en The SHOCKING Inside Scoop On Being a Guest Writer At Zero Hedge <p>I&#39;ve been a guest writer at Zero Hedge for quite a few years.&nbsp;</p> <p>Shocking as it may seem, &quot;Tyler&quot; and the gang have put absolutely no pressure on me to spin stories one way or the other.</p> <p>... Or to avoid any topics.</p> <p>I&#39;ve asked Tyler more than once whether I should write on a certain topic, and he&#39;s consistently - and shockingly - said I should write whatever I want.</p> <p>For example,&nbsp; on September 30, 2009, I asked Tyler about posting rules.</p> <p>He replied:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>You can post whatever, whenever and however you wish.</p> </blockquote> <p>On January 11, 2010, I wrote: &quot;<span title="Tyler: Not Sure Whether This is Appropriate For ZH">Tyler: Not Sure Whether This is Appropriate For ZH.&quot;</span></p> <p><span title="Tyler: Not Sure Whether This is Appropriate For ZH">He wrote back:</span></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><span title="Tyler: Not Sure Whether This is Appropriate For ZH">Go for it.</span></p> </blockquote> <p>On August 17, 2010, I wrote:&nbsp; &quot;I don&#39;t know if I should post to ZH.&quot;</p> <p>Tyler responded:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Don&rsquo;t see why not. People enjoy the debate</p> </blockquote> <p>On September 5, 2010, I ran a new story by Tyler, asking: &quot;<span title="RE: Tyler: Appropriate or Inappropriate for ZH?">Appropriate or Inappropriate for ZH?&quot;</span></p> <p><span title="RE: Tyler: Appropriate or Inappropriate for ZH?">He wrote back:</span></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><span title="RE: Tyler: Appropriate or Inappropriate for ZH?">Yes.</span></p> </blockquote> <p>On September 10, 2010, I floated another controversial post - which I was sure would be shot down - asking: &quot;<span title="RE: Not Appropriate for ZH?">Not Appropriate for ZH?&quot;</span></p> <p>Tyler wrote back:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Post. We don&rsquo;t censor</p> </blockquote> <p>Those are just a few examples I found in a couple minutes of trawling through my old emails.</p> <p>And that&#39;s why I like Zero Hedge so much ... it really <em>is </em>a free market-place of ideas.</p> <p>Indeed, I love how the site pulls no punches and slams every clown running amok ... whether EU dictocrats,the Keynesians running the Chinese economy, the failed socialists in Venezuela, Putin, or corrupt American politicians and economic &quot;leaders&quot; (whether they call themselves &quot;Democrats&quot; or &quot;Republicans&quot;.</p> <p>Like the boy who points out that the emperor has no clothes - when everyone else is busy scraping and bowing and currying favor - Zero Hedge is a great site exactly because it calls it like it sees it.</p> <p>No wonder ZH has become so popular.&nbsp;&nbsp; People are hungry for uncensored news.</p> <p>And no wonder the mainstream media hates it so much ...</p> <p>After all, ZH refuses to <a href="">bow to the self-proclaimed priests</a>, <a href="">follow the party line,</a> <a href="">act politely</a>, be <a href="">cowed</a> by <a href="">all of the toys</a> in <a href="">Big Brother&#39;s&nbsp;</a> pocket, or stop <a href="">laughing at the powers-that-be</a>.</p> Sat, 30 Apr 2016 06:09:36 +0000 George Washington 530101 at The Oligarchy Is Tottering - Trump Tramples The Neocons' "False Song Of Globalism" <p><em><a href="">Submitted by Justin Raimondo via,</a></em></p> <p><strong>The reaction to GOP frontrunner Donald Trump&rsquo;s much-awaited&nbsp;<a href="">foreign policy speech</a>from the Washington elites was all-too-predictable</strong>: they&nbsp;<a href="">sneered</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="">snickered</a>&nbsp;that he had&nbsp;<a href="">mispronounced</a>&nbsp;&ldquo;Tanzania.&rdquo; The more substantive criticisms weren&rsquo;t much better: perpetual warmonger Lindsey Graham, whose presidential bid garnered&nbsp;zeropercent in the polls,&nbsp;<a href=";utm_medium=social&amp;;utm_campaign=buffer">tweeted</a>&nbsp;&ldquo;Trump&rsquo;s FP speech not conservative. It&rsquo;s isolationism surrounded by disconnected thought, demonstrates lack of understanding threats we face.&rdquo; For Graham, anything less than starting World War III is &ldquo;isolationism&rdquo; &ndash; a view that gives us some insight into why his presidential campaign was the biggest flop since the &ldquo;new&rdquo; Coke. <strong>This is the party line of neoconservatives who have long dominated Republican foreign policy orthodoxy, to the GOP&rsquo;s detriment.</strong> Neocon character assassin Jamie Kirchick,&nbsp;<a href="">writing</a>&nbsp;in the European edition of&nbsp;Politico, put a new gloss on it by claiming to detect a Vast Kremlin Conspiracy as the animating spirit behind the Trump campaign.</p> <p>Which just goes to show that having Roy Cohn as your role model can lead one down some pretty slimy rabbit holes. I guess that&rsquo;s why the editors of&nbsp;Politico&nbsp;put Kirchick&rsquo;s smear piece in the European edition, where hardly anyone will read it, saving a more<a href="">reasonable analysis</a>&nbsp;by Jacob Heilbrunn for the US version.<em> (Although, to be sure, a<a href="">piece</a>&nbsp;by neocon-friendly Michael Crowley limns the same McCarthyite theme inPolitico&rsquo;s magazine.)</em></p> <p>Heilbrunn is the editor of&nbsp;The National Interest, publication of the Nixon Center, which has been a sanctuary for the outnumbered &ndash; but now rising &ndash; &ldquo;realist&rdquo; school of foreign policy analysts. The Trump speech was sponsored by&nbsp;TNI, and Heilbrunn gave a very interesting if somewhat defensive explanation for the motives behind their invitation to Trump, succinctly summarizing its significance:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;His speech did not deviate from the themes he has already enunciated and it showed that he is willing to go very far indeed. Nothing like this has been heard from a Republican foreign policy candidate in decades. Trump doesn&rsquo;t want to modify the party&rsquo;s foreign policy stands. He&rsquo;s out to destroy them.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>This is why the Republican Establishment hates Trump</strong></u>: <strong><em>it&rsquo;s no accident that the same neocons who lied us into the Iraq war and profited personally and professionally from that disastrous adventure are now in the vanguard of the &ldquo;Never Trump&rdquo; brigade.</em></strong> As Heilbrunn points out:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;This is why perhaps his most significant statement was: &lsquo;I will also look for talented experts with new approaches, and practical ideas, rather than surrounding myself with those who have perfect résumés but very little to brag about except responsibility for a long history of failed policies and continued losses at war.&rsquo; What Trump is talking about is dispensing with an entire wing of the GOP that has controlled the commanding heights of foreign policy over recent decades.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>This is my favorite part of Trump&rsquo;s peroration. Here he is openly telling the neocons, who have inveigled themselves into every administration since the days of Ronald Reagan, that they will be kicked to the curb if and when he takes the White House.</strong></u> Which is why they are&nbsp;<a href=";_r=0&amp;mtrref=undefined&amp;gwh=295FDB2F22DA508B8C48DDD4C7DD3FC7&amp;gwt=pay&amp;assetType=opinion">even now returning</a>&nbsp;to the Democratic party,&nbsp;<a href=";slug=jackson12m">channeling the long departed spirit of &ldquo;Scoop&rdquo; Jackson</a>&nbsp;&ndash; and good riddance to them. If ever a group of failed ideologues deserved their comeuppance it is this gang, which led the nation into the Middle East quagmire and steered the GOP to a series of humiliating defeats.