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Leaked Quarantine Plans Create Chaos As Panicked Italians Sprint For The Exits, Threatening To Spread Virus

Leaked Quarantine Plans Create Chaos As Panicked Italians Sprint For The Exits, Threatening To Spread Virus

As the quarantine begins across the Italian north on Sunday, virology experts at the WHO, CDC and at universities around the world are waiting to see if Rome’s crackdown – coming a little too late, as many have pointed out, given the last two days’ worth of massive increases in the national case total – will work.

With the rules in place until April 3, Bloomberg points out, whether the public and local police and officials go along with the orders will ultimately determine whether they are successful or not.

Italians have become inured to alarming news over the past month as the outbreak has spiraled out of control in Lombardy. But following  a flurry of uncontrolled leaks warning about an imminent lockdown as part of the government’s planned emergency decree, restaurants and bars started emptying out and many fled to the train station, where they hopped trains to get out of the region, especially those who had plans to travel elsewhere that were being interrupted by the lockdown.

Johns Hopkins’ Nuzzo: New Virus Test Kits Likely to Reveal Undiagnosed Cases

According to an SCMP reporter in Padua, packed bars and restaurants quickly emptied out as news of a coming lockdown hit, as many people rushed to the railway station. Travellers with suitcases, wearing face masks, gloves and carrying bottles of sanitising gel shoved their way on to the local train.

This appears to have been a phenomenon across the North. The video shows passengers with large bags packed heading toward a cross-country train to take them out of the quarantine zone and into the Italian south, where the virus has penetrated, but infection numbers and deaths remain much lower than in the north.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Brace For A Global Crisis In 2020

Brace For A Global Crisis In 2020

Falling stocks

The year 2020 could emerge as the start of the era of relative global chaos or major upheaval. It is the era we have been anticipating, as the impact of core population decline meets economic dislocation, and security and structural uncertainty.

Changes in the fundamental sociological framework of global society, due to the end of the population growth cycle – and with it the end of the economic growth cycle based on expanding market size – were beginning to become evident by the beginning of 2020. It was apparent that 2020 was likely to see a major evolution in this transformation.

The three “inevitable” trends which had been promoted in recent decades – the “inevitable” rise of the People’s Republic of China; the “inevitable” decline of the United States of America; and the “inevitable” consolidation of the European Union into a strategic superpower — had all, by 2020, retreated into the swamps of vainglory.

A broad-brush landscape view of 2020 must include at least the following:

The People’s Republic of China and the BRI Framework:

The Communist Party of China (CPC) should be expected to face unprecedented challenge in 2020-21, not only for its control of the economy of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), but to its ability to project the PRC’s physical power in its immediate region, and across its suzerain empire, expressed through the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) network of states.

The PRC economy has been faltering for several years, and growth in gross domestic product (GDP) figures have only been sustained by artificial construction transactions, which are now becoming unsustainable. It is now estimated that the PRC was in actual economic decline at a time, which will lead to a faltering in its foreign investment and loan capacity to sustain the BRI program.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trader Warns “Market Dysfunction Will Ultimately Have Its Limits”

Trader Warns “Market Dysfunction Will Ultimately Have Its Limits”

Global policy uncertainty has never been higher

Source: Bloomberg

And the world is erupting in mass protests: Chile, Ecuador, Lebanon, Barcelona, France, London, Puerto Rico, Hong Kong, Iraq, Guinea, Bolivia, Algeria, Haiti, Egypt, Pakistan, Brazil, Sudan, and today, Azerbaijan.

Both of which are among the reasons why former fund manager and FX trader Richard Breslow warns that markets are, as they have become used to being, too sanguine in the face of chaos.

Nothing bad has happened in the markets so far today. In fact, they look mostly benign and calm. Although it was a little dicey at the beginning. And we’ll have to see how earning reports go. With the bulk of the news on the week’s calendar yet to come, it makes some sense that the net changes in asset prices have settled back down to not very much changed. Yet, looking through my in-box, if there is one word to describe the general mood, it’s “blah.”

Via Bloomberg,

Bond yields stalled where they, perhaps, should have, but that’s no fun. For the most part, global equities haven’t done anything particularly wrong. Yet, they appear at risk of threatening to squander the hard work they put in toward mounting a renewed push to the upside. Currency trading has had its momentum sucked out of it. Commodities look like they simply can’t come to a decision about the prospects for future demand, regardless of the news.

