Categories
Intelwars

Biden Admin Silences DHS Over Border Crisis As Viral Video Shows Flood Of Migrants Streaming Into Arizona

Biden Admin Silences DHS Over Border Crisis As Viral Video Shows Flood Of Migrants Streaming Into Arizona

The Biden administration has told the Department of Homeland Security not to speak freely about the growing border crisis, according to Breitbart, which spoke with a “senior-level law enforcement source” within DHS who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“The situation with media relations now is night and day compared to the last administration,” said the official. “We have been advised not to speak on immigration issues at the border and to rely on DHS’s Office of Public Affairs and the White House Press Office to handle messaging.”

The verbal order applies to senior law enforcement leaders within DHS and has no formal expiration date. It comes as the administration is struggling to manage the growing crisis caused by changes in border security and immigration policies leading to a spike in illegal crossings at the border.

As local communities along the border continue to grapple with the release of migrants into their communities, the administration is facing criticism even amongst their own ranks, Breitbart reported.

The report comes after senior members of the Biden administration – DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Susan Rice – visited several cities in Texas to observe the border crisis first hand. Members of the press were not allowed to accompany the officials‘ visit to Border Patrol stations and a Health and Human Services detention facility for unaccompanied minors. 

According to a source familiar with the DHS media restrictions, the prohibition is designed “to prevent the imagery of overcrowded facilities from circulating.”

Meanwhile, a viral video tweeted on Sunday by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) reveals: “The tip of the iceberg near Yuma, AZ as immigrants begin to flood into the US responding to @JoeBiden ’s open border, catch and release policy.”

Meanwhile, Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents and the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office broke up yet another human trafficking operation, where they found 18 migrants packed into a smuggling stash house – arresting the migrants and transporting them to the Yuma Station for processing, according to Breitbarti.

 Last month, Border Patrol agents in Arizona arrested 11 Iranians who illegally crossed the US-Mexico border. Five women and six men from the “special interest” country were traveling as a group.

Tyler Durden
Mon, 03/08/2021 – 13:00

Share
Categories
Intelwars

The latest episode of the vapid Harry and Meghan saga shows they’ve replaced the Kardashians as the world’s biggest reality show

The ridiculously contrived gossip session exposed the mendacity of Harry, Meghan and Oprah much more than it did the racism of the royal family. We learned next to nothing, and nobody comes out of it with any credit. Last night I debased myself, as did millions of others, by watching the much-hyped Oprah Winfrey interview with Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The fact that mindless proles like me tuned in to watch a billionaire interview two millionaires about how hard their life has been is the most absurd thing imaginable. Yet, here we are. The sit-down in Santa Barbara was billed as a major scoop, as it was the first time that Meghan and Harry have spoken out since their very public spat and split from the royal family. The British monarchy is the longest-running soap opera in human history, and no doubt many tuned in hoping for some salacious details relating to the royal rift.

Share
Categories
Encrypting the Web Intelwars Locational Privacy

The FBI Should Stop Attacking Encryption and Tell Congress About All the Encrypted Phones It’s Already Hacking Into

Federal law enforcement has been asking for a backdoor to read Americans’ encrypted communications for years now. FBI Director Christopher Wray did it again last week in testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee. As usual, the FBI’s complaints involved end-to-end encryption employed by popular messaging platforms, as well as the at-rest encryption of digital devices, which Wray described as offering “user-only access.” 

The FBI wants these terms to sound scary, but they actually describe security best practices. End-to-end encryption is what allows users to exchange messages without having them intercepted and read by repressive governments, corporations, and other bad actors. And “user-only access” is actually a perfect encapsulation of how device encryption should work; otherwise, anyone who got their hands on your phone or laptop—a thief, an abusive partner, or an employer—could access its most sensitive data. When you intentionally weaken these systems, it hurts our security and privacy, because there’s no magical kind of access that only works for the good guys. If Wray gets his special pass to listen in on our conversations and access our devices, corporations, criminals, and authoritarians will be able to get the same access. 

It’s remarkable that Wray keeps getting invited to Congress to sing the same song. Notably, Wray was invited there to talk, in part, about the January 6th insurrection, a serious domestic attack in which the attackers—far from being concerned about secrecy—proudly broadcast many of their crimes, resulting in hundreds of arrests. 

It’s also remarkable what Wray, once more, chose to leave out of this narrative. While Wray continues to express frustration about what his agents can’t get access to, he fails to brief Senators about the shocking frequency with which his agency already accesses Americans’ smartphones. Nevertheless, the scope of police snooping on Americans’ mobile phones is becoming clear, and it’s not just the FBI who is doing it. Instead of inviting Wray up to Capitol Hill to ask for special ways to invade our privacy and security, Senators should be asking Wray about the private data his agents are already trawling through. 

Police Have An Incredible Number of Ways to Break Into Encrypted Phones

In all 50 states, police are breaking into phones on a vast scale. An October report from the non-profit Upturn, “Mass Extraction,” has revealed details of how invasive and widespread police hacking of our phones has become. Police can easily purchase forensic tools that extract data from nearly every popular phone. In March 2016, Cellebrite, a popular forensic tool company, supported “logical extractions” for 8,393 different devices, and “physical extractions,” which involves copying all the data on a phone bit-by-bit, for 4,254 devices. Cellebrite can bypass lock screens on about 1,500 different devices. 

How do they bypass encryption? Often, they just guess the password. In 2018, Prof. Matthew Green estimated it would take no more than 22 hours for forensic tools to break into some older iPhones with a 6-digit passcode simply by continuously guessing passwords (i.e. “brute-force” entry). A 4-digit passcode would fail in about 13 minutes. 

That brute force guessing was enabled by a hardware flaw that has been fixed since 2018, and the rate of password guessing is much more limited now. But even as smartphone companies like Apple improve their security, device hacking remains very much a cat-and-mouse game. As recently as September 2020, Cellebrite marketing materials boasted its tools can break into iPhone devices up to “the latest iPhone 11/ 11 Pro / Max running the latest iOS versions up to the latest 13.4.1” 

Even when passwords can’t be broken, vendors like Cellebrite offer “advanced services” that can unlock even the newest iOS and Samsung devices. Upturn research suggests the base price on such services is $1,950, but it can be cheaper in bulk. 

Buying electronic break-in technology on a wholesale basis represents the best deal for police departments around the U.S., and they avail themselves of these bargains regularly. In 2018, the Seattle Police Department purchased 20 such “actions” from Cellebrite for $33,000, allowing them to extract phone data within weeks or even days. Law enforcement agencies that want to unlock phones en masse can bring Cellebrite’s “advanced unlocking” in-house, for prices that range from $75,000 to $150,000. 

That means for most police departments, breaking into phones isn’t just convenient, it’s relatively inexpensive. Even a mid-sized police department like Virginia Beach, VA has a police budget of more than $100 million; New York City’s police budget is over $5 billion. The FBI’s 2020 budget request is about $9 billion

When the FBI says it’s “going dark” because it can’t beat encryption, what it’s really asking for is a method of breaking in that’s cheaper, easier, and more reliable than the methods they already have. The only way to fully meet the FBI’s demands would be to require a backdoor in all platforms, applications, and devices. Especially at a time when police abuses nationwide have come into new focus, this type of complaint should be a non-starter with elected officials. Instead, they should be questioning how and why police are already dodging encryption. These techniques aren’t just being used against criminals. 

Phone Searches By Police Are Widespread and Commonplace

Upturn has documented more than 2,000 agencies across the U.S. that have purchased products or services from mobile device forensic tool vendors, including every one of the 50 largest police departments, and at least 25 of the 50 largest sheriffs’ offices. 

Law enforcement officials like Wray want to convince us that encryption needs to be bypassed or broken for threats like terrorism or crimes against children, but in fact, Upturn’s public records requests show that police use forensic tools to search phones for everyday low-level crimes. Even when police don’t need to bypass encryption—such as when they convince someone to “consent” to the search of a phone and unlock it—these invasive police phone searches are used “as an all-purpose investigative tool, for an astonishingly broad array of offenses, often without a warrant,” as Upturn put it.

The 44 law enforcement agencies who provided records to Upturn revealed at least 50,000 extractions of cell phones between 2015 and 2019. And there’s no question that this number is a “severe undercount,” counting only 44 agencies, when at least 2,000 agencies have the tools. Many of the largest police departments, including New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Boston, either denied Upturn’s record requests or did not respond. 

