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[Democrats] As Bob Casey Distances Himself From Summer Lee's Anti-Israel Rhetoric, She Boasts His Endorsement

Anti-Israel "Squad" member Summer Lee (Pa.) wants voters to remember she’s "strongly endorsed" by Pennsylvania senator Bob Casey. Casey may wish they would forget.

The post As Bob Casey Distances Himself From Summer Lee's Anti-Israel Rhetoric, She Boasts His Endorsement appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:4/10/2024 5:19:36 PM
[Markets] The Single Wisest Thing You Can Do With Your Money The Single Wisest Thing You Can Do With Your Money

Authored by Doug Casey via InternationalMan.com,

There’s a great deal more to becoming rich than buying the right investments and hoping for the best. The most important element in your strategy to win the battle for investment survival is your own psychology. You’ve heard that your attitude helps your health and your golf score; it’ll also improve your earning power.

It’s not enough to liquidate your past financial mistakes. It’s more important to liquidate counterproductive attitudes, approaches, and methods of dealing with problems. The results that someone gets in life are an indication of how sound his approach toward life is. A sound philosophy of life gives good results. People with chaotic, unproductive, unhappy lives usually don’t have anyone to blame but themselves. They rarely have a strategy for living and thus have no foundation on which to build a strategy for investing.

There’s plenty of good advice available on the subject. Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, Ben Franklin’s autobiography, Norman Vincent Peale’s Power of Positive Thinking, Frank Bettger’s How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling, and Maxwell Maltz’s Psycho-Cybernetics are all helpful.

One of the important things about the Greater Depression is that it will give you a chance to put your philosophy of life to the test. Almost anyone can get by in good times, but the years to come will separate the real winners from losers. Many will taste the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat firsthand; they won’t need the vicarious pleasure of Saturday afternoon TV sports to experience life.

There is, of course, no guarantee that just because you’ve developed a workable strategy that you won’t still be a casualty in the battle for financial survival. There is such a thing as plain bad luck. But, as Damon Runyon said, the bread may not always go to the wise, nor the race to the swift, nor the battle to the strong—but that’s the way to bet.

Tilt the odds in your favor by developing pro-survival attitudes, and the law of large numbers will take care of the rest.

There are, of course, an almost infinite number of valid attitudes. Anything that works for you is as good as anything that works for me. But since the next step in the strategy (consolidation) deals with gathering physical goods, I don’t want to leave any false impressions.

You may be able to salt away ten bags of silver, a thousand Krugerrands, and enough food to open a restaurant chain, but that’s not nearly as important as knowing how to get them all back again if you should lose them for any reason.

That’s one thing no one can ever take away from you, and you can never lose: your attitude towards life.

Scrooge McDuck had the right attitude.

One of the most formative stories I’ve ever read was an Uncle Scrooge comic written in 1953 by Carl Barks at Walt Disney Studios.

It finds Scrooge McDuck at play in his binful of money, diving and wallowing in it, doing what he likes best. As he leaves his bin to go out for his daily routine, it turns out that his nephew, Donald Duck, has decided to play a prank on him by putting a fake newspaper on the park bench with the headline “Coins and Banknotes Now Worthless!…Congress Make Fish the New Money of the Land.”

Scrooge sees it and is stunned. All his cash is worthless. He plops against a tree thinking that he hasn’t even one little minnow with which to buy a crust of bread. By the next frame of the comic book, however, the courageous old duck has picked himself up and is ready to get back in the race, saying, “Well, there’s no cause crying over bad luck. I’ll get a job and start life all over again.”

Soon we find him down at the waterfront talking to a fisherman. He offers to paint the man’s boat for a sackful of fish. Scrooge earns his fish and takes them to a clothing store where business is bad. He trades the fish for a raincoat. Back at the waterfront, he trades the raincoat to another fisherman for two sacks of fish.

Since the fish are getting heavy to carry around, Scrooge trades the two bags to a farmer for an old horse, then trades the horse for ten sacks of fish.

By the end of the day, Scrooge has a mountain of fish: three cubic acres’ worth. As much of the new money as he had of the old. He looks at the cold, clammy fish and asks himself…how to count the new money? By the pound or by the inch? How to keep it? And how to spend it before it goes bad?

Sorrowfully he realizes that fish isn’t as nice to play with as his old money. Fish don’t feel good and they smell bad.

All of the sudden, he doesn’t want to be rich anymore. He hires a trucking fleet to take the mountain of fish to Donald, who always wanted to be rich. Donald’s house is buried under dead fish.

Donald’s joke backfired, but Scrooge proved his point: You can start from scratch if you have the right attitude and come out ahead if you play your cards right.

Scrooge didn’t have a fish to his name when he had to start over, a lot less than you’ll have if you liquidate all your unneeded possessions. They’re costing you money, and tying you down. Transform the junk you’ve accumulated into cash, which you can redeploy the way Scrooge McDuck might.

The next step in your plan is to start earning to add to your grubstake—that is, create more money. It was key to Scrooge’s second fortune, and it’s key to yours.

But it’s necessary to have the skills necessary to provide goods and services to others. Scrooge made his fish fortune by his skills at business, but there are thousands of others.

Gaining Skills

One of the most important parts of taking control of your life as a step to prospering in the years to come is to educate yourself and gain skills. That means a lot more than just logging eight years in high school and college. Going to college is one thing, but learning to make money is something else. Most people today appear to believe going to college is necessary for getting ahead. It’s not. It may actually be a hindrance.

A lot of people seem to think that simply going to college will bestow an education. In reality, all most people get is a diploma, which is very different. Eric Hoffer, the San Francisco longshoreman who never completed high school but has written such profound books as The True Believer, is an outstanding example of the difference between going to college and getting an education.

Practical, marketable skills are often better acquired in trade schools, through self-teaching efforts, and through experience working from the bottom up in a field. A lot of teachers who finished first in their class couldn’t run a successful hot dog stand and are hardly in a position to help their students learn survival skills.

It would be a tragic mistake to devote all your resources to accumulating gold, hoarding commodities, devising clever tax schemes, and speculating, to the neglect of much more basic intangibles. The government may negate a lot of your efforts through its inflation, taxes, and regulations. And even if you overcome them, market risk—a bad judgement, an unexpected development, a failed brokerage house—can wipe you out. As can fraud, theft, a fire, or a war.

And in the environment coming up, all of those things and many others like them could be greater dangers than they have been in the past. The only thing that’s permanently secure is what you carry in your head: your attitude, your knowledge, your skills.

Who knows what skills may be required in the years to come? What you’re doing now, be it teaching school, practicing law, laying brick, or selling insurance, may be in low demand. But preparing French cuisine, fixing autos, keeping books, or offering financial counsel may be in high demand. Or perhaps the other way around.

The single wisest thing you can do with your money is not buy gold. It’s to take courses and acquire knowledge in other fields, as unrelated to what you are now doing as possible. Anything related to science, and particularly, technology would seem especially suitable. Computer science, medicine, mechanics, agriculture, and electronics are all going to remain in demand.

In the TV series Star Trek, the supremely knowledgeable Mr. Spock bailed the crew out as often as anyone. It’s hard to imagine him unemployed, for that reason. More knowledge can only increase your understanding of the way the world works now, and if it stops working the way it presently does, you’ll be able to continue. It will then no longer be the end of the world if you lose your present job.

And a lot of people will.

*  *  *

Most people have no idea what really happens when an economy collapses, let alone how to prepare… How will you protect yourself during the next crisis? Legendary speculator Doug Casey’s latest report will show you exactly how. Click here to get it now.

Tyler Durden Thu, 04/04/2024 - 21:00
Published:4/4/2024 8:22:27 PM
[Democrats] Chinese Biotech Company Enlists Firm of Bob Casey’s Brother in Bid To Stay off a U.S. Blacklist

A Chinese biotechnology company linked to the Chinese Communist Party has hired the lobbying firm of Sen. Bob Casey’s (D., Pa.) brother as it fights legislation that would restrict its business in the United States over national security concerns.

The post Chinese Biotech Company Enlists Firm of Bob Casey’s Brother in Bid To Stay off a U.S. Blacklist appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:4/4/2024 1:28:31 PM
[0906faec-34c3-50d3-9699-588680d21cbf] Longtime PA Dem silent on support for freshman 'Squad' member after his name is quietly removed from site Longtime Democratic Penn. Sen. Bob Casey's office and campaign has not answered repeated inquiries whether he endorses Rep. Summer Lee in light of her rhetoric on Israel. Published:3/22/2024 4:52:55 AM
[d9900857-7a7f-5c2b-b775-4951508f2816] Pennsylvania police slam longtime Dem Sen. Casey 'aligning' himself with defund the police group: 'Dangerous' Pennsylvania police officials railed against Sen. Bob Casey 'aligning' himself with Indivisible Philadelphia, a group that has promoted defund the police policies. Published:3/20/2024 4:56:49 PM
[Democrats] Pennsylvania Police Union Blasts Bob Casey for Event With Anti-Cop Group

The head of a Pennsylvania police union endorsed Republican Senate candidate Dave McCormick on Wednesday, citing Democratic senator Bob Casey's recent appearance with an activist group that has called to defund police.

The post Pennsylvania Police Union Blasts Bob Casey for Event With Anti-Cop Group appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:3/20/2024 2:49:47 PM
[Markets] Leaked Hacking Files Spur Concerns Of China Weakening US For War Leaked Hacking Files Spur Concerns Of China Weakening US For War

Authored by Andrew Thornebrooke via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

China’s communist regime is engaged in a worldwide campaign of cybercrime and leading experts believe that the United States is failing to respond swiftly enough to counter the threat.

In the current era of cyber, it’s all about speed,” retired Army Col. John Mills told The Epoch Times.

“You have to presume a breach, and that the threat is inside. Looking at it from that perspective, it’s all about speed of identification, speed of ejection. The U.S. government is not good at that.”

(Illustration by The Epoch Times, Getty Images, Shutterstock)

All signs indicate that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its proxies are engaged in a robust and global cybercrime campaign that aims to both destabilize the regime’s foes and position itself for a potential war with the United States.

“This is an extraordinary threat,” said Mr. Mills, who previously served as the director of Cybersecurity Policy, Strategy, and International Affairs at the Department of Defense.

A cache of leaked documents that surfaced in late February implicated the regime’s direct involvement in overseas cyber espionage.

The documents belonged to a criminal hacking group called I-SOOn, which masquerades as a legitimate business in China, apparently with the regime’s blessing.

The leaked files revealed the group’s infiltration into government departments in India, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and South Korea, as well as NATO organizations.

Files included product manuals, marketing materials, employee lists, chat records, financial information, and details about foreign infiltration efforts.

Some of the documents that were verified by the Associated Press show that the majority of the group’s clients are based within China’s regional security bureaus and the CCP’s Ministry of Public Security.

Mr. Mills said the revelation was “predictable,” and that CCP authorities have a long history of conducting illicit tasks in addition to their formal duties.

The CCP and the government, which is one [and] the same thing, knew these people were moonlighting. This is part of the culture of corruption [in China],” Mr. Mills said.

The I-SOOn leaks surfaced amid a wider flurry of CCP-backed cyber activity, in which the regime successfully infiltrated both U.S. critical infrastructure and the defense ministry of the Netherlands.

Volt Typhoon, a malware used to infiltrate U.S. systems and target critical infrastructure, was discovered last year, having been implanted as part of a wider effort to pre-position for a military conflict. The malware also threatened the physical safety of Americans by targeting water, energy, rail, airline and port traffic-control systems, according to intelligence leaders.

