http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/The%20World%27s%20Greatest%20Money%20Trick%2C%20Gold%20Myths%20Exposed%2C%20Part%20I%20 en Jim Rickards Warns "QT1 Will Lead To QE4" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-21/jim-rickards-warns-qt1-will-lead-qe4 <p><a href="https://dailyreckoning.com/quantitative-tightening-lead-qe4/"><em>Authored by James Rickards via The Daily Reckoning,</em></a></p> <p><strong>There are only three members of the Board of Governors who matter</strong>: Janet Yellen, Stan Fischer and Lael Brainard. There is only one Regional Reserve Bank President who matters: Bill Dudley of New York. Yellen, Fischer, Brainard and Dudley are the &ldquo;Big Four.&rdquo;</p> <p>They are the only ones worth listening to. They call the shots. The don&rsquo;t like dots. <strong>Everything else is noise.</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/09/18/20170921_qt.jpg"><img height="290" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/09/18/20170921_qt_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></strong></p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Here&rsquo;s the model the Big Four actually use:</strong></span></em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>1. </strong>Raise rates 0.25% every March, June, September and December until rates reach 3.0% in late 2019.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>2.</strong> Take a &ldquo;pause&rdquo; on rate hikes if one of three pause factors apply: disorderly asset price declines, jobs growth below 75,000 per month, or persistent disinflation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>3.</strong> Put balance sheet normalization on auto-pilot and let it run &ldquo;on background.&rdquo; Don&rsquo;t use it as a policy tool.</p> </blockquote> <p>Simple.</p> <p><u><em><strong>What does this model tell us about a rate hike in December?</strong></em></u></p> <p>Disinflation has been strong and persistent. The Fed&rsquo;s main metric for this (core PCE deflator year-over-year) has dropped from 1.9% in January to 1.4% in July. The August reading comes out on September 29. This time series is moving strongly in the wrong direction from the Fed&rsquo;s perspective. This is what caused the September &ldquo;pause&rdquo; (which we predicted for readers last March).</p> <p>After seven months of decline, one month of increase, if it comes, <strong>will not be enough to get the Fed to end the pause.</strong> It would take at least two months of increases to change the Fed&rsquo;s mind.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s unlikely given the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Those effects may be temporary, but they come at exactly the time when the Fed was looking for a turnaround in core inflation. <strong>They won&rsquo;t get it. The pause goes on.</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>How do I know this?</strong></em></span></p> <p><em><strong>For one thing, the Fed explains this all the time. It&rsquo;s just that the media won&rsquo;t listen; they&rsquo;re too busy chasing dots.</strong></em></p> <p>But this was also explained to me in detail by the ultimate Fed insider. I call him, &ldquo;The Man Without a Face,&rdquo; and I identify him by name in chapter six of my <em>New York Times </em>bestseller, <em>The Road to Ruin.</em></p> <p>It&rsquo;s true that Stan Fischer is leaving the board soon, but the White House has been in no hurry to fill vacancies. <strong>The Big Four will still be The Big Three (Yellen, Dudley and Brainard) when the December meeting rolls around and the analysis will be the same.</strong></p> <p>Eventually the markets will figure this out. <u><strong>Right now, markets are giving a 70% chance of a rate hike in December based on CME Fed Funds futures. That rate will drop to below 20% by Dec. 13 when the FOMC meets again with a press conference.</strong></u> (There&rsquo;s another meeting on Nov. 1, but no one expects any policy changes then).</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/09/18/20170921_eod15.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/09/18/20170921_eod15_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 253px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>Now, with respect to quantitative tightening (QT), the same way they tapered QE, they&rsquo;re going to &ldquo;taper&rdquo; QT. This time however, they&rsquo;re going to taper upward. Meaning they&rsquo;re going to go from $10 billion a month not being rolled over to $20 billion, $30 billion, etc.</strong></p> <p>Eventually, the amount of securities they don&rsquo;t roll over will go up until the balance sheet controlled by the Fed comes down to the targeted figure. <strong>The projection is that it could take five years to achieve. The problem is we might not make it that far before the entire system collapses.</strong></p> <p><u><strong>We&rsquo;re in a new reality. But the Fed doesn&rsquo;t realize it.</strong></u></p> <p><u><strong>Here&rsquo;s what the Fed wants you to believe&hellip;</strong></u></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>The Fed wants you to think that QT will not have any impact. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Fed leadership speaks in code and has a word for this which you&rsquo;ll hear called &ldquo;background.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The Fed wants this to run on background. </strong>Think of running on background like someone using a computer to access email while downloading something on background.</p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>This is complete nonsense.</strong></u> They&rsquo;ve spent eight years saying that quantitative easing was stimulative. Now they want the public to believe that a change to quantitative tightening is not going to slow the economy.</p> <p>They continue to push that conditions are sustainable when printing money, but when they make money disappear, it will not have any impact. This approach falls down on its face &mdash; and it will have a big impact.</p> <p>Markets continue to not be fully discounted because they don&rsquo;t have enough information. Contradictions coming from the Fed&rsquo;s happy talk wants us to believe that QT is not a contractionary policy, but it is.</p> <p><strong>My estimate is that every $500 billion of quantitative tightening could be equivalent to one .25 basis point rate hike. </strong>The Fed is about to embark on a policy to let the balance sheet run down.</p> <p>The plan is to reduce the balance sheet $30 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017, then increase the quarterly tempo by an additional $30 billion per quarter until hitting a level of $150 billion per quarter by October 1, 2018.</p> <p>Under that estimate, the balance sheet reduction would be about $600 billion by the end of 2018, and another $600 billion by the end of 2019.</p> <p><strong>That would be the equivalent of half a .25 basis point rate hike in each of the next two years in addition to any actual rate hikes.</strong></p> <p>While they might attempt to say that this method is just going to &ldquo;run on background,&rdquo; don&rsquo;t believe it.</p> <p><strong>The decision by the Fed to not purchase new bonds will be just as detrimental to the growth of the economy as raising interest rates.</strong></p> <p>The Fed&rsquo;s QT policy that aims to tighten monetary conditions, reduce the money supply and increase interest rates will cause the economy to hit a wall, if it hasn&rsquo;t already.</p> <p><strong>The economy is slowing. Even without any action, retail sales, real incomes, auto sales and even labor force participation are all declining. Every important economic indicator shows that the U.S. economy is slowing right now. When you add in QT, we may very well be in a recession very soon.</strong></p> <p>Because they&rsquo;re getting ready for a potential recession where they&rsquo;ll have to cut rates yet again. Then it&rsquo;s back to QE. You could call that QE4 or QE1 part 2. The Fed has essentially trapped itself into a state of perpetual manipulation.</p> <p><strong><u><em>The problem continues to be that the stock market is overpriced for this combination of higher rates and slower growth.</em></u></strong></p> <p>The one thing to know about bubbles is they last longer than you think and they pop when you least expect it. Under such conditions, it&rsquo;s usually when the last guy throws in the towel that the bubble pops. We&rsquo;re not there yet.</p> <p><u><em><strong>Is this thing ready to pop? Absolutely, and QT could be just the thing to do it.</strong></em></u></p> <p>I would say the market is fundamentally set up for a fall. When you throw in the fact that the Fed continues to have no idea what they&rsquo;re doing, and has taken a dangerous course anyway, I expect a very severe stock market correction coming sooner than later.</p> <p>As market perceptions catch up with reality, the dollar will sink, the euro and gold will rally, and interest rates will resume their long downward slide.</p> <p><u><em><strong>Do you have your gold yet?</strong></em></u></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="795" height="384" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170921_qt.jpg?1506039668" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-21/jim-rickards-warns-qt1-will-lead-qe4#comments Auto Sales Bill Dudley Board of Governors Business Disinflation Economic policy Economy ETC fed Federal Open Market Committee Federal Reserve System Happy Talk Inflation Janet Yellen Janet Yellen Jim Rickards Macroeconomics Monetary policy Money Money Supply New York Times Quantitative Easing Quantitative easing Reality Recession Recession US Federal Reserve White House White House Fri, 22 Sep 2017 02:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 603951 at http://www.zerohedge.com Active Volcano Mt. Rainer Shaken By 'Swarm' Of 23 Earthquakes http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-21/active-volcano-mt-rainer-shaken-swarm-23-earthquakes <p>Don&rsquo;t panic - it&#39;s only an active volcano. What&rsquo;s the worst that could happen?</p> <p>Some two dozen earthquakes have shaken Washington State&rsquo;s Mt. Rainer over the past two weeks &ndash; but seismologists say people who live nearby shouldn&rsquo;t panic.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;In the past, these swarms last a couple of days to a week or so and then die out,&rdquo; said Paul Bodin, of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network at the University of Washington.</p> </blockquote> <p>The first of the 23 quakes struck on Sept. 11 near the volcano&rsquo;s summit. The largest of the quakes registered magnitude 1.6. During the same period, Mexico experienced two of the deadliest earthquakes in decades. &nbsp;</p> <p>According to the<a href="http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/science/scientists-say-quake-swarm-at-rainier-is-not-unusual/"> Seattle Times,</a> earthquake swarms typically don&rsquo;t signify that an eruption is imminent.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/09/18/2017.09.21earthquakemap.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/09/18/2017.09.21earthquakemap_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 620px;" /></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;So I&rsquo;m treating this as a single eyebrow raised halfway,&rdquo; [Bodin] wrote. &ldquo;Yeah, I see you and will be watching, but I don&rsquo;t think you&rsquo;re going to attack.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Most volcanic quake swarms are caused by changes in temperature or groundwater pressure underneath the volcano that causes cracking in the rocks. The recent quakes have been shallow, suggesting that they are not connected to the deep movement of magma &ndash; which would be a much more ominous signal.</p> <p>While we might be tempted to dismiss the ongoing quake swarms under normal circumstances, persistent rumblings underneath another powerful volcano located two states over in Wyoming. The <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-05/sudden-1400-quake-swarm-prompts-question-if-yellowstone-erupted-what-would-be-left">Yellowstone Caldera </a>has experienced more than 1,400 low-level quakes since mid-June, alarming scientists who say that an eruption of the yellowstone &quot;supervolcano&quot; could cause potentially hundreds of thousands of deaths across the US.&nbsp; Those quakes followed the strongest earthquake recorded in Montana in more than three decades. Anecdotally, it would seem, seismic activity across the US appears to be on the rise.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/09/18/2017.09.21rainer.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/09/18/2017.09.21rainer_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 265px;" /></a></p> <p>To be sure, the ST said Rainier experienced similar upticks in the past two years, and a more sustained episode in 2009.</p> <p>But totally writing off the threat seems foolish.<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="486" height="258" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017.09.21rainer.JPG?1506014740" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-21/active-volcano-mt-rainer-shaken-swarm-23-earthquakes#comments Disaster Earthquake Environment Mexico Seismology University of Washington Fri, 22 Sep 2017 01:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 603933 at http://www.zerohedge.com The Worst Mistake In US History http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-21/worst-mistake-us-history <p><a href="https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/worst-mistake-u-s-history/"><em>Authored by Jacob Hornberger via The Future of Freedom Foundation,</em></a></p> <p>The worst mistake in U.S. history was the <strong>conversion after World War II of the U.S. government from a constitutional, limited-government republic to a national-security state.