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A diamond ring bought for 10 at a car-boot sale 30 years ago is expected to fetch 350,000 at auction.
The owner believed the “exceptionally sized” stone was a piece of costume jewellery when she bought it at West Middlesex Hospital in Isleworth, west London, in the 1980s.
Unaware it was a 26 carat, cushion-shaped white diamond from the 19th Century, she wore it daily for decades.
After about 30 years of wearing the ring, the owners took it to Sotheby’s when a jeweller told them it may be valuable
The stone goes under the hammer at Sotheby’s in June.
This post was published at BBC
We’ve seen a lot of riots and protests in recent years over police violence and the election of Donald Trump. While these events certainly don’t bode well for the future, relative to the rest of American history they’ve been pretty tame (at least for now). They only look really serious to us, because many of us have forgotten about just how nasty a riot can get.
For instance, these events hardly compare to the 1992 Los Angeles riots, which raged for days, caused over a billion dollars in damages, and weren’t stopped until the military arrived. 55 people died and over 2,000 were injured. By comparison, the vast majority of the riots that have happened since then haven’t resulted in any deaths at all.
However, just because the civil unrest of our era isn’t as severe so far, doesn’t mean that we won’t see any truly devastating riots in the near future. Given the current political climate, as well as the shaky foundations that our economy is resting on, someday soon there could be a lot of blood in our streets. Coincidentally, many of the residents of Los Angeles seem to share that sentiment.
This post was published at shtfplan on April 27th, 2017.
French Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen says she is temporarily stepping down as head of her National Front party. She is still in the race, just attempting to distance herself a bit more from her party to broaden her appeal. The May 7 run-off between herself and Emmanuel Macron, will be interesting for it is a test of how strong the populist movement has become.
People who think ‘populist’ is a particular philosophy are seriously wrong. It was a ‘populist’ movement that put FDR in the White House in 1933. It also put into power Lenin, Hitler and Mao. ‘Populist’ is effective the label applied to any movement Indeed, FDR actually did embrace many elements of fascism, which differs from communism insofar as it supported worker unions and the ownership of business run by the workers. The Populist movement was in fact Marxism during the late 19th century, which manifested into Communism, fascism, and socialism. All three were constructed upon a strong central power of government to different degrees.
This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Apr 26, 2017.
A Disastrous Decision It is altogether fitting that the US attack on a Syrian airport, the dropping of a MOAB on defenseless Afghanistan, and the potential outbreak of nuclear war with North Korea have all come in the very month in which an American president led the nation on its road to empire one hundred years earlier.
President Trump’s aggressive actions and all of America’s previous imperialistic endeavors can ultimately be traced to Woodrow Wilson’s disastrous decision to bring the country into the First World War on April 6, 1917. This month, therefore, should be one of national mourning for the decision to enter that horrific conflict changed America and, for that matter, the world for the worse.
This post was published at Acting-Man on April 20, 2017.
Authored by Sukru Hanioglu via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
The historic breakdown in Anglo-Ottoman relations is a useful model for evaluating today’s troubled alliance between the United States and Turkey
SHORTLY BEFORE his death in 1869, the pro-Western former Ottoman grand vizier and foreign minister Keecizde Mehmed Fuad Pasha commented, ‘It appeared preferable that . . . we should relinquish several of our provinces rather than see England abandon us.’ In response to this commitment, the British made the territorial integrity of the Ottoman Empire against Russian aggression a key pillar of their foreign policy.
Yet, in spite of the significance that Istanbul and London attached to their alliance in the 1850s, both sides were determined to eradicate each other by 1914. As Prime Minister Herbert Asquith put it, Britain was ‘determined to ring the death-knell of Ottoman dominion, not only in Europe, but in Asia as well.’ In response, the Ottoman government described the British as ‘the greatest enemy’ of not only the sultan’s empire but also of Islam itself.
