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Dave Collum’s 2019 Year In Review: “I Fought The Fed, And The Fed Won”

Dave Collum’s 2019 Year In Review: “I Fought The Fed, And The Fed Won”

Authored by David B. Collum, Betty R. Miller Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology – Cornell University (Email: dbc6@cornell.edu, Twitter: @DavidBCollum),

“I hope David comes to his senses.”

~ Nassim Taleb (@nntaleb), best-selling author and Professor at NYU

Every year, David Collum writes a detailed “Year in Review” synopsis full of keen perspective and plenty of wit. This year’s is no exception.

Contents

  • Introduction
  • About the Author–A Brief Autobiography
  • Contents
  • Sources
  • Creation of the Year in Review
  • My Personal Year
  • Investing
  • Almond-Eyed Aliens and Other Conspiracy Theories
  • Gold
  • Bitcoin
  • Modern Monetary Theory
  • The Fed and Repo-Madness
  • Share Buybacks
  • Climate Change
  • The Jeffrey Epstein Affair
  • Thoughts on College
  • Political Correctness–Collegiate Division
  • Political Correctness–Adult Division
  • Political Correctness–Youth Division
  • Political Correctness–Corporate Division
  • Civil Liberties
  • Conclusion
  • Acknowledgments
  • Books

The whole beast can be downloaded as a single PDF here, for those who prefer to do their power-reading offline.

If it happened this year & mattered, it’s covered in here…

Introduction

It is that time of year again when I sit down and, in a frenzied stream of subconsciousness, bang out my view of the world. It’s my 11th chronicling of human folly and anthropogenic global idiocy (AGI).1 It’s like when Forest Gump jogs: I start writing, go on too long, and then just stop. Forty years of writing about organic chemistry has taught me that you do not understand something till you finish writing about it. Constrained by time—you can’t write an annual synopsis in May—I have made sure to sacrifice quality not length.

“Huge fan. Please continue to remain above the din.”

~ Guy Adami (@GuyAdami), trader and commentator on CNBC’s Fast Money

*I am the din, Guy.

Figure 1. An original by Candace E. Cornell (my wife) dedicated to Jeff Macke (my Bud and the Banksy of Wall Street).

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

Enviros Tools of Russians? The Weird Conspiracy Theory Firing up Kenney’s Inquiry

Enviros Tools of Russians? The Weird Conspiracy Theory Firing up Kenney’s Inquiry

SPECIAL REPORT: Alberta’s ‘anti-energy’ probe makes a debunked US report its must-read.

LamarSmith.jpg
Texas Republican Lamar Smith, a noted climate denier and big recipient of oil and gas political donations, led a House committee that produced a report suggesting environmentalists are manipulated by the Russian government.

Russian Attempts to Influence U.S. Domestic Energy Markets by Exploiting Social Media was produced by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology, which at the time was led by a climate change-denying Republican from Texas named Lamar Smith. Upon its release in 2018, Democratic Congressman Raúl Grijalva described the report as “another round of unsupported conspiracy theories,” and it received little traction.

Now the report is officially required reading for Alberta’s inquiry, explicitly included in its terms of reference.

Why would that be? Answers were not forthcoming from Inquiry Commissioner Steve Allan, who didn’t respond to The Tyee’s interview request.

“There is very little the commissioner can share with the media at this time that is not contained on this website,” reads the Alberta Inquiry website. The commission’s terms of reference also explain that “As part of the inquiry, the commissioner shall examine the work completed by other investigations in other jurisdictions into similar activities or alleged activities.”

A New York-based journalist who wrote an article about the Republican-produced report was surprised Alberta is paying attention to its claims of Russian intrigue.

“That is unexpected,” said John Timmer, senior science editor for the media outlet Ars Technica. The report “didn’t pick up very wide coverage perhaps because it was rather strange to begin with… It just didn’t really hold up to a critical analysis very well.”

