The infantile behavior and entitlement mentality of rioting college students at the University of Missouri, Ithaca College, and Smith College, while something of a yawner in our age of lie-laced victimization protests, is part of a much broader problem.
The broader problem I’m referring to is the complete disintegration of Western civilization — i.e., the disappearance of the longstanding certitudes, values, and self-responsibility that made America the strongest and most civilized nation in world history. While anarchy, in theory, is the only path to pure freedom, the reality is that it does not work for people who have no interest in interfering in the lives of others and want only to be left alone.
The reason it doesn’t work for people of goodwill is because there will always be those who believe they have a right to force others to live by their moral standards. These people are, in effect, psychopathic in that they believe that aggression against others is justified by their noble aims.
Worst of all, the minority now rules the majority, and they do so through loud, hateful, threatening rhetoric that is intended to intimidate those who stubbornly cling to Western values. For example, less than 4 percent of the population that identified itself as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in a recent Gallup Daily tracking poll now has the power to close down a business if the owner refuses to violate his religious beliefs and cater to its wishes. But, of course, we dare not judge them.
We hear that cloying bleat from the advocates of “safety” (at gunpoint) befehls all the time. If it saves even one life, it’s worth it! They use it to justify helmet laws for motorcyclists and seatbelt laws for drivers. Air bags, etc.
But how come their logic is never applied to the source of all Safety itself?
I mean, of course, the government.
Defective Takata air bags have injured and killed at least 130 people so far that we know about – and the potential mayhem could involve literally millions of people. Because millions of “defective” air bags (34 million, to be precise) have been installed – per befehl – in cars made by a number of major car brands since the 2004 model year. These cars are in circulation – and probably many more people will be injured and killed before 34 million of But where is the outrage? Why do those lives not matter?
Oh, there is gabbling about the “greater good.”
Whose good, though?
And who gets to decide?
That’s what’s not being talked about, Takata-wise or otherwise.
It ought to be.
If I wreck my motorcycle and am badly injured as a result of not wearing a helmet – which I chose not to wear that day (assuming I had the free choice) then I can at least take comfort in the fact that I made the choice and now bear the consequences for that choice. But when I am forced to wear a helmet – and wake up in a wheelchair, paralyzed but my face unscathed – I am a victim of someone else’s choices.
I have written previously about the interest rate, which is falling under the planning of the Federal Reserve. The flip side of falling interest rates is the rising price of bonds. Bonds are in an endless, ferocious bull market. Why do I call it ferocious? Perhaps voracious is a better word, as it is gobbling up capital like the Cookie Monster jamming tollhouses into his maw. There are several mechanisms by which this occurs, let’s look at one here.
Artificially low interest makes it necessary to seek other ways to make money. Deprived of a decent yield, people are encouraged (pushed, really) to go speculating. And so the juice in bonds spills over into other markets. When rates fall, people find other assets more attractive. As they adjust their portfolios and go questing for yield, they buy equities and real estate.
By Dr. Mercola
Vitamin A is an important vitamin for healthy vision, immune system function, and cell growth. It works synergistically with a number of other vitamins and minerals, including vitamins D, K2, zinc, and magnesium, without which it cannot perform its functions.
- Retinoids (aka retinol), the bioavailable forms of vitamin A found in animal foods
- Carotenoids, previtamin A found in plant foodsPlant-derived vitamin A precursors such as beta-carotene, or supplements containing “mixed carotenoids” are far better and carry a much lower risk of toxicity, as your body will not convert more than it needs. Of the carotenoids, beta-carotene is the most efficient converter. Compared to alpha-carotene or beta-cryptoxanthin, half as much beta-carotene is required to convert into the same amount of retinol. If you need to supplement, another option is to take desiccated liver pills.
Vitamin A Works in Tandem with Many Other Nutrients
In addition to zinc, vitamin A also works synergistically with vitamins D and K2, magnesium, and dietary fat. Vitamins A, D, and K2 interact synergistically to support immune health, provide for adequate growth, support strong bones and teeth, and protect soft tissues from calcification. Magnesium is required for the production of all proteins, including those that interact with vitamins A and D. Many of the proteins involved in vitamin A metabolism and the receptors for both vitamins A and D only function correctly in the presence of zinc.
Vitamins A and D also cooperate together to regulate the production of certain vitamin K-dependent proteins. Once vitamin K activates these proteins, they help mineralize bones and teeth, protect arteries and other soft tissues from abnormal calcification, and protect against cell death.
This kind of complexity is one of the key reasons why I strongly recommend getting most of your nutrients from real, whole food (and in when it comes to vitamin D, from sensible sun exposure). This is particularly true for vitamin A, as this will circumvent any toxicity issues. Consuming a well-rounded, nutrient-dense diet, with plenty of vegetables and healthy fats, will go a long way toward warding off nutritional deficiencies and serious nutrient imbalances. Any time you opt to supplement with any given vitamin or mineral, you run the risk of throwing it out of balance with its synergistic partners.
Sources and References
- 1, 13 Worldshealthiestfoods.org Vitamin A
- 2 Empowered Sustenance January 2, 2014
- 3 Journal of Nutrition 2004 Jan;134(1):237S-240S
- 4 Vitamin Stuff, Alpha Carotene
- 5 Medical News Today Beta Carotene
- 6 University of Maryland Beta Carotene
- 7 Phytochemicals, Beta Cryptoxanthin
- 8 Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 Jan; 1821(1): 113–123
- 9 Medicinenet.com Canthaxanthin
- 10 Examine.com Fucoxanthin
- 11 Andrew Weil October 29, 2012
- 12 Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;71:878-84
Cultural Marxism enjoyed a victory last week when University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe resigned after members of the Missouri Tigers football team joined a student movement calling for his resignation. While I fully support the rights of these players to leverage their athletic ability to advocate a cause — as I would support their university if it decided to pull their scholarship — what is concerning is the actual list of demands shared by the cause they joined.
The top priority of the #ConcernedStudent1950 movement was not the resignation of University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe, but that he “must acknowledge his white male privilege.” While I have little sympathy for Mr. Wolfe — I agree with Lew Rockwell when he says, “Virtually all university administrators deserve what’s in store for them, especially since they’ve promoted it” — the members of #ConcernedStudent1950 would do well to individual men and groups of men, and that their valuations and their actions are decisive, not those of abstract collectives.” The idea that the Jewish Mises would be asked to check his own “white privilege” should be obviously absurd considering he was forced to flee his home due to Aryans obsessed with an ideology that saw him as racially inferior.