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/09/18/2017-09-21_16-44-08.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/09/18/2017-09-21_16-44-08_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 316px;" /></a></p> <p>Nothing has done more to <strong>warp and distort the conscience, principles, and values</strong> of the American people, including those who serve in the U.S. military.</p> <p>A good example of how the national-security state has adversely affected the thinking of U.S. soldiers was reflected in an op-ed entitled &ldquo;What We&rsquo;re Fighting For&rdquo; that appeared in the February 10, 2017, issue of the <em>New York Times.</em> <strong>Authored by an Iraq War veteran named Phil Klay, the article demonstrates perfectly what the national-security state has done to soldiers and others and why it is so imperative for the American people to restore a constitutional republic to our land.</strong></p> <p>Klay begins his op-ed by extolling the exploits of another U.S. Marine, First Lt. Brian Chontosh, who, displaying great bravery, succeeded in killing approximately two dozen Iraqis in a fierce firefight during the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. Klay writes,</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>When I was a new Marine, just entering the Corps, this story from the Iraq invasion defined heroism for me. It&rsquo;s a perfect image of war for inspiring new officer candidates, right in line with youthful notions of what war is and what kind of courage it takes &mdash; physical courage, full stop.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Klay then proceeds to tell a story about an event he witnessed when he was deployed to Iraq in 2007.</strong> After doctors failed to save the life of a Marine who had been shot by an Iraqi sniper, those same doctors proceeded to treat and save the life of the sniper, who himself had been shot by U.S. troops. Klay used the story to point out the virtuous manner in which U.S. forces carried out their military mission in Iraq.</p> <p>Well, except perhaps, Klay observes, for Abu Ghraib, the Iraqi prison in which Saddam Hussein&rsquo;s government had tortured and abused countless Iraqis and which the U.S. military turned into its own torture and abuse center for Iraqis captured during the 2003 U.S. invasion of the country. Klay tells the story of a defense contractor named Eric Fair, who tortured an Iraqi prisoner into divulging information about a car-bomb factory. Encouraged by that successful use of torture, Fair proceeded to employ it against many other Iraqis, none of whom had any incriminating evidence to provide.</p> <p><strong>Klay points out that both Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay were major turning points in the Iraq War because prisoner abuse at both camps became a driving force for Iraqis to join the insurgency in Iraq</strong>. Thus, while Fair may have saved lives through his successful use of torture, he and other U.S. personnel who tortured and abused people at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay may well have cost the lives of many more U.S. soldiers in the long term.</p> <p>Klay, however, suggests that none of that was really Fair&rsquo;s fault.<strong> While he might have crossed some moral lines, everything he did, Klay suggests, was in accordance with legal rules and regulations. Klay writes,</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>And Eric did what our nation asked of him, used techniques that were vetted and approved and passed down to intelligence operatives and contractors like himself. Lawyers at the highest levels of government had been consulted, asked to bring us to the furthest edge of what the law might allow. To do what it takes, regardless of whether such actions will secure the &ldquo;attachment of all good men,&rdquo; or live up to that oath we swear to support and defend the Constitution.</p> </blockquote> <p>Klay refers to the oath that U.S. soldiers take to support and defend the Constitution. Clearly patting himself and other members of the U.S. military on the back, he says U.S. soldiers fight with honor to defend a &ldquo;set of principles&rdquo; that are reflected in the Constitution and that define America.</p> <p><strong>It would be difficult to find a better example of a life of the lie than that of Phil Klay. He provides an absolutely perfect demonstration of what a national-security state does to soldiers&rsquo; minds and why the Founding Fathers were so opposed to that type of governmental structure.</strong></p> <h3><u><strong>The rights of invaders</strong></u></h3> <p>Notice one big omission from Klay&rsquo;s self-aggrandizing article: Iraq never attacked the United States or even threatened to do so. Instead, it was the U.S government, operating through its troops, that was the aggressor nation in the Iraq War. Wars of aggression &mdash; i.e., attacking, invading, and occupying other countries &mdash; were among the crimes of which the defendants at Nuremburg were convicted.</p> <p>It is absolutely fascinating that that critically important point seems to escape Klay so completely. It&rsquo;s as if it just doesn&rsquo;t exist or just doesn&rsquo;t count. His mindset simply begins with the fact that U.S. troops are engaged in war and then it proceeds from there to focus on the courage and humanity of the troops, how their bravery in battle inspired him, and how they treated the enemy humanely. It never occurs to him to ask the vital question: Did U.S. troops have any legal or moral right to be in Iraq and to kill anyone there, including Iraqi soldiers, insurgents, civilians, and civil servants working for the Iraqi government?</p> <p>Many years ago, I posed a question about the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq to a libertarian friend of mine who was a Catholic priest. I asked him, <em><strong>If a U.S. soldier is placed in Iraq in a kill-or-be-killed situation, does he have a right to fire back at an Iraqi who is shooting at him?</strong></em></p> <p>My friend&rsquo;s answer was unequivocal: Absolutely not, he responded. Since he has no legitimate right to be in Iraq, given that he is part of the aggressor force that initiated the war, under God&rsquo;s laws he cannot kill anyone, not even by convincing himself that he is only acting in &ldquo;self-defense.&rdquo;</p> <p>I responded, <strong><em>&ldquo;Are you saying that his only choice is to run away or permit himself to be killed&rdquo;? He responded, &ldquo;That is precisely what I am saying. Under the laws of God, he cannot kill anyone in Iraq because he has no right to be there.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p>Suppose a burglar enters a person&rsquo;s home in the dead of night. The homeowner wakes up, discovers the intruder, and begins firing at him. The burglar fires back and kills the homeowner.</p> <p>The burglar appears in court and explains that he never had any intention of killing the homeowner and that he was simply firing back in self-defense. He might even explain to the judge how bravely he reacted under fire and detail the clever manner in which he outmaneuvered and shot the homeowner.</p> <p>The judge, however, would reject any claim of self-defense on the part of the burglar. Why? Because the burglar had no right to be in the homeowner&rsquo;s house. Like the U.S. soldier in Iraq, when the homeowner began firing the burglar had only two legal and moral options: run away or be killed.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s what my Catholic priest friend was pointing out about U.S. soldiers in Iraq. <strong>They had no right to be there. They invaded a poor, Third World country whose government had never attacked the United States and they were killing, torturing, and abusing people whom they had no right to kill, torture, or abuse.</strong></p> <p>That&rsquo;s what Klay as well as most other members of the U.S. military and, for that matter, many Americans still don&rsquo;t get:<strong> that the Iraqi people were the ones who wielded the right of self-defense against an illegal invasion by a foreign power and that U.S. forces, as the aggressor power in the war, had no legal or moral right to kill any Iraqi, not even in &ldquo;self-defense.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>Klay waxes eloquent about the U.S. Constitution and the oath that soldiers take to support and defend it, but it&rsquo;s really just another perfect demonstration of the life of the lie that he and so many other U.S. soldiers live. The reality is that when U.S. soldiers vow to support and defend the Constitution, as a practical matter they are vowing to loyally obey the orders and commands of the president, who is their military commander in chief.</p> <p>There is no better example of this phenomenon than what happened in Iraq. The U.S. Constitution is clear: <strong><em>The president is prohibited from waging war without a declaration of war from Congress.</em></strong> No declaration, no war. Every U.S. soldier ordered to invade Iraq knew that or should have known that.</p> <p>Everyone, including the troops, also knew that Congress had not declared war on Iraq. Yet, not a single soldier supported or defended the Constitution by refusing George Bush&rsquo;s order to attack and invade Iraq. Every one of them loyally obeyed his order to attack and invade, knowing full well that it would mean killing people in Iraq &mdash; killing people who had never attacked the United States. And they all convinced themselves that by following the president&rsquo;s orders to invade Iraq and kill Iraqis, they were supporting and defending the Constitution.</p> <p><strong>How do U.S. soldiers reconcile that? They convince themselves that they are supporting and defending the Constitution by obeying the orders of the president, who has been democratically elected by the citizenry. </strong>It&rsquo;s not their job, they tell themselves, to determine what is constitutional and what isn&rsquo;t. Their job, they believe, is simply to do what the president, operating through his subordinates, orders them to do. In their minds, they are supporting and defending the Constitution whenever they loyally and obediently carry out the orders of the president.</p> <p>That means, then, that the standing army is nothing more than the president&rsquo;s private army. As a practical matter, soldiers are going to do whatever they are ordered to do. If they don&rsquo;t, they are quickly shot or simply replaced, which provides a good incentive for others to do as they are told. That&rsquo;s why soldiers invaded Iraq, which had never attacked the United States, and killed people who were defending their country against an unlawful invasion. That&rsquo;s also why soldiers and defense contractors tortured and abused people at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and elsewhere. They all believed they were carrying out the orders of their superiors, from the president on down, and that they were supporting and defending the Constitution in the process.</p> <p><strong>As people throughout history have learned, that is also why a standing army constitutes such a grave threat to the freedom and well-being of the citizenry.</strong> It is the means by which a tyrant imposes and enforces his will on the citizenry. Just ask the people of Chile, where the troops of a military regime installed into power by the U.S. national-security establishment rounded up tens of thousands of innocent people and incarcerated, tortured, raped, abused, or executed them, all without due process of law and with the support of the U.S. government.</p> <p>Prior to the invasion of Iraq, I read that some Catholic soldiers were deeply troubled by the prospect of killing people in a war that the U.S. government was initiating. I was stunned to read that a U.S. military chaplain told them that they had the right under God&rsquo;s laws to obey the president&rsquo;s order to invade Iraq and kill Iraqis. God would not hold it against them, he said, if they killed people in the process of following orders.</p> <p><strong>Really? Are God&rsquo;s laws really nullified by the orders of a government&rsquo;s military commander? </strong>If that were the case, don&rsquo;t you think God&rsquo;s commandment would have read: &ldquo;Thou shalt not kill, unless your ruler orders you to do so in a war of aggression against another nation&rdquo;?</p> <p>To this day,<strong> there are those who claim that George W. Bush simply made an honest mistake</strong> in claiming that Saddam Hussein, Iraq&rsquo;s dictator, was maintaining weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and that U.S. soldiers were justified in trusting him by loyally obeying his orders to invade and occupy Iraq to &ldquo;disarm Saddam.&rdquo;</p> <p><u><strong>They ignore three important points:</strong></u></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>it was a distinct possibility that Bush and his people were simply lying. It certainly wouldn&rsquo;t be the first time that a president had lied in order to garner support for a war. Lyndon Johnson&rsquo;s lies regarding a supposed North Vietnamese attack on U.S. warships in the Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam come to mind.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Two, Bush didn&rsquo;t secure the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war, most likely because he knew that congressional hearings on the issue would expose his WMD scare for the lie it was.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And three, only the UN, not the U.S. government, was entitled to enforce its resolutions regarding Iraq&rsquo;s WMDs.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Moreover, the circumstantial evidence establishes that Bush was lying and that the WMD scare was entirely bogus.