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Intelwars Trends & News

California public health wants children in solitary confinement

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice.

White People Shouldn’t Translate Black Poetry

Amanda Gorman— a poet who happens to be Black— rose to notoriety after speaking at President Biden’s inauguration.

She is publishing a book of poetry, which will be translated into Dutch.

Gorman chose a female Dutch author to translate her work, but a Dutch activist journalist had other plans.

She rallied the woke mobsters to express their disgust that a White woman would be translating the work of a Black poet.

After the backlash, the white translator pulled out and decided she will not translate the book of poetry.

Apparently to be woke, we have to segregate poetry.

Click here to read the full story.

California Demands Solitary Confinement for Kids Exposed to Covid

A regional health department in California issued guidelines telling parents what to do if their child has been exposed to a classmate with Covid-19.

Health officials recommend that children be kept in solitary confinement for two weeks without contact with family members. These children should be forced to eat separately from the rest of the family, and wear a mask when they leave their bedroom jail cell.

Keep in mind this is the recommendation “if your child does not have any symptoms,” has NOT tested positive for Covid, and simply may have come into contact with someone who was positive for Covid.

Sadly, some parents will follow this insane advice, and leave physiological scars on their children far worse than anything Covid would do to them.

Click here to see the guidelines.

School Employee Fired for Refusing to Perform Wakanda Salute

A group of school superintendents in New York City routinely posed for the “Wakanda salute” at the end of their meetings.

Wakanda is the fictional, technologically advanced African nation from the Marvel comic universe made popular in Black Panther and the Avengers movies.

But one superintendent— a “Black/Afro Latina Hispanic woman— thought the salute introduced unnecessary racial division, and refused to perform it.

She was “admonished and told that it was inappropriate for her not to participate in the black power /Wakanda/ Black Panther Salute.”

Then, after having been employed by the district for nearly three decades, she was fired. The reason given was that the school district is “moving in a new direction.”

(She later reached a deal with the district to instead be demoted in order to keep her retirement benefits.)

So the woke mob is now victimizing Black women in the name of racial justice. Makes sense.

Click here to read the lawsuit.

Gay Dad Not Diverse Enough for San Francisco Parent Advisory Committee

The San Francisco schools’ Parent Advisory Committee recently spent two hours debating about allowing a gay white male father onto the committee.

They ultimately rejected him because he did not add enough diversity to the all female committee.

The race-obsessed committee at one point during the meeting read off their racial demographics as if these were credentials:

“I’ll give you the breakdown now. Currently the P.A.C has two African-American parents, one Asian-American parent, three Latinx parent, one pacific islander parent and three white parents. Currently all of those are women.”

Clearly this is more important than the content of one’s character.

Click here to read the full story.

Canada Post Suspends Mail Delivery to Mask-less Residents

The Canada Post is a “Crown corporation,” which means it is a government agency which functions as a private corporation. But it will soon require tax subsidies to function, plus taxpayers are on the hook for the agency’s more than $5 billion of underfunded pensions.

After residents were seen without masks in the common area of their apartment building, the Canada Post suspended mail delivery to the complex.

And the apartment complex will no longer receive the government service until all residents wear masks in common areas at all times.

Click here to read the full story.

Seattle Shelter Offers Tax-Funded Heroin Pipes

A tax-funded Seattle homeless shelter is advertising free pipes to help homeless people more easily and safely use heroin.

One flier at the shelter states, “Smoking is a lower risk alternative to injection. Give it a try!”

Another poster instructs homeless addicts to ask the front desk about “booty bumping kits,” which is apparently a method of injecting drugs anally.

Your tax dollars hard at work.

Click here to read the full story.

New Hampshire Bill Would Empower Mask Nazis

A bill introduced in the New Hampshire legislature carries the catchy title: “Establishing a criminal penalty for an assault committed against a person who is conveying public health or safety guidance or requirements during a declared state of emergency.”

That’s a mouthful. But it basically says that the bill is intended to outlaw assault against people not wearing a mask. Except that’s not what it does.

Instead, the bill makes a criminal out of anyone who “refuses to comply” if someone asks them to put on a mask.

You can feel all the Karens’ excitement growing over their pending new powers.

Click here to read the full bill .

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Intelwars International Diversification Strategies

28 trillion reasons to have a Plan B

At the close of business on Monday March 1st, just a few days ago, the US national debt crossed $28 trillion for the first time in history.

To the penny, in fact, the national debt hit $28,004,376,276,999.35.

And bear in mind that figure doesn’t include the $1.9 trillion in ‘Covid stimulus’ that Uncle Sam is about to pass, let alone all the other deficit spending that they were already expecting for this current fiscal year.

So you can already see how the debt will quickly rocket past $30 trillion in no time at all.

It’s noteworthy that it took the United States more than two centuries to accumulate its first trillion dollars in debt– a milestone first reached on October 22, 1981.

In those two centuries (74,984 days, to be exact), the US fought two world wars, battled the Spanish Flu pandemic, dealt with the Great Depression, waged Cold War against the Soviet Union, fought the Civil War against itself, put a man on the moon, etc. before breaching $1 trillion in debt.

This most recent trillion of debt took a mere 152 days to accumulate.

Think about that: nearly 75,000 days for the first trillion, 152 days for the last trillion.

Even more startling, it was only September 2017 that the national debt first crossed the $20 trillion milestone.

So when the debt undoubtedly hits $30 trillion over the next few months, that means it will have grown $10 trillion in less than four years.

And there is absolutely no end in sight. The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve are both in lockstep fanaticism: no amount of debt is too much, no amount of money printing is too much.

They find it perfectly logical for the government to restrain large portions of the economy and provide financial incentives for people to be economically unproductive, but then make up the difference by printing money and going into debt.

They have zero regard for the long-term financial consequences of their decisions, let alone the social and psychological impacts.

If you agree with them, that the United States and other western nations can continue to rack up infinite quantities of debt and expand the money supply with wanton abandon, and that there will never be any consequences forever and ever until the end of time, then I encourage you to do nothing.

But for rational, thinking people, there are now 28 trillion reasons to have a Plan B.

Remember, the entire purpose behind a Plan B is to put yourself in a position of strength regardless of what happens (or doesn’t happen) next.

For example, there is no downside to taking completely legitimate steps to legally reduce your taxes. Or to setup a more robust structure so you can set aside more money for retirement.

These are both great Plan B tools. They put you in a position of strength regardless of what happens, or doesn’t happen, next.

Another one is ensuring that, no matter what, you will always have another place to go– some other country where you have the full legal rights to live, work, invest, and bring your family.

One way to do that which we talk about a lot is second citizenship.

A second citizenship can be obtained in a number of ways– for example, if you have parents or grandparents from certain countries like Ireland, Poland, or Italy.

Or you can acquire citizenship from some countries (like St. Lucia or Dominica) by making a financial investment or official donation in that country.

And you can also obtain citizenship by first obtaining legal residency and going through a formal naturalization process.

Citizenship is great, because it comes with a passport— an extra travel document which can open doors all around the world, from visa-free travel to helping you open financial accounts overseas.

Plus, citizenship typically passes on to children and grandchildren, which means the work you do now to obtain a second passport can benefit generations to come.

But just one step down from citizenship is obtaining a second residency; this is where you go through the formal process of obtaining legal residency in a foreign country.

In Panama, for example, most people can easily become residents by setting up a corporation— even a dormant one— and depositing about $10,000 in a local bank account, though the ‘Friendly Nations Visa’.

Other countries, like Barbados or Bermuda, are currently offering one year residency, with the option to renew, to qualifying digital nomads or remote workers.

Mexico is another great option because legal residency is relatively easy and inexpensive to obtain. And there are so many ways to do so.

For example, I’ve learned recently that, for anyone who gives birth to a child in Mexico, the baby automatically becomes a Mexican citizen.

But the parents instantly become lifelong permanent residents of Mexico… with the ability to become citizens through naturalization in just two years.

What’s even more interesting is that extended family (like the baby’s grandparents) are eligible to become permanent residents of Mexico as well.

It’s an interesting approach to consider if you’re thinking about having kids.

Of course, Mexico might not be the right option for you– but there are countless others. Both Brazil and Chile, for example, also grant citizenship to any children born on their soil. Dozens of other countries do too.

Or if you’re retired and no longer in your child bearing years, you could quickly obtain permanent residency in Mexico as a retiree. Or you could become a legal resident of a number of European countries by purchasing qualifying real estate through their ‘Golden Visa’ programs.

And that’s the great thing about a Plan B: no matter what your personal circumstances, there’s literally a whole world of options that you can customize for yourself.

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Intelwars investing

Warren Buffett: “Retirees face a bleak future”

Warren Buffett minced no words in his most recent annual shareholder letter (which came out over the weekend) when he told investors that “retirees face a bleak future.”

Buffett was referring to the pitifully low interest rates that dominate fixed income investments (like bonds and annuities).

In September 1981, he writes, investors could buy a 10-year US government bond yielding nearly 16%.

Now, inflation was a lot higher in the 1980s than it is today. But even after adjusting for inflation, the average annual yield for any investor who held that 1981 bond to maturity over the next decade would have been 5.7% per year.

Today, that same 10 year bond yields just 1.4%. But the official inflation rate in the United States is also 1.4%. This means that, after adjusting for inflation, your net yield today is ZERO.

What’s even more incredible is that there are obvious signs inflation may be on the rise; for example, the most recent Producer Price Index of wholesale price inflation reached its highest level since 2009.

Yet simultaneously the Federal Reserve keeps saying that they want to keep interest rates low. And they’re doing their best to push the 10-year yield even lower than 1.4%.

In other words, inflation could go higher, and interest rates lower. So anyone who buys bonds will actually suffer a negative yield after adjusting for inflation.

And this is precisely what Buffett was talking about.

Retirees– along with pension funds and charitable endowments– often buy fixed income investments (like bonds) because of their perceived safety and predictability.

The stock market can be all over the map. Some days it’s up, some days it’s down. But bonds (in theory) are stable investments that pay a fixed sum of cash, every single month or quarter.

But it’s gotten to the point now that those ‘safe’ investments can actually cost you money, especially after adjusting for inflation.

Anyone who actually wants to earn a halfway decent return on investment must now seek out riskier and more volatile assets.

Stocks are the next best choice for most people. But the stock market has become absurdly overpriced. There are still undervalued gems, but they’re more and more difficult to find.

Coca Cola is a great example of how overpriced the market is; Coke’s earnings actually peaked in 2010, more than a decade ago. At that time, the company earned $2.53 per share and had $14 billion in long-term debt.

Its earnings have been in decline ever since. Last year Coca Cola earned $1.79 per share, a decline of 30% from its peak in 2010. And over the same period its long-term debt has nearly tripled to $40 billion.

Revenue is down, earnings are down, free cash flow is down, debt is up. Any rational person would look at this data and conclude that Coca Cola’s stock price should have been in the dumps since 2010.

But that’s not the case. Coke stock has more than doubled, and it’s not far off from its all-time high.

This makes absolutely no sense, yet it exemplifies the sorts of risks that stock market investors have to take today, simply because– as the saying goes– “There is no alternative.”

If interest rates were at normal levels, no sane investor would pay record high prices for a declining business. But this is what people feel compelled to do with their money now because it doesn’t seem like they have any other option.

Buffett knows this, and he has routinely lamented the overpriced stock market for the past few years in his annual letters, along with outrageous fees charged by big funds and Wall Street investment banks.

To Buffett, stocks aren’t securities to be traded. Instead, they represent shares in a business, and shareholders should view themselves as partners in that business. And the best investments are “wonderful,” well-managed businesses that can be acquired at a discount.

This year Buffett summarized his ethos by saying:

Productive assets such as farms, real estate, and yes, business ownership, produce wealth– lots of it. Most owners of such properties will be rewarded.”

One issue Buffett didn’t mention in this annual report is the sad state of finances for nearly every pension fund in the world… and that makes retirement prospects even more bleak.

Social Security, for example, is underfunded by tens of trillions of dollars according to the program’s Trustees (which include the Treasury Secretary of the United States).

Social Security’s finances have been so mismanaged that the trust funds are set to run out of money as early as 2029. And it’s not like the federal government (which already runs a multi-trillion dollar deficit) is in any position to bail out the program.

So retirees really do face bleak prospects.

This isn’t intended to be a downer, but hopefully a call to action. Because there’s plenty you can do about it.

Only a handful of people in the world have the ability to set interest rates and inflation policy, or to manage Social Security back to health. Chances are you’re not one of them. Neither am I.

But we do have the power to use every tool at our disposal to fix these challenges for ourselves.

And that’s the bottom line: unless you want to be like Buffett and still be working in your 90s, you absolutely have to set aside more money for retirement.

There are plenty of ways to do that. For example, anyone with the ability to generate side income can set up a solo 401(k) and set aside north of $50,000 per year for retirement in an incredibly tax advantaged way.

That side income can be just about anything; you could sell products on Amazon, start your own website, consult, drive for Uber, flip real estate, etc.

Whatever your talents and skills are (and I’m sure they’re numerous), you can set up a robust retirement structure and dramatically boost your retirement savings.

You just need the right information… and the willingness to take action.

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Intelwars Trends & News

China “Accidentally” uses Anal Swabs tests on US Diplomats

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice.

China “Accidentally” uses Covid anal swab tests on US Diplomats

In January we mentioned that China began using anal swab Covid tests on school children, claiming they were more accurate than the nasal swab method.

China also requires the intrusive (by about 2-3 inches) tests on certain travelers coming into the country.

Recently, a group of US diplomats and their family members reported that they were subjected to the anal swabs.

In response, China at first claimed that the tests were given in error. But later they backtracked and denied that they had ever required anal swabs for US diplomats.

But the diplomats weren’t aren’t dropping the issue, and they’ve appealed to the US State Department— which has already said it is committed to preserving the “dignity” of US diplomats and their families.

Wonderful! So we can all agree that the test is totally undignified. But if that’s the case, why is “dignity” only reserved for government officials?

Sounds like this is another case of rules for thee, and not for me.

Click here to read the full story.

Coca-Cola Trains Employees to “Be Less White”

Coca-Cola decided it’s employees needed some reeducation on diversity and inclusion, so the company required employees to take a Linked-In course on the subject.

Part of that course involved a lesson from the author of White Fragility, called “Confronting Racism.” It instructed employees to be “less white, less arrogant, less certain, less defensive, less ignorant, and more humble.”

Coca-Cola said that this particular lesson was not part of its required course, it simply appeared on the same Linked-In module on diversity training. Employees dispute this claim.

Regardless, this was a course that plenty of companies apparently thought was entirely appropriate to push on employees in the workplace.

