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Our Bodies, Our Lives, Our Right To Imbibe

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 03/02/2017 - 07:01

What a genocidal racist Donald Trump is! Last week, as proof of his desire to rid the world of nonwhites, he resuscitated the so-called Mexico City Policy, which withholds U.S. funding from international NGOs that perform or promote abortions. And the same leftists who’ve accused Trump of being a genocidal white supremacist are now accusing him of forcing women of color in Third World countries to have more babies. Just let that sink in for a moment…leftists call Trump a white supremacist who hates Third World nonwhites, then they accuse him of upping the population of Third World nonwhites by taking away their “birth control.”

No one ever said leftists make sense.

Having lost the Great Meme War of 2016 (a.k.a. the presidential election), lefties decided to use Trump’s Mexico City Policy directive as a base from which to launch a volley of hip, edgy, progressive, and oh-so-clever memes. Because you see, when Trump signed the order, he was surrounded by (drumroll), men! Men deciding the reproductive fate of women! And while many a fine meme was fired off, the prize must surely go to The Guardian’s social and new formats editor, Martin Belam. The doughty young Belam took one look at the photo of Trump signing the “eradicate nonwhites by making more of them” order and, mustering all of the intellectual prowess that is expected from a social and new formats editor, brought forth the Holy Tweet, the one that shall forever define this critical moment in history:

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As long as you live you’ll never see a photograph of 7 women signing legislation about what men can do with their reproductive organs.

I’ll give you a moment to allow your goose bumps to settle.

Within just a few days, the tweet had garnered over 343,000 “likes” and 266,000 retweets, and it was featured in The New York Times and dozens of other high-profile liberal papers. In this time of crisis, Martin Belam turned out to be the hero Gotham both needs and deserves.

Except…while, agreed, there is not to my knowledge a photo of seven women using the power of the law to take away the reproductive rights of men, you know what does exist in a huge quantities? Photos of American women lining up to use the power of the law to regulate what men are allowed to drink. Now, I can understand if Belam, a Brit, is a little hazy on American history. So he might not know that the criminalization of alcohol was pushed by women as a punitive measure against men. It’s considered the first successful exercise of women’s political power in this country. Yes, the first thing American women did when they finally began to get political influence was a lobby to take rights away from men. So excuse me if I’m not terribly impressed by Belam’s holier-than-thou “you’ll never see women do this” horseshit. Women have done worse, and right out of the gate. And here, Mr. Belam, are some pics to prove it (and here and here and here and here and here)…photo after photo of seven (or more) women lined up to push for legislation to tell men what they can and can’t put in their bodies.

Read the Whole Article

The post Our Bodies, Our Lives, Our Right To Imbibe appeared first on LewRockwell.

The Anti-Vaccine Underground

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 03/02/2017 - 07:01

By Dr. Mercola

In the wake of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. telling reporters that President Trump asked him to chair a commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity, the media is angling to shame and ridicule vaccine safety and informed consent proponents, be they physicians, scientists or parents with the ability to read and think for themselves.

Although Kennedy’s appointment has not been confirmed yet by the Trump administration, The Atlantic has gone so far as to suggest that a “shadow network of anti-vax doctors” is being emboldened by questions and concerns the new president has voiced about vaccine safety.1

Like Kennedy and many other critics of vaccine science and policy, President Trump has been outspoken about his suspicions that vaccines and vaccine policies may not be nearly as safe as they’re portrayed, and that the science is far from settled.

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Meanwhile, Kennedy recently co-wrote an article in which he released documents revealing that officials at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “knew that infant vaccines were exposing American children to mercury far in excess of all federal safety guidelines since 1999.”2

Recent reports also reveal that medical treatment guidelines are frequently influenced by drug industry ties,3 and scientific “citation cartels” are gaming the system by repeatedly citing each other’s work,4 thereby making their studies appear more noteworthy and establishing what amounts to a false base of research that becomes difficult to overturn by independent researchers.

In all, there can be little doubt that the drug industry is getting anxious and this is why the heat is being turned up against anyone daring to question the status quo on vaccines.

Clearly, having an open discussion about vaccine safety means opening the door to doubt, and this is something the drug industry simply cannot afford. Meanwhile, avoiding the discussion is something parents, and the health care system as a whole, can no longer afford.

Emboldening ‘Anti-Vaccine Shadow Network?’

Not surprisingly, The Atlantic and other media outlets have published diatribes attacking President Trump and his staff for meeting with not only Kennedy, but also Andrew Wakefield, a British gastroenterologist.

In 1998 Wakefield and 12 colleagues published a case series paper in The Lancet, reporting that parents of 9 of 12 children they’d seen for chronic gastrointestinal symptoms told them that their children’s symptoms had begun soon after getting the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

A case series paper is different from a control study in that it simply describes experiences of a single patient or group of patients with a similar diagnosis. As Wakefield points out in his book, “Callous Disregard,” the purpose of a case series paper is to “generate new hypotheses.”

It is not supposed to suggest or investigate possible causality — and Wakefield’s paper did not make any causal claims. Rather, he and his colleagues concluded:5

“We have identified a chronic enterocolitis in children that may be related to neuropsychiatric dysfunction. In most cases, onset of symptoms was after measles, mumps, and rubella immun[iz]ation. Further investigations are needed to examine this syndrome and its possible relation to this vaccine.

The world didn’t read it that way, however, and the paper was retracted after generating massive international controversy and denials by public health officials and doctors giving vaccines to children.

According to Science Magazine, Trump met with Wakefield and three other vaccine safety activists in August, 2016:6

“Trump chatted with a group of donors that included four antivaccine activists for 45 minutes, according to accounts of the meeting, and promised to watch “Vaxxed,” an antivaccine documentary produced by Wakefield …

Trump also expressed an interest in holding future meetings with the activists, according to participants.”

Such meetings and discussions are being widely criticized as completely unnecessary and evidence of ignorance and anti-science heresy by anyone involved, on par with believing that the Earth is flat. As noted by The Atlantic:7

“… [M]ost mainstream doctors say the vaccine question is beyond settled: Vaccines are some of the safest and most important preventive-health measures around. There is no evidence they cause autism or any other health problem …

What’s more, unvaccinated people don’t just threaten their own health. Outbreaks are more likely to occur during dips in the percentage of a population that’s immune … A high vaccine uptake rate protects the vaccinated and unvaccinated alike.”

There’s No Such Thing as Vaccine-Induced Herd Immunity

The Atlantic goes on to discuss the importance of herd immunity, noting that “not one child under the age of 1 died from the chicken pox between 2004 and 2007, even though the chicken pox vaccine is not given to children that young. They simply benefited from the so-called “herd immunity” of older kids who were vaccinated.”

What the writer, Olga Khazan, fails to address is the fact that herd immunity doesn’t work the same way for immunizations as it does for naturally-acquired immunity resulting from exposure to, and recovery from, illness.

To understand the difference between natural immunity versus vaccine-induced immunity, please see the video below.

Khazan also makes no effort to explain how the majority of outbreaks occur in areas that are thought to HAVE herd immunity status already, i.e., where the majority of people are fully vaccinated and “should” therefore protect the entire community from infection and transmission of infection.

Download Interview Transcript

Documents Reveal Government Betrayal

In his article, Kennedy claims that documentation8 obtained via FOIA proves the FDA and CDC knew childhood vaccines were overexposing children to mercury, which is a well-known potent neurotoxin.

Part of the FDA Modernization Act, passed by Congress in 1997, required the FDA to compile a list of pharmaceutical products that contain mercury.

More than 30 FDA licensed inactivated vaccines containing the mercury-based preservative, thimerosal, ended up on this list and included DPT/DTaP, HIB and hepatitis vaccines routinely given to babies between day of birth and 18 months old.

The FDA was also charged with conducting a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the mercury compounds on the list. This responsibility fell on the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER).

Prior to this, no one had ever added up the cumulative mercury exposure resulting from thimerosal-containing infant vaccines. According to Kennedy:9

“When the agency finally performed that basic calculation, the regulators realized that a [6]-month-old infant who received thimerosal-preserved vaccines following the recommended CDC vaccine schedule would have received a jaw dropping 187.5 micrograms of mercury.

Instead of immediately ordering the removal of thimerosal, FDA officials circled the wagons treating the public health emergency as a public relations problem. Peter Patriarca, then director of the FDA Division of Viral Products, warned his fellow bureaucrats that hasty removal of thimerosal from vaccines would:

‘… raise questions about FDA being ‘asleep at the switch’ for decades by allowing a potentially hazardous compound to remain in many childhood vaccines, and not forcing manufacturers to exclude it from new products.

It will also raise questions about various advisory bodies regarding aggressive recommendations for use. We must keep in mind that the dose of ethylmercury was not generated by “rocket science.”

Conversion of the percentage thimerosal to actual micrograms of mercury involves ninth grade algebra. What took the FDA so long to do the calculations? Why didn’t CDC and the advisory bodies do these calculations when they rapidly expanded the childhood immunization schedule?’

Toxicology Models Confirm Mercury Overexposure

Dr. Barry Rumack was one of the consultants hired by the FDA to delve deeper into the cumulative mercury exposure problem from vaccines given to babies in the first few years of life. In 1999, Rumack presented a model of the mercury blood-and-body burden associated with childhood vaccines, showing that:

“… [T]himerosal-containing vaccines was dosing American children with mercury levels far exceeding all three federal safety guidelines established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), FDA and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR),” Kennedy writes.

“There was no point in time from birth to approximately 16-18 months of age that infants were below the EPA guidelines for allowable mercury exposure. In fact, according to the models, blood-and-body burden levels of mercury peaked at [6] months of age at a shockingly high level of 120ng/liter. To put this in perspective, the CDC classifies mercury poisoning as blood levels of mercury greater than 10 ng/L.”

With the certain knowledge that infants were being exposed to unacceptably high mercury burdens through vaccines, what the FDA did next is unforgivable.

The agency that is supposed to protect the public from unsafe pharmaceutical products concealed these alarming findings about “bolus” (large amount) mercury exposures to infants receiving multiple thimerosal-containing vaccines simultaneously by using a statistical trick in which they simply averaged the mercury exposure over a period of six months.

In reality, the bolus mercury exposures via multiple vaccines given on a single day occurred at four specific times during the first year of a child’s life: at birth, and at 2, 4 and 6 months of age. By averaging the exposures over the full six months, the spikes in mercury on the four days of vaccination disappeared. According to Kennedy:

“An analogy would be to compare taking two Tylenol tablets a day for a month to taking 60 Tylenol tablets in one day; the first exposure is acceptable, while the other is lethal.”

Even With Deception, Mercury Burden Exceeded EPA Guidelines

Using this statistical trickery, mercury levels from childhood vaccinations ended up being lower than FDA and ATSDR guidelines, leading the Public Health Service and the American Academy of Pediatrics to report that:

“There is a significant safety margin incorporated into all the acceptable mercury exposure limits. Furthermore, there are no data or evidence of any harm caused by the level of exposure that some children may have encountered in following the existing immunization schedule. Infants and children who have received thimerosal-containing vaccines do not need to be tested for mercury exposure.”

It would seem the last sentence was added as a protective buffer to prevent people from actually conducting further testing of actual mercury levels in children following repeated injections with mercury-containing vaccines in the first few years of life.

Remarkably, even with this statistical trick, “The levels were still above EPA guidelines which were the most stringent of the three,” Kennedy writes,10 adding that “Numerous toxicologists have reported that the FDA’s calculation, averaging these high bolus dose exposures, was not appropriate.” Moreover, it appears the FDA may have misguided the pediatrician, Dr. Leslie Ball, assigned to oversee the public reporting of the ATSDR results.

According to Kennedy, Ball was unfamiliar with toxicology and, when confronted about the statistical manipulation, she replied that she was basically just following orders, saying, “That is what I was told to do.” Email correspondence from 1999 shows that even Ball herself questioned the rationale behind averaging the exposures. In a July, 1999 email to Norman Baylor, Ph.D., director of the Office of Vaccines Research Review, marked “confidential,” Ball asked:11

“Has the application of these calculations as exposure guidelines received the sign off by toxicologists? In prior discussions, the toxicologists seemed reluctant to state any Hg (mercury) level was ‘safe.'”

CDC Vaccine Patents Create Serious Conflicts of Interest

Kennedy has also reported that the CDC owns more than 20 different vaccine patents and sells $4.1 billion in vaccines each year, noting that those patents create a significant undisclosed conflict of interest when it comes to the agency’s involvement in vaccine safety.12

Mark Blaxill, who specializes in intellectual property law, in 2010 wrote about the fact that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), holds patent rights to the HPV vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix, and receives a percentage of the profits from the administration of these vaccines on a global scale.13

In a recently released report, Ginger Taylor, M.S., director of the Maine Coalition for Vaccine Choice, lists the human vaccine-related patents held by the CDC, which currently total 27, plus another five patents for veterinary vaccines.14 (For links to the actual patents, please see the reference hyperlink to the original report.)

“Does this seem like a public health agency making “independent” vaccine recommendations, or a private company with an impressive portfolio to which one might look for investment opportunities?” she writes.15 Yet, “Nowhere on the CDC’s website can I find the disclosure that the agency is a profit partner with the vaccine makers for whom it is supposed to be providing safety oversight.

