Is Medicinal Cannabis Disappearing?

[Free Markets work wherever they’re given an opportunity. Here, guest writer Sara Ochs looks briefly at the medicinal vs the recreational markets for marijuana – a little different than our usual fare. BTW, many years ago, I was surprised to learn that marijuana was the 2nd biggest cash crop in Florida, where it was grown between the rows of corn to lend a little privacy from above. – Bob]

By Sara Ochs

Since 1996, California has been the top supplier of medicinal marijuana in the United States of America. However, legalizing recreational marijuana for anyone 21 and older creates an upcoming problem for the Medical Cannabis industry. The moment sales for recreational-marijuana begins, the need to head to the doctor to fill that prescription will no longer be a go-to for those that have used it for the last 20 years. It also cuts out the physician referrals time and costs that are needed. There is a possibility that the now growing recreational-pot industry will swallow up the medical dispensaries and medical-cannabis industry.

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Will Donald Trump Reverse the War on Cash?

Re-Blogged From International Man

Jason Burack: It seems that globalism may be on the retreat. What’s your opinion about that, in light of Brexit, Donald Trump winning, and the Italian referendum failing?

Nick Giambruno: I think you’re right, Jason. Right now globalism is on the decline. But let’s define “globalism” before I explain why. This word gets thrown around a lot. But most people don’t really know what it means.

It’s very simple. Globalism is the centralization of power into a couple of global institutions: the EU, the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank, NAFTA, NATO, and so on. It’s really just a polite way of describing world government, or what George H.W. Bush termed the New World Order.

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President Trump’s Travel Halt

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

I’ve been reading about the temporary ban on immigrants from the seven countries. Arguments which say that legal aliens who were here, working as professors or researchers, etc who traveled back to one of those seven countries should not be delayed in coming back to their jobs. Those arguments make a lot of sense to me.

Image result for muslim

Typical Muslim Professor or Researcher

Then there are those who say that with the flood of foreigners trying to enter the US from one of the seven countries, they need to be vetted much better than those from other countries in order to protect Americans. And, the ban is temporary, except for Syria. Those arguments also make a lot of sense to me.

However, a lot of the tempest revolves around it possibly being a Muslim ban. That to me is poppycock! It is a delay not a ban from only those seven terrorism infested countries, which represent only a fraction of the Muslim world population. This is NOT a religious ban.

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BOMBSHELL – NOAA Whistleblower Says Karl et al. “Pausebuster” Paper Was Hyped, Broke Procedures

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

They played fast and loose with the figures -NOAA whistleblower

The Mail on Sunday today reveals astonishing evidence that the organisation that is the world’s leading source of climate data rushed to publish a landmark paper that exaggerated global warming and was timed to influence the historic Paris Agreement on climate change.

A high-level whistleblower has told this newspaper that America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) breached its own rules on scientific integrity when it published the sensational but flawed report, aimed at making the maximum possible impact on world leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron at the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015.

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Leaked: Trump’s Next Executive Order – “Eliminate the Welfare Magnet Driving Illegal Immigration”

By Tim Brown – Re-Blogged From Freedom Outpost

Now, this will do more to eliminating illegal immigration than anything else, including a wall that costs American taxpayers billions of dollars and increases the size of the central government in border patrol agents. A leaked draft of an executive order by President Donald Trump indicates that he is looking to eliminate the welfare state for illegals, which is nothing more than dangling a carrot in front of them to cross the southern border on the American taxpayers’ dime.

The Washington Post reports:

The Trump administration is considering a plan to weed out would-be immigrants who are likely to require public assistance, as well as to deport — when possible — immigrants already living in the United States who depend on taxpayer help, according to a draft executive order obtained by The Washington Post.

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The Alternative Fact Of The Cashless Society

By Mark O’Byrne – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Why Gold Will Benefit From The Alternative Fact Of The Cashless Society
  • Alternative facts prevail in the European Commission’s calls for cash controls
  • Terrorism is blamed for the need to control cash
  • Evidence shows criminals find alternative ways to finance activities
  • Citizens continue to want and to use cash in day-to-day life
  • Cashless society is being used to force through other ‘agendas’
  • Gold and silver will be used as savers are forced to hold assets outside of the financial system

 “Those who control the present, control the past and those who control the past control the future.”

currencyGeorge Orwell, 1984

Last week a new phrase was introduced into our lexicon by Trump Adviser Kellyanne Conway. When asked about why press secretary Sean Spicer had made statements that were (according to the press) unverifiable she said that he had used ‘alternative facts’.

