Monday, May 20, 2019

Our Family’s Garden Grain Experiment- Part 2


from Survival Blog:

Our family did an experiment to see how we could grow wheat and oats in a garden setting. In part 1 of this article series, we shared that we used two different garden plots, one that was well fertilized and one that had never been fertilized or used for a garden. Additionally, I told about our seeds and how we protected our growing areas from animals. We began describing the tools that we tested to harvest wheat and how we found, for us, that the sickle worked best. Also, because the naked oats we grew dropped seed more readily, we ended up grabbing the grain heads in the field and collecting grain by hand rather than cutting the stalks. We shared a video in Part 1 of this. Let’s continue on now.

Removing Grain From Stalks

With half of our wheat in sheaves and most of our oats gathered by hand, the next step was removing the grain from the stalks. We tried three different methods for this– by hand, by machine, and by a paint stirrer spun by a drill.

Threshing By Hand

With a hard-tine rake head we took a handful of wheat stalks and beat them back and forth inside a large, clean, plastic garbage can. The rake head did well to encourage the grain to leave its mother stalk. We used the rake head in our hand, but found if we fixed the rake head on the inside of the garbage can we could more effectively beat the grain off the stalks. This method worked okay by hand, but impressed us with how difficult it was to remove wheat from the stalks. Only about 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the wheat came off with vigorous effort. This amount increased the longer the wheat had dried, but it never really felt efficient. And waiting longer and longer increases the risk for loss to mice, birds, or bad weather.

Threshing by Electric Machine

A friend of ours who also was growing wheat had made a thresher from a large electric motor. He had a very nice fixture for the motor, and had a large wooden dowel on the motor shaft with bent nails sunk into it. The motor turned at high speed, and by applying a bundle of wheat heads to the spinning nails, the grain was knocked off much better than by hand with a rake head! This setup was nice, but it was noisy and dangerous. The wheat heads required significant pressure to keep them into the spinning nails, too. Overall, this was a good way but not a great way to thresh the wheat from the stalks.

Threshing with Paint Stirrer

The paint stirrer, a large shaft with metal blades at the end and small chain links attached for stirring paint with a drill, was our best threshing tool. It was actually amazing how well this simple setup worked! To use it, we cut the heads off all the wheat stalks so very little of the stalk was left. We filled a large, durable (and clean) garbage can up with the heads. The tool was set into the wheat heads and spun. In 30-40 seconds, the entire can was pulverized into 1/3 its volume and consisted of grain and small, light pieces of chaff. It was like liquefying the mass into grain! We did worry about damage to the grain. However, on inspection, we could not really see any noticeable damage; all of the grain seemed fine. You really have to see this to appreciate how quickly it reduced so much biomass into grain. I’ve uploaded some video of it here.

Threshing went much smoother than we had expected. It is still the most significant part of the effort in the harvest, but after our experiences I am confident we not only can harvest well but very efficiently, too.


Winnowing the wheat was pretty straight forward, but this did take some time and care. Equipment needs were minimal: just a sheet, bins for the grain, and a wind source. We used a small and a large “box” fan for winnowing. Both of these worked well. The sheet was under the fan, and the bin was used to catch the chaff and stray wheat. It was also very helpful to put a bit of chicken wire over the top of the bin to catch large chaff.

Nothing Wasted

It is worth noting that throughout the harvest, nothing went to waste. The chickens were eager to clean up after us, and we threw the straw into the coop for them to glean, and to use in the laying boxes. They were very pleased.

Best Parts of the Harvest

The best parts were the pancakes. Harvest is about enjoying the fruit of our labor and the blessings of the Lord. He is the source of the increase. We all agreed that the pancakes just tasted better with our own wheat.

