in May something so “categorically” if EcoHealth Alliance, run by Fauci ally Peter Daszak, had failed to report the full extent of their experiments? When Fauci sat for a cozy Sunday interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, he once again deployed his semantic game on the interviewer. Stephanopoulos framed the revealing letter from Tabak as “critics pouncing”: “Some critics and analysts have seized on that to say you and others have misled the public about US funding of this so-called gain-of-function research. The NIH says that’s false.” Fauci addressed Senator Rand Paul directly by responding, “The framework under which we have guidance about the conduct of research that we fund, the funding at the Wuhan Institute was to be able to determine what is out there in the environment, in bat viruses in China. And the research was very strictly under what we call a framework of oversight of the type of research.” Fauci then went on to say “And under those conditions which we have explained very, very clearly, does not constitute research of gain-of-function of concern.” In his answer, Fauci hedges by admitting that there was US funding directed to the Wuhan Institute, but, now, that funding did not directly fund “gain-of-function of concern.” “Of concern” is the new caveat Fauci has added to get around answering the question. He had never used the terminology “gain-of-function of concern” in prior interviews or testimony. He just slipped it in there because hardly anyone notices. Furthermore he knows that the general public and most of the press has no idea what “of concern” means. We know that gain-of-function research was happening in Wuhan and we know Fauci categorically denied US involvement in it. So now he’s attempting to sneak one by the audience and change the terminology, on what the definition of “gain-of-function of concern” means. So what does it mean? It all comes down to intent. “Of concern” is the term used to differentiate studying and manipulating viruses in the scientific environments as a purposeful method to produce bioweapons. Fauci said as much in 2012 when he testified that his department worked with the Defense Department on such experiments. What Fauci is seeking to do is tweak the argument with semantics and write off his critics and the critics of gain-of-function as people accusing Fauci and the Wuhan Institute of developing bioweapons. No one has done so. It’s a game: “Sure we funded gain-of-function, but how dare you insinuate we funded bioweapon research, you kook!” These are not the actions of a medical professional, with a serious interest in a transparent inquiry into the origins of the virus that has led to the deaths of 16 million people worldwide, including 750,000 Americans. These are the games a bureaucrat plays when they are attempting to cover their own ass, their career and their life’s work. Pulling this thread leads to one place: more discovery, more leaks and more gleam off Fauci’s armor in the media. How much more damning information needs to come out before he retires? *  *  * Stephen L. Miller is a contributing editor to The Spectator. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 22:50.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 26th, 2021

Trump Media SPAC Slides After Unveiling Plans For Paid Streaming Service

Trump Media SPAC Slides After Unveiling Plans For Paid Streaming Service It has been a wild week of trading for the SPAC presently known as DWAC after traders were blindsided last week by the announcement of a deal between the obscure SPAC and President Trump's nascent "Trump Media and Technology Group", meaning the combined company will become the home of Trump's "TRUTH" social network. But as demand for the SPAC's richly valued shares (with a TTM multiple of 0 since neither firm has any revenue or sales, just projections) has waned after a meme-stockian retail-driven runup (which saw some institutional investors miss out on one of the biggest trades of the year) saw the market cap of the company explode into the billions, it looks like President Trump - who stands to benefit the most financially from this project give his massive ownership stake - is doing everything he can to pump up the valuation once again. In a statement released Tuesday, Trump announced that the combined company is preparing to launch a paid streaming service (alongside other businesses that have been bandied about) in an effort to "explain more about what I am doing and why." He added that "this endeavor is about much more than politics...this is about saving our country." Right now, censorship on social media platforms is rampant, with not just political content, but content from scientists, philosophers and other 'unorthodox' thinkers - or anything that goes to far to cross the SJWs' ideological boundaries - being reflexively censored. Because of this corruption, Trump feels compelled to act. The corruption of these platforms cannot be ignored. We have fallen far down the “slippery slope” of censorship in our country, and the topics that Americans are increasingly forbidden to debate are among the most important issues of our day. This wildly aggressive censorship and “cancel-culture” is not only un-American—it has direct, real-world consequences. Most obvious are the many catastrophes unfolding under the current administration: the calamitous Afghanistan withdrawal, the disaster at the Southern Border, runaway inflation, and the multi-trillion-dollar socialist spending nightmare, just to name a few. These "silencing and cancellation" effects are more subtle but equally destructive to our society. An obvious consequence of this is polls show that Americans have little trust in or respect for the media. Yet the silencing and cancellation also affects our country in more subtle, but equally destructive, ways. How many Americans no longer trust a word they hear from their leaders, media, or public health officials, because the one thing they know for certain is that they are not getting the full story? How many ordinary citizens have sadly come to resent their neighbors, feeling that they now live in two entirely different realities? And how many millions of Americans silently oppose so much of the nonsense being inflicted on us, but see the heavy hand of the cancelers, and conclude that their voice can make no difference, or that the cost of speaking up is just too high? The new age of censorship is a disaster for our country. Things were far better in the days when we had our debates fiercely and openly, and then we could move forward together, as Americans, with both sides knowing that their voice, and their best arguments, had been heard. The announcement sent shares of DWAC moving higher, but as the cash markets opened, DWAC is sliding... Read the full statement from Trump below: Last week, I announced the creation of a major new company that will challenge the dominance of the Big Tech giants and Big Media bosses. Today I want to explain more about what I am doing and why. For me, this endeavor is about much more than politics. This is about saving our country. America has always been a nation of smart, spirited, and independent people who take pride in thinking for themselves. We admire those who aren’t afraid to speak their minds, or go against the tide. Yet suddenly, we find ourselves being censored and dictated to by a small group of self-righteous scolds and self-appointed arbiters of what everyone else is allowed to think, say, share, and do. Nowhere is this censorship more dangerous and brazen than on social media, the public square of our times. We have seen renowned medical doctors being banned from platforms for contradicting “health authorities” or questioning the political narrative of the moment. We’ve seen scientists blacklisted for sharing evidence that the pandemic began in a Chinese lab. We’ve seen vital reporting about Joe and Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings—information that voters needed and deserved to hear—ruthlessly suppressed and erased from the internet just weeks before a presidential election. And as everyone knows, we’ve seen a sitting president of the United States effectively silenced by a small oligarchy of tech titans and “mainstream” media corporations. The corruption of these platforms cannot be ignored. We have fallen far down the “slippery slope” of censorship in our country, and the topics that Americans are increasingly forbidden to debate are among the most important issues of our day. This wildly aggressive censorship and “cancel-culture” is not only un-American—it has direct, real-world consequences. Most obvious are the many catastrophes unfolding under the current administration: the calamitous Afghanistan withdrawal, the disaster at the Southern Border, runaway inflation, and the multi-trillion-dollar socialist spending nightmare, just to name a few. In a country that had free speech and a free flow of information, none of this would ever have happened—and no one understands that better than the people doing the censoring. Yet the silencing and cancellation also affects our country in more subtle, but equally destructive, ways. How many Americans no longer trust a word they hear from their leaders, media, or public health officials, because the one thing they know for certain is that they are not getting the full story? How many ordinary citizens have sadly come to resent their neighbors, feeling that they now live in two entirely different realities? And how many millions of Americans silently oppose so much of the nonsense being inflicted on us, but see the heavy hand of the cancelers, and conclude that their voice can make no difference, or that the cost of speaking up is just too high? The new age of censorship is a disaster for our country. Things were far better in the days when we had our debates fiercely and openly, and then we could move forward together, as Americans, with both sides knowing that their voice, and their best arguments, had been heard. The more I looked into this problem, the more I realized that to restore free speech, a major new platform would have to enter the market, with an ironclad commitment to protecting vigorous debate from all sides. But since it is both hard and expensive to build a new platform totally independent of Big Tech’s infrastructure, it would have to be an extremely well-funded, multi-year undertaking. In addition, such a platform would need the ability to rapidly attract millions of users, welcoming not only Republicans to join, but Independents and Democrats as well. It’s a tremendously difficult set of challenges—and I realized I might be the only person in America with the megaphone, the resources, the experience, and the desire to make it all happen. * * * Source: Telegram Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 10:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 26th, 2021

