en Brandon Smith: How To Stop All Future Mass Shootings <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Brandon Smith via,</em></a></p> <p>In my last article &#39;<a href="">A Tactical Analysis Of The Las Vegas Mass Shooting Incident</a>,&#39; I outlined the precarious nature of the mainstream narrative and why the Vegas event in particular requires serious independent investigation into the possibility that Stephen Paddock did not plan or execute the event alone, or, he did not plan or execute the event at all, and someone else with far more tactical knowledge and shooting experience committed the murders outside the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Given that the FBI and Vegas sheriff&#39;s timeline seems to change every few days and that Mandalay surveillance footage is locked up tight, I think it is safe to say that someone more professional, and not muzzled by bureaucracy, needs be involved.</p> <p><strong>Setting aside the inconsistencies in the official narrative, questioning the motives behind this particular attack does not really bring us any closer to a practical solution. </strong>Of course, if you are one of those people that obsessively embraces the &quot;crisis actor&quot; theory, then you likely think that nothing much needs to be solved because &quot;no one actually died.&quot; I am not very interested in this impractical theory reminiscent of &#39;The Truman Show&#39;, nor the people that promote it. It reminds me of the 9/11 hologram plane theory &mdash; remember, the theory designed to discredit the more legitimate 9/11 truth movement which included hundreds of scientists, architects and engineers with real arguments and evidence? Yeah, those establishment disinformation tactics did not go away; they are still being used today to undermine honest and rational investigations of other potential false flag events.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="261" src="" width="487" /></a></p> <p><em>Ask &quot;fake event&quot; theorists for ANY concrete evidence that a single death was theatrical and that thousands of concertgoers and their families are part of the conspiracy, and these guys will demand that YOU show them the dead bodies and prove that the event &quot;wasn&#39;t faked.&quot;&nbsp; In other words, you must prove a negative, which is of course impossible.</em></p> <p><em>Tell them you happen to know people with friends and family who were harmed in the event and they&#39;ll call you a liar or a government &quot;agent.&quot; Show them numerous photos of dead bodies and they&#39;ll claim the bodies are actors. Show them first hand accounts of people on the ground&nbsp;&mdash; hey, all those people must be actors, too. Ask them for proof again and they&#39;ll try to pawn the burden of proof off on you; proof that they will then again deny when it is presented. It is a pointless circle of idiocy that makes alternative research look ridiculous.</em></p> <p><strong><em><em>If the establishment is seeking to stage a false flag, why go through the trouble of an elaborate, costly and harder-to-contain Kabuki play with numerous actors that might not keep quiet when they could simply shoot some real people with real bullets and be done with it?</em></em></strong></p> <p><u><strong>Moving on...</strong></u></p> <p><strong>This article will be focusing on the very real shooting (and attacks like it) which did in fact occur.</strong> Perhaps not the way that the mainstream media and the FBI claim, but still taking place all the same. How do we prevent such attacks in the future? What about <a href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Gladio-type false flag events</a> (the Vegas event has numerous Gladio markers)? Can those be stopped, or is this an impossible task?</p> <p>As far as false flag attacks are concerned, the long-term solution would be to nullify the people who fund and plan these scenarios. Until the day this is accomplished, though, we need some short-term protections.</p> <p><u><strong>I believe it is indeed possible to stop future mass shooting events, and to be sure, the solution does NOT<em> </em>involve further gun control measures or confiscation. Why? Because gun control does nothing to prevent mass shootings.</strong></u></p> <p>Just take a look at the Paris attacks perpetrated by ISIS. France has strict gun laws in line with what gun control advocates in the U.S. would like to see implemented. Even off-duty police officers in France were <a href="">not allowed to carry their sidearms</a> until after the Paris attacks in 2015.</p> <p>French gun laws did nothing to stop ISIS terrorists from killing over 130 people in a single night using weapons already highly restricted in the country. All they accomplished was disarming innocent citizens and making them easy targets.</p> <p>The nation of India also has some of the strictest gun laws in the world, yet this did nothing to prevent the Mumbai attacks in 2008 in which 164 people were killed.</p> <p><a href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Norway had extremely tough gun laws in 2011</a>, but these were easily circumvented by Anders Breivik who murdered 69 members of a Workers Youth Camp on the island of Utoya.</p> <p>As I noted in my previous article, the Vegas attack was initiated using more complex sniper-like tactics as evidenced in the choice of the shooter&#39;s perch as well as in the calculations for bullet drop from an elevated position. I believe this was done quite deliberately; most mass shooters tend to be poorly trained and attack a crowd haphazardly at point blank range in order to achieve maximum casualties in the shortest amount of time.&nbsp; However, in Vegas, and Nevada in general, the likelihood of running into a person with a conceal carry weapon is rather high. Paddock (or whoever) might not have lasted more than a minute before being confronted with multiple defenders armed with their own sidearms.</p> <p><strong><em>The Vegas shooter was smart to avoid a point blank, ground level confrontation. But how do we make future shooters think twice about longer range attacks at crowded events?</em></strong></p> <p>The federal government and DHS will probably call for stricter security measures in locations in which many people congregate. I would not be surprised to see demands for TSA-style security in streets in major tourist areas and at concerts, sporting events, etc. Body scanners and luggage scanners in major hotels? Count on it, eventually. Hardcore anti-gun ordinances within major cities, much like the gun measures in places like Washington D.C.? Do not be shocked.</p> <p><strong>As mentioned above, none of this will really stop a determined mass shooter or terrorist (and certainly not a false flag), but without an alternative solution, frightened people have a tendency to go along with the deluded notion that more government means more security.</strong></p> <p>Vegas is not a stranger to crisis, but it seems to have forgotten how to prevent it. Many Americans are unaware that back in 1992 during the <a href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Rodney King riots</a>, Las Vegas had to deal with its own major civil unrest with millions of dollars in damage and multiple deaths. This was barely reported because of Vegas&#39;s habit of burying stories that might stain the tourist destination&#39;s fun-loving image. But, it did take place.</p> <p>West Las Vegas erupted in violence in the wake of the Rodney King trial, including snipers shooting at police officers and bystanders, but the Vegas Strip went largely untouched. This was perhaps because hotel and casino private security at that time had a reputation for being rather well armed and vicious. Many hotels had their own rooftop shooters ready and waiting. Given, Vegas was still highly &quot;mobbed up&quot; in the 1990s, but one must admit that their security was not to be trifled with.</p> <p><strong>No major federal measures were needed and intrusive security was minimal. Can this effect be achieved again (without the mob)?&nbsp; Yes.</strong></p> <p>If mass shooters, terrorists and &quot;others&quot; seek to attack highly populous events using advanced tactics, then the organizers of these events should be employing private security groups with applicable tactical training and experience. There are thousands of well-trained veterans and civilians out there with the skills necessary to stop an active shooter, and they are not being employed where they are most capable. A team of two people trained in counter-sniping positioned near the concert at the Mandalay Bay could have cut down the shooter within a couple minutes rather than 10 minutes (or more), saving dozens of lives.</p> <p><strong><em>To be clear, I am not talking about poorly organized volunteer security made up of people not vetted, led by other men of questionable competence. I am not talking about guys who claim they have training but are never asked to prove it before they show up for the &quot;gig.