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Analysis Topic: Politics & Social Trends

The analysis published under this topic are as follows.

Politics

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Conspiracy Theories Are Killing This Nation / Politics / Conspiracy Theory

By: Jared_Dillian

There is a burgeoning conspiracy theory that Jeffrey Epstein was murdered in his jail cell.

Although it’s not really burgeoning, is it? Most people really believe this. I think once a majority of people believe a conspiracy theory, it becomes fact.

Out of all conspiracy theories, this one is certainly plausible—Epstein potentially had a lot of damaging information on a lot of rich, powerful people.

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Politics

Friday, November 22, 2019

The Promise of AI / Politics / AI

By: Richard_Mills

In ‘The Terminator’ series of action films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, a cybernetic organism (cyborg) is programmed from the future to go back in time and kill the mother of the scientist who leads the fight against Skynet, an artificial intelligence system that will cause a nuclear holocaust. 

Terrifying and at times comical (“I’ll be back”, “Make my day”) The Terminator cyborg was among the first presentations of artificial intelligence (AI) to a global audience. (“C3PO” and “R2D2” of Star Wars fame and “Data” from Star Trek also qualify) The robotic assassin also depicted an extreme scenario of what could happen when “machine learning”, a vital element of AI, runs amok - ie. when machine intelligence surpasses human intelligence to the point when the machines take over and try to eliminate the humans who created them. 

While numerous facets of AI have been developed over the past couple of decades, all with positive outcomes, the fear of AI being programmed to do something devastating to the human race, of computers “going rogue”, continues to persist.   

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Politics

Friday, November 15, 2019

America’s Exceptionalism’s Non-intervention Slide to Conquest, Empire - and Socialism / Politics / US Politics

By: Raymond_Matison

When America established its new nation in 1776, its actions were guided by a Declaration of Independence and a Constitution which included a government subject to the consent of its people, liberty, and freedom of speech, religion, property, and assembly.  As a new nation narrowly escaping oppression from England, it originally would not conquer any other nation.  It was not going to follow the practice of colonialism and oppression that so many European nations embraced at that time.  But somehow, over decades, America abandoned its original principles of non-intervention and ultimately became an empire ruling most of the world.  It is the forces, causes and timing of this abandonment from its original exceptional principles of non-intervention to outward expansion, conquest, and its eventual consequences that is scrutinized in this article. 

Herein, the term “exceptionalism” is applied to America’s form of government, its Constitution, and original principles of non-intervention in the affairs of other countries.  However, the term “exceptionalism” was first used and popularized through Joseph Stalin in 1929 to portray America, which because of its capitalism and high standard of living was highly resistant to communist goals for advancing socialism in this country – and therefore was characterized as an exceptional nation.  As we will read in this article America easily and rather quickly gave up its exceptionalism to embrace conquest. 

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Politics

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

China Is an Underrated Threat to the World / Politics / China US Conflict

By: John_Mauldin

In Hong Kong, somewhere between 1–2 million people (out of a 7+ million population) have taken to the streets protesting an extradition bill proposed by Beijing.

These protests have been ongoing and persistent. That the extradition bill has now been withdrawn is seemingly not enough to satisfy a smaller but active protest group.

And then came the furor over the NBA. The general manager of the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey, tweeted out a small and rather innocuous message of support for the Hong Kong protesters.

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Politics

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Impeachments & Healthcare / Politics / US Politics

By: Rodney_Johnson

Many Democrats really want to impeach President Trump. According to a Pew Research poll conducted after the latest round of Democratic debates, 40% of Democratic respondents said that beating Donald Trump was the number one issue in the upcoming election. It’s not domestic policies, not foreign policy, not protecting any class of people, but simply making sure that, come January 2021, his name is not on the White House door.

Obviously, this goes far beyond wanting one’s political party to win. I’m not going to list out reasons why. We’re all well-versed in the current political battles. But focusing on removing him from office either before or during the election leaves precious little time to discuss national issues.
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Politics

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Maybe the West Should Adopt Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Policy / Politics / Nuclear Weapons

By: Antonius_Aquinas

Prior to the modern age, when war was engaged in, combatants, for the most part, acted by a code of conduct which attempted to minimize civilian deaths and the destruction of non-participants’ property. With the onset of the democratic age and the idea of “total war” such modes of conduct have tragically fallen by the wayside, the consequence of which has made warfare far more bloody and destructive.

The ultimate violation of “just warfare” has been the possession and use of nuclear weapons which by their very nature cannot be reconciled with any notion of a civilized society.  Of all the hysteria over “terrorism,” nuclear weapons are rarely discussed anymore, but are the ultimate form of terror.

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Politics

Friday, October 25, 2019

The End of College Is Coming / Politics / Student Finances

By: Stephen_McBride

Every spring, millions of American high school kids are faced with this choice.

It sounds like a no-brainer. And it used to be a no-brainer... because college used to cost a reasonable amount of money.

