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Helicopter Money

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 15/07/2016 - 06:01

The Cleveland Fed’s Loretta Mester is a clueless apparatchik and Fed lifer, who joined the system in 1985 fresh out of Barnard and Princeton and has imbibed in its Keynesian groupthink and institutional arrogance ever since. So it’s not surprising that she was out flogging—-albeit down under in Australia—- the next step in the Fed’s rolling coup d’ etat.

We’re always assessing tools that we could use,” Mester told the ABC’s AM program. “In the US we’ve done quantitative easing and I think that’s proven to be useful.

“So it’s my view that [helicopter money] would be sort of the next step if we ever found ourselves in a situation where we wanted to be more accommodative.

This is beyond the pale because “helicopter money” isn’t some kind of new wrinkle in monetary policy, at all. It’s an old as the hills rationalization for monetization of the public debt—–that is, purchase of government bonds with central bank credit conjured from thin air.

It’s the ultimate in “something for nothing” economics. That’s because most assuredly those government bonds originally funded the purchase of real labor hours, contract services or dams and aircraft carriers.

As a technical matter, helicopter money is exactly the same thing as QE. Nor does the journalistic confusion that it involves “direct” central bank funding of public debt make a wit of difference.

Suppose Washington issues treasury bonds to the 23 primary dealers on Wall Street in a regular manner. Further, assume that some or all of these dealers stick the bonds in inventory for 3 days, 3 months or even 3 years, and then sell them back to the Fed under QE (and most likely at a higher price).

Physical Gold & Silver in your IRA. Get the Facts.

So what!

The only thing different technically about “helicopter money” policy is the suggestion by Bernanke and others that the treasury bonds could be issued directly to the Fed. That would just circumvent the dwell time in dealer (or “investor”) inventories but result in exactly the same end state. In that event, of course, Wall Street wouldn’t get skim.

But that’s not the real reason why helicopter money policy is so loathsome. The unstated essence of it is that our monetary politburo would overtly conspire and coordinate with the White House and Capitol Hill to bury future generations in crushing public debts.

They would do this by agreeing to generate incremental fiscal deficits—-as if Uncle Sam’s current $19 trillion isn’t enough debt—–which would be matched dollar for dollar by an increase in the Fed’s bond-buying or monetization rate. That amounts not only to teaching children how to play with matches; it’s tantamount to setting fiscal forest fires across the land.

There are a few additional meaningless bells and whistles to the theory, which we will dispatch in a moment, but the essential crime against democracy and economic rationality should be made very explicit. To wit, this is a central bank power grab like no other because it insinuates our unelected central bankers into the very heart of the fiscal process.

Needless to say, the framers delegated the powers of the purse—spending, taxing, and borrowing—–to the elected branch of government, and not because they were wild-eyed idealists smitten by a naïve faith in the prudence of the demos.

To the contrary, they did so because the decision to spend, tax and borrow are the very essences of state power. There is no possibility of democracy—-for better or worse—-if these fundamental powers are removed from popular control.

Yet that’s exactly what helicopter money policy would do. Based on some Keynesian gobbledygook about the purported gap between full-employment  or “potential GDP” and actual output and employment, the Fed would essentially set the Federal deficit target.

In practice, it would also likely throw in some gratuitous advice about its composition between tax cuts, infrastructure spending, and social betterment. The recommended mix would arise from an economic whim, of course, as to whether the FOMC in its wisdom thought household consumption or fixed asset investment needed to be goosed more.

Alas, the peoples’ elected representatives would relish this “expert” cover for ever bigger deficits and the opportunity to wallow in the pork barrel allocation of the targeted tax cuts and spending increases. There is not a hardcore New Dealer turning in his grave who could have imagined a better scheme for priming the pump.

And that’s not the half of it. Helicopter money turns the inherently dangerous idea of fiscal borrowing in a democracy into an outright monetary fraud.

Even “New Deal” FDR worried about the rising public debt and “Fair Deal” Harry Truman positively loathed it.

Likewise, the power-mad Lyndon Johnson essentially vacated the oval office when he finally agreed to a substantial tax hike in early 1968 order to stem the deficit hemorrhage from his guns and butter policies.

Even the greatest deficit spender of all time—–Ronald Reagan—-thought the resulting explosion of the public debt was half Jimmy Carter’s fault and a half due to defense spending increases, which didn’t count in his unique way of reckoning the national debt.

So what makes helicopter money so positively insidious is that it relieves elected politicians entirely from their vestigial fears of the public debt and from accountability for the burdens it imposes on future generations. And that’s especially true owing to the Bernanke fillip.

Folks, the Bernank is no hero whatsoever—–notwithstanding his self-conferred glorification for the courage to print. He is a demented paint-by-the-numbers Keynesian who has a worse grasp on the real world than the typical astrologer.

Indeed, the crucial element in his helicopter money scheme, as explained in a recent Washington Post op-ed, is an explicit and loud announcement by the Fed that the incremental debt will be permanent. It will never, ever be repaid——not even in today’s fictional by-and-by.

Providing a purportedly scientific monetary cover story so that elected politicians can issue non-repayable public debt is a truly reprehensible idea in its own right. But the reason for it is downright lunatic.

To wit, unless current taxpayers are assured that future taxes will not rise owing to Washington’s helicopter money handouts and tax breaks, says the Bernank,  they won’t spend the government gifts they find strewn along the path of flight!

That’s right. When a road building boom from helicopter money appropriations results in surging demand for the sand and gravel pits, the small-time businessman involved won’t buy any additional trucks or hire any additional drivers until Washington assures them that they won’t pay higher taxes 20 years hence!

Only in the Eccles Building puzzle palace does such drivel not elicit uncontainable guffaws. Only in Sweden do they give Nobel Prizes for the academic obscurantism called “rational expectations theory” that is the basis for Bernanke’s toxic assault on fiscal discipline and sound money.

At the end of the day, the operative words here are “groupthink” and “coup d’ etat”. These baleful conditions flow from the essential predicate of modern central banking.

We are referring here to the erroneous notion that economic wealth can be permanently elevated through more public and private borrowing and that central bank falsification of financial asset prices will facilitate the achievement of those ends.

In fact, as we have repeatedly demonstrated, the Fed’s purported macro-management of the economy and business cycle is simply a variation of the old Keynesian parlor trick that is over and done.

That is to say, so long as households and businesses have an unused runway on their balance sheets, they can be induced to leverage-up with cheap money, and thereby be enabled to spend more for consumption goods and capital goods than could otherwise be financed out of current incomes and cash flows, respectively.

But we are now at Peak Debt. There is no balance sheet runway left.

Accordingly, the impact of the massive flow of new central bank credit and the Fed’s sustained falsification of financial asset prices after 2008 never left the canyons of Wall Street. It did not stimulate the main street economy one bit; it merely generated vast windfalls to the top 10% and 1% who own most of the financial assets, while fueling ever more unstable, extreme and dangerous financial bubbles.

In short, the real issue is that the Fed was foolishly given a so-called Humphrey-Hawkins mandate to deliver full employment and stable inflation 40 years ago. But in today’s global economy and the financialized world, the FOMC’s crude tools of interest rate pegging, bond-buying, and wealth effects pumping are utterly unsuited for the task.

And well they should be. In the first place, no politburo of 12 people can define full employment in a gig-based, labor-driven globalized economy. The Fed can do nothing about an auto job that migrates to Germany because American consumers like Mercedes cars better than Cadillacs.

Nor can it fully employ a worker who scams the social security disability system or a road warrior who prefers to work only six months per year and party the rest of the time. Likewise, fiddling with interest rates can’t help a McDonald’s fry cook who gets canned because the Seattle City Council foolishly raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour and invited robots to take over the job.

Pure and simply, there is no such measurable as “full employment”.  Nor is there a chance in the world that the Eccles Building can cause the true creators of jobs—-enterprise, capital, and technology—-to make more of them by fueling every larger financial bubble.

As for the inflation side of its dual mandate, there is not a word in the 1977 Act that says a 2% annual gain in consumer prices is what Congress had in mind—even in the midst of its confusion about what central banking can actually do.  I remember well voting against it at the time, and not hearing a single speech on behalf of the magic 2%.

That’s because the sacred 2% inflation target was only adopted by the Fed 34-years later in 2011 under Bernanke’s relentless prodding. In fact, the very idea of “inflation targeting” is a stupid academic hobby horse invented by Bernanke in the 1990s— long after the Act was passed——and which bears no empirical relationship to the rate of GDP growth, jobs or anything else.

But it is a thinly disguised excuse for a power grab. That is, the Fed has been massively intruding upon financial markets and distorting and deforming prices in the capital and money markets for nearly two decades now on the pretext that there is a “shortfall” in the inflation rate.

Well, there hasn’t been. Not even close.

Based on what we call the “flyover CPI”, which weights the four horseman of inflation—–energy, housing, medical and food—–at 64% or by what most of the America spends its paycheck on, inflation has been 3% or better for nearly two decades.

So the single most important thing that could be done by Congress to get the American economy functioning again would be to repeal the Humphrey-Hawkins Act and thereby eliminate the Fed’s legal basis for its rolling coup d’état.

At the same time, it could launch a modern equivalent of the Pecora hearings of the 1930s. Only this time they would be focused on the Fed’s role in generating massive Wall Street bubbles and their subsequent devastating collapses—–including for what will soon be the third time this century.

Such a probe could readily bring to the surface what amounts to the raging elephant in the room of national economic policy. Namely, that the Fed’s massive intervention in the financial markets and its feckless pursuit of ZIRP and QE is a battering ram of dangerous and worsening financial instability.

But the Eccles Building and its 12 branch offices are so mummified in Keynesian groupthink that they cannot even see the obvious. Thus, in touting its next grab for helicopter money power, the aforementioned Cleveland Fed President let loose of the following whopper:

Maintaining stability in financial markets should not be an explicit goal for the Federal Reserve, which should use interest rates to head off a crisis only if more precise and better-suited tools fail, a top Fed official said on Tuesday…….Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said in remarks prepared for delivery in Sydney, adding that the Fed’s key price stability and maximum employment goals usually align with its desire for a stable financial sector.

Oh, c’mon. The purpose of the systematic financial repression by the Fed and the rest of the world’s central banks is to flush savers and investors out of the money market and out the risk curve.

That’s why there is $13 trillion of subzero sovereign debt and growing by the day. That’s why there is a mad scramble for yield, and that’s why the global financial system is riven with FEDs (financial explosive devices) waiting to be ignited.

Today, Fitch Ratings spotlighted one more example of the Fed’s destructive regime of Bubble Finance at work.

The trailing 12-month junk-bond default rate hit a 6-year high in June at 4.9%, says Fitch Ratings, highlighting the ongoing pain from the oil patch.

Energy companies defaulted on $28.8 billion of debt the first half of this year, Fitch calculates, putting the sector’s default rate at 15%. For exploration and production, the rate is 29%.

A 29% default rate in the E&P sector!

Does Ms. Mester really believe that in an honest free market several hundred billions of high-yield debt could have been sold by the rank commodity speculators who ply the shale patch?

Not in a month of Sundays.

By contrast, modern central banking is a doomsday machine of financial booms and busts and ever intensifying financial instability. One of these days—-perhaps when the current mother of all bubbles implodes——even the somnambulant Congressional Republicans may figure out the real enemy of American prosperity and productive capitalism.

That is, a rogue central bank that has seized plenary financial power already, and that is so mummified in groupthink that it will stop at nothing in the expansion of its remit. Even to the extent of sending clueless career apparatchiks like Loretta Mester to the ends of the earth to flog the unspeakable folly of “helicopter money”.

Reprinted with permission from David Stockman’s Contra Corner.

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The Divisiveness Between Our Police and Our Citizens

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 15/07/2016 - 06:01

“There are no words to describe the atrocity that occurred to our city. All I know is that this must stop, this divisiveness between our police and our citizens.”

–        Dallas Police Chief David Brown, in the wake of the recent shooting of five police officers and several others

Mr. Brown, most (but not all) of the causes behind the divisiveness are due to decisions made by individuals well above your pay grade.

I offer a few simple actions that can be taken immediately in both Washington DC and in every state capital around the country – these actions will have an immediate beneficial effect toward ending the “divisiveness between our police and our citizens.”

  1. Eliminate all laws regarding victimless crimes – including, and especially, drug laws
  2. Eliminate minimum wage laws
  3. End civil asset forfeiture

As soon as these are ended, several benefits will be immediately realized: the number of negative interactions between police and citizens will be overwhelmingly reduced; more fathers will be free of prison, available to tend to their families; low-skilled and unskilled individuals can work legally; police will have far less incentive to stop and search the citizens.

I could write more – end the subsidies for fatherless families and end public education, for example.  However, these are much more complex.  The above items can be ended tomorrow without concern.

Why are the most advertised Gold and Silver coins NOT the best way to invest?

Of course, that we live in a society where it is legal for government employees to commit crimes contributes to this divisiveness.  It is also true that residents of high-crime neighborhoods can and should take matters into their own hands.

But if we don’t want to continue on this certain slide toward ever-more divisiveness, enacting the above-listed items will go a long way.  Police and citizens are fighting an uphill and losing battle as long as measures such as the above remain in place.

Tonight (July 14) Obama will hold a town hall on the topic of race relations, justice, policing and equality.  Let’s see if he is truly interested in improving race relations, justice, policing and equality or if he is interested in doubling-down on the status quo.

Sadly, I know the answer already.

Reprinted with permission from Bionic Mosquito.

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All-Time Highs in the Stock Market

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 15/07/2016 - 06:01

The stock market has reached new all-time highs this week, just two weeks after plunging over the BREXIT result. The bulls are exuberant as they dance on the graves of short-sellers and the purveyors of doom. This is surely proof all is well in the country and the complaints of the lowly peasants are just background noise. Record highs for the stock market must mean the economy is strong, consumers are confident, and the future is bright.

