Monday, September 26, 2022

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts – Götterdämmerung

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“Rome has grown so much from its humble beginnings that it is now overwhelmed by its greatness.”

Titus Livius

“What we have freed ourselves of, however, is any genuine consciousness of how we might look to others on this globe. Most Americans are probably unaware of how Washington exercises its global hegemony, since so much of this activity takes place either in relative secrecy or under comforting rubrics.

Many may, as a start, find it hard to believe that our place in the world even adds up to an empire. But only when we come to see our country as both profiting from and trapped within the structures of an empire of its own making will it be possible for us to explain many elements of the world that otherwise perplex us.”

Chalmers Johnson

“We are imperial, and we are in decline.”

Lawrence Wilkerson

There was an entry earlier today here showing the trading ranges this year in gold and silver, and the stunning decline in the US Dollar Index.

The markets are winding for a move.   I am not sure about stocks, but a large decline this fall would not be a surprise.

Greenspan says that stocks are not excessively valued, but that there is a bubble in bonds.   Uh-huh.

If there is a bubble in bonds and it deflates, stocks will be crushed.

Risk is so mispriced in so many ways that is it almost astonishing.

Wasserman Schultz under pressure to testify on ex-IT aide; complaint filed

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Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is coming under mounting pressure to explain why she kept an IT aide on the payroll for months after a criminal investigation was revealed, facing calls from Republicans to testify as well as a newly filed ethics complaint.

Wasserman Schultz, the Florida congresswoman who led the Democratic National Committee until last year, terminated Imran Awan’s “part-time” employment last week, when he was arrested at Dulles International Airport trying to fly to Pakistan. He was charged with a bank fraud count.

But he and other former IT aides for House Democrats have been on investigators’ radar screen for months over concerns about possible double-billing, alleged equipment theft and access to sensitive computer systems. Most lawmakers fired Awan in March, but Schultz kept him on, though he was barred from the House IT network. 

LAWYER FOR EX-IT AIDE: FRAUD COUNT COULD BE PLACEHOLDER FOR MORE CHARGES

“I think she should testify,” Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told conservative radio host Dana Loesch on Monday. “If I had a staff member, an IT staff member, who had access to all of our data and all of our infrastructure and he had come under investigation … you better believe I would be cooperating.”

Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., also indicated support on Monday for Schultz testifying, though no such hearing has been formally called at this point.   

“We have to investigate how our systems may have been compromised, and that may involve putting people in the [witness] chair,” he told “Fox & Friends.”

Scaramucci: First Fired by Goldman Sachs, Now the White House

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Were it not for the profanity-laced tirade that Donald Trump’s briefly tenured Director of Communications offered up to a New Yorker reporter, it might be considered a badge of honor to get fired from both the great vampire squid, Goldman Sachs, and by the President whose administration is firmly ensnared in Goldman Sachs’ tentacles.

Wall Street veteran and hedge fund titan, Anthony Scaramucci, who was fired yesterday after a 10-day stint as Director of Communications for Trump’s White House, told reporter Courtney Comstock in 2010 at Business Insider that he had been “fired from Goldman a year and five months” into his tenure there as an investment banker. Scaramucci was rehired by Goldman a few months later, but in a sales position.

Scaramucci’s ties to Wall Street are extensive, including a stint as Managing Director at Lehman Brothers, the iconic investment bank which filed bankruptcy in September 2008 during the height of the financial crisis.

Scaramucci founded SkyBridge Capital in 2005 and in 2010 it purchased a hedge fund of funds from Citigroup, the behemoth Wall Street bank that received the largest bailout in U.S. history during the financial crisis.

DARPA unveils gene editing infrastructure to build genetically engineered “super soldiers”

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by: Jayson Veley

 

In the Marvel comic books, Steve Rogers is a character that transforms from a rather weak and skinny man into a supersoldier with the help of gene editing technology. For decades since fans were officially introduced to Captain America in 1941, this fictional character has fascinated people throughout the country and across the world. Now, thanks to new technology and millions of dollars spent on research, it appears that you no longer have to live in a fictional world full of superheroes and villains to become a supersoldier similar to Captain America.

According to the official website for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), “The Safe Genes program aims to deliver novel biological capabilities to facilitate the safe and expedient pursuit of advanced genome editing applications, while also providing the tools and methodologies to mitigate the risk of unintentional consequences or intentional misuse of these technologies.”

