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The Minimum Wage Disaster

Mer, 08/02/2017 - 07:01

There is little question in most academic research that increases in the minimum wage lead to increases in unemployment. The debatable issue is the magnitude of the increase. An issue not often included in minimum wage debates is the substitution effects of minimum wage increases. The substitution effect might explain why Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a national network of business owners and executives, argues for higher minimum wages. Let’s look at substitution effects in general.

When the price of anything rises, people seek substitutes and measures to economize. When gasoline prices rise, people seek to economize on the usage of gas by buying smaller cars. If the price of sugar rises, people seek cheaper sugar substitutes. If prices of goods in one store rise, people search for other stores. This last example helps explain why some businessmen support higher minimum wages. If they could impose higher labor costs on their less efficient competition, it might help drive them out of business. That would enable firms that survive to charge higher prices and earn greater profits.

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There’s a more insidious substitution effect of higher minimum wages. You see it by putting yourself in the place of a businessman who has to pay at least the minimum wage to anyone he hires. Say that you are hiring typists. There are some who can type 40 words per minute and others, equal in every other respect, who can type 80 words per minute. Whom would you hire? I’m guessing you’d hire the more highly skilled. Thus, one effect of the minimum wage is discrimination against the employment of lower-skilled workers. In some places, the minimum wage is $15 an hour. But if a lower-skilled worker could offer to work for, say, $8 an hour, you might hire him. In addition to discrimination against lower-skilled workers, the minimum wage denies them the chance of sharpening their skills and ultimately earning higher wages. The most effective form of training for most of us is on-the-job training.

An even more insidious substitution effect of minimum wages can be seen from a few quotations. During South Africa’s apartheid era, racist unions, which would never accept a black member, were the major supporters of minimum wages for blacks. In 1925, the South African Economic and Wage Commission said, “The method would be to fix a minimum rate for an occupation or craft so high that no Native would be likely to be employed.” Gert Beetge, the secretary of the racist Building Workers’ Union, complained, “There is no job reservation left in the building industry, and in the circumstances, I support the rate for the job (minimum wage) as the second-best way of protecting our white artisans.” “Equal pay for equal work” became the rallying slogan of the South African white labor movement. These laborers knew that if employers were forced to pay black workers the same wages as white workers, there’d be reduced the incentive to hire blacks.

South Africans were not alone in their minimum wage conspiracy against blacks. After a bitter 1909 strike by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen in the U.S., an arbitration board decreed that blacks and whites were to be paid equal wages. Union members expressed their delight, saying, “If this course of action is followed by the company and the incentive for employing the Negro thus removed, the strike will not have been in vain.”

Our nation’s first minimum wage law, the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, had racist motivation. During its legislative debate, its congressional supporters made such statements as, “That contractor has cheap colored labor that he transports, and he puts them in cabins, and it is a labor of that sort that is in competition with white labor throughout the country.” During hearings, American Federation of Labor President William Green complained, “Colored labor is being sought to demoralize wage rates.”

Today’s stated intentions behind the support of minimum wages are nothing like yesteryears. However, intentions are irrelevant. In the name of decency, we must examine the effects.

The post The Minimum Wage Disaster appeared first on LewRockwell.

The Biggest Gold Heists in History – So Far

Mer, 08/02/2017 - 07:01

One concern of retail precious metals investors is the possibility of a gold confiscation.

Imagine having the forethought to buy gold to shield your finances from an economic or monetary crisis—only to have it taken away from you by your government. You’d lose not just the protective buffer you put in place but potentially a chunk of your net worth.

Gold confiscation may sound preposterous to investors used to securities or real estate. But it’s happened in the past enough times to make it a reasonable concern for those uneasy about unsolvable debt levels, runaway government spending, and continual central bank money creation. Watch this video for the complete history of gold confiscation and what you can do to protect yourself or read on below:

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When a grab is made for people’s savings, governments don’t bother to confiscate instruments like stocks and bonds and savings accounts—those can be wiped out by simply devaluing the currency. But when times are really tough, governments have “requested” citizens turn over their gold—the one asset they’ve historically been unable to control, since it’s not someone else’s liability.

When a gold confiscation happens, there unfortunately aren’t a lot of viable solutions. If your government declares it illegal to own a meaningful amount of bullion, you’d have little choice but to comply. Either that or play the role of a fugitive—with the prospects of financial penalties, forcible confiscation of your metal, and even jail time waiting for you.

Many investors believe gold won’t be confiscated today because it’s not part of the monetary system like it was during the U.S. nationalization in 1933, under Roosevelt. While it’s true we’re not on a gold standard today, if the crisis gets bad enough any and all viable solutions could be on the table. Debt in all developed countries is unpayable, for example, especially when you add in unfunded liabilities… where could the government get funds to service it all? One source could definitely be gold.

The sober reality is, while lower than in the past, the risk of a gold confiscation is not zero. The world today can be an uncertain place, and what were once “local” issues can rapidly escalate and have global consequences. This does not mean, however, that we are suggesting a gold confiscation is imminent or even probable; simply that it could happen if one or a series of events having significant worldwide implications occurs. Without official gold-backing on most major currencies today, the specific motivation to “confiscate” gold that existed during many previous confiscations barely exists today. But as you’ll see, even that hasn’t stopped modern government’s without a gold standard from doing the same, ostensibly as a form of currency controls to slow down market-driven devaluation.

The “Solutions” to Confiscation Risk

There’s lots of speculation floating around the Web about what one might do if gold was confiscated again. Unfortunately, the majority of the most common solutions don’t hold up to much scrutiny.

Some investors assume silver would be exempt. That’s usually because past confiscations mainly focused on gold, since silver wasn’t part of the monetary system. However, what many investors don’t know is that a year after the 1933 confiscation order, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6814 that “required the delivery of all silver to the United States for coinage.”

Many dealers claim numismatic coins would be excluded, since there was an exception made for rare coin collectors in 1933. But as history will show, during past confiscations the onus was on the investor to prove they were a coin collector and not a bullion buyer. Unless you owned a substantial amount of rare coins, you were automatically deemed a bullion owner, not a collector.

The uncomfortable truth is, no one knows exactly what form a confiscation could take, or how new laws might be enforced. And that’s part of the problem. As Mike Maloney said well in his best-selling book, Guide to Investing in Gold and Silver:

“Confiscation all comes down to this: the government makes the rules, changes the rules, and enforces the rules. Though it lacks the moral right, it can create legal authority. Though it lacks the constitutional empowerment, it can turn a blind eye to the Constitution… The Constitution did not stop the government from taking people’s gold in 1933.”

Political leaders can and will do whatever they deem necessary at the time. In any way they see fit. For as long as they think it’s needed.

When the gold investor considers the number of ways a confiscation could take place, how long it could last, how easily the government could change the rules and how deeply it could reach—all against the backdrop of an economic or monetary crisis—it underscores the need to put a viable strategy in place.

What’s really viable is a lesson best learned by the mistakes and successes of the past…

Gold Confiscation: A Surprisingly Common Solution

Since 1933, there have been a few notable gold confiscations around the world.

The specific circumstances varied, but there was one common thread to all of them: they all arose out of a financial crisis. As government coffers dwindled and reached emergency levels, politicians didn’t hesitate to grab the net worth of private citizens. And in many cases it was portrayed as patriotic; your country is threatened—help save your nation!

Here are some gold confiscations that have occurred within the past 80 years…

United States Gold Confiscation—1933

Labeled Executive Order 6102, President Franklin Roosevelt signed on a law on April 5, 1933 “forbidding the hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States.”

It basically meant that private owners were required to take their coins, bars or gold certificates to a bank, and exchange them for US dollars at the prevailing rate of $20.67 per ounce.

Why did he do this? The US was on a gold standard at the time, so hoarding gold (i.e., money) was seen as a threat to the stability of the country’s financial system. Remember how bad things got… banks were shut, unemployment soared, bread lines formed, civil unrest grew, and the government couldn’t make its debt payments. Roosevelt desperately needed to remove the constraint on the Federal Reserve that prevented it from increasing the money supply the Great Depression was already four years old and wasn’t showing any sign of abating.

Within nine months after making gold illegal to own, the president raised the official price to $35 per ounce. The dollars those ex-gold owners received in exchange had just been devalued by 40%, overnight.

It’s actually a misconception that FDR “confiscated” gold in 1933. More accurately, he nationalized it. Citizens were compensated for what they turned over… in a true confiscation, your assets are essentially seized, with no compensation. In a severe national crisis, it’s certainly possible the government wouldn’t be able to afford to pay investors the full value of their bullion.

And the US government was serious about you not hoarding gold. As Wikipedia reports…

“Under the Trading With the Enemy Act of 1917, as later amended by the Emergency Banking Act of March 9, 1933, violation of the order was punishable by fine up to $10,000, up to ten years in prison, or both. Numerous individuals and companies were prosecuted.”

Worse, the ban on private ownership of gold in America—the home of the free—lasted over four decades. Not until January 1, 1975 could US citizens own more than $100 in gold again.

Australia Gold Confiscation—1959

The Australian government similarly nationalized gold.

The law, part of the Banking Act in 1959, allowed gold seizures of private citizens if the Governor determined it was “expedient so to do, for the protection of the currency or of the public credit of the Commonwealth.” In other words, they made it legal to seize gold from private citizens and exchange it for paper currency.

The country’s Treasurer stated in a press release that followed, “All gold (other than wrought gold and coins to a limited extent) had to be delivered to the Reserve Bank of Australia within one month of its coming into a person’s possession.”

The law also said you weren’t allowed to sell gold, except to the Reserve Bank of Australia (their central bank). Nor could you export any gold (send it outside the country) without the bank’s permission.

While it is unclear whether or not the country moved ahead with active seizures, or just how many citizens complied, the law still destroyed the local private gold market overnight.

Like the US ban, this rule wasn’t short lived either. Reports indicate it stayed on the books until 1976, a full 17 years, before being “suspended.”

Great Britain’s Gold Ban—1966

Ever since Great Britain went off the gold standard in 1931, their currency had been falling. As the decline stretched from years into decades, many investors began to store gold overseas, worried their country might never recover. Who could blame them? Their standard of living was threatened.

To stem the decline in the Pound Sterling, in 1966 the government banned private citizens from owning more than four precious metals coins. It also blocked imports of gold coins (a common move to keep currency from being exported, similar to modern day tariffs on gold imports in places like India).

The only exemption to owning more than four coins was to prove you were a collector. You were required to apply for a license, and then an officer from the Bank of England would determine if you were a true collector or not. If not, we’ll take your bullion, thank you very much.

The important distinction about this gold ban is that it occurred when Great Britain was not on a gold standard. In other words, we have historical precedence that gold was confiscated without it being part of the monetary system. Gold is not part of the monetary system today, either.

Like most confiscations, this law lasted a long time—until 1979, a full 13 years.

See Any Patterns Here?

These three gold confiscations have some things in common. They all…

1. Were imposed by Western governments. These were advanced societies, among the richest countries on the planet. And yet they all confiscated gold.

2. Arose out of economic crisis. Each government had abused its finances so badly that it eventually nationalized privately held gold from citizens.

3. Lasted for a LONG time. Of these confiscations from advanced economies, the shortest was 13 years.

4. Completely forbid any type of hoarding of bullion. Only true collectors were exempt, and only those pieces that were truly classified as rare. And you had to prove it. Interestingly, gold jewelry was not part of any of these confiscations.

Unfortunately, there are some nastier gold confiscations from history. These involve…

The Brutes, Bullies, and Dictators

It won’t surprise you that in nations ruled by an oppressive regime, gold was a natural target to grab funds for the government…

Italy’s Gold “Donation”

Benito Mussolini—Italy’s prime minister turned dictator—tried to fight a nasty recession by introducing the “Gold for the Fatherland” initiative in 1935. He “encouraged” the public to “voluntarily donate” their gold rings, necklaces, and other forms of gold to the government. In exchange, citizens received a steel wristband that bore the proud words, translated, “Gold for the Fatherland.” It’s said that even his wife Rachele donated her own wedding ring in a show of solidarity.

The gold was melted down and made into bars, then distributed to the country’s banks. The government netted 35 tonnes (1.23 million ounces) from citizen “donations.”

Germany’s Confiscation of Czech Gold

Hitler’s Nazi party pulled a tricky scheme in 1939… after the invasion of Czechoslovakia the year before, the Bank of International Settlements, chaired by Bank of England director Otto Niemeyer—a German no less—instructed the Bank of England to transfer £5.6 million of gold from the Czech national bank to the Reichsbank.

Even though the gold belonged to Czechoslovakian government, and even though English authorities had been warned of the possible transfer, it went through without a hitch. To mask the theft, Germany’s central bank understated its official reserves later that year.

