A Massive GOLD Bull Market Is Building

Imagine, if you will, there was no coronavirus. No haz-mat suits, medical masks & gloves, no make-shift morgues. No terminally ill patients hooked up to ventilators, no horrible deaths without love ones close, no lockdowns, no social distancing, no deserted streets, no bailouts, no emergency wage supplements, just a regular spring with birds chirping and flowers blooming.

Of course there is no getting away from the covid-19 pandemic that has slammed into populations and economies like a “God of chaos” comet. It seems to have permeated civilization, threatening lives, livelihoods, and the way we conduct ourselves professionally and socially.

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Pentagon Denies Report U.S. Mulls Pulling up to 4,000 Troops From South Korea

Reporting by Joyce Lee in Seoul and Phil Stewart in Hanoi; Additional reporting by Hyonhee Shin in Seoul, David Brunnstrom and Daphne Psaledakis in Washington of Reuters – Re-Blogged From IJR

The United States on Thursday denied a South Korean news report that it was considering withdrawing up to 4,000 troops from South Korea if it does not pay more for maintaining a 28,500-strong U.S. contingent deterring North Korean aggression.

South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported that the withdrawal of a U.S. brigade, typically 3,000 to 4,000 soldiers, had been discussed with the top brass of the U.S. military in South Korea, citing an unidentified diplomatic source in Washington.

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Gold To Benefit As Chinese Economy Hits The Wall

By Mike Gleason – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

“No China Trade Deal Until 2020, Maybe 2021…Maybe Never”

Mike Gleason: Trade tensions with China have been one of the big stories in the financial press for the past year and a half. We’ve seen U.S. equity markets gyrate up and down. One day traders are euphoric on rumors that a deal with China will soon be reached. The next day, they’re depressed over news of escalating tariffs and some other negative developments. Most recently, we saw a big rally in the stock market on the announcement that some tariffs will be delayed by a few months, although with the further inversion of the yield curve here today, the day we’re talking, Wednesday, the stock market is giving pretty much all of that back. But that aside, I’d like to start by getting your assessment of the prospects for a trade deal here, Gordon. Do you think we’re going to see these tensions resolved in the next few months?

Gordon Chang: Certainly not. I don’t see a comprehensive trade deal until 2020, maybe 2021, maybe never. Problem is Xi Jinping, the Chinese ruler, doesn’t necessarily want a deal. He owns this trade war, quote-unquote, and if he makes significant compromises, he’s going to accept the political responsibility for that. You’ve got to remember that accumulating great power is of course an advantage, but it means he also accumulated great accountability. He can’t blame other people. So I think that the Chinese political system right now is pretty much frozen, and that means we’re not going to see a comprehensive deal. We’re probably not even going to see an interim arrangement, either.

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Nuclear Talks in Doubt as North Korea Tests Missiles, Envoy Cancels Trip

North Korea test-fired two new short-range ballistic missiles on Thursday, South Korean officials said, its first missile test since its leader, Kim Jong Un, and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to revive denuclearisation talks last month.

South Korea, which supports efforts by North Korea and the United States to end years of hostility, urged the North to stop acts that are unhelpful to easing tension, saying the tests posed a military threat on the Korean peninsula.

The South’s National Security Council said it believed the missiles were a new type of ballistic missile but it would make a final assessment with the United States.

Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo/Reuters

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Putin Says US Guarantees Unlikely to Prompt North Korea to De-Nuclearize

By Hyonhee Shin and Joyce Lee, et al – Re-Blogged From IJR

Russian President Vladimir Putin said after holding talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday that he thought U.S. security guarantees would probably not be enough to persuade Pyongyang to shut its nuclear program.

Putin and Kim held a day of talks on an island off the Russian Pacific city of Vladivostok two months after Kim’s summit with U.S. President Donald Trump ended in disagreement, cooling hopes of a breakthrough in the decades-old nuclear row.

Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

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Trump Extends China Tariff Deadline

By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

President Donald Trump said on Sunday he would delay an increase in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods thanks to “productive” trade talks and that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping would meet to seal a deal if progress continued.

The announcement was the clearest sign yet that China and the United States are closing in on a deal to end a months-long trade war that has slowed global growth and disrupted markets.

Trump had planned to raise tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports into the United States if an agreement between the world’s two largest economies were not reached by Friday.

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Conflict Over Kashmir Risks Nuclear Winter

By Arkadiusz Sieroń – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Many important things happened yesterday. Cohen testified before the Congress, the US-North Korea Summit took place, while tensions between India and Pakistan escalated. Will these developments boost gold?

