Wednesday, September 28, 2022

‘There Is No Cure for this Disease…’


by Hugo Salinas Price, Plata:

In 1934, through the Gold Reserve Act, President Roosevelt devalued the dollar from $20.67 dollars per ounce, to $35 dollars per ounce.

The devaluation was excessive, meaning that at $35 dollars per ounce, the world considered that it would rather own American dollars – as undervalued – rather than gold; for this reason, and because of fears regarding another World War, the world shipped enormous quantities of gold to the US, in exchange for US dollars.

The consequence was that the stash of American gold, at the end of WW II, was about 22,000 tons of gold.

The huge error which the American administration committed at the Bretton Woods, N.H., international monetary conference in 1944, where the monetary order of the post-war world was determined, was to force upon the world a defective monetary system: gold was to be the foundation of the post-war world economy, supported by the US dollar, which was to be considered – like it or not – as good as gold.

This huge mistake has brought the US and the world to an enormous economic distortion: all production in all countries of the world, today, and all economic relations, both internally within nations and with regard to their international relations, are disconnected from reality.

After the war, the US continued the policy to which it was and is addicted: credit expansion. Consequently, the undervaluation of the dollar in 1934, turned into an overvaluation of the dollar, and US gold began to be purchased by the rest of the world at what was regarded as an increasingly attractive price of $35 dollars per ounce. Accordingly, the US stock of gold began to contract as gold left the country.

In 1955, when I was 23 years old, and returning from a trip to Europe with my bride on the Italian passenger liner, the “Andrea Doria”, I recall after-dinner conversations with elderly gentlemen in the lounge, and the subject of the conversations was the persistent loss of gold on the part of the US.

In the post-war period, as a result of the Bretton Woods Agreements of 1944, the rest of the world accumulated dollar reserves – “as good as gold” – and this helped mask the consequences of the constant US credit expansion. However, there was a fly in the ointment: the perceptive Jacques Rueff, Economics Minister of General Charles de Gaulle, President of France, alerted de Gaulle to the fact that the US was both expanding internal US credit, and external credit by sending US dollars to France in payment for French imports to the US: French acceptance of dollars as payment, was actually credit extended to the US, and according to Rueff, this was unwise.

General de Gaulle thereupon insisted on returning the dollars held by the Bank of France to the US, and demanding in return, the gold to which it had a right. In May of 1968, Paris was shaken by very severe Leftist rioting and President de Gaulle was very nearly deposed. Obviously, the US had not been pleased with General de Gaulle’s attitude.

Nevertheless, the outflow of gold from Fort Knox to the rest of the world continued unabated. The cheap dollar purchased a lot of gold, at $35 dollars an ounce.

As we all know, Fort Knox continued to bleed gold until August 15, 1971 when the gold stock having reached some 8,000 tons, President Nixon “temporarily” closed the gold window. The “as good as gold” part of the Bretton Woods Agreements of 1944 had ended. The irredeemable US dollar – a figment of the imagination – was now the basis of the world’s economy.

World trade did not stop in its tracks. The world continued to revolve around its own axis in 24 hours a day, and the nations of the world went on using the irredeemable dollar as the foundation of their national economies and their banking systems.

Gold reserves ceased to have any importance for finance ministers around the world. Gold became the “barbarous relic” of J. M. Keynes. Having dollars now became the paramount objective of finance ministers and Central Bank chiefs.

The question for the rest of the world was no longer “We cannot allow excessive credit expansion, because we have to protect our gold reserves.” After August 15, 1971, the new question was: “We must export more than we import, in order to have growing reserves of US dollars; because if we have more dollars, we can also expand credit – like the US – and grow our economies.” If the rest of the world wanted more dollars in order to “grow their economies”, there was, in the last resort, only one country that provided the necessary dollars: the US.

Consequently, the rest of the world went to work to sell whatever it could, to the US, and receive dollars in payment. National prosperity for the rest of the world required a flourishing export market in the US. Those who had nothing to sell to the US were out of luck. Those selling lots of stuff to the US, enjoyed prosperity.

What was the key to selling to the US, for the all-important dollars received in return?