Saddam and Fidel

The madman of Iraq and the communist oppressor of Cuba both confiscated gold, art, jewelry, etc. These brutal dictators took whatever they wanted, at the point of a sword or gun.

As you might surmise, citizens were not compensated when their holdings were seized—unless you count remaining alive as compensation.

Russia

Based on interviews I’ve conducted with two large gold bullion dealers in Russia, the old Soviet Union has historically viewed gold and silver as a matter of national security. Therefore, private ownership in any form—except jewelry and numismatic coins—was strictly forbidden. People went to jail for owning a gold bar.

And in spite of the Russian central bank being one of the biggest buyers of gold since 2008, those old laws are still on the books. It is illegal to buy or sell bullion bars except at a bank that has a precious metals license (and very few have them)… it is a criminal offense to buy or sell a gold bar from a friend or relative… transporting bars has strict rules and can send you to prison if you break them… it is illegal to take bullion bars out of the country… buying and selling foreign-made bars is also illegal.

These laws are not as strictly enforced today, but they remain on the books and thus could be easily activated again. You can buy gold coins, but they’re not abundant and are in poor quality.

What About India’s Government Schemes?The Indian government has tried to crackdown on gold jewelry demand numerous times and in numerous ways. They currently have a 10% tariff on all gold imports in an attempt to curtail demand, a program they seem to try every few years. They introduced a monetization scheme last year that would pay interest on the gold you “lent” them, also something they’ve tried several times. In fact, these attempts have been tried for decades, on both gold and silver. Check out this excerpt from the New York Times on August 27, 1976:

“India announced it was resuming its ban on the export of silver. India is believed to have the largest silver hoard and the government there freed exports earlier this year as a means of earning taxes levied on overseas sales. However, most silver dealers minimized the significance of India’s move yesterday. As one dealer explained, ‘Smuggling silver out of India is so ingrained there that the ban will have no effect on the flow. It never has. Indian silver will continue to ebb and flow into the world market according to price.’”

The reason these schemes haven’t worked is because gold jewelry in India is viewed as an investment, not an adornment. Although they have coins and bars, the vast majority of gold in India is in jewelry form. It is thus more accurate to view “jewelry” demand in India as investment demand.

• The difference in gold confiscations between the plunderers vs. those from advanced economies is that the plunderers were more oppressive about the confiscation, typically took more than just gold, and of course were more brutal in carrying it out.

There’s another crucial distinction. Except during times of active persecution, there is no historical precedence of goldjewelry being confiscated. If a nation operated under the rule of law, seizing jewelry wasn’t part of the government’s strategy.

The reality is that in a crisis, we could potentially face a lethal combination: a desperate government, with your assets ready for the taking.

The point to all this isn’t to predict that there will be a gold confiscation. The idea is be aware of the risks and to have a viable plan in place to combat one if it occurs.

But is there really such a strategy?

On the surface it would seem that short of renouncing your citizenship and moving out of the country, there are precious few options to protect against such a draconian act.

But there are a couple strategies that have historically been effective in combating a gold confiscation…

Proven Solutions

Out of Jurisdiction

Storing gold and silver where a government is less likely to be able to reach it quickly and easily is smart buffer to put in place.

First, as many have noted before, keeping it outside the banking system is a good step. Many references cite how banks have been known to hypothecate gold, i.e. lend it out to someone other than its rightful owner, putting it at systemic risk. Just as importantly, during the modern “bail-ins” we’ve seen in debt-stricken countries, banks were often working hand in hand with governments to seize assets long before citizens found out what was happening. The threat of being cut-off from central bank liquidity is an existential threat to banks, and thus they are not known for going to bat for consumers in court to block overreach like an independent vault provider hopefully would.

Another step further removed is storing overseas—also in a vault outside the banking system. It puts your assets one step further out of reach. Less low hanging fruit, as they say. Without the ability to take quick possession, you have more time and distance to fight such an order.

But even this is not bulletproof. A desperate government could just as well declare all personal gold holdings be repatriated, regardless of where they’re stored. It’d be a spinoff of the old tax joke, “How much gold do you own?… Give it to us.”

If the company holding your metal is a domestic entity, they might be forced to comply anyway, at least in reporting your holdings so they can be taxed in lieu of surrender.

Some suggest you should instead do business with a foreign company. But that adds a different risk, and one that comes with a dubious level of added protection. First, you give up access to the local rule of law. If a vault in Singapore swears your gold is there, what will you do if it ends up not being the case? When dealing with a domestic company, at least you can turn to the court system.

Second, a foreign company can be compelled to cooperate with a big enough foreign government, like the US. As investors using private banking services in Switzerland discovered in recent years, the threat of being cut off from banking with the US will quickly convince a company, or its host government, to comply with a confiscation order at least by reporting holdings.

Even if it does not relent to pressure from abroad, the foreign entity would almost certainly refuse to deliver, buy, or sell precious metals in a jurisdiction where authorities have issued a confiscation order, leaving you only with the option to relocate elsewhere—hardly better, and often much worse than using a domestic provider you have real recourse against.

Bottom line, while not risk free, private foreign vault holdings, whose affordability surprises many precious metals investors, stewarded by a company based in a nation with a historically strong rule of law, can be one of your best lines of defense if confiscation is a concern.

The Elizabeth Taylor Solution 

You probably know that the queen of the silver screen loved jewelry. Her collection fetched over $156 million after her death. She even wrote a book about her jewelry. Indeed, it’s hard to find a picture of her without gold, diamonds, or pearls draped over her neck or wrists.

You may also know that Elizabeth Taylor traveled a lot. At various points in her life she had homes in Beverly Hills, London, and Switzerland, among other places. She even traveled to Iran a few years before the Iran Hostage Crisis.

And here’s an interesting fact about her travels: she always took some jewelry with her—and walked right through customs with it. No messing with customs forms, no requirement to declare a financial asset.

This circumstance remains true today. You likely know that when crossing borders, travelers are often required to complete customs paperwork and declare large amounts money they are carrying, anything over $10,000 for travel to/from the US for example. The new rules specifically mention gold, and also that the price of the gold determines if you are at the reporting limit (not the face value on a coin). That means 7 ounces of gold would be the maximum you could carry at $1,300 gold. You’d be at risk with 5 coins when gold reaches $2,000/ounce.

Since gold jewelry is not considered a financial asset under US law, it does not require reporting. Nor have we discovered any country where it’s handled differently, though always be sure to check the laws along your itinerary.

You and your loved ones can employ your very own Elizabeth Taylor solution.

Consider the advantages you’d possess if you wanted to transport some gold outside the country… it would be a lot easier to hop on a plane wearing a few necklaces or bracelets than carrying a stack of gold coins or bars. Consider the hassle you could avoid passing through customs, as well as the threat of your bullion coins being questioned or seized.

But what about confiscation? As history has shown, in the developed world, gold confiscations have targeted monetary metals, like coins and bars. Jewelry was spared. Only in oppressive nations, ruled by dictators, was it a target. In other words, the resident of a developed nation that owns gold jewelry has an asset that is far off the radar of appealing assets to grab.

Which is why we believe that bullion-grade jewelry is one of the most unique and important asset classes to own if confiscation is a concern…

Gold Without Borders: GoldSilver’s Investment Grade Gold Bullion Jewelry

The problem with most “gold” jewelry sold in the West is dilution. It’s often made with cheaper alloys that contain only a fraction of gold, and is very expensive relative to the actual precious metals content. Mark-ups are easily two and three times the gold value, and it’s not hard to find it four or even five times higher.

That takes gold jewelry far from its roots, when it was a form a wearable wealth, meant to keep assets close at hand. Traditionally in Europe and Asia, gold jewelry was a more portable alternative to art, heirloom furniture, and land as outside-the-bank assets that held their value and were easily passed between generations. Today in India, China, Thailand and elsewhere the tradition remains—the Thai currency, Baht, for example, is even named for a common jewelry style that pre-dates it.

And that’s exactly what we’ve recreated with our exclusive Gold Without Borders jewelry line.

These investment grade 22-carat (91.6% gold, same as an American Eagle coin) and 24-carat (99.99% pure gold) pieces are an affordable alternative to the mostly costume jewelry you find in today’s stores. Classic designs that provide much more bullion for your money.

And of course, they’re beautiful.

Bullion jewelry is a real asset that is both portable and practical—you can wear it, transport it, and a confiscation order is likely to bypass it. Discreet, wearable wealth.

Reprinted with permission from GoldSilver.com.

The post The Biggest Gold Heists in History – So Far appeared first on LewRockwell.

What’s With Donald Trump?

Mer, 08/02/2017 - 07:01

Our previous articles concerning President Trump have caused some fierce reactions from our readers. Some of them have been wondering about the naïvety apparently displayed by Thierry Meyssan despite the warnings issued by the international Press and the accumulation of negative signals. Here is his response, well-reasoned as always.

o weeks after his investiture, the Altantist Press continues its work of disinformation and agitation against the new President of the United States of America. Trump and his new collaborators are multiplying declarations and gestures which are apparently contradictory so that it is difficult to understand what is going on in Washington.

The anti-Trump campaign

The bad faith of the Atlantist Press can be verified for each of these four main themes.

Current Prices on popular forms of Silver Bullion

 1. Concerning the beginning of the dismantling of Obamacare (20 January), we are obliged to report that, contrary to what is being announced in the Atlantist Press, the underprivileged classes who should have benefited from this system have avoided it en masse. This form of «social security» turned out to be too expensive and too directive to attract them. Only the private companies who manage this system have been truly satisfied with it.

 2. Concerning the prolongation of the Wall at the Mexican border (23 to 25 January), there is nothing xenophobic about it – the Secure Fence Act was signed by President George W. Bush, who began its construction. The work was continued by President Barack Obama with the support of the Mexican government of the time. Beyond the fashionable rhetoric about «walls» and «bridges», reinforced border systems only work when the authorities of both sides agree to make them operational. They always fail when one of the parties opposes them. The interest of the United States is to control the entry of migrants, while the interest of Mexico is to prevent the import of weapons. None of that has changed. However, with the application of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), transnational companies have delocalised, from the United States to Mexico, not only non-qualified jobs (in conformity with the Marxist rule of «the tendency of the rate of profit to fall (TRPF)», but also qualified jobs which are performed by under-paid workers («social dumping»). The appearance of these jobs has provoked a strong rural exodus, destructuring Mexican society, on the model of what happened in 19th century Europe. The transnational companies then lowered wages, plunging part of the Mexican population into poverty – which now only dreams of being correctly paid in the United States itself. Since Donald Trump has announced that he intends to remove the US signature from the NAFTA agreement, things should return to normal in the years to come, and satisfy both Mexico and the United States [1].

 3. Concerning the abortion issue (23 January), President Trump has forbidden the payment of federal subsidies to specialized associations which receive funds from abroad. By doing so, he has warned those specific associations that they must choose between their social objective to help women in distress or being paid by George Soros to demonstrate against him – as was the case on 21 January. This decree, therefore, has nothing to do with abortion, but with the prevention of a «colour revolution».

 4. Concerning the anti-immigration decrees (25 to 27 January), Donald Trump announced that he was going to apply the law – inherited from the Obama era – in other words, to expel the 11 million illegal foreigners. He has suspended federal aid to those cities which announced that they would refuse to apply the law – where will we get our cleaning ladies if we have to declare them? He specified that among these illegal immigrants, he would begin by expelling the 800,000 criminals who have been the object of criminal proceedings, in the United States, Mexico or elsewhere. Besides this, in order to prevent the arrival of terrorists, he has suspended all the authorisations for immigration to the United States and has placed a three-month ban on people from countries where it is impossible to verify their identity and their situation. He did not draw up the list of such countries himself but referred to a previous text from President Obama. For example, here in Syria, there is no longer a US embassy or Consulate. From the point of view of the administrative police, it is, therefore, logical to put Syrians on this list. But this can only concern a minimal number of people. In 2015, only 145 Syrians managed to obtain the US «green card». Aware of the numerous special cases which might arise, the Presidential decree allows all liberty to the State Department and Homeland Security to issue dispensations. The fact that the application of these decrees was sabotaged by civil servants opposed to President Trump, who applied them with brutality, does not make the President either a racist or an Islamophobe.

The campaign led by the Atlantist Press against Donald Trump is, therefore, unfounded. To pretend that he has opened a war against Muslims, and to evoke publicly his possible destitution, even his assassination is no longer simply bad faith – it’s war propaganda.

Donald Trump’s objective

Donald Trump was the first personality in the world to contest the official version of the attacks of 9/11, on television that very day. After having noted that the engineers who built the Twin Towers were now working for him, he declared on New York’s Channel 9 that it was impossible that Boeings could have burst through the steel structures of the towers. He continued by stating that it was also impossible that Boeings could have caused the towers to collapse. He concluded by affirming that there had to be other factors of which we were as yet unaware.