Sun Communities, Inc. Reports 2021 Third Quarter Results

Southfield, MI, Oct. 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sun Communities, Inc. (NYSE:SUI) (the "Company"), a real estate investment trust ("REIT") that owns and operates, or has an interest in, manufactured housing ("MH") communities, recreational vehicle ("RV") resorts and marinas, (collectively, the "properties"), today reported its third quarter results for 2021. Financial Results for the Quarter and Nine Months Ended September 30, 2021 For the quarter ended September 30, 2021, total revenues increased $283.8 million, or 70.9 percent, to approximately $684.3 million compared to $400.5 million for the same period in 2020. Net income attributable to common stockholders increased $150.6 million, or 185.4 percent, to approximately $231.8 million, or $2.00 per diluted common share, compared to net income attributable to common stockholders of $81.2 million, or $0.83 per diluted common share, for the same period in 2020. For the nine months ended September 30, 2021, total revenues increased $716.1 million, or 70.6 percent, to $1.7 billion compared to approximately $1.0 billion for the same period in 2020. Net income attributable to common stockholders increased $243.3 million, or 196.2 percent, to approximately $367.3 million, or $3.27 per diluted common share, compared to net income attributable to common stockholders of $124.0 million, or $1.29 per diluted common share, for the same period in 2020. Non-GAAP Financial Measures and Portfolio Performance Core Funds from Operations ("Core FFO")(1) for the quarter ended September 30, 2021, was $2.11 per diluted share and OP unit ("Share") as compared to $1.60 in the corresponding period in 2020, a 31.9 percent increase. Same Community(2) Net Operating Income ("NOI")(1) increased by 12.4 percent for the quarter ended September 30, 2021, as compared to the corresponding period in 2020. Home Sales Volume increased 63.7 percent to 1,162 homes for the quarter ended September 30, 2021, as compared to 710 homes in the same period in 2020. Acquisitions totaled $500.8 million during and subsequent to the quarter ended September 30, 2021, including 9 MH communities, 7 RV resorts and 6 marinas. Gary Shiffman, Chief Executive Officer stated, "We are pleased with our third quarter results which highlight successful execution across all of our growth strategies. The RV segment continues to deliver strong results producing same community NOI growth of nearly 31 percent in the quarter, as we benefit from the demand for outdoor experiences coming from existing and new Sun customers. As the leading industry consolidator, we have completed $1.1 billion of acquisitions year-to-date, and believe our cycle tested ability to create value through acquisitions will continue to result in accretive growth. We have remained active in the capital markets to support this growth including completing our second bond offering of the year. Our talented team will continue to execute on opportunities across operations, acquisitions, expansions and ground-up developments, providing us with a confident outlook." OPERATING HIGHLIGHTS Portfolio Occupancy Total MH and annual RV occupancy was 97.4 percent at September 30, 2021 as compared to 97.2 percent at September 30, 2020, an increase of 20 basis points. During the quarter ended September 30, 2021, MH and annual RV revenue producing sites increased by 576 sites as compared to an increase of 776 sites during the quarter ended September 30, 2020. During the nine months ended September 30, 2021, MH and annual RV revenue producing sites increased by 1,673 sites as compared to an increase of 1,927 sites during the nine months ended September 30, 2020. Same Community(2) Results For the 403 MH and RV properties owned and operated by the Company since January 1, 2020, the following table reflects the percentage increases, in total and by segment, for the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2021:   Quarter Ended September 30, 2021   Total Same Community   MH   RV Revenue 12.8  %   5.2  %   24.2  % Expense 13.7  %   12.7  %   14.8  % NOI 12.4  %   2.6  %   30.6  %   Nine Months Ended September 30, 2021   Total Same Community   MH   RV Revenue 12.9  %   5.8  %   27.4  % Expense 14.6  %   10.2  %   20.0  % NOI 12.1  %   4.3  %   32.8  % Same Community adjusted occupancy(3) increased to 98.9 percent at September 30, 2021 from 97.4 percent at September 30, 2020, an increase of 150 basis points. Home Sales The following table reflects the home sales volume increases for the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2021:   Quarter Ended   Nine Months Ended   September 30, 2021   September 30, 2020   Change   % Change   September 30, 2021   September 30, 2020   Change   % Change New home sales volume 207      155      52      33.5  %   583      414      169      40.8  % Pre-owned home sales volume 955      555      400      72.1  %   2,572      1,670      902      54.0  % Total home sales volume 1,162      710      452      63.7  %   3,155      2,084      1,071      51.4  % Marina Results Marina NOI was $64.5 million and $158.7 million for the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2021, respectively. Refer to page 15 for additional information regarding the marina portfolio operating results. PORTFOLIO ACTIVITY Acquisitions and Dispositions During and subsequent to the quarter ended September 30, 2021, the Company acquired the following communities, resorts and marinas: Property Name   Property Type   Sites,Wet Slips and Dry Storage Spaces   Development Sites   State / Province   Total Purchase Price (in millions)   Month Acquired Allen Harbor   Marina   165      —      RI   $ 4.0      July Cisco Grove Campground & RV   RV   18      407      CA   6.6      July Four Leaf Portfolio(a)   MH   2,545      340      MI / IN   215.0      July Harborage Yacht Club   Marina   300      —      FL   22.0      July Zeman Portfolio(b)   RV   686      —      IL / NJ   15.2      July Southern Leisure Resort   RV   496      —      FL   17.8      August Sunroad Marina   Marina   617      —      CA   84.4      August Lazy Lakes RV   RV   99      —      FL   9.8      August Puerto del Rey   Marina   1,450      —      Puerto Rico   92.3      September Stingray Point   Marina   219      —      VA   2.9      September Detroit River   Marina   440      —      MI   8.8      September Jetstream RV Resort   RV   202      —      TX   17.5      September Subtotal       7,237      747          496.3                                  Acquisitions subsequent to quarter end                 Beaver Brook Campground   RV   204      150      ME   4.5      October Subtotal       204      150          4.5                                  Total acquisitions       7,441      897          $ 500.8        (a) Includes nine MH communities. (b) Includes two RV communities. During and subsequent to the nine months ended September 30, 2021, the Company acquired 38 properties totaling 11,910 sites, wet slips and dry storage spaces and 897 sites for expansion for a total purchase price of $1.1 billion. During the quarter ended September 30, 2021, the Company acquired three land parcels, which are located in Ft. Collins and Ft. Lupton, Colorado and Leighton, Michigan, approved for the development of over 500 MH sites, for total consideration of $7.7 million. During the quarter ended September 30, 2021, the Company sold six MH communities located in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana and Missouri for $162.1 million. Construction Activity During the quarter ended September 30, 2021, the Company completed the construction of over 230 sites in two ground-up developments and over 90 expansion sites in two RV resorts. During the nine months ended September 30, 2021, the Company completed the construction of over 580 sites in four ground-up developments and over 320 expansion sites in three MH communities and three RV resorts. BALANCE SHEET, CAPITAL MARKETS ACTIVITY AND OTHER ITEMS Debt As of September 30, 2021, the Company had approximately $4.7 billion in debt outstanding. The weighted average interest rate was 3.3 percent and the weighted average maturity was 9.6 years. At September 30, 2021, the Company's net debt to trailing twelve month Recurring EBITDA(1) ratio was 4.9 times. The Company had $71.6 million of unrestricted cash on hand. Senior Unsecured Notes Subsequent to the quarter ended September 30, 2021, Sun Communities Operating Limited Partnership ("SCOLP"), the Company's operating partnership, issued $450.0 million of senior unsecured notes with an interest rate of 2.3 percent and a seven-year term, due November 1, 2028 (the "2028 Notes"), and $150.0 million of senior unsecured notes with an interest rate of 2.7 percent, with a 10-year term, due July 15, 2031 (the "2031 Notes"). The 2031 Notes are additional notes of the same series as the $600.0 million aggregate principal amount of 2.7 percent Senior Notes which are due July 15, 2031 that SCOLP issued on June 28, 2021. The net proceeds from the offering were approximately $595.5 million after deducting underwriters' discounts and estimated offering expenses. Equity Transaction At the Market Offering In September 2021, the Company completed the sale of 107,400 forward shares of common stock for $21.4 million under the terms of its At the Market Offering Sales Agreement. The average price before underwriting discounts and commissions was $199.42 per share. The Company expects to settle the forward shares by September 2022. 2021 GUIDANCE The Company is providing revised or initial 2021 guidance for the following metrics:       Previous Range   Revised Range           FY 2021E   FY 2021E   4Q 2021E Basic earnings per share     $2.24 - $2.36   $3.42 - $3.48   $0.15 - $0.21 Core FFO(1) per fully diluted Share     $6.25 - $6.37   $6.44 - $6.50   $1.24 - $1.30 Basic earnings per share and Core FFO(1) per fully diluted share and calculated independently for each quarter; as a result, the sum of the quarters may differ from the annual calculation. Full year 2021 guidance is based on the annual calculation.       Previous Range   Revised Range           FY 2021E   FY 2021E   4Q 2021E Same Community NOI(1) growth     9.9% - 10.7%   10.9% - 11.1%   7.2% - 8.0% Guidance estimates include acquisitions completed through the date of this release and exclude any prospective acquisitions or capital markets activity. The estimates and assumptions presented above represent a range of possible outcomes and may differ materially from actual results. The estimates and assumptions are forward looking based on the Company's current assessment of economic and market conditions, as well as other risks outlined below under the caption "Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements." EARNINGS CONFERENCE CALL A conference call to discuss third quarter results will be held on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at 11:00 A.M. (ET). To participate, call toll-free (877) 407-9039. Callers outside the U.S. or Canada can access the call at (201) 689-8470. A replay will be available following the call through November 9, 2021 and can be accessed toll-free by calling (844) 512-2921 or (412) 317-6671. The Conference ID number for the call and the replay is 13722742. The conference call will be available live on Sun Communities' website located at www.suncommunities.com. The replay will also be available on the website. Sun Communities, Inc. is a REIT that, as of September 30, 2021, owned, operated, or had an interest in a portfolio of 584 developed MH, RV and marina properties comprising nearly 155,900 developed sites and nearly 44,900 wet slips and dry storage spaces in 38 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. For more information about Sun Communities, Inc., please visit www.suncommunities.com. CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS This press release contains various "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the Company intends that such forward-looking statements will be subject to the safe harbors created thereby. For this purpose, any statements contained in this press release that relate to expectations, beliefs, projections, future plans and strategies, trends or prospective events or developments and similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts are deemed to be forward-looking statements. Words such as "forecasts," "intends," "intend," "intended," "goal," "estimate," "estimates," "expects," "expect," "expected," "project," "projected," "projections," "plans," "predicts," "potential," "seeks," "anticipates," "anticipated," "should," "could," "may," "will," "designed to," "foreseeable future," "believe," "believes," "scheduled," "guidance," "target" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward looking statements contain these words. These forward-looking statements reflect the Company's current views with respect to future events and financial performance, but involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, both general and specific to the matters discussed in or incorporated herein, some of which are beyond the Company's control. These risks, uncertainties and other factors may cause the Company's actual results to be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. In addition to the risks disclosed under "Risk Factors" contained in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 and in the Company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time, such risks, uncertainties and other factors include but are not limited to: outbreaks of disease, including the COVID-19 pandemic, and related stay-at-home orders, quarantine policies and restrictions on travel, trade and business operations; changes in general economic conditions, the real estate industry and the markets in which the Company operates; difficulties in the Company's ability to evaluate, finance, complete and integrate acquisitions, developments and expansions successfully; the Company's liquidity and refinancing demands; the Company's ability to obtain or refinance maturing debt; the Company's ability to maintain compliance with covenants contained in its debt facilities and its senior unsecured notes; availability of capital; changes in foreign currency exchange rates, including between the U.S. dollar and each of the Canadian and Australian dollars; the Company's ability to maintain rental rates and occupancy levels; the Company's ability to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting and disclosure controls and procedures; increases in interest rates and operating costs, including insurance premiums and real property taxes; risks related to natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, droughts and wildfires; general volatility of the capital markets and the market price of shares of the Company's capital stock; the Company's ability to maintain its status as a REIT; changes in real estate and zoning laws and regulations; legislative or regulatory changes, including changes to laws governing the taxation of REITs; litigation, judgments or settlements; competitive market forces; the ability of purchasers of manufactured homes and boats to obtain financing; and the level of repossessions by manufactured home and boat lenders. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date the statement was made. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements included in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in its expectations or otherwise, except as required by law. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, it cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. All written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to the Company or persons acting on its behalf are qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements. Investor Information   RESEARCH COVERAGE                           Firm   Analyst   Phone   Email Bank of America Merrill Lynch   Joshua Dennerlein   (646) 855-1681   joshua.dennerlein@baml.com Barclays   Anthony Powell   (212) 526-8768   anthony.powell@barclays.com     Allison Gelman   (212) 526-3367   allison.gelman@barclays.com Berenberg Capital Markets   Keegan Carl   (646) 949-9052   keegan.carl@berenberg-us.com BMO Capital Markets   John Kim   (212) 885-4115   johnp.kim@bmo.com Citi Research   Michael Bilerman   (212) 816-1383   michael.bilerman@citi.com     Nicholas Joseph   (212) 816-1909   nicholas.joseph@citi.com Evercore ISI   Steve Sakwa   (212) 446-9462   steve.sakwa@evercoreisi.com     Samir Khanal   (212) 888-3796   samir.khanal@evercoreisi.com Green Street Advisors   John Pawlowski   (949) 640-8780   jpawlowski@greenstreetadvisors.com Robert W. Baird & Co.   Wesley Golladay   (216) 737-7510   wgolladay@rwbaird.com RBC Capital Markets   Brad Heffern   (512) 708-6311   brad.heffern@rbccm.com UBS   Michael Goldsmith   (212) 713-2951   michael.goldsmith@ubs.com                             INQUIRIES                           Sun Communities welcomes questions or comments from stockholders, analysts, investment managers, media or any prospective investor. Please address all inquiries to our Investor Relations department.               At Our Website   www.suncommunities.com                       By Email   investorrelations@suncommunities.com                   By Phone   (248) 208-2500         Portfolio Overview(As of September 30, 2021)   Financial and Operating Highlights(amounts in thousands, except for *)     Quarter Ended   9/30/2021   6/30/2021   3/31/2021   12/31/2020   9/30/2020 Financial Information                   Total revenues $ 684,294      $ 603,863      $ 442,015      $ 384,265      $ 400,514    Net income $ 250,161      $ 120,849      $ 27,941      $ 9,818      $ 89,756    Net income attributable to Sun Communities Inc. common stockholders $ 231,770      $ 110,770      $ 24,782      $ 7,586      $ 81,204    Basic earnings per share* $ 2.00      $ 0.98      $ 0.23      $ 0.07      $ 0.83    Diluted earnings per share* $ 2.00      $ 0.98      $ 0.23      $ 0.07      $ 0.83                        Cash distributions declared per common share* $ 0.83      $ 0.83      $ 0.83      $ 0.79      $ 0.79                        Recurring EBITDA(1) $ 314,499      $ 268,225      $ 190,830      $ 168,527      $ 199,321    FFO attributable to Sun Communities, Inc. common stockholders and dilutive convertible securities(1)(4) $ 223,069      $ 198,017      $ 135,925      $ 110,849      $ 165,209    Core FFO attributable to Sun Communities, Inc. common stockholders and dilutive convertible securities(1)(4) $ 244,535      $ 209,620      $ 141,036      $ 124,872      $ 162,624    FFO attributable to Sun Communities, Inc. common stockholders and dilutive convertible securities(1)(4) per share - fully diluted* $ 1.92      $ 1.70      $ 1.22      $ 1.03      $ 1.63    Core FFO attributable to Sun Communities, Inc. common stockholders and dilutive convertible securities(1)(4) per share - fully diluted* $ 2.11      $ 1.80      $ 1.26      $ 1.16      $ 1.60                        Balance Sheet                   Total assets $ 12,583,296      $ 12,040,990      $ 11,454,209      $ 11,206,586      $ 8,335,717    Total debt $ 4,689,437      $ 4,311,175      $ 4,417,935      $ 4,757,076      $ 3,340,613    Total liabilities $ 5,488,469      $ 5,099,563      $ 5,101,512      $ 5,314,879      $ 3,791,922      Quarter Ended   9/30/2021   6/30/2021   3/31/2021   12/31/2020   9/30/2020 Operating Information*                   Properties 584   569   562   552   432                     Manufactured home sites 98,301   97,448   96,876   96,688   95,209 Annual RV sites 29,640   28,807   28,441   27,564   26,817 Transient RV sites 27,922   27,032   26,295   25,043   23,728 Total sites 155,863   153,287   151,612   149,295   145,754 Marina wet slips and dry storage spaces 44,859   41,275   38,753   38,152   N/A                     MH occupancy 96.6  %   96.7  %   96.5  %   96.6  %   96.4  % Annual RV occupancy 100.0  %   100.0  %   100.0  %   100.0  %   100.0  % Blended MH and annual RV occupancy 97.4  %   97.4  %   97.3  %   97.3  %   97.2  %                     New home sales volume 207   227   149   156   155 Pre-owned home sales volume 955   931   686   626   555 Total home sales volume 1,162   1,158   835   782   710   Quarter Ended   9/30/2021   6/30/2021   3/31/2021   12/31/2020   9/30/2020 Revenue Producing Site Net Gains(5)                   MH net leased sites 144   226   127      247   349 RV net leased sites 432   357   387      331   427 Total net leased sites 576   583   514      578   776 Consolidated Balance Sheets(amounts in thousands)       September 30, 2021   December 31, 2020 Assets         Land   $ 2,457,236        $ 2,119,364      Land improvements and buildings   9,469,247        8,480,597      Rental homes and improvements   591,367        637,603      Furniture, fixtures and equipment   590,829        447,039      Investment property   13,108,679        11,684,603      Accumulated depreciation   (2,232,243 )     (1,968,812 )   Investment property, net   10,876,436        9,715,791      Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash   85,619        92,641      Marketable securities   160,321        124,726      Inventory of manufactured homes   43,708        46,643      Notes and other receivables, net   256,924        221,650      Goodwill   461,609        428,833      Other intangible assets, net   297,625        305,611      Other assets, net   401,054        270,691      Total Assets   $ 12,583,296        $ 11,206,586      Liabilities         Secured debt   $ 3,403,436        $ 3,489,983      Unsecured debt   1,286,001        1,267,093      Distributions payable   98,453        86,988      Advanced reservation deposits and rent   223,471        187,730      Accrued expenses and accounts payable   232,590        148,435      Other liabilities   244,518        134,650      Total Liabilities   5,488,469        5,314,879      Commitments and contingencies         Temporary equity   292,394        264,379      Stockholders' Equity         Common stock   1,160        1,076      Additional paid-in capital   8,170,322        7,087,658      Accumulated other comprehensive income   1,752        3,178      Distributions in excess of accumulated earnings   (1,475,634 )     (1,566,636 )   Total Sun Communities, Inc. stockholders' equity   6,697,600        5,525,276      Noncontrolling interests         Common and preferred OP units   85,756        85,968      Consolidated entities   19,077        16,084      Total noncontrolling interests   104,833        102,052      Total Stockholders' Equity   6,802,433        5,627,328      Total Liabilities, Temporary Equity and Stockholders' Equity   $ 12,583,296        $ 11,206,586      Statements of Operations - Quarter to Date and Year to Date Comparison(In thousands, except per share amounts) (Unaudited)     Three Months Ended   Nine Months Ended   September 30, 2021   September 30, 2020   Change   % Change   September 30, 2021   September 30, 2020   Change   % Change Revenues                               Real property (excluding transient) $ 352,553        $ 240,076        $ 112,477        46.9    %   $ 979,537        $ 693,491        $ 286,046        41.2    % Real property - transient 126,072        80,412        45,660        56.8    %   235,606        136,473        99,133        72.6    % Home sales 81,099        47,662        33,437        70.2    %   215,146        126,779        88,367        69.7    % Service, retail, dining and entertainment 113,039        23,859        89,180        373.8    %   270,103        36,662        233,441        636.7    % Interest 2,690        2,624        66        2.5    %   8,040        7,609        431        5.7    % Brokerage commissions and other, net 8,841        5,881        2,960        50.3    %   21,740        13,068        8,672        66.4    % Total Revenues 684,294        400,514        283,780        70.9    %   1,730,172        1,014,082        716,090        70.6    % Expenses                               Property operating and maintenance 158,095        98,775        59,320        60.1    %   391,609        239,413        152,196        63.6    % Real estate tax 24,751        17,442        7,309        41.9    %   70,361        52,341        18,020        34.4    % Home costs and selling 56,567        39,899        16,668        41.8    %   156,920        105,989        50,931        48.1    % Service, retail, dining and entertainment 87,106        17,615        69,491        394.5    %   211,122        31,539        179,583        569.4    % General and administrative 43,276        26,834        16,442        61.3    %   126,606        78,710        47,896        60.9    % Catastrophic event-related charges, net 328        14        314        N/M   3,097        54        3,043        N/M Business combination —        —        —        N/A   1,031        —        1,031        N/A Depreciation and amortization 127,091        88,499        38,592        43.6    %   378,068        259,453        118,615        45.7    % Loss on extinguishment of debt —        —        —        N/A   8,108        5,209        2,899        55.7    % Interest 39,026        30,214        8,812        29.2    %   116,224        94,058        22,166        23.6    % Interest on mandatorily redeemable preferred OP units / equity 1,047        1,047        —        —    %   3,124        3,130        (6 )     (0.2 ) % Total Expenses 537,287        320,339        216,948        67.7    %   1,466,270        869,896        596,374        68.6    % Income Before Other Items 147,007        80,175        66,832        83.4    %   263,902        144,186        119,716        83.0    % Gain / (loss) on remeasurement of marketable securities 12,072        1,492        10,580        709.1    %   43,227        (2,636 )     45,863        N/M Gain / (loss) on foreign currency translation (7,028 )     5,023        (12,051 )     (239.9 ) %   (7,107 )     (2,496 )     (4,611 )     184.7    % Gain on dispositions of properties 108,104        5,595        102,509        N/M   108,104        5,595        102,509        N/M Other expense, net(6) (9,372 )     (3,511 )     (5,861 )     (166.9 ) %   (10,041 )     (4,890 )     (5,151 )     105.3    % Gain / (loss) on remeasurement of notes receivable 92        (445 )     537        (120.7 ) %   561        (2,311 )     2,872        (124.3 ) % Income from nonconsolidated affiliates 962        1,204        (242 )     (20.1 ) %   2,927        1,348        1,579        117.1    % Loss on remeasurement of investment in nonconsolidated affiliates (119 )     (446 )     327        (73.3 ) %   (130 )     (1,505 )     1,375        (91.4 ) % Current tax benefit / (expense) (402 )     107        (509 )     (475.7 ) %   (1,418 )     (462 )     (956 )     206.9    % Deferred tax benefit / (expense) (1,155 )     562        (1,717 )     (305.5 ) %   (1,074 )     804        (1,878 )     (233.6 ) % Net Income 250,161        89,756        160,405        178.7    %   398,951        137,633        261,318        189.9    % Less: Preferred return to preferred OP units / equity interests 3,101        1,645        1,456        88.5    %   9,000        4,799        4,201        87.5    % Less: Income attributable to noncontrolling interests 15,290        6,907        8,383        121.4    %   22,629        8,806        13,823        157.0    % Net Income Attributable to Sun Communities, Inc. $ 231,770        $ 81,204        $ 150,566        185.4    %   $ 367,322        $ 124,028        $ 243,294        196.2    %                                 Weighted average common shares outstanding - basic 115,136        97,542        17,594        18.0    %   111,717        95,270        16,447        17.3    % Weighted average common shares outstanding - diluted 118,072        97,549        20,523        21.0    %   114,291        95,273        19,018        20.0    %                                 Basic earnings per share $ 2.00        $ 0.83        $ 1.17        141.0    %  .....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaOct 26th, 2021

