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The Death Of Free Speech: Zuckerberg Asks Governments For Instructions On “What Discourse Should Be Allowed”

The Death Of Free Speech: Zuckerberg Asks Governments For Instructions On “What Discourse Should Be Allowed”

I have written for years on the effort of European countries to expand their crackdown on free speech globally through restrictions on social media and Internet speech. It appears that Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has relented in what may prove the death knell for free speech in the West. Zuckerberg seems to relent in asking governments for regulations stipulating what speech will be permitted on Facebook and other platforms. It is the ultimate victory of FranceGermany, and England in their continuing attack on free expression though hate speech laws and speech regulation.

Zuckerberg told an assembly of Western leaders Saturday at the Munich Security Conference that “There should be more guidance and regulation from the states on basically — take political advertising as an example — what discourse should be allowed?” He did add: “Or, on the balance of free expression and some things that people call harmful expression, where do you draw the line?” The problem is that his comments were received as accepting that government will now dictate the range of free speech. What is missing is the bright line rule long maintained by the free speech community.

As tragically demonstrated in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, speech regulations inevitably expand with time. The desire to silence one’s critics becomes insatiable for both governments and individuals.

Zuckerberg is facing great pressure, including from Democratic leaders in the United States, to regulate political speech and he seems to be moving away from the bright-line position against such regulation as a principle. Instead, he is accepting the fluid concept of “balanced” regulations that has always preceded expanding speech codes and criminalization:

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The Prophet

The Prophet

Oh how I miss George Carlin. Yes he was mainly known as a stand up comedian, but he was more than that, much more. He was a social critic, he challenged that status quo, he dared to go where society wasn’t prepared to go: Look at ourselves critically. He did it with biting humor, masterful oration and a directness digging into core truths that were not only uncomfortable at times, but needed to be heard and said.

His voice has fallen silent as he passed away a few years ago and I’m sorry to say: We don’t have anyone like George today. I didn’t agree with everything George said and I don’t need to, nor does anybody else, but his talent was to make us think and to view the world with a different perspective and yes he was a prophet.

He saw long ago where this was all heading. The political charades and manufactured dramas that are sold to the public as choice, the illusion of choice as the agendas have long been in play.

“What do they want?” he asked. “More for themselves and less for everybody else.”

He spoke of the owners of this country, the owners that control everything, the media, what to believe what to think, and the great business and lobbying interests that spend billions of dollars lobbying for ever more benefits for themselves.

And lobby they do:

And boy did they succeed. Under the mantle of populism and draining the swamp they got themselves the biggest tax cuts in corporate history, a historic killing:

Wall Street celebrated and celebrates to this day.

Wealth inequality skyrocketing for years and now trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see and debt through the roof:

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Are the World Elite Using a Rise in Nationalism to Reassert Globalisation?

Are the World Elite Using a Rise in Nationalism to Reassert Globalisation?

Putting yourself in the mind of someone who commits an act of illegality is perhaps the only way we can begin to understand the motivation behind the transgression. A common reflex reaction to the most heinous of crimes is to simply call for the perpetrator to be removed from society and put in prison. Out of sight, out of mind. Whilst this is not an unreasonable expectation, it does not get to the root of why he or she became a criminal.

We can take a similar stance when it comes to globalism. If a self appointed elite who permeate institutions like the Bank for International Settlements and the IMF share a desire to concentrate world power through a centralised network of global governance, rather than simply rebel against this vision is it not equally as important to try and understand the vision from the perspective of those who created it? I would argue that to comprehend the minds of global planners it is necessary to mentally place yourself into their way of thinking.

A couple of years ago I published an article called, Order Out of Chaos: A Look at the Trilateral Commission, where I examined some of the key motivations behind this particular institution’s goals. I quoted past members of the Commission openly rejecting national sovereignty and championing the interdependence of nations. One of those quotes was from Sadako Ogata, a former member of the Trilateral Commission’s Executive Committee, who at an event to mark 25 years of the institution remarked how ‘international interdependence requires new and more intensive forms of international cooperation to counteract economic and political nationalism‘.

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Climate action shouldn’t mean choosing between personal and political responsibility

Climate action shouldn’t mean choosing between personal and political responsibility

© fotografixx / iStock

Can your individual behaviour make a real difference to the environment? And should you be expected to voluntarily change your life in the face of our worsening environmental crises? Some argue this emphasis on personal responsibility is a distraction from the real culprits: companies and governments.