The Disappointment With Oats

The oats, however, were a bit of a disappointment after the harvest. We chose to grow “naked oats” to get the groats from the hull easier, but that was not the experience. We could not find an effective way to “shell” the oats, but we did try running them through a rough grinder with rubberized grinding plates, but this didn’t leave us groats in the end. What groats we did get took time. When we made oatmeal, there was still enough hulls to make the oatmeal taste like hay. It was disappointing overall but still very fun. The chickens were eager to help here, too.

Return on Investment of Sown Wheat

At the end of the harvest, we had sown about seven pounds of wheat in our two plots and measured about 35 lbs of grain in the end. That’s a decent yield and a great experiment. Thirty-five pounds of wheat is not very valuable, but the education was of great worth, and our time in the field with our kids was priceless.

The children really had fun with this project and trying so many new things. They delighted in the growth and seeing the wheat take head. They had fun harvesting the fruit and delighting in thanks to the Lord for His blessing. The children raved about the pancakes, and now as we eat store-bought bread they ask for the chance to bake bread with their mother. They are shocked to see how much cellulose (sawdust) is used in bread, ice cream, and even cocoa from the store, and are appreciative of what they have learned and enjoy. That is the true harvest!

Take-Aways For Long-Term Situation

In conclusion, there were a few important take-aways we had in better preparing for a long-term situation. First, we bought some triple 16 fertilizer (16-16-16) to keep on hand. We yearly add chicken, cow, and sometimes horse manure to the main garden, and now use just a cup or two of this synthetic fertilizer as needed for the corn and grain. A little goes a long way, and it stores easily for long-term. It’s very nice to have this powerful resource to boost yields.

Read More @

The Huge Implications of Russia’s Northern Sea Route


from F. William Engdahl, New Eastern Outlook:

In terms of dealing with some of the world’s harshest weather conditions no country comes close compared with Russia. Now Russia has made it a highest priority to develop a Northern Sea Route along the Russian Arctic coast to enable LNG and container freight shipments between Asia and Europe that will cut shipping time almost in half and bypass the increasingly risky Suez Canal. China is fully engaged and has now formally incorporated it into its new Silk Road Belt, Road Initiative infrastructure.

Before attending the Hamburg G20 Summit in July, China’s President Xi Jinping made a stopover in Moscow where he and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin signed the “China-Russia Joint Declaration on Further Strengthening Comprehensive, Strategic and Cooperative Partnership.” The declaration includes the Northern Sea Route as a strategic area of cooperation between China and Russia, as a formal part of China’s Belt, Road Initiative (BRI) infrastructure. For its part, Russia is investing major resources in development of new LNG ports and infrastructure along the route to service a growing maritime traffic passing through its Arctic territorial waters.

The Russian Federation, under the direct supervision of President Putin is building up the economic infrastructure that will create an alternative to the Suez Canal for container and LNG shipping between Europe and Asia. In addition, the developments are opening up huge new undeveloped resources including oil, gas, diamonds and other minerals along the Russian Exclusive Economic Zone,transversing its northernmost Siberian coastline.

Officially Russian legislation defines the Northern Sea Route as the territorial waters along the Russian Arctic coast east of Novaya Zemlya in Russia’s Arkhangelsk Oblast, from the Kara Sea across Siberia, to the Bering Straitthat runs between far eastern Russia and Alaska. The entire route lies in Arctic waters and within Russia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Preliminary geophysical studies confirm that vast oil and gas reserves exist below the sea floor along the Northern Sea Route of Russia’s EEZ waters, increasing interest of the Chinese government in joint resource development with Russia, in addition to the potentially shorter shipping times to and from Europe.For China, which sees increasing threats to its oil supply lines by sea from the Persian Gulf and via the Straits of Malacca, the Russian Northern Sea Route offers a far more secure alternative, a Plan B, in event of US Naval interdiction of the Malacca Straits.