The 9 best yoga mats of 2021, according to yoga teachers

I'm a Hatha yoga teacher and have tested dozens of mats. Here are the 9 best that have proven their worth, including JadeYoga and Manduka yoga mats. Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky Practicing yoga on the same mat creates a familiar, relaxing space anywhere we set it down. As a yoga teacher, I find the best yoga mats offer stability, non-slip grip, and joint cushioning. Our top pick, the Rumi Earth Sun, is eco-friendly, well-cushioned, durable, and absorbs sweat. Your yoga mat does more than just keep you from slipping and absorb your sweat during a vigorous flow. Unrolling and stepping onto it becomes a signal to our brain and body that it's time to slow down, Vinita Laroia, a 300 RYT-certified yoga and meditation teacher with over 20 years of experience, told Insider. Considering you touch your yoga mat every time you practice, choose wisely. Materials, durability, thickness, non-slip grip, and other subtle design differences between mats play into comfort and balance.Related Article Module: The 7 best yoga accessories to elevate your home practice in 2021, according to yoga instructorsAs a 200RYT Hatha yoga teacher with over 10-years-worth of practice, I have a ton of first-hand experience testing out dozens of mats over the years (in addition to those I tested specifically for this guide), as well as an endless list of input from fellow yogis about which mats they love (or regret purchasing). At the end of this guide, I've detailed how exactly we rigorously tested these yoga mats and included what is most important when you're shopping for a yoga mat.Here are our top picks for the best yoga mats:Best yoga mat overall: Rumi Earth Sun Yoga MatBest budget yoga mat: Hugger Mugger Gallery Collection Yoga MatBest eco-friendly yoga mat: Hugger Mugger Para Rubber Yoga MatBest socially-responsible yoga mat: Kosha Yoga Co. Sanctuary PUre Couture Yoga MatBest thick yoga mat: Manduka PRO™ Yoga Mat 6mmBest travel yoga mat: Manduka Eko Superlight Travel Yoga MatBest yoga mat for sweaty yogis: JadeYoga Harmony MatBest washable yoga mat: Yogi Bare Teddy Yoga MatBest yoga mat for alignment work: Liforme Yoga Mat The best yoga mat overall Rumi Earth's Sun mat is the best yoga mat as it's eco-friendly, well-cushioned, durable, and absorbs sweat. Rumi Earth Rumi Earth's Sun Yoga Mat is made from sustainable materials from a minority-owned small business that provides adequate support for your joints — a great choice for newbies and seasoned pros alike.Pros: Plenty of padding, biodegradable, non-toxic materials, durable, multiple lengths, great for yogis of all levels, minority-owned small businessCons: NoneA minority-owned yoga and athleisure brand, Rumi Earth focuses on sustainability and conscious sourcing of non-toxic materials for its products. The Sun yoga mat is available in multiple lengths, widths, and color options. Every Rumi Earth mat is also entirely biodegradable.Made from cotton fibers and natural rubber, this mat is eco-friendly with excellent grip and durability. With its open-cell design, I had no problems with traction, even while dripping sweat all over during my cardio pilates sessions.What's more, this mat is subtly more padded than most at 4.3mm instead of the standard 3mm. Kasia Gondek, PT, DPT, CSCS, physical therapist at Fusion Wellness and Physical Therapy in California, told Insider that thicker yoga mats can also help in cushioning common pressure points for anyone, like the sacrum, heels, and greater trochanters in your hips.As someone with chondromalacia patellae in both knees, I need a thicker yoga mat for less pressure on my joints. I found Rumi Earth's Sun Yoga mat's 4.3mm to hit the sweet spot of being enough padding for me, but not so excessive that it'll bother those without any joint pain (you probably won't even notice it's thicker than standard).  The best budget yoga mat Hugger Mugger's Gallery Collection Yoga Mats are lightweight, easy to clean, and cheap. Hugger Mugger Hugger Mugger's Gallery Collection Yoga Mats are dual-sided, lightweight, and highly affordable for yogis on a budget.Pros: Lightweight, latex-free, colorful designsCons: Not as durable, can shift around during practice, slipperyA dependable, comfortable yoga mat is important to help you "create the sanctuary you need," according to Laroia, even for beginners. And that doesn't have to come with a high price tag.Hugger Mugger's Gallery Collection Yoga Mat is made from PER material, weighs just 2.2lbs, and comes in colorful choices — all for under $35. These thoughtfully-designed mats are also ideal for yogis on the go as they are incredibly lightweight and easy to roll up.Featuring a closed-cell design, the mats are non-porous to moisture and dirt; however, that of course means they become slippery the more you sweat (which was definitely my experience). This mat is best suited for less intensive flows like yin or hatha yoga, or will need a full-length yoga mat towel with non-slip grip for added absorbency over top.I also don't recommend it for fast-paced flows — especially if you practice on tile like me — as the mat tends to shift around when moving quickly from one asana to the next.This mat offers the standard 3mm of padding. If you're a yogi like me that needs more cushioning under the joints when you practice, opt for the Gallery Collection Ultra Yoga Mats. At 6mm thick, these well-cushioned mats offer double the padding and comfort as you flow through your practice. The best eco-friendly yoga mat Hugger Mugger's Para Rubber yoga mat is non-toxic and completely biodegradable. Hugger Mugger Made from 100% sustainably sourced non-Amazon rubber, Hugger Mugger's Para Rubber yoga mats are non-toxic, durable and when it's time to retire, completely biodegradable as well.Pros: Environmentally-friendly, well-cushioned, natural rubber, sturdyCons: Heavy, latex can aggravate allergies for some, expensiveMade from 100% non-Amazon sustainably sourced rubber, this eco-friendly mat is dual-sided — if you sweat a lot, pick the woven-like side, which offers excellent grip during hot yoga sessions, while the smooth side, which is still grippy, can be used for more relaxed classes.The Para Rubber mat is 24 by 70 inches but also comes in an XL version (24 by 78in) for taller yogis. At 6.4mm thick, I find the mat to be very comfortable on the knees and wrists, especially when practicing quicker-paced, Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga flows. Thicker, denser mats, Laroia explained, are best for ensuring better stability during your practice.At $95, this yoga mat is undoubtedly an investment, but its sustainable manufacturing process, thick cushioning, and reversible nature justify the price. Not to mention its non-slip grip means sweaty yogis don't have to buy an additional yoga towel.The only downsides are that you have to clean it frequently thanks to its open-cell design structure (which equals more porous), and some yogis may find the initial natural rubber smell to be overpowering. However, in my experience, the smell went away after regularly wiping down and airing out my mat in the first few weeks. The best socially-responsible yoga mat PUre Couture Yoga Mats are sustainably made, well-cushioned, and purchases give back to the local community. Kosha Yoga Co. Sustainably made in India, Kosha Yoga Co.'s range of PUre Couture Yoga Mats benefit the local communities they are produced in — a percentage of each sale goes to two local non-profits, Maee Home for the Blind and the Kalote Animal Trust.Pros: Sustainable, PVC-free materials, socially-conscious, colorful floral patterns, sturdy designCons: Expensive, initial rubber smellFocused on sustainability and giving back to the community, Kosha Yoga Co.'s PUre Couture Yoga Mats are entirely biodegradable thanks to the mat's recycled-PU top layer and dense, natural rubber base.At 27 by 73 inches, the PUre Couture mat is broader and longer than a standard yoga mat, making it a great pick for taller yogis. I love that it also comes with a carrying strap, which, in a pinch, can also double as a yoga strap.With 4.5mm of cushioning, there's enough padding between your joints and the floor. And, thanks to its sturdy rubber base, the mat stays firmly in place during power yoga flows; its non-slip top layer makes this a good choice for sweaty yogis.Apart from the use of eco-friendly materials, this sustainable Mumbai-based athleisure brand gives a percentage of each sale back to the local community. In addition, Kosha Yoga Co. provides career opportunities to women in Dharavi, Asia's largest slum — its line of yoga mat bags and meditation cushions are entirely handmade there. The best thick yoga mat This Manduka yoga mat is thicker and longer than your average mat, so it's ideal for those who need a well-padded yoga mat. Manduka The Manduka PRO is thicker and longer than your average mat, making it a great choice for taller yogis and those who need extra padding.Pros: Extra dense and padded, available in two sizes (85-inch variety is ideal for taller yogis), lifetime guaranteeCons: Heavy, expensive, may need a towel for hot yoga or if you sweat a lotThe Manduka yoga mats are leaders in the yoga community and highly recommended by teachers. We love the Manduka PRO in particular because, as Laroia puts it, "This mat does everything."However, the Manduka PRO's price tag is steep at $130 ($155 for the extra long, 71x85-inch version), which means it's not a good pick for everyone. But if you need a longer mat or more padding, this Manduka yoga mat is worth the money.At 6mm thick, it has the right amount of cushioning without being soft and provides ideal support for your knees and joints, allowing practitioners such as myself extra comfort when practicing. As Gondek's preferred mat of choice for five years, she finds the PRO yoga mat "very comfortable on the knees and sacrum during quadruped and supine positions."The PVC-mat is made using an emissions-free process and has a closed-cell design, creating a non-porous surface that lengthens its life span. This prevents moisture and bacteria from being absorbed into the mat; however, closed-cell mats can get slippery and are not great on their own for hot yoga or if you sweat a lot (though this is easily solved by throwing a yoga towel on top).Perhaps best of all, Manduka's lifetime guarantee for its PRO series makes the mat a worthwhile long-term investment. If you do experience flaking or peeling of your yoga mat, which happened to my first Manduka mat, they'll send you a replacement at no cost.Best budget alternative: For a more affordable mat, I recommend the Hugger Mugger Earth Elements 5mm Yoga Mat. At 2.4 lbs, this mat is lightweight and extremely easy to carry from home to yoga studio without sacrificing on thickness. Made from non-toxic TPE, it features a closed-cell design, and is also a great latex-free pick. The best travel yoga mat Manduka's Eko SuperLite Travel Yoga Mat is lightweight with good grip, making it ideal for a travel yoga mat. Manduka Manduka's Eko SuperLite Travel Yoga Mat is slim and lightweight enough to bring with you no matter how far you roam without compromising grippiness.Pros: Lightweight, easy to maintain, thin enough to fold, signature grip, durable materialCons: ThinLightweight travel mats let you keep up with your practice on the road without borrowing a questionable yoga mat from your hotel (or worse — down-dogging directly on the carpet). The Manduka Eko SuperLite Travel Mat is the lighter, thinner version of Manduka's top-ranked Eko option.It's made of a woven scrim material that won't tear or stretch either with use or in your suitcase. "I've used this mat for over two years, and just like any other Manduka, the mat has held up very well during travel," Gondek said. "Even on camping trips with plenty of dirt and grime."It's thin enough to be foldable so that you can tuck the mat away into your backpack or your carry-on without added weight or bulk. Thanks to Manduka's signature sweat-resistant closed-cell design, this mat stays drier and cleaner for longer. But, if you end up signing up for a hot yoga class during your travels, Gondek recommends bringing a non-slip grip yoga mat towel along. — Rachael Schultz and Christabel Lobo The best yoga mat for sweaty yogis JadeYoga Harmony Mat provides great traction and minima slipping, even during sweaty yoga classes. Jade Yoga Whether you're a yogi who sweats a lot during workouts, or you enjoy the sweat-inducing practice of hot yoga, the JadeYoga Harmony Mat is what you need to avoid slipping and sliding.Pros: Non-slip surface, plenty of cushioning, multiple length options, multiple color optionsCons: Some may find the cushioning too much for their preference, expensiveIf your yoga practice works up enough of a sweat that most mats become dangerously slippery, JadeYoga's Harmony Mat will keep you safe. Made from natural rubber with tiny dots instead of a smooth, sleek surface, the Harmony Mat's design provides great traction and minimizes slipping. The texture is small enough it goes unnoticed by your hands and knees, even after a 60-minute session.The mat is incredibly comfortable, too. Featuring thick enough cushioning to protect your knees and back from getting dinged while practicing, it's not too thick to hinder movement.JadeYoga offers the Harmony Mat in two different sizes, as well as a dozen different colors and prints. It is on the spendy side at $85 for the longest option, but for sweaty yogis, that's often cheaper (and way more convenient) than purchasing a mat plus absorbent towel. — Kaitlin GatesRead our review of the JadeYoga Harmony Mat. The best washable yoga mat The Yogi Bare Teddy is machine washable, but still very durable and with great traction. Yogi Bare The Yogi Bare Teddy is machine washable without sacrificing quality or durability over time and use.Pros: Machine-washable, grippy microfiber top, natural rubber bottom stays in place, comes in a variety of fun patternsCons: Requires a washing machine, not very paddedThough most mats are easily cleaned with a simple spray and wipe down, if you use it outside or tend to heavily sweat while you practice, it's convenient to have a mat that can be thrown in the washing machine. The Teddy from Yogi Bare is actually machine washable. I was surprised to find during testing that the washer didn't compromise its integrity; its natural rubber base and microfiber top stayed as intact as when I first bought it, even after multiple washes.Even if the Teddy wasn't machine-washable, it'd still be a great yoga mat. Its microfiber surface is grippy, especially after I'd been sweating a bit on it, and it's just padded enough that it provides a soft landing whenever my feet (or wayward knees and elbows) hit the ground. It comes in fun patterns and colorways.It's cheaper than many other mats on this list. However, it's also only 2mm thick, so it's not a great choice if you have any sort of joint pain. — Rick Stella The best yoga mat for alignment work The Liforme Mat uses a printed alignment system to help you with form and alignment. Liforme The cult-favorite Liforme Mat has a signature printed alignment system on the surface, which promises symmetry, balance, and proper footing during your practice.Pros: Eco-friendly, extremely sticky, doesn't wear over time, signature alignment systemCons: One-size-fits-all alignment doesn't fit all bodies, very expensiveThe Liforme mat has discreet lines, shapes, and markers etched into its surface to help you place your limbs accurately as you move from one asana to the next. Laroia explained that these help you with hand and feet placement and improve your alignment, a key feature for beginner yogis.The mat is 27 by 73 inches, so longer and wider than most mats. This is great for taller yogis, but if you're shorter than 5'4", you may have trouble hitting the recommended alignments.That being said, I used the Liforme mat for a few weeks and definitely saw the appeal of the lines. Laroia adds, "The mats are good in quality, rivaling my trusty Manduka." Thanks to its proprietary blend of natural rubber and sustainably sourced felt to cushion your knees, hips, and hands, the Liforme mat is exceptionally grippy, preventing you from sliding around during vigorous yoga sessions. It's also PVC-free, and each layer is heat-bonded to avoid toxic glues and adhesives, making it an eco-friendly choice.  