The startling breakdown in Anglo-Ottoman relations might serve as a useful model for policymakers to evaluate the troubled alliance between the United States and Turkey. The sixty-year period between the Crimean War of 1853 – 56 and the July Crisis of 1914 resembles the era that opened with the admission of Turkey into NATO in 1952 and appears to be ending today. As the Anglo-Ottoman case warns, alliances formed in response to an external threat between powers that view each other as cultural ‘others’ may deteriorate after the threat diminishes. Suffering from such alliance fatigue, erstwhile partners become clashing rivals.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 18, 2017.
Wellesley College made news last month when professors declared ‘speakers with ‘objectionable’ views are not only offensive to students, but actually diminish their liberty.’ Now, the student newspaper at the elite private college has taken it a step further – justifying violence against anyone who ‘either continue to speak hate speech or refuse to adapt their beliefs’ to accepted progressive norms, saying ‘then hostility may be warranted.’
The shocking statement came in an editorial in the student newspaper, The Wellesley News, entitled ‘Free Speech Is Not Violated At Wellesley.’
‘Wellesley students are generally correct in their attempts to differentiate what is viable discourse from what is just hate speech,’ the paper declared.
‘Shutting down rhetoric that undermines the existence and rights of others is not a violation of free speech; it is hate speech. The founding fathers put free speech in the Constitution as a way to protect the disenfranchised and to protect individual citizens from the power of the government.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 17, 2017.
Following Sunday’s failed medium-range missile test by Kim Jong-Un, President Donald Trump has been evaluating his response options and according to Bloomberg, which cited a “person familiar with his thinking”, is willing to consider ordering “kinetic” military action, including a sudden strike, to “counteract North Korea’s destabilizing actions in the region”
However, before launching another offensive campaign – or war as some would call it – Trump’s preference is for China to take the lead on dealing with North Korea, according to the source.
While still afforded the luxury of time, Trump may be forced to decide soon how to respond: on its take on the ongoing North Korea crisis, the New York Times said in a front-page article that “what is playing out, said Robert Litwak of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, … is ‘the Cuban missile crisis in slow motion,’ but the slow-motion part appears to be speeding up.”
That said, Trump’s reported strategy isn’t a radical departure from long-standing U. S. policy. As Bloomberg writes, “he isn’t particularly interested in toppling the regime of leader Kim Jong Un and isn’t looking to force a reunification of the two Koreas, the person said. He instead wants to push for their long-term cooperation.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 17, 2017.
In 1966, Milton Friedman wrote an op-ed for Newsweek entitled “Minimum Wage Rates.” In it, he argued “that the minimum-wage law is the most anti-Negro law on our statute books.” He was, of course, referring to the then-present era, after the far more explicitly racist laws from the slavery and segregation eras of United States history had already been done away with. But his observation about the racist effects of minimum wage laws can be traced back to the nineteenth century, and they continue to have a disproportionately deleterious effect on African-Americans into the present day.
The earliest of such laws were regulations passed in regards to the railroad industry. At the end of the nineteenth century, as Dr. Walter Williams points out, “On some railroads – most notably in the South – blacks were 85 – 90 percent of the firemen, 27 percent of the brakemen, and 12 percent of the switchmen.”1
The Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, unable to block railroad companies from hiring the non-unionized black workers, called for regulations preventing the employment of blacks. In 1909, a compromise was offered: a minimum wage, which was to be imposed equally on all races.
This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on April 17, 2017.
Donald Trump campaigned on the economic issues of international trade, immigration, and jobs. He condemned international trade, immigrants, and the economic policies of countries such China and Mexico. As such, he should be made an honorary member of the mid-19th century ‘Know Nothing’ political party.
This week he took aim at the trade deficit by issuing two executive orders allegedly to make international trade fairer and more beneficial for Americans. One order calls for a report on trade practices that contribute to the trade deficit. The second order seeks to establish better collection practices for anti-dumping fines and countervailing duties.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross attempted to downplay the significance of the executive orders and said that there are likely multiple reasons for the trade deficit. However, this position reveals a general economic ignorance regarding international trade. There is one and only one reason to worry about the trade deficit. This problem does not require any studies or reports to understand.
