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Il discorso di Putin alle Nazioni Unite (italiano) - Mer, 30/09/2015 - 08:00

Fonte: Pandora TV


Sua eccellenza Signor Presidente, Sua eccellenza Vice Segretario, Distinti Capi di Stato e di Governo, Signore e Signori,

Il settantesimo anniversario delle Nazioni Unite è una buona occasione per fare il punto della situazione sul passato e parlare del nostro comune futuro.

Nel 1945 i paesi che sconfissero il nazismo collaborarono insieme per ricostruire le solide fondamenta dell’ordine mondiale in seguito alla seconda guerra mondiale.

Lasciatemi ricordare che le decisioni chiave sui principi che rivestono questa cooperazione e la creazione delle Nazioni Unite furono prese nel nostro paese, a Yalta, all’incontro dei capi della coalizione contro Hitler. Il sistema di Yalta è nato con grande difficoltà. E’ nato al costo di milioni di vittime e due guerre mondiali che hanno spazzato il pianeta nel ventesimo secolo. [...]

Sex Equality in the Military

Lew Rockwell Institute - Mer, 30/09/2015 - 06:01

The unnecessary loss of life and casualties that result from politically correct rules of engagement are about to be magnified in future conflicts by mindless efforts to put women in combat units. In 2013, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta officially lifted the ban on women serving in ground combat roles. On Jan. 1, 2016, all branches of the military must either open all positions to women or request exceptions. That boils down to having women serve in combat roles, because any commander requesting exceptions would risk having his career terminated in the wake of the screeching and accusations of sexism that would surely ensue.

The U.S. Army has announced that for the first time, two female officers graduated from the exceptionally tough three-phase Ranger course.

Their “success” will serve as grist for the mills of those who argue for women in combat. Unlike most of their fellow soldiers, these two women had to recycle because they had failed certain phases of the course.

A recent Marine Corps force integration study concluded that combat teams were less effective when they included women. Overall, the report says, all-male teams and crews outperformed mixed-gender ones on 93 out of 134 tasks evaluated. All-male teams were universally faster “in each tactical movement.” The report also says that female Marines had higher rates of injury throughout the experiment.

Should anyone be surprised by the findings of male combat superiority? Young men are overloaded with testosterone, which produces hostility, aggression and competitiveness. Such a physical characteristic produces sometimes-poor behavior in civilian society, occasionally leading to imprisonment, but the same characteristics are ideal for ground combat situations.

You may bet the rent money that the current effort to integrate combat jobs will not end with simply a few extraordinary women. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus told the Navy Times that once women start attending SEAL training, it would make sense to examine the standards. He said, “First we’re going to make sure there are standards” and “they’re gender-neutral.” Only after that will the Navy make sure the standards “have something to do with the job.” We’ve heard that before in matters of race. It’s called disparate impact. That is, if the Navy SEALs cannot prove that staying up for 18 hours with no rest or sleep, sitting and shivering in the cold Pacific Ocean, running with a huge log on your shoulder, and being spoken to like a dog are necessary, then those parts of SEAL training will be eliminated so that women can pass.

The most disgusting, perhaps traitorous, aspect of all this is the overall timidity of military commanders, most of whom, despite knowing better, will only publicly criticize the idea of putting women in combat after they retire from service.

Did the US Blackmail Benedict XVI?

Lew Rockwell Institute - Mer, 30/09/2015 - 06:01
Ratzinger non poté “né vendere né comprare” Ratzinger he could “neither sell nor buy” Maurizio Blondet .

Roughly translated by Google:

“Few know what SWIFT (the acronym stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) is: in theory, is a global “clearing house”, uniting 10,500 banks in 215 countries. In fact, is the most occult and sole center of American-globalist financial power, a bastion of blackmail on which the hegemony of the dollar, the most powerful means of political and economic espionage (to the ”‘There was a blackmail come from who knows where, through SWIFT, exercised on Benedict XVI.The underlying reasons for this story have not been clarified, but it is clear that SWIFT has intervened directly in the management of affairs of the Church.’

This explains and justifies the unprecedented resignation of Ratzinger, that many of us have been able to exchange for an act of cowardice; the Church was treated as a state ‘terrorist’, but worse — because note that the dozen banks falling into the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ‘are not excluded from SWIFT’ and continue to be able to make international transactions — and the Vatican finances could no longer pay the nunciature, to convey transport missions — in fact, the same ATM of Vatican City had been blocked.

The Church of Benedict could not ‘neither sell nor buy'; its own economic life was counted in hours.”

Reprinted from Anglocath.blogspot.

The Monetary Roach Motel

Lew Rockwell Institute - Mer, 30/09/2015 - 06:01

In August, Peter Schiff was a guest speaker at The Jackson Hole Summit, a gathering of free-market activists warning of the dangers of overreaching central banks and irresponsible monetary policies. The Summit coincided with the official central bank conference held every year in Wyoming.

Peter’s speech was titled “Monetary Roach Motel: There Is No Exit from the Fed’s Stimulus”, and he reprised his consistent message of how the Federal Reserve created the economic problems it is pretending to solve. Peter also spent some time exposing Janet Yellen’s terrible track record as an economic forecaster.

Highlights from the speech:

“I’ve been saying for years that the Fed has been bluffing about raising interest rates, because the Fed wants to pretend that its policies were a success. If it raises interest rates, it will prove that they were a failure… When the financial crisis took just about everybody by surprise, the conventional wisdom was, ‘Okay, the US economy has been crippled by this crisis, and we need the Fed to save us, to provide us with some kind of crutches that we would use temporarily until we got over the pain.’ Of course, that puts aside the fact that it was the Fed that crippled us in the first place, but everybody thought that the Fed was going to save us. What were the crutches that were supposedly going to help us? One was zero percent interest rates. And the other was quantitative easing…

“They didn’t give us crutches. What the Fed did was knock the legs out from under the economy. They severed our actual legs and replaced them with these prosthetics of quantitative easing and zero percent interest rates. If the Fed takes those away, the stump of the economy is going to come collapsing down…

“You have two camps. You have people who think the Fed should raise interest rates right now: ‘The economy is strong enough, let’s raise rates.’ Then you have the other camp that says, ‘No, no, no. The economy needs more help. It’s not quite strong enough yet. We need to keep interest rates at zero.’ Both camps are wrong. The Fed needs to raise interest rates right now. Not because the economy can take it, but because it can’t. Again, it is a bubble that needs to be popped. The sooner we pop it, the better…The Fed didn’t save us from the financial crisis. They simply interrupted it…

“If she [Janet Yellen] couldn’t see [the housing bubble] crisis coming, why would anybody expect her vision to be any better now? The truth of the matter is the last crisis was created by the Fed. And so is this one. They’ve created it by doing the exact same thing…

“Janet Yellen actually said, ‘We are going to shrink the balance sheet down to $1 trillion by the end of the decade.’ Yeah, good luck with that. It hasn’t shrunk at all since she made that promise about a year ago… How are you going to raise interest rates now that you’re so addicted? How much more debt do we have today than we had seven years ago? How much painful is it going to be to try to service that debt if interest rates go up? The truth of the matter is interest rates have to stay at zero, because that’s all we can afford…

“2015 is probably going to be the slowest year of GDP growth of the entire so-called recovery. And interest rates have been at zero for the entire year… A lot of the [economic] numbers coming out are so bad that we haven’t seen numbers this low outside of a recession. Remember, the Great Recession, which began in December 2007 – I was doing TV shows, debates with people in mid-2008 about whether we were heading into a recession. We were already in one. And most people thought there was none on the horizon, including the Federal Reserve…”

Reprinted from

The Winter of Our Discontent

Lew Rockwell Institute - Mer, 30/09/2015 - 06:01

In Part 1 of this article I discussed the catalyst spark which ignited this Fourth Turning and the seemingly delayed regeneracy. In Part 2 I pondered possible Grey Champion prophet generation leaders who could arise during the regeneracy. In Part 3 I will focus on the economic channel of distress which is likely to be the primary driving force in the next phase of this Crisis.