US Geological Survey estimates are that within the Russian Arctic EEZ some 30{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of all Arctic recoverable oil and 66{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of its total natural gas is to be found. The USGS estimates total Arctic oil recoverable reserves to be about one-third total Saudi reserves. In short, as Mark Twain might have said, there’s “black gold in them thar’ icy waters…”

The United Nations Convention on Law of the Seas (UNCLOS), to which Russia and China are signatories, but the USA not, defines an exclusive economic zone to be an area “beyond and adjacent” to a state’s territorial waters and provides the state with “sovereign rights…[over] managing the natural resources” within the zone. China does not contest Russia’s EEZ rights, but rather seeks to cooperate in its development now formally within the BRI project.

New Shipping Lanes

The other interest in Russia’s Northern Sea Route is for more economical and faster shipping. In August this year in a test run the Russian LNG tanker, Christophe de Margerie, delivered Norwegian LNGfrom Hammerfest in Norway to Boryeong in South Korea in just 19 days, some 30{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} faster than the traditional Suez Canal route despite the fact that the vessel was forced to go through ice fields 1.2 meters thick. The Arctic Sea part of the journey was made in a record six and half days. The Christophe de Margerie is the first joint LNG tanker and icebreaker in the world, built to specification for the state-run Sovcomflot for the transportation of LNG from the Yamal LNG project in the Russian Arctic by a South Korean shipbuilder.

Russia is also cooperating with South Korea in development of the shipping capabilities of its Northern Sea Route. On November 6, Russia’s Minister for Development of the Far East, AleksandrGalushka, met South Korea’s Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, Kim Yong-suk. The two countries agreed to pursue joint research into investments for an Arctic container line along the Northern Sea Route. The joint development will include shipping hubs to be created in each end of the Northern Sea Route–Murmansk in the west and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in the east. Murmansk, bordering the northern regions of Finland and Norway, has ice-free access to the Barents Sea year around.

Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine plans test sailings of container ships along the Northern Sea Route in 2020 with container ships capable of carrying 2,500-3,500 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit, a measure of container size) on the route. In July 2016, an historical shipment of two major industrial components was made from South Korea to the new Russian Arctic port at Sabetta and from there, on the rivers Ob and Irtysh to the South Ural city of Tobolsk.

New Arctic Port Investments

Murmansk itself is site of one of Russia’s largest infrastructure projects. Major construction work is currently on going to complete the so-called Murmansk Transport Hub which includes new roads, railway, ports and other facilities on the west of the Kola Bay. Murmansk is already a key hub for reloading coal, oil, fish, metals and other cargo from the European part of Russia. It will serve as the main western gateway for the Northern Sea Route to Asia.

The Russian Federation is also completing a new port at Sabetta on the Yamal Peninsula. The Yamal Peninsula, bordering the Arctic Kara Sea, is location of Russia’s biggest natural gas reserves with an estimated 55 trillion cubic meters (tcm).By comparison, Qatar gas reserves are calculated at 25 tcm, Iran at 34 tcm. The main developer of the Sabetta Port on Yamal is Novatek, Russia’s largest independent gas producer, together with the Russian government.

Sabetta Port is also site of the major new Yamal LNG Terminal that before end of 2017 will begin transporting Yamal gas via the Northeast Sea Route to China. When at full capacity, Sabetta Port will handle 30 million tons of goods a year making Sabetta the world’s largest port north of the Arctic Circle, surpassing Murmansk. Novatek hasalready pre-sold all its production volumes for Yamal LNG Terminal gas under 15- and 20-year contracts, most to China and other Asian buyers.

Read More @

JFK Files Reveal Bobby Kennedy And CIA Plotted False Flag War With USSR

from ZeroHedge:

False flag conspiracy theories have arisen from thousands of global tragedies ever since pirates allegedly spawned the term by flying the flag of the home country they were preparing to attack.  Of course, these “conspiracy theories” would be far easier to discredit if they’d stop coming true…

Alas, a recently revealed document from the so-called ‘JFK Files’ will only serve to stoke the flames of conspiracy theorists as it very clearly confirms a plot crafted by then Attorney General Robert Kennedy and the CIA to carry out a false attack that could be pinned on the USSR and serve as a basis for a U.S. “counterattack”.

