Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 4/10 - Risk-Aversion Meets a Hypervalued Market, Gold Hedging Continues To Surge

Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 2:09 PM

Economy

Trump threatens Syria strike, cancels summit travel (TS)

The White House sharply rejected any suggestion that Trump’s own words about pulling U.S. troops out of Syria had opened the door for the attack, which killed more than 40 people, including children.

America’s Three Bad Options in Syria (jdargis)

What Americans may be confronting — whether they want to or not — is the reality that some problems can’t be fixed by the sort of low-cost, low-risk solutions to which they grew accustomed in the brief moment of American global hegemony after the Cold War. It feels impossible that something could be beyond easy American resolution, so the problem must be that the president lacks proper will or resolve to see that resolution through.

Risk-Aversion Meets a Hypervalued Market (Alan A.T.)

The chart below presents several valuation measures we find most strongly correlated with actual subsequent S&P 500 total returns in market cycles across history. They are presented as percentage deviations from their historical norms. At the January peak, these measures extended about 200% above (three times) historical norms that we associate with average, run-of-the-mill prospects for long-term market returns. No market cycle in history – not even those of recent decades, nor those associated with low interest rates – has ended without taking our most reliable measures of valuation to less than half of their late-January levels.

U.S. Deficit to Surpass $1 Trillion Two Years Ahead of Estimates, CBO Says (TS)

Deficits are growing as the Trump administration enacted a tax overhaul this year that will lower federal revenue and Congress approved a roughly $300 billion spending increase. The fresh CBO estimates could heighten investor worries as they weigh the potential impact that tariff threats between the U.S. and China may have on the world economy.

Saudi Arabia should invest in human rights, not PR campaigns. (tmn)

If you didn’t know better, you would think Saudi Arabia is on a path to major reform. However, in the months since the Crown Prince’s appointment, we have seen little reason to believe that his overtures are anything more than a slick PR exercise. In fact, Saudi Arabia retains an atrocious human rights record and the situation has only deteriorated since the Crown Prince was appointed as official heir to the throne in June 2017.

What if we paid for Facebook? (tmn)

You can actually put a dollar figure on how much we’re worth to the social network. Facebook collected $82 in advertising for each member in North America last year. Across the world, it’s about $20 per member. Facebook the company is valued at about $450 billion because investors believe it will find even more ways to make money from collecting data on its 2 billion members.

Gold Hedging From Hedge Funds & Traders Continues to Surge (Diane C.)

To be clear, this data measures “trading” activity, so it includes both buys and sells. But the jump in volume over the past two years shows that that activity is bullish in nature, because prices are rising. Basically, investors have placed more buy orders than sell orders during this period, which pushes prices higher. If more sell orders were initiated, prices would be falling.

The government’s top consumer watchdog hasn’t taken a single enforcement action since Trump’s pick took over (tmn)

A review of a CFPB database obtained by the AP through a Freedom of Information request shows that the bureau issued an average of two to four enforcement actions a month under former Director Richard Cordray, President Obama’s appointee. But the database shows zero enforcement actions have been taken since Nov. 21, 2017, three days before Cordray resigned.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 4/9/18

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

41 Comments

Uncletommy's picture
Uncletommy
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Gold hedging?

I realize this was written on April 1st. . . however:

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/An-Oil-Price-Rally-Is-Likely.html

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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My name is Chris Martenson and....

....and I 100% support this video by Tucker Carlson:

This is perfectly framed.  Has context.  Is correct.

NPR and MSNBC can go suck rocks.  "Liberal"?   

So can the NYT, WaPo, and every other news outlet supporting the idea that we "have" to bomb Syria to teach it a lesson.  Yeah...well the Yemen children confirmed to be dying by the thousands don't seem to concern a single one of the above news outlets...just the possible deaths of a dozen or so Syrian children that were almost certainly killed by rebels in a flase flag attack.

I tell you...my breaking point is approaching.  

I am pissed off!

Grrrrrrrr.......

Barnbuilder's picture
Barnbuilder
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Amen Brother

I spent part of the day e-mailing my senators and congressman trying to convince them to do everything in their power to stop this insane push to war. I know, tilting at windmills.  There may be others but Tucker is the only one besides someone like Stephen Cohen trying to bring some sanity to this situation that I have seen.  You can certainly be a patriotic American without having an aversion to trying to understand the Russian viewpoint.  We have pushed them into a corner with the non stop hate Russia propaganda.  At one point Russia deeply wanted to be part of the west.  Our betters at the CFR and other such august institutions have pushed the Russians away.  The  Russians have no options now and know very well what they are facing.   What a tragic mistake of hubris and inflated national ego our media and politicians have brought upon us.  I guess when I was sickened at college students chanting USA, USA, USA when Bin Laden was supposedly killed it was just a taste of what was to come.  God Bless all. I'm pretty sure we will need his benevolence to accept us after the mess we have made of what he gave us.  Not thinking incineration in a nuclear fireball is an automatic ticket to his kingdom.  No offense meant to any non believers, I am not sure either but I am trying.