There are very few people left on this earth who lived through the last Fourth Turning (1929 – 1946). The passing of older generations is a key component in the recurring cycles which propel the world through the seemingly chaotic episodes that paint portraits on the canvas of history. The current alignment of generations is driving this Crisis and will continue to give impetus to the future direction of this Fourth Turning. The alignment during a Fourth Turning is always the same: Old Artists (Silent) die, Prophets (Boomers) enter elderhood, Nomads (Gen X) enter midlife, Heroes (Millennials) enter young adulthood—and a new generation of child Artists (Gen Y) is born. This is an era in which America’s institutional life is torn down and rebuilt from the ground up—always in response to a perceived threat to the nation’s very survival.

The Fed has printed $3.5 trillion out of thin air in the last six years while keeping interest rates anchored at 0% for their Wall Street owners, with the net impact of punishing senior citizens and other risk averse savers while further enriching their gambling casino owners who dictate the monetary policy for the world. As widowed grandmothers across the land have seen their life sustaining interest income evaporate, even the downwardly manipulated CPI has risen 14% since 2008. Using a real inflation measure, most Americans have seen their daily living expenses rise by more than 30% since 2008, but Yellen and her cronies yammer about deflationary fears.

Economic distress intensifies by the day for average American household as their real income has been falling for 15 years, while the cost of food, energy, healthcare, education, rent, housing, and vehicles have soared. Government imposed property taxes, sales taxes, income taxes, fees, and tolls have risen exponentially over this time frame as the parasite sucks the host dry. Millions of households have been lured into debt by the Wall Street debt machine and their corporate media mouthpieces as consumer debt has grown from $1.5 trillion to $3.4 trillion since 2000, and mortgage debt has grown from $6.5 trillion to $13.5 trillion.

The extreme distress felt by households has been caused by their foolish choice to try and maintain their lifestyles by replacing declining income with debt. They are now enslaved by the chains of $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, $1.1 trillion of auto loan debt, $1 trillion of credit card debt, and $13.5 trillion of mortgage loan debt. Has keeping up with the Joneses been worth it? The stress of meeting the monthly obligations with declining income has become unbearable for many.

Read the Whole Article

Bad News for Traditional Catholics

Lew Rockwell Institute - Mer, 30/09/2015 - 06:01

Rev. Jim Wallis is ecstatic about the Pope’s visit to America. This is bad news for traditional Catholics. Having Jim Wallis on your side is comparable to getting full support from the Italian army.

Who is Jim Wallis? He is this century’s #1 spokesman for Progressivism’s social gospel to the evangelical-fundamentalist Right.

America’s Leftist media are always on the lookout for a previously unknown Protestant minister who has picked up the lingo of fundamentalism: a minister who is spreading the message of the social gospel’s welfare state inside the camp of the evangelicals. When they find one — and there are very few — they promote him.

These spokesmen have little permanent influence inside evangelicalism, but they serve the purposes of the humanist Left. The Left wants to believe that its message of salvation by welfare state politics is at last penetrating American fundamentalism.

In the 1970’s, it was Prof. Ronald J. Sider, who wrote a best-selling book that was jointly published in 1973 by a Protestant book publisher and a Catholic radical book publisher. This was operational ecclesiastical ecumenism by means of a common confession of faith: the social gospel. The book had a catchy title: Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger.

Two things buried Sider in 1981: the inauguration of Ronald Reagan and my decision to publish David Chilton’s masterpiece, Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt-Manipulators. I chose the title. You can download it for free here. Reagan’s election undermined the appeal of the baptized welfare state inside evangelicalism. This inaugurated the decade of the New Christian Right. Sider’s book proved to be a fad.

He was replaced in the 1980’s by a sociology professor, Rev. Tony Campolo. Campolo is a humorous speaker, but not a compelling author. His media career ended with Monica Lewinsky’s arrival on the public scene in 1998. Campolo was known in the social gospel Left as Bill Clinton’s spiritual advisor. He still speaks widely, but he is no longer visible in the media. Of Campolo’s career inside evangelicalism after 1998, it can be aptly said: “Close, but no cigar.”

Then came Wallis. He has a regular column in the Huffington Post. He is an annual speaker at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland. PBS brings him in as the voice of evangelicalism. There is little evidence that the evangelical Protestant world takes this social gospel seriously, but the secular Left surely does. Wallis is their man inside the camp of the evangelicals.

This is mutually beneficial. The Left provides the illusion to its declining constituency that “evangelicals are finally moving to our position.” Meanwhile, Wallis basks in the dimming light of the humanist media. This helps justify his salary of $203,000 a year. His donors expect something for their money. They settle for interviews on PBS.

I have devoted a department to him for years: Questions for Jim Wallis. There, you can get a collection of his quotations, plus my comments. I might have called this department Quotations from Chairman Jim.


In the week that the Pope spoke to Congress, the Left gave Wallis publicity. PBS had a segment with him. It was titled, Rev. Jim Wallis: Pope Francis is more radical than a communist.

A week before, he wrote this for the Huffington Post:

The pope is changing the perception of the church from being closed and judging to becoming open and encountering — reminding us that the “joy of the gospel,” as he calls it, is to embrace each other and especially those we have left out and behind; and to protect and preserve this earth we have as our common home.

Since its founding, Sojourners’ primary mission has been to articulate the biblical call to social justice — a call that may have no clearer a standard-bearer right now than Pope Francis.

This is bad news for traditional Catholics. They do not know who Wallis is, but if they did, his cheerleading would depress them.

Here is what Wallis wrote on his Soujourners website.

In the past two days, I have heard the messages of the gospel that Sojourners has spread over four decades presented at the nation’s primary venues of power and lifted up as the country’s leading national media story. Even some of our most beloved gospel heroes were raised before the nation as the Americans the nation needs most to be our examples.

Stunned is the feeling I still have, which is taking my breath away. Pope Francis has indeed changed the national conversation in America this week, pointing to those who also changed the conversation, and then calling us all to continue to do the same.

There are good reasons why the American Left has given Jim Wallis access to what little remains of the Leftist media empire in this decentralized digital world. It is doing the same with the Pope. It did not do so with Benedict XVI. There were good reasons for this.

Most Protestant evangelicals have ignored the economic opinions of Jim Wallis. They have never heard of him. Now the question arises: will Catholics ignore the economic opinions of the Pope? They surely have heard of him.

The World Veteran Judo Championship

Lew Rockwell Institute - Mer, 30/09/2015 - 06:01

Gstaad—Jeremy Clarke has wiped me out again, for a change. His accounts of the high jinks on board the Spectator cruise had the mother of my children laughing out loud, something she’s not known for among those of us who consider laughing loudly a staggering breach of taste. Never mind, Jeremy’s talents and abilities to describe indescribable situations in prose that makes the reader feel on hand is a badly kept secret among those of us who love good writing. The only thing wrong with Jeremy is that he shows me up week in, week out. And mind you, being the fall guy does not suit me one bit. Plus, I hope not to fall this week in Amsterdam, where I’m competing in the World Veterans Judo Championships. This is my last competition ever. I’ve said this before, but this time I mean it, just like the girl who said no to her first kiss opportunity.