From that day on, Donald Trump has never ceased to resist the people who had committed those crimes. During his inaugural speech, he emphasized that this was not a passage of power between two administrations, but a restitution of power to United States citizens, who had been depriving of it [for sixteen years] [2].

During his electoral campaign, once again during the transitional period, and again since he took office, he has repeated that the imperial system of these last years has never benefited US citizens, but only a small clique of which Mrs. Clinton is the emblematic figure. He declared that the United States would no longer attempt to be the «first», but the «best». His slogans are – « Make America great again» and «America first»

This 180° political turn has shaken a system which has been implemented over the last 16 years and has its roots in the Cold War, which, in 1947, only the United States wanted. This system has gangrened numerous international institutions, such as NATO (Jens Stoltenberg and General Curtis Scaparrotti), the European Union (Federica Mogherini), and the United Nations (Jeffrey Feltman) [3].

If Donald Trump is to reach his objective, it will take years.

Towards a peaceful dismantling of the United States Empire

In two weeks, many things have begun, often in the greatest discretion. The booming declarations of President Trump and his team deliberately spread confusion and enabled him to ensure that the nominations of his collaborators were confirmed by a partially hostile Congress.

We must understand that it’s a fight to the death between two systems that has just begun in Washington. Let’s leave the Atlantist Press to comment on the often contradictory and incoherent statements by this one or that, and look at the facts on their own.

Before anything else, Donald Trump made sure that he had control over the security apparatus. His first three nominations (National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly) are three Generals who have contested the «continuity of government» since 2003 [4]. Next, he reformed the National Security Council to exclude the inter-army Chief of Staff and the director of the CIA [5]

Even though the latter decree will probably be revised, it still has not been. Let us note in passing that we announced the intention of Donald Trump and General Flynn to eliminate the post of Director of National Intelligence [6]. However, this post has been maintained and Dan Coats has been nominated for it. It transpires that talk of its suppression was a tactic to demonstrate that the presence of the Director of National Intelligence in the Council was enough to justify the exclusion of the Director of the CIA.

The substitution of the word «best» for «first» leads to the engagement of partnerships with Russia and China, rather than a tentative to crush them.

In order to hobble this policy, the friends of Mrs. Clinton and Mrs. Nuland have relaunched the war against the Donbass. The important losses they have experienced since the beginning of the conflict have led the Ukrainian army to withdraw and put paramilitary Nazi militia in the front line. The combats have inflicted heavy civilian casualties on the inhabitants of the new popular Republic. Simultaneously, in the Near East, they have managed to deliver tanks to the Syrian Kurds, as planned by the Obama administration.

In order to resolve the Ukrainian conflict, Donald Trump is looking for a way to help to eject President Petro Poroshenko. He, therefore, received at the White House the head of the opposition, Yulia Tymoshenko, even before he accepted a phone call from President Poroshenko.

In Syria and Iraq, Donald Trump has already begun operations in common with Russia, even though his spokesperson denies it.The Russian Minister of Defence, who had imprudently revealed it, has ceased to say anything on the subject.

Concerning Beijing, President Trump has put an end to US participation in the Trans-Pacific Treaty (TPP) – a treaty which had been conceived in order to inhibit China. During the period of transition, he received the second richest man in China, Jack Ma (the businessman who confirmed – «No-one has stolen your jobs, you spend too much on war»). We know that their discussions touched on the possible adhesion of Washington to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). If this were to be the case, the United States would agree to cooperate with China rather than hindering it. They would participate in the construction of two Silk Roads, which would make the wars in Donbass and Syria pointless.

In matters of finance, President Trump has begun the dismantling of the Dodd-Frank law which attempted to resolve the crisis of 2008 by averting the brutal collapse of the major banks («too big to fail»). Although this law has some positive aspects (it’s 2,300 pages long), it establishes a guardianship of the Treasury over the banks, which obviously hinders their development. Donald Trump is also apparently preparing to restore the distinction between deposit banks and investment banks (Glass-Steagall Act).

Finally, the clean-up of international institutions has also begun. The new ambassador to the UNO, Nikki Haley, has requested an audit of the 16 «peace-keeping» missions. She has made it known that she intends to put an end to those which seem to be inefficient. From the point of view of the United Nations Charter, all such missions will be audited without exception. Indeed, the founders of the Organisation had not foreseen this type of military deployment (today, more than 100,000 men and women). The UNO was created to avert or resolve conflicts between states (never intra-state conflict). When two parties conclude a cease-fire, the Organisation may deploy observers in order to verify the respect of the agreement. But on the contrary, these «peace-keeping» operations are aimed at enforcing the respect of a solution imposed by the Security Council and refused by one of the two parties involved in the conflict – in reality, it is the continuation of colonialism.

In practice, the presence of these forces only makes the conflict last longer, while their absence changes nothing. So the troops of the United Nations Interim Force (UNIFIL) deployed at the Israëlo-Lebanese border, but only on Lebanese territory, do not prevent either Israëli military operations or military operations by the Lebanese Resistance, as we have already seen many times. They serve only to spy on the Lebanese on behalf of the Israëlis, thus prolonging the conflict. In the same way, the troops of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, or UNDOF, deployed at the demarcation line in the Golan have been chased away by Al-Qaïda, without that changing anything at all in the Israëlo-Syrian conflict. Putting an end to this system means returning to the spirit and the letter of the Charter, renouncing colonial privileges, and pacifying the world.

Behind the media controversy, the street demonstrations, and the confrontation between politicians, President Trump is holding his course.

Notes:

[1] “Behind the bipartisan wall”, by Manlio Dinucci, Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Il Manifesto (Italy), Voltaire Network, 28 January 2017.

[2] “Donald Trump Inauguration Speech”, by Donald Trump, Voltaire Network, 21 January 2017.

[3] “Germany and the UNO against Syria”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Al-Watan (Syria), Voltaire Network, 28 January 2016.

[4] “Trump – enough of 9/11!”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 24 January 2017.

[5] “Donald Trump winds up “the” organization of US imperialism].]”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Voltaire Network, 31 January 2017.

[6] “General Flynn’s Proposals to Reform Intelligence”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Contralínea (Mexico), Voltaire Network, 1 December 2016.

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The Pathetic New York Times

Mer, 08/02/2017 - 07:01

What else can you call it?

One more time, on the “bromance” between Trump and Putin….

Moral Equivalence?

“You got a lot of killers,” Mr. Trump told Bill O’Reilly of the slavishly pro-Trump Fox News. “What, you think our country’s so innocent?”

The editors at the Times take exception to this:

…rather than endorsing American exceptionalism, Mr. Trump seemed to appreciate Mr. Putin’s brutality…

I find nothing in Trump’s comments to suggest he “appreciates” Putin’s brutality.  Trump merely stated, in the form of a question, an undeniable fact.

The editors of the Times are very good at listing in some detail Putin’s transgressions – not all of which have any factual basis (but facts cannot be allowed to get in the way of these editors).

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There is a Wikipedia page dedicated to all US military operations since 1775.  I count 70 US military operations since 1991 and the fall of the Soviet Union.  There is no such page for Russia; there are two unique pages – one for Syria and one for Ukraine.  That’s it.  Off of the top of my head, I would add Georgia.

The US military interventions span the globe; the Russian military interventions are either directly on the borders of Russia or to a close, long-time ally.  The US military interventions have killed, wounded or displaced countless millions of people.  The Russian interventions?  I will guess in the tens or hundreds of thousands at most.

Do the editors of the Times dare deal with reality?  No.  Not on this topic.

Speaking of Martians

On to the next topic:

Since taking office, Mr. Trump has shown little support for America’s traditional roles as a champion of universal values like freedom of the press and tolerance.

Martians value “freedom of the press and tolerance”?  Are these really universal values?  Returning to this planet, are these valued in so-called US allies like Saudi Arabia and Israel?

The Times might consider – these so-called universal values may not be universal and in any case are not the business of the US government outside of the United States.  Tolerance is not the business of the US government within the United States, either.  The Constitution offers freedom of the press; it says nothing of tolerance.

The Ends Justify the Means

The Times, like all apologists for the military empire that is the United States, accepts immorality if the (advertised) ends are noble:

At least in recent decades, American presidents who took military action have been driven by the desire to promote freedom and democracy…

Ask the millions of dead, wounded and displaced if they appreciate the “freedom and democracy” that they have achieved via US intervention.  The ends justify the means only for those who benefits from “the ends,” and not for those who suffer through “the means.”

Whatever one might say about Hussein in Iraq, Ghaddafi in Libya, or Assad in Syria, the people in these countries weren’t dying by the millions before the United States intervened on their behalf.

…sometimes with extraordinary results, as when Germany and Japan evolved after World War II from vanquished enemies into trusted, prosperous allies.

This isn’t “recent decades.”  This is more than seventy years ago.  And it would be more accurate to describe Germany and Japan as vassal states, not “allies.”

A Stopped Clock…

The Times gets one thing right:

…Mr. Trump has…laid the groundwork for an aggressive campaign that could lead to conflict with Iran…

I wish Trump wouldn’t take actions that could lead to conflict with Iran.  One reason Trump won the election is because many people in the United States are tired of war and are tired of paying for war.

Do you want to see terrorism and the refugee crisis lose steam?  How about just stop bombing people.  The Times could endorse precisely this policy – you know, the opposite of the policy endorsed by their preferred candidate.

Reprinted with permission from Bionic Mosquito.

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The Brain Enhancer

Mer, 08/02/2017 - 07:01

Many people know about colloidal silver and its proven germicidal and antibacterial properties. Colloidal gold, on the other hand, is not quite as well-known. This is unfortunate, since this clear, tasteless colloid – which is made from tiny gold particles suspended in water – provides us with similarly impressive health benefits. Whereas colloidal silver cleanses our bodies of microbes and bacteria, however, colloidal gold has a different purpose: it improves our mental faculties and rejuvenates our bodies.

List of Health Benefits

Improves cognitive function – According to a study by Dr. Joel Dill and Souhaila McReynolds for the Journal of Frontier Sciences, subjects who ingested 30 milligrams per day of colloidal gold over a one-month period experienced noticeable improvements in IQ. Unfortunately, the study also showed that the subjects’ IQ levels returned to their normal levels between 1-3 months after they stopped taking it. Therefore, if you wish to take colloidal gold to improve your intelligence, you’ll need to take it on an uninterrupted, long-term basis.

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Boosts mood – Colloidal gold can help boost the moods of people who suffer from low vibrational states such as depression, sadness, anxiety, and frustration. If you suffer from these states and find that cheaper and more accessible natural mood boosters such as St. John’s wort and cacao don’t help you, consider taking 15-30 milligrams of colloidal gold per day for four weeks and see whether it helps.

Anti-inflammatory properties – According to a study by Dr. Guy Abraham and Dr. Peter Himmel for a 1997 edition of the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine, patients who were treated for pain with colloidal gold reported suffering less than those who received the placebo. Colloidal gold can also ease the swelling caused by inflammatory conditions like rheumatism, arthritis, tendinitis, and bursitis.

Read the Whole Article

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Things Are Looking Up

Mer, 08/02/2017 - 07:01

Like every other normal person in American, I watched the big game on Sunday. This year I was busy with some projects so I did not attend a party. Instead, I planned to get some work done and then settle in at game time. Some people boycott the Super Bowl, believing it makes them virtuous, but those people are idiots. The game is often fun and the ridiculous hype around it is a nice weird American tradition. Plus, having a pseudo-holiday the next day means people can have a party on Sunday in the dead of winter.

The thing about the Super Bowl is it is the one event that everyone watches. Even if you don’t follow sports, you watch the game because it is what you do. There are similar events like the Daytona 500 or the Kentucky Derby, but most Americans don’t plan a weekend around those. You watch them if you are home or down at the pub, even though you don’t follow these things closely. The Super Bowl is the one event that everyone talks about the next day because you know everyone watched it, except for the weirdos.

That’s what makes it a good bellwether for the state of pop culture. For the second year in a row, TV ratings were down for the game, not by a lot, but still down. Now, when an event tends to get close to 100% viewership each year, there is nowhere to go but down, but the decline is still declining. When looked at in the context of the general decline in TV sports, it suggests we are in the midst of a great change in how people consume their entertainments. That’s the general consensus among the people in charge of television.

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Cord cutting and streaming services are finally starting to cut into the tradition television programming. It’s not just TV feeling the pinch. Live events are also seeing a drop in attendance. It’s a little hard to get good data as there is an incentive to lie about the ticket sales by the organizers. College football attendance has been in decline, which is a good benchmark, as these events are not driven by hype or the momentary success of the teams involved. Attending college football games in a generational tradition that serve as a reunion for old college buddies and extended families.

