‘Green’ Policies Don’t Make Economic Sense Even on Their Own Terms

When confronting the typical proponents of ‘green’ government policies, the free-market economist must make a strategic decision: Since most of these recommended (and often, actually implemented) State measures make no sense even on their own terms, one course of action is to stipulate the alleged goals and simply point out that the policies do not achieve them.
However, the danger with such concessions ‘for the sake of argument’ is that the interventionists can then say, ‘So you agree with us that the free market, left to its own devices, will drive humanity over a cliff, and now we’re all just quibbling over the details.’ That’s why it’s also important to stress that the underlying fearmongering is baseless, too.
In the present blog post, I’ll move through the spectrum of possible responses. First, Ross McKitrick – who wrote a graduate-level textbook on the economic analysis of environmental policy – has a new study for the Canadian Fraser Institute, critiquing Canadian ‘green’ regulations that make no sense on their own terms.
Specifically, McKitrick shows that if we stipulate for the sake of argument that (say) Canadians are emitting too much carbon dioxide, then the proper policy response would directly target CO2 emissions. So even if you thought this were a worthy objective, it would still be ludicrous (McKitrick argues) to ban 100W incandescent light bulbs – especially in Canada, where most of the electricity is generated through hydro and nuclear.

This post was published at Mises Canada on June 1st, 2015.

Conversations with Everyday Americans – Hillary Launches $2,700 per Person ‘Grassroots’ Fundraiser in Boston

If you want to see how completely disconnected Hillary Clinton is from the ‘everyday Americans’ she claims to represent, you need to look no further than her recent campaign invitation to a Boston fundraiser where attendees are asked to shell out $2,700 per person for a ‘ticket.’
It was only just yesterday that I highlighted a recent Federal Reserve study that showed that 47% of Americans couldn’t handle an unexpected expense of $400. In the post, Use of Alternative Financial Services, Such as Payday Loans, Continues to Increase Despite the ‘Recovery,’ we learned that:
The most frightening finding in the Federal Reserve’s Report on the Economic Well-Being of U. S. Households in 2014 concerns a matter of $400. Four-hundred bucks. Twenty twenties. Four Benjamins.

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Jun 2, 2015.

Private Policing, Law Enforcement, & Adjudication in a Stateless Society

Private Security
When discussing the idea of a free society – meaning a stateless society – I often use Las Vegas casinos as an example of how market-provided police forces would be much more secure, effective, and efficient than the government-provided police forces we all currently live (and suffer) under.
If you spend any time whatsoever in any casino here in Vegas, you’ll immediately notice that there are private security officers everywhere, both uniformed and plain-clothed. And cameras. Lots of cameras.
And something else you’ll likely notice, which may seem odd: those security officers are some of the nicest, most respectful, honorable people you’ll meet.
And the kicker: you’ll rarely see any problem or commotion arise in a casino – let alone any actual crime.
In the twelve years I’ve lived in Vegas (since Aug 2002), I’ve not seen any serious problem arise in any casino. Sure, there’s a disruptive drunk or vocal dispute now and then, which gets dealt with immediately, or escorted outside before it escalates. But crime, or any type of serious altercation? I’ve never seen one. Not one. And remember, we’re talking about an extremely heavy cash-flow environment – cash everywhere you look – which would typically attract criminals, and be susceptible to criminal activity on a regular basis. Add to that the booze – which is flowing non-stop – and you have a volatile recipe for trouble.
But instead, casinos boast a festive environment, most everyone is having a grand time, and the entire facility generally feels quite safe and secure for the duration.
I doubt many of us would agree that it feels this way out in the streets – even in our own neighborhoods – andespecially when government-provided police officers happen to be around. In fact, whenever they’re around, I actually feel less safe. I’m much more worried about what those officers might decide to do to me than what a few strangers on the street might do.
Why is this so? Why the stark difference between private security officers, and public police officers? The answer is simple: private security firms are subject to market forces – accountability, customer satisfaction, adherence to rules and policies, competition from other firms, etc. – and public police forces are not.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on June 2nd, 2015.

How To Do It Legally…

There’s a way around this….
This is how far one Express Scripts Holding Co. executive was willing to go to secure inexpensive versions of Gilead Sciences Inc.’s hepatitis C drug Sovaldi, unavailable to U. S. consumers under federal drug import and patent laws.
His plan: Dock a cruise ship flying an Indian flag off the coast of Miami. Stock the ship with versions of Sovaldi sold in India for $83,000 less than the U. S. retail price for 12 weeks of treatment. Ferry U. S. patients to the boat and send them home with the potentially life-saving medicines at a huge discount.
The only wrinkle in his plan wasn’t the absurdity of a pharmacy benefit manager manning and operating a cruise ship full of drugs from India. The problem, after doing some quick research into the idea, was that it would probably violate U. S. drug re-importation laws that limit the value of drugs brought into the country to $1,500 — the price of one and a half Sovaldi tablets in the U. S., said Steve Miller, chief medical officer at Express Scripts, who came up with the idea.