</p> <p><strong>Pledging to &ldquo;shake the rust off America&rsquo;s foreign policy,&rdquo; Trump started out by saying he would &ldquo;invite new voices and new visions into the fold.&rdquo;</strong> And while I think Heilbrunn&rsquo;s somewhat overstates the case, it is certainly true that what follows is something we haven&rsquo;t heard from a Republican frontrunner is quite a long time. Adopting a campaign slogan that has the neocons and their left-wing internationalist enablers in a lather, Trump reiterated his theme of &ldquo;America First&rdquo; &ndash; a phrase with a long and largely&nbsp;<a href="">misunderstood history&nbsp;</a>in the annals of American conservatism, and one which he gives new life and new meaning.</p> <p>Trump gives us a capsule history of US foreign policy, from World War II to the end of the cold war, that is light on nuance but true in essence: <strong>we &ldquo;saved the world&rdquo; twice, and then crashed on the rocks of hubris and miscalculation:</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Unfortunately, after the Cold War our foreign policy veered badly off course. We failed to develop a new vision for a new time. In fact, as time went on, our foreign policy began to make less and less sense. Logic was replaced with foolishness and arrogance, which led to one foreign policy disaster after another.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;They just kept coming and coming. We went from mistakes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya, to President Obama&rsquo;s line in the sand in Syria. Each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos and gave ISIS the space it needs to grow and prosper. Very bad. It all began with a dangerous idea that we could make western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interests in becoming a western democracy.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;We tore up what institutions they had and then were surprised at what we unleashed. Civil war, religious fanaticism, thousands of Americans and just killed be lives, lives, lives wasted. Horribly wasted. Many trillions of dollars were lost as a result. The vacuum was created that ISIS would fill. Iran, too,&nbsp;would rush in and fill that void much to their really unjust enrichment.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>A more perceptive summary of the post-Soviet post-9/11 policies that have led us to disaster would be hard to imagine: indeed, Trump&rsquo;s critique parallels what we have been saying on this web site ever since its founding in 1995. To hear it coming from a Republican candidate for President who is not Ron Paul is astonishing: and that it is being said by the GOP frontrunner, who spoke these words after winning every county in five Northeastern states, is simply breathtaking.</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve covered Trump&rsquo;s views on NATO in this space, but in this speech he gives us a new perspective. He is constantly bewailing the fact that Obama&rsquo;s America projects weakness &ndash; a standard Republican line &ndash; but here he makes clear that he&rsquo;s not just talking about how our enemies perceive us, but also how our alleged friends see us</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Our allies are not paying their fair share, and I&rsquo;ve been talking about this recently a lot. Our allies must contribute toward their financial, political, and human costs, have to do it, of our tremendous security burden. But many of them are simply not doing so.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;They look at the United States as weak and forgiving and feel no obligation to honor their agreements with us. In NATO, for instance, only 4 of 28 other member countries besides America, are spending the minimum required 2 percent of GDP on defense. We have spent trillions of dollars over time on planes, missiles, ships, equipment, building up our military to provide a strong defense for Europe and Asia.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;The countries we are defending must pay for the cost of this defense, and if not, the U.S. must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves. We have no choice.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Billions of dollars in &ldquo;defense&rdquo; spending are tied up in NATO contracts: the power and prestige of Washington&rsquo;s foreign policy &ldquo;experts&rdquo; are inextricably linked to maintaining the Atlanticist bridge that binds us to our free-riding European client states. </strong>And now the candidate most likely to win the GOP presidential nomination is threatening to take it all away from them. No wonder they hate his guts and will do anything to stop him.</p> <p>A major push by the neoconservatives and their left-internationalist allies in the Clinton camp has been a <strong>campaign to demonize the Russians and restart the cold war.</strong> Trump made it clear he is having none of that:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;We desire to live peacefully and in friendship with Russia and China. We have serious differences with these two nations, and must regard them with open eyes, but we are not bound to be adversaries. We should seek common ground based on shared interests.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Russia, for instance, has also seen the horror of Islamic terrorism. I believe an easing of tensions, and improved relations with Russia from a position of strength only is possible, absolutely possible. Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Some say the Russians won&rsquo;t be reasonable. I intend to find out. If we can&rsquo;t make a deal under my administration, a deal that&rsquo;s great &ndash; not good, great &ndash; for America, but also good for Russia, then we will quickly walk from the table. It&rsquo;s as simple as that. We&rsquo;re going to find out.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>While much attention is paid to the Middle East, the real threat to peace is the possibility of a stand off between Washington and Moscow. A new arms race is in the works, and the threat of nuclear conflict &ndash; which Trump correctly says is the biggest threat of all &ndash; looms larger by the day. <strong>That Trump seeks a rapprochement with Russia is a very big plus &ndash; and a major reason why the War Party has mobilized against him.</strong></p> <p>When it comes to the Middle East, Trump is proposing a new turn:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Unlike other candidates for the presidency, war and aggression will not be my first instinct. You cannot have a foreign policy without diplomacy. A superpower understands that caution and restraint are really truly signs of strength. Although not in government service, I was totally against the war in Iraq, very proudly, saying for many years that it would destabilize the Middle East. Sadly, I was correct, and the biggest beneficiary has been has been Iran, who is systematically taking over Iraq and gaining access to their very rich oil reserves, something it has wanted to do for decades.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;And now, to top it off, we have ISIS. My goal is to establish a foreign policy that will endure for several generations. That&rsquo;s why I also look and have to look for talented experts with approaches and practical ideas, rather than surrounding myself with those who have perfect résumés but very little to brag about except responsibility for a long history of failed policies and continued losses at war. We have to look to new people.