Nearly two years after the historic, and still mysterious “Shanghai Accord” which in early 2016 halted what at the time appeared to a global collapse in capital markets courtesy of what appears to have been unprecedented political, fiscal and monetary coordination between the developed world and China, on October 18 the world turns its attention to what is arguably the most important political event of the year, and the logical conclusion to the stabilization process which started with the Accord, when the Chinese Communist Party kicks off its 19th Party Congress, the political event that will determine the country’s leadership lineup and policy priorities for the next five years. Given the emphasis on maintaining stability in the run-up to this pivotal political transition, what the Congress will mean for China’s economy, its markets, and its place in the world is why Goldman has dedicated its latest “Top of Mind” periodical to the Congress, with editor Allison Nathan asking two experts on Chinese politics how Xi Jinping – who is already widely regarded as the most powerful leader of China since Mao Zedong – can use the reshuffle to further consolidate power. And, more importantly, what he intends to do with it: pursue economic reforms more aggressively or maintain the status quo. Specifically, five of seven seats on the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) – the senior-most CCP leadership – are expected to turn over, as is about half of the Politburo, the 25-member decision-making body that sits just below the PSC. To explore these issues, Goldman sat down with two Chinese political experts, David Shambaugh of the George Washington University and Willy Lam of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Both anticipate the Congress will cement Xi Jinping’s absolute authority over the CCP and the country. And both raise the possibility that Xi could be paving the way to stay in power beyond two terms, in a break with historical norms. However, Shambaugh and Lam view Xi as a visionary, not a reformist. They believe his overriding goal is to strengthen and perpetuate CCP rule, with no tolerance for policies that could destabilize the political order. (Lam argues, for example, that Xi is determined to avoid the political self-criticism that he believes brought down the USSR.) As such, both experts see only limited prospects for economic reform. But one possibility to watch: a potential reshuffling involving the role of premier that might signal a more aggressive reform stance.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 15, 2017.
Like the old joke goes: Those who can’t, teach. And after losing an election to the most controversial and unpopular candidate in American history, Hillary Clinton is going back to school. *** The New York Post is reporting, citing sources close to the Clinton camp, that the former Secretary of State is in talks to accept a professorship at Columbia University in Morningside Heights. ‘She’s been in discussions about a professorship, but nothing has been locked down,’ a friend of the ex-secretary of state said Thursday.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 14, 2017.
As independent investigations into the largest mass shooting in American history continue to expose the lies and disinformation being fed to the American people by te FBI, and then pushed by a compliant mainstream media, new information is being released daily with the latest bombshell sure to fuel conspiracy theories about the attack once more. According to multiple reports, as well as additional sources cited by Infowars, people who worked at the Route 91 festival where the mass shooting took place have had their phones and laptops returned to them by the FBI only to find that ALL their videos and messages from the night of the horrific attack have been completely wiped clean.
Since the ballot in Catalonia over a week ago, which the Spanish authorities, contrary to the spirit of democracy, did their best to disrupt by the use of brute force, as any good old fashioned fascist State would, by sending in the “Brownshirts”, the mainstream media have gone to work in an effort to present the pro-independence Catalans as a bunch of fringe wing nutters trying to turn the clock back to the Middle Ages. The pro-Spain demonstrations at the weekend were given big media coverage and made to look like an overwhelming endorsement of the Spanish State, rather like the “huge crowds” when Saddam Hussein’s statue was pulled down in Iraq after the invasion, which turned out to be just a few hundred people herded into a square and then orchestrated and made to look like a large crowd by the careful use of camera angles. Of course, the pro-Spain crowds were big – what do you expect in a city the size of Barcelona even if only 30% of population are in favor of continued union with Spain? Having sent in the police with orders to act as thugs to disrupt the vote, the Spanish parliament than arbitrarily dismissed the vote as invalid because “only” 45% or so of the population voted, which was of course the result of their interference, and you don’t have to be a genius to extrapolate that if about 90% of those who did vote were in favor of Catalonia becoming a separate State, if even 80% of citizens had voted, there would still be an overwhelming majority in favor of separation. *** The Spanish parliament invoked the constitution in an attempt to deprive Catalonians of their democratic rights, and have used it as justification for violent suppression with the thinly veiled threat of the further use of force if the Catalonians persist, such as the arrest of their leader, cutting off of banks etc. The Spanish King and the European Union weighed in on the side of the Spanish government, as one would expect.
This post was published at Clive Maund on Tuesday, October 10, 2017.