According to a formerly “Top Secret” document summarizing a meeting from March 22, 1962, officials from JFK administration secretly strategized on the best way to “manufacture or acquire Soviet aircraft,” including a MIG 17 or MIG 19.  Per the following exceptplans ranged from building aircraft that could stand up “distant observation” or “close observation” and ranged in cost from $3.5 million to $22 million.

So what were these replica planes to be used for?  Well, it turns out those details were laid out with some level of specificity as well…that is, if you can get beyond the brilliant efforts at redaction in the excerpt below…

“There is a possibility that such aircraft could be used in a deception operation designed to confuse enemy planes in the air, to launch a surprise attack against enemy installation or in a provocation operation in which Soviet aircraft would appear to attack U.S. or friendly installations in order to provide an excuse for U.S. intervention. If the planes were to be used in such covert operations, it would seem preferable to manufacture them in the United States.”

According to the Daily Caller, the meeting was held by the “Special Group (Augmented),” which according to an encyclopedia on the Central Intelligence Agency, included Attorney General Robert Kennedy, CIA Director John McCone, National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lyman Lemnitzer. And while not members, President Kennedy and Secretary of State Dean Rusk were said to attend certain meetings as well.

Read More @

In 10,000 Years, Will We Still Be Barbarians, Or Will We Be Humans?


by Harley Schlanger, LaRouche PAC:

While the City of London and Wall Street are busy with one last-gasp effort to salvage their (unsalvageable) financial system, with an ECB bail-in plan designed to seize all financial assets for themselves—their earlier “Cyprus Template” writ large—Russia, China and allied nations are instead orchestrating a Grand Design for Middle East and world stabilization and peace, as suggested by what might be called a “Syria Template.”

We refer to the November 21 discussions in Sochi, Russia among visiting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and that country’s top military command, in which they discussed their successful cooperation to bring Syria back from the abyss. Describing the moving exchange, Helga Zepp-LaRouche today commented:”This is an incredible idea, because in two years a completely hopeless situation was turned around. There was unbelievable human suffering, with the Syrian people being exposed to an enormous ordeal, but they came out victorious.”

If that can be achieved in Syria, a microcosm of the worst horrors that the dying world order of geopolitics and looting has created, then there is no reason that a similar about-face cannot be achieved globally, building a New Paradigm around China’s keystone Belt and Road Initiative. Helga Zepp-LaRouche summarized the strategic situation as follows:

“The main dynamic of change has to come from the United States. The follow-up from the Trump visit to China is really what will determine the situation. This is a unique moment in the history of mankind, not just of the U.S. That is the sense that we must get across to people.

“There is an enormous potential. You can see that in the dynamic which was shown between Xi Jinping and Donald Trump, which was a historic meeting. You can see it in Panama now joining with China on the Belt and Road Initiative, and the President of Panama saying this is where all of Ibero-America will go. It’s there in the rapprochement between Japan and China; in the Astana-Putin process for the consolidation of the situation in Syria and beyond; and in the profound changes underway in Africa through China’s investments there.

“All of these elements are moving in a very positive direction. But the Sword of Damocles of a potential financial crash is still hanging over the world. The instruments to move the U.S. in the direction of Lyndon LaRouche’s Four Laws are there, but they are not yet sufficient, by any means. The potential is very clearly there, and it has never been greater. But it would also be a big mistake to think that we have won already, just because we have helped to create this potentital. Until we have a complete victory of the New Paradigm, we should not have one resting minute,” Zepp-LaRouche stated.