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Out with the neocons &ndash; and in with a new foreign policy that promotes peace, prosperity, and the radical idea that we have to put American interests first. </strong>Trump was explicitly making an appeal to anti-interventionists when he said:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;The world must know that we do not go abroad in search of enemies, that we are always happy when old enemies become friends and when old friends become allies, that&rsquo;s what we want. We want them to be our allies.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;We want the world to be &ndash; we want to bring peace to the world. Too much destruction out there, too many destructive weapons. The power of weaponry is the single biggest problem that we have today in the world.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;To achieve these goals, Americans must have confidence in their country and its leadership. Again, many Americans must wonder why we our politicians seem more interested in defending the borders of foreign countries than in defending their own.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>And then there&rsquo;s this:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;No country has ever prospered that failed to put its own interests first. Both our friends and our enemies put their countries above ours and we, while being fair to them, must start doing the same.&nbsp;We will no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism.&nbsp;The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony. I am skeptical of international unions that tie us up and bring America down and will never enter.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong><em>Now I can imagine some libertarians will cringe at the idea that the nation-state is a foundation for any kind of happiness, but they fail to put this in context: we&rsquo;re talking here about a nation-state founded as a result of a victorious American Revolution &ndash; the only successful libertarian revolution in history.</em></strong></p> <p><u><strong>Which brings us to the darker side of Trumpian nationalism, with its all its contradictions &ndash; some of them potentially fatal.</strong></u></p> <p><strong>Like all nationalism, Trump&rsquo;s is ambidextrous</strong>: the American variety is usually inward-looking, with its European cousin mostly expansionist-minded. And yet it&nbsp;can&nbsp;be bellicose when it perceives a threat, a characteristic that fits neatly with Trump&rsquo;s public persona. There are certain advantages to this: as one of my Twitter followers&nbsp;<a href="">put it</a>, &ldquo;For better or for worse, Trump&rsquo;s anti-interventionism works because he doesn&rsquo;t project sympathy for the enemy.&rdquo; Opponents of America&rsquo;s wars have been regularly subjected to the argument &ndash; a smear, really &ndash; that they&rsquo;re working on behalf of America&rsquo;s enemies. About Trump the War Party can make no such accusation.</p> <p><strong>Yet this immunity also confers contradictions, and Trump&rsquo;s speech is rife with them.</strong> He has said he opposes sending ground troops to Syria to fight ISIS, and yet he insists ISIS will be defeated during his presidency &ndash; although he&rsquo;s unwilling to say just how. We&rsquo;re too &ldquo;predictable,&rdquo; he avers, but don&rsquo;t the American people have the right to know what his plan is?</p> <p><strong>He wants to &ldquo;rebuild&rdquo; the military &ndash; as if a country that spends 40 percent of all the money spent on &ldquo;defense&rdquo; worldwide requires it.</strong> Yes, he says he wants to ensure US military &ldquo;dominance&rdquo; so that no one will ever dare to attack us &ndash; and therefore we&rsquo;ll never have to actually use our military &ndash; and yet if one is constantly preparing for war, then war will surely come. Trump, like Ron Paul, is constantly talking about our huge national debt: unlike Paul, however, he wants to &ldquo;invest&rdquo; in the military because it&rsquo;s the &ldquo;best&rdquo; investment and he&rsquo;s vowed to spare no expense. Suddenly the debt is conveniently forgotten.</p> <p>Trump rightly points to the power of modern weaponry &ndash; specifically, nuclear weapons &ndash; as the biggest threat to our security, and yet in his speech he called for ramping up and &ldquo;modernizing&rdquo; our nuclear deterrent. This project, already undertaken by the Obama administration, involves miniaturizing nukes and therefore making them more &ldquo;usable&rdquo; &ndash; a dangerous development indeed.</p> <p><strong>Trump rails against the Iran deal: it&rsquo;s a &ldquo;bad deal,&rdquo; the &ldquo;absolute worst,&rdquo; he insists. And yet Iran has abided by it, to the letter. War has been avoided: and he himself has said he wouldn&rsquo;t rip it up,</strong> as his rival Ted Cruz has vowed. While saying we shouldn&rsquo;t go abroad seeking enemies, his fearmongering over the alleged threat from Iran tells a different story. The reality is that there&rsquo;s no evidence Iran is seeking to build a nuclear arsenal: our own intelligence community has confirmed this. Yet to listen to Trump, you&rsquo;d think they&rsquo;re about to nuke the Trump Tower. So there&rsquo;s another contradiction &ndash; and they&rsquo;re adding up.</p> <p><strong>His fearmongering over Iran is tied to his pandering to Israel, which he glorifies as &ldquo;the only democracy in the Middle East.&rdquo;</strong> In Trump&rsquo;s world, Israel is blameless: its occupation of the West Bank, its merciless attacks on defenseless Gaza, its apartheid-like domestic regime &ndash; all this ignored. While it&rsquo;s true that he says he would be &ldquo;evenhanded&rdquo; in trying to negotiate a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, how seriously can we take this pledge when his pro-Israel rhetoric is so over-the-top? Indeed, he attacks the Obama administration for its supposedly ill treatment of Israel, and yet they are just trying to be as evenhanded as he says he wants to be.</p> <p><u><strong>American nationalism is a schizophrenic creature:</strong></u> on the one hand, it is pacific, inward-looking, and benign. On the other hand, it can be vengeful, aggressive, and malevolent. Like Trump himself, it is often unpredictable. And therein lies the danger &ndash; and the opportunity.</p> <p><strong>Nationalists of the Trumpian sort see America as an exceptional nation, but unlike the aggressive nationalists of the neoconservative variety they don&rsquo;t believe the American system can be exported, and certainly not by force of arms.</strong>&nbsp; As Trump put it in his speech:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Finally, I will work with our allies to reinvigorate Western values and institutions. Instead of trying to spread universal values that not everybody shares or wants, we should understand that strengthening and promoting Western civilization and its accomplishments will do more to inspire positive reforms around the world than military interventions.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>This rejection of catholicity is the core of the nationalist insight: it accounts for their views on immigration as well as their noninterventionist foreign policy. Trump weaves these strands into a pattern of thought that is challenging &ndash; and displacing &ndash; the militant universalism that unites both neoconservatism and modern liberalism.</p> <p><u><strong>For all his faults as a candidate, Trump is forcing a sea change in the American political discourse.