Thursday, January 23, 2020

NEW PRESIDENT – SAME BLS BULLSHIT

by Jim Quinn, The Burning Platform:

I spent most of Obama’s presidency obliterating the jobs recovery narrative every month, as millions supposedly left the workforce because their financial situation was so wonderful. The bullshit shoveled by the BLS was nothing but manipulated misinformation then and it is still bullshit now. Just because the president is now Trump, doesn’t make the false narrative about a strong jobs recovery now valid. After a disappointing December jobs report, the cackling and tooting of horns might die down a little, but the propaganda peddlers will somehow spin it as a positive. Buy Stocks!!!!

Candidate Trump railed against the fake data put out by the BLS. He railed about the ridiculously low interest rates manufactured by the Fed. He declared the stock market was a bubble ready to burst. That was over 5,000 points ago. As expected, now that he is el presidente, Trump embraces the fake data, low interest rates and the most overvalued stock market in history. He tweets about the great economy and stock market every day. GDP has risen at a scintillating 2.5% pace in 2017. This is up from 2% in the prior two years, driven by people going further into debt to survive or buy shit they don’t need.

The narrative being propagated by the corporate MSM was this was the best holiday retail season in years. Americans were back to spending like drunken sailors. Trump is making America great again, so why not spend money we don’t have using that little piece of plastic. Those future tax savings will more than pay the bill. Except for a couple nagging questions.

Why did Sears and Macy’s just announce massive new store closures? Why do they, along with JC Penney and dozens of other retailers, continue to report hundreds of millions in losses? Why did 2017 see over 7,000 store closures and a record number of retail bankruptcies? Why would 20,000 retail jobs disappear in December, the biggest retail month of the year? Why did the country add 203,000 retail jobs in 2016 but lose 67,000 jobs in 2017 if the consumer is back baby? Something doesn’t smell right about the economic boom narrative.

If the unemployment rate was really 4.1% there would be tremendous upward pressure on wages as companies competed for a dwindling number of workers. The ball would be in the worker’s court. Wages have gone up by a pitiful 2.5% in the last year. Meanwhile, even the lying BLS has inflation running at 2.2% in the last year. That means real wages are up a pathetic 0.3%. And if we admit we are living in the real world where inflation is really running at 5%, then real wages have fallen 2.5% in the last year. Does this happen when the employment market is strong? Wage growth has been stagnant in the 2% to 2.5% range since the economic crisis.

How is it that Trump tries to take credit for the jobs added since election day? He wasn’t the president. He had implemented nothing to influence the job market. Let’s face it, presidents have virtually no impact on the jobs market, especially when they have passed nothing legislatively to impact the market. Companies do not hire because they love the new president. They hire either to grow business or because it has already grown. Obama was elected in the midst of an economic meltdown. The horrific job losses from November 2008 until Obama took office were nitwit Bush’s. The same applies now. Trump gets to take credit for everything since February. Not before.

So let’s see how we’ve done since February.

  • The working age population rose by 1.8 million, while employed Americans rose by 1.5 million, but as usual the unemployment rate somehow fell from 4.7% to 4.1%.
  • As long time readers know, according to the drones at the BLS, it fell because another 1.3 million able bodied working age Americans decided to leave the labor force of their own free will. There are now 95.5 million, or 37.3%, of the entire working age population – not working. An all-time high.
  • The participation rate and employment to population ratio continue to hover at or near 40 year lows. This is surely a sign of a booming jobs market.

Read More @ TheBurningPlatform.com

The Value Of Bitcoin

by Chris Martenson, Peak Prosperity:

So… in the past week, I’ve been asked for advice on Bitcoin by my brother-in-law, my local realtor, and close friends from as far away as Texas.

None of them cared to learn what it actually is. Or how it works. They just wanted to understand why suddenly so many folks they know are trying to buy Bitcoin hand over fist. And, of course, should they buy in now, too?

If you (or people you care about) have similar questions, this report is for you.

A Brave New World

Remember the scene from the movie Avatar, where the main character first explores the alien world of Pandora? I found that scene astonishing and beautiful. He’s encountering an entirely new and completely foreign ecosystem.  Every element is fascinating and wondrous, even the dangerous elements — yet it all still follows understandable rules.

Everything is involved in either gathering sunlight or eating something else that had. Every niche is filled. Every organism has its own strategy: some light up, some fly, some run, some crawl. As entirely alien as everything is, if you understand the basics of how organisms filled their niches on Earth, you have a great starting point for understanding of the rules of life on Pandora.

