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The Internal War in the Trump Administration

Lun, 13/02/2017 - 07:01

As painfully clichéd as it is to say, it really does seem as if Trump has built his inner circle with an Apprentice-like dynamic of two competing teams.

As Axios described it this weekend in a useful article, the dynamic is pitting “confrontationists v. conformists.” The confrontation side is led by Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions, and Stephen Miller, while the conformists are led by Reince Priebus, Jared Kushner, and most of the cabinet that weren’t in the trenches during the campaign (Tillerson, Mattis, etc.)  (I find Axios useful here because it was started by one of the Politico founders. While they shouldn’t be seen as a go-to for policy analysis, it is a great source for Beltway gossip.)

The confrontationists have an uphill battle for two big reasons.

1. They are outnumbered. Much of the other campaign staff has been dispersed inside various departments in below-cabinet level positions. For example, John Mashburn – one of the great Senate conservative bomb throwers – is placed highly in the Justice Department, but probably not high enough to regularly get in Trump’s ear. Most of the people added since the campaign have been those with the sort of gravitas that Trump likes to surround himself with. While most are undoubtedly accomplished, if they truly wanted to overthrow the table they would have been on board before November.

2. Every misstep by the confrontationists becomes the story of week for the media, whereas every misstep by the conformists blends into the status quo. The best example is how the media treated the immigration executive order compared to the military raid killing children in Yemen. (This still got more play than Obama’s term, but obviously not as much as the other.) Further examples are the amount of liberal pressure on Betsy DeVos compared to Steve Mnuchin.

Bannon clearly understands this, and has tried to go on the offensive. While bashing the media, he has also been aggressive playing it. He has been hiring his own communications people within the West Wing, including former Breitbart members, and has been using it to plant stories in various publications. Luckily the demand for copy and clicks means Bannon can bash the media as much as he wants and still get his side out, but he is never going to be given the benefit of the doubt in the press.

Bannon and Miller have clearly prioritized Trump’s signature campaign issue in the early days, immigration. This makes perfect sense given the natural ally in Sessions. Bannon is also obviously interested in establishing a foothold in foreign policy, which explains his seat at the table in the National Security Council. Unfortunately Bannon’s world view here is a bit less-than-ideal, he does have a record of more hawkish statements in regards to China and the Middle East, but it’s easy to take those positions when you’re not in the position he is now.

It will be interesting to see how the situation with Michael Flynn, regarding his direct talk with Russia over sanctions, resolves itself. Stephen Miller was sent out to the Sunday talk shows without anything to say regarding Flynn, which is probably a bad omen for the NSA director. Flynn was in the confrontationist camp, if he’s out it further weakens Bannon’s ranks there.

Perhaps most alarming is that all of this has pretty much given the conformists a free run in economic policy. After all, while Bannon’s economic understanding, particularly his views on bailouts and crony capitalism, is pretty strong from a libertarian standpoint (his desire to politicize jobs created by infrastructure projects aside), he can’t be everywhere and the rest of “his people” have specialties outside economics.

Given all of the recent Bannon press, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal ran profiles on Gary Cohn this weekend. My guess would be that this is a sign to the markets that “don’t worry about the immigration executive order, or Trump’s tweets, the grown-ups are in charge of economic policy.” It was made explicitly clear that Cohn’s influence will be greater-than-normal for the head of the National Economic Council. Both pieces also highlight Cohn’s ability to work around Trump’s tweet-by-tweet agenda and praised him for rolling up his sleeves and getting into the finer details of policy writing.

To be fair to Cohn, I know little about his public statements prior to assuming this position. Maybe it’s possible there was a high-ranking Goldman Sachs Democrat who had a grasp on economic policy outside of the mainstream – I just tend to doubt it. Steve Mnuchin similarly was a question mark who has proven to be constantly in the mainstream as the vetting process has played out.

I think one way this will present itself sooner rather than later will be in the battle over tax reform. Mnuchin has indicated he wants any reform to be revenue neutral, and I expect Cohn to make a similar argument. (Oy!)

If there is any hope to be had for confrontations to have a voice in the economic debates, it will be from Team Pence. I am happy to eat crow regarding the VP, I was not a fan at all when he was chosen, but he has been a true bright spot on this front. He helped make the case for Mick Mulvaney (a Fed critic who wants to cut defense spending) to be selected to head the Office of Management and Budget, was an advocate for John Allison at Treasury, and just hired a Mark Calabria as his top economist. (Calabria has long been a strong libertarian voice against financial regulation in Washington.)

So this may come down largely to how much influence Trump allocates to Pence on economic policy.

What will be very telling is how Trump ends up handling the Fed. Since he now has three vacancies on the board to fill, he has a big opportunity to shake it up. From what I’ve been told, John Allison had a strong performance interviewing for Treasury – so whether he is given a position will, I think, prove to be a strong indicator here.  Since Cohn and Mnuchin are both anti-Dodd-Frank, Allison should be someone they can get behind for the Fed vice chair position overseeing regulation – in spite of him being from Raleigh rather than Wall Street. Should he not get an offer for that, it will be a bad sign going forward.

Lastly, I think Bannon’s relationship with Trump will be the true canary in the coal mine in terms of where the administration is going. There is a full out war being waged right now over Bannon, and people are going to do everything possible to poison that relationship.

The best example of this battle playing out is how Joe Scarborough has been treating Bannon. For weeks now, he has been constantly talking about how “surprised” he is at the amount of attention a White House staffer like Bannon is getting – strongly suggesting that Bannon is intentionally trying to overshadow Trump. While rarely is anything on MSNBC particularly relevant, Morning Joe is an exception because we know Trump watches it. Scarborough not only knows that, but he knows Trump personally. He also knows how to push his buttons. Trump doesn’t want to be overshadowed by anybody, and could be sold to view this as a betrayal from Bannon. We will see how this plays out, but I tend to think it could unfortunately be an effective strategy going forward. Especially since it’s one of the few things the media has direct control over.  

Should Priebus end up outlasting Bannon, the Trump revolution will be over.

The post The Internal War in the Trump Administration appeared first on LewRockwell.

Hungary To Welcome Refugees

Lun, 13/02/2017 - 07:01

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban says his country will open its arms to west Europeans fleeing mass immigration and “the lords of globalist politics”.

“We shall let in true refugees”, Mr. Orban told a cheering audience: “Germans, Dutch, French and Italians, terrified politicians and journalists who here in Hungary want to find the Europe they have lost in their homelands.”

The populist leader has served as the de facto leader of the central and eastern European countries which have resisted the open borders policies of the European Union (EU) and leading member-states in the west of the continent.

Globalist politicians, Mr. Orban contended, are seeking to “sweep away a democracy of debate and replace it with a democracy of [political] correctness”, where “true power, decisions and influence [are] not held by elected governments, but [by] unelected global networks, media gurus and international organisations.”

He cited Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump’s election in the United States as episodes in a wider popular revolt against the “arrogance and condescension” of global elites by ordinary people whose “mouths had been gagged” for too long.

He claimed that history’s departure from “the course marked out for it” in 2016 “mocked the prophets of liberal politics”, who have responded as though “the people are a danger to democracy”.

Read the Whole Article

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The War on Some Drugs

Lun, 13/02/2017 - 07:01

Drugs are a charged subject everywhere. Longtime readers know that although I personally abstain from drugs and generally eschew the company of users, I think they should be 100% legal.

Few people consider how arbitrary the current prohibition is; up until the 1920s, heroin and cocaine were both perfectly legal and easily obtainable over the counter. Some people “abused” them, just like some today “abuse” fat and sugar (because they’re enjoyable).

But drugs are no more of a problem than anything else; life is full of problems. In fact, life isn’t just full of problems; life is problems. What is a problem? It’s simply the situation of having to choose between two or more alternatives. Personally, I believe in people being free to choose, and I rigorously shun the company of people who don’t.

Hysteria and propaganda aside, the fact is that most recreational drugs pose less of a health problem than alcohol, nicotine, or simple lack of exercise.

Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes (of whom I’m a great fan) was an aficionado of opium products. Sigmund Freud enjoyed cocaine. Churchill is supposed to have drunk a quart of whiskey daily. Dr. William Halsted, the father of modern surgery and co-founder of Johns Hopkins University, was a regular user throughout his long and illustrious career, which included inventing local anesthesia after injecting cocaine into his skin.

Insofar as recreational drugs present a problem, it arises partly from overuse, which is not only arbitrary but can be true of absolutely anything. The problem comes, however, mainly from the fact that they’re illegal.

Alcohol provides the classic example. It wasn’t much of a problem in the US before the enactment of Prohibition in 1920, and it hasn’t been one since its repeal in 1933. Making a product illegal artificially and unnecessarily turns both users and suppliers into criminals.

Because illegality makes any product vastly more expensive than it would be in a free market, some users resort to crime to finance their habits. Because of the risks and artificially reduced supply, the profits to the suppliers are necessarily huge—not the simple businessman’s returns to be had from legal products.

Just as Prohibition of the ’20s turned the Mafia from a small underground group of thugs into big business, the War on Drugs has done precisely the same thing for drug dealers. It’s completely insane and totally counterproductive.

Frankly, if you want to worry about drugs, it would be more appropriate to be concerned about the scores of potent psychiatric drugs from Ritalin to Prozac that are actively pushed in the US, often turning users into anything from zombies, to space cadets, to walking time bombs. But that’s another story more relevant to address at some point—likely years in the future when it’s again time to consider whether US drug stocks are buys.

The whole drill impresses me as being so perversely stupid as to border on the surreal. Insofar as the Drug War diminishes the supply of product, it raises prices. The higher the prices, the higher the profits. And the higher the profits, the greater the inducement to youngsters anxious to get into the game. The more successful it is in imprisoning people, the more people it draws into the business.

Meanwhile, a trumpeted “success” tends to increase funding from the US government. Some of that money succeeds in driving up prices to the benefit of producers, but a lot of it finds its way into the pockets of officials. That further entrenches corruption at all levels.

The only answer to the War on Drugs is the same as that to the equally stupid and destructive War on Demon Rum fought during the ’20s—a repeal of prohibition.

These are arguments entirely apart from the most important one, which deals with ethics. The question is really whether you have a right to control your own body and what you ingest. There’s little question that caffeine, cocaine, nicotine, heroin, alcohol, marijuana, sugar and a thousand other things aren’t good for you, at least not in quantity. But I can’t see how that’s anybody’s business but your own. Once it becomes a matter of state concern, then everything becomes an equally legitimate subject of state attention. Which is pretty much where we are today—well on the way to a police state.

Reprinted with permission from Doug Casey’s International Man.

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Headed Our Way: Economic Hurricane

Lun, 13/02/2017 - 07:01

Submitted by Patrick Ceresna,

“Get prepared,” warns billionaire commodity guru Jim Rogers, “because we’re going to have the worst economic problems in your lifetime and a lot of people are going to disappear.” In this wide-ranging interview with MacroVoices’ Erik Townsend, the investing legend discusses everything from whether Russia is being scapegoated (“yes, ask Victoria Nuland”), the war against cash (“governments love it… they want to control everything”), to his views on gold and the demise of freedom.

Full podcast below:

Key Excerpts…

Are Russians the bad guys?

Well I do know that during the last administration, Mr. Obama’s administration as you probably remember we started, we tried to pull of an illegal coup in Ukraine, we got caught at it, what’s her name, Victoria Nuland, whatever the woman’ name the State Department they have there several pieces of evidence where we know she tried to instigate an illegal coup then of course the Russians outsmarted us and so the State Department started blaming it on the Russians and the hype against the Russians has gotten bigger and bigger ever since after we started– or tried to start, tried to instigate the illegal coup Crimea and Ukraine.

So yes we are certainly at fault to some extent and obviously you then, when you’re caught you’ve got to keep the rhetoric up and keep throwing more and more accusations and so the State Department has done that.

I know that before the illegal coup Obama, Bush everybody was trying to be friends with the Russians rightly so, cold war had ended long ago, the Russians wanted to be friends with America. We didn’t need NATO anymore. Who needed the Cold War etc. all the money we were spending on some of these arms manufactures and soldiers so until the illegal coup took place we were all trying to be great friends you remember George Bush said I looked him in the eye and he’s a man I can admire and work with etc.

So now of course the Democrats especially since they lost the election are trying to blame it on the Russians. It’s unfathomable to me how the Russians could have determined the outcome of the elections. Maybe they planted a story a two but so what? It’s inconceivable to me that the Russians could influence much less determine the election.

I think if we start having investigations of the illegal voting I’m afraid we’re going to find more for the Democrats than for the Republicans places big cities in America won’t name names but so far the few investigations that have taken place we find that the voting irregularities are in big cities which are Democratic strongholds.

On the Greater Depression…

…get prepared because we’re going to have the worst economic problems we’ve had in your lifetime or my lifetime and when that happens a lot of people are going to disappear.

In 2008 Bear Stearns disappeared, Bear Stearns had been around over 90 years. Lehman Brothers disappeared. Lehman Brothers had been around over 150 years. A long, long time, a long glorious history they’ve been through wars, depression, civil war they’ve been through everything and yet they disappear.

So the next time around it’s going to be worse than anything we’ve seen and a lot of institutions, people, companies even countries, certainly governments and maybe even countries are going to disappear. I hope you get very worried.

when you start having bear markets as you I’m sure well know one bad thing happens and another bad thing happens and these things snowball just like in bull markets good news comes out then more good news comes out the next thing you know you’re five or six or seven years into a bull market.

Well bear markets do the same thing and so we have a lot of bad news on the horizon. I haven’t even gotten to war. I haven’t even gotten to trade war or anything like that but you know things do go wrong.

On Trump and the possibility of trade wars…and real wars

Mr. Trump has also said he’s going to have trade war with China, Mexico, Japan, Korea a few other people that he has named. He swore that on his first day in office he would impose 45% tariffs against China. He’s been there three weeks, two or three weeks and he hasn’t done it yet but he still got it in his head I’m sure or maybe he’s just another politician like all the rest of them. He says one thing and he doesn’t mean it at all but he does have at least three people in high levels in his group who are very, very keen to have trade wars with China and other people.

