Korean War Part II: Why It’s Probably Going To Happen

Though a lot of people in my line of work (alternative economic and geopolitical analysis) tend to be accused of “doom mongering,” I have to say personally I am not a big believer in “doom.” At least, not in the way that the accusation insinuates. I don’t believe in apocalypse, Armageddon or the end of the world, nor do I even believe, according to the evidence, that a global nuclear conflict is upon us. In fact, it annoys me that so many people seem desperate to imagine those conclusions whenever a crisis event takes shape.
I think the concept of “apocalypse” is rather lazy – unless we are talking about a fantastical movie scenario, like a meteor the size of Kentucky or Michelle Obama’s Adam’s apple hurtling towards the Earth. Human civilization is more likely to change in the face of crisis rather than end completely.
I do believe in massive sea changes in societies and political dynamics. I believe in the fall of nations and empires. I believe in this because I have seen it perpetually through history. What I see constant evidence of is that many of these sea changes are engineered by establishment elitists in government and finance. What I see is evidence of organized psychopathy and an agenda for total centralization of power. When I stumble upon the potential for economic disaster or war, I always ask myself “what is the narrative being sold to the public, what truth is it distracting us from and who REALLY benefits from the calamity.”

This post was published at Alt-Market on Wednesday, 16 August 2017.

One Analyst Throws Up On Today’s Retail Sales Data: Here’s Why

Two weeks ago we reported that July auto sales were a disaster: recall sales for bloated with inventory GM were down 15% YoY, Ford off 7% and Chrysler down 11% – despite record incentive spending – as overall auto sales declined and disappointed for yet another month. And yet, according to this morning’s retail sales report from the Census Bureau, sales for “motor vehicle & parts stores” rose much more robustly than anyone had anticipated, rising 1.2%, the fastest pace since December.
This number was so bizarre, and so out of context with recent sales data, that SouthBay Research threw up all over it in its morning note today. Here’s why:
Retail Sales m/m: 0.6% Retail Sales ex Autos m/m: 0.45% Retail Sales ex Autos & Amazon m/m: 0.3%

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

Al-Qaeda’s “Inspire” Magazine Targets US Commuter Trains With Homemade “Derailment Devices”

The magazine that helped the Tsarnaev brothers pull off the Boston Marathon bombing – while also purporting to teach wannabe jihadis how to ‘make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom’ – is homing in on its next target: America’s crumbling transportation infrastructure.
‘Inspire,’ the Al Qaeda propaganda magazine, will dedicate its next issue to America’s passenger and commuter trains. The focus on rail transportation comes at a time of great anxiety over the scarcity of resources devoted to repairing America’s vulnerable trains, which is advantageous to a group aiming to reestablish maximum relevance.
***
Derailments in the Bronx, Philadelphia and New York City’s Penn Station have made commuters anxious. The effort to rescue New York City’s deteriorating subway system has been one of the most closely followed stories of the summer, according to the Washington Times.
‘Issue No. 17 is headlined, ‘Train Derail Operations,’ and will spell out ways to create rail disasters in a transportation system that lacks the stiff security procedures of airline travel.
It’s competing Sunni extremists group, the Islamic State, for more than a year has advocated using vehicles to mow down innocents. Its murderous followers have weaponized vehicles in Nice, Berlin and London, creating hundreds of deaths and injuries.
Adding trains to the terrorist’s priority list would put at risk virtually every mode of transportation and placed added pressure on the U. S. Department of Homeland Security.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 12, 2017.

USGS Says California Needs Close Monitoring Of 8 Active Volcanoes

California could be even closer to a major natural disaster than ever before. With eight active volcanoes and a high state population, the United States Geological Survey says that the Golden State is in desperate need of very close monitoring.
‘I call them the watch-list volcanoes,’ said Margaret Mangan, Scientist-in-Charge at the California Volcano Observatory. Scientists know from geophysical and geochemical research that these volcanoes have molten rock and magma, ‘in their roots,’ and the world’s top volcanologists aren’t taking any chances anymore. They are heading to Portland, Oregon on August 14 for the first international volcanology assembly held in the U. S. since 1989. The many famous, prominent, and dangerous volcanoes of the West Coast will be the subject of field trips and much discussion during the assembly.