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2015-06-02.

Florida Court Rules ‘Off Grid’ Living Illegal

Robin Speronis had been living in an off-grid home for many years without incident, until she was interviewed by a local FOX affiliate in November of 2013. Shortly thereafter, the city of Cape Coral tagged a ‘notice to vacate’ on her property, due to multiple code violations, all of which stem from the fact that her home isn’t connected to water, sewage, or the electrical grid. The city has tried to argue that she is in violation of the International Property Maintenance Code for relying on rainwater and solar panels, instead of utilities.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on June 1st, 2015.

Evidence Suggesting That Walmarts Are Staging Centers for FEMA Camps

Marlon Brock from Big Spring, TX has decided to take up the cause and report on Jade Helm activities at the closed Walmart located in Midland, TX.
Marlon has had an interesting encounter with what he believes to be two plainclothes Jade Helm personnel who trespassed on his property while pretending to be from the electric company. This fits hand in glove with infiltration techniques that Jade Helm state that they are going to practice. He ushered the men off of his property and called his electric company and they confirmed that these two men were imposters. I had previously published the details of this encounter on my website.
It was at this point, that Marlon decided to contact me, rolled up his sleeves and began reporting on very ominous events in and around the Midland Walmart.
Marlon Brock provided me with the following photos a couple of weeks ago. However, I held on to them because I had an unidentified source who claimed that he was working inside of the Walmart in Midland and I wanted to exhaust his information before fully exposing what I knew to be true. Here is what he told me.

This post was published at The Common Sense Show on June 2, 2015.

Tim Price’s hilarious take on what FIFA tells us about overpriced stocks

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and editor of Price Value International, is filling in while Simon travels to Buenos Aires today.] FIFA headquarters seem more like a nuclear bunker than a swanky executive facility – or perhaps they are both.
They take up 11 acres on the Zrichberg, cost 240 million Swiss francs, and of the building’s eight floors, five of them are underground.
They incorporate a fitness centre, a meditation room and a full size football (soccer) pitch.
Bloomberg Business reports that cell phones are rendered inoperative by the black, Brazilian granite in the bowels of the building, and that executive committee meetings are held on the third subterranean level, in a conference room that has a floor of lapis lazuli.
Buildings make a statement about their owners. FIFA-Hauptquartier seems to be saying: our owners have a boatload of cash.
When the building was inaugurated, high winds and driving rain forced the anticipated flag ceremony indoors.
But that didn’t faze Obergruppenfhrer Sepp Blatter (for the avoidance of any doubt, we are not suggesting that Sepp Blatter is or has ever been a Nazi paramilitary, although The Guardian has called him ‘the most successful non-homicidal dictator of the past century’), who opined artfully that

This post was published at Sovereign Man on June 2, 2015.

Media mind-control: case study: Arnold Schwarzenegger

‘Break down an event into fine enough particles, and you begin to see new things. You see the event is staged, of course, but you also find new key players, and they’re sometimes the ones you least expect to have an influence. When I say ‘influence’, I mean mind control, projected out like a great wave, rumbling over the populace, taking them to media heaven.’ (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)
This article is an example of what you can do when you watch a single television broadcast over and over, a dozen times, and analyze the effects blow by blow.
Over the years, I’ve written a great deal about media manipulation and television mind-control. (For example, see here and here.)
I thought I’d go back in my files and reprint my piece on a specific and egregious case of media brainwashing:
The Arnold Schwarzenegger announcement of his campaign for the governorship of California. That announcement took place (8/6/03) on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
I had watched the episode live, and I knew it was a piece of sheer propaganda, but I had no idea how cleverly integrated it was, until I obtained a tape of the broadcast from NBC and viewed it many times, stopping and starting, copying the dialogue word for word, and analyzing Leno’s key role and the role of his extraordinary studio audience.
First of all, the show had been hyped in advance, to the hilt, as the moment when Arnold would announce whether he was going to run in the recall election against California Governor Gray Davis.
Public anticipation was sky-high. No one seemed concerned that NBC was turning over its news division, for one night, to its entertainment division.
This was precisely the subject of the best movie ever made about television, Paddy Chayefsky’s Network. That fact didn’t register with the national media, either.
Of vital importance: If Arnold decided to run, he wouldn’t be announcing it during some second-rate press conference at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, after a brief introduction from the always-boring LA Mayor Richard Riordan. No, Arnold would obtain a rocket boost from Jay Leno.
Keep in mind that talk shows warm up and prep their audiences to act and respond with amphetamine-like enthusiasm. And then, during the show itself, that audience transmits its glow and howling racket to the wider television audience, thereby exploding an artificially enhanced event across the landscape.

