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Looking For a Longer Jail Sentence?

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 19/06/2015 - 06:01

To the mounting pile of oddities surrounding the Boston Marathon Bombing—the largest terrorist attack on domestic soil since 9/11—we add yet another: the wide disparities in the government’s treatment of the people associated with the accused bombers, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was convicted and given the death penalty, and his dead elder brother, Tamerlan.

Here’s the odd thing: the more that these people cooperated with the government, the harsher their punishment. Conversely, a few who failed to cooperate with the FBI escaped prosecution entirely.

Officials have made clear that the harsh sentences meted out to most of the Tsarnaev brothers’ former friends were intended to send a message: Do not obstruct terror investigations. Paradoxically, these outcomes may have the opposite effect.

Attorneys following the case say the real message that comes through is this: Cooperate with the government without a lawyer before you are arrested—and you will get jail time. Cooperate after you have been arrested, and either plead the Fifth or speak only with a lawyer present—and you end up with less jail time, if any.

The most striking example of ending up the worse for cooperating is surely Ibragim Todashev, a friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who purportedly had just confessed to some complicity in a separate triple homicide before the FBI shot him seven times—killing him. The cases of others are less dramatic, but no less revealing of a dysfunctional process. Their stories follow.

Crime and Punishment

The full story reads like a 19th-century Russian novel—it can be difficult to keep all the players straight. Here are the particulars on the treatment of each of these tangential figures, arranged by jail time dispensed.

Dias Kadyrbayev—College Friend of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Sentence: 6 years

Crime: Obstruction of justice and conspiracy. When the FBI posted pictures of the bombing suspects and asked that people come forward and identify them, Kadyrbayev did not do so. Additionally, he and another friend of Dzhokhar’s, Azamat Tazhayakov, removed from the younger Tsarnaev’s dorm room various belongings of his, including a laptop, thumb drive, bag of marijuana, and a backpack that had contained illegal fireworks.

Involvement with the FBI: Kadyrbayev pleaded guilty in August 2014 as part of a deal with the government. Had he not changed his plea to guilty, Kadyrbayev would have faced 25 years in prison. He did not, however, agree to testify for the government in any of the linked cases, meaning that he will serve six years rather than 3.5, like another Tsarnaev associate, Azamat Tazhayakov.

Azamat Tazhayakov—College Friend of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Sentence: 3.5 years

Crime: Obstruction of justice, and conspiracy. He was accused of the same crime as Dias Kadyrbayev (above). After his trial in July 2014, Tazhayakov was found guilty of conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice for removing the backpack from Tsarnaev’s dorm room, but not for removing the laptop.

Involvement with the FBI: As part of an agreement with the government, in exchange for reduced prison time, Tazhayakov agreed to testify against both Tsarnaev and Kadyrbayev. Although he was never actually called to the stand, Tazhayakov’s willingness to testify knocked 2.5 years off what would otherwise have been a six-year sentence, like Kadyrbayev’s.

Robel Phillipos—High school and college friend of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Sentence: 3 years

Crime: Lying during a terrorism investigation. He saw Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov remove the backpack from Tsarnaev’s dorm room, but lied to investigators that he had not been there when they did it.

Involvement with the FBI: On April 26, Phillipos signed [but did not write] a confession to the FBI admitting to false statements.

Khairullozhon Matanov—Friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev

Sentence: 2.5 years

Crime: Obstruction of justice and lying during a terrorism investigation. According to his indictment, Matanov initially lied to the FBI about the fact that he had driven the Tsarnaevs to dinner on the evening of April 15; he also downplayed the extent to which he shared the brothers’ attitude toward violent jihad, and he deleted his computer history during the week of the bombing.

Involvement with the FBI: Matanov had first contacted the authorities four days after the bombings to notify them that he knew the Tsarnaev brothers. After reluctantly pleading guilty to lying to the FBI, Khairullozhon Matanov received 30 months in prison.

Even as he pleaded guilty, he maintained his innocence. The  judge at his plea hearing took note of his reluctance: “You’re afraid if you go to trial you could be found guilty of all four of these charges and the sentence might be longer than the 30 months? Is that it? That you think you are not a guilty person but given the circumstances you’d rather [not] go to trial?”

Matanov nodded, “I signed a deal and I found guilt most fitting for my situation,” he replied.

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Are You Fascinated by Dinosaurs?

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 19/06/2015 - 06:01

There is a lot that paleontologists still don’t know about dinosaurs – but, based on what they do know it seems these creatures would have been fascinating to study and observe.

From remarkable lifespans to blistering top speeds, a wide variety of dinosaurs inhabited Earth between 230 and 66 million years ago.

And below, some of the most astounding facts about these creatures – which ranged from the tiny to the ginormous – are revealed.

The following is a selection from the ‘101 Gigantic facts about dinosaurs’ feature in the latest issue of How It Works magazine, issue 73, on sale now

1. SOME DINOSAURS LIVED UP TO 300 YEARS

‘Paleontologists estimate the large dinosaurs had life spans ranging from 75 to 300 years,’ wrote Laura Mears for How It Works.

‘However, these estimates were made based on information we have about cold-blooded animals – if they were warm-blooded they would have had shorter lives.’

Most estimates suggest that the longest living dinosaurs would have survived at least 75 years, and up to three centuries, although their exact age is still somewhat contentious.

Some have suggested dinosaurs could achieve ‘homeothermy’ – where they could maintain their bodies at a near constant temperature.

In addition, some dinosaurs were so large – such as Apatosaurus – that if they were warm-blooded they would have been ‘cooked’ from the inside, suggesting they were indeed cold-blooded – and had long life spans.

Conversely, palaeontologist Michael D’Emic of Stony Brook University in New York recently took issue with the conclusion of other researchers last year that dinosaurs were neither cold-blooded nor warm-blooded, but had a metabolism somewhere in between.

He said dinosaurs were warm-blooded just like today’s mammals.

And he made this conclusion by judging their metabolism using body mass and growth rates deduced from fossils of species including Tyrannosaurus rex.

2. ARGENTINOSAURUS WAS LONGER THAN A BLUE WHALE

The title of largest dinosaur has long been contested, with recent new discoveries possibly taking the throne. 

But that doesn’t take anything any from the massive Argentinosaurus, which weighs in at a huge 70 tons.

Living 97 to 94 million years ago, it is thought to have measured up to 130ft (40 metres) in length and 24ft (7.3 metres) high.

A blue whale, by comparison, measures a ‘paltry’ 100ft (30 metres) long, although it is rather heavier, weighing upwards of 200 tons.

Plus, yesterday researchers revealed that a rival for the title – the Dreadnoughtus, the biggest of the dinosaurs – was actually smaller than scientists had thought.

Researchers analysed a rare fossil discovered by palaeontologists in South America in 2014.

Found in Patagonia, the huge fossil had almost all of the major bones intact, allowing scientists to confidently estimate its overall size – measuring in at 26 metres long and weighing 40 tonnes.

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Despise the Beltway Elites?

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 19/06/2015 - 06:01

At the declaration by Donald Trump that he is a candidate for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party, media elites of left and right reacted with amusement, anger and disgust.

Though he has been a hugely successful builder-businessman, far more successful than, say, Carly Fiorina, who has been received respectfully, our resident elites resolutely refuse to take Trump seriously.

They should. Not because he will be nominated, but because the Trump constituency will represent a vote of no confidence in the Beltway ruling class of politicians and press.

Votes for Trump will be votes to repudiate that class, whole and entire, and dump it onto the ash heap of history.

Votes for Trump will be votes to reject a regime run by Bushes and Clintons that plunged us into unnecessary wars, cannot secure our borders, and negotiates trade deals that produced the largest trade deficits known to man and gutted a manufacturing base that was once “the great arsenal of democracy” and envy of mankind.

A vote for Trump is a vote to say that both parties have failed America and none of the current crop of candidates offers real hope of a better future.

The first book in Arthur Schlesinger’s trilogy about FDR’s ascent to power was “The Crisis of the Old Order.” That title is relevant to our time. For there is today a crisis of the regime in America — a crisis of confidence, a crisis of competence, a crisis of legitimacy.

People are agitating for the overthrow of the old order and a new deal for America. For there is a palpable sense that the game is rigged against Middle America and for the benefit of insiders who grow rich and fat not by making things or building things, but by manipulating money.

Americans differentiate the wealth of a Henry Ford and a Bill Gates from that of the undeserving rich whose hedge fund fortunes can exceed the GDP of nations.

Trump says America is becoming a “dumping ground” for mass immigration from the failed states of the Third World, that Mexico is not “sending us her best and finest,” that China is stealing American jobs, that invading Iraq was a blunder.

Politically incorrect and socially insensitive certainly, but is he entirely wrong?

Was not the Iraq war a disaster for which our foreign policy priesthood and journalist-acolytes never paid the price that would be exacted in other societies were thousands of soldiers to die and tens of thousands to be wounded and maimed in so predictable a blunder?

