Friday, February 15, 2019

SATIRE AT ITS FINEST: SOCIALISM IN 24 HOURS

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from Stefan Molyneux:

If the shooter in Orlando doesn’t represent all Muslims why does the shooter in Las Vegas represent all gun owners?

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by Dr Robert Owens, Freedom Outpost:

If the shooter in Orlando doesn’t represent all Muslims why does the shooter in Las Vegas represent all gun owners?

When the bullets started flying in Las Vegas none of the police officers took a knee.

SNL’s Michael Che called President Trump a “Cheap Cracker.”   If a conservative comedian referred to President Obama with a racial slur on national TV would they still have a job?

The CBS exec who said she had no sympathy for Las Vegas victims is now upset because no one has any sympathy for her for being fired.

The AntiFa continue to use fascist street tactics to fight fascism.

Che Guevara just another mass murdering communist idolized by Left.

Berny Sanders says, “Nobody working forty hours per week should live in poverty.”   One way to accomplish that would be to stop stealing their money and giving it to people who work zero hours per week.

If Democrats would stop shooting people gun deaths would drop by 90{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}.

Democrat response to Las Vegas, “We have no idea how to stop the carnage in Chicago, or Baltimore, or DC where all our gun control fantasies are already law.   No, give up your guns.”

America is third in the world for murders.   But if you drop Chicago, Detroit, DC, and New Orleans; all democrat controlled for generations and all with strict gun control America drops to the fourth from the bottom of that list.

The Progressives tell us that Socialism is the answer.   Hitler – 21 million dead. Mao – 49 million dead.   Stalin – 62 million dead.

Fracking has cut more CO2 than all of the renewable energy boondoggles combined.

Congress exempts itself from laws it passes such as Obamacare and insider trading.

Why don’t we see NFL players taking a knee to protest all the women who have been abused by NFL players?

Democrats want to do extensive background checks on Americans who want to buy a gun and they also want to let tens of thousands of Syrian refugees into the country with no vetting process possible.

Read More @ FreedomOutpost.com

Something Very Big and Very Evil Is About to Happen

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by Dave Hodges, The Common Sense Show:

Where is the Vegas massacre headed? This is not a stand alone event. The event has purpose and it is a means to an end. I believe I have that answer because of my past affiliations and I have some small ability to connect the dots. The Vegas shooting is just the very beginning.

Only four months after the birth of this website, I ran one of the biggest stories I had ever covered. At that time, I had been friends with a FEMA employee for almost 15 years. As I recounted the following story, as on one night, he and his wife showed up at my office and told me they were bugging out witin 60 days and that things were about to get really ugly in America.

Ex-FEMA Relocations

Almost five years ago, I was told by a close friend who happened to be an Ex-FEMA counter-bioterrorism operative, that he was bugging out in order to get out of harms way. He was very clear on one point, when Americans begin to see the massively shifting of military assets as well as a UN troops on American soil, it is a clear sign that things are about to happen. What he then told me was bone-chilling. To repeat what he had previously reported, he stated (late 2012) that there is a rising tide of populism in this country. And that if the elite could not stem the tide of populism, which was blocking the final establishment of the New World Order, they would embark on a plan to exterminate as many Americans as possible and thereby, destroy the country. He said what we all know, that America, with its Constitution and 300 million hand guns, is the last real obstacle to the establishment of a New World Order. This message was telling, about stemming the tide of populims, because it was years ahead of Trump and the awakening of the American people. 

It was more than 3 years ahead of anyone thinking that Donald Trump would awaken millions of Americans with a resurgence of American populism.  He went on to say that we have stockpiled CBN’s that the world does not even know we have in terms of their lethality. He warned me that when we started to see UN on our soil, that our time was short. The UN began making a significant appearance, as I have previously reported, in 2014 during the Central American illegal alien invasion. When we see the presence of the UN on American soil, this is a harbinger of bad things to come and that the UN will swoop in under the guise of humanitarian aid but they will be the ones who will seize the guns and operate the “re-education” camps. 

