To Save People From COVID, Puerto Rico Shuts down 911 call centers

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice.

Puerto Rico Shuts Down 911 Over COVID

Puerto Rico has two centers which field 911 emergency calls for the island.

This week, BOTH of those call centers were shut down because employees tested positive for COVID.

The government instead instructed residents of Puerto Rico to call an alternative 10 digit number if they need emergency assistance.

Puerto Rico is not known for having the most efficient government… but seriously, this was the best solution they could think of? They couldn’t find replacement workers, a temporary facility, or simply reroute 911 calls to the emergency number they now advise calling?

That’s the COVID craze for you– if shutting down 911 saves just one life, it’s worth it.

Surely there won’t be any unintended consequences from SHUTTING OFF THE EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBER DRILLED INTO OUR HEADS SINCE CHILDHOOD!

Click here to read the full story.

Coronavirus Funds End Up in Brazilian Senator’s Butt

The President of Brazil recently celebrated the end of corruption in the country.

But one of his allies must not have received the memo.

Police raided a Brazillian Senator’s home over evidence that he diverted Coronavirus response funds from the government to criminal enterprises.

Some of that money allegedly ended up in the Senator’s pocket– or more accurately, his butt.

During the raid the Senator was caught hiding over 30,000 reais (over $5,000) in his underpants, between his butt cheeks.

Click here to read the full story.

Facebook Fights Fake News: An Obviously Satirical Newspaper

The Babylon Bee is a gem of a satirical news website, with headlines such as, “Nation Longs For More Civilized Age When Politicians Settled Disputes With Pistols,” and “To Improve Next Debate Both Candidates’ Mics Will Be Muted The Entire Time.”

Last week we talked about how the Twitter mob– and dictionary– decided the phrase “sexual preference” was offensive after Amy Coney Barrett used it during her Supreme Court Senate hearings.

Commenting on this Senate witch hunt to find something wrong with the judge, The Babylon Bee ran a headline that said, “Senator Hirono Demands ACB [Amy Coney Barret] Be Weighed Against A Duck To See If She Is A Witch.”

It’s a reference to a joke from the 1970s film The Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

But Facebook said it was incitement to violence, insinuating the article could make people want to burn witches…

Facebook demonetized The Babylon Bee until it edits the article.

But The Babylon Bee has refused to edit the satirical article.

Looks like the fake news is speaking a little too much truth for Facebook.

Click here to read the full story.

Now It’s Offensive to Work Hard

This summer the tax-funded KIPP Charter Schools decided to retire the slogan “Work hard. Be nice,” because it “supports the illusion of meritocracy.”

KIPP leadership thinks it is wrong to tell kids that hard work is all it will take to be successful, because there is something else standing in their way.

“Working hard and being nice is not going to dismantle systemic racism,” reads the KIPP website, explaining the decision to nix the old motto.

The new religion of wokeness preaches that everyone is a helpless victim. No amount of hard work will get you ahead.

KIPP hasn’t released a new slogan yet but maybe they’ll try, “Seize the means of production. Execute the Bourgeoisie.”

Click here to read the full story.

San Diego School District Abolishes Grades to ‘Combat Racism’

Students in San Diego schools will no longer have to do homework, turn in assignments, or take tests, because none of it will count toward a grade anyway.

Instead teachers will decide if a student has mastered the material.

How will teachers make this determination without some kind of test? Well, there aren’t any details on that yet.

But surely it will be less systemically racist than an A, B, or C letter grade.

Click here to read the full story.

Pennsylvania Restaurant that Opened in Violation of Lockdown “Not Guilty”

A Pennsylvania restaurant opened to full capacity in May in defiance of Pennsylvania’s lockdown orders and safety procedures.

The restaurant was cited and fined, but they went to court and pleaded not guilty.

Last week, a judge found in the restaurant’s favor, saying the Department of Agriculture fined the restaurant for violations it could not lawfully cite them for.

Click here to read the full story.

Twitter Mob Angry that a white Israeli actress will play a Macedonian Greek

The Twitter mob erupted over the decision to cast a white Israeli to play Cleopatra in an upcoming film.

The mob says the movie is white-washing history since clearly the Egyptian princess should be played by a Black actress, right?

Well actually, Cleopatra was of Macedonian Greek heritage. And she ruled Egypt before the Arab conquest.

So that means Cleopatra was neither Arab nor Black. But why should facts get in the way of wokeness? Once again, ignorance prevails!

Click here to read the full story.

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The death of the big city has been greatly exaggerated

[Editor’s note: This letter was written by our Sovereign Woman—Viktorija.]

Travel is one of those things that rarely goes according to plan… at least for me.

A few weeks ago I told you about how my taxi in Istanbul got lost, and I accidentally ended up in Asia.

Not long after, I was denied boarding while trying to fly from Mallorca to Portugal because the Covid-19 rules had suddenly changed earlier that day.

And now, this morning, I was politely asked to leave the airport in Berlin during a connection here, because my wait time was longer than two hours.