Is it not true that among the millions of illegal immigrants who have broken into our country the great majority has illegitimacy rates, delinquency rates, dropout rates, drug use rates, crime rates, and incarceration rates far higher than those of native-born Americans?

Is Trump wrong on this, or simply wrong to bring it up?

Has not mass immigration brought to America old diseases we once stamped out and new diseases we had never heard of?

Do Americans not have the right to decide who shall come to our country, how many, and whence they shall come?

Is there no correlation between a decrepit Maoist China rising to become the greatest manufacturing power Asia has ever seen — and the $3 trillion to $4 trillion in trade deficits we have run with Beijing — and the disappearance of a third of all American manufacturing jobs?

Who negotiated those deals? Who paid a price for the misery they brought to Rust Belt America?

There are precedents in U.S. history for outsiders — Norman Thomas and Henry Wallace on the left, George Wallace and Ross Perot on the right — to enter the presidential lists. And across the pond a similar crisis of the old order is calling forth new people and new parties.

As in America, dominant parties like the Tories and Labour in Britain are losing loyalists to the “a-plague-on-both-your-houses” dissident parties.

Millions in Europe now want out of the EU. Old nations are coming apart. Leftist parties like Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain have arisen to defy Brussels and Berlin.

The Scottish National Party is of the left while the Independence Party in the U.K. is of the populist right. In Southeastern Europe, there have arisen parties of the extreme right.

This endless proliferation of parties, like the welcome being given to Trump, testifies to the new reality: Everywhere, including here, old parties are losing the people in whose name they presume to speak.

And the specter of Republicans, who just won an historic victory by promising to do battle against President Obama, colluding with Obama to surrender Congress’ right to amend trade treaties and sign on to a Trans-Pacific Partnership pact that looks like another transfer of jobs and factories to Asia, has re-enforced these sentiments.

If Trump wants to stake his claim as a different kind of Republican, he will go to Washington and pound the Boehner-McConnell Congress until it gives up on Obamatrade and fast track.

The Battering of Nobel-Prize Winner Sir Tim Hunt

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 19/06/2015 - 06:01

So now the narcissists of political correctness have ordered Nobel laureate Sir Tim Hunt to be tossed out at University College London and the European Research Council because he made remarks intended to be tongue-in-cheek. Dr. Hunt had drolly suggested that males and females should be separated in science labs because, he said, the females cry when criticized.

The subsequent actions against him say nothing about him or his remarks, but they do say a lot about those who wouldn’t even give him a chance to explain himself. And Dr. Hunt certainly isn’t the only victim of the assaults on innocents and their speech being perpetrated by the intolerant.

As I mentioned in my recent article, on the college campuses and at the workplace the political correctness reactionaries can be quite intolerant of different or diverse viewpoints, including humorous remarks, and often misinterpret innocent remarks by others. But it mainly has to do with the inability or unwillingness of the intolerant PC crowd to actually discuss or debate whatever issue has caused them discomfort.

In our impatient society, actually thinking about something that was said may take an extra second or two, and on the college campuses actually discussing a matter takes even more time. That also requires patience and listening to the other person. Our whole society has degraded into one of such impatience in which many people just don’t want to deal with hearing someone’s point of view or explanation of something that was said.

This is why there is no debate on climate change, for example, because the climate change/global warming issue is “settled.”

The alleged “rape culture” is also not up for debate. Last November the individualist feminist Wendy McElroy participated in a debate with feminist Jessica Valenti. The open-minded Valenti stated right at the beginning, “I think like a lot of people I’m exhausted of having to talk about rape culture in a framework that assumes its existence is up for debate.”

So that’s that. There is a “rape culture,” especially on college campuses in which the feminists want to redefine “rape” as including consensual, non-forced sex.

Do you disagree? Shaddap!

And that’s another part of the issue. In addition to the hypersensitive, thin-skinned crybabies who want to report on their fellow students or professors for making clearly innocent remarks, the latest phenomenon is the redefining of certain words to justify the hate-speech squad’s own acts of hate, intolerance and aggression toward others.

For instance, besides the redefining of “rape,” there is also now the redefining of “aggression” to mean something more than just a physical act of actual aggression, but also mere words or phrases which some people have asserted are making them feel bad, or “triggering” certain painful emotions.

Thomas Sowell recently wrote about that new phenomenon known as “micro-aggression,” that has nothing to do with actual aggression, which is a physical phenomenon, but is referring to certain people who overreact to various manners of speech by others, and who perceive the remarks of others (usually unintended) as derogatory or belittling. This supposedly applies to those who are members of groups which had commonly been targets of discrimination, such as people of color or women.

This Wikipedia article on “microaggression” theory refers to one of the theory’s main contributors, a Columbia University psychologist Derald Wing Sue:

According to Sue et al., microaggressions seem to appear in four forms:

  • microassault: an explicit racial derogation; verbal/nonverbal; e.g.: name-calling, avoidant behavior, purposeful discriminatory actions.
  • microinsult: communications that convey rudeness and insensitivity and demean a person’s racial heritage or identity; subtle snubs; unknown to the perpetrator; hidden insulting message to the recipient of color.
  • microinvalidation: communications that exclude, negate, or nullify the psychological thoughts, feelings, or experiential reality of a person belonging to a particular group.
  • microrape: Characterized by predatory non-physical prurient communications with the intent to penetrate the victim’s emotional security on the basis of heteronormative impositions.

“Microrape“?

“Penetrate the victim’s emotional security“?

This. Is. Nuts.

According to Dr. Sowell, one’s merely uttering certain phrases such as “America is the land of opportunity” can be considered a “micro-aggression” against women or people of color.

Huh? Okay, you morons, so America isn’t the land of opportunity. So if you are black, you will have many more opportunities in most African countries, and if you are a woman your opportunities in most other countries are certainly better than in the U.S (especially Hillary’s favorite, Saudi Arabia of course). And if you are in most U.S. cities and you are young, your opportunities are even greater thanks to minimum wage laws and the multitudes of business regulations! (Okay, “sarcasm off,” as they say on the Internet.)

So that is just how irrational things are now. The alleged victims of this so-called microaggression phenomenon just don’t make any sense. They are just not in the world of reality. (Was my pointing that out a “micro-aggression”? Sorry about that.)

And, as I noted in my earlier article, and as Dr. Sowell noted as well, it is these thin-skinned, intolerant ones who are the real aggressors. When you go running to the college Dean or the “Anti-Discrimination Officer” (or whatever) to make a formal complaint against another student or professor for his merely saying something you didn’t like, or to a supervisor in one’s place of employment, and a disciplinary action is taken and goes on that individual’s record permanently, you are being the true aggressor here.

So rather than the alleged victim (of one’s own insecurity and hypersensitivity, that is) actually thinking introspectively to figure out and resolve whatever issues are going on emotionally with her or him, it is easier to just go blaming some other person whose harmless word or phrase made one uncomfortable.

Speaking of “hate speech,” I think the real hateful ones are these thought-crimes aggressors. They are the ones who truly assault other people’s lives.

The aforementioned Wikipedia article notes that some “victims” can have life-disruptive reactions allegedly caused by their perceived tormentors, such as depression, eating disorders, and sexual dysfunction. I think that’s very sad, that someone is so emotionally weak and fragile that one gives other people so much power simply from their saying various innocent and harmless words or phrases which may not be politically correct.

And, as the psychoanalytical theorist Alice Miller had often noted, especially in her book, The Drama of the Gifted Child, the origins of such insecurities are probably with the earliest childhood moments especially from one’s relationship with one’s primary caretakers. Sometimes as a child, one’s own self-expressions are not tolerated by one’s mother or father or caretaker. The situation is almost certainly worse for the child (and later as an adult) who was the victim of abuse while growing up. The child’s self-expression at whatever given moment is part of who that child is at that moment, and the need for emotional acceptance and mirroring by the caretaker is a very important emotional need. Dr. Miller wrote about a latent reaction to early intolerance that can transform itself into hatred and “deflected onto scapegoats.”

I am applying this latent hatred and intolerance to those who are unwilling to discuss issues, who say that certain issues are not up for debate, and who would rather make formal complaints against innocent people rather than discuss things in a free and open dialogue. Perhaps Sir Tim Hunt’s intellectual firing squad might qualify here?

The complainers are very hyper-sensitive and thin-skinned, in my view, and they overreact to certain words which they have been indoctrinated to believe are making them feel uncomfortable. But I think there is a strong likelihood that these anti-speech control freaks suffered some form of intolerance against them during their earliest upbringing.

In my view, this is similar to all the authoritarians out there who are emotionally incapable of understanding, tolerating and having honest discussions with those who criticized the U.S. government’s wars of aggression and anti-civil liberties crimes following 9/11.

