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6 Warning Signs That Civil Unrest Is Imminent

6 Warning Signs That Civil Unrest Is Imminent

Authored by J.G.Martinez D. via The Organic Prepper blog,

This week has been “interesting” in South America. Interesting, indeed, but as in the ancient Chinese curse style.

For those of us in this side of the hemisphere, having been able to witness first-hand, in the front line, how the very same plot that made us get the heck out of our country, is unleashing a vendetta against the countries that have received us Venezuelans.

I know geopolitical issues are not the intention of this blog, but please, allow me to continue. It will be necessary to establish a context of the circumstances. This vendetta I mentioned, has the exact same features that Fidel Castro once sent to Miami, from Mariel, in Cuba (a pilot test?). President Moreno has accused directly to Maduro of sending hidden terrorists, camouflaged between the refugees. For those readers interested that maybe are going to buy the book Daisy and I are writing, you will find a direct relationship between travels of communist leaders to South America, and civilian turmoil generated within a suspiciously short time frame after their “visit”. This is not the only indicator of troubles, indeed. If we remember, in 1988 the Venezuelan president Carlos Andres Perez invited Fidel to his ceremony of possession. Some people who were there informed that a significant part of the companions of Fidel for that ceremony did not come back to Cuba. They stayed in Venezuela.

This said, it is not hard to suppose what kind of influence these “visitors” had in the 1989 coup d’etat. The incredible violence unleashed in the cities was something totally unexpected, and rarely seen in a country such as Venezuela. For more details, you will read about it in the book, with some testimonies of friends and acquaintances, and some anecdotic data. I was like 15 at the time and remember everything as it was yesterday.

The objective, finally, of this article is getting to the reader accustomed to this idea: civilian turmoil presents so suddenly that maybe the only option you will have is to bug in.

A couple of weeks ago, everything was so quiet in Ecuador that it was even boring. Don’t believe me? Watch the news. A few days ago, a violent mob kicked out the police out of their way and invaded the National Assembly (something very similar, indeed to what happened in Venezuela).

A very volatile situation is brewing in all of South America.

Countries that had been relatively peaceful are now (thanks to the hidden terrorists sent by the Maduro regime) a powder barrel. The timing could not be worst for me and my reduced family group. An old illness has come back and I´m struggling to recover at least partially before things get worst. Fortunately, we are in a popular neighborhood where there are lots of Venezuelans, and the people renting me have no complains because I´ve been quite a good tenant: no noises, paying on time (thanks to my extreme frugality and the generosity of a few readers, I have to acknowledge). They are a senior couple and hardly would allow me to get hurt by an angry mob or someone of my family. However, I´m ready to defend myself and mines.

OK, here´s the thing. Maybe you can have some indications in the nearby days about how bad things can get, all of a sudden. You won´t even notice it until you´re in the middle. If you don´t believe me just ask to Ecuadorians. They were caught in the middle of a geopolitical storm stirred from abroad. Looting, empty shelves as a result, and half of the country blocked because of the mobs. Tear gas, and shootings. Three young men thrown from a bridge by other angry enemies. Things like this happen when people are exposed, and unaware.

I want to tell you something. I’m not in my better moment these days. But every time I need to go outside for some reason, I do it with the firm, strong idea in my mind, of defending myself and my family (and the means to do it). Being partially impeded, defense will have to be lightning quick and disabling. No mercy and I am sorry about this, but it’s true. It’s the survivor’s mind setup clicking in since I saw the chain of events. Facing the law afterward? Sure, as much as the taken down predators face it too. There is footage of an angry mob (identified with leftist guerrilla colors by the way) beating with batons innocent people inside a building. Same as Germany in the 30s. Jeez.

If for some reason in the future these few paragraphs save your life or someone’s you love, I will feel rewarded.

Although our exposition to xenophobic behavior has been minimal, I´m pretty aware how bad things can get under the current social climate. Therefore, signals definitely can´t be ignored. Every society of the world, unfortunately, seems to have the potential for civilian turmoil, and the possibility of the appearance of more or less organized gangs of marauders NEVER can be dismissed. (I´m sorry Canada, never been there but maybe even you have some percentage of this happening somewhere in the future).

Here are 6 signs that civilian unrest is impending or already occurring.

The first sign, of course, is bad looks when you walk on the street. Small groups of people (especially young men) staring at you? Don´t show fear, but leave the place fast, and find a safe spot. A shop, a restaurant, someplace with guards, preferably. If you´re classified as a “vulnerable” inhabitant (a migrant, ethnical minority, etc.) you know what I´m talking about. Don´t expose yourself and become gray. No one will open an investigation until much time afterwards an attack under these circumstances. And what we want to avoid is an attack.

The second sign, perhaps this is more subtle, when you see people that normally would be polite or indifferent, as a minimum, starts to look at you in sort of aggressive manner. It´s surprising the number of women from a certain age up that have insulted and been racist with Venezuelans in some countries. (Well maybe surprising for some single people…not as much for me already anyway LOL)

The third sign, of course, is people disappearing off the streets. I think one of my worst nightmares would be to be walking with my kid in middle downtown, and suddenly to find ourselves roaming in deserted streets because there is an aggressive gang coming and you can´t see it. One of my friends was caught in the middle of the coup d’etat to Rafael Correa a few years ago in Ecuador, and when he finally could arrive at the hostel he supposed to have booked in, the lady running the place kick his suitcase by the stairs, closed the door and never opened. Go figure. A Venezuelan never would have treated someone like that, and I am proud to say this.

The fourth sign is (obviously) Law Enforcement Officials (LEOs) presence in massive amounts in the streets. Any kind of uniform is a strong indication of expected turmoil. Find cover.

The fifth sign in modern times would be (because in the demonstrations the uniforms used it massively to identify potential groups as a target) drones flying close to some blockage or LEOs control point. And I know this because people who took part in the demonstrations informed me. Everything was peaceful, and after they saw the drones, minutes later all hells broke lose.

The sixth sign, and the last one, is when you start seeing people wearing a single color. All in black, or all in white, or all sharing a bandana, or some symbol that indicates they are part of a group.

Be prepared to defend yourself and your loved ones.

This said, the logical protection measures have to be taken: carry a baton, disguised as a cane. This will work better if one can simulate a limp or something. That´s my first choice. The second one (depending on the laws of the area) would be a concealed knife. A small brown paper brown with a loaf of bread, a peach or apple and some cheese could be useful to explain why we are carrying this, just in case. This would be in my briefcase. I walk decently dressed, but not too much that I call the attention. For some reason I think that someone in a cheap jacket could be attacked by a racist mob faster than someone dressed up with a suit (maybe think one can be a lawyer?).

Any other blunt weapon that can be concealed should work. Be creative. Nunchukus (for those that have practiced martial arts like me) can be easily concealed under loose gym pants, for instance.

But the best protection is exposing yourself as little as possible. This is what I like the most of home-based jobs. An old friend complained about crime rate being so high…but he was a young man in his low 30s and loved partying all night long as a male cat….That saddlebag comes with the horse when you buy it, fellow!

Tyler Durden Fri, 10/18/2019 - 23:45

Office Vacancies In China Hit Decade High Amid Economic Turmoil

Office Vacancies In China Hit Decade High Amid Economic Turmoil

A darkening outlook for China's economy continues to materialize week by week.

New data from commercial property group CBRE warns the country's office vacancy rate has just surged to the highest since the financial crisis of 2007–2008, first reported by Bloomberg.

CBRE said the vacancy rate for commercial office space in 17 major cities rose to 21.5% in 3Q19, a level not seen since the global economy was melting down in 2008.

Sam Xie, CBRE's head of research in China, said the recent "spike" in vacancies is one of the worst since the last financial crisis.

Catherine Chen, Cushman & Wakefield's head of research for Greater China, told Financial Times that soaring commercial office vacancies in China was mainly due to dwindling demand, but not oversupplied conditions.

"Contributing factors included slower expansion of co-working operators and financial services companies, and a general cost-saving strategy adopted by most tenants given ongoing trade tensions and economic growth slowdown," she added.

Henry Chin, head of research for Asia Pacific at CBRE, told Financial Times that macroeconomic headwinds relating to the trade war between the US and China were also a significant factor in rising office vacancies.

As shown in the Bloomberg chart below, using CBRE data, Shanghai and Shenzhen had the highest office vacancies than any other city, and both had around 20% of office spaces dormant.

And with the global economy in a synchronized slowdown, global growth estimates are now printing at 3%, the slowest pace since the financial crisis. The Chinese economy will likely continue to slow, and could see domestic growth under 6% this year. This suggests that China's office space vacancies will continue to rise through year-end.Office Vacancies In China Hit Decade High Amid Economic Turmoil

Tyler Durden Fri, 10/18/2019 - 23:25 Tags Business Finance

Terrorized, Traumatized, & Terminated: The Police State's Deadly Toll On America's Children

Terrorized, Traumatized, & Terminated: The Police State's Deadly Toll On America's Children

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

Mommy, am I gonna die?”— 4-year-old Ava Ellis after being inadvertently shot in the leg by a police officer who was aiming for the girl’s boxer-terrier dog, Patches

“‘Am I going to get shot again.’”—2-year-old survivor of a police shooting that left his three siblings, ages 1, 4 and 5, with a bullet in the brain, a fractured skull and gun wounds to the face

Children learn what they live.

As family counselor Dorothy Law Nolte wisely observed, “If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn. If children live with hostility, they learn to fight. If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.”

And if children live with terror, trauma and violence - forced to watch helplessly as their loved ones are executed by police officers who shoot first and ask questions later - will they in turn learn to terrorize, traumatize and inflict violence on the world around them?

I’m not willing to risk it. Are you?

It’s difficult enough raising a child in a world ravaged by war, disease, poverty and hate, but when you add the toxic stress of the police state into the mix, it becomes near impossible to protect children from the growing unease that some of the monsters of our age come dressed in government uniforms.

Case in point: in Hugo, Oklahoma, plain clothes police officers opened fire on a pickup truck parked in front of a food bank, heedless of the damage such a hail of bullets—26 shots were fired—could have on those in the vicinity. Three of the four children inside the parked vehicle were shot: a 4-year-old girl was shot in the head and ended up with a bullet in the brain; a 5-year-old boy received a skull fracture; and a 1-year-old girl had deep cuts on her face from gunfire or shattered window glass. Only the 2-year-old was spared any physical harm, although the terror will likely linger for a long time. “They are terrified to go anywhere or hear anything,” the family attorney said. “The two-year-old keeps asking about ‘Am I going to get shot again.’”

The reason for the use of such excessive force?

Police were searching for a suspect in a weeks-old robbery of a pizza parlor that netted $400.

While the two officers involved in the shooting are pulling paid leave at taxpayer expense, the children’s mother is struggling to figure out how to care for her wounded family and pay the medical expenses, including the cost to transport each child in a separate medical helicopter to a nearby hospital: $75,000 for one child’s transport alone.

This may be the worst use of excessive force on innocent children to date. Unfortunately, it is one of many in a steady stream of cases that speak to the need for police to de-escalate their tactics and stop resorting to excessive force when less lethal means are available to them.

For instance, in Cleveland, police shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice who was seen playing on a playground with a pellet gun. Surveillance footage shows police shooting the boy two seconds after getting out of a moving patrol car. Incredibly, the shooting was deemed “reasonable” and “justified” by two law enforcement experts who concluded that the police use of force “did not violate Tamir's constitutional rights.”