Perhaps the greatest tragedy of the left’s successful tactics of divide and conquer is the devastating consequences it has had on the very communities progressives claim they want to help. Thomas Sowell has brilliantly documented the human toll of the progressive state. Regardless of their true intentions, those who advocate for greater state intervention in our lives actively encourage the greatest threat to societal harmony in the world today.
Now that Peter Klein has left Mizzou for Baylor University, I won’t be much affected even if #ConcernedStudents1950 manage to burn the University of Missouri to the ground — but doing so won’t improve their lives.
A brighter tomorrow will only come when people realize that no matter your race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, or religion — the state is the gravest threat to all those who don’t enjoy its privilege.
Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
Introduction: Mark Thornton is Senior Fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, with articles published often in the Mises Daily. He serves as the Book Review Editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics and was a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Libertarian Studies. He has served as the editor of the Austrian Economics Newsletter and as a member of the graduate faculties of Auburn University and Columbus State University. He has also taught economics at Auburn University at Montgomery and Trinity University in Texas.
Mark served as Assistant Superintendent of Banking and economic advisor to Governor Fob James of Alabama (1997-1999) and he was awarded the University Research Award at Columbus State University in 2002. His publications include The Economics of Prohibition (1991), Tariffs, Blockades, and Inflation: The Economics of the Civil War (2004), The Bastiat Collection (2007), and The Quotable Mises (2005). Mark Thornton is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and received his PhD in economics from Auburn University.
Anthony Wile: When we talk with you a year from now, what do you predict the “obvious question” will be then? Five years from now?
Mark Thornton: The future is never obvious. When I finished my dissertation in 1989, I believed that medical marijuana, recreational marijuana, decriminalization of hard drugs, and legalization of hard drugs would start in 10 year increments. That turned out to be a good guess.
Next year at this time we will be facing the presidential decision. Right now we have the outsiders like Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and Dr. Carson getting tremendous support in the polls. By next year it could be another Bush vs. Clinton decision.
I would guess that for next year the stock markets are down significantly and that unemployment is rising rather than falling. The general public around the world is already at the disgruntled stage. The social mood is decidedly negative. It’s a powder keg with many fuses sticking out of it. So I am very optimistic that positive things could come out of all this.
One thing that has already started is the realignment of political parties in the US. Looking back five years from now I hope that we can see that we avoided WWIII, survived the World Currency War, and that the world has become much more politically decentralized.
Anthony Wile: Thank you.
Reprinted with permission from The Daily Bell.
Among the presidential candidates of the Republican Party and their foreign policy leaders on Capitol Hill the cry is almost universal:
Barack Obama has no strategy for winning the war on ISIS.
This criticism, however, sounds strange coming from a party that controls Congress but has yet to devise its own strategy, or even to authorize the use of U.S. military force in Syria.
Congress has punted. And compared to the cacophony from Republican ranks, Barack Obama sounds like Prince Bismarck.
The President’s strategy is to contain, degrade and defeat ISIS. While no one has provided the troops to defeat ISIS, the U.S. is using Kurdish and Yazidi forces, backed by U.S. air power, to degrade it.And whom does Jeb propose to fight? Why declare a no-fly zone when ISIS has no air force? Does Bush plan to shoot down Syrian planes flying over Syria and Russian planes flying in support of Assad?
Has Jeb, like his brother, not thought this through?
If we declare a no-fly zone over Syria, or establish a “safe zone,” we risk war not only with Syria, but Russia, Iran and Hezbollah.
None of these allies of Assad will meekly stand aside while we take military action to deny the Syrian regime and army the right to defend itself and survive in its war against ISIS, al-Nusra and other assorted jihadists and rebels.
Having invested blood and treasure in Assad’s survival, and securing their own interests in Syria, they are not likely to submit to U.S. dictation. Are we prepared for a war against both sides in Syria?
Who would fight Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and Syria alongside us?
Yet New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is ready to rumble.
“Well, the first thing you do is you set up a no-fly zone in Syria, and you call Putin, and you say to him, ‘Listen, we’re enforcing a no-fly zone, and that means we’re enforcing it against everyone, and that includes you. So, don’t test me.'”
And if Russia violated his no-fly zone? “Then you take him down,” said Christie, meaning we shoot down Russian jets.
But what vital interest of ours has ever been so engaged in Syria as to justify a major war in the Middle East and a military clash with a Russia with a nuclear arsenal as large as our own?
In any war it is usually wise to enlarge the roster of one’s allies and reduce the roster of enemies. If ISIS is the implacable enemy and must be annihilated, we should welcome all volunteers.
As for those who decline to fight, but claim a veto over whom we may ally with, we should tell them to pound sand.
If Putin wants to enlist in the war against ISIS, sign him up.
Parliamo di Parigi e degli ultimi attentati che stanno scuotendo il mondo. Mentre la stampa italiana si concentra sul "chi" e sul "come", è lecito porsi la domanda "perché Parigi?" Puoi delineare il quadro geopolitico in cui ci stiamo muovendo?
L'intero quadro geopolitico sta ruotando intorno alla situazione siriana. Non è possibile comprendere gli avvenimenti odierni se non si fa prima questa premessa.
La Siria di Assad rappresenta un problema per le potenze occidentali ormai da molti anni. I motivi sono diversi. Il primo è che la Siria rappresenta l'anello di congiunzione dell'asse sciita che va dall'Iran fino agli Hezbollah nel Libano. Spezzando questo anello, si verrebbe ad indebolire fortemente una potenziale fonte di pericolo per Israele. (Se si cerca una dimostrazione che la deposizione di Assad fosse già nell'agenda del blocco occidentale fin dall'11 settembre, basta ascoltare questa intervista al generale Wesley Clark).
Il secondo motivo riguarda l'approvvigionamento energetico. Se guardiamo una cartina della regione, vediamo che lungo la costa del Mediterraneo, a nord di Israele c'è il Libano, e più a nord c'è appunto la Siria, che taglia la strada verso la Turchia. Da tempo è in progettazione un importante gasdotto che unisca la Turchia ad Israele, ma naturalmente senza il consenso di Assad questo gasdotto non si può realizzare. [...]
di Bill Bonner
PARIGI – Oggi tre competenze di base per accumulare ricchezza a lungo termine... suggerite da alcuni commenti recenti dei lettori.
