en Microchips Should Be Used As "Identification Tool", Says Doctor With 6 Implants <p>As we&rsquo;ve reported, at least two companies, one in the US, and one in Sweden, have begun offering their employees optional microchip implants. In theory, the chips make life easier by allowing employees to effortlessly open locked doors and pay for lunch.</p> <p><strong>In the US, 41 employees at a small Wisconsin technology company <a href="http://&lt;iframe width=&quot;560&quot; height=&quot;315&quot; src=&quot;; frameborder=&quot;0&quot; allowfullscreen&gt;&lt;/iframe&gt;">voluntarily agreed</a> to be microchipped at a &ldquo;chip party&rdquo; thrown at the office.</strong> At Epicenter, the Swedish company, employees hold parties for newcomers who take the plunge and become a cyborg.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;The injections have become so popular that workers at Epicenter hold parties for those willing to get implanted.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;The biggest benefit I think is convenience,&rdquo; said Patrick Mesterton, co-founder and CEO of Epicenter. <strong>As a demonstration, he unlocks a door by merely waving near it. &ldquo;It basically replaces a lot of things you have, other communication devices, whether it be credit cards or keys.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Companies and hobbyists are increasingly experimenting with the benefits of biohacking. <strong>Aleksandr Volchek, a Siberian doctor and avowed microchipping enthusiast, has implanted six chips in himself that help him easily pay for things, while also unlocking doors at his home and office with a &ldquo;wave of his hand,&quot; </strong>according to <a href="">Russia Today. </a></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>The Novosibirsk-based obstetrician-gynecologist, who calls himself a crypto anarchist, said the chips work like &ldquo;magic,&rdquo; and described them as a &ldquo;time-saving convenience.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p> <p>The process of injecting the chip is mostly painless, Volcheck says. Furthermore, he can easily remove the chips whenever he&rsquo;d like. The chips themselves can be as small as 1.5 x 8mm.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;A syringe with a thick needle is needed to inject a microchip.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The size of a standard chip is 2 &times; 12mm, and the smallest one is no more than 1.5 &times; 8mm, the doc says.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Volcheck believes that someday people will have chips for a range of purposes from payments to medicine. Someday, implanted microchips will encode a person&rsquo;s medical records, while diabetics might receive chips that function like glucometers to help them monitor their condition, <strong>though research suggests this capability is still a few years away, Volcheck said.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 283px;" /></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;I would like to have a chip for payments.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;My dream as a crypto anarchist is to have an identification tool for encrypting an electronic signature, and of course for medical application.</strong> I also want an implanted glucometer that will resolve a ton of problems many are currently facing, but research is still underway.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Spurred by the conveniences it offers, microchipping will likely become increasingly popular with hobbyists and companies. Over the next five-to-ten years, we expect that they will be used widely for both work-related and personal reasons.</p> <p>As more people become comfortable with being microchipped, it makes it easier for governments to adopt mandatory microchipping for identification purposes. <strong>What will you do when the day arrives? Will you go along with it, against your better judgment?</strong></p> <p>Looks like we&rsquo;ll all know soon enough.<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="699" height="396" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Casino token Chip Entertainment Gambling Gaming Integrated circuit Medical Records Microchip implant Radio-frequency identification six chips Mon, 21 Aug 2017 08:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 602004 at NASA Unveils Plan To Stop Yellowstone "Supervolcano" Eruption, There's Just One Catch <p>A NASA plan to stop the Yellowstone supervolcano from erupting, <strong><em>could actually cause it to blow... triggering a nuclear winter that would wipe out humanity.</em></strong></p> <p><strong><em><a href=""><img height="319" src="" width="560" /></a></em></strong></p> <p><a href="">As we have detailed recently</a>, government officials have been closely monitoring the activity in the Yellowstone caldera.</p> <p>However, <a href="">as;s Mac Slavo details</a>, <strong>scientists at NASA have now come up with an incredibly risky plan to save the United States from the super volcano</strong>.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font"><a href="" target="_blank">A&nbsp;NASA&nbsp;scientist has spoken out</a> about the true<a href="" target="_blank"> threat of super volcanoes</a> and the risky methods that could be used to prevent a devastating eruption.&nbsp;Lying beneath the tranquil and beautiful settings of<a href="" target="_blank"> Yellowstone National Park </a>in the US lies an enormous magma chamber,<a href="" target="_blank"> called a caldera.</a> It&rsquo;s responsible for the geysers and hot springs that define the area, but for scientists at NASA, it&rsquo;s also one of the<a href="" target="_blank"> greatest natural threats to human civilization</a> as we know it.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Brian Wilcox, a former member of the<a href="" target="_blank"> NASA Advisory Council on Planetary Defense</a>, shared a report on the natural hazard that hadn&rsquo;t been seen outside of the agency until now.&nbsp;Following&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">an article published by BBC about super volcanoes last month</a>, a group of NASA researchers got in touch with the media to share a report previously unseen outside the space agency about the threat Yellowstone poses, and what they hypothesize could possibly be done about it.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p class="mol-para-with-font"><strong>&ldquo;I was a member of the NASA Advisory Council on Planetary Defense which studied ways for NASA to defend the planet from asteroids and comets,&rdquo; </strong>explains Brian Wilcox of <a href="">Nasa&rsquo;s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the California Institute of Technology. </a><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">&nbsp;</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font"><strong>&ldquo;I came to the conclusion during that study that the supervolcano threat is substantially greater than the asteroid or comet threat.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Yellowstone currently leaks about 60 to 70 percent of its heat into the atmosphere through&nbsp;stream water which seeps into the magma chamber through cracks, while the rest of the heat builds up as magma and dissolves into volatile gasses.&nbsp;The heat and pressure will reach the threshold, meaning an explosion is inevitable. When <a href="" target="_blank">NASA scientists considered the fact that a super volcano&rsquo;s eruption </a>would plunge the earth into a volcanic winter, destroying&nbsp;most sources of food, starvation would then become a real possibility. &nbsp;Food reserves would <a href="" target="_blank">only last about 74 days, according to the UN</a>, after an eruption of a super volcano, like that under Yellowstone. &nbsp;And they have devised a risky plan that could end up blowing up in their faces. &nbsp;Literally.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font"><strong>Wilcox hypothesized that if enough heat was removed, and the temperature of the super volcano dropped, it would never erupt.</strong> But he wants to see a 35% decrease in temperature, and how to achieve that, is incredibly risky.&nbsp;One possibility is to simply increase the amount of water in the supervolcano. As it turns to steam. the water would release the heat into the atmosphere, making <a href="" target="_blank">global warming alarmists</a> tremble.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p class="mol-para-with-font">&ldquo;Building a big aqueduct uphill into a mountainous region would be both costly and difficult, and people don&rsquo;t want their water spent that way,&rdquo; Wilcox says. &ldquo;People are desperate for water all over the world and so a major infrastructure project, where the only way the water is used is to cool down a supervolcano, would be very controversial.