Linked-In is removing the “Confronting Racism” course from its diversity curriculum after the backlash.

Click here to read the full story.

Muppet Show hit with offensive content warning

Disney recently began adding offensive content labels to certain old shows and movies available on its online streaming platforms.

Disney decided that instead of completely censoring content, it would instead warn viewers in advance.

Now that offensive content warning has been placed on The Muppet Show.

Apparently the classic children’s show featuring puppets like Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy “includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures.”

As Disney explains, “Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.”

The warning does not specify exactly what is offensive about the Muppets, so we are left to guess.

Click here to read the full story.

Being offensive is an offence” UK police tell community

Police in the UK recently unveiled a billboard that read , “Being offensive is an offence,” as part of a campaign to encourage more people to report hate crimes.

After a backlash, police clarified that, no, technically just being offensive isn’t illegal.

But in reality, the definition of a hate crime is so loose, that it includes, “verbal and written online abuse.”

That’s probably why there were over 105,000 “hate crimes” in England and Wales last year.

Click here to read the full story.

Man offered Covid vaccine because doctors thought he was 6 cm tall

An apparently healthy British man was confused when the UK’s socialized healthcare system offered him a priority Covid vaccine meant for sick people.

Turns out, doctors has his height listed as 6cm, which gave him a body mass index of 28,000 (40 is considered morbidly obese). Apparently no one thought that was strange.

But, sure, we should probably give the government bureaucracy more control over our healthcare.

Click here to read the full story.

Joe Biden: China’s genocide against its own people just “different norms”

For more than five years, the Chinese Communist Party has imprisoned more than 1 million people in internment camps. Their crime? Being born in China as a member of the minority Uighur ethnic group.

The aim of Chinese President Xi Jinping (aka Winnie the Pooh) is to reeducate these heinous criminals until he can be sure of their loyalty to China’s national ideology.

Anyone with more than two braincells can see that this is active, evil oppression. Yet even the wokest of the woke out there turn a blind eye.

In the credits of its recent live action film Mulan, for example, Disney thanked the Chinese government for all of its wonderful support, despite having filmed the movie in the same province as the Uighur prison camps.

So… according to Disney’s woke logic, Muppets = bad, but Chinese ethnocide = good.

More alarmingly, in a CNN town hall meeting last week, President Biden was asked if he brought the issue up in a recent conversation he had with Winnie the Pooh.

While initially he made some vague comment that “we must speak up for human rights,” he then went on to justify China’s oppression as an attempted to become “unified at home”.

He continued, saying “I’m not going to speak out against what he’s doing in Hong Kong, what he’s doing with the Uighers. . . culturally there are different norms that each country and their leaders are expected to follow.”

An astonished Anderson Cooper asked the question again to Joe Biden, asking him to clarify his comments, upon which Biden deflected, stating merely that it’s a complicated issue and he shouldn’t try to explain it.

Click here to watch the video.

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Intelwars Trends & News

“Nobody owes more than the law demands.”

There used to be a show from the 90s called America’s Funniest Home Videos, where host Bog Sagat would show silly home movies that people sent in from across the country.

The videos typically featured people doing stupid things. And if the video was funny enough, someone could have won the $100,000 grand prize.

All of that was pre-Internet, of course. Now there are people amassing fortunes on YouTube with audiences that rival hit TV shows.

Today, a nine year old boy named Ryan Koji is the highest earning YouTuber. Last year he raked an estimated $30 million from about 12 billion views, all from videos of him opening and playing with toys on camera for his 42 million subscribers.

Another YouTuber named Logan Paul earns $10-$15 million per year, just being generally annoying and obnoxious on camera.

But he certainly doesn’t keep that much money, because he lives in California. So between federal and state taxes, his income tax burden is around 50%.

And Logan Paul said that high tax rate is the main reason that he is moving to Puerto Rico.

He’s applied for a tax incentive we have discussed many times: most, if not all of Paul’s income should qualify under the Export Services Act (now called Chapter 3 of Act 60) to be subject to just a 4% corporate tax rate. That could save him $5-7 million PER YEAR.

According to the rules, he will still have to pay himself a reasonable salary. But even that amount will only be subject to Puerto Rico’s top income tax rate of 33%.

The rest will be taxed by Puerto Rico at 4%. And his US federal tax rate will be ZERO.

That’s because bona fide residents of Puerto Rico, a US territory, don’t owe federal taxes on income that’s sourced in Puerto Rico.

And that makes Puerto Rico a phenomenal tax option for US citizens; it’s one of the easiest ways that investors and entrepreneurs can legally slash their taxes.

Like any place, Puerto Rico has advantages and disadvantages. The infrastructure is horrendous, and government corruption is so profane it’s almost comical.

But I’ve been living here under the same tax incentives for a couple of years now, and I can honestly say that the benefits definitely outweigh the drawbacks.

And over the last year there’s been a surge of people moving here, mostly from the US. They’re business owners, entertainers (including some hip hop stars), fund managers, and self-employed professionals (like doctors, lawyers, etc.)

They’re pretty much all here for the tax benefits. They expect taxes in the US, both at the federal and state levels, to increase. So moving here is a no brainer.

It’s not like you need to be earning millions of dollars to benefit from these tax incentives either. There are plenty of location-independent, middle class workers living down here, many who came during the pandemic.

They have regular jobs, and basically asked their employers to start paying their Puerto Rican companies. And, poof, overnight, their tax rate went to 4%.

It’s not just Americans; in Europe, many people have found that one of their best options to save on taxes is moving to Andorra– a tiny independent nation with a population under 80,000 nestled in the mountains between France and Spain.

Andorra’s tax rate is just 10% and the country has fast fiber optic Internet; and that’s one of the reasons why Andorra has become popular with YouTubers.

In fact several Spanish YouTubers moved to Andorra recently, escaping Spain’s 54% top income tax rate.

In response, Spanish media unleashed an onslaught of hatred, condemning the YouTubers as unpatriotic.

One popular television personality said, “I think it’s unsupportive. Railroads and pensions have to be paid for.” And another newspaper published an article criticizing a fitness star’s “unlikely excuses” for moving to Andorra– as if she needs to justify her personal decision to move.

Of course, some YouTube celebrities thrive on controversy, and they’re likely hoping to face criticism for their decision to avoid taxes in a completely LEGAL way.

Logan Paul, for example, explained to his audience:

“It’s getting crazy here in California you know, paying taxes and for what? Because, the potholes in the streets are not fixed. There are homeless people everywhere, a dearth of employment, Covid not handled the right way… I don’t love it.”

And that’s the real point. It would be one thing if the taxes you paid were curing cancer. But they’re not.

Tax dollars are, at best, being squandered by an inefficient bureaucracy. At worst, they’re being used to oppress the very people who pay those taxes.

There is no moral obligation to pay more, when there are legal ways to pay less.

A famous judge named Learned Hand settled this long ago when he wrote:

Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes… there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible… nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands.

Moving is one of the ways to legally reduce what you owe. But that doesn’t mean you have to move across the ocean.

Sometimes it makes a big difference to simply move to a different city, province, or state, like leaving California or New York, for Texas and Florida.

But even if you’re not willing to move, there are still ways to legally reduce what you owe.

You could, for example, maximize your deductions, like maximizing contributions to tax efficient retirement accounts.

That one is a no brainer since it delivers the multiple benefits: you can contribute pre-tax income to reduce what you owe, plus you ensure you’re not depending on Social Security program for retirement, which is on track to run out of money by 2029

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Gold is one of the few assets that’s NOT at a record high

On December 24, 1943, in the midst of World War II, General Dwight Eisenhower formally took command of all Allied forces in Europe.

This was a big deal after such a pivotal year.

1943 saw Hitler suffer a devastating loss in Stalingrad; and by the end of the year, he had nearly lost Italy.

The Allies could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Victory was within reach, and they were already working on a plan codenamed Operation Overlord– the invasion of Normandy– that would begin the final push against Hitler in the summer of 1944.

Eisenhower’s appointment was the ultimate admission of US military supremacy; as Supreme allied Commander, he outranked everyone, including British and French generals.

But the US was the natural choice to take charge.

At the time the US government was pumping everything into the war effort. Military spending was already at a record high in 1942, the first full year that the US was involved in World War II.

But by the end of 1943, military spending had tripled.

The US national debt exploded as a result, surpassing 60% of GDP. That was an unconscionable figure, more than twice as much debt than the US racked up during the Civil War, or World War I.

Money was tight, and the Treasury Department did everything it could to raise cash. Tax rates soared, with the highest marginal rate hitting 94%. They were constantly pushing the public to buy War Bonds.

But most importantly, the Federal Reserve vastly expanded the money supply, essentially ‘printing’ whatever money the federal government needed to pay for the war effort.

1943 was a record year for monetary expansion, in fact. “M2 money supply,” a key measure of the amount of money in the financial system, grew more in 1943 than almost any other year in US history, before or since.

And then along came Covid.

Last year the US federal government spent so much money on Covid relief that the national debt increased by an astonishing $4.5 trillion. And they’re about to pass another $1.9 trillion spending package on top of that.

Bear in mind that the Congressional Budget Office’s projected ‘baseline deficit’ for this fiscal year was already more than $1 trillion. So now they’re piling even more on to that amount.

Just like in the 1940s, it’s the Federal Reserve that’s picking up most of the slack.

Last year the Fed printed so much money that M2 money supply increased the most in any year since 1943.

At least in 1943 they were fighting the Nazis; in 2020 they conjured ridiculous sums of money out of thin air to pay people to stay home.

Plus the record-setting money expansion is set to continue this year.

Based on the monetary programs the Fed is already executing, M2 money supply will increase by another $2.3 trillion this year, or roughly 12%.

And that’s before they do anything new. If Covid-21 mysteriously surfaces, or the government decides to spend another $2 trillion in stimulus, or they pass the Green New Everything, the money bubble will expand even further.

I cannot understate this: this extraordinary expansion of the money supply is risky. And the primary risk is inflation.

It’s a simple concept– the more money they create, the less valuable the rest of the money becomes.

And we’re already seeing some early signs of inflation and dollar weakness. For example, the dollar is down against nearly every major currency over the past six months.

Also, last week the Labor Department announced that January’s Producer Price Index reached its highest level in more than a decade.

Plus, several commodities, ranging from copper to cotton to crude oil, have surged in price, with the CRB Commodity Index up 15% so far this year.

Commodities are essentially raw materials that make up the products we consume– everything from mobile phones to new home construction.

So when commodity prices increase, it costs more to produce the goods that we consume… and that often means that companies have to charge us more for their products.

This is inflation.

It’s noteworthy that the Federal Reserve has already announced that they’re willing to allow higher rates of inflation if prices start to rise.

So they’re not even being vague about their intentions.

This raises the obvious question: how is someone supposed to protect their savings at a time when both the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve are waging holy jihad against the dollar?

There is seemingly no amount of money too great to print, no amount of debt that’s off limits.

Typically in an inflationary environment like this, it makes sense to own high quality assets. This is a big reason why the stock market has been doing well.

But a lot of people may be understandably uncomfortable buying stocks at near record-high valuations, i.e. paying 1,000x earnings for a mature, listed business.

The average company in the S&P 500 carries a Price/Earnings ratio of nearly 40 right now, nearly 3x the long-term median. It’s only been higher just prior to the dot-com crash, and the Global Financial Crisis in 2008/2009.

The same goes for real estate; with interest rates so low (again, thanks to the Federal Reserve), the cost to borrow money to buy property is practically nothing. And this has driven up the price of real estate because people can afford to borrow (and pay) more.

Whether stocks, real estate, or anything else, it’s hard to find refuge in an asset that’s already surged to an all-time high.

Ironically, one asset that’s NOT at its all-time high is GOLD. This is almost comical considering the inflationary environment that we’re in, and the fact that gold is a traditional inflation hedge.

Many commodities, stocks, real estate, cryptocurrency, and bonds have soared in price. But gold is actually down over the past ~6 months. So by comparison, gold is relatively cheap.

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Some clear thinking on $50,000+ Bitcoin

There are famous stories that come out of the Great Depression in which very astute financiers sold all of their stocks just before the big crash of 1929.

Joseph Kennedy famously dumped his portfolio after receiving stock tips from a shoeshine boy. And Bernard Baruch, one of the wealthiest financiers on Wall Street, said after the crash,

Taxi drivers told you what to buy. The shoeshine boy could give you a summary of the day’s financial news as he worked with rag and polish. An old beggar who regularly patrolled the street in front of my office now gave me [stock] tips. . .”

Now, these comments make it seem like taxi drivers and shoeshine boys don’t have financial sense. And that’s wrong.

Someone’s profession and their level of financial sophistication don’t necessarily go hand in hand; there are plenty of astute janitors, and plenty of idiot fund managers.

But I did think about Baruch’s remarks recently when an Uber driver started talking to me about cryptocurrency.

Again, his opinions are just as valid as anyone else’s. But what I found remarkable is that the only thing he knew about his portfolio was how much he’s ‘up’.

He told me about how he’d invested in a few small tokens, and that’s he’s up 3x on this, and 5x on that, and 2x on another.

There was zero discussion about the technological merits of any particular coin. He didn’t talk to me about what made their software better, or the unique proposition that any of them offers to the financial system.

He didn’t even know the basics of what he had purchased. All he knew was how much he was ‘up’, and that his portfolio was going to keep going up.

And that’s the thing about crypto: there’s a level of fanaticism that we’ve not seen before in modern history with regards to a single asset class.

There are pro-crypto people who are self-avowed “HODLers”, which is crypto-speak for “I will never sell ever… regardless of technological competition or radical changes to the marketplace.”

This is a completely emotional position to take.

But the fanaticism is on both sides. Equally, there are anti-crypto people who still claim that it’s a scam, or ‘worthless’.

Just this morning in the Wall Street Journal, in fact, some reporter wrote that Bitcoin’s “fundamental value is zero.”

This just screams ignorance. Bitcoin is software. Software is technology. And any technology that (a) serves a real purpose, and (b) has a large number of users, is by definition NOT worthless.

Bitcoin has tens of millions of users and provides actual utility, i.e. transferring value from one user to another.

Bitcoin is no more ‘worthless’ than SWIFT– the organization whose completely outdated technology facilitates international wire transfers.

Yet with Bitcoin at $50,000+, the fanaticism has reached epic levels, and people on all sides are screaming about it. One group insists that it’s going to zero. The other insists that it’s only going up.

It’s hard to make sense of the market with so much noise, so I wanted to make a few rational comments.