“It’s just a bizarre compilation of allegations that feeds a conspiracy theory,” said Devon Page, the executive director of Ecojustice, about the report’s inclusion in the Alberta inquiry’s terms of reference.

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

American Conspiracies & Cover-upsJFK, 9/11, the Fed, rigged elections, suppressed cancer cures and the greatest conspiracies of our time

American Conspiracies & Cover-upsJFK, 9/11, the Fed, rigged elections, suppressed cancer cures and the greatest conspiracies of our time

In today’s world, the phrase “conspiracy theory” is pejorative and has a negative connotation. To many people, a conspiracy theory is an irrational, over-imaginative idea endorsed by people looking for attention and not supported by the mainstream media or government.

History shows, though, that there have been many times when governments or individuals have participated in conspiracies. It would be naïve to think that intelligence agencies, militaries, government officials, and politicians don’t sometimes cooperate in covert, secretive ways. Following are five instances when it’s been proven that the government engaged in a conspiracy.

THE GULF OF TONKIN RESOLUTION

On August 4, 1964, Captain John J. Herrick, the commander of the USS Maddox, a US Navy vessel that was on an intelligence-gathering mission in the Gulf of Tonkin, reported to the White House and Pentagon that North Vietnamese patrol boats had fired torpedoes at his ship, and, so, the Maddox had fired back.

Two days later, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara testified to the Congress that he was certain that the Maddox had been attacked. On August 7, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was passed, the Congressional act that allowed President Johnson free reign to commence war; Johnson immediately ordered air strikes on North Vietnam and the Vietnam War—which would eventually kill fifty-eight thousand Americans and two million Asians—was underway.

Since then, it has been shown and proven that no North Vietnamese boats ever fired on the Maddox, and that McNamara had been untruthful when he testified before Congress. According to the official publication of the Naval Institute,

…once-classified documents and tapes released in the past several years, combined with previously uncovered facts, make clear that high government officials distorted facts and deceived the American public about events that led to full US involvement in the Vietnam War.”

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

Humans Are Creating Their Own Narratives

Michael Krieger | Posted Tuesday Sep 3, 2019 at 3:47 pm 

Somewhere between the arrest of Jeffrey Epstein and his extremely suspicious death in a Department of Justice operated prison, the public learned that an FBI intelligence bulletin published by the bureau’s Phoenix field office mentioned for the first time that conspiracy theories pose a domestic terrorism threat. This was followed up last week by a Bloomberg article discussing a new project by the U.S. military (DARPA) to identify fake news and disinformation.

We learned:

Fake news and social media posts are such a threat to U.S. security that the Defense Department is launching a project to repel “large-scale, automated disinformation attacks,” as the top Republican in Congress blocks efforts to protect the integrity of elections.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants custom software that can unearth fakes hidden among more than 500,000 stories, photos, videos and audio clips. If successful, the system after four years of trials may expand to detect malicious intent and prevent viral fake news from polarizing society.

Recall that after the 2016 election, focus was on social media companies and we saw tremendous pressure placed on these platforms by national security state politicians and distressed Democrats to “do something” about the supposed fake news epidemic. Fast forward three years and it’s now apparently the U.S. military’s job to police human content on the internet. This is the sort of natural regression a society will witness so long as it puts up with incremental censorship and the demonization of any thought which goes against the official narrative.

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

New Study Finds Media-Generated Fear is Driving ‘Doomsday Prepping’

New Study Finds Media-Generated Fear is Driving ‘Doomsday Prepping’

Not right wing conspiracy theories.

A new study has found that media-generated fear, not right-wing conspiracy theories, is the main driving force behind the rise of ‘doomsday prepping’.

The study, published in the Journal of American Studies, confirms that neither a backlash to the Obama presidency nor ‘extremist’ beliefs were responsible for the trend of Americans stockpiling food over the last 10 years.