The reason that this man and his wife came to my office, then we strolled across open ground to discuss this, with our cell phones left behind, was that he was telling me he that like-minded retirees from both DHS and FEMA were doing the same thing. In fact, he told me that they were cohabitating in the same remote area with like-minided people. Because of his extreme knowledge in biological and chemical warfare, he knew his life would be in immediate danger if the globalists were to launch such an attack to stem the rise of populism in America because dead men tell know tales. He warned me to stop broadcasting on the radio and “forget” about my website because he felt I was putting myself in danger. 

WHAT WERE THEY RUNNING FROM?

These FEMA and DHS retirees, that I have had contact with say they are running for the hilsl for the following reasons:

  1. World War III
  2. A deadly purge within the military and the intelligence agencies
  3. Chemical and/or biological attack.

The answer is all three. However, the most immediate threat, according to these sources is number 3, chemical and biological attack. This is why many of these ex-alphabet soup agency personnel have maintained a portable air supply in their constructed hideaways.

I have also been told that a planned chemcial/biological attack could be used to frame an enemy and be the reason to begin World War III.

 

In 2016, NPR Report Confirmed Validity of Ex-Intel Bugging Out

Back in 2012, I published the following photo taken by Sherrie Wilcox and her companion. An uncountable number of FEMA coffins were discovered on a lonely road approximately 50 miles outside of Atlanta. As I stated, the discovery was made by Sherrie Wilcox who has since bugged out for her own safety

Read More @ TheCommonSenseShow.com

Andrew Hoffman – Bitcoin Blows Away the Competition

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by Kerry Lutz, Financial Survival Network:

What’s Really Happening Wednesdays with Andrew Hoffman:

  • Bitcoin price, nearly a new all-time high yesterday
  • Surging Bitcoin “dominance,” as altcoin market weakens
  • Upcoming B-Gold and SegWit 2X hard forks
  • More Trump Administration Failures, as Tax Reform joins Obamacare Repeal in the dustbin
  • Resilient gold price, amidst dollar and stock market pump, and historically weak U.S. Mint sales
  • Etc.

Click HERE to listen

Read More @ FinancialSurvivalNetwork:

UPDATE: This from a UK trauma surgeon:

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by Paul Craig Roberts, Paul Craig Roberts:

UPDATE: This from a UK trauma surgeon:

I write in full agreement with my surgical colleague in Florida, Dr KS.
A retired orthopaedic and trauma surgeon who served in our NHS. I have not dealt with high velocity gunshot wounds but I have studied the terrible injuries in Palestinians in Gaza caused by every type of modern weapon – there are many thousands.
I have a forensic inclination and took a leading part in calling for an inquest into the unnatural death of Dr David Kelly in July 2003 and more recently into unexplained features in the death of Jo Cox MP.
I agree with KS that the demeanour of the ‘patients’ does not fit at all with alleged HV bullet injury. ‘Ploughing’ > destruction of soft tissue would be greater in some from ricochets which would have happened with most of the shots given the concrete plaza and the alleged thirty story origin..
The removal of some of the You-tube videos speaks for itself and raises questions as to who is conducting this most evil orchestra.
In the case of Kelly, ‘9/11’, Jo Cox etc etc etc nothing fits.

Another view:

