Global: The Genetically Modified World Order

Technologies can rarely be called truly revolutionary or disruptive, but gene-editing technology, specifically CRISPR, is an invention Stratfor believes could be just that. Even in its earliest stages, CRISPR (an acronym for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) had the potential to edit the genetic makeup of living things cheaper and faster than previous technology. But when CRISPR made its first splash on the world stage, it had limited precision and accuracy.
It lacked accuracy because it was difficult to control accidental cuts from happening elsewhere in the genetic code, which could have detrimental or even dangerous results. It lacked precision because it was limited in how small the cuts or modifications to the code could be. But the people working with and on CRISPR systems knew the technology, with some improvement, could become more accurate and precise.
Must hear CRISPR, Gene Editing, and Computing on DNA
They were correct: Researchers from Harvard and MIT published two key advancements of the technique in the academic journals Science and Nature on Oct. 25. The two separate developments have successfully made the CRISPR technique more accurate and precise. In addition, the report published in Science by one of the labs that pioneered the technique even expanded the technology to include more genetic material in the form of RNA.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 10/27/2017.

MASS SHOOTINGS: THE MILITARY-ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX’S CULTURE OF VIOLENCE TURNS DEADLY

‘Mass shootings have become routine in the United States and speak to a society that relies on violence to feed the coffers of the merchants of death. Given the profits made by arms manufacturers, the defense industry, gun dealers and the lobbyists who represent them in Congress, it comes as no surprise that the culture of violence cannot be abstracted from either the culture of business or the corruption of politics. Violence runs through US society like an electric current offering instant pleasure from all cultural sources, whether it be the nightly news or a television series that glorifies serial killers.’ – Professor Henry A. Giroux
This latest mass shooting in Las Vegas that left more than 50 people dead and more than 500 injured is as obscure as they come: a 64-year-old retiree with no apparent criminal history, no military training, and no obvious axe to grind opens fire on a country music concert crowd from a hotel room 32 floors up using a semi-automatic gun that may have been rigged to fire up to 700 rounds a minute, then kills himself.
We’re left with more questions than answers, none of them a flattering reflection of the nation’s values, political priorities, or the manner in which the military-industrial complex continues to dominate, dictate and shape almost every aspect of our lives.
For starters, why do these mass shootings keep happening? Mass shootings have taken place at churches, in nightclubs, on college campuses, on military bases, in elementary schools, in government offices, and at concerts. This shooting is the deadliest to date.
What is it about America that makes violence our nation’s calling card?

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on OCTOBER 6, 2017.

Government Regulation and Crony Capitalism is Keeping Thousands in Florida without Power

Almost two weeks have passed since Hurricane Irma made landfall in South Florida, yet tens of thousands remain without power. With temperatures regularly eclipsing over 90 degrees, these outages are not only a grave inconvenience for Floridians cleaning up after the storm, but have proved to be deadly. Given the power of Irma, it is not surprising that it has left behind incredible devastation. Unfortunately it is also not surprising that it is a government-protected utility that has done the most to impede recovery. The pain and suffering currently being felt is the direct result of government policy and the perverse incentives of crony capitalism.
One of the talked about examples of how bad policy is making things worse for Florida families are a variety of government policies that discourages the use of solar power in the Sunshine State. Government policy dictates that Floridians are required to be connected to the central power grid, even if they have enough solar panels installed to power their entire house. Because of this requirement, a family stuck in areas without power with solar panels installed cannot use them now because doing so could endanger workers trying to restore power for their neighbors. Once again government’s desire for centralized control has unintended consequences.
Of course, even without such rules, it’s unlikely that all of Florida would decide to go off the grid. Given that, it’s important to understand how the legal monopoly granted to electric companies not only traps customers into being entirely reliant upon a single company, but actively incentivizes those companies to be reactive – rather than proactive – when it comes to natural disasters and other events that threaten service.
After all, companies like Florida Power & Light will respond to Irma as they have done to hurricanes past, by increasing prices on their customers. Unfortunately, the revenue reaped seems to have made little impact in FPL’s preparedness for future storms. While the company has reported that its recovery efforts have moved faster this year than when Hurricane Wilma hit South Florida in 2005, more residents suffered outrages due to Irma – in spite of the fact that Wilma actually had higher sustained winds when it made landfall.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Sept 20, 2017.