</strong></u> His campaign for the presidency has certainly shifted the terms of the debate over foreign policy, not only in the GOP but generally. Senator Rand Paul&rsquo;s candidacy was dogged by questions about his lack of &ldquo;orthodoxy&rdquo; on foreign policy issues. That orthodoxy has now been smashed to smithereens, and future Rand Pauls will face no such suspicious inquiries.<strong><u> Candidates will no longer be required to sing, in unison, &ldquo;the false song of globalism&rdquo; &ndash; and we have Donald Trump to thank for that.</u></strong></p> <p>The task of anti-interventionists is not &ndash; as some would have it &ndash; to sit on the sidelines, or to join the &ldquo;Never Trump&rdquo; neocons and Clintonistas in attacking the Trump phenomenon as somehow beyond the pale. It is, instead, to&nbsp;push the discourse even further. We must take advantage of the opening provided by Trump&rsquo;s campaign to point out the contradictions, recruit Trump&rsquo;s supporters into a broader movement to change American foreign policy, and break the bipartisan interventionist consensus once and for all.</p> <p><u><strong>For the past twenty years, movements have arisen to challenge American imperialism:</strong></u> the campaigns of Pat Buchanan, the antiwar left that arose during the Bush years, the Ron Paul campaigns that energized many thousands of young people and put some meat on the bones of the libertarian movement. You&rsquo;ll note the pattern: the Buchanan movement was small yet vociferous, the antiwar left was much bigger and yet more diffuse, the Ron Paulians were (and are) substantial in size and highly focused and well-organized &ndash; yet all crested without achieving a mass character, falling short of their goals.</p> <p><u><strong>The Trump movement is different: it is massive, and it is capable of winning. </strong></u>That&rsquo;s what has the Establishment in such a panic that they are considering denying Trump the nomination and bringing in a candidate on a &ldquo;white horse&rdquo; to steal the GOP from the Trumpians. If that happens, the system will be shaken to its very foundations, its very legitimacy in doubt &ndash; a perfect storm as far as libertarians are concerned.</p> <p><em><strong>But there is more to it than that. If we step back from the daily news cycle, and consider the larger significance of the Trump phenomenon, the meaning of it all is unmistakable: we haven&rsquo;t seen anything like this in American politics &ndash; not ever. Revolution is in the air. The oligarchy is tottering. The American people are waking up, and rising up &ndash; and those who try to ignore it or disdain it as mere &ldquo;populism&rdquo; will be left behind.</strong></em></p> <p>Yes, the road ahead is going to be rough, largely unpaved, and strewn with pitfalls. It would be easy to fall prey to the errors of pandering, of over-adaptation, or their opposite: sectarianism, and strategic inflexibility. Ideological entrepreneurship is an art, not a science, and it takes a skillful player to distinguish between opportunism and taking advantage of legitimate opportunities.</p> <p><strong>Yet there is no alternative, because abstention means extinction. </strong>Libertarians &ndash; and anti-interventionists of every political stripe &ndash; must intervene, or die out. Natural selection will take care of those who cannot or will not adapt to the new reality.</p> <p>And this kind of sectarianism is absolutely unforgivable, because the new reality is far from a hostile environment.<strong> It is, in many ways, far more conducive than the old left-right paradigm, which is seeing the last of its iron grip on political consciousness loosened and dispelled.</strong></p> <p><u><strong>We are living in revolutionary times.</strong></u> Every political movement and tendency will be put to the test. Some will be found wanting, and they will fall by the wayside. Others will adapt and prosper. Whether we have the courage to face the future is an issue that will soon be decided, and it is we who will do the deciding &ndash; because our fate is in our 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="781" height="614" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> China Donald Trump Fail Iran Iraq Isolationism Israel Middle East National Debt Nationalism Neocons Nomination None Obama Administration President Obama Reality Ron Paul Twitter Twitter White House Sat, 30 Apr 2016 02:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 530083 at The Most Expensive Cities To Live In Across The Globe <p><strong>'Exceptional' America is no longer the home of the world's most expensive city in which to live and work</strong>. As the latest report from <a href=";utm_medium=social&amp;;utm_campaign=buffer">the World Economic Forum finds</a>, the honor of the priciest place to reside is the United Kingdom's capital - London. At £80,777 (~$120,000) per person per year, "The Big Smoke" is twice as costly as Los Angeles or Sydney...</p> <p>London has topped the list since June 2014...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="441" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>However, all is not lost for USA, USA, USA!</strong></span></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>A quarter of the top 20 most expensive cities are in the United States,</strong> with New York (at a yearly cost of over £79,000) coming in just behind London.</p> </blockquote> <p>Overall, the average cost of home and office accommodation per person per year across the top 20 cities is £40,641, with Rio de Janeiro being the most affordable.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Savills’ index is aimed at giving employers an idea of the cost of accommodating an employee in cities around the world. Head of World Research at Savills, Yolande Barnes, says: <em><strong>“The productivity of cities and their value to global businesses clearly has a pronounced effect on demand and hence rental costs.”</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The highest-ranking cities for productivity, such as London and New York, are also the most expensive to live and work in. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Barnes adds:<em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong> “World cities can become a victim of their own success when rents rise to the point where affordability becomes an issue.”</strong></span></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Savills wants to see an increase in supply of high-quality workspace, noting that this will be a crucial development for emerging cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Mumbai and Lagos.</p> </blockquote> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="">Of course, there is always Vancouver (if you're Chinese).</a></strong></span></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="705" height="518" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Sat, 30 Apr 2016 01:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 530086 at Caught On Tape: The Last Minutes Of Life Of A Bumbling ISIS Fighter <p><a href="">Amid pay cuts and sex-slave incentives,</a> it appears not only is ISIS fighters&#39; enthusiasm flagging but their IQ appears to be dropping too. As the following <a href="">rather shockingly comical clip via VICE News</a> shows a cluster of shambolic and frenzied ISIS extremists were &#39;caught on tape&#39; as they struggle to fire rockets at Kurdish pashmerga troops near Mosul, Iraq.</p> <p><a href=""><em>As NY Post reports, </em></a>the footage shows the chaos inside an improvised armored carrier as the fighters shout at each other while bullets fly.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360px" mozallowfullscreen="" src="//;;vid=9uMzY1MzE6E39V3egEa4mRmezupDbVi4&amp;embedCode=9uMzY1MzE6E39V3egEa4mRmezupDbVi4&amp;;ad_rule=1&amp;;;autoplay=1" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="618px"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>&ldquo;Careful not to shoot at our brothers!