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zerohedge.com / by Glenn Greenwald, originally posted at The Intercept / Feb 23, 2017 6:50 PM
For aspiring journalists, historians, or politically engaged citizens, there are few more productive uses of one’s time than randomly reading through the newsletters of I.F. Stone, the intrepid and independent journalist of the Cold War era who became, in my view, the nation’s first “blogger” even though he died before the advent of the internet. Frustrated by big media’s oppressive corporatized environment and its pro-government propaganda model, and then ultimately blacklisted from mainstream media outlets for his objections to anti-Russia narratives, Stone created his own bi-monthly newsletter, sustained exclusively by subscriptions, and spent 18 years relentlessly debunking propaganda spewing from the U.S. government and its media partners.
What makes Stone’s body of work so valuable is not its illumination of history but rather its illumination of the present. What’s most striking about his newsletters is how little changes when it comes to U.S. government propaganda and militarism, and the role the U.S. media plays in sustaining it all. Indeed, reading through his reporting, one gets the impression that U.S. politics just endlessly replays the same debates, conflicts, and tactics.
Much of Stone’s writings, particularly throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s, focused on the techniques for keeping Americans in a high state of fear over the Kremlin. One passage, from August 1954, particularly resonates; Stone explained why it’s impossible to stop McCarthyism at home when — for purposes of sustaining U.S. war and militarism — Kremlin leaders are constantly being depicted as gravely threatening and even omnipotent. Other than the change in Moscow’s ideology — a change many of today’s most toxic McCarthyites explicitly deny — Stone’s observations could be written with equal accuracy today.
thedailysheeple.com / by Steven Maxwell, ACTIVIST POST /
As soon as Trump became the President-elect, sales of George Orwell’s book 1984 surged to the top of Amazon Best Sellers where it has remained for the last couple months. It seems that learning about Statism is all the rage by those who opposed Trump. And no one defined it more succinctly than Orwell: “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” However, if they read carefully enough, they’ll realize that temporary leaders of “Big Brother” merely continue the machinery of the State.
Your computer, smartphone, car, smart TV and appliances, and credit cards didn’t just start spying on you when Donald Trump became president. They were put in place by Big Brother over decades, and they will continue to expand under Trump because he’s continuing the manufactured war on terror. Moreover, a new approach to immigration signals that even more doors could be opened up for invading the privacy of travelers and residents alike.
As we learned in 1984, all of the tyrannical measures of control are justified by convincing the people that they’re perpetually fighting a dangerous enemy: “Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.”
shtfplan.com / Jeremiah Johnson / February 23rd, 2017
As of this writing a tremendous number of things are happening in North Korea and Russia. Although these are not events that seem momentous, they are quite profound when taken into consideration with the grand scheme: the worldwide plot to form a state of global governance. These behind-the-scenes maneuverings are not in the forefront of the news; however, they are having effects within the nations mentioned and influencing their current actions.
Almost a month ago, it was reported that one of the foremost militia commanders in the separatist-controlled Donbass area of Eastern Ukraine was assassinated via car bomb. Then almost immediately afterward, just a few weeks later, the Chief of Staff of the Ukrainian Army of the Kiev government mysteriously died on duty of a “heart condition” although he was in his early fifties. These “tit for tat” actions stimulated a new wave of fighting in the Eastern Provinces.
The truce between the separatists and Kiev government has been violated without ceasing, primarily by the Ukrainian military under the direction of the US-sponsored president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko. At this time, there is an uneasy “stalemate” between the U.S. and Russia in a proxy war between the U.S-backed Kiev government and the Eastern Ukrainian separatists supported by Russia.
Next, we have North Korea, where Kim Jong Un is ramping up the bellicose rhetoric against the U.S. Yes, we have heard it before, but this time it is a little different. On Monday, 45-year-old Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il was assassinated in Malaysia. Here is an excerpt of a report on it:
zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Feb 23, 2017 6:25 PM
As we previously noted, while speculatrs had been reducing their shorts in Treasury futures, they had added to Eurodollar shorts – pushing their bets on Fed rate hikes to record highs. However, as Bloomberg notes, signals are starting to emerge that traders who built up that heavy short, or hawkish, eurodollar base since the start of 2016 could be starting to throw in the towel on a March Fed rate hike.
On the heels of a rally in gold and silver, today one of the wealthiest and most street-smart pros in the business spoke with King World News about what they are doing at Sprott Asset Management with their money right now.