All the troubles documented by myself and all the other so-called “doomers” must have dissipated under the avalanche of central banker liquidity. Printing fiat and layering more unpayable debt on top of old unpayable debt really was the solution to all our problems. I’m so relieved. I think I’ll put my life savings into Amazon and Twitter stock now that the all-clear signal has been given.

Technical analysts are giving the buy signal now that we’ve broken out of a 19 month consolidation period. Since the entire stock market is driven by HFT supercomputers and Ivy League MBA geniuses who all use the same algorithm in their proprietary trading software, the lemming-like behavior will likely lead to even higher prices. Lance Roberts, someone whose opinion I respect, reluctantly agrees we could see a market melt up:

The stock market dropped 20% from the October high by March of 2008, as Bear Stearns collapsed and struck fear into the hearts of the Wall Street sociopaths. But the Fed and their Wall Street puppeteers needed to keep the game going a little longer so they could short their own fraudulent derivative creations and screw over their clients once more. JP Morgan, which was just as insolvent as Bear Stearns, bought them and restored confidence in the Ponzi scheme. The market proceeded to soar by 12% over the next two months. All was well!!! Until the bottom fell out in September. By March 2009, the market had fallen 58% from its October 2007 high.

The market topped out in May of 2015  at 2,126. Since then, corporate profits have been in freefall, consumer spending has been in the toilet, GDP has been barely positive, and virtually every economic indicator has been falling. Valuations are now higher than at 1929, 2000, and 2007 peaks. The median existing home price of $239,700 is 55% higher than the median price in 2012. At the peak of the housing bubble in 2005/2006, the median price to median wage ratio reached 9.5. In 2012 it had fallen to a reasonable level of 5.6. It currently stands at a bubble like the level of 8.3.

The market meandered about for the next seven months going nowhere. It then suddenly dropped in January and February, falling 13% from its May 2015 high. This was unacceptable to central bankers around the globe who believe stock market gains are the only factor reflecting the health of our economic system. Maybe it’s because they are only beholden to bankers, oligarchs, corporate chieftains, corrupt politicians, and unaccountable bureaucrats. Central bankers from around the world have come to the rescue by buying stocks and providing unlimited liquidity to banks and corporations so they can buy back their own stocks. The result is new record highs.

It has the feel of JP Morgan “rescuing” Bear Stearns and saving the world in early 2008. Smoke, mirrors, negative interest rates, debt creation, money printing and the artificial elevation of stock valuations by central bankers and their politician co-conspirators is not creating wealth. It is creating epic bubbles in stock markets, bond markets, home real estate markets, commercial real estate markets, and automobile markets. John Hussman chimes in with a reality-based assessment of their reckless actions:

“Instead, central bankers seem to view elevated security valuations as “wealth.” The longer this fallacy persists, the worse the subsequent fallout will be. I have little doubt that future generations will look at the reckless arrogance of today’s central bankers no differently than we view speculators in the South Sea Bubble and the Dutch Tulip-mania. Unfortunately, there is no mechanism by which historically-informed pleas of “no, stop, don’t!” will penetrate their dogmatic conceit. Nor can we change the psychology of investors.”

Today is just a continuation of the bubble blowing policies of the Fed and their central banker cohorts at the ECB and BOJ. These policies are deranged, illogical, and always result in the destruction of real wealth. Promoting financial engineering, while destroying the incentive to save and invest in the real economy has gutted true investment in our country. This is why good paying jobs have disappeared and we are left with the gutted remains of decades of financialization and globalization. As Hussman points out, our real economy has died a long slow death, drowning in debt.

“One of the hallmarks of the bubble period since the late-1990’s is that the growth rate of real U.S. gross domestic investment has slowed to less than one-quarter of the rate it enjoyed in the preceding half-century. Yet because central banks have stomped on the accelerator at every turn, the quantity of outstanding debt has never been higher, and the combined value of corporate equities and debt (“enterprise value”) is now at the highest multiple of corporate gross value-added since the 2000 bubble extreme.”

Artificially boosting stock prices through convoluted liquidity schemes, devious machinations, backroom central banker deals, sending Bernanke to Japan, and helicopter money dropped on Wall Street only, has just exacerbated the wealth inequality permeating the world. The anger over this blatant pillaging by the .1% who rule the world is reflected in the chaos across Europe and the brewing civil war here in the U.S.

As Hussman notes, no wealth is being created because no productive investments are being made. Mega-corporations buying back hundreds of billions of their own stock to enrich their executives is not a productive wealth creating the venture. We are in the midst of a sickening crisis created by appalling incentives, driven by sociopathic corporate and political leadership captured by their greedy desire for power wealth and control. The sickness is pervasive and terminal.

“In a healthy economy, savings are channeled to productive investment, and the new securities that are issued in the process are evidence of that transfer. In an unhealthy economy, and particularly one with very large wealth disparities, a large volume of securities may be created, but they are often simply a way of supporting debt-financed consumption. As a result, no productive investment occurs, and no national “wealth” is created. All that occurs is a wealth transfer from savers to dis-savers. Over the past 16 years, U.S. real gross domestic investment has crawled at a growth rate of just 1.0% annually, compared with a growth rate of 4.6% annually over the preceding half-century. There’s your trouble.”

A chart that caught my eye this week, along with dozens of other data points from the real world, reveals the phoniness of the stock market rally and the underlying weakness of this tottering edifice of debt. We are supposedly in the seventh year of an economic recovery. Corporate profits have been at record highs. Interest rates are at record low levels.

Read the Whole Article

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An Open Letter to Donald Trump on Economic Policy

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 15/07/2016 - 06:01

We the undersigned urge you, the presumptive Republican nominee for President, to support a rebirth of free-market capitalism in the U.S. You have said repeatedly that you want to make American great again. We agree with you. And we assert that the most effective way to start that process would be to affirm your principled support for economic liberty, for open and competitive markets and for a foreign policy that rejects both protectionism at home and interventionism abroad.

Over the last two decades especially, the U.S. economy has been saddled increasingly with burdensome government rules and regulations that stifle innovation and retard economic growth. Some of the more obvious examples are the massive command and control system put in place under the Affordable Care Act (ACA); the enactment of purposely mislabeled “free trade” agreements (such as NAFTA) that actually have harmed some U.S. businesses and destroyed jobs while subsidizing other politically connected firms; the failed so-called “War on Drugs” which wastes private and public resources and contributes to rising violent crime rates; and the expansion of inefficient and rights-violating environmental regulations that have hampered productivity and increased the overall cost of doing business; and, finally, the pursuit by the Federal Reserve of a pernicious decade-long low-interest rate monetary policy which has (again) created a massive speculative bubble in housing and on Wall Street…that is sure to end badly.

As a successful businessman, you must understand that these harmful economic policies of the past must be changed by the next president and Congress if the U.S. is to continue to remain efficient and prosperous. And you also must understand that the key to any economic rebirth in the U.S. is not old-fashion Keynesian deficit spending, quantitative easing by the Fed, or the enactment of higher minimum wage laws. The key to any sustained economic recovery is the legal protection of private property rights and the adoption of free markets where entrepreneurs, alert to price and profit signals, guide scarce resources into their most productive use. Below we suggest a concise list of first-order public policy changes that could set the early agenda for your new Administration:

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First, the Affordable Care Act should be repealed in its entirety and, as you have already pointed out, any prohibition on interstate competition in health insurance also should be repealed. Health care and health care insurance should be left to the market.

Second, all recent thousand-page international trade agreements should be replaced with a single, clearly worded paragraph that allows any U.S. business (or consumer) to trade with any other business (or consumer) anywhere else in the world on terms that are mutually satisfactory. Period.

Third, you or the Congress should immediately remove cannabis (marijuana) from its current Schedule One prohibition status under Federal law; cannabis and drug policy generally should be left entirely to the states. (Ideally the entire Drug War should be scrapped and the production and consumption by adults of any “drug” should be legalized.)

Fourth, the federal minimum wage should either be permanently fixed at its current rate or reduced; legally minimum wages should be left entirely to the states. (Ideally, all minimum wage laws should be repealed since they cause job destruction).

Fifth, the U.S. corporate tax rate should be reduced so that it is the lowest (not the highest) in the industrial world; ideally, it should be repealed entirely because it constitutes double taxation on shareholders of corporations who also pay income tax on their dividends.

Sixth, the Federal Reserve should be required by law to end all forms of quantitative easing and interest rate regulation now accomplished primarily through open market operations; interest rates for savers and investors should be market determined. In addition, the Federal Reserve’s budget should be determined by Congressional appropriations like that of any other federal department or agency.

And finally, as a long-run solution for our recurring financial problems and economic recessions, replacing the current inflationary paper dollar with alternative monetary arrangements that provide for a sound, market-based commodity money, such as the gold standard, should be seriously considered.

There will be Democratic as well as (some) Republican opposition to these changes. Count on it. But your job will be to hold fast to basic principles and persuade the opposition that long lines at airport security and rising health care costs are based on economic ideas that are totally misguided. Socialism and progressivism and crony capitalism have failed miserably.

We need common sense capitalism and you now have a clear mandate to initiate its rebirth.

Sincerely,

Joseph T. Salerno, Pace University

Mark Thornton, Auburn University

Henry Thompson, Auburn University

Jo Ann Cavallo, Columbia University

Dominick T. Armentano, University of Hartford

Christopher Westley, Florida Gulf Coast University

Murray Sabrin, Ramapo College of New Jersey

Thomas Tacker, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Peter M. Kerr, Southeast Missouri State University

Thomas DiLorenzo, Loyola University Maryland

Marshall DeRosa, Florida Atlantic University

Walter Block, Loyola University New Orleans

Robert Batemarco, Fordham University

Samuel Bostaph, University of Dallas

Paul A. Cleveland, Birmingham-Southern College

Peter G. Klein, Baylor University

Thomas L. Wenck, Michigan State University

John B. Egger, Towson University

Douglas Butler, Texas Christian University

William N. Butos, Trinity College

Paul Prentice, Colorado Technical University

Butler Shaffer, Southwestern University Law School

Judd Patton, Bellevue University

Paul Gottfried, Elizabethtown College

Jim Cox, Georgia Perimeter College

Roger Clites, Tusculum College

Bruce Koerber, Divine Economy Consulting

TrumpOpenLetter@gmail.com

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The Incredible, Edible Egg

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 15/07/2016 - 06:01

Few foods are more vilified than the humble egg. For decades, health authorities warned us that their yolks were packed with harmful dietary cholesterol, and recommended that we only eat three or four whole eggs a week.

In recent years, however, new scientific studies have revealed that eggs don’t dramatically raise blood cholesterol levels, or increase the risk for heart disease or stroke. In fact, they actually boast multiple health benefits. Here are seven ways the fragile treats do your body good:

1. EGGS ARE PACKED WITH PROTEIN. 

One whole egg contains a whopping 6 grams of protein, along with nine essential amino acids—the building blocks of protein—that the body can’t produce on its own. Because of this, eggs are known as a “complete protein.” Since experts advise that men eat at least 56 grams of protein daily and women consume least 46 grams per day, eating an egg-based meal can help you easily reach your recommended intake. 

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The Curious Case of Vanishing Lady Liberty

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 15/07/2016 - 06:01

Originally Published on Money Metals Exchange

The very first word anyone ever saw on a circulating United States coin was the word “LIBERTY.”

From half-cents to silver dollars, each featured the likeness of an unnamed woman. The images varied, thanks to different engravers, but together they became recognized as Lady Liberty.

Many, maybe most, of young America’s citizens were illiterate. “Liberty” may have been the first word they ever learned to read.

If not, they surely knew her face. The Revolutionary War for them was not ancient history.

The Founding Fathers knew all gold, silver, and copper is sound money and didn’t mind that American coinage circulated alongside colonial and foreign coins depicting kings and queens.

But Lady Liberty alone belonged to the United States. Her anonymous image spoke plainly to a cornerstone of human freedom – private wealth – in your hands, belonging to you, no counter-party strings attached.

After all, her picture was right there on the money!

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Her looks would change with the fashions and the times, as she graced most gold and silver American coins for 154 years. She was variously adorned with the arrows of war, the shield of readiness, or the garlands of commerce and trade.

Then, almost unnoticed over just a few years, Lady Liberty began to vanish.

The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve presided over the poverty and debt of the 1930’s Great Depression, stealing employment and financial liberty from one of every four Americans. Lady Liberty also paid a price.

America’s bedrock gold coinage was obliterated in 1933 by Franklin Roosevelt’s confiscation order, sending millions of Lady Liberty’s gleaming images to be melted down.

She had already been quietly removed from the quarter-dollar in 1930, making room for George Washington’s 200th birthday celebration.

She vanished again from public view when the iconic silver dollar was discontinued in 1935.

When she was minted on the last Winged Liberty dime (1916-1945), it marked a sad chapter in the curious case of the vanishing Lady Liberty.

The Winged Liberty was never intended to depict a Roman deity.

Nevertheless, Americans confused the design with Mercury, a mythological patron of commerce. The name stuck, leaving us with the “Mercs” we stack today in bags and rolls of 90% silver.

The model for Winged Liberty was a woman, Elsie Stevens, a friend of the coin’s engraver – not a male deity. But in the public’s mind, the coin was never known as a “liberty dime,” although that’s exactly what it was.

The one mistake a klutzy U.S. government did not make was to model American coinage after Greco-Roman gods.

But it was no bureaucratic mistake to ditch Lady Liberty to make convenient, political statements.

After FDR’s death in 1945, plans to honor him included kicking Lady Liberty off the dime – an easy bureaucratic pick given FDR’s ham-handed treatment of both gold and individual freedoms, and a war-weary public that never recognized that image of Liberty anyway.