&quot; And I am not talking about security groups composed of individuals who barely know each other and have never worked together, as we have seen in scenarios like the Berkeley riots.</em></strong></p> <p>What I am talking about is the employment of quiet, vetted and tested professionals hired out for specific events in which large crowds will be present.</p> <p><strong>The Feds are not needed and, in most cases, not wanted. </strong>Private security firms WITHOUT federal affiliations could handle the protection of major venues without constitutional violations by simply placing people at events with the proper training. The mere presence of these people may even act as a deterrent for future attacks.</p> <p>Security should also be organized and managed independently from the venues which they are tasked to protect.&nbsp; As we have seen recently with the very odd behavior of MGM security employee, Jesus Campos; including his disappearance right before he was expected to give his accounting of events at the Mandalay and his sudden reappearance on the Ellen Show to give a farce of an interview devoid of hard facts or timeline confirmations, rent-a-cops owned by the venue are more vulnerable to manipulations and possible &quot;coaching&quot; after a crisis event occurs.</p> <p>Excitement seekers and the public at large should avoid events that refuse to pay for truly independent and tactically skilled security, and instead choose typical rent-a-cops, retired cops and moonlighting cops that need extra cash. It is clear in light of the Vegas attack that these people do not have the ability to obstruct any attacker using more advanced combat strategies.&nbsp; Nor are they likely to be honest about what really happened after the fact.</p> <p><strong>On top of this, more training and more responsibly armed Americans continue to be the best methods towards defusing and deterring active shooters. </strong>The point is, if the American public does not pursue alternative solutions and take tactical realities into account, <u><em><strong>then the only other option will be government interference on a scale that will promote totalitarianism in the name of safety</strong></em></u>. It is time for the American people to grow up, stop waiting for Big Brother to protect them and start taking their security into their own hands.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="487" height="261" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Active shooter DHS ETC FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation federal government France Full body scanner India Las Vegas Law enforcement Mass shootings None Norway Operation Gladio Totalitarianism Violence Washington D.C. Sat, 21 Oct 2017 03:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605728 at Mapping What Every State In America Is Best At <p><strong>Company towns<a href="" target="_blank">&nbsp;used to be</a>&nbsp;a defining feature of the American economy. </strong>Nowadays, as<a href=""> Raul at notes</a>,<strong> thanks to globalization and offshoring, it is much harder to find employers that exert such influence over a small town</strong> (with a few<a href="" target="_blank">&nbsp;notable exceptions</a>).</p> <p dir="ltr">That being said, specific industries still tend to grow in clusters and can dominate the economy of a particular region. To understand this new reality, we mapped the most important industries by state according to the<a href=";step=10&amp;isuri=1&amp;7003=900&amp;7035=-1&amp;7004=naics&amp;7005=-1&amp;7006=00000,01000,02000,04000,05000,06000,08000,09000,10000,11000,12000,13000,15000,16000,17000,18000,19000,20000,21000,22000,23000,24000,25000,26000,27000,28000,29000,30000,31000,32000,33000,34000,35000,36000,37000,38000,39000,40000,41000,42000,44000,45000,46000,47000,48000,49000,50000,51000,53000,54000,55000,56000,91000,92000,93000,94000,95000,96000,97000,98000&amp;7036=-1&amp;7001=1900&amp;7002=1&amp;7090=70&amp;7007=2015&amp;7093=levels#reqid=70&amp;step=10&amp;isuri=1&amp;7003=900&amp;7035=-1&amp;7004=naics&amp;7005=-1&amp;7006=00000,01000,02000,04000,05000,06000,08000,09000,10000,11000,12000,13000,15000,16000,17000,18000,19000,20000,21000,22000,23000,24000,25000,26000,27000,28000,29000,30000,31000,32000,33000,34000,35000,36000,37000,38000,39000,40000,41000,42000,44000,45000,46000,47000,48000,49000,50000,51000,53000,54000,55000,56000,91000,92000,93000,94000,95000,96000,97000,98000&amp;7036=-1&amp;7001=1900&amp;7002=1&amp;7090=70&amp;7007=2015&amp;7093=levels" target="_blank">&nbsp;U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis</a>, which takes into account an industry&rsquo;s collective output as a percentage of the overall GDP. For simplicity, we excluded government jobs and real estate.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>The result is one of the easiest snapshots of the U.S. economy you will ever find.</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><a href=""><img height="356" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p dir="ltr"><a href=""><em>Source:</em></a></p> <p dir="ltr">The government groups companies into particular industries using the North American Industry Classification System (<a href="" target="_blank">NAICS</a>). Basically, someone looks at a company and decides where it belongs on a list of industries. This is more complex than it sounds, especially if a parent company holds many different unrelated subsidiaries (like<a href="" target="_blank">&nbsp;Amazon</a>), or when a business model strides the line between different industries (anyone care to debate if<a href="" target="_blank">&nbsp;Airbnb</a>&nbsp;is a technology company or in the hospitality industry?). <strong>We simply generated a color-coded map of the results of this debate.</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>You can immediately see some interesting groupings in the map. </strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>&nbsp;</strong>Computer &amp; electronics companies dominate the West Coast, oil &amp; gas remains ascendant in the Southwest, and insurance companies take the greatest market share in the Upper Midwest.</p> <p dir="ltr">Take a look at the deep South, where you see a lot of <strong>red signifying the ambulatory healthcare services industry. This single industry dominates in 13 different states. </strong>Think about the Fortune 500 companies headquartered in these places, and it&rsquo;s pretty easy to understand why these industries are so important. For example, Apple, Facebook, and Google are all headquartered in Silicon Valley in California.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Things tend to be much more diverse across the Northeast, where you see many different industries all grouped together.</strong> This is also easy to explain: it&rsquo;s one of the most population-dense places in the country and it has the smallest states in terms of geography. This environment lets a lot of different industries grow together.</p> <p dir="ltr">Factory towns may be a thing of the past, but<em><strong> it remains true today that similar businesses tend to grow and expand in areas with the same economic conditions.</strong></em></p> <p dir="ltr">This is true for less populous states like North Dakota and places with big cities too, like Colorado. <em>If you&rsquo;re looking for a job in one of these states, then our list gives you a good idea of where the biggest opportunities might be.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="1573" height="777" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Apple Business Business Economy Google Insurance Companies International business Market Share North American Industry Classification System Offshore finance Offshoring Outsourcing Real estate Reality Service industries Tertiary sector of the economy U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis West Coast Sat, 21 Oct 2017 03:05:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605727 at Did John McCain Provide The Infamous 'Trump Dossier' To BuzzFeed? <p>After nearly a year of cogitating, no one in the media, usually a fairly leaky institution, has been able to figure out who exactly who provided the infamous "Trump Dossier" to BuzzFeed which was published on January 10, 2017 and promptly debunked within approximately 35 seconds.&nbsp; </p> <p>As the <a href="">Daily Caller</a> points out today, less than a handful of people had access to the dossier before it made its way to BuzzFeed: <strong>John McCain, David Kramer </strong>(a former State Department official and an associate of McCain), <strong>then FBI Director James Comey </strong>and <strong>Fusion GPS </strong>(the creator of the document).&nbsp; Fusion GPS has since admitted under oath that they did not share the document with BuzzFeed which basically just leaves John McCain (and/or his associate) or James Comey.</p> <p>Asked about the dossier recently, an irritable, and perhaps defensive, McCain lashed out at a Daily Caller reporter (<a href="">seemingly a new trend for McCain of late</a>) saying only <strong>"I don’t know why you’re digging this up now."