Eric King: “Rick, what are your thoughts on what’s happening with gold, silver, and the mining shares?”
“Looking For Opportunity”
Rick Rule: “I would describe myself right now as looking for opportunity. And we are very well cashed up at this point at Sprott. My own suspicion at this point is that the mining share market is a little bit overbought and will consolidate and we would like to buy into this consolidation…
Mexico prepares to ditch US corn imports. DHS begins deportation but they are not using an army. Infowars and NaturalNews have been hit by Google, the deep state is slowly getting rid of the alternative media. Other reports show views on YouTube have been slowly removed. NK wants the body but Malaysia wants a DNA test first. Trump orders CIA to stop funding the moderate rebels. McCain makes a secret visit to Syria, to get everything ready for the next big event. The deep state is preparing to make their move, they all ready started, this is going to escalate as we move into spring.
Shortly before the market close on Thursday, retailers stumbled on one single Reuters headline: Trump says he supports “some form” of border tax.
As Reuters elaborated, President Donald Trump on Thursday spoke favorably about an export-boosting border adjustment tax proposal being pushed by Republicans in the U.S. Congress, but did not specifically endorse it. Trump had previously sent mixed signals on the proposal at the heart of a Republican plan to overhaul the U.S. tax code for the first time in more than 30 years.
Aluminum, steel and a sundry of construction names sold off with vigor this afternoon, after rumors spread by AP that Trump’s stimulus bill would be delayed until next year, in order to literally give democrats election wins this fall (anyone believe that yarn?). This is all part of the process of walking back a rally. Stocks never climb, uninterrupted. They’re instead stammered by periods of consolidation, swift pullbacks, and hair raising routs — before making it to their inevitable destination: higher.
Today’s collapse in $X, $CLF, $KALU and others is par for the course, an unfortunate tonic for an otherwise sick and twisted, even ribaldly hedonistic, spoiled rotten investor public.
On the upside were utilities and REITs, places of traditional safety and security.
It’s hard to overstate the pure evil and tyranny Google has engaged in by wiping NaturalNews.com off the internet. Not only has the attack on the free press and REAL NEWS been taken to the next level with this move, but this assault on FREE SPEECH will undoubtedly COST LIVES. The valuable catalog of information about health and wellness which Natural News provided, some 140,000 pages of articles and research have been scrubbed. As Mike Adams has said, this equates to a modern day book burning.
harveyorganblog.com / by harveyorgan / February 23, 2017
Gold at (1:30 am est) $1247.00 UP $15.00
silver was : $18.14: UP 20 CENTS
Access market prices:
THE DAILY GOLD FIX REPORT FROM SHANGHAI AND LONDON
The Shanghai fix is at 10:15 pm est last night and 2:15 am est early this morning
The fix for London is at 5:30 am est (first fix) and 10 am est (second fix)
Thus Shanghai’s second fix corresponds to 195 minutes before London’s first fix.
And now the fix recordings:
THURSDAY gold fix Shanghai
Shanghai FIRST morning fix Feb 23/17 (10:15 pm est last night): $ 1245.85
NY ACCESS PRICE: $1236.70 (AT THE EXACT SAME TIME)/premium $9.15
Shanghai SECOND afternoon fix: 2: 15 am est (second fix/early morning):$ 1246.85
NY ACCESS PRICE: $1236.70 (AT THE EXACT SAME TIME/2:15 am)
SPREAD/ 2ND FIX TODAY!!: 10.15
China rejects NY pricing of gold as a fraud/arbitrage will now commence fully
London FIRST Fix: Feb 23/2017: 5:30 am est: $1237.35 (NY: same time: $1238.05 (5:30AM)
London Second fix Feb 23.2017: 10 am est: $1247.90(NY same time: $1248.30 (10 am)
It seems that Shanghai pricing is higher than the other two , (NY and London). The spread has been occurring on a regular basis and thus I expect to see arbitrage happening as investors buy the lower priced NY gold and sell to China at the higher price. This should drain the comex.
Also why would mining companies hand in their gold to the comex and receive constantly lower prices. They would be open to lawsuits if they knowingly continue to supply the comex despite the fact that they could be receiving higher prices in Shanghai.