Casey Fleming, CEO of the risk advisory firm BlackOps Partners, said that the Volt Typhoon initiative was part of the CCP’s strategy of unrestricted warfare through which it aims to secure military advantage over the United States through non-military means.

“The CCP is hyper-focused on weakening the U.S. from all angles to win the war without fighting,” Mr. Fleming told The Epoch Times.

“This is what World War 3 looks like. It’s the speed of technology, the stealth of unrestricted warfare, and no rules.”

(Top) Chinese police and security staff watch as staff members enter the Japanese embassy in Beijing on Aug. 24, 2023. (Bottom) Workers prepare laptops that will be used during the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing on Dec. 9, 2021. (Greg Baker, Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Chinese-Made Spying Tools

The more recent I-SOOn leaks also shed light on the tools Chinese cybercriminals are deploying to infiltrate, undermine, and exploit the regime’s rivals.

Its services included a tool for infiltrating users’ accounts on social media platform X, including the ability to access phone numbers, email accounts, personal messages, and real-time activity even if users have enabled two-factor authentication.

Likewise I-SOOn sold access to a custom suite of remote-access Trojans—malware capable of infecting Android, IOS, and Windows devices—which could, at times, alter registry files and collect GPS data, contacts, media files, and real-time audio recordings of conversations.

The Android version of the Trojan also had the capability of dumping all messages stored in major Chinese apps including QQ, WeChat, Telegram, and Momo.

Notably, the I-SOOn documents also revealed the existence of portable devices for “attacking networks from the inside,” including options to embed the malware in cellphone batteries, power strips, and circuit boards.

Similar devices could be outfitted with special equipment for operatives working abroad to establish safe communication with mainland China.

Employees working on a smartphone assembly line at a factory in Dongguan, China, on July 20, 2022. (Top R) A shopper uses her smartphone to pay via a Wechat QR code at a vegetable market in Beijing on Nov. 3, 2020.

Mr. Mills said the regime is exploiting its advantage in the manufacturing domain to achieve dominance in cyberspace. China-based hackers are using manufacturing vulnerabilities in how devices connect and share data with one another.

And by smuggling malware into the United States with Chinese-made goods, he said, such devices could be used to penetrate the United States’ most critical infrastructure, as the Volt Typhoon malware was designed to do.

Mr. Mills said that the sheer diversity of systems used by different infrastructures in the United States makes it very difficult for the U.S. government to develop effective solutions to Chinese infiltration.

“The Internet of Things and critical infrastructure—that is still a very porous, vulnerable area,” Mr. Mills said.

Read more here...

Tyler Durden Thu, 03/07/2024 - 15:25
Published:3/7/2024 2:31:13 PM
[Markets] You Will Live In Tiny Homes & Drive EVs And Be Happy: This Is The Future They Have Planned For Us You Will Live In Tiny Homes & Drive EVs And Be Happy: This Is The Future They Have Planned For Us

Authored by Michael Snyder via TheMostImportantNews.com,

In recent years, “van life’, “car life” and “tiny homes” have all become extremely hot topics on social media.  Millennials and Generation Z have been particularly eager to try out these “minimalist” lifestyles.  At a time when home prices have risen to absurd levels and the cost of living has become exceedingly oppressive, it can be very tempting to adopt a low cost way of life. 

But it is also important to understand that the elite are very much encouraging these trends.  If they could get most of us happily living in tiny homes and electric vehicles, they would be very pleased.  You see, the truth is that the smaller our living spaces are, the less carbon emissions we will produce, and that is precisely what they want.

Today, millions of Americans cannot afford to purchase normal homes, and so more of us than ever are turning to “tiny homes”.

A “tiny home” can be anywhere from 100 to 400 square feet, and today Airbnb has thousands of such listings.

It has been reported that 55 percent of tiny home owners are women, and 56 percent of all Americans say that they would actually consider living in a tiny home.

The biggest appeal of living in a tiny home is the cost.  It has been estimated that the average cost of a tiny home is just $52,000, and that is “87% cheaper than the average price of a typical U.S. home”

The average cost of a tiny home is $52,000, 87% cheaper than the average price of a typical U.S. home. Building or buying a tiny house requires far less capital than a standard house. This significant price difference allows more Americans to achieve homeownership without taking on a burdensome mortgage.

If you are very stressed financially, I can definitely understand why such an option would seem appealing.

It is certainly not easy to live a typical middle class lifestyle in today’s world.

One woman that now lives in a 300 square foot home made from straw bales and cob says that her life “looks radically different” compared to when her family was living in a large four bedroom house…

Ten years ago I was living a typical suburban life on the outskirts of Denver. My husband, Casey, and I were both teachers. We lived in a four-bedroom house with a small yard where our two kids liked to play.

Today our life looks radically different. We live entirely off the grid in a 300-square-foot home that we built from straw bales and cob, a natural building material made from soil, water, and other organic matter. We rely on solar power for electricity and rain collection for water, and we use a drop toilet to create “humanure” — compost made from human waste.

If this is what makes her happy, good for her.

But don’t let the elite push you into such a lifestyle.

The elite have been promoting the concept of tiny homes for a very long time.  For example, the following comes from the official website of the WEF

Interest is surging in tiny homes – livable dwelling units that typically measure under 400 square feet. Much of this interest is driven by media coverage that claims that living in tiny homes is good for the planet.

The reason why they love tiny homes so much is because they believe that they are good for the environment.

In fact, the same article that I just quoted above claims that for those that moved into tiny homes “ecological footprints were reduced by about 45% on average”

I found that among 80 tiny home downsizers located across the United States, ecological footprints were reduced by about 45% on average. Surprisingly, I found that downsizing can influence many parts of one’s lifestyle and reduce impacts on the environment in unexpected ways.

“Van life” is another lifestyle that has become extremely trendy in recent years.

At one time, people looked down on those that “live in a van down by the river”, but now literally millions of Americans are doing it

“Van life” or “van living” is a term that is becoming more popular around the country. People packing up their lives, moving into a mobile unit and exploring the states.

According to Yahoo Finance, the number of American van lifers has increased by 63% over the last couple of years, going from 1.9 million in 2020, to 3.1 million in 2022.

I was stunned when I first saw those numbers.

Needless to say, not having a mortgage or a rent payment is a big plus.

But there are a lot of negatives to such a lifestyle.

For one woman, regularly using public restrooms was something that she just couldn’t get over when she tried “van life”…

I pulled into a Shell gas station in my rented Ram ProMaster campervan.

Once parked, I headed into the convenience store and beelined to the bathroom.

Inside, there was an impossible-to-describe stench. Toilet paper covered the restroom floor, and pee covered the toilet seat. I used the bathroom as fast as humanly possible.

I certainly can’t blame her.

Most public restrooms along our major highways are simply disgusting.

And as the number of Americans living in their vans has multiplied, many communities have grown tired of them.  Here is just one example

The city of St. Petersburg is working to erase so-called eye sores downtown.

Thursday afternoon, city leaders will take a closer look at “van life” and where drivers can set up camp.

This comes after many complaints came into the city from residents within the city limits who say oversized RVs, large busses and conversion vans are taking up too much space and for too long.

Unfortunately, as economic conditions deteriorate more Americans than ever will be choosing to live in their vehicles.

In fact,”car life” is now being hailed by many on social media as an even cheaper alternative to “van life”…

YouTuber Michael Hickey – likely kicked out of his parent’s basement – built a bed in his 2009 Kia Rio. He said this option allows him to “live rent-free” and travel the country.

In the video, Hickey said the best parking lots to sleep in are ones owned by Cracker Barrel restaurants. He purchases groceries from supermarkets and prepares them right there in the parking lot on a portable stove.

As for showering, he uses a network of Planet Fitness gyms to exercise and shower.

To make money, he works side-gigs, such as DoorDash and Instacart.

Hickey is not alone. Tons of other Gen-Zers post their stories of living in cars on YouTube.

Did you ever imagine that we would see a day when being homeless and living in your vehicle would be considered “trendy”?

But this is where we are at.

Millions of those at the bottom of the economic food chain are trying to make the best of a very bad situation.

Unfortunately, life in America is going to become a lot more harsh during the very painful years that are ahead.

So what will young people start doing once “van life” and “car life” become too expensive?

There is only one more step down, and that is living in the streets…

*  *  *

Michael’s new book entitled “Chaos” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com, and you can check out his new Substack newsletter right here.

Tyler Durden Fri, 02/16/2024 - 06:30
Published:2/16/2024 5:43:16 AM
[b4ffd969-6f4a-5138-8278-922eab40382c] Dem Sen. Bob Casey slammed by GOP for shifting immigration stances: 'Complicit in the crisis' Democratic Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey slammed the GOP for playing politics over immigration but has a history of voting against stricter immigration policies during non-election years. Published:2/16/2024 4:31:20 AM
[Democrats] Bob Casey Says Video of George Floyd's Death Had the Same 'Impact' as 9/11

To Senator Bob Casey, just one event over the past quarter century has had as great an impact on the United States as the death of George Floyd: the 9/11 attacks, in which 2,977 Americans were murdered.

The post Bob Casey Says Video of George Floyd's Death Had the Same 'Impact' as 9/11 appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:2/14/2024 1:50:05 PM
[Markets] The House Panel Giving Washington A Reality-Check On China The House Panel Giving Washington A Reality-Check On China

Authored by Terri Wu and Eva Fu via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Through the back door of a New York City building, some of the most potent American business leaders were smuggled in for a tabletop exercise simulating a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

(Illustration by The Epoch Times, Getty Images, Shutterstock, Photoshop )

The secrecy made it look like they were “in a witness protection program because they were so concerned about retaliation from the CCP [Chinese Communist Party],” said Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), who hosted the exercise in September 2023.

If this retaliation is how the CCP will treat business partners in peacetime, think about how it would act in war—and the ramifications to our economy, especially our critical supply chains, including pharmaceuticals and semiconductors, in a Taiwan invasion scenario,” Mr. Gallagher told The Epoch Times.

The idea of the tabletop simulation stemmed from his exchanges with financial executives.

One told him there is “zero” chance that the CCP will invade Taiwan. Another said the United States will never sanction China, even if it invaded the self-governed island.

“It’s clear that, in many cases, Washington and Wall Street are living in two different worlds. One is the real world, the other a fantasy land,” said Mr. Gallagher.

The New York City simulation didn’t focus on military conflicts but on areas of economic warfare such as shipping routes, supply chains, and money transfers.

We saw that if China were to invade Taiwan, the losses across our financial system would dwarf the write-downs taken at the outset of the Russia–Ukraine war. The entire U.S. economy and banking system would be imperiled,” Mr. Gallagher said.

“Equity markets would drop precipitously as global shipping lanes closed, shipping insurance premiums skyrocketed, supply chains broke down, and the specter of global conflict grew. Americans would see their pensions shrink and their bank accounts hemorrhage cash.”

A man walks past a military-themed mural at a public park on Pingtan Island, the closest point in China to Taiwan's main island, in Fujian Province, China, on Jan. 14, 2024. (Greg Baaker/AFP via Getty Images)

The wargame participants—financial, pharmaceutical, and mining executives—walked away from the simulation with a different understanding: The United States must immediately prepare an economic contingency plan to reduce critical supply chain dependence on China and curb Beijing’s access to U.S. funds to support its aggressions.

In addition, the United States can’t afford to rely on economic means alone to deter China from taking Taiwan by force; credible military deterrence is a must-have.