&rdquo; </strong></em></span>one yells. &ldquo;Where is my magazine?&rdquo; another shouts.</p> <p>One asks for a rocket launcher.</p> <p>&ldquo;The rockets for firing at people or armored vehicles?&rdquo; one of the discombobulated men asks.</p> <p>When someone on the vehicle fires his assault rifle, another yells at him: <em><strong>&ldquo;The bullet casings are hitting us! Be careful, Abu Abdullah!&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <p>When one finally fires a rocket, all hell breaks loose and debris lands inside the open-air carrier.</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>&ldquo;Good job, but you roasted us, too!&rdquo; </strong></span></em>one yells. <em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>&ldquo;What is wrong with you, Abu Hajaar?&rdquo;</strong></span></em></p> <p><strong>&ldquo;I need a rocket for firing at people!&rdquo; one of them pleads.</strong></p> <p>Finally, their carrier is hit and the men jump out of the burning vehicle.</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;The driver has died!&rdquo; one yells.</strong></p> <p>The jihadist whose headcam caught the pandemonium is eventually mortally wounded by the enemy forces.</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been shot!&rdquo; he yells as the rest of his comrades retreat.</strong></p> <p><em><a href="">Source:</a></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="442" height="306" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Iraq Sat, 30 Apr 2016 01:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 530060 at The US Endgame? Creating A Climate That "Could Easily Be Transformed Into War" <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Jeremiah Johnson (nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne)), via</em></a>,</p> <p>Most readers have been watching, as the U.S. and Russia seem to be positioning themselves along Cold War lines.&nbsp; The posturing is not confined to maneuvering military assets; it also runs along <strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">economic lines</span>, in which most warfare is at least based if not a major or the sole impetus.</strong>&nbsp; Each power has sought to cement its claims/presence in areas bordering the sphere of influence of, or the actual territory of the other power.&nbsp; Such posturing can be dangerous and lead to an incident that escalates into the uncontrollable.</p> <p>Recently the news media has been abuzz with the Russian fighter aircraft buzzing the U.S. in the face: first the incident with the two fighters coming within 30 feet of an American naval vessel, and another separate incident involving aerial theatrics around a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft (a Boeing RC-135 intelligence-gathering spy plane).&nbsp; <strong>The U.S. responded in kind on April 20 by allowing a guided missile destroyer, the U.S.S. Cook to encroach upon Russian borders while conducting maneuvers near Poland.&nbsp;</strong> The U.S. claimed that Russian aircraft were doing fly-by&rsquo;s to intimidate the destroyer.</p> <p>Unlike the puissant response by John Kerry, feigning anger and doing nothing with the Russian aircraft incidences of the past two weeks, Russia is not playing with the destroyer incident.&nbsp; The Russian ambassador to NATO, Alexander Grushko is reported by Reuters to have made the following statement:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><em>&ldquo;This is about attempts to exercise military pressure on Russia.&nbsp; We will take all necessary measures, precautions, to compensate for these attempts to use military force.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>This statement by Grushko was not limited to the incident with the Cook.</strong>&nbsp; NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has affirmed in the past week the intention of NATO to deploy command and control centers in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania.&nbsp; Exercises are currently being planned and prepared in Estonia by NATO air assets, to include participation by Sweden and Finland, both non-NATO members.&nbsp; The exercises are scheduled to commence on April 28.</p> <p>Although the exercises are superficially being dubbed maneuvers to help with control of civilian airports and coordination with them during &ldquo;an emergency situation,&rdquo;<strong> in reality they are both posturing and stationing aircraft on Russia&rsquo;s western flank</strong>.&nbsp; Also, the mainstream media barely mentioned the fact that last month, NATO fighter aircraft approached a Russian aircraft carrying Sergei Shoigu, the Russian Defense Minister who was en route to inspect military facilities and readiness in Kalingrad, toward Russia&rsquo;s western border.</p> <p>Much has also been mentioned by NATO of Russian &ldquo;aggression and encroachment&rdquo; regarding Ukraine, still beset by more than a year of fighting in its eastern region between Ukrainian forces and ethnic Russian separatists.&nbsp; NATO has condemned Russia for supplying these separatists with equipment, materials, and personnel.&nbsp; Russia has responded to this accusation by declaring eastern <a href="" target="_blank">Ukraine to be mired in a civil war</a>.</p> <p><strong>There are also underlying economic issues to all of this.&nbsp;</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">As mentioned</a> in previous articles, the entire involvement of NATO wanting to &ldquo;assist&rdquo; Russia in her support of Syria was nothing more than an attempt to oust Assad.&nbsp; This, in turn took a back seat to the desires of NATO and the U.S. to annex a portion of Syria in order to enable a natural gas pipeline from Qatar into Western Europe for the purpose of negating Russia&rsquo;s Gazprom from supplying Western Europe with natural gas.&nbsp; Basically, the Russians solidified Assad&rsquo;s position, bombed the insurgents into submission, left supplies and advisers with Assad, and withdrew from the board.&nbsp; The U.S. was left stultified with egg on its face.</p> <p><strong>Now the BRIC nations are starting their markets up in earnest, backing their currencies with gold and trading in Shanghai, China, and Moscow in Russia.</strong>&nbsp; These two nations, incidentally are #1 and #3 respectively regarding gold production.&nbsp; The former produced 490 tons in 2015, and the latter put out 295 tons that year.&nbsp; The two nations account for 25% of the gold production for the world.&nbsp; Those are staggering numbers.&nbsp; In addition to production, China and Russia have been building up their reserves of gold astronomically.</p> <p><strong>They are ranked 5<sup>th</sup> and 6<sup>th</sup> respective to gold reserves.&nbsp; The U.S. is listed as &ldquo;#1&rdquo; but this is another faux pearl attached to others on a string</strong>, such as phony employment numbers and the inflated GDP as reported by parrots of the media and business insider networks who are, in reality inside of the pockets of the administration and the Federal Reserve.</p> <p><em><strong>Another point of interest that may have a great effect is that Congress is in the midst of passing legislation to hold Saudi Arabia partially accountable for the 9-11 attacks.</strong></em></p> <p>The Saudis responded with informing the state department that <a href="" target="_blank">they will call in assets and all accounts payable</a> if that is the case.&nbsp; This could really domino and also spell an immediate end to the Petrodollar.&nbsp; Wouldn&rsquo;t that be interesting?&nbsp;<strong> Congress would hit the Saudis up with a bill, and the Saudis would pay us in &ldquo;fiat&rdquo; Federal Reserve notes, maybe cutting off the oil supply as well.