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Boost Your Muscle Power

Lew Rockwell Institute - Sab, 11/02/2017 - 07:01

Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine have found that beet juice, because of its nitrate contents, could be beneficial for individuals who have experienced heart failure. The findings are based on previous research which revealed that beet juice can help boost muscle power in athletes.

Lead author Linda R. Peterson said, “It’s a small study, but we see robust changes in muscle power about two hours after patients drink the beet juice. A lot of the activities of daily living are power-based – getting out of a chair, lifting groceries, climbing stairs. And they have a major impact on quality of life. We want to help make people more powerful because power is such an important predictor of how well people do, whether they have heart failure, cancer or other conditions. In general, physically more powerful people live longer.”

Previous research on cyclist’s performance after the consumption of beet juice prompted the recent research to find out if beet juice could benefit heart patients as well. Nine patients who had experienced heart failure were used for the small study. Two hours after receiving concentrated beet juice as a form of treatment, researchers noted that muscle power increased by 13 percent.

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Patients received the beet juice treatment along with a placebo, acting as their own control. Along with the benefits of muscle power, participants did not experience any adverse side effects like an increase in heart rate or a drop in blood pressure.

Peterson added, “The heart can’t pump enough in these patients, but that’s just where the problems start. Heart failure becomes a whole-body problem because of the metabolic changes that happen, increasing the risk of conditions such as insulin resistance and diabetes and generally leading to weaker muscles overall.”

Nitrates can be found in beet juice, spinach, and other leafy green vegetables. When nitrates enter the body they are turned into nitric oxide which relaxes blood vessels and can benefit the metabolism.

Researchers are intrigued to further their research in senior populations to observe benefits which they may obtain by enjoying more nitrate-rich foods.

The corresponding author Andrew R. Coggan concluded, “One problem in aging is the muscles get weaker, slower and less powerful. Beyond a certain age, people lose about one percent per year of their muscle function. If we can boost muscle power like we did in this study, that could provide a significant benefit to older individuals.”


Reprinted with permission from Bel Marra Health.

The post Boost Your Muscle Power appeared first on LewRockwell.

America Is Ruled by a Death Cult

Lew Rockwell Institute - Sab, 11/02/2017 - 07:01

The terrible truth is that a Cult of Death rules America and is hell-bent on world domination.

—Douglas Valentine

Douglas Valentine’s life’s work has been to expose and explain the CIA’s role in many key aspects of American society, and how they’re behind most of the atrocities, subversion and war since WWII, all over the world. I doubt that any other writer has given the details, or written with the force and courage that he has. He’s told us how America really functions, and what is behind much of its success in business, especially overseas. He’s described how the CIA infiltrates and is protected by the media and all the branches of the government, and how they can create chaos and control political messages, here and abroad. I’d like to talk a bit about how what I’ve learned from reading Douglas Valentine’s books, can be seen day to day on the news and other media outlets. I’ll focus on the most current events, that I think are very indicative of planned control and subversion. Valentine covers many other events in his new book, The CIA As Organized Crime, so I’ll add my thoughts.

I’m writing this review of Douglas Valentine’s crucial new book, The CIA As Organized Crime, as the Democratic Party conducts a mainstream and social media based “revolution” against Trump. Most of the protestors are summoned from Party front group databases and many are paid to protest by big donors like George Soros. The theme of this revolution is: Stop(Impeach/Kill) the Racist Fascist Dictator! Other themes from other times and other presidents are: Make the World Safe for Democracy and 9/11 – Never Forget!

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This theme was created by operatives and principles from the Obama gang and their overlords from the ruling financial elite. These people were responsible for war crimes in Libya, Ukraine and Syria among many other atrocities resulting in the deaths of over four hundred thousand people, as many or more maimed, millions of refugees, entire cities destroyed along with many antiquities. These war crimes were committed by actual neo-Nazis in Ukraine, and by fascist terrorist groups in Syria, funded and armed by the Obama gang and the Republican neocons, through its allies like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey. But the protestors carry signs that say “Stop Fascism!” only now that Trump is elected.

I’m not arguing that it’s unfair or wrong to protest Trump, but want to make the deeper point that some people recognize this as the result of social engineering and media-based mind control. The obvious question is: how is it possible that all of the Obama gang’s war crimes were never called fascistic and never massively protested? How is it possible that millions were kept in a deep trance and suddenly activated into enraged bloodthirsty revolutionaries? It’s Guy Debord’s prophecy[quoted on p.305 of Valentine’s book] come true: “Yet the highest ambition of the integrated spectacle is still to turn secret agents into revolutionaries and revolutionaries into secret agents.” This anti-Trump scenario goes a big step further by turning average citizens who think they’re being progressive and moral into revolutionaries and secret agents! They’re not only protesting against Trump but for the serial war criminal Clinton, who was the obvious Establishment choice. That’s what makes this protest so sinister.

The media was completely for her and so were many arch Establishment Republicans like the Bush gang.

Here’s Valentine[p.346]: “The CIA established a strategic intelligence network of magazines and publishing houses, as well as student and cultural organizations, including political and psychological warfare operations directed against American citizens. In other nations, the program was aimed at what Cord Meyer[CIA agent] called the Compatible Left, which in America translates into liberals and pseudo-intellectual status seekers who are easily influenced.

“All of this is ongoing, despite being exposed in the late 1960s. Various technological advances, including the internet, have spread the network around the world and many people don’t even realize they’re a part of it, that they’re promoting the CIA line.”

Valentine’s new book explains how societies, going back to early organized humanity, have been controlled to believe certain myths, primarily warrior hero myths. Today, these myths are very pervasive and diffused, they’re called “beliefs” and “opinions” and are often disguised in moralistic language; even the protests are controlled and co-opted and diluted to create other myths. Myths, like the Democratic Party is anti-war or the protector of minorities, women and workers and only the other party is racist, sexist and militaristic. This myth, carefully engineered and delivered to the masses through the media, and meant to keep the US bitterly divided, is what was used to trigger the targeted group to react when called upon, in tacit, and often explicit support of the psychopath Clinton.

The themes and messages are delivered to the gullible public by the media through “news” agencies; books, including revisionist history and pandering biographies; social media viral thinking; celebrities of all factions; and nominally fictional movies, TV shows and books, such as Fox’s 24, Ben Affleck’s Argo, Kathyrn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, Tom Clancy books etc.

The people that planned the war crimes in Ukraine, Libya and Syria are actual fascist dictators, but the revolutionaries aren’t aware of this and refuse to believe it even when confronted with undeniable proof. The people that control the media are the same people that planned the war crimes. I know, I know, it’s one of those things you just can’t believe right?

It’s just too much! Don’t bury your head in the sand; it’s not going away. Douglas Valentine’s new book will explain how that’s just the way those people planning those things want to keep it. You obey the laws and they’ll break them. You believe what they say and they’ll get rich while you live in deception.

The socially engineered revolutionaries in the streets range from middle-aged white suburban housewives and their teenage kids, to young black militants and activists to celebrities from both mainstream and counter/alternative culture: Robert De Niro and Madonna to Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth, who called Obama a “conscientious politician.” Moore is a disturbing case: a brilliant rock musician and lyricist, who is capable of writing a song about Chelsea Manning, yet calls Obama, her jailer and tormentor, “conscientious” and a “legal scholar.” He refuses to play in Israel, supporting the BDS movement, but endorsed Clinton, a devoted enemy of Palestine, after Sanders capitulated to her. What is this? Moral relativism? Can it even be called moral? This type of thinking is rampant with liberals and conservatives alike and with people everywhere, but we’re seeing the spectacle in a new form with this level of hysteria, and with the massive liberal Group Think that has even infected artists who are supposed to be punk and counter culture figures. They’re supposed to know what bullshit is!

These people: enraged, genuinely scared and hysterical, are demanding Trump be toppled, “by any means necessary,”(also from Moore, playing Malcom X). There are countless Facebook assassins calling for Trump’s blood. Madonna exhorts people to blow up the White House. Rosie O’Donnell begged Obama to enact martial law! Mainstream rags and CIA-linked journalists glibly write about assassination and coups. After all this, they shamelessly call

Trump a fascist! This happened in Trump’s first week, before he even has a chance to commit his own war crimes or to show how loyal he is to the old power structure and how he thinks the CIA is “really really great.” Maybe they’re just teasing him a bit eh? A shot across the bow.

These “revolutionaries” are transmitting a message of violence, planted in them by a methodical and purposeful system of disinformation and smears, in the hopes that it will activate some deranged person who thinks they’re on a mission from God, or better yet, Madonna or Lady Gaga – Remember Jodie Foster. That’s one possibility but the people who plan these things like to keep all their options open at all times. It’s a world of possibilities for them. Their Chosen One, Clinton, was buried alive by the dispossessed workers in the Rust Belt, and now they must seriously look at their options. Doug Valentine’s new book gives you the history and methods of how they look at their options and the results of those options. It’s not for the feint of heart. After such knowledge, what forgiveness?

These revolutionaries were nowhere to be seen while Obama droned thousands to smithereens and allowed for the destruction of three nations, and the continuing destruction of Afghanistan and Iraq. I doubt the millions of socially engineered revolutionaries will ever see themselves for what they are, despite being told by many people in real time responses to their social media rage (before they get blocked by the liberals defending free speech). They’ve found a purpose in life, or, more likely, “somebody” found a purpose for them. Douglas Valentine’s new book will explain how and why those “somebodies” do that.

[From p.311] “Information management –including official secrecy and false accusations – is the key to pacifying the people through implicit terror, while making the internal security apparatus appear legal, moral and popular. This is being done to American citizens through the most ambitious psywar campaign ever waged on planet Earth.”

Some books raise the curtain on the whole shit show, and this is one of those books. I haven’t read everything about US history and politics, but I’ve read enough to know the score. I did read Valentine’s previous books: The Phoenix Program, Strength of the Pack, and Strength of the Wolf, and I reviewed them for Amazon and Goodreads. Before reading them, I thought I knew the score, but I didn’t really. Now I do. I knew we were screwed but just not how badly and I didn’t know how exactly it happened that we are in the mess we are in.

Valentine names all the perps and all the plans. He weaves the comments of the people he interviews into his own prose structure that creates a fascinating, page-turning narrative that never lags. It often reminds me of Raymond Chandler and William Burroughs, when they talk about the sordid and sad ways of the world. He’s never boring, even when he’s detailing bureaucratic structures, probably because the details are so damn sinister. His sentences are deadly efficient, hard-hitting, dense with information and always end with a stab to the heart of the beast he so clearly and righteously despises. He is the real revolutionary.

His books are deeply detailed with interviews from the people that set up the bureaucracies like the Phoenix Program and the various inter-agency drug front groups, designed to parasitically subsume nations through corruption paired with false ideological political motives. False, because as it turned out, the endgame wasn’t freedom and democracy as the USA-CIA promised, in countries like Vietnam and El Salvador and Iraq, to name a few; the endgame was the looting of resources, land grabs for corporate and strategic gain and in the larger sense, world domination, aka neoliberal globalism/corporatism– Valentine’s subtitle:

How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World.

The word on the street is that the CIA does not operate in America’s interest; that is, doing things that would protect the majority of Americans and insure that the country’s written standards and laws are upheld. Instead, it subverts nations for an oligarchy of super-rich financial and corporate interests that are essentially trans-national or global, whose allegiance is not national; their allegiance is to a captive government at the service of, and essentially indistinguishable from, financial institutions. The oligarchy is comprised of the super-rich of many nations whose money is handled by one dominant Western system and network. The goal is to enrich this group at any cost and since the cost to maintain the system is greater

than the profits, making it essentially a Ponzi scheme, constant looting through warfare, debt

service, taxes, stock market/real estate bubbles and bailouts, and organized crime must be maintained to generate cash. The majority of humanity is the intended victim of all of these massive crimes and the key is that they pay the costs, while the oligarchs take the profits. Anyone that works to further the interests of the oligarchy are given decent-paying jobs with lots of benefits and perks, pensions, and sometimes, included in schemes that bring in a lot of money. They’re also made to feel superior and part of some glorious purpose.

Valentine’s new book is the introduction to and condensation and summation of his other work along with several interviews that always add and elaborate on his subject of CIA control mechanisms and corruption of governments, starting with the US; it enhances the reading of those other great works and offers many insights into the time up to 2016, after the period covered in the other books: the early 20th century to the mid 1990s. The subjects of his previous books are political subversion of nations through terror and war for profit, and government collusion with, and control of, organized crime. This book is equally as important as the others, and continues the previous subjects, but includes the other main element of government control: the media’s role in propaganda, secrecy, social engineering and mind control. Valentine has masterfully condensed his previous books, while integrating his thoughts on the media component of control throughout the chapters. The result is not only a history of the CIA but a precise description of how the US government and society works.

The Phoenix Program exposed the new method that the US would use to take over governments and the collusion between the military and political(intelligence) units of government. Think tank intellectuals are the mouthpieces for the financial oligarchs: this is

the vaunted public-private partnership. It’s being extended into private mercenary armies and intelligence gathering corporations, mostly in the form of cyber-security groups. All of these

are branches of the CIA in spirit and often in fact. They create the complexity and confusion

that provides cover; this system of multiple companies and organizations is also used by big financial institutions. It becomes so extensive and diffused that people say it can’t ALL be CIA; but it is; at least anything the CIA thinks matters.

Valentine’s overarching subject is the military/ political/ intelligence, and corporate(finance) networks and how they interconnect. Phoenix is the blueprint for total bureaucratic conquest of a foreign country using virtually untraceable cash that is returned with interest from profits reaped, or raped, from the conquest. The cash comes from a complex network of taxes, crime, and corporate donors. To the people involved in subverting countries like Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, war is nothing more than a good investment. They know they aren’t patriots and don’t give a sleazy fuck about democracy, freedom, women’s rights, the troops, or any of the other things they incessantly babble about. That stuff is just their conartist’s cover story for the rubes.

In Strength of the Wolf and Strength of the Pack, Valentine describes the connections between the police and intelligence apparatus and organized crime, for the purpose of controlling the sources of all organized crime profits–mainly drugs and weapons, but also prostitution and human trafficking. This is the chaos element necessary to prevent the formation of viable political opposition. The enormous profits from crime fund much of the dark budgets of the CIA and other intel groups, and are used to corrupt individuals, buy weapons and train and equip proxy death squads and terrorist armies. Crime also weakens, impoverishes and destabilizes cultures and societies, turning ethnic groups against each other and themselves. We see this clearly in the US with gang warfare over drug turf.

I don’t think any other book on this subject could ever surpass the intricacy of Valentine’s books, built around the first-hand accounts from most of the main agents involved. They are among other things, epic accomplishments in the art of the interview, conducted on a massive scale.  Valentine doesn’t hold anything back or stop short, like so many books do. The point of the exhaustive interviews, as well as his prose, is to lay bare the ugly reality that the US government took over the drug trade as a key element in its strategy for world control, especially post WWII. This is really where they beat the Soviets, who, I’m afraid, with all their devious chess master skills, failed to see that killer strategy. As a result of that killer strategy, heroin has gone from a deeply underground big city thing, then to much wider inner city use, and now a worldwide epidemic that’s in every little town from Maine to Moldova; it’s hopelessly fed and complicated(by design?) by the presence of highly addictive pharmaceutical opiods that are always getting stronger.