Researchers interviewed preppers from 18 different U.S. states to ascertain the motivation behind their prepping.

“The results indicated that, although most did seem to be conservative and fear liberal policies, the main reason behind their motivations was the overall sense of fear currently dominating U.S. culture across a variety of media channels,” writes John Anderer. “Most Americans can’t seem to log online or turn on the television without being hit by a grim view of the future being reported or speculated on.”

The study also revealed that most ‘doomsday preppers’ don’t actually believe in imminent doomsday, but instead stockpile food because of worries over specific crises like an economic collapse, terror attack or a pandemic.

“Fear is now deeply entrenched in modern American culture and is the principal reason that so many citizens are engaging in ‘prepping’,” said lead author Dr. Michael Mills.

Everyone’s A Conspiracy Theorist, Whether They Know It Or Not

Everyone’s A Conspiracy Theorist, Whether They Know It Or Not

Plutocratic propaganda outlet MSNBC has just run a spin segment on the breaking news that the medical examiner’s determination of the cause of Jeffrey Epstein’s death is “pending further information”.

“Our sources are still saying that it looks like suicide, and this is going to set conspiracy theorists abuzz I fear,” said NBC correspondent Ken Dilanian. “NBC News has been hearing all day long that there are no indications of foul play, and that this looks like a suicide and that he hung himself in his cell.”

Dilanian, who stumbled over the phrase “conspiracy theorists” in his haste to get it in the first soundbyte, is a known asset of the Central Intelligence Agency. This is not a conspiracy theory, this is a well-documented fact. A 2014 article in The Intercept titled “The CIA’s Mop-Up Man” reveals email exchanges obtained via Freedom of Information Act request between Dilanian and CIA public affairs officers which “show that Dilanian enjoyed a closely collaborative relationship with the agency, explicitly promising positive news coverage and sometimes sending the press office entire story drafts for review prior to publication.” There is no reason to give Dilanian the benefit of the doubt that this cozy relationship has ended, so anything he puts forward can safely be dismissed as CIA public relations.

When I mentioned Dilanian’s CIA ties on MSNBC’s Twitter video, MSNBC deleted their tweet and then re-shared it without mentioning Dilanian’s name. Here is a screenshot of the first tweet followed by an embedded link to their current one (which I’ve archived just in case):

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

How The Question “Who Benefits From This?” Can Change Your Life

How The Question “Who Benefits From This?” Can Change Your Life

Cui bono?” is a phrase you’ll often see used on conspiracy-minded Youtube videos and discussion forums. It’s Latin for “Who benefits?”, and it refers to a perspective in legal analysis that the one who stands most to gain from a crime is often the perpetrator. It’s the “motive” part of “means, motive and opportunity“.

The term comes up in conspiracy circles a lot because motive is often the biggest plot hole in the official story promoted by the authorized narrative managers of the political/media class about a given event. The alleged Douma chemical attack last year, for example, had no discernible benefit to the Assad government whatsoever, but would have benefitted the cornered Al-Qaeda affiliates in the city by provoking air strikes from the west, so there remains a lot of skepticism from those who don’t automatically believe their government and the plutocratic media when they say that Damascus was responsible. Such skepticism is dismissively branded “conspiracy theory” by the establishment narrative managers, but it is fully justified.

So it’s a useful concept for analyzing world events in a way that punches through the fog of imperial propaganda. But the question “Who benefits from this?” can, and should, be taken much further.

Don’t just ask “Cui bono?” of potential false flag events. Ask it about every belief in your head. Rigorously holding that candle up to the ideas in your own mind will reveal a lot of junk floating around in there that benefit other people, both the powerful and the not-so-powerful.

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

It’s official: the collapse of the mainstream media’s credibility is now complete

It’s official: the collapse of the mainstream media’s credibility is now complete

Image: It’s official: the collapse of the mainstream media’s credibility is now complete

(Natural News) Attorney General William Barr held a press conference this morning to address the contents of the Mueller report, just as he promised to do. Not long after, Barr delivered the full Mueller report to the public with necessary redactions, also as promised. And yet the mainstream media, which demanded all of these things and has now received them, still isn’t happy.