The reason I’m quitting is the training. It’s getting much too hard. Last week I was in bed with the flu for four days, then my coach Brian arrived from New York and we went straight into it. Brian is 28, a student of the greatest judoka who ever lived, Yamashita Sensei, and fighting him is analogous to being dynamited by a sushi dish. He looks polite, friendly and smiling, until he throws you. You land rather hard. Judo requires great lung capacity. I’m a smoker and that’s what handicaps me during a tournament. I’m always out of breath, huffing and puffing against men who are mostly slower and weaker. But they tend to cling, hold, and somehow make my life miserable between fags and other exotic substances. It’s not a life, really, and I’m seriously contemplating becoming a bird-watcher at age 79.

Nevertheless, Amsterdam it is, and an added burden is that my son J.T. is coming over from Paris to watch his old man make a fool of himself. It is the first time I’ve had someone come to watch me compete, and it’s making me nervous as hell. And I know exactly how it’s going to end. I do not want to be thrown right away by a counter, so I will fight conservatively instead of doing it the Panzer way. But back to the training grind. The most important thing before a competition is the strategy. More often than not one enters the mat and gets flustered when the opponent attacks unconventionally. So what one does in training is to practice against left-handed and right-handed holds. My strategy is to respond to the opponent’s power arm with a stiff arm to their collar. This allows me to sense subtle shifts in weight, changes in direction, and resistance to determine the appropriate time to pull, push, and—most important—when to attack. Ah, but an attack leaves one open for a counter, unless it’s a perfect one. Every move has a counter and every counter has a counter, and on and on it goes, and the best man wins more often than not. Unless he’s a smoker and a lover of the high life and other terminological anachronisms like the good life. I won the world’s championship big-time in Brussels in 2008, and I say big-time because I threw my opponent in the final with a leg pick, my specialty, but then the crooks who run judo disallowed the throw, so now I feel a bit like that ghastly Lord Bristol must have felt once he had lost his stately home and all his moola. Just another face in the crowd. Bristol did the right thing and died soon after. I hope to keep going and will let you know the results next week.

Read the Whole Article

Catalunya Serà lliure!

Lew Rockwell Institute - Mer, 30/09/2015 - 06:01

Secession is a dirty word in the Lincoln-worshipping ultra-nationalistic United States, where both left and right worship at the altar of the centralized state. To support secession in any way, shape, or form is to be labeled “neo-Confederate” by our logic-challenged pundits, who eagerly swoop down on anyone who challenges Washington’s supremacy. These geniuses forget that the American Revolution was an act of secession, in which the colonists separated themselves from a tyrannical monarchy that sought to tax and regulate them without their consent.

In the rest of the world, however, localism is on the rise as people rebel against the edicts of distant bureaucrats and reassert their language, their traditions, and their sense of place. Throughout Europe, especially, these rebellions are gaining strength, from Scotland to Wallonia to eastern Ukraine – and now to Catalonia, which is voting in what has become a referendum on the national question. The Catalan parliament voted to schedule a referendum on independence, but this was blocked by the central authorities in Madrid, who declared it “illegal.” So a snap election was called and if, as expected, pro-independence parties gain a majority in the Catalan parliament, the process 94% of GDP. Catalonia’s share is one third of the total, and the Catalan threat to repudiate their portion is more than equal to the huffing and puffing of the would-be Spanish conquistadores.

In spite of the artificial supra-nationalism imposed from the top down by the bureaucrats of Brussels, the trend is away from the centralism of the EU and in favor of the authentic nationalisms rooted in history and based on language, tradition, and localism. This frightens the European Union and its socialist supporters, because they fear the break up of their fragile union, which is teetering on the brink of economic chaos and increasingly challenged by populist revolts. And they have good reason for their fear, for the “European idea” is a sterile abstraction imposed from above by pointy-headed intellectuals – and most especially by Keynesian economists, who stupidly believe, in spite of the mounting evidence, that a European central bank is the answer to the continent’s economic problems. The rise of dissident nationalisms threatens their collectivist dream.

Read the Whole Article

Get Out of Debt Quickly

Lew Rockwell Institute - Mer, 30/09/2015 - 06:01

Everyone is so focused on looking at the Fed and whether or not it decides to raise rates by a puny 0.25%, that they are completely overlooking the fact that it is the market’s role to set interest rates, and if the Fed is not up to the job, then the markets will eventually take over and do it in a manner that is likely to involve rises vastly greater than a mere 0.25%, which given the current fragile and extremely unstable debt structure, can be expected to have catastrophic consequences.

The chart for Junk Bonds looks terrible – and it is already right at the point of breaking down from a big top pattern. This frightening development doesn’t seem to have been noticed by many people, but it portends rising yields first on low quality debt that will lead rapidly to a severe credit crunch that will work its way back towards supposedly higher quality bonds and Treasuries, causing a bond market crash and rising rates at the worst possible time when the world economy is in the throes of a deflationary implosion.

Let’s now look at the long-term 8-year chart for the imperiously named SPDR Barclays High Yield Bond ETF, or in other words “The Junk Bond ETF”. On this chart we can see how, after rounding over beneath a big Dome Top, JNK is on the point of breaking down beneath key support at the lower boundary of the top pattern, which can be expected to lead to a plunge. On this chart, the drop of recent days doesn’t look at all dramatic, and furthermore we can see that it potentially has much further to fall – it could easily plummet back into the low $20’s.

On the 3-year chart we can see how JNK is right at the point of breaking down from its top pattern. On this chart it also looks like it is getting very oversold and like it could bounce back. Could it? – anything is possible and the Fed could suddenly defuse the situation temporarily by announcing QE4, but this would only buy time and JNK would later break down from this top pattern anyway. With everything unraveling fast globally, it is very possible that QE4 will quickly become an irrelevant act of desperation anyway, and have very little net effect. When looking at this 3-year chart, remember to refer back to the 8-year chart to remind yourself of the ominous big picture. A bounce here would be just a blip in the larger scheme of things, which portends sharply rising rates as the global economy goes down in flames like the Hindenburg.

If JNK does fall as far as this chart is suggesting is possible, interest rates will skyrocket and all hell will break loose involving widespread Sovereign defaults and bursting asset bubbles. The stockmarket losses up to this point will pale into insignificance compared to what could be coming. No-one will be interested in what the Fed says anymore, and they’ll be lucky if the press even bother to turn up for their meetings.

If this assessment of the outlook for Junk Bonds and debt generally is correct, then the most important thing that investors and ordinary citizens should do is to get out of debt or reduce it as soon as possible. Debt made sense during the “risk on” epoch when interest rates were kept artificially low for years, as you could borrow at very low rates to play various asset bubbles such as property speculation and stocks, but with this “golden age” looking set to come to an abrupt end, it’s time to liquidate and pay debt down before rates start to soar.

Originally published on September 28th, 2015.

Reprinted with permission from

The Worst Nuclear Disaster in US History

Lew Rockwell Institute - Mer, 30/09/2015 - 06:01

(ANTIMEDIA) Los Angeles, CA — The United States government deliberately hid “the worst nuclear disaster in U.S. history,” according to experts and an in-depth investigation by NBC4 Southern California. Whistleblowers have also come forward to expose the little-known catastrophe, which occurred north of Los Angeles in 1959 and leaked over 300 times the allowable amount of radiation into surrounding neighborhoods. That contamination is now linked to up to a 60% increase in cancer in the area, but the government still refuses to acknowledge its colossal mistake.

The ongoing tragedy was driven by America’s darkest demons, from dogmatic militarism to aggressive corporatism, and ongoing government and corporate efforts to cover-up the disaster are nothing short of staggering.

Behind the scenes, high levels of radiation were found in and on the reactor, and by the 17th, radiation was still actively leaking. An internal government memo from July 17 not only admitted there had been intermittent leaks before the one on the 13th, but reported that as a result of that disaster, “concentration [was] 300 times the maximum permissible concentration in air for unidentified beta gamma emitters.” The memo recommended shutting down the area where the reactor was housed.