The missing component in Valentine’s work, until now, in his study of the US government’s control strategy, was the media – it’s the main subject of this new book. While in some chapters he condenses the subjects of his other books, he’s doing it in the context of the media’s role– that he writes about in greater detail in other chapters– exposing the work of corrupt or compromised journalists. The book is a synthesis of his previous subjects and the role the media plays in protecting the secrecy and spreading the lies that enable subversion and conquest of nations.

Valentine quotes from the Marine Corps Gazette, from 1989[p.354]: “The new type of warfare will be widely dispersed and largely undefined. The distinction between war and peace will be blurred to the vanishing point. There will be no definable battlefields or fronts. The distinction between civilian and military will disappear. Success will depend heavily on effectiveness and joint operations, as the lines between responsibility and missions become blurred…This new type of warfare will depend on psychological operations manifested in the form of media information intervention…One must be adept at manipulating the media to alter domestic and world opinion. On this new psychological battlefield, television news may become a more powerful operational weapon than armored divisions.”

And it was for a while, but now the mainstream news has been largely ridiculed and exposed, especially by many Trump voters and by Trump himself, calling them “fake news,” turning their own smear phrase against real left and libertarian news sites(mostly internet-based) against them. The whole fake news narrative was certainly a CIA ploy, though a total failure from the start, except of course for the liberal “revolutionaries” and Democrats in Congress who still repeat that Putin was behind the “fake news” about Clinton’s record-setting corruption. One positive thing is that many people are looking out for this sort of nonsense, and the concept of false flag attacks, both violent and disinformation-based, has entered into the public consciousness to a certain extent. Valentine asserts that the CIA will always increase the pressure and resort to a complete authoritarian takeover, complete with concentration camps, if it feels the interests of the oligarchy are threatened.

Valentine describes his own blackballing by the mainstream media starting with Morley Safer doing a poison pen hit job on The Phoenix Program in the New York Times. It killed the book in its infancy and thwarted his career as an historian and journalist for many years. But Safer is already forgotten while Valentine is and will always be regarded as one of the truly great and courageous historians and journalists.

Valentine exposes “heroes” like Daniel Ellsberg and his CIA friends and connections; he explains that they’re only allowed to become heroes, as a show for the masses, that reenforces the myth that America is a country where no one is above the law. But the age of the heroes is over, as we see with Snowden and Manning; it didn’t last too long did it? He describes how famous journalists like Glenn Greenwald and Sy Hersh stop short of exposing the whole story and are in a sense being used to convey diluted messages. He talks at length about how war criminals like former Senator Bob Kerrey, Congressman Rob Simmons(R-CT) and others are repackaged as heroes and put into public office. He details evidence against them that is enough for any fair judicial system to put them on trial.

Valentine’s great gift to the nation and the world is to show that most of what you see in the news is all highly orchestrated and interconnected to direct US military wars or indirect subversion like Syria, Ukraine and the many countries before them. What was acceptable one day, and even created by the US, like Saddam Hussein, is not acceptable after a certain preordained expiration date. One day acceptable, the next day Hitler. Same story over and over again and the suckers buy it every time. Valentine gives philosophical and psychological context of the effects of these often subtle, but noticeable journalistic compromises and purposeful failures, on the willingness of people to understand and seek intellectual, emotional, and consequentially, political freedom.

My intention was to convey how important Valentine’s work as a whole is, and how this new book is another main component of his enormously complex theme. I say another because I want more; but we can be satisfied with this book because it closes the circle: government(military-intel-private finance)/organized crime/ and now media(mainstream and compromised leftist journalism)). Others can elaborate with more books but he’s giving them the blueprint to work from.

Which brings me back to the Democratic Party/Facebook revolutionaries. If they want to know why they’re out there, and why they think Trump is a fascist but Obama isn’t, and why they think they’re really doing something for the good of the country, they should read this book, and all of Doug Valentine’s books; then, maybe, just maybe, they’ll realize that they’re out there on the streets because some people sitting in skyscrapers, and government buildings and secure compounds want them there, and told them to go there, and are dictating the terms every step of the way through the media.

They’ve been conditioned to scream “RACIST!” on demand, and to be silent when institutional racism is being carried on by a black president, or by Bill Clinton, who the media absurdly calls, “the first black president.” They’re silent as the tomb when the “good guys” are bombing black, brown, yellow and white people. Maybe those people will never read Douglas Valentine’s new book, but hopefully you will.

The post America Is Ruled by a Death Cult appeared first on LewRockwell.

How To Qualify as a Narcissist

Lew Rockwell Institute - Sab, 11/02/2017 - 07:01

You hear the term narcissist tossed out frequently, but is that date who’s more interested in hearing himself talk really a narcissist or just a jerk? What about your boss who always demands you do things his way? The term stems from the Greek myth of Narcissus, a beautiful and proud young man who was cursed by the god Nemesis to fall in love with his own reflection and died pining for his own beauty. But in real life, psychologists have developed a list of actual criteria for the definition of narcissism.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), as it’s called in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), “is one of the least understood of personality disorders,” psychologist Anjhula Mya Singh Bais tells mental_floss. A former model and now Ph.D, Bais has for the past 10 years worked with clients who are celebrities, high achievers, and their partners dealing with various facets of NPD.

Bais says the NPD diagnosis evolved through collaboration between psychoanalysts and psychologists over the years “who couldn’t quite put their finger on a subset of their patients.” NPD also tends to co-exist with depression or anxiety; having one of those conditions is often the only reason a narcissist tries therapy.

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To qualify as a narcissist, an individual must have “a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts,” paraphrased from the fifth version of the DSM [PDF]:

— A grandiose sense of self-importance, exaggerating achievements and talents— Fantasizes about unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love— Believes that he or she is “special” and should associate only with high-status people or institutions— Requires excessive admiration— Has a sense of entitlement, expects favorable treatment or automatic compliance— Is interpersonally exploitative, taking advantage of others— Lacks empathy, unwilling to recognize or identify others’ feelings and needs


Narcissists become fixated on fantasies of infinite success, control, brilliance, beauty, or idyllic love, Bais says. They believe they are “extraordinary and exceptional and can only be understood by, or should connect with, other extraordinary or important people or institutions.”


What makes narcissists incredibly difficult to be in relationship with is “they lack empathy in totality,” Bais says. They do not care about others’ points of view or feelings, unless “it is to manipulate a situation or person to their advantage,” she adds. Psychologist Brad Reedy, the clinical director of Evoke Therapy Programs, puts it more bluntly. “If you don’t fulfill their needs, they have no use for you,” say Reedy, who has treated clients with narcissism in therapy for 20 years. In this regard, the difference between a narcissist and a sociopath—who also views people as objects and lacks empathy—may simply be a matter of degree.


A romantic relationship with a narcissist may start with passion and excitement. Your narcissist may be the most dynamic person in the room or “extraordinarily charming,” Bais says. But that charm eventually gives way to manipulation, entitlement, lack of forgiveness, a desperate need for ego strokes, and even rage.


According to Reedy, the narcissist’s personality is so pervasive, rigid, and consistent that “they won’t be able to demonstrate anything different than the narcissist presentation.” A person who is just a little arrogant still has moments where they can admit they’re wrong, apologize for their mistakes, and empathize. But unlike people with “strong confidence” or arrogance, narcissists “place value only on [themselves] and no one else,” Bais says.

Read the Whole Article

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Communism a Facade for Plundering the Goyim

Deep Politics Monitor - Ven, 10/02/2017 - 21:06
via HenryMakow, February 9, 2017 (Lenin riding in Rolls Royce stolen from Tsar)  Yesterday's article, NWO, Communism & the Kahal  argues that  embezzling the goyim was institutionalized in the secret Jewish governing body, the Kahal, and the Bolshevik Revolution simply extended this policy. Below find three excerpts. The first confirms Germany  (i.e. German Jewish bankers) financed

Il sogno di una notte di mezza età: la pensione

Freedonia - Ven, 10/02/2017 - 11:00

di Francesco Simoncelli

L'ambiente economico in cui ci troviamo ad operare le nostre scelte non è qualcosa che è possibile scindere dalle manipolazioni dei pianificatori monetari centrali. Purtroppo per noi, sebbene le scelte volontarie dei vari attori di mercato riescano a contrastare efficacemente la presunta onniscienza di suddetti ingegneri, la mano pesante dei loro interventi riesce pur sempre ad inficiare la completa validità delle scelte dettate dall'ambiente di mercato. In questo modo il futuro proiettato dalla lungimiranza degli attori di mercato viene distorto inevitabilmente dalla saccenza di un manipolo di individui che ritiene d'avere la formula magica per un Eden economico. Non è così e la persistenza della crisi economica, nonostante una pseudo-ripresa sventolata dai media mainstream, ne è la prova. Non esiste conoscenza nelle decisioni prese dai policymaker, bensì esiste l'asservimento a benefici di breve termine. Non esiste un piano per raggiungere la prosperità economica consono con le esigenze dei vari attori di mercato, esiste la convinzione di un manipolo di persone che l'economia nel suo complesso dovrebbe eseguire delle linee presumibilmente salutari dal punto di vista economico.

In sintesi, non esiste un focus ai bisogni dei vari attori di mercato poiché materialmente impossibile da realizzare; esiste invece la distruzione dei singoli piani individuali che avrebbero apportato miglioramenti significativi al futuro del panorama economico. Col passare del tempo questa distruzione erode progressivamente il bacino dei risparmi reali, andando a compromettere seriamente quelle attività che, in assenza d'intromissione centrale, avrebbero prosperato sfornando beni e servizi domandati genuinamente dalla popolazione e migliorando la divisione del lavoro. Invece le risorse economiche scarse vengono ridistribuite ad attività che le sprecano, incanalando la società lungo una strada costituita da un lento ed inevitabile declino, qualora tale meccanismo dovesse persistere.

In questo contesto va ad inserirsi uno dei temi che su questo blog è stato spesso riproposto. Perché? Perché rappresenta l'ultima colonna grazie alla quale il parassitismo dello stato viene ancora accettato. Sto parlando del sistema pensionistico pubblico. Esso si presume che metta da parte i soldi che i contribuenti pagano in tasse e li investa in titoli sicuri. L'obiettivo è quello di ottenere più soldi affinché si possano pagare quei contribuenti che vanno in pensione. L'immaginario comune, infatti, presuppone l'esistenza di una qualche cassetta di sicurezza in una qualche banca famosa che conserva i loro soldi fino alla pensione. Non solo, ma a ciò suddetto immaginario aggiunge anche la fantasia che tali soldi siano investiti in asset "sicuri" che alla fine renderanno un capitale maggiore. Alla fine non funzionano così anche tutti gli altri fondi pensione? Quelli privati probabilmente, ma quelli pubblici no.

Lo stato è l'unica istituzione talmente stupida nella società da prendere in prestito a breve termine e spendere a lungo termine. Alla fine questa consuetudine lo manderà in bancarotta, ma non perirà senza provare a sopravvivere un giorno in più. Questo significherà operare raid nei fondi pensione per decurtare le prestazioni che aveva promesso nel momento in cui riscuoteva i contributi. Il CBO degli Stati Uniti, ad esempio, prevede (in modo ottimistico) che entro il 2033 lo zio Sam sarà in grado di garantire solo i tre quarti delle prestazioni pensionistiche. Attenzione, perché qui stiamo parlando di cifre on-budget, visto che se si considerano anche quelle off-budget abbiamo a che fare con una bomba finanziaria ben oltre i $200,000 miliardi. Queste sono passività non finanziate nel presente, ovvero, passività di bilancio esistenti ora; ciò a sua volta vuol dire che i pianificatori centrali devono tirare fuori questa somma adesso e sperare che gli investimenti in cui verranno gettati renderanno, come minimo, il 5%. E questo solo per rendere sostenibile l'attuale quantità di baby-boomer che sta andando in pensione.

Secondo il Wall Street Journal i baby-boomer hanno risparmiato nei loro conti di risparmio circa $10,000 miliardi, ma se pensiamo che esistono circa 75 milioni di persone che ricadono in questa categoria, allora abbiamo a che fare con $133,000 a persona. Una cifra che difficilmente potrà sopperire a circa 20 anni di pensionamento. Senza contare che il panorama economico per i loro figli è diventato a dir poco duro. Inoltre la prima ondata di baby-boomer è andata in pensione nel biennio 2013-2014, e guardate cosa è accaduto nel contempo:

Esatto: i contributi in entrata non basteranno a sorreggere la quantità di prestazioni in uscita.

In passato i fondi pensione potevano "contare" su investimenti sicuri come le obbligazioni del Tesoro o le obbligazioni societarie con rating elevato. I rendimenti di questi titoli "sicuri" avrebbero aiutato i fondi pensione a far crescere i loro conti quel tanto che bastava per pagare i pensionati. Ma tutto questo è cambiato da quando la FED ha abbassato i tassi d'interesse e li ha tenuti inchiodati allo zero bound per quelli che sono ormai 94 mesi.


La FED, così come le altre principali banche centrali, ha sostenuto alacremente il settore finanziario dell'economia, presentando la tesi secondo cui un presunto "effetto ricchezza" a cascata si sarebbe materializzato nell'economia grazie alla trasmissione di presunta ricchezza reale dal mercato azionario/obbligazionario al resto dell'ambiente economico. Questa teoria, purtroppo, è tratta direttamente dal libro magico del keynesismo, secondo il quale non esistono mai bilanci che si possono saturare e la domanda aggregata è solamente una funzione monetaria. Indovinate un po' invece? La baldoria del credito facile terminata nel 2008, almeno per Main Street, ha fatto raggiungere alla maggior parte degli americani il livello di Picco del Debito. In questa condizione sono tornati a spendere alla vecchia maniera: in base al reddito corrente. Nonostante i pungolamenti da parte degli economisti keynesiani, la banca centrale ha fatto ben poco per migliorare l'occupazione reale o il consumo per la stragrande maggioranza degli americani.

Quindi il denaro di nuova creazione è rimasto principalmente intrappolato nel sistema finanziario, andando a gonfiare i prezzi degli asset. Le uniche realtà che hanno potuto godere di questa manna sono state quelle i cui asset finanziari sono stati comprati in massa. In questo modo le grandi imprese, invece di sviluppare settori cruciali per la produzione, hanno riciclato il denaro nei casinò finanziari del mondo, cedendo in ostaggio i loro bilanci alla speculazione selvaggia di robo-trader e amanti della leva finanziaria. Quindi la pseudo-ripresa di cui siamo stati testimoni nell'ultimo periodo è stata sostanzialmente una funzione dell'espansione del credito e dell'ingegneria finanziaria, uccidendo l'innovazione e spianando la strada ad un mercato drogato dal credito e disposto ad alzare l'asticella dell'azzardo morale ad un nuovo livello.

La prossima recessione segnerà quindi la fine dell'efficacia delle banche centrali di calciare il barattolo lungo la strada. Main Street, l'elemento motore dell'economia, non sarà in grado di diventare ancora una volta la discarica in cui scaricare pattume finanziario attraverso il credito facile per mandare avanti la baracca.