Flickering Ecstasy

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 19/06/2015 - 06:01

Back in the good old days, when Ike and Mamie lived in the White House—and the neocons were an ugly bunch of short bald people meeting in New York dumps discussing the greatness of Leon Trotsky—summertime spelled freedom and fun, at least for this poor little Greek boy. Ironically, summers lasted longer back then. From the beginning of June, when the boarding-school jail term ended, until September, when the inmates had to return, seemed like three lifetimes. Until the age of 16, I would cross the ocean on a liner with my parents sometime in July, headed for the south of France. The flickering ecstasy of a long-ago memory is still there whenever I think back to those halcyon days and nights. Everyone dressed for dinner in black tie—except for the last night on board—and gel-haired, thuggish ignoramuses with fake tans, no manners, no taste, and no education were as rare as icebergs on the southern route to the Mediterranean. My father, being a shipowner, had us always seated at the captain’s table, along with the swells. It was a far cry from boarding schools like Lawrenceville and Blair.

We’d disembark in Cannes and head for the Carlton hotel, where old Dad always reserved King Farouk’s suite on the top floor. The days were spent at the Eden Roc, in Antibes, the nights listening to the great Sidney Bechet playing his clarinet in Juan-les-Pins. For a 15-year-old it was heaven, and I returned to it time and again once freed from the Sing Sing of New Jersey. It lasted until 1980—the Riviera, that is—and then it turned into a hellhole, a malodorous cesspit, one that resembles Dante’s eighth ring of Hell in excrement and then some. Where once upon a time there were geraniums, trees heavy with lemons, bougainvillea lining the sun-bleached terra-cotta walls, and stately Mediterranean-style villas overlooking the bays, now there are horrid giant apartment complexes filled to the brim with Algerians and sub-Saharan types throwing their garbage out their windows, while the once-azure waters have nearly turned black, the only living thing in the water being the occasional tart thrown overboard by an irate Arab zillionaire.

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Come and Take It

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 19/06/2015 - 06:01

As the mainstream media begins to come to terms with just what Texas’ decision to repatriate its gold from the Federal Government in its own Gold Depository, the details of Republican State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione’s bill protecting gold from confiscation become clear…

In an interview with The Epoch Times, Caprigilione explains why he pushed the bill and its far-reaching implications…

Epoch Times: What did you do to make the bill pass?

Giovanni Capriglione: I grabbed the banner last session. I was a freshman and it was difficult. Part of the problem was that it has a lot of verbiage that had nothing to do with law. Things like the case of an economic meltdown.

This is a principle part of why the bill was created, but it made it a distraction trying to pass the bill. Because then you get into: Do you think the economy is going to collapse, blaming the president, blaming the banks. What I did in this version of it, I stripped all kinds of stuff out other than the bill itself.

Epoch Times: Why did you go for it?

Mr. Capriglione: I have a vision, I would like for Texas to compete with Manhattan or the exchanges in Chicago. Here in Texas we have oil, we have natural gas, we have our own electric grid. To me having a bunch of metal commodities in the mix is something else that helps Texas to be able to become a marketplace for a lot of different items. Part of the idea of the depository is just another Texas thing. I’m still a little stunned that it happened.

I wrapped all of it together and I love to do economic development. I just want Texas to really be able to grow economically.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry previously said, “We are telling the whole entire world that Texas has a billion dollars worth of gold.” Gov. Abbott too, wants to attract businesses to our state.

Epoch Times: What were some of the difficulties?

Mr. Capriglione: My initial goal was to create a state everything, to have that completely run by the state. The issue with that was that it became a budget item. They were not keen on developing a completely new piece of [transaction] software. If the state had done it from scratch it would have just been too large.

The state would have developed the infrastructure to do [gold] deposits. We wanted the state to build the depository. We wanted the state to provide the security. It’s just very expensive. One of the things in Texas, because we are so conservative, if you have a bill that costs money its chances go way down.

I worked to do this without a fiscal note or a budget expense. We were able to do that by privatizing a significant portion of the depository. So we don’t have to build one, someone can go and say: we want to run it. We don’t have to run our own electronic software, someone else smarter than the state within the business can and will—and probably already has—developed the software to run [this operation].

This time I got put on the investment and financial services committee where this bill went through. It made it a lot easier to get it through the system. I was pretty shocked it passed the house with 137 to 1.

Now our office is getting calls and people are offering their services. I got some very interesting high network individuals who are thinking about putting their gold in Texas now. The response has been really, really good.

Epoch Times: What do you say about the anti-seizure clause, do you think the federal government will interfere with the gold and silver stored in the depository?

Mr. Capriglione: I think that what we have done is completely constitutional, we’ve looked at precedents, I have looked at Article 1, Section 10 of the Constitution so I think we are in good standing.

If the federal government were to try and do something like that, the reality is: There is a motto in the office of almost every state legislator in Texas, and it’s a flag that we have [from the Texas Revolution], it’s below a cannon and what the motto says is, “Come and Take it.”

That would be my response. We are on good solid legal footing to be able to not only have this depository, but to be able to do the transactions that are stated in the bill.

It was written with the idea that the federal government is a construct of the states. As long as we are following the Constitution as this law does, we won’t have any issues. The federal government can sue all they want, and I hope they don’t, because I think they will lose.

We created this in the state to provide depositors the protection I just spoke of. That’s a critical part of why this was created. Can a private depository do this? A private depository cannot do what we were able to do because the Constitution is pretty clear in terms of the rights states have.

Epoch Times: What do you think about using gold and silver as money?

Mr. Capriglione: It’s something that’s allowed. Back in 2008 when you go and look at the crisis, it may have been rooted in subprime, but at its core what it is there is a lack of business confidence. People get scared and worried and that kind of cycle feeds on itself. [The idea is to] have something that is stable and that you can touch as opposed to being ephemeral like paper or bank money.

One of the issues in 2008 was that people would start withdrawing their deposits, which to some extent happened. And there just isn’t enough actual backing of that. What we have in this is something that people can rely on. The way we structured the bill is there are no forwards, future derivatives, lending contracts on the bullion that’s placed inside the depository. What you see is what you have. Nothing will be created, nor destroyed.

That stability helps confidence and it also provides a flight to sound money, this is going to be it.

Epoch Times: Is Texas going to have its own money?

Mr. Capriglione: Article 1 Section 10 [of the Constitution] states that this will be prohibited and we would never coin our own money. I think that’s unconstitutional.

I have bitcoins and I use it as an alternative as well. Every individual should have as many options as possible to be able to transact business. The more options individuals have the more liquidity there is, the more comfort there is, and the more stability. We don’t—and I have no intention to create our own currency, we don’t have to.

By creating this depository what we are able to do is people are able to make their transactions through our depository, completely in conformance with the Constitution.

Epoch Times: How would this work?

Mr. Capriglione: It’s done electronically, we won’t actually move a block [of gold in the depository] because we want to have the fractional equivalents to be able to move it over. But it’s essentially being moved over. Individuals, corporations, and government entities will do their transactions through the use of gold.

I’ve looked at [having our own currency] and we would be into a lot more trouble. This accomplishes what the point is. In this world, there is so much stuff that happens electronically and you are not really sure what’s in your account. With this you can take possession of what is in your account at any time, within five days it will be subject to delivery.

Epoch Times: What did the governor think of the bill?

The governor is great to work with, he only has had 12 bill signings, and the gold was one of them. He came in and I was waiting for him to do the press signing thing and he said, “We are about to make national news, aren’t we?” and I said: “Yes, we are.” I’m thankful that he did it.

Epoch Times: In fact, it was he who also set forth the motion to repatriate the gold of Texan institutions such as the $1 billion the University of Texas endowment fund owns and currently stores with HSBC in New York.

Mr. Capriglione: Technically we have all these different agencies, but the governor has a lot of sway in the matter.

Reprinted with permission from Zero Hedge.

Do You Suffer From Sinus Infections?

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 19/06/2015 - 06:01

A sinus infection, or sinusitis, is an inflammation of the lining of the sinuses that often leads to persistent runny noses, headaches, fevers and facial pains. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, more than 37 million Americans – almost 12 percent of the United States population – suffer from at least one episode of acute sinusitis annually, and that number seems to be growing due to increased environmental pollution, greater urban sprawl, and a growing resistance to antibiotics.

Fortunately, the natural world provides us with many foods that are effective at cleaning the sinuses and killing the bacteria and viruses responsible for these issues. This articles contains a list of the best of these foods.

Cayenne

Almost all of the ancient healing systems of the world have venerated cayenne peppers as a powerful medicine, and for good reason: These fiery hot chilies are bursting with an active component called capsaicin that is proven to treat many medical issues, including sinus-related problems. For example, a randomized, double-blind study published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in August 2011 showed that intranasal capsaicin could help treat the headaches, nasal congestion, and sinus pains and pressures associated with rhinitis (an inflammatory nasal condition that often leads to sinusitis).