In Detroit, 7-year-old Aiyana Jones was killed after a Detroit SWAT team launched a flash-bang grenade into her family’s apartment, broke through the door and opened fire, hitting the little girl who was asleep on the living room couch. The cops were in the wrong apartment.

In Georgia, a SWAT team launched a flash-bang grenade into the house in which Baby Bou Bou, his three sisters and his parents were staying. The grenade landed in the 2-year-old’s crib, burning a hole in his chest and leaving the child with scarring that a lifetime of surgeries will not be able to easily undo.

Also in Georgia, 10-year-old Dakota Corbitt was shot by a police officer who aimed for an inquisitive dog, missed, and hit the young boy instead.

In Ohio, police shot 4-year-old Ava Ellis in the leg, shattering the bone, after being dispatched to assist the girl’s mother, who had cut her arm and was in need of a paramedic. Cops claimed that the family pet charged the officer who was approaching the house, causing him to fire his gun and accidentally hit the little girl.

In California, 13-year-old Andy Lopez Cruz was shot 7 times in 10 seconds by a police officer who mistook the boy’s toy gun for an assault rifle. Christopher Roupe, 17, was shot and killed after opening the door to a police officer. The officer, mistaking the remote control in Roupe’s hand for a gun, shot him in the chest.

These children are more than grim statistics on a police blotter. They are the heartbreaking casualties of the government’s endless, deadly wars on terror, on drugs, and on the American people themselves.

Then you have the growing number of incidents involving children who are forced to watch helplessly as trigger-happy police open fire on loved ones and community members alike.

In Texas, an 8-year-old boy watched as police—dispatched to do a welfare check on a home with its windows open—shot and killed his aunt through her bedroom window while she was playing video games with him.

In Minnesota, a 4-year-old girl watched from the backseat of a car as cops shot and killed her mother’s boyfriend, Philando Castile, a school cafeteria supervisor, during a routine traffic stop merely because Castile disclosed that he had a gun in his possession, for which he had a lawful conceal-and-carry permit. That’s all it took for police to shoot Castile four times as he was reaching for his license and registration. 

In Arizona, a 7-year-old girl watched panic-stricken as a state trooper pointed his gun at her and her father during a traffic stop and reportedly threated to shoot her father in the back (twice) based on the mistaken belief that they were driving a stolen rental car.

In Oklahoma, a 5-year-old boy watched as a police officer used a high-powered rifle to shoot his dog Opie multiple times in his family’s backyard while other children were also present. The police officer was mistakenly attempting to deliver a warrant on a 10-year-old case for someone who hadn’t lived at that address in a decade.

A Minnesota SWAT team actually burst into one family’s house, shot the family’s dog, handcuffed the children and forced them to “sit next to the carcass of their dead and bloody pet for more than an hour.” They later claimed it was the wrong house.

More than 80% of American communities have their own SWAT teams, with more than 80,000 of these paramilitary raids are carried out every year. That translates to more than 200 SWAT team raids every day in which police crash through doors, damage private property, terrorize adults and children alike, kill family pets, assault or shoot anyone that is perceived as threatening—and all in the pursuit of someone merely suspected of a crime, usually some small amount of drugs.

A child doesn’t even have to be directly exposed to a police shooting to learn the police state’s lessons in compliance and terror, which are being meted out with every SWAT team raid, roadside strip search, and school drill.

Indeed, there can be no avoiding the hands-on lessons being taught in the schools about the role of police in our lives, ranging from active shooter drills and school-wide lockdowns to incidents in which children engaging in typically childlike behavior are suspended (for shooting an imaginary “arrow” at a fellow classmate), handcuffed (for being disruptive at school), arrested (for throwing water balloons as part of a school prank), and even tasered (for not obeying instructions).

For example, a middle school in Washington State went on lockdown after a student brought a toy gun to class. A Boston high school went into lockdown for four hours after a bullet was discovered in a classroom. A North Carolina elementary school locked down and called in police after a fifth grader reported seeing an unfamiliar man in the school (it turned out to be a parent).

Cops have even gone so far as to fire blanks during school active shooter drills around the country. Teachers at one elementary school in Indiana were actually shot “execution style” with plastic pellets. Students at a high school in Florida were so terrified after administrators tricked them into believing that a shooter drill was, in fact, an actual attack that some of them began texting their parents “goodbye.”

Better safe than sorry is the rationale offered to those who worry that these drills are terrorizing and traumatizing young children. As journalist Dahlia Lithwick points out: “I don’t recall any serious national public dialogue about lockdown protocols or how they became the norm. It seems simply to have begun, modeling itself on the lockdowns that occur during prison riots, and then spread until school lockdowns and lockdown drills are as common for our children as fire drills, and as routine as duck-and-cover drills were in the 1950s.”

These drills have, indeed, become routine.

As the New York Times reports: “Most states have passed laws requiring schools to devise safety plans, and several states, including Michigan, Kentucky and North Dakota, specifically require lockdown drills. Some drills are as simple as a principal making an announcement and students sitting quietly in a darkened classroom. At other schools, police officers and school officials playact a shooting, stalking through the halls like gunmen and testing whether doors have been locked.”

Police officers at a Florida middle school carried out an active shooter drill in an effort to educate students about how to respond in the event of an actual shooting crisis. Two armed officers, guns loaded and drawn, burst into classrooms, terrorizing the students and placing the school into lockdown mode.

What is particularly chilling is how effective these lessons in compliance are in indoctrinating young people to accept their role in the police state, either as criminals or prison guards.

If these exercises are intended to instill fear, paranoia and compliance into young people, they’re working.

As Joe Pinsker writes for The Atlantic:

These lockdowns can be scarring, causing some kids to cry and wet themselves. Others have written letters bidding their family goodbye or drafted wills that specify what to do with their belongings. And 57 percent of teens worry that a shooting will happen at their school, according to a Pew Research Center survey from last year. Though many children are no strangers to violence in their homes and communities, the pervasiveness of lockdowns and school-shooting drills in the U.S. has created a culture of fear that touches nearly every child across the country.

Sociologist Alice Goffman understands how far-reaching the impact of such “exercises” can be on young people. For six years, Goffman lived in a low-income urban neighborhood, documenting the impact such an environment—a microcosm of the police state—has on its residents. Her account of neighborhood children playing cops and robbers speaks volumes about how constant exposure to pat downs, strip searches, surveillance and arrests can result in a populace that meekly allows itself to be prodded, poked and stripped.

As journalist Malcolm Gladwell writing for the New Yorker reports:

Goffman sometimes saw young children playing the age-old game of cops and robbers in the street, only the child acting the part of the robber wouldn’t even bother to run away: I saw children give up running and simply stick their hands behind their back, as if in handcuffs; push their body up against a car without being asked; or lie flat on the ground and put their hands over their head. The children yelled, “I’m going to lock you up! I’m going to lock you up, and you ain’t never coming home!” I once saw a six-year-old pull another child’s pants down to do a “cavity search.”

Clearly, our children are getting the message, but it’s not the message that was intended by those who fomented a revolution and wrote our founding documents. Their philosophy was that the police work for us, and “we the people” are the masters, and they are to be our servants.

Now that philosophy has been turned on its head, fueled by our fears (some legitimate, some hyped along by the government and its media mouthpieces) about the terrors and terrorists that lurk among us.

What are we to tell our nation’s children about the role of police in their lives?

Do we parrot the government line that police officers are community helpers who are to be trusted and obeyed at all times? Do we caution them to steer clear of a police officer, warning them that any interactions could have disastrous consequences? Or is there some happy medium between the two that, while being neither fairy tale nor horror story, can serve as a cautionary tale for young people who will encounter police at virtually every turn?

Certainly, it’s getting harder by the day to insist that we live in a nation that values freedom and which is governed by the rule of law.

Yet unless something changes and soon, there will soon be nothing left to teach young people about freedom as we have known it beyond remembered stories of the “good old days.”

For starters, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, it’s time to take a hard look at the greatest perpetrators of violence in our culture—the U.S. government and its agents—and do something about it: de-militarize the police, prohibit the Pentagon from distributing military weapons to domestic police agencies, train the police in de-escalation techniques, stop insulating police officers from charges of misconduct and wrongdoing, and require police to take precautionary steps before engaging in violence in the presence of young people.

We must stop the carnage.

Tyler Durden Fri, 10/18/2019 - 23:05

Japan To Send Its Own Military Force To Strait Of Hormuz

Japan To Send Its Own Military Force To Strait Of Hormuz

Ever since the new round of 'tanker wars' began in Strait of Hormuz in mid-June with a mysterious mine attack on multiple tankers, one involving a Japanese-owned ship, Tokyo has reportedly mulled sending a Japanese defense force to the area to help protect vital shipping lanes. 

In a rare move, the pacifist nation appears ready to pull the trigger, as FT reports, citing chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, who indicated that "the government was planning to deploy forces in a region where a Japanese tanker, the Kokuka Courageous, was recently attacked with a limpet mine."

Japanese Defense Forces file image.

Japan's Asahi newspaper also reported that the self-defense troop deployment to the vital Persian Gulf passage way comes "instead of joining the U.S.-coalition".

Japan had been among many US allies urged to assist in forming a US-led maritime security patrol — a plan which many feared would only exacerbate tensions with Iran, only leading to war. In not joining the US-led security mission, Tokyo is ensuring it won't damage important economic ties with Iran.

FT describes what such a Japanese expedition will likely involve:

A Japanese expedition would probably involve ships and aircraft from the Maritime Self-Defense Force. [Chief Cabinet Secretary] Mr Suga said its operations would be limited to international waters in the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea and the Bab al-Mandab strait.

He said the dispatch would take place under provisions of Japanese law allowing for military information gathering and research. The pacifist constitution tightly proscribes how Japan can deploy its military and any ships it sends would use force only in self-defense.

Suga said further, “At present, there is no direct need for the protection of Japanese vessels by Self-Defense Force assets, but in any event, we’ll consider what further measures are necessary for the security of ships linked to our country.”

Earlier this month Defense Minister Taro Kono, while addressing the rising tensions between Western powers and Iran in the Persian Gulf, acknowledged that “80 percent of Japan’s crude oil imports come through the Strait of Hormuz.”

After he spoke to his Iranian counterpart by phone at the time, the defense minister told reporters: “The stability of the region is directly connected to Japan’s energy security.” 

Tyler Durden Fri, 10/18/2019 - 22:45 Tags Politics

Why Is The Elitist Establishment So Obsessed With Meat?

Why Is The Elitist Establishment So Obsessed With Meat?

Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.com,

I don't know how many people have noticed this, but in the past three months it has been impossible for a person to throw a beef burger patty in any direction on the compass without hitting a news article on the “destructive effects” of the meat industry in terms of “climate change”.  There's also been endless mainstream articles on the supposedly vast health benefits of a vegetarian or vegan diet. This narrative has culminated in a tidal wave of stories about vegetable-based meat companies like Beyond Meat and their rise to stock market stardom. The word on the street is, meat based diets are going the way of the Dodo, and soon, by environmental necessity, we will ALL be vegetarians.

For at least the past ten years the United Nations has been aggressively promoting the concept of a meat free world, based on claims that accelerated land use and greenhouse gas emissions are killing the Earth. In the west, militant leftists with dreams of a socialist Utopia have adopted a kind of manifesto in the Green New Deal, and an integral part of their agenda is the end to the availability of meat to the common man (it's interesting the Green New Deal agenda matches almost perfectly with the UN's Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030). Some of these elitists have argued in favor of heavy taxation on meat products to reduce public consumption; others have argued for an outright ban.