This prompted a raft of satire, journalists to flail their arms up at the audacity of Conway and Trump’s administration, and for people to rush out and buy George Orwell’s 1984.

Penguin, the world’s largest publisher, ordered a 75,000 copy reprint last week. Apparently more than the ‘typical reprint’ for the 1949 Orwellian classic. The ‘alternative facts’ statement echoed of ‘Newspeak’ the language used by the totalitarian government in Orwell’s 1984 to influence and control its citizens of Airstrip One (previously Britain).

European Commission Embraces Newspeak

A day after Conway’s interview the European Commission took of the advantage of the furore that continues to surround the Trump administration (the shock that the President is doing exactly what he promised to do) and introduced a proposal enforcing “restrictions on payments in cash.”

The EC apparently like to use their own version of alternative facts when it comes to arguing why we should be going cashless.

The proposal is based on a plan from February 2016 that explained, “Payments in cash are widely used in the financing of terrorist activities… In this context, the relevance of potential upper limits to cash payments could also be explored. Several Member States have in place prohibitions for cash payments above a specific threshold.”

And whilst terrorists do no doubt use cash to finance some activities (the US has purportedly blown-up stockpiles of ISIS’ cash), research shows that countries with higher denominations of cash in fact experience lower levels of crime and corruption.

And what about those non-criminals? EC are failing to address the fact that law-abiding citizens still like to use cash and will continue to whilst negative interest rates and bail-ins remain a reality. Not to mention the privacy it affords us.

This Newspeak is starting to feel like we’re supposed to feel bad about using cash and instead should become inclined to move to a cashless way of life. Whilst the EC is still in proposal-stage we should be reminded that the move to cashless is very much in play, as we explained in Cashless society – War on Cash to Benefit Gold?.

Cash-Free Does Not Mean Terrorism Free

As pointed out by Zerohedge the proposal is very focused on stopping terrorism, crime and money laundering. It states:

‘Potential restrictions to cash payments would be a mean to fight criminal activities entailing large payment transactions in cash by organised criminal networks…Terrorists use cash to sustain their illegal activities, not only for illegal transactions (e.g. the acquisition of explosives) but also for payments which are in appearance legal”

But, as argued in the Sovereign Man blog, economists such as Rogoff and Stiglitz and government organisations such as the EC are relying on the myth that ‘cash facilitates illegal activity.’

Who is so naive to think that a ban on cash will stop terrorism? What they have missed is that criminal and terrorist leanings facilitate such activities, they will always find some form of means of exchange to facilitate it.

Sovereign Man explains that criminals and terrorists can, miraculously, use means other than physical cash in order to facilitate illegal activities.

“The US military has literally blown up more than a billion dollars worth of ISIS’s stockpiles of physical cash during airstrikes.

But this hasn’t affected their terrorist activities one bit.

That’s because the most notorious terrorist group on the planet famously uses both the world’s oldest currency (gold) and the world’s newest currency (Bitcoin).”

And it’s not just big terrorist groups who are able to work their way around a cash-based monetary system.

“What Stiglitz, and perhaps many law enforcement agencies, fail to realize is that one of the biggest tools in masking illegal activity is actually Amazon.com.

Specifically, Amazon gift cards.

If you’re looking to quietly and easily pay large sums of money, even tens of thousands of dollars, you can do so with Amazon gift cards.

Amazon gift cards are essentially a “cash equivalent”.

Amazon sells just about everything on the planet, so its gift cards can either be spent or quickly resold for cash.”

Cash Will Soon Not Be A Right

The EC, Rogoff and Stiglitz are all behaving as though cash is only used for illicit activities. There is apparently little thought to those of us who still use cash. Most of us look at cash as something that is both convenient and provides a way to spend money without it being anyone else’s business other than ours and the seller. But governments label this as suspicious with the intention to get us away from cash so that the banking system may be propped up and ‘bailed-in’ by our funds.

