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Berkeley Commies

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 09/02/2017 - 10:02

Everyone is no doubt grimly aware of the events that transpired at the University of California at Berkeley days ago when writer and speaker Milo Yiannopoulos attempted to deliver a speech. He was met with violent protesters who smashed windows and ATMs, set things on fire, destroyed property of various kinds, and beat people senseless.

Milo has since confirmed his intention to return to Berkeley at some point in the future.

Leftist protesters, surveying the situation and its aftermath, have persuaded themselves that the whole thing went really quite smoothly.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, organizers of the riot (it wasn’t really a “demonstration”) are calling it “stunningly successful.”

“Everyone played a part,” said Berkeley Law School alum Roland Cruz, of the group By Any Means Necessary. “Some engaged in breaking windows – others held signs and made sure that the fascists and the police did not attack anyone.”

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Yes, really smooth.

The “fascists,” of course, were the regular people who wished to attend the event. Unlike leftists, these folks are not known for committing acts of violence, so as usual the snowflakes didn’t have much to worry about.

Meanwhile, the whole country sees a pleasant and articulate young guy – who made many media appearances as a result of the incident – having to flee for his life from a raging mob. The mob thought breaking windows and destroying property, not to mention beating people up, was an appropriate way to indicate their disagreement with Milo’s views.

Yeah, that’s super smooth. Americans really go for that.

“This was self-defense,” Cruz said. “Windows can be replaced. People can’t be.”

Self-defense.

Sure.

So far no deaths yet reported from a Milo speech, but we’ll keep watching.

Oh, and how generous of Cruz to note that windows can be replaced. Cruz isn’t quite generous enough to do the replacing himself, of course. That will be done by capitalist insurance companies.

Meanwhile, Google searches for “Milo” shot through the roof, and Milo’s Facebook page saw an increase of at least 100,000 likes.

Smooth, lefties! Smooth!

Then, too, Milo’s book, which isn’t being released until next month, shot to number 1 on Amazon.

Yep, those leftists sure showed Milo!

Every time something like this happens, Milo’s star rises still more. The effect is so obvious that even the left-wing Robert Reich noted it, suggesting that perhaps Milo put the protesters up to the violence in order to capitalize on it in precisely this way.

Lefties, here’s some advice: when people are guessing that you must be on Milo’s payroll because you’re helping him so much, your thing may not have gone so smoothly after all.

It’s rather like (if I may borrow an example that may resonate with them) when Stalinists called the Five Year Plan “stunningly successful.”

When Cruz was told of Milo’s intention to return, he replied: “I would be surprised if he tries to after his humiliating defeat. But if he wants to be defeated again, he will be if he tries.”

A major media tour, a substantial increase in his notoriety, and a #1 bestselling book, and Cruz thinks this is a “humiliating defeat.”

Stupidity at that level deserves a prize. Like the “everyone gets a trophy” kind of prize that Cruz no doubt got plenty of as a kid.

I have more fun at these (and other) folks’ expense in my new eBook, Sane Space: Libertarian Dispatches from Bizarro America, which I’m giving away for free.

The post Berkeley Commies appeared first on LewRockwell.

30 New Words Make the Big-Tim

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 09/02/2017 - 07:01

The team over at Merriam-Webster is responsible for keeping a vigilant eye on shifting language trends. They’ve made some pretty bold moves recently (like declaring that a hot dog is a sandwich). Now, they’re adding over 1000 new words to the dictionary, some of which are sure to raise a few eyebrows.

As you might expect, the latest batch features plenty of internet-bred slang terms. If you’ve ever been at a loss when someone tells you they just finished binge-watching their favorite NSFW mumblecore films, Merriam-Webster can now help you translate. The new entries also include words related to fields like sports, medicine, and politics. For a sample of the most recent additions to the dictionary, refer to the listicle below:

1. AIRBALL (V.)

To completely miss the basket, rim, and backboard with a shot: to shoot an air ball.

2. BINGE-WATCH (V.)

To watch many or all episodes of (a TV series) in rapid succession.

3. BOKEH (N.)

The blurred quality or effect seen in the out-of-focus portion of a photograph taken with a narrow depth of field.

4. CONLANG (N.)

An invented language.

5. ELDERFLOWER (N.)

The flower of an elderberry (such as Sambucus nigra) used especially in making wines, liqueurs, and teas.

6. FACE-PALM (V.)

To cover one’s face with the hand as an expression of embarrassment.

7. FAST FASHION (N.)

An approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers.

8. FIRST WORLD PROBLEM (N.)

A usually minor or trivial problem or annoyance experienced by people in relatively affluent or privileged circumstances especially as contrasted with problems of greater social significance facing people in poor and underdeveloped parts of the world.

9. FOOD INSECURE (ADJ.)

Unable to consistently access or afford adequate food.

10. GHOST (V.)

To abruptly cut off all contact with (someone, such as a former romantic partner) by no longer accepting or responding to phone calls, instant messages, etc.

11. GINGER (N.)

A person with red hair.

12. HUMBLEBRAG (V.)

To make a seemingly modest, self-critical, or casual statement or reference that is meant to draw attention to one’s admirable or impressive qualities or achievements.

13. LISTICLE (N.)

An article consisting of a series of items presented as a list.

14. MICROAGGRESSION (N.)

A comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group (such as a racial minority).

15. MICROBIOME (N.) 

A community of microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses) that inhabit a particular environment and especially the collection of microorganisms living in or on the human body.

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Curing the Heroin Epidemic

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 09/02/2017 - 07:01

A heroin epidemic has been spreading across the United States, expanding enormously for the last several years. With it, the number of people dying has also increased dramatically. While politicians offer failed solutions like “securing the borders,” the real solution is to legalize drugs.

The number of drug overdoses in the US is approaching 50,000 per year. Of that number nearly 20,000 are attributed to legal painkillers, such as Oxycontin. More than 10,000 die of heroin overdoses. I believe these figures vastly underestimate the number of deaths that are related to prescription drug use.

The “face” of the heroin epidemic has changed since the 1960s when it was largely contained to urban “junkies” and Vietnam veterans. In recent years the epidemic spread to suburbia as heroin became a low-cost substitute for other drugs. In more recent times, the epidemic has spread to rural areas such as fishing villages in Maine and coal mining towns in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

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The problem of the epidemic rests with two causes. The first is the War on Drugs which creates profit incentives in the black market for the distribution of the most dangerous drugs. The second is the pharmaceutical-medical-FDA complex, or Big Pharma, which profits from treating pain with dangerous pharmaceutical drugs.

The Problem with Illegal Opiates

The War on Drugs makes the business of black market drugs more risky and expensive. Hundreds of thousands are arrested every year for illegal drug violations. If drug smugglers can make their shipments of, for example, 1,000 doses or units smaller, they are better able to avoid detection, capture, and punishment. The best and most obvious way to achieve this is to smuggle more potent versions of the drug, or more potent drugs.

Marijuana growers sought to meet the demand of smugglers by offering better processed, better grown, and eventually genetically engineered products tightly packed into “bricks.” As a result, the potency of THC in marijuana increased from less than 0.5 percent when the War on Drugs began in the early 1970s, to almost 10 percent today.

Of course, the incentive from the War on Drugs does not stop there. It also encourages producers to switch to other drugs that are more compact and potent. Therefore, marijuana as a class of drug is disadvantaged compared to more potent and more dangerous drugs like cocaine and heroin. This leaves a black market where one dose of marijuana is relatively more expensive than one dose of heroin.

In the black market, consumers do not know how potent their purchases will be until after the product has been consumed. In the free market, the potency of a Bayer aspirin is always the same. In the black market, the potency of products can vary widely over time. Also, a consumer’s tolerance for a drug changes over time. Daily users may have to increase their dose over time, while new users or relapsed addicts may only need small doses. If any individual takes much more than the appropriate dose for them, then they will stop breathing and can die.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s overdose death helps illustrate the pitfalls created by the War on Drugs. Hoffman was a drug addict that had been off of drugs for many years. When he became overwhelmed with personal problems he relapsed and died from a combination of prescription and potent illegal drugs. There have also been numerous reports about heroin being sold that contain both heroin and a legal opiate, Fentanyl, which is often lethal.

In a free market, heroin would come in an unadulterated pharmaceutical grade form of various identified doses. It would have warning labels and instructions. You might have to consult a medical doctor or pharmacist before purchasing heroin, or you might have to go to a clinic. The producers, distributors, and retailers would have some liability for negligence. Before it was made illegal in 1914 one of the most popular heroin products was Bayer’s Heroin.

The Problem with Legal Opiates

One of the biggest problems with legal opiates and heroin is that the medical-pharmaceutical-FDA complex has achieved a much greater use rate in recent years. Essentially, the pharmaceutical companies bribe medical researchers, doctors, and heath bureaucrats to recommend to authorities such as the FDA to promote the use of drugs such as Oxycontin and Vicodin, instead of less powerful and less addictive alternatives that were used in the past. Of course, the taxpayer ends up paying for most of the bill.

A couple of years ago while traveling I went to a “Doc in the Box” for a minor medical issue. I was examined by a physician’s assistant and was asked what pharmacy I used. I picked up the prescription after leaving and took one pill when I arrived at the motel. I sat in a chair and later became groggy and almost lost my balance when I stood up. As soon as I steadied myself, I went to check the prescription. To my amazement, it was Oxycontin!

The problem gets worse from there because physicians are also under pressure from the government to not overprescribe strong painkillers. They, for example, cannot continue to prescribe painkillers after a wound has obviously healed. The result is that people are addicted and then cut off from these powerful opiate prescriptions.

Their alternatives include entering an addiction treatment program which can be expensive, time-consuming, and ineffective. As a result, these freshly minted addicts can turn to the black market for Oxycontin and Vicodin. The problem here is that it can cost $10–25 per pill and addicts require multiple pills per day. Also, the supply of such pills can be erratic.

Their next alternative is the black market heroin which seems to be more available than ever and often at a lower price per dose. If you buy in large quantities you can obtain a dose for as little as $4.00 and possibly lower.

Legal Use Leads to Illegal Use

This explains why we have seen the heroin epidemic spread across the country. Doctors are prescribing legal opiates to people like fishermen and coal miners who sustain painful injuries on a regular basis. They become addicted and then get cut off. Eventually, they cannot afford the black market prescription drugs, so they turn to the often deadly alternative, heroin.

How can the drug legalization help solve this vexing problem? First of all, in a free market, you would not have Big Pharma rigging the medical practices of doctors around the country creating thousands of addicts each month. Second, drug addiction treatment programs could use the maintenance and withdrawal method which was used somewhat effectively prior to the passage of the Harrison Narcotics Act in 1914.

Third, in a free market, drugs like heroin would be produced and sold on a commercial basis. It would be a standardized product(s) and companies that sold dangerous and addictive products would do so under several legal constraints, such as liability and negligence law. Fourth, cannabis would be legal and produced for several medical purposes, like it was prior to the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. Many of the pre-prohibition products were used to treat pain, as well as many of the symptoms associated with opiate withdrawal, such as muscle aches, anxiety, inability to sleep, nausea, and vomiting.

With drug legalization, the number of overdose deaths would plummet and tens of thousands of families would not have their lives ruined every year.

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

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Trump’s Sorehead Senate Enemies

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 09/02/2017 - 07:01

A group of prominent US senators is leading a bipartisan effort to push through the so-called Russia Review Act, which would allow the Senate to veto any attempt of newcomer President Donald Trump to loosen sanctions on Moscow.

The group, which currently consists of six senators, is growing, according to a report by CNN, which sees the initiative as Congress’ latest warning to Trump signifying that it will not tolerate unilateral moves by the executive branch to reconcile with Moscow, especially the lifting of sanctions.

The group led by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) also includes Marco Rubio (R-Florida), John McCain (R-Arizona), Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

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On Wednesday, they are planning to introduce legislation that would subject any decision the president takes concerning Russia to a 120 day review, during which Congress could put any move to lift sanctions to a vote, according to a copy of the draft shown to CNN.

If Trump was to order the lifting of sanctions without Russia pulling out of Crimea, the Florida senator believes there’s strong enough opposition among legislators to veto the move. The US still considers Crimea to be part of Ukraine.

“I think if there was a real threat of lifting sanctions minus the respect for Ukrainian sovereignty and meeting those conditions, my sense is that we would have the votes to pass that in the Senate and we would be able to pass it with a veto-proof majority,” Rubio told the news network.

Meanwhile, another bill is being formulated by another group of a dozen senators who wish to impose an additional set of comprehensive sanctions on Moscow, on top of those already in place. They justify the move citing Crimea’s decision to reunite with Russia in a referendum following an armed coup in Kiev (referred to as “annexation” by Washington), as well as unproven allegations that Russia carried out cyber-attacks to influence the US election.

No date has been set for a vote on that bill.

Both acts would require a supermajority of 67 Senate votes, which sponsor Ben Cardin of Maryland believes is achievable.

The news comes before the dust has even settled on Trump’s interview with Bill O’Reilly on Fox, during which the host tried to coax the president into making harsh comments about Vladimir Putin, even going so far as to call the Russian president a “killer.” Trump refused to take the bait, however, causing quite a stir in anti-Russian circles on Capitol Hill.

Reports about the new bill come as tensions between Moscow and Kiev have increased over the issue of holding elections in the Donbass region. Moscow believes elections should go ahead, provided that free and fair electoral procedures are observed and the safety of all candidates is ensured, while Kiev insists that no elections can be held until it has to establish full control over the rebel regions and their borders with Russia. Moreover, ultranationalist and neo-Nazi elements in Ukraine have been putting pressure on the Kiev government, threatening to oust Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko if elections in the breakaway regions take place.

Reprinted from RT News.

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Hillary’s Son-in-Law’s Firm Goes Belly-Up

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 09/02/2017 - 07:01

Marc Mezvinsky quietly shut down his hedge fund Eaglevale Partners back in December.

Bloomberg reports that Mr. Chelsea Clinton and his partners are now working to return money to investors, including Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein.

The decision to shutter the fund came just a few weeks after Mezvinsky’s mother-in-law Hillary lost the election to president Donald Trump.

Mezvinsky has kept a low profile ever since Hillary’s loss in the election, but was photographed by DailyMail.com heading out for a weekday jog in the middle of the afternoon last week.

He and his wife are now both without a full-time job.

It was revealed last May that Mezvinsky suffered a huge loss after trying to bet on the revival of the Greek economy, forcing him to shut down one of his hedge funds.

