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Eyes Wide Open: An Adventure Capitalist’s Views on Colombia

Sat, 05/28/2016 - 15:29

We’re developing a new community in the mountains of Colombia where liberty-minded individuals can participate in a safe and engaging lifestyle with others of similar mind, integrated with the surrounding local community yet away from the difficulties of the current economic environment.

I’ve mentioned the project – Terra Viva – before, but I wanted to re-expose Daily Bell readers, as we’re planning to make available another opportunity to visit the development soon.

As a Daily Bell reader, you are well aware of the unraveling of the West and its endless, expanding economic crisis.

If you live in the West, especially, you’re living at “ground zero.”

You’re facing the unraveling of the modern social order, the disintegration of the dollar economy, increasing militarization and the inevitable loss of civil liberties.

And since you read The Daily Bell, you are contemplating or already taking action to protect those you care about from what you anticipate may happen.

You know you need to secure a second passport, you need to secure your assets offshore and you need to secure a secondary residence. Becoming part of the Terra Viva community is one way to address all these issues.

Of course, you also know that expat communities can have their problems. Some are isolated, far from the services and amenities you want, while others are mismanaged or badly marketed.

That’s not the case with Terra Viva. It’s not isolated and it’s certainly not mismanaged. The great people who’ve already made the decision to invest in their future here wouldn’t have done so, after conducting their own exhaustive due diligence, if it were.

Terra Viva is being built to ensure that no matter what happens, you have a haven to fall back on, a beautiful place to live away from the increasing instability around you.

As they say in Colombia, “The only risk is wanting to stay.”

But don’t take my word for it.

I thought you’d like to read this refreshing personal perspective on Colombia from someone who recently joined about 200 of us there for a Sovereign Man investment conference.

He was willing to venture outside the box that is Medellín in order to see more of the real Colombia. I thought his reporting was both colorful and accurate, and I wanted to share it with you.

THE MAGIC OF COLOMBIA IN 2016

Nestled in the mountains of South America is a breathtaking land widely known for its struggles with cocaine, drug cartels, and violence: Colombia.

Not long ago, the narcos controlled the cities, towns, and emotions of the people. Cocaine – the white gold – inflicts carnage among its producers, traffickers, and users throughout the continent, wrecking millions of lives along its path to prosperous North America.

For most countries, stability is cyclical. And in Colombia, the positive part of a naturally occurring cycle is happening – the fog is lifting. Peace is permeating the fabric of the nation.

The softer side of this complex country is budding – a side where smiles are more of a potent force than violence. A place where the sun’s rays sweep gently over coffee plantations, which majestically blanket the mountainsides in a deep green. A place where family time and community are the nuclei of life.

I landed in Colombia a few days before a conference I was attending, so I decided to explore this exotic land by taking a road trip to Pablo Escobar’s former backyard: the expansive countryside outside Medellín.

I rented a car and aimed the vehicle toward the roads southwest of the city; I ascended from the valley and upward into lush landscapes and cooler temperatures.

About an hour into the trip, I was stopped at a checkpoint outside a small town. Soldiers stood dressed in new uniforms and polished black boots (a good uniform always seems to have a positive effect on the psychology of a soldier). Machine guns hung over the soldiers’ shoulders, adding another layer of machismo to the masculinity they already radiated.

The guard asked for my registration and had me open the trunk of the car. I walked around to the back of the vehicle and showed him my few things, which he didn’t have much interest in. A couple of minutes into our time together, the official mood deleveraged into an exchange of smiles and simple jokes.

This interaction alone says a lot about a country….

I’ve always found that the countries where you can crack the authorities’ tough exteriors – smiling or humanizing with them when they have the guns and the power – are better places to spend time in. It means that there is wiggle room, and that overall, they’re happy with your foreignness.

With these thoughts in mind, I departed the checkpoint. The road twisted on and became remote and special; my feelings about the journey transitioned from curiosity into absolute surprise. I had no idea that Colombia was so beautiful.

I’ve spent a lot of time traveling around the world, and I’ve observed a common trend – beauty and stability equals tourism. The fact that it is 2016 and tourism still hasn’t made much of a mark outside of Medellín is quite remarkable.

In towns like Concordia, Tarso, Jericó, Buenos Aires, Jardín and Titiribí, the landscapes are world-class stunning. And I had them all to myself. Most of these towns each have a simple but charming hotel, basic restaurants, and a high percentage of bars per capita. For a tourist cruising through on a road trip, these towns have a lot going for them.

The town of Tarso had roughly seven bars in a town of less than 5,000 people. I had the pleasure of hearing Guns and Roses karaoke deep into the night from my hotel room balcony, which overlooked the moonlit mountains. The hotel itself was full of random antiques, like various typewriters, and was operated by a few older ladies who smiled at every bit of my rudimentary Spanish. It was real.

There is a clear line between poverty, which hinges on day-to-day survival, and a standard of living above that level, where basic needs are met. These towns aren’t rich, but their economies churn enough to keep their people well above that line. This reality completely changes the mood of a place. This feeling contrasted starkly from the small towns in the north of Colombia, near Venezuela, where the stress of poverty created an atmosphere of palpable negativity and unhappiness.

In these relaxed environments, locals hang around the center square drinking coffee, and kids play freely, their laughter echoing through the streets. The mood feels safe, and healthily calm. Intricately painted buildings – the work of local artistic talents – shine everywhere. Panoramic mountain backdrops frame the goodness.

I also rate a country’s happiness of off the behavior of children and dogs—the lifeforms who directly emulate the people in power. Unlike rural Macedonia, Colombian dogs didn’t go at my ankles, and the kids seemed well behaved, without much brattiness.

The purchasing power of the USD to the Colombian peso is insanely high right now – another good reason to spend time in Colombia, either as a tourist or as an investor. Accommodations are very affordable. On one occasion, I spent $12 for a room and two meals. Another time, I spend $25 for a beautiful room in a brand new, fortress-looking guesthouse overlooking a river – breakfast included.

Countries in aggregate are like businesses, relationships, or economies: they are either climbing or falling.

And right now, Colombia feels like it is climbing; there is a tangible optimism. Roughly 50% of the population is under age 25. The middle class is growing, along with the number of opportunities. And even though the living standards of the Colombian middle class can’t be compared with the U.S. in regard to earnings or material wealth, there is something to be said for a future that looks brighter, rather than a future that looks bleaker (that is, if you believe the middle class in the U.S. is declining).

The business climate is also incredibly progressive. I toured a dynamic company named PharmaCielo that is gearing itself up for producing medical cannabis. It is currently a flower operation. But the company is ready to flip the switch to cannabis once the legislation goes through, and it looks like this is going to happen soon.

I only saw a few Colombian tourists during my road trip, though I’m sure it gets busy on the weekends with locals from Medellín. But during the midweek, I saw not one other gringo.

Colombia’s image hangover is the only explanation I can come up with for the lack of tourists; many people still associate the country with drugs and violence. Global influences, like the Netflix series “Narcos” probably don’t help. Instead, they solidify the traditional perception of Colombia.

I think it’s a subconscious thing. Once a country is associated with a specific label enough times, the unconscious mind solidifies that thought. It takes either a personal experience, or a countering message with equal or greater repetition, to break it. And these things don’t happen overnight.

Of course, Colombia isn’t all sunshine and roses, (although it is the largest exporter of roses to the U.S.). There is plenty of poverty and crime in cities like Bogotá and Medellín. Even though these problems are generally segregated from the nicer parts of those cities, crime still exists in volumes.

The world’s demand for cocaine isn’t going away. There will be a supply as long as there is a demand; and Colombia is too attractive, with its warm climate and fertile soil, not to provide that commodity.

The government is in peace negotiations with the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), which controls much of the cocaine trade. This looks very positive, but the reality is that production will continue, whether FARC controls most of it or someone else does.

From what I’ve witnessed in Mexico, more cartels and players means more violence. The best outcome is for a big group/cartel to control most of the supply, coupled with a back-channel agreement with the government to keep all of the power brokers well funded. Or, in my humble opinion, they could just make the shit legal in all of the countries that cocaine touches, which would eradicate most of the problems.

The way cocaine needs to be controlled in Colombia is much like how stability is maintained in the Middle East. In the Middle East, we’ve seen time and time again that only strong-fisted leaders can keep peace. In Colombia, the drug trade needs a strong structure, or it turns into blood.

Who knows how long this current level of stability will last? The stability in countries is like the intervals between waves. And it’s just a matter of time before another wave of instability hits Colombia’s shores. Will it be in 5 years? 20 years? 50 years? It’s anybody’s guess….

But for now, Colombia is mostly stable. Even with all the negatives, the positives are much more powerful. The smiles of the people are moving… the energy of the youth is captivating. This is a time of growth on myriad levels.

2016 is a fantastic year for Colombia, and it’s an excellent time to visit a country that has risen from so much struggle; a place full of surprise that will grab your eyes and soul. The magic of Colombia is real, and is currently one of the true gems in the world.

* * *

I hope you enjoyed Peter’s description of his recent trip and thoughts on Colombia. To read more of his reflections on countries he’s visiting while exploring the world, visit his blog at PeterSantenello.com.

He certainly makes the case for a “new Colombia” – which is the reason I first came here over 15 years ago, have spent as much time as possible here ever since and eventually decided to build Terra Viva.

Please bear in mind, the cost of building an exceptional residence here is extremely low compared to anything in Canada, the United States or Europe. Each house is an original design and built by leading Colombian architects, and all are easily customized and highly livable.

Getting into and out of Colombia is easy and relatively inexpensive, with daily direct flights from many major cities in North America, Europe and Central and South America.

The land on which the community is being developed is near enough to Medellín to make intra-day travel convenient and is a short flight – or an incredible drive through the mountains – from other major Colombia cities, including both coasts for those who need to stretch their legs on a sandy beach and sip margaritas.

All manner of outdoor activities are being established in the community. These offer residents access to the central facilities, including boating, fishing or barbecuing with friends on the shore of our beautiful lake, meandering through the community gardens that dot the property, swimming, hiking, tennis, use of the athletic center, spa and equestrian facilities.

A brand new four-lane, divided highway is now being built and already well underway that will connect the area to Medellín via several tunnels and bridges. This means any real-estate purchases made in the area will likely increase considerably in value.

Colombia is in many ways a sophisticated place but because of its past history and notoriety – its “image hangover,” as Peter calls it – many people are still hesitant to consider it for investment and real-estate purposes. Their loss is our gain… maybe yours, too.

I can assure you that spending time here will leave you with a very different understanding and perception of life now.

