Saturday, November 30, 2013



Blind California High Schooler Jake Olson Lives Dream by Making Football Team

The Inspiring Story of a Child: Jake Olson

Jake Olson. BIO

Jake is 15 years old, a resident of Huntington Beach, California, and a 10th grade student. When Jake was 8 months old, he was diagnosed with a rare form of eye cancer, retinoblastoma. The disease claimed his left eye before the tender age of one and in November 2009 Jake lost his right eye after battling the cancer for 12 years. Jake confronted many challenges during his battle and has used his experience to better himself as a person and develop a strong faith in God. Jake wrote a book when he was 8 years old to uplift and encourage other children who were battling cancer and other diseases. Jake has shared his book and faith with countless others, including both adults and children, who have been touched by his story.

Jake is also a lifelong University of Southern California football fan. He became close friends with the coaching staff and team when he lost his sight. Meeting Coach Pete Carroll and the team was a special experience for both Jake and his family. His ongoing relationship with Coach Carroll and the USC players has blessed Jake beyond measure during some of his most trying times and these relationships have grown into special friendships. Leading up to Jake's surgery, ESPN's Shelly Smith captured his story alongside the Trojan football team, his battle with cancer and his courage in an inspirational documentary film. The documentary has been aired on ESPN, Good Morning America, ABC's Evening News and has been nominated for an ESPY award. Jake was also a guest commentator on ESPN's College Game Day on New Years' Day.

With Jake's recent fame, he has had the opportunity to speak about his experiences and faith in front of corporations, schools, service organizations and congregations. Jake was a keynote speaker at Dick Vitale's 5th Annual V Foundation for Cancer Research Event held in Sarasota, Florida, and has had several opportunities to speak for the benefit of The American Cancer Society. In 2010, he and his twin sister, Emma, went to Costa Rica on a mission trip to help build houses and encourage disadvantaged children. In October 2011, Jake was featured on the Fox Network in an exclusive story about his ability to overcome and succeed despite tremendous challenges. And most recently, USC now sells Jake-inspired "Fight On" t-shirts and hats in Braille with proceeds going to Jake's Out of Sight Faith charity.

Jake attends Huntington Christian School and has remained a straight-A student even during his transition to blindness. Jake plays on the school football team and also enjoys golf, skiing, surfing, and playing the guitar. Jake has set a personal goal to become the first blind golfer to join the PGA golf tour. Jake's love for and dedication to the game of golf caught the attention of Travis Mathew golf clothing company. Jake and Travis Mathew have teamed up to develop a first-of-its-kind "Braille" golf shirt, with messages scripted in Braille on shirts that offer golfers a smart, progressive look with a sizeable portion of the proceeds from every shirt sold going to Jake's favorite charities. Jake has been added to the player team, joining PGA touring pros John Mallinger, Bubba Watson, Tommy Armour, and others.

Jake loves to help and serve others. Jake is not afraid to challenge himself or challenge others and has personally raised his expectations for his own life. Jake's faith and attitude have been an inspiration to others, and his belief in making the most out of life continues to motivate those around him.

McKay Christensen

McKay is the President of a $1 billion consumer products company with hundreds of thousands of employees and sales representatives. McKay speaks to audiences around the country about leadership, teamwork, perseverance, and personal performance. In his current position and his past leadership roles with Fortune 500 companies, he's led diverse teams in marketing, sales and management. He has written numerous articles on career development, leadership and business management and co-authored a book on career development. He has an M.B.A. and a Ph.D. in Organization and Adult Learning.

As part of his doctoral work, McKay led groundbreaking research on how adults learn and find happiness. This research, one of the most comprehensive quantitative studies of its kind, reveals how people can learn to be happy. His research and publication experience includes topics such as servant leadership, transformation as adults, and lasting change. McKay has a heartfelt passion for helping others reach their full potential. He currently teaches graduate school courses at Idaho State University.

McKay was born on Luke Air Force base and was the son of a fighter pilot. At the age of 15, McKay was crushed by a 14-ton harvester in a farming accident which left him with a broken leg and back, crushed pelvis, collapsed lung, and a dozen other broken bones. McKay spent months recovering. McKay went on to compete in athletics, and today he is an avid runner, has completed 46 marathons (including the Boston Marathon twice) and half marathons. His goal is to complete 100 before he is 55 years of age. As a young man, living in the Rocky Mountains, he learned to fly fish. Even today, he still loves to escape to the South Fork of the Snake River for a day of fishing. McKay speaks Japanese and has lived and worked in Japan. He and his wife, Jennifer, are the parents of five children.

Coming Together

Jake and McKay met while making a presentation together in 2010. As they talked, McKay learned of Jake's remarkable past and was amazed at the wisdom Jake possessed as a 12-year-old boy. As McKay got to know Jake's sister, Emma, and Jake's parents, he knew the world needed to hear Jake's story and how faith can open your eyes to a happier life as it had for the Olson family.

As they spent time talking about their beliefs and desire to help people, Jake learned about McKay's research and passion for helping others find happiness, and the idea for Open Your Eyes to a Happier Life was born. McKay and Jake couldn't be more different: one a business executive and the other a blind high school student. Yet, their vision for changing the world is the same.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Food For Thought: The Misappropriation of Our Freedoms.........

Food For Thought: The Misappropriation of Our Freedoms

Today, the ruling triumvirate consisting of the military-industrial complex, global bankers, and governments have misappropriated nearly every pillar of society from religion to politics, education, news media, banking & money, and the legal system in order to subjugate nations, destroy freedoms and control the mob rather than being used to liberate, inspire and provide function and utility to society as they should.

Without understanding how those in power have misappropriated the pillars that serve as the foundation of every modern society, one will never be able to understand what are the end goals of the banking class that is deliberately inflating massive real estate bubbles in Asia and massive stock market bubbles in the Western world.

The ominous truth facing most of the developed and much of the emerging world today is: "when the entitled elect themselves, the party accelerates, and a brutal hangover is inevitable."

Without further ado, I present to you below, "The Age of Deceit: The Misappropriation of Freedom"

SEE, "The Age of Deceit: The Misappropriation of Freedom" AT THE LINK BELOW;


Iraq is on the brink of plunging back into the brutal Sunni-Shiite sectarian war that plagued it years ago..............


