en Medal Of Honor Recipient Warns: "It's Going To Come Here... Trump Must Release The Gates Of Hell" On Islamic State <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Mac Slavo via,</em></a></p> <p><a href=""><img height="352" src="" width="560" /></a></p> <p>With British Prime Minister Theresa May warning that another attack may be imminent, Medal of Honor Recipient Dakota Meyer says that it&rsquo;s time to strike Islamic State strongholds without mercy, because sooner or later we could well witness suicide bombers detonating themselves in the middle of large&nbsp;crowds right here at home.</p> <p>Arguing that President Obama, who awarded Meyer his Medal of Honor, was weak on ISIS and terrorism in general, he says President Trump should take a completely different strategy.</p> <p>In short&hellip; it&rsquo;s time to unleash the gates of hell&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>I&rsquo;ve been saying this is going to happen for a long time.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>When is it coming here?</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>I think the only way you get this point across is that we release the gates of hell on them and we start making war so ugly that&hellip;their recruitment videos&hellip; it won&rsquo;t be cool to join ISIS anymore.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And at some point we&rsquo;re going to have to do that&hellip; this labeling of &lsquo;it&rsquo;s a lone wolf&rsquo; attack&hellip; or saying it&rsquo;s not connected or this or that&hellip;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>You can&rsquo;t just ignore this problem because it&rsquo;s going to come here&hellip;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The only thing I am optimistic about with this situation is that we have a President&hellip; think whatever you want about his politics&hellip;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>At least we have a president that&rsquo;s in place that&rsquo;s not going to allow us to be the victims&hellip; you can guarantee he&rsquo;s going to do whatever it&rsquo;s going to take&hellip; no matter if it&rsquo;s popular in the court of public opinion&hellip; he&rsquo;s going to do what&rsquo;s right to protect America&hellip;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><script type="text/javascript" src="//;w=560&#038;h=316"></script></p><p><noscript>Watch the latest video at <a href="//"></a></noscript></p> <p>Our guess?</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>President Trump was just warming up when he <a href="" target="_blank">dropped this mother of all bombs on an ISIS complex</a>&nbsp;in Afghanistan earlier this year:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="534" height="336" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Afghanistan President Obama Sat, 27 May 2017 03:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 596789 at The Most Popular Books In History All Shared One Trait <p>Throughout history, people have turned to works of literature for guidance, entertainment, and education. Modern businesses aim to tell stories that leave a long-lasting impact as well, and should look to examples of historical success to influence how they create their own content.</p> <p>Today&rsquo;s infographic comes to us from&nbsp;<a href="">Global English Editing</a>, and it looks at <strong>20 of the most popular books in the world. </strong>As <a href="">Visual Capitalist&#39;s Jeff Desjardins notes,</a> all of the books listed, even those published decades or centuries ago, have made an <strong>enduring impact on readers</strong> to this day. They have achieved this by<strong> stirring discussion and sparking debate wherever they are read</strong>.</p> <div style="clear:both"><a href=""><img src="" style="border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; height: 5138px; width: 600px;" /></a></div> <div><em>Courtesy of: <a href="">Visual Capitalist</a></em></div> <p><u><strong>CONTROVERSY: THE EVERGREEN THEME</strong></u></p> <p>One of the important traits shared by every book on this list is the<strong> controversy that has swirled around each of them. </strong>This can be seen across different time periods and genres.</p> <p>People have&nbsp;<a href="">questioned</a>&nbsp;the identity and authorial authenticity of Homer and decried the upending of creationism&nbsp;<a href="">proposed by Darwin.</a>&nbsp;Even a children&rsquo;s book like the modern bestselling series,&nbsp;Harry Potter, can be a magnet for discussion over what is morally right and wrong.</p> <p>It is often the case the that most popular and enduring literary works will<strong> not only captivate, but also address controversial issues</strong> in such a way that people will be talking about them for generations.</p> <p><u><strong>LESSONS FROM HISTORY</strong></u></p> <p><strong>The recent bestselling streak of George Orwell&rsquo;s&nbsp;1984, first published in 1950, is an interesting illustration of this trend.</strong></p> <p>The dystopian novel was&nbsp;<a href="">banned</a>&nbsp;upon its translation and release in the former USSR due to its implicit critique of Stalinist political ideology. By contrast, in the 1970s and 1980s, several American counties&nbsp;<a href="">challenged</a>&nbsp;1984&nbsp;on the grounds that it might promote communist ideals. In the 21st century, Orwell&rsquo;s best-known work has been revisited by a new generation of readers as the American political climate continues to create new uncertainties about governance, the distortion of facts, and social control.</p> <p><a href=""><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 421px;" /></span></strong></a></p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">FOR BUSINESS CONTENT, BOLD WILL HOLD</span></strong></p> <p>The most popular books ever written can teach modern businesses a great deal about<strong> what it takes to make content that is evergreen, meaningful, and primed to engage their readers.</strong> Creating discussion is key in the age of the reactive &ldquo;hot take&rdquo; style of article. Your ability to stand out in the cultural, historical, or political context for having a point of view that many people find worthy of debating will give your work the staying power it needs.