I will comment on the doctors letter, but first let me assure you that I agree with your assessment that Russia and China are more important and therefore more demanding of your time. However, your readers need to get beyond the diversion of the Las Vegas shooting and use that energy to be prodded into action against the Deep State regarding the coming nuclear war or GMO starvation or other planned major crisis event. In this sense, your time may very well be well spent helping your readers make that connection regarding Las Vegas shooting so they can increase their attention and focus on the more serious threats to mankind.
Another note: regarding your readers… of course I don’t know your readers, but I have no doubt that if anyone has a high-quality high-density readership that could, possibly, actually save humankind it is you and your readers. No doubt you don’t enjoy hearing this, but this is why I write you (I don’t write anybody else due to my MITRE background, previous security clearances, and awareness of the automated algorithms tracking everything happening on the internet — including my writing you).
To reviewing the letter: You know much of my background already, so I will just point out two specifics: 1) I worked at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from 1987 to 1990 first as a Medical Statistician for the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology then as the Chief of Clinical Investigations in the main hospital; 2) while at Booz Allen Hamilton I worked on a short project for the U.S. Army at Aberdeen Proving Grounds looking at the effects of projectiles and shrapnel on the human body.
I find myself agreeing with the content of the letter but haunted by the wording, flow, and style of the letter. It does not read like the writing of the medical doctors that I have worked with, including co-authored papers.
However, the author does not claim to be a research medical doctor, he presents as a practicing surgeon with field experience. This may well be true.
My ballistics project is in full agreement that the wounds would be much worse than something that could scab over in a week. If a single projectile hits a bone, the bone shatters (more like explodes) and the bone turns into shrapnel disintegrating the tissue in the trajectory’s path.
As for exit wounds, remember what happened to Kennedy’s head.
In general: Where are the body parts? Where is the blood? Where are the injured laying as everybody chaotically escapes? Where are the [empty] shells in the hotel room?
Regarding hospital video: I agree an ICU patient is not going to be laughing. I also point out that the people “milling” around don’t seem concerned on the status of anybody. They seem to be putting in their time — much as a job. I can also point out that there is a sense of urgency in a trauma center when there is a massive influx of traumatized patients — that chaotic urgency is missing.

Another view:
Dr. Roberts, I am a former Marine Corps Officer and truly grateful for men like yourself who continue to oppose the system and speak the truth. I have been following your posts on the Vegas shooting and would like to drop one quick comment before you move on to the more important stuff. I checked out from the story almost immediately because they are telling us and showing us he used rifles with magazines. This is completely impossible. Here is a video of a rifle being shot in auto with a 30 round magazine.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Gm_VfMUAEw
He is out of ammo in 2 seconds and has to reload. There are multiple [sound tracks of the shooting] with 10-12 seconds of continuous gunfire with a slower rate of fire. This can only be achieved with a belt-fed machine gun.

The question before us is:  why is it that we have to wonder about what happened?  Why the total failure of the media and public authorities to tell a problem-free story?
Why the total absence of interest by media and public authorities to clear up so much confusing, contradictory information? Is this being done on purpose to train us to accept official stories despite endless anomalies?

Read More @ PaulCraigRoberts.org

Grapes make chemotherapy obsolete? Combination of two powerful nutrients in wild grapes found to destroy cancer stem cells without harming healthy cells

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by Isabelle Z., Natural News:

Grapes might be one of the smaller fruits out there, but they punch far above their weight when it comes to providing health benefits. They’ve been revered for everything from their ability to make wine to their convenience and portability compared to other superfoods. Not content to stop there, however, this overachieving fruit is now making headlines for its potential to destroy cancer stem cells.

A team of researchers at Pennsylvania State University tested the effects of grape seed extract and a polyphenol compound found in the fruit known as resveratrol. Working on the theory that nearly all cancerous tumors are fueled by cancer stem cells, they examined 52 mice who had colon cancer tumors. The animals were divided into three groups for the study, one of which was fed the combination of grape compounds. A second group was given an anti-inflammatory drug that can reduce tumors known as sulindac, while the third group stuck to a normal diet and served as the control.

50 percent decrease in tumors

In the group of mice who were fed the grape compound, the number of tumors fell by an impressive 50 percent. While a similar decrease was seen in the group taking sulindac, that group suffered gastrointestinal toxicity; those taking the grape compound did not.

Interestingly, these two nutrients did not suppress the cancer stem cells as much when they were taken in small doses separately. Instead, researchers found that they got the best results when the two were combined. Best of all, the combination is not toxic to healthy cells, which means they could form the basis of a cancer treatment that is far safer than chemotherapy.

Resveratrol is found in the skin and seed of grapes, and you can also find it in foods like pomegranates, blueberries and cranberries. Past studies have shown that it can cut your risk of heart disease and keep some types of cancer at bay, like pancreatic cancer. Grape seed extract, meanwhile, has been found to help stave off tooth decay, kill leukemia cells, and enhance brain health.