Ogni giorno riceviamo e-mail dai nostri lettori. Non possiamo rispondere a tutti, ovviamente... ma ci riflettiamo su.
Di recente abbiamo ricevuto due messaggi di particolare interesse. Uno di una donna che riteneva insoddisfacenti gli accordi di divorzio e che ora lotta per rimanere a galla finanziariamente.
Un altro di un uomo divorziato sul lato opposto della barricata. Per anni ha annaspato con gli alimenti, il mantenimento dei figli e le spese di tutti i giorni. Alla fine ha rinunciato, ha dichiarato fallimento ed è affondato.
Maggiori dettagli tra un minuto...
In primo luogo, torniamo al mondo del denaro... dove la posta in gioco è più bassa. La cosa peggiore che vi possa succedere è perdere denaro. Ed è un fatto la cui probabilità che accada è molto alta.
Ieri il Dow è sceso di 180 punti – circa l'1%.
Se credete a quello che leggete sulla stampa mainstream, "le preoccupazioni per la crescita globale" sono quasi un ricordo del passato. Ma nessuno sa esattamente perché gli investitori comprano o perché vendono.
E se la stampa è alla ricerca di un motivo per cui gli investitori stanno vendendo ora, non ha bisogno di guardare lontano.
Le azioni USA sono più costose oggi rispetto al 90% della storia del paese. E quando le azioni hanno "prezzi perfetti", come ora, tutto deve andare bene – con crescita, stabilità e prosperità.
Non impossibile, ma non ci sembra una buona scommessa.
Nel frattempo i livelli del debito globale sono arrivati a vette da record. Secondo un recente rapporto di McKinsey, il debito globale totale ha superato i $200,000 miliardi nel secondo trimestre dello scorso anno. Questo rappresenta un aumento di $57,000 miliardi rispetto ai livelli pre-crisi.
Quando il debito è così alto, le cose tendono ad andare male. Molti investimenti e speculazioni – finanziati con il debito – non vanno come previsto. I debitori non possono pagare. I creditori cedono al panico. E gli investitori – i cui asset avevano prezzi perfetti – si dirigono verso le uscite.
Non aspettatevi che i tipi di Wall Street condividano questa opinione.
Jim Cramer era sulla CNBC ieri e invitava gli investitori a "strappare queste opportunità per fare soldi."
E una relazione su Bloomberg ci dice di stare attenti agli attuali livelli estremi di sentimento ribassista (spesso un indicatore controcorrente).
Gli investitori odiano le azioni – di nuovo.
Il costo per proteggersi dalle perdite azionarie è in forte aumento, le valutazioni si contraggono e il sentimento ribassista tra i periziatori azionari professionisti è ai massimi da tre decenni a questa parte.
Non siate preoccupati. Tutto questo rappresenta una buona notizia per i rialzisti, se la storia è di una qualche guida. Dal 1963 lo Standard & Poor 500 Index è salito ad una media dell'11% l'anno nonostante il pessimismo generale tra gli scrittori di bollettini d'informazione, come mostrano i dati compilati da Bloomberg. Ciò significa un rendimento annualizzato dell'8.3%.
Gli scrittori di bollettini d'informazione sono proprio come tutti gli altri: a volte hanno ragione, a volte hanno torto. Il nostro consiglio agli investitori – siate preoccupati.
Tendono ad essere più ribassisti rispetto agli analisti di Wall Street, perché non stanno vendendo azioni e obbligazioni. Stanno vendendo consigli.
E sanno che i prezzi delle azioni e delle obbligazioni possono salire così come possono scendere. Sanno anche che le perdite sono due volte più potenti, dal punto di vista psicologico, rispetto ai guadagni.
E non dimenticate che il sistema monetario mondiale è cambiato alla fine degli anni '60: da un sistema coperto dall'oro ad un sistema coperto dalle promesse dello stato.
Nel 1968 il presidente Johnson chiese al Congresso di porre fine alla redimibilità dei dollari in oro. Il cambiamento venne approvato. Poi, nel 1971, il presidente Nixon pose fine alla convertibilità diretta dei dollari in oro, quando "chiuse la finestra dell'oro."
Ciò permise alle banche centrali di giocherellare arbitrariamente con l'offerta di denaro.
In altre parole, le performance del passato non sono la garanzia dei risultati futuri, come ci ricorda la SEC. Questa volta i cupi, tetri, scontrosi e spesso squattrinati scrittori di bollettini d'informazione, potrebbero aver ragione!
Torniamo ai messaggi inviati dai nostri lettori...
Di solito i problemi familiari sono molto più importanti per quanto concerne il proprio benessere, la propria felicità – e anche la propria sicurezza finanziaria – rispetto al denaro.
Ma condividono molte similitudini. In entrambi i casi, il successo dipende dalle abitudini, dalla personalità e dalla fortuna. La virtù paga – non sempre, ma spesso. La fedeltà. L'umiltà. La generosità. La fermezza. Il duro lavoro. Alla fine, anche queste cose tendono a pagare.
Anche se non potrebbe funzionare in questo modo, probabilmente ci si sente meglio se ci si crede. Almeno così, quando le cose non funzionano, non è colpa vostra.
Quando leggiamo lettere di qualcuno con pochi soldi, vogliamo dare una mano. Eccone una che abbiamo ricevuto di recente:
OK. Eccomi, un nuovo utente su queste pagine. Attualmente vivo grazie alla previdenza sociale e ad una pensione mensile. Ciò equivale in sostanza a un po' più di $2,000 al mese. Quando mi sono sposata, io e mio marito abbiamo avviato un piano di pensionamento a cui abbiamo contribuito ogni mese. Poi, 21 anni dopo, è arrivato il divorzio e il mio ex-marito ha ottenuto il nostro fondo pensione. In più, ha anche un fondo pensione per la sua carriera.
Ho un diploma di scuola superiore e ho lavorato per permettergli d'andare al college e in seguito ottenere un master. Ho svolto vari lavori di segreteria fino a quando non sono arrivati i figli e ho lasciato il mio lavoro per diventare madre a tempo pieno.