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Paul Craig Roberts on this

Paul Craig Roberts on this same topic

On The Threshold Of War

UPDATE: There is no longer any doubt that the criminally insane government in Washington is driving the world to the last war.

https://www.rt.com/news/423634-unsc-security-threats-syria-chemical/

https://www.rt.com/news/423627-russian-military-checks-chemical-douma/

 

A Russian Government Press Release:

False information is being planted about the alleged use of chlorine and other toxic agents by the Syrian government forces. The latest fake news about a chemical attack on Douma was reported yesterday. These reports are again referenced to the notorious White Helmets, which have been proved more than once to be working hand in glove with the terrorists, as well as to other pseudo-humanitarian organizations headquartered in the UK and the US.

We recently warned of the possibility of such dangerous provocations. The goal of these absolutely unsubstantiated lies is to protect the terrorists and the irreconcilable radical opposition that has rejected a political settlement, as well as to justify the possible use of force by external actors.

We have to say once again that military interference in Syria, where Russian forces have been deployed at the request of the legitimate government, under contrived and false pretexts is absolutely unacceptable and can lead to very grave consequences.

This is John Helmer’s interpretation of the warning:

“WHEN THE RULE OF LAW WAS DESTROYED IN SALISBURY, LONDON AND THE HAGUE, AND THE RULE OF FRAUD DECLARED IN WASHINGTON, THAT LEAVES ONLY THE RULE OF FORCE IN THE WORLD. THE STAVKA [the high command of the Russian armed forces] MET IN MOSCOW ON GOOD FRIDAY AND IS READY. THE FOREIGN MINISTRY ANNOUNCED ON SUNDAY “THE GRAVEST CONSEQUENCES”.

THIS MEANS ONE AMERICAN SHOT AT A RUSSIAN SOLDIER, THEN WE ARE AT WAR. NOT INFOWAR, NOT CYBERWAR, NOT ECONOMIC WAR, NOT PROXY WAR. WORLD WAR.”

On The Threshold of War

“The Russian view is simple: the West is ruled by a gang of thugs supported by an infinitely lying and hypocritical media while the general public in the West has been hopelessly zombified.” — The Saker

“The US generals, unlike the US politicians and media and US administration, are risk-averse if the outcome may be catastrophic.” — Gilbert Doctorow

Above are two of the three most intelligent and reliable Russian experts. The third is Professor Stephen Cohen, who worries, as I do, that an arrogant Washington drowning in hubris is provoking Russia to war.

The Saker has concluded that the Russians have concluded that it has been a mistake to put up with Washington’s lies, insults, and orchestrated events and have decided that if the dumbshit Americans attack Syria, Russia is going to take out the US forces involved.

Doctorow has concluded that as dumbshit as Washington is, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff have more sense and will not go along with an attack on a Russian ally.

I hope that Doctorow is correct. However, with that crazed demented warmonger John Bolton sitting in the White House next to Trump, who enjoys the role of tough guy, I am more scared by The Saker’s reading than I am reassured by Doctorow’s.

There are reports, the validity of which I cannot confirm at this time, that the entirety of the Russian military has been put on high alert, not merely the Russian forces in Syria. See here for example.

Nikki Haley’s threats against Russia in the UN do not support Doctorow’s hopes that reason will prevail in Washington. The crazed bitch said that the US will act against the “monster” Assad with or without the UN.

Tough man Trump, sitting next to the crazed warmonger Bolton, declared that the alleged chemical attack in Syria “will be met and it will be met forcefully. We can’t let atrocities like we all witnessed… we can’t let that happen in our world, especially because of the power of the US, we are able to stop it.”

There was NO chemical attack by Syria. I know that for an absolute 100% fact. I would bet my life on it. Yet here is the US president declaring a total non-fact to be something “we all witnessed.” Little wonder that the Russians have concluded that the West is ruled by a gang of thugs supported by an infinitely lying and hypocritical media while the general public in the West has been hopelessly zombified.

If Doctorow is not correct that a sane US Joint Chiefs of Staff will prevail over the crazed President and his National Security Adviser, we are headed for war.

Barnbuilder's picture
Barnbuilder
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Just great!, The hits keep coming.

Funny thing, Q Anon is all of a sudden silent tonight.  Probably doesn't have instructions on how to play this wrinkle.

 

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-10/alert-issued-syria-air-strike-...

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
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I don't know anyone...

...personally who has any attitude about the Syria sitch beyond the media talking points.  The number of people talking about the Yemen sitch is a negative number.

It's not even a major story on the top ""news"" sites.  Just that Trump is considering options in the wake of the "monstrous" chemical weapon attack "which we all know Monster Assad" did.

Pathetic country we've become.  I tip my hat to everybody laboring to preserve some precious corner of what was once a marvelous place.  May we succeed.

OK.  Enough geopolitics.  I smell a dirty diaper.  

VIVA -- Sager

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Michael_Rudmin
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I disagree

I don't think the President is capable of doing all that. I am more inclined to think that the Joint Chiefs of Staff are doing it, possibly in the hopes of a -- oh, let's be charitable -- performing something that's not exactly a coup, or alternatively getting the war they want.