This post was published at shtfplan on August 13th, 2017.

Great Disaster Looms as Technology Disrupts White Collar Workers

David McWilliams: Great Disaster Looms as Technology Disrupts White Collar Workers
– Every era, every century, every generation has its massive technological disruption
– Taxi drivers being ‘disrupted’ by technology of Uber
– History shows how ‘middle men’ frequently made redundant
– Skill set of many professionals today can be replicated by machines and technology
– Technology may make lawyers, accountants, architects and doctors redundant
– We risk ‘cannabalising ourselves’ with internet and emerging technologies
***
Looking out to sea at the huge winter waves crashing upon the Cape Town shore, it’s hard to imagine what the first local tribesman thought when he saw, in the distance, Vasco De Gama’s tiny Portuguese ship sail round the Cape of Good Hope, heading out towards the Indian Ocean in search of profit.
You wonder what went through the local’s mind? Could he have imagined the calamity that was soon to befall his people and most of the peoples of Africa?
Once the Portuguese had opened up the passage to India via the Atlantic, the old Silk Roads, the commercial superhighways of the medieval ages from China to Istanbul, were gradually downgraded in global commerce. Economically, the Earth shifted on its axis from Asia to the Atlantic. This was the great disruption.

This post was published at Gold Core on August 10, 2017.

Google: Search Engine or Deep State Organ?

Today’s post should be read as Part 3 of my ongoing series about the now infamous Google memo, and what it tells us about where our society is headed if a minority of extremely wealthy and powerful technocratic billionaires are permitted to fully socially engineer our culture to fit their ideological vision using coercion, force and manipulation. For some context, read Part 1 and Part 2.
I struggled with the title of this piece, because ever since the 2016 election, usage of the term ‘deep state’ has become overly associated with Trump cheerleaders. I’m not referring to people who voted for Trump, whom I can both understand and respect, I’m talking about the Trump cultists. Like most people who mindlessly and enthusiastically attach themselves to political figures, they tend to be either morons or opportunists.
Nevertheless, just because the term has been somewhat tainted doesn’t mean I deny the existence of a ‘deep state’ or ‘shadow government.’ The existence of networks of unelected powerful people who formulate and push policy behind the scenes and then get captured members of Congress to vote on it is pretty much undeniable. I don’t believe that the ‘deep state’ is a monolithic entity by any means, but what seems to unite these various people and institutions is an almost religious belief in U. S. imperial dominance, as well as the idea that this empire should be largely governed by an unaccountable oligarchy of billionaires and assorted technocrats. We see the results of this worldview all around us with endless wars, an unconstitutional domestic surveillance state and the destruction of the middle class. These are the fruits of deep state ideology, and a clear reason why it should be dismantled and replaced by genuine governance by the people before they lead the U. S. to total disaster.

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Aug 9, 2017.

Peter Thiel Reportedly Says “There’s A 50% Chance” Current Presidency “Ends In Disaster”

Trump is not particularly popular among the billionaire crowd of Silicon Valley, to say the least. As such, when the billionaire co-founder of PayPal endorsed Trump for President, donated ‘bigly’ to his campaign and even agreed to speak at the Republican National Convention last summer, it was a ‘yuge’ deal.
But, at least if you’re willing to believe the anonymous sources of BuzzFeed News, the honeymoon phase between Thiel and Trump may have ended a few months ago. While Thiel has continued to support Trump in public, personal friends who have attended dinners with him in recent months say he has soured on the administration of late and even intimated to friends that “there is a 50% chance this whole thing ends in disaster.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 7, 2017.

Geopolitical Tensions Are Designed To Distract The Public From Economic Decline

Tracking geopolitical and fiscal developments over the past several years is a bit like watching a slow motion train wreck; you know exactly what the consequences of the events will be, you try to warn people as much as possible, but, ultimately, you cannot reverse the disaster. The disaster has for all intents and purposes already happened. What we are witnessing is the aftermath as a forgone conclusion.
This is why whenever someone asks me as an economic and political analyst “when the collapse is going to happen,” I have to shake my head in bewilderment. The “collapse” is here now. It is done. It is a historical fact. It’s just that not many people have the eyes to see it yet, primarily because they are hyper-focused on all the wrong things.
For many centuries now, elitists in power have understood the value of geopolitical distraction as a tool for controlling the masses. If you examine the underlying motivations behind the majority of wars between nations regardless of the era, you will in most cases discover that the power brokers on both sides tend to be rather friendly with each other. In fact, monarchies and oligarchies are historically notorious for fabricating diplomatic tensions and conflicts in order to force populations back under their control. That is to say, wars and other man-made conflicts give the citizenry something to react to, instead of hunting down the establishment cabal like they should.