We often treat the decisions to find alternative ways of living more sustainably and to pursue political resistance against big polluters and inactive governments as separate. But our recent research found that the relationship between alternatives and resistance is really far more complex. One can often lead to the other.

Previous studies have shown that taking individual responsibility for the environment or developing green alternatives often go hand in hand with political action. Our research suggests that this relationship can form over time, and that when people change their lifestyles for environmental reasons this can galvanise their political action more generally. But we also found that this doesn’t always happen and that bringing the two together can be difficult.

Our first study, carried out with Soetkin Verhaegen of UCLouvain in Belgium, looked at the environmental actions of a group of over 1,500 politically interested Belgians between 2017 and 2018. We found that citizens who took individual actions such as buying ethical products, changing how they travelled or producing their own food or energy, became more politically active over time. This included interacting with political institutions (for example, contacting elected politicians) and other actions such as taking part in protests.

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2000 vs. 2020: The Role Of Monetary And Fiscal Policies In Stock Market Cycles

2000 vs. 2020: The Role Of Monetary And Fiscal Policies In Stock Market Cycles

The equity market of 2020 has some of the lofty valuation features that showed up at the peak of 2000 cycle. Yet, a key difference is the accommodative stance of monetary and fiscal policies nowadays versus the restrictive stance of 2000. So, the key question for investors is how does the monetary and fiscal policy backdrop influence the investment outlook? Do friendly policies create the potential for even more elevated valuations, to last longer, or is it merely a mirage shifting the focus of investors attentions to the upfront benefits and away from the longer term fundamentals of earnings and portfolio risks?

Equity Markets 2020 vs. 2000

There are a number of macro measures that are often used to assess how expensive or cheap the equity markets are at any point in time. None of these are hard barriers that can’t be exceeded – as all records in finance (like in sports) tend to get broken eventually – but they do offer a perspective on the market valuation relative to past cycles.

For example, the S&P 500 price to sales ratio hit a record high of 2.16 at the beginning of 2000 and has now been exceeded for the first time by the current reading of 2.25X.

Similarly, the market valuation of domestic companies to Nominal GDP – a metric that compares equity prices to overall economic growth – stood at a record 1.85X in 2000 and at the start of 2020 it is estimated that this metric has matched or slightly exceeded the highs of 2000.

Both of these measures suggest that the equity market is expensive. But, critics would argue that favorable monetary and fiscal backdrop makes these measures less excessive than they appear at first glance.

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Farewell to Paper Money?

Farewell to Paper Money?

paper money

A decade or more ago, I began to discuss with associates the possibility of governments and banks colluding to eliminate physical cash. Back then, the idea struck most everyone as poppycock, that governments could never get away with it.

I didn’t write on the subject until 2015, when several countries had begun to limit the amount of money a depositor could extract from his bank account. At that point, the prospect that central banks might conceivably eliminate cash was looking less like an alarmist fantasy, and it became possible to write on the nascent issue.

In a nutshell, today, in most of the world’s most prominent countries, the people who control banking are the same people who pull the strings in government. A cashless system therefore seemed to me to be a natural, as it dramatically increased both profit and power for both banking and government – an opportunity that can’t be passed up.

The Benefit to Banking

Some banks have been delving into negative interest rates, which is a euphemism for charging you to keep your money in the bank, so that they can loan it out for their own profit. You actually lose money annually by having it on deposit.

Of course, some people accept negative interest rates in order to retain the imagined safety of having their cash in a bank vault, rather than at home. Others tolerate it because they value the convenience of using ATMs and chequing.

But anyone else may simply decide to store their money at home and save the “reverse interest” charges.

But what if cash were eliminated? No one would have a choice. They’d have to have a bank account and use it for all transactions, or they couldn’t purchase goods or pay bills.

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

Governments Need to Face Reality — the Fossil Fuel Industry Is Collapsing

Governments Need to Face Reality — the Fossil Fuel Industry Is Collapsing

From Saudi Arabia to Alberta, the numbers are clear. But we still shovel taxpayers’ money at oil and gas companies.

oilsands-syncrude.jpg
Government still subsidizes the oil and gas industry, even as the Bank of Canada warns of investment risks. Photo by jasonwoodhead23, Creative Commons license CC BY 2.0.

While Canadian politicians keep up their parochial posturing, a global storm is brewing.