Kennedy is in very safe territory by reporting that the CDC has over 20 patents that create vast, undisclosed conflicts of interests in vaccine safety. He is understating the problem by more than half … The vaccine business is currently a $30 billion per year industry … the World Health Organization … project[s] that it will become a $100 billion per year industry by 2025.

Thus, it is evident that the CDC and their business partners need the public to not only be [OK] with the 69 doses of recommended childhood vaccines, but to begin to adhere to the additional 100-plus doses of vaccines recommended by the new adult schedule, and to be ready to inject their families with the additional 271 vaccines in the development pipeline.

That profit boom can’t happen if the corruption in the industry, and the vast, unassessed damage that it has done to the health of children (and now adults) is laid open for all to finally see.

The $30 billion per year industry will become a sub $10 billion per year industry, with a cap on how much it can make. Because there is a cap on how much the human body can process. We must continue to press the Trump administration for comprehensive vaccine safety review and reform, including the universal right to forgo any and all vaccines without coercion.”

Pharma and CDC Fund Medical Trade and Front Groups to Undermine Vaccine Exemptions

Back in 2008, veteran CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson asked the question in her investigative report, “How Independent Are Vaccine Defenders?”  She found extensive financial ties between vaccine manufacturers and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Every Child by Two (ECBT) and Merck vaccine developer Paul Offit.16 The AAP, ECBT and Offit all lobby for elimination of vaccine exemptions for religious, conscientious or philosophical beliefs.

The CDC is also a primary funding source for the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO),17 an organization whose mission “is to be a leader, partner, catalyst and voice for local health departments.” While its name and mission statement would make you think it’s a member-funded organization, it actually operates primarily on government grants, and the CDC is a primary source. Seven of 11 funding priorities for NACCHO programs also come from the CDC.

In July, 2011, NACCHO issued a policy statement urging state legislators to remove vaccine exemptions for religious, conscientious and philosophical beliefs.18 During the 2013 fight in the Oregon state legislature to eliminate the religious belief vaccine exemption (S.B. 132), NACCHO heavily lobbied for the bill and did it again in 2015 with another bill to eliminate all but medical vaccine exemptions granted by a doctor (SB442).

In fact, NACCHO was portrayed as a primary supporter of the bill,19 and also has put its weight behind eliminating personal belief vaccine exemptions in other states.

Moreover, NACCHO policies not only favor mandatory use of vaccines from cradle to grave, but also support the creation of national electronic registries of the vaccination status of all citizens, including adults. It’s worth noting that in addition to the 69 doses of vaccines on the childhood vaccination schedule, the CDC recommends no less than 72 vaccinations between the ages of 19 and 65 for adults.

It would appear as though NACHHO is little more than a front group for the CDC, and through use of federal tax dollars, the CDC is actively undermining vaccine exemptions and civil liberties, including freedom of thought, conscience and religious belief. Could one reason be because the CDC is an agency that is financially profiting from promoting mandatory vaccination policies and laws?

Again, in reality, the CDC is hardly an impartial agency, and it does not appear to have safety at the core of its operation when it comes to vaccines. Rather it seems to be an integral part of the vaccine industry machine.

Another front group for the vaccine industry — and the CDC — is Voices for Vaccines, which “advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable disease.” Its administrators are portrayed as two concerned mothers, who founded the blog Moms Who Vax. However, Voices for Vaccines is actually an “administrative project” of the Task Force for Global Health, the third largest charity in the U.S., which has deep ties to CDC and pharmaceutical industry funding.

A 2013 article by News from Underground explained that the Scientific Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines includes Merck vaccine developers and mandatory vaccination proponents Paul Offit and Stanley Plotkin; former CDC immunization director Alan Hinman, who is an Emory University professor and heads the Center for Vaccine Equity at the Task Force for Global Health; Vanderbilt professor William Schaffner; and director of the Immunization Action Coalition, Deborah Wexler. The Immunization Action Coalition is funded by pharmaceutical companies through the CDC Foundation.20

In 2014, the online blog VacTruth also detailed the many connections between Voices for Vaccines, the Task Force for Global Health, Emory University, the CDC, vaccine makers and other pro-vaccine organizations and promoters, including Dr. Paul Offit.21

The Atlantic may want you to think there’s a shadow network of anti-vaccine doctors out there, determined to undermine the health of the world. But it’s ironic, considering that, in reality, there is a vast, undisclosed, yet well-documented pharma-driven network using every propaganda tactic in the book to squash freedom of thought and speech about vaccination — all in the name of protecting profits.

Media Conveniently Ignores Conflicts of Interest When It Serves

Not surprisingly, corporate media pundits are all too willing to point out how many minutes President Trump might have spent face-to-face with Andrew Wakefield, a physician they did everything in their power to discredit, and the influence he might have on the president. However, they rarely, if ever, talk about the extraordinary conflicts of interest of another physician, Paul Offit, who is one of the most prominent vaccine propagandists typically cited by the media whenever vaccine safety questions arise.

As noted by Taylor, Offit has asserted that “holding vaccine patents, being funded by Merck and having Merck buy and distribute, to physicians, his book extolling the virtues of vaccines, does not compromise his objectivity as a member of the committee that determines what is and is not sound vaccine practice.”22 In one instance, Offit said:

“I am a co-holder of a patent for a (rotavirus) vaccine. If this vaccine were to become a routinely recommended vaccine, I would make money off of that. When I review safety data, am I biased? That answer is really easy: absolutely not.”

Ironically, the corporate media are now alleging that Kennedy — who has been outspoken about the toxicity of mercury in vaccines and conflicts of interest within the vaccination system for the last decade — is so tremendously biased that he could not possibly contribute anything worthwhile to the discussion, while Offit, who has made a small fortune off his promotion of mandatory vaccine use, is presented as the non-conflicted, objective and most respected authority in the vaccine field.

How does that work? Offit’s proclamations of impartiality are ludicrous in the extreme and so are media reports claiming anyone but doctors like Offit is too biased to lead an investigation on vaccine safety.

Funding Colors Patient Recommendations

I’ve written about how industry money can taint recommendations by individuals and health organizations alike on many occasions, and now yet another study has confirmed the power and influence of funding. According to Susannah Rose, a social worker and scientific director of research for the Cleveland Clinic’s office of patient experience in Ohio, who led the study:

“Relationships with industry might bias advice, and I don’t think anyone is immune to that. If they’re getting funding and advocating for certain medications, there’s a potential for undue risk of influence.”23

Her study found that more than 67 percent of 245 patient advocacy groups received industry funding in the past year, and evidence suggests the source of funding played a role in recommendations made by such organizations.

Adverse Events Vastly Underreported

In a best-case scenario, we would have accurate information about vaccine side effects. Unfortunately, we do not, and this has seriously undermined efforts to push for greater vaccine safety. In a recent paper published in PLOS Medicine, Dr. Gordon Schiff discusses the need for better prescription drug adverse event reporting. While he does not single out vaccine reactions, there’s cause to believe vaccine reactions are even more underreported than other drug reactions.

“While not a pediatrician, as a primary care physician and patient safety researcher I have spent considerable time both submitting and reviewing safety reports. At one point, I had filed more error and adverse drug reactions reports than all the other physicians at my public hospital in Chicago combined, making me either the institution’s most dangerous prescriber or its most diligent reporter,” he writes.

What he describes about underreporting of drug adverse events by physicians cuts to a core problem of vaccine safety. On the one hand, the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is specifically set up to record adverse events related to vaccines in the U.S. On the other hand, it’s criticized as being unreliable due to severe underreporting.

The answer is obvious: insist on mandatory reporting. But that’s not happening. On the contrary, there appears to be a concerted effort to control and manipulate statistics by discouraging and minimizing reports, effectively sweeping problems — no matter how severe or widespread — under the proverbial rug.

Parents of vaccine injured children were the ones who secured vaccine safety informing, recording and reporting provisions in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. The law’s vaccine reaction reporting requirement directed doctors and all vaccine providers to report adverse events following vaccination to VAERS, which is jointly operated by the CDC and the FDA.

This is NOT a prerequisite for the person making a vaccine reaction report to VAERS to personally make a judgment about whether or not he or she believes the adverse event was caused by the vaccination. Rather, a report is supposed to be filed for any and all hospitalizations, injuries, deaths and serious health problems following vaccination. Period. It’s not up to the vaccine provider to decide whether a reaction is related to the vaccine or not.

Despite this legal requirement, most vaccine providers are unfamiliar with the reporting process, are confused about who should be doing the reporting, and/or are unwilling to file a report. Each year, VAERS receives about 30,000 reports, and studies into reporting habits suggest adverse reactions are only filed in 1 to 10 percent of all cases.24

In a 2015 article, an ER nurse and former police officer described his experiences with vaccine reactions. He said he’s seen first-hand how many doctors not only refuse to report vaccine reactions, but actually go through extra trouble to cover them up by altering the medical records and removing mention of recent vaccinations.25,26

Doctors Frequently Overestimate Benefits and Underestimate Harms of Medical Interventions

Meanwhile, recent research27 reveals that clinicians frequently overestimate benefits and underestimate harms of medical treatments, tests and screenings. When it comes to vaccines, there’s little doubt the same pattern is to be found. According to the authors:

“In this systematic review of 48 studies (13, 011 clinicians), most participants correctly estimated 13 percent of the 69 harm expectation outcomes and 11 percent of the 28 benefit expectations. The majority of participants overestimated benefit for 32 percent of outcomes, underestimated benefit for 9 percent, underestimated harm for 34 percent, and overestimated harm for 5 percent of outcomes.

Meaning: Clinicians rarely had accurate expectations of benefits or harms, with inaccuracies in both directions, but more often underestimated harms and overestimated benefits … Inaccurate perceptions about the benefits and harms of interventions are likely to result in suboptimal clinical management choices.”

To finish where I started, I believe it’s imperative we start having an open public discussion about vaccine safety and conflicts of interest in the mandatory vaccination system. The industry does not have the right to shame doctors and patients for wanting to be safe rather than sorry.

The vaccine industry and the federal agencies charged with vaccine safety oversight are rife with conflicts of interest, as the National Vaccine Information Center and other individuals and organizations have pointed out over the past three decades.28,29It’s time to get to the bottom of it. Profit cannot be allowed to continue being the sole driving force of government health recommendations. Our society simply cannot afford to pay that price any longer.

Protect Your Right to Informed Consent and Defend Vaccine Exemptions

With all the uncertainty surrounding the safety and efficacy of vaccines, it’s critical to protect your right to make independent health choices and exercise voluntary informed consent to vaccination. It is urgent that everyone in America stand up and fight to protect and expand vaccine informed consent protections in state public health and employment laws. The best way to do this is to get personally involved with your state legislators and educating the leaders in your community.

THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY.

National vaccine policy recommendations are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level. It is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact.

It is critical for EVERYONE to get involved now in standing up for the legal right to make voluntary vaccine choices in America because those choices are being threatened by lobbyists representing drug companies, medical trade associations, and public health officials, who are trying to persuade legislators to strip all vaccine exemptions from public health laws.

Signing up for NVIC’s free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you immediate, easy access to your own state legislators on your smart phone or computer so you can make your voice heard. You will be kept up-to-date on the latest state bills threatening your vaccine choice rights and get practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community.

Also, when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up-to-date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips. So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.

Share Your Story With the Media and People You Know

If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury, or death, please talk about it. If we don’t share information and experiences with one another, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call in to a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the vaccine story.

I must be frank with you; you have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the “other side” of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down. Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination, will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it.

We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies or public health officials promoting forced use of a growing list of vaccines to dominate the conversation about vaccination.

The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than “statistically acceptable collateral damage” of national one-size-fits-all mandatory vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn’t be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

I encourage you to visit the website of the non-profit charity, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), at www.NVIC.org:

  • NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries, and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
  • If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
  • Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment and sanctions by doctors, employers, and school and health officials for making independent vaccine choices.
  • Vaccine Failure Wall: View or post descriptions about vaccines that have failed to work and protect the vaccinated from disease.

Connect With Your Doctor or Find a New One That Will Listen and Care

If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don’t want, I strongly encourage you tohave the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination. However, there is hope.

At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they’re starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents.

It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.

So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect, and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.

Sources and References

The post The Anti-Vaccine Underground appeared first on LewRockwell.

Get Free Cell Phone Service

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 03/02/2017 - 07:01

No, it’s not an Obama-phone. What’s the catch? Well, if you keep your monthly usage to 200 minutes of phone calls, 500 text messages, and 500 MB of data, there is no catch.  Never get a monthly bill.  No Spanish-American war tax. It really is free.  Zero dollars and zero cents.  And, you get to use the latest fancy-pants smartphones. Although I am not being paid to write this and Lew is not being paid to run it, I just have to point out to other liberty lovers another great outcome coming out of the somewhat free market.

Freedompop.com is the brainchild of Stephen Stokols and Steven Sesar. They are both tech gurus who saw the possibilities of VOIP technology flowing through 4G LTE data networks via a smartphone app that is assigned a conventional phone number. The service rides on Sprint’s 4G LTE network but lacks charges for telephone/text usage and associated charges/taxes. The infrastructure-free company obtains large chunks of cheap wholesale data from Sprint and parcels it out to its users via a seamless smartphone app that converts regular phone-number based calls and text messages to data that flows over the 4G network. The phone and internet interface on the phone looks the same as any other smartphone.  It is not like opening a Skype app or Google Hangouts app every time you make a call.