How much of this is the availability of on-demand gaming and video services is hard to know. There’s no way to measure it. Part of it may also be changed in youth culture. Despite all the blather about sharing from Millennials, they are a self-absorbed and selfish generation, preferring not to share anything with anyone. A generation of sociopaths, who see human relations as transactional are not going to be inclined to big public gatherings or public-spirited activities. It’s why colleges are in a panic. Their young alumni do not donate back to the school at rates anywhere near previous generations.

Now, people don’t change that much from one generation to the next, so it is not a good idea to blame parenting or biology for the culture change. It could also just be the pendulum swinging back toward normal. Attending big public events is a late-20th-century thing. Well into the 70’s, attendance for sporting events was well below capacity and the tickets were cheap. In the 1980’s I went to Red Sox games because it was cheap. I paid five dollars for a ticket and sat among empty seats in the bleachers.

The same is true for television. Well into the 80’s, families looked at TV time as an evening activity after dinner. The obsession with television, movie rentals and gaming is a new phenomenon. The steady decline in viewership may not be driven by cord cutting. Instead, people may simply be losing interest in these services and that is what is driving cord cutting. Put another way, we hit peak TV some time ago and now the pendulum is swinging back. People are reassessing their expenditures on these items.

There’s also the fact that micro-publishing, for lack of a better word, is now financially viable. Anthony Cumia got fired off the sat-radio platform. Instead of groveling to get back on, he started his own show from his basement. He has teamed up with Gavin McInness and they are building out a network of shows. Mark Levin is doing the same with on-demand political chat shows. There are thousands of niche podcasters making a living as content providers. We are spoiled for choice outside of the traditional platforms.

It has always been assumed that the mass media culture was a permanent feature of the post-industrial technocracy. Not only would human labor be replaced by automation, but individual thinking would be replaced by the collective mind of the media orthodoxy. It could be that what makes a mass media culture possible is always what ensures its demise. Anything that shows the potential to control the culture gets corrupted by the preachy and proselytizing. That, in turn, drives away the public into alternatives.

Regardless, the ground is shifting under the feet of our cultural masters. Cable monopolies are being forced to unbundle. DirecTV is now offering a cheaper service over the internet, hoping to appeal to cord-cutters. The great unraveling will bring with it an unraveling of the business model. CNN will actually have to attract an audience to stay in business. TV shows will have to sell ads based on real viewership. Live performers will have to follow the lead of Lady Gaga and not go out of their way to piss on their audience.

Things are looking up.

Reprinted from The Z Man Blog.

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America’s Exotic Car

Mer, 08/02/2017 - 07:01

The Corvette used to be America’s sports car. It will soon be America’s exotic car.

Something gained – maybe something lost.

The next one – on deck for 2019 – will apparently be mid-engined, exotic in itself and certainly by Corvette-historic standards. The pushrod/two valve V8 will still be there, of course – one assumes – but beyond that and the name, what else will this Corvette have in common with all the ones that came before?

Very little.

Probably this will also include the car’s price.

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It is already high. Not yet quite exotic (six figures being the watermark) but. . . . getting there. The current car’s base price – $55,400 – is still a steal compared to what out-of-the-closet exotics go for (and the Corvette’s performance is actually better than a number of exotics) but it’s no longer just a bit of stretch more than it would have been back in the ’70s or ’80s, even, to get into one vs. getting into a loaded Z28, say.

In 1977 – 40 years ago – the base price of a new Corvette was $$7,768 ($30,765 in today’s money). A brand-new Z28, meanwhile, stickered for $5,170 ($20,475) that same year. The difference in dollars – if not percentages – wasn’t that forbidding.

Only about $2,000 (in 1977 money). If you could afford a new Z28, you could almost afford a new Corvette. It might take some saving, some crimping . . .  but, realistic.

Doable.

Today, 2017, a new Camaro SS (the latter-day equivalent of what the Z28 used to be, back in the ’70s) starts at $36,905 – about six thousand dollars more in real (inflation-adjusted) dollars than a ’77 Corvette.

Granted, the ’17 SS has literally more than twice the power (a base ’77 Corvette with the standard L-48 350 packed all of 180 hp; the new SS has 420) and it has orders of magnitude superior brakes, wheels, and tires, stereo and amenities generally.

Still, the fact remains: The new SS is now at the same economic level that the Corvette used to occupy. And the current Corvette is at a level occupied by . . . exotics. On the lower end of the scale, perhaps.

But no less so because of that.

The guy – and it is almost always a guy – who can afford a new SS probably can’t afford a new Corvette – which (like the Camaro) costs a lot more than a Corvette used to cost.

It’s already a big bump up from the cost of a ’77 Z28 to the cost of an ’17 SS – and it’s another $20k jump from There to Here. Not easily done – and probably not by the same guy.

It will be a different guy.

The next Corvette – the mid-engined one on deck for 2019 – makes this shifting marketing strategy explicit. Chevy is going full monte, whole hog.

Exotic layout. . .  probably exotic in price.

A new kind of buyer is being courted. The people buying Corvettes today are not the same kinds of people who bought Corvettes back in ’77. For openers, they do not a wrench. They pay others to. They are upmarket people. Ferrari and Porsche people.

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Contaminated Vaccines

Mer, 08/02/2017 - 07:01

Italian researchers studied the safety of vaccines currently in use. (1)  They examined 44 types of vaccines to verify if there was physical contamination in the vaccines.  Although the vaccines were obtained from two countries (France and Italy), the same vaccine companies that supply the U.S. were used in this study.    Using an electron scanning microscope equipped with an X-ray microprobe, the researchers examined the vaccines to detect the presence of inorganic particulate contaminants.

The researchers found the presence of inorganic, foreign bodies in all human-use vaccines. In fact, the scientists claim that the foreign bodies they found contaminating the vaccines were not declared in the package insert from the manufacturer.  In other words, the Big Pharma manufacturer of a vaccine either does not know that its product is contaminated or hid that data from the package insert.

The authors of this study claim, “The quantity of foreign bodies detected and, in some cases, their unusual chemical compositions baffled us. The inorganic particles identified are neither biocompatible nor biodegradable, that means that they are bio persistent and can induce effects that can become evident either immediately close to injection time or after a certain time from administration. It is important to remember that particles are bodies foreign to the organism and they behave as such.  For that reason, they induce an inflammatory reaction.”

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Lead particles were found in the cervical cancer vaccine  Gardasil, the flu vaccine, as well as in the meningitis vaccine.  Other vaccines were found to be contaminated with stainless steel, iron, chromium, and the heavy metal nickel.  GlaxoSmithKline’s Fluarix vaccine for children was found to contain 11 different metals.

Once these foreign substances are injected into the body, they can stay around the injection site and can cause swelling and granulomas.  However, they can also be carried by the blood to distant areas of the body as well.  Since these particles cannot be degraded, they can induce a chronic inflammatory state such as an arthritic or autoimmune disorder.  Furthermore, the scientists state, “It is only the obvious that similar quantities of these foreign bodies can have a more serious impact on very small organisms like those of children.”

The authors further state the contamination found in the vaccines was “…similar to those found in…cases of environmental contamination caused by different pollution sources.  In most circumstances, the combinations of {foreign bodies} is very odd…and look like the result of the random formation occurring, for example, when waste is burnt.  In any case, whatever their origin, they should not be present in any injectable medicament, let alone in vaccines, more in particular those meant for infants.”

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Prepare To Resist

Mer, 08/02/2017 - 07:01

“Protesters” or “snowflakes,” both those on the left and right are at once mistaken and reckless in their unwillingness to call the violent militant left that has been wreaking havoc in its determination to (allegedly) register its displeasure with the election of President Donald J. Trump.

These punks are not the “antifascists” that they claim to be. They are neo-communist terrorists.

All of the definitional conditions of terrorism are satisfied by the violent left.  First, there is violence.  Second, the agents of this violence are non-state actors.  Third, the violence is directed against civilians, i.e. noncombatants.  Finally, far from being purposeless, the violence is designed to alter government policy.

These are the characteristics that distinguish terrorism from every other class of violent action.

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With terrorists there can be no dialogue.  Nor can there be peaceful co-existence.

Granted, these anti-Trump terrorists haven’t (yet) killed anyone. But this is irrelevant. Suppose that, say, ISIS succeeded in blowing up the Empire State Building but only after its target had already been evacuated.  Even though no one was injured, the attack would be no less an act of terrorism.

Now we need to determine how best to deal with domestic terrorists.

First, the neo-coms must be formally identified by the government for what they are and treated equally to the manner in which we now treat any other terrorist organization.

Second, the evil George Soros, who has been financing the terror, needs to be arrested, tried, and taken out of commission.

Third, those institutions, like academic institutions generally and colleges and universities in particular, that depend upon taxpayers’ monies need to have their funding pulled to the penny if they in anyway provide aid and comfort to terrorists.

Fourth, American citizens who want only to live their lives in peace need to prepare themselves for this new reality.  If they plan on attending any event that is likely to attract neo-com terrorists, if they even plan on going for a walk in their own neighborhoods while wearing pro-Trump or even pro-American attire—yes, for all of the leftist, pro-Democrat media’s romanticizing of “the protester,” we should bear in mind that these protesters are cut from the same cloth as those ideologues who haven’t had a damn good thing to say in 50 years about AmeriKKKa—they should be prepared to defend themselves and whatever other innocents on whom the anti-American terrorists set their sights.

It’s true that the gun is indeed the great equalizer. But circumstances may be such that even a gun proves ineffective (and if the attacker manages to wrestle the gun away, it will be effective for the attacker only). Besides, many people either do not own a gun or, if they do, they have no permit to carry it.

For those of us who don’t carry a gun, we can take heart in knowing that we can still inflict immense damage to an assailant with any number of makeshift weapons.  Car keys or ballpoint pens come immediately to mind.  These are mundane, legal objects that are easy to manipulate. By striking with them repeatedly at the eyes, temples, and neck of an assailant, even a petite woman could disarm a larger male attacker long enough to make a run to safety.

A canister of pepper spray is another option, but only if it is already in hand and one’s finger is on the nozzle.

A squirrel or rat is but a fraction of the size of your average adult human being, and yet everyone knows that there’s no limit to the bloody mess to which a cornered animal can reduce the person that threatens it.  These animalistic instincts and dispositions continue to dwell within human beings.  Without weapons, a person who finds himself surrounded by, say, a handful of neo-com terrorists can still administer great pain by using most of his body as a weapon.

Punches of various sorts, head bunts, eye-gouges, scratches, kicks—nothing is out of bounds in a potentially life-threatening situation.  Kicks should be low, no higher than the knee. The knees themselves can be potent instruments.  Punches, if possible, should be delivered not with a closed fist and the knuckles protruding outward, but with the back of the hand, or in the form of hammer strikes. The ridge of the hand (the old “karate chop”) can also be profoundly effective if delivered to the side of the attacker’s nose, the back of his neck, or his throat. Open-handed strikes to the face can drive the terrorist’s nose straight into his brain, and an elbow to his jaw will make him feel like he’s just been hit with a baseball bat.

If you are ever so unfortunate as to be in a situation of this kind, scream and shout as loudly as you can, scream like a madman or woman, curse your attackers as you wail on them until you can break free, for in coupling your physical ferocity with lots of noise, not only might you succeed in gaining the attention of those, like police, who may assist you, the screaming could psyche out your assailant. By screaming, you instill in your attacker some sense of terror.

In the meantime, lift weights, exercise, punch a heavy bag—build up your strength and stamina, and grow accustomed to pounding.

The neo-com terrorist left will have to learn soon enough that their acts of violence will not go unmet. They must learn that there’s going to be a steep price for them if they persist in attacking innocent men, women, and, yes, even children in some instances.

To avoid trouble and shun violence—this is what most of us want.  It may not always be possible. When it is not, decent people must be prepared to strike back.

And strike back really hard.

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University Publishes LGBTQQIAAPP Terminology Guide

Mer, 08/02/2017 - 07:01

The Virginia Commonwealth University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs has decided to publish a very helpful LBGTQQIAAPP Terminology Guide to assist their confused snowflakes with the very complicated task of determining their own gender.  While the guide may seem fairly thorough, VCU notes that gender “language is constantly evolving, and these definitions are not by any means comprehensive” before warning that “terms of self-identification should not be used to label others without their consent.”

Luckily, the terminology guide even has some very easy to understand illustrations to help students debunk the lifelong, evil myth that gender is somehow binary…

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Here are some of the definitions that we found particularly helpful and we sincerely hope that our readers will take this opportunity to read, learn and reflect on their lives of “Cis Privilege.”  And for those of you still living in the dark ages, Cisgendered refers to the 99.7% of the population where “a person’s gender identity, gender expression, and biological sex” all miraculously align.

Biological Sex/ Natal Sex/ Birth Sex/ Sex: The medical term used for the identification of male, female, or intersex sex i.e. chromosomes, gonads, and/or genitalia

Cisgender/ Cis/ Gender Normative/ Gender Straight: a person who has a normative gender presentation, when a person’s gender identity, gender expression, and biological sex align. A person who is not transgender.