India and Pakistan Engage in Another Conflict over Kashmir

India and Pakistan are once again squaring off over the disputed region of Kashmir. It began with the suicide attack in Indian-administered Kashmir, which killed more than 40 people. As the Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the bombing, India retaliated and launched air strikes inside Pakistan, the first aerial attacks across the Line of Control dividing both countries since 1971. The results of these strikes are not confirmed. However, we know that two Indian jets were shot down and Pakistan army captured one pilot.

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A Distracted U.S. Struggles To Shift Its Global Focus

Omar Lamrani By Omar Lamrani – Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Highlights

  • The United States is restructuring its global military footprint, reallocating its resources and shifting its strategic focus to better compete against China and Russia.
  • To achieve this, the United States will be compelled to prioritize its commitments in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
  • However, enduring U.S. commitments elsewhere and emerging global flashpoints will sidetrack Washington’s attention and resources. 

U.S. soldiers watch paratroopers from the U.S. Army 173rd Airborne Brigade, the UK's 16 Air Assault Brigade and Italian Folgore Airborne Brigade as they parachute to the ground during a training jump as part of the Saber Junction 16 military exercises near the Hohenfels Training Area. April 2016, near Grafenwoehr, Germany.

(MATEJ DIVIZNA/Getty Images)

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A Defiant Russia Builds Barriers to U.S. Sanctions

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Highlights

  • As the United States pressures Russia with sanctions, Moscow will use a mix of options to counter the penalties in the short term, including diplomatic negotiations and financial support for threatened businesses.
  • In the long term, Russia will continue deploying a strategy to insulate its people and businesses, leading Moscow to increasingly move away from the West and toward the East.
  • While Moscow may make tactical concessions to protect its economic interests, U.S. sanctions ultimately will be ineffective in compelling Russia to strategically shift its foreign policy, meaning the Russia-West standoff is here to stay.

This photograph shows bars of aluminum.

(MIKE DOTTA/Shutterstock)

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U.S. President Donald Trump Cancels the North Korea Summit With Kim Jong Un

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

In a shock announcement, U.S. President Donald Trump has canceled the planned June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. In a letter directly addressed to Kim, released early May 24, the U.S. president thanked his North Korean counterpart for his time and patience in the discussions but said that the “tremendous anger and open hostility” displayed in North Korea’s most recent statement made a meeting inappropriate. The letter is referring to a May 23 statement made by North Korean Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choe Son Hui in the state-run media outlet KCNA, in which she threatened to pull out of the North Korean summit and condemned U.S. Vice President Mike Pence for recent remarks threatening North Korea if it doesn’t make a deal with the United States. Choe’s statement is the second such threat from North Korean officials in the past week. Trump’s letter ends with an invitation for North Korea to reach out if the country changes its mind about its position on the United States.

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Can North Korea Really Give Up Its Nukes?

Rodger Baker By Rodger Baker – Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Highlights

  • North Korea’s diplomatic outreach again raises the possibility that it is willing to use its nuclear program as a bargaining chip.
  • With an eye toward regime survival and eventual Korean unification, Pyongyang could trade away the public face of its nuclear weapons program.
  • Having offered such a concession, North Korea will demand a lot more than an easing of sanctions by South Korea and the United States in return.

In this photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science at an undisclosed location.

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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China Re-Enters the Korean Field of Play

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

It can be difficult to separate the important from unimportant on any given day. Reflections mean to do exactly that — by thinking about what happened today, we can consider what might happen tomorrow.

Highlights

  • Through a top-level meeting with North Korea, China is signaling it will not be a bystander in the evolving dynamics on the Korean Peninsula.
  • China may have an opening to restore its long-frosty relations with South Korea by extending outreach on trade measures.
  • Both North Korea and South Korea have an interest in including China to some extent in their evolving diplomatic dynamic.

Following days of heightened speculation about who was aboard a mystery train that traveled from Pyongyang to Beijing, China confirmed on March 28 that it hosted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this week.

(-/AFP/Getty Images)

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Is Kim Jong Un Making a Visit to China?

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Highlights

  • Amid a diplomatic outreach between North Korea and other regional powers, the arrival of a North Korean train in the Chinese capital signals that Beijing is probably preparing to reach out to Pyongyang itself — perhaps through a meeting with Kim Jong Un.
  • Ahead of its likely summits with the United States and South Korea, North Korea may try to use its position of strength to gain more equal footing with China in their relationship.
  • Because any lasting diplomatic solution to the North Korean crisis will have to include China, Pyongyang will not be able to sideline Beijing entirely in its negotiations.