I think the executives who took part left aware of the danger, but many remain afraid to speak out,” Mr. Gallagher said.

Restricting U.S. outbound investment to China is a top priority of the House Select Committee on Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, also known as the Select Committee on the CCP.

When such investments help Chinese companies develop technology that the regime then uses to advance its military capabilities, the panel views it as the United States funding its own destruction.

With bipartisan support, the Senate has passed language addressing this issue, initially as an amendment to the 2024 annual defense act. A similar bill passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) left the language out of the yearly defense act that was passed in December 2023; an updated version for a House floor vote is expected this year.

In addition to addressing China-related economic security issues, several of the select committee’s Taiwan policy recommendations were included in the 2024 annual defense act, including a new program of military cybersecurity cooperation with Taiwan and increased congressional oversight of weapons sales to the island to reduce backlog.

(L-R) Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) watch a video during a press conference unveiling the results of the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) investigation into the biolab discovered in Reedley, Calif., in Washington on Nov. 15, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

Bipartisan Product

Since its launch last January, the Select Committee on the CCP has demonstrated a rare bipartisan culture on the Hill.

Chairman Gallagher and the committee’s ranking member, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), have spoken in lockstep during hearings and often held press conferences together.

Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), a committee member, said the two leaders have been accommodating to different views.

The group’s economic policy recommendations released in December had the endorsement of all but one member.

Our product is a consensus work product,” Mr. Johnson told The Epoch Times.

Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa), another select committee member, also credits Mr. Gallagher and Mr. Krishnamoorthi for leading “the most substantive, bipartisan work in Congress.”

In an email to The Epoch Times, she highlighted a roundtable event the panel held in her home state of Iowa regarding the CCP’s agricultural theft as an example of how the panel used “firsthand knowledge” and “real experiences” to “craft the policy blueprint to ensure the U.S. is competing with China rather than enabling their malign and destructive behavior.”

The committee’s work hasn’t gone unnoticed by its subject of focus: the CCP.

Chinese propaganda articles label the committee an “anti-China pioneer” and often report its action as another “restless move.”

U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) asks a question during a hearing focused on the strategic competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 28, 2023. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

A September 2023 paper published by China’s Tsinghua University’s Center for International Security and Strategy warned that the committee might transform into a “center coordinating China policies for all parts of the U.S. Congress.”

The article warned that the panel could raise the American public’s awareness of the China threat, which it labeled “misinformation.”

To some committee staff members, criticism from the CCP is an endorsement of their work. A sign in their office says: “Have we worked harder than our CCP counterparts today?”

A Deal Contingent on Taiwan

Since the inception of the Select Committee on the CCP, Mr. Gallagher has repeatedly warned that the current timeframe is the “window of maximum danger” related to Taiwan.

However, some analysts don’t view military conflict over Taiwan as inevitable.

If regime leader Xi Jinping sees hope in a “peaceful unification” of Taiwan, he may be incentivized to hold off an invasion, said Bonnie Glaser, a managing director for the German Marshall Fund think tank.

Shi Shan, a China expert with decades of journalist experience both in the mainland and in Hong Kong, said that view was “correct in theory.” He uses an alias to avoid reprisals from the CCP.

Mr. Shi has learned from CCP insiders that Xi has to deliver Taiwan to his Party within a certain timeframe in exchange for his lifetime CCP leadership—a prize, that if achieved, would elevate him to the level of Mao Zedong, who established communist China in 1949 and drove his political enemies to Taiwan.

Xi began his third term last year after removing the two-term or 10-year limit in China’s Constitution. The constitutional amendment was passed in March 2018. At the 19th Party Congress a year ago, Xi persuaded CCP senior leaders to extend his reign by promising them Taiwan, Mr. Shi said.

A woman of the Miao ethnic minority watches the opening session of the 19th Communist Party Congress on a smartphone in Jianhe, Guizhou Province, China, on Oct.18, 2017. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

In his 2024 New Year address, the 70-year-old communist leader reiterated that the unification of China is a “historical inevitability.”

Mr. Gallagher and Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, said that when authoritarian dictators warn the world about their plans, we should heed them.

Mr. Shi told The Epoch Times more about Xi’s inflexible internal situation.

Xi is preparing China for a war with Taiwan. Because of that, the Party needed a leader beyond the previous term limit. If he gives up on the goal, the disagreeing forces within the Party will hold him accountable because he has made himself an exception and made the economy suffer. He has so much on the line that he cannot change his course.”

Xi has been working toward the goal for a while.

Read more here...

Tyler Durden Sun, 01/21/2024 - 23:55
Published:1/22/2024 12:06:21 AM
[Markets] DeSantis Expected To Drop Out Of Race, Back Trump DeSantis Expected To Drop Out Of Race, Back Trump

After coming up short, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his top aides are reportedly having internal discussions over when and how he should drop out of the 2024 presidential race, according to Bloomberg, citing people briefed on the campaign's conversations.

The discussions are fluid, with the governor and his wife, Casey, as the final decision-makers, but one possibility is to leave the race before voting starts in New Hampshire on Tuesday, January 23 to avoid an embarrassing third-place finish. -Bloomberg

According to a new poll by CNN and the University of New Hampshire, DeSantis has just 6% of the state's Republican vote, vs. Trump at 50% and Haley at 39%.

Speaking of CNN, Jake Tapper is hearing the same thing as Bloomberg...

That said, ABC News is reporting that DeSantis' team is 'pushing back' on speculation that he may soon suspend his White House bid, after the Florida governor canceled high-profile scheduled appearances on NBC, CNN and WMUR, a New Hampshire TV station. He was also slated to spend most of the weekend campaigning with his allied super PAC, Never Back Down, but is instead returning to New Hampshire on Sunday for an event in Manchester.

"The media hits were canceled due to a scheduling issue and will be rescheduled. The governor will be traveling Sunday morning with the campaign and has public events scheduled Sunday evening through Tuesday in NH," campaign spokesperson Bryan Griffin posted Saturday on X.

Developing...

Tyler Durden Sun, 01/21/2024 - 14:54
Published:1/21/2024 2:13:06 PM
[Democrats] These Dem Senators Want Biden To Reinstate Houthi Foreign Terror Designation—After Praising Its Removal As 'Welcome'

In 2021, Sens. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) and Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) praised President Joe Biden for his "positive" and "welcome" decision to pull the Houthis' terror designation. Now, as the Iran-backed rebels wreak havoc in the Middle East, Casey and Brown are pushing Biden to crack down on the group. Casey and Brown signed […]

The post These Dem Senators Want Biden To Reinstate Houthi Foreign Terror Designation—After Praising Its Removal As 'Welcome' appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:1/19/2024 1:14:45 PM
[838e825b-2512-57ce-8126-0e0eb1d52d40] PA Senate candidate McCormick recounts IDF visit, deems Israel-Hamas war 'test' for American leadership Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dave McCormick, running against Democrat incumbent Bob Casey, described his "emotional" trip to Israel to meet with IDF forces. Published:1/4/2024 10:22:27 PM
[Markets] Fetterman To Carville: 'Shut The F*** Up' Over Biden's Sagging 2024 Prospects Fetterman To Carville: 'Shut The F*** Up' Over Biden's Sagging 2024 Prospects

Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman spontaneously ripped into fellow Democrat James Carville, telling the seasoned pundit and former Bill Clinton '92 lead strategist to "shut the fuck up" about President Biden's increasingly dim prospects for re-election.     

The most slovenly goon to ever grace the Senate leveled his profane attack in a Politico interview published on Wednesday. Politico reminded him that, a few months back, he'd predicted Biden would win Pennsylvania's 19 electoral college votes -- but that Biden's standing in the Keystone State had slipped, with Trump leading in multiple polls

Fetterman's Senate duty uniform: sneakers, droopy gym shorts and a hoodie (Reuters via New York Post)

After first saying there's plenty of time between now and the election and that's he's not worried, Fetterman opened fire on the 79-year-old quasi-reptilian election sage from Louisiana:   

"While there are Democrats that are being very critical about the president. ... I’ll use this [as] another opportunity to tell James Carville to shut the fuck up.

Like I said, my man hasn’t been relevant since grunge was a thing. And I don’t know why he believes it’s helpful to say these kinds of things about an incredibly difficult circumstance with an incredibly strong and decent and excellent president. I’ll never understand that."

When Politico gave Carville a chance to respond to Fetterman's fusillade, he fired back with dry wit:

Asked if he’d like to respond, Carville said other Democratic senators “apparently haven’t gotten the memo yet” that he’s not relevant. “His colleague Sen. Casey asked me to host a fundraiser with him last week,” he said. “Sen. Brown asked me to go to Cleveland to campaign with him.” Of Fetterman, he added: “I’m glad he’s feeling better.”

Last winter, Fetterman was hospitalized for six weeks over his severe depression. He'd previously suffered a stroke during his 2022 Senate campaign, in which he officially defeated Donald Trump-endorsed TV doctor Mehmet Oz. 

In September, Carville dropped his own F-bomb to warn fellow Democrats against keeping Biden on the top of the 2024 ticket.

“Let’s assume the election was November the third of this year and the candidates are Joe Biden, the Democrat, Donald Trump, Republican Joe Manchin and Larry Hogan, No Labels, and Cornel West. Trump would be a betting favorite. If I told you I would give you even money, you would not take that bet. All right. And so somebody better wake the fuck up!"

Carville's outline of the 2024 field had a glaring omission: independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, who's grabbing a hefty 22% share in three-way polling against Biden and Trump, and beating both of them outright among independents, according to Quinnipiac.  

A December Bloomberg/Morning Consult Pro survey found Trump is beating Biden in seven surveyed battleground states: North Carolina (+11), Georgia (+7), Wisconsin (+6), Nevada (+5), Michigan (+4), Arizona (+3) and Fetterman's Pennsylvania (+1). The survey used a ballot that included Kennedy, Cornel West and Jill Stein.  

In his Politico interview, Fetterman also took a swipe at California Gov. Gavin Newsom, whom he'd previously described as "running for president right now" but without the "guts to announce it." Fetterman said it's odd for Newsom to debate DeSantis, and to "make a very splash visit to China when the leaders are actually coming to your very own state" or to "[make] donations to obscure South Carolinian politicians." 

Tyler Durden Thu, 12/28/2023 - 07:45
Published:12/28/2023 7:06:16 AM
[Markets] The 9 Senate Races To Watch In 2024 The 9 Senate Races To Watch In 2024

Authored by Jackson Richman via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Next year's competition for control of the U.S. Senate will be a critical battle as Democrats defend more seats than Republicans.

(Illustration by The Epoch Times, Shutterstock)

The Democrats currently control the upper chamber by the slimmest of margins, 51–49.

Whoever wins the Senate will control the legislation before the floor, as well as accept or reject judicial and executive nominees, who help shape policy.

Democrat strategist Mark Mellman predicts the Democrats could keep the Senate if the GOP puts up the same candidates that lost in crucial races in 2022. But, he told The Epoch Times, things are up in the air until the primaries are over.

The following are the nine crucial races that could determine who will take control of the Senate come Jan. 3, 2025.

1. Arizona

In this swing state, it could ultimately be a three-way race between incumbent independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, Democrat Rep. Reuben Gallego, and former journalist and 2022 GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

Other Republicans in the primary include Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb, business consultant George Nicholson, and mechanical engineer Brian Wright.

President Joe Biden won The Grand Canyon state by just 0.3 percentage points in the 2020 election.

Ms. Lake is dominating the GOP primary, according to polling averages by RealClearPolitics.