Iraq is on the brink of plunging back into the brutal Sunni-Shiite sectarian war that plagued it years ago.

This chart for the rest of 2013 from Reuters shows the trend getting worse at an alarming rate:




Thursday, November 28, 2013



Rams center Scott Wells and his wife overcame tragedy and are now raising six kids, including three adopted children from Uganda.

"It may not be everyone's normal. But we're going to make it our normal."


Rams center Scott Wells doubled his family size when he and his wife adopted three Ugandan siblings.

Scott Wells was hardly the first player -- nor will he be the last -- to request to be allowed to sit out an NFL preseason game. But his circumstances were unique. Late last summer, the St. Louis Rams' new starting center approached coach Jeff Fisher and explained his situation. On Aug. 18, the night the Rams were supposed to play Kansas City, Wells' wife, Julie, was returning from a trip to Uganda. They hadn't seen each other in more than three months. And she was flying back with the family's three new roster additions: two sons and a daughter. Could he leave to greet them?

Absolutely, said Fisher. And so as the Rams were winning their first game of the season, Wells, a 300-pound NFL leviathan, was losing it. As a knot of friends and family members looked on and cheered, he stood in the Nashville airport, bear-hugging his wife, and their brood of children that had suddenly doubled in number.

Here's a feel-good Thanksgiving story that begins on Thanksgiving Day in 2005. At the time, Wells was lining up in front of Brett Favre, as the starting center for the Green Bay Packers. A seventh-round pick who'd been cut as a rookie, Wells was happy to have steady work. His wife, Julie -- a high school sweetheart he had married after their sophomore year at the University of Tennessee -- was pregnant with their twin boys, Deacon and Maddox.

She had been sick throughout the pregnancy and sometimes became so dehydrated that she required IVs. And, strangely, she hadn't gained any weight. At 20 weeks, Julie started to experience contractions; then her water broke. Doctors warned that the babies' lungs wouldn't be sufficiently developed to survive outside the womb. Both boys died shortly after birth.

Scott and Julie held their bodies for two hours before handing them back to the nurses. The day after Thanksgiving, Julie was discharged from the hospital. She and Scott headed home to grieve and to explain to their son Jackson, then 2, why his two baby brothers weren't there.

A few days later, the Wellses held a small memorial service. Having decided that the babies should be cremated, they kept the ashes in a small baby block, next to framed footprints of the kids. Scott and Julie each got tattoos with the boys' names. More than ever, they were hell bent on having a large family.

They began thinking about adoption, but a daughter, Lola, followed a year later. Then a son, Kingston. Both were born within a few weeks of Thanksgiving. But why stop there? At their off-season home in Nashville, both Scott and Julie noticed that at the Presbyterian academy where the kids went to school, a striking number of families had adopted children. Scott is the son, grandson, and brother of a preacher -- "We all work Sundays; I just do something different," he says -- and he "took it as a sign."

They looked at a number of options for adoption, but settled on trying to find two children in Uganda under the age of three. A desperately poor country with a staggering rate of HIV and other disease, mired in corruption -- the legacy of Idi Amin's brutal regime -- Uganda was not included among the countries that ratified or follow the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.

Wells knew that meant that the process was likely going to be something other than smooth. On the other hand, it also meant that orphans there were particularly unlikely to be adopted.

As Scott, a history major at Tennessee, busied himself reading about Uganda, the family received a call from their adoption agency. Two boys, both of them two years old, had been pinpointed for a match. Julie and Scott scrambled to arrange childcare for Jackson, Lola and Kingston; get immunized; and purchase plane tickets. The agency called again. One of the boys, it turned out, had a five-year-old sister. Would they consider adopting her, too? "We weren't going to split up [the siblings]. We already knew there was a huge orphans crisis. Our daughter wanted a sister. Again, this is where God was leading us," says Scott. "And, by this point, what's the difference between five kids or six? You're playing zone defense anyway."

Before last year, Wells had never crossed an ocean, his only international travel consisting of vacations in Mexico and the Caribbean. Last February, at age 31, he had taken the longest flight of his life when he flew to Hawaii and play in the Pro Bowl for the first time. This trip in the opposite direction would be longer and decidedly less luxurious. After landing in Kampala, Uganda's capital, he and Julie rode for two hours to Jinja, site of the orphanage. They stayed in a "guest house," dorm-style accommodations. There were nets over the beds, occasional electricity and hot water every five days or so. The Rams had armed Wells with an FBI file on Uganda, but hadn't mentioned much of this.

On the first day in Jinja, Scott and Julie went to the orphanage to met the three children, 2-year-old R.J., Elijah, 3, and Caroline, 4. If this striking white woman and her husband -- a bald-headed mountain of a man, with a red beard not far from Brett Keisel territory, and an array of tattoos -- didn't look like any other adults they'd ever seen, it didn't much matter. "You take it in, you look at these children," says Julie, "and it's like, 'This is real, this is happening.'"

Then their true adventure began. They had been warned in advance that the process was going to be a test of faith and patience. It was. "You have a court date and they say, 'Come back in two hours.' You come back in two hours and they say, 'Come back in three.' In three hours they say to come back tomorrow. Tomorrow becomes next week. And they hold the cards. You smile and you don't say anything."

The agency the Wells used, unlike others, refused to pay bribes to officials. Which was a net good, but prolonged the process. And Wells' status as a professional athlete didn't exactly grease the skids either. When the couple finally appeared before a judge, he looked at Scott, confused. "If you play football, how do you run with all that weight? You're too fat." Wells explained that football meant American football, not soccer. "I'm not paid to run. I'm paid to hit. Never mind."

Another complication: Scott had recently visited Dr. James Andrews, the renowned sports surgeon, for a procedure on his knee. (Fearing infection, doctors advised him not to travel to Uganda until his sutures had healed.) Armed with thera-bands and a physio balls and suspension training system, he rehabbed at the guest house. There was no ice, though, so he cut his sessions short at the first sign of swelling. By night, he familiarized himself with the Rams' playbook on his iPad.