Ben Franklin replaced Walking Liberty on the half dollar (1948) as subtle, political payback for FDR’s dime. The mint’s director studied and loved Franklin. She knew Ben philosophically opposed every policy of FDR.

Murdered President John Kennedy was honored on the half dollar in 1964, struck in 90% silver. JFK’s bitter enemy, Lyndon Johnson, took pleasure later that year in annihilating circulating silver coinage. JFK lasted one year on a 90% coin.

The conspiracy to finish off gold, silver, and Lady Liberty was now complete. The pocket change became nothing more than a home for politically selected historical figures. And intrinsically worthless at that.

We’re quite sure Washington, Franklin, and even JFK wouldn’t have traded Lady Liberty to have their own images on worthless, mystery metal coins. We can’t vouch for FDR.

The word “liberty” is still there on the coins in your pocket, but her image – a vanished vestige of American freedom – is found only, and appropriately, in bullion patterns, both government and privately minted.

The Walking Liberty half dollar design graces the U.S. one-ounce silver round. Saint Gauden’s $20 Liberty found a home on the gold one-ounce and its fractionals.

And you’re lucky to have them. Because Congress never wanted them at all. Not in gold or silver.

By 1979, at the height of that gold and silver bull, Krugerrand sales were absolutely dominating the gold market with 90% of world sales. Private mints ran the silver show. The U.S. government had no strong contestants on either front.

But the government wanted in on bullion’s profit and tax base. Sound money was never the issue. And it was quickly proven government had no clue.

The Mint was directed to launch the gold American Arts Medallion series (1980-1984), which proved to be an immediate, embarrassing mega-disaster.

Gold content, weight, and purity of the medallions matched the Krugerrand, but nowhere on them was the word “gold” or a guarantee of the weight of gold.

And rest assured, nowhere was Lady Liberty. The medallions featured artists, authors, and actors, some famous, others obscure. Instead of bullion, they looked like jewelry.

Most of the unpopular medallions ended up being melted – with survivors sold at bargain spot prices.

Congress finally gave up and went with the tried and true – the historically popular Saint-Gaudens and Walking Liberty designs.

That choice was forced by markets, not an appreciation of heritage from a tone-deaf government.

Gold and silver in government coins, or rounds and bars from private mints, are the only money today that speaks to freedom.

And only gold and silver held in your hand will stir the same heart Lady Liberty stirred for young America.

The post The Curious Case of Vanishing Lady Liberty appeared first on LewRockwell.

Why Women Are in High Positions

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 15/07/2016 - 06:01

Theresa May is now Britain’s second female prime minister.

Janet Yellen is the chairwoman of The Federal Reserve

Mary Barra is chairman and chief executive office of General Motors

Christine Lagarde is the French lawyer who is the first female deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund

Carly Fiorina was appointed CEO of Hewlett-Packard

In each case, a woman was appointed to captain organizations that were failing and in crisis.

Theresa May was suddenly ushered in to be Britain’s top minister in the wake of the public’s rejection of the EU.

Janet Yellen was appointed chairwoman of the Federal Reserve in the wake of growing criticism of the central bank’s role in a failing economy.

Mary Barra was pushed to the top of GM in the aftermath of an ignition switch problem that resulted in her making an admission “people died in our cars.”

Christine Lagarde was appointed IMF director when it appeared that organization had outlived its usefulness and had made reckless loans.

When Carly Fiorina took charge at Hewlett-Packard it was a troubled company that relied on its over-priced ink cartridges to produce 80% of its business.  It was a glorified ink cartridge company.

So what does this say about the good old U.S. of A when it is a few months from the possibility of electing its first female President?

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What this says is women suddenly rise to the top to give a softer, warmer, more human front to an in-crisis organization.

Will an election win in November for Hillary do anything more than tell young women they too can aspire to be President, just like boys do?

Carly Fiorina hung a portrait of herself next to HP founders Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard.  Her picture was taken down by her successor, Mark Hurd.  Hillary Clinton’s picture may soon be hung in every post office.

Does America really have the luxury at this critical time in America’s history to make a point for feminism, that women can hold title to these jobs?  Women are being used by organizations to cast a more caring image, but maybe do not offer much substantive change for good.

Hillary is as bought and paid for as the most mercenary politician.  She is just a front man for a collapsing institution.  Just what ideas or skills has she exhibited to warrant the Presidency?  The economy is atrocious.  And Hillary Clinton’s plan to fix that is?

Hillary Clinton receives $225,000 per speech.  She gave a glowing speech about Goldman Sachs and the prominent role women play at that investment bank.  No criticism was offered of Goldman Sachs failures during the 2008 financial crisis.  Just how as Chief Executive would she govern over the banking system when she has been paid handsomely to extol it?

She won’t release transcripts of her speeches because?  Her campaign staff demands Donald Trump release his tax returns, but if you would like to take a gander at the list of Hillary Clinton’s speeches and the fees she got for each presentation, $21.7 million total, you can look at the nauseating list here.  Which special interests does Donald Trump represent?

To make it look like they are not bought and paid for by special interests, Presidents are usually paid lucrative fees for speeches AFTER they have left office.  For example, Ronald Reagan accepted $1 million for a speech in Japan.  Hillary Clinton doesn’t care to even put on pretenses.

The first lady who was going to reform health care when her husband was President is just a few short weeks away from being the leader of the western world.

Hillary Clinton knows she is Teflon Don (the name given to Italian gangster John Gotti who was charged with various crimes but never convicted.)  She has confidence because she knows big forces are backing her.  Why, if she has the backing of the American people, did socialist Bernie Sanders capture States ahead of Hillary in the primary elections?  Answer: because she is bought and paid for.

She has already made a mockery out of the rule of law.  “No reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” (FBI chief’s words), or any case against Hillary Clinton.  She is now part of the mob.

Tell me, whether you like Donald Trump’s abrasive, impulsive approach or not, shouldn’t some politician be dealing with the issue of the nation’s open southern border at a time when millions of American jobs have been transferred to Asia and robots are ready to replace millions more?

Flooding the labor pool with relatively young immigrants from South America, which has been allowed in an attempt to get younger workers to pay for the Medicare and Social Security of our older retirees, is maybe not a policy America can continue.

At least Mr. Trump is addressing jobs as a campaign issue.  With unemployment at 23%  (Shadowstats.com) and the remaining workers paying the taxes for that 23%, reigning politicians appear to be ignoring the problem.

Maybe import taxes on Chinese goods (Trump’s idea) are not the best answer to bringing jobs back home, but somebody needs to be speaking for the unemployed.  And ironically it isn’t the nurturing female running for office, it’s the brash billionaire entrepreneur who would be expected to support cheap labor and uncontrolled immigration.  Have Latinos in America even given a thought to the dilution of their value of their jobs by such a loose immigration policy?

A shooter in Orlando allegedly took hostages at a nightclub and then shot and killed some of them and pledged allegiance to ISIS. (I say allegedly because this appears to be another false flag event.) And the conclusion from that event is à The U.S. needs to take guns away from the rest of its citizens (??).

The shooter acquired his guns legally after background checks were done. Hillary Clinton is quoted to say: “I’ll taken on the gun lobby and fight for common-sense reforms to keep guns away from terrorists… including comprehensive background checks.”  Those background checks are already in place.  Just how are laws limiting guns going to make any difference to lawbreakers?

These are substantive reasons why Hillary Clinton should not be elected.  But that isn’t how voters think.  Voters vote against the candidate they fear the most, not for the best-qualified candidate.

The male vote for Trump is 22 points higher than female registered voters.   What is the typical American woman’s yardstick for a Presidential candidate?  Obviously, not whether a particular candidate is competent but rather whether he/she is caring.  Women have that hormone, oxytocin, the “hug hormone,” the “cuddle chemical,” the hormone that makes them the nurturers they are, God bless them.  They want somebody who shows empathy for the underdog, the disadvantaged.  All women can recall of Trump saying is “You’re fired!”

That’s why, when Ronald Reagan ran for President and ABC TV news was airing a blistering verbal attack against him while showing Reagan standing on the back of a caboose at a train station holding a baby, those demonizing words were lost in the visual image.

It’s reported that Reagan’s election team called ABC News while the piece was still on the air to offer their thanks for helping elect Reagan.  The ABC news team suddenly realized, the more they pilloried Reagan, the more the affable Reagan looked like he was being picked on.

Only in this instance, we don’t have an affable Trump, we have an angry looking Trump.   For women voters, Trump is like having the husband who is always right, but who has to soften his approach.  However, the news media can’t find a way to get rid of him and still hold on to audiences.

Now if only Trump’s election team would show him hugging a fluffy dog.  Yep, that’s what we’re down to in America if we don’t want the mob’s Hillary Clinton in the oval office.

The post Why Women Are in High Positions appeared first on LewRockwell.

The Amazing Chinese

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 15/07/2016 - 06:01

Ages ago, for reasons I no longer remember, I was wandering across Asia and decided to spend some time in Taiwan. The Chinese interested me, and Taiwan was then as close as it was practical to get. Then, as now, the Chinese were thought by many to be exotic, inscrutable, devious and unlike normal people such as ourselves. You know, opium dens, dragon ladies, assassinations by a puff adder, that sort of thing. Given the importance of China today, the nature of these multitudinous people might bear thought.

As was commonly done in those days, I found a (very) cheap place to stay in the winding alleys downtown and settled in. Nice  enough place, I thought, agreeable people, pretty girls. It is curious how unweird people turn out to be if you actually live among them, this being a principle I had discovered among the Thais, Viets, Mexicans, and Cambodians. I shared  an apartment with another wandering young gringo, and a little Japanese mathematician named Sakai–”whiskey well” if I remember the characters of his name–and two young Chinese guys. One of them, Ding Gwo, played the guitar and wanted to be a rock star. The whole bunch was extraordinarily ordinary. The Chinese are in fact as  exotic as potatoes. The kids act like kids anywhere, the women like women. They are not another species.

The staff, mostly young girls, came running over, charmed by anything so exotic and golden-haired. The Chinese can do many things, but golden hair isn’t one of them. They all wanted to look at this wonder child. A girl smiled and unceremoniously took Macon from my wife’s arms. The mob raced about the lobby showing their prize to everyone they knew, disappeared into the kitchen for a couple of minutes, and came back, delighted, and put Macon back where they had found her.

I have a hard time getting from there to weaselly, sinister, and devious.

We went to Gwo Yu R Bau to say hello to Jang Lao Shr, who was still there, and to the bridge to see Shwei Gwo Syau Jye, who also was still there. Still reading Newsweek, still working long, long hours. It was delightful. I never saw either again.

The post The Amazing Chinese appeared first on LewRockwell.

Dallas Police Massacre and its Aftermath

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 15/07/2016 - 06:01

If it’s not another false flag raging war on Islam, Russia, China or Iran, it’s another Soros-Obama false flag attempting to instigate race wars in America and beyond. With financial assistance from his oligarch friends, the most divisive president in US history continues pitting blacks against whites, feds against patriots, Americans against immigrants, Christians against Muslims, and on and on this divide and conquer script goes. Last week’s cop shooting in Dallas is the latest sick ploy to manipulate Americans into turning against one another, specifically designed to incite further civil unrest and violence across the nation. Our treasonous president can’t hide the fact that he has been working overtime in his final months prior to the November election to aggressively promote a second civil war and his lame excuse to confiscate guns. Long before his meteoric rise, given marching orders as the Manchurian president, on cue the globalist puppet in the White House continues weakening the nation’s strength and undermining America’s stability.

During Obama’s time in power, he has militarized police forces across our nation to combat readiness, killing far more unarmed citizens each year than any other industrialized nation. In the first 24 days last year, more Americans were killed by police than in the last 24 years in England and Wales. In March last year alone, US cops killed more Americans than UK police killed during the entire 20thcentury. More US citizens have been murdered since 9/11 by killer cops than US soldiers died fighting in both Afghanistan and Iraq. We are 58 times more likely to lose our life at the hands of those sworn to “protect and serve” us than by terrorists that the US government not-so-secretly created, funds, trains, arms, supplies and has regularly deployed as covert mercenary proxy war allies for nearly a half century.

All the so called “elected” (in reality globalist chosen) national leaders of the West are methodically, feverishly implementing both draconian and nation-destroying economic policies to bring both the Western middle class and freedom to their bitter end along with each country’s waning national sovereignty, willfully demolishing the national, cultural and ethnic identity of Western countries for sake of racial and religious divide.

But the ruling elite expected to have its New World Order rolled out and fully in place years earlier this century, complete with a cashless society within a one world government. The global elite has taken some serious losses recently with the Brexit vote, the preeminent collapse of the EU, pending defeat looming over ISIS and due to Putin’s intervention in Syria, hitting a brick wall in its globalized regime change operations per reversals in both Syria and Ukraine. In response to US Empire’s imperialistic unipolar hegemonic aggressions, Russia and China have been forced to rapidly militarize in an unprecedented arms race and in allied partnership have eclipsed the US military prowess.  Meanwhile with their expanding Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS alliance and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Eastern powers are leading the charge successfully removing the IMF/World Bank and USD/petrodollar’s longstanding monopolizing dominance. The unipolar days of the US Empire as the sole controlling geopolitical and economic kingpin are over. These significant setbacks have marked the beginning of the end of centuries of the Anglo-American-Zionist reign of tyranny and terror and earthly destruction at the hands of the globalists.

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In the face of losing their historic power controlling and enslaving global masses through their parasitic international crime cabal government, now fully exposed, the ruling elite’s frantically on the run, but wreaking havoc worldwide through increasing acts of ISIS terrorism, global war provocation, and imminent economic collapse. As the Western elite like the Rothschilds and Rockefellers lose global control, the central banking gangsters are becoming more desperate each passing week to sweep the world into global chaos, death and destruction as witnessed by the near daily use of staged false flag violence unfolding at a never before seen, frenzied clip.

