To Boldly Go Where No Socialist Has Gone Before: Venezuela Creates Ministry Of Supreme Happiness

If one (such as everyone at the Federal Reserve) thought that the world’s greatest artificial “wealth effect” would also generate the world’s happiest people, one would be dead wrong.

Take Venezuela – Hugo Chavez’ socialist paradise, which was recently inherited by Nicolas Maduro in which he proceeded to not only completely devalue the local currency but to engineer, through such exquisite central-planning that even the Politburo at the Marriner Eccles building is green with envy, the highest returning stock market on earth in 2013. Alas, either the locals are not quite as impressed with the Caracas’ “stock market” YTD return of over 300% (which doesn’t quite cover the loss in purchasing power for what things one can actually purchase in Venezuela), or the chronic toilet paper shortages remind them that the phrase socialist utopia is the world’s greatest oxymoron.

As a result, president Maduro has decided to boldly go where no socialist has gone before and has unveiled a new Vice Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness, whose primary purposes will be to enforce “happiness.” In other words,  something along the lines of the beatings will continue until happiness returns…

From AP:

Americans may have the constitutional right to pursue happiness, but Venezuela now has a formal government agency in charge of enforcing it. President Nicolas Maduro says the new Vice Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness will coordinate all the “mission” programs created by the late President Hugo Chavez to alleviate poverty.

 

Wags had a field day Friday, waxing sarcastic on Twitter about how happy they felt less than 24 hours after the announcement.

 

Oil-rich Venezuela is chronically short of basic goods and medical supplies. Annual inflation is running officially at near 50 percent and the U.S. dollar now fetches more than seven times the official rate on the black market.

Shockingly, to some average Caracans, happiness does not mean buying AMZN at a PE of N/M and selling it a PE of !Ref#. Instead, it means getting hammered.

In downtown Caracas, fruit vendor Victor Rey said he’s now waiting for Maduro to create a vice ministry of beer. “That would make me, and all the drunks, happy,” he said.

Meanwhile, others point out the blindingly obvious:

A TV journalist whose show was recently forced off the air after he refused to censor political opponents of the ruling socialists, Leopoldo Castillo, called Maduro’s announcement an international embarrassment.

Obviously Leopoldo has never heard of ObamaCare… or the NSA.

Housewife Liliana Alfonzo, 31, said that instead of a Supreme Happiness agency she’d prefer being able to get milk and toilet paper, which disappear off store shelves minutes after arriving at stores.

Ultimately, Venezuela’s current predicament may be largely blamed on one thing: reckless entitlement and welfare spending (with lots of corruption thrown in for good measure).

 

Chavez spent billions on social programs, from benefits for single mothers to handouts of apartments and major appliances.

At least he never spent hundreds of millions rolling out a untested website, whose end purpose was to prove to everyone that if one needs something broken beyond any hope of repair, just put the government in charge.

As for the US, already elbow deep in its own unsustainable socialist agenda, we can hardly wait for the latest diversionary campaign: one which sweeps the epic debacle that is Obamacare under the rug following the roll out of, what else, ObamaJoy.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/Eqe3XtQ3EN8/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Feds Confiscate Record $29 Million BitCoin Booty From Dread Pirate’s Hard Drive

When three weeks ago, the FBI arrested Ross William Ulbricht – the creator of the now shutdown Bitcoin-only “alternative” marketplace Silk Road also known as Dread Pirate Roberts, some were surprised that the Feds only confiscated about $3.6 million worth in Bitcoins from Ulbrecht. Proving all doubters wrong, and that creating the first “libertarian” marketplace not subject to any rules and regulations, not to mention fiat monetary constraints, actually does pay quite well, moments ago it was revealed that Federal prosecutors had found an additional $29 million, or 144,336 BitCoins, belonging to the Dread Pirate. According to Reuters, the booty was discovered on “computer hardware” belonging to Ulbricht. The repossessed electronic money, whose encryption technologies seem to leave a bit to be desired, has now been impounded and will likely remain on the FBI’s hard disks indefinitely.

