Human Condition

     

 

 

Preserving Liberty in a Difficult Time

 

In his latest interview for the X22 Report, Claudio Grass shares his views on the future of the Euro, the Trump Presidency, the monetary system and the advantage of of owning gold in these times of global uncertainty.

 

Claudio Grass, managing director at Global Gold

 

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Campfire Tale

 

Caesar: The Ides of March are come.

Soothsayer: Ay, Caesar, but not gone.

— Julius Caesar, Shakespeare

 

GRANADA, NICARAGUA – Today, we stop the horses and circle the wagons. For 19 years, we have been rolling along, exploring, discovering. We began with the assumption that we didn’t “know” anything – so we kept our eyes open. Now we know even less.

 

Famous people who knew nothing and were not shy to admit it: Sergeant Schultz (left), Socrates (right)…

 

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Barbarous Huns

 

Life is one long struggle in the dark.

– Lucretius

 

BALTIMORE – In January of this year, the Empire Herald reported that a “meth-addled couple” had eaten a homeless man in New York City’s Central Park. Later, Now8News reported that a can of cookie dough had “exploded in a woman’s vagina”; the woman was alleged to be shoplifting.

 

The fellows depicted above certainly mesh perfectly with the image of meth-addled cannibals conjured by our imagination… A few interesting questions regarding this event remain unanswered to this day. Did they marinate their meal? Fill it with stuffing? What were their wine and salad choices? Was their dinner roasted on a spit, cooked in a jungle wok the traditional way, or were these pale gourmets connoisseurs of wino tartare?

 

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Surface Temperatures Plunge – the Great Pause Continues

Last year’s El Nino phenomenon temporarily provided succor to climate alarmists, who were increasingly bothered by the “Great Pause” – the fact that the tiny amount of warming experienced since the last cooling cycle ended in the late 1970s had apparently stopped. Despite trace amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere continuing to climb, mother nature decided to disobey alarmist models and temperatures went sideways for about 20 years (or even longer, depending on the data set).

 

Too bad penguins actually don’t live at the North Pole! One probably should refrain from obtaining climate information from rabidly leftist blogs. Incidentally, the same very same ice-floe has carried lost polar bears in the past, in particular the species “ursus bogus”. If one looks around a bit, there’s also a version with three penguins…

 

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Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell

Ordinary ideals of Americana range as far and wide as the North American continent.  The valued conviction of one American vastly differs from that of another.  Joe from Santa Fe may have little connection with Joe in South Bend or Joe in South Boston.

 

hhHeaven and Hell

Illustration credit: Black Sabbath

 

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Illusory Riches, Obvious Impoverishment

I address this essay to two groups. One group is those among the liberty movement, who believe that there’s nothing wrong with inequality. These are often Objectivists, who unknowingly defend a regime that artificially suppresses working people.

 

steal

And suddenly, you feel much lighter…

 

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A Monumental Work

In November of 1876, one hundred and forty years ago, Johannes Brahms’ monumental First Symphony was first heard, performed in Karlsruhe, Germany. The much anticipated work – which took Brahms over 20 years to complete – has become part of the canon of Western music. Ironically, the premiere of The Ring by Brahms’ supposed rival and fellow musical genius, Richard Wagner, was performed for the first time in the same year.

 

Brahms’ Symphony No. 1, in a 1981 performance by the Vienna Philharmonics Orchestra conducted by Leonard Bernstein.

 

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Curiouser and Curiouser

BALTIMORE – “How President Clinton Will Handle a Hostile Congress,” reads a headline in the Financial Times. The “pink paper” isn’t waiting for the votes to be counted. Many Republicans, too, have given up trying to get Donald Trump into the White House.

 

counting-votesLet’s just skip this step!

Photo via usapoliticsnow.com

 

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Lurid Media Coverage

In recent months, more and more of our clients and friends from overseas are asking us whether it is safe to travel to Europe. These fears are understandable, given the media coverage of the tragic events that occurred this year. The press painted a sinister and truly graphic picture of Europe as a war zone, as a target of global terrorism.

 

the-scenes-inside-brussels-airport-after-the-attackInside the Brussels airport shortly after the bomb blast in March.

Photo credit: Pavel Ohal

 

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Disqualified

There has been no greater advocate of mass Muslim migration into Europe than the purported head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis.  At a recent conference, he urged that “asylum seekers” be accepted, “through the acts of mercy that promote their integration into the European context and beyond.”*

 

nopepope-francisBefore we let Antonius continue with his refreshingly politically incorrect disquisition, we want to remind readers of two previous articles that have appeared here on the topic of the current pope, one that contrasted Pope John Paul II’s deep understanding of economics and economic freedom with the muddled socialism of Pope Francis (see A Tale of Two Popes for the details) and our critique of Francis’ green-red encyclical Laudatio Si – Sulla Cura Della Casa Commune (see Papal Eco-Hysteria for the details on that one). Frankly, we have no idea what possessed the College of Cardinals when it picked him. Since when does the Church feel a need to pander to the left?

 

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“Bad” Monopolies?

An argument against absolutely free markets comes up often. What about so-called natural monopolies? So-called infrastructure projects (e.g. sewage plants) have high barriers to entry, and are a challenge to true competition.

 

monopoly-abnormal-profitThis is the kind of chart you will find in modern economics textbooks on the topic of “monopoly”. Allegedly, monopolies will achieve “abnormal profits” and their allocative efficiency will be sub-optimal as well, hence they are considