[Michelle Ryan]

Yesterday morning, we rose to the surprising news that Michelle “Emma” Ryan had announced that she would be shutting down new posting on the Ex-Scientologist Message Board as of September 30.

ESMB, especially in its early years, was a hugely beneficial website that allowed people coming out of Scientology, or who had left years before, [...]

A fully functional jailbreak has been released for the latest iOS 12.4 on the Internet, making it the first public jailbreak in a long time—thanks to Apple.

Dubbed "unc0ver 3.5.0," the jailbreak works with the updated iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches by leveraging a vulnerability that Apple previously patched in iOS 12.3 but accidentally reintroduced in the latest iOS version 12.4.

[Emily Jones and John Goodwin]

Does it ever strike you, the way it does us from time to time, the sheer amount of effort that Scientology puts into its various initiatives that are forever chipping away at the margins?

This example we have for you today, sent in by Phil Jones, is so apt. There’s the Writers [...]


[Moira Penza leaving court. Photo by Dianne Lipson]

Moira Penza, the lead government attorney on the team that convicted Nxivm leader Keith Raniere, has left the Department of Justice to re-enter private practice. She has joined the boutique law firm of Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz.

In her prosecution of Raniere, Penza made a significant contribution to [...]


[Skateboard hero Aaron Kyro, the new face of Scientology?]

Our great thanks to reader Once Born who snagged a new issue of Impact magazine, the Scientology publication we covet the most.

Why? Because it’s in the pages of Impact that we learn so much about the richies keeping Scientology in business, and turning over huge amounts to [...]


 Yesterday we looked at how Scientology seems to expend enormous resources for initiatives that really get them almost nowhere. And yet, today we have another reminder that for those still hanging on inside David Miscavige’s sinking ship, it’s always a sunny day.

One of our more recent additions to the tipster crew has kept us up [...]


[Circled, the non-scandalous non-story’s location]

We want to start out by saying that we have had a fine relationship with RadarOnline in the past. Sure, it’s the online sister to the National Enquirer and very tabloidy, but it has employed people who were passionate about getting Scientology stories right and who enjoyed working with us.

You might [...]


[Can someone show this photo to Samantha Sterne?]

It’s a holiday Monday here in the US, and we hope you’re having a lovely day off with friends and family. For some families with members in Scientology, days like today can be a bitter reminder of how much they’re missing because of Scientology’s cruel “disconnection” policy.

That thought [...]

Twitter today finally decided to temporarily disable a feature, called 'Tweeting via SMS,' after it was abused by a hacking group to compromise Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey last week and sent a series of racist and offensive tweets to Dorsey's followers.

Dorsey's Twitter account was compromised last week when a hacker group calling itself "Chuckling Squad" replicated a mobile phone number

 When we asked readers for their favorite moment of the third season of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, the overwhelming winner was Mark Bunker’s hilarious and frightening stroll to a Clearwater Park when he, Leah, and Mike Rinder were swarmed by Clearwater police.

Apparently there’s nothing that strikes fear in the Church of Scientology like [...]


[In search of cameras and willing pols]

Scientology Volunteer Ministers traveled to the Bahamas this week to provide relief in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. We have no evidence that the hygiene packs assembled last week have been distributed, but we know of one boat and one airplane that have been making the trip. The 82-foot [...]


[C.O.B. will take your check now]

Yesterday, we showed you the lesser whales keeping Scientology afloat with their donations, as revealed in the latest issue of Impact magazine.

Today, we show you the real moneybags, the donors who were recognized earlier this year for donating more than a million dollars each, and to just one Scientology initiative, [...]


[Lloyd Evans]

One of the more surprising things we realized when we started looking into Jehovah’s Witnesses controversies is how recent the “blood rule” is. It was only 1945 that, under then-president Nathan Norr, the Watchtower adopted the idea that blood transfusions somehow violate Biblical references to Jewish dietary laws.

Now, Lloyd Evans reports that Watchtower [...]

<p>Here are the fitness products that CEOs use to stay in shape. </p><br /><p>We all know that exercise is good for your body&#x2014;but do you know just how good it can also be for your brain, your mood, your stress management, and your cognitive capabilities? Turns out that being in good shape can make you a better professional&#x2014;from now until retirement.</p><p>Read Full Story</p><div class="feedflare"><br /> <br /></div>

 At HowdyCon in Los Angeles, one person we were happy to meet was Stefan Malmström, who had come all the way from Sweden. Today, Stefan’s book Kult is being published by Silvertail Books in London. (And full disclosure, Silvertail is also the publisher of our book about Paulette Cooper, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely.)

We wanted to [...]


 Scientology TV features so much repetitive and boring content that it has taken to inviting desperate filmmakers to screen their documentaries on its platform. These filmmakers are able to overlook the appalling human rights abuses of Scientology in order to get their documentaries about other appalling human rights abuses broadcast. The mental gymnastics of this [...]

Byrd was an "Exalted Cyclops," not a "Grand Wizard," Politifact points out.
Japan And Germany Hysterically Race To Shut Down Nuclear Power (And Their Sovereignty)

Authored by Matthew Ehret via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Recently, the Japanese government announced that they will be shutting down the remaining 7 nuclear reactors at the Daiichi plant that was hit by a major earthquake and tsunami in 2011. This will bring the total number of nuclear reactors down to 33 (compared to 54 in 201

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1), only 7 of which are in active operation at any given time. Contrary to popular belief, this is not a good thing.