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He and his partners, former Goldman Sachs colleagues Bennett Grau and Mark Mallon, raised $25million from investors to buy up bank stocks and debt from the struggling nation.

That fund however has lost 90 percent of its value, investors with direct knowledge of the situation told The New York Times, and was closed. 

Eaglevale Partners was started in 2011 by Mezvinsky and his partners, with their former boss, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein, one of the first investors.

Another is leading financier, Marc Lasry, co-founder of $13 billion hedge fund Avenue Capital, where Chelsea worked after graduating from Stanford.

‘I gave them money because I thought they would make me money,’ Mr Lasry told The Times last year, after investing $1 million in Eaglevale and urging a relative to do the same.

Mezvinsky was long gone from his job at Goldman in October 2013 when his mother-in-law Hillary was paid to give a speech to executives at the company during a technology conference in Arizona.

She was reportedly paid $225,000 for that appearance.

Mezvinsky and his partners had written to clients in 2014 to declare confidence in their ‘Hellenic Opportunity’ fund, predicting that Greece was on the path to a ‘sustainable recovery’.

By that point they had collected $25 million but stopped taking money by the end of that year when it became clear the country’s economy would collapse without a massive Eurozone bailout.

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Millennials Are Struggling at Work

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 09/02/2017 - 07:01

Bosses the world over are struggling with their millennial employees – they say we confound leadership, are self-entitled, narcissistic, lazy and tough to manage.

But according to motivational speaker and author Simon Sinek, this is the result of our parents’ “failed parenting strategies.”

After the astounding success of his video on millennials in the workplace, which has had over 56 million views on Facebook alone, Sinek spoke to The Independent about how our parenting, combined with social media, working environments, and our impatience have created a generation plagued by low self-esteem, and what we can do about it.

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According to Sinek, 43, parents of millennial have now realised that their well-intentioned parenting strategies may have backfired.

They told us we were special all the time and could have anything we want in life. We got medals for coming in last and if we didn’t get into the best clubs, our parents complained. This meant entering the real world was a shock and our self-images were shattered.

“It was a time when greed was good and parents raised their kids encouraging them to be individual and put themselves first,” Sinek explains.

“Whilst really great in theory, parents were also pushing their kids to get the top grades, focus on rankings and make money, which left them conflicted.”

Sinek knows of millennials who’ve gone to their bosses asking for a promotion, but openly saying they only want the title, not a pay-rise. The reason is that many millennials feel the need to show on Facebook and LinkedIn that they’re rising through the ranks quicker than anyone else – seeing a peer get a promotion inevitably creates stress that your career isn’t progressing fast enough.

And another problem is that we’ve been brought up to focus on having a healthy work/life balance – “the message is correct, but it seems to have been exaggerated and misinterpreted,” Sinek explains.

He believes the pendulum has swung too far the other way – while older generations may have felt chained to their desks, many millennials leave work on the dot of 5pm every day and refuse to answer work calls or emails over the weekend. This attitude is one of the reasons we have a reputation for entitlement.

Studies may show that the millennial generation reports having high self-esteem, but that largely includes narcissism and extrinsic rewards: “Reporting that you’re self-confident and being self-confident are not the same thing,” Sinek points out.

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The Number-One Mind-Control Program at US Colleges

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 09/02/2017 - 07:01

Here is a staggering statistic from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): “More than 25 percent of college students have been diagnosed or treated by a professional for a mental health condition within the past year.”

Let that sink in. 25 percent.

Colleges are basically clinics. Psychiatric centers.

Colleges have been taken over. A soft coup has occurred, out of view.

You want to know where all this victim-oriented “I’m triggered” and “I need a safe space” comes from? You just found it.

It’s a short step from being diagnosed with a mental disorder to adopting the role of being super-sensitive to “triggers.” You could call it a self-fulfilling prophecy. “If I have a mental disorder, then I’m a victim, and then what people say and do around me is going disturb me…and I’ll prove it.”

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The dangerous and destabilizing effects of psychiatric drugs confirm this attitude. The drugs DO, in fact, produce an exaggerated and distorted sensitivity to a person’s environment.

You want to know where a certain amount of violent aggressive behavior on campuses comes from? You just found it. The psychiatric drugs. In particular, antidepressants and speed-type medications for ADHD.

You want to know why so many college students can’t focus on their studies? You just found one reason. The brain effects of the drugs.

The usual variety of student problems are translated into pseudoscientific categories of “mental disorders”—and toxic drugging ensues.

A college student says to himself, “I’m having trouble with my courses. I don’t understand what my professors want. My reading level isn’t good enough. I don’t like the professors who have a political bias. I’m confused. I miss my friends back home. I feel like a stranger on campus. I’d like to date, but I don’t know where to start. There are groups on campus. Should I join one? Well, maybe I need help. I should go to the counseling center and talk to a psychologist. That’s what they’re there for. Maybe I have a problem I don’t know about…”

And so it begins.

The student is looking for an explanation of his problems. But this search will morph into: having a socially acceptable excuse for not doing well. Understand the distinction.

After a bit of counseling, the student is referred to a psychiatrist, who makes a diagnosis of depression, and prescribes a drug. Now the student says, “That’s a relief. Now I know why I have a problem. I have a mental disorder. I never knew that. I’m operating at a disadvantage. I’m a victim of a brain abnormality. Okay. That means I really shouldn’t be expected to succeed. Situations affect my mood. What people say affects my mood.”

And pretty soon, the whole idea of being triggered and needing a safe space makes sense to the student. He’s heading down a slippery slope, but he doesn’t grasp what’s actually going on. On top of that, the drug he’s taking is disrupting his thoughts and his brain activity. But of course, the psychiatrist tells him no, it’s not the drug, it’s the condition, the clinical depression, which is worsening and making it harder to think clearly. He needs a different drug. The student is now firmly in the system. He’s a patient. He’s expected to have trouble coping. And on and on it goes.

Buckle up. Here is the background. Here is what psychiatry is all about—

Wherever you see organized psychiatry operating, you see it trying to expand its domain and its dominance. The Hippocratic Oath to do no harm? Are you kidding?

The first question to ask is: do these mental disorders have any scientific basis? There are now roughly 300 of them. They multiply like fruit flies.

An open secret has been bleeding out into public consciousness for the past ten years.

THERE ARE NO DEFINITIVE LABORATORY TESTS FOR ANY SO-CALLED MENTAL DISORDER.

And along with that:

ALL SO-CALLED MENTAL DISORDERS ARE CONCOCTED, NAMED, LABELED, DESCRIBED, AND CATEGORIZED by a committee of psychiatrists, from menus of human behaviors.

Their findings are published in periodically updated editions of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), printed by the American Psychiatric Association.

For years, even psychiatrists have been blowing the whistle on this hazy crazy process of “research.”

Of course, pharmaceutical companies, who manufacture highly toxic drugs to treat every one of these “disorders,” are leading the charge to invent more and more mental-health categories, so they can sell more drugs and make more money.

In a PBS Frontline episode, Does ADHD Exist?, Dr. Russell Barkley, an eminent professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, unintentionally spelled out the fraud.

PBS FRONTLINE INTERVIEWER: Skeptics say that there’s no biological marker—that it [ADHD] is the one condition out there where there is no blood test, and that no one knows what causes it.

BARKLEY: That’s tremendously naïve, and it shows a great deal of illiteracy about science and about the mental health professions. A disorder doesn’t have to have a blood test to be valid. If that were the case, all mental disorders would be invalid… There is no lab test for any mental disorder right now in our science. That doesn’t make them invalid. [Emphasis added]

Oh, indeed, that does make them invalid. Utterly and completely. All 297 mental disorders. They’re all hoaxes. Because there are no defining tests of any kind to back up the diagnosis.

You can sway and tap dance and bloviate all you like and you won’t escape the noose around your neck. We are looking at a science that isn’t a science. That’s called fraud. Rank fraud.

There’s more. Under the radar, one of the great psychiatric stars, who has been out in front inventing mental disorders, went public. He blew the whistle on himself and his colleagues. And for years, almost no one noticed.

His name is Dr. Allen Frances, and he made VERY interesting statements to Gary Greenberg, author of a Wired article: “Inside the Battle to Define Mental Illness.” (Dec.27, 2010).

Major media never picked up on the interview in any serious way. It never became a scandal.

Dr. Allen Frances is the man who, in 1994, headed up the project to write the latest edition of the psychiatric bible, the DSM-IV. This tome defines and labels and describes every official mental disorder. The DSM-IV eventually listed 297 of them.

In an April 19, 1994, New York Times piece, “Scientist At Work,” Daniel Goleman called Frances “Perhaps the most powerful psychiatrist in America at the moment…”

Well, sure. If you’re sculpting the entire canon of diagnosable mental disorders for your colleagues, for insurers, for the government, for Pharma (who will sell the drugs matched up to the 297 DSM-IV diagnoses), you’re right up there in the pantheon.

Long after the DSM-IV had been put into print, Dr. Frances talked to Wired’s Greenberg and said the following:

“There is no definition of a mental disorder. It’s bullshit. I mean, you just can’t define it.”

BANG.

That’s on the order of the designer of the Hindenburg, looking at the burned rubble on the ground, remarking, “Well, I knew there would be a problem.”

After a suitable pause, Dr. Frances remarked to Greenberg, “These concepts [of distinct mental disorders] are virtually impossible to define precisely with bright lines at the borders.”

Frances might have been obliquely referring to the fact that his baby, the DSM-IV, had rearranged earlier definitions of ADHD and Bipolar to permit many MORE diagnoses, leading to a vast acceleration of drug-dosing with highly powerful and toxic compounds.

If this is medical science, a duck is a rocket ship.

To repeat, Dr. Frances’ work on the DSM IV allowed for MORE toxic drugs to be prescribed, because the definitions of Bipolar and ADHD were expanded to include more people.

Adverse effects of Valproate (given for a Bipolar diagnosis) include:

* acute, life-threatening, and even fatal liver toxicity;* life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas;* brain damage.

Adverse effects of Lithium (also given for a Bipolar diagnosis) include:

* intercranial pressure leading to blindness;* peripheral circulatory collapse;* stupor and coma.

Adverse effects of Risperdal (given for “Bipolar” and “irritability stemming from autism”) include:

* serious impairment of cognitive function;* fainting;* restless muscles in neck or face, tremors (may be indicative of motor brain damage).

Dr. Frances self-admitted label-juggling act also permitted the definition of ADHD to expand, thereby opening the door for greater and greater use of Ritalin (and other similar compounds) as the treatment of choice.

So…what about Ritalin?

In 1986, The International Journal of the Addictions published an important literature review by Richard Scarnati. It was called “An Outline of Hazardous Side Effects of Ritalin (Methylphenidate)” [v.21(7), pp. 837-841].

Scarnati listed a large number of adverse effects of Ritalin and cited published journal articles which reported each of these symptoms.

For every one of the following (selected and quoted verbatim) Ritalin effects, there is at least one confirming source in the medical literature:

* Paranoid delusions* Paranoid psychosis* Hypomanic and manic symptoms, amphetamine-like psychosis* Activation of psychotic symptoms* Toxic psychosis* Visual hallucinations* Auditory hallucinations* Can surpass LSD in producing bizarre experiences* Effects pathological thought processes* Extreme withdrawal* Terrified affect* Started screaming* Aggressiveness* Insomnia* Since Ritalin is considered an amphetamine-type drug, expect amphetamine-like effects* Psychic dependence* High-abuse potential DEA Schedule II Drug* Decreased REM sleep* When used with antidepressants one may see dangerous reactions including hypertension, seizures and hypothermia* Convulsions* Brain damage may be seen with amphetamine abuse.

In the US alone, there are at least 300,000 cases of motor brain damage incurred by people who have been prescribed so-called anti-psychotic drugs (aka “major tranquilizers”). Risperdal (mentioned above as a drug given to people diagnosed with Bipolar) is one of those major tranquilizers. (source: Toxic Psychiatry, Dr. Peter Breggin, St. Martin’s Press, 1991)

This psychiatric drug plague is accelerating across the land.

Where are the mainstream reporters and editors and newspapers and TV anchors who should be breaking this story and mercilessly hammering on it week after week? They are in harness.

Thank you, Dr. Frances.

Let’s take a little trip back in time and review how one psychiatric drug, Prozac, escaped a bitter fate, by hook and by crook. It’s an instructive case.

Prozac, in fact, endured a rocky road in the press for a while. Stories on it rarely appear now. The major media have backed off. But on February 7th, 1991, Amy Marcus’ Wall Street Journal article on the drug carried the headline, “Murder Trials Introduce Prozac Defense.”

She wrote, “A spate of murder trials in which defendants claim they became violent when they took the antidepressant Prozac are imposing new problems for the drug’s maker, Eli Lilly and Co.”

Also on February 7, 1991, the New York Times ran a Prozac piece headlined, “Suicidal Behavior Tied Again to Drug: Does Antidepressant Prompt Violence?”

In his landmark book, Toxic Psychiatry, Dr. Peter Breggin mentions that the Donahue show (Feb. 28, 1991) “put together a group of individuals who had become compulsively self-destructive and murderous after taking Prozac and the clamorous telephone and audience response confirmed the problem.”

A shocking review-study published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases (1996, v.184, no.2), written by Rhoda L. Fisher and Seymour Fisher, called “Antidepressants for Children,” concludes:

“Despite unanimous literature of double-blind studies indicating that antidepressants are no more effective than placebos in treating depression in children and adolescents, such medications continue to be in wide use.”

An instructive article, “Protecting Prozac,” by Michael Grinfeld, in the December 1998 California Lawyer, opens several doors. Grinfeld notes that “in the past year nearly a dozen cases involving Prozac have disappeared from the court record.” He was talking about law suits against the manufacturer, Eli Lilly, and he was saying that those cases had apparently been settled, without trial, in such a quiet and final way, with such strict confidentiality, that it is almost as if they never happened.

Grinfeld details a set of maneuvers involving attorney Paul Smith, who in the early 1990s became the lead plaintiffs’ counsel in the famous Fentress lawsuit against Eli Lilly.

The plaintiffs made the accusation that Prozac had induced a man to commit murder. This was the first action involving Prozac to reach a trial and jury, so it would establish a major precedent for a large number of other pending suits against the manufacturer.

The case: On September 14, 1989, Joseph Wesbecker, a former employee of Standard Gravure, in Louisville, Kentucky, walked into the workplace, with an AK-47 and a SIG Sauer pistol, killed eight people, wounded 12 others, and committed suicide. Family members of the victims subsequently sued Eli Lilly, the maker of Prozac, on the grounds that Wesbecker had been pushed over the edge into violence by the drug.

