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Just Another Nice False Flag

Deep Politics Monitor - Sab, 23/07/2016 - 17:14
This pic is worth a thousand words: Was The Nice Attack a Staged Event? Nice: 77 ‘Dead’ on 14/7? Truck driver rampage in France story has multiple gaping holes in logic - Zionist corporate media's Nice videos evidence a staged hoax A Movable Farce – The Fabricated Bastille Day Attack in Pictures POWER DRILL: Nice ‘Attack Theater’ Preceded by Massive DRILLS Zionist Fingerprints on Nice Terror

Trump Enrages the War Party

Lew Rockwell Institute - Sab, 23/07/2016 - 06:01

This election season is so much fun because Donald Trump keeps enraging all the right people – and his timing is perfect. Just as the Republican convention was at its height, with his running mate up there on the podium perorating about the alleged threat of Vladimir Putin, along comes Donald with an interview in the New York Times that has the War Party yelling and screaming bloody murder. The head of NATO; the foreign policy pundits; even some alleged “non-interventionists” – they’re all aghast that Trump is questioning the supposedly sacred tripwires that commit us to going to war if Lower Slobbovia invades Upper Slobbovia.

It started with this article, in which Trump’s views on NATO, the Turkey coup, and other matters were summarized, but it caused such a commotion that the Times published the entire interview, and it is really a sight to see – good news for us anti-interventionists, and very bad news for the internationalists, i.e. the entire foreign policy Establishment.

It starts off with Times reporter David Sanger trying to bait him into attacking Paul Ryan, who, he says, “presented a much more traditional Republican, engaged internationalist view of the world.” Sanger reminds him of his previous comments on NATO: that our shiftless “allies” need to start paying their fair share of the costs of the alliance. Sanger adds in Korea and Japan, and ask: what if they won’t pay? What then?

Trump’s answer is vintage Trump:  “Then yes, I would be absolutely prepared to tell those countries, ‘Congratulations, you will be defending yourself.’”

He is challenged by Sanger – who asks most of the questions, by the way – who avers that our system of alliances is in our interests as well, because of “trade.”

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Does Sanger imagine Russia going to somehow stop trans-Atlantic commerce? It isn’t clear, but Trump comes back at him by saying it’s “a mutual interest” – in which our NATO allies are not doing their part. Stopped in his tracks – because even President Obama, as well as traditional Republicans like Robert Gates, have complained that our allies aren’t paying – Sanger reverts to the default interventionist argument:

“Even if they didn’t pay a cent toward it, many have believed that the way we’ve kept our postwar leadership since World War II has been our ability to project power around the world. That’s why we got this many diplomats …”

Trump’s answer is perfect:

How is it helping us? How has it helped us? We have massive trade deficits. I could see that, if instead of having a trade deficit worldwide of $800 billion, we had a trade positive of $100 billion, $200 billion, $800 billion. So how has it helped us?”

Here Trump has stumbled on the dirty little secret of the post-World War II security architecture so beloved by our elites: for the privilege of paying for their defense, and in effect militarily occupying our allies-cum-satellites, we allow them to flood our markets with tariff-free goods, while they wall off their markets with trade barriers and subsidies. As the Old Right economist and prophet of empire Garet Garrett put it at the dawn of the cold war, it’s a peculiar sort of empire in which “everything goes out and nothing comes in.”

It’s really quite interesting to see Sanger take on the role of the defender of our role as “the indispensable nation” – although to be fair, it’s his job to challenge the candidate – and see how Trump argues in favor of a new policy, one that recognizes the limits of power. In their discussion of the US presence in South Korea, Sanger argues that this has prevented war, but Trump avers that it has only led to the radicalization – and nuclearization – of the North, and heightened the prospect of a really catastrophic conflict, one in which the 28,000 American troops stationed in the South would be instantly incinerated. And Trump goes further, opining that if we hadn’t intervened and stationed our troops there to begin with, things might’ve turned out differently:

“Maybe you would have had a unified Korea. Who knows what would have happened? In the meantime, what have we done? So we’ve kept peace, but in the meantime, we’ve let North Korea get stronger and stronger and more nuclear and more nuclear, and you are really saying, ‘Well, how is that a good thing?’”

The fact is that the Koreans were getting closer to unity and resolving their own problems back during the Bush administration, but the neocons stepped in and scotched what was a hopeful process of reconciliation and reunification. I wrote about that here and here.

And here Trump lets it rip with a reiteration of his essential point:

I’m only saying this. We’re spending money, and if you’re talking about trade, we’re losing a tremendous amount of money, according to many stats, $800 billion a year on trade. So we are spending a fortune on military in order to lose $800 billion. That doesn’t sound like it’s smart to me. Just so you understand, though, totally on the record, this is not 40 years ago. We are not the same country and the world is not the same world. Our country owes right now $19 trillion, going to $21 trillion very quickly because of the omnibus budget that was passed, which is incredible. We don’t have the luxury of doing what we used to do; we don’t have the luxury, and it is a luxury. We need other people to reimburse us much more substantially than they are giving right now because [they] are only paying for a fraction of the cost.”

Sanger, defeated, can only point to the logical conclusion of Trump’s foreign policy: “Or to take on the burden themselves.” Trump is ready for him:

“In a deal, you always have to be prepared to walk. Hillary Clinton has said, ‘We will never, ever walk.” That’s a wonderful phrase, but unfortunately, if I were on Saudi Arabia’s side, Germany, Japan, South Korea and others, I would say, “Oh, they’re never leaving, so what do we have to pay them for?’ Does that make sense to you, David?”

Sanger is forced to concede: “It does, but …” and he falls back on the far-fetched question of how will we defend the United States – as if there’s going to be an attack on the continental US. Trump comes back at him with the rather obvious fact that we can always deploy from the US – “and it would be a lot less expense.”

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The Real Story Behind the Coup

Lew Rockwell Institute - Sab, 23/07/2016 - 06:01

September 1961. Geneva, Switzerland. A Turkish classmate of mine named Turgut burst into my room, crying, ‘those bastards just hanged my father!’

The ‘bastards’ in question were Turkey’s generals. They had  overthrown the civilian government of Adnan Menderes and hanged my friend’s father. Since, then, the mighty Turkish armed forces has tried to overthrow the government about every ten years.

Last weekend’s military coup in Turkey was the fifth coup since the 1960’s. Many had believed the mighty, 610,000-man Turkish armed forces, backed by 379,000 trained reserves, NATO’s second largest  forces after the US, had finally been driven back to its barracks by the popular democratic AK party government of  President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

So it seemed until last Friday when tanks seized the two Bosphorus bridges in Istanbul, and attacks were staged against key targets, like TV stations, the intelligence HQ, and government buildings. Five very senior generals and 25 colonels were reportedly at the core of the uprising.

Furthermore, the coup reminded the world that the US keeps 50-60 B-61 thermonuclear bombs at Incirlik. These H-bombs could have fallen into the hands of the rebels. What purpose do these Cold War antiques serve today?

Back to the coup.  It was not just the work of the Gulenists, as Turkey’s government claims. There’s a whole other aspect to the coup: the  hard right, Europeanized secularists who regard 1930’s Islam-hating military dictator, Kemal Ataturk, as a demi-god and state religion. They joined the army generals in overthrowing Turkey’s past governments, keeping the nation unstable, chaotic and afflicted by financial crises.

Last weekend’s coup was a joint effort by the secular old guard and the Gulenists to reverse history. Unable to defeat the wildly popular Erdogan at the polls, they keep resorting to violence.

Two previous plots to overthrow Erdogan, known as Ergonikon and then Sledgehammer, nearly succeeded. Turkey’s judiciary, academia, media were riddled with Gulenists and rightist secularists. Generals involved in these plots were exonerated by courts. The government ended up in a 40-year ongoing civil war within its own ranks. That’s why nearly 60,000 anti-government officers and civilians are being purged. A third of all generals are being fired or retired.

The west’s response to the crisis was disgraceful.

Instead of immediately supporting Turkey’s besieged democratic government, Washington, London, Paris and Ottawa all issued only lukewarm, half-hearted support. President Erdogan is not liked, particularly by the US. He is a Muslim, too independent-minded, insufficiently response to American demands in spite of his support for the anti-ISIS war in Syria and Iraq. Perhaps worst of all, Erdogan is sometimes critical of Israel over its repression of the Palestinians.

As a result, leading US neocon papers, like the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and NY Times drip with venom over Erdogan.  CNN’s coverage of the coup was astoundingly biased and nasty, worthy of the old Pravda. The anti-Erdogan neocons began spreading the ludicrous canard that the coup was a false-flag operation staged by the Turkish leader himself. It was the real thing.  Even Turkey’s opposition parties sided with Erdogan’s AK.

Erdogan is hardly perfect. He is often too authoritarian and made a mess in Syria.  But his triumph in protecting Turkey’s hard-won democracy should be lauded and strongly supported by his NATO allies, starting with the US – which  was quick to support the brutal military coup in Egypt. Time for Washington to come clean on its murky links to Gulen.

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Leftists Planning Coup Against President Trump?

Lew Rockwell Institute - Sab, 23/07/2016 - 06:01

How far will they go to destroy this country? Liberals and globalists are already plotting several moves ahead.

If Donald Trump beats Hillary, they are already contemplating a Plan B.

In a  op-ed, L.A. Times. writer James Kirchick dangles the ambiguous but ominous threat, “If Trump wins, a coup isn’t impossible here in the U.S.”

It basically hints that a military overthrow of a Trump Presidency might be coming in the future, and would then be justified by horrific dictatorial acts that hordes of screaming leftists have been warning about all this time:

From the L.A. Times:

Americans viewing the recent failed coup attempt in Turkey as some exotic foreign news story — the latest, violent yet hardly unusual political development to occur in a region constantly beset by turmoil — should pause to consider that the prospect of similar instability would not be unfathomable in this country if Donald Trump were to win the presidency.

Naturally, in this scenario, Trump would be quick to commit war crimes (as Kirchick and many others see it).

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What if his presidency is so dangerously unconstitutional and misguided that a military intervention will be necessary to take the country back?

In their quest to stop Trump at all costs, many of his opponents are already prepared to take things that far. That is telling, and very chilling indeed.

Throughout the campaign, Trump has repeatedly bragged about ordering soldiers to commit war crimes, and has dismissed the possibility that he would face any resistance. “They won’t refuse,” he told Fox News’ Bret Baierearlier this year. “They’re not gonna refuse me. Believe me.”  When Baier insisted that such orders are “illegal,” Trump replied, “I’m a leader. I’ve always been a leader. I’ve never had any problem leading people. If I say do it, they’re going to do it.”

Try to imagine, then, a situation in which Trump commanded our military to do something stupid, illegal or irrational. 

[…]

If this scenario sounds implausible, consider that Trump has normalized so many once-outrageous things — from open racism to blatant lying. Needless to say, such dystopian situations are unimaginable under a President Hillary Clinton, who, whatever her faults, would never contemplate ordering a bombing run or — heaven forbid — a nuclear strike on a country just because its leader slighted her small hands at a summit. Rubio might detest her, but he cannot honestly say that Clinton, a former secretary of State, should not be trusted with the nation’s nuclear codes.

Trump is not only patently unfit to be president, but a danger to America and the world. Voters must stop him before the military has to.   

The veiled threat can’t be dismissed just because it is misguided or vague.

Should Donald Trump take it as a threat? Is his life in danger?

What happens if voters don’t make the choice these people think is the right one?

Glenn Beck was suspended from air for a week for allow a guest to make similar comments that hinted at ‘taking Trump out.’

Discussing a potential Donald Trump presidency, Thor lamented that impeachment would likely be off the table.