The problem with this dietary revolution is that it is based primarily on junk science and cherry-picked data, along with outright lies and propaganda. The majority of studies and articles covering this issue are decidedly biased, left leaning and collectivist in nature. Now, I plan to touch on this issue, but what I really want to focus on is the “WHY” of the matter – Why are the elites targeting human meat consumption, and why are they willing to lie about its effects in order to get us to abandon our burgers and steaks? What is the real agenda here...?

First, lets tackle the climate change issue. The UN claims that human food production must change drastically in order to stop global warming and damage to the environment, and these changes must focus mainly on meat production and 'methane gases'. In other words, they assert that cow farts are killing the planet. This is a rather convenient story for the elites as they push their carbon taxation agenda. It seems everything we do as humans must be monitored, restricted or taxed, from breathing to procreating to eating meat, otherwise the Earth is "doomed".

In past articles I have written extensively on the direct ties between the UN's global warming hysteria and the push for global government. In particular, I've mentioned the writings of former UN assistant secretary general Robert Muller. In his manifesto collected on a website titled “Good Morning World”, Muller argues that global governance must be achieved using the idea of “protecting the Earth” and environmentalism as the key components. Through fear of environmental Apocalypse, the public could be convinced to accept global government as a necessary nanny state to keep society from destroying itself.

Muller initiated such programs in the early 1990's, which were similar in tone to the Club Of Rome think tank, a group of consultants to the UN which called for a stop to human population growth. In their white paper titled 'The First Global Revolution', the Club of Rome stated:

In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill. In their totality and their interactions these phenomena do constitute a common threat which must be confronted by everyone together. But in designating these dangers as the enemy, we fall into the trap, which we have already warned readers about, namely mistaking symptoms for causes. All these dangers are caused by human intervention in natural processes. and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy then is humanity itself.”

The statement comes from Chapter 5 – The Vacuum, which covers their position on the need for global government. The quote is relatively clear; a common enemy must be conjured in order to trick humanity into uniting under a single banner, and the elites see environmental catastrophe, caused by mankind itself, as the best possible motivator.

From public admissions from UN officials and the Club Of Rome, we can see that climate change is a narrative driven by ideology, not science, and that the real goal is global governance, not saving the planet. As for the “science” these ideologues say supports their demands, there is none.

There is absolutely no hard evidence to support the claim that a cause and effect link between carbon emissions and rising temperatures exists. In fact, there is more evidence to show that the reverse is true – that higher temperatures result in greater animal populations and thus more carbon emissions and thus more food for vegetation. Ask any global warming “expert” from the NOAA, NASA or the IPCC what percentage of a temperature increase is caused by cars versus cows and what evidence there is to support their assertions? They won't be able to produce an answer.

They will simply claim that the evidence is irrefutable because the temperatures are rising and so are carbon levels. In other words, their argument is that correlation always equals causation. But are temperatures really rising? What if the entire basis for global warming hysteria is fabricated?

The NOAA has been caught on multiple occasions doing just that. By going back to previously recorded temperature stats and tweaking them to make them lower, the NOAA then makes it appear as though the Earth is warming in a historic trend. However, the unaltered temperature record shows that the Earth has always had warming periods which run in natural cycles, followed by cooling and using tracking increased solar activity. You know that giant nuclear reactor in the sky that is 1.3 million times bigger Earth? Yeah, it has a lot more to do with the Earth's climate patterns than cow farts do...

If one compares NOAA data on temperature changes over the past century from 1999 to the data the NOAA has released over the past few years, it is easy to see the adjustments they made to their own older data in order to make it appear as though steady global warming is taking place. The NOAA's changes also make it appear as though temperature changes are closely tracking rising carbon emissions.

Here we see the climate change hoax in action, as well as the UN and the Club Of Rome conspiracy to engineer an environmental threat that will provide a rationale for global government. But what does all this have to do with meat?

The climate change myth is simply a means to multiple ends.

And, one of the things the elites are using it to unravel is society's eating habits. The purpose behind the war on meat is less clear, but I do have some theories based on historical evidence as well as scientific evidence that shows ruling oligarchies have always tried to restrict meat consumption by the “peasant class” whenever possible.

In feudal Europe in the middle ages, the presence of meat in a diet was rare for the peasant class. Farm animals were strictly controlled property, given to peasant farmers as tools for working the land, not for eating. Hunting wild game was difficult as the ruling royal families often claimed ownership of all the best hunting grounds within the country. After multiple peasant revolts, such as the Great Peasant's Revolt of 1381 in England, the elites banned hunting parties, as they were suspected of being used as cover for peasants to train in military tactics and to plan rebellions.

Peasants caught poaching “the king's deer” were punished severely - this including hanging, castration, blinding and being sewn into a deer carcass and chased down by ferocious dogs.

This did not stop peasants from eating meat at times though. When possible they would eat small game. But their diets consisted primarily of pottage and porridge made from grains, beans and root vegetables, along with black rye bread.  Going into the middle ages onward, researchers will find that for the serfs and the poor, a meat dinner was treated as a special event.

In feudal Japan, meat eating, not just hunting, was specifically banned for over 1000 years, starting in 675 AD. The ban was based on the melding of Buddhist beliefs and Shinto. Of course, while the law was enforced for peasants, the elite ruling class and the samurai warrior class never actually gave meat up. Meat was often eaten by the elites, under the auspices of improving health. When given as a gift to a feudal lord, pickled meats were labeled “medicine” in order to avoid open defiance of the laws.

This selective ban continued until Europeans arrived on Japanese shores, and the reintroduction of meat dishes began to spread. By the late 1800's the meat ban was officially lifted. It was believed by the Japanese of the era that Westerners had superior physiques because of their meat based diets, and that Japanese physiques had been subdued by their vegetable and grain based diets. There is some truth to this observation.

Today, the vegetarian ideology is not a stand-alone philosophy.  It is tied inexorably to other ideologies such as socialism, globalism and extremist forms of environmentalism. There are very few vegetarian promoters that are not politically motivated. This has caused a rash of propaganda, attempting to rewrite the history of the human diet to fit their bizarre narrative.

Even though human beings have been omnivores for millions of years, the anti-meat campaign claims that humans were actually long time vegetarians. They do this by comparing humans to our closest evolutionary relatives, like chimpanzees and gorillas, and arguing that these animals have a strict vegetable diet (which is not exactly true).

Of course, Native American tribes, living closest to how our prehistoric ancestors lived long ago, had meat heavy diets, but don't expect the environmentalists to accept this reality. What they conveniently do not mention is that over 2 million years ago human ancestors broke from their vegetable diet and began eating meat. Not only this, but the diet changed our very physical makeup. We grew far stronger, and smarter.

Yes, that's right, the rise of meat in the human diet tracks almost exactly with the rise of human intelligence and advances in tools and technology.

Vegetarian and vegan diets have been shown to lower overall IQ due to lack of nutrients required for brain health. This is because the human brain NEEDS fatty acids such as Omega 3 which is only found in saturated fats in meats. There is no substitute in the plant world. Saturated fats from animal protein have been shown to increase cognitive function as well as memory.

The brain uses almost 20% of the human body's calorie intake in order to function, and much of this intake requires saturated fats and even cholesterol. Contrary to decades of misinformation, animal fats are good for you.  Pro athletes also must often revert to a meat based diet in order to build up superior muscle structure, and another factor which is rarely mentioned is the increase in estrogen-like compounds in plant based foods (mainly soy), which can reduce testosterone.

And here we get to the crux of the issue. It is perhaps by mere coincidence, or perhaps just observation on the part of elitist dynasties, but meat consumption has always been connected with an unruly peasant class. This is because meat eating contributes directly to greater cognitive function, as well as better memory and muscle mass.

While much is discussed about how artificial meat like Beyond Meat has effectively copied the taste or appearance of a normal hamburger, very little is discussed about what it is lacking. Beyond meat has zero cholesterol and no amino acids or fatty acids like Omega 3 or vitamins like B12. It uses coconut oil to mimic saturated animal fats, which does not duplicate the animal fat value to the human brain or body. Essentially, a Beyond Meat burger is designed to copy the taste of a burger without any of the benefits.

My theory? That meat is a cognitive enhancer as well as a strength enhancer and the elites at the UN and other globalists organizations are seeking to remove it from our diet based on lies because such a change could contribute to a dumber and weaker population that would be easier to control.

Fake meat is also highly processed and uses a complicated method to mimic beef protein structures. It can only be created in a lab and mass produced in a factory. You will never be able to make your own Beyond Meat burger. Meaning, by banning or taxing meat into oblivion and replacing it with an industrial substitute, the establishment will have made society effectively dependent on them for a significant portion of their dietary needs. Not only do they hope to make us dumber and weaker, they also hope to make us desperately dependent.

*  *  *

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Tyler Durden Fri, 10/18/2019 - 22:25 Tags Environment

China Bans Exports Of Black Clothing To Hong Kong Amid Escalating Social Unrest

China Bans Exports Of Black Clothing To Hong Kong Amid Escalating Social Unrest

Over the last 24 hours, several reports have surfaced, one from the South China Morning Post (SCMP), and another from Reuters, are now detailing new export bans that Beijing has enacted from mainland China to Hong Kong, which explicitly states shipping couriers and or customs will halt all black clothing and other items used by pro-democracy protesters.

Service workers at China's top shipping couriers (STO Express, ZTO Express, and YTO Express) told Reuters this week that China banned bulk shipments of black clothing from mainland China to Hong Kong late last month.

One worker from STO Express told Reuters that black clothing, five items or less, could be shipped from mainland China to Hong Kong, but any more would be considered bulk and would be returned to the sender.

He said bulk items of masks, riot gear, umbrellas, helmets, and sticks, were also on the export ban list.

SCMP obtained a notice from Guangdong shipper PHXBUY that read any items shipped from mainland China to Hong Kong that includes "yellow helmets, yellow umbrellas, flags, flagpoles, poster banners, gloves, masks, black T-shirts, metal rods, fluorescent tubes, bludgeon clubs" would be rejected on site. If the sender uses a false name, the government would be inclined to launch an investigation.

Another notice SCMP received was from Guangdong shipper EXPRESS, which showed a more in-depth list of exports banned from mainland China to Hong Kong, the list read: "foodstuffs, liquid, powder, gases, counterfeit brand products, big machines, helmets, umbrellas, wrist bands, towels, safety vests, speakers, amplifiers, trestles, walkie-talkies, drones, black shirts and other clothing, goggles, metal beads, metal balls, horticulture scissors, metal chains, torches, binoculars, remote-controlled toys."

Beijing, which has condemned the protests in Hong Kong, has taken quick measures to assure the unrest doesn't escalate further.

Besides an export ban on items used by rioters, Beijing has also moved in the People's Liberation Army (PLA) forces into Hong Kong, a move seen by some that could mean a complete shutdown of the city is imminent.

As demonstrations continue to spiral out of control, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong heavily rely on China for gear, whether it's black clothing, lasers, gas masks, drones, and or fireworks, it seems that China clamping down on exports to Hong Kong could result in more extensive crackdowns in the near term.

 

Tyler Durden Fri, 10/18/2019 - 22:05

Medicare-For-All Is A Plot To Pillage You

Medicare-For-All Is A Plot To Pillage You

Authored by Veronique de Rugy via The American Institute for Economic Research,

Medicare-For-All (M4A) is gaining some steam. Two prominent Democratic candidates for the presidency, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, support it, and several polls show that the idea is supported also by a majority of Americans. 

In recent days, two academics from U.C.-Berkeley have even argued that a transition to M4A from the current system would dramatically cut taxes for the majority of workers by replacing all insurance premiums with taxes based on ability to pay.  