SCIENTIFIC FRAUD AT THE CDC RESULTED IN UNTRUSTWORTHY VACCINE SAFETY INFORMATION

A new report is said to contain new evidence of ‘corruption and scientific misconduct’ at the CDC. It also states that employees and consultants for the government health agency engaged in ‘questionable ethics and scientific fraud’ that has ‘resulted in untrustworthy vaccine safety science.’
The press release from the World Mercury Project noted that there are a number of criminal acts allegedly committed by employees and consultants working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whose work to expose the connection between mercury-laced vaccines and increased autism rates has earned him wide praise and plaudits, has released a new report, and it’s showing the rampant corruption surrounding the vaccine industry.
The report’s authors single out Dr. Poul Thorsen, a Danish scientist who has been indicted by U. S. authorities for allegedly stealing millions from the CDC and tainting research to hide the dangers posed by vaccines. Indicted in 2011, Thorsen remains on the loose.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on SEPTEMBER 20, 2017.

Dave Murphy – Glyphosate: Unsafe On Any Plate

In November, a very concerning report — Glyphosate: Unsafe On Any Plate — was released by The Detox Project and Food Democracy Now!, raising the alarm of the high levels of glyphosate in the US food supply and the (deliberate?) low levels of awareness of its associated health risks.
Dave Murphy, executive director of Food Democracy Now!, joins us this week to explain the finding of this new report on the world’s most-used herbicide (more commonly known by its retail brand: Roundup). As happened in past decades with the alcohol and tobacco industries, there’s compelling evidence that profits have taken a priority over consumer safety — and as public health concerns are being raised, Big Ag is circling its wagons and attacking the questioners rather than embracing open scrutiny.
Are we being poisoned in the pursuit of profit?
Look at the chemical and what actually it does. Monsanto has three patents for glyphosate and the first one is from 1964 from the Sulfur Chemical Company in Westport, Connecticut. It was originally used to clean pipes. It’s like Drano: it basically strips minerals out of and heavy metals out of a pipe. Scientists have found that it actually chelates those same minerals in soil and makes them unavailable into the plant. At some point in the 1960s a Monsanto chemist discovered that it would also kill weeds. Monsanto applied for a patent in ’68 or ’69, was awarded that patent in ’74, and that is when Roundup first went on the market.

This post was published at PeakProsperity on January 1, 2017,.

Nassim Taleb: The Syrian War Condensed (For Almost Dummies)

Juxtaposition. The way to analyze the situation is to look at the factions comparatively. You do not compare Assad’s regime to the Danish or Norwegian governments, but to the alternative. The question becomes if there is anything in the left column that is worse than the right column?
Note 1. Assad father’s operatives blew up my house in Amioun when my grandfather, then MP, voted for Bashir. In Skin in the Game I discuss this as ‘acting against one’s interest’ (the opposite of conflict of interest). So as a scientist and a humanist, I have been setting my grudge aside in considering the far, far, far, greater cancer of Salafism or Islamofascism.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 15, 2016.

Mischievous Climate Worries

Modernity is a capitalistic phenomenon. It is the result of free-market industrial competition based on the security of private property, unregimented personal enterprise, specialized competence engaged via voluntary contractual exchange and unprotected profit-and-loss capitalization and management. While the results of such a social paradigm are eagerly sought the world over, the methods involved are often misunderstood, misconstrued, misapplied and even banned by force of arms, which leads to chicanery, corruption, waste, and failure.
Modernity is not universally welcome among all the people of the Earth. Many believe that modernity has whetted man’s energy and goods appetite to the point where natural resources are seriously depleted and the environment is seriously degraded.[1] These two concerns combine to provoke worry about the climate in which we live. Whether or not these concerns have an authentic foundation in science, they have evoked emotional consequences that have inspired public policy, which has spawned legislation aimed at natural resource conservation, environmental protection, and climate change inhibition.[2] The implementation of this legislation has resulted in a degree of industrial regulation and regimentation that is tantamount to de-industrialization. Among other things, these policies have more than doubled the cost of obtaining electricity from the community grid in less than a decade during which time the grid has begun to deny service on random occasions.[3]

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on December 10, 2016.