Cisgender Privilege/ Cis privilege: The societal assumption and norm that all people are cisgender. There are basic civil rights and social privileges that a cisgendered person automatically receives that are systematically denied to transgender persons, simply because of their gender identity/ gender presentation

Demisexual: a person who is not immediately sexually attracted to other people. A person who’s sexual attraction to another person develops after developing a relationship (not necessarily romantic). Often considered within the asexuality spectrum

Gender Confirmation surgery: any surgery to make a person’s outward appearance more closely align with their gender rather than biological sex, also known as gender reassignment surgery, many have transitioned to Gender Confirmation Surgery as it utilizes more positive language.

Heterosexual Privilege/Heteronormativity: The societal assumption and norm that all people are heterosexual. There are basic civil rights and social privileges that a heterosexual person automatically receives that are systematically denied to queer persons, simply because of their sexual orientation.

Of course, while VCU asserts that there are “basic civil rights and social privileges” afforded to “cisgendered” people that are constantly denied other people based on their “gender identity/ gender presentation”, the university fails to define exactly which privileges to which they are referring.

For those of you looking for even more enlightenment on this very important topic plaguing roughly 0.3% of the population, please see the complete LBGTQQIAAPP Terminology Guide below:

Reprinted with permission from Zero Hedge.

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Highest Fukushima Radioactivity since 2011

Mer, 08/02/2017 - 07:01

As the six anniversary of perhaps the world’s worst nuclear disaster in history (now rivaling Chernobyl) approaches next month, the worst radioactive conditions seen at the Fukushima nuclear power plant since the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami triple core meltdown are now dangerously spewing a record setting 530 sieverts an hour inside the reactor 2 containment vessel. To help put the enormity of this problem into perspective, the previous record was only 73 sieverts per hour. Exposure to just 10 sieverts can kill a human within weeks and levels at just .1 sievert significantly increase the risk of cancer. At the same time that peak radiation levels at Fukushima are observed, US states are also now being hit with extremely high readings, even containing significant amounts of plutonium in recent months. Radioactive plutonium isotopes are known to be among the most deadly poisons on earth. Fukushima experts can only describe this week’s deteriorating situation at the Daiichi nuclear power plant as “unimaginable.”

That said, today’s limited technology to decommission the global killer that’s already destroyed much of the northern Pacific Ocean habitat will take another four decades to complete. At that rate, we all could be radioactively fried. Significantly high levels of cesium-137 will reach every corner of the Pacific Ocean within three years. With six straight years of ongoing nonstop fuel leakage, Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) still can’t determine the condition nor location of the fuel seepage. In the meantime, leaking melted fuel penetrating the bottom of the vessel reactor has burned a one square meter hole into the metal grating that’s now ready to collapse. Holes in other sections were also found. Photo images reveal below the reactor containment wall dark lumpy matter believed to be the melted uranium fuel rods.

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Specially made, remote controlled robots designed to probe and assess underwater conditions around the reactors rapidly crumble and shut down due to the high toxic radioactive levels. Yet TEPCO is planning to insert another robot directly inside the reactor itself to examine conditions inside the containment vessel. If the water around it is so radioactive it destroys the robot, good luck on getting a reading of contamination inside the vessel.

The blind are leading the blind as never before have humans dealt with the enormity of this kind of problem. For six long years, authorities have been clueless on how to stop the meltdown leakage and radioactive poisoning from spreading further, eventually to all corners of the earth. Literally, hundreds if not thousands of tons of radioactive water have been leaking out daily into the Pacific Ocean (an estimated 400 from one account). And pretty much throughout the near six years, both TEPCO and the Japanese government have consistently lied to cover up the severity of the damage and danger to human health. Because they’ve never encountered a disaster of this sheer magnitude ever before, doctors also have no idea how to accurately measure and assess the health hazards that the soaring levels of radioactivity currently pose for the thousands of workers at the plant much less the severe threat to the nearby local populations.

But does this colossal, uncontrollable crisis stop greedy nuclear power companies and nations from continuing to build more disasters waiting to happen in our already very iffy future? Not a bit. America currently fuels 19% of our nation’s electricity needs from nuclear-powered energy and wants to significantly raise that share. Construction of four more power plants are due for completion by 2021, adding to the 100 that are already operational with 24 more application proposals filed since 2007 slated for future construction. Accepting the unfathomably enormous, untold, virtually irreversible environmental damage to life on this planet that grows more devastating by the day at Fukushima now for the last half dozen years, it’s downright criminal to even think of building yet more nuclear power facilities anywhere on this already toxic saturated planet. Yet nuke advocates are constantly publishing new studies with one as recently as last month claiming nuclear power is safer than ever. And it’s that kind of disinformation propaganda that provides the impetus for countries like the US as the world’s largest nuclear energy producer to blindly continue its nuclear commitment.

And our current president is as much an aficionado as the Bush-Cheney duo on both nukes for energy as well as war proposing a nuclear arms race over and above the $1 trillion already committed to nuclear upgrade. Trump’s also committed to extracting every last drop of oil and gas from this over drilled and parched earth. After all, Trump the anti-globalist candidate must keep the tradition alive. Once in the White House, every American puppet president follows the globalist edict to continue raping and pillaging our earth.

A bogus excuse commonly used to justify the “nuclear renaissance” in recent years is the so-called manmade greenhouse gases falsely linked to global warming and climate change that make nuclear development especially environmentally friendlier, so say two MIT authors touting their 2009 paper “The Growth of Nuclear Power: Drivers and Constraints,” published two years before the Fukushima debacle, which of course totally obliterates their already flaky argument. The paper goes on to promote the massive expansion plans for nuclear development in China, India, South Korea, Japan and Russia (again Fukushima and Chernobyl offer powerful sobering counterpoints). Even in post-Fukushima 2013, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) projected a high-end expectation of near doubled worldwide growth at a rate of 94% in the coming years up to 2030. Thus, despite this unfixable, ongoing catastrophe at Fukushima, numerous countries are still willing to recklessly plunge our world into yet more irreparable, perhaps to extinction level harm of gargantuan proportion that we destructive human have no solution to even begin handling. It’s both insane and suicidal!

As if we haven’t done enough to kill off life on this planet, let’s take a brief look at the undeniable empirical damage. Despite the fortunate fate that winds blew 80% of the radioactivity in the first few days following the March 2011 meltdown due east out further into the Pacific, the winds then changed blowing plumes of toxic nuclear particles both northwest to Japan and south to Tokyo. In the immediate aftermath, all life forms in the Fukushima area underwent harmful exposure to gamma rays beaming up from the ground as well as breathing into the lungs and ingested through the food chain. But don’t think for a minute that North America being thousands of miles away wasn’t affected. Within just days after the accident independent scientist, Dr. Leuren Moret determined that the entire US Pacific Coast and western Canada inland all the way to the Midwest reached as high of radiation levels as Japan. And ever since March 2011 people in the northern hemisphere have been continually exposed and bombarded with large dangerous doses of radiation.

Again, because of the massive conspiratorial cover-up by the Japanese government in criminal collusion with the IAEA and WHO as well as the US government, the truth of how sick and how many victims have actually died from Fukushima is murky at best and virtually impossible to definitively ascertain. On top of that, on behalf of the globalists, Japanese Prime Minister Abe ensured that a secrecy law was passed to further squelch the truth from the public.

But despite the criminality of the international cabal government, here’s what we do know. Three times the amount of gasses like xenon, argon, and krypton were released at Fukushima than at Chernobyl, inhaled and absorbed in the fatty tissues of the body, typically causing lung cancer as well as cancer in various other organs. But as far as the total radiation amount released into the ocean, one study estimated that up to 100 times more escaped at Fukushima than Chernobyl although an estimated equal amount of cesium came out of Fukushima as Chernobyl. But due to the higher population density in Japan, even with roughly similar morbidity and mortality rates, the human damage of Fukushima in the coming decades stands to be much higher. In the earliest reports released to the public, thyroid cancer has been detected in 75 children after the Fukushima accident but written off due to the 2-3 year incubation period. Within two years after the 2011 meltdown, a spike in damaged thyroids amongst 40% of the Fukushima children was diagnosed from iodine-131 exposure.

Despite waste management technology attempting to filter out isotopes from the contaminated water around the reactors prior to eventual release into the ocean, tritium cannot be eliminated and remains radioactive for 120 years. And tritium is known to cause brain tumors, congenital malformations, and numerous other cancers. Fish in the nearby ocean waters have measured 12,400 Bc/K radioactive levels when the Japanese limit in food is only 100 Bc/K. Even freshwater fish in nearby rivers carry 2657 Bc/K. TEPCO had lied about strontium-90 levels, recently admitting that nearby well water contains five times the earlier reported amounts – 5 million Bc/liter. There’s conjecture that this critical information may have been purposely withheld in order to secure Tokyo as the 2020 site for the summer Olympic Games. Moreover, unbeknownst to the public, radioactive wastes are being quietly moved about to different locations all over Japan for incineration. And the ashes are being dumped in Tokyo Bay where the Olympic athletes will be swimming. BBC reported that radiation levels around Fukushima are 18 times higher than previously covered.

In the meantime, the ground and water around the reactor complex is so unstable, sitting in liquefied mud on a fault line no less, that its extreme vulnerability to another magnitude 7 or higher earthquake would release enough toxic radioactivity (at least 10 times the Chernobyl cesium level) to permanently pollute all of Japan and much of the northern hemisphere – certain to kill off millions of humans. Rupture of the many radioactive water tanks would also result. On November 22, 2016, a 7.4 earthquake struck northeastern Japan which well may have contributed to the current unstable situation of more leakage and record level radiation.

The health of plant workers – some having been formerly homeless recruited by Yakuza organized crime – is not closely monitored. They’re being treated as sacrificial expendables and guinea pigs, as is the entire Japanese population. 13% of Japan’s mainland containing 10 million of its citizens is hopelessly contaminated for thousands of years. As the most vulnerable segment of the population at 10 to 20 times more sensitive, Japanese children at an alarming rate are becoming obese as a result of being kept indoors, forced to remain artificially inactive.

Moreover, the Japanese people are eating contaminated food. But as of 2014 contaminated rice mixed in with other rice has been deemed acceptable for export and human consumption all over the world. A March 2014 US FDA update gave the green light to eating food products from Japan, claiming non-harmful levels of radiation. Of course, little do authorities advertise that since Fukushima, they’ve been conveniently upping the levels of what’s considered unhealthy to maintain globalized business as usual. For instance, before the nuclear accident, the limit danger was set at 1 mS per year but now it’s 20, the equivalent to 1000 chest X-rays a year. The nuclear worker limit is now 50 mS. Meanwhile, Japanese insects and birds are largely deformed and sterile with their generational mutations acting as canaries in the coal mine to demonstrate what humans are now facing. The bottom line is Fukushima remains an apocalyptic time bomb, a nightmare just waiting sooner than later to happen to the rest of us on the planet.

Marine and wildlife are dying by the millions. Polar bears, seals, and walruses have severe fur loss and open sores with inordinately high death rates. This week alone a record high number of dead whales are washing up along the Hawaiian shores as well as other islands in Pacific Asia. So has the sockeye salmon population. Pacific fish are bleeding from their gills, bellies, and eyeballs. Virtually every sample of tested Bluefin tuna are now carrying toxic levels of radiation. For the last couple years, the West Coast has been struck by waves of highly radioactive debris. The Japan nuclear disaster has turned the California beaches into a near dead zone, devoid of the teeming marine life present just a few years earlier.

With the ongoing constant leakage at Fukushima, the Pacific waters will be doubling in radioactivity over the next 5 to 10 years. Radionuclides began arriving at the western shores in early 2014. Recently measured cesium-137 levels are now off the charts in plankton from Hawaii to the West Coast. Likewise, it’s been discovered that fish sold from Japan also contain these same dangerously high cesium levels. Rates of 91-100% of marine life are toxically contaminated in samples of halibut, sardines, tuna, eel, anchovies, carp, shark, monkfish and seaweed. Over the last four decades, populations of mammals, birds, reptiles and fish have on average plummeted by half. And with massive daily animal die-offs of all kinds the global norm, we’re already well into the earth’s six mass life extinction.

Because the commercial fishing industry continues harvesting sea life from contaminated waters and millions if not billions of humans continue consuming fish and seafood as a regular food staple, countless numbers of people are and will be dying from increasing cancer rates and other terminal diseases. Additionally, overfishing, failing fisheries and dying oceanic life are causing an alarming reduction in our food supply. Plus as a result of the poisoned water habitat not only from Fukushima but from oil spills, multitudes of other sources like plastics and contaminant leakage and overall environment degradation rendering the earth’s surface far less habitable, combine all this with the permanent remnants of previous decades of nuclear testing from the South Pacific islands to Nevada among other testing sites both atmospheric and at ground level worldwide, in addition to gamma and X-rays constantly hitting us from solar flares and galactic bursts, along with the radioactive waves beamed from cell phones, wifis, cell towers and HAARP machines, and we easily understand why the average lifespan is now dropping. Humans have made the earth increasingly unlivable.