If he does that Eric, it’s all over. I mean history is very clear that trade wars always lead to problems, often to disaster, sometimes even to real war, a shooting war. So I don’t know, I’m not sure Mr. Trump knows. He said so many things and many of the things are contradictory. Now if he’s not going to have trade wars with various people then chances are for a while happy days are here…

[The dollar is] going to go too high, may turn into a bubble, at which point I hope I’m smart enough to sell it because at some point the market forces are going to cause the dollar to come back down because people are going to realize, oh my gosh, this is causing a lot of turmoil, economic problems in the world and it’s damaging the American economy. At that point the smart guys will get out. I hope I’m one of them.

On governments continued war against cash…

Governments are always looking out for themselves first and it’s the same old thing you know Eric this has been going on for hundreds of years. The Indians recently did the same thing they withdrew 86% percent of the currency in circulation and they have now made it illegal to spend more than, I think it’s about $4000 in any cash transaction. In France you cannot use more than, I think it’s a €1000.

Many countries are already doing this. Some states in the U.S. you cannot make cash transactions above a certain amount. Governments love it. Then they can control you. If you want to go and buy a cup of coffee they know how many you drink, where you buy them etc. if they can all put it into electronic formats and they will the world is all going electronic. My children will probably never go to a bank when they’re adults, maybe never go to a post office maybe even never to a doctor or rarely to a doctor when they’re adults.

So the Internet and the computers changing everything that we know, money can certainly be easily converted to computers not today because there are still, some people who don’t have computers and the system is not ready it but it can be done and when it’s done the governments are going to be very, very happy they going to say they’re doing it for our own good Eric, this is not them, this is for our good. That they’re doing this, but it’s coming and it’s going to be a whole different world in which we live. Probably we are not going to have as many freedoms as we have now even though we are already losing our freedoms at a significant pace.

On the demise of freedom…

…history shows that people always would like a little more safety and a willing to “give up some things for more safety and security.” Benjamin Franklin said well anybody who would give up some freedoms for security is going to wind up with neither security nor freedom and they deserve to lose both and of course that’s the way it is.

I’m not the first to realize that people who are rising to become dictators start taking away freedoms first in Germany they took away the guns, they wouldn’t let people have guns in Germany and lots of places have done that or things like that.

In America now you and I probably remember when we were kids, you had to have a search warrant, now they can just break your door down if they have what they consider enough good reasons, they don’t even have to go to the court and get a search warrant anymore.

So it’s already happening and if you said to somebody that you know they could break your door down they say they’re not going to break my door down I’m not a terrorist or a drug dealer, well that’s how it all starts people say it’s OK but then the next thing you know they’re breaking your door down too.

So it’s already happening do I like it? No I don’t like it but I’m not the first– what was his name Goebbels the German who said if you say something to people enough times they believe it no matter how absurd it is and you and I have certainly seen it in the news in America you say something enough times people believe it and it becomes politically correct and then you can’t even say something that’s not politically correct in America any more.

Full Transcript available here.

Reprinted with permission from Zero Hedge.

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Shut Up, Senator Rubio

Sab, 11/02/2017 - 07:01

Washington Post reporter Chris Cillizza extols Senator Marco Rubio for his recent Rodney King-like speech (“Can’t we all just get along?”).  These are the main statements reporter Cillizza excerpted from Senator Rubio’s speech:

* “I don’t know of a civilization in the history of the world that’s been able to solve its problems when half the people in a country absolutely hate the other half of the people in that country.”

* “We are becoming a society incapable of having debate anymore.”

* “We are reaching a point in this republic where we are not going to be able to solve the simplest of issues because everyone is putting themselves in a corner where everyone hates everybody.”

* “What’s at stake here tonight … is not simply some rule but the ability of the most important nation on earth to debate in a productive and respectful way the pressing issues before it.”

But there is nothing more to say, Senator Rubio.  Democrats object to the appointment of Jeff Sessions as attorney general because he could soon be prosecuting them and putting them in jail.  Yes. Hillary Clinton in jail.  That is a point that doesn’t come out in Senate confirmation hearings.  It is not about whether he is, was, or might be a racist.

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The appointment of Betsy DeVos as education secretary doesn’t need further debate.  The left-wing socialist rainbow, global warming, LGBT, pro-vaccination, same-sex marriage curriculum would be in jeopardy with her confirmation.

The backlash is that the left-wing progressives now urge parents to home school at a time when homeschooling has grown from 850,000 (2009) to 1.8million (2012), largely due to Christians pulling their kids out of public schooling. Progressives want the whole population of school kids indoctrinated in their worldview, or else.  If they don’t get their way, they are thinking of pulling their kids out of public schools and opting for home schooling.

So the bottom line here is that this is a battle of worldviews, not over test scores or whether Common Core should be used to teach mathematics.

The repeated question to Betsy DeVos was whether kids in America were going to be able to obtain an equal educational experience.  But there was probably not a Senator in the room that is not or did not send his or her children to some private elite school.  The demand for equality breeds mediocrity.  It breeds indoctrination, not education.  It was Winston Churchill who said: “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”

Not a word how America is going to address educational curriculums in a technology-driven world that is moving so fast that we must prepare kids for careers that don’t exist yet.  Not a question addressed to DeVos about how to prepare kids for an age of robots with only those with high-tech skills getting meaningful jobs beyond flipping burgers and serving pizzas.

Should kids who really don’t get good grades and really don’t qualify for admission to universities waste their time and money to participate in an educational experience that is watered-down for them?  Should they start their own lives with a mountain of school debt instead of earning and saving?  Bring on the real questions, Senator Rubio.

Are we as a nation going to have free markets with the opportunity to start free enterprises so young people can chart their own future?  Shall we just throw out the Judeo-Christian work ethic and work for the government or just get on the government welfare dole?

And while we are talking about education, when are American school systems going to educate kids about where the money comes from, how it is distributed, and the real value (or imagined value) of paper money?

Rubio’s speech posits a junior-high school understanding to surface issues, not the real underpinnings of the core issues of contention.

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Stalin Wasn’t All Bad

Sab, 11/02/2017 - 07:01

Stalin wasn’t all bad, you know.

Sure he was a murderous thug responsible for around 50 million deaths while reducing the rest of the population to a state of misery, poverty, and near-permanent terror. Sure his collective farming policy turned breadbaskets into famine-starved hellholes where cannibalism was rife and his Five Year Plans destroyed what was left of the Russian economy after Lenin.

But let’s not forget the upsides: he “ended the exploitation of peasants by greedy landlords and to rid of the greedy and troublesome kulaks”‘ and he “helped peasants work together”.

This, amazingly, is what children are being taught in British schools. The quotations come from the GCP GCSE Modern World History revision guide and indicate the kind of answers kids are expected to give in their history exams when talking about Stalin’s collectivisation of farms.

Apparently, this is part of a method where they are expected to discuss the Pros and Cons of each issue.

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I learned this from an article in The Daily Telegraph by James Bartholomew, the financial journalist, and author, who happens to be the guest on my Delingpole podcast this week.

Like me, Bartholomew is an ardent believer in a minimal state. That is, he thinks that whenever the government tries to make things better it almost invariably makes things worse and that the state is, therefore, best cut out of the equation as often as humanly possible.

That history is teaching lunacy is a fairly typical consequence of excess government. In a free education market, where anyone could set up a school, it’s somewhat unlikely that the history curriculum would allow the promulgation of such outrageous left wing propaganda.

Stalin was loathsome – directly responsible for more deaths even than Hitler. Yet schools that – as Bartholomew notes – would never dream of asking kids to talk about the Pros of the Holocaust somehow feel it’s OK to look for some of the positives in this sadistic Communist tyrant. Why?

Partly because in Britain – as in the U.S., where Betsy DeVos has arrived as Education Secretary not a moment too soon – schools have been skewed by the values of the public sector which, like those of public sectors everywhere, are unerringly left wing.

Very few parents would wish their child to be taught that Stalin had his upsides. But few get much choice in the matter because there is no competitive market in schools: bad teachers are rarely sacked (as they would be in private sector industries, but not in the heavily unionised state sector) and if the school in your area is failing and teaching your children badly there’s probably nowhere else nearby you can move them.

Read the Whole Article

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Whatever Happened to the Volvo?

Sab, 11/02/2017 - 07:01

Volvo – the famously Swedish car company now owned by the Chinese – was famous once upon a time for the crashworthiness of its vehicles. You may recall. They were built heavy and boxy, specifically designed to withstand rollovers (the roof would support the weight of the car) and to be survivable in wrecks that would probably not be in lighter, less sturdy cars.

They were also stodgy and (generally) not speedy – things esteemed by parents of first-time teenaged drivers.

Volvo sold safety – and it sold very well. It built the company.

But now all cars are Volvos.

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“Safety” is everywhere – because the government requires it. All cars must have roofs capable of supporting the weight of the car if it rolls over. They must have a half dozen airbags, backup cameras, and tire pressure monitors; they are subjected to frontal, side and offset barrier crash testing which they have to pass. It is why all new cars have bulbous, up high butts and (generally) less glass and more metal surrounding the interior “bathtub” of the passenger compartment.

And it’s the major reason why most new cars look mostly the same – from the side in particular.

This, of course, is a problem for Volvo – which must now try to sell something other than “safety.”

So Volvo is trying to build cars more like those sold by BMW, Lexus, Mercedes and other high-tier brands, which Volvo aspires to. They sell style and sex appeal, tech features and performance.

“Safety,” too – but it’s way down the list of major touts. Because it’s become a given.

Volvo is also returning to wagons – which the company used to sell a lot of when other brands weren’t selling any (or very few). Now they are selling them, too.

It’s a much tougher room.

Maybe they’ll make it – maybe not. But it’s interesting to note that it wasn’t necessary for the government to force car companies to sell “safe” – that is, crashworthy – cars. This is a common misconception, not unlike the superstitious belief of a rainforest savage that if he fails to kowtow before the totem pole, the sky god will be angered and the rains will not come.

Volvo made hay selling particularly crashworthy cars.

No one made any hay selling “unsafe” cars.

But there was a buyer demographic that particularly esteemed crashworthiness more than other criteria and Volvo catered to that demographic while other brands focused on things like sexy looks or high performance or low price or high mileage.

Today, everyone knows that every new car is “safe” – which kind of blurs Volvo out.

But “safety” is a relative thing – even today. A ’70s-era S-Class Mercedes is still a safer car to be in than a brand-new Smart car. And a brand-new full-size (and heavier) car is still generally more able to protect the people riding inside than a smaller (and lighter car) even though both meet government “safety” requirements.

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The Great Jefferson

Sab, 11/02/2017 - 07:01

Thomas Jefferson was a radical. He was also a conservative. His life represented a series of seemingly unorganized contradictions. He rooted his political philosophy in a consistent defense of federalism, an idea older than the British North American colonies. He was an American aristocrat who held opinions of society and man consistent with most of the prevailing racial and social attitudes of his day. Yet, Jefferson also sought to reform Virginia—his country—and tear down the established religious and educational hierarchy that had remained static for nearly two hundred years, a class system that while undemocratic produced most of the greatest statesmen of the founding generation. Jefferson thought his vision of republicanism would help advance the natural aristocracy and eliminate the pitfalls of ancient hereditary order, even an order that brought him to prominence.

That Jefferson can be many things makes him both more endearing and problematic for modern American society. Kevin Gutzman’s Thomas Jefferson—Revolutionary attempts to bring these competing visions of Jefferson into focus. As Gutzman writes, “if he [Jefferson] had been a pointillist painter, there would be enough dots on his canvas for the viewer to be able to make out a clear image.” For Gutzman, that neo-impressionist Jefferson is a consistent advocate of a political and social philosophy that can be traced to his days as a student at William and Mary. Jefferson’s principles never wavered. That alone speaks volumes about the man.

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Gutzman contends that every political rumination that passed Jefferson’s lips should be viewed through the lens of federalism. “The principle of decentralization,” Gutzman asserts, “always struck Jefferson as essential to popular government…” and “Whether in the highest federal offices or as a private citizen, he held the federal government to this principle until his very end.” Indeed, Gutzman dedicates nearly one-third of the book to this important topic, though the other issues he discusses—religious liberty, “assimilation,” “colonization,” and education—were also undergirded by Jefferson’s eye-level gaze with his mountains. Jefferson’s work in codifying religious liberty, for example, never expanded beyond Virginia, and his effort to establish a university to rid Virginians of the “dark Federalist mills” of the North was a component of his greater concern for a complete revision of Virginia’s educational system. But only in Virginia. Jefferson never believed he had a mandate to interfere with the local concerns of New England.

Gutzman spills a great deal of ink explaining how Jefferson’s 1774 “A Summary View of the Rights of British America” outlined his general political philosophy. To Jefferson, the colonies had always been the masters of their own domain. This, in turn, relegated the Parliament and king to external concerns of defense and international trade. Jefferson wove that belief in local self-government into the Declaration of Independence and his many statements on the proper role of the general government vis-à-vis the States. While most historians have considered Jefferson’s Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 to be a defense of free speech and the press, Gutzman argues that Jefferson intended that effort to be a defense of federalism. After all, he opened with an explanation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution. The regulation and punishment of speech and press were powers reserved to the people of the States, not the general government.

Gutzman’s crisp writing buttresses this forcefully argued tome. His work is not intended to be a complete biography but a thorough sketch of the mind of perhaps the most misunderstood member of the founding generation. Gutzman aptly shows that the American tradition would be nothing without Jefferson, but more than anything, he has rescued and revitalized Jefferson’s resolute defense of federalism. That alone is worth the price of the book.

The post The Great Jefferson appeared first on LewRockwell.

Congressional Dems Go Diverse on Their Classifed Data

Sab, 11/02/2017 - 07:01

While the MSM is still in full “attack Trump” mode, breathlessly reporting each of his tweets, attacking his cabinet picks, gleefully celebrating how the most liberal court in the land, as well as the one that has the most over-turned rulings by the Supreme Court, has temporarily blocked the immigration pause, we see that one of the biggest bombshells was dropped on February 4, 2017, yet major outlets like Washington Post, New York Times and other mainstream outlets, has either downplayed it or simply hidden it from their audience.

Three Pakistani brothers, are under criminal investigation for unauthorized access into congressional computers. The suspects had access to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’, most sensitive information.

Brothers Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan were barred from computer networks at the House of Representatives Thursday, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned.

Three members of the intelligence panel and five members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs were among the dozens of members who employed the suspects on a shared basis. The two committees deal with many of the nation’s most sensitive issues and documents, including those related to the war on terrorism.