Rogue Republican Elector Warns Trump: “I Am Not The Only One Who Will Not Vote For You”

Last week a Republican member of the Electoral College, Christopher Suprun, published an op-ed in the NYT explaining why he would not be casting his vote for Donald Trump. Suprun is the same elector who the NY Post reported one month ago that he’s on track to vote as assigned for Donald Trump next month, despite reports saying he’d consider going rogue and voting for Hillary Clinton. Previously, Politico had quoted Suprun in August saying he found Trump so unpalatable, he’d consider going ‘rogue’ and voting for Clinton. He then told the Post that he ‘always planned to vote for his party’s nominee’ when Electoral College electors gather in their respective state capitals to finalize Trump’s presidency on Dec. 19.
He lied, as his NYT op-ed made very clear: “The election of the next president is not yet a done deal,’ Suprun wrote. ‘Electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the country. Presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience.’
“Trump lacks the foreign policy experience and demeanor needed to be commander in chief”, Suprun also wrote, adding that Trump’s business dealings might pose unacceptable conflicts of interest, Suprun adds – a problem that could seem him ‘impeached in his first year given his dismissive responses.”
Yesterday, Suprun spoke to Jonathan Karl and Rick Klein on the Powerhouse Politics Podcast, and suggested that there are other Republican electors who will follow Suprun in not voting for Trump. “At this point there are people who have reached out to me. Again it wouldn’t be my place to name who they are,” he said, though he indicated he was talking about Republican electors.
“I am confident in saying, at this point,” he continued,”I don’t think I will be the only one voting for someone other than Donald Trump who is carrying a Republican elector seat.” It was not clear which former candidate would earn Suprun’s vote since his choice, Ohio Governor John Kasich, has said he is not interested.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 9, 2016.

The First Defection: Republican Elector Writes In NYT Op-Ed Why He Won’t Be Voting For Trump

A Republican member of the Electoral College, Christopher Suprun, has published an op-ed in the NYT explaining on Monday explaining why he will not be casting his vote for Donald Trump.
‘The election of the next president is not yet a done deal,’ Texas elector Suprun writes the New York Times article. ‘Electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the country. Presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience.’
If Suprun follows through on his promise next month, he would become the first ‘faithless elector’ since 2004.
“Trump lacks the foreign policy experience and demeanor needed to be commander in chief”, writes Suprun, taking particular issue with the president-elect’s pick of retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn as his national security adviser. Trump’s business dealings might pose unacceptable conflicts of interest, Suprun adds — a problem that could seem him ‘impeached in his first year given his dismissive responses.”
The Electoral College is constitutionally required to convene before the results of the Nov. 8 presidential election are official. Usually these gatherings amount to nothing more than a rubber stamp, but this year electors have threatened to flee in record numbers. Twenty-six states, a group that does not include Texas, bind their electors to select the winner of the popular vote.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 5, 2016.

STAY ALERT, AMERICA: THE WORST IS YET TO COME

‘Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ -Philosopher George Santayana
Stay alert, America.
This is not the time to drop our guards, even for a moment.
Nothing has changed since the election to alter the immediate and very real dangers of roadside strip searches, government surveillance, biometric databases, citizens being treated like terrorists, imprisonments for criticizing the government, national ID cards, SWAT team raids, censorship, forcible blood draws and DNA extractions, private prisons, weaponized drones, red light cameras, tasers, active shooter drills, police misconduct and government corruption.
Time alone will tell whether those who put their hopes in a political savior will find that trust rewarded or betrayed.
Personally, I’m not holding my breath.
I’ve been down this road before.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on NOVEMBER 15, 2016.