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North Korea Ready To Denuclearize “If Regime Safety Is Guaranteed”

By Zero Hedge – Re-Blogged From Info Wars

The headlines come from South Korean National Security Office special envoy Chung Eui-yong

Score another diplomatic victory for Trump, whose hard line negotiating tactic appears to have generated a dramatic – and favorable for market – outcome. Moments ago futures spiked, 10Y yields jumped and the USDJPY bounced about 106 on what the FT dubbed a “diplomatic breakthrough” that North and South Korea have agreed to hold direct talks between their leaders with North Korea signalling it is willing to abandon its nuclear program “if regime security can be guaranteed.”

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These Are the High-Tech Weapons the US Might Use Against North Korea

By Greg Walters – Re-Blogged From https://www.seeker.com

The Hermit Kingdom’s recent successes in missile testing are fueling the Pentagon’s search for high-tech measures that might knock out command-and-control structures or even missiles in mid-flight.

South Korea Seizes Second Ship Suspected of Providing Oil to North Korea

By Yuna Park & Hyunjoo Jin – Re-Blogged From Reuters

SEOUL () – South Korean authorities have seized a Panama-flagged vessel suspected of transferring oil products to North Korea in violation of international sanctions, a customs official said on Sunday.

The seizure was the second to be revealed by South Korea within a few days, as the United Nations steps up efforts to squeeze essential oil supplies to the reclusive North following its nuclear or ballistic missile tests.

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A 2018 Investor Wild Card That’s Not Priced In: China-US Trade Tension

By Bloomberg – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

There’s a risk that tough trade talk between the U.S. and China will return with gusto in 2018 and investors may not be prepared.

Trade disagreements between the two nations were something of an afterthought in 2017 as concern about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program dominated the political relationship between the two nations. That could soon change, according to Exante Data LLC Chief Executive Officer Jens Nordvig.

Image: A 2018 Investor Wild Card That's Not Priced In: China-US Trade Tension
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The Year That Was 2017

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

We would not be doing our jobs correctly if we only forecast the year ahead. Quite simply, we must be rigorous in examining the past, and that means taking a hard look at how well we did in determining the major trends of the year gone by. In every respect, 2017 was particularly unique because of the questions — and alarmism — surrounding the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump. Would the world see a dramatic warming of U.S. relations with Russia that would leave many Western allies in the lurch? Would a massive trade war break out between the United States and China? Would the Iran nuclear deal be torn up? These were all questions we sought to address as we pondered the changing dynamics of the global system. What follows are some of our key deductions, alongside honest appraisals of what we got right and wrong.

The year 2017 opened with a new U.S. president, and alarmism about the path Donald Trump would take.

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America the Beautiful, but Divided

By Rebecca Keller – Re-Blogged rom https://worldview.stratfor.com

For nearly a year the world has worked to adapt to recent changes, both real and perceived, in U.S. foreign policy. But as the globe responds to the new priorities of its only superpower, Americans themselves remain divided over how best to engage with their surroundings.

Much like the members of the European Union, each of America’s states has its own needs to fulfill. Technological progress has given some states an edge in pursuing their goals, but it has also left behind regions that were once among the most prominent forces in U.S. politics — including the country’s flourishing breadbasket, the American Midwest. And as the socio-economic gap between different parts of the country has widened, so have their policy preferences.

By design, political discourse and debate are woven into the very fabric of American governance. But rarely do rifts among states spill into foreign policy and global issues in a substantial way. That may not be the case for much longer, however, as U.S. President Donald Trump’s populist appeals attract strong allies — and even stronger opponents — to the White House.

States like California hold political stances that are much different than those of Trump's constituents in the American Midwest, particularly on matters related to the environment, energy, immigration and the tech sector.

(DUSTYPIXEL/iStock)

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How North Korea Could Pull Off a Pacific Nuclear Test

Re-Blogged From Stratfor Worldview

With the steady escalation of both multilateral and U.S. sanctions against it, North Korea is threatening once again to ratchet up its response. It began with U.S. President Donald Trump telling the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 19 that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was on a “suicide mission” and the United States would “totally destroy” North Korea if necessary to protect itself and its allies. Trump followed up his remarks by signing an executive order on Sept. 21 that will allow the U.S. Treasury Department to go after entities trading with North Korea. On Sept. 22, Kim responded by promising countermeasures.

