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Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

Welcome to the Neno's Place!

Neno's Place Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality


I can be reached by phone or text 8am-7pm cst 972-768-9772 or, once joining the board I can be reached by a (PM) Private Message.
Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

Many Topics Including The Oldest Dinar Community. Copyright © 2006-2020

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KTFA Monday Night CC 1-7-19 contracts, at 1 to 1 to the USd - Thu 17 Jan 2019, 10:30 am

[size=26][size=24]KTFA Monday Night CC 1-7-19-  [/size]

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[size=18]Part 2:

Frank26:  We continue with our study of the Iraqi Dinar. All of this is in my opinion. And we now incorporate taxes and tariffs which has been a hot topic lately with the Government of Iraq. And taxes and tariffs are definitely a part of  the Government of Iraq’s obligations to the IMF. 
Let me ask you a question: which would you rather see right now? The lifting of the 3 zeros electronically? Or the application of the taxes and tariffs?

I like what I am reporting to you tonight IMO. Because after the RI the Ts & Ts will adjust themselves. And by the way, the taxes and tariffs that are hot right now that we have presented to you in articles, those have been in existence for many years  in Iraq  So don’t get confused.
These taxes and tariffs are additional for the imports and the exports but, these T’s and T’s have now been assigned international code numbers. OK? I mean in just those 30-40 seconds of what I just told you there is a lot of power.

I encourage you if you want to learn more, then Google “Tariff Tables of Iraq”. And note it is not the assigning of the taxes and tariffs that is an issue because they have tax code numbers now. It is thecollection of these taxes that is difficult because the citizens do not have the true purchasing power in their currency at a Program Rate to afford these taxes. OK?
What we have presented to you tonight is an Int’l bridge with Iraqi private banks and banks around the world in order to bridge Iraq to the global international world.
Because internationally, these contracts, at 1 to 1 to the USd have accomplished the NEER  Let me repeat that. This bridge is to bring Iraq’s private banks into the global international world because internationally these contracts internationally at 1 to 1 with the American dollar have accomplished the NEER (Nominal Effective Exchange Rate) of Iraq. And you know what that is because we have studied it many times.

They have bridged the REER (The real effective exchange rate) of the IQD into the global markets!!!

So IMO on the 30th of Dec of last year when they electronically lifted the 3 zeros before the ending of 2018 it has not yet been done internationally…yet! But the bridge, and the Chamber of Commerce and all the evidence we’ve given you already…that bridge is up!  They have to just cross it now. 
These contracts of my friend in the form of the IQD came first. They were presented inside Iraq to businesses to offer jobs to the citizens electronically. Isn’t that brilliant! They have not lifted the three zeros physically. They have lifted them electronically!!!
Now they simply need to tell the rest of the world…the rest of the investing world that wants to come into Iraq and rebuild them that they did so! And,... to physically give the citizens of Iraq what we call the 2ndarticle containing the pictures of the new small category notes and the fils along with the instructions of where to get these new small category notes and fils, the information of their new currency rate, the information of the currency reform and the ATM instructions along with more information to the citizens. It must not fail in the hands of the citizens! 

Because the bridge of the IQD to leave Iraq internationally has been built and tested and it is sitting there waiting to be announced!
What did Trump and Mahdi talk about in the last week of December of 2018? Well maybe they talked about the Iraqi budget at 1 to 1. Maybe they talked about a new government. And by the way what new government? I mean it’s there but it has not been officially announced. Just like Article VIII. It’s there but its not officially announced.
IMO when Trump comes to visit it’s always about the benjamins. It’s always about the C-note always about money. Whatever else did he talk about with Mahdi and whoever else was in that meeting with him just before year’s end. What do you think!

​Yes Trump surprised the world. He didn’t surprise you. You’re a student with us aren’t you! But Trump took the initiative to go directly to see Mahdi in person before year’s end. And then on the 30th electronically the three zeros were lifted on those contracts with my friend’s firm. Soon I will tell you about other firms.
Yes indeed at the Kuwait conference in February of 2018 Allak promised to protect the investors’ money, freedom of their currency. We now have just that! We have freedom of capital in Iraq that is soon to be shown with international standards of Article VIII! Then from these contracts at a 1 to 1 rate paid in IQD with permission to leave Iraq’s borders   and to be safely deposited in a foreign bank outside of Iraq with no restrictions on their currency, on their funds, with their money protected with no restrictions of movement internationally with no fear of having someone steal it in the CBI or GOI . With no fear of losing their profit!!!
Ladies and gentlemen the private banks of the CBI in Iraq are soon to be born in the United States of America! I pray to God you heard what I just said! We are walking into a new phase. Pay close attention. There are banks as you already know because of what we’ve mentioned tonight in the United States and some around the world that are internationally mirrored with Int’l standards with the private banks of Iraq. The USA as you saw the article has many banks that are mirrored internationally with the private banks of Iraq.
Ladies and gentlemen, I now wish to tell you the CBI (Central bank of Iraq) is going to have satellites of their private banks in the USA.  

I know that in his 8 years of Obama he made it impossible for you to deposit any foreign currency in an American bank. He made it a law. OK. No problem so here’s what we are going to do. We are going to go ahead and only allow you, American citizens, to deposit American dollars in our American Banks.
So when they cross that bridge (they are Article VIII) you know when that Article VIII bridge  becomes solid then, what you do American banks, .you accept those wire transfers from private banks in Iraq and you convert those dinars into American dollars at whatever rate is at that moment. You will never see a rate of 1 to 1 !!!
Ladies and gentlemen, the CBI right now has one bank that is ready to go! You will have the option to go into an American Bank and deposit and wire transfer your dinars from Iraq and have them sent to an American bank and have them converted into American dollars. And thank you for being international. It’s about time!!!
But, what if I don’t want to convert my Iraqi dinars into USD’s. Not right now! What’s the rate?  $2.20 something? I’d  rather wait. What are you going to do with your dinars? Well I understand that there are now satellite banks of the CBI on American territory. Well I’ll just go into one of those banks and deposit my Iraqi dinars in your satellite bank here that represents the CBI. Can I leave them as IQD’s? Yea. Well thank you! And when I want to take them out I can take them out? Of course! And then I’ll put them in my American bank and they will be converted at what ever rate exists at that time into American dollars. Right? Right!! OK! Ladies and gentlemen you will never see a 1 to 1 rate!!!
American banks in the USA will say “hey we’re cool. We can safely accept the IQD and convert it electronically to USD’s no problem”. Go back about an hour ago. What did I say? In the near proximal future, my friend will be able to do this. Now you know why. There’s one bank that’s ready.  But I’m not going to tell you where it’s at. In fact there’s another bank that’s just about ready from the CBI satellite banks that will be in the USA. I don’t know how many. If I was to give a ball park number it might be about a dozen of them scattered throughout the USA. And more than likely they will be in the 48 continental states.

So, in taking inventory of our study for tnight: #1We just need to have them announce that they are article VIII. Because they are using International standards. And they have used Article VIII tools to maintain the 2% compliance. Does this all make sense to you?
We are taking inventory of what we have studied so far

#1 Article VIII: Please announce it!

#2 You are using Int’l standards in many ways out of Article VIII—not just the 2% compliance.

#3 Private Iraqi banks are going to be in the USA.  Really? Wow!

#4 In a short term date,  they will tell the world what they did on Dec 30th of 2018? Yes!!!

#5 How can we tell you this right now? Because these contracts have been publicly assigned to my friend’s firm to fulfill.

If you don’t have our teams then you are going to see some other things on the internet. Therefore this opinion is already released. We are beyond blessed to have my friend’s study because no one on the internet has a friend like mine. We are not ahead of the curve. We are blessed with the truth.
This conference call is the definition and implementation of Article VIII. Now, announce it please! Are my teams disappointed that they did not see the lifting of the 3 zeros physically? And, instead, saw it electronically on December the 30th?  No. Why not? Because my teams know they did it electronically and they hold the proof in contractual form and they are motivated  to help you understand all of this.  We just had to be quiet for a while until it was the right time.
To the child with chocolate all over his face. Tell me, what did you do? What are you eating? Nothing. Tell me. That’s where we are at right now.
#1 They are soon to  tell you that they are done internationally that they are dealing with contracts at 1 to 1.

#2 That they have reached the NEER. And

#3 that they are only using IQD’s in their country not USDs any more.

#4 that they are Article VIII. That they will announce Article VIII is the next step

#5 and the dinar will leave the country safely and all on international standards and

#6 REER because they have the Real Effective Exchange Rate of the Iraqi dinar.