Globalization Faces Challenges

For much of the second half of the 20th Century, and even into the new millennium, ‘Globalization’ was the dominant theme used to describe the drift of the world economy. It was widely considered both natural and inevitable that the world economy would continue to integrate and that national boundaries would become less constraining to commerce and culture. And with the exception of the eternal ‘anti-globalization’ protesters, who robotically appeared at large gatherings of world leaders, the benefits of globalization were widely lauded by politicians, corporate leaders and rank and file citizens alike. But a casual glance at the world headlines of 2016 suggests that the belief in globalization has crested, and is now in retreat. What are the consequences of this change?
International trade has existed for millennia. But few modern historians would characterize the trade caravans that crossed the Himalayas and the Sahara as sources of international conflict. Rather, they are widely seen as a useful means to bring goods that were plentiful from one region to other regions where they were scarce. Along the way, routes like the Silk Road in Asia created a great number of positive secondary benefits in culture and politics. But relatively modern developments such as ocean-going sailing ships, modern navigation, and steam and diesel power, have greatly increased the size and scope of trade. Globalism was also boosted rapidly by technological advances in communications, including intercontinental jet travel, fax machines, satellite telephones, the Internet, real time money transfers and massive investment flows to international and emerging markets.
Since the end of WWII, the establishment of international reserve currencies and the rise of supranational organizations, such as the United Nations, The World Bank, and International Monetary Fund, has saddled trade with more political baggage. The rise of bi-lateral and multi-lateral trade negotiations, which are often shadowy and bureaucratic affairs conducted behind closed doors, have further eroded support for trade. Oftentimes these efforts have resulted in deals that clearly favor politically connected players and have given rise to justified accusations of cronyism. By opening larger markets and reducing costs, certain corporations have amassed shocking wealth. The benefits to workers are far more diffuse and difficult to quantify.
The Harvard Business Review of May 13, 2016 published an article by Branko Milanovic about the unequal distribution of wealth generated by globalism. Milanovic comments that, since the mid-1980s, globalism has resulted in the ‘greatest reshuffle of personal incomes since the Industrial Revolution. It’s also the first time that global inequality has declined in the past two hundred years.’ Milanovic points to two main conclusions. First, he highlights the massive percentage gain in wages in Asia, particularly among the middle classes. In some cases, percentage wage gains in the Asian middle class have eclipsed the percentage gains experienced by the top one percent in the richer Western economies.
In stark contrast, the U. S. and Western lower and middle classes have enjoyed almost no percentage wage increases, while their top one percent was the only group to experience significant income gains, based on available household surveys from 1988 to 2008. A recent unpublished paper by John E. Roemer, a political scientist at Yale, suggests that the diminishing of global inequality made possible by trade is far less potent politically than the relative increases in national inequality. In other words, the benefits of globalism are obscured while the costs are highly visible.

This post was published at Euro Pac on October 26, 2016.

The Clinton Syndrome: The Establishment’s Weapon for National Conquest (Part 1)

IRD is pleased to present the next Stewart Dougherty guest post. In this analysis, SD defines and analyzes a phenomenon that most of us find thoroughly confounding: how can anyone with two brain cells possibly vote for Hillary Clinton?
‘There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.’ – John Adams, 2nd President of the United States of America
The 2016 United States presidential race was never intended to be an election. Rather, it has been psychologically engineered from the beginning to be a for-profit overthrow of America by an increasingly powerful and predatory establishment cabal, which seeks not just power, but full-spectrum dominion over the nation’s people, wealth and institutions. It has been rigged to be the exact opposite of an election: namely, a planned regime change that will then falsely be called after the fact an ‘election outcome,’ ‘popular mandate’ and ‘expression of the will of the people.’ It will deliver a multi-trillion dollar post-’election’ payday to the establishment insiders who have orchestrated it and nothing but ongoing misery for the people. This ‘election’ is a carefully crafted coup that will result in the progressive annihilation of American freedom and liberty, personal and financial, for all citizens except those within the Establishment’s reach.
The longstanding purpose of this election has been to impose upon the people a new national operating system that we have named ‘Crony Communism.’ (This theme is detailed in our previous article entitled: ‘Crony Communism: Hillary Clinton’s Game Plan for America.’ – LINK). To effect this regime change, a new psychological syndrome was engineered, using proven techniques that predictably alter the thinking patterns and decision making capabilities of susceptible individuals. Psychological engineering is not science fiction; it is real, powerful and now, and its direct effects are being exhibited today by tens of millions of voters throughout the country.
The economic implications of the coming regime change will be monumental – and the financial effects on individuals severe – if people do not take steps now to prepare and protect themselves. We will offer some suggestions in this regard in a follow-up article (Part 2). Our objective in this article is to give you a clear understanding of what is happening, at least as we see it.