In fact, most fake news media pundits are now foaming at the mouth, questioning Barr’s loyalties and accusing him of colluding with President Donald Trump to convey the “spun” message that he’s innocent – which it would seem as though no amount of evidence will ever convince those with Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) is actually true.

In a nutshell, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whom Leftist Democrats have been hailing for the past two years as their savior and hero who was going to take down Trump, didn’t end up procuring what these Trump haters were wishfully thinking he would. And in response, Trump haters everywhere are reeling with more anger than ever, demanding that Mueller be burned at the stake for failing to prove their deranged conspiracy theories.

CNN White House Correspondent Jim Acosta about had a coronary in response to Barr’s press conference, accusing Barr of “clearly laying out a sympathetic presentation” of what’s supposedly in the Mueller report. Twenty-twenty presidential hopeful and Leftist Democrat Cory Booker similarly accused Barr of “undermining the independence of this entire process” for his speaking publicly about the Mueller report prior to releasing it.

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

The Ruling Elites Love How Easily We’re Distracted and Turned Against Each Other

The Ruling Elites Love How Easily We’re Distracted and Turned Against Each Other

No wonder the ruling elites love how easily we’re distracted and divided against ourselves: it’s so easy to dominate a distracted, divided, blinded-by-propaganda and negative emotions populace.

Let’s say you’re one of the ruling elites operating the nation for the benefit of the oligarchy. What’s the best way to distract the populace from your self-serving dominance in a blatantly neofeudal system?

1. Provide modern-day versions of Bread and Circuses to distract the commoners from what actually matters: “the golden age of TV” and binge-watching; a cultural obsession with glorifying oneself via selfies posted on Facebook and Instagram; tweeting outrage and indignation on Twitter; a corporate-state media which magnifies insignificant events into social crises, political “leaders” who intentionally inflame polarization and conflict and so on.

Combine all these distracting circuses into one 24/7 system-overload, and what do you get? A populace so distracted, so stressed, so emotionally dazed that they are unable to focus on the predatory exploitation of the ruling elites, much less figure out how to change the neofeudal status quo.

2. Divide the populace with calculatedly divisive cultural issues and turn the commoner class against itself: with no middle ground and no shared class identity allowed, the populace is easily sliced and diced into angry, disaffected tribes who blame whomever media propaganda has targeted as “the other” for the nation’s woes.

Correspondent Jonathan Twombly recently posted a description of this divide-and-conquer strategy of the ruling elites

I eschew conspiracy theories because I don’t feel humans are smart enough or cohesive enough to pull them off. Usually self-interested people pulling in the same direction create the conditions that some people view as conspiracies.

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

A Majority of Americans Do Not Believe the Official 9/11 Story

A Majority of Americans Do Not Believe the Official 9/11 Story

“Conspiracy Theorists” Now A Majority

TruePublica, a British website that has avoided the 9/11 issue, has had its fill of ignorant journalists at the BBC, Huffington Post and other propagandists for the military/security complex. The constant, shrill demeaning of experts and distinguished people who have raised questions about the official story has convinced TruePublica that skeptics who need so much shouting down must have a point.

The media has NEVER EXAMINED the evidence or explained the analysis provided by scientists, architects, engineers, pilots, and the first responders who experienced the explosions of the World Trade Center twin towers. The media has never asked for the release of the multiple videos that recorded whatever struck the Pentagon. The media has never investigated whether cell phones worked in 2001 from the altitudes at which the official story claims calls were made.

Instead two-bit punk presstitutes, such as the BBC’s Chris Bell and the Huffington Post’s Jess Brammer andl Chris York, label experts with knowledge and integrity “conspiracy theorists.” These presstitutes knowingly use a cover-up term that the CIA put into use via its media assets to discredit the expert skeptics of the Warren Commission Report on the assassination of President Kennedy.