As a caveat, I have been pro-crypto for a long time and initially introduced our members to it back in 2013. But I’m not fanatical about anything and do my best to focus on facts.

For example, a common refrain from the pro-Bitcoin crowd these days is that “Bitcoin is gold”.

This is totally ludicrous. Bitcoin is a ‘surveillance coin,’ in that the Blockchain records every single transaction that’s ever been made, and every owner of every Bitcoin that’s ever been mined.

Physical gold has certain limitations. But there is no bar of gold that contains a record of everyone who’s ever owned it. Equating gold and Bitcoin is silly.

It’s also silly to criticize Bitcoin because its ‘throughput’ is slow. Naysayers point out that Visa can process up to 76,000 transactions per second, while Bitcoin can only process around 15 per second.

That’s true. But it’s an apples/oranges comparison. Bitcoin’s best use at this point isn’t to pay for coffee at Starbucks. It’s a great way to transfer large sums outside of the banking system.

And in that regard, Bitcoin’s throughput is more than adequate. Plus there are other coins and decentralized ledger technologies that are even better.

It’s for this reason (among many others) that very prominent investors and large financial companies, including Visa, Mastercard, Stripe, PayPal, etc. have integrated Bitcoin into their services.

And there are so many banks and funds investing in Crypto now that there may be a natural floor in the marketplace.

In other words, just like big funds tend to “buy the dip” when the stock market falls, there are enough financial players in the crypto market that they may ‘buy the dip’ if there’s a price decline in Bitcoin.

The wild gyrations in crypto prices are definitely a bit concerning; it’s hard to take an asset too seriously that can be up or down 20% in a single day. And it’s definitely hard to take something seriously when a single Tweet from Elon Musk can send its price soaring.

But that doesn’t take anything away from the technological value of what cryptocurrency presents.

Again, most people miss the point: buying cryptocurrency is ultimately a speculation in the long-term utility of its technology.

And just like Microsoft’s or Google’s technology can be worth $1+ trillion, there’s no reason that cryptocurrency can’t be worth that much.

But it makes a lot of sense to tone down the fanaticism. There are so many coins and tokens, each with different technology.

And it’s important for someone to understand the advantages and disadvantages of whatever technology they’re buying, rather than blindly buying into Bitcoin without the slightest idea of its drawbacks and benefits.

That would be like deciding it’s time to enter the stock market, and automatically buying Tesla stock without doing any research on Tesla, or any other company in the market.

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expatriation Intelwars Internationalization: Taxes Investing: Unconventional Tax Trends & News

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion: How to earn up to $108,700, tax free, in 2020

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion:
How to earn up to $107,600, tax free,
in 2020

At Sovereign Man, we often talk about how lowering, or eliminating, your taxes is one of the best investments you can make in your life

By cutting your taxes, you can earn 20% or more (depending on how much you save in taxes) in totally risk-free return on investment just from the savings you make. 

I know of no other investment that allows you to do that. 

And one of the best ways Americans can save on taxes is by moving abroad. 

By moving overseas, US citizens can take advantage of the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE), a special provision in the US tax code that allows US citizens living abroad who file Form 2555 along with their tax return to earn up to $107,600 per year (and growing) tax-free.

Although the US is only one of two countries in the world to tax its citizens on their worldwide income (the other country is Eritrea), the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion can make moving abroad to a lower tax jurisdiction very lucrative for Americans.

It’s a strategy that’s often used by the overseas staff of big US companies – but any American citizen can take advantage of it to save tens of thousands of dollars in taxes per year.

And if you qualify for the Housing Deduction or Exclusion, you can save even more.

Saving on your taxes is one of the best investments you could ever make. Tens of thousands of dollars or more, compounded over years, and decades, can results in millions more saved for retirement. 

To qualify, all you’ve got to do is fill out Form 2555 with the IRS. 

Now, you may ask yourself questions like – do US citizens have to pay taxes on foreign income? Or – how do I qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion?

In this article, we’ll answer all the questions you may have about the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and the Housing Exclusion/Deduction. You’ll also learn exactly how to qualify, what income qualifies, and a lot more.

Learn even MORE no-brainer strategies
to legally reduce your taxes…



  • How ANYONE can earn up to $200,000 per year — TAX-FREE


  • How business owners and self-employed professionals can legally slash their tax bills by up to $2.2 million each year with minimal changes to their business AND without moving abroad


  • How day traders & investors can legally cut their investment income tax rate to 0%


  • And much, much, more

You’ll learn all of these and many other useful strategies such as how to obtain a valuable second passport (potentially even for free) inside this free guide.

What is the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion?

The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion is a special provision in the US tax code that allows US citizens living abroad to exclude a certain amount of earned income from their US taxes.

For the 2020 tax year (which is filed in 2021) the amount is $107,600. Plus, you can save tens of thousands of dollars more if you also take advantage of the foreign housing exclusion.

But why does this opportunity exist?

The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion is a special provision in the US tax code that allows US citizens living abroad to exclude a certain amount of earned income from their US taxes.

For the 2020 tax year (which is filed in 2021) the amount is $107,600. Plus, you can save tens of thousands of dollars more if you also take advantage of the foreign housing exclusion.

Ever since 1913, the United States has had a mandatory income tax to be paid every year. 

Traditionally however, income tax around the world is only levied on residents of a country – not citizens.

But the US is one of just two countries in the world that taxes its citizens, no matter where they live in the world.

The other country is Eritrea, a small African nation. But unlike the US, Eritrea has no resources to even try to enforce compliance.

The citizenship-taxation law dates back to 1861, when the United States was struggling to raise funds for its civil war. 

At the time, the people in power argued that Americans living outside the country were evading their patriotic duty of helping pay for the war.

As a result, they should pay taxes just for being American citizens.

Although the war ended, the taxes didn’t (hint: they never do). 

For a moment, the US tax reform of 2017 was actually the first to seriously consider removing citizenship-based taxation. But ultimately, that got shelved, and Americans look likely to pay taxes based on their citizenship for another while.

As you can imagine, this has very unique consequences for American citizens. They are the only people in the world today (together with Eritreans) who have to pay taxes to their home country no matter where they live.

That means that if you are American, and all of a sudden move to Chile, or Costa Rica, or France – you will still have to pay taxes to the United States.

However, there is a way you can limit the amount of taxes that you pay, up to a certain point, thanks to the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.

The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion is a provision in the US Tax code that allows US citizens who live abroad to fill out Form 2555 each year and earn a certain amount of their income tax free. 

That amount varies and is indexed to inflation. So for example, in 2017, it was $102,100. In 2019, it was $105,900. And in 2020, it is $107,600.

That means that as a US citizen living abroad, you can earn a little over $100,000 each year and not pay American taxes on it. 

If you qualify, you may be able to exclude even more of that income through the Foreign Housing Exclusion & Deduction (more on that below).

As usual, the IRS has strict guidelines on how to qualify, and what income qualifies. 

“Foreign” refers to income that is earned outside of the United States. That means the product or service is delivered in a foreign country. As such, it does not include work performed in the US, even if it is finally delivered to a foreign customer.

Instead, the work must be performed and delivered in a foreign country. But a US citizen who works for an American company could move abroad and seek to qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion because his work is technically performed overseas.

“Earned income” refers to active income that is earned through a salary or wage – even for self-employed people. 

This means that investment income (dividends, capital gains, interest, etc.) is excluded from the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, and does not qualify for exclusion from your income taxes.

(Keep in mind also that if you operate a US company as self-employed, you will still have to pay self-employment tax.)

And finally, “exclusion” refers to the maximum amount of earned income you can deduct from your reportable taxes for the year – and that you won’t pay taxes on.

You will need to report your foreign earned income to the IRS by filing out Form 2555 along with your regular 1040 income tax form. Any income above $107,600 will be taxed at regular levels (starting in the 24% tax bracket if you are filing as single).  

How to qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

In order to qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, you will need to prove to the IRS that your ‘tax home’ is in a foreign country.

The IRS uses two methods to assess whether you have a tax home abroad. So if you are a US citizen who lives abroad and wants to qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, you will need to meet either one of two tests: the physical presence test and the bona fide residence test.

1. Physical Presence Test

In order to qualify under the physical presence test, you must be a US citizen who is physically present in one or several foreign countries for at least 330 days over 12 consecutive months. 

These must be full days. If you leave the US at 3pm on a Sunday, that day will not count towards your time abroad – it must be full 24-hour days. Instead, the count will start the next day.

This means you can only be in the US for 35 or 36 days in a year.

The purpose of your stay or the type of residency you obtain abroad does not matter. What matters is that you must not be in the US for 330 days or more over a 12 month-period.

That means you could also go on a really long vacation abroad and qualify. Again, what you chose to do abroad does not matter.

It’s important to note that the 330 days do not have to be consecutive. You can take breaks in between and go back to the US if you want. 

But even if you spend more than 35 days in the US, you could still qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion through the bona fide residence test.

2. Bona fide residence test

To qualify under the bona fide residence test, you must prove to the IRS that you really have set up a home abroad – and legitimately moved out of the US. 

This is a more subjective test, that will require the IRS to look at your situation in more detail. Do you rent or own a home abroad? Do you have a local bank account, phone contract, etc.?

The IRS will also see whether you maintain a home in the US (it’s better if you don’t), and whether your family lives with you abroad. However, if you actually live abroad and have moved your life with you, you shouldn’t have any trouble meeting the test.

Note that in order to qualify, you must meet the requirements for an entire 365- day tax year.

However, there are no strict requirements as to how much time you can spend in the US each year – so for people wanting to go back more often, qualifying under the bona fide residence test might make more sense.

If you meet either of these two tests, you are likely eligible to qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.

The IRS provides this interactive questionnaire that you can use to determine if you are eligible for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.

What kind of income qualifies for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion?

The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion refers specifically only to income that you actively work to earn – in other words wages and salaries (even if they come from self-employment).

Unearned income like dividends, capital gains, interest, etc. and other types of income like social security and pension benefits are NOT included in this exclusion, and you will need to pay your full tax bill on those. 

Variable income like rents, royalties and other business profits are subject to individual consideration, and whether you can apply for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion is dependent on your level of involvement with the business, and the source of income (it must be from abroad). 

Ultimately, the decision to exclude or not variable income is at the discretion of the IRS.

If you are self-employed, you will still have to pay US self-employment tax, even if you qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.

Overall, the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion means that if you qualify, you can exclude $107,600 of earned income from wages from your tax declaration during the year.

For example, if you live in Chile full-time and earn $200,000 per year, you may deduct $107,600 from your reportable income in 2020.

That means you’ll pay tax on only $92,400 of the total $200,000.

TIP: Save even more if your spouse qualifies…

If you are married, you and your spouse can BOTH qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, meaning you’ll be able to deduct a total of $215,200 from your income tax bill if you qualify and file jointly.

However, the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion gets even better when you factor in the Housing Exclusion or Deduction.

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What is the Foreign Housing Exclusion and Deduction?

The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion gets even better thanks to one addition: the Housing Exclusion and Deduction.

The Housing Exclusion and Deduction are essentially the same thing, with one small distinction:

  • 1. The Housing Exclusion applies to those who are employees
  • 2. The Housing Deduction applies to those who are self-employed

In both cases, if you live abroad, the Foreign Housing Exclusion or Deduction lets you exclude housing costs from your taxable income. The amount you are allowed to deduct will vary from place to place.

For example, if you live in Amsterdam, your maximum housing exclusion is $52,900 for the year. And if you live in London, the exclusion is $69,290. In Hong Kong, it’s a whopping $114,300 per year.

You can find the list of countries and cities with their respective maximum housing exclusions in the instruction document for filling out Form 2555.

However, you will only be able to claim the housing exclusion on housing expenses that you actually incur – and not automatically the full amount up to the limit in each city.

On top of that, you will need to deduct from that amount what the IRS estimates you would have paid if you had lived in the US, which is set at 16% of the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (or $17,216 in 2020).

So if you rent a house in London for example, for $3,000 a month, you will be able to deduct ($3,000*12)-$17,216 = $18,784.

If your city is not listed, the maximum housing exclusion will be 30% of the current Foreign Earned Income Exclusion limit.

That means that in 2020, you would be able to deduct maximum 30% of $107,600 = $32,280 MINUS $17,216 = $15,064.

(To see how that looks on the actual form you need to file, you can head to Form 2555 which you will find here, and head to the last page, Part 6).

To benefit from the housing exclusion, you must deduct qualified housing expenses. By qualified expenses, the IRS includes:



  • Rent


  • Utilities


  • Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance (abroad)


  • Parking rental


  • Furniture rental


  • Repairs

However, phone, TV and Internet expenses are not included – and you will not be able to deduct them from your income.

Mortgage payments do not count either. Neither does money you pay to a maid, or use to BUY furniture. 

It’s also important to note that the Housing Exclusion amount cannot exceed your foreign income for that year.

Furthermore, you must have paid for your housing expenses out of the employer-provided funds… meaning out of the active income you made, and not out of unearned income like dividends.

If your employer reimburses you, or pays outright for some of your housing expenses, you must report those expenses on your tax return for the year as well.

For example, if you earned $100,000 last year, and your employer paid your $3,000/month rent, then you must report your Foreign Earned Income as $136,000. [$100,000 + ($3,000 x 12)]. 

You would then exclude your qualified housing expenses from that $136,000, resulting in a negligible tax bill.

If you live abroad, the Housing Exclusion/Deduction really makes a difference.

If you add your Housing Exclusion to the $107,600 you can exclude with the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, the total amount of money you can exclude from your taxes is significant

In fact, it’s possible you could earn more than $150,000 (and twice that with your spouse) and end up with a completely trivial tax bill after excluding your earned income and qualified housing expenses. 

How to file for the
Foreign Earned Income Exclusion
(and the Housing Exclusion/Deduction)

Filing for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, and the Housing Exclusion/Deduction, is a straightforward step.

Along with the income tax return that you are required to file each year – Form 1040 – you will need to file Form 2555 along with it to qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (and Housing Exclusion/Deduction).

In the form, you will detail how much income you earned abroad, and the housing expenses you want to deduct.

You can file this form on your own, but as always, we recommend that you speak with a trusted tax advisor to make sure this is done properly.

The FEIE is not the only way to save on Taxes for Americans
Consider these incredible alternatives…

1. Puerto Rico’s Tax Incentives

Until recently, Americans had to move away from the United States to receive preferential tax treatment.

But a few years ago, Puerto Rico, an American territory, introduced some of the most attractive tax incentives in the world.

In short, any investor who moves to the island can slash the tax they pay on dividends and capital gains to 0%.

And entrepreneurs can qualify for a corporate tax rate of just 4%.