Non ho risparmi, investimenti, ecc. Ho 70 anni e vorrei un consiglio su come affrontare il "buio e la sorte avversa" di cui parlate spesso nei vostri articoli.
Non possiamo fare consulenza finanziaria personalizzata. Ma possiamo fare alcune riflessioni generali su persone in una situazione simile.
Vendiamo investimenti, analisi e consulenze. E i nostri addetti all'area marketing lavorano duramente per farli sembrare più attraenti possibile. Ma quando non si ha molto denaro da investire, un servizio di trading costoso probabilmente non vi aiuterà.
Per chiunque voglia cominciare ad accumulare ricchezza, abbiamo qualche consiglio che vi daremo gratis: fatela semplice, non spendeteci troppo, siate determinati fino alla fine.
Sì, ci auguriamo che le nostre intuizioni modeste e umili valgano il denaro richiesto.
Ma per favore non spendete di più... a meno che non abbiate i soldi per accedere ad una consulenza più costosa.
E no, non stiamo dicendo che i sistemi algoritmici sofisticati non funzioneranno. Nelle mani giuste, al momento giusto, possono funzionare davvero bene.
Ma trovarli richiede tempo e conoscenze. Quasi certamente il dilettante rimarrà a corto di denaro prima che si possa imbattere in un programma di trading costoso che lo renda ricco.
Le competenze di base per accumulare ricchezza sono così semplici che a malapena meritano d'essere menzionate. E come la costruzione di una famiglia, richiedono tempo... spesso una vita intera.
- Spendere meno di quanto si guadagna...
- Investire con cura nelle cose più sicure che si possono trovare. (Non c'è niente di sbagliato con un fondo indicizzato altamente diversificato, a basso costo, come quelli offerti dal Vanguard Group.)
- Una volta che guadagnate denaro, allora... e solo allora... potete permettervi di spendere per migliorare la vostra vita e per strumenti d'investimento più sofisticati.
Fate questo per 20... 30... 40 anni... Poi fateci sapere come va a finire.
Non avete 40 anni?
Hmmm... ne parleremo di più la prossima volta!
[*] traduzione di Francesco Simoncelli: http://francescosimoncelli.blogspot.it/
I hope and trust you don’t mind that I place us on a first name basis. We’re informal in the Big Easy, are we not? This letter will be highly critical of your efforts to radically reduce the murder rate in The Big Easy, particularly that of young black men (YBM) as victims. So I might as well start off on a positive note. I greatly admire you for, and congratulate you for your courage in these politically correct times, for acknowledging that the main source of this tragic loss of life is not (white) policemen shooting YBMs, but, rather, the fact that they are all too often victimizing each other.
If you seriously want to stop this massive carnage, it behooves you to learn of its true causal antecedents. Only by dealing with them can you stop their results. So let us dispose of a few supposed root causes that really have little or nothing to do with this dreadfulness.
The horrendous murder of YBMs is not the legacy of slavery. As Thomas Sowell and Walter E. Williams never tire of telling us, there was far less of this senseless killing in the period between the ending of the war between theWill ridding our fair city of any one of these causal elements entirely end the senseless killings of YBMs? No, of course not. Will eliminating all of them together do so? Not likely. But, in the latter case, such an initiative will radically reduce this horrific slaughter. The perfect is the enemy of the good. These free enterprise remedies will not entirely solve the problem. It is too deeply embedded for that. But all these lives are precious, and if we can save even some of them, we will be doing the Lord’s work. Is an intact family an absolute guarantee that there will be no murders? That is silly. There are killers from two parent-headed families and most children of female-headed households do not engage in any crime whatsoever. Will the eradication of public housing constitute a complete solution? Again, no. Most inhabitants of this type of real estate are not criminals and there are plenty of miscreants who live in private homes. Will radically reducing the unemployment rate of YBMs end all of these shootings? Unfortunately not. The overwhelming majority of killers have been employed and most of the unemployed are law abiding. But will each of these changes help a bit, and will all of them together substantially turn things around? Yes. The same cannot be said for drug legalization. That in and of itself and alone will punch a really big hole in the murder statistics of YBMs.
Mitch, I know you’re a pinko liberal leftie progressive, but, I think you are also an honest man with a burning desire to radically reduce this carnage amongst YBMs. I full well realize that drug prohibition, public housing, welfare, minimum wages are all shibboleths of your end of the political spectrum. I appreciate it will be difficult for you to renounce these long-standing positions of yours and your fellow travelers. But if you are really serious about saving the lives of YBMs, and I think you are, you will eschew these stances and embrace the laissez faire capitalist system, the last best hope for these downtrodden young people
And, also, there will be side benefits of freeing up the economy in these ways. YBMs who are criminals by no means confine themselves to preying on each other. They also commit aggression against the rest of us. If they can become more civilized enough so as to stop shooting one another, all of us, young, old, black, white, whatever, will also be safer.
Walter E. Block, Ph.D.
A micronation is a piece of land, either geographical or hypothetical, which claims to be a sovereign state—but isn’t. By the most bare-bones definition, this means all you have to do to create one is declare that you’ve done so. If you want to get fancy about it, you can also design your own passport, currency, regalia, and/or other accoutrements of statehood. Badgering the United Nations for recognition is optional, but by definition, micronations aren’t formally recognized by other countries or international bodies.
Some micronations are serious attempts driven by political ideology, while others are more like practical jokes. By some accounts, over 400 currently active micronations now exist. Here are 15 of the most interesting from the past few decades:
1. VÍT JEDLIČKA // LIBERLAND
In April 2015, a Czech man named Vít Jedlička declared that an otherwise unclaimed 2.7-square-mile patch of land between Serbia and Croatia was now a libertarian paradise called the Free Republic of Liberland. According to the micronation’s website, “The motto of Liberland is ‘To live and let live’ because Liberland prides itself on personal and economic freedom of its people.”
Applications are currently being accepted for citizenship from those who 1) have respect for others and their opinions, 2) “ have respect for private ownership, which is untouchable,” 3) do not have a “Communist, Nazi, or other extremist past,” and 4) have not been punished for past criminal offenses. Jedlička told TIME that within a few days of his announcement he had received 20,000 citizenship applications, although he planned to accept just 3000 to 5000.
At the time of the announcement, the only structure in the area was a dilapidated hunters’ lodge, and police in both Croatia and Serbia have since blocked access to the area. Nevertheless, “President Jedlička” is currently making international visits to drum up support for his new nation.”