C'è una grande differenza tra una ripresa economica supportata dalla forza economica sottostante al contrario di un'inflazione dei prezzi degli asset derivante da iniezioni di liquidità. La prima è sostenibile, mentre quest'ultima è "sostenibile" solo finché ci sono bilanci puliti da saturare. Gli interventi delle banche centrali sono finiti, soprattutto perché c'è un limite al numero di bond che possono essere scambiati per contanti prima che il mercato del credito si inceppi del tutto. C'è anche un limite alla capacità del mondo di funzionare nel contesto di un ambiente permeato da tassi d'interesse negativi. L'economia non è un macchinario che può essere guidato dalla presunta lungimiranza di un manipolo di individui che presumibilmente possono muovere le leve monetarie in una banca centrale. L'economia è un complesso stratificato di decisioni individuali che mirano a migliorare il benessere e la vita degli attori di mercato. Ognuno di loro ha un piano specifico per giungere alla migliore conclusione che considera soddisfacente per la sua persona.

Infatti in un mercato privo di ostacoli la redditività delle imprese, ad esempio, deriva dalla loro capacità di soddisfare al meglio i desideri degli attori di mercato. Sebbene il valore sia nell'occhio del consumatore, l'imprenditore di successo è colui che riesce ad intuire ed anticipare questo valore in base ad un calcolo economico effettuato in base a fondamentali di mercato genuini. La progressione sociale, tecnologica ed economica derivante da questo assetto è decisamente elevata, perché se pensate ad esempio a quanto sia utile per voi un'automobile o il vostro portatile e moltiplicate questa utilità per tutte le persone nel mondo, il risultato eclisserà totalmente i profitti monetari registrati dalla varie imprese. Discorso diverso, invece, se di mezzo ci sono privilegi, protezioni, barriere all'entrata, sussidi statali, ecc. In questo panorama economico i benefici sono ad esclusivo appannaggio delle imprese coinvolte, perché non essendo in grado di soddisfare le necessità degli individui, si abbeverano alla fonte del monopolio statale per impedire alla concorrenza di spodestarle dal loro trono.

In un mondo come quello attuale, in cui il capitalismo clientelare è imperante, la spia del profitto non rappresenta più un segnale genuino che determina quale impresa debba "sopravvivere" e quale "perire", bensì rappresenta una corsa sfrenata a sfruttare gli aiuti statali ed è in questo modo che i pochi prosperano a scapito dei molti. E questo è particolarmente vero quando pensiamo al recente rally nell'azionario guidato dall'elezione di Trump. La sua inclinazione al protezionismo ed al clientelismo può benissimo far salire in borsa determinate società legate al settore industriale che potrebbe essere "stimolato" da una politica fiscale allentata, ma questo significa un arricchimento esclusivo ed artificiale di quelle realtà inondate dal denaro pagato in tasse dagli americani. I ponti e le autostrade in America non stanno crollando. È così che il mercato diventa un gioco a somma zero, in cui alcuni traggono profitto mentre altri vengono lasciati in condizioni peggiori.

Il rally nell'azionario ed il sentimento positivo lascerà profonde ferite all'interno del tessuto economico americano, soprattutto perché soffocherà lentamente quel tipo d'imprenditoria dedito alla soddisfazione dei desideri degli attori di mercato per prosperare, unico modo attraverso il quale passa una ripresa economica genuina e sostenibile. Man mano che i profitti diventano sempre più arbitrari e legati a favoritismi, anche quelle aziende che continuano a creare valore avranno più difficoltà a giustificare i loro profitti. Questa perdita di fiducia nella base etica del mercato eroderà il supporto per mercati veramente competitivi, confondendo le persone e facendole finire per supportare abomini sociali partoriti dalla pianificazione centrale.

Gli utili e l'aumento dei prezzi delle azioni in mercati veramente liberi, riflettono una creazione di valore reale connesso alla soddisfazione dei desideri degli attori di mercato. Gli utili e l'aumento dei prezzi delle azioni in un sistema di nazionalismo economico e clientelismo, riflettono la soddisfazione dei desideri di chi ha il potere politico. Le imprese e gli attori politici possono guadagnare più potere ed influenza, ma la maggior parte degli individui, molti dei quali hanno creduto alle loro parole suadenti in periodo elettorale, saranno i grandi perdenti.


Sebbene mi sia focalizzato principalmente sugli Stati Uniti per portare avanti il mio punto, diamo anche un breve sguardo all'Italia e a come può rappresentare la goccia che farà traboccare il vaso europeo. Il seguente grafico è emblematico:

In esso è rappresentato il motivo per cui alla fine la BCE perderà il controllo della situazione europea. I front-runner, cavalcando inizialmente l'euforia fuoriuscita dalla stampante monetaria di Draghi, stanno tornando ad essere quello che erano una volta: bond vigilantes, araldi di morte della sconsideratezza fiscale baldanzosamente sfoggiata dagli stati. La crisi bancaria in Italia sta giocando un ruolo chiave in questa "resurrezione". Il problema principale è l'alto tasso di prestiti non performanti (NPL) del settore bancario commerciale italiano. Circa il 17% di tutti i prestiti delle banche italiane è in sofferenze secondo l'Autorità Bancaria Europea. La banca messa in condizioni peggiori è Monte dei Paschi di Siena, con €45 miliardi di NPL ed altri incagli.

Il fallimento dell'aumento di capitale del dicembre scorso la dice lunga sullo stato reale della banca senese, ed è per questo che lo stato italiano s'è fatto avanti per salvarla, sborsando €6.6 miliardi degli €8.8 miliardi necessari per tenerla a galla. Il 29 luglio dello scorso anno è risultata la peggiore nell'Unione Europea dopo gli stress test condotti dalla BCE. Da allora MPS è finita sotto la lente d'ingrandimento per la sua incapacità di gestire i suoi prestiti tossici. In virtù di ciò la BCE intimava l'urgenza di una "ricapitalizzazione", rivedendo le cifre iniziali di altri tre miliardi di euro dopo il fallimento della cordata di privati ed il fondo Atlante nel voler salvare MPS.

Il fatto che l'Europa sia tornata alla politica fallimentare dei salvataggi bancari, dopo che a Brisbane nel 2014 s'era deciso d'implementare il bail-in, rischia di far perdere molti soldi agli investitori e, soprattutto, rischia di erodere il pilastro su cui si fonda l'attuale sistema finanziario: la fiducia. Infatti quando MPS infine fallirà, perché questo è il destino delle doline finanziarie, altre banche italiane verranno colpite dal cosiddetto "effetto contagio" ed i €20 miliardi stanziati dal parlamento italiano per assistere le banche in difficoltà non saranno affatto sufficienti.

Non solo, ma questo "effetto contagio" non sarà contenuto alla sola Italia, perché, ad esempio, le banche degli Stati Uniti hanno un'esposizione superiore ai $2,000 miliardi nei confronti delle banche europee. Ciononostante stiamo già vedendo sotto i nostri occhi la prossima recessione prendere forma. Voglio dire, il fallimento della cordata di privati per la ricapitalizzazione, i soldi pubblici per salvare le banche, il ritorno dei bond vigilantes, lo stato pietoso in cui versano altre banche europee (es. Deutsche Bank, Banco Popolare in Spagna, ecc.)

Nel frattempo ecco cosa ha avuto il coraggio di dire Padoan: “[...] Ciò che ci distingue da molti interlocutori è la ricetta per perseguire l’obiettivo: mentre altri pensano che l’austerità sia il modo migliore se non addirittura l’unico per ridurre il debito, noi siamo convinti che l’enfasi debba essere messa sulla crescita e l’occupazione."

Quindi, ancora oggi, il fantasma di James Tobin ancora aleggia tra di noi. Non c'è da sorprendersi se tra i posti di comando ci siano economisti di stampo neo-keynesiano che ancora credono alla favoletta della vasca da bagno, rappresentata dalla nazione nel suo complesso, la quale deve essere riempita di domanda aggregata. In questo modo si raggiungerà il nirvana della piena occupazione e della presunta crescita economica. Se non sbaglio in periodo di presunta crescita economica il vate di questi cialtroni ricordava come il deficit dovesse essere ridotto piuttosto che aumentato. Invece ogni santissimo giorno si chiede flessibilità perché il mercato del lavoro è fiacco e bisogna raggiungere il PIL potenziale.

Secondo questi imbecilli economici ridurre la mole dell'interventismo dello stato nel settore produttivo della società equivale ad una bestemmia accademica. Soprattutto perché la loro misura di crescita preferita, il PIL, contiene la fantomatica G, ovvero, la spesa pubblica. In questo modo si può spacciare la storiella che c'è fiacchezza nei dati in entrata e quindi stimolare la domanda aggregata attraverso la spesa pubblica è un percorso auspicabile. Inutile dire che siamo di fronte ad una tautologia economica. La spesa pubblica sottrae risorse economiche scarse dal settore privato e le alloca in un modo avulso da un calcolo economico genuino, perché lo stato è incapace di rispettare le leggi economiche fondamentali. Non è in grado di operare un calcolo economico in accordo con le forze di mercato perché non deve comportarsi come una impresa per incamerare le proprie entrate, ad esempio.

Questo significa, a sua volta, che all'aumentare della distruzione delle risorse economiche scarse, finirà sotto pressione il bacino della ricchezza reale, impedendo ulteriormente l'emersione di una crescita economica genuina. Quindi, no, caro Padoan, una "vera" austerità (cosa mai vista finora), una diminuzione della spesa pubblica e delle tasse, è l'unico modo per permettere ai mercati di pulirsi e far emergere quelle realtà più in linea con le forze di mercato. Ma questo pare proprio non accadrà, soprattutto perché il mese scorso l'Italia ha ottenuto l'approvazione da parte della Commissione Europea affinché il governo italiano possa stanziare fino a €150 miliardi per le sue banche in difficoltà. Questo in un momento in cui il prezzo delle azioni Monte dei Paschi è crollato oltre l'80%.

Senza contare che se non dovessero bastare i fondi stanziati dal governo italiano, allora dovrebbe entrare in gioco l'Unione Europea stessa. Infatti se il parlamento tedesco dovesse accettare questa disposizione per salvaguardare lo status quo, questo significherebbe un maggiore peso sui contribuenti tedeschi che fino ad ora hanno rappresentato la garanzia collaterale dietro il progetto europeo.

Il piano di salvataggio statale per le banche italiane potrebbe essere un forte indicatore: il 2017 potrebbe essere l'inizio di un trend molto preoccupante per la zona Euro. Aggiungeteci la dolina finanziaria per eccellenza all'interno dell'UE, ovvero la Grecia, che continua a sprofondare nella melma dei prestiti-ponte, ed avrete ben chiara la lenta agonia che attende il futuro del progetto europeo. Monte dei Paschi non rappresenta altro che il domino che innescherà una nuova serie di salvataggi bancari e l'inizio della perdita di fiducia nell'infallibilità delle banche centrali.


Dopo aver analizzato il panorama economico di questo inizio anno, possiamo tracciare un bilancio di quello che si trovano di fronte coloro che sperano di ottenere una pensione ed i manager stessi che gestiscono i fondi pensione. Questi ultimi, infatti, si trovano davanti la triste biforcazione di continuare ad investire in bond statali "sicuri" (ottenendo rendimenti incapaci di garantire le prestazioni future), oppure investire in asset più rischiosi (ottenendo rendimenti nel breve termine congrui coi piani di pagamento, ma esponendo la loro attività ad un rischio incompatibile con la loro missione). La FED, in questo modo, ha innalzato il livello di ferocia della sua guerra contro i risparmiatori, incoraggiando l'ambiente economico a ritenere un'opportunità quella d'investire in un mercato azionario drogato di credito a buon mercato.

Come abbiamo visto finora, l'euforia nel ristretto mondo finanziario è stata un parto delle banche centrali e del loro presunto "effetto ricchezza a cascata". Non c'è niente di genuino negli attuali fondamentali di mercato che possa giustificare il rally nel mercato azionario statunitense. Ed ora, per la terza volta in questo secolo, si sta cercando di vendere la balla agli investitori retail di un mercato azionario crescente all'infinito e di un ambiente economico senza una recessione per 207 mesi di fila. Non è un caso se i pesci grossi stiano vendendo azioni, scaricando il pattume azionario gonfiato dalla stampante monetaria ai cosiddetti "sciocchi più sciocchi". Di conseguenza questo è un pericolo per gli investitori retail, ma soprattutto per i fondi pensione.

È notizia recente che il rally azionario alimentato dall'elezione di Trump, abbia consentito ai fondi pensione di ridurre il loro fiume d'inchiostro rosso di $116 miliardi. Ora, sebbene questo fiume sia ancora nel range dei $414 miliardi e questi sono soldi necessari affinché si possano ottemperare a tutti gli obblighi pensionistici, il fatto cruciale è che suddetta riduzione è figlia di stime: maggiori aspettative circa rendimenti superiori dagli investimenti futuri. In sostanza questa gente si aspetta che il rialzo dei tassi d'interesse permetterà loro di tornare ad investire in bond statali con rendimenti decenti e che le azioni nei loro portfoli non incapperanno in perdite.

Gente, solo gli sciocchi si stanno bevendo la favoletta del Dow a 20,000 proiettato verso i 30,000. L'era della contabilità fantasiosa è destinata a concludersi in modo rovinoso, poiché ormai gli errori economici accumulati sono un quantitativo esorbitante. A nessuno è venuto in mente che se le stime di suddetta riduzione sono troppo ottimistiche, i fondi pensione dovranno mettere più soldi per proteggere le loro posizioni? Con quali prestiti in un mondo in cui sta vedendo un aumento dei costi dei finanziamenti? Davvero lo stato può permettersi il fallimento di uno di questi fondi e rischiare una rivolta per le strade? Con quali soldi può salvarli visto che la FED sta tirando il freno a mano?

L'unico modo che i pianificatori monetari centrali hanno per tamponare temporaneamente questa situazione è raddoppiare la posta in gioco, inglobando una quantità maggiore di azioni. Secondo il WSJ questo piano è proprio quello a cui stanno pensando le banche centrali.

Ma se questa strada verrà perseguita ulteriormente i tassi negativi faranno a pezzi ciò che rimane di Main Street e del bacino della ricchezza reale, mentre il mercato azionario alla fine sperimenterà una crisi della fiducia che renderà insolventi le banche centrali. E sebbene non possano diventare insolventi teoricamente, possono diventarlo praticamente.

Fortunatamente, in questo caos pianificato, per gli investitori retail e per coloro che aspirano ad avere un piccolo gruzzolo per la vecchiaia, ci sono ancora opzioni. Nel momento storico in cui ci troviamo la maggior parte degli investitori non ha capito che esiste un tempo per investire ed un tempo per proteggersi. Quest'ultima opzione viene presa in considerazione al margine quando si stilano i piani di portfolio, ed è comunemente affiancata da posizioni significativamente "propositive" nei confronti degli investimenti. Il caos monetario e politico di cui siamo testimoni ci ricorda come quello attuale sia un periodo storico in cui conta la protezione, poiché essa stessa rappresenta, ora, un investimento per il futuro. (Ovviamente non dovete prendere i seguenti consigli come un invito "sicuro" all'azione, bensì come integrazione alle informazioni che già avete in possesso, in modo da poter avere una panoramica a 360° riguardo a come muovervi in questa palude finanziaria.)

Di conseguenza il breve periodo offre grandi occasioni per posizionarsi short nei confronti del mercato azionario, soprattutto all'appropinquarsi del 15 marzo. In secondo luogo il proprio portfolio dovrebbe contenere come minimo un 10% d'allocazione in oro fisico. La proverbiale scritta sul muro è data dall'enorme esposizione che Russia e Cina hanno sfoggiato nei confronti dell'oro. Negli ultimi dieci anni la prima ha aumentato le sue riserve d'oro del 280% (da 386.5 tonnellate nel 2006 a 1,498.7 tonnellate nel 2016), mentre la seconda del 203% (da 600 tonnellate a 1,823.3 durante lo stesso periodo). Aumenti simili si sono visti anche in Turchia, Iran, Kazakistan, ecc.