The EU is getting worried about the debt problem. The tax payers in Dallas are going to bailout the pensions. The everyday American is pumping up the real estate market. Fed’s national index drops signalling we are in a recession. Bundesbank prepares for record losses. UBS warns of credit crisis coming soon. Steve Mnunchin dropped a truth bomb, the economy is going to take more than 2 years to grow.
zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Feb 23, 2017 4:46 PM
Another day, another reversal of a legacy Obama policy.
Moments ago, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed an Obama-era memo to phase out the use of private prisons, signalling his support for federal use of such facilities and advising that the Bureau of Prisons will “return to its previous approach to the use of private prisons.”
Sessions issued a new memo Thursday replacing one issued last August by Sally Yates, the deputy attorney general at the time, in which he said the Obama decision “impaired” the ability to meet the needs of the correctional system.
zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Feb 23, 2017 5:52 PM
Last August, we introduced readers to the hedge fund that we dubbed the “puppe master behind the US presidential election“, which also happened to be the most successful hedge fund in history : Setauket-based Renaissance Technologies (a recent analysis by LCH found that Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater, with $45 billion in absolute profits since inception, was the most successful but the ranking ignored Renaissance, which has return $10 billion more).
Formerly known best for making a staggering $55 billion since its founding, RenTec as it is better known in financial circles, also emerged as perfectly hedged when it comes to the outcome of the presidential election. On one hand, there was RenTec’s chain-smoking billionaire founder (in 2015 alone he made $1.7 billion) Jim Simons, who had donated some $10 million to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, second only to Saban Capital. In a June 2016 interview with CNBC, Jim Simons said that “if you compare the presidential candidates using the Sharpe ratio, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump is ‘not a good investment.'”
Meanwhile, Rentec’s Co-CEO, billionaire Robert Mercer, emerged as the man who was pulling the string behind Donald Trump’s entire campaign. As the WSJ reported at the time, Mercer has longstanding ties to both people elevated to top posts in the Trump campaign. He and his daughter, Rebekah, not only poured money into the Trump campaign, but had recommended both Breitbart News chairman Stephen Bannon (they had invested $10 million in Breitbart News) and Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, who already worked for the campaign, to join the Trump team around the time it found itself in disarray with last summer’s scandals involving Tim Manafort. (Trump returned the favor, in part, by pouring that campaign money back into a data-analytics firm co-owned by Rebekah, who was later named to Trump’s transition team executive committee.)
President Donald Trump’s naïve (or willfully blind) notion that Wall Street will work better at raising capital if it is unleashed from strident Federal regulation is unhinged from the facts on the ground. Those facts, as illustrated above, are that the Boards of two of the largest banks in the U.S. are utterly spineless when it comes to holding their CEOs and employees accountable in the face of a tsunami of crimes.
Opposition to Trump is extremely important, particularly when it comes to someone like me who sees his Wall Street love affair and disregard for civil liberties as serious threats to the nation. That said, it is absolutely imperative to see Trump as a symptom of a sick and broken system as opposed to the root cause of anything. The corporate media and legions of mourning Hillary cultists continue to present the Trump threat in extraordinarily simplistic and unhelpful terms. They act as if he’s the head of some evil snake, and that disposing of him as an individual will get America back on track. This couldn’t be more wrong.
I spent most of the Obama years warning about the dangers of his policies. I didn’t do this for kicks, or because I thought he would try to stay in power forever, but because I knew his monumental cronyism would only pave the way for major problems down the road. Well the backlash to Obama came quick, and we the people won’t do the country any good if we focus on Trump the man, as opposed to the entirely corrupt, billionaire/special interest-controlled cesspool of a society we inhabit. We need to focus on Trump’s policies, not Trump the man.
Let’s be clear. No one wants the Winklevoss twins to win. Those pedantic row boating Facebook lottery winning shits don’t deserve to keep winning like this. I don’t know how they keep getting away with it. Hopefully, the SEC will finally put an end to the ‘twin madness’ by declining their bitcoin ETF proposal, ticker COIN.
It’s widely believed, at least from gambling degenerates, the first ever pure bitcoin trust will be declined by the C students at the SEC.
As of Tuesday morning, the prediction contract’s pricing implied a 36.37 percent chance that the proposal, which has been tweaked about a dozen times over a registration battle that’s stretched over three years, will be successful.
Yeah, whatever, good.