</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>In addition to McCain and Steele, opposition research firm Fusion GPS had the dossier, as did David J. Kramer, a former State Department official and an associate of McCdoain’s.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One person who was provided a copy of the salacious document, written by former British spy Christopher Steele, is Arizona Sen. John McCain. But McCain, who has already acknowledged providing an early version of the dossier to former FBI Director James Comey, denied this week that he also gave a version to BuzzFeed, which published it on Jan. 10.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“I gave it to no one except for the director of the FBI. I don’t know why you’re digging this up now,”</strong> McCain said during a testy exchange with The Daily Caller on Wednesday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>McCain was asked whether he was BuzzFeed’s source after the Republican’s office declined to answer direct questions on the matter.</p> </blockquote> <p>As a reminder, here is a recap of the timeline leading up the dossier's BuzzFeed debut.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>McCain and Kramer, a former official at the McCain Institute, were first told about the dossier in November, </strong>during a conversation with Sir Andrew Wood, a former British spy and associate of Steele’s. <strong>McCain then dispatched Kramer to meet with Steele in London on Nov. 28.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Steele, who operates Orbis Business Intelligence in London, has revealed in the London lawsuit that he allowed Kramer to view the dossier but did not provide him a copy. He said that an “arrangement” was later made for Fusion to provide a copy of the dossier to McCain through Kramer.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>McCain then provided a copy of the document to Comey during a Dec. 9 meeting.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Four days after McCain met with Comey, Steele would produce the final memo of the dossier, the one that was provided to BuzzFeed and which included the allegations against Gubarev.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Steele sent the final memo to Fusion with instructions to pass a hard-copy to Kramer and McCain. </strong>It is unclear how the dossier was disseminated after that. Fusion has not said whether it disseminated the final version of the dossier to anyone outside the company.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The denials by Steele, Fusion and McCain that they were BuzzFeed’s sources leaves just a few posibilities, including Kramer.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Kramer has not responded to multiple requests for comment about his handling of the dossier or whether he gave it to any news outlets. He has not talked on the record to any reporters since being identified in the controversy.</p> </blockquote> <p><img src="" alt="McCain" width="500" height="294" /></p> <p>Of course, the identity of BuzzFeed’s source is significant for two reasons.&nbsp; First, because a Russian tech executive, Aleksej Gubarev, was accused in the document of hacking into DNC computers to dig up dirt on Hillary during the 2016 campaign.&nbsp; And second, but certainly not least, because it could shed light on whether someone in Trump's own party or, and perhaps even more disturbing, within the FBI ordered a "political hit" on the newly elected - if wildly unpopular (at least on the DC circuit) - president.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>It is a central question in a lawsuit filed against the media outlet by Aleksej Gubarev, a Russian tech executive named in the dossier. Gubarev is identified by name in Steele’s Dec. 13 memo. In it, Steele alleges that Gubarev was recruited under duress by the FSB, Russia’s intelligence agency, and that he used his companies to infiltrate the computer systems of the Democratic National Committee.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Gubarev’s attorneys have said they want to find out if BuzzFeed’s source provided any warnings or qualifications about the allegations made in the dossier. If so, the lawyers are likely to argue that BuzzFeed was negligent and careless in publishing the document.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>BuzzFeed, which has apologized to Gubarev, has defended its decision to publish the dossier, noting that its article unveiling the Steele memos explicitly stated that the memos had not been corroborated. The website also said that the dossier was newsworthy because Comey had briefed President Trump on its allegations during a meeting on Jan. 6.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On top of its importance to the lawsuit, the identity of BuzzFeed’s source is of widespread interest because of the possibility that a government official disseminated the uncorroborated document to the media, possibly as a hit job on Trump.</p> </blockquote> <p>And then, of course, there is the issue of who ordered the dossier in the first place...</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Workers of firm involved with the discredited and Fake Dossier take the 5th. Who paid for it, Russia, the FBI or the Dems (or all)?</p> <p>— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">October 19, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="518" height="305" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Business Intelligence BuzzFeed Christopher Steele Democratic National Committee Department of State Donald Trump–Russia dossier FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Government GPS International relations James Comey John McCain McCain Institute Orbis Business Intelligence in London Politics Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections Russia–United Kingdom relations Russia–United States relations SPY United Kingdom–United States relations United States United States intelligence agencies Sat, 21 Oct 2017 02:40:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605697 at "Tired Mountain Syndrome" - North Korea's Nuclear Test Site Is Headed For A Deadly Collapse <p>UN Security Council sanctions aside, one of the reasons China has closed much of its border with North Korea and imposed emergency measures to monitor radiation flowing across the mountainous terrain is because the <a href="">country&rsquo;s scientists</a> worry that the mountain under which North Korea has held five of its six nuclear tests is in danger of collapsing and unleashing a devastating cloud of radiation on the surrounding terrain.</p> <p>And just in case anybody doubted the veracity of China&rsquo;s warnings, <strong>a slew of independent analysts have confirmed what Beijing has long feared: North Korea&rsquo;s Mount Mantap, a 7,200-foot-peak under which North Korea has carried out most of its recent nuclear tests, is suffering from &ldquo;tired mountain syndrome,&rdquo;</strong> according to the <a href="">Washington Post. </a></p> <p>Satellite images captured during the North&rsquo;s Sept. 3 test of a purported hydrogen bomb, Mt Mantap could be seen visibly shifting during the enormous detonation which triggered a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in North Korea&rsquo;s northeast.</p> <p>And since that test, the region - which is not known for seismic activity - has experienced several landslides and no fewer than three more earthquakes.&#39;</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" /></a></p> <p>The North, which carried out its first nuclear test more than ten years ago in 2006, has built a complex system of tunnels underneath the mountain that&rsquo;s known as the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Facility. According to WaPo, intelligence analysts use satellites to monitor the three known entrances to Punggye-ri to try and anticipate when another test might be coming.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 372px;" /></a></p> <p><a href="">Arms Control Wonk</a> describes the site in more precise detail.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>North Korea&rsquo;s nuclear test site comprises a number of tunnel complexes in mountains surrounding a main support area. Following an initial nuclear explosion in 2006, subsequent nuclear tests have been conducted in a tunnel complex to the North of the support area, under Mt. Mantap. The site contains additional tunnel complexes that may be suitable for nuclear explosions to the south and west of the support area.<strong> The Punggye-ri site is capable of hosting nuclear explosions in tunnels with yields of up to a few hundred kilotons.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>The tremors unleashed by the North&rsquo;s last test shook homes in northeastern China. And eight minutes after the initial quake subsided, there was a 4.1-magnitude earthquake that appeared to be a tunnel collapsing at the site.