Similarly, a great way to begin to understand the new world opened up by Bitcoin (and the other cryptocurrencies) is to realize that it’s an ecosystem that, at its heart, maps neatly into the universe you already understand. A few examples: payments, identity, contracts, verification, and record keeping (ledgers).

As with any ecosystem in nature, a new organism will survive and flourish if and only if it’s more efficient and effective than the prior model. For example, nothing has displaced sharks in the past 425 million years because they’re extremely efficient in their niche. To displace them, a new ocean predator would have to come along that does what they do faster, better, and (energetically) cheaper.

So the operative questions we need to keep in mind when looking at the brave new world of digital currencies are: What problem(s) are they solving?, and, Are their solutions faster, better, and/or cheaper?

These are critical questions to answer. When a new technology is first introduced, all manner of fanciful thinking can cloud people’s better judgment with dreams of easy riches. Think back to 1999: as long as “dot com” was added to the end of a business’ name, it could raise abundant funds to pursue all manner of impractical ideas. How well did that work out? Just as Pets.com, Webvan.com and eToys.com.

Investors would have benefited from demanding clear answers to these basic questions of these companies before shoveling money into all the dot-com companies that eventually went bust. It would have prevented a lot of perfectly good capital from getting vaporized.

Over the years, Peak Prosperity has presented a number podcasts and articles explaining Bitcoin and the digital currencies. We interviewed with the chief Bitcoin architect in 2013, Gavin Andresen, and have run several lengthy reports on understanding the cryptocurrency boom. These previous works are worth taking the time to read/listen to if you’re looking to deepen your understanding of crypto technology and its value proposition.

As Charles Hugh Smith wrote for us back in January 2017 (when Bitcoin was trading at a paltry $600):

Let’s say a mere 1/10th of 1% of total global financial assets migrates into bitcoin. That equates to a price of $17,000 per bitcoin. That’s quite a rise from its current price of $580.

This is pure speculation, of course; some new scandal could emerge tomorrow that might cut bitcoin’s value in half.

The point is that value is ultimately driven by demand, and demand is driven by utility. As bitcoin’s utility increases in a world of rising financial repression, capital controls and expropriations, devaluations, etc., the demand for bitcoin will likely rise as well. (Note the rise in daily transactions in the chart posted in Part 1.)

And as bitcoin’s stability and valuation increase, the potential for a self-reinforcing feedback loop increases: as bitcoin’s value rises, it attracts more capital, which pushes prices higher, and so on.

(Source)

That was a very bold call to make. But, just 12 months later, Bitcoin is now currently trading at Charles’ projected $17,000 target.

A staggering amount has happened since we started following this space in 2013. To assess what happens from here, we now need to broaden our understanding of this vast new ecosystem — with all its new entrants — that is evolving so rapidly.

Digital Currencies & Digital Assets

Let’s start by getting our terminology in order. As not all of the related technologies and applications in this space are currencies, the entire range of digital solutions in this new ecosystem, of which Bitcoin is the current alpha organism, are best termed ‘digital assets.’ 

Digital currencies are representations of money that only exist in digital form. We might consider airline miles a form of digital currency. You cannot own any physical airline miles, only digital ones. But by controlling them in your account you can ‘spend’ or redeem them for a wide variety of valuable things. Digital currencies tend to be centralized, meaning that their main record keeping (ledger) functions are housed in a given entity. For example, your frequent flier miles account would be found in a database at American Airlines if that’s an airline of choice for you.

Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, are a type of digital currency. Cryptocurrencies rely upon algorithms and protocols to reliably transmit information (such as a given quantity of Bitcoin) from party A to party B. Two features of the transmission method involve independent verification of the transaction and having a distributed ledger, meaning there’s no one central spot (like a bank repository or single database) that keeps the records. Records are kept by all of the participants in the ecosystem (more on this later) and because of this, the “crypto” portion does not automatically imply ‘anonymity’ as many mistakenly assume. Because the records of cryptocurrency transactions are held by everyone (instead of just someone), they are said to be decentralized.

Read More @ PeakProsperity.com

Major Beijing BRI Security Fiasco Emerging

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by F. William Engdahl, New Eastern Outlook:

A major security fiasco involving a major China state company and a Hong Kong-based corporate security company is emerging. It could potentially open up the massive Eurasian project of China, its Belt, Road Initiative (BRI), to major covert sabotage directed out of Langley Virginia CIA headquarters and carried out by a “Trojan Horse” the Chinese have hired to train their personnel to protect the high-speed Eurasian rail and deep water ports infrastructure from sabotage and terror attacks. The Hong Kong company is owned by Erik Prince, notorious founder of Blackwater Security.