Austrian economists have regularly reminded us that the trade deficit does not matter. National borders are artificial contrivances that naturally create trade deficits in some countries and trade surpluses in other countries. I run continuous trade deficits with the supermarket where I shop. No big deal.
This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on April 13, 2017.
Although the greatest domestic political crisis in American history continues to capture the attention of Batchelor and Cohen this week, serious international events now intrude. The headlines include the Senate Intelligent Committee Hearings stated intention to interview Obama’s National Security Advisor, Susan Rice over possible surveillance of President Trump, the sarin gas attack in Syria, NATO’s increasing unease with Turkey’s President, Erdogan’s increasing consolidation of despotic power, and finally the death of the Russian poet and dissident, Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Cohen speaks about this poet at great length and great reverence and describes how Russians honour this poet and all its poets and their significance in the history of Russia.
This discussion moves into what it was like to resist the government under the Soviet system and Cohen describes how this moderated over time. Under Stalin, for example, ten million died; under Khrushchev the Terror ended but for the Russian people was still very repressive. Among dissidents there were stages of dissidence that resulted in a known measured response from the state. This all ended, of course, with Gorbachev, General Secretary (then leader designate) who encouraged a kind of freedom of speech. All of this (explained by Cohen in greater detail) led up to Cohen’s very big question about what it is about how Americans who have free speech are now so complacent about seeing their political institutions destroyed over government opposition to a legally elected president, and how those same rights to speak freely are in threat? This is a wonderful question that should prompt a great deal of discussion but has not…
At this point Stephen Cohen introduced a second major narrative in this debacle. The first, of course, is all the hoopla surrounding the Clinton charges that Trump was a Putin stooge. The second major narrative came from Trump with his accusation that Obama and agents of the government had him under surveillance. This appears to have some validity now and is building as a scandal. But as a sad reprieve to this development comes the St. Petersburg subway bombing – and Trump, to his credit, talked to Putin giving official condolences. The fact of this area of history is revealed that Russia has lost more people to terrorist attacks than 911. Cohen states that this sad fact is something (that officially) both countries share as injury – a common one. And to add insult to this St Petersburg wounding is the American mainstream press once more accusing” “Putin did it (to himself)”, in other words, a false flag attack. This accusation is as shameless as it is ludicrous. There was also an allegation that the bombing was “blow back” for his activities in Syria. Cohen is amazed that Americans are so unimaginative to swallow this kind of propaganda and NOT consider that subway bombings could happen to Americans in their own country. I also wonder how difficult it would be to smuggle in sarin gas for use against Americans in their own country. ISIS apparently has a warehouse of the stuff…
This post was published at Audioboom
Woodrow Wilson won the election of 1916 because he campaigned on a platform of peace. He had kept us out of war. On April 2, 1917, he asked Congress for a declaration of war against Germany. The Senate voted to go to war on April 4. It took until April 6 for the House of Representatives to vote for war.
Donald Trump campaigned on the promise he would “bomb the hell out of ISIS.” Instead, he bombed installations of the Syrian government. This was on April 6, 2017 — one hundred years to the day after the House voted for war with Germany.
Conservative talk show host Michael Savage said the following on April 7.
Like Trump, Woodrow Wilson ran on an America First platform. He was elected largely because he kept us out of the war in Europe. But someone got to him, too. They turned him to declare that ‘neutrality was no longer feasible or desirable.’ And after the war, when Wilson tried to rally the world for a lasting peace, and to form the League of Nations, our Congress wanted no part of it. And the deal that was reached to secure the peace in Europe became a punishment to the losers. And where did that lead? An even worse conflict were millions more died. That gave us the United Nations. And what happened in that body yesterday? Nikki Haley, Trump’s pick for U. N. ambassador, laid the law down to Russia about the attacks in Syria, saying their acts were unconscionable, accusing them for their complicity in the deaths of children.