“Law enforcement… use these tools to investigate cases involving graffiti, shoplifting, marijuana possession, prostitution, vandalism, car crashes, parole violations, petty theft, public intoxication, and the full gamut of drug-related offenses,” Upturn reports. In Suffolk County, NY, 20 percent of the phones searched by police were for narcotics cases. Authorities in Santa Clara County, CA, San Bernardino County, CA, and Fort Worth, TX all reported that drug crimes were among the most common reasons for cell phone data extractions. Here are just a few examples of the everyday offenses in which Upturn found police searched phones: 

  • In one case, police officers sought to search two phones for evidence of drug sales after a $220 undercover marijuana bust. 
  • Police stopped a vehicle for a “left lane violation,” then “due to nervousness and inconsistent stories, a free air sniff was conducted by a … K9 with positive alert to narcotics.” The officers found bags of marijuana in the car, then seized eight phones from the car’s occupants, and sought to extract data from them for “evidence of drug transactions.” 
  • Officers looking for a juvenile who allegedly violated terms of his electronic monitoring found him after a “short foot pursuit” in which the youngster threw his phone to the ground. Officers sought to search the phone for evidence of “escape in the second degree.” 

And these searches often take place without judicial warrants, despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s clear ruling in Riley v. California that a warrant is required to search a cell phone. That’s because police frequently abuse rules around so-called consent searches. These types of searches are widespread, but they’re hardly consensual. In January, we wrote about how these so-called “consent searches” are extraordinary violations of our privacy. 

Forensic searches of cell phones are increasingly common. The Las Vegas police, for instance, examined 260% more cell phones in 2018-2019 compared with 2015-2016. 

The searches are often overbroad, as well. It’s not uncommon for data unrelated to the initial suspicions to be copied, kept, and used for other purposes later. For instance, police can deem unrelated data to be “gang related,” and keep it in a “gang database,” which have often vague standards. Being placed in such a database can easily affect peoples’ future employment options. Many police departments don’t have any policies in place about when forensic phone-searching tools can be used. 

It’s Time for Oversight On Police Phone Searches

Rather than listening to a litany of requests for special access to personal data from federal agencies like the FBI, Congress should assert oversight over the inappropriate types of access that are already taking place. 

The first step is to start keeping track of what’s happening. Congress should require that federal law enforcement agencies create detailed audit logs and screen recordings of digital searches. And we agree with Upturn that agencies nationwide should collect and publish aggregated information about how many phones were searched, and whether those searches involved warrants (with published warrant numbers), or so-called consent searches. Agencies should also disclose what tools were used for data extraction and analysis. 

Congress should also consider placing sharp limits on when consent searches can take place at all. In our January blog post, we suggest that such searches be banned entirely in high-coercion settings like traffic stops, and suggest some specific limits that should be set in less-coercive settings. 

Share
Categories
CNN Coronvirus COVID-19 Intelwars Medical ethics professor NYU proof of vaccination vaccine passport watch

Coronavirus ‘vaccine passports’ offer ‘freedom,’ ‘mobility,’ access to ‘certain jobs’ — and are inevitable, NYU medical ethics prof tells CNN

Coronavirus “vaccine passports” are coming to America, a New York University medical ethics professor told CNN Sunday.

But not to worry: Arthur Caplan told Fareed Zakaria that bearers of such documents will “gain freedom,” “gain mobility,” and will have access to “certain jobs.”

May I see your papers?

As if to prime the pump, Zakaria’s segment began with the notorious “May I see your papers?” scene from “Casablanca”:


Image source: YouTube screenshot

The host even narrated over the clip, saying the “demand to produce personal documents can be uncomfortable, but post-pandemic it’s something we’ll all likely have to get more and more comfortable with. We could be asked to show proof we’ve had the shots in order to get on an airplane, go to a concert, or go back to work.”

With that, Zakaria asked Caplan why vaccine passports are “the future and we should be comfortable with it?”

What did Caplan have to say?

The professor replied that he’s “sure that the future holds vaccine passports for us, partly to protect against the spread of COVID and it rebounding.”

As for concerns about privacy of health data, Caplan said that “with a COVID certification, you’re going to gain freedom, you’re going to gain mobility, and I’m going to suggest that you’re probably going to be able to get certain jobs,” especially within close-quartered environments such as cruise ships.

He added that often the release of health information “threatens to harm you; in this case being vaccinated threatens to benefit you. It goes in the other direction.”

After Zakaria brought up the “inevitable inequality” with respect to vaccine access and the reluctance of some people and communities to get vaccinated, Caplan had the following to say:

Vaccine passports or even vaccine requirements do depend on access. It’s hard to impose anything unless you are pretty sure that somebody can get a vaccine. So I think it’ll be a little while before we see this, let’s say within the U.S. But there [are] going to be communities and areas of the country where it starts to make sense due to high availability of the vaccine to say, “You wanna come back to work in person? Gotta show me a vaccine certificate. You wanna go in a bar, a restaurant? Gotta show me a vaccine certificate.” I think there will be some inequality in the U.S., but hopefully it will wash out quickly as the supplies increase very rapidly, and I think they’re going to. It also gives you an incentive to overcome vaccine hesitancy. … if you promise them more mobility, more ability to get a job, more ability to get travel, that’s a very powerful incentive to actually achieve fuller vaccination.

Here’s the interview:


On GPS: Are vaccine passports inevitable? | CNN International

youtu.be

Share
Categories
Intelwars

So woke: Urban Dictionary and Google censor ‘Blue Anon’ after widespread mockery of lunatic left conspiracy theories – UPDATE: Entry restored

The life of new term “Blue Anon” in the online Urban Dictionary was short-lived. After emerging on social media and landing in a spot in the slang-term glossary on Saturday, it was quickly purged. A Google search brings up nothing on the term other than brand name ski gear. Jack Posobiec pointed out the deletion from Urban Dictionary: “I have never even heard of a word being banned from Urban Dictionary before the banned Blue Anon.” A search of the dictionary for the term comes up short.

Share
Categories
Intelwars

Liquidity Tsunami Foiled: Why This Has Major Implications For Markets

Liquidity Tsunami Foiled: Why This Has Major Implications For Markets

Exactly one month ago we explained that the US economy and capital markets were about to be flooded with a $1.1 trillion liquidity wave as the Treasury drew down the amount of cash held in the Treasury General Account which would plunge to just $800 billion by March 31, down a record $929BN from $1.729 trillion at Dec 31, 2020.

In other words as of early February, the Treasury expected the decline in the cash balance this quarter – which is being spent to fund last December’s fiscal stimulus – to be the main driver of funding needs.

This matters, because as we and repo guru Zoltan Pozsar explained (here and here), this massive flood of liquidity entering the market would trigger a multi-faceted domino effect across assets, potentially pushing funding rates (FRA-OIS, repo, etc) negative, even as the glut of “safe collateral” hit demand for longer-duration, resulting in curve steepening and higher yields in longer-dated paper. And since the market is now extremely sensitive to any yield increases – reflationary or otherwise – a paradox emerged: despite over $1 trillion in liquidity hitting the market, the impact on risk assets would be largely negative.

That said, all of this however was predicated on one thing: that the Treasury’s funding needs would remain unchanged for the quarter (and beyond), which also implied that no further stimulus would pass during the first calendar quarter, and that the Treasury’s cash balance target would remain $800BN at Mar 31, all else equal.

But that it no longer the case: as of this weekend, Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion – technically $1.8 trillion – stimulus plan passed the Senate and it’s now just a matter of fine tuning it in the House before it is signed into law. Said otherwise, it is now just a matter of day before the Treasury’s funding needs change dramatically, and the Treasury’s borrowing forecast as of Feb 1 is no longer applicable.

This has huge consequences for the market, which first was slow to adapt to the initial liquidity tsunami scenario and is now just as slow to realize that it has now been foiled.

As Wrightson ICAP economist Lou Crandall writes this morning, as Congress gets closer to passing a $1.9 trillion of stimulus, the Treasury won’t need to raise much new money to finance the plan. This also means that the government’s cash surplus problem is about to resolve itself.

“The Treasury’s current coupon offerings are generating more than $2.7 trillion of new cash on an annualized basis, and it is still sitting on a large stockpile of surplus cash left over from last year’s preemptive borrowing spree” Crandall wrote. 