In India l'appetito per l'oro fisico è aumentato in vista della folle tentativo del presidente Modi di scoraggiare l'uso del denaro contante. Con una produzione mineraria piatta, vendite in Occidente ormai esigue ed acquisti spropositati in Oriente, è solo una questione di tempo prima che la catena delle delivery salti una consegna generando una corsa all'oro. Il tutto nonostante le costanti manipolazioni di prezzo. Cosa guardare per individuare l'inizio di questa corsa? Innanzitutto il dumping dei titoli di stato dello Zio Sam da parte dei creditori esteri, i quali stanno lentamente sbarazzandosi del pattume obbligazionario americano. Lentamente perché sanno in cosa potrebbero incappare se smobilitassero tali investimenti tutti in una volta: una legge del 1977 permetterebbe al presidente statunitense di bloccare i conti di coloro che posseggono suddetti titoli.

L'altro indicatore è mostrato nei seguenti due grafici, dove vengono mostrati i possedimenti da parte di Cina e Arabia Saudita di titoli di stato statunitensi.

E, come abbiamo visto prima, gli acquisti d'oro sono aumentati. Ovviamente non è opportuno mettere le proprie fiches tutte in un'unica scommessa, poiché il mondo della tecnologia ci sta venendo incontro per apportare una buona dose di decentramento ad un ambiente economico pesantemente distorto dalle contorsioni dei pianificatori centrali. In particolare, un futuro promettente l'avrà Bitcoin, grazie alla sua caratteristica che permetterà agli individui di custodire la propria ricchezza in uno strumento che non solo ne manterrà il valore, ma lo aumenterà vertiginosamente man mano che l'esperimento monetario delle banche centrali fallirà inevitabilmente. Privacy ed anonimato permetteranno di avere per le mani una succulenta scommessa da cui trarre profitto nel futuro prossimo. Ciò servirà anche ad evadere i controlli di capitali che gli stati metteranno in piedi per controllare quanto più possibile la ricchezza degli individui e sfruttarla per sopravvivere ancora un giorno in più. Cina e India, e più in generale la lotta al contante, sono un monito da non sottovalutare; rappresentano le misure oppressive insite nel futuro economico dominato da una pianificazione top-down.

Al giorno d'oggi la capitalizzazione totale dei vari mercati finanziari totalizza i $300,000 miliardi, come possiamo vedere dal seguente grafico (il quale, però, non tiene conto dei mercati immobiliari, altrimenti staremmo parlando di circa $500,000 miliardi).

Quindi immaginate per un momento quando decine di migliaia di miliardi inizieranno a cercare un'alternativa agli investimenti canonici qui sopra raffigurati. Oro e argento hanno rappresentato porti sicuri, ma non è detto che gli investitori non cerchino alternative e vogliano differenziare ulteriormente i loro portfoli. E Bitcoin, in un mondo in cui gli stati si stanno affannando per restare in vita, può rappresentare oltre che un valido modo per emanciparsi dalle follie dirigiste, anche il punto di partenza verso quel decentramento verso cui il libero mercato ci sta proiettando.

Con una attuale capitalizzazione di mercato di $14 miliardi, immaginate cosa potrebbe rappresentare per il prezzo dei Bitcoin un flusso anche solo dell'1% dai suddetti $300,000 miliardi. Anzi, volendo essere "pessimisti", immaginate cosa potrebbe rappresentare per il prezzo di Bitcoin un flusso dello 0.1%. Un'infusione di $300 miliardi farebbe schizzare in alto la capitalizzazione di mercato di 20 volte, e dato che i bitcoin in circolazione sono limitati nell'offerta (circa 18 milioni, tenendo anche conto di quelli persi e di quelli ancora da minare), il prezzo si moltiplicherebbe per la stessa cifra. E anche se considerassimo un flusso di denaro dello 0.05%, staremmo parlando di un balzo in su di dieci volte.

Prestate quindi attenzione ai segnali, cari lettori e lettrici, e preparatevi adeguatamente alla prossima tempesta finanziaria, i cui venti stanno già soffiando nelle sale dei casinò finanziari. Fate in modo che il futuro dei vostri risparmi rimanga nelle vostre mani e non in quelle di enti terzi che lo dilapideranno.

Le conseguenze del denaro a pioggia

Von Mises Italia - Ven, 10/02/2017 - 08:14

Il Federal Open Market Committee, FOMC, della Federal Reserve, ha votato il 14 dicembre per alzare i tassi di interesse dello 0,25%, come ci aspettavamo. Il voto è stato unanime tra cui le colombe come la Governatrice della Fed Lael Brainard.

Mentre il rialzo dei tassi è stato completamente previsto dai mercati, ciò che non ci si aspettava era che la Fed avesse una posizione aggressiva sui futuri aumenti dei tassi. Prima della riunione di dicembre del F.O.M.C., la previsione era per due rialzi dei tassi prima della fine del 2017. Il 14 dicembre, la Fed ha comunicato l’intenzione di aumentare i tassi di interesse tre volte nel 2017.

La Fed basa questo suo punto di vista, più aggressivo, sul fatto che le condizioni del mercato del lavoro continuano a migliorare, lentamente, ma in costante progresso realizzando in modo soddisfacente gli obiettivi di inflazione della Fed. Fino a quando le condizioni di lavoro lo consentiranno e l’inflazione non sarà troppo alta, la Fed alzerà i tassi prima dell’1% l’anno, più o meno, fino ad ottenere un “equilibrato” 3,25% quale fondo di riserva.

La Fed è impegnata a limitarsi in questo ciclo, non perché l’economia stia correndo “forte” (non è così), perché sono angosciati nel non poter alzare abbastanza i tassi e per poi tagliarli nuovamente in una futura recessione. La Fed è dietro l’angolo in questo processo. La Fed avrebbe dovuto alzare i tassi a circa il 3,25% nel corso del quinquennio 2009 -2013, ma ha perso questo ciclo intero impegnandosi in esperimenti infruttuosi di Quantitative Easing o Q. E. (aumento della quantità della massa monetaria ndt).

Purtroppo, la Fed ha ripiegato su un percorso al rialzo dei tassi nel momento peggiore possibile. I recenti dati sulle vendite al dettaglio e la produzione industriale sono entrambi deboli. Il dollaro super-forte è deflazionistico in un momento in cui la Fed non riesce ancora a raggiungere i suoi obiettivi di inflazione. La Fed potrebbe finire per causare la recessione che sta cercando di evitare. Questo enigma politico è il risultato di otto anni di manipolazione politica.

Negli ultimi decenni, la Fed si è impegnata in una serie di interventi di manipolazione politica del mercato che paradossalmente non ha più lasciato la possibilità a tali interventi, seminando una scia di crash, crolli e calamità.

I nodi di questa contraddizione, tra la onnipotente Fed e la Fed incompetente, stanno venendo al pettine. La nuova amministrazione Trump affronterà la Fed e insisterà sulla responsabilità ed il processo decisionale basato sulle regole. Il confronto presenterà enormi rischi e opportunità per gli investitori.

Le conseguenze del denaro a pioggia (Helicopter Money)

L’immagine del denaro stampato della Fed ed la ricaduta a pioggia sui consumatori in attesa di raccoglierli per iniziare a fare la spesa è un modo di dire popolare, ma non molto informativo, per descrivere il denaro così distribuito. In realtà, il denaro a pioggia è il coordinamento tra la politica fiscale e politica monetaria progettato in modo da fornire da stimolo ad un’economia debole e per combattere la deflazione.

L’intervento del denaro a pioggia, inizia con uno dei più grandi deficit causati dalla spesa pubblica sempre più elevata. Questa spesa, è stimato, abbia un effetto moltiplicatore cioè per ogni dollaro di spesa, forse 1,50 dollari diviene un supplemento al PIL in quanto i destinatari, della spesa pubblica, dovrebbero muoversi spendendo quegli stessi soldi in beni e servizi aggiuntivi. Il Tesoro degli Stati Uniti finanzia questi deficit, più grandi, prendendo in prestito i soldi dal mercato dei titoli di Stato.

Normalmente questa aggiunta al prestito potrebbe alzare i tassi di interesse. La resistenza economica da tassi più elevati potrebbe annullare lo stimolo della spesa più elevata e rendere inutile l’intero programma.

Così è come intende intervenire la Fed. La Fed può acquistare il debito aggiuntivo, dal Tesoro, con denaro fresco di stampa. La Fed promette anche di tenere questi buoni del Tesoro, appena acquistati, nel proprio bilancio fino alla scadenza.

Stampando moneta si può neutralizzare l’impatto di ulteriori prestiti, l’economia ottiene il vantaggio di una maggiore spesa, senza le turbolenze dell’innalzamento dei tassi di interesse. In primo luogo, il risultato è leggermente inflazionistico compensato dalla temuta deflazione che attiverebbe la richiesta di altro denaro a pioggia.

E’ una teoria pulita, ma è piena di buchi.

Il primo problema è che non può esserci molto più di un moltiplicatore, in questa fase dell’espansione statunitense. L’espansione attuale dura da 90 mesi; piuttosto lunga rispetto agli standard storici. È stata un’espansione debole, ma comunque un’espansione. L’effetto moltiplicatore della spesa pubblica è più forte all’inizio e cioè quando l’economia ha più capacità di riserva nel lavoro e nel capitale.

A questo punto, il moltiplicatore potrebbe essere effettivamente meno di uno. Per ogni dollaro di spesa pubblica l’economia potrebbe ottenere solo $ 0,95 del PIL in aggiunta. Non è il miglior risultato per il denaro preso in prestito.

Il secondo problema, con il denaro a pioggia, è che non vi ‘è alcuna garanzia che i cittadini spendano effettivamente i soldi del governo per spingere l’economia. Ci sono le stesse probabilità in cui una persona può pagare un debito o risparmiare considerandolo reddito supplementare. Questa è la classica “trappola della liquidità”. Questa propensione al risparmio, piuttosto che alla spesa, è un problema comportamentale non facilmente influenzabile dalla politica monetaria o fiscale.

Infine, vi è un invisibile, ma reale limite alla fiducia sul bilancio della Fed. Dopo la stampa di 4 miliardi di dollari in risposta alla ultima crisi finanziaria, quanto è ancora possibile per la Fed stampare danaro senza rischiare la fiducia nel dollaro? I teorici monetari moderni e i neo-keynesiani sostengono che non c’è limite alla stampa della Fed, ma la storia ci dice il contrario.

È importante sottolineare che, con così tanto debito pubblico degli Stati Uniti in mani straniere, la semplice decisione da parte dei paesi stranieri di diventare venditori netti di titoli del Tesoro U.S.A. è sufficiente a causare un rialzo dei tassi di interesse rallentando così la crescita economica, oltre al contemporaneo aumento del deficit statunitense. Se tale vendita accelera, potrebbe tradursi in una spirale mortale del debito/deficit e terminare in una crisi americana, del debito sovrano, come quello che ha colpito la Grecia e la periferia della euro-zona negli ultimi anni.

In breve, il denaro a pioggia sia Trump sia la Fed possono desiderarlo, ma potrebbe avere molta meno potenza e, alla lunga lunga, maggiori conseguenze negative che entrambi non si aspettano.


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Renewables Are Doomed

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 10/02/2017 - 07:01

We’re on the verge of a new energy revolution. Except it’s the exact opposite of the one the “experts” at places like BP,  the International Energy Agency and – ahem – the Guardian are predicting.

For years we’ve been assured by politicians, energy industry specialists and green advocates that renewables such as the wind and solar are getting more and more cost-competitive while dirty fossil fuels are so discredited and wrong and evil we’ll soon have to leave them in the ground.

But to believe this you’d have to believe in a world where Donald Trump and Brexit hadn’t happened; where taxpayers were still prepared to bankroll, ad infinitum, the expensive, inefficient, environmentally damaging produce of favoured crony capitalists; where no one had access to the internet to articles showing how the whole climate change industry is such a scam.

That world doesn’t exist.

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This is why we need to take with a massive pinch of salt, for example, the latest BP Energy Outlook 2017 which claims that renewables are set to grow and grow over the next two decades:

Renewables in power are set to be the fastest growing source of energy – at 7.6% per year to 2035, more than quadrupling over the Outlook period. Renewables account for 40% of the growth in power generation, causing their share of global power to increase from 7% in 2015 to nearly 20% by 2035.

It’s why we should laugh to scorn articles like this one in Vox boasting about how the US solar industry employs more people than the US coal industry.

And why economics writers like the normally sensible Jeremy Warner do themselves no favors when they produce tosh like this in the op-ed columns of that once respectable newspaper The Daily Telegraph. In a piece with the virtue-signalling headline “Bad news, petrol heads; Trump or no Trump, the green revolution is coming to get you,” Warner claims:

We may not be there quite yet, but we are close. Green technologies are reaching a tipping point of take-up, cost and efficiency which make their eventual wholesale adoption virtually inevitable, regardless of anything that might be done to reinvigorate fossil fuel industries in the meantime.

Actually, it’s not the fossil fuel industry that needs invigorating. As even the BP Energy Outlook report admits, fossil fuels are doing just fine and will do for the foreseeable.

But while I’m sure the BP report is right about the growth of fossil fuels – we’ve got to get our energy from somewhere – it seems to me that its forecast for renewables comes from a mix of wishful thinking and heroic assumptions based on conditions that no longer exist.

Read the Whole Article

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Stalin’s Children

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 10/02/2017 - 07:01

When I was just starting out in the world, I worked for a company that had an active human resources department. This was when HR was being overhauled to accommodate middle-aged women without useful skills. Companies were trying to “diversify” their management so they hired a bunch of women for their personnel departments, re-branded them as “human resources” and set them loose to get involved in things well outside the normal scope of corporate personnel departments.

I was new in the world so I had no way to see what was happening. I just assumed it was the way things worked, even if it was obviously insane. There was one woman, who was always gossiping with the female staff, trying to find out who was dating whom, who was socializing with whom and generally playing the role of a busybody. In a better age, she was the sort of woman who would end up fitted with a bridle. As far as I could tell, her only job was to gossip, as I never saw her doing anything else.

Inevitably, people would be called into HR for some crime. Once in a while, someone would disappear. It was always males getting the call and it was almost always over having said or done something that offended a female employee. The thing that puzzled me at first was that the males who survived the interrogation never spoke of it. Maybe it was shame or fear, maybe something else that was not obvious. They got called in, something happened and they came back chastened from the experience.

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The way it worked is familiar to anyone who has read about Stalin’s show trials. The prosecutor, in this example it was the gossip, functioned as a spokesman for the accusers, as well as the witnesses, in addition to laying out the case against the accused. She would say something like, “Some people have said you said X and you know that you have a reputation for saying X so you can see how we would be concerned. In order to get to the bottom of this, we thought it was a good idea to call you in so we could talk about it and hear what you have to say.”

The accused was presented with an invisible accuser who could never be confronted so their testimony went unchallenged. Slipped into it was the assertion that the accused had a reputation for whatever it was he was accused of doing. Again, there’s no way to confront this as there is no accuser, just a whisper in the wind. The poor bastard in the hot seat was faced with the impossible task of not only defending himself but doing so as a person assumed to be a habitual offender or at least known as one.

