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Pat Buchanan Asks “Should Japan And South Korea Go Nuclear?”

September 5, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,
By setting off a 100-kiloton bomb, after firing a missile over Japan, Kim Jong Un has gotten the world’s attention.
What else does he want?
Almost surely not war with America. For no matter what dama…

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Qatar’s Latest Move Against The GCC Blockade

September 5, 2017 Zainab Calcuttawala 0

Three months after the announcement of a Gulf blockade against Qatar, the country is accelerating trade growth via a special port located on its shores, according to reports emerging from the region. The $7.4 billion Hamad port had been designed as a point of economic independence from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. “This is a gateway to break the shackles imposed on Qatar,” Doha’s transport minister Jassim bin Saif Al-Sulaiti said at the port opening held on Tuesday. “Nothing can stop us and our ambition,” he added. Doha dodged…

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Satellite Images Reveal Numerous Landslides Around North Korea Test Site After Nuclear Test

September 5, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Commercial satellite images taken one day after North Korea conducted its largest nuclear test to date (currently estimated to have been around 120 kilotons, or 8 times the yield of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima), show numerous landslides throughout th…

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The Three Faces Of Bitcoin

September 5, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

After plunging 20% in the last few days from its $5000 highs – following China’s ICO ban, Bitcoin has bounced back to $440 today amid global turmoil…

As SHTFplan.com reported earlier, Rick Rule, the billionaire Chief Executive Officer of Sprott Global Resources, noted in his recent interview with Crush The Street:

Bitcoin to me is all positive… I’m a consumer of currencies and currencies are a medium of exchange… and the more competing currencies there are the better it is for consumers of currencies… I use U.S. dollars, I use Canadian dollars, I use gold, I use silver, and from time-to-time I use BitCoin.

 

The more competing currencies, the better the currency has to perform for the consumer.

But, Rule warns, just as we’ve seen historically with stocks, there will be bull markets, bear markets, bubbles and bursts. But astute investors who position themselves in the right blockchains or companies that operate them could see incredible gains. At the same time, however, he cautions that, at least for now, much of the market is based on speculation:

I don’t know [if it can go to $500,000 or $1 million per Bitcoin]… But I also think it’s possible for the market cap to go to zero if people lose faith in the algorithm… What happens in a market that goes from $450 where it was two years ago to $4500 is people only look in the future to directions gone in the past…

It’s an instrument of faith… Could it go to $10,000? Yes. Could it go to $100,000. I guess. Could it go to $0? Yes. Keep both numbers in mind.

Which brings us to the three faces of Bitcoin. As InternationalMan.com’s Jeff Thomas explains, one of them is likely to prove to be the correct one and the reader should consider them all, as each has a valid argument in its favour.

Whenever we see an image of bitcoin, it’s not presented as a blockchain, as it should be, but as a gold coin, which it is clearly not.

Why should this be? Well, many of bitcoin’s staunchest supporters are libertarians, who revile fiat currencies as being of no intrinsic value. And they’re correct. Fiat currencies do not pass the Aristotle test of being durable, divisible, portable and intrinsically valuable. They, unfortunately, fail badly on the last requirement.

Unfortunately, so does bitcoin (and in describing bitcoin here, the same comments apply to other cryptocurrencies); hence the tendency to present it as a gold coin, something that does satisfy all of Aristotle’s requirements.

So, why are libertarians, who, one would think would be just as suspicious of electronic fiat currency as they would be about paper fiat currency, its greatest supporters?

Well, bitcoin has been presented as a currency that’s not produced by governments. It’s a blockchain, created by an unknown person or agency and is promised to be limited in its total production (as are precious metals.)  

Of course, libertarians, by their very nature, tend to be suspicious of such claims. Doug Casey has for years, quite rightly described the dollar as an “I owe you nothing,” a mere promise from a government that it will pay the bearer if it sees fit to do so. He has also quite rightly described the euro as a “who owes you nothing,” as it’s a mere promise from an uber government that controls individual governments that it will pay the bearer.

