Thursday, July 18, 2019

SGT

37027 POSTS 0 COMMENTS

Why the Google Manifesto Brings Forward an Overdue Conversation – Part 1

0

by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg:

In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang describe how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.

Fortunately, I spent most of the weekend blissfully unaware of the latest topics dominating the news cycle. As such, when I awoke this morning to get caught up, it became obvious that a “manifesto” written by a male Google employee had become a huge topic of conversation. Given the outrage associated with the document, I expected to read some downright awful and unconscionable things in it. That never happened.

Personally, I’m really glad this person wrote the manifesto. Not because I agree with everything he wrote and the way he delivered it, but because it hopefully will allow us to have a conversation on a topic that has spilt people into binary factions that resemble dogmatic religious sects. Before I get started, I want to make it clear that I understand how some people — particularly women in tech — many of whom unquestionably experience harassment and sexism, could feel isolated and offended by this document. I don’t work at Google, and have never worked at Google, so I have no basis on which to agree or disagree with what he wrote as it pertains to the company. Likewise, I have no informed opinion whether it’s true or false that coding at a high-level for a company at the scale of Google requires a higher concentration of masculine traits or not. For a contrary opinion to the Google document on that front, see the following: So, About This Googler’s Manifesto (for the record, I found most of that piece to be painful and preachy, but his point #2 is worth considering).

In contrast, the purpose of this post is to have a conversation about the belief that there are no observable biological differences between men and women at the population level, and that all observable differences are social constructs. I completely reject this assertion based on logic, history and life experience. That being said, the most productive way to talk about these differences is in the context of masculine and feminine energies. The acknowledgement and acceptance of these different energies has been discussed since the beginning of time, and really shouldn’t be controversial. It has always been acknowledged that feminine energies tend to be found in greater concentrations within the female population, while masculine energies tend to be more concentrated in males. These things aren’t just invented social constructs, they’ve always been a present and observable aspect of the human condition, which is why they’ve been discussed ad nauseam for thousands of years.

Things get complicated and dangerous when you take the fact that feminine qualities tend to be concentrated in females (and masculine within males), and then apply it at the individual level in a stereotypical manner. We certainly should not do this. Every single male and every single female will have their own unique blend of masculine and feminine energies, and there will be plenty of women who exhibit greater concentrations of masculine energy than many male peers. These are also probably the sorts of women who tend to rise up to the position of CEO or political leader. This doesn’t make masculine energy better than feminine energy, but it does mean that our unbalanced and twisted world offers more financial and material rewards to those who demonstrate a greater concentration of masculine energy.

Personally, I think this is a huge flaw and the root cause of a lot of our suffering. For example, American culture worships the Wall Street trader who makes $5 million a year while adding very little to no value to society, while looking down upon a mother or father who chooses to stay home and raise their children. Rather than reflecting upon the world we’ve created and admitting how perverse this is, the mantra seems to be “hire more women traders.” That’s a one-way ticket to nowhere.

The one aspect of the Google manifesto that really struck me on a personal level was the following:

Men’s higher drive for status

We always ask why we don’t see women in top leadership positions, but we never ask why we see so many men in these jobs. These positions often require long, stressful hours that may not be worth it if you want a balanced and fulfilling life.

Status is the primary metric that men are judged on, pushing many men into these higher paying, less satisfying jobs for the status that they entail. Note, the same forces that lead men into high pay/high stress jobs in tech and leadership cause men to take undesirable and dangerous jobs like coal mining, garbage collection, and firefighting, and suffer 93{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of work-related deaths.

I’m one of these people who worked a job that required “long, stressful hours” during my 10 years on Wall Street. I personally decided that it wasn’t worth it for a variety of reasons. Was this me finding more of an appeal in what can be characterized as feminine energy and wanting to embrace that side of me? I think that certainly was a part of it, and I’m very proud of that decision. In fact, I think much of my evolution as a human over the past decade has to do with me fundamentally understanding the importance of feminine energy and trying to connect to it more. I get to take my son out of his crib every single morning, and I simply can’t put a dollar value on how much that means to me. Claiming that these two types of energies don’t exists, or that they don’t tend to aggregate in higher densities in one gender versus the other, is just putting our heads in the sand and causes us to ignore the root of the problem.

