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  platinum to gold ratio
Posted by: aqua - 06-28-2020, 02:37 PM - Forum: Markets, Money & Investing - No Replies

Here is one for the bear to practice his EW chart reading on (if should choose to do so). Wink

To my untrained eye, platinum looks like a much better bet than gold at this time.

[Image: mickey_20170207_4.png]


[Image: mickey_20170207_3.png]

The charts have not been updated in a while.  To me, that suggests interest in platinum is minimal at this time.

Ooooo la la.  Looks like SDBullion also has a chart or two:

[Image: Gold_Platinum_Ratio_SD_Bullion_120_year_highs.png]


[Image: Platinum_vs_Gold_Prices_all_time_chart_m...ullion.png]


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  The Designer virus
Posted by: wayniac - 06-28-2020, 01:59 AM - Forum: Misc - No Replies

The smart virus hypothesis.

Coronavirus could have been created by "The Designer".

Think about it. A virus that takes out elderly, many younger people think they are past their useful life.

So when it first struck, it appeared that omly the elderly and infirm would succumb.

Societal discipline was ordered by the PTB. "Stay home, don't go to work unless you have to". This is great for the elites
and those who are independently wealthy. To remove any argument, massive benefits were paid to those without a job and those
looked like their periodic wage payments would be cut. This removed much argument, despite the fact that living costs would reduce
because there was no obligation to seek work.

A test of patience. Those with no interest in learning rapidly lose interest in watching endless Netflix shows or online gaming. Gambling and
alcohol consumption rise to record levels. 

Carbon emissions drop.

The smart, educated people do as they are told. They stay home. Meanwhile the agitators for societal change invent a reason to march on the
streets and destroy whole neighbourhoods.

Just what the NWO needs. Intelligent people who do as they are told. Stuff the rest, let them die.

Brave New World?

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  Woke in panic!
Posted by: andrew_o - 06-27-2020, 10:20 PM - Forum: Politics - No Replies

Princeton Removes Woodrow Wilson’s Name from Public Policy School Due to ‘Racist Thinking’

Princeton University is removing President Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and a residential college due to the former president’s “racist thinking.”

“The trustees conclude that Woodrow Wilson’s racist thinking and policies make him an inappropriate namesake for a school or college whose scholars, students, and alumni must firmly stand against racism in all its forms,” announced Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber on Saturday.

“Wilson’s racism was significant and consequential even by the standards of his own time,” added Eisgruber. “He segregated the federal civil service after it had been racially integrated for decades, thereby taking America backward in its pursuit of justice.”

The board voted on Friday to change the names of both the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and Wilson College.

The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs will now be named “The Princeton School of Public and International Affairs.”

As for Wilson College, Eisgruber claimed that the university was already planning on closing the college, but now the school will instead “accelerate retirement of the name” so that students won’t have to “identify with the name of a racist president for the next two years.”

Now, Wilson College will instead be called “First College.”

“Wilson’s segregationist policies make him an especially inappropriate namesake for a public policy school,” Eisgruber pointed out in his statement.

“When a university names a school of public policy for a political leader, it inevitably suggests that the honoree is a model for students who study at the school,” continued the university president.

“This searing moment in American history has made clear that Wilson’s racism disqualifies him from that role,” added Eisgruber of the former Democrat president.

The university president went on to say that Princeton honoring Wilson makes the university “ultimately the problem” with America today, and even suggested that in retaining Wilson’s name, the school is facilitating an environment in America that makes people believe they can behave like former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin without facing any consequences.

“Princeton is part of an America that has too often disregarded, ignored, or excused racism, allowing the persistence of systems that discriminate against Black people,” said Eisgruber.

“When Derek Chauvin knelt for nearly nine minutes on George Floyd’s neck while bystanders recorded his cruelty, he might have assumed that the system would disregard, ignore, or excuse his conduct, as it had done in response to past complaints against him,” he added.

The university president concluded by stating that these are not the only steps Princeton is taking to “combat the realities and legacy of racism, but they are important ones.”

“The steps taken yesterday by the Board of Trustees are extraordinary measures,” said Eisgruber.