And by the way congrats to the person who figured out what the “T” meant “even in the shadows of the 101 degrees. The “t” was missing wasn’t it. 1 (t)o 1. That’s what that was all about.
I like the fact that there is another party involved, my friend’s firm! Involved with the monetary reform and its reflected in the contracts of my friend. Domestically, yes for now.  But that is the order, that is the command, the fashion in country reinstatement for the citizens, internationally a revaluization. You see the process is from banks to corporations to the citizens 
Based on what I shared this evening I ask you this: Would you go into a contract  with someone who couldn’t pay you back? It’s a simple sentence but it’s a very deep thought.  Do you think my friend’s firm is going into 240 contracts under the understanding they will not be paid back? No. Because the contract says 1 to 1. Do you understand that this is a contract. Have you seen any? 240 just in my friend’s firm. These are binding K’s and they are solid because they are backed especially from the Gov’t.  Pretty interesting isn’t it!
240 contracts are a lot of contracts at a new RI rate.. And as I said they have gone from the NEER (Nominal effective Exchange rate) to the REER (Real effective Exchange Rate). Soon it will be announced publicly at a rate of 1 to 1 because these calculations have been done, tested and approved. But above all they have been built on Int’l standards. 

​And you have the article from the US Chamber of Commerce. And the extra information we gave you from the Chamber of Commerce from Iraq today. Admitting literally “OK…the answer is Yea we can take care of you and you can have freedom of capital movement.” REALLY?
That e-mail from the Iraqi chamber of Commerce only validates   and backs up my friend’s firm’s contracts and what has happened with them. This is public knowledge now. And the only reason we know about these contracts is because we have my friend. If not we would be just like any other site just giving opinions that sometimes just don’t make sense.
We are talking about a new phase of the monetary reform to lead the country of Iraq. The reinstatement in writing going legal on it because of a binding contract is to be upheld. The Gov’t put the reinstatement in legal terms with these contracts. A legal commitment at one to one. If they don’t pay and fulfill they forfeit this commitment. And if that’s the case then we are back to the same old same old but we don’t see that. We looked hard for failure. This is a new phase of the monetary reform. It is a legal binding requirement for Iraq to fulfill all these contracts at one to one with the IQD and the American dollar.
I guess you could say lesson learned from the Kuwait conference. Because something like this has actually been done before. But the difference is they did that with the investors at the Kuwait conference last yearto come in before they did anything to prove to them that they would be paid at  one to one. I am extremely happy without a doubt. I have an easel board over her if we have to draw this out but I think you’ve got the gist of it.
So… what about other firms in Iraq?  Besides my friend’s firm. Did they get any contracts? By the way before I answer that just recently of the 240 contracts another 34 more contracts were offered to them so it’s way past 240 now. IMO other contracts were signed by other companies and IMO and they are probably within the 30-60 days with terms. And IMO those terms would probably start for them on these new contracts on the 13th of January, 2019.
Now the details of these other contracts with these other firms is unknown to us. We believe that they are at 1 to 1. And we believe they are being paid in IQDs. The same way almost 300 contracts have already been offered to my friend’s firm.  These contracts are pouring in now because they are needed to rebuild Iraq. And if you are a student and watching very carefully reading these articles with us you are understanding that they are rebuilding this country right now.
And the significant thing is the GOI is making a commitment to these legally binding contracts. They are signing contracts. They are signing a boat load of contracts said my friend. And they are starting with firms inside Iraq to offer jobs to the citizens which is only logical. Yea all the other contracts are probably at 1 to 1 but we don’t know. And they are probably 30 days and not so much 60 days out. They are probably very similar to those my friend’s firm has.

Can I tell you something else? IMO they already told you remember it was a four year plan to try to be 1 to 1 with the American dollar. IMO the budget of 2019 is probably at 1 to 1. IMO I believe the 2019 budget is using more than the 1 to 1 rate. I believe that they are using a multiple of different rates based on the fact they are about to go international.

And the reason IMO is because you have provinces, mayors of different villages and  towns that  needed specific  things done, allocated in the budget.  And these agreements were not done all at once! They were done over the whole year of last year. Which .  brought up different rates in the budget of 2019. Once again it covers many projects  in many provinces but once again a projection of what they intended to do  before the end of 2018.
IMO we may start to see a rise in the IQD locally. You’ll never see 1 to 1. From  1190 I believe we are going to start to see a rise locally and hopefully just go straight to 1 to 1. But I believe it will be due to the sanctions on Iran. Because they will not be using the USD any longer. And we believe it will give the IQD growing room locally inside of Iraq. This makes sense doesn’t it?
So if you see this from the supply and demand of the IQD inside of Iraq then we are being successful with the reinstatement of the IQD. Then the citizens will also see a rise in their local currency, (i.e. purchasing power). Now let’s ask a question together. Frank, is this purchasing power that you think you are going to see soon inside Iraq is this the purchasing power Shabibi promised them? You know an increase from the 1190 to go up a little bit? The answer is “no”. It’s the start of it.
There is a lot of talk and my friend and his firm is hearing it. A lot of talk in Iraq. Actually this talk occurred a long time ago all into last year. But because of the calculations that were successful in lifting the three zeros electronically and proved by the CBI the talk I am about to tell you is nothing to worry about. It’s very interesting what I am about to tell you. I apologize I am throwing so many things at you. you’re going to have to listen and take notes and make decisions. I am throwing you a bucketful of things.
Now this talk that was all over the place last year—not only within the GOI but the CBI too. It was bleeding everywhere. There’s lot of talk saying in fact you have an article –Samson brought it into our forum five days ago Post # 161. Go back and find it because I’m not posting any more articles in our final article thread. For a reason! But that post had a quote that said “It’s wrong to compare the IQD to a lesser valued currency.” Oh, really? YEA!  What’s the matter with you, CBI and GOI?  “We don’t like the basket of currency!”
What currencies are you going to have in there? “We don’t want to tell you”. Fine. It’s not like we care. You’re going to be pegged to the American dollar. “Hey! We don’t like that either!”   What? Why you ungrateful little…. Go outside and get a stupid stick so I can hit you with it! What do you mean you don’t like the fact that you are soon to be one to one with the American dollar. What’ya talking ‘bout Willis!

And it turns out they don’t like the basket. They don’t like the currencies that are in the basket. And #2 they are very concerned that the IQD is “priced” (that’s what they call it over there) is pegged to the American dollar. Why you ungrateful little…Why does that bother you? Because if we remain pegged to the USD after the reinstatement of the IQD well we are concerned that the IQD will be of more value vs the American dollar. You know for a REER (a Real Effective Exchange Rate) . They cannot be pegged to the USD.because we believe that the IQD will have more value than the USD  very soon. And after the reinstatement (RI) is released well we simply fear it will retard the value of our IQD.
OK let me get this straight, you pompous ass!  You’re telling me you don’t want the IQD to be pegged to the USD because you know damn well your currency is about to go up in value and internationally and probably supercede the American dollar and you’re afraid  we are going to drag you down in value? You’re afraid we are going to retard the process of the revaluization of your currency internationally? (Laughter). OK. Fine. Drop the USD for all I care! (More laughter). And also don’t bother telling us what currencies you are going to peg to in the Middle East basket. Because in all honesty, a higher rate for the IQD vs the USD is only good for us invested in the IQD!
Yea. Middle Eastern attitudes. Ya gotta love ‘em! I personally hate them. By the way this has all been calculated like I told you at the beginning when I started this topic. This has all been calculated and figured out long ago by the CBI and the Fab Four (the IMF, World Bank, US Treasury and Donald Trump)! These two concerns we just talked about the basket and the IQD pegged to the USD—this concern is LOUD in Iraq by those that are just simply not informed yet of the trueness of the monetary reform of the Iraqi dinar engineered by Dr Shabibi and the Fab Four.
These are just people that should just keep their mouth shut. They don’t know what they are talking about. They might as well be Dinar Gurus on the internet. So these people that are complaining (like Maliki and his idiots) should just shut up as they did recently because  they don’t know the CBI’s true intentions on the Middle East currency basket. But IMO, we as investors, are not at all concerned about their concerns. OK?
Now I bring this up to you because you saw this in articles and I want you to understand our point of view—our opinion. And you know what? When you summarize this file they are not arguing about doing a reinstatement. They are arguing, talking and concerned .about “post reinstatement” effects!  (Laughter). Once again, a projection of what their true intentions are. My friend is good with our study not because he is a prophet that sees into the future. But because he lives in the present of the monetary reform!

​So.. a quick summary… a fear of the IQD being paired to a basket of ..oh whatever. A fear that post RI being pegged to the USD would retard the value of the IQD... whatever. These factors have long been determined, calculated and accepted and the key is that they are talking and their talk within the GOI and the CBI is getting louder and louder.