Dan Parks, a health physicist who worked at SFFL at the time — with the express purpose of monitoring radiation on site — says the spill was so bad he found radioactive material “lying on the pavement.”  He says he also witnessed “Burn Pits,” where radioactive materials and other hazardous waste were burned, engulfing the facility in contaminated smoke. To this day, he is concerned about the remaining radiation: “I don’t want to lose my own life. We drink the water, we brush our teeth in the water,” he said.

While a small-scale cleanup occurred in the months following the leak, it was not thorough, nor did it clear the radiation that had seeped into the atmosphere and environment. The reactor was shut down for investigation on July 26. The reactor was cleaned and uranium, sodium, and other fuel materials were removed. In October, filmmakers came to the facility to document the “recovery” of the reactor, though presumably, no mention of the massive spill was made. The reactor was replaced by November, but the cleanup did not extend to the land surrounding it. Parks suspects the damages have not been remedied. “I know it’s out there — the contamination,” he said.

The truth was kept entirely secret until 1979, when UCLA students uncovered Atomic Energy Commission records documenting the accident and released them to the media. That same year, NBC4 broke the news that a partial meltdown had occurred in 1959, but reporters were unaware of the radiation. The news sparked concern and inspired concerned citizens to push for a full-scale clean up, which has yet to happen. By that time, two more nuclear accidents had transpired (one in 1963 and another in 1969).

60% Increased Rate of Cancer

The radiation released in 1959 (and the lack of sufficient cleanup) has not been without consequence. A 1989 Department of Energy study found radiation in the soil, groundwater, and bedrock on the hilltop — a finding made more troubling when considering North American Aviation’s initial concerns about the location: that the area’s weather patterns could carry contamination off-site.

A 1997 study found increased rates of cancer among SFFL employees. A 2009 study of the soil by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR, a division of the CDC) found “areas of concern” at the facility that had the potential to run off-site. That study, however, suggested it was not affecting the health of residents nearby (interestingly, the CDC grants compensation to people who worked at the SSFL before, during, and after the 1959 meltdown and developed cancer).

A 2007 University of Michigan studycommissioned two years earlier by the very same ATSDR that found there was no risk in 2009 —  found rates of cancer increased as much as 60% in areas surrounding the SSFL. NBC4 identified countless residents stricken with cancer who are convinced their proximity to SSFL has led to serious health problems throughout their lives:

  • The Selzer family, which has no history of cancer, has been devastated by the disease:
  • Three of three sisters have struggled with various cancers for years and recently lost their mother to cancer. The daughters played in, swam in, and drank the water running down the hills from SSFL.
  • Bonnie Klea, who worked at the facility as a lab secretary from 1963 to 1971, developed bladder cancer and says people in 14 of 15 homes on her street also developed cancer.
  • Krista Slack suffers from “triple-negative” breast cancer, a rare condition linked to people of African-American and Jewish descent. Slack is neither and her doctor suspects her illness is due to the fact that she grew up in Simi Valley. Her mother died of cancer last year.
  • Arline Mathews lost her son to a rare brain cancer linked to exposure to radiation. When he was in high school, he ran through the Santa Susana hills while training for cross country. Arline Mathews’ grandson now has leukemia, a condition linked to parents with damaged genetic material.
  • Ralph Powell worked as a security guard at SFFL and remembers being covered in flames at the Burn Pits.  “I saw clouds of smoke that was[sic] engulfing my friends, that[sic] are dying now,” Powell said. He also worries he carried radioactive material into his home that caused his son to develop leukemia. He died at the age of eleven.

There are more cases like these, but officials continue to downplay the health dangers.

Moreover, studies have found more than just radiation leaked into the environment. As NBC4 explains,

In addition to the radiation, dozens of toxic chemicals, including TCE and Perchlorate, were also released into the air and dumped on the soil and into ground and surface water from thousands of rocket tests conducted at the Santa Susana Field lab from the 1950s to 80s. The tests were conducted by NASA, and by Rocketdyne, a government aerospace contractor.

According to a federally funded study obtained by the I-Team, ‘emissions associated with rocket engine testing’ could have been inhaled by residents of ‘West Hills, Bell Canyon, Dayton Canyon, Simi Valley, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Woodland Hills, and Hidden Hills.’

Worse still, some analyses suggests the radiation is still exponentially higher than government agencies are willing to admit.

The Adjacent Children’s Summer Camp

SSFL is located directly next to the Brandeis-Bardin Institute, a Jewish cultural and community center that has been in Simi Valley since 1947 — the same year SSFL was built. The establishment also runs a children’s summer camp that hosts 30,000 children every year. In 1993, an EPA-supervised study found “radioactive elements” in a limited number of soil samples from the Brandeis property, leading Brandeis-Bardin to file a legal complaint against several entities in December of 1995.

The Brandeis-Bardin complaint implicated every company that came to be involved in the facility throughout the years (due to acquisitions and mergers): North American Aviation, Atomics International, North American Rockwell Corporation, Rockwell International Systems, and Rocketdyne. Boeing would take ownership of SSFL in 1996 when it purchased Rocketdyne — after this suit was filed. The Brandeis-Bardin complaint explicitly acknowledged the extent of the spill, noting it “released mercury, vinyl chloride, polychlorinated biphenyls, radioactive tritium, cesium, [and] strontium” into “the soil, air, and groundwater” and that these elements “seeped” into the environment.

The complaint alleged the 1959 disaster caused “irreparable harm” to the Brandeis property. Brandeis eventually settled with Rocketdyne in 1997 and now claims the land is safe. It told NBC4 in a written statement it regularly tests the land with optimal results but declined to provide any documentation. Instead, it claimed the EPA certified the premises as safe in 1995 — the same year Brandeis sued for indisputable contamination on the property. “Extensive tests have been undertaken for more than 20 years to verify the ongoing safety of the property,” the institute’s statement to NBC4 said.

Though the Brandeis-Bardin complaint was resolved, the Boeing Company’s acquisition of the facility when it purchased Rocketdyne proved cataclysmic for any effort to fully investigate or clean up the still-secret radiation. To read more about how Boeing evaded the truth, manipulated research, and paid off government officials to avoid resolving the disaster decades after it happened, read Part 2.

Another Lie of Progressivism

Lew Rockwell Institute - Mer, 30/09/2015 - 06:01

[This is an excerpt from Progressivism: A Primer on the Idea Destroying America (2014).]

One of the great virtues of liberalism is that, it alone among the political worldviews, discovered a way for people from different ethnic, racial and religious groups to live together in relative peace.  In all systems of powerful government, including progressivism, these groups struggle with each other for control of the state.  As I demonstrated in a paper presented at the Mises Institute in 2002, the major cause of war in the last fifty years was conflict between or among competing ethnic, racial and religious groups inside states: civil war.[1]  The state system has not only failed to solve the problem of peace among disparate groups but in fact is itself the major cause of conflict and violence among these groups.  The cause of the violence is the fear of or the actual exploitation and domination of ethnic, racial or religious groups by a state controlled by hostile groups.

It is also a myth that the best way to smooth over multicultural differences is through the ballot box.  This is false. The ballot box is simply a means to determine how state violence is to be used against the losers of the election and

It must be emphasized that progressive government, contrary to popular myth, exacerbates racial, ethnic and religious tensions and does not ameliorate them.  Every progressive policy, involving as it does state violence, creates winners and losers and thus resentment among the losers.  The progressive’s favored policies such as civil rights laws (forced association), affirmative action (affirmative racism) and welfare, create winners and losers and therefore resentment among the losers.  Under liberalism, both parties in every voluntary transaction are winners and positive relations among different groups are attained.