More:

Authorities said the haul represented the largest ever Bitcoin seizure.

 

Ulbricht’s lawyer could not be contacted on Friday evening (local time), but had previously told reporters his client denied the charges.

 

The currency, which has been in existence since 2008, first came under scrutiny by law enforcement officials in mid-2011 after media reports surfaced linking bitcoins to Silk Road.

 

The US Attorney’s Office said with nearly 30,000 bitcoins previously seized, federal agents have now collected more than $US33 million in bitcoins based on current value.

 

Ulbricht is due to appear in court within weeks to face criminal charges of narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy.

It remains to be seen if the Dread Pirate will be able to transact in prison using BitCoins. It also remains to be seen if leading hedge fund/PE firms such as Fortress, which recently voiced its support for BitCoin, will step in to fill the void left by Ulbricht’s arrest realizing the great monetary potential – in either USD or BTC terms – to be reaped by providing the masses with what is a truly anonymous marketplace.

Finally, for those who missed it the first time, here is some additional information on the identity and motivation of the Ulbricht:

Who is the Dread Pirate Roberts?

The court documents described Mr Ulbricht, 29, as a former physics student at the University of Texas, who had gone on to study at the University of Pennsylvania between 2006 and 2010.

 

It was here, according to Mr Ulbricht’s LinkedIn profile, as quoted by court documents, that his “‘goals’ subsequently ‘shifted'”.

 

He wrote on the social network that he had wanted to “give people a first-hand experience of what it would be like to live in a world without the systemic use of force” by “institutions and governments”.

 

Authorities said he took to online forums to publicise Silk Road as a potential marketplace for drugs back in January 2011.

 

In one such message, a user believed to be Mr Ulbricht allegedly said: “Has anyone seen Silk Road yet? It’s kind of like an anonymous Amazon.com.”

 

Investigators said he used the same channels months later to recruit help – starting with a search for an “IT pro in the Bitcoin community”.

 

The FBI said Mr Ulbricht would appear in San Francisco federal court later on Wednesday.

And more from NYMag:

The dark Internet’s favorite massive drug marketplace, Silk Road, was shut down by the FBI last night and its alleged mastermind arrested on an array of colorful charges after a nearly two-year undercover operation.

 

Twenty-nine-year-old Ross Ulbricht, a.k.a. “Dread Pirate Roberts,” was picked up in San Francisco and accused of running the underground e-warehouse while allegedly laundering money, trafficking narcotics, and even hiring a hit man to kill one of the site’s users. Fittingly for a computer nerd, not a Heisenberg, he left a rich personal trail online.

 

According to the federal complaint, filed in the Southern District of New York, “Silk Road has emerged as the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet today,” enabling “several thousand drug dealers” to move “hundreds of kilograms of illegal drugs.” The site’s sales totaled about $1.2 billion in the form of 9.5 million Bitcoins (naturally). About $3.6 million in the Internet currency has been seized.

 

Ulbricht, though, wasn’t exactly great at covering his tracks, attaching his name, photo, and personal e-mail address to Silk Road business, eventually resulting in his arrest.

Last year on his Google+ account, Ulbricht, who’s now charged with facilitating the sale of drugs through the mail, asked, “Anybody know someone that works for UPS, FedEX, or DHL?”

On YouTube, Ulbricht (“ohyeaross”) liked videos by Ron Paul, along with clips called “The Market for Security” and “How to Get Away With Stealing.” (Of Paul, Ulbricht once told his Penn State Univeristy paper, “There’s a lot to learn from him and his message of what it means to be a U.S. citizen and what it means to be a free individual.”) Most recently, he followed the Vice channel.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/mcmbH3QsQm0/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Feds Confiscate Record $29 Million BitCoin Booty From Dread Pirate's Hard Drive