To use cayenne pepper to treat a sinus infection, take a small pinch of organic, non-irradiated cayenne powder and snort it up each nostril. Then, allow the sinuses to drain into a tissue or sink. If you cannot tolerate the unpleasant burning sensation that arises from snorting cayenne, you can dilute the powder with some water, apply the mixture to an ear swab and administer it that way. Adding some cayenne pepper to your meals or taking it as a supplement can help accelerate the healing process.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Like cayenne pepper, apple cider vinegar has a long history of use as a medicine and is well-equipped for treating sinus infections. Firstly, it is a natural antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory that can kill the destructive microorganisms that cause the infection. Secondly, it helps the body maintain a healthy alkaline pH level, which helps to break up mucus and discourage the proliferation of disease. Lastly, apple cider vinegar is a proven immunity booster, meaning it can help prevent sinus infections from occurring in the first place.

There are several ways to use apple cider vinegar to treat a sinus infection. The gentlest way is to mix one tablespoon of it into a cup of lukewarm water and drink the mixture regularly until the condition subsides. For a more aggressive approach, mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a cup of warm water and snort one tablespoon’s worth of the mixture though each nostril. Each time, allow the sinuses to drain down your throat and then spit into a tissue or sink.

Garlic

Garlic is often considered to be nature’s antibiotic and is known to treat countless medical conditions. Virtually all of garlic’s significant health benefits stem from its dense concentration of allicin, an organic sulfur compound that is well-known for preventing and treating disease due to its considerable antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. This allicin content is what makes garlic so effective at treating sinusitis.

Unlike cayenne pepper and apple cider vinegar, garlic is far too potent to be snorted. Instead, it’s a good idea to add some chopped or crushed garlic to your meals. It’s also possible to make an inhaler out of garlic by soaking some garlic cloves in water for between 5 and 10 minutes, crushing them into a paste and then inhaling the fragrance until the sinuses are drained.

Reprinted from Spiritfoods.

The Sci-Fi Establishment

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 19/06/2015 - 06:01

In our last episode, Brad Torgerson and Vox Day led a surprise attack against Castle Hugo, shocking the entire kingdom with how easily the fortifications were overrun…

I have been a science fiction fan from day one.

I can say that, with all honesty and a straight face.  My mother loves to tell the story of how she watched an episode of Star Trek while in the hospital in labor, and asked my father to buy a television set so she could watch more.

I’ve also been a reader of science fiction for as long as I can remember, since she loaned me her copy of Dune when I was eight years old.  My tastes in science fiction have always leaned towards the “hard”–Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Robert L. Forward, Frederik Pohl, Jerry Pournelle, to offer up a few examples.  It’s getting harder and harder to find stuff by those authors, for the unfortunate reason that many of them aren’t around anymore.

And I also write–science fiction, fantasy, horror, non-fiction, you name it.  I’ve got several million words in short stories, poetry, articles, ten half-finished Nano novels, and more.  I’ve only managed to publish a bare handful of those words so far.

I had heard, from several reliable sources, that it was next to impossible for a libertarian science fiction writer to break into the field.  I absolutely refused to pretend to be non-libertarian just to get published, and so I followed Larry Correia’s Sad Puppies campaign with interest.  Brad Torgerson and Vox Day were able to gather a core following of 360 voters and completely sweep the Hugo award nominations.  Yes, it only took 360 science fiction fans to completely overwhelm the existing system.

The fallout from that event still has not settled, and the awards won’t even be announced until August.  But the reaction makes it obvious that there is a sizable percentage of science fiction fandom that is “not satisfied with the products and services being offered.” Entrepreneurs have a name for this situation–”market opportunity.”

However, to date, it appears that only Castallia House is focused on providing science fiction for this segment of the market; they have even signed a new deal with legendary writer Jerry Pournelle.

For their part, Tor Books seems content to continue to ignore this dissatisfied segment of science fiction fandom.  And, in fact, Tor employees are content to insult them.  Irene Gallo, the Creative Director at Tor Books and an Associate Publisher at Tor.com, wrote

There are two extreme right-wing to neo-nazi groups, called the Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies respectively, that are calling for the end of social justice in science fiction and fantasy. They are unrepentantly racist, misogynist, and homophobic. A noisy few but they’ve been able to gather some Gamergate folks around them and elect a slate of bad-to-reprehensible works on this year’s Hugo ballot.

In Ms. Gallo’s defense, these remarks were posted on her personal Facebook page.  On the other hand, they were in a thread announcing an upcoming Tor release.  In any case, her comment set fire to the debate that had been simmering since the Sad Puppies campaign started.

Writer Peter Grant was infuriated:

I’ve remained silent about many previous slanders and libels about this situation, but this is just about the last straw.  I would very much like to know whether Tor shares and/or espouses the false, slanderous and libelous views expressed by Ms. Gallo.  If that company doesn’t take a stand against such lies, or even chooses to remain silent about them (despite their being propagated by one of their editors), then I will have to assume that the time has come to openly call for a boycott of Tor by all objective, non-partisan, independent fans of science fiction and fantasy…

I can’t imagine that any reputable company would choose to stand behind anyone on its staff who leveled such blatantly false allegations (and then showed cowardice by refusing to further explain them, or retract them when the truth had been pointed out).

He called for a deadline of June 15th, but was convinced to extend that deadline to Friday, June 19th.  If he has not heard any acceptable response from either Tor or Macmillan by then, he will call for a general boycott of Tor.

And so, when Ms. Gallo accused me – me – of being ‘unrepentantly racist’ purely because I happened to support the Sad Puppy cause, that was the last straw.  I’d heard that lie from SJW’s before, of course, and been able to get over it . . . but lies like that are like the Chinese water torture.  Sooner or later, something’s going to snap.  Her accusations were, to me, unforgivable;  and since she’s never seen fit to retract them, they still are.  Since her employer has seen fit to allow her, and others like her, to pontificate about something of which they apparently know absolutely nothing, to make false accusations and toss denigrations around like confetti, doing so on company time and using company computers and networks . . . that employer is complicit in the whole mess.  Hence my outrage against Tor.  Hence the boycott for which I will call on Friday if Tor and its holding company, Macmillan, don’t act against those responsible.

I won’t take this any more.  I know I’m far from the only Puppy supporter who’s had enough of the SJW’s lies and slanders and libels.  They want a war?  They can have one.

Vox Day called for a letter writing campaign, not only to Tor, but to Macmillan, their parent company.

What the people at Tor don’t understand is that this is not merely a backlash of momentary outrage at a few recent actions by Tor’s senior SJWs. This is an expression of righteous fury for the way in which thousands of us have been routinely deprecated, insulted, denigrated, and marginalized by a very small group of individuals who believe they have the right and the duty to thought-police the world of science fiction and banish badthinkers from it.

Since many of those emails were copied to Vox and to Peter Grant, they were definitely sent.  To date, Tor has not responded to the emails or made any acknowledgement of the situation.

By the way, I can only describe as ‘catastrophic’ the performance of whoever’s responsible for customer relations at Tor and/or Macmillan.  There’s been an absolutely inexplicable, deafening silence from both companies in response to e-mails and other communications – not even so much as an acknowledgment of receipt.  When I was a manager and, later, a director, if I’d had a customer relations person who performed so abysmally, they’d have been fired the moment I found out about it.

L. Jagi Lamplighter requested that science fiction fans take pictures of their Tor books and email them to her, “not to shame Tor, but to help readers let Tor know they are real people.”  

I have always preferred Robert Heinlein to Marion Zimmer Bradley, Robert Forward to Samuel Delaney, and, more recently, John C. Wright to John Scalzi and “A Throne of Bones” to “Game of Thrones.”  Somehow, those preferences in science fiction and fantasy apparently make me something other than a “science fiction fan”–at least in the eyes of the current science fiction establishment.  And, in the opinion of some, they make me a pariah, a “heretic against the true church of science fiction.”

At least, now I know I’m not the only one.

21 Home-School Resources

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 19/06/2015 - 06:01

When my parents first pulled my brother and me out of private school to educate us at home in 1994, we were on the very fringe of an often misunderstood movement. We knew only two other families who homeschooled their kids. We heard rumors that there were others, but had no way to get in touch with them. It was nearly impossible to find resources, so my mother used a lot of the same curriculum that had been used by our last school. My mother often said that she wished she had pulled us out to homeschool earlier, but she had no way of knowing where to purchase materials or curricula. Obviously this was before the internet became widely used.

The homeschooling landscape has changed a lot in the last twenty years. Negative stereotypes that hounded us in 1994 have largely been proven ridiculous. When I started homeschooling my kindergartener last year, I was up to my eyeballs in resources, many of them free. My parents spent $1000 on curricula the first year they taught us at home. In 2014 I spent less than $100.

Here’s a selection of my favorite articles and homeschool resources for all ages, and they’re all free.

Homeschool Philosophy/ Homeschool Tips

1) Avoiding Homeschool Burnout

Burnout is the #1 problem homeschoolers face, which is why I listed it as the very first link. How many of us start the year with glorious expectations of our children’s academic success, only to find, six weeks in, that we are living an unsustainable model? Read Avoiding Homeschool Burnout for tips from experienced homeschooling parents.