Colombia is Latin America’s biggest unfolding success story, and Terra Viva is sharing in that success. As I mentioned, we’re working out final details now to open up future meet-and-greet opportunities at Terra Viva.

To learn more about Terra Viva, have a look at the website, here: TerraViva-Colombia.com. Sign up now to receive news and updates, including notification of the next meet-and-greet opportunity.

EU Becomes Increasingly Orwellian in Preparation for Possible Brexit

Sat, 05/28/2016 - 15:04

A European army is exactly what the EU and UK needs Whether or not Donald Trump wins the US presidency, American sentiment is for the Europeans to do much more to help themselves  …  Under Nato Euope’s defences remain incomplete and necessitate US involvement – UK Independent

George Orwell’s 1984 is coming to pass.

It is not enough that the US has faux face-offs with Russia and China. Now Europe will build an army too.

And thus there will be three or four different major powers in the world.

Perhaps once Europe has an army, it will have a rapprochement with Russia and then Orwell’s prophecies will be mimicked almost exactly.

Three power centers, all opposed to each other.

The plan is obviously to have Germany manage it. This is why the false narrative has been floated that mysterious Nazis are somehow responsible for the creation of the EU.

Directed history goes to work. Germany supposedly created the EU and now Germany runs Europe and its army.

Germans are surely not happy about the idea of an EU army. Germans even now have had enough of war.

Also, Germans are uncomfortable with the “leadership role” that the Western mainstream media suggests they have.

But Germans are inevitably and always at the mercy of British banking. The City rules Europe and has done as it pleases with Germany for more than a century.

The EU was a City and CIA operation. Two world wars were not entirely Germany’s fault by any means.

Now the plan may be to anoint Germany more formally as head of the EU. This turns the EU essentially into a German property – for public consumption anyway.

This could be the next step in the European evolution.

Along with the success of Brexit.

Maybe this is why David Cameron was caught up in the Panama Papers. Perhaps the idea was to discredit him, and anti-Brexit forces.

Brexit may be the galvanizing incident that Eurocrats are searching for.

The trigger that gives them the justification to turn Europe from an economic union to a political one.

Europe is essentially unfinished business. It is a work in progress.  It needs an army and a political structure to turn into a full-fledged United States of Europe.

And the US? An expanded union is still planned from what we can tell, one that will include Mexico, Canada, etc.

Orwell was surely privy to such plans. He may even have had an affiliation with MI5 or  MI6.

From Wikipedia: “Despite his lifelong socialist views, in 1949, a year before his death at 46, Orwell gave the government a list of people he thought were Stalinist sympathizers or ‘fellow travelers.’”

And “1984” certainly served the purpose of accustomizing people with what’s happening now. People generally are less resistant if current events are familiar to them.

More:

Germany has been among the most vocal opponents of Brexit. So it was perhaps surprising that it was from here that a mini-missile was launched into the referendum campaign, with leaked details of a defence White Paper pushing the creation of a European Army.

For the UK’s flailing Brexiteers, this was just what was needed. Veterans for Britain duly popped up to warn of the threats to UK sovereignty and to Nato, the alliance that had kept the country safe through the Cold War and beyond.

We are slowly changing our mind about Brexit. Perhaps it is more likely.

First the Panama Papers’ Cameron expose Now this EU army leak.

Conclusion: If this is a correct analysis of Brexit, then enjoy your visits to Europe while you can. At some point, Europe will begin to grow more hostile to the Americas and perhaps to Britain too. And it will be no accident.

 

As Billionaires Predict Worldwide Defaults, Would You Rather Hold Bonds or Gold

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 17:13

Gold on Track for Eighth Losing Session U.S. GDP data revision seen bolstering case for interest-rate increase … Gold prices edged lower Friday, on pace for an eighth straight losing session, amid mounting evidence of improving economic growth in the U.S. that would strengthen the case for an interest-rate increase.  –Wall Street Journal

Gold went up by 16 percent in the first quarter of 2016 and kept on moving even afterward for a total of 20%.

Investors are nervous about the economy and the first quarter’s results reflected those nerves with a rise in gold.

Since then it’s moved down some 6% as Janet Yellen has counterattacked with vaguely worded suggestions that the Fed might hike rates again.

As we pointed out in a recent article, the idea that the US economy is on an upswing seems difficult to believe.

The US owes something like $200 TRILLION if one includes Social Security and other outflows going forward.

Meanwhile some 100 million individuals including young people and seniors are not working in mainstream jobs or not working at all.

Our perspective on the US and the world economy is summed up by a top executive for the Bank for International Settlements, William White.

Speaking some months ago, he was quoted by the UK Telegraph as saying that nothing less than a worldwide debt jubilee would bring back global solvency.

Without a jubilee, the world simply continues to sink into a morass of sovereign, corporate and personal debt.

White’s perspective was echoed just a few days ago by billionaire bond investor Bill Gross. Speaking of Japan, he said the current debt burden was not manageable and that the central bank would have to acquire it and forgo repayment.

This scenario may need to play out around the world.

Given what the most savvy financial professionals are saying about the global economic condition, it is hard to see how the mainstream media (echoing Janet Yellen) remains upbeat about a “recovery.”

Nonetheless, the Journal manages it:

More:

Recent data suggest that 2016’s early weakness was temporary, and more recent data indicates the U.S. recovery, while weak, continues apace.   Those recent data points have strengthened the hand of the Federal Reserve to further raise interest rates from rock-bottom levels.

The data being referred to includes durable goods orders, which recently rose 3.4%.

Jobless claims supposedly dropped 10,000 to 268,000 for the week ending May 21, vs. forecasts for 275,000. Home sales jumped 5.1% in April

Yet market watchers quoted in a recent New York Times’ article remain unconvinced.

Reports … suggest that 2016’s economic trajectory will follow an arc that has bedeviled forecasters for years: a soft first quarter followed by a turnaround in the spring even though underlying conditions remain largely the same throughout the period.

“There is better momentum now, but it’s still a bit of a head fake,” said Diane Swonk, an independent economist based in Chicago.

Swonk pointed out that some of the upturn may be simply be statistical. Seasonal anomalies can “create a false sense of security.”

And she added about the first quarter, “It was still a tepid quarter even if it was less bad. That doesn’t equal good growth.”

How on earth is a rate hike going to aid US solvency? And according to White and Gross, the problems are so bad that they cannot be dealt with by normal means. The world, in other words, will have to organize a jubilee.

The Journal does not focus on this “bigger picture” of course. In fact, it points out that “Rising rates tend to weigh on precious metals, as gold struggles to compete as an attractive investment with yield-bearing securities such as bonds.”

Conclusion: But when the entire world’s financial infrastructure is threatening to implode due to unmanageable debt, what would you rather be holding – gold or bonds?

Driverless Cars and Tiny Houses: The Latest Manipulated Technology Trends

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 16:42

After almost a century of making cars and selling them in more or less the same way, automakers (and others) are getting the sense that the business of automotive transportation might be about to change radically. Here’s Toyota executive Shigeki Tomoyama on the Uber deal:  “Ridesharing has huge potential in terms of shaping the future of mobility.” – Bloomberg

Soon it may become much more difficult for you to actually drive a car.

You’ll be able to sit in one. You’ll be able to tell it where to go. But you won’t actually be able to propel it to a destination of your choice.

And if you have certain outstanding bills or have some sort of outstanding official issue, it will be very easy to remove your driving privileges.

Electrical cars may compound the problem due to limited range.

For people who like cars, it sounds like a discouraging future. But it is not a hypothetical one.

We can see from the above Bloomberg excerpt that top car executives are actively pondering ways to provide driverless cars-on-demand.

You will tell the car where you want to go and you will get there. Perhaps other people will be on-board with you – going to their destinations – as it would be with a shared taxi.

This is not entirely a marketplace evolution in our view. It is at least in part a manipulated industrial conclusion. It is the product of a certain set of shared beliefs married to newly available technology.

From our point of view these conclusions are even a kind of directed history.

As soon as it was possible, military interests began to work on robot soldiers.

Was the general public demanding robotic killing machines? It was obviously a priority of the military-industrial complex, not of the larger citizenry.

And now car companies are scrambling to produce cars you won’t own and can’t drive. This is being positioned as the “future” of cars.

Is this what people want? Or are there other more shadowy agendas at work?

How about vast wind farms and solar farms? At the same time as these enormous facilities are being built, traditional forms of power which people can use for themselves – like oil and coal – are being legislated out of existence.

More and more a practical impact of technology involves the removal of control from people’s everyday lives.

It used to be that technology enhanced people’s independence and lifestyles. But these days it seems to be working in reverse.

Technology is often seen as producing worrisome results as well, such as global warming.

Climate change and other supposed impacts of human beings on the environment have helped spawn the “tiny house” movement.

We recently wrote an article on the tiny house movement. You can see the article HERE.

The lowered expectations driving tiny house construction are at least partially a kind of dominant social theme, in our view. The conclusions – focused on fewer resources and less control – are a kind of directed history.

These seem to be top-down developments. The same elites that have generated the West’s current economic difficulties are now organizing a response to those difficulties.

One way to do it is simply by elevating the prospects of certain companies and diminishing others.

Facebook and Google both reportedly received CIA funding. It is probably no coincidence that these companies are the biggest in their respective spaces.

More:

Toyota is investing in and planning to collaborate with Uber, the largest ride-hailing service. Volkswagen is investing $300 million in Tel Aviv-based Uber rival Gett.

In January, General Motors put $500 million into Lyft, another Uber competitor. Earlier this month, Apple invested $1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing company Didi and Fiat Chrysler made a deal with Alphabet to develop self-driving minivans.

We’re supposed to believe all this activity is merely the result of industrial competition.

But we are not aware that driverless cars and ride-sharing are the motor-vehicle trends of the future.

In fact, if you asked most people, they might well reject both of these ideas as defining modern transportation alternatives.

People don’t ordinarily like to have control over their lives stripped away.

The big car companies are already positioning their upcoming products as tomorrow’s dominant form of travel. And the mainstream media will position this narrative as a natural market occurrence.

Conclusion: Be careful about emergent technological trends and your reaction to them. They will certainly have an impact on your life, but their rationale may be manipulated, not legitimate.

Yahoo, Facebook Exposed: Propaganda More Difficult in Era of Internet

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 14:41

Katie Couric Regrets ‘Poor Decision’ to Insert Pause in Gun Documentary Interview  … Katie Couric is upset that an eight-second pause inserted into an interview she did with gun rights activists in the documentary “Under the Gun” has drawn criticism. – TheWrap

Yahoo’s Katie Couric has just released an anti-gun documentary with a manufactured pause that mocks pro-gun interviewees. This is one of those stories that the mainstream media cannot ignore.

