‘Border control’ as pretext for drug dragnet

The latest so-called ‘Privacy Impact Assessment ‘ (PIA) made public by the US Department of Homeland Security, ‘CBP License Plate Reader Technology’, provides unsurprising but disturbing details about how the US government’s phobias about foreigners and drugs are driving (pun intended) the convergence of bordersurveillance and dragnet surveillance of the movements of private vehicles within the USA.
The main reason for the publication of the CBP License Plate Reader Technology PIA is to provide the public with ‘notice that CBP is partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to leverage each other’s .. LPR [License Plate Reader] systems.’
Since at least 2007, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has had a network of license plate readers continuously monitoring and recording the license plate numbers and locations of vehicles near US borders. ‘Near’ and ‘border’ in this context are euphemisms: Federal regulations define the ‘border’ zone for purposes of CBP authority as including anywhere within 100 miles of any US border or seacoast, which puts roughly two-thirds of the US population within ‘border’ regions.

This post was published at Papers Please on DEC 19 2017.

‘He Belongs In Leavenworth Prison’: Former FBI Assistant Director Calls For Clinton Operative And Disgraced FBI Agent Peter Strzok To Be Arrested

During a stunning TV appearance Thursday, former FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom publicly called for disgraced FBI agent and Clinton operative Peter Strzok to be put in prison for a variety of crimes, including using the power of his position to help his preferred political candidate.
Appearing on the Fox Business Network, the former Marine and Vietnam veteran Kallstrom told host Liz MacDonald that Strzok had carried out a course of action which specifically followed the steps an FBI agent would have to take in order to stop someone from becoming president.
‘I think he can do what (Strzok) tried to do,’ before adding that ‘He can fabricate things, he can make stuff up, he can lie, he can be a total moron.’
‘You know, he belongs in Leavenworth this guy, in my personal view.’

This post was published at shtfplan on December 16th, 2017.

‘Hindenburg Omen’ Meets ‘Titanic Syndrome’ For The First Time Since October 2007

Two weeks ago we warned that a cluster of the infamous Hindenburg Omens was forming. Since then stocks have suffered their biggest drop in 3 months…

However, the Hindenberg Omen is not exactly flawless and has false-alerted a number of times in the last few years.
Which is why, John Hussman has adapted the signals and is now warning of a very significant convergence of the ‘Hindenberg Omen’ and the ‘Titanic Syndrome’…
I’ve noted over the years that substantial market declines are often preceded by a combination of internal dispersion, where the market simultaneously registers a relatively large number of new highs and new lows among individual stocks, and a leadership reversal, where the statistics shift from a majority of new highs to a majority of new lows within a small number of trading sessions.
– John P. Hussman, Ph. D., Market Internals Go Negative, July 30, 2007

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 15, 2017.

WHY SPAIN AND EUROPE MUST FACE DOWN CATALONIA…

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.

Taleb Trashes The “Interventionistas” & Their Mental Defects

Skin in the Game is necessary to reduce the effects of the following divergences that arose mainly as a side effect of civilization: action and cheap talk (tawk), consequence and intention, practice and theory, honor and reputation, expertise and pseudoexpertise, concrete and abstract, ethical and legal, genuine and cosmetic, entrepreneur and bureaucrat, entrepreneur and chief executive, strength and display, love and gold-digging, Coventry and Brussels, Omaha and Washington, D. C., economists and human beings, authors and editors, scholarship and academia, democracy and governance, science and scientism, politics and politicians, love and money, the spirit and the letter, Cato the Elder and Barack Obama, quality and advertising, commitment and signaling, and, centrally, collective and individual.
But, to this author, is mostly about justice, honor, and sacrifice as something existential for humans.
Let us first connect a few dots of items the list above.
Antaeus Whacked
Antaeus was a giant, rather semi-giant of sorts, the literal son of Mother Earth, Gaea, and Poseidon the god of the sea. He had a strange occupation, which consisted of forcing passersby in his country, (Greek) Libya, to wrestle; his trick was to pin his victims to the ground and crush them. This macabre hobby was apparently the expression of filial devotion; Antaeus aimed at building a temple for his father Poseidon, using for material the skulls of his victims.
Antaeus was deemed to be invincible; but there was a trick. He derived his strength from contact with his mother, earth. Physically separated from contact with earth, he lost all his powers. Hercules, as part of his twelve labors (actually in one, not all variations), had for homework to whack Antaeus. He managed to lift him off the ground and terminated him by crushing him as his feet remained out of contact with his mamma.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 23, 2017.