2) Using Netflix in Homeschool Curriculum

I confess I do not have a Netflix account, but I use YouTube in a similar fashion in my own home school. Read Homeschooling with Netflix Documentaries and Using Netflix in Our Homeschooling.

3)  “The Baby IS the Lesson

Many families homeschool for moral or religious reasons. Moral instruction is an important part of a child’s upbringing but sometimes gets lost in the busy-ness that is homeschooling. Read The Baby IS The Lesson for inspiration.

Resources for Teaching Art

4) Harrington Harmonies

The author of this blog regularly posts fun and useful art projects around a theme, perfect for younger children who love to explore.

5) Drawspace

Simple, step-by-step instruction on the more technical side of drawing. Topics include line, value, shape, perspective, and color. Some lessons are free, others require a paid subscription. Browse here for all kinds of lessons in art.

6) Metropolitan Museum of Art – books with full text

You know those giant coffee-table books with all the pictures that they sell at museums? The Metropolitain Museum of Art has published a couple hundred of these over the years, and many of them are now available as free pdf downloads. Not only a good resource for art, but history as well.

7) Google Cultural Institute

Will the wonders of Google never cease? The cultural institute is a searchable image database of museum collections from all over the world, along with item descriptions.

Resources for Teaching Literacy

8) This Reading Mama

Lots and lots of free printable worksheets and emergent readers to inspire literacy in young children. The author of This Reading Mama blog also has products for sale.

9) The Amazing-Incredible Handwriting Worksheet Maker

My kindergartner is not inspired by his handwriting workbook, which encourages him to write, “Grey Goose,” and “The band can play,” dozens of times. He is very interested, however, in writing about things that interest him, so I regularly print up worksheets for things that say, “Space Shuttle,” and “Jupiter,” and “Kuiper Belt.” This site lets you choose from print manuscript, D’nealian, and cursive handwriting fonts.

Resources for Teaching Math and Science

10) Khan Academy

What started with a guy sharing simple videos on how to do a variety of math problems has evolved into a sophisticated online system of courses on a variety of subjects. Khan Academy math classes range from elementary-level mathematics to differential equations and linear algebra. Also offered are video lectures on history, art history, science, economics, and preparation for college entrance exams. The math section is Common Core Aligned.

Read the Whole Article

Feel Like You’re on the Titanic?

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 19/06/2015 - 06:01
- “Whole Financial System Will One Day Implode” – Marc Faber - “I feel like I’m on the Titanic …” - Arguing over the best assets akin to re-arranging deck chairs on Titanic - Investors need escape plan and “safety boat” - Forget Fed rate hike, Fed QE 4 is coming - Diversify and hold “commodities, precious metals” .

The highly regarded editor of the Gloom, Doom and Boom report, Dr. Marc Faber has warned that “the whole financial system will one day implode”.

Speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box, he likened the global economy to the Titanic.

Dr. Faber believes that arguing over which assets are best in the current environment is akin to re-arranging deck chairs on the ill-fated Titanic. Only last month, Stephen King – chief economist with HSBC– made the same analogy.

“When I look at the whole financial sector … I feel like on the Titanic. We’re fighting about deck chairs -which assets are performing best and we’re fighting over the best tables in the ballroom – but I think it’s worthwhile to have your own safety boat and have your own ladder that will lead you to your safety boat because I think the problem is that the whole financial system one day will implode.”

Faber believes that the Fed and central banks will have no choice but to wade back into another QE program rather than raise rates in an attempt to avert the iceberg.

Such a move would likely have negative consequences for confidence in central banks and paper currencies across the globe. Then, people may come to realise that the central banks are not omnipotent after all and that currency debasement is set to continue and even intensify.

Investors and savers need an escape plan. The safety boat which Dr. Faber has in mind entails a highly diversified portfolio.

Among the basket of assets he proposes are a 25% allocation to stocks, a 25% allocation to property, 30-year U.S. Treasuries and precious metals.

“I have advised my investors and also on this program that you have to have a diversification and that you should hold around 25% in stocks, 25% in real estate” … “And I would also hold some commodities, precious metals.”

Faber remains long gold – but he prefers physical gold coins and bars and opts for storage in Singapore.

Read the Whole Article

Forecast, Hustle, and Conceal

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 19/06/2015 - 06:01

Hello there, Ready Nutrition-land readers!  We are going to discuss a few fundamentals (the pro’s and con’s) of bartering after the entire world becomes “defunct,” so to speak.  Undoubtedly you have all read or heard something pertaining to the topic and considered the subject in relation to your own preparations.  Bartering actually is more than just a skill: it is an art form that must be cultivated, carefully developed, and maintained.  Akin to marksmanship, it is a “semi-perishable” skill that should be practiced and continuously refined to maintain peak performance.

Barter (simply put) is the ability to exchange a good or service possessed for a good or service desired.  Before the advent of money, people purchased things or services with things or services.  Money arose for several reasons, the main one of them being the growth of interdependent societies where goods and services could be purchased or sold with something that was assigned a unit of value.  Barter differs because there is not a “set” amount to the exchanged items or services: value is assigned to what is exchanged by the purchaser and the seller.

Great discrepancies can exist in times of barter that are usually dictated by supply and demand, particularly regarding the needs of the buyer and the seller.  So with that, whatcha got?  Are you ready to ride your goods-laden horse-drawn wagon into “Bartertown” or will your operation be a little bit more simplified than that?  Let’s talk about some things that may be bartered.

When trading, you may wish to trade your excess/surplus, and it goes without saying this means to build up your supplies of barter able materials.  Some excellent pieces have come from Selco’s writings of his Survival School, and also from Rawles’ Survival Blog providing detailed lists of things to barter and how to go about doing it.  Upon Rawles’ site was posted a most excellent piece that I consider to be one of the most comprehensive and well-rounded articles on the subject, closing with the individual and his/her efforts to barter.

Everyone focuses so much on groupthink, group activity, etc., and in reality there will be many individuals and their families who will remain independent, sovereign groups unto themselves for protection.  I wish to cite part of this article for your perusal regarding individuals.  Here it is:

Lone Wolf: This type of person is a very small minority of the prepper world but they do exist. They are the Lone Wolves with bug out bags at home and in their cars. They plan to “get out of Dodge” and “head for the hills” and become invisible at least until things settle down. For most of us that would be a good way to end up starving or dying of exposure or both. These are not the “wannabe’s” without any other option than to try to make it from a metropolis to a state park some place. This is the real deal that most likely can survive this way and are not fooling themselves.  These guys typically have military experience including survival school; they are proficient with weapons as are their “hunter gatherer” skills.

They are in good physical shape or have the capacity to get that way in short order. They are well versed in caches and probably have more than one already stashed.  Ironically they “get” what a group survival retreat is about better than some members of group survival retreats. It’s just that they are not “group” types, they are Lone Wolves.  Their plan is to lay low and remain invisible for six months or so. During that initial period, as time allows, they will conduct reconnaissance to find survival group retreats and functioning homesteads. When the time is right they plan to approach the group in a non threatening manner and offer their services to the group. It would take some time to build the trust but under the right circumstances this type of person could do pretty well in a barter world.

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Siriza alle Termopili: proclama il debito “illegale, illegittimo e odioso”

Luogocomune.net - Gio, 18/06/2015 - 21:40
di Maurizio Blondet

Il Comitato di Verità sul Debito Pubblico, creato due mesi fa ad Atene dal parlamento ellenico, ha dato il suo rapporto.

In esso si legge: “Tutte le prove che presentiamo mostrano che la Grecia non solo non ha la possibilità di pagare questo debito, ma che non deve pagare questo debito, prima di tutto perché il debito che emerge dagli arrangiamenti della Troika è una diretta violazione dei diritti umani fondamentali degli abitanti di Grecia, Da cui siamo giunti alla conclusione che la Grecia non ha da pagare questo debito in quanto illegale, illegittimo ed odioso”.

Un’altra frase va sottolineata perché è semplicemente, la verità: “E’ risultato al Comitato che l’insostenibilità del debito pubblico greco era evidente fin dall’inizio ai creditori internazionali, alle autorità elleniche, ai media del sistema. Ma le autorità elleniche, insieme con altri governi nella UE, hanno cospirato contro la ristrutturazione del debito pubblico nel 2010 onde proteggere le istituzioni finanziarie, I media del sistema hanno nascosto la verità al pubblico dipingendo una situazione in cui il salvataggio era detto essere a beneficio della Grecia, mentre si agitava una narrativa intesa a dipingere la popolazione come colpevole delle sue disgrazie”. [...]