This post was published at Alt-Market on Thursday, 03 August 2017.

Scientists Discover New Fault Line Off The Coast Of Alaska – Could Produce Fukushima Size Tsunamis

Every region is associated with at least one type of natural disaster. If you live in the Midwest you have tornadoes to contend with, and in the South you have to worry about hurricanes. Folks in New England have to worry about snowstorms, and people who live in the West need to consider earthquakes and forest fires.
We take these facts for granted. We assume that certain places are in the path of specific disasters, and immune to others. That however, isn’t the case when it comes to tsunamis. At least not for practical purposes. That’s because the scientific community is still discovering new underwater fault lines that have the potential to cause devastating tsunamis. If you live on a coastline, your home could be at risk of being swept away and you wouldn’t even know it. In fact, scientists have just discovered a new fault off the coast of Alaska that could produce a tsunami that is the same size as the wave that wrecked Fukushima.
Scientists probing under the seafloor off Alaska have found a geologic fault they say signals significant risk of a mega-tsunami in future.
The feature closely resembles one that produced the 2011 Tohoku tsunami off Japan, killing some 20,000 people and melting down three nuclear reactors.

This post was published at shtfplan on August 2nd, 2017.

Trump Touts “Highest Stock Market Ever”, Slams Congress’ Exemption From ‘Disastrous’ ObamaCare

President Trump is active this morning. His first tweet of the week was a shot across the bow of Congress (who exempted themselves from Obamacare because it was such a disaster) and suggesting – shockingly to many in DC – that insurance companies may face some pain…
If ObamaCare is hurting people, & it is, why shouldn't it hurt the insurance companies & why should Congress not be paying what public pays?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2017

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 31, 2017.

Why Some People Are Poorer than Others

Throughout history, until about the middle of the 18th century, mass poverty was nearly everywhere the normal condition of man. Then capital accumulation and a series of major inventions ushered in the Industrial Revolution. In spite of occasional setbacks, economic progress became accelerative. Today, in the United States, in Canada, in nearly all of Europe, in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, mass poverty has been practically eliminated. It has either been conquered or is in process of being conquered by a progressive capitalism. Mass poverty is still found in most of Latin America, most of Asia, and most of Africa.
Yet even the United States, the most affluent of all countries, continues to be plagued by “pockets” of poverty and by individual poverty.
Temporary pockets of poverty, or of distress, are an almost necessary result of a free competitive enterprise system. In such a system some firms and industries are growing or being born, others are shrinking or dying; and many entrepreneurs and workers in the dying industries are unwilling or unable to change their residence or their occupation. Pockets of poverty may be the result of a failure to meet domestic or foreign competition, of a shrinkage or disappearance of demand for some product, of mines or wells that have been exhausted, of land that has become a dust bowl, and of droughts, floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. There is no way of preventing most of these contingencies, and no all encompassing cure for them. Each is likely to call for its own special measures of alleviation or adjustment. Whatever general measures may be advisable can best be considered as part of the broader problem of individual poverty.
This problem is nearly always referred to by socialists as “the paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty.” The implication of the phrase is not only that such poverty is inexcusable, but that its existence must be the fault of those who have the “plenty.” We are most likely to see the problem clearly, however, if we stop blaming “society” in advance and seek an unemotional analysis.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on July 27, 2017.

Fukushima’s “Swimming Robot” Captures First Images Of ‘Massive Deposits’ Of Melted Nuclear Fuel

The ‘Little Sunfish,’ the swimming robot that TEPCO is using to capture images of the containment vessel in the Unit 3 reactor of the ruined Fukushima power plant, has brought back the goods.
A trove of new images captured in the past few days show what is likely to be melted nuclear fuel from inside the reactor, what Bloomberg describes as a ‘potential milestone’ in the cleanup of one of the worst atomic disasters in history.

