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2015: THE YEAR OF GLOBAL DOLLAR DANGER Print E-mail
Written by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard   
Thursday, 01 January 2015

America's domestic economy can handle a surging dollar and a fresh cycle of rising interest rates. Large parts of the world cannot. That in a nutshell is the story of 2015.

Tightening by the US Federal Reserve will have turbo-charged effects on a global financial system addicted to zero rates and dollar liquidity.

Yields on 2-year US Treasuries have more than doubled from 0.31% to 0.74% since October, and this is the driver of currency markets.

Since the New Year ritual of predictions is a time to throw darts, here we go: the dollar will hit $1.08 against the euro before 2015 is out ($1.21 on 12/31), and 100 on the dollar index (already at 90 at year's end).

Sterling (the British pound) will buckle to $1.30 ($1.57 on 12/31) as a hung Parliament prompts global funds to ask why they are lending so freely to a country with a current account deficit reaching 6% of GDP.

There will be a mouth-watering chance to invest in the assets of the BRICS and mini-BRICS at bargain prices, but first they must do penance for $5.7 trillion in dollar debt, and then do surgery on obsolete growth models.  What are the odds for either?
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THE NEW & IMPROVED GOVERNMENT LIES OF PARALLEL CONSTRUCTION Print E-mail
Written by Paul Rosenberg   
Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Have you heard of "parallel construction"? If not, take a breath, this one is rather shocking.

Here's what parallel construction is, as Wikipedia reports it: "A process of building a parallel - or separate - evidentiary basis for...creating criminal cases against Americans that are actually based on NSA warrantless surveillance."

If this sounds like a rights violation to you, you're correct. Warrantless surveillance is a blatant violation of the fourth amendment, and illegally-obtained evidence is generally inadmissible under the "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine.

Nonetheless, this is exactly what's happening these days. The NSA is grabbing nearly 100% of all American Internet traffic, emails, etc., sorting it all, then handing it off to be used in criminal prosecutions.

And to prevent cases like this from getting thrown out of court, the they have developed special tricks, like parallel construction. Here's how it works, and how to protect yourself from it.
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POLYGAMY AND VIOLENCE Print E-mail
Written by Matt Ridley   
Thursday, 01 January 2015

[Note:  this essay may be most fruitfully read in conjunction with Terrorism and Tiny Zibbs from September 2003-JW]

When the Kurdish peshmerga forces broke the siege of Mount Sinjar last week, there was no trace of the 5,000 Yazidi women and children abducted from the area in August.

It is thought that they have been mostly sold as concubines to jihadist fighters of Islamic State. When the London Times reporters posed as two British girls interested in joining Islamic State, they were told: "The only way to guarantee being together is marrying the same man."

Meanwhile, the 219 girls still missing in Nigeria after being abducted in April have been "married off," according to the leader of Boko Haram.

My point in connecting these incidents is that throughout history polygamy has fueled violence. Might it be worth suggesting to Moslem leaders, religious and secular, that they push for monogamous norms as one way to reduce violence and bring more peace to the Middle East and to north and west Africa?
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PREDICTIONS ON WEALTH OR WEATHER ARE JUST A ROLL OF THE DICE Print E-mail
Written by Richard Rahn   
Tuesday, 30 December 2014

How many hurricanes do you think will hit the East Coast of the United States in 2015? Will the Arctic ice sheet disappear next year? How fast will the U.S. economy grow? What will the level of the Dow Jones stock index be at the end of 2015? Which team will win the World Series?

Go back and look at past predictions made by the experts, and then look at what really happened.

Climate alarmists 15 or so years ago were forecasting catastrophic events by this time. Al Gore and his alarmist crowd told us that by now we would be having more and stronger tornadoes and hurricanes.

And indeed, many tornado and hurricane records have been broken -- not because there were more, but because there have been fewer. Florida has now gone a record nine straight seasons without a significant hurricane.

Government economists have no better track record at predicting what will happen to the US economy next year than climate alarmists.  Maybe worse and here's why.
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ARE YOU ADDICTED TO PROG PORN? Print E-mail
Written by To The Point News   
Friday, 02 January 2015

Warning!  As a "Progressive," you may be addicted to Prog Porn if you are turned on by Elizabeth Warren!

warren_progporn.png

Quiz: Are You Addicted to Prog Porn?


Rate every answer as follows: Never: 0 | Occasionally: 1 | Often: 2 | Most of the time: 3

  • Do you spend more than 11 hours a week watching MSNBC?
  • Does your reading of the Huffington Post have a negative impact on your relationships?
  • Does...
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HALF-FULL REPORT 12/26/14 Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Friday, 26 December 2014

Welcome to the Last Half-Full Report... of 2014.  Next week we begin a whole new year, so let's say goodbye to this old one.  Should we also say good riddance?