After four weeks, Scott and Julie had legal custody of the three kids in Uganda, but had no visas for them. Their three biological children had been with one of their grandmothers for a month. And Rams training camp was about to start, so Scott had to go back.

Julie had a choice: she could return to the U.S. with her husband -- which would mean leaving three kids for whom she had legal custody. Or she could continuing fighting -- by herself, in the middle of Africa. She chose the second option. A world away from her family, she filled out form after form, endured the false starts, shuttled between the courthouse and the orphanage countless times. Meanwhile, Scott leased a 12-seat suite at the Edward Jones Dome so the whole family could watch him on game day.

Finally, after nearly 10 weeks in Uganda, Julie ("The real superhero of the story," says Scott) received the visas. When the whole family finally met in Nashville, Jackson, now big brother to five, was the first to break down. Everyone else followed. Says Julie: "I learned that you can do more than you think you can. You're stronger than you think you are. And you're willing to do anything for your kids -- whether they came from your body or not."


As if the wildest year of his life needed another twist, Wells' season with the Rams has been awash in frustration. In the first game, a loss to the Lions, he broke a bone in his left foot. He hasn't played since, though he is expected to return Sunday at Arizona. A young team in the throes of rebuilding, the Rams are 3-6-1 and haven't won since September. It's a long way from Green Bay, where Wells was the center -- literally and gravitationally -- of a team contending for the Super Bowl.

But the real adjustment has come at home. During the season, the family lives in a sprawling suburban McMansion, halfway between the Rams' practice facility and the Edward Jones Dome. In the off-season they'll live in Nashville. "Welcome to the circus," Wells says, as he greeted a visitor over the symphony of kids wrestling in the family room. "Organized chaos," is Julie's characterization.

There are allegiances that change daily, colds that get passed around, and endless constellations of teacher conferences, doctors appointments and games. Caroline and Eli are transitioning from Luganda, their native dialect, to English. Putting three, 3-year-old boys to sleep in the same bedroom is an extended nightly challenge. This fall, all six kids are being home-schooled.

Scott and Julie are learning as they go. It's not easy finding a vehicle smaller than a school bus that accommodate six kids, five of them in car seats. A dinner reservation for eight means that the tip is often included in the bill, a nuance that took Scott a few meals to realize. If Target and Costco had loyalty rewards programs, the Wells family would get upgrades for life.

On Thursday, the extended clan will sit down for their first holiday meal as an octet. As always, the memories of Deacon and Maddox -- in many ways, the catalysts for all this -- will figure prominently. "Thanksgiving is always such an emotional time of year for us. We've been on both sides. We've experienced the extreme pain with the loss of the twins and the extreme joy," says Scott.

On a crisp, fall afternoon last Tuesday, Scott resembled a coach surveying the practice field as he took inventory of the six kids in the backyard. Eli needed a nap. Jackson was playing on the putting green, javelining sticks. Caroline was buried under a pile of leaves. Lola was thirsty. Kingston and R.J. were kicking a soccer ball into a plastic net.

Looking at this six-pack of kids -- different ages, genders, shades and dispositions -- Wells smiled and shook his head. "We try to keep it as normal as possible. It may not be everyone's normal. But we're going to make it our normal."



Boston Market CEO George Michel will celebrate this year's Thanksgiving from behind the counter of a Manhattan restaurant.

Over the next two days, the restaurant chain known for its rotisserie chicken will prepare and sell a jaw-dropping amount of food to more than 1 million people. In 2012, Thanksgiving sales included 36,000 whole turkeys, 10,000 hams, 3 million pounds of mashed potatoes, 735,000 pounds of stuffing, and 360,000 gallons of gravy.

Throughout the rush, Michel will don a staff uniform to work at the chain's location on 10th Avenue. The company has already hired extra workers and extended some employees' hours for the two-day stretch, but Michel says helping out is a tradition and a way of leading by example. Last year he assisted in Miami, and the year before that in San Francisco.

"I'm in the field a lot, and I spend a lot of time in our restaurants," explains the CEO, who began his career as a kitchen helper at A&W in 1971. "That's where I started, and that's where I feel very comfortable."

Whenever he travels to Boston Market locations, Michel says he is careful to listen to feedback from restaurant staff. The people who do the day-to-day work are the ones who know best how to improve things, he says, just like he had suggestions for A&W when he was in a similar service role.

As CEO, Michel adds that it's his responsibility to make sure employees feel comfortable sharing that valuable feedback with higher-ups. "My job is to remove the stumbling blocks," he says.



75 Years Ago, This British Stockbroker Saved 669 Children From Nazi Death Camps

On Dec. 3, 1938, a British stockbroker made the impromptu decision to cancel his skiing vacation and join a friend in Prague, who had desperately asked for his help. The decision changed his life and saved the lives of 669 people in the process.

Nicholas Winton, now 104 years-old, joined his friend Martin Blake in Czechoslovakia to help refugees created by the German annexation of the Sudentenland.  CONTINUES BELOW THE PICTURE

Sir Nicholas Winton (C) poses in front of the Winton train at Liverpool Street station in central London.

Winton was of German Jewish ancestry and had heard of the violence against Jewish communities in Germany and Austria, especially the infamous Kristellnacht. After hearing about the Kinderstransport, an effort of British Jewish agencies to bring 10,000 Jewish children to Great Britain, Winton knew he had to arrange a similar operation in Czechoslovakia.

Winton explained how the operation got started in The Power Of Good: Nicholas Winton, a documentary on his efforts:

"I found out that the children of refugees and other groups of people who were enemies of Hitler weren't being looked after. I decided to try to get permits to Britain for them. I found out that the conditions which were laid down for bringing in a child were chiefly that you had a family that was willing and able to look after the child, and £50, which was quite a large sum of money in those days, that was to be deposited at the Home Office. The situation was heartbreaking. Many of the refugees hadn't the price of a meal. Some of the mothers tried desperately to get money to buy food for themselves and their children. The parents desperately wanted at least to get their children to safety when they couldn't manage to get visas for the whole family. I began to realize what suffering there is when armies start to march."

Winton set up his rescue operation at his hotel in Prague, taking applications from parents and registering the children. The response was huge, with thousands of parents lining up.