India – Is Kashmir Gone?

Everything Gets Worse (Part XII) – Pakistan vs. India After 70 years of so-called independence, one has to be a professional victim not to look within oneself for the reasons for starvation, unnatural deaths, utter backwardness, drudgery, disease, and misery in India.
Intellectual capital accumulated in the West over the last 2,500 years – available for free in real-time via the internet – can be downloaded by a passionate learner. In the age of modern technology, another mostly free gift from the West which has significantly leveled the playing field, societies that wanted economic convergence with the West, such as Japan, Korea, Singapore, HK, China, etc., have either achieved it rapidly, or have strongly trended toward it.
***
Given that Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has been at the helm for only three years, it is hard to blame him in general for any of the above mentioned monstrosities marring daily life in India. The best the head of the executive of an extremely diverse and complicated country can achieve is to nudge the Titanic in the right direction.

This post was published at Acting-Man on April 21, 2017.

The U.S. and China: Why the Sudden Convergence on North Korea?

It was no coincidence that America’s 11-ton bunker-tunnel busting bomb was deployed in Afghanistan as tensions mount over North Korea’s nuclear theats.
In the past, China resisted U. S. saber-rattling against North Korea. Now China is threatening North Korea with military action. What’s going on? Why the sudden convergence of U. S.-China threats of military force against North Korea? China Threatens To Bomb North Korea’s Nuclear Facilities If It Crosses Beijing’s “Bottom Line”.
China also noted that “nuclear weapons is DPRK’s trump card for its defiance of China and the United States. Once this card is lost, it will become obedient immediately.”
The author then speculated rhetorically that if North Korea’s “nuclear facilities are destroyed, they will not even fight back, but probably block the news to fool its domestic people. The DPRK will freak out if its nuclear facilities are destroyed.” And yes, a Chinese author said “freak out.”
The report also said that “the DPRK must not fall into the turmoil to send a large number of refugees, it is not allowed to have a government that is hostile against China on the other side of the Yalu River, and the US military must not push forward its forces to the Yalu River.”
For context, here is a satellite photo of the Korean peninsula: note the black hole devoid of lighting. That’s North Korea.

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on FRIDAY, APRIL 14, 2017.

March Missile Madness: Odds Of A North Korean WMD Attack In Next Month Tops 60%

A Predata-Beyond Parallel prediction indicates there is a 43% chance of North Korean WMD activity taking place in the next 14 days. In the next 30 days, there is a 62% chance for North Korean WMD activity. Beyond Parallel defines WMD activity as nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches.
As seen below, Predata’s North Korea WMD overview signal captured a notable spike in conversations beginning on March 4, just two days prior to North Korea’s March 6 missile launches, and the signal has remained elevated since. Further, the signal’s 30-day exponential moving average started trending up on March 4, reaching its highest point in the previous 90 days on March 6. These signals indicate there are more March missile tests to come from North Korea.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 10, 2017.

BROAD US STOCKMARKET UPDATE as the INAUGURATION OF TRUMP APPROACHES…

The election of Donald Trump sparked a rally in the broad stockmarket which has continued up to the present, and according to the laws of reverse (inverse) logic that rule the markets, his inauguration as President is likely to trigger a swoon, and as we will shortly see, there are other compelling technical reasons for the market to drop back soon, and it is worth noting that selling might start kicking in before the inauguration.
On the 1-year chart for the S&P500 index we can see that the breakout from the fine Dome pattern that developed during most of last year was caused by the election of Trump, and therefore, since the ensuing rally looks like the product of inflated and possibly unrealistic hopes regarding what Trump will go on to achieve, there is plenty of scope for disappointment, which psychologically is probably going to set in anyway once hopes of him becoming President become reality. Since many regard him as crass and a buffoon, which reputation he has done little to diminish in recent days, you may wonder why he was granted the nomination for leader of the Republican party before the election, and Bernie Sanders was ‘sold down the river’. The reason appears to be that the Establishment wanted their stooge Hillary elected, and they calculated that if they presented an alternative who was so outlandish and ‘beyond the pale’ as to be unelectable, Hillary would win, but unfortunately for them their little plan backfired, in large part because Trump’s unguarded remarks and statements were a breath of fresh air after years of politicians not saying what they were thinking and trying to be politically correct all the time. Returning to the chart we see that the S&P500 kept on rising until it reached resistance at the top of the parallel channel shown that dates back to last Spring, after which it has run off sideways in a narrow range, with downside risk growing.