The real problem as I see it, isn’t that feminine energy tends to aggregate more in females than in males, but that we undervalue feminine energy to the detriment of our societal health. I’ve written a lot about incentives over the years, and how we are creating more bad behavior because our culture incentivizes bad behavior. If Wall Street or other corporate crooks never have to fear prison and simply have to pay a fraction of ill-gotten gains for committing fraud, of course you’re going to have a fraud epidemic. Likewise, if we have an economic system that funnels the vast majority of material rewards to those with higher concentrations of masculine energy (which across an entire population will tend to be males), of course masculine energy will dominate and create a very unbalanced, unhealthy world.

This puts females in general in a very difficult and unfair position. There must be countless women who are extraordinarily talented and downright brilliant, yet feel trapped because they must cater their spirits toward a masculine-energy dominated world just to be financially independent and successful. Does this make any sense? Should we be denying the existence of masculine and feminine energies and their distribution within genders, or should we be questioning why our culture places masculine attributes on a pedestal and funnels most financial rewards to such traits? Is a systematic denial of the importance of feminine energy healthy for the human race?

Read More @ Libertyblitzkrieg.com

PRESCHOOLERS CAN NOW GO TO TRANSGENDER ‘RAINBOW DAY CAMP’

0

from The Daily Sheeple:

A transgender day camp for kids ages four through twelve in California is boasting triple enrollment since its founding three years ago, reported the Associated Press.

The pre-schoolers and elementary school kids who attend the “Rainbow Day Camp” start each morning by choosing which pronoun they want to use for the day, according to the AP. Campers can choose, “he”, “she”, a combo of “he/she”, “they”, or opt to write undecided or nothing at all.

The San Francisco Bay Area camp has made it its mission to cater to “gender fluid” and transgender children. Founded in 2014, the camp is currently the only one to offer a transgender program of sorts to such young children. The camp has about 60 attendees, up from 20 in its first summer.

“A decade ago, this camp wouldn’t have existed. Eventually, I do believe, it won’t be so innovative,” the camp’s founder Sandra Collins told the AP. “I didn’t know you could be transgender at a very young age. But my daughter knew for sure at 2,” she said, crediting her daughter as inspiration for starting the camp. Collins has also founded “Camp Kickin’ It” for transgender kids ages 13-17.

Kids have traveled from all over the U.S. and even as far as Africa to attend the camp. Rainbow Day Camp hopes to open another space in Colorado in summer 2018. Other organizations are allegedly interested as well, including children’s camps in Seattle, Louisiana, and Atlanta.

“Once she could talk, I don’t remember a time when she didn’t say, ‘I’m a girl,’” camper Gracie Maxwell’s mother Molly Maxwell told the AP. The Maxwells said that living in a more liberal minded area of the country made it easier to embrace Gracie’s new identity. They let him dress like a girl, grow his hair out, and change his name. They also found a transgender play group for him to join. “I see her now, compared to before. I watch her strut around and dance and sing and the way she talks about herself,” Molly said. “If she was forced to be someone else … I don’t even want to think about that.”

There’s “a lot more openness to the understanding that trans adults start as trans kids,” the medical director of the Center for Transyouth Health and Development at Children’s Hospital, Olson-Kennedy, told the AP. She started the hospital’s program ten years ago with approximately 40 patients, and said that it now has over 900 people between 3-25 years old.

She doesn’t think a child can be too young to know his or her gender and has expressed concern over the fact that “about 50 percent of trans youth have attempted suicide by the time they’re age 20” accordingto her research.

There are currently 150 people on the Transyouth Health hospital’s waiting list.

Read More @ TheDailySheeple.com

War Fever Mounts — ‘Russia Is First, China Is Next’

from LaRouche PAC:

John Pilger, a fierce critic of the Anglo-American war party, issued a stern warning Saturday of an onrushing nuclear war. “A coup against the man in the White House is under way,” he wrote on Truthdig.”This is not because he is an odious human being, but because he has consistently made clear he does not want war with Russia…. They have encircled Russia and China with missiles and a nuclear arsenal. They have used neo-Nazis to install an unstable, aggressive regime on Russia’s borderland — the way through which Hitler invaded, causing the deaths of 27 million people…. Russia is first, China is next.”