At the same time Prince is being paid by the Chinese to protect their BRI, he is reportedly plotting with Trump and CIA chief Mike Pompeo to form a “private CIA, completely off the books” that would do black operations in many of the Eurasian countries linked to the BRI. This is shaping up as a major security fiasco for China’s BRI if left uncorrected.

Private CIA

In early December a new element of Erik Prince’s dubious role as a “private” security consultant came to light. Media reports indicated that Prince is quietly proposing to President Trump personally and to Trump CIA head Mike Pompeo, to create a top secret global private CIA, “off-the-books” that would carry out dirty tricks, assassinations and other black operations independent of the official CIA. According to the reports, Prince is proposing the project together with his longtime associate, CIA veteran John R. Maguire, who also has worked as a consultant to Prince’s Hong Kong Frontier Services Group, about which more below.

They would reportedly create the “off-the-books” parallel CIA together with convicted Iran-Contra operative, Col. Oliver North, and would get US government funding to create a private mercenary force in both Pakistan, Afghanistan and send covert “private” destabilization agents into Iran and even North Korea among other proposed operations.

If we combine this Prince plan with his recent proposal for a privatized Afghan “exit strategy” we begin to see an ominous picture that will ensure chaos and anarchy in a key country of the future China Belt, Road Initiative, the so-called New Economic Silk Road.

The Prince private Afghan war plan

The same Erik Prince has recently presented a plan for a private Prince-created mercenary force to go into Afghanistan, a country his Blackwater was hired after 2002 by the CIA to operate in. On December 7, Prince unveiled what he termed his plan for an Afghan “exit strategy” after 17 years and more than $714 billion dollars of US taxpayer money. Prince proposes his private company be mandated to grab invaluable mining resources in Afghanistan’s Helmland Province and use the resources to pay for a continued US military role in the country. Prince proposes plundering huge reserves of lithium, uranium, phosphorus, and other rare earth elements worth $1 trillion in Helmand Province alone.

According to a report in the US Military Times, Prince has submitted a business proposal offering a “turn-key composite air wing” to help the Afghan air force fight against the Taliban and other militant groups. Prince’s private security company would reportedly provide and operate a fleet of fixed-wing planes, attack helicopters and drones capable of providing close-air support to maneuvering ground forces. Notable is the fact that Helmland Province is also home to the world’s largest opium cultivation, a crop whose volume exploded after the 2001 US invasion. Ahmed Wali Karzai, the warlord brother of the former US-selected President reportedly received regular payment from the CIA while he oversaw the control of Helmland opium and heroin.

Erik Prince would use his Hong Kong private security company, Frontier Services Group, the China-focused private military corporation Prince controls, according to these reports, to “provide logistics support to the extractive firms with secure transportation and camp support.” Now it begins to get really serious, as a potential security fiasco for China’s development of the BRI looms.

The well-connected Prince

Erik Prince became notorious as head of one of the more savage US private mercenary armies during the US occupation of Iraq in the 1990s. Blackwater became notorious in Iraq for the Nisour Square massacre in September 2007, when Blackwater mercenaries working for the US Government opened fire in a crowded square in Baghdad, killing 17 Iraqi civilians including children and seriously wounding 20 more. Three guards were convicted of 14 manslaughter charges, and another of murder, in a US court. After that, in 2010 he sold the company and regrouped eventually under the name Academi. Academi was also reportedly involved in the 2013-14 CIA-backed coup d’etat in Ukraine that toppled the elected Yanukovich government, involved in training private paramilitary forces tied to Ukraine neo-nazi groups.

In 2010 Prince’s company, despite scandals, received another $100 million to do work for the CIA. In 2009 it was revealed that Erik Prince was part of a CIA task force commissioned to kill terrorists. He even was hired to provide security to the Langley, Virginia CIA headquarters.

Interesting to note as well are Erik Prince’s ties to the Donald Trump Administration. His sister, billionaire Betsy DeVos, wife of the heir of the AmWay fortune, is Trump Administration Secretary of Education. According to one former US senior official, Prince had advised the Trump transition team before January 20 on matters related to intelligence and defense, “including weighing in on candidates for the Defense and State departments.” Erik Prince is close friend of vice President Mike Pence, who as Vice President cast a rare tie-breaking vote in the Senate that allowed Prince’s sister, Betsy DeVos, to become Education Secretary. Prince is also close with billionaire hedge fund operator Robert Mercer, a key financier of Trump’s election.

These close connections Prince is reportedly using to promote his private CIA that would report only to Pompeo and Trump, outside the traditional intelligence chain-of-command.

