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Are You Infuriated Yet?

October 21, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by Chris Martenson via PeakProsperity.com,

More and more, I’m encountering people who are simply infuriated with how our “leaders” are running (or to put it more accurately, ruining) things right now. And I share that fury.

It’s perfectly normal human response to be infuriated when an outside agent hurts you, especially if the pain seems unnecessary, illogical or random.

Imagine if your neighbor enjoyed setting off loud explosives at all hours of the day and night. Or if he had a habit of tailgating and brake-checking you every time he saw your car on the road. You’d been well within your rights to be infuriated.

Or to use a much more common example from the real world : When your politicians repeatedly pass laws that hurt you in favor of large corporations — that, too, is infuriating. Especially if those actions run directly counter to their campaign promises.

There’s a lot of be infuriated about in the world today, so go ahead and embrace your rage. By doing so, you’ll be in a better mindset to understand things like Brexit, Catalonia, and Trump, each of which is a reflection of the fury of your fellow citizens, who are finally waking up to the fact that they’ve been victims for too long.

An easy prediction to make is that this simmering anger of the populace is going to start boiling over more violently in the coming years. Welcome to the Age of Fury.

‘Over The Top’ Dumb

Do you ever get the sense that, as a society, we’re being dangerously reckless? Perhaps so dumb that we might not recover from the repercussions of our stupidity for many generations, if ever?

There are economic and financial idiocies in motion that are, by themselves, unsolvable predicaments without a peaceful solution. But when combined with resource depletion and declining net energy, they’re positively intractable.

Take for example the hundreds of trillions of dollars-worth of underfunded entitlement and pension promises. Those promises cannot be kept and they cannot be paid. Everybody with a basic comprehension of math can conclude as such.

Yet we continue to operate as if the opposite were true. We comfort ourselves that, somehow, all the promised future payouts will be made in full — even though the funds are insolvent, their returns are much lower than the actuarial projections require, and payout demand mercilessly rises each year.

Spoiler alert: This isn’t some future disaster lying in wait. It’s unfolding right now.

Take these headlines spanning the past several years:

When it comes to broken retirement promises, the future is now. It will be with us for a very long time.

Why? Because the math simply doesn’t work. It’s broken, it’s been broken for a long time. You can’t put too little in the piggy bank at the start, then raid it over time, and still expect to have enough at the end.

And yet we, as a society, have preferred to pretend as if that weren’t the case. Which, it turns out, was a terrible “strategy.”

But if you think that’s bad, you’re going to positively hate this chart:

S&P 500 chart

The pension liabilities now blowing up are contained within the thin green smear in the middle of this chart. Think on the nation’s inability to handle that single crisis, and now reflect on how overwhelmed it’s going to be by the far larger predicaments that lie elsewhere on the chart.

The Infuriating Plunder-fest That Is Health Care

The Medicare liabilities (the orange and largest band on the above chart) are immense, and will only become more so as our largest demographic, the baby boomers, further ages. But they become especially infuriating when seen in the larger context of the racketeering that drives the health care system in the United States.

Instead of doing anything constructive about the high number of IOUs building up within Medicare, Washington DC politicians are sidestepping the most obvious elements that contribute the most to the problem. Enormously wasteful, the “healthcare” system is entirely out of control and spiraling deeper into an abyss that threatens to literally destroy the most productive segment of the US social structure: the middle and upper middle classes.

That should be a topic of serious discussion in the halls of power. But none is being had.

Literally each day brings worse news on the skyrocketing costs of healthcare. But, as with most topics,  the media mostly focuses on the symptoms (prices) rather than the causes of the issue.

The real culprits here are the insurance cartel and a hospital system that has the most unfair, incomprehensible, and inhumane billing process ever devised. One easy to grasp feature of both the insurance companies and conspire to pay the executives far more than they actually deserve or are truly worth.

Health care premiums for 2018 set to go up by as much as 50 percent

Oct 5, 2017

 

Several states have announced rates for health insurance premiums on the Obamacare exchanges for 2018. Topping the list is Georgia, with rates that are 57 percent higher than last year, while Florida said some premiums will be 45 percent higher.

 

Among the reasons for these increases is the uncertainty about the future of the Affordable Care Act. President Donald Trump has vowed to repeal and replace the health care law, which was passed under his predecessor President Barack Obama.