There is but a fleeting mention of the fundamental right to use cash in this recent EC proposal but it is quickly dismissed:

It should also be observed that national restrictions to cash payments were never successfully challenged based on an infringement to fundamental rights.”

Cash is still widely used, by both citizens and big businesses but this has not stopped both governments and banks looking to move us away from using cash.

The most recent example of a shift to a cashless society was of course the demonetisation of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes in India. Whilst Prime Minister Modi acknowledged that millions had been affected he reiterated calls for the country to become a cashless society.

concentration-of-independent-atms-under-threatMeanwhile in Ireland companies are making investments on the basis of the future cashless society. US company EVO, a payment processing partner of Bank of Ireland, announced a €9.1 million move to the country that is embracing a cashless way of life. Brian Cleary, managing director of BOI Payment Acceptance Ireland and UK, an arm of Evo Payment International told the Irish Independent, ”With over six million debit and credit cards in the market, debit card spend on the increase year-on-year and over 35,000 Irish businesses offering contactless payment facilities, this number continues to grow.”

In the UK, cashless is almost as popular as the likes of the Scandinavian countries. In August 2016 More than 260 million contactless transactions were made in the UK, a 200% increase from the year before. According to a Telegraph article, ATMs are close to becoming extinct as banks will no longer finance them. Rural areas will be “the hardest hit with the South West, Scotland, and the South East where 44pc, 40pc and 33pc of cash points are under threat”

The threat of a cashless society is seemingly greater than ever, so much so that MPs are being called to investigate. As Ron Delnevo, director of the ATM Industry Association in Europe, told the Telegraph: “Some organisations want to drive people away from cash because it suits their agenda.” He also warned of a “domino effect”, saying that if one big bank pulled out of the arrangement “the whole thing will just melt”. 

Cash Controls Will Extend Beyond Cash

The EC doesn’t intend to stop just at putting controls on (or even outright banning) cash. Under the guise of preventing anonymity they believe that restrictions should be placed on all means of payment that mean people can have some privacy:

“In view of the development of cryptocurrencies and the existence of other means of payments ensuring anonymity, an option could be to extend the restrictions to cash payments to all payments ensuring anonymity (cryptocurrencies, payment in kinds, etc.). On the other hand, restrictions on cash payments could promote the development of alternative payments technologies compatible with the non-anonymity objective pursued.”

Aside from what this means for all forms of payments, it ultimately means that the EC has decided that anonymity, i.e. privacy, is a bad thing. To want it is to suggest that you are doing something criminal.

This will no doubt drive up demand for tangible currencies such as gold and silver which should be held outside of the banking system, as outlined in a letter to the FT following Gillian Tett’s article in support for a cashless society:

Sir, Gillian Tett sees some benefits in scrapping cash (February 5). I, instead, see an Orwellian nightmare where citizens’ every step is recorded in a Big Brother database for tax, financial and monetary purposes. In a certain sense cash means freedom. If cash is really scrapped by governments in the future I have no doubt that alternative tangible currencies will emerge. I will be in the front line using them.

At the moment negative interest rates and bail-ins will only work if cash cannot be removed from the system. And central banks and government are well aware of this. This is why ‘tangible currencies’ such as gold and silver are becomingly increasingly more attractive as the push for cashless society and reduced privacy, grows.

As Doctor Constantin Gurdgiev wrote:

Cash and monetary assets, such as gold, cannot be expropriated or bailed-in as long as they are held in physical form and under proper storage. Cashless accounts amplify the importance of monetary assets, such as gold, in fulfilling the function of being safe havens against systemic risks – risks that are associated with high probability of Government expropriation.

Conclusion: Gold And Silver

A cashless world means a transparent world, which is great if terrorists were the only ones using cash. But they’re really not, so a cashless world means transparent bank accounts which means restricted banks accounts.

Human behaviour and data does not support the argument for a cashless society. Instead this is seemingly a move to force to restrict our freedom and to get us to hold our wealth in a banking system where negative interest rates and bail-ins are a harsh reality and are our financial decisions are there for all to see.

Lars Feld, economic advisor to the German government, referred to cash as ‘printed freedom.’ It seems that this will not be the case for long. Unfortunately under the Newspeak guise of protecting us from criminals our cash will no longer be the ticket to a private life.