Prince and the China Silk Road Security

A Chinese government newspaper revealed in early 2017 that Prince’s Hong Kong-based Frontier Services Group (FSG) will build two operational bases in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and Southwest China’s Yunnan Province. Xinjiang and Yunnan provinces are at the heart or geographical pivot of China’s vast, developing One Bridge, One Road high-speed rail, port and energy pipeline infrastructure undertaking. Erik Prince is chairman and principal operating executive of Frontier Services Group.

In an interview with the London Financial Times, Prince described his work with China stating, “We’re not serving Chinese foreign policy goals, we’re helping increase trade.” FSG is a logistics company, we are not a security company. None of our people have been or will be armed. But security management is certainly part of the logistics process.
” FSG’s largest investor is CITIC, an investment fund owned and controlled by the People’s Republic of China. CITIC owns 20% of Frontier Services Group.

In an interview in the Chinese state Global Times paper, Prince announced his FSG has been hired to build two of what the company calls “operational bases.” Prince stated in the interview with Global Times, “The Northwest corridor includes the countries of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Southwest corridor includes Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia,” adding that, “the planned new facility in China’s Yunnan Province will allow FSG to be able to better serve companies in the Southwest corridor. Subsequently, FSG will be opening a training facility in Xinjiang to serve businesses in the Northwest corridor.”

The FSG base in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, will be in the heart of the sensitive region long a target of CIA-instigated Uyghur terrorism. Xinjiang is home to the CIA-fostered East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) of Al Qaeda, active among Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. Xinjiang itself is the cross-roads of most major international oil and gas pipelines into China from Kazakhstan, Russia and elsewhere. The second “operational base” will be in Southwest China’s Yunnan Province, where Kunming is the strategic hub of the entire Myanmar oil and gas pipelines and deep-water port to the Indian Ocean as well as the crossroads of the vast One Road, One Road high-speed rail.

Prince and Chia’s Potential Fiasco

If we step back a moment and put all the pieces on the table we see the outlines of a looming security fiasco if not worse for the ambitious and game-changing Eurasian Belt, Road Initiative.

Blackwater founder and notorious CIA-funded mercenary Erik Prince has managed to convince the Chinese government to finance and hire his Hong Kong Frontier Services Group to do security training and operations along the two major arteries or corridors of the new Silk Road: Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and Southwest China’s Yunnan Province, where Kunming is the strategic hub of the entire Myanmar oil and gas pipelines and including a deep sea port on Maday Island in Kyaukphyu, Rakhine State, heart of recent, suspiciously-timed political unrest involving the Myanmar security forces and Rohingya Muslims.

Read More @ Journal-NEO.org

US Winks, Israel Bites? Shifting Middle East Alliances. The War on Iran is “On Hold”?

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by Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research:

In 2003, the war on Iran project was already Déjà Vu. It had been on the drawing board of the Pentagon since the mid-nineties. 

Since the launching of the Theater Iran Near Term (TIRANNT) war games scenario in May 2003 (leaked classified document), an escalation scenario involving military action directed against Iran and Syria had been envisaged, of which Syria was the first stage in 2011.  

The initial invasion of Iraq under “Operation Iraqi Freedom” was launched on March 20, 2003, April 9 marks the Fall of Baghdad;  officially the invasion was completed on May 1st, 2003.

In May 2003, immediately following the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the TIRANNT (Theater Iran Near Term) war games scenario were carried out as revealed by William Arkin, a former US intelligence analyst:

“In early 2003, even as U.S. forces were on the brink of war with Iraq, the Army had already begun conducting an analysis for a full-scale war with Iran. The analysis, called TIRANNT, for “theater Iran near term,” was coupled with a mock scenario for a Marine Corps invasion and a simulation of the Iranian missile force. U.S. and British planners conducted a Caspian Sea war game around the same time. And Bush directed the U.S. Strategic Command to draw up a global strike war plan for an attack against Iranian weapons of mass destruction. All of this will ultimately feed into a new war plan for “major combat operations” against Iran that military sources confirm now exists in draft form. [This contingency plan entitled CONPLAN 8022 would be activated in the eventuality of a Second 9/11, on the presumption that Iran would be behind it]  (William Arkin, Washington Post, 16 April 2006)

“Theater Near Term”, a scenario of waging a war against Iran following the defeat of Iraq was the unspoken concept. Under the auspices of US Central Command, TIRANNT focussed on both “Near Term” (i.e. following the Iraq war) as well “Out-Year” (signifying the subsequent year) scenarios for war with Iran ” …including all aspects of a major combat operation, from mobilization and deployment of forces through postwar stability operations after regime change.” (Ibid)

The core TIRANNT effort began in May 2003, when modelers and intelligence specialists pulled together the data needed for theater-level (meaning large-scale) scenario analysis for Iran. TIRANNT has since been updated using post-Iraq war information on the performance of U.S. forces. Meanwhile, Air Force planners have modeled attacks against existing Iranian air defenses and targets, while Navy planners have evaluated coastal defenses and drawn up scenarios for keeping control of the Strait of Hormuz at the base of the Persian Gulf.