Sprint, apparently seeing the low-cost competition, negotiated to buy Freedom Pop from the founders (and shut it down?).  FreedomPop’s owners ended the negotiations and decided to continue with their own plans.

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

Sprint’s geographic coverage is less robust than Verizon, but you will probably do fine if you live in, or near, most cities of a least several thousand people. If you have any doubts, you can check for coverage in your area. The on-line set-up process for the free service will also confirm coverage in your location before proceeding. Sprint’s network was originally built to cover the interstate highway system, so you will also likely have good coverage if you live within a few miles of an interstate highway.

You don’t wind up with a cheap flip-phone under this free plan either. You select a refurbished name-brand smartphone. You can use the phone for all the things you do now, like buying stuff on Amazon, checking Accuweather, and reading LRC—only for free.

You can use a smartphone you already own if your phone is compatible with the Sprint network.  Otherwise, the one-time cost to start up your free service is only to select and buy an inexpensive used or refurbished smartphone from FreedomPop that they will set up for you. It will arrive in the mail ready-to-use. You will get a free phone number assigned for your local area code/call area. Or, you can transfer your existing number. My only cost to use the service was the purchase of a used phone of my choice on their website. I chose a Samsung Galaxy S5 and paid $139 for it. If I stay within the 200 minutes, 500 text messages, and 500 MB of data, I won’t ever be charged anything. You can also turn off the auto-billing functions in the account options so that you will never exceed your allotted usage and never be charged for excess usage. But, even if you do exceed the allowed minutes and texts, you will merely be bumped up to a $7.99 / month unlimited call/text plan with the 500 MB of data.

If you do decide to go whole-hog and buy into all the bells and whistles including the unlimited call and texting options, 1 GB of data, and the hotspot wireless tethering feature for your other devices, you will still wind up with a smartphone plan of less than $20 a month. If you want to stay totally free, just select “no thanks,” etc. on all the offers during the set-up process.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, you can also get a free data plan for your tablet from FreedomPop.

The post Get Free Cell Phone Service appeared first on LewRockwell.

Another Gov’t Orgy of Destruction

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 03/02/2017 - 07:01

You’ve heard the saying that history repeats . . . as farce? Well, here we are. Not quite ten years after the government paid people to throw away perfectly good used cars to “stimulate” demand for new ones – the despicable Cash for Clunkers program – the government is doing the same thing again.

Only this time, the cars are not “clunkers” and the government is forcing VW to pay people to throw them away.

Almost 600,000 of them.

These cars are not high-miles and worn out, on their last legs. Many are only a year or two old. Nothing is wrong with any of them – other than their having been deemed “out of compliance” with Byzantine EPA emissions tests.

But only sometimes – and only slightly.

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The cars were programmed to pass the EPA certification tests – required before they could legally be sold. They passed the tests, which incidentally is the same criteria Uncle insist on when it comes to the “education” of “the children” in government schools. Pass the tests (SOLs) and you pass on to the next grade. Kids are “taught” to pass the tests.

Uncle smiles.

But in VW’s case, it was later discovered that the programming was set up to run the engine differently – that is, better from the standpoint of the people buying and driving the cars – when out on the road and not connected to the EPA’s emissions test dynamometers. Under certain operating conditions – wide open throttle, for one – the calibrations were set to produce maximum performance.

Or, under other conditions, maximum miles-per-gallon.

Diesel-powered VWs like the Jetta and Passat TDI routinely delivered better-than-advertised (by EPA) mileage, out in real-world driving. I can vouch for this personally, having test driven every TDI-powered VW sold over the past 10 years. They all used less fuel – delivered higher mileage – than EPA said they would. Interesting. Less fuel used equals less exhaust gas produced equals lower emissions overall.

VW never gets credit for that.

Crickets. Including from the mother-loving “environmental community.”

Which makes my teeth hurt because if you do the arithmetic, the more-efficient-than-advertised VW diesels reduced the aggregate of harmful emissions yugely vs. the fractional per car increase in tailpipe emissions generated by the “cheating” software.

Whole number differences, mind.

Now add to the tabulations the 562,000 high-efficiency cars slated for destruction. They will be replaced by gas-burning cars  that use 20-30 percent more fuel to travel the same distance.

More whole number increases in the “harmful” exhaust byproducts EPA apparatchiks insist they are protecting us from.

It’s shameful.

But – once again – “demand” will be “stimulated” by this gratuitous destruction of value. The 562,000 owners of the targeted-for-termination TDI VWs will need a new car to replace the one bought back and thrown away.

Some may buy/lease another VW, which will give the appearance of increasing VW’s sales; some – soured on VW – will buy a new car from someone else. It will “stimulate” new car sales generally, a kind of four-wheeled take on the Potempkin Village concept. Create a facade, make things look good.

Just don’t look behind the facade.

Read the Whole Article

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Seattle SJW Calls for Mass Murder

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 03/02/2017 - 07:01

We recently warned that America is about to see unprecedented protests and rioting from coast to coast.

But don’t take our word for it.

A social justice warrior involved in the Seattle street protests tells you everything you need to know about what the future holds and lends further evidence to the notion that America sits on the precipice of widespread civil unrest.

The woman, who also claims to be a pre-school teacher, implies that it’s time for extreme measures, including but not limited to killing people, starting at the White House.

Just so you know… we need to start killing people… first off we need to start killing the White House… the White House might die… your fucking White House… your fucking White House must go…

As you’ll see below, when she claims it’s time to start killing people she is most likely referring to white people exclusively. But killing isn’t enough.

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If you’re white, it’s time you started kicking some of your hard-earned wealth her way, including your cash and your house:

White people… give your fucking money… give your fucking house… your fucking property… we need it fucking all… you need to reparate black and indigenous people right now…. Pay the fuck off… it ain’t just your fucking time.. it’s your fucking money…

Watch her full speech (and then be sure to register your kids with her pre-school):

Reprinted with permission from SHTFplan.com.

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The Manly Fabric?

Lew Rockwell Institute - Ven, 03/02/2017 - 07:01

Men are almost universally drawn to goods made with leather. Wallets, boots, bags, jackets, gloves — all are lent a certain extra attraction when they’re crafted from an animal’s sturdy hide.

The reasons for leather’s appeal aren’t hard to understand. It’s a material our ancestors used for clothes, pouches, and a variety of other useful wares. And leather is so durable that many of those heirloom items are still around today (in fact, a pair of shockingly well-preserved 5,500-year-old leather shoes were discovered a few years back). Adding to this literal toughness is an aura of it, borne from the material’s ancient connection to hunting and killing. Plus, leather just looks dang good.

While it’s tough as nails, we must also remember that leather is in fact skin. It can dry, crack, stain, warp, etc. So today I’ll walk you through the various options for treating and taking care of leather so that whatever form it takes can be passed down your family line.

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Note that much of the below applies mostly to everyday use items that are regularly exposed to the elements — shoes, jackets, bags. Wallets, accessories, etc. can still be cared for with these tips, they generally just don’t need as much attention.

What Do You Want Your Leather to Look Like?

The first task in deciding how to treat and care for your leather is simply asking what you want it to look like, and the role it plays in your life. A pair of rugged work boots don’t need as much attention as a pair of classy dress shoes. A moto jacket will likely be naturally more beaten up than a bomber jacket you wear around town — is the nature of riding a motorcycle down the freeway with leather over your shoulders.

It also comes down to taste. Some men want a clean, polished look for their bag, while others are okay with scratches, blemishes, and natural wear and tear. Dave Munson, the founder of Saddleback Leather Co., prefers to minimally treat his own personal bags and allows them to have the beaten-to-hell look that tells tales of adventures (and sometimes misadventures) without ever uttering a word.

So think about what you want your leather to look like, and next, we’ll go through some various treatment options.

The Differences Between Various Leather Treatments

If you’re like me, you may have thought that giving your shoes a good polish every now and then was all that leather needed to stand the test of time. When perusing the shoe care section of a department store, all the creams, polishes, waxes and conditioners blended together into a single product in my mind. They’re not, in fact, totally interchangeable, though. Let’s take a look at what these different treatments do to leather. Keep in mind there aren’t general pros and cons here; as stated above, it comes down to what you want, and what the function of the leather item is.

Polish. Polish is largely actually for aesthetics. On its own, it’s mostly about the actual shine of the product (usually shoes and bags) rather than protecting it from the elements. Having said that, many polishes have a moisturizing element, so you really have to look at the product description and user reviews to know what you’re getting and what it does.

Since cleaning is part of a good polishing routine, it’s certainly not a bad thing to do. The frequency of polishing simply depends on your own preferences for how you want your leather goods to look, but most casual items won’t need it. If you have a nice briefcase or fancy dress shoes, that’s where polish really comes in.

Conditioner/Cream. Leather conditioner or cream moisturizes the material so that it doesn’t dry out and crack. This won’t make your shoes “shine,” but it will protect them. Note that in most cases conditioners don’t waterproof your leather (though some do include a water-repelling component). Leather conditioners are lotion-like and are to be gently rubbed into the leather. The hide will soak up the conditioner, just like your skin would soak up a moisturizer.

How often you use conditioner, as with the other treatments, really depends on what you want. Dave Munson mentioned above, conditions every 6-12 months, preferring to let his bags completely dry out before re-applying. That keeps the leather looking rugged and tough, and allows it to accrue some scuffs, scratches, etc.

Most folks out there — everyday folks who haven’t founded leather goods companies — like to condition their goods (largely everyday use items like shoes and bags) every 3 months or so, sometimes more if they live in a dry climate.

Read the Whole Article

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Il piano “Ghiaccio-9”

Freedonia - Gio, 02/02/2017 - 11:14




di James Rickards


La metafora principale che uso nel mio ultimo libro, The Road to Ruin: The Global Elites’ Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis, è qualcosa che si chiama "Ghiaccio-9".

Ghiaccio-9 può risultare familiare ad alcuni lettori, forse non alla maggior parte, poiché è qualcosa che ho preso in prestito dal romanziere Kurt Vonnegut.

Scrisse un breve romanzo nei primi anni '60 chiamato proprio Ghiaccio-nove. Se non lo conoscete, vi consiglio di leggerlo. È breve e divertente.

Il mio libro, d'altra parte, non è affatto divertente. Parlo della fine del sistema finanziario e della possibilità reale che molte persone possano perdere tutti i loro risparmi. È coinvolgente, intrigante e leggibile, ma onestamente non posso dire che sia divertente. Quello di Kurt Vonnegut, invece, lo è, anche se parla di un dispositivo mortale.

Una variante di una molecola d'acqua inventata da uno scienziato diversa solo in un aspetto: fondeva a 114 gradi fahrenheit e congelava a temperatura ambiente. Se una molecola di questa strana acqua fosse venuta in contatto con una molecola regolare d'acqua, la molecola regolare si sarebbe trasformata in ghiaccio-9. Ciò accadeva più e più volte, in progressione geometrica.

Ghiaccio-9 era mantenuta in una fiala, ma se fosse stata aperta e la molecola fosse finita in acqua normale, tutta quell'acqua sarebbe stata congelata. Poi si sarebbe diffusa e avrebbe ghiacciato laghi, fiumi, oceani e tutta l'acqua del mondo.

Naturalmente tutti sul pianeta Terra sarebbero morti. Era un dispositivo mortale, una metafora della distruzione nucleare. Questo libro uscì proprio nel periodo della crisi missilistica cubana, quindi era un tema molto d'attualità.

Nel mio libro, prendo la metafora del ghiaccio-9 e la applico al sistema finanziario. Il punto è che una parte del sistema finanziario non può essere isolata. Un contagio inizia in una parte del sistema e si diffonde. Questo perché nel momento in cui una parte viene isolata, ognuno corre dall'altra per cercare di riprendere i propri soldi.

La descrizione migliore di un panico finanziario: tutti vogliono indietro i loro soldi in una sola volta.

Il processo ben presto va fuori controllo. Ognuno vende azioni, obbligazioni, immobili, vende di tutto. Tutti vogliono i loro soldi indietro in una sola volta, oppure pensano che possano riuscirci, invece non ci riescono. Scopriranno che quello che effettivamente hanno in loro possesso sono azioni, obbligazioni e immobili e fondi nei mercati monetari, e non potranno riavere indietro i loro soldi.

Immaginate un blocco dei fondi del mercato monetario. Nessuno può riprendere i propri soldi. Poi tutti si riversano nelle banche chiedendo la stessa cosa, ma le banche sono chiuse. Poi ognuno cerca di vendere le proprie azioni, ma il mercato azionario è chiuso. E così via. In altre parole, nel momento in cui una parte del sistema viene isolata, tutta la domanda di liquidità si sposta in un'altra parte. Ma viene prosciugata e anche quella parte del sistema deve essere chiusa. Presto l'intero sistema viene arrestato, perché è profondamente interconnesso. Ecco servita la metafora del ghiaccio-9, in quanto non è solo una molecola d'acqua che diventa ghiaccio, tutta l'acqua nel mondo si trasforma in ghiaccio perché è tutto collegato.

Permettetemi di chiarire meglio la metafora. Il punto è che la pressione si muove da una parte del sistema ad un'altra. Non si può semplicemente chiudere una parte. È necessario spegnere l'intero sistema ed è quello che potrebbe accadere.

Il posto più sicuro in cui mettere il denaro è proprio in banca, fino al limite assicurato. Credo che il governo federale dovrà onorare il FDIC, che assicura il denaro depositato fino a $250,000 per ogni conto.