 

Insurers are raising premiums in the face of repeated threats from President Trump to stop funding so-called cost-sharing reductions, payments to insurers that cover out-of-pocket costs for some low-income consumers. Trump previously referred to these payments as “bailouts” for insurance companies and threatened to stop making the payments so as to “let Obamacare implode”.

(Source)

That’s the story the health insurers are going with: they have to raise rates because they’re uncertain whether they will get AS MUCH LOOT under the new rules being considered as they did under the utterly disastrous Obamacare provisions.

How much loot are we talking about? Look at this chart of the stock price of United Healthcare (UNH) since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare):

S&P 500 chart

If this chart showing massive near-4x gains in just 5 years, coupled with your steep annual premium increases, doesn’t infuriate you, you are just not getting it.

Even if your employer pays for your health care (somewhat obscuring the true impact of premium increases), the cost to you is fewer and lower pay increases, as well as steady yearly reductions in covered services along with higher co-pays and deductible amounts.

Still not infuriated? Ok, maybe this will do the trick. Here how much executive compensation at the major insurers was last year:

S&P 500 chart

(Source)

The average family health care insurance premium in 2016 was $18,764, meaning that Mark Bertolini from Aetna alone required 100% of the premiums from more than 2,200 families just to pay him in 2016. Of course, the “C-suite” of these health care insurers are loaded with other high-paid parasites who are just as busy gouging the young and old alike.

This is a complete travesty and joke. Congress and the Senate, sitting on their deservedly low approval ratings, pretend they cannot do anything about it. Too complicated they say. Bullshit I say. Go after the obscene pay packages and profits of the insurance industry as a first matter of business. Then make it a crime for hospitals to bill people differently for the exact same services.

That’s a no-brainer. Can you imagine if your mechanic had a secret pricing formula for every customer that was, literally, based on their maximum ability to pay? Nobody would stand for it, it’s disgusting that we tolerate this when it comes to something as vital and necessary as our health and even lives.

Fury, not tolerance, is what’s needed now.

Conclusion (to Part 1)

The future has arrived. The pension losses are here and just getting started and the future will have a lot more of those sorts of broken promises.

The health care insurance crisis has been with us for 20 years or so now and Obamacare just put some extra accelerant on that fire, which is now consuming middle class households by the tens of thousands.

Both the pension and health care crises are infuriating and self-inflicted wounds. We could have avoided them by making wiser choices in the past. We didn’t. We could limit their damage by making better choices today. We almost assuredly won’t.

Current conversations and proposals are thinly disguised sleight-of-hand movements whose purpose is to deflect attention from the thefts underway. Anybody who studies the system and its math comes to the same conclusion: the corporations have all the power and they are misusing it for private gain.

Why there aren’t more politicians willing to call a spade a spade and actually protect their constituents is a real mystery. But the next wave of populist candidates certainly won’t be. People are sick and tired of being asked to give more and more while corporations and wealthy elites keep taking more and more.

It’s simply infuriating.

But that’s not the worst of it. The mistakes we are making right now in terms of energy policy and ecological destruction are far more dangerous to your personal health, liberty and future prospects than a simple market crash.

In Part 2: It’s Time For Action, we uncover the hidden downside risks in today’s financial markets and explain how, as destructive as a coming market crash will be, the longer-term damage to society and risks to your well-being are rooted in the potential breakdown of the systems we depend on to live. As with pensions and health care, we are pursuing similar dangerously misguided policies in our farming & food systems, extraction of industrial resources, and ecological management — to name just a few.  There’s an appropriate time for fury. And that time is now — provided we use the anger to spur us into constructive action. Get your fury on. Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

 

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Cajutel to Provide 100% Solar Powered High-Speed Internet for West Africa

October 21, 2017 BitNewz.net 0

Cajutel Sarl, a Swiss-owned telecom company is building infrastructure to help all individuals in West Africa gain access to high-speed internet at affordable prices. The company is set to achieve it by building the non-existent infrastructure from scr…

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How To Use Custom Indicators In Your Expert Advisor?