However, most polls show both Ms. Lake and Mr. Lamb losing out in the general election to Mr. Gallego—who has been in the House since 2015. Ms. Sinema, the incumbent, is polling below 20 percent. The former Democrat switched her affiliation to independent in December 2022.

"I have joined the growing numbers of Arizonans who reject party politics by declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington and formally registering as an Arizona Independent," Ms. Sinema stated in a post on Twitter at the time.

(L–R) Sen. Krysten Sinema from Arizona, who changed her party affiliation from Democrat to independent, in a hearing at the U.S. Capitol in Washington in 2022; Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.,) holds a press conference in Tempe, Ariz., on March 14, 2023; and former Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake speaks at an event in Maryland on March 4, 2023. (Bonnie Cash-Pool/Getty Images, Rebecca Noble/AFP via Getty Images, Alex Wong/Getty Images)

2. Ohio

While Republicans have won Ohio in the past three of five presidential elections, incumbent Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown won re-election in 2018, at the same time the GOP expanded its majority in the Senate.

Mr. Brown, who is known to be a blue-collar Democrat, is running for re-election, setting up a potentially tight race. He has been in the Senate since 2007.

Republicans who have declared a run include Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, state senator Matt Dolan, and former car dealership owner and 2022 Senate candidate Bernie Moreno.

Mr. Moreno has been endorsed by Sens. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Mike Lee (R-Utah), while Mr. Dolan has been endorsed by Cleveland Browns owners Jimmy Haslam and his wife, Dee.

On his Truth Social platform on Dec. 19, former President Donald Trump endorsed Mr. Moreno, saying "a successful political outsider like Bernie" is needed to beat Mr. Brown.

Despite Mr. LaRose's lack of major endorsements, he is leading in the GOP primary, according to current polling averages by RealClearPolitics.

President Trump won the Buckeye State by about 8 percentage points in 2020, roughly the same as his 2016 win over Hillary Clinton.

Most polls show Mr. Brown leading in a general election matchup, according to FiveThirtyEight.

(L–R) Ohio State Sen. Matt Dolan, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, speaks with a local television station in Cleveland on April 28, 2022; entrepreneur Bernie Moreno kicks off his campaign in suburban Cincinnati on April 18, 2023; and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose attends a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on July 12, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images, Courtesy of Everitt Townsend)

3. Pennsylvania

Incumbent Democrat Sen. Bob Casey is running for re-election, but could face a tough race against David McCormick, who is the only Republican that has declared.

Mr. McCormick has garnered endorsements from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mt.), the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), the fundraising arm of the Senate GOP.

Mr. McCormick narrowly lost the 2022 GOP Senate primary in Pennsylvania to Mehmet Oz, the celebrity doctor that went on to lose the general election to Sen. John Fetterman, a progressive Democrat.

President Biden won the Keystone State by 1.17 percentage points in 2020.

Early polls show Mr. Casey leading Mr. McCormick in a general election matchup.

(L–R) Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) at campaign rally in Philadelphia on Sept, 21, 2018; and Dave McCormick, Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate, during an event in Pittsburgh on May 17, 2022. (Mark Makela/Getty Images, Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

4. Montana

This red state could be a Republican pickup as the expected nominee, retired Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy, could unseat incumbent Democrat Sen. Jon Tester. 

Mr. Tester won re-election in 2018 by 3.55 percentage points against now-Rep. Matt Rosendale, a Republican, who has also expressed a possible run.

President Trump easily won the Treasure State in 2020 with close to 57 percent of the vote.

There has only been one poll conducted for this race in the past few months, from Emerson, which showed Mr. Tester leading Mr. Sheehy by 4 percentage points.

Tim Sheehy, former Navy SEAL and 2024 Republican Senate candidate, in Montana; and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) at a press conference in Washington on June 16, 2022. (Courtesy of Tim Sheehy, Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

5. Nevada

Democrat Sen. Jacky Rosen is running for re-election in a state President Biden won in 2020 by just 2.39 percentage points.

Republicans who have jumped into the primary so far include Army veteran Sam Brown, who suffered burns to his face from a roadside bomb during his service in Afghanistan in 2008; and former state assemblyman Jim Marchant, who unsuccessfully ran for secretary of state in 2022 and Congress in 2020.

Mr. Brown has received endorsements from Sen. John Thune from South Dakota, as well as Americans for Prosperity, the largest conservative grassroots organization in the United States.

President Biden narrowly won the Silver State by just under 2.4 percentage points in 2020 whereas President Trump lost it by almost that much in the 2016 race.

The most recent poll, commissioned by the NRSC, shows Mr. Brown trailing Ms. Rosen in a general election head-to-head by 5 percentage points.

(L–R) Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 10, 2021; Republican Army veteran Sam Brown is running for the U.S. Senate in Nevada; and Jim Marchant, Republican candidate for Nevada secretary of state, in Henderson, Nev., on Nov. 6, 2022. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images, Public domain)
 

6. West Virginia

With Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin not running for re-election, it is likely the Mountain State will flip to the GOP.

Gov. Jim Justice is the early favorite and likely winner, with big endorsements coming in from President Trump and Mr. McConnell.

Mr. Justice does, however, face a handful of other candidates in the primary, most notably Rep. Alex Mooney.

The only Democrat in the race at the moment is U.S. Marine Corps veteran and political organizer Zachary Shrewsbury.

President Trump overwhelmingly won the state in 2020 with almost 69 percent of the vote.

There have been no polls conducted since Mr. Manchin announced in November he will not seek a third term, but he has floated the idea of an independent run for president.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announces that he is switching parties to become a Republican as President Donald Trump looks on at a campaign rally in Huntington, W.V., on Aug. 3, 2017. (Justin Merriman/Getty Images)

7. Michigan

Democrat Sen. Debbie Stabenow is running for re-election, but she's up against Rep. Elissa Slotkin in the primary, who is winning in any matchup against the GOP candidates, according to the latest polling averages from FiveThirtyEight. Actor Hill Harper is also in the Democrat primary.

The race is still considered a likely tossup as the GOP field includes former Reps. Mike Rogers and Peter Meijer, as well as former Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

President Biden won the Wolverine State by 2.78 percentage points in 2020.

Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) speaks to Michigan State University students and their supporters after a campus shooting, during a rally outside of the state Capitol Building in Lansing, Mich., on Feb. 15, 2023. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

8. Wisconsin

Incumbent Democrat Sen. Tammy Baldwin is running for re-election, after winning her second term in 2018 by almost 11 percentage points.

Republicans who have entered the race include county supervisor Stacey Klein; Rejani Raveendran, a 40-year old college student who is the president of her university Republicans chapter; and retired Army Reserve Sgt. Maj. Patrick Schaefer-Wicke.

Notable Republicans—including former Gov. Scott Walker, Reps. Mike Gallagher, Tom Tiffany, and Bryan Steil—have declined to throw their hat into the ring.

President Biden narrowly won the Badger State by 0.63 percentage points, or 20,682 votes, in 2020.

No up-to-date polls about the race have been published, but it's looking like a tough hill to climb for Republicans.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Nov. 29, 2022. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

9. New Jersey

This race is more about which Democrat will win the seat if embattled incumbent Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez can't hold onto it.

Mr. Menendez, who has been in the Senate since 2007 and in Congress since 1993, is facing federal corruption-related charges.

He faces big primary challengers in Democrats Tammy Murphy, wife of Gov. Phil Murphy, and Rep. Andy Kim.

Read more here...

Tyler Durden Wed, 12/27/2023 - 18:05
Published:12/27/2023 5:14:17 PM
[Markets] Doug Casey On What Really Happened In 2023 And What Comes Next Doug Casey On What Really Happened In 2023 And What Comes Next

Authored by Doug Casey via InternationalMan.com,

International Man: As we approach the end of the year, let’s take a step back, look at the Big Picture, and put 2023 into perspective so we can better understand what may come next.

Significant financial, economic, political, cultural, and geopolitical developments occurred in 2023.

On the cultural front, 2023 may be the year that the tide started to shift against the woke insanity.

BlackRock’s Fink dropped ESG. Woke movies continue to bomb at theaters. Bud Light, Target, and Disney continue to feel the pain of deliberately alienating their customer base.

What’s your take on the cultural developments in 2023?

Doug Casey: There are always reactions to major trends. These things are worth noting, but considering the virulence of the woke movement, the reaction has been tepid. There’s always a rearguard fighting for things as they are. And that’s wonderful because the Wokesters want to overturn the entire culture much the same way as the Jacobins overturned it in revolutionary France, the Bolsheviks overturned the culture in Russia, the Red Guards in China, or Pol Pot did in Cambodia.

The Wokesters are potentially just as dangerous because their way of thinking is everywhere in the West.

They’re similar to the movements I’ve just mentioned in that they’re stridently against free speech, free thought, free markets, tradition, and limited government—nothing new there. But they’ve weaponized gender and race as well. They’re virulent, humorless, and puritanical. They see themselves as the wave of the future, but they’ve only repackaged the notions of Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler.

My view is that the Wokesters hate humanity and hate themselves. They’re dishonest, arrogant, and entitled. Look at the current scandal involving the diversity-hire presidents at Harvard, Penn, and MIT. They’re shameful embarrassments. The fact their boards of trustees installed these fools shows how deep the rot goes.

The Woke have ingrained psychological/spiritual aberrations.

They don’t just control academia, finance, entertainment, and the media. They also dominate the State’s apparatus. Which means they basically have the law on their side.

Perhaps ESG is being de-emphasized by Blackrock, the new vampire squid, but that’s only because they fear losing money more than they value their beliefs. The more pernicious DEI remains a major cultural trend.

Where will it end?

Wokism is more than a passing fad. There’s a good chance it will end with a violent confrontation between people who have culturally conservative views and those who want to destroy Western Civilization and upset the nature of society as we know it.

International Man: 2023 was a year of major geopolitical developments.

It became evident to even the mainstream media that the war in the Ukraine was not going well for NATO.

There was also the Hamas attack and the Israeli invasion of Gaza.

Azerbaijan defeated Armenia to reclaim a long-disputed territory.

Saudi Arabia welcomed Syria back into the Arab League, ended the war in Yemen, restored diplomatic relations with Iran, joined the BRICS countries, and expanded its economic ties with China.

These are just a few of the most prominent geopolitical events of 2023.

What do you make of the geopolitical situation and where things are heading?

Doug CaseyThe end of US hegemony over the world in all areas is becoming obvious. The world resents being bullied and controlled by Washington, DC.

They realize that the US government is bankrupt and is living entirely on printed money. Its military is bloated and more expensive than the US can afford.

While it’s bloated, it’s also being gutted, unable to recruit new soldiers and sailors. It’s easy to see why that’s the case. They see pointless wars fomented everywhere. The type of people who traditionally join the military are disgusted by the woke memes circulating through the services. White males, who have always been the backbone of the military, are appalled at being actively discriminated against.

US hegemony is ending financially, economically, and militarily.

It’s obvious when you see that Biden and Harris, two utterly incompetent, ineffectual fools, are the nominal heads of the government. Not to mention all the degraded and psychologically damaged people in the cabinet. Of course, nobody has any respect for the US anymore.

The US hegemony of the last hundred years is on its way out. And as the old order changes, there are going to be upsets. The US will leave a vacuum that will be filled by other forces.

In fact, the US Government is the biggest danger to the world today. It’s not providing order. By sticking its nose into everyone else’s business everywhere, it’s promoting chaos. Its 800+ bases around the world are provocations. The carrier groups that it has wandering around are sitting ducks with today’s technology. The US is the main source of risk in the world, not safety.