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p class="mol-para-with-font"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>So, NASA came up with an alternative plan.</strong></span> They believe the most viable solution could be to<a href="" target="_blank"> drill up to 10km down into the super volcano and pump down water at high pressure. </a>The circulating water would return at a temperature of around 350C (662F), thus slowly day by day extracting heat from the volcano. And while such a project would come at an estimated cost of around $3.46 billion, it comes with an enticing catch which could convince politicians (taxpayers) to make the investment.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p class="mol-para-with-font">&ldquo;Yellowstone currently leaks around 6GW in heat,&rdquo; Wilcox says. &ldquo;Through drilling in this way, it could be used to create a geothermal plant, which generates electric power at extremely competitive prices of around $0.10/kWh. You would have to give the geothermal companies incentives to drill somewhat deeper and use hotter water than they usually would, but you would pay back your initial investment, and get electricity which can power the surrounding area for a period of potentially tens of thousands of years. And the long-term benefit is that you prevent a future supervolcano eruption which would devastate humanity.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Of course,<a href="" target="_blank"> drilling into a super volcano comes with its own risks</a>, like the eruption that scientists are desperate to prevent. Triggering an eruption by drilling would be disastrous.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p class="mol-para-with-font"><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>&ldquo;The most important thing with this is to do no harm,&rdquo; Wilcox says.</strong></span></em></p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">&nbsp;</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font"><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>&ldquo;If you drill into the top of the magma chamber and try and cool it from there, this would be very risky. This could make the cap over the magma chamber more brittle and prone to fracture. And you might trigger the release of harmful volatile gases in the magma at the top of the chamber which would otherwise not be released.&rdquo;</strong></span></em></p> </blockquote> <p class="mol-para-with-font"><strong>The cooling of Yellowstone in this manner would also take tens of thousands of years, but it is a plan that scientists at NASA are considering for every super volcano on earth.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;When people first considered the idea of defending the Earth from an asteroid impact, they reacted in a similar way to the supervolcano threat,&rdquo; Wilcox says.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;People thought, &lsquo;As puny as we are, how can humans possibly prevent an asteroid from hitting the Earth.&rsquo; Well, it turns out if you engineer something which pushes very slightly for a very long time, you can make the asteroid miss the Earth. So the problem turns out to be easier than people think. In both cases it requires the scientific community to invest brain power and you have to start early. <strong>But Yellowstone explodes roughly every 600,000 years, and it is about 600,000 years since it last exploded, which should cause us to sit up and take notice.</strong>&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>So what would happen?</strong></u></p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="560" height="319" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Caldera California Institute of Technology Climate forcing agents Doomsday scenarios Environment Geology Geothermal Global Warming Igneous rocks Magma NASA Advisory Council on Planetary Defense National Aeronautics and Space Administration Supervolcano United Nations Volcano Volcanology Yellowstone Caldera Yellowstone hotspot Yellowstone National Park Mon, 21 Aug 2017 07:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 601966 at Is A Tolerant Culture Being Replaced By An Intolerant One? <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Saher Fares via The Gatestone Institute,</em></a></p> <ul> <li>One need not go back centuries to the Muslim conquest of the Christian late classical world -- the medieval Barbary corsair raids, the Ottoman yoke in Central and Eastern Europe or the slave markets of Kaffa in Tatar Muslim Crimea -- to understand that this violence clearly predates the European colonial era, the creation of the modern state of Israel, or the issue of climate change.</li> <li>Countries such as China, Nigeria or Kenya that are <em>not</em> Western, <em>not</em> &quot;imperialist&quot;, <em>not</em> whatever the excuses that Islamists make, are still spectacularly attacked by similar stabbings. Month on month, there seems almost nowhere that Islamic terror did not strike.</li> <li>Volumes of revered Islamic texts establish in great detail the grounds of violence and oppression of non-believers and those deemed heretical. These supposed grounds -- made alive daily in madrassas and mosques across the world before being acted upon by religiously-trained terrorists -- are childishly dismissed by Western liberals as immaterial.</li> <li><strong>The first step towards a solution is to question the received knowledge tirelessly dished out by media pundits in the West. What is lacking is simply seeing a huge body of evidence of theological justification for Islamist terror.</strong></li> </ul> <p><strong>How thin can excuses wear every time an atrocity is committed in the name of Islam?</strong></p> <p>When 13 people were killed and scores more injured this week in a vehicle-ramming attack in Barcelona, Spain, and stabbing men shouting &quot;<a href="" target="_blank">This is for Allah!&quot;</a> on London Bridge and in Borough Market in June,<strong><em> what the victims least cared about was the Western elite pontificating that the latest atrocity &quot;had nothing to do with Islam&quot;.</em></strong></p> <p>British Prime Minister Theresa May <a href="" target="_blank">said</a>, <strong>&quot;It is time to say enough is enough&quot; and promised a review of her country&#39;s counter-terrorism strategy.</strong></p> <p>In the absence, however, of an honest and tempered look at the root causes of this terrorism, sacred or not, and a painful soul-searching by Muslims themselves of the grounds in their religion that give rise to such violence, it will never be &quot;enough&quot;.</p> <table align="center" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="margin-bottom: 5px; max-width: 600px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="max-width: 600px; border: 1px solid black;"><img border="0" height="400" src="" width="600" /><br /> <p style="font-size: 82%; margin: 4px 6px;">On June 4, British PM Theresa May said, &quot;It is time to say enough is enough&quot; and promised a review of her country&#39;s counter-terrorism strategy. In the absence, however, of an honest look at the root causes of this terrorism, and a painful soul-searching by Muslims of the grounds in their religion that give rise to such violence, it will never be &quot;enough&quot;. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><strong>One need not go back centuries to the Muslim conquest of the Christian late classical world -- the medieval Barbary corsair raids, the Ottoman yoke in Central and Eastern Europe or the slave markets of Kaffa in Tatar Muslim Crimea -- to understand that this violence clearly predates the European colonial era, the creation of the modern state of Israel, or the issue of climate change.</strong></p> <p>Only a fortnight ago, <a href="" target="_blank">29 Christian Copts were killed</a> for refusing to say, &quot;There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet&quot; while on a trip to an Egyptian monastery on May 26. Separately, an unconfirmed number of Christians were killed and taken hostage by a mix of Saudi, Pakistani, Chechen, Moroccan and local jihadists in the <a href="" target="_blank">southern Philippines</a> during the past few weeks. In addition, 90 people were killed in a <a href="" target="_blank">bombing in Kabul</a> on May 31, and 26 people were killed at an ice cream parlor in <a href="" target="_blank">Baghdad</a> during Ramadan. None of these massacres had anything to do with &quot;Bush&#39;s war&quot; in Iraq or U.S. President Donald J. Trump&#39;s proposed &quot;Muslim ban&quot;.