Uber e l'ABC dell'economia

Freedonia - Gio, 18/06/2015 - 10:15
Prima di leggere questo pezzo, consiglio a chi non l'avesse ancora fatto di leggere il saggio di Bastiat "Le Macchine". In questo modo riuscirete a capire che coloro che protestano contro Uber non sono altro che la manifestazione odierna dei luddisti. Ugualmente ai loro avi, vanno in giro a distruggere i beni di quei "portatori della novità". Infatti la fallacia ipocrita e meschina che spesso risuona nelle loro bocche, prevede l'attacco di Uber poiché aiuterebbe i suoi dipendenti ad evadere le tasse. Questo è un pensiero dettato dall'invidia. Vuole la distruzione della posizione di successo raggiunta da qualcun altro. E' come se un prigioniero scappasse di prigione e un altro degli incarcerati avvertisse la guardia. Invece di pretendere di essere esonerati dal pagamento delle tasse, i tassisti vogliono imprigionare chi è riuscito a trovare una scappatoia dalla camera a gas rappresentata dal fisco. Il cosiddetto "investimento" nelle licenze è semplicemente un investimento improduttivo, poiché sostenuto dal potere di coercizione dello stato che erige barriere all'ingresso per controllare quanto più possibile il mercato in questione. Diversamente dalla volontà pianificatrice dello stato, le forze di mercato creano quegli anticorpi che corrodono tali barriere. Possono essere sostenute attraverso politiche che precluduno l'uso della novità, ma alla fine vengono abbattute. Accade sempre. Anche perché, chi ormai pensa più alle lavandaie? A coloro che accendevano le candele per illuminare le strade pubbliche? Uber potrebbe portare all'estinzione della figura professionale del tassista, ma ciò non è un male. Il mercato, infatti, tende ad incrementare l'efficienza e a scacciare i lavori usuranti, permettendo agli individui di risparmiare tempo e risorse con i quali migliorare i beni e servizi esistenti.
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di James E. Miller


L'anno scorso il servizio Uber car-sharing, ha avuto il privilegio d'essere il bersaglio primario del disgusto sinistroide nei confronti del capitalismo. Non solo la compagnia ha sfidato le tradizionali barriere all'ingresso stabilite dai cartelli statali, ma si è anche guadagnata la diffidenza della stampa mainstream. Gran parte di questo antagonismo è stato trainato da un'osservazione poco dignitosa espressa dal dirigente Emil Michael, il quale avrebbe voluto scovare dati personali sconvenienti riguardo i giornalisti. Michael ha poi chiesto scusa per queste osservazioni e ha detto di non possedere niente di tutto ciò.

Ma i commenti della stampa, scandalosi e fuori luogo, hanno reso la vita difficile ad Uber. Durante tutto il 2014 sono stati scritti un sacco di articoli denigratori sul modello di business della compagnia. I progressisti che scrivono su The Nation hanno addirittura proposto di socializzare Uber, cosicché i guidatori avrebbero avuto una quota della compagnia (gli autori non si rendono conto che la socializzazione comporterebbe un controllo da parte dello stato piuttosto che da un sindacato operaio).

Ma alla fine, la stampa non può far altro che soffiare sul fuoco del risentimento pubblico. Stati e consigli comunali hanno sferratto l'attacco più grande a Uber, poiché hanno introdotto una serie di disegni di legge o per vietare il servizio, oppure per limitarne notevolmente l'accessibilità. Intere nazioni sono arrivate a vietare Uber all'interno dei loro confini.

Con un anno difficile alle spalle, non sembra come i tempi possano migliorare per Uber. Il modello di business della compagnia è ancora una volta sottoposto alle paranoie degli incartapesce, i quali non comprendono l'ABC dell'economia. Gli avversari di Uber nella carta stampata sono più agguerriti che mai, soprattutto perché secondo il loro giudizio i prezzi della compagnia sono sleali.

Alla fine del 2014, il servizio di ride-sharing si è preparato per le festività di Capodanno attuando quello che si chiama un "aumento dei prezzi". La logica è semplice: con una maggiore domanda di corse, ci dev'essere un modo per fornire il servizio ai clienti. Le corse non sono gratuite. Capodanno è un giorno in cui si possono incontrare più persone ubriache del solito, e tutti sono d'accordo che coloro che alzano troppo il gomito non devono guidare. Per questo motivo il servizio di Uber, che riporta a casa i festaioli sani e salvi, è un vero e proprio bene pubblico.

Ma gli imperativi morali non sempre rappresentano un buon modo di fare economia. Le risorse sono scarse, inclusi i guidatori e le vetture di Uber. Quindi la compagnia ha dovuto trovare un modo per bilanciare la domanda con un'offerta limitata, o per dirla in gergo economico, adeguarsi alla curva della domanda quando si sposta verso destra. E' qui che entrano in gioco gli aumenti dei prezzi ed è anche qui dove risiede la reazione anti-Uber.

Numerosi commentatori online hanno fatto del sarcasmo circa l'aumento dei prezzi dopo aver accettato il servizio. Anche se Uber aveva avvertito i clienti di questa evenienza, non è riuscito a frenare le lamentele. Alcuni degli indignati l'hanno definita "fare la cresta sui prezzi" – un termine destinato a suscitare il classico odio anti-capitalista. Nonostante tutte le lamentele, c'è una semplice ragione economica per un aumento dei prezzi.

Come ha scritto Thomas Sowell: "La prima lezione dell'economia è la scarsità: non c'è mai abbastanza di una qualsiasi cosa per soddisfare tutti coloro che la vogliono." La legge della domanda e dell'offerta dice che quando aumenta la domanda, aumenta anche il prezzo. Quanto più un prodotto, o un servizio, è richiesto, tanto più aumenta l'opportunità di profitto per il produttore. Però questa dinamica non verte esclusivamente sull'incrementare i profitti. Le variazioni dei prezzi permettono ai fornitori di poter scegliere tra le persone che richiedono i loro prodotti. Se la notte di Capodanno qualcuno è disposto a pagare $50 per un passaggio a casa e un altro è disposto a pagarne $60, il conducente di Uber sceglierebbe a chi offrire il servizio. In questo modo, la persona che vuole fortemente il servizio può pagare per il privilegio di ottenerlo rispetto agli altri.

Lo scopo del sistema dei prezzi è quello di garantire che le risorse vengano destinate a chi le richiede di più. E' per questa ragione che il socialismo – la distribuzione arbitraria di beni e servizi da parte di burocrati statali – non può funzionare. Se la notte di Capodanno Uber avesse offerto un prezzo universale per il suo servizio, ci sarebbe stata una carenza di corse. Per quanto le persone si possano lamentare di un servizio costoso, è sempre meglio del non avere alcun servizio.

L'aumento dei prezzi di Uber è il modo più efficiente per assicurarsi che coloro che desiderano i suoi servizi, li possano ricevere. Ma serve anche ad un altro scopo importante. Prima di Capodanno era scoppiato un altro scandalo in seguito alla crisi degli ostaggi a Sydney, Australia. Mentre gli ostaggi fuggivano, i guidatori di Uber sono stati chiamati in massa. La compagnia, al solito, ha risposto alla crescente domanda incrementando le tariffe. Tra l'altro l'aumento dei prezzi aveva attirato più guidatori sul luogo, permettendo all'offerta di tenere il passo con la domanda. I guidatori di Uber non sono automi che vanno dovunque ci siano dei problemi. Si trovano in questo business per racimolare qualche soldo, altrimenti avrebbero scelto un'altra professione. Il reddito supplementare è il modo migliore per attirare gli imprenditori e ogni guidatore di Uber agisce in proprio. Con l'aumento dei prezzi, Uber sperava di avere più guidatori disponibili per coloro che fuggivano da una situazione di pericolo.

Il piano non ha funzionato così bene. La reazione del pubblico è stata così negativa che la compagnia ha rilasciato delle scuse ufficiali e ha rimborsato tutti coloro che hanno utilizzato il servizio in seguito alla crisi degli ostaggi. Questo è stato un caso in cui l'incremento dei prezzi ha fallito. Un altro, a sorpresa, si è verificato alla vigilia di Capodanno, quando molti hanno scelto di non pagare l'aumento delle tariffe. Ciò che aveva economicamente senso, non è stato compreso come previsto – un altro esempio di scarsa lungimiranza da parte di Uber.

L'imprenditorialità richiede d'essere consapevoli delle opportunità di profitto. Come azienda, Uber ha riempito una nicchia economica offrendo ai consumatori corse a prezzi accessibili e personalizzabili. Ha sostanzialmente offerto un'alternativa al di fuori dei cartelli dei taxi. Per la sua alertness alla domanda, Uber è stato profumatamente ricompensato con quasi $10 miliardi di guadagni. Il successo, tuttavia, non è mai un evento isolato. E Uber è entrato in competizione con l'opposizione politica.