“If Congress won’t remove him from office, what patriot will step up and do that if, if, he oversteps his mandate as president, his constitutional-granted authority, I should say, as president,” Thor said. “If he oversteps that, how do we get him out of office? And I don’t think there is a legal means available. I think it will be a terrible, terrible position the American people will be in to get Trump out of office because you won’t be able to do it through Congress.”

There is a very real and very potent anger fomenting across our country. Though there are good reasons for it, most of it is misdirected, and 2016 has proven to be open season for attacks of all kind against Trump and his supporters.

Violence has trailed his campaign as passionate leftists stop at nothing to defy his controversial policies on immigration and the rest of it.

The rule of law is slipping away, and certain sectors of the establishment love the chaos is will bring.

Reprinted with permission from SHTFplan.com.

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23 Brilliant Real-Life Uses

Lew Rockwell Institute - Sab, 23/07/2016 - 06:01

Anyone with a modicum of cleverness can come up with the list of 50 ways to do this or 50 ways to do that.  The problem, as I see it, is many of these lists are a rehash of another list with the author having little or no first-hand experience with each of the listed items. Not that it is devious or wrong, but there has to be a better way.

Something I like to do is to ask real people how they manage situations and use things.  I couple that with my own knowledge and experience and viola!  We have a better way!

When I wrote about 5 Oddball Uses for Duct Tape, I was curious to learn about some other oddball uses of duct tape.  Backdoor Survival readers came out of the woodwork to respond!

And so today, I share with you 23 brilliant uses of duct tape, gathered from your own, proven testimonials.

Temporarily connect tail light cover to car after backing into mailbox.

9. Replace Broken Cap

I used duct tape to make a replacement cap on bottle of contact lens solution.

10. Repair Strap on Handbag

The rubber coating on my Ameribag shoulder bag strap ripped and duct tape fixed it so it no longer hurts my hand when I pick it up.

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New Anti-Government TV Series

Lew Rockwell Institute - Sab, 23/07/2016 - 06:01

“Never trust a criminal … until you have to,” is the official motto of The Blacklist, the American crime-thriller television series that premiered on NBC on September 23, 2013. But the real lesson of The Blacklist is “never trust the government … even if you have to.” Not many shows are both anti-state in their narrative and enjoyable at the same time. The Blacklist, however, deserves to be watched. If there is one show that takes the government for what it is, i.e., a “bandit gang” as Rothbard called it, it would be The Blacklist.

The Blacklist is the story of an international criminal, Raymond Reddington, who decides, for mysterious reasons, to work with the FBI. In exchange for valuable information, the FBI lets him conduct his business freely. Hence, the question is does Reddington work for the government or is it the other way around. Reddington says it explicitly in Season 1, Episode 2: “The FBI works for me now.”

It is true that, after three seasons, we still don’t know much about Reddington. As he says in Season 1, Episode 1, “Everything about me is a lie.”  to do immoral deeds. As Connolly, the attorney general in the show, says: “I never had any principles — that’s why I am on a rocket to the top.” Another instance of selection of the worst happens in Season 1 when an FBI agent wants to discover a dark truth. Her chief just answers “You should just take care of your career.” Comply and climb the ladder, do not and you will occupy an irrelevant job for the rest of your life, such are often the alternatives when it comes to the government.

But the dehumanization by the state machine goes a lot further. The government always tries to contrast the “good” with the “bad” guys so that bureaucrats feel no remorse when they violate their victims’ rights. During Episode 11 of Season 1, for instance, the government investigates the attack on a black site on smoking out a mole. A discussion between the investigator and an FBI Agent goes as follows:

Investigator: “According to the report from your therapist, you feel guilty about what happened during the raid.”

Agent: “Of course I do, I shot a man. I thought what I said in therapy was confidential.”

Investigator: “You shot a terrorist, why would you feel guilty about that?”

Agent: “Because he is human!”

Later, the investigators — or, in other words, bureaucrats who are trained in missing the point — think the FBI agent in question is the mole. It is thanks only to the expertise and protection of Reddington, who conducted is an own investigation, that the FBI agent is cleared of suspicion. What is striking in The Blacklist is that even good people are forced to be bad if they want to save their skin, or even if they want to do something good.

Unlike the state, Red Reddington is highly efficient in his business operations. He even has better intelligence than the omnipotent surveillance state. As a good libertarian mafioso, he criticizes government waste and the inefficiency of the government intelligence services:

Do you have any idea how much the US government spent on signal intelligence in the past year? […] Your country has become a nation of eavesdroppers. Frequency domain triangulation, satellites, crypto … whatever! You forgot that what matters most is human intelligence. Alliances, relationships, seductions.

Not only does Reddington have much more style than do dull bureaucrats, not only does he speak impeccable French — to which I can testify — and has a good knowledge of French wines, but he also beats the government in everything he does. Season 2, Episode 2, Reddington even escapes with great panache from a restaurant surrounded by the police and the FBI.

By following his own interests, Reddington serves the public good by eliminating the corrupt public criminals who infect the government machine. Some might argue that Reddington became rich thanks to the Don Corleone theory of trade — i.e., by making offers one cannot refuse. This is not, however, how Reddington is proceeding. He does not make threats except in order to protect his property. Reddington is rich because he is the best at what he does. The state, on the other hand, is the institution which uses the Don Corleone theory of trade systematically to insure its supremacy. The state doctrine is simple “everything belongs to you what is not yet mine.” Oppositely, Reddington’s doctrine is “Let’s make a deal.”

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.

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Armageddon Approaches

Lew Rockwell Institute - Sab, 23/07/2016 - 06:01

The Western public doesn’t know it, but Washington and its European vassals are convincing Russia that they are preparing to attack. Eric Zuesse reports on a German newspaper leak of a Bundeswehr decision to declare Russia to be an enemy nation of Germany. This is the interpretation that some Russian politicians themselves have put on the NATO military bases that Washington is establishing on Russia’s borders.

Washington might intend the military buildup as pressure on President Putin to reduce Russian opposition to Washington’s unilateralism. However, it reminds some outspoken Russians such as Vladimir Zhirinovsky of Hitler’s troops on Russia’s border in 1941.

Zhirinovsky is the founder and leader of Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party and a vice chairman of the Russian parliament. In a confrontation with the editor of a German newspaper, Zhirinovsky tells him that German troops again on Russia’s border will provoke a preventive strike after which nothing will remain of German and NATO troops. “The more NATO soldiers in your territory, the faster you are going to die. To the last man. Remove NATO from your territory!”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has expressed his frustration with Washington’s reliance on force and coercion instead of diplomacy. It is reckless for Washington to convince Russia that diplomacy is a dead end without promise. When the Russians reach that conclusion, force will confront force.

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Indeed Zhirinovsky has already reached that point and perhaps Vladimir Putin also. As I reported, Putin recently dressed down Western presstitutes for their role in fomenting nuclear war.  See also here. Putin has made it clear that Russia will not accept US missile bases in Poland and Romania. He has informed Washington and the imbecilic Polish and Romanian governments. However, as Putin observed, “they don’t hear.”

The inability to hear means that Washington’s arrogance has made Washington too stupid to take seriously Putin’s warning. If Washington persists, it will provoke the preventive strike that Zhirinovsky told the German editor the Merkel regime was inviting.

Americans need to wake up to the dangerous situation that Washington has created, but I doubt they will. Most wars happen without the public’s knowledge until they happen. The main function of the American left-wing is to serve as a bogyman with which to scare conservatives about the country’s loss of morals, and the main function of conservatives is to create fear and hysteria about immigrants, Muslims, and Russians. There is no sign that Congress is aware of approaching Armageddon, and the media consists of propaganda.

I and a few others try to alert people to the real threats that they face, but our voices are not loud enough. Not even Vladimir Putin’s voice is loud enough. It looks like the West won’t hear until “there remains nothing at all of the German and NATO troops,” and of Poland and Romania and the rest of us.

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Cut-Up Like a Pro

Lew Rockwell Institute - Sab, 23/07/2016 - 06:01

Good, sharp kitchen knives can seriously enhance your cooking prowess. But if you’ve purchased a starter set of blades and have no idea which ones are designed for what task, this handy primer by English knife manufacturing company Robert Welch provides amateur chefs with an easy overview. It lists the names of each cutting tool, briefly explains its purpose and tells you how it’s used. Even if you don’t end up slicing and dicing your way to the top of the culinary world, at least your friends and family will no longer mock you trying to chop vegetables with a filleting knife.

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Reprinted from Mental Floss.

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How Well Do You Know World Geography?

Lew Rockwell Institute - Sab, 23/07/2016 - 06:01

Are you smart at advanced Geography? Take this unofficial test to see if you have what it takes to become a Geography Master. Geography is where you are and where everyone else in the world is and how they are all different.

If you don’t know much about it, it’s always fun encouraging people to learn about it, there are already too much people that don’t know where to find their country on a map so try to look like the smart one. There are many different branches of Geography: teacher, cartography, human geography, physical geography, and computer map drawing.

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What is your age? Under 18 Years Old 18 to 24 Years Old 25 to 30 Years Old 31 to 40 Years Old 41 to 50 Years Old 51 to 60 Years Old Over 60 Years Old . What is your gender? Male Female . 1. What is the Capital of Germany? Berlin The Hague Vilnius Taipei Jakarta Budapest . 2. What countries are located in the Fergana Valley? Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria Russia, Estonia, Finland Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan Hungary, Austria, Slovakia Suriname, French Guiana, Guyana Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala . 3. A language that uses the Cyrillic alphabet is English Italian Portuguese Hindi Russian Pashto . 4. The city of Antananarivo is located in Mozambique Rwanda Papua New Guinea Borneo Madagascar France . 5. A cymbaly is A popular hungarian meal An instrument used in the Baltic countries A type of fruit in Southeast Australia The monitery unit in Lebanon A smaller version of a cymbal A large Spanish groundhog . 6. What number is “Dva” in Russian 9 3 10 2 1 7 . 7. What country was in most of ancient Mesopotamia Iraq Sumeria Faroe Islands Cambodia Azerbaijan Norway . 8. The largest French island is The Balearic Islands Sardinia Faroe Islands Corsica Martinique Réunion . 9. A country that practices Buddhism is Denmark Argentina Montserrat Botswana Togo Nepal . 10. The first people in Central Australia where the Sumerians English Indonesians Bosnians Aborigines Parisian .

Submit Answers

Reprinted from GoToQuiz.com.

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The Problem With Socialism Defined

Lew Rockwell Institute - Sab, 23/07/2016 - 06:01

Our youngest son Dan, born in 1987, claims socialism is good. Like many other people in his Millennial Generation born 1982-2004, despite growing up in a home with libertarian parents, he backed Bernie Sanders and thinks socialism works. A case in point, he argues: “Look at Sweden. It works there!” My wife and I have tried to dispel this notion and other collectivist views he holds since he attended and graduated from college, without effect.

When I learned that Tom DiLorenzo had written a new book titled The Problem with Socialism, for release on July 18, 2016 I pre-ordered a copy on Amazon. Sure enough, on Monday morning July 18 UPS delivered it to my door. I read it at once.

In this relatively short book, in a clear, engaging, and concise fashion, Professor DiLorenzo explains what socialism is and why it doesn’t ever work. One quickly sees that he has put the same care into writing The Problem with Socialism as he has done with his other, longer books, notably The Real Lincoln, Hamilton’s Curse, Lincoln Unmasked, and How Capitalism Saved America.