Therefore, IMO, a 1 to 1 in country is something that we, as investors of the IQD, will never see!  (hint: IMO the rate we see will be much higher).
I have 5 minutes before we have our final commercial and right after that our final file. Like you need more!!!! Everything that I have is just a continuing momentum of going straight to the apex of the mountain. So in five minutes let me give you this and when we come back from our last commercial get ready for more.
My friend and his firm were IMO privy to see another contract from another firm—a  friend of theirs. It turns out it is a contract worth 11 million dollars. It is a 90 day contract for service. It’s a contract for those of you who are students and you want to look into this  “Eco Commerce Services”. That’s the category of this 11 million dollar contract that my friend’s friend in Iraq received. And what an eco commerce services is is a platform of tools for the buying and selling of services and goods.
Now here’s the clincher—the powerful part. This 11 million dollar contract which is public knowledge because it’s in their hands it shows a value—not of 1 to 1. It shows a IQD rate of $1.38!!! And if you could see the contract and do the math at $1.38  it comes out to 11 million dollars. These contracts are pouring out at 30, 60, 90 days whatever and they are coming at such a speed IMO they will have to announce what they are doing very soon!
What I shared with you is public but if my friend did not exist or if his firm was not offered these contracts we would not know this! We know this now don’t we!  Maybe they are encouraging themselves to make this announcement very soon of all the subjects I have given you. Think about all of the subjects I have given you tonight. Which one of them do you like?
So the two banks that my friend’s firm has in Baghdad (and other Iraqi banks that have twinned with US banks) we want you to know it’s all tested! What’s “tested”? Ladies and gentlemen I would like to talk to you after our final commercial about something called RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement).
We are now headed to the end of our conference call. The last topic tonight are two systems that the Central Bank of Iraq and the Government of Iraq have used. Once of them is called the RTGS system and the other one is called the NEFT. What is the difference between these two? First of all I want you to know these two systems have been and are being used by Iraq.  Now pay close attention. And understand the value of these international standard systems.
The NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer) is a real time transfer of transactions in bunches or batches in volume but it’s not done in real time. But now they are using the RTGS real time gross settlement system this is also a transfer of money but it’s not in bunches or batches. It’s ala carte.

Ok so you have this account? Yes I do. You want to send this money where? A bank in the USA. Okey dokey says the Iraqi bank. “Go ahead fill out the papers and we will send this one transaction of yours to a bank in the USA because we have the RTGS system and our currency is international”. We can transfer ala carte one at a time. And here’s the nice thing about it. It will be done instantly!!! That’s what RTGS is. And on top of that how much do you want to transfer? A dollar? We can do it instantly!  What if I had  a million dollars? We can do it! Instantly right now!  High volume, low volume it doesn’t matter. We can now transfer it from our banks to other banks outside of our country at any amount any time instantly.
Iraq now has the RTGS and you saw the articles. In fact in those articles Iraq told you “We choose the RTGS system”. Well you can choose all you want but you were told what to do weren’t you!  Shhhh. OK CBI so you’ve decided to use the RTGS system. “Yes so we can transfer in a single transaction either low or high values of volume of the IQD”.  So when we take our IQD’s out of a satellite bank of the CBi where we deposited IQD to have it stay as an IQD deposit --when we take those dinars out of that CBI satellite bank and deposit them into a twin USA bank in America the IQD will be instantly wired to the CBI without any limitations in high or low volume. It is immediately done.
This is a new phase. This whole conference call is a new phase. When you Americans who have dinars when you take them into one of our twin American Banks in America that have been twinned with Iraqi banks internationally we will instantly send that Iraqi dinar immediately to the CBI in either high or low volumes. It will be immediately done.
Wait a minute you mean when I go into an American bank and give them my IQD’s it’s going back to the CBI in Iraq? It’s not going to the US Treasury? Well of course not!  The CBI says we want our three zeros notes back. You already have dinars in your Treasury. This is good!  Well yea the CBI says “we gotta get our stuff together”!  For our note count. For our currency. This is a procedure that all international banks are well aware of. Right now the CBI is concerned about their M-1. M-2, M-3. You cannot blame us! No we cannot blame you. You CBI want yor 3 zeros notes back as quickly as possible to finish the monetary reform!
What are you going to do with those three zero notes? Are you going to put them back in circulation? (laughing) NO!  You’re not are you! NO! We’ve been wanting to collect these for a long time! We collected as many as we could from the citizens but they are stubborn! And they’ve got their little plans, ya know. Good luck to them. But you—investors outside of our country—when you go to one of our mirrored banks that we have established already in the USA and many countries. Yea we are going to receive those notes back to us, the CBI.
The value of my transaction will be wired to the CBI. The CBI then credits the USA twin bank with the transaction value for their customer and then takes the three zero notes physically that were taken to the bank in the United States. They (the twin US bank) does get the value wired electronically instantly from the CBI to the twin American bank but then the twin American bank will take physically those three zero notes from their customer and send it back to us the CBI and then we (the CBI) will remove it from Iraq’s currency circulation. ​

These are accomplished international standards. And, by the way these things we are talking about these systems and mirroring with banks--all of this—it’s all in place with the CBi and with Banks around the world. You read about it in those articles! Yep we (the CBI) are  linked up internationally all around the world.   All those that have twinned with Iraqi private banks.
You ask constantly for a date to which I constantly say “I don’t care!” I don’t care about when it happens I don’t care about the rate. I care about the International steps that are in place right now for a reinstatement!
Leave the date and the rate alone! Realize that the RI is no longer alone! Thanks to the President of the United States Donald Trump and the Fab Four. Also in early December which we’ve already talked about remember when the US Treasury met with the CBI. You saw the article.  Also in early December when the US treasury met with the CBI IMO they got an earful! Not of wax. (laughing) they got yelled at. And deservedly so.
Before year’s end on the 30th of December they lifted the 3 zeros electronically on these contracts. And in the very very, near future (whenever that turns out to be) you are going to see the results of this. Because it will be your turn to take advantage of the bridges that have been established with the twinned American banks.
Also I want you to note something. You saw the article about Iran. And that they are lifting three zeros. That’s simply a LOP. And  I’ll tell you this: there is all the reason for the Iranian Rial  to LOP as there is for the IQD  to RD-RV-RI  Hurrah! Wouldn’t you say!
Also there was an article that came out and showed you pictures of the Iraqi dinar in clusters and you said oh look there’s the lower denoms that we have right now! They’re getting rid of them they are showing they are replacing them. No that article was very simply telling you there is a huge business –it’s a big hobby in the Middle East to collect currency. Samples of it. So if you don’t know about that I just thought it was important that I tell you to not pay attention to that article. Ok?
There was another article that caused some concern because you looked at it and you said look it says 50 trillion allocated in the budget for article 140. Well, I’ll be honest with you  I don’t ever recall the GOI doing this before—allocating money for Article 140. Do you understand the seriousness of this! It’s interesting and it may be for the census which would affect not only Article 140 but the HCL (Hydrocarbon Law). Pretty cool huh? It’s all coming together isn’t it! But I do want you to know this allocation has nothing to do with the monetary reform of the Iraqi dinar. Okay Dokay?
We are down to our last 15 minutes. And my friend hopes this report to you was beneficial. My friend leaves you with this thought regarding the reinstatement of the Iraqi Dinar and also regarding our conference call. My friend says “Frank, you don’t build an international bridge to blow it up. You do so to get across”.
By the way “mirroring”—what does that mean? You see this is a process in which International standards and a protocol is established between banks due to the success of a bank platform transfer with money. Maybe the testing of  2nd set of books.
So in our study we have learned of private banks in Iraq mirroring and we’ve learned just now the definition with international standards with banks around the world. And I also don’t want you to forget do you know who else “mirrored”? Do you know who else is “mirrored”?  The Iraqi stock exchange!  Oh Snap! 

 Tink:  1-7-19 CC


HockeyBuzz Hotstove - Wed 09 Aug 2017, 7:37 pm

Top-5 wingers in the Western Conference?
August 9, 2017, 11:36 AM ET [117 Comments]
HockeyBuzz Hotstove
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Follow me on Twitter @ToddCordell

In this edition of the hotstove, we rank the top-5 wingers in the Western Conference.

Todd Cordell

1. Vladimir Tarasenko (STL)

Tarasenko has the power, speed, and skill combination teams dream about and is one of the most dynamic players in the league. As good as he is, I think he may still have another gear.

2. Blake Wheeler (WPG)

Wheeler is one of the NHL's most underrated stars. He consistently piles up points at a high-end rate, plays in all situations, drives possession, and gets little talk despite that. He may not be as flashy as a guy like Kane, but he's a far more well-rounded player.

3. Patrick Kane (CHI)

I don't think Kane is great without the puck, and he has benefited from sheltered zone starts, but it's pretty hard to argue with 195 points over the last two seasons.

4. Jamie Benn (DAL)

Benn is the total package. He's physical, he has a big shot, he scores goals in bunches, and he's a very effective playmaker. By his standards, 2016-17 was a down year but I have no doubt he'll bounce back.

5. Johnny Gaudreau (CGY)

He's extremely skilled and tough to contain because of his speed and elusiveness, which leads to a lot of magical plays. Like Benn, his counting totals weren't as good as expected in 16-17 but he is a good bet to bounce back.

Honorable mentions: Filip Forsbergand Patrik Laine. Forsberg is only 22 and has averaged 30 goals and 62 points over the last three seasons while posting remarkably good possession numbers. Laine's defensive game needs work but he is just 19 and already one of the best pure goal scorers in the NHL.