But, since it now “seems clear that the Treasury no longer needs to pay down bills at a rapid pace” as it needs to start prefunding the $1.9 trillion stimulus, Wrightson estimates the Treasury will start increasing the sizes of its bill offerings “in the very near future,” possibly as soon as Thursday’s regular announcement (and sees cumulative increases totaling $10b in the 4-, 6-, 8- and 17-week maturities, $6b for the 3- and 6-month bills, and unchanged one-year bill offerings).

In effect, this means that the liquidity drain that was envisioned for this quarter by the Treasury is not only no longer happening but is about to be reversed as the Treasury reassess its funding needs and restart building up its cash buffer!

In practical terms, this means that the pace of the Treasury’s weekly bill paydown will collapse from $55BN to “negligible levels” by the first half of April.

And sure enough, this is already being observed in the market, where Treasury bill yields have backed up; securities maturing through April 1 are yielding 0.02% to 0.03%. It also means that expectations for negative GC Repo yields can be cast aside and that the short-end of the curve will now widen in coming days. And since there will not be a massive liquidity tsunami that dealers will have to onboard, it also means that there will be far more capacity for regular coupon securities. In short: a flattening of the curve is imminent, as are lower 10Y yields… and by extension higher stock prices as this move will likely be viewed (incorrectly) by algos and quants as a disinflationary trade.

Tyler Durden
Mon, 03/08/2021 – 12:40

Share
Categories
Covid origins COVID-19 Diplomats coronavirus Intelwars Wuhan lab

Report: Diplomats warned US about potential for dangerous coronavirus outbreak 3 years ago after ‘risky’ Wuhan experiments. The government ignored them.

Chinese researchers warned of a coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan approximately two years before COVID-19 emerged in the same city, according to Washington Post columnist and author Josh Rogin.

The United States reportedly ignored those warnings.

What are the details?

In a lengthy Politico article titled “In 2018, Diplomats Warned of Risky Coronavirus Experiments in a Wuhan Lab. No One Listened,” Rogin said that U.S. health and science officials from the embassy in Beijing attended a late 2017 conference that detailed warnings about the possibility of a new SARS-related virus transmitted by bats and suffered by humans.

The article is based on an excerpt of Rogin’s new book, “Chaos Under Heaven: Trump, Xi, and the Battle for the Twenty-First Century,” and was published Monday.

“On January 15, in its last days, President Donald Trump’s State Department put out a statement with serious claims about the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Rogin wrote in the article. “The statement said the U.S. intelligence community had evidence that several researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology laboratory were sick with Covid-like symptoms in autumn 2019 — implying the Chinese government had hidden crucial information about the outbreak for months — and that the WIV lab, despite ‘presenting itself as a civilian institution,’ was conducting secret research projects with the Chinese military.”

Rogin continued, “The State Department alleged a Chinese government cover-up and asserted that ‘Beijing continues today to withhold vital information that scientists need to protect the world from this deadly virus, and the next one.'”

According to reports, the U.S. embassy sent at least three teams of experts in the ensuing months to speak with scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology regarding lab safety practices.

“When they sat down with the scientists at the WIV, the American diplomats were shocked by what they heard,” Rogin noted. “The Chinese researchers told them they didn’t have enough properly trained technicians to safely operate their BSL-4 lab. The Wuhan scientists were asking for more support to get the lab up to top standards.”

Following the meetings, diplomats wrote cable warnings to Washington “begging people to pay attention to what was going on” and urging Washington to do more to help the lab.

“They also warned that the WIV researchers had found new bat coronaviruses [that] could easily infect human cells, and which used the same cellular route that had been used by the original SARS coronavirus,” Rogin reported.

Rogin said that one of the cable writers said that messages were intended to warn the U.S. of a large-scale potential public health emergency related to the Wuhan lab, but the messages were reportedly never made public.

Rogin also said that the two cables were designed to alert the U.S. government of “a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory.”

“We were trying to warn that the lab was a serious danger,” one of the writers said. “I have to admit, I thought it would be maybe a SARS-like outbreak again. If I knew it would turn out to be the greatest pandemic in human history, I would have made a bigger stink about it.”

Rogin in the article also notes, “The exact origin of the new coronavirus remains a mystery to this day, but the search for answers is not just about assigning blame. Unless the source is located, the true path of the virus can’t be traced, and scientists can’t properly study the best ways to prevent future outbreaks.”

You can read the rest of the excerpt here.

Share
Categories
Intelwars

Biden to formally establish new Gender Policy Council

President Biden will sign an executive order on Monday establishing the Gender Policy Council within the White House to focus on uplifting the rights of women and address gender-based discrimination and violence. He will also sign an executive order directing the Department of Education to review the Title IX regulation issued by the Trump administration to determine whether it is consistent with the policy of the Biden administration that students be “guaranteed education free from sexual violence,” administration officials said. The orders come on International Women’s Day and he will sign them alongside Vice President Harris, the nation’s first female vice president. Biden and Harris had announced plans before their inauguration in January to establish the Gender Policy Council. “The council will have an explicit role in both domestic and foreign policy development,” an administration official said. “We know that the full participation of all people, including women and girls…

Share
Categories
Intelwars

The Narrative Of Inflation Amid Depopulation

The Narrative Of Inflation Amid Depopulation

Authored by Chris Hamilton via Econimica blog,

Next to language, money is the most important medium through which modern society communicates. The Federal Reserve is responsible for signaling how fast this money should be created or destroyed via its federal funds interest rate. When demand is high and capacity/supply low, the Fed should ideally make rates low to support growth of loans to boost capacity/supply. When demand is low and capacity/supply high…the opposite. Instead, the Fed is doing the inverse…trying to focus on getting consumers to use more credit/debt (think record low mortgage rates) to create more demand and necessitate higher capacity (think homebuilders).

In a ridiculously difficult chart to decipher below (so I’m told), I highlight the year over year change in working age population (yellow shaded area), year over year change in employees among them (grey shaded area), housing permits (blue line), and the 30 year mortgage rate (white line…driven by the Federal Reserve’s federal funds rate and MBS purchasing). The current situation of soaring permits against declining working age population and tanking employees among them…overridden by the speculative fervor created by record low mortgage rates is a case in point.

But in an economy, the production and consumption of goods and services are used to fulfill the wants and needs of those living within it. Very basically, the major driver of economic growth is the growth of that population of consumers, their income, savings, and access to credit. If that population is growing at 1.5% annually then you can add an additional 1.5%+ growth for maintaining &/or building out greater production, supply chain, housing, infrastructure, etc to support that larger consumer base.  This essentially gets us to a 3% growth in GDP.

So what is happening when there is little, no, or negative population (consumer) growth but GDP growth is still being targeted at 1.5% or 3% or (as in China’s case) 6%? What the Fed is trying to do is get a zero population growth (trending to declining population) economy to “grow” via cheaper debt, more debt, and serial bubble blowing. If I was a PhD at the Fed, I’m pretty sure I’d make it sound more complicated and mysterious…but I’m not and it isn’t.

Anyway, couple of interesting factoids I thought I’d put out today that may be tangentially of interest. If Brookings Institute (and many others) are correct in their research that 2021 births are likely to decline somewhere between 300-500k due to the pandemic…2021 births will essentially be back at the same total number of births as 1921…exactly 100 years ago, in the wake of the influenza pandemic (chart below).

Putting this round trip in births into perspective, over those same 100 years, the total US population has more than tripled (below).

Narrowing in from 1950 to present…it should be clear the growing total population is not seeing likewise growth of births (below). Why?

The answer is humankind is different than almost every other species on planet earth, and the female of our species has a relatively truncated period of fertility comprising only about 30% of their lifecycle. Most other species females period of fertility are nearer 75%+ of their lifespan  This means that the significantly larger human population means little for childbearing, and only by narrowing in on the 15 to 40 year-olds can we see what is really going on. The yellow line below is the US childbearing population which has been flat since the mid 1980’s…while the rest of the population has been living decades longer than their predecessors. Couple the flat childbearing population with a falling fertility rate among them and thus the US is looking at a secular collapse in births and subsequent decline in young amid a soaring elderly population.

Below, since ZIRP was initiated, encouraging soaring marketable federal debt, the opposite reaction has been observed among young adults with tanking marriages and collapsing births.