If there's anyone I'd say should be removed from office, I'd say it should be those who occupy the pentagon -- and then we should bring our troops home.

Geedard's picture
Geedard
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Speechless

I’m utterly speechless, given the stakes the hubris in this latest Trump tweet is beyond my comprehension... :-((((

“Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”

cmartenson's picture
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Also speechless
Geedard wrote:

I’m utterly speechless, given the stakes the hubris in this latest Trump tweet is beyond my comprehension... :-((((

“Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”

I simply don't have any words for that Tweet.  

This is as worried as I've ever been.  If this were a novel, I would put it down because the plot was simply too unbelievable.  So I have that floaty sensation accompanied by the silent words in my head "is this really happening?"

And I'm feeling very exposed because I am several thousand miles from home, on the Summit at Sea, and without any realistic options for getting home quickly.  I really don't like not being in control of my circumstances, especially right now.

*sigh*

I guess the next question is what happens when the bully gets punched back?  What happens when the USS Donald Cook sinks to the bottom of the Mediterranean sea?  Then what?

Rector's picture
Rector
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Absolutely Right - The Banquet of Consequences is Here

And if you ask the average person on the street - they have ZERO awareness of what's going on.  If they are aware of the situation, most are in general agreement with the propaganda points:  Assad gassed "his own people" and Trump must respond.  No questions, no thought to consequences, no concern.  And they are making a rational decision. . .

The reason propaganda works is that our population is entirely disconnected from ANY of the consequences of these wars, lies, and costs.  To wit:

1.  We don't pay for the wars.  We monetize them and the Chinese pay for them.  As long as their is no financial cost there won't be any "shared sacrifice".

2.  We don't lose too many troops - I have lost 4 (FOUR) close friends whom I served with in the Army in Iraq and Afghanistan - not acquaintances - FRIENDS.  No one knows their names or gives a shit because they are an abstraction to the population.  The percentages of soldiers who serve in the professional military and the percentages of soldiers killed or wounded is low and getting lower.  It's like losing a firefighter - just an unfortunate part of the profession.  No thought is given to the idea that some cabal in the government is starting the fires on purpose.

3.  We are fed a diet of horse manure by the media.  Of course that only applies if you consume any "news" at all.  Most people do not.  Combining that lack of accurate information with below average intelligence and a third rate education and you get a thoroughly misinformed "citizen".  Totally incapable of critical thought.  Bovine.

4.  There are no local - physical consequences to debt environmental destruction, or war.  Yet.  The average person's life is NOT AFFECTED directly by these activities.  Until life in the land of WalMart changes on a day to day basis - nothing will happen.  

Sadly, I fear we are just talking in a small cloister - the majority think we are mad.  The masses are hopeless.  The nation is lost.  It's best to just get on with it.  The banquet of consequences is here finally.

Rector

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feeling sick

I don't have anything new contribute - I'm just feeling sick by the lack of awareness of what is going on and need to vent somewhere. There may be armed conflict between the US and Russia by the end of the day - countless dead, a US warship or two at the bottom of the sea, with more escalation to come.  All over lies and delusions.  Stupid, foolish, humanity.

Robert Oppenheimer's use of the Bhagavad Gita phrase "Now I am become death, destroyer of worlds" is now conceivably in play.

But at CNBC, the real crisis is that the dow futures are now down.....

nigel's picture
nigel
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history doesn't repeat but it certainly rhymes.

Wait, is this a dream, fox news is the honest factual broadcaster and the US is provoking the syrian missile crisis, this has to be fake, it has to be a dream right?

Snydeman's picture
Snydeman
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nigel wrote: Wait, is this a
nigel wrote:

Wait, is this a dream, fox news is the honest factual broadcaster and the US is provoking the syrian missile crisis, this has to be fake, it has to be a dream right?

It's as sure a sign of entering the twilight zone as any I can think of...

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AKGrannyWGrit
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What Would War Look Like

Certainly a major war with Russia and China involved would not be just regional.  I can not help but speculate that cyber-war would effect our country as well as perhaps an attack on our electrical grids.  Annoyances like traffic jams or internet outages, bank closures and travel delays or cancellations might be thorns to irritate us.  Then maybe major annoyances, food disruptions, unusual health challenges, (you know what I mean)  drone interactions.  We might be in for surprises.  Blowback, unintended, or (planned) consequences?  Don't look here,  look, look over their.

In movies, TV shows, video games and around expensive conference tables people don't really bleed, suffer and die.  Perceptions and reality are very different.  

On a personal note - I am pushing myself to exercise more and be in better shape.  Can I walk 10 miles or 100.  Can I endure being cold, am I strong enough to carry a backpack?  Do I have supplies to take care of my feet, soar muscles, have quick energy sources?  And wpclean water is critical, I think disyntary will do a lot of people in.  Everything would be easier if I were 30 years younger.  But II know so much more than I did then.

Why all the fuss NOW?  What are we not supposed to be looking at???