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  Where are Muslim's happy?
Posted by: andrew_o - 06-27-2020, 10:08 PM - Forum: Politics - No Replies

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  Fathers Day shootings in Chicago
Posted by: andrew_o - 06-27-2020, 08:13 PM - Forum: Politics - Replies (1)

Quote:Chicago, Illinois reported its highest number of shooting victims over the Father's Day weekend as 104 people were shot. Fourteen of them were killed, including five children, in seemingly random shootings across the city and the latest fatalities occurred at early Monday hours, according to the Chicago Sun-Times

Clearly the problem is that few of the residents know who their fathers are

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  Unpaid Debts Building Up
Posted by: aqua - 06-27-2020, 06:41 PM - Forum: Markets, Money & Investing - No Replies

The next couple of months could get really, really, really interesting.

If debts can not be paid, what happens next ? ?

Will  private debt problems became a public debt problem ? ? ?.

Hyper-deflation.  Or will the powers that be simply print money creating hyper-inflation ?  

Or will the whole system just collapse ? ?


<Michael Hudson> "Well, I think you’re quite right in organizing the conference to point out that today’s pandemic crisis hastens and intensifies the internal contradictions that have been building up. Many of these contradictions are going to be blamed simply on the virus. But there is an underlying problem that the virus is exposing and turning into a crisis. That underlying problem is the debts that have been building up for the last few decades.

We are in a situation much like a war. There are winners and there are losers in a war. In this case the winner is the aggressor – the financial sector. Its demands for payment have set the stage for today’s economic breakdown. This has been the case throughout history. Finance always has been the great destabilizing factor. Right now, you’re having businesses – retail stores, restaurants, hotels, airlines and other businesses that are being closed down or operating at only a small capacity far below break-even levels. These businesses are not able to pay their stipulated rents or mortgage debt service. Their landlords are not able to pay their banks.

Workers have been laid off, and they’re unable to pay their landlords or creditors. So they are falling more deeply into debt. Entire states and the cities, like New York State and New York City, are being squeezed. In addition to having to pay local unemployment insurance, they have to maintain basic infrastructure and social services. But their d tax revenues ae plunging as a result of fewer sales taxes and income taxes. So the pandemic is creating a fiscal crisis as part of the overall debt and real-estate crisis.

The question is, how do we get out of it? What is happening is what legal contracts call an Act of God. What do you do when economic activity is disrupted and the flow of payments that people have every month – their debt service, their rents or their mortgage, or their credit cards and other basic ongoing expenses. What do you do when they can’t be paid? I think that this crisis is laying the problem bare. It is a problem that’s occurred in Western civilization for the last 2,000 years. But what is so striking is how much more adroitly ancient civilizations handled this problem. They did so in a completely different wat from how other civilizations have handled things.

I have written quite a bit about Bronze Age archaeology in the ancient Near East. That is where the Act of God stipulation originated. It appears in the Laws of Hammurabi c. 1750 BC. The problem that the Babylonians had to deal with was what to do when there is a flood, a drought, warfare or a pandemic. What should be the rules when, suddenly out of nowhere, cultivators and the citizenry on the land are rendered unable to grow and harvest crops, out of which to pay the debts that they have run up during the year and are falling due. They owe the taxes, sharecropping or other rent that could not be paid.

Hammurabi was quite specific about how to handle this situation. Paragraph 48 of his Laws said that there would be a debt and a tax amnesty when the weather god, Adad, created a flood or otherwise prevented debts and other obligations from being paid. If the storm god floods the lands, the debts and rents don’t have to be paid. A fresh start was made under conditions of balance for the next crop season.

The basic problem was similar to that today: How does a society restore continuity and save itself from disruption creating a permanent loss and distortion of existing wealth and income relationships? What Hammurabi and every other Babylonian, Sumerian ruler and other Near Eastern rulers did between about 2,500 BC and the 1st century BC was to proclaim amnesties in such circumstances. If they hadn’t done that, cultivators would not have been able to pay their creditors and they would have fallen into bondage. They would have owed their labour and crops to their creditors.

This would have caused a serious fiscal problem for rulers. If victims of a crop failure or other economic interruption had to pay their creditors with their labour and crop surplus, this labor and crop tax wouldn’t be available to pay the palace its normal claims for taxes and corvée labour duties to build infrastructure or even serve in the army. Social balance and continuity would have been destroyed – from within. So when Hammurabi and every ruler of his dynasty proclaimed a clean slate cancelling the debts and rent arrears that had mounted up unpaid, proclaiming a return to the normal situation prevented a creditor oligarchy from emerging and seeking its own interest as distinct from that of the palace.