Putting that soaring debt into view on a per birth ratio, (below). We are looking at ever fewer children (future adults) responsible for repaying/servicing/inflating ever more debt on a radically rising basis.

So, when I show the year over year change (qtrly basis) of the total population versus GDP since 1960, it should be clear why we need the economy to grow ever less in order to serve us…because there is ever less growth to be served by the economy (below)! 2020 growth was 1/7th that seen in 1960 (yes, on a % basis).

And when I include the year over year change in the working age population (15-64yr/olds…red line below), well, we now have outright declining annual demand from the segment of the population that drives the economy…so flat’ish GDP should about be adequate to take care of flattish demand? But the Fed would  call that recession and provide more interest rate cuts, more QE, more acronyms yet to be invented to goose activity to suit the needs of the financial system.

So, the Federal Reserve is targeting 2%+ GDP growth (really, significantly higher) against minimal population growth (minimal rising demand) because the economy is no longer about serving our needs…it is now we and the distorted/manipulated economy that is serving the needs of the federalized financial Ponzi scheme. As the chart below highlights, as the Federal Reserve has pushed rates ever lower, this ever cheaper/greater debt has not served the people or GDP…instead it has rewarded the minority asset holders for being asset holders…simultaneously punished the majority non-asset holders for not holding assets.

It’s usually at this point people start to ask what’s it all about…what is the end game? Since the Fed is privately owned by the largest banks in the world (and they are owned by the 1% of the 1%)…why do these people need more money? I think the simple answer is they don’t need more money. This isn’t about turning their hundreds of millions into billions or billions into tens of billions. I detail the US domestic demographic, economic, financial picture HERE…but no, there seems a different point to all this than making the fabulously wealthy wealthier…suggested HERE.

Summary

The US (and world, at large) is looking at an unexpected and increasingly large decline in births, young, and working age adults. The declining child bearing populations coupled with increasingly negative fertility rates are resulting in an inverted pyramid of continued growth among elderly propagating the collapsing population of young. The result is we appear to be at a tipping point that will result in a realignment of nearly the entire demographic, social, political, economic, and financial systems we’ve come to know and expect. This realignment is likely to be like a magnetic field realignment built around de-growth, managed decline, and resulting in large surplus and general overcapacity.

Extra Credit for those curious on market valuations…never have investors paid more for less potential growth among consumers (and never, ever have investors paid anything for a declining base of consumers…so FUBAR…but that is where the Fed has led us, so what else you gonna do?). Below, Wilshire 5000 (green line, representing all publicly traded US equities), market value of federal debt (red line, as per Dallas Fed), and year over year change in working age population (yellow line).

Tyler Durden
Mon, 03/08/2021 – 12:19

Share
Categories
filibuster Intelwars Joe Manchin

Manchin open to changing filibuster rules, says it should be more ‘painful’ for the minority to stop legislation

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) said Sunday that while he is opposed to eliminating the filibuster altogether, he is open to a change in filibuster rules to make it more “painful” for the minority party to block legislation.

Many progressive Democrats have urged the Democratic caucus in the Senate to eliminate the filibuster for legislation in order to make it easier for Democratic presidents like Joe Biden to push their agenda through Congress. Since Democrats currently control only 50 seats in the Senate, they need each and every Democrat in the Senate’s approval, plus the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris.

Problematically for the Democrats, both Manchin and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D) have publicly voiced opposition to the plan, meaning that it is likely dead in the water until at least after the 2022 midterm elections.

That does not mean, however, that Manchin is opposed to reform of the filibuster. Manchin discussed the idea during two television appearances Sunday. On “Fox News Sunday,” Manchin said that it had become too “comfortable” for Republicans to use the filibuster and said, “The filibuster should be painful. It really should be painful. We’ve made it more comfortable over the years, not intentionally — maybe just it evolved into that. Maybe it has to be more painful. Maybe you have to stand there. There’s things we can talk about.”

On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Manchin elaborated further, “If you want to make it a little bit more painful, make him stand there and talk. I’m willing to look at any way we can, but I’m not willing to take away the involvement of the minority.”

Like Sinema, Manchin reiterated his stance that he is not open to changing his mind on eliminating the filibuster entirely.

“I’d make it harder to get rid of the filibuster. I’m supporting the filibuster, I’m going to continue to support the filibuster. I think it defines who we are as a Senate. I’ll make it harder to get rid of it, but it should be painful if you want to use it,” Manchin said.

Although the filibuster has been more commonly used in the last two decades than it was in previous times, the Senate generally no longer usually requires senators who want to filibuster to actually stand in the chamber and continue a speech on the floor in order to hold up passage of a bill. If Manchin has his way, that might change, and members of the Senate minority who want to hold up passage of a bill might have to return to the practice of holding the floor for hours at a time either debating the merits of the bill, reading the phone book into the record, or similar tactics.

The threat of a Republican filibuster is currently the only thing holding up a number of Democratic priorities in Congress, including a raise in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Share
Categories
Climate policy Gas gas prices Intelwars Joe Biden John hofmeister Oil

Former Shell Oil president: Biden’s policies are responsible for skyrocketing gas prices

Former Shell Oil President John Hofmeister said last week that President Joe Biden’s climate policies are responsible for soaring gas prices.

Former President Donald Trump predicted that Biden’s policies would force gas prices to increase because they target domestic oil production. Biden, instead, has said he will prioritize renewable energy and calls the far-left Green New Deal “a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face.”

What are the details?

Considering that OPEC has raised oil production, one may expect worldwide oil prices to drop.

But Hofmeister told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo that Biden’s climate policies are offsetting the effects of the global oil market because they hamper domestic energy production.

“The reason gasoline is coming back up is we’ve been in a shutdown period for many of the refineries, and so that puts a squeeze on what’s available in terms of final product,” Hofmeister said.

“But there’s something else that’s going on that’s more subtle. What that is, is that the industry, the producers, are practicing serious capital discipline and they’re not roaring back to produce more oil. And also, they’re getting squeezed by the administration,” Hofmeister continued.

Hofmeister explained that Biden’s policies have created an environment of fear that drives up oil prices.

“So the ban on leasing — the prohibition on new leases from the Biden administration — that’s going to create a psychology in the industry of, ‘There’s going to be less available,’ and the psychology drives the pricing as well,” Hofmeister said.

“As long as we see this hostile administration, we’re going to have a problem with prices,” he added.


‘Hostile’ Biden administration will disturb gas prices: Ex-Shell Oil president

www.youtube.com

What has Biden done?

Gas prices have skyrocketed nearly 40 cents per gallon compared to last year. Even in the last month, prices have increased more than 30 cents per gallon, according to AAA.

Energy analyst Patricia Schouker recently said the spike should be partially attributed to energy markets rebounding following their crash last year, which was triggered by the pandemic.

“US oil and gas stocks, by far the worst performers of last year, are standing out as the best in 2021,” Schouker said. “A booming rally in oil markets has pushed crude prices to their highest levels since near the start of the coronavirus pandemic, powered by production curbs and recovering demand.”

However, Biden has taken aggressive steps to fulfill his promise to focus America’s energy future on renewable sources, not oil and coal.

One of his first actions as president included signing an executive order suspending “new oil and gas leasing and drilling permits for U.S. lands and waters,” the Associated Press reported.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) responded to Biden’s executive order with one of his own, directing Texas authorities to challenge Biden’s directive. The issue is personal for the Lone Star State because a significant portion of Texas’ economy is tied to oil production.

Share
Categories
Intelwars

Goldman Now Sees Most Advanced Economies Reaching Herd Immunity In 3 Months

Goldman Now Sees Most Advanced Economies Reaching Herd Immunity In 3 Months

The drop in global new infections has stalled in the past month, in part because more contagious variants are now spreading widely. This pattern can be clearly observed in the US, where the seven-day average of new cases in the US is decreasing albeit at a slowing rate, around 60,000, while the seven day average in Europe remains at around 62,000. As BofA notes, the increasing spread of new, more contagious variants appears to be slowing the effect from restrictions and the vaccine roll-out.

On a more positive note, however, hospitalizations and deaths continue to decline. While some of this improvement probably reflects lags, another reason proposed by Goldman is that the most vulnerable populations in advanced economies such as the US and UK are now largely protected.  And as vaccine supply and eligibility broaden, the share of the population with at least some immunity is likely to rise rapidly in coming months.