The use of invisible victims and imaginary crimes is the core tactic of the social justice warriors. You see that in this response from Apple to Gab about their application to the Apple app store.

Notice the language. They “find content that is defamatory and mean spirited” but they never mention who is being defamed. The only way words can be defamatory is if someone, a real living human, is being defamed. You see the same thing when they write “there is no tolerance for objectionable material.” Objectionable to whom? The only way something can be objectionable is if someone objects. The person defamed and objecting is an undefined entity that is just assumed to exist.

In Stalin’s show trials, the victims were accused of mysterious crimes like conspiracy and sabotage, even though it was never clear with whom the accused were conspiring or what it was they were sabotaging. Stalin’s henchmen would use pressure to get some of the victims to confess, which was then used as “proof” that the rest of the accused were not just guilty, but guilty of obstructing the revolution’s search for truth. An innocent man trying to defend himself was left to swing at ghosts and shadows.

The modern day Stalinists use the same tactic, in which they accuse enemies of fostering a hostile environment or promoting objectionable material. Apple is not saying they object to the material. They are claiming to speak for those unnamed people who do object because Apple is just looking out for them, whoever they may be. Since these alleged victims are a mystery, there’s no way for Gab to confront them or argue that they are complying with Apple’s terms of service. It’s just modern show trial in which the verdict is known in advance. The only question is how long before the accused breaks.

Those who confessed quickly in Stalin’s trials did so hoping for leniency, but that never came. Just as the verdict was known in advance, so was the punishment. The same system applies today. Gab could ban all of its users and just have pics of Hillary and Obama and they would still not get on the Apple store. They have been found guilty of blasphemy and heresy. That will be the verdict of the trial and the punishment will be banishment. The only mystery is whether Apple can make them grovel.

The guy running Gab is not going to grovel. He knows the deal. In fact, more and more people are figuring out that there is no dealing with the Left. There’s no accommodation to be made, no compromise to be found. In fact, that was true thirty years ago when I was just getting started. The company gossip was not a person with whom you could strike a bargain. She was a Torquemada, who existed to find the guilty. The answer then as now was what Andrew Breitbart said years ago. The answer is “Fuck you! War!”

Reprinted from The Z Man Blog.

The post Stalin’s Children appeared first on LewRockwell.

Hillary’s Snowflake Campaign Manager

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 10/02/2017 - 07:01

Though the Guardian was the newspaper that broke the Ed Snowden leaks, their editors evidently had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the printing presses. No wonder Glenn Greenwald left soon afterward.

The Guardian is just another western establishment/CIA mouthpiece, and it’s readily apparent by the mainstream rubbish they carry.

Like this sadly typical “blame the Russians” piece by Robby Mook. With all the attention that was focused on John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, you may not have heard of Mook. He was her actual campaign manager. I guess that’s why he had to be introduced in his own headline, so somebody might actually care about what he says.

And here it is – “a real beauty” as America’s 45th president derisively described the BBC – Robby’s whining and crying diatribe blaming Russia and Vladimir Putin for the arrogant, bloated, grotesquely over-funded and pathetically mismanaged campaign the 37-year-old loser ran for Hillary:

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Notice the Guardian’s banner at the bottom pleading for cash. Elsewhere they describe themselves as an independent newspaper that does investigative reporting. Yet they continuously provide a platform for third-grade Russophobic garbage. This tripe is not even worth one penny, let alone $7.

Back to Mook. Much of what he writes is recycled stale “Russia hacked the election” spittle which is not worth reproducing here. (No wonder his campaign was a failure with such a lack of originality.) Mook warns of the rise of the right-wing populists in Europe such as Le Pen and Germany’s AfD party – and wouldn’t you know it, Putin made it happen.

Just like Putin made you suck, eh Robby?

Mook goes on to cry chicken little over the nefarious influence of Russia’s president, who is blamed for “infecting” the western world with true, factual info about Hillary’s corruption and her satanist campaign chair John Podesta:

With his success in the US last year, Putin has put opponents on notice that there will be a price to pay for crossing him. Indeed, the complex infrastructure that Russia built to infect public discourse with false or stolen information isn’t going anywhere. It can be unleashed at any time, on any issue, domestic or international.

This came into sharp relief this weekend when President Trump implied a sort of moral equivalence between the Putin regime and the US[.]

President Trump suggested moral equivalence (“You think our country’s so innocent?”) because that’s the best he could do in the face of interviewer Bill O’Reilly’s profoundly imbecilic knowledge of Vladimir Putin.

The truth is, there is no moral equivalence. The United States over the last quarter of a century is responsible directly through its foreign interventions, for millions of deaths.

So many American politicians have this blood on their hands through their votes, and media personalities through their advocacy – including O’Reilly. As Trump said, “There are a lot of killers.” Russia and Putin can’t be blamed for even a fraction of that bloodletting.

At the close of Mook’s article he applauds social media behemoths Twitter and Facebook, for taking the first steps toward outright bans on dissenting political speech, and agreeing to serve as hatchetmen for the lying mainstream media like the Guardian, who are the relentless pushers of actual fake news:

Facebook and Twitter have taken encouraging steps to filter out misleading content. Their continuing vigilance will be critical. We must also think about how to manage the presence of government-backed news operations, such as Russia Today (rebranded as the more opaque RT) which can increase their reach through online promotion. The law makes no distinction between the New York Times and outlets like RT or China Daily, which are essentially state-sponsored propaganda. Sadly, the unfiltered nature of much social media means many Americans don’t see much of a distinction either.

Disgraceful and disgusting. Yet Russophobic propaganda parrots like the Guardian and Robby Mook,  love to paint Russia as a land of totalitarianism where the media doesn’t allow dissent (not true at all) and “Putin kills journalists” (they can’t name even one). It is plain to see where the real spinmeisters and totalitarians are lurking who want to put filters on free information and pass off their hate-laced fables as dogma. It is not in Moscow.

After such a gargantuan and unexpected failure as Hillary’s 2016 presidential campaign, Robby Mook’s career as a political guru is probably over. Just like the Guardian’s image as a respectable news source.

All that is left is the whining and crying, and shifting of blame – especially onto what has become the western globalist elite’s stock deus ex machina, big bad Vladimir.

Putin done it. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Reprinted from Russia Insider.

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Natural Cold Remedies You May Not Know About

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 10/02/2017 - 07:01

By Dr. Mercola

Your nose is running, your eyes are itchy and watery, you have a low-grade fever and you’ve been sneezing all day. You probably have a cold. They are the leading cause of doctor visits and missed days at work and school. The average adult in America will suffer between two and four colds each year.

Despite advancements in medical care and treatment, traditional western medicine has little to offer in the care and treatment of the common cold. That’s because the cold is caused by a virus and not bacteria. This is important because antibiotics work only against bacteria and not against viruses.

Most uncomplicated colds last between two days and two weeks, depending upon the specific virus and your overall general health. Oftentimes over-the-counter cold remedies don’t speed your recovery and can actually prolong your suffering.

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Many remedies contain aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil), all of which may suppress your body’s ability to produce antibodies and fight the cold.1This is completely opposite of your goal to get better as quickly as possible.

Although your physician may offer antiviral medications, such as Tamiflu, they are not effective against the common cold2,3 and carry specific risks worse than the cold they are meant to treat, and may be more ineffective than advertised.

The answer to treating your cold does not lie in the medicine cabinet. Use a combination of lifestyle choices, herbal remedies and vitamin supplementation to fight the virus and support your immune system in defense against viral attacks.

17 Natural Home Remedies


Meditation has significant positive effects on heart rate, brain function, stress reduction and blood pressure.4 Research also has demonstrated that mindful meditation, or the practice of purposefully paying attention, has lasting positive effects on brain function and your immune system.5

Imaging demonstrated an increase in activation in the left frontal region of the brain associated with lower anxiety, and blood work showed larger increases in antibody production in participants who meditated in the study. Meditation is an option for both treatment and prevention of colds.


If all your symptoms are above your neck, such as sneezing, sniffling and watery eyes, then breaking out in a sweat is generally considered safe. Your immune system functions better when you exercise regularly and is a good preventative measure.6

Walking, jogging, yoga and slow biking are among the best exercises when you have a cold, while endurance sports, team sports, weightlifting and exercising in the cold weather are among the worst.7

Exercise may help you feel better but may not shorten the length of your cold. If you are involved in strenuous exercise it depletes the energy needed to fight the virus and can actually make your symptoms worse.


Lack of sleep has been linked to a laundry list of medical disorders from a negative impact on your immune system to dementia.

Sleep has a strong regulatory influence on your immune system and promotes the influence of cytokines stimulating the interaction between antigen-presenting cells and T-helper cells necessary for your body to fight virus infections.8

When you’re sick (and even when you’re not), most people need between about eight hours of sleep a night and plenty of rest during the day.

4.Nasal Saline Rinse

Although researchers can only speculate how saline nasal washes are effective in treating and preventing virus infections and recurrences, the fact is they are effective.9 Use only sterile normal saline water in the rinse.

Tap water can increase the inflammatory response in the sinus passages and carry parasites that can infect your brain.

5.Hydrogen Peroxide

In 1928, Dr. Richard Simmons hypothesized that the cold virus entered your body through the ear canal and not the nose. His theory was dismissed by the medical community.

However, in 1938, German researchers had great success using hydrogen peroxide in the ear canal to treat colds and the flu.10 Although the data was vastly ignored by the medical community, I’ve treated many patients who experienced great results with this treatment.

You must start treatment in the first 24 hours to have a significant impact on reducing the length of the cold. You can watch more about how I’ve used this treatment to shorten colds and the flu in the video above.

6.Apple Cider Vinegar

Cold viruses increase the acidity of your body. To fight the virus, take a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar each day. This reduces the acidity and apple cider vinegar has acetic acid that helps prevent the growth of viruses.

7.Raw Honey

Honey has natural antibacterial and antiviral properties. But, you would have to overdose on the honey in order to achieve the effect of treating the virus in your body.

However, if you suffer from a sore throat with your cold, raw honey is as effective as cough syrup or cough drops. Remember that honey is a natural sugar and taken in large amounts will adversely affect your insulin and leptin levels.

Honey Lemon Cough Syrup

Lemon helps promote health by quickly alkalinizing your body, and honey will kill any bacteria. This is a perfect choice for a quick cough remedy.

1.Put a pint of raw honey in a pan on the stove on VERY low heat (Do not boil honey as this changes its medicinal properties).

2.Take a whole lemon and boil in some water in a separate pan for two to three minutes, to both soften the lemon and kill any bacteria that may be on the lemon skin.

3.Let the lemon cool enough to handle, then cut it in slices and add it to the pint of honey on the stove.

4.Let mixture cook on warm heat for about an hour.

5.Then strain the lemon from the honey, making sure all lemon seeds are removed.

6.Let cool, then bottle in a jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator.

This syrup will keep for two months in the refrigerator. To soothe a cough, take 1/2 teaspoon for a 25-pound child and 1 teaspoon for a 50-pound child, about four times a day, or as often as needed. Adults can take 1 tablespoon doses.11

8.Chicken Soup

Although the biological basis for using chicken soup is unknown, a team of researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center found evidence that chicken soup — both homemade and from the can — had anti-inflammatory properties that could prevent the side effects of a cold.12

I’d strongly recommend avoiding the canned varieties in favor of a home-cooked version, however, especially with homemade broth to nourish you from the inside out. The next time you make a pot of chicken soup, make some extra to store in the freezer. That way you can pull some out if you’re feeling under the weather and not up to cooking.

9.Colloidal Silver

Silver has been used in treatments as far back as Hippocrates, who was one of the first to describe its antimicrobial and antibiotic properties. But, because colds and the flu are caused by viruses, using colloidal silver will not be effective.

10.Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has both antibacterial and antiviral properties, making it a great addition to your treatment and prevention of colds and the flu.13 Rub coconut oil over your skin. It is readily absorbed into your body and, as an added benefit, will soften your skin too. Add one-half teaspoon to your coffee or tea when you have a cold and cook with coconut oil.

11.Fermented Foods

The health of your immune system resides in your intestines.14 Fermented foods provide your intestines with a good variety of bacteria to support your immune system.

While fermented foods will improve the health of your gut and therefore your immune system, it often does not work fast enough to help reduce the length of your current cold. Eating fermented foods is a preventive measure for more than just a cold.

12.Baking Soda

The Arm & Hammer Baking Soda Company recommends baking soda to reduce the acidity of your body in the treatment of colds and flu. However, I have pushed the body pH in the opposite direction and achieved the same results, shortening the length of an infection.

The administration of baking soda is simple, relatively harmless and easy to test on your own cold. Simply dissolve the recommended amount of baking soda in a glass of cold water and drink it. Recommended dosages from the Arm & Hammer Company for colds and influenza back in 1925 were:

  • Day 1 — Take six doses of one-half teaspoon of baking soda in glass of cool water, at about two-hour intervals
  • Day 2 —Take four doses of one-half teaspoon of baking soda in glass of cool water, at the same intervals
  • Day 3 — Take two doses of one-half teaspoon of baking soda in glass of cool water morning and evening, and thereafter ½ teaspoon in glass of cool water each morning until cold symptoms are gone

This should only be used as an occasional (not chronic) treatment, however, and be careful not to consume excessive amounts, which can cause serious electrolyte and acid/base imbalances.

13.Lifestyle Choices

Other lifestyle choices that will help your body to heal from a cold are to eliminate or drastically reduce your alcohol intake and smoking. Both of these factors negatively impact your immune system, making it more difficult for your body to fight the viral infection.


Steam will not shorten the length of your cold, but it will help to break up the mucous secretions in your sinuses, reduce the inflammation in your nasal passages and help you to breathe better.

15.Stress Reduction

Practicing meditation, yoga or Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) are simple and effective practices to support your immune system and prevent other damage caused by stress. Diseases linked to stress include obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and gastrointestinal problems.15

16.Hand Washing

Hand washing is a deterrent for infection by viruses and against further infection while you are sick. It will also reduce the spread of the virus to other family members, but it will not shorten the length of your cold. Remember that too much hand washing is almost as bad as not enough. Frequent washing strips your skin of protective oils, causing the skin to crack and bleed.

17.Eat Real Food

Eating real food and avoiding processed foods will give your body the necessary tools to fight a viral infection. It will also reduce the potential you’ll suffer a quick recurrence of the infection. Real foods are best described as those found in the outside aisles of the grocery store that require refrigeration to remain fresh.

Eight Vitamins for Colds


Zinc is nutritionally essential for immune function. Zinc lozenges and powder are available for use during a cold or the flu that can shorten the length of your cold if you have a slight deficiency.16 Your body uses these micronutrients in a balanced state. Too much zinc interferes with copper bioavailability and too much iron can reduce your absorption of zinc. Foods rich in zinc include lobster, oysters, beef, crab, pork, cashews, chickpeas, chicken and Swiss cheese.17

2.Vitamin C

There is evidence that this water-soluble vitamin will shorten the life of your cold. People with higher blood levels also have a lower risk of death from all causes.Typically the higher the dose the better but one is limited to a relatively small amount with oral vitamin C. You can go much higher with IV or liposomal C. I personally use liposomal vitamin C 3 to 4 grams every hour when I get sick or for friends and family that get sick with great results.18 

3.Vitamin D

Research studies have demonstrated that this fat-soluble vitamin is essential to the function of your immune system. However, while important to prevent a cold and the flu, supplementation during a cold may not shorten the length of the illness.19

That being said, suboptimal vitamin D levels will significantly impair your immune response and make you far more susceptible to contracting colds, flu and other respiratory infections, so it’s important to make sure your levels are optimized.