Since the tsunami hit on April 11, 2011 killing 18 000 civilians, there has been a tendency to refer to the event falsely as “Japan’s nuclear crisis”. The fear that has spread across the world resulted in one of the most devastating attacks on sovereign nations which could have only been executed had we done this to ourselves.

Japan – a nation which became the world’s 3rd largest economy due largely to its commitment to advanced scientific and technological progress and early embrace of nuclear power, has lost much of the energy self-sufficiency it once enjoyed when 25% of its electricity came from nuclear which today has fallen to 3%. Since the shutdown Japan has been forced to massively increase its imports of oil, natural gas and coal bringing in 9 million barrels/day and building 45 new coal plants. This dependency has not only subject it to the whims of the speculative markets, but also to the uncertain stability of the Middle East oil production.

Due to the hysteria unleashed in the wake of Fukushima, Germany was quick to follow the fear wave and declared that its full exit from nuclear by 2022 causing it to vastly increase its imports of fossil fuel from Russia, the Netherlands and USA (and ironically nuclear energy imports from France whose use of nuclear amounts to 70% of its energy basket). Once shut down in 2022, Germany will lose 22GW (or 11% of total capacity).

The fact is that to this day, not one Fukushima death is traceable to radiation exposure. While a meltdown did strike three of the ten reactors in the Daiichi complex, those which suffered damages used outdated technology and cut corners in safety standards such that no coolants were available once electricity was lost after the 8.9 earthquake struck. Those deaths which did occur in the aftermath, had more to do with heart attacks caused by the vast fear-driven evacuation of 160 000 citizens from towns across the coast of Japan- many of which remain abandoned to this day as 100 000 are still considered “nuclear refugees”. After extensive testing, the WHO found radiation levels of evacuees to be undetectable… a fact which has done little to reverse the deeply embedded fears within the Japanese zeitgeist.

The Positive Effects of Low Dose Radiation

Just to put it into perspective, nuclear testing in the 1950s and 1960s put over 100 times the radioactive waste into the atmosphere and oceans than what was released in Fukushima. In Utah, radiation in the 1950s and 1960s were also well over 100 times greater than the worst of Fukushima due to atomic bomb testing, but the state has enjoyed the lowest rates of cancer across America for over 60 years. Also of note, scientists studying A-Bomb survivors who received ionizing radiation in WWII were surprised to discover abnormally long life spans and low rates of cancer.

Today, in spite of the craze to ban Japanese tuna and other seafood from western markets for years, the actual radiation levels are far below the 1200 becquerel limit set by FDA standards and one would get larger doses of radiation by eating a banana or flying in an airplane. Believe it or not, but the Potassium-40 of an average banana releases 3000 beta decays/second and is deemed very good for living tissue and is known as “Low Dose Radiation” which is found in all bio-organic life and natural background radiation from food, the soil and sky.

The Fallacy of Decarbonisation

For those in Japan and Germany celebrating that the exit from nuclear is providing an opportunity to embrace solar and wind energy, a sad slap of reality has also occurred. Not only have energy costs skyrocketed wherever green energies been built, but the toxic waste caused by those photovoltaic cells far outpaces anything produced by the dirtiest nuclear reactor.

In 2017, the Japanese Ministry of the Environment issued the warning that by 2040, Japan would accumulate over 800 000 tons of solar panel waste with no means of disposal- which is 300 times greater than nuclear power. Solar panels have life expectancies of 25 years, after which their disposal becomes nearly impossible as they contain similar heavy metals and toxins as is found in computers and cell phones. They also contain vast toxic metals such as lead and carcinogens such as cadmium.

Disproving the very definition of “renewable energy”, wind mills (which are as tall as a Boing 747) cannot produce the energy density to melt the steel and produce the material needed to build a windmill.

Germany’s celebrated de-carbonisation scheme has resulted in a total failure with no carbon reduction after a 10 year effort, sky rocketing energy prices and a vast destruction of ecosystems. The think tank Frontier Center recently wrote of Germany’s energy debacle:

“Construction of solar and wind “farms” has already caused massive devastation to Germany’s wildlife habitats, farmlands, ancient forests and historic villages. Even today, the northern part of Germany looks like a single enormous wind farm. Multiplying today’s wind power capacity by a factor 10 or 15 means a 200 meter high (650 foot tall) turbine must be installed every 1.5 km (every mile) across the entire country, within cities, on land, on mountains and in water.”

Radioactivity is Natural!

The idea that radiation is deadly has been spread by a Malthusian lobby which has pushed the absurd notion that ALL doses of radiation are deadly under the theory of the Linear No-Threashold Model (LNT) which was adopted as a standard of medicine in 1959. This LNT hypothesis asserts without evidence that if a lot of radiation will kill you 100% of the time, a fraction of that dose will kill you a fraction of the time… which is equivalent to saying that if drinking 100 liters of water will kill you 100% of the time, drinking 1 liter of water will kill you 1% of the time.

Nicholas Fisher, a nuclear expert at Stony Brook University in New York responded to the fear mongering by reminding his readers that “we live on a radioactive planet in a radioactive universe. All life has evolved in the presence of natural radioactivity.”

Without that natural radiation emitted by stars, supernova, earth’s soil, cosmic radiation etc, then our very cellular functions break down and we get sick. This was demonstrated in tests conducted on lab rats in the 1990s which were isolated from natural background radiation, including in their food. People with arthritis and cancers have been recorded for generations to receive great benefits by soaking their bodies in radiation-rich mineral waters in Ukraine or the radioactive black soil beaches of Brazil proving that low dose radiation is beneficial for life. Another surprising 2010 study proving the benefits of radiation followed 250 000 nuclear workers found a much lower rate of cancer mortality relative to control groups.

Fear of radiation is a fraud pushed by a Malthusian lobby whose goal has been to dismantle the sovereign nation state by getting its victims to undermine their own basis of existence. This is the realization of the Trilateral Commission policy announced by Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker who called for a “controlled disintegration” of industrial civilization in 1978. This is the program of Maurice Strong as he decapitated Canada’s nuclear program in the 1990s and called for the collapse of industrial civilization. This is the policy which is at the heart of the Green New Deal being spread by London bankers like Mark Carney and Prince Charles which is really just another name for de-population.

This is the program which China and Russia have rejected under the emerging global framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. China is planning to triple its nuclear sector by 2032 to power its vast growth program and Russia’s ambitious nuclear energy program is tied directly to Putin’s recent decision to challenge the Liberal Malthusian order by name. Any nation committed to raising the living standards and productive powers of its people cannot tolerate a de-carbonization or de-nuclearization plan for even a minute.

Tyler Durden

Tue, 09/10/2019 - 23:05



Nuclear War With Russia "Winnable" Said Trump's Incoming National Security Advisor

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,

Questioning “mutual assured destruction,” Charles Kupperman called nuclear conflict “in large part a physics problem.”

Incoming National Security Advisor, Charles Kupperman, made the claim Nuclear War With USSR Was Winnable.

He made those statem

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ents in the 1980s. I do not know his views today, but let's review what he said then.

President Donald Trump’s acting national security adviser, former Reagan administration official Charles Kupperman, made an extraordinary and controversial claim in the early 1980s: nuclear conflict with the USSR was winnable and that “nuclear war is a destructive thing but still in large part a physics problem.”

Kupperman, appointed to his new post on Tuesday after Trump fired his John Bolton from the job, argued it was possible to win a nuclear war “in the classical sense,” and that the notion of total destruction stemming from such a superpower conflict was inaccurate. He said that in a scenario in which 20 million people died in the U.S. as opposed to 150 million, the nation could then emerge as the stronger side and prevail in its objectives.

His argument was that with enough planning and civil defense measures, such as “a certain layer of dirt and some reinforced construction materials,” the effects of a nuclear war could be limited and that U.S. would be able to fairly quickly rebuild itself after an all-out conflict with the then-Soviet Union.

At the time, Kupperman was executive director of President Ronald Reagan’s General Advisory Committee on Arms Control and Disarmament. He made the comments during an interview with Robert Scheer for the journalist’s 1982 book, “With Enough Shovels: Reagan, Bush, and Nuclear War.”

The National Security Council did not immediately respond to questions on whether Kupperman, 68, still holds the same views of nuclear conflict as he did in the early 1980s. Kupperman’s seemingly cavalier attitude toward the potential death of millions of people was criticized at the time both by Democratic politicians and arms control experts.

The article posts excerpts so let's look at a couple of precise statements.

Kupperman Statements

  • If the objective in a war is to try to destroy as many Soviet civilians and as many American civilians as is feasible, and the casualty levels approached 150 million on each side, then it’s going to be tough to say you have a surviving nation after that. But depending on how the nuclear war is fought, it could mean the difference between 150 casualties and 20 million casualties. I think that is a significant difference, and if the country loses 20 million people, you may have a chance of surviving after that.

  • I think it is possible to win, in the classical sense. It means that it is clear after the war that one side is stronger than the other side, the weaker side is going to accede to the demands of the stronger side.

Winning in the Classical Sense

We lost 20 million, they lost 150 million.

Let's call that "winning in the "classical sense".

It's precisely how one "wins" trade wars, but on a much larger scale.

Tyler Durden

Sun, 09/15/2019 - 00:00



<p>The burrito brand can see into your dark, twisted, hot sauce-covered soul.</p><br /><p>It&#x2019;s nothing fancy. There&#x2019;s just <em>something</em> about the condiment bar at Chipotle and its self-replenishing pile of disposable forks, beige napkins, and Tabasco bottles (in three colors! three!). So as I strut up wearing a halo granted to me by my ethically sourced burrito, the worst part of my soul seizes its chance to act. I grab an Amazon rainforest of napkins. I hunt for the newest, preferably unopened, bottle of hot sauce. I snag a fork&
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amp;#x2014;just in case.</p><p>Read Full Story</p><div class="feedflare"><br /> <br /></div>
Never Go Full Rhino - "This Is The Long Now..."

Authored by Mark Jeftovic via Guerilla-Capitalism.com,

Last night I made the mistake of putting Ben Hunt’s The Long Now Part 2 on a tablet and brought it to bed to read. My kid had an early morning soccer practice at school today and I thought I’d read this before turning in. By the end of it I couldn’t sleep.

It articulated something I’ve been

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grappling with for so long, so clearly and so lucidly that it got my mind racing. I’m sure you all know how it is when you’re galvanized by an idea at night. You lie there in bed with your brain completely overclocked, scribbling in a notebook beside the bed. I ended up padding over to my office and emailing Mr. Hunt around midnight and he gave me permission to attach a PDF of the The Long Now Part 2 with the email I’m sending my list. It’s also online at the EpsilonTheory website.

From the very opening line, I should have known I was in for a sleepless night….

Every three or four generations, humanity consumes itself with the fang and claw of fascism and collectivism. Every three or four generations, we eat our own.

This is that time. This is the Long Now.

As it so happens, I had just started listening to Strauss and Howe’s The Fourth Turning this week, a book I’ve owned probably since the third turning but never got around to reading/listening to until now. I knew the overall concept of the Fourth Turning, and that by Howe’s reckoning we had entered the Fourth Turning with the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-09.

The Fourth Turning is a crisis period, what Hunt calls The Long Now…

In politics it takes the form of a widening gyre, where the center cannot hold against the onslaught of polarizing political entrepreneurs who eliminate the political promise of the future, replacing it with the Long Now of constant political fear. In economics it takes the form of a market utility, where those same illiberal political entrepreneurs eliminate the economic risk of the future, replacing it with the Long Now of constant economic stimulus.

Hunt calls forth the analogy of the Rhinoceros, after the 1959 novel by Eugene Ionesco. In the story the villagers in a central European town begin, one by each, turning into rhinos, and then running on destructive rampages through the town. It is a metaphor, Hunt tells us, that describes how fascism rises within an otherwise normal community….

People are a little puzzled at first, what with their fellow citizens just turning into rampaging rhinos out of the blue, but even that slight puzzlement fades quickly enough.

Soon it’s just the New Normal. Soon it’s just the way things are … a good thing, even.

The key point Hunt makes in his essay is this:

It’s not just bad people who turn into rhinos

Everybody is susceptible, and the penalty for buttressing oneself against the trend of “going Rhino” is utter and profound aloneness. It almost seems not worth it.

Your typical MAGA zealot is a rhino. So is everybody in Antifa. Both Paul Krugman and Tucker Carlson are rhinos. People who mean well become rhinos because in the prospective Rhino’s mind

…the danger at hand is so great, so existential, that NOTHING MATTERS other than combating that danger, that you must sacrifice your most precious possession – your autonomy of mind – to believe in the necessity of these political actions. You must not only think that it is possible for 2 + 2 = 5 if the political exigency is urgent enough, you must believe that it is necessary for 2 + 2 = 5. Orwell called this “collective solipsism”. I call it political nihilism. Either way, THIS is the politics of the Long Now.

We are all in danger of  “going Rhino”: Yesterday, in fact, I had just set up a new Twitter account, a parody that was to push a new blog I was spinning up whose intent was to be like the “F**kedCompany” of this generations’ forthcoming tech bubble implosion. It was cynical. Jaded. Biting. After reading The Long Now, I felt slightly ashamed of myself.  It wasn’t helping. Even if I managed to get it off the ground it wasn’t going to be productive. It would be yet another source of acerbic angst in your social media feed. Who really needs that?

So this morning I shut the entire thing down and started writing this instead. As Hunt tells us, we can’t do anything about the disruption that is baked-in to a Fourth Turning / Long Now style unraveling.  All we can do is to “refuse to become rhinoceros ourselves”, and in doing that, we take another tack:

Make, Protect, Teach

What resonated with me so much from reading this essay was because I’ve been trying to articulate something similar for a long time. It’s the basic premise behind “The Transition Overview: Building Companies That Matter” piece that kicked off Guerrilla Capitalism back in 2017. In my last podcast with Charles Hugh Smith we talked about it (around the 38:19 mark):

MJ: when I look at  Pathfinding [Our Destiny] like part seven where where we’re talking about what the way forward looks like, that it’s outside of the control of the of the establishment, that it’s outside of the system I get this sense that for society to flourish and adapt around this and evolve. I guess that’s the key word, we’re going do this around the institutionalized hierarchies.

They’re not going to get religion one day, we’re not going to elect the right candidate, we’re not going to have the right party gain power that’s suddenly going to say “I read this great book by Charles Hugh Smith and this is how we’re going do it”.

It’s going to be something like institutionalized hierarchies will just lose more and more relevance as these new social and business and financial configurations start gaining more and more relevance.

CHS: That’s an excellent point and I think if anything I didn’t emphasize that enough. That really what we’re talking about is kind of like hacking the system in in the old time sense that a hack was a workaround. It wasn’t like you were breaking into the system to steal something, you’d created a workaround for a kludgy system that just didn’t work anymore.

And so I think you’re absolutely right, it’s going to be working around us and and Bitcoin is is one example of how workarounds are manifesting and of course the status quo is going try to suppress those and/or co-opt them but what we’re really talking about is when systems fail at a systemic level you can’t reform them. You’re not going to make a policy tweak that’s going to fix higher education or the health care system. It just isn’t going work.

People are going to start working around that and they’re going be starting to pay cash for for medical care from pop up providers or remote physicians. Or there’s lots of different solutions to that in education. What I see the model that’s going to emerge whether people like it or not and is that students are going to start taking control of their own education and they’re going start organizing their own education.

They don’t need this bloated structure that charges them $70,000 a year and so that’s where technology, the internet and networking has really enabled a whole suite of solutions that basically bypass all the institutions that now hold the wealth and power, that have all this as you say institutionalized lethargy as as their their model.

It’s actually quite an exciting time but for those who are dependent on the system within these institutions it’s a very disturbing time

The way through the Long Now is not to vote in the correct political party in or to cajole professional panderers into decreeing the correct policies. We’re beyond that now.

All of this to pave the way for the punch line in The Long Now, Part 2, which is that

“The way through the Long Now is a social movement, not a political party.”

That sentence was why I couldn’t sleep last night. That’s what people like Charles Hugh Smith and Chris Martenson and George Gilder and Tom Woods and numerous others have been converging on for the last decade or so. That’s the emerging theme and Ben Hunt, in this essay I think, finally nailed the three word ethos of what is emerging: Make Protect Teach.

I believe that a decentralized and service-oriented social movement at scale can thrive in the age of social media technology. I believe that a decentralized and service-oriented social movement can both inoculate our hearts from the top-down Nudges that push us into rhinocerosness, as well as fill us with a positive energy that reverses the pervasive alienation that creates the Neb Tnuhs of the world.

It’s a social movement for a revitalized foundation of citizenship. It’s Make – Protect – Teach.

There’s no primacy to these three rightful objects of political power and the citizenship which drives them. Put Teach at the top of the triangle. Spin everything 90 degrees. Marry two of them. Take them independently. Change the colors and the font size. I’m not trying to be symbolic here.

I’m trying to be Real.

I’m trying to provide an alternative to the abstracted world of narrative and cartoon that rules our mindfulness from the top down, in favor of a concreted world of actual human beings making things and protecting each other and teaching each other, where we act as Stewards of our children’s future rather than as Managers of our personal now.

If I’ve done Hunts’ essay any justice in this piece you’ll set aside 15 or 20 minutes and read it sometime in the next day or so. I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished something if you did that.

The Long Now Part 2: Make Protect Teach

Tyler Durden

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 17:15

Stocks within inches of record highs and bonds within mm of record low yields... and all on the back of a call and a possible round of trade talks in a month...

"Awesome" as long as Powell delivers at least 125bps of rate-cuts in the next 15 months...

Source: Bloomberg

A big week for Chinese stocks with the tech-heavy ChiNext leading the way...

Source: Bloomberg

A big week for European stocks too, led b

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y Italy which is now apparently 'fixed'...

Source: Bloomberg

30Y German bond yields very briefly went positive this week, but despite gains in stocks today, bonds were also bid...

Source: Bloomberg

Ugly end to the week for an exuberant post-mid-week pumpathon...the dump started at 330ET

Second day in a row that a late-day sell program hit...

Source: Bloomberg

After a tough open (with a holiday-shortened week), US equity markets soared/squeezed higher to end green with Nasdaq leading and Small Caps lagging...


Futures show the volatility intraday best (or extra-day in this case)...


Small Caps remain below the 200DMA...


As the odds of a US-China trade deal shot higher this week...

Source: Bloomberg

Cyclicals made a big comeback after the trade deal headlines, but defensives also ended the week positive...

Source: Bloomberg


Treasury yields ended the week higher (with 30Y +6bps, 2Y +2.5bps)

Source: Bloomberg

30Y Yields remained above 2.00% but tumbled during today's day session after the weak jobs data...

Source: Bloomberg

The yield curve steepened on the week but 3m10Y remains drastically inverted...

Source: Bloomberg

The dollar has fallen 4 straight days back to 2-week lows...

Source: Bloomberg

China's offshore yuan had its 2nd best week in 7 months, soaring back up near the fix by week's end...

Source: Bloomberg

Cryptos ended the week broadly higher, despite a sudden puke today, with Bitcoin a notable outperformer vs altcoins...

Source: Bloomberg

Despite today's tumble, Bitcoin ended the week back above $10k and increasingly set for a breakout one way or another...

Source: Bloomberg


Gold and Silver ended the week lower, crude and copper higher...

Source: Bloomberg

WTI spiked up to what seems like a magic number of $56.50 today...


Gold erased most of Trump's tariff tantrum gains (with some crazy vol today)...


No real surprise that things are getting a bit more volatile in gold as flows near record highs again...

Silver was also extremely volatile today...


Gold's drop tracked the fall in the value of global negative-yielding debt (Bitcoin decoupled)...

Source: Bloomberg

Gold rebounded from its intraweek underperformance against silver...

Source: Bloomberg

As Bloomberg details, soft commodities are on their longest losing streak in at least 28 years as trade tensions and currency swings add further woes to oversupplied markets. The Bloomberg Softs Spot Subindex tracking coffee, sugar, and cotton headed for the 10th straight week of declines, the longest stretch since 1991 when the index started.

Source: Bloomberg

“The ratcheting-up of trade tensions, which is of itself feeding into broader concerns about global growth” are putting pressure on prices, and the weak Brazilian real is adding stress on sugar and coffee, said Caroline Bain, chief commodities economist at Capital Economics in London.

Finally, we note that, with stocks within a percent of record highs and US macro data back into positive territory for the first time in 7 months, who would blame Powell for cutting 50bps... what could go wrong?

Source: Bloomberg

Since the last Fed rate-cut, the dollar and stocks are unchanged, bonds and bullion up around 6%...

If at first you utterly fail, try to cut rates again?


[Disasters are fun!]