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on October 24, 2016.

Monetary Pollution

Some climate scientists, concerned with the warming impact of rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, have proposed that to keep temperatures cool what is needed is more pollution. More specifically, they suggest that more particulate pollution in the upper reaches of the atmosphere would reflect the sun’s radiation back into space and thereby have a cooling effect, as has been demonstrated in the past when large volcanic eruptions have led to years without summers. In a similar way, policymakers across much of the developed world, concerned about rising inequality, are recommending the introduction of a guaranteed minimum income. However, just as it appears senseless to send soot into the air to correct the atmospheric damage wrought by over a hundred years of fossil fuel burning, so too is it senseless to expect easy money for the poor to correct the damage caused by over 30 years of easy money for the banking system and the rich. The creation of money by central banks and the banking system has predictable consequences. As the economic thinker Henry Hazlitt wrote in his 1965 book, ‘What You Should Know about Inflation’ (keeping in mind that for Hazlitt, inflation refers not to an increase in prices but rather to an increase in the quantity of money): ‘Inflation makes it possible for some people to get rich by speculation and windfall instead of by hard work. It rewards gambling and penalizes thrift. It conceals and encourages waste and inefficiency in production. It finally tends to demoralize the whole community. It promotes speculation, gambling, squandering, luxury, envy, resentment, discontent, corruption, crime, and increasing drift toward more intervention which may end in dictatorship.’ From the early 1970s onwards, the ability of central banks and the banking system to create money from nothing has distorted the incentives upon which healthy market economies depend. While the reasons for expanding the quantity of money in circulation always seem benign, be they ‘to avoid a financial crisis’ or ‘to reduce unemployment’ the truth is that every dollar so created increases inequality while simultaneously sapping productivity.

This post was published at Mises Canada on OCTOBER 19, 2016.

The Fall of the House of Fraud (And Peak Corruption)

Peak Corruption represents the terminal phase of any business, social system, government or collective entity of any kind. Peak Corruption is absolutely and by definition the end of the road. – Guest post by Stewart Dougherty
Guest post by Steward Dougherty – The United States has transitioned from a Republic, to a Democracy, to a Crony Capitalist Oligarchy, to its present state: a thinly disguised Monarchy.
This monarchy is ruled by the the American House of Fraud, the nation’s Royal Family. The House of Fraud is populated by a small group of individuals who live like kings and queens by systematically plundering the wealth of the nation.
While members of Royal Families are typically linked by blood, the members of the American House of Fraud are linked by psychological characteristics. To become a member of the American House of Fraud, one must demonstrate exceptional levels of greed; sanctimony; power-lust; shamelessness; compulsion to control; love of wars-for-profit; lack of conscience; self-righteousness; egomania; and superciliousness: in other words, psycopathy.
The mantra of The House of Fraud is: ‘Never Enough.’ No matter how much money they plunder, no matter how many people die in their wars for profit, no matter how much havoc they wreak, it is never enough for them. Their ethic is this: For starters, we want it all; then we want more. They represent a bottomless pit of need, and therefore, they create an endless curse of looting, chaos, destruction and death.

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on October 2, 2016.