When three weeks ago, the FBI arrested Ross William Ulbricht – the creator of the now shutdown Bitcoin-only “alternative” marketplace Silk Road also known as Dread Pirate Roberts, some were surprised that the Feds only confiscated about $3.6 million worth in Bitcoins from Ulbrecht. Proving all doubters wrong, and that creating the first “libertarian” marketplace not subject to any rules and regulations, not to mention fiat monetary constraints, actually does pay quite well, moments ago it was revealed that Federal prosecutors had found an additional $29 million, or 144,336 BitCoins, belonging to the Dread Pirate. According to Reuters, the booty was discovered on “computer hardware” belonging to Ulbricht. The repossessed electronic money, whose encryption technologies seem to leave a bit to be desired, has now been impounded and will likely remain on the FBI’s hard disks indefinitely.

More:

Authorities said the haul represented the largest ever Bitcoin seizure.

 

Ulbricht’s lawyer could not be contacted on Friday evening (local time), but had previously told reporters his client denied the charges.

 

The currency, which has been in existence since 2008, first came under scrutiny by law enforcement officials in mid-2011 after media reports surfaced linking bitcoins to Silk Road.

 

The US Attorney’s Office said with nearly 30,000 bitcoins previously seized, federal agents have now collected more than $US33 million in bitcoins based on current value.

 

Ulbricht is due to appear in court within weeks to face criminal charges of narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy.

It remains to be seen if the Dread Pirate will be able to transact in prison using BitCoins. It also remains to be seen if leading hedge fund/PE firms such as Fortress, which recently voiced its support for BitCoin, will step in to fill the void left by Ulbricht’s arrest realizing the great monetary potential – in either USD or BTC terms – to be reaped by providing the masses with what is a truly anonymous marketplace.

Finally, for those who missed it the first time, here is some additional information on the identity and motivation of the Ulbricht:

Who is the Dread Pirate Roberts?

The court documents described Mr Ulbricht, 29, as a former physics student at the University of Texas, who had gone on to study at the University of Pennsylvania between 2006 and 2010.

 

It was here, according to Mr Ulbricht’s LinkedIn profile, as quoted by court documents, that his “‘goals’ subsequently ‘shifted'”.

 

He wrote on the social network that he had wanted to “give people a first-hand experience of what it would be like to live in a world without the systemic use of force” by “institutions and governments”.

 

Authorities said he took to online forums to publicise Silk Road as a potential marketplace for drugs back in January 2011.

 

In one such message, a user believed to be Mr Ulbricht allegedly said: “Has anyone seen Silk Road yet? It’s kind of like an anonymous Amazon.com.”

 

Investigators said he used the same channels months later to recruit help – starting with a search for an “IT pro in the Bitcoin community”.

 

The FBI said Mr Ulbricht would appear in San Francisco federal court later on Wednesday.

And more from NYMag:

The dark Internet’s favorite massive drug marketplace, Silk Road, was shut down by the FBI last night and its alleged mastermind arrested on an array of colorful charges after a nearly two-year undercover operation.

 

Twenty-nine-year-old Ross Ulbricht, a.k.a. “Dread Pirate Roberts,” was picked up in San Francisco and accused of running the underground e-warehouse while allegedly laundering money, trafficking narcotics, and even hiring a hit man to kill one of the site’s users. Fittingly for a computer nerd, not a Heisenberg, he left a rich personal trail online.

 

According to the federal complaint, filed in the Southern District of New York, “Silk Road has emerged as the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet today,” enabling “several thousand drug dealers” to move “hundreds of kilograms of illegal drugs.” The site’s sales totaled about $1.2 billion in the form of 9.5 million Bitcoins (naturally). About $3.6 million in the Internet currency has been seized.

 

Ulbricht, though, wasn’t exactly great at covering his tracks, attaching his name, photo, and personal e-mail address to Silk Road business, eventually resulting in his arrest.

Last year on his Google+ account, Ulbricht, who’s now charged with facilitating the sale of drugs through the mail, asked, “Anybody know someone that works for UPS, FedEX, or DHL?”