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We Have a Duty To Submit

Lew Rockwell Institute - Sab, 23/07/2016 - 06:01

“Somebody is going to die tonight,” a visibly agitated Anthony Lord told a close friend on July 16, 2015. Lord, a resident of Benedicta, Maine, was a registered sex offender who displayed symptoms of violent derangement. His anger had been kindled by a voice mail message from the Maine State Police reporting that a woman named Brittany Irish had accused him of sexually assaulting her, and asking him to visit a local barracks to be interviewed about the matter.

Lord’s entirely plausible threat was reported to Jaime Irish, Brittany’s brother. His frantic phone call to Brittany interrupted a conversation in her home with two Maine state troopers. They were discussing both Irish’s sexual assault complaint and her report that the barn at her parents’ home had been set on fire – most likely by Lord, who knew the family well.

Brittany’s initial relief at the presence of two officers sworn to “serve and protect” she was quickly transmuted into incredulity when the troopers refused a request to deploy officers to watch her and her two small children (who were visiting relatives at another location). Protecting a rape victim and her family against a credible murder threat from an assailant who was also suspected of carrying out a retaliatory arson attack was not a priority worthy of the man-hours it would entail.

Frantically grasping for whatever reassurance they could get, Brittany and her mother, Kimberly, asked if the police could leave a marked vehicle parked outside the home as a bluff. Even that was seen as an unacceptable expenditure of precious department resources that could be used for more important undertakings, such as traffic enforcement. Indifferently assuring Brittany that they would “keep an eye on the situation,” the troopers drove away.

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The fire that destroyed the Irish family’s barn was not the beginning of Lord’s depredations. A few hours earlier he broke into the home of a Silver Ridge man named Kary Mayo, beat him, tied him to a chair, and stole his guns and a pickup truck.

Early the following morning, Lord shot his way into the Irish home, killing Brittany’s boyfriend Kyle Hewitt and wounding her mother, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. Brittany, who suffered a superficial gunshot wound to her arm, exited through a bathroom window and tried to escape, but she was chased down by Lord. When a 60-year-old local resident named Carlton Eddy happened by in a truck, Lord flagged him down — then shot the driver and stole his vehicle. After strangling her into submission, Lord tied the victim up with a seatbelt and sped away.

For reasons yet to be explained, Lord drove to a nearby lumber yard, where he shot two more men – Clayton McCarthy, who survived, and Kevin Tozier, who did not. As he drove away from the scene, Brittany pleaded with him to take her to the home of his uncle Carl, who was a mutual acquaintance. That Lord did so is another mystifying decision on his part. Displaying a flat affect and saying not a word about his actions, Lord “unloaded the gun like it was something that he was bound and determined to do,” his uncle later recalled.

Shortly thereafter, fourteen police vehicles surrounded the home and took Lord into custody. It is important to recognize that the police didn’t actually arrest the offender: That was accomplished by the victim and the suspect’s uncle. There was no official competence displayed in clearing this case and just as little valor. All of the risks were borne by the victims, at fatal expense to two of them. Once the danger had abated, the police were eager to take credit for delivering the suspect into the care of the criminal “justice” system.

It is a long-established principle that police officers and the agencies employing them face no specific or institutional liability when they fail to protect individuals from acts of criminal violence. Brittany Irish’s ordeal resembles that of the victims in the pivotal 1981 decision Warren v. District of Columbia in which the D.C Court of Appeals ruled that it is a “fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen.” (Emphasis added.)

In the earlier case, two women contacted police to report an assault on a mutual friend. Officers were dispatched to the address, but – in the interest of that holiest of all considerations, officer safety — declined to enter the apartment building. The desperate women called again, and this time, the department didn’t even bother to respond. Acting in the misplaced hope that help was nigh upon arrival, the women opened an apartment window and called out for assistance. This alerted the assailants, who abducted the women at knifepoint.

“For the next fourteen hours,” the court recounts in a clinical summary, “the women were held captive, raped, robbed, beaten, forced to commit sexual acts upon each other, and made to submit to the sexual demands” of their captors.

The victims were not entitled to civil redress, the court insisted, because “The duty to provide public services is owed to the public at large, and, absent a special relationship between the police and an individual, no specific legal duty exists.”

Brittany Irish’s case differs from the one described in that ruling in two significant ways. First, Andrew Lord not only shot, tortured, and sexually assaulted her, he assaulted several other people and murdered two victims after the police had been given detailed, specific advance warning regarding what was about to transpire – and they were in a position to help, but simply could not be bothered to do so.

Secondly, and most importantly, “We contend that the Maine State Police had established a `special relationship’ with Brittany,” attorney Dave Van Dyke told Pro Libertate. “In addition, it is clear that she was seriously harmed as a result of what the case law calls `State-created danger.’”

By contacting Lord and informing him of the sexual assault complaint, and then refusing to provide protection to Brittany, the State Police “acted to increase the threat which existed to Plaintiffs beyond that which otherwise existed,” the lawsuit contends. “Defendants made an implicit and/or express promise to protect Plaintiffs, Plaintiffs relied upon such promise, Defendants failed to fulfill such promise and Plaintiffs were injured thereby, such unfulfilled promise creating a special duty” to protect Brittany and her family.

It should be pointed out that the conflict that led to Lord’s murder rampage had existed for several years, and Brittany had obtained two restraining orders against him. Following the initial July 14, 2015, sexual assault, Brittany received no assistance whatsoever from the police. She went to a hospital to undergo a rape kit examination; she carefully preserved the clothes she had been wearing as evidence. When she reported the rape on July 15, she was told by the State Police to come in the following morning and file a written complaint.

A few hours after the assault, Brittany had received a text message from Lord asking her to meet him to “talk about what had happened.” This prompted her to suggest to the police that she meet him and elicit a recorded confession from him – if an officer would maintain a discreet distance to ensure her safety.

“That’s not the way we do it,” an officer explained to her. The preferred approach in such situations, apparently, is to inform a registered violent sex offender with psychotic tendencies that he had been accused of rape, and suggest that he volunteer to talk about it with the police at his leisure.

After enduring the second rape and witnessing two murders, Brittany delivered the offender to the State Police. The department held a press conference to express perfunctory condolences to the people whom they had failed to protect –and then slammed down the portcullis to prevent critical scrutiny of its actions.

“We made an FOIA request for the official reports and other documents on this case,” Van Dyke told me. “It was denied on the grounds that they are part of an `ongoing investigation.’” Lord’s trial isn’t scheduled until August of 2017, which would give the State Police more than a year to keep those documents from the public. Accordingly, “we decided to file suit and get the documents through discovery,” Van Dyke explained. He is guardedly optimistic that Brittany’s case is strong enough to overcome “the cottage industry in `qualified immunity’” that constantly devises ever more elaborate rationales for failing to hold police officers accountable for their actions – and their derelictions.

If Brittany Irish had been pulled over by a state trooper who demanded to search her vehicle and person for drugs or cash, she would have been under a state-prescribed duty to submit. This is the kind of “general public service” the police are expected to provide – or, more accurately, to inflict. She cannot opt-out of that “service” without being arrested and possibly killed by those providing it. Those same agents of state-authorized violence, however, opted out of helping Brittany when she and her family needed protection.

Over the past century, the state’s “justice” system has created a lengthy series of judicial precedents intended to discourage “self-help” on the part of people experiencing, or threatened by, criminal violence – whether official or private. Self-help was the only kind available to Brittany and her family, and it proved unavailing when the Maine State Police actively collaborated with a deranged man who tore a bloody swath through two counties.

The post We Have a Duty To Submit appeared first on LewRockwell.

Trump vs. Cruz

Lew Rockwell Institute - Sab, 23/07/2016 - 06:01

One day after Ted Cruz refused to endorse Donald Trump in a speech that has since been defined as a historic, once-in-a-generation event, and yet one which supposedly Trump had vetted in advance, Donald Trump went on the war path against Cruz.

At a convention farewell event in Cleveland with running mate Mike Pence, Trump said he doesn’t want Cruz’s endorsement, blamed the Texas senator for making their wives fair political game, and said he had nothing to do with a conspiracy theory he promoted in the primary, that Cruz’s father had been seen with President John F. Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.

Trump tore into his primary rival on Friday morning, saying he would not accept the Texas senator’s endorsement and threatening to fund a Senate challenger against Cruz.

“If he gives it, I will not accept it,” Trump said at a Friday morning press conference in Cleveland. “He’ll come and endorse in the next little while because he has no choice,” Trump added. “I don’t want his endorsement. Ted, stay home, relax, enjoy yourself.

Myths, Misunderstandings and Outright lies about owning Gold. Are you at risk?

“Honestly, he should have done it, because nobody cares, and he would have been in better shape four years from now — I don’t see him winning anyway frankly, but if he did it’s fine. Although maybe I’ll set up a Super PAC if he decides to run,” he added. Turning to his running mate, he said, “Are you allowed to set up a super-PAC, Mike, if you are the president, to fight somebody?”

According to Bloomberg,the move renews questions about whether Trump will follow a more traditional playbook in the general election against presumptiveDemocratic nominee Hillary Clinton, or hang onto grievances from a bitter Republican primary campaign.denied that it was his father… I had nothing to do with it,” Trump said. Referring to the tabloid magazine’s past coverage of the O.J. Simpson and John Edwards stories, he said, “This was a magazine that frankly in many respects should be very respected. They got O.J., they got Edwards.”

Of Cruz’s attempts to distance himself from the group’s ads, Trump said, “Folks, a lot of us are political people, right, we’re not babies. His people were on the PAC.” He added, “Now probably you could trace it down with e-mails but they’re pretty smart.”

Trump said Cruz’s speech might have hurt his future political ambitions.

“Somebody got booed out of the place by thousands and thousands of people,” Trump said. “Honestly, he may have ruined his political career.”

Reprinted with permission from Zero Hedge.

The post Trump vs. Cruz appeared first on LewRockwell.

Why Hives?

Lew Rockwell Institute - Sab, 23/07/2016 - 06:01

A friend of mine, Steve, recently asked me, “What is the best way to deal with rashes from poison ivy?”  I told him that the best way is to stay out of the poison ivy.  Not only was he not satisfied with my answer, but also he asked me to do an article on skin rashes and such.  Readers, this one goes out as a dedication to Steve, and if you guys and gals can’t take the initial advice I gave to him, perhaps this information will help you in your hiking and backpacking adventures!

The topic of discussion for this article is hives, and we will present some facts about hives and some measures that may help those afflicted by them.  Hives are known in medical terminology as urticaria.   Defined as such, urticaria consists of multiple, swollen, raised areas of the skin that itch for up to 24 hours, caused by allergens and the body’s immunoglobulin response to those actions. Hives can strike anyone, for multiple causes and reasons.  To really understand how hives work, we have to understand the body’s histamine response.

Understanding How Hives Occur

Histamine itself is a substance that is made from an amino acid, and it causes enlargement of blood vessels and a marked rise in the digestive acid production in the stomach, along with mucous production and bronchial constriction.  Histamine is released from mast cells that are large cells that serve to produce inflammatory responses that are governed by immunoglobulin E.  The mast cells and their mediators produce what is known as a type I hypersensitivity reaction (also known as an immediate hypersensitivity reaction) that lead to the sign symptom of hives.  Poison ivy (in my friend, Steve’s case) is one of the causes for a type I reaction.

The post Why Hives? appeared first on LewRockwell.

Fermi al 2011, ma stavolta è peggio

Freedonia - Ven, 22/07/2016 - 10:08




di Francesco Simoncelli


L'isterismo di questi giorno intorno alla situazione delle banche italiane, è qualcosa di davvero esilarante visto che è iniziata la classica corsa da parte dei policymaker alla rassicurazione più stupida. Ormai è fin troppo evidente alla maggior parte delle persone come questi clown non siano altro che degli sciamani voodoo che millantano di possedere l'elisir di lunga e perenne crescita. E clown non è affatto una parola forte riferita a gente come Padoan o Angela Merkel, i quali si sforzano di raccontare le sciocchezze più grandi solo per calmare le acque. Questa gente ha la minima idea di cosa sia, ad esempio, un trend di lungo termine? Oppure una visione d'insieme di quello che sta accadendo in Europa? Stando alle loro frasi o lo ignorano, oppure lo sanno e fanno finta di niente per permettere ai clientelisti di mantenere i loro posti di comando e privilegio.