Traders have, time and time again, been remarkably willing to accept kicking the can down the road as a net positive. The status quo, with dovish central banks thrown into the mix, worked just fine for them.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Which SHTF situation is most likely to actually happen?

Which SHTF situation is most likely to actually happen?

Image: Which SHTF situation is most likely to actually happen?

(Natural News) The prepping lifestyle can be overwhelming for most people but at its core, preppers prioritize readiness in all aspects of their lives. But amid all the talk about prepping skills, survival gear, and food supplies, how do you know which disaster event has the highest chance of occurring within your lifetime? (h/t to TheSurvivalistBlog.net)

How to prepare for possible SHTF events

For this article, an “SHTF” event is defined as “any event that upends your life” after it occurs, such as flooding in a major city. These events would be classified as major disasters or catastrophes, not personal emergencies.

On the extreme end of prepping are those who will do whatever it takes to get ready for apocalyptic events like EMP attacks or nuclear world war. However, more realistic preppers are concerned about events that may likely occur in their lifetimes, such as hurricanes or tornadoes.

No matter where you land on the prepping scale of SHTF-readiness, the important thing is to get ready for disasters that happen yearly worldwide.

Take note that the events detailed below are more or less likely to occur depending on your location. According to the U.N.’s Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the single most likely natural disaster to occur anywhere in the world is flooding.

Flood preparedness

Rising water is “the most likely disaster to befall you anywhere in the developed world,” with about 30 percent of all disasters categorized as flooding. This coincides with data gathered by U.S.-based disaster response agencies and insurers.

Regardless of what causes flooding, it is a deadly and destructive event that occurs yearly. In most cases, a local major body of water will overrun its banks due to several days of heavy rain. However, other factors like dam failure, ice or snow melting, or tsunamis can also create severe flooding. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Strategy of Controlled Chaos

The Strategy of Controlled Chaos

Everyone against everyone else – this is the media image of chaos which is spreading across the Southern shores of the Mediterranean, from Libya to Syria. It is a situation before which even Washington seems powerless. But in reality, Washington is not the sorcerer’s apprentice unable to control the forces now in motion. It is the central motor of a strategy – the strategy of chaos – which, by demolishing entire States, is provoking a chain reaction of conflicts which can be used in the manner of the ancient method of “divide and rule”.

Emerging victorious from the Cold War in 1991, the USA self-appointed themselves as “the only State with power, reach, and influence in all dimensions – political, economic and military – which are truly global”, and proposed to “prevent any hostile power from dominating any region – Western Europe, Eastern Asia, the territories of the ex-Soviet Union, and South-Western Asia (the Middle East) – whose resources could be enough to generate a world power”.

Since then, the United States, with NATO under their command, have fragmented or destroyed by war, one by one, the states they considered to represent an obstacle to their plan for world domination – Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and others – while still others are in their sights (among which are Iran and Venezuela).

In the same strategy came the coup d’État in Ukraine under the direction of the USA and NATO, in order to provoke a new Cold War in Europe intended to isolate Russia and reinforce the influence of the United States in Europe.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

EMP attacks could cripple America, warns the White House… and nobody is doing anything to defend the nation’s electrical infrastructure

EMP attacks could cripple America, warns the White House… and nobody is doing anything to defend the nation’s electrical infrastructure

Image: EMP attacks could cripple America, warns the White House… and nobody is doing anything to defend the nation’s electrical infrastructure

(Natural News) A new warning from the White House has underscored the fragility of our society. As the Trump administration cautions, an EMP attack could easily take down the United States in a single shot. As such, Trump has now issued a presidential EMP order, with the aim of protecting vital infrastructure from total destruction. EMP, or electromagnetic pulse, attacks have been a known threat to the United States for decades. In spite of this, little has been done to insulate the nation’s most vulnerable and necessary structures — like power grids — from being destroyed by such an event.

As The Hill reports, the Congressional EMP Commission has been discussing EMPs as a major threat to the United Since since the Cold War.

Now, President Trump has issued an executive order to get the ball of national preparedness rolling. Under this new directive, key recommendations of the Congressional EMP Commission will finally see the light of day. The White House reportedly plans on having a “comprehensive strategy on EMPs” ready within the next 12 months.

Trump issues executive order on EMPs

While EMPs have been on the federal government’s radar for at least 20 years, it is only now that we see that risk being taken seriously. As The Hill contends, federal agencies have failed to adequately acknowledge and prepare for a potential EMP threat.