All three brothers were employed by Democrats.

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Maria Bartiromo of Fox News discusses this issue in the short clip below.

How sensitive is the information these men had access to? That is explained in detail by FrontPage:

The offices that employed them included HPSCI minority members Speier, Carson and Joaquín Castro. Congressman Castro, who also sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, utilized the services of Jamal Moiz Awan. Speier and Carson’s offices utilized Imran Awan.

Abid A. Awan was employed by Lois Frankel and Ted Lieu: members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Also on the committee is Castro. As is Robin Kelly whose office employed Jamal Awan. Lieu also sits on the subcommittees on National Security and Information Technology of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Tammy Duckworth’s office had also employed Abid. Before Duckworth successfully played on the sympathy of voters to become Senator Tammy Duckworth, she had been on the Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces of the Armed Services Committee.

Gwen Graham, who had also been on the Armed Services Committee and on the Tactical Air and Land Forces subcommittee, had employed Jamal Awan. Jamal was also employed by Cedric Richmond’s office. Richmond sits on the Committee on Homeland Security and on its Terrorism and Cybersecurity subcommittee. He is a ranking member of the latter subcommittee. Also employing Jamal was Mark Takano of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

Imran had worked for the office of John Sarbanes who sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee that oversees, among other things, the nuclear industry. Other members of the Committee employing the brothers included Yvette Clarke, who also sits on the Bipartisan Encryption Working Group, Diana DeGette, Dave Loebsack and Tony Cardenas.

But finally there’s Andre Carson.

Carson is the second Muslim in Congress and the first Muslim on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and, more critically, is the ranking member on its Emerging Threats Subcommittee. He is also a member of the Department of Defense Intelligence and Overhead Architecture Subcommittee.

Read the Whole Article

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Neocons Use Ukraine To Reverse the Trump Plan

Sab, 11/02/2017 - 07:01

After three weeks as president, Donald Trump has turned out to be “same as the old boss,” definitely when it comes to US foreign policy. The short explanation is every US president merely plays a puppet figurehead role, taking his orders directly from the New World Order elite and their neocon surrogates, fast moving us towards one world government tyranny that will be the ultimate outcome of a simultaneous collapse of the global economy timed with the launch of another world war.

Just as there was no difference between the same neocon interventionist aggression displayed under Obama and the war crime-ridden Bush-Cheney administration, President Trump is now also marching quickstep down that same seamless path towards world war as did Obama. Regardless of who or what party occupies the White House, the one constant is an aggressive foreign policy delivered by deep state neocons entrenched in Washington power for many decades now. And the neocons take their orders from the ruling elite.

Trump, the candidate promised a major shift in US foreign policy towards a far more sensible, even planet-saving, non-interventionist, “America first” approach, avoiding the constant meddling entanglements in other nations’ internal affairs that only polarizes the geopolitical chessboard towards increasing global conflict. It appeared as though the United States might finally be free of the near four decade-long bipartisan neo-conned control bent on maintaining US Empire at all cost, insisting on the status quo of unipolar sole world superpower hegemony and full frontal military dominance. The neocons refuse to live in a world where power is shared with emerging regional players Russia and China.

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And since neocons are still in control in Washington, after just three weeks in the White House, it’s already disturbingly clear that the Trump presidency will be no different from the rest, racing full speed ahead, plunging the earth straight into a homicidal if not suicidal course toward World War III. Be it through escalating existing wars in Syria and Ukraine that lead to bigger wars with Iran, China and Russia, the Bush-Obama-Trump regime seems hell bent on world destruction. Meanwhile, even at home, Washington’s ever-rising authoritarian control and the violent anti-Trump mania are creating conditions ripe for even a domestic civil war to break out.

Evidence of this disastrous road we’re already traveling at breakneck speed on is overwhelming. Just the fact that Elliot Abrams, a neocon from way back to the Reagan-Bush senior-Iran Contra days is currently up for consideration as deputy secretary of state, speaks volumes that we’re about to be pushed off the doomsday cliff.

This presentation will focus on specific actions that the Trump administration has already completed that provide more than enough proof that we’re perhaps just weeks if not months away from escalating yet more catastrophic war. This analysis addresses the likelihood of imminent global war based on the three-year-old violent conflict in Ukraine ratcheting up now, and how that hotspot is being used to undermine, neutralize and effectively reverse promises that Trump the candidate made to cooperate with Putin. The bottom line is neocon forces greater than the president still holds the agenda to continue to demonize Putin in their race to global war.

Reminiscent of the tag team duo of the corporate press working in tandem with the federal government, first we had Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham over in Ukraine egging on the US illegally installed puppet neo-Nazi regime in Kiev to launch yet another offensive into the former Ukraine eastern provinces, now the Donbass region on January 2nd as a new year’s prelude of what’s to come in 2017. Then like predictable, synchronized clockwork, US mainstream media as typically represented by a February 1st Foreign Policy article was quick to claim that Putin delivered the Trump administration its first foreign policy test. The hit piece falsely charged Russia with firing off the countless rocket and artillery rounds at Ukrainian forces, killing a dozen Kiev soldiers the last few days of January. Another MSM war propaganda headline, this time Newsweek’s, read “While Trump Fiddles, Putin Steps Up The War In Ukraine.”

These articles emphasize that the renewed volley of Russian “aggression” came just one day after Trump and Putin’s hour long first phone conversation agreeing to work peaceably together as partners fighting the common ISIS/al Qaeda enemy as well as forging a plan to diminish hostilities in Ukraine. As is typical of Western press to vilify Putin, Foreign Policy conspicuously plants the notion that Putin launching artillery strikes in Ukraine has already proven he is betraying Trump’s trust.

The piece goes on to report that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) contends that Russia unilaterally stepped up its shelling against Kiev forces to the extent that after 2600 counted rounds fired on January 29th, so many came later that OSCE lost track. As far back as a decade ago Putin exposed OSCE as a propaganda front for Western aggression in Ukraine as well as throughout Eastern Europe to further its own imperialistic and geopolitical interests to encircle, isolate and weaken Russia. Of course, that has been the US foreign policy all along with both Russia and China.

The 2014 conflict erupted in eastern Ukraine after the Russian ethnic majority residing in Donetsk and Lugansk voted in a spring referendum for their independence from Ukraine, prompting the Kiev government to invade the Donbass region to oppose the freedom fighting separatists. Once again the West backing Ukraine is lined up on the wrong side of history as Kiev has engaged in ethnic cleansing and as of two years ago killed over 10,000 civilians in Donbass. In the meantime, Kiev has made repeated accusations that OSCE is failing its assigned task as a neutral monitoring observer but instead favors the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) military. This underlying dynamic may contribute to OSCE now pointing the finger at Putin as the latest aggressor, as a demonstration to Kiev and the West that it can act “impartially.”

In any case, an anonymous defense official reiterated the Pentagon’s position that it was anticipating Putin aggression in Ukraine designed to assess what he could get away with early on in the Trump administration. The US defense propagandist stated to FP:

This is all very calculated to have this open, bleeding sore on Ukraine’s body politic that will allow [Russia] to manipulate the situation and the politics of the country, and thereby keep Ukraine in this post-Soviet kleptocratic orbit.

The FP article goes on to innocuously slip in a sentence that’s clearly intended to soften Ukraine’s long planned Donbass offensive backed by US war hawks McCain and Graham, clearly violating the 2014 Minsk cease-fire agreement:

Ukrainian forces also appear to be advancing into the no man’s land separating government-controlled territory from rebel-held areas…

Reports from on the ground indicate that the real aggressor on January 28th was the Ukrainian army that began shelling DPR forces. The Kiev military moved on the offensive south of Donetsk, only to encounter minefields, in large part accounting for the couple dozen fatalities. Accusing DPR of a false flag attack was mainly to recruit Western sympathy, material support and more mercenaries for the unstable Poroshenko regime that’s steeped in political corruption and economic upheaval.

Earlier in the month the McCain-Graham envoy had promised additional support for another campaign into Donbass despite never having any legal authority, as still acting President Obama at least officially did not send them abroad. Thus, the bobsy twins may have in effect violated the Logan Act of 1799 which prohibits Americans in foreign countries operating outside presidential authority to interfere with foreign policy as set by the president. For their undermining the Trump presidency and ceaseless warmongering, even Trump called them out for their latest devious ploy to trigger World War III.

The fact that Trump has made statements during his campaign indicating that he would be open to normalizing relations with Moscow, lifting sanctions and advocates disbanding NATO poses a serious threat to the likes of the two treasonous senators and their nucleus of neocon policymakers who’ve been consistently aiming to provoke war against Russia for over three years now. Ever since the February 2014 US induced Kiev coup and a month later Putin’s legal annexation of Crimea after the ethnic Russians in Crimea voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia (which from 1783-1954 Crimea had always been part of Russia). And then even from 1954-1990, Crimea was part of the Soviet Union as a USSR state within Ukraine, but still belonged to the nation that was the USSR.

While Obama was still president and the chicken hawk senators snuck over to Ukraine, Kiev then waited till after Trump’s inauguration before unleashing its greenlighted invasion further into Donbass. The Kiev military incursion has far more to do with testing what Western-backed Ukraine can get away with on both Trump and Putin’s watch than any Putin testing of Trump waters. After all, Putin once again is not the aggressor. The offensive was solely executed so Empire neocons could sabotage the Trump-Putin relationship and prevent peace from breaking out. Only war is permitted by the Washington evildoers.

As part of the anti-Moscow propaganda to justify the latest Kiev military campaign, the Ukraine defense minister accused a Russian oil rig in the Black Sea of firing upon and damaging a Ukraine Navy transport plane. A Russian defense ministry spokesperson denies any Russian ground fire occurred, reporting that the Ukrainian plane was merely warned with four flash signals by rig security that the plane was flying too low, endangering Russian personnel working on two oil rig platforms and nearly hitting a rig tower in two simulated fly-overs. These types of aerial aggression stunts are common forms of intimidation and provocation used for propaganda purposes as yet another false flag to further justify war escalation and retaliation. The just retired NATO deputy secretary general pounced on it, claiming the incident proves that Russia is not at all interested in peace with Ukraine. In his words:

[The Kremlin] may be trying to test the new administration to see if they distance themselves from Kiev, and tell [Ukraine President] Petro Poroshenko that he has to make the best deal with Russia, which of course would destroy him politically.

Last week formerly disgraced CIA director General David Petraeus testified before the House Armed Services Committee. It’s a bad sign when Congress seeks the “expert” testimony from a top US spy who lied to the FBI after violating the Espionage Act, breaching national security by handing over highly classified material to his mistress. Prior to that crime, the war criminal was a military war commander on two fronts. Petraeus was singularly the most responsible general for causing the sectarian civil war in Iraq that eventually led to the ISIS Sunni invasion as well as contributed to the US still ongoing military defeat in Afghanistan. Petraeus trained Shiite death squads that killed thousands of Sunnis who later became Islamic State terrorists.

And it was Petraeus who wrote the war bible – the US Army Counter-Insurgency (COIN) manual – that strategically defined how America’s twenty-first century wars would be fought and lost, at enormous costs and wastes replacing many military functions with private civilian security contractors (such as hired mercenaries like Blackwater) in a failed “nation-building” attempt to imperialistically “democratize” the Middle East, proving a complete humiliating disaster in both Iraq and Afghanistan. But Petraeus’ notorious career of abject failures has now apparently earned him the status of a foreign policy guru. On February 1st the guru warned the House:

[Putin] understands that, while conventional aggression may occasionally enable Russia to grab a bit of land on its periphery, the real center of gravity is the political will of major democratic powers to defend Euro-Atlantic institutions like NATO and the EU.

You can see where all this is going. Petraeus reporting that Russia, China, Iran as well as the terrorists all pose an “unprecedented threat” is part of the staged war prepping narrative. The Washington political war machine is in full swing, ensuring that an alliance with Russia can never happen, despite whatever Trump the candidate may have uttered. That was then, this is now. So war in Ukraine once again becomes the bogus rallying cry to ensure the US-EU-NATO glue sticks together against those “imperialistic, warring” Russians bent on splintering centuries’ old allies. The elite and their neocons will not allow Brexit, strained Washington-Brussels relations or Trump nationalism ever get in their way.

Western press explains the enormous troop buildup of US-NATO forces complete with US-German-NATO tanks amassed along the Baltic state-Russian border to “protect” NATO allies from big bad Russian expansion. This again is all fabricated prewar propaganda prepping us for the war to come. Trump the candidate grumbled how once he becomes president, Europe will need to pay for its own defense. The former secretary general of NATO called that “a breach of solidarity” with Europe, warning:

The Russians would see that as a bonanza that they would try and exploit by convincing countries like Bulgaria and the Czech Republic that the US couldn’t be counted on.

Another lockdown to prevent thawed Russia-US relations is the rigid adherence to extending economic sanctions against Russia over Crimea and Donbass. After Trump the candidate had hinted to lift the sanctions, UK Prime Minister Theresa May rushed to Washington to ensure they stay in place and that Trump renews US commitment to NATO. GOP faithful like McCain threatened to pass laws to codify the sanctions should Trump let up. So you can see that the anti-Putin vilification and cold war still rage on with the latest lying rhetoric and external threats brought to bear against the US president to stay with status quo or else.

And to prove that Trump the president has succumbed to holding the anti-Russian hardline, Trump’s brand new UN ambassador Nikki Haley on her very first day at the office sounded the alarm at the UN Security Council, mimicking the same broken record as her neocon predecessor Samantha Power:

I must condemn the aggressive actions of Russia. It is unfortunate because it is a replay of far too many instances over many years in which Unites States representatives have needed to do that… Unites States continues to condemn and call for an immediate end to the Russian occupation of Crimea. Crimea is a part of Ukraine. Our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control over the peninsula to Ukraine.

In response a Russian senator tweeted:

It looks like the new US representative at the UN came with remarks that were written by Power.

Nikki Haley obviously received her orders from above to slam Russia despite the US-Kiev collusion to recently renew aggression towards the citizens of Donbass. She also showed ignorance in failing to know that Crimea’s Ukrainian history was short. It was illegally annexed by Ukraine in 1990, thus the Black Sea peninsula was forcibly part of Ukraine for less than a quarter century. Yet the entire pretext for the US condemning Russia over Ukraine is completely based upon a lie. So are the sanctions, and so will the coming war. Again, this entire anti-Russian false narrative is such a nauseatingly tiresome US theme.