In a Thursday op-ed for the establishment New York Times, supposed conservative Bret Stephens called for the full on repeal of the Second Amendment in the wake of the largest mass shooting in American history. Stephens, who is also paid by MSNBC to appear on television to discredit actual conservatives, started out his piece by claiming that he ‘never understood the conservative fetish for the Second Amendment,’ a clue that perhaps he never really was a conservative in the first place. He then goes on to list various ‘studies’ that have also been specifically cited by leftist gun control groups in the past as if that somehow validates him openly calling for an all out gun ban. (while laughably claiming he isn’t)
When gun-control advocates make international comparisons on homicide rates, they generally employ an assumption that places with more stringent gun control laws have lower homicide rates. Unfortunately for them, this only holds up when countries with both high levels of gun control and high homicide rates are excluded from the analysis. By recognizing the need to exclude most of the world’s nations from this analysis, the gun control advocates are of course implicitly admitting they recognize that gun control cannot explain low homicide rates in many areas. The case of Mexico, for example, illustrates quite well that simply imposing gun control does not eliminate problems with homicide. So, what can explain these differences? Forced to admit that gun control does not explain low homicide rates by itself, even gun control advocates turn to other factors that are essential. Factors such as income, median age of the population, political stability, and other factors are suggested. Even environmental lead levels may be a factor. Also important is a lack of cultural and ethnic uniformity within a jurisdiction. This is especially notable when considering the Americas, where nation-states are in most cases frontier states with populations heavily affected by immigration, a history of conflict with indigenous populations, and institutionalized chattel slavery that lasted until the 19th century. The factors are significant through the region, and the United States cannot be held apart in this regard from the Caribbean, Brazil, Colombia, and other states impacted by all these factors. Importantly, these factors also make the Americas significantly different from Western Europe and other areas – Japan and Korea, for example – where the present situation is marked by much higher levels of cultural uniformity and quite different recent histories and current demographic trends. This by itself, of course, does not explain all social trends and indicators. But anyone analyzing homicide rates in the Americas will tend to notice immediately that crime rates are high in the Americas overall, although legal regimes vary significantly.
With the ending of Democratic Party dominance of politics in many state capitols, right-to-work (RTW) laws, which ban conditioning employment on the payment of union dues, are on a roll. Kentucky, Missouri, and West Virginia have recently adopted them, raising the total to 28 states. Unions have demonized RTW laws as unfair. However, it is hard to see abuse in what obviously advances individual workers’ freedom of association, which Thomas Jefferson called ‘the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.’ In other words, individual freedom of association is an essential aspect of self-ownership, or economic liberty, which includes the right not to be forced to associate with certain groups, including unions, against one’s will. Consequently, preventing unions from violating individuals’ rights and wallets is not unfair. So how do unions justify using their unique, coercive government backing to impose employment terms that violate government’s primary role – protecting individual rights? Supposedly to solve a ‘free rider’ problem. Again, the “Free Rider” Problem Unions have repeatedly asserted that labor law requires them to represent all workers, not just those who voted to certify their union. Given that mandate of exclusive representation, unions assert that that every worker must be forced to pay for their representation, or else workers not forced to pay would ‘free ride’ on union representation services. So the rights of individual workers must be sacrificed to stop the potential for free riding. Unions have pushed that argument to the point that they have gone to court to get RTW laws overturned as unconstitutional takings of union property.
Michael Moore is calling for the repeal of the second amendment, which isn’t really surprising considering his stance on guns. He also proposed replacing the second amendment with the 28th amendment, and you may laugh out loud when reading his suggestion. In the wake of the Las Vegas massacre, Moore said in a lengthy Facebook post that the ‘ancient and outdated’ 2nd Amendment was written before bullets and revolvers were even invented. Moore is towing the liberal line often voiced. Some actually believe the second amendment only applies to muskets, since that’s what the founding fathers had available. Of course, that would mean free speech doesn’t apply to the internet for the same reasons, which is where the left often trips on their own ideology. But even more humorously, Moore has invented a new amendment to the Constitution.
This post was published at shtfplan on October 5th, 2017.
In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in American history, the Left has predictably ramped up their calls for stricter gun laws with everyone from Chuck Schumer to Lena Dunham suddenly voicing their ‘expertise’ on the topic. And while Trump enjoyed strong support from the NRA throughout the 2016 campaigning season, he offered a glimmer of hope to gun control advocates this morning saying “we’ll be talking about gun laws as time goes by.” Per the Washington Examiner: “We’ll talk about that later,” Trump told reporters at the White House when asked about gun reform Tuesday morning. “We have a tragedy. We’re going to do – and what happened in Las Vegas, it’s in many ways a miracle. The police department has done such an incredible job and we’ll be talking about gun laws as time goes by,” Trump said as he departed for Puerto Rico. “But I do have to say how quickly the police department was able to get in was really very much of a miracle. They’ve done an amazing job.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 3, 2017.