How we tested these yoga mats As a decades-long yoga practitioner and 200 RYT Hatha yoga teacher since 2017, most of the yoga mats included have been a regular part of my practice for several years. Others, such as Kosha Yoga Co.'s PUre Couture Mat, were tested daily from February to June 2021.I spent hours testing the yoga mats out in a variety of yoga disciplines, including yin yoga, invigorating vinyasa flows, and gentle, hour-long Hatha classes, in addition to sweat-inducing cardio and mat pilates-focused workouts to evaluate their grippiness and traction when wet. I practiced on several different surfaces, including tile, carpet, and concrete. I even took the mats outdoors to see how they'd fare in different climates and evaluate their portability and durability. Each yoga mat featured in this guide went through a series of on-the-mat tests to see how well they stacked up across these five categories: Performance: The key aspects include how grippy the mat is for helping you hold poses or reliably move a hand or foot (especially once you start sweating), and how comfortable or padded the mat is. Durability: Durability of a mat is what justifies their higher price tags and truly speaks to its sustainability. Be it puddles of sweat or the constant barrage of knees, elbows, heels, and shoulders, a yoga mat is under constant pressure. Yoga mats should be able to take a beating, especially if you use it often. Material: PVC or TPE, all-natural rubber or synthetic, latex — the materials used to make your yoga mat affect all the other categories listed here. PVC mats tend to be the best value; however, they aren't very eco-friendly or durable. So, while a lower price tag may seem attractive now, in the long run you may end up spending more just replacing your cheaper mats. We consider sustainability a major factor in choosing a mat, so your best bet is to seek out options made from cork, natural, non-Amazon harvested rubber, or recycled materials; some brands, such as Manduka, have its own eco-friendly lines or are OEKO-TEX certified — an European-based textile certification agency focused on sustainable manufacturing processes. Smell is another thing to consider; some new mats have a distinct rubber smell that dissipates after time but can hinder your practice initially.Support: If you don't have joint pain, the standard 3mm-thick mat should be fine for you. But extra cushioning helps take the pressure off your joints, so it's a smart consideration for anyone with knee issues, joint pain, or autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Look for a thick, dense mat, over a soft one, which can destabilize some practitioners in balancing postures, side planks and asymmetrical holds, Laroia said. Ease of cleaning: It's recommended that you clean your yoga mat after every use (especially for anyone who sweats heavily), so a mat that's easy to clean is a necessity. Closed-cell designs are easier to clean, while open-cell designs requires more meticulous disinfection to remove dirt and sweat buildup.Value: Value is the combination of every category we judged the yoga mats on, plus its actual price point. We like to think that it's better to invest more in a quality mat that lasts than to spend the money on several cheap mats in the same amount of time. So when choosing our budget pick, we also wanted to make sure it wasn't some shoddy mat but something that delivers premium quality at a more wallet-friendly price. What to look for when buying yoga mats As a decades-long yoga practitioner and 200 RYT Hatha yoga teacher since 2017, I have personally tested, researched dozens of mats and brands, and spoken to trusted experts to find the best yoga mats for a variety of practices and lifestyles.Quality, of course, comes with a higher price tag, Laroia explained. "But the quality of the mat is the foundation of your whole yoga experience."The most important factors to consider when shopping for a yoga mat are:Size and portability: You'll often tote your mat along to the studio or need to stash it somewhere in a small apartment. Plus, some mats are longer than others, which is important if you're tall.Stickiness: While certain people like sticky mats that keep their feet from sliding around, others find them annoying, providing too much hold when they want the freedom of movement.  This is a personal consideration.Thickness: Most yoga mats are 3mm thick, which will suffice for less-injured yogi. But considering every person has different abilities and a lot of people turn to yogi to mend an ailing body, mats with a thickness at 4mm and above will relish the extra protection and cushion for their joints.Firmness: Gondek explains that for beginner yogis, mats serve as important tools to help "improve your balance and joint position sense by gently challenging the vestibular system." The right yoga mat can also teach you how to focus your attention through mindful connection between body and mind. "Practicing on a firm surface allows us to connect directly with our base of support, which is beneficial for people with poor balance, and allows us to maintain presence and focus during our practice, " she says.Durability: You want a mat that's going to last, so durability and longeviety also play into price.Materials: Most of the time, either your skin is touching the mat or your face is close to it, so you want one that isn't made with harsh or harmful chemicals. It's also important to opt for materials that are easy to wipe clean after a sweaty session of hot yoga. On top of all that, if you're a conscious consumer, you want a mat made from more sustainable, recycled, or recyclable materials, rather than PVC or plastics. What else we considered What else we recommendYoGo Travel Yoga Mat ($68): This mat is lightweight, rolls up really small, and comes with durable buckles and handles. However, we prefer the Manduka Eko SuperLite as a travel mat, as it's the same thickness and made from sustainable rubber, but $20 cheaper.Liforme Travel Mat ($115): Liforme's travel mats come with a canvas carrying bag and offer the brand's signature printed alignment guide, plus an incredibly grippy surface. But the Manduka Eko SuperLite is a more universal fit for traveling yogis and significantly cheaper.PrAna E.C.O. Yoga Mat ($55): Made from 100% thermoplastic elastomer, PrAna's E.C.O. yoga mat is non-toxic, completely recyclable, and super sticky so your hands and feet won't slide. The TPE material isn't super cushy on your knees or back, but if you're on a budget, this is an excellent option as it's $39 cheaper than the Hugger Mugger Para Rubber Yoga Mat.Jade Level 1 Yoga Mat ($50): Touted as "beginner-friendly", this mat has grippy bottom so your mat will stay put and an all-natural rubber construction. Its 4mm thickness and under $50 price tag have made this my go-to mat for cross-country road trips and short-haul travels.What we don't recommendGaiam Print Premium Yoga Mat ($30): From a trusted yoga brand, this Gaiam mat is highly affordable, comes in many colorways, and has a decent non-slip grip. However,  it's not as durable as other options, so you may end up spending more money down the line replacing it.Manduka ProLite Yoga Mat ($92): Its no-slip grip surface and lighter weight make this Manduka mat an appealing choice for yogis of all levels. However, Rumi Earth's Sun Yoga Mat beat it for the Best Overall Yoga Mat since the Manduka mat is made from PVC and its closed-cell design means it's more slippery when you're sweating.What we're looking forward to tryingGurus Roots Cork Yoga Mat ($99): With an antimicrobial top — thanks to cork's natural therapeutic properties — and all-natural rubber bottom (harvested from the owner's family rubber trees in southern India), Gurus's cork yoga mats are as sustainable as they come. Cork's naturally non-slip surface means no yoga towels during your next hot yoga session. Suga Yoga Mat ($79): This innovative Southern California-based brand collects your old neoprene wetsuits and converts them into yoga mats. Suga's (rhymes with beluga) 5mm-thick recycled mats come in two sizes, regular and extra large. It also have a 3mm travel mat for yogis on the go. FAQs Manduka Why does a good yoga mat matter?The right yoga mat can actually help prevent injury by cushioning pressure points like the knees, lower back, and hip bones, Kasia Gondek, PT, DPT, CSCS, physical therapist at Fusion Wellness and Physical Therapy in California told Insider. "Less joint pain can improve your activity tolerance during your yoga practice, allowing you to spend more time improving your mobility, flexibility, and strength in the areas you need it most," she said.Even the most able-bodies person will feel a different level of comfort between an uber-minimal or cheap mat, and a quality one at standard thickness. If you have any sort of joint pain, upgrading to a thicker mat (4mm+) will give you a world of relief.Additionally, if you like heart-pumping Ashtanga or Vinyasa flows or who sweat easily during hot yoga, you'll enjoy your practice a lot more if your mat has special sweat-absorbing properties. Meanwhile, those who travel often will benefit from foldable and lightweight mat for maintaining a daily practice on the road.What is the best thickness for a yoga mat?Standard yoga mats are 3mm thick, which keeps them lightweight, foldable, but cushioned enough to support your bones and joints from hard floors. However, if you have aches and pains in general or during certain poses, like chakravakasana (cat-cow pose) or anjaneyasana (low lunge pose), a thicker mat can help cushion pressure points, says Kasia Gondek, PT, DPT, CSCS, physical therapist at Fusion Wellness and Physical Therapy in California. This can be a slightly-thicker mat, like the Rumi Earth's Sun Yoga Mat at 4.3mm thick, or significantly thicker, like the Manduka PRO at 6mm thick.What is the difference between yoga mat and exercise mat?Exercise mats are designed to provide max cushioning between your hands, knees, or spine and the floor so you can be comfortable while doing floor exercises. But too much cushioning can throw off your balance and stability.Yoga mats are typically thinner than exercise mats so that your points of stability (e.g., hands, feet) can make better contact with the floor, providing better balance. But they are still thick enough to help cushion your joints from the hard surface.A yoga mat can be used as an exercise mat, but an exercise mat doesn't work so well for yoga.How much should I spend on a yoga mat?You should spend around $50-75 to score a quality yoga mat that will keep your hands and feet from slipping and last more than a year or two. The best cheap yoga mat we've found is from Hugger Mugger and runs about $45, while nicer mats made from sustainable materials and with more cushion can cost upwards of $120.That being said, you can grab a basic yoga mat at a store like Target or Walmart for under $30. And if you're just buying one to start stretching more, that's fine. But cheaper mats will fall apart quicker and aren't designed with features like grippiness, sweat-absorption, or cushioning to make yoga a comfortable experience. Expert sources As a decades-long yoga practitioner and 200 RYT Hatha yoga teacher since 2017, I have personally tested, researched dozens of mats and brands and spoken to others in the community about their experiences. For this article, I not only leaned on that expertise, but I also spoke with trusted experts to find the best yoga mats for a variety of practices and lifestyles, including:Dr. Kasia Gondek, DPT, CSCS, a licensed pelvic floor and orthopedic physical therapist at Fusion Wellness and Physical Therapy in Southern California and instructor of a biweekly "Yoga for Pelvic Pain" donation-based Zoom class that teaches those with pelvic, low back, and hip pain to be present in the moment and find pain-free movement based in Hatha and yin yoga styles.Vinita Laroia, a first-generation Indian-American 300 RYT yoga and meditation teacher based in California's Sonoma County. Other yoga coverage from Insider Reviews PeopleImages/Getty Images The best yoga accessories to elevate your home practice in 2021, according to yoga instructorsThe best yoga blocksThe best yoga socksThe best workout clothes for women Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 25th, 2021