That’s an unbelievable deal – and US citizens don’t even need a passport to take advantage of it. Moving to Puerto Rico is just like moving from New York to Florida. 

Right now, Puerto Rico’s tax incentives are one of the best opportunities I’ve come across in the world.

In fact, I even moved here myself to take advantage of them. And now I live on an island in paradise and pay 0% tax.

My team recently spent months putting together the most comprehensive report on Puerto Rico’s tax incentives available out there.

This information is usually only available to premium members of Sovereign Man: Confidential, our flagship international diversification service. 

However, this information is so important that we put together a free article that you access here.

2. Opportunity Zones

If you are sitting on unrealized capital gains – stocks, real estate, art, crypto… – Opportunity Zones may offer amazing tax benefits.

It’s a brand-new program that was buried inside President Trump’s 2018 tax reform legislation.

Through the program, you can sell your appreciated assets, defer capital gains tax, and invest the proceeds into one of 9,000 designated distressed communities across America.

 

Most of Detroit and Baltimore is an Opportunity Zone… and even parts of Manhattan.

Your investment in real estate, an existing business, a new business, etc. located in an Opportunity Zone can grow completely tax-free for decades.

The program is still new, but it is already a huge success with billions of dollars pouring into America’s distressed communities.

You can learn more about Opportunity Zones and my personal experience with it in this in-depth article.

 

Conclusion & more ways to save taxes

Taxes are an enormous benefit of living overseas. Your life can be MUCH richer. In addition to having more freedom and greater lifestyle opportunities, you can save a boatload of money.

It’s definitely something to consider.

But it’s not the only way to save taxes and I invite you to explore our other resources…

Learn even MORE no-brainer strategies
to legally reduce your taxes…



  • How ANYONE can earn up to $200,000 per year — TAX-FREE


  • How business owners and self-employed professionals can legally slash their tax bills by up to $2.2 million each year with minimal changes to their business AND without moving abroad


  • How day traders & investors can legally cut their investment income tax rate to 0%


  • And much, much, more

You’ll learn all of these and many other useful strategies such as how to obtain a valuable second passport (potentially even for free) inside this free guide.

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Sovereign Man: Confidential is our flagship intelligence report service informing you about the best places on Earth to safely protect your life, your liberty and your assets.

Our intelligence reports cover everything from new residency or foreign banking options to how to reduce, defer, or even eliminate your taxes, to incredible investment picks outside the mainstream.

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Intelwars Trends & News

“Chestfeeding People” is the New Gender Inclusive Term in UK Hospitals

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice.

Chestfeeding People” is the New Gender Inclusive Term in UK Hospitals

The Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals are part of the UK’s National Health Service network.

In a recent bulletin, the hospitals lay out their new policy on “Gender Inclusion Language Guidance in Maternity”.

“For us, a gender-additive approach means using gender-neutral language alongside the language of womanhood, in order to ensure that everyone is represented and included.”

Apparently the term ‘breastfeeding’ is now offensive according to our social warlords. And it’s even more offensive to refer to a mother who’s nursing as a “breastfeeding woman,” because that terminology is not gender-inclusive.

So the hospitals will therefore begin referring to such people as “chestfeeding people”.

The hospital cites precedents set by the British Medical Association which “recognises that a large majority of people who get pregnant and give birth are women however some may be trans men or non-binary people.”

Therefore, the term “pregnant people” is more politically correct than “expectant mothers”.

Click here to read the bulletin.

Getting the right answer in math class is White Supremacy

A recent update from the Oregon Department of education encourages math teachers to sign up for an online course meant to “Dismantle Racism in Mathematics Instruction.”

The course tells math teachers, for example, that “White supremacy culture shows up in math classrooms when… [t]he focus is on getting the ‘right’ answer.”

Other white supremacist math practices include tracking students’ progress, and requiring students to meet academic expectations.

Click here to read the material.

Google Offers “Black-Owned Business” Label to Online Retailers

Google now allows Black-owned online retailers to add a label which says a business, “identifies as black owned.”

However, there does not appear to be any proof required to change your business identity to black-owned.

We wonder whether Google will eventually have to start auditing some entrepreneur’s claims… or how they’ll set up an adjudication process if someone identifies as Black, but consumers dispute the claim.

In case you’re wondering, Google has no labels for businesses owned by trans, non-binary, Native American, disabled, queer, etc. individuals.

Click here to read the full story.

Singer Fined €3000 for Singing With his Son

A Bavarian court fined a German folk singer €3000 for violating child labor laws.

His crime: allowing his then four year old son to sing a song with him on stage in 2019.

The father and son sang “What a Wonderful World” while the rest of the family, and audience, watched. The German government considered this “employing” the child for the half hour or so he was on stage.

If this had occurred between 8am and 5pm, no crime would have taken place. But because German law prohibits children from from performing after 5pm, the 8pm concert violated the child labor law.

So the German government is treating this dad as if he sent his son down into the coal mines.

Click here to read the full story.

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Intelwars Trends & News

This free gift from the government is going to expire in a few years

In the early first century AD, in the final years of his reign, the Roman emperor Augustus imposed a new tax on his subjects called the vicesima hereditatium.

In Latin this means literally “twentieth of inheritance”, and in effect it was a 5% tax (i.e. 1/20th) on money and property that was inherited after someone died.

Augustus exempted close relatives from paying the tax– so someone’s children, for example, didn’t have to pay. But everyone else had to fork over a piece of the action to the Roman state.

Subsequent Roman emperors modified the law; Trajan, a second century AD emperor, created a ‘floor’ for the tax, so that anyone who inherited below a minimum amount wouldn’t have to pay.

And, as you can imagine, the tax rate rose over time.

Rome wasn’t the first civilization to come up with an estate or inheritance tax; there’s evidence going all the way back to ancient Egypt that the Pharoahs taxed the property of the dead.

And these days, estate and inheritance taxes remain a perennial favorite of bankrupt governments who are in need of cash.

To them, the only good wealthy person is a dead wealthy person, and there’s nothing they love more than stealing the assets of dead rich people.

After all, the political consequences are minimal: dead people don’t cast ballots (unless they’re voting for Joe Biden.)

The mere concept of a death tax is pretty offensive when you think about it. They tax you when you earn. They tax you when you save. They tax you when you spend. And they even tax you when you die.

But like all taxes, there are always ways around it.

There are steps you can take, for example, to dramatically reduce your income tax (i.e. the taxes you pay when you earn). You can maximize tax efficient retirement contributions, move to a lower tax state, take advantage of Puerto Rico’s extraordinary tax incentives, etc.

You can take steps to reduce taxes when you save– for example, establishing a robust retirement account like a solo 401(k), or a foreign structure like a Maltese pension plan.

Similarly, you can take completely legal steps to ensure the government doesn’t confiscate your assets once you’ve passed away.

And frankly now is the best time to think about doing this if you’re in the Land of the Free.

This isn’t just for older people. In fact, thinking about estate tax is especially true right now IF YOU’RE YOUNG!

First– some background.

Just like the Roman Empire under Emperor Trajan, the US federal government has a wealth limit, below which your ‘estate’ is not subject to any tax after you pass away.

But those limits vary from year to year.

2001, for example, was a terrible year to die.

That’s because the estate tax exemption back in 2001 was just $675,000. And the net value of your estate over that amount was taxed at a whopping 55%.

Over time, the exemption went up. And after the tax reform of 2017, the estate tax exemption is now $11.7 million per person, $23.4 million per couple.

Let’s be honest: that’s a lot of money. And most people will think, “Big deal, I’m worth less than $23.4 million, so I don’t even need to think about estate tax.”

But just remember that the $23.4 million exemption is set to expire in 2026, at which point the exemption drops back down to $6 million per person.

Again, though, you might think, “But I’m worth less than $6 million, so I still don’t need to think about estate tax.”

But consider the following:

A) The Bolsheviks who have invaded the media and political establishments LOVE the idea of taxing dead people.

And as the US national debt continues to rise, and the Bolsheviks continue spending unbelievable amounts of money on everything from the Green New Deal to Universal Basic Income (aka ‘Covid Relief’ in disguise), they’re going to need more funding sources.

So it’s totally possible they could whip the estate tax exemption back down to a MUCH lower level.

B) States also have estate and inheritance taxes

Even if the federal exemption level doesn’t change, bear in mind that states have different limits and taxes too.

For example, Rhode Island’s estate tax exemption is much lower– around $1.5 million. Washington state’s estate tax maxes out at 20%, and Nebraska’s top inheritance tax rate is 18%.

C) This matters even more if you’re young.

If you’re a broke 20 year old, you might think that making a few million bucks sounds impossible. Don’t underestimate yourself. Life is long and full of opportunity. And as crazy as the world is, talented people of integrity will always be able to create value and build wealth.

I know it’s a difficult exercise when you’re young, but if you think 70+ years down the road, you could easily find yourself having achieved far more financial success than the estate tax exemption.

So taking steps now while the exemption is high makes a lot of sense.

And that’s the entire point: right now the exemption is far greater than most people’s level of wealth, which makes it a golden opportunity to think about estate planning.

For example, setting up a properly structured domestic trust is a great option to consider.

Through a trust, you could still essentially retain control over your assets, but move them out of your taxable estate forever.

Here’s an example: Imagine you’re starting a new business. On day 1, your business is essentially worthless. So you set up a perpetual, revocable trust in a South Dakota and move, say, 40% of the shares into your trust.

In time, your business becomes successful and ultimately worth $15 million.

But since 40% of it is held in the trust, at the time of your passing, you -personally- would only own 60% of the shares, i.e. $9 million.

Depending on what the exemption level is at that time, hopefully many decades from now, you may or may not owe estate tax.

But the 40% of the shares that your trust holds, worth $6 million, is completely free of estate tax, presuming the trust is properly structured.

This is one way to shield at least a portion of your assets from estate tax.

It makes sense to consider moving appreciable assets into a trust. You might want to think twice before putting depreciating assets (like a car) into a trust.

But putting shares of a well-managed business, cryptocurrency, or real estate, into a trust, means that as those assets appreciate in value, ALL of it can be shielded from estate tax.

Again, even if you’re well below the exemption level, it makes sense to think about doing this. Because the Bolsheviks could decide tomorrow morning that they want to yank the exemption back down to a much lower level.

Right now, for most people, the current $23.4 million is enormous. They’ve given everyone the opportunity to move (in practical terms) virtually unlimited assets out of our taxable estates.

We know this opportunity is set to end in a few years. And they could change the rules and end this exemption much sooner than that.

So it really makes sense to think now about the future while the window of opportunity is wide open.

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This simple Plan B option can make an enormous difference

One of the most important lessons that a lot of people learned the hard way last year was how important it is to have OPTIONS.

Nearly everyone on the planet suddenly experienced, almost in unison, an astonishing loss of freedom, practically overnight.

Local public health officials went from being little-known bureaucrats to being totalitarian warlords with the full power of an entire police state at their disposal.

Before Covid hit, they about as much authority as the local dog catcher. Then all of a sudden they were forcing us to shut our businesses, close our schools, and remain at home, afraid.

Their edicts have been truly ridiculous. They instruct young people how to properly copulate in the Age of Covid. They tell people we must isolate ourselves from loved ones, because we should all be “alone… together.”

They blithely ignore the spiraling rates of suicide, depression, untreated cancers, alcoholism, and domestic violence that have resulted from their policies.

Anyone who disagrees with them is canceled, censored, and ridiculed.

They’ve created a culture of fear, convincing people to be terrified of physical contact with one another.

And their propaganda has dehumanized us all. People are no longer human beings to them— we’re all diseased vermin who need to be tightly controlled.

It’s safe to say that NO voter ever awarded them such vast powers. But it’s unlikely that they’ll relinquish the authority they’ve seized anytime soon.

And that leads me back to having other options.

We’ve written to you a lot about obtaining a second citizenship and passport to open more doors worldwide; a second passport ensures you’ll have someplace else to live and work, outside of your home country.

Simply put, having another citizenship provides another option. If you tire of your local public health warlords, you might find another jurisdiction to be more relaxed and easy-going.

And having a second citizenship means (typically) that you’ll be allowed in, even if the borders are closed.

This isn’t always the case; Australia is a notable exception, where they’ve tried to prevent their own citizens from returning home.

But most countries are nowhere near this level of insanity.

Now, there are plenty of ways to obtain a second citizenship. For example, a number of countries provide citizenship if you can prove an ancestral link. Other countries basically sell passports through their official ‘economic citizenship’ programs.

But these can take a while.

An easier (and typically must faster) approach is to obtain legal residency in a foreign country.

Having legal residency is similar to citizenship; if you’re a legal resident, in most cases they’ll still let you in, even if the border is closed.

And as a legal resident, you still have the right to live, work, invest, do business, etc. in that country.

The key difference is that, with citizenship, you’ll also receive a passport from that country, which means you can travel the world and enter other countries using that passport.

With residency, you don’t receive a passport— although the immigration law in most countries does entitle legal residents to eventually apply for naturalization and citizenship. So obtaining residency can be a good first step towards a second passport.

These days, having a second residency is a great option for a Plan B. It means that, in most cases, you’ll have at least one more option.

So if you decide you’ve had enough of the public health dictatorship, you’ll have another place to go.

Frankly you could even obtain legal residency in 2, 3, or half a dozen other countries, each of which represents another option.

For example, you could obtain residency in Chile (which is counter-seasonal to the northern hemisphere, so it’s summertime in Chile when it’s winter in North America and Europe), and simultaneously have legal residency in Mexico.

We just held a Total Access even in Cancun a few weeks ago, and it was an extremely relaxed environment. Nobody was running over to pepper spray you if you weren’t wearing a mask, or had the audacity to shake hands with another human being.

And Mexico is a pretty easy place to obtain legal residency; you can complete about 95% of the application process without leaving home, simply by sending the paperwork to your nearest Mexican consulate.

Panama is another country which offers dozens of ways foreigners can obtain residency, most notably through Panama’s ‘Friendly Nations Visa’… though there are plenty of other ways as well.

Or maybe Europe is more your style. This could be an especially great option for US citizens, who have been barred from entering most European countries for the better part of the last year.

Portugal, for example, still offers legal residency through its ‘Golden Visa’ program, where you can purchase qualifying property in exchange for residency. https://www.sovereignman.com/golden-visa-programs/

(Portugal’s Golden Visa rules will change significantly starting next January 2022— more on this soon.)

Spain, Greece, and Malta also have Golden Visas. Then there are shorter-term residency visas of one year available from Bermuda, Barbados, or the Republic of Georgia that could be great options for remote workers and digital nomads.