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

Idaho Embraces Neofeudalism with Its ‘Noncompete’ Legislation

Before I begin, I want to mention that my only experience with Idaho (unfortunately), was driving through the southeastern part of the state during my six-week cross country road trip in 2010. It was some of the most majestic and peaceful scenery I had ever seen, and I’d love to return and explore more of the state in the future. I’ve also heard Boise is a pretty cool city. It’s unfortunate that a state with so much potential passed the anti-freedom legislation described below, but I have faith the people will figure it out and reverse course.
Much of my recent writing has been focused on the need for political decentralization, meaning that states and local communities need to start experimenting more and making decisions for themselves on a wider range of important policy questions. This naturally will lead to some really good outcomes, but also some genuine disasters. Idaho’s noncompete law falls into the latter category.
Many of you may not be familiar with what I’m talking about, so I’ll start with some excerpts from a very good New York Times article on the subject, and then get into some detailed commentary at the end.
Here’s a brief overview of the situation from the piece, Noncompete Pacts, Under Siege, Find Haven in Idaho:

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Jul 20, 2017.

Episode #194 – SUNDAY WIRE: ‘After The Fire’ with Mike Robinson and Guests

Episode #194 of SUNDAY WIRE SHOW resumes this July 16th, 2017 as guest host Patrick Henningsen brings you this week’s LIVE broadcast on the Alternate Current Radio Network…
LISTEN LIVE ON THIS PAGE AT THE FOLLOWING SCHEDULED SHOW TIMES:
5pm-8pm UK Time | 12pm-3pm ET (US) | 9am-12am PT (US)
This week we deliver another LIVE broadcast, this time from London, as SUNDAY WIRE host Patrick Henningsen is joined Mike Robinson editor of the UK Column, as we travel to the site of the Grenfell Tower fire in West London to speak with the residents – with all of their thoughts, fears and hopes. In the first hour, we’ll connect with with residents who were, and still are being directly affected by the disaster. In third hour, ACR host Hesher will be joined by Basil Valentine for this week’s news and analysis round-up.
VOTE IN OUR NEWS POLL: What’s more important in the age of modern warfare – a strong military, or a strong media?

SUPPORT 21WIRE – SUBSCRIBE & BECOME A MEMBER @21WIRE. TV
Strap yourselves in and lower the blast shield – this is your brave new world…
*NOTE: THIS EPISODE MAY CONTAIN STRONG LANGUAGE AND MATURE THEMES*
PLEASE CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

This post was published at Spreaker on JULY 16, 2017.

Episode #194 – SUNDAY WIRE: ‘After The Fire’ with guests Mike Robinson, Basil Valentine

Episode #194 of SUNDAY WIRE SHOW resumes this July 16th, 2017 as guest host Patrick Henningsen brings you this week’s LIVE broadcast on the Alternate Current Radio Network…
LISTEN LIVE ON THIS PAGE AT THE FOLLOWING SCHEDULED SHOW TIMES:
5pm-8pm UK Time | 12pm-3pm ET (US) | 9am-12am PT (US)
This week we deliver another LIVE broadcast, this time from London, as SUNDAY WIRE host Patrick Henningsen is joined Mike Robinson editor of the UK Column, as we travel to the site of the Grenfell Tower fire in West London to speak with the residents – with all of their thoughts, fears and hopes. In the first hour, we’ll connect with with residents who were, and still are being directly affected by the disaster. In third hour, ACR host Hesher will be joined by Basil Valentine for this week’s news and analysis round-up.
VOTE IN OUR NEWS POLL: What’s more important in the age of modern warfare – a strong military, or a strong media?

SUPPORT 21WIRE – SUBSCRIBE & BECOME A MEMBER @21WIRE. TV
Strap yourselves in and lower the blast shield – this is your brave new world…
*NOTE: THIS EPISODE MAY CONTAIN STRONG LANGUAGE AND MATURE THEMES*

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JULY 16, 2017.