At Last – – Even The FT Says Fed on Ropes as Yellen Seeks to Fend off Trump Blows

After a fusillade of excoriating and in many ways unprecedented attacks on the Federal Reserve by the Republican presidential candidate, Janet Yellen, the US central bank’s chair, finally hit back.
Ms Yellen last Wednesday dismissed as emphatically wrong Donald Trump’s claims that she and her institution were keeping short-term interest rates low at the behest of the Obama administration. ‘Partisan politics play no role in our decisions,’ she declared.
Mr Trump is throwing punches at a time when the US central bank is under assault from both sides of the partisan divide, and at a time when polling suggests public confidence in its leadership has declined during a subpar economic recovery.
Some experts say the Fed is vulnerable and that the populist attacks could fuel demands by politicians for tighter constraints on its policy freedoms. Mr Trump ‘is tossing a lot of fuel on the fire’, says Sarah Binder, a professor of political science at George Washington University. ‘It intensifies the partisan criticism of the Fed and keeps the Fed in the politicians’ crosshairs.’ Mr Trump’s interventions by no means mark the first time the Fed has been turned into a political punching bag. Previous Fed chairs have been the subject of barbs during presidential campaigns – including in 2011 when Republican candidate Rick Perry accused former Fed chair Ben Bernanke of ‘treasonous’ behaviour by conducting quantitative easing. Past administrations have seen outbreaks of tension with Fed chiefs, including under presidents George HW Bush and Richard Nixon.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner By Sam Fleming, Financial Times ‘ September 28, 2016.

At Last – – FT Says Fed on Ropes as Yellen Seeks to Fend off Trump Blows

After a fusillade of excoriating and in many ways unprecedented attacks on the Federal Reserve by the Republican presidential candidate, Janet Yellen, the US central bank’s chair, finally hit back.
Ms Yellen last Wednesday dismissed as emphatically wrong Donald Trump’s claims that she and her institution were keeping short-term interest rates low at the behest of the Obama administration. ‘Partisan politics play no role in our decisions,’ she declared.
Mr Trump is throwing punches at a time when the US central bank is under assault from both sides of the partisan divide, and at a time when polling suggests public confidence in its leadership has declined during a subpar economic recovery.
Some experts say the Fed is vulnerable and that the populist attacks could fuel demands by politicians for tighter constraints on its policy freedoms. Mr Trump ‘is tossing a lot of fuel on the fire’, says Sarah Binder, a professor of political science at George Washington University. ‘It intensifies the partisan criticism of the Fed and keeps the Fed in the politicians’ crosshairs.’ Mr Trump’s interventions by no means mark the first time the Fed has been turned into a political punching bag. Previous Fed chairs have been the subject of barbs during presidential campaigns – including in 2011 when Republican candidate Rick Perry accused former Fed chair Ben Bernanke of ‘treasonous’ behaviour by conducting quantitative easing. Past administrations have seen outbreaks of tension with Fed chiefs, including under presidents George HW Bush and Richard Nixon.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on September 28, 2016.

Green Growth Grinds Lower In The Red Ponzi

After installing more wind and solar farms than anywhere else on the planet, China is ratcheting back the pace of growth in an industry that’s helped lower the costs of green energy worldwide.
Installations of new wind and solar farms in China is expected to drop 11 percent in 2017 from a record high this year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That would be the first decline in the history of the modern renewables business, now a little more than a decade old, for a nation that has provided about a third the investment for the industry.
After five years of breakneck growth in the supply, China’s electricity demand is stagnating along with a pause in the nation’s economic expansion. President Xi Jinping’s government has started re-calibrating subsidies for the business, a move that’s likely to hit the industry’s leading manufacturers, Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co. and Trina Solar Ltd.
‘China shapes the whole world market,’ Paolo Frankl, head of the International Energy Agency’s renewable energy division, said in an interview.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on September 23, 2016.