It provides us with further evidence that those who wish to propagandize audiences need to be careful about how they do it. If biases are not revealed, the Internet may expose them.

The perspective of the documentary is not surprising, but its clumsiness has likely undermined its effectiveness.

The Couric expose comes not long after Facebook received a good deal of negative publicity for reducing its audience’s exposure to conservative and libertarian viewpoints.

The Facebook news algorithm may have been written to promote this reduction. But Facebook also seems to have hired individuals who took it upon themselves to minimize conservative content.

After a former employee of Facebook exposed the practice, founder Mark Zuckerberg held a “summit” with certain conservative media leaders including individuals like Glen Beck.

Zuckerberg wanted to assure the conservative community that Facebook was not inherently biased. Now it is Katie Couric’s turn to do damage control.

The initial manipulation is fairly blatant. Members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League attended a “roundtable” and seem to fall silent after Couric asks, “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?”

This didn’t actually happen.

According to  VCDL president Philip Van Cleave, “[Couric] intentionally removed … answers and spliced in nine seconds of some prior video of our members sitting quietly and not responding. Viewers are left with the misunderstanding that the members had no answer to her question.”

More:

Director Stephanie Soechtig inserted the pause, which critics are calling an example of “deceptive” and “appalling journalism.”  Soechtig … spoke to TheWrap and stood by the editing choice … “My intention was to provide a pause for the viewer to have a moment to consider this important question …

This answer is ridiculous.

She made pro-gun responders look silly because she wanted viewers to reflect on Couric’s question?

Yahoo must be comfortable with the way Couric and Soechtig feel about guns to put up with such after-the-fact justifications. In another profile about the documentary, TheWrap quotes Couric as saying,

What we’re trying to do is set the table for an informed discussion. We embedded with a number of families who’ve lost loved ones to gun violence: a couple from Chicago; the Bardens from Sandy Hook; Richard Martinez, who lost his son Christopher in Isla Vista …

Couric mentions Sandy Hook in her statement above. The anomalies between the government story and what has been established by private investigators regarding Sandy Hook and other shootings are enormous.

But obviously Couric has not looked into them in any great depth. What she does at this point is not journalism. When her perspectives are examined in totality, it is obvious that she has preconceived notions.

But it takes a lapse like this one to bring her views into focus within the larger context of Yahoo and similar media vendors.

Conclusion: As with so many other important developments, there are positives and negatives to the Internet’s expansion. But when it comes to communication, the size and intimacy of the ‘Net is making it more difficult to create and sustain overt propaganda. Zuckerberg and Couric are finding this out now.

Leaked TISA Docs Reveal Secret ‘Global Constitution’

Thu, 05/26/2016 - 15:45

WikiLeaks releases latest documents from TISA negotiations … The classified annex to the draft “core text” of the Trade in Services Agreement is part of what is being secretly negotiated by the U.S., EU and 22 countries.  The website WikiLeaks released on Wednesday classified documents from the Trade in Services Agreement, or TISA, which is a huge trade agreement being negotiated in secret by the United States, the European Union and 22 other countries.  -Telesur

This release seems to make it clear that global elites are using trade treaties to write a new global constitution.

What is the new structure being imposed?

Over the past millennium, societies have been organized around feudalism and democracy. Now we are headed toward corporatism.

TISA is one of several global trade agreements now under active negotiations. Another is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and a third is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

TPP has been successfully negotiated and ratified. TPIP seems to be in some difficulty, currently.

From the EU Observer:

TiSA is based on the WTO’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), which involves all WTO members.  The key provisions of the GATS – scope, definitions, market access, national treatment and exemptions – are also found in TiSA.

The talks are based on proposals made by the participants.  TiSA aims at opening up markets and improving rules in areas such as licensing, financial services, telecoms, e-commerce, maritime transport, and professionals moving abroad temporarily to provide services.

This is fairly innocuous sounding. But none of these deals are innocuous.

Based on the WikiLeaks release, Telesur explains TISI this way,

The documents include a previously unknown annex to the TISA core chapter on “State Owned Enterprises,” which imposes unprecedented restrictions on SOEs and will force majority owned SOEs to operate like private sector businesses.

The leaked documents show how stipulations outlined in the TISA documents advanced the “deregulation” of big corporations entering overseas markets.

According to the leaked documents, the TISA rules would also restrict governments’ ability to determine the size or growth of certain economic activities and entities, preventing nations from limiting the size of foreign companies in the market.

This perfectly buttresses our previous perspective that the world is moving toward an era of increased globalism driven by corporate activism. You can see a previous article HERE.

It was the Gutenberg Press that basically ended feudalism. Once people could read bibles for themselves, they discovered the Roman Catholic Church had been lying.

And once the lies were understood, the Church lost credibility – and so did its endorsements. The “divine right of kings” became something of  a dead letter and feudal credibility was shattered.

Enter democracy, which has lasted as an operative system for more than 200 years.

But now, thanks to the Internet, democracy is dying. The Internet has exposed its inherent fallacies. Chiefly, democracy is not what it seems to be. It is controlled behind the scenes from the top down, and more and more people are aware of that now.

Thus a change must be made. Enter corporatism – a kind of technocracy.

Corporatism actually serves two purposes. In an era of elite globalism, corporations are transnational and thus provide a platform for pan-regional transactions.

Additionally, corporations, properly positioned, are not subject to the inevitable restraints of the democratic process.

Corporations and the technocrats who run them fit into the globalist structure now being erected.

People don’t necessarily see it this way, of course. For most, these massive trade deals are simply  a way for elites to enrich themselves.

But these are not really trade deals. They are structures designed to trigger a social metamorphosis. They are a new “ruling paradigm.”

These trade deals, therefore, are serial constitutions.

Constitutional mandates that must be approved by each party. That’s why so many nations are involved.

As always, we’d argue we are living at a crucial turning point in the history of mankind.

Never has so much information about the way the world works been available. Never have ruling elites been so exposed and undermined.

To think it will stay that way is foolish.

The solution is to create a new world order that will reestablish elite control.

Taken together, these three trade deals seem to create activist corporations that will exercise enormous clout over nation states.

Corporations, of course, are artificial entities to begin with. We’re written plenty of articles explaining that large multinationals would not exist were it not for certain judicial and legislative decisions.

These decisions have create “corporate personhood” along with intellectual property rights and monopoly central banking. These three “legs of the stool” support an increasingly expansive corporatism.

There is not a scintilla of free-market evolution in all of this, by the way. Ignorant people will blame “capitalism” for what is occurring now. They will be wrong.

Another point …

We have questions about these serial “WikiLeaks,” just as we have reservations about Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations.

In Snowden’s case, we tend to believe that the DC power structure wanted people to know about its vast surveillance powers but could not release the information itself.

Snowden (once CIA and now a “whistleblower”) did the job that needed to be done.

Today, people throughout the world are intimately aware of the “surveillance society.”

Predictably, the NSA and other agencies have not backed away from their illegal and reprehensible activities. That was never part of the plan. Intimidation has been generated without ramifications.

Let’s extend this reasoning to the trade treaties. It could be that those negotiating these agreements have realized that they cannot be consummated in secret.

WikiLeaks strategic leaks of certain documents can therefore be seen as a way of acclimating the public to this upcoming, massive social realignment.

Hollywood movies are often used in the same manner, to inform people of new and  invasive technologies that are soon to be available. When people are aware of something in advance, they often are not so resistant to it.

Conclusion: Massive changes are being initiated by Western banking elites. What is being created is no less than a kind of “global constitution,” treaty by treaty. What’s going on has little or nothing to do with trade and everything with rationalizing and expanding global control by the few over they many.

When They Start Praising the Fed, You Know We’re Headed for Disaster

Thu, 05/26/2016 - 15:36

The Fed’s Amazing Self-Fulfilling Forecast … The Federal Reserve’s track record of economic forecasting is a lot better than many observers recognize. It might also offer some insight into the central bank’s approach to managing the recovery.  -Bloomberg

This Bloomberg article makes the point that the Federal Reserve is competent.

Worrisomely, such articles tend to appear at the top of the business cycle. For proponents of central banking any gradually, sustained upturn is an excuse to celebrate central bank supervision.

This sort of propaganda is endlessly present at Bloomberg. Let the last cyclical economic disaster finally begin to fade from memory and Bloomberg columnists proclaim Fed competence once again.

In fact, we would have a hard time recalling when the Bloomberg editorial section criticized the central bank paradigm itself.  They are much more apt to either minimize Fed power (so as to make the facility more palatable) or in some sense endorse it.

This article argues that starting in 2011, the Fed brought policies in line with action and its handling of the economy became far more competent.

More:

From 2011 through 2015, the Fed managed the economy with two complementary goals: Get the unemployment rate down to 5 percent (from near 10 percent) and keep inflation in a range between 1 percent and 2 percent.

It adjusted monetary policy in response to shocks in order to achieve these complementary goals. In other words, the forecast for unemployment and inflation was accurate because the Fed made it so.

This raises another question: Could the Fed have achieved better growth and gotten interest rates back up to normal more quickly if it had aimed for a sharper decline in the unemployment rate and allowed inflation to run above target?

The basic thrust of these observations is that Fed officials finally figured out the right approach to the economy after fumbling around.

What would that right approach be? Presumably aggressive easing using such unusual methods as “quantitative easing.”

The article also provocatively if the Fed might have run the monetary engines even harder to  create more jobs. Answer: This question will be studied for years to come.

No, it probably won’t. Once the next crash comes, probably sooner rather than later, Fed “management” will be revealed for the disaster it is. Short term arguments for Fed competence always come unstuck.

These are cyclical arguments in fact.

They usually occur toward the top of whatever bubble the Fed is currently engaged in blowing.

We remember articles during the Greenspan era proclaiming that the Fed had basically abolished the business cycle. Then 2001 happened.

Ben Bernanke was very confident about the Fed’s economic management right up until the 2007-2008 unraveling.

And now, again, we begin to see articles promoting the Fed’s management skills regarding a particularly stubborn business cycle.

But central banks do not have management skills. All that central banks do is exacerbate cycles already present in the economy.

Any modern economy would likely have some sort of cycle. Central banks considerably exacerbate those cycles. Additionally, central banks homogenize monetary policy.

Regional cycles are far preferable to national cycles because during a regional downturn, people can go elsewhere. Once the cycle is nationalized, people’s employment options are considerably lessened.