Multiculturalism and big government are a toxic mix.  We see this today all over the world with ethnic, racial or religious violence ongoing in Iraq, Ukraine, Syria, Sudan, Israel/Palestine, Darfur, Chechnya and other regions. Those who look forward to a peaceful multicultural world should embrace liberalism and the free market.  No other political system can maintain peace and tolerance in a multicultural world.


[1] “The Myth of Democratic Peace: Why Democracy Cannot Deliver Peace in the 21st Century,”, Feb. 19, 2005.

[2] Id.

100 Skills

Lew Rockwell Institute - Mer, 30/09/2015 - 06:01

It’s been fodder for many a heated debate among men for centuries.

What skills should every man know?

A vast amount of ink and e-ink has been spilled on the subject. But why?

Part of being a man is being competent and effective in the world. To do that, you’ve got to have skills. A man wants to know (or at least feel like he knows) that no matter what situation he’s placed in, he’ll be able to handle himself — to act rather than be acted upon. Hence our incessant drive to figure out what skills we’ll need to know in order to demonstrate confidence and capability in our manly roles as procreators, protectors, and providers.

8. Wet Shave

Electric shaving is fast and easy and the multi-bladed razors can give you a pretty close shave. But nothing beats the manly ritual of shaving with a safety razor or straight razor. Traditional wet shaving adds an element of skill back into what has become a mindless grooming activity. It makes you mindful and present. Plus, old school wet shaving is much cheaper than using the fancy multi-blade cartridges. A blade will only set you back about 25 cents. Feel manly and save money? It’s a win-win proposition.

9. Parallel Park

In the suburbs you enjoy endless drive-in parking in the giant lots in front of big box stores. Make a trip downtown and it’s a different story. Yeah, there are parking garages, but most of the parking is on the street next to the curb (not to mention it’s also the cheapest), meaning you need to know how to parallel park. You don’t want to be the guy who holds up traffic because he’s constantly backing up and moving forward after multiple failed attempts.

10. Paddle a Canoe

Paddling lazily across the water is one of man’s great joys. Whether with your gal on a date, or just enjoying nature on a solo outing, there are few better recreational activities. While paddling might seem as natural as riding a bike, it takes a certain level of skill to deftly captain a canoe. Don’t be that guy/couple who can’t make headway because they paddle inefficiently or even tip over and end up in the water.

Read the Whole Article

The Military Gravy Train

Lew Rockwell Institute - Mer, 30/09/2015 - 06:01

There’s something very odd about the United States military that makes many of the most budget-hawkish fiscal conservatives turn into starry-eyed, big government welfare pushers. The hypocrisy is breathtaking; at the same time as many conservatives are talking about “America’s descent into socialism” they are pushing their own brand of military socialism to ever more absurd lengths.

At a whopping $581 billion per year, the United States already spends more than the rest of the world combined on its military. However, even that number doesn’t represent the entire picture. As Robert Higgs has shown, when everything is included (from the Department of Veterans Affairs to the nuclear weapons expenditures in the State Department to the net interest on past debt-financed defense outlays, etc.) that sum is actually over one trillion dollars. Despite this, every Republican presidential candidate is pushing to increase the military budget. Even Rand Paul proposes adding $76.5 billion to the defense budget — which by itself is more than the military budgets of all but two other countries in the world (China and Saudi Arabia).

Perhaps Steyn should have rephrased it as the “great sucking maw of military spending would be transferred to the great sucking maw of social spending.” And what exactly the Iraq War, for example, did to make the world less dangerous or America less vulnerable is — for good reason — left unstated.

And of course the biggest question is left altogether undiscussed; why does the United States need either a bloated welfare state or a bloated warfare state?

And this boils down to the heart of it; the two parties have little more than two slightly different versions of big government they want to foist on the American people and use to line the pockets of their favored interests. Only slightly of course, because it’s not like the Republicans reduce welfare spending or the Democrats reduce military spending.

In the end, it’s not very complicated; a small government with a massive military is an oxymoron. It’s about time that fiscal conservatives figured this out.

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

Le élite monetarie globali vengono “Rope-a-doped”

Freedonia - Mar, 29/09/2015 - 10:10

Ricordo a tutti i lettori che è in vendita il mio libro "L'Economia E' un Gioco da Ragazzi". Manoscritto incentrato sulla diffusione delle idee della Scuola Austriaca attraverso spiegazioni e analisi semplificate e dirette. Una presentazione adatta ad un vasto pubblico, a dimostrazione che per capire l'economia non è necessario un gergo tecnico ma solo logica e buon senso. Il libro è disponibile sia su sia su Scribd.


di James Rickards

Muhammad Alì è senza dubbio uno dei più grandi pugili di tutti i tempi. Si definisce "il più grande", ma tra gli appassionati ed i giornalisti sportivi è chiamato anche "Campione del Popolo", grazie alla sua popolarità e alla capacità di connettersi con i cittadini comuni.

Il suo record nei combattimenti professionali è stato di 56-5 con 37 KO. Prima di diventare un professionista, vinse una medaglia d'oro alle Olimpiadi del 1960 a Roma.

Alì non aveva un aspetto intimidatorio sul ring; altri come Sonny Liston e Joe Frazier avevano un aspetto più feroce. Ma Alì aveva una combinazione d'intelligenza, agilità e creatività che nessuno dei suoi avversari poteva eguagliare. Dichiarò di poter "volare come una farfalla e pungere come un'ape" sul ring. Un modo efficace per descrivere la combinazione fluida e fulminea del suo pugno.

Alì inventò anche una tecnica che definì "rope-a-dope". L'idea era semplice, ma pochi pugili riuscivano ad applicarla. Alì si appoggiava alle corde e incassava i colpi del suo avversario, anche facendo finta di essere indebolito. Poi avrebbe rimbalzato sulle corde, infliggendo una potente combinazione di colpi dolorosi al suo avversario.

Il rope-a-dope non funzionava una volta, ma ripetutamente. Gli avversari non potevano resistere alla vista di un Alì apparentemente indebolito appoggiato alle corde. Il risultato era sempre lo stesso — un rinfrescato Alì si sarebbe scatenato, avrebbe inflitto un colpo incapacitante e alla fine avrebbe vinto la lotta.

L'economia globale di oggi può essere intesa come un esercizio di rope-a-dope da parte delle forze della deflazione rispetto alle previsioni e agli esperimenti dei banchieri centrali.

La deflazione è causata da una combinazione di dati demografici, debito, riduzione della leva finanziaria e tecnologia. Indebolisce la crescita reale e riduce la crescita nominale ancora di più. Negli ultimi anni gli Stati Uniti e il Giappone hanno periodicamente mostrato una crescita reale negativa, ma la crescita nominale è stata ancora più bassa a causa dell'impatto della deflazione.

La crescita reale ci rende più ricchi, ma la crescita nominale è il modo in cui ripaghiamo il debito, dal momento che i debiti sono nominali — dovete quel dovete indipendentemente dal valore reale. Una bassa crescita reale è un disastro per il benessere sociale, e una crescita nominale più bassa ci mette sullo stesso percorso della Grecia. La combinazione uno-due è mortale.

Nel frattempo le élite globali monetarie — i banchieri centrali, il Fondo Monetario Internazionale, i ministri delle finanze e i professori — continuano a predire una crescita superiore, e continuano a stampare denaro per stimolarla. Si aspettano sempre una crescita migliore il trimestre successivo, il semestre successivo o l'anno successivo.

Si comportano come gli avversari di Alì e credono che la deflazione e la crescita debole siano "alle corde". Un'ulteriore dose di QE, o un altro taglio dei tassi, sarà tutto quello che serve per mettere KO la deflazione e vincere la lotta.