Se ne avete di più, potete dividere i vostri soldi tra due banche. Se siete una persona sola con, ad esempio, $500,000, potete depositare $250,000 in una banca e $250,000 in un'altra. Non in un ramo diverso della stessa banca, ma in una banca differente. Entrambi i conti saranno assicurati per l'intero importo. Questo è ciò che è accaduto a Cipro. Il governo ha onorato la sua assicurazione per l'importo indicato. Ma i depositi che superavano la somma assicurata sono stati confiscati e trasformati in azioni della banca.

Questo è un bail-in ed è diverso da un piano di salvataggio statale. Quest'ultimo è quando il governo usa la stampante e il denaro dei contribuenti per salvare un istituto finanziario. Tutte le persone che hanno rapporti con l'istituto finanziario, che si tratti di depositanti, obbligazionisti, ecc., possono dormire sonni tranquilli. Tutti tengono i loro soldi. Un bail-in è diverso...

In un bail-in il governo dice: "Non vi aiuteremo. Non useremo i soldi del governo. Non useremo il denaro della banca centrale. Prenderemo i soldi già nella banca e li convertiremo in azioni della bad bank; mentre nel caso degli obbligazionisti, non otterranno 100 centesimi a dollaro, invece otterranno 80 centesimi a dollaro, ecc. ecc."

Useranno i soldi già nella banca, che si tratti di depositanti, obbligazionisti o azionisti, e useranno quel denaro per riparare il bilancio.

Questo è ciò che accadrà con Deutsche Bank e con le banche italiane che si trovano in difficoltà. Accadrà anche con altre banche sull'orlo del fallimento negli Stati Uniti. Come ho già detto, si è assicurati fino all'importo garantito, anche se il governo potrebbe chiudere le banche per diversi giorni.

Ecco perché vi consiglio di mantenere un po' di denaro contante in un luogo sicuro al di fuori del sistema bancario. Sto parlando della cartamoneta, ora. Avere un po' di denaro contante è come avere batterie e torce elettriche. Io vivo in un luogo in cui a volte ci sono uragani e tempeste, quindi la corrente elettrica va via a volte. È meglio avere un paio di batterie. E, per quanto ci riguarda, questo significa denaro contante.

Ricordate, quando non c'è corrente elettrica, non funziona nulla. I bancomat non funzionano. I distributori di benzina non funzionano, ecc.

Provate a ritirare $20,000 in contanti dalla vostra banca e verrete segnalati al governo. Finirete nei file accanto a quelli di Al-Qaeda e dei cartelli della droga. Non è qualcosa di divertente.

Il punto è che potreste pensare di poter riavere il vostro denaro, ma non è così. Quando ci proverete, verrete trattati come dei criminali. Questo è naturalmente parte della guerra al contante ed è pericoloso. Il popolo americano sarà trattato come pecore al macello. Sarà ammassato in gabbie digitali, ovvero, le banche.

La maggior parte delle persone pensa di vivere in un sistema fatto di contanti, ma in realtà le cose non stanno così. Quanto denaro avete nelle borse e nei portafogli? Probabilmente non tanto. È possibile utilizzare carte di debito, AutoPay, il conto bancario online, Apple Pay, carte di credito. È tutto digitale. Non c'è molto denaro, e se si tenta di riprenderlo, non è possibile riaverlo.

Ecco perché vi consiglio di mettere i vostri soldi in oro fisico o argento, in una monster box. Una monster box ha 500 once di American silver eagle. Costano circa $10,000 sul mercato. Dovreste trovare un buon rivenditore che non vi faccia pagare troppo la commissione.

Ma preserverete la vostra ricchezza. In una situazione d'emergenza, la gente sceglierà questa soluzione. Molte persone saranno liete di cedere alcuni generi alimentari per un solida oncia d'argento, perché nessuno si fiderà di nessun altro tipo di denaro.

Raccomando anche l'immobiliare come parte del vostro portfolio. Sarà ancora lì se c'è una tempesta, o un'interruzione di corrente, o se la vostra banca verrà chiusa. Queste sono alcune delle cose che consiglio prima della prossima grande crisi.

Non c'è bisogno d'essere impotenti quando arriverà la prossima la crisi. La si potrà vedere arrivare ad un miglio di distanza se si sa cosa cercare, e ci sono sicuramente misure che si possono adottare.

Saluti,


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


The Left Is a Nasty Bunch

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

One can only imagine the widespread media, political and intellectual condemnation of Republicans and conservatives if, after the inauguration of Barack Obama, they had gone on a violent and vicious tear all over the nation as did Democrats and liberals after the inauguration of President Donald Trump. They committed acts such as assaulting Trump supporters, setting fires and stoning police. Suppose Republicans/conservatives had carried signs that read “F— Obama” or talked about “blowing up the White House.” The news media, instead of calling them protesters, would have labeled them evil racists, obstructionists and everything else except a child of God. The reason for the difference in treatment is simple. Republicans and conservatives are held — and hold themselves — to higher standards of behavior. By contrast, Democrats and liberals are held — and hold themselves — to less civilized standards of behavior. Let’s look at some of the history of conservative and liberal behavior.

One of the nastiest more recent liberal events was the Occupy movement around the nation. During Occupy protests, there were rapes, assaults, robberies, and holdups. These people publicly defecated and urinated on police cars. The mess they left after their demonstrations can be described as no more than a pigsty. Does anybody recall any Democratic official, from the president on down, admonishing them to behave? Contrast their behavior with that of tea party protesters. Tea partyers didn’t set fires, stone police or engage in the other kinds of despicable behavior the liberal Democrats did. On top of that, they left the areas where they protested clean.

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Ask yourself whether you have ever seen Republicans/conservatives rioting, turning over police cars, looting, setting places of business on fire and shouting obscenities while marching. Have you ever seen conservatives marching with chants calling for the murder of police officers? You may have heard liberals yelling, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” In fact, virtually all of the violence against police — whether it’s throwing stones, ambushing or murdering — is committed by liberals or people who’d identify as Democrats. The fact of the matter is that if we were to examine criminality in America — whether talking about murderers, muggers or prisoners — it would be dominated by people who would be described as liberals, Democrats, and Hillary Clinton supporters.

Democrats and liberals accuse Republicans of conducting a war on women. Assault, rape, and murder are the worst things that can be done to a woman. I would bet a lot of money that most of the assaults, rapes, and murders of women are done by people who identify as liberals, and if they voted or had a party affiliation, it would be Democratic.

One of the most glaring examples of how liberals are held to lower standards comes when we look at what they control. The nation’s most dangerous big cities in 2012 were Detroit, Oakland, St. Louis, Memphis, Stockton, Birmingham, Baltimore, Cleveland, Atlanta and Milwaukee (http://tinyurl.com/qeusjj4). The most common characteristic of these cities is that for decades, all of them have been run by Democratic and presumably liberal administrations. Some cities — such as Detroit, Buffalo, Newark, and Philadelphia — haven’t elected a Republican mayor for more than a half-century. It’s not just personal safety. These Democratic-controlled cities have the poorest-quality public education despite the fact that they have large and growing school budgets. Most of these dangerous cities have suffered massive decreases in population. Some observers have suggested that racism has caused a white flight to the suburbs. But these observers ignore the fact that black flight has become increasingly significant. It turns out that black people do not like to be mugged and live in unsafe neighborhoods any more than white people.

Republicans and conservatives, including President Trump, should not gripe or whine about different treatment by the liberal media. Magnanimity commands that we have compassion and try to understand our fallen brethren. We should make every effort to sell them on the moral superiority of personal liberty and its main ingredient — limited government.

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Trump Is Being Sabotaged

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

President Trump says he wants the US to have better relations with Russia and to halt military operations against Muslim countries. But he is being undermined by the Pentagon.

The commander of US forces in Europe, General Ben Hodges, has lined up tanks on Poland’s border with Russia and fired salvos that the general says are a message to Russia, not a training exercise.

How is Trump going to normalize relations with Russia when the commander of US forces in Europe is threatening Russia with words and deeds?

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The Pentagon has also sent armored vehicles to “moderate rebels” in Syria, according to Pentagon spokesman Col. John Dorrian. Unable to prevent Russia and Syria from winning the war against ISIS, the Pentagon is busy at work derailing the peace negotiations.

The military/security complex is using its puppets-on-a-string in the House and Senate to generate renewed conflict with Iran and to continue threats against China.

Clearly, Trump is not in control of the most important part of his agenda—peace with the thermo-nuclear powers and cessation of interference in the affairs of other countries.

Trump cannot simultaneously make peace with Russia and make war on Iran and China. The Russian government is not stupid. It will not sell out China and Iran for a deal with the West. Iran is a buffer against jihadism spilling into Muslim populations in the Russian Federation. China is Russia’s most important military and economic strategic ally against a renewal of US hostility toward Russia by Trump’s successor, assuming Trump succeeds in reducing US/Russian tensions. The neoconservatives with their agenda of US world hegemony and their alliance with the military-security complex will outlast the Trump administration.

Moreover, China is rising, while the corrupt and dehumanized West is failing. A deal with the West is worth nothing. Countries that make deals with the West are exposed to financial and political exploitation. They become vassals. There are no exceptions.

Russia’s desire to be part of the West is perplexing. Russia should build its security on relations with China and Asia, and let the West, desirous of participating in this success, come to Russia to ask for a deal.

Why be a supplicant when you can be the decider?

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Hillary Angling To Recycle Herself

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

Hillary Clinton has a lot of plans for 2017, including some reflections on her stunning loss to Donald Trump and a speaking engagement at her alma mater.

The former secretary of state, senator and first lady is working on a collection of personal essays that will touch on the 2016 presidential campaign, Simon & Schuster told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The book, currently untitled, is scheduled for this fall and will be inspired by favorite quotations she has drawn upon.  Clinton also will reissue her best-selling ‘It Takes a Village’ in an illustrated edition for young people.

This spring, Clinton will return to her old stomping grounds at Wellesley College to give the commencement address.

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When Clinton graduated from the university in 1969, most of the Ivy League schools still only admitted men. Wellesley was part of the ‘Seven Sisters’ – the women’s only schools that were associated with the Ivy Leagues, and therefore one of the best in the country.

She will also resume her relationship with the Harry Walker Agency, the speaker’s bureau through which she made the paid talks that were criticized by Sen. Bernie Sanders and others during the election race.

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The President and Immigration

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

This past weekend, we all saw massive public outrage in major cities throughout the country. It was directed at the Jan. 27 issuance of an executive order, signed by President Donald Trump, addressing immigration. With the executive order, the president ordered the suspension of entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, as well as anyone from Syria for an indefinite period and anyone from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen for 90 days.

The crowds of protesters, which included members of Congress, called the president a tyrant. The president argued that he was lawfully protecting the country from those who might facilitate terrorist attacks here. Can he legally do this?

Here is the back story.

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The Constitution expressly gives Congress the power to regulate naturalization, which is the process of becoming an American citizen. It does not expressly give it the power to regulate immigration, which is the process of legally entering the country. From 1776 to 1882, Congress recognized this distinction by staying largely silent on immigration, and thus, anyone could come here from anywhere, with the only real regulation being for public health.

In 1882, Congress gave itself the power to regulate immigration, contending that although the Constitution was silent on the issue, the concept of nationhood gave Congress the ability to regulate the nation’s borders and thereby control who was permitted to enter from foreign countries and under what circumstances.

In response to economic competition from Asian immigrants in California — and in the midst of anti-Asian racial animus — Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which limited the number of immigrants from China for 10 years. In 1892, Congress extended the law for another 10 years, and in 1902, Congress made the law permanent. In 1924, Congress passed the Johnson-Reed Act, which restricted entry into the United States through quotas with respect to national origins. The quotas were capped in 1929, reduced in 1943 and substantially expanded in 1965.

In 1952, Congress passed the Immigration and Nationality Act, which expressly authorized the president to suspend the immigration of any person, class of people or group of people into the United States for public health, public safety or national security reasons.

The courts have upheld this presidential power because under our system, immigration materially affects the nation’s foreign policy and foreign policy is constitutionally the domain of the president — with Congress’ role being limited to the senatorial confirmation of treaties and ambassadors and to authorization of money for the president to spend. Yet the courts have limited the president’s exercise of this power so that he cannot base it on First Amendment-protected liberties, such as the freedoms of speech, religion and association. So he cannot bar an immigrant because of the immigrant’s political views, religion or colleagues.

In 1979, President Jimmy Carter exercised this presidential power to bar anyone from Iran from entering the country until the hostage crisis was resolved. In 2011, President Barack Obama used this presidential power to bar anyone from Iraq from entering the country for six months.

Enter President Trump.

As a candidate, Trump promised that he would secure the nation’s borders from those whom he deems harmful to national security for limited periods of time — at least until he and those under him could determine a more accurate mechanism for separating the true refugees from the ones seeking entry for nefarious purposes. On his eighth day in office, he did just that.

The reaction was swift, loud and seemingly everywhere as foreign-born people, many with green cards and visas, were stopped and detained at the nation’s international airports last Saturday. Over the weekend, federal judges in New York City, Boston, Virginia and Seattle ruled that Trump’s order could not apply to green card holders or those who received valid State Department-issued visas based on the pre-executive order protocol.