A follow-on TIRANNT Campaign Analysis, which began in October 2003, calculated the results of different scenarios for action against Iran to provide options for analyzing courses of action in an updated Iran war plan. (Ibid)

Needless to say, the “Near Term” plans formulated in 2003 had been postponed.

USCENTCOM’s “Dual Containment”. First Iraq, then Iran

The 2003 decision to target Iran under TIRANNT  as well as all subsequent endeavors and “secret plans” were part of the broader Middle East military roadmap. Already during the Clinton administration, US Central Command (USCENTCOM) had formulated in 1995 under the doctrine of “Dual Containment” “in war theater plans” to invade first Iraq and then Iran:

“The broad national security interests and objectives expressed in the President’s National Security Strategy (NSS) and the Chairman’s National Military Strategy (NMS) form the foundation of the United States Central Command’s theater strategy. The NSS directs implementation of a strategy of dual containment of the rogue states of Iraq and Iran as long as those states pose a threat to U.S. interests, to other states in the region, and to their own citizens. Dual containment is designed to maintain the balance of power in the region without depending on either Iraq or Iran. USCENTCOM’s theater strategy is interest-based and threat-focused. The purpose of U.S. engagement, as espoused in the NSS, is to protect the United States’ vital interest in the region – uninterrupted, secure U.S./Allied access to Gulf oil.”

USCENTCOM, http://www.milnet.com/milnet/pentagon/centcom/chap1/stratgic.htm#USPolicy

emphasis  added, the original document of USCENTCOM is no longer available)

The Role of Israel. “Doing the Bombing For Us”

The TIRANNT (2003) scenario was followed by a series of military plans pertaining to Iran. Numerous post 9/11 official statements and US military documents had pointed to an expanded Middle East war, involving the active participation of Israel.

Broadly, what characterizes U.S. foreign policy is to encourage America’s allies “to do the dirty work on our behalf”.

Read More @ GlobalResearch.ca

Establishment Media Now Laughably Claiming That Trump Cannot READ In Latest Pathetic Attack On The President

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by Alex Thomas, SHTFPlan:

Another day, another pathetic attack on Donald Trump, this time with the laughable claim that the president may not actually be able to read.

That’s right, Trump derangement syndrome has “reached its peak” and has even increased with the release of a so far uncorroborated book by anti-Trump author Michael Wolff that claims that almost every person who comes into contact with the president believes him to be a moron.

Keep in mind that this comes at the same time that the media and leftists throughout the country are also trying to claim that Trump is mentally unstable.

Infowars reports:

The latest talking media point, in addition to the notion that the President is mentally unstable, is that Trump is probably also illiterate.

The point was raised, predictably, on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, with Joe Scarborough declaring “[Trump] doesn’t read. He didn’t read. […] [T]here has been a question of whether this guy can read, whether he does read.”

Scarborough noted that Wolff’s book contends that “senior staffers at the White House have low opinions of the President’s intelligence.”

“There are many creative words. Quote: ‘Trump didn’t read. He didn’t really even skim. If it was print, it might as well not exist. Some believed that for all practical purposes, he was no more than semi-literate.’” Scarborough stated as he read from the text.

“For Steve Mnuchin and Reince Priebus, he was an “idiot.” For Gary Cohn, he was “dumb as” blank [on screen: “s**t”]. For H.R. McMaster he was a ‘dope.’” the host continued.

Scarborough then launched into what can only be described as straight up disinformation coming from a man that openly hates the president and has shown his willingness to do whatever it takes to hurt him.

He doesn’t read. He didn’t read. I remember one time in a, uh, let’s just say a tense, uh, uh, uh, meeting with Donald Trump, I actually after, I think it was the, uh, right after the first debate, I said, uh — and of course we disagreed on his performance. I thought it was horrible. He thought it was the greatest debate performance ever.

I said: Donald, let me ask you a question. Do you read? Do you read? And he just stared back at me and made Mika a little nervous, uh, for me to be insulting this guy. I go: Do you read? If somebody — and, um, this is verbate. If somebody wrote you a one-page memo, and, and, and wrote a one-page memo for every issue, could you read it?

And he lifted up his Bible, his childhood Bible. He goes: Of course I read. Uh, that was the wrong book for him to hold up to say he read it. But, there, there has been a question of whether this guy can read, whether he does read.