On YouTube, Ulbricht (“ohyeaross”) liked videos by Ron Paul, along with clips called “The Market for Security” and “How to Get Away With Stealing.” (Of Paul, Ulbricht once told his Penn State Univeristy paper, “There’s a lot to learn from him and his message of what it means to be a U.S. citizen and what it means to be a free individual.”) Most recently, he followed the Vice channel.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/mcmbH3QsQm0/story01.htm Tyler Durden

The New Normal?

Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning platform

The New Normal?

Our government and financial “leaders” tell us that things are back to normal and we are well on our way to economic recovery. They report rising GDP, declining unemployment, and record corporate profits. The legacy media propaganda machines, controlled by corporations dependent upon the government and Wall Street to funnel them advertising dollars in return for reporting falsehoods and mistruths, have been informing the masses that all is well. Just go back to staring at your iGadgets and tweeting your every thought to your followers, because the best and brightest in D.C. and Wall Street have it all figured out. The new normal is here to stay.

I guess my interpretation of normal deviates slightly from our glorious leaders’ definition. During the long-term bond bull market, from 1982 until 2007 the 10 Year Treasury steadily declined from 16% to 5%. This was normal because inflation declined at the same rate. Inflation declined from 13% to 3% over this same time frame according to the BLS. In reality, measuring inflation as it was measured in the 80?s and early 90?s would have yielded an inflation rate closer to 6% in 2007. During the decade prior to 2007, which consisted of supposedly strong economic growth, the 10 Year Treasury ranged between 4% and 7%. Even during the 2001 recession, it never dropped below 3.5%.

In a normal world an investor in a 10 Year Treasury bond would require a yield 2% to 3% above the rate of inflation. If the yield was below the rate of inflation they would be guaranteed to lose money. Only a fool, Federal Reserve chairman, or a CNBC bubble headed bimbo would buy a bond yielding less than the inflation rate. The BLS reported inflation rate has been between 2.1% and 3.2% over the last two years. Over this time frame, the 10 Year Treasury  yielded 2% or below until the threat of tapering reared its ugly head this past summer. Would this happen in a normal free market? If things are back to normal, why aren’t supposedly free markets acting normal? The Chinese and Japanese reacted normally. They stopped buying Treasuries with a real negative yield.

The only fool willing to buy negative yielding Treasuries is none other than Ben Bernanke. He thinks they are the investment of a lifetime. He is so sure they are a can’t miss investment, he buys $2.5 billion of them per day, which just so happens to be the government deficit per day. Ben now has $3.8 trillion of bonds on his books, versus $900 billion in 2008. His balance sheet is leveraged 60 to 1, versus the 30 to 1 of Lehman and Bear Stearns prior to their implosions. When even the hint of reducing bond purchases from $85 billion per month to $75 billion per month caused 10 Year rates to jump from 1.5% to 3% in a matter of weeks, you realize how “normal” our economy and financial system is functioning.

If our financial system was functioning normally and free market capitalism was allowed to operate according to true supply and demand, the 10 Year Treasury would be yielding 4% to 5% and 30 year mortgage rates would be 6% to 7%. Think about that for a minute. This scenario was normal from 2002 through 2007. That is what normal looks like. Now open your eyes and observe what your owners are telling you is normal. The slight increase in mortgage rates from 3.5% to 4.5% has brought the Wall Street buy and rent housing recovery scheme to it knees. Imagine if mortgage rates were allowed to rise to their true market rate. Housing would collapse in a heap.

Allowing Treasury rates to adjust to a true market rate, based on true inflation, would double or triple the annual interest expense on the $17 trillion national debt and blow a gigantic hole in Obama’s already disastrous $1 trillion annual deficits. Does this sound like “normal” to a rational thinking human being with the ability to understand simple math? Luckily, there are very few rational thinking Americans left and even fewer with the ability to understand simple math. We have been programmed to believe rather than think. As long as the stock market continue to rise, then everything is normal.