Trump’s order directs the secretaries from the Energy and Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security to “develop a plan to mitigate the effects of EMPs on the vulnerable priority-critical infrastructures.” DHS and Energy are also being directed to work with other federal agencies and the private sector to make this plan.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“This Country Has Gone To Hell”: Total Chaos In Venezuelan Oil Capital After Blackout

“This Country Has Gone To Hell”: Total Chaos In Venezuelan Oil Capital After Blackout

Venezuela’s oil capital, Maracaibo, was ransacked and looted in the midst of a blackout that hit the country around March 7. Even as the lights started to come back on, looting continued and residents overpowered disputed President Nichloas Maduro’s security forces. Store owners are just now starting to clean up, according a new Bloomberg article, which paints a picture of Venezuela as a country on the edge of total anarchy. 

Enrique Gonzalez, an 18 year old bus conductor said: “If people made enough to make ends meet, we wouldn’t be trying to get by like this. This country has gone to hell.” His driver, at the time, was pillaging a Pepsi warehouse, where thousands of bottles had been looted in hours and where people were now ripping out spare copper wire and scrap metal. 

Empresas Polar SA, a Venezuelan food giant, reportedly saw its Pepsi plant lose thousands of cases of beer and soda, 160 pallets of food, 22 trucks and five forklifts. A home improvement shopping center also saw its 50 stores looted by people who broke through its iron gates and glass doors. Travel agencies, cosmetic stands and snack shops were all pillaged among the chaos. 

Bernardo Morillo, 60, who built and manages the mall told Bloomberg: “It’s hard to swallow. The national guard stood by as this vandalism happened and the firefighters didn’t even show.’’

Ricardo Costa, vice president of the Zulia state chapter of the Fedecamaras business group said: “…security forces were useless as people took anything of value, including cash machines, door frames, ovens, computers and surveillance cameras…”

The country’s Centro 99 food market saw looters pick its shelves clean. “They even carried off the lard and flour to bake bread in their bare hands,’’ the store’s manager said. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

If You Could Design A Perfect World For Gold…

If You Could Design A Perfect World For Gold…

Are you sick of your gold just sitting there when it was supposed to have long since made you rich? Have you been fantasizing about a world in which your gold really does make you rich?

If so you’re in good – or at least numerous – company. 

So let’s sketch out such a world. 

Start by envisioning an America in which a handful of oligopolies have captured banking, media, healthcare and several other important industries, while a tiny group of super-rich neo-aristocrats control as much wealth as the 200 million least-rich citizens. 

Toss in a US president who goes out of his way to pick fights which he then proceeds to lose, leading to both falling poll numbers and derisive headlines around the world. 

That’s a good start but probably not enough to take gold to its rightful price of $10,000. So let’s add a US opposition party – which, given the above president’s declining popularity, has at least a 50-50 shot at taking power in the next election – that is skewing madly, unprecedentedly to the left. For more on the three most popular Democrats:

Elizabeth Warren proposes ‘wealth tax’ on Americans with more than $50 million in assets

Ocasio-Cortez buzz hits Davos with talk of 70% tax-rate plan

[Socialist frontrunner] Bernie Sanders set to announce 2020 presidential run

Meanwhile, imagine that that same opposition party recently gained control of the branch of Congress that can investigate the President, leading to an escalating battle between legislature and executive that adds an element of legal chaos to what would already have been a presidential campaign of off-the-charts vitriol.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Oil’s Wild Price Swings Set to Create Global Chaos

Oil’s Wild Price Swings Set to Create Global Chaos

Volatility is here to stay — and the political and economic implications will touch us all.

As the current global oil glut shakes up petro states around the world, oil prices are becoming more volatile than Donald Trump tweets.

Neither Canada, now the dumb owner of a marginal 65-year-old pipeline, nor Alberta, a key exporter of bitumen, a cheap refinery feedstock, has paid much attention to this revolution.

As a consequence Canada has no strategy to deal with the new normal of highly volatile oil prices.

Government incompetence explains the hew and cry in Alberta about its overproduction crisis and the various proposals to solve it, ranging from the purchase of rail cars (a bad idea) to the decision to order companies to cut production of heavy oil by about 325,000 barrels a day (a sensible idea).

Alberta’s panic attack is based on the idea that bitumen from the province’s oilsands producers is selling at a discount because of a lack of pipeline capacity.

The reality is that the dramatic 30-per-cent drop in oil prices since the beginning of October, from more than US$70 to US$50, is upsetting oil exporters, producers and markets around the world.