Around the world there is early evidence of a seismic shift. Capital is moving away from fossil fuels, and regions that have let their economies become dependent on oil revenues are showing signs of authoritarian abuses of power. (Sound familiar Alberta?)

Saudi Arabia, for example, planned to sell up to five per cent of state-owned oil company Aramco in what was supposed to be the largest IPO in history, raising $100 billion to improve services and diversify the economy.

Instead, the sale has been scaled back. Only 1.5 per cent of the company will be sold, and the share offering may only raise $25 billion — enough to cover the Saudi government deficit for about six months. 

The precarious balance in Saudi society is maintained through lavish government spending that has relied on oil prices of $85 a barrel to drive revenues. But Brent oil prices have not been at that level in the last five years. Saudi Arabia is running deficits of around $60 billion a year to maintain services — and head off unrest.

Former CIA director David Petraeus noted ominously, “It’s a fact that Saudi Arabia is gradually running out of money.”

Even though Aramco is the most profitable company on the planet, with proven reserves of 270 billion barrels of the world’s cheapest oil, private equity investors so far have taken a pass on the IPO. Oil is a cyclical business, but their reluctance is not due to downturn slump in the sector. The reasons investors snubbed the sale seem more existential.

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The Greatest Swindle in American History… And How They’ll Try It Again Soon

The Greatest Swindle in American History… And How They’ll Try It Again Soon

property taxes

International Man: Before 1913 there was no income tax, and the United States was a much freer country. Initially, the government sold the federal income tax to the American people as something only the rich would have to pay.

Jeff Thomas: Yes, exactly. It always begins this way. The average person is always happy to see the rich taken down a peg, so this makes the introduction of the concept of theft by the government more palatable. Once people have gotten used to the concept and accept it as being perfectly reasonable, then it’s time to begin to drop the bar as to who “the rich” are. Ultimately, the middle class are always the real target.

International Man: The top bracket in 1913 kicked in at $500,000 (equivalent to around $12 million today), and the tax rate for it was only 7%. The government taxed those making up to $20,000 (equivalent to around $475,000 today) at only 1% – that’s one percent.

Jeff Thomas: Any good politician understands that you begin with the thin end of the wedge, then expand upon that as soon as you feel you can get away with it. The speed at which the tax rises is commensurate with the level of tolerance of the people. And in different eras, the same nation may have a different mindset. The more domination a people have come to accept from their government, the faster the pillaging can be expanded.

As an example, the Stamp Tax that King George III placed upon the American colonies in the eighteenth century was very small indeed – less than two percent – but the colonists were very independent people, asking little from the king in the way of assistance, and instead, relying upon themselves for their well-being. Such self-reliant people tend to be very touchy as regards confiscations by governments, and even two percent was more than they would tolerate.

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

Personal Politics, Public Impeachment, Persuasion and Post-Apocalyptic Planning

Personal Politics, Public Impeachment, Persuasion and Post-Apocalyptic Planning

One of my primary concerns regarding the forthcoming economic chaos and societal breakdown is that there will be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. As normalcy bias evaporates like tears on dehydrated sunken cheeks, hungry neighbors and pre-collapse friends and acquaintances will soon assimilate into zombie hoards and come knocking like its Halloween.

What are you going to do? Shoot them?

Regardless, saying “I told you so” or “I tried to warn you, but you didn’t listen” will not be an effective deterrent. Furthermore, the resultant chaos will also deliver local strongmen and gangs ready to thieve and plunder amidst widespread violence and starvation.

In such a scenario, any lone bananas are sure to be skinned.

Are you ready?

Because very few will have the opportunity to bug out to a remote location and surprisingly, an isolated cabin in the woods, or a fenced-off hidden homestead in a rural area may not be best after all.  Take it from Fernando Ferfal Aguirre, who survived the economic collapse in Argentina.  In his book, “Surviving the Economic Collapse”, he described geographic areas as like organisms dying; where the extremities perish first. Aguirre identifies the urban areas as the safer places to work, trade, and live; with the rural areas as targets for roving gangs to raid and set up camp out of the reach of city services, police, and fire departments.

Therefore, since we know the endgame, what if we could parlay that into building trust with others now?   Perhaps entire regions could be fortified in a balkanized America, simply by reorganizing current civil administrations.  All that would be required would be for the heads of select institutions and agencies to work in coordination, quickly, and decisively as the proverbial excrement collides into the whirling flabellum. Roving bands, gangs, cartels, and feral feds, might then decide to move on to easier targets.