As shown in the chart below, vaccines administered around the globe continues to rise with BofA calculating that the US administered 15 million vaccines over the past week, increasing the total to 90.4 million; Europe administered 13 million doses this past week, for a total of 73.8m (and according to preliminary data from a study conducted at the University of Oxford, the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca/Oxford to be effective against the Brazilian variant of the virus)

Putting this all together, Goldman now estimates that most advanced economies should cross the point at which 60-70% of the population are immune by Q2 or early Q3, with continental Europe a few months behind the US and UK. In other words, regardless of the CDC’s attempt to provoke a low-burning panic over new virus variants, Goldman believes that herd immunity will be hit in the next 3-4 months.

Keep all this in mind as various authorities do everything in their power to cling on to lockdown measures which are increasingly a political tool to perpetuate an overarching government presence in every aspect of daily lives, instead of a means to improving people’s lives.

It was none other than Billionaire Paul Singer, unafraid of being steamrolled by “cancel culture” who said it best: the recovery will be stymied by virus variants and policies “that sometimes seem governed by short-term political pressures rather than what is best for society, short and long term.”

 

Tyler Durden
Mon, 03/08/2021 – 12:02

Share
Categories
Intelwars

“We’ll level Tel Aviv”: Iran responds to Israel ‘preparing’ strike plans against nuclear sites

Iran has responded to a Fox News interview from late last week wherein Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that Israel is currently updating its plans to strike Iran’s nuclear program and is prepared to act independently if the United States is not willing. The interview was unusually blunt even for Israel in terms of the defense chief openly stating war plans. Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami promptly fired back with a counterthreat on Sunday. He said Iran’s military will level Tel Aviv and Haifa should Israel do anything “out of desperation”. “Sometimes, the Zionist regime [Israel] out of desperation makes big claims against the Islamic Republic of Iran to allegedly threaten it,” Hatami said as cited in The Times of Israel via Iranian state media. “It must know that if it does a damn thing, we will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground,” he followed up with according to an English translation. Hatami was addressing a military ceremony.

Share
Categories
2022 midterm election 2022 midterms Intelwars Republican retirements Roy blunt retirement senate gop us senate

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt will not run for re-election in 2022

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri on Monday announced that he will not seek re-election to the United States Senate in 2022, when his current term expires.

Blunt, the chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee and the chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, announced his retirement in a video posted on YouTube Monday morning.

“After 14 general election victories — three to county office, seven to the United States House of Representatives, and four statewide elections — I won’t be a candidate for re-election to the United States Senate next year,” Blunt, 71, said.

He thanked Missourians, both those who supported him and those who didn’t, for the opportunity to “work for you and a better future for our state and country.”

He added: “There is still a lot to do, and I look forward to every day this year and next year as I continue to work for you in the Senate. Another lesson I learned here: Finish strong, and I intend to. Thanks for giving me the chance to work for you.”

Blunt is the fifth incumbent Republican senator to announce his retirement from the Senate ahead of the 2020 midterm elections. Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) all announced this year they would not seek re-election to the Senate. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) said in 2016 while campaigning for re-election that he would not run again in 2022.

Additionally, 87-year-old Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) are reported to be considering retirement.

This wave of retirements comes ahead of a difficult election year for the GOP minority in the Senate. In 2022, there are 14 seats held by Democrats and 20 held by Republicans on the ballot. The statewide races in Pennsylvania, which former President Donald Trump lost by 1.17 percentage points, and North Carolina, which Trump won by 1.3 points, will be battleground Senate races, as Democrats need to claim just one more seat for an outright majority. Republicans will be on defense, and now five of their incumbents will not be candidates for re-election.

Those open Senate seats will invite contested Republican primaries by several candidates who will all compete for Trump’s endorsement. The former president has promised to be active in Republican primaries, already releasing a slew of 2022 endorsements for GOP office holders he deemed support his “America First” agenda.

According to the Kansas City Star, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, Missouri Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick, and Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe are all proven statewide election winners and viable candidates for the Republican Senate nomination.

The scandal-plagued former Gov. Eric Greitens, who reportedly cheated on his wife, took pictures of his mistress without her consent, and attempted to blackmail her into silence, has also expressed interest in making a political comeback by running for Senate.

Former President Donald Trump carried Missouri by 15.4 percentage points in the 2020 election, so his endorsement could carry weight in the Senate primary.

Blunt was first elected to the Senate in 2010, defeating his Democratic opponent by 13.6 percentage points. He won re-election in 2016 by 2.8 points, defeating Democrat Jason Kander. He began his political career as a county clerk in Greene County, Missouri, later served as secretary of state, then was elected to serve in the United States House of Representatives from 1996 to 2008.

Share
Categories
Intelwars Trends & News

The CDC is about to be canceled by Google and Facebook for COVID heresy

On Friday afternoon, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (still called the CDC, even though they added a ‘P’) released a heretical report about mask-wearing and COVID-19.

The report, authored by at least a dozen medical doctors, PhD researchers, and, bizarrely, a handful of attorneys, examined how mask mandates across the US affected COVID cases and death rates.

You’d think with all of the media propaganda about mask effectiveness… and all the virtue signaling, with politicians and reporters appearing on live TV wearing masks… that the data would prove incontrovertibly and overwhelmingly that masks have saved the world.

But that’s not what the report says.

According to the CDC’s analysis, between March 1 and December 31 last year, statewide mask mandates were in effect in 2,313 of the 3,142 counties in the United States.

And, looking at the county-by-county data, the CDC concludes that mask mandates were associated with an average 1.32% decrease in the growth rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths during the first 100 days after the mask policy was implemented.

Wait, what? Only 1.32%?

You read that correctly, they didn’t misplace the decimal: according to the federal government agency that is responsible for managing the COVID-1984 pandemic, the difference between mask mandates and no mask mandate is literally just a 1.32% difference.

And bear in mind, it’s entirely possible that the real figure is even lower than that, given all the questionable COVID statistics.

For example, the CDC reports that influenza cases in the United States have dropped to almost zero in the 2020-2021 flu season, down from 56 MILLION the previous year.

It’s amazing they expect anyone to take this data seriously.

Are we honestly supposed to believe that the flu has been eradicated? Or is it possible, that, maybe just maybe, at least some influenza cases have been misdiagnosed as COVID?

If that’s the case, then the real impact of masks on COVID growth rates is potentially much lower than 1.32%.

Even the CDC seems to understand this, because at the end of its report, they inspidly conclude by stating that mask mandates “have the potential to slow the spread of COVID-19. . .” [the bold is mine, obviously]

Really? “Potential”? That’s HERESY! And an obvious contradiction to WHO guidance. It makes we wonder whether Google and Facebook are gearing up to censor this report, given they have self-appointed themselves as the Ministry of Truth.

Frankly it’s pretty incredible that the data was too weak for the CDC to make a clear assertion about the benefits of mask mandates.

(though I did say there were a couple of lawyers who co-authored this paper… and using non-committal language like “potential” certainly sounds like typical weasel lawyer-speak.)

Now, please don’t misunderstand the point of this letter. I’m not here to bash masks or say that they don’t work, or go on some anti-mask rant.

The point is that I’m pro-data. And pro-reason.

Public health policies come with consequences. There are always costs, and there are (hopefully) benefits.

The CDC has just published an official analysis of the benefits, quantified at precisely 1.32%.

What are the costs of their decisions? Well there’s plenty of data about that too.

For example, a recent study published earlier this month in the premier scientific journal Nature shows that Americans who wear masks are more likely engage in riskier activities, like, you know, leaving the house.

The study conclude that mask mandates “lead to risk compensation behavior” and mask wearers “spend 11-24 fewer minutes at home on average and increase visits to some commercial locations– most notably restaurants, which are a high-risk location.”

Other consequences are more grim.

There have been several studies which chronicle the alarming rise in severe mental health issues, including a spike in youth suicide, as a result of various public health policies, including mask mandates and lockdowns.

For example, another study published in Nature from early January reported that, in late 2020, suicide rates among children in Japan jumped 49%.

And the US government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service (SAMHSA) reported an incredible 890% increase in call volume to its nationwide suicide hotline last April.

Then there are the economic consequences to consider: Do mask mandates boost the economy by giving people more confidence to go out and spend? Or do mask mandates compel more people to stay home to avoid the hassle, and hence reduce economic activity?

There’s still no conclusive analysis on the subject. But you’d think that policymakers would want to know.

You’d think that they would look at all the data, all the pro’s and con’s, economic consequences, public health consequences, etc., and make an informed, rational decision.

But that doesn’t seem to happen anymore.

There can be no rational discourse on the topic. You’re not allowed to ask any questions or express any intellectual dissent, otherwise you’ll be denounced as a conspiracy theorist.

You have one job: obey. It’s not even about ‘trusting the science’ anymore, as we’ve been told to do over and over again during the pandemic. Because now the science tells us that mask mandates “have the potential” to reduce Covid growth rates by just 1.32%.

Not that you’ll hear this in the media.

There actually was a bonanza of coverage over the weekend about the CDC’s new report. The Washington Post headline read “After state lift restrictions, CDC says mask mandates can reduce deaths”.

The New York Times reported that “Wearing masks, the [CDC] study reported, was linked to fewer infections with the coronavirus and Covid-19 deaths.”

NBC called the report “strong evidence that mask mandates can slow the spread of the coronavirus. . .”

But very little of the media coverage bothered to mention the real data, i.e. the marginal 1.32% reduction in growth rates.

Just like the CDC’s influenza data, it’s incredible that the media expects to be taken seriously, or that they pass themselves off as an objective, unbiased source of information.

Source

Share
Categories
Intelwars

Markets Not Holding Back On Rate Hike Bets

Markets Not Holding Back On Rate Hike Bets

By Bloomberg commentator Laura Cooper

Markets grappling with central bank reaction functions aren’t holding back on tightening bets. Rate hike expectations over the coming year have risen across major advanced economies as markets reprice growth prospects. Yet the upbeat growth narrative isn’t warranted everywhere — with policy makers likely to push back against premature tightening bets.

The global reflation trade emanating from the U.S.-led fiscal impulse and vaccine rollouts is evident in money markets’ implied trajectories for policy tightening. Norway leads G-10 hiking bets followed by Canada and New Zealand. Except, policy makers here have maintained their dovish stance given uncertain economic prospects — it sets up for markets to reprice upbeat bets, with policy makers likely to push back in the week ahead.

The challenge facing policy makers is multi-fold. The European recovery is lagging on account of sluggish vaccine rollouts, extended lockdowns and a weaker fiscal impulse than the U.S. The U.K. recovery prospects are challenged by post-pandemic uncertainty, with BoE’s Andrew Bailey confirming as much today. And while the Nordics could be better positioned to match market expectations after experiencing a shallower output decline than peers, Canada continues to struggle in vaccine rollouts. And it’s unlikely many of these central banks will precede the Fed.

After years of struggling to generate demand side price pressures, markets pricing in tightening outside of the U.S. could be getting ahead of themselves. One thing is becoming clear – market bets on synchronized global growth, and subsequent rate hikes, look overdone with a spillover to respective assets ahead.

Tyler Durden
Mon, 03/08/2021 – 11:40

Share
Categories
Intelwars

Regulators caution Ontario doctor for ‘irresponsible’ tweets about COVID-19

An Ontario doctor has been cautioned by the College of Physicians and Surgeons for social media posts about COVID-19 that were deemed inaccurate and irresponsible. Dr. Kulvinder Gill was issued three cautions for “inappropriate” and “unprofessional” statements she posted on Twitter that claimed neither lockdowns nor vaccines were necessary. The Brampton doctor had claimed there was “absolutely no medical or scientific reason for this prolonged, harmful and illogical lockdown,” the college wrote in one of the decisions. She had also written that “we don’t need a vaccine,” and shared a Tweet claiming that contact tracing, testing and isolation were “ineffective, naive & counter-productive against COVID-19.”

Share
Categories
Coronavirus Coronavirus tyranny COVID-19 Covid-19 tyranny governors Intelwars Mask governors Mask mandates Mask tyranny Masks in schools Red state governors red states

Horowitz: Beware the fine print on the ending of mask mandates

“I apologize for ever imposing such an illogical, illegal, and inhumane mandate on the public. We now recognize that there is zero correlation between mask-wearing and reduced spread and that criminalizing human breathing is beyond the scope of governmental power anyway. We are therefore going to follow the law and the science henceforth and bar all schools and establishments from discriminating against people who choose to breathe freely.”

That is the speech you have not and will not hear from even the better Republican governors pretending to lift their mask mandates.

A tyrannical edict that was never law to begin with, but that was deeply embedded into society through vociferous shame will not dissipate once the edict is lifted – even if categorically rescinded. After all, it is just as much the law of the land now as it was before. However, if you listen carefully, these governors are not even fully lifting the mandates.

When you read between the lines of some of these orders, it becomes clear that these governors still believe they have the right to regulate a human being’s breathing, that the rising and falling of cases somehow depends upon these ritualistic sacraments rather than natural phenomena, and that they reserve the right to reinstitute mask mandates in the future. As such, don’t be surprised if a number of more liberal localities and school superintendents continue to mandate it on our children. I’m receiving a lot of complaints from my podcast listeners in Texas that their school districts continue to obdurately stand behind the forcible masking of children.

For example, the Frisco Independent School District, which is just north of Dallas, announced “that the District will continue to require face coverings for students, staff and visitors, as has been the case all school year.” I suspect this will happen all over the state and country.

It’s even worse in Mississippi.

“Today, I signed what I expect will be one of my last executive orders regarding COVID-19,” said Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves on Tuesday. “Our hospitalizations have plummeted, and our case numbers have fallen dramatically as well. In fact, our case numbers have fallen to the point where no county meets the original criteria for a mask mandate.”

Thus, he still buys into the myth that masks help against the spread; he merely concedes that they are not necessary at this point. As the Associated Press reports, “Reeves said he is encouraging people to wear face coverings in public, but is not requiring it.” That, in conjunction with the fact that the order still recommends business follow CDC guidance, makes it clear that the culture in the private sector will very much be influenced by the mask cult.

Worst of all, Reeves is still requiring masks for schoolchildren! These are the first people who should be exempted from a mask mandate, even if masks worked. Children are not in danger from the virus, and reams of data from school reopenings have proven that schools are not extra vectors of spread in the community. To exempt an adult from wearing a mask in a store for 20 minutes, but require children to wear masks and somehow learn and properly interact with each other for seven hours per day is insane. Heck, maybe Biden is right about Reeves being a Neanderthal; he just didn’t realize it.

The reality is that most of these governors simply saw the writing on the wall — that the legislatures were about to clip their wings and the peasants were getting antsy. This is why they are not ceding any legal or intellectual point, and most of them are continuing the mask mandate in some form.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey joined most GOP governors in removing restrictions on businesses, but he is not flinching from the mask mandate one iota. Ditto for Wyoming’s Mark Gordon. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, even while easing some restrictions, contended that some other governors need to “be a little more prudent.” They are acclimating us to tyranny to the point that we now think a little reprieve is a magnanimous act rather than one of tyranny. This is occurring in some of the reddest states.

Conservatives must push state legislatures to permanently ban governors from making such edicts ever again. Time is short, as many state legislatures will adjourn in a matter of weeks. The best time to fight tyranny is when it’s on the run and on defense. If we’ve learned anything these past 12 months, it’s that liberty cannot be taken for granted.

Share
Categories
Intelwars

Texas AG Ken Paxton Calls For Probe Of Natgas Spike During Polar Vortex Chaos

Texas AG Ken Paxton Calls For Probe Of Natgas Spike During Polar Vortex Chaos

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton published a statement Monday that read his office will be probing the cause of natural gas price spikes during the deep freeze that nearly collapsed the state’s power grid, leaving millions of customers without power for days. 

“As we learn more about what drove pricing spikes during the recent winter storm disaster, I am expanding the scope of my investigation to include the natural gas industry as well as electricity providers,” Paxton said in a statement, viewed by Environment & Energy’s Edward Klump

Readers may recall in a piece titled “Energy Trader: We’ve Officially Hit “Holy S*it Levels,”” we outlined the cause for the natgas price spike was due to wellheads and other infrastructure freezing. 

“…which literally cut off nattie supply amid wellhead freeze-offs, cutting production receipts just when they’re most needed by customers’ demand for heating, we said that since the winter blast is expected to last for the duration of the week, it is likely that nattie prices across the plains states could hit GME batshit levels.”

There were many accounts of natgas prices soaring thousands of percent. In particular, the Oneok OGT natgas spot exploded 32,000% in a few days.

The reason Paxton wants to investigate the source of why natgas prices soared is due to power plants weren’t able to receive any gas and caused a massive spike in power prices. Customers who were on variable cost plans saw their energy bills rocket into the thousands of dollars. It also caused a humanitarian crisis for the state, transforming it into a third-world country overnight. 

Last week, Paxton filed a lawsuit against electricity retailer Griddy, claiming it mislead customers over variable cost plans. 

Tyler Durden
Mon, 03/08/2021 – 11:32

Share
Categories
Biden administration Biden executive order Executive Orders Gender equality Gender policy council Intelwars

Biden signs executive order creating Gender Policy Council to combat ‘systemic bias and discrimination

President Joe Biden is set to sign two more executive orders aimed at promoting gender equality both in the United States and around the world on Monday, in recognition of International Women’s Day. The first order will create a new program within the executive branch of government called the Gender Policy Council, and the second seeks to roll back Title IX changes made during Donald Trump’s presidency.

By issuing two more orders, Biden will add to the already historic number of executive orders and actions signed during the first months of his presidency. The new president has issued a litany of orders and actions since taking office in late January, despite denouncing the tactic while on the campaign trail.

The forthcoming Gender Policy Council will be established within the Executive Office of the President, according to a fact sheet published by the White House, and will work toward advancing “gender equity and equal rights and opportunity for women and girls” both domestically and globally through governmental policy changes.

The council will reportedly aim to combat “systemic bias and discrimination, including sexual harassment” of women, address “structural barriers to women’s participation in the labor force,” decrease “wage and wealth gaps,” among several other actions.

“The White House Gender Policy Council will be an essential part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s plan to ensure we build a more equal and just society — by aggressively protecting the rights and unique needs of those who experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, including individuals who are Black, Latina, Native, Asian American and Pacific Islander, people with disabilities, and LGBTQI+,” the White House announced in the news release.

As a part of the effort, co-chairs of the council will be required to submit to the president their recommendations for a “government-wide strategy to address gender in policies, programs and budgets, and an annual report to measure progress on implementing the strategy.”

With the second order, Biden will direct the Department of Education to “review all of its existing regulations, orders, guidance, and policies” especially as it relates to Title IX changes implemented by the Trump administration, including a change that affected how public colleges and universities handled sexual assault accusations on campus.

The Associated Press reported that under Trump, the department “rescinded an Obama-era administration standard in cases of reported sexual assault from requiring a ‘preponderance of evidence’ — meaning it is more likely than not that sexual harassment or violence occurred — to ‘clear and convincing evidence.'”

Biden likely seeks to restructure that regulation or reimplement the Obama-era guidance.

The orders are sure to please much of Biden’s base of supporters; however, it is not yet clear how some of his more hard-line progressive supporters will feel about the administration’s explicit support for the gender binary.

Share
Categories
Intelwars

Retail Investors Are Long Confidence And Short Experience

Retail Investors Are Long Confidence And Short Experience

Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

In a “market mania,” retail investors are generally “long confidence” and “short experience” as the bubble inflates. While we often believe each “time” is different, it rarely is. It is only the outcomes that are inevitably the same.

I recently penned an article about Charles Mackay’s book “Extraordinary Popular Delusions And The Madness Of Crowds.” As noted, that book was an early study in crowd psychology. To wit:

“Essential is the understanding of the role psychology plays in the formation and expansion of financial manias. From the 1711 ‘South Sea Bubble’ to the 2000 ‘Dot.com crash,’ all bubbles formed from a similar ‘panic’ by investors to chase ongoing speculation.”

A recent UBS survey revealed some fascinating insights about retail traders and the current speculation level in the market.

Seen This Before

William Bernstein, who updated Mackay’s work, suggests that:

“Bubbles are characterized by extreme predictions, tend to dominate conversations and induce people to leave their jobs. The warnings of bubble skeptics get invariably met with scorn and derision.”

The number of individuals searching “google” for how to “trade stocks has spiked since the pandemic lows.

For anyone who has lived through two “real” bear markets, the imagery of people trying to learn how to “daytrade” their way to riches is familiar. From E*Trade commercials to “day trading companies,” people were leaving their jobs to trade stocks. Kind of like this couple:

Such is just one example of many internet commentaries driving investors to “trade” stocks. Not surprisingly, we have seen a surge in securities’ daily trading volumes since the beginning of the pandemic.

Importantly, these investors are not just buying equities but are using some of the risky vehicles to “leverage” the returns. As shown, option trading volumes have swelled.

None of this is new, different, or unique.

The same thing happened in late 1999. That commercial aired just 2-months shy of the beginning of the “Dot.com” bust. As we see today, investors believed “investing was as easy as 1-2-3.”

Why this trip down memory lane? (Other than the fact the commercials are hilarious to watch.) Because this is typical of the exuberance seen at the peaks of bull market cycles.

Long Confidence

Along with David Dodd, Benjamin Graham attempted a precise definition of investing and speculation in their seminal work Security Analysis (1934).

An investment operation is one which, upon thorough analysis, promises safety of principal and a satisfactory return. Operations not meeting these requirements are speculative.”

There is also a significant passage in Graham’s The Intelligent Investor:

“The distinction between investment and speculation in common stocks has always been a useful one and its disappearance is a cause for concern. We have often said that Wall Street as an institution would be well advised to reinstate this distinction and to emphasize it in all its dealings with the public. Otherwise the stock exchanges may some day be blamed for heavy speculative losses, which those who suffered them had not been properly warned against.”

It should not be surprising we see such rampant “speculative” behavior in the markets. After a decade of monetary injections, investors believe there is an “insurance” policy against losses. This insurance policy is most commonly known as the “Fed Put.”

It should not be surprising, since the “Fed Put” began following the “Financial Crisis,” it is primarily young investors lulled into that complacency. Armed with only a couple of years of investing experience and a fresh “stimulus” check, the “casino” is open.

Confirmation Bias

One of the signs that you have entered into a mania phase is when people have trouble absorbing non-conforming information. Confirmation bias” is a psychological behavior where individuals disregard any information which conflicts with their current beliefs. While that bias has always been problematic for investors, in recent years, it has worse as individuals lock themselves inside “social media echo chambers.”

There are currently many signs of exuberance in the market. Most notably, the surge in speculative “call option” buying. While there are many complexities and risks, such is not a concern to young investors with little or no experience in trading options.

Nor is it an issue to leverage up accounts using “margin loans.”

I suspect that most of the individuals surveyed, who are trading on margin, do not understand what happens when prices decline. As noted previously:

“Margin debt is not a technical indicator for trading markets. What margin debt represents is the amount of speculation that is occurring in the market. In other words, margin debt is the ‘gasoline,’ which drives markets higher as the leverage provides for the additional purchasing power of assets. However, ‘leverage’ also works in reverse as it supplies the accelerant for more significant declines as lenders ‘force’ the sale of assets to cover credit lines without regard to the borrower’s position.”

The last sentence is the most important. The issue with margin debt is the unwinding of leverage is NOT at the investor’s discretion. It is at the discretion of the broker-dealers that extended the leverage. (In other words, if you don’t sell to cover, the broker-dealer will do it for you.)

Just to put this into perspective, the rate of increase in margin debt is at historical extremes. Such has previously not worked out well for investors.

Blind Leading The Blind

As shown, one of the most troubling aspects of where individuals are getting their investing guidance. The youngest and least experienced investors use social media as the “most important” source of information. Considering most social media users are the younger generation, this is the very definition of the “blind leading the blind.”

Jason Zweig summed up the problem with this very well:

“As surely as the sun rises in the east, promoters will be touting these returns. A small-stock fund manager who’s up 40% over the past year can hype that gain in ads and on social media; 40% is a big, beautiful number! Only by reading the fine print would you be reminded that a 40% return underperformed the average by more than 10 percentage points.

You knew I would tell you this but I’m saying it anyway. These returns won’t last indefinitely. Enjoy them while they last, but you’d be crazy to count on such giant gains becoming common.

At times like these, grounding yourself in realistic expectations is more important than ever. Working in the garden also reminds me that market cycles, like nature’s seasons, can be extended — but not rescinded.”

The biggest problem for most young investors is the lack of research on the stocks they buy. They are only buying them “because they were going up.”