The trial: After what many people thought was a very weak attack on Lilly by plaintiffs’ lawyer Smith, the jury came back in five hours with an easy verdict favoring Lilly and Prozac.

Grinfeld writes, “Lilly’s defense attorneys predicted the verdict would be the death knell for [anti-]Prozac litigation.”

But that wasn’t the end of the Fentress case. “Rumors began to circulate that [the plaintiffs’ attorney] Smith had made several [prior] oral agreements with Lilly concerning the evidence that would be presented [in the Fentress case], the structure of a post-verdict settlement, and the potential resolution of Smith’s other [anti-Prozac] cases.”

In other words, the rumors declared: This plaintiff’s lawyer, Smith, made a deal with Lilly to present a weak attack, to omit evidence damaging to Prozac, so that the jury would find Lilly innocent of all charges. In return, the case would be settled secretly, with Lilly paying out big monies to Smith’s client. In this way, Lilly would avoid the exposure of a public settlement, and through the innocent verdict, would discourage other potential plaintiffs from suing it over Prozac.

The rumors congealed. The judge in the Fentress case, John Potter, asked lawyers on both sides if “money had changed hands.” He wanted to know if the fix was in. The lawyers said no money had been paid, “without acknowledging that an agreement was in place.”

Judge Potter didn’t stop there. In April 1995, Grinfeld notes, “In court papers, Potter wrote that he was surprised that the plaintiffs’ attorneys [Smith] hadn’t introduced evidence that Lilly had been charged criminally for failing to report deaths from another of its drugs to the Food and Drug Administration. Smith had fought hard [during the Fentress trial] to convince Potter to admit that evidence, and then unaccountably withheld it.”

In Judge Potter’s motion, he alleged that “Lilly [in the Fentress case] sought to buy not just the verdict, but the court’s judgment as well.”

In 1996, the Kentucky Supreme Court issued an opinion: “…there was a serious lack of candor with the trial court [during Fentress] and there may have been deception, bad faith conduct, abuse of the judicial process or perhaps even fraud.”

After the Supreme Court remanded the Fentress case back to the state attorney general’s office, the whole matter dribbled away, and then resurfaced in a different form, in another venue. At the time of the California Lawyer article, a new action against attorney Smith was unresolved. Eventually, Eli Lilly escaped punishment.

Based on the rigged Fentress case, Eli Lilly silenced many lawsuits based on Prozac inducing murder and suicide.

Quite a story.

And it all really starts with the institution of psychiatry inventing a whole branch of science that doesn’t exist, thereby defining 300 mental disorders that don’t exist.

Here are data about psychiatric drugs and violence from several studies:

February 1990 American Journal of Psychiatry (Teicher et al, v.147:207-210) reports on “six depressed patients, previously free of recent suicidal ideation, who developed `intense, violent suicidal preoccupations after 2-7 weeks of fluoxetine [Prozac] treatment.’ The suicidal preoccupations lasted from three days to three months after termination of the treatment. The report estimates that 3.5 percent of Prozac users were at risk. While denying the validity of the study, Dista Products, a division of Eli Lilly, put out a brochure for doctors dated August 31, 1990, stating that it was adding `suicidal ideation’ to the adverse events section of its Prozac product information.”

An earlier study, from the September 1989 Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, by Joseph Lipiniski, Jr., indicates that in five examined cases people on Prozac developed what is called akathesia. Symptoms include intense anxiety, inability to sleep, the “jerking of extremities,” and “bicycling in bed or just turning around and around.” Dr. Peter Breggin comments that akathesia “may also contribute to the drug’s tendency to cause self-destructive or violent tendencies … Akathesia can become the equivalent of biochemical torture and could possibly tip someone over the edge into self-destructive or violent behavior … The June 1990 Health Newsletter, produced by the Public Citizen Research Group, reports, ‘Akathesia, or symptoms of restlessness, constant pacing, and purposeless movements of the feet and legs, may occur in 10-25 percent of patients on Prozac.’”

The well-known publication, California Lawyer, in a December 1998 article called “Protecting Prozac,” details some of the suspect maneuvers of Eli Lilly in its handling of suits against Prozac. California Lawyer also mentions other highly qualified critics of the drug: “David Healy, MD, an internationally renowned psychopharmacologist, has stated in sworn deposition that `contrary to Lilly’s view, there is a plausible cause-and-effect relationship between Prozac’ and suicidal-homicidal events. An epidemiological study published in 1995 by the British Medical Journal also links Prozac to increased suicide risk.”

When pressed, proponents of these SSRI antidepressant drugs (Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, etc.) sometimes say, “Well, the benefits for the general population far outweigh the risk.” But the issue of benefits will not go away on that basis. A shocking review-study published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases (1996, v.184, no.2), written by Rhoda L. Fisher and Seymour Fisher, called “Antidepressants for Children,” concludes: “Despite unanimous literature of double-blind studies indicating that antidepressants are no more effective than placebos in treating depression in children and adolescents, such medications continue to be in wide use.”

In wide use. This despite such contrary information and the negative, dangerous effects of these drugs.

There are other studies: “Emergence of self-destructive phenomena in children and adolescents during fluoxetine treatment,” published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (1991, vol.30), written by RA King, RA Riddle, et al. It reports self-destructive phenomena in 14% (6/42) of children and adolescents (10-17 years old) who had treatment with fluoxetine (Prozac) for obsessive-compulsive disorder.

July, 1991. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Hisako Koizumi, MD, describes a thirteen-year-old boy who was on Prozac: “full of energy,” “hyperactive,” “clown-like.” All this devolved into sudden violent actions which were “totally unlike him.”

September, 1991. The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Author Laurence Jerome reports the case of a ten-year old who moves with his family to a new location. Becoming depressed, the boy is put on Prozac by a doctor. The boy is then “hyperactive, agitated … irritable.” He makes a “somewhat grandiose assessment of his own abilities.” Then he calls a stranger on the phone and says he is going to kill him. The Prozac is stopped, and the symptoms disappear.

Here’s a coda:

This one is big.

The so-called “chemical-imbalance theory of mental disorders” is dead. The notion that an underlying chemical imbalance in the brain causes mental disorders: dead.

Dr. Ronald Pies, the editor-in-chief emeritus of the Psychiatric Times, laid the theory to rest in the July 11, 2011, issue of the Times with this staggering admission:

“In truth, the ‘chemical imbalance’ notion was always a kind of urban legend — never a theory seriously propounded by well-informed psychiatrists.”

Boom.

However…urban legend? No. For decades the whole basis of psychiatric drug research, drug prescription, and drug sales has been: “we’re correcting a chemical imbalance in the brain.”

The problem was, researchers had never established a normal baseline for chemical balance. So they were shooting in the dark. Worse, they were faking a theory. Pretending they knew something when they didn’t.

In his 2011 piece in Psychiatric Times, Dr. Pies tries to protect his colleagues in the psychiatric profession with this fatuous remark:

“In the past 30 years, I don’t believe I have ever heard a knowledgeable, well-trained psychiatrist make such a preposterous claim [about chemical imbalance in the brain], except perhaps to mock it…the ‘chemical imbalance’ image has been vigorously promoted by some pharmaceutical companies, often to the detriment of our patients’ understanding.”

Absurd. First of all, many psychiatrists have explained and do explain to their patients that the drugs are there to correct a chemical imbalance.

And second, if all well-trained psychiatrists have known, all along, that the chemical-imbalance theory is a fraud…

…then why on earth have they been prescribing tons of drugs to their patients…

…since those drugs are developed on the false premise that they correct a chemical imbalance?

Here’s what’s happening. The honchos of psychiatry are seeing the handwriting on the wall. Their game has been exposed. They’re taking heavy flack on many fronts.

The chemical-imbalance theory is a fake. There are no defining physical tests for any of the 300 so-called mental disorders. All diagnoses are based on arbitrary clusters or menus of human behavior. The drugs are harmful, dangerous, toxic. Some of them induce violence. Suicide, homicide. Some of the drugs cause brain damage.

So the shrinks need to move into another model, another con, another fraud. And they’re looking for one.

For example, genes plus “psycho-social factors.” A mish-mash of more unproven science.

“New breakthrough research on the functioning of the brain is paying dividends and holds great promise…” Professional gibberish.

It’s all gibberish, all the way down.

Meanwhile, the business model still demands drugs for sale.

So even though the chemical-imbalance nonsense has been discredited, it will continue on as a dead man walking, a zombie.

Big Pharma isn’t going to back off. Trillions of dollars are at stake.And in the wake of Colorado, Sandy Hook, the Naval Yard, and other mass shootings, the hype is expanding: “We must have new community mental-health centers all over America.”

More fake diagnosis of mental disorders, more devastating drugs.

You want to fight for a right? Fight for the right to refuse toxic medication. Fight for the right of every parent to refuse toxic medication for his/her child.

Here is a story Dr. Breggin tells in his classic book, Toxic Psychiatry. It says it all:

“Roberta was a college student, getting good grades, mostly A’s, when she first became depressed and sought psychiatric help at the recommendation of her university health service. She was eighteen at the time, bright and well motivated, and a very good candidate for psychotherapy. She was going through a sophomore-year identity crisis about dating men, succeeding in school, and planning a future. She could have thrived with a sensitive therapist who had an awareness of women’s issues.

“Instead of moral support and insight, her doctor gave her Haldol. Over the next four years, six different physicians watched her deteriorate neurologically without warning her or her family about tardive dyskinesia [motor brain damage] and without making the [tardive dyskinesia] diagnosis, even when she was overtly twitching in her arms and legs. Instead they switched her from one neuroleptic [anti-psychotic drug] to another, including Navane, Stelazine, and Thorazine. Eventually a rehabilitation therapist became concerned enough to send her to a general physician, who made the diagnosis [of medical drug damage]. By then she was permanently physically disabled, with a loss of 30 percent of her IQ.

“…my medical evaluation described her condition: Roberta is a grossly disfigured and severely disabled human being who can no longer control her body. She suffers from extreme writhing movements and spasms involving the face, head, neck, shoulders, limbs, extremities, torso, and back—nearly the entire body. She had difficulty standing, sitting, or lying down, and the difficulties worsen as she attempts to carry out voluntary actions. At one point she could not prevent her head from banging against nearby furniture. She could hold a cup to her lip only with great difficulty. Even her respiratory movements are seriously afflicted so that her speech comes out in grunts and gasps amid spasms of her respiratory muscles…Roberta may improve somewhat after several months off the neuroleptic drugs, but she will never again have anything remotely resembling a normal life.”

WARNING [from Dr. Breggin, published on his site, breggin.com]: “Most psychiatric drugs can cause withdrawal reactions, sometimes including life-threatening emotional and physical withdrawal problems. In short, it is not only dangerous to start taking psychiatric drugs, it can also be dangerous to stop them.”

“Withdrawal from psychiatric drugs should be done carefully under experienced clinical supervision. Methods for safely withdrawing from psychiatric drugs are discussed in Dr. Breggin’s book, Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients and Their Families.”

I’ll offer another illustration. This one is from The Daily Mail (Feb, 7, 2008). A young woman of 25, Eleanor Longden, tells her story to reporter Claire Campbell:

“Through a drugged haze I heard the doctor’s words as he gazed down at me, lying in bed on a locked psychiatric ward, far away from my family and friends, and feeling more lost, lonely and terrified than I had ever done in my life.”

“I felt ashamed, too, as though it was my fault that I’d been diagnosed as mentally ill.”

“Getting out of bed, I stumbled to the bathroom, walking awkwardly and, to my immense embarrassment, drooling from the mouth as a result of the side-effects of the medication I had been given. I felt dazed, my thoughts confused, unable even to remember exactly how long I had been in hospital.”

“I looked at myself in the mirror and got a shock. I was scarcely able to recognise the person I saw there from the shy, 17-year-old who had left home for the first time only a few weeks before, full of excitement about her first term at university.”

“I wondered: ‘Why am I here?’ I still didn’t really understand. It was true that those first few weeks at college had been stressful for me. Like many of my fellow freshers, I had felt homesick and uncertain of myself. At school I had been diligent and conscientious.”

“Arriving at college, I felt torn between continuing to work hard or re-inventing myself as a ‘cooler’, more popular, party girl. All around me I saw other students pretending to be someone they weren’t, and the pressure of sustaining this seemed enormous.”

“But I had managed slowly to make friends, and find my way around the campus, as well as start speaking up for myself in tutorials.”

“Then one morning, out of the blue, I heard a quiet voice in my head, commenting: ‘Now she’s going to the library.’

“After that I occasionally heard the voice again. It never said anything dramatic, and I didn’t find it threatening at all.”

“I remembered having listened to a radio programme which described this experience as one that sometimes occurred to lone yachtsmen, or prisoners in solitary confinement, and put it down to loneliness.”

“Sometimes the voice was also a useful indicator to me of how I was really feeling – such as the day it sounded angry following a tutorial in which another student had unfairly criticised me.”

“After I returned to class the next day and put my point of view across more forcefully, the voice in my head once more resumed its usual calm tone. This reassured me that far from being some sinister psychiatric symptom, the phenomenon was probably no more than my own externalised thoughts.”

“But then I made the fatal mistake of confiding in a friend. I will never forget the horror in her expression as she backed away, repeating: ‘You’re hearing what?’ when I mentioned the voice.”

“She looked really scared, and told me I needed to see the college doctor as soon as possible.”

“Her reaction frightened me. I made an appointment immediately.”

“The doctor’s face became very serious at the mention of the voice, and he insisted on referring me to what he called a hospital ‘specialist’, but who turned out to be a consultant psychiatrist.”

“What I wanted and needed was to talk to someone about my feelings of anxiety and low self-esteem since I had arrived at college. But the psychiatrist kept emphasising the significance of the voice – as though we were discussing a mathematical formula in which having this experience automatically meant I must be insane.”

“Even when I talked about my work for the student television station, I could tell from her face that she thought this was fantasy.”

“I felt I walked into that room as a normal, if slightly stressed and vulnerable young girl, but left it labelled with a diagnosis of a paranoid schizophrenic, my interest in broadcasting dismissed as ‘delusional’.”

“Even at that first meeting, the consultant was already discussing with me the possibility of in-patient treatment at a psychiatric hospital.”