</p> <p>Countries such as China, Nigeria or Kenya that are <em>not</em> Western, <em>not</em> &quot;imperialist&quot;, <em>not</em> whatever the excuses that Islamists make, are still spectacularly attacked by similar stabbings. Month on month, there seems almost nowhere Islamic terror did not strike. In January 2014, there the kidnapping and forced conversion of Christian <a href="" target="_blank">Chibok girls</a> by Boko Haram in Nigeria. In March 2014, there were <a href="" target="_blank">stabbings</a> at China&#39;s Kunming Railway Station in by eight terrorists of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement -- male and female attackers pulled out long-bladed knives and stabbed and slashed passengers. In May 2014, there was the <a href="" target="_blank">shooting at the Jewish Museum in Brussels</a>. In June 2014, there was the murder of 48 people in <a href="" target="_blank">Mpeketoni</a> in Kenya, and the list goes on for just the first half of 2014 alone.</p> <p>The slaughter at <a href="" target="_blank">London&#39;s Parliament Square</a>; the <a href="" target="_blank">Manchester</a> Arena; the <a href="" target="_blank">St. Petersburg</a> Metro; <a href="" target="_blank">Paris&#39;s</a> Bataclan Theater and sports stadium; the three bombings <a href="" target="_blank">targeting travelers in Brussels</a>; last Christmas&#39;s <a href="" target="_blank">truck-ramming attack</a> on a packed festival market in Berlin, to name but a few of the further incidents -- all really had nothing to do with avenging the Congolese from the onerous legacy of King Leopold.</p> <p>Rather, volumes of revered Islamic texts establish in great detail the grounds of violence and oppression of non-believers and those deemed heretical. These supposed grounds -- made alive daily in madrassas and mosques across the world before being acted upon by religiously trained terrorists -- are childishly dismissed by Western liberals as immaterial.</p> <p><strong>Meanwhile, men, women and children are being offered as human sacrifices on the altar of political cynicism. Divine justice will doubtlessly judge not only the murderers and a creed that often seems bloodthirsty, but also those who insist, against all evidence, that this creed has nothing to do with those deaths.</strong></p> <p>The first step towards a solution is to question the received knowledge tirelessly dished out by media pundits in the West, and confirmed by too many supposed Muslim &quot;moderates&quot; both at home and abroad. What is lacking is simply seeing a huge body of evidence of theological justification for Islamist terror.</p> <p>Have the statements by politicians in the 1990s (for example, at the time of Sheikh <a href="" target="_blank">Omar Abdul-Rahman&#39;s plot</a> against the World Trade Center) changed from those uttered in the wake of 9/11, or again from those repeated after the <a href="" target="_blank">San Bernardino attack</a> in 2015? Do politicians give their &quot;Islam is a religion of peace&quot; platitudes out of political expediency or even the slightest knowledge of the ideology of Islam? Do they know actually know more about Islam than many of Islam&#39;s learned <em>ulema</em> (scholars), including Ibn Taymiyyah, or the authentic <em>hadith</em> (actions and sayings of Muhammad)? One says:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;Allah&#39;s Apostle said, &#39;I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and I have been made victorious with terror.&#39;&quot; (<a href="" target="_blank">Sahih Al-Bukhari 122</a>)</p> </blockquote> <p>How does one read verses in the Quran such as:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&quot;I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers. Smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them. This is because they contended against Allah and His Messenger. If any contend against Allah and His Messenger, Allah is strict in punishment.&quot; (8:12-13)?</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>When it is said that Islam has nothing to do with verses such as these, is that meant to appease Muslims, comfort the victims of Islamic terror or support the comfort of the non-Muslim community? If it is the first, well, as history teaches, appeasement simply does not work. Besides, it would be an offensive to presume that Muslims, all Muslims, are to be held responsible for a creed that, in their own understanding of it, greatly varies from one individual to another. If the denial is intended to comfort victims, it does not. And as for the comfort of the non-Muslim community, what is being served up has to be based on what is visibly true. Should such arguments not <em>first</em> be pitched to try to convince those who are willing to kill and be killed in the name of Islam, rather than to those out to have a good time on a Saturday evening?</p> <p><strong>Will the time come when reformers in the Islamic world will have louder voices in scrutinizing Islam -- despite the obvious dangers to their lives -- than Western elites, who are merely afraid of being falsely accused of being &quot;Islamophobes&quot;? Why should it be &quot;Islamophobic&quot; to want to defend yourself?</strong></p> <p>For nearly two years, a prime-time TV program by a young Egyptian reformist, Islam el-Beheiry, has called for an overhaul of the millennium-old compilation of <em>hadiths</em>. <a href="" target="_blank">He argues</a> that much of it is incompatible with modernity and the best understanding of divinity and prophethood:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;Such tradition has very little good amid a multitude of evil, least of which is the insistence by all the Four Schools of Sunni Islam that Christians can be killed with impunity. A Muslim life is &#39;superior&#39; to that of a non-Muslim. Such is the <em>Ijmaa&#39;</em> (jurisprudence consensus).&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Beheiry was sentenced in May 2015 to five years in prison with hard labor for &quot;defamation of religion&quot; -- thanks to Egypt&#39;s blasphemy law. The sentence was reduced in December 2015 to one year. After serving most of his sentence, he was released on a presidential pardon.</p> <p>Still, this Ramadan 2017, Beheiry was back again on the screen with a program he calls &quot;The Map&quot;, in which he is trying to build a scientific way of judging what he thinks is divine and what is not in the mass of Islamic literature.</p> <p>Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, an army general who in 2014 came to power following vast street protests against the short-lived rule of the Muslim Brotherhood, <a href="" target="_blank">said</a> it was no longer feasible that the Muslim World would set itself &quot;in enmity against the whole world&quot;.</p> <p><u><strong>Now, in Europe, some rightly ask: If one in a thousand is a bad apple, why should we judge all the apples. One also needs to ask: If one in a thousand apple blows up in my yard, how many more violent incidents will Europe get after bringing in a cartload of millions more? Or, what if the problem is not really with the fruit, but with the tree itself?</strong></u></p> <p><em><strong>Why is a desire to preserve one&#39;s own culture deemed racist? I do not believe that I am better because I am or am not a Muslim. Is it &quot;xenophobic&quot; to ask such questions when the violence keeps edging closer and closer to home? Why should it be &quot;Islamophobic&quot; to want to defend yourself?</strong></em></p> <p>I do not fear Muslims, but I fear that a tolerant culture is being replaced by an intolerant, misogynistic, anti-Semitic and supremacist one -- espoused, even semi-consciously, by much of the Islamic world today. It is a world that is being assured by its scholars that such intolerant, misogynistic, anti-Semitic and supremacist manifestations are, in all ages, in the best spirit of Islam.</p> <p><em><strong>Is it &quot;Islamophobic&quot; to be angry at such atrocities committed every day, or to be angry at politicians who lie about what Islam is and is not, and merely call their challengers names while failing to do anything to stop the atrocities?</strong></em></p> <p><em>Should European courts and parliaments criminalize free speech that criticizes this understanding of Islam among the bulk of Islamic jurists, when those jurists stand at the head of an assembly-line of suicide bombers targeting Western nationals?</em></p> <p><em>Should those who ask questions about Islamic terror be ostracized by the mainstream media and academia, while those institutions themselves give no answers to the jihadist problem of &quot;holy hate&quot; in our midst?</em></p> <p><strong><em>I do not wish the world to turn against Muslims. I only wish the sages would stop and think if all this really has &quot;nothing to do with Islam.&quot; Can we not say, &quot;stop justifying murderers in the name of your religion&quot;?</em></strong></p> <p><em>Can we not simply say that such creeds will not be allowed here in the West, will not be whitewashed, glossed over, or explained away by Westerners through a mixture of cultural cringe and a misguided sense of guilt? Can we not reject jihad, accept apostasy, and be able freely to ask questions in our public spaces, on our television shows, in our schools and on our streets?