</p> <p><strong>Considering that within&nbsp;<a href="">any given minute</a>&nbsp;there are 2.4 million Google searches taking place and over 700,000 people logging into Facebook, this is no easy task.</strong> But whether it&rsquo;s through a new product or via customer engagement, creating meaningful discussion is key to making a business&rsquo; voice heard through all the noise.</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="791" height="555" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Communication design Conversation George Orwell Google Graphic design Human communication Illustration Infographic News design Sat, 27 May 2017 02:35:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 596765 at OANN Releases Report On Seth Rich Murder, Raises Questions About Chinese Corruption <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', 'Bitstream Charter', Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">Via <a href="" target="_blank">Disobedient Media</a></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', 'Bitstream Charter', Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">The San Diego based One American News Network has released a new report highlighting key elements of the mystery surrounding the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich. OANN cites&nbsp;a number of inconsistencies and lingering questions in the case, while also noting that Rich's murder occurred in close proximity to the similarly strange death of UN official John Ashe. Ashe was&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">found dead</a>&nbsp;just days&nbsp;before he was&nbsp;set to testify against Clinton&nbsp;in relation to matters pertaining to&nbsp;a corruption case where&nbsp;Chinese billionaire&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Charlie Trie</a>&nbsp;helped launder $1.2 million dollars as part of Chinese government efforts to influence Bill Clinton's 1996 presidential election. Ashe's death was originally reported as a heart attack, but the story changed after it emerged that the cause was in fact a crushed windpipe in what was labeled a "workout accident." The full report can be <a href="" target="_blank">viewed here</a>:</p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', 'Bitstream Charter', Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">On May 25th, one day before OANN's report, a representative of the media company made a post on the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">online messageboard 4chan</a>&nbsp;appealing for help locating information regarding the doctor who treated Seth Rich for&nbsp;gunshot injuries he sustained during the incident. Within minutes of the post, OANN's website was&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">taken offline</a>&nbsp;in a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack.</p> <div class="mceTemp" style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', 'Bitstream Charter', Times, serif; font-size: 16px;"> <dl id="attachment_3217" class="wp-caption aligncenter" style="margin-right: auto; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: auto; max-width: 100%; width: 600px;"> <dt class="wp-caption-dt"><img src="" width="600" height="360" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%; display: block;" class="size-full wp-image-3217" /></dt> <dd class="wp-caption-dd" style="font-size: 14px; padding-top: 0.5em; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px;">Screenshot taken on 5/26/2017 showing that OANN's website was taken offline</dd> </dl> </div> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', 'Bitstream Charter', Times, serif; font-size: 16px;">The findings of the report offer fresh insights&nbsp;what is appearing to be a story of complex political corruption and Democratic National Committee (DNC) attempts to downplay the scandal.&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Disobedient Media</a>&nbsp;has previously reported on the extensive ties that key players&nbsp;in the Seth Rich case have to the DNC, the&nbsp;Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the Rose Law Firm, the law firm which was at the center of the 1990's&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Whitewater Controversy</a>.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-blog"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_blog" width="700" height="385" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> 4chan Chinese government Corruption Cyberspace Democratic National Committee Democratic National Committee Denial-of-service attack Digital media Disobedient Internet culture Internet memes Internet trolling Murder of Seth Rich Politics Service Employees International Union United Nations World Wide Web Sat, 27 May 2017 02:22:07 +0000 William Craddick 596792 at Why Bother? <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Robert Gore via Straight Line Logic blog,</em></a></p> <p><strong>The best strategy for dealing with crazies is to keep your distance.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="245" src="" width="392" /></a></p> <p>You try to ignore the ravings of the paranoid lunatic on a street corner, but if he&rsquo;s waving a gun, you can&rsquo;t. &nbsp;He may kill himself, but he may kill you. Protecting yourself is your first consideration. You want to get as far as possible from him.</p> <p><strong>As an intellectual exercise, imagine how the Chinese and Russian leadership look at the United States, its government, and those of its allies.</strong> It will get you labeled as a &ldquo;sympathizer&rdquo; or &ldquo;agent,&rdquo; but take the risk and try seeing the world through their eyes:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>We hear the Americans raving about the exceptional and indispensable nation, the American imperium, and maintaining world order. What other conclusion can be drawn: <strong>like many lunatics, the US suffers from delusions of grandeur. </strong>As we know, it&rsquo;s difficult to maintain order in one country, and the US wants to take on the whole world? They&rsquo;re having a tough time maintaining order in the US. Half the country hates the other half, and many of their experts warn of civil unrest that could be ignited with the smallest of sparks. Take it from us, spark suppression is a full-time job in big countries with many people and few common interests, even those with powerful, intrusive governments like the US.