Locals Furious At Plan To Dump Radioactive Water From Fukushima Into Pacific Ocean

In the latest sign that the area surrounding the destroyed Fukushima power plant is far from ready for the return of human inhabitants, locals and fishing groups are criticizing a plan to release water containing radioactive tritium from the ruined Fukushima power plant into the ocean, according to the Telegraph. Officials of Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the plant, say tritium poses little risk to human health and is quickly diluted by the ocean. But for some, the plan undoubtedly dredges up uncomfortable memories from 2013, when it was revealed that 300 tonnes of radioactive material had been leaking into the Pacific Ocean from the devastated plant every day. It was also revealed that TEPCO had known about the leaks, but had tried to cover them up.
TEPCO has been tasked with decommissioning the plant, and has been using robots to find and clean the melted nuclear fuel debris that is believed to be creating exorbitant levels of radiation in the area surrounding the plant. Though the company had to pull some of its robots out in February after radiation reached such high levels that not even machinery could function correctly, according to the International Business Times.
In March 2011, a magnitude 9 undersea megaquake triggered a massive tsunami that battered coastal North Eastern Japan, and triggered the level seven meltdowns of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, and the evacuation of 160,000 residents and the implementation of a 310 square mile uninhabitable zone. The quake was the worst to ever hit Japan, and it caused the worst nuclear disaster the world had seen since Ukraine’s Chernobyl meltdown in 1986. The three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant melted down when the tsunami caused a blackout at the plant that shut off its cooling systems.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 14, 2017.

Sellers Ask $150M For 14-Acre Beachside Plot As Hamptons Property Market Crashes

Real-estate prices in the Hamptons – the preferred North American summer retreat for wealthy finance types – have long been viewed as a barometer of the general mood on Wall Street. And with US stocks continuing their ascent to fresh record highs, despite Brainard’s admission that “asset valuations do look a bit stretched” and signs that the rally is being propelled by a concentration of megacap stocks, luxury real-estate agents out east are clearly praying for a blockbuster season after last year’s disaster.
Indeed, even as luxury apartment buildings along New York City’s billionaires row struggle with unsustainably high vacancy rates, stoking speculation of a bubble in the ultra-high end of the city’s real-estate market, the owners of a roughly 14-acre beachfront property with multiple houses and two putting greens in Southampton have the temerity to list the parcel for $150 million, making it the most expensive home for sale in the Hamptons right now.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 14, 2017.

‘Multicultural’ Europe is a Disaster

‘This [multicultural] approach has failed, utterly failed,’ Angela Merkel said in 2010 during a meeting with the Christian Democratic Union party.
So, fast-forward to 2017, instead of making mass immigration about ‘multiculturalism,’ it’s now about filling in the blanks for an aging population. Rather than change the strategy, the politicos have just changed the narrative. (Because youth employment in Europe is so strong they need to pull people from other continents, right?)
Such is the nature of the ‘refugee’ crisis.
It’s no longer controversial: Four out of five migrants coming into Europe are not escaping war-torn Syria. The vast majority of them are not refugees, by definition. They’re coming from all over Africa and the Middle East, some of them even paying smugglers from $1,500 up to $15,000 to get them handed off to European aid workers.

This post was published at Laissez Faire on Jul 13, 2017.

The Flint Water Disaster Shows Why We Need Markets

Many moons ago, I wrote a piece for mises.org introducing Westley’s Law, which was my theory for government growth based on its being held to lower expectations, relative to the market. It struck a nerve, of sorts. Many emailed me to say the idea required expansion into a book.
If I ever produce one, I’ll write up a section on the Flint water crisis, which is a classic case of the Law applied to the resource most central to man’s survival. For decades, Flint’s water consumers looked the other way while its politically-protected, socialist water utility overcharged and then flubbed delivery of water to Flint’s residents. (I am wary of calling them consumers because that term implies the ability to opt out.)
This incompetence lead to a series of reforms that were actually deforms. Chief among them was the decision to make the Flint River the utility’s primary water source in 2014, involving the use of faulty piping. The result: contaminated water, elevated lead levels in the water supply, sickness, and death.
The United States’ public broadcasting service aired a documentary about the crisis last month with the predictable conclusion that it wasn’t Flint’s socialist organization of its water system that was the problem, but that some bad, incompetent people led it. This is the go-to explanation for any government failure. It’s like arguing the Soviet Union failed simply because of its dearth of Public Administration graduate programs.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on July 7, 2017.