The importance of this mineral to your health has previously been underestimated. Researchers have identified a reduction in magnesium levels after strenuous exercise, leading to an increased number of viral infections.20, 21Supplementation during a cold will likely not reduce the length of your cold. However, an Epsom salt bath will reduce your muscle aches, aid in the absorption of magnesium from the Epsom salts and just make you feel better.

5.Vitamin E

This fat-soluble vitamin enhanced the T-cell-related immune-mediated response in an elderly population. However, while important for prevention, it is not likely to produce immediate results to shorten the length of your cold.

6.Vitamin B6

This vitamin is essential for the production of over 100 enzymes responsible for protein metabolism. Although important to your health, it does not shorten the length of your cold.

7.Vitamin A

This fat-soluble vitamin is important for the differentiation and regulation of almost every cell in your body, including normal immune function. This vitamin is important for the prevention of colds but will not shorten the length of your cold.22


This trace element is important in a variety of biological functions. However, while a severe deficiency can lead to significant viral infections it is highly unlikely that supplementation during a cold will reduce the length of your cold.23

11 Herbal Cold Remedies


This is one of the most popular Native American medicinal plants. The research using Echinacea tea is not consistent. The studies that demonstrated the best effect at shortening the length of a cold occurred when you drink two to three cups of Echinacea tea per day starting on the first or second day of your cold.24

2.Ginseng and Andrographis

Ginseng is a tuber plant and Andrographis is a plant native to South Asia. Double-blind studies have demonstrated that specific Siberian ginseng and andrographis reduce the length and severity of colds when you take it within 72 hours of the start of your symptoms.25,26

3.Pelargonium Sidoides

Research has demonstrated that this obscure herb can reduce the severity and length of the common cold. Scientists theorize that the herb up-regulates the cytokines in protecting host cells from viral invaders.27

4.Raw Garlic

Despite a report from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that there is little evidence garlic has an effect on the common cold, some studies have found that raw garlic can prevent colds and reduce the severity of the cold you already have.28Test this for yourself at home (be sure to crush the garlic cloves before eating to release their active medicinal properties).

5.Oil of Oregano

This concentrated oil of the oregano plant has potent antibacterial and antiviral effects. In one study, researchers found when in spray form in combination with four other aromatic plants it could immediately reduce the side effects of a cold. This treatment was no longer effective after three days of use. Oil of oregano should not be used by children, women who are pregnant or nursing or who plan to become pregnant.

6.Licorice Root

Licorice root is a traditional herbal remedy to treat colds and upper respiratory infections. To date there is no research that supports the use of licorice root to reduce the length of a cold.29

7.Olive Leaf Extract

Widely known as a non-toxic immune system support, there is not sufficient evidence to suggest olive leaf extract will reduce the length or severity of your current cold. A few studies have demonstrated its effectiveness at reducing the infectivity of the virus and reducing the inflammatory response in the body.30

8.Herbal Tea

Herbal teas from Goldenseal, elderberry, yarrow, boneset, linden, peppermint and ginger may help support your immune system, soothe a sore throat and shorten your cold by up to one or two days.


This is a powerful antioxidant that lowers the levels of two enzymes that cause inflammation. There is evidence that curcumin fights the cold virus in the test tube. Further, it supports the immune system and is effective in the prevention and treatment of several other diseases.31


This is a substance collected by bees from leaf buds and tree bark. This extract may be helpful in the reduction of the length and severity of your cold. Some clinical trials have reported reduced number of upper respiratory infections and a reduction in the length of the viral illness.32

11.White Willow

The use of willow bark dates back to the time of Hippocrates when people were advised to chew on the bark of the tree to reduce pain and fever. The chemical properties of the bark are similar to aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid). Pain and fever relief comes more slowly than aspirin but lasts longer. This is a symptom reliever and will not change the length of your cold.33

Sources and References

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Break the Judicial Power

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 10/02/2017 - 07:01

“Disheartening and demoralizing,” wailed Judge Neil Gorsuch of President Trump’s comments about the judges seeking to overturn his 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. from the Greater Middle East war zones.

What a wimp. Did our future justice break down crying like Sen. Chuck Schumer? Sorry, this is not Antonin Scalia. And just what horrible thing had our president said?

A “so-called judge” blocked the travel ban, said, Trump. And the arguments in court, where 9th Circuit appellate judges were hearing the government’s appeal, were “disgraceful.” “A bad student in high school would have understood the arguments better.”Did the president disparage a couple of judges? Yep.

Yet compare his remarks to the tweeted screeds of Elizabeth Warren after her Senate colleague, Jeff Sessions, was confirmed as attorney general.

Sessions, said Warren, represents “radical hatred.” And if he makes “the tiniest attempt to bring his racism, sexism & bigotry” into the Department of Justice, “all of us” will pile on.

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Now, this is hate speech. And it validates Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to use Senate rules to shut her down.

These episodes reveal much about America 2017.

They reflect, first, the poisoned character of our politics. The language of Warren — that Sessions is stepped in “racism, sexism & bigotry” echoes the ugliest slander of the Hillary Clinton campaign, where she used similar words to describe Trump’s “deplorables.”

Such language, reflecting as it does the beliefs of one-half of America about the other, rules out any rapprochement in America’s social or political life. This is pre-civil war language.

For how do you sit down and work alongside people you believe to be crypto-Nazis, Klansmen, and fascists? Apparently, you don’t. Rather, you vilify them, riot against them, deny them the right to speak or to be heard.

And such conduct is becoming common on campuses today.

As for Trump’s disparagement of the judges, only someone ignorant of history can view that as frightening.

Thomas Jefferson not only refused to enforce the Alien & Sedition Acts of President John Adams, his party impeached Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase who had presided over one of the trials.

Jackson defied Chief Justice John Marshall’s prohibition against moving the Cherokees out of Georgia to the west of the Mississippi, where, according to the Harvard resume of Sen. Warren, one of them bundled fruitfully with one of her ancestors, making her part Cherokee.

When Chief Justice Roger Taney declared that President Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of the writ of habeas corpus violated the Constitution, Lincoln considered sending U.S. troops to arrest the chief justice.

FDR proposed adding six justices to emasculate a Supreme Court of the “nine old men” he reviled for having declared some New Deal schemes unconstitutional.

President Eisenhower called his Supreme Court choices Earl Warren and William Brennan two of the “worst mistakes” he made as president. History bears Ike out. And here we come to the heart of the matter.

Whether the rollout of the president’s temporary travel ban was ill-prepared or not, and whether one agrees or not about which nations or people should be subjected to extreme vetting, the president’s authority in the matter of protecting the borders and keeping out those he sees as potentially dangerous is universally conceded.

That a district judge would overrule the president of the United States on a matter of border security in wartime is absurd.

When politicians don black robes and seize powers they do not have, they should be called out for what they are — usurpers and petty tyrants. And if there is a cause upon which the populist right should unite, it is that elected representatives and executives make the laws and rule the nation. Not judges, and not justices.

Indeed, one of the mightiest forces that has birthed the new populism that imperils the establishment is that unelected justices like Warren and Brennan, and their progeny on the bench, have remade our country without the consent of the governed — and with never having been smacked down by Congress or the president.

Consider. Secularist justices de-Christianized our country. They invented new rights for vicious criminals as though criminal justice were a game. They tore our country apart with idiotic busing orders to achieve racial balance in public schools. They turned over centuries of tradition and hundreds of state, local and federal laws to discover that the rights to an abortion and same-sex marriage were there in Madison’s Constitution all along. We just couldn’t see them.

Trump has warned the judges that if they block his travel ban, and this results in preventable acts of terror on American soil, they will be held accountable. As rightly they should.

Meanwhile, Trump’s White House should use the arrogant and incompetent conduct of these federal judges to make the case not only for creating a new Supreme Court, but for Congress to start using Article III, Section 2, of the Constitution — to restrict the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, and to reclaim its stolen powers.

A clipping of the court’s wings is long overdue.

The post Break the Judicial Power appeared first on LewRockwell.

Dear Head of the Snake

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 10/02/2017 - 07:01

When Barack Obama was still in office, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, one of the perpetrators of the 9/11 terror attacks, penned a letter to him. Though a judge recently ruled that letter could be sent to the White House before the outgoing president left office, the contents were to be withheld from the public until a month later — until after President Trump had assumed power.

This week, the Miami Herald obtained and published the contents of the 18-page letter, originally written in 2015 and titled “LETTER FROM THE CAPTIVE MUJAHID KHALID SHAIKH MOHAMMAD TO THE HEAD OF THE SNAKE, BARACK OBAMA, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, THE COUNTRY OF OPPRESSION AND TYRANNY.” It contains the Kuwait-born Pakistani terrorist’s insights into why 9/11 occurred, as well as surprisingly accurate assessments of American politics.

One of the main reasons for 9/11, according to Mohammed, is one terrorists have referenced before: American foreign policy. His explanation is rooted both in history and in current affairs.

The American people were misled by the Johnson administration and the Pentagon into waging a war in Vietnam that cost 58,000 U.S. lives and millions of Vietnamese lives and ultimately led to a humiliating defeat,” he writes, correctly referencing Johnson’s false flag attack in the Gulf of Tonkin, which the Democratic president used to push the U.S. into a prolonged, messy, and ultimately failed war.

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Mohammed also focused on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and the Muslim world specifically, providing a long list of reasons why the “U.S. reaped what it sowed on 9/11.” One of those grievances was the U.S. government and CIA’s scheme to back and support  “the Indonesian dictator Suharto when his army-led massacres slaughtered hundreds of thousands of landless farmers,” though his examples span the globe.

He cites America’s notorious desire for oil, referencing when the U.S. built “military bases in the Arabian Peninsula in Tabuk, Dhahran, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and U.A.E – which is prohibited by Sharia laws – to secure a non-stop flood of oil to [their] country at the cheapest price.” He argues this was “to support the dictatorial rule of monarchial families and oppressive, corrupt, dynastic regimes and looting the wealth of the Muslim Ummah population; and to accomplish [U.S.] military objectives there.”

He references the CIA’s 1953 coup in Iran — conducted in conjunction with their British intelligence counterparts — to overthrow the country’s democratically elected leader and empower the “Shah of Iran and Safak, the brutal Iranian intelligence agency, for 40 years.”

Discussing Iraq in the 1990s, he references “when Anglo-Saxon crusaders imposed sanctions against the Iraqi people in a manner of collective punishment that resulted in the death of half a million civilians.” He later addresses former U.N. ambassador Madeleine Albright’s claim that the deaths of half a million children were “worth it.”

Mohammed also points out hypocrisies in American foreign policy, such as the American officials’ ties to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad before they wanted to oust him. He also points out that before invading Iraq, the U.S. “supported Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War, even when he was using poison mustard gas against the Kurds…”

Mohammed discusses at length the centuries of Western attacks on Muslims and their countries, also noting the way Western countries broke up formerly Ottoman nations in the early 20th century, dividing them up and claiming control in the region.

He circles back to indict the whole of American foreign policy, noting the U.S. has escaped prosecution for their “brutal and savage massacres against the American Indian and [their] crimes in Vietnam, Korea, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden, and Latin America; and for [their] support for the Chinese Dictator, Chiang Kai-Shek, and Mexico’s dictator, Santa Ana.”

You can keep your military bases in Japan, Germany, Italy, and elsewhere,” he writes, “but Muslim land will never accept infidels army bases in their land.” He credits Allah with helping them fight back against Western aggression, frequently weaving in religious sentiments as justification for further violence.

Though Mohammed focuses largely on U.S. imperialism, one of his main grievances is the U.S. government’s support for Israel throughout the decades. He argues America reaped what it sowed on 9/11 in part because of America’s backing of Israel “in the political arena, when you blocked resolutions in the United Nations Security Council more than 45 times to protect repeated Israeli crimes.” Mohammed cites the U.S.’ support for Israel’s invasions of Lebanon throughout the years, ultimately arguing that jihadists fight for all oppressed Muslims. He claims they represent Palestinians and others who have been crushed by Western influence and invasion (of course, it is impossible to prove all victimized Muslims support terrorism as recourse, making this claim rather grandiose).

He discusses Obama’s ongoing efforts to continue providing weaponry to Israel even as the former president openly questioned Israeli settlements. “While your children may play safely in the White House backyard, the entire world is watching your weapons kill Palestinian children at play on the Gaza beach during Holy Month of Ramadan or studying in their classrooms.”

Mohammed criticizes American politicians’ repeated claims that Israel “has a right to defend itself.”

Why can’t you or any American president before you say that the Palestinians have a right to defend themselves against Israeli crimes?” he wonders. “The answer is very clear but you can’t say it because your lords will be very angry.” Indeed, Israel wields significant influence over American policy.

The notion that American politicians are beholden to higher powers is echoed throughout the letter, but not just with regard to Israel’s influence through lobbying organization AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee). With surprising accuracy, Mohammed details corporate influence throughout government. Early in the letter, he points out that politicians must serve their donors, whether they are in the healthcare industry, the prison industry, or “Blackwater, Halliburton, or any other arms industry of weapons firm.” He says the latter industry requires politicians “to push the DoD and U.S. soldiers into more wars…

He condemns American capitalism and the farce of democracy throughout the letter, referring to politicians as mercenaries working for their financiers. He asserts that “[i]n the end, this will lead the rich to grow richer and the poor to grow poorer. The country will sink into debt and finally the nation will die.

Mohammed also singles out Obama, citing his drone strikes, which killed countless innocent civilians and children. He condemns Obama’s assassination of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki without trial — followed by the killing of his 16-year-old son — as well as the president’s establishment of indefinite detention and his failure to close Guantanamo, where Mohammed has been imprisoned for years.

He calls out Western media, as well. “Don’t let Fox, CNN, BBC, or American and pro-Israeli channels cover your eyes because they never show the truth, their main task is brainwashing,” he argues. “They are experts at lying and distorting the facts to achieve their masters’ ends.

(Instead, he praises Al-Jazeera, which is, in fact, a news agency originally funded by the oil-rich Qatari government, an ally of the United States.)

Since 9/11, the political establishment’s narrative has asserted Islamic terrorists target the United States because they hate us for our freedom, because their religion is violent, and because they are hellbent on destroying anyone who disagrees with their ideology. While it’s indisputable that anyone who would seek to kill 3,000 civilians is a cold-blooded murderer, his explanation has been echoed by terrorists before; the Charlie Hebdo shooters, the Boston Marathon bombers, and the Orlando night club shooter all referenced violent, imperialistic American policy as reasons for their attacks.

Mohammed concludes:

If your government and public won’t tolerate 9/11, then how can you ask Muslims to tolerate your 60 years of crimes in Palestine, Lebanon, the Arabian Peninsula and the whole Muslim World?

As former congressman and longtime non-interventionist Dr. Ron Paul warned in 1998 — long before 9/11:

“Far too often, the bombing of declared (or concocted) enemies, whether it’s the North Vietnamese, the Iraqis, the Libyans, the Sudanese, the Albanians, or the Afghans, produces precisely the opposite effect to what is sought. It kills innocent people, creates more hatred toward America, unifies and stimulates the growth of the extremist Islamic movement and makes them more determined than ever to strike back with their weapon of choice – terror.”