This post was published at Clive Maund on January 14, 2017.

Trump Calls For Expansion Of US Nuclear Capability, Hours After Putin Urges Russia To Do The Same

The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2016

In a curious convergence of superpower opinions, earlier on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for the country to reinforce its military nuclear potential. In a speech that recapped military activities in 2016, Putin said the army’s preparedness has “considerably increased” and called for continued improvement that would ensure it can “neutralise any military threat”.
“We need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces, especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defence systems,” the Russian president said.
He added that Russia “must carefully monitor any changes in the balance of power and in the political-military situation in the world, especially along Russian borders, and quickly adapt plans for neutralising threats to our country.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 22, 2016.

Waiting On The Clumps

We started the week off with stocks acting poorly and the poor action morphed into some solid weakness as the S&P 500 nears its major support level at the 200 day moving average.
We are into very oversold territory and a bounce is coming very soon, but I’d like to see a little more selling to the 200 day average before that bounce begins.
That would time perfectly with the election Tuesday of one Donal Trump or Hillary Clinton, or the Clumps as many now refer to them as.
I have no clue if the election results will stoke or stumble the markets and I am happy to be in an all cash position for now.
As for the metals, they perked up very nicely early in the week and mining stocks were the only sector showing strength so I bought a few nice positions who worked really well up until Wednesday when I had to lock in some gains, and one small loss.
Easy come, easy go, but the miners were acting so great it’s a shame to see weakness set in.
It happens.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Sunday, 6 November 2016.

Lebanon: The NATO-backed Terrorist Threat Held Back by Combined Resistance Forces

Much is made of Hezbollah’s support role inside Syria, standing in solidarity with the Syrian Arab Army against the NATO terrorist proxy army that has relentlessly waged a dirty & criminal war on Syria for the last 5 years.
However very little is ever mentioned about their crucial role along the Lebanese borders with Syria where they once more work with the Syrian Arab Army to form a shield against the threat of a terrorist invasion of Lebanon itself.
This morning I was privileged to meet with Emile Rahmeh, eminent lawyer and Lebanese politician, member of Parliament and respected analyst of events in Syria and Lebanon and how they are interconnected.
Mr Rahmeh explained his divergence from his support for anti Palestinian factions during the Lebanese war and his evolution to endorsement of the Hezbollah Resistance inside Lebanon.
One of the most salient and chilling points made by Mr Rahmeh during the brief meeting was that the Syrian Arab Army and Hezbollah have formed a corridor on the Syrian/Lebanese border that is successfully containing the terrorist factions comprising mainly Al Nusra and ISIS.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on AUGUST 3, 2016.

Keiser Report: Global Energy Crisis (Summer Solutions series E946)

The following video was published by RT on Jul 28, 2016
In this special episode of the 2016 Summer Solutions series of the Keiser Report, Max and Stacy talk to Gregor Macdonald of Gregor.us and the TerraJoule newsletter. They discuss energy transition, San Diego’s 2035 plan, walkable cities, and urban burbs. They also examine Saudi Arabia’s plan to float Saudi Aramco and go solar.

Big Brother’s Virtual Reality

A billboard for Comcast pitches a lineup of ‘reality’ shows, with this caption, ‘Recommended for you. Because the real reality is boring.’
In contemporary America, real reality is also less real than Big Brother’s cartoony version. While we’re driving, walking, at work, lying in bed or even in the bathroom, Big Brother dictates what we know. Big Brother’s hypnotic screens have become our arbitrator of reality.
What capture us most are not the propaganda images, which can be ludicrously unconvincing, but the voice over. If Big Brother says it, it must be true.
Unlike in Orwell’s 1984, Big Brother does not speak to us in one stern voice. Deploying many puppets, Big Brother will humor, cajole and even uplift. Despite apparent divergences of opinions or even contradictions, Big Brother’s essential messages will always come through most clearly and persistently.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, for example, both speak for Big Brother. While Clinton compares Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler, Sanders states, ‘To temper Russian aggression, we must freeze Russian government assets all over the world, and encourage international corporations with huge investments in Russia to divest from that nation’s increasingly hostile political aims.’