This post was published at Jon Rappoport on June 2, 2015.

TSA Agents Failed To Catch 95% Of Mock Bombs And Weapons

The reason why “investing” in the economy in the form of government spending always, without fail, leads to adverse results and negative returns, is because unlike the private sector, there are neither checks and balances, nor punishment if one fails at their job. Case in point, the much maligned Transportation Security Administration, aka the TSA, best known for groping women and infants at airport checkpoints is about to be even more maligned because according to an exclusive report from ABC, TSA screeners failed ailed to detect mock explosives and weapons in 95% of tests carried out by undercover agents.
From ABC:
According to officials briefed on the results of a recent Homeland Security Inspector General’s report, TSA agents failed 67 out of 70 tests, with Red Team members repeatedly able to get potential weapons through checkpoints.
In one test an undercover agent was stopped after setting off an alarm at a magnetometer, but TSA screeners failed to detect a fake explosive device that was taped to his back during a follow-on pat down.
Officials would not divulge the exact time period of the testing other than to say it concluded recently.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 06/02/2015.

Why is Obama Goading China? — Mike Whitney

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter is willing to risk a war with China in order to defend  “freedom of navigation” in the South China Sea. Speaking in Honolulu, Hawaii on Wednesday, Carter issued his “most forceful” warning yet, demanding “an immediate and lasting halt to land reclamation” by China in the disputed Spratly Islands.
Carter said: “There should be no mistake: The United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows, as we do all around the world.” He also added that the United States intended to remain “the principal security power in the Asia-Pacific for decades to come.”
In order to show Chinese leaders “who’s the boss”, Carter has threatened to deploy U.S. warships and surveillance aircraft to within twelve miles of the islands that China claims are within their territorial waters. Not surprisingly, the U.S. is challenging China under the provisions of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea,  a document the US has stubbornly refused to ratify.  But that’s neither here nor there for the bellicose Carter whose insatiable appetite for confrontation makes him the most reckless Secretary of Defense since Donald Rumsfeld.
So what’s this really all about?  Why does Washington care so much about a couple hundred yards of sand piled up on reefs in the South China Sea? What danger does that pose to U.S. national security? And, haven’t Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines all engaged in similar “land reclamation” activities without raising hackles in D.C.?

This post was published at Counterpunch

Slovak PM calls for cancelation of anti-Russian sanctions

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has called for cancelation of the European Union’s anti-Russian sanctions.
"The sanctions have not produced the expected effect. They have harmed both Europe and Russia. I don’t know who may be happy with that reciprocal damage," Fico said on the eve of his official visit to Russia, due Tuesday, in an exclusive interview with TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman.
He said sanctions cannot be the content of politics. "They may only be the tool or one of the tools in the resolution of emerging complex situations," the premier underscored.
Second, he said, historical experience testifies to inefficiency of that mechanism of pressure.

This post was published at TASS

Hacked Emails Expose George Soros As Ukraine Puppet-Master

Just days after George Soros warned that World War 3 was imminent unless Washington backed down to China on IMF currency basket inclusion, the hacker collective CyberBerkut has exposed the billionaire as the real puppet-master behind the scenes in Ukraine. In 3 stunning documents, allegedly hacked from email correspondence between the hedge fund manager and Ukraine President Poroshenko, Soros lays out “A short and medium term comprehensive strategy for the new Ukraine,” expresses his confidence that the US should provide Ukraine with lethal military assistance, ‘with same level of sophistication in defense weapons to match the level of opposing force,” and finally explained Poroshenko’s “first priority must be to regain control of financial markets,” which he assures the President could be helped by The Fed adding “I am ready to call Jack Lew of the US Treasury to sound him out about the swap agreement.”
The hacking group CyberBerkut claims it has penetrated Ukraine’s presidential administration website and obtained correspondence between Soros and Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko. It has subsequently posted all the intercepted pdfs on line at the following location. More details as RT earlier reported:
The hacktivists have published three files online, which include a draft of ‘A short and medium term comprehensive strategy for the new Ukraine’ by Soros (dated March 12, 2015); an undated paper on military assistance to Kiev; and the billionaire’s letter to Poroshenko and Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, dated December 23, 2014.
According to the leaked documents, Soros supports Barack Obama’s stance on Ukraine, but believes that the US should do even more.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 06/01/2015.