She concluded: “Nor should we give in to the idea that you need some sort of ‘national expression’ of sane interest. We really have to fight with people that we need a New Paradigm, a completely new set of relations where geopolitics is simply thrown out the window. Because Mankind should be defined from the future, from 10,000 years from now, looking back at the present: How do we want to live 10,000 years from now? Will we still be barbarians or will we be humans?”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                


Putin Meets Assad and Briefs Trump

History is being written in Sochi, where Russian President Vladimir Putin held an unannounced meeting with Syrian President Bashar al Assad on Nov. 20 and then introduced him to the Russian military leadership who “helped save Syria.” Tuesday Putin briefed President Donald Trump about his discussions with Assad. Tomorrow, Nov. 22, Putin will chair the Astana Talks with the other two guarantor countries, Iran and Turkey, and will consult with Assad during the course of the talks. Putin yesterday also spoke by phone with the Emir of Qatar.

The focus of the Putin-Assad exchange was that the victory against ISIS was the start of a political process to bring peace and reconiciliation to Syria. The Kremlin posted long excerpts of the exchanges between the two leaders, which give a sense of the historical importance of the talks. Excerpts of those exchanges follow:

Putin began: “Welcome to Sochi. First, let me congratulate you on Syria’s results in combatting terrorist groups as well as on the fact that the Syrian people, despite a very difficult ordeal, are gradually moving towards the final and inevitable defeat of the terrorists.

“Mr. President, as you know, I will meet with my colleagues — the Presidents of Turkey and Iran — here in Sochi the day after tomorrow. We have agreed to hold additional consultations with you during our meeting. Of course, the main subject on the agenda is a peaceful and lasting political settlement in Syria after the routing of the terrorists.

“As you know, in addition to the partners I have mentioned we are also working closely together with other countries, such as Iraq, the United States, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. We maintain constant contact with these partners.

“I would like to talk with you about the basic principles of the political process and the Syrian National Dialogue Congress, the idea of which you have supported. I would like to hear your opinions on the current situation and development prospects and your views on the political process, which should ultimately be implemented under the UN auspices. We also hope that the UN will join the [political] process at its final stage.”

Assad replied, acknowledging Russia’s role in helping Syria win the war against terror. “Over this period, we have achieved major success both on the battlefield and on the political track. Many regions in Syria have been liberated from the terrorists, and the Syrians who had to flee from these regions can now return there.

“It should be acknowledged that the operation brought progress to the political settlement in Syria. And the process which was started and which Russia promoted with various efforts continues, above all, based on respect for the UN Charter, the state’s sovereignty and independence. This stance has been defended at various international platforms, including the talks in Astana. The same goes for the plans to hold the Syrian National Dialogue Conference in a few days. Today we have an excellent opportunity to discuss both the upcoming conference and the upcoming summit, and to coordinate our views on the next steps.

Read More @

Do You beLIEve?


from TruthNeverTold:

Why did so many of the Las Vegas Massacre survivors mention seeing helicopters during the shooting?


from Intellihub:

It seems as if the mainstream media has buried eyewitness reports regarding the presence of helicopters in the air during the Las Vegas shooting

LAS VEGAS (INTELLIHUB) — A number of eyewitnesses who survived the Oct. 1 Route 91 Harvest Music Festival massacre reported seeing ‘helicopters’ during the shooting but their reports were completely ignored by the mainstream media for no apparent reason and never got the attention they deserved.

Not to mention, Intellihub Editor-In-Chief Shepard Ambellas has conclusively proven that helicopters were airborne in the vicinity during the shooting in the Nov. 18 article titled “Fact: Helicopters were airborne behind the Mandalay Bay during the Las Vegas Shooting.”

The  “John E Hoover” YouTube channel released a video Tuesday which better illustrates this fact.

Shepard Ambellas gives proof of the helicopters in the following video.

Read More @

Former Oklahoma Senator Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Trafficking – Faces Life in Prison


by Tim Brown, Freedom Outpost:

Over the weekend, former Oklahoma Senator Ralph Shortey agreed to plead guilty to a single child sex trafficking charge.