Basterebbero i seguenti due grafici per mettere in discussione quanto finora detto da entrambi.





Ebbene sì, a meno che questa "percezione errata", come la chiama Padoan, non ha afflitto gli investitori sin dalla notte dei tempi, qualcuno s'è accorto di come il settore bancario commerciale non sia altro che il figlio deforme della politica monetaria allentata delle banche centrali. Non esiste più una determinazione onesta dei prezzi per quanto riguarda la valutazione degli attivi nei loro bilanci. Peggio ancora, non esiste più una determinazione onesta dei prezzi per quanto riguarda la valutazione delle passività nei loro bilanci. L'ingegneria finanziaria abilitata dalla BCE, ad esempio, sin da quando ha aperto i battenti, ha permesso a quelle entità all'inizio della catena del credito di sfruttare questo vantaggio e riversare sulla società una cascata di segnali di mercato distorti.

I banchieri centrali lo definiscono "effetto ricchezza", ovvero, la manna monetaria che a catena investe parti diverse del tessuto economico fino ad arrivare al suo ultimo strato. Il problema, però, con questa teoria è che si basa su concetti teorici sballati, i quali considerano obiettivi raggiungibili cose come il PIL potenziale e la piena occupazione. Miraggi. Illusioni. L'unica cose che le strategie monetarie allentate provocano è una ridistribuzione della ricchezza a favore di quelle entità all'inizio della catena del credito, e questo vuol dire banche commerciali e stato. Il resto del tessuto economico vede pian piano erodere il proprio potere d'acquisto in una perenne lotta per riuscire a sbarcare il lunario.

La percezione di questo furto oltre ad essere nascosta in quanto l'inflazione dei prezzi altro non è che una tassa nascosta, viene ulteriormente celata agli occhi degli individui focalizzando la loro attenzione su non-problemi quotidiani. Non è un caso se in frangenti critici spunta sempre una qualche campagna d'odio nei confronti di un qualsiasi gruppo della società. Questo distoglie ulteriormente l'attenzione degli attori di mercato dai problemi più urgenti che riguardano la loro vita. Il rumore di fatti di cronaca insignificanti e la canalizzazione dell'odio è uno degli espedienti più comuni tra i policymaker per "bussare" sulla spalla degli attori di mercato, farli girare da un lato e quindi fregare loro il portafogli.




Non cascateci. Senza concentrazione è facile finire nelle trappole. Da cosa viene distolta la concentrazione? Il settore bancario sta finendo praticamente in un burrone. Niente delle politiche messe in campo da questi buffoni sta funzionando. Il vecchio adagio keynesiano secondo cui bastava supportare la domanda di mercato, sta cadendo a pezzi ai piedi di coloro che tirano le leve nelle banche centrali. La stampante monetaria, ormai attiva giorno e notte nella maggior parte delle nazioni sviluppate e in via di sviluppo, sta solamente spingendo verso il torrente un asino che non vuole bere. Nei cosiddetti anni d'oro, il presunto effetto ricchezza a cascata abilitato dalle banche centrali, permetteva alle banche commerciali di erogare prestiti a "cani e porci" e, di conseguenza, pavoneggiarsi nei mercati come entità prive di rischio e in grado di gestire qualsiasi tipo di asset.

Era praticamente stata dichiarata la morte del ciclo economico. In realtà, il rischio veniva celato agli occhi degli attori di mercato attraverso l'espansione monetaria artificiale alimentata dalle banche centrali, la quale non ha fatto altro che nascondere gli errori del passato sotto errori più gravi che si sarebbero palesati in futuro. Monte dei Paschi è diventata un investimento improduttivo a causa della sua gestione sconsiderata delle attività bancarie che negli anni hanno caratterizzato il proprio management. Il caso non è diverso da tutte quelle grandi banche che hanno gozzovigliato col credito a basso costo, sfruttando l'ingegneria finanziaria (es. fusioni/acquisizioni, dividendi inattesi, ecc.) per raggiungere posizioni presumibilmente superiori. All'apparenza queste situazioni paiono durare per sempre, poi, però, arriva sempre il redde rationem. Così come arriverà per l'attuale UE moribonda. Lo zio Mario credeva che col QE potesse rimettere in carreggiata le cose facendo prosperare artificialmente il tessuto economico, in modo che, ancora una volta, gli errori di ieri potessero essere assorbiti dagli errori (più gravi) che si sarebbero palesati domani.

Ma questa gente non ha idea di cosa voglia dire determinazione dei prezzi, mispricing e picco del debito. Lo scopriranno. Così come lo scopriranno tutti coloro che, facendo ancora affari con MPS o avendoci ancora il proprio conto deposito, non saranno in grado di leggere la proverbiale scritta sul muro e che pensano che le colpe siano costantemente altrui (leggi tedeschi, ad esempio).

E adesso si pensa di risolvere questi problemi attraverso intrusioni più pervasive nei mercati, come ad esempio il divieto di short-selling imposto dalla Consob. Ma questa gente è talmente stupida, credendosi più furba dei mercati, che dimentica sempre particolari importanti: gli investitori possono comprare CDS e aggirare il divieto.

Ma il punto è il seguente: impedire ad entità decotte di essere ristrutturate attraverso un default non farà altro che catapultare in esse fondi che verranno sprecati, restringendo sempre di più il bacino di ricchezza reale presente nel tessuto economico. È esattamente questo il motivo per cui finora non abbiamo assistito ad una vera e propria ripresa, bensì ad un'alternanza di brevi salite e ripide discese. La continua canalizzazione di risorse reali dalle unità produttive verso quelle entità in bancarotta, costituisce la nuova fonte di errori economici che riverserà nel tessuto economico una quantità maggiore di investimenti improduttivi e stagnazione economica. Se ci pensate, infatti, qual è stata la risposta di Draghi a seguito del Brexit? Più pompaggio monetario. È questa la sola e unica risposta in mano a dementi monetari domiciliati presso le principali banche centrali del mondo.

Quindi, no, il Brexit non c'entra nulla con questa lente d'ingrandimento finita sulle banche commerciali italiane, è la naturale conseguenza dell'espansione monetaria artificiale e degli obbrobri finanziari che genera. Oppure pensate che il decennale italiano sia calato magicamente nella "terra della stabilità" grazie ad un governo responsabile da punto di vista fiscale? Pensate che i consumi abbiano mostrato un piccolo spasmo verso l'alto perché il fisco ha dato tregua agli italiani? Oppure pensate che la burocrazia europea abbia allentato la sua presa?

Niente di tutto ciò. Le obbligazioni italiane sono aumentate di prezzo grazie al "whatever it takes" di Draghi che, permettendo ai front-runner di comprare oggi quello che lui comprerà domani, le ha trasformate in scarafaggi da motel: sono entrate nei bilanci degli investitori istituzionali e non ne sono uscite. Non solo, ma a rincarare la dose ci s'è messo anche Basilea III, il quale ha dichiarato i bond statali "asset privi di rischio". Per quanto riguarda i consumi, la deflazione della bolla dell'olio di scisto sta dando una tregua ai consumatori europei, abbassando i prezzi di quelle merci che basano parte della loro produzione sul petrolio. Infine, per quanto riguarda la burocrazia, le cose sono peggiorate.




E quale è stata la risposta dello zio Mario? Più droga monetaria. Il mix esplosivo di keynesismo e friedmanismo, ovvero, stimolo della domanda aggregata e crescita "controllata" dell'offerta di moneta, sono serviti come cavallo di Troia per espellere dai mercati un mark to market onesto degli asset e una disciplina finanziaria. Le teorie di Keynes e Friedman in campo monetario hanno fatto da apripista per strategie degeneri come il quantitative easing e la repressione dei tassi d'interesse. Ma indovinate un po'? Questa gente presumibilmente onnisciente domiciliata presso le principali banche centrali del mondo non ha affatto bandito cose come domanda/offerta, per non parlare del ciclo economico. Continuando sulla via della follia monetaria ne sta esacerbando gli effetti futuri e questo accadrà quando le banche centrali perderanno il controllo del giocattolo rotto che tentano strenuamente di tenere insieme. Voglio dire, che speranze ha questa gente di continuare a gestire economie costituite da miliardi e miliardi di decisioni prese ogni secondo pensando solamente di poter spingere il pulsante "stampa" sulle loro stampanti monetarie? La prova che presto perderanno il controllo delle loro azioni è stata fornita dalla decisione di Draghi di aumentare la portata del suo QE, dalla decisione della Yellen di rimandare ancora una volta l'aumento dei tassi d'interesse, della decisione di Kuroda di sprofondare ulteriormente nella terra della NIRP, ecc.

Tutte queste decisioni costituiscono la proverbiale scritta sul muro per coloro che sanno leggerla. Poi, ovviamente, c'è l'economia reale che lancia segnali allarmanti, come ad esempio la produzione industriale italiana finita nel seminterrato della storia economica.




Sarebbe interessante, quindi, sapere come sia possibile che il salvataggio di banche fallite possa in qualche modo far ritornare la curva ai livelli pre-2011, quando l'Italia è il paese in cui fare impresa è diventato sempre più difficile.



Oltre a ciò sarebbe interessante sapere come far sprofondare i tassi d'interesse di riferimento al livelli negativi possa spingere gli attori di mercato ad accendere nuovi prestiti. I banchieri centrali non hanno risposte. E di ciò si può essere sicuri perché altrimenti non avrebbero messo in campo le misure che finora hanno messo in campo. Non hanno idea di cosa voglia dire fare impresa e non hanno la minima idea di come si creino posti di lavoro. Il loro unico compito è quello di proteggere coloro facenti parte del loro cartello: grandi banche commerciali e stato. Nel farlo si sono spinte troppo oltre lungo l'interventismo nei mercati, gonfiando bolle gigantesche nei settori azionari e obbligazionari andando quindi ad inficiare, lentamente ed inesorabilmente, i rendimenti stessi di quelle entità che si presumeva dovessero aiutare.

Questo perché, in base alla loro visione keynesiana dei mercati, spingendo sull'acceleratore monetario non si sono accorti che i bilanci di famiglie e piccole/medie imprese sono saturi dopo la loro ultima campagna monetaria. Quindi, col passare del tempo e man mano che i bilanci delle varie entità di mercato si saturavano, i banchieri centrali non si sono accorti che la loro capacità di perpetuare lo stato di semi-boom si assottigliava, proprio perché sempre più bilanci si saturavano e restavano pochi attori di mercato capaci di spingere un nuovo ciclo economico, senza passare per una correzione. Questo ha permesso agli errori economici di sedimentarsi e radicarsi alla base del tessuto economico, distorcendo i segnali recepiti nei mercati. Questi meccanismi di feedback, importanti per una prosperità genuina, hanno indebolito la capacità dei creatori di ricchezza reale e hanno ingrassato i bilanci di quelle entità privilegiate.

Ma a che prezzo? Cannibalismo finanziario tra quelle entità che ancora posseggono bilanci puliti, o semi-puliti: grandi imprese e grandi banche commerciali. L'ingegneria finanziaria, in virtù di ciò, ha raggiunto livelli assurdi ed è per questo che c'è una paura folle al solo pensiero che una sola di queste entità possa andar fallita. Ed è per questo che c'è una paura folle al solo pensiero che Monte Paschi Siena possa andare fallita. Ed è per questo che c'è una paura folle al solo pensiero che Deutsche Bank possa andare fallita.