Surprisingly, Winton recieved little resistance from the Nazis on his effort to move the children out of the country.

"We were getting rid of those people Hitler wanted to get rid of," Winton told ABC News in 2008. "I mean, you even had the Gestapo at Wilson Station helping the children onto the trains."

After a few weeks, Winton left Trevor Chadwick in charge of the Prague operation and returned to London to negotiate where the children would go. Only Great Britain and Sweden agreed to take the children.  

Original legal documents are held by one of the so-called "Winton's children."

Original legal documents for entry into Great Britain are held by one of the so-called "Winton's children."

To get foster families willing to pay the £50 fee for each child, Winton advertised in newspapers, churches, and synagogues with pictures of the children. The effort worked.

The last train of children left Prague on August 22, 1939. By the time it was all said and done, he had saved 669 children.

His greatest regret is that he could not save more. There was to be another train of children on September 1st, but Hitler's Germany invaded Poland that day. All borders were closed. The children were never heard from again.

Winton never told anyone of his mission, not even his wife, Grete. 50 years later, in 1988, his wife found a scrapbook with photos, documents, and the list of children. She brought it to a Holocaust historian, who arranged for Winton's story to appear on BBC's That's Life. Unbeknownst to him, the audience at the taping was filled with his "children."

You can see his emotional reaction here;

During an interview in 2008, Winton told a Slovakian teenager his philosophy on life: "You need to be prepared always to help other people if there is an opportunity to do so."

"Winton's children," as they are called, have gone onto extraordinary lives. 

Here are just a few:

Karel Reisz, film director of The French Lieutenant's Woman, Isadora and Sweet Dreams

Joe Schlesinger, journalist and news correspondent for Canadian Broadcasting Company

Lord Alfred Dubs, a former minister in the cabinet of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair

Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines, a patron of the arts whose father, Rudolf Fleischmann, saved Thomas Mann from the Nazis

Dagmar Símová, a cousin of the former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright

Tom Schrecker, a Reader's Digest manager

Hugo Marom, a famous aviation consultant and a founder of the Israeli Air Force

Vera Gissing, the author of Pearls of Childhood and coauthor of Nicholas Winton And The Rescued Generation

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird, and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!

Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, - a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.  

Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace, the celebration of work and the simple life... a true folk-festival that speaks the poetry of the turn of the seasons, the beauty of seedtime and harvest, the ripe product of the year - and the deep, deep connection of all these things with God.


Ben's Rocket To Nowhere

Just as many expect that the #1 buyer of Treasuries (the Fed) will soon begin paring back its purchases, the top foreign holder (China) may cease buying, thereby opening a second front in the taper campaign. Little thought seems to be given to how the economy would react to 5% yields on 10 year Treasuries (a modest number in historical standards). The herd assumes that our stronger economy could handle such levels. That is why when it comes to tapering, the Fed is all bark and no bite. But the market understands none of this. This is not unusual in market history. When the spell is finally broken and markets wake up to reality, we will scratch our heads and wonder how we could ever have been so misguided.

Godot Never Shows Up

This isn't going to just "get better" on its own over time. This really is, as Mohamed El-Erian of PIMCO would call it, the New Normal. And if you're Jeremy Grantham or anyone for whom a stock has meaning as a fractional ownership stake in a real-world company rather than as a casino chip that gives you "market exposure" … well, that's really bad news...  Just don't kid yourself into thinking that your deep dive into the value fundamentals of some large-cap bank has any predictive value whatsoever for the bank's stock price, or that a return to the happy days of yesteryear is just around the corner. It doesn't and it's not, and even if you're making money you're going to be miserable and ornery while you wait nostalgically for what you do and what you're good at to matter again.

Madness... And Sanity

Valuations still matter. Assuming that one is 'investing' as opposed to 'speculating', initial valuation (i.e. the price you pay for the investment) remains the single most important characteristic of whatever one elects to buy. And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, "initial valuation" in the US stock market is at a level consistent with very disappointing subsequent returns, if the history of the last 130 years is any guide. Without fail, every time the US market has traded on a cyclically-adjusted P/E (CAPE) ratio of 24 or higher over the past 130 years, it has been followed by a roughly 20 year bear market... 

Institutional Investor Housing Purchases Plummet Nationwide

In today's housing data, we present perhaps the most authoritative report on what is actually going on in the market, that by RealtyTrac. What RealtyTrac has to say is in direct contradiction with both the Permits and Case-Shiller data, both of which are now openly reliant on yield-starved institutional investors dumping cash into current or future rental properties. In fact it's worse, because if RealtyTrac is accurate, the great institutional scramble for any housing is now over - to wit: "Cash Sales Pull Back From Previous Month, Still Represent 44 Percent of Total Sales Institutional Investor Purchases Plummet Nationwide...  Institutional investor purchases represented 6.8 percent of all sales in October, a sharp drop from a revised 12.1 percent in September and down from 9.7 percent a year ago. Markets with the highest percentage of institutional investor purchases included Memphis (25.4 percent), Atlanta (23.0 percent), Jacksonville, Fla., (22.2 percent), Charlotte (14.5 percent), and Milwaukee (12.0 percent)." And plunging.

68% Of Americans Believe The Country Is On The Wrong Track

Are you deeply concerned about the future of America? Is something in your gut telling you that our system is fundamentally broken and that the mainstream media is not telling you the truth about what is happening?  If so, you are definitely not alone. Right now, there are millions upon millions of Americans that are absolutely horrified as they watch this nation deteriorate. In fact, according to an analysis of recent polling data conducted by Real Clear Politics, approximately 68 percent of all Americans believe that the country is on the wrong track and only 23.5 percent of all Americans believe that the country is on the right track.


Economics should not not try to effect human behavior, but to explain it. It does, however understand how incentives and disincentives affect behavior. All political visions involve the improvement of man and/or society by changing the nature of man. Social planners want to "improve" and "perfect" matters according to their ideas of what these terms imply. Little commonality exists regarding utopian visions. One commonality between these utopian ideas does exist — the universal failure of all such schemes. There is no better way to understand the wisdom "the perfect is the enemy of the good" than to study the historical wreckage that has resulted from trying to "perfect" society.