October 21, 2017 MQL5: Traders' Blogs 0

The soul of the expert advisor lies in its custom indicator.
If the custom indicator gives high quality buy/sell signals, expert advisor will work like charm.
Designing a custom indicator is the challenge that requires a lot of hard work however.
If el…

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Grants to Israeli settlements could breach UK law, Charity Commission warns

The Charity Commission has warned that making grants to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) could potentially constitute a breach of the Geneva Conventions Act of 1957, in a significant hardening of the Commission’s approach to the issue. It is understood to be the first time that the Charity Commission has specifically cited the 1957 Act in communication with a charity regarding Israel and oPt. The new statement from the Commission comes in response to questions about UK Toremet, a charity which, as revealed by Middle East Monitor in September 2015, is acting as a conduit for donations to Israeli settlements in the oPt. Settlements are considered a serious violation of international law, a position held by the […]

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Rights group condemns Lebanese Maronite Patriarch’s remarks on refugees

October 21, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The Arab Organisation for Human Rights – UK (AOHR) has condemned remarks made by the Lebanese Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Mor Bechara Boutros al-Rahi about Palestinian and Syrian refugees in Lebanon. In a statement, the organisation said: At a time when the countries of the Middle East need to work seriously to end civil wars, the highest religious figure in Lebanon delivers irresponsible and ominous remarks that could trigger civil war in Lebanon. The Patriarch described the Palestinian and Syrian refugees in Lebanon as a “massive burden and a demographic, economic, political, cultural and security danger.” Such remarks from someone who represents a major religious community, the organisation said, could cause a civil war, recalling past bloody clashes in Lebanon which […]

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Kuwaiti Emir praises parliament speaker who expelled Israeli representative

October 21, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The Emir of Kuwait Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah praised the Speaker of the Kuwaiti parliament, Marzouq al-Ghanim, who expelled a representative of the Israeli parliament from a recent meeting of the Inter-Parliament Union (IPU) held in Russia. Al-Sabah sent a letter to Al-Ghanim stressing that his stance represents the official Kuwaiti position towards the Palestinians and their cause. “We followed with much interest and appreciation your firm response to the representative of the Israeli Knesset at the final session of the IPU’s assembly in Saint Petersburg in Russia,” the Emir said. That was in response to a comment made by a female Tunisian MP who accused the Israeli occupation of arresting and torturing Palestinian MPs and preventing them from attending this […]

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Hamas delegation arrives in Tehran on official visit

October 21, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

A Senior Hamas delegation headed by Deputy Chief, Saleh al-Arouri, arrived in Tehran on Friday to meet with Iranian officials, Quds Press reported. The delegation included Izzat al-Reshiq, Zaher Jabarin, Osama Hamdan, Sami Abu-Zuhri and Khalid al-Qadoumi – Hamas representative in Tehran. According to Quds Press, the Hamas delegation will discuss the latest developments in Palestine with Iranian officials. They would also discuss the recent reconciliation agreement with Fatah, as well as bi-lateral relations with Iran. Read: US says Iran shows ‘true colours’ by restoring Hamas ties In August, a senior Hamas delegation visited Tehran to attend the swearing-in ceremony of President Hassan Rouhani. These visits came after a period of frosty relations between the two sides due to the […]

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Shkreli Lawyer Distances Himself From ‘Most Hated Man In America’ As Trial Begins

October 21, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

While former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli languishes inside a federal jail in Brooklyn, the trial of his former attorney – and alleged co-conspirator – Evan Greebel is just beginning, with the defense and prosecution giving opening statements Friday.

The timing is unfortunate. Shrekli’s trial – which ended in him being convicted of three out of eight counts of fraud – briefly revived the public rancor over his many misdeeds. Given Shkreli’s toxic public image, it comes as no surprise that Greebel’s lawyers are already seeking to distance their client – who was arrested on the same day as Shkreli and whose picture was splashed across cable news networks alongside Shkreli’s – from the disgraced pharma executive, who was jailed last month after a judge revoked his bail following a series of controversial and vaguely threatening Facebook posts, Bloomberg reported.

As many will remember, Shkreli’s comfortable life as a successful young pharmaceutical CEO began to unravel in September 2015 when the New York Times reported that Turing had hiked the price of a life-saving toxoplasmosis drug by 5,000%, thrusting Shkreli into an uncomfortable public spotlight and drawing a public rebuke from Hillary Clinton, then presumed to be the next president of the United States.