Eppure ogni volta che le élite monetarie sono pronte a cantare vittoria, la deflazione rimbalza sulle corde, inizia a sferrare colpi concatenati e prende a pugni le loro politiche. La cosa sorprendente è che questo schema continua a ripetersi.

Le élite monetarie sono come gli avversari di Muhammad Alì sul ring. Cadono nello stesso trucco ogni volta. Alì dimostrò che affinché il rope-a-dope potesse funzionare, c'era bisogno di un "idiota" — qualcuno che non capisse cosa stesse succedendo. Le élite monetarie sembrano qualificarsi come coloro che proprio non capiscono.

Per illustrare questo fenomeno, guardate questo grafico sullai crescita trimestrale del PIL, indicato come variazione percentuale annualizzata:

La crescita nel terzo trimestre del 2012 è stata del 2.5%, leggermente superiore alla media dopo il 2008. Ma è crollata nel quarto trimestre ed era quasi negativa. La crescita nel terzo e quarto trimestre del 2013 è stata robusta, una media di circa il 4% in entrambi i trimestri. Poi è crollata di nuovo nel primo trimestre del 2014 a -2.1%.

La crescita nel secondo e terzo trimestre del 2014 è stata la migliore in questa (pseudo)ripresa, con una media di quasi il 5%. Ma poi è scesa nel quarto trimestre ed è crollata in territorio negativo nel primo trimestre del 2015.

Il modello è evidente. Possiamo chiamarla rope-a-dope deflazionistica. I crolli nel quartro trimestre del 2012, nel primo trimestre del 2014 e nel primo trimestre del 2015 mostrano come la deflazione rimbalza sulle corde e manda all'aria i piani delle banche centrali. Ogni volta che la crescita nominale rialza la testa grazie alla stampa di moneta, del taglio dei tassi d'interesse e delle guerre tra valute, la deflazione resta in attesa.

Le tendenze deflazionistiche e disinflazionistiche persistono perché il problema con l'economia globale non è ciclico, è strutturale. Ciò significa che i rimedi monetari possono al meglio produrre risultati temporanei, ma non risolveranno definitivamente il problema. Un buon confronto è la persistenza della Grande Depressione, 1929-1940.

Dopo un brutale calo dal 1929 al 1933, l'economia è risalita dal 1933 al 1936, ma poi è crollata di nuovo nel 1937. Il "rimedio" delle svalutazioni monetarie nei confronti dell'oro — utilizzata dal Regno Unito nel 1931 e dagli Stati Uniti nel 1933 — produsse guadagni temporanei, ma non risolse definitivamente il problema.

Il capitale non veniva investito a causa delle politiche statali. Anche i consumatori erano incerti e risparmiavano piuttosto che spendere. Fu solo quando l'economia entrò in guerra che la crescita si riprese. A parte la guerra, un'economia di pace solida non riemerse sino ai tagli fiscali del 1946.

Ci sono diverse prove che le élite monetarie globali stiano risvegliando l'effetto rope-a-dope della deflazione. Nelle ultime settimane il FMI e la Federal Reserve hanno abbassato le loro rispettive previsioni di crescita. Ma non c'è ancora alcuna prova che le élite monetarie sappiano quale sia la cura per il malessere economico globale.

Ciò che è necessario non sono più soldi, ma investimenti intelligenti in infrastrutture, un abbassamento delle tasse e una regolamentazione intelligente (il che significa una maggiore regolamentazione per le banche e una minore per le imprese e gli imprenditori). Sfortunatamente nessuna di queste politiche è all'orizzonte.

Le "indicazioni e gli avvertimenti" che ho riportato nelle mie newsletter prevedono un rallentamento della crescita globale ancora più pronunciato rispetto a quello previsto dalle élite monetarie.

Il rallentamento della crescita in Cina è impossibile da ignorare. I sei mesi di super-picco dell'indice azionario di Shanghai, erano un tentativo di risolvere un crollo del credito mediante l'emissione di azioni a milioni d'investitori ignari. Ora è anche scoppiata la bolla azionaria.

Con i mercati azionari e del credito in difficoltà, e nessuna possibilità di svalutare la moneta a causa del nuovo peg yuan-dollaro, la crescita in Cina è in una spirale discendente. Lo stesso vale per il Brasile, a causa della cattiva gestione e della corruzione, e per la Russia, a causa delle sanzioni.

I produttori di materie prime, come l'Australia, soffriranno insieme alla Cina. La Grecia è salva per il momento, ma un euro più forte rallenterà la crescita in Europa. Gli Stati Uniti non sono immuni da questo rallentamento globale — il mondo è troppo interconnesso.


[*] traduzione di Francesco Simoncelli:

The Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty?

Lew Rockwell Institute - Mar, 29/09/2015 - 06:01

The Cato Institute is now seeking nominations for the Milton Friedman prize for advancing liberty (see below for their announcement which I am delighted to publicize in this manner). I have no objection to this organization offering a prize to the person who, in the opinion of the judges, best exemplifies Professor Friedman’s contribution to libertarianism and thereby “has made a significant contribution to advance human freedom.” Indeed, I applaud their efforts in this regard. I categorize Milton Friedman as a libertarian. By definition, all libertarians, at least on net balance, must be now promoting, or have promoted, liberty. Otherwise, they would not, should not, be considered libertarians.

Here is the way I see the libertarian score card.

  1. Anarcho-capitalism. This is earmarked by strict adherence to the non-aggression principle (NAP) and property rights, based on homesteading. All government is rejected as illicit, since it necessarily violates the NAP (forTo name only a few of Milton Friedman’s deviations from pure libertarianism, he favored tax withholding, the negative income tax, the Fed, anti-trust legislation, Keynesianism, and was a bitter opponent of gold, e.g., free market money. He also exemplified Rothbard’s “Law” to the effect than non-pure libertarians specialize in areas in which they deviate most from the free enterprise philosophy. This author was “sound as a bell” on issues such as the minimum wage law, rent control, free trade, occupational licensure. But did he focus on them? Not at all. Instead, he spent most of his time and effort on two issues on which he was horrid, from a libertarian point of view: educational vouchers, and monetary policy. (For an example of a libertarian economist who, happily, did not exemplify this Rothbardian “Law,” Thomas Sowell, see here.) For a short bibliography analyzing Friedman’s numerous and serious divergences from pure libertarianism, see below.

    So, who do I nominate for the Friedman prize? I am of two minds on this question of the day. Above, I characterized the person who, in justice, should win this prize in two different ways. First, my own slant on this, was on he who “best exemplifies Professor Friedman’s contribution to libertarianism.” But, second, I also quoted from the Cato announcement as he who “has made a significant contribution to advance human freedom.” Were I to base this nomination of mine on the first of these criteria, congruence with Friedman’s views, I would choose Rand Paul. He is the closest of all high profile people, who is also a libertarian (classical liberal), to the views of Milton Friedman. Like the honoree of this prize, Senator Paul is a quasi, semi, demi libertarian, and thus does promote liberty. But he also compromises with this principle all too often. Were I to base my nomination on the second of these criteria, significant contribution, Congressman Ron Paul stands head and shoulders above all other contenders. He has converted more people to the free enterprise, private property rights, limited government philosophy than any other one person, with the possible exception of Ayn Rand. I interact with many libertarians in my public speaking engagements, and I often ask, Who is responsible for your present libertarian views. Invariably comes the answer, Ron Paul.

    Cato announcement:

    The Milton Friedman Prize FOR ADVANCING LIBERTY May 25, 2016 • Waldorf Astoria New York • 301 Park Avenue, New York, NY .

    The Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, named in honor of perhaps the greatest champion of liberty in the 20th century, is presented every other year to an individual who has made a significant contribution to advance human freedom. The prize, a cash award of $250,000, will be presented at the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty’s Biennial Dinner on May 25, 2016 at the Waldof Astoria New York. Details about the dinner, including a reservation form, will be posted in the near future.