The point is— there are plenty of options around the world. And having more options makes a lot of sense right now.

You might never even use it. But there’s no downside in having another place (or 2, 3, 4 other places) to go.

But if you ever really need it, you’ll be very happy that you invested a little bit of effort into that backup option. And that’s what a Plan B is all about.

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Japan’s stock market finally surpasses its level from 30+ years ago

On April 3, 1948, when Europe and Japan were still smoldering from the devastating effects of World War II, the United States government passed a massive stimulus bill that became known as the Marshall Plan.

The Marshall Plan was highly controversial; the US national debt was at an all-time high in 1945 due to all the wartime spending.

So dumping another $12 billion (more than 25% of tax revenue that year) to rebuild nations that they had just spent four years destroying seemed pretty stupid.

But the administration of President Harry Truman was adamant. Without substantial aid to help Europe and Japan recover, they were concerned that yet another costly war would break out– after all, Hitler’s rise to power was only possible because of Germany’s economic devastation after the first World War.

More importantly, Truman was terrified that if the US didn’t step up to rebuild Europe and Japan, the Soviet Union would fill the void… and communism would rapidly spread.

So the Marshall Plan was passed… and Japan became one of its biggest success stories.

In addition to grants from the US, Japan’s government set out to replicate US-style capitalism in their own country.

They encouraged competition, loosened regulation, and ended government support for the giant conglomerates known as zaibatsu that had previously controlled every Japanese industry.

Within a decade, the Japanese economy had already surpassed its pre-war level– which was an astonishing feat for a nation that had seen two major population centers demolished by atomic bombs.

By the 1960s, Japanese economic growth was so strong that it began to be referred to as a ‘miracle’. And western economists pointed to Japan as an incredible example of how capitalism can build widespread prosperity.

By 1980, Japan was one of the largest, most dominant economies in the world. The Japanese economic ‘miracle’ was starting to terrorize western nations, including the United States.

Japanese factories could manufacture innovative, high quality, inexpensive products and ship them all over the world, threatening many industries in western nations.

So in 1985, US President Ronald Reagan pushed for an international agreement with Japan that became known as the Plaza Accord.

The Plaza Accord was complicated; but Reagan’s ultimate goal was to push the Japanese to strengthen their currency against the US dollar in an effort to make US products more competitive internationally.

But the Plaza Accord didn’t exactly go according to plan. Instead, it created a massive asset bubble in Japan which, to this day, they still haven’t recovered from.

After the Plaza Accord, Japanese policymakers nearly doubled the money supply and slashed interest rates to historically low levels.

And, faced with rising inflation and meager prospects to save their money, Japanese citizens started buying stocks, and real estate. Interest rates were so low, after all, that it was incredibly cheap for them to borrow money and invest.

Property prices in Japan soared; within two years of the Plaza Accord, real estate in the six largest Japanese cities jumped more than 40%.

Property in Tokyo became more expensive than comparable property in London or New York. And within a few years, Japanese real estate was worth five times more than all the property in the United States combined.

Meanwhile, the Japanese stock market went through the roof, with the Nikkei reaching an all-time high of 38,957 on December 29, 1989– more than 5x higher than it was at the beginning of the decade.

But eventually the Japanese central bank grew concerned about the rising debt levels, inflation, and the multiple negative effects that cheap interest rates were having on the economy.

So they slowly began to increase rates.

The stock market dropped almost immediately in response to higher rates.

By October 1990, the market had fallen by nearly half. And then it essentially stagnated for twenty years, finally hitting rock bottom in 2011 when the Nikkei index fell to a level it hadn’t seen since 1982.

In other words, Japanese investors who bought stocks in 1982 and held for 29 years would have realized ZERO return on investment.

Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, the Japanese government tried desperately to reinflate the bubble. They slashed rates, provided direct subsidies to business, created tax incentives… but nothing worked.

Finally, literally today, the Nikkei stock index cross a major milestone– 30,000. This is a level that it had not seen since the bubble started to burst in 1990.

Yet even still, Japan’s stock market would have to increase another 30% for it to surpass its all-time high set in 1989.

There’s an important lesson here.

We’re living through a worldwide financial bubble right now; central bankers around the world have expanded their money supplies to record levels and slashed interest rates to historic lows… including negative rates in many countries.

Their efforts have pushed asset prices– especially stocks and real estate– to record highs.

The stock market is no longer about picking well-managed companies with high quality assets. Nearly ALL stocks have been rising, even companies (like CocaCola) with shrinking businesses and declining revenue.

The stock market is merely a bet on whether central bankers will continue to succeed in pushing asset prices higher.

In a way, they’re handing out free money by engineering gains for everyone holding stocks and real estate. It’s also possible they’re able to keep this up for another few years.

(And there’s nothing wrong with speculating on this, as long as you fully understand the risks.)

But bubbles always end.

They can last a long time. Years. Sometimes decades.

And the longer they last, the longer people think the bubble will continue to last; investors start to believe that property and stock prices will go up forever, and the bubble will never end.

But, again, they always end. Often suddenly and viciously.

Central bankers may try to engineer a ‘soft landing’. But as the story of Japan shows, policymakers are sometimes helpless to prevent a major crash, the consequences of which could last for more than an entire generation.

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New Covid Guidelines: “Stay Away from your Loved Ones”

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice.

California Public Health Department: “Stay Away from your Loved Ones”

“Love means staying away,” according to the California Department of Public Health.

The agency is using taxpayer funds to run ads with the tagline “Mom’s advice: Send flowers. Write a card. Stay away and protect your loved ones this Valentine’s Day.”

They even coined a new hashtag: #LoveMeansStayingAway.

And the ad campaign wouldn’t be complete without pictures of mom’s sharing photos of themselves with the hashtag written on their masks.

Abandoning your loved ones is heroic.

Shame. Guilt. Obey.

Click here to see the propaganda.

White People Not Qualified to be Foster Parents

A Montreal foster agency has told a white couple that they were not eligible to foster a child because the office is ‘saturated with Caucasian families.’

The Canadian couple applied and were accepted by their local foster agency. But when their file was transferred to another region with more children who needed homes, they were told:

‘[W]e are so saturated with Caucasian families that we have no need to look further for them in other boroughs. What we really need are black families and hispanic families. We don’t need Caucasian families.’

So there are plenty of kids in need. But the families who want to take them in are being denied for having the wrong skin color.

How noble of them. Clearly this foster agency is putting the children first.

Click here to read the full story.

Disney excommunicates heretical un-woke actress

Gina Carano, a mixed martial artist who became an actress in the popular Disney+ series “The Mandalorian” was fired from the show this week because of her “abhorrent and unacceptable” social media posts.

So you’re probably wondering— what qualifies as abhorrent and unacceptable?

It started last year when she posted humorous meme saying “Democratic government leaders now recommend we all wear blindfolds along with masks so we can’t see what’s really going on.”

This was blasted by the media as “mask misinformation.”

She further committed heresy by posting a photo of a man in a crowd of Nazis who was the lone person not giving the Nazi salute. The Twitter mob then inundated her with demands to declare her allegiance to the cause by saying that ‘All Cops Are Bastards’, which she refused to do, so she was branded a “bootlicking racist.”

She also posted a picture of someone wearing multiple masks with a caption, “Meanwhile in California…”

Additionally, she posted a message saying “Jeff Epstein didn’t kill himself,” which is also heresy because it doesn’t conform to the official narrative.

And most recently she drew comparisons to how the Nazi government encouraged people to hate Jews… then wondered how that’s different from fomenting hate over someone’s political views.

This was the last straw, and so she was summarily dumped by Disney for “denigrating people based on their culture and religious identities.”

Pretty remarkable considering the only culture she denigrated is the culture of extreme intolerance and hypersensitivity that dominates the woke Twitter mob.

Click here to read the full story.

Grocery Stores Close After California “Hero Pay” Ordinance

Long Beach, California already mandates a $14 minimum wage.

But the town wanted to reward essential workers who braved the Covid pandemic to serve customers. So it forced all retailers that employ more than 300 workers nationwide to pay an extra $4 per hour to all essential employees.

Faced with the prospect of shelling out a minimum of $18 an hour to all employees, the supermarket chain Kroger announced it would close two grocery stores in Long Beach.

Looks like those hero workers are now out of a job, not to mention all the consumers with fewer food stores available.

In other TOTALLY UNRELATED news, Kroger is launching a pilot program for entirely self-checkout stores— no employees required.

Kroger owns about 2,800 stores in 35 states. As calls mount for a nationwide $15 minimum wage, this is obviously only the beginning.

Click here to read the full story.

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An absurd look at the Marxist, ultra-woke “education” system in 2021

In honor of Black History Month, schools across the Land of the Free are adopting a curriculum that’s being pushed from the organization Black Lives Matter.

Curiously, the “Black Lives Matter at School” curriculum has absolutely nothing to do with history, let alone black history.

Instead, the organization presents an entirely Marxist, ultra-woke agenda.

The first clue is that the website literally states “we engage comrades” through the curriculum’s 13 guiding principles.

One of these guiding principles is “disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure” and replace it with “villages that collectively care for one another, and especially our children.”

Wait, what? OUR children? Now we’re supposed to award untold influence over our kids to self-described “trained Marxists” ?

But this only scratches the surface of the curriculum.

Under the organization’s “Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” there are lesson plans which endeavor to teach young students about why they should join trade unions when they become an adult.

And they go on to teach that everyone is “entitled to economic, social and cultural help from your government.”

One resource in the curriculum advocates printing money to implement a “systemwide social justice shock,” including “free universal health care… and direct subsidies [i.e. universal basic income].”

Another teaches “that white supremacy is a fundamental component of our founding documents. The Constitution was not a document to promote democracy, but to prevent it… my students engage in an activity where they see this unfold in the classroom.”

One lesson plan instructs teachers to have their students “Write your own hex poem, cursing… specific people who have been agents of police terror or global brutality” including “small micro aggressions… i.e., people who say ‘all lives matter’. . .”

And they do this with incredibly young, impressionable children who absorb everything like a sponge.

For example, the curriculum suggests instructing kindergarten students that ‘Everyone gets to choose if they are a girl or a boy or both or neither or something else’ as part of ‘freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking.’

This seems totally appropriate for a five year old!

To be fair, some of the curiculum is grounded in good intentions. They teach kids that everyone has a right to be themselves, and that discrimination is stupid. Those are great lessons.

But the way they cram it down everyone’s throat is appalling.

For example, one curriculum resource was written by an individual who self-describes as a “queer disabled autistic nonbinary femme writer and disability/transformative justice worker.”

You can’t just be a human being anymore. You can’t just be Bob or Maria. You have to provide a laundry list of ways that you self-identify with victim groups.

This is what passes for credentials these days.

It almost reminds me of those silly royal titles that monarch’s use. In Game of Thrones, Queen Daenerys self-stylized as “Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons . . .”

Now it’s “Queen of the Bolsheviks, first of her name, rallier of woke mobs, Arch-Tweetress of problematic vocabulary, Lord-Commander of the social justice warriors, vanquisher of the cis-male, and defender of the nonbinary femmes.”

This curriculum teaches young people that you gain power in our society– not through accomplishments and deeds– but by gathering more titles of victimization. More titles means more power.

The propaganda and indoctrination starts in kindergarten and continues for 13 years.

And you might think when you reach university you can finally acquire a real education.

You pay $70,000 in annual tuition, for example, to attend one of the top schools in the world, Princeton University in New Jersey.

And what greets these students seeking a higher education?

First off— Princeton has a “Social Contract” now that students must sign, obliging them to nearly three dozen requirements ranging from obtaining a flu shot, to not leaving Mercer County until the end of the semester, to ratting out fellow students who do not comply.

But perhaps the most riciculous development yet was when the school newspaper ran a ‘Dear Abby’ style column last month from a “sexpert” explaining how students should engage in sexual intercouse in the age of COVID.

The article advises students to abandon physical contact altogether, and instead use remote sex toys that can be controlled through online apps.

Obviously they haven’t heard the news that such sex toys have been hacked, and users’ private parts were literally being held for ransom by hackers.

The “sexpert” goes on to advise that, if students absolutely must meet in person for sex, they should wear a mask, avoid kissing, engage in an appropriate position, and use “external/male condoms”.

Note the language— you have to say ‘external/male’ when referring to condom so that you don’t alienate men with vaginas, or women with penises.

The sexpert also advises that students wear a “dental dam” for added protection. I had to look this one up— it’s basically a giant rubber barrier around your mouth.

[image of dental dam]

Sexy time!

And just to prove there’s no limit to their ridiculousness, the sexpert concludes by telling students they should “order from your favorite online Black-, female/femme-, or queer-owned sexuality shop.”

God forbid you buy a dental dam from someone without regard to the vendor’s gender, race, or sexual orientation.

There was a time when the purpose of education was expand minds.

Now the intent is to close minds… to strip students of any ability to think critically, and replace intellectual independence with woke, Marxist propaganda.

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Move over Bill Cosby. Here come the Covid Criminals

Earlier this week, the right honorable politicians of the United Kingdom rolled out strict new Covid travel rules.

Bear in mind that the UK already has some of the strictest Covid rules in the world right now. People must stay at home and only go out if they have a “reasonable excuse”.

Anyone who attends a gathering of more than 15 people faces steep fines of 800 pounds (about USD $1,100), and anyone who organizes said gathering faces a fine of 10,000 pounds.

All ‘non-essential’ businesses are closed. And, just like incarcerated felons, Brits are allowed to exercise outside once per day.

Now, those rules have been in place already for the past few weeks. But on Monday, the government established harsh rules for travelers.

Effective immediately, anyone who arrives to the UK from the so-called “red list” of countries, (including all of South America, Panama, most of southern Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Portugal, etc.) must purchase a quarantine package that costs around $2,400 per person.

The rules require that travelers from the red list quarantine in government approved hotels (not at home), and the package includes accommodation, testing, etc.

As a further measure, the new rules also threaten fines and imprisonment of up to TEN YEARS if anyone is found lying about their travel history in order to avoid the quarantine package.

You read that correctly. Ten years in prison.

The British government, naturally, has defended the severity of these penalties, with the Health Secretary stating, “I make no apologies for the strength of these measures. . . People who flout these rules are putting us all at risk.”

This is typical, small-minded thinking of the scare class.

They believe that Covid is such a terrible scourge that no measure is too harsh, no liberty is off limits. And anyone who isn’t sufficiently terrified is a threat to public health and national security.

This is the same fanatical logic that cause the wholesale dismantling of our freedoms after 9/11. Terrorism was the terrible scourge twenty years ago, and, similarly, no measure was too harsh, and no liberty off limits, to protect us from it.