Presently, there is a bullshit derivative based bitcoin ETF, dubbed $GBTC. Management fees are of the ripoff varietal at 2%. And, it’s trading at a significant premium to its reported NAV — due to scarcity of bitcoin product for normies.
zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Feb 23, 2017 3:54 PM
Moments ago retailers stumbled on one single Reuters headline: Trump says he supports “some form” of border tax.
As Reuters adds, President Donald Trump on Thursday spoke favorably about an export-boosting border adjustment tax proposal being pushed by Republicans in the U.S. Congress, but did not specifically endorse it. Trump had previously sent mixed signals on the proposal at the heart of a Republican plan to overhaul the U.S. tax code for the first time in more than 30 years.
“It could lead to a lot more jobs in the United States,” Trump told Reuters in an interview, using his most positive language to date on the proposal.
Trump had sent conflicting signals about his position on the border adjustability tax in separate media interviews in January, saying in one interview that it was “too complicated” and in another that it was still on the table.
“I certainly support a form of tax on the border,” he told Reuters on Thursday.
“What is going to happen is companies are going to come back here, they’re going to build their factories and they’re going to create a lot of jobs and there’s no tax.” Trump also said his administration will tackle tax reform legislation after dealing with Obamacare, the health insurance system put in place by his predecessor, President Barack Obama.
schiffgold.com / BY SCHIFFGOLD / FEBRUARY 22, 2017
Peter Schiff recently appeared on CNBC’s “Future’s Now” letting millions of American voters know that if they’re frustrated with Trump, they should blame the Federal Reserve. “If the economy was in good shape, not only would he have not been elected, he wouldn’t have been the Republican nominee.”
Peter explained why Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen is reluctant to raise interest rates because of the fallout from removing cheap borrowing from investors and consumers. “What was inappropriate was slashing rates in the first place. It was inappropriate to leave them as low as they were as long as they were. [Yellen’s] afraid of the consequences when she tries to remove this unprecedented accommodation.”
“A housing recovery that is highly dependent on real estate investors is a bit of a double-edged sword,” explained Daren Blomquist, senior VP at ATTOM Data Solutions. “Rapidly rising home values have been good for homeowner equity, but also have caused an affordability crunch for the first-time homebuyers the housing market typically relies on for sustained, long-term growth.”
So the housing market is “starkly different than a decade ago,” said Alex Villacorta, VP of research and analytics at Clear Capital. “As such, it’s imperative for all market participants to understand the nuances of the New Normal Real Estate Market.”
They were both commenting on a joint white paper by ATTOM and Clear Capital, titled “Landlord Land,” that analyzes who is behind the US housing boom that drove home prices to new all-time highs, and in many markets far beyond the prior crazy bubble highs – even as homeownership has plunged and remains near its 50-year low.
First-time buyers are the crux to a healthy housing market, but they aren’t buying with enough enthusiasm. In 2012, buyers with FHA-insured mortgages – “who are typically first-time homebuyers with a low down payment,” according to the report – accounted for 25% of all home purchases. In 2013, their share dropped to about 20%, in 2014 to 18%. Then hope began rising, briefly:
zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Feb 23, 2017 3:30 PM
With each passing day it’s becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the apparent breakdown in communications between the Trump White House and his various agency chiefs. Earlier this morning we noted one of the more egregious communication mishaps since Trump took the White House in which Kellyanne Conway told MSNBC that General Michael Flynn enjoyed the “full confidence” of the President just hours before he was fired (see “Kellyanne Conway Blasts CNN Reports That She’s Been “Benched” From TV Appearances“).
Now, we learn the latest communication mix-up came from two very contradictory comments, one from DHS Secretary John Kelly and the other from President Trump, earlier today on exactly how law enforcement officials would implement plans to roundup and deport criminal illegal aliens currently residing the U.S.
Speaking in Mexico City earlier today, Kelly, in an attempt to assuage tensions created by Trump’s immigration policies, told Mexican diplomats that the administration’s new immigration rules would not result in “mass deportations” and vowed that his department would not use “military force” to implement domestic policies. Per The Hill:
"Anyone who claims to stand for free markets, free trade, and limited government but who attempts to defend the existence or importance of the Federal Reserve or central banking is a liar. Either you support free markets and freedom of pricing or you support central bank price-fixing and creeping socialism. There is no third way or middle road — socialism and the free market are mutually incompatible. A little bit of socialism in the form of price-fixing is like a little bit of gangrene, if left unchecked it will eventually infect and kill the whole." - Paul-Martin Foss via The Mises Institute