The key, for all countries, was to undersell the local US producers of whatever the rest of the world had for sale. There was no other way to obtain dollars.

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CIA’s Secret Spy Tool Steals Biometric Data From Other Intelligence Agencies


by Aaron Kesel, activistpost:

WikiLeaks has published a document of a CIA project called ‘ExpressLane’ that allows the agency to secretly extract biometric data from the NSA, the DHS, and the FBI as well as non-U.S. agencies.

The documents from ExpressLane were released by the international whistleblowing organization as part of its ongoing ‘Vault 7’ series on the CIA’s hacking capabilities.

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Critics Blast Trump on Afghanistan Policy – Ignore Why It’s a Lose-Lose Situation


from freedomoutpost:

President Donald Trump inherited a foreign and domestic policy mess from Barack Hussein Obama Soetoro Sobarkah.  But, both of these men inherited a mess involving Afghanistan.

In fact, the American involvement in Afghanistan reaches back to 1980.

When Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson (2nd District) read an Associated Press article referring to Afghan refugees, he used his seat on the Defense Appropriations committee “to secretly steer billions of dollars to Afghan rebels resisting Soviet occupation.”

Wilson became the secret patron of the largest covert operation in Central Intelligence Agency history.  Through his use of “backroom deals,” Wilson was able to secure billions of dollars of taxpayer money to funnel to the Afghan rebels, known as the mujahedeen, fighting Russia.

By the time of Russian troop withdrawal in 1989, the appropriation for Afghanistan reached $750 million dollars per year.

However, many world governments, including the united States, had aided the Peshawar Seven prior to 1979.

In fact, CIA officials kept the mujahedeen going in order to “suck the Soviet Union into a Vietnamese quagmire,” prior to Soviet troops entering Afghanistan.

Wilson, vehemently opposed to communism and deeply ambitious, received an invitation to celebrate at Langley, VA CIA headquarters upon the Russian retreat from Afghanistan.

Wilson was congratulated on his victory by Pakistani General Mohammed Zia ul-Haq.

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Swiss Central Bank Boosts Stakes in FAAMG Stocks by 77 Percent to $9.38 Billion


by Pam Martens and Russ Martens, wallstreetonparade:

The Swiss central bank may be part of a modern age Tulip Bubble.

Since June 30 of last year, Switzerland’s central bank, the Swiss National Bank, has increased its stock holdings of five U.S. social media/tech stocks from $5.3 billion to $9.38 billion, an increase of 77 percent in 12 months. The stocks are Apple, Alphabet (parent to Google), Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook. The stock information comes from a 13F filing the Swiss National Bank made this month with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a quarterly form required of institutional investment managers who manage $100 million or more.

According to the SEC form, the Swiss central bank owns the following positions as of June 30, 2017: $2.76 billion in Apple common stock; over $2 billion in two classes of Alphabet stock; $1.864 billion in Microsoft common; $1.434 billion in Amazon common; and $1.32 billion in Facebook Class A. It owns tens of billions of dollars more in other U.S. and global stocks.

Adding to the peculiarity of this central bank, its own stock actually trades on a stock exchange and its stock price has soared by 88 percent since April. (See chart above.)

According to the website of the Swiss National Bank, it “does not pursue any strategic interests in its equity investments and as a general rule does not engage in any stock selection.” It says its share holdings are “managed passively by replicating a combination of different indices.”

It has a flexible do-no-evil expressed philosophy in buying stocks for its portfolio, writing that it “avoids shares in companies which produce internationally banned weapons, seriously violate fundamental human rights or systematically cause severe environmental damage.” That philosophy has not prevented it from (as of June 30, 2017) owning $464 million in Philip Morris International, which says it is “the world’s leading tobacco company” and that “six of the world’s top international brands are ours, including Marlboro, the world’s number one.”

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Seeking Freedom? Shambhala Buddhism is a Liberating Mindset


from thedailybell:

Buddhists have been dealing in liberation for 2,500 years.

Buddha went from being a prince to a monk and finally took the middle path. He wouldn’t live as royalty and he wouldn’t pray in silence. Instead, he traveled and taught. He achieved enlightenment and spread his philosophy, helping individuals journey to liberation.