US military spending is really just corporate welfare for the five big “defense” corporations, which build weapons suited for fighting the last war or maybe the war before the last war. For instance, a missile frigate or destroyer guarding a carrier might carry 100 vertically-launched anti-aircraft missiles at $2 million each. Each missile might succeed in shooting down a $10,000 drone. But what happens when the enemy launches 200 drones at once? The chances are the US loses a $2 billion destroyer, if not a carrier.

The US government is finding that they’re not only disliked but disrespected by countries and people all over the world. They’re increasingly viewed as a paper tiger. Or the Wizard of Oz. When they lose the fear factor, it’s game over.

International Man: In 2023, the US continued the trend of more political polarization.

What were the most consequential events on the US political front, and what do you think comes next?

Doug Casey: Let me reemphasize that the Jacobins who control Washington, DC, have the same psychological makeup as past revolutionaries I’ve mentioned.

These people are incapable of changing their minds or reforming. I think they’ll do absolutely anything they can to retain power.

Meanwhile, traditional Americans in red states see that Trump is being railroaded with lawfare to derail his campaign. They’re angrier than ever, justifiably. The red people and the blue people really hate each other at this point—and can’t talk to each other.

The country has been completely demoralized as traditional values have been washed away. It’s now very unstable.

The coming election, should we actually have one, will be not just a political but a cultural contest. Culture wars are especially dangerous in the midst of a financial collapse and economic collapse.

International Man: The projected annual interest expense on the federal debt hit $1 trillion for the first time in 2023.

Americans are still paying for the rampant currency debasement during the Covid hysteria as the price of groceries, insurance, rent, and most other things continued to rise in 2023.

It looks like a recession is on the horizon.

What are your thoughts on economic developments in 2023 and your outlook for the months ahead?

Doug Casey: As an amateur student of history, it seems to me that the US has been moving away from the founding principles that made it unique for over a hundred years. I’m 77. I’ve watched it happen firsthand for much of that time.

The trend has been accelerating.

The country is heading towards a massive crisis because it’s lost its philosophical footing. The result is going to be a really serious depression. I call it the Greater Depression.

The spread between the haves who live in multi-million dollar houses and the have-nots who live in tents isn’t new. After all, Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you.” What’s new is that the middle class is being impoverished. What’s left of the middle class is deeply in debt—student debt, credit card debt, car loan debt, mortgage debt. And if they’re not lucky enough to have a house with mortgage debt, they’re renting. And rents have gone up so rapidly that if the average guy has an unforeseen $500 expense, he can’t pay it.

That augurs poorly for consumption. It’s said, idiotically, that the American economy rests on consumption. It’s idiotic because it should be said that it rests on production. But I’m not sure the US produces that much anymore.

Most of the people who “work” basically sit at desks and shuffle papers. Few actively create real wealth.

On top of that, the country is vastly over-financialized.

The bond market has already largely collapsed, but it can get a lot worse as interest rates head back up to the levels that they were in the early 1980s and beyond.

Much lower stock prices are in the cards, both because of high interest rates and because people won’t be consuming such massive quantities of corporate produce.

The real estate market rests on a foundation of debt. It can easily go bust as interest rates go up. We’re already seeing this with office buildings across the country. And, of course, these office buildings are financed by banks. Banks are going to see a lot of defaults on loans they’ve made.

Meanwhile, bank capital invested in bonds has eroded because bond prices fall in proportion to the degree rise in interest rates, which have gone from close to zero to 5% or 6%. If banks had to mark their loans and capital investments to the market, most would already be bankrupt.

Can the government paper all these things over by printing yet more money? I suppose.

But at some point very soon, the dollar will lose value very rapidly; it will be treated like a hot potato. They’re caught between a rock and a hard place.

International Man: This year, we saw the price of gold hit a record high, uranium reached $81.25 per pound, and Bitcoin more than doubled as it entered a new bull market. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 is up around 21% year to date as of writing.

What are your thoughts on what happened in the financial markets in 2023 and what could come next?

Doug Casey: Unfortunately, the US central bank, the Fed, has a gigantic amount of influence over the markets.

They can employ “quantitative easing,” which means printing money—and “quantitative tightening,” which means decreasing the money and artificially raising interest rates.

They have many hundreds of Ph.D. economists on staff, but all these people operate on phony Keynesian theories of the way the world works. The consequences of building an economic system on a foundation of paper money and gigantic amounts of debt are potentially catastrophic.

At this point, the economy’s on the razor edge. If they push the print button and hold it down too long, we could go into a runaway inflation. Or, to tamp down inflation, they might raise interest rates and contract the money supply, which might set off a 1929-style credit collapse.

We’re caught between Scylla and Charybdis at this point. And I don’t believe it’s a question of a soft landing or a hard landing. It’s a question of how devastating the crash landing will be.

I hope they can wring one more cycle out of all this because I personally prefer good times to bad times, even if they’re artificial good times, because the bad times are going to be very real.

*  *  *

Doug Casey’s forecasts helped investors prepare and profit from: 1) the S&L blowup in the ’80s and ’90s, 2) the 2001 tech stock collapse, 3) the 2008 financial crisis, 4) and now… Doug’s sounding the alarms about a catastrophic event. One he believes could soon strike. To help you prepare and profit, Doug and his team have prepared a special video. Click here to watch now.

Tyler Durden Wed, 12/27/2023 - 17:25
Published:12/27/2023 4:36:21 PM
[Markets] Intentional Destruction: First COVID, Now Comes "The Great Taking" Intentional Destruction: First COVID, Now Comes "The Great Taking"

Authored by Matthew Smith via Doug Casey's Take substack,

The Great Depression was a well-executed plan to seize assets, impoverish the population, and remake society. What comes next is worse...

A recent book by David Webb sheds new light on exactly what happened during the Great Depression. In Webb’s view, it was a set up.

Webb is a successful former investment banker and hedge fund manager with experience at the highest levels of the financial system. He published The Great Taking a few months ago, and recently supplemented it with a video documentary. Thorough, concise, comprehensible and FREE. Why? Because he wants everyone to understand what’s being done.

The Great Taking describes the roadmap to collapse the system, suppress the people, and seize all your assets. And it includes the receipts.

You Already Own Nothing

Webb’s book illustrates, among other things, how changes in the Uniform Commercial Code converted asset ownership into a security entitlement. The “entitlement” designation made personal property a mere contractual claim. The “entitled” person is a “beneficial” owner, but not the legal one.

In the event a financial institution is insolvent, the legal owner is the “entity that controls the security with a security interest.” In essence, client assets belong to the banks. But it’s much worse than that. This isn’t simply a matter of losing your cash to a bank bail-inThe entire financial system has been wired for a controlled demolition.

Webb describes in detail how the trap was set, and how the Great Depression provides precedent. In 1933, FDR declared a “Bank Holiday.” By executive order, banks were closed. Later, only those approved by the Fed were allowed to reopen. 

Thousands of banks were left to die. People with money in those disfavored institutions lost all of it, as well as anything they’d financed (houses, cars, businesses) that they now couldn’t pay for. Then, a few “chosen” banks consolidated all the assets in the system.

Centralization and Systemic Risk

As Webb shows, the cake has been baked for years. But this week came a sign it’s coming out of the oven. Last Monday, Bloomberg admitted that measures taken to ostensibly “protect the system” actually amplify risk.

In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, G20 'leaders' mandated all standardized Over The Counter (OTC) derivatives be cleared through central counterparties (CCPs), ostensibly to reduce counter party risk and increase market transparency. The best known CCP in the US is the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), which processes trillions of dollars of securities transactions each day. 

Before 2012, OTC derivative trades were bi-lateral and counterparty risk was managed by parties to a transaction. When doing business directly with other firms, each had to make sure it was dealing with reliable parties. If they had a bad reputation or were not creditworthy, counterparties could consider them toxic and shut them out of trades. This, according to the wise G20 leadership, was too risky.

With the introduction of central clearing mandates, counterparty risk was shifted via CCPs away from the firms doing the deal to the system itself. Creditworthiness and reputation were replaced with collateral and complex models. 

Brokers, banks, asset managers, hedge funds, corporations, insurance companies and other so-called "clearing parties" participate in the market by first posting collateral in the form of Initial Margin (IM) with the CCP. It's through this IM and a separate and much smaller Default Fund (DF) held at the CCP that counterparty risk is managed.

To ‘Mutualise’ Losses

Shifting risk from individual parties to the collective is a recipe for trouble. But, as explained in a recent report from the BIS, it's worse than that. The structure of CCPs themselves can cause "Margin Spirals" and "wrong-way risk" in the event of market turbulence.

In flight-to-safety episodes, CCPs hike margin requirements.  According to the BIS,

"Sudden and large IM hikes force deleveraging by derivative counterparties and can precipitate fire sales that lead to higher volatility and additional IM hikes in so-called margin spirals."

We've already gotten a taste of what this can look like.  Similar margin spirals "occurred in early 2020 (Covid-19) and 2022 (invasion of Ukraine), reflecting the risk-sensitive nature of IM models."

Government Bonds as a source of trouble

The second area of systemic risk is the dual use of government bonds as both collateral and as underlying assets in derivatives contracts. Volatility in the government bond market can lead to a demand for more collateral underlying the derivatives markets precisely when government bond prices are declining. Falling bond prices erode the value of the existing IM.  Collateral demands skyrocket just as the value of current and would-be collateral is evaporating.

Again, the BIS:

Wrong-way risk dynamics appeared to play a role during the 2010–11 Irish sovereign debt crisis. At that time, investors liquidated their positions in Irish government bonds after a CCP raised the haircuts on such bonds when used as collateral. This led to lower prices of Irish government bonds triggering further haircuts, further position closures and ultimately a downward price spiral.

Designed to fail

The BIS doesn’t admit it, but Webb says the CCPs themselves are deliberately under-capitalized and designed to fail. The start-up of a new CCP is planned and pre-funded. When that happens, it’ll be the “secured creditors” who will take control of ALL the underlying collateral.

Once more, the BIS:

…to mutualise potential default losses in excess of IM, CCPs also require their members to contribute to a default fund (DF). As a result, CCPs are in command of large pools of liquid assets.

That “large pool of liquid assets” is the full universe of traded securities.

In a market collapse, the stocks and bonds you think you own will be sucked into the default fund (DF) as additional collateral for the evaporating value of the derivatives complex. This is “The Great Taking”.

Buffett’s famous line rings true: “You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.”  Most of us are on the verge of learning that we’re the ones without any clothes.

If you haven’t read “The Great Taking” or watched the documentary, I recommend you pour yourself a stiff drink and watch it now:

Tyler Durden Sat, 12/16/2023 - 10:30
Published:12/16/2023 9:48:28 AM
[da50be1e-92e4-5d61-99de-32ff5e65742e] 'The Santa Clauses' star Tim Allen accused of bad behavior on set by costar Tim Allen's behavior on the set of "The Santa Clauses" was less than jolly, according to costar Casey Wilson. She claims Allen was "so f---ing rude" during the taping. Published:12/7/2023 1:54:28 PM
[Markets] US Water Systems Targeted By Iran-Linked Cyberattacks In Multiple States US Water Systems Targeted By Iran-Linked Cyberattacks In Multiple States

Authored by Tom Ozimek via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Multiple federal agencies are warning that Iran-linked hackers have been targeting U.S. water systems and other industries that use programmable-logic controllers (PLC) made by Israeli firm Unitronics, as the Israel–Hamas war simmers in the background.