Glendy Goodsell, Executive Director of Scientology Volunteer Ministers of Florida, wants to send 150 volunteers to join relief efforts in the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian. She recorded a video (below) from the VM center on Fort Harrison Ave. in Clearwater this week.

One of Scientology’s many press release outlets reports that 30 VMs [...]

They actually did something right for a change.
<p>Come work with us!</p><br /><p>Fast Company is looking for an Assistant Editor to work on its Impact section, covering the intersection of business and social good, focusing on social entrepreneurship, climate solutions, alternative economic models, corporate social responsibility, and the future of food, transportation, and more.</p><p>Read Full Story</p><div class="feedflare"><br /> <br /></div>

Authored by Tom Luongo,

Some men just want to watch the world burn.

–The Dark Knight

Brexit has destroyed British politics. That was the goal of the EU’s non-negotiating strategy. And it has succeeded brilliantly.

Understand that the mindset of The Davos Crowd and their quislings across Europe is that the EU is inevitable. The EU is the future and nothing the people say or want will change that course.

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br />

And they will do everything they can to implement it.

While watching another two hours of pathetic virtue-signaling and strident desperation known as British Parliament I came to the only conclusion any rational person could come to.

The Remain coalition in the U.K. parliament have become vandals.

They would destroy everything about their government, traditions and what they know to be true outside the halls of Westminster to ensure the dreams of their paymasters are made real.

The fact that they would put forward a bill that hands absolute control over future negotiations with the EU to the European Commission is treason. Period.

That they would then hide from a General Election that they know would reverse their coup is an act of vandalism.

It is the height of arrogance for people who first stood on party manifestos to implement Brexit and then demanded a ‘People’s Vote’ to stop it, to simper and use their last remaining bits of power to deny those very people the opportunity to change their representation out of fear of Brexit.

This is where believer crosses the line to ideologue. That moment when you have to decide to subjugate millions of people because of your fears, your ideas, to your will because you know better.

And that they do so claiming to be champions of democracy shows just how flexible the English language is.

The people who crossed the whip and voted to stop Boris Johnson from implementing Brexit on October 31st, have been outed as the vandals they are. They are the people who sought originally to bind the U.K. into a Withdrawal Treaty worse than EU membership as punishment to the people who voted Brexit in 2016.

These are people like Dominic Grieve, Michael Gove, Ken Clarke and Phillip Hammond. Regardless of what they say publicly they never believed in Brexit, do not want it and do not want to see it implemented.

Now they will burn down parliament and what it was supposed to stand for if they can’t have their way.

Because nothing Boris Johnson has done as Prime Minister warrants their betraying him like this unless their allegiance is to the EU first and Britain second.

This is the very definition of a vandal. These people are full of envy and despite. They hate having lost the vote. They hate having to implement it. They hate the people for putting them in this position in the first place.

And their threats are nothing more than statements of their allegiance to the EU first and everyone else second.

Because if their allegiance was to the U.K. first they would back an election. They would trust the people to make the choice. But they won’t do that.

These Tory rebels know that Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage will storm into Westminster after an election and shore up Brexit on British terms without a second thought.

Labour knows they could fall so far out of power that they never recover.

They know the people hate them now. They know they are the minority. They know power is slipping from their grasp.

So the vandalism goes on. The ruthless power politics goes on. The people are ignored. But only for so long.

Because vandalism begets vandalism. Violence begets violence. And make no mistake, these acts in Parliament to frustrate the will of the people are violence. What comes next if these people succeed in stopping Brexit will not be televised.

This is what government is, at its core. It is force. Naked, unbridled force wielded like a cudgel without remorse on the people it’s supposed to serve.

George Orwell, a guy who knew a thing or two about Britain’s capacity for tyranny, famously said…

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face ... forever.

Future? Sorry George, that future is the present and the present is prologue.

*  *  *

Join my Patreon if you want help navigating the vandalism. Install Brave if you want to continue talking about it.


[Elisabeth Moss gears up for a new publicity push]

It’s getting very frustrating to see otherwise competent journalists let Elisabeth Moss get away with murder in interviews. Marlow Stern at the Daily Beast is no pushover, and he at least asked Moss more than one question about her involvement in Scientology. But she gave him three [...]


 Fresh off the purchase of an Ideal Org building for Adelaide in August, Scientology is buying a building in Canberra which will be known as the National Church of Scientology. Canberra is the capital of Australia and although it’s surrounded by New South Wales, the city is a small independent enclave known as the Australian [...]

Poll: Majority Of Brits (Including A Third Of Remainers) Want Brexit Vote Respected

Authored by Steve Watson via Summit News,

By ratio of 2:1, voters think it’s "fundamentally undemocratic" for some MPs to try and prevent Brexit

A new survey conducted by research experts ComRes, finds that the majority of British people want the Brexit vote

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to be respected and want the country to leave the EU without any more delays.

Despite calls for delaying and even canceling Brexit from both members of the Labour Party and the entirety of the Liberal Democrat party, the survey finds that a majority of British people categorically do not want that to happen.

More than half of British adults, 54 percent, believe the result of the 2016 referendum should be respected, and Brexit delivered, the poll found.

Only 25 percent disagreed, and 21 percent said they didn’t know.

Even among those who voted Remain in 2016, more than a third, 35 per cent, said they now wanted Brexit delivered.

Only 29 per cent of voters said they want the process further delayed in the hope of securing a deal with the EU.

The survey noted that By ratio of 2:1, voters think it’s ‘fundamentally undemocratic’ for some MPs to try and prevent Brexit.

If Brexit were to be revoked, it is clear from these figures that there would be a massive uprising.

The poll also found that 40 percent disagree with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s opposition to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s call for a general election.

Thirty percent said they do not want an election, with the remaining 30 percent saying they do not know.

The poll also found that almost half of British voters would rather leave the EU with No Deal than have Corbyn as Prime Minister. Only 22 percent thought this was a good idea.

The survey also found that more voters agreed than disagreed that Boris Johnson should make a pact with the Brexit Party.

Here are some more findings from the survey:

Tyler Durden

Sat, 09/14/2019 - 08:10



US Army Major (Ret.): We Are Living In The Wreckage Of The War On Terror

Authored by US Army Major (ret.) Danny Sjursen via AntiWar.com,

It has taken me years to tell these stories. The emotional and moral wounds of the Afghan War have just felt too recent, too raw. After all, I could hardly write a thing down about my Iraq War experience for nearly ten years, when, by accident, I churned out a book

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> on the subject. Now, as the American war in Afghanistan – hopefully – winds to something approaching a close, it’s finally time to impart some tales of the madness. In this new, recurring, semi-regular series, the reader won’t find many worn out sagas of heroism, brotherhood, and love of country. Not that this author doesn’t have such stories, of course. But one can find those sorts of tales in countless books and numerous trite, platitudinal Hollywood yarns.

With that in mind, I propose to tell a number of very different sorts of stories – profiles, so to speak, in absurdity. That’s what war is, at root, an exercise in absurdity, and America’s hopeless post-9/11 wars are stranger than most. My own 18-year long quest to find some meaning in all the combat, to protect my troops from danger, push back against the madness, and dissent from within the army proved Kafkaesque in the extreme. Consider what follows just a survey of that hopeless journey...

The man was remarkable at one specific thing: pleasing his bosses and single-minded self-promotion. Sure he lacked anything resembling empathy, saw his troops as little more than tools for personal advancement, and his overall personality disturbingly matched the clinical definition of sociopathy. Details, details…

Still, you (almost) had to admire his drive, devotion, and dedication to the cause of promotion, of rising through the military ranks. Had he managed to channel that astonishing energy, obsession even, to the pursuit of some good, the world might markedly have improved. Which is, actually, a dirty little secret about the military, especially ground combat units; that it tends to attract (and mold) a disturbing number of proud owners of such personality disorders. The army then positively reinforces such toxic behavior by promoting these sorts of individuals – who excel at mind-melding (brown-nosing, that is) with superiors – at disproportionate rates. Such is life. Only there are real consequences, real soldiers, (to say nothing of local civilians) who suffer under their commanders’ tyranny.

Back in 2011-12, the man served as my commander, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army. As such, he led – and partly controlled the destinies of – some 500 odd soldiers.

Then a lowly captain, I commanded about one-fifth of those men and answered directly to the colonel. I didn’t much like the guy; hardly any of his officers did. And he didn’t trust my aspirational intellectualism, proclivity to ask “why,” or, well, me in general. Still, he mostly found this author an effective middle manager. As such, I was a means to an end for him – that being self-advancement and some positive measurable statistics for his annual officer evaluation report (OER) from his own boss. Nonetheless, it was the army and you sure don’t choose your bosses.

So it was, early in my yearlong tour in the scrublands of rural Kandahar province, that the colonel treated me to one his dog-and-pony-show visits. Only this time he had some unhappy news for me. The next day he, and the baker’s dozen tag-alongs in his ubiquitous entourage, wanted to walk the few treacherous miles to the most dangerous strongpoint in the entire sub-district. It was occupied, needlessly, by one of my platoons in perpetuity and suffered under constant siege by the local Taliban, too small to contest the area and too big to fly under the radar, this – at one point the most attacked outpost in Afghanistan – base just provided an American flag-toting target. I’d communicated as much to command early on, but to no avail. Can-do US colonels with aspirations for general officer rank hardly ever give up territory to the enemy – even if that’s the strategically sound course.

Walking to the platoon strongpoint was dicey on even the best of days. The route between our main outpost and the Alamo-like strongpoint was flooded with Taliban insurgents and provided precious little cover or concealment for out patrols. On my first jaunt to the outpost, I (foolishly, it must be said) walked my unit into an ambush and was thrown over a small rock wall by the blast of a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) with my apparent name on it. Since then, it was standard for our patrols to the strongpoint to suffer multiple ambushes during the roundtrip rotation. Sometimes our kids got wounded or killed; sometimes they were lucky. Mercifully, at least, my intelligence section – led by my friend and rebranded artillery lieutenant – did their homework and figured out that the chronically lazy local Taliban didn’t like to fight at night or wake up early, so patrols to the strongpoint that stepped off before dawn had a fighting chance of avoiding the worst of ambush alley.

I hadn’t wanted to take my colonel on a patrol to the outpost. His entourage was needlessly large and, when added to my rotational platoon, presented an unwieldy and inviting target for Taliban ambush. Still I knew better than to argue the point with my disturbingly confident and single-minded colonel. So I hedged. Yes, sir, we can take you along, with one caveat: we have to leave before dawn! I proceeded to explain why, replete with historical stats and examples, we could only (somewhat) safely avoid ambush if we did so.