AKGrannyWGrit

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Patton

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Quercus bicolor
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Facebook

I just posted on Facebook about this (not a regular practice of mine) in part to gage the response.   I made it public, so if you want to see it all:

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=814600908747585&id=100005930490316

Here's an excerpt:

The topic is Syria. In case you haven't seen:

Tweet from Donald Trump: "Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price..."

(This tweet and other statements and US actions imply an imminent U.S. attack on Syria.)

Russia's response: "If there is a strike by the Americans, then we refer to the statements of President [Vladimir] Putin and the chief of staff that the missiles will be downed and even the sources from which the missiles were fired," Zasypkin told Hezbollah's al-Manar TV.

(He's threatening to shoot down planes and sink ships that launch missiles - a really big deal)

Then our commander in chief and master of diplomacy tweets this: "Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!"

First let's look at where this could go: The guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook is sitting alone just off the Syrian coast and it will be alone until a carrier group arrives in 5 days or so. What happens if it is sunk or planes are shot down? A shooting war in Syria in which American and Russian troops confront each other would then be highly likely. What is the risk then of it escalating into a larger scale shooting war? A war that impacts U.S. soil? A limited nuclear exchange? A larger scale nuclear exchange? I argue that, especially with Trump at the helm, while some are more likely than others, the odds of all of these are way to high for my comfort.

Before I got into that segment, I made my best effort to tell people my intentions were for the best and to please consider my words carefully.  I also linked to the Tucker Carlson video as well as his video from yesterday where he interviewed Glenn Greenwald (perhaps easier for people in the "liberal" echo chamber to identify with. 

I'll let y'all know what kind of response I get.

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Uh oh

"then... the missiles will be downed and even the sources from which the missiles were fired," Zasypkin told Hezbollah's al-Manar TV, speaking in Arabic."

 

Soooo, the Russian Ambassador in Beirut says that Russia will not only shoot down the missiles, but "even the sources from which the missiles were fired."

 

That means the U.S. naval task force sitting in the eastern Med, right? He's basically saying the Russians will fire on a U.S. naval ship if the U.S. actually follows through with a missile strike. In the entire Cold War, the U.S. and U.S.S.R. never fired on one another directly (at least in public). Now we have a Russian ambassador saying "you fire on Syria, we fire at your floating metal boxes." Holy &%$#.

 

And what are my friends and family doing on social media? Bitching about the weather, talking about Stranger Things, or musing whether their favorite baseball team will win this season. I'm living a nightmare.

 

I really, really didn't want to know what it felt like in the major nations of Europe as World War One broke out - with it's merriment and illusions of a short, easy war, followed by slaughter and misery - and I certainly didn't want to know what it was like to be in Rome, watching the Empire die. I seem destined to live in an era that encompasses both. Yay us!

 

Chris, I sympathize with you. Having so much prepared, but being caught in a moment that might trap you away from those preparations does not sound like a mental space I'd ever like to be in. May the gods grant that if this blows up, you are safely home before it does.

 

Let us all hope saner and wiser minds prevail here.

 

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Puerto Rican (Polar) Bears

I hear that Polar Bears are just fine and in fact breeding faster (I heard a guest on James Howard Kustlers podcast say so, must be true). In fact Chris, when you get to the island watch out because since "Maria" Polar Bears have been seen swimming to Puerto Rico's Vieques Island and taking over the place. Some sort of accelerated evolutionary mutation making polar bears the smartest species on the planet, and they are hungry. (for Sun surf and fun). 

Anyone on that boat talking about Polar Bears, or just Russian Bears?

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/10/climate/polar-bears-climate-deniers.h...

"at the edge of extinction, only Love remains" -- Prof. G. McPherson

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Gold breaks above 1350

"Safe-haven flows into the gold market have continued as the world awaits a possible U.S. military response to suspected chemical-weapons attacks in Syria, says SP Angel."

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Other Times

Maybe it's  because my mother's parents came from Poland, but to me, the past year or so keeps reminding me of stories of 1938-1939.  Today feels like mid to late August 1939.  I have to admit that after listening to the news and reading on the web this morning, on my drive to work, I was distracted with thoughts of what would trigger bailing out of the city and to make sure that all the vehicles have full tanks of gas.

Silly thoughts in view of possible all out war, but your mind will do many things to keep a veneer of sanity.

JT

 

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Chris needs PP member's help

Adam, maybe you could help facilitate this.

Is there a PP member from the city where Chris' "Summit at Sea" ship will return dock who could agree to meet Chris on arrival in port, hell or high water, and take him back to that PP member's house?

At least he would have the certainty of a safe space to start a return trip home.

They would need each others pictures.  Lacking familiarity, at least to wear an identifying piece of clothing (blue baseball cap) and agree on a private "pass phrase" ("Howdy partner. Is Mary with you?"  answer "No Mary is heading to the train.") for greeting and mutual identification of people who do not know each other.

I hope that this is not overly dramatic.  But I have always found that planning ahead makes me both 1) prepared and 2) lessens current anxieties.