That outcome sounds great until you ask how we will pay for it. According to a new study by the Urban Institute, M4A will cost $32 trillion over ten years. This estimate is in line with that of my colleague Charles Blahous. That’s more than the federal government will be projected to pay over the coming decade for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid combined, according to the most recent Congressional Budget Office projections. According to Urban, you could reduce the damage down to $16 trillion with some cost sharing and some limits on benefits. Either way, that’s a lot of money. 

As Brian Riedl notes recently,  one of the ideas floating around is that we simply need to come up with a $35 trillion tax to pay for it all (I am not kidding). He writes, “Proponents [of M4A] assert that the $35 trillion that families and businesses are currently projected to pay over the next decade in health premiums, out-of-pocket expenses, and state taxes to fund Medicaid would all be replaced with a $35 trillion federal ‘single-payer tax….”  

Yet we have no details of how that would work in practice, and no one who supports M4A so far has offered an actual plan for the elusive $35 trillion replacement tax. Riedl writes, “Congressional Budget Office data show that raising $35 trillion would require a payroll tax increase of 39 percentage points, or a value-added tax of 91 percent – an enormous burden even for families no longer paying premiums.”

The scale of the tax hike it would require probably explains why no one wants to talk about it seriously. During the last Democratic debate, Senator Sanders acknowledged that it would require raising taxes on the middle class. He said, “At the end of the day, the overwhelming majority of people will save money on their health care bills. But I do think it is appropriate to acknowledge that taxes will go up.” But he has failed to give us any details about which taxes will go up and by how much and his campaign has only pointed out some options to pay for part of this extra government spending.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Warren has vehemently refused to say if the middle class would see its taxes go up to pay for M4A or how she would pay for this. As the Wall Street Journal reported, for instance, during the debate Ms. Warren, the new leader in the polls, was given at least six chances to answer yes or no. She ducked every time. “Will you raise taxes on the middle class to pay for it, yes or no?” asked one of the media questioners.” The Journal continues, Ms. Warren replied:

“So I have made clear what my principles are here, and that is costs will go up for the wealthy and for big corporations, and for hard-working middle-class families, costs will go down.”

Later on she added, “Costs are going to go up for the wealthy,” and “costs will go down for hard-working, middle-class families.”

Got it; costs will go down for some and costs will go up for others. Yet we still have no clue just who will pay for what and how much the bill will be. Even those Berkeley professors won’t tell us how to pay for it. They have mentioned having a plan for some taxes as replacement of the cost of the employer side of insurance premiums. But, if this was even doable, it may raise between $10 trillion to $18 trillion (depending on how you measure it) of the $32 trillion. 

While Warren doesn’t want to talk about, we can still do the calculation for her. 

For one thing, she has been open about paying for all her new spending ideas with a wealth tax on the rich, a corporate surtax, an increase in the estate tax, and the elimination of President Donald Trump’s tax cuts. Her wealth tax would raise, she claims, $2.75 trillion over ten years. Reversing the tax cuts would raise revenue by another roughly $2 trillion over ten years. You can add to that another $3 trillion that her campaign says she will raise through other taxes on the rich. 

However, once you spend $32 trillion on M4A, $1.07 trillion for universal childcare, $610 billion for free college, $640 billion for eliminating student debt, $100 billion to combat the opioid crisis, and some other smaller programs, you are still left with a $30 trillion gap. 

That’s 30,000,000,000,000 over ten years. It also ignores the deadweight losses of all this spending and new taxes on top of their inability to truly raise as much revenue as planned.

The bottom line is this: while M4A is getting a lot of favorable attention these days, proponents will continue to tout the benefits of a reform that lowers costs for some, while staying as far as they can from actually proposing a way to pay for it. But as PJ O’ Rourke famously said, “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.”

Tyler Durden Fri, 10/18/2019 - 21:45 Tags Social Issues

'WhatsApp Revolution' Protests In Lebanon Turn Violent With Fires, Road Blocks; Multiple Dead & Wounded

'WhatsApp Revolution' Protests In Lebanon Turn Violent With Fires, Road Blocks; Multiple Dead & Wounded

Lebanon erupted in large-scale 'Arab Spring' style protests starting Thursday night into Friday, marked by number of massive fires and makeshift roadblocks which could be seen going up in Beirut, in what international reports are calling the biggest cross-sectarian anti-government uprising in years. At least two bystanders have died, one protester killed, and over 60 police wounded. 

The protests were reportedly triggered based on the announcement of a legislative bill to tax people $6 a month for using the popular WhatApp messaging platform, but have grown into broader demands that political leaders step aside over the country's worsening economic crisis and lack of jobs.

Protests outside Beirut, via AFP/Getty/CNN

For this reason Lebanese daily al-Akhbar dubbed the protests "the WhatsApp revolution" and with others calling it "a tax intifada". Chants could be heard in Arabic of "the people want the downfall of the regime" from crowds described as containing a broad cross-section of Lebanese society, whether Christian, Sunni or Shia. 

Police clashed with thousands of demonstrators in Beirut throughout Friday who lit tires on fire and in some cases charged government buildings and damaged shop-fronts.

Multiple reports have put Lebanese unemployment among those aged under 35 at a staggering 37%.

At the same time Lebanese political leaders have been broadly accused of dipping into public coffers to enrich themselves and entrench their positions.

Tensions were already high when on Thursday a government minister revealed a plan to boost state revenues with a daily tax rate on calls made via voice over internet protocol (VoIP), utilized by applications such as Facebook-owned WhatsApp.

The country has also lately suffered a severe slowdown in capital flows, and difficulty of importers securing dollars at the pegged exchange rate. Prime Minister Saad Hariri is expected to address the crisis Friday in a televised speech. 

Currently multiple main routes through the Lebanese capital have been shutdown due to makeshift roadblocks, as clashes with police continue, and with roads accessing Lebanon's main international airport also blocked. 

Police have deployed tear gas and other riot control measures against crowds described in the tens of thousands.

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency reported Friday that two foreign workers died from spoke inhalation after protesters set large fires, and 60 members of Lebanon's Internal Security Forces (ISF) have been wounded

Reuters has also reported the first protester's death in clashes with police, which happened in the northern city of Tripoli, the country's second largest.

According to the Reuters report:

Across the country, they chanted for top leaders, including President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri to step down.

The mood was a mixture of rage, defiance and hope.

A security source said one protester was killed and four wounded after the bodyguards of a former member of parliament fired into the air in the northern city of Tripoli.

Security authorities have condemned what they called "chaos and violence" unleashed on the streets and urged calm. 

Tyler Durden Fri, 10/18/2019 - 21:25 Tags War Conflict Politics

The Late Great State Of California

The Late Great State Of California

Authored by Jeffrey Harding via The Mises Institute,

My family moved to California in 1950, part of the post-WWII westward migration. My widowed mother, tired of Boston’s dreary winters, felt the westward pull. My eldest brother, a WWII Navy veteran, had heard good things about San Diego from sailors who had been stationed there during the war. So, California, here we come.

I would like to think those were the golden years, at least for us. California was new, bright, warm, and full of promise. The East was old and cold. And San Diego was thriving. Defense and aerospace jobs were plentiful. Land was cheap, homes were cheap. A building boom met the housing needs for optimistic migrants. You could get things done in California.

It’s not that California anymore. We are overregulated and overtaxed and people aren’t so optimistic. People want to leave.

What Happened to the Golden Years?

A recent poll of the state’s registered voters by Cal’s Institute of Governmental Studies revealed that half have considered leaving the state. The top reason was the high cost of housing (especially by young people); high taxation was second.

The poll also asked if California was one of the best places to live or a just an OK-to-lousy place to live. About half said yes and half went the other way. Interestingly 67% of Democrats said it was one of the best while 77% of Republicans disagreed. Apparently, Democrats like expensive housing, high taxes, and being overregulated.

Are people leaving California? It depends on whom you are talking about. More people are out-migrating to other states than those coming in (–156,000), but much of that was offset by international migrants(+118,000) resulting in a net population loss of only 38,000 (2018).

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that California is the most regulated state in the nation — by far. The Cato Institute analyzed the laws of each state by measuring the amount of individual legal restrictions in their legal codes. California was at the top, way at the top with 395,503 individual restrictions (laws, prohibitions). We surpassed No. 2, ultraleft New York, by almost 90,000 restrictions. Our politicians in Sacramento keep passing hundreds of new laws every year yet half of Californians are thinking of leaving.

And then there are taxes. California has the highest income tax rate of all states (13.3%). The highest combined federal and California income tax rate is now about 50% of taxable income. If you and your spouse have $200,000 of taxable income, your combined federal and California tax rate is 41.3%. That’s not something you should be applauding since California ranks 42 out of 50 states in fiscal solvency .

Two new pieces of legislation will make things worse, much worse. One is statewide rent control. The other is the reclassification of independent contractors as employees.

The War Against Low-income Renters

A rent-control law, Assembly Bill 1482, was signed by Governor Newsom on October 8, 2019 . It limits apartment rent increases to 5% plus inflation per year (not to exceed 10%). It affects units built at least 15 years ago (on a rolling timeline). Rents can be adjusted to market rates only when a tenant leaves, but tenants can only be evicted for “cause.” Newsom said “These anti-gouging and eviction protections will help families afford to keep a roof over their heads …” But what if it doesn’t? What if it will harm tenants, especially poor ones?

The advocates of rent control seem to have no grasp on the economics of price controls. Perhaps they should consult an economist. In a survey of prominent economists , 81% agreed that rent controls have not had a positive impact where they have been tried.

Why would these cold-hearted economists oppose rent control? Because rent controls don’t work and they do the opposite of what was intended: they hurt poor renters.

Here is what will happen with rent control in our high-demand coastal communities:

  • Owners will raise rents to the maximum every year to protect asset values.

  • Owners will be far more selective in choosing tenants, thus limiting housing for poor, less creditworthy applicants.

  • Tenants will be reluctant to move from rent controlled properties which tends to freeze the rent-controlled rental market leaving fewer apartments available for rent.

  • Rent controlled units will be gentrified as historical evidence shows that higher income tenants will be the most benefited class of renters.

  • Affordable apartment inventory will be further reduced as owners evict tenants, tear down older buildings, and build new, more expensive units which will be exempt from rent control.

  • More apartments will be converted to condos, further reducing affordable inventory.

  • Owners will cut back on expenses to preserve cash flow, thus reducing the quality of rentable units.

Overall, rent control will disincentivize investors from investing in affordable apartments.

These conclusions aren’t guesses or just fuzzy theories — they are based on actual experience from rent controlled areas.

Adios Gig Economy

The new law on classifying independent contractors as employees (AB 5) is a stab in the heart of the gig economy — the economy that provides convenient low-cost services when you want them. Think Uber and Lyft for ride sharing. You will now pay more and get less. That assumes they will stay in California. Uber, as everyone knows loses money (EBITDA earnings for 2018: $2.41 billion). If they can’t make money on their present business model, how can they possibly make money if their driver costs go way up? So, I repeat myself: will they be around in a couple years? Will those drivers who feel they are being treated unfairly be out of work?

This is a classic example of the Canute Effect. If you recall, Canute was the Danish king, who, legend has it, ordered the tide to stop coming in. Canute was obviously either detached from reality or just an arrogant megalomaniac who thought he could command nature.

In our case, our legislators believe they can just pass a law and make things better. It doesn’t work that way. There are controlling economic realities that they ignore or, most likely, aren’t even aware of.