This follows the similar stern warning from Oliver Stone on Friday, who pointed to the insanity demonstrated by the nearly unanimous Congressional vote imposing sanctions on Russia (which Trump has declared to be unconstitutional, adding that he would not implement such unconstitutional laws). Stone concluded: “I now fully realize how World War I started.”

Both these men are sounding a necessary alarm, but missing the necessary solution, as enunciated by Lyndon LaRouche on July 31:”The American people must demand that the ongoing treasonous British coup against the U.S. Presidency and the nation itself must be stopped and its perpetrators prosecuted and imprisoned. The British system must be cancelled, and the President must make every effort to save the people of this country and the rest of humanity from further British-directed deprivations against their lives. Cancel the British; save the people.”

The British-instigated Cold War, set in motion immediately after the death of their American nemesis Franklin Roosevelt, is now back in place, but in a world in which any war will be thermonuclear in nature, and result in the end of civilization as we know it, or perhaps human extinction. Roosevelt, in addition to telling Winston Churchill to his face that the U.S. would not fight the war to save the British Empire, also formed a partnership with Russia and China—precisely those nations which he knew were necessary and sufficient to defeat the British Empire and the Nazi scourge it had produced. His untimely death, and the subsequent Presidency of British puppet Harry Truman, precipitated America’s slaughter of tens of thousands of innocents by nuclear incineration, (exactly 72 years ago yesterday in Hiroshima), while also helping the colonialist powers back into their former colonies, forcing generations of anti-colonial wars and more hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths.

What we face today is far worse.

And yet, the solutions are not only known—they have been promoted by LaRouche for these past 50 years—, but they are now also in hand, being implemented under the leadership of China and Russia across Eurasia, Africa and Ibero-America, in the form of the Belt and Road Initiative — the New Silk Road initiated by Lyndon and Helga LaRouche after the collapse of the Soviet Union, as a means for peace through development and the end of warfare as a means of imperial power.

Trump is standing his ground. He correctly blamed the corrupt Congress for the deteriorating relations between the world’s two leading nuclear powers, and announced that he is sending an envoy to meet with the Russians regarding the festering crisis in Ukraine. Secretary Rex Tillerson met today for over an hour with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the ASEAN meeting in Manila, while the progress in Syria is demonstrating to the world how terrorism can be defeated through close U.S.-Russian cooperation.

Meanwhile, China is demonstrating how development can transform the areas of the world looted and otherwise ignored by the Western powers for hundreds of years. Just over the weekend they have contracted to build a huge hydropower plant in Angola as part of their transformation of African infrastructure, and announced a multibillion-dollar investment into Haiti, including power, rail, housing, markets and more, creating 20,000 jobs by the end of this year. How pathetic this makes Obama’s expressions of sympathy for the victims of the earthquake which destroyed that nation in 2010, while barely lifting a finger to rebuild anything, let alone transform it into a modern nation!

The ten Southeast Asian nations and China today agreed on a framework for a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, marking another step towards peace and cooperation in that region of the world, now that Obama’s meddling in the Philippines has been ended with the election of Rodrigo Duterte, who is hosting the ASEAN meetings in Manila. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi praised the progress in the region, which will continue to move forward, he said, towards a “comprehensive strategic partnership,” as long as “there is no major disruption from outside parties,” making the obvious reference to the Obama years.

While the danger of war has reached a critical point, such danger also holds tremendous potential for the “new paradigm” to sweep across Europe and the U.S. The Europeans are furious at the secondary sanctions against their economies under the Russia sanction bill, and many leading voices are now calling for a restoration of relations with Russia and a rejection of the dictates issued by the U.S. Congress. In the U.S., while Trump and Tillerson stand up for sanity in regard to Russia and China, industrial and agricultural delegations from several states are visiting China, looking to Chinese trade and infrastructure investments to help lift the country out of its malaise.

Read More @ LaRouchePAC.com

Here’s what happened when they raised taxes 2,000+ years ago

0

by Simon Black, Sovereign Man:

In 353 BC, as violent class warfare broke out across ancient Greece, one wealthy Athenian lamented in his journal,

When I was a boy, wealth was regarded as a thing so…admirable that almost everyone affected to own more property than he actually possessed. Now a man has to be ready to defend himself against being rich as if it were the worst of crimes.