The post Highest Fukushima Radioactivity since 2011 appeared first on LewRockwell.

Citizenship by Investment?

Mer, 08/02/2017 - 07:01

Through an accident of birth, I and over 280 million other people are native-born US citizens. Unless we owe the IRS more than $50,000 or are otherwise ineligible, this status entitles us to carry a US passport. It is one of the world’s premier travel documents, providing us the right to enter more than 170 other countries either without a visa or by obtaining a visa on arrival.

Another billion or so people live in countries – I’ll call them “passport heavens” – that give their citizens the right to hold a passport providing visa-free entry to at least 140 countries. But many more people – at least 4.5 billion in all – live in nations that issue passports permitting visa-free travel to fewer than 60 countries.

These “passport hells” include the world’s most populous nations: India (permitting visa-free entry into 52 countries) and China (50). They also include all of the Muslim-dominated nations included in President Trump’s recent travel ban: Iran (37), Iraq (30), Syria (32), Sudan (37), Libya (36), Yemen (38) and Somalia (31).

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It was with this background in mind that I settled into my armchair on January 1, 2017, to watch “Passports for Sale,” on the CBS 60 Minutes program. Veteran journalist Steve Kroft – a native-born US citizen – was the correspondent.

Kroft carried out a series of interviews, mainly with opponents of citizenship-by-investment (CBI) programs. These CBI programs, which I’ve helped clients navigate for over a decade, provide the opportunity to escape from a “bad” citizenship acquired as an accident of birth. The total costs for this option start at about $130,000 for a single applicant, including all fees.

In the case of US citizens living abroad, citizenship-by-investment programs are the easiest way to acquire a second nationality and subsequently surrender US citizenship. “Expatriation” is a radical step, but it’s also the only way that a US citizen can permanently end the obligation to pay tax on his or her worldwide income and comply with onerous US tax and reporting obligations.

There’s a phenomenon at work here as well. In a world where governments are erecting increasingly stringent barriers to entry, it should come as no surprise that the market has responded, in the form of CBI programs.

Kroft derides all of them as “mail-order citizenship.” While that’s a convenient sound bite, our experience with these programs demonstrates that acquiring a second nationality isn’t quite as simple as, say, ordering a refrigerator filter on Amazon.

The nation with the CBI program that received the most criticism on 60 Minutes was the Commonwealth of Dominica. The Nestmann Group has been a licensed agent for this program for nearly a decade; in this period, we’ve helped nearly 100 individuals and families obtain Dominica passports. We’ve assisted victims of sexual violence, entrepreneurs under attack for failing to bribe government officials, and Americans seeking to expatriate, among others. So while the CBI market isn’t perfect, it’s a necessary outlet in a world constantly erecting barriers to the free movement of vulnerable people.

Kroft, in contrast, views “mail-order passports” as a security risk to US border enforcement policies. As he put it:

It’s a legal way to circumvent visa controls that nations set up to screen people coming into their country.

That’s factually correct – the point is that it’s become increasingly difficult to qualify for a visa at all, especially if you live in a passport hell.

Kroft continues:

But it’s also an opportunity for shady characters to mask their true identities, and avoid suspicion as they travel around the globe.

In my experience, that’s simply not true. For instance, here’s a partial list of the documentation you need to provide to the Dominica government in order to acquire citizenship by investment there:

  • Criminal background check not more than 90 days old from your country of birth and every country you have lived in more than six months;
  • Birth certificate;
  • National identity card;
  • Proof of residential address;
  • Personal and professional references;
  • Bank reference;
  • List of other citizenships;
  • Details of any litigation you have been involved in;
  • A detailed statement of the source of funds to be used to pay for the contribution or real estate investment used to qualify for citizenship; and
  • A balance sheet of assets and liabilities.

All this information and much more is passed on to an investigative firm retained by the government of Dominica. At the applicant’s expense, all this information must be verified. If it cannot be verified, the applicant won’t receive citizenship – or a second passport.

That’s not enough for Kroft and others who benefit mightily from the accident of birth that gave them US citizenship. He notes approvingly that President Trump’s appointee to head the Department of Homeland Security, John Kelly, declared in 2016 that “cash-for-passport programs could be exploited by criminals, terrorists, or other nefarious actors.”

I can’t truthfully say that this statement is 100% false; Kroft provided numerous examples of situations where “nefarious actors” had obtained second passports. Most of them, though, involved the sale of diplomatic passports. No citizenship-by-investment program authorizes the sale of such documents. So while it may be true that corrupt politicians occasionally sell diplomatic passports to criminals or terrorists, these actions have nothing to do with legitimate CBI programs.

The advantages of a second citizenship and passport boil down to one core principle: freedom.

Your passport is the property of the government that issued it. If your government decides it doesn’t want you to travel internationally, it can simply revoke your passport, leaving you trapped in that country. And if an accident of birth traps you in a passport hell, it’s increasingly difficult to relocate or even visit a passport heaven, even if you have a valid passport.

This type of travel restriction is not a complicated concept to understand. At least one high-level advisor to President Donald Trump gets it. Billionaire and Silicon Valley entrepreneur Peter Thiel was granted New Zealand citizenship in 2011. It’s his third citizenship, along with one from Germany, where he was born, and the US, where he was naturalized.

Incidentally, New Zealand doesn’t have a citizenship-by-investment program. Ordinarily, you can acquire citizenship there only after a period of prolonged residence. Media reports indicate Thiel couldn’t have qualified that way. But like almost every other country in the world, New Zealand law permits the government to award citizenship – and a passport – to an individual who provides outstanding service to the nation. That’s almost certainly what happened in his case.

If you’re interested in a second citizenship and passport, caution is the watchword. Like it or not, if you’re looking for a second passport, there are only a few legitimate options. The best way to qualify for one is through your ancestry. If your parents (sometimes grandparents) were born in another country, there’s a good chance you qualify for citizenship there. Ireland is the best-known example, but there are many others. To find out, do some research on the internet or contact the nearest consulate of that country to see if you qualify.

Another route to a second passport is your spouse. If he or she has a citizenship other than the one you have, there’s likely a procedure in place by which you can acquire it as well. Again, do some research to find out.

A third option is an ordinary naturalization in another country. In most cases, that requires that you first qualify for residence. You must then live in that country for at least two years (more commonly, five to 10 years) before you qualify for citizenship. Once you do, you can then apply for a passport. Argentina, Peru, and the Dominican Republic are probably the easiest countries to qualify for citizenship after a relatively short period of legal residence.

Finally, there are the citizenship-by-investment programs. I’ve investigated seven of them that are of unquestioned legitimacy: Antigua & Barbuda, Cyprus, Dominica, Grenada, Malta, St. Kitts & Nevis, and St. Lucia.

But I’ve also seen “instant” passports offered from Belize, Bulgaria, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Suriname, among other countries. These documents are all fakes or genuine passports issued illegally. These are the travel documents used by “shady characters [masking] their true identities.” If you get caught with one, you’ll have serious problems. At the minimum, you’ll have your passport confiscated. In many countries, you could face imprisonment.

Let’s be careful out there!

Reprinted with permission from Nestmann.com.

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The Moral Life of a Christian

Mar, 07/02/2017 - 07:01

Not a review of Joseph E. Capizzi, Politics, Justice, and War: Christian Governance and the Ethics of Warfare (Oxford University Press, 2015), vii + 223 pgs., hardcover.

This book is part of Oxford’s Studies in Theological Ethics, a series with six other titles. The author is Professor of Moral Theology and Ethics at the Catholic University of America.

I fully intended to read and write a review of this book, especially since the first of three “central claims” listed on the first page that the author says he makes in the book is “The moral life of a Christian is compatible with the military life.” However, I quickly became disillusioned when I noticed that the book’s index had no entries for Christ, Jesus Christ, Christian, Christianity, religion, morality, the Gospel, the Bible, or Scripture. Nevertheless, I went on to read the book’s introduction, its four chapters (each of which are nicely divided into between three and six sections), and all of the book’s 424 footnotes. I saw many references to Augustine and Aquinas and modern authors on just war theory, but only five Scripture references or quotes—and three of them were in the context of Augustine’s thought. The author himself only quotes two verses of Scripture—and they are from the Old Testament. After reading Politics, Justice, and War, I cannot but conclude that it is simply yet another book on just war theory, similar to the thirty-five others I have on one of my bookshelves.

All is not lost, however.

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Since the author did not prove, let alone address, his claim that “the moral life of a Christian is compatible with the military life,” I thought that I would examine the topic. However, my claim is just the opposite of the author’s claim. I would say that the moral life of a Christian is not compatible with the military life.

First, what does the New Testament say about the moral life of a Christian?

Christians are admonished to “abhor that which is evil” (Romans 12:9), “bless them” that persecute them (Romans 12:14), “live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18), “avenge not” themselves (Romans 12:19), “overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21), “follow after the things which make for peace” (Romans 14:19), put away “lying” (Ephesians 4:25), “let no corrupt communication” proceed out of their mouths (Ephesians 4:29), “put away” from them “bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking” (Ephesians 5:31), “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” (Ephesians 5:11), “abstain from fornication” (1 Thessalonians 4:3), not “render evil for evil unto any man” (1 Thessalonians 5:15), to “abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22), be “slow to wrath” (James 1:19), “abstain from fleshly lusts” (1 Peter 2:11), and to “seek peace, and ensue it” (1 Peter 3:11).

Christians should be marked by their love (John 13:35; 1 Thessalonians 3:12), kindness (2 Corinthians 6:6; Ephesians 4:32), quietness (1 Thessalonians 4:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:12), holiness (1 Thessalonians 4:7; 1 Peter 1:15), hospitality (Romans 12:13; Titus 1:8), meekness (Ephesians 4:2; Titus 3:2), longsuffering (Galatians 5:22; Colossians 1:11), forbearance (Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:13), subjection (Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 5:5), temperance (Galatians 5:23; 2 Peter 1:6), godliness (1 Timothy 2:2; 2 Peter 1:16), humility (James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:5), and good works (Ephesians 2:10; Titus 3:8).

Christians should be more willing to accept suffering than to inflict it (2 Timothy 2:3, 4:5; James 5:10; 1 Peter 2:20-21, 3:17, 4:1, 16).

Christianity is the epitome of non-violence, non-aggression, and non-retaliation.

Second, what are the characteristics of military life?

Bombing countries that are no threat to the United States.

Thousands of sexual assaults reported each year.

Reciting of filthy cadences.

Fighting foreign wars.

Mutilating the dead bodies of the “enemy.”

High rates of divorce.

Rampant viewing of pornography.

Women in combat.

Fighting immoral wars.

LGBT Pride Month in June.

Invading other countries.

Homosexuals serving openly.

Occupying other countries.

Garrisoning the planet with bases.

Heavy use of profanity.

Launching preemptive strikes.

Women on submarines.

Transgender drill sergeants.

Neglect of family to go on long deployments.

Drone strikes that kill more civilians than “terrorists.”

Desecrating the dead bodies of the “enemy.”

Engaging in offense instead of defense.

Killing civilians and dismissing it as collateral damage.

Attacking other countries.

Making widows and orphans.

Fighting unnecessary wars.

Killing foreigners who were no threat to the United States.

Destroying foreigners’ property.

Nation building.

Regime change.

Going to countries where the U.S. military has no business going.

Subjugating other countries.

Maiming foreigners who were no threat to the United States.

Serving as the president’s personal attack force.

Urinating on the dead bodies of the “enemy.”

Policing the world whether other countries like it or not.

Fighting senseless wars.

Destroying foreigners’ infrastructure.

Committing acts of genocide.

Intervening in the affairs of other countries.

Fighting wars that are not constitutionally declared.

Willful ignorance of the history of U.S. military interventions.

Blind obedience to the state.

Carrying out a reckless, aggressive, and evil U.S. foreign policy.

High rates of suicide.

Maintaining a global empire.

Helping to create terrorists because of U.S. military actions.

Supporting a network of brothels around the world.

Is the moral life of a Christian compatible with the military life? Is light compatible with darkness? Is good compatible with evil? Is morality compatible with immorality? Is purity compatible with impurity? Is decency compatible with indecency? Is holiness compatible with unholiness? Is righteousness compatible with unrighteousness? The moral life of a Christian is not compatible with the military life.

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The Left Hates Your Guts

Mar, 07/02/2017 - 07:01

They hate you.