James Tanner

The best wingers in the Western Conference:

1. Blake Wheeler - Between 60-80 points for six straight years, never misses a game, guarantee between 20-30 goals, tons of 5v5 points.

2. Patrick Kane - Art Ross winner, consistent scoring, one of the best players in the league.

3. Patrik Laine - he probably doesn't deserve to be this high, but his potential is insane and I'd probably want him as the corner stone of my franchise over anyone on this list.

4. Nino Niederreiter - Elite defense and scores at a 5v5 clip worthy of any first line. Signed to arguably the best team-friendly contract in the NHL.

5. Vladimir Tarasenko - One of the most exciting players to watch. I would not argue against ranking him higher. All these guys are so awesome that you could probably rank them in whatever order you wanted, and you could even put in Jamie Benn or Johnny Gaudreau and I wouldn't much care.

Peter Tessier

Well, this is group seems far more interesting to me than the Eastern Conference because I know them better. That being said you will probably see a very obvious bias.

#1 Patrick Kane- There might be players people prefer more than Kane but he's been at the top for too long to ignore. Consistently consistent and such a pain to play against.

#2 Vladimir Tarasenko- Guy is an elite scorer who led the western wingers in goals.

#3 Blake Wheeler- what does Wheeler have to do to get some respect from across the league? He's missed 5 games in the last 6 years too not scoring less than 60 points.

#4 Nik Ehlers- coming off his sophomore season he was second for points for LW behind Benn- given his age that's impressive.

#5 Patrik Laine- sure it's full homer mode here but that rookie season on a team that has as many challenges as the Jets was incredible. Laine showed more talent than most gave him credit for and blew past all expectations as an 18-year-old.


Toronto Maple Leafs - Sat 22 Apr 2017, 3:01 pm

Mr. Clutch strikes again, Leafs lose Game 5 in OT
April 21, 2017, 7:15 PM ET [805 Comments]
Mike Augello
Toronto Maple Leafs Blogger • RSS • Archive • CONTACT
For the latest Leafs updates or on Twitter

10:11 pm - 1:04 into overtime, Justin Williams set up in the slot beats Andersen to give the Caps a 2-1 win and the 3-2 lead in the series. Niskanen's dumped it into the corner, Rielly lost the race and looked confused and Marcus Johansson set up Williams his third goal of the series.

2-1 final, Game 6 on Sunday

9:55 pm - Hope your hearts can take it folks, overtime #4 upcoming as the Leafs and Caps are tied 1-1 through regulation. Toronto should take a page from the Rangers and Oilers last night, as they pressed Montreal and San Jose in OT. The Leafs speed has created a number of opportunities tonight and they need to force Washington into an error.

9:40 pm - Jake Gardiner with a great chance from the slot, but is thwarted by Holtby, who has played his best game of the series. Nate Schmidt was allowed to cut in and get a great scoring chance on Andersen, but could not get it past the Leafs goalie.

9:22 pm - Leafs survive the Capitals PP and Tom Wilson returns to a familiar destination for an infraction on Marincin. Power play #4 for Toronto.

8:52 pm - Shots on goal 15-15 through 2, score tied 1-1. Capitals are starting to lose their cool. Ovechkin and Niskanen fixated on getting revenge for Kadri's hit, Niskanen takes a undisciplined slashing call.

Toronto's power play needs to capitalize or it will end up costing them the game.

8:38 pm - Leafs get their second power play of the period. The first one was not very effective.

8:26 pm - Matthews continues to score goals that are momentum changers in games. Washington seemed to be gaining control and the likely Calder Trophy winner buries a rebound past Holtby to tie it.


8:15 pm - Ovechkin returns and messes with Martin before puck drop and lays out Gardiner again with a big hit. This heightened level of aggressiveness benefits Washington, since the Leafs have only a few players (Komarov, Martin, Kadri) who can fight fire with fire.

7:50 pm - That was a pretty eventful few minutes. Kadri goes low on a hit to Ovechkin and clips his knee. Ovechkin clearly hampered and goes to the locker room. Kadri only gets a minor, but Washington capitalizes, as TJ Oshie opens the scoring.

1-0 Caps

7:45 pm - Wes McCauley with an emphatic 'no goal' call after video review of Andersen's glove save. Ovechkin with a good chance during the man advantage, shooting from his favorite spot, but fired it wide of the far post.

7:39 pm - Washington gets the first power play of the night. Ovechkin doing his 'bull in a china shop' routine, running over Jake Gardiner.

7:23 pm - Leafs and Caps much more tactical to start the game. Early of this games being more like 2-1 than 5-4. That would tend to favor Washington, with their experience and depth on defense.

7:12 pm - Same lineups for both clubs. Leafs get an early two-on-one, but Braden Holtby makes the stop on Leo Komarov. Will be interesting to see whether the Leafs will try to use their speed to put the Capitals on their heels, as they did in Game 1.


After the completion of Game 5 at the Verizon Center on Friday, either the Toronto Maple Leafs or Washington Capitals will be up 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, but based on the slim margin of each of the first four games, it is likely that whoever loses will not be without a good chance of stretching the opening round to a seventh and deciding game.

"I think if I would have told the guys at the start of the series that we're going to be in a best two-out-of-three, they would have done cartwheels." Leafs coach Mike Babcock said on Friday morning. "Teams are going home now (being eliminated from the playoffs), you can see. Pretty soon there's only going to be eight and if you want to be one of them. you dig in."

The Leafs did not do themselves any favors at Air Canada Centre earlier this week, falling behind 3-1 in Game 3 and 4-1 in Game 4 before staging comebacks, but Babcock indicated that his young squad was not ready to play against a desperate Washington team, trying to prevent falling behind 3-1 in the series.

Washington played with more energy and built up a bigger lead in Game 4, but they still proceeded to retreat into a defensive shell in the latter half of the game, in spite of that being a recipe for defeat in Game 3.

A win in Game 5 would give Toronto an advantage and the possibility of completing the upset at home on Sunday, but it does not mean it will be decisive. In 1993, the Leafs won Game 5 in their opening round series against Detroit on a Mike Foligno overtime goal, but with a chance to close things out, Toronto got hammered 7-3 at Maple Leaf Gardens, which forced Game 7 and made Nikolai Borchevsky famous.

Keep checking back throughout the game, as I will update and give my observations on Game 5.


Columbus Blue Jackets - Thu 20 Apr 2017, 8:14 pm

Post Battle ECQF Game #4 – Put the brooms away
April 19, 2017, 10:41 AM ET [9 Comments]
Paul Berthelot
Columbus Blue Jackets Blogger • RSS • Archive • CONTACT
Final Score: Blue Jackets 5 – Penguins 4

Game Summary

They finally did it, after all these years, the Blue Jackets have finally won their first playoff game in regulation. By doing that they were able to save off elimination and live to fight another day. The Jackets played extremely well again, they dominated the game right from the get go as they did in the first two games. They came out and put up a 63.16% Corsi in the first period and finished the game at 54.72% at 5 on 5. In this game however, they were able to get some puck luck which resulted in a couple early goals.

These are the kind of fluke goals you can get when you dominate the shot the clock. By firing everything towards the net, eventually something should find its way through and that Jack Johnson shot did. These were the types of goals the Jackets weren’t getting earlier, but they are the types of goals a team needs if they are to pull off the impossible.

The Jackets third line was extremely impressive. Matt Calvert was back and he made an impact alongside William Karlsson and Josh Anderson. John Tortorella wanted to give the Penguins some different looks and he had that third line up against the Crosby line. Against all odds it worked, as they held Crosby to no shots and was one the ice for three goals against, including these Anderson and Karlsson goals.

The Jackets also had a new look defensive group. The two newcomers Kyle Quincey and Markus Nutivaara, both made an immediate impact. Quincey brought energy to the game with his physical play. He was laying some huge hits, which really got the crowd into the game. Nutivaara did his best work quietly as he was tremendous, as he's been all season, at busting up plays at the blue line. It didn’t matter who was coming at him, whether it be a Crosby or Malkin or a Matt Cullen, he stopped so many plays before they got even got started. He was active in the rush, and brought the fans to their feet scoring the Blue Jackets third goal.

He was making strong offensive plays all night and showed why he should have been in this series over Scott Harrington this entire time. He brings that extra speed dynamic and offensive ability. He finished the game with the highest Corsi on the team at an insane 78.57% Corsi at 5 on 5, by far leading the team. Nutivaara was paired with Gabriel Carlsson and that pair worked really well. Nutivaara was able to take chances which allowed Carlsson to play a role he was more comfortable in sitting back in a more defensive role. Carlsson was able to have his best game of the playoffs putting up a 63.33% Corsi, good for third on the team.

On top of that goal Nutivaara also picked up an assist on what ended up being the game winning goal.

Getting the win was huge obviously but this was far from a perfect game. The Jackets once again had a big lead but let the Penguins right back into it. They need to be much tighter defensively and when they get a lead they need to keep the foot on the gas; no lead is safe against the Penguins.