2. PADDY ROY BATES // PRINCIPALITY OF SEALAND
One of the world’s more successful micronations was founded in 1967 on an abandoned former WWII anti-aircraft gun platform about seven miles off the coast of England. Former British Army major Paddy Roy Bates originally occupied the 120-by-50-foot platform in 1966 to transmit pirate radio broadcasts, and later declared it his own nation: The Principality of Sealand.
Today, Sealand continues its radio broadcasts and has also become an online data haven. Since 1999, it’s been ruled by Bates’ son, Prince Michael, and boasts its own chapel, prison, flag, currency, stamps, national anthem, and passports, as well as a strained relationship with Great Britain, which doesn’t recognize its existence but has mostly left it alone. It also sells royal titles—“The perfect gift for the person that has everything!”
3. LEICESTER HEMINGWAY // REPUBLIC OF NEW ATLANTIS
On July 4, 1964, Leicester Hemingway, younger brother of writer Ernest Hemingway, declared that half of an 8-by-30-foot bamboo raft in international waters off the coast of Jamaica was his own country: New Atlantis.
Hemingway claimed to derive his authority from the U.S. Guano Islands Act of 1856, which authorized U.S. citizens to take possession, on behalf of the U.S. government, of any unoccupied “island, rock or key” on which a deposit of guano was found. (Guano, or bird excrement, was then considered a valuable commercial fertilizer.) Hemingway declared that half his “island” now belonged to the U.S. government, while the other half was reserved for New Atlantis.
Hemingway hoped to run a marine research society funded by profits from selling New Atlantis stamps, but things didn’t turn out as he’d hoped. The Universal Postal Union refused to recognize his country or the stamps, and the raft was destroyed by storms a few years later, its remains pillaged by fishermen.
4. JEREMIAH HEATON // KINGDOM OF NORTH SUDAN
In 2014, Virginia farmer Jeremiah Heaton claimed a plot of land between Sudan and Egypt, Bir Tawil, as his own country so that he could declare his seven-year-old daughter a princess. His daughter declared herself delighted, but no governmental entity has recognized their claim. A somewhat controversial film is said to be in development about their story.
5. TOMÁŠ HARABIŠ // KINGDOM OF WALLACHIA
Writer and photographer Tomáš Harabiš established the Valašské království (Kingdom of Wallachia) in 1997 in a southeastern corner of the Czech Republic as a gimmick to promote tourism. Czech actor Bolek Polívka was declared “King Boleslav the Gracious,” the ceremonial head of state. While successful as a tourist lure, the micronation suffered a bitter coup d’état in 2011 that saw Polívka stripped of his title after he demanded a financial stake in the fictional country’s (real) finances.
“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” ― Benjamin Franklin
“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”—Hermann Goering, German military commander and Hitler’s designated successor
For those who remember when the first towers fell on 9/11, there is an unnerving feeling of déjà vu about the Paris attacks.
Once again, there is that same sense of shock. The same shocking images of carnage and grief dominating the news. The same disbelief that anyone could be so hateful, so monstrous, so evil as to do this to another human being. The same outpourings of support and unity from around the world. The same shared fear that this could easily have happened to us or our loved ones.
Advocating torture makes you no better than terrorists. The horrors that took place at Abu Ghraib, the American-run prison in Iraq, continue to shock those with any decency. Photographs leaked to the media depicted “US military personnel humiliating, hurting and abusing Iraqi prisoners in a myriad of perverse ways. While American servicemen and women smiled and gave thumbs up, naked men were threatened by dogs, or were hooded, forced into sexual positions, placed standing with wires attached to their bodies, or left bleeding on prison floors.” Adding to the descent into moral depravity, the United States government legalized the use of torture, including waterboarding, in violation of international law and continues to sanction human rights violations in the pursuit of national security. The ramifications have been far-reaching, with local police now employing similar torture tactics at secret locations such as Homan Square in Chicago.
Allowing the government to spy on the citizenry will not reduce acts of terrorism, but it will result in a watched, submissive, surveillance society. A byproduct of this post 9/11-age in which we live, whether you’re walking through a store, driving your car, checking email, or talking to friends and family on the phone, you can be sure that some government agency, whether the NSA or some other entity, is listening in and tracking your behavior. This doesn’t even begin to touch on the corporate trackers such as Google that monitor your purchases, web browsing, Facebook posts and other activities taking place in the cyber sphere. We are all becoming data collected in government files. The chilling effect of this endless surveillance is a more anxious and submissive citizenry.
Don’t become so distracted by the news cycle that you lose sight of what the government is doing. The average American has a hard time keeping up with and remembering all of the “events,” manufactured or otherwise, which occur like clockwork and keep us distracted, deluded, amused, and insulated from the reality of the American police state. Whether these events are critical or unimportant, when we’re being bombarded with wall-to-wall news coverage and news cycles that change every few days, it’s difficult to stay focused on one thing—namely, holding the government accountable to abiding by the rule of law—and the powers-that-be understand this. In this way, regularly scheduled trivia and/or distractions that keep the citizenry tuned into the various breaking news headlines and entertainment spectacles also keep them tuned out to the government’s steady encroachments on their freedoms.
If you stop holding the government accountable to the rule of law, the only laws it abides by will be the ones used to clamp down on the citizenry. Having failed to hold government officials accountable to abiding by the rule of law, the American people have found themselves saddled with a government that skirts, flouts and violates the Constitution with little consequence. Overcriminalization, asset forfeiture schemes, police brutality, profit-driven prisons, warrantless surveillance, SWAT team raids, indefinite detentions, covert agencies, and secret courts are just a few of the egregious practices carried out by a government that operates beyond the reach of the law.
Do not turn your country into a battlefield, your citizens into enemy combatants, and your law enforcement officers into extensions of the military. A standing army—something that propelled the early colonists into revolution—strips the citizenry of any vestige of freedom. How can there be any semblance of freedom when there are tanks in the streets, military encampments in cities, Blackhawk helicopters and armed drones patrolling overhead? It was for this reason that those who established America vested control of the military in a civilian government, with a civilian commander-in-chief. They did not want a military government, ruled by force. Rather, they opted for a republic bound by the rule of law: the U.S. Constitution. Unfortunately, we in America now find ourselves struggling to retain some semblance of freedom in the face of police and law enforcement agencies that look and act like the military and have just as little regard for the Fourth Amendment, laws such as the NDAA that allow the military to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens, and military drills that acclimate the American people to the sight of armored tanks in the streets, military encampments in cities, and combat aircraft patrolling overhead.