</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="217" height="131" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Apple Central Europe China Criticism of Islam East Turkestan Islamic Movement Eastern Europe Eastern Europe Gatestone Institute Iraq Islam Islam and politics Islamic terrorism Islamism Israel Jihad Manchester Arena Muslim Brotherhood None Religion Religion Religion of peace Religious controversies Religious terrorism southern Philippines Wahhabism World Trade Mon, 21 Aug 2017 07:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 602013 at Tesla Is The World's 4th Largest Automaker (Despite Only Selling 76,000 Cars In 2016) <p><strong>It&rsquo;s been another breakout year for Tesla. </strong>Over the course of 2017, <strong>the company&rsquo;s market capitalization has soared beyond those of major manufacturers like Ford, GM, BMW, Honda, and Nissan.</strong> This thrust can be partly attributed to the company&rsquo;s Model S, which reigns supreme as the top-selling plug-in electric car worldwide in 2015 and 2016.</p> <p>But, <a href="">as Visual Capitalist&#39;s Jeff Desjardins notes, </a>more importantly for Tesla, this massive momentum is based on the company&rsquo;s much-anticipated future performance. Investors and analysts eagerly anticipate progress as the company ramps up production of the more affordable Model 3, and many also strongly believe that Elon Musk brings an &ldquo;X Factor&rdquo; that could translate into future returns.</p> <p>In today&rsquo;s charts, <strong>we look at Tesla&rsquo;s ascent in valuation to become the #4 ranked automaker globally, and also the #1 maker in America.</strong> We also show why the value assigned to Tesla&rsquo;s astonishing valuation may be premature, at least based on conventional metrics.</p> <p style="clear: both;"><a href=""><img src="" style="border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; height: 449px; width: 601px;" /></a></p> <div><em>Courtesy of: <a href="">Visual Capitalist</a></em></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2><u>TESLA&rsquo;S RAPID ASCENT</u></h2> <p>In the opening months of 2013, Tesla was just starting to plan deliveries for its Model S. At the time, the company was worth a mere $3.9 billion &ndash; just 7% of the value of Ford.</p> <p>Since then, Tesla&rsquo;s value has skyrocketed to make it the most valued auto company in North America:</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 371px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>Despite only producing 76,230 vehicles in 2016, Tesla is now the biggest of the &ldquo;Big 3&rdquo; &ndash; and this puts a lot of pressure on the company to live up to the vast expectations held by investors and media.</strong></p> <h2><u>THE SPECULATOR&rsquo;S GAMBIT</u></h2> <p>With so much hype and value assigned to expectations of future performance, Tesla and its enthusiastic investors are in a potentially tough spot.</p> <p><strong>Even though it is the most valued car company in the United States, Tesla is much less impressive by more conventional metrics:</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 297px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>The company has just a fraction of the employees, vehicle deliveries, and revenue of its competitors. Tesla also treads a similar path to Amazon, in that it will likely take a while for the company to ever post a profit.</strong></p> <p>Here&rsquo;s another look, this time showing Tesla&rsquo;s metrics as a percentage of GM&rsquo;s:</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 599px; height: 184px;" /></a></p> <p><em><u><strong>Tesla is producing less than 1% as many cars as GM, but is worth more in market value.</strong></u></em></p> <p>That&rsquo;s not to say that Tesla will not ultimately live up to expectations &ndash; but it does put into perspective the risk of banking on these future returns.</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="1055" height="584" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Business Business Electric car Elon Musk Ford Nationality Nikola Tesla Plug-in electric vehicle Tesla Model S Tesla, Inc. Transport Valuation Wireless energy transfer Mon, 21 Aug 2017 06:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 601999 at US Policy Paradox: How To Lose Friends And Influence Nothing <p><em><a href="">Authored by Adam Garrie via The Asia Times,</a></em></p> <p>When Paul Robeson belted out the lyric “I’m tired of living, and scared of dying,” he stumbled on to a <strong>paradox of emotional dissonance that could easily define the geo-strategic cognitive dissonance that the US exhibits when dealing with its fellow superpowers Russia and China.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="328" /></a></p> <p><strong>Time and again the United States has shown that it does not want war with either of those countries,&nbsp;and these feelings are of course mutual. However, the US has a strange penchant for conducting provocative measures that&nbsp;inexorably harm relations with both Russia and China in mind-blowingly close proximity in time to moves suggesting rapprochement or, at minimum, de-escalation of tensions.</strong></p> <div> <div>The most recent example is the Pentagon signing an agreement to open lines of direct communication with the commanders of the People’s Liberation Army to avoid “miscalculations” in areas ranging from the Korean Peninsula to the South and East China Seas.</div> </div> <p>In a rational environment, this would be seen as a US climb-down over actions China finds unacceptable in Korea and in its maritime waters. But in the current environment, while the US has signed an agreement that&nbsp;would ideally reduce tensions between the Chinese and US armed forces, the US president has also authorized his government to open an investigation into Chinese trade practices. While the proximate issue is US intellectual-property rights in China, the phrase “anti-Chinese sanctions” is on the tip of everyone’s lips.</p> <p><strong>Far from being out of character, the dichotomy of cooperating with China and engaging in a would-be pre-emptive trade war that the Chinese Ministry of Commerce has warned could be deeply dangerous is actually par for the course under the Trump administration.</strong></p> <p>On&nbsp;July 7, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin met for the first time. The most meaningful outcome of the meeting was the agreement jointly to police a ceasefire and accompanying de-escalation zone in southwestern Syria, along with Jordan.</p> <p>Less than a month later, Trump signed a sanctions bill against Russia that&nbsp;Moscow remains furious about. Détente 2.0 officially lasted from July 7 to August 3, 2017.</p> <p>In respect of Iran, the Trump administration has quietly but officially stated that Tehran has not violated a single clause of the 2015 nuclear deal, but US officials continue to sanction Iran and continue to speak of Iran as though it has violated every agreement ever signed in history.</p> <p><strong>This has the aggregate effect of making the United States appear tired of warring but scared of cooperating.</strong></p> <p>In reality, neither Russia, China nor Iran wants war with the United States. One could also add North Korea, Mexico, Syria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe or just about every other country on the planet to that list.</p> <p>Therefore, while moves to de-escalate military tensions are positive developments no matter where they happen,<strong> the mixed signals the US is sending will only serve as a demonstration that the US is not serious about proper de-escalation and cooperation and therefore it is only natural for the wider world to assume the worst about the United States, which far too often translates into “the tense status quo hasn’t changed”.</strong></p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>What’s more is that while pundits argue over whether this is part of a larger American geo-strategic plan to sow confusion or is simply an inexperienced Trump administration that cannot decide if it is coming or going, the wider world is more concerned with the effect than the cause. &nbsp;</strong></span></em></p> <p>In this sense, the US is less like the longing voice of “Old Man River” than it is like the author of a future worst-seller, “How to Lose Friends and Influence Nothing”.