Ancient Greece had become deeply divided at that point.

The opportunities from new ‘technology’ and new trade routes created a lot of wealth for many people. Others were left behind.

Plato called it “the two cities” of Athens — “one the city of the poor, the other of the rich, the one at war with the other.”

Eventually the poorer citizens were able to take over ancient Greece’s prized democracy. And, putting themselves firmly in control of government institutions, the new politicians came up with the most creative ways of raising taxes, seizing property, and redistributing wealth.

They doubled taxes. Import duties and export fees were increased. Real estate transfer taxes soared.

And even though the city-states were in a time of relative peace, the government continued collecting a special ‘war tax’ to fill its coffers.

Naturally they targeted the wealthiest citizens first.

But their methods weren’t working. The poor remained poor.

So the government raised taxes even more and ‘broadened the base’ to also include most of the middle class.

It still didn’t work. They failed to realize that stealing people’s money doesn’t create long-term prosperity.

Meanwhile, commerce and economic growth ground to a halt. Anyone with any wealth, savings, or assets focused almost exclusively on protecting themselves against government confiscation.

In 355 BC the government established a new, special police force to seize assets and imprison well-to-do citizens.

Violent outbreaks became commonplace. Class warfare erupted. In the 4th century BC, the lower classes in Argos and Mytilene banded together and massacred over 1,200 wealthy citizens.

The ancient Greeks were so busy fighting each other over their own money that when Philip II of Macedon (Alexander the Great’s father) invaded Greece, he was practically welcomed as a liberator.

This is one of the themes from ancient history that keeps surfacing again and again: whenever there is a productive class, there are others who aim to steal from them.

We’re still seeing it 2000+ years later.

I was recently speaking to a friend of mine from South Africa who co-founded a successful software company there.

He works his ass off and has done well for himself.

But he explained to me that his profits, in addition to the normal tax rate, are subject to penalties because the company shareholders don’t meet a specific, racial quota.

I find this totally idiotic.

Productive people… whether they start a business, design software, build a house, write a song, or work on an assembly line, create value. They create prosperity.

In some cases, they even create jobs.

This is exactly the sort of behavior that should be encouraged, not penalized.

Yet this trend persists all over the world, as it has for thousands of years.

Fortunately, there’s a multitude of options to do something about it– to take completely legal steps that dramatically and legitimately reduce the amount that you owe.

In my friend’s case, we talked through ways to use Double Tax Treaties (DTAs) to his advantage.

A DTA is an international agreement in which two countries agree on reduced levels of taxation in the event that their jurisdiction overlaps.

As an example, South Africa has a DTA signed with Hong Kong.

Read More @ SovereignMan.com

Canada’s Entire Housing Market Is on the Verge of Collapse

0

by Justin Spittler, Casey Research:

Toronto’s housing market is unraveling.

Last month, home sales in Canada’s biggest city fell 40{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}. That was the largest annual decline since 2009.

But that wasn’t the only bad news to come out this past month.

The price of the average home in Toronto also fell 4.6{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in July. That’s the biggest monthly decline since at least 2000.

It was also the third straight month that Toronto home prices fell. The average home is now selling for $175,000 less than it did in April.

That’s a staggering decline. But it’s just the beginning.

You see, the number of house listings in Toronto also jumped 5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} last month. There are now 65{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} more homes listed for sale in Toronto than there were a year ago.

This is a bad sign.

• It tells us homeowners in Toronto are running for the exits…

If this doesn’t change, the supply of Toronto homes will outstrip demand. This will send prices even lower.

Most investors aren’t taking this seriously. But they should.

After all, Toronto isn’t headed for a run-of-the-mill downturn. It’s headed for a crash.

I’m not the only one saying this, either.

David Madani, an economist at Capital Economics in Toronto, thinks housing prices could plunge as much as 40{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}. Madani also said that the coming downturn will be deeper and longer-lasting than previous ones.

That’s the last thing Toronto can afford right now.

• Toronto’s housing market has been booming for nearly two decades…

Local housing prices are now up 218{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} since 2000.