The wag the dog timing of last week’s bloody drama occurring immediately following the FBI’s proclamation to not indict crime boss Hillary Clinton for giving away classified secrets via her unsecured internet server is fueling speculation that the recent violent deaths were orchestrated to take the heat off Hillary. With a recently released ABC poll out revealing that 93% of Americans believe that Hillary should be criminally prosecuted, US citizens may appear to finally be getting it. In a related note, it was just revealed that hubby Bill Clinton sold missile targeting technology to China for campaign cash. Together their corrupt Clinton Foundation has sold America as a nation to the highest bidders, to filthily rich, bribing foreign interests, betraying all Americans. As US traitors and servants to their globalist masters, the international crime cabal leaders like Obama, the Bushes and Clintons have literally gotten away with murder, causing millions of deaths around the world, all for profit and greed, power consolidation and absolute control over the entire world for a psychopathic handful of subhumans. 

This article examines the layers of stability unraveling at breakneck speed bent on making each of us confused, afraid and angrily pointing fingers at predesigned enemy scapegoats to blame for what’s gone wrong in our world. Rather than see the bigger picture of how we’re all being diabolically manipulated to fear, distrust, blame and hate others by a psychopathic ruling class of control freaks, breeding legions of psychopathic killers to do their dirty bidding, we need to act as informed and educated citizens operating in principled solidarity to hold the treasonous crime syndicate that’s hijacked our governments fully accountable for its crimes against humanity. By illuminating the sinister forces behind this current wave contagiously spreading anarchy and brutality across our planet, by knowing the truth we, citizens of the world, can liberate ourselves from their deceptive divide and conquer blame game and seek justice against the criminals pulling so many lethal levers behind their veiled curtain that protects the actual doom and gloom architects calling the shots – the ruling elite.

Billionaire oligarchs like George Soros, a fervent $13 million Hillary supporter, fund the Black Lives Matter movement, sending paid agitators to disrupt and create violence at Trump rallies as well as busloads to US cities right after another unarmed black man is gunned down by white police. Soros spent $33 million last year alone in Ferguson and Baltimore. His express purpose is to intentionally stir up racial violence, fanning the flames on both sides, blacks seeking revenge against white police officers as in Dallas in addition to generating and justifying law enforcement’s growing hostility and contempt for Americans of all colors. Obama, Soros, and the elite are creating conditions that are causing civil unrest and rioting in order to unleash yet more authoritarian tyranny, control and violence directed against US citizens. They are demonically creating the necessary conditions for a race war, a civil war, a class war, a religious war, a patriot citizens versus the feds war, a war between the .01% NWO central banksters against the 99.9% global masses by way of World War III between the overly aggressive West provoking the East to react, all timed perfectly with the coordinated crash of the elite’s debt-based monetary system that has long been designed to fail.

These unthinkable, horrific outcomes at this late hour appear inevitable. As seemingly the only reasonable world leader of sound mind still speaking the truth, Vladimir Putin last month warned the world of impending nuclear war, pleading with Western journalists at a press conference to not blindly print the lies and propaganda the US government keeps telling them:

You people, in turn, do not feel a sense of the impending danger – this is what worries me. How do you not understand that the world is being pulled in an irreversible direction? While they pretend that nothing is going on. I don’t know how to get through to you anymore.

And sadly, predictably, Western mainstream media sitting there taking it all in were too busily doodling on their notepads to bother reporting Putin’s highly unsettling, ominous world announcement. Instead, the West and NATO continue spewing out lies that Putin’s about to attack Ukraine and Eastern Europe.

Let’s review the disturbing events of this last week that are setting the stage for the explosive fireworks to come at next week’s showdown – the Republican National Presidential Convention in Cleveland. Within several days of the bloodiest Ramadan month on record when over 800 innocent victims from 15 countries (including a reported 49 in Orlando last month) were murdered by Islamic State terrorism that the US created and supports, on July 7th five Dallas police officers were shot to death at an anti-police protest over the latest cops murdering unarmed black men in Louisiana andMinnesota.

In a highly organized, preplanned ambush, it was initially reported that “multiple snipers” had strategically positioned themselves in elevated locations where the demonstration march ended up in the downtown section of Dallas at 9PM last Thursday night. Suddenly snipers began firing at targeted police dispersed amongst the crowd. Using assault weapons and bulletproof vests, the violence was characterized as ISIS-like terrorism perpetrated by professional militant gunmen who appeared to be highly trained, seasoned combat veterans. At the first press conference that same evening the Dallas Police Chief David Brown spoke of the likelihood that more than one sniper was involved, that they seemed militarily trained, and declared that three suspects were already in custody while another gunman was currently in a standoff with the SWAT team. In his own words he claimed:

The snipers were working together with rifles, triangulated at elevated positions in different points in the downtown area where the march ended up going, the route of the march. [Boldface for emphasis]

Six hours after the onset of the deadly outbreak, a robotic killer drone then “neutralized” what official narrative would later begin claiming was the “lone gunman.” But even Friday’s The Dallas Morning News headline still read “Snipers fire on a downtown protest.” Within an hour the narrative suddenly changed from highly organized multiple shooters back to the old feds’ favorite standby of yet another deceased, dead men don’t tell tales, “lone gunman” scenario (following the identical pattern as in Orlando and others), right away signaling red alert of yet another standardized government false flag cover-up. Just as Western-backed snipers were used during the Kiev uprising that overthrew the Ukraine government in early 2014, and before that during the latter last century’s numerous Gladio terrorist false flag operations in Europe, the Dallas police massacre was most likely a similarly staged event.

The African American identified as the “lone gunman” turns out to be an Afghanistan War veteran who allegedly couldn’t tolerate the continuous mass killing of his black brothers at the merciless hands of murderous racist white cops any longer, and decided to get even by taking the law into his own hands, killing as many white cops as he could, and during the standoff declaring a race war, confessing he “wanted to kill white people, especially white officers,” and “the end is coming,” vowing that many more white police officers would be targeted and killed.

Shortly after the Dallas tragedy a group calling itself Black Power Political Organization claimed credit for the police officers’ deaths, posting on its Facebook page:

More Will Be Assassinated In The Coming Days! Do You Like The Work Of Our Assassins? Get Your Own Sniper

Last Thursday night’s massacre in Dallas was a precursor of worst bloodshed to come. Again, with too many blatant calling card anomalies, it seems another federally inflicted inside job with DHS, FBI, CIA and local law enforcement fingerprints imprinted at the crime scene. In concert with Black Lives Matter as a government co-opted COINTELPRO operation, the Dallas police massacre was a well-coordinated act of war against the state of Texas as the most actively bold and vocal proponent exercising constitutionally delineated states’ rights. With this nation’s highest gun ownership per capita, it was only a year ago that Texas was battleground zero for the Jade Helm resistance. So Dallas was just the latest shot across the bow, bullets shot through the heart of Texas, but really an assault on all of America by a treasonous presidential administration that’s fast moving to bring massive disorder, destruction and mayhem across the entire United States long before either November or the end of his final term in office. With prior mass shootings in schools, theaters and nightclubs having failed to deliver Obama’s fixated gun control legislation and his time dwindling, turning on law enforcement is his stepped up, desperately demonic plan to finally convince Congress to move toward his ultimate aim of private gun confiscation.

In America’s most polarized, fragmented, angry and confused time, in retaliation to last week’s racial violence, already a federal class action lawsuit was filed in Dallas last Saturday over the police deaths against Obama, BLM’s founders, Rev. Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan and former Attorney General Eric Holder for inciting a race war, which is exactly what’s been planned and in the making for years.

Last month The Baltimore Sun reported that prominent Black Lives Matter leader and failed former Baltimore mayoral candidate DeRay McKesson’s Twitter account was hacked. The next day the hacker posted McKesson’s alleged private tweets to another BLM leader Johnetta Elzie claiming that McKesson had recently conferred with US Attorney General Loretta Lynch (the same top law officer who recently broke the law meeting with Bill Clinton to arrange the FBI not indicting Hillary on multiple criminal counts). McKesson’s tweets indicate that Black Lives Matter and the Obama administration are actively co-conspiring in a plot calling for an explosive “summer of chaos” at the two presidential conventions and across America causing such massive civil unrest and violent upheaval that Obama will then be handed his excuse to declare martial law and cancel the November election. McKesson knows AG Lynch having met with her on several occasions. Apparently, BLM leaders are convinced their organization is better served with a black dictator still running the country, despite their fellow African Americans’ continued plight only made far worse under the first black president’s complete abandonment and betrayal of not only black Americans but all Americans of every color and creed.

If these implications are proven true, that the sitting US Attorney General is actually scheming with Black Lives Matter to take down America in order to unconstitutionally declare martial law, it would also prove the Obama administration is more than guilty of treason, something many of us have known for years. Taking this very real probability into account, last week’s orchestrated violence makes perfect diabolical sense, fully explaining the two high profile, coldblooded murders where police at point blank range fired repeated rounds into defenseless Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge on early Tuesday and equally defenseless Philando Castile in Minnesota on Wednesday, followed the very next night by the coordinated preplanned ambush assault on police officers as the chaotic, bloody lead-up to next week’s already highly contentious GOP Convention where all hell will likely break loose as promised by the multiple warring enemy camps now converging in Ohio.

As a side note, DeRay McKesson’s alleged tweets unveiling his conspiratorial ties to the US Attorney General aren’t the only incriminating information outed on him recently, his ties to the financier of everything gone wrong in this world George Soros was also just uncovered. It seems the Baltimore home in which McKesson lives is owned by a Soros’ Open Society board member. So the 31-year old grassroots organizer for racial justice has undeniable ties to both the Obama White House as well as the most privileged elite, implicating a far deeper, darker globalist agenda that overlaps his own BLM agenda.

Since Ohio allows open carry weapons, the leader of the New Black Panther Party just announced that members of his black power movement intend to show up at next week’s convention brandishing weapons at protest rallies as have armed Trump supporters committed to dying for their cause. Meanwhile behind the scenes, Republican delegates are busily stacking the deck, organizing to rally enough party delegates to form an anti-Trump majority that will steal Trump’s nomination as their party candidate without even a replacement in mind. Of course, the GOP’s ruling elite all along have sworn they will triumph in blocking Donald’s nomination. Likewise, the diehard Trump crowd has promised violent blowback should their man not be selected the legitimate party nominee.

And with the Cleveland police commission announcing that “cops and convention goers are sitting ducks,” Cleveland is an armed camp of converging hostile forces that will have both the legal means and the self-serving fanatical motives to launch an all-out war against each other. The 1,600 city police force plans to triple its size with law enforcement from other cities across the state and nation joining them as 50,000 convention attendees, 15,000 media members and thousands of angry protesters are convening from July 18-21. Fresh off last week’s violence, the nation is bracing for yet more explosive, open warfare rebellion. Finally as a convention warm-up, this Friday’s Day of Rage where Soros’ financed Black Lives Matter is planning organized protests in 37 American cities, the July fireworks have only just begun.

The divide and conquer strategy is clearly working better than ever before, but only over the earthly rulers’ devil’s dominion and certainly no one else on this planet. We’ve entered the most perilous time in human history. The universal love and compassion that’s been preached by all the major religious leaders throughout history is all but absent in today’s world. As members of the same human family, too many of us have been brainwashed in this thought-controlled the age of violence, enmity, mistrust, and hatred. While humanity teeters at the breaking point, where are the Martin Luther Kings and Mahatma Gandhi’s now when we need them the most? Their legacy and teachings should inspire and uplift us towards civil disobedience and wisdom while our Founding Fathers’ spirit of independence can empower and motivate us to fight for our rights and freedom against an overreaching authoritarian police state government that’s become the enemy of all people everywhere.

The post Dallas Police Massacre and its Aftermath appeared first on LewRockwell.

Horror in Nice

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 15/07/2016 - 06:01

The French have a saying, ‘un malheur n’arrive jamais seul.’ That translates into ‘when it rains, it pours.’  This week, the heavens opened and poured on the nation’s national fete, Bastille Day.

The day began with highly embarrassing revelations by a French satirical newspaper that the unpopular president, Francois Hollande, had a staff hairdresser making $11,000 a month at a time of national austerity. This was a genuine ‘let them eat cake’ moment.

That same evening, a frightful attack occurred in Nice. A demented 31-year old man of Tunisian origin, Mohammed Bouhel, who had just lost his job and then his family through divorce,  turned his truck into a mass murder weapon.

Bouhel sent his large truck down Nice’s famed seaside Promenade des Anglais, mowing down people celebrating Bastille Day. As of this writing, 86 victims died and scores are gravely injured, including many children. France They are mostly third class citizens, living in poverty and suffering sharp discrimination.

The jobless rate among young Muslims is around 50%. They live in bleak housing projects like many Americans of African origin, with no future except for drugs and other petty crimes. In short, a potentially explosive underclass that is neither French nor traditionally ‘old country’ Muslim but a rootless urban class of delinquents and petty hoodlums

Second, France has been getting ever more deeply involved militarily and politically in its former colonies. French military forces are fighting in Iraq and Syria, and in Libya, where they helped overthrow and kill Muammar Khadaffi. France has 2,500 troops battling rebels in Mali, and more troops in the Central African Republic, Chad, Djibouti, and Nigeria. French intelligence is active all over these regions and, notably, Lebanon.

In 1992,   France worked with right-wing Algerian generals to overthrow and crush the newly elected democratic Islamist government in Algiers. This act triggered the bloody Algerian civil war that caused hundreds of thousands of deaths in an orgy of killing and torture.

The Algerian rebels, known as the GIA, were eventually crushed with French help, but not before they spread into Europe and influenced the younger generation of violent rebels, the Islamic State.