Uh, and inside the White House, again, we’ve all heard these complaints. He refuses to read anything. He gets bored, uh, after about fifteen seconds of even people talking to him.

Read More @ SHTFPlan.com

The Leveraged Economy BLOWS UP In 2018

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by Steve St. Angelo, SRSrocco:

Enjoy the good times while you can because when the economy BLOWS UP this next time, there is no plan B.  Sure, we could see massive monetary printing by Central Banks to continue the madness a bit longer after the market crashes, but this won’t be a long-term solution.  Rather, the U.S. and global economies will contract to a level we have never experienced before.  We are most certainly in unchartered territory.

Before I get into my analysis and the reasons we are heading towards the Seneca Cliff, I wanted to share the following information.  I haven’t posted much material over the past week because I decided to spend a bit of quality time with family.  Furthermore, a good friend of mine past away which put me in a state of reflection.  This close friend was also very knowledgeable about our current economic predicament and was a big believer in owning gold and silver.  So, it was a quite a shame to lose someone close by who I could chat with about these issues.

While some of my family members know about my work, I don’t really discuss it with them.  If they ever have a question, I will try to answer it, but I found out years ago that it was a waste of time to try and impose my knowledge upon them.  Which is the very reason I started my SRSrocco Report website… LOL.  So, now I have a venue to get my analysis out to the public.  I don’t care about reaching everyone, but rather to provide important information to those who are OPEN to it.

As I have stated before, I receive communications from individuals all across the world and from all different occupations.  The common theme I receive from these individuals, who stumbled upon my website, is that they say, “IT’S MUCH WORSE THAN YOU REALIZE.”  Unfortunately, I cannot share publically the information that they have provided, but I can tell you that the GRAND FACADE will come crashing down to the shock and surprise by the masses.

However, I can tell you one individual has contacted me with data suggesting that one of the largest shale oil companies in the United States has been fudging its numbers for the past several years.  I have had nearly a half a dozen phone conversations with this individual and the evidence points to serious fraudulent activity.  And let me tell you this individual is no conspiracy nut, he was a Senior-Level person in the company.  When this information becomes public, it could be the next ENRON.  If so, that will destroy the investor trust in the U.S. Shale Energy Industry.  Virtually overnight, we could see a collapse of capital investment in an industry that hasn’t really made any profits since it started producing shale oil and gas nearly a decade ago.

Unfortunately, I continue to read articles and receive emails from individuals who believe that the vast U.S. shale energy resources will make the U.S. energy independent.  I am completely surprised by the lack of wisdom of supposedly highly intelligent individuals who should know better.  Furthermore, it seems to be that the debate is not about discussing facts and reason, but rather between the TRUTH & LIES.

Thus, there is a big disconnect between individuals with CHARACTER, INTEGRITY, and TRUTH versus those who don’t care about increasing the debt to produce shale energy.  According to these individuals, they don’t care if someone gets stuck with the debt if it allowed them to make money or for Americans to enjoy low-priced gasoline.  This is exactly what is wrong with the world today.  The world has become so big; we don’t care about screwing someone else in order to make a buck.  If it isn’t our money, then the hell with them.

So, to debate someone with that sort of mentality, it’s a total waste of time.  You cannot debate an individual based on facts and truth if they come from a position of fraudulent activity and lies.  Just like oil and water, they don’t mix.  I can tell you; I see this all over the internet… even in the alternative media community.  Of course, these individuals will reply that they are correct.  However, their position is flawed because their ideology is also flawed.

Here is a piece of advice.  Don’t waste time debating individuals who don’t base their ideas on truth and sound data.  The only reason I do it via my articles is to prove why their analysis is flawed because people are still making up their minds.  I don’t do it to change the mindset of the analysts, (example, CPM Group’s Jeff Christian), but to provide information that helps individuals understand the reality of dire energy predicament we are facing because it all comes down to the energy.

That being said, I haven’t received a reply from Jeff Christian in regards to my article, CPM Group’s Jeff Christian Responds “NEGATIVELY” To The SRSrocco Report On Silver Investment Demand.  After my first article, Jeff left some choice words in a comment, which motivated me to reply.  Of course, Jeff didn’t reply to the second article because I gather he realizes that the FACTS & DATA prove their gold and silver price analysis has been flawed for 40 years.  So, it’s better for Jeff Christian and the CPM Group to keep quiet as they want to continue selling their Gold and Silver Yearbooks to the industry.