SocGen Predicts Europe's Lost Decade Will Last Until 2018

Summer optimism on euro area recovery has faded to grey winter skies. Looking ahead we see continue weak growth in the region with a very gradual recovery only. For the 2014 to 2018, we expect GDP per capita to be essentially flat, marking a lost decade of growth for the region. We blame much of this weak performance on a slow policy response in tackling both the sovereign and banking crisis, and the still too slow pace of structural reform. The fear is now that the euro area is on the verge of deflation.

Israel Launches Largest Ever Air Force "Exercise" The Day After Iran Deal

We are sure it was all planned a long time ago but the irony is not lost on us. A day after the US pisses the Israelis off with a sorta kinda deal with Iran, for the first time in Israel's history, the Israel Air Force launched the "Blue Flag" training exercise– an international air force exercise with participation by the US, Italian and Greek air forces.


"Suicides rose by 17% between 2007 and 2009 and to 25% in 2010, according to unofficial 2010 data. The Minister of Health reported a further 40% rise in the first half of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010. Suicide attempts have also increased, particularly among people reporting economic distress. Homicide and theft rates have doubled. HIV rates and heroin use have risen significantly, with about half of new HIV infections being self-inflicted to enable people to receive benefits of €700 per month and faster admission on to drug-substitution programmes. Prostitution has also risen, probably as a response to economic hardship. Health care access has declined as hospital budgets have been cut by about 40% and it is estimated that 26 000 public health workers (9100 doctors) will lose their jobs. Further cuts are expected as a result of recent negotiations with the IMF and European Central Bank."

'Still' No Bubble Here According To The Bulls......SADLY THEY ARE WRONG!

'Still' No Bubble Here According To The Bulls

Even the most ardent of bulls would 'admit' that the period of the last 90s was a bubble in US equities. What started at the margin quickly morphed into a euphoric valuation for any and everything that could be pitched. Even The Fed's Jim Bullard 'knew' there was a bubble back then... Today's recovery of the NASDAQ to 4,000 - levels not seen since this period - is quickly dismissed by those that need things to go higher on the basis of earnings, multiples, or some such forward-looking hope-based methodology that reinforces their bias. 

However,Tobin's Q - among the longest-lived and most well-respected of longer-term valuation methodologies has just reached levels only ever seen during the 1999/2000 bubble. 

The Q Ratio is a popular method of estimating the fair value of the stock market developed by Nobel Laureate James Tobin. It's a fairly simple concept, but laborious to calculate. The Q Ratio is the total price of the market divided by the replacement cost of all its companies. Fortunately, the government does the work of accumulating the data for the calculation. The numbers are supplied in the Federal Reserve Z.1 Financial Accounts of the United States of the United States, which is released quarterly.



It might have been the Republican shutdown (according to one person at the White House, at least). It might have been the fault of the Syrian leader Bachar Al-Assad gassing his people with chemical weapons. It might have been the National Security Agency that listened in on our conversations and tapped our mails, while intercepting our calls. It might (or probably not) be the President of the USA that never knew about any of this (or all of it at the same time). 

But, when it boils down to it, it was and always will be Barack Obama. He was the man at the top. He might be the puppet stroke muppet (fill in the blanks as you will, cross the i's and dot the t's), but he will be the person that has to pay the price for what the country has got itself into and won't be in a position to dig itself out of......we will all pay a very dear price.

Obama Isn't Liked

There are a growing number of Americans today that consider he is not 
fit for the job.

A new poll that was carried out by CNN/ORC and released today shows that;

He is not honest and trustworthy either according to 53% of the people polled. Today, many people are starting to question the integrity and honesty of the most-powerful man on the planet.

Since June the President has lost 12% regarding his ability to govern the country. He's now at just 40% that believe he is able to do so.

That means that 60% of those polled believed that he was inadequate at the head of the state.

56% did not admire President Obama. 

53% of the people polled believed that he was not a strong leader and that he did not make tough 
decisions well.

53% believed that he did not inspire confidence.

68% Of Americans Believe The Country Is On The Wrong Track

Are you deeply concerned about the future of America? Is something in your gut telling you that our system is fundamentally broken and that the mainstream media is not telling you the truth about what is happening?  If so, you are definitely not alone. Right now, there are millions upon millions of Americans that are absolutely horrified as they watch this nation deteriorate. In fact, according to an analysis of recent polling data conducted by Real Clear Politics, approximately 68 percent of all Americans believe that the country is on the wrong track and only 23.5 percent of all Americans believe that the country is on the right track.

With the mights and may-have's that are flying around there are times when people (read: 'citizens, taxpayers and voters') must make a decision and do away with wishy-washy wherewithal sit-on-the-fence politics. Take a stance. I WOULD NOT HOLD MY BREATH! HOW ARE IGNORANT, UNINFORMED PEOPLE THAT JUST WANT TO GO SHOPPING AND WATCH REALITY TV SUPPOSED TO MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION ABOUT WHO SHOULD LEAD US? MOST CAN'T AND THIS IS ONLY GETTING WORSE WITH EACH ELECTION CYCLE.




Tuesday, November 26, 2013

We The Sheeple........DO NOT MISS THIS ARTICLE!

We The Sheeple

It is often said there only two kinds of people in this world: those who know, and those who don't. I would expand on this and say that there are actually three kinds of people: those who know, those who don't know, and those who don't care to know. 

Members of the last group are the kind of people I would characterize as "sheeple."

Sheeple are members of a culture or society who are not necessarily oblivious to the reality of their surroundings; they may have been exposed to valuable truths on numerous occasions. However, when confronted with facts contrary to their conditioned viewpoint, they become aggressive and antagonistic in their behavior, seeking to dismiss and attack the truth by attacking the messenger and denying reason.  

Sheeple exist on both sides of America's false political paradigm, and they exist in all social "classes".  In fact, the "professional class" and the hierarchy of academia are rampant breeding grounds for sheeple; who I sometimes refer to as "intellectual idiots".  Doctors and lawyers, scientists and politicians are all just as prone to the sheeple plague as anyone else; the only difference is that they have a bureaucratic apparatus behind them which gives them a false sense of importance.  All they have to do is tow the establishment line, and promote the establishment view.