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>How can the US think that it can rule the world when it can&rsquo;t win wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq? That&rsquo;s crazy talk! </strong>There are smart people in their military. They must recognize that guerrilla warfare, terrorism, knowledge of the people, language, and terrain, and the availability of cheap but effective defensive weapons and munitions give a huge advantage to nationals resisting domination in their own territory. Why hasn&rsquo;t the US learned anything from their disastrous wars, or the Soviet fiasco in Afghanistan?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>We in Russia are not altogether comfortable with our Syrian involvement and know it poses substantial risks. </strong>However, Syria is in the same neighborhood, is a long-time Russian ally, and hosts Russia&rsquo;s only Mediterranean port. The US has no such compelling interests and is apparently there at the behest of Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Turkey, and Israel. (How do these nations get the US to fight its wars? It must be baksheesh.) It pretends to fight Islamic terrorists while aiding them in another idiotic, and so far futile, attempt at regime change. <strong>The biggest danger for us in Syria isn&rsquo;t the rebels, it&rsquo;s those crazy Yanks.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The US and its allies&rsquo; (what curious allies&mdash;the US defends them and picks up most of the tab while they fund cradle-to-grave welfare states) interventions have created refugees&mdash;some innocent victims, some potential terrorists&mdash;who have fled en masse to Europe and trickled into the US. <strong>More intervention will create more refugees, yet that is their policy. Russia and China both have problems with native Muslim populations; it&rsquo;s pure lunacy to import them. </strong>Yet, the American and European intelligentsia condemn not the proponents but the detractors of military intervention and refugee creation and admittance.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>If those are supposed to be the smart people, it&rsquo;s no wonder those countries are in such poor shape.</strong> A country is only as good as its people. The Americans and Europeans have voted themselves benefits from their governments that can only be paid for with debt. How long can that last? What will beneficiaries do when the well runs dry? The US used to be one of the most industrious countries on the planet. Now most of its people are fat, lazy, and soft, with no idea how to provide for themselves. The so-called smart people worry if transgenders can enter the bathroom of their choice, and cheer a great Olympic decathlon champion who turned himself into an approximation of a woman. These idiots are not useful to anybody.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><u><strong>The only rational policy is to keep our distance from the US, while trying to protect ourselves from its depredations, and concentrate on jointly developing the immense potential of Eurasia</strong></u>.</em> In other words, to continue doing what we&rsquo;ve been doing. Our primary economic initiatives, One Belt One Road and the Maritime Silk Road, under the auspices of the Eurasian Economic Union, are going well. We will develop extensive commercial and transportation links among nations stretching from China to Europe, an area which encompasses over half the world&rsquo;s population and natural resources. China will providing much of the infrastructure investment through the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Russia will spearhead security arrangements, particularly against Islamic extremists, through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which includes China and central Asian nations that were formerly part of the USSR, and will soon admit India, Pakistan, and Iran.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Financially, self-protection means moving away from fiat dollars and euros and stockpiling real money&mdash;gold. </strong>China is reducing its vast pile of US treasury securities, and Russia its much smaller pile. We will continue to advocate for replacement of the dollar as the world&rsquo;s reserve currency, preferably with the International Monetary Fund&rsquo;s Special Drawing Rights. The Chinese yuan recently became part of that currency basket. We have also taken steps to develop an alternative to the SWIFT system, the US&rsquo;s monopoly on international bank clearing.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Militarily, some of the bluster coming out of the US is insanity: the possibility of &ldquo;winning&rdquo; a nuclear war. </strong>No matter what their computer simulations might suggest, there is no way that a US first strike would wipe out our means and will to retaliate, regardless of their <a href="">anti-ballistic missile systems in Eastern Europe</a>&nbsp;and South Korea. Sometimes it is an advantage to be underestimated by one&rsquo;s enemy, but in this case, US underestimation could lead to extinction of the human race. Our nuclear weaponry, military strategies, and defense systems must continue to be state of the art, to assure that destruction in the event of a US attack is mutual.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>Keeping our distance from the US certainly does not entail getting involved in their elections.