American exceptionalism means the murderous world bully can continue operating with total impunity while wrongly accusing Russia constantly, or any other nation in its crosshairs, of the exact same sinful crimes that Empire perpetrates every single day of the year. Empire’s European vassals and smaller intimidated countries must silently toe the line or else they too will be unjustly targeted with lies and punishment in the form of illegal invasions and wars (be it US boots on the ground or proxy allied mercenary terrorists), inhumane economic sanctions, trade embargoes, regime change coups and assassinations.

The only guilty nation that remains judge, jury, and executioner in this world of other countries is the United States. And Trump has already demonstrated as the White House figurehead that he is not in control but follows his globalist marching orders. Thus Trump is powerless to change rigid foreign policy still being dictated by the neocons. Nothing will change in Ukraine except more death and violence will escalate to the larger arena. Russia is still the West’s scapegoat as is every other nation that asserts its own will and independence free of the killing Empire. Only the US has invaded dozens of sovereign nations, initiated more wars and maintained the most aggressive foreign policy of any nation on earth over the last century. But it’s always Russia that’s the falsely accused aggressor that Washington and its corporate media endlessly hype in order to further justify Empire aggression and violence. After all, war has always been an American agenda.

The post Neocons Use Ukraine To Reverse the Trump Plan appeared first on LewRockwell.

Russian Gold

Sab, 11/02/2017 - 07:01

Grant Williams pieced together some of the same things I did in my Russia piece which you ran last April, about why the Russians are buying gold (when economists are advising them to sell it) and why Russia’s balance sheet is in great shape compared to those of Western nations.  The ruble’s recovery still confounds the mainstream!  But Grant takes the analysis a step further to show that oil may be trading in gold terms again, tying its price action to the proposed Shanghai crude oil futures contract (which has been delayed) and the Shanghai gold market.  When that oil futures contract goes live, basically the countries that have been cut out of the USD-based financial system by sanctions will be able to sell oil for gold in Shanghai.  This will be a very big deal, and few mainstream economists will understand why!  No one knows the timing, of course, but it’s certainly worth watching because it’s an important piece of the geopolitical and financial puzzle.

From Zero Hedge:

In December, Grant Williams, author of “Things That Make You Go Hmm…” offered the most comprehensive analysis yet of the rise and inevitable fall of the petrodollar (and implicitly US hegemony). In the following presentation, from Mines & Money Conference in London in December 2016, Williams focuses on gold’s performance in 2016, the reaction to Donald Trump’s election and joins a series of dots that may lead to the end of the petrodollar system and a new place for gold in the global monetary system.

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

Grab a glass fo wine – turn off Trump’s twitter feed for 30 minutes and enjoy. Here is the full presentation – “Get It. Got It. Good”

The story begins in the 1970s when Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon struck a deal with the House of Saud — a deal which gave birth to the petrodollar system.

The terms were simple The Saudis agreed to ONLY accept U.S. Dollars in return for their oil and that they would reinvest their surplus dollars into U.S. treasuries.

In return, the U.S. would provide arms and a security guarantee to the Saudis who, it has to be said, were living in a pretty rough neighbourhood. As you can see, things went swimmingly (chart below)

Saudi purchases of treasuries grew along with the oil price and everyone was happy.  (We’ll come back to that blue box on the right shortly)

The inverse correlation between the dollar and crude is just about as perfect as one could expect (until recently that is… but again, we’ll be back to that).

And, as you can see here, beginning when Nixon slammed the gold window shut on French fingers and picking up speed once the petrodollar system was ensconced, foreign buyers of U.S. debt grew  exponentially.

Having the world’s most vital commodity exclusively priced in U.S. dollars meant everybody needed to hold large dollar reserves to pay for it and that meant a yuuuge bid for treasuries. It’s good to be the king.

By 2015, as the chart on the next page shows quite clearly, there were treasuries to the value of around 6 years of total global oil supply in the hands of foreigners (if we assume a constant 97 million bpd supply which I think is a pretty reasonable estimate).

Now… with that brief background on the petrodollar system, here’s where I need you to stick with me. I promise you it’ll be worth the mental effort

Ready? Here we go.

Now, back in 2010, then-World Bank President Robert Zoellick caused something of a commotion when he suggested that an entirely new global monetary system maybe wasn’t such a bad idea.

The system he had in mind involved a freely-convertible Yuan and, controversially was constructed around gold as its central reference point:

(Robert Zoellick, November 8, 2010): …the G20 should complement this growth recovery programme with a plan to build a co-operative monetary system that reflects emerging economic conditions. This new system is likely to need to involve the dollar, the euro, the yen, the pound and a renminbi that moves towards internationalisation and then an open capital account.

The system should also consider employing gold as an international reference point of market expectations about inflation, deflation and future currency values. Although textbooks may view gold as the old  money, markets are using gold as an alternative monetary asset today.

In seemingly unrelated news, two years later, Iran began accepting Yuan in payment for its oil amid US sanctions. The transactions were conducted through Russian banks:

(Financial Times, May 2012): Iran is accepting renminbi for some of the crude oil it supplies to China…

…Tehran is spending the currency, which is not freely convertible, on goods and services imported from China…

The trade is worth as much as $20bn-$30bn annually according to industry estimates…

The renminbi purchases began some months ago…much of the money is transferred to Tehran through Russian banks, which take large commissions on the transactions…

Beijing has been trying to get its trading partners to use the renminbi, in effect transferring the exchange rate risk to its counterparties, since the price of crude is set in US dollars. It also frees Beijing of the need to hold as many dollars in its reserves.

The crucial part of this deal was that, by diversifying their purchases in this way, the Chinese had found a path towards not only needing to hold fewer U.S. dollar reserves, but to circumventing the petrodollar system altogether.

By 2013, the penny had clearly dropped at the PBoC who declared an end to the era of their accumulation of U.S. treasuries:

(Bloomberg, November 2013): The People’s Bank of China said the country does not benefit any more from increases in its foreign-currency holdings, adding to signs policy makers will rein in dollar purchases that limit the yuan’s appreciation.

“It’s no longer in China’s favor to accumulate foreign-exchange reserves,” Yi Gang, a deputy governor at the central bank, said in a speech organized by China Economists 50 Forum at Tsinghua University yesterday. The monetary authority will “basically” end normal intervention in the currency market and broaden the yuan’s daily trading range

Yes, it was, apparently “no longer in China’s interest” to accumulate foreign exchange reserves.

Sure enough, in 2014, global FX reserves began to decline at the fastest rate in 80 years as you can see from this chart:

That same year, another piece of the puzzle was laid in place when Xu Luode, the Chairman of the newly-founded Shanghai Gold Exchange, explained that gold would be priced and sold in Yuan as a step towards what he called the “internationalization of the renminbi” (for those of you confused by Yuan and Renminbi, just think of them as the Chinese equivalent of ‘Pound’ and ‘Sterling’):

(Xu Luode, Speech to LBMA, May 2014): Foreign investors can directly use offshore yuan to trade gold on the SGE international board, which is promoting the internationalization of the renminbi…

Shanghai Gold will change the current gold market “consumption in the East priced in the West” situation.

When China will have a right to speak in the international gold market, pricing will get revealed…

Interestingly, Luode acknowledged what he accurately described as the “consumption in the East, priced in the West” situation and assured the world that the ‘real’ price of gold would become apparent once China took its rightful place at the centre of the gold market.

We can but hope he is correct. When that day comes, the change on the world’s gold markets will be unprecedented.

In 2015, another announcement slipped by the world when it was revealed that Russia’s Gazprom would also begin selling oil to the Chinese in exchange for yuan and that they were negotiating further agreements to use rubles and yuan to settle natural gas trading directly, without the need for dollars:

(Moscow Times, June 2015): “Two state energy companies, gas producer Gazprom and its oil arm Gazprom Neft, said they would use more Chinese currency in trade, while Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, has also promoted the use of the yuan…

Gazprom Neft announced that it began settling shipments of oil to China in yuan. And previously, the head of Gazprom, Alexey Miller, said in a TV interview that the company was negotiating with China to use yuan and rubles for gas deliveries via a planned pipeline in Western Siberia.

OK… hands up if you’re still with me… great!

Oh… you’re reading this so I can’t see you but hopefully you’re following the dots…

For those of you who aren’t, here’s a little recap of where we are so far to help you get things into the right order before we push on to the end:

Get it? Got it? Good.

So… here we are, in 2016 and, as it turned out, April was a hell of a month if you were paying attention.

Firstly, the Saudis threatened to sell almost a trillion dollars of U.S. assets—including over $300 billion of treasury bonds—should a bill be passed by the congress allowing the Saudis to be held responsible for the 9/11 attacks:

NY Times, April 16, 2016): Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the 9/11 attacks.


Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, delivered the kingdom’s message personally last month during a trip to Washington, telling lawmakers that Saudi would be forced to sell up to $750B in treasury  securities & other assets in the US before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts.

In a rare show of bipartisanship, the bill was subsequently passed before being vetoed by President Obama who then had to watch in ignominy as he suffered the first veto override of his presidency.

Just days later, the Saudis were the cause of a seemingly surprise failure by OPEC to agree a production cut as the oil price languished in the low-$30s:

(Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2016): DOHA, Qatar—Oil producers that supply almost half the world’s crude failed Sunday to negotiate a production freeze intended to strengthen prices.

The talks collapsed after Saudi Arabia surprised the group by reasserting a demand that Iran also agree to cap its oil production.

Oil prices had rallied in recent weeks on speculation that Saudi Arabia might successfully lead an initiative between members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia, which joined the talks. 

A deal would have marked a new level of cooperation between non-OPEC countries and OPEC members that producers hoped would keep prices above January lows of $26 a barrel.

Just 48 hours after that surprise, the Chinese finally launched their twice daily gold fixing, setting the price at 256.92 yuan per gram:

(Bloomberg, April 19, 2016): China, the world’s biggest producer and consumer of gold, started a twice-daily price fixing on Tuesday in an attempt to establish a regional benchmark and bolster its influence in the global market.

The Shanghai Gold Exchange set the price at 256.92 yuan a gram ($1,233.85 an ounce) at the 10:30 a.m. session after members of the exchange submitted buy and sell orders for metal of 99.99 percent purity.

“This is a very important development and will obviously be very

closely watched,” said Robin Bhar, an analyst at Societe Generale SA in London. “But as long as it exists inside a closed monetary system it will have limited global repercussions. It could be a very important development if the new benchmark is a precursor to greater use of gold in the Chinese monetary system, Kenneth Hoffman…said by e-mail on Monday. It may also boost interest in the Shanghai free-trade zone, he said.

As Soc Gen’s Robin Bhar correctly identified, if the ability to trade gold for yuan exists within a closed monetary system, its importance will be limited BUT, as Bloomberg’s Ken Hoffman also correctly pointed out, if this was the thin end of the wedge, things could get very interesting indeed. Now, this chart shows the oil price going back to before the U.S. Civil War:

Between 1865 and 1973, the price of oil was incredibly stable against a backdrop of perhaps the greatest simultaneous economic, demographic and technological expansion in human history.

How was that possible?

Well simply put, because oil was effectively priced in gold.


Once the gold window closed and the petrodollar system was implemented, the price of oil soared 50-fold in just 35 years.

The move on the right? With the question mark against it? We’re getting there, I promise.

Now, you remember this next chart and the yuuuuuge supply of treasuries which exists compared to oil now? Well, when we add in the roughly $100 trillion in boomer entitlements that will need to be paid for by issuing—you guessed it, more treasuries—the chart changes somewhat:

That red circle down at the bottom of the second chart is the spike you see on the first chart.


It’s safe to say that, relative to even oil, and without any infrastructure spending by Donald Trump, treasuries are going to be…. abundant in the coming years.

Conversely, if we look at the value of gold relative to foreign-held treasuries, we see an altogether different story unfold.

During Reagan’s presidency, US treasuries were backed 132% by the market value of the country’s gold reserves.

Today, that number has fallen to just 4.7%

If we do the same thing and account for the $100 trillion in entitlement promises, as you can see from the chart on the next page, the number falls to 0.3% in 2025.

So the second chart (below, right) should come as no surprise to anybody.

Yes, the Chinese have started to do what they promised to start doing, when they promised to start doing it.

Now, this next part of the presentation was a rattle through a whole bunch of charts showing the recent activity in the U.S. treasury, corporate bond, agency bond and securities markets so you’ll have to brace yourself.

The charts will appear on the next page.

Chinese sales of US treasuries (1) have been consistent for the last three years…

…as have their sales of US securities (2) since 2015 after plateauing in 2013 when treasury divestiture began Concurrently, Chinese sales of corporate bonds (3) have accelerated over the same period…

…though agency sales (4)—despite a few periods of consistent selling—have yet to follow suit.

But now, as tensions rise and the cross-currents get harder to discern, guess who else has showed up as a seller?

That’s right, the Saudis are now steady sellers of US treasuries (5)…

…and even more aggressive sellers of U.S. securities (6)…

Meanwhile, taking a broader view, net foreign purchases of treasuries, according to the TIC data, have been in a clear downtrend since 2009 (7) and have been largely outflows for the last three years.

If we look at the 12-month sum of sales (8), we see an even sharper decline…

…and if we take the trailing net official demand chart for treasuries back to 1979, the scale and extent of the change is evident—as are the catalysts for the acceleration (and we’re back on this page once  again):

Take a long, hard look at that last chart folks—particularly within the context of the bond bull market and the ‘bid’ for treasuries we’ve seen throughout 2015 and 2016…

Meanwhile, the Russians—who, as we’ve seen are now selling oil for yuan to the Chinese, remember?— have been picking up the pace of their accumulation of gold reserves yet again, with the most recent monthly data setting yet another record…

…and the pick up in pace is evident when we look at average monthly purchases prior to 2013 and post the agreements put in place around that time between the various parties. Now, the next chart (top of the following page) is crucial to understand because a look at the market value of Russia’s gold reserves shows just how crucial their ongoing accumulation of bullion has been for the country’s finances over the last two years…

…and that increase in value has cushioned the effects of, amongst other things, the bailing out of the ruble.