</strong> Many people forget that throughout the 1990s the U.S. government was hell-bent on regime change in Iraq. That&rsquo;s what the brutal sanctions were all about, which contributed to the deaths of half a million Iraqi children. When U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright was asked on <em>Sixty Minutes</em> whether the deaths of half a million Iraqi children from the sanctions were &ldquo;worth it,&rdquo; she responded that such deaths were &ldquo;worth it.&rdquo; By &ldquo;it,&rdquo; she was referring to regime change.</p> <p>That desire for regime change in Iraq grew with each passing year in the 1990s, both among liberals and conservatives. Demands were ever growing to get rid of Saddam. Therefore, when Bush started coming up with his WMD scare after the 9/11 attacks, everyone should have been wary because it had all the earmarks of an excuse to invade Iraq after more than 10 years of sanctions had failed to achieve the job.</p> <p>The best circumstantial evidence that Bush lied about the WMD scare appeared after it was determined that there were no WMDs in Iraq. At that point, if Bush had been telling the truth, <strong><em>he could have said, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m very sorry. I have made a grave mistake and my army has killed multitudes of people as a consequence of my mistake. I am hereby ordering all U.S. troops home and I hereby announce my resignation as president.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p><u><strong>Bush didn&rsquo;t do that.</strong></u> In fact, he expressed not one iota of remorse or regret over the loss of life for what supposedly had been the result of a mistake. He knew that he had achieved what the U.S. national-security state had been trying to achieve for more than a decade with its brutal sanctions &mdash; regime change in Iraq &mdash; and he had used the bogus WMD scare to garner support for his invasion. And significantly, the troops were kept occupying Iraq for several more years, during which they killed more tens of thousands of Iraqis.</p> <p><strong>One thing is for sure: By the time Phil Klay arrived in Iraq in 2007, he knew full well that there had been no WMDs in Iraq. </strong>He also knew that Iraq had never attacked the United States. By that time, he knew full well that the U.S. government had invaded a country under false or, at the very least, mistaken pretenses. He knew there had been no congressional declaration of war. He knew that there was no legal or moral foundation for a military occupation that was continuing to kill people in an impoverished Third World country whose worst &ldquo;crime&rdquo; was simply trying to rid their country of an illegal occupier.</p> <p>Yet, reinforced by people who were thanking them for &ldquo;their service in Iraq,&rdquo; Klay, like other U.S. troops, convinced himself that their &ldquo;service&rdquo; in Iraq was a grand and glorious sacrifice for his nation, that they were defending Americans&rsquo; rights and freedoms, and that they were keeping us safe. <strong>It was a classic life of the lie because our nation, our rights and freedoms, and our safety were never threatened by anyone in Iraq, including the millions of Iraqis who were killed, maimed, injured, tortured, abused, or exiled, or whose homes, businesses, or infrastructure were destroyed by bombs, missiles, bullets, and tanks.</strong></p> <p>In fact,<strong> the entity that actually threatened the rights and freedoms of the American people was the U.S. government, </strong>given the totalitarian-like powers that it assumed as part of its effort to keep us safe from the enemies its interventionist policies were producing. Coming to mind are the totalitarian-like power to assassinate Americans, secret mass surveillance, and the incarceration and torture of American citizens as suspected terrorists &mdash; all without due process of law and without trial by jury.</p> <p><u><strong>This is what a national-security state does to people</strong></u> - it warps, damages, or destroys their conscience, principles, and values; induces them to subscribe to false bromides; and nurtures all sorts of mental contortions to enable people to avoid confronting reality.</p> <p>Many years after Brian Chontosh&rsquo;s exploits in Iraq, Phil Klay was surprised to learn that Chontosh was experiencing some ambivalence about what he had done. <strong><em>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s ugly, it&rsquo;s violent, it&rsquo;s disgusting. I wish it wasn&rsquo;t part of what we had to do,&rdquo; Chontosh later wrote.</em></strong></p> <p>Perhaps that&rsquo;s because conscience was beginning to stir within him. That&rsquo;s a good sign. Maybe it will begin to stir in Phil Klay too. And other members of the military as well.</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="945" height="497" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017-09-21_16-44-08.jpg?1506037979" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-21/worst-mistake-us-history#comments Abu Ghraib prison Congress Freedom Foundation Human rights in Iraq Iraq Iraq War Iraqi government Iraqi insurgency Iraq–United States relations Military Military history by country New York Times None Occupation of Iraq Phil Klay Politics Politics of Iraq Proxy wars Reality Saddam Hussein Saddam Hussein’s government United Nations US government US military War Fri, 22 Sep 2017 01:25:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 603950 at http://www.zerohedge.com Caught On Video: Americans Beaten By Erdogan Supporters In New York City http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-21/caught-video-americans-beaten-erdogan-supporters-new-york-city <p>Once again supporters of Turkish President&nbsp;Recep Tayyip Erdogan have roughed up American protesters on American soil. As Erdogan delivered a speech to supporters in New York City at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square on Thursday, a handful of protesters began holding up signs and yelling anti-Erdogan slogans. Men in black suits&nbsp;<strong>immediately rushed the protesters and began violently removing them while the crowd punched and shoved those being carried out.</strong></p> <p>Video released by&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amerikaninsesi.com/a/erdoganin-new-yorktapr/4038880.html" target="_blank">Turkish media</a>&nbsp;present at the event clearly shows at least two of the protesters being repeatedly punched in the face by Erdogan supporters as they were taken out of the room.&nbsp;<strong>And it appears that Erdogan actually encouraged the violence from the podium, calling the protesters - which included Americans - &quot;terrorists&quot;.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_HrEtXVAaBQ" width="500"></iframe></p> <p><em>Violence erupts at an Erdogan speech Thursday: After American protesters were beaten by Erdogan supporters, he called the protesters &quot;terrorists&quot; from the podium (see 1:40 mark).&nbsp;</em></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="tr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Erdo%C4%9Fan?src=hash">#Erdo?an</a>&rsquo;? New York&rsquo;ta Protesto Edenlere Yaka Paça Müdahale <a href="https://t.co/xqKyXuGIN1">https://t.co/xqKyXuGIN1</a> <a href="https://t.co/PrhSxsXCZv">pic.twitter.com/PrhSxsXCZv</a></p> <p>&mdash; Amerika&#39;n?n Sesi (@VOATurkish) <a href="https://twitter.com/VOATurkish/status/910952539834724352">September 21, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>The disruption appears to have started when Lucas Chapman - a young American activist and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/08/07/college-grads-fight-isis-with-the-kurds" target="_blank">former YPG volunteer fighter</a>&nbsp;(Kurdish &quot;People&#39;s Protection Units&quot;) - yelled out in the middle of Erdogan&#39;s speech:&nbsp;<strong>&quot;Murderer! You&#39;re a terrorist, get out of my country!&quot;</strong></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">American former YPG volunteer protests during Turkish dictator speech: &quot;You&#39;re a terrorist, get out of my country&quot;. <a href="https://t.co/lHwTBn1426">pic.twitter.com/lHwTBn1426</a></p> <p>&mdash; Afarin Mamosta (@AfarinMamosta) <a href="https://twitter.com/AfarinMamosta/status/910962060586049536">September 21, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Video shows Chapman immediately being shoved to the ground from behind, just before being seized by what appear to be security guards, though it&#39;s not confirmed if any of the guards were part of Erdogan&#39;s presidential security detail. Chapman was punched in the face by an unidentified man wearing a suit before disappearing off camera as he was carried out of the room.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/09/05/sub-buzz-25071-1506023567-10.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/09/05/sub-buzz-25071-1506023567-10_0.png" style="width: 500px; height: 247px;" /></a></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">NEW ANGLE: <a href="https://twitter.com/RT_Erdogan">@RT_Erdogan</a> thugs beating protester today at NYC rally! <a href="https://twitter.com/ANCA_DC">@ANCA_DC</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Turkey?src=hash">#Turkey</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Turkish?src=hash">#Turkish</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Erdogan?src=hash">#Erdogan</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StopErdogan?src=hash">#StopErdogan</a> <a href="https://t.co/NmdhU2pIVj">pic.twitter.com/NmdhU2pIVj</a></p> <p>&mdash; ANCA (@ANCA_DC) <a href="https://twitter.com/ANCA_DC/status/910969300512641024">September 21, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Chapman told Zero Hedge that the moment the protest began, he was assaulted by the crowd. &quot;Erdogan&#39;s supporters jumped on me almost immediately, shoving me out of my chair and eventually throwing me to the floor,&quot; he said.&nbsp;<strong>&quot;They kicked and punched me repeatedly until the security guards lifted me and dragged me out.</strong>&nbsp;<strong>As I was being dragged out, Turks leaned into the aisle and continued punching me in the head and stomach.&quot;</strong></p> <p>Chapman is uncertain whether or not Erdogan&#39;s body guards were directly involved as he says his face was quickly pressed to the floor and was thus unable to see while being beaten in the initial moments of the event. There were seven protesters total in the group and they escaped with only minor injuries.&nbsp;</p> <p>The ordeal caused Erdogan to pause his speech while the entire room erupted in&nbsp;pandemonium as body guards rushed through the crowd. The Turkish president leaned over to one of his aides in confusion and was visibly angry while glaring out at the audience.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Erdogan protested during his speech in New York. He asks his goon: Who are these?<br />The goon replies: Americans, sir. <a href="https://t.co/84qYmyIlhN">pic.twitter.com/84qYmyIlhN</a></p> <p>&mdash; Gilgo (@agirecudi) <a href="https://twitter.com/agirecudi/status/910932906863972354">September 21, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Another man, carried out after Chapman, was&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amerikaninsesi.com/a/erdoganin-new-yorktapr/4038880.html" target="_blank">shown on video</a>&nbsp;being viciously assaulted by Erdogan loyalists waiving Turkish flags. Footage shows the man initially on the ground being kicked while what appears to be hotel security attempted to hold the crowd back. The protester was repeatedly punched in the face while being escorted out.</p> <p>In addition<strong>, Erdogan seems to have encouraged the violence in the very moments it was taking place by calling the protesters &quot;terrorists&quot;.&nbsp;</strong>Erdogan announced from the podium: &quot;My dear brothers, my dear brothers, my dear brothers, I have an important request from you: don&#39;t let three to five impertinent people,&nbsp;<strong>three to five hall&nbsp;</strong><em><strong>terrorists</strong></em><strong>&nbsp;ruin our lovely gathering.&quot;</strong></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Video from another angle shows Erdogan&#39;s guards beating up an American protesting him during his speech in New York. <a href="https://t.co/ALkeYIfDfC">pic.twitter.com/ALkeYIfDfC</a></p> <p>&mdash; Turkey Untold (@TurkeyUntold) <a href="https://twitter.com/TurkeyUntold/status/910983617853235201">September 21, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Referencing a familiar theme, Erdogan&#39;s speech singled out the predominantly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Gülen movement as &quot;terrorists&quot; while equating both groups with ISIS.&nbsp;Thursday&#39;s violence follows a major incident last May in which at least 12 people were seriously injured after Erdogan&#39;s personal security detail&nbsp;<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-17/human-rights-protesters-beat-down-pro-erdogan-goons-outside-embassy-dc" target="_blank">attacked peaceful protesters</a>&nbsp;outside the Turkish Embassy in Washington DC. Turkey has a history of aggressively cracking down on both protests and journalists, especially in relation to Kurdish issues. US federal indictments have been issued for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/08/erdogan-guards-indicted-washington-brawl-170829231004001.html" target="_blank">15 of the Turkish security officials</a>&nbsp;involved in the May attacks, which occurred on American soil.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Meanwhile, it appears that Erdogan was caught lying about the May incident this week.