Apparently under their Covid rules, you’re not allowed to wait in the airport if your connection time is longer than two hours.

I tried talking my way into staying… but Germans really love following the rules. So, I was kicked out of the airport and asked to come back later for my connecting flight.

No big deal; I decided to go on a little adventure and explore the city.

I’ve always loved Berlin; it’s such a unique place because it has transformed itself so many times.

Just think about it– this used to be the capital of Nazi Germany, the place where Hitler made decisions to exterminate millions of people.

After World War II, the city was split between East and West for decades.

The grip of communism was so severe that over 100,000 risked their lives trying to climb over the Berlin Wall, some in the most creative ways imaginable.

One guy stole a tank and tried breaking through the Wall. Another escaped by building a makeshift zip line.

Two families escaped together by sailing over the wall in a hot air balloon. Another literally walked a tightrope.

It is incredible how far people will go for their freedom.

And finally, when the Wall came down, Berlin kept reinventing itself.

Today this city is probably the most prominent technology hub in Europe.

Berlin has a startup-friendly environment, which has attracted talent and entrepreneurship from all over the world.

But unlike Silicon Valley that has endless wealth, Berlin smacks of a Bohemian culture and art scene.

In fact a former Mayor of Berlin once described his city as “poor, but sexy”.

It’s not exactly poor anymore; some of the most valuable startups in the world are based here now. But the city has maintained its gritty culture.

It’s interesting to be here at a time when the new ‘Covid normal’ is threatening many large cosmopolitan cities.

And it’s true, a lot of cities are in trouble.

We’ve already started seeing a mass exodus from big cities to suburban and rural areas, all over the world.

And this has led many pundits to declare the big city DEAD.

Simon and I both disagree.

Sure, there will continue to be a lot of people who move out of the city; plenty of companies have already moved to online work arrangements, so employees can now live anywhere within reason and work remotely.

We’ve both been writing about this extensively and think that it’s great for people to have the freedom to move wherever they want.

Countless employees are no longer tethered to a place where they HAVE to be. Now they have the freedom to move where they WANT to be.

But that’s exactly the point: while millions of people around the world want to move away from the city, there will be plenty of people who want to move TO the city.

Younger people in particular used to be priced out of big city life. Rent was simply too high.

Not anymore. Rents have fallen at a dizzying pace. And for the first time in their lives, a lot of young people can actually afford to live in the city.

And they want to be there for the social engagement that they just can’t get online, or in rural areas.

Now, not all large cities are the same. Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities may certainly suffer.

But the world’s truly GREAT cities, like London, Hong Kong, and here in Berlin for example, will likely continue to thrive.

Again, Berlin has reinvented itself so many times. Covid will just be one more reinvention.

And this is a really interesting opportunity; talented, creative people can play a major role in driving the next urban transformation.

Think about it– real estate prices will clearly have to fall… which means that someone is going to make a ton of money figuring out the best way to re-purpose all of that unused office space.

The world’s truly great cities will emerge from this urban crisis cheaper, more resilient, more creative than they have been in decades.

The great cities of the world aren’t dead. They’re brimming with opportunity.

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Taking back control– one small step at a time

At the height of World War II, when American soldiers were on the front lines in Europe and the Pacific battling for the very survival of civilization, life back home was starting to feel pretty bleak.

The psychological toll alone was severe.

Countless families had a husband, father, brother, or son fighting in the war, so people worried about their loved ones’ safety on a daily basis.

And just about everyone stressed about the outcome of the war and prayed that the Nazis didn’t overwhelm Allied forces.

On top of the mental stress, resources were scarce. Every spare scrap of food, lumber, and metal was shipped off to the troops, and the government started rationing supplies back home.

Meat, milk, butter, sugar, gasoline, etc. were all strictly rationed, and people had to stand in line, tired, stressed, and worried, to receive their weekly allotment.

Bear in mind this was right after the Great Depression; people had spent the last decade barely surviving. Yet when the war broke out, life became even more overwhelming.

But when just about everything seemed out of control, some people started taking matters into their own hands.

Little by little, Americans started planting ‘Victory Gardens’.

They transformed city parks, suburban lawns, and even windowsills into food plots. And before long, roughly one third of all vegetables consumed in the United States came from these Victory Gardens.

Sure, it was helpful for the war effort so that more food could be shipped to the front lines.

But Victory Gardens became a huge boost to the people’s morale and individual sanity. A Victory Garden was a way to take back control.

You couldn’t control Hitler. You couldn’t control the economy. But you could plant a seed, water it, and with a tiny bit of effort, create food… something that would bring real benefit to you, your family, and your community.

Today, it’s pretty obvious that the world is entering a critical period that will present enormous challenges.

We’re grappling with extreme economic uncertainty. Government debt is skyrocketing everywhere. Central banks are printing money without any sense of control or limitation.

Tens of millions of people are unemployed, with 68% of CEOs recently saying they expect to either lay off more people, or not hire any new workers.