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

Strangers in a Strange Land

Strangers in a Strange Land

“Secrecy begets tyranny.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

Image result for secrecy begets tyranny

“Thinking doesn’t pay. Just makes you discontented with what you see around you.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

When I read quotes by men like H.L. Mencken and Robert Heinlein, I realize I’m not really a stranger in a strange land, even though I feel that way most of the time. These cynical, critical thinking, libertarian minded gentlemen understood government tended towards corruption and tyranny, the populace tended towards ignorance and distraction, and reality eventually teaches a harsh lesson to fools, knaves and dumbasses.

Sometimes we think the current day worldly circumstances are new and original, when human nature, politicians, and governments never really change. When Mencken and Heinlein were writing and providing social commentary during the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, they observed the same fallacies, foolishness, lack of self-responsibility, government malfeasance, and inability of the majority to think critically, that are rampant in society today.

The quotes above, written during the 1950s, are even more pertinent today. As the ongoing Surveillance State attempted coup against president Trump approaches its denouement, the fabric of this country is being torn asunder. It is the secrecy in which the Deep State has operated without oversight which has led to government tyranny. Julian Assange and Edward Snowden exposed the secrets of powerful interests operating within the CIA, NSA, FBI, White House, Congress and military industrial complex, revealing the malevolent disregard for the Constitutional rights of American citizens and wielding of power for power’s sake.

The collection of all electronic communications by Americans by all-powerful, unaccountable Deep State psychopaths is worse than anything conceived by Orwell in 1984. 

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

The Globalists Have Declared War On Your Savings

The Globalists Have Declared War On Your Savings


The globalists are coming for your savings in order to “save” the economy. 

When any one of the plethora of bubbles burst – pick your poison – and the next financial crisis impacts Wall Street and Main Street, how will the central banks and federal governments react? They have fired all their unconventional rounds of bullets, from subzero interest rates to vast money-printing. One other proposal could conceivably be giving your deposits a haircut, much like what occurred in Cyprus following the recession. This dyspeptic vision is not hyperbole nor is it paranoia – the tariffs have raised the price of tinfoil! It is unfolding right now as our globalist overlords are executing, or at least entertaining, fiscal and monetary measures to confiscate your wealth – directly or indirectly.

Plugging Holes In Swiss Cheese

Switzerland is one of the few European nations to record a federal budget surplus. The budget for the fiscal year 2020 will record a $615 million surplus, despite imposing pension and tax reforms that slashed revenues and raised spending. The Swiss government is handcuffed by a so-called debt brake, a balanced-budget amendment that mandates the budget to be in balance throughout the business cycle. This policy has decreased the debt-to-gross domestic product ratio to nearly 25%.

Although national debt levels are still at multi-decade highs, the fact that the government is taking red ink seriously should be music to the ears of fiscal conservatives. But to others, it is headache-inducing.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published a new report that lamented on the nation’s unwillingness to spend like some of its European partners. Authors stated that the Swiss are saving too much and spending too little, despite possessing the third-highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of all OECD members. It asserted that policymakers could “increase expenditures” within the debt brake framework that “would serve monetary policy, and economic and social positive impact.”

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UN Envoy’s Grim Warning Over Assange’s Life

UN Envoy’s Grim Warning Over Assange’s Life 

A United Nations expert in torture diagnosis has in the past week issued a stark warning that Australian whistleblower Julian Assange is in danger of dying from extreme prison conditions in Britain.

It is testimony to the rank hypocrisy of British and American governments who lecture others around the world about democracy, human rights and international law.

One can only imagine the hysterical outcry among Western governments and media if somehow Assange was being detained in a Russian prison.

The 48-year-old Assange has been held in a maximum-security prison in London since April this year when he was forcibly removed from the Ecuadorean embassy. His arrest was itself a staggering breach of international law. Assange had been confined to the embassy for nearly seven years where he sought asylum to avoid being extradited to the US.

He should have been released on September 22 when his sentence for a past bail infringement had been served out. Instead, a British judge has ordered Assange to be detained until the extradition trial to the US gets underway next year. If Assange is extradited to the US he is facing 175 years in prison if convicted for espionage. Few would believe that he will receive a fair trial in Britain or the US. He has been denied due process of consulting with his defense lawyers.

Assange’s “espionage” charge stems from the fact that his whistleblower site Wikileaks published volumes of damning information exposing massive US and NATO war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. His publications of leaked data also exposed Western diplomatic malfeasance in several countries, as well as illegal global spying on citizens by US intelligence agencies in collusion with British counterparts.