</strong>&nbsp; Payment of the bill then may as well be in toilet paper.</p> <p>To summarize, <strong>akin to ancient Rome, <a href="" target="_blank">the United States has over-extended herself</a>.</strong>&nbsp; She has created a climate that could easily be transformed into a war on a slight pretext.&nbsp; Wars, as it is well known are also a means a nation can extricate itself from debt and financial responsibility. <strong>&nbsp;The dying Petrodollar system has been on life support for some time, and it appears other nations such as the BRIC&rsquo;s are taking the initiative to return to a true monetary standard.&nbsp;</strong> This is the same gold and silver standard that the U.S. should never have left in the first place.</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="462" height="299" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Boeing Bulgaria China Estonia Federal Reserve Finland Latvia Lithuania Natural Gas Poland Reality Reuters Romania Saudi Arabia SPY Ukraine Sat, 30 Apr 2016 01:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 530084 at In Latest US-China Escalation, Beijing Denies US Aircraft Carrier Access To Hong Kong Port <p>What until now was mostly effete jawboning over US complaints surrounding China's territorial expansion ambitions in the South China Sea, including the occasional sailing of a US ship deep inside the disputed territorial waters (with zero impact especially now that China may soon start building <a href="">maritime nuclear power plants in the area</a>), changed dramatically earlier today when China officially denied a U.S. carrier strike group's request for a port visit to Hong Kong next week. </p> <p><img src="" width="647" height="369" /></p> <p><em>The Stennis strike group</em></p> <p>As <a href="">Stripes writes</a>, <strong>the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs notified the United States Thursday of its decision to deny the USS John C. Stennis and its escort ships access to the former British colony</strong>, Darragh Paradiso, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong, said by phone. The ministry provided no explanation for the move. </p> <p><strong>While U.S. warships frequently visit Hong Kong, port calls have been canceled at times of diplomatic strain between the two Asia-Pacific powers. In 2007, China denied access to the city's port by the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk.</strong></p> <p>The decision follows weeks of increasing diplomatic sparring between China and the U.S. over Beijing's claims to more than 80 percent of the South China Sea. The nuclear-powered Stennis has played a central role in U.S. efforts to demonstrate its continued security presence in the disputed waters, with Defense Secretary Ashton Carter visiting the warship on patrol there in April.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="645" height="483" /></a></p> <p><em>A plane carrying U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter lands on the deck of the USS </em><br /><em>John C. Stennis on April 15, 2016, as the ship sailed through the South China Sea. </em></p> <p>According to Shi Yinhong, director of the Center on American Studies at Renmin University in Beijing, and a foreign policy adviser to the State Council, the Stennis has become a <strong>"symbol of efforts to spark strategic tensions between China and the United States. </strong>The cancellation is a snapshot of the current intensity in China-U.S. security relations. <strong>Without significant security need, routine port calls would not have been canceled.</strong>"</p> <p>While the US has been complaining about China's territorial expansions over the past year, culminating with the current recent incident, China's claims to the South China Sea have resulted in numerous other disputes with other neighboring Southeast Asian nations that assert rights to the area, including Vietnam and the Philippines. Tensions are running high as the region braces for a ruling by an international arbitration panel on a Philippine challenge to China's claims.</p> <p>"We have a long track record of successful port visits to Hong Kong, including with the current visit of the USS Blue Ridge, and we expect that will continue," Paradiso said, referencing the U.S. Navy command ship already moored in the city.</p> <p>Finally, earlier today the US State Department confirmed that indeed China has refused to allow Stennis to dock in Hong Kong. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="">#China</a> denied Hong Kong port call by USS Stennis aircraft carrier, <a href="">@StateDept</a> confirms. <a href="">#VOAalert</a></p> <p>— Steven L Herman (@W7VOA) <a href="">April 29, 2016</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="804" height="603" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> China Hong Kong Nuclear Power Sat, 30 Apr 2016 00:35:17 +0000 Tyler Durden 530054 at "Erdogan Is The Father Of ISIS" - New Documentary Outlines Turkey's Support Of The Islamic State <p><a href=""><em><strong>Is Turkey the support behind ISIS? </strong></em></a>A documentary released by RT lays out evidence that would lead to that conclusion... one we first exposed <a href="">here</a>, <a href="">here</a>, and <a href="">here</a>... and is interestingly timed given Europe&#39;s potential desire to regain some leverage over Erdogan.</p> <p>The documentary takes place just days after the YPG took back the town of Shaddadi (a former ISIS stronghold), and <strong>what is revealed will most certainly go under reported, but is important nonetheless.</strong> The documentary points out that the connection between Turkey and ISIS is strong. Killed ISIS fighters left behind passports indicating that the fighters all came through Turkey, and by their own admission, interviewed ISIS fighters admit to coming through Turkey with no issue at all. <strong><em>The locals who were working under ISIS say that oil was refined and sold to Turkey in return for money and weapons, and YPG fighters who fight against ISIS find that much of the ISIS supplies come from Turkey.</em></strong></p> <p><u><strong>Here are some key elements of the documentary:</strong></u></p> <p>Captured ISIS fighters admit that coming through Turkey was easy. The fighters believe this to be the case due to the fact that it has a common enemy with ISIS, the YPG (People&#39;s Protection Unit). The YPG is yet another rebel group fighting in the Syrian civil war, and Turkey views the YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers&#39; Party (PKK) who call for an independent Kurdish state within Turkey. <strong>The fighter alleges that Turkey&#39;s president Recep Erdogan wants ISIS to control Syria in order to grow the oil trade.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="315" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img height="312" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img height="319" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&quot;The prophet told us to build a caliphate. I spoke with my friend about it, they told me to go to Istanbul. I went to Turkey, I got into the airport, went through passport control. The formalities were a breeze. <strong>Crossing the border wasn&#39;t hard either, it was like crossing the street. A man told me that Islamic State had erased the borders, that there were no borders</strong>. I&#39;d heard of it, but I didn&#39;t quite get it until I saw it myself. <strong>If Turkey wanted to stop the refugee influx, it could have long ago.</strong>&quot;</p> <p>Passports left behind by those killed during the battle show that the fighters came through Turkey.