 

Geedard's picture
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cmartenson wrote: And I'm
cmartenson wrote:

And I'm feeling very exposed because I am several thousand miles from home, on the Summit at Sea, and without any realistic options for getting home quickly.  I really don't like not being in control of my circumstances, especially right now.

*sigh*

My thoughts are with you and Adam too. How cruely ironic that you should find yourselves in this situation after all the time and effort you both devote to informing and preparing each and every one of us for such situations :-(

I like sand_puppy’s thoughtfulness and humane outreach, and hope it helps to bring both comfort and support to you at this difficult moment. Wishing you safe travels home and take care. Andy. 

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Filler up

We filled the farms diesel tanks. I am going to go curry my mare, oh and pick some asparagus for supper!

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Tucker Carlson, War

I love Tucker Carlson in every vid I've seen of him (I don't have or watch TV so I know little about him otherwise). But I've never seen a commentator I so consistently agree with.

I tell you...my breaking point is approaching.  I am pissed off!

Methinks it's better to pay attention to what you can control, and ignore the rest. The media has a way of creating false realities for day-to-day life. Personally, I just say no and don't watch.

Regarding war? I think Trump has decreased the likelihood of war by being so direct. Just like North Korea. Granted, I expect Trump to abide by his campaign promise and NOT invade other countries...Tucker does a good job of explaining why I and millions of others voted for him. He better not renege or he will lose many's support.

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Trump's latest tweets from this morning

There's a bit of hope in this one:

"Our relationship with Russia is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War. There is no reason for this. Russia needs us to help with their economy, something that would be very easy to do, and we need all nations to work together. Stop the arms race?"

And more hope in this one: 

Much of the bad blood with Russia is caused by the Fake & Corrupt Russia Investigation, headed up by the all Democrat loyalists, or people that worked for Obama. Mueller is most conflicted of all (except Rosenstein who signed FISA & Comey letter). No Collusion, so they go crazy!

In fact, that is the quite sane and truthful.  He is essentially saying that he's forced to take a hard line on Russia by the blowback from the investigation.

Maybe he has a plan and he and Putin are winking at each other as they put on their public bluster to satisfy or maybe fake out the war faction.

 

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Dave Fairtex estimates 70/30 odds...
Quercus bicolor wrote:

Maybe he has a plan and he and Putin are winking at each other as they put on their public bluster to satisfy or maybe fake out the war faction.

Let’s hope you’re right Quercus. Dave Fairtex (in a different thread) estimates a 70/30 probability that you are right. As Syndeman said earlier, feels like the Twilight Zone...also to me too, with all or nothing stakes. Jeez. What could possibly go wrong...

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tweets

I didn't know about the Tweets.  I'd say that raises the odds substantially that Trump isn't just going to go to war with Russia "just because".  Maybe 90/10.  Or higher.  I think we'll be ok.

 

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Odds of Escalation Unacceptably High
MKI wrote:

Methinks it's better to pay attention to what you can control, and ignore the rest. The media has a way of creating false realities for day-to-day life. Personally, I just say no and don't watch.

Regarding war? I think Trump has decreased the likelihood of war by being so direct. Just like North Korea. Granted, I expect Trump to abide by his campaign promise and NOT invade other countries...Tucker does a good job of explaining why I and millions of others voted for him. He better not renege or he will lose many's support.

I think the risks here are higher than you are implying  or hoping for.   There is a problem with your threat analysis, above and beyond your methodology of ignoring the  data inputs of what the media is saying.

Yes of course the media creates false realities.  That's what they do. The relevant data is: what is the false reality they are creating and to what purpose. Here are their base line talking points:

 

  • That Assad “the animal” has again slaughtered his own people with evil gas barrel bombs
  • That Putin who also uses chemical warfare is directly responsible
  • That A military response is the only reasonable action in the face of the aforementioned.”atrocity”
  • The US is morally exceptional and justified in unilateral aggressive police actions
  • The US is militarily invincible and Russia is corrupt and weak

 

This is the media inflicted “reality consensus” that constrains (enables?) Trumps policy and response options.

Tucker Carlson piece is an anomaly and to be commended in the face of otherwise unanimous rush to war by all the usual suspects. It is unfortunately the exception that proves the rule as far as the monolithic consensus of our main stream media.

FWIW you rarely see this level of bipartisanship and unanimity (Unless of course Bibi is getting standing ovations in our congress. Coincidence?)

Your assumption that Trump won't invade Syria, because he would lose support of his 'isolationist base' misses the crux of the risk equation.

Invasion is not really on the table at this stage. The risk is that Trump will attack Syria with cruise missiles in a manner that crosses Putin's red-line I.E. in a way that puts embedded Russian forces at risk. Putin and his top Military commanders have been unambiguously clear that they will respond to that aggression by both shooting down missiles but more importantly counterattacking the launch platforms. Any serious study of Putin's record and statements give credence to the seriousness of this promise.

If Trump crosses that redline and if Putin follows through with his promise to respond against the launching platforms, means that we will have two nuclear powers in a kinetic exchange. The escalation risks inherent in that scenario should be obvious to any but the most brain dead.