Recently, DARPA announced that it has assigned seven teams to fulfill the goals set forth by the Safe Genes Program in order to better understand how gene editing technologies work. If all goes well, the program could potentially help troops become immune from infectious disease, defend certain forms of wildlife against invasive species, and limit the spread of mosquitoes that carry diseases (Related: Genetically modified humans are now a reality in China.)

Over the next four years, DARPA is set to distribute $65 million amongst the seven teams, which include the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, North Carolina State University, UC Berkeley and UC Riverside.

DARPA says that each of these seven teams will pursue at least one of three overarching objectives, which includes: 1) the development of technology that can initiate and reverse genome editors inside of living organisms, 2) the development of drug-based countermeasures as a means of limiting the genome editing process in order to maintain genome integrity, and 3) develop technology that can erase unwanted genes and bring them back to their original state.

“Part of our challenge and commitment under Safe Genes is to make sense of the ethical implication of gene editing technologies, understanding people’s concerns and directing our research to proactively address them so that stakeholders are equipped with data to inform future choices,” said Dr. Wegrzyn, the manager of the Safe Genes program.

Dr. Wegrzyn added that it is difficult to draw a line between ethics and technology development when it comes to gene editing, but “we’re hopeful that the model we establish with Safe Genes will guide future research efforts in this space.”

Indeed, the ethics surrounding the debate over gene manipulation are questionable at best. While there would more than likely be many good things that come from gene editing, such as making certain people immune to infectious diseases, there is still the question of whether or not human beings should be messing with the genetic makeup of living organisms in the first place. Everything on this earth was created a certain way for a reason, and one could argue that it is not our place to be altering it just because we have the technology to do so.

FDA Urged to Investigate Hazards of Chemical Phthalates in Food Packaging

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Senator Chuck Schumer from New York issued a letter to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on July 30, 2017, calling on the health regulator to launch a study into the consequences of using phthalates in food packaging. [1]

Earlier in July, a study revealed that boxed macaroni and cheese contain phthalates, including Kraft Mac & Cheese. Phthalates are a group of endocrine-disrupting additives in plastics, used to make them soft and flexible.

Phthalates also lurk in fast food packaging, such as burger wrappers, soda cups, and fry cartons. In addition, they are found in beauty and cosmetic products, as well as in other consumer and industrial products.

Source: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Studies have linked phthalates to:

  • Various cancers
  • Human reproduction and developmental problems
  • Damage to the male reproductive system
  • Birth defects
  • Behavioral problems in children
  • Miscarriages
  • Premature birth
  • Respiratory issues in children with bronchial obstruction, such as asthma. [2]

Schumer noted in his letter to Gottlieb that federal regulators have already banned 6 types of phthalates often found in “children’s toys and other child care products, like those to facilitate sleeping, feeding, sucking or teething.” [1]

He went on:

“To think that we have all this data on phthalate chemicals from doctors, scientists, health experts and other industries just sitting around, frozen like a beef patty and begging for the FDA to take it to the next appropriate level of scrutiny is worrisome for the consumer.

Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/schumer-probe-phthalates-food-packaging-4213/#ixzz4oVXKvHvV
Follow us: @naturalsociety on Twitter | NaturalSociety on Facebook

What Investors Can Learn From the Japanese Art of Kintsukuroi

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– What investors can learn from the Japanese art of Kintsukuroi or Kintsugi – art of repairing broken pottery with gold
– Investors and savers can protect their savings with gold

– Savers and investors are being punished by negative to low interest rates
– Global debt levels, stock bubbles and reduced liquidity will lead to crisis
– Reinforce cracks with gold prior to money pot shatters

Source: Wikimedia

Editor: Mark O’Byrne

Kintsukuroi or Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold and silver.

The Japanese like to consider it a way of not only repairing the item but also transforming it into something new which is pristine and has a new potential.

For the philosphers in the art world they like to ask how can something of such beauty be created from a shattered vase or bowl?

Our politics, markets and economy are broken. With each passing day we see more evidence of a globalised, interconnected world that is also increasingly politically and financially fragmented.

In turn this is raising tensions between and within countries. Especially between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots.’

We have seen this before, many times in history, when the greed of mankind and his belief in infallibility leads us to believe we can perform unprecedented financial experiments. The more we push on with the experiments, rather than learning from history, the bigger the cracks and damage.

Jim Rogers recently expressed his disgust at banks’s claims that had they not acted as they had in response to the financial crisis then things would be worse.

Rogers disagrees, all they have done is papered over and widened the cracks… “propping up zombie banks and dead companies is not the way the world is supposed to work. … It’s been nine years and we have nothing to show for it [economically] except staggering amounts of debt.”