</strong></u> Donald Trump didn&rsquo;t have a positive thing to say about China during his campaign. Although he made noises about reducing America&rsquo;s foreign interventions, we heard the same from George W. Bush and Barack Obama and look how that turned out. Trump also made noises about rapprochement with Russia, but it was clear that he&rsquo;d be fighting his own Deep State if he won, which we did not expect. Why would we poison relations with Hillary Clinton, who we and most experts did expect to win, before she even took office? It&rsquo;s a further sign of rampant delusion, a complete unwillingness to deal with reality, that Clinton&rsquo;s Democrats are blaming Russia for problems they brought upon themselves.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Why bother manipulating an election when America seems so bent on self-destruction?</strong> It would be like trying to leash a rabid dog.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="392" height="245" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Afghanistan Barack Obama China Donald Trump Eastern Europe Eastern Europe Eurasian Economic Union Foreign policy of Donald Trump Foreign policy of the Donald Trump administration India International Monetary Fund International Monetary Fund International reactions to the United States presidential election Iran Iraq Israel Mediterranean Politics Public sphere Reality Reserve Currency Saudi Arabia Shanghai Cooperation Organization SWIFT Turkey United States presidential election War Yuan Sat, 27 May 2017 02:10:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 596767 at Pelosi Concerned POTUS' Trip Wasn't Alphabetized: "I Mean, Saudi Arabia. It Wasn't Even Alphabetical" <p>Over the years, Nancy Pelosi has garnered somewhat of a reputation for saying things that don't seem to make a whole lot of sense.&nbsp; As most will recall, the pinnacle of her illogical ramblings seemingly came in March 2010 when she argued that <strong>voters would only be allowed to read the details of the Obamacare legislation after it had been passed.&nbsp; </strong></p> <p>For those who somehow managed to miss you go:</p> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Oddly, comments like the one above seem to have had absolutely no impact on San Franciscans who continue to re-elect her to public office year after year.&nbsp; And while we find that somewhat disturbing, it at least affords us all the opportunity to enjoy an endless supply of gaffes from Pelosi's very active public speaking schedule.</p> <p>In fact, the latest gift from San Francisco to the world came yesterday when Nancy held her weekly press briefing and was caught completely off-guard by a journalist who asked for her thoughts on Trump's first international trip.&nbsp; While this would seem like a 'softball question' designed specifically for Nancy to knock out of the park, <strong>she proceeded instead to have yet another on-air nervous breakdown that ended with her questioning why Trump's first foreign stops weren't organized in alphabetical order.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>“I thought it was unusual for the President of the United States to go to Saudi Arabia first. Saudi Arabia!”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“It wasn’t even alphabetical. I mean, Saudi Arabia.”</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>She goes on to point out that 4 of the 5 previous presidents all visited Canada for their first foreign trip which she seemed to find more appropriate given its rank in the alphabetical list of foreign countries.&nbsp;<strong> Of course, it does beg the question of why Obama didn't visit Afghanistan first...hmmm, quite suspicious indeed.</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="557" height="327" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Afghanistan Asia Geography of Asia Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi Obamacare Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia United States House of Representatives Sat, 27 May 2017 01:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 596754 at On Gold, Dollars, & Bitcoin <p><em><a href="">Authored by Paul Brodsky via,</a></em></p> <p>We have been bullish on gold &ndash; the barbarous relic; King Dollar &ndash; the modern hegemon; and Bitcoin &ndash; the crypto currency investors love to hate. One might say our feet have been planted firmly in the past, present and future. (We may not have three feet, but let&rsquo;s go with it.) <strong>Are we hedging our bets, being too cute by half, or is there a cogent rationale that unifies bullishness for money forms most would consider incongruous and at-odds with each other?</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="317" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>The short answer is we like:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>1) <strong>gold</strong>, because central banks around the world own it and are buying more, ostensibly to devalue their fiat currencies against it someday, after they are forced to hyper-inflate in order to reduce the burden of systemic debt service and repayment;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>2) the <strong>dollar</strong>, because dollar-denominated financial markets are broader and deeper than any other market and because the Fed is years ahead of other major central banks when it comes to normalizing policy and maintaining bank solvency (i.e., other fiats are in worse shape), and;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>3) <strong>Bitcoin</strong>, the borderless digital currency that is already being perceived as a better store of value than gold and all fiat currencies, and potentially a more expedient means of exchange too. All three should win in different ways.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>It may be easier to accept this discussion by first reminding one&rsquo;s self that monetary regimes come and go every fifty years or so.</strong> The last transition was in 1971 and the world is due for another. We have a high level of conviction that the evanescence of the current global monetary system is rooted in sound economics and already has been firmly established. A global monetary reset is necessary and likely.