</p> <p><img height="318" src="" width="600" /></p> <p><a href=""><img height="316" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>The locals, and sadly, many of them children, spoke of the horror everyone had lived under during ISIS&#39; two year control of the town.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="316" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img height="317" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img height="317" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>The documentary then goes through a flat once occupied by what appears to be an ISIS accountant of some sort,<strong> <a href="">the flat had all kinds of oil related documents.</a></strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="318" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img height="318" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>ISIS would take oil from the Jabisah oil field near the town of Shaddadi in Northern Syria, to Raqqa, and ultimately to Turkey where they would sell it </strong>says <a href="">Ghazi Hussein</a>, a resident of Hasakah province, who witnessed the terrorists having Jabisah under their control.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="318" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img height="314" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>O<strong>ne local estimated that ISIS made a million dollars a week.</strong></p> <p>YPJ (women&#39;s division of the YPG) fighters explained that all of the gear found on ISIS fighters is from Turkey, and are<strong> curious as to why nobody is connecting the dots yet.</strong></p> <p><img height="320" src="" width="600" /></p> <p>One captured ISIS fighter even says that &quot;<strong>Erdogan is the father of ISIS.</strong>&quot;</p> <p>You can watch the <a href="">full documentary</a> below <em>[warning: contains content that may be disturbing]</em></p> <p><iframe 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="810" height="421" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Turkey Sat, 30 Apr 2016 00:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 530092 at The Woodstock Of Crony Capitalism <p><em>By <a href="">Adventures in Capitalism</a></em></p> <p><strong>The Woodstock Of Crony Capitalism</strong></p> <p>It’s been a while since I've attended the Berkshire Hathaway (BRK:NYSE) annual meeting. Between the tedium of little kids asking questions about how to live life, to the feel-good nature of the thing, I simply got repulsed. Why do a bunch of hard-nosed capitalists choose to act like Ned Flanders for a weekend—in Omaha of all places? It’s illogical and completely artificial.</p> <p><img src="" style="width: 499px; height: 334px;" /></p> <p>Then, a few weeks back, as friends asked if I was attending this year, I had a certain realization—all this play-acting is simply Buffett, the puppet-master at his most brilliant. As he plows capital into highly regulated industries, he has the upper hand because he has skillfully crafted the image of the Mid-Western grandfather that can do no wrong. He can cozy up to regulators and politicians and get what he wants—without the added costs and distractions of lobbyists and consultants. Who wouldn’t want to get their permits in half the time and with a fraction of the cost? Want to block a Canadian pipe-line that would compete with your cherished rail-road? Become the President’s “economic advisor.” Want to abuse tax loopholes? Bemoan that your secretary pays a higher tax rate than you. You want to obstruct solar energy in Nevada? Elon Musk is a foreigner, Omaha is as American as it gets. Your railroad has an atrocious safety record? Well, at least we don’t have to worry about global warming from that pipeline...</p> <p>I can go on and on, but I went from disgusted to awestruck. In this horribly overregulated world of ours, Buffett has evolved into the apex predator. Why wouldn’t he? Over his career, he’s consistently gone where the opportunities were. He’s gone from investing in “cigar-butts” when few other investors knew how to look for companies trading for less than cash, to branded products with pricing power that could thrive during the increasing inflation of the 70’s and early 80’s to a diversified book of high return on capital businesses during the great bull market that began in 1982. Over this time, he realized that he could leverage his bets with an insurance business that not only gave him access to cheap capital, but removed the headaches associated with bond maturities and margin calls.</p> <p>Over the past fifteen years, the US has undergone a massive increase in pernicious regulation. Therefore, it seems only natural that opportunities would exist in the most regulated sectors of the economy. If you can get your permits and deny those permits to others, if you can avoid environmentalists and NIMBYs, if you can dodge taxes, if you can charm the cliques in Washington, you have an opportunity to earn outsized profits—especially if you have an endless fire-hose of cheap insurance float to deploy.</p> <p><img src="" style="width: 301px; height: 167px;" /></p> <p>Crony capitalism is highly lucrative and as a Berkshire shareholder, I’ve reaped the rewards. Now, I once again want to sit at the feet of the master. How do you make people like you to the point that they give you a free pass on whatever you want? When you call up a regulator, do you even talk about the issues? Or do you talk about your Ukulele skills and Omaha little league? You have to admire what he’s accomplished and I will be there to watch him amuse the <em>petite bourgeoisie</em>. I see a world that continues to become more regulated—where a cloistered elite uses special interest groups to crush opponents and destroy businesses. Either you’re calling the shots, or you’re getting abused like a peasant.</p> <p>The Koch Brothers spend hundreds of millions on elections. Soros spends similarly on fringe groups that break windows and overturn cars. Neither really accomplishes his goals. Buffett gets what he wants. In Davos, they chug bottles of Chateau Lafite Rothschild and plot how to pillage small nations. <strong>At Berkshire, we will eat Dilly bars and plot how to pillage the middle class</strong>. Capitalism is beautiful and crony capitalism is the end product of politicians who prostitute the laws. I don’t have the power to change the current rules, but I can certainly learn to thrive within them.</p> <p>This is a long-winded way of saying that after a few years of sitting out the meeting, I’ll be there. If you want to grab a drink, email me and I’ll tell you where I am. Beer with friends is fun—free beer at someone else’s party is the true definition of value investing.</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="881" height="608" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Berkshire Hathaway Bond Davos Global Warming Value Investing Sat, 30 Apr 2016 00:01:13 +0000 Tyler Durden 530088 at What Happens If Everybody Pulls Their Money Out Of The Bank Today? <p>For every dollar that you have in the bank there is actually 0.00061 dollars available...<em><strong>in other words, there&#39;s 6 cents for every $100 dollars of deposits that you have at the bank</strong></em>.</p> <p>As <a href=";utm_medium=youtube&amp;utm_campaign=YouTube">Mike Maloney explains </a>in this brief clip, <strong>we live in an economic system that is made complicated by design</strong>. Basically, it&rsquo;s set up so most people don&rsquo;t even try to understand it.<strong><em> </em></strong></p> <p><strong><em>Got Gold?</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</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="270" height="158" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 23:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 530079 at Why The Hard-Sell For The "Self-Driving" Car? <p><a href=""><em>Via,</em></a></p> <p class="p2"><u><strong>Why the hard-sell for self-driving cars?