Robert Gore Said That? 10/10/18

On Septemeber 30, at Murphy, North Carolina, I addressed the Appalachian Network PATCON, a gathering of very bright people on the cutting edge of preparation for the coming catastrophe. The topic was: “How to Survive an Economic Collapse.”

A Silver Lining, by Robert Gore

A political victory only, not a stand on principle.

No lion, tiger, bear, or wolf would, if it could choose, give up its claws or fangs. No poisonous snake or spider would surrender its venom. Only humans voluntarily abandon their means of survival.

Reason is humans’ tool of survival and separates them from the other animals. The Oxford Dictionary defines reason as: “the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic.” Ayn Rand had it right when she warned that reason was under sustained attack. It has only intensified since her death in 1982.

Anybody can accuse anybody of committing a crime. The longstanding legal presumption is that the accused is innocent until proven guilty. Given a guilty judgment’s consequences, the burden necessarily falls on accusers to prove guilt. If it did not, mere accusation would be a verdict leading to punishment of the accused, or Salem Witch Trial justice.

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He Said That? 10/19/18

From Douglas Adams (1952–2001), English author, scriptwriter, essayist, humorist, satirist and dramatist, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980):

There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

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Love, Marriage, Debt and Infidelity, by Dave Walden

Banking and politics may not be a marriage made in heaven, but it has certainly endured. From my friend Dave Walden:

Friends:

Trump is now publicly engaged in criticizing the Fed.  Apparently, he is doing this because of the slow but steady rise in interest rates.  In terms of my response, I prefer to ignore such theater and look at “the bigger picture.”

As issues de jour come and go, with Trump revered or reviled as hero or villain, the remorseless threat to all pretense continues its quiet advance.  Should it suddenly be awakened from its seeming complacency – whether during Trump’s reign or following it, blame for the turmoil and destruction it will precipitate must always be placed where it is most deserving.

“Economic” affairs dominate and DRIVE most of human affairs.  Certainly not all affairs, mind you, affairs of the heart can, and do, rise to play dominant roles as well, but they tend to arise after survival is assured through the success of one’s personal, “economics.” 

At the very center of all economic affairs, because it represents the time, efforts, and the results/products of a Human Beings life, remorselessly and immovably sits, “money.”  Resting confidently astride this money, in control of not only their own – earned honorably or otherwise, but of significant amounts of what others have also earned, presides the “banker.” 

This leads to what I have determined to be a critical distinction.  For the purpose of this brief missive, consider economics to be an “affair of the mind.”  Rational because, as I stated above, economics deals with actual survival.  Conversely, consider “affairs of the heart” to encompass those human values that, in summation, “make life worth living.” Importantly, though there are values common to all of us, a life worth living remains for each of us to independently determine, just as is our choosing of one’s particular economic means of survival.

Earning respect, and its ultimate expression, love, seems a common denominator in “affairs of the heart.”  For some among us however, EARNING them is either thought impossible, or it becomes “fearfully” tenuous or uncertain.  In response to this apparent fact, depending on other critical psychological factors, there arises among us those who become insistent and DEMAND that they be PROVIDED such things, thereby perverting the concept of “earned.”

It is in response to this phenomenon, at least for the purpose of this missive, that the politician emerges.

We have little insight into “who” financed Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, or any of the other political thugs of early history.  Their success, by some measure, was “financed” – as well as made possible by, plunder.  However, since the Renaissance, and the historical record available therefrom, we have witnessed the rise of “modern” banking.

The financing of Columbus, with the endless subsequent financial arrangements that were to make possible the exploration and colonization of the New World, all involved banking, bankers, and their providing of credit.

There is perhaps, no more-famous examples of bankers than the Rothchild family.  A combination of fact, myth, and legend surrounds them, with the means/extent of their centuries-old family fortunes endlessly cited.  This leads to the point of this article.

In America, the time-honored marriage between bankers and politicians was formalized in 1913.  In  exchange for the bankers taking the vow to finance whatever the politicians might wish to spend, the politician took the vow to assure that the banker would have sole authority to control the price and availability of money and credit.  In consummating these prenuptials, both partners joined the ranks of virtually all politicians and bankers throughout recorded history.  The result(s) of this marriage will be little different than all others that have come before.

To a significant degree and as a group, the professionals who understand money and credit, at least those who wish to retain and grow it, know their business.  It is, after all, “an affair of the mind,” NOT one of the heart – whatever descriptive noun might be applicable to any among them.  Conversely, the endless politicians who must inextricably tie themselves to those to whom they have exchanged their corrupt vows, are exclusively dominated by those engaging in “affairs of the heart” – in this case, the attempt to COMMAND/LEGISLATE respect and “love.”

In such a contest, between those who actually know what is going on, as opposed to those who have been led to believe they “know,” the “winners” become obvious.  Under the illusion/delusion that they, the politicians, are in control, it is those engaged in “affairs of the mind” who always actually retain control.  They understand the folly unleashed by said politicians, because unlike the politicians, they are engaged in “affairs of the mind.” Always mindful to remain in a position to best survive – irrespective of whatever the particular delusions of their marriage partner(s)” folly, or their own “infidelity” to the immutable laws of their craft.