We continue to experience a global pandemic that will not disappear no matter how Draconian government lockdown measures become.

We have constant social conflict– rioting, violence, and an absurd level of polarization that keeps people at each other’s throats.

2020 has definitely made a lot of people feel like giving up… or at least want to go into hibernation and say, “Wake me up when this is all over… and everything goes back to normal.”

‘Normal’ is probably not going to happen.

The reality I think everyone needs to prepare for is that this is not going to end… not for a long, long time.

The economic consequences, for example, haven’t even really begun yet; we will be paying for the cost of these trillions of dollars worth of bailouts for years, potentially decades to come.

And the political and social turmoil is only in its opening movements; the crescendo is likely years away– anyone who thinks the peaceful protesters and Twitter mob are going to lay down their torche and go away anytime soon is fooling themselves.

It’s normal to feel frustrated. Even nervous or scared. But giving up is simply not an option.

Just like people back home during World War II, even doing small things to take back control– like Victory Gardens– proved to be enormously beneficial.

Now, I’m not talking about literally growing food… although there’s never any downside in doing so. Being able to produce even a small portion of your own food supply is a very powerful feeling.

What I’m really talking about are small steps to increase your independence.

For example, having some gold and silver locked away in a safe that you control means that you have a form of emergency savings that’s protected from inflation, or any potential problems in the banking system.

Additionally, a second passport means you have at least one other option outside your home country to live, work, and raise a family. It means one single country does not hold total control over your ability to travel.

When you start adding up all the different ways to take your power back, you find almost infinite combinations of possibilities.

Of the 200 or so countries on earth, you have dozens to choose from for a second residency or citizenship.

And many countries offer various ways to gain citizenship based on ancestry, naturalization, investment, marriage, adoption, etc.

Likewise, gold and silver certainly aren’t the only ways to store wealth. There is land, art, wine, watches, or even collectible firearms.

Again, there are vast permutations of choices; you even have options within options.

For example, if you choose to buy precious metals, you could choose between bullion or rare coins. At-home storage, or a secure facility overseas. Physical metal versus ‘tokenized’ gold.

Another example is doing small things to reduce your taxes– like maximizing retirement contributions, setting up a more robust retirement plan, or investing in an opportunity zone.

There is no one size fits all solution to take your power back; every individual has different goals, constraints, and a unique set of circumstances.

And that’s a good thing. Individual choice is why humans have always overcome the most extreme challenges, and why we always emerge stronger, more prosperous than ever.

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The First Law of a Plan B

In the summer of 1687, after years of study and reflection, the legendary English scientist Isaac Newton published one of the most important works in the history of the world.

He called it Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, and the insights Newton wrote about shaped the very world we live in today.

Literally *nothing* in modern engineering, from iPhones to skyscrapers, would exist today without Newton and his three-volume treatise.

Among the many game-changing concepts he discussed were his now famous Laws of Motion.

Newton’s first law of motion, for example, is often summarized as something like “an object at rest stays at rest, unless acted upon by an external force.”

Makes sense. A rock isn’t going anywhere unless someone picks it up and throws it.

And this is true not only of objects in our universe, but of human behavior as well.

Human beings are creatures of habit; our species resists change and succumbs to the inertia of our lives. When at rest, we tend to stay at rest.

Think about it: do you ever wonder why so many people are in unhealthy, destructive relationships? Or why they remain in jobs that they hate working for bosses they despise?

It’s because of inertia.

We know deep down when we need to make a change. And often we know what we need to do. But inertia is the reason why we don’t do what’s necessary to improve our lives.

There are countless different forms of inertia.

For example, life gets in the way, and we procrastinate. We put things off and just never get around to taking action. This is a type of inertia.

Or, our ‘normalcy bias’ makes us believe that, no matter how much chaos we see before our very eyes, everything will get better soon… so we don’t take any action.

Or, we recognize that taking action might create conflict. And since most people prefer to avoid conflict, we take the easier road, follow the crowd, and abdicate our decision-making to other people.

Or, we have a great fear of the unknown. And we’d rather suffer a known danger than accept the risk of an uncertain outcome.

Or (especially these days), more and more people are being taught to think of themselves as helpless victims who have no control over the direction of their lives. We’re rewarded for coming up with excuses rather than for taking action.

Each of these is a form of inertia, and there are many more. But they each lead to the same place: inaction.

The funny thing about inertia, though, is that it is simultaneously one of the costliest aspects of our lives, yet one of the easiest to overcome.

Inertia holds us back. It prevents us from achieving what we really want from life.

But overcoming inertia is simply a choice. There’s no special skill… no privilege required.

Anyone from any circumstance or background has the ability to choose: today I’m going to start taking action. I’ll educate myself and gather every tool or resource available to me to improve my life.

Again, this is merely a choice… and only requires summoning the willpower to follow through on that choice.

No one needs to move mountains to get started. It only takes a few baby steps.

For example, I’ve long been talking about the need to set up a Plan B. This is something that makes sense. In light of everything that’s happened in the world lately, it’s only rational to have a Plan B.