Do you think Ben Bernanke and his cohorts at the Federal Reserve worry about the average person who doesn’t own stocks, has to fill up their gas tank, feed their kids, make the mortgage, auto, and credit card payments, and figure out Obamacare, while working two part time jobs? Quantitative Easing (MONEY PRINTING) has one purpose and one purpose only – to further enrich the owners of the Federal Reserve – Wall Street banks. The .1% own most of the stocks in this country and their greed and avarice can never be satisfied.

This artificial prosperity plan for Wall Street has the added benefit of allowing the captured politicians in Washington D.C. to continue their $1 trillion per year deficit spending with no consequences for their squandering of future generations’ wealth. Bernanke and Yellen will never taper, because they can’t. The Fed balance sheet will continue to grow by at least $1 trillion per year until they crash the financial system again. Except this time, there will be no money printing solution. We are all trapped like rats in this monetary experiment being conducted by evil mad scientists. No one will get out alive. Welcome to the new normal. Now eat your cheese.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/pJ_wewmpB3s/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Friday night football roundup

Creekside 41, McIntosh 10: The Chiefs (6-2, 3-2) host Northgate next Friday.

Troup 33, Fayette County 6: The Tigers (1-7, 1-4) host Shaw next Friday.

Our Lady of Mercy 41, Mt. Vernon 0: The Bobcats (3-5, 3-2) host Darlington next Friday.

Northgate 17, Starr’s Mill 14: The Panthers (3-5, 2-3) travel to Whitewater next Friday.

Landmark (8-0, 4-0) and Whitewater (5-3, 4-2) were off this week. The War Eagles travel to Holy Innocents’ next Friday, while the Wildcats host Starr’s Mill.

via The Citizen http://www.thecitizen.com/articles/10-25-2013/friday-night-football-roundup

Sandy Creek 42, LaGrange 7

Setting the stage for a huge showdown next week, the Sandy Creek Patriots struck early and often against LaGrange, cruising to a 42-7 win over the Grangers on Senior Night in Tyrone.

Ranked first in the state in AAAA, the Patriots (7-0-1, 5-0) travel to Carrollton next Friday to face the second-ranked Trojans, who are coming off a 63-21 dismantling of Alexander.

Sandy Creek amassed 322 yards of offense in the first half on the way to a 35-0 lead at intermission. The entire second half was played using a running clock.

read more

via The Citizen http://www.thecitizen.com/articles/10-25-2013/sandy-creek-42-lagrange-7

Guest Post: The Fed Can Only Fail

Submitted by Chris Martenson of Peak Prosperity,

The basic predicament we are in is that the current crop of leaders in the halls of monetary and political power do not appear to understand the dimensions of our situation.

The mind-boggling part about all this is that it's not really all that hard to grasp.

Our collective predicament is simply this: Nothing can grow forever.

Sooner or later everything must cease growing or it will exhaust its environs and thereby destroy itself.  The Fed is busy doing everything in its considerable power to get credit (that is, debt) growing again so that we can get back to what they consider to be "normal."

But the problem is — or the predicament I should more accurately say — is that the recent past was not normal.  You've probably all seen this next chart.  It shows total debt in the U.S. as a percent of GDP:


(source)

Somewhere right around 1980, things really changed and debt began climbing far faster than GDP. And that, right there, is the long and the short of why any attempt to continue the behavior that got us to this point is certain to fail.

It is simply not possible to grow your debts faster than your income forever. However, that's been the practice since 1980; and every current politician and Federal Reserve official developed their opinions about 'how the world works' during the 33 year period between 1980 and 2013.

Put bluntly, they want to get us back on that same track and as soon as possible. The reason?  Because every major power center, be that in DC or Wall Street, tuned their thinking, systems and sense of entitlement during that period. And, frankly, a huge number of financial firms and political careers will melt away if/when that credit expansion finally stops.

And stop it will; that's just a mathematical certainty. It's now extremely doubtful that the Fed or DC will willingly cease the current Herculean efforts towards reviving this flawed practice of borrowing too much, too fast. So we have to expect that it will be some form of financial accident that finally breaks the stranglehold of failed thinking that infects current leadership.