Money in a bank account is no longer yours- it is a bank deposit, an unsecured liability in a commercial bank that is entrenched in the global banking system. It relies on trust in a system that is inherently broken and on a downward spiral that is prepared to take savings and wealth with it.

Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote, ‘Money is coined liberty’ and many years later this is still the case for gold and silver. Unfortunately it is no longer the case for cash. History shows multiple attempts of wealth confiscation and restrictions on freedom, each time individuals and governments have returned to gold and silver in order to protect their savings and their privacy.

Going cashless will not rid us of people and organisations who wish to commit horrific and illegal acts. Instead it will encourage them to find additional ways to run their gangs and terrorist cells. For the rest of us it will remind us of the importance of liberty, safe-havens, security and the need to protect our wealth from negative interest rates, bail-ins and currency devaluations.

Whilst a government using ‘alternative facts’ and telling us that something is for the greater good when it is clearly for the greater banking system is disheartening we should embrace the role of gold and silver. The role of precious metals in a cashless society are key and investors should remember the importance of diversification and holding assets, under direct ownership, outside of the vulnerable and exposed banking system.

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A Better Solution Than Trump’s Border Wall

By Ron Paul – Re-Blogged From Freedom Outpost

Just one week in office, President Trump is already following through on his pledge to address illegal immigration. His January 25th executive order called for the construction of a wall along the entire length of the US-Mexico border. While he is right to focus on the issue, there are several reasons why his proposed solution will unfortunately not lead us anywhere closer to solving the problem.

First, the wall will not work. Texas already started building a border fence about ten years ago. It divided people from their own property across the border, it deprived people of their land through the use of eminent domain, and in the end the problem of drug and human smuggling was not solved.

Second, the wall will be expensive. The wall is estimated to cost between 12 and 15 billion dollars. You can bet it will be more than that. President Trump has claimed that if the Mexican government doesn’t pay for it, he will impose a 20 percent duty on products imported from Mexico. Who will pay this tax? Ultimately, the American consumer, as the additional costs will be passed on. This will, of course, hurt the poorest Americans the most.

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Britain Needs Trump for Smooth Brexit

By John Browne – Re-Blogged From Euro Pacific Capital

At the Washington joint press conference with Prime Minister May held on January 27th, President Trump told the watching world, “Brexit is going to be a wonderful thing.” The meeting did much to clear the way for Britain to stand alone and enter trade with the United States without the European Union (EU). Their talk of a U.S.-UK free trade agreement could do much to ease the fears of some key English Members of Parliament and counterbalances the fears that Britain will be punished by a bitter EU. The positive meeting occurred at a fortuitous moment. Only four days prior, the UK’s Supreme Court had ruled that Parliamentary approval must be specifically obtained before Her Majesty’s Government can sign trigger negotiations to exit the EU.

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Illusory Gains

By Egon von Greyerz – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Investors in most countries make the mistake of measuring their returns based on their home market and their domestic currency. This might have worked when they only had access to their local investment market. But that time is long gone. Now we have a global economy and most Westerners have access to securities worldwide. Still, in for example Germany, the UK or Japan, investors measure returns in their local currency. Even more so in the US. Due to the size of the US economy and the importance of the dollar, few Americans look at investment markets or currencies in other countries.

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Loosening is the New Tightening

By Steve Saville – Re-Blogged From The Speculative Investor

The Fed meets to discuss its monetary policy this week. There is almost no chance that an outcome of this meeting will be another boost in the Fed Funds Rate (FFR), but there’s a decent chance that the next official rate hike will be announced in March. Regardless of when it happens and regardless of how it is portrayed in the press, the next Fed rate hike, like the two before it, will NOT imply a tightening of US monetary policy/conditions.

The two-part explanation for why hikes in the FFR no longer imply the tightening of monetary policy has been discussed many times in TSI commentaries over the past few years and was also addressed in a March-2015 post at the TSI Blog titled “Tightening without tightening“. The first part of the explanation is that with the US banking system inundated with excess reserves there is no longer an active overnight lending market for Federal Funds (banks never have to borrow Federal Funds anymore because they have far more than they require). In other words, when the Fed hikes the FFR it is hiking an interest rate that no one uses.