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Cronies Buy Conservative/Libertarian Thinktanks

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 10/02/2017 - 07:01
The Irrepressible Rothbard Essays of Murray N. Rothbard Edited by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. .

November 1993

I’m puzzled. I’d like to know why so many free-marketeers, so many free-market think-tanks and pundits, are not simply pro-Nafta, but are fervently, frantically, almost hysterically pro-Nafta. Look, I can understand, though not agree with, mild approval. An old libertarian friend of mine, for example, told me that he was mildly pro-Nafta but not really interested in the entire topic. That seems sensible. So why the furor, the passion, the enormous resources poured into praising Nafta and reviling its critics? Why is there a highly active free-market Nafta Network, when no one has ever bothered forming a Repeal-the-Income Tax Network, or an Abolish-the-Fed Network? And if we want to confine passion to more directly political issues, why was there no Lower-Taxes Network, or Stop-the-Clinton-Budget Network? Why is the entire pack: the Cato crowd, the rest of the Kochtopus or Koch Machine, the majority of Heritage, the Tony Snows and the Steve Chapmans, why are they going all out, playing hardball, in their frenzy to get this thing passed? Why are these gentry acting as if their lives depended on the passage of Nafta? Could it be because if not their lives, at least their fortunes (though scarcely their sacred honor), do in fact depend on it?

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The twists and turns of this crowd have been truly a sight to see. First, they confidently strode forth to represent the “free trade” cause, denouncing their opponents as leftists or ignorant protectionists. But then, when hard-core free marketeers and free traders such as people at Triple R, the Mises Institute, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute weighed in to attack Nafta as a managed trade and international statist scam in “free-trade” clothing, the pro-Nafta gang wheeled around to denounce us as free-trade “purists,” or, as Tony Snow called it in all his tom-fool ignorance, “the Adam Smith objection.” But even if this crowd has no shame, surely their sudden change of front must be causing them some tactical embarrassment. For how can they pose as the champions of free trade while at the same time denouncing genuine free traders as “purists”?

The “free traders” for Nafta confront their biggest problem when we point out that, under Nafta, super-governmental commissions, unaccountable to any taxpayers, will be able to enforce and “upwardly harmonize” ever greater environmental and labor regulation standards against the wishes of the citizens of each country. The reply of the pro-Nafta people is that these are scare tactics, that these enforcement provisions are really petty and minor – nothing to worry about. Well, let’s consider the crucial enforcement provisions that Nafta and its side agreements hand over to these supra-national commissions. Tony Snow and Steve Chapman assure us that these provisions are petty and meaningless. But on the other hand, Kathleen Rogers, counsel to the savvy environmentalist Audubon Society, supports Nafta precisely because of these enforcement provisions. Most important, Clinton’s own Trade Czar, Mickey Kantor, assures one and all that under Nafta, “no country in the agreement can lower its environmental standards – ever,” and he applies that assurances of all-out enforcement to labor regulations (e.g., labor laws, workplace standards, minimum wages) as well.

So, if there’s a difference of opinion on the strength of enforcement between Snow and Chapman on the one hand, and Mickey Kantor of the Clinton administration on the other, whose interpretation do you think will win out?

There is only one sensible interpretation of these “free marketeers”: that they are serving as a rather feeble figleaf for the naked seizure of power by international statism. To return to the $64 question: why are they investing so much passion in this effort?

Here is a possible clue to this puzzle. Take this seeming anomaly. On the one hand, in Annex 602.3 to Nafta, the allegedly “free-market” Salinas government of Mexico “reserves to itself,” in no uncertain terms, all possible provision of and investment in every aspect of the exploration, production, or refining of crude oil and natural gas. And yet, despite that grim fact, the heads of both the Natural Gas Supply Association and the American Gas Association, express their great enthusiasm for Nafta. As President Michael Baly of the American Gas Association puts it: “The AGA supports Nafta because it would benefit natural gas energy, equipment, technology, and services trade with Mexico and Canada.”

Oh? How can this be, if the Mexican government insists on socializing all aspects of oil and natural gas? Methinks we can smell a rat. It is not generally known that the most enthusiastic advocates of socialized energy production in the case of electricity, in the 1930s – of Boulder Dam, TVA, etc. – were the private electric utility companies. For the government built the dams, provided the electricity at cheap rates subsidized by the hapless taxpayers, and then resold that electricity to the private utility companies, who benefited from government-subsidized primary electricity. The private energy middlemen reaped the profits.

There is a vital lesson here: much of Big Government, much of the welfare-interventionist State, is pushed by private businesses in order to force the taxpayers to subsidize their own costs. (Just as in the even more flagrant case of military industries, the government provides contracts at whatever cost plus a guaranteed profit.) In short, business groups don’t mind socialism at all when the government is socializing their cost.

So may it not be true that American natural gas companies expect to benefit by purchasing gas, whose cheap production will be subsidized by the unfortunate Mexican taxpayer? And doesn’t this provide a lesson about our own “free-market” institutes and pundits, many of whom are subsidized heavily, past, present or hopefully in the future, by Wichita, Kansas, oil billionaires Charles and David Koch, whose mammoth privately held Koch Industries concentrates on the transportation of oil and natural gas? Query: Does Koch Industries – which in November 1992 purchased 9,271 miles of natural gas pipelines to Mexico for $1.1 billion – expect to benefit heavily from Nafta? And so such expectations account for the passion, for the fervor, of those persons and institutions who form part, in reality or in hope, of the giant Koch Machine?

As for those free marketeers not in the Koch network, how much of the massive Mexican government lobbying in Washington is funneling moolah into these institutions? Let us not forget that part of “free-market” Nafta involves an estimated $20 billion of foreign aid which the conned U.S. taxpayers will be pouring into the coffers of the Mexican government. How much Mexican lobbying, and how many of the possible bribes, are a down payment on this promised boodle?

If we really had a press and a media responsive to the American people not to the malignant power elite, these questions would be investigated, and fast. In the meanwhile, we should follow our noses, and apply to the “free-market” and “free-trade” protestations of these worthies a liberal dose of salt. How many times will we be fooled until we realize that it is concrete policies, not cheap and cloudy rhetoric, that counts?

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A Tire Too Good To Be True?

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 10/02/2017 - 07:01

You can’t inflate it – and you can’t puncture it. It always runs flat. Potholes don’t faze it – and there’s no possibility of bending the wheel because there isn’t one to bend.

That’s the hype for the non-pneumatic tire (NPT) and wheel – an integrated assembly made of a flexible polyurethane material formed into a spoked/honeycomb-like lattice around a central hub. The wheel/tire combo can deform with road imperfections and eliminates even the possibility of a flat tire, as well as the need to worry about keeping track of air pressure.    

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Some lawn mowers, golf carts and commercial equipment such as skid steers already have NPT tires – and the military uses them on rough terrain and in hostile conditions, where a flat tire can be more than just a hassle.

Resilient Technologies makes them for the latter – and Michelin (“Tweel”) Hankook (“i-Flex”) Bridgestone, Yokohama and other major players in the civilian tire business are developing them for possible use on the cars the rest of us drive.

Maintenance costs would be lower and – in theory – the hassles associated with conventional pneumatic tires (including government-mandated tire pressure monitors that often don’t work) would be things of the past.

It’s an intriguing idea – and it might could work –  but don’t throw away your can of Fix-a-Flat (or spare tire) just yet.

According to Jacques Bajer, a tire engineer who helped to develop the low aspect ratio (short sidewall) tires that are common on cars today and who holds numerous patents related to tire design, it’s not yet known whether NPT tires would maintain their structural integrity over time, in the real-world driving conditions that passenger cars – as opposed to golf carts, lawn mowers, skid steers and military vehicles – have to cope with.

In particular, sustained high speed driving and cornering.

Bajer says the elastic spokes that support the car (in lieu of the air inside a pneumatic tire) might degrade over time, as a result of extended use as well as exposure to the elements. They could also be affected by extremes of heat and cold.

A major potential worry is physical damage to the spokes – which could unbalance the wheel/tire combo. Foreign material such as packed snow or rocks/road debris could get lodged in between the spokes, which could result in weird, even dangerous handling/braking characteristics.

Who’s gonna be the guinea pig? Who’s gonna pay the tab for the guinea pig’s class-action lawsuit?

No one really knows how long NPT tires would last, either.

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Everyday Stuff for Wilderness Survival

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 10/02/2017 - 07:01

Ever wonder what you could do with a soda can tab, gum wrapper, Ramen noodles, and a q-tip?  No, this isn’t a pitch for an episode of MacGuyver.  Survival expert Creek Stewart offers practical, potentially life-saving tricks and uses for these and many more common items in his recent release Survival Hacks: Over 200 Ways to use Everyday Items for Wilderness Survival.


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The softcover book provides plenty of survival ideas using found objects, common goods, and overlooked items we all have laying around the house.  In the list of over 200 hacks, I guarantee you’ll look at more than a few run-of-the mill items in a new way.  I know I made a few new additions to my bug out bag and survival packs after reading.

Whether packing for an uneventful camping trip or planning for a backcountry adventure, Stewart has ideas galore with plenty of illustrations to make each more understandable.  Some, like “Use Ice to Make Your Shoes more Comfortable” or “Gum Wrapper Fire” are better practiced in the kitchen or backyard before thinking you can do it successfully in adverse conditions. Still others like “Hack Tarp Boat” will require more than a little luck to be successful. The majority, however, are simple, achievable, and creative.

The author is very thorough and covers all the big survival bases: shelter, water, fire, food, staying healthy, and gear choices.  He breaks the book down further into sections like: clothing and footwear, fire starting, cooking, gathering, fishing, hunting, first aid, navigation, and self-defense, among others.  There is even a special section at the end covering different kinds and choices for survival kits.

Without divulging too many of the books secrets, here are a few of our favorite hack topics: Pantyhose Prevention, Pop Tab Tensioner, Makeup Aisle to Fire Tinder, When Your Zippo Goes Blippo, Ramen Noodle Stove, and Horsefly Shotgun.  If that’s not enough to pique your interest, readers will also learn how rotten wood, q-tips, and moose poop can save your life (in a pinch, of course).

Read the Whole Article

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Never Fall for the Tax Reform Trick

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 10/02/2017 - 07:01

Many Americans who have wrestled with a 1040 form, or who have paid someone to prepare their taxes, no doubt cheered the news that Congress will soon resume working on tax reform. However taxpayers should temper their enthusiasm because even in the unlikely event tax collection is simplified, tax reform will not reduce the American people’s tax burden.

Congressional leadership’s one nonnegotiable requirement of any tax reform is “revenue neutrality.” So any tax reform plan that has any chance of even being considered, much less passed, by Congress must ensure that the federal government does not lose a nickel in tax revenue. Congress’s obsession with protecting the government’s coffers causes reformers to mix tax cuts with tax increases. Congress’s insistence on “offsetting” tax cuts with tax increases creates a political food fight where politicians face off over who should have their taxes raised, who should have their taxes cut, and who should have their taxes stay the same.

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One offset currently being discussed is an increased tax on imports. This “border adjustment” tax would benefit export-driven industries at the expense of businesses that rely on imported products. A border adjustment tax would harm consumers who use, and retailers who sell imported goods. The border adjustment tax is another example of politicians using tax reform to pick winners and losers instead of simply reducing everyone’s taxes.

When I was in Congress, I was often told that offsets do not raise taxes, they simply close loopholes. This is merely a game of semantics: by removing a way for some Americans to lower their taxes, closing a loophole is clearly a tax increase. While some claim loopholes are another way government distorts the market, I agree with the great economist Ludwig von Mises that “capitalism breathes through loopholes.”

By allowing individuals to keep more of their own money, loopholes promote economic efficiency since, as economist Thomas DiLorenzo put it, “private individuals always spend their own money more efficiently than government bureaucrats do.” Instead of making the tax system more “efficient” by closing loopholes, Congress should increase both economic efficiency and economic liberty by repealing the income tax and replacing it with nothing.

The revenue loss from ending the income tax should be “offset” with spending cuts. All federal spending, whether financed by taxes or by debt, forcibly removes resources from the private sector. Thus, all government spending is, in essence, a form of taxation. Therefore, cutting income and other taxes without cutting spending merely replaces one type of taxation with another. Instead of directly paying for the big government via income taxes, deficit spending means citizens will be hit with an increase in the inflation tax. This tax, imposed on the people with the Federal Reserve’s monetization of debt, is the worst form of tax because it is both hidden and regressive.

Unfortunately, while Congress may make some small cuts in domestic spending, those cuts will be dwarfed by spending increases on infrastructure Keynesianism at home and military Keynesianism abroad. As long as Congress refuses to make serious reductions in spending, the American people will be subject to the tyranny of the IRS and the Federal Reserve.

The suffering will only get worse when concerns over government debt cause the dollar to lose its status as the world reserve currency. This will lead to a dollar crisis and a major economic meltdown. The only way to avoid this fate is for the people to demand a return to limited government in all areas, sound money, and an end to the income tax.

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The Neocon Cure for an Opioid Epidemic

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 10/02/2017 - 07:01

The National Institute for Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse recently released a disturbing report on drug overdose deaths. The number of drug overdoses from both legal and illegal drugs increased from approximately 22,000 in 2002 to over 52,000 in 2016, making it a leading cause of accidental death.

Even more disturbing is the increase in the number of overdose deaths from heroin. As recently as 10 years ago the number of heroin overdose deaths was stable at around 2,000 per year. After four years of increases, the number of such deaths has increased from approximately 3,000 in 2010 to 13,000 in 2015, or a 328% increase!

No, I am not a medical doctor, but it should seem obvious that the overall increase in drug overdoses is in part attributable to the increase in the number of prescriptions of dangerous drugs. My guess is that in the vast majority of cases the cost of a prescription (total price paid, plus all the complications, interactions, side effects, risks, etc.) far outweigh the benefits vs. simple lifestyle changes. The number of prescription overdoses increased from 7,523 in 1999 to 29,728 in 2015. That is a nearly 300% increase, and a 15% increase last year alone. In 2015, there were 4.4 billion prescriptions or nearly 13.6 for every woman, man, and child in America.1

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The Connection Between Heroin and Prescription Drugs 

One class of prescription drugs is directly related to the heroin epidemic, on which I have recently reported. To recap, drug companies that make opiate painkillers have influenced the American Academy of Pain Medicine to change their guidelines for prescribing painkillers. The changes in the guidelines have made it much more likely for doctors to prescribe painkilling opiate drugs such as Oxycontin and Vicodin for things like ordinary injuries and surgeries. The DEA, FDA, and the AMA monitor prescribing behavior of doctors, so they are more likely to follow such guidelines to avoid the risk of sanction.

These drugs are highly effective for pain but can be addictive and deadly themselves (16,000 deaths in 2015 alone). When the injuries heal, addicted patients can no longer get refills for the drugs. For those who have become addicted their choices are going cold turkey, enter an addiction treatment program, or obtain the drugs on the black market. In other words, they have no good choices.

For those who choose the black market alternative, the costs can be very high; as much as $25 a pill as well as being exposed to black market drug dealers, and even being arrested. The next choice is heroin, which can be purchased on the black market (from the same dealers they have recently met) for as little as $4 per dose if purchased in large quantities. The main reason why there are so many deaths is that black market heroin comes in an unknown potency and is often adulterated with highly dangerous ingredients and other powerful drugs.

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) recently published an article, “How to treat an opioid epidemic,” by psychiatrist and addiction treatment specialist, Sally Satel. The article first appeared in the January 13 edition of the Wall Street Journal.