</p> <p>To understand why we must break down money into its two main components:<strong><em> a means of exchange and a store of value</em></strong>. When it comes to using money in exchange for goods and services, fiat currencies have it all over gold and crypto currencies presently. That&rsquo;s because governments demand taxes be paid with their fiat currencies (legal tender), forcing producers and labor to demand compensation in those currencies. As a result, banking, payment systems and all goods and service channels are set up to use fiat-sponsored currencies.</p> <p>When it comes to a store of value, however, the factors of production may choose to save in whatever form of money they want.<em><strong> If the general perception is that government-sponsored, bank system-created fiat currencies will have to be greatly diluted in the future so that systemic debts can be serviced and repaid, then savers will migrate to money forms with capped floats, like gold and Bitcoin.</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Prior to 1971, if a major government-sponsored currency was threatened with dilution, global sovereigns and savers and producers would exchange that currency for gold at a fixed exchange rate to the dollar.</strong> Or, they could simply exchange that currency for another currency less likely to be diluted. In the current regime, all economies are highly levered and all fiat currencies must be greatly diluted in the future. It comes down to timing and we think the US dollar is the best positioned of all major fiat currencies. That said, it will eventually have to be diluted too and will lose value in gold and Bitcoin terms.</p> <p>As mentioned above, <strong>gold is still owned by the world&rsquo;s major treasury ministries and central banks.</strong> (In fact, it is effectively the only asset on the Fed&rsquo;s balance sheet that is not someone else&rsquo;s liability.) If US or global economic growth were to fall enough, or contract, and central bank monetary and credit policies were to fail to stimulate positive growth, then the value of all outstanding sovereign, household and corporate debt (and bank and bondholder assets) would become stressed.</p> <p><strong>The Fed would have no choice but to devalue dollars against its other asset &ndash; gold. </strong>Other central banks would either follow suit or go along with a coordinated plan to fix their currencies to the dollar (i.e., a new Bretton-Woods agreement). If this were to happen the price of gold in dollar terms would rise by as much as five to ten times current levels, in our view. <em>(We arrive at this magnitude of change by taking the level of bank assets needed to be reserved and then using the Bretton Woods formula for currency valuation, base money divided by gold holdings.)</em></p> <p><strong>The new gold price would reflect a level at which gold holders would be willing to exchange their gold for the diluting currency.</strong> This dynamic is basically what happened in another form with US interest rates in 1980/1981. US treasury yields were forced higher by the Fed (22 percent to 15 percent along the inverted yield curve), a level at which trade partners like OPEC would accept dollars with a floating exchange rate.</p> <p><strong>Finally, Bitcoin. </strong>The BTC/USD exchange rate has gotten a lot of notice lately because it has almost doubled in the last month (se chart below)...</p> <p><a href=""><img height="351" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong><em>To listen to financial media commentary, the extraordinary move must be the result of unsophisticated financial rubes looking to get rich quick on the latest tulip fad.</em></strong></p> <p><u><strong>We disagree.</strong></u> While the dollar price of BTC may drop significantly any time as it reflects people&rsquo;s understanding of dynamic global economic and monetary conditions and of Bitcoin itself, we are highly confident the exchange rate will appreciate dramatically from current levels over time.</p> <p><strong>To be sure, faith in the flexible exchange rate fiat monetary system remains strong in G7 economies and those that actively trade with them.</strong> But major currencies require continued faith in perpetual growth without recessions and that highly leveraged, irreconcilable balance sheets will never have to be diluted.</p> <p>Meanwhile, <strong><em>access to Bitcoin takes only internet connectivity, it is free to store, and there is no need to hide it traveling across borders.</em></strong> Bitcoin, itself or as a proxy for all crypto currencies, is quickly becoming a more reliable and accessible store of value for 5 billion people across the world residing in economies without major currencies, strong central banks or stable pegs.</p> <p><strong>The store-of-value benefit is beginning to make itself clear to wealth holders in developed economies too, those becoming aware of the need for future fiat currency inflation by monetary authorities.</strong></p> <p>Those unfamiliar with crypto currencies tend to fear bubble bursting outcomes. While this fear is understandable given its newness, complexity, past volatile market action and lack of a central or sovereign regulator, it is not reality-based. Bitcoin cannot be successfully hacked due to its underlying block chain recordkeeping system, which documents every transaction and every sequential custodian in the chain (all anonymously to the world). No one can create Bitcoins outside its system or sell Bitcoins that do not exist.</p> <p><strong>Further, Bitcoin&rsquo;s float cannot be diluted without the express agreement of 51 percent of all Bitcoin holders. Bitcoins are widely dispersed across the world and there is no central authority with a political agenda. It is inconceivable why Bitcoin holders would agree to being diluted anytime soon.</strong></p> <p>At a $50 billion total market valuation, of which Bitcoin is about $30 billion, crypto currencies have almost incalculable appreciation potential vis-à-vis fiat currencies. They should gain significant market share for store of value purposes, and this could be sped up if payment systems adopt Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, or another crypto currency as a global means of exchange. After all, global fiat money amounts to nearly $100 trillion.