The probability that Trump will fire missiles into Syria is very high. I estimate 85% chance.  The only way that he won't initiate a strike at this point is if there is some public exposure from the OPCW that the gas attack was a false provocation or if there is meaningful push back by more rational elements with the military command structure that would allow him an out, again by reevaluating culpability in the "gas attack." It is instructive to note that the putative window of response is slated to precede the OPCW's visit and findings.

 

 

Trump clearly is under the control of vested interests and has no moral compunction about striking.

He has already done a 180 on is electioneering rhetoric of non interventionism. He has already launched a cruise missile strike on Syria, albeit a symbolic one in response to a false chemical weapons provocation a year ago. At which point he was suddenly albeit conditionally and temporarily, loved and respected for his 'decisiveness in the face of barbarity' by the entire deep state, Congress and mainstream media.

Trump has reversed himself in word and deed on all elements of non interventionism in the ME As evidenced by  keeping troops in Afghanistan, Increasing troops in Syria, appointing Sheldon Adelson's dream team  Bolton to  NSA and Pompeo to State, and of course Nikki Haley in the UN. In addition to surrounding himself with a coterie of Neocon apparatchiks intent on implementing the continued Likudnik Yinon plan for fragmentation of MENA region with particular emphasis on containment and eventual confrontation with IRAN. 

Whether he Is he captive to these interests by virtue of blackmail, a function of political pressure, or some combination of delusional incompetence is hard to say but functionally it doesn't really matter at this point.

It is interesting to note that his recent trial balloon about withdrawing troops from Syria was met with a stern phone call from Netanyahu.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-officials-trump-netanyahu-call-grew-ten...

The only real question is whether he will do a missile strike within the constraints of the deconfliction protocols with Russia, in which case it will be symbolic even if it as expected, will be more significant than the last attack.

Given the high level military talks between Russia and US, I think it is most likely this likely missile strike will be done within the constraints of deconfliction protocol and that we will avoid a Kinetic response by Russia however I would hasten to add, that that outcome is not a given, and there are a number of unforeseen potentials that could derail that including accidents, (fog of war) and or sabotage by players with a vested interest in drawing us into a larger conflict (Israel) The chance of a kinetic exchange here and with it, the derivative chance of escalation including nuclear exchanges is unacceptably high.

Given the unique circumstances I see this as a higher risk potential  than the Cuban Missile crisis.  One of the reasons that is much riskier is the complete lack of awareness of the US population about the stakes involved.  Consequently there is a concomitant lack of political pressure on the actors. This is a function of our controlled media and the full spectrum dominance of propaganda.

I have no confidence that Trump is playing 3D chess here.  I tend to view Trumps series of contradictory tweets as a pathetic 'art of the deal' self contained good cop bad cop routine that he is so fond of.  I hope he is not so delusional to think that is somehow persuasive or influential with Russian leadership and is directed at his domestic constituency.

If we dodge a bullet this time, we still have the larger problem that were living in a propaganda matrix and the Neocon's and Likudniks that control that propaganda and agenda will continue to push for war in the ME and beyond as if we were an unassailable unipolar power when we are actually living in a multipolar world now.  That is a recipe for WWIII and global disaster if not destruction.   

 

Mememonkey

 

 

 

]

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nigel
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mememonkey wrote: If we
mememonkey wrote:

If we dodge a bullet this time, we still have the larger problem that were living in a propaganda matrix and the Neocon's and Likudniks that control that propaganda and agenda will continue to push for war in the ME and beyond as if we were an unassailable unipolar power when we are actually living in a multipolar world now.  That is a recipe for WWIII and global disaster if not destruction.   

I think this is an interesting analysis, so even if this is Trump's JFK moment, the best we can hope for is that he defuses it and is then impeached on some other reason, and if that doesn't work we can look forward to a false flag on a similar scale to 911. The conclusion being is that a hot war is inevitable, the only variable being the time line at which it starts.

Lacking any real ability to influence the outcome the only options that present themselves are growing more vegetables and spending time with loved ones.

Knowing all of this doesn't make me feel better, I'm still worried and shocked.

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Mememonkey

Bingo, Great analysis.  On a another angle it is interesting to watch the role the UK is playing in all this.  Now the Prime Minister has ordered UK subs to sail within range of Syria and prepare to launch missiles.  What a sham, the Royal Navy is shadow of it's once great self  and can not dare provoke battle with Russia  without knowing Uncle is coming to help and save them.  This along with the Skirpal fiasco which seems to have caught the UK government lying and stirring up an anti-Russia hornet nest, for what end?  Do the western power deep state complexes realize that the financial jig is up and this whole thing is ready to blow?  Or are they unwilling to share global power and spheres of influence in a tri-polar world?  Are the US, UK and France so compromised by the ziocons that they ignore their citizens best interests for the sake of the zionists?  Those seem like the only possible reasons they are so determined to start a confrontation.  As for Trump I think he is totally boxed in and outgunned against these people that really have the power to set the course.  No coincidence I think that all these elites have been buying these expensive remote get away retreats.  How futile.