France’s government is in a mini-war with various militant groups who adopt the language of Islam but have little to do with traditional Islam. All these factors combined in one truck driver last Thursday night in Nice.

The post Horror in Nice appeared first on LewRockwell.

Thank You Brits!

Deep Politics Monitor - Gio, 14/07/2016 - 21:31

La vera ragione per cui abbiamo uno stato sociale

Freedonia - Gio, 14/07/2016 - 10:15




di Bill Bonner


BALTIMORE – Alla fine gli svizzeri hanno votato "no".

La volta scorsa ci siamo chiesti perché qualcosa in cambio di niente non funziona mai.

Non nella politica monetaria. Non nello stato sociale o negli aiuti esteri. Non nel commercio.

Mai.

Ma qualcosa in cambio di niente è ciò che la maggior parte della gente vuole.

Gli svizzeri hanno votato contro la concessione a tutti i cittadini di un "reddito di base universale" da circa $30,000 l'anno, a prescindere dal fatto che abbiano o no un lavoro. Ma l'idea è improbabile che svanisca.

Due terzi degli elettori britannici dice d'essere a favore di questa idea. E la provincia dell'Ontario in Canada proverà a fare qualcosa di simile.

Se avete seguito questo blog, sapete come e perché abbiamo uno stato sociale.

Non perché i leader attuali sono più riflessivi e attenti rispetto a quelli del passato. Invece la rivoluzione francese e quella americana hanno rivoluzionato la semantica, facendo credere alle persone che ci fosse una certa differenza tra "cittadini" e "sudditi".

Quando le persone pensano d'essere a capo di un governo, piuttosto che comprendere d'essere suoi sottoposti, non si chiedono più cosa il governo possa fare per loro, ma cosa possano fare loro per esso!

Le élite, che controllano il governo, hanno una risposta rapida: è possibile pagare tasse più alte!

E potete farvi saltare in aria in una delle nostre guerre estere.

Invece d'essere costretti a servire nell'esercito del re, i cittadini si arruolano di loro sponte. E poiché il loro denaro viene utilizzato solo per progetti di cui loro beneficiano – selezionati dai loro rappresentanti eletti – devono pagare di più.

Almeno questa era la teoria.

Sì, gli elettori sono un fastidio. Eppure lasciare che le masse pensino d'essere al comando, è un assioma che ancora produce benefici; si può depredarle di più in questo modo.

Ma il nuovo cittadino del XIX secolo aveva un fucile e una scheda elettorale.

E se poteva abbattere Giorgio III o Luigi XVI, avrebbe potuto far cadere qualsiasi governo.

Così, circa un secolo dopo che la testa di Luigi rotolò, il primo cancelliere della Germania, Otto von Bismarck, capì come mantenere docili i cittadini: dare loro qualcosa in cambio niente. Una pensione!

Attraverso una serie di atti nel 1880, la Germania di Bismarck mise in atto il primo stato sociale al mondo – tra cui l'assicurazione sanitaria pubblica e un programma pensionistico pubblico.

Se le persone fossero dipese dai federali per la loro pensione, avrebbero seguito quasi tutto quello che avrebbero detto questi ultimi.

Questa è stata l'origine di ciò che conosciamo come stato sociale – il governo raccoglie denaro dai cittadini e poi ne restituisce una parte sostanziale.

Alcuni ottengono posti di lavoro. Alcuni ottengono prestazioni dall'assistenza sanitaria pubblica. Quasi tutti ottenengono la pensione.

Oggi la maggior parte dei governi opera in base al modello di Bismarck – prende i soldi dai cittadini e fornisce loro benefici "pubblici".

Il modello ha funzionato splendidamente per 100 anni.

I politici, continuamente a caccia di voti, cercano di rendere quanto più indolore possibile la pillola. "Liberal" e "conservatori" hanno capito che, per essere eletti, dovevano promettere agli elettori sempre più "benefici".

Il conservatorismo reale (a favore di un governo limitato) è praticamente scomparso. I politici hanno promesso una serie di risarcimenti agli elettori: indennità di disoccupazione, cure mediche, farmaci, abitazioni e altre dispense.

Ma più ottenevano qualcosa in cambio di niente, più ne volevano.

Fortunatamente le popolazioni e le economie erano in rapida crescita.

Il giovane lavorava... e gli venivano promessi benefici – farmaci e pensioni – di cui avrebbe potuto godere quando sarebbe diventato più vecchio.

Fino a quando le popolazioni erano in crescita e le economie s'espandevano, l'unico problema era decidere chi avrebbe dovuto ottenere cosa.

Ecco perché le elezioni erano così importanti. "Sono aste anticipate di beni rubati", come disse il giornalista H.L. Mencken.

Ma sono aste di beni che non sono stati nemmeno creati... figuriamoci rubati.

E ora il dare alle persone anziane qualcosa in cambio di niente sta finendo nei guai: non c'è più così tanto da dare... e ci sono molte più persone con le mani allungate.

I sistemi pensionistici pubblici – come la previdenza sociale negli Stati Uniti – avevano pochi beneficiari prima della seconda guerra mondiale. Ora ce ne sono a iosa.

La matematica non funziona più. Invece di ottenere più di quanto pagato, i cittadini ora si aspettano di ottenere meno.

Forse molto meno.

Non solo ci sono più anziani, ma anche i federali hanno danneggiato l'economia che li sostiene.

Come?

Normative nebbiose e sciocche... privilegi speciali ed elargimenti... licenze... sussidi.

"Bill, vorrei davvero tagliare i vostri alberi", ha detto Tommy strascicando le parole.

Tommy ha lavorato con il suo bulldozer nella nostra azienda agricola in Maryland.

"Ma non è più come una volta. Ora è necessario un permesso per tutto, per non parlare di tagliare gli alberi. Si presenta un forestale [probabilmente un neo-laureato alla University of Vermont]... e ti dice quali alberi si possono tagliare. Non sto scherzando."

Così ora dobbiamo rimanere in contatto con il governo della contea... il governo dello stato... e per quanto ne sappiamo, presto diventerà un caso federale.

Il lavoro rallenterà. Ci saranno altre tasse da pagare.

E perché? Perché qualcun altro dovrebbe dirci quali alberi tagliare? Come tutto ciò potrebbe far diventare migliore il mondo?

Molto probabilmente non lo diventerà. Sarà solamente meno efficiente. La produttività sta ora andando a ritroso... e se questo trend continuerà, lo stato sociale è condannato al fallimento.

"Cavolo... ci sono anche i serpenti tra quegli alberi", ha detto Tommy. "E io odio i serpenti."

"Ho lavorato col mio trattore [un bulldozer] per tutta la vita. Più di 60 anni. E non m'è mai capitata una cosa del genere prima. Stavo facendo il mio lavoro e tutto ad un tratto, mi sono guardato intorno e mi sono ritrovato tra i piedi un grosso serpente nero. Era proprio dietro di me, appeso al finestrino e mi guardava la spalla.

"Non credo tu abbia mai visto correre un ottantenne come corsi io."

"Cos'è successo al serpente?" abbiamo chiesto.

"Oh... l'ho conciato per le feste."

E ora lo stato sociale non ha più senso. Se una persona può ottenere di più dalle assicurazioni private, dall'assistenza sanitaria privata e dall'istruzione privata, perché sostenere i federali?

In altre parole, lo stato sociale ha funzionato finché la gente poteva ottenere qualcosa in cambio di niente. E quest'ultima pratica non sarà più tanto attraente agli occhi degli elettori.

Ma aspettate: perché non rubare a Pietro per pagare Paolo?

Tassare i pochi ricchi... e dare il denaro ai molti poveri. Ricordate, si tratta pur sempre di un sistema di regole della maggioranza! Perché non farlo funzionare così?

Oh, cari lettori, a volte ci fate ridere per davvero. L'avete dimenticato? Gli elettori in realtà non controllano il sistema.

Pietro sì, invece.

Saluti,


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


Russian Harassment and Other Fables

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 14/07/2016 - 06:01

Whenever the subject of American foreign policy catastrophes comes up, the word “Iraq” immediately comes to mind. But George W. Bush’s ill-fated invasion of that hapless land, in reality, did not do irreparable damage to the United States. That is not to trivialize the costs, including trillions of dollars and the deaths of thousands of Americans plus hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, but the reality is that the U.S. homeland was not attacked and the economy has not collapsed, making Iraq a war that should never have been fought but not a defeat in historic terms.

One thinks of Russia less frequently when U.S. policy failures are examined. In 1991, Russia was a superpower. Today it is a convenience, a straw man fortuitously produced whenever someone in power wants to justify weapons expenditures or the initiation of new military interventions in faraway places. Much of the negative interaction between Washington and Moscow is driven by the consensus among policymakers, the Western media, and the inside-the-beltway crowd that Russia is again—or perhaps is still and always will be—the enemy du jour. But frequently forgotten or ignored is the fact that Moscow, even in its much-reduced state, continues to control the only military resource on the planet that can destroy the United States, suggesting caution should be in order when one goes about goading the bear.

Truly, the unwillingness to takes steps after 1991 to assist Russia in its post-communist transformation into a stable, prosperous, and secure state modeled on the West is the most significant foreign-policy failure by both Democratic and Republican administrations over the past 30 years. The spoliation of Russia’s natural resources carried out by Western carpetbaggers working with local grifters-turned-oligarchs under Boris Yeltsin, the expansion of NATO to Russia’s doorstep initiated by Bill Clinton, and the interference in Russia’s internal affairs by the U.S. government (including the Magnitsky Act) have exploited Russian vulnerability and have produced a series of governments in Moscow that have become increasingly paranoid and disinclined to cooperate with what they see as a threatening Washington.

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There have also been unnecessary slights and insults along the way, including sanctions on Russian officials and a refusal to attend the Sochi Olympics, to cite only two examples. The drive by Washington democracy-promoters and global hegemonists working together to push Ukraine into the Western economic and political sphere was a major miscalculation, as they failed to realize—or did not care—that what takes place in Kiev is to Moscow a vital interest. Heedless of that reality, the Obama administration, which recently endorsed the somewhat bizarre entry of Montenegro into the NATO alliance, is already treating Georgia and Ukraine as if they were de facto members. Hillary Clinton, who has likened Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler, has pledged to bring about their full membership in the alliance. It would not in any way make Americans more secure—quite the contrary, as the United States is pledging itself under the NATO Article 5 to defend both countries. Moscow for its part would be forced to react to such expansion.

Nearly everything Russia does is considered wrong or even threatening by the White House, Congress, and the U.S. media. I was reminded of that predilection when I read recent accounts of Russian “harassment” of American diplomats overseas. The story described how, in one instance, a U.S. embassy officer returning to the building late at night was challenged by a Russian guard and a scuffle ensued. In other alleged incidents, the apartments of employees were searched, and it was even claimed that a pet dog had been killed. Certainly, the incidents are deplorable, but they are not exactly unusual in the world where spies and spy catchers interact.

Read the Whole Article

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What’s Your Fitness Age?

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 14/07/2016 - 06:01

Many of us don’t feel a day past 21 – yet our bulging waistlines and the wrinkles around our eyes tell a different story.

Now, a test can tell us our ‘fitness age’ – an age based on how fit the body is rather than how many years we have lived.

The calculator, created by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, asks people to enter information such as their gender, height, weight, waist circumference, heart rate and how frequently they exercise.

From this, the university’s Cardiac Exercise Research Group is able to calculate VO2max, a measure of how much oxygen the body is able to take in.

Measured in milliliters of O2 per kilogram of body weight per minute, the researchers say it is ‘the most precise measure of overall cardiovascular fitness’.

It reveals how well the muscle cells can take in oxygen, and how well the lungs and heart can transport oxygen to tissues.

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Comparing average VO2max scores for each age group, the test can reveal our fitness age – and whether it is lower or higher than the number of candles on our last birthday cake.

A new test can tell us our ‘fitness age’ – an age based on how physically fit our bodies are rather than how many years we have lived. In order to calculate this age, it asks people to enter details such as their gender, education, height, weight and exercise

Take the Test

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Hillary Is a Congenital Liar

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 14/07/2016 - 06:01

When FBI Director James Comey publicly revealed his recommendation to the Department of Justice last week that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton not be prosecuted for espionage, he unleashed a firestorm of criticism from those who believe that Clinton was judged by different standards from those used to judge others when deciding whether to bring a case to a grand jury.

The FBI investigation had a bizarre ending to it. FBI recommendations are never made public as this one was. Attorney General Loretta Lynch had been compromised by her politically disastrous but legally consequential meeting out of the view of the media with Bill Clinton just one week before Comey’s announcement. Whatever they discussed, the overwhelming public impression was such that Lynch removed herself and her senior aides from the case, effectively leaving the FBI to have the final say. This is unheard of in the post-Hoover FBI.

The Comey announcement itself gave two reasons for recommending against indictment. One was that “no reasonable prosecutor” would take the case. That is not a judgment the FBI gets paid to make. The FBI’s job is to gather,The FBI found 110 emails in that category, at least two dozen of which were at the highest level of protection that the government accords its secrets. She also told that same committee that she had surrendered all her work-related emails to the State Department.

Former New York Yankees pitching great Roger Clemens was tried twice (after a trial that ended with a hung jury, he was ultimately acquitted) for misleading Congress when he was forced to speak to a House committee about the contents of his blood and urine as a baseball player. Clinton has misled Congress about her lawful obligations as secretary of state, and she skates free.

Back in the Whitewater days, when the propensity of both Bill and Hillary Clinton to lie routinely and naturally first became apparent to the media and the public, the late, great New York Times columnist William Safire referred to Mrs. Clinton by a moniker that enraged her husband. He became so fearful of the truth and so furious with Safire that he publicly threatened to punch Safire in the nose.