I mercati azionari e obbligazionari sono diventati delle bische clandestine i cui titoli non riflettono più un mark to market genuino, ma rispondono a quello che è diventato il loro market maker: le banche centrali. Non appena i canyon di suddetti mercati vedranno prosciugarsi i fiumi di credito a basso costo... beh, non si potrà far altro che guardare di sotto. La pseudo-ripresa di cui va blaterando la stampa finanziaria è solo nei numeri, e più nello specifico nei mercati manipolati artificialmente dalle azioni delle banche centrali. La gente comune non ha affatto goduto della manna monetaria perché, avendo raggiunto una condizione di Picco del Debito, ha deciso di spendere alla vecchia maniera: facendo affidamento sui propri redditi, sfiduciando invece il vivere oltre i propri mezzi attraverso i prestiti facili. La gente comune solo adesso può vedere a quale mostro ha dato in pasto la propria mente e i propri risparmi.



SABBIE MOBILI

Infatti non bisogna soprassedere il fatto che i rendimenti del mercato obbligazionario abbiano raggiunto un minimo storico, mentre i rendimenti del mercato azionario abbiano raggiunto un massimo storico. Mentre tutt'intorno sta rimanendo nient'altro che terra bruciata, questi due mercati di riferimento principali segnalano un'era di prosperità di lungo termine. Davvero? Stiamo parlando di ulteriori mesi di allentamento monetario senza recessione? Siamo arrivati al novantesimo mese di stimolo monetario e repressione dei tassi d'interesse e tutto quello che abbiamo ottenuto è un misero blip nei numeri di Main Street, più che altro posti di lavoro rinati dopo essere stati spazzati via dall'ultima recessione. E in base a questo ambiente l'establishment si aspetta ulteriori mesi di pseudo-ripresa quando invece la media storica è stata di circa settanta mesi. Non solo, si sta addirittura proiettando l'attuale pseudo-ripresa fino al 2026, con conseguente raggiungimento di duecento mesi di repressione dei tassi d'interesse e stimolo monetario.

La domanda quindi è: quanto ancora riuscirà a resistere Main Street agli assalti dei pianificatori monetari centrali atti a confiscare silenziosamente la sua ricchezza reale?

Ma attenzione perché la vera storia arriva adesso. Infatti la piaga della repressione dei tassi d'interesse e la conseguente fame di rendimenti decenti scatenata all'interno dei casinò, sta intaccando uno dei comparti fondamentali su cui si basa l'attuale fiducia nello stato e nella sua presunta lungimiranza. Anzi, tale comparto risulterà addirittura il suo tallone d'Achille. Sto parlando dei fondi pensione, i quali non sono altro che giganteschi caveau pieni di titoli di stato. Non esiste alcuna cassetta di sicurezza in una qualsiasi banca recante il vostro nome e al cui interno ci sono tutti i vostri contributi. Il sistema pensionistico è un cosiddetto sistema pay as you go, dove i soldi in entrata vengono spesi immediatamente e quelli in uscita vengono presi dalla fiscalità generale e da asset fruttanti un interesse. In realtà, gli asset in tale contesto non sono affatto un investimento poiché gli interessi che fruttano non solo il risultato di investimenti genuini nel mercato, bensì sono il risultato della pesca a strascico del fisco.




L'assetto di questo "processo di pagamento" è delirante e rispecchia in sostanza la costante necessità di entrare in possesso di nuove risorse per pagare i propri obblighi. Problema: lo stato non è in grado di creare realtà produttive poiché la sua natura gli impedisce di effettuare un calcolo economico in accordo con le forze di mercato. Non è un caso, infatti, che attualmente il rendimento medio degli asset in suo possesso dovrebbe essere del 7% per effettuare i pagamenti pensionistici. Ma questo è un problema anche per i fondi pensionistici privati, la maggior parte dei quali durante i "bei vecchi tempi" poteva garantire contratti pensionistici con in pancia asset "sicuri" fruttanti un interesse del 4%.

Dopo l'evento Lehman, le banche centrali hanno fatto di tutto per sostenere artificialmente il sistema bancario commerciale e il sistema statale, impedendo che andassero in bancarotta. Gli aiuti sfornati dai banchieri centrali, però, sono rimasti confinati nel settore finanziario dove hanno gonfiato la terza grande bolla di questo secolo: quella nel mercato dei titoli di stato. È per questo che la Yellen ha una paura infernale a lasciar aumentare ulteriormente il tasso di riferimento negli USA. È per questo che Draghi è stato costretto ad intervenire direttamente nei mercati attraverso il quantitative easing, mossa che va contro il trattato di Maastricht e contro tutto quello che era stato detto in precedenza dallo stuolo di eurocrati nel Parlamento europeo.

Mentre lo stato può, in un certo senso, contare sul fisco, gli altri fondi pensione sono e saranno costretti a ricorrere ad asset più rischiosi affinché possano continuare a tenere aperti i battenti. Come noterete dal grafico qui sotto, i titoli spazzatura ad alto rendimento sono diventati il nuovo rifugio per tutti quegli istituti alla ricerca di rendimenti decenti e positivi. Ma l'esplosività di questa corsa è data proprio dall'artificialità della situazione finanziaria in cui siamo immersi. Infatti, date ancora un'occhiata al grafico qui sotto e più precisamente al lasso di tempo tra il dicembre 2015 e il gennaio 2016. Noterete sicuramente l'impennata dei rendimenti a seguito dell'inizio del rialzo dei tassi d'interesse negli USA. Al primo segno della fine della manna monetaria, i robo-trader e tutti coloro con un pizzico di sale in zucca si sono diretti verso le uscite.




Questi asset, in un mercato libero dagli ostacoli delle banche centrali, sono altamente illiquidi e rappresentano delle bombe ad orologeria finanziarie che scoppieranno nei bilanci di coloro talmente stupidi da lasciarli lì dove si trovano. Ciò riguarda anche parecchi fondi pensione che, oltre a prestare nel mercato monetario il denaro dei loro clienti, sono state costrette ad ingozzarsi di pattume finanziario per rimanere a galla.

Ma c'è un limite a quello che le banche centrali possono fare. La loro politica monetaria, ad esempio, non può portare i tassi di riferimento sotto lo zero. La rivolta politica che ne scaturirebbe destabilizzerebbe lo status quo, soprattutto quando guardiamo a quanto consenso ha raccolto Donald Trump. E, soprattutto, i rendimenti decrescenti insiti nelle politiche statali affosseranno sempre più la sua capacità di fare debito, perché ogni nuova unità di quest'ultimo eroderà quantità crescenti di PIL.

Insomma, il territorio inesplorato in cui si sono avventurate le principali banche centrali del mondo, portando i tassi di riferimento in prossimità dello zero ed alcune anche sotto lo zero, incarna la sicurezza che i banchieri centrali perderanno il controllo. Voglio dire, i bilanci gonfi di cui dispongono non possono essere sgonfiati senza scatenare una crisi sistemica diffusa, ed è per questo quindi che stanno andando avanti verso l'oblio. Più in particolare, è questo il motivo per cui Draghi ha inserito nel suo programma d'acquisto mensile di bond anche quelli IG, ovvero, quelli societari. E con un rating di credito in media del BBB. Quale valore aggiunto stanno dando alla società queste aziende in termini di creatività e posti di lavoro? Impercettibile. Per caso è attraverso l'illusione di un azzeramento del rischio che si spinge imprenditori e investitori a ricercare la prosperità? Questa è la ricetta per adagiarsi sugli allori. Di recente la Banca d'Italia ha pubblicato la lista di quelle imprese nei confronti delle quali il rischio finanziario è stato temporaneamente sospeso dal programma d'acquisto mensile di bond di Draghi.

Questa rappresenta una manna per i front-runner e per tutti coloro che vogliono fare denaro a breve termine, cavalcando l'onda dell'artificialità smossa dallo zio Mario. La maggior parte di questi bond, infatti, ha un rating BBB e un volta trasformati in scarafaggi da motel verranno coccolati dalla BCE. Potete star certi che non verranno lasciati scendere troppo di prezzo nel caso in cui il rating dovesse peggiorare, visto che in tal modo il bilancio stesso della BCE ne verrebbe intaccato. Ma il lungo termine è tutto un altro discorso visto che, tali aziende, sono state scelte arbitrariamente da una cerchia ristretta di persone e non hanno alcuna idea dove si muoverà il mercato domani. Questo vuol dire sostenere fino al fallimento un insieme di realtà che possono perdere la domanda genuina degli attori di mercato, rappresentando solamente delle gigantesche industrie che sfornano oggetti che nessuno vuole e per cui non esiste mercato. Quanto potrà durare lo stimolo della BCE in un ambiente simile e con un panorama economico ancora ansioso di togliere dalla propria schiena gli eccessi del passato?






RIPOSIZIONARSI IN ANTICIPO

In questo contesto è utile offrire ai lettori alcuni consigli mediante i quali riuscire a scansare agilmente la tormenta in arrivo sui mercati finanziari. Esistono molti modi al giorno d'oggi affinché si possano proteggere i propri risparmi, ma è bene avere chiaro cosa si vuole dai propri investimenti. Questa è una domanda che qualsiasi investitore deve porsi. Inoltre, come ormai ben sapete, i miei non sono inviti all'azione ma semplicemente dei suggerimenti di un osservatore attento. Permette al mio bacino di lettori di trarre profitto da quanto leggono su queste pagine, è un modo per mostrare loro quanto io sia impegnato riguardo la loro salute finanziaria. Inoltre, seguendo il principio della mano invisibile, il miglioramento della condizione altrui non potrà far altro che andare a beneficio di colui che l'ha innescata.

Quindi osserviamo alcune mosse da poter intraprendere nell'attuale panorama economico. Sostanzialmente ce ne sono due, una di breve termine e una di lungo termine. Per quanto riguarda la prima, è da fine dell'anno scorso che sono stato all'erta al consiglio di Kyle Bass: shortare lo yuan. Inutile dire che aveva ragione se guardiamo il seguente grafico.




L'economia cinese sta peggiorando ogni giorno che passa, e la PBoC è impegnata ad arginare l'eventualità di un dissesto dello Schema Rosso di Ponzi attraverso l'iniezione continua di nuova liquidità. Ora, secondo un recente report di SocGen, c'è una forte probabilità che il cambio USD-CNY possa arrivare a 7.10 durante quest'anno e possibilmente a 8.0 durante l'anno prossimo. Quindi l'azione in questo caso ha una lasso di tempo di un anno per essere performata, con una vendita posizionata all'eventuale raggiungimento della soglia USD-CNY 8.0.

Questo, ovviamente, se consideriamo il breve termine. Per quanto riguarda il lungo termine, non c'è dubbio che l'asset migliore su cui fare affidamento è l'oro. Soprattutto adesso che la FED è intrappolata nella zona grigia dei tassi ultra-bassi. Proprio così, perché dopo l'annuncio di zia Janet di voler rinunciare ad un ulteriore rialzo dei tassi dopo lo scorso dicembre, c'è stato uno spike di prezzo impressionante dei prezzi dell'oro. (Ricordate: stiamo parlando del prezzo dell'oro in dollari.)