This being the HFR, the judgment should be, well, at least a bit more half-full than half-empty.  Before we start, however, first a thank you.  That would be for all the kind comments, both on the Forum and by personal email, regarding Revolutionary Constitutionalism and Declarations of Defiance (published on Christmas Eve, 12/24).

One comment by email from a long-time TTPer and dear friend was truly humbling...

Now, what's half-full around here?  Looking around the world, 2014 was way more than just half-full for India.  And the best news for us and much of the world is the worst for the jerks of the world (e.g., the governments of Russia, Iran, and Venezuela).  There's other good news as well -- and news from an elite US college that's morally evil.

Plus a video of the HFR Hero of the Week that will make you cheer and laugh your head off at the same time...
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REVOLUTIONARY CONSTITUTIONALISM AND DECLARATIONS OF DEFIANCE Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Wednesday, 24 December 2014

At the end of 2014, it is clear that our constitutional order is breaking down.

Whether by Alinskyite design, the cowardice of the GOP Elite, or a sense of hopelessness by people in general, the barbarians are at the constitutional gates and are rabidly tearing them down. 

Barbarians celebrating the murder of two NYPD police are marching down 5th Avenue in New York today (12/24), while barbarians in the Zero White House have issued over one thousand two hundred unconstitutional "regulations" to further suffocate our freedom in just the last two weeks.  Our Barbarian-in-Chief rules by executive decree without any concern for the Constitution he swore to uphold.

There is no normal way to fix this.  Our country's political and cultural situation has become so dire that only a radical, indeed revolutionary fix will do.  This can be done, however, without the violence of a Second American Revolution, but constitutionally, fully within America's founding legal framework.

That is, rather than another Revolution, what we need is a revolutionary interpretation of the Constitution, "revolutionary" only in the context of how far we have strayed from its original meaning.  Here's how to go about it.
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DEMOCRATS ARE COP KILLERS Print E-mail
Written by Daniel Greenfield   
Tuesday, 23 December 2014

o_riot_christmas.png

Al Sharpton is not just an MSNBC talk show host. He isn't a goofy fellow who mispronounces things on the teleprompter. He isn't these things just as he wasn't a funny fat man in a track suit wearing a gold medallion the size of the Bronx around his neck.

Those are the things that make him seem like a joke. And he isn't a joke. He leads lynch mobs.

In 1991, Sharpton led an anti-Semitic lynch mob through Crown Heights and black racist violence tore the neighborhood apart and took lives. He led a lynch mob to a store in Harlem and the store burned with employees inside.

Since then Sharpton slimmed down and swapped out colorful track suits for expensive custom made Soho pinstripe suits. He became a regular visitor to the White House and City Hall. He spoke at the Democrat National Convention and got a slot on that party's favorite news network.

Two cops are dead in New York City because Barack Obama, Bill de Blasio and the Democrat Party embraced Sharpton and everything he stood for. They embraced his racist ideology of hate.  They made their party into the party of crime.
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THE DEMOCRATS' CLIMATE OF HATE Print E-mail
Written by Jack Kelly   
Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The assassination of John F. Kennedy was fostered by the "climate of hate" created by conservative critics of the president in Dallas, many liberals said.

The assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was a communist from New Orleans, so this was a stretch.

Sarah Palin's "inflammatory rhetoric" was to blame for the shooting in Tucson in January, 2011, in which Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz, was severely wounded, and six who'd come to hear her were killed, many liberals said.

The shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, was mentally ill, had no ties to conservative groups, no political motive for the shooting.

You'd look in vain to find conservative incendiary rhetoric inciting conservative violence, but it's easy to find regarding Democrats.  Now, in the wake of the murder of two New York City police officers Saturday (12/20), prominent Democrats are fearful Americans will hold them accountable for the consequences of their "climate of hate."
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THE BLESSING OF HUMAN PROGRESS Print E-mail
Written by Richard Rahn   
Wednesday, 24 December 2014

On this Christmas Eve, you should count your blessings that you live in 2014.

Would you prefer to live as the French King Louis XIV did (1643-1715), or as you do today? The average low-income American, who makes $25,000 per year, lives in a home that has air conditioning, a color TV and a dishwasher, owns an automobile, and eats more calories than he should from an immense variety of food.

Louis XIV lived in constant fear of dying from smallpox and many other diseases that are now cured quickly by antibiotics. His palace at Versailles had 700 rooms but no toilets nor bathrooms (hence he rarely bathed), and no central heating or air conditioning.