All of this is on the generals. Maybe Bannon was the one fighting with the generals, the only one standing against war, and now he’s gone. It’s generals who rushed world powers in WWI, and it’s happening again. Their powers increase with war. They shouldn’t want war, they should want peace.
President Trump came on the air with me and said if he was elected, he could talk to Russia even before he took office. That’s what making peace is about.
This post was published at Gary North on April 08, 2017.
On April 6 – a hundred years ago – the United States declared war on Germany.
The history of America’s entry into the Great War is complex and profound. It has intrinsic drama, no matter what one’s attitude about the rights and wrongs of U. S. participation in the war–and there have been many.
Wartime Allied propaganda had Americans believing the Germans were solely guilty, and that the conflict was a war for democracy, when the most autocratic country in Europe, Russia, was on the Allied said. American entry, of course, was a necessity.
Revisionist history in the twenties and thirties written by Barnes, Peterson, Borchard, Millis, and other American historians seemed ironclad in making the case that the United States was not “forced” to war, that American intervention led to higher death totals and a settlement that in many ways unhinged the world. In these works, Wilson’s decisions often looked misguided or plain wrong.
Yet from the late thirties, and with more momentum after World War II, American historians fell back on a positive interpretation of Wilson, the Man of Peace who was forced to War, with all the ancillary propositions that followed.
This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Apr 8, 2017.
When you hear words like ‘militia’ and ‘prepper’ and ‘survival retreat,’ you probably imagine a rural, conservative, blue collar fellow who loathes the government. What you probably don’t imagine, are the kinds of people who run for state office. In South Carolina however, two state representatives are planning to create survivalist communities in anticipation of a possible collapse of the United States. According to AP:
State Reps. Josiah Magnuson, R-Campobello, and Jonathon Hill, R-Townville – both from tiny towns in the Upstate Bible Belt – are in the process of setting up what they call the ‘Virtue Solution Project,’ a group that is seeking to either save America or survive a societal collapse, which they both believe is likely coming.
The organization is a mixture of religious ministry, grassroots political organizing and disaster prepping. At its core, their movement hopes to save the country by reshaping it to their interpretation of the Founding Fathers’ ideals.
As part of their two pronged plan, their first aim is to do everything they can to bring America back to its conservative roots.
This post was published at shtfplan on April 5th, 2017.
There was no shortage of cuts proposed in Trump’s budget for 2018, which was released earlier this week. However, as Visual Capitalist’s Jeff Desjardins notes, one of the few departments that did not receive a haircut was the Department of Defense. If the proposed budget ultimately passes in Congress, the DoD would be allocated an extra $54 billion in federal funding – a 10% increase that would be one of the largest one-year defense budget increases in American History. To put the proposed increase in context, the United States already spends more on defense than the next seven countries combined. Meanwhile, the additional $54 billion is about the size of the United Kingdom’s entire defense budget.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 19, 2017.
Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,
‘The senator from Kentucky,’ said John McCain, speaking of his colleague Rand Paul, ‘is working for Vladimir Putin … and I do not say that lightly.’
What did Sen. Paul do to deserve being called a hireling of Vladimir Putin?
He declined to support McCain’s call for a unanimous Senate vote to bring Montenegro into NATO as the 29th member of a Cold War alliance President Trump has called ‘obsolete.’
Bordered by Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo and Albania, tiny Montenegro has a population roughly that of D. C., and sits on the western coast of the most volatile peninsula in Europe.
What strategic benefit would accrue from having Montenegro as an ally that would justify the risk of our having to go to war should some neighbor breach Montenegro’s borders? Historically, the Balkans have been an incubator of war. In the 19th century, Otto van Bismarck predicted that when the Great War came, it would come out of ‘some damn fool thing in the Balkans.’ And so it did when the Austrian archduke was assassinated in Sarajevo June 28, 1914 by Serbian ethnonationalist Gavrilo Princip.