Safire called Hillary Clinton a congenital liar. He was right. That was 20 years ago. Some people never change.

Reprinted with the author’s permission.

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Greater Fools Storm the Casino

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 14/07/2016 - 06:01

While we are waiting it might be wondered, however, whether nearly two decades of central bank financial repression have not merely destroyed honest price discovery on Wall Street. Perhaps it has actually extinguished brain function entirely among the corporal’s guard of carbon units that remain.

Yes, it is not surprising at all that the robo-machines are now gunning for the 2200 point on the S&P 500 charts. That’s what they do.

What defies explanation, however, is that the several dozen humans left on Wall Street who apparently talk to Bob Pisani are actually attempting to rationalize this “breakout” of, well, madness.

According to JPMorgan’s latest thoughts, for example, it’s all explained by Mr. Market hard at work discounting a meme called “17x/$130”.

Market update – more of the same for this market. The 17x/$130 argument continues to resonate (that combination of numbers points to 2200). It’s still very, very early in the CQ2 season but the indications so are more positive than negative (AA, Daimler, PEP, Samsung, SIMO, STX, WDC, etc) and that is helping investors look past the earnings recession and is bolstering confidence in a ~$130 number for next year.

Let’s see. Before we get to whatever massaged and medicated version of “earnings” JPM is talking about with its $130 per share number, it would be useful to start with reality.

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According to Howard Silverblatt, the S&P’s authority on these matters, reported (GAAP) earnings for the March LTM finally came in at $86.44 per share.

So barring some near-term earnings miracle, the market is now valued at a nosebleed 24.9X. The last time it was near that level outside of outright recession was on May 16, 2008.

At that point, March 2008 LTM earnings on a GAAP basis had posted at $60.39 per share. So when the market hit an intraday high of 1430 the implied multiple was nearly 24X.

Needless to say, it was a long way down from there. In fact, ten months later the market was 53% lower, and S&P reported earnings actually bottomed that quarter at $6.86 per share, or 90% lower.

But then, of course, who would credit GAAP?

That is, besides the several thousand white collar “criminals” domiciled in Federal hospitality facilities who undoubtedly rue the day they violated it; or the tens of thousands of bureaucrats at the SEC, DOJ and state attorneys general offices who make a living enforcing it; or the far greater numbers of white-collar defense attorneys who make an even better living parsing its fine points.

Then again, you don ‘t have to make a fetish of GAAP, even if several billion dollars annually of law enforcement and regulatory intrusion insist upon it. In fact, back in May 2008—–at a time that even the White House council of economic advisers said there was no recession in sight and Bernanke was preaching mainly blue skies ahead—-LTM operating earnings had posted at $76.77 per share, according to Howard Silverblatt.

So even using the ex-items style of earnings, the market was trading at a pretty sporty 18.6X.

Alas, a recession had already been underway for six months, but no one had bothered to tell the Eccles Building and their Wall Street acolytes. The latter are otherwise known as “street economists” and “equity strategists” of the JPMorgan ilk quoted above.

Here’s the thing. Even the LTM “operating earnings” number at the time was down by 16% from its cyclical high of $91.47 per share that had posted three-quarters earlier (June 2007 LTM). But like now, the street insisted that the “earnings bottom” was in and that 2008 profits would come in at over $100 per share or 30% higher than the March 2008 LTM actual.

At it happens, Silverblatt’s certified operating earnings number for the March 2016 LTM period was $98.61 per share.

That means that today’s market traded at 21.8X Wall Street’s preferred earnings measure. That’s even above the 18.6X delusion back in May 2008, and also something more.

Like eight years ago, the March operating earnings number is down 14%from its peak of $114.50 posted for September 2014. And also like back in 2008, expected forward earnings of $130 per share are 30% above current levels.

In truth, all of this is worse than deja vu. That’s because the casino’s financial narrative has been so corrupted by recency bias and accounting promiscuity that it has no idea what the profits picture really is or where it is going.

In a moment we will put a bullet through JPM’s $130 per share fantasy. But it is worth reiterating just how far the “earnings” narrative has departed from GAAP, and that near the end of a cycle this GAAP gap becomes especially wide.

As the WSJ recently documented,  Wall Street’s ex-items or pro forma  version of S&P 500 earnings came in at $1.040 trillion in CY 2015 compared to GAAP earnings of $787 billion. It would appear that CEOs and CFO’s who filed their SEC statements on penalty of prison time, averred that their actual profits were exactly $256 billion smaller than what they told their investors.

As it happens, that quarter trillion dollar fib is exactly the size of the ex-items charade back in 2007. It seems as if companies actually need a periodic recession so that they can toss into the kitchen sink the write-offs for all the dumb deals and investment mistakes they made while the bubble was still inflating.

In any event, not only are Wall Street’s hockey sticks extremely crooked from an accounting point of view, but they are also egregiously predictable in the magnitude by which they deflate as one-year forward estimates are eventually overtaken by reality.

To wit, in March 2014, the one-year forward estimate for CY 2015 came in at$135 per share of “operating earnings” for the S&P 500. At length, CY 2015 unfolded—-bringing with it a collapse of oil and materials prices and a sharp slowdown in global growth that came as a big surprise to Wall Street.

Accordingly, Silverblatt now certifies that actual operating earnings for CY 2015 came in at $100.45 per share. Apparently, in a world where “one-timers” don’t count, that gigantic 26% miss doesn’t count, either.

That’s because, in March 2015, the street “bottoms up” consensus for 2016 was pegged at, yes, $135 per share, again.

The problem is that the 2015 hockey stick has already been rolled down to just $114 per share as of June. Yet even if Q2 comes in at the current estimate of $28 per share and there is no further earnings decline in Q3 and Q4, earnings will total just $100 per share for 2016. That would be another 25% miss.

Never fear. The street consensus estimate for 2017 as of this March was $136 per share for the third year in a row.

That JPMorgan has already walked it down to $130 per share, therefore, is not the least bit surprising. Walking it back is what equity analysts do.

Then again, according to Howard Silverblatt, operating earnings for the current LTM period (June 2016) are expected to come in at just $100.55 per share.

Yet why is the implicit 30% climb from here to get to JPM’s magic “17X” on next year’s earnings any more plausible than was the outlook back in July 2014?

Back then, LTM operating earnings posted at $112 per share and the expectation was for a 20% gain on a year forward basis for 2015.

In fact, since July 2014 total business sales in the US economy have declined by 6% and the inventory to sales ratio has soared from an already high 1.3X sales to 1.41X. That’s recession territory.

In the case of wholesale sales, as reported today, Jeff Snider notes in a nearby post that the warning signs of recession are flashing even brighter. At 1.44X, the non-petroleum inventories-to-sales ratio is heading for the highs of the Great Recession.

Likewise, unlike the BLS’s monthly random numbers generator, the treasury tax collections do not lie. And they do not reflect taxes paid by real world employers for phantom workers on account of seasonal maladjustments, birth-death imputations or trend-cycle adjustments to actual payroll records.

As we showed last week, the 90-day moving average of payroll tax collections in June had dropped from last year’s 5-6% Y/Y trend to barely 3%. This means that after allowance for average hourly pay gains of 2.6% since last June,  labor hours worked in the US economy are evidently at stall speed.

That probability is reinforced by two other straws in the wind.

First, total Federal tax collections—-including upper income estimated payments, corporate taxes, and excise taxes—-at $181 billion in June were flat over the prior year. That’s a radical departure from the hefty gains registered since anti-recession tax cuts expired in 2013.

Likewise, the recovery of incomes among the top 10%-20% of households since 2009 has generated solid gains in restaurant and bar sales. During the seven years after the May 2009 bottom, sales growth averaged 5.5% per annum.

But in June, the Knapp-Track data for the core fast casual sector showed that traffic was down 4.8% compared to last year and sales were down 2.3%.

In a similar matter, the Cass freight index is now running sharply lower than at any time since 2013, meaning the pace of business activity in the US economy is cooling rapidly.

At the end of the day, the “17x/$130” meme is not even a case of eye’s wide shut daredevilry.

That is, not in a world with $13 trillion in subzero sovereign debt, liquidity soaked markets riddled with FEDs (financial explosive devices), the Red Ponzi teetering more dangerously every week, the Italian and European banking system slinking toward the brink, crude oil heading back down for the count, Japan contemplating fiscal hari-kari, and countless more.

It’s also an insult to intelligence in a world where bulging inventories remind that the business cycle has not been abolished, where faltering US exports matter on the margin, where 90% of households are tapped out and where corporate America is buying back its stock, not investing in maintenance of the capital stock, let alone improvement and growth.

To say the least, there is no reason whatsoever to believe that the domestic and global economies will come bounding back anytime soon. A 30% gain in corporate profits during the next 18 months is not even a remote possibility.

Actually, the latter proposition is proof positive that the casino has been largely emptied of human intelligence. It apparently remains occupied by a motley assembly of brigands and snake oil vendors who are calling the greater fools to one final slaughter.

Given the evident facts of life, you can’t say the latter don’t deserve exactly the condign punishment the economic gods surely have in store.

Reprinted with permission from David Stockman’s Contra Corner.

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Millennials Who Are Lazy, Self-Indulgent, and Sponge Off Their Parents

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 14/07/2016 - 06:01

The millionaire lifestyle guru Martha Stewart has issued a stinging criticism of the millennial generation and claimed youngsters are too LAZY to get ahead.

Too many members of “Generation Snowflake” are still living with their parents rather than getting out into the world and making something of their lives, the celebrity businesswoman raged.

She is the latest person to rail against a mollycoddled generation who have turned universities into “safe spaces” to avoid testing their ideas in the crucible of debate and called on conference attendees to “make jazz hands” because clapping is too traumatic for their sensitive souls.

“I think every business is trying to target millennials,” she said in an interview with Luxury Listings.

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She’s a Walking Crime Machine

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 14/07/2016 - 06:01

You would think Hillary haters everywhere would be rejoicing the fact that the FBI found her guilty of committing multiple federal crimes. But a funny thing happened on the way to prison: FBI director James Comey inexplicably recommended that Hillary not be indicted and thus be allowed to continue her decades-long crime spree. That’s right — the Face of Evil once again proved that the Clinton Book of Laws for Elites overrides the laws of the United States of America.

Of course, everyone — even those on the radical left — realizes that Hillary is guilty of multiple felonies and that her being allowed to skate was made possible by a collaboration among BHO, Loretta Lynch, Bubba, and James Comey. But you already know all this, so it’s not any great revelation.

The question on the front burner now is where this farcical lack of justice will lead. To lay the foundation for such a discussion, let’s start with a handful of things we know for certain.

  1. Hillary Clinton is a walking crime machine, a career criminal beyond rehabilitation.
  2. She’s also a serial liar, having lied repeatedly about such events as Benghazi, the connection between donations to the Clinton Foundation and gargantuan speaking fees paid to the Hillbillies (not to mention favors granted to foreign governments while she was Secretary of State), and, of course, the use of a private email server to prevent authorities from having access to her emails.
  3. She refuses to release her speeches to Wall Street firms who paid her millions of dollars for presentations ranging from 20 to 45 minutes. The reason for this is almost as obvious as why an elected president would have his college records sealed.
  4. Contrary to James Comey’s absurd conclusion that his FBI team could not find any intent on Hillary’s part, the truth is that everything about Hillary’s illegal email activities was intentional. The fact that the FBI uncovered lie after lie is, of and by itself, conclusive proof of her intent to deceive. (I’ll be generous here and not even go into the fact that the law specifically states that intent is irrelevant in determining whether or not someone is guilty of mishandling classified information.)
  5. Hillary hates Barack Obama, and Obama hates both her and Bubba. You can bet that the world’s most narcissistic community organizer has never forgotten Bill Clinton’s purported comment to Ted Kennedy back in 2010, to wit: ”A few years ago, this guy (Obama) would have been getting us coffee.” I’m told that community organizers have very long memories.
  6. Because Obama has Hillary by the short hairs, she gritted her teeth and made the pragmatic decision to do his bidding in exchange for his doing everything he can to help her get elected — and continue to do his bidding after she’s in office. It may be the first time in history that the Devil made a deal with the Devil.

As to number six above, those who listen to the media hype that Obama is viewed favorably by slightly more than half of the public ignore the results of the last three elections (one presidential and two midterms). Obama received nearly 10 million fewer votes in 2012 than in 2008 — against cowardly Mitt Romney, no less, who was more interested in apologizing for his success (much of which resulted from his expertise in putting companies into bankruptcy and laying off employees) than exposing Obama’s lies and purposeful destruction of the U.S. economy.

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In other words, based on actual votes, Obama’s popularity dropped by nearly 15 percent in just four years. In fact, he received fewer votes in the 2012 presidential election than John McCain received when he ran against him in 2008! That’s a stunning figure.

Obama’s loss in popularity was clearly evident in the fact that not only did Democrats lose the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014, but, more specifically, most of the candidates he actively campaigned for ended up losing. The fact is that only the radical left and brain-dead, low-information voters still support him.

Thus, as I have repeatedly pointed out, Hillary’s tying herself to Obama is a sure loser — provided Trump’s handlers can get him under control. That means getting him to stop making unnecessary, self-destructive statements and teaching him how to make a point in one minute instead of droning on for fifteen. If he were elected, Trump might actually turn out to be a relatively good president (emphasis on might), but he won’t get elected if he continues to put people to sleep with repetition-filled, 66-minute talks.

If Trump keeps screwing up and proves me wrong (i.e., my prediction that Hillary will never be president) by handing the presidency to Hillary, it will be the end of what’s left of the United States. Under a Hillary presidency (a euphemism for an Obama third term), tyranny would reign.