As you can see from the green line, Russia’s gold reserves in Ruble terms have soared as the country’s currency has weakened—something which confounded all the doommongers who called Game Over for Russia amidst sharply declining oil revenues:

(Bloomberg, April3, 2015): Here’s why Governor Elvira Nabiullina is in no haste to resume foreign-currency purchases after an eight-month pause: gold’s biggest quarterly surge since 1986 has all but erased losses the Bank of Russia suffered by mounting a rescue of the ruble more than a year ago.


While the ruble’s 9 percent rally this year has raised the prospects that the central bank will start buying currency again, policy makers have instead used 13 months of gold purchases to take reserves over $380 billion for the first time since January 2015.


Now, crucially, being given the ability to sell oil to the Chinese for yuan and buy gold with that same yuan directly through the Shanghai Exchange has completely changed the game for the Russians and those changes are being reflected where they matter most—in the energy markets, the supply/ demand dynamics of which are quietly morphing in plain sight.

By Augu of this year, Russia had overtaken Saudi Arabia as the largest exporter of oil into China…:

(Al Awsat, August 3, 2016): During the first seven months of this year, China imported about 30.5 million metric tons of Saudi oil, a 0.4% decrease than that of last year. Whereas, China imported about 29.5 million metric tons of Russian oil with 27% increase than last year.

…and that wasn’t something the Saudis could take lying down:

Amid this fierce competition, it is important for Saudi Arabia to fortify its oil position in China with more political and strategic support

On the contrary, they rededicated their efforts to increase what they call “political and strategic support” for China.

Now, I hope you’re all still with me because here’s where we get to the final piece of this glorious puzzle—the piece that ties all these seemingly unrelated threads together: China’s own crude oil futures contract, to be priced in Yuan and traded at the Shanghai International Energy Exchange—a yuan contract which will be made fully convertible:

(Bloomberg, November 5, 2015): By the end of 2015, China, the world’s No. 1 oil importer as of April, may start its own crude futures contract.

The idea is to establish a Chinese rival to the world’s two most traded oil contracts: West Texas Intermediate, housed on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and Brent Crude Futures, owned by ICE Futures Europe in London.

The yuan-based contract will trade on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange and will be among the first Chinese commodity contracts available to foreign investors as China promotes global use of its currency…

Participation will be open to all foreign investors and the yuan will be fully convertible under the contract, according to Song Anping, the chairman of the Shanghai Futures Exchange.

As you can see from the date of the article, this contract has been postponed several times— ostensibly for reasons such as stock market volatility in China, but perhaps there is more going on behind the scenes that is causing the delay because, once this contract is in place, things change.


In the interim, China has supplanted the U.S to become the world’s biggest importer of oil, which serves to increase both its importance in the oil markets and the likelihood of it launching its own yuan-denominated contract at some point in time:

(Bloomberg, October 13, 2016): China is now the world’s biggest oil importer, unseating the U.S. The country’s crude imports climbed to a record 8.08 million barrels a day in September, a year-on-year increase of 18 percent, customs data released Thursday showed.

So, the world’s largest exporter of oil is now dealing with the largest importer directly in yuan and it has the ability to convert those yuan proceeds into physical gold through the Shanghai exchange— which the data suggest it is doing as fast as possible.

Currently, the bilateral oil for gold trade is only available to what the U.S. would no doubt consider a ‘basket of deplorables’ in Iran and Russia…but just think what happens once that fully convertible oil contract is up and running…?

Suddenly, the availability to price oil in gold is available to everybody and, given rising Saudi/U.S. tensions and the Middle East nation’s recent rededication to providing “political and strategic support” to China it’s easy to see why this would be attractive to the Saudis, for example.

Whatever happens, opening that contract creates a market-wide arbitrage opportunity which affords anybody with oil to sell the ability to exchange said oil for gold and anybody wanting oil to acquire it cheaply by buying cheap gold in the West and shipping it to Shanghai or HK where it can be sold for yuan.

Already, places like Tokyo, Seoul and Dubai are opening physical gold markets and discussing linking their nascent markets for bullion to the Shanghai exchange which has rapidly become the largest physical delivery market in the world.

Now, were this arbitrage to begin happening in any meaningful size, with the market for oil far bigger than that for gold, it would immediately be evident in the ratio between the two commodities…

…which, interestingly, is precisely what has happened since the peak of global reserves in 2014 and the Sino-Russian agreement to essentially transact oil for gold. With those conditions in place, the gold/oil ratio has broken out to its highest level in 80 years (chart, next page):

…which brings us right back to the question mark on the second chart which we left hanging like a matzah ball earlier in this presentation

The recent move in the oil price looks to me suspiciously like a sign that a move has started to return to pricing oil in gold.

That move, if indeed it is happening beneath the surface, allied with the endless possibilities enabled by the potential full convertibility of the yuan under the Shanghai-based oil contract leaves oil producing nations with a rather obvious choice for the first time in almost half a century—a choice made perfectly clear by the two charts on the next page:

If you are an oil producing country, do you…:

MINIMIZE your production in order to MAXIMIZE your holdings of one of the most abundant and easily-produced commodities in the world—U.S. treasuries—as has been the case for the last 40 years… knowing full well that, with the level of entitlements due in the next decade, more will need to be printed like crazy?


Do you MAXIMIZE production in order to gain the largest possible market share in the biggest oil market in the world and, through the ability to buy gold for yuan, thereby maximize your reserves of a scarce, physical commodity which is impossible to produce from thin air and which happens to be not only the most undervalued asset on the planet, but is trading at its most undervalued relative to U.S. treasuries in living memory?

With an annual production of $170bn, gold is by far the largest metal market by value.

However, that figure is dwarfed by the oil market which is 10x the size of the gold market on an annual production basis.

If we throw in the average annual foreign holdings of U.S. treasuries over the last 2 years, we see that the ‘other’ commodity is at a different magnitude altogether.

So, which one of these commodities has any scarcity value? Given the choice, which one would you seek to maximize your holdings of?

U.S. treasuries which can be conjured out of thin air by the U.S. government and which, are described thus by The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association:

Because these debt obligations are backed by the “full faith and credit” of the government, and thus by its ability to raise tax revenues and print currency, U.S. Treasury securities – or “Treasuries” – are generally considered the safest of all investments. They are viewed in the market as having virtually no “credit risk,” meaning that it is highly probable your interest and principal will be paid fully and on time.

Or how about oil? Which the Saudis, for example, can simply print pull out of the ground at will at a cost of a little under $10/barrel?

Or gold? A commodity which is limited in availability, trading at its all-time low relative to U.S. treasury supply and is not only getting harder and more expensive to produce, but which is also catching the eye not only of the central banks of the world’s two largest producers, but of the largest importer and largest exporter of oil?

* * *

Much more in the full PDF below

The post Russian Gold appeared first on LewRockwell.

Nutty or Funny or Both?

Sab, 11/02/2017 - 07:01

Misery loves company.  Americans who have been suffering the agonies of advanced Trumpitis can now turn to France and share a good cry.

France’s presidential politics are as crazy and sleazy as America’s, and equally depressing.

French politics run the gamut from the noblest aspirations of the 1789 revolution to today’s gutter fighting and back-stabbing.  The lust for power is always thus.

A late 19th-century French president, Jean Casimir-Perier, aptly quipped, “government is a constant conspiracy.”  He was also a former banker.

Today, we observe the doleful spectacle of France’s politicians locked into a sordid demolition derby that disgusts many voters and heaps opprobrium on the great nation of France which, we should not forget, helped birth the American Republic.

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The race began when President Francois Hollande, a dreary little Socialist apparatchik who always looks about to burst into tears, wisely decided not to run for a second term. His polls had nosedived to 4%. Amusingly, the only time they went up in recent memory was a 2% blip when photographers caught ‘Monsieur le president’ sneaking off to a ‘cinq-a-sept’ afternoon dalliance with a young movie actress.

This left political big wigs Nicholas Sarkozy, the respected Alain Juppé, and Hollande’s former prime minister, Manuel Valls (he’s from Barcelona), and Sarkozy’s long-suffering former prime minister Francois Fillon to slug it out. To general amazement, straight-arrow Catholic Fillon soundly beat Valls, Juppé, and Sarkozy in a primary last month.

Sarko was just indicted for illegal fund-raising and faces further charges of taking illegal cash payments from Libya’s late strongman, Muammar Khadaffi.   Critics claim Sarkozy organized the murder of Khadaffi to shut him up. He denies the charge.

From darkest left field came two veteran leftists, Bernard Hamon and Jean-Luc Melanchon. Both dreary Maxists looked like they stepped off a stage with Josef Stalin.  After five years of Hollande, France’s Left is exhausted and down in the dumps.  Their chance of winning is considered nil.

Out of an elegant Louis-XIV box jumped Emmanuel Macron, a 39-year old investment banker who had been working for the mighty Rothschild Bank. Running as a non-party independent, Macron vowed a ‘middle way’ to French disgusted by their politics.  His chances look good.  The Rothschilds are ‘tres content.’

All these candidates are facing `walkure’ Marine Le Pen and her Front National party. I’ve never interviewed Madame Le Pen but I did spend a good deal of time with her dear old dad, Jean-Marie Le Pen who founded the hard-line, far-right party. Papa Le Pen is a vintage Catholic right-winger along the lines of France’s wartime Vichy government. He wanted Muslims, Jews, and other emigrants out of France and a return to the ‘good old’ days of the 1950’s.

So, too, Marine but she does not say this openly any more. She suppressed the party’s more extreme elements and kicked her dad out in a successful effort to soften the party’s image. She is doing very well in the polls and may even win the first election round in April of the two-round election. Le Pen calls US-led sanctions against Russia, ‘completely stupid’ and has nice things to say about Trump and Russia’s Putin. In fact, her party has received loans from Russian banks.

She promises to exit the European Union, bring back the French franc and adopt Trumpian-style economic nationalism. Problem is, France’s Socialist-engineered regulations make it almost impossible to profitably make industrial products in France. Bully-boy unions can paralyze the nation in a day. Breaking their death-grip on France’s economy will take a near war. Ditching the EU would be a disaster for Europe.

Fillon looked set to win the spring vote thanks to his clean image and support from Catholic voters. But then a satirical newspaper revealed that he had paid his wife and two of his children some one million euros over a decade, supposedly for `administrative’ duties. While such payola is legitimate and common among the political class, this revelation shocked even jaded French. The lily-white Fillon sank to third place.

One was quickly reminded of France’s priapic former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn who was arrested in New York in 2011 for allegedly assaulting a hotel maid.  He had been a shoe-in to become French prime minister until the scandal erupted. Many French, and this writer believe that his rival Nicholas Sarkozy was somehow involved in this honey-trap affair.

Until last week, Emmanuel Macron held the lead. That was until some Russian magazines started accusing him of being a closet homosexual. French are pretty easy-going about the sex of all kinds, but Macron’s image of being Mr. Clean was tarnished.

French centrists are now calling on Fillon to stay in the race, or for his rival, former PM Alain Juppé, to re-enter the contest.  Sarkozy can’t because he is facing trial. Juppé would be the best candidate and would clobber Le Pen in the second vote.

But who knows what’s next? Certainly, the French Republic deserves better than this comedy.

Waiter! Quickly, Another bottle of Bordeaux.

The post Nutty or Funny or Both? appeared first on LewRockwell.

Boost Your Muscle Power

Sab, 11/02/2017 - 07:01

Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine have found that beet juice, because of its nitrate contents, could be beneficial for individuals who have experienced heart failure. The findings are based on previous research which revealed that beet juice can help boost muscle power in athletes.

Lead author Linda R. Peterson said, “It’s a small study, but we see robust changes in muscle power about two hours after patients drink the beet juice. A lot of the activities of daily living are power-based – getting out of a chair, lifting groceries, climbing stairs. And they have a major impact on quality of life. We want to help make people more powerful because power is such an important predictor of how well people do, whether they have heart failure, cancer or other conditions. In general, physically more powerful people live longer.”

Previous research on cyclist’s performance after the consumption of beet juice prompted the recent research to find out if beet juice could benefit heart patients as well. Nine patients who had experienced heart failure were used for the small study. Two hours after receiving concentrated beet juice as a form of treatment, researchers noted that muscle power increased by 13 percent.

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Patients received the beet juice treatment along with a placebo, acting as their own control. Along with the benefits of muscle power, participants did not experience any adverse side effects like an increase in heart rate or a drop in blood pressure.

Peterson added, “The heart can’t pump enough in these patients, but that’s just where the problems start. Heart failure becomes a whole-body problem because of the metabolic changes that happen, increasing the risk of conditions such as insulin resistance and diabetes and generally leading to weaker muscles overall.”

Nitrates can be found in beet juice, spinach, and other leafy green vegetables. When nitrates enter the body they are turned into nitric oxide which relaxes blood vessels and can benefit the metabolism.

Researchers are intrigued to further their research in senior populations to observe benefits which they may obtain by enjoying more nitrate-rich foods.

The corresponding author Andrew R. Coggan concluded, “One problem in aging is the muscles get weaker, slower and less powerful. Beyond a certain age, people lose about one percent per year of their muscle function. If we can boost muscle power like we did in this study, that could provide a significant benefit to older individuals.”


Reprinted with permission from Bel Marra Health.

The post Boost Your Muscle Power appeared first on LewRockwell.

America Is Ruled by a Death Cult

Sab, 11/02/2017 - 07:01

The terrible truth is that a Cult of Death rules America and is hell-bent on world domination.

—Douglas Valentine

Douglas Valentine’s life’s work has been to expose and explain the CIA’s role in many key aspects of American society, and how they’re behind most of the atrocities, subversion and war since WWII, all over the world. I doubt that any other writer has given the details, or written with the force and courage that he has. He’s told us how America really functions, and what is behind much of its success in business, especially overseas. He’s described how the CIA infiltrates and is protected by the media and all the branches of the government, and how they can create chaos and control political messages, here and abroad. I’d like to talk a bit about how what I’ve learned from reading Douglas Valentine’s books, can be seen day to day on the news and other media outlets. I’ll focus on the most current events, that I think are very indicative of planned control and subversion. Valentine covers many other events in his new book, The CIA As Organized Crime, so I’ll add my thoughts.