That’s when things went south. The colonel insisted we leave at nine, maybe even ten, in the morning, the absolute peak window for Taliban attack. This prima donna reminded me that he couldn’t possibly leave any earlier. He had a “battle rhythm,” after all, which included working out in the gym at his large, safe, distant-from-the-roar-of-battle base each morning. How could I expect him to alter that predictable schedule over something as minor as protecting the lives and limbs of his own troopers? He had “to set an example,” he reminded me, by letting his soldiers on the base “see him in the gym” each and every morning. Back then, silly me, I was actually surprised by the colonel’s absurd refusal; so much so that I pushed back, balked, tried to rationally press my point. To no avail.

What the man said next has haunted me ever since. We would leave no earlier than nine AM, according to his preference. My emotional pleas – begging really – was not only for naught but insulted the colonel. Why? Because, as he imparted to me, for my own growth and development he thought, “Remember: lower caters to higher, Danny!” That, he reminded me, was the way of the military world, the key to success and advancement. The man even thought he was being helpful, advising me on how to achieve the success he’d achieved. My heart sank…forever, and never recovered.

The next day he was late. We didn’t step off until nearly ten AM. The ambush, a massive mix of RPG and machine gun fire, kicked off – as predicted – within sight of the main base. The rest was history, and certainly could’ve been worse. On other, less lucky, days it was. But I remember this one profound moment. When the first rocket exploded above us, both the colonel and I dove for limited cover behind a mound of rocks. I was terrified and exasperated. Just then we locked eyes and I gazed into his proverbial soul. The man was incapable of fear. He wasn’t scared, or disturbed; he didn’t care a bit about what was happening. That revelation was more terrifying than the ongoing ambush and would alter my view of the world irreparably.

Which brings us to some of the discomfiting morals – if such things exist – of this story.

American soldiers fight and die at the whims of career-obsessed officers as much they do so at the behest of king and country. Sometimes its their own leaders – as much as the ostensible “enemy” – that tries to get them killed. The plentiful sociopaths running these wars at the upper and even middle-management levels are often far less concerned with long-term, meaningful “victory” in places like Afghanistan, than in crafting – on the backs of their soldiers sacrifices – the illusion of progress, just enough measurable “success” in their one year tour to warrant a stellar evaluation and, thus, the next promotion. Not all leaders are like this. I, for one, once worked for a man for whom I – and all my peers – would run through walls for, a (then) colonel that loved his hundreds of soldiers like they were his own children. But he was the exception that proved the rule.

The madness, irrationality, and absurdity of my colonel was nothing less than a microcosm of America’s entire hopeless adventure in Afghanistan. The war was never rational, winnable, or meaningful. It was from the first, and will end as, an exercise in futility. It was, and is, one grand patrol to my own unnecessary outpost, undertaken at the wrong time and place. It was a collection of sociopaths and imbeciles – both Afghan and American – tilting at windmills and ultimately dying for nothing at all. Yet the young men in the proverbial trenches never flinched, never refused. They did their absurd duty because they were acculturated to the military system, and because they were embarrassed not to.

After all, lower caters to higher

Tyler Durden

Fri, 09/06/2019 - 23:55


War Conflict

<p>A pilot program successfully captured 90 rats around Brooklyn&#x2019;s Borough Hall.</p><br /><p>Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams invited reporters to a Thursday press conference with an unusual promise: a display of 90 dead rats.</p><p>Read Full Story</p><div class="feedflare"><br /> <br /></div>

Growth in the world continues to collapse into late summer, so much so that Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) had to "temporarily suspend" their AE2/Swan Asia to North Europe loop until mid-November, removing 20,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) a week from trade, reported The Loadstar.

Collapsing demand and plunging shipping container rates have led to pain for carriers who sail their vessels along the route. This is the second time Maersk and MSC have suspended the circuit, and the last time this happened was last fall.

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Maersk and MSC said it's working hard to "balance its network to match reduced market demand for the upcoming [Chinese factory shutdown] Golden Week."

Maersk and MSC said the AE2/Swan suspension would "help us to match capacity with the expected weaker demand for shipping services" from Asia to Europe.

Maersk and MSC said the service would resume "in line with demand pickup," suggesting the suspension could be extended into 1H20 as global trade isn't expected to pick up for the next six to eight months. 

Maersk and MSC adopted a similar strategy last year, suspending AE2/Swan Asia to North Europe loop from September to December, this was right around the time when stock markets across the world crashed from October to December, on fears the world economy was slowing. It just so happens that the global synchronized slowdown is much worse this year, likely the world has entered a manufacturing/trade recession in late summer 2019.

The suspension of AE2/Swan loop will see 12 17,800-20,500 TEU vessels idled for the next several months. 

The last time the AE2/Swan loop was halted, it was during the period when world stocks collapsed last fall.

Freightos freight data for China to Europe 40 ft shipping containers shows muted price recovery over the last several years.

Global rates for 40 ft shipping containers also show depressed prices, which usually means global trade is weak.

As for global trade, the Merchandise World Trade Monitor by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis shows peak globalization in 2017 and 2018, and the index is now sliding for the first time since the financial crisis.

It should be no mystery why the world's largest shipping companies are idling vessels - it's because a global recession has likely started.

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