</p> <p>Many of us who have toiled over the years as professional investors are deluded with the explicit or subconscious expectation that the perception of wealth and markets will someday revert to what they were five, ten or twenty years ago. They will not, in our view. Yes, this time IS different (as it always has been). Our money will change (as it always has).</p> <p><strong>Given the highly leveraged state of the current monetary regime, </strong>the most dominant variable for future wealth maintenance and creation, in our view, <strong>may not be asset selection but rather money selection.</strong> <em>Something to think about...</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="963" height="508" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alternative currencies Bitcoin Bitcoin Bretton Woods system Business Central Banks Cryptocurrencies Currency Digital currency Economy Fail Finance fixed Fixed exchange-rate system Foreign exchange market G7 Market Share Monetary hegemony Money OPEC Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries Sovereigns US Federal Reserve Yield Curve Sat, 27 May 2017 01:20:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 596764 at Connecticut Credit Risk Soars To Record High As Tax Receipts Tumble <p>Connecticut&rsquo;s&nbsp;general-obligation bonds are <strong>riskier than ever</strong> as plummeting income-tax collections and a $2.3 billion budget deficit moved all three credit rating companies to&nbsp;<strong>downgrade its debt</strong>.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="281" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As Bloomberg details, <em><strong>tax receipts for the current fiscal year ending in June will be about&nbsp;$451 million short&nbsp;of estimates from January,</strong></em> prompting Governor&nbsp;Dannel Malloy&nbsp;to empty the state&rsquo;s already small budget stabilization fund. To help close the gap, public employees&nbsp;agreed to accept&nbsp;a 3-year wage freeze and to contribute more for their pension and health-care benefits under a tentative deal that would save more than $1.5 billion over the next two years.</p> <p><a href=""><em>As we previously detailed, </em></a>The state of Connecticut has been hit hard by the double whammy of a deteriorating local economy, <strong>coupled with a plunge in hedge fund profits - as well as hedge fund managers permanently relocating to Florida - leading to a collapse in tax revenues. </strong>According to the the latest Connecticut budget released last week, the state is reeling from the consequences of sliding tax revenue from the super-rich, i.e. the state&#39;s hedge fund managers. The latest figures showed that <strong>tax revenue from the state&rsquo;s top 100 highest-paying taxpayers declined 45% from 2015 to 2016. </strong>The drop adds up to a $200 million revenue loss for Connecticut.</p> <p>In a dramatic, if of questionable credibility, soundbite Department of Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin Sullivan says these wealthy people are <strong>&ldquo;dramatically less wealthy than they were before.&rdquo; </strong>He was referring to annual income, not actual asset holdings, because judging by the all time high in the S&amp;P, the local financial elite have never had a higher net worth.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;When you look at the top 75, top 50 ... this is a group of wealthy people who are dramatically less wealthy than they were before,&rdquo; said Kevin Sullivan, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services. <strong>&ldquo;These folks, for a number of reasons, are either not realizing as much income or don&rsquo;t have as much income.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Just don&#39;t expect tears from the general public. Sullivan also noted how several international hedge funds have recently failed, resulting in &ldquo;significant retrenchment&rdquo; from investors. That drop in tolerance for risk brings smaller margins and ultimately less personal income for the state to tax, he added. It&#39;s fascinating how the Fed&#39;s central planning, superficially meant to restore &quot;confidence&quot; in a rigged, manipulated market is having such proound and adverse 2nd and 3rd order effects on state budgets.</p> <p>Sullivan also acknowledged part of revenue decline can also be <strong>attributed to &ldquo;a handful&rdquo; of wealthy individuals who moved to more tax-friendly states </strong>&mdash; an issue frequently raised by legislative Republicans, who argue Connecticut&rsquo;s tax policies encourage the state&rsquo;s super-rich to move out.</p> <p><u><strong>None of this should be a surprise...</strong></u> it&#39;s no wonder <a href="">more people than ever are looking to leave the increasing tax burden</a> of this troubled state?</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="940" height="440" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Budget Deficit Business Economy Finance Florida Hedge fund James Amann Money None Personal Income Social Issues Tax Tax Revenue Taxation in the United Kingdom US Federal Reserve Sat, 27 May 2017 00:55:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 596708 at Shari'ah-Compliant Crypto Gold: Could Islam Be Preparing For A New World Reserve Currency? <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Shannara Johnson via,</em></a></p> <p><u><strong>It all started pretty harmlessly:</strong></u> <em>in December 2016, after about 12 months of deliberations, the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and the World Gold Council announced a new &ldquo;Shari&rsquo;ah Standard on Gold.&rdquo;</em></p> <p><strong>The new standard was celebrated as a potentially big boost for global gold demand</strong> as it would give more than 2 billion Muslims in the world access to gold-based financial products that were previously forbidden to them.</p> <p>That included <a href="">vaulted gold</a>, gold accumulation plans, gold certificates, <a href="">gold-backed ETFs</a> like GLD, and gold mining stocks.