“She also put me straight onto a course of Risperidone [aka Risperdal], a strong antipsychotic drug whose side-effects include weight gain, involuntary tremors and difficulty in walking.”

“From that moment on, I felt cut off, alienated not only from my university friends and teachers, but from my family and upbringing. Suddenly I was no longer a middle-class, educated young woman with a bright future ahead of me, but a potentially dangerous mental patient.”

“Feeling the stigma of this, I did not tell anyone that I had been referred for weekly sessions with a psychiatric nurse, as well as further monthly appointments to see the consultant.”

“During these meetings I tried again to talk about my search for identity since leaving home. But these very ordinary feelings of adolescent insecurity were immediately interpreted as symptoms of a diseased mind. Although I didn’t believe I was mad, I trusted – as most people would – the medical view of the psychiatrist over my own instincts.”

“At my second meeting with the consultant two months later, she suggested I admit myself to hospital ‘only for three days’ to undergo tests.”

“Not wanting to worry my parents, I confided in my personal tutor, who assured me that details of the nature of my illness would be kept private.”

“I was shocked when I arrived at the psychiatric hospital, which had once been a Victorian asylum. It was very old-fashioned, with bars on the windows, double-locked doors and, to my horror, mixed wards. I was by far the youngest female patient there and I felt very vulnerable.”

“I knew straightaway this was not somewhere I would get well. Four hours after I was admitted, I tried to leave, but was coaxed into remaining by a nurse on the ward who told me: ‘Everyone feels like this at first’.”

“Over the course of the next few days, I underwent a routine brain scan, which found no evidence of abnormality, but had no therapy of any kind. I was simply given medication and left alone.”

“At the end of four days, I felt I’d had more than enough of the hospital and asked to be discharged—only to find myself under the threat of being forcibly restrained if I tried to leave.”

“I was absolutely terrified, and contacted my parents at the end of that first week to let them know where I was and ask them to come to see me.”

“But by the time my mother arrived, the effects of the drugs had started to kick in, making me confused and sleepy. I felt unable to explain properly to her why I was there or what was wrong.”

“In the meantime, the one calm voice in my head had been joined by another more strident and critical voice. Over the course of the next few weeks, the number of voices, some now male as well as female, and far more frightening, gradually increased until finally there were 12.”

“Of these, by far the most dominant—and demonic—was the threatening tone of a man. At first, it was only his voice I heard. But one night during my second month in hospital, I awoke to a hallucination of him standing by my bed, hugely tall and swathed in black, a hook where his hand should have been—like a character from a horror film.”

“I thought this was the result of the drugs I had been taking and of my distress at being confined in hospital. But the consultant convinced me this was a further symptom of paranoid schizophrenia. I stared at my reflection in the mirror, wondering if it might be true that I was mad.”

“I felt as if I was trapped in a nightmare. Having needed nothing more than reassurance about my normal feelings of insecurity after having left home, I was now labelled as a schizophrenic, drugged and confined to a locked ward.”

“Yet inside I still felt sane. I knew I had to get out of hospital before I started to see myself as a mental patient. Each time a nurse asked me if I thought there was anything wrong with me, I had answered ‘No’. This was clearly not what they wanted to hear.”

“Now I decided to try answering ‘Yes’ and see what happened. As soon as I began acquiescing to treatment, taking all my medication and agreeing to do what I was told, I was finally allowed to return to college.”

“After three months in hospital, I went back to university—a very different and far more disturbed student than when I had left. As a result of the side-effects of my drug treatment, my weight had ballooned from 9st to 15st.”

“I also suffered from constant trembling and a stumbling walk.” [drug-effects]

“I still don’t know how the other students found out where I’d been, but they obviously had. Within a week of my return, my door in the halls of residence had been defaced with graffiti and I had been spat at on my way to a lecture.”

“Worst of all was the tutorial where, after I’d had an essay criticised by a tutor, another student leant across to me and whispered: ‘That’s finished you off, psycho!’”

“I ran back to my room in tears, staying there for the next few days and feeling I wanted to hide from the world.”

“In the meantime, the dominant demonic voice became even more horrific, telling me the only way I would ever get better was if I agreed to follow his instructions.”

“These included not only self-harming but also cutting off my hair. He threatened terrible punishments, such as burning my room down, if I refused.”

“Desperate for some peace, I started to obey his bizarre instructions. Word now got round the university that I was behaving oddly, talking to imaginary people and cutting my arms.”

“Walking through the student bar one night, a group of students mockingly suggested I stub a cigarette out on my forearm. When I did it, they cheered.”

“I felt defeated and demoralised, no longer caring whether I lived or died.”

“At my next appointment with the consultant, I said I thought my medication was making the voices worse, and asked if I could stop taking it. But she insisted I had to continue.”

“When I admitted that I felt suicidal as a result of the way I was being bullied at college, she sent me back to hospital for a further seven week[s].”

“For the next four months I struggled on at university, as well as having another two brief psychiatric admissions. By the time the summer vacation arrived, I knew I could not carry on battling both against the voices and the cruelty of the students.”

“I returned home to my parents, my self-confidence totally destroyed.”

“My parents were wonderful—really supportive—but confused, because there was no history of mental illness in my family.”

“Over the course of the next few months, I was referred to the local psychiatric services in Bradford. My first appointment was with a male psychiatrist called Pat Bracken, who I later found out had worked with men and women tortured and raped in Uganda, and with child soldiers in Sierra Leone and Liberia.”

“He asked me why I had come to see him and I replied obediently: ‘I am 18 and I am a paranoid schizophrenic’.”

“Later on in my treatment, Pat told me he thought my answer was the saddest statement he had ever heard from a young girl—but at the time all he said was: ‘Tell me what you think would help you’.”

“I asked him to reduce my medication. To my amazement, he agreed immediately.”

“We talked about the voices and he suggested I stop seeing them as a symptom of mental illness and start looking on them as a way of finding out about myself. This encouraged me to tell him about my first experience of the female voice.”

“Up until now everyone had treated me as if I was completely passive, but Pat showed me a way of helping myself to get better.”

“Over the course of the next seven months I saw Pat for regular weekly sessions, gradually reducing my medication until I stopped the drugs completely.”

“During this time, I discovered that if I engaged with the voices, they became less frequent. I also learnt to challenge the more threatening voice, refusing to do what it told me and telling myself it was no more than a symbol of my own externalised anger.”

“One by one the voices gradually disappeared, until I was only occasionally hearing one.”

“Three years on, I am healthy, happy and perfectly stable. Schizophrenia is a frightening and misleading label which stigmatises people. While the doctors insist I was schizophrenic, I don’t know if the label really applied to me.”

“I think, like many young people leaving home for the very first time, I was stressed and unhappy. Going to university, and the lack of support there, tipped me over the edge. All I ever did was hear voices.”

“Now I have learned how to deal with them.”

“I am now studying for a doctorate in clinical psychology, as well as working on a medical team that helps teenagers suffering from the sudden onset of psychosis.”

“I often wonder what would have happened to me if I hadn’t found a psychiatrist who understood how to treat me.”

“If I do hear a voice now, I am no longer frightened because I understand why it’s happening. My mother’s signal for knowing she’s stressed is an attack of migraine. Mine is the voices.”

—Children, adolescents, and adults have problems. Those problems arise from many different sources, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Severe nutritional deficits, toxic environmental chemicals, drugs, abuse at home, parents not present, poverty, bullying, hostile crime-ridden neighborhoods, peer pressure, grossly inadequate education, etc.

THE TRANSLATION OF THESE PROBLEMS INTO SO-CALLED MENTAL DISORDERS IS SCIENTIFIC FAKERY AND FRAUD. AND THE EFFCTS OF THE DRUGS GIVEN TO TREAT THESE “CONDITIONS” ARE TOXIC AND DAMAGING.

THE MERE DIAGNOSIS OF A MENTAL DISORDER SETS THE STAGE FOR A PERSON TO VIEW HIMSELF AS A VICTIM. HE CAN OPT FOR BIZARRE ALTERNATIVES, SUCH AS “BEING TRIGGERED” AND “NEEDING SAFE SPACES.”

In a very real sense, the entire profession of psychiatry is a mind-control operation.

It has invaded college campuses. It has spread across all sectors of the country and the world.

It is eating societies and cultures from the inside.

Reprinted with permission from Jon Rappoport’s Blog.

The post The Number-One Mind-Control Program at US Colleges appeared first on LewRockwell.

Got Bloodshot Eyes?

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 09/02/2017 - 07:01

Waking up to red, bloodshot eyes can leave you scrambling for a way to get rid of them, but before you head to the pharmacy, why not give some natural remedies a try? Check out some of the most effective natural treatments for red eyes below, and learn how to prevent them from reoccurring.

How to get rid of red eyes without eye drops

Red eyes can be caused by a variety of things, from exhaustion to an infection. Treating them does depend on what the cause of the redness is, so if you feel it may be something more serious than just a lack of sleep or exposure to allergens, you should check with your doctor and discuss which treatment options are best for you. However, if the red, bloodshot appearance is because of minor irritation, you can try some of these natural remedies.

Fennel seeds: Fennel has been found to help treat and prevent glaucoma, as it decreases pressure in the eyes and aids in blood vessel dilation. Ease your red eyes by adding half a teaspoon of fennel seeds to one cup of boiling water and leaving it to cool completely. Strain the seeds from the solution, then use the now cool liquid to rinse your eyes.

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Chamomile: If your red eyes are caused by allergies, the anti-inflammatory properties found in chamomile can help soothe the irritation and get rid of the redness. Add one teaspoon of chamomile flowers to one cup of water and boil. Let the mixture cool, then strain the flowers out. Use the remaining liquid as an eye wash to bring down and soothe the inflammation.

Warm milk and honey: Mix half a cup of honey into half a cup of warm milk, then dip a clean cloth into the mixture. Use the now damp cloth as a compress, holding it gently against your eyes for approximately 20 minutes to soothe any irritation causing redness.

Cucumber slices: Cut two thin slices of cucumber and place them over your closed eyes for approximately ten minutes. For best results, keep the cucumber in the fridge beforehand so that it is even cooler and can better reduce the redness and inflammation.

Cold compress: Splash your face with cold water to bring down any initial irritation, then wrap some ice cubes in a clean towel and lay it over your eyes.

Rose water: Store your rose water in the fridge, and when you experience red, bloodshot eyes you will have an easy remedy on hand. Simply dip a cotton ball in the cool rose water and place it on your closed eyes to soothe away the redness.

Potatoes: Grate a potato into a pulpy texture and apply this to your eyelids. Leave it on for approximately 15 minutes and the astringent properties of the vegetable will help ease any soreness. After about three days of this treatment, you will notice a reduction in the redness and irritation.

Tea bags: Steep the tea bags in hot water, then put them in the fridge to chill for about 15 minutes. Once they are cool to the touch, place them over your eyelids for relief from your red eyes.

Cold spoons: Place a clean, metal spoon into a glass of ice water to chill it. Then, dry the spoon and place it against your eyelid. The cold temperature can increase blood flow while decreasing redness.

Apple cider vinegar: Create a soothing, anti-bacterial solution for your eyes by combining one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with one cup of water. Dip a cotton ball into the mixture and apply it to your eyelids.

Bloodshot red eyes prevention tips

The best treatment for red, bloodshot eyes is to prevent their occurrence in the first place. Time spent staring at computer and phone screens can harm your eyes and cause redness, so do your best to limit the time you spend in front of these devices. If you work on a computer, make sure you take breaks to give your eyes a rest. Drinking and smoking can also aggravate your eyes and cause redness, so avoiding these habits is a good way to prevent your eyes from turning red. Drinking lots of water to prevent dehydration can also help prevent eye redness, as well as getting a good night’s sleep.

While red, bloodshot eyes may be caused by a variety of ailments from allergies to infections, there are plenty of natural methods available to soothe them. Next time your allergies flare up, try using cucumber slices or cold spoons to bring down the puffiness and irritation.

Reprinted with permission from Bel Marra Health.

The post Got Bloodshot Eyes? appeared first on LewRockwell.

Has the Establishment Opted for Thermo-Nuclear War?

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 09/02/2017 - 07:01

If you want to be an American TV talking head or a Western presstitute, you are required to be brain-dead and integrity-challenged like Bill O’Reilly, CNN, MSNBC, and the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and all the rest.

In an interview with President Donald Trump, O’Reilly said: “Putin is a killer.”

O’Reilly is indifferent to the fact that thermo-nuclear war is a killer of planet Earth. For O’Reilly, President Trump’s desire to normalize relations with Russia is an indication that the President of the US is comfortable making deals with killers as if America’s last three presidents have not been mass killers comfortable with their destruction in whole or part of many countries and millions of peoples.

President Trump’s response to O’Reilly’s was: “We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think – our country’s so innocent?”

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The only thing wrong with President Trump’s response is that it implicitly accepts that Putin is no different from Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. Yet there is no evidence that Putin is a “killer.” This accusation is an assertion from those who prosper from having a “Russian threat” to keep the money and power flowing to themselves.

As Finian Cunningham shows, Trump should have reprimanded O’Reilly for his unsupported and undiplomatic accusation against the president of a country with which President Trump hopes to restore normal relations.

President Trump’s statement of an obvious fact was quickly branded “defense of a killer” by congressional Republicans, Hillary Democrats, the liberal, progressive, left-wing, and the Western presstitutes.

Even online sites, such as politico.com, jumped in to criticize “Donald Trump’s defense of Vladimir Putin’s homicidal history.” Allegations of “Putin’s homicidal history” are astonishing after 24 years of Washington’s genocide against Muslins in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, and Syria, and non-Muslims in Yugoslavia and the Russian regions of Ukraine. Washington ranks as one of the worst mass murderers in human history, but the Western presstitutes brand Putin as the one who is homicidal.

Listen to these members of Congress who represent Americans in Washington:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel (R, Ky) said referring to the thrice elected President of Russia: “He’s a thug.” McConnel has gone along with Washington’s mass murder of peoples for 15 years, and this accomplice to mass murder said that Washington’s murder of countless millions, which have sent refugees all over the Western world, are not evidence against America. In his response to Trump’s statement, McConnel actually said: “We don’t operate in any way the way the Russians do. I think there’s a clear distinction here that all Americans understand, and I would not have characterized it that way.”

The Republican senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, said: “We are not the same as Putin.” Of course, we aren’t. We are mass murderers.