All this changed in Roman times. Classical antiquity protected the financial and rentier elites. Cicero and the other Roman leaders said that all the debts had to be paid, even (or indeed, precisely because!) this led to the enslavement of poorer Romans and Greeks. Rome’s creditor oligarchy used every crisis as an opportunity to grab the land of the smallholders, to force the population into bondage and to get control of their land.

We’re seeing the same basic dynamic occur throughout the post-Roman Western world. Creditors are now already planning to buy up distressed real estate from landlords that default as their rents are not paid. There is going to be a huge bankruptcy sale. Large private capital funds have already announced their intention to begin buying out the retail stores that have gone bankrupt, along with their real estate.

Individuals who are unable to pay their debts, workers who’ve been laid off, are told to borrow from their pension funds or social security accounts. That means that they won’t be receiving the retirement income they need to live. Likewise, the states and the cities that Jeffrey Sachs mentioned also are facing a debt crisis with their bondholders. Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate head, said that Democratic states like New York, New Jersey and California should cover their shortfall by taking the pension funds that they’ve set up for public employees. The financial sector’s intention is to use this crisis to wipe out the pension funds and transfer the savings of the wage-earners to pay bondholders and other creditors. The promises that state and local governments made for pension in exchange for not asking for higher wages are to be wiped out.

The debts that have been built up are being used as a financial warfare tactic. It is more efficient than military warfare.

Debt has been used to strip away the assets of middle-class people, of home owners, of employee pension funds, to suck their savings and property up to the top of the economic pyramid. The pandemic crisis has created a battlefield. Its rules have been written by the financial sector and their lobbyists as an opportunity for the largest property and financial grab since the Great Depression.

The result will be that much of the American and European economies are going to end up looking like the Greek economy five years ago, when it was unable to pay its euro-debts. You can look at Greece as the future of the United States, catalysed by the coronavirus pandemic.

..... who are the big winners, in economic terms, after current developments? Dear Michael, you have the floor.

<Michael Hudson> I’ll talk about the questions in reverse order, beginning with the idea that there may be an inflation to help pay off the debts.

Just the opposite: What we are facing now is an era of debt deflation. It’s the worst debt deflation since the Great Depression. I’ve already described how there are going to be major defaults in real estate, especially for commercial real estate, for stores and all the other businesses that are going without income while their rents have accrued. If we are going to have a close-down for at least three more months, with no income for stores, entertainment, motion-picture houses and museums, paying three months’ back rent is not viable. There’s no way in which stores, or many wage-earners, can earn enough to pay the rent out of normal work and business. So, they’re going to go out of business.

There is going to be a wave of bankruptcy, and that will be followed by fire sales of real estate. Unemployment is going to lead to lower wage levels, and there also will be cutbacks in public spending for social services, transportation and other normal programs. Privatisation sell-offs will occur, much like Margaret Thatcher’s in England. this is now going to be imposed upon Europe. It’s possible that the Eurozone will break up if it does not change its rules and create the euro-money to enable Italy and Spain to get by. But at present the Eurozone rules are that all the money, all of the credit that is needed to grow in Europe, should be borrowed from banks at interest.

Banks can create this money on their keyboards electronically. The government could do the same, but relinquishes this privilege to the privatized banking sector. As Modern Monetary Theory explains, a central bank can simply print the money that is needed to fuel economic growth. But the financial sector has captured the hearts and minds of central bankers, from Europe to the United States.

The problem is these banks don’t lend money to create means of production or livelihood. They don’t lend money to build factories. Banks lend money against assets already in existence, mainly real estate, houses, buildings, and also companies – and to corporate raiders to buy other companies on credit. So, the effect of this bank lending has been to inflate the price of real estate, because a house or a building is worth whatever a bank will lend against it.

The financial sector has become less and less productive, and more predatory. It has prevented European governments from having a central bank that directs deficit spending into the real economy. Only the banks and financial sector, the elite One Percent, are supported, as in the United States. Ten trillion dollars ’s put into the economy, mainly into the stock and financial markets, the bond market and the real estate market, but not into production.

The Eurozone does not do that. This means that the governments of Europe are not really democratic. Europe is governed by the European Central Bank. It works for its customers, the commercial banks. And the commercial bankers say: “We want to starve the economy of credit, so that we, the commercial bankers, can create the money to lend to our customers, and charge interest and financial fees. Our own financial speculation that all the growth, the surplus that Europe produces, should be turned over to the financial sector.” That’s what the Europeans have voted for. In effect they vote for lower wages, cutbacks in public services and shorter pensions. These living standards are threatened by the way in which the financial dimension of the coronavirus crisis is being managed.