Deep down I think most folks recognize this is completely sensible.

But then inertia takes over. For whatever the reason, days, weeks, and then months go by… and we still haven’t started.

This is not uncommon. But it’s easy to fix.

Remember– baby steps. Any time you find that you need to overcome inertia, ask yourself, “What’s the most important thing I can do right now to get moving in the right direction?”

It’s a great question to ask about your business, your relationships, and your life in general… as well as with your Plan B.

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Twitter Mob forces dictionary to change definitions

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice.

Dictionary changes definition of “preference” for Twitter mob

For a long time, the terms “sexual orientation” and “sexual preference” have been used interchangeably without controversy.

That all changed in an instant when Judge Amy Coney Barrett said “sexual preference” during her Supreme Court nomination Senate hearings.

A few extra-woke Senators chastised Barrett, claiming the word “preference” implies that gay people choose their sexual orientation.

Judge Barrett apologized and said that was not her intention.

But the Twitter mob still exploded. In the bizarre parallel universe of Social Justice Warriors, “preference” immediately became an offensive term.

And to help them make their case, Merriam-Webster changed their entry of the word “preference” in the dictionary to include a definition that it is “offensive”.

Of course, the hypocrisy of the Twitter mob is never too far off. The liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsberg, for example, used the term “sexual preference” as recently as 2017 without any controversy whatsoever.

Something tells me they won’t be ripping down her statues anytime soon.

Click here to read the full story.

You’ll See What Facebook and Twitter Want You to See

You’ve probably heard by now that the New York Post ran a story this week which, to put it mildly, was very unflattering for a certain US Presidential candidate and his family.

But the real issue is that social media tech giants like Facebook and Twitter squashed the story; both platforms tried to ban the New York Post article from being shared.

Facebook limited distribution until it could be fact-checked, and Twitter completely blocked the URL from being shared.

It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when the big technology companies, who are supposed to exist to facilitate free and open communication among users, have turned into totalitarian censors, deeming in their sole discretion what the truth is.

They hold the same standard for Covid-related content; if you dare utter a word that doesn’t conform to guidelines published by the World Health Organization (i.e. the guys who are in the pockets of the Chinese Communist Party), then you’ll be censored or banned from their platforms.

Twitter has at least acknowledged its stupidity and has committed to changing its censorship policy.

Click here to read the full story.

The Catch-22 of Woke Racism

Residential Assistants, or RAs, are college students who enforce rules in college dorms and act as a resource for younger students.

During training, a university in Kentucky sent White RAs to a breakout session called, “White Accountability Space.”

We’ve seen this sort of thing before, where colleges segregate students in the name of “safe spaces.”

But this time, the White RAs were given a list of 41 “common racist behaviors and attitudes of white people.”

And you wouldn’t believe some of the behaviors that apparently make you racist.

For example, asking a person of color to repeat themselves is racist.

If you believe there is a right way to do something, that is automatically racist because, according to the document, the “right way” really means the “white way.”

The document cited plenty of other racist microaggressions, but among the most amazing were the impossible double-standards.

Number 35 on the list, for example, says that aggressively confronting a racist White person is itself a racist tactic because it’s an attempt to distance yourself from racism.

But number 39 says it is racist to “avoid confronting other whites on their racist attitudes and behaviors.”

So, just to be clear, if you confront someone else for being racist, then you’re racist. But if you don’t confront them, then you’re also racist.

Make sense?

Of course not. But that’s woke logic for you.

Click here to see the training document.

More People Arrested for Marijuana than All Violent Crimes

Since 1973, states have been decriminalizing marijuana. Since 1996 states have been legalizing medical cannabis.

Now, 11 states have legalized recreational marijuana use, and 33 allow some sort of medical use of cannabis.

Yet a just-released report from the federal government shows that, in 2019, more people were arrested for marijuana-related crimes than all violent crimes put together.

According to the FBI uniform crime reports, almost 546,000 people were arrested in 2019 for cannabis related crimes. And 92% of those arrests were for simple possession– not selling, not growing, not driving under the influence–just having weed.

Meanwhile, about 496,000 people were arrested for violent crimes in 2019.

Click here to see the data.

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The first time we went to see the Germans. . .

[Editor’s note: This letter was written by our Sovereign Woman—Viktorija.]

I was probably six or seven years old when my mother first put that idiotic pink bow in my hair.

She had me dressed up like a little doll, in my nicest shoes and dress, all because we were going to see ‘the Germans’.

I didn’t understand what this meant when I was a little girl. But now I know– we were crossing the borders from one country into another.

That’s what life used to be like in Europe; border crossings were a major event.

For us, the first border crossing was from Lithuania into Poland. That one wasn’t such a big deal. We were both former ‘Eastern Bloc’ countries and viewed each other as peers.

But the next land border crossing from Poland into Germany was a high-stress event. We had to be at our very best.

Compared to Lithuania in the early 1990s, Germany was considered to be the pinnacle of civilization. Most of us from ex-Soviet countries looked up to Germany as having everything we wanted.