Everybody knows that Uber changed the world for the better. Consumers loved the new service. Drivers signed up to make extra money, setting their own hours. So why do our politicians want to kill Uber and Lyft? We should ask ourselves: who would be better off without Uber and Lyft? Here’s a clue: in the governor’s statement supporting AB 5 he went out of his way to say, “A next step is creating pathways for more workers to form a union, collectively bargain to earn more, and have a stronger voice at work.” It’s an obvious power grab by unions who wish to unionize (i.e., kill) the gig economy. Unions are famous for protecting the status quo and fighting for more power. Taxi companies no doubt had their hand in it too.

Understand that Uber and Lyft are just the tip of the gig economy. We all lose.

The Tipping Point

I just reread Malcolm Gladwell’s wonderful book, The Tipping Point, in which he details the things that push societal change over the edge. My fear is that California is getting to a point where the dynamism that has driven our mighty state’s prosperity will be snuffed out. Are we at the tipping point yet? I don’t really know, but with 395,503 restrictions on the books, I don’t see how it can get better.

Our politicians are quick to say this will never happen. They say we have the most vibrant tech economy in the world. Our farms feed the country. People love California. They believe they are making things better. Yet they continue to pass laws that tamp us down. At some point it will tip over and the impact of their regulations and taxes will overcome the forces that made California great. These new laws are getting us closer.

Tyler Durden Fri, 10/18/2019 - 21:05

Ray Dalio Warns Of Looming "Big Sag" That Will Rattle Global Markets

Ray Dalio Warns Of Looming "Big Sag" That Will Rattle Global Markets

Ray Dalio never misses an opportunity to tell a room full of absurdly rich people how their unchecked greed and unwillingness to lift their heel from the throat of the poor could usher in a global revolution.

And what better venue for this than the IMF's annual meeting in Washington?

Oddly enough, Dalio holds back on the Greta Thunberg-style chiding of his audience (fortunately for them, he has no childhood left to ruin), and instead touches how the US and Chin's efforts to battle the post-crisis slowdown continue to impact the global economy and the economies and their respective spheres of influence.

Once again, Dalio presents his views within the framework of his '1937' theory: That is, that there are a number of factors that make the modern investing environment similar to that of the 1930s. Once again there is an emergent power (China) rising up to take on the existing hegemon (the US). Risk assets have reached bubble-level valuations thanks to a flood of easy credit.

While many economists in the US continue to warn that the slowdown abroad and its ramifications for the US, Dalio sees it the other way around: As the business cycle peaks, "you have this sag," Dalio explains, and that emanates out to impact all of the US's economic allies, just like it does to China's.

Dalio:

"And as Ben and I--we talk about these things regularly. Like we said there are four kinds of war–as Ben said and we agree: there's a trade war, there's a technology war, there's a currency capital war and there is a geopolitical war. In other words – so that's a phenomenon that's happening at the same time. So internally we have a lot more conflict. So now if you play that out, you say this cycle is not -- this is the best that we get. This moment. We are at the best the cycle is not going to continue forever -- the expansion. you have this sag, then you have elections and you have politics which becomes greater extremity. And so on monetary policy it's not going to be a so effective. Imagine if you had a downturn and you have it not as effective monetary policy. Then there has to be coordination. So how do you get coordination in this kind of political environment? You have to have a coordination between fiscal and monetary policy to be able to do something. And you can and then you have to have political coordination between the various factors to make decisions of what policy should be. So, I think that that's the landscape broadly speaking in the world and we are in that kind of self-reinforcing sag. Because as one country -- as China slows and United States slows and they all have their headwinds that makes it not as good for the others who deal with those cuts. So that look that's what the environment looks like to me."

Last we heard from him, Dalio had appeared to ease up on his dour economic forecasts by declaring that he saw only 40% chance of a recession in the US over the coming year, a rosy forecast that many (including us) joked was inspired by a visit to Burning Man. He still apparently believes that China is a safer bet than the US right now.

Suddenly, one of the other panelists raised another topic and took the discussion in a different direction - one which Dalio was blithe to explore: the surge in corporate credit since the crisis. Instead, Dalio advised investors to avoid stocks and corporate credit and stick with gold during the "big sag" as the decade of easy credit has left corporate balance sheets in a dangerously levered state.

Dalio:

I -- let me describe the corporate, okay? What's happened is corporate balance sheets for a variety of reasons have borrowed a lot of money. As interest rates went down a lot of money's available and the return on equity was higher than the return -- the cost of funds. There has been a lot of buying leveraging up. And there's been a market developing, like in the form of leveraged loan market in which essentially you can borrow money with hardly any interest rate and almost the promise that you will never have to pay back principal because you'll keep rolling it over and over and over. And they're doing that because of a spread. So the notion is like you can borrow the money and if that you don't have to roll over the principal, you don't have any interest, you don't have much in the way of debt service payments. So now you look at that and you say that's pretty wild. That's pretty crazy. And that is -- there were elements of that existing and of course. But there's the Central Bank on that who will sort of take care of all that and because they'll provide the money and no and so we have and then we have the negative interest rate environment and so those extremities that we're reaching are not such that you're as likely to have a debt crisis in terms of I look at the debt service payments. But you have a lot of -- you've limited, you've reached the limits almost of that being able to happen. And then you have those obligations so that creates this big sag -- then it's likely to create a big bust.

Watch the clip of Dalio speaking below:


Tyler Durden Fri, 10/18/2019 - 20:45 Tags Business Finance

Shining Some Light On The Dark Web

Shining Some Light On The Dark Web

Authored by Sarah Cowgill via LibertyNation.com,

The seedier side of the internet gained notoriety with the juggernaut of illicit online products and services, Silk Road, which promised to protect users’ privacy. Sex trafficking, human smuggling, murder for hire, body parts for sale – all had a welcome place. As the dark web flourished, the feds began to frown on selling arms and legs on the open market. So Silk Road was officially put out of business in 2014 — but not before averaging $15 million in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency transactions annually.

General rule of thumb: Stay off the dark web.

But any enterprising person can use Facebook and Twitter to purchase firearms, falsified identification documents, and illicit drugs of choice under the radar. You can even fund-raise for a terror attack.  That’s all thanks to the 1996 Communications Decency Act Section 230 (CDA230), which says: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” 

In other words, these online intermediaries – Twitter, Instagram, Codias, Facebook – cannot be held responsible for what their users say or do. Intermediaries are defined as Internet Service Providers (ISPs), interactive computer service providers, and any outfit that publishes third-party content. It is essentially a protection of free speech.

Trading Freedom For Law Enforcement?

The Alliance to Counter Crime Online (ACCO) is on the front lines of combing through the terror lurking on the everyday user’s laptop, phone, and pad. According to its research data, “more than one third of the world is on social media” and “25% of user profiles are Avatars,” allowing for additional shielding from prying law enforcement eyes.

ACCO isn’t shy in assessing Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, as Gretchen Peters, ACCO’s executive director, states:

“We believe Internet firms should become liable, much like financial institutions, for removing crime and terror activity from their systems, and that they should be sharing data about illicit activity proactively with law enforcement, and not deleting the scene of the crime.”

ACCO reports Hezbollah openly ran an “equip a jihadi” fundraiser on Twitter, boasting of using the funds to attack Israel. Mexican cartels use Facebook as a platform to launder money, move drugs, and hire hits on enemies. And at this point in the online community, the social platforms can’t keep up with the illegal traffic – although their efforts are valiant. Facebook has removed 1.5 million drug sales posts in the six months since amending its standards of enforcement policy, which is more than the Silk Road hosted during its entire unsavory run.

But imagine the transactions that they aren’t catching: That should send goosebumps skittering down the spine.

In 1996, when CDA230 was enacted, there were only 100,000 websites, just 20 million American adults had access to the internet – which was dial-up – and Google had yet to exist. Could today and the future have even been contemplated?

Although CDA230 grants sweeping immunities to a single industry, there are limits and amendments.  Instead of terrorist fundraising, however, restrictions are geared more toward copyright infringement.  Section 230 was changed last year to damper the burgeoning human acquisitions and sales industry and in 2018 to add compliance to the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, which required social platforms to remove any material in violation of sex-trafficking laws.

Why Mess With Success?

The First Amendment was written at a time when today’s mediums of communication and ensured anonymity behind a keyboard could not have been imagined.  And some critics are seeking an overhaul in the only legal self-regulating industry.

As ACCO requests Congress to saddle the big-tech giants with responsibility, are we abandoning the tenets of free speech or protecting the vulnerable from unforeseen dangers on the internet?

Frankly, messing with freedom of speech is a slippery slope best left untraveled;  once breached, there will be no end to alterations and reversals of basic rights. Perhaps asking the fox – in this case social media platforms – to guard the chicken coop is a foolish entreaty sure to fail.  Demanding they simply remove content that is illegal in real life should be an easy enough rule to implement without restricting the flow of information or prohibiting freedom of thought, opinion, and beliefs.

Tyler Durden Fri, 10/18/2019 - 20:25 Tags Technology Internet

"Duck, Duck, Doom" - When Big Pharma Decides Who Among Us Is Worthy Of Saving

"Duck, Duck, Doom" - When Big Pharma Decides Who Among Us Is Worthy Of Saving

"When a pharmaceutical company decides who among us is worthy, and who among us is not, we are no longer living in an ethical, moral society.  We are playing duck, duck, doom.  I pray no one dies."

These are the heart-felt words of Joanna, a 50-year-old Californian woman who faces death within a few short weeks if the drug that she takes to keep her alive is not released from FDA-sanctioned recall, and/or offered to patients by the drugmaker through a "special use" program (at the patients' risk).

The troubles began early last month when Japanese drug-maker Takeda Pharmaceutical pulled Natpara, which was
approved four years ago to treat hypoparathyroidism - a rare endocrine disorder that can lead to heart failure and death.

Takeda recalled the product after learning rubber particles may clog needles in multi-dose cartridges that deliver the solution. However, Takeda did not indicate why the rubber particles were suddenly appearing or how long the problem may last.

Meanwhile, as Statnews.com reports, the FDA upped the ante earlier this month by giving the recall a Class 1
designation, which is reserved for products that may cause serious injury or death
.

This requires patients to return all products, although the regulator has offered no information about the extent of the problem, confusing patients and physicians.

The move by Takeda and the FDA has left about 2,700 patients without alternatives - the possibility of a painful death awaits absent the recombinant human protein that has no alternative.

For an adult facing excruciating pain and death within weeks, one might have thought that it would be their decision whether to take the risk of using the recalled drug - but between the FDA's 'rules' and the drugmaker's plans, that opportunity is not available to the suffering patients (some of which have a few weeks supply stored).

Notably, the supply interruption comes even as Takeda was reportedly looking to sell the drug as a way to improve its balance sheet after its $58 billion buyout of Shire last year. The deal was opposed by many investors because of the debt Takeda had to take on to make the buy.

But now there is hope, as Statnews.com reports, a group of lawmakers including Bernie Sanders, are pushing the FDA to resolve the shortages of the life-saving medicine immediately, noting that the European Medicines Agency has not taken any such recall action.

“Patients across the country have already been hospitalized due to an inability to get Natpara, and we fear that as more patients run out of Natpara, the number of avoidable hospitalizations — or worse — may increase,” the letter says.

As the letter notes, to appease anxious patients, the company created a temporary “special use” program in which anyone facing a life-threatening situation could use cartridges to administer single doses. But only a tiny fraction of patients - as few as 1% - are qualifying for the program... Joanna is among those who did not, despite the most egregious circumstances:

"Last February I went off Natpara, under doctor's orders, to check my PTH levels with the miraculous hope that perhaps I was making my own.  Two days later, while at the lab, tetany came on fast and furious and within minutes I could not move, talk or process.  911, Ambulance, ER visit...you know the rest.  This is me off Natpara, so without hesitation, and without my own PTH, I went back on Natpara while still in the ER.  Life Saving.