The Math

As a thought experiment, let's explore the math a little bit to see where it leads us. After all, I did just say that a poor end to all this is a "mathematical certainty", so let's test that theory a bit. I think you'll find this both interesting and useful.

To begin, Total Credit Market Debt (TCMD) is a measure of all the various forms of debt in the U.S. That includes corporate, state, federal, and household borrowing.  So student loans are in there, as are auto loans, mortgages, municipal and federal debt. It's pretty much everything debt-related.

What it does not include, though, are any unfunded obligations, entitlements, or other types of liabilities. So the Social Security shortfalls are not in there, nor are the underfunded pensions at the state or corporate levels. TCMD is just debt, plain and simple.

As you can see in this next chart, since 1970 TCMD has been growing exponentially and almost perfectly, too (the R^2 is over 0.99 for you science types):

I've pointed out the tiny little wiggle that happened in 2008 – 2009 which apparently nearly brought down the entire global financial system.  That little deviation was practically too much all on its own. 

Now debts are climbing again, at a quite nice pace. That's mainly due to the Fed monetizing US federal debt just to keep things patched together.

As an aside, based on this chart, we'd expect the Fed not to end their QE efforts until and unless households and corporations once more engage in robust borrowing. The system apparently 'needs' this chart to keep growing exponentially or it risks collapse.

Okay, one could ask: Why can't credit just keep growing? 

Here's where things get a little wonky. But if you'll bear with me, you'll see why I'm nearly 100% certain that the future will not resemble the past.

Let's start in 1980 when credit growth really took off. This period also happens to be the happy time that the Fed is trying to (desperately) recreate.

Between 1980 and 2013 total credit grew by an astonishing 8% per year, compounded.  I say 'astonishing' because anything growing by 8% per year will fully double every 9 years.

So let's run the math experiment as ask what will happen if the Fed is successful and total credit grows for the next 30 years at exactly the same rate it did over the prior 30.  That's all. Nothing fancy, simply the same rate of growth that everybody got accustomed to while they were figuring out 'how the world works.'

What happens to the current $57 trillion in TCMD as it advance it by 8% per year for 30 years?  It mushrooms into a silly number: $573 trillion.  That is, an 8% growth paradigm gives us a tenfold increase in total credit in just thirty years:  

For perspective, the GDP of the entire globe was just $85 trillion in 2012.   Even if we advance global GDP by some hefty number, like 4% per year for the next 30 years, under an 8% growth regime U.S. credit would be twice as large as global GDP in 2043(!)

If that comparison didn't do it for you, then just ask yourself: What exactly would US corporation, households and government borrow more than $500 trillion for over the next 30 years? The total mortgage market is currently $10 trillion, so might the plan include developing an additional 50 more US residential real estate markets?

More seriously, can you think of anything that could support borrowing that much money? I can't.

So perhaps the situation moderates a bit and instead of growing at 8%, credit market debt grows at just half that rate. So what happens if credit just grows by 4% per year? 

That gets us to $185 trillion, or another $128 trillion higher than today — a more than 3x increase:

Again, What might we borrow (only) $128 trillion for over the next 30 years? 

When I run these numbers I am entirely confident that the rate of growth in debt between 1980 and 2013 will not be recreated between 2013 and 2043. With just one caveat: I've been assuming dollars remain valuable. If dollars were to lose 90% or more of their value (say, perhaps due to our central bank creating too many of them?), then it's entirely possible to achieve any sorts of fantastical numbers one wishes to see.

Think it could never happen?

Conclusion (to Part I)

This is the critical takeaway from all the math above: for the Fed to achieve anything even close to the historical rate of credit growth, the dollar will have to lose a lot of value.  I truly believe this is the Fed's grand plan, if we may call it that, and it has nothing to do with what's best for the p
eople of this land. Instead, it's entirely about keeping the financial system primed with sufficient new credit to prevent it from imploding.

That is, the Fed is beholden to a broken system; not anything noble.