The Republican senator from Nebraska, Ben Sasse, said, and this is a level of ignorance hard to believe even for Americans, that “Putin is an enemy of political dissent. The U.S. celebrates political dissent and the right for people to argue free from violence about places or ideas that are in conflict [as at Cal Berkeley]. There is no moral equivalency between the United States of America, the greatest freedom loving nation in the history of the world, and the murderous thugs that are in Putin’s defense of his cronyism.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens said: “Trump puts the US on a moral par with Putin’s Russia. Never in history has a President slandered his country like this.”

No, Bret, you have it backward. No US president has ever slandered Russia like this. There is no moral equivalency between Washington and Moscow. Washington is totally devoid of all morality. Russia is not. It is not Russia that has murdered, maimed, and displaced peoples in at least 9 countries in the last 15 years, sending refugees all over the Western world, some of whom no doubt bear legitimate grudges.

Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence, rushed to tell NBC that Trump didn’t mean that Washington is not morally superior to Putin’s Russia. Of course, the US is morally superior to everyone. The millions of peoples we kill and dislocate are proof of our unquestioned moral superiority. Every time we bomb a wedding, a funeral of the wedding guests, a children’s soccer game, innumerable hospitals and medical centers, schools, farms, public transportation, we exceptional and indispensable Americans are demonstrating our moral superiority over the Earth. Only the morally superior can commit vast crimes against humanity without being held accountable.

Normal relations with Russia do not seem to be in the cards. The demonization and lies will continue. The New Cold War is too important to the ruling establishment, and to the members of the House and Senate who are dependent on military/security campaign donations, for Trump to be allowed to normalize relations with Russia.

Everything that Reagan and Gorbachev achieved has been undone. The material interest of a few has again placed humanity at risk.

“The greatest freedom loving nation in the history of the world” can’t even have a debate about it, because a debate is Putin apologetics and moral equivalency.

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That So-Called Judge

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 09/02/2017 - 07:01

Last week, in a public courtroom in the federal courthouse in Seattle, the states of Washington and Minnesota — after suing President Donald Trump, alleging injury caused by his executive order that suspended the immigration of all people from seven foreign countries — asked a federal judge to compel the president and all those who work for him to cease enforcing the order immediately. After a brief emergency oral argument, the judge signed a temporary restraining order, which barred the enforcement of the president’s order everywhere in the United States.

The president reacted with anger, referring to the judge as a “so-called judge,” and immigrant rights groups praised the judicial intervention as a victory for the oppressed. The president meant, I think, that Judge James L. Robart had not acted properly as a judge by second-guessing him — that he had acted more like a politician; and the immigrant rights groups felt, I think, that the United States was once again a beacon of hope for refugees.

Here is the back story.

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A 1952 federal statute permits the president to suspend the immigration status of any person or group whose entry into the United States might impair public health or safety or national security. Trump exercised that authority in accordance with the 1952 law when he signed his Jan. 27 order banning all immigration from the seven named countries.

When the president exercises powers granted to him by the Constitution or federal statues or when Congress passes bills, one cannot simply sue the government in federal court because one does not like what has been done. That is so because the Constitution has preconditions for a lawsuit in federal court. One of those preconditions is what lawyers and judges call “standing.” Standing means that the plaintiff has alleged and can most likely show that the defendant has caused the plaintiff an injury in fact, distinct from all others not in the case.

Hence, it is curious that the plaintiffs in the Seattle case were not people whose entry had been barred by Trump’s order but rather the governments of two states, each claiming to sue in behalf of people and entities resident or about to be resident in them. The court should have dismissed the case as soon as it was filed because of long-standing Supreme Court policy that bars federal litigation alleging harm to another and permits it only for the actual injury or immediate likelihood of injury to the litigant.

Nevertheless, the Seattle federal judge heard oral argument on the two states’ emergency application for a temporary restraining order against the president. During that oral argument, the judge asked a lawyer for the Department of Justice how many arrests of foreign nationals from the seven countries singled out by the president for immigration suspension there have been in the United States since 9/11. When the DOJ lawyer said she did not know, the judge answered his own question by saying, “None.”

He was wrong.

There have been dozens of people arrested and convicted in the United States for terrorism-related crimes since 9/11 who were born in the seven countries. Yet even if the judge had been correct, his question was irrelevant — and hence the answer meaningless — because it does not matter to a court what evidence the president relied on in this type of order. This is the kind of judicial second-guessing — substituting the judicial mind for the presidential mind — that is impermissible in our system. It is impermissible because the Constitution assigns to the president alone nearly all decision-making authority on foreign policy and because Congress has assigned to the president the power of immigration suspension as a tool with which to implement foreign policy.

These rules and policies — the requirement of standing before suing and the primacy of the president in making foreign policy — stem directly from the Constitution. Were they not in place, then anyone could sue the government for anything and induce a federal judge to second-guess the president. That would convert the courts into a super-legislature — albeit an unelected, unaccountable, opaque one.

I am not suggesting for a moment that the courts have no place here. Rather, they have a vital place. It is to say what the Constitution means, say what the statutes mean and determine whether the government has exercised its powers constitutionally and legally. It is not the job of judges to decide whether the government has been smart or prudent, though.

One of the arguments made by the state of Washington to explain why it had standing was laughable. Washington argued that corporations located in Washington would suffer the irreparable loss of available high-tech-qualified foreign employees if the ban were upheld. Even if this were likely and even if it were provable, it would not establish injury in fact to the government of Washington. When pressed to reveal what entity Washington was trying to protect, it enumerated a few familiar names, among which was Microsoft.

Microsoft? The government of the state of Washington is suing to protect Microsoft?! Microsoft could buy the state of Washington if Starbucks were willing to sell it.

I jest to make a point. The rule of law needs to be upheld. Carefully paying attention to constitutional procedure protects personal freedom. In similar environments, the late Justice Antonin Scalia often remarked that much of what the government does is stupid but constitutional and that the courts’ only concern is with the latter.

The DOJ is now challenging the Seattle restraining order in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and this case may make its way to the Supreme Court. Will federal judges be faithful to the rule of law? We shall soon find out.

Reprinted with the author’s permission.

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Though Trump’s No Grand Master

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 09/02/2017 - 07:01

During the last 18 months or so I’ve heard a lot of talk about chess. This guy or that guy is playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers or some mastermind is playing 3-dimensional chess, etc. I find it odd that these statements are made given that only a tiny percentage of Americans know how to play chess with that number sitting around 5% or slightly over 14 million people. This is too bad because if the population, as a whole, had a better understanding of chess than the actions of President Trump would make perfect sense.

History: The school district where I was employed drastically cut its music programs and decided that chess would be an appropriate alternative to music instruction. I was not entirely opposed to this as there were published research papers extolling the virtues of chess and there appeared to be a direct relationship between playing chess and higher academic achievement. Besides, anyone can play chess while not everyone has the dexterity to be a musician. Wishing to be part of the solution, I agreed to become a coach and took on after school chess programs on three different campuses.

Our school district was kind enough to foot the bill for some necessary chess coaching and needed chess supplies. Not only that but I had the great fortune of having World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov’s former full-time coach as my new teacher as the former Russian coach had relocated to the very city where I lived and had been contracted by the School District to get us up to speed. Private lessons with Kasparov’s coach! Can you imagine it?

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It took my new coach all of about 30 seconds to figure out my level of chess competence which was not very high and I will paraphrase what he said next: “You are not very good and there is not enough time to teach you the correct way. But, I can teach you simple rules that will enable you to defeat anyone that doesn’t study chess full time.” He called his method “active chess” whereas a weak player like myself could use a simple formula to play the most aggressive game possible and win against stronger players. He believed that strategy flowed from tactics and his method allowed for a very fluid game of strategy. So, what did he teach me and how does it relate to our president? Is Trump playing chess?

Chess is a game where the number of possible positions rises at an astronomical rate. By the 2nd move of the game there are already 400 possible positions and after each person moves twice, that number rises to 8902. My coach explained to me that I was not trained enough to even begin to keep track of those things and that my only chance of ever winning was to take the initiative and never give it up. “You must know what your opponent will do next by playing his game for him.” was the advice I received.

Now, I won’t bore you with the particulars but it boiled down to throwing punches each and every turn without exception. In other words, if my opponent must always waste his turn responding to what I am doing then he never gets an opportunity to come at me in the millions of possibilities that reside in the game. Again, if I throw the punch – even one that can be easily blocked, then I only have to worry about one combination and not millions.

My Russian chess coach next taught me that I should Proudly Announce what exactly I am doing and why I am doing it. He explained to me that bad chess players believe that they can hide their strategy even though all the pieces are right there in plain sight for anyone to see. A good chess player has no fear of this because they will choose positions that are unassailable so why not announce them? As a coach, I made all of my students tell each other why they were making the moves that they made as well as what they were planning next. It entirely removed luck from the game and quickly made them into superior players.

My Russian coach next stressed Time as something I should focus on to round out my game. He said that I shouldn’t move the same piece twice in a row and that my “wild punches” should focus on getting my pieces onto the board and into play as quickly as possible. So, if I do everything correctly, I have an opponent that will have a disorganized defense, no offense and few pieces even in play and this will work 9 out of 10 times. The only time it doesn’t work for me is when I go against players that have memorized hundreds of games and have memorized how to get out of these traps. With all that said, let’s see if President Trump is playing chess.

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Russia and Iran Want War

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 09/02/2017 - 07:01

The following graphics prove that Russia and Iran want war:

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Credit: Small People Against Big Government

Credit: Azizonomics

Credit: Iblagh

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The Forged Origins Of The New Testament

Deep Politics Monitor - Mer, 08/02/2017 - 15:05
From Bibliotecapleyades: by Tony Bushby Spanish version March 2007 Extracted from Nexus Magazine Volume 14, Number 4 (June - July 2007) from NexusMagazine Website In the fourth century, the Roman Emperor Constantine united all religious factions under one composite deity, and ordered the compilation of new and old writings into a uniform collection that became the New Testament. .

La rivoluzione fallita

Freedonia - Mer, 08/02/2017 - 11:15




di David Stockman


Le rivoluzioni hanno a che fare con cambiamenti drastici all’interno di un regime di potere stabilito. I piani di Ronald Reagan, tuttavia, non comprendevano fin dal principio cambiamenti di questo genere. Ma i miei piani sì, e non solo i miei, ma anche quelli di un piccolo gruppo di intellettuali sostenitori della visione economica che privilegia l’offerta alla domanda (supply-side economics).

La Rivoluzione Reagan, come allora la definii, richiedeva un assalto al welfare state americano. Ed era l’unico modo per sostenere gli enormi tagli alle tasse che per Reagan erano cruciali.

Allo stesso modo si sarebbero dovute eliminare, o comunque modificare, quarant’anni di promesse, programmi d'assistenza, diritti sociali e reti assistenziali decretati dal governo federale.

Una vera rivoluzione della politica economica avrebbe significato una battaglia politica rischiosa con i gruppi elettorali al cui beneficio andava la generosità di Washington – beneficiari dello stato sociale, veterani, agricoltori, insegnanti, dipendenti pubblici, industria immobiliare, ecc.

L’idea centrale della Rivoluzione Reagan, oltre ai tagli al budget e alle tasse, era un governo minimo – una creatura sobria e ingenerosa, capace di offrire un’equa giustizia pubblica e nient’altro.

La sua visione di una società buona si basava sulla forza e sul potenziale produttivo di uomini liberi in un mercato libero. Cercavamo di incoraggiare la produzione senza restrizioni di capitale e così anche l’espansione del welfare privato. Immaginavamo l’opposto del gigantesco arazzo di dipendenze, scudi, protezioni da una costa all’altra degli Stati Uniti, intessuto dai politici nazionali.

Ecco la verità: la Rivoluzione Reagan non ha mai avuto alcuna possibilità di successo.

Questa rivoluzione sfidava gli enormi interessi che muovono le forze della democrazia americana. Il nostro sistema madisoniano, tripartitico e con le due camere legislative affinché il potere sia equamente diviso, è un sistema conservatore e non radicale. Abbraccia il passato e s'inoltra nel futuro un passo alla volta: non si può iniziare una rivoluzione senza inciampare e cadere.

Contrariamente a quanto molti pensano, Reagan fu un politico del consenso e non un ideologo. Non cercò di fare una rivoluzione, proprio perché non era nelle sue corde.

Reagan tendeva a destra, senza dubbio, ma la sua visione conservatrice rimase solo una visione. Aveva un certo buon senso per le direzioni di lungo termine, ma nessun progetto di governo radicale. Non aveva alcun piano concreto per dislocare la società americana a lui contemporanea.

Io fornii quel piano. Come tutti i rivoluzionari, io ed i miei colleghi supply-sider volevamo portare il nostro programma davanti al grande pubblico e farlo dunque uscire dalla nicchia minoritaria dove era stato elaborato. Allora lo lanciammo con toni squillanti per farlo arrivare alle orecchie di ogni politico. Sottolineammo la parte facile – i tagli delle tasse. Quella parte della dottrina che prevedeva il dare all’elettorato e non prendere.

Nel gennaio 1980, i consulenti della campagna elettorale di Reagan decisero di  fargli ripassare i principali temi politici nazionali. Jack Kemp, Art Laffer e Jude Wanniski lo istruirono secondo la dottrina supply-side.

Gli parlarono dalla "Curva di Laffer", secondo cui tasse più basse portano entrate più alte per l’erario. Reagan intuì subito che questa teoria era vera e mai ne dubitò. Raccontò una storia personale di come la configurazione tributaria di "natura confiscatoria" impedì a lui e ad altri amici attori di accettare nuove parti perché i ricavi extra li avrebbero inseriti in una fascia tributaria più alta.

Tasse alte provocano una diminuzione del lavoro, a differenza di tasse basse. Ma la traduzione della Curva di Laffer nel mondo economico reale del 1981 fu complicata.

Un taglio delle tasse aumenterà le entrate erariali solo partendo da un’economia ad inflazione nulla. Ma Reagan ereditò un’economia con un’inflazione dei prezzi al 12%. Eravamo tutti d’accordo che l’inflazione doveva essere fermata.

Ma quando si drena l’economia dalla sua inflazione, accade qualcosa di strano. Le finanze governative finiscono sulla stessa barca con quelle di agricoltori, estrattori di petrolio e ogni altro: vengono invalidate tutte le precedenti proiezioni di ricavo, e si disconnette la relazione fra le entrate e la spesa. Improvvisamente sparisce il guadagno inflazionistico inaspettato del Tesoro. Mantenere la solvibilità del budget richiese riduzioni di spesa draconiane – una sostanziale, e politicamente dolorosa, diminuzione del welfare state americano.