The Fundamentals Point To The GREAT DELEVERAGING Of The Economy… Dead Ahead

While the mainstream media and financial networks suggest that THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT for the markets…. it isn’t.  The fundamentals of the markets are so out-of-whack, I am amazed people can’t see it.  This is also true for the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency market.  While a small group of crypto-investors have made a killing, it’s mostly digital wealth.  While I don’t have a problem with someone making profits investing in cryptocurrencies, I do have a problem when they believe this technology is the wave of the future.  For some strange reason, they must believe in the ENERGY TOOTH FAIRY.

While some of these cryptocurrency analysts (or supposed analysts) believe that we are heading into a new high-tech world where we no longer have to work, just live phat on our Billions in Bitcoin profits, the Falling EROI – Energy Returned On Investment never sleeps.  That’s correct; it continues to erode our modern way of living each passing day.  Unfortunately, adding more technology does not solve our energy predicament, it just makes it worse.

Read More @ SRSrocco.com

How to beat stage 4 cancer: For one man, going vegan and quitting chemo saved his life

by Ralph Flores, Natural News:

Given only weeks to live, one man defied the odds and beat stage 4 cancer, thanks to a change in diet.

In an article featured in the Daily Mail, Rob Mooberry recounted how he was rushed to the hospital with a perforated colon back in July 2012. Scans later revealed that he had colorectal cancer which had already metastasized to other parts of his body, such as the bowels, lymph nodes, and liver.

It was then that doctors told the father-of-two that he would need to have a colostomy bag installed, as well as additional surgery in the gut. Furthermore, he would have to undergo two rounds of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

The first round of treatment was able to reduce his cancer enough to be downgraded to 3A; however, this left him so weak and feeling worse about himself that he said he “couldn’t take it anymore.” He proceeded to look for ways to flush the chemicals out of his body before starting another round of treatment.

It was then that he started a plant-based, alkaline diet, with his vegetarian wife Amanda, after learning from research that indicated sugar and processed food increased tumors. The results of the switch were clear in the next scan – his cancer had shrunk by almost 80 percent.

Currently, he is in his fifth year of being cancer-free and raising two 20-month old twins, as well as running a small cancer charity aside from his bartending job to help other patients.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Mooberry admits that the new-found attention he gained after his story became viral is new to him, particularly him being touted as a vegan advocate. “I’m not standing on my soapbox saying everyone needs to go plant-based and vegan,” he said. “But if you’re going to ask me what worked for me, I’ll tell you: This diet.”

He also recalled getting the shock of his life upon hearing the news, since no one in his family had a history of cancer. Additionally, he was already into fitness – as he ran regularly and maintain a lean protein diet.

Prior to his diagnosis, Mooberry said that he had already been experiencing symptoms in his body – such as bloating and blood in the stool, as well as a change in bowel movements. But he decided to ignore the symptoms.

That was until July 2012, when he was hospitalized due to a “searing pain in his abdomen.” Doctors discovered that this was because of a micro perforation in his colon, which did not allow anything to pass by it. They also discovered that the cancer had spread in his body, which may have been lingering for over two years. Still, Mooberry persisted and fought the disease and began the arduous process of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

“It was horrible,” he recalled. “I had to take time off work, I had no energy, I felt sick. That kind of medicine puts so many chemicals in your body.”

After his diagnosis, he committed to becoming as healthy as possible, mainly due to his developing relationship with his new wife at the time, Amanda. While his wife was already vegetarian, Mooberry decided to take it further and go vegan. (Related: A vegan diet offers relief from inflammatory disease and reduces heart disease risk.)

Read More @ NaturalNews.com

Iran in 2018 — Paul Craig Roberts

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by Paul Craig Roberts, Paul Craig Roberts:

In 1953 Washington and Britain overthrew the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a dictator to rule Iran for the benefit of Washington and the British. In declassified documents, the CIA has admitted its role in overthrowing the Iranian government. The overthrow pattern is always the same. Washington hires protesters, then introduces violence, controls the explanation, and unseats the government.

Ever since the Iranian Revolution that overthrew the Washington-installed dictator in1979, Washington has been trying to regain control of Iran. In 2009 Washington financed the “Green Revolution,” which was an attempt to overthrow the Ahmadinejad government.

Today Washington is again at work against the Iranian people. It is difficult to believe that any Iranian, after watching what Washington-organized protests have done to Honduras, Libya, Ukraine, and Syria, have attempted to do to Iran in 2009, and is attempting to do today to Venezuela, could possibly in good faith go out into the streets against their own government. Are these Iranian protesters utterly stupid or are they hired to commit treason against their country?

Why does Iran permit foreign-funded operatives to attempt to destabilize the government as Ukraine did and as Venezuela does today? Are these governments so brainwashed by the West that they think that democracy means permitting foreign agents to attempt to overthrow the government?

Are governments so intimidated by the Western presstitutes that they find it challenging to defend themselves against foreign-paid provocateurs?