As central banking becomes more internationalized – as the Bank for International Settlements increasingly coordinates monetary policy – what was once local becomes global.

The disasters associated with a truly international central banking regime are evident and obvious. The downturns will be all encompassing.

There literally will be no place to go to avoid an economic collapse.

Speculating about how central banking success only encourages this homogenization by giving people the false impression that monetary management of an economy is viable.

It is not. The successes that are identified are inevitably ephemeral. Always we see articles of this sort, celebrating central bank management at a time when money printing has finally managed to generate asset bubbles.

These asset bubbles are mistaken for a “recovery.” But there are never any “recoveries” in a modern, central bank environment, only asset expansions propelled by misaligned interest rates and monetary debasement.

Conclusion: When we read articles like this one, we become painfully aware that we are probably approaching the top of the economic cycle. When it once again turns down, as it certainly will, these articles become signposts on the path to disaster.

NASA and Nuclear Activities: More Scrutiny Needed

Wed, 05/25/2016 - 15:25

Russia has no plans to deliver US astronauts to ISS after 2018 — US wants ISS program extended through to 2024 —  Russia has no intention of concluding more contracts for delivering US astronauts to the International Space Station after 2018, the deputy chief of the state-run corporation Roscosmos, Sergey Saveliev, has told the media.

Maybe the Russians don’t want to participate anymore because NASA is engaged in too much space-station fakery.

Or maybe there are other issues such as increased US military activity around Russia. Chances are we will never know.

In the modern age, high-tech government programs are almost immune from serious scrutiny.

Governments issue press releases on their accomplishments and reporters and editors dutifully rewrite those releases and publish them.

China’s space program was seen as advancing rapidly before the release of a video that showed bubbles floating in space. Apparently, the space walk in question had actually taken place in a large water-filled pool.

NASA has recently stated space suits shall be equipped with snorkels. This has led to the suggestion that NASA’s space activities take place underwater, as in China.

A slew of Youtube videos purport to show the bubbles. You can see one HERE.

Other NASA space videos analyzed by critics are perplexing as well.

Hair stands on end when it probably shouldn’t. Astronauts turn right at doorways and then surprisingly vanish. Astronaut, Chris Cassidy, accidentally admits he is in the US not on the space station.

Over and over again, when it comes to NASA, there are questions. And not from long ago.

NASA recently released photos taken on Mars. for instance. A squirrel appears in one of them.

It is important to ask questions when it comes to government endeavors. Assume all of them are basically real – still, within them, there may be questionable elements.

When government is not transparent with citizens, trouble begins and builds. Lies beget lies. Bureaucratic noncompliance becomes more entrenched. Distrust expands. This is where we are today.

The beginnings of NASA lie with the German space program. Russia and the US split up captured German rocket engineers that then became the core of two competing programs.

It is even said that the US provided Russia with the better scientists in order to ensure competition.

It is at least feasible that German scientists might have less compunction about telling the US public falsehoods, or exaggerating certain NASA claims.

Even an emphatic narrative can offer uncertainty. For instance, the initial press conference after the first moon landing is bizarre. Neil Armstrong looks like he is facing execution rather than confronting an adulatory press corps.

Armstrong couldn’t remember whether or not he’d seen stars on the moon. The cameras the astronauts used didn’t show any stars in photos brought back  to earth. And an extraordinary number of photos were taken, all of remarkable quality.

Equally remarkable, certain astronauts appear to be pulled erect by wires after stumbling. (see 2:17).

Only a few years ago, a piece of petrified wood was found among “space rocks” in a Dutch museum. The “rock” in question was provided, initially, by the US State Dept.

There are non moon-related questions as well that perplex observers.

Astronaut Gus Grissom was a determined critic of NASA whose life ended when he burned to death in an Apollo 1 capsule. His son has accused NASA of murder.

Thomas Baron was a quality control and safety inspector who reportedly wrote a 500 page report on the  Apollo 1 fire. He was killed with his wife and children while trying to cross train tracks near home and his report has vanished.

And then there is the US nuclear program. We’ve recently raised questions about the world’s nuclear programs. You can see our most recent article HERE.

Whether Hiroshima or Nagasaki were actually subject to atomic bombings, there are certainly  questions that remain.

And those questions don’t just involve history.

Announcements are regularly made about countries with nuclear programs – and how these programs are being expanded and reconfigured.

But the announcements are often the only news that exists. Little additional reporting takes place.

We live in a Nuclear Age that is defined by governments and regional military-industrial complexes. The statistics are provided by governments and military facilities. The performance is vouched for by vendors.

We may never know the true reason the Russians want to cease cooperation with the US on the space station. Currently, they are said to provide the sole means of delivery to the ISS via the Soyuz spacecraft.

Now the US will have to substitute one of its own new generation of manned space vehicles. No doubt this will give rise to a new wave of speculation about both the ISS and US space technology.

Conclusion: It would be better if the mainstream media made a better effort to determine what was true and what was not when it came to both NASA announcements and nuclear testing. Even if one wants to “trust” government, verification is most important.

IRS Malfeasance Is Part of Larger Government Corruption

Wed, 05/25/2016 - 12:16

No One Hates the IRS More Than House Republicans … Pity John Koskinen, who agreed to take one of the worst jobs in America and is now being punished for it.  In 2013, President Barack Obama asked Koskinen to take over at the Internal Revenue Service amid budgetary chaos, deteriorating morale and a simmering scandal. House Republicans are now trying to impeach him.  – Bloomberg

We don’t pity John Koskinen. We watched a good deal of the IRS hearings as they unfolded and it was fairly obvious a cover-up was taking place.

The people involved either weren’t telling the truth or were subject to convenient memory lapses.

It was obvious that higher-up officials at the IRS, presumably at the behest of the Obama administration, has schemed to delay the non profit status of Tea Party groups opposed to Obama.

It was obvious as well that no matter how much evidence was collected by the committee under Republican leadership, the Democratic Department of Justice would not bring an indictment.

And it did not.

IRS officials destroyed emails by “accident” while blaming the actions of the IRS on out-of-control low level individuals.

The woman at the center of the scandal, Lois Lerner, resigned and took the fifth. The Committee talked about indicting her as a first step to putting her in prison, but nothing has happened.

The cover-up went all the way to the top. Koskinen himself, while giving the appearance of being cooperative, always seemed a step behind the investigation.

There were many things he didn’t know about. And after a while it became obvious that he didn’t want to know.

Koskinen’s job, as an Obama appointee, was to clean up and move on.

More:

Blame was duly apportioned … The agency’s boss resigned, a top deputy retired, and the director of the offending unit was placed on leave and declared in contempt of Congress. Half a dozen congressional committees vowed to fumigate every pixel of offending detail. One managed to produce an 8,000-page report.

It certainly sounds like there were repercussions, but not really. Someone retired. Ms. Lerner was questioned by Congress. A voluminous report was produced and ignored.

Delaying non profit status of anti-Obama groups was only the latest IRS sin.

A previous scandal saw the IRS apologizing for what reports called “a lavish 2010 conference in California that included an elaborate Star Trek spoof training video.”

The entire conference cost upwards of $3 million and the IRS later warned expenses could exceed $5 million.

The agency didn’t know exactly how much because no one was keeping track of costs.

And that’s the real problem: government doesn’t operate like a normal business.

It doesn’t operate like any kind of venture. The normal checks and balances that exist in private commerce are suspended.

And the laws that citizens have to obey don’t apply to those in Congress.

The result is institutional arrogance. Spend any time in the higher reaches of government and you are surely aware of the protective layers.

The IRS is a good example of how the protection works.

IRS officials don’t have to keep track of how much they spend.

They can send personal, incriminating e-mails knowing that if there’s any trouble those emails will be erased and “lost.”

If they’re hauled before Congress, they can lie without being exposed to significant penalties.

If something damning is proven, they can resign without prosecution.

Congress hasn’t criminally prosecuted a single individual involved in the IRS coverup. But that is to be expected.

Congress is part of the problem as well. When people are asked if Congress is trustworthy only some six percent agree.

That’s a rounding error.

Both parties are willing to spend trillions of dollars fighting the War on Terror. But everyone on Capitol Hill surely knows that the CIA and the Pentagon created first Al Qaeda and then ISIS in the first place.

They just don’t mention it.

The idea is to build a “terrorist” enemy that the military industrial complex can fight.

Eventually tens of trillions are to spent in pursuit of this initially fictitious enemy.

Congress is deeply complicit in this military hoax. So is the President. So is the judiciary.

Congress knows as well, that the current monetary system is ruinous. It also knows that in this era of modern central banking, the IRS is not even necessary.

The Fed can print all the money it wants. It supposedly printed and sent $16 trillion around the world after the 2008 market crash. Very little of those “short term loans” were every repaid.

It is very likely that almost nothing about the US graduated income tax is exactly as it seems. When it comes to US taxes, official explanations are questionable indeed.

This article grapples with the question of IRS corruption. But the issue is actually a lot bigger than that. All three branches of government are  indefensibly corrupt.

Conclusion: Since everyone is involved, no one will be identified or accused. The best thing American citizens can do is probably to stay far away from Capitol Hill. Take care of yourself and your family and be prepared for a variety of unfolding scenarios. Nothing is  certain but the corruption.

Internet Reformation: The Awakening Progresses Undeterred by Current Elections

Tue, 05/24/2016 - 16:57

The Awakening Will Continue Regardless of This Year’s Election … Every four years the public gets all riled up over the outcome of the presidential election, projecting all their expectations and visions for a better tomorrow on to a candidate in the hopes that they will swoop in and save the day. However, the reality is that the outcome of the presidential election has little to no effect on the direction of the country anymore. – Last American Vagabond

This article posted at the Last American Vagabond makes points that build on some basic Daily Bell themes going back a decade or longer.

The main point in this article is the current presidential elections will not put a halt to what we call the Internet Reformation.

Interestingly, the original Reformation was a controlled, elite process designed to split the Roman Catholic Church asunder. But like so many elite manipulations, the Reformation soon took on a life of its own and moved in unanticipated directions.

The Declaration of Independence was unanticipated, for instance. The elites of the day were horrified by the concept of a country founded on the idea of natural rights.

There is considerable evidence that the French Revolution was fought to bring back the idea that human leaders, not God, created and bestowed rights.

But in the US that idea has never superseded Jefferson’s initial vision.

This is one reason the US has stood at the crossroads of world power. It is animated by a specific vision of freedom that is subversive to authoritarianism and globalism.

This is also why we believed the Internet would have a convulsive impact on many who lived in the US.

In the US, more than almost anywhere else, the Internet is allowing people to discover the philosophical traditions of freedom that the country was constructed on.