</strong>&nbsp;He&nbsp;<a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/19/turkey-president-erdogan-trump-said-sorry-about-dc-violence-involving-turkish-bodyguards.html" target="_blank">claimed in an interview</a>&nbsp;on Monday that Trump personally apologized to him for the violent encounter, which Turkey blames on Kurdish groups and DC police:&nbsp;&quot;President Trump called me about a week ago about this issue. He said that he was sorry, and he told me that he was going to follow up on this issue when we come to the United States within the framework of an official visit.&quot;&nbsp;<strong>However, the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/20/politics/recep-tayyip-erdogan-donald-trump-embassy/index.html" target="_blank">White House&nbsp;denied</a>&nbsp;that any apology had been issued over the embassy violence.</strong></p> <p>On Wednesday the Turkish president shocked an audience at&nbsp;<a href="https://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/other/erdogan-says-most-jailed-journalists-are-terrorists/vp-AAsjpvp" target="_blank">the Bloomberg Global Business Forum</a>&nbsp;in New York when he said that the hundreds of journalists currently imprisoned in Turkey after a recent crackdown on government critics are&nbsp;<strong>&quot;not journalists, they&#39;re terrorists.&quot;&nbsp;</strong>When asked by Bloomberg News editor-in-chief John Micklethwait why his country&nbsp;<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2016/dec/13/turkey-has-81-of-the-worlds-259-jailed-journalists-behind-bars" target="_blank">has put more journalists in jail</a>&nbsp;than any other nation, Erdogan responded, &ldquo;The ones who have been sentenced, who have been imprisoned, are not journalists.&quot; He then made the bizarre claim that,&nbsp;&quot;Many have been involved in burglaries and some have been caught red handed as they were trying to empty ATM machines.&rdquo; And added,&nbsp;&ldquo;Everyone else seems to think they&rsquo;re journalists just because they say so.&quot;</p> <p>Turkey has recently&nbsp;<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-20/turkish-authorities-top-twitter-censorship" target="_blank">topped the list of countries</a>&nbsp;routinely engaged in Twitter censorship and has over the past years completely blocked social media platforms nation-wide at various times.&nbsp;</p> <p>All of this causes us to ask: how long before both American leadership and the media begin acknowledging Erdogan for the thuggish tin pot dictator that he truly is? Apparently, he&#39;s no longer content to crackdown on speech in his own country,&nbsp;<strong>but now willingly sics his fanatical mob even on Americans exercising free speech on American soil.</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="985" height="487" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/sub-buzz-25071-1506023567-10.png?1506041342" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-21/caught-video-americans-beaten-erdogan-supporters-new-york-city#comments ATM Authoritarianism Bloomberg News DC police New York City Politics Politics of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdo?an Turkey Turkey Turkish embassy Turkish people Twitter Twitter White House White House Fri, 22 Sep 2017 01:13:19 +0000 Tyler Durden 603955 at http://www.zerohedge.com Stocks, USDJPY Stumble After North Korean "H-Bomb Test" Threat Reports http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-21/stocks-usdjpy-stumble-after-north-korean-h-bomb-test-threat-reports <p>After an initial slide on Kim&#39;s <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-21/kim-jong-un-vows-tame-mentally-deranged-dotard-trump-fire"><strong><em>&quot;deranged dotard&quot;</em></strong></a> reaction to President Trump, both USDJPY and US equity futures are falling further after<a href="http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/northkorea/2017/09/22/0401000000AEN20170922004500315.html"> Yonhap reports,</a> North Korea&rsquo;s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho says the <strong>&ldquo;highest level of hard-line&rdquo; countermeasure could refer to hydrogen-bomb detonation in the Pacific</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/09/18/20170921_korea1.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/09/18/20170921_korea1_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 316px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course, if recent threats and tests are anything to gop by tyhis is the perfect time to BTFN(uclear)A(rmageddon)Dip!</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="2166" height="1142" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170921_korea1.jpg?1506043496" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-21/stocks-usdjpy-stumble-after-north-korean-h-bomb-test-threat-reports#comments American people of German descent Bomb Business Chemistry Climate change skepticism and denial Donald Trump Economy of the United States Hydrogen KIM Matter North Korea Politics of the United States Ri Yong-ho The Apprentice WWE Hall of Fame Yonhap Fri, 22 Sep 2017 00:51:19 +0000 Tyler Durden 603953 at http://www.zerohedge.com The Future Will Be Decentralized http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-21/future-will-be-decentralized <p><a href="https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2017/09/21/the-future-will-be-decentralized/"><em>Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,</em></a></p> <p><em><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/09/18/20170921_krieg.jpg"><img height="222" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/09/18/20170921_krieg_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>I heartily accept the motto, &ldquo;That government is best which governs least&rdquo;; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe - &ldquo;That government is best which governs not at all&rdquo;; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.</strong></em></p> <p>&ndash; Henry David Thoreau, <em>Civil Disobedience </em></p> </blockquote> <p>Some people live their existence in a great state of dread, convinced a totalitarian, centralized world government of sorts is in our future. Not only do I not think this is going to happen, but I predict the exact opposite will occur. <strong>I believe the world has already hit &ldquo;peak centralization&rdquo; and decentralization will be the defining trend of human existence on this planet going forward.</strong></p> <p>Naturally, this is just one man&rsquo;s opinion, but I strongly believe it and will make my case in this piece. When I look around and think about the major trends of our time, they all point in the direction of decentralization, something which invariably scares the living daylights out of authoritarians worldwide.</p> <p><strong>Irrespective of what you think of Donald Trump, the fact he was elected proves the power of decentralization in the modern communications and media realm.</strong> As was well documented throughout the campaign, the mainstream media came out in clownish and historically lopsided fashion in favor of his opponent Hillary Clinton. We all remember seeing headlines like the one below and then reading stuff like the following.</p> <p><a href="http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/304606-final-newspaper-endorsement-count-clinton-57-trump-2"><img class="alignnone wp-image-47625" height="138" src="https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Screen-Shot-2017-09-20-at-2.44.58-PM.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>Republican presidential nominee <span class="rollover-people">Donald Trump</span> has received fewer endorsements from the editorial boards of the nation&rsquo;s largest newspapers than any major-party presidential candidate in history.</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Among the top 100 largest newspapers in America, just two &mdash; the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville &mdash; endorsed Trump.</em></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Yet he won the election anyway, which is instructive of the changing dynamics of our times.</strong> Indeed, I&rsquo;m not sure Trump could&rsquo;ve won if not for the internet and social media, which leveled the communications playing field and allowed anyone anywhere to have an opinion and share it widely. The role of media as officialdom&rsquo;s trusted gatekeepers had been declining in influence for years, but the 2016 election served as the real wakeup call for a discredited establishment. <strong>Control of mass consciousness had been lost.</strong></p> <p><strong>This realization is at the root of all hysteria surrounding fake news and the intense drive to push the &ldquo;Russia did it,&rdquo; via state funded media and Facebook meme. </strong>The end goal of this narrative is to somehow get information back under control of the gatekeepers in order to keep alternative views hidden. The rabble must be silenced, lest it get too powerful.</p> <p>The general public would never accept such a crackdown if assorted billionaires and other corrupt card-carrying members of the status quo were honest about their intentions, so they have to create a story to justify stealth censorship. They&rsquo;ve done this by aggressively pushing this story that fake new and Russia will spell the end of civilization as we know it unless we do something. The objective of all that &ldquo;doing something&rdquo; is to reestablish control of narratives by whatever means necessary. The tech platform monopolies will all play a key part in this narrative readjustment process, which will ultimately speed up calls for decentralized and more transparent social media platforms.</p> <p>Another area where we&rsquo;ve seen the clear impact of decentralization having already established itself in everyday life relates to drug laws. Twenty years ago it would&rsquo;ve been inconceivable that U.S. states would simply vote by referendum to legalize cannabis. Not only has this happened over the past five years, but it&rsquo;s been a resounding success in multiple states, including my adopted home of Colorado. While much hand-wringing has taken place about what Jeff Sessions or some other government goon might do, I for one believe the debate on this issue is settled. Much of the country has decided that cannabis is a relatively benign substance that no one should go to jail for, and any politician or other bureaucrat who dares to pick this fight will lose.</p> <p><strong>Which brings me to a point about the ability of governments and institutions to do whatever they want. Many people seem to think that because governments have guns and the threat of imprisonment, they can therefore do whatever they want at any given time. I do not accept this premise, and think a lot of the most dreadful things that happen around us are allowed to happen because we collectively put up with it. In other words, our collective consciousness resides in such a low state, we allow ourselves to be bullied and coerced into a state of degraded submissiveness.</strong></p> <p>If the power structure didn&rsquo;t actually care about what we thought, why would they put so much effort into propagandizing us; into making us feel so powerless and fearful? The reason is because narrative is everything, and the public must be molded and manipulated in a certain way in order to keep us submissive. Once enough of us say we&rsquo;ve had enough, then the game is over. That&rsquo;s how you get progress, and that&rsquo;s exactly what has happened with drug laws in certain states.</p> <p><strong>Finally, let&rsquo;s move on to Bitcoin, and crypto currencies in general, which represent one of the most disruptive decentralizing forces the world has ever seen.</strong> Any student of money and history understands that there really is no greater power than the power to create and distribute money at will. Our supposedly sophisticated societies entrust this awesome power to central bankers, which in turn enrich the financial sector at the expense of everyone else. The unethical theft inherent in this system was exposed for everyone to see during the 2008 crisis, as the criminals were bailed out and rewarded while everyone else was kicked to the curb. Bitcoin came about shortly after, and has captured the imagination of tens of millions around the world ever since.</p> <p>The beautiful thing about Bitcoin is that it&rsquo;s government censorship-proof by design thanks to its decentralized nature. There&rsquo;s no CEO to threaten, no company to shut down. It&rsquo;s just a free-wheeling ecosystem of hodlers, supporters, thinkers, developers, miners, exchanges and related businesses somehow co-existing and thriving with no one actually being in charge. Of course, this comes with its own set of issues as we see with the scaling debate, but the fact it&rsquo;s been this successful thus far is nothing short of extraordinary. With the advent of Bitcoin, decentralization finally made its mark on one of the most historically significant control systems of human power. Currency.</p> <p><strong>Naturally, this sets up a major confrontation with the current power structure which will not want to easily relinquish a tool so powerful as the ability to create money out of thin air. China, with its well-laid plans to replace the dollar one day with its own statist, centralized currency, has unsurprisingly started to push back.</strong></p> <p>When some people see the power structure fight back, whether against Bitcoin or alternative news, they get nervous and feel that all is lost. That we can&rsquo;t win. I completely disagree and see it in the complete opposite way. The powerful are fighting back because they see themselves losing. We can&rsquo;t be so naive to expect them to go down without a fight, but that doesn&rsquo;t mean we should shrink from the challenge. If you go into a fight with a defeatist attitude of course you will be defeated. We&rsquo;re the ones on the right side of history while their dominator hierarchies must be displaced. Our way is the way of freedom, ethics and innovation. Their way is of control, authority and violence.