Per il momento Uber merita la sua popolarità nelle principali città poiché fornisce un ottimo servizio. Lamentarsi delle sue tattiche commerciali aggressive e proporre modi per limitarne il potere di mercato, è una strategia miope. Uber risponde al mercato. Il modello di business della compagnia non sempre è perfetto, soprattutto perché le creazioni dell'uomo sono intrinsecamente imperfette. Detto questo, non vi è alcuna ragione per cui la compagnia debba essere osteggiata così dalla stampa e dalla sinistra politica. Le intenzioni degli avversari di Uber sembrano voler danneggiare la compagnia piuttosto che tutelare i consumatori. E' solo una questione di tempo prima che la compagnia passi da disgregatore schumpeteriano ad impresa autorizzata dallo stato. E' un peccato, ma prevedibile in un'economia così strettamente allineata con lo stato.


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


A Handful of Nuts

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 18/06/2015 - 06:01

Just half a handful of nuts a day can cut your risk of dying from a string of major diseases, a new study reveals.

The study confirms a link between peanut and nut intake and lower mortality rates, but found no protective effect for peanut butter.

Researchers found that 10 grams of nuts or peanuts per day, around half a handful led to a lower risk of dying from respiratory disease, neurodegenerative disease, and diabetes, as well as cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

The effects are equal in men and women.

The researchers from Maastricht University in Holland found peanuts show at least as strong reductions in mortality as tree nuts, but peanut butter is not associated with mortality.

The study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, was carried out within the Netherlands Cohort Study, which has been running since 1986 among more than 120,000 Dutch men and women, aged 55 to 69.

Nut consumption was assessed by asking about portion size and frequency of intake of peanuts, other nuts, and peanut butter.

The researchers analysed the relationship with overall and cause-specific mortality since 1986.

The associations between nuts and peanut intake and cardiovascular death confirm earlier results from American and Asian studies that were often focused on cardiovascular diseases.

Read the Whole Article

Is a 3rd World America Inevitable?

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 18/06/2015 - 06:01

Thousands of U.S. troops safeguard the border of South Korea. U.S. warships patrol the South China Sea to stand witness to the territorial claims of Asian allies against China.

U.S. troops move in and out of the Baltic States to signal our willingness to defend the frontiers of these tiny NATO allies.

Yet nothing that happens on these borders imperils America so much as what is happening on our own bleeding border with Mexico.

Over three decades, that border has been a causeway into the USA for millions of illegal immigrants who are changing the face of America — to the delight of those who think the country we grew up in was ugly.

All sides of this quarrel have been using the figure of 11 million people here illegally. In her new best-seller, “Adios, America!,” Ann Coulter makes a compelling case that the real figure is close to 30 million.

If that is true, and if the next president embraces amnesty and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, that will mean the end to America as the Western nation we have been, and the beginning of America’s life as what Ann calls, unapologetically, a “Third World hellhole.”

Indeed, when we consider the certain consequences of a failure to secure the border for six more years, and amnesty for people already here illegally, igniting a new invasion, we should ask ourselves:

What problem do we Americans confront that will be more easily solved with millions more immigrants?

Between 80 and 90 percent of those coming are from Third World nations. On average, they have higher illegitimacy rates than native-born Americans, higher drug use rates, higher rates of obesity, spousal abuse and child abuse, higher rates of disease, lower test scores and higher dropout rates, and higher crime and incarceration rates.

Children of immigrants are more gang-oriented. And Third World immigrants consume more per capita in social services than they pay in taxes. Hence they contribute to fiscal deficits at every level of government.

Will millions more immigrants help solve our infrastructure crisis?

Undeniably, poor immigrants provide cheap labor for businesses and the rich. But their working- and middle-class American neighbors bear the social costs that they inflict upon communities.

Politically, immigrants from Third World countries, as they rely upon government for food, housing assistance, health care and the education of their children, support the Party of Government.

Mitt Romney lost the two fastest-growing major minorities, Hispanics and Asians, who now account for more than a fifth of our population and a seventh of our voters, by 40 points.

And as their numbers and voting percentages rise, the GOP will find that reaching 270 electoral votes is not only more difficult than in Reagan’s day, it has become impossible.

Among the myths or lies drummed into the heads of Americans is that we have always been a “nation of immigrants,” and “diversity,” i.e., racial, ethnic and religious diversity, “is a strength.”

But America in 1970 was a white nation with a black minority of about 10 percent. And, as Coulter writes, “Nearly the entire white population of America from 1600 to 1970 came from a geographic area of the world about twice the size of Texas. The entire black population came from an area of West Africa about the size of Florida.”

Is ethnic, racial and religious diversity truly a “strength”?

Why then has the most diverse region of Europe, the Balkans — with its Serb, Croat, Albanian, Slovenian, Macedonian, Turkic peoples, and Catholic, Orthodox and Islamic religions — had the bloodiest history?

Was it not racial and ethnic diversity that tore the Soviet Union into 15 nations and half a dozen subnations, and is tearing at it still in the Caucasus?

If diversity is a strength, why is Beijing, which worships strength, moving millions of Han Chinese into Tibet and western China to swamp the Tibetan and Uighur peoples, as they have done to the Mongolian and Manchu peoples? How did diversity work out for Rwanda and Burundi?

If diversity is a strength, then why are Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen falling apart? Why are Sunni and Shiite, Palestinian and Israeli fighting? Why are Scots, Basques, Catalans, Venetians and Flemish agitating for secession and independence?

Has the addition of tens of millions of Asian and African Muslims strengthened the Old Continent that ruled the world? Or do they imperil its security and survival as the cradle and heartland of the West?

As racial, ethic and religious hatreds pull people apart and create terrorists all over our disintegrating world, why would we make ourselves ever more diverse?

Writes Coulter, “Roe v. Wade can be overturned. Obamacare can be repealed. Amnesty is forever.”

Anyone concerned for the future of this country as one nation and one people should find a candidate who will commit to secure the border, enforce immigration laws against businesses that hire illegal immigrants, and pledge no amnesty for the duration of their presidency.

The Largest Manuscript in the World?

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 18/06/2015 - 06:01

Codex Gigas, otherwise known as ‘the Devil’s Bible’ is the largest and probably one of the strangest manuscripts in the world.  It is so large that it is said to have taken more than 160 animal skins to make it and takes at least two people to lift it.  It measures approximately 1 metre in length.

According to legend, the medieval manuscript was made out of a pact with the ‘devil’, which is why it is sometimes referred to as the Devil’s Bible. It was written in Latin during the 13th century AD, and although the origin of the manuscript is unknown, a note in the manuscript states that it was pawned in the monastery at Sedlec in 1295.

The story behind the making of Codex Gigas (“the giant codex”) is that it was the work of one monk who was sentenced to death by being walled up alive. Indeed, an analysis on the text does suggest that it was written by just one scribe due to the level of uniformity throughout.  The legend says that the monk produced the manuscript in just one night… with the devil’s help. However, it is not known where this legend started and it is suspected that it was religiously propagated.

Stories and legends say that the Codex Gigas brought disaster or illness on whoever possessed it during its history.  Fortunately, the National Library in Stockholm, where it is currently housed, appears immune to the curse of the codex!

Codex Gigas contains a complete vulgate Latin translation of the Bible as well as five other major texts. It begins with the Old Testament and continues with ‘Antiquities of the Jews’ by Flavius Josephus (1st century AD; ‘Encyclopedia Etymologiae’ by Isidore of Seville (6th century AD); a collection of medical works of Hippocrates, Theophilus and others; the New Testament; and ‘The Chronicle of Bohemia’ by Cosmas of Prague (1050 AD).

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The Feds Arm Terrorists

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 18/06/2015 - 06:01

What if President Obama secretly agreed with others in the government in 2011 to provide arms to rebels in Libya and Syria? What if the scheme called for American arms merchants to sell serious American military hardware to the government of Qatar, which would and did transfer it to rebel groups? What if the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of the Treasury approved those sales?

What if the approvals were kept secret because some of those rebel groups were characterized by the same Departments of State and Treasury as terrorist organizations? What if the ultimate recipients of those arms were the militants and monsters in al-Qaida and ISIS who have slain and tortured innocents?

What if this scheme is defined in federal law as providing material assistance to terrorist organizations? What if that’s a felony? What if that’s the same felony for which the U.S Department of Justice has prosecuted dozens of persons merely for attempting? What if this scheme was not a mere attempt, but an actual arming of terrorists?

What if this scheme was approved not only by the president, but also by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton? What if the idea of doing this was hers? What if congressional leaders in both houses of Congress and from both parties signed off on this? What if the remaining members of Congress and the American people were kept in the dark about this scheme? What if those who agreed to permit this scheme knew that the arms were destined for terrorist organizations and they were flirting with a criminal conspiracy to violate federal law?

What if Clinton was asked by senators while under oath about the delivery of arms made by American manufacturers to ports in the Middle East and she denied knowing anything about it? What if she knew she had personally approved the deliveries but falsely claimed she had no knowledge?