As long as you remain fearful and distrustful of each other, you will be incapable of standing united against any threats posed by a power-hungry government. Early on, U.S. officials solved the problem of how to implement their authoritarian policies without incurring a citizen uprising: fear. The powers-that-be want us to feel threatened by forces beyond our control (terrorists, shooters, bombers). They want us afraid and dependent on the government and its militarized armies for our safety and well-being. Most of all, they want us distrustful of each other, divided by our prejudices, and at each other’s throats.
If you trade your freedom for security, the terrorists win. We’ve walked a strange and harrowing road since September 11, 2001, littered with the debris of our once-vaunted liberties. We have gone from a nation that took great pride in being a model of a representative democracy to being a model of how to persuade a freedom-loving people to march in lockstep with a police state. And in so doing, we have proven Osama Bin Laden right. He warned that “freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people in — and the West in general — into an unbearable hell and a choking life.”
To sum things up, the destruction that began with the 9/11 terror attacks has expanded into an all-out campaign of terror, trauma, acclimation and indoctrination aimed at getting Americans used to life in the American Police State. The bogeyman’s names and faces change over time, but the end result remains the same: our unquestioning acquiescence to anything the government wants to do in exchange for the phantom promise of safety and security has transitioned us to life in a society where government agents routinely practice violence on the citizens while, in conjunction with the Corporate State, spying on the most intimate details of our personal lives.
The lesson learned, as I document in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, is simply this: once you start down the road towards a police state, it will be very difficult to turn back.
Is it any surprise that people on the fringe look for rational explanations for what appears to be irrational behavior (i.e. “conspiracy theories”) on the part of government and military officials?
Intensifying pressure on the Islamic State, United States warplanes for the first time attacked hundreds of trucks on Monday that the extremist group has been using to smuggle the crude oil it has been producing in Syria, American officials said.
For the first time?!?!?!
American officials have long been frustrated by ability of ISIS to generate tens of million[s] of dollars a month by producing and exporting oil.
For the first time?!?!?!
How many years has the US been bombing Syria? Which so-called allies have been benefitting from the low-cost oil, therefore delaying action? Rational people might wonder.
They have an excuse for the lack of earlier action:
Until Monday, the United States had refrained from striking the fleet used to transport oil, believed to include more than 1,000 tanker trucks, because of concerns about causing civilian casualties.
But what about the civilian casualties in a hospital? No concern there. A wedding? Nope, no problem.
In any case, weren’t these guys bright enough to find a way of warning the drivers and destroying the trucks?
To reduce the risk of harming civilians, two F-15 warplanes dropped leaflets about an hour before the attack warning drivers to abandon their vehicles, and strafing runs were conducted to reinforce the message.
They couldn’t have done this a year or two ago?
The area where the trucks assemble in Syria has been closely monitored by reconnaissance drones. As many as 1,000 trucks have been observed there, waiting to receive their cargo of illicit oil.
On Monday, 295 trucks were in the area, and more than a third of them were destroyed, United States officials said.
…116 tanker trucks had been destroyed.
One-thousand observed trucks, only 116 destroyed. How many of you remember the Highway of Death at the end of the first Gulf War?
Between 1,400 and 2,000 vehicles were hit or abandoned on the main Highway 80 north of Al Jahra (the “actual” Highway of Death). Several hundred more littered the lesser known Highway 8 to the major southern Iraq military stronghold of Basra.
The offensive action for which Highway 80 is infamous became controversial with some commentators alleging disproportionate use of force, saying that the Iraqi forces were retreating from Kuwait in compliance with the original UN Resolution 660 of August 2, 1990; and the column allegedly included Kuwaiti hostages and civilian refugees.
When they want to destroy trucks, they know how to destroy trucks.
You would have to wear a tin foil hat to take these stories at face value. As is the case with virtually every tale told and every action taken by government officials, something doesn’t make sense.
Or it makes perfect sense. Which story comports better with the reality, versions of the fairy tales like the one told above or the following?
- The United States and its allies have created, fed, and nurtured this beast now known as ISIS.
- The US and its allies have pretended to fight ISIS, all the while fighting Assad’s forces with the objective of taking down the current Syrian government.
- Russia enters the fight against ISIS and starts making serious headway, raising many unavoidable questions among western allies of the US.
- ISIS (according to the official narrative) conducts a coordinated attack in a major western city.
- As the bloodshed has been brought home, western allies decide this isn’t patty cake; they demand that the US gets serious.
- Oil trucks get bombed.
That’s my working theory. I readily admit it isn’t fully flushed out; it is still the early stages of this episode.
Break out the tin foil hat.
Reprinted with permission from Bionic Mosquito.
The post If You Believe the Government and the Media on ISIS appeared first on LewRockwell.
The 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress report, also known as The Nation’s Report Card, shows that U.S. educational achievement, to put it nicely, leaves much to be desired.
When it comes to reading and math skills, just 34 percent and 33 percent, respectively, of U.S. eighth-grade students tested proficient or above — that is, performed at grade level or above. Recent test scores show poor achievement levels in other academic areas. Only 18 percent of eighth-graders are proficient in U.S. history. It’s 27 percent in geography and 23 percent in civics.
The story is not much better when it comes to high schoolers. According to 2010 and 2013 NAEP test scores, only 38 percent of 12th-graders were proficient in reading. It was 26 percent in math, 12 percent in history, 20 percent While educational achievement among whites is nothing to write home about, that for blacks is no less than a disaster. Only 13 percent of black eighth-graders score proficient or above in math, and only 16 percent do in reading. In 2013, only 7 percent of black 12th-graders scored proficient in math, and only 16 percent did in reading. The full magnitude of the black education tragedy is seen by the statistics on the other end of the achievement continuum. “Below basic” is the score given when a student is unable to demonstrate even partial mastery of knowledge and skills fundamental for proficient work at his grade level. In 2013, 62 percent of black 12th-graders scored below basic in math, and 44 percent scored below basic in reading.