Different kinds of oil fetch different prices, based on their quality and transportation costs. And all are experiencing dramatic price drops. Alberta’s bitumen, a cheap refinery feedstock, is not the only crude languishing during a global market glut.

Refineries in Japan and Korea, for example, scooped up cheap U.S. oil earlier this year.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Preparation is Vital. 2019 is Destined for Chaos

Preparation is Vital. 2019 is Destined for Chaos

As you make your New Year’s resolutions, make sure you allot room for some much needed protection as we head into 2019 and beyond.

It may not be the rosy picture many of you were hoping for, but sadly, 2019 appears to be destined for increased chaos, turmoil and outright confusion.

The chief driver of this will undoubtedly be the current disheveled state of affairs we are seeing unfold in the United States.

As we enter another week of government shutdowns, we are getting just a small sample of what this year has in store. We haven’t seen anything yet, and I believe the madness witnessed throughout 2018 was just an opening act.

President Trump is being challenged on all sides, and I believe at this point moving forward we will see some very serious and drastic changes within his administration, as he rapidly clears house of anyone he believes belongs to the “old establishment”, replacing them with those whom he deems “loyal” to him.

In addition to this, we are going to see him use every weapon in his arsenal to jam through as much of his agenda as he possibly can within his legal powers.

This will enrage his opponents and embolden his die-hard supporters, all while doing damage to the system as a whole in the long run.

At this point, from a personal perspective, the left has left him little-to-no options, as he now fights for his and his family’s survival—all of whom his opponents would love to see behind bars, no matter the ramifications this would cause to the very fabric of the United States.

Meanwhile, emboldened by their recent victories, the radical far-left elements within the Democratic party are going to come fast and hard at Trump, attempting to take him down as viciously as they can.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

U.S. cybersecurity experts scrambling to thwart major attacks on power, water, gas infrastructure by “bolting on” fixes to old vulnerable systems

Image: U.S. cybersecurity experts scrambling to thwart major attacks on power, water, gas infrastructure by “bolting on” fixes to old vulnerable systems
(Natural News) Crammed into a small building in Idaho Falls, Idaho, a group of about 50 cyber security experts and researchers are working around the clock to protect American infrastructure from debilitating attacks.

As The Associated Press reports, much of what goes on at the Idaho National Laboratory, once known as the country’s primary nuclear research facility, isn’t discussed. But what is known is that those who fill the dimmed rooms full of wires, cables, computers, and detection gear are diligently trying to guard against the unthinkable: Attacks on power grids, water treatment facilities, financial institutions, and even traffic lights that could bring large sections of the country to a standstill.

Followed by chaos.

The lab’s director of cybersecurity, Scott Cramer, admits that the task at hand is a difficult one and that the United States is playing catch-up, of sorts. He describes the cybersecurity work as “bolting on” protections for infrastructure control systems that are decades old with the belief that many of them have already been infiltrated by malicious actors — nation-states and non-state actors alike — who are waiting for the time to launch attacks.

“This is no joke — there are vulnerabilities out there,” Cramer told the AP. “We’re pretty much in reaction mode right now.”

That’s not hyperbole. A recently released report from the President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council lays out a similarly dire warning. After interviewing “dozens of senior leaders and experts” as well as conducting an in-depth review of existing studies and statues, the NIAC “found that existing national plans, response resources, and coordination strategies would be outmatched by a catastrophic power outage,” the report noted.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Reports warn of disabling attacks to U.S. power grid that could wipe out “democracy” and the “world order”

Image: Reports warn of disabling attacks to U.S. power grid that could wipe out “democracy” and the “world order”
(Natural News) A pair of reports released in the past month from two separate federal entities both warn of dire, devastating consequences from the destruction or disabling of a substantial portion of the U.S. power grid.

In late November, the Pentagon released an eye-opening analysis of the effects of a potential  electromagnetic pulse (EMP) stemming from the detonation of a sizable nuclear weapon above the United States. The report by the Electromagnetic Defense Task Force at Air Force University noted that, “Based on the totality of available data, an electromagnetic spectrum attack may be a threat to the United States, democracy, and the world order.”

The report culled information from a mostly classified summit of government officials from 40 agencies who met just outside of Washington, D.C. over the summer and forcefully calls for a new focus by Congress and the Trump administration for making preparations either for an enemy EMP attack or a naturally occurring event such as a major solar storm, the Washington Examiner reported.

Much of the report focuses on the negative effects of an EMP event as it pertains to U.S. military capabilities. However, the report also appears to substantiate a congressional warning from 2017 that claimed up to 90 percent of the population along the East Coast could die within a year of the event.