Two months ago, I passed out while watching the sunset with my husband.  He is a surgeon and could not find my pulse for 5 seconds.  I was out twice for a total of 15 minutes.  I have no memory of this episode.  I am currently undergoing cardiac testing, and we all think this episode was calcium related."

Joanna continues:

"Despite these episodes, and the risk my doctor, an Endocrine Specialist, feels I am under if I stop Natpara, Takeda denied his SUP request."

So just how 'sick' does Takeda think its potential 'special use' patients should be to be deemed worthy of receiving the life-saving (but FDA-recalled) medicine?

Between the questionable ethics and potential disturbingly profit-driven actions of the drug-maker and the over-arching nanny-state control of the FDA, it is little wonder that those on the margin, those who need more than others, are losing faith in the American way.

As Joanna concludes in her letter,

"I feel the defeat, depression and hopelessness that many of you have also felt with a rejected request for our life saving medicine.  I feel that this recall has been handled irresponsibly, unethically, and inhumanely.  I am needing a timeline, communication, some humanity, and accountability."

So the next time you hear about big pharma's soaring prices or globally disassociative pricing mechanisms (i.e. charge what we can, where we can, as there's a sucker - insurer - born everyday, somewhere), consider for a moment the other levers that are pulled by drugmakers to restrict supply and potentially drive up demand, and the integrated risk that an over-bearing government bureaucracy builds on controlling how we as adults get to decide our own healthcare needs.

While Facebook CEO Zuckerberg discusses the end of freedom speech, it appears that in the 'Land of the Free', the freedom to make a well-informed, risk-reward-balanced decision about one's healthcare should be a given - after all - according to all 12 of the Democratic candidates on stage this week, healthcare is a right (a right that apparently is only accessible on their terms).

But one thing is for sure...while Bernie Sanders backing this pressure on Takeda is indeed admirable and may well save the lives of Joanna and many others, more centrally-planned medicare-for-all decision-making is not the solution (taking more decisions out of the hands of patients, instead of giving them back control of their own bodies).

Joanna summed it up perfectly:

"When a pharmaceutical company decides who among us is worthy, and who among us is not, we are no longer living in an ethical, moral society.  We are playing duck, duck, doom.  I pray no one dies."

"duck, duck, doom" indeed!

*  *  *

More details on the Natpara can be found here.

Tyler Durden Fri, 10/18/2019 - 20:06 Tags Health Medical Pharma

'Peace-Expert' George W Bush Says "Isolationism" Is Dangerous To Peace

'Peace-Expert' George W Bush Says "Isolationism" Is Dangerous To Peace

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

Humanity was treated to an important lecture on peace at a recent event for the NIR School of the Heart by none other than Ellen Degeneres BFF and world-renowned peace expert George W Bush.

“I don’t think the Iranians believe a peaceful Middle East is in their national interest,” said the former president according to The Washington Post’s Josh Rogin, whose brief Twitter thread on the subject appears to be the only record of Bush’s speech anywhere online.

“An isolationist United States is destabilizing around the world,” Bush said during the speech in what according to Rogin was a shot at the sitting president.

“We are becoming isolationist and that’s dangerous for the sake of peace.”

For those who don’t speak fluent neoconservative, “isolationist” here means taking even one small step in any direction other than continued military expansionism into every square inch of planet Earth, and “We are becoming isolationist” here means “We have hundreds of military bases circling the globe, our annual military budget is steadily climbing toward the trillion-dollar mark, and we are engaged in countless undeclared wars and regime change interventions all around the world.”

It is unclear why Bush is choosing to present himself as a more peaceful president than Trump given that by this point in his first term Bush had launched not one but two full-scale ground invasion wars whose effects continue to ravage the Middle East to this very day, especially given the way both presidents appear to be in furious agreement on foreign policy matters like Iran. But here we are.

From a certain point of view it’s hard to say which is stranger:

(A) a war criminal with a blood-soaked legacy of mass murder, torture and military expansionism telling Trump that he is endangering peace with his “isolationism”, or

(B) the claim that Trump is “isolationist” at all.

As we’ve discussed previously, Trump’s so-called isolationism has thus far consisted of killing tens of thousands of Venezuelans with starvation sanctions in an attempt to effect regime change in the most oil-rich nation on earth, advancing a regime change operation in Iran via starvation sanctionsCIA covert ops, and reckless military escalations, continuing to facilitate the Saudi-led slaughter in Yemen and to sell arms to Saudi Arabiainflating the already insanely bloated US military budget to enable more worldwide military expansionism, greatly increasing the number of bombs dropped per day from the previous administration, killing record numbers of civilians in airstrikes for which he has reduced military accountability, and of course advancing many, many new cold war escalations against the nuclear superpower Russia.

But these bogus warnings about a dangerous, nonexistent threat of isolationism are nothing new for Dubya. In his farewell address to the nation, Bush said the following:

“In the face of threats from abroad, it can be tempting to seek comfort by turning inward. But we must reject isolationism and its companion, protectionism. Retreating behind our borders would only invite danger. In the 21st century, security and prosperity at home depend on the expansion of liberty abroad. If America does not lead the cause of freedom, that cause will not be led.”

As we discussed recently, use of the pro-war buzzword “isolationism” has been re-emerging from its post-Bush hibernation as a popular one-word debunk of any opposition to continued US military expansionism in all directions, and it is deceitful in at least three distinct ways. Firstly, the way it is used consistently conflates isolationism with non-interventionism, which are two wildly different things. Secondly, none of the mainstream political figures who are consistently tarred with the “isolationist” pejorative are isolationists by any stretch of the imagination, or even proper non-interventionists; they all support many interventionist positions which actual non-interventionists object to. Thirdly, calling someone who opposes endless warmongering an “isolationist” makes as much sense as calling someone who opposes rape a man-hating prude; opposing an intrinsically evil act is not the same as withdrawing from the world.

Nobody actually believes that US foreign policy is under any threat of anything remotely resembling isolationism. The real purpose of this buzzword is to normalize the forever war and drag the Overton window so far in the direction of ghoulish hawkishness that the opposite of “war” is no longer “peace”, but “isolationism”. By pulling this neat little trick, the propagandists of the political/media class have successfully made endless war seem like a perfectly normal thing to be happening and any small attempt to scale it back look weird and freakish, when the truth is the exact opposite. War is weird, freakish and horrific, and peace is of course normal. This is the only healthy way to see things.

It would actually be great if George W Bush could shut the fuck up forever, ideally in a locked cell following a public war tribunal. Failing that, at the very least people should stop looking at him as a cuddly wuddly teddy bear with whom it’s fun to share a sporting arena suite or a piece of hard candy or to hang award medals on for his treatment of veterans. This mass murdering monster has been growing more and more popular with Democrats lately just because he offers mild criticisms of Trump sometimes, as have war pigs like Bill Kristol and Max Boot and even John Bolton for the same reason, and it needs to stop. And in the name of a million dead Iraqis, please don’t start consulting this man on matters of peace.

*  *  *

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Tyler Durden Fri, 10/18/2019 - 19:45 Tags Politics

WeWork Valuation Collapse From Cash Crunch Could Crush Hong Kong Office Market 

WeWork Valuation Collapse From Cash Crunch Could Crush Hong Kong Office Market 

WeWork running out of cash has derailed the company's plan for massive expansion worldwide. JPMorgan Chase and SoftBank/Vision Fund are preparing to offer the company financial lifelines to avoid bankruptcy in the coming months.

As Bloomberg reports, SoftBank is assembling a rescue financing plan for WeWork that may value the office-sharing company below $8 billion, according to people familiar with the discussions.

The new figure is a fraction of the $47 billion valuation the startup commanded as recently as January. The talks are fluid and the terms could change, said the people, who requested anonymity because the discussions are private.

WeWork's woes could threaten many office space markets across the world, but the Financial Times has determined that Hong Kong could be the first domino to drop.

The demise of WeWork could be devastating for Hong Kong's office space market, already dealing with tremendous stress from social unrest and an overall economy that has been thrown into a technical recession.

Keith Hemshall, Cushman & Wakefield's head of office services in Hong Kong, said WeWork was "one of the key pillars of demand in the past one to two years."

WeWork's footprint of shared office spaces in Hong Kong has jumped 700% since 2016, from 112,000 square feet to 821,300 square feet in 2H19.

While WeWork's S1 SEC filing never told investors that the sole reason for an IPO was to remain solvent (great job Goldman), the failed IPO attempt last month, suggests that its growth in Hong Kong will level off shortly.

WeWork has been regarded as the savior of Hong Kong's office space market.

So if there's a deceleration in new leases and or other acquisitions, it could be disastrous for the city, real estate firm Savills told FT.

Hemshall said WeWork's quick expansion across Hong Kong led to the boom of shared office spaces. He said, "Everyone really depended on WeWork."

WeWork accounts for a little under half of all shared office space in Hong Kong and is about 66% of grade-A shared office space in the city.

Cushman & Wakefield said shared office spaces represent about 3% of the overall grade A market, but in the last several years, shared office spaces have been a significant contributor to new leases and development in the commercial area. WeWork accounted for 86% of that.

Henry Chin, head of research for Asia Pacific at CBRE, said that WeWork "took long leases at the top of the market, then the market turned."

Hong Kong is now in a recession as social unrest is accelerating in mid-October. WeWork is expected to run out of cash by mid-November. A perfect storm could be inevitable, one where WeWork starts missing rent payments and could cause a scare in the city's office space market.

Tyler Durden Fri, 10/18/2019 - 19:25 Tags Business Finance

Why Has There Been A 56% Increase In Suicide Among Young Americans In Just 10 Years?

Why Has There Been A 56% Increase In Suicide Among Young Americans In Just 10 Years?

Authored by Michael Snyder via The End of The American Dream blog,

It is very hard to face the future when you don’t have any hope.  Today, our society offers more ways to entertain ourselves than ever before, but it offers very little hope.  Most people spend most of their lives wandering from one thing to another looking for meaning and purpose, and of course most of those journeys come up empty.  We may have a much higher standard of living than any other generation in history, but we are also have the highest rates of addiction, depression and suicide.  As a society, we are deeply, deeply unhappy, and this is especially true for our young people. 

In fact, a report that was just released discovered that there was a 56 percent increase in suicide among Americans from age 10 to age 24 in just 10 years

Suicides and homicides are on the rise among children, teens and young adults in America, according to a new report that highlights what experts say is a disturbing trend among the young.

The report, published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that from 2007 to 2017, the rate of Americans ages 10 to 24 who died by suicide rose by 56 percent, from 6.8 deaths per 100,000 persons to 10.6.

Is anyone out there going to argue when I say that it looks like what we are doing for our young people as a society is definitely not working?

We appear to be rapidly running in the wrong direction, and yet our leaders just keep pushing us even further down the same road.

I was particularly horrified to learn that the report had found that the suicide rate for Americans from age 10 to age 14 had “almost tripled” between 2007 and 2017…

When broken down by age groups, the suicide rate for those aged 10 to 14 almost tripled between 2007 and 2017. For teenagers 15 to 19, the rate surged 76 percent in that decade.

For 20- to 24-year-olds, the rate of suicides has been increasing from 2000 to 2017, at a rate of 36 percent.

How can things get that much worse in just 10 years?