</p> <p>Which brings me to a few key excerpts on China&rsquo;s war against Bitcoin from a very interesting article,&nbsp;<a href="https://cryptoinsider.com/is-bitcoin-reaching-a-critical-mass-hyperbitcoinization/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Is Bitcoin Reaching Critical Mass?</a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>In contrast to the commonly quoted &ldquo;no news is good news&rdquo;, I believe in the context of bitcoin and crypto overall &ldquo;any news is good news&rdquo;. Ranging from the China &ldquo;ban&rdquo; on bitcoin, to the <a href="https://cryptoinsider.com/sec-now-wishes-regulate-icos-token-sales/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">SEC crackdown on ICOs</a>, they all inevitably acknowledge the presence and inevitably of bitcoin without actually harming it in any tangible way.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Anything short of compromising the integrity of the bitcoin blockchain is entirely ineffective, including any government-issued &ldquo;ban&rdquo;. Bitcoin&rsquo;s censorship resistant nature means that the cost incurred to undermine the network is significantly higher than the reward to be gained in doing so &ndash; and this only becomes more true over time with increased adoption. You can read more about this on Elaine Ou&rsquo;s <a href="https://cryptoinsider.com/hundred-years-of-crypto-anarchy/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">piece</a> titled &ldquo;A hundred years of Crypto Anarchy&rdquo;.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>In some ways, the news is like a badge of validity to the public, even condemning news from official sources about bitcoin is exposure and consequently positive. It&rsquo;s a message saying &ldquo;this is something that could potentially undermine us&rdquo;. </em></strong><em>In a global climate where government-backed currencies are constantly exposed for their shortcomings, and distrust in governance is at an all time high, bitcoin is appearing as an incredibly superior alternative. It has already established itself in places like </em><em><a href="https://cryptoinsider.com/bitcoin-help-venezuela-crisis/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Venezeula</a>.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Decentralization is an idea whose time has come. As I write this, conscious people across the world are creating systems of human empowerment, while powers of centralization desperately fight to preserve control.&nbsp;We aren&rsquo;t the ones reacting to them, they are reacting to us. That&rsquo;s not a fight they can easily win&ndash; the only question is how much are they willing to destroy in a futile quest to stymie human progress?</p> <p><strong>Strategically, much of the current battle is about exposing power structures for what they really are by making them reveal their true thuggish natures</strong>. We must do this by creating systems that are transparently superior and more ethical than existing systems, which will then force their hands. If governments insist on thwarting human progress merely to retain control, it&rsquo;ll be clear to all that they don&rsquo;t work for the people, but rather, for themselves.</p> <p>Looking ahead, <strong>the next major battleground for decentralization likely will be fought in the political realm of governance, with the Catalan independence movement&nbsp;providing a perfect example.</strong> I explained how I see this process unfolding on twitter yesterday.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Here&#39;s how I see things playing out.<br />Humans push for decentralization, the state responds with thuggishness.<br />Legitimacy further damaged.</p> <p>&mdash; Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) <a href="https://twitter.com/LibertyBlitz/status/910598086036119552">September 20, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>This is precisely what is happening in Spain right now.</strong> As <a href="http://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1BV0U0" rel="noopener" target="_blank"><em>Reuters</em></a> reports:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>(Reuters) &ndash; Spanish police raided Catalan government offices and arrested officials on Wednesday to halt a banned referendum on independence, an action the regional president said meant Madrid had effectively taken over his administration.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Tens of thousands of protesters gathered outside the regional government offices in the center of Barcelona&rsquo;s tourist district as well as in several Catalan cities, waving the red-and-yellow Catalan flag and chanting &ldquo;Occupying forces out&rdquo; and &ldquo;Where is Europe?&rdquo;.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&ldquo;The Spanish state has by all rights intervened in Catalonia&rsquo;s government and has established emergency rule,&rdquo; Catalan President Carles Puigdemont said in a televised address.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&ldquo;We condemn and reject the anti-democratic and totalitarian actions of the Spanish state,&rdquo; he said, adding Catalans should turn out in force to vote in the Oct. 1 referendum on a split from Spain that Madrid has declared illegal.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>State police arrested Catalonia&rsquo;s junior economy minister Josep Maria Jove on Wednesday in their first raid of government offices in the region, Catalan government sources said. The raid targeted several regional government departments.</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Acting under court orders, police have raided printers, newspaper offices and private delivery companies in a search for campaign literature, instruction manuals for manning voting stations and ballot boxes.</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>The Civil Guard, a national police force, on Wednesday seized 10 million ballot papers, polling station displays as well as documents and forms to run the vote, including a list of voters under the headline &ldquo;2017 Catalonia self-determination referendum&rdquo;.</em></p> </blockquote> <p><u><em><strong>Is that Riyadh or Barcelona?</strong></em></u></p> <p>Naturally, many Catalans were none too pleased and came out in the streets as you can see from the picture below.</p> <p><a href="http://www.latimes.com/world/europe/la-fg-spain-catalonia-protests-20170920-story.html"><img class="alignnone wp-image-47640" src="https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Screen-Shot-2017-09-21-at-10.35.00-AM.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 340px;" /></a></p> <p>Plenty of people previously against independence are probably in favor of it now. That&rsquo;s just how these things work. As <em>Reuters</em> reported:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>But the central government must tread a fine line in enforcing the law in the region without seeming heavy-handed. Polls show a minority of Catalans, albeit more than 40 percent, support independence although<strong> a majority want a referendum on the issue.</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Denying the right to vote in such an aggressive and authoritarian manner will only galvanize support for the independence movement and increase anger towards the centralized government in Madrid. This was a major mistake by the Spanish state, but it&rsquo;s precisely the sort of mistake we should expect as the world becomes increasingly decentralized.</strong></p> <p>To conclude, I recognize that I&rsquo;m making a huge call here. I think the way human beings organize their affairs will experience the most significant paradigm level shift we&rsquo;ve seen in the Western world since the end of the European feudal system hundreds of years ago. That&rsquo;s how significant I think this shift will be. There are two key things that need to happen for this to occur. The first is technological innovation, and that&rsquo;s already happening. The second is increased human consciousness. As Thoreau noted, in order for us to have greater self-determination we need to be ready for it. Are we ready? I think we&rsquo;re getting there.</p> <p>So get out there and innovate if you can, and if you can&rsquo;t that&rsquo;s ok too, go become an inspiration to others. If we spread the ethos of freedom and decentralization far and wide, we shall have it.</p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><strong><em>If you liked this article and enjoy my work, consider becoming a&nbsp;monthly&nbsp;<a href="https://www.patreon.com/michaelkrieger" rel="noopener" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff6600;">Patron</span></a>,&nbsp;or visit our&nbsp;<a href="https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/support-liberty-blitzkrieg/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Support&nbsp;Page</a>&nbsp;to show your appreciation for&nbsp;independent content creators.</em></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="290" height="153" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170921_dec.jpg?1506025969" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-21/future-will-be-decentralized#comments Alternative currencies Bitcoin Bitcoin Catalan government Catalonia’s government China Cryptocurrencies Currency Decentralization Donald Trump Economics of bitcoin Finance Florida headlines Las Vegas Legality of bitcoin by country or territory Money Newspaper None Politics regional government Reuters Spanish police state police Twitter Twitter U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Fri, 22 Sep 2017 00:35:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 603944 at http://www.zerohedge.com To Prevent Rebellion, Spain Docks Cruise Ship Housing 16,000 Riot Police In Barcelona Port http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-21/spanish-police-mount-force-16000-catalan-port-raid-government-offices-tensions-mount <p>Efforts by Madrid to stop a Catalonia independence vote, currently slated for October 1st, seem to be growing more hostile by the day.&nbsp; Earlier this week Spanish police seized control of Catalonia’s finances, seeking to ensure that separatist politicians could not spend further public funds on the referendum, and conducted raids across Catalonia to confiscate ballots and campaign materials from printing shops and delivery companies.</p> <p>Now, as the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/20/world/europe/catalonia-referendum-spain.html">New York Times</a> notes this morning, Spanish police have detained 14 people during operations conducted yesterday which included the secretary general of economic affairs, Josep Maria Jové.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>The Spanish police detained more than a dozen people in the region of Catalonia on Wednesday, drastically escalating tensions between the national government and Catalan separatists.</strong> The episode occurred less than two weeks before a highly contentious referendum on independence that the government in Madrid has vowed to block.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The police raided the offices of the Catalan regional government early Wednesday and arrested at least 14 people, including Josep Maria Jové, secretary general of economic affairs.</strong> The arrests were not expected, but hundreds of mayors and other officials in Catalonia had been warned that they would be indicted if they helped organize a referendum in violation of Spanish law.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Hundreds of supporters of Catalan independence immediately took to the streets of Barcelona to protest the arrests. </strong>Jordi Sanchez, the leader of one of the region’s biggest separatist associations, used Twitter to urge Catalans to “resist peacefully,” but also to “come out and defend our institutions.”</p> </blockquote> <p>According to <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-spain-politics-catalonia/spanish-crackdown-has-undermined-catalan-independence-bid-regional-leader-says-idUSKCN1BW1O1?il=0">Reuters</a>, the increasingly hostile crackdown by the Spanish police has led Catalan leaders to acknowledge for the first time today that plans to hold a referendum on independence are now in doubt following the arrest of senior regional officials and the seizure of campaign material by national police.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>“It is obvious that we won’t be able to vote as we would have liked,”</strong> Oriol Junqueras, deputy head and economy minister of the regional government, told local television TV3. <strong>“They have altered the rules.”</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It was the first time the promoters of the referendum had acknowledged their plans were in doubt, although Junqueras said he said he was convinced voters would still turn out in numbers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is not yet clear whether the police operation would be enough to prevent the vote overall or if it could instead bring fresh momentum to the secession campaign.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Polls show about 40 percent of Catalans support independence although a majority want a referendum on the issue.