But German border officials looked down on us as peasants from poor, ex-Communist countries. So they had no problem refusing entry.

Dressing up in our nicest clothes definitely increased our chances of being allowed to enter the country.

We’d stand in line (usually for a couple of hours) and wait to be judged by some border official.

I remember my mom being incredibly tense the whole time, scolding me to be quiet and on my best behavior… and then her giant sigh of relief as we were stamped into the country.

(I don’t wear a pink bow anymore, but this elaborate ritual became so deeply ingrained in my psyche that, to this day, I still dress up and present a professional image when crossing borders.)

Fortunately things are different now.

In Europe, the Schengen Treaty removed most internal borders across the continent.

Schengen was a pretty monumental achievement for Europe– a continent that has constantly been at war with itself for thousands of years. And it made life a lot easier.

Because of the Schengen Treaty, Europeans could drive from Portugal to Estonia, just as easily as Americans drive from California to New York, or Canadians from British Columbia to Quebec. No borders. No checkpoints.

At least, that’s how it was until earlier this year.

Then this virus came around, and, instantly, decades of cooperation vanished.

Border checkpoints immediately went back up all over Europe. And the rules have been extremely volatile.

Just last week as I was leaving Mallorca, for example, I was at the airport checking in for my flight to Lisbon.

But apparently, just that morning, a new rule was imposed: all incoming airline passengers would need a negative molecular Covid test before being allowed to enter Portugal.

Since the rule had just changed that morning, I didn’t have a molecular test; I did have a rapid test, and a molecular test from a few days prior, but it wasn’t current enough. So I was denied boarding.

But as they say, where there is a will there is a way.

I studied the new rule and found that, while airline passengers entering Portugal were required to have a molecular test, land borders didn’t require a Covid test at all.

It seemed like a strange rule, but there it was, in black and white.

So I changed my flight and flew from Mallorca to Madrid (a domestic flight within Spain). Then I booked a rental car and drove to Portugal.

It was a beautiful drive– the Spanish countryside is really impressive, and I’m glad I was able to see it.

And I had absolutely no problems entering Portugal. There was no border checkpoint whatsoever– again, the rule only applied to flights.

I voluntarily quarantined upon arrival in Portugal, just in case, and had a new molecular test conducted (which turned out negative).

But it was a great reminder that rules are constantly changing. And it’s up to us to decide how we react to that change.

And this goes for everything, not just travel.

The world is experiencing incredible turmoil right now. The election in the US. Brexit. Covid lockdowns. Economic recession.

Everything is changing in front of our very eyes.

But this doesn’t have to be darkness. As Simon has frequently written, the world is not coming to an end. We just have to be aware and expect radical change.

Tax laws will change. Business regulations will change. Immigration policies will change.

But just because all these changes are happening doesn’t mean life will be worse.

We’ll need to make adjustments, sure. But we can still take control.

Smart, talented people don’t stress about change. They accept it.

They learn the new rules and use the resources at their disposal to figure out new, creative ways to accomplish what they want to achieve.

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Antifa is real. It’s violent. And you need to plan for it.

American diplomat George Messerschmidt found himself in an awkward situation while attending a luncheon in Kiel, Germany in August of 1933.

As lunch came to a close, the attendees erupted into song with arms outstretched in the Nazi salute.

First they belted out Germany’s national anthem, followed by the anthem of the Stormtroopers– the paramilitary ”Brownshirts” who violently enforced Germany’s new social rules.

Messerschmidt was the US Consul-General overseeing America’s diplomatic ties with Germany, so he politely stood at attention. But he did not salute or sing along.

Germans were required by law to render the Nazi salute, especially during the anthem; Hitler had been awarded supreme executive authority only a few months before, and he made the mandatory salute law of the land.

Foreigners, however, were explicitly exempt from saluting or singing the anthem.

But that didn’t help Messerschmidt.

Even though he was legally excused from making the Nazi salute, angry Brownshirts menacingly glared at him for not participating in their rituals.

Messerschidt later wrote in his memoirs that he felt threatened, as if the Brownshirts were ready to attack him.

“I felt really quite fortunate that the incident took place within doors. . . For if it had been in a street gathering, or in an outdoor demonstration, no questions would have been asked as to who I was, and that I would have been mishandled is almost unquestionable.”

Messerchmidt was one of the few US officials who grasped just how dangerous the Nazis were in 1933. Others had to witness it first hand before they understood.

A similar event unfolded when a US radio host and his family found themselves amidst an impromptu Nazi parade in Berlin.

And in order to avoid Hailing Hitler, they turned their backs to the parade and gazed into a store window.

But several Brownshirts quickly surrounded the family and demanded to know why they did not salute.

The family explained that they were from the US and didn’t know the customs in Germany. But the Brownshirts didn’t care. The family was assaulted as police officers watched… and did nothing to stop the violence.

News of these sorts of incidents quickly made their way overseas, and foreigners read the about Americans traveling in Germany being savagely beaten or threatened for not engaging in Nazi rituals.

But more surprising is that many foreigners actually sided with the Nazis.

Even the daughter of the US Ambassador to Germany defended the Nazis and their Brownshirt enforcers.

She said that news reports of these assaults and beatings were “exaggerated by bitter, close-minded people” who ignored the “thrilling rebirth” Hitler had ushered in for Germany.

Of course, we know in retrospect that these early warning signs were not at all an exaggeration. They were a small preview for what would come next.

Today we are obviously in a different time dealing with totally different circumstances.

But it would be foolish to ignore the early warning signs and pretend as if what’s happening now is not a preview for what could come next.

This is perhaps best illustrated by a CNN reporter in Kenosha, Wisconsin back in August who stood in front of burning cars and buildings, with a violent mob all around him, yet declared the protests “fiery but mostly peaceful.”

This willful ignorance of the undercurrent coursing its way through the Western world will not save anyone from the destruction it brings.

For example, just this past Monday, “peaceful protesters” in Portland, Oregon celebrated Columbus Day with an “Indigenous People’s Day of Rage.”

They weren’t even pretending to be peaceful. They called it what it is: RAGE. That’s literally the name they gave to their own actions.

Hundreds of people dressed in all black, covered their faces, and armed themselves with shields and nightsticks. They marched their way through the city, smashed windows, and forced any witnesses to stop filming and delete photographs.

A man who filmed from his apartment’s terrace had lasers shined in his eyes and was doused in some sort of liquid.

The protesters tore down statues of Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. They smashed the windows of the Oregon Historical Society building, and unfurled a banner that said “stop honoring racist colonizer murderers.”

Police did not even attempt to intervene until the rioters had been on the streets for hours and had already caused havoc and destruction.

(Ironically, much of the mainstream media still refuses to acknowledge that this group ‘antifa’– the fascists who call themselves anti-fascists– even exists.)

It’s obvious that a small, fringe, ideological minority has started to take control.

They have squashed civil discourse and free speech. Dissent is met with violence and intimidation. And if you dare to speak out, you become a target.

That could mean being “cancelled” by the Twitter mob. Or being accosted in public and forced to raise your fist. Several people have already been killed in protests across the nation.

When people like the former CEO of Twitter are calling for capitalists to be “lined up against the wall and shot,” it’s time to take the threat seriously.

This is far from the first time in history that a tiny fraction of the population has resorted to violence and extremism to force their agenda on an entire nation.

But you don’t have to watch helplessly as the born-again Brownshirts destroy everything you have worked for.

The first step is to recognize that the radical movement will not simply go away on its own. This has been growing for some time, and history tells us that it could become much worse.

Second, have a rock solid Plan B. This means deciding– in advance, when you’re still calm and rational– what steps to take in order to secure your family’s safety, your prosperity, and your freedom in a worst case scenario.

After all, you don’t want to be thinking about your next move when some antifa thug ‘peacefully’ hurls a molotov cocktail through your window.

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When ancient Greece experienced their own ‘2020’…

For the powerful city-state of Athens in ancient Greece, the year 430 BC was one of the most tumultuous and dramatic in its history.

Prior to 430 BC, Athens had been at the pinnacle of stability and power for decades.

But in the course of that single year, the city was invaded by Sparta at the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War; Athenian officials essentially impeached their leader, Pericles, and put him on trial; and a deadly plague killed off up to 20% of the population.

In short, for ancient Athenians, 430 BC probably felt like 2020 does for us.

But despite all the hardship, Athens still managed to prevail. And that was in no small part due to the government’s enormous treasury surplus.

Historical records from that era show that Athens had 9,700 talents of cash reserves in its treasury.

Now, a ‘talent’ was an ancient unit of measurement for gold and silver which was equal to roughly 26 kilograms.

Given city-state’s population in the 5th century BC, that works out to be nearly $25,000 (in today’s money) for every single Athenian citizen at the time.

Bottom line, ancient Athens had plenty of cash tucked away for a rainy day. So when the mother of all storms came, they had the savings to survive.

History shows that such fiscal responsibility is EXTREMELY unusual. Most countries and governments tend to increase their spending and decrease their savings when they reach the heights of their power.

They believe that their power and wealth will last forever. So they start racking up huge debts and deficits in a belief that the future will look exactly like the present.

This is a completely irresponsible practice, but it’s incredibly common. And we see it everywhere today.

2020 has obviously been an inconceivable year… and it’s most likely going to become even crazier before it’s over.

But even before 2020, most of the ‘wealthiest’ nations in the world were posting huge budget deficits at a time when everything was still normal and OK.

I wrote about this extensively over the past few years, pointing out that, if the US government was losing $1 trillion per year during an economic boom, how bad would the results be during troubled times?

Well, we have our answer.

Over the past six months alone, the US federal debt has increased by more than $3.5 trillion. Total federal debt now stands at more than $27 trillion– more than $80,000 for every man, woman, and child in the Land of the Free.