In order for Kintsugi to transpire the artist must ‘see’ a cracked pot differently. A new perspective has to be taken. The pot is not broken, it is not useless instead it is something which has potential to become stronger and better.

We must begin to look at our economy in a similar light. Our savings are not useless, in the same way our economic system is not useless.

But they are weak in their current state, they should be made stronger rather than forced to take on more pressure.

The art of seeing differently

Last week, came the news that global debt levels were 327{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of world gross domestic product (GDP), at $217 trillion in the first quarter of 2017. We have added over $120 trillion since the financial crisis.

William Shatner Slams SJWs – Says ‘Snowflakes’ “Stand For Inequality” And “Misandry”

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William Shatner, the actor who famously portrayed Captain James Kirk in the original 1960s run of Star Trek spoke out against his progressive critics, claiming that SJWs “stand for inequality” while defending his use of terms like “snowflake” and “misandry” – a phenomenon that angry feminists insist has been extinguished in modern society.

Shatner, a Canadian citizen who’s publicly empathized with the far-right and President Donald Trump, has repeatedly feuded with Trekkies who feel that he has turned away from the show’s culturally-progressive message (Star Trek made television history by broadcasting television’s first interracial kiss, between Shatner and castmate Nichelle Nichols). The actor often calls out examples of what he considers to be unwarranted attacks on men.

 

 

 

Shatner’s signature was notably absent from a February letter sent by the original Star Trek cast condemning President Donald Trump’s “racism and bigotry.”

At least one liberal critic accused the actor of “tarnishing” Star Trek’s legacy with his “alt-right language,” according to Gizmodo.

“‘It seems that Shatner has not so much misunderstood the source material than turned away from it,’ Manu Saadia, author of Trekonomics: The Economics of Star Trek.
‘Star Trek is the lone TV show that has carried the torch of equality, progress, and utopia in popular culture. To see one of its most famous ambassador using alt-right language should be a wake up call to fans,’ Saadia continued.

‘It is ruinous for the 50-year-old franchise, especially so close to the launch of its first new show in more than a decade. Shatner is known to be prickly and jealous of his status in Star Trek. Maybe he can’t stand that the limelights are now trained on a new, diverse crew?’ said Saadia.”

According to Saadia, the show tacitly endorsed socialistic policies, like the notion that wealth should be evenly distributed throughout the population.

Do We Need Trendy Terms to Encourage Recycling?

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I don’t know why the media has to come up with stupid terms for everything. Reading about sustainable living, every time I see the word “lifecycling” I feel like I am hearing nails on a chalkboard. Everything has to be trendy and new, so apparently, the word recycle is out. Now recycling is a lifestyle.

Lifecycling takes recycling to the next level; it’s a philosophy that embraces new, creative uses for products as a way extend their cycle, positively benefit your personal life and keep as much garbage out of landfills as possible.

Of course, I think recycling is great. I really love efficiency and hate waste, so reusing everything I can is pretty satisfying. But thriftiness is a big motivator. I take pride and find satisfaction in keeping my expenses a fraction of my overall income.

On the ten acre mini-farm I live and work on, there were a lot of random materials left when we moved in. We found a way to recycle almost everything.

One of our chicken coops is 90{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} wood that was left on the property, and the other 10{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} was leftover wood from building a shed. I removed an old concrete walkway in front of the house and made a berm as a backstop for shooting. Old buried bricks were turned into a patio under the live oaks. I also lined some garden beds with more salvaged bricks and cinder blocks.

We compost the insane amount of leaves which fall off the huge oak trees and use the compost in the gardens. We are expanding out rainwater collection, and one structure is getting solar panels next week!

We used pallets to make a gate and the floor of an outdoor kitchen. In fact, the counter and sink for the outdoor kitchen were snagged for free off craigslist when someone threw them out. Craiglist is a great resource to find cheap or free raw materials for any number of projects.

My brother-in-law, who owns the mini-farm with my sister, works for himself buying used items at yard sales, thrift stores, and estate sales, and selling them on eBay. His whole business is centered around reuse, finding good items a new home, not in a landfill.

So even though I hate the term “lifecycling” I do love the concept. It’s just funny to me that it is being sold as a cool new movement of youngsters! Actually, it was the norm back in the day. People sewed and patched holes in clothing. Composting veggie scraps was a no brainer. Fences were even sourced from backyard lumber.

Recycling has the potential to free up a lot of capital. Since we find so many free and cheap materials, it means the mini-farm can grow that much quicker. Even things like buying used chicken processing equipment instead of buying it new meant that money could instead be spent on building a fourth chicken coop.