Nature has the answers

This is just the latest example of nature providing the answer to one of life’s problems. Professor Vanamala, who led the study, said that plant-based diets provide the body with vital compounds that can kill cancer stem cells, so he recommends that people eat a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits to help prevent colon cancer, promote bacterial diversity, and prevent chronic illnesses. Of course, it’s important to seek out organic produce or you could be doing more harm than good.

Professor Vanamala pointed out that cultures that eat a plant-based diet typically have the lowest rates of colon cancer, and he feels this is because their food is covering all the bases by giving people a wide variety of compounds that can target the different pathways cancer stem cells depend on for their survival.

It is hoped that these compounds’ effects can be studied on humans and eventually lead to a new solution for protecting against colon cancer and preventing its recurrence in survivors. It couldn’t come at a better time as nearly 100,000 people are expected to develop the disease this year, according to estimates from the American Cancer Society. It’s the second most common type of cancer in women and the third most common in men. Finding a safe way to destroy these cells could prove to be a game-changer in the fight against cancer. In the meantime, why not grab a handful of grapes or a glass of red wine and enjoy the benefits of resveratrol?

Read More @ NaturalNews.com

WARNING: There Is Going to be an Attempted Communist Revolution on Nov. 4 (VIDEO)

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by Daisy Luther, The Sleuth Journal:

There could be more trouble than we ever imagined headed our way on November 4th when a bunch of folks who aren’t happy about Trump and Pence attempt to overthrow the government in a Communist revolution.

Groups like Antifa, Resist Fascism, and the Revolutionary Communist Party have been meeting for months to openly plan sedition and organize what they promise will be massive protests all over the country. Don’t be surprised if things become violent. The website says:

ON NOVEMBER 4, 2017:

We will gather in the streets and public squares of cities and towns across this country, at first many thousands declaring that this whole regime is illegitimate and that we will not stop until our single demand is met: This Nightmare Must End: the Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

Our protest must grow day after day and night after night—thousands becoming hundreds of thousands, and then millions—determined to act to put a stop to the grave danger that the Trump/Pence Regime poses to the world by demanding that this whole regime be removed from power.

Our actions will reflect the values of respect for all of humanity and the world we want—in stark contrast to the hate and bigotry of the Trump/Pence fascist regime.

Our determination to persist and not back down will compel the whole world to take note. Every force and faction in the power structure would be forced to respond to our demand. The cracks and divisions among the powers already evident today will sharpen and widen. As we draw more and more people forward to stand up, all of this could lead to a situation where this illegitimate regime is removed from power.

Spread the word and organize now. Be a part of making history. Don’t let it be said that you stood aside when there was still a chance to stop a regime that imperils humanity and the Earth itself. Join in taking to the streets and the public squares day after day and night after night demonstrating that In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America.

On November 4, 2017, we will stand together with conviction and courage, overcoming fear and uncertainty, to insist that: This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must GO! (source)

Back in August, I wrote about conferences held across the nation to begin planning these riotsprotests. Conferences were held in New York, Chicago, Austin, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. This is something that has been in the works for months, and basically, every group that is un-American is in on it.

What do they want to replace the Trump/Pence “regime” with?

I’m glad you asked. Their plan is to replace our current form of government with first, Socialism and ultimately, Communism. Clearly they’ve learned nothing from the brutal collapse of Venezuela.

It says so right in the preamble to their constitution. Oh, wait – I forgot to tell you – they have a draft of a constitution with which they want to replace the governing document of America. It’s called, “The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America.” Here’s a little snippet from the introduction:

It is intended to set forth a basic model, and fundamental principles and guidelines, for the nature and functioning of a vastly different society and government than now exists: the New Socialist Republic in North America, a socialist state which would embody, institutionalize and promote radically different relations and values among people; a socialist state whose final and fundamental aim would be to achieve, together with the revolutionary struggle throughout the world, the emancipation of humanity
as a whole and the opening of a whole new epoch in human history–communism–with the final abolition of all exploitative
and oppressive relations among human beings and the destructive antagonistic conflicts to which these relations give rise.