So while ancient Athens met its crisis with a surplus of nearly $25,000 per citizen, the US has a deficit of $80,000 per citizen.

And remember– the entire size of the US economy is $19.5 trillion according to the federal government’s latest data.

So the debt is now a whopping 138% of GDP. That smashes the previous record of 118% set during World War II.

And of course the figure gets worse every year. In a good year, the economy grows by 2% to 3%. But the national debt has been growing at more than twice that rate.

None of this takes into account other unfunded liabilities– like the fact that Social Security’s trust funds will be fully depleted within the next 10 years. Replenishing them will cost tens of trillions more.

This is clearly not sustainable. But any sense of fiscal prudence has been thrown out the window because of a virus.

There are vast factions of scientists, reporters, and politicians who still want to shut businesses down, and then send everyone free money that the government finances by going deeper into debt.

The Federal Reserve has been very supportive of this idea.

In order to facilitate this bonanza of free money, the Fed has printed trillions of dollars over the past six months and slashed interest rates back down to zero.

They’ve also committed to keeping rates low for years to come, and just last week they warned of ‘tragic’ consequences to the economy if the government doesn’t hand out trillions of dollars more in free money (and go deeper into debt in the process).

Who knew it was so easy to be prosperous? Ancient Athenians worked hard, saved money, and set aside an enormous surplus for a rainy day.

These days apparently you just have to print money and go into debt in order to prosper.

This is a huge reason why I believe that gold still has long-term potential, just as it did back in ancient Greece.

Gold has enormous value in times of uncertainty… and we’re definitely living through that now.

Who’s going to win the election? What impact will that have on the economy and public finances? Will a subsequent outbreak of Covid (or a new virus in the future) cause a stock market panic? Will there be more rioting and chaos in the streets?

These questions barely scratch the surface of what we don’t know. But it’s clear there are a lot of high-impact risks on the table.

Gold has traditionally been a great insurance policy against that sort of extreme uncertainty.

But even more importantly, it’s a safe haven during times of appalling fiscal irresponsibility. And that’s precisely what we have now.

They’re going to vastly expand the debt and print money for years to come. They’ve already told us as much.

And that’s what makes gold such an attractive, long-term asset.

Short-term, the gold price is anyone’s guess. Gold has already had an incredible run this year, and it’s possible we might see a price decline. No one knows.

But if you’re thinking about the world long-term, it’s definitely worth considering gold as part of a robust Plan B.

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Capitalists should be “lined up against the wall and shot”

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice.

Former Twitter CEO says capitalists will be the first to be shot in the revolution

The CEO of the digital currency exchange Coinbase recently banned politics at work, and he offered generous severance packages to anyone who didn’t like that decision.

But the former CEO of Twitter from 2010-2015, Dick Costelo, thinks staying out of politics deserves a death sentence.

Costelo, apparently a recovering capitalist, tweeted: “Me-first capitalists who think you can separate society from business are going to be the first people lined up against the wall and shot in the revolution. I’ll happily provide video commentary.”

This is what these woke Bolsheviks stand for– death to infidels, burn the witches, off with their bourgeois heads!

Click here to read the full story.

CBS news analyzes the fly’s opinion on politics

Today this is considered newsworthy: a fly landed on the Vice President’s head during the debate this week.

And according to at least one prominent CBS news reporter, this seems to be a sign from the heavens about who you should vote for.

In CBS’s post-debate commentary, anchor Gayle King stated: “I think it’s very interesting timing that a fly would land on Mike Pence’s head at that particular time, when he said that there really wasn’t systemic racism. I saw the fly basically going, say what?

Are we living in the pre-biblical times when slaughtered doves and lamb’s blood were used to divine the future, and something as simple as a house fly was considered an omen from the gods?

It’s extraordinary that someone in the 21st century would even say something like this, let alone an individual who pretends to be a serious journalist. But that’s the media for you.

Click here to read the full story (see her comment at about 2:20).

More fraudulent PPP loans discovered

Last week a defense contractor in Hawaii was charged with stealing over $12 million through the federal forgivable loan Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Also last week, a man was charged after inventing fake businesses, in an attempt to steal over $6 million. He only got away with $1.7 million before he was caught, but not all of that money was recovered.

These are just the latest instances of fraud when it comes to the government’s massive bailout for businesses affected by the COVID lockdowns.

Right out of the gate, we saw some high profile cases of celebrities buying cars and clothes with PPP money.

Then the government sent at least $1 billion to dead people, money which they made no effort to recover.

Click here and here to read the full stories.

Yelp places badge of dishonor on businesses accused of racism

The online review website Yelp is giving the woke mob a new tool to use.

When a business is accused of racism in a review, Yelp will place a large badge on the business page which says, “Business Accused of Racist Behavior.”

Yelp, of course, justifies the decision by proclaiming its own righteousness. They brag about all the support they’ve given to minority-owned businesses and all the donations and partnerships they’ve entered into with anti-racist organizations, and state they have zero tolerance for racism.