The plea bargain came in order to have three other charges dropped against him.  The three chargesinclude two counts of transportation of child pornography and one count of production of child pornography.

News Oklahoma reported:

The federal grand jury accused Shortey in the first child pornography count of using his smartphone in October 2013 to email a video of a man engaging in sexually explicit conduct with a prepubescent girl.

He is accused in the second child pornographic count of using his smartphone that same month to email sexually explicit videos of young boys.

He is accused in the third child pornography count of persuading the boy he later took to the Moore hotel to send him an inappropriate picture.

He is accused in the child sex trafficking count of soliciting that boy in March to engage in a commercial sex act. The boy is identified in the indictment only as “John Doe.”

The crime will get him at least ten years in prison, but he could get up to life behind bars.

Shortey was known as a “family values” conservative and state chair of President Donald Trump’s campaign during the primary elections.

He continued to claims he was innocent up until this point despite the massive amount of child porn on his devices.

On Friday, Shortey attorney Ed Blau said, “Mr. Shortey feels this is a necessary step in putting this painful and humiliating ordeal behind him, for both himself, his family and for the state of Oklahoma.”

Shortey used various social media platforms such as Facebook and Kik, as well as Craig’s List to obtain his victims, according to court documents.

Police were notified when the boy went missing and his parents discovered disturbing texts between the boy and Shortey of a sexual nature.

Shortey was caught at a Super 8 motel room in Moore, Oklahoma.

Read More @

Does The CoT Structure Prohibit A Rally? – Craig Hemke


by Craig Hemke, Sprott Money:

Can the Comex metals rally from here given that the CoT structure is not yet fully “washed out”? Of course they can! While it’s sometimes easy and obvious to assume that rallies are imminent by the CoT structure, history shows us that a fully-washed CoT isn’t imperative for a bottom and rally.

Let’s start with an example of a full wash, rinse and spin in Comex gold. Note the all-time lows of December 2015. That’s as clean and washed as you’re likely ever going to see.


12/1/15$10602,911 (ALLTIME LOW)



7/5/16$1375340,207 (ALLTIME HIGH)

So, in this example, if you were waiting for a full CoT washout in May of 2016, you missed a $165 move in June.






11/14/17$1283225,791 (range of 210,000-233,000 since 9/26/17)

In 2017, the range of positions hasn’t been as large but again, the CoT didn’t need to go to net flat in July before a new rally could begin.

So, anyway, the moral of the story is…While we’d all like to have the CoT give us a clear indication of a bottom, it doesn’t always do so. In fact, the CoT is far more useful at warning of TOPS than calling bottoms.

To that point, again note that THE ALLTIME HIGH in the Gold Commercial NET short position came on July 5, 2016 with price UP more than 30{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} from its bear market lows of just seven months earlier. Additionally, note that the price high of 2017 also came at the 2017 Commercial NET short high of 272,098. This was the highest Commercial NET short position since the CoT of October 4, 2016. And where was price then? $1280.

As this pertains to Comex silver, at TFMR we always pay attention to the Large Spec Net Long Ratio. This is derived by dividing the Large Spec GROSS short position into the Large Spec GROSS long position. History has show that anything below 2:1 starts to get bullish, near 3:1 is neutral and above 4:1 starts to get bearish.

Read More@

FDA, DEA running massive conspiracy to criminalize Kratom in order to protect Big Pharma’s obscene opioid profits


by JD Heyes, Natural News:

Federal agencies who have declared a national emergency over the burgeoning opioid epidemic are simultaneously continuing to criminalized kratom, which is a non-addictive, natural plant that has allowed scores of Americans to be weaned off their opioid addictions.

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) announced plans to place the substance on the government’s list of Controlled Substances in 2015 — which is the same drug classification as heroin. However, after a public backlash the agency decided to shelve its plans, instead relying on a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “review” and “advice.”