Sometimes people criticize me for being “too negative” about our society.  But the truth is that I am often not being negative enough.  Kids are killing themselves at an astounding rate because our society is feeding them an endless series of lies and giving them absolutely no hope for the future.  Our society is deeply, deeply broken, and if we continue going down the same path we are going to continue to get similar results.

According to the report, it has gotten to the point where suicide is now “the second leading cause of death” for Americans from the age of 10 to the age of 24…

Suicide was the second leading cause of death among Americans ages 10 to 24 in 2017, according to the report. And homicide ranked third for those ages 15 to 24 that same year.

We have completely and utterly failed our young people, and it is because we are teaching them the wrong things.

Oh, we love to think that we have everything together, but the truth is that we are a complete mess and we are passing on our flawed views to the next generation with devastating results.

In addition to an unprecedented rise in suicide, rates of depression among our young people are escalating dramatically as well

Since 2014, millennials (or people who turned 23 to 38 in 2019) have seen a 47% increase in major-depression diagnoses. “Deaths of despair,” or dying from suicide, alcohol, and drugs, increased in the millennial population in the last 10 years, and they are more likely to report feeling lonely than other generations.

For Gen Z, the mental illness crisis continues. In 2017, 13% of teens reported having experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year, Pew Research Center reported. In 2007, when more millennials were teens, that number was just 8%.

It shouldn’t be surprising that this is happening.  We teach our kids that they came from monkeys and that the only thing they have to look forward to at the end is to return to the dust from whence they came.  In between, we offer them all sorts of temporary pleasures that don’t give them any sort of lasting meaning and purpose in order to pacify them and to keep them from asking too many hard questions.  Because if you start asking hard questions, you quickly find out that virtually every major system in our society is broken.  But we urge our young people to work really hard so that someday they can take their places as important cogs in a machine that is rapidly steamrolling toward oblivion.

If you only read that last paragraph, you would probably come to the conclusion that I am a deeply depressed individual.

But that is not true at all, and that is only because I have fundamentally rejected the lies that society tries to feed all of us.  My wife and I are not down, we are not depressed, and we are not on any pills.  Life is meant to be lived with great hope and great purpose, and not too long ago I spent an entire year of my life talking to voters and trying to point this nation in a fundamentally different hope-filled direction.

If you want to escape the pit of despair that is swallowing countless other Americans, the solution is not hard to find.

We were all created for a purpose, and we were put on this planet for such a time as this.

Unfortunately, the entire behavioral matrix that society has constructed is designed to pull you away from your true purpose.

Our education system, the mainstream media, our entire entertainment industry and most of our national leaders are trying to take you in a direction that only leads to depression, despair and death.

It can be exceedingly difficult to break free from that matrix, but once you do you will discover a level of freedom that you never even dreamed was possible.

Tyler Durden Fri, 10/18/2019 - 19:05 Tags Social Issues

Twitter War Breaks Out Between "Russian Asset" Tulsi Gabbard And "Warmongering Queen" Hillary Clinton

Twitter War Breaks Out Between "Russian Asset" Tulsi Gabbard And "Warmongering Queen" Hillary Clinton

Democratic presidential candidate and Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard - who like Trump was quickly put in the crosshairs of the military industrial complex, the deep state and the pro-war Atlantic Council for her de-interventionist foreign policy - fired back at Hillary Clinton, accusing her of being behind a "concerted campaign" to destroy her reputation and challenged her to stop hiding and enter the 2020 presidential race. Earlier in the day, Hillary Clinton floated a conspiracy theory that the Russians are "grooming" the Hawaii congresswoman to be a third-party candidate in 2020, while claiming 2016 Green Party nominee Jill Stein is "also" a Russian asset.

“Great! Thank you Hillary Clinton,” Gabbard tweeted late on Friday afternoon. "You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain."

“From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know — it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose." Gabbard added.

“Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly,” Gabbard called out Clinton, who has dropped hints that she might run again in 2020 as a rematch for her 2016 humiliation.

During this week’s Democratic debate, Gabbard blasted debate co-sponsors CNN and the New York Times for "smearing" her along similar lines. CNN commentator Bakari Sellers called her a "puppet" for the Russian government and the Times reported on her “frequent” mentions in Russian state news media.

"Just two days ago, The New York Times put out an article saying that I'm a Russian asset and an Assad apologist and all these different smears,” Gabbard said. "This morning, a CNN commentator said on national television that I'm an asset of Russia — completely despicable."

* * *

Clinton, who has blamed everyone - from the FBI to Russia - except herself for her 2016 loss to Donald Trump, said in a Thursday interview on President Obama aide David Plouffe’s “Campaign HQ” podcast that "Russians" were "grooming" someone in the Democrat primary field to run as a third-party candidate.

“I'm not making any predictions but I think they've got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” Clinton said, in apparent reference to Gabbard, a Hawaii Army National Guard major who served in Iraq. "She's the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far."

While not calling out Gabbard by name, her spokesperson later told CNN, “if the nesting doll fits,” leaving no room for doubt.

And just to make sure she finds yet another scapegoat for her loss, Clinton also accused 2016 Green Party nominee, Jill Stein, who ran against her and Donald Trump in 2016, of also being an asset of Russia: "That’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she’s also a Russian asset."

Earlier in the interview, Clinton hinted that the Trump 2020 campaign is still in "contact with the Russians," and that "we have to assume that since it worked for them, why would they quit?" 

"Donald Trump is Vladimir Putin's dream," Clinton added. "I don't know what Putin has on him - whether its both personal and financial, I assume it is. But more than that, there's this bizarre adulation Trump has for dictators." 

Clinton also insisted that Russia "did affect the outcome of the election" in 2016, despite the DOJ concluding otherwise

Of all the candidates in the crowded Democrat primary field, Gabbard has been under the heaviest fire from journalists who previously boosted Clinton, accused of being an “Assad apologist” over a fact-finding trip she took to Syria years ago.

During the 2016 campaign, Gabbard resigned as vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee after endorsing Bernie Sanders for the party’s presidential nomination. Clinton beat Sanders out for the nomination largely due to support from the unaccountable “superdelegates,” and thanks to Wikileaks, it later emerged that her campaign had taken over the DNC entirely, a discovery that led to the resignation of then-DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz,  which might help explain Gabbard’s line about “the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long.”

Shortly after Gabbard's tweets, the Clinton campaign promptly responded, in what now appears will be a lengthy war of words between the two women as Hillary prepares to unveil her final presidential campaign. As CNN reporter, Dan Merica tweeted, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill has responded to Gabbard’s response, saying:  "Divisive language filled with vitriol and conspiracy theories? Can’t imagine a better proof point than this," although it wasn't quite clear how Gabbard's response to Clinton's original conspiracy theories was proof of anything besides defense against unsubstantiated allegations.

Shortly thereafter, Democratic candidate Cory Booker, whose odds of winning the nomination, decided to join in the catfight, reacting to Gabbard with a GIF:

And since, at its core this is a feud between the military industrial complex at the heart of the US government, and those who would rather not send the stock price of Lockheed, Raytheon and Boeing to new all time highs in exchange for the mass murder of innocent civilians, the neocons were not far behind with former U.N. ambassador Samantha Power quickly tweeting in response to Clinton’s comments: "If @TulsiGabbard runs, it wd be a huge windfall for Trump, Assad, Putin, Xi”

Tyler Durden Fri, 10/18/2019 - 18:58 Tags Politics

Economists: Greta Thunberg's Ideal World Would Result In A "Human Tragedy Of Disastrous Proportions"

Economists: Greta Thunberg's Ideal World Would Result In A "Human Tragedy Of Disastrous Proportions"

Whether you were inspired by Greta Thunberg's tearful UN speech...

.... or merely thought it was the year's greatest meme, in which an indoctrinated, emotionally frail child is being preyed upon by adults with a far bigger and more lucrative agenda, you probably do not realize how much your everyday life could change if the world were to follow the advice of climate activists to attain Thunberg's ecological utopia.

To provide some perspective on that question, several economists spoke to RT to share their thoughts out how the proposed changes could affect the global economy and the daily lives of people around the world.

Fossil fuels

The first thing that comes to mind to stop reported global warming is to impose a carbon tax and divest from the fossil fuel industry, as this sector is one of the major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. However, "a carbon tax and/or forced divestiture from fossil fuels would ultimately make the kind of cheap, varied and efficient transportation that people around the world are accustomed to extremely expensive and more limited," warns Peter C. Earle, an economist at the American Institute for Economic Research.

Apart from public transport, cars could also become less accessible to most individuals. So if you drive to work without a second thought, the carbon tax could suddenly double or triple the cost of your daily trip, leaving tens of millions of people cut off from their livelihoods, according to the analyst.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions can have much more serious economic implications, Dr Pierre Noël, Senior Fellow in Economic and Energy Security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), told RT.

"It supposes to reorient consumption and investment choices away from what people and businesses would spontaneously do," he said. While switching to renewable energy could be seen as a welcome change, the ultimate reduction of emissions can take years and would lead to major economic challenges.

"Reducing emissions to zero will require a near-complete overhaul of capital stock across the economy," Noël wrote. "'Listening to the science', as Miss Thunberg advises, would mean doing it quickly, in a few decades at most. It will be very costly."

Agriculture

The energy sector is an obvious target for ecologists, but another critical sector is not usually mentioned. Agriculture is considered another major polluter, responsible for around 15 percent of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Apart from carbon dioxide (CO2), which is what comes to mind when people talk about greenhouse gases, livestock produce methane (CH4), which is even worse for the ozone layer, and nitrous oxide (N2O). According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the comparative impact of CH4 is more than 25 times greater than CO2 over a 100-year period, while 1 pound of N2O on warming the atmosphere is almost 300 times that of 1 pound of carbon dioxide.

However, the global population is increasing rapidly and there is a need to increase agricultural output to feed everyone. This makes cutting emissions caused by farming all the more difficult.

Developing nations

Most of the talk about divestment is coming from and focused upon the developed world, but developing countries would be the first to feel the impact of the ecological protectionism, Earle noted.

"In many once poverty-stricken regions, industrial activities with large carbon footprints are what account for major improvements in standards of living, longevity, reductions in infant mortality, better health care, literacy and increased consumer choice over the last few decades," he wrote. "Take those away, and there would be a human tragedy of disastrous proportions."

Developed countries may also not be eager to impose any measures to tackle climate change, Noël points out.

"Recently, in France, the most violent mass protests in fifty years were triggered by an increase in a carbon tax, eventually reversed. A few years ago, also in France, a road-charging scheme for lorries had to be cancelled just before it went live as small businesses revolted."

So while a significant number of rich countries are legislating the complete elimination of their emissions by 2050, it does not mean that there will be no political implications for their choices, Noël believes. Governments will have to adjust the tax system "to alleviate the distributive implications and avoid a disproportionate impact on lower-income families," and also prevent "what is left of their industry" from moving offshore.

"All of this will be difficult, messy, imperfect and will involve nasty confrontations between and within countries," Noël said. "These confrontations might end up in a level of emissions reduction less than what was originally envisaged."

Developed countries may also not be eager to impose any measures to tackle climate change, Noël points out.

"Recently, in France, the most violent mass protests in fifty years were triggered by an increase in a carbon tax, eventually reversed. A few years ago, also in France, a road-charging scheme for lorries had to be cancelled just before it went live as small businesses revolted."

So while a significant number of rich countries are legislating the complete elimination of their emissions by 2050, it does not mean that there will be no political implications for their choices, Noël believes. Governments will have to adjust the tax system "to alleviate the distributive implications and avoid a disproportionate impact on lower-income families," and also prevent "what is left of their industry" from moving offshore.