</p> </blockquote> <p><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/09/21/2017.09.21%20-%20Rajoy_0.JPG" alt="Rajoy" width="501" height="322" /></p> <p><em>Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain</em></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">Meanwhile, as a sign of the growing hostility and Madrid's intentions to do all that is necessary to block a vote, </span><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-21/spain-hires-cruise-liner-to-house-police-in-rebel-catalonia" style="font-size: 13.008px;">Bloomberg</a><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"> notes that </span><strong style="font-size: 13.008px;">Spain has hired cruise liners specifically to mount a massive force of 16,000 police in a Catalan port.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Spain has discreetly hired ferries to be moored in the Port of Barcelona as temporary housing for possibly thousands of police</strong> specially deployed to keep order in rebel Catalonia and help suppress an illegal independence referendum.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The country’s interior ministry asked Catalan port authorities to provide a berth for one ship until Oct. 3 -- two days after the planned vote -- saying it was a matter of state, a spokeswoman for the port said by phone Wednesday. <strong>The vessel, known as “Rhapsody,” docked in the city about 9:30 a.m. Thursday, she said.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The aim is to amass more than 16,000 riot police and other security officers by the Oct. 1 referendum,</strong> El Correo newspaper reported on its website. <strong>That would exceed the number of Catalan police, the Mossos d’Esquadra, who serve both the Catalan and central governments.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/09/05/rhapsody_0.jpg" width="500" height="333" /></p> <p><em>the Rhapsody of the Sea cruise ship.</em></p> <p><strong>Still, the Catalan government says it can hold the vote, and recently announced that it had stored about 6,000 ballot boxes in a secret location. “The referendum will be held and is already organized,”</strong> Mr. Romeva said. <strong>“Clearly the conditions in which it will be celebrated are not those that we wished for.”</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Separatist leaders, however, have accused Mr. Rajoy of plunging Catalonia into a state of emergency rather than negotiating the terms of a referendum.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“The issue that is at stake today isn’t the independence — or not — of Catalonia,” </strong>Raül Romeva, Catalonia’s foreign affairs chief, told a group of foreign correspondents in Madrid on Wednesday, <strong>“but democracy in Spain and the European Union.”</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. Romeva said that Catalonia would hold the referendum as planned, and that Catalan lawmakers would act to honor the result within 48 hours — meaning they would declare independence unilaterally if people voted for it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“There is no alternative, absolutely no alternative,” </strong>he said. <strong>“There are only two projects now on the table: a democratic project or repression.”</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Now,why do we have a feeling that placing a riot police force of 16,000 in a Catalan port, ready to pounce at a moment's notice, will <strong>not </strong>help reduce the local push for independence...&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="486" height="215" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170921_Ship.jpg?1506004288" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-21/spanish-police-mount-force-16000-catalan-port-raid-government-offices-tensions-mount#comments Autonomous communities of Spain Catalan government Catalan independence Catalan independence movement Catalan nationalism Catalan police Catalan self-determination referendum Catalans Catalonia Europe European Union European Union Generalitat de Catalunya Independence referendum national government New York Times Newspaper Outline of Catalonia Politics Politics of Catalonia Raül Romeva regional government Reuters Spanish police Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia Twitter Twitter War Fri, 22 Sep 2017 00:13:09 +0000 Tyler Durden 603904 at http://www.zerohedge.com South Korea Overtakes China As Bitcoin's Third-Largest Market http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-21/south-korea-overtakes-china-bitcoins-third-largest-market <p>China-based digital currency exchanges have until the end of September to cease operations after Chinese authorities, spooked by the ICO craze, decided earlier this month to crack down on all exchange-based digital currency trading.</p> <p>Trading volume in China has fallen dramatically since the country&rsquo;s exchanges briefly halted withdrawals earlier this year as they implemented new AML controls. Now, it appears that at least some of those displaced by China&rsquo;s crackdown have migrated to South Korea, which today overtook China as the third-largest market for bitcoin trading by volume.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Today, South Korea surpassed China in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bitcoin?src=hash">#bitcoin</a> trading volume. South Korea&#39;s Bithumb processes more volume than Bitfinex + Bittrex. <a href="https://t.co/10fiT4YzJg">pic.twitter.com/10fiT4YzJg</a></p> <p>&mdash; Joseph Young (@iamjosephyoung) <a href="https://twitter.com/iamjosephyoung/status/910818710813675520">September 21, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Japan remains the largest market, followed by the US.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/09/18/2017.09.19bitcoin.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/09/18/2017.09.21bitcoin_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 304px;" /></a></p> <p>According to <a href="https://cointelegraph.com/news/south-korea-in-centre-of-bitcoin-universe-as-it-passes-china-in-bitcoin-trading">CoinTelegraph</a>, the shift suggests that traders have moved to South Korea in response to the Chinese government&rsquo;s decision to kill the exchanges. The largest exchange in South Korea is processing more transactions than Hong Kong-based Bitfinex and US-based Bittrex combined.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;The change in the processing of transactions indicates that traders have moved to South Korea. The largest exchange in South Korea has processed more transactions than Bitfinex and Bittrex.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The shift represents a substantial movement of the Bitcoin community away from China, where regulators have confirmed that all Chinese exchanges will be closed shortly.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The shift toward South Korea indicates a response to the legalization of Bitcoin in the country in recent months.&nbsp; A general move away from China has generally occurred, even as the country has begun to tighten its grip on the cryptocurrency market.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>While China&rsquo;s crackdown triggered the largest selloff in months as investors worried that it could inspire other governments to try and suppress digital currency trading, the shift to South Korea demonstrates bitcoin&rsquo;s durability. Instead of destroying a portion of the market, shuttering local exchanges simply forced traders to move elsewhere.<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="703" height="359" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017.09.21btctease.JPG?1506010978" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-21/south-korea-overtakes-china-bitcoins-third-largest-market#comments Alternative currencies Bitcoin Bitcoin Bitcoin network Bitfinex Business China Chinese government CoinDesk Cryptocurrencies Digital currencies Digital currency exchange Finance Financial cryptography Foreign exchange market Japan Money Twitter Twitter Fri, 22 Sep 2017 00:10:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 603925 at http://www.zerohedge.com Kim Jong Un Vows To Tame "Mentally Deranged Dotard" Trump "With Fire" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-21/kim-jong-un-vows-tame-mentally-deranged-dotard-trump-fire <p>The verbal soap opera continues. </p> <p>Just hours after <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-21/south-korea-unexpectedly-approves-aid-pyongyang-north-korea-calls-trump-barking-dog">North Korea's foreign minister Ri Yong-ho called Donald Trump </a>a "barking dog", the rogue state's president, Kim Jong-Un called President Donald Trump “a frightened dog” and a “gangster fond of playing with fire” in an official yet fiery statement on Thursday.</p> <p>Reacting to Trump's United Nation's speech in which the US president called Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man,” and threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea, Kim's response was nothing short of a macabre magnum opus of comic-hyperbolic fusion. </p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/09/05/kim%20sitting%20teaser.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/09/05/kim%20sitting%20teaser_0.jpg" width="500" height="346" /></a></p> <p>“Far from making remarks of any persuasive power that can be viewed to be helpful to defusing tension, he made unprecedented rude nonsense one has never heard from any of his predecessors,” Kim said adding that "A frightened dog barks louder." </p> <p>Kim went on:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"[Trump's] remarks remind me of such words as "political layman" and "political heretic" which were in vogue in reference to Trump during his presidential election campaign." </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The mentally deranged behavior of the U.S. president openly expressing on the UN arena the unethical will to "totally destroy" a sovereign state, beyond the boundary of threats of regime change or overturn of social system, makes even those with normal thinking faculty think about discretion and composure. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"After taking office Trump has rendered the world restless through threats and blackmail against all countries in the world. He is unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician."</p> </blockquote> <p>The North Korean then responded to Trump's hollow threat with one of his own:</p> <p>"I am now thinking hard about what response he could have expected when he allowed such eccentric words to trip off his tongue. <strong>Whatever Trump might have expected, he will face results beyond his expectation. I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U. S. dotard with fire</strong>."</p> <p>On Thursday, Trump signed an executive order that would slap sanctions on individuals, companies and financial institutions that do business with North Korea, or as Trump called the nation&nbsp; “this criminal rogue regime.” He said his mission was North Korea’s “complete denuclearization.”</p> <p>Also earlier this month, the U.N. Security Council passed harsh sanctions on Kim's small nation, as it continued to fire threatening missile tests and claim the expansion of its nuclear arsenal. The sanctions ban 90 percent of North Korean exports and were approved by Russia and China, who had previously maintained closer ties to North Korea.</p> <p>While Kim did not mention the sanctions, in his speech, which was officially translated by the DPRK, he refers to Trump multiple times as a “dotard”, a rather arcane word for an elderly person who is weak minded or senile, which will be entirely lost on Trump. </p> <p>* * * </p> <p><em>Kim's full speech - via KCNA - is below:</em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Pyongyang, September 22 (KCNA) -- Respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK, released a statement on Thursday. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The full text of the statement reads: </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The speech made by the U.S. president in his maiden address on the UN arena in the prevailing serious circumstances, in which the situation on the Korean peninsula has been rendered tense as never before and is inching closer to a touch-and-go state, is arousing worldwide concern. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Shaping the general idea of what he would say, I expected he would make stereo-typed, prepared remarks a little different from what he used to utter in his office on the spur of the moment as he had to speak on the world's biggest official diplomatic stage. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But, far from making remarks of any persuasive power that can be viewed to be helpful to defusing tension, he made unprecedented rude nonsense one has never heard from any of his predecessors. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A frightened dog barks louder. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I'd like to advise Trump to exercise prudence in selecting words and to be considerate of whom he speaks to when making a speech in front of the world. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The mentally deranged behavior of the U.S. president openly expressing on the UN arena the unethical will to "totally destroy" a sovereign state, beyond the boundary of threats of regime change or overturn of social system, makes even those with normal thinking faculty think about discretion and composure. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>His remarks remind me of such words as "political layman" and "political heretic" which were in vogue in reference to Trump during his presidential election campaign. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After taking office Trump has rendered the world restless through threats and blackmail against all countries in the world. He is unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>His remarks which described the U.S. option through straightforward expression of his will have convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Now that Trump has denied the existence of and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world and made the most ferocious declaration of a war in history that he would destroy the DPRK, we will consider with seriousness exercising of a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Action is the best option in treating the dotard who, hard of hearing, is uttering only what he wants to say. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As a man representing the DPRK and on behalf of the dignity and honor of my state and people and on my own, I will make the man holding the prerogative of the supreme command in the U.S. pay dearly for his speech calling for totally destroying the DPRK. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This is not a rhetorical expression loved by Trump. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I am now thinking hard about what response he could have expected when he allowed such eccentric words to trip off his tongue. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Whatever Trump might have expected, he will face results beyond his expectation. I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U. S. dotard with fire. <br /><em><br /></em></p> </blockquote> <p>And for those asking, yes - nobody knew what it means...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/09/05/dotard%20search.png"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/09/05/dotard%20search_0.png" width="500" height="270" /></a></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="543" height="326" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/kim%20sitting.jpg?1506038284" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-21/kim-jong-un-vows-tame-mentally-deranged-dotard-trump-fire#comments American people of German descent Business China Climate change skepticism and denial Donald L. Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump KIM Kim dynasty Kim Jong-un North Korea State Affairs Commission of the DPRK The Apprentice U.N. Security Council United Nations United States WWE Hall of Fame Thu, 21 Sep 2017 23:50:56 +0000 Tyler Durden 603949 at http://www.zerohedge.com India: The Genie Of Lawlessness Is Out Of The Bottle http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-21/india-genie-lawlessness-out-bottle <p><a href="http://www.acting-man.com/?p=51383"><em>Authored by Jayant Bhandari via Acting-Man.com,</em></a></p> <h3><u><strong>Recapitulation (Part XVI, the Last)</strong></u></h3> <p>Since the announcement of demonetization of Indian currency on 8th November 2016, I have written a <a href="http://www.acting-man.com/?author=104911">large number of articles</a>. <strong>The issue is not so much that the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is a tyrant and extremely simplistic in his thinking</strong> (which he is), or that demonetization and the new sales tax system were horribly ill-conceived (which they were). Time erases all tyrants from the map, and eventually from people&rsquo;s memory.</p> <p><img src="http://www.acting-man.com/blog/media/2017/09/slavery.jpg" style="height: 420px; width: 560px;" /></p> <p><em>According to the Global Slavery Index, an estimated 18 million Indians, equivalent to half the total population of Canada, are bonded, modern slaves.</em></p> <p><span id="more-51383">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><strong>My interest has been mostly to use these events to document the underlying causes of such utter missteps, </strong>which technically must be called stupid, and to explain how the real disease runs much deeper and much wider, and that no solutions for this can be found in the next elections.</p> <p>My interest has been to<strong> explore the socio-cultural foundations of India that keep it perennially poor, wretched, and diseased, a state from which it never seems able to escape.</strong> I have attempted to dissect the unwitting tendency of Indians to destroy any material or civilizational advantages, which in the last 300 years have all accrued as products of extraneous events: Free gifts of Western experience and civilization, management skills, and technology, all offered on a platter.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RZtEG1N3wl0" width="560"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Vegetables being washed in sewage water. This gives shine and color to vegetables. But do you really want to eat vegetables washed in human excreta? Even for such basic commodities, one must look for a trustworthy seller. In a tribal society, big institutions simply do not work.</em></p> <p>I have attempted to show that now that <strong>since the British left 70 years ago, Indian institutions have continued to fray, degenerate, degrade, and fall apart. </strong>The British left a robust judiciary, a university system, and parliament in place. Except for their facades, all these institutions are now soulless shells, something that politically correct intellectuals at the IMF, the World Bank, etc., completely fail to see.</p> <p>The math is very simple: <strong><em>If Western institutions are to be imposed on India, such institutions must be run by Westerners as well. The corollary is also very simple: Without the British running India, India cannot continue to exist the way the British left it.</em></strong></p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-51386" src="http://www.acting-man.com/blog/media/2017/09/drowning-the-fir-India-style.jpg" style="width: 560px; height: 315px;" /></p> <p><em>A minister in the government watering plants in heavy rain. This would be a joke, but knowing that these people rule India I consider it a tragedy. The photo shows C. P. Singh at a tree planting event on 17th July 2017 [your editor needs to chime in here: Indian politicians cannot claim sole ownership of the proud tradition of watering plants in the middle of a rainstorm. As we have reported in <a href="http://www.acting-man.com/?p=44920">Drowning the Fir</a> , the presidents of Turkmenistan and Belorussia have also not shirked their baby tree soaking duties just because there was a downpour. The plant in question was solemnly victimized near the Palace of Independence in Minsk last year [PT].</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>India&rsquo;s institutions must over a period of time realign themselves to reflect the underlying character of India&rsquo;s society. </strong>That character, alas, is tribal and irrational, which the British, missionaries and Western education were only able to&nbsp;&nbsp; affect positively to a marginal extent over the 200-300 years of their influence. India must revert back to its medieval, tribal institutions, its violent, irrational way to &ldquo;communicate&rdquo; and deal with its problems, and never-ending internecine conflicts.</p> <p><strong>The future of India looks extremely grim,&nbsp; Modi and the recent events are nothing but passing symptoms of this.&nbsp;</strong> The British also left a certain way of thinking and social behavior among the middle class in India. One important aspect of this was the pride a minority in the middle class felt about freedom of speech. This is the last but rapidly crumbling pillar of the British heritage, which I want to address in this last article of this series.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-51388" src="http://www.acting-man.com/blog/media/2017/09/flag-hoisting.jpg" style="width: 560px; height: 316px;" /></p> <p><em>Madhya Pradesh, a province with a population of 81 million, introduced compulsory flag hoisting in schools in January. From November 2017, when teachers take roll-calls in class rooms, students will be required to shout, &ldquo;Jai Hind&rdquo; (Victory to India, a battle cry, but also carrying strong Hindu religious connotations). All Western institutions implanted in India are mutating to cater to the underlying tribalism. &ldquo;Nationalism&rdquo; is not underpinned by any values in the Indian mind, but relates merely to an arrogant, geographical concept. Western-style schools are mere indoctrination centers. What India needs is critical thinking, not the mindless recitation of slogans and sound-bites. Such slogans and religious indoctrination numb the minds of these kids, making them worse than the uneducated masses. The weight of indoctrinated beliefs is such that after a certain age they are totally incapable of any individuality or capacity to think. They merely parrot what they are told. Adults incapacitated to think react with anger when reasoned with, and become tools of demagogues. Indian demography is a major liability, and very likely cause of the next international humanitarian crisis.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><u><strong>Demonetization: Now Officially a Failure</strong></u></h3> <p><strong>On 8th November 2016, India&rsquo;s prime minister Modi appeared on TV to announce that a few hours later 86% of the monetary value of currency in circulation (Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 bills, about US$15 and US$7.50 respectively) would no longer be legal tender. </strong>This sent hundreds of millions lining up upside the banks to convert their unusable cash into legal tender. The government had made absolutely no preparation. The replacement currency bills had not been printed yet, in a country where 95% of consumer transactions happened in cash.</p> <p>The knee-jerk move was a <strong>rather childish decision taken by a few senior politicians with little consultation with banks or economists. </strong>The problem was not just that they took a wrong decision it was also that they thought they could take such a decision without appropriate checks and balances. These are the same people who control the nuclear button and rule a population of 1.35 billion people.</p> <p><strong>Without a &ldquo;monetary&rdquo; system, the economy rapidly went into a state of trauma. Tens of millions were rendered jobless, as neither employers had the cash to pay salaries and input costs, nor did buyers have the cash to buy their products. Scared of the turmoil, even those who had cash avoided all unnecessary expenses.</strong></p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-51391" src="http://www.acting-man.com/blog/media/2017/09/hang-on-1024x717.jpg" style="width: 560px; height: 392px;" /></p> <p><em>A memorable &ldquo;don&rsquo;t panic&rdquo; moment on the road to fully digitized Nirvana&hellip; [PT]</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Factory and shop workers preferred to line up outside the banks to convert other people&rsquo;s money for a lucrative commission. Wealth-creating activities came to a standstill.</strong> Vegetable prices crashed by as much as 50% as poor people who had lost their jobs were buying less. Farmers had to destroy their produce. Factories closed. A vicious cycle was set into motion.</p> <p>People were given until the end of December 2016 to deposit their banknotes. They were required to use the banking system, which was clogged by then. The banks were also acting as extended arms of the tax office. Digital payment systems were run very unprofessionally and banks suddenly started to charge unapproved commissions and fees.</p> <p>While the government wanted its largely illiterate population to go digital, it took the central bank another eight months to report how much of the demonetized currency had been deposited. While this number will be updated and increase in the next report, they have admitted that more than 99% of the currency has been returned. This figure is quite ironical, as a lot of people &mdash; in tribal and rural areas with no access to banks and those holding cash outside of India &mdash; failed to deposit their cash.</p> <p><strong>It is easy to conclude that effectively more than 100% of the extant cash was deposited with banks. </strong>On 9th November 2016, when I went to convert a part of my cash into legal tender, the person in front of me was found to have counterfeit cash. He managed to get his cash back by applying his influence on the manager. He very likely deposited his cash later in a rural bank where machines to check counterfeit currency do not exist.</p> <p><strong>In short, demonetization failed, it caught no black money, and quite hilariously, it actually helped to launder counterfeit currency by transforming it into legal tender. This was on top of the massive assault that the economy had to bear.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-51385" src="http://www.acting-man.com/blog/media/2017/09/black-money.jpg" style="width: 560px; height: 393px;" /></p> <p><em>A sad moment: holders of &ldquo;black&rdquo; and counterfeit money receive the terrible news of imminent demonetization&hellip; [PT]</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><u><strong>None of the Objectives Achieved</strong></u></h3> <p><strong>Despite the fact that government expenses - largely unproductive and often counter-productive - are up hugely, and statistics are being manipulated, India&rsquo;s official GDP growth rate has fallen significantly, to 5.7%. In due time this will worsen significantly, for India is stagnating and very likely regressing.</strong></p> <p><strong>Absolutely none of the claimed objectives behind demonetization have been achieved. </strong>As soon as people got hold of cash, they went back to their old ways of transacting. People are now storing more cash under the carpet than they did ever before. Corruption has increased hugely. The situation in Kashmir is extremely unstable. Terrorism is up; and India narrowly avoided a war with China.