The fact that the carefully presented evidence is NEVER ENGAGED EXCEPT WITH NAME-CALLING is a strong indication that the evidence is true and cannot be refuted.

TruePublica is such a mainline site that, in its own words, it does not even “publish news sourced by RT,” a far more reliable source of news than the BBC, CNN, or New York Times. However, it has dawned on TruePublica that after 18 years an ad hominem attack remains the only defense of the official story. 

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

Plunge Protection Myths = Keynesian Economic Myths

QUESTION: What about what China did by buying stocks a few years ago to stop the hang sang from dropping

LW

Video Player

00:00
01:17

ANSWER: Do not confuse attempts to support a market from actually being able to do so. This is the same as Keynesian economics that government could prevent recessions. Larry Summers admitted the government cannot even forecast such events. Not only during the Great Depression did companies jump in to buy their shares during the crash to try to prevent the decline. Most of the companies that took that action actually failed for they bought the stock back trying to hold the price and lost needed cash reserves. They could not sell stock again nor could the borrow.

During the collapse of the Nikkei after 1989, companies held believing that the government would support the market. When they realized the government could not then the government encouraged us to bail out the Japanese corporations. We helped well over 300 public companies issuing a note to buy their portfolios at their cost with 10-year payouts and each note had to be approved by the Japanese government individually. If the governments were able to actually prevent declines, then they would. But nobody can do that for the size of the public at large far outweighs any institution, group of institutions, or banks.

People would rather believe in conspiracy theories than simply look at the reality. Attempts to manipulate markets ALWAYS fail because the majority is far greater than any minority. The trend is made by the MAJORITY. A panic sell-off like the Crash of 1987 took place BECAUSE there was not bid – not that there was a massive short position. Scare the MAJORITY and they then try to sell, you find no bid and that is how a flash crash unfolds. This is why outlawing short positions is destructive for the only person with the courage to try to catch a falling knife is the one who is taking profit – not initiating a long position.

The Largest Conspiracy Theory Peddlers Are MSM And The US State Department

The Largest Conspiracy Theory Peddlers Are MSM And The US State Department

The US State Department has issued a statement accusing the Syrian government of having carried out a false flag chemical weapons attack in northwestern Aleppo with the intent to blame it on the jihadist factions in the region, citing “credible info” that the public has not been permitted to see. Never mind the known fact that there are actual, literal Al Qaeda affiliates who have admitted to using chemical weapons in Aleppo, and who are known to have used chemical weapons throughout Syria even by the State Department’s own admission: the Official Narrative is that only the Syrian government uses chemical weapons, so the chemical weapons usage must necessarily be a false flag staged by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

Except they didn’t use the words “false flag”. Despite the accusation being the exact definition of the thing that a false flag attack is, you won’t see the US government using that term, nor will you ever see it used in this instance by any of the authorized mainstream narrative-framing institutions like CNN or Fox News. This is because the term “false flag” is reserved solely for mention when referring to crazy, kooky Kremlin propaganda, as in the insane, unhinged, tinfoil hat belief that terrorists in Syria might possibly have some kind of motive to stage a false flag chemical attack in order to get the US, UK and France to act as their air force in a retaliatory strike against the Syrian government. That kind of false flag would be completely inconceivable to any right-minded empire loyalist, and is forbidden to even think about.

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

How Gov’t Violates Human Rights using Conspiracy Theory

Ireland is now claiming it needs to pass the Magnitsky Act to defend human rights. The greatest human rights violations take place in the legal system. It was Adolf Hitler’s notorious court that everyone said violated human right because it had a 90% conviction rate against people accused of being Jewish. Well Ireland, like the United States, has surpassed Adolf Hitler. Sexual offenses have the lowest conviction rates in Ireland’s circuit courts because it requires proof. The 89% conviction rate for sexual offenses in Ireland’s circuit courts compares with 100% for fatal offenses, 98% for offenses against property such as burglary and theft, and 93% for road traffic offenses. If we are really going to deal with human rights, the place to start is legal reform.