You’re seeing a disparity between Italy and the Mediterranean countries and northern Europe. Countries need credit in order to recover. But the Eurozone refuses to provide the credit that is needed to get through the coronavirus suspension of economic activity and its aftermath of unpaid debts, rents and other obligations. The Eurozone is treating Italy, Greece, Portugal and Spain just like President Trump here in America is treating the Democratic states like New York, New Jersey and California. The effect is to create a deflationary crisis. That makes it impossible to pay the backlog of debts and rents.

We may see a power grab creating something much like feudalism. In the United States it’s suggested that for student loans, or for loans to wage-earners collateralized by the debtor promising to pay 10%, 20%, 25% of everything they earn for the rest of their life. This is like a tax, but it’s really a form of debt peonage. It’s a payment much like medieval serfs had to turn over their economic surplus to their landlords. Well, now the wage-earners, small business and even big business in America and in Europe are going to have to turn over even more of their earnings to the financial sector in order to survive.

This may seem a crazy way to organize society, but it is how Western civilization has been structured on the basis of protecting creditor rights, not debtor solvency and overall social balance and continuity. Unlike non-Western societies, unlike even China today, credit in Europe and America is privatized. The supply of credit, like money, should be a public utility. Just like public health should be a public utility. Just like roads and communication should be a public utility. Europe has let it be privatized in an aggressive, predatory way.

As long as governments subordinate the will of democratic voters to whatever the central banks tell you, you are not a democracy. Jeffrey earlier mentioned what Aristotle thought. Aristotle explained a kind of eternal political triangle. He said that many constitutions appeared to be democratic, but they’re, actually, oligarchic. That’s because democracies tend to evolve into an oligarchy. The oligarchy makes itself hereditary into an aristocratic ruling class. Finally, thank heavens, some of the wealthy aristocrats fight among themselves and they try – like Cleisthenes did in Athens as early as 406 BC – to take the masses into their camp, and become democratic and order to mobilize support in the citizens against the other aristocrats. Then you have a democratic revolution, but democracy once again develops into oligarchy. That’s the eternal political triangle that Aristotle described.

And that’s what you have in Europe. It’s not a democracy anymore; it’s an oligarchy making itself into the same kind of hereditary aristocracy that occurred in classical antiquity. Many of you hoped that Europe had overthrown the aristocracy after World War I when you did indeed get rid of the kings and royalty. But you opened the way for a new kind of oligarchy turning itself into a hereditary aristocracy, that of finance. That’s the task before you to solve. The only thing I can say is that, perhaps, this crisis has indeed catalysed this basic internal contradiction and will create a response that deals with the pandemic by cancelling debts and de-privatizing the banking sector."

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  Trump's Most Vigorous Opponent
Posted by: aqua - 06-27-2020, 12:47 PM - Forum: Politics - Replies (10)

Cool  Trumpy-Poo's most vigorous opponent in this election may be other Republicans.


Opinion: Lincoln Project is needling Trump the way he needled Hillary over her emails
Published: June 27, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. ET
Chris Edelson

[Image: lincoln-project-is-needling-trump-the-wa...=bigcharts]

"For Americans who see Donald Trump’s presidency as a threat to the U.S. constitutional system, it is not surprising that they are worried 2020 will end up being a replay of 2016.

Then, as now, Trump trailed in the polls. Then, as now, Trump made shocking statement after shocking statement, and it seemed absurd to believe enough Americans could vote for such a dangerous, unqualified, temperamentally unfit man to be president of the United States. And yet he won. Can Trump again defy the odds and win in November?

It’s certainly possible, but there are a few differences this time. In 2016, Trump was able to control the campaign narrative by succeeding in getting the media to cover and describe the election in his preferred terms. Voters heard — ad nauseam — about Hillary Clinton’s emails. In fact, Gallup interviews found that “email dominate[d] what Americans…heard about Clinton.”  Research showed  that “the various Clinton-related email scandals accounted for more sentences [in mainstream news coverage] than all of Trump’s scandals combined.”

Referendum on Trump

In 2020, Trump is finding it harder to control the narrative, and the November election is shaping up as a referendum on him. He is now the incumbent, rather than a former reality TV star with an image (not based in reality) as a successful business tycoon.  Moreover, the U.S. is dealing with multiple crises that dominate the headlines — coronavirus, the related economic downturn, and mass protests related to police killings of black Americans. 