Reason has been completely abandoned. Even very prominent voices call anyone who disagrees with them a “murderer”.

In late December, for example, one outspoken British medical researcher told BBC Radio that people who don’t socially distance and wear masks “have blood on their hands.”

But what about all the people who have died or been severely injured BECAUSE of the Covid measures?

What about the dramatic increase in suicides, alcoholism, and domestic abuse?

What about the alarming rise in self-harm among children?

What about the untold numbers of people who don’t realize they have unchecked cancer growing inside of them, because they’ve been scared away from having routine mammograms, pap smears, colonoscopies, etc. that would have caught a malignant tumor early?

It seems to me that these Covid rulemakers… and the house cats who cheer them on… have blood on THEIR hands.

Not to mention– threatening someone with ten years in prison for lying about their travel history seems completely absurd, especially when compared to other sentencing guidelines.

It turns out, for example, that according to section 61(2)(a) of the Sexual Offences Act of 2003, administering drugs to someone in order to engage in unwanted sexual intercourse (e.g. Bill Cosby) can carry a lesser sentence than the new Covid rules.

In fact I’ve taken the liberty to provide a partial list of other crimes in the UK that carry an equal or lesser sentence than lying about your travel history:

Sexual Assault: 10 years [Section 3(4)(b) of the Sexual Offences Act of 2003]

Racially-motivated assault: 2 years [Section 29, Crime and Disorder Act of 1998]

Child Abduction: 7 years [Section 4, Child Abduction Act of 1984]

Sexual Activity with a Child: 5 years [Section 16, Sexual Offences Act of 2003]

Intent to injure her Majesty the Queen: 7 years [Section 3, Treason Act of 1842]

Possession of child pornography: 3 years [Section 66, Coroners and Justice Act of 2009]

Causing death by careless driving: 5 years [Section 20, Road Safety Act of 2006]

So, in summary, rapists, traitors, violent white supremacists, murderers, and pedophiles, can receive lighter sentences for their crimes than someone who lies about having been to Portugal.

This is what constitutes good governance in 2021.

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With apologies to drunken sailors everywhere. . .

The year was 1977.

Disco was in. Star Wars was the biggest movie of the year. The world’s first personal computer was announced– the Commodore PET, which came with 8 kilobytes of memory.

And the Gross Domestic Product of the United States reached $1.9 trillion– more than double what it had been just ten years prior.

As you probably know (or possibly remember), though, most of the GDP “growth” during the 1970s wasn’t because the US economy was strong. Quite the opposite, actually.

The 1970s was a period of economic stagnation and inflation. The economy was in such bad shape that, between January 1, 1970 and December 31, 1977, the S&P 500 grew exactly ZERO percent.

Yet food and fuel prices kept spiraling out of control. This is a big reason why GDP kept rising in the 1970s despite such a weak economy.

We’ll come back to 1970s inflation in a moment; for now, I’ll point out the coincidence that the latest COVID stimulus bill which Congress seems ready to pass, is also $1.9 trillion.

In other words, the amount of money they want to spend in a SINGLE legislative package is the same as the size of the entire US economy in 1977. And 1977 is still fairly recent history.

Even today, $1.9 trillion is nearly 10% of the size of the US economy, and roughly 50% of expected federal tax revenue this fiscal year.

Before this COVID spending plan was announced, the Congressional Budget Office estimated in early January that the budget deficit this year in the Land of the Free would be $2.3 trillion (up from their $1.8 trillion estimate a few months before.)

Now they’ll have to add another $1.9 trillion to the total, tentatively bringing this year’s budget deficit to $4.2 trillion.

It’s important to note, of course, that the politicians and public health officials keep moving the goalposts on when life will go back to ‘normal’.

Their latest estimate is that, after hundreds of millions of people are vaccinated, then possibly by late fall there will be “a degree of normality”.

But naturally if there’s the slightest hint of anyone getting the sniffles this fall, they’ll likely slap everyone back down into stay-at-home orders and quarantines. And this means MORE stimulus.

Stay home. Be afraid. Dehumanize yourself and others. Believe what you’re told. Obey. Collect your free government money.

Among the countless, obvious problems with their plan is that they only have one way to pay for it: debt.

The national debt in the United States is nearly $28 trillion right now (up from $23 trillion pre-COVID). And the debt will sprint past $29 trillion soon and reach $30 trillion within the next few months.

At $30 trillion, the national debt will be roughly 1.5x the size of the entire US economy. That will also be a record high– even higher than when the US was fighting the Nazis in World War II.

The challenges with this approach, of course, are that

(a) someone actually has to have trillions of dollars lying around; and

(b) be willing to lend such prodigious sums to the US federal government.

That’s a pretty tall order.

Most foreign countries don’t have that sort of money. Europe and Japan, for example, are flat broke. And those who do have the money (China) don’t have any interest in financing US government deficits.

You can see this in the data: foreign ownership of US government debt has actually been declining over the past few years, giving a very strong indication that they’re unwilling and/or unable to loan more money to Uncle Sam.

So, with foreign lenders off the table, the Treasury Department will have to look to other sources.

Social Security’s trust funds have long been a source of plunder. But with the program having already turned cashflow negative (and set to run out of money possibly by the end of this decade), this isn’t a viable option any longer.

That leaves the Federal Reserve– America’s central bank. The Fed has the ridiculous authority of being able to conjure unlimited quantities of money out of thin air in its sole discretion. And as a result, they’ve been buying up the vast majority of US government debt for most of the past decade.

Prior to the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, the Fed’s balance sheet was around $850 billion. Since then, they’ve created so much money that their balance sheet has ballooned to $7.4 trillion.

This takes me back to the 1970s.

Starting in around 1970, the Federal Reserve began heavily slashing interest rates and pumping more money into the economy in an effort to boost GDP.

The plan was successful; like I wrote earlier, the US economy ‘grew’. But so did inflation and unemployment.

Inflation in particular was miserable during the 70s, reaching 14% by its peak in 1980. And most of this happened because they borrowed too much and created too much money.

I wrote about this recently— economic prosperity isn’t rocket science. All that’s required is some basic fiscal restraint, economic freedom, and a stable currency. The free market takes care of the rest.

History shows that bad things tend to happen when politicians and bureaucrats try to engineer prosperity by debasing the currency.

Yet these people continue to print and spend money like drunken sailors… which is frankly an insult to drunken sailors everywhere. Even drunken sailors eventually realize when they’ve run out of money.

It’s entirely possible that such unprecedented debt and money expansion could cause serious problems with the currency– including 1970s style inflation.

Don’t fall into a logical trap and believe that inflation will never be a problem, simply because it hasn’t been a problem yet.

Rather, acknowledge that the US was extremely lucky for inflation to have been relatively benign over the last decade.

But after the year we just had, it would be foolish to assume that the next decade will be as tame as the previous one.

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Activists claim gang members aren’t diverse enough

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice.

Google Deletes 100,000 negative Robinhood reviews

Last week we talked about how YouTube was deleting “dislikes” on White House videos, because they vastly outnumbered “likes”.

This week Google is helping out Robinhood— the stock trading app caught up in the whole Gamestop stock saga.

Robinhood banned users from buying Gamestop stock. And that was seen by many users as fixing the market in favor of the big hedge funds.

As a result, an army of angry customers left negative reviews on the app store, bringing the Robinhood app’s rating down to one star.

But then, Google removed 100,000 negative ratings, restoring the app’s status back to 4 stars.

And the excuse was the same as last week’s pathetic reasoning to delete White House dislikes: sometimes, Google claims, they delete ratings that they determines to be spam or insincere.

The fix is in— from the stock market to social media likes, and everything in between. Obey.

Click here to read the full story.

Ireland to fine residents €500 for trying to go on vacation

The list of countries that require permission from the government to exit is growing.

Of course North Korea is a classic example of an authoritarian country which requires permission to leave. Australia joined them in 2020, keeping citizens hostage in the name of COVID unless they provided proof of necessary international travel.

Now Ireland has told citizens that, as of February 1, if they are caught trying to go on a vacation, they will be fined €500 (about $600).

Irish residents are are confined to a 5km radius from their homes unless they have an essential reason. Otherwise they face the same €500 fine (which was recently increased from €100.)

Clearly we can’t have the peasants roaming around without permission!

Click here to read the full story.

Woman refuses to testify without mask, so attacker walks free

Several years ago a deranged Oregon man attacked a woman with a sledgehammer. He was convicted by a 10-2 jury decision and shipped off to prison.

But after the Supreme Court ruled jury that decisions must be unanimous, the man was given a retrial last month.

His attorney filed a motion requesting that the victim testify at the trial without a mask on. And the judge granted this request based on the right to see your accuser face-to-face.

But the victim said she did not want to remove her mask to testify because she was afraid of Covid.

Consequently, she did not show up to the trial… and the judge was forced to let the attacker walk free.

Talk about Covid derangement syndrome.

Somehow, the miniscule risk of contracting COVID, coupled with the tiny chance of it being a serious case, appeared a larger danger to her than a man who had almost killer her with a sledge hammer.

The last thing he said to her was, “I’ll kill you and your dog some day. . .” But at least they helped stop the spread of COVID!

Click here to read the full story.

COVID hypocrites: Paris Police Party All Night Long

Paris, France currently mandates a COVID curfew from 6pm to 6am, during which time only essential travel is allowed.

The police have been busy busting parties around Paris that occur past 6pm, in violation of curfew and social distancing. Participants are fined €135 (£120) for the first offense, €200 for a second offense, and up to €3,750 and six-months in jail for a third offense.

But last week, the police officers themselves were caught on video throwing a goodbye party for an officer.

The party occurred at the station, and went until three in the morning. During the event, officers crowded into a small room without masks, in violation of social distancing protocols.

They just enforce the rules. You can’t expect them to follow the rules too.

Click here to read the full story.

When the Internet of Things has you by the balls…

This might be shocking to some of our more conservative readers, but there are sex toy devices called ‘chastity cages’ which lock around the male genitalia.

This is apparently popular among guys who are into some BDSM fetishes. The idea is to lock your private parts in a cage that only your partner has the key to.

But these days, everything is a “smart device” that’s connected to the Internet. TVs, coffee makers, refrigerators, and even sex toys now, are part of the ‘Internet of Things (IoT)’.

So in this case, the chastity cage is controlled with a smart phone app instead of a physical key.

However, many IoT devices are notoriously insecure.

Users of one of these products found that out the hard way when the manufacturer left the API exposed online, allowing hackers to take control of the devices.

This left a number of users in the position of having their genitals literally held hostage by hackers, in exchange for a Bitcoin ransom.

Click here to read the full story.

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Historical lessons in prosperity vs. poverty

As the grandson of Genghis Khan, Kublai Khan had a lot to prove.

So he set his eyes on the biggest prize in the known world at the time: southern China.

Kublai Khan completed his conquest of China in 1279, forging a new empire and creating the Yuan dynasty.

The Mongols were known for their expensive habits— they liked war and women especially. So when the money started to run out, administrators in the Yuan dynasty started printing paper money.

Yuan officials weren’t the first to come up with this idea; the government from the prior Song dynasty had also printed paper money. But there was a huge difference—

Paper currency from the Song dynasty, known as guanzi, was backed by copper, silver, and gold coins.

The Yuan currency, however, was backed by nothing. So whenever the government started to run out of money, they simply printed more.

By 1350, Kublai Khan had been dead for decades. But the Yuan dynasty’s economic overseers were still printing paper money like crazy. And it was causing severe hyperinflation across China.

People’s lives were turned upside down by the government’s fiscal irresponsibility, and rebellions broke out across the country.

By 1368, the Yuan dynasty had completely collapsed, and a destitute peasant farmer-turned-monk named Zhu Yuanzhang rose up to become Emperor and found the new Ming Dynasty.

To stimulate the economy ravaged by inflation, the Ming dynasty created an unprecedented level of economic freedom.

Markets and industries were deregulated; the government abandoned its monopoly on salt production, for example, and merchants were encouraged to allow market competition to set prices.

In time, the government stabilized the currency and reintroduced metallic coins. And by the 1500s Ming officials even allowed foreign currencies like the Spanish Silver Dollar to circulate in China.

This proved a much more stable medium of exchange than fiat currency, and the Chinese economy blossomed as a result.

Wealth rose dramatically. China was able to build canals, bridges, expand and fortify the Great Wall into the brick and stone mammoth we know today, and complete numerous other public works projects.

(Incidentally, as we discussed recently, taxing the rich was not the main method of funding this infrastructure. Instead, merchants were praised, and held in high esteem, for their voluntary contributions to the public good.)

And overall China had become one of the wealthiest, most powerful countries in the world.

It’s not hard to see why. Economic freedom. Deregulation. Stable currency. Responsible spending.
We’ve seen these elements over and over again throughout history.

In the 10th century, the city-state of Venice followed a similar model of economic freedom.

At a time when Medieval Europe was choking on the feudal system, Venice was one of the few places where even peasants could strike it rich.

The Venetian government established limited partnerships, enshrined the rule of law, and eventually established the Venetian Gold ducat– a gold coin that quickly became widely accepted around the world for international trade due to its purity and stability.

As a result of such policies, tiny Venice became one of the wealthiest and most powerful economies in Europe.

Centuries later, the Netherlands advanced this model even further, becoming the most capitalist country the world had ever seen up to that point.

The Dutch established the first stock exchange, the first publicly-traded companies (like the Dutch East India Company), and countless other financial innovations ranging from mutual funds to stock options.

The government stepped out of the way and allowed the private sector to flourish. They kept taxes reasonable and the currency stable; in fact the Dutch guilder– a silver coin– became the reserve currency of Europe during the 1700s.

History is full of more examples that show how economic prosperity is actually a pretty simple formula.

All it takes is economic freedom, fiscal responsibility, and a stable currency. This is also how the United States became the wealthiest country in the world.

But the direction that the US and most of the West are taking now is the opposite.

They demonstrate a complete lack of fiscal responsibility. They spend trillions of dollars now like it’s no big deal. $30 trillion in debt– 50% larger than the size of the entire economy– is nothing to them.

The central banks also keep debasing the currency; they ‘printed’ so much money last year that the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet nearly doubled in the span of a few months.

And there are plenty of examples of that throughout history as well.

The Western Roman Empire collapsed as a result of its never-ending corruption, fiscal irresponsibility, and currency debasement.
The French Bourbon Monarchy, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire— they all ended as corrupt, bloated, highly-regulated bureaucracies with enormous debts.

Sometimes it helps to just step back and look at the big picture— 5,000 years of human history makes it pretty obvious what elements create prosperity versus poverty.