That’s far more than prices have climbed in New York, Miami, Las Vegas, and even San Francisco.

Prices have risen so quickly, the average person can no longer afford to live in Toronto. These days, the only way to swing it is to borrow huge sums of money.

It’s complete insanity.

That’s why I’ve been writing about Toronto’s housing bubble this year. It’s also why I’ve been urging investors to take shelter.

If you took my advice, great. You’re much better off for it. If you haven’t yet, please read this essay closely.

As you’re about to see, a Toronto housing crash isn’t just a problem for Canadian real estate investors. Anyone with money in Canada’s stock market is in danger right now.

I’ll explain why in today’s essay. I’ll also tell you how to “flip” this crisis into big profits.

But let’s first be clear about something. This isn’t just happening in Toronto.

• Canada’s entire housing market is collapsing…

In June, nationwide home resales fell 6.7{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}.

That’s the biggest monthly drop since 2010. It was also the third consecutive month that this happened.

The number of monthly home sales in Canada is now down 14{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} since April.

That’s a big drop. But it’s only going to get worse.

You can see why by looking at the chart below. It shows Canadian housing prices going back to 1975. It also tracks U.S. housing prices for comparison.

You can see that Canada’s housing market wasn’t slowed down by the last global financial crisis. It just kept rolling.

Canadian housing prices are now up 101{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} since 2009. And they’re up 218{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} since 2000. U.S. housing prices are up 85{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} over the same period.

As if that weren’t crazy enough, the average house in Canada is now selling for 16 times more than the average Canadian’s income. For perspective, this same ratio peaked at 12.5 during the last U.S. housing bubble.

Read More @ CaseyResearch.com

New Graphene Electronic Tattoo For Tracking Internet Of Things And Biometric IDs

by Nicholas West, Activist Post:

New biometric tracking methods seem to be rolled out by the day for policing, travel, banking, medical applications, and beyond.

February of last year I covered a development by a company called Chaotic Moon that was seeking “total integration” with their Tech Tats which they envisioned could be used to replace wallets, as well as to monitor your vital signs:

“We carry wallets around and they are so vulnerable. With the tech tattoo you can carry all your information on your skin and when you want your credit card information or your ID, you can pull that up automatically through the system

“Rather than going to the doctor once a year for your physical, this tech tattoo can be something you put on your body once a year and it monitors everything that they would do in a physical and it sends that to your doctor, and if there’s an issue they can call you,” Schneider said. “So the tech tattoos can really tie in everything into one package. It can look at early signs of fever, your vital signs, heart rate, everything it needs to look at to notify you that you’re getting sick or your child is getting sick.” (Source)

However, the above system seems downright rudimentary compared with a new electronic tattoo technology being created from graphene by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin. The ultra-thin tattoo can be applied to the skin with water, is almost transparent, and yet could surpass the functions of today’s bulkier wearable devices.

…because the ultrathin graphene tattoos can fully conform to the skin, they offer medical-grade data quality, in contrast with the lower performance of the rigid electrode sensors mounted on bands and strapped to the wrist or chest. Due to the high-quality sensing, the researchers expect that the graphene tattoos may offer promising replacements for existing medical sensors, which are typically taped to the skin and require gel or paste to enable the electrodes to function.

[…]

Tests showed that the graphene electronic tattoos can be successfully used to measure a variety of electrophysiological signals, including skin temperature and skin hydration, and can function as an electrocardiogram (ECG), electromyogram (EMG), and electroencephalogram (EEG) for measuring the electrical activity of the heart, muscles, and brain, respectively.

But, as indicated below, its applications are not just limited to voluntary medical tracking. The functionality can be integrated into the emerging world of the Internet of Things, Smart Cities and more:

“Graphene electronic tattoos are most promising for potential applications in mobile health care, assisted technologies, and human machine interfaces,” Kabiri Ameri said. “In the area of human machine interfaces, electrophysiological signals recorded from the brain and muscles can be classified and assigned for specific action in a machine. This area of research can have applications for the internet of things, smart houses and cities, human computer interaction, smart wheelchairs, speech assistance technology, monitoring of distracted driving, and human-robot control. Recently we have demonstrated the application of graphene tattoos for sensing human signals to wirelessly control flying objects. That demonstration will be reported in the near future.”