Read More @ TheSleuthJournal.com

As Bitcoin Spikes to New All-Time High, JPMorgan Unexpectedly Reverses On Bitcoin, Says “Open-Minded To Regulated Use”

from Zero Hedge:

And here comes Citi, realizing it desperately needs to get on the bandwagon now before it’s too late:

  • CITI CFO SAYS CRYPTO AND DIGITAL CURRENCIES ‘WORTHY OF EXPLORATION’

It’s probably not a coincidence that on the day bitcoin hit new all time highs above $5,200, and just over a week after the WSJ reported that Goldman is planning a bitcoin trading operation, JPMorgan seems to be changing it tune.

With Bitcoin soaring nearly 100{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} from the bottom of the sharp selloff following Jamie Dimon’s slam of cryptocurrencies as “frauds” exactly one month ago today, bitcoin was one of the more popular topics on today’s earnings call, where JPMorgan CFO Marianne Lake confirmed what everyone already knew, namely that the technology underlying bitcoin – blockchain – is something the bank is investing in, and is “very optimistic” about the underlying technology of distributed ledgers and blockchain.

However, what was more interesting is that when asked whether the bank would consider looking at opportunities in digital currencies, Lake responded that JPMorgan is “open-minded” to potential use in the future for cryptocurrencies that are regulated.

This just one month after her boss, JPM CEO Jamie Dimon lashed out at the cryptocurrency, calling it a “fraud” which is “worse than tulip bulbs. It won’t end well”, will “blow up” and “someone is going to get killed.” Oh, and that “any JPMorgan trader trading bitcoin” will be “fired for being stupid.”

Fast forward one month, when bitcoin just hit a new all time high due to relentless demand, having completely ignored both China’s ban of exchange trading and Dimon’s rant, and with everyone – including Goldman – wanting to be part of it, JPMorgan clearly has no qualms about its “fiduciary obligation” when it comes to taking clients’ money to help put them in what it has called – on the public record – a fraud.

That said, Jamie Dimon was far less verbose today, and as Bloomberg notes he wasn’t keen to talk about bitcoin again when asked about the cryptocurrency during today’s call.  Dimon said “I wouldn’t put this high in the category of important things in the world, but I’m not going to talk about bitcoin anymore.” Later he added that JPMorgan moves trillions of dollars a day “effectively digitally” today. “It’s not cash,” he said.

Suddenly portraying itself as one of the biggest supporters of crypto tech, Lake said the bank is “at the forefront of trying to look at the efficiency, scaleability of the platforms” and use cases for clients. Lake added that blockchain is “transformational for the financial services industry” and the bank is “working hard [and] investing money” in it. 

Still, Lake said the bank is “very open minded to the potential use cases….for digital currencies that are properly regulated” though that area is “quite nascent.” Which, needless to say, sounds quitedifferent from “we will fire anyone who is caught trading that tulip bulb fraud”

Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

Trading And Investing In Gold: Follow The Money

by Dave Kranzler, Investment Research Dynamics:

The paper gold attack that I first suggested might occur in the September 7th issue has taken gold from $1360 down to $1270 (continuous contract basis). Technically, gold has moved from an “overbought” condition to a mildly “oversold” condition. The RSI and MACD indicate that gold is slightly “oversold” but I believe both indicators will flash “extremely oversold” before this price attack over. This should occur sometime in the next 2-3 weeks.

I say this because I continue to believe the open interest in Comex paper gold, combined with the analyzing the weekly Commitment of Traders report, is the best indicator of gold’s next move, at least until the western Central Banks are unable to control the price of gold with paper derivatives. To be sure, the COT report is not always a perfect predictor but in the last 15 years the two reports combined have been around 90{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} accurate.