Why Authoritarianism Must Prevail

Why Authoritarianism Must Prevail Authored by Robert Wright via The American Institute for Economic Research, Freedom anywhere is a threat to authoritarianism everywhere. That is why authoritarians must destroy all freedom and why liberty lovers, and even the merely “lib-curious” (liberty curious), must not just resist blatant authoritarianism, but reject it in all its guises. The fate of the nation, and the world, again hangs in the balance. To the extent that any freedom persists, authoritarian diktat can be subverted, albeit at a cost. History is rife with examples of bizarre entities, like nonbank banks (I kid you not!), rent-a-banks (ditto!), and gold caches, designed to work around branching restrictions, usury laws (maximum interest rates), the criminalization of holding gold, and sundry other attempts to limit financial freedom. (See my Financial Exclusion for details.) To squelch “undesirable” activity, like increasing bank competition, voluntarily lending/borrowing small amounts of money at rates commensurate with the attendant costs and risks, or trying to protect one’s family against fiat money inflation, government must outlaw the workarounds too. To get their way, statists must suppress all unapproved activities, which ultimately means forcing would-be innovators to obtain permission before they can lawfully engage in any new activities. Consider, for example, recent calls to allow the IRS to monitor essentially all bank accounts in the country. Maybe Americans will accept it, if, as claimed, the power is only used to enforce current tax laws. But if tax rates rise appreciably, as it seems they will, given the current administration’s policy goals, or if the transaction information is used for partisan political purposes, or to shame or coerce people into buying this, or not buying that, Americans will begin to search for workarounds. To the extent that the workarounds prove successful, government will be forced to outlaw the workarounds too. For instance, if workers ask their employers to pay them in Federal Reserve Notes or Bitcoin because they believe that the transaction costs of making payments in those media will be less burdensome than giving some party hack access to the most intimate details of their lives, the government may well force employers to pay workers only in USD and only via bank transfer. It might even ban cryptocurrencies entirely, or at least try to. Workers might then make one payment per month, to a “bill paying service” that for a fee will pay their bills for them, out of its one, giant bank account. Oh, but that sounds like an unregulated bank taking uninsured deposits so those services will have to be suppressed as well, or perhaps replaced by the central bank. People may then begin paying everything by credit card, and even direct their employers to repay their credit card issuers directly. Next thing you know Uncle Sam will want to see your credit card statements too. Ditto PayPal, Venmo, and any other fintech apps used to make or receive payments. Thus a seemingly innocuous request to see bank accounts for tax purposes becomes the excuse for full-blown financial repression. This will, as always, hurt the poor the most. Employers might work around those laws, along with the tax code and vaccine mandates by converting their employees into volunteers and donating payroll to a nonprofit charity with the singular mission of ensuring that the “volunteers” receive “donations” that happen to match the value of their former compensation. Imagine the chaos if every employer simultaneously did that! Government would have to respond by tightly regulating, if not outright outlawing, charities and volunteer work. Our liberty would be truly lost at that point, and again the poor would suffer most. Corporations shouldn’t be taxed, but they are. Many of the largest have engaged in (international) tax arbitrage by adroitly shifting headquarters, production facilities, and charters between different states, provinces, and countries. Governments are now fighting back by establishing a global minimum corporation tax. How long before some entity begins to offer oceanic or orbital (then moon, then Martian) charters as tax havens? Soon after, though, private space flight and oceanic colonization will likely be banned or heavily restricted. Everyone should be aware that if an international gold ETF issuing bearer shares, Honeypot.xxx (a sex worker-owned substitute for OnlyFans), a parallel university system, or anything else of import that runs against the woke or statist grain begins to gain commercial traction, regulatory hammers will swiftly bludgeon the innovators into compliance, or out of existence. Were that all! When statist solutions to perceived “problems” create real problems, the call inevitably goes out for yet more government. When pressed about how to pay for UBI (various universal basic income) schemes, for example, schemes that are purportedly needed to solve a nearly nonexistent income disparity “problem,” proponents will sometimes argue for the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF, or a giant investment fund owned by a government), the dividends and realized capital gains of which can be divided equally among the citizenry.  UBI proponents are not sure where the money to fund the SWF will come from, or if it is a good idea to concentrate all that economic and political power in one decision maker’s hands, but if you want to see their true colors, ask them why individuals cannot simply invest their own money for themselves. Turns out that elites believe that most Americans don’t know how to invest properly, in the “right” (which is to say Left) companies. So look for a push to outlaw individual investment in favor of a SWF-funded UBI, or at least a narrowing of choice to SEC-approved ESG funds. You may still own something in 2030, but it seems increasingly unlikely you will be happy. America and the rest of the West have been sliding down the slippery slope of statism for so long that they are now rapidly approaching the precipice that ends in rock bottom. Will liberty be crushed and a new dark age commence? Or will the masses then finally see governments as the problem, rather than as the solution? Tyler Durden Fri, 10/22/2021 - 21:00.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytOct 22nd, 2021

The 3 best electric skillets we tested in 2021

Electric skillet review 2021: we tested popular electric skillets to find three that cook quickly and evenly and are easy to clean. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. James Brains/Insider A good electric skillet heats and cooks quickly and evenly and is easy to use and clean. We cooked fried chicken, hamburgers, and pancakes in six electric skillets to find the best. The Zojirushi Gourmet d'Expert is our top pick with its user-friendly features and even cooking. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyElectric skillets are one of the most underrated kitchen appliances. If you live in a dorm, tiny home, RV, or just don't have access to a stove, an electric skillet comes in handy for an array of cooking tasks. In addition to sautéing and pan-frying, a skillet is useful for deep frying, browning meats, and griddle cooking. You can even find recipes for baking cakes and other treats in electric skillets. While working on this guide, I frequently referenced and enjoyed The Sensational Skillet Cookbook. Even if you have a spacious kitchen with several burners, it's smart to keep an electric skillet around when the summer heat makes using the stove unbearable, when kitchen space is at a premium during the holidays, or when you just want to keep your food warm at a potluck.For this guide, I fried 15 pounds of chicken thighs and eight pounds of burgers, and made more than 50 pancakes in six electric skillets.I have reviewed kitchen appliances for four years and have developed many objective tests to determine which models are best for different budgets and cooking needs. You can find details about how I test electric skillets here.Here are the best electric skillets of 2021Best electric skillet overall: Zojirushi Gourmet d'Expert Electric SkilletBest budget electric skillet: Dash Family Size Rapid Heat Electric SkilletBest electric skillet for frying: Presto Electric Foldaway Skillet Best electric skillet overall James Brains/Insider The Zojirushi Gourmet d'Expert Electric Skillet comes with two pans and a steamer, has a user-friendly design, and did the best job of heating evenly in our tests.Cooking surface area: 10.5 x 3 inchesOverall dimensions: 17.5 x 15 x 5.5 inches (7.5 with lid)Heat range: 176 to 480 degrees FahrenheitCord length: 78 inchesChicken thigh capacity: 5Hamburger capacity: 5Pancake capacity: 4Dishwasher safe: NoMaterials: Titanium-ceramic nonstick-coatedPros: Heats evenly, comes with two pans and a steamer, user-friendly controls, easy to clean, a long cord that detaches easily for safety, produces delicious and evenly-cooked fried chicken, burgers, and pancakesCons: Small cooking surfaceSeveral features set the Zojirushi Gourmet d'Expert Electric Skillet (model EP-RAC50) apart from other skillets we tested. First of all, it comes with two pans: a deeper pan for soup-type foods, including hot pots, and a flatter plate for frying and grilling. The set also includes a tempered glass lid and vented steamer. The skillet comes with a long cord that detaches when something pulls on it, so it's hard to send the skillet's contents flying across your kitchen accidentally.The setup was intuitive and took about five minutes. And, the Gourmet d'Expert has user-friendly controls. You simply move the slider on the face of the unit to the temperature you want. In contrast, the other models we tested relied on poorly-placed dials. I was impressed with the even heating of the Zojirushi. While the other models were hotter around the heating element — exhibiting a telltale dark ring in our flour test — the heating element location wasn't as evident with the Gourmet d'Expert as the flour darkened more evenly.The Zojirushi skillet did a good job of cooking fried chicken, burgers, and pancakes. While it was the slowest to heat oil, it was the fastest to cook the fried chicken, only 25 minutes. And, the skin was as evenly cooked and tasty as it gets. The meat was juicy with just the right amount of grease. Plus, the skillet produced a great sear on the burgers, and the pancakes cooked evenly and quickly. Cleanup was a snap. While the pan isn't dishwasher safe, you can remove it from the base to wash it by hand, and grime slid right off thanks to the nonstick coating.The biggest negative with the Gourmet d'Expert is it's the smallest model we tested. It fit the fewest burgers, pancakes, and chicken thighs. While I would have liked to take Zojirushi's corporate social responsibility (CSR) rating into account during my evaluation, the company did not provide the info I requested. If that changes, I will update this guide accordingly.Gourmet d'Expert Electric Skillet (button) Best budget electric skillet James Brains/Insider The Dash Family Size Rapid Heat Electric Skillet not only costs less than $50, but it heats quickly and has a large capacity.Cooking surface area: 14 x 2.5 inchesOverall dimensions: 20 x 19 x 5 inches (7 with lid)Heat range: Warm to 450 degrees FahrenheitCord length: 38 inchesChicken thigh capacity: 7Hamburger capacity: 8Pancake capacity: 5Dishwasher safe: NoMaterials: TruGlide PFOA-free, nonstick surfacePros: Large capacity, fast preheating, produced outstanding burgers, simple design, lightweight, easy to storeCons: Heats and cooks unevenly, not dishwasher safeThe Dash Family Size Rapid Heat Electric Skillet (model DRG214RD) is the only skillet under $50 that we recommend. It also has the largest capacity of the units we tested, fitting the most chicken thighs, burgers, and pancakes, making it ideal for families. The Dash skillet has a basic design and setup. The unit consists of the base with its built-in nonstick pan, a power cord with a dial control that plugs into the back, and a lid with a silicone ring to form a tight seal. Setup took about five minutes, and the only assembly was attaching the knob to the lid. The handles are large and easy to grip (even when greasy), and, as the name suggests, the Dash Rapid Heat Electric Skillet heats quickly. Unfortunately, that speed comes at the expense of even heat distribution. In the flour test, I could clearly see where the ring-shaped heating element was located. The patchy heating led to fast but uneven pancake cooking. And, some of the chicken started to burn in spots, while other pieces were still undercooked. However, the hamburgers were the most forgiving. The Dash skillet produced beautifully-seared burgers that tasted delicious.In the months since first publishing this guide, I found the Dash skillet was what I reached for most often because of its large capacity and fast cooking.Cleaning the skillet was a pain. It's big and isn't dishwasher safe. Fortunately, it has a nonstick surface so debris comes right off, and the unit is lightweight, making it easy to move around and store.Dash is a subsidiary of Groupe SEB, which has a strong record of social responsibility. For more info about how we evaluate CSR, see our testing methodology.Family Size Rapid Heat Electric Skillet (button) Best electric skillet for frying James Brains/Insider At just a few dollars more than our budget pick, the Presto Electric Foldaway Skillet did an outstanding job of frying chicken and cooking pancakes in our tests, and it folds up for easy storage.Cooking surface area: 14.5 x 10.5 x 2.75 inchesOverall dimensions: 20 x 12 x 6 inches (8 with lid)Heat range: Warm to 400 degrees FahrenheitCord length: 31 inchesChicken thigh capacity: 6Hamburger capacity: 6Pancake capacity: 4Dishwasher safe: Yes, but the user manual advises against it if you want the nonstick coating to lastMaterials: Heavy cast aluminum base with a phenolic nonstick surfacePros: Did an outstanding job frying chicken and cooking pancakes, easy to clean and use, folds up for compact storage, features a pour spoutCons: Cooked burgers slowly and unevenly, heats unevenlyPresto is arguably the biggest name in electric skillets. The company even published the most popular electric skillet cookbook on Amazon, the Eclectic Electric Skillet Cookbook. And, the Presto Electric Foldaway Skillet (model 06857) is one of the best-selling skillets with its unique design that folds up for compact storage, making it ideal for RVs or other tight quarters. Another unique feature is a pour spout on the rim to pour the pan's contents accurately.The setup of the Presto Foldaway is a little more involved than most skillets since you need to clip the pan into the base, but it was easy to do without instructions, and the setup process only took five minutes.The Presto skillet did an excellent job of making chicken and pancakes. The oil preheated in under seven minutes, and the fried chicken took 26 minutes to get to a safe internal temperature. The results were delicious. Pancakes took about three minutes and were cooked evenly.The burgers didn't turn out as good. It took 10 minutes to cook them in the Presto Foldaway — longer than any other model — and they browned unevenly. The flour test more clearly revealed the uneven heating as a ring of darkened flour formed where the heating element was located.Fortunately, cleaning the Presto Foldaway was easy since the pan detaches from the base. The pan is dishwasher safe, but Presto encourages washing by hand to prolong the life of the nonstick coating. I preferred washing it by hand anyway since the coating kept bits of debris from sticking.Presto's parent company, National Presto Industries, may be problematic for some, with its low social responsibility ranking, lack of diversity in leadership roles, and production of warheads. For more info about how we evaluate CSR, see our testing methodology.16-inch Electric Foldaway Skillet (button) What else we tested James Brains/Insider We tested six electric skillets for this guide. These are the ones that didn't make the cut.What else we recommend and why:De'Longhi (model BG45, $54.99): We almost included the De'Longhi electric skillet in our guide, but it wasn't the best in any category. It does a great job cooking fried chicken, is dishwasher safe, and has a large cooking area for such a compact appliance. Plus, the company has an impressive 97% CSRHub ranking. However, it did not heat evenly, and other electric skillets made better pancakes and hamburgers. Still, this is a solid alternative if our top picks are out of stock.What we don't recommend and why:Cuisinart Stainless Steel Non-Stick (model CSK-150, $139.99): In the fried chicken test, the Cuisinart skillet was the fastest to heat the oil, and the resulting chicken was evenly cooked and delicious. And, since it's dishwasher safe, it's easy to clean. Those were about the only positives, though. The small handles made it easy to burn your hand on the hot pan accidentally, it didn't heat evenly, and the temperatures on the dial control appeared to be inaccurate. Presto Grey Ceramic (model 06856, $59.90): The Grey Ceramic skillet made excellent chicken and pancakes, like the Presto Foldaway skillet. However, it wasn't as easy to clean since the pan doesn't detach from the base, and it doesn't fold up for easy storage or have a pour spout. It also performed poorly in our flour test and didn't cook burgers evenly. Plus, we have concerns about National Presto Industries' CSR record. Our testing methodology James Brains/Insider We put each electric skillet in this guide through several objective tests. The most important factors to consider when buying an electric skillet are how evenly it heats and cooks and how easy it is to use and clean.Here are the main attributes we consider and the ways we test for them:Ease of use: I set up each unit without referencing the user manual to assess how easy they were to use. Even with some minor assembly, none of the skillets took more than 10 minutes to set up. I also examined how easy the handles were to grab barehanded when hot and covered with slippery cooking oil. The handles stayed cool on all of the models, but there were a few instances where the handles were small or poorly placed so that it was hard to avoid coming in contact with the hot pan. I also looked at special features that improved usability, such as a long power cord, easy storage, or a built-in pour spout.Even heating: To test how evenly the skillets heated, I sprinkled 1/3 cup flour evenly over the cooking surface of each. Then, I turned the heat on high and closely watched the coloration of the flour. If the skillet heats evenly, all of the flour should darken at the same time. This didn't happen with any of the skillets. With every unit except our top pick, the flour darkened where the heating element was located under the pan.Speed: I poured two cups of peanut oil into the skillet, cranked the heat, and timed how long it took the oil to reach 350 degrees Fahrenheit as measured with a probe thermometer. Most of the models took five to seven minutes. Only our top pick took a little longer — eight minutes and 30 seconds.Cleaning process: I washed each of the electric skillets several times per the manufacturer's instructions and noted how difficult the cleaning process was. For the units that are dishwasher safe, I ran them through the dishwasher at least once. I found washing by hand to be more convenient than machine washing. The skillets hogged significant dishwasher space, and the nonstick surfaces made removing grime with a sponge reasonably easy. Cooking performance: I put the electric skillets through three cooking tests.Fried chicken: I preheated two cups of peanut oil and filled each skillet with as many chicken thighs (coated with gluten-free flour and Tajín Clásico Seasoning) as I could fit without crowding. I timed how long it took for the chicken to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, I assessed how evenly the chicken cooked and how good it tasted.Hamburgers: After preheating the skillets, I added as many quarter-pound patties as I could fit without crowding and timed how long it took them to reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Once done, I assessed how even the sear was and how the burger tasted.Pancakes: I made pancake batter from Krusteaz mix and scooped quarter-cup dollops onto the preheated and bacon-greased skillets. I timed how long it took the pancakes to cook through. Then, I rated how evenly the pancakes cooked based on taste and appearance.Corporate social responsibility (CSR): I assessed how socially responsible the manufacturers of each skillet are based on information the organizations provided and my research. I considered environmental initiatives and whether the companies are engaged in any questionable practices. I looked at data from sites like CSRHub and Glassdoor to get a sense of diversity in leadership and employee satisfaction. Since it's virtually impossible to collect consistent data across all companies, I didn't weigh this attribute heavily. Still, I did note any information that consumers may want to know before supporting a company. What we look forward to testing We're constantly testing new electric skillets and retesting our top picks to determine the best ones. Here's what we're looking forward to testing for potential inclusion in this guide:Zojirushi d'Expert Electric Skillet for Yin Yang Hot Pot (model EP-PFC20, $174.99): This is a new skillet from the makers of our top overall pick. It appears to have the same size and design as the EP-RAC50; only the two pans are different. One is deep and divided to make it ideal for a hot pot. The other has a grill-like surface for achieving grill marks.Bella Ceramic Titanium (model 14607, $45.43): Featuring a copper ceramic-titanium coating on cast aluminum, we're curious to see how durable and even heating this is. It's on the smaller side, so it might be a good solution if you're cooking for one.Nesco (model ES-08, $26.59): This model costs less than half as much as our top budget pick, and at eight inches square (per the manufacturer), it's quite a bit smaller than any unit we tested. It seems like it could be a good option for college kids living in kitchen-less dorms.  Electric skillet FAQs What can I cook in an electric skillet?Electric skillets are underrated, versatile appliances that can make a broad range of foods. You can use an electric skillet for cooking all of your breakfast favorites, including crispy bacon, hash browns, eggs, pancakes, French toast, and more. You can use it to toast bread, which I like to do with bacon grease for added flavor.You can simmer soups, chilis, and chowders in an electric skillet, but you'll want to keep the heat low and stir often to avoid burning. And I've found it's fun to use an electric skillet to cook right on the dining room table. For instance, you can make fondue or have a non-traditional hibachi grilling experience.You can also use an electric skillet for baking cakes, cookies, and pies, making pizza, and cooking one-pot pasta dishes (like lasagna or spaghetti) and casseroles. Anything you can bake, fry, deep fry, sauté, simmer, boil, steam, or slow cook you can make in an electric skillet. When you purchase one, I recommend picking up some cookbooks as well. The two I use are The Sensational Skillet Cookbook and Electric Skillet Cookbook Complete. Check out our other great cookware guides Jen Gushue/Insider The best toaster ovensThe best Instant Pots and electric pressure cookersThe best air fryersThe best toasters Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 20th, 2021