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ezlxq1949
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Frustrate their knavish tricks

Like so many I've been watching the British 3-ring Skripal circus grow in scope and idiocy.

"God Save the Queen" (or King depending) has three seldom-sung, little-known verses which seem oh so relevant today. These should be sung, not with external enemies in mind, but internal. See what you think of verse 2. Emphasis mine!

O Lord, our God, arise,
Scatter her enemies,
And make them fall.
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,

On thee our hopes we fix:
God save the Queen.

Lots of luck, Your Majesty. You've got a right bunch there in Westminster, no doubt about it.

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Chris and Adam Return To Fort Lauderdale, April 15, Sun

Anyone in Fort Lauderdale who could meet Adam and Chris at the docks on Sunday, April 15?

Please offer privately by PM'ing Adam Taggart NOW, before we see if shooting starts. 

(To be helpful an emergency plan must be in place before you know if there really is going to be an emergency..... ) 

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Seems to be a draw down

If I'm interpreting Trump's latest tweet, he seems to be backing off of the "we will shoot you" hard line:

 

"Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all! In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS. Where is our “Thank you America?”"

 

I'm happy to hear that things may be easing in Syria, or that Trump is reasserting himself against the 'deep state.' This chaos created by his tweet-storms has got to make a lot of nations nervous and uncertain as to what we are going to do, though, and in international diplomacy that can be a hindrance and a danger in and of itself.

 

Still, not firing on Syria with missiles would be welcome news for many of us, especially those of us at sea far away from home.

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Quercus bicolor
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24 hours later, ZERO reaction

24 hours later, ZERO reaction to my Facebook post, so I posted this:

Steve Young It's been 24 hours and no reactions to my post. I'm curious why? Would some of you be wiling to just drop a comment to let me know you saw it? And maybe offer some thoughts about why you didn't react? I'm really not trying to stir up controversy, but I am genuinely interested in why my facebook feed isn't buzzing with conversation about this topic. I would appreciate any and all honest thoughts and will keep my reactions polite and respectful. While I can't make promises for anyone else, I hope everyone will do the same.

Quercus bicolor wrote:

And my original post:

I just posted on Facebook about this (not a regular practice of mine) in part to gage the response.   I made it public, so if you want to see it all:

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=814600908747585&id=100005930490316

Here's an excerpt:

The topic is Syria. In case you haven't seen:

Tweet from Donald Trump: "Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price..."

(This tweet and other statements and US actions imply an imminent U.S. attack on Syria.)

Russia's response: "If there is a strike by the Americans, then we refer to the statements of President [Vladimir] Putin and the chief of staff that the missiles will be downed and even the sources from which the missiles were fired," Zasypkin told Hezbollah's al-Manar TV.

(He's threatening to shoot down planes and sink ships that launch missiles - a really big deal)

Then our commander in chief and master of diplomacy tweets this: "Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!"

First let's look at where this could go: The guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook is sitting alone just off the Syrian coast and it will be alone until a carrier group arrives in 5 days or so. What happens if it is sunk or planes are shot down? A shooting war in Syria in which American and Russian troops confront each other would then be highly likely. What is the risk then of it escalating into a larger scale shooting war? A war that impacts U.S. soil? A limited nuclear exchange? A larger scale nuclear exchange? I argue that, especially with Trump at the helm, while some are more likely than others, the odds of all of these are way to high for my comfort.

Before I got into that segment, I made my best effort to tell people my intentions were for the best and to please consider my words carefully.  I also linked to the Tucker Carlson video as well as his video from yesterday where he interviewed Glenn Greenwald (perhaps easier for people in the "liberal" echo chamber to identify with. 

I'll let y'all know what kind of response I get.

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davefairtex
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zero reaction

Possible that facebook suppressed the post?  Or limited the distribution?

I've heard stories where FB suppresses distribution of stuff they don't like, for whatever reason.  It's not a clean system whereby each of your posts goes to each friend.

 

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Quercus bicolor
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yes

I've heard that too, especially since they changed their algorithm to suppress "fake news" (in their judgment).  But I actively shared this post with my entire friend list (not super long, maybe 100-200).  Those last two comments finally got a reply from my sister-in-law, but she is very active on this topic.  Maybe it wasn't shown to others?

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Conplathapy

I posted similar to facebook - I never otherwise post political related material, but these events in my mind clearly rise to the level where there is a moral imperative to point out that the mainstream media narrative is a POS.

maybe a lack of responses is from facebook aologos supression, but also, perhaps it is something that warrants the creation of a new word:  I propose merging complacency and apathy into "conplathapy".  Rolls off the tongue, does it not?

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Thanks SP!
sand_puppy wrote:

Anyone in Fort Lauderdale who could meet Adam and Chris at the docks on Sunday, April 15?

Please offer privately by PM'ing Adam Taggart NOW, before we see if shooting starts. 

(To be helpful an emergency plan must be in place before you know if there really is going to be an emergency..... ) 

Well, we start steaming in the direction of home tomorrow.  It's very odd to be here on this ship at this time.  Suffice it to say the only people on here who have any clue at all about the looming Syria situation are the ones we've told.