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="sketchfab-embed-wrapper"><iframe allowfullscreen="" allowvr="" frameborder="0" height="480" mozallowfullscreen="true" onmousewheel="" src="" webkitallowfullscreen="true" width="640"></iframe><br /> <p style="font-size: 13px; font-weight: normal; margin: 5px; color: #4A4A4A;"><a href=";utm_source=website&amp;utm_campain=share-popup" style="font-weight: bold; color: #1CAAD9;" target="_blank">Punggye-ri Tunnels</a> by <a href=";utm_source=website&amp;utm_campain=share-popup" style="font-weight: bold; color: #1CAAD9;" target="_blank">JamesMartinCNS</a> on <a href=";utm_source=website&amp;utm_campain=share-popup" style="font-weight: bold; color: #1CAAD9;" target="_blank">Sketchfab</a></p> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Images captured by Airbus showed the mountain trembling during the test. An 85-acre area on the peak of Mount Mantap visibly subsided during the explosion, an indication of both the size of the blast and the weakness of the mountain.</p> <p>Anybody who was around in the 1950s and 1960s will remember that &ldquo;tired mountain syndrome&rdquo; was a diagnosis last applied to the Soviet Union&rsquo;s atomic test sites. To be sure, earthquakes also occurred at the US nuclear test site in Nevada after detonations there.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;The underground detonation of nuclear explosions considerably alters the properties of the rock mass,&rdquo;</strong> Vitaly V. Adushkin and William Leith wrote in a report on the Soviet tests for the United States Geological Survey in 2001. This leads to fracturing and rocks breaking, and changes along tectonic faults.</p> </blockquote> <p>Analysts Frank V. Pabian and Jack Liu worry that the blasts have caused substantial damage to the North&rsquo;s tunnel network.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Based on the severity of the initial blast, the post-test tremors, and the extent of observable surface disturbances, we have to assume that there must have been substantial damage to the existing tunnel network under Mount Mantap,&rdquo; they wrote in a report for the specialist North Korea website 38 North.</p> </blockquote> <p>Of course, just because the mountain is literally crumbling doesn&rsquo;t mean the North will stop using it as a test site. As WaPo notes, the US didn&rsquo;t abandon the Nevada test site after earthquakes there, they said. Instead, the US kept using the site until a nuclear test moratorium took effect in 1992. For that reason, analysts will continue to keep a close eye on the Punggye-ri test site to see if North Korea starts excavating there again &mdash; a sign of possible preparations for another test.</p> <p>But as Chinese scientists have warned, one more test might be one too many.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Chinese scientists have warned that another test under the mountain could lead to an environmental disaster. If the whole mountain caved in on itself, radiation could escape and drift across the region, said Wang Naiyan, the former chairman of the China Nuclear Society and senior researcher on China&rsquo;s nuclear weapons program.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;We call it &lsquo;taking the roof off.&rsquo; If the mountain collapses and the hole is exposed, it will let out many bad things,&rdquo; Wang told the South China Morning Post last month.</p> </blockquote> <p>But perhaps equally as concerning as the collapse of Mantap is the possibility that another test could trigger an eruption at Mt. Paektu, an active supervolcano located on the North Korea-China border, about 80 miles from Pyungge-ri.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 245px;" /></a></p> <p>The mountain has not experienced a major eruption for centuries, and its last small rumble was in 1903. But an eruption could have devastating consequences - possibly causing more death and destruction than a nuclear blast.</p> <p>And with a North Korean diplomat reiterating today that the North intends to continue with its nuclear program, while the country has also decried the military exercises happening in the waters east of the peninsula, where the USS Ronald Reagan is conducting training drills with the South Korean navy.</p> <p>However, the North&rsquo;s Oct. 10 holiday and the Oct. 18 beginning of China&rsquo;s National Party Congress having come and gone without a new test. And signs of movement at some of the country&rsquo;s missile test sites spotted in recent weeks have apparently been false alarms.</p> <p>But given the amount of time that has elapsed since the North&rsquo;s most recent missile test, it&rsquo;s likely that the next provocative test -<strong> be it a test of a new long-range missile or a seventh nuclear test - isn&rsquo;t too far off.</strong><br />&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="988" height="485" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> 38 North China China Nuclear Society Disaster Environment Fracturing National Party Congress Nevada Test Site North Korea North Korean nuclear test northeastern China Nuclear explosion Nuclear physics Nuclear technology Nuclear weapon Nuclear weapons testing Punggye-ri Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site radiation South China South Korean navy U.N. Security Council Underground nuclear weapons testing Sat, 21 Oct 2017 02:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605712 at UC Santa Cruz 'Liberals' Declare Mainstream Republicans Nazis: A Threat To Their Safety For Simply Existing <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Alex Thomas via,</em></a></p> <p>A meeting of the College Republicans at the University of California, Santa Cruz was<strong> taken over and subsequently shut down by hard-left students who literally screamed that the groups very existence was a threat to their safety.</strong></p> <p><strong><a href=""><img height="344" src="" width="560" /></a></strong></p> <p>The leftist group initially organized the effort to derail the free speech of Republicans on campus in a Facebook post that openly called for shutting down the groups &ldquo;right of assembly&rdquo; while also labeling mainline conservatives as white supremacists and fascists.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;White Supremacist, fascist-sympathizing College Republicans are having a meeting at McHenry library, room 0332. Everybody be aware of this violent racist activity happening everyday on this campus!&rdquo; </strong>wrote a student.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;We need a movement of people on this campus that rejects the &lsquo;right of assembly,&rsquo; or &lsquo;right of free speech&rsquo; for white supremacists and fascists.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>The group then went through with their social media threats, banging on the meetings door and eventually barging into the room to full on disrupt the peaceful meeting while screaming about fascists, racists, and white supremacists. Remember, this was a meeting of mainline conservatives.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Details published by Campus Reform</a> include the fact that the leftist group refused to have any sort of dialogue with the College Republicans.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>According to the UCSC College Republicans, their offers to discuss the concerns of the protesters were met with exclamations that <u><strong>&ldquo;dialogue is violence,&rdquo; </strong></u>after which <strong>the protesters called the club&rsquo;s presence a &ldquo;threat to the library&rdquo; and demanded that the CR members vacate the space immediately.</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>The protesters even reportedly berated library staff members when they refused to shut down the pre-approved meeting. </strong>One staff member eventually asked the CR members to leave in order to end the disturbance, but meeting attendees chose to respond by sitting quietly and refusing to leave the area.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>One student protester&nbsp;laughably&nbsp;ran out of the meeting hysterically screaming about nonexistent &ldquo;Nazis downstairs&rdquo;.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>The commotion culminated in one of the <strong>student activists running out into the main library area screaming that there were &ldquo;Nazis downstairs,&rdquo; but while the gimmick drew several spectators, many of them expressed indignation at the actions of the protestors.&nbsp; </strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>&ldquo;As a Democrat, I am embarrassed that some people on the left act this way,&rdquo; </strong>remarked Phil Leonard Vogel, creator of the moderate campus news publication&nbsp;<a href="">City on a Phil</a>. <strong>&ldquo;They give all of us a terrible name.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>After nearly two hours, school officials eventually called the police, who reportedly arrested three of the protesters.