What if this arms-to-terrorists scheme began to unravel? What if the rebels were really bad guys? What if there are many rebel/terrorist groups with varying degrees of hatred for the United States? What if some of the groups that received American arms are so hateful of the U.S. that they will bite the hands that fed them?

What if Clinton’s job was to prevent American arms from slipping into the hands of terrorists? What if she secretly did the opposite of what her job required? What if she and the president and the other conspirators viewed themselves as being above the law? What if they thought the terrorist groups they were arming would overthrow the Gadhafi government in Libya and the Assad government in Syria? What if they believed those revolutions would be greeted with cheers in the West? What if they hoped the cheers would be for them?

What if their goal of regime change succeeded in Libya, and yet the result was chaos? What if under Col. Gadhafi Libya had been a stable U.S. ally? What if today there is no central government in Libya and it is ruled by gangs and tribes and militias?

What if the American assistance to Syrian rebels became known to the Russians? What if that knowledge prompted Russian President Putin to help his ally, President Assad of Syria? What if the American and Russian introduction of heavy military hardware into the Syrian civil war has resulted in prolonged war and more deaths of innocents and destruction of property, not less?

What if one of the terrorist groups that received American arms from this scheme attacked the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, because it wanted more arms from the U.S. and it knew arms were stored there? What if that attack killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three of his colleagues? What if this was a nightmare scenario for the conspirators? What if the conspirators now fear that the truth of their plot will become known?

What if the tragedy at Benghazi was unwelcome but not unforeseen? What if the conspirators knew of the risks to innocent lives attendant upon breaking the law by giving arms to madmen? What if members of Congress who were kept in the dark about the arms-to-terrorists scheme were outraged over Benghazi? What if leaders of the House of Representatives, some of whom were conspirators, formed a committee to investigate how the murder of Stevens came about?

What if some members of that committee already know that Stevens and the others were murdered with U.S. weapons illegally given to U.S. enemies secretly by U.S. government officials? What if the stated purpose of the committee — to seek the truth about Benghazi — is not the true purpose? What if the real purpose of that committee is to suppress the truth so that the president and Clinton and the other conspirators do not get indicted? What if the truth is the last thing the conspirators want to see come out?

What do we do about lawless government by secrecy? What do we do about government officials who act as if they are above the law? What do we do if one of them lives in the White House and controls all federal prosecutions? What do we do if another of them is presently on her way there?

Reprinted with the author’s permission.

Hellenic Handbasket

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 18/06/2015 - 06:01

There’s nothing to add about the clowns in Brussels and Athens but a Yogi Berra pearl, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” The Greek drama will go on and on until the brinkmanship is exhausted. My guess is the EU will blink, and I write this early, a day before the “final” decision is taken in Brussels on Friday, June 5. Although Greek accounting arabesques have been known to shame the Bolshoi—Goldman Sachs taught the modern Hellenes how to cook the books and screw Brussels, something we are now paying the price for—we Greeks have contributed a few things in addition to cheating and not paying our taxes. We divined architecture in the human body and the proportions of humanity in their architecture. That singular creative explosion of the 5th and 4th centuries BC has never been equaled. The modern Italians, ashamed of their Roman copycat ancestors, suggest that the ancient Greeks even discovered sex, but it took the Romans to include women. Boo! I guess Pericles has to be the greatest statesman-leader ever, his idealistic patriotism free from all sordid and selfish motives. (Just look at the Clintons and start weeping.) Cimon of Athens, Miltiades, Themistocles, Phidias, Praxiteles, Socrates, Plato, Aristides, Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripides, Aristophanes, Plutarch, Thucydides, Hippocrates, (Taki?)—you name them, we had them.

Okay, okay, I know, it was all in the past. (Even Taki.) Except that we are the only small Western European nation to win two Nobel Prizes in Literature, with Seferis in 1963 and Elytis in 1979. We were the last European country to stage a military coup and overthrow a quasi-democratic government in 1967, and the last European country to abolish a monarchy after an extremely dubious referendum overseen by the most undemocratic peasant–prime minister, Constantine Karamanlis, the most ungrateful politician who has ever existed, and that’s saying something. (Had the king been allowed to continue reigning, he would have put a stop to the looting practiced by the Papandreou-Karamanlis gang, and Greece would not be today in the shithouse.) We are also the smallest European country to win the European Cup, in 2004—with a German coach, needless to say. We are also the country that just might bring down the whole shameful quasi-dictatorship of the EU, something I fervently pray for, but the Germans ain’t what they used to be. They will blink and blink hard.

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Antidepressants and Violent Behavior

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 18/06/2015 - 06:01

The brain is a complex organ, controlling our actions, cells, and emotions. When we mess with the brain, either inadvertently or with pharmaceutical medications, we can only expect a negative consequence in the process. If our body is exposed to toxins on a consistent basis, then there’s no doubt that our brain is too, and these environmental toxins–like aluminum and PCBs–are contributing to everything from Alzheimer’s disease to ADHD. [1][2] Interfering with brain chemistry through the use of psychiatric medications is equally as harmful, more so than many people realize.

Antidepressants and Violent Behavior: What Nobody is Talking About

The mind is prone to neuroses, particularly during stressful or traumatic times. Using psychiatric drugs to “treat” depression is more often than not a bandaid approach, and only addresses the biological symptoms of depression rather than the root cause. Instead of addressing nutritional concerns and psychological barriers to personal happiness, many people are doped up on SSRIs, tranquilizers, and similar drugs. Research over the past few years has steadily shown a strong correlation between antidepressants and homicide. World Psychiatry published a recent study confirming past research, making it startlingly clear: psychiatric drugs may ease depressive symptoms, but they possibly increase a person’s chances of exhibiting violent behavior. [3]

You’re probably aware of the mass shootings across the nation in recent years, and many people are left wondering what could be causing the uprising of these violent crimes. Gun control is seen as a solution to this problem, but what if the issue is much more covert? Taking antidepressants is considered normal in this day and age, and no one questions their use. But could it be that this overly-prescribed pharmaceutical is altering minds to a greater degree than we’ve ever imagined? The antidepressant trazodone, for example, was given to a man who shot and killed 12 people at a Navy facility in Washington, D.C. Trazodone carries with it a list of side effects, including suicide behavior, panic attacks, worsening depression, aggressive behavior, impulsive behavior, and abnormal excitement. [4]

The Real Causes of Depression

While many wish to brush off one example of antidepressants and violent behavior as a mere coincidence, we can’t ignore the many other cases of suicides, murders, and violence in the country at the hands of those drugged with these psychiatric pharmaceuticals. [5] Depression isn’t a Zoloft deficiency; it’s a real illness that, at its root, contains one or more causative factors. Improper nutrition is virtually ignored by today’s psychiatrists, but it just so happens that all neurotransmitters responsible for mood stabilization require nutrients for proper functioning. Tryptophan, for instance, requires zinc, copper, B vitamins, iron, and magnesium in order to perform efficiently.

Another hidden and rarely discussed factor related to depression is mold exposure. Mold can remain hidden in a home for years, but the effect it has on your health is insurmountable. Studies have shown that mold exposure, whether you know you’re being exposed to it or not, contributes to neurobehavioral issues. These health issues include worsening memory, mood impairments, and even Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms. [6][7] [8]

One Final Thought

When it comes to psychiatric illness, it is up to you and your doctor to find the best way you can to improve your wellbeing. Always keep in mind that there are a number of components playing into disease, including mental illness, so speak to your doctor and do your research to determine the plenitude of factors associated with your particular case. If you are taking pharmaceutical drugs for any kind of mental distress, it is important to not stop taking them, because this action could lead to adverse symptoms, including worsening depression. Supplementing with probiotics can also be a helpful measure, as could physical exercise, meditation, and socialization.

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

References:
  1. Tomljenoivc L. Aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease: after a century of controversy, is there a plausible link? J Alzheimers Dis. 2011;23(4):567-98. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2010-101494.
  2. Paul A. Eubig, Andrea Aguiar, and Susan L. Schantz. Lead and PCBs as Risk Factors for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Environ Health Perspect. 2010 Dec; 118(12): 1654-1667. doi: 10.1289/ehp.0901852.
  3. Health Day. Do Certain Medicines Raise Murder Risk? Medline Plus.
  4. Medline Plus. Trazodone. NIH. National Library of Medicine.
  5. David Healy, Andrew Herxheimer, and David B Menkes. Antidepressants and Violence: Probles at the Interface of Medicine and Law. PLoS Med. 2006 Sep; 3(9): e372. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0030372.
  6. Kilburn KH. Indoor mold exposure associated with neurobehavioral and pulmonary impairment: a preliminary report. Arch Environ Health. 2003 Jul;58(7):390-8.
  7. Crago BR, Gray MR, Nelson LA, et al. Psychological, neuropsychological, and elctrocortical effects of mixed mold exposure. Arch Environ Health. 2003 Aug;58(8):452-63.
  8. Rutgers University. Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease Linked to Fungus. Rutgers Today.

Reprinted from Global Healing Center.

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