Aflame with ethnic, civil and sectarian war in the 1990s, the western Balkans are again in political turmoil. Milo Djukanovic, the longtime Montenegrin prime minister who resigned on election day in October, claims that he was targeted for assassination by Russia to prevent Montenegro’s accession to NATO.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 17, 2017.
Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.
– Thomas Jefferson’s Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801
Many people voted for Donald Trump based on his pledge of ‘America First.’ The idea behind this partly relates to the very legitimate concern that the U. S. Empire and its military-industrial-contractor benefactors have been squandering an enormous amount of treasure and tax money on foreign adventurism, funds which could be of much greater use at home helping struggling Americans, fixing our broken economy and infrastructure. I’m starting to become increasingly concerned that rather than winding down America’s foreign adventures, Trump and his team are preparing to expand them.
This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Michael Krieger | Posted Friday Mar 17, 2017.
Thousands of years ago, as far back as 3000 BC, the ancient Egyptians had developed a highly advanced system of writing using hieroglyphic symbols.
The used hieroglyphs for numbers as well.
A single line, for example, represented the number 1. Two strokes represented 2. Nine strokes for the number 9.
Since the Egyptians had not yet invented the ‘zero’ in 3000 BC, representing the number 10 required a new symbol – a sort of upside down horseshoe.
So the number 99, for example, required eighteen different symbols: nine upside down horseshoes for the number 90, and another nine strokes for the number 9.
There was another symbol for 100, another for 1,000, and so forth.
The largest number in ancient Egypt was 1 million. As historian Will Durant wrote,
‘The sign for 1,000,000 was a picture of a man striking his hands above his head, as if to express amazement that such a number should exist.’
Today the national debt in the Land of the Free is just shy of $20 trillion.
It makes me wonder what symbol the ancient Egyptians would have used to represent such an absurd figure. Hope and change?
This post was published at Sovereign Man on March 14, 2017.
I hate to break it to you, but Donald Trump isn’t going to make America great again. He doesn’t have the insight or courage to stand up to the financial elite, and he’s insufferably authoritarian. This is not a recipe for greatness.
Democrats are even worse. At the most ideal moment possible, the party was gifted an energetic populist movement primed for activism thanks to a non-Democrat who unified tens of millions of Americans sick of the ways thing were going, but couldn’t get behind Trump. How did the party respond? By rigging its primary and forcing down our collective throats one of the most corrupt, unethical, political monsters in American history. Afterwards, how did the party respond following her loss to Donald Trump? By making zero meaningful changes in party leadership, by endlessly propagating CIA-fueled Russia conspiracy theories and by very publicly rejecting Bernie Sanders and his supporters by choosing Tom Perez to run the DNC (for more read this excellent article).
This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Mar 2, 2017.
The image above is of the 18th-century home of friends in Colonia, Uruguay. Today, sitting on their back patio on the Rio de la Plata, I looked out at a small yellow buoy in the harbour that marks the final resting place of the Lord Clive, a large, 60-gun British warship from the 18th century.
In 1763, we British, already at war with Spain, decided to expand the venture to the New World. The Lord Clive arrived in Colonia, Uruguay, and began firing into the tiny town. With her heavy contingent of cannon, her captain was confident that he could do enough damage to make the Spanish inhabitants surrender. After extensive bombardment, the Spanish had still not raised the white flag; however, the crew of the Lord Clive had managed to set fire to their own ship. The crew abandoned ship.
Local accounts of the event have it that, swimming ashore, the English crew apologized for bombarding the town and asked for mercy. Not surprisingly, the Spanish killed them.
Of course, this is not the outcome that’s described in English history books. Although the defeat of the British on that day is acknowledged, the folly is not. Although historians will generally acknowledge a defeat, they’re often reluctant to mention any idiocy on the part of their own military. And so any English-language version of the story tells a different tale from the account above.
This post was published at International Man