As recently as 1980, you could get a four-year bachelor’s degree at a public school for less than $10,000, on average. These days it’ll cost you at least $40,000… or upward of $140,000 for a private school... or well over $250,000 for a top school.

Unless a kid has rich parents or a full ride scholarship, he must borrow a ton of money to pay for the privilege of attending college.
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Politics

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Fake Numbers Fueling the Wage War on Wealth / Politics / Economic Statistics

By: Rodney_Johnson

I’m stupid about the cost of a lot of things. I don’t mean uneducated, or lacking knowledge. I’m talking about downright dumb as a stump. Thank goodness the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is around to set me straight.

Take my television, for instance.
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Politics

Monday, October 14, 2019

America's Ruling Class - Underestimating Them & Overestimating Us / Politics / US Politics

By: James_Quinn

Do not underestimate the ‘power of underestimation’. They can’t stop you, if they don’t see you coming.” ― Izey Victoria Odiase

During the summer of 2008 I was writing articles a few times per week predicting an economic catastrophe and a banking crisis. When the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression swept across the world, resulting in double digit unemployment, a 50% stock market crash in a matter of months, millions of home foreclosures, and the virtual insolvency of the criminal Wall Street banks, my predictions were vindicated. I was pretty smug and sure the start of this Fourth Turning would follow the path of the last Crisis, with a Greater Depression, economic disaster and war.

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Politics

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Social Security Is Screwing Millennials / Politics / US Debt

By: John_Mauldin


Social Security is a textbook illustration of how government programs go off the rails.

It had a noble goal: to help elderly and disabled Americans, who can’t work, maintain a minimal, dignified living standard.

Back then, most people either died before reaching that point or didn’t live long after it. Social Security was never intended to do what we now expect, i.e., be the primary incom source for most Americans during a decade or more of retirement.

Life expectancy when Social Security began was around 56. The designers made 65 the full retirement age because it was well past normal life expectancy.

No one foresaw the various medical and technological advances that let more people reach that age and a great deal more, or the giant baby boom that would occur after World War II, or the sharp drop in birth rates in the 1960s, thanks to artificial birth control.
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Politics

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Climate Change When the Levee Breaks / Politics / Climate Change

By: Richard_Mills

In John Steinbeck’s epic novel ‘The Grapes of Wrath’, a poor family of tenant farmers and thousands of other “Oakies” hitch up their wagons to make the trek to California in search of work and a better life. A savage drought had turned their farms into fields of dust. 

Current growing conditions are nothing like those described in Steinbeck’s book, but US farming states are certainly seeing the effects of climate change - particularly with respect to irrigation.  

As the earth warms, wet areas become wetter and dry areas drier. Less rainfall means less new water to refill aquifers, nature’s vast underground lakes of fresh water that thousands of American farmers, and millions worldwide, draw water from for drinking and watering crops.  

A study by the University of Arizona predicts that climate change in the US will pull groundwater out of four important aquifers, faster than they can be recharged. 

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Politics

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Central Bankers' Desperate Grab for Power / Politics / Central Banks

By: Ellen_Brown

Central bankers are out of ammunition. Mark Carney, the soon-to-be-retiring head of the Bank of England, admitted as much in a speech at the annual meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyo., in August. “In the longer-term,” he said, “we need to change the game.” The same point was made by Philipp Hildebrand, former head of the Swiss National Bank, in a recent interview with Bloomberg. “Really, there is little if any ammunition left,” he said. “More of the same in terms of monetary policy is unlikely to be an appropriate response if we get into a recession or sharp downturn.”

“More of the same” means further lowering interest rates, the central bankers’ stock tool for maintaining their targeted inflation rate in a downturn. Bargain-basement interest rates are supposed to stimulate the economy by encouraging borrowers to borrow (since rates are so low) and savers to spend (since they aren’t making any interest on their deposits and may have to pay to store them). At the moment, over $15 trillion in bonds are trading globally at negative interest rates, yet this radical maneuver has not been shown to measurably improve economic performance. In fact, new research shows that negative interest rates from central banks, rather than increasing spending, stopping deflation and stimulating the economy as they were expected to do, may be having the opposite effects. They are being blamed for squeezing banks, punishing savers, keeping dying companies on life support and fueling a potentially unsustainable surge in asset prices.

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Politics

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Philippines, China and US: Joint Exploration Vs Rearmament and Nuclear Weapons / Politics / Nuclear Weapons

By: Dan_Steinbock

President Duterte’s joint exploration framework with China is a historical breakthrough. But since it has potential to de-escalate tensions over time, it is opposed by those interests that prefer rearmament, even if that would lead to a split of Southeast Asia and new nuclearization.

In early 2018, the Philippines and China agreed to set up a special panel to work out how the two could jointly explore oil and gas in parts of the South China Sea that both sides claim without having to address the issue of sovereignty. That was something of a breakthrough.

Last fall, President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the Philippines resulted in the bilateral memorandum of understanding on oil and gas development in the contested South China Sea (SCS). It was one of the some 30 documents signed during Xi’s visit in Manila.