What would go a long way to helping the Jackets hold a lead would be Sergei Bobrovsky. He again wasn’t at his best allowing four goals on 31 shots for an .871 save percentage. He did not steal this game by any means but despite the poor numbers did make a couple huge saves to protect the lead.

That is a vintage Bobrovsky save right there, shutting the door on Ron Hainsey. If the Jackets are to comeback they need Bobrovsky to steal them a game, it wasn’t this one, but with saves like that you can sense that big game might be coming.
Game 5 goes Thursday in Pittsburgh.


NHL Power Rankings: Here come the Oilers! - Mon 03 Apr 2017, 7:59 pm

NHL Power Rankings: Here come the Oilers!
April 3, 2017, 11:59 AM ET [112 Comments]
HockeyBuzz Hotstove
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Follow me on Twitter @ToddCordell

In today's post, we share our thoughts on the current top-5 teams in the NHL taking into account record, underlying numbers, roster talent and more.

Todd Cordell

1. Washington Capitals (52-18-8)

I know the Caps haven't had the best luck come playoff time and always find a way to fall short but this team has to enter the playoffs as the favorites.

They have a ton of scoring depth, they're physical, they have a top-pairing caliber defender on each pairing and Braden Holtby is Braden Holtby. I just don't see any glaring weakness on this team.

2. Pittsburgh Penguins (48-19-11)

The Pens are really beat up but they continue to win games and it sounds like Evgeni Malkin and/or Kris Letang aren't far off. If they're good to go on opening night of the playoffs, I think the sky is the limit for this Pens team.

3. Chicago Blackhawks (50-22-7)

Last year I wasn't high on the Blackhawks and picked against them in the opening round. I won't be doing that this year. Their stars are playing like stars and Nick Schmaltz, Ryan Hartman, etc. have really stepped up and given the team the depth contributions they need. This team is legit.

4. Anaheim Ducks (43-23-13)

They haven't lost in regulation over the last 10 games, are getting consistent scoring from the top-3 lines, the defense has been good (as always) and Jonathan Bernier was nothing short of spectacular in John Gibson's absence. The Ducks are going to be a pain in the ass to play in the playoffs.

5. Edmonton Oilers (44-25-9)

I'm not sold the depth will hold up against other top teams but Connor McDavid scares the crap out of me. He has been as good as anyone this season and has the ability to single-handedly win games. They're getting ridiculous production from the McDavid line and Cam Talbot has been one of the best goaltenders in the NHL this season. They're going to be a tough out in the playoffs.

James Tanner

1. Washington - the class of the NHL. A Plus 76 goal differential. The best defensive team in hockey. And they accomplished all that before they acquired Shattenkirk - who gives them the best top four in the NHL, maybe the best in the salary cap era.

2. Pittsburgh - The defending champs get #2 out of respect. They won the Cup, had a great year, and they still have maybe the best team on paper. The problem is their so banged up.

3. Edmonton - They are 9-1 in the last ten. Talbot is legit. McDavid/Draisaitl/Maroon is the best line in hockey. I called them to win the west. If the season was a month longer I'd probably have been right. Still baffles me that a lot of people picked them to miss the playoffs.

4. Chicago - This one is done begrudgingly, but the team is deep, they've won before and they won the West.

5. Toronto - I swear to god this isn't a homer pick or a troll pick. They have five first liners. An underrated D. A top 10 goalie. They are 7-2-1 in the last ten games. They can outskate any team in hockey. Auston Matthews is - at worst - the fifth best player in the entire NHL. They are reviled only by Pittsburgh for deepest group of forwards. Oh, and if they weren't 1-8 in the shootout, and hadn't lost 15 games after regulation, they'd lead the Atlantic.

Peter Tessier

NHL Power Rankings: Here comes the Oilers Edition

That's right, we're actually talking about the Oilers in a positive way. Not negative, not mocking and not sarcastic. It's been far too long for those in Edmonton.

#5 Blues. Left for dead and not really given a chance anymore the Blues are 7-1-2 with a big win over reeling Nashville.

#4 Leafs. There I did it. I gave them credit now they can burn out quick in first round but they are 7-2-1 in last 10 could hit 100 points. Could

#3 Ducks. Don't look now but the Ducks are starting to find some form. Even with some OT losses lately they are 7-0-3 and sliding nicely into playoff form

#2 Oilers. 9-1-0 in last 10 with wins over Anaheim and San Jose the Oilers then put the dagger through the Kings heart too. Oh what a time to be alive.

#1. Capitals. Remember when the Caps could not figure the game out for a bit. Losing and all that business? 2 wins over the Jackets, 2 wins over Wild and a win over Calgary help put you to 8-1-1 and tops in the league.

"Come at me bro" is what the Capitals are saying to the rest of the league now.


Who should be leading the Vezina race? - Thu 23 Mar 2017, 8:10 pm

Who should be leading the Vezina race?
March 23, 2017, 10:58 AM ET [17 Comments]
HockeyBuzz Hotstove
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Follow me on Twitter @ToddCordell

In this edition of the hotstove, we share our thoughts on which goaltender should be leading the Vezina race with just a handful of games to go.

Todd Cordell

I think Sergei Bobrovsky is the most obvious and deserving candidate.

He leads the league in wins, goals against average, save percentage, is right near the top in 5v5 save percentage, and the Blue Jackets allow more scoring chances than Montreal, Washington and some of the other teams top goaltenders play behind. Essentially he has put up better numbers despite facing more quality shots.

Adam French

Sergei Bobrovsky

I know he has a very strong defense to work with, but he has the numbers and it's his to lose. He has been the most consistent of the top performing goaltenders and hasn't had the ups and downs of any of the other challengers (Dubnyk/Price/Holtby/Talbot). From all accounts, the Jackets are not going to rest him much down the stretch as they have a chance to win the Division and so I think it's safe to say he will probably lead the league in Wins. Which really shouldn't matter so much, but it does to voters.

Barring a meltdown, this is his to lose...and we'll have to deal with a world where Sergei Bobrovsky is tied for having the most Vezina Trophies since the 2004 Lockout.

Peter Tessier

I think there could have been debate here awhile ago but I think it has to be Bobrovsky. If you look at all the stats for goalies, traditional ones, see where he stands:
GAA #1
Save % #1
Wins #1
Shutout #4

The guys having a career year and really if you use those four categories as your criteria Holtby and then maybe Darling are the only ones to come close to challenging. After that imagine were the Blue Jackets would be without that level of play? Heck Torts might get a Jack Adams because of goaltending. Perhaps he's a Hart candidate too?


Chicago Blackhawks - Sun 05 Feb 2017, 3:52 pm

"It's Left Wing, Stupid"
February 5, 2017, 3:54 PM ET [7 Comments]

John Jaeckel
Topics tagged under 4 on Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality Chi  Chicago Blackhawks Blogger • RSS  • Archive  • CONTACT


About 25 years ago—before MAGA and Alternative Facts, Hope and Change, These Colors Don't Run and other political mantra—a President got elected on the simple campaign slogan "It's the economy, stupid."

So when I was asked to write a blog on the Hawks' number one need going in to the playoffs, the title of this blog wrote itself. Especially when some suggest there's any other need, or no real need at all.

Sure, the Blackhawks have won their last two games, and scored 9 goals in those games. But prior to that, they lost three straight, and for the last several games, they've seen their goals per game plummet. Meanwhile, they've dropped to four points behind Minnesota, with three more games played. 

And all this after a surprisingly strong start to the season (in terms of points garnered) that was built on a lot of late comebacks, 3-on-3 OT wins, and insanely good goaltending.

I apologize in advance to anyone who reads here with any regularity—what you're about to read is going to sound like a broken record.

The Blackhawks need a top 6 left wing, more than anything else because, quite simply, they only have one on the roster, named Artemi Panarin.

Two years ago at this time, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Brandon Saad were arguably the best line in hockey. 

Later in the summer of 2015, Saad took his two Stanley Cup rings and estimable talent to Central Ohio, and the Blackhawks began a two year long audition for his replacement.

While it wasn't a huge surprise that there'd be a negative effect on the line as a whole, the degree of fall off in Toews and Hossa's games over the next year was a bit shocking.

Theories abounded:

"Hossa is done"

"Toews is loafing." 

"Toews is done—too many hard miles."

There is an argument that both Toews and Hossa were fatigued after two short summers in three years and a lot of distractions following the 2015 Cup. 

But the names penciled in for Saad's slot also haven't exactly been Bobby Hull or Michel Goulet.

Andrew Shaw (a right wing), Teuvo Teravainen (a center who is a lot more comfortable on the right wing) Ryan Garbutt (a fourth line player), Marko Dano (a rookie who is/was better on the right side), Richard Panik (a right wing), Ryan Rartman and Vince Hinostroza (also natural right wings). 

Hartman and Panik have shown some flashes, including a Hartman hat trick that included two empty net goals. But both are in reality good third line players, and neither is a natural on the left side.

Great teams, Stanley Cup winning teams, exploit superior depth through matchup advantages.