Following his indictment, Shkreli seemingly set out to destroy any lingering public sympathy by antagonizing the federal government and harassing female journalists – actions that ultimately led to his jailing. Prosecutors have accused Greebel of helping Shkreli steal $11 million from Retrophin, a pharmaceutical company Shkreli founded and ran before being forced out in 2014. Greebel was terminated as Retrophin’s counsel soon after.

Shkreli allegedly used the money, along with Retrophin stock, to repay investors in two failed hedge funds by signing them on to sham consulting agreements with salaries and stock grants. Greebel is also accused of helping Shkreli manipulate the price of Retrophin stock.

Fortunately for Greebel’s defense team, their client has a somewhat more resepectable public image than his associate. He has a family and was once a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP and Kaye Scholer LLP. They’re essentially trying to sell a narrative of him being a quiet family man who got in over his head.

In opening statements on Friday, Greebel’s lawyer told jurors that the 44-year-old father of three and Shkreli, a former biotech executive notorious for aggressive drug-pricing tactics, were as “different as two people can be.” Greebel was by no means Shkreli’s “right-hand man,” defense lawyer Reed Brodsky told jurors at the trial in Brooklyn, New York.

 

Greebel “lived a quiet life,” Brodsky said, while Shkreli was “cultivating this public personality and persona, blogging and tweeting.”

 

It’s no mystery why Greebel, a former corporate lawyer, would want to separate himself from Shkreli, who is in jail after his conviction for lying to hedge fund investors (although jurors weren’t told about that). Greebel wants to show that Shkreli lied to him as well, and that Greebel had no reason to believe he was being asked to do anything wrong.

 

“Mr. Shkreli is kind of a contradiction,” Brodsky said, arguing that Shkreli managed to con people with his “image” of success, brilliant ideas and “photographic memory.”

Meanwhile, prosecutors allege he knowingly helped Shkreli loot his company and manipulate its share price for profit.

In the government’s opening statement, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Kessler said Greebel started working for Shkreli’s companies around 2011 and used his legal talents to aid Shkreli’s fraud. Kessler said Greebel wanted to please Shkreli to make millions of dollars in fees for his firm.

 

“Agreeing to help the CEO of a company steal from the company is a crime,” Kessler said. “Agreeing to help illegally control the stock market is a crime.”

As Bloomberg noted, Greebel’s demeanor in court couldn’t have differed more from Shkreli’s. He sat quietly by his defense team, smiling briefly but otherwise remaining expressionless.

Meanwhile, Shkreli’s was on the receiving end of more bad news this week when a Brooklyn judge refused to return his $5 million bond, saying the money might be needed to offset any monetary penalties that may be levied against Shkreli, the New York Post reported.

Shkreli’s lawyer Ben Brafman asked her to release the money so his client — No. 14 on New York state’s list of top delinquent taxpayers — can start paying taxes.
 

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Trump may allow release of JFK assassination files

October 21, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
AFP
Sun, 2017-10-22 20:40
ID: 
1508600631341575800

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said on Saturday he will allow long-blocked secret files on the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy to be opened to the public for the first time.
The Nov. 22, 1963 assassination — an epochal event in modern US history — has spawned multiple theories challenging the official version that Kennedy was killed by a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald.
The release of all the secret documents has been eagerly anticipated by historians and conspiracy theorists alike.
Trump’s announcement followed reports that not all the files would be released, possibly to protect still relevant intelligence sources and methods.
But Trump appears to have decided otherwise. “Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as president, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened,” he said in the tweet.
The files are due to be opened in their entirety on Thursday nearly 54 years after Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas — unless the US president decides otherwise.
Millions of classified Kennedy files have been released under a 1992 law passed in response to a surge in public demand for disclosure in the wake of Oliver Stone’s conspiracy heavy movie on the assassination.
But the law placed a 25-year hold on a small percentage of the files that expires Oct. 26. Some reports put the number withheld at 3,100 and say tens of thousands that had been released with portions blacked out are set to be fully declassified.

Main category: 
related_nodes: 
50 years on, no end to questions on JFK’s death
Kennedy’s niece a star of Paris’ elite circle
Website asks people to share stories of Kennedy’s legacy

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