The DEA’s reversal gave hope to kratom activists and supporters, but also led many to let their guard down as well because they trusted the FDA would be more reasonable in the long run and keep kratom unclassified.

Not so.

Long known to be influenced, even controlled, by Big Pharma, the FDA is now joining the DEA (which has also put CBD oil on the same list as heroin) in attacking kratom, indicating that the die may be cast and the substance’s future as an all-natural treatment for opioid addiction may be short — that is, if activists for the plant-based substance are unsuccessful in getting the agencies to drop their push to regulate.

As The Washington Post reported last week, the FDA actually issued a warning claiming that kratom is “deadly” and is of no use whatsoever in treating opioid addiction. (Related: Kratom helps transplant recipient avoid relying on prescription medications.)

The paper noted:

The Food and Drug Administration issued a strong warning Tuesday to consumers to stay away from the herbal supplement kratom, saying regulators are aware of 36 deaths linked to products containing the substance.

The FDA’s claims about kratom are not new. As Natural News reported a year ago, the agency said the substance serves no useful medical purpose.

But as we also noted, “drug companies actually hold patents on kratom’s medicinal compounds,” which gives the appearance of Big Pharma using its influence with the FDA to ensure that a much cheaper, all-natural alternative to drugs (especially addictive drugs that actually are killing people — by the thousands).

There is data showing that:

Three compounds in particular – MGM-9, MGM-15, and MGM-16 – serve as proof that kratom holds therapeutic potential. Each of these synthetic opioid compounds was synthesized from various alkaloids present in the kratom plant; MGM-9 came from a compound known as mitragynine, while MGM-15 and MGM-16 came from 7-hydroxymitragynine. These two compounds are considered to be among the primary active constituents in kratom. 

MGM-15 and MGM-16, in particular, have shown in studies they are useful in the treatment of chronic pain. Also, other studies have shown that they have analgesic properties that are potent but non-addictive. Kratom is safe, it’s effective, and users do not get hooked on it.

And yet, the federal government wants to ensure that it’s effectively banned — even as it continues to wage a nationwide battle against opioid addiction caused by drugs it has approved.

What kind of sense does that make? Answer: None.

As reported by Natural Blaze, however, scientists and researchers who have worked with kratom don’t believe any of the government’s apocalyptic claims about the substance.

Read More @

Slow-Motion Coup in Zimbabwe


by Stephen Lendman, The Sleuth Journal:

So far it’s bloodless. ZANU-PF party head Robert Mugabe led the country since 1980 after gaining independence from Britain, first as prime minister, mostly as president.

An end of an era in the African state approaches. On November 14, Zimbabwe’s military took control of the country’s state-run ZBC television, Mugabe placed under house arrest.

On Sunday, he was dismissed as party leader. Emmerson Mnangagwa, Mugabe’s sacked vice president, replaced him, an announcement saying:

“President Robert Mugabe be and hereby is recalled as first secretary and president of the ZANU-PF party. He is therefore asked to resign forthwith.”

“In the event that the resignation would not have been tendered by midday 20th of November, 2017, the ZANU-PF chief whip was ordered to issue proceedings for the removal of the president in terms of Section 97 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Number 20.”

The announcement followed an emergency meeting of party officials, a statement saying “(h)e has been expelled (along with two of his ministers and deputy president). Mnangagwa is our new leader” – 2018 elections to choose a permanent Mugabe successor.

Mugabe’s wife Grace, his choice to replace him one day, was also expelled. Mugabe little time left to step down or be removed by impeachment or something more sinister.

He’s aged-93, reportedly in poor health. Fast-moving events on Sunday came after thousands rallied in Harare, the nation’s capital, calling for him to step down, an orchestrated demonstration against him.

Read More @

The Debt Bubble Is Beginning To Leak Air


by Dave Kranzler, Investment Research Dynamics:

“The current state of credit card delinquency flows can be an early indicator of future
trends and we will closely monitor the degree to which this uptick is predictive of
further consumer distress.” – New York Fed official in reference to rising delinquency rate of credit cards.