The best dog boots and paw wax in 2021, according to dog walkers and trainers

Dog walkers and trainers told us what boots and paw wax they recommend dogs wear on walks. These are the best dog boots for snow, rain, and hiking. Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky Nine dog walkers and trainers told us about their favorite dog snow boots, hiking boots, and paw wax. Our experts said the best dog boots go on easily and protect paws without minimizing sensation. Find out more about how Insider Reviews tests and evaluates pet products. This article was medically reviewed by Karie Johnson, DVM, veterinarian and co-founder of VIP Vet Visit, a mobile vet service in the south suburbs of Chicago. Neither sleet nor rain nor heat nor snow will stop your dog from wanting to go out for a walk, but bad weather may make you think twice. Extreme temperatures can irritate a dog's sensitive paws, and ice and snow can be downright dangerous.There's no need to skip the walk altogether when the weather isn't cooperating. A set of dog boots or high-quality paw wax can protect your dog from freezing, hot, or rough terrain, so they can do the thing they love most.To come up with our selections for this guide to the best dog boots, we consulted nine dog walkers and trainers from across the United States. We asked them about their preferences for keeping dog paws protected during icy winters and hot summers as well as on outdoor adventures. According to our experts, the best dog boots overall are Pawz Rubber Dog Boots, a set of waterproof slip-ons that are easy to get on, hard to kick off, and inexpensive.Here are the best dog boots in 2021Best dog boots overall: Pawz Dog BootsBest dog boots for winter: Muttluks Original All-Weather Boots Best dog boots for hiking: Ruffwear Grip Trex All-Terrain BootsBest paw wax for protection: Musher's Secret Paw Wax Best dog boots overall Amazon Waterproof Pawz rubber dog boots protect paws in extreme heat, ice, and snow and are well tolerated by most dogs.Pros: Rubber boots, waterproof, slip-on, sold in packs of 12Cons: May not hold up to rough terrain, not reflective, uninsulatedSizes: 7 sizes, from tiny (paws up to 1-inch long) through extra large (paws over 4-inches long)Colors: Varies by sizeWashing instructions: Spot cleanWhether your dog's paws need protection from ice, snow, and salt in the winter or hot asphalt in the summer, several of our dog pros agreed that Pawz waterproof dog boots are the best option. "We have found these boots to be by far the best for staying on a dog's paws during a walk," said Megan Selheim, owner of Come, Sit, Stay in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Stacia Anderson, co-founder of RuffCity Dog Walking in New York City, agreed. "In my experience, all dog boots are inferior to Pawz balloon booties," she said.Pawz are made from flexible, durable all-natural rubber and come in a variety of sizes to fit dogs from tiny Chihuahuas to huge Newfoundlands. The dog booties slip over the paw and stay secure without straps or buckles. While they have enough traction to prevent a dog from slipping and sliding, they don't have a cumbersome sole, a feature that adds to their usefulness."Most dogs adapt to them quickly because they are not bulky and they can still feel the sensation of the ground through these boots," Selheim said. The lack of a reinforced sole, however, makes it easier for sharp rocks and other sidewalk hazards to tear through the rubber and scratch a dog's paws.Because they are made without reinforcements, Pawz do wear out. There's no need to feel guilty about throwing them out, however, because they're sustainably sourced and biodegradable.Pawz are sold in packs of 12, so you can easily replace one that goes missing. That's important to Lori Riegler, owner of Off Leash MKE, a dog walking and pet sitting business in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. "Booties are like socks and mittens, you are always losing one," she said. Best dog boots for winter Amazon Warm, cozy Original All-Weather Muttluks provide everyday paw protection against frigid winter temperatures.Pros: Stretchy fabric boots, tough leather sole, reflective, sold in packs of 4, storage bag includedCons: Not water-resistantSizes: 8 sizes, from XXXS to XXLColors: Yellow or blackWashing instructions: Machine washableOriginal All-Weather Muttluks are like reinforced mittens for a dog's paws. The boots slip over the paw with the kind of stretchy fabric preferred by the dog walkers and trainers we consulted. A velcro strap across the ankle keeps them securely in place on cold-weather walks.The soles of Original All-Weather Muttluks are reinforced with a thin layer of treated suede leather. While their smooth surface can be slippery in slush and rain, they are durable enough to prevent sharp objects like rocks and nails from slicing through to the paw pad. The nylon fabric exterior provides insulation to keep sensitive toes toasty. Reflective material on the strap makes them easier to see in low light.These booties are warm and comfortable for everyday winter wear, but they aren't water-resistant and can get waterlogged when walking in heavy rain, snow, and slush. And even though their tough soles will also hold up well against hot sidewalks in the summer, they may become overly warm if worn for long periods in the heat. The boots are machine washable, and for best results, the company recommends retreating the leather after cleaning.Unlike most boots, sizing is determined by measuring from the paw's front to back instead of side to side across its widest point. The boots are sold in a pack of four and come in a mesh storage bag. Best dog boots for hiking Ruffwear Ruffwear Grip Trex Dog Boots provide adventurous dogs with paw protection when covering long distances on rocky or uneven terrain.Pros: High-traction, flexible water-resistant rubber soles, reflectiveCons: Fastening strap may chafe, only sold in pairs of 2Sizes: 8 sizes, from paws up to 1.5-inches wide through paws up to 3.5-inches wideColors: Blue, black, redWashing instructions: Machine washable, air dryRuffwear Grip Trex Dog Boots protect paws from the scrapes and abrasions that can develop during long days on the trail. With breathable mesh on top and flexible, water-resistant soles made from Vibram vulcanized rubber, these booties provide powerful traction on slippery or uneven surfaces without overly compromising paw sensation.Ruffwear was a popular brand among the dog professionals we surveyed who said the Grip Trex boots are ideal for hiking and other outdoor adventures. They are less bulky than the brand's snow boots and have a thicker rubber sole than its everyday boots. The mesh polyester upper has a wide opening for pulling the boot on and off and a reinforced toe. Each boot has reflective trim for low-light visibility. To keep the boots from slipping off, Ruffwear's Grip Trex cinch around the leg just above the paw and fasten with a velcro closure. Because there is very little material between the stiff strap and the ankle, this boot may rub and cause abrasions when worn for extended periods of time, said Jacob Venter, owner of Denver Dog Joggers in Denver, Colorado. Breaking in the boots on everyday walks before taking them out on an excursion may help, as can pairing them with Ruffwear's dog socks.As the size of a dog's front paws is often different from that of their back paws, Grip Trex boots are sold in pairs instead. These booties are the most expensive of those we selected for this guide, but their wide range of sizes ensures you'll get just the right fit for every paw. Best dog paw wax for protection Chewy Musher's Secret Paw Wax is a reliable alternative to boots in conditions ranging from snow and ice to extreme heat.Pros: Protects paws from ice, snow, and heat; made from natural ingredients; affordableCons: Provides limited protection against rocky terrain, may need to be reapplied in snowDogs who refuse to wear boots can find relief from ice, snow, sidewalk salt, and extreme heat with Musher's Secret paw wax. "Musher's Secret is very effective for protecting paws and so much easier than booties," said Katie Westling, co-owner of Paw Pet Care Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota.The Canadian-made balm works by establishing a wax barrier between the paw pads and the ground without impacting a dog's ability to feel the terrain. It is made from four types of wax — white and yellow beeswax, carnauba palm wax, and candelilla wax — combined with vegetable oil and vitamin E. The food-grade ingredients are nontoxic and won't harm a dog who attempts to lick it off.While it might seem that all that wax and oil would result in greasy hands and a slick trail of puppy paw prints, Melody Koney a dog walker with Windy City Paws in Chicago, Illinois, assured us that's not the case. "It's easy to put on a dog's paws, and it doesn't leave a mess on floors and carpets," she said.An added benefit of Musher's Secret is the soothing and conditioning its oils and vitamin E provide for dry, cracked winter paws and dog noses. The balm doesn't provide as much protection against rocky terrain. It may help to keep paws safe from excessive rubbing and scratching, but it won't stop a sharp stone from slicing a sensitive paw pad. In snowy conditions, the wax may have to be reapplied on longer outdoor adventures.Affordable Musher's Secret paw protection comes in three sizes — 60 grams, 200 grams, and 1 pound — and will remain shelf-stable year after year if you don't use it all up in a single season. How to fit your dog for boots Most dog boots are sized with the width of a dog's paws in mind. To get the ideal fit, put a piece of paper on the floor and grab a pencil. Place one of your dog's front paws on the page and lift up the other so they have all of their weight flat on the paper. Draw an outline using your pencil. Since the back paws may be smaller than the front, repeat the process with them.When you have your outlines, measure the widest point of the paw from toe-to-toe. The width should correspond to the sizes in which the boot is sold. If your dog's paw falls between sizes, go with the smaller option.For boots that are measured by length instead of width, measure the paw outline you've drawn from the longest toenail to the "heel" and find the correct size on the sizing chart. A snug fit is better than a loose one, so if your dog's paw falls between sizes, choose the one that is smaller. How to keep dogs safe in cold weather Even though they come with built-in fur coats, dogs can still get cold in extreme temperatures. Unless you have a hearty Northern breed like a Husky or Bernese mountain dog, protecting a dog with a coat and boots can help to prevent them from developing frostbite or hypothermia when the mercury drops below freezing. "A good rule of thumb is if it is too cold for you, it is too cold for them," said Zay Satchu, DVM, chief veterinary officer and co-founder of Bond Vet in New York, New York.When a dog is cold, their body reacts by shivering and hunching to conserve warmth. They may also lift or hold their paws off the ground or make a beeline for enclosed spaces they believe will be warmer. A dog that is exposed to freezing temperatures for too long can develop frostbite on their ears, nose or paw pads or, in extreme cases, hypothermia.On days where the only way to be comfortable outdoors is to swaddle yourself head to toe in clothing, only cold-weather-loving breeds should be spending a lot of time outdoors, especially if you aren't at their side. "If you aren't directly supervising, it can be difficult to pick up on signs of hypothermia, which can be life threatening," Satchu said. You should contact your vet immediately when symptoms like lethargy, muscle stiffness, weakness, decreased alertness, and loss of consciousness indicate that your dog's body temperature has dropped to dangerous levels.An insulated coat and boots can help to keep your dog warm in the winter cold. "If you're grabbing a coat on the way out, you might as well grab one for Fluffy too," said Satchu. Like mittens or gloves for your hands, boots can protect the paws from freezing salty sidewalks, snow, and slush. If your dog refuses to wear boots, Satchu recommends trying a paw balm to create a barrier between sensitive paw pads and the sidewalk and wiping salty paws down with a warm damp cloth after the walk. Our experts For guidance on selecting the best dog boots, we went straight to those who spend their days walking and training dogs in all types of weather. Nine dog professionals from around the United States responded to a survey designed to identify the features of a good dog boot and the brands and designs they most prefer. Our list of experts includes:Krissia Chanto, co-owner of Rock Paw Pet Care in Boulder, ColoradoJacob Venter, owner of Denver Dog Joggers in Denver, ColoradoLaura Ryan, owner of Pup Patrol Walkers & Pet Care in Worcester, MassachusettsStacia Anderson, co-founder of RuffCity Uptown Dog Walking in New York, New YorkMelody Koney, dog walker at Windy City Paws in Chicago, IllinoisLori Riegler, owner of Off Leash MKE in Milwaukee, WisconsinDawn Jacques, owner of Milwaukee Paws Pet Care in Milwaukee, WisconsinMegan Selheim, owner of Come, Sit, Stay in Minneapolis, MinnesotaKatie Westling, co-owner of Paw Pet Care Company in Minneapolis, MinnesotaWe also consulted Zay Satchu, DVM, chief veterinary officer and co-founder of Bond Vet in New York, New York, on the best practices for keeping a dog safe in cold winter weather. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 20th, 2021