This is spawning a kind of mass awakening.

For a long time we received a good deal of push-back regarding this point. People didn’t see that technology was a fundamental trigger for evolution of human perspectives and psychology.

But we were confident. History seemed to show us that when people are given truthful information they will act on it.

In the modern era, truth has been scarce. People have been instructed from childhood that gigantic authoritarian societies are natural.

As a result, many in the West have a great deal of trouble understanding that in a normal culture, people have a good amount of control over their own lives. They have the power to influence their own circumstances.

The combination of monopoly money printing, wars, public (state) justice and corporatism creates a noxious stew of top-down control that gradually strips away the  possibility of normal life.

One is not in charge of one’s employment, relationships and cannot plan a professional and personal future.

Ordinarily, people wouldn’t put up with this state of affairs. But until recently, it seemed that this was the only way to live. People could not conceive of other options.

The lies were so pervasive. The mind control was nearly complete. The net of untruths was almost impenetrable.

But not quite. And now it is breaking down.

This is what happened after the discovery of the Gutenberg Press. The Press did for books and paper communication what the Internet has done for electronic information.

When people come into possession of forms of truthfulness that contradict their current reality, they often begin to discard their illusions.

Not everyone, of course. Some cling resolutely to their previous beliefs, but many change over time.

Here’s how the Last American Vagabond puts it:

The world is undergoing a paradigm shift in consciousness that in many ways can be compared to a new Renaissance 2.0. It is the development of a totally new way of understanding all of the past, present, and future of the current reality.

There should be little doubt that this conscious awakening has its roots in the dawn of the Internet, which has opened Pandora’s box when it comes to the vast human reservoir of knowledge and information.

The access to data that the public now has all over the world at their fingertips is light-years ahead of what was available just 50 years ago. Information that was once incomplete, scattered all over the world, and disconnected from the whole, is now all piling into one platform for all to see and piece together. It really is the age of information for those who care to seek it out.        

The article makes the point that the current, disastrous presidential elections won’t have an impact on the larger awakening. It also seems to intimate that the current elections may actually expand this awakening and speed it up.

What many fail to realize is that while a different outcome may be desired in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, this conscious awakening that is growing stronger everyday is not going to stop once it’s over.

Donald Trump certainly has good things to say. However, his determination to pursue the War on Terror and his apparent lack of ambition to do anything about central banking means he probably will not create substantive change.

Certainly Hillary won’t either. Seeing this, people will continue to turn away from mainstream solutions when it comes to initiating fundamental change.

We regularly suggest that change starts with individual human action. You need to take control of your own life before you can make a difference elsewhere.

We will use a paragraph from the Vagabond article to end this analysis.

Conclusion: “It’s more imperative than ever that we continue the process full steam ahead despite the show they are putting on to distract us. … At this point, we just have to make sure we don’t stop digging right before we are about to strike gold because that would be the ultimate shame. We are on the brink, so let’s not stop now.”

Four New Schools of Economic Thought: None Question the Fed

Tue, 05/24/2016 - 16:47

Four Ways to Think About the Economy … I see four different schools of thought about how the economies of the U.S. and much of the developed world should be managed. The challenge for the Federal Reserve and other central bankers is that it’s hard to know who’s right. –Bloomberg

The author of this article proposes a series of unique, economic “schools.”

The first, he says, are “neutralists.” This group of economists believe that so long as inflation is “low and stable,” central banks need not exercise their power.

They believe that government officials should spend more time concentrating on building better economies and less time worrying about monetary policy.

The second group, he calls, “inflationistas.” These economists worry a lot about price inflation and are constantly upset by lack of definitive Fed action to combat it.

Inflationistas see price inflation everywhere and want to use central banks to take constant action to make sure it doesn’t get worse.

The third group is the “bubblers.” He compares this group of economists to the “neutralists.” The neutralists don’t want much central bank activity. The bubblers are actually “skeptical about the efficacy of monetary policy.”

The bubblers don’t even see central banks at the heart of monetary phenomena. “Many would even say that inflation is being driven largely by technological and demographic forces outside central banks’ control.”

The fourth group is called “the gappers.” Gapper economists believe that economic activity is modest and will have to climb much higher to create price inflation.

Gappers want central bank activism via increased monetary production. They are in favor of continued low interest, additional quantitative easing and other creative kinds of stimulus to support and expand economic activity.

These Gappers are so convinced that more can and should be done that they argue that if central banks are reluctant to be proactive, fiscal and government authorities should take over and do the job themselves.

This argument is a somewhat incendiary one that “provokes the inflationistas and also many neutralists, who believe that government is already too big.”

Having summarized these four schools of thought, the article asks, “who’s right?”

Somewhat predictably, the author decides that all four points of view have at least some validity.

The neutralists are correct that we should consider ways to improve the economy’s longer-term growth potential …

The Fed shouldn’t address the inflationistas’ concerns by choking off growth now. Instead, the central bank should be clear about its willingness to raise rates sharply once “core” inflation … has risen in a sustainable way above the 2 percent target.

If the bubblers are right about artificially inflated asset prices, that doesn’t necessarily mean that an ensuing bust has to severely harm the economy.

Gappers are demonstrably right that inflation and expected inflation are too low in the developed world. On this front, there’s plenty that monetary and fiscal authorities can do.

The article concludes that further stimulus is necessary and that “policy makers” need to support what is thus far “a profoundly disappointing economic expansion.”

Where to start with this article?  We would argue that these so-called schools of thoughts are all merely reactions to central bank policy. In other words, they did not spring up independently.

The author makes it sound as if there were different academic persuasions busily building their own economic disciplines. But, fundamentally, there are no gappers or inflationistas, etc. There are only mainstream economists who have varying opinions on central bank monetary policy.

The article is so wrongheaded and clumsy that we decided a very young person must have written it. We looked up the author and his bio.

Here, from Wikipedia:

Narayana Rao Kocherlakota is an American economist and is the Lionel W. McKenzie Professor of Economics at the University of Rochester. Previously, he served as the 12th president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis until December 31, 2015.

Conclusion: This editorial, among others, shows how far from truth-telling mainstream economics is. Only when people finally start exposing the fundamental, illogical and ruinous nature of monopoly central banking, will economics will begin to change. Nothing is going to happen until then. Bloomberg is only making matters worse.

New Law Incarcerates Restaurant Owner For Customer Allergy

Tue, 05/24/2016 - 16:39

Curry house owner jailed for six years after customer dies from nut allergy … Paul Wilson’s parents Margaret and Keith said he loved curry but was always clear with staff about his allergy, asking for his meals not to contain any peanuts … Businesses have been warned to take allergies seriously after a restaurateur was imprisoned for six years for killing a customer by selling him a curry containing peanuts. -Sydney Morning Herald

This is a very sad story about a young man who died after eating peanuts in an Indian dish.

He tried to make sure that the dish he ordered didn’t have peanuts, but it did.

Now the owner of the restaurant, Mohammed Zaman, 53, has been convicted of manslaughter because of Paul Wilson’s death.

Under a new law, he is responsible for Wilson’s death.

More:

Mr Wilson, who was meticulous about his condition, had asked for a chicken tikka masala with “no nuts” but his takeaway curry from the Indian Garden in Easingwold, North Yorkshire, was cooked with a groundnut mix containing peanuts.

Police and prosecutors said the case sent a very clear message to the catering industry.  Martin Goldman, chief crown prosecutor for Yorkshire and Humberside, said: “If you ignore your responsibilities and regulations and put lives at real risk then we will not hesitate to prosecute.”

A jury at Teesside Crown Court heard how Zaman, who had run up £294,000 ($589,000) debts in his six restaurants in North Yorkshire, was cutting costs by using cheaper ingredients and employing untrained, illegal workers. The prosecution said the owner had “put profit before safety”.

We can see the British government is very serious about this new law. But unfortunately such laws seem to work after-the-fact, if they work at all.

In fact, there’s no real evidence that we know of regarding the effect punishments have on people. We’ve read for instance that the death penalty doesn’t discourage people who want to commit murder.

Many believe that putting people in prison may make them less likely to commit a crime in the future, but statistical evidence shows just the opposite.

Even several hundred years ago, penal systems were quite modest. It is the explosion of modern central banking, and all the currency it produces, that has allowed modern penal systems to grow to grotesque sizes.

Importantly, state mandated punishments tend to remove the private sector from the business of surveillance.

For instance, less than a month before Mr Wilson’s death a young woman had an allergic reaction after eating a chicken korma from a Zaman-owned restaurant.  She was saved with an injection of adrenaline.

But Wilson apparently didn’t know about her.

A “trading standards officer” visited the restaurant just a week prior to Wilson’s death and found peanuts in a peanut-free dish.

The staff was warned that they needed to tell all customers they used peanuts.

But Wilson wasn’t warned.

We can see that neither supervision of the restaurant nor a new law that says all businesses must provide specific details of allergenic ingredients helped save Wilson.

Meanwhile, putting Zaman in jail has probably doomed his restaurants and hurt his family.

It hasn’t brought Wilson back to life.

Conclusion: If there were fewer laws and less prosecution, the private sector might be more aggressive about deterring bad practices.  At the very least, people would not feel a false sense of protection and presumably would adjust their behaviors accordingly.

Obama: High Seriousness at Hiroshima, but Questions Too

Tue, 05/24/2016 - 14:08

Obama is visiting Japan to meet with world economic leaders this week, and he plans to stop at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and deliver remarks about war and nuclear proliferation. The visit, preceded by similar visits by  U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and Secretary of State John Kerry, is controversial … -LA Times

Three top politicians from the US have recently visited Hiroshima. Obama’s upcoming meeting will doubtless be broadcast to the world and reinforce the seriousness and responsibility that rests upon his shoulders.

But what if the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear explosions didn’t happen? What if the cities were somehow firebombed like Tokyo?

We wouldn’t be suspicious normally. But so much  in the 20th century seems to be a lie. In the past several hundred years almost every major war seems to have been artificial.

Both 20th century world wars are presented as the result of German aggression, but closer study reveals that both wars were likely engineered by British and American banking interests, among others.

Various international alliances were formed that almost guaranteed violence. And in the case of World War I, the two greatest opponents of impending war – Archduke Ferdinand and Rasputin – were attacked.

Ferdinand was shot and Rasputin was stabbed but lived. But most history books don’t mention Rasputin’s murder because the attacks seem to have been coordinated, giving rise to a perception the war was set in motion on purpose. It didn’t just “happen.”

When it comes to World War II, there is plenty of evidence that the West funded Hitler and Germany to set off yet another war.