</p> <p><strong>Under Shari&rsquo;ah law, physical gold was considered a &ldquo;ribawi item,&rdquo; which means it could only be used as a currency and worn as jewelry, but it couldn&rsquo;t be traded for speculation or future value. </strong>However, Muslim investors were well aware that the $1.8 trillion Islamic finance business was missing out on important opportunities.</p> <p>Under the new standard, <u><em><strong>Shari&rsquo;ah-compliance is guaranteed as long as <a href="">physical gold</a> is the underlying asset.</strong></em></u></p> <p>And we didn&rsquo;t have long to wait for a brand-new financial product coming from the Islamic world that combines the popularity of Bitcoin with the timeless value of physical gold: <strong>OneGram, a gold-backed, fully Shari&rsquo;ah-compliant crypto currency. </strong></p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 306px; height: 85px;" /></p> <p>The new currency was announced on May 4 at the Ritz Carlton, Dubai International Financial Center&mdash;with the official ICO (Initial Coin Offering) following only 17 days later.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;In recent years, the Middle East has seen incredible growth in fintech innovations including digital tokens and smart contracts,&rdquo; said Ibrahim Mohammed, the founder and CEO of OneGram, in his first press release. &ldquo;With OneGram, we&rsquo;re excited to provide an opportunity for investors who care about Islamic financial markets and the security of commodity-backed investments to benefit from rapid technological advances in the blockchain industry.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>According to OneGram&rsquo;s website,<strong> initially each OneGram coin (OGC) is backed by one gram of gold and can be used for digital payments, just like Bitcoin.</strong></p> <p>The total number of OGCs is fixed and won&rsquo;t change after the ICO. The digital transaction fees (minus admin costs) will be reinvested to buy more gold.</p> <p><strong><em>&ldquo;Therefore,&rdquo; states the website, &ldquo;the amount of gold backing each OGC will increase with time.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p>Plus, of course, a rising gold price and the growing acceptance of OneGram in the market are also poised to pump up its value.</p> <p><strong>Gold and crypto-currency experts are already speculating about the implications of the launch. </strong>A recent <a href="">CoinDesk review</a> stated:</p> <p style="margin-left: .5in;">Bitcoin is often referred to as a &ldquo;good&rdquo; money because of its limited supply, relative fungibility and ease of exchange. If gold can also start to satisfy those requirements, a seismic shift from fiat to digital could be easier to &ldquo;sell&rdquo;&mdash;the public is predisposed to trust gold, certainly more so than cryptography.</p> <p style="margin-left: .5in;"><strong><em>It could also open the door to the creation of a new global currency as an alternative to the dollar</em></strong>, something that Russia and China are rumored to be looking at.</p> <p style="margin-left: .5in;">[Emphasis mine.]</p> <p>We sure do live in interesting times - and it is not all that far-fetched to think that OneGram, or another gold-backed crypto currency like it, <strong>could be a stealthy way to introduce a new global gold standard.</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="306" height="85" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alternative currencies Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions Bitcoin Bitcoin Blockchain Business China CoinDesk Cryptocurrencies cryptography Dubai Economy Finance fixed Gold standard Initial Coin Offering Middle East Middle East Money Reserve Currency World currency World Gold Council World Gold Council Sat, 27 May 2017 00:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 596752 at WaPo Reports Kushner Sought "Secret" Back-Channel With Moscow, Admits It's Normal Practice <p>Looks like <a href="">we spoke too soon.</a> The holiday-weekend Trump bombshell has arrived courtesy of <a href="http://;utm_term=.e227d918ce1d">The Washington Post.</a> This time, the paper is<strong> reporting that Jared Kushner, the president&rsquo;s son-in-law and one of his closest advisors, discussed the possibility of setting up a secure communications channel between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.</strong></p> <p>The scene was set earlier in the week when <a href="">NBC reported on Thursday</a> that <strong>Kushner is now &ldquo;under FBI scrutiny&rdquo; </strong>before explaining that he&rsquo;s not an official target in the investigation.</p> <p>And now, <a href=";utm_term=.8106018f9485">WaPo reports,</a> according to the anonymous US officials, sensitive information &#39;incriminating Kushner&#39; was intercepted by US intelligence agencies when Kislyak relayed the details of the discussion to his superiors in Moscow.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 332px;" /></a></p> <p>At first brush, the report appears damning: <em>If accurate, <a href=";utm_term=.8106018f9485">WaPo </a>has unearthed actual evidence of collusion between a senior Trump associated and the Russians,</em> one might think.</p> <p>But it&rsquo;s important to keep in mind two crucial facts that <a href=";utm_term=.8106018f9485">WaPo </a>decided to bury further in their &quot;reporting.&quot;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>First, this alleged discussion occurred during a meeting at Trump Tower in early December, <strong>nearly a<u> month after Trump&rsquo;s upset victory</u> over Hillary Clinton.&nbsp; </strong>The investigations being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the House and the Senate are <strong>focused on uncovering evidence of collusion between Trump associates and the Russian government during the campaign.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And second, if it weren&rsquo;t for the implications <em>(that this is evidence of collusion between a close Trump associated and Moscow)</em>, <strong>this would be a non-story</strong>, <a href="http://;utm_term=.e227d918ce1d">as WaPo readily admits, 16 paragraphs deep:</a> <strong><em>&ldquo;<u>It is common for senior advisers of a newly elected president to be in contact with foreign leaders and officials</u>. But new administrations are generally cautious in their handling of interactions with Moscow, which U.S. intelligence agencies have accused of waging an unprecedented campaign to interfere in last year&rsquo;s presidential race and help elect Trump.