So when you see your government actively embracing extreme deficits, money printing, nationalization of industries, debilitating taxes, and other Marxist principles, ask yourself– are these the principles of prosperity or poverty?

Again, history is quite instructive.

Remember, though, we’re talking about trends here– the bottom won’t fall out tomorrow morning.

But that makes it even more important to think about the future (and your family’s future). Because your government certainly isn’t thinking about it.

You can’t control what politicians and central bankers are going to do. You can’t control the national outcome. But you can control your own outcome… and your own future prosperity.

If they raise taxes, for example, you can be prepared to take legal steps to reduce what you owe.

If devalue the currency, you can preserve your savings in alternative assets.

If they excessively regulate business, you may consider restructuring in a more advantageous jurisdiction.

This is what a Plan B is all about– ensuring that whatever happens or doesn’t happen next, you’ll always be in a position of strength.

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Elizabeth Warren is “calling your bluff”

Herodes Atticus was born in the year 101 AD into a wealthy family in Greece, which at the time was part of the Roman Empire.

During Emperor Hadrian’s rule, Herodes petitioned for public funds to build a proper water system in the famed city of Troy.

When the water system cost more than double what Herodes had estimated, Hadrian expressed his displeasure.

But Herodes’ father wrote to Hadrian, saying “Do not, O Emperor, allow yourself to be irritated over such trifles. The amount spent in excess of 3,000,000 [drachmas] I am presenting to my son, and my son will present to the city.”

(3 million ancient Greek drachmas is roughly $11 million US dollars today.)

It was actually common practice at the time for wealthy citizens to take on public works projects using their own wealth. And Herodes continued the tradition.

He built aqueducts to bring clean water to the city of Olympia, and sponsored the construction of pools meant to heal the sick at Thermopylae. He built stadiums and theaters and threw feasts and festivals for the people, all at his own expense.

And for his contributions, Herodes was honored and praised.

The people celebrated him, and built a statue in his honor. He went down in history as one of the biggest philanthropists of his day.

Today, people in the completely tolerant and mostly peaceful Left, do the opposite— they shame and ridicule the wealthy for their contributions to society.

For example, last year when the CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos pledged billions of dollars to improve the earth’s climate, an editorial in The Guardian asked: Why doesn’t Jeff Bezos pay more tax instead of launching a $10bn green fund?

The message was clear: no amount of philanthropy is good enough. It’s only acceptable if Bezos hands over his money to the government first, so that politicians can squander most of it on wasteful bureaucracy and corrupt self-dealing.

Ironically, Bezos was actually ready and willing to pay more taxes when he chose to build a second Amazon headquarters (‘HQ2’) in New York City.

HQ2 would have been a bonanza of tax revenue for New York.

But AOC and her merry band of Marxists were having none of that. Because Amazon’s HQ2 would have received a federal tax break, they poopoo’d the deal and chased Amazon out of town.

Goodbye 25,000 high-paying jobs. Goodbye $500 million per year in local tax revenue.

Now New York is facing a $15 billion budget deficit fueled in part by wealthy people and prominent businesses fleeing the state for more tax friendly places like Florida and Texas.

But rather than cut spending or give wealthy people incentive to stay, New York’s Emperor Cuomo wants to raise the state income tax on the wealthy to 10.86%, up from 8.82%.

Talk about a bad idea. According to IRS data and the Tax Foundation, the top 1% of income earners pay almost 40% of state and federal taxes.
Raising taxes will only chase away more of them.

But politicians deny this simple truth. They think they can raise taxes on the rich and there won’t be any consequences, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, for example, is back on her high horse, demanding a 2% annual wealth tax on rich Americans.

However, when a CNBC anchor asked Warren if she had concerns that the wealth tax would make Americans leave the country, Warren scoffed, saying:

“I’m sorry, there is no evidence that anyone is going to leave this country because of a [wealth tax]… you’re telling me that they would forfeit their American citizenship… and I’m just calling your bluff on that. I’m sorry that’s not going to happen.

Really? No evidence?

What about the 6,000+ Americans who renounced their citizenship during the first nine months of 2020 (versus only roughly 2,000 Americans who renounced in all of 2019).

37,000 Americans have renounced since 2010, and the trend has been growing ever since around halfway through the Obama presidency.

There are 9 million American expats currently living overseas, and about 23% report seriously considering renouncing their American citizenship. Much of their reasoning is tax-related.

But Warren dismisses this evidence entirely.

To her, the 37,000 people who have already renounced their citizenship don’t exist, nor do the 23% of expats who are considering renouncing. It must be fake news.

She can’t possibly imagine a world where her decisions have a negative impact.

Her way of thinking is also quite instructive. Just look at what she’s saying— ‘we can do whatever we want to successful people, raise their taxes to whatever we want, and they’re just going to have to take it.’

That’s pretty scary.

And this trend is only going to continue as the Bolsheviks think of new ways to punish successful people.

Because, for them, it’s not just about the tax revenue. It’s about shame and ridicule.

AOC tells her Twitter following, for example, that wealthy people “don’t MAKE a billion dollars. They TAKE a billion dollars.”

She thinks earning money from willing customers is theft. But the government taking money by force is righteous. THAT MAKES PERFECT SENSE!

These people are totally clueless… and yet they’re the ones in charge. Nothing we do will change that fact.

But what does make a difference is taking rational, legal steps to distance yourself from their insanity.

Tax is a great example. No matter what crazy legislation these politicians pass, almost EVERYONE still has completely legitimate ways to reduce their tax bills.

For example, you can take advantage of retirement plan tax incentives; and it’s hard to imagine anyone would be worse off paying less tax and having more money set aside for retirement.

Or someone could take advantage of Opportunity Zones, captive insurance companies, or the incredible incentives in Puerto Rico (and US Virgin Islands).

Point is- there are plenty of options. But you have to educate yourself and take action… because Elizabeth Warren and AOC certainly won’t find the deductions for you.

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Actually, there is an alternative

On March 12, 1989, a research fellow at CERN named Tim Berners-Lee submitted a paper to the agency’s senior management, proposing a new way to organize information across computer networks.

The Internet was already in full swing by 1989, at least among governments and universities. But it was mostly used for email at that point, because there was no easy way to post and access different types of content.

Berners-Lee solved that problem, and his creation became known as the World Wide Web.

A few years later, a young software engineer named Marc Andreessen led the development of the first graphical web browser; it was called Mosaic, and it was instrumental in popularizing the Internet around the world.

Andreessen broke away from the Mosaic project and founded a new company– Netscape Communications. And its ‘Netscape Navigator’ quickly became the most popular web browser in the world.

Barely a year after its founding, Netscape decided to go public. And this was extremely unusual at the time.

Back in the 1980s, nearly EVERY company to IPO was profitable, and fairly seasoned. Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, etc. were all making money when they went public.

Sure, it was normal that sophisticated investors who could bear the risk would buy shares of unprofitable startups. But it was unthinkable that an unprofitable company would go public, or that mainstream investors would actually want to own the stock.

Netscape, despite the popularity of its browser, was losing tons of money, so its decision to go public was highly unusual.

But that didn’t seem to matter to investors; Netscape’s IPO was a smashing success. When it went public in August 1995, the share price doubled on the first day, and it was up 600% within a few months.

And soon, it seemed like every 20 year old with a website was going public. And not only were most of these companies unprofitable, many of them weren’t even generating revenue.

It took another 4+ years for the dot-com bubble to burst. And when it did, the decline was ferocious; the NASDAQ stock index dropped nearly 80% from its peak, and most of the former high-flying dotcoms went bust.

You’d think that would have been a valuable lesson, and that no one would repeat the same mistakes of the dot-com bubble again.

But that’s precisely what we’re seeing now– companies that lose tons of money are some of the most popular stocks in the world.

Uber, for example, has never turned a profit. Its operating cash flow has totaled NEGATIVE $11 billion over the past five years with no end in sight. Yet its stock is worth roughly $100 billion.

SnapChat similarly has lost billions of dollars over the years. Yet its stock is worth nearly $80 billion.

Even stocks that are profitable are trading at absurd valuations.

I know its sacrilege to criticize Tesla… but let’s be honest– even though the company finally had a full year of positive Free Cash Flow, the stock is trading at an unbelievable 1600x earnings.

In fact MOST of the market is overvalued; the current P/E ratio of the S&P 500 is nearly FORTY (versus a long-term average of 15).

Yet people keep piling into the market despite these extreme valuations, let alone the fact that the new ruling party wants to raise their taxes and create all sorts of debilitating regulations.

The common refrain is that ‘There is No Alternative,” or TINA. In other words, because the Federal Reserve is printing so much money, it’s nearly impossible to find a fairly valued asset anymore.

But this TINA mentality demonstrates a remarkable lack of creativity or insight. And one need only look as far as gold.

Now, typically when I write about gold, I discuss its utility as a hedge against systemic risk.

Gold is like an insurance policy. And if the proverbial ever hits the fan, its not a bad idea to own a little bit of an asset with a 5,000 year history of value and marketability.

But today I’d point to gold’s potential speculative upside.

Remember when the pandemic first hit last year? Gold went through the roof because everyone was in a panic. And by early August, gold hit an all-time high of $2,058.

About two days prior to that record high, when the price was in excess of $2,000 per troy ounce, I wrote that “a short-term correction” in gold prices might occur, especially “if a Covid vaccine is produced.”

And that’s pretty much what happened; gold prices started to decline slightly and are now down roughly 10.5% from the peak.

The S&P 500, on the other hand, is up 12% since August. Oil and natural gas prices are up more than 25%. Real estate across the United States (according to Zillow data) is up 6%.

Even prices of industrial and agricultural commodities like corn, rubber, copper, lumber, cotton, and iron are WAY up since August.

But gold is DOWN.

This makes gold one of the only major assets to fall over the past five months.

And yet the world is not exactly on a positive trend right now.

Public health officials have been terrorizing their citizens about the evil new Covid strain; one government minister in Singapore just said it would be 4-5 YEARS before Covid conditions went away.

Politicians still want to restrain economic activity and pay people to stay home. Governments are still going deeper into debt and creating all sorts of debilitating regulations. Central banks are actively debasing their currencies.

Amid all of this, stock market valuations are near record levels… but gold is down 10%.

Now, I’m not suggesting anyone should sell their stocks to buy gold (we aren’t investment advisors anyhow); in fact there’s a case to be made that stocks will rise even further as long as the central bank keeps printing money.

The larger point is that this TINA mentality is total nonsense. It seems obvious that gold is a very credible alternative when so many other assets are overvalued.

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Get ready for your COVID anal swab

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice.

China Pushes New Trend: Anal Swab COVID Tests

In the earliest days of the pandemic, China locked down the citizens of Wuhan, going so far as to weld some people in their homes in an attempt to control the spread of COVID.

Little did we know at the time that China’s aggressive authoritarian policies would become the norm across the world.

Now China has taken the depths of their penetration to a whole new level… because now the regime has started to use anal swabs, inserted about two inches into the anus, to test for COVID.

And naturally they started the process by using the new tests on about 1,000 school children, claiming it is more accurate to detect mild or asymptomatic cases through the anus.

First China convinces the West to destroy their economies, and trample on the individual liberty of their citizens using aggressive lockdowns.

Now they are showing the world that the next step in controlling COVID is to sodomize children in the name of public health.

We can only imagine how quickly the WHO will praise China’s courageous leadership… and how quickly the West will follow the example.

Trust the experts. Obey.

Click here to read the full story.

US Vaccine recipients not exempt from COVID test entry requirements

Earlier this week the US federal government began requiring all air passengers arriving from a foreign country to have a negative COVID test before being allowed to enter the United States.

This includes US citizens, and even US citizens who have proof that they received a full dose of the COVID vaccine.

According to the CDC website, “all air passengers traveling to the US, regardless of vaccination or antibody status, are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery.”

This goes along with all their other guidance— once you receive a vaccine, you still have to wear a mask, social distance, and cower in fear in your home.

What exactly is the point again?

It’s also a bit silly that the ONLY condition they care about is COVID. It’s perfectly fine if you enter the country with Tuberculosis. Or Ebola. Or any other highly contagious superbug. As long as you don’t have COVID, it’s totally fine!

Click here to read the CDC guidance.

Former CIA Director Labels Libertarians as Potential Terrorists

John Brennan was the Director of the CIA under President Obama.

Earlier this month MSNBC interviewed him for his perspective on the Capitol protests.

Brennan said that “members of the Biden team… are now moving in LASER-like fashion to try to uncover as much as they can about what looks very similar to insurgency movements that we’ve seen overseas.”

He then added that the government should look out for domestic terrorists who form “an unholy alliance frequently of religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, Nativists, even libertarians.”

Apparently belief in a small, limited government, like the one laid out in the Constitution, now makes you a potential domestic terrorist.

Click here to watch the video.

Tech Giants favorably manipulating White House ‘likes’

Social media giants aren’t just censoring people they disagree with. Now they appear to be actively manipulating likes and follows too.

Youtube appeared to delete thousands of dislikes on videos uploaded to the official White House channel, because the dislikes so vastly outweighed the likes.

For example, in one case, a video had 1,800 likes, and 12,000 dislikes… but hours later showed 2,000 likes and only 2,500 dislikes.

YouTube explained that they do sometimes remove “spam” or “inauthentic” dislikes.

Naturally the leftist ‘fact checkers’ are all over this, backing up YouTube’s assertion that the dislikes must be spam… because, clearly, if you dislike the guy who received more votes than Barack Obama, you must be a Russian bot.

Click here to read the fact checker’s absurd support.

COVID hypocrite watch: Biden Maskless on Federal Property Hours After Mandate

Hours after signing an executive order forcing everyone to wear masks at all time on federal property, President Biden was spotted not wearing a mask at the Lincoln Memorial.

But to be fair, judging by the look on his face, he probably didn’t know where he was…

Click here to read the full story.

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Sovereign Man 2021-01-28 12:56:10

At precisely 2:32pm Eastern time on May 6, 2010, the US stock market started to drop.

The decline was sudden, and vicious. Within minutes, more than $1 trillion of market capitalization had vanished, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing nearly 10% of its value.

This event became known as the ‘Flash Crash’. And early explanations pointed to the big investment banks and their high-tech trading algorithms, i.e. software that could buy and sell stocks without human involvement.

When the market started its decline that day, banks’ trading algorithms went haywire and started selling everything. This caused the market to decline even further, which triggered the algorithms to sell even more.

The humans were powerless to stop it. There were stories of panicked tech teams at investment banks frantically ripping cables out of the floor trying to shut down the machines.