The Japanese were brought into the war based on Pearl Harbor attacks. But in this Internet era, it has become increasingly clear that Roosevelt knew about the attacks and wanted them to happen.

In the past few years has it become general knowledge that Lyndon Johnson’s announcement about the Gulf of Tonkin attack was incorrect. There was no attack. But the war started anyway.

George Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction to invade Iraq.

Just in this past year, it’s become clear that a main reason to invade Libya had to do with Muammar Gaddafi’s intention to create a pan-African currency backed by gold.

There are in fact plenty of questions about the bombing both at Hiroshima and Nagasaki – and we have already written an article about it HERE.

We pointed out, for instance, that much footage of nuclear explosions seem to be faked. (It doesn’t even make sense that they are filmed, given the supposed force of the explosions.)

In Japan it was even illegal to question the official story about Nagasaki and Hiroshima. This was punishable by imprisonment and execution.

More:

Questions have been raised on numerous fronts regarding the twin bomb blasts – about shadows supposedly etched into streets and walls, for instance.

Photographs seem to have been aggressively retouched to emphasize damage. US personnel reportedly stated they were asked to exaggerate the number of dead and wounded.

Yet, the damage to both small cities does seem to resemble firebombing. Wood buildings burned but stone and concrete ones did not. In Hiroshima both the hospital and the train station survived.

Even the story of the main witnesses to the blast, a group of Jesuits, has come under scrutiny. Somehow the group emerged, unscathed and un-irradiated after the bomb blast only a few blocks away.

They later attributed their good fortune to the protection of the Virgin Mary.

None of this means that the official story is untrue. Only that significant questions have been raised (in this Internet era) and no doubt will continue to be asked.

When it comes to the West’s wars, it seems nothing is clear or simple.

Biden, Caroline Kennedy and now Barack Obama … once they visit Hiroshima and reflect, ceremonially, on the awesome responsibility of being able to destroy the earth with just a few weapons, they take on larger-than-life characteristics.

Certainly, Obama’s visit to Hiroshima will be accompanied by a major surge of media discussing the bombing and its horror. Obama it is said, will  not apologize for what happened. This lack of apology itself resonates with the seriousness of the larger conversation.

Presumably nuclear weapons exist and are as terrible as they are made out to be. But there is certainly no public investigation of military claims – then or now.

We return continually to what we see increasingly as the “miracle” of the mid 20th century. In a time span of 30 years, the US government somehow invented nuclear weapons and traveled to the moon.

Yet some 60 years later it could not build a national, health care website.

Are military men and intelligence agents trustworthy? Do politicians always tell the truth? Are people getting a full accounting of nuclear weapons – how many are real and how widely they are actually deployed?

Conclusion:  The Internet has revealed so much else that is false or questionable in the 20th and 21st century. Given the seriousness of nuclear weapons and the  horror that accompanies any contemplated usage, more questions should be raised about their creation, deployment and potential usage. These questions should be pursued in the face of the inevitable non answers.

Critical Hit to Clinton Campaign as Media Dives Into Corporate Ties

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 15:22

How corporate America bought Hillary Clinton for $21M … Hillary Clinton has amassed a huge fortune through shady speaking engagements given to some of the most powerful corporations in the world. – NY Post

As we’ve followed the coverage of Hillary Clinton, we’ve pointed out the negatives continue to mount for her in the mainstream media.

Over the weekend and late last week that trend hasn’t changed. If anything, it’s gotten worse.

We’re beginning to believe that the damage being done to Hillary is already too severe for her to become president- whether or not she is able to continue from a legal standpoint.

Recent mainstream coverage has focused on Hillary’s legal troubles, her growing unpopularity and, in the case of the New York Post, fees she received for speeches. (See above excerpt.)

At the end of the article, there is a list of prominent financial firms that have paid her significant sums. Seeing the list brings home the obvious: These groups were not just paying to for enlightenment: They were paying for access of some sort, or potential access.

Bill Clinton’s speaking fees went up substantially after Hillary became Secretary of State.

More from the article:

Mandatory financial disclosures released this month show that, in just the two years from April 2013 to March 2015, the former first lady, senator and secretary of state collected $21,667,000 in “speaking fees,” not to mention the cool $5 mil she corralled as an advance for her 2014 flop book, “Hard Choices.”

Throw in the additional $26,630,000 her ex-president husband hoovered up in personal-appearance “honoraria,” and the nation can breathe a collective sigh of relief that the former first couple … can finally make ends meet.  No wonder Donald Trump calls her “crooked Hillary.”

Observers have speculated that the Clinton’s non-profit enterprises were created as a way to funnel cash.

The non-profit has been labeled problematic by at least one watchdog group. Much of the funds of the non-profit seem to go to family and friends. Some 2,000 staffers around the world receive significant salaries and benefits.

While Secretary of State, Hillary signed a deal allowing a Russian government enterprise to take over one-fifth of all uranium producing capacity in the United States.

Rosatom, the Russian company, bought a Canadian firm run by Frank Giustra, a friend of Bill Clinton’s who has pledged over $130 million to the Clinton family charity. This is seen by critics as a potential quid pro quo.

The list of those who have paid Hillary so much money, sometimes repetitively, definitely inflames suspicions. And while the list itself is damning, other recent articles bluntly assert her legal jeopardy.

Clinton is subject to two substantive probes, one criminal (FBI) and the other civil (Judicial Watch).

Judicial Watch wants to unearth why Clinton set up a private email server to handle her correspondence, including State Department communication.

And Judicial Watch just announced that two close Clinton aides, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, will testify under oath regarding the server. The judge in the case has been clear that he has not been satisfied with the answers obtained thus far.

Meanwhile, the FBI is trying to determine whether Hillary broke the law when she set up the private server and used it in place of State Dept. facilities.

Hillary labeled the FBI investigation a “security inquiry” but the head of the FBI, James Comey, said he wasn’t aware of the term. The FBI conducts criminal investigations.

Of course, some of the most negative coverage comes from conservative media. A substantive Fox report on Friday by Wayne Allyn Root provided a new and damning perspective simply by reciting a variety of challenges Hillary now faces:

I’ve predicted publicly for a year now that Hillary Clinton,   although a prohibitive favorite, still may never become the Democratic Party’s nominee.   Don’t look now, but at this moment Hillary is still far from a sure thing to become the Democratic standard-bearer.

This week, she lost Oregon and barely squeaked by in Kentucky. Bernie has now won 11 of the last 14 primaries and caucuses.   I ask Democrats, is this your nominee? The winner of your presidential nomination has lost just shy of 80 percent of her races coming down the homestretch. If Hillary were a racehorse with that record, she’d be sent home.

Root mentions that the Russians claim to have 10,000 of Hillary’s hacked emails and intend to release them. He also makes the surprising statement that it is possible the Justice Department might indict Hillary if the FBI recommends it.

I now believe the answer to that question depends on only one factor — is Hillary beating Trump?  …  I’m betting if Obama senses Hillary is a sinking Titanic — and he still has time before the convention — he will throw her under the bus.

The liberal media trend continues to be negative as well. Just today (Monday) The Huffington Post posted an article entitled, Hillary Clinton Now Loses to Trump in Polls. Bernie Sanders Beats Trump by 10.8 Points. Here’s an excerpt:

If Democrats truly fear a Trump presidency, then superdelegates should make certain Bernie Sanders wins the contested Democratic convention. Bernie Sanders is obviously the best chance for a Democrat in the White House, primarily because he defeats Donald Trump, without the litany of scandals or question marks possessed by Clinton.

Conclusion: The biggest issue by far for Hillary is the FBI investigation. If the FBI decides there is no criminality on her part, then presumably Hillary can continue her campaign. On the other hand, given all the other accusations and innuendos from both sides of the aisle – as well as the Judicial Watch civil suit – Hillary may already be too damaged to win. Probably this is one big reason why Bernie Sanders is continuing his campaign.

Rearranging Titanic Deck Chairs: Economist, Candidates, Endorse Cosmetic Central Bank Changes

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 13:33

The right kind of reform  … America’s next president should modernise the Federal Reserve system … Perhaps it was inevitable in the aftermath of the worst financial crisis in almost a century, but America is boiling over with schemes to remake the Federal Reserve … The Fed is not broken, but it is anachronistic. -Economist

The Economist is on a roll – in the wrong way.

We recently wrote about the magazine’s attempt to separate cyclical downturns from central bank monetary debasement. You can see that analysis HERE.

And now we’ve come across their latest article entitled The Right Kind of Reform.

From The Economist’s point of view, the right kind of Federal Reserve reform is to change the makeup of Fed boards by adding more women and minorities … and forbidding bankers to participate due to “conflicts of interest.”

The Economist is not alone in its enthusiasm for different skin colors and gender. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have both made similar statements.

Here, from the LA Times:

Clinton aligned herself with some of the party’s top liberals in publicly chastising the nation’s central bank for what they said … was its “disproportionately white and male” leadership.

[She]… followed her rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), in saying bankers should not be allowed to serve on the boards of the 12 regional Fed banks.

This is what we call a “portmanteau meme.” One false statement – that central banking is fundamentally viable – is now supported by another: That the system itself will improve if the people making decisions are not white and male.

But businesses don’t suddenly become successful because women take over. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer tried to salvage Yahoo and is now presiding over its break-up.

Government doesn’t become supportive of minorities just because minorities become decision-makers. President Barack Obama hasn’t made a dent in the over six million individuals involved in the US penal system.

Having more minorities and women on Fed boards won’t make a difference. Nor will forbidding bankers from serving.

It will still be the same corrupt and ruinous organization. The systematic debasement of money is the problem, not the Fed’s ethnic or gender makeup – or even “conflicts of interest.”

And then there is this from the Economist:

The private sector should be kicked out of the Fed entirely, the reserve banks capitalised with public money and the central bank’s profit kept for taxpayers.

And here’s the article’s conclusion:

Private-sector involvement in the Fed arms the critics and conspiracy theorists. It reinforces the corrosive notion that self-serving elites write economic policy. In the long run, reform would protect the Fed from undesirable meddling.   

We can see from these points that The Economist is using race and gender suggestions as a foundation for even more propaganda. It wants to drain the Fed of any overt, private interest at all.

Once all private involvement or profit is wiped away, pro-Fed arguments can be advanced even more aggressively.

Here is the crux graf:

The most extreme sceptics peddle conspiracy theories about how the Fed “debases” the dollar. They propose abolishing the central bank entirely.  Any of these schemes would be disastrous—either because they would jeopardise the central bank’s independence, or because they would cast monetary policy adrift.