This photo provided by the Municipal Water Authority of Aliquippa shows the screen of a Unitronics device that was hacked in Aliquippa, Pa., on Nov. 25, 2023. (Municipal Water Authority of Aliquippa via AP)

Hackers affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have engaged in "malicious cyber activity" targeting PLC operational technology devices used in the U.S. water and wastewater systems sector, and in other industries including energy, food, and beverage manufacturing, since at least Nov. 22, the agencies said in a Dec. 1 alert.

The agencies that issued the warning include the FBI, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the National Security Agency (NSA), with the Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD) joining in the advisory.

This IRGC-linked cyberattack group (known variously as CyberAv3ngers, CyberAveng3rs, or Cyber Avengers) has been compromising default credentials in Unitronics devices since at least Nov. 22, the agencies said.

After hacking the PLC devices in multiple states, CyberAv3ngers left the following defacement message: “You have been hacked, down with Israel. Every equipment ‘made in Israel’ is CyberAv3ngers legal target.”

The cyber group has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against critical infrastructure in Israel starting in 2020; it has recently turned its attention to targets in the United States, a key ally of Israel as it battles the Hamas terror group in response to the Oct. 7 attacks against Israel.

One high-profile attack by CyberAv3ngers targeted a water authority near Pittsburgh on Nov. 25, prompting congressional lawmakers to demand an investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and triggering the latest multi-agency warning that other water and sewage-treatment utilities, and other industries, may be vulnerable.

The PLC devices regulate processes including pressure, temperature, and fluid flow, according to Unitronics.

Pennsylvania Water Utility Attacked

A cyberattack by the Iran-linked group on Nov. 25 targeted the Municipal Water Authority of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, forcing the utility to switch to manual operations; officials said water quality wasn't compromised.

"The affected municipality’s water authority immediately took the system offline and switched to manual operations—there is no known risk to the municipality’s drinking water or water supply," the CISA said in a Nov. 28 notice.

While water quality wasn't affected this time, the agency said that such cyberattacks do have the potential to threaten the ability of water and wastewater systems to provide clean drinking water to residents and to effectively manage wastewater.

The hackers accomplished their attack by exploiting cybersecurity weaknesses, including poor password security and exposure to the internet, according to the CISA. The agency urged water and wastewater facilities to take preventive measures including changing passwords and disconnecting the PLCs from the open internet.

Several Pittsburgh-based cybersecurity firms said that utility companies are more vulnerable to cyberattacks targeting operational technology because many of these systems are dated and monitored infrequently.

"Take a Fortune 500, or any type of large manufacturer or utility—instead of breaking in through their firewalls and trying to get to their data, [hackers have] the ability to try to go in and interfere with their systems," David Kane, CEO of Pittsburgh-based Ethical Intruder, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"I think you're gonna see a big rise in that because there's just so few protections on it," he said, adding that an attack on the operational technology side is "very alarming."

In its latest warning, the CISA and the other agencies shared a number of indicators of compromise (IOC), as well as tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) associated with the Iran-linked cyber group's operations.

Lawmakers Demand Probe

The cyberattack prompted several congressional lawmakers from Pennsylvania to demand that the Department of Justice (DOJ) launch an investigation into how the foreign hacking group managed to breach a U.S.-based water facility.

"Any attack on our critical infrastructure is unacceptable," U.S. Rep. Chris Deluzio (D-Pa.) said in a post on X. "It poses a threat not only to Western PA, but also the nation."

Mr. Deluzio, along with U.S. Sens. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) and Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Nov. 28, saying that Americans need to be confident that their drinking water and other basic infrastructure is safe.

If a hack like this can happen here in western Pennsylvania, it can happen anywhere else in the United States,” the lawmakers wrote.

The attack came less than a month after a federal appeals court decision prompted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to rescind a rule that would have obliged U.S. public water systems to include cybersecurity testing in their regular federally mandated audits.

The rollback was triggered by a federal appeals court decision in a case brought by Missouri, Arkansas, and Iowa, and joined by a water utility trade group.

Unitronics didn't respond by press time to queries as to whether other facilities with its equipment may have been hacked or could be vulnerable.

Tyler Durden Mon, 12/04/2023 - 19:40
Published:12/4/2023 7:01:27 PM
[Markets] "The Responsibility To Not Report": Irish Journalist Defends Suppressing Stories For The Public Good "The Responsibility To Not Report": Irish Journalist Defends Suppressing Stories For The Public Good

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

We have been discussing the latest Irish law to crackdown on free speech.  Yet, even with the criminalization of speech, there is apparently still the danger of citizens reading or hearing facts from reporters that are best kept from them. Thus, Kitty Holland, a correspondent with the Irish Timesis defending the media’s decision to suppress stories that would “incite hatred” and undermine journalistic viewpoints.

The comments came in a BBC interview regarding the victim impact statement of the boyfriend of Ashling Murphy, who was murdered in 2022 by an immigrant. 

Ryan Casey stated in part:

It just sickens me to the core that someone can come to this country, be fully supported in terms of social housing, social welfare, and free medical care for over 10 years… over 10 years… never hold down a legitimate job, and never once contribute to society in any way shape or form… can commit such a horrendous evil act of incomprehensible violence on such a beautiful, loving and talented person who in fact, worked for the state, educating the next generation and represented everything that is good about Irish society.

I feel like this country is no longer the country that Ashling and I grew up in, and Ireland has officially lost its innocence when a crime of this magnitude can be perpetrated in broad daylight. This country needs to wake up. This time, things have got to change, we have to once and for all start putting the safety of not only Irish people — but everybody in this country who works hard, pays taxes, raises families and overall contributes to society — first.

We don’t want to see any other family in this country go through what we have gone through and are continuing to go through. I myself have a little sister and honestly, just the thought of her walking the streets of any village, town or city in this country alone makes me physically sick and quite frankly absolutely terrifies me as this country is simply not safe anymore!

This time, if real change does not happen, if the safety of people living in this country is further ignored, I’m afraid our country is heading down a very dangerous path and you can be certain that we will not be the last family to be in this position.

The host asked:

“Those were very interesting comments, weren’t they?”

Holland disagreed and said that they had to be suppressed in the best interests of the public:

“I think elements of them were not good,. They were incitement to hatred, and I think that’s why the media left out aspects of them. I think they were right to not include [Casey’s full comments in news reports]. I don’t think that they were helpful, and this is the kind of thing that the far right latches on to.”

What was striking was the ease with which Holland moves directly into the suppression of a story as the guardian of the public good. Some news is simply “not helpful” so the media should not allow the public to be exposed to it.

Holland previously won the Journalist of the Year, News Reporter of the Year, and the Overall winner of the Justice Media Awards.

Holland’s view is consistent with many in the media in the United States today.

I have long been a critic of what I called “advocacy journalism” as it began to emerge in journalism schools. These schools encourage students to use their “lived expertise” and to “leave[] neutrality behind.” Instead, of neutrality, they are pushing “solidarity [as] ‘a commitment to social justice that translates into action.’”

For example, we previously discussed the release of the results of interviews with over 75 media leaders by former executive editor for The Washington Post Leonard Downie Jr. and former CBS News President Andrew Heyward. They concluded that objectivity is now considered reactionary and even harmful. Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, editor-in-chief at the San Francisco Chronicle said it plainly: “Objectivity has got to go.”

Saying that “Objectivity has got to go” is, of course, liberating. You can dispense with the necessities of neutrality and balance. You can cater to your “base” like columnists and opinion writers. Sharing the opposing view is now dismissed as “bothsidesism.” Done. No need to give credence to opposing views. It is a familiar reality for those of us in higher education, which has been increasingly intolerant of opposing or dissenting views.

Downie recounted how news leaders today

“believe that pursuing objectivity can lead to false balance or misleading “bothsidesism” in covering stories about race, the treatment of women, LGBTQ+ rights, income inequality, climate change and many other subjects. And, in today’s diversifying newsrooms, they feel it negates many of their own identities, life experiences and cultural contexts, keeping them from pursuing truth in their work.”

There was a time when all journalists shared a common “identity” as professionals who were able to separate their own bias and values from the reporting of the news.

Now, objectivity is virtually synonymous with prejudice. Kathleen Carroll, former executive editor at the Associated Press declared “It’s objective by whose standard? … That standard seems to be White, educated, and fairly wealthy.”

In an interview with The Stanford Daily, Stanford journalism professor, Ted Glasser, insisted that journalism needed to “free itself from this notion of objectivity to develop a sense of social justice.” He rejected the notion that journalism is based on objectivity and said that he views “journalists as activists because journalism at its best — and indeed history at its best — is all about morality.”  Thus, “Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.”

Lauren Wolfe, the fired freelance editor for the New York Times, has not only gone public to defend her pro-Biden tweet but published a piece titled I’m a Biased Journalist and I’m Okay With That.” 

Former New York Times writer (and now Howard University Journalism Professor) Nikole Hannah-Jones is a leading voice for advocacy journalism.

Indeed, Hannah-Jones has declared all journalism is activism.”

At the same time, outlets like National Public Radio have abandoned the rule that journalists should not engage in public protests.

NPR declared that it would allow employees to participate in political protests when the editors believe the causes advance the “freedom and dignity of human beings.” So it remained up to the editors if a reporter could join a pro-life protest (unlikely) or a pro-gun control protest (very likely).

Likewise, American politicians (including Barack Obama) have called upon the media to actively frame news to shape public opinion.  This includes support for the widespread censorship of opposing views on social media.

The Holland interview shows how matter-of-fact the cause of censorship has become for reporters.  The immediate question is not whether it was news to report (which it certainly was), but whether the news would further the cause or narrative of the media.

There has always been media bias, but it is now openly acknowledged and embraced by reporters. They view themselves now as the guardians protecting citizens from harmful information or news that they cannot put into the proper perspective. Information is treated like sugary drinks under the Big Gulp laws, you are better off having others decide what is healthy for you to consume . . . or to know.

Here is the full victim impact statement.

 'I lost so much more than my girlfriend. I’ve lost mypartner in life, my closest friend, my best friend'

Tyler Durden Mon, 12/04/2023 - 09:15
Published:12/4/2023 8:37:03 AM
[In The News] Dem Senator Who Helped Pass Biden’s Massive Spending Bills Blames Corporations For Inflation

by Mary Lou Masters at CDN -

Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, who’s up for reelection in 2024, is placing blame on corporations for inflation despite helping President Joe Biden pass his massive spending legislation. Casey’s office released two “Greedflation” reports in November — one arguing corporations are bringing in “record profits on the backs of American …

Click to read the rest HERE-> Dem Senator Who Helped Pass Biden’s Massive Spending Bills Blames Corporations For Inflation first posted at Conservative Daily News

Published:11/30/2023 1:24:17 AM
[Opinion] Why We Should Be Thankful for ‘Greedflation’

by Benjamin Seevers at CDN -

Janet Yellen inflation

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D) recently released the “Special Report on Greedflation.” This publication attempts to explain high inflation by an appeal to corporate greed, and it further proposes policies on how to deal with greed. As one could imagine, this report is chock-full of errors, but one stands out …

Click to read the rest HERE-> Why We Should Be Thankful for ‘Greedflation’ first posted at Conservative Daily News

Published:11/28/2023 12:42:57 PM
[Markets] It Will Happen Suddenly It Will Happen Suddenly

Authored by Jeff Thomas via InternationalMan.com,

As the Great Unravelling progresses, we shall be seeing many negative developments, some of them unprecedented...