Currently, the Comex banks’ net short position in paper gold is at the high end of its historical range. Concomitantly, the net long position of the hedge funds is also at the high end of its historical range. Per last Friday’s COT report, the banks began to reduce the short positions, thereby reducing their net short position, and the hedge funds began to reduce the long positions, thereby reducing their net short position:

The graphic above is from the CFTC’s weekly COT report for all commodities. I’ve referenced the COT report quite a bit so I thought I’d put some “meat” on the bones. The report was published Friday (Sept 29th) but the cut-off day for the data used is the Tuesday before last Friday (Sept 26th). Unfortunately, by the time we, the public, can see the data it’s three days old. By the time we can try to trade on it (the following Monday) it’s four days old. This is unfortunate and the CFTC could force a daily disclosure of the data, which would be ideal, but since when does the Government do anything for the benefit of the public? Having said that, we can still get a feel for then general “flow” of positioning in gold futures by the various trading cohorts. Note: though the CFTC publishes the COT report, the actual data comes from the banks who operate and manage the Comex trading floor and computer systems.

I’ve highlighted the data that is important to me. The reportable positions are the “producer/hedgers,” “swap dealers,” “managed money,” “other reportables” and “non-reportable.” The latter two are large money pools that are not hedge funds or mutual funds and retail traders, respectively. They are not a factor in the analysis except to the extent that it is thought, though unprovable, that the banks throw some of their positions into the “other reportables” category to hide them.

The bank positions are primarily in the “swap dealer” account but they also throw their trades into the producer/hedge category. It’s impossible to know how much without having access to the systems. The “managed money” is primarily hedge funds. On the left side is the open interest (o/i) number. You can see at the bottom the o/i declined by 20.4k contracts from the previous Tuesday. It had peaked a couple weeks earlier around the 580k level, if memory serves me correctly. [As of Tues,  Oct 10th, the o/i was 520k]

The bottom row data shows the change in the various positions from the previous week’s report. You can see that the swap dealers covered 14.5k worth of shorts and added 4.9k of longs. The producer/hedgers were net unchanged in terms of net position but still extremely net short. The hedge funds (managed money) sold over 32k of long positions and added 4.8k to their short position, effectively dropping their net long position by 36.8k contracts.

Note: The spread positions (“spreading”) are not important to this analysis. They represent a trade in which one side of the trade might be short October gold contracts and offsets it with a long position in December gold, for instance. This would be a “hedged” bullish trade because the entity with that position is expecting the price of gold to rise by December but wants to hedge out risk factors that might take the price of gold lower between now and then. There’s no way to know how the spread trades are positioned without access to the Comex systems.

You’ll note, based on the change in relative positions, it appears as if the banks have started to cover their shorts and add to longs, thereby decreasing their net short position. Similarly, the hedge funds did the opposite, thereby reducing their net long position from the previous week. The open interest as of this past Wednesday (published daily) was 522k contracts. This is 27k contracts lower than the o/i when the report was put together a week ago Tuesday. The o/i appears to be trending lower, which historically has indicated that the banks are collapsing their net short position and the hedge funds are collapsing their net long. We’ll know if this trend continued on Friday afternoon, when the next COT report is released.

If this trend continues, it indicates that we’re getting closer to a bottom and the next move higher. I’d like to see the open interest on the Comex decline by about another 100k contracts. This might take 3 or 4 weeks. We could also see some short-lived spikes down in price before this over. Typically what has been occurring over the last 3 years or so is that, as the hedge funds dump longs and add to shorts, the hedge fund computer algos overreact to the downside price momentum and begin to “flatten out” the hedge fund net position by rapidly unloading longs and piling into the short side. A couple times over the past few years the hedge funds have been net short for a week or two. This always has preceded a big rally in gold.

Read More @ InvestmentResearchDynamics.com

Catalonia Crisis Far From Over Despite Market Surge

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by Don Quijones, Wolf Street:

Hopes that Catalonia’s woes could be contained are fading.

On Tuesday night, for the briefest of moments, Catalonia’s government severed its ties with Spain. The region’s president, Carles Puigdemont, declared independence from Spain at around 7.40 p.m., Spanish time. Then, roughly ten seconds later, he put it all on hold, to the visible dismay of many of his fellow travelers.