To its credit, the government recognized that the language of the executive order needed to be clarified because green card holders, no matter the country of origin, have the same right of exit and entry as citizens. Moreover, the government cannot constitutionally give anyone a benefit — such as a visa — and then nullify the benefit because it changed the issuing standards afterward. So the Trump changes can be prospective only.

Where does this leave us?

Expect numerous challenges in Congress and in the courts to Trump’s order because, the challengers will argue, though its stated purpose was not to bar a religious group, its effect is largely to bar Muslims. For sure, the courts will address this. The purpose/effect distinction — which exists in many areas of the law, such as school desegregation, legislative apportionment and voting rights — has not been accepted by the courts against a president for a temporary immigration ban because the courts have often deferred to presidents on foreign policy.

Is the ban just?

Everyone knows we are a nation of immigrants. Three of my grandparents immigrated here as children. Most people recognize that all people have the natural right to travel, which means they can seek entry here; but the country has accepted the ideas that our borders are not open, that the welfare state here is not without financial limits and that in perilous times such as today, immigration is largely and legally in the hands of the president, whether one has voted for him or not.

Yet like all governmental powers, particularly those that often clash with natural rights when they are exercised, the power to regulate immigration must be exercised narrowly. Many reading this are here because someone left another country for the freedoms that are respected here. Those freedoms are natural to everyone and will always draw people here.

The government can only morally and constitutionally interfere with personal freedom for the most compelling of reasons and utilizing the least restrictive means. Is the government faithful to that well-recognized rule? We shall soon see.

Reprinted with the author’s permission.

The post The President and Immigration appeared first on LewRockwell.

Laughing While Outraged

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

Current Prices on popular forms of Silver Bullion

Reprinted with permission from Different Bugle.

The post Laughing While Outraged appeared first on LewRockwell.

Will the Euro Collapse This Year?

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

2017 could be the year that the euro collapses according to Joseph Stiglitz writing in Fortune magazine and these concerns were echoed over the weekend by former Bundesbank vice-president and senior European Central Bank official, Jürgen Stark, when he said that the ‘destruction’ of the Eurozone may be necessary if countries are to thrive again.

Stark and Stiglitz are too of many respected commentators, from both the so-called right and the so-called left, who are warning that the common currency and the Eurozone itself will not survive the financial and political turmoil already besetting the European monetary union and set to deepen in the coming months and years.

Current Prices on popular forms of Silver Bullion

Gold in Euros – 5 Years

According to Stiglitz:

Greece remains in a severe depression. Growth for the Eurozone over the past year has been an anemic 1.6%, and that number is twice the average growth rate from 2005 to 2015. Historians are already speaking of the Eurozone’s lost decade, and it’s possible they’ll soon be writing about its last decade, too.

The euro was introduced in 2002, but the cracks in the single currency arrangement, which began in 1999, became evident with the 2008 global financial crisis.

Indeed, Greece and many periphery nations remain borderline or actually insolvent and this inconvenient truth has been largely ignored in recent months as it would clash with the cosy, and complacent, Eurozone “recovery” narrative.

The recovery is unsustainable as the root cause of the crisis – humongous levels of debt in Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Ireland – was not dealt with rather the debt can was simply kicked down the road.

France, a nation with its own debt and economic issues, warned last week that the “window of opportunity” for a debt deal is closing after Athens and its creditors failed to find a solution to the country’s deadlocked bailout last week. French Finance Minister Michel Sapin warned that the coming volatile elections in Europe in 2017 would soon dominate the agenda and may make it much harder for Greece to reach a new ‘bailout’ deal.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem who heads the Eurozone’s Finance ministers also said: “there is a clear understanding that a quick finalization of the second [bailout] review is in everyone’s interest” as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

However, others such as Stark believe that eurozone “must break up if its members are to thrive again.”

Stark, who served on the ECB’s executive board during the financial crisis, said it was time to “think the unthinkable” and work towards a “reset” of Europe that pulled power away from Brussels as reported by the Telegraph.

He said the creation of a two-speed eurozone, with France and Germany at its core, would help to ensure the smaller bloc’s survival and he said that the current eurozone may need to be destructed in order to create a new “two-speed eurozone, with France and Germany at its core”.

This “would help to ensure the smaller bloc’s survival.”

Stiglitz conclusion, in a little noticed or commented upon article in Fortune magazine, is also not optimistic and underlines the importance of being properly diversified and not having all your eggs in the euro basket – be that euro bank deposits in Eurozone banks or indeed euro-denominated assets.

Stiglitz concludes by warning that:

…  It is at least as likely that the political forces are going in the other direction, and if that is the case, it may be only a matter of time before Europe looks back on the euro as an interesting, well-intentioned experiment that failed—at great cost to the citizens of Europe and their democracies.

The full article can be read on Fortune here

Whether we like it or not, there is an increasing possibility that there may be a return to national currencies in Europe. Periphery nations savers and investors are particularly exposed in this regard.

Gold is an important hedging instrument and financial insurance that will protect people from the potential return to liras, drachmas, escudos, pesetas and punts. Hoping for the best but diversifying and being prepared for less benign financial outcomes remains prudent.

Reprinted with permission from GoldCore.

The post Will the Euro Collapse This Year? appeared first on LewRockwell.

The CIA’s Deep State

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

Donald Trump’s first act as president was a visit to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, where he addressed gathering of CIA employees. His journey directly in “the swamp” took place almost immediately after his inauguration, and was clearly an urgent first priority.

Serenading Langley

The CIA is a headquarters of the Deep State and the Shadow Government. It is the nexus of criminality, and of the Bushes and Clintons, and the world-managing elite. The CIA enjoys a virtually unlimited black budget and virtually unlimited power that is beyond the reach of the law, and beyond the control of the White House.

Yet here was Trump ingratiating and sweet talking the agency that, under the order of John Brennan (on behalf of Hillary Clinton and the Bushes), actively engaged in unprecedented efforts to destroy him.

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Trump swooned, in sickly sweet fawning fashion:

“Nobody feels stronger about the CIA and the intelligence community than Donald Trump. Nobody.I am so behind you. You’re going to get so much backing, you’re going to ask ‘Please Mr. President, don’t give us so much backing’. We’re gonna do great things. We have not used the real abilities we have, we’ve been restrained. We have to get rid of ISIS. Radical Islamic terrorism has to be eradicated off the face of the earth. It is evil. This is a level of evil that we haven’t seen. You’re going to do a phenomenal job, but you’re going to end it. This is going to be one of the most important groups towards making us safe, toward making us winners again, toward ending all of the problems, the havoc and fear that this sick group of people has caused. I am with you a thousand percent! I love you, I respect you, and you will be leading the charge.”

Is Trump naïve, uninformed, or playing some Orwellian game?

How many people attending his speech, the people he expects to “lead the charge” are, in fact, key managers of Islamic terror assets—the very creators and managers of ISIS?

The CIA is, in fact, the very “sick group of people” responsible for orchestrating international terrorism and untold atrocities. How does Trump plan on the CIA “ending” Islamic terrorism when it is the institution he “loves and respects” is the institution that foments and continues to spread this “fear and havoc?

Does Trump know that the CIA is, in addition to being the world’s leading manager of terrorism, also the propaganda ministry of the United States? Does Trump realize that the CIA controls the corporate mainstream media organs that relentlessly and savagely attack him around the clock, and that many of the individuals that he is glad-handing may well be the very same individuals who are orchestrating the vicious propaganda and ongoing coup attempts directed at him and his presidency?

Was Trump’s fawning speech an admission of surrender, and that he will change nothing except the top leadership (switching out Brennan for Mike Pompeo) because he believes nothing needs to be changed?

What did he mean when he said that the CIA had been “restrained”? In what way is the CIA, which is more powerful and more aggressive today than at any other time in its unsavory history, “restrained”? The magnitude of terrorism, violence, criminality and war has reached unprecedented levels, to the brink of world war. Will the CIA, therefore, be allowed, under Pompeo and Trump, to continue engaging in even more terrorism, false flag operations, regime destabilizations and coups, assassinations, narcotrafficking, financial fraud, corruption, media control and disinformation, and treason—on an even greater “unrestrained” scale? 

Trump openly supports enhanced interrogation and torture, which means he supports methods perfected and utilized by the CIA. To head off political pressure, Trump says he will allow Defense Secretary Mattis, who is against torture, to “overrule” him, and allow Mattis to decide on a case by case basis whether to torture prisoners. Is Trump’s unapologetic enthusiasm for torture an example of what he expects to be among the “unrestrained” abilities and “great things” he wants the CIA to display?

As written by former CIA veteran Victor Marchetti in the classic expose, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, the CIA does not “function primarily as a central clearinghouse and producer of national intelligence for the government”. Its basic mission is “that of clandestine operations, particularly covert action—the secret intervention in the internal affairs of other nations. Nor was the Director of CIA a dominant—or much interested—figure in the direction and management of the intelligence community which he supposedly headed. Rather, his chief concern, like that of most of his predecessors and the agency’s current Director—was in overseeing the CIA’s clandestine activities”.

There is also the management of entrenched CIA businesses, which include looted and laundered trillions in secret bank accounts and shell companies, and the management of a vast network of CIA political assets throughout Washington and in the corporate world. What, if anything, does Trump intend to do, for instance, about the massive CIA enterprise that remains in the control of the Bush/Clinton network, which is bitterly opposed to Trump?

While there may be CIA operatives and employees, including current and former veterans who do not support the criminal operations of the agency, these rank and file operatives have not dictated CIA policy since its creation. These “good guys” are the minority, and their reform and whistleblowing efforts have largely been in vain and met with deadly force.

Is there any sign that that Trump and Pompeo seek to reform the CIA at all, into an institution that answers to its own government? Or do Trump and Pompeo merely seek to somehow co-opt this above-the-law apparatus, retaining its worst elements, towards their own designs (whatever they may be)?

Trump’s “war on terrorism”: waging war with itself?

Trump promises a total war against Islamic terrorism and ISIS.

How does Trump wage a total war against Islamic terrorism when the agency of which he is “the biggest fan”, that he “supports one thousand percent”, is responsible for the creation and ongoing use of Islamic terrorism, as military-intelligence assets for Anglo-American geopolicy? Does Trump realize that the CIA is funding and arming ISIS, Al-Nusra, and Al-Qaeda?

Trump’s “War on Terrorism”: Going After America’s “Intelligence Assets”? 

Does Trump understand that the CIA is responsible for decades of false flag terror operations, including 9/11? (On 9/11, Trump seems to believe a variation of the consensus official narrative blaming outside Islamic terrorists, possibly the Saudis, and George W. Bush for failing to kill Osama bin Laden. Therefore, the CIA is blameless. He holds this view, despite firsthand experience that goes against the official story.)

Does Trump’s total “war on terrorism” include waging war against the vast network of CIA assets that are currently engaged in destabilization operations across the Middle East? What is his plan for the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Al-Nusra—all of which are CIA fronts?

How can the existing networks remain in place without disaster? Will Trump pit officially sanctioned US military forces against the CIA proxies that have been working on orders from the Obama administration?

Will Trump shut down ongoing military and intelligence operations throughout the region? How will he cut off the funding of terrorists (sources which include Washington and the CIA, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Israel)? What will be done with the hundreds of proprietary cells and CIA-aligned foreign intelligence networks?

Many have compared Trump’s professed anti-establishment goals to President John F. Kennedy’s fatal efforts to take down the Deep State and the CIA. More specifically, if Trump dares dismantle the CIA and the imperial foreign policy that has been in place since the end of the Cold War, he would place himself in the same dangerous position as JFK faced during the Bay of Pigs operation against Cuba. JFK paid with his life for ruining the CIA’s game. Imagine the repercussions for Trump, if he ends the conquest of the Middle East and Central Asia.

The incompetence excuse

It is difficult to predict Trump’s plan based on his rhetoric, which has been consistently inconsistent. According to his website, Trump’s primary issue with the Bush/Cheney/Obama/Clinton/Biden (McCain) Middle East program is that he believes that his predecessors recklessly squandered opportunities and unwittingly or stupidly allowed ISIS to happen. It was correct, in Trump’s view, to go into Afghanistan to avenge 9/11 (which he believes was an act of an outside enemy, not a false flag operation), but wrong to go into Iraq. But, according to Trump, once in Iraq, the US should have taken the oil, prevented the oil from going to ISIS, and done a better job preventing the rise of ISIS.

Similarly, Trump seems to believe that (1) Libya was needlessly destroyed by Clinton and Obama and that Gadhafi could have been removed more surgically, without letting terrorists run wild, and (2) Syria could have been toppled surgically by Obama, who “lacked the courage” to go in. Here also, Trump’s narrative is that mistakes allowed ISIS to spread. Now, however, Syria is too much of a mess and must be cleaned up differently.

The overarching problem, in Trump’s limited view, again is that “mistakes” created power vacuums from which ISIS, unwittingly set loose by Obama/Clinton’s incompetence.

Nowhere in this Trump narrative is there mention of the CIA’s creation and ongoing management of Islamic terrorism—including Al-Qaeda and all fronts of the Islamic State—on behalf of Anglo-American interests around the world. No inkling that Islamic terrorism is, in fact, the key component of American geostrategy.  

If Trump grasps any aspect of these amply documented facts, he has so far shown no signs of it. It is not known if he is naïve, uninformed, selectively biased, or if he has been deluded or manipulated by the many “advisers” that he trusts. Or if he has some plan that has yet to be revealed.

The disinformation ministry to stop itself?