Trump’s preferred narrative so far isn’t breaking through. He doesn’t have a way now to shape media coverage to his liking. Trump’s campaign rallies have been on hold for months, and when he was able to hold one this past weekend in Tulsa, Okla., he was unable to fill a 19,000 seat arena.  Chris Wallace of Fox News observed that media coverage of the Tulsa rally was “show[ing] big empty areas” and that the Trump campaign’s deflections about the disappointing turnout “makes [the campaign] look silly when [they] deny the reality of what happened”. 

Small crowd sizes are not an indicator that a candidate will lose, but it’s clear that Trump’s packed 2016 rallies helped energize him and gained outsized media coverage.  In 2020 Trump is still getting plenty of media coverage, of course, but this time it may be undermining his candidacy. Trump is no longer seen as a non-ideological, relatively moderate Republican, and Joe Biden is polling better in 2020 than Clinton ever did in 2016. It may be that Americans have simply tired of Trump’s divisive, bullying, boorish shtick. 

Republicans strike back

There’s at least one more thing that’s different about 2020: the Lincoln Project, a super PAC run by current and former Republican and conservative political strategists, including former advisers to Republican presidents and presidential campaigns

The Lincoln Project is putting out “devastating” ads that are “produced with lightning speed” to “catch the public debate at just the right moment…hammer[ing] Trump where he is personally most vulnerable”.  It’s clear they are getting under Trump’s skin; Keith Edwards of the Lincoln Project boasts that the group “lives in Donald Trump’s head rent free”.

It’s fair to raise questions about some of the Lincoln Project’s tactics (though the same standard must be applied to Trump’s own attacks against Biden), and it’s hard to know whether the group’s strategy is working, or even how to gauge its effectiveness. 

But there are at least two indications that the Lincoln Project may be having an impact.  First, their ads are getting attention and coverage from major media outlets, helping to shape the campaign narrative (in part because of Trump’s responses to the ads, including in late night tweetstorms). Second, if Trump is using valuable time, energy and money responding to the Lincoln Project’s ads, then he is waging the campaign on his opponents’ terms, not his.

Clearly, it seems that nothing Trump does will shake his support from Republicans in Congress. But the Lincoln Project’s effort shows that some on the political right recognize the danger Trump poses to U.S. democracy. Scholarly research shows that one of the best ways to defend democracy is for political elites to cross party lines and campaign against authoritarians from their own party. One of the failures in 2016 was that most Republicans fell in line behind Trump’s candidacy — and now, his presidency.

The people behind the Lincoln Project have found a way to exploit two of Trump’s most notorious vulnerabilities: a short attention span and thin skin. So while the election is still several months away, committed Trump adversaries like the Lincoln Project are making it clear that it’s going to be harder for Trump, who wallows in nostalgia, to get that old 2016 feeling back."

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Wink Not yet in the Twilight Zone? This will get you there.
Posted by: doubletroublejim - 06-27-2020, 02:25 AM - Forum: Misc - Replies (14)


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  Did he/she really say that?
Posted by: andrew_o - 06-26-2020, 06:14 AM - Forum: Politics - No Replies

You'll never really know

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  Awkward history for Biden
Posted by: andrew_o - 06-25-2020, 08:54 PM - Forum: Politics - Replies (7)

1979: Biden Voted to Protect Tax-Exempt Status of Private Segregated Schools

[Image: Joe-Biden-1975-640x480.jpg]

Former Vice President Joe Biden voted to protect the tax-exempt status of privately-owned and operated segregated schools while serving in Congress.

As a second-term United States senator from Delaware in 1979, Biden voted against revoking the “Dorian rider,” a legislative provision that prevented the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from rescinding the tax-exempt status of private segregated academies. Such schools were founded in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, which found unconstitutional “separate but equal” public educational institutions that segregated by race.

Biden’s vote on the measure, which put him at odds with then-President Jimmy Carter and such vaulted liberal institutions as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), was first reported by the Washington Free Beacon on Wednesday.

At the time of the vote, Biden was seen as one of the senate’s leading opponents of busing to desegregate public schools. The issue was particularly volatile for his constituents in Delaware, especially in the state’s largest city, Wilmington. As late as 1981, the city’s only public school district was redrawing its boundaries, intermixing urban and suburban neighborhoods.

Biden, although seen as a liberal on civil rights, sided with his constituents, even going to the extent of supporting a constitutional amendment to ban busing in 1975.

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