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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Who Will Protect the Next Olympics From North Korea?

By Austin Duckworth – Re-Blogged From Stratfor

In less than six months, the XXIII Olympic Winter Games will begin in Pyeongchang, South Korea. But with an increasingly militant North Korea located less than 161 kilometers (100 miles) away, legitimate concerns have arisen over the event’s potential disruption. Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), recently said he was closely monitoring the situation, adding that it would be a topic of discussion at the committee’s upcoming meeting in Peru. Even so, it’s hard not to wonder who will bear the responsibility of ensuring the safety of athletes and spectators in Pyeongchang. The answer has been constantly evolving for over four decades.

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Could The Stock Market Crash?

By David Chapman – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

I don’t believe we will see another financial crisis in our lifetime.”

  • Janet Yellen, Fed Chair, June 27, 2017

Oh, Janet. We hope you are right. One should never say never—that has a nasty habit of coming back to bite you.

Texas and Houston are currently going through their crash. No, not a stock market crash but a hurricane and flooding crash. Hurricane Harvey has been called a “once in 500 years’ event.” Except in the past twelve years, we have also had Hurricane Katrina and Sandy. They were called “once in 100 years events.” The 400-year difference seems moot. It is becoming a little flippant to call them “once in a lifetime” events when three “lifetime” events have occurred in twelve short years. Yet, for all of them the experts did not see the devastation that was coming.

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Iran’s President Tacitly Admits Iran is Cheating on Nuclear Agreement

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From The Great Recession Blog

Countering recent US sanctions and President Trump’s talk of ending the “bad” nuclear agreement with Iran, Iran’s president threatened to restart its nuclear program. If his threat is true as stated, he unwittingly admitted something highly supportive of Trump’s position:

Mr. Rouhani said that a reconstituted nuclear program would be “far more advanced,” a veiled threat that the country could start enriching uranium up to the level of 20 percent…. “Iran will definitely revert to a far more advanced situation than it had before the negotiations, not in a matter of weeks or months but in a matter of days or hours.” (New York Times)

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On a Warpath Paved With Rational Decisions

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

North Korea demonstrated at least a rudimentary capability to launch a road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile with its latest test of the Hwasong-14. At the extreme estimates of its range, the missile has the ability to strike parts of the western United States. More tests and developments will be necessary to increase the Hwasong-14’s range, payload and re-entry system, and questions remain about North Korea’s ability to miniaturize a nuclear weapon and make it rugged enough to mount on the missile. Even so, Pyongyang is clearly well on its way to realizing its goal of a long-range nuclear weapons capability. This is the first installment in a three-part series examining the implications of this development for the United States’ relationship with North Korea.

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The Cost of Intervention

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

What North Korea lacks in sophistication it makes up for in guile. Its answer to any attack would go beyond conventional means to include its experienced commando force, cyberwarfare capability and submarine force, at the very least. Though North Korea has chemical weapons, they are probably no more effective than its air force and surface navy. Still, there’s a psychological shock value attached to their use.

Pyongyang will do everything it can to impose a cost on any belligerent force. If the United States wishes to denuclearize North Korea, it will have to accept the consequences, as will South Korea and possibly even Japan. The United States would greatly prefer a diplomatic solution, but this has not worked well in the past. Even tougher sanctions imposed in March did little but harden Pyongyang’s resolve. And in avoiding a messy, if short-lived conflict, the United States and South Korea may have set themselves up for future angst when Pyongyang unveils a strategic nuclear deterrent.

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5 Reasons to Fear the Fall

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

This powerful and protracted bull market has made Cassandras look foolish for a long time. Those who went on record predicting that massive central bank manipulation of markets would not engender viable economic growth have been proven correct. However, these same individuals failed to fully anticipate the willingness of momentum-trading algorithms to take asset prices very far above the underlying level of economic growth.

Nevertheless, there are five reasons to believe that this fall will finally bring stock market valuations down to earth, and vindicate those who have displayed caution amidst all the frenzy.

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Is American Foreign Policy The Key To Economic Growth?

Guest Post By Helen Robinson From Best Vacuum for Stairs

It is evident that American foreign policy has been and still is a major influence on economic growth. The US has been trying to maintain good relationships with other countries. In fact, the policy states that the US will try to maintain peace with other countries provided they have mutual interest. However, there are some conflicts, such as the war in the Middle East and North Korea testing missiles, that have drawn the USA into conflicts. The USA also has tried to solve most of these conflicts in an amicable way without escalating the conflicts. The US has even been sending troops to these areas with conflicts to try and deal with the conflicts.