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Unbelievably, one of the protesters even claimed that the groups very existence was a disturbance.</p> <p>You truly can&rsquo;t make this stuff up.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Your existence is a disturbance, <strong>your existence is a disturbance to every marginalized person in this country.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>This is apparently what it means to be a liberal (at least for some) in the year 2017.</strong></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="353" height="217" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> CR Discrimination Identity politics Politics Politics Race and society Racial segregation Racism Racism in the United States Reconstruction Era Religion University of California University of California, Santa Cruz White supremacy Sat, 21 Oct 2017 01:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605725 at Bank Of America: "This Could Send The Nasdaq To 10,000" <p>Last weekend, One River's CIO Eric Peters <a href="">explained </a>what he thought would be the nightmare scenario for the next Fed chair, who as we now know <a href="">will either be Jerome Powell or John Taylor, or </a>both (with an outside chance of Yellen remaining in her post). According to the hedge fund CIO, the "worst case scenario" is one in which despite an improving economy, yields simply refuse to go up, leading to the final asset bubble and Fed intervention that "pops" it: </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>“<strong>if we don’t see a sustained cyclical jump in wages, then yields won’t go up. And if yields don’t go up, then the asset price ascent will accelerate</strong>,” continued the strategist. “Which will lead us into a 2018 that looks like what we had expected out of 2017; a war against inequality, a battle for Main Street at the expense of Wall Street, an Occupy Silicon Valley movement.” He paused, flipping through his calendar.&nbsp; "<strong>Then you’ll have this nightmare for the next Federal Reserve chief, because they’ll have to pop a bubble.”</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>While Peters never names names in his pieces, the "strategist" in the weekend letter was BofA's Michael Hartnett, who several days after Peters penned the above, followed up with some thoughts of his own on precisely this topic, and in a note released this week, described what he believes is the "biggest market risk" for the market. Not surprisingly, it is <em>precisely </em>what Peters was referring to in the above excerpt.</p> <p>Responding to the question of "<strong>What is the biggest market risk", </strong>Hartnett writes that <strong>"in our gut, it’s that the two most important investment trends of the past decade, central bank liquidity &amp; technological disruption, ends in a bubble for tech stocks (Chart 7), &amp; High Yield &amp; EM bonds, the epicenters of the “scarce growth” &amp; “scarce yield” themes.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="326" /></a></p> <p>As with Peters, for Hartnett it all comes down to one thing: inflation and higher yields, specifically among long-dated yields:&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p> Multi-year lows in unemployment, multi-year highs in consumer confidence, soaring global PMIs, soaring profits, a doubling of the oil price, fiscal stimulus…little wonder the world is short bonds in 2017. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>And yet inflation &amp; bond yields refuse to rise.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>The reason is simple: in attempting to stimulate wage growth, and thus benign inflation, the Fed continues to target the symptom of a condition which it no longer has any control over. <a href="">Remember: Deflation = Debt + Demographics + Disruption</a>? Well, they're back. Quote Hartnett: </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Aging Demographics and excess Debt remain structural impediments to higher inflation. <strong>But the biggest impediment is technology, and the potential for the labor market to be permanently disrupted, as AI and robotics crush wage expectations, particularly in the service sector</strong>.</p> </blockquote> <p>For now the bond market still gives the Fed the benefit of the doubt, with 10Y yields occasionally pushing higher when the nearly extinct bond vigilantes make a surprise appearance, pushing rates up at least until the next deflationary scare emerges. But what happens if the bond vigilantes finally throw in the towel? <strong>Well, that's what unleashes the final bubble<span style="text-decoration: underline;">... and sends 30Y yields toward 2% and the Nasdaq&nbsp; to 10,000</span>.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Capitulation of bond bears would send 30-year Treasury yields toward 2%, the Nasdaq toward 10,000, and high yield &amp; Emerging Market bond spreads 100bps tighter (all-time lows…241bps in the US, 179bps in Europe, 139bps in EM). <strong>The outperformance of “deflation” versus “inflation” could turn exponential </strong>(Chart 8).</p> </blockquote> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="262" /></a></p> <p>And while the market may or may not have a major correction in the coming months (Hartnett also predicted last week that the next major market drop will take place <a href="">between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day</a>), the longer-term implications as this tension is finally resolved either way, most likely with the intervention of the Fed - whose next chair will have no choice but to burst the bubble - will define the market for the next generation, or as the BofA strategist puts it: </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>'<strong>“Icarus Unleashed” in coming quarters would then set-up 2018/2019 as a period of volatility, aggressive Fed tightening to pop bubbles, and more hostile War on Inequality &amp; Occupy Silicon Valley politics, setting the stage for the end of the bull market as Icarus crashes back to earth.'</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="726" height="405" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> artificial intelligence Bank of America Bank of America Bond Bond Bond market Bond vigilante Business Consumer Confidence Deflation Demographics Economic bubble Economy Federal Reserve Finance Financial markets Fiscal policy High Yield Inflation Investment Main Street Money NASDAQ NASDAQ 100 Unemployment US Federal Reserve Vigilantes Vigilantism Volatility Yield Sat, 21 Oct 2017 01:24:26 +0000 Tyler Durden 605729 at Pat Buchanan Asks: "Is Liberalism A Dying Faith?" <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Patrick Buchanan via,</em></a></p> <p><strong>Asked to name the defining attributes of the America we wish to become, many liberals would answer that we must realize our manifest destiny since 1776, by becoming more equal, more diverse and more democratic - and the model for mankind&rsquo;s future.</strong></p> <p>Equality, diversity, democracy - this is the holy trinity of the post-Christian secular state at whose altars Liberal Man worships.</p> <p><strong>But the congregation worshiping these gods is shrinking. </strong></p> <p><u><strong>And even Europe seems to be rejecting what America has on offer.</strong></u></p> <p>In a retreat from diversity, <strong>Catalonia </strong>just voted to separate from Spain. The Basque and Galician peoples of Spain are following the Catalan secession crisis with great interest.</p> <p>The right-wing People&rsquo;s Party and far-right Freedom Party just swept 60 percent of <strong>Austria</strong>&rsquo;s vote, delivering the nation to 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz, whose anti-immigrant platform was plagiarized from the Freedom Party. <em><strong>Summarized it is: Austria for the Austrians!</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Lombardy</strong>, whose capital is <strong>Milan</strong>, and <strong>Veneto </strong>will vote Sunday for greater autonomy from Rome.</p> <p><strong>South Tyrol (Alto Adige),</strong> severed from <strong>Austria </strong>and ceded to Italy at Versailles, written off by Hitler to appease Mussolini after his Anschluss, is astir anew with secessionism.<strong> Even the Sicilians are talking of separation.</strong></p> <p>By Sunday, the<strong> Czech Republic </strong>may have a new leader, billionaire Andrej Babis. Writes The Washington Post, Babis &ldquo;makes a sport of attacking the European Union and says NATO&rsquo;s mission is outdated.&rdquo;</p> <p><em><strong>Platform Promise: Keep the Muslim masses out of the motherland.</strong></em></p> <p>To ethnonationalists, their countrymen are not equal to all others, but superior in rights. Many may nod at Thomas Jefferson&rsquo;s line that &ldquo;All men are created equal,&rdquo; but they no more practice that in their own nations than did Jefferson in his.