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The Economic Crash So Far: A Look At The Real Numbers

economy crash

The Economic Crash So Far: A Look At The Real Numbers

There are many problems when attempting to track a faltering economy. For one, the people in government generally do not want the public to know when the system is in decline because this looks bad for them. They prefer to rig statistical indicators as much as possible and hope that no one notices. When the crash occurs, they then claim that “no one saw it coming” and the disaster “came out of nowhere”, so how could they be to blame?

I have even heard it argued that political leaders, including the president, have a “duty” to lie about the state of the economy because once they admit to the decline they will cause a panic and perpetuate the crisis. This is stupidity. If an economic system is in disrepair and is built on a faulty foundation, then the problems should be identified and fixed immediately. The weak businesses should be culled, not bailed out. The wasteful government spending should be cut, not increased. The downturn should not be hidden and prolonged for years or decades. In most cases, this only makes the inevitable crash far worse and more damaging.

Another factor, which some people might call “conspiracy theory” – but it has been proven time and time again in history – is that the money elites have a tendency to engineer economic disasters while deliberately hiding the real statistics from the public. Why? Well, if the real data was widely disseminated, then a crash would not be much of a surprise and the populace could be prepared for it. I suspect the elites hide the data because they WANT the crash to be a surprise. The bigger the shock, the bigger the psychological effect on the masses. This fear and confusion allows them to make changes in the power structure of a nation or of the entire world that they would not be able to accomplish otherwise.

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Keystone attitudes and policies of enough

Keystone attitudes and policies of enough


In the previous blog post, I asserted that states and international governance bodies need to make systemic or upstream interventions to foster stability and security in economy and society. where they have high leverage potential. Then, governance needs to continue to respond intelligently to what arises. 

In Enough is Plenty, I conceptualised some of the high-leverage interventions as ‘keystones’ or keystone policies. I examined Carbon Caps with Sharing built in, such as Cap and Share ; structural support for Intelligent Agriculture;  Basic Income; and Land-Value Taxes

These policies are not the only ones that could be implemented, but they would be good place to start and are all do-able immediately in our present context. Others, such as the implementation of non-debt money systems, require a bigger stretch of the imagination for most people. The principles or attitudes behind these keystone policy frameworks are stability, sufficiency for all, equity, and an emphasis on the health of the whole system; these should be the primary goal of all governments, lawmakers and citizens when advocating or implementing policies.

Healthy ecological systems always have keystone species. Biologists take the idea of the keystone from architecture, where the keystone is the tapered stone at the top of an arch. Without it, the whole arch would collapse. In the natural world, certain species function as keystones in their ecosystems. For instance, alligators in the Florida Everglades create ‘gator holes’ which fill up with water and provide a habitat for a diversity of smaller creatures. If the alligators disappear, then all those smaller creatures also die out. Green cover crops are keystone species for soil health, and soil in turn sustains all food production. We need keystone policies that are underpinned by a vision of a rich social, personal and economic habitat for people.

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There Are Things Worth Fighting For, And Fates Far Worse Than Death

There Are Things Worth Fighting For, And Fates Far Worse Than Death

Activism in the liberty movement often requires a painful examination of details. We look at political and economic trends, identify inconsistencies in the mainstream narrative, point out inevitable outcomes of disaster or attempts at collectivist power, and ask – “Who benefits?” Ultimately, the analysts and activists with any sense of observation come to the same conclusion: There is a contingent of financial elites embedded within the political world and the corporate world that have a specific ideology and malicious goals. They create most geopolitical and economic crisis events using puppets in government as well as influence in central banking. They then turn the consequences of these events to their advantage.

This group is identified by their intent as well as their associations. Their intent is utter dominance through globalism to the point that national borders are erased and all trade and governance flows through a single one-world edifice that they seek to control. As Richard N. Gardner, former deputy assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations under Kennedy and Johnson, and a member of the Trilateral Commission, wrote in the April, 1974 issue of the Council on Foreign Relation’s (CFR) journal Foreign Affairs (pg. 558) in an article titled ‘The Hard Road To World Order’:

In short, the ‘house of world order’ will have to be built from the bottom up rather than from the top down. It will look like a great ‘booming, buzzing confusion,’ to use William James’ famous description of reality, but an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece, will accomplish much more than the old-fashioned frontal assault.”

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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