    Nominations for the 2016 Friedman Prize award can be made here.

    The late Nobel laureate Milton Friedman agreed in 2001 to lend his name to the prize, which has become the leading international award for acknowledging contributions to the promotion of individual liberty. In a statement at the time he said: “Those of us who were fortunate enough to live and be raised in a reasonably free society tend to underestimate the importance of freedom. We tend to take it for granted. It has made us in the West more complacent, so having a prize emphasizing liberty is extremely important.” Dr. Friedman died in 2006.

    Members of the public are able to make nominations online here

    Members of International Selection Committee for the 2016 Prize:

    For further information about the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty’s Biennial Dinner, please contact Jenna Huhn at or 202-218-4617.


    Short bibliography:

    Friedman, Milton and Walter E. Block. 2006. “Fanatical, Not Reasonable: A Short Correspondence Between Walter E. Block and Milton Friedman (on Friedrich Hayek’s Road to Serfdom).” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 20, No. 3, Summer, pp. 61-80;

    Rothbard, Murray N. 2002. “Milton Friedman Unraveled.” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 16, No. 4, Fall, pp. 37-54;

The Fascist World of ‘Minority Report’

Lew Rockwell Institute - Mar, 29/09/2015 - 06:01

“The Internet is watching us now. If they want to. They can see what sites you visit. In the future, television will be watching us, and customizing itself to what it knows about us. The thrilling thing is, that will make us feel we’re part of the medium. The scary thing is, we’ll lose our right to privacy. An ad will appear in the air around us, talking directly to us.”—Director Steven Spielberg, Minority Report

We are a scant 40 years away from the futuristic world that science fiction author Philip K. Dick envisioned for Minority Report in which the government is all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful, and if you dare to step out of line, dark-clad police SWAT teams will crack a few skulls to bring the populace under control.

Unfortunately, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we may have already arrived at the year 2054.

Increasingly, the world around us resembles Dick’s dystopian police state in which the police combine widespread surveillance, behavior prediction technologies, data mining and precognitive technology to capture would-be criminals before they can do any damage. In other words, the government’s goal is to prevent crimes before they happen: precrime.

Police departments around the country have begun using the Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System, or MORIS, a physical iPhone add-on that allows police officers patrolling the streets to scan the irises and faces of suspected criminals and match them against government databases. In fact, in 2014, the FBI launched a nationwide database of iris scans for use by law enforcement agencies in their efforts to track criminals.

Corporations, as well, are beginning to implement eye-tracking technology in their tablets, smartphones, and computers. It will allow companies to track which words and phrases the user tends to re-read, hover on, or avoid, which can give insight into what she is thinking. This will allow advertisers to expand on the information they glean from tracking users’ clicks, searches, and online purchases, expanding into the realm of trying to guess what a user is thinking based upon their eye movements, and advertising accordingly. This information as it is shared by the corporate elite with the police will come in handy for police agencies as well, some of which are working on developing predictive analysis of “blink rates, pupil dilation, and deception.”

In ideal conditions, facial-recognition software is accurate 99.7 percent of the time. We are right around the corner from billboards capable of identifying passersby, and IBM has already been working on creating real world advertisements that react to people based upon RFID chips embedded in licenses and credit cards.

FICTION: In Minority Report, John Anderton’s Pre-Crime division utilizes psychic mutant humans to determine when a crime will take place next.

REALITY CHECK: While no psychic mutants are powering the government’s predictive policing efforts, the end result remains the same: a world in which crimes are prevented through the use of sophisticated data mining, surveillance, community policing and precrime. For instance, police in major American cities have been test-driving a tool that allows them to identify individuals—or groups of individuals—most likely to commit a crime in a given community. Those individuals are then put on notice that their movements and activities will be closely monitored and any criminal activity (by them or their associates) will result in harsh penalties.  In other words, you are guilty before you are given any chance to prove you are innocent.

The Department of Homeland Security is also working on its Future Attribute Screening Technology, or FAST, which will utilize a number of personal factors such as “ethnicity, gender, breathing, and heart rate to ‘detect cues indicative of mal-intent.’”

FICTION: In Minority Report, government agents use “sick sticks” to subdue criminal suspects using less-lethal methods.

REALITY CHECK: A variety of less-lethal weapons have been developed in the years since Minority Report hit theaters. In 2007, the Department of Homeland Security granted a contract to Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc., for an “LED Incapacitator,” a flashlight-like device that emits a dazzling array of pulsating lights, incapacitating its target by causing nausea and vomiting. Raytheon has created an “Assault Intervention Device” which is basically a heat ray that causes an unbearable burning sensation on its victim’s skin. The Long Range Acoustic Device, which emits painful noises in order to disperse crowds, has been seen at the London Olympics and G20 protests in Pittsburgh.

FICTION: A hacker captures visions from the “precog” Agatha’s mind and plays them for John Anderton.

REALITY CHECK: While still in its infancy, technology that seeks to translate human thoughts into computer actions is slowly becoming a reality. Jack Gallant, a neuroscientist at UC Berkeley, and his research team have created primitive software capable of translating the thoughts of viewers into reconstructed visual images. A company named Emotiv is developing technology which will be capable of reading a user’s thoughts and using them as inputs for operating machinery, like voice recognition but with brain signals. Similar devices are being created to translate thoughts into speech.

FICTION: In Minority Report, tiny sensory-guided spider robots converge on John Anderton, scan his biometric data and feed it into a central government database.

REALITY CHECK: An agency with the Department of Defense is working on turning insects into living UAVs, or “cybugs.” By expanding upon the insects’ natural abilities (e.g., bees’ olfactory abilities being utilized for bomb detection, etc.), government agents hope to use these spy bugs to surreptitiously gather vast quantities of information. Researchers eventually hope to outfit June beetles with tiny backpacks complete with various detection devices, microphones, and cameras. These devices could be powered by the very energy produced by the bugs beating their wings, or the heat they give off while in flight. There have already been reported sightings of dragonfly-like robotic drones monitoring protesters aerially in Washington, DC, as early as 2007.

FICTION: In Minority Report, Anderton flees his pursuers in a car whose movements are tracked by the police through the use of onboard computers. All around him, autonomous, driver-less vehicles zip through the city, moving people to their destinations based upon simple voice commands.

REALITY CHECK: Congress is now requiring that all new cars come equipped with event data recorders that can record and transmit data from onboard computers. Similarly, insurance companies are offering discounts to drivers who agree to have tracking bugs installed. Google has also created self-driving cars which have already surpassed 300,000 miles of road testing. It is anticipated that self-driving cars could be on American roads within the next 20 years, if not sooner.

These are but a few of the technological devices now in the hands of those who control the corporate police state. Fiction, in essence, has become fact—albeit, a rather frightening one.

A Massive Gold Price-Rigging Scandal

Lew Rockwell Institute - Mar, 29/09/2015 - 06:01

With countless settlements documenting the rigging of every single asset class, it was only a matter of time before the regulators – some 10 years behind the curve as usual – finally cracked down on gold manipulation as well, even though as we have shown in the past, central banks in general and the Fed in particular are among the biggest gold manipulators.

That said, we are confident by now nobody will be surprised that there was manipulation going on in the gold casino. In fact, ever since Germany’s Bafin launched a probe into Deutsche Bank for gold and silver manipulation, it has been very clear that the only question is how many banks will end up paying billions to settle the rigging of the gold market (with nobody going to prison as usual, of course).

Earlier today, we learned that the Swiss competition watchdog just became the latest to enjoin the ongoing gold manipulation probe when as Reuters reported, it launched an investigation into possible collusion in the precious metals market by several major banks, it said on Monday, the latest in a string of probes into gold, silver, platinum and palladium pricing.