I’m writing this review of Douglas Valentine’s crucial new book, The CIA As Organized Crime, as the Democratic Party conducts a mainstream and social media based “revolution” against Trump. Most of the protestors are summoned from Party front group databases and many are paid to protest by big donors like George Soros. The theme of this revolution is: Stop(Impeach/Kill) the Racist Fascist Dictator! Other themes from other times and other presidents are: Make the World Safe for Democracy and 9/11 – Never Forget!

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This theme was created by operatives and principles from the Obama gang and their overlords from the ruling financial elite. These people were responsible for war crimes in Libya, Ukraine and Syria among many other atrocities resulting in the deaths of over four hundred thousand people, as many or more maimed, millions of refugees, entire cities destroyed along with many antiquities. These war crimes were committed by actual neo-Nazis in Ukraine, and by fascist terrorist groups in Syria, funded and armed by the Obama gang and the Republican neocons, through its allies like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey. But the protestors carry signs that say “Stop Fascism!” only now that Trump is elected.

I’m not arguing that it’s unfair or wrong to protest Trump, but want to make the deeper point that some people recognize this as the result of social engineering and media-based mind control. The obvious question is: how is it possible that all of the Obama gang’s war crimes were never called fascistic and never massively protested? How is it possible that millions were kept in a deep trance and suddenly activated into enraged bloodthirsty revolutionaries? It’s Guy Debord’s prophecy[quoted on p.305 of Valentine’s book] come true: “Yet the highest ambition of the integrated spectacle is still to turn secret agents into revolutionaries and revolutionaries into secret agents.” This anti-Trump scenario goes a big step further by turning average citizens who think they’re being progressive and moral into revolutionaries and secret agents! They’re not only protesting against Trump but for the serial war criminal Clinton, who was the obvious Establishment choice. That’s what makes this protest so sinister.

The media was completely for her and so were many arch Establishment Republicans like the Bush gang.

Here’s Valentine[p.346]: “The CIA established a strategic intelligence network of magazines and publishing houses, as well as student and cultural organizations, including political and psychological warfare operations directed against American citizens. In other nations, the program was aimed at what Cord Meyer[CIA agent] called the Compatible Left, which in America translates into liberals and pseudo-intellectual status seekers who are easily influenced.

“All of this is ongoing, despite being exposed in the late 1960s. Various technological advances, including the internet, have spread the network around the world and many people don’t even realize they’re a part of it, that they’re promoting the CIA line.”

Valentine’s new book explains how societies, going back to early organized humanity, have been controlled to believe certain myths, primarily warrior hero myths. Today, these myths are very pervasive and diffused, they’re called “beliefs” and “opinions” and are often disguised in moralistic language; even the protests are controlled and co-opted and diluted to create other myths. Myths, like the Democratic Party is anti-war or the protector of minorities, women and workers and only the other party is racist, sexist and militaristic. This myth, carefully engineered and delivered to the masses through the media, and meant to keep the US bitterly divided, is what was used to trigger the targeted group to react when called upon, in tacit, and often explicit support of the psychopath Clinton.

The themes and messages are delivered to the gullible public by the media through “news” agencies; books, including revisionist history and pandering biographies; social media viral thinking; celebrities of all factions; and nominally fictional movies, TV shows and books, such as Fox’s 24, Ben Affleck’s Argo, Kathyrn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, Tom Clancy books etc.

The people that planned the war crimes in Ukraine, Libya and Syria are actual fascist dictators, but the revolutionaries aren’t aware of this and refuse to believe it even when confronted with undeniable proof. The people that control the media are the same people that planned the war crimes. I know, I know, it’s one of those things you just can’t believe right?

It’s just too much! Don’t bury your head in the sand; it’s not going away. Douglas Valentine’s new book will explain how that’s just the way those people planning those things want to keep it. You obey the laws and they’ll break them. You believe what they say and they’ll get rich while you live in deception.

The socially engineered revolutionaries in the streets range from middle-aged white suburban housewives and their teenage kids, to young black militants and activists to celebrities from both mainstream and counter/alternative culture: Robert De Niro and Madonna to Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth, who called Obama a “conscientious politician.” Moore is a disturbing case: a brilliant rock musician and lyricist, who is capable of writing a song about Chelsea Manning, yet calls Obama, her jailer and tormentor, “conscientious” and a “legal scholar.” He refuses to play in Israel, supporting the BDS movement, but endorsed Clinton, a devoted enemy of Palestine, after Sanders capitulated to her. What is this? Moral relativism? Can it even be called moral? This type of thinking is rampant with liberals and conservatives alike and with people everywhere, but we’re seeing the spectacle in a new form with this level of hysteria, and with the massive liberal Group Think that has even infected artists who are supposed to be punk and counter culture figures. They’re supposed to know what bullshit is!

These people: enraged, genuinely scared and hysterical, are demanding Trump be toppled, “by any means necessary,”(also from Moore, playing Malcom X). There are countless Facebook assassins calling for Trump’s blood. Madonna exhorts people to blow up the White House. Rosie O’Donnell begged Obama to enact martial law! Mainstream rags and CIA-linked journalists glibly write about assassination and coups. After all this, they shamelessly call

Trump a fascist! This happened in Trump’s first week, before he even has a chance to commit his own war crimes or to show how loyal he is to the old power structure and how he thinks the CIA is “really really great.” Maybe they’re just teasing him a bit eh? A shot across the bow.

These “revolutionaries” are transmitting a message of violence, planted in them by a methodical and purposeful system of disinformation and smears, in the hopes that it will activate some deranged person who thinks they’re on a mission from God, or better yet, Madonna or Lady Gaga – Remember Jodie Foster. That’s one possibility but the people who plan these things like to keep all their options open at all times. It’s a world of possibilities for them. Their Chosen One, Clinton, was buried alive by the dispossessed workers in the Rust Belt, and now they must seriously look at their options. Doug Valentine’s new book gives you the history and methods of how they look at their options and the results of those options. It’s not for the feint of heart. After such knowledge, what forgiveness?

These revolutionaries were nowhere to be seen while Obama droned thousands to smithereens and allowed for the destruction of three nations, and the continuing destruction of Afghanistan and Iraq. I doubt the millions of socially engineered revolutionaries will ever see themselves for what they are, despite being told by many people in real time responses to their social media rage (before they get blocked by the liberals defending free speech). They’ve found a purpose in life, or, more likely, “somebody” found a purpose for them. Douglas Valentine’s new book will explain how and why those “somebodies” do that.

[From p.311] “Information management –including official secrecy and false accusations – is the key to pacifying the people through implicit terror, while making the internal security apparatus appear legal, moral and popular. This is being done to American citizens through the most ambitious psywar campaign ever waged on planet Earth.”

Some books raise the curtain on the whole shit show, and this is one of those books. I haven’t read everything about US history and politics, but I’ve read enough to know the score. I did read Valentine’s previous books: The Phoenix Program, Strength of the Pack, and Strength of the Wolf, and I reviewed them for Amazon and Goodreads. Before reading them, I thought I knew the score, but I didn’t really. Now I do. I knew we were screwed but just not how badly and I didn’t know how exactly it happened that we are in the mess we are in.

Valentine names all the perps and all the plans. He weaves the comments of the people he interviews into his own prose structure that creates a fascinating, page-turning narrative that never lags. It often reminds me of Raymond Chandler and William Burroughs, when they talk about the sordid and sad ways of the world. He’s never boring, even when he’s detailing bureaucratic structures, probably because the details are so damn sinister. His sentences are deadly efficient, hard-hitting, dense with information and always end with a stab to the heart of the beast he so clearly and righteously despises. He is the real revolutionary.

His books are deeply detailed with interviews from the people that set up the bureaucracies like the Phoenix Program and the various inter-agency drug front groups, designed to parasitically subsume nations through corruption paired with false ideological political motives. False, because as it turned out, the endgame wasn’t freedom and democracy as the USA-CIA promised, in countries like Vietnam and El Salvador and Iraq, to name a few; the endgame was the looting of resources, land grabs for corporate and strategic gain and in the larger sense, world domination, aka neoliberal globalism/corporatism– Valentine’s subtitle:

How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World.

The word on the street is that the CIA does not operate in America’s interest; that is, doing things that would protect the majority of Americans and insure that the country’s written standards and laws are upheld. Instead, it subverts nations for an oligarchy of super-rich financial and corporate interests that are essentially trans-national or global, whose allegiance is not national; their allegiance is to a captive government at the service of, and essentially indistinguishable from, financial institutions. The oligarchy is comprised of the super-rich of many nations whose money is handled by one dominant Western system and network. The goal is to enrich this group at any cost and since the cost to maintain the system is greater

than the profits, making it essentially a Ponzi scheme, constant looting through warfare, debt

service, taxes, stock market/real estate bubbles and bailouts, and organized crime must be maintained to generate cash. The majority of humanity is the intended victim of all of these massive crimes and the key is that they pay the costs, while the oligarchs take the profits. Anyone that works to further the interests of the oligarchy are given decent-paying jobs with lots of benefits and perks, pensions, and sometimes, included in schemes that bring in a lot of money. They’re also made to feel superior and part of some glorious purpose.

Valentine’s new book is the introduction to and condensation and summation of his other work along with several interviews that always add and elaborate on his subject of CIA control mechanisms and corruption of governments, starting with the US; it enhances the reading of those other great works and offers many insights into the time up to 2016, after the period covered in the other books: the early 20th century to the mid 1990s. The subjects of his previous books are political subversion of nations through terror and war for profit, and government collusion with, and control of, organized crime. This book is equally as important as the others, and continues the previous subjects, but includes the other main element of government control: the media’s role in propaganda, secrecy, social engineering and mind control. Valentine has masterfully condensed his previous books, while integrating his thoughts on the media component of control throughout the chapters. The result is not only a history of the CIA but a precise description of how the US government and society works.

The Phoenix Program exposed the new method that the US would use to take over governments and the collusion between the military and political(intelligence) units of government. Think tank intellectuals are the mouthpieces for the financial oligarchs: this is

the vaunted public-private partnership. It’s being extended into private mercenary armies and intelligence gathering corporations, mostly in the form of cyber-security groups. All of these

are branches of the CIA in spirit and often in fact. They create the complexity and confusion

that provides cover; this system of multiple companies and organizations is also used by big financial institutions. It becomes so extensive and diffused that people say it can’t ALL be CIA; but it is; at least anything the CIA thinks matters.

Valentine’s overarching subject is the military/ political/ intelligence, and corporate(finance) networks and how they interconnect. Phoenix is the blueprint for total bureaucratic conquest of a foreign country using virtually untraceable cash that is returned with interest from profits reaped, or raped, from the conquest. The cash comes from a complex network of taxes, crime, and corporate donors. To the people involved in subverting countries like Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, war is nothing more than a good investment. They know they aren’t patriots and don’t give a sleazy fuck about democracy, freedom, women’s rights, the troops, or any of the other things they incessantly babble about. That stuff is just their conartist’s cover story for the rubes.

In Strength of the Wolf and Strength of the Pack, Valentine describes the connections between the police and intelligence apparatus and organized crime, for the purpose of controlling the sources of all organized crime profits–mainly drugs and weapons, but also prostitution and human trafficking. This is the chaos element necessary to prevent the formation of viable political opposition. The enormous profits from crime fund much of the dark budgets of the CIA and other intel groups, and are used to corrupt individuals, buy weapons and train and equip proxy death squads and terrorist armies. Crime also weakens, impoverishes and destabilizes cultures and societies, turning ethnic groups against each other and themselves. We see this clearly in the US with gang warfare over drug turf.

I don’t think any other book on this subject could ever surpass the intricacy of Valentine’s books, built around the first-hand accounts from most of the main agents involved. They are among other things, epic accomplishments in the art of the interview, conducted on a massive scale.  Valentine doesn’t hold anything back or stop short, like so many books do. The point of the exhaustive interviews, as well as his prose, is to lay bare the ugly reality that the US government took over the drug trade as a key element in its strategy for world control, especially post WWII. This is really where they beat the Soviets, who, I’m afraid, with all their devious chess master skills, failed to see that killer strategy. As a result of that killer strategy, heroin has gone from a deeply underground big city thing, then to much wider inner city use, and now a worldwide epidemic that’s in every little town from Maine to Moldova; it’s hopelessly fed and complicated(by design?) by the presence of highly addictive pharmaceutical opiods that are always getting stronger.

The missing component in Valentine’s work, until now, in his study of the US government’s control strategy, was the media – it’s the main subject of this new book. While in some chapters he condenses the subjects of his other books, he’s doing it in the context of the media’s role– that he writes about in greater detail in other chapters– exposing the work of corrupt or compromised journalists. The book is a synthesis of his previous subjects and the role the media plays in protecting the secrecy and spreading the lies that enable subversion and conquest of nations.

Valentine quotes from the Marine Corps Gazette, from 1989[p.354]: “The new type of warfare will be widely dispersed and largely undefined. The distinction between war and peace will be blurred to the vanishing point. There will be no definable battlefields or fronts. The distinction between civilian and military will disappear. Success will depend heavily on effectiveness and joint operations, as the lines between responsibility and missions become blurred…This new type of warfare will depend on psychological operations manifested in the form of media information intervention…One must be adept at manipulating the media to alter domestic and world opinion. On this new psychological battlefield, television news may become a more powerful operational weapon than armored divisions.”

And it was for a while, but now the mainstream news has been largely ridiculed and exposed, especially by many Trump voters and by Trump himself, calling them “fake news,” turning their own smear phrase against real left and libertarian news sites(mostly internet-based) against them. The whole fake news narrative was certainly a CIA ploy, though a total failure from the start, except of course for the liberal “revolutionaries” and Democrats in Congress who still repeat that Putin was behind the “fake news” about Clinton’s record-setting corruption. One positive thing is that many people are looking out for this sort of nonsense, and the concept of false flag attacks, both violent and disinformation-based, has entered into the public consciousness to a certain extent. Valentine asserts that the CIA will always increase the pressure and resort to a complete authoritarian takeover, complete with concentration camps, if it feels the interests of the oligarchy are threatened.

Valentine describes his own blackballing by the mainstream media starting with Morley Safer doing a poison pen hit job on The Phoenix Program in the New York Times. It killed the book in its infancy and thwarted his career as an historian and journalist for many years. But Safer is already forgotten while Valentine is and will always be regarded as one of the truly great and courageous historians and journalists.