In Part II: The Near Future May See One of The Biggest Wealth Transfers In Human History, we dive fully into the logic why GDP growth is very unlikely to support the rate of credit expansion the Federal Reserve wants (more accurately: needs). And what will happen if it indeed doesn't? A lot of painful, awful things — but central among them, a currency crisis.

Amidst the ensuing unpleasantness will be an awakening within today's hyper-financialized markets to the huge imbalance now existing between paper claims and ownership of real things. A massive wealth transfer from those with 'paper wealth' (stocks, bonds, dollars) to those owning tangible assets (the productive value of which can't easily be inflated away) will occur — and quickly, too.

Suggesting the key objective for today's investor is answering: How do I make sure I'm on the right side of that wealth transfer?

Click here to access Part II of this report (free executive summary; enrollment required for full access).


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/KWWghjMKRhA/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Sugar: Sweet With A Bitter “Economic” Aftertaste

Sugar may be sweet, but excess consumption leaves a bitter aftertaste: millions of people worldwide are affected by type II diabetes or obesity, costing the global healthcare system billions of dollars every year. As the Credit Suisse Research Institute’s 2013 study “Sugar: Consumption at a Crossroad” found, close to 90% of general practitioners in the US, Europe and Asia believe excess sugar consumption is linked to the sharp growth in these health problems.

 

The mini-documentary

 

Full research article below:

CS Sugar


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/CTnDglo3IxU/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Sugar: Sweet With A Bitter "Economic" Aftertaste

Sugar may be sweet, but excess consumption leaves a bitter aftertaste: millions of people worldwide are affected by type II diabetes or obesity, costing the global healthcare system billions of dollars every year. As the Credit Suisse Research Institute’s 2013 study “Sugar: Consumption at a Crossroad” found, close to 90% of general practitioners in the US, Europe and Asia believe excess sugar consumption is linked to the sharp growth in these health problems.

 

The mini-documentary

 

Full research article below:

CS Sugar


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/CTnDglo3IxU/story01.htm Tyler Durden

An Open Letter To Russell Brand

Russell Brand's excited exchange with stoic Brit Jeremy Paxman this week is a must-see "exchange of new ideas vs old." Among Brand's clearer moments were "stop voting, stop pretending, wake up. Be in reality now, time to be in reality now. Why vote, we know it's not going to make any difference, we know that already." The excellent discourse has prompted this open letter supporting the comedian.. concluding so legitimately nowadays, with Upton Sinclair's infamous quote "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."

 

The original interview (grab a beer and watch – you'll be surprised):

 

CoinAxis blog's Open Letter to Russell Brand:

Dear Russell:

I just finished watching your interview with Jeremy Paxman, aside from Mr. Paxman being a trite individual, it was fantastic exchange of new ideas vs. old.  I'm sure you were expecting Sinead O'Conner, or Miley Cyrus to write you this open-air missive.  Alas, I'm going to underwhelm you, because my fame and fortune are nonexistent.  So, here it is, you get me, Michael, writing you in hopes to get your attention to some important issues, in which are pertinent to your revolutionary interview.

As you summarized in your interview, people that have any sense, realize that voting changes nothing. Voting is an occupation for the disillusioned, the elderly, and hopeful tyrants.  We all know that voting for a new master every four years, still doesn't make you free.  Even still, the capacity to vote on people's fundamental human rights is the antithesis of freedom.  Yet, this is the paradigm we live under, and are born into.  In the United States there are approximately 240,000,000 people who are of voting age.  In the 2012 elections, the total votes cast was approximately 130,000,000.  That's a deficit of 110,000,000 people.  It ends up around 65,000,000 people elect a supposed "leader" for the remaining 310,000,000.  Of those voting, only a small percentage actually know what & how the government works.  Although, they parrot the talking points like good citizens, as their smug partisan destroy lives.

In 2012 the FEC stated that $7 billion dollars was spent on the elections, with the large banking institutions leading the charge.  Most of it was spent on marketing.  Controlling the narrative in the media, and greasing the hands of the well connected. It's a revolving door of political incest, and none of them care about anything other than the status quo. Free indeed.