The teachings are secular. Though Buddhism is considered a religion, it is more closely akin to a way of life. It offers one, of many, paths to individual liberation.

In the Shambhala sect of Buddhism, the personal journey is especially important. In the past, I fell into the trap of thinking I could prescribe the right way for people. What I didn’t realize is that all I can do is prescribe the right path for myself.

Chögyam Trungpa describes the philosophy in his book Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior. He discusses the gap between grand ideas about how society should function, versus the individual’s ability to run his own life according to the same principles.

You can’t help society purely on the basis of your vision for the nation or the world. There are many ideas about how to organize a society so that it will fulfill people’s needs. There is, of course, the popular idea of democratic rule, rule by the people. Another approach is that rule by an elite will produce a progressive society. A third idea is to take a scientific approach to ruling, in which natural resources are equally distributed and a completely balanced ecology is created. These and other ideas may have value, but they must be integrated with an individual human being’s experience of domestic life. Otherwise you have a huge gap between your grand vision for society and the reality of everyday existence.

Trying to vote for freedom or legislate it is doomed to fail based on the very nature of individual liberty. If you want the ultimate freedom of personal choice, then as an individual you must make that personal choice to be free.

Freedom is the ultimate in grassroots, it is personal, and it has got to happen on an individual level first in order to make a difference on a larger scale.

I didn’t understand this when I once campaigned for candidates for Congress. I thought if we only got the right people in power, then they could implement a top down solution to free society. But even if a politician could deliver this type of individual liberation, why would they? It would put them out of a job. It would make them useless.

Politicians today thrive on selling fear. That is the only way they can remain in power. They act like saviors in a “setting sun” world. That is, a world based on death. It is a world based on scarcity, aggression, cowardice, and fear.

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LED Street Lights Could Be Harmful to Your Health


by Julie Fidler, Natural Society:

LED street lights are so hazardous to people’s health that the American Medical Association (AMA) has adopted an official policy about them.

Adopted unanimously at the AMA’s annual meeting in Chicago on June 14, 2016, the policy comes in response to the growing number of LED street lights in the country. An association committee issued guidelines on how communities can choose LED streetlights “to minimize potential harmful human health and environmental effects.”

Long-lasting LED lights are quickly replacing existing streetlights because they save municipalities money on energy and maintenance. But the AMA’s stance reflects the importance of properly designing new technologies and the tight link between light and human health.

In the statement, the AMA recommends that outdoor lighting at night, especially street lights, should have a color temperature (CT) no greater than 3,000 Kelvin (K). A light’s CT is a measure of the spectral content of light from a source – how much blue, green, yellow, and red there is in it. A higher CT rating usually means a light contains more blue content, which makes the light appear whiter. [1]

Bright LED street lights have been shown to make people feel safer. They also make it easier for police to distinguish the colors of the cars they are chasing. [2]

This Lights Comes with Risk

But blue light has a dark side. Research suggests that blue light can prevent people from sleeping, or make them sleep poorly, because it throws off the body’s circadian rhythm. This is one of the problems the AMA sites in its statement.

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Stocks and Precious Metals Charts – Coiling


from Jessescrossroadscafe:

The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.”

Milan Kundera

“We cannot understand Fascism, but we can and must understand from where it springs, and we must be on our guard…because what happened can happen agai. For this reason, it is everyone’s duty to reflect on what happened.”

Primo Levi

“The inability to identify with others was unquestionably the most important psychological condition for the fact that something like Auschwitz could have occurred in the midst of more or less civilized and innocent people.

What is called ‘fellow traveling’ [collaboration] was primarily business interest: one pursues one’s own advantage before all else and, simply not to endanger oneself, does not talk too much. That is a general law of the status quo.”

Theodor Adorno

“The perpetrators were scholars, doctors, nurses, justice officials, the police and the health and workers’ administration.   The victims were poor, desperate, rebellious or in need of help. They came from psychiatric clinics and childrens hospitals, from old age homes and welfare institutions, from military hospitals and internment camps.”

Commemorative Tablet at Tiergartenstraße 4, Berlin

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