Louis and John D. Rockefeller, the richest man in the world 100 years ago, had many servants to gather and prepare food for them, but they could not get fresh food out of season and had a tiny choice of food compared with anyone who has access to a modern supermarket, where one is increasingly able to purchase prepared meals of far higher quality and variety than anything Louis or Rockefeller could obtain.

My Cato colleague Marian Tupy has created a website, HumanProgress.org, which graphically details the enormous progress humans have made on nearly all fronts. People in the world live far better today than they did a mere half-century ago.
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THANK GOD FOR CONCEALED CARRY Print E-mail
Written by To The Point News   
Friday, 26 December 2014



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HALF-FULL REPORT 12/19/14 Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Friday, 19 December 2014

Yesterday in the Kremlin, the Putin Huilo gave what Bloomberg described as an "Extremely Long Very Weird Press Conference."

It reminded me of the now-viral YouTube video of the Chinese two year-old missing a putt:


As the London Economist describes Putin's Russia, it's The End of the Line.

What is happening to Russia - and elsewhere - affords an extremely teachable moment in what makes prosperity and indeed freedom itself possible.  Let's take that moment now....

All that aside, we nonetheless are facing Two More Years of Hell.  This week provided ample evidence of why....

And how Islam is rapidly becoming a religion of criminal insanity....

Yet there is some good news....
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TWO MORE YEARS OF HELL Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 18 December 2014

Asking you not to read this is like telling you not to think of a pink elephant.  Of course I want you to read this - or else why am I writing it? - but I want to enjoy Christmas first. 

Christmas is one week from today (12/18).  This is a time to set problems aside - personal, national, global - and simply bask in the blessings of our family, our loved ones, our friends, and of the life with which Providence has gifted us.

It sure isn't a time to wallow in the mire of what's coming - but if not now, when?  After Christmas, we're looking forward to celebrating a happy new year.  No, it's best to get this over with quickly.

For we have to brace ourselves:  the next two years are going to be the longest two years of our lives.  They will get continually worse as our country descends into the Hell that a satanic president wants America to be.

Zero is not Lucifer incarnate, let's be clear, but it's obvious now that he is literally "satantic" in the sense of being fiendishly and maliciously intent on damaging America's culture, society, and founding institutions as much as possible.

So what do we do?  Here are five options.
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THE END OF BANKS? Print E-mail
Written by Louis-Vincent Gave   
Friday, 19 December 2014

Banks are intermediaries, and it's the business of the internet to eliminate unnecessay ones.  Thus a friend of mine observes:
What Lending Club and other P2P lenders do is provide an online market-place that connects borrowers and lenders directly; think the eBay of loans and you have the right conceptual grasp. Moreover, the business model of online market-place lending breaks with a banking tradition, dating back to 14th century Florence, of operating on a 'fractional reserve' basis. 
So what happens to a world that moves ‘ex-bank' and where most new loans are extended peer-to-peer? In such a world, the banking multiplier disappears along with fractional reserve banking (and consequently the need for regulators?).

What happens when bankers stop lending their clients umbrellas when it is sunny, and taking them away when it rains?
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PUTIN LOSES CONTROL Print E-mail
Written by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard   
Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Vladimir Putin has lost control of Russia's economy and may be forced to impose Soviet-style exchange controls after "shock and awe" action by the central bank failed to stem the collapse of the ruble.

"The situation is critical," said the central bank's vice-chairman, Sergei Shvetsov. "What is happening is a nightmare that we could not even have imagined a year ago."

The currency spiked from 71 to 98 against the euro yesterday (12/16) in the biggest one-day drop since the default crisis in 1998 as capital flight gathered pace, despite a drastic rise in interest rates to 17% the day before (12/15) intended to crush speculators and show resolve. It closed at 87, and at this writing today (12/17) is at 83.

Yields on two-year Russian bonds spiraled to 15.36%, while credit default swaps are pricing in a one-third chance of a sovereign default. The shares of Russia's biggest lender, Sberbank, fell 18%.

Neil Shearing, from Capital Economics, said the spectacular failure of the rate shock may bring matters to a head. "If a rise of 650 basis points won't do the job, we are near the end. That means stringent capital controls," he said.

In Washington, the White House said it had no intention of easing pressure on Russia to halt the freefall. "It is President Putin's decision to make. The aim is to sharpen the choice that he faces," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest yesterday.

After years of bluster and suggestions by Mr. Putin that the US is a paper tiger, the Kremlin is now coming face to face with the cataclysmic consequences of what it has done by invading Ukraine and changing Europe's borders by force.
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