Following this line of reasoning, bitcoin is, (please forgive the double-negative) “no one owes you nothing.” There is zero evidence of who created bitcoin or whether there is any validity whatever as to the promise of limited production.

So, why on earth are many intelligent people so in favour of bitcoin? Well, if it  proves to be legitimate, it’s by far the most useful form of currency in an age when banks and governments are clamping down on the transfer of currencies and, in fact, are likely to confiscate the deposits now held in banks. Further, it might rival gold as a store of wealth. Therefore, if it proves to be legitimate, it is unquestionably the currency of the future for all those who value the freedom to do as they please with their own money.

Unfortunately, there is that nagging, “if .” And then there’s the recurrent argument that it has no intrinsic value, due to its intangibility. It cannot be physically possessed. Its existence is subject to the vagaries of the internet, without which it can instantly go to zero and remain there, as have all the other fiat currencies over history.

In my view, there are three faces to bitcoin. (Yes, a coin cannot have three faces but, again, bitcoin is not really a coin.) One of them is likely to prove to be the correct one and the reader should consider them all, as each has a valid argument in its favour.

Face #1: Bitcoin Is the Future 

Bitcoin is the currency of the Internet. It’s not produced by any government and is therefore a decentralised worldwide digital currency. It can be used to make purchases and other monetary transfers anonymously. It’s easy and cheap to use as, currently, no country regulates it. As other fiat currencies (paper currencies) become less trustworthy, bitcoin is likely to increase in value. As Governments around the world increase capital controls, it promises freedom from governmental control.

 

The IMF describes digital currency as the way of the future and has declared their intention of getting a digital currency in place by 2018 in what they describe as the “global economic reset.” Most international banks are establishing blockchain tech and cryptocurrencies into their business models. One, Goldman Sachs, describes blockchain technology as the “new technology of trust,” citing the fact that every single transaction remains within the blockchain “ledger.”

Face #2: Bitcoin Will Fail

The most important objective of those who control the world economic system is the coming re-set of the monetary system. The intention is to eliminate paper currencies and any other form of currency other than their own digital world currency. By so-doing, every monetary transaction, no matter how small, would be on record. Additionally, banks could disallow any type of transaction which governments did not endorse. Further, they would have the power to refuse access to and even confiscate deposits.

 

Bitcoin is the very enemy of that reset, as it would allow the world to simply opt-out of the world’s banking system. But, in retaliation, banks could disallow the conversion of bitcoin to world currency and could count on governments to classify bitcoin as “the currency of terrorists,” making the use of bitcoin a crime.

 

Governments have already been able to track bitcoin use and have arrested individuals who have made transactions that they disapprove of, but, for whatever reason, they’ve not pursued this tracking ability broadly as yet.

 

If the €500 note can successfully be eliminated under the pretense that it’s favoured by terrorists, there can be little doubt that bitcoin could be tarred with the same brush and made illegal internationally. If it became illegal to accept bitcoin as payment, bitcoin would quickly lose its perceived value and soon decline to its intrinsic value of zero.

Face 3: Bitcoin Is a Trap and Will Succeed

Globalists support the concept of electronic blockchain currency 100%. So much so, that that the world’s leading banks, have touted it as the way of the future.

 

Most people will accept the change to the new world digital currency easily, as it will be so easy to use. They’re unlikely to worry overly about the loss of control over their own money or their freedom to privacy when making transactions.

 

But the flies in this ointment are the contrarians, the libertarians who will do all they can to remain outside this system. Many hope to escape the coming world digital blockchain currency by using … a digital blockchain currency – bitcoin.

 

Bitcoin was created by the fictitious Satoshi Nakamoto, an admitted nom de plume that could be a cover for the Mises Institute or the CATO Institute, but just as easily could be a cover for the Federal Reserve or the IMF.

 

Neither of these latter entities is actively opposing the use of bitcoin. In fact, if it were their own system, they would have access to the record of all transactions that are presently assumed to be disappearing into the ozone.

 

Rather than fight those who oppose currency control, they would be wise to co-opt those who lead it and redirect them to lead the charge into world blockchain currency.