Il mio progetto per un cambiamento radicale dell’economia nazionale avrebbe colpito milioni di persone nel breve periodo. Richiedeva il taglio dei cordoni ombelicali che correvano da Washington ad ogni angolo della nazione. Richiedeva l’applicazione spietata di sacrifici di breve periodo per ottenere guadagni nel lungo periodo.

Questi principi si scontrarono con la realtà politica. Nel corso del tempo i politici avevano indotto decine di milioni di cittadini ad accettare buoni spesa, previdenze sociali, programmi per i veterani e molto altro. Affinché la Rivoluzione Reagan potesse concretizzarsi, avrebbero dovuto essere tagliati.

Solo un cancelliere di ferro ce l’avrebbe fatta e Ronald Reagan non poteva farcela...

Ronald Reagan si dimostrò essere troppo buono, troppo gentile e troppo sentimentale, sempre attento a dar retta a storie di cittadini sfortunati. Vedeva prima d’ogni altra cosa le difficoltà delle persone reali. Contrariamente alla sua immagine di uomo di destra, la sua ideologia arretrava sempre quando sapeva che un singolo individuo ne sarebbe uscito danneggiato.

Questo è il motivo per cui non fu in grado di guidare una vera rivoluzione della politica economica americana.

Nel 1982 avevo capito che una Rivoluzione Reagan sarebbe stata impossibile – era una metafora slegata dalla realtà politica ed economica. Era semplicemente irrilevante dal punto di vista attuativo in un mondo in cui i politici hanno l’ultima parola.

È vero: riuscimmo a ridurre modestamente la portata del disastro fiscale nazionale, nonostante l’opposizione. Riducemmo le spese per la difesa. Feci in modo che i politici approvassero alcuni tagli alla spesa interna e facemmo scendere il deficit a $200 miliardi, un mero errore di arrotondamento nel mondo di oggi.

Non mi piacque per nulla unire le forze con quelle dei politici al Congresso. Non potevo sopportare l’idea di stringere accordi per preservare i loro sprechi ed i loro introiti. Non mi piacque l’idea di aumentare le entrate erariali per pagare gli agricoltori affinché non mungessero le loro mucche o i costruttori affinché edificassero hotel di lusso nei ghetti.

Ma i politici al Congresso avevano una virtù fondamentale: erano pronti ad affrontare la realtà economica. I sognatori alla Casa Bianca – io per primo – no invece.

In ultima analisi non ci fu alcuna Rivoluzione Reagan nella gestione economica della nazione. Tutti i cordoni ombelicali esistono ancora, perché la popolazione elegge dei politici che vogliono mantenerli ben saldi. Questo è un ostacolo insormontabile.

Ho aderito alla Rivoluzione Reagan come ideologo radicale. Ho imparato la lezione: nessuna rivoluzione del genere era possibile.

Il fatto è che i politici possono essere una minaccia: non smettono mai d'inventare manovre di governo illecite che succhiano il sangue all’economia nazionale. I loro ammortizzatori sociali e le loro marchette elettorali sono inefficienti. Non pensano altro che alla prossima elezione.

C’è una sola cosa peggiore a questa, ed è la tracotanza ideologica: presumere che il mondo possa essere reso migliore con uno schiocco di dita. È la falsa credenza che in una democrazia capitalistica possiamo guardare al di là del futuro prossimo e incatenare lo stato ad un progetto definito. Le cose non stanno così e non bisognerebbe nemmeno provarci a farlo...

Auguro a Trump tutta la fortuna di questo mondo. Ne ha bisogno se ha intenzione di “bonificare la palude”.

Mi chiedo solo se abbia una qualche idea delle difficoltà a cui andrà incontro.

Saluti,


[*] traduzione di Francesco Simoncelli: http://francescosimoncelli.blogspot.it/


Mises e Hayek: un’unica critica al socialismo

Von Mises Italia - Mer, 08/02/2017 - 08:08

Un ordine sociale prevalentemente spontaneo, ossia fondato sull’esercizio sostanziale dell’autonomia individuale, è il sistema più adatto per soddisfare, in maniera persistente nel tempo, il criterio di maggiore utilità per tutti.

Per sostenere un ordine del genere è necessario non solo riconoscere l’ignoranza e la fallibilità umana ma anche una pluralità di proprietà private di risorse ed un sistema giuridico ad essa corrispondente.

Di conseguenza, sostenere un ordine prevalentemente spontaneo significa sostenere un’economia di mercato.

Senza l’esistenza di una pluralità di proprietà private di risorse non è possibile esercitare una vera e propria libertà decisionale.

Senza l’esistenza di una pluralità di proprietà private di risorse non è possibile accendere quell’estesissimo processo che ci consente di scoprire quali beni siano scarsi o quali cose siano dei beni, quanto questi beni siano scarsi o che valore sia appropriato imputare agli stessi.

Tra la centralizzazione della proprietà in un unico agente che possiede e dirige tutte le risorse e l’impossibilità di centralizzare tutte le circostanze di tempo e di luogo dei singoli individui vi è pertanto un rapporto di “codeterminazione ricorsiva”.

Tale rapporto è la causa non tanto dell’impossibilità quanto dell’inadeguatezza di ciò che è diametralmente opposto all’economia di mercato, vale a dire un’economia pianificata centralmente, ossia il socialismo.

Inadeguatezza nel soddisfare, in maniera persistente nel tempo, il criterio di maggiore utilità per tutti.

Solo attraverso una pluralità privata di risorse, infatti, può avvenire lo scambio di proprietà.

Lo scambio di proprietà private consente successivamente di attivare quel processo di scoperta e quella calcolabilità che ci porta all’uso di maggiori capacità e conoscenze rispetto a qualsiasi altra procedura.

Di conseguenza, in assenza di una pluralità di proprietà private delle risorse non è possibile avere né uno scambio di diritti di proprietà privata né prezzi di mercato (ma soltanto tariffe fissate d’autorità) e dunque non si dispone di alcuna base per calcolare adeguatamente il valore.

Pensare poi che attraverso lo sviluppo della programmazione matematica e di computer sempre più potenti un’economia pianificata centralmente possa imitare i meccanismi e raggiungere gli stessi risultati di un’economia di mercato è e resterà sempre un’utopia.

Dimostrare, infatti, che alcune equazioni astratte hanno alcune soluzioni altrettanto astratte non significa automaticamente che queste possano essere in seguito di una qualche utilità pratica, in assenza di una pluralità di proprietà private di risorse e di scambio di diritti di proprietà privata.

In un’ottica di pianificazione centrale pertanto si possono descrivere i processi di un’economia di mercato, ma in ogni caso non si è capaci di prevederli, giacché unicamente per mezzo di una pluralità di proprietà private di risorse è possibile conoscere fatti che altrimenti nessuno conoscerebbe e/o che nessuno utilizzerebbe.

In un’economia di mercato gli arbitraggi che esprimono i prezzi assumono un significato razionale sistematicamente e sufficientemente in linea con la realtà oggettiva proprio perché ciascun soggetto può disporre della sua proprietà come vuole ma con il limite di rispettare la proprietà altrui.

Ciò non significa che in un’economia di mercato non si possano verificare episodi di cattive allocazioni delle risorse.

Ciò significa, invece, che in un’economia di mercato le cattive allocazioni delle risorse non avranno mai carattere di sottoproduzioni o sovrapproduzioni sistematiche.

Un’economia di mercato è dunque necessariamente più efficiente di un’economia pianificata centralmente ed è tanto più sana e sostenibile quanto più tutti al suo interno sono liberi di scegliere in piena autonomia decisionale i propri piani, le proprie preferenze e le proprie azioni.

Allo stesso tempo, un’economia di mercato assicura attraverso l’eliminazione dell’uso della forza e della coercizione come modalità a priori di interazione una tendenza al coordinamento dei piani individuali e quindi una tendenza all’equilibrio del mercato preso nel suo complesso.

Gli ostacoli al mercato costituiscono conseguentemente un freno all’aumento della produttività e del benessere diffuso, poiché rappresentano un’opacizzazione del sistema di trasmissione di quell’informazione che emerge da scambi effettuati secondo regole che tutelano in modo sostanziale la proprietà di ciascuno.

Da tutto ciò, non può che discendere, infine, la considerazione che il controllo politico dell’economia, qualsiasi forma esso assuma, rappresenta per definizione un errore epistemologico.

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The Minimum Wage Disaster

Lew Rockwell Institute - Mer, 08/02/2017 - 07:01

There is little question in most academic research that increases in the minimum wage lead to increases in unemployment. The debatable issue is the magnitude of the increase. An issue not often included in minimum wage debates is the substitution effects of minimum wage increases. The substitution effect might explain why Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a national network of business owners and executives, argues for higher minimum wages. Let’s look at substitution effects in general.

When the price of anything rises, people seek substitutes and measures to economize. When gasoline prices rise, people seek to economize on the usage of gas by buying smaller cars. If the price of sugar rises, people seek cheaper sugar substitutes. If prices of goods in one store rise, people search for other stores. This last example helps explain why some businessmen support higher minimum wages. If they could impose higher labor costs on their less efficient competition, it might help drive them out of business. That would enable firms that survive to charge higher prices and earn greater profits.

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There’s a more insidious substitution effect of higher minimum wages. You see it by putting yourself in the place of a businessman who has to pay at least the minimum wage to anyone he hires. Say that you are hiring typists. There are some who can type 40 words per minute and others, equal in every other respect, who can type 80 words per minute. Whom would you hire? I’m guessing you’d hire the more highly skilled. Thus, one effect of the minimum wage is discrimination against the employment of lower-skilled workers. In some places, the minimum wage is $15 an hour. But if a lower-skilled worker could offer to work for, say, $8 an hour, you might hire him. In addition to discrimination against lower-skilled workers, the minimum wage denies them the chance of sharpening their skills and ultimately earning higher wages. The most effective form of training for most of us is on-the-job training.

An even more insidious substitution effect of minimum wages can be seen from a few quotations. During South Africa’s apartheid era, racist unions, which would never accept a black member, were the major supporters of minimum wages for blacks. In 1925, the South African Economic and Wage Commission said, “The method would be to fix a minimum rate for an occupation or craft so high that no Native would be likely to be employed.” Gert Beetge, the secretary of the racist Building Workers’ Union, complained, “There is no job reservation left in the building industry, and in the circumstances, I support the rate for the job (minimum wage) as the second-best way of protecting our white artisans.” “Equal pay for equal work” became the rallying slogan of the South African white labor movement. These laborers knew that if employers were forced to pay black workers the same wages as white workers, there’d be reduced the incentive to hire blacks.

South Africans were not alone in their minimum wage conspiracy against blacks. After a bitter 1909 strike by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen in the U.S., an arbitration board decreed that blacks and whites were to be paid equal wages. Union members expressed their delight, saying, “If this course of action is followed by the company and the incentive for employing the Negro thus removed, the strike will not have been in vain.”

Our nation’s first minimum wage law, the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, had racist motivation. During its legislative debate, its congressional supporters made such statements as, “That contractor has cheap colored labor that he transports, and he puts them in cabins, and it is a labor of that sort that is in competition with white labor throughout the country.” During hearings, American Federation of Labor President William Green complained, “Colored labor is being sought to demoralize wage rates.”

Today’s stated intentions behind the support of minimum wages are nothing like yesteryears. However, intentions are irrelevant. In the name of decency, we must examine the effects.

The post The Minimum Wage Disaster appeared first on LewRockwell.

The Biggest Gold Heists in History – So Far

Lew Rockwell Institute - Mer, 08/02/2017 - 07:01

One concern of retail precious metals investors is the possibility of a gold confiscation.

Imagine having the forethought to buy gold to shield your finances from an economic or monetary crisis—only to have it taken away from you by your government. You’d lose not just the protective buffer you put in place but potentially a chunk of your net worth.

Gold confiscation may sound preposterous to investors used to securities or real estate. But it’s happened in the past enough times to make it a reasonable concern for those uneasy about unsolvable debt levels, runaway government spending, and continual central bank money creation. Watch this video for the complete history of gold confiscation and what you can do to protect yourself or read on below:

Instant Access to Current Spot Prices & Interactive Charts

When a grab is made for people’s savings, governments don’t bother to confiscate instruments like stocks and bonds and savings accounts—those can be wiped out by simply devaluing the currency. But when times are really tough, governments have “requested” citizens turn over their gold—the one asset they’ve historically been unable to control, since it’s not someone else’s liability.

When a gold confiscation happens, there unfortunately aren’t a lot of viable solutions. If your government declares it illegal to own a meaningful amount of bullion, you’d have little choice but to comply. Either that or play the role of a fugitive—with the prospects of financial penalties, forcible confiscation of your metal, and even jail time waiting for you.

Many investors believe gold won’t be confiscated today because it’s not part of the monetary system like it was during the U.S. nationalization in 1933, under Roosevelt. While it’s true we’re not on a gold standard today, if the crisis gets bad enough any and all viable solutions could be on the table. Debt in all developed countries is unpayable, for example, especially when you add in unfunded liabilities… where could the government get funds to service it all? One source could definitely be gold.

The sober reality is, while lower than in the past, the risk of a gold confiscation is not zero. The world today can be an uncertain place, and what were once “local” issues can rapidly escalate and have global consequences. This does not mean, however, that we are suggesting a gold confiscation is imminent or even probable; simply that it could happen if one or a series of events having significant worldwide implications occurs. Without official gold-backing on most major currencies today, the specific motivation to “confiscate” gold that existed during many previous confiscations barely exists today. But as you’ll see, even that hasn’t stopped modern government’s without a gold standard from doing the same, ostensibly as a form of currency controls to slow down market-driven devaluation.

The “Solutions” to Confiscation Risk

There’s lots of speculation floating around the Web about what one might do if gold was confiscated again. Unfortunately, the majority of the most common solutions don’t hold up to much scrutiny.

Some investors assume silver would be exempt. That’s usually because past confiscations mainly focused on gold, since silver wasn’t part of the monetary system. However, what many investors don’t know is that a year after the 1933 confiscation order, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6814 that “required the delivery of all silver to the United States for coinage.”

Many dealers claim numismatic coins would be excluded, since there was an exception made for rare coin collectors in 1933. But as history will show, during past confiscations the onus was on the investor to prove they were a coin collector and not a bullion buyer. Unless you owned a substantial amount of rare coins, you were automatically deemed a bullion owner, not a collector.