In truth, it is just way too hard to predict or project any consistent playoff scoring out of a Toews line lacking a quality left wing. Playoff teams typically go at least 4 deep in quality defensemen, and usually 5-6 deep, especially the later rounds.

Meanwhile, Hossa is playing like he's 28 again, and Toews looks to have shaken off a back injury incurred in the World Cup.

The Blackhawks, themselves, addressed their defensive depth in the offseason, by adding Brian Campbell, which in turn allowed Trevor van Riemsdyk (the 2015-16 "#4") to slide down to a more appropriate #5 role. 

That's what adding quality players does—you fill one role, and sometimes another by allowing depth players to assume appropriate depth roles as well.that's what adding the elusive top 6 left wing would do: strengthen Toews' line and push Hartman and/or Panik down to where they're better—the third line.

Two years ago this month, I wrote a blog where I reported the Hawks had a keen interest in Antoine Vermette, which was met with a fair amount of skepticism, bordering on outrage.

"They don't have the cap space."

"What do they have to trade?"

And we know how it turned out.

Then last year, I reported that a series of events would take place, involving Marcus Kruger's wrist surgery and sending Bryan Bickell to the minors, that would set up the acquisition of a left wing to play with Toews and Hossa. The blowback was predictable:

"They don't have the cap space."

"What do they have to trade?"

And then the dominoes fell and they got Andrew Ladd. 

The Ladd deal didn't work out as well as the Vermette deal did, but that's not the point. And Ladd did play well for a Hawk team that ultimately was undone by the aforementioned lack of defensive depth in a first round loss to St. Louis.

And so this year, when I reported a number of days ago that the Hawks were zeroed in on C/LW Matt Duchene—with a number of secondary left wing targets, the reaction has been, well, predictable.

And sure, like clockwork, Stan Bowman gave his annual "don't expect much at the deadline" speech the other day. The same one he gave at this time every year, going back to 2010. And most years, he ends up accomplishing a fair amount.

The fact is, while the conventional wisdom is the Hawks' run is over and the Cup window is closed, the executives at 1901 W. Madison Street have a salary structure and playoff income projections that are built on "the run," if you define it as "deep playoff runs," not being over.

The Hawks have a financial stake in May and June—right now. Sure, there's a salary cap, and a somewhat depleted talent pipeline, but to assume that means Bowman won't try to acquire that elusive complementary left wing (or center who can play the left side) from, say, Toronto, Arizona, Detroit, Colorado and/or a small handful more teams who may see the writing on the wall for this season, is naive.

In fact, I have heard the Hawks have inquired about Tomas Vanek and James van Riemsdyk— as well as some mention of Martin Hanzal, Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist.

They will try—and, for the right player, a left wing or center who can slide out to left wing and provide a secondary faceoff option on special teams, as they did with Vermette and Ladd, they will "overpay." They almost have to. 

In fact, I could see them even defaulting to a retained salary deal for Jarome Iginla or Patrick Sharp as a fall back—just to be able to do something about "scoring" forward depth, even if both players are now very long in the tooth, and Iginla is a natural right wing.

Now, there's some debate (and rumor) that the Hawks will go after a defenseman. I believe they will. After all, last year, they tried to land then-Canuck defenseman Dan Hamhuis, as well as Ladd, in the last hours before the trade deadline.

This year, I think the team is looking hard at adding a depth defenseman. Thus far, neither Michal Kempny nor Gustav Forsling have shown (thus far) they are ready for any serious playoff minutes—though both have developmental upside. And so, either could be part of the package needed to solve the left wing issue. This, in turn, may necessitate a defensive depth backfill, like one of two names I heard recently the Hawks are eyeing—Kevin Connauton and Luke Schenn of Arizona.

But make no mistake, the Hawks need to go two deep in dangerous scoring lines for the playoffs. They are 5/6 of the way there with Artem Anisimov, Patrick Kane, Artemi Panarin, Toews and Hossa.

The hole is on the port side. And it is as gaping as it's been in two years.

I'll be back with a Minnesota preview before the Hawks' next game and any other news in the meantime.

Patriots’ opponents: See you in the AFC Championship game - Fri 06 Jan 2017, 8:26 pm

[size=32]Patriots’ opponents: See you in the AFC Championship game[/size]

The New England Patriots  clinched a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs this winter with their 35-14 win on the road in Miami on Sunday. As such, they join the Kansas City Chiefs  on the sidelines this coming weekend watching the AFC Wild Card round on television.


Power Rankings: Playoff addition

With the seeding set, the #3 seed AFC North champion Pittsburgh Steelers  host the #6 seed Miami Dolphins  and the #4 seed AFC South champion Houston Texans  host the #5 seed Oakland Raiders

With a rematch of the Dolphins 30-15 win in Week 6, as the highest seed the Steelers will play Kansas City if they win. If Miami wins, they return to Foxboro to play the Patriots for a third time this season.

Houston (possibly without promoted starter Tom Savage) takes the place of the Indianapolis Colts as the requisite cupcake from the AFC South. However, the Raiders–down to rookie third-string quarterback Connor Cook last week after an injury to back-up Matt McGloin (filling in for starter Derek Carr who broke his leg)–have gone from potential #1 seed to on the road in the first round.

To simplify, the teams are broken into three categories: Likely to play next week (Houston or Oakland), unlikely to play next week (Miami), impossible to play before AFC Championship game (Kansas City and Pittsburgh):


Pittsburgh Steelers:

The Steelers are habitually considered one of those teams “Nobody Wants to Play in January”–and for good reason. Ben Roethlisberger  is an elite quarterback, running back Le’Veon Bell is a top-three running back in the NFL and Antonio Brown is hands-down the best wide receiver in the NFL (sorry all you A.J. Green, Odell Beckham Jr. and Julio Jones fans).

What holds the Steelers back from being a top seed each year? First off, there is the annual Ben Roethlisberger injury. He is so big, so strong and so fearless that he puts himself in harm’s way to make plays. The other is the brutal divisional schedule. Playing Baltimore and Cincinnati (Cleveland not so much) twice a year is so much tougher than facing the Dolphins, Jets or Bills.

That attrition from injury and tough losses in the division has the Steelers winning 10 or 11 games instead of 12 or 13 games and missing out on the bye week most years. More games are more wear-and-tear and more chances of an upset. 

The Steelers will face a Miami team which beat them 30-15 earlier this season. The defense in Pittsburgh gave up over 200 yards rushing to Miami running back Jay Ajayi in what was clearly a hiccup. Since that game the Steelers had not given up over 140 yards on the ground in a game until the Week 17 “backup-palooza” against Cleveland.

The loss of defensive end Cameron Heyward is a tough injury to overcome. Linebackers Lawrence Timmons and Ryan Shazier anchor a strong linebacker group. The Steelers have 38 sacks but ageless James Harrison leads the team with just five.  The secondary is solid but far from spectacular. 

The Steelers will go as far as their big three on offense takes them. They lack weapons beyond their big three as Darrius Heyward-Bey, Sammie Coates and Eli Rogers are very inconsistent. The suspension of Martavis Bryant and injuries to Markus Wheaton and tight end Ladarius Green have hurt the consistency of the offense. 

The Steelers are a tough team to beat, but fortunately New England cannot face them before the AFC Championship game and they will likely have to go through Kansas City. 

Kansas City Chiefs:

The Chiefs are the team most often mentioned as “The Team No One Wants to Play” in the playoffs. And why not? They have a ferocious defense, explosive weapons on offense and they are disciplined and well-coached. 

The Chiefs’ defense is a bit overrated. Although seventh in scoring defense, they are 24th in yards allowed. Kansas City is 18th in passing yards allowed and 26th in rushing yards allowed. They make their living off of turnovers and are first in the NFL creating 33 turnovers in 2016.

Kansas City has borrowed a page from some of the New England defenses of the past with their bend-but-don’t-break style and reliance on turnovers. The biggest issue for Kansas City’s defense is their drop-off with age and injuries. The pass rush has been keyed by Dee Ford as an outside pass rusher, but Justin Houston has been injured much of the season.

With Houston (4.0 sacks) limited to five games, Ford (10.0 sacks) has been the only consistent pass rusher as Tamba Hali (3.5 sacks) has slowed considerably at age 33. The biggest injury was off-the-line linebacker Derrick Johnson who was having a spectacular season at age 34 before tearing his Achilles. 

The secondary is anchored by safety Eric Berry (four interceptions) and cornerback Marcus Peters (six interceptions). On the defensive line, Dontari Poe is a huge run-stuffer and rookie Chris Jones is big, athletic and on his way to being a solid NFL player.

On offense, Spencer Ware has been solid with Jamaal Charles on injured reserve again. Tyreek Hill adds much-needed explosiveness and is a threat to score anytime he touches the football. Travis Kelce is a receiving threat at tight end with 85 catches for 1,125 yards. 

Quarterback Alex Smith is the quintessential game manager at quarterback. Smith, at age 32, still has mobility and makes very few mistakes. A return to health of wide receiver Jeremy Maclin would help the offense and young receiver Chris Conley is inconsistent.