Following a recent meeting with President Xi, Duterte said the Philippines could set aside the ruling of the international arbitral tribunal on China’s SCS claims, in exchange for a joint oil and gas exploration deal with Beijing.

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Politics

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Curse of Technology Weapons / Politics / US Military

By: BATR

From the very time of Cain killing Abel, the invention of more efficient weapons for violent conflict has been a consistent aspect of human endeavor. The conclusion that modern society refuses to accept the reality is that this curse is a direct result of the fallen nature from disobeying God by eating of the forbidden fruit. There is a reason why the high tech totalitarians and trillion dollar behemoth, chose the name APPLE. Weaponry can take many forms but for most of history, armies and navies fought to the death to defend their ruling elites or to extend their empire aspirations. The only such consequence is a theater of operations for dead bodies. For centuries the guidance of Sun Tzu was followed as reflected in Carl von Clausewitz's famous dictum:

"The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable." - Sun Tzu

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Politics

Saturday, September 14, 2019

War Gaming the US-China Trade War / Politics / China US Conflict

By: John_Mauldin

By Justin Spittler: People respond to incentives. So do national governments. This is foundational to both economics and geopolitics.
Carefully examining each side’s incentives can illuminate how a conflict will end. No one has infinite choices. They choose from limited options.

That applies to the US-China trade war, which is right now one of our top economic issues. So let’s think through what the players really want, and what each can actually do.

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Politics

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Boris Johnson's "Do or Die, Dead in a Ditch" Brexit Strategy / Politics / BrExit

By: Nadeem_Walayat

Boris Johnson's strategy towards achieving an exit from the EU by the deadline of 31st October (extended from 29th March) is to prorogue Parliament for 5 weeks as of midnight 9th September, returning on the 14th of October in attempts at preventing the remain establishment from subverting the exit date of 31st of October.

However, this has galvanised the Remain establishment to erase Boris Johnson's meager majority of 1. That and 21 remain Tory MP's betrayed their party by voting against the government in last weeks vote to force Boris Johnson to go and beg the EU for another extension, likely for at least 3 months though the decision as to how long will be in the EU's hands.

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Politics

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Boris Johnson a Crippled Prime Minister / Politics / UK Politics

By: Nadeem_Walayat

Following the ejection from office of the worst Prime Minister in British History, finally a person who actually voted LEAVE took hold of the leadership of the Tory party and the keys to No10 as correctly forecast in my series of articles dating back to November 2018 which offered great betting market odds of as much as 6-1 to capitalise upon.

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Politics

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Westminister BrExit Extreme Chaos Puts Britain into a Pre-Civil War State / Politics / BrExit

By: Nadeem_Walayat

Usually the primary driver for currency market trends tends to be economics and geopolitics, but for Britain the primary driver for sterling's trend has been BrExit CHOAS, where just when you thought things couldn't get any more chaotic the clowns in Westminster up the anti to a new level. The battle that has waged since the people of Britain voted by 52% to 48% to LEAVE the European Union has been one of a REMAIN establishment (70% of MP's) seeking every trick in the book to SUBVERT Brexit. That started the ball rolling with the selection of Remainer Theresa May who would turn out to be the worst Prime MInister in British history.

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Politics

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Baghdad Donald / Politics / US Politics

By: Peter_Schiff

For Donald Trump, it seems that these are the best of times except that they are the worst of times. How else to explain his contradictory demand that the Federal Reserve cut interest rates by 100 basis points despite his repeated claims that our current economy is "the best in the history of the United States?" That kind of "break glass in case of emergency" monetary policy is something that even the eldest among us have only seen once or twice. And those times have certainly been desperate.

As has been showcased in recent days, Trump can flip-flop faster than anyone in Washington. He wants capital gains indexing on Monday, only to abandon the idea on Tuesday. At breakfast, he wants expanded background checks for firearms, but drops the idea by lunch. But in his call to slash interest rates in a "great" economy, the president flip-flops in the same sentence.

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Politics

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Brexit Incontinent Mendacity / Politics / BrExit

By: Raul_I_Meijer

No, I’m still not taking sides in the Brexit proceedings. I have no horse in that fight. As I’ve said 1000 times, I can fully imagine that a country might want to leave the trappings of the EU. But just as often I’ve said that the way the Tories have gone about leaving appears deeply flawed. They have never seemed to take serious the amount of effort required for a smooth exit.

And after being an EU member for 40+ years, that effort could only be gigantic. But not one moment during Theresa May’s ‘reign’, let alone under Boris, have I gotten the impression that the UK is ready. They’ve spent their time fighting amongst each other about the shape and form Brexit should take, but neglected the practical implications of changing 1000s of rules and regulations and treaties and laws.

And sure, maybe a lot of work was done in secret, can’t very well do nothing at all, but none of that would matter very much; you need to show that you’re ready, not merely suggest it. And from what I can gather from the latest numbers I’ve seen, expectations are still that 50-60% of trucks (lorries) will not have the required paperwork once the UK leaves.

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