</strong></u></p> <p class="p2"><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 452px;" /></a></p> <p class="p2">This week, Ford and Volvo <a href="" target="_blank">announced</a> they are forming a &ldquo;coaliton&rdquo; &ndash; along with Google &ndash; to push not only for the development of self-driving cars, but for federal &ldquo;action&rdquo; (their term) to force-feed them to us.</p> <p class="p2"><u><strong><em>Why?</em></strong></u></p> <p class="p2"><u><strong>The reasons are obvious: There&rsquo;s money &ndash; and control &ndash; in it.</strong></u></p> <p class="p2">To understand what&rsquo;s going on, to grok the tub-thumping for these things, it is first of all necessary to deconstruct the terminology. The cars are <em>not</em> &ldquo;self-driving.&rdquo; This implies independence.</p> <p class="p2"><u><strong>And &ldquo;self-driving&rdquo; cars are all about <em>dependence</em>.</strong></u></p> <p class="p2">The &ldquo;self-driving&rdquo; car does what it has been programmed to do by the people who control it. Which isn&rsquo;t you or me. Instead of you controlling how fast you go, when to brake &ndash; and so on &ndash; such things will be programmed in by &hellip; <em>programmers</em>. Who will &ndash; inevitably- program in parameters <em>they</em> deem appropriate. What do you suppose those parameters will be?</p> <p class="p2">&ldquo;Safety&rdquo; will be the byword, of course.</p> <p class="p2"><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 237px;" /></a></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p2"><strong>But the point being, <em>you</em> will no longer have any meaningful control over (ahem!) &ldquo;your&rdquo; car. You&rsquo;ll pay for the privilege of &ldquo;owning&rdquo; it, of course. But your &ldquo;ownership&rdquo; will not come with the right to <em>control</em> what you &ldquo;own.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p class="p2">It will be a tag-team of the government and the car companies who control (and thereby, effectively <em>own</em>) &ldquo;your&rdquo; car.</p> <p class="p2">And thereby, <em>you</em>.</p> <p class="p2"><strong>Not only will how you&nbsp;drive (well, <em>ride</em>) be under their control, they will also know <em>where</em> and <em>when</em> you go. </strong>It will be easy to keep track of you in real time, all the time. And if they decide they don&rsquo;t want you to go anywhere at all, that&rsquo;s easy, too. Just transmit the code and the car is auto-immobilized.</p> <p class="p2">You only get to go when you have their <em>permission</em> to go.<strong> It will be a very effective way of reducing those dangerous &ldquo;greenhouse gas&rdquo; emissions, for instance.</strong></p> <p class="p2"><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 470px;" /></a></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p2"><strong>If this all sounds paranoid, consider the times we live in. Reflect upon what we know for a fact they are <em>already</em> doing.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp; &nbsp;</span></strong></p> <p class="p2">For instance, making the case &ndash; in court &ndash; that we (the putative &ldquo;owners&rdquo; of &ldquo;our&rdquo; vehicles) ought to be <a href="" target="_blank">legally forbidden</a> from making any modifications to them. The argument being that such modifications could potentially affect various &ldquo;safety&rdquo; systems and they do not want to be held liable for any resultant problems that may occur.</p> <p class="p2">This argument easily scales when applied to the self-driving car, which we will be forced to trust with our lives at 70 MPH.</p> <p class="p2">For at least 30 years now &ndash; since the appearance of anti-lock brakes back in the &lsquo;80s &ndash; the focus of the car industry has been to take <em>drivers</em> and <em>driving</em> out of the equation. To idiot-proof cars. This is easier &ndash; and more profitable &ndash; than merely building cars that are fun to actually drive.</p> <p class="p2">How much profit margin has been added to a new car via (6-8) air bags? We pay more for the car, more to repair the car (and so, more to <em>insure</em> the car).</p> <p class="p2">This also scales.</p> <p class="p2"><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 588px;" /></a></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p2"><strong>The technology that will be necessary to achieve the &ldquo;self-driving&rdquo; car is very elaborate and very expensive.</strong></p> <p class="p2"><strong>Thus, very <em>profitable</em>.</strong></p> <p class="p2">Which by itself would be fine&hellip; provided we could <em>choose</em>. But we will be <em>told</em>. Like we&rsquo;re told we must have 6-8 air bags and all the rest of it.</p> <p class="p2">This is the &ldquo;action&rdquo; Ford and Volvo and Google are seeking.</p> <p class="p2"><strong>I personally have no doubt that, in time, they will make it illegal to own a car that is not &ldquo;self-driving.&rdquo;</strong> Well, to actually drive the thing. Static museum displays may still be permitted.</p> <p class="p2">Tesla, the state-subsidized electric car &ndash; already has the necessary &ldquo;self-driving&rdquo; technology&nbsp;and Elon Musk is pushing it, hard. He says it&rsquo;s a gotta-have because people cannot be<em> trusted</em> to drive themselves. There&rsquo;s a clue for you as to the mindset of our masters.</p> <p class="p2">But&nbsp;the current price of the least expensive Tesla is just under $70,000.</p> <p class="p2"><u><strong>This&nbsp;is not economically viable when the average family&rsquo;s income is in the neighborhood of $50,000.</strong></u> And keep in mind, that means half the people to the <em>left</em> of average make less than $50,000.</p> <p class="p2"><strong>They cannot afford to buy <em>$25,000</em> cars.</strong></p> <p class="p2"><strong>But maybe they can afford to <em>rent</em> them.</strong></p> <p class="p2"><u><strong>This appears to be where we are headed. The perpetual rental.</strong></u> It makes sense, too &ndash; from an economic point-of-view. Why buy that which you don&rsquo;t really own because it&rsquo;s not under your control? It would be absurd to buy the bus that you ride to work in. It is arguably just as absurd to buy the car you are driven to work in, too.</p> <p class="p2"><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 515px; height: 296px;" /></a></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p2"><strong>The object of this exercise appears to be perpetual debt-servitude as well as placing almost everyone fully and finally under the complete control of the powers that be. </strong>Who are no longer just the powers in <em>government</em>. The distinction between state power and corporate power is so blurry now as to be almost impossible to parse.<em><strong> The two are effectively the same thing, working hand in hand for their mutual benefit.</strong></em></p> <p class="p2">Remember <em><a href="" target="_blank">Il Duce</a></em>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p class="p2"><em>All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.</em></p> </blockquote> <p class="p2"><strong>Sadly, there is no push back. Or doesn&rsquo;t seem to be. The cattle appear to like the idea of being herded. It is depressing.</strong></p> <p class="p2">The passivity and acceptance of it all.</p> <p class="p2">Must be something in the water.</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="1374" height="1034" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Ford Google Volvo Fri, 29 Apr 2016 23:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 530073 at