The Chiefs are dangerous as they have a number of skilled position players on both sides of the ball and Hill makes the special teams unit truly special. Having Kansas City coming into New England is a huge advantage for the Patriots as playing on the road takes away the huge home-field advantage the Chiefs and their loud and smart fan base which knows when and how to make noise to help their team.

Previewing the Patriots’ competition in the AFC Divisional round - Fri 06 Jan 2017, 8:22 pm

Previewing the Patriots’ competition in the AFC Divisional round

The New England Patriots clinched a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs this winter with their 35-14 win on the road in Miami on Sunday. As such, they join the Kansas City Chiefs on the sidelines this coming weekend watching the AFC Wild Card round on television.
Power Rankings: Playoff addition
QB Rankings:: Who’s riding highest into the playoffs?
Winners and Losers:: Who came out on top to open up 2017?
Patriots’ News: Congratulations Edelman on accomplishment
Patriots’ News: Pats’ Weekly: A weekend in front of the TV for the Pats
Patriots’ News: Lippett meets Floyd and the Pats
With the seeding set, the #3 seed AFC North champion Pittsburgh Steelers host the #6 seed Miami Dolphins and the #4 seed AFC South champion Houston Texans host the #5 seed Oakland Raiders .
With a rematch of the Dolphins 30-15 win in Week 6, as the highest seed, the Steelers will play Kansas City if they win. If Miami wins, they return to Foxboro to play the Patriots for a third time this season.
Houston (possibly without promoted starter Tom Savage ) takes the place of the Indianapolis Colts as the requisite cupcake from the AFC South. However, the Raiders–down to rookie third-string quarterback Connor Cook last week after an injury to back-up Matt McGloin (filling in for starter Derek Carr who broke his leg)–have gone from potential #1 seed to on the road in the first round.
To simplify, the teams are broken into three categories: Likely to play next week (Houston or Oakland), unlikely to play next week (Miami), impossible to play before AFC Championship game (Kansas City and Pittsburgh):
Houston Texans:
The Texans played the Patriots already in 2016 in with a hobbled J.J. Watt right before he ended his season on injured reserve with a back injury. The New England 27-0 thrashing of the Texans in Week 3 on Thursday night dealt Houston their first loss of the season as rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett won in his first NFL start.
After two decent performances to open the season, Brock Osweiler was exposed before the nation as mediocre. For the season, Osweiler completed just 59% of his passes for 2,957 yards with 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Osweiler is starting by default due to Tom Savage being sidelined by a concussion and Savage may be back if they make it to New England.
In the first game, the Patriots draped cornerback Malcolm Butler over wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and challenged the Texans to outscore them throwing to tight end Ryan Griffin and wide receiver Will Fuller. The results were as mediocre as expected.
Former Miami Dolphins running back Lamar Miller rushed 21 times for 80 yards but the bend-but-don’t-break defense watched the Texans punt six times, turn the ball over three times and have three drives end on failed fourth-down conversions.
The Texans are an odd playoff team winning the division with a 9-7 record while being outscored by their opponents by 49 points and with the 28th ranked offense. They host the 12-4 Oakland Raiders and their 20th ranked defense. As hard as it is to believe, the Texans could actually pull out a win and travel to New England for the divisional round.
Oakland Raiders:
Oakland was cruising along this season riding the strong arm of quarterback Derek Carr jumping out to an 11-3 record before Carr broke his fibula in Week 16 against Indianapolis. Instead of competing for the number one overall seed, the Raiders dropped their Week 17 game as back-up quarterback Matt McGloin injured his shoulder and gave way to third-string rookie Connor Cook in the loss to Denver.
The loss dropped Oakland out of the bye week and number two seed down to going to Houston as the fifth seed. Cook is expected to start the game at Houston. While not a great option, he is blessed with arguably the NFL’s best pass blocking offensive line in front of him.
The Raiders still have a strong offense with running backs Latavius Murray, DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard leading the NFL’s sixth best rushing offense. The Raiders have dynamic wide receiver Amari Cooper and veteran Michael Crabtree giving them two 1,000 yard receivers.
Defense is the issue in Oakland although they showed improvement in the second half of the season. After getting lit-up by New Orleans and Atlanta in the first two games of the season, they have slowly improved. Outside linebackers Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin are a dynamic duo of quarterback pressure and have 18 of the team’s 25 sacks.

In the secondary, veteran safety Reggie Nelson leads the team with five interceptions and cornerbacks Sean Smith and David Amerson are a solid duo of starters but the loss of 2013 first-round draft pick cornerback D.J. Hayden to injury this month hurts. Hayden was having his best season after transitioning to the third cornerback role defending in the slot.
Oakland is a flawed team with horrendous injury issues at quarterback. Had Carr stayed healthy, they would likely be joining the Patriots on the bye week. They are the most likely to travel to New England for the Divisional Playoff game as even on the road they should have enough talent on both sides of the ball to beat the Texans.
Miami Dolphins :
Does anyone in New England really want to see Miami come back north to Foxboro for the second time this season for another game after the Patriots defeated them with and without Tom Brady? Yes, it is very difficult to beat a team three times in one season but New England outscored them 66 to 38 in two games.
In addition, the Dolphins have to travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers. Yes, Miami defeated the Steelers 30-15 in Week 6, but the Steelers’ defense was in a bad place at that time and Roethlisberger was clearly hobbled.
Miami looks a lot like the 2015 New York Jets right now: they are a .500 team who took advantage of an easy schedule this year and pulled out a number of close games. They beat Cleveland in overtime, Buffalo by three points twice (once in overtime), Arizona by three points, the Rams by four points, the Jets by four points and the 49ers by a touchdown. Seven of their ten wins were by seven or less points–games which could have gone either way.
Miami had a lot to play for at home versus New England last week and were dominated early and late with only a brief sign of life around halftime. A playoff team fighting for the fifth seed and a match-up against Houston instead of Pittsburgh showed little fire at home generating just 280 yards of offense and falling behind 20-0 before losing 35-14.

The Dolphins figure to be a longshot to go into Pittsburgh and win.

10 American Foods that are Banned in Other Countries - Fri 02 Dec 2016, 4:50 pm

10 American Foods that are Banned in Other Countries

Topics tagged under 4 on Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality Banned-foodz

Americans are slowly waking up to the sad fact that much of the food sold in the US is far inferior to the same foods sold in other nations. In fact, many of the foods you eat are BANNED in other countries.
Here, I’ll review 10 American foods that are banned elsewhere, which were featured in a recent MSN article.1
Seeing how the overall health of Americans  is so much lower than other industrialized countries, you can’t help but wonder whether toxic foods such as these might play a role in our skyrocketing disease rates.

#1: Farm-Raised Salmon

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If you want to maximize health benefits from fish, you want to steer clear of farmed fish, particularly farmed salmon fed dangerous chemicals. Wild salmon gets its bright pinkish-red color from natural carotenoids in their diet. Farmed salmon, on the other hand, are raised on a wholly unnatural diet of grains (including genetically engineered varieties), plus a concoction of antibiotics and other drugs and chemicals not shown to be safe for humans.
This diet leaves the fish with unappetizing grayish flesh so to compensate, they’re fed synthetic astaxanthin made from petrochemicals, which has not been approved for human consumption and has well known toxicities. According to the featured article, some studies suggest it can potentially damage your eyesight. More details are available in yesterday’s article.
Where it’s banned: Australia and New Zealand
How can you tell whether a salmon is wild or farm-raised? The flesh of wild sockeye salmon is bright red, courtesy of its natural astaxanthin content. It’s also very lean, so the fat marks, those white stripes you see in the meat, are very thin. If the fish is pale pink with wide fat marks, the salmon is farmed.
Avoid Atlantic salmon, as typically salmon labeled “Atlantic Salmon” currently comes from fish farms. The two designations you want to look for are: “Alaskan salmon,” and “sockeye salmon,” as Alaskan sockeye is not allowed to be farmed. Please realize that the vast majority of all salmon sold in restaurants is farm raised.
So canned salmon labeled “Alaskan Salmon” is a good bet, and if you find sockeye salmon, it’s bound to be wild. Again, you can tell sockeye salmon from other salmon by its color; its flesh is bright red opposed to pink, courtesy of its superior astaxanthin content. Sockeye salmon actually has one of the highest concentrations of astaxanthin of any food.

#2: Genetically Engineered Papaya

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Most Hawaiian papaya is now genetically engineered to be resistant to ringspot virus. Mounting research now shows that animals fed genetically engineered foods, such as corn and soy, suffer a wide range of maladies, including intestinal damage, multiple-organ damagemassive tumorsbirth defects , premature death, and near complete sterility  by the third generation of offspring. Unfortunately, the gigantic human lab experiment is only about 10 years old, so we are likely decades away from tabulating the human casualties.
Where it’s banned: The European Union
Unfortunately, it’s clear that the US government is not in a position to make reasonable and responsible decisions related to genetically engineered foods at this point, when you consider the fact that the Obama administration has placed former Monsanto attorney and Vice President, Michael Taylor, in charge of US food safety, and serious conflicts of interest even reign supreme within the US Supreme Court! That’s right. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is also a former Monsanto attorney, but refuses to acknowledge any conflict of interest.