</p> <p>On Oct. 7, scores of thousands of Poles lined up along the country&rsquo;s entire 2,000-mile border &mdash; to pray the rosary.</p> <p>It was the centennial of the Virgin Mary&rsquo;s last apparition at Fatima in Portugal in 1917, and the day in 1571 the Holy League sank the Muslim fleet at Lepanto to save Europe. G. K. Chesterton&rsquo;s poem, &ldquo;Lepanto,&rdquo; was once required reading in Catholic schools.</p> <p><strong>Each of these traditionalist-nationalist movements is unique, but all have a common cause. In the hearts of Europe&rsquo;s indigenous peoples is embedded an ancient fear: loss of the homeland to Islamic invaders.</strong></p> <p>Europe is rejecting, resisting, recoiling from &ldquo;diversity,&rdquo; the multiracial, multicultural, multiethnic and multilingual future that, say U.S. elites, is America&rsquo;s preordained mission to bring about for all mankind.</p> <p><strong>Indeed, increasingly, the indigenous peoples of Europe seem to view as the death of their nations and continent, what U.S. liberal elites see as the Brave New World to come.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 472px;" /></a></p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>To traditionalist Europeans, our heaven looks like their hell.</strong></span></em></p> <p>Thus Poles fall on their knees to pray to the Virgin Mary to spare them from threats of an Islamic future, as their ancestors prayed at the time of Lepanto, and of Vienna in 1683, when the Polish King John Sobieski marched to halt the last Muslim drive into the heart of Europe.</p> <p><strong>European peoples and parties are today using democratic means to achieve &ldquo;illiberal&rdquo; ends. </strong>And it is hard to see what halts the drift away from liberal democracy toward the restrictive right. For in virtually every nation, there is a major party in opposition, or a party in power, that holds deeply nationalist views.</p> <p><strong>European elites may denounce these new parties as &ldquo;illiberal&rdquo; or fascist, but it is becoming apparent that it may be liberalism itself that belongs to yesterday. </strong>For more and more Europeans see the invasion of the continent along the routes whence the invaders came centuries ago, not as a manageable problem but an existential crisis.</p> <p>To many Europeans, it portends an irreversible alteration in the character of the countries their grandchildren will inherit, and possibly an end to their civilization. And they are not going to be deterred from voting their fears by being called names that long ago lost their toxicity from overuse.</p> <p>And as Europeans decline to celebrate the racial, ethnic, creedal and cultural diversity extolled by American elites, they also seem to reject the idea that foreigners should be treated equally in nations created for their own kind.</p> <p><strong>Europeans seem to admire more, and model their nations more, along the lines of the less diverse America of the Eisenhower era, than on the polyglot America of 2017.</strong></p> <p>And Europe seems to be moving toward immigration polices more like the McCarran-Walter Act of 1950 than the open borders bill that Sen. Edward Kennedy shepherded through the Senate in 1965.</p> <p>Kennedy promised that the racial and ethnic composition of the America of the 1960s would not be overturned, and he questioned the morality and motives of any who implied that it would.</p> <p><u><em><strong>So, why is liberalism dying?</strong></em></u></p> <p>Because it is proving to be what James Burnham called it in his 1964 &ldquo;Suicide of the West&rdquo; &mdash; the ideology of Western suicide.</p> <p><em><strong>What we see in Europe today is people who, belatedly recognizing this, have begun to &ldquo;rage, rage, against dying of the light.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="342" height="220" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Americas Czech Democracy Discrimination Europe European Union European Union Freedom party Holy League Illiberal democracy Italy Liberalism Nationalism North Atlantic Treaty Organization People’s Party Political ideologies Political philosophy Political systems Politics Politics Portugal Senate Social theories South Tyrol Sat, 21 Oct 2017 01:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605713 at Kyle Bass: "Today's Market Resembles The 1987 Debacle On Steroids" <p>The US stock market celebrated the 30th anniversary of Black Monday with the <a href="">2017 version of a rocky trading day:</a> Stocks sold off early, with S&amp;P 500 futures recording their steepest post-midnight drop of the year. But the dip was reflexively and aggressively bought, and stocks even poked back into the green seconds before the close as algos mistook a repetitive Politico headline about Jay Powell&rsquo;s chances of becoming the next Fed chair for news - leaving us with yet another record close.</p> <p>Of course, the historical juxtaposition of the 1987 crash with today&rsquo;s unnaturally placid markets practically forced even the most bullish of traders to question how much longer the present market paradigm - where markets listlessly drift through a seemingly interminable series of record highs while trading volume and volatility remain suppressed - can possibly last.</p> <p>With that question in mind, Real Vision released a video early today containing interviews with some of the biggest names in the hedge fund universe. Though the interview was shot a few weeks ago, remarks from Hayman Capital&rsquo;s Kyle Bass resonated with market&#39;s mood.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>Bass discussed what he sees as the many short- and long-term risks to the US equity market, including the rise of algorithmic trading and passive investment, which have enabled investors to take risks without understanding what they&rsquo;re doing, leaving the market vulnerable to an <strong>&ldquo;air pocket.&quot; </strong></p> <p>And with&nbsp; so many traders short vol, Bass said investors will know the correction has begun when a 4% or 5% drop in equities snowballs into a 10% to 15% decline at the drop of a hat.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;The shift from active to passive means that risk is in the hands of people who don&rsquo;t know how to take risk.</strong> <strong>Therefore we&rsquo;re likely to have a 1987 air pocket. This is like portfolio insurance on steroids, the way algorithmic trading is now running the market place. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Investors are moving from active to passive, meaning they&rsquo;re taking the wheel themselves all at a time when CTAs are running their own algo strategies where they&rsquo;re one and a half times long and half short and they all believe they can come out at the same time.&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;If you see the equity market crack 4 or 5 points, buckle up, because I think we&rsquo;re going to see a pretty interesting air-pocket, and I don&rsquo;t think investors are ready for that,&rdquo; </strong>Bass said.</p> </blockquote> <p>When it comes to identifying potential catalysts, Bass said the US&rsquo;s deteriorating relationships with both China and North Korea present significant long-term risks...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;Our trade relationship with China is worsening our relationship with north korea whatever it is continually worsens. We&rsquo;ve got three people at the head of these countries that are trying ot maike their countries great again, I think that&rsquo;s a real risk geopolitically.&quot;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>...While the unwind of G-4 central bank stimulus could hammer equities and bonds in the short term.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&quot;But when you think about it financially, which is actually easier to calculate, the financial reason is the G-4 central banks going from a period of accommodation to a period of tightening, and that&rsquo;s net of bond issuance.&quot;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>In summary, investors better snap up those out-of-the-money S&amp;P 500 puts before it&rsquo;s too late, because central banks - try as they might - can&rsquo;t forestall the return of volatility forever.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="612" height="363" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> 2015–16 Chinese stock market turbulence Algorithmic Trading Algorithmic trading Bond Bond Central Banks China Financial markets Hayman Capital Hedge Hedge fund Kyle Bass Kyle Bass North Korea North Korea Real Vision S&P 500 Share trading Stock market Volatility Sat, 21 Oct 2017 00:35:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605663 at How Times Have Changed <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><em><strong><a href="" target="_blank">From the Slope of Hope: </a></strong></em>One of my favorite little books is called&nbsp;<a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0811808289&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=prophet-20&amp;linkId=90256d999a034ba534354fe7bab807bf" target="_blank" style="color: #21759b; outline: none;">Hey Skinny! Great Advertisements from the Golden Age of Comic Books</a>, which pretty much describes the contents exactly. It is a hodgepodge of cheesy ads from the mid 1940s to late 1950s for all manner of junk, and it's eye-opening to see via these come-ons just how much has changed in merchandising. I thought I'd provide a sampling for your amusement, not edification.