The Delusional World Of Imperial Washington

Think of this as a little imperial folly update — and here’s the backstory.
In the years after invading Iraq and disbanding Saddam Hussein’s military, the U. S. sunk about $25 billion into ‘standing up’ a new Iraqi army. By June 2014, however, that army, filled with at least 50,000 ‘ghost soldiers,’ was only standing in the imaginations of its generals and perhaps Washington. When relatively small numbers of Islamic State (IS) militants swept into northern Iraq, it collapsed, abandoning four cities — including Mosul, the country’s second largest — and leaving behind enormous stores of U. S. weaponry, ranging from tanks and Humvees to artillery and rifles. In essence, the U. S. was now standing up its future enemy in a style to which it was unaccustomed and, unlike the imploded Iraqi military, the forces of the Islamic State proved quite capable of using that weaponry without a foreign trainer or adviser in sight.
In response, the Obama administration dispatched thousands of new advisers and trainers and began shipping in piles of new weaponry to re-equip the Iraqi army. It also filled Iraqi skies with U. S. planes armed with their own munitions to destroy, among other things, some of that captured U. S. weaponry. Then it set to work standing up a smaller version of the Iraqi army. Now, skip nearly a year ahead and on a somewhat lesser scale the whole process has just happened again. Less than two weeks ago, Islamic State militants took Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province. Iraqi army units, including the elite American-trained Golden Division, broke and fled, leaving behind — you’ll undoubtedly be shocked to hear — yet another huge cache of weaponry and equipment, including tanks, more than 100 Humvees and other vehicles, artillery, and so on.
The Obama administration reacted in a thoroughly novel way: it immediately began shipping in new stocks of weaponry, starting with 1,000 antitank weapons, so that the reconstituted Iraqi military could take out future ‘massive suicide vehicle bombs’ (some of which, assumedly, will be those captured vehicles from Ramadi). Meanwhile, American planes began roaming the skies over that city, trying to destroy some of the equipment IS militants had captured.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 06/01/2015.

Shocker: TSA Failed 95 Percent of Undercover Breach Tests

An internal investigation of the Tyrannical Sexual Assaulters, er… I mean, the Transportation Security Administration, revealed some absolutely shocking information:
TSA agents are largely incompetent.
ABC News reported the exclusive story this morning. Here’s an excerpt from their coverage – emphasis mine.
An internal investigation of the Transportation Security Administration revealed security failures at dozens of the nation’s busiest airports, where undercover investigators were able to smuggle mock explosives or banned weapons through checkpoints in 95 percent of trials.
The series of tests were conducted by Homeland Security Red Teams who pose as passengers, setting out to beat the system.
According to officials briefed on the results of a recent Homeland Security Inspector General’s report, TSA agents failed 67 out of 70 tests, with Red Team members repeatedly able to get potential weapons through checkpoints.
In one test an undercover agent was stopped after setting off an alarm at a magnetometer, but TSA screeners failed to detect a fake explosive device that was taped to his back during a follow-on pat down.
But is anyone really surprised?

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on June 1st, 2015.

TSA: Worthless

So now we find out…
Homeland Security officials confirmed to Fox News that TSA screeners failed 67 out of 70 tests — or 96 percent — carried out by special investigators known as “red teams.”
In one case, an undercover agent with a fake bomb strapped to his back set off a magnetometer — but the screener still failed to find it.
That’s impressive.
So now we know what the truth is, although you won’t hear anyone in the media say it:
There is nobody — literally nobody — who has tried to blow up a plane or get a gun on one for nefarious purpose since 9/11.
Nobody.
Got that folks?
The count of people willing to die to blow up a civilian aircraft in this country numbers zero.

This post was published at Market-Ticker on June 1, 2015.