Citing information from the Union of Concerned Scientists, the report said:

— Approximately 99 nuclear reactors would very likely melt down because there would be no electricity to power infrastructure that keeps them cool;

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

2018 Chaos, 2019 Mayhem

Titian The rape of Europe 1560-62

It took me a while to decide which word(s) best define the past year and the next one, but I think this is pretty much it. 2018 was chaotic more than anything else, and that chaos will give rise to mayhem in 2019.

What I think is striking is that this is true across the board, in all walks of life so to speak. In finance, in politics, in energy markets, in ecological matters, and perhaps most of all in the ways all these topics are being covered by what once were trusted media.

I’m going to have to come back to all these topics separately, so it’s promising to be a very busy holiday season, but it’s also good to try and put them together in one place, if only to show how interconnected everything is. And how futile it is to look at the economy without seeing its connection to energy flows and ecosystems. And vice versa.

In finance and economics, we’ve seen an avalanche of falling numbers recently, in stock prices, bond prices, housing, across the globe, and obviously that evokes a lot of comments in the financial press. But that press, and bankers investors on their own, still talk about markets.

However, as I wrote in April 2018, if there is no price discovery, and there isn’t, there ARE NO markets, and it would be good and beneficial if many more people absorb that simple reality. Many more so-called traders and investors would be a start, but by no means enough. Lots more people who have nothing to do with the ‘markets’ should understand why there is no such thing anymore.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Agents of Chaos: Trump, the Federal Reserve and Andrew Jackson

Agents of Chaos: Trump, the Federal Reserve and Andrew Jackson

Photo Source Eli Christman | CC BY 2.0

“It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes.”

– President Andrew Jackson, Washington, July 10, 1832

They are three players, all problematic in their own way.  They are the creatures of inconvenient chaos.  Donald Trump was born into the role, a misfit of misrule who found his baffling way to the White House on a grievance.  Wall Street, with its various agglomerations of vice and ambition constitute the spear of global instability while the US Federal Reserve, long seen as a gentlemanly symbol of stability, has done its fair share to avoid its remit to right unstable ships, a power in its own right.

The Federal Reserve, despite assuming the role of Apollonian stabiliser, remained blind and indifferent through the Clinton era under the stewardship of Alan Greenspan.  The creatures of Dionysus played, and Greenspan was happy to watch. While he is credited with having contained the shock of the 1987 stock-market crash, he proceeded to push a period of manically low interest rates and minimal financial regulation through the hot growth of the 1990s and early 2000s. Rather than condemning “Ninja loans” and other such bank exotica, he celebrated them as creations of speculative genius.

The mood at the Fed these days might seems chastened.  They are the monkish wowsers and party poopers, those who lock down the bar and tell the merrily sauced to head home.  The sense there is that the market, boosted and inflated, needs correction after years of keeping interest rates at floor levels. Unemployment levels are at 3.7 percent; inflation levels are close to 2 percent.  “If the strong growth in income and jobs continues,” reasoned Federal Reserve chairman Jerome H. Powell in August, “further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate will likely be appropriate.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The US Need Not Inevitably Descend into Violent Chaos If and When Disaster Strikes

The US Need Not Inevitably Descend into Violent Chaos If and When Disaster Strikes

Liberal opponents of serious, aggressive action on climate change like California Governor Jerry Brown are the strange bedfellows of right-wing survivalists on one thing: Both are quick to warn darkly that if environmentalists have their way and impose strict cuts on oil, gas and coal production or on mileage standards for automobiles and pollution controls on power plants, or in the case of right-wingers, if the banking system is allowed to continue to run US economic policy and the Fed isn’t audited, the irate citizens of the US will descend into an orgy of anarchic violence and mayhem.

The argument is that if Americans are told they can no longer drive gas-guzzling automobiles and blast their air conditioners at will, or if the US financial system again collapses as it did in 2008 leading to the Great Recession, the people of this country will essentially go mad and a lawless chaos of dog-eat-dog, kill thy neighbor for his food, will ensue.

“It will be like the Great Depression all over,” I read in one account of a recent report by one JP Morgan Chase analyst who is predicting a dramatic market crash of over 40% followed by armageddon. (I learned about this little report of impending disaster from a former cop friend who advised me to get a gun and plenty of ammo and to stock up on food to be able to protect my family.)

But this is truly ignorance regarding what actually happened when everything did collapse back in the Great Depression and Dust Bowl.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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