I feel kind of bad 'ruining' their good times with my reality injections, but, well, I feel kind of obligated to let the few interested people know about it...

I am simply operating the strategy of hope right now, hoping that nothing too dangerous happens before I get home.  

The situation is simply bizarre and dangerous now.  The US press is packed with misinformation targeted at big, bad Russia, while Putin is busy explaining that Russia both hopes to return to peaceful dialog and for war.

Either way, your call Western leaders.

The Neocons have been lusting for a straight up conflict with Russia for too long to let this opportunity pass, I fear.

I think their "logic" is that if the US can really torch the Russian military assets in and around Syria, they will have proved that Russia is not a serious military contender and reinforce the idea of the US as the supreme unipolar power. 

Of course, they also apparently believed the US would be greeted with flowers by Iraqis after destroying their country.  For some reason that didn't happen.

I'm very confident that the Russian military will inflict at least some profound damage  in response to a US attack, and that will enrage the neocons, whip up a deafening roar of bipartisan war fervor, and lead to many additional bad things.

By the way, war is conducted on many fronts, with kinetic being just one. Russia's markets are already under financial attack.  They really are in no mood to sit back and be attacked (any further) at this time.  

At any rate, get your houses in order folks....

 

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
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No one responds to my facebook posts either

I hear you Quercus.   When I talk to people I get a couple of impressions as to why they ignore me.

1.  As DaveF just suggested, most likely is that the filtering algorithm facebook uses simply does not present my politically oriented posts to most of my friend's "newsfeeds."  They are filtered out.  This can be both political censorship or individualizing the content according to user prefers.  Post a cat video and all of your cat-loving friends see it, comment, and ensure they will get the next cat video too.

2.  Friends never consider questioning political events like the gas-attack.  All of the reputable news sources say one thing and here you are saying another.  They like me, but believe that I have bought into some weird cult-like world view like Jim Jones or scientology or the Moonies.  They are tactfully silent and "don't notice" my craziness--similar to they way we would politely "not notice" a person's disability.

3.  I am already regarded as "crazy" (not a source of accurate of information) so the next crazy post I put up is discounted automatically.  You know, kerosene does not melt steel and airplanes do not pass through the Pennsylvania soil like "a marble through water."  (Totally bat-shit crazy.)

The propaganda matrix is just too solidly built.  Humans appear hard-wired to cling too the 'consensus trance.'  Those who write the consensus understanding, rule us near absolutely. 

The opening sentences from "Propaganda" by Bernay's:

 

I firmly believe that until a person suffers through the pain of an awakening experience, where the consensus trance is revealed to be a deliberate lie forcefully and in shocking clarity, we remain prisoners.  An immense gap opens between the awakened and our slumbering loved ones--even those with ample intelligence.

We are foreigners in our own families and neighborhoods.

But our actions and words do have some effect.  Seeds planted for some later season.

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ckessel
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Posts: 486
Syria siuation

" It's very odd to be here on this ship at this time. Suffice it to say the only people on here who have any clue at all about the looming Syria situation are the ones we've told."

Your comment really took me by surprise Chris. I would have assumed based on speakers and attendees that it would have been very different than that. So there is another fine lesson on 'assuming' which is always a terrible strategy along with 'hoping'.

You and Adam travel safe. I'm looking forward to the May conference very much.

I'm very glad to have had the time to prepare for change. It definitely looks like it is speeding up these days.

Coop

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Grover
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Posts: 879
Don't Let The Moment Pass Unappreciated

Here's some advice for Chris and Adam: If there is nothing to be done about the situation, then the appropriate response is to do nothing. You obviously are prisoners on the Love Boat until Sunday. It doesn't do a bit of good to worry and fret over what might happen in Syria. You might as well enjoy the weather and the experience on the ship for what it is.

That doesn't mean that you should join the other ostriches and bury your heads in the sand. Rather, you should evaluate your options and make a rational choice based on those options. We get caught up in the worry about the future and miss the enjoyable present time as a result. Just the other day, I watched a bumblebee pollinating a dandelion bloom in my yard. It could have ruined my day by seeing a dandelion growing in the lawn. Instead, I just watched it in amazement to see its work. I was really happy to see that. (After the bumblebee left, I dug up the dandelion and buried it in my compost pile. If it were the only thing blooming, I would have left it in place for a while.)

Trump is very unpredictable - especially when measured by previous presidents who kept their cards concealed. Trump throws out cards he doesn't have to get his opponents nervous and off balance. How many times has he twittered bone headed statements that we all worry about? How many of our worst worries have come to fruition? I'm not comfortable with his style of negotiating, but it seems to work for him. It's a new level of brinkmanship.

Could he screw up and ruin everything? Absolutely! Is there anything we can do about it now? Hardly. You can write your congress critters and they'll only extract from your message what fits their agenda. That might make you feel better, but it will ultimately be counterproductive. You might as well enjoy the moment for what it is.

Grover

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