Of course the common argument made by sheeple is that EVERYONE thinks everyone else is blind to the truth, which in their minds, somehow vindicates their behavior.  However, the characteristic that absolutely defines a sheeple is not necessarily a lack of knowledge, but an unwillingness to consider or embrace obvious logic or truth in order to protect their egos and biases from harm.  A sheeple's mindset is driven by self centered motives.

So-called mainstream media outlets go out of their way to reinforce this aggressive mindset by establishing the illusion that sheeple are the "majority" and that the majority perception (which has been constructed by the MSM) is the only correct perception.

Many liberty movement activists have noted recently that there has been a surge in media propaganda aimed at painting the survival, preparedness and liberty cultures as "fringe," "reactionary," "extremist," "conspiracy-minded," etc.  Rarely do they give focus to the logical arguments regarding why their subjects become preppers, nor do they normally choose subjects who can explain as much in a coherent manner. This is a very similar tactic used by the establishment media at large-scale protests; they generally attempt to interview the least-eloquent and easiest-to-ridicule person present and make that person a momentary mascot for the entire group and the philosophy they hold dear.

The goal is to give sheeple comfort that they are "normal" and that anyone who steps outside the bounds of the mainstream is "abnormal" and a welcome target for the collective.

It would appear that the life of a sheeple is a life of relative bliss. The whole of the establishment machine seems engineered to make them happy and the rest of us miserable. But is a sheeple's existence the ideal? Are they actually happy in their ignorance? Are they truly safe within the confines of the system? Here a just a few reasons why you should feel sorry for them.

Sheeple Are Nothing Without The Collective

A sheeple gathers his entire identity from the group. He acts the way he believes the group wants him to act. He thinks the way he believes the group wants him to think. All of his "ideas" are notions pre-approved by the mainstream. All of his arguments and talking points are positions he heard from the media, or academia, and he has never formed an original opinion in his life. Without the group telling him what to do, the average sheeple is lost and disoriented. When cast into a crisis situation requiring individual initiative, he panics or becomes apathetic, waiting for the system to come and save him rather than taking care of himself. Sheeple are so dependent on others for every aspect of their personality and their survival that when faced with disaster, they are the most likely people to curl up and die.

Sheeple Crave Constant Approval From Others

Sheeple are not only reliant on the collective for their identity and their survival; they also need a steady supplement of approval from others in order to function day to day. When a sheeple leaves his home, he is worried about how his appearance is perceived, how his attitude is perceived, how his lifestyle is perceived and how his opinions are perceived. Everything he does from the moment his day begins revolves around ensuring that the collective approves of him. Even his acts of "rebellion" are often merely approved forms of superficial "individualism" reliant on style rather than substance. This approval becomes a kind of emotional drug to which the sheeple is addicted. He will never make waves among the herd or stand out against any aspect of the herd worldview, because their approval sustains and cements his very existence. To take collective approval away from him would be like cutting off a heroin junky's supplier. To be shunned by the group would destroy him psychologically.

Sheeple Are Incapable Of Original Creativity

Because sheeple spend most of their waking moments trying to appease the collective, they rarely, if ever, have the energy or inclination to create something of their own. 

Sheeple do not make astonishing works of art. 

They do not achieve scientific discovery. 

They do not make history through philosophical or ideological innovation.  

Instead, they regurgitate the words of others and hijack ideas from greater minds.  They remain constant spectators in life, watching change from the bleachers, caught in the tides of time and tossed about like congealed satellites of Pacific Ocean garbage from the after-wash of a massive tsunami. The destiny of the common sheeple is entirely determined by the outcome of wars and restorations waged by small groups of aware individuals — some of them good, some of them evil.

Sheeple Have No Passion

If you draw all of your beliefs from what the collective deems acceptable, then it is difficult, if not impossible, to become legitimately passionate about them. Sheeple have little to no personal connection to their ideals or principles; so they become mutable, empty and uninspired. They tend to turn toward cynicism as a way to compensate, making fun of everything, especially those who ARE passionate about something. 

The only ideal that they will fight for is the collective itself, because who they are is so intertwined with the survival of the system. 

To threaten the concept of the collective is to threaten the sheeple's existence by extension.

Sheeple Are Useless

The average sheeple does not learn how to be self-reliant because it is considered "abnormal" by the mainstream to be self-reliant. The collective and the state are the provider. They are mother and father. Sheeple have full faith that the system will protect them from any and all harm. When violence erupts, they cower and hide instead of defending themselves and others. When large-scale catastrophe strikes, they either sit idle waiting for the state to save them or they join yet another irrational mob. They do not take proactive measures, because they never felt the need to learn how.

Consider this: Why do the mainstream and the people subject to it care if others prepare for disaster or end their dependency on the establishment? Why are they so desperate to attack those of us who find our own path? If the system is so effective and the collective so correct in its methodology, then individualists are hurting only themselves by walking away, right? 

But for the sheeple, successfully self-reliant individuals become a constant reminder of their own inadequacies. They feel that if they cannot survive without the system, NO ONE can survive without the system; and they will make sure that individualists never prove otherwise. "You didn't build that" becomes the sheeple motto, as they scratch and scrape like spoiled children, trying to dismantle the momentum of independent movements and ventures in non-participation.

Sheeple Are Easily Forgotten

To live a life of endless acceptance is to live a life of meaningless obscurity. When one arrives at his deathbed, does he want to reflect on all of his regrets or all of his accomplishments? Most of us would rather find joy than sadness when looking back over our past. For sheeple, though, this will not be possible — for what have they ever done besides conform? What will they have left behind except a world worse off than when they were born? What will they have accomplished, but more pain and struggle for future generations? In the end, what have their lives really been worth?

I cannot imagine a torture more vicious and terrifying than to realize in the face of one's final days that one wasted his entire life trying to please the plethora of idiots around him, instead of educating them and himself and molding tomorrow for the better. 

I cannot imagine a punishment more severe than to spend the majority of one's years as a slave without even knowing it. I cannot imagine an existence more deserving of pity and remorse than that of the sheeple.