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on June 25, 2016.

Trouble in Paradise

Dismal Number Bombardment
The May NFP jobs just dropped half an hour ago and the numbers were was so dismal that it left a smoking impact crater across equity futures. Apparently we added 38k jobs which was several standard deviations below the median forecast of 160k.
The number was the lowest since September 2010 and adds insult to injury after the April report was already revised downward from 160k to 123k. Smoking!!! Let’s do a quick review of the damage inflicted thus far.
The E-Mini futures – couldn’t have happened at a better time. The tape literally flipped on a dime here and I don’t recommend stepping underneath that falling sword.
Bonds – sometimes I’m getting tired of being right all the time (no – I’m not). Recall how I mused that a rate hike may still drive t-bonds higher? Well until about an hour ago that was the expectation and now that it’s probably off the table bonds are literally exploding higher. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: There’s no stopping bonds – it’ll be the most profitable vertical in the months/years to come.

This post was published at Acting-Man on June 4, 2016.

Welcome To The New Normal, Where 3x More Risk Gets You The Same Returns As Twenty Years Ago

As we touched upon earlier, central banks have created an unprecedented disaster for investors and savers alike.
One critical point in what has happened since central banks have intervened in the markets and distorted prices, is that savers have been destroyed and investors are now exposed to significantly more risk. For example, in order to make a 7.5% return in 1995, research from Callan Associates Inc found that an investor could own a portfolio consisting entirely of bonds with a standard deviation of about 6%. However, to make a 7.5% return in 2015, an investor would have to shrink the allocation to bonds down to just 12%, and allocate funds into other riskier assets, increasing the portfolio’s standard deviation (risk) to 17.2%. In other words, we’re at the point where it takes nearly 3x the risk in order to generate the same return as twenty years ago!

This post was published at Zero Hedge on June 2, 2016.

Modified Davis Method Update – Breadth Signals

Market Breadth Divergences [ed note: readers not familiar with Frank’s trading system can look at an introductory article here: The Modified Davis Method]
Over the years I have developed a lot of respect for the condition of bearish breadth divergence, when an index such as the S&P 500 is rising and the NYSE daily cumulative advance-decline line is not.
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Recently I listed the performance of my method on the short side (see: MDM – Is a ‘Sweet Spot’ to go Short Approaching? for details) as a function of the number of consecutive weeks of divergence at the time of the short signal. The optimum interval was 41 to 79 weeks, and as that interval was being approached, I speculated that a profitable short could be on the horizon.
It didn’t work out that way. The last short began on Dec. 11, 2015 at 31 consecutive weeks of divergence. That short ended with a 3.8% profit on Feb. 26, 2016 and the method returned to 100% long. That trade is now ahead by about 10.6%, but what may be more significant is that divergence ended on Apr. 22.
Thus a new short beginning any time soon does not have an especially good chance of ending profitably (but of course I will take it, as one never knows for sure about these things).

This post was published at Acting-Man on April 26, 2016.

FBI May “Leak” Clinton Email Probe If DOJ Blocking Continues

The feud between the FBI and the Department of Justice over whether or not to proceed with charges against Hillary Clinton in the ongoing email investigation just took an unexpected turn.
Recall that one month ago, we found out that on one hand, the FBI is seemingly hell-bent on chasing down every possibly angle involving Hillary’s email abuse, when we reported that one hundred forty-seven FBI agents have been deployed to chase down clues and leads and that the FBI has accelerated the investigation because officials want to avoid the possibility of announcing any action too close to the election. A former Clinton staffer is also cooperating with that investigation, and it’s believed Clinton herself will be questioned.
The flipside has been the Department of Justice which has been stonewalling the probe every step of the way. It hasn’t been alone in its unwillingness to pursue Hillary: on April 1, the state department announcedthat it is suspending its probe of “top secret” Clinton emails.
The divergence of these two paths, one which wants to get to the bottom of Hillary’s email probe and the other which is dead set on blocking it, has led online betting markets such as PredictIt to put the the odds of federal charges being filed against Hillary at record lows.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 04/23/2016.