Our Fatal Attraction with Technology

They call us technophobes and luddites, or whatever derogatory term used to describe those who don’t automatically go along with the ‘latest and greatest’ scientific invention. But is it really asking too much to question whether or not it is okay to unleash an invention on society without learning about the possible effects before doing so? Is merely questioning the safety of new technology before implementing it such a ludicrous proposal?
Are we so in love with what we can invent that we cannot even fathom that anyone should be allowed to posit an opposing opinion without provoking the wrath of the scientific community? If so, this is not truly science, but the ego-driven machinations of corporate-controlled narcissists masquerading as scientists. And woe to the world if we continue buying into their schemes.
We love the newest and most inventive toys. We like to play. We like to be ‘number one’ and proudly display our acquisitions. But just when does this tendency turn into a fatal attraction and end up costing us our very lives?
In the latest scheme to force new and dangerous technology down our throats, we find that Monsanto is now merging with Bayer. Another Solutia solution for Monsanto’s Glyphosate woes.

This post was published at FarmWars on Sept 15, 2016.

Bombs Away! A 9/11 Retrospective On Washington’s 15-Year Air War

On the morning of September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda launched its four-plane air force against the United States. On board were its precision weapons: 19 suicidal hijackers. One of those planes, thanks to the resistance of its passengers, crashed in a Pennsylvania field. The other three hit their targets – the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D. C. – with the kind of ‘precision’ we now associate with the laser-guided weaponry of the U. S. Air Force.
From its opening salvo, in other words, this conflict has been an air war. With its 75% success rate, al-Qaeda’s 9/11 mission was a historic triumph, accurately striking three out of what assumedly were its four chosen targets. (Though no one knows just where that plane in Pennsylvania was heading, undoubtedly it was either the Capitol or the White House to complete the taking out of the icons of American financial, military, and political power.) In the process, almost 3,000 people who had no idea they were in the bombsights of an obscure movement on the other side of the planet were slaughtered.
It was a barbaric, if daring, plan and an atrocity of the first order. Almost 15 years later, such suicidal acts with similar ‘precision’ weaponry (though without the air power component) continue to be unleashed across the Greater Middle East, Africa, and sometimes elsewhere, taking a terrible toll – from a soccer game in Iraq to a Kurdish wedding party in southeastern Turkey (where the ‘weapon’ may have been a boy).
The effect of the September 11th attacks was stunning. Though the phrase would have no resonance or meaning (other than in military circles) until the U. S. invasion of Iraq began a year and a half later, 9/11 qualifies as perhaps the most successful example of ‘shock and awe’ imaginable. The attack was promptly encapsulated in screaming headlines as the ‘Pearl Harbor of the Twenty-First Century’ or a ‘New Day of Infamy,’ and the images of those towers crumbling in New York at what was almost instantly called ‘Ground Zero’ (as if the city had experienced a nuclear strike) were replayed again and again to a stunned world. It was an experience that no one who lived through it was likely to forget.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on September 12, 2016.

Cronyism: Government, the AMA, and Med Schools

In the introduction to a talk I gave at the Mises Institute this year, I noted how, in the early part of the twentieth century, a convergence of interests between social progressivists and ideological empiricists led to the publication of the Flexner Report and the subsequent enactment of licensing laws.
That historical context is further treated in an outstanding article by Alfred Tauber, who was professor of medicine and philosophy at Boston University School of Medicine.
In ‘The Two Faces of Medical Education: Flexner and Osler Revisited,’ Tauber contrasts the radically different views these two men held about the ethos of medicine and the proper approach to medical education. It is ironic that the victorious position would be the one pushed by Flexner who, as Murray Rothbard put it, was ‘an unemployed former owner of a prep school in Kentucky … sporting neither a medical degree nor any other advanced degree.’
Tauber perfectly captures the aim of Flexner:
Flexner had another agenda than simply eliminating substandard institutions. The registration of medical schools with the Association of American Medical Colleges, the imposition of state licensing linked to such accreditation, the development of a model medical school at Johns Hopkins, and finally the effective use of philanthropic foundation support (e.g., Rockefeller, Carnegie) helped mould American medical standards closely to those advocated by Flexner. The 20th century doctor was to be an active and skeptical medical scientist.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on September 8, 2016.