Jimmy Kimmel is once again trying to be the moral voice of our country in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre. Two weeks ago, Kimmel dedicated his late-night show to stopping GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare. Now, he is using his platform to call for immediate action on guns. In a monologue frequently interrupted by the comedy host being on the brink of tears, Kimmel condemned Republican lawmakers for letting the ‘gun lobby’ take over America. He dismissed their offerings of prayers for the Las Vegas victims and suggested, ‘they should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country.’ All of this made for good viral material to influence the current gun debate. Liberals and Democrats are all behind Kimmel’s desire to act immediately on guns – yet, there is no real legislation that would have done a damn thing to stop the deadliest mass shooting in American history. (RELATED: Democrats Immediately Call For Gun Control After Las Vegas Shooting) The current focus is stopping a bill that would remove restrictions on gun suppressors, an item the Las Vegas shooter did not use. Noted firearm expert Hillary Clinton has offered the theory that a silencer would have allowed the shooter to kill dozens with no one hearing him, apparently believing that a suppressor makes one of those dreaded assault rifles completely inaudible.
President Obama spoke for me and every American in his remarks in #Newtown Connecticut. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 17, 2012
In the wake of the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, gun stocks have predictably skyrocketed. As with every mass shooting in recent American history, incidents like this one tend to make Americans want to take matters into their own hands to protect themselves and their families. Shares of Sturm Ruger rose nearly 4 percent and American Outdoor Brands, formerly Smith & Wesson, rose nearly 5 percent or more in Monday morning trading. The shares are up as traders bet that more will be purchasing guns in the face of likely new proposed restrictions on guns. But gun stocks have historically risen after high-profile shootings. After the Orlando, Florida, and San Bernardino, California, shootings, ‘you saw a two to [a] three-month surge in firearms sales,’ said Rommel Dionisio, managing director at Aegis Capital. The two ISIS-linked attacks ‘certainly triggered something in the American consciousness about personal safety.’ READ MORE
This post was published at shtfplan on October 2nd, 2017.
The Spanish state police violence have turned against the people showing that they are clearly still a fascist reign supported by troops. Riot officers have been firing rubber bullets at crowds protesting in a Barcelona street, sending people running for cover. Countless are injured. This demonstrates that Spain is not a place for investment and one should be very cautious about even buying a house in Spain after this display of ruthless authoritarianism. The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy has demonstrated he is a fascist and this is EXACTLY the type of person that caused the American Revolution. We should all take pause and read just the first two paragraphs of Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. The King sent a whole army to his house to kill him for writing these words. He was warned the army was coming and told to flee into the hills which he did. I fully disagree with Donald Trump for supporting Rajoy. That has been a total disgrace and Trump needs to study history.
Bleeding the Patient to Health There’s something alluring about cure-alls and quick fixes. Who doesn’t want a magic panacea to make every illness or discomfort disappear? Such a yearning once compelled the best and the brightest minds to believe the impossible for over two thousand years. *** For example, from antiquity until the late-19th century, bloodletting was used to treat nearly every disease. Reputable medical references recommended bloodletting as a cure for acne, asthma, cancer, epilepsy, gout, indigestion, insanity, leprosy, pneumonia, scurvy, tuberculosis, and everything in between. Bloodletting was even used to treat hemorrhaging. The practice was simple enough. A surgeon, often a barber, would open a vein and drain blood from the patient. Somehow, this was supposed to cure them of disease. The fundamental idea was that a sick person could be bled to health. Induced fainting, via bloodletting, was even considered beneficial. However, the results were often fatal. On December 13, 1799, George Washington returned from a cold-winters horseback ride across his estate with a raspy throat. So, he requested bloodletting to make his sore throat better. Over a ten-hour period, roughly 126 ounces of blood was drained from his system.
This post was published at Acting-Man on September 30, 2017.
But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg… Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error. Give a loose rein to them, they will support the true religion by bringing every false one to their tribunal, to the test of their investigation. – Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia Here’s a prediction. Right-wing snowflake culture will expand exponentially in the coming years, and its rise will be cynically and intentionally fueled by Donald Trump himself. Having proved himself a fake populist on most issues that actually matter, Trump has no choice but to move more enthusiastically into the culture war to deflect away from his obvious betrayal on economic populism and keep his diehard supporters in heat. In other words, he’ll do exactly what mainstream Democrats and Republicans have been doing for decades, which is distract the public and keep it fighting while oligarchs grab what little is left. This works out just fine for billionaire Trump and the Goldman Sachs guys running his administration. If I’m correct, how should we respond? How do those of us who see a creeping right-wing snowflake culture emerging push back? Rule number one is don’t act like a snowflake in response. Exposing hypocrisy with incisive rational arguments and humor is the best way to push back against right-wing authoritarianism, just like it’s the best way to push back against left-wing authoritarianism. The authoritarian mindset is the enemy of freedom loving people everywhere irrespective of your specific views on health care, taxes, etc. There are far bigger things at risk to us as a people if we allow ourselves to be divided into two separate authoritarian gangs fighting for power.