There would be no way to stop, or even slow down, the Marxist agenda of the Democrats — a radical-left Supreme Court, gun confiscation, an expanded version of Obamacare, totally open borders that would include millions of unvetted Middle East refugees, ongoing stoking of the racial divide fires, an end to the coal-mining industry, etc., etc., etc. The list is very, very long.

So, what if Trump does win, which he should do easily? Right now, I see one huge problem with a Trump administration that I don’t believe many of his supporters have even thought about. The establishment — on both the left and the right — so despises him that the House and Senate could make it virtually impossible for him to take the actions necessary to start undoing the damage done by Obama and his Marxist minions.

Can you imagine Trump having to fight not only malevolent, corrupt folks like Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Dick Durbin, but also lowlife Republicans like Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and Lindsey Graham?

Normally, I love gridlock in Washington, because it stops politicians from engaging in more redistribution of wealth, more economy-killing regulations, and more unconstitutional legislation of all kinds. But if the scoundrels riding the Demopublican gravy train are able to prevent Trump from waging a full-scale war against corruption, waste, and special treatment for the political class, his only alternative would be to take a cue from Obama and create his own laws through executive orders.

And the latter, I believe, would likely fail, because the same legislators who have been kissing Obama’s ring for nearly eight years are, by contrast, not the least bit afraid of Trump. On the contrary, I believe a large number of those Obama ring-kissers would do anything to block Trump’s every move and, if possible, totally destroy him. I would not be surprised to see impeachment proceedings come about early in his first term.

That said, we’ll have a better idea of how a Trump presidency is likely to play out by watching the Republican National Convention next week. If he can’t get a substantial percentage of the Republican Party’s anti-Trump crybabies to get on board and Hillary/Obama actually win, my recommendation to all who can afford it is to start studying up on places like the Cayman Islands, St. Thomas, St. Croix, and the British Virgin Islands.

Of course, there’s always a chance that Trump’s post-election popularity would be so high that the gravy-trainers would find themselves fighting for their own political lives and thus decide to make nice to Trump in order to save their own hides.

But enough conjecture. Next stop: Cleveland. If nothing else, it’s going to be great theater.

Reprinted with permission from RobertRinger.com.

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Learn To Give Off Sparks

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 14/07/2016 - 06:01

Editor’s note: The following selection comes from The Technique of Building Personal Leadership (1944) by Donald A. Laird. It has been condensed from the original chapter.

A group of ambitious management executives attended a conference in the Societies’ Engineering Building in New York City. Almost all the men were college graduates. They were well dressed, well fed, polished. Each stated his opinions carefully and fluently. The meeting simply reeked of logic. But it was getting nowhere. It needed some magnetism to pull it together.

When it seemed that the conference might break up with nothing accomplished, a shrimp of a man sprang to his feet. He wore poorly fitting clothes, cut, in the fashion of a bygone day. The other men seemed amused at his appearance — at first. He began to speak, rapidly and in a high-pitched voice. He seemed excited. He had an accent like a Swedish comedian.

Before he had uttered fifty words the dignified men were listening attentively. Their amusement had disappeared. Soon the little old man had the group in the palm of his hand.

Why? Because he was the first to give off sparks!

Neglect to be brief, and one becomes a bore. When Lord Dufferin arrived late at a luncheon, he apologized to the hostess by explaining that he had been detained by the Earl of Kimberley. Then he whispered: “A wonderful man! It is amazing how much he knows. He knows everything — everything! — all the corners of the earth and all the men in it. He knows everything, except — except when to stop!”

In his early days as a toll collector on the canal, John H. Patterson had a small retail coal business as a sideline. He was continually short of money because people were slow to pay for their coal. His business was too small, too insecure, to serve as a basis for bank credit. But he borrowed, solely on his own credit. One morning he went to his banker and said:

“Mr. Phillips, I want to borrow $500 until Friday.”

“Write out a check for $500 to Mr. Patterson,” the banker instructed a clerk. Then he turned to the embryo businessman. “Let me give you a little advice. If you had not asked for it the way you did, if you had asked me how I felt and how business is, you would not have the money. Always be brief. And another thing, be sure to have the money back on Friday.”

Busy businessmen appreciate brevity.

Read the Whole Article

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Statins Will Kill You

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 14/07/2016 - 06:01

This article is a talk I gave at the 34th Annual Meeting of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness in Omaha last week. Its director, Jane Orient, M.D., asked me to address the subjects of statins, nutritional supplements, stem cells, and hyperbaric oxygen for combating heart disease. The text includes some of the slides I used for this talk.

Heart Disease

My father was born and raised on a farm in Nebraska and attended medical school at the University of Nebraska, Class of 1938. He died from a stroke, at age 97. Heart disease, however, remains the leading cause of death in this country, which ends a person’s life at a much younger age. Cancer is next, close behind heart disease, which causes 40 percent of all U.S. deaths.

A systematic review published last month in the British Medical Journal confirms the finding that people with a high cholesterol live longer. [1]

How Statin Drugs Kill You One Cell at a Time

The book How Statin Drugs Really Lower Cholesterol and Kill You One Cell at a Time by James Joseph and Hannah Joseph, M.D. reveal in chilling detail how statins harm people. A reviewer of this book writes:

 “Many practicing physicians have a healthy understanding of the current level of corruption and collusion among big pharmaceutical companies, governmental agencies such as the NIH and FDA, and major medical associations such as the American Heart Association, but the reader of this book will come away with the disturbing conclusion that it is even worse than imagined. Statins may be the perfect and most insidious human toxin in that adverse effects are often delayed by years and come about gradually. Further, statins frequently impair mental function to such a degree that by the time patients are in real trouble, they may lack the mental facilities to recognize the cause.”

Adverse Effects of Statins

Statins target skeletal muscle and brain cells. Myopathy, manifested by muscle aches and pains, weakness and instability is the most common adverse effect of statins. The severist manifestation of statin-induced muscle damage is rhabdomyolysis, which carries a 10 percent mortality rate. Fragments of ruptured muscle block renal tubules and cause kidney failure.

A number of statin trials report a statistically significant increased incidence of cancer, cataracts, hepatitis and strokes associated with taking statins.

Approximately 8 percent of people who take statins get diabetes, compared with 2 percent in the placebo group. Investigators will say that there is a 6 percent chance of getting diabetes from taking statins. They will report deleterious effects in terms of real, absolute risk, thus minimizing their magnitude. You will not see statin-trial investigators reporting that there is a 75 percent increased risk of getting diabetes from taking statins, its relative risk (where 8 – 2 = 6 and 6 divided by 8 equals 75 percent).

The FDA issued new safety information on statins in 2014, saying “a small increased risk of raised blood sugar levels and the development of type 2 diabetes have been reported with the use of statins.” The FDA now requires drug companies to add this information in their package insert with the drug. After issuing this conclusion, over the next 6 months, attorneys filed more than 1,000 lawsuits against Pfizer for (4,000) women claiming that Lipitor gave them diabetes.

Adverse cognitive reactions from taking statins include confusion, forgetfulness, disorientation, memory impairment, transient global amnesia, and dementia.

Can Statins Actually Cause Heart Disease?

Unfortunately, as the study cited above shows, statins may well promote both types of heart disease, atherosclerosis and heart failure. Arterial calcification fosters atherosclerosis but a special protein, matrix Gla protein removes calcium in arteries. Vitamin D turns on the gene that makes matrix Gla protein, and vitamin K2 is required to activate it. But statins block the conversion of vitamin K1 to K2. With statins also blocking CoQ10 and heme A synthesis, generation of ATP in heart muscle cells decreases, leading to heart failure. This study, published last year in Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology and citing 56 scientific references, shows the mechanisms by which statins stimulate atherosclerosis and heart failure.

Patients Beware

I worked with cardiologists during my 40-year career as one of their heart surgeons. Given so much damning evidence against statins, how can they keep on prescribing them? Three reasons come to mind. First, cardiologists are busy and don’t have the time or inclination to independently investigate things and read a lot of medical journals (like Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology). They accept what their medical societies and statin-selling drug reps tell them about statins. Second, not wanting to be accused of practicing what health authorities deem “low-quality” medicine, cardiologists dutifully prescribe statins following medical society/government certified cholesterol-lowering guidelines. Third, like many professionals, mainstream cardiologists suffer from a healthy dose of confirmation bias, where they filter out and ignore evidence that doesn’t coincide with their preconceived notions and beliefs, especially with regard to statins.

The Current State of Medical Science

As we see with statins, medical science today is in a sorry state. Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine writes:

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine.”

Dr. Richard Horton, current editor-in-chief of the Lancet agrees:

 “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”

PCSK9 Inhibitors

To make matters even worse, the FDA has approved a cholesterol-lowering drug that you inject twice a month costing $14,000 a year ($583 a shot). Working by a different mechanism a PCSK9 inhibitor lowers LDL cholesterol even more than the most potent statin. Amgen makes one called Repatha. Trials gaining FDA approval for the safety and efficacy of this injectable drug lasted only 12- to 52-weeks, much too short a time to uncover late-developing cerebral ill-effects like confusion, forgetfulness, disorientation, memory impairment, and dementia—things that PCSK9 inhibitors, since they severely lower cholesterol, might well cause.

Russell Ross and Inflammation

If not cholesterol, what causes atherosclerosis? The late Russell Ross, professor of pathology at the University of Washington, discovered the cause: Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease. It is initiated by endothelial  dysfunction, with or without actual injury. Macrophages and T lymphocytes mediate it, and smooth muscle cells play an integral role.

Russell demonstrated that atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory and fibroproliferative process that is

fundamentally no different from that seen in cirrhosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic pancreatitis. I worked Dr. Ross and attended cardiology conferences him. The New England Journal of Medicine published his landmark paper on atherosclerosis being an inflammatory disease just a few months before he died, from cancer.

Inflammation and NF-kB

Inflammation plays an important role in other chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Nuclear factor kappa B, NF-kB, is a key protein transcription factor that promotes inflammation. Statins’ small 1 percent benefit come from their anti-inflammatory effects, suppressing NF-kB. Two non-prescription nutraceuticals, curcumin, and resveratrol, have the same NF-kB suppressing anti-inflammatory action, without having any side effects.

Things that Foster Inflammatory CAD

Things that foster inflammatory atherosclerotic heart disease starts with a bad diet: consuming too many omega-6 vegetable oils, eating trans fats, too many carbohydrates, and not enough saturated fats. See my LewRockwell.com article “Enjoy Saturated Fats, They’re Good for You!” for more on this subject. Other things that foster inflammatory coronary artery disease include deficiencies in various vitamins and minerals, having diabetes, abdominal obesity, hypertension, smoking, stress, and a family history of heart disease. Another cause, it turns out, is a bacterial infection. Like in the stomach, it is becoming increasingly evident that the bacteria Helicobacter pylori can also cause coronary artery disease.

Nutritional Supplements

From my research on this subject, these are 14 supplements that may help prevent and, if already present combat heart disease—along with taking a multivitamin pill:

I provide short descriptions of each of these nutritional supplements—their respective mechanisms of actions, doses, where I get them, and their costs—in my April 15, 2015, LewRockwell.com article, “Supplements for Coronary Artery Disease.” The cost of taking all of them each day is not much more than what a 20 mg tablet of Crestor costs.

This slide offers a summary view of their various mechanisms of action:

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is evidence that a nutritional supplement program like the one proposed here can halt the progression of coronary atherosclerosis and reduce coronary calcification. In one study, 55 patients with positive coronary calcium scans, documented by ultrafast computed tomography, were put on a nutritional supplement program that included 6 of the ones on my list plus a multivitamin tablet.  One year later investigators repeated the coronary calcium scan. The calcium score in these 55 patients had decreased by an average of 11 percent, decreasing the most in patients with the early coronary disease. In one patient, calcium in the right coronary artery and left anterior descending coronary artery was greatly reduced. [2] (Slide available on request.)

In another randomized trial of people with moderate to severe heart failure, a significantly higher percentage of patients taking 300 mg a day of coenzyme Q10 remained free of major adverse cardiovascular events compared with patients taking a placebo. A secondary outcome that the study tracked was death from any cause, and people taking coenzyme Q10 had an overall statistically higher survival rate than those taking a placebo. [3] (I also can send you a slide showing these graphs.) Unlike heart drugs that physicians prescribe, “over-the-counter’ coenzyme Q10 has no side effects.

A long-term, large-scale randomized trial of people taking these nutritional supplements compared with a group taking a statin and aspirin, along with a control group on a placebo would greatly help to verify their value. The federal government currently funds 51 percent of the 20,000 interventional trials that researchers are conducting. Universities, foundations, and other organizations sponsors 25 percent; and pharmaceutical companies, 24 percent. [4] One can be sure that drug companies, the government, and politically correct universities will never fund a nonpatentable study like this.

Seed Nutrition

A physician in Seattle, Brad Weeks, M.D., a fellow Dartmouth alumnus, told me about seed supplements. These cold-pressed, liquefied seeds taste like pomegranate juice. The 2 oz., a 35-calorie packet of Rain Soul contains black cumin, chardonnay grape, and black raspberry seeds. The 1 oz., 15-calorie Rain Core has the 10 seeds shown in the slide below. They contain phospholipids; vitamins, and minerals; are rich in the essential Omega-6 linoleic and Omega-3 linolenic acids; are high in natural anti-oxidants, and they contain various anti-inflammatory agents. (An extract from black cumin seeds, thymoquinone, has been shown to kill colorectal, prostate, and breast cancer cells.)

Rain Soul

Studies show there are 20-fold more nutrients concentrated in a seed compared to the rest of the plant. One packet of Rain Soul contains the equivalent of 8-10 servings of both fruit and vegetables and 2-3 servings of healthy oils. Given their anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant components, drinking liquefied seeds might well turn out to be a good way to help prevent and combat heart disease.