The uncomfortable truth is, no one knows exactly what form a confiscation could take, or how new laws might be enforced. And that’s part of the problem. As Mike Maloney said well in his best-selling book, Guide to Investing in Gold and Silver:

“Confiscation all comes down to this: the government makes the rules, changes the rules, and enforces the rules. Though it lacks the moral right, it can create legal authority. Though it lacks the constitutional empowerment, it can turn a blind eye to the Constitution… The Constitution did not stop the government from taking people’s gold in 1933.”

Political leaders can and will do whatever they deem necessary at the time. In any way they see fit. For as long as they think it’s needed.

When the gold investor considers the number of ways a confiscation could take place, how long it could last, how easily the government could change the rules and how deeply it could reach—all against the backdrop of an economic or monetary crisis—it underscores the need to put a viable strategy in place.

What’s really viable is a lesson best learned by the mistakes and successes of the past…

Gold Confiscation: A Surprisingly Common Solution

Since 1933, there have been a few notable gold confiscations around the world.

The specific circumstances varied, but there was one common thread to all of them: they all arose out of a financial crisis. As government coffers dwindled and reached emergency levels, politicians didn’t hesitate to grab the net worth of private citizens. And in many cases it was portrayed as patriotic; your country is threatened—help save your nation!

Here are some gold confiscations that have occurred within the past 80 years…

United States Gold Confiscation—1933

Labeled Executive Order 6102, President Franklin Roosevelt signed on a law on April 5, 1933 “forbidding the hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States.”

It basically meant that private owners were required to take their coins, bars or gold certificates to a bank, and exchange them for US dollars at the prevailing rate of $20.67 per ounce.

Why did he do this? The US was on a gold standard at the time, so hoarding gold (i.e., money) was seen as a threat to the stability of the country’s financial system. Remember how bad things got… banks were shut, unemployment soared, bread lines formed, civil unrest grew, and the government couldn’t make its debt payments. Roosevelt desperately needed to remove the constraint on the Federal Reserve that prevented it from increasing the money supply the Great Depression was already four years old and wasn’t showing any sign of abating.

Within nine months after making gold illegal to own, the president raised the official price to $35 per ounce. The dollars those ex-gold owners received in exchange had just been devalued by 40%, overnight.

It’s actually a misconception that FDR “confiscated” gold in 1933. More accurately, he nationalized it. Citizens were compensated for what they turned over… in a true confiscation, your assets are essentially seized, with no compensation. In a severe national crisis, it’s certainly possible the government wouldn’t be able to afford to pay investors the full value of their bullion.

And the US government was serious about you not hoarding gold. As Wikipedia reports…

“Under the Trading With the Enemy Act of 1917, as later amended by the Emergency Banking Act of March 9, 1933, violation of the order was punishable by fine up to $10,000, up to ten years in prison, or both. Numerous individuals and companies were prosecuted.”

Worse, the ban on private ownership of gold in America—the home of the free—lasted over four decades. Not until January 1, 1975 could US citizens own more than $100 in gold again.

Australia Gold Confiscation—1959

The Australian government similarly nationalized gold.

The law, part of the Banking Act in 1959, allowed gold seizures of private citizens if the Governor determined it was “expedient so to do, for the protection of the currency or of the public credit of the Commonwealth.” In other words, they made it legal to seize gold from private citizens and exchange it for paper currency.

The country’s Treasurer stated in a press release that followed, “All gold (other than wrought gold and coins to a limited extent) had to be delivered to the Reserve Bank of Australia within one month of its coming into a person’s possession.”

The law also said you weren’t allowed to sell gold, except to the Reserve Bank of Australia (their central bank). Nor could you export any gold (send it outside the country) without the bank’s permission.

While it is unclear whether or not the country moved ahead with active seizures, or just how many citizens complied, the law still destroyed the local private gold market overnight.

Like the US ban, this rule wasn’t short lived either. Reports indicate it stayed on the books until 1976, a full 17 years, before being “suspended.”

Great Britain’s Gold Ban—1966

Ever since Great Britain went off the gold standard in 1931, their currency had been falling. As the decline stretched from years into decades, many investors began to store gold overseas, worried their country might never recover. Who could blame them? Their standard of living was threatened.

To stem the decline in the Pound Sterling, in 1966 the government banned private citizens from owning more than four precious metals coins. It also blocked imports of gold coins (a common move to keep currency from being exported, similar to modern day tariffs on gold imports in places like India).

The only exemption to owning more than four coins was to prove you were a collector. You were required to apply for a license, and then an officer from the Bank of England would determine if you were a true collector or not. If not, we’ll take your bullion, thank you very much.

The important distinction about this gold ban is that it occurred when Great Britain was not on a gold standard. In other words, we have historical precedence that gold was confiscated without it being part of the monetary system. Gold is not part of the monetary system today, either.

Like most confiscations, this law lasted a long time—until 1979, a full 13 years.

See Any Patterns Here?

These three gold confiscations have some things in common. They all…

1. Were imposed by Western governments. These were advanced societies, among the richest countries on the planet. And yet they all confiscated gold.

2. Arose out of economic crisis. Each government had abused its finances so badly that it eventually nationalized privately held gold from citizens.

3. Lasted for a LONG time. Of these confiscations from advanced economies, the shortest was 13 years.

4. Completely forbid any type of hoarding of bullion. Only true collectors were exempt, and only those pieces that were truly classified as rare. And you had to prove it. Interestingly, gold jewelry was not part of any of these confiscations.

Unfortunately, there are some nastier gold confiscations from history. These involve…

The Brutes, Bullies, and Dictators

It won’t surprise you that in nations ruled by an oppressive regime, gold was a natural target to grab funds for the government…

Italy’s Gold “Donation”

Benito Mussolini—Italy’s prime minister turned dictator—tried to fight a nasty recession by introducing the “Gold for the Fatherland” initiative in 1935. He “encouraged” the public to “voluntarily donate” their gold rings, necklaces, and other forms of gold to the government. In exchange, citizens received a steel wristband that bore the proud words, translated, “Gold for the Fatherland.” It’s said that even his wife Rachele donated her own wedding ring in a show of solidarity.

The gold was melted down and made into bars, then distributed to the country’s banks. The government netted 35 tonnes (1.23 million ounces) from citizen “donations.”

Germany’s Confiscation of Czech Gold

Hitler’s Nazi party pulled a tricky scheme in 1939… after the invasion of Czechoslovakia the year before, the Bank of International Settlements, chaired by Bank of England director Otto Niemeyer—a German no less—instructed the Bank of England to transfer £5.6 million of gold from the Czech national bank to the Reichsbank.

Even though the gold belonged to Czechoslovakian government, and even though English authorities had been warned of the possible transfer, it went through without a hitch. To mask the theft, Germany’s central bank understated its official reserves later that year.

Saddam and Fidel

The madman of Iraq and the communist oppressor of Cuba both confiscated gold, art, jewelry, etc. These brutal dictators took whatever they wanted, at the point of a sword or gun.

As you might surmise, citizens were not compensated when their holdings were seized—unless you count remaining alive as compensation.

Russia

Based on interviews I’ve conducted with two large gold bullion dealers in Russia, the old Soviet Union has historically viewed gold and silver as a matter of national security. Therefore, private ownership in any form—except jewelry and numismatic coins—was strictly forbidden. People went to jail for owning a gold bar.

And in spite of the Russian central bank being one of the biggest buyers of gold since 2008, those old laws are still on the books. It is illegal to buy or sell bullion bars except at a bank that has a precious metals license (and very few have them)… it is a criminal offense to buy or sell a gold bar from a friend or relative… transporting bars has strict rules and can send you to prison if you break them… it is illegal to take bullion bars out of the country… buying and selling foreign-made bars is also illegal.

These laws are not as strictly enforced today, but they remain on the books and thus could be easily activated again. You can buy gold coins, but they’re not abundant and are in poor quality.

What About India’s Government Schemes?The Indian government has tried to crackdown on gold jewelry demand numerous times and in numerous ways. They currently have a 10% tariff on all gold imports in an attempt to curtail demand, a program they seem to try every few years. They introduced a monetization scheme last year that would pay interest on the gold you “lent” them, also something they’ve tried several times. In fact, these attempts have been tried for decades, on both gold and silver. Check out this excerpt from the New York Times on August 27, 1976:

“India announced it was resuming its ban on the export of silver. India is believed to have the largest silver hoard and the government there freed exports earlier this year as a means of earning taxes levied on overseas sales. However, most silver dealers minimized the significance of India’s move yesterday. As one dealer explained, ‘Smuggling silver out of India is so ingrained there that the ban will have no effect on the flow. It never has. Indian silver will continue to ebb and flow into the world market according to price.’”

The reason these schemes haven’t worked is because gold jewelry in India is viewed as an investment, not an adornment. Although they have coins and bars, the vast majority of gold in India is in jewelry form. It is thus more accurate to view “jewelry” demand in India as investment demand.

• The difference in gold confiscations between the plunderers vs. those from advanced economies is that the plunderers were more oppressive about the confiscation, typically took more than just gold, and of course were more brutal in carrying it out.

There’s another crucial distinction. Except during times of active persecution, there is no historical precedence of goldjewelry being confiscated. If a nation operated under the rule of law, seizing jewelry wasn’t part of the government’s strategy.

The reality is that in a crisis, we could potentially face a lethal combination: a desperate government, with your assets ready for the taking.

The point to all this isn’t to predict that there will be a gold confiscation. The idea is be aware of the risks and to have a viable plan in place to combat one if it occurs.

But is there really such a strategy?

On the surface it would seem that short of renouncing your citizenship and moving out of the country, there are precious few options to protect against such a draconian act.

But there are a couple strategies that have historically been effective in combating a gold confiscation…

Proven Solutions

Out of Jurisdiction

Storing gold and silver where a government is less likely to be able to reach it quickly and easily is smart buffer to put in place.

First, as many have noted before, keeping it outside the banking system is a good step. Many references cite how banks have been known to hypothecate gold, i.e. lend it out to someone other than its rightful owner, putting it at systemic risk. Just as importantly, during the modern “bail-ins” we’ve seen in debt-stricken countries, banks were often working hand in hand with governments to seize assets long before citizens found out what was happening. The threat of being cut-off from central bank liquidity is an existential threat to banks, and thus they are not known for going to bat for consumers in court to block overreach like an independent vault provider hopefully would.

Another step further removed is storing overseas—also in a vault outside the banking system. It puts your assets one step further out of reach. Less low hanging fruit, as they say. Without the ability to take quick possession, you have more time and distance to fight such an order.

But even this is not bulletproof. A desperate government could just as well declare all personal gold holdings be repatriated, regardless of where they’re stored. It’d be a spinoff of the old tax joke, “How much gold do you own?… Give it to us.”

If the company holding your metal is a domestic entity, they might be forced to comply anyway, at least in reporting your holdings so they can be taxed in lieu of surrender.

Some suggest you should instead do business with a foreign company. But that adds a different risk, and one that comes with a dubious level of added protection. First, you give up access to the local rule of law. If a vault in Singapore swears your gold is there, what will you do if it ends up not being the case? When dealing with a domestic company, at least you can turn to the court system.

Second, a foreign company can be compelled to cooperate with a big enough foreign government, like the US. As investors using private banking services in Switzerland discovered in recent years, the threat of being cut off from banking with the US will quickly convince a company, or its host government, to comply with a confiscation order at least by reporting holdings.

Even if it does not relent to pressure from abroad, the foreign entity would almost certainly refuse to deliver, buy, or sell precious metals in a jurisdiction where authorities have issued a confiscation order, leaving you only with the option to relocate elsewhere—hardly better, and often much worse than using a domestic provider you have real recourse against.

Bottom line, while not risk free, private foreign vault holdings, whose affordability surprises many precious metals investors, stewarded by a company based in a nation with a historically strong rule of law, can be one of your best lines of defense if confiscation is a concern.

The Elizabeth Taylor Solution 

You probably know that the queen of the silver screen loved jewelry. Her collection fetched over $156 million after her death. She even wrote a book about her jewelry. Indeed, it’s hard to find a picture of her without gold, diamonds, or pearls draped over her neck or wrists.

You may also know that Elizabeth Taylor traveled a lot. At various points in her life she had homes in Beverly Hills, London, and Switzerland, among other places. She even traveled to Iran a few years before the Iran Hostage Crisis.

And here’s an interesting fact about her travels: she always took some jewelry with her—and walked right through customs with it. No messing with customs forms, no requirement to declare a financial asset.

This circumstance remains true today. You likely know that when crossing borders, travelers are often required to complete customs paperwork and declare large amounts money they are carrying, anything over $10,000 for travel to/from the US for example. The new rules specifically mention gold, and also that the price of the gold determines if you are at the reporting limit (not the face value on a coin). That means 7 ounces of gold would be the maximum you could carry at $1,300 gold. You’d be at risk with 5 coins when gold reaches $2,000/ounce.

Since gold jewelry is not considered a financial asset under US law, it does not require reporting. Nor have we discovered any country where it’s handled differently, though always be sure to check the laws along your itinerary.

You and your loved ones can employ your very own Elizabeth Taylor solution.

Consider the advantages you’d possess if you wanted to transport some gold outside the country… it would be a lot easier to hop on a plane wearing a few necklaces or bracelets than carrying a stack of gold coins or bars. Consider the hassle you could avoid passing through customs, as well as the threat of your bullion coins being questioned or seized.

But what about confiscation? As history has shown, in the developed world, gold confiscations have targeted monetary metals, like coins and bars. Jewelry was spared. Only in oppressive nations, ruled by dictators, was it a target. In other words, the resident of a developed nation that owns gold jewelry has an asset that is far off the radar of appealing assets to grab.

Which is why we believe that bullion-grade jewelry is one of the most unique and important asset classes to own if confiscation is a concern…

Gold Without Borders: GoldSilver’s Investment Grade Gold Bullion Jewelry

The problem with most “gold” jewelry sold in the West is dilution. It’s often made with cheaper alloys that contain only a fraction of gold, and is very expensive relative to the actual precious metals content. Mark-ups are easily two and three times the gold value, and it’s not hard to find it four or even five times higher.

That takes gold jewelry far from its roots, when it was a form a wearable wealth, meant to keep assets close at hand. Traditionally in Europe and Asia, gold jewelry was a more portable alternative to art, heirloom furniture, and land as outside-the-bank assets that held their value and were easily passed between generations. Today in India, China, Thailand and elsewhere the tradition remains—the Thai currency, Baht, for example, is even named for a common jewelry style that pre-dates it.