Having succeeded in causing violent protests in Iran, Washington now intends to use an emergency UN Security Council meeting on Iran in order to set the stage for more intervention against Iran. The Washington-incited violence has been turned into a “human rights issue” against Iran. Will Washington get away with it?

Iran’s fate is up to Russia and China. If Washington succeeds in destabilizing Iran, Russia and China are next. Russia seems to understand this. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said yesterday: “We warn the US against attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Just as the Russian government comprehended that Russia could not permit Washington’s destabilization of Syria, Russia understands she cannot permit the destabilization of Iran.

Read More @ PaulCraigRoberts.org

The Four Most Dangerous Words In Investing…

by Dave Kranzler, Investment Research Dynamics:

“This time it’s different.” That quote is from Sir John Templeton, a legendary investor who is considered the father of the modern mutual fund industry. For most of the month of December, I’ve been hearing ads from mortgage brokers who are promoting the idea of refinancing your house in order to take care of holiday bills. It reminded of the early 2000’s when then Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan, was urging Americans to use their house as “an ATM” by taking on home equity loans as a means of drawing out cash against home equity for consumption spending. Adding more debt against your house to pay off big credit card balances merely shifts household debt from one creditor to another. What’s worse, it frees up room under the credit card accounts to enable the consumer to take on even more debt.

In reference to the mortgage and housing market collapse in 2008, Ben Bernanke wrote, “Clearly, many of us at the Fed, including me, underestimated the extent of the housing bubble and the risks it posed.” It’s hard to know if that statement is genuine or not, given that many of us saw the housing bubble that was developing as early as 2004.

The Federal Government’s low-to-no down payment programs via Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the FHA, VHA and USDA, combined with the hyper-promotion of cash-out refinancings (bigger 1st mortgages and/or second-lien mortgages) tell me that, once again, most people in this country believe – or rather, hope – that the outcome will be different this time.

The graphic just below  is an interesting way to show the affect that Central Bank monetary inflation has on asset valuation vs income. Asset valuation should be theoretically derived from the income levels connected to the assets. Either the asset requires a certain level of income level to purchase and maintain the asset or the asset itself generates income/cash flow.

You’ll note the pattern that developed starting with the tech bubble era. Prior to the Clinton administration the Fed subtly intervened in the financial system by been printing money in excess of marginal wealth creation (GDP growth) once Nixon closed the gold window. But, in conjunction with the Greenspan Fed, the Government’s willingness to print money as an official policy tool took on a whole new dimension during the Clinton administration.  Note:  I’m not making a political judgment per se about the Clinton presidency, because the Fed’s ability to print money to prop up the stock market was established with Reagan’s Executive Order after the 1987 stock crash. You’ll note that the household net worth to income ratio began to rise at a sharp rate starting in mid-1994, which was when the Clinton-Rubin strong dollar policy was implemented. It’s also around the time that Greenspan began regularly printing money to address the series of financial problems that arose in the 1990’s.

The current ratio of household net worth to income is 6.75 – the highest household net worth to income ratio in history. It peaked around 6.5x in 2007 and 6.1x in early 2000. You’ll note that from 1986 to 1995 the ratio averaged just around 5.1x.

A graphic that is correlated to the household net worth/income ratio is the household net worth to GDP.  The pic to the right shows household net worth (assets minus debt) vs. a plot of the U.S. nominal GDP. As you can see, when the growth in household net worth deviates considerably from the growth in nominal GDP, bad things happen to asset values. Note: household assets consist primarily of a house and retirement funds. Currently the level of household net worth – that is, the value of homes and stock portfolios – relative to GDP is at its highest point in history. This will not end with happiness.

I wanted to present the two previous graphics and my accompanying analysis, in conjunction with the theme that “it is not different this time.” The extreme degree of household asset inflation relative to incremental GDP wealth output is yet another data-point indicating the high probability that a nasty stock market accident will occur sooner or later. To compound the severity of the problem, household asset inflation has been achieved primarily through massive credit creation. The amount of debt per home sold in this country currently is at a record level.

During this past week, the bullish sentiment of investors continued to soar.  A record level of investor bullishness never ends well for the stock market. Speaking of which, there has been an interesting development in the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence metrics. The headline-reported index showed an unexpected declined from 129.5 to 122.1 vs 128 expected. This is a big percentage drop and a big drop vs Wall Street’s crystal ball. However, while the “present situation” index hit its highest level since April 2001, the “expectations” – or “hope” – metric plunged from 113.3 to 99.1. It seems the current euphoria connected to the stock and housing markets is not expected to last.

Read More @ InvestmentResearchDynamics.com