People with all different kinds of chronic pain also report surprising relief drinking these seeds, along with applying them topically to a painful area on the body. My wife Linda and I have been taking two packets each of the Soul and Core seeds every day now for six months.  The pain she has suffered in her hands and knee from osteoarthritis is much reduced. For me, I turn age 76 next month but feel like I’m 56.

Topically applying the Soul oil cleared up a persisting skin disorder my wife had on her forearm.

After several weeks rubbing these liquefied seeds on it, this inflammatory lesion completely resolved and has not come back. Linda and I have become so impressed with these seed oils that we have signed on with Rain International, the company that makes them, as seed nutrition affiliates. I don’t know if they can prevent heart disease, but it surely looks like they are good for one’s health, judging from our own experience and many testimonials on them. For anyone who might be interested in trying them, visit our website wellnesswithseeds.com or talk to Linda or me at the phone number below:

Stem cells

These cells are distinguished by the fact that they can replicate themselves; and they are undifferentiated, thus capable of giving rise to specialized cells. They can morph into many different cell types, including new heart muscle cells, cardiomyocytes.

Heart Response to Injury

The response to the death of muscle in a heart can take two paths: regeneration and restoration of function or fibrosis and contractile dysfunction. In humans following a heart attack, a myocardial infarction that kills heart muscle, the dead muscle is replaced with scar tissue, with resulting contractile dysfunction. But, remarkably, the hearts in neonatal mice less than a week old, newts, and adult zebrafish respond to heart injury and cell death by regenerating new muscle and accompanying blood vessels. A zebrafish can have 20% of its heart wrecked and still completely restore it back to normal.

So why can’t our hearts be made to function like the one zebrafish have and regenerate itself?

Cardiomyocyte Renewal

Until fairly recently, it has been that heart muscle cells are postmitotic, meaning they don’t divide and have to function all through the entire lifespan of an individual without being replaced by any new ones. Atmospheric nuclear weapon tests first provided a means to refute this idea.

Before 1955 when atmospheric nuclear bomb tests began, the isotope carbon-14, with a half-life of 5,730 years, existed in the atmosphere in a low and stable concentration. It combines with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, which plants consume and then humans eat (along with eating animals that also eat plants). It’s like how Woody Allen views to nature, as an enormous restaurant where everybody eats each other. This isotope of carbon gets incorporated into our cells. The concentration of carbon-14 in the atmosphere rose substantially and peaked in 1963 when the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was adopted, and it then dropped back toward its baseline level. In people born before 1955, measurement of carbon-14 concentrations in their cardiomyocyte DNA and proteins specific to those cells, troponins, shows that some of their heart muscle cells were formed after they were born and are relatively new. Cardiomyocyte turnover does occur in humans, replacing the ones people were born with when atmospheric carbon-14 concentrations were low with new muscle cells that have a high level of carbon-14.

So, muscle cells in the human heart, like in zebrafish, do in fact renew and replace themselves, to some degree, with new muscle cells. Investigators who first discovered this using carbon-14 as a marker calculate that humans renew their cardiomyocytes at a rate of ~1 percent per year at age 25, dropping as one gets older. By age 50, they calculate, approximately 45 percent of a person’s heart muscle cells have been replaced with new ones. [5]

Another group more recently employing different techniques have concluded that the annual turnover of human cardiomyocytes is much higher, especially in women, and that myocyte regeneration increases with age. These investigators calculate that all the heart muscle cells present at birth completely turnover by the time one becomes a young adult, have completely turned over once again in a middle-aged person, and have completely turned over yet a third time in the senescent heart. [6]

Types of Stem Cells

There are four basic types of stem cells: Technicians extract embryonic stem cells from an in vitro fertilized, 0.1 to .2 mm human embryo that has reached the 5-day-old, 200 to 300-cell blastocyst stage. These cells have the capacity to differentiate into all the different types of cells that are in the 3 germ layers: endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm. Although the best kind of stem cell, ethical concerns prevent using human embryonic stem cells as a treatment modality in patients.

The heart has its own resident adult cardiac stem cells that congregate in niches in the apex of the left ventricle and right and left atria. They can turn themselves into new cardiomyocytes, vascular smooth muscle, and endothelial cells. Mesenchymal stem cells are multipotent stromal cells that can differentiate into a variety of different cells, and in the laboratory, specialists can expand and reprogram them to become heart muscle cells. They make up one in every thousand cells in the bone marrow. And then there are induced pluripotent stem cells. Skin fibroblasts obtained from a skin biopsy are one kind. Laboratory technicians genetically reprogram and engineer them to behave like an embryonic stem cell with all its potential.

Stem Cell Clinical Trials

The journal Nature, in its weekly May 1, 2014, issue, reported on doubts arising over heart stem-cell therapy. The British Medical Journal had just published a systematic review of 49 supposedly randomized trials studying the effect of bone marrow stem cells on improving heart function in people with heart failure. These trials measured the heart’s ejection fraction, the percent of blood the left ventricle pumps out with each beat, which is normally 66%. Apropos of what Drs. Angell and Horton say about the state of medical science, investigators found that 44 of these 49 trials were rife with discrepancies. They scrutinized the design of each study, its methods, baseline characteristics, tables, figures, and reported results, looking for instances where two or more facts or statements could not both be true since they were logically or mathematically incompatible. Five trials with more than 30 discrepancies reported the best results, showing an average improvement in ejection fraction of 7.7 percent. Just 5 of the 49 trails had no discrepancies. These carefully done, honest trials showed a slight decrease in ejection fraction in the people treated with stem cells. [7]

Trials using mesenchymal or adult cardiac stem cells so far have shown disappointing, negligible effects. SCIPIO (the acronym for “cardiac stem cell infusion in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy”) was the first randomized trial using adult cardiac stem cells. Investigators enrolled 33 people who had an average ejection fraction of 27%, in the study. Each person first underwent coronary artery bypass surgery, the operation I taught and performed. The surgeon removes part of the right atrial appendage. Technicians extract stem cells residing in the biopsy, grow them in test tubes for 4 months and expand their number to a million cells. In 20 patients these person-specific, autologous cultured cells are injected back into the heart through a catheter placed in the coronary artery supplying damaged muscle, with 13 patients left alone serving as a control. A preliminary report looked promising, but officials at one of the universities participating in the study (Harvard) retracted it when faculty readers found what they termed “scientific irregularities” in the study, which to date remain undefined.

In all trials so far the vast majority of the transmitted stem cells die within a week.

Proposed Mechanisms of Cell Therapy for Heart Regeneration

Three proposed ways for carrying out stem cell therapy for heart failure are: use cardiac stem cells obtained from the septal wall of the person’s heart, mesenchymal stem cells harvested from one’s bone marrow, or to use induced pluripotent stem cells made from another person’s skin-biopsy-obtained fibroblasts. Each kind is

expanded in the laboratory, in vitro, and with pluripotent cells engineered to become new heart muscle cells. They are delivered by a catheter a cardiologist inserts through the skin into an artery in the wrist or groin and then threads it up to the heart, injecting the cells either in the coronary artery supplying damaged muscle, or, placing the catheter inside the left ventricle, directly into the affected muscle, into its inner, endocardial side.

Stem Cell Actions Necessary for Heart Regeneration

For stem cells to successfully replace failing, injured, or dead heart muscle, they have to do a lot of things, in addition to becoming new muscle. They also have to differentiate into vascular smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells, promote neovascularization, remodel the extracellular matrix, inhibit apoptosis (cell death), provide paracrine signaling (localized hormone-like chemical signals) to adjacent cells, and establish appropriate electrical connections to synchronously contract with other heart muscle cells. Plus, they have to be able to repair adverse cardiac remodeling and reduce hypertrophy.

Work on stem cells has a way to go before they will be ready for clinical use, especially ones available “off the shelf” that do not require a biopsy and time to process them before they can be used. Already processed, induced pluripotent stem cells from other people, allogenic ones, which work well and have no immunologic or other side effects would fit the bill.

Heart repair with stem cells holds enormous promise. But it will probably be another ten years before they are ready-to-go on the shelf. Nevertheless, they should be ready in time to treat all the people who develop heart failure from taking statins.

Hyperbaric Oxygen

What about hyperbaric oxygen treatments? A typical HBO2 treatment is to breathe 100 percent oxygen at 1½ to 3 times increased atmospheric pressure for up to 1 to 2 hours

Indications

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is either gas-based or wound-related, for the conditions listed below, but not, as things presently stand, for cardiovascular problems. Doctors that run this multiperson HBO2 unit in Vancouver BC are testing to see if it works for strokes. They are enrolling 140 people who have had a stroke in the past 6 to 36 months and will have them undergo 40 treatments to see if they improve cognitive skills and depression.

Portable HBOT

Now, for $20,000, you can have your own portable hyperbaric oxygen chamber.

NFL Players with Portable Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers

More than 150 active and retired NFL players, which include Bret Favre, Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, and several Seattle Seahawks players each have their own portable hyperbaric oxygen chamber. New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings says he spends 7 to 20 hours a week in his.

HBOT for Diastolic Heart failure

Studies to date using hyperbaric oxygen therapy for treating unstable angina and heart attacks—acute coronary syndrome—show no significant benefit. There is some evidence, however, that hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves heart function in diabetic patients. There are two kinds of heart failure: systolic, where weakened heart muscle doesn’t squeeze well. Stem cells hold promise for treating this kind of heart failure.

Some 30 percent of people with heart failure have a diastolic kind of failure, where stiff heart muscle can’t relax properly so less blood gets into the ventricle to be pumped out. In the study shown here, 30 diabetics with diastolic heart failure underwent 10 hyperbaric oxygen treatments over a 2-week period. After the treatments tests showed that their heart muscle could relax better, enabling the ventricle to fill up with more blood, thereby improving the ejection fraction and cardiac output.

HBOT’s Effect on Water

It is well understood how hyperbaric oxygen treatment works for gas-based conditions but not for wound-related treatments.

A study done by my colleague and friend Dr. Gerald Pollack, professor of bioengineering at the University of Washington and published in the journal Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine shows what hyperbaric oxygen does to water.

Studies in his lab document that hyperbaric pressure and oxygen, each alone, builds up the fourth phase of water discovered by Dr. Pollack and termed interfacial exclusion zone (EZ) water. EZ water is a semi-liquid, gel-like, structured form of water, a fourth phase that coats proteins and cells, enabling them to fold and function properly. A molecule of EZ water is H3O2, having two oxygens, unlike bulk water (H2O) with one. Exclusion zone water stores energy, the only phase of water which does this. With its negative charge, EZ water supplies energy to the body that drives chemical reactions, capillary blood flow, and cellular work.

High concentrations of oxygen in the blood expands this phase of water, as does hyperbaric pressure alone. Like with ice, EZ water, with its stacked, honeycomb, hexagonal structure remains in place and is slow to dissipate. Hyperbaric oxygen’s effect on expanding this fourth phase of water may best explain how this short-lived treatment can exert a persistent and lasting beneficial effect on wound healing.

There are 12 Nobel Laureates at the University of Washington, and I predict that the next faculty member at this university to be awarded a Nobel Prize will be Dr. Pollack for his discovery of this fourth phase of water and his showing that this phase stores energy and obtains it from sunlight.

Oxygen Therapy Alone

Oxygen all by itself expands EZ water, with atmospheric pressure left alone, unchanged. A company named LiveO2 makes a generator that concentrates oxygen by filtering out and removing nitrogen from the air. The processed high-oxygen air is transferred and stored in a reservoir, a large bag, from which one breathes while exercising.

Like with stem cells, over the next 10 years, a lot more will be learned about breathing increased concentrations of oxygen, with or without hyperbaric pressure, to improve health and treat various conditions.

Conclusion

In closing, before heading back home to Leavenworth, Washington I urge you to do this: Refuse to take statins. Consider taking nutritional supplements to help protect against acquiring heart disease, or if already present, to combat it. Stem cells, hyperbaric oxygen, and oxygen treatment alone lie in the wings awaiting further research.

And for those of you who like to keep abreast of important new scientific discoveries, read Dr. Pollack’s (very readable) book The Fourth Phase of Water.

(Doctors for Disaster Preparedness, DDP, will be releasing a video of this talk on YouTube with all of its 57 slides—23 of them are shown here. Also, a video of my talk “Enjoy Saturated Fats, They’re Good for You,” given at an earlier DDP meeting, which includes a clip from Woody Allen’s movie Sleeper, is available on YouTube HERE.)

References

1 – Ravnskov U, Diamond DM, Hana R, et al. Lack of an association or an inverse association between low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and mortality in the elderly: a systematic review. British Medical Journal Open 2016;6:e010401 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010401.

2 – Matthias R, Niedzwiecki A. Nutritional Supplement Program Halts Progression of Early Coronary Atherosclerosis Documented by Ultrafast Computed Tomography Journal of Applied Nutrition 1996;48:67-78.

3 – Mortensen SA, Rosenfeldt F, etal. The Effect of Coenzyme Q10 on Morbidity and Mortality in Chronic Heart Failure: Results From Q-SYMBIO:  A Randomized Double-Blind Trial. JACC: Heart Failure 2014;2(6):641-649.

4 – Miller DW. The Government Grant System: Inhibitor of Truth and Innovation? Journal of Information Ethics 2007; Spring Issue: 59-69. Available here in pdf.

5 – Bergmann O, Bhardwaj RD, Bernard S, et al. Evidence for Cardiomyocyte Renewal in Humans. Science 2009;324:98-102.

6 – Kajstura J, Narasimman G, Ogorek B, et al. Myocyte Turnover in the Aging Human Heart. Circulation Research 2010;107:1374-1386.

7 – Nowbar AN, Mielewczik M, Karavassilis M, et al. Discrepancies in autologous bone marrow stem cell trials and enhancement of ejection fraction: weighted regression and meta-analysis. British Medical Journal 2014;348:g2688.

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