Only a year ago, the average person was still hanging on to the belief that the world is in a state of recovery, that, however tentative, the economy was on the mend.

And this is understandable. After all, the media have been doing a bang-up job of explaining the situation in a way that treats recovery as a general assumption. The only point of discussion is the method applied to achieve the recovery, but the recovery itself is treated as a given.

However, as thorough a distraction as the media (and the governments of the world) have provided, the average person has begun to recognise that something is fundamentally wrong. He now has a gut feeling that, even if he is not well-versed enough to describe in economic terms what is incorrect in the endless chatter he sees on his television, he now senses that the situation will not end well.

I tend to liken his situation to someone who suddenly finds all the lights off in his house. He stumbles around in the dark, trying to feel his way. Although he can picture in his mind what the layout of his house is, he is having trouble navigating, often bumping into things. This is similar to the attempt to see through the media and government smokescreens during normal times.

But soon, as his government undergoes collapse, he will be getting some bigger surprises. He will find that the furniture has inexplicably been moved around. Objects are not where they are supposed to be, and it is no longer possible to reason his way through the problem of navigating in the dark.

Many of those who observe the daily news reports are beginning to figure out that they are being fed misinformation. Many are beginning to recognise that neither political party truly represents them or, for that matter, is even concerned for their welfare.

These folks are now navigating in the dark.

But the bigger surprises have not yet occurred. There will be a certain amount of lead-up, plus a great deal of confusion, but the actual occurrences will be sudden. No one will be able to predict the dates on which they occur, except those very few people who control the triggers to these events.

Crashes in the Markets

Major bull markets rarely end with a whimper. They end with a major upside spike. And, unfortunately, brokers and investors alike tend to think that, if the market has been up for the last week, the last month, or the last year, it can be expected to be up again tomorrow. This makes them prime pickings for governments who may choose to falsely inflate a given market, creating an upside spike to encourage investors to toss their last few coins into the pot, just before the bottom drops out.

In previous eras, it could take time for people to sell, and even in panic times, the bloodletting was not instantaneous. However, with the Internet, all that is necessary is a major sell-off by one entity—one that goes through the stops of a large number of investors, and in a flash, the market goes though the floor. (Editor’s note: Stops are orders placed with a broker to sell a security when it reaches a certain price.) The average investor wakes in the morning to find that he has been wiped out.

Commitments by Governments

Should there be a currency crash, as is expected in many countries, promises made by governments will be abandoned suddenly, as though they had never existed. Whilst millions of people will find themselves lost, unable to function without their entitlements, governments will evade their guilt through finger-pointing. Tories will blame Labour; Labour will blame the Tories. (The equivalent will take place in other countries.) The net result will be the disappearance of entitlements, either in part or in total. The public will take out its anger through increased hatred of whichever party it is that they already consider to be the evil one. They will fail to understand that collapse was unavoidable.

Assumed National Strengths Will Vanish

International alliances will fall away. Former allies will suddenly not be at the side of the failing nation.

Former friends will sign alliances with the other side.

Trade agreements will suddenly cease.

Wealth, initiative, and favour will flow to the new foremost country and its allies.

All of the above will happen incrementally—not by any means on the same day—but in each case, the actual occurrence will be sudden.

Just as Julius Caesar was at his peak of power when his fellow members of the Senate drew their knives, a powerful nation is coddled right until the time of its fall. In this regard, the US will see the greatest abandonment of loyalties that any nation will experience.

(The greater the empire, the greater the pretence of loyalty to it. And the greater the abandonment when the fall comes.)

When an empire collapses, it dies slowly. Unless it comes to an end through conquest, it deteriorates in a series of sudden jolts. Its leaders grasp at anything that might cause a delay, even if this means a worse outcome in the end. The process may take years and even decades. However, it is in the first few years that the major events occur—the events that create the most significant damage.

This occurs for two reasons. The first is that the leaders of the country, believing in their own power, believe that they can maintain control of their trade, their overseas control, their military, etc. and find that, when the crashes come, the rats desert the ship in every area. The second reason is that any empire builds its strength upon lies and exaggeration as much as it builds on its true attributes. After a crash, these lies and exaggerations fall away, and in a short time, it becomes clear that the empire was, in its latter stages, a house of cards.

The warning signs are already taking place but are not heavily publicised.

The stage is set, and we are approaching the first major events.

The victims in this play are, unfortunately, the average people, who simply hope to have a decent life. They will be caught unawares and unable to even understand what has occurred, let alone take action to save themselves. Those who have not spent the previous years educating themselves and preparing an alternative life will suffer most greatly.

All who live in a country that is undergoing collapse will be negatively affected. Some will do better than others, but to live on this slim hope is much like being fortunate enough to live on the outskirts of Hiroshima in 1945.

There is little comfort in being one of the least injured. Better to have been in another country altogether - both during the actual event and during the terrible time that is sure to follow.

*  *  *

The political and economic climate is constantly changing… and not always for the better. Obtaining the political diversification benefits of a second passport is crucial to ensuring you won’t fall victim to a desperate government. That’s why Doug Casey and his team just released a new complementary report, “The Easiest Way to a Second Passport.” It contains all the details about one of the easiest countries to obtain a second passport from. Click here to download it now.

Tyler Durden Mon, 11/27/2023 - 17:40
Published:11/27/2023 5:09:52 PM
[Markets] Meet The Mega Donors At Play In The 2024 Election Meet The Mega Donors At Play In The 2024 Election

Authored by Patricia Tolson via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The 2024 presidential election cycle is predicted to be the most expensive in U.S. history.

(Illustration by The Epoch Times, Shutterstock)

Former President Donald Trump holds a comfortable lead in total contribution receipts with $56.7 million, according to data from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in the first week of November.

President Joe Biden, seeking a second term in the White House, placed second, with $44.7 million.

President Trump's Republican rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, placed third, with $31.6 million.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who switched from the Democratic ticket to run as an independent, placed fourth with $15.1 million.

Joe Biden

With a 56 percent disapproval rating in the most recent Reuters/Ipsos poll, a victory in 2024 will be challenging for the current president. Here are some of his major donors.

Laurene Powell Jobs

Laurene Powell Jobs is the widow of tech entrepreneur Steve Jobs. On July 7, 2022, Ms. Powell Jobs accepted a Medal of Freedom from President Biden on behalf of her husband.

President Joe Biden presents businesswoman Laurene Powell Jobs with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her late husband Steve Jobs, in the White House in Washington on July 7, 2022. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

She is also a trustee of the Ford Foundation and the founder and president of Emerson Collective—a philanthropic organization helping people "from all communities" to "achieve their full potential." The organization is the majority owner of The Atlantic magazine. She is also board chair of College Track, a nonprofit she founded in 1997 that helps students from underserved communities achieve their education goals.

Ms. Powell Jobs is the co-founder and board chair of the XQ Institute, "dedicated to rethinking the high school experience so that every student graduates ready to succeed in life."

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, her net worth sits at about $10.3 billion.

FEC records show that Ms. Powell Jobs contributed $929,000 to the Biden Victory Fund as well as two contributions of $3,300 to the Biden for President PAC on Sept. 20.

Casey Wasserman

Casey Wasserman is the founder, CEO, and chairman of Wasserman, a sports marketing and talent management firm. He is also chairman of LA28, the organizing committee for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, and president and CEO of the Wasserman Foundation, which supports education, service, health, arts, and culture, as well as global initiatives.

Casey Wasserman, chair of the Wasserman Media Group, walks to lunch at the Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, on July 13, 2023. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

As reported by Inside The Games, Mr. Wasserman wrote a letter to the International Olympic Committee in 2020 calling for the organization to ease the restrictions of Rule 50, which says, “No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.”

FEC records show that Mr. Wasserman contributed $929,600 to the Biden Victory Fund as well as two donations of $3,300 to the Biden for President PAC on Sept. 27.

Jeffrey Katzenberg

Jeffrey Katzenberg is a Hollywood film and television producer who served as chief executive of the well-known animation studio, DreamWorks, which he co-founded with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen. Prior to founding DreamWorks, Mr. Katzenberg was chairman of Walt Disney Studios, where he oversaw the release of several highly profitable animated features, such as The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King.

Producer Jeffrey Katzenberg speaks to the media at the Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, on July 7, 2021. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

His net worth is estimated to be about $900 million.

Mr. Katzenberg also serves as a co-chair of President Biden's reelection campaign, where he helps with fundraising and provides advice on messaging.

FEC data show that Mr. Katzenberg has been a prolific contributor to Democratic candidates and PACs for decades.

On April 28, he contributed $889,600 to the Biden Victory Fund and two donations of $3,300 to Biden for President.

On April 27, Mr. Katzenberg's wife, Marilyn, also contributed $889,600 to the Biden Victory Fund.

In May 2023, Mr. Katzenberg told Financial Times that he would pledge “all the resources” President Biden needs to win reelection in 2024.

Donald Trump

Polling data collected by RealClearPolitics shows that President Trump is leading President Biden in all but two of the head-to-head matchup surveys released by various polling outlets Nov. 17.

Several billionaires have donated to Make America Great Again Inc., a leading Trump-aligned Super PAC, during the first half of 2023.

Phil Ruffin

According to his profile on Casino.org, Phil Ruffin—an 88-year-old casino and hotel mogul—is one of the most successful, self-made businessmen in Las Vegas. He is the owner of Circus Circus and the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino. He is also a 50 percent stakeholder in the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas, along with the former president.

Chairman and President of the Trump Organization Donald Trump (L) and Phil Ruffin, owner of the New Frontier Hotel and Casino, at a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Trump International Hotel & Tower Las Vegas in Las Vegas on July 12, 2005. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Forbes estimates Mr. Ruffin's net worth is about $2.7 billion.

FEC data show that Mr. Ruffin made two $1 million contributions—one on April 26 and the other on June 15—to the Make America Great Again PAC. He also made an $11,600 contribution to the Trump Save America Joint Fundraising Committee on May 1, and a $3,300 contribution to Donald J. Trump for President 2024.

Mr. Ruffin is not solely dedicated to Republican candidates. In the past, he donated to support John Kerry's and former President Barack Obama's presidential campaigns.

Charles Kushner

Charles Kushner is the father of Jared Kushner, who is married to President Trump's daughter, Ivanka.

Charles Kushner (C) wades though the media with his legal team and wife to the U.S. District Courthouse in Newark, N.J., on Aug. 18, 2004. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

After his family immigrated to the United States in the aftermath of the Soviet occupation of Poland, Mr. Kushner completed high school and went on to study law at the Hofstra University School of Law. After practicing law for several years, he used his father’s business assets to found Kushner Companies in 1985, which he built into a successful real estate development empire.

In March 2005, The New York Times reported that Mr. Kushner pleaded guilty to tax evasion, witness tampering, and making illegal campaign donations. He was sentenced to two years in federal prison.

On Dec. 23, 2020, President Trump issued a pardon for Mr. Kushner.

FEC records show that Mr. Kushner contributed $1 million to Make America Great Again Inc. on June 5.

The FEC's data also indicate that between 1987 and 2020, Mr. Kushner's political contributions were given strictly to Democratic candidates and PACs, including a $1,000 contribution on April 24, 1987, to President Biden's first presidential endeavor.

In 2016, Forbes estimated the Kushner family's net worth to be about $1.8 billion.