The motivation behind the current narrative put forth by our government, the mainstream media and the Fed,that things are fixed and that we are recovering,is misunderstood for the complete lie that it is,simply because it would destroy the very foundations of the fantasy land in which the majority of Americans live. IT IS NOT HOPE OR OPTIMISM,IT IS COMPLETE IGNORANCE.


Gold Has Beat Stocks Since 1967, Except During the Tech Bubble.......DON'T MISS THIS ARTICLE!

Gold Has Beat Stocks Since 1967, Except During the Tech Bubble

Warren Buffett 
constantly gripes that, Gold doesn't do anything "but look at you." It doesn't pay a dividend or produce cash flow.

However, the fact of the matter is that Gold has dramatically outperformed the stock market for the better part of the past 
45 years.

I say 45 years because there is no point comparing Gold to stocks during periods in which Gold was pegged to world currencies. Most of the analysis compares the benefits of owning Gold to stocks goes back to the early 20th century.

However Gold was pegged to global currencies up until 1967. Stocks weren't. Comparing the two during this time period is just bad analysis.

However, once the Gold peg officially ended with France dropping it in 1967, the precious metal has outperformed both the Dow and the S&P 500 by a massive margin. IN OTHER WORDS YOUR STOCKBROKER IS NOT ONLY FULL OF SHIT HE OR SHE IS BLIND TO THE TRUTH,
See for yourself… the chart below 
is in normalized terms ;

Gold has risen 37.43 fold since 1967. That is more than twice the performance of the Dow over the same time period (18.45 fold). 

So much for the claim that stocks are a better investment than Gold long-term.

Indeed, once Gold was no longer pegged to world currencies there was only a single period in which stocks outperformed the precious metal. That period was from 1997-2000 during the height of the Tech Bubble (the single biggest stock market bubble in over 100 years).

In simple terms, as a long-term investment, Gold has arguably been the single best passive investment of the last 45+ years.

Moreover, I think there is considerable value in Gold today as an investment. 

If we look at Gold as trading at a discount to its intrinsic value), we must first consider Gold's intrinsic value. 

Many investors argue that Gold has no intrinsic value. I disagree with this assessment as it does not consider the nature of the financial system.

Let's compare Gold to the US Dollar.

Every asset in the financial system trades based on relative value. Ultimately, this value is denominated in US Dollars because the Dollar is the reserve currency of the world.

However, even the US Dollar itself trades based on relative value. Remember the Dollar is merely a sheet of linen and cotton that is printed by the Fed and is backed by the full faith and credit of the Unites States.

In this sense, the Dollar's value is derived from the confidence investors have 
that the US will honor its debts. GOLD IS THE ANTITHESIS OF THIS!

A second item to consider is the fact that the Dollar's value today also derived from the Fed's money printing. Indeed, a Dollar today, is worth only 5% of a Dollar's value from the early 20th century because the Fed has debased the currency. AND IS NOW DOING SO AT THE FASTEST / HIGHEST RATE EVER!

As a result of this the world has adjusted to this change in relative "value" resulting in a Dollar buying less today than it did 100 years ago. AND SO STOCKS DENOMINATED IN DOLLARS TRADING AT NOSEBLEED LEVELS ARE NOTHING BUT AN ILLUSION TO PLACATE THE MASSES!

In this sense, Gold's value is derived from investors' faith or lack of faith
in the Financial System (ultimately backstopped by the Dollar) and the Fed's actions.

Gold also moves based on investors' confidence in the system. If investors' are afraid that the system is under duress (meaning that they have little confidence in the Dollar-based financial system) then they perceive Gold has having a higher value.

Similarly, if the Fed prints Dollars by the billions, Gold is perceived as having a higher value relative to the Dollar. UNLESS THE POWERS THAT BE ALSO MANIPULATE THE PRICE OF GOLD IN THE SHORT TERM, WHICH THEY CLEARLY HAVE DONE AND ARE DOING.

Thus, Gold does not have any less intrinsic value than the US Dollar does. In that regard we can price it relative to the Fed's actions and to the fear of systemic risk to get an assessment of its true value.

With that in mind, today Gold is clearly undervalued relative the Federal Reserve's balance sheet.

Since the Crash hit in 2008, the price of Gold has been very closely correlated to the Fed's balance sheet expansion. Put another way, the more money the Fed printed, the higher the price of Gold went.

Gold did become overextended relative to the Fed's balance sheet in 2011. However, with the Fed now printing some $85 billion per month, the precious metal is now significantly undervalued relative to the Fed's balance sheet.

Indeed, for Gold to realign based on the Fed's actions, it would need to be north of $1,800. That's a full 30% higher than where it trades today. Eventually this relationship will normalize. Gold is clearly being manipulated lower.

The Dollar is Dying..........A MUST READ!

The Dollar is Dying

Since 2006, the US dollar has experienced a one-quarter to one-third drop in value to the Chinese yuan, depending on the choice of base.

Now China is going to let the dollar decline further in value. China also says it is considering undermining the petrodollar by pricing oil futures on the Shanghai Futures Exchange in yuan.

This is on top of the growing avoidance of the dollar to settle trade imbalances means that the dollar's role as reserve currency is coming to an end, which means the termination of the US as financial bully and financial imperialist. This blow to the dollar in addition to the blows delivered by jobs offshoring and the uncovered bets in the gambling casino created by financial deregulation means that the US economy as we knew it is coming to an end.

The US economy is already in shambles, with bond and stock markets propped up by massive and historically unprecedented Fed money printing pouring liquidity into financial asset prices. This month at the IMF annual conference, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers said that to achieve full employment in the US economy would require negative real interest rates. Negative real interest rates could only be achieved by eliminating cash, moving to digital money that can only be kept in banks, and penalizing people for saving.

The future is developing precisely as I have been predicting.

As the dollar enters its death throes, the lawless Federal Reserve and the Wall Street criminals will increase their shorting of gold in the paper futures market, thereby driving the remnants of the West's gold into Asian hands.

Hedge Funds Have Been Getting Smoked This Year....