And that’s exactly what we’ve recreated with our exclusive Gold Without Borders jewelry line.

These investment grade 22-carat (91.6% gold, same as an American Eagle coin) and 24-carat (99.99% pure gold) pieces are an affordable alternative to the mostly costume jewelry you find in today’s stores. Classic designs that provide much more bullion for your money.

And of course, they’re beautiful.

Bullion jewelry is a real asset that is both portable and practical—you can wear it, transport it, and a confiscation order is likely to bypass it. Discreet, wearable wealth.

Reprinted with permission from GoldSilver.com.

The post The Biggest Gold Heists in History – So Far appeared first on LewRockwell.

What’s With Donald Trump?

Lew Rockwell Institute - Mer, 08/02/2017 - 07:01

Our previous articles concerning President Trump have caused some fierce reactions from our readers. Some of them have been wondering about the naïvety apparently displayed by Thierry Meyssan despite the warnings issued by the international Press and the accumulation of negative signals. Here is his response, well-reasoned as always.

o weeks after his investiture, the Altantist Press continues its work of disinformation and agitation against the new President of the United States of America. Trump and his new collaborators are multiplying declarations and gestures which are apparently contradictory so that it is difficult to understand what is going on in Washington.

The anti-Trump campaign

The bad faith of the Atlantist Press can be verified for each of these four main themes.

Current Prices on popular forms of Silver Bullion

 1. Concerning the beginning of the dismantling of Obamacare (20 January), we are obliged to report that, contrary to what is being announced in the Atlantist Press, the underprivileged classes who should have benefited from this system have avoided it en masse. This form of «social security» turned out to be too expensive and too directive to attract them. Only the private companies who manage this system have been truly satisfied with it.

 2. Concerning the prolongation of the Wall at the Mexican border (23 to 25 January), there is nothing xenophobic about it – the Secure Fence Act was signed by President George W. Bush, who began its construction. The work was continued by President Barack Obama with the support of the Mexican government of the time. Beyond the fashionable rhetoric about «walls» and «bridges», reinforced border systems only work when the authorities of both sides agree to make them operational. They always fail when one of the parties opposes them. The interest of the United States is to control the entry of migrants, while the interest of Mexico is to prevent the import of weapons. None of that has changed. However, with the application of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), transnational companies have delocalised, from the United States to Mexico, not only non-qualified jobs (in conformity with the Marxist rule of «the tendency of the rate of profit to fall (TRPF)», but also qualified jobs which are performed by under-paid workers («social dumping»). The appearance of these jobs has provoked a strong rural exodus, destructuring Mexican society, on the model of what happened in 19th century Europe. The transnational companies then lowered wages, plunging part of the Mexican population into poverty – which now only dreams of being correctly paid in the United States itself. Since Donald Trump has announced that he intends to remove the US signature from the NAFTA agreement, things should return to normal in the years to come, and satisfy both Mexico and the United States [1].

 3. Concerning the abortion issue (23 January), President Trump has forbidden the payment of federal subsidies to specialized associations which receive funds from abroad. By doing so, he has warned those specific associations that they must choose between their social objective to help women in distress or being paid by George Soros to demonstrate against him – as was the case on 21 January. This decree, therefore, has nothing to do with abortion, but with the prevention of a «colour revolution».

 4. Concerning the anti-immigration decrees (25 to 27 January), Donald Trump announced that he was going to apply the law – inherited from the Obama era – in other words, to expel the 11 million illegal foreigners. He has suspended federal aid to those cities which announced that they would refuse to apply the law – where will we get our cleaning ladies if we have to declare them? He specified that among these illegal immigrants, he would begin by expelling the 800,000 criminals who have been the object of criminal proceedings, in the United States, Mexico or elsewhere. Besides this, in order to prevent the arrival of terrorists, he has suspended all the authorisations for immigration to the United States and has placed a three-month ban on people from countries where it is impossible to verify their identity and their situation. He did not draw up the list of such countries himself but referred to a previous text from President Obama. For example, here in Syria, there is no longer a US embassy or Consulate. From the point of view of the administrative police, it is, therefore, logical to put Syrians on this list. But this can only concern a minimal number of people. In 2015, only 145 Syrians managed to obtain the US «green card». Aware of the numerous special cases which might arise, the Presidential decree allows all liberty to the State Department and Homeland Security to issue dispensations. The fact that the application of these decrees was sabotaged by civil servants opposed to President Trump, who applied them with brutality, does not make the President either a racist or an Islamophobe.

The campaign led by the Atlantist Press against Donald Trump is, therefore, unfounded. To pretend that he has opened a war against Muslims, and to evoke publicly his possible destitution, even his assassination is no longer simply bad faith – it’s war propaganda.

Donald Trump’s objective

Donald Trump was the first personality in the world to contest the official version of the attacks of 9/11, on television that very day. After having noted that the engineers who built the Twin Towers were now working for him, he declared on New York’s Channel 9 that it was impossible that Boeings could have burst through the steel structures of the towers. He continued by stating that it was also impossible that Boeings could have caused the towers to collapse. He concluded by affirming that there had to be other factors of which we were as yet unaware.

From that day on, Donald Trump has never ceased to resist the people who had committed those crimes. During his inaugural speech, he emphasized that this was not a passage of power between two administrations, but a restitution of power to United States citizens, who had been depriving of it [for sixteen years] [2].

During his electoral campaign, once again during the transitional period, and again since he took office, he has repeated that the imperial system of these last years has never benefited US citizens, but only a small clique of which Mrs. Clinton is the emblematic figure. He declared that the United States would no longer attempt to be the «first», but the «best». His slogans are – « Make America great again» and «America first»

This 180° political turn has shaken a system which has been implemented over the last 16 years and has its roots in the Cold War, which, in 1947, only the United States wanted. This system has gangrened numerous international institutions, such as NATO (Jens Stoltenberg and General Curtis Scaparrotti), the European Union (Federica Mogherini), and the United Nations (Jeffrey Feltman) [3].

If Donald Trump is to reach his objective, it will take years.

Towards a peaceful dismantling of the United States Empire

In two weeks, many things have begun, often in the greatest discretion. The booming declarations of President Trump and his team deliberately spread confusion and enabled him to ensure that the nominations of his collaborators were confirmed by a partially hostile Congress.

We must understand that it’s a fight to the death between two systems that has just begun in Washington. Let’s leave the Atlantist Press to comment on the often contradictory and incoherent statements by this one or that, and look at the facts on their own.

Before anything else, Donald Trump made sure that he had control over the security apparatus. His first three nominations (National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly) are three Generals who have contested the «continuity of government» since 2003 [4]. Next, he reformed the National Security Council to exclude the inter-army Chief of Staff and the director of the CIA [5]

Even though the latter decree will probably be revised, it still has not been. Let us note in passing that we announced the intention of Donald Trump and General Flynn to eliminate the post of Director of National Intelligence [6]. However, this post has been maintained and Dan Coats has been nominated for it. It transpires that talk of its suppression was a tactic to demonstrate that the presence of the Director of National Intelligence in the Council was enough to justify the exclusion of the Director of the CIA.

The substitution of the word «best» for «first» leads to the engagement of partnerships with Russia and China, rather than a tentative to crush them.

In order to hobble this policy, the friends of Mrs. Clinton and Mrs. Nuland have relaunched the war against the Donbass. The important losses they have experienced since the beginning of the conflict have led the Ukrainian army to withdraw and put paramilitary Nazi militia in the front line. The combats have inflicted heavy civilian casualties on the inhabitants of the new popular Republic. Simultaneously, in the Near East, they have managed to deliver tanks to the Syrian Kurds, as planned by the Obama administration.

In order to resolve the Ukrainian conflict, Donald Trump is looking for a way to help to eject President Petro Poroshenko. He, therefore, received at the White House the head of the opposition, Yulia Tymoshenko, even before he accepted a phone call from President Poroshenko.

In Syria and Iraq, Donald Trump has already begun operations in common with Russia, even though his spokesperson denies it.The Russian Minister of Defence, who had imprudently revealed it, has ceased to say anything on the subject.

Concerning Beijing, President Trump has put an end to US participation in the Trans-Pacific Treaty (TPP) – a treaty which had been conceived in order to inhibit China. During the period of transition, he received the second richest man in China, Jack Ma (the businessman who confirmed – «No-one has stolen your jobs, you spend too much on war»). We know that their discussions touched on the possible adhesion of Washington to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). If this were to be the case, the United States would agree to cooperate with China rather than hindering it. They would participate in the construction of two Silk Roads, which would make the wars in Donbass and Syria pointless.

In matters of finance, President Trump has begun the dismantling of the Dodd-Frank law which attempted to resolve the crisis of 2008 by averting the brutal collapse of the major banks («too big to fail»). Although this law has some positive aspects (it’s 2,300 pages long), it establishes a guardianship of the Treasury over the banks, which obviously hinders their development. Donald Trump is also apparently preparing to restore the distinction between deposit banks and investment banks (Glass-Steagall Act).

Finally, the clean-up of international institutions has also begun. The new ambassador to the UNO, Nikki Haley, has requested an audit of the 16 «peace-keeping» missions. She has made it known that she intends to put an end to those which seem to be inefficient. From the point of view of the United Nations Charter, all such missions will be audited without exception. Indeed, the founders of the Organisation had not foreseen this type of military deployment (today, more than 100,000 men and women). The UNO was created to avert or resolve conflicts between states (never intra-state conflict). When two parties conclude a cease-fire, the Organisation may deploy observers in order to verify the respect of the agreement. But on the contrary, these «peace-keeping» operations are aimed at enforcing the respect of a solution imposed by the Security Council and refused by one of the two parties involved in the conflict – in reality, it is the continuation of colonialism.

In practice, the presence of these forces only makes the conflict last longer, while their absence changes nothing. So the troops of the United Nations Interim Force (UNIFIL) deployed at the Israëlo-Lebanese border, but only on Lebanese territory, do not prevent either Israëli military operations or military operations by the Lebanese Resistance, as we have already seen many times. They serve only to spy on the Lebanese on behalf of the Israëlis, thus prolonging the conflict. In the same way, the troops of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, or UNDOF, deployed at the demarcation line in the Golan have been chased away by Al-Qaïda, without that changing anything at all in the Israëlo-Syrian conflict. Putting an end to this system means returning to the spirit and the letter of the Charter, renouncing colonial privileges, and pacifying the world.

Behind the media controversy, the street demonstrations, and the confrontation between politicians, President Trump is holding his course.

Notes:

[1] “Behind the bipartisan wall”, by Manlio Dinucci, Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Il Manifesto (Italy), Voltaire Network, 28 January 2017.

[2] “Donald Trump Inauguration Speech”, by Donald Trump, Voltaire Network, 21 January 2017.

[3] “Germany and the UNO against Syria”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Al-Watan (Syria), Voltaire Network, 28 January 2016.

[4] “Trump – enough of 9/11!”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 24 January 2017.

[5] “Donald Trump winds up “the” organization of US imperialism].]”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Voltaire Network, 31 January 2017.

[6] “General Flynn’s Proposals to Reform Intelligence”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Contralínea (Mexico), Voltaire Network, 1 December 2016.

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The Pathetic New York Times

Lew Rockwell Institute - Mer, 08/02/2017 - 07:01

What else can you call it?

One more time, on the “bromance” between Trump and Putin….

Moral Equivalence?

“You got a lot of killers,” Mr. Trump told Bill O’Reilly of the slavishly pro-Trump Fox News. “What, you think our country’s so innocent?”

The editors at the Times take exception to this:

…rather than endorsing American exceptionalism, Mr. Trump seemed to appreciate Mr. Putin’s brutality…

I find nothing in Trump’s comments to suggest he “appreciates” Putin’s brutality.  Trump merely stated, in the form of a question, an undeniable fact.

The editors of the Times are very good at listing in some detail Putin’s transgressions – not all of which have any factual basis (but facts cannot be allowed to get in the way of these editors).

Current Prices on popular forms of Silver Bullion

There is a Wikipedia page dedicated to all US military operations since 1775.  I count 70 US military operations since 1991 and the fall of the Soviet Union.  There is no such page for Russia; there are two unique pages – one for Syria and one for Ukraine.  That’s it.  Off of the top of my head, I would add Georgia.

The US military interventions span the globe; the Russian military interventions are either directly on the borders of Russia or to a close, long-time ally.  The US military interventions have killed, wounded or displaced countless millions of people.  The Russian interventions?  I will guess in the tens or hundreds of thousands at most.

Do the editors of the Times dare deal with reality?  No.  Not on this topic.

Speaking of Martians

On to the next topic:

Since taking office, Mr. Trump has shown little support for America’s traditional roles as a champion of universal values like freedom of the press and tolerance.

Martians value “freedom of the press and tolerance”?  Are these really universal values?  Returning to this planet, are these valued in so-called US allies like Saudi Arabia and Israel?

The Times might consider – these so-called universal values may not be universal and in any case are not the business of the US government outside of the United States.  Tolerance is not the business of the US government within the United States, either.  The Constitution offers freedom of the press; it says nothing of tolerance.

The Ends Justify the Means

The Times, like all apologists for the military empire that is the United States, accepts immorality if the (advertised) ends are noble:

At least in recent decades, American presidents who took military action have been driven by the desire to promote freedom and democracy…

Ask the millions of dead, wounded and displaced if they appreciate the “freedom and democracy” that they have achieved via US intervention.  The ends justify the means only for those who benefits from “the ends,” and not for those who suffer through “the means.”

Whatever one might say about Hussein in Iraq, Ghaddafi in Libya, or Assad in Syria, the people in these countries weren’t dying by the millions before the United States intervened on their behalf.

…sometimes with extraordinary results, as when Germany and Japan evolved after World War II from vanquished enemies into trusted, prosperous allies.

This isn’t “recent decades.”  This is more than seventy years ago.  And it would be more accurate to describe Germany and Japan as vassal states, not “allies.”

A Stopped Clock…

The Times gets one thing right:

…Mr. Trump has…laid the groundwork for an aggressive campaign that could lead to conflict with Iran…

I wish Trump wouldn’t take actions that could lead to conflict with Iran.  One reason Trump won the election is because many people in the United States are tired of war and are tired of paying for war.

Do you want to see terrorism and the refugee crisis lose steam?  How about just stop bombing people.  The Times could endorse precisely this policy – you know, the opposite of the policy endorsed by their preferred candidate.

Reprinted with permission from Bionic Mosquito.

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