However, as Jason notes, when the “season does change,” the “fundamentals” will matter, and they tend to matter a lot. Such is something that most won’t learn from “social media” influencers.

A Man With Experience

There is an old WallStreet axiom which states:

“A man with money meets a man with experience. The man with the experience leaves with the money, while the man with money leaves with experience.”

Such is the truth about markets and investing.

Experience tends to be a brutal teacher, but it is only through experience that we learn how to build wealth successfully over the long-term.

As Ray Dalio once quipped:

“The biggest mistake investors make is to believe that what happened in the recent past is likely to persist. They assume that something that was a good investment in the recent past is still a good investment. Typically, high past returns simply imply that an asset has become more expensive and is a poorer, not better, investment.”

Such is why every great investor in history, in different forms, has one basic investing rule in common:

“Don’t lose money.” 

The reason is simple; if you lose your capital, you are out of the game.

Many young investors will eventually gain a lot of experience by giving most of their money away to those with experience.

It is one of the oldest stories on Wall Street.

Tyler Durden
Mon, 03/08/2021 – 11:06

Share
Categories
Intelwars

State Task Force is the Engine Driving West Virginia’s Vaccine Success

State Task Force is the Engine Driving West Virginia’s Vaccine Success

PHILADELPHIA – If West Virginia’s successful vaccine rollout is a speeding car, then the Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) is its engine – and the agencies on it are the pistons revving it up.

Once the COVID-19 vaccines became available, Gov. Jim Justice created the JIATF by executive order in December 2021 to map out a course of action for getting shots in arms.

Led by retired Adjutant Gen. James Hoyer, the task force included the Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), the West Virginia National Guard (WVNG), the Division of Emergency Management (WVDEM), the Higher Education Policy Commission (WVHEPC), the West Virginia Hospital Association (WVHA), the Department of Agriculture (WVDAG), the Department of Education (WVDOE), the West Virginia Health Care Association (WVHCA) and the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University.

Housed in the drill hall of the state National Guard headquarters in Charleston and separated by an array of plexiglass dividers, the task force members can quickly communicate and share information to make decisions on the vaccination effort. Lines of communication are shortened, allowing for more nimble responses to challenges.

Together, the group devised a strategy that focused vaccines on the state’s seniors age 65 and above and its critical workforce, including healthcare workers and emergency responders. In addition, it came up with a hub and spoke distribution system that sends doses from regional depositories to pharmacies and county health departments statewide.

The result has been a vaccination effort that leads not only the nation but the world. To date, 11.7 percent of the state’s population is fully vaccinated and more than 500,000 doses have been administered. Since the start of the year, there has been an 85 percent drop in the state’s weekly coronavirus death rate.

“The JIATF’s approach represents speed and efficiency at its finest,” said Janice Barlow, Acting Regional Administrator, FEMA Region 3. “But more than that, their strategy is helping people in need , and FEMA is honored to be able to provide the resources to help ensure its continued success.”

The task force has expanded to include the West Virginia Primary Care Association, the state Board of Pharmacy, the Department of Corrections, representatives from the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

In addition to helping coordinate clinics to reach underserved areas, the task force is now focusing its efforts on getting residents registered to receive the vaccine. Call centers have also been established with state and federal staffers, as well as volunteer organizations, to get residents scheduled for their shots.

West Virginians can pre-register for their COVID-19 vaccine at www.vaccinate.wv.gov or by calling the West Virginia COVID-19 Info Line at 1-833-734-0965. Visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html for more information about the COVID-19 vaccine. To learn more about the president’s efforts to combat COVID, go to https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/National-Strategy-for-the-COVID-19-Response-and-Pandemic-Preparedness.pdf.

gabriel.lugo
Mon, 03/08/2021 – 16:04

Share
Categories
Gabriel iglesias Intelwars mexico New York Times Social Media Speedy gonzales

Comedian Gabriel Iglesias blasts cancel culture after NYT columnist complains about Speedy Gonzales as ‘corrosive stereotype’

Comedian and voice actor Gabriel Iglesias blasted cancel culture in a Saturday tweet following a New York Times article that branded beloved cartoon character Speedy Gonzales as toxic.

Iglesias voices the cartoon mouse in the upcoming reboot of “Space Jam.”

What are the details?

On Wednesday, Times columnist Charles Blow took aim at Dr. Seuss’ books — and certain cartoons — that he said perpetuate “corrosive stereotypes.”

In the editorial, Blow wrote, “Some of the first cartoons I can remember include Pepé Le Pew, who normalized rape culture; Speedy Gonzales, whose friends helped popularize the corrosive stereotype of the drunk and lethargic Mexicans; and Mammy Two Shoes, a heavyset black maid who spoke in a heavy accent.”

In an apparent response to the news, Iglesias — whose nickname is Fluffy — wrote, “I am the voice of Speedy Gonzales in the new Space Jam. Does this mean they are gonna try to cancel Fluffy too?”

“U can’t catch me cancel culture,” he added. “I’m the fastest mouse in all of Mexico.”

Can’t keep a good mouse down

It also seems fair to point out that Cartoon Network once tried to shelve cartoons featuring the Mexican mouse in 1999 over accusations that it promoted negative stereotypes — but outcry from its Mexican audience prompted the network to return Speedy to the airwaves.

According to a report from Quartz, the League of United Latin American Citizens spoke out on the removal, and by 2002, Speedy was back on the air.

Anything else?

Blow also took a virtual beating over his remarks about Pepé Le Pew on Sunday.

In response to the criticism, Blow took to Twitter and defended his sentiments.

“[Right wing] blogs are mad bc I said Pepe Le Pew added to rape culture,” Blow wrote on Twitter. “Let’s see. 1. He grabs/kisses a girl/stranger, repeatedly, w/o consent and against her will. 2. She struggles mightily to get away from him, but he won’t release her 3. He locks a door to prevent her from escaping. This helped teach boys that ‘no’ didn’t really mean no, that it was a part of ‘the game’, the starting line of a power struggle.”

“It taught overcoming a woman’s strenuous, even physical objections, was normal, adorable, funny,” he added. “They didn’t even give the woman the ability to SPEAK.”

Share
Categories
clandestine Critical Thinking cyber attacks defense discernment government is slavery Headline News Intelwars Jake Sullivan Mainstream media Manipulation Moscow offensive predictive programming. Joe Biden Skills wake up War

WH Is Preparing To Launch “Clandestine” Cyberattacks Against Russia: Biden Could Start A WAR

Joe Biden appears, for all intents and purposes, to be making an all-out effort to start a war. The White House is now preparing to launch “clandestine” cyberattacks against Russia. The only question remaining, is why the mainstream media is telling us about it.

Citing officials familiar with the operation, the New York Times said that a “series of clandestine actions” aimed at Russia is expected to begin over the next three weeks and that the cyberattacks are intended to be “evident” to President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s intelligence services, but not to the “wider world.”

The definition of clandestine is: kept secret or done secretively, especially because illicit. But this hardly seems secret when every mainstream media source is reporting on it. It is certainly illicit, however. So why are they telling the public intentionally making the use of the word “clandestine” a complete lie?

Predictive programming to set up a war with Russia perhaps, and manipulate the masses into accepting another war. That’s just speculation, but once you apply critical thinking to this story, it stinks in more ways than can be counted.

In an interview last week, Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, told the Times that he supported carrying out clandestine operations that would be “understood by the Russians, but may not be visible to the broader world,” arguing that such actions would force a “broad strategic discussion” with Moscow.

The allegedly imminent cyberattack has been framed as a retaliatory measure in response to the high-profile SolarWinds breach. The hack, first reported in December, provided backdoor access to a widely used network-management program distributed by the Texas-based SolarWinds company. The hackers were able to use the exploit to compromise the systems of more than 100 commercial firms around the world, as well as nine US government agencies. Described as one of the largest and most sophisticated cyberattacks. -RT

Of course, all of that is if you trust what comes out of the mouths of the ruling class and their hired propagandists in the mainstream media.

Pay attention, stay prepared, and polish those critical thinking and discernment skills.  We have to all start to wake up to what’s going on and at a faster rate unless we want to see our children living in invisible chains that will be impossible to break.

The post WH Is Preparing To Launch “Clandestine” Cyberattacks Against Russia: Biden Could Start A WAR first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

Share