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China Sets The Stage To Replace The US As Global Trade Leader

By Frank Holmes – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Saturday marked the Lunar New Year, the most important date in the Chinese calendar. It’s also the start of the longest holiday at two weeks, during which the largest mass migration of humans occurs every year as families reunite and go on vacations, both domestic and overseas.

2017 is the year of the 10th Chinese zodiac, the fire rooster, one of whose lucky colors is gold. Year-to-date, gold—the metal, not the color—is up 3.5 percent, which is below the 5.7 percent it had gained so far around this time last year. Unfortunately, gold prices won’t find support from Chinese traders this week, as markets will be closed in observance of the new year. If you remember, the yellow metal had one of its worst one-day slumps of 2016 back in October during China’s Golden Week, when markets were similarly closed.

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Depression, Stagflation, Stag-Depress-Flation

By Gary Christenson – Re-Blogged From The Deviant Investor

The United States suffered through a deflationary depression in the 1930s. Stock prices crashed, currency in circulation declined, commodity and real estate prices fell hard and human misery prevailed.

President Roosevelt revalued gold from $20.67 to $35.00 per ounce in 1934 – a substantial devaluation of the dollar. Make-work and government spending programs were implemented. War followed the depression. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_Reserve_Act )

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This is How Climate Works – Part 2

By Mike Jonas Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

/Continued from Part 1

3. The Models can never work

In an earlier post, Inside the Climate Computer Models, I explained how the climate computer models, as currently structured, could never work.

Put simply, they are not climate models, they are weather models, because they operate on small(ish) pieces of ocean or atmosphere over very short periods (sometimes as little as 20 minutes). By definition, conditions in a small place over a short time are weather.

clip_image002

Figure 2.1. Ocean and atmosphere subdivision in the models. From the IPCC here.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #256

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President Science and Environmental Policy Project

TWTW: Due to other commitments requiring refraining from public comments that may be misconstrued as suggesting policy, this TWTW will be short and comments restrained. Responses to correspondence will be limited. Thank you.

*************

Appropriate Science? Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Representative Raul Grijalva have written to President Trump objecting to Ken Haapala’s unpaid, temporary position on the Department of Commerce transition, landing team. They correctly state Haapala has no advanced degree in natural sciences. Afterwards, the letter contains numerous errors, such as Haapala “has made a career out of denying the science behind climate change.”

Born in Massachusetts, immediately north of Senator Whitehouse’s home state of Rhode Island, Haapala learned in elementary school that many of the geographic features of New England and the northern US were formed by ice sheets and the subsequent melt. The last ice sheets began melting about 18,000 to 20,000 years ago, raising sea levels by about 120 meters (400 feet), as discussed in last week’s TWTW. Certain maps show deep canyons cut in the eastern continental shelf by rivers such as the St. Lawrence and the Hudson.

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Four Key Charts for a Climate Change Skeptic

By Michael David White – Re-blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Skeptics often get asked to show why they thinks climate change isn’t a crisis, and why we should not be alarmed about it. These four graphs from Michael David White are handy to use for such a purpose.

10,000 Years of Climate Change.jpg

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Don’t Count On The Great Rotation

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From http://www.pentoport.com/

After many false promises and one false start, it is becoming evident that 2017 will be the year the Federal Reserve finally begins down the road towards interest rate normalization. Therefore, it is likely that Ms. Yellen will cause bond yields to rise this year on the short-end of the yield curve. In addition, soaring debt and deficits, along with the lack of central bank bond-buying, should send long-term rates much higher as well.

Wall Street soothsayers, who viewed every Fed rate cut as a buying opportunity for stocks, are now busily assuring investors that the potential dramatic and protracted move higher in bond yields will be bullish for stocks as well.

Their theory holds that the price of stocks and bonds are negatively correlated, as one moves up the other moves down. Hence, the nirvana of a safely balanced portfolio is achieved by simply owning a fairly even distribution of both. Therefore, according to Wall Street, the end of the thirty-five-year bull market in bonds will be a welcomed event for equities. This myth has a name, and it’s known as “the great rotation from bonds into stocks.”

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