Trump promises to wage war against radical Islam on an ideological and cultural basis. This suggests that Trump and Pompeo wish to counter Muslim extremism with counter-propaganda.

This ignores that fact that the CIA itself is a leading disseminator of radical Islamic thought. The CIA, and its international proxies is behind extremist rhetoric and propaganda, including material broadcasted over the media and the Internet. Trump does not seem to grasp that radical Islam is a symptom and not a cause. And it is merely a tool, and a weapon used to carry out the geopolitical agenda of the (amoral and non-religious) world elite.

The real enemy is not religion, but those who manipulate and distort religion for war purposes. The real enemy, therefore, is again the CIA itself, and its propaganda.

Just as it is foolish to allow the CIA to continue arming, funding and guiding ISIS terrorists in the field while also “fighting” them, it is foolish to have the CIA create anti-extremist propaganda while Langley is still guiding the extremist rhetoric being utilized by the terrorists.

If Trump fails to stop the CIA itself and its entire “war on terrorism”, including its propaganda, he stops nothing.

Trump’s resource warriors

The “war on terrorism” and the conquest of the Grand Chessboard is, in essence, a resource war that has been waged over geography involving oil and gas supplies, and oil and gas distribution routes: pipelines, sea transport, etc. Will Trump continue this, and how?

Trump’s selection of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State is telling as well as ominous. Tillerson’s ExxonMobil has been a major beneficiary of the “war on terrorism”, and a major player in energy deals connected to 9/11 and all subsequent conflict.

Tillerson was executive vice president of ExxonMobil Development Company and oversaw many of the company’s Caspian Sea holdings.

ExxonMobil was one of the members of Dick Cheney’s secret task force, the US National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPDG). As detailed extensively in Mike Ruppert’s Crossing the Rubicon, the NEPDG’s targeting of Middle East and Central Asian energy fields served as a virtual map of the battle for the “war on terrorism” and a central motive behind 9/11.

In addition, according to Ruppert, who detailed the case in “The Elephant in the Living Room” (From the Wilderness 3/30 02), ExxonMobil engaged in bribery. Major bribes totaling $1 billion were paid by ExxonMobil and BP Amoco to Kazakhstan’s then-president Nutsulstan Nazarbayev to secure equity rights in Kazakh oil fields during the 1990s. Dick Cheney, then-CEO of Halliburton was a sitting member of the Kazakh state oil advisory board. The activities of Cheney’s NEPDG as well as the numerous bribery scandals have been aggressively covered up.  

Tillerson must certainly know about all of this. Does Trump? Is this the kind of foreign policy agenda he and his national security team embraces? If so, it is pure globalism of the most rapacious kind.

More questions

Trump wants better relations with Russia. Cooperation between Trump and Putin has temporarily headed off imminent superpower conflict towards World War 3 over Syria. This conflict would have exploded in earnest if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency.

But what do better relations with Russia mean in terms of the geostrategy, and energy? Recall that Russia has been intimately involved with its own vast energy agenda throughout Central Asia and the Middle East. Russia was reluctantly cooperative with the Bush/Cheney administration throughout the Afghanistan and Iraq conquests. Deals were made. Russia could have, but did not, militarily oppose Bush/Cheney.

Is Trump going to revert to something similar, in which he and Tillerson (who has longstanding ties to the heads of state of all nations, including Russia) cut Russia in on deals—-a cooperative superpower “management” of Syria and the rest of the Grand Chessboard?

What are Trump’s plans for Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, etc.?

How will Trump balance the competing interests of Russia and Israel? How will Trump and Pompeo deal with the Mossad?  Israel and Netanyahu have belligerently demanded regime change in both Syria and Iran, and continue to engage in provocative actions to force reactions out of the Syrian and Iranian governments. Trump is staunchly pro-Israel. Given that stance, and his lack of opposition to the Israeli lobby, what are the chances that he will push a policy in Syria that goes directly against the demands of Tel Aviv?

But what are Trump’s views on China’s numerous cooperative deals with Russia throughout the world, including the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, etc.? How will Trump balance warmer relations with Moscow while adopting a more belligerent policy towards Beijing.

A lone voice of reason 

Shortly after his election win, Trump met with Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii). Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran, is firmly and boldly against the regime change in Syria. She is a staunch and open critic of the CIA’s direct and indirect arming and funding of all Islamic terrorists and against support of countries that support terrorists. She calls the Syrian conflict an illegal war that must stop.

On January 4, 2017, Gabbard introduced HR 258, the Stop Funding Terrorists Bill, which would “prohibit the use of American government funds to provide assistance to Al-Qaeda, Jabhat, Fatah al-Sham, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and to countries supporting these organizations, and for other purposes”. This bill aims squarely, boldly, at the CIA.

More recently, , Gabbard visited Syria and met with Assad. She has been willing to accept political flak from all sides to change the course of US policy. She has also met with the families of veterans and other American citizens affected by the Syrian conflict.

According to Gabbard, “ my visit to Syria has made it abundantly clear: Our counterproductive regime change war does not serve America’s interest, and it certainly isn’t in the interest of the Syrian people. As I visited with people from across the count and heard heartbreaking stories of how this war has devastated their lives, I was asked, ‘Why is the United States and its allies helping Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups try to take over Syria? Syria did not attack the United States. Al-Qaeda did.’ I had no answer.”

Having met with Gabbard, who may have been considered for a cabinet position at some point, Trump has no excuse: he has been advised by someone with an authoritative point of view that is deeply critical of the CIA and its use of terror proxies.

Does Trump agree or disagree with Gabbard?

To drain or not to drain the CIA swamp

Nothing in his rhetoric suggests that he is against the “war on terrorism”. In fact, he is gung-ho for it, with relish. He simply has his own opinion on how it should be carried out.

It seems highly unlikely that Trump can or will reverse the central geostrategic agenda that has been the cornerstone of imperial policy since the 1970s.

Nor does it seem likely that Trump can or will eradicate the criminal element from the national security apparatus that has stopped all challenges to its primacy since the end of World War II. Langley has not been successfully cleaned up or reformed since its inception. If his fawning words are to be taken at face value, Trump is in love with the CIA and wants the CIA to love him. At the very least, he is going overboard to win them over.

Former CIA operative Robert Steele believes that Trump has already been penetrated by the CIA, and names White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus as a mole. Trump, however, has shown nothing but ardor for Priebus, “his superstar”, since the election. Priebus is not the only figure behind Trump who demands scrutiny. The entire Trump administration is crawling with neocons and “former” neocons. How many of them have ties to Langley? Trump is surrounded by enemies, within his administration as well as outside. He must protect himself from all of these individuals if he is even bothering to identify them.

But because Trump appears unlikely, unwilling, or unable to eradicate the true root of “terrorism”—the CIA itself and all military-intelligence agencies that utilize and control terrorists—the world faces a future of continued zero-sum/endless “anti-terrorism”, as the CIA continues sending terrorists to commit violence and murder, at the same time that the commander-in-chief continues to send the CIA out to go after them, in a surreal and idiotic waste of resources and lives.

Nothing is clear except this:

If Trump does not drain the swamp that is the CIA, he will not end Islamic terrorism, nor dismantle globalism. He will fail to make America great.

If he does not end the “war on terrorism” entirely, humanity itself remains in grave peril.

Reprinted with permission from GlobalResearch.ca.

The post The CIA’s Deep State appeared first on LewRockwell.

Dont’t Say ‘Expectant Mother’

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

Doctors have been instructed to refer to mothers as “pregnant people” to avoid offending transgenders, according to new guidelines from the British Medical Association.

A newly issued 14-page booklet issued by the British Medical Association (BMA), entitled A Guide to Effective Communication: Inclusive Language in the Workplace, calls on doctors to refrain from using the term “expectant mother,” despite its biological accuracy.

The union’s advice to doctors comes several weeks after reports that Hayden Cross, a 20-year-old British woman transitioning to become a man, put gender reassignment operation on hold to have a baby.

There are no other known cases of a transitioning person becoming pregnant in the United Kingdom, while official figures show approximately 775,000 women give birth in the UK every year.

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Despite the miniscule number of pregnant transgenders, the BMA has insisted doctors stop using the word “mother” when referring to pregnant individuals to “celebrate diversity.”

“A large majority of people that have been pregnant or have given birth identify as women. However, there are some intersex men and trans men who may get pregnant,” the booklet says. “We can include intersex men and trans men who may get pregnant by saying ‘pregnant people’ instead of ‘expectant mothers.’”

The booklet also describes the terms “born male” and “born female” as offensive because they “are reductive and over-simplify a complex subject,” and instructs National Health Service (NHS) doctors to refer to an individual by the gender they were “assigned” at birth.

Read the Whole Article

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Libertarian Populism

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 02/02/2017 - 07:01
The Irrepressible Rothbard Essays of Murray N. Rothbard Edited by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. .


October 1994

American political life has experienced a veritable transformation. As usually happens when we are in the midst of a radical social change, we are barely aware that anything is happening, much less its full scope and dimension. In the words of Bob Dylan taunting the hated bourgeoisie in the 1960s: “You don’t know what’s happening, do you, Mr. Jones?” Except that now the tables have been turned, and “Mr. Jones” is the comfortably ensconced member of the liberal and Beltway elite ruling this country.

The great and inspiring new development is that, for the first time in many a moon, a genuine grassroots right-wing people’s movement is emerging throughout the country. This is a very different story from the Official Conservative and Libertarian movement that we have known all too well for many years: a movement where well-funded periodicals, think tanks, and “public interest” law firms, snugly (and smugly) established mostly inside the Beltway, set down the Line unchallenged for the subservient folks in the hinterlands.

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Funding for these outfits comes mostly from big foundation and corporate donors; the role of the masses “out there” throughout the country is to touch their forelock and kick in with the rest of the dough. Often these Beltway organizations exist only as direct-mail fundraising machines with the usual panel of celebrities on their letterheads; the function of donations is to pay the salaries and to finance the luxurious housing for these institutions.

Those Beltway organizations that are really active conduct indirect lobbying on behalf of gradual, marginal reforms hoping to push Congress or the Executive one centimeter to the right; the more important function, however, is to grant their major donors one of the great prizes of Official Washington: access to leading politicians and bureaucrats.

The published reports of these outfits are mainly designed not to advance The Cause, but to demonstrate to their donors the fact of such access: hence, countless pictures of think-tank executives shaking hands with Senator Dole, Alan Greenspan, or whomever.

The major purpose of the conferences held by these institutions is not to advance the truth or the free market in the public arena, but to demonstrate, once again, to the major donors that they are capable of bringing in Greenspan or Dole to attend their functions.

The stated excuse of these outfits, many of whom still claim abstract devotion to high libertarian or conservative principle, is that the reason for their location inside the Beltway and for devoting their energies to minor and negligible reforms is that this is the only way they can gain respectability in Washington.

But that, of course, is precisely the problem: change the word “respectability” to “access,” and the point becomes all too clear. For a long time, these Washington organizations have not been part of the solution, however gradual or minor; they have been part of the problem: the domination of American life by Washington.

This sort of movement has been necessarily top-down, although many of these outfits like to think of themselves as grassroots: the grassroots Americans, however, live to serve the power elite, and the power elite lives to curry favor and access with Leviathan. That is why Samuel Francis’s metaphor is apt about the Beltway conservative movement meeting inside a phone booth.

But in recent months, something brand new has happened. A grassroots, right-wing populist movement has been springing up all over the country, a movement that has no connection whatever to Official Conservative elites. Having no connection, the Beltway conservatives can have no control over this new right-wing uprising among the people.

Since it is a genuine grassroots movement, it is necessarily fragmented, unsystematic, and a bit chaotic. Also, since the dominant liberal media don’t want to hear about it, and the Official Conservative movement is frightened of it, we hear very little of its activities.

While at this early stage the movement may be confused and inchoate, it has one magnificent quality which gives it great intensity and abiding strength: a deep and bitter hatred of the despotism exerted over us in so many hundreds of ways by the central government: hatred of politicians, of bureaucrats, and of Washington, D.C.

Note that this intense hatred, this reaction, this “backlash” against the drive toward collectivism, is necessarily and totally out of synch with the Beltway strategy of Official Conservative and Big-Government Libertarian organizations. Among the growing ranks of these grassroots rebels, this entire strategy and way of life is anathema. These heartland rebels are close to the spirit, not of blow-dried Beltway think-tankers, but of the patriots of the American Revolution.

They, in contrast even to the Reaganauts, are genuine revolutionaries; they are ready and willing to tell Washington, in no uncertain terms, to buzz off. To these new American rebels, the ability to sip martinis with Bob Dole constitutes a heavy liability, not an asset. To these great people, having “access” to tyrants means that you are aiding and abetting tyrants.

The recent revolutionary activities have been manifold and widespread. Since we lack complete information, none of us knows their full extent. Probably the first task of right-wing populist intellectuals is to find out what is going on, to get an idea of the full extent of this glorious phenomenon.

Some of these activities are as follows: an erupting “county militia” movement, in which, for example, entire counties are sworn-in as part of a militia so that they cleverly come under the rubric of the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms; an associated and extensive civil disobedience by county sheriffs to the hated and despotic Brady bill; a Tenth Amendment movement: for example, both houses of the Colorado legislature have passed a resolution empowering the governor to call out the National Guard to block federal activities that violate the Tenth Amendment. What doesn’t? And there are similar efforts in every other state.