The best winter boots for men in 2021

When the cold weather, ice, and snow come, you'd best be prepared with a good pair of winter boots. These are the best winter boots for men in 2021. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Timberland When winter hits, be prepared with the best boots for inclement weather. Whether you're interested in stylish or utilitarian boots, here are 15 great choices. All these boots are insulated and waterproof or water-resistant. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyWinter is on the way and when the temperature drops, you better have something on your feet that will keep your toes from freezing. Whether you're looking for a boot that's super stylish or a utilitarian boot for shoveling snow, we've put together a guide to 15 of the best choices available. At the very least, a winter boot should be waterproof and have insulation, whether from materials like PrimaLoft or Thinsulate, which are both lightweight and made of synthetic fibers, or wool, which some people prefer since it isn't man-made. Besides waterproofing and insulation, a third major consideration is how a boot will handle icy conditions. Look for a boot with good traction. Many of the selections below use outsoles from Vibram, a storied Italian company famed for its rubber lug soles.The last consideration is use. We've included winter boots that work for the office or social events but can still handle foul weather, all the way to boots built for winter hiking through snow and across ice. And many that fall in between these two extremes. You're probably not going to want to wear a handmade pair of Italian boots to shovel snow or sport high rubber boots at the office, but we're sure you'll find exactly what you need in this roundup. Here are the best winter boots for men in 2021: L.L.Bean 10-inch Shearling-Lined Bean Boots L.L. Bean L.L.Bean's 10-inch Shearling-Lined Bean Boots feature waterproof leather on the outside to handle snow and sleet while soft shearling lining and PrimaLoft insulation keep your feet warm. Sizing options: 7 to 14Color options: BrownL.L.Bean has been crafting winter boots for more than 100 years — it was the first product when the brand launched in 1912 — and today it still makes the Bean Boot in Maine. This 10-inch shearling-lined duck-style boot incorporates waterproof leather uppers that are triple-stitched, with a steel shank and a rubber chain-tread bottom to keep you stable. Inside, a natural shearling lining and PrimaLoft insulation keep your feet warm down to 25°F for light outdoor activity and -20°F for moderate activity.10-inch Shearling-Lined Bean Boots (button) Merrell Men's Thermo Glacier Mid Waterproof Boot Merrell Merrell's Thermo Glacier Mid Waterproof Boots are the perfect winter hikers, especially if your toes tend towards being cold. These boots are also lightweight, waterproof, and great in icy conditions. Sizing options: 7 to 15Color options: Earth, Merrell GreyIf you're looking for some winter hikers, Merrell has been making exceptional hiking boots for 40 years, and the Thermo Glacier Mid Waterproof Boot is one of its bestsellers. According to shoppers, these boots are light, extra warm, comfortable, durable, completely waterproof, and have great traction in icy conditions. They feature Vibram outsoles, a bellows tongue to prevent moisture and debris from getting in, are lined in fleece, have PrimaLoft Aerogel insulation over the toes, and a heat-reflecting insole that traps body heat around the foot.Men's Thermo Snowdrift Zip Mid Shell (button) Sorel 1964 Pac T Boot Zappos Sorel's 1964 Pac T boots have everything you'd want in a winter boot, plus eco-friendly materials like leather from a sustainable tannery and recycled felt. Sizing options: 7.5 to 14 Color options: Black, Hickory/BlackSorel's 1964 Pac T Boot has everything you want in a winter boot, plus it's made using eco-friendly materials. The Pac T features waterproof leather from a sustainable tannery and vulcanized rubber upper that's seam-sealed to keep moisture out. It's insulated with a removable washable recycled felt inner boot, is lined in micro-fleece, and has a Sherpa pile snow cuff for extra warmth. Finally, it has a molded EVA footbed and a thick rubber outsole to keep your feet happy and steady when you're tromping around in the snow. 1964 Pac T boots (button) Nisolo All-Weather Andres Boot Nisolo Beauty and brawn meet in the Nisolo All-Weather Andres Boot that works as well in the office as it does outdoors.Sizing options: 8 to 13Color options: 6 colorwaysNisolo's All-Weather Andres Boot combines elegance and toughness for a boot that works as well in the office as it does on a winter hike through the woods. These beauties are Nisolo's version of a traditional trench boot and are handcrafted in Peru using sustainably produced water-resistant leather for the uppers in a factory that pays its workers a living wage. The gusseted tongue keeps out moisture and the shock-absorbing studded rubber outsoles will keep you surefooted when it's slippery out. All-Weather Andres Boot (button) Timberland Premium 6-inch Waterproof Boots Timberland The Timberland Waterproof Boots are iconic for a reason: They have unmistakable style and what it takes to keep you comfortable when the temperature drops. Sizing options: 6 to 18; regular and wide sizesColor options: 6 colorwaysThe Timberland Waterproof Boots are iconic not just for their unmistakable style but because they can actually stand up to the elements. They have sustainably produced waterproof leather uppers that are seam-sealed to prevent moisture from seeping in, 400 grams of PrimaLoft ECO insulation inside to keep out the chill, and thick rubber lugged outsoles to keep you from slipping on the icy pavement. There's a good amount of padding on the collar around the ankle and a leather-lined footbed for comfort. Then there are the unique colorways available, but the basic black is also a real standout. Men's Premium 6-inch Waterproof Boots (button) Danner Hood Winter Light Boot Danner Danner's Hood Winter Light Boot has a full-grain leather upper, a waterproof Gore-Tex liner, Thinsulate insulation, and Vibram outsole, all in one stunning package. Sizing option: 7 to 15; regular and wide sizesColor options: BrownThe American heritage brand Danner began making boots for Oregon loggers back in 1932 and, as you'd expect, its footwear is built for the outdoors and harsh weather. It is also stunningly handsome. The Hood Winter Light Boot is a style Danner recently brought back just in time for colder weather. It's got a full-grain leather upper, a breathable waterproof Gore-Tex liner to keep out the rain and snow, 200 grams of Thinsulate to keep out the cold, and a Vibram Kletterlift outsole with tons of traction. And, it's made in the U.S. Hood Winter Light Boot (button) Muck Boots Men's Arctic Outpost Pull-On The Original Muck Boot Company The Original Muck Boot Company is famous for its rain boots but its winter boots are also superb. The Arctic Outpost Pull-On has a full-grain leather and thick neoprene upper and is lined in fleece for those cold winter days. Sizing options: 7 to 15Color options: BrownYou may know the Original Muck Boot Company for its rain boots, but the brand also makes wonderful winter boots. The Arctic Outpost Pull-on has a full-grain leather and thick waterproof neoprene upper that protects you from the snow, a soft fleece lining to protect you from the cold, and a Vibram Arctic Grip Outsole to protect you from falling down. And the pull-on style means they're easy to get in and out of. Men's Arctic Outpost Pull-On (button) Kamik Men's Hunter Cold-Weather Boot Amazon The Kamik Hunter Cold-Weather Boot is made in Canada, rated for -40°F, and is a great value at under $60. Sizing options: 7 to 15Color options: BlackKamik is a family-owned Canadian company with a history going back to the turn of the 20th century. The Hunter Cold-Weather Boot is made of waterproof synthetic rubber and includes a removable thermal liner. It hits about mid-calf so it's high enough to keep deep snow out, and has a nylon collar to further prevent snow from getting in. It's rated to -40°F, manufactured in Canada, and will cost you less than $60. Men's Hunter Cold-Weather Boot (button) Irish Setter Canyons Pull-On Boot Irish Setter Irish Setter Canyons Pull-On Boots are your cold-weather friends that are insulated, waterproof, sturdy, and easy to get on and off. Sizing options: 8 to 14; regular and wideColor options: BrownThe Irish Setter Canyons Pull-On Boot is a Chelsea-style boot made for winter weather. It features full-grain waterproof leather uppers, 200 grams of PrimaLoft insulation, and even has an exclusive ScentBan process that kills odor-causing bacteria to keep your boots smelling fresh. The Vibram outsole will keep you surefooted no matter the terrain.Canyons Pull-On Boot (button) The North Face Chilkat IV The North Face The North Face Chilkat IV boots are attractive enough for city wear but serious enough for a winter trek in the woods.Sizing options: 7 to 14 Color options: Zinc Grey, Utility Brown, and TNF Black The North Face Chilkat IV is a serious winter boot that features waterproof leather and molded rubber uppers, ample insulation that's also eco-friendly, and temperature-sensitive rubber lugs for increased traction in icy conditions. Then there's the EVA midsole and molded footbed for a comfortable ride. And above and beyond all that, they're attractive enough for tromping through city streets and are also snowshoe compatible for weekends in the country. Men's Chilkat IV Boots (button) Keen Slater II Waterproof Boots Keen The Keen Slater II Waterproof Boots are stylish, yes, but more than that. They're also waterproof, insulated, have a wool collar, and use environmentally friendly leather. Sizing options: 7.5 to 11.5 Color options: MagnetKeen is better known for shoes you wear in the summer, but its winter boots are also impressive. The Slater II Waterproof Boots are, as their name indicates, waterproof. They're also insulated, supportive, use environmentally friendly leather for the uppers, have warm wool at the ankle, and look quite stylish when paired with your favorite jeans and a thick winter sweater. KEEN Slater II Waterproof Boot - Men's (button) Wolverine Yak Insulated Boot Wolverine The Wolverine Yak Insulated Boot is like a duck boot on steroids.Sizing options: 7 to 14; regular and wide  Color options: Brown, GravelWolverine is known for its hard wearing work boots and its winter boots are no exception. The Yak Insulated Boot is like a duck boot on steroids — waterproof, breathable, nicely insulated and cushioned in all the right places. The uppers have full-grain waterproof leather, there are 200 grams of Thinsulate Ultra insulation on the inside, and they have thick rubber outsoles for gripping the winter ground. Men's Yak Insulated Boot (button) Fracap M120 Alto Brill Boots Fracap The Fracap M120 Alto Brill Boots are works of art you can wear on your feet in the winter. Sizing options: 6 to 16; regular and wide  Color options: BrownIf you're looking to splurge on winter boots, you couldn't do any better than the Fracap M120 Alto Brill Boots. Sure, they're alluring because of their full-grain Italian calf leather uppers, fur collars, and hand-milled outsoles. But they're also handmade in Italy by a small family-run business that's been around since 1908 and will ship your boots internationally for free. These are works of art that double as winter boots. M120 Alto Brill Boots (button) Blundstone Thermal Boot Irish Setter The Blundstone Thermal Boots are just like your favorite Blunnies, except that they're built for winter with added insulation and shearling footbeds. Sizing options: 8 to 13 Color options: Antique Brown, Black, and Rustic BrownThe Blundstone Thermal Boot is just like your favorite Blundstone Chelsea — premium waterproof leather uppers, patented comfort system for all-day wear, and durable TPU outsoles to keep you surefooted — plus these Blunnies are winterized. They have plush, removable shearling footbeds and Thinsulate insulation to keep your feet warm when the temperature drops. Blundstone Thermal Boot - Men's (button) Columbia Hyper-Boreal Omni-Heat Tall Boot Zappos The sleek design of the Columbia Hyper-Boreal Omni-Heat Tall Boot hides a ton of functional elements to keep your feet warm and comfortable. Sizing options: 7 to 14Color options: Dark Grey, BlackStreet style meets winter functionality in the Columbia Hyper-Boreal Omni-Heat Tall Boot. The boot holds a surprising amount of functional elements in its sleek design that are all there to help keep your feet warm and comfortable. The Hyper-Boreal Omni-Heat Tall Boot includes 200 grams of insulation plus the company's patented heat reflection system that helps retain heat while allowing moisture to dissipate. Then there's the lightweight midsole with plenty of cushioning for all-day comfort. Hyper-Boreal Omni-Heat Tall (button) Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 14th, 2021

Having Banned Crypto, Turkey To Track Identities Of All Lira Sellers

Having Banned Crypto, Turkey To Track Identities Of All Lira Sellers The slippery slope analogy of tyrannical control continues to be proven right as Turkey removes the last privacy from its citizens money-changing ways. Having banned (anonymity-protecting) cryptocurrencies and crypto-assets in April (citing “irreparable” damage and transaction risks), Bloomberg reports that money-changers in Turkey will be required to record the identities of all of their clients under new rules issued following the Lira's collapse to fresh record lows against the dollar this week. In the past, only clients whose transactions were worth $3,000 or more were asked to submit personal information. “This new practice aims only to reduce informality in the industry, increase the level of institutionalization and ensure compliance with international regulations,” the Treasury & Finance Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. “It does not involve any intervention in foreign-currency markets.” *TURKISH PRESIDENT ERDOGAN MEETS CENBANK GOVERNOR: PRESIDENCY And... game over — zerohedge (@zerohedge) October 13, 2021 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and central bank Governor Sahap Kavcioglu met on Wednesday as the currency continued to accelerate lower despite the governor delivering a surprise interest-rate cut of 100 basis points on Sept. 23. Turks have been panic-selling Lira for anything else as inflation soars and continued capital controls are instituted. Foreign exchange deposits held by locals totaled $232.7 billion as of Oct. 1, according to central bank data, up 20% from the start of 2020. Mirroring the situation we have seen in Venezuela (and now El Salvador), Turkish businesses (like hairdressers and small grocery shops) had started accepting crypto payments out of convenience for their clients... until that was banned... ...as the currency circles the drain towards hyperinflation. Now that every cash exchange in the country is under surveillance, what will be restricted next? And how long before Erdogan decrees a ban on lira selling... period? Of course, this action by Erdogan is nothing at all like the new Democrats' IRS surveillance state plan to track every transaction by an American of over $600... nothing like it at all. Remember, it's for your own security/privacy/safety (pick your dissonance). Tyler Durden Thu, 10/14/2021 - 09:23.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 14th, 2021

Could This Be A Blow-Off Top For Tyranny?