Valentine exposes “heroes” like Daniel Ellsberg and his CIA friends and connections; he explains that they’re only allowed to become heroes, as a show for the masses, that reenforces the myth that America is a country where no one is above the law. But the age of the heroes is over, as we see with Snowden and Manning; it didn’t last too long did it? He describes how famous journalists like Glenn Greenwald and Sy Hersh stop short of exposing the whole story and are in a sense being used to convey diluted messages. He talks at length about how war criminals like former Senator Bob Kerrey, Congressman Rob Simmons(R-CT) and others are repackaged as heroes and put into public office. He details evidence against them that is enough for any fair judicial system to put them on trial.

Valentine’s great gift to the nation and the world is to show that most of what you see in the news is all highly orchestrated and interconnected to direct US military wars or indirect subversion like Syria, Ukraine and the many countries before them. What was acceptable one day, and even created by the US, like Saddam Hussein, is not acceptable after a certain preordained expiration date. One day acceptable, the next day Hitler. Same story over and over again and the suckers buy it every time. Valentine gives philosophical and psychological context of the effects of these often subtle, but noticeable journalistic compromises and purposeful failures, on the willingness of people to understand and seek intellectual, emotional, and consequentially, political freedom.

My intention was to convey how important Valentine’s work as a whole is, and how this new book is another main component of his enormously complex theme. I say another because I want more; but we can be satisfied with this book because it closes the circle: government(military-intel-private finance)/organized crime/ and now media(mainstream and compromised leftist journalism)). Others can elaborate with more books but he’s giving them the blueprint to work from.

Which brings me back to the Democratic Party/Facebook revolutionaries. If they want to know why they’re out there, and why they think Trump is a fascist but Obama isn’t, and why they think they’re really doing something for the good of the country, they should read this book, and all of Doug Valentine’s books; then, maybe, just maybe, they’ll realize that they’re out there on the streets because some people sitting in skyscrapers, and government buildings and secure compounds want them there, and told them to go there, and are dictating the terms every step of the way through the media.

They’ve been conditioned to scream “RACIST!” on demand, and to be silent when institutional racism is being carried on by a black president, or by Bill Clinton, who the media absurdly calls, “the first black president.” They’re silent as the tomb when the “good guys” are bombing black, brown, yellow and white people. Maybe those people will never read Douglas Valentine’s new book, but hopefully you will.

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How To Qualify as a Narcissist

Sab, 11/02/2017 - 07:01

You hear the term narcissist tossed out frequently, but is that date who’s more interested in hearing himself talk really a narcissist or just a jerk? What about your boss who always demands you do things his way? The term stems from the Greek myth of Narcissus, a beautiful and proud young man who was cursed by the god Nemesis to fall in love with his own reflection and died pining for his own beauty. But in real life, psychologists have developed a list of actual criteria for the definition of narcissism.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), as it’s called in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), “is one of the least understood of personality disorders,” psychologist Anjhula Mya Singh Bais tells mental_floss. A former model and now Ph.D, Bais has for the past 10 years worked with clients who are celebrities, high achievers, and their partners dealing with various facets of NPD.

Bais says the NPD diagnosis evolved through collaboration between psychoanalysts and psychologists over the years “who couldn’t quite put their finger on a subset of their patients.” NPD also tends to co-exist with depression or anxiety; having one of those conditions is often the only reason a narcissist tries therapy.

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To qualify as a narcissist, an individual must have “a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts,” paraphrased from the fifth version of the DSM [PDF]:

— A grandiose sense of self-importance, exaggerating achievements and talents— Fantasizes about unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love— Believes that he or she is “special” and should associate only with high-status people or institutions— Requires excessive admiration— Has a sense of entitlement, expects favorable treatment or automatic compliance— Is interpersonally exploitative, taking advantage of others— Lacks empathy, unwilling to recognize or identify others’ feelings and needs


Narcissists become fixated on fantasies of infinite success, control, brilliance, beauty, or idyllic love, Bais says. They believe they are “extraordinary and exceptional and can only be understood by, or should connect with, other extraordinary or important people or institutions.”


What makes narcissists incredibly difficult to be in relationship with is “they lack empathy in totality,” Bais says. They do not care about others’ points of view or feelings, unless “it is to manipulate a situation or person to their advantage,” she adds. Psychologist Brad Reedy, the clinical director of Evoke Therapy Programs, puts it more bluntly. “If you don’t fulfill their needs, they have no use for you,” say Reedy, who has treated clients with narcissism in therapy for 20 years. In this regard, the difference between a narcissist and a sociopath—who also views people as objects and lacks empathy—may simply be a matter of degree.


A romantic relationship with a narcissist may start with passion and excitement. Your narcissist may be the most dynamic person in the room or “extraordinarily charming,” Bais says. But that charm eventually gives way to manipulation, entitlement, lack of forgiveness, a desperate need for ego strokes, and even rage.


According to Reedy, the narcissist’s personality is so pervasive, rigid, and consistent that “they won’t be able to demonstrate anything different than the narcissist presentation.” A person who is just a little arrogant still has moments where they can admit they’re wrong, apologize for their mistakes, and empathize. But unlike people with “strong confidence” or arrogance, narcissists “place value only on [themselves] and no one else,” Bais says.

Read the Whole Article

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Renewables Are Doomed

Ven, 10/02/2017 - 07:01

We’re on the verge of a new energy revolution. Except it’s the exact opposite of the one the “experts” at places like BP,  the International Energy Agency and – ahem – the Guardian are predicting.

For years we’ve been assured by politicians, energy industry specialists and green advocates that renewables such as the wind and solar are getting more and more cost-competitive while dirty fossil fuels are so discredited and wrong and evil we’ll soon have to leave them in the ground.

But to believe this you’d have to believe in a world where Donald Trump and Brexit hadn’t happened; where taxpayers were still prepared to bankroll, ad infinitum, the expensive, inefficient, environmentally damaging produce of favoured crony capitalists; where no one had access to the internet to articles showing how the whole climate change industry is such a scam.

That world doesn’t exist.

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This is why we need to take with a massive pinch of salt, for example, the latest BP Energy Outlook 2017 which claims that renewables are set to grow and grow over the next two decades:

Renewables in power are set to be the fastest growing source of energy – at 7.6% per year to 2035, more than quadrupling over the Outlook period. Renewables account for 40% of the growth in power generation, causing their share of global power to increase from 7% in 2015 to nearly 20% by 2035.

It’s why we should laugh to scorn articles like this one in Vox boasting about how the US solar industry employs more people than the US coal industry.

And why economics writers like the normally sensible Jeremy Warner do themselves no favors when they produce tosh like this in the op-ed columns of that once respectable newspaper The Daily Telegraph. In a piece with the virtue-signalling headline “Bad news, petrol heads; Trump or no Trump, the green revolution is coming to get you,” Warner claims:

We may not be there quite yet, but we are close. Green technologies are reaching a tipping point of take-up, cost and efficiency which make their eventual wholesale adoption virtually inevitable, regardless of anything that might be done to reinvigorate fossil fuel industries in the meantime.

Actually, it’s not the fossil fuel industry that needs invigorating. As even the BP Energy Outlook report admits, fossil fuels are doing just fine and will do for the foreseeable.

But while I’m sure the BP report is right about the growth of fossil fuels – we’ve got to get our energy from somewhere – it seems to me that its forecast for renewables comes from a mix of wishful thinking and heroic assumptions based on conditions that no longer exist.

Read the Whole Article

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Stalin’s Children

Ven, 10/02/2017 - 07:01

When I was just starting out in the world, I worked for a company that had an active human resources department. This was when HR was being overhauled to accommodate middle-aged women without useful skills. Companies were trying to “diversify” their management so they hired a bunch of women for their personnel departments, re-branded them as “human resources” and set them loose to get involved in things well outside the normal scope of corporate personnel departments.

I was new in the world so I had no way to see what was happening. I just assumed it was the way things worked, even if it was obviously insane. There was one woman, who was always gossiping with the female staff, trying to find out who was dating whom, who was socializing with whom and generally playing the role of a busybody. In a better age, she was the sort of woman who would end up fitted with a bridle. As far as I could tell, her only job was to gossip, as I never saw her doing anything else.

Inevitably, people would be called into HR for some crime. Once in a while, someone would disappear. It was always males getting the call and it was almost always over having said or done something that offended a female employee. The thing that puzzled me at first was that the males who survived the interrogation never spoke of it. Maybe it was shame or fear, maybe something else that was not obvious. They got called in, something happened and they came back chastened from the experience.

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The way it worked is familiar to anyone who has read about Stalin’s show trials. The prosecutor, in this example it was the gossip, functioned as a spokesman for the accusers, as well as the witnesses, in addition to laying out the case against the accused. She would say something like, “Some people have said you said X and you know that you have a reputation for saying X so you can see how we would be concerned. In order to get to the bottom of this, we thought it was a good idea to call you in so we could talk about it and hear what you have to say.”

The accused was presented with an invisible accuser who could never be confronted so their testimony went unchallenged. Slipped into it was the assertion that the accused had a reputation for whatever it was he was accused of doing. Again, there’s no way to confront this as there is no accuser, just a whisper in the wind. The poor bastard in the hot seat was faced with the impossible task of not only defending himself but doing so as a person assumed to be a habitual offender or at least known as one.

The use of invisible victims and imaginary crimes is the core tactic of the social justice warriors. You see that in this response from Apple to Gab about their application to the Apple app store.

Notice the language. They “find content that is defamatory and mean spirited” but they never mention who is being defamed. The only way words can be defamatory is if someone, a real living human, is being defamed. You see the same thing when they write “there is no tolerance for objectionable material.” Objectionable to whom? The only way something can be objectionable is if someone objects. The person defamed and objecting is an undefined entity that is just assumed to exist.

In Stalin’s show trials, the victims were accused of mysterious crimes like conspiracy and sabotage, even though it was never clear with whom the accused were conspiring or what it was they were sabotaging. Stalin’s henchmen would use pressure to get some of the victims to confess, which was then used as “proof” that the rest of the accused were not just guilty, but guilty of obstructing the revolution’s search for truth. An innocent man trying to defend himself was left to swing at ghosts and shadows.

The modern day Stalinists use the same tactic, in which they accuse enemies of fostering a hostile environment or promoting objectionable material. Apple is not saying they object to the material. They are claiming to speak for those unnamed people who do object because Apple is just looking out for them, whoever they may be. Since these alleged victims are a mystery, there’s no way for Gab to confront them or argue that they are complying with Apple’s terms of service. It’s just modern show trial in which the verdict is known in advance. The only question is how long before the accused breaks.

Those who confessed quickly in Stalin’s trials did so hoping for leniency, but that never came. Just as the verdict was known in advance, so was the punishment. The same system applies today. Gab could ban all of its users and just have pics of Hillary and Obama and they would still not get on the Apple store. They have been found guilty of blasphemy and heresy. That will be the verdict of the trial and the punishment will be banishment. The only mystery is whether Apple can make them grovel.

The guy running Gab is not going to grovel. He knows the deal. In fact, more and more people are figuring out that there is no dealing with the Left. There’s no accommodation to be made, no compromise to be found. In fact, that was true thirty years ago when I was just getting started. The company gossip was not a person with whom you could strike a bargain. She was a Torquemada, who existed to find the guilty. The answer then as now was what Andrew Breitbart said years ago. The answer is “Fuck you! War!”

Reprinted from The Z Man Blog.

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Hillary’s Snowflake Campaign Manager

Ven, 10/02/2017 - 07:01

Though the Guardian was the newspaper that broke the Ed Snowden leaks, their editors evidently had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the printing presses. No wonder Glenn Greenwald left soon afterward.

The Guardian is just another western establishment/CIA mouthpiece, and it’s readily apparent by the mainstream rubbish they carry.

Like this sadly typical “blame the Russians” piece by Robby Mook. With all the attention that was focused on John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, you may not have heard of Mook. He was her actual campaign manager. I guess that’s why he had to be introduced in his own headline, so somebody might actually care about what he says.

And here it is – “a real beauty” as America’s 45th president derisively described the BBC – Robby’s whining and crying diatribe blaming Russia and Vladimir Putin for the arrogant, bloated, grotesquely over-funded and pathetically mismanaged campaign the 37-year-old loser ran for Hillary:

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Notice the Guardian’s banner at the bottom pleading for cash. Elsewhere they describe themselves as an independent newspaper that does investigative reporting. Yet they continuously provide a platform for third-grade Russophobic garbage. This tripe is not even worth one penny, let alone $7.

Back to Mook. Much of what he writes is recycled stale “Russia hacked the election” spittle which is not worth reproducing here. (No wonder his campaign was a failure with such a lack of originality.) Mook warns of the rise of the right-wing populists in Europe such as Le Pen and Germany’s AfD party – and wouldn’t you know it, Putin made it happen.

Just like Putin made you suck, eh Robby?

Mook goes on to cry chicken little over the nefarious influence of Russia’s president, who is blamed for “infecting” the western world with true, factual info about Hillary’s corruption and her satanist campaign chair John Podesta:

With his success in the US last year, Putin has put opponents on notice that there will be a price to pay for crossing him. Indeed, the complex infrastructure that Russia built to infect public discourse with false or stolen information isn’t going anywhere. It can be unleashed at any time, on any issue, domestic or international.

This came into sharp relief this weekend when President Trump implied a sort of moral equivalence between the Putin regime and the US[.]

President Trump suggested moral equivalence (“You think our country’s so innocent?”) because that’s the best he could do in the face of interviewer Bill O’Reilly’s profoundly imbecilic knowledge of Vladimir Putin.

The truth is, there is no moral equivalence. The United States over the last quarter of a century is responsible directly through its foreign interventions, for millions of deaths.

So many American politicians have this blood on their hands through their votes, and media personalities through their advocacy – including O’Reilly. As Trump said, “There are a lot of killers.” Russia and Putin can’t be blamed for even a fraction of that bloodletting.

At the close of Mook’s article he applauds social media behemoths Twitter and Facebook, for taking the first steps toward outright bans on dissenting political speech, and agreeing to serve as hatchetmen for the lying mainstream media like the Guardian, who are the relentless pushers of actual fake news:

Facebook and Twitter have taken encouraging steps to filter out misleading content. Their continuing vigilance will be critical. We must also think about how to manage the presence of government-backed news operations, such as Russia Today (rebranded as the more opaque RT) which can increase their reach through online promotion. The law makes no distinction between the New York Times and outlets like RT or China Daily, which are essentially state-sponsored propaganda. Sadly, the unfiltered nature of much social media means many Americans don’t see much of a distinction either.