Non solo, ma ha ottenuto maggiore spinta dalla decisione della BoJ di atterrare nella terra dei tassi negativi per cercare disperatamente di stimolare l'economia nipponica. Tutti questi segnali sono altamente rialzisti per coloro interessati a proteggere i propri investimenti ed evitare loro il dolore dei tassi negativi. Come abbiamo visto nelle sezioni precedenti, l'economia globale è tutt'altro che sana e ha enormi errori economici che deve correggere. In un modo o nell'altro saranno corretti, ma nel frattempo il dolore economico si diffonderà tra coloro che si faranno trovare impreparati. Ovvero, coloro che non riusciranno a posizionarsi adeguatamente per evitare i colpi mortali provenienti da mercati mondiali sopravvalutati.

L'oro è un asset che permette la protezione della propria ricchezza. E non è un caso se il prossimo target di prezzo viene dato a $1,500. I guai stanno eruttando, lentamente, in tutto il mondo. E in momenti d'incertezza il miglior amico degli investitori è l'oro. Se alcuni investitori non possono permettersi d'accedere subito al metallo fisico, possono inizialmente scommettere sugli ETF con base metalli preziosi (come il NYSE:GLD, il NYSE:FNV, o il NYSE:SLV). Facendo arbitraggio sui prezzi del commercial paper market, visto che quest'ultimo sale più in fretta rispetto al prezzo del metallo fisico (proporzionalmente quando cala, invece, lo fa più repentinamente dei prezzi del metallo fisico). Infatti, chiunque avesse puntato sul SLV qualche giorno prima del Brexit, avrebbe visto aumentare i suoi guadagni del 12%. Una volta intascati gli utili, si possono girare per comprare metallo fisico.

C'è un tempo per investire e c'è un tempo per proteggersi. Questo la maggior parte degli investitori non lo capisce. Ed è per questo motivo che la maggior parte degli investitori subirà enormi perdite. Posizionarsi in anticipo è la chiave, soprattutto perché le nazioni sono mercantiliste e in quanto tali faranno di tutto per far tornare l'inflazione dei prezzi affinché il prezzo delle loro esportazioni possa salire. In un modo o nell'altro la otterranno. Ma il problema con queste politiche è che vanno fuori controllo. È per questo che posizionarsi in anticipo è fondamentale.



CONCLUSIONE

L'Italia è una pentola a pressione. I crediti inesigibili all'interno del settore bancario commerciale vanno oltre i €300 miliardi, e rappresentano un 17% dei prestiti totali. Dato che questa cifra nel corso degli anni è cresciuta, non si può far altro che concludere come il problema si sia radicato piuttosto che essere risolto. Soprattutto in considerazione del fatto che l'economia italiana viene privata di risorse economiche cruciali a causa degli sprechi della macchina pubblica e della voracità dell'ingegneria finanziaria.

La solvibilità ultima dell'attuale status quo giace nel sistema pensionistico, il quale continua ad essere corroso dalle politiche stesse di coloro che sono al comando e che dovrebbero conservarlo. L'impossibilità di una sua conservazione nel tempo, però, è presto detta: le pensioni sono una schema di Ponzi e in quanto tali salteranno in aria. L'illusione su cui sono state fondate si sta sgretolando sotto i rendimenti negativi dei titoli di stato, asset alla base di qualsiasi fondo pensione. È per questo che lo stato italiano, ad esempio, sta lavorando per trasformare i contribuenti da creditori in debitori. Per quanto sia folle questa decisione, non servirà a scongiurare la bancarotta delle pensioni e dello stato sociale. Ne ritarderà solo l'avvento.

Per questi motivi, quindi, è bene prepararsi adeguatamente e cercare di schermare in tutti i modi possibili i propri risparmi. Le cose non sono cambiate molto sin dall'ultima crisi finanziaria. Questo perché gli errori economici alla base della passata crisi non sono stati affatto corretti, bensì sono stati acuiti dai massicci interventi delle banche centrali. La prossima recessione sarà peggiore.


Nel vicolo cieco della politica monetaria

Von Mises Italia - Ven, 22/07/2016 - 08:10

Il 26-27 luglio prossimo si riunisce per la quinta volta quest’anno il FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee), il braccio operativo della FED, per decidere se apportare o meno modifiche alla politica monetaria della banca centrale americana. Nelle precedenti quattro riunioni non sono state poste in essere variazioni sui Federal Funds Rate, l’interesse di base americano (l’interesse che le banche si addebitano per i prestiti di 1 giorno). In sostanza, siamo fermi al 16 dicembre 2015, giorno in cui dopo ben sette anni la FED ha disposto un rialzo dei Funds Rate, portandoli dallo 0-0,25 allo 0,25-0,5 per cento.

Sul finire dello scorso anno la FED aveva lasciato intendere che nel corso dell’anno seguente si sarebbero realizzati quattro incrementi graduali sull’interesse di base con l’obiettivo di portare il livello dei Funds Rate all’1,375 per centro entro lo scadere del 2016. Fino a pochi giorni prima del referendum sulla Brexit, la maggioranza dei policy-maker della banca centrale americana prospettavano invece un interesse di base allo 0,875 per cento entro lo scadere dello stesso termine, un livello implicante uno o due rialzi dei tassi di interesse nel corso dell’anno. Ora, dopo l’esito sul referendum britannico che ha sancito la vittoria, benché di misura, dei pro-leave (i sostenitori della fuoriuscita del Regno Unito dall’Unione Europea) ed il successivo ed immediato crollo dei mercati finanziari, la FED starebbe però valutando seriamente l’opzione di non attuare alcun rialzo dei Funds Rate nel corso di quest’anno.

L’esito del referendum sulla Brexit come causa non solo del successivo ed immediato crollo dei mercati finanziari ma anche e soprattutto dell’eventuale ripensamento della FED sulla decisione di proseguire nel 2016 sulla strada del rialzo dei tassi di interesse? Certamente questo è quello che più di qualcuno vuole farci credere ma la realtà è tutt’altra cosa.

Il risultato del referendum sulla Brexit non ha fatto altro che mostrarci la verità, vale a dire che “il Re è nudo” e quindi è stato un effetto o meglio un pretesto e non una causa. Gli attuali fondamentali reali dell’economia globale sono infatti assolutamente fragili e ciò significa che basta il verificarsi di un qualsiasi evento che non rientra tra le preferenze dei centri decisionali della politica internazionale per far scattare un crash borsistico. Se i fondamentali dell’economia reale sono a tal punto fragili anche il più minimo incidente di percorso è sufficiente per far emergere l’inganno per cui certe quotazioni della borsa valori non riflettono circostanze economiche generali favorevoli, bensì solo la fiducia che i responsabili della politica economica vengano costantemente incontro alle aspettative ed alle richieste di aiuto dei mercati finanziari iniettando in qualche maniera nuova moneta sotto forma di crediti bancari. Che questi crediti producano semplicemente un appesantimento della circolazione monetaria e non un’estensione ed intensificazione della stessa è che pertanto diano luogo a situazioni di crescita non consolidabile è domanda che chi dovere o non si pone o non riesce a comprenderne il senso o se ne comprende il senso fa finta di non capire.

Per quanto concerne la FED, questa continua a brancolare nel buio dei suoi modelli econometrici. Se per quest’anno la FED porrà in essere un qualche rialzo sui Funds Rate, tale decisione sarà figlia di una logica economica che si muove sostanzialmente alla cieca e non certo perché frutto di una vera presa di coscienza sul da farsi.

Niente di nuovo sul fronte occidentale. Le banche centrali così come rimasero spiazzate davanti agli avvenimenti accaduti nel corso del 2007-2008, rimangono spiazzate oggi nel vedere che nonostante tutte le loro politiche monetarie ultra-accomodanti – tassi di interesse incredibilmente bassi per diversi anni a cui alcune banche centrali hanno accostato anche una decisa espansione dei propri bilanci – si è ancora impantanati in una situazione economica nell’insieme stagnante, situazione caratterizzata da una crescita della produttività alquanto bassa e livelli di debito mondiale oltremodo elevati. In aggiunta, queste stesse politiche hanno finito col rendere ancora più consistente quel doppio filo che lega il settore bancario con quello della finanza pubblica, potenziando in questa maniera quel processo di retroazione nel quale i rischi finanziari e il rischio sovrano finiscono per amplificarsi reciprocamente.

La quantità desiderabile di circolazione monetaria da precisare e fissare all’interno di un economia non è un qualcosa che si può stabilire a priori, ma un qualcosa che deve essere progressivamente scoperto leggendo attraverso l’attività degli agenti economici. Compito perciò delle banche centrali sarebbe sempre quello di scoprire il reale tasso tendenziale di equilibrio fra investimento e risparmio che sussiste nell’ambito di un’economia e dunque mantenere nell’ambito della stessa e nel corso del tempo un tendenziale equilibrio fra domanda ed offerta di mezzi di pagamento e mai quello di determinare aprioristicamente il livello dei tassi di interesse per tentare di raggiungere un ammontare di investimento pianificato con logiche economiche top-down, e cioè pianificato centralmente.

Uno squilibrio fra domanda ed offerta di mezzi di pagamento che non sia a tempo opportuno corretto da un meccanismo di compensazione interbancaria finisce inevitabilmente per causare un processo di aggiustamento che si compie mediante la variazione dei prezzi: quando la domanda di mezzi di pagamento è superiore alla sua offerta la variazione dei prezzi sarà al ribasso; quando la domanda di mezzi di pagamento è inferiore alla sua offerta la variazione dei prezzi sarà al rialzo.

Ciò nonostante, questi adeguamenti dei prezzi generano effetti deleteri, giacché nel primo caso alcuni prezzi tendono a resistere alla pressione verso il basso ritardando così i tempi di aggiustamento, nel secondo invece i prezzi muovendosi verso l’alto lo faranno comunque in maniera non uniforme e portando con sé strutture della produzione alla lunga insostenibili.

Entrambe queste variazioni sono allora perniciose, ma sicuramente la seconda lo è molto di più della prima, in quanto mentre nel primo caso qualora si pongano numerose resistenze al ribasso dei prezzi, gli effetti deleteri appaiono da subito, effetti che si concretizzano in una certa disoccupazione involontaria di massa, nel secondo caso dapprima assistiamo ad una fase di espansione economia e poi in conclusione allo scoppio di una crisi economica in cui oltre ad certa disoccupazione involontaria di massa si è costretti ad assistere ad una dilapidazione di parte del capitale presente nella società.

Le banche centrali operando in regime di centralizzazione della riserva bancaria e di monopolio di emissione e di conseguenza essendo vincolate nella loro attività ai governi finiscono sistematicamente per allontanarsi dal tendenziale equilibrio nel tempo fra domanda ed offerta di mezzi di pagamento e si allontano molto più spesso nella direzione di un’offerta di mezzi di pagamento superiore alla sua domanda che nella direzione contraria. Si allontanano sistematicamente, perché agendo in regime di centralizzazione della riserva bancaria difficilmente riescono a cogliere i continui cambiamenti che intercorrono fra consumi e risparmi all’interno di un’economia nel suo complesso. Si allontanano maggiormente nella direzione di un’offerta di mezzi di pagamento superiore alla sua domanda perché i costi della liquidità, pur crescendo a mano a mano che si allarga il credito bancario, risultano essere molto meno significanti rispetto al potere di acquisto dei mezzi emessi e ciò avviene a causa del monopolio di emissione, ossia il corso legale per principio che viene imposto dai governi sull’unità monetaria emessa dalla banca centrale.

Il problema monetario consiste pertanto nel minimizzare la possibilità che possano accadere squilibri fra domanda ed offerta di mezzi di pagamento non corretti tempestivamente da compensazione interbancaria. Se la banca centrale risulta essere scarsamente adeguata ad affrontare questo problema, poiché la sua esistenza significa centralizzazione della riserva bancaria e monopolio di emissione, la soluzione migliore a questo riguardo non può essere che decentralizzazione della riserva bancaria e pluralità degli istituti di emissione con conseguente abolizione del corso legale imposto in linea di di principio dai governi e di ogni banca centrale.