Read More @ ActivistPost.com

Now, a Trade War — Is a Shooting War Next?

by Jim Rickards, Daily Reckoning:

A popular thesis since the 1930s is that a natural progression exists from currency wars to trade wars to shooting wars. Both history and analysis support this thesis.

Currency wars do not exist all the time; they arise under certain conditions and persist until there is either systemic reform or systemic collapse. The conditions that give rise to currency wars are too much debt and too little growth.

In those circumstances, countries try to steal growth from trading partners by cheapening their currencies to promote exports and create export-related jobs.

The problem with currency wars is that they are zero-sum or negative-sum games. It is true that countries can obtain short-term relief by cheapening their currencies, but sooner than later, their trading partners also cheapen their currencies to regain the export advantage.

This process of tit-for-tat devaluations feeds on itself with the pendulum of short-term trade advantage swinging back and forth and no one getting any further ahead.

After a few years, the futility of currency wars becomes apparent, and countries resort to trade wars. This consists of punitive tariffs, export subsidies and nontariff barriers to trade.

The dynamic is the same as in a currency war. The first country to impose tariffs gets a short-term advantage, but retaliation is not long in coming and the initial advantage is eliminated as trading partners impose tariffs in response.

Trade wars produce the same result as currency wars. Despite the illusion of short-term advantage, in the long-run everyone is worse off. The original condition of too much debt and too little growth never goes away.

Finally, tensions rise, rival blocs are formed and a shooting war begins. The shooting wars often have a not-so-hidden economic grievance or rationale behind them.

The sequence in the early 20th century began with a currency war that started in Weimar Germany with a hyperinflation (1921–23) and then extended through a French devaluation (1925), a U.K. devaluation (1931), a U.S. devaluation (1933) and another French/U.K. devaluation (1936).

Meanwhile, a global trade war emerged after the Smoot-Hawley tariffs (1930) and comparable tariffs of trading partners of the U.S.

Finally, a shooting war progressed with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria (1931), the Japanese invasion of Beijing and China (1937), the German invasion of Poland (1939) and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (1941).

Eventually, the world was engulfed in the flames of World War II, and the international monetary system came to a complete collapse until the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944.

Is this pattern repressing itself today?

Sadly, the answer appears to be yes. The new currency war began in January 2010 with efforts of the Obama administration to promote U.S. growth with a weak dollar. By August 2011, the U.S. dollar reached an all-time low on the Fed’s broad real index.

Other nations retaliated, and the period of the “cheap dollar” was followed by the “cheap euro” and “cheap yuan” after 2012.

Once again, currency wars proved to be a dead end.

Now the trade wars have begun. On Thursday, July 27, the U.S. Congress passed one of the toughest economic sanctions bills ever and sent it to President Trump for signature. Trump signed it, although not enthusiastically.

But Trump’s views don’t really matter. The bill was passed by veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate, so even if Trump vetoed the bill, Congress would have overrode him and the sanctions would become the law of the land.

This new law provides that U.S. companies may not participate in Russian efforts to explore for oil and gas in the Arctic. But it goes further and says that even foreign companies that do business with Russia in Arctic exploration will be banned from U.S. markets and U.S. contracts.

These new sanctions pose an existential threat to Russia because depends heavily on oil and gas revenue to propel its economy. Russia tries to control new discoveries in order to maintain its quasi-monopoly position as the premier energy provider to Europe. Russia needs Western technology to meet the challenges of Arctic exploration.

Read More @ DailyReckoning.com

Jeff Sessions Endorses Theft

0

by Ron Paul, Ron Paul Institute:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently ordered the Justice Department to increase the use of civil asset forfeiture, thus once again endorsing an unconstitutional, authoritarian, and increasingly unpopular policy.

Civil asset forfeiture, which should be called civil asset theft, is the practice of seizing property believed to be involved in a crime. The government keeps the property even if it never convicts, or even charges, the owner of the property.

Police can even use civil asset theft to steal from people whose property was used in criminal activity without the owners’ knowledge. Some have even lost their homes because a renter or houseguest was dealing drugs on the premises behind the owners’ backs.