But the selling went on for 36 minutes… during which time the banks and big funds racked up enormous losses.

For me, however, the Flash Crash was great. I was ‘short’ the stock market at the time, meaning I had bet that the market would decline.

And when the market dropped by more than 1,000 points, I happily cashed in.

But two days later I received an email from my broker explaining that they were CANCELING my trade.

The poor little investment banks had lost money because their fancy algorithms didn’t work. So the exchange was giving them a ‘do over’ at my expense.

Incredible. It hadn’t even been two years at that point since the banks had to be bailed out at taxpayer expense during the Global Financial Crisis of 2008.

Then, 20 months later, the Flash Crash happened. And the banks were simply able to wipe all their losses away.

The lesson is obvious: when we screw up, we pay the price for our mistakes. But when the banks screw up, the whole financial system comes to their rescue.

Plenty of people have made this realization over the years.

If you’ve been following the news, you are probably aware that there are a few stocks right now– most notably GameStop (GME), that have soared to incredible heights in a matter of days, thanks to a zealous group of individual investors on reddit and TikTok.

These aren’t titans of finance; they’re a bunch of little guys, many of whom are also frustrated by the rigged financial system.

A bit of background– GameStop is a company that sells video games. And, for years, almost all of their sales have been from their 5500+ stores around the world.

That business model worked really well… in 2005.

Today, most users download video games online directly from the publishers, or they stream games from Google, Amazon, Apple, or Steam. Going into a store and buying a DVD is a thing of the past, and GameStop’s sales have suffered as a result of this trend.

A handful of hedge funds have been betting that GameStop will go out of business soon, or at least that the stock price will continue to decline.

So these funds shorted the stock in a huge (and dubious) way, selling more shares of the company than were actually in existence.

And a number of small investors saw these questionable short positions and said, ‘Enough is enough. We’re tired of hedge funds exploiting the market.’ So they’ve banded together and bid up the price of GameStop’s stock to absolutely epic levels.

GME’s stock price is up from $17 earlier this month, $347 at yesterday’s close, all from these small investors.

And as a result, the hedge funds who shorted GameStop have extreme losses.

Individual investors are angry; comments on the subreddit r/wallstreetbets really sum this up:

“Hedge Funds have literally taken lives through their greed. It’s time for some long overdue taste of their own medicine.”

and

“It’s a class war. It’s time we fought back.”

and

“[Hedge funds: ] This is personal for me, and millions of others. . . I’m making this as painful as I can for you.”

and

“There is and has been a ruling class whose sole purpose is to retain power. They gaslight us into thinking they know what is best for us. 1% knows better than 99%. This is not [about] stocks, this is a financial revolution. . .”

And they’re right. Small investors have been fleeced for years. It’s infuriating. People are angry.

And as we saw over and over again throughout 2020, when people become angry enough, they band together, often in loosely organized mobs, and take action.

Oftentimes that action is destructive (or self-destructive), and even irrational.

We watched people burn buildings in the name of combating discrimination, others descend upon the US Capitol, others destroy people’s lives via Twitter, and yet others assaulting their fellow citizens who weren’t wearing masks.

That’s human nature: we do strange things when we’re angry. But it makes us feel better.

GameStop is similar. The business loses tons of money, lost half of its equity last year, and has a net asset value of just $690 million. Yet at yesterday’s close the company was worth $20+ billion.

(So GameStop’s ‘Price/Book’ ratio was roughly 30, while the average Price/Book in the S&P500 is 4.16.)

GameStop is a completely irrational investment. And sure enough, the price has been hammered this morning after the brokerage app RobinHood suspended GME trading.

But as the reddit users say, it’s not about the money. It’s personal. It’s emotional. They’re knowingly engaging in destructive (and self-destructive) behavior. They’re OK losing money– because they’re angry.

This is a sign of the times.

We saw explosive mob anger last year over social issues, political issues, health issues. Now we’re seeing it in the financial system.

The obvious theme here is that people are seriously angry. And it’s not going away. It’s building.

Personally I think a better strategy is to borrow from the 1983 movie War Games: “The only winning move is not to play.”

We have an incredible amount of options at our disposal. Just like I wrote recently about divorcing oneself from Big Tech, no one has to use gmail; you don’t have to play Google’s game.

There are plenty of other secure, cloud-based email services. Same goes for Google Drive, Google search, etc.

Similarly, we have plenty of options when it comes to our investments.

If you think the stock market is rigged, you don’t have to play. Consider alternative investments instead– gold, real estate, private companies, crypto, etc. It may be more productive to NOT play the game rather than take huge risks to fight the system.

Either way, expect the anger to continue building. (Just imagine the fury if inflation starts to rise…)

And this is reason enough to have a Plan B.

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The dumbest argument I’ve ever heard against cryptocurrency

Two decades ago, General Tommy Franks– commander of the original US invasion of Afghanistan back in 2001– was asked his opinion about a civilian bureaucrat named Doug Feith.

Feith was an academic policy wonk who, despite never having served in the military, was a staunch warmonger who was happy for other people to go fight and die in foreign lands.

General Franks was a straight-talking Texan who wasted no words in his opinion that Feith was “the dumbest fucking guy on the planet.”

Over the years of this publication, I have, from time to time, submitted some candidates for what I call the ‘Tommy Franks Award’.

As you can imagine there’s pretty stiff competition for the dumbest f’ing person on the planet, especially these days. But I feel especially compelled right now to nominate the World Economic Forum.

Traditionally the World Economic Forum’s annual event in Davos, Switzerland has been a pageant of wealth and power.

If you’re there, you’ve made it… at least in the eyes of the global elite; it’s nothing but billionaires and politicians. And in the past, the event was typically just photo ops and pointless speeches.

But lately the World Economic Forum has been much more active in cranking out horrifically stupid policy ideas.

For example, the Forum wants human beings (i.e. us peasants) to be conditioned to eat WEEDS and insects in order to save the planet.

The Forum’s founder Klaus Schwab also penned a book last year entitled Covid 19: The Great Reset, which pushes for a radical agenda involving Green New Deals, strict people controls, “solidarity” taxes, debt defaults, and more.

As Schwab announced last year alongside Prince Charles (who is totally relevant with respect to global economic matters),

“Every country, from the United States to China, must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed. . . In short, we need a ‘Great Reset’ of capitalism.”

They’re not even hiding their agenda– they’re boldly stating that they want to ‘reset’ the economic system that is responsible for the greatest amount of prosperity that has ever existed in the history of the world.

And over the next few days, the World Economic Forum is unveiling more about its Great Reset initiative.

Yesterday they held a live virtual panel entitled “Resetting Digital Currencies”. And, naturally they sought out the finest ‘experts’ in cryptocurrency, including:

– The CEO of Western Union, a company whose last financial innovation was when they put the Pony Express out of business in 1861;

– The Governor of the Bank of England, a central bank whose entire existence is the complete opposite of the decentralized cryptocurrency ethos; and

– Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. Yes I’m serious.

Talk about an EXPERT panel!

Honestly it was pretty astonishing to watch. The Queen started off with a completely incomprehensible rant about how the Dutch guilder was the original ‘stablecoin’ because it held its value for so long.

This is just totally inaccurate from a historical perspective; there were plenty of other stable reserve currencies long before Holland even existed. But I’ll let that one slide.

Later, the panel dove into the real meat of their argument: cryptocurrencies are bad because poor people in Africa can’t use them.

The Queen once again piped up, stating that “digital currencies [depend] on smartphones”, and because most people in Africa still have lower grade ‘feature phones’, they don’t have the opportunity to transact with crypto.

Wrong again!

Feature phones have been able to store and transact Bitcoin and other currencies for at least SEVEN years.

And open source wallets like Electron Cash have been available for even the most basic feature phones since mid-2018.

The Queen and her friends are totally wrong. Just about everyone in the world can use crypto.

But they continue to repeat these incorrect statements– I believe the technical term is “baseless assertions”. They claim that crypto is not “inclusive”, which is code for ‘social justice’.

That’s total nonsense. Aside from gold and silver, crypto is the most inclusive asset class in world history. Almost anyone can own it.

What’s not inclusive is the traditional financial system; there’s over 1.7 billion people worldwide who can’t access bank accounts or basic financial services– ironically, according to the World Economic Forum!

Furthermore, if they really care about ‘inclusive finance’, traditional currencies are totally not inclusive.

US Dollars, for example, are exclusive to the United States, a handful of dollarized countries, plus governments, wealthy individuals, and big corporations.

It’s not like some poor person in Africa has regular access to dollars. They’re at the mercy of their local currency, and however much the government wants to inflate it.

And in addition to manipulation and inflation, traditional currencies can also be subject to capital controls. Nothing about this is ‘inclusive’.

Nevertheless, the World Economic Forum elitists continue to repeat their baseless assertions about cryptocurrency.

In reality, they’re terrified of it, because cryptocurrency represents a rejection of the system that they control.

People aren’t stupid, they know they’ve been betrayed.

Corporations have betrayed them by going completely woke. Politicians have betrayed them by abandoning individual liberty and fiscal restraint. The media has betrayed them with its lack of truth and transparency. Tech companies have betrayed them through blatant censorship.

Trust is at an all time low. So why should anyone have any trust in the currency or financial system?

Crypto is a natural alternative for anyone who’s fed up with the people who pull the strings.

This isn’t about price… or even a single currency; Bitcoin, for example, has a number of flaws, though there are plenty of other promising options that still present substantial upside potential.

This is really about the concept of decentralization: taking power away from people who have constantly abused it, and redistributing that power freely across the market.

Some of the greatest advances in human civilization, from the Reformation in the 1500s, to the early days of the Internet, were based on decentralization.

But these people stand for the opposite. They love centralization and concentration of power… especially when they’re the ones in power.

Now they want to tell us what currencies we can/cannot use, which weeds we should be conditioned to eat, and how we should ‘reset’ capitalism.

Perhaps it’s the World Economic Forum that requires a Great Reset.

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Intelwars Trends & News

Five ways to loosen Big Tech’s grip on your life

I imagine there are countless people right now who feel a wide range of emotions when it comes to Big Tech companies. Anger. Disgust. Confusion. Fear.

We’ve watched with exasperation as Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. have systematically squashed intellectual dissent; their actions have been so commonplace that there’s even a name for it: “De-platforming”.

We all know there’s a ton of garbage on the Internet, including from mainstream sources.

But de-platforming has proven to be wholeheartedly biased, totally arbitrary, and often comically ridiculous.

This isn’t just about the election or the Capitol. For example, if you dare utter a word on social media that goes against the infinite and infallible wisdom of the Chinese-controlled World Health Organization, then you might find yourself banned.

YouTube even suspended a renowned epidemiologist– a bona fide pandemic expert– because he opposed lockdowns and was hence ‘dangerous’.

Facebook censored more than 22 million posts in Q2 of 2020 for ‘hate speech’. Naturally, its entirely up to Facebook to define hate speech and judge whether or not you’re using it.

#killallmen, for example, is NOT considered hate speech. And even by the company’s own admission, hate speech against men, or white people, is a low priority.

It’s clear these companies have an enormous amount of unchecked power. They have the ability to erase you from the Internet, destroy your reputation, and, if you’re someone who makes money online, terminate your livelihood.

But the only reason they have this power is because we’ve given it to them. Hundreds of millions of people have intertwined their entire lives into the Big Tech ecosystem, to the point that they know absolutely everything about us.

People post practically every detail of their lives on Instagram. They tell Zuckerberg what they like and dislike on their Facebook profiles. They tell Jack Dorsey what they believe in on their Twitter feeds.

They give Google free license to spy on every single email that’s sent or received; Google even keeps track of the things that you buy, archiving receipts from online purchases in your inbox and aggregating all of it into your advertising profile.

Through its Maps, Drive, and Calendar applications, Google has access to our schedule, our location, and our confidential files.

They know what we’re searching for. They know what we’re saying. They know what we’re doing.

And at a certain point, a rational human being might be compelled to say “enough is enough”. How can anyone possibly trust these people with their data anymore?

The good news is that there are tons of solutions.

In fact, distancing yourself from the Big Tech companies is one of the easiest ways you can declare your own independence and regain a bit of freedom and security. Below I outline a few options to consider:

1. Absolutely use a VPN

Your device, whether your mobile phone, laptop, or even smart TV, has an IP address, and it’s something that the tech companies use to track you.

Whenever you go to Google’s homepage to search for something, for example, Google already knows it’s you.

And many websites around the Internet will track you by IP address, often sharing this information with Google, Facebook, etc.

Using a VPN helps create anonymity online because you’re no longer accessing those websites from your own IP address.

Right now, for example, even though I’m sitting at home in Puerto Rico, I’m using a VPN service and accessing the Internet through a server in Panama. So any website I visit thinks that I’m in Panama.

There are several VPN providers which, as a policy, do NOT keep logs of their customers’ activities, including VyprVPN and NordVPN.

2) Change your search engine

There’s more to the world than Google search, and plenty of other search engines exist which won’t spy on you. Among them– DuckDuckGo, which is based in the United States, and SwissCows, which is based in Switzerland.

3) Change your web browser

If you use Google Chrome, chances are pretty good that your browser is constantly feeding data back to the mother ship. Everywhere you go on the Internet, Chrome is telling Google about it.

But there are plenty of other browsers out there which are far more privacy oriented. “Brave” is one such browser; it’s open-source, which means that its source code is freely available. And it is automatically set up to block trackers and ads to help protect your privacy.

If you do those three things: VPN, change your search engine, and change your browser, you will take a giant leap forward in distancing yourself from Big Tech.

Those three steps will make it much more difficult for Facebook and Google to track you. But here are a few more to consider:

4) Consider more privacy-oriented chat applications

In a couple of weeks, WhatsApp (which is owned by Facebook) will force all users to accept its new privacy policy. Among other things, this means that ALL of your contacts will be shared with Zuckerberg.

There are better options– like Signal. Signal is ultra-secure, built for privacy, and its source code is open source. There are versions for iOS, Android, PC, Mac, and Linux.

5) Ditch Gmail

You might think that Gmail is free, but you’re paying for it with your personal data.

Google’s algorithms automatically scan every incoming email and mine data about you, all of which ends up in your advertising profile.

There are plenty of other services to use, free and paid. If you’re interested in encryption and security, you might consider Switzerland-based ProtonMail, or Iceland-based CTemplar.

There are endless possibilities to reduce Big Tech influence in your life, and these suggestions barely scratch the surface.

More advanced readers might ditch their operating system altogether for an open-source Linux distribution, or even load a custom ROM on their phone to replace Google’s Android.

For now, start small. These suggestions above are easy steps to get started, and they’ll make a huge difference.

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