The markets were pleased, interpreting the suspended declaration of independence as a retreat from the brink. The Spanish stock index IBEX 35 surged 1.5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} on Wednesday, and is up 3.4{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in five trading days, making up a big part of what it had lost over the prior four trading days. It remains 7{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} below its year-to-date high at the end of April.

For many other aspiring nation states, the key to independence lay in getting enough votes on the UN security council. But if Catalonia’s bid for self-determination ever made it to the UN, it probably wouldn’t garner enough support from the Security Council, for the simple reason that an independent Catalonia could encourage other separatist regions in the EU to launch similar bids.

So why did Puigdemont change the script at the very last minute? According to the Catalan government’s chief spokesperson, Jordi Turull, he did so in response to pressure from key international mediators that are insisting on dialogue between Barcelona and Madrid. “[They] said that if we did this they would be willing to act,” said Turull, who refused to reveal the identity of said mediators.

The problem is that Madrid has shown absolutely no interest in dialogue, for two main reasons:

  1. Votes — as shown by the recent rise in the opinion polls of Cuitadans, the party with the toughest line on Catalonia, in many parts of Spain these days taking a fiercely adversarial approach on Catalonia is a surefire way of winning votes. By the same logic, offering concessions is a surefire way of losing votes.
  2. Finance — even if Rajoy wanted, which he certainly doesn’t, Spain today could not afford to offer Catalonia the sort of financial arrangement that the much smaller Basque Country enjoys, which allows it to keep a much larger part of its tax proceeds. Spain’s public debt has mushroomed by almost 200{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in the last ten years and for the first time in decades it is using debt to fund its very fast growing pension shortfall. In other words, it’s not in any kind of position to lose a large chunk of its tax revenues.

Rajoy’s initial response to Catalonia’s suspended declaration of independence has been to hint at the implementation of Article 155, which would see Catalonia’s autonomy suspended and allow Madrid’s central government to take control. But before activating the article, he asked Puigdemont to clarify whether or not he actually declared independence last night.
If Puigdemont responds that he didn’t, he risks losing the lion’s share of his political support in Catalonia. If he confirms that he has, he effectively signs his own arrest warrant.

If Madrid then proceeds with Article 155, it’s also likely to activate article 116, which governs the application of states of alarm, states of emergency and states of siege in Spain. As we’ve mentioned before, any attempt by Madrid to dissolve the Catalan parliament and arrest Puigdemont and other key Catalan government figures is likely to trigger a fierce public backlash. As such, Madrid will need all the manpower and firepower at its disposal. But putting the army on the streets of Catalonia could be an even bigger PR disaster than its handling of the Oct 1 referendum. It’s also likely to create even more separatists in Catalonia.

Naturally, none of these actions will help to improve relations between Madrid and Catalonia’s 2.5 million-strong separatist community. The worse relations get, the slimmer the chances of dialogue even beginning between Madrid and Barcelona, let alone bearing fruit.

Catalonia’s economy, whose share of Spanish GDP is roughly equivalent to London’s share of the UK’s, continues to suffer the chronic effects of rampant uncertainty. Over 30 major homegrown and international corporations have moved their headquarters to other parts of Spain, albeit only on paper for now, while the region’s tourist numbers continue to slide as a result of the terrorist attack in August and rising political tensions. Catalonia is Spain’s biggest tourist region and as we pointed out a few months ago, Spain’s unprecedented tourism boom is arguably the biggest driver of its economic recovery.

For some in the Rajoy administration, Catalonia’s largely self-inflicted economic woes may be viewed as an opportunity to further centralize Spain’s economy, but that could be a dangerous miscalculation. After all, this is not a zero-sum game. Barcelona is a global city that has carved a successful niche as a top tourist destination, a leading trade fair hub, and global business center. If international companies or travelers get cold feet, they’re more likely to turn to other European capitals than to other Spanish cities.

Read More @ WolfStreet.com