The crime of conspiracy was used by the Roman Emperor Maximinus I (235-238AD) which There must be an agreement between two or more persons. The mens rea of conspiracy is a separate issue from the mens rea required of the substantive crime. Conspiracy is the law of tyrants, for it allows the conviction of someone for a crime they did not commit, nor even attempted to commit but you claim they “intended” purely as a mental state to commit in the future. Maximinus engaged in legal persecution. He charged a noted Senator by the name of Magnus, with conspiracy against the emperor, found him guilty, executed him, and then arrested 4,000 others claiming they all conspired with him to intend to depose him. He then used the criminal law to claim they committed a crime of conspiracy, and that, of course, justified confiscating all their property as well.

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

Nothing In Any Conspiracy Theory Is As Bad As What’s Being Done Out In The Open

Nothing In Any Conspiracy Theory Is As Bad As What’s Being Done Out In The Open

Yesterday President Trump posted a statement on the White House website saying his administration will be standing with the House of Saud despite the CIA’s assertion that Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman personally ordered the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who was living and working in the United States.

The statement reads like a long form version of one of Trump’s tweets, replete with gratuitous exclamation points and slogans like “America First!” and the lie that Iran is “the world’s leading sponsor of terror”, which will never be true no matter how many times this administration deliberately repeats it. The world’s leading sponsor of terrorism is of course Saudi Arabia, along with Israel and the United States.

Trump’s alleged opposition has responded with melodramatic outrage, as though a US president continuing to stand by Saudi Arabia in the face of horrific acts of violence is somehow new and unprecedented and not standard operating procedure for decades. Dismembering a journalist while he’s still alive would be a fairly typical Tuesday afternoon for the Saudi government and would not rank anywhere near the top ten most evil things this government has done, but because it involves America and a conspiracy it’s a sexy story that everyone laps up. Add in the fact that Trump is more blunt and forthcoming about American depravity and you’ve got yourself a yarn.


Dear @realDonaldTrump: You are the President of the United States of America. You should not grovel to Saudi Arabia.

Your statement is weak despite the random exclamation points. A strong @POTUS would not excuse the Saudis for murdering a journalist & cutting him up into pieces


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

The biggest of big pictures

The biggest of big pictures

I have had a request from Mrs Macleod to write down in simple terms what on earth is going on in the world, and why is it that I think gold is so important in this context. She-who-must-be-obeyed does not fully share my interest in the subject. An explanation of the big picture is also likely to be useful to many of my readers and their spouses, who do not share an enduring interest in geopolitics either.

That is the purpose of this article. It can be bewildering when a casual observer tries to follow global events, something made more difficult by editorial policies at news outlets, and the commentary from most analysts, who are, frankly, ill-informed. Accordingly, this article addresses the topic that dominates our future. The most important players in the great game of geopolitics are America and China. But before launching into an update, I shall lay down the disciplines required for an informed analysis.

Do try to look at issues from all sides in order to understand both strategic considerations and prospective outcomes. Understand that characteristics which may apply to one side do not necessarily apply to the other. For example, financial analysis that applies to the US economy does not necessarily apply to China’s. Do try to remain neutral and objective, analytical and unbiased. Remember the old stockbroker’s adage: where there’s a tip, there’s a tap, meaning that the dissemination of information is usually designed to promote vested interests.

The list of don’ts is somewhat longer. Don’t believe what governments say, because they will tell you what they want you to believe. Don’t believe anything coming out of intelligence services: if the information is good it is highly unlikely to come your way, and if good information does come your way, it will be indistinguishable from conspiracy theories.

…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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