The Committee of the 50 States, a states’ rights group, has been resurrected to push the Ultimatum Resolution, proclaiming the dissolution of the federal government when the national debt reaches 6 trillion. The Committee is headed by the magnificent and venerable J. Bracken Lee, former mayor of Salt Lake City and governor of Utah. Lee, who would now be called a staunch paleo-libertarian, repeatedly through his career called for abolition of the income tax, an end to the Federal Reserve, withdrawal from the United Nations, and the elimination of all foreign aid.

In addition, there are various flourishing separatist and secessionist movements: for example, the desire of southwestern Nebraskans and northwestern Kansans to get out from under the despotic controllers and taxers of their “Eastern” big cities, such as Omaha and Wichita. Staten Island wants to secede from horrible New York City, and Vermont wants out of the U.S.

Southern secessionists are on the march again, in such new organizations as the Southern League and Peaceful Secession, and grassroots anti-immigration groups are booming in California, Texas, Florida, and other states. The growing and increasingly radical land-rights movement, fighting the confiscation of private property by federal agencies in cahoots with environmentalists, is active in the East as well as the West.

Finally, permeating all sectors of this variegated right-wing movement, there is a healthy and intense abhorrence of the Federal Reserve. These heartlanders may not know precisely what they want done in the field of money, but, happily, they are very firm on what they don’t like. In wanting to sweep away the Fed they are right on the mark. Can you imagine what these folks would think of a libertarian outfit that glories in its ability to hobnob with Greenspan?

And that, I think, is the major point of this essay. There has been a radical change in the social and political landscape in this country, and any person who desires the victory of liberty and the defeat of the Leviathan must adjust his strategy accordingly. New times require a rethinking of old and possibly obsolete strategies.

I was always opposed to the marginal reform strategy endemic to the Beltway think tanks. I always thought that any marginal and dubious short-run gains would be earned only at the price of a disastrous long-run abandonment of and therefore defeat for the principles of liberty. But in the America existing before 1994, such a Beltway strategy was at least coherent and arguable.

Now, however, the Beltway strategy is absurd in the short as well as the long run. There is a new mood in America, a lasting change of heart among the conservative masses. As the Marxists used to say, “the masses are in motion,” and our first task is to stay with them and try to help their movement be more systematic.

No longer are the conservative masses content to send checks to the biggies in Washington, who, in return for their donations, will tell them what to think. No longer are they bowing to their betters who can assure them access to the Corridors of Power. Bless them, these heartland rebels don’t want access; they want to sweep the whole Moloch away.

Where does this marvelous and burgeoning new spirit come from? There was an obvious foreshadowing in the anti-politics and anti-Washington mood of 1992. An example is the flawed and incoherent Perot movement, the major virtue of which was not the erratic leader but the spirit of the rank-and-file militants, who were looking for some sort of anti-Washington Change. But that doesn’t go very far in explaining the new mass movement, which is far more right-wing, and far more intensely focused, than anything Perotvian two years ago.

No, it seems clear that the trigger for the emergence of this brand-new movement has been the total loathing welling up in America for President and Mrs. Clinton, their persons, their lives, their Cabinet, their entire rotten crew. In all my life, I have never seen such a widespread and intense hatred for any president, or indeed for any politician.

Unlike attacks on poor Joe McCarthy, this is not a hatred whipped up by the elites. Quite the contrary, the liberal elites are desperately trying to cover for Clinton, and are bewildered and appalled by the entire phenomenon. In a recent column, Thomas Sowell noted the perplexity of the media, and replied, in effect, that the reason the Clintons are widely “perceived” as power-hungry sleazes is because they are power-hungry sleazes.

Thus the movement erupted in reaction to all the objectively loathsome attributes of the Clintons and their associates – the stream of lies, evasions, crookery, sex scandals, and frantic attempts to run all of our lives. But quickly the hatred of the personal attributes of Clinton spilled over to his programs, to his ideology. Thus we had the most powerful “nuclear fusion” in all of politics: the intense blending of the personal and ideological. The growing realization of the socialist tyranny involved in all of Clinton’s programs – a realization that finally cut through the rhetorical fog of the “Mr. New Democrat” – joined with and was greatly multiplied by the loathing for Clinton the man.

During the 1992 elections, some of us worried that a Clinton administration, in addition to being bad for America and for liberty, would also cripple the right-wing movement strategically. For the usual pattern has been that Democratic administrations are “good” for Beltway organizations because the conservative heartland gets scared and pours money into their coffers. In that way a Clinton administration would unfortunately strengthen the conservative and libertarian Beltway elites that have long been dominating and ruining the right-wing movement.

To some extent, this has of course happened; but more important is a new phenomenon that none of us predicted: that Clinton and his crew would be so monstrous, so blatant, so objectively hateful, that it would drive into being from below a new and burgeoning real right-wing movement that hates all of Washington, whether the actual rulers or the Official Conservatives and Libertarians who bend the knee in behalf of access and possible piddling reform.

Given this, what is the proper strategy for liberty? The first thing is for any conservative or free-market group or institution to be principled, radical, and fervently anti-Washington, and to avoid like the plague Beltway-itis, either in form or content. That is, to denounce rather than cultivate the Corridors of Power, and to call for principled and radical change rather than marginal reform, change that is clearly anti-Washington and anti-federal power.

Such proposals and programs should be designed, not for the eyes and ears of Beltway power, but to educate, inspire, and guide the extraordinarily sound instincts of the new grassroots movement. We are entering an era in which, happily, the principled position is evidently the proper strategy. More than ever before, principle and strategy are fused, in behalf of the victory of liberty.

The post Libertarian Populism appeared first on LewRockwell.

Super Bowl Stupidity

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

We’re not in the business of predicting Super Bowl winners, but we can guarantee there will be lots of stupid questions asked of the participants.

The annual Super Bowl tradition known as Media Day—rechristened “Super Bowl Opening Night” this year—has come to represent the NFL at its silliest. It’s the place where a Japanese reporter once asked of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana, “Tell me, why do they call you Boomer?” (Well, they don’t actually. That would be Boomer Esiason, the Cincinnati quarterback.)

It’s where someone asked Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Joe Salave’a, “What’s your relationship with the football?” To which Salave’a said, “I’d say it’s strictly platonic.”

Media Day is where a St. Louis player found himself pondering the grammatical conundrum contained within the question, “Is Ram a noun or a verb?”

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Where Rams’ quarterback Kurt Warner was asked, “Do you believe in voodoo and can I have a lock of your hair?”

Where Denver running back Detron Smith was asked, “What size panties do you think you’d wear?”

And it’s where Downtown Julie Brown, formerly of MTV, asked Dallas running back Emmitt Smith, “What are you going to wear in the game Sunday?”

Asked how he got psyched to play in big games, Buffalo’s great running back Thurman Thomas sniffed, “I read the newspapers and look at all the stupid questions you all ask.”

NOT QUITE AS STUPID

An urban legend grew that Washington quarterback Doug Williams, the first black quarterback to play in the Super Bowl, was asked, “How long have you been a black quarterback?”

That’s not exactly what happened. ESPN.com cleared it up. The reporter knew Williams. He also knew Williams was tired of hearing about race. So the question was more along the lines of, “Doug, obviously you’ve been a black quarterback all along. When did it suddenly become important?”

Read the Whole Article

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The Aristocratic Roots of Liberty

Lew Rockwell Institute - Gio, 02/02/2017 - 07:01
Corruption, lust and greed Define the new nobility Changing the course of history -        The Astonishing, Dream Theater* .

From his book, On Power: The Natural History of its Growth, Bertrand de Jouvenel describes the aristocratic roots of liberty; such roots were ultimately subsumed by a new nobility – one designed to steal liberty away.

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The Old Nobility

I see liberty in our future And it’s one worth fighting for .

Liberty is found among the most ancient groupings of the Indo-European peoples known to us.  It is a subjective right which belongs to those, and to those only, who are capable of defending it….

It was those powerful families, jealous of their independence but assiduous in matters of common import, that gave their tone to libertarian institutions.

Those individuals and families, the ones capable of defending their liberty, formed the aristocratic roots of liberty.

The modern, progressive, thinker would believe of such a society nothing but chaos – anarchy in the worst sense of the world; yet this was not so – and certainly not when compared with the chaos offered with the advent of all men are created equal.

When your time has come And you’re looking toward the light All that really matters Is what you leave behind .

De Jouvenel offers his explanation:

Why is it that the autonomy of individuals wills did not produce what seems to us its natural result?  The answer lies in three words: responsibility, ritual, folkways.

When the man in the mirror Takes a long hard look at me Will the person staring back, be the man I want to be? .

The nobility took their position seriously – they carried the weight of it in every action.  Of these three words, de Jouvenel offers “folkways” as the “essential factor in the ordering of society.”  Citing Ihering:

The era of liberty in its fullest bloom saw also the reign of the sternest rigour in regard to form…. Fixed forms are the school of discipline and order and therefore, of liberty…. The people that places a real value on liberty knows instinctively the value of form; it realizes that it is no external yoke, but the palladium of its liberty.

Call me thick…but freedom isn’t free (and more on this shortly).  There is a form, a culture to be upheld.  This is what was expected of these noble individuals and families.  Being a freeman was not for everyone:

The system of liberty rested entirely in those days on the assumption that men would use their liberty in a certain way.

Reliance was placed on the observable fact that men – men, that is to say, of a certain class – in virtue of acquired characteristics which could be maintained in vigour, behaved for all practical purposes in this particular way.  With them, and for them, the system of liberty was entirely workable.

Freemen are, taken as a body, capable both of ruling others and of agreeing among themselves…. Men of their breed…will never submit to slavery whether from within or without.

These words sound so painful to children of the enlightened age.  These words don’t sound very…libertarian.  Don’t worry, the story doesn’t end here….

He offers the example of the English aristocrats, who extended the right to all; all the while maintaining the aristocratic leadership in politics and society.  Liberty was extended throughout a society with centuries-old safeguards.  He contrasts this to France, where a society of “subjects” fell under an absolutist machine taken into the hands of the people, “taken in mass.”

The Turning

In what de Jouvenel describes as “Caesarism,” he notes that authoritarians such as Louis Napoleon, Bismarck, and Disraeli enlarged the franchise at the same time that property was becoming a closer preserve.  What did he mean?

First: it was necessary that those who were the oldest in liberty (the aristocratic nobles) should lose their moral credit and standing; second: a new class of capitalists should arise, without moral authority but with wealth that significantly separates them from the masses; third: to bring about the union of political strength with social weakness in a large dependent class.

In other words, the politics of the last hundred years, culminating with Hillary Clinton.  Destroy the old nobility; use the masses to defend the new nobility.

We say, for instance: “Liberty is the most precious of all goods,” without noticing everything that this formula implies in the way of social assumptions.

What does this formula imply?  Specifically: “precious goods” can only be afforded by a few, and only after basic wants are met; precious goods are out of reach of the masses.  Per de Jouvenel, liberty should be considered from this point of view.  For the masses, this means…

Liberty is in fact only a secondary need; the primary need is security.

At any time in history, one will find two camps: those feeling insufficiently protected, labeled “securitarians,” and those feeling insufficiently free, labeled “libertarians.”

…the spirit of liberty will be more prevalent where the spirit of men is prouder…. If, then, character is debased by an effeminate education, or if life takes new forms which generate anxiety without the real risks being increased, the proportion of securitarians will go up.

Social Justice Warriors UNITE!  Find your safe spaces. 

And with this sentence, de Jouvenel has just described the reason for the success of one with the strong-willed, masculine character of Trump.

The New Nobility

Need I remind you? I am the ruler here Don’t overlook that fact Swearing allegiance To anyone but me No, I won’t put up with that .

The king, seeing his competition in the aristocratic nobility, decides to promote the unworthy to positions of power:

…his next step is to court an alliance with the inferior classes; but what is emphasized here is that it is to the more vigorous elements of these classes that he goes for support, to those whose station in life is out of relation to their energies.

In this way, Power encroaches on and reduces the competing authority of the aristocratic nobility.

This seems to be almost the flip sides of Hayek’s views on why the worst get on top.  Where Hayek sees the most unscrupulous attracted to Power, de Jouvenel offers that Power seeks out the most unscrupulous, the ones who will do anything to continue in an existence well above their natural station.

A second method is to break the ties between the aristocratic nobility and their dependents.  While this means some measure of liberty to the dependent, it is a liberty that only a securitatian can enjoy; it is an easy, yet false, liberty as the securitarian is now dependent on Power; it is a liberty that requires no effort to win – and it is valued accordingly.

Third is the invasion of the higher classes by these newly raised nobles – the new nobility who owe their station to Power.  They replace the aristocratic nobility, but with none of the same characteristics, none of the same qualities used to achieve this station.  Instead of the freeman of the old nobility, the new noble knows he is a slave.  He cannot oppose Power – there is none left with power to oppose Power.

If the purpose of a nobility that enjoys a large measure of liberty is to prevent abuses, this new nobility, a securitarian aristocracy, has completely failed the people at large.

Ignorant and stubborn You have no respect Not just for your flesh and blood But all who you protect .

…it is not surprising that [the new nobility] has aroused more anger and hatred.  For men put up with any masters who show themselves brave and self-disciplined.

But this cannot describe the new nobility:

Every method of shaking off risks came alike to the new aristocracy.

This is why we are angry; this is why we hate them.