Authored by Doug Kass via RealInvestmentAdvice.com, * In a paperless and cloudy world, are investors and citizens as safe as the markets assume we are? – Kass Diary Another provocative missile launched by North Korea and another apparent terrorist attack in London, England, are, once again, overnight and early-morning features of our reality as investors and as citizens. The S&P futures fell a meaningless four handles from the time of the events, indicating even the machines and algorithms couldn’t care less about much of anything impacting equities! ‘Nothing succeeds like success.’ – Alexandre Dumas ‘Group stink’ runs thick these days, as Dumas, a 19th century French writer, noted. To this observer, our markets’ resilience is all too reminiscent of former Citigroup CEO Chuck Prince, who kept on dancing because the music was still playing.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 23, 2017.
Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org, If a U. S. president calls an adversary ‘Rocket Man … on a mission to suicide,’ and warns his nation may be ‘totally destroyed,’ other ideas in his speech will tend to get lost. Which is unfortunate. For buried in Donald Trump’s address is a clarion call to reject transnationalism and to re-embrace a world of sovereign nation-states that cherish their independence and unique identities. Western man has engaged in this great quarrel since Woodrow Wilson declared America would fight in the Great War, not for any selfish interests, but ‘to make the world safe for democracy.’ Our imperialist allies, Britain, France, Russia, Japan, regarded this as self-righteous claptrap and proceeded to rip apart Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Ottoman Empire and to feast on their colonies. After World War II, Jean Monnet, father of the EU, wanted Europe’s nations to yield up their sovereignty and form a federal union like the USA. Europe’s nations would slowly sink and dissolve in a single polity that would mark a giant leap forward toward world government – Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s ‘Parliament of man, the Federation of the world.’ Charles De Gaulle lead the resistance, calling for ‘a Europe of nation-states from the Atlantic to the Urals.’ For 50 years, the Gaullists were in constant retreat. The Germans especially, given their past, seemed desirous of losing their national identity and disappearing inside the new Europe.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 22, 2017.
This is your site. Support it. The Absurdities Mount As I predicted, the erasing of American history will not be limited to Confederate monuments. Last week a member of the board of trustees of the Dallas, Texas, school district recommended changing the name of James Madison High School. James Madison was the father of the US Constitution, considered by Identity Politics, the political ideology of the Democratic Party and the American liberal/progressive/left, to be a ‘racist document.’ From a British reader comes the news that the various segments of Western society divided into victim groups by Identity Politics have divided very finely and have turned on one another. On September 13, the Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists (TERFs) and their bitter enemies, Trans Activists, clashed in a fist fight in London’s Hyde Park. 60-year-old Maria MacLachlen, who describes herself as a ‘gender critical feminist,’ was knocked to the ground.
So someone has ghost-written another Hillary Clinton memoir. My biggest question when I picked it up was: Did Hillary stiff the writer out of the final payment as she did Barbara Feinman, the real author of It Takes a Village? You don’t have to read any further than the cover of the book to answer the question posed by its title: What Happened: Hillary Clinton. Glutton for punishment, I took a masochistic dive into its dark pages anyway. *** It soon became apparent that Hillary shouldn’t have treated Feinman so churlishly. What Happened would have greatly benefited from her stylistic enhancements. The prose in this book is as brittle as the mind behind it. Notice the lack of a question mark in the title. This is a telling punctuational elision. It signals that this text will not be an investigation into the dynamics behind the most perplexing election in American history. Don’t skim these pages in search of a self-lacerating confession or an apologia. What Happened reads more like a drive-by shooting rampage. The book is a score-settling scattershot rant, enfilading anyone who stood in Clinton’s way, from Bernie Sanders to James Comey. Amid Hillary’s hitlist of villains, even toothless Joe Biden gets gut-shot.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 16, 2017.
He who hesitates is lost. ~proverb Change, especially a collapse scenario, often happens quite fast. So fast that there’s little to no time to react in the short frenzy between “before” and “after”. This is true throughout nature. Glaciers that took millennia to form calve off into the sea in a matter of moments. Old-growth forests filled with thousand-year-old trees can be decimated by a single wildfire. The bubonic plague “Black Death” pandemic of the Middle Ages killed one-third of the Earth’s human population within just four short years. Fast change is also a hallmark of human society. Movements and ideas — oftentimes simmering for years, decades or longer — suddenly reach a critical state in which the populace is swept up into history-making action. The outbreak of World War I. The Civil Rights movement. The dissolution of the USSR. The Digital Age. When it comes, change happens swiftly. And life after — for better or worse — is forever different. I’ve witnessed this time and time again since co-founding PeakProsperity.com. And in pretty much every instance, I notice that the vast majority of people — including even many of the the watchful and preparation-minded folks who read this site — are caught by surprise.
This post was published at PeakProsperity on Tuesday, August 22, 2017.