Each of the above is a valid argument and should be considered by the reader. To be sure, the concept of currency is about to change more dramatically than ever before in history.The jury is still out and more information is needed prior to coming to a conclusion as to where this is all headed. At the present time, bitcoin is highly useful for quick transactions and may be worth the risk as a short-term investment. As a store of wealth it remains a gamble. The best move might be to neither love nor hate bitcoin, but to wait and see.

But back to Rule to conclude:

The truth is, a situation where six pimply faced 21-year olds in a garage can invent an algorithm and call it a currency, then paint that algorithm with a narrative and then turn it into money means that there will be an enormous proliferation of scams, just like there are in the penny stock business. Billions of dollars will be lost to unsupported narratives.

 

That does not change the fact that crypto currencies, and more importantly the distributed ledger, are an extremely important factor for our time and a factor that is absolutely for the good in aggregate.”

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Hurricane Irma Could Destroy Oil Demand

September 5, 2017 Nick Cunningham 0

About half of the shuttered refining capacity along the Gulf Coast could be back up and running by Thursday, assuaging concerns about the possibility of acute gasoline shortages in much of the U.S. The disruptions of more than 4 million barrels per day of refining capacity have been cut in half, with major refineries restarting operations in Corpus Christi and Houston. ExxonMobil is ramping up operations at its Baytown facility, the second largest in the country. Valero Energy brought two refineries in Corpus Christi and Texas City back online,…

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Angry Hillary Blames Everything From Bernie Sanders To “There’s Something About Mary” For 2016 Loss

September 5, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Though Hillary’s book of excuses, entitled “What Happened,” won’t be released until September 12th, a newly revealed excerpt shows that, after 229 pages dedicated to blaming everything from Trump to Russian hackers, racism, misogyny, etc, by page 230 she finally gets around to blaming Bernie Sanders.  Actually, if you review the following very powerful paragraph closely enough you’ll notice that Hillary is able to succinctly blame Bernie, Obama and her entire 2016 campaign staff in just a couple of sentences. 

“Throughout the primaries, every time I wanted to hit back against Bernie’s attacks, I was told to restrain myself.  Noting that his plans didn’t add up, that they would inevitably mean raising taxes on middle-class families, or that they were little more than a pipe dream – all of this could be used to reinforce his argument that I wasn’t a true progressive.  My team kept reminding me that we didn’t want to alienate Bernie’s supporters.  President Obama urged me to grit my teeth and lay off Bernie as much as I could.  I felt like I was in a straightjacket.”

“President Obama urged me to grit my teeth and lay off Bernie as much as I could. I felt like I was in a straitjacket.” – HRC pic.twitter.com/AAaKCq9DAR

— Hillary Warned Us (@HillaryWarnedUs) September 4, 2017

 

Not surprisingly, according to further insights from CNN, Hillary goes on to point out that Bernie’s supporters, much like Trump’s, were only motivated by sexism…it’s just obvious really.

She said that his attacks against her during the primary caused “lasting damage” and paved the way for “(Donald) Trump’s ‘Crooked Hillary’ campaign.”

 

Clinton, in a book that will be released September 12 entitled “What Happened,” said Sanders “had to resort to innuendo and impugning my character” because the two Democrats “agreed on so much.”

 

“Some of his supporters, the so-called Bernie Bros, took to harassing my supporters online. It got ugly and more than a little sexist,” she wrote.

 

“When I finally challenged Bernie during a debate to name a single time I changed a position or a vote because of a financial contribution, he couldn’t come up with anything,” Clinton wrote. “Nonetheless, his attacks caused lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Trump’s ‘Crooked Hillary’ campaign.”

Sure, it wasn’t her laundry list of personal scandals that caused Trump’s “Crooked Hillary” campaign to stick…nope, it was Bernie that created that monster.

Finally, just when you thought you’d heard every excuse imaginable, Hillary takes her ‘blame game’ to a whole new level by viciously calling out the movie “There’s Something About Mary” for her 2016 defeat.

She noted that Jake Sullivan, her top policy aide, told her that Sanders’ campaign strategy reminded him of a scene from the movie “There’s Something About Mary,” where a hitchhiker says he has a plan to roll out seven-minute abs to top the famous eight-minute abs.