"All of this will be difficult, messy, imperfect and will involve nasty confrontations between and within countries," Noël said. "These confrontations might end up in a level of emissions reduction less than what was originally envisaged."

Tyler Durden Fri, 10/18/2019 - 18:45 Tags Environment

Pat Buchanan Asks "Is Putin The New King Of The Middle East?"

Pat Buchanan Asks "Is Putin The New King Of The Middle East?"

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,

“Russia Assumes Mantle of Supreme Power Broker in the Middle East,” proclaimed Britain’s Telegraph. The article began:

“Russia’s status as the undisputed power-broker in the Middle East was cemented as Vladimir Putin continued a triumphant tour of capitals traditionally allied to the US.”

“Donald Trump Has Handed Putin the Middle East on a Plate” was the title of a Telegraph column. “Putin Seizes on Trump’s Syria Retreat to Cement Middle East Role,” said the Financial Times.

The U.S. press parroted the British: Putin is now the new master of the Mideast. And woe is us.

Before concluding that Trump’s pullout of the last 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria is America’s Dunkirk, some reflection is needed.

Yes, Putin has played his hand skillfully. Diplomatically, as the Brits say, the Russian president is “punching above his weight.”

He gets on with everyone. He is welcomed in Iran by the Ayatollah, meets regularly with Bibi Netanyahu, is a cherished ally of Syria’s Bashar Assad, and this week was being hosted by the King of Saudi Arabia and the royal rulers of the UAE. October 2019 has been a triumphal month.

Yet, consider what Putin has inherited and what his capabilities are for playing power broker of the Middle East.

He has a single naval base on the Med, Tartus, in Syria, which dates to the 1970s, and a new air base, Khmeimim, also in Syria.

The U.S. has seven NATO allies on the Med — Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Albania, Greece and Turkey, and two on the Black Sea, Romania and Bulgaria. We have U.S. forces and bases in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Djibouti. Russia has no such panoply of bases in the Middle East or Persian Gulf.

We have the world’s largest economy. Russia’s economy is smaller than Italy’s, and not a tenth the size of ours.

And now that we are out of Syria’s civil war and the Kurds have cut their deal with Damascus, consider what we have just dumped into Vladimir Putin’s lap. He is now the man in the middle between Turkey and Syria.

He must bring together dictators who detest each other. There is first President Erdogan, who is demanding a 20-mile deep strip of Syrian borderland to keep the Syrian Kurds from uniting with the Turkish Kurds of the PKK. Erdogan wants the corridor to extend 280 miles, from Manbij, east of the Euphrates, all across Syria, to Iraq.

Then there is Bashar Assad, victorious in his horrific eight-year civil war, who is unlikely to cede 5,000 square miles of Syrian territory to a permanent occupation by Turkish troops.

Reconciling these seemingly irreconcilable Syrian and Turkish demands is now Putin’s problem. If he can work this out, he ought to get the Nobel Prize.

“Putin is the New King of Syria,” ran the op-ed headline in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal.

The Syria of which Putin is now supposedly king contains Hezbollah, al-Qaida, ISIS, Iranians, Kurds, Turks on its northern border and Israelis on its Golan Heights. Five hundred thousand Syrians are dead from the civil war. Half the pre-war population has been uprooted, and millions are in exile in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Europe.

If Putin wants to be king of this, and it is OK with Assad, how does that imperil the United States of America, 6,000 miles away?

Wednesday, two-thirds of the House Republicans joined Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats to denounce Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria and dissolve our alliance with the Kurds. And Republican rage over the sudden abandonment of the Kurds is understandable.

But how long does the GOP believe we should keep troops in Syria and control the northeastern quadrant of that country? If the Syrian army sought to push us out, under what authority would we wage war against a Syrian army inside Syria?

And if the Turks are determined to secure their border, should we wage war on that NATO ally to stop them? Would U.S. planes fly out of Turkey’s Incirlik air base to attack Turkish soldiers fighting in Syria?

If Congress believes we have interests in Syria so vital we should be willing to go to war for them — against Syria, Turkey, Russia or Iran — why does Congress not declare those interests and authorize war to secure them?

Our foreign policy elites have used Trump’s decision to bash him and parade their Churchillian credentials. But those same elites appear to lack the confidence to rally the nation to vote for a war to defend what they contend are vital American interests and defining American values.

If Putin is king of Syria, it is because he was willing to pay the price in blood and treasure to keep his Russia’s toehold on the Med and save his ally Bashar Assad, who would have gone under without him.

Who dares wins. Now let’s see how Putin likes his prize.

Tyler Durden Fri, 10/18/2019 - 18:25 Tags Politics War Conflict

Now Even Sex Robots Have Rights...?

Now Even Sex Robots Have Rights...?

Authored by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com,

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, your finances and your prosperity.

Singapore officially bans ‘fake’ news

Singapore is great for a lot of things– banking, business, trade, etc. But it ranks rather poorly for civil liberties.

Case in point: a new law intended to stop fake news came into effect in Singapore this month; the law will force social media platforms to remove any content that’s deemed contrary to the government’s opinion.

Singapore defines fake news as anything that is disruptive to the “tranquility of the nation”, and to that of its friendly allies. And failure to comply with the law can now land you in prison for ten years.

You can read the full article by clicking here.

China’s “Study the Great Nation” app spies on its users 

Speaking of information control, Chinese authoritarianism just got even worse.

China’s government recently released an app called “Study the Great Nation”, which pushes government-sponsored news and information to Chinese citizens.

It also features quizzes to learn about President Xi Jinping.

The Chinese government has not only promoted the app, but made it mandatory for government workers to sign in and use the app daily. 

Some corporations are requiring this as well of their own employees.

And now a German cybersecurity company discovered the app has a back door, enabling Chinese authorities to spy on the app’s 100 million users.

Should we be surprised?

Click here for the full story

Ontario dentist loses his license after treating his wife 

In the Canadian province of Ontario, it’s considered professional misconduct if a dentist has “sexually abused a patient.”

According to the Regulated Health Professions Act, sexual abuse includes any sexual intercourse or other types of sexual relations.

Consent is irrelevant. Any sexual contact is considered abuse. But the strange thing here is that the definition of ‘patient’ includes a spouse.

So when an Ontario dentist treated his wife’s teeth, he was stripped of his license to practice (the government obviously assumed that the dentist and his wife are sexually active…)

This is another blatant example of how stupid, outdated regulations cripple small business owners.

You can read the full story by clicking here.

Sex robots have rights too… 

And speaking of sexual consent… take a deep breath.

Last month a pair of university professors published a paper advocating for ‘virtual sex robots’ who should have to provide consent before engaging in intimate acts with their owners.

I’ll pause for a moment, because you might be thinking, ‘What? Sex robots?’ Yes. That’s a thing. Brave new world, I know.

But what’s also a thing is ultra-woke university professors who believe that the world’s most critical challenges include the rights of sex robots.

In their paper, the professors suggest that sex robots should be equipped with a “consent-module”, so that a robot could refuse sex, you know, in case it has a headache.

They further suggest that this approach could “support the cultivation of compassion when used in supervised, therapeutic scenarios.”

I can only imagine the thrill of robot sex under the watchful supervision of bureaucrats and academics…

You can read the full story by clicking here.

Tyler Durden Fri, 10/18/2019 - 17:05

Complicated Web Of Payments Behind Hunter Biden's $700K Ukraine, China Dealings Untangled

Complicated Web Of Payments Behind Hunter Biden's $700K Ukraine, China Dealings Untangled

For months it has been reported, here and elsewhere, that Hunter Biden 'made $50,000 per month sitting on the board Ukrainian gas giant Burisma.' 

The truth behind payments to Biden is much more complicated, as revealed by the Daily Caller's Andrew Kerr who reviewed bank records submitted in an unrelated criminal case involving Biden's friend and business partner, Devon Archer in which Archer was found guilty of defrauding an American Indian Tribe (a conviction which was later overturned). 

So - Burisma did not directly pay Hunter, although the firm's chairman, Alan Apter told the Wall Street Journal in 2014 that Biden (and Archer) would receive a salary for their independent directorship.

The entity which actually paid the younger Biden was New York-based capital management company Rosemont Seneca Bohai - owned and controlled by Archer. According to the Caller, "in each month between June 2014 and October 2015, Rosemont Seneca Bohai wired between $10,000 and $150,979 to Hunter Biden for undisclosed purposes," which totaled $708,302

During the same time period, Burisma paid Rosemont Seneca Bohai $3.15 million for an unknown purpose while Hunter and Archer sat on the board (alongside career CIA spook Joseph Cofer Black - Sen. Mitt Romney's (R-UT) 2012 pick for national security adviser in his failed presidential run against Barack Obama.).

It should also be noted that Hunter's father, Joe Biden, used his position as then-Vice President to pressure Ukraine into firing their top prosecutor, who was leading a wide-ranging investigation into Burisma and its owner. 

Further complicating matters is that Burisma was just one of more than 30 entities and individuals who wired approximately $30 million to Rosemont Seneca Bohai in 2014 and 2015. 

The China connection

Over the 17-month period that Hunter made the $708,302, Rosemont Seneca Bohai took a 20% stake in Bohai Harvest RST (BHR)- a Chinese private equity firm with close ties to the Bank of China that Hunter Biden has sat on the board of since inception in 2013, and has vowed to resign from by the end of October. 

This is where the $1.5 billion billion figure comes from; the amount BHR aimed to raise in 2014 - which was announced two weeks after Joe and Hunter Biden flew to China together on Air Force Two

It gets even more complicated...

Just four months prior, in February 2015, Archer’s associate, investment banker Dan McClory, said he, Archer and BHR Partners CEO Jonathan Li, were pictured meeting with a leader of the Chinese State Assets Commission (SASAC), which as of 2017 managed $26 trillion in Chinese state assets.

“Group shot with the Director General of Chinese State Assets Commission. He’s the short guy at center,” McClory emailed his associates after the meeting. “Sasac is the largest controlling shareholder in the world … I brought them to BHR. Jonathan Li of BHR is third from right.”

Fun times in Beijing,” McClory added. “Devon was stellar.”

McClory’s email was received as evidence in Archer’s trial. A witness testified that Archer was the individual third from the left in the photo attached to McClory’s email.

Rosemont Seneca Bohai held onto its 20% equity in BHR Partners until October 2017 when its stake was split in half between two companies, according to Chinese business records. One of the entities that took a portion of Rosemont Seneca Bohai’s equity in BHR Partners was Skaneateles LLC, where Hunter Biden is one of two co-directors, according to business records.

Skaneateles still holds its 10% equity stake in BHR Partners, according to Chinese business records. The other director of Skaneateles is Eric Schwerin, a longtime business partner of Hunter Biden.

On the same day Skaneateles obtained equity in BHR Partners, Schwerin was appointed as supervisor of BHR Partners, a role that grants him the power to oversee the firm’s financial affairs. Schwerin still holds the role of supervisor of BHR Partners, according to Chinese business records.

Hunter Biden announced Sunday that he would resign his position on the board of BHR Partners, but he did not say whether Skaneateles would divest its equity stake in the firm, nor did he say whether Schwerin would step down as the firm’s supervisor.

BHR Partners currently manages the equivalent of $2.1 billion in assets and boasts having the support of the Bank of China, according to its website. -Daily Caller

Read the rest of Kerr's report untangling the complicated Biden business ties here

Tyler Durden Fri, 10/18/2019 - 16:45 Tags Business Finance

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