</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="615" height="336" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Adam China Chinese Ministry of Commerce Cognitive Dissonance Donald Trump Donald Trump East China Foreign policy of the Donald Trump administration Iran Liberation Army Mexico North Korea Pentagon Politics Politics Presidency of Donald Trump Reality South China southwestern Syria Trade War Trump Administration United States Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin Mon, 21 Aug 2017 06:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 602001 at Video Emerges Showing Clashes Between Indian, Chinese Soldiers <p>Late last week, <a href="">we reported </a>that in the first documented clash between Chinese and Indian soldiers who have been piling up across the border between the two nations over the latest territorial dispute, "Indian and Chinese soldiers were involved in an altercation" in the western Himalayas on Tuesday, "further raising tensions between the two countries which are already locked in a two-month standoff in another part of the disputed border." A Reuters source in New Delhi who was briefed on the military situation on the border, said Indian soldiers "foiled a bid by a group of Chinese troops to enter Indian territory in Ladakh, near the Pangong lake." <strong>He added that some of the Chinese soldiers carried iron rods and stones, and in the melee there were minor injuries on both sides</strong>. </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"There was an altercation near the Pangong lake," said a police officer in Srinagar, the capital of India's Jammu and Kashmir state, under which the area falls. An army source in Srinagar, quoted by Reuters, spoke of an altercation following what he called a Chinese army "incursion in Pangong lake area". This fresh standoff at Pangong Tso lake in Ladakh comes in the backdrop of tensions between Indian and Chinese troops over Doklam plateau in Sikkim sector with the PLA skipping the ceremonial border meetings on Independence Day. </p> </blockquote> <p>What is notable about this concerning breakout of violence, is how silent both India and China have been, with neither side issuing an official statement confirming or denying last week's events. </p> <p>Overnight, thanks to India's NDTV, five days after the "unconfirmed" scuffle in Ladakh, a video of the clash has surfaced. The video, which has been widely circulated on social media, shows many soldiers from the two countries punching and kicking each other and throwing stones.</p> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="338" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><em>h/t <a href="">Stock Board Asset</a></em><a href=""></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="489" height="263" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bhutan–India relations China China–India border China–India relations Chinese army Doklam Foreign relations of China Geography of Asia Geography of Jammu and Kashmir India International relations Ladakh Pangong Pangong Tso Reuters Territorial disputes of China War Mon, 21 Aug 2017 03:09:46 +0000 Tyler Durden 601983 at Eclipse Warning: "1000s Of People Will Damage or Entirely Lose Their Eyesight Tomorrow" <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Mac Slavo via,</em></a></p> <p>With a rare solar eclipse approaching and <a href="" target="_blank">millions of people flocking to locations</a> around the United States that are in or near the path of totality, <strong>some may not realize that the celestial event poses an extreme danger.</strong></p> <p><strong><a href=""><img height="251" src="" width="540" /></a></strong></p> <p>As noted by Karl Denninger at <a href="" target="_blank">The Market Ticker</a>, while the August 21st solar eclipse may be a once in a lifetime sight to see, the actual act of seeing it may cause serious damage to your eyesight:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>You&rsquo;ve&nbsp;<em>probably&nbsp;</em>seen various sites talking about safety issues. &nbsp;<strong>The issues are real,&nbsp;</strong>and what I&rsquo;m sharing with you on this post is&nbsp;<strong>important</strong>. &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Read it, understand it,&nbsp;<em><strong>do not believe for one second that any of this can be trifled with</strong></em>&nbsp;and if you have young people around you make damn sure&nbsp;<strong>they</strong>&nbsp;understand all of this as well.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>There will be thousands of people who will either damage or&nbsp;<em>entirely lose&nbsp;</em>their eyesight tomorrow and there is exactly&nbsp;zero&nbsp;that a doc in the ER or anywhere else will be able to do for you if you wind up screwing yourself by being ignorant, stupid or both.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Please do not be one of the people that have that happen.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank">Denninger&rsquo;s full warning can be found here</a>.</em></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Because the eyes do not have pain receptors, if you are looking at the eclipse you will not know that your eyes are literally burning.</strong></p> <p>There will be no forewarning that you are about to lose your eyesight. And there will be nothing a doctor can do to restore your vision once the damage has been done.</p> <p><u><strong>Sun glasses will <span style="text-decoration: underline;">not</span> help. </strong></u></p> <p>Only a commercial grade visual-rated solar filter will safely protect the eyes and as reported earlier this week, even <a href="" target="_blank">those have been counterfeited</a> and sold at places like</p> <p>We urge our readers to speak with friends and family about this very serious threat to your vision, especially if you have young children.</p> <p><em>Map:</em></p> <p><img alt="eclipse-map" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-47568" height="274" src="" width="540" /></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="540" height="251" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Astrology Astronomy Eclipses Environment Karl Denninger Karl Denninger Nature Solar eclipse Sun Mon, 21 Aug 2017 02:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 602000 at Grab A Beer Philadelphia, The Soda Is Too Damn Expensive <p><em><a href="">Via,</a></em></p> <h3><u><strong><em>What happened: </em></strong></u></h3> <p><strong>Turns out when soda cost the same as beer, people choose to drink beer. That is what is happening in Philadelphia.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 244px; height: 188px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>The city&rsquo;s 1.5 cent per&nbsp;ounce&nbsp;tax on soda has made beer a cheaper option. </strong>But that isn&rsquo;t the only effect of the ill conceived plan to raise revenue.</p> <p>The tax didn&rsquo;t raise the money expected, according t&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">o a study by the Tax Foundation</a>.</p> <p><strong>Stores have already seen huge declines in soda sales</strong>, meaning people are either going outside the city to buy, buying beer instead, or not drinking soda.</p> <p>Now if the residents did cut down on soda, some might see this as a win, despite the low tax revenue. But from the outset, the Mayor was quite clear that the aim of the tax was to raise money, not to influence health.</p> <p><strong>The city claimed the tax revenue would fund pre-kindergarten programs. But less than half of the meager revenue is actually being put into the school system.</strong></p> <h3><u><em><strong>What this means: </strong></em></u></h3> <p><strong>Looks like &ldquo;for the children&rdquo; was just another excuse for government greed.</strong></p> <p>Governments refuse to believe in economics. They think they can just continue to pile the taxes on. But once the costs get too high, people change their behavior.</p> <p>Sometimes that means going somewhere else to buy your soda. Sometimes that means making different choices, like beer instead of soda.</p> <p><strong>But hardly ever do governments get what they predict. </strong>The mayor even originally wanted the tax to be 3 cents per ounce. Some stores are reporting a 50% drop in soda sales, so you can imagine what would have happened at double the tax rate. Yet all the greedy politicians imagine is dollar signs.</p> <p><em><strong>The beer companies are really the only ones who made out on the deal. </strong></em></p> <p><u><em><strong>Might make a conspiracy theorist wonder...</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="244" height="188" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Business Economy Excises Food and drink Health Jim Kenney Obesity Personal life Public health Soft drinks Sugary drink tax Tax Tax Foundation Tax Revenue Mon, 21 Aug 2017 02:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 602011 at "The Taps Are Gushing" Hong Kong ATM Withdrawals Surge As Facial Recognition Fears Spread <p>Amid a crackdown on unauthorized mainland currency outflows by<a href=""> forcing ATM users to undertake facial recognition before cash is dispensed in Macau</a>, Hong Kong ATMs are reportedly being hit by a massive surge in withdrawals from China&#39;s UnionPay bank cards.