Stop voting, stop pretending, wake up. Be in reality now, time to be in reality now.  Why vote, we know it's not going to make any difference, we know that already. ~ Russell Brand

If the oligarchy can payout 7 billion in an election cycle, then the only chance the average person has, is to do guerilla marketing.  What does that mean?  It means writing open letters to the people that have a voice in media (you see what I did there?).  It means introducing new ideas to your community, and making changes from the ground up.  You know, I found it so enlightening to see someone in your position in the media, that would take such a stance against voting (and the system).  I'm sure in people's heart of hearts, they are in agreement with you. I'd like to see more of this from you, except next time, turn it up a notch or twelve.  

So why am I writing you?  There is a unique opportunity for you assist in championing the cause for BITCOIN.  You have a good sense of what's right and what's wrong, and you have a humorous meld of eloquence in your delivery.  I don't have to necessarily say it, but you're good at what you do.  However, in my opinion, you're missing the mark on where the systemic problems really lie.  Sure politicians, and corporations collude to extract every bit of resource & money out of the wold populace; however, you've missed the fundamental question.  "Where does they money come from?" 

You may know that the world operates on a debt-based monetary system, with the US dollar used as the reserve currency.  Imagine a couple of seedy characters in a dark basement of the Federal Reserve Bank, printing money at will.  Although, it's not in a dark basement, it's a huge marble & granite edifice, and the printing are merely keystrokes on a computer.  The characters are the large banks.  They create the monetary bubble, they profit from it, then they burst the bubble, and they profit from it, while consolidating the wealth & assets in their coffers. A few decades of this, they have a destroyed monetary system with endless bubbles, dollar devaluation, corporate bailouts, government corruption.  It's all about the money.

apathy doesn't come from us, the people.  The apathy comes from the politicians, they are apathetic to our needs, they're only interested in servicing the needs of corporations. ~ Russell Brand

The system of banking & government largesse can only exist inside this debt-based currency system.  Don't forget fractional reserve banking, and financial derivatives market, in which there are $1.2 Quadrillion dollars worth.  The only way this system can sustain itself, is to increase the debt, which increases the money flowing into the banks & corporations.  Not money flowing into corporations from valid product sales & services, but through the stock market.  Blowing up financial bubble after financial bubble.  Every bubble that bursts consolidates wealth more. The bubbles are fueled by the FED.  

Back to bitcoin.  If you don't know what it is, I'd be happy to be your personal bitcoin consultant.  Bitcoin is a digital currency that is decentralized, and not controllable by any central government, or organization.  It's a payment system and money rolled into one.  It can't be inflated into oblivion, it can cross boarders easily, and can be used globally.  It's gold 2.0, it's the kryptonite of the banking system and errant governments.  And when the shit hits the fan (like Cyprus), and they come looking for turnips to squeeze, they'll be out of luck.  It's truly the people's currency.  It's the honey badger of money.

Here's what I ask of you:

  1. If you don't know about bitcoin, learn about it (the Consultancy offer still stands, you can contact me on this site)
  2. If you don't own bitcoin, buy some.
  3. Promote promote promote bitcoin, it's the catalyst for change.
  4. Use bitcoin, sell your comedy specials for bitcoin, convince your colleagues to use bitcoin.
  5. Promote it some more, help make it a cause.

I say when there is a genuine alternative, a genuine option, then vote for that.  ~ Russell Brand

Here is your genuine alternative, and you don't have to wait until November 5th to vote for it.  You spoke with great certainty of the revolution that is coming.  As a non-violent, and peaceful person, the notion of a revolution tends to make me envision the abhorrent violence that
usually is associated with revolution.  The information revolution is well on it's way, and now it's time to create a peaceful bitcoin revolution, and vote with our bitcoins!  I'm going to leave you with a quote that is not yours; however, it drives the point home on how much work is left to be done.

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.  ~ Upton Sinclair

Best Regards,

Michael


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/nBfH6tATaYk/story01.htm Tyler Durden