Could This Be A Blow-Off Top For Tyranny? Submitted by Mark Jeftovic of Bombthrower.com Could This be a Blow-Off Top for Tyranny? King John’s military failure at the Battle of Bouvines triggered the barons’ revolt, but the roots of their discontent lay much deeper. King John ruled England in a ruthless manner at a time when the instruments of government and the practices of the courts were becoming consolidated. Eventually the barons could no longer abide the unpredictable ruling style of their kings. Their discontent came to a head during John’s reign. — Magna Carta, Muse and Mentor   There was a lot of defeatism evident in the comments on my recent series of posts, Why the West can’t ban Bitcoin, How we know Bitcoin is a force for good and No-Coiners don’t get that it’s not up to the government.  The overall timbre being that governments are all-powerful and that they will simply ban or outlaw emergent phenomenon that doesn’t suit their purposes. For awhile this was also my concern. When I wrote Domestic Terror is a Government Without Constraints it was motivated from a place of angst and hopelessness. However as we’ve all been watching events unfold, my mindset around this has been shifting. I have been coming across instance after instance of historical accounts on how seemingly unassailable and despotic regimes were swept away in mere moments of time, when it was least expected, when they seemed to be at the height of their power and poised to consolidate it even more. It is in these inflection points where nobody is aware of their existence, a grain of sand shifts somewhere and suddenly a geopolitical Minsky Moment ensues. Then it’s all over: The fall of the 300-year old Romanov dynasty and 800 year line of Tsars in a weekend over 1917 a few months after an obscure prince named Felix Yusopov murdered a peasant scoundrel named Rasputin The collapse of the Soviet Eastern Bloc in 1989 after gateway between Austria and Hungary was opened one weekend during a Pan-European picnic. It led to the collapse of the USSR after a failed hardliner coup in 1991. In 1945, the government of Haiti was overthrown in an uprising three days after the French writer and revolutionary Andre Breton gave a speech on Surrealism in Port-Au-Prince. Back in the days of William Buckler’s The Privateer newsletter, there was another, lesser known but just good newsletter by Mark Rostenko called The Sovereign Strategist (I have to admit modelling The Crypto Capitalist on both). Rostenko once wrote: “Nothing is bigger than the market. Nothing.” Rostenko quit in disgust and moved to the wilderness, I had brief communications with him over the years including this interview on my old blog. But my last couple emails to him have gone unanswered. What Rostenko may have lost faith in, for the moment, was that “the market” is really another word for The People. Every individual should be free to conduct their daily affairs in a way that serves their rational self-interest. I can hear the collectivists shrieking at that statement. To them I would simply dismiss their claims on everyone else’s autonomy by saying that when particular self-interested behaviours begin to adversely impact on the commons of everybody, then in an undistorted,  free market we would see it in rising costs or other market signals that would change the incentive structure and with it, everybody’s behaviours would adjust. Example: in a truly catastrophic global pandemic with a Black Plague, Ebola or Spanish Flu level of lethality, nobody would have be compelled to wear a mask, stay off the streets or queue up for a vaccine. In my piece that government can’t ban crypto, the naysayers converged around two objections: FDR’s gold ban of 1932 and Communist Centralist China now. FDR’s Gold Ban of 1933 This is one of those episodes in history where people simply don’t look beyond the headline. All they know that is in 1933 a series of executive orders were passed to remove the ability to hold gold privately or specify it as a payment method in contracts and they assume that was it: in a puff of edict, all privately held gold simply disappeared from the public’s hands (“checkmate, Bitcoin cultist”). Everybody is expecting one of these for a specialized area of mathematics called Bitcoin. But that isn’t what happened. In Kenneth R. Ferguson’s “Confiscation: Gold as Contraband 1933-1975” we get a more nuanced look at what the effect and implications of the gold ban were, including the haunting parallels to today’s Lockdown Society and it’s war on small business and the middle class. Our lack of insight into this era… “gives short change to the legitimate concerns of the people who were most opposed to President Roosevelt’s gold policies—farmers, blue collar workers, small business proprietors—and who believed democracy had been circumvented. Just a few years earlier, in the late 1920s, the mere thought of gold confiscation would have been inconceivable to everyone, including those who later supported it.” The gold ban came after FDR and the Democrats ran a campaign premised on a balanced budget and reduced government spending (yes, really). By the time he came into office the Great Depression was in full swing, the S&P had come off 80% from its 1929 high, unemployment was at 25%. England was forced to abandon its gold standard in 1931 and 25 other countries followed suit within the year. The newly elected president came into office facing a wave of  bank runs and took over the entire financial sector on his second day in office, “emergency executive control over all banking and currency transactions.” FDR blamed gold hoarding for the nation’s banking crisis, however: He failed to explain hoarding as a way of protecting a life savings in the face of frequent and increasing bank insolvency coupled with no depositor insurance, or to identify speculative activity abroad as foreigners exchanging their dollar assets for gold in anticipation of dollar devaluation. Most people would understand these choices as rational, but Roosevelt labeled them “unwarranted” and “speculative” in an emotional appeal to wrongdoing. The emphasis is added, because it highlights our main assertion: at some point rational self-interest creates an environment that incentivizes certain behaviours in spite of those that the government is attempting to induce. In fact, the harder the government may try to impose behaviours that are against the rabble’s own interests, the more vigorously they may adapt the discouraged behaviour  (also see: Bitcoin). FDR’s administration escalated the war on savers by ratcheting up the restrictions against gold: “The gold policies of President Roosevelt over a ten-month period provided a classic example of a political slippery slope. On April 5, the President declared “hoarding” to be illegal, and on August 28 the crime was elevated to “holding.” On December 28, 1933, the Secretary of the Treasury finalized the mandate by “requiring the delivery of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates to the Treasurer of the United States” (that is, from the theoretically-temporary hands of the banks into the more permanent possession of the government itself.) This is the definition of confiscation; it merely took ten months to be so stated.” Ferguson’s book does a masterful job detailing the machinations of this chapter in US and economic history, in details far exceeding my available bandwidth here. So what actually did happen? Compliance turned out to be low: it was estimated that $287 million USD of gold was in the public hands at the time of the ban. This excludes gold already exported out of the country by those who saw it coming (Canada was a favourite destination and waypoint) and the wealthy who were speculating against a USD currency devaluation using gold held offshore. Of that remaining stash in US public hands, compliance was estimated to be less than 50% by some tallies. The total face value of all gold coinage surrendered between 1933 and 1965 was less than $12 million USD, or approximately 4% of outstanding gold coinage. China’s Bitcoin Ban From my latest Crypto Capitalist letter, I cover the general situation in China: China’s crypto ban is actually less about crypto and more about state control over everything. There are rumours that China will soon break up Alipay, the overarching pattern is that China perceives Big Tech and decentralized tech as threats to the CCP hegemony, and they are moving to crush all opposition. Only by moving to outlaw entire industries, especially the ones poised to inherit the future, China may be repeating the same error that made over 500 years ago, when they ceded passage over the open seas to Europe, who went on to shape the trajectory of the world while China atrophied into centuries of internal strife and conflict: “More than five centuries ago, three ancient civilizations made three crucial decisions that largely preordained their subsequent collapse. As always, during periods of stress, these choices were not perceived as either critical or damaging. Indeed on the contrary, they were viewed positively as constructive responses to the contemporary problems that helped to strengthen their respective societies. In a matter of several decades between 1433 and 1485, China, Russia and the Ottomans independently decided that interactions with foreigners, trade, innovation, civil and property rights, education, and freedom to exchange views were contrary to the interests of the state and social cohesion” — Victor Shvets, The Great Rupture Is China making the same mistake now? We can already see that an outright ban on Bitcoin and crypto-currencies in China has had no effect on them globally. Zero. Think about that. Also note that reminiscent of how gold was exported from the US ahead of the gold ban in 1932 (not because anybody saw the ban coming per se, but because a devaluation of the USD was seen as likely), the largest Chinese crypto exchanges have been exiting China since 2017. Binance is still operating full-tilt having moved their HQ from Hong Kong to Bahamas, which is quite literally a page from The Sovereign Individual playbook – moving from a jurisdiction hostile to your interests to one accommodating to them.  Binance has its own exchange token (BNB) which at a $64B market cap makes it the 5th largest crypto currency in the world, and a Layer 1 blockchain (Binance Smartchain) that currently has a little under $20B TVL in DeFi, which definitely puts it somewhere on the Network State / Crypto-clave spectrum. Something similar happened with Chinese miners, who are moving to the West or other Asian jurisdictions. Interestingly, most of the crypto entities that arose there and then fled, came up in Hong Kong, which has had a taste of free market capitalism until the big rug pull in that respect in recent years. In mainland China itself, they’ve always been living under totalitarianism and the population is inculcated to it. But even there, how long can the Chinese people, catching glimpses through the Great Firewall of far  more marginally freer people, especially those in Hong Kong, abide by tyranny? How long can that centralized, top-down repression truly continue for? Life in liberal democracies is traditionally supposed to be anything goes except that which is expressly illegal. But we’ve had two years of rule by edict and that which is not explicitly permitted is forbidden. How long can this continue for? On a local level, some restaurants in Toronto are deciding not to enforce vax mandates. The longer the mandates continue, I expect more restaurants to begin eschewing them, because their economic self-interest is served by doing so. Even fully vaxxed people are curbing their outings because dinner and a movie feels more like internment into a gulag than a family night out. Venues that help people regain that sense of normalcy and comfort will attract the business, not the ones who force you to show “your papers please” on the way in. In Australia, the peasants are revolting, and even if the civil aviation authority is trying to ban drones from capturing the footage of these occurrences, they are still occurring and footage is getting out nonetheless. Varying US states ruling against vaccine and mask mandates, people are setting up job boards for those who aren’t vaxxed (or those who are but don’t want to work for companies that require it). The transportation system is grinding to a halt as air traffic controllers, air crew and pilots are calling in sick, resulting in mass flight cancelations, who knows where it will spread next. Why? The MSM is trying hard not to find out, but guys like Ron Paul suspect vaccine mandates. Right now we’re in civil disobedience, nullification and secessionist territory, but when I think about escalation: as the financial crisis that seemed imminent before COVID seems to be edging back into the frame (inflation, energy costs, supply chain constraints, cascading debt collapses: Evergrande and now the entire Chinese bond market) governments who seized on the COVID opportunity to introduce emergency measures may see a need for doubling down. After chasing the goalposts for almost two years now, I’m not sure the rabble is going to take it much longer. And if it doesn’t, what would that mean? #WorldWarWe In a recent podcast I was listening to (I think it was Sahill Bloom on Bankless, but it’s possible I’m misremembering and I’m sorry if so), he said something almost off-handedly: He said, in effect, “the next world war will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen” – and I expected him to talk about non-conventional warfare, such as bio-weapons, information warfare, and economics (“war by other means”), but instead he said “World War III will be everybody against their own governments” When you think about it, one realizes that today’s technology, with decentralization, cryptography, 3-D printing and drones could actually make this a possibility. In David Hambling’s Swarm Troopers: How Small Drones Can Conquer the World, he outlines how governments, whose military used to have technologies 20 years ahead of the general populace, have become so bureaucratized and sclerotic that they now move at a fraction of the pace of the highly competitive private sector: “If a commercial product goes through a generation every two years and the military cycle takes six years per generation, then in twelve years the military product goes from being four times as powerful as the competition to a quarter as powerful.” An example of this dynamic we can already see having played out is the Internet, which came out of the military industrial complex and in its day, was light-years ahead of anything the general public had (Compuserve, GEnie). But the “genie” did indeed get out of the bottle, and once the private sector got onto it and ran with it, it changed the fundamental architecture of power. The groundwork was laid for the evolution of societies in ways that would challenge, and will inevitably overwhelm the nation states that let it out. Say hello to the Network State and crypto claves. So now that we’re here in The Jackpot, do we honestly believe that the slowest, most bureaucratic, rigid an inflexible entities (governments) are actually going to win the race for primacy in a rapidly decentralizing world? When the gargantuan imbalances they created over the last century finally experience their all-encompassing, self-induced Global Minsky Moment? It was under FDR’s gold ban that dissenting Supreme Court Justice McReynolds ruminated that it meant the demise of the US Constitution: It is impossible to fully estimate the result of what has been done. The Constitution as many of us have understood it, the instrument that has meant so much to us, is gone. The guarantees heretofore supposed to protect against arbitrary action have been swept away. The powers of Congress have been so enlarged that now no man can tell their limitations. Guarantees heretofore supposed to prevent arbitrary action are in the discard… Shame and humiliation are upon us now. Moral and financial chaos may confidently be expected. While in those days the ban on gold was ineffective and compliance less than half, it did succeed in stripping the US citizenry of constitutional protections which has only escalated into the present day. We have all been treating what happened under COVID as something unprecedented. But if you think of Lockdown Society and The New Normal not as the implementation of a quasi-one-world government , ushering in a global police state, but instead as the crescendo, of a roughly century long process of creeping tyranny…. one of those infamous blow-off tops that are unrecognizable to us now because we are immersed in it, still experiencing it. Despite the overwhelming arsenals of governments, the militarization of civilian police forces, and near ubiquitous surveillance capabilities, there’s never been a time in history when the people have the means to rebel, both within the system and without. Especially here in North America, where to avoid retyping all this, allow me to simply excerpt a passage from the most recent edition of The Crypto Capitalist letter…. “The Future of Life Institute made docudrama short-film called “Slaughterbots”, it’s 7 minutes long and nothing short of chilling, but we’d be fools to think that if technology has this capability already, it won’t be used. By somebody: Mexican cartels are already using drones to smuggle drugs, not to mention weaponized drones in combat with each other and on at least one occasion used them to attack the police. It’s still under-appreciated how significant a change this is. On par with the gunpowder revolution and aerial warfare, autonomous weapons and drones are yet another technology in the process of changing the rules of the game. This brings us to the important part: we can already see that these technologies won’t just change the nature of conflict between governments. Drones are also accessible to non-state actors, perhaps even more-so. They will alter the relationship of power across society as a whole. When also you factor in their close cousin, 3-D printed weapons, we really begin to understand what a fundamental shift in the landscape decentralization and digital technology really implies. One of the defining characteristics that makes America, and certain other countries so different from, say, China, or even Australia, is the level to which the citizenry is armed. Especially in North America. The US and Mexico are two of the only three countries in world where gun ownership is a Constitutional right (the third is Guatemala) while even here in Canada, where it isn’t, we have one of the higher per-capita levels of gun ownership (somewhere around 34 guns per 100 people). Imagine a future in which all these gun owners have the capability and incentives to print up their own weapons on 3- D printers. Then deploying them via drones, possibly swarms of them, for whatever purpose. There is no technological barrier from them doing so, and doing so right now. What scenarios or conditions would have to exist to galvanize that kind of behaviour en masse? How close are we to those conditions now? Are we moving toward those conditions or away from them? Most importantly, do you think whoever is in government could stop it? If you consider this, then we can get a sense of why governments and policymakers are so eager to assert their authority now and to appear to be unassailable and omnipotent. I think it’s fear.” To be clear: I am not advocating an armed rebellion against incumbent governments. I’m observing how decentralization and cryptography have changed the architecture of power and asking what kind of incentives would have to be in place to make what I describe inevitable. The Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency movements were the second half of the one-two punch that set all this in motion. The Internet freed the flow of information, and in a world where “whosoever controls the monetary system, controls society (Zarlenga)”, cryptos have taken the punch-bowl of monetary control away from the State in a truly Promethean manner, and open-sourced it. Who controls money now? Everybody. There is a point beyond which the citizenry will stop viewing each other as enemies (left vs right) and start viewing their own governments as the enemy (overlords vs rabble). If that happens, then the incentives and conditions will be in place for #WorldWarWe. Coda: As per the comment from Matt below, I am deeply saddened to learn that Mark Rostenko passed away July 26, 2020. We never met, but I considered him an internet friend and I respected him a lot. Tyler Durden Wed, 10/13/2021 - 16:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 13th, 2021