Leftists don’t merely disagree with you. They don’t merely feel you are misguided. They don’t think you are merely wrong. They hate you. They want you enslaved and obedient, if not dead. Once you get that, everything that is happening now will make sense. And you will understand what you need to be ready to do.

You are normal, and therefore a heretic. You refuse to bow to their idols, to subscribe to their twisted catechisms, to praise their false gods. This is unforgivable. You must burn.

Crazy talk? Just ask them. Go ahead. Go on social media. Find a leftist – it’s easy. Just say something positive about America or Jesus and they’ll come swarming like locusts. Engage them and very quickly they will drop their masks and tell you what they really think. I know. I keep a rapidly expanding file of Twitter leftist death wish screenshots.

They will tell you that Christians are idiots and vets are scum.

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That normal are subhumans whose role is to labor as serfs to subsidize the progressive elite and its clients.

That you should die to make way for the New Progressive Man/Woman/Other.

Understand that when they call Donald Trump “illegitimate,” what they are really saying is that our desire to govern ourselves is illegitimate. Their beef isn’t with him – it’s with us, the normal people who dared rise up and demand their right to participate in the rule of this country and this culture.

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They hate you because by defying them you have prevented them from living up to the dictates of their false religion. Our rebelliousness has denied them the state of grace they seek, exercising their divine right to dictate every aspect of our puny lives. Their sick faith gives meaning to these secular weirdos, giving them something that fills their empty lives with a messianic fervor to go out and conquer and convert the heathens.

And the heathens are us.

Oh, there are different leftist sects. There are the social justice warriors who have manufactured a bizarre mythology and scripture of oppression, privilege, and intersectionality. Instead of robes, they dress up as genitals and kill babies as a blasphemous sacrament. Then there are the pagan weather religion oddballs convinced that the end is near and that we must repent by turning in our SUVs. Of course, the “we” is really “us” – high priests of the global warming cult-like Leonardo DiCaprio will still jet around the world with supermodels while we do the ritual sacrificing of our modern comforts. Then there are the ones who simply worship themselves, the elitists who believe that all wisdom and morality has been invested in them merely because they went to the right college, think the right thoughts, and sneer at anyone living between I-5 and I-95.

But all the leftist sects agree – they have found the revealed truth, and imposing it upon the benighted normals like us is so transcendently important that they are relieved of any moral limitations. They are ISIS, except with hashtags instead of AKs, committed to the establishment of a leftist caliphate.

You wonder why the left is now justifying violence? Because they think that helps them right now. Today it’s suddenly OK to punch a “Nazi.” But the punchline is that anyone who opposes them is a “Nazi.”

You wonder why they ignore the rule of law, why they could switch on a dime from screaming at Trump for refusing to preemptively legitimize a Hillary win and then scream that he is illegitimate the moment she lost? Because their only principle is what helps the left win today. That’s why the media gleefully, happily lies every single day about every single thing it reports. Objectivity? When that stopped being a useful thing, it stopped being a thing at all.

They are fanatics, and by not surrendering, by not kneeling, and by not obeying, you have committed an unpardonable sin. You have defied the Left, and you must be broken. They will take your job, slander your name, even beat or kill you – whatever it takes to break you and terrify others by making you an example. Your defiance cannot stand; they cannot allow this whole Trump/GOP majority thing to get out of control. They must crush this rebellion of the normal, and absolutely nothing is off the table.

We’ve seen them burn UC Berkeley and how the police controlled by the leftist state government of California stood by and watched as Americans were beaten by the mob. Why? Because the government of the State of California approves of the violence. Do you think it’s a coincidence that California is doing everything it can to disarm its normals?

The Left won’t say it out loud – at least not yet – but make no mistake. If violence is what it takes for the Left to prevail, then violence we will have. You saw it, and you were meant to. Berkeley was a message about the price of dissent where leftist hold sway. And they seek to hold sway everywhere.

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If Trade Stops

Mar, 07/02/2017 - 07:01

Retreat from globalization will only result in trouble, warned China’s second richest man Jack Ma during a visit to Australia.

“Everybody is concerned about trade wars. If trade stops, war starts,” he said in Melbourne, where the e-commerce giant Alibaba opened its Australia and New Zealand headquarters.

“But worry doesn’t solve the problem. The only thing you can do is get involved and actively prove that trade helps people to communicate,” said Alibaba’s CEO, as quoted by Business Insider Australia.

The globalized economy is more than just transactions of money and goods, according to Ma.

“We have to actively prove that trade helps people to communicate. And we should have fair trade, transparent trade, inclusive trade,” he said.

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“Trade is about a trade of values. Trade of culture,” said the billionaire, stressing that he felt a personal responsibility to fly more than a hundred thousand kilometers in the past month to promote global commerce.

Jack Ma spoke with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Friday about creating ‘a regional e-hub’ a trade zone allowing freer online business with less border bureaucracy to deal with.

“If Australia, New Zealand and other countries can create a free trade zone in the form of an e-hub for small businesses, they can work like the big companies – with 24 hours clearance, better tariffs, and quicker inspections. That could help a lot of small businesses,” he said.

Open Sesame? Trump & Alibaba CEO Jack Ma talk of creating 1mn US jobs https://t.co/LLOb8QgDAI

— Matt Hartmann (@MattHartmann9) January 10, 2017

While meeting US President Donald Trump last month, Ma announced Alibaba would help to create a million jobs in the US.

Trump has taken a protectionist stance, sharply criticizing all the attempts to involve his country in new trade agreements.

The US President’s first executive order withdrew the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a deal among eleven Pacific Rim countries, which include Australia and New Zealand.

Reprinted from RT News.

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Are Leftists Irrational?

Mar, 07/02/2017 - 07:01

Every day I hear exasperated Trump-backers exclaim that the Left has gone crazy. And their complaint seems justified, at least up to a point. The demonstrations against Trump, which now involve such gestures as setting fires, destroying property and beating up suspected Trump backers, look utterly “irrational.” It’s as if the election and subsequent inauguration of Donald Trump released forces of madness that can no longer be contained. Wild accusations are being made against those who voted for Trump, that they yearn to exterminate blacks and gays and put Jews into concentration camps, etc. One of my close acquaintances has turned her home into “a safe space for Jewish children,” so there will be no more Anne Frank-deaths during the terrible persecutions that our “illegitimately appointed, fake head of state” will soon supposedly unleash. I myself have been called by leftist ex-friends a “Holocaust-denier” because I think Trump’s decision to stop the influx of visitors and immigrants from terrorist-laden countries is entirely justified. How this shows that I deny Hitler’s murderous activities is never explained to me, but I’m sure the Trump-haters in Hollywood, CNN and at Berkeley would understand the connection.

Note that I’m not saying that everyone out there making noise or burning property is a model of scientific rationality. Nor am I claiming that the entertainment community makes sense when they scream against the Donald, or that students who recently set fires on the Berkeley campus to protest a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos were engaging in Aristotelian reasoning. What I am asserting is that viewed from the top, this agitation and violence reveal careful thought. In fact, from the vantage point of George Soros and such protest organizers as the Democratic National Committee and the leaders of the grievance culture, noisy demonstrations are a reasonable means toward a predetermined end. Max Weber, Vilfredo Pareto, and other sociologists who understood functional rationality as working systematically toward the desired end would have pointed to these protests as illustrating the perfectly rational action, at least on the part of those who organize them.

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The useful idiots are all over the place, but that’s exactly what they are, mere stage extras. They are impressionable adolescents, Hollywood airheads, middle-aged women who want to “assert themselves,” perpetually incited racial minorities, and Muslim activists. Many of them can be mobilized at the drop of a pin to “march for tolerance,” however that term is interpreted by those who organize the march and by politicians, like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, who seek to increase their influence through well-prepared displays of “righteous indignation.” Please note that Schumer’s obstructionist tactics in the Senate, blocking or delaying cabinet nominees and threatening to shoot down Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, have been applied to the accompaniment of non-stop anti-Trump protests. Only a fool or unthinking partisan would believe these events are unrelated.

Most of what we see and hear is profoundly hypocritical. Trump is not threatening gays or blacks; he is far from being an exterminationist anti-Semite, he is surrounded by Jewish family members and Jewish advisers and is adored by the population of Israel. He is not an anti-Muslim religious bigot, and the temporary travel restriction that he established last week affects non-Muslims as well as Muslims trying to enter the USA from certain countries. Only 109 travelers were detained last weekend because of the ban; and one may easily surmise that other passengers who were jostled by the loads of screaming, gesticulating demonstrators suffered far more grievously than those who were temporarily detained. Moreover, since Obama imposed a four-month travel ban on passengers from Iraq in 2011, we may assume that even more people during the supposedly sensitive Obama years were inconvenienced. But, strange as it seems, I don’t recall mass demonstrations by our selective humanitarians against Obama’s travel restrictions. Perhaps I didn’t notice them when they were taking place.

I also hear from establishment Republicans, and even from family members who should know better, that Trump is bringing all this on himself because he is too free with his words. If only he could explain himself calmly and read more often from a teleprompter, none of this would be happening. Moreover, if Trump were a nice conciliatory guy, like, say, W, Romney or Kasich, the PC crowd would be pacified—or would stop running riot. This gives me food for thought. Does anyone really believe that the Left was nice to George W. Bush, whom they also smeared as a racist and religious bigot? And is any Republican or Never-Trumper naïve enough to believe that if it had been Ted Cruz rather than Trump naming Neil Gorsuch as his pick to the Supreme Court, there would be no demonstrations against this outstanding non-leftist jurist? Perhaps if the silver-tongued Cruz were defending Gorsuch in Ciceronian accents, Schumer, and his friends in the Senate would not be trying to block the confirmation? Come to think of it: Cruz has already endorsed Gorsuch—to no effect.

The only question that should be asked in this matter concerns the end game of those who are organizing the insurrectionary masses. What do they expect to gain from the continuing noise and escalating violence? At the very least they may hope to disempower Trump and his administration–perhaps to render them so powerless that they won’t able to do anything that the Left and the Democratic base (to make a perhaps unnecessary distinction) don’t want them to do. The Democrats are also hoping to take advantage of the chaos to which their fans and operatives have contributed by posing as the true party of order. Only the Democrats, the electorate will be impelled to assume, could end the civil unrest by bringing back the glorious days of the Obama administration.

This transfiguration of the bungling leftist Obama into the guarantor of American order may not be as strange an idea as it first seems. Last week I found myself sitting next to a sixty-year-old black woman on a train going to Philadelphia, and this traveler began telling me how nice it had been under Obama. At first, I reminded her of the growing criminality in our cities during the last few years, but then I noticed she wasn’t talking about crime. Things had been nicer under Obama because back then one didn’t witness daily and even hourly eruptions of organized anger, with the media, entertainment industry, and in varying degrees the Democratic Party egging on the mobs. The woman whom I spoke to wasn’t looking for deeper causes. All she knew was that since Trump had taken office, pandemonium was loosed on the country. And it’s not yet clear that this pandemonium will be blamed on those who are causing it, namely the organizers, the media, and the throngs of useful idiots.

Reprinted with the author’s permission.

The post Are Leftists Irrational? appeared first on LewRockwell.

The Big One Is Not Just a West Coast Problem

Mar, 07/02/2017 - 07:01

If you were caught up in the midst of a massive earthquake – the kind that takes down buildings and buckles roads – would you know what to do?

I’m not talking about a minor temblor that shakes a glass off the counter and sends it to shatter on the floor.

I’m talking about The Big One. The one for which we are long overdue.

The United States has several active fault zones, and some of them are capable of producing extremely destructive quakes. While most people think of the West Coast (and for excellent reason), there are massive faults in other places in the US, too.

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ALL of these fault lines have ruptured before, and they will rupture again. In fact, according to this map, more than half of the continental US could expect a major quake within the next 50 years.

Photo Credit: National Geographic

And that is just the continental United States. Alaska is at a very high risk of earthquakes and Hawaii is in danger from tsunamis due to earthquakes in other parts of the Pacific.

National Geographic summarizes the risk:

…while all U.S. states have some potential for earthquakes, 42 of the 50 states “have a reasonable chance of experiencing damaging ground shaking from an earthquake in 50 years,” which is generally considered the typical lifetime of a building. Sixteen of those states have a “relatively high likelihood” of damaging shaking.

With those odds, it’s pretty likely that most of us will experience a significant earthquake in our lifetime.

This article isn’t about the long-term aftermath of an earthquake, during which you’d be unlikely to have power, safe water, or access to the stores for supplies. It’s about surviving the event itself.

Here’s how to survive an earthquake.

So what should you do when the ground starts shaking?

It depends on where you are. We’ll go over three different scenarios. It’s critical to note that sometimes people are just in the wrong place at the wrong time and that the situation will be very fluid. Be ready to adapt quickly if plan A doesn’t work. (Check out this article on the three steps to survival.)