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>So, to summarize </strong></u>- after Trump won the election (thus not before the election and not showing any election-tampering collusion), Kushner began discussions with the US representative of another world super-power to set up the back-channel-communications that are standard when any new president is elected.</p> <p>If that&#39;s the best the media has for a long weekend, then perhaps, just perhaps, we have jumped the shark in terms of &#39;damning&#39; leaked intercepts? Or perhaps the assumption is that the average WaPo reader will not reach the 16th paragraph, merely content with the headline confirmation of their own bias?</p> <p><em>In a separate story published Friday evening, <a href="">Wapo reported that the <strong>Senate Intelligence Committee</strong></a><strong> has asked President Trump&rsquo;s political organization to gather and produce all documents, emails and phone records going back to his campaign&rsquo;s launch in June 2015. </strong>The development is notable because it&#39;s the first time that any Congressional investigators have requested documents from the Trump campaign.</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="897" height="496" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Business Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Jared Kushner Mike Pence NBC Politics Politics of the United States Presidency of Donald Trump Presidential transition of Donald Trump Russian government Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections Senate Senate Intelligence Committee Sergey Kislyak Trump family Trump Tower Trump Tower wiretapping allegations U.S. intelligence United States Sat, 27 May 2017 00:02:17 +0000 Tyler Durden 596783 at Western Washington University Hosts Workshop On How To "Reduce The Impact Of White Privilege" <p>As part of its Campus Equity and Inclusion Forums, the enlightened faculty of Western Washington University have decided to host a workshop that aims to <strong>"reduce the impact of white privilege on social and academic relations"</strong>...because the best way to address racial barriers (real or imagined) is to host a workshop that targets individuals based purely on their race.</p> <p>The workshop series, highlighted by <a href="">The College Fix</a> earlier today, will be hosted by history professor Randall Jimerson who presumably has a lot of personal atoning to do for his white skin.&nbsp; Jimerson noted that while the seminar is open to everybody, it’s<strong> especially helpful for white folks who need to learn "how to reduce the expression and effects of their white privilege."</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>“Most people of color are aware of the existence of ‘white privilege,’ whether or not they have applied this term to the disparity between their experiences and those of white people,”</strong> he said via email. “Thus, I assume that the main focus will be on helping white participants to understand, explore, and accept (or reject) the concepts embedded in this phrase.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“I hope that the conversation will then move to <strong>ideas about how to reduce the impact of ‘white privilege’ in our daily interactions with other people, </strong>and in our consciousness of race and other socially-constructed concepts.”</p> </blockquote> <p>Thankfully, Jimerson noted that racism among white people is <strong>not based on "biology, but only on social constructs historically designed to privilege ‘white’ people over all others"</strong>...which means all white people can be cured of their illness through sensitivity training at any number of liberal bastions of higher education around the it's a good news day.</p> <p>Meanwhile, asked whether the country has made any progress at all on race relations over the past 50 years, Jimerson said he's encouraged that public schools are no longer segregated but is worried by the fact that Trump has filled his cabinet with a bunch of white supremacists.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>“As a white male—even though I have a sister-in-law, a niece, and two nephews who would be described as persons of color—I do not think that I can provide a clear answer to this question,” he said. “The nature of race relations, and how this has changed in the past 50 years, is something that I can only sense indirectly.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Although I think that the United States has made progress in some aspects of race relations—such as overt or legal segregation—recent evidence suggest we have a long way to go,” he added. “These forms of evidence range from the racist attacks on former President Barack Obama, to documented incidents of <strong>excessive police violence towards people of color, to the increase of white supremacist organizations, and the only slightly veiled racism of many members of the Trump administration.</strong> These developments are seriously troubling for anyone who values concepts of fairness, equality, and social justice.”</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>The country that poor professor is living in sounds just awful...he might be better off just abandoning it and moving to some other country that is more tolerant.</strong></p> <p>And here's your opportunity to meet the forum organizers:</p> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="361" height="226" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Barack Obama Critical race theory Discrimination Identity politics Jimerson Politics Post-structuralism Privilege Race and society Racism Social constructionism Social Issues Trump Administration Western Washington Western Washington University White People White privilege White supremacy Fri, 26 May 2017 23:40:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 596736 at