Here are the details that should come as a surprise to nobody:

Global precious metals trading has been under regulatory scrutiny since December 2013, when German banking regulator Bafin demanded documents from Deutsche Bank under an inquiry into suspected manipulation of gold and silver benchmarks by banks. Even though the market has moved to reform the process of deciding on its price benchmarks, accusations of manipulation have refused to go away.

Switzerland’s WEKO said its investigation, the result of a preliminary probe, was looking at whether UBS, Julius Baer, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Barclays, Morgan Stanley and Mitsui conspired to set bid/ask spreads.

“It (WEKO) has indications that possible prohibited competitive agreements in the trading of precious metals were agreed among the banks mentioned,” WEKO said in a statement.

Don’t hold your breath though: “A WEKO spokesman said the investigation would likely conclude in either 2016 or 2017, adding that the banks were suspected of violating Swiss corporate rules.” Those, and virtually all other market rules.

The good news is that unlike Bart Chilton’s charade “inquiry” into silver manipulation when after years of “probing” the CFTC found “nothing”, at least the Swiss will find proof of rigging for the simple reason that it is there.

he banks face financial penalties if WEKO finds them guilty of wrongdoing, the spokesman said, though he declined to comment on the size of any possible fine.

No please, anything but “financial penalties” for rigging the gold market.

Aside from regulatory probes, a number of lawsuits have also been filed in U.S. courts alleging a conspiracy to manipulate precious metals prices.

Commenting on the WEKO probe, a Julius Baer spokesman said the bank was cooperating with authorities.

In a statement, Deutsche Bank said it was cooperating with requests for information from “certain regulatory authorities” over precious metal benchmarks but declined to comment further.

Representatives for UBS, Barclays, Morgan Stanley and HSBC declined to comment. Mitsui was not immediately available for comment.

Some so-called experts promptly scrambled to talk down the upcoming proof that so-called “paranoid” gold bugs have been right all along:

The impact of the probes on wider precious metals trading was likely to be muted, according to Brian Lucey, professor of finance at the School of Business, Trinity College Dublin.

“The question is not if individuals, or groups of individuals are collaborating to rig the game for themselves, the question is if this has any material effect,” he said. “I’m not convinced collusive behaviour will have a meaningful effect micro-economically to the structure of gold trading around the world.”

Oh so the question is not if traders and banks made billions in illegal profits by rigging yet another market, but “if this has any material effect.” Give this man another distinguished financial professorship title: with observations like that what can one say but… “Keynesian genius.”

* * *

However, as we said above, none of the above, and certainly not the idiotic “finance professor” statements, will come as any surprise to anyone.

What will, however, is that unlike previous gold probe cases, this one will actually have consequences.

How do we know?

Because just like in LIBOR-gate, just like in FX-gate, it is the biggest rat of all, Swiss megabank UBS, that is about to turn on its former criminal peers.

As Bloomberg reported earlier “UBS was granted conditional leniency in Swiss antitrust probe of possible manipulation of precious metal prices, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Bloomberg adds that the “bank may face lower fine than six other banks and financial firms suspected in probe or may avoid penalty altogether, person says.”

Why would UBS do this? The same reason UBS did so on at least on two prior occasions: the regulators have definitive proof it is involved, and gave it the option to turn evidence and to rat out its cartel peers, or face even more massive financial penalties.

UBS promptly chose the former, and took the opportunity to minimize yet another key civil (and criminal) market manipulation charge against it, especially after it was already branded a “criminal recidivist” between Libor, FX and, of course, the tax evasion scandal: one more manipulation scandal and the bank could well lose its license to operate in NYC.

Which simply means that now the official countdown on the announcement of what will be revealed as the biggest gold-manipulation and rigging scandal in history, has begun.

Reprinted with permission from Zero Hedge.

The Pope’s World vs. the Real World

Lew Rockwell Institute - Mar, 29/09/2015 - 06:01

Pope Francis’s four-day visit to the United States was by any measure a personal and political triumph.

The crowds were immense, and coverage of the Holy Father on television and in the print press swamped the state visit of Xi Jinping, the leader of the world’s second-greatest power.

But how enduring, and how relevant, was the pope’s celebration of diversity, multiculturalism, inclusiveness, open borders, and a world of forgiveness, peace, harmony and love is another question.

The day the pope departed Philadelphia, 48 percent of Catalonia, in a record turnout of 78 percent, voted to deliver a parliamentary majority to two parties that advocate seceding from Spain.

Like the Scots in Britain, the Walloons in Belgium and the Italians of Veneto, they want to live apart, not together. annexed the pro-Russian Donbass.

Putin is a nationalist who sees his country as one of the world’s great powers and sees himself as protector of Russian peoples everywhere. He believes Moscow should have its own Monroe Doctrine, and that rival powers should not be planting military bases on Russia’s doorstep.

Is that so hard for Americans to understand? How did we like having Soviet troops and bases in Castro’s Cuba?

China, too, which abandoned the world Communist revolution, is now a nationalistic power that seeks the same dominance of the waters around it — the Yellow Sea and Taiwan Strait, the East and the South China seas — that the United States has had for over a century in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, the Atlantic, and the Pacific from California to the China coast.

The stronger China grows, the more she will push us away, as we pushed the European powers and the Royal Navy out of our hemisphere.

While China is involved in territorial quarrels with Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines, none of her claims represents a threat to U.S. vital interests. Nor does Russia’s actions in reclaiming Crimea or in aiding pro-Russian rebels achieve autonomy in East Ukraine.

What is threatened today is the New World Order of Bush I, the “unipolar world” preached by the neocons and Bush II, and the “rules-based” world of Barack Obama.

Russia and China, and other rising powers, are going to play by their rules, the rules of the 19th and early 20th century, the rules by which we Americans became the first power on earth.

America’s “red lines” should be set down clearly in front of our vital interests. Then, we should inform our friends and allies that their defense is, first and foremost, their own responsibility.

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Lew Rockwell Institute - Mar, 29/09/2015 - 06:01
  1. Swords into Plowshares – Ron Paul
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  7. The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War – Thomas DiLorenzo

  8. Against the State: An Anarcho-Capitalist Manifesto – Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.


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Smart People’s Brains Are Wired Differently

Lew Rockwell Institute - Mar, 29/09/2015 - 06:01

The brains of high-achieving individuals are wired up differently to those of people with fewer intellectual or social abilities according to one of the first studies to find a physical link between what goes in the brain and a person’s overall lifestyle.

An analysis of the “connectivity” between different parts of the brain in hundreds of healthy people found a correlation between how well wired-up some individuals were to their cognitive abilities and general success in life, scientists said.

The researchers found that “positive” abilities, such as good vocabulary, memory, life satisfaction, income and years of education, were linked significantly with a greater connectivity between regions of the brain associated with higher cognition.

This was in contrast to the significantly lower brain connectivity of people who scored high in “negative” traits such a drug abuse, anger, rule-breaking and poor sleep quality, the scientists said.

“We’ve tried to see how we can relate what we see in the brain to the behavioural skills we can measure in different people. In doing this, we hope to able to understand what goes on ‘under the bonnet’ of the brain,” said Professor Stephen Smith of Oxford University, who led the study published in Nature Neuroscience.

The scientists were part of the $30m (£20m) Human Connectome Project funded by the US National Institutes of Health to study the neural pathways of the brain. Connectomes have been likened to taking real-time images of the living circuit diagrams governing the communication of signals from one part of the brain to another.

They compared the “connectomes” of 461 health people taken by real-time brain scanners called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and attempted to see if there were any significant correlations with 280 different behavioural or demographic measures, such as language vocabulary, education and even income.

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