 

“Why, why not six-minutes abs?” Ben Stiller’s character asks.

 

Clinton wrote: “That’s what it was like in policy debates with Bernie. We would promise a bold infrastructure investment plan or an ambitious new apprenticeship program for young people, and then Bernie would announce basically the same thing, but bigger. On issue after issue, it was like he kept promising four-minute abs, or even no-minutes abs. Magic abs!”

For those who missed it, here is the scene from “There’s Something About Mary” that apparently tanked Hillary’s shot at the White House…

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Rohingya exodus puts Suu Kyi under pressure

September 5, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
Reuters
Wed, 2017-09-06 03:00
ID: 
1504645394937258500

SHAMLAPUR/DHAKA: Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has come under pressure from countries with large Muslim populations including Bangladesh, Indonesia and Pakistan to halt violence against Rohingya Muslims after nearly 125,000 of them fled to Bangladesh.
Reuters reporters saw hundreds of exhausted Rohingyas arriving on boats near the village of Shamlapur in Bangladesh near the Myanmar border. The village, facing the Bay of Bengal, appears to have become the newest receiving point for the refugees after authorities cracked down on human traffickers in a different part of the Teknaf peninsula.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi was due in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, on Tuesday after meeting the Nobel peace laureate and Army Chief Min Aung Hlaing to urge that Myanmar halt the bloodshed.
“The security authorities need to immediately stop all forms of violence there and provide humanitarian assistance and development aid for the short and long term,” Retno said after her meetings in the Myanmar capital.
The latest violence in Myanmar’s northwestern Rakhine state began on Aug. 25, when Rohingya insurgents attacked dozens of police posts and an army base. The ensuing clashes and a military counter-offensive have killed at least 400 people and triggered the exodus of villagers to Bangladesh.
The treatment of Buddhist-majority Myanmar’s roughly 1.1 million Muslim Rohingya is the biggest challenge facing Suu Kyi, who has been accused by Western critics of not speaking out for the minority that has long complained of persecution.
Myanmar says its security forces are fighting a legitimate campaign against “terrorists” responsible for a string of attacks on police posts and the army since last October.
Myanmar officials blamed Rohingya militants for the burning of homes and civilian deaths but rights monitors and Rohingya fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh say the Myanmar Army is trying to force them out with a campaign of arson and killings.
“Indonesia is taking the lead, and ultimately there is a possibility of ASEAN countries joining in,” H.T. Imam, a political adviser to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, told Reuters.
He was referring to the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations that groups both Myanmar and Indonesia.
“If we can keep the pressure on Myanmar from ASEAN, from India as well, that will be good.”
Turkey called the violence against the Rohingya “genocide” and offered Bangladesh help with the refugee influx. Pakistan, home to a large Rohingya community, has expressed “deep anguish” and urged the world body, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, to act.

Escape from Myanmar

New arrivals and residents in Shamlapur said hundreds of boats had arrived on Monday and Tuesday with several thousand people, after a crackdown on traffickers at an island about 50 km south.
Reuters reporters saw men, women, children and their belongings, even live chickens, disembark from one boat.
“We fled to a hill when the shooting started. The army set fire to houses,” said Salim Ullah, 28, a farmer from Myanmar’s village of Kyauk Pan Du, gripping a sack containing his few remaining belongings, as he gazed exhausted at the beach.
“We got on the boat at daybreak. I came with my mother, wife and two children. There were 40 people on a boat, including 25 women.”
The latest estimate of the numbers who have crossed the border into Bangladesh since Aug. 25, based on calculations by UN workers in the south Asian country, is 123,600.
That takes to about 210,000 the number of Rohingya who have sought refuge in Bangladesh since October, when Rohingya insurgents staged much smaller attacks on security posts, triggering a major Myanmar army counteroffensive and sending about 87,000 people fleeing into Bangladesh.
The new arrivals — many sick or wounded with burns or bullet wounds — have strained the resources of aid agencies and communities already helping hundreds of thousands of refugees from previous spasms of violence in Myanmar.
“One camp, Kutapalong, has reached full capacity,” said Vivian Tan, the regional spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.
“Nayapara saw several hundred people arrive in one day. This is stretching resources. We are doing what we can, but will need to seek more resources.”
In Shamlapur, refugees said about 40 people were packed into the curved hulls of fishing vessels three meters long.
Fishermen were demanding payment of as much as 10,000 taka ($124) for each adult, with Rohingyas who could not pay being detained, the refugees said.
Bangladesh pulled 53 dead from the Naf River separating it from Myanmar, and from the sea. Many more were suspected to have died on the journey.
Social worker Shahid Ullah said he feared another deadly capsize was inevitable, given the monsoon season.