</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">First up is the "Lucky Grab Bag", in which children would send in their precious cash in exchange for a bag of..........stuff. God only knows what stuff would come back, but I suspect it was whatever overstock items happened to be laying around the office........ballpoint pens, sanitary napkins, swizzle sticks. I suspect an entire generation of kids learned the meaning of disappointment from the receipt of these&nbsp;parcels&nbsp;o' crap.</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><a href="" style="color: #21759b; outline: none;" rel="attachment wp-att-70319"><img src="" alt="1020-grabgab" width="720" height="516" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2) 0px 1px 4px;" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-70319" /></a></p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">Next up is the most amazing sun watch in the world. The fact it was the&nbsp;<em>only</em>&nbsp;sun watch in the world probably helped. Evidently it was a watch with a triangle sticking out of it (helpful for accidentally cutting yourself) which, if you aimed it precisely right on a sunny day, could give you the time within two hours of accuracy. This allowed you to tell time "the truly scientific way". It wasn't just a watch, though - - this product claimed to have nine functions, including "weather forecaster", which I suppose meant if you couldn't tell what time it was, it was either cloudy or already raining on your dumb ass.</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><a href="" style="color: #21759b; outline: none;" rel="attachment wp-att-70320"><img src="" alt="1020-sunwatch" width="731" height="562" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2) 0px 1px 4px;" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-70320" /></a></p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">Now we step into the yesterday of political incorrectness with rubber masks. There's Satan, an "Idiot", and......umm........a Minstrel. This advertisement, only partly shown, suggests that wearing one of these masks was a great way to bag the ladies, since they found it terribly amusing. In the parlance of the day, you could "panic a party" (whereas today you could "earn a lawsuit.")</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><a href="" style="color: #21759b; outline: none;" rel="attachment wp-att-70321"><img src="" alt="1020-masks" width="702" height="614" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2) 0px 1px 4px;" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-70321" /></a></p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">This next one is, for me, the most appalling of all. It seems there was a company back in the 50s whose sole purpose in life was to create photo enlargements. In exchange for giving their sales information to twenty of your friends, they would send you.........brace yourself........a monkey. How they shipped it to you or managed to keep it alive during the shipment (or, indeed, kept it from committing monkey suicide out of terror en route) is beyond me. It's hard for me to believe that the good people of the U.S. had much success with miniature monkeys shrieking and throwing poo around the house across the suburbs of our once-great republic.</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><a href="" style="color: #21759b; outline: none;" rel="attachment wp-att-70322"><img src="" alt="1020-monkey" width="739" height="448" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2) 0px 1px 4px;" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-70322" /></a></p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">For nascent crimestoppers, there is the "new toy gun" which, it seems, fires off pieces of potatoes. No big deal. What I find intriguing is the story they lay out in in the ad, in which a couple of young chaps stop a bank robbery cold (and are immediately paid for doing so by Mr. Bank Manager). It takes some serious suspension of disbelief to think hardened bank robbers would be stopped in their tracks by some ten year old holding what appears to be the letter "L" from Sesame Street in his hand, but that's how the story is told. One can only hope the kids of the 50s didn't seek out to emulate this behavior by hanging out in rougher parts of town with their weapon, waiting for their payday.</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><a href="" style="color: #21759b; outline: none;" rel="attachment wp-att-70323"><img src="" alt="1020-toygun" width="718" height="653" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2) 0px 1px 4px;" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-70323" /></a></p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">The ads weren't all just for kids, though. There were ads aimed at adults as well, and judging from the ad, there must have been plenty of desperate, disillusioned dads in America. Allow me to lay out what was being advertised here, as the story is told: (1) a guy pulls up in his driveway in a new car under the gaze of his envious neighbor, who puzzles over how he could afford such a luxury (2) the car owner states he is pulling down the big money by selling shoes door-to-door (3) Instead of laughing hysterically, the neighbor implausibly inquires as to how he can muscle in on this kind of action (4) the neighbor evidently signs up to be a new salesman for Mason Shoes, and he is provided a catalog and, yes, a sample air cushion which is the distinctive edge of Mason that makes them better than other shoes (5) the poor bastard pesters his neighbors, co-workers, and anyone else with feet to buy these shoes, and he does well enough that Mason sends him some sample shoes, sparing him the continue embarrassment of having nothing more than a soft insole as his only selling aid.</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><a href="" style="color: #21759b; outline: none;" rel="attachment wp-att-70324"><img src="" alt="1020-sellshoes" width="735" height="448" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2) 0px 1px 4px;" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-70324" /></a></p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">We finish our journey with an ad specifically targeted to adult women (why they would be reading Archie comic books is beyond me, but there we are). The ad portrays a town whose women are having their engagement and wedding rings stolen from their homes. Mary has been robbed too, but she's chill. How could this be? After all, the diamonds were worth at least a thousand dollars! That's easy - - because Mary has her actual jewelry locked up in a safe where no one can see or enjoy it. What she's been wearing on her fingers day after day are a set of rings that cost $2.98, and apparently no one could tell the difference. Nice going, Mary. I bet they look fabulous.</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><a href="" style="color: #21759b; outline: none;" rel="attachment wp-att-70325"><img src="" alt="1020-rings" width="738" height="589" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2) 0px 1px 4px;" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-70325" /></a></p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">Well, that's it for our trip down memory lane. Perhaps you were expecting an article on trading. But ask yourself - - how much value have you received from all the articles you've been reading about trading for the past eight years? Yeah, that's what I thought.</p> Advertising campaigns CRAP Culture Fashion Footwear Protective gear Shoe Slope of Hope Television commercials Sat, 21 Oct 2017 00:22:25 +0000 Tim Knight from Slope of Hope 605731 at The Next Generation Of Currency Wars: Private Vs State-backed Crypto <p><a href="*TESLA AMENDMENTS BOOSTED COMMITMENTS TO $1.1B FROM $600M"><em>Authored by Tho Bishop via The Mises Institute,</em></a></p> <div class="body-content clearfix"> <p><strong>Recently Russia&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">announced</a>&nbsp;that it will be unleashing a CryptoRuble, just a week after Vladimir Putin strongly criticized&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Bitcoin and other private cryptocurrencies</a>.</strong>&nbsp; When announcing the move, Minister of Communications Nikolay Nikiforov acknowledged that it was in part inspired by the aim of getting ahead of other governments:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>I confidently declare that we run CryptoRuble for one simple reason: if we do not, then after two months our neighbors in the EurAsEC will.