Sounds great. But they also seem to have zero tolerance for due process or the rights of the accused. This Jacobian policy makes it ridiculously easy for the mob to take down local businesses across the country, without any real process for adjudication.

Click here to read the full story.

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Don’t ignore the world world we’re living in. Plan for it.

One of the unique benefits of living in Puerto Rico is that it’s usually not too difficult to talk people into coming down here.

It must be something about the beaches and warm, sunny weather… because whenever there’s a face-to-face meeting that needs to take place, people often tell me, “I’ll come down and see you in Puerto Rico.”

It suits me just fine. And that’s why one of my attorneys flew down here yesterday morning.

He’s one of my key advisors, and we usually do a strategy session every six months or so; he’ll fly down here and we’ll sit together for a few days thinking about the world and planning for the future.

I command a fairly extensive portfolio of thriving private companies. So in this session we’ve been talking a lot about what the business environment for those companies could look like over the next few years, including policy and regulatory changes, tax changes, etc.

It’s definitely a strange time to be in business. And we expect it could become a LOT more bizarre.

Politicians want to close businesses down to save people from a virus… but then give everyone free money to remain open.

Then, when the businesses that survive finally do open, peaceful protesters come to torch your place to the ground if you don’t bend the knee and say the right words.

Free speech is definitely an endangered species; even aside from peaceful protesters and the Twitter mob (who have been ruthless in getting innocent people fired or boycotting productive businesses), we now have to contend with tech companies as well.

If you dare utter a word that might possibly suggest a different view than the morally bankrupt World Health Organization, then poof, Google and Facebook will erase any trace of your heresy, no matter how substantial its scientific merit.

Meanwhile, state governments across the Land of the Free continue passing laws requiring private companies to put people on their boards who conform to rigid criteria regarding gender, race, and sexual orientation.

This is violation of one of the basic principles of capitalism: private property rights. It’s the shareholders, i.e. the people who actually own the business, who are supposed be able to choose their company directors.

It’s incredibly naive and insulting to force someone to choose a director based on the color of that person’s skin, or what’s swinging between their legs.

Yet we’re rapidly reaching a point where you’re not going to be able to do business anymore unless you have a disabled non-binary pansexual Native American who identifies as a seedless watermelon on the Board of your own company.

We can also expect taxes to go up. And I’m not only talking about federal or national taxes. Covid has also bankrupted many states, cities, and provinces around the world. So local taxes are going to go through the roof.

The city council of Nashville, Tennessee, for example, recently approved a ‘Covid’ property tax increase of 34%!

And the Soviet Socialist Republic of California has proposed new wealth taxes, increased income taxes, and even America’s first-ever EXIT TAX for feudal tax serfs who want to leave the state.

People who just want to stay home, play victim, and collect free money from the government, have never had it so good.

But other people who actually want to live their lives and be productive human beings are facing a relentless onslaught of rage and oppression.

Think about it– completely innocent people are watching their businesses burn to the ground thanks to peaceful protesters, or they’re being tasered or pepper sprayed simply for sitting by themselves without wearing a mask.

And this isn’t going away anytime soon.

Regardless of the election outcome, this trend is gaining momentum.

Remember back in 2012 when Barack Obama told business owners, “You didn’t build that,” referring to their businesses?

People freaked out and said, “This guy is a Communist!”

I’m sure many of us long for those days when that was the most shocking thing to come out of a politician’s mouth.

Then Comrade Bernie stormed the country in 2016. It was unthinkable– a card-carrying socialist became a leading Presidential contender in the Land of the Free. But at least Bernie’s ideas were still considered radical back then.

Today it’s all mainstream. Massive tax increases, free everything, Green New Whatever You Want. These are no longer considered radical ideas.

(As my lawyer jokes, the whole world has been doing that old dance, “to the left, to the left, to the left, to the left. . .”)

None of this even scratches the surface of the structural economic problems; it’s become almost pointless to comment on the national debt (which just passed $27 TRILLION a few days ago, a whopping 138% of GDP.)

But they just can’t stop spending. There’s no bill that’s too expensive for Congress. And no amount of money that the Federal Reserve shouldn’t print.

The Fed actually said earlier this week that there would be “tragic” consequences if the government didn’t keep spending trillions of dollars, and suggested there was minimal risk of the Fed printing too much money.

Print money, go into debt, and it’s all consequence-free!

That’s pretty much where we are today.

Personally I remain optimistic about the future; I truly believe that, regardless of what happens in the world, our species will continue to rise… and there will always be opportunities to propser and thrive.

But in light of such obvious trends, it seems sensible to take on those opportunities from a position of strength.

That’s what a Plan B is all about. And as you can see, I do it too.

I take these planning sessions very seriously, and I think this is a remarkably good practice: hold a periodic, formal session at least once a year with 1-3 experienced, knowledgeable people that you really trust.

Look at where your life is going, assess the risks and opportunities, and make a deliberate plan for your safety, success, and prosperity.

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