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VXH0D4UHZEM" width="560"></iframe></p> <p><em>Goons destroying shops with Chinese (or what they think to be Chinese) products as the tension builds up at the border. Ironically, as in the West, Chinese products are everywhere in India &mdash; the tools used by goons are likely made in China as well. For almost a month, Indian and Chinese troops stood face to face, and in at least one case fought with bare arms and rocks. China&rsquo;s GDP is more than five times that of India. Both countries have nuclear capabilities. I am not in a position to know which side was in error, but Modi desperately needs to distract Indians and the international media from economic stagnation. Was he looking for a scapegoat?</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>One must revisit the fundamentals of Indian culture. Indian society is tribal and irrational. It simply cannot plan and undertake big projects, unless they are heavily subsidized. </strong>There is a reason why more than 50% of Indians still use&nbsp; open spaces as toilets. There is a reason why in virtually all of India, sidewalks, ambulances, fire-brigades, and roadside garbage cans &mdash; things that are considered elementary services in any society &mdash; are conspicuous by their absence.</p> <p>Tribal and irrational people also lack moral instincts, empathy and compassion. Members of the so-called educated Indian middle class have no interest in the suffering of poor people. Even after they have emigrated, they soon forget how desperately they wanted to leave India. They strive to make India look good in the eyes of foreigners, not for the sake of India, but in the hope of vicariously making themselves look good.</p> <p><strong>Those who have gravely suffered due to demonetization still &mdash; and ironically, increasingly &mdash; support Modi.</strong> India lacks the history of revolting against tyranny, as people merely adjust themselves to the new ecology. <strong>India&rsquo;s kind of drudgery and wretched poverty, which makes it worse than some of the poorest countries on the planet, does not come easy in this modern age of technology.</strong></p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-51392" src="http://www.acting-man.com/blog/media/2017/09/high-spirits.jpg" style="width: 560px; height: 544px;" /></p> <p><em>Nothing fazes the common man in India&hellip; a R.K. Laxman cartoon (see also further below) [PT]</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-51384" src="http://www.acting-man.com/blog/media/2017/09/Aadhaar.jpg" style="width: 560px; height: 394px;" /></p> <p><em>As any person with a basic understanding of probability, data security and the realities of India would have seen, India&rsquo;s centralized ID system, Aadhaar, was going to turn into a disaster. About eight million fake ID cards are known to have been issued. They cloned fingerprints, etc. There simply isn&rsquo;t such a thing as &ldquo;fraud-proof&rdquo; in the real world. The card is used for all kinds of tyrannical intrusions, although the benefits are yet to be discovered, for the poorest are still running from post to pillar to get a few rupees promised to them.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-51390" src="http://www.acting-man.com/blog/media/2017/09/GST.jpg" style="width: 559px; height: 181px;" /></p> <p><em>The new GST system has been an unmitigated disaster. There is a plethora of rates. There is a minimum of two filing requirements per month, and a requirement to upload invoice details to a server, which keeps crashing. Two months after GST was imposed in an unplanned way, no one &mdash; not even those in the government &mdash; knows what the rules really are, which keep changing to boot [ed. note: India&rsquo;s GST rules are simply impossible to interpret in some cases; the chaos businesses are faced with is described in <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-tax/indian-businesses-blindsided-by-unclear-sales-tax-rules-idUSKBN1AC0T1">this Reuters article</a> &ndash; for instance, the different parts making up a personal computer are taxed at different rates. What to charge for a laptop, which is a single unit? No-one seems to know. In the meantime <a href="https://in.reuters.com/article/india-economy-deficit/exclusive-india-eyes-spending-cuts-as-glitches-in-gst-hit-revenue-idINKCN1BU0DJ">the government has been forced to cut its planned infrastructure spending</a>, as tax revenues have come in almost 50 percent (!) below plan. [PT]. </em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><u><strong>The Genie of Violence is Out</strong></u></h3> <p><strong>What terrorism and corruption mean in the Indian context requires one to dig deeper.</strong> India&rsquo;s governing principle is fear, delivered by irrational representatives, who are elected by an uneducated and superstitious populace, all driven by their tribal affiliations, unanchored to reason or morals. In this predicament, no solution to what looks like terrorism and violence to the rational eye can work.</p> <p><strong>Corruption is another curious issue.</strong> What looks like corruption to the West can hardly be called corruption in the Indian context. India&rsquo;s society is not based on moral calculations, but on expediency. What is good for the tribe is what is considered right. Western institutions based on the rule of law simply do not work under such conditions.</p> <p>People support &ldquo;anti-corruption&rdquo; drives as long as they are beneficiaries of them, but will refuse to honor them when they can be &ldquo;corrupt&rdquo; for their own gains. It is virtually impossible to find an Indian&mdash; both in the public and the private sector &mdash;who will forgo gains from corruption when he can get away with it.</p> <p><strong>Anyone who thinks that violence and &ldquo;corruption&rdquo; can end in India lives in a fool&rsquo;s paradise.</strong> As the institutions the British left behind continue to fray in India, corruption and violence will actually get much worse over time, regardless of short-term noise.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lheM3YFqkCE" width="560"></iframe></p> <p><em>According to Indian laws this is illegal. But so what? Constitutions and laws are mere ink on parchment. For a culturally tribal society, there is no escape from such a medieval existence, and in India&rsquo;s case, regression towards it. Stricter laws will not help. Democracy certainly does not help, for this case is indeed a case of democracy in action.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Violence is an inherent part of the Indian psyche and social arrangement</strong>. In an irrational society, violence and might is the deciding factor. Honor killings, misogyny, misandry, the caste system, and incest have forever been a part and parcel of Indian life. These things happen mainly because the perpetrator does not even know that what he is doing is wrong. His perceptions are based on his tribalism, not any concept of morality.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-51389" height="500" src="http://www.acting-man.com/blog/media/2017/09/Gauri-Lankesh.jpg" width="332" /></p> <p><em>Gauri Lankesh, a journalist, was shot dead on September 5, 2017. While no motive is known, Hindu nationalists have increasingly targeted journalists and writers for voicing their views. Even anti-superstition activists have been murdered. Fanatics have created convenient sound-bites, which are now well-accepted by the irrational populace (particularly the so-called educated): &ldquo;pseudo-secular&rdquo; (read, pro-Islamic terrorism), &ldquo;presstitude&rdquo; (read, prostituting press), &ldquo;anti-national&rdquo; (read, does not go along with Hindu-fanaticism), &ldquo;libturds&rdquo; (read, leftists; in the Indian context right-wing is about religious fanaticism or ultra-nationalism), etc.&nbsp; Contrary to the popular perception in the West, India is a violent society. Reporters Without Borders ranks India among the three most dangerous countries for journalists in the world, below Pakistan and Afghanistan.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><u><strong>Freedom of Speech</strong></u></h3> <p>When the British left India, it was assumed to be a democracy. What people hardly noticed was that those left in political positions had been mostly selected by the British.<strong> Those the British left in power, their children, and now even their grandchildren, are gone by now. Modi represents a complete break from the British legacy.</strong></p> <p>India&rsquo;s tribalism is now in full force. <strong>The concepts of individual liberty and freedom of speech were completely alien to the societies of South Asia. They still are.</strong> <em>Might is right</em> was and is the ruling principle.</p> <p>During colonial times, elite Indians were trained and educated in the UK. English rapidly became the language of those who wanted to be seen as sophisticated. British mannerisms were rapidly accepted by the who&rsquo;s who crowd.</p> <p>Even the most uneducated tried their best to drop as many English words into their local languages as possible. Today, local languages spoken in India are heavily larded with English words. Close relatives talk to each other in English, even if their mother-tongue is a local language. Even when their English is rather weak, they still use it as much as they can.</p> <p><strong>Indian dresses have mostly gone out of fashion, particularly in urban areas.</strong> Every middle class Indian aspires to go to least one foreign country if he wants a place in his social circle. He must have English music blasting away in his car. He must watch English movies. And he should never ever be seen reading a non-English book &mdash; although reading habits are virtually non-existent in India. If you speak your local language without larding it with English words, you are seen as a backward slob.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-51393" src="http://www.acting-man.com/blog/media/2017/09/Laxman-1-1024x499.jpg" style="width: 560px; height: 273px;" /></p> <p><em>Apposite cartoons by the late R.K. Laxman, a famous Indian cartoonist (the unperturbed &ldquo;common man&rdquo; on his bed of nails further above was also drawn by him; he invented the &ldquo;common man&rdquo; cartoon figure in 1957, which became a highly popular staple of his work). [PT]</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Indians never understood that it was not the form, the facade or the clothing that gave massive success and superiority to the British. It was the British frame of mind, which was anchored to reason, which allowed them to navigate the world, optimize their position, and benefit from it.&nbsp; Indians have adopted the packaging, but they have not only forgotten the substance, but lacking the concept of reason, they could not even see the substance.</strong></p> <p>One very important aspect of British social behaviorism that was accepted as a sign of sophistication in India was freedom of speech. At least among the formally educated, even if they had no comprehension why freedom of speech was important, some learned to approve of it. You could find flaws in a person&rsquo;s religion and not have to worry about giving voice to your finding.</p> <p>Contrary to Pakistan, Sri Lanka or Bangladesh, freedom of speech managed to survive much longer in India. India wasn&rsquo;t much better in other human indicators, but its massive ethnic, lingual, regional, etc. diversity meant that there were far too many inner conflicts for the any single dogma to become powerful enough to take a position against a small minority that held on to its views.</p> <p><strong>India&rsquo;s respect for freedom of speech &mdash; as was the case in Pakistan and Bangladesh &mdash; lacked the foundations of reason, respect for the individual, or craving for liberty. With time, as the distance from British rule has grown, this once deeply inculcated social behavior has slowly but surely begun to dissipate.</strong></p> <p>Over the last few years, suppression of freedom of speech has picked up pace. Western media portray India as the place of Gandhi and yoga. This is quite erroneous, particularly when the last classical liberties are now waning in India.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><u><strong>Conclusion</strong></u></h3> <p><a href="http://www.acting-man.com/?author=104911">In this series of articles</a> that started with my expose on what was happening on the ground during the demonetization of 86% of monetary value of Indian currency,<strong> my key interest has not only been to show <em>what</em> was happening but most importantly to explain <em>why</em> it was happening.</strong></p> <p>My interest has been to<strong> show that without the British to run them, Indian institutions are now rapidly regressing to their pre-colonial, quasi-medieval, tribal past.</strong> Indian culture is tribal and irrational. It simply cannot maintain, let alone create, institutions of the type the British left behind.</p> <p>Freedom of speech is one of the last surviving major pillars of the British legacy, <strong><em>but it has weakened significantly and is rapidly crumbling further, with Modi as a major catalyst.</em></strong></p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-51387" src="http://www.acting-man.com/blog/media/2017/09/Durable.jpg" style="width: 560px; height: 458px;" /></p> <p><em>R.K. Laxman gets the final word &ndash; the Indian space program decided to take advantage of the common man&rsquo;s resilience&hellip; [PT]</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="631" height="362" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170921_india.jpg?1506026776" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-21/india-genie-lawlessness-out-bottle#comments Afghanistan Asia China Corruption ETC Fail Global Slavery Gujarati people India India Indian Hindus International Monetary Fund Narendra Modi Nationalism None Reporters Without Borders Reuters South Asia Turkmenistan World World Bank World Bank Thu, 21 Sep 2017 23:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 603945 at http://www.zerohedge.com