Dr. Thomas Sowell has written volumes on black education. The magnitude of today’s black education tragedy is entirely new. He demonstrates this in “Education: Assumptions Versus History,” a 1985 collection of papers. Paul Laurence Dunbar High School is a black public school in Washington, D.C. As early as 1899, its students scored higher on citywide tests than any of the city’s white schools. From its founding in 1870 to 1955, most of its graduates went off to college. Dunbar’s distinguished alumni included U.S. Sen. Ed Brooke, physician Charles Drew and, during World War II, nearly a score of majors, nine colonels and lieutenant colonels, and a brigadier general.
Baltimore’s Frederick Douglass High School also produced distinguished alumni, such as Thurgood Marshall and Cab Calloway, as well as several judges, congressmen and civil rights leaders. Douglass High was second in the nation in black Ph.D.s among its alumni.
The stories of the excellent predominantly black schools of yesteryear found in Sowell’s study refute the notion of “experts” that more money is needed to improve black education. Today’s Paul Laurence Dunbar and Frederick Douglass high schools have resources that would have been unimaginable to their predecessors. Those resources have meant absolutely nothing in terms of academic achievement.
The horrific attacks in Paris on Friday have, predictably, led to much over-reaction and demands that we do more of the exact things that radicalize people and make them want to attack us. The French military wasted no time bombing Syria in retaliation for the attacks, though it is not known where exactly the attackers were from. Thousands of ISIS fighters in Syria are not Syrian, but came to Syria to overthrow the Assad government from a number of foreign countries — including from France and the US.
Ironically, the overthrow of Assad has also been the goal of both the US and France since at least 2011.
The Western-style riding boot is somewhere between folk art, pop culture, and functional clothing.
Actors have worn them, and so have Presidents — and for that matter, so have actors who became Presidents.
Most men, though, will go through life without ever having tried a cowboy boot on.
My advice? Don’t be that guy. Give it a shot. You don’t have to be a cowboy to wear and appreciate Western boots.
Although you’ll get more use out of them if you take up Western dancing and rodeo — a man can enjoy a touch of Western style in his outfits now and again.
Just like boater shoes aren’t exclusively for New Englanders with their own private yachts, well-dressed men can be comfortable taking the cowboy boot out of the Southwest and into America’s most fashionable cities.
How to do it? Well that’s the purpose of this cowboy boot primer.
Why Western Boots?
For most men, it’s hard to see the point of a fancy Western boot. They’re expensive items, and unless you grew up around men who wore them, they seem more like novelty or costume pieces than anything stylish.
But a savvy dresser can think of a cowboy boot as an outfit’s holdout weapon. At a distance, it looks like a quality leather shoe. Up close, the distinct advantages start to show:
- Unique shape.
- The toe of a cowboy boot doesn’t have to be wickedly thin (although modern fashion tends that way), but it always has a distinct taper. This was originally to help slide in and out of the stirrups more easily, and it still gives your feet an active, dynamic shape that contrasts nicely with more staid dress shoe toes.
- Added height. Shorter men have extra reason to love cowboy boots — the heel adds anywhere from a half-inch to nearly two inches of height. Taller men will definitely want a lower-slung “walking heel” style, but particularly short men can sneak another inch or so in by wearing full “cowboy heels.”
- Decoration. A plain cowboy boot is a rare thing. There are styles out there for every taste imaginable, and the portion of the boot visible beneath your trouser cuffs can feature everything from leather tooling to contrast-colored stitching and bright vegetable dyes. If you’re fond of memorable footwear, you’ll love cowboy boots.
- Uniqueness. Once you get outside of Texas and the Southwest, you’re unlikely to find yourself in a room with another guy wearing Western boots. It gives people something to remember you by.
- Fun. Let’s face it, sometimes we all want to cowboy it up a little. Western boots come from a long tradition, both historical and fictional, of American independence and manhood. It’s fun to be a part of that.
Western Boot Parts & Terminology
The first-time buyer is likely to be overwhelmed by the variety of Western boots out there. But if you know some basic terms and styles, it’ll be far less intimidating.
For the most part, all good Western boots should share the same basic characteristics:
Cuban heel. This is mandatory. A boot that doesn’t have an angled, underslung heel of at least 1/2″ or more isn’t really a cowboy boot. Lower heels will be more comfortable to walk in (and are in fact called “walking heels”), while taller heels are more useful for holding your feet in the stirrups when you ride, and give shorter men a bit of an extra boost. Expect heel length to be up to 2 inches, although 1 to 1.5 is normal.
High shaft. The tops of the boots should be up to at least mid-calf. The tops are usually shaped with decorative cut-outs, but can end in a plain, round opening. A classic Western boot usually has a 10- to 14-inch shaft.
No laces. Cowboy boots are pulled on and off. They usually have small leather loops (“bootstraps”) to assist with this, but should not have laces. This also comes from the practical origins; laces could catch on a stirrup when a cowboy fell from his horse or keep him from kicking free if the boot caught, causing him to be dragged and potentially trampled.
Want more information on Western boot heels, leathers, and parts? Click here to check out my detailed infographic.
“Conservatism is the antidote to tyranny. It’s the only one. It’s based on thousands of years of human experience. There is nothing narrow about the conservative philosophy. It’s a liberating philosophy. It is a magnificent philosophy. It is a philosophy for the ages, for all times.” ~ Mark Levin
“I realized that conservatism was the philosophy that best suited me, with its emphasis on individual liberty, personal responsibility, and merit.” ~ Mark Levin
“The Conservative does not despise government. He despises tyranny. This is precisely why the Conservative reveres the Constitution and insists on adherence to it.” ~ Mark Levin
“I follow the Constitution, that’s what I do.” ~ Mark Levin
It should be noted, however, that none of these prisoners were pardoned. They all still have a criminal record for the non-crime of a drug “offense.” Thousands more were not released. And Bowerman must keep close track of the rules: no alcohol and no traveling for a time beyond the rural area outside Lubbock, Texas, where she will be staying.
Every American in prison for a drug “offense” should, of course, be pardoned and released—immediately. No one should ever be questioned, detained, arrested, tried, fined, or imprisoned for a drug “offense.” There shouldn’t even be any such thing as a drug “offense,” “crime,” “offender,” “trafficker,” or “dealer.” The whole concept should be considered just as absurd as a banana “offense,” “crime,” “offender,” “trafficker,” or “dealer.”