According to Satel:

I endorse treatment over punishment. But the medicalized rhetoric of the public-health establishment — namely, that addiction is a brain disease in which neural circuits are “hijacked” by drugs — oversimplifies the problem.

She goes on to explain the multiple reasons for the high failure rate of addiction treatment programs and alternative public health options and the truly daunting challenges of overcoming addiction to opiates like heroin. In particular, the high dropout rate from treatment programs is the big reason for failure because many of the addict’s challenges are not overcome in time.

Satel’s “Enlightened” Paternalism: Throw Addicts in Jail 

Less time in treatment means that addicts have less time to learn recovery strategies, like identifying the specific circumstances in which they are most vulnerable to craving the drug. Rushed treatment in the office of a primary-care doctor also means less attention to fixing the often broken lives of addicts. Healing family rifts, reintegrating into the workforce, creating healthy social networks, finding new modes of fulfillment — all are imperative, but they take time and focused therapeutic care.

She then tenderly presents her “enlightened systems of care” to better resolve the problem of addiction:

I speak from long experience when I say that few heavy users can simply take a medication and embark on a path to recovery. It often requires a healthy dose of benign paternalism and, in some cases, involuntary care through civil commitment.

In clearer words, throw the addicts in jail. Paternalism is the Orwellian idea that the state should limit some person’s liberty for what is presumed to be that person’s best interest. She even suggests that some people “voluntarily” agree to such incarceration.

I agree that in the current context some addicts are a danger to themselves and to others. However, if we are talking about such fundamental reforms, then let us think outside of the methadone clinic box of Sally Satal’s heartless recommendations.

Legalizing heroin would go a long way to eliminate black market heroin and the overdose deaths it causes. In exchange for a consoling session on how to use and not use legal heroin, the addict could purchase pure low-dose heroin. They could subsequently decide to increase or decrease their dose. This is called the maintenance approach. Clinics would open that would maintain and wean addicts off of heroin while simultaneously addressing physical, emotional, and other issues.

I know that some reader will revolt at such a suggestion. However, let us take a look at what would likely result: (1) a huge decrease in heroin overdose deaths; (2) an indefinite period of time for the addict to adjust to stress conditions, solve family problems, overcome economic problems, and to become resigned to beat their addiction; and (3) an alleviation of the anxiety the addict suffers from having to worry about finding a reliable supply, and having to spend a vast amount of time and money acquiring a supply.

Medical marijuana, i.e., cannabis, could also play a role. Cannabis might act as a substitute for addicts trying to wean themselves off of heroin. Cannabis can act to relieve many of the symptoms of withdrawal such as nausea, pain, agitation and restlessness, fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, and drug cravings.

Of course, it should go without saying that doctors should stop prescribing opiate drugs unless absolutely necessary and return to the use of non-opiate painkillers of the past.

I have been told that wealthy addicts can appear to lead normal and productive lives and that many addicts simply grow out of their addictions. Let’s give them that chance.


  1. If you want to try to reduce the number of prescriptions you are taking I would recommend the Dr. Doug McGuff and Professor Robert Murphy book The Primal Prescription.

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

The post The Neocon Cure for an Opioid Epidemic appeared first on LewRockwell.

Is Marxism Dead?

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 10/02/2017 - 07:01

About ten years ago I published a book, The Strange Death of Marxism, which argued strenuously that the present Left is not Marxist, but post-Marxist. Unlike traditional Marxists and European democratic socialists, the type of Left that has gained ground since and even before the fall of the Soviet Empire is culturally radical but only secondarily interested in economic change. Our present Left makes its peace with private enterprise and even large corporations, providing it can impose its idea of social and cultural transformation on increasingly powerless citizens and their increasingly indoctrinated children. Not that this Left is particularly friendly to anything that is private, including economic transactions. But it treats the economy as something that it can influence without having to nationalize, thereby avoiding those disastrous policies that socialist governments of the past tried to enact. Our own master class has sensibly concluded that it’s better to allow market forces to operate while making sure that public administration can dip, when it advances a pretext, into the profits. Further, the master class endlessly bullies the public into going along with increasingly complicated behavioral guidelines, supposedly intended to fight “discrimination.” It is the culture and only instrumentally the government that the post-Marxist Left seeks to dominate; and the type of administrative state that has expanded explosively in every Western country since the 1960s is an effective instrument by which social engineers and sensitivity commissars can do their work.

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Although I haven’t change my view about how the Left has transformed itself since I wrote my book, it does seem that in some ways there’s been more continuity between the old and the new Lefts than I once suggested. Old-time Marxists here and in Europe became multiculturalists almost overnight, while our current leftists still admire Communists of the past (like Castro) and associate anti-Communists with fascism. Moreover, as I’ve watched the organized anti-Trump hysteria that is gripping our grievance-crowds, soi-disant entertainment industries, and unhinged media, it is obvious that the PC-multicultural Left is following the older, more cerebral Marxist Left in three critical respects.

  1. Like the Communists and also like the Italian Fascists, the multicultural Left never sees itself as occupying positions of authority and or being able to force the unwilling to comply with its demands. As the Left understands its situation, it is always struggling to take power. Also when it seems to be on the verge of getting somewhere (as in Obama’s America), it is still in danger of being crushed by hostile forces. Just as the Left once contended that no socialist revolution had ever been fully carried out and that Communist countries were still “on the way to becoming socialist,” so too are today’s PC regimes, as viewed by their advocates, only tentative first steps toward overcoming the past. They are first steps on the long march to power; and even these steps became threatened when Hillary Clinton failed to win the presidency.
  2. There is no way that the Left can retreat from what it has achieved in transforming society without the entire edifice of change being imperiled. This corresponds to Trotsky’s formula that if the revolution is made to retreat from stage D to stage C, then the entire march toward the new society could be reversed. Therefore the march out of the gloomy repressive past must be continued unconditionally, and any retreat from it is tantamount to counterrevolution — or in the leftist fear-mongering phrase, having women forced to have abortions in back alleys, re-imposing racial segregation, and jailing homosexuals. This kind of thinking makes perfectly good sense if one begins with the assumption that one is in an “all or nothing” situation. It also doesn’t matter that President Obama stopped flights to the U.S. from Iraq in 2011 or that Bill Clinton spoke in a State of the Union address in 1994 about stopping the presence of illegals in the U.S. Nor should we notice that Donald Trump’s predecessor opposed gay marriage at the time he was elected to the presidency. It is our duty to protect whatever revolution is underway in its most advanced state. Any retreat from the present into the past, even the recent past, should be seen as an attempt to undo every bit of Progress that’s been gained until now.
  3. Anyone who threatens the still fragile, reversible process of change must be dehumanized. There can be no honest disagreements with those who either by design or because of dangerous ignorance are working against “hope and change.” One is, therefore, justified in condemning these reactionaries as the lowliest and most malevolent of beings. Like the Communists, the current Left, particularly in Western Europe, characterizes its opponents as “fascists.” Note that for the old Left, “fascism” had a quasi-scientific meaning. It referred to the defenders of a form of late capitalism, which had already reached a point of mortal crisis. “Fascists” repressed socialist revolution by creating right-wing nationalist dictatorships. In the process, phony “fascist” revolutionaries drove real leftist revolutionaries underground.

For the multicultural Left, by contrast, the once meaningful Marxist term “fascist” has been reduced to a smear. It now signifies those the Left is combatting, that is, those who disagree with all or some aspect of the Left’s social agenda. Those who oppose this agenda may or perhaps should be attacked as Nazis and even Holocaust-deniers (which an acquaintance of mine recently called me for voting for Donald Trump). If the people under attack don’t deny Nazi crimes explicitly, their view of “social justice” is so hopelessly negative that presumably, they would have enthusiastically endorsed Hitler. What else should one think of someone who is trying to push us back into the Dark Ages, perhaps as far back as 2008?

Reprinted with the author’s permission.

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La guerra al denaro contante peggiora

Freedonia - Gio, 09/02/2017 - 11:15

di James Rickards

La guerra al denaro contante è un tema che ho riproposto molte volte.

Questa guerra è in pieno svolgimento in Europa e negli Stati Uniti. Gli stati prevedono di utilizzare i tassi d'interesse negativi, le tasse e altre tecniche per derubare i risparmiatori della loro ricchezza. Per farlo, devono far finire i risparmi in conti digitali presso le grandi banche controllate dallo stato.

Fino a quando i risparmiatori detengono contanti, possono evitare molte di queste tecniche di confisca. Pertanto gli stati sono determinati ad eliminare i contanti.

L'ultimo campo di battaglia in questa guerra è l'India. In un annuncio shock dell'otto novembre, l'India ha dichiarato che le banconote da 500 e 1,000 rupie non sono più a corso legale. Immaginate — il denaro nel vostro portafoglio diventa immediatamente inutile per decreto governativo. Questo è quello che è successo.

Ci sono state eccezioni per ospedali e stazioni di servizio. Naturalmente sono spuntate ovunque lunghe file e alcune persone si sono precipitate presso gli ospedali per pagare in anticipo prestazioni mediche future con banconote ormai senza valore. L'alternativa è depositare le banconote in banca.

Lì gli indiani avrebbero ricevuto "credito digitale". Naturalmente gli esattori delle tasse erano in attesa presso le banche per chiedere dove la gente avesse preso i soldi. Coloro che non avevano una risposta accettabile, sono finiti nei guai. Questa non è la fine della guerra ai contanti, è solo l'inizio.

La decisione dell'India sta avendo effetti a catena devastanti per l'economia indiana e il mercato dell'oro. Le conseguenze della decisione sono sia spaventose che incoraggianti — spaventose perché mostrano la capacità degli stati di distruggere ricchezza, e incoraggianti perché mostrano l'ingegnosità degli individui che vivono sotto il tacco di uno stato oppressivo.

Una conseguenza immediata è che la cartamoneta ha iniziato ad essere trattata a sconto rispetto al valore nominale. In parole povere, si potevano vendere illegalmente le banconote da 1,000 rupie ad un intermediario per 750 rupie in tagli più piccoli.

L'undici novembre l'intero sistema bancario in India ha cominciato a rimanere a corto di denaro contante e di forme alternative di pagamento, mentre emergevano scambi in oro e col baratto. Non pensate a queste cose come a qualcosa che accade solo nei paesi poveri. Scene simili accadranno anche negli Stati Uniti e in Europa, man mano che le élite diventeranno più disperate.

Le élite globali stanno utilizzando i tassi d'interesse negativi per mimare gli effetti dell'inflazione — far sparire il vostro denaro. Un modo per evitare i tassi d'interesse negativi è quello di possedere denaro contante. Al fine di evitare questa opzione, le élite hanno lanciato una guerra al contante.

La guerra al contante ha due spinte principali. La prima è quella di rendere difficile l'accesso al denaro contante. Le banche statunitensi, utilizzando il Modulo SAR (comunicazione di sospetto), riferiranno di chiunque ritiri più di $3,000 in contanti, poiché potenzialmente coinvolto in "attività sospette".

La seconda è quella di eliminare le banconote di grosso taglio. Gli Stati Uniti si sono sbarazzati della banconota da $500 nel 1969 e la banconota da $100 ha perso l'85% del suo potere d'acquisto sin da allora. Con un po' più d'inflazione, la banconota da $100 sarà ridotta ad un comune resto.

La guerra al contante è una notizia vecchia, ma ci sono nuovi sviluppi. Lo scorso maggio la Banca Centrale Europea ha annunciato che avrebbe interrotto la produzione di nuove banconote da €500. Le banconote da €500 ancora circolanti saranno ancora a corso legale, ma non ne saranno prodotte di nuove.

Ciò significa che nel corso del tempo, le banconote saranno scarse e gli individui che avranno bisogno di tagli grandi dovranno pagare un prezzo superiore al valore nominale, ad esempio, €502 in tagli più piccoli per una banconota da €500. Il premio di €2 in questo esempio è praticamente un tasso d'interesse negativo sulla liquidità.

L'idea dietro la guerra al contante è quella di convogliare forzatamente i risparmiatori nei conti bancari digitali, in modo che il loro denaro possa essere sottratto sotto forma di tassi d'interesse negativi. Una soluzione semplice sarebbe quella di accumulare contanti.

Se i contanti diventano scarsi (o quasi inutili a causa dell'inflazione), i risparmiatori possono pagare un lieve sovrapprezzo per le banconote di grosso taglio. Il premio scompare perché la banconota non paga alcun interesse. Le élite hanno effettivamente trovato un modo per avere tassi d'interesse negativi al di fuori dei conti digitali.

Un'altra soluzione ai tassi d'interesse negativi è quella di comprare oro fisico. Ma se lo stato ha dichiarato guerra al contante, la guerra all'oro può essere tanto lontana? Probabilmente no.

Ma gli stati usano sempre il riciclaggio di denaro, il traffico di droga e il terrorismo come scusa per tenere sotto controllo i cittadini onesti e privarli della possibilità di utilizzare alternative al denaro contante, come cartamoneta fisica e oro. Quando si inizia a vedere articoli di giornale su criminali che utilizzano l'oro al posto del contante, questo significa una spinta alla regolamentazione statale dell'oro.

Indovinate un po'? Un articolo simile è apparso proprio questa primavera su Bloomberg. Questo è un motivo in più per comprare oro fisico ora, mentre è ancora possibile.

Come se inflazione, confisca e tassi negativi non siano già sufficienti, le élite globali stanno coordinando un nuovo piano per una tassazione globale. Come al solito, c'è un nome tecnico affinché i profani non capiscano il piano. Si chiama base erosion and profit shifting, o "BEPS".

Il progetto BEPS viene gestito dall'OCSE e dal G-20, con il Fondo Monetario Internazionale che contribuisce come supporto tecnico. Se siete interessati al BEPS, c'è un intero sito web dedicato ai piani di tassazione globale e ai vari passi per implementarlo.

Val la pena dare un'occhiata al sito web. Per parafrasare quella famosa frase attribuita a Trotsky: "Potreste non essere interessati al BEPS, ma il BEPS è interessato a voi."

Il piano delle élite globali non si ferma qui. C'è anche il cambiamento climatico monitorato dalle Nazioni Unite. Questo programma si chiama United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

La storia del cambiamento climatico è un argomento controverso, ma non c'è bisogno di parlarne in maniera approfondita per i nostri scopi. È sufficiente sapere che il cambiamento climatico è una piattaforma conveniente per una moneta unica mondiale e una tassazione mondiale.

Questo perché il cambiamento climatico non rispetta i confini nazionali. Se si ha un problema globale, allora si possono giustificare soluzioni globali. Un piano per una tassa globale affinché si finanzino infrastrutture legate al cambiamento climatico con una moneta unica mondiale, è la fine dei giochi.

Il cambiamento climatico è correlato al sistema monetario internazionale. Christine Lagarde non dà quasi mai un discorso sulla finanza senza menzionare il cambiamento climatico. Lo stesso vale per le altre élite monetarie. Sanno che il cambiamento climatico è il loro percorso per il controllo finanziario globale.

Questo è il piano delle élite globali. Una moneta unica mondiale, un'inflazione mondiale e una tassazione mondiale, con il FMI come banca centrale del mondo e il G-20 come Consiglio di Amministrazione. Niente di tutto questo è un segreto. È tutto in bella vista.

Questo ci riserba il futuro.


[*] traduzione di Francesco Simoncelli:

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