This is what The Economist is really worried about. Those who run the magazine will disguise the catastrophe of central banking anyway that they can, so long as they can preserve it.

For instance, there is no need to put quotes around “debases.” That is in fact what the Fed and other central banks do when they keep interest rates artificially low.

Monetary policy is actually price-fixing. What is there about price-fixing that The Economist finds persuasive or credible?

There is no way for free-market proponents to defend central banking. Fundamentally, The Economist – while trying to portray itself as free-market oriented – is an authoritarian publication.

It is impossible to endorse competitive capitalism while insisting on a monetary monopoly enforced by government.

Conclusion: The West and the world will begin to shift back to a more prosperous and sane economic model once monopoly central banking is abolished. Meanwhile, changing faces or even restricting banker participation is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. The ship is still going down.

Gold Stocks Decline as Fed Bluffs That We’re Headed in the Right Direction

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 11:47

Conditions for a rate increase by the Federal Reserve are “on the verge of broadly being met,” Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, told the Financial Times … According to an article on Sunday, Rosengren told the FT he was getting ready to back tighter monetary policy as economic and financial indicators had become more positive.  -Reuters

The more you find out about how central banks operate, the stranger the system seems.

Gold has moved down of late while stocks have been mixed. But the last time the Fed raised rates in December, stocks nearly collapsed.

Are we supposed to believe this time round there will be a different outcome? According to some at the Fed, the answer is yes.

Eric Rosengren explains that “economic and financial indicators [have] become more positive in the US.

How does he know? We’ve examined these sorts of indicators and they seem exaggerated, tending to show progress where there is none.

Here’s an elaboration from John Crudele in The New York Post (late 2014):

The economy isn’t really doing what the statistics say it is doing. Our nation’s economic statistics are nipped and tucked, massaged, managed, fabricated and dolled up. In short, our statistics are wrong and Main Street folks know it. Here’s what a Wall Street hedge fund mogul, Paul Singer, head of Elliott Management Corp., told his clients the other day:

“Nobody can predict how long governments can get away with fake growth, fake money, fake jobs, fake financial stability, fake inflation numbers and fake income growth,” Singer wrote. “When confidence is lost, that loss can be severe, sudden and simultaneous across a number of markets and sectors.”

Is Rosengren aware of these manipulations? It doesn’t seem to matter. For some reason, he’s sure the economy is headed in the right direction:

“I want to be sensitive to how the data comes in, but I would say that most of the conditions that were laid out in the minutes, as of right now, seem to be … on the verge of broadly being met,” said Rosengren, a voter this year on the Fed’s policy-making Federal Open Market Committee.

Minutes of the Fed’s April meeting released last week showed Fed officials believed the U.S. economy could be ready for another interest rate increase in June.

Not even Bloomberg believes this time. In an article entitled Behind the Fed’s Faulty Logic on Interest Rates, Ramesh Ponnuru argues that, “The Fed shares the widespread view that the prolonged period of low interest rates we have been experiencing is abnormal and needs to change.”

And then there is this:

Central bankers may also want more room to maneuver in the event of a recession: It won’t be able to reduce interest rates very far if they are already low, so why not raise them when the economy is doing well?

The article points out that the Fed doesn’t seem very flexible when it comes to inflation targeting. Its two percent inflation target seems like a “ceiling” according to Ponnuru.

This means that the Fed will take proactive steps when it comes to damping price inflation, and these could damp economic activity as well.

We’ve argued that like other central banks the Fed cannot be aggressive about interest rates because the US economy is in what might be characterized as a depression. What else do you call it when 90 million Americans are not seeking formal work within the system?

It could be that Yellen and company understand that further economic blows are on the way. These will call for further rate cuts. And they are racing to raise rates beforehand.

This assumes that the Fed is not willing to pursue negative interest rates, and that is probably a good assumption. Negative rates would greatly complicate the Fed’s position as regards the American public and the alternative ‘Net media.

Ponnuru comes close to arguing this as well. He writes, “… Higher interest rates are an end in themselves.  That dubious assumption seems like the only way to make sense of the Fed’s current plan.”

Will the Fed actually follow through? Sometimes, the speculation alone accomplishes the purposes that Fed has in mind. For instance, the gold price against the dollar immediately suffered from rate-hike speculation.

At some point – as this past December – the Fed will have to act or lose credibility.

Conclusion: Another hike will likely have a negative equity impact, just as in December. Will gold then continue to move down … or will it be the “last asset-class standing.” We would suggest the latter rather than the former. Right now, the markets seem to have it backwards.

New Normal: Live in a Tiny House and Don’t Ask Why

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 11:38

Get cozy in Montana with this decked out 245 square-foot tiny home …  What this rustic and quaint tiny home lacks in square footage, it makes up for in décor and location.  Set in extremely rural land alongside Skalkaho Creek in Hamilton, Montana, this 245 square-foot home looks like something straight out of Pinterest.  -AOL Editors

The tiny house movement is similar to the tiny apartment movement. And there are companies that offer a selection of tiny houses.

What’s behind this movement? A polite but firm suggestion that you downsize your lifestyle.

The tiny house movement is surely a promoted one. The handful of tycoons that own the West’s major media want more and more people to live in chaotic, depressed conditions.

It makes them more manageable. The trick is to generate the “buy in.” Ideally people make themselves wretched if you market constrained circumstances as an upper-class phenomenon.

For instance, Brevard Tiny House Company looks to offer “alternative housing options” to people who “seek more economical and environmentally-friendly dwellings that are as fulfilling as a typical American home.”

They offer a variety of styles and sizes.

Meanwhile, in New  York, the tiny apartment movement is growing.

From Fox5:

… At the Brooklyn Navy Yard, developers are working on what could be the future of New York City rental apartments known as micro apartments. Under construction, the 55 units will be New York City’s first micro apartment complex. Each unit will be about 260 to 360 square feet.

New York City has suspended zoning codes to make the apartments possible.

Gregory Paul Johnson, president of the Small House Society, is quoted by Fox as saying that the micro-movement is expanding because such small buildings are affordable – and also for  environmental and philosophical reasons.

Absolutely. This movement is aimed at the social justice crowd. To begin with anyway.

That’s not to say it’s being greeted with universal enthusiasm. At Mercury News, Marni Jameson has posted her own perspective regarding tiny houses:

…  You know by now that I’m all for letting go and lightening up. But some folks have taken this to the extreme. Just look at the tiny house movement, which is not tiny.  All across America, people are pitching possessions, eliminating expenses and shoehorning themselves into living spaces the size of walk-in closets …

While I was on the road talking in various cities about my new book, “Downsizing the Family Home,” audiences everywhere kept asking what I thought about tiny houses. “I’ve been in the doghouse before, and don’t want to go back,” I said.

Jameson may not be a fan, but her article later informs us that the trend “is the subject of at least two TV shows — HGTV’s Tiny House Hunters, and FYI Network’s Tiny House Nation – and much press.”

Tiny house propaganda fits right in with buzzwords such as “downsizing.” Maybe those who want to live in tiny houses and apartments have a philosophical perspective. But absent the bad economic climate, we doubt many would be interested.

On the other hand, this meme slots right into all the rest of it: small cars that drive themselves; airline wait-times up to three hours or more; part time jobs without benefits.

Welcome to the era of lesser expectations. People work just as hard as before but the system itself is not recognizing that hard work. Sometimes, you can’t even find a job.

The finger of blame should point directly at modern, monopoly central banking. Central bank monetary debasement gradually ruins economies, destroys entrepreneurship and bankrupts generations of families.

And it does so on an ongoing basis while proposing evermore fantastic, globalist solutions. Again and again, power passes from the many to the few.

Tiny cars and tinier houses. Low-paying jobs that offer the minimum wage or less.

This is the unfortunate future for too many people. It’s the reason, as well, that Trump is likely the GOP nominee for president and Bernie Sanders is beating Hillary Clinton in Democratic primaries.

People are angry. After 50 years of economic destruction, the West is reeling. People are distrustful of old faces and failed solutions.

And the same elites that created the current economic mess have now begun to fracture national cultures by encouraging cross-border Islamic immigration.

Is the small house and small apartment movement simply an entrepreneurial response to difficult economic situations? Not likely.

Conclusion: People are being pushed to minimize their lifestyles. We’re not supposed question, only “cope” with the way things are. We agree with the coping part but it’s more important than ever to ask questions. And then take action.

Defending the Indefensible: Economist Mag Praises Central Bank ‘Growth’

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 18:34

Free exchange Murder most foul  When periods of economic growth come to an end, old age is rarely to blame … In June America’s economic expansion will be seven years old. That is practically geriatric: only three previous ones lasted longer. The record boom of the 1990s survived only ten years.  It is tempting to look at that ten-year mark as something like the maximum lifespan of an expansion in America, and to worry, correspondingly, that the current expansion’s days are running short. But are they? – Economist

Here’s another article from the Economist newspaper (magazine, really) defending monopoly central banking by pretending that there may not be a linkage between money printing and economic depression.

On every level, this article is wrong. It’s propaganda. The Economist likes to mimic a “thought” magazine in that it deals with complex topics in an objective and sometimes eloquent way.

But it is only a mimic. It has a series of very specific goals. Every aspect of its editorial presentation is positioned to support and expand its readers’ appreciation of globalism.

When it covers news items it almost invariably does so from the standpoint of government entities and individuals. It is rare for the magazine to cover individual entrepreneurs and their achievements.

When the magazine does cover individual businesspeople it usually reports on financiers. And often those financiers occupy a perch of uneasy mercantilism – making enormous sums of money transforming various government programs into public or quasi-private resources.

More:

Yet after the Depression, governments took on the job of countering pessimism. Bigger welfare states provided bigger “automatic stabilisers”, meaning spending on things like unemployment benefits, which pump more money into an economy as growth weakens.

Central banks began manipulating interest rates more vigorously to keep growth on track, and eventually adopted targets to help instill the expectation of steady growth.

This is the reason, according to the article that a period of economic growth need not end. We learn, for instance, that a Netherlands expansion ending in 2008, lasted nearly 26 years. If Australia keep going, that country’s expansion may move beyond 26 years, as the current one dates back to 1991.

How long can we expect an expansion to last? According to the Economist, at least a decade.

This doesn’t make any sense to us observing Canadian, British and US expansions.

In fact, we have a hard time figuring out what an expansion is at all. We watched central banks boost Western economies after the tech bubble burst around the turn of the century.

Central bankers were successful in boosting economic activity in the early 2000s but in retrospect that sort of monetary expansion led to the crash of 2008-2009.