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China and North Korea

Re-Blogged From http://www.Stratfor.com

As diplomacy breaks down on the Korean Peninsula, all eyes are fixed on a pair of events that stand to either worsen or ease the tension mounting between the United States and North Korea. On April 25, North Korea celebrated the 85th anniversary of its military’s establishment, an occasion that has been accompanied by missile tests in the past and that now comes as expectations of a sixth nuclear test by Pyongyang rise. Then, three days after the North Korean military’s birthday, the U.N. Security Council will convene to discuss the country’s persistent march toward a demonstrable long-range nuclear weapons capability. And as the threat emanating from North Korea grows, Washington will be more and more likely to use the summit to call for heavier sanctions against its belligerent adversary.

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Inflation and War Are on the Horizon

By Ken Ameduri – Re-Blogged From The Gold Report

We’ve all known this was coming, we just didn’t know when.

For the first time in five years, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge hit its target. Despite all of the deflationary forces, like lower consumer spending, higher savings rate and stagnant wages, the Fed was able to boost the rise in personal consumption expenditures (PCE) to over 2%.

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2017 Economic Forecast: Global Headwinds Look Like Mother of All Storms

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From GREAT Recession Blog

Headwinds that are starting to assail deep structural flaws in the US and global economies form the basis for my 2017 economic forecast, which looks like an all-out economic crisis building throughout the world. Some of these headwinds are global; some more locally focused within the United States, but that which brings down the US economy wounds the world anyway. Ultimately, global concerns threaten the US, and US concerns threaten the globe. We’re all in this together, even as we seem to be flying apart in political whirlwinds everywhere and fracturing national alliances all over the world.

Even in the US where the Trump Triumph has ignited consumer and business hopes and inflamed the stock market, time is not on Trump’s side. Trump’s own key advisors — like Steve Bannon and Larry Kudlow — have stated unequivocally that Trump’s plans must happen quickly if they are going to save the US economy. Trump, himself, campaigned on the endless refrain that the US economy was rapidly approaching catastrophe. That’s why we needed to elect him. If we take the architects of these hope-inspiring plans at their word, 2017 is a make-or-break year for the US, and the clock is ticking against their success.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #246

The Week That Was: October 29, 2016 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Constitutional Tug-of-War: During the turmoil following the Revolutionary War, which ended with the Treaty of Paris in 1783, it became evident to many of the political leaders that the central government under the Articles of Confederation was not working as hoped. A stronger central government was needed. In a 1787 prolonged meeting, later called the Constitutional Convention, many leaders participated to form a new charter to make a more effective central government. Of the many participating, one of the most important was James Madison, a scholar of history and political theorist. During the process from the drafting of the Constitution in May 1787, to its adoption in September, and its implementation in 1789, many ideas emerged. During the period of ratification, Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton wrote the very influential essays now called the Federalist Papers. Others, opposing ratification of the Constitution, wrote essays now collected and called the Anti-Federalist Papers. Probably, the now best-known of the anti-Federalists was Patrick Henry. These skeptics gave rise to the Bill of Rights, which articulate specific human rights upon which the central government cannot infringe. Madison did not perceive a need for the Bill of Rights because he believed human rights are many, broad, and well-established and that the proposed Constitution clearly restricted the powers of the Federal government so that it could not interfere with those rights.

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Bernie Sanders’ Socialism In One Lesson

By Michael J Hurd – Re-Blogged From Capitalism Magaine

Socialist and Democratic candidate for President Bernie Sanders:

You can’t just continue growth for the sake of growth in a world in which we are struggling with climate change and all kinds of environmental problems. All right? You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers when children are hungry in this country. I don’t think the media appreciates the kind of stress that ordinary Americans are working on. [Source: cnbc.com 5/26/15]

Do you like Sanders’ statement, or do you find it foolish and absurd? If you find it foolish and absurd, can you say why?

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Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu Speaks To the US Congress

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

In case you missed it, Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, spoke Tuesday before a joint session of the US Congress. I found it to be a non-partisan, articulate plea for the US to not make a bad deal with Iran. This was asked for not only for Israel’s benefit, but also to enhance the safety of our country, the US.

The video is below – Mr. Netanyahu’s speech begins almost 27 minutes in, following lengthy introductions and other non-essential items. Please, view the speech.