#3: Ractopamine-Tainted Meat

Topics tagged under 4 on Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality Ractopamine
The beta agonist drug ractopamine  (a repartitioning agent that increases protein synthesis) was recruited for livestock use when researchers found that the drug, used in asthma, made mice more muscular. This reduces the overall fat content of the meat. Ractopamine is currently used in about 45 percent of US pigs, 30 percent of ration-fed cattle, and an unknown percentage of turkeys are pumped full of this drug in the days leading up to slaughter. Up to 20 percent of ractopamine remains in the meat you buy from the supermarket, according to veterinarian Michael W. Fox.
Since 1998, more than 1,700 people have been “poisoned” from eating pigs fed the drug, and ractopamine is banned from use in food animals in no less than 160 different countries due to its harmful health effects! Effective February 11, 2013, Russia issued a ban on US meat imports, slated to last until the US agrees to certify that the meat is ractopamine-free. At present, the US does not even test for the presence of this drug in meats sold. In animals, ractopamine is linked to reductions in reproductive function, increase of mastitis in dairy herds, and increased death and disability. It’s also known to affect the human cardiovascular system, and is thought to be responsible for hyperactivity, and may cause chromosomal abnormalities and behavioral changes.
Where it’s banned: 160 countries across Europe, Russia, mainland China and Republic of China (Taiwan)

#4: Flame Retardant Drinks

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If you live in the US and drink Mountain Dew and some other citrus-flavored sodas and sports drinks, then you are also getting a dose of a synthetic chemical called brominated vegetable oil  (BVO), which was originally patented by chemical companies as a flame retardant.
BVO has been shown to bioaccumulate in human tissue and breast milk, and animal studies have found it causes reproductive and behavioral problems in large doses. Bromine is a central nervous system depressant, and a common endocrine disruptor. It’s part of the halide family, a group of elements that includes fluorine, chlorine and iodine. When ingested, bromine competes for the same receptors that are used to capture iodine. This can lead to iodine deficiency, which can have a very detrimental impact on your health. Bromine toxicity can manifest as skin rashes, acne, loss of appetite, fatigue, and cardiac arrhythmias. According to the featured article:
“The FDA has flip-flopped on BVO’s safety originally classifying it as ‘generally recognized as safe’ but reversing that call now defining it as an ‘interim food additive’ a category reserved for possibly questionable substances used in food.”
Where it’s banned: Europe and Japan

#5: Processed Foods Containing Artificial Food Colors and Dyes

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More than 3,000 food additives — preservatives, flavorings, colors and other ingredients — are added to US foods, including infant foods and foods targeted to young children. Meanwhile, many of these are banned in other countries, based on research showing toxicity and hazardous health effects, especially with respect to adverse effects on children’s behavior. For example, as reported in the featured article:
“Boxed Mac & Cheese, cheddar flavored crackers, Jell-O and many kids’ cereals contain red 40, yellow 5, yellow 6 and/or blue 2, the most popularly-used dyes in the United States. Research has shown this rainbow of additives can cause behavioral problems as well as cancer, birth defects and other health problems in laboratory animals. Red 40 and yellow 6 are also suspected of causing an allergy-like hypersensitivity reaction in children. The Center for Science in the Public Interest reports that some dyes are also “contaminated with known carcinogens.”
In countries where these food colors and dyes are banned, food companies like Kraft employ natural colorants instead, such as paprika extract, beetroot, and annatto. The food blogger and activist Vani Hari , better known as “Food Babe ,” recently launched a petition2  asking Kraft to remove artificial dyes from American Mac & Cheese to protect American children from the well-known dangers of these dyes.
Where it’s banned: Norway and Austria. In 2009, the British government advised companies to stop using food dyes by the end of that year. The European Union also requires a warning notice on most foods containing dyes.

#6: Arsenic-Laced Chicken

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Arsenic-based drugs are approved for use in animal feed in the US because they make animals grow quicker and make the meat appear pinker (i.e. “fresher”). The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated these products are safe because they contain organic arsenic, which is less toxic than the other inorganic form, which is a known carcinogen.
The problem is, scientific reports surfaced stating that the organic arsenic could transform into inorganic arsenic, which has been found in elevated levels in supermarket chickens. The inorganic arsenic also contaminates manure where it can eventually migrate into drinking water and may also be causing heightened arsenic levels in US rice.
In 2011, Pfizer announced it would voluntarily stop marketing its arsenic-based feed additive Roxarsone, but there are still several others on the market. Several environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the FDA calling for their removal from the market. In the European Union, meanwhile, arsenic-based compounds have never been approved as safe for animal feed.
Where it’s banned: The European Union

#7: Bread with Potassium Bromate

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You might not be aware of this, but nearly every time you eat bread in a restaurant or consume a hamburger or hotdog bun you are consuming bromide , as it is commonly used in flours. The use of potassium bromate as an additive to commercial breads and baked goods has been a huge contributor to bromide overload in Western cultures.
Bromated flour is “enriched” with potassium bromate. Commercial baking companies claim it makes the dough more elastic and better able to stand up to bread hooks. However, Pepperidge Farm and other successful companies manage to use only unbromated flour without any of these so-called “structural problems.” Studies have linked potassium bromate to kidney and nervous system damage, thyroid problems , gastrointestinal discomfort, and cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies potassium bromate as a possible carcinogen.
Where it’s banned: Canada, China and the EU

#8: Olestra/Olean

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Olestra, aka Olean, created by Procter & Gamble, is a calorie- and cholesterol-free fat substitute used in fat-free snacks like chips and French fries. Three years ago, Time Magazine3  named it one of the worst 50 inventions ever, but that hasn’t stopped food companies from using it to satisfy people’s mistaken belief that a fat-free snack is a healthier snack. According to the featured article:
“Not only did a 2011 study from Purdue University conclude rats fed potato chips made with Olean gained weight, there have been several reports of adverse intestinal reactions to the fake fat including diarrhea, cramps and leaky bowels. And because it interferes with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K, the FDA requires these vitamins be added to any product made with Olean or olestra.”
Where it’s banned: The UK and Canada

#9: Preservatives BHA and BHT

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BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are commonly used preservatives that can be found in breakfast cereal, nut mixes, chewing gum, butter spread, meat, dehydrated potatoes, and beer, just to name a few. BHA is known to cause cancer in rats, and may be a cancer-causing agent in humans as well. In fact, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, National Toxicology Program’s 2011 Report on Carcinogens, BHA “is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” It may also trigger allergic reactions and hyperactivity, while BHT can cause organ system toxicity.
Where it’s banned: The UK doesn’t allow BHA in infant foods. BHA and BHT are also banned in parts of the European Union and Japan.

#10: Milk and Dairy Products Laced with rBGH

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Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is the largest selling dairy animal drug in America. RBGH is a synthetic version of natural bovine somatotropin (BST), a hormone produced in cows’ pituitary glands. Monsanto developed the recombinant version from genetically engineered E. coli bacteria and markets it under the brand name “Posilac.”
It’s injected into cows to increase milk production, but it is banned in at least 30 other nations because of its dangers to human health, which include an increased risk for colorectal, prostate, and breast cancer by promoting conversion of normal tissue cells into cancerous ones. Non-organic dairy farms frequently have rBGH-injected cows that suffer at least 16 different adverse health conditions, including very high rates of mastitis that contaminate milk with pus and antibiotics.
“According to the American Cancer Society, the increased use of antibiotics to treat this type of rBGH-induced inflammation ‘does promote the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but the extent to which these are transmitted to humans is unclear,'” the featured article states.
Many have tried to inform the public of the risks of using this hormone in dairy cows, but their attempts have been met with overwhelming opposition by the powerful dairy and pharmaceutical industries, and their government liaisons. In 1997, two Fox-affiliate investigative journalists, Jane Akre and Steve Wilson , attempted to air a program exposing the truth about the dangers of rBGH. Lawyers for Monsanto, a major advertiser with the Florida network, sent letters promising “dire consequences” if the story aired.
Despite decades of evidence about the dangers of rBGH, the FDA still maintains it’s safe for human consumption and ignores scientific evidence to the contrary. In 1999, the United Nations Safety Agency ruled unanimously not to endorse or set safety standards for rBGH milk, which has effectively resulted in an international ban on US milk.4  The Cancer Prevention Coalition, trying for years to get the use of rBGH by the dairy industry banned, resubmitted a petition to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD, in January 2010.5  Although the FDA stubbornly sticks to its position that milk from rBGH-treated cows is no different than milk from untreated cows, this is just plain false and is not supported by science. The only way to avoid rBGH is to look for products labeled as “rBGH-free” or “No rBGH.”
Where it’s banned: Australia, New Zealand, Israel, EU and Canada

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