And as I have pointed out so many times, there is nothing in the Constitution that grants to the federal government the authority to identify different types of drugs, regulate the sale and usage of drugs, classify drugs on a schedule, have a drug czar, set up a Drug Enforcement Administration, ban certain drugs, pass any laws related to drugs, wage war on drugs, or have anything whatsoever to do with any drug that is used for any purpose.
Conservatism is antithetical to individual liberty, private property, personal responsibility, and the Constitution. As is any statist, authoritarian philosophy that thinks people should be caged for engaging in peaceful behavior the government doesn’t approve of.
Here’s what’s obvious, but unacceptable: we need a new system.
Pundits and apologists are quick to chastise anyone who even speaks of class war, as if the words alone might spark what the pundits and apologists fear.
The pundits and apologists dread the words because they know the Class War has already started. The mainstream media’s hope is that denial will somehow suppress the broader recognition that the fault lines in American society are cracking wide open.
Last week’s entries explained why increasing wealth/income inequality is the only possible output of the current social- political -economic order. All the proposed “fixes”–more regulations, more taxes, more bureaucracies, etc.– will fail because they are merely extensions of a failed system that optimizes inequality, monopoly, cronyism, stagnation, low social mobility and systemic instability.
Here is my delineation of America’s nine socio-economic classes:
The Changing World of Work I: America’s Nine Classes: Eight of the nine classes are hidebound by backward-looking conventions, neofeudal arrangements and a spectrum of perverse incentives and false choices.
A few commentators see the fault lines and understand the Class War is already rumbling. Correspondent Mark G. submitted these two articles as examples of the widening divides between various classes in the U.S.:
In the first piece, Joel Kotkin describes the political capture of the Status QuoImperial Democrats by the Left Coast media and tech culture of Silicon Valley and Hollywood, both of which have thrived in our hyper-financialized economy of 95% losers and 5% winners, and the Right Coast financiers, lobbyists, government bureaucrats and Wall Streeters who have benefited so handsomely from the hyper-financialization of the U.S. economy, politics, media and zeitgeist.
This Class War is illustrated by this chart: a tiny financial-political Elite (the top 1/10th of 1%) now own as much wealth as the bottom 90%:
The second piece describes the widening gulf between the wealthy cities vacuuming up global capital (NYC, San Francisco, West LA, Seattle, etc.) and opportunity-impoverished rural America.
It is not an understatement to say our existence, and the quality of our lives, depends on having adequate iodine levels. In spite of this, mainstream medicine generally ignores the importance of this element. The following fifteen facts will reveal not only how important iodine is, but how much better your life can be with balanced levels of this life-giving element.
1. Iodine is an Essential Element
The thyroid creates hormones to regulate metabolism and cellular function. The two most important hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) require iodine for formation. Without iodine, the thyroid under-produces these hormones leading to hypothyroidism and other metabolic disorders. used to sharpen images from x-rays or CT scans. Studies have found the reactions resulted from molecules in the contrast media, not iodine. It is worth noting that while mild symptoms may be the usual response, anaphylactic response and death have occurred. Those ‘iodine allergies’ associated with seafood occur as reactions to proteins in the seafood, not as a reaction to iodine.
7. Iodine Helps Fight Harmful Organisms
Iodine has been used for centuries as a topical application to harmful organism infection. To this day it has proven effective against most varieties. Hospitals continue to use gallons of iodine daily to fight harmful microorganisms and maintain a sterile environment.
Nearly 92% of economists surveyed this week by the Wall Street Journal expect that our eight-year experiment with unprecedented monetary easing from the Federal Reserve will come to an end at the next Fed meeting in December. Since we have had the monetary wind at our back for so many years, at least a few have begun to question our ability to make economic and financial gains against actual headwinds. But in reality, the tightening cycle that the forecasters are waiting for actually started last year. Sadly, the markets and the economy are already showing an inability to handle it.
While it’s true that we have yet to achieve “lift-off” from zero percent interest rates, rates have not been the only means by which the Fed has provided stimulus. We also have to account for the effects of Quantitative Easing (QE) and forward guidance of the Fed. Changes in those inputs over the past year have already created conditions of monetary tightening.
QE has been the process by which the central bank expands its balance sheet (otherwise known as printing money) to buy government and asset-backed bonds on the longer end of the duration spectrum. In so doing, it is able to
But what’s more concerning is the magnitude of the easing cycle that has gotten us to this point. It began in 2007, lasted a full 80 months, and took the effective fed funds rate (accounting for the Shadow Rate) down by 825 basis points. In contrast, the prior two easing cycles averaged 612 basis points and 34.5 months. This huge dose of stimulus is certain to have caused distortions in the economy that won’t be seen until we get more normalized levels of monetary policy. As Warren Buffet has most famously quipped, “We have to wait till the tide goes out before we see who has been swimming without bathing suits.”
Since the Second World War, recessions have begun, on average, every seven years. Since the current recovery is already seven years old, how much longer should we expect this historically anemic recovery to last? If the slowdown occurs next year, can we really expect the Fed to remain on the sidelines and risk the possibility that the economy goes into a recession leading into a presidential election? Both the chairperson and vice chairman of the Fed are solidly associated with the left side of the political spectrum. Should we expect that they would be hesitant to support the markets and the economy and thereby create conditions that might help Republicans take the White House?
Nevertheless, most people assume that rates are on the way up to 2% or more. But from my perspective it’s much more likely that the rates never get close to that level. I would argue that any positive rate of interest would be enough to stop this economy cold. Years of negative rates have so corrupted our economy that I believe it is now fully addicted and cannot survive under any other condition.
Since this historically weak recovery is already decelerating, one might expect the removal of stimulus could cause the next recession to start quicker and be far deeper than any experienced in the past. Since the Fed may recognize this, the next easing cycle could likely start much sooner, and the accompanying monetary stimulus be much larger than just about anyone believes.
Each of the last three easing cycles took rates lower than where they were at the end of the prior easing cycle. Given that the fed funds rate is at zero (and the Shadow Rate got to as low as -2.99%), one shudders to think how low the Fed is prepared to go the next time around. As a result, investors may want to consider re-positioning their assets for another period of possible monetary easing not a period of tightening, which I believe, in fact, is already well underway and will soon be a thing of the past. December is far less significant than what almost everyone has been led to believe.