We look at the rise in the price of gold relative to the dollar and it seems like a bear dollar market started in 2000 and persists today.

The gold cycle that began early in the 2000s persists today as well.

For us, these waves of economic activity are not in any sense normal. They are the result of price distortions.

The Economist tells us that vigorous manipulation interest rates by central keeps growth on track.

This is a ridiculous statement from our point of view. What is “growth” when it is being boosted by monetary debasement?

It’s some sort of trick. And then we are told that central banks “adopted targets that helped instill the expectation of steady growth.”

What planet are these anonymous writers living on? There hasn’t been any growth at all in Western economies since 2008. And we’d make a case that the economic activity of the entire 2000s was nothing but perfervid monetary debasement.

What this article is desperately trying to do is delink central bank money printing from cyclical recessions and depressions.

But our own experience and our own eyes tell us that printing money does not create prosperity, only a facsimile of it.

We haven’t had prosperity in the West since modern central banking began.

Keynesian money printing doesn’t work. It creates enormous debt bubbles and misaligned economic priorities.

An economy run via central banking is either in the throes of a series of asset bubbles or their collapse.

And over time, the collapses grown more prominent and destructive.

Central banking does indeed create economic collapses.

The “growth” from low-priced “money” is a sham.

And it’s even worse because the people running monopoly central banks know the system is a sham.

They are just pretending that it’s not.

And they are trying to pretend that this system somehow was put in place for our benefit.

But it was not. It was put in place to fail.

They just don’t want to admit it. Because if they admit then the argument about doing away with monopoly central banking begins.

And if central banks are erased, then internationalism loses its main trigger, its main tool.

There will be no New World Order without central banking causing the endless catastrophes generating ever widening, international consolidation.

You cannot get to a world government without monopoly central banking and their artificially created monetary chaos.

But we’re not supposed to understand that.

We’re supposed to believe that these manipulative central bankers and those that stand behind them have our best interests at heart.

Conclusion: They do not. The chaos and depression of monopoly central banking is getting worse as monetary debasement gets worse. The only way that real prosperity will return is if money is privatized and competition is reasserted. Until then, try to stay outside of the system. One method: buying gold and silver and taking delivery.

Mainstream Media Continues to Tear Hillary to Pieces

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 17:56

The three biggest mistakes Hillary Clinton is making right now … Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton has been on a bit of a losing streak lately. She did pull out a technical victory in the Kentucky primary on Tuesday, but she lost the Oregon contest and simply cannot shake Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders. To make matters worse, her national poll numbers against Donald Trump are also starting to sag. -CNBC

We’ve written how the mainstream media is running negative articles about Hillary. You can see stories HERE and HERE.

This is what we track: mainstream propaganda. It can tell us what elite decision-makers think and want.

It can show us what they have in mind more clearly than almost anything else if you can pinpoint a trend.

The mainstream media is controlled by just a few companies. And its purpose is to support various forms of globalist propaganda.

Sometimes a specific propaganda theme is working well. Other times it is not.

When it is not, it ceases to be a factor. Sometimes yesterday’s propaganda turns into today’s reverse reality.

We’re not sure that Hillary is being “debunked” but she is definitely the subject of more negative major media coverage.

This article (excerpted above) is just one of a number that we found online.

We did a Google search on Friday and found this:

The three biggest mistakes Hillary Clinton is making right now … CNBC – ‎2 hours ago‎

Can Elizabeth Warren broker peace between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders? … CBS News – ‎4 hours ago‎

Poll: Both Clinton, Trump unpopular … CNN – ‎5 hours ago‎

Why Hillary Clinton Will Lose to Donald Trump … U.S. News & World Report – ‎9 hours ago‎

Will Bernie Sanders supporters vote, switch parties or stay home if Hillary Clinton is the nominee? … WCPO – ‎6 hours ago‎

If Bernie Wins California, Should Hillary Step Down? … Huffington Post – ‎8 hours ago‎

Donald Trump: Maybe Hillary Clinton wants Bill in the White House ‘so she can keep her eye on him’… Business Insider – ‎5 hours ago‎

Video shows Hillary Clinton ‘lying for 13 minutes’ … Telegraph.co.uk – ‎14 hours ago‎

Bernie And Hillary Sittin’ In A Tree, C-L-A-W-I-N-G … Daily Caller – ‎5 hours ago‎

Trump: Clinton ‘ill-equipped’ for presidency, calls her criticism ‘dumb’… CNN International – ‎7 hours ago‎

Clinton fury with Sanders grows … The Hill – ‎9 hours ago‎

Donald Trump’s path to victory over Hillary Clinton … The San Diego Union-Tribune – ‎6 hours ago‎

Hillary Clinton Insists Bernie Sanders Apologize for Being a Much Better Candidate… Huffington Post – ‎4 hours ago‎

CBS/NYT national poll: Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump narrows… CBS News – ‎20 hours ago‎

None of these headlines belong to overtly conservative or libertarian publications. But many of them are negative, some scathingly so.

As Hillary’s negatives grow, the mainstream media is obviously beginning to reflect them.

She has trouble with her husband: Donald Trump has now publicly labeled him a racist.

Also, there are literally thousands of videos on Youtube showing that Hillary has taken numerous different positions on various topics. These videos paint her as an opportunist.

She keeps losing to her Democratic rival socialist Bernie Sanders. As she does so, her campaign is doing more finger-pointing and demanding more and more shrilly that he drop out.

The obvious manipulations of votes taking place in the Democrat state elections has received increasing coverage.

Finally, the e-mail scandal, in which Hillary circumvented public public record keeping as Secretary of State, has hung over her and continually darkened even her most triumphant moments. The FBI is expected to depose her and has already interviewed her aides and even given one immunity.

It is perfectly possible that top level elites have  had a change of heart regarding Hillary.

It’s possible she could resign from the campaign or be asked to resign because of ill health. Or because she is being indicted and needs a presidential pardon before Obama leaves office.

Conclusion: As we have already written, none of this is clear yet. But what is clear is that her mainstream coverage is not by any means adulatory and actually seems to be moving in a negative direction.

Supreme Court Decision Celebrated by Lovers of Big Government

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 14:45

The Government Just Got More Powerful. (And That’s a Good Thing.) … Here’s the most important legal principle that you’ve probably never heard of: If a regulation issued by a government agency turns out to be ambiguous, the agency, not the court, gets to resolve the ambiguity. It’s called the Auer principle, after the 1997 Supreme Court decision that established it. … Few people have noticed, but on Monday the court made it clear that Auer is going to be with us for a long time. – Bloomberg

Cass R. Sunstein wrote this Bloomberg opinion article, and he is very happy about the recent Supreme Court ruling regarding Auer.

Sunstein is the academic who not so long ago proposed that government enter chat rooms and other ‘Net facilities by subterfuge in order to propose counter-arguments to “conspiracy” theorists.

He’s a philosophical authoritarian who unfortunately has a great deal of mainstream clout. His views on regulation and government power are influential in the US and around the world.

He was Obama’s head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs until 2012. Here he reviewed, revised and updated all regulations and rules from the nation’s administrative agencies.

The regulations that went out under Sunstein were fewer than previous administrations but had larger monetary impacts. Some say the Obama administration asked him to resign fearing that his controversial views would have a negative impact on the reelection campaign.

Sunstein went back to Harvard where he still teaches law while writing books and papers. Supposedly, he is the single-most quoted professor in US legal literature.

He also has a reputation as a leftist. Comments regarding his books often emphasize the “paternalism” of his authoritarian approach.

For instance, he is the author of a famous book called “Nudge” that proposes government ought to move in small steps when influencing human behavior.

The idea is to provide “nudges” that promote positive behavior.

Sunstein’s theories draw on some fairly simple cognitive ideas. He believes that humans have two “cognitive systems.” System 1 is emotional and System 2 is deliberative.

At root, Sunstein’s work is focused on ways to help people moderate their impulses and act deliberately.

Government warning labels, for instance, perpetually activate people’s System 2.

Since people often give in to irrational, short-term urges, Sunstein is a big proponent of rules organizing people’s future benefits.

Retirement plans, social security and other government methodologies are preferable to letting people drift on their own.

Sunstein’s preference for government solutions has caused him controversy throughout his career, especially during the Bush years when he backed Bush’s authority to make war and to implement domestic spying via executive orders.

While Sunstein is portrayed as a leftist, his pro-Bush arguments show clearly that he is a fan of government power, whoever wields it.

In this Bloomberg article, he points out that Auer principle has been under “sustained assault from the conservative justices,” because it violates separation of powers.

Now that the Supreme Court has just decided not reexamine Auer – by refusing to hear a case that  would scuttle Auer – Sunstein believes it has become settled law.

He writes: “For the next president — whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump — there’s a big reason to celebrate. The rest of us should be celebrating along with them.”

More:

The Auer principle says that in these cases, and countless more, courts must respect the agency’s interpretation of its regulations, unless that interpretation is arbitrary or unreasonable. In areas that range from heath care to immigration to the environment, that gives the executive branch a lot of authority.

… But when regulations are ambiguous, do we really want unelected judges to sort out them out? As Scalia recognized in 1997, it’s a lot better to allow ambiguities to be settled by officials who have a degree of accountability (and who are likely to be specialists in the problem at hand).

Within this context, there are only two choices: Regulators either interpret their rules or they don’t.

But these parameters are the result of a severely limited perspective. There are many other ways to organize government and regulation.

Regulations are price-fixes. Price fixes inevitably distort economies and thus never deliver the anticipated result.

If Sunstein understood anything about economics,  he would realize that free-markets and competition are far better ways of adjusting social progress than regulatory dictates.

One of the criticisms of his books is that he spends an inordinate amount of time discussing how people ought to be “nudged,” but almost no time at all discussing who is to do the nudging.

Like the shadows on Plato’s caves, Sunsein’s elites are merely mechanical authorities who inevitably promulgate effective interventions.

Anyone who understands even the smallest amount about modern regulation knows that regulators are anything but dispassionate.

At best, they are enamored of the use of force to impel people to obey. At worst, they are virtual criminals, confiscating property, restricting freedom and generally making people’s lives miserable, even to the point of throwing them in jail.

The more that government force from the top-down is used to impel people, the more misery is spread.

Meanwhile, history shows clearly that marketplace competition influences people’s behaviors positively without the threat of jail and monetary penalties.

Conclusion: Sunstein has a cohesive intellectual approach. But like too many influential lawyers, his sociopolitical views are rooted in arrogance and ignorance. People like him – and Court decisions like the one putting Auer more firmly in place – are reasons why America is increasingly a failed state.

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