Japan’s Pension System Hacked; 1.25 Million Identification Numbers, Birth Dates, Addresses Compromised

There’s been quite a bit of talk recently about ‘cyberthreats’ to the US. Back in April, Defense Secretary Ash Carter unveiled a new US strategy designed to combat a list of supposed ‘cyberadversaries’ which include (of course) China, Iran, Russia, and North Korea. The Pentagon suggested that Washington may use ‘offensive’ cyberattacks if necessary to ‘disrupt an adversary’s military related networks or infrastructure so that the U. S. military can protect U. S. interests in an area of operations.’
As it turns out, the US did just that five years ago when Homeland Security tried to deploy a computer virus against North Korea’s nuclear program, an effort which ultimately failed due to, as Reuters puts it, ‘the extreme isolation of [Pyongyang’s] communications systems.’
More recently, the US implicated Chinese hacker spies in a scheme purportedly designed to steal US military secrets from Penn State’s engineering department and “Russain crime syndicates” were blamedfor an IRS breach.
As far as Washington’s allies are concerned, Japan is onboard with PM Shinzo Abe and President Obama striking a cybersecurity alliance when Abe visited the capital in April. In a speech to Congress, Abe had the following to say about Chinese hacking: ‘[We cannot] simply allow free riders on intellectual property.’
In the latest cyber drama, we learned on Sunday that Japan Pension Service staff computers were hacked and 1.25 million cases of personal data were compromised in the process. Reuters has the story:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 06/01/2015.

Vince Vaughn Has Some Strong Opinions on the Second Amendment

It goes without saying that most members of the Hollywood elite are by and large, completely out of their minds. Even if an actor starts out as humble, down to earth individual, their lifestyle is practically guaranteed to push them away from reality. When you’re paid millions of dollars for pretending to be other people, getting swarmed by crazed fans, having your life turned upside down by a vapid press, and you’re surrounded by yes men who’ll never tell you when you’re wrong, it’s nearly impossible to stay in touch with reality.
But not all actors are empty-headed morons. Vince Vaughn proved as much when he was interviewed by GQ magazine this month. In it, he had some pretty interesting things to say about gun rights and freedom of speech.
‘Edward Snowden is a hero. I like what he did. My idea of treason is that you sell secrets to the enemy. He gave information to the American people. Snowden didn’t take information for money or dogmas. Governments claim to write endless laws to protect us, a law for this, a law for that, but are they working? I don’t think so. The consequences are that there is a staggering loss of freedom for the individual.’

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on June 1st, 2015.

Ron Paul: “Ex-Im Bank Is Welfare For The 1%”

This month Congress will consider whether to renew the charter of the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank). Ex-Im Bank is a New Deal-era federal program that uses taxpayer funds to subsidize the exports of American businesses. Foreign businesses, including state-owned corporations, also benefit from Ex-Im Bank. One country that has benefited from $1.5 billion of Ex-Im Bank loans is Russia. Venezuela, Pakistan, and China have also benefited from Ex-Im Bank loans.
With Ex-Im Bank’s track record of supporting countries that supposedly represent a threat to the US, one might expect neoconservatives, hawkish liberals, and other supporters of foreign intervention to be leading the effort to kill Ex-Im Bank. Yet, in an act of hypocrisy remarkable even by DC standards, many hawkish politicians, journalists, and foreign policy experts oppose ending Ex-Im Bank.
This seeming contradiction may be explained by the fact that Ex-Im Bank’s primary beneficiaries include some of America’s biggest and most politically powerful corporations. Many of Ex-Im Bank’s beneficiaries are also part of the industrial half of the military-industrial complex. These corporations are also major funders of think tanks and publications promoting an interventionist foreign policy.
Ex-Im Bank apologists claim that the bank primarily benefits small business. A look at the facts tells a different story. For example, in fiscal year 2014, 70 percent of the loans guaranteed by Ex-Im Bank’s largest program went to Caterpillar, which is hardly a small business.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 06/01/2015.

Trendies Ready for Ultimate Wearable: ‘Chip Implanted in Their Skin Used for Payments’

The Mark of the Beast is more almost here than ever before.
As SHTF has previously noted, the likelihood of a forced RFID implant under the guise of a martial law pandemic emergency might be a little too obvious, as far as future tyranny goes.
Before it comes to that, it seems plenty of people will be voluntarily subjecting themselves to cattle-like status, by jumping at the chance to ditch the inconvenience of a wallet and get a ‘smarter’ payment system that can be embedded under their skin.
Via the Business Insider:
A mind-boggling 25% of Australians say they are at least ‘slightly interested’ at the prospect of having a chip implanted in their skin that could be used for payments, new research has found.
The research by credit card company Visa and the University of Technology Sydney found Australians are open to the prospect of paying for items using wearable tech including smart watches, rings, glasses and even a connected car.
[…] ‘New technology like tokenisation makes it possible to turn any device into a secure vehicle for commerce. We’re already seeing smartphone payments take off in Australia.
Things are about to get creepier. The significance of the ‘mind-boggling 25% of Australians’ is that the number is growing into a sizable portion of the population. They are ready to accept it.

This post was published at shtfplan on June 1st, 2015.