Civil asset theft is a multi-billion dollar a year moneymaker for all levels of government. Police and prosecutors receive more than their “fair share” of the loot. According to a 2016 study by the Institute for Justice, 43 states allow police and prosecutors to keep at least half of the loot they got from civil asset theft.

Obviously, this gives police an incentive to aggressively use civil asset theft, even against those who are not even tangentially involved in a crime. For example, police in Tenaha, Texas literally engaged in highway robbery — seizing cash and other items from innocent motorists — while police in Detroit once seized every car in an art institute’s parking lot. The official justification for that seizure was that the cars belonged to attendees at an event for which the institute had failed to get a liquor license.

The Tenaha police are not the only ones targeting those carrying large sums of cash. Anyone traveling with “too much” cash runs the risk of having it stolen by a police officer, since carrying large amounts of cash is treated as evidence of involvement in criminal activity.

Civil asset theft also provides an easy way for the IRS to squeeze more money from the American taxpayer. As the growing federal debt increases the pressure to increase tax collections without raising tax rates, the IRS will likely ramp up its use of civil asset forfeiture.

Growing opposition to the legalized theft called civil asset forfeiture has led 24 states to pass laws limiting its use. Sadly, but not surprisingly, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is out of step with this growing consensus. After all, Sessions is a cheerleader for the drug war, and civil asset theft came into common usage as a tool in the drug war.

President Trump could do the American people a favor by naming a new attorney general who opposes police state policies like the drug war and police state tactics like civil asset theft.

Read More @ RonPaulInstitute.org

The Beckoning of Nuclear War

0

by Paul Craig Roberts, Paul Craig Roberts:

The admirable and honorable truth-teller John Pilger warns us that nuclear war is closer than we think.

The 1957 book, On The Beach, introduced awareness that war in the nuclear age is terminable for life on earth. This realization explains President John F. Kennedy’s rejection of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff’s recommendation to launch a nuclear strike on the Soviet Union. Today as evidenced by the behavior of the US government, its European vassal states, and neoconservative pundits, this realization no longer informs US policy.

Pilger speaks of the lobotomy performed on each generation that removes facts from history. Pilger himself is a victim when he chooses to stress that Ronald Reagan defended the Vietnam war instead of emphasizing that Reagan worked with Gorbachev to reduce the threat of nuclear war. The lobotomy that has been performed on the Western world has destroyed knowledge that the US and Russia were on peaceful terms prior to the Soviet collapse.

These peaceful terms lasted a short time, only through the administration of President George H.W. Bush. With the advent of the Clinton regime, all peaceful agreements that were made have been consistently broken by Washington for 24 years throughout the two-term presidencies of three regimes, and now Congress is set on destroying what remains of the work of 20th century US administrations to remove the specter of nuclear armageddon. The defense authorization bill currently before Congress overturns the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. This treaty eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons and signaled the end of the Cold War.

John Pilger tells us of the certain consequences of the renewed nuclear arms race:
http://johnpilger.com/articles/on-the-beach-2017-the-beckoning-of-nuclear-war

Read More @ PaulCraigRoberts.org

Economics Is Dead

1

by The Mogambo Guru, Goldseek:

Alas, all my dreams of achieving immortality through my Staggering Mogambo Brilliance (SMB) in economics are turning to bitter dust.   This is probably because I am not very bright have never had an original thought in my whole life. For the record, though, I am officially blaming this outrage on everybody but me.

Yet, in my deep despair, I can still delight in childishly upstaging real geniuses, like Albert Einstein, who said something to the effect that compound interest was a miracle.

Here is where I haughtily say, with a delicious hint of condescending disdain in my voice, “Einstein? Ha! What does a theoretical physicist know about economics? If he was so smart, he would have known that the biggest miracle is a fiat currency! Taa daa! Who’s your daddy now, chump?”

I breezily say this, like I toss off stellar bon mots like this all the time, is because to acquire wealth through compound interest, like Einstein says, unfortunately takes a long, long time. 

Too long, in fact. All during this protracted period of your Hobbesian nasty, brutish and short life, you are busily squirreling away every dime you can get your grubby hands on, feverishly buying gold and silver because those are the only two classical hedges against rampant monetary insanity, every day being scared out of your mind about the horrible outcome of Federal Reserve monetary lunacy started by the demonic Alan Greenspan, and then thrown into high gear by Ben Bernanke, and now Janet Yellen.