Hedge Funds Have Been Getting Smoked This Year

Through Q3 of this year, hedge funds on average have returned a measly 6% year-to-date.

This is according to Goldman Sachs latest Hedge Fund Trend Monitor report, which examines the performance of 783 hedge funds with $1.7 trillion of gross equity positions.

This year's hedge fund returns compare with a 25.3% gain in the S&P 500. Even mutual funds returned 24.8%.


hedge funds

Monday, November 25, 2013

Two Straight Weeks Of Stock Market Euphoria Raises Deep Concern...........A MUST READ!

Two Straight Weeks Of Stock Market Euphoria Raises Deep Concern

One of the more reliable indicators of stock market sentiment is Citi's proprietary Panic/Euphoria model.

"This week's Panic/Euphoria reading was 0.52; versus last week's revised number of 0.49, which points to two weeks in a row of euphoric signals, matched by increased money flows," said Citi's Tobias Levkovich in a note to clients on Friday.

This is a contrarian indicator, which means euphoria is a bad sign for things to come.

"Euphoria readings indicate the market may retreat with an 83% historical probability of losses in the next 12 months," added Levkovich.

Most measures of sentiment rely on surveys of investors. However, Citi's Panic/Euphoria model relies heavily on market based measures that are believed to reflect sentiment. Components of the model include NYSE short interest ratio, margin debt, retail money funds, the put/call ratio, gasoline prices and the ratio of price premiums in puts versus calls"

"Euphoric sentiment raises deep concern."

citi panic euphoria

Only 20% Of Economic Expansions In History Have Lasted Longer...........ANOTHER PESKY FACT!

Only 20% Of Economic Expansions In History Have Lasted Longer

With the duration of the current bull market now the 4th longest in history, we thought it worth noting just how unusual this business cycle has been. As the following chart shows, the current 'expansion' has lasted longer than 80% of all the 33 previous NBER expansionary periods. Of course, given projections from Wall Street to the Fed, there will never be another recession (by decree) ever again...



But The Fed already broke a record in one thing...


This is the longest duration of "easing" on record...



Screen Shot 2013 11 22 at 5.43.20 AM

The Ominous Demographics Chart That Shows What China Will Become In Less Than 2 Decades............

The Ominous Demographics Chart That Shows What China Will Become In Less Than 2 Decades

China recently announced plans to loosen its infamous one-child policy.

As the country grows richer and the pace of population growth slows, the country has a new demographic concern: underpopulation. Specifically, it has reason to be worried about getting old before it gets rich, and a high dependency ratio (lots of old, retired people being supported by a workforce that isn't big enough).

To visualize China's challenge, Bloomberg Global Head of Economics  Michael McDonough created this chart below comparing Japan's demographics now to China's in 2030. The distribution of population by age looks very similar.

Japan is famous for its aging population, and all of the growth and societal problems that entails. But of course, Japan is an extremely wealthy country so it can handle that. China will be looking Japan-like in less than two decades, and it's got a long way to go before it's as wealthy.

Also note there is one big difference between the two population pyramids, and it's not to China's advantage: China skews much more heavily male.

china japan demographics

Friday, November 22, 2013


What Happened To The Future?

When neither the private nor public sector is willing to invest in the future, it seems appropriate to ask, what happened to the future? Have corporations along with governments figured out that a return to slow growth does not necessary equal a return to normal growth? Why invest in new infrastructure, new workforces, new office space, equipment, highways, or even rail, when the demand necessary to provide a return on this investment may never materialize? Many sectors in Western economies remain in oversupply or overcapacity.There is a surplus of labor and a surplus of office and industrial real estate, as well as airports, highways, and suburbs that are succumbing to a permanent decrease in throughput and traffic. Perhaps the private sector is not so unwise. Collectively, through its failure to invest, it is making a de facto forecast: No normal recovery is coming.

Rationalizing Bubbles

Late in the life of every financial bubble, when things have gotten so out of hand that the old ways of judging value or ethics or whatever can no longer be honestly applied, a new idea emerges that, if true, would let the bubble keep inflating forever. During the tech bubble of the late 1990s it was the "infinite Internet." During the housing bubble the rationalization for the soaring value of inert lumps of wood and Formica was a model of circular logic: Home prices would keep going up because "home prices always go up." Now the current bubble – call it the Money Bubble or the sovereign debt bubble or the fiat currency bubble, they all fit – has finally reached the point where no one operating within a historical or commonsensical framework can accept its validity, and so for it to continue a new lens is needed. And right on schedule, here it comes: Governments with printing presses can create as much currency as they want and use it to hold down interest rates for as long as they want. So financial crises are now voluntary. The illusion of government omnipotence is no crazier than the infinite Internet or home prices always going up, but it is crazy.

The QE Melt-Up: "Enjoy It As An Investor, Not As An American"

"In some stocks," Starwood Capital's Barry Sternlicht warns, "we are seeing irrational exuberance with silly valuations." The outspoken asset manager warns that the signs are coming from the credit markets of "silly debt deals" with no covenants - which is helping equities melt-up but is a sign of a bubble. Perhaps his answer to what the Fed will do and when is the most succinct (and likely accurate) summation of the current idiocy, "very little and never," as the anchor grinningly suggests how great higher stock prices are for 'investors' before Sternlicht exclaims that may be true for the minority who hold stocks, "enjoy it is an investor," he suggests, "but don't love it as an American." Sternlicht goes on to address the dysfunctional political class and the Fed's enabling of that to continue .

Charles Schwab Warns "We Are In A Manipulated Market"

Obamacare - The Neutron Bomb That Will Decimate The U.S. Economy

Sickcare is unsustainable for a number of interlocking reasons: defensive medicine in response to a broken malpractice system; opaque pricing; quasi-monopolies/cartels; systemic disconnect of health from food, diet and fitness; fraud and paperwork consume at least 40% of all sickcare funds; fee-for-service in a cartel system; employers being responsible for healthcare, and a fundamental absence of competition and transparency.

Obamacare simply speeds up the coming collapse. 

The neutron bomb has gone off, unseen by politicos and the Elites who wrote the bill. It is already undercutting fulltime employment, and it will soon add momentum to the free-fall erosion of small business growth and employment.