Standard advice is to

  • Drop: get as low to the ground as possible
  • Cover: Cover your head, get under something, bend forward to protect your vital organs
  • Hold on: Hold on to your shelter with one hand and move along with it if it shifts

Depending on the severity of the earthquake you may not get emergency announcements advising of evacuation routes or refuge centers. The emergency services themselves may be unable to function, and communications may be down.

You could be on your own for a considerable length of time before rescuers get to you.  It’s vital to think clearly and logically, which is not always easy in an emergency situation. That’s why it’s important to think these things through ahead of time – so that you’ve already made many of the necessary decisions well before the first sign of a tremor.

What to do if you’re outside during an earthquake

If you’re outside the biggest risk is being hit by something that has been structurally damaged by the quake.

  • Move away from building to avoid getting hit by falling masonry.
  • Avoid being near power lines.
  • Move to the most open ground you can find – a park or open space – which will decrease the danger from falling buildings or downed power lines.
  • If you are within 10 miles of the coast, head for higher ground immediately.
  • If you are in your vehicle, stop in as open an area as possible. If you are on a ramp or a bridge, do not stop! Get off of it immediately.
  • Be alert for emergency announcements. If so, follow the advice.
  • If not, start to consider your next move – which will hopefully be following a plan you and your family made well ahead of time for a place to meet up safely.

What to do if you’re at the beach during an earthquake

The biggest danger of experiencing an earthquake when you’re at the beach is during the aftermath. A tsunami can travel as far as 10 miles inland, wiping out everything in its path. You will have no way of knowing where the epicenter of the quake was. The highest risk occurs when the epicenter is at sea. Here’s a quick tsunami primer:

Most tsunamis are caused by earthquakes. As a result, most tsunamis occur near or at fault lines. When a tsunami is generated, it is not only 1 wave. Instead it is a series of waves, known as a wave train. These waves travel together and can be up to 1 hour apart. Tsunami waves travel extremely fast with speeds of up to 500 miles per hour—the speed of a jet.

They can be as wide as 60 miles and cross entire oceans without losing momentum. When a tsunami is traveling, it may be less than a foot in height. This causes it to be unnoticed by sailors who are at sea. As the tsunami approaches land, it hits shallow water and begins to slow down. The top of the wave, however, continues travelling, causing the sea to rise dramatically. Tsunamis are extremely destructive on land. The waves can surge up to 100 feet in height and completely devastate a coastal area. (source)

Tsunami waves travel at hundreds of miles per hour. You must act immediately.

  • Move inland and to higher ground as far and as fast as you can.
  • If there are tsunami evacuation routes marked, follow them.
  • If you see the water recede dramatically, get the heck out of dodge – you have only moments before the tsunami hits.

After the initial wave, it is extremely likely that more will follow. These waves can be up to an hour apart. Do not return to lower ground until officials have given the all-clear.

What to do if you’re indoors during an earthquake

If you are inside when a quake occurs, your priority is to protect yourself until you can escape the building.

  • Move away from the windows immediately. They can shatter.
  • Move away from exterior walls. In a very severe quake, the sides of buildings can give way.
  • Move away from any shelves, cabinets, or other loose items that could fall on you.
  • Take shelter in or under the sturdiest thing you can find. Stairwells can be a good option if you are close to one. Otherwise, duck under a sturdy desk or table. (Not the cruddy fiberboard kind, obviously.)
  • Cover your head as added protection. Grab whatever you can find: large books, a chair, or even a briefcase held over your head can help protect you from falling debris.

If you are at home when disaster strikes, the same rules apply. Don’t let familiarity with your surroundings lull you into a false sense of security.

The danger of aftershocks

Remember that aftershocks can often be as powerful (or even more so) as the initial event. There is no reliable way to predict how soon those shocks will arrive.

What to do immediately after the earthquake

As soon as the shaking stops you need to assess your situation as quickly and calmly as possible.

  • From your sheltered position, survey the area for hanging light fixtures and exposed wires. These could be live and cause electrocution.
  • When you move from your temporary shelter, scan the area ahead of you.  Look for open wiring, broken pipes, holes in floors, and other hazards.
  • DO NOT use the elevators to evacuate from a higher floor, even though it may seem quicker. Not only could the power go off, trapping you, but there could also be damage of which you are unaware. Don’t risk plummetting to your death because you didn’t want to take the stairs.
  • Move slowly and carefully towards the nearest exit, then pause and assess the outlying areas. Are the stairs still intact enough to use? If not, is there another flights of stairs that you can get to from your current position?
  • Be prepared to move laterally to other areas to find the safest escape route if you are trapped on upper floors. Look for “staff only” doors which may lead to service stairs ways and exit doors that may be less damaged.
  • When you reach the ground floor (or if you’re already on it), don’t just rush out of the building. Pause and see if anything is falling in front of you. The risk from falling debris immediately after an earthquake is extremely high.
  • If your exit to the outside is blocked, be very cautious moving debris to escape. Try to assess what that wood, concrete, or metal is holding up before you move it. The slightest shift has the potential to cause a collapse. Before moving the debris, see if other exits might be less risky.

How to safely evacuate after an earthquake

If you need to leave the immediate area, there are a few things to keep in mind to travel safely.

  • Avoid underpasses, overpasses, and bridges. They may be structurally unsound.
  • Stay as far away from building as you can.
  • Be on the lookout for potential hazards such as downed power lines or leaning trees.
  • Crevasses caused by earthquakes can be very deep. Injury or even death could occur if you step or drive into one.
  • Stay as far away as you can from dikes and levees, which may have sustained structural damage. If they rupture, the force of the water will be immense.

Have you ever been in a major earthquake?

Do you have any tips that should be added to this article? Have you got any stories of your experiences during or after an earthquake? Share them in the comments section below.

More about earthquakes:

Full-Rip 9.0: The Next Big One

Cascadia (a novel about a massive earthquake in the PNW – great read!)

San Andreas for Preppers: 12 Earthquake Survival Lessons from the Movie

Reprinted with permission from The Organic Prepper.

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Early US Intervention in World War I

Mar, 07/02/2017 - 07:01

This short piece continues series on some “Deeply Momentous Things” — that is, American intervention in the First World War. (See Part One.) As the first installment has shown in a general way, the background of the war among Europe and its extensions (Canada, Australia, etc.) is crucial to understanding how the United States would eventually declare war on the Central Powers. More specifics on this issue will help us understand just what the might of the United States meant to the warring powers.

European leaders on both sides hoped to change the dynamic of the war in January 1917. Certainly, from a technical military standpoint, 1916 represented a highly complicated and progressive experimentation with methods of war that would break up the stalemate. In answer to a question posed in the first installment — who was winning at the end of 1916 — if I had to choose the side that had the upper hand in December 1916, I would probably choose the Central Powers by a nose.

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In December 1916, Field Marshal Haig, Commander of the British forces on the Western Front, sent in an extensive report to his government on the just completed Somme Campaign. The Somme battles had advanced the Allied line in some places but had never come close to a breakthrough. And the losses of both British and French units were appalling. Yet Haig declared the Somme campaign a victory in that it had achieved the wearing down of the Germans and the stabilization of the front.

Yet even with Haig’s report in hand, British statesmen and diplomats were not as optimistic. The Field Marshal’s optimism could not hide the fact that the Somme advance had been at best shallow, and that the Germans still held onto nearly as much of France as they had before. And significantly, the Central Powers were killing Entente troops at a faster rate than the Allies were killing the Germans and their Allies. For every two deaths on the side of the Central Powers, three Entente soldiers were dying.

And there were more concrete signs of distress. In East Central Europe, recently acquired Entente partner Romania faced an Austro-Hungarian, German, and Bulgarian force which had besieged and captured the Romanian capital, Bucharest. The great Brusilov Offensive against the German and Austro-Hungarian armies was an enormous success at its beginning, and almost certainly took pressure off the French defenders at Verdun, in France. But the offensive tailed off with counterattacks that were costly and worrisome. And there were in addition, the enormous losses to the Brusilov fighters, upwards of a million dead, wounded, and captured. In Russia, rumblings of demoralization — including the plot which would end in Rasputin’s murder in December 1916 — emerged as hunger and depletion accompanied deep winter. In retrospect, the Brusilov Offensive planted the seeds of Russia’s revolutionary collapse the following year — which would no doubt have tipped the balanced sharply in favor of the Central Powers had the United States not intervened.

Elsewhere, it is true, things were going somewhat better for the Russians and the British in fighting the Ottoman Empire by December 1916 and January 1917, but many British leaders thought they were looking at the real crisis of the war a hundred years ago. Hoping to bring every kind of weapon to bear in the midst of this depressing and murderous year, British leaders departed from their slogan of “business as usual” in a variety of ways. Great Britain had already adopted conscription a year earlier in January 1916, though not quite in time to supply replacements for the inevitable losses in the coming offensive operations on the Somme and elsewhere. On the diplomatic front, it was in 1916 that the British government began a process that would end by promising overlapping parts of the Ottoman Empire both to the future “king of the Arabs” and to Jews across the world as a future homeland. At the same time, British propaganda designed to influence the United States to enter the war heightened dramatically. Charles Masterman’s War Propaganda Bureau in London worked on the “American question” with newspaper subventions in the United States, speaking tours, increased distribution of the famous Bryce Report on German atrocities in Belgium, and in other ways.

One crucial example of non-traditional attempts to break the impasse was the starvation of German civilians resulting from the British Blockade. In place since late 1914, the Blockade kept even neutrals from delivering food and other essentials to Germany. Before the Blockade was lifted in 1919, somewhere between 500,000 and 800,000 German civilians would die from starvation and from the effects of nutritional shortages on other conditions. Adding indirect deaths influenced by nutritional privation adds many more to the total (see the excellent analysis of the Blockade by David A. Janicki, as well as Ralph Raico’s detailed review of the classic book on the subject by C. Paul Vincent).

The dynamics of the Blockade intensified among the belligerents the importance of future American decisions. In order to survive the war, Britain had to control the seas. In order to survive the war, Germany had to eat. But at the same time, Germany had to avoid bringing the world’s most powerful economy into the conflict. Unlimited submarine warfare was the most likely way to break the Blockade and eat. But German statesman expressly feared that this step would bring the United States into the war. (See the minutes of a top-level German meeting on the issue of unlimited submarine warfare from August 1916.)

Meanwhile, the one obvious solution to the war — namely, ending it — seemed out of the question. Both sides desired any help they could get, but both sides had turned down offers of mediation, truce, and negotiations, all of these attempts foundering on the acquisitive territorial aims and financial obligations of one belligerent or the other.

One important note: the weather impacted home and battle fronts. The winter of 1916/17 was one of the coldest in memory. The impact on the hungry German home front was immense — this was the terrible “turnip winter,” so-called because turnips were about the only home-grown food available to many. But the soldiers on all sides found the cold almost unbearable as well, misery in the trenches and encampments did not bode well for the future will to fight in any army.

Quite clearly, momentous American decisions were crucial to the future course of the war.

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

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Assets Most Likely to Survive a ‘System Re-Set’

Mar, 07/02/2017 - 07:01

Your skills, knowledge and social capital will emerge unscathed on the other side of the re-set wormhole. Your financial assets held in centrally controlled institutions will not.

Longtime correspondent C.A. recently asked a question every American household should be asking: which assets are most likely to survive the “system re-set” that is now inevitable? It’s a question of great import because not all assets are equal in terms of survivability in crisis, when the rules change without advance notice.

If you doubt the inevitability of a system implosion/re-set, please read Is America In A Bubble (And Can It Ever Return To “Normal”)? This brief essay presents charts that reveal a sobering economic reality: America is now dependent on multiple asset bubbles never popping–something history suggests is not possible.

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

It isn’t just a financial re-set that’s inevitable–it’s a political and social re-set as well. For more on why this is so, please consult my short book Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform.

The charts below describe the key dynamics driving a system re-set. Earned income (wages) as a share of GDP has been falling for decades: this means labor is receiving a diminishing share of economic growth. Since costs and debt continue rising while incomes are declining or stagnating, this asymmetry eventually leads to insolvency.

The “fix” for insolvency has been higher debt and debt-based spending–in essence, borrowing from future income to fund more consumption today. But each unit of new debt is generating less economic activity/growth. This is called diminishing returns: eventually the costs of servicing the additional debt exceed the increasingly trivial gains.

What happens when the bubbles pop, despite massive central bank/state interventions? The entire socio-political/financial system goes through a “system re-set” in which all the fantasy-based valuations, political denials, false promises and fraudulent claims collapse in a heap.

In a crisis, the privileged Elites will change the rules in a desperate attempt to expropriate the income and wealth of the bottom 99.5% to preserve their own power.

The trick is to do so in ways that won’t spark an immediate political insurrection.

Read the Whole Article

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