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In Myanmar, Modi to discuss violence

September 5, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
Reuters
Wed, 2017-09-06 03:00
ID: 
1504645395217259700

NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will discuss rising violence in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state during a visit that begins on Tuesday, and push for greater progress on long-running Indian infrastructure projects, officials said.
India seeks to boost economic ties with resource-rich Myanmar, with which it shares a 1,600-km border, to counter Chinese influence and step up connectivity with a country it considers its gateway to Southeast Asia.
Two-way trade has grown to around $2.2 billion as India courted Myanmar following the gradual end of military rule, but Indian-funded projects have moved slowly.
Modi’s promises to “Act East” and cement ties with India’s eastern neighbor have slipped even as China has strengthened its influence.
His first bilateral visit comes amid a spike in violence in Rakhine, after a military counter-offensive against insurgents killed at least 400 people and triggered the exodus of nearly 125,000 villagers to Bangladesh since Aug. 25.
The violence could hit development of a transport corridor that begins in Rakhine, with the Indian-built port of Sittwe and includes road links to India’s remote northeast, analysts said.
“It’s going to be a very vexed and complex issue,” said Tridivesh Singh Maini, a New Delhi-based expert on ties with Myanmar.
“You need to play it very smartly. You need to make it clear that Rakhine violence has regional implications… but India will not get into saying, ‘This is how you should resolve it’.”
Last month, India said it wanted to deport 40,000 Rohingya refugees who left Myanmar in previous years.
Modi arrives from China late on Tuesday in the capital Naypyidaw to meet President Htin Kyaw on a three-day visit.
New Delhi believes the best way to reduce tension in Rakhine is through development efforts, such as the Kaladan transport project there, said Indian foreign ministry official Sripriya Ranganathan.
“We are very confident that once that complete corridor is functional, there will be a positive impact on the situation in the state,” she told reporters.
Modi will meet Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and visit the heritage city of Bagan and a Hindu temple. The countries share close cultural ties, and several in Myanmar trace their roots to India.
Modi will also talk up a trilateral highway project connecting India’s northeast with Myanmar and Thailand.
“There is a fear that China is already going full steam ahead,” said Udai Bhanu Singh of Delhi think-tank, the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyzes. “From the Indian side, there has been some laxity.”
Singh said India could offer Myanmar help in building its navy and coast guard, while Myanmar would seek assurances that India was a reliable economic partner and an alternative power to Beijing.

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Yangon made ‘little’ progress to stem Rohingya escape, says Malaysia

September 5, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
Reuters
Wed, 2017-09-06 03:00
ID: 
1504645395197259400

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia on Tuesday summoned Myanmar’s ambassador to express displeasure over violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, which has displaced nearly 125,000 Rohingya Muslims.
Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said the latest incidents of violence showed that the Myanmar government had made “little, if any” progress in finding a peaceful solution to problems facing the Rohingya minority, most of whom live in the northwest Myanmar state near the Bangladeshi border.
“Given these developments, Malaysia believes that the matter of sustained violence and discrimination against the Rohingyas should be elevated to a higher international forum,” Anifah said in a statement.
Muslim-majority Malaysia has been particularly outspoken in its concern about the plight of the Rohingya.
Myanmar says its security forces are fighting a legitimate campaign against “terrorists” responsible for a string of attacks on police posts and the army since last October.

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