It is the banker(s) who can be expected to always demonstrate the most successful use of “bid” and “ask” – however such “spreads” are to become defined.  Because this timeless phenomenon is now occurring in the 21stcentury, it must be defined as being worldwide – just as the early Rothchilds saw it as having grown to include all of Europe..

When the debt made possible by the marriage made-in-hell finally shatters the illusions/delusions upon which it is built, Trump – or whoever may be at the helm, will be judged as having been responsible.  It will not matter one wit that he was but the latest in a long line of political “soul mates” that came before him that were equally culpable, as they sought their own particular versions of respect and love.  Meanwhile, the banker(s), wherever they may reside, in whatever form their “money” – safely secured in whatever manner, the banker(s) shall retain their treasure.

When the marriage is inevitably dissolved, dissolved by the inevitable results of the infidelities in which both have been engaged, it is the bankers, as is always the case, who will assure that their “settlement,” remains intact.  For in this annulment and divorce, there will be no alimony – for ANY of the rest of us.

Dave

It’s Funny ‘Cause it’s True, by Hardscrabble Farmer

The newest rage in memes is NPCs, or non-playable characters, to depict people incapable of independent political thought. It’s being directed at liberals. From Hardscrabble Farmer at theburningplatform.com:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/16/us/politics/npc-twitter-ban.html

Twitter accounts using fictional personas and a common avatar to promote the idea that liberals can’t think on their own.

The first encounter I ever had with the PC movement was back in the early 90’s. I was, at that time, a stand up comic headlining a comedy club in Madison, Wisconsin and during my set I was doing a bit about men and women arguing. In the middle of the my act a table of college girls began to hiss at me- actual hissing sounds like you’d see in some Little Rascals sketch when someone demonstrates disapproval of a performer.

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Bubbles, Balloons, Needles and Pins, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

Will the Chinese economy implode? From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

It’s no surprise that China has its own plunge protection team -but why were they so late?-, nor that Beijing blames its problems on Trump’s tariffs. GDP growth was disappointing at 6.5%, but who’s ever believed those almost always dead on numbers? It would be way more interesting to know what part of that growth has been based on debt and leverage. But that we don’t get to see.

So we turn elsewhere. How about the Shanghai Composite Index? It may not be a perfect reflection of the Chinese economy, no more than the S&P 500 is for the US, but it does raise some valid and curious questions.

Borrowing from Wolf Richter, here are some stats and a graph::
• Lowest since November 27, 2014, nearly four years ago
• Down 30% from its recent peak on January 24, 2018, (3,559.47)
• Down 52% from its last bubble peak on June 12, 2015 (5,166)
• Down 59% from its all-time bubble peak on October 16, 2007 (6,092)
• And back where it had first been on December 27, 2006, nearly 12 years ago.

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China’s Next Revolution Is on the Horizon, by Charles Hugh Smith

China’s social credit system is a sign of weakness, not strength. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

The Mandate of Heaven will be withdrawn, and the autocratic regime overthrown.
The absolute confidence that China’s political structure is permanent and forever is reminiscent of the absolute confidence in the 1980s that the USSR’s political structure was permanent and forever. But the social contract that undergirds the Communist Party’s absolute power in China is fast-eroding, and those who understand Chinese history sense the winds of change have shifted and the next revolution in China is already darkening the horizon.
The story starts in the Song Dynasty, which reached its zenith in the mid-1200s.

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There Is No Proxy War in Yemen, by Rannie Amiri

The war in Yemen is a unilateral invasion by Saudi Arabia that has devastated the country. From Rannie Amiri at antiwar.com:

Those in the Western media too busy to be bothered trying to understand the complexities, intricacies and nuances of the Middle East often resort to concluding nearly all conflicts there are some kind of “proxy war” between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

This is usually out of ignorance, reducing disputes to the lowest common dominator of Sunnis versus Shiites or to that between their two most prominent patron states. Often though there is deliberate obfuscation; there must be justification for a US ally to cause regional mayhem on the pretext of containing an enemy. The easiest and most convenient scapegoat has been Iran and efforts to contain its alleged expansionism by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and of course, Israel, go unchecked.

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Italy’s Debt Crisis Thickens, by Don Quijones

The chart below of the Italian 10-Year government bond yield is not a good omen. From Don Quijones at wolfstreet.com:

But outside Italy, credit markets are sanguine, and no one says, “whatever it takes.”

Italy’s government bonds are sinking and their yields are spiking. There are plenty of reasons, including possible downgrades by Moody’s and/or Standard and Poor’s later this month. If it is a one-notch downgrade, Italy’s credit rating will be one notch above junk. If it is a two-notch down-grade, as some are fearing, Italy’s credit rating will be junk. That the Italian government remains stuck on its deficit-busting budget, which will almost certainly be rejected by the European Commission, is not helpful either. Today, the 10-year yield jumped nearly 20 basis points to 3.74%, the highest since February 2014. Note that the ECB’s policy rate is still negative -0.4%:

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