Tornando alla FED ed al suo momento attuale, la banca centrale americana ha ora davanti a sé tre possibilità.

Lasciare le cose sostanzialmente così come stanno e quindi con un interesse di base vicino allo zero ed un economia orientativamente stagnante a tempo indeterminato. Un interesse di base così basso (ad oggi, la FED ha un interesse di base impostato, come osservato sopra, a 0,25-0,5 per cento) dovrebbe star a significare che a disposizione vi è tanto risparmio reale e volontario da investire, ma se l’economia tendenzialmente fa nel tempo la spola tra il vivacchiare e l’indebolirsi è perché in realtà di questo risparmio ce n’è meno o molto meno di quanto indicato dall’interesse di base stabilito dalla banca centrale americana e dunque il tasso di interesse reale è senz’altro situato ad un livello più alto di quello nominale disposto dalla banca centrale.

Riportare il livello dei tasso di interesse nominale verso quello reale e di conseguenza proseguire nella politica di rialzo dell’interesse di base, ben sapendo che durante questo processo tutto quel capitale che è stato male allocato per via di tassi nominali inferiori a quelli reali andrà o a scomparire o ad essere sottoposto ad un costoso rimodellamento. Ad accompagnare tale processo, ovviamente, ci saranno anche quote più o meno rilevanti di disoccupazione involontaria. Tuttavia, se prima l’ordinamento economico non viene riassestato, non è possibile dare inizio ad una crescita economica sana e sostenuta, ammesso che in seguito si scelga la strada della crescita sana e sostenuta a quella di una nuova artificiosa crescita economica che prima o poi sfocerà comunque in un’ulteriore recessione-depressione economica.

Accendere da subito un nuovo periodo di artificiosa crescita economica tramite un nuovo corso di sufficiente pressione inflazionista: si spinge il livello dell’interesse di base ancora più giù allontanando così il tasso di interesse nominale da quello reale di più di quanto non lo sia adesso ed in maniera bastante da accendere uno stimolo inflazionistico oppure, od assieme, si utilizzano nuove manovre di allegerimento quantitativo. Per produrre (momentanei) effetti stimolanti sull’attività economica e quindi mostrare di avere sufficiente pressione, l’inflazione, cioè l’espansione dei mezzi di pagamento oltre la loro domanda, dovrà procedere in modo tale che gli agenti economici non riescano ad individuare correttamente la tendenza dei prezzi futuri. In tal senso, c’è da aggiungere che lo spazio per il successo di una manovra del genere è oggi molto ristretto, dato che ogni intervento inflazionista riduce lo spazio di successo del seguente intervento inflazionista ed a mano a mano che ci si avvicina ad un tasso base dello zero nominale, o addirittura si decide di proseguire al di sotto dello zero nominale, il numero di questi interventi possibili di successo tende a ridursi fino a scomparire.

La differenza è sottile ma fondamentale. Un conto è incrementare la circolazione monetaria per adattarla all’intensificarsi ed all’estendersi della domanda di mezzi di pagamento, un conto è appesantire la circolazione monetaria (ben) oltre la domanda di mezzi di pagamento. Nel primo caso, a conclusione del processo, si riesce ad ottenere un allungamento ed un allargamento della struttura dei beni di capitale sostenibile, nel secondo caso invece no. Nel primo caso, la circolazione monetaria cresce in maniera adeguata al risparmio reale e volontario degli agenti economici, nel secondo caso invece no.

Ultimamente, abbiamo potuto sentire il governatore della banca centrale europea, Mario Draghi, affermare che le banche centrali devono trovare “una condivisione della diagnosi sui motivi all’origine dei problemi che troviamo tutti sulla nostra strada”. Il problema qui però non è quello di trovare una diagnosi condivisa, bensì di trovare una diagnosi corretta, vale a dire che rifletta accuratamente i livelli di rischio, ed accettarla per quello che è. Diversamente, si finisce per agire come quel medico che pur di difendere la propria diagnosi giunge ad uccidere il proprio paziente.

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9 Rules of Etiquette

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 22/07/2016 - 06:01

“Feel the freedom!” That’s the mission statement from the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR), a not-for-profit group based in Kissimmee, Florida. For more than 85 years, the AANR has helped hundreds of thousands of nudists find like minds and safe spaces for wholesome, clothes-free fun.

Those curious about nudist gatherings might wonder how social interactions differ when one or both parties are unencumbered by clothing. To find out, we asked Carolyn Hawkins, the public relations coordinator for the AANR and a frequent presence at Kissimmee’s Cypress Cove Nudist Resort. Here are a few things to keep in mind should you ever find yourself on “nakation.”

1. YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO KEEP YOUR CLOTHES ON.

4. FOOTWEAR IS WELCOME.

Because Florida is populated by fire ants, Hawkins says she frequently runs into nudists who sport shoes or sandals on an otherwise naked body: “There are also little sticks and things like that on the beach.” Hats and jewelry are also common.

5. THEY EAT IN THE NUDE.

While this sounds like it might be hazardous when ordering hot soups, Hawkins says most resorts welcome nude diners (provided you bring that aforementioned towel). Some patrons might find a dining area chilly and wear something light to avoid feeling cold. And while most servers are nudists themselves, they remain dressed while on duty.

Read the Whole Article

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Lyin’Ted, the Bushes, Et Hoc Genus Omne

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 22/07/2016 - 06:01

The self-righteousness and smugness of Ted Cruz in refusing to endorse Donald Trump, then walking off stage in Cleveland, smirking amidst the boos, takes the mind back in time.

At the Cow Palace in San Francisco in July of 1964, Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, having been defeated by Barry Goldwater, took the podium to introduce a platform plank denouncing “extremism.”

Implication: Goldwater’s campaign is saturated with extremists.

Purpose: Advertise Rocky’s superior morality.

Smug and self-righteous, Rocky brayed at the curses and insults, “It’s a free country, ladies, and gentlemen.”

They were like football coaches who still swore by the single-wing offense, after George Halas’ Chicago Bears, the “Monsters of the Midway,” used the T-formation to score 11 touchdowns and beat the Washington Redskins in the 1940 NFL championship game, 73-0.

What paralyzed the Republicans of a generation ago? What blinded them from seeing and blocked them from acting on the new realities?

Ideology, political correctness, a reflexive recoil against new thinking, and an innate inability to adapt.

The ideology was a belief in free trade that borders on the cultic, though free trade had been rejected by America’s greatest leaders: Washington, Madison, Hamilton, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.

The political correctness stemmed from a fear of being called racist and xenophobic so paralyzing, so overpowering, that some Republicans would ship the entire Third World over here, rather than have it thought they would ever consider the race, ethnicity or religion of those repopulating America.

The inability to adapt was seen when our Cold War adversary extended a hand in friendship, and the War Party slapped it away. Rather than shed Cold War alliances and rebuild our country, we looked around for new commitments, new allies, new wars to fight to “end tyranny in our world.”

These wars had less to do with threats to vital interests, than with providing now-obsolete Cold Warriors with arguments to maintain their claims on national resources and attention, not to mention their lifestyles and jobs.

With Trump’s triumph, the day of reckoning has arrived.

The new GOP is not going to be the party of open borders, free trade globalism or reflexive interventionism.

The weeping and gnashing of teeth are justified.

For these self-righteous folks are all getting eviction notices. They are being dispossessed of their home.

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Scholars for Trump

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 22/07/2016 - 06:01

The following statement of support for Donald Trump is intended to counteract the dishonest presentation of this promising presidential candidate as someone whose followers are illiterate or, in the words of Ted Cruz, “badly informed.” Those who have attached their signatures to this statement are accredited scholars, mostly with Ph.D. s, who are endorsing Donald Trump as a credible candidate for the presidency and as the only barrier now standing between us and (Heaven forfend!) the election of Hillary Clinton. It is our hope that the appearance of this statement on a respected website will generate signatures from other scholars and that our statement of support can then be placed in the national press. We are fully aware that signing this statement will not bring the signatory the same professional rewards as speaking at a conference on why Trump is a “fascist” or on why he reminds one of the late German Fuhrer. Expressing support for the Republican presidential candidate undoubtedly requires more courage, particularly for someone in the academic profession. But we trust that there are lots of gutsy scholars who read this website and who will be eager to append their signatures to our statement.

Yours truly,

Paul Gottfried and Walter E. Block

We the undersigned scholars hereby express our support for the presidential bid of Donald J. Trump. Contrary to a fiction invented and disseminated by both the mainstream media and the Republican Party establishment, Trump supporters are by no means limited to the badly educated and ill-informed. We feature numerous academics and other professionals, who share Trump’s vision of “making American great again.” Our group is vitally concerned about reversing the direction in which this country has been moving for decades under Republican and Democratic administrations alike. That is, we want to move away from harming our economically strained middle and working classes. We reject their pattern of stifling freedom of thought and speech that is being imposed by government agencies as well as by the media and our universities in the name of an increasingly restrictive political correctness. Moreover, we respect Trump as the law and order presidential candidate, who is dedicated to making our borders and our streets safe. Instead of blaming such scapegoats of the Left as white Christian bigotry and gun owners for our increasing lawlessness and terrorist attacks, Trump places responsibility for the breakdown of our safety where it belongs, on Muslim extremists and violent criminals.

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Finally, we see Donald Trump as a leader who will give a new direction to American foreign policy. Neither an isolationist nor an ideological crusader, he will base his dealings with other nations firmly on American interests.  He is searching for a path in international relations that advances those interests without involving us in playing policemen to the entire world or confusing statecraft with imposing a global democratic agenda. In this respect, Trump emphatically distinguishes himself from recent Republican presidential candidates and from the utterly ineffective Democratic administration of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Both forces of opposition to Trump have been badly misguided. Whereas establishment Republicans have tried to make the rest of the world conform to their preferred notions of democracy, their Democratic opponents have not dealt competently with either international relations or domestic social disorder.

We believe Donald Trump will offer an alternative to the failed approach to foreign relations of our last two presidents.

Walter E. Block , Loyola University, New Orleans, Ph.D., Columbia University

Paul Gottfried, Elizabethtown College, Raffensperger Professor of Humanities Emeritus, Ph.D., Yale University

Darren Beatty, Ph.D., Duke University

Boyd Cathy, North Carolina State Archives, Ph.D., University of Navarra

Marshall DeRosa, Florida Atlantic University, Ph.D., University of Houston

Jack Kerwick, Rowan College (Burlington County, New Jersey), Ph.D., Temple university

Donald W. Miller, professor of surgery emeritus, Seattle Swedish Medical Center

Ralph Raico, SUNY Buffalo, Ph.D., University of Chicago

Clyde Wilson, University of South Carolina, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

If you are willing to have your name added to this list, please drop a note to Paul Gottfried at gottfrpe@etown.edu and give us your scholarly affiliation, along the lines of the other signatories.

The post Scholars for Trump appeared first on LewRockwell.

Law & Order Is Good

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 22/07/2016 - 06:01

And yes, it is a problem.

Whether you are a “law and order” type or otherwise. In fact, especially if you are a “law and order” type. Because, simply put, cops are not subject to the same law and order as the rest of us – and that is a problem.

For them as much as us.

For them, because it has created an arrogance – a recklessness – that encourages the extra-legal excesses that we’re seeing on video almost every day (these videos probably capturing only a small slice of what actually goes on every day).

For us, because we are increasingly threatened by these excesses.

It is worrisome and very dangerous – for everyone.

They fear and loathe us and we return the sentiment, with predictable results.

They escalate, making retaliation as inevitable as fall coming after summer.