Conclusion

Like your father once said Life is not what you’re given It is how you decide to live On the path you have chosen .

Sadly, de Jouvenel paints very well the picture of our world.  Today’s aristocrats have not achieved position by honor and leadership; they have achieved position by guile and political favor.  They do not work to protect liberty; instead they work to protect their station.

One can suggest that we need neither the aristocratic noble nor the securitarian noble.  I will disagree.  There will be no vacuum.  There will always be someone in charge around here; there will always be some form law.

The best someone is the one who arises naturally, based on family and kin; the best law is the one to be found in the old and good law.  This was the case through much of the Germanic Middle Ages.  This was a time when more men had more real liberty – liberty earned and kept.

Today we have nobles who bear none of these characteristics.  There is nothing noble about them.

—————————-

*all italicized lyrics from the same album…CD…MP3.., oh, whatever.  And if you appreciate progressive rock, with all of its time signature changes and discordant chord progressions…well, this one is for you.

Reprinted with permission from Bionic Mosquito.

The post The Aristocratic Roots of Liberty appeared first on LewRockwell.

Declining Sports, Declining Society

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

In May 2015, U.S. federal prosecutors filed criminal indictments against fourteen FIFA employees and associates in connection with an investigation by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI) into wire fraud, racketeering, and money laundering which was all centered around bribery. Then 16 more officials were indicted in December 2015. We also see that Super Bowl viewership peaked in 2015 at 115 million and has begun to decline from a major 26-year high. Last year, Super Bowl viewership fell to 111 million, which is actually the Bearish Reversal. So if 2017 comes in under 111 million, this will confirm sports have begun a bear market. This is yet another parallel with the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.

Myths, Misunderstandings and Outright lies about owning Gold. Are you at risk?

Gaius Appuleius Diocles was the highest paid athlete in Roman history. His earnings were legendary and were derived from earnings, not sponsorships. His career as a charioteer lasted 24 years. He is believed to have been born in 104 AD, began racing at the age of 18, and retired at about 42 (around 146 AD). Diocles may have retired during the reign of Antoninus Pius (138 – 161 AD). The Roman Empire peaked with Antoninus’ successor, Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD), which was 34 years from Diocles retirement. Sports began to decline.

Indeed, Marcus Aurelius was succeeded by his son Commodus (sole rule: 180-192 AD). Commodus made appearances in gladiatorial combats. Commodus would appear naked in these gladiatorial combats, which resulted in a collapse in confidence and a huge public scandal. This resulted in rumors that he was actually the son of a gladiator whom his mother, Faustina, probably took as some lover at the coastal resort of Caieta. Commodus always won since his opponents always submitted to the emperor and were spared. He charged Rome 1 million sesterces for his contests, no doubt trying to top Diocles’ earnings. Sports in Rome began to decline from 180 AD onward, as did the population of Rome itself. People began to migrate out of the city when Commodus began to rule by himself. If we add 34 years to 2015, that brings us to 17.2 years from 2032. Very interesting indeed.

Diocles won 1,462 races out of 4,257 and placed second in 1,438 races. Diocles is one of the best-documented ancient athletes in history. He was the start of the Roman Circus Maximus, and you can still see the track to this day.

The 1910-1915 translation of Latin pānis et circēnsēs is the source of remark by the Roman satirist Juvenal on the Limited desires of the Roman populace:

“Two things only the people anxiously desire — bread and circuses.”

During his 24-year career, Dicoles is said to have earned 35,863,120 sesterces in prize money according to Professor Peter Struck. Records from Pompeii show a slave being sold at auction for 6,252 sestertii in 79 AD. A writing tablet from Londinium (Roman London), dated to c. 75–125 AD, records the sale of a Gallic slave girl called Fortunata for 600 denarii, or 2,400 Sestertii, who must have been quite beautiful. We can take a Private First Class in the US army today and see he earns $24,984.00 annually. However, food and lodging are included. During the 1st century AD, the ordinary legionary soldier was paid 900 sestertii per annum, rising to 1200 under Domitian (81-96 AD). This was the equivalent of 3.3 sestertii per day, of which half of this was deducted for living costs. That means the net salary for a soldier was about 1.65 sestertii per day. Therefore, his net pay for taking home would have been 429 sestertii annually. That means, Dicoles earned for his 24 career what would have taken a more solid 83,597 years. If we then compare that to the net take-home pay of a US soldier, Dicoles earned $2,088,587,855 for his 24-year career or $87,024,493 per year. The top athlete in 2016, Cristiano Ronaldo, won a contract for $88 million. Of course, he would never earn that for 24 years.

Gaius Appuleius Diocles was born in approximately 104 AD in Lamecum, the capital city of Lusitania, the province of Emerita Augusta in modern-day Portugal. His father owned a transport business so the family was upper-middle-class. Diocles began racing at the age of 18 in Ilerda, which is Catalonia today. His skills were great and he was recruited to race in Rome. There he began racing for the White team. Being a skilled charioteer, Diocles was recruited then by the Green team at age 24. However, he then transferred to the Red Team at age 27, which was the second best team, and he quickly advanced their prestige. It was Diocles who perfected chariot racing with the strategy of holding back his horses to conserve their energy and then making the strategic play of coming from behind to cross the finish line at the last moment. When he raced, Diocles was the featured event that drew in the crowds. Pictured here is a token costing 5, which was needed to enter the races, which was equal to a little more than one sestertius since 4 copper asses equaled one sestertius.

So it would appear that the Sports Cycle is indeed a leading indicator of the decline and fall of an empire. The year 2015 saw FIFA peak, the Super Bowl peak, and even Tiger Woods peaked in golf. Yogi Berra died in 2015 followed by Muhammad Ali, and Arnold Palmer died in 2016. The year 2015 was the peak on our Economic Confidence Model for the government. Will it too completely collapse in 34 years? This will be very interesting, to say the least.

Reprinted from Armstrong Economics.

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Bonificare la palude 2.0: Trump & Reagan

Freedonia - Mer, 01/02/2017 - 11:13




di David Stockman


C'è una certa rabbia per l'idea che Donald Trump possa essere un degno successore di Ronald Reagan e quindi innescare un boom economico nel mercato azionario.

Infatti ci sono ancora in giro supply-sider, come Stephen Moore, che insistono sul fatto che la cosiddetta Trumpenomics innescherà un boom ed una crescita economica.

Possiamo aspettarci che i venditori ambulanti di azioni a Wall Street credano stupidamente ad una prospettiva così fantasiosa, ma è addirittura imbarazzante quando si tratta di un presunto pro-capitalista e pro-libero mercato come Moore.

La crescita economica che di fatto si verificò durante l'era Reagan, fu il risultato di un imbroglio storico.

Venne alimentata da una massiccia espansione del debito pubblico, seguita da un peccato più grande nei confronti delle leggi di una finanza funzionale. Vale a dire, i soldi stampati da Greenspan monetizzarono il debito pubblico, uccidendo in tal modo i bond vigilantes e rimandando ad un futuro indefinito gli effetti distruttivi derivanti da un aumento del finanziamento pubblico.

Ironia della sorte, siamo arrivati a suddetto "futuro indefinito". Questo vuol dire che per Donald Trump oggi non è più possibile fare quello che Reagan fece allora. Ossia, consentire all'economia degli Stati Uniti di indebitarsi ed incamminarsi verso una falsa prosperità che prima o poi porta ad un'economia mal funzionante ed all'inevitabile rimborso del debito.

La ripresa economica di Reagan sfruttò un bilancio nazionale relativamente pulito. Al momento del suo insediamento, il debito pubblico ammontava a $980 miliardi, solo il 31% del PIL. Alla fine dell'epoca Reagan/Bush arrivò quasi a $4,000 miliardi, un'esplosione in tempo di pace che non si era mai vista nella storia americana.

In entrambi i miei libri, The Great Deformation e Trumped!, ho documentato come sarebbe dovuto già arrivare il giorno della resa dei conti per tutto questo ingiustificabile gozzovigliare col debito pubblico — rimandato più volte sin da quando Greenspan venne messo a capo della FED e scoprì la stampante monetaria nel seminterrato dell'Eccles Building nell'ottobre 1987.

Ben presto Greenspan scoprì che il credito a buon mercato ed un ampio flusso di liquidità nel mercato azionario, lo resero l'eroe della città. Per 19 anni ha gonfiato il sistema monetario ed i mercati finanziari. In sostanza ha parcheggiato il massiccio deficit di Reagan/Bush nel bilancio della FED e delle altre banche centrali di tutto il mondo.

Infatti le altre principali banche centrali hanno iniziato a credere che non avevano altra scelta se non quella di replicare la grande inflazione monetaria della FED. L'alternativa sarebbe stata un'impennata dei tassi di cambio ed un colpo incapacitante alle esportazioni di cui sono diventate dipendenti le economie della maggior parte dei paesi dell'Asia e dei mercati emergenti, come pure i Petro-stati ed altri fornitori di materie prime.

Ma come osservò Herbert Stein, ogni tendenza insostenibile prima o poi tende a fermarsi. A questo punto il debito pubblico oltrepasserà sicuramente i $20,000 miliardi prima che Donald Trump si insedi (ora è già sopra i $19,800 miliardi). Ciò significa che arriverà al 105% del PIL, fermo restando il fatto che ci troviamo in un ambiente economico completamente diverso rispetto a quello del 1981.




In sostanza, Ronald Reagan ha seminato vento e Donald Trump ha ereditato la tempesta. Nel 1981 vi era ancora spazio nel bilancio dello Zio Sam, ma ora è esaurito — sia politicamente, sia finanziariamente.

In questo contesto, mi preme ricordare che la FED è a corto di polvere da sparo. Nel corso degli ultimi tre decenni ha espanso il proprio bilancio e ha monetizzato il debito pubblico, passando da $200 miliardi nel 1981 ai $4,400 miliardi di oggi. Stiamo parlando di un incremento del 22X durante un arco di tempo in cui il PIL nominale è cresciuto solo del 5X.

L'elezione di Trump significherà la fine dello "stimolo" monetario e fiscale che ha alimentato una falsa prosperità per Main Street e una valutazione spropositata degli asset finanziari per Wall Street.

Accolgo con favore questa prospettiva perché le attuali classi dirigenti di Wall Street e Washington hanno portato la nazione sull'orlo della rovina. Il capitalismo clientelare, il racket finanziario, l'aggressione imperiale e le elargizioni sociali finanziate col debito, però, non si eclisseranno nella notte senza far rumore.

Quindi dovrà esserci prima un fallimento epocale delle politiche stataliste affinché siano completamente screditate e le élite che controllano le leve del potere siano finalmente spodestate.

Donald Trump ha definito questo compito "bonificare la palude". Ma gli incorreggibili giocatori d'azzardo a Wall Street hanno escogitato un nuovo trucco: la cosiddetta Trumpflation, un nuovo round di stimolo fiscale tramite tagli fiscali e lavori pubblici.

Peccato per loro, però, che non ci sarà alcun grande stimolo fiscale di Trump, perché i bond vigilantes sono risorti dal loro sonno pluri-decennale.

Questo in prospettiva che la FED abbia smesso di monetizzare il debito pubblico, il che significa che se prima fare front-running nel mercato obbligazionario era un'operazione altamente lucrativa, ora è diventata una trappola finanziaria mortale.

Sin dall'otto novembre scorso sono stati già persi più di $2,000 miliardi nei mercati obbligazionari di tutto il mondo e siamo solo all'inizio — soprattutto se si considera anche l'implosione delle bombe ad orologeria finanziarie che sono state sparse in tutto il sistema finanziario globale attraverso la repressione finanziaria e la falsificazione dei tassi d'interesse da parte delle banche centrali.

Nonostante la momentanea euforia a Wall Street sullo stimolo fiscale, ciò che ci attende è un bagno di sangue fiscale. E non c'è alcuna via di fuga, checché ne dica Stephen Moore con la sua ipotetica e fantasiosa crescita del 4% — una visione che purtroppo contagia l'intero team di Trump, Wall Street e gli economisti supply-sider.

In realtà, tutta la crescita economica possibile in un'economia gravata da $64,000 miliardi tra debito pubblico e privato, è già stata inserita nella linea di base del Congressional Budget Office.

Nel frattempo è bene ricordare che Ronald Reagan cercò di bonificare la palude nel 1981, ma non c'è riuscito. La quota di spesa pubblica in rapporto al PIL non è mai diminuita, la spesa per il welfare state è stata lasciata completamente intatta, mentre quella per la difesa è cresciuta facendo passi da gigante.

Ma Reagan se l'è cavata, perché Washington ha calciato il barattolo — chiedendo prestiti e stampando soldi — per i 35 anni successivi.

Donald Trump, al contrario, non ha nemmeno un vago programma per bonificare la palude — solo slogan buoni su Twitter.

Ha dichiarato di avere già speso $3,600 miliardi dei $4,200 miliardi previsti in bilancio — vale a dire, l'86% della "palude".

Ancora una volta la palude l'avrà vinta. E con la Città Imperiale nel caos e la menzogna dello "stimolo fiscale", è possibile un solo risultato: la bolla finanziaria gonfiata sin dal gennaio 1981 alla fine scoppierà.

E questa volta non sarà possibile rigonfiarla, perché gli stimoli monetari e fiscali hanno completamente esaurito la loro capacità di sfidare le leggi fondamentali dell'economia e di una sana gestione finanziaria.

Saluti,


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


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