Robert "Woody" Johnson

Robert "Woody" Johnson is the co-owner of the New York Jets. His wealth is a product of his great-grandfather, Robert Wood Johnson, who founded Johnson & Johnson in 1886. From 2017 to 2021, he served as President Trump's ambassador to the United Kingdom.

According to Forbes, Mr. Johnson's net worth is about $3.1 billion.

FEC records show that Mr. Johnson contributed $1 million to Make America Great Again Inc. on April 26.

Additional contributions to the PAC in 2022 totaled over $133,000.

In 2020, Reuters reported that Mr. Johnson—who had no previous experience in diplomacy—was investigated by the U.S. State Department's Office of the Attorney General regarding "offensive or derogatory comments, based on an individual’s race, color, sex, or religion," which he was alleged to have made during his tenure as ambassador to the United Kingdom.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump host a dinner for Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, with U.S. Ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson (L) and his wife Suzanne Ircha (R) in London on June 4, 2019. (Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Tyler Durden Sat, 11/25/2023 - 18:40
Published:11/25/2023 6:08:45 PM
[Uncategorized] “We lied, we cheated, we stole” “We will know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false” – William Casey  CIA Director 1981 “I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated we stole” – Mike Pompeo Published:11/20/2023 11:20:03 AM
[Entertainment] Proof Pete Davidson Is 30, Flirty and Thriving on Milestone Birthday Casey Davidson/ Pete Let the King of Staten Island's birthday celebration commence! Pete Davidson turned 30 on Nov. 16, and in honor of his big day, his sister Casey Davidson took a trip down memory lane. The...
Published:11/16/2023 5:59:50 PM
[Markets] Doug Casey On The Imminent Bankruptcy Of The US Government Doug Casey On The Imminent Bankruptcy Of The US Government

Authored by Doug Casey via the International Man,

International Man: Everyone knows that the US government has been bankrupt for many years. But we thought it might be instructive to see its current cash-flow situation.

The US government’s budget is the biggest in the history of the world and is growing at an uncontrollable rate.

Below is a chart of the budget for the most recent fiscal year, which had a deficit of nearly $1.7 trillion.

Before we get into the specific items in the budget, what is your take on the Big Picture for the US budget?

Doug CaseyThe biggest expenditure for the US government are so-called entitlements. It’s strange how the word “entitlements” has been legitimized. Are people really entitled to the government paying for their health, retirement, and welfare? In a moral society, the answer is: No. Entitlements destroy personal responsibility, legitimize theft, destroy wealth, and create antagonisms.

The fact is that once people have an “entitlement,” they come to rely on it, and you can’t easily take it away. The Chinese call that breaking somebody’s rice bowl. In the case of the American welfare state, it’s more a question of breaking a whipped dog’s doggy bowl. It’s a shame because many have come to rely on their mother, the State, not entirely through their own fault. The US has become pervasively corrupt.

The World Economic Forum (WEF)—a pox upon them—isn’t entirely incorrect when it arrogantly calls most people “useless mouths.” An increasing number produce absolutely nothing but only consume at the expense of others. Courtesy of the State.

There’s little doubt in my mind that the government’s expenses are going way up as people demand more. While receipts go down as the Greater Depression deepens. Which it will, as the economy is burdened by evermore taxes, regulations, and currency debasement. That’s on top of the gigantic debt the government and country are buried under.

The government reminds me of a poker player on tilt, betting more and more crazily in hope of magic or luck to bail him out. It always ends badly.

We’ve watched this progression accelerate since at least the 1960’s—a slow motion train wreck. But the inevitable has finally turned into the imminent.

International Man: What are your thoughts on Social Security, Health, and Medicare?

With an aging population, it seems politically impossible to make any meaningful cuts here. On the contrary, spending in these areas is likely to explode.

Doug Casey: They should be abolished. I’ve said this many times before, but it bears repeating as often as possible because everybody forgets the most basic of the basics. Namely, the government, as an instrument of force, should be limited to protecting people from physical force. And nothing else.

That implies a police system to defend people from force within, a military to defend against foreign aggressors, and a court system to allow people to adjudicate disputes without resorting to force. I’d further argue that those three things are so important to the conduct of a civil society that they shouldn’t be left to the kind of people who inevitably gravitate towards government. But that’s a different subject.

Looking at these three things you mentioned in particular, they’re complete disasters. They’re fiscally unsound, will bankrupt the US government, and, therefore, bankrupt the country itself, especially with an aging population.

Social Security seemed like a good idea at the time so that poor people wouldn’t be left totally without an income in old age. But the fact is that Social Security is a classic Ponzi scheme. Its taxes have gone from a trivial percentage to 12.4%.

It’s so high that people are on the bottom end of society, who it’s meant to help, are precluded from saving on their own. Social Security is both a practical and moral disaster.

As for Medicare, how is it your problem if another has failed to take care of his body? Your body is your primary possession. Should it also be your problem if somebody fails to take care of his car? Should the State fix all your property?

Should the government have anything to do with health? No. It’s strictly a matter of personal responsibility. Of course, if the State believes it owns you, like a milk cow, the cattle can expect food to show up, as will medicine if they get sick.

Government entitlement schemes encourage everyone to try to live at the expense of his neighbors. They’re intrinsically dehumanizing, corrupting, and degrading. They’re a bad deal all around.

International Man: With the most precarious geopolitical situation since World War 2, “National Defense” seems unlikely to be cut.

Instead, so-called defense spending is all but certain to increase.

What is your take?

Doug Casey: The United States’ “defense” spending exceeds that of the next 10 nations combined, including Russia and China. Most of that spending goes into the maw of five major defense companies. A decade or two ago, there used to be 30 or 40 defense companies. But they’ve now consolidated, the better to deal with Big Government.

They increasingly make only expensive high-tech weapons, which may prove totally useless in today’s environment. For instance, the US is currently suffering an invasion of feet people across the southern border—millions and millions of young males, of alien race, language, religion, and culture, in the last two years alone. We may yet wind up with a civil war in the US, on top of several insane foreign wars.

These high-tech weapons, in the process of bankrupting the US and enriching the defense establishment, will prove largely useless. Meanwhile, military personnel are being gutted. It’s no secret that the services can’t recruit enough people to keep their numbers where they want them. That’s in good measure because ESG and DEI have been insinuated throughout the military like slow-acting poisons. The military is no longer a meritocracy. Now, it’s critical to be the right color and gender. George Patton would quit in disgust.

On top of all that, defense spending is a provocation to other countries. It’s like waving around a giant golden hammer. They’re correctly afraid that everything has started to look like a nail to the US.

International Man: The net interest expense on the national debt was $659 billion in FY 2023, which is sure to rise.

The US government needs to roll over a significant portion of its existing debt issued when interest rates were 0% in an environment of much higher and rising rates.

What are your thoughts on this item?

Doug Casey: Interest on the debt is the next big thing, in addition to entitlements and out-of-control “defense” spending.

They used to say, “Don’t worry about the national debt; we owe it to ourselves,” which was always ridiculous because some specific people always owed it to other specific people.

But the US can no longer generate adequate capital to fund the government’s debt. And I hasten to point out that the government is not “We the People.” The government is a separate entity, with its own interests, as distinct as General Motors.

In the recent past, the national debt has been financed not by Americans, but by foreigners. At this point, however, foreigners no longer want to own the debt of a bankrupt entity whose currency is nothing but a floating abstraction. The government can only finance its debt by selling it to its central bank, the Fed, which creates new dollars to buy the debt.

As the dollar inevitably loses value, interest rates will rise. That’s regardless of what the Fed does or doesn’t want. The market will demand higher interest rates to finance the debt. You don’t want to own bonds.

International Man: US government expenses seem to have nowhere to go but up.

Is there any chance the US government can reform and return to a sustainable basis?

If not, what are the implications?

Doug Casey: The US government is bankrupt. It’s not just the official $34 trillion. The real number is several times higher, considering contingent liabilities. It’s probably more like $100 trillion. This debt will never be repaid. The US government is like Wiley Coyote after he runs off a cliff.

In addition, the average American is deeply in debt—student loans, mortgage debt, credit card debt, auto debt, and much more. The country is in big trouble. Frankly, there’s no practical way out at this point except to officially declare bankruptcy.

I realize serious change is impossible since the situation is so out of control. But here are six things to imagine—for a start:

1. Allow the collapse of all bankrupt entities. No bailouts, subsidies, or guarantees for banks, insurers, corporations, or anything. 

There will be plenty in the coming years. Bailout money is always wasted. Most of the real wealth now owned by the bankrupt entities will still exist.

It will simply change ownership. But that’s not nearly enough. At this point, it would be a half-measure, a 3-foot rope over a 12-foot gap. If you allow the collapse of unprofitable enterprises without changing the conditions that created the problem, recovery is going to be even harder. So…

2. Deregulate. Contrary to what almost everyone thinks, the main purpose of regulation is not to protect consumers but to entrench the current order. Regulation prevents new institutions from arising quickly and cheaply.

Does the Department of Agriculture really need 100,000 employees to regulate fewer than two million farms in the US? Abolish it.

Has the Department of Energy, created in 1977 to somehow solve a temporary crisis, done anything of value with its 110,000 employees and contractors and $32 billion annual budget? Abolish it.

How about the terminally corrupt Bureau of Indian Affairs, which has outlived whatever usefulness it might have had by 100 years. Abolish it.

The FTC, SEC, FCC, FAA, DOT, HHS, HUD, Labor, Commerce, and many more, serve little or no useful public purpose. Eliminate them, and the entire economy would blossom – except for the parasitical lobbying and legal trades. There are hundreds of agencies like these. Most aren’t just useless. They’re actively destructive.

3. Abolish the Fed. This is the actual engine of inflation. Money is just a medium of exchange and a store of value; you don’t need a central bank to have money. In fact, central banks are always destructive. They benefit only the cronies who get their money first.

What would we use as money? It doesn’t matter as long as it’s a commodity that can’t be created out of thin air. Gold is the obvious choice. Bitcoin may turn out to be excellent.

The whole idea of a central bank is a swindle. Massive bailouts and optional wars can’t be done without it.

4. Cut taxes by 50%… to start. The economy would boom. The money won’t be needed with all the agencies gone. Certainly not if the next two points are followed.

5. Default on the national debt. I realize this is a shocker unless you recall that the debt will never be paid anyway. Why should the next several generations have to pay for the stupidity of their parents?

A default sounds dishonorable—and it is in civil society. But government is different. It hasn’t been “We the People” for a long time; it’s now a self-dealing behemoth run by cronies. It’s like a building with a rotten foundation—better to bring it down with a controlled demolition than wait for it fall unpredictably.

Governments default all the time, though most defaults are subtle, through inflation. In an outright default, however, the only people who get hurt are those who lent money to an institution that can only repay them by stealing money from others. They should be punished.

6. Disentangle and disengage. The entanglements the US needs to escape prominently include the UN and NATO. Spending could easily be cut 50%. The US combat troops now in over 100 foreign countries can come home. They’re not “defending” anything but local collaborators while picking up bad habits and antagonizing the locals. Spending on the military and its sport wars significantly adds to the economy’s problems.

Editor’s Note: The economic trajectory is troubling. Unfortunately, there’s little any individual can practically do to change the course of these trends in motion.

The best you can and should do is to stay informed so that you can protect yourself in the best way possible, and even profit from the situation.

That’s precisely why bestselling author Doug Casey and his colleagues just released an urgent new PDF report that explains what could come next and what you can do about it.

Click here to download it now.

Tyler Durden Tue, 11/14/2023 - 19:35
Published:11/14/2023 6:55:01 PM
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