The recent sell-off in junk bonds likely reflects a growing uneasiness in the market with credit risk, where “credit risk” is defined as the probability that a borrower will be able to make debt payments. This past week SocGen’s macro strategist, Albert Edwards, issued a warning that the falling prices of junk bonds might be “the key area of vulnerability that could bring down the inflated pyramid scheme that the Central Banks have created.”

The New York Fed released its quarterly report on household debt and credit for Q3 last week. The report showed a troubling rise in the delinquency rates for auto debt and mortgages. The graph to the right shows 90-day auto loan delinquencies by credit score. As you can see, the rate of delinquency for subprime borrowers (620 and below) is just under 10{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}. This rate is nearly as high the peak delinquency rate for subprime auto debt at the peak of the great financial crisis. In fact, you can see in the chart that the rate of delinquency is rising for every credit profile. I find this fact quite troubling considering that we’re being told by the Fed and the White House that economic conditions continue to improve.

While the Fed reports that 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the $1.2 trillion in auto loans outstanding has been issued to subprime borrowers, there tends to be a significant time-lag between when an individual’s credit condition deteriorates and when the FICO score reflects that deteriorated financial condition. I would argue that the true percentage of subprime auto debt outstanding is likely over 30{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}.  Bloomberg reported last week that “delinquent subprime loans are nearing crisis levels at auto finance companies.”Before the 2008 crisis, the outstanding level of auto loans peaked in late 2005 at $825 billion. The current level based on the most recent data is over $1.2 trillion, or nearly 50{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} higher than the previous peak. More troubling, the average loan balance, at close to $30,000, is substantially higher now.

Revolving credit is now over $1 trillion. At $1.005 trillion, it’s slightly below the previous peak of $1.020 trillion in April 2008. Most of the revolving debt category as tracked by the Fed is credit card debt. The Fed reports that 4.6{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of credit card debt is 90-days delinquent, up from 4.2{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in Q3. I would note that the Fed relies on reporting from banks and consumer finance for the delinquency data. Accounting regulations give banks a fairly wide window of discretion before a loan is officially declared to be delinquent. Banks and consumer finance companies tend to drag their feet before declaring a loan to be delinquent because it directly affects quarterly earnings. I would bet money that the true delinquency rate is higher than is being reported.

Mortgage delinquencies are now following the trend higher in auto, student and revolving loans:

The data in the graph above is sourced from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).  MBA data is lagged. again because of reporting methodology and because banks under-report delinquencies.  As such, the true current rate of delinquency is likely higher. I drew the red line to illustrate that, outside of the period from 2009 to 2014, the current rate of delinquency is at the high end of the historical range going back to 1979.

Let’s drill down a little deeper. The delinquency rate for FHA mortgages soared to 9.4{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in Q3 2017 from 7.94{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in Q2. That jump in the rate of delinquency is the highest quarterly increase in the history of the MBA’s survey. Recall that the FHA began offering 3.5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} down-payment mortgages in 2008. Because of the minimal down payment requirement, the FHA’s share of single-family  home purchase mortgage underwriting went from 3.9{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}  2007 to it current 17{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}  share.  In effect, FHA replaced the underwriting void left by the bankrupt private-issuer subprime lenders like Countrywide and Wash Mutual.  It’s no surprise that FHA paper is starting to collapse.  Fannie and Freddie started issuing 3{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} down-payment mortgages in early 2015.  All three agencies (FHA, FNM, FRE) reduced the amount of mortgage insurance required for low down payment loans. Just in time for the FHA complex to start cratering.

The reduction in mortgage qualification standards was implemented by the Government in order to keep the homes sales activity artificially stimulated. Do not overlook the fact that the National Association of Realtors drops more magic money dust on Congress than the Too Big To Fail Wall Street banks combined.

Read More @