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="362" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><a href="">As The South China Morning Post notes,</a> <strong>the mainland has been strengthening regulations since last year when a decline in the &shy;value of the yuan led to widespread capital outflows</strong>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Mainland people are allowed to withdraw up to 100,000 yuan (HK$117,000) in cash overseas and remit up to US$50,000 worth of foreign currency offshore &shy;annually, according to 2016 &shy;foreign &shy;exchange regulations.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Users of UnionPay cards can withdraw up to 10,000 yuan per day for each card they hold.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To skirt around the foreign &shy;exchange controls, some individuals have been using separate ATM cards to make cash withdrawals, prompting the regulators to crack down on the practice.</p> </blockquote> <p>The <a href=""><strong>most invasive of those crackdowns was the imposition of facial recognition technology in Macau ATMs</strong></a>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Regulators in the world&rsquo;s most lucrative gaming hub are<strong> deploying machines with &ldquo;Minority Report&rdquo;-style technology to keep tabs on capital outflows from China and watch for potential money laundering schemes.</strong> China UnionPay Co.&rsquo;s network is the first to use the software, which will be installed in all the city&rsquo;s 1,200 cash dispensers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;This is aimed at illicit outflows of capital from China,&rdquo; said Sean Norris, Asia Pacific managing director at Accuity in Singapore. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s aimed at people drawing out money in Macau, going to the casino, betting very little, getting forex from there and moving it.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>But now, <a href="">as SCMP reports</a>, one source explains...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>&quot;It seems quite clear that as the introduction of ATM facial recognition technology in Macau has put the squeeze on cash dispensing withdrawals in Macau, the pattern of withdrawals has &shy;followed the path of least resistance - and that is to Hong Kong.&quot;</strong></em></span></p> </blockquote> <p>Monetary chiefs in Hong Kong have declined to deny or confirm information obtained by the<a href=""> South China Morning Post</a> that ATMs have seen a &quot;staggering&#39;&#39; rise in withdrawals since the &shy;casino hub introduced the facial recognition technology in May as part of a bid to stem illegal capital flight from the mainland.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&quot;The rise in ATM withdrawals in terms of volume and number has been staggering. The taps are gushing,&quot;</strong> a source with knowledge of the situation said.</p> </blockquote> <p>The development follows a move by the <strong>Hong Kong Monetary Authority to instruct local banks to submit data on cash withdrawals by UnionPay cards throughout the ATM network</strong> as the regulator cracks down on &shy;unauthorised mainland outflows.</p> <p>The Monetary Authority spokeswoman added:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;The HKMA endeavours to enhance the security level of banking &shy;systems.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&quot;We have been studying the applications of different technologies, including the feasibility, soundness and cost efficiency of facial recognition and other types of biometric authentication technologies, having regard to the technologies used in other &shy;jurisdictions.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;However, we have no plans to require ATMs to install facial &shy;recognition technology.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Which leads to one simple question...<em> If everything is so awesome over there, why are Chinese authorities cracking down so hard on what seems like utter panic to get cash out of the onshore market?</em></p> <p><strong>And do not be fooled by the &quot;strengthening Yuan&quot; narrative...</strong> once again China is continuing to devalue its currency against the world... while maintaining the &quot;Shanghai Accord&quot;-like illusion that it is strengthening again the USD...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 301px;" /></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="564" height="270" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> -style technology Asia Pacific ATM ATM card ATM facial recognition technology Automated teller machines Banking in China biometric authentication technologies Business China China UnionPay Digital currency facial recognition facial recognition technology Finance Financial services Hong Kong Hong Kong dollar Hong Kong Monetary Authority Interbank networks Macau Money Payment systems South China Yuan Mon, 21 Aug 2017 01:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 602012 at The Future Of The Third World <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Jayant Bhandari via,</em></a></p> <h3><u><strong>Decolonization </strong></u></h3> <p>The British Empire was the largest in history. At the end of World War II Britain had to start pulling out from its colonies. A major part of the reason was, ironically, the economic prosperity that had come through industrialization, massive improvements in transportation, and the advent of telecommunications, ethnic and religious respect, freedom of speech, and other liberties offered by the empire.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-51182" height="284" src="" width="640" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;">The colors represent the colonies of various nations in 1945, and the colonial borders of that time &ndash; click to enlarge.</p> <p><span id="more-51179">&nbsp;</span></p> <p>After the departure of the British &mdash; as well as the French, German, Belgians, and other European colonizers &mdash; most of the newly &ldquo;independent&rdquo; countries suffered rapid decay in their institutions, stagnant economies, massive social strife, and a fall in standards of living. An age of anti-liberalism and tyranny descended on these former colonies. They rightly became known as third-world countries.</p> <p>An armchair economist would have assumed that the economies of these former colonies, still very backward and at a very low base compared to Europe, would grow at a faster rate. Quite to the contrary, as time went on, their growth rates stayed lower than those of the West.</p> <p>Socialism and the rise of dictators were typically blamed for this &mdash; at least among those on the political Right. This is not incorrect, but it is a merely proximate cause. Clarity might have been reached if people had contemplated the reason why Marxism and socialism grew like weeds in the newly independent countries.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><u><strong>Was There a Paradigm Shift in the 1980s?</strong></u></h3> <p>According to conventional wisdom, the situation changed after the fall of the socialist ringleader, the USSR, in the late 1980s. Ex-colonized countries started to liberalize their economies and widely accepted democracy, leading to peace, the spread of education and equality, the establishment of liberal, independent institutions. Massive economic growth ensued and was sustained over the past three decades. The &ldquo;third world&rdquo; was soon renamed &ldquo;emerging markets.&rdquo;</p> <p>Alas, this is a faulty narrative. Economic growth did pick up in these poor countries, and the rate of growth did markedly exceed that of the West, but the conventional narrative confuses correlation with causality. It tries to fit events to ideological preferences, which assume that we are all the same, that if Europeans could progress, so should everyone else, and that all that matters are correct incentives and appropriate institutions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-51186" height="192" src="" width="640" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;">The beginning and end of the Soviet communist era in newspaper headlines. The overthrow of Kerensky&rsquo;s interim government was the start of Bolshevik rule. To be precise, the Bolsheviks took over shortly thereafter, when they disbanded the constituent assembly in in early 1918 and subsequently gradually did the same to all non-Bolshevik Soviets that had been elected. A little more than seven decades later, the last Soviet Bolshevik leader resigned. It is worth noting that by splitting the Russian Federation from the Ukraine and Belorussia, Yeltsin effectively removed Gorbachev from power &ndash; the latter was suddenly president of a country that no longer existed and chairman of a party that was declared illegal in Russia. [PT] &ndash; click to enlarge.