Disgraceful and disgusting. Yet Russophobic propaganda parrots like the Guardian and Robby Mook,  love to paint Russia as a land of totalitarianism where the media doesn’t allow dissent (not true at all) and “Putin kills journalists” (they can’t name even one). It is plain to see where the real spinmeisters and totalitarians are lurking who want to put filters on free information and pass off their hate-laced fables as dogma. It is not in Moscow.

After such a gargantuan and unexpected failure as Hillary’s 2016 presidential campaign, Robby Mook’s career as a political guru is probably over. Just like the Guardian’s image as a respectable news source.

All that is left is the whining and crying, and shifting of blame – especially onto what has become the western globalist elite’s stock deus ex machina, big bad Vladimir.

Putin done it. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Reprinted from Russia Insider.

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Natural Cold Remedies You May Not Know About

Ven, 10/02/2017 - 07:01

By Dr. Mercola

Your nose is running, your eyes are itchy and watery, you have a low-grade fever and you’ve been sneezing all day. You probably have a cold. They are the leading cause of doctor visits and missed days at work and school. The average adult in America will suffer between two and four colds each year.

Despite advancements in medical care and treatment, traditional western medicine has little to offer in the care and treatment of the common cold. That’s because the cold is caused by a virus and not bacteria. This is important because antibiotics work only against bacteria and not against viruses.

Most uncomplicated colds last between two days and two weeks, depending upon the specific virus and your overall general health. Oftentimes over-the-counter cold remedies don’t speed your recovery and can actually prolong your suffering.

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Many remedies contain aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil), all of which may suppress your body’s ability to produce antibodies and fight the cold.1This is completely opposite of your goal to get better as quickly as possible.

Although your physician may offer antiviral medications, such as Tamiflu, they are not effective against the common cold2,3 and carry specific risks worse than the cold they are meant to treat, and may be more ineffective than advertised.

The answer to treating your cold does not lie in the medicine cabinet. Use a combination of lifestyle choices, herbal remedies and vitamin supplementation to fight the virus and support your immune system in defense against viral attacks.

17 Natural Home Remedies


Meditation has significant positive effects on heart rate, brain function, stress reduction and blood pressure.4 Research also has demonstrated that mindful meditation, or the practice of purposefully paying attention, has lasting positive effects on brain function and your immune system.5

Imaging demonstrated an increase in activation in the left frontal region of the brain associated with lower anxiety, and blood work showed larger increases in antibody production in participants who meditated in the study. Meditation is an option for both treatment and prevention of colds.


If all your symptoms are above your neck, such as sneezing, sniffling and watery eyes, then breaking out in a sweat is generally considered safe. Your immune system functions better when you exercise regularly and is a good preventative measure.6

Walking, jogging, yoga and slow biking are among the best exercises when you have a cold, while endurance sports, team sports, weightlifting and exercising in the cold weather are among the worst.7

Exercise may help you feel better but may not shorten the length of your cold. If you are involved in strenuous exercise it depletes the energy needed to fight the virus and can actually make your symptoms worse.


Lack of sleep has been linked to a laundry list of medical disorders from a negative impact on your immune system to dementia.

Sleep has a strong regulatory influence on your immune system and promotes the influence of cytokines stimulating the interaction between antigen-presenting cells and T-helper cells necessary for your body to fight virus infections.8

When you’re sick (and even when you’re not), most people need between about eight hours of sleep a night and plenty of rest during the day.

4.Nasal Saline Rinse

Although researchers can only speculate how saline nasal washes are effective in treating and preventing virus infections and recurrences, the fact is they are effective.9 Use only sterile normal saline water in the rinse.

Tap water can increase the inflammatory response in the sinus passages and carry parasites that can infect your brain.

5.Hydrogen Peroxide

In 1928, Dr. Richard Simmons hypothesized that the cold virus entered your body through the ear canal and not the nose. His theory was dismissed by the medical community.

However, in 1938, German researchers had great success using hydrogen peroxide in the ear canal to treat colds and the flu.10 Although the data was vastly ignored by the medical community, I’ve treated many patients who experienced great results with this treatment.

You must start treatment in the first 24 hours to have a significant impact on reducing the length of the cold. You can watch more about how I’ve used this treatment to shorten colds and the flu in the video above.

6.Apple Cider Vinegar

Cold viruses increase the acidity of your body. To fight the virus, take a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar each day. This reduces the acidity and apple cider vinegar has acetic acid that helps prevent the growth of viruses.

7.Raw Honey

Honey has natural antibacterial and antiviral properties. But, you would have to overdose on the honey in order to achieve the effect of treating the virus in your body.

However, if you suffer from a sore throat with your cold, raw honey is as effective as cough syrup or cough drops. Remember that honey is a natural sugar and taken in large amounts will adversely affect your insulin and leptin levels.

Honey Lemon Cough Syrup

Lemon helps promote health by quickly alkalinizing your body, and honey will kill any bacteria. This is a perfect choice for a quick cough remedy.

1.Put a pint of raw honey in a pan on the stove on VERY low heat (Do not boil honey as this changes its medicinal properties).

2.Take a whole lemon and boil in some water in a separate pan for two to three minutes, to both soften the lemon and kill any bacteria that may be on the lemon skin.

3.Let the lemon cool enough to handle, then cut it in slices and add it to the pint of honey on the stove.

4.Let mixture cook on warm heat for about an hour.

5.Then strain the lemon from the honey, making sure all lemon seeds are removed.

6.Let cool, then bottle in a jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator.

This syrup will keep for two months in the refrigerator. To soothe a cough, take 1/2 teaspoon for a 25-pound child and 1 teaspoon for a 50-pound child, about four times a day, or as often as needed. Adults can take 1 tablespoon doses.11

8.Chicken Soup

Although the biological basis for using chicken soup is unknown, a team of researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center found evidence that chicken soup — both homemade and from the can — had anti-inflammatory properties that could prevent the side effects of a cold.12

I’d strongly recommend avoiding the canned varieties in favor of a home-cooked version, however, especially with homemade broth to nourish you from the inside out. The next time you make a pot of chicken soup, make some extra to store in the freezer. That way you can pull some out if you’re feeling under the weather and not up to cooking.

9.Colloidal Silver

Silver has been used in treatments as far back as Hippocrates, who was one of the first to describe its antimicrobial and antibiotic properties. But, because colds and the flu are caused by viruses, using colloidal silver will not be effective.

10.Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has both antibacterial and antiviral properties, making it a great addition to your treatment and prevention of colds and the flu.13 Rub coconut oil over your skin. It is readily absorbed into your body and, as an added benefit, will soften your skin too. Add one-half teaspoon to your coffee or tea when you have a cold and cook with coconut oil.

11.Fermented Foods

The health of your immune system resides in your intestines.14 Fermented foods provide your intestines with a good variety of bacteria to support your immune system.

While fermented foods will improve the health of your gut and therefore your immune system, it often does not work fast enough to help reduce the length of your current cold. Eating fermented foods is a preventive measure for more than just a cold.

12.Baking Soda

The Arm & Hammer Baking Soda Company recommends baking soda to reduce the acidity of your body in the treatment of colds and flu. However, I have pushed the body pH in the opposite direction and achieved the same results, shortening the length of an infection.

The administration of baking soda is simple, relatively harmless and easy to test on your own cold. Simply dissolve the recommended amount of baking soda in a glass of cold water and drink it. Recommended dosages from the Arm & Hammer Company for colds and influenza back in 1925 were:

  • Day 1 — Take six doses of one-half teaspoon of baking soda in glass of cool water, at about two-hour intervals
  • Day 2 —Take four doses of one-half teaspoon of baking soda in glass of cool water, at the same intervals
  • Day 3 — Take two doses of one-half teaspoon of baking soda in glass of cool water morning and evening, and thereafter ½ teaspoon in glass of cool water each morning until cold symptoms are gone

This should only be used as an occasional (not chronic) treatment, however, and be careful not to consume excessive amounts, which can cause serious electrolyte and acid/base imbalances.

13.Lifestyle Choices

Other lifestyle choices that will help your body to heal from a cold are to eliminate or drastically reduce your alcohol intake and smoking. Both of these factors negatively impact your immune system, making it more difficult for your body to fight the viral infection.


Steam will not shorten the length of your cold, but it will help to break up the mucous secretions in your sinuses, reduce the inflammation in your nasal passages and help you to breathe better.

15.Stress Reduction

Practicing meditation, yoga or Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) are simple and effective practices to support your immune system and prevent other damage caused by stress. Diseases linked to stress include obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and gastrointestinal problems.15

16.Hand Washing

Hand washing is a deterrent for infection by viruses and against further infection while you are sick. It will also reduce the spread of the virus to other family members, but it will not shorten the length of your cold. Remember that too much hand washing is almost as bad as not enough. Frequent washing strips your skin of protective oils, causing the skin to crack and bleed.

17.Eat Real Food

Eating real food and avoiding processed foods will give your body the necessary tools to fight a viral infection. It will also reduce the potential you’ll suffer a quick recurrence of the infection. Real foods are best described as those found in the outside aisles of the grocery store that require refrigeration to remain fresh.

Eight Vitamins for Colds


Zinc is nutritionally essential for immune function. Zinc lozenges and powder are available for use during a cold or the flu that can shorten the length of your cold if you have a slight deficiency.16 Your body uses these micronutrients in a balanced state. Too much zinc interferes with copper bioavailability and too much iron can reduce your absorption of zinc. Foods rich in zinc include lobster, oysters, beef, crab, pork, cashews, chickpeas, chicken and Swiss cheese.17

2.Vitamin C

There is evidence that this water-soluble vitamin will shorten the life of your cold. People with higher blood levels also have a lower risk of death from all causes.Typically the higher the dose the better but one is limited to a relatively small amount with oral vitamin C. You can go much higher with IV or liposomal C. I personally use liposomal vitamin C 3 to 4 grams every hour when I get sick or for friends and family that get sick with great results.18 

3.Vitamin D

Research studies have demonstrated that this fat-soluble vitamin is essential to the function of your immune system. However, while important to prevent a cold and the flu, supplementation during a cold may not shorten the length of the illness.19

That being said, suboptimal vitamin D levels will significantly impair your immune response and make you far more susceptible to contracting colds, flu and other respiratory infections, so it’s important to make sure your levels are optimized.


The importance of this mineral to your health has previously been underestimated. Researchers have identified a reduction in magnesium levels after strenuous exercise, leading to an increased number of viral infections.20, 21Supplementation during a cold will likely not reduce the length of your cold. However, an Epsom salt bath will reduce your muscle aches, aid in the absorption of magnesium from the Epsom salts and just make you feel better.

5.Vitamin E

This fat-soluble vitamin enhanced the T-cell-related immune-mediated response in an elderly population. However, while important for prevention, it is not likely to produce immediate results to shorten the length of your cold.

6.Vitamin B6

This vitamin is essential for the production of over 100 enzymes responsible for protein metabolism. Although important to your health, it does not shorten the length of your cold.

7.Vitamin A

This fat-soluble vitamin is important for the differentiation and regulation of almost every cell in your body, including normal immune function. This vitamin is important for the prevention of colds but will not shorten the length of your cold.22


This trace element is important in a variety of biological functions. However, while a severe deficiency can lead to significant viral infections it is highly unlikely that supplementation during a cold will reduce the length of your cold.23

11 Herbal Cold Remedies


This is one of the most popular Native American medicinal plants. The research using Echinacea tea is not consistent. The studies that demonstrated the best effect at shortening the length of a cold occurred when you drink two to three cups of Echinacea tea per day starting on the first or second day of your cold.24

2.Ginseng and Andrographis

Ginseng is a tuber plant and Andrographis is a plant native to South Asia. Double-blind studies have demonstrated that specific Siberian ginseng and andrographis reduce the length and severity of colds when you take it within 72 hours of the start of your symptoms.25,26

3.Pelargonium Sidoides

Research has demonstrated that this obscure herb can reduce the severity and length of the common cold. Scientists theorize that the herb up-regulates the cytokines in protecting host cells from viral invaders.27

4.Raw Garlic

Despite a report from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that there is little evidence garlic has an effect on the common cold, some studies have found that raw garlic can prevent colds and reduce the severity of the cold you already have.28Test this for yourself at home (be sure to crush the garlic cloves before eating to release their active medicinal properties).

5.Oil of Oregano

This concentrated oil of the oregano plant has potent antibacterial and antiviral effects. In one study, researchers found when in spray form in combination with four other aromatic plants it could immediately reduce the side effects of a cold. This treatment was no longer effective after three days of use. Oil of oregano should not be used by children, women who are pregnant or nursing or who plan to become pregnant.

6.Licorice Root

Licorice root is a traditional herbal remedy to treat colds and upper respiratory infections. To date there is no research that supports the use of licorice root to reduce the length of a cold.29

7.Olive Leaf Extract

Widely known as a non-toxic immune system support, there is not sufficient evidence to suggest olive leaf extract will reduce the length or severity of your current cold. A few studies have demonstrated its effectiveness at reducing the infectivity of the virus and reducing the inflammatory response in the body.30

8.Herbal Tea

Herbal teas from Goldenseal, elderberry, yarrow, boneset, linden, peppermint and ginger may help support your immune system, soothe a sore throat and shorten your cold by up to one or two days.


This is a powerful antioxidant that lowers the levels of two enzymes that cause inflammation. There is evidence that curcumin fights the cold virus in the test tube. Further, it supports the immune system and is effective in the prevention and treatment of several other diseases.31


This is a substance collected by bees from leaf buds and tree bark. This extract may be helpful in the reduction of the length and severity of your cold. Some clinical trials have reported reduced number of upper respiratory infections and a reduction in the length of the viral illness.32

11.White Willow

The use of willow bark dates back to the time of Hippocrates when people were advised to chew on the bark of the tree to reduce pain and fever. The chemical properties of the bark are similar to aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid). Pain and fever relief comes more slowly than aspirin but lasts longer. This is a symptom reliever and will not change the length of your cold.33

Sources and References

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