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>In doing so, Russia is following the lead of another country that too has become hostile to private crypto, China. </strong>Last July the People&rsquo;s Bank of China <a href="" target="_blank">became the first central bank</a> to announce it had developed a crypto-prototype that it plans to offer alongside the traditional renminbi.</p> <p>That the first forays into state-backed cryptocurrency comes from two countries with a history of restricting a free and open internet is not surprising. While Bitcoin originated as a way to opt out of government control of money supply, <strong>increasingly governments see the underlying technology as a way to increase their control of the economy.</strong></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">As Xiong Yue explained</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>For example, if the government plans to subsidize certain farms, say some corn farms, to support this sector of agriculture, they can directly add a certain amount of money to the wallets of some farms, for instance 100 million dollars and program this money to be sent to certain fertilizer merchants at a certain time, and that each can only spend maximum of 10 million dollars per year, and in this way, they can make sure that the farmers won&rsquo;t squander the windfalls, and that this money won&rsquo;t flow to other sectors, for instance, the stock market or real estate market.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Even though this kind of monetary policy is bound to fail, from the perspective of government officials, CBDC provides them a better tool. For them, with the help of the CBDC, they can plan and manage the economy better.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Not to be left behind, the IMF &ndash; who some analysts,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">such as Jim Rickards, believe is prepared to step up to replace the US dollar as the next global reserve currency</a>&nbsp;&ndash; recently opened the door to issuing their own cryptocurrency in the future. </strong>While some crypto-advocates have naively celebrated&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">recent comments by Christine Lagarde on the future potential of digital currency</a>, such praise simply reflects the increasing awareness of technocrats that the finance is changing and they must be prepared for it. Considering central banks around the world have continued to advance their&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">war on cash</a>, it is not surprising to see Lagarde and others come adapt to the concept so quickly.</p> <h3><u>Exchange Regulation</u></h3> <p><strong>The usefulness of state-controlled crypto is why we should expect increased scrutiny and regulation on private cryptocurrency exchanges.</strong></p> <p>It&#39;s been reported that the Chinese government, which shutdown private crypto-exchanges in September, is looking into&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">reopening exchanges with increased regulation</a>. Russia, too,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">is working on exchange regulation</a>, rather than an outright ban.&nbsp; This apparent change in direction may be the consequence of China&rsquo;s exchange ban&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">resulting in an increased use of peer-to-peer platforms</a>&nbsp;in the face of the government crackdown.&nbsp;</p> <p>For the same reason that government prefers regulated bank accounts to cash and safes, state officials may recognize the benefit to propping up licensed exchanges. Already we have seen numerous cryptoexchanges&nbsp;be willing to collect and&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">hand-over sensitive customer information</a>&nbsp;in exchange for government-issued licenses.&nbsp;<strong><a href="" target="_blank">Much like banks</a>, these exchanges are increasingly being enlisted as tax collectors for government.</strong></p> <h3><u>Calm Before the Storm?</u></h3> <p><strong>While this loss of privacy may outrage Bitcoin&rsquo;s initial supporters, it&rsquo;s understandable why many current holders may be perfectly happy with these developments.</strong> After all, while much of Bitcoin&rsquo;s initial appeal was its usefulness in&nbsp;black markets, a major reason for its astronomical rise in value is its increasing&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">appeal among average customers</a>&nbsp;who&nbsp;were never all that concerned with financial services regulation. Not only has it helped its appeal as an investment, but also its daily use. Japan, for example, saw a major surge in retailers&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">accepting Bitcoin once a firm regulatory framework was implemented</a>.</p> <p><strong>It is worth wondering whether this harmony between government and consumers will continue, however, once state-controlled crypto truly ramps up.</strong></p> <p>After all, we&rsquo;ve already seen government rely upon traditional boogeymen of terrorists, drug dealers, and other criminals as justification for their increased control. The increasing use of Bitcoin by hackers and extortionists provides a modern-day twist to these age-old scare tactics. Is it all that difficult to foresee a scenario where governments attempt to freeze all regulated exchanges in the aftermath of some terrorist attack or other scenario? Or go one step further, and legally mandate replacing a&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">privately-held asset for a government-issued currency?</a></p> <p>The example of China demonstrates the inherently decentralized nature of Bitcoin will likely always ensure a degree of functionality beyond the reach of government. At the same time however, the increased popular appeal of crypto-currency also means increasing reliance on third-party services, and fewer individuals securing their investments in private wallets.&nbsp; Since the most popular &ndash; and thus most lucrative &ndash; exchanges and other services have an inherent incentive to maintain a good relationship with legal authorities, it is easy to see how this easily plays to the benefit of government officials.</p> <p><strong>Already within&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">the industry debate is raging between</a>&nbsp;those who prioritize &ldquo;efficiency&rdquo; and mainstream appeal &ndash; even at the expense of crypto&#39;s&nbsp;decentralized-origins. Luckily, Bitcoin&rsquo;s original Austro-libertarian ethos means that we are likely to see major industry influence pushing back on state-control.</strong></p> <h3><u>A Preemptive Strike for Monetary Freedom&nbsp;</u></h3> <p>In the meantime, this is yet another reason why what little political capital libertarians on monetary policy have should not be wasted pursuing moderate reforms such as forcing the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Fed to embrace rules-based monetary policy</a>. There is no hope to ever transform the Federal Reserve into a useful &ndash; or even non-harmful &ndash; institution. That hope does exist, however, in crypto.</p> <p>As future monetary policy is soon to become a major topic of conversation as President Trump rolls out his Federal Reserve nominations, it would be a major loss for the cause to not see <a href="">Senator Rand Paul </a>and other Fed-sceptics use the opportunity to push discussion about the <a href="" target="_blank">need for competition in currencies</a>. Further, the recent surge in states that have legalized the use of gold and silver for the payment of debt means there has never been a stronger political case for the elimination of legal tender laws and the taxes imposed on alternative currencies&nbsp;like Ron Paul proposed when in Congress. Such a move now could help set the stage for America being a true safe haven for private crypto in the future.&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>Doing so may give the cryptocurrency industry the freedom to give us a fighting chance to truly end the Fed, and their clones around the world.</strong></em></p> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="230" height="116" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alternative currencies Bitcoin Bitcoin Business Central Banks China Chinese government Congress Cryptocurrencies Cryptography Digital currency E-commerce Fail Federal Reserve Finance Financial cryptography International Monetary Fund Japan Jim Rickards Legality of bitcoin by country or territory Mises Institute Mises Institute Monetary Policy Money Money Supply peer-to-peer Politics Real estate Renminbi Reserve Currency Ron Paul underlying technology US Federal Reserve Virtual currency law in the United States Vladimir Putin Sat, 21 Oct 2017 00:10:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605726 at