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The claimed liberalization in the &ldquo;emerging markets&rdquo; after the collapse of the USSR did not really happen. Progress was always one step forward and two steps back. In some ways, government regulations and repression of businesses in the &ldquo;emerging markets&rdquo; have actually gotten much worse. Financed by increased taxes, governments have grown by leaps and bounds &mdash; not for the benefit of society but for that of the ruling class &mdash; and are now addicted to their own growth.</p> <p>The ultimate underpinnings of the so-called emerging markets haven&rsquo;t changed. Their rapid economic progress during the past three decades &mdash; a one-off event &mdash; happened for reasons completely different from those assumed by most economists. The question is: once the effect of the one-off event has worn off, will emerging markets revert to the stagnation, institutional degradation, and tyranny that they had leaped into soon after the European colonizers left?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><u><strong>The One-Off Event: What Actually Changed in the 1980s</strong></u></h3> <p>In the &ldquo;emerging markets&rdquo; (except for China) synchronized favorable economic changes were an anomaly. They resulted in large part from the new, extremely cheap telephony that came into existence (a result of massive cabling of the planet implemented in the 1980s) and the subsequent advent of the new technology of the internet. The internet enabled instantaneous transfer of technology from the West and as a consequence, unprecedented economic growth in &ldquo;emerging markets.&rdquo;</p> <p>Meanwhile, a real cultural, political, and economic renaissance started in China. It was an event so momentous that it changed the economic structure not just of China, but of the whole world. Because China is seen as a communist dictatorship, it fails to be fully appreciated and respected by intellectuals who are obsessed with the institution of democracy.</p> <p>But now that the low-hanging fruit from the emergence of the internet and of China (which continues to progress) have been plucked, the &ldquo;emerging markets&rdquo; (except, again, for China) are regressing to their normal state: decay in their institutions, stagnant economies, and social strife. They should still be called the &ldquo;third world.&rdquo;</p> <p>There are those who hold China in contempt for copying Western technology, but they don&rsquo;t understand that if copying were so easy, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and South Asia would have done the same. They were, after all, prepared for progress by their colonial history.</p> <p>European colonizers brought in the rule of law and significantly reduced the tribal warfare that was a matter of daily routine in many of the colonies &mdash; in the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Britain and other European nations set up institutional structures that allowed for the accumulation of intellectual and financial capital. Western-style education and democracy were initiated. But this was helpful in a very marginal way.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><u><strong>What is Wrong with the Third World</strong></u></h3> <p>For those who have not traveled and immersed themselves in formerly colonized countries, it is hard to understand that although there was piping for water and sewage in Roman days, it still isn&rsquo;t available for a very large segment of the world&rsquo;s population. The wheel has existed for more than 5,000 years, but a very large number of people continue to carry water in pots on their heads.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-51184" height="500" src="" width="333" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Lead piping supplying water to homes already existed in Roman days, 2000 years ago.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-51183" height="500" src="" width="375" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">The Ljubljana Marshes Wheel, which is more than 5,000 years old</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-51181" height="500" src="" width="332" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">There are easily a billion or more people today, who have no concept of either the pipe or the wheel, even if they went to school. It is not the absence of technology or money that is stopping these people from starting to use some basic forms of technology. It is something else.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sir Winston Churchill, the war-time Prime Minister of Britain, talking about the future of Palestine said:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;I do not admit&hellip; that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race&hellip; has come in and taken their place.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-51185" height="500" src="" width="517" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Cigar-puffing British war-time PM Winston Churchill was as politically incorrect as they come. If he were alive today, he would probably be labeled the newest Hitler by the press and spend 90% of his time apologizing. Perhaps we shouldn&rsquo;t mention this, but there are <span lang="zxx"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href=";safe=off&amp;source=lnms&amp;tbm=isch&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwjH3evbl-LVAhVBPBoKHTXjDrQQ_AUICigB&amp;biw=1257&amp;bih=473">many Churchill monuments dotted across Europe</a></span></span> and one can be found <span lang="zxx"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="">in Washington DC as well</a></span></span> (alert readers will notice that a decidedly non-triggered Washington Post fondly remembered Churchill as an &ldquo;elder statesman&rdquo; a mere 10 months ago; rest assured that won&rsquo;t stop the social justice warrior brigade if they decide to airbrush him out of history). Just to make this clear, your editor is not exactly the biggest fan of the man who traded away half of Europe to Stalin because he felt he could &ldquo;trust the Soviet communist government&rdquo; and who was clearly a tad too enamored of war, a characteristic Robert Kaplan <span lang="zxx"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="">described</a></span></span> in his strident, amoral pro-war screed <em>Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Demands a Pagan Ethos</em> as follows: <em>&ldquo;Churchill&rsquo;s unapologetic warmongering arose not from a preference for war, but from a breast-beating Victorian sense of imperial destiny&hellip;&rdquo; </em>Neither the breast-beating nor the sense of imperial destiny are really our thing, but we tip our hat to the man&rsquo;s utter lack of political correctness and his associated willingness to offend all and sundry with a nigh Trumpian alacrity and determination. [PT]</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On Islam, he said:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist&hellip;&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Talking about India he famously said:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>A remark often attributed to Churchill, although this remains unverified, has certainly stood the test of time so far:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;If independence is granted to India, power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues, freebooters; all Indian leaders will be of low caliber and men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles. A day will come when even air and water will be taxed in India.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Europeans of that time clearly knew that there was something fundamentally different between the West and the rest, and that the colonies would not survive without the pillars and the cement European management provided.</p> <p>With the rise of political correctness this wisdom was erased from our common understanding &ndash; but it is something that may well return to haunt us in the near future, as the third world fails to fulfill expectations, while people who immigrate to Europe, Canada, Australia and the US from there <span lang="zxx"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href=""><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: medium;">fail to assimilate.</span></span></a></span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><u><strong>The Missing Underpinnings: Reason And All That Depends On It</strong></u></h3> <p>Until now, the hope among people in the World Bank, the IMF, and other armchair intellectuals was that once the correct incentives were in place and institutions were organized, these structures imposed from on high would put the third world on a path to perpetual growth. They couldn&rsquo;t have been more wrong.