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This is not to condone much less encourage but rather to explain. And – hopefully – fix.

People – not just “blacks” – are angry. With cause. It is not good.

How to dial it back?

One simple measure would be to apply the law equally to everyone. Especially to law enforcement. It is madness that this is currently not the case.

An example of which is this video, which shows the final moments of a chase. The man surrenders. He gets on his knees, then on the ground. He is totally submitting and obeying at this point; there is no Threat to Officer Safety. But two officers beat the man regardless while other officers stand and watch and do not arrest the officers perpetrating a physical assault in broad daylight. This was – as the ancient saying had it – a Kodak Moment.

Actually, a video moment.

Were it not for the video, the two cops administering the beatdown would probably never have been charged (as they subsequently were, no doubt with great reluctance by a DA who had no choice because of the video, which was shown on live TV). But that is not the take-home point. The take-home point is that if you or I had rained punches on some other person in plain view of a cop, we’d have been immediately arrested and handcuffed and taken to jail.

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The post Law & Order Is Good appeared first on LewRockwell.

Letter From Germany

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 22/07/2016 - 06:01

A friend in Frankfurt emailed me on July 19th:

It is sheer madness what is happening here… The noose is tightening and yet—it is still only the beginning… What took place in some dull regional express close to Würzburg, a town in Franconia in the middle of Germany, was—in some respect—like a watershed event—just like the mass sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year’s Eve.

The mantra from above is still “Islam belongs to Germany” or “We will make it (in regards to the Refugee Crisis)” but there are fewer and fewer people buying it—which does NOT mean that more people are getting it—but I will come to this later.

We now know that in Cologne alone (!) there were about 1,200 women (in one night) sexually harassed, abused and, in some cases, raped.

At the moment there is no weekend when there aren’t news about some refugees sexually harassing women or girls at a festival (it is a festival season).

Also, you can find news about refugees harassing women and children (and sometimes raping them) in public swimming pools on a weekly or even daily basis.

Sales of pepper sprays and guns are booming everywhere. If there were only these things, the rage might be controllable, but Würzburg was of a different quality. For the first time, a refugee didn’t kill another refugee (when this happened before, Neo-Nazis were blamed, then—just as was the case with most of the “burning refugee centers”—the police later found that a refugee was responsible).

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When children were robbed by refugees, Germans were told to send their children to school by a different route.

Germans were told to stop swimming nude in a lake—because a refugee center was erected nearby.

Last year, Germans were told the refugees would contribute so mightily and extraordinarily to the German economy—so what have been the news recently?

Well—the big German corporations, the 30 members of the DAX (the stock market index), that so proudly announced last year they would hire lots of refugees—they have indeed hired refugees. Fifty-four, to be exact (50 of them went to the Deutsche Post, as mailmen. Ah—if Charles Bukowski only knew…).

Only recently, a branch of the German Arbeitsagentur (the office for the unemployed) in Dortmund had another success story:

This branch was created last year and staffed with 36 employees (all paid with tax money) with the sole purpose of bringing 2,200 refugees in Dortmund, those who were able to work, into the workforce.

And the news was: After nine months of intensive work the Arbeitsagentur has succeeded to get … ten (!) refugees working! Hurrah! Well, they had the decency to add that it’s only a start—but an encouraging one.

The list is endless…. but to come back to the incident in Würzburg:

A refugee, supposedly from Afghanistan and 17-years-old, decided to start his own jihad and tried to take out a few infidels. Oddly enough, he started with a family from Hong Kong on the train, whom he attacked with the brave shout “Allah Akbar” and a knife and an axe. After severely wounding two of them, he jumped off the train.

(I wonder if this will boost tourism from Hong Kong).

Then he met some old ladies who were walking their little dogs and with the shout “I will kill you, sluts!” he also wounded one (perhaps fatally) before being shot by the police.

Now—as I said, THIS is a new quality.

I can almost feel the anger and rage in Germany getting stronger.

The rage in some refugees is also rising, which is logical.

There are no jobs for them.

There are no houses for them.

There are no women for them.

So—jihad is an option, if you are bored and all these kuffar give you nothing but €352 a month or less, and you have to sleep with six others in a tightly packed room—and there is just nothing to do!

And you wander around and there are all those women in shorts, etc.—but they are not for you.

No wonder, some get frustrated.

Slowly, silently, the German police admits there might be a teensy-weensy bit of a problem here—mind you, we still don’t know the whereabouts of between 150 to 500 thousand refugees who just disappeared…

Nobody knows how many jihadists are here. Nobody. Could be a few dozen. Or hundreds. Or thousands.

This young man on the Würzburg train came last July. He was granted asylum this March. Last two months, he lived with a family. He had a job (or was in training, rather) at a bakery. There were no signs of radicalization. Soooo…

The media is busy telling us: Well… he radicalized himself only days before the attack. I wonder if they realize this message is not quite reassuring…

So the gap is rising ever more. Everybody has some story to tell:

My brother lives in Munich. Last year, his wife was very pro-refugee. In a neighboring suburb a few weeks ago, a woman heard the doorbell at 10PM. Assuming it was a friend (this is Bavarian bourgeoisie, so they’ve always felt safe, at least until recently…), she opened the door—and was greeted (and then raped) by two refugees. That made my brother’s wife rethink (they have two small children).

My sister in Münster has armed herself with pepper spray.

Colleagues don’t let their children go alone to school anymore because there are refugees nearby.

A guy in East Germany tells me people are secretly arming themselves.

Hate grows, as does mistrust and anxiety. Some weeks ago in Hanover, a young Muslim girl (15-years-old) rammed a knife into the throat of a female policeman (who was just standing there—the attack came out of nowhere).

Then people hear about public swimming pools, about festivals—they hear about the same things in Sweden—then what happened in France—Nice, or the policeman and his wife who were stabbed to death in Magnanville (while their 3-year-old-son was watching).

The latest incident was a woman in France who got stabbed by a guy from Morocco—they had quarreled because the Moroccan guy thought the woman’s daughters were not properly dressed—so he stabbed her and her three daughters, the youngest only eight-years-old. And so on, and so on…

Now—of course, there are also Germans doing nasty things—murdering, raping etc. But these things have a new quality to them.

For many years the statistics of the German police had shown that migrants are waaaay overrepresented in crime—rapes, robberies, burglaries, violence etc. The rates for migrants were everywhere double or triple those for the general population (and the funny thing is, the gap would have been even wider if Germans with a migrant background—Turks who have German passports, etc.—were included. Of course, this was not done (it would be racist, you know).

And the blame was and is still on the Germans—that they didn’t provide enough opportunities for integration towards the poor Muslim migrants (funnily enough, we don’t have these problems with Vietnamese or Hindu migrants… but again, these are racist thoughts…).

So the migrants were and are told that it is the Germans’ fault if they don’t get a job. Some of them believe it. Also, some or even many seem to believe that Germans are a bunch of racist swine.

I once met a Greek woman who complained loudly to me that Germans were so racist. I asked her what her experiences were—and she said that a friend of her had been approached by a German on a train and that he (hacked her to death? No, not quite) had said to her: there are too many of you in Germany.

Wasn’t that racism?

I asked if her children were ever harassed by Turkish children in school (Turks and Greeks don’t get along too well)—yes, of course—Turkish children had harassed and even beaten up her boys.

Now Linh—the really funny thing was, it didn’t occur to her that this was more racist (that her boys were beaten up by Turks just because they were Greeks) than the incident on the train.

Racism was something only Germans showed.

I heard similar things from others.

So all in all—a perfect example of mind manipulation.

AND this also shows now so brilliantly—because—as I said, the mood gets worse (just on the eve of the next financial crisis—perfect timing)—even in the German leftist newspaper Die Zeit (absolutely pro-refugee) you now find commentaries from people who say that they have just had enough of this lousy leftist whining…

Because again, we are told from German politicians about the incident in Würzburg that

  1. This had nothing to do with Islam or the refugee crisis
  2. That the police shouldn’t have killed the poor axe-wielding boy (German police officers are rather reluctant to use their guns, but if someone runs towards them with an axe, I think it is understandable that they shoot)
  3. That the young man radicalized himself just recently—and therefore that
  4. It was no sign of a strengthening of ISIS in Germany etc.

My father remembers the 70s (I don’t—too young) when 40 members of the Rote Armee Fraktion RAF (the left terror group of Baader-Meinhof and the likes) were able to hold German society in fear and sometimes in a state close to hysteria. Now—with… 100? 1000? ISIS members—you can imagine how the mood will change when ISIS does its first crucifixion here…).

All the more, since some gruesome details from the Paris attacks are now leaking out—that the terrorists at the Paris discotheque in November 2015 not only killed the young folks there… but they tore off limbs, cut off genitals, stuffed them in the mouths of the men, cut out eyes etc… Ah—a holy war excuses everything—even becoming a monster, it seems.

But to come to the point: As I said, Germans are getting more and more fed up with the official litany—BUT: They don’t see the real picture. They still believe that the ones who created this situation will be the ones who will deliver the solution! That is the sad part of it.

All these things will be used as an excuse to install the perfect police state (and it will be perfect). We need to protect you from terrorists—so give us your freedom, open your bank account, let us abolish money and install a digital currency, accept new taxes (and ghettos in your cities). Work harder and for less money, consume and be a good citizen—and most importantly: Have fear! Always have fear!

Now—I don’t want to leave with the impression that all refugees are just no-goods—criminals, murderers etc. They are not. The vast majority are normal people who just want to lead a normal life—and not one that is forced upon them while their countries are demolished, raped and plundered by the West (that is, the US of A).

BUT—they are just tools in a game. Pawns. Just as we are.

And this leads to no good if the circumstances here resemble Iraq’s. Or just Kenya. And that is the direction we are headed. People with totally different cultural and ideological roots from ours will cling with force to what they know. If they are encouraged to do so (and they are). Assimilation is a crime against humanity, as a Turkish politician once said (who recently had a tough time because some of his generals wanted to get rid of him). So they stay with their own folks. No integration. No assimilation. But ghettos—their mindset becomes even more rigid—some of them will start to despise the majority, whom they don’t understand and don’t want to understand—and sometimes they will commit violence against the hated or despised kuffar (who have no decency—no respect etc.).

I mean—it is funny—in all German travel guides—when it comes to Muslim countries, you find things like: If you are a woman, don’t wear a skirt! Under no circumstances be topless on a beach! Don’t look men in the eye—it is an invitation to sex! Etc. Are the ones who wrote this only hardcore racists? And now hundreds of thousands of people from these countries come here—what do we expect? They mistake our hospitality for weakness. And they (some of them at least) will turn to extremism.

A famous German journalist (one of the old school—Peter Scholl-Latour) once said prophetically: If you let Calcutta come here, you change this to Calcutta.

And he was right. A minority of the refugees consists of terrorists, murderers, rapists etc. They could only come here because the borders were kept open. Just on the eve of the Greater Depression (with all the distrust between the various groups and subgroups), they will make sure that German citizens will fight among themselves in countless battles and skirmishes.

Germans against migrants, Turks against Kurds, Sunni against Shia, Yazidis against Salafists etc. The rich will have their gated communities, the rest will have to deal with a much tougher life in ghettos and suburbs. And life will still go on… I was once in Nigeria. Though you can make money and do business there, life is not too pleasant for the majority of Nigerians…

That is where we are headed. German society will be so fragmented and there will be such turmoil and violence, the majority will accept every solution from above…

Still—if in the end, it all plays out as planned—I don’t know. There still is something called destiny. And this may be—in the end—the stronger factor. Even against those in the shadows.

In the meantime, we have to carry on with our normal life. And try to stay human. That is a tough thing to do, these days—but it is possible.

And will remain possible.

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