Alas, you are not lauded as a hero by your adoring family for your wise reaction to the Federal Reserve blithely creating dangerous scads of cash and credit, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after unbelievable freaking decade. And is now actually acquiring common assets, committing the ultimate monetary sin!!!!

Four exclamation points!  Yikes!

Instead, you have, as your reward, to listen Every Freaking Day (EFD) to your family constantly whining “Please, daddy! Spend money on us! We need food and clothing and urgent medical attention!”

So, trust me when I say that Einstein’s “miracle” of compound interest, then, comes bundled with the constant irritation of complaining malcontents, spending most of their time plotting against you (and probably robbing you of fame for your Staggering Mogambo Brilliance (SMB)!) which, you have to agree, is NOT a customary part of your everyday, genuine miracles.

But with a fiat currency? Now, THAT’S a miracle! You can have unimagined wealth, instantly, and totally pain-free!

And more, wonderfully more, more, more!  Anytime you want it!

Well, rudely wresting your attention away from degenerate daydreams involving the forbidden delights afforded by instant wealth, thanks to the evil Federal Reserve, banks and governments gorging themselves on an abused fiat currency, I bring this up because of the Founding Fathers, Einstein and Janet Yellen (chairwoman of the evil Federal Reserve.)

The Founding Fathers were, of course, Thomas Jefferson and the rest of the smart guys who wrote the Constitution of the United States.

As an aside, they could have saved a lot of time if they had looked at the Mogambo Scrolls Of Cosmic Truisms (MSOCT), there to find such pearls of wisdom as “It’s about the money, jerks. Everything is ALWAYS about the money.  So make money from gold and/or silver, which makes control of the growth of the money supply easier, which makes controlling price inflation easier, and makes it harder for the greedy, corrupt banks to screw things up, although they always end up doing it anyway.  It’s always the banks, ya morons!”

Another little-known historical fact is that this exact quote would have, believe it or not, actually been IN the Constitution, except that I wasn’t even born for another 170 years, and none of these hotshots wanted to wait, which shows what bunch of impatient, preening hotheads these Founding Fathers actually were.

The good news is that, even without me helping them along, they got the requirement that only gold and silver could be money into the Constitution, so as to limit the money supply, so as to limit inflation in prices, so as to prevent the destruction of the economy because the people can’t afford to buy anything, where it (believe it or not!) sits to this day.

Unfortunately, the demonic Franklin Delano Roosevelt found himself in the economic depression that he and Keynesian madness insured. What he desperately wanted was an expanded money supply, so as to “buy prosperity.”

So he extorted compliance from the Supreme Court to allow money to be, not gold and silver per the Constitution, but paper.  And every Supreme Court since 1937 has upheld this treasonous decision at every challenge.

Now, here is where it gets interesting, as even I have to admit I’ve been rambling more than usual, and things have been a boring snooze so far.

So, it doesn’t take someone with ESP to know that you are thinking “I am sooOOOoo bored! To perhaps pique my interest and keep me from switching to another channel, Mister Smarty-Pants Mogambo (MSPM), tell me what can I, and I’m talking me personally and yours truly, can do with this information to quickly make a humongous butt-load of money, with minimal investment, and zero risk?”

I’m glad you asked, because it bring us back to miracle of un-Constitutional fiat currency that can be created, in any amount, at will, by any lowlife central bank stupid enough to do it. 

This brings us to Janet Yellen. As a lifelong critic of the evil Federal Reserve and a pesky blowhard about the treacherous Keynesian lowlifes who infest it, I am surprised, as you surely are, to find myself agreeing with Janet Yellen when she said that we have learned a lot about monetary policy.

The main thing we learned, as far as monetary policy is concerned, is that that no matter how many hundreds of millions people we graduate from high schools, colleges and universities across the nation, smugly erecting expensive bastions of expensive education from sea to shining sea, amber fields of grain and all, nobody is going to raise a peep about this suicidal, bizarre bastardization of Keynesian economics, a monstrous monetary death-cult that preaches “More money and debt for everyone! Everywhere! All the time!”

Read More @ Goldseek.com