</p> <p>The cart has been put in front of the horse. It is institutions that emerge from the underlying culture, not the other way around. And cultural change is a process taking millennia, perhaps even longer. As soon as Europeans quit their colonies, the institutional structures they left started to crumble.</p> <p>Alas, it takes a Ph.D. from an Ivy League college and a quarter of a million dollar salary at the World Bank or the IMF to <em>not </em>understand what the key issue with development economics and institutional failures is: the missing ingredient in the third world was and is the concept of objective, impartial reason &ndash; the basis of laws and institutions that protect individual rights.</p> <p>This concept of reason took 2,500 years to develop and get infused into the culture, memes, and genes of Europeans &mdash; a difficult process that, even in Europe, was never fully completed. European institutions were at their root products of this concept.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-51187" height="301" src="" width="640" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">A justly famous quote by Thomas Paine (a prolific writer with a side job as a founding father and revolutionary). Paine was deeply suspicious of self-anointed authorities, both of the secular and clerical variety, who in turn regarded him as dangerous. His writings <em>inter alia</em> provoked a so-called &ldquo;pamphlet war&rdquo; in Britain (it would be best if all wars were conducted via pamphlets). [PT]</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Despite massive efforts by missionaries, religious and secular, and of institutions imposed on poor countries, reason failed to get transmitted. Whatever marginal improvement was achieved over 200 to 300 years of colonization is therefore slowly but surely undone.</p> <p>Without reason, subsidiary concepts such as equality before the law, compassion and empathy won&rsquo;t operate. Irrational societies simply cannot maintain institutions representing the rule of law and fairness. The consequence is that they cannot evolve or even maintain institutions the European colonizers left behind.</p> <p>Any institutions imposed on them &mdash; schools, armies, elections, national executives, banking and taxation systems &mdash; must mutate to cater to the underlying irrationality and tribalism of the third world.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><u><strong>Western Institutions Have Mutated</strong></u></h3> <p>Education has become a dogma in &ldquo;emerging markets&rdquo;, not a tool; it floats non-assimilated in the minds of people lacking objective reason. Instead of leading to creativity and critical thinking, it is used for propaganda by demagogues.</p> <p>Without impartial reason, democracy is a mere tribal, geographical concept, steeped in arrogance. All popular and &ldquo;educated&rdquo; rhetoric to the contrary, I can think of no country in the non-western world that did well after it adopted &ldquo;democracy.&rdquo;</p> <p>The spread of nationalism (which to a rational mind is about the commonality of values) has created crises by unifying people along tribal lines. The most visible example is provided by events in the Middle East, but the basic problem is the same in every South Asian and African country and in most of South America.</p> <p>India, the geographical entity I grew up in, was rapidly collectivized under the flag and the national anthem. It has the potential to become the Middle East on steroids, once Hindutava (Hindu nationalism) has become deeply rooted in society.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><u><strong>Assessing the Current Predicament</strong></u></h3> <p>In Burma, a whiff of democracy does not seem to have inhibited a genocide perpetrated by Buddhists against the Muslim Rohingya. Thailand (which was not colonized in a strictly political sense) has gone silent, but its crisis continues.</p> <p>Turkey and Malaysia, among the better of these backward societies, have embarked on a path of rapid regression to their medieval pasts. South Africa, which not too long ago was considered a first-world country, got rid of apartheid only to end up with something even worse.</p> <p>The same happened with Venezuela, which was among the richer countries of the world in the not-too-distant past. It is ready to implode, a fate that may befall Brazil as well one day. Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and East Timor are widely acknowledged to be in a mess, and are getting worse by the day.</p> <p>Indonesia took a breather for a few years and is now once again in the thrall of fanaticism. India is the biggest democracy, so its problems are actively ignored by the Western press, but they won&rsquo;t be for long, as India continues to evolve toward a police state.</p> <p>Botswana was seen as one of the countries with the fastest and longest-lasting economic growth. What was ignored was the fact that this rather large country has a very small population, which benefited hugely from diamonds and other natural resources. The top political layer of Botswana is still a leftover from the British. The local culture continues to corrode what was left by them, and there are clear signs that Botswana is past its peak.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-51180" height="356" src="" width="640" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Part of the central business district in Gaborone, Botswana. Long time readers may recall an article we posted about 2.5 years ago: &ldquo;<span lang="zxx"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="">Botswana &ndash; Getting it Right in Africa</a></span></span>&rdquo;. We are not sure if much has changed since then, but it is worth recalling that Botswana started out as the third-poorest country in Africa when it became independent in 1966 and is today one the richest. The very small population (by African standards) combined with the large income the country obtains from diamond mining no doubt played a role in this, but being rich in natural resources<em> </em>means very little <em>per se</em>. Botswana never fell for Marxism. When the country gained independence, its political leadership adopted democracy and free markets and never looked back. Botswana is a very homogenous society in terms of religious and tribal affiliations, which differentiates the country from most other former colonial territories in Africa. From our personal &ndash; admittedly by now a bit dated &ndash; experience, we can state that Botswana is the only African country in which one is unlikely to encounter any corruption &ndash; not even the lowliest government minion will ask for bribes as far as we could tell (in many African countries, officials begin demanding bribes the moment one wants to cross the border). Considering all that, we are slightly more hopeful about Botswana, but it is not an island. Deteriorating conditions in neighboring countries may well prove contagious at some point. [PT]</p> <p>Papua New Guinea was another country that was doing reasonably well before the Australians left. It is now rapidly regressing to its tribal, irrational, and extremely violent norms, where for all practical purposes rape is not even considered a crime.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><u><strong>Conclusion: A Vain Hope</strong></u></h3> <p>The world may recognize most of the above, but it sees these countries&rsquo; problems as isolated events that can be corrected by further impositions of Western institutions, under the guidance of the UN or some such international (and therefore &ldquo;non-colonialist&rdquo;) organization.</p> <p>Amusingly, our intellectual climate &mdash; a product of political correctness &mdash; is such that the third world is nowadays seen as the backbone of humanity&rsquo;s future economic growth. Unfortunately, so-called emerging markets are probably headed for a chaotic future. The likeliest prospect is that these countries will continue to cater to irrational forces, particularly tribalism, and that they will consequently cease to exist, disintegrating into much smaller entities.</p> <p>As the tide of economic growth goes out with the final phase of plucking the free gift of internet technology nearing its end, their problems will resurface rapidly &ndash; precisely when the last of those who were trained under the colonial system are sent to the &ldquo;dustbin of history&rdquo;.</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="649" height="290" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Australia Boris Yeltsin Brazil China Corruption Decolonization Economic growth Economic ideologies Economic systems Europe Fail Geography of Europe headlines India International Monetary Fund Latin America Middle East Middle East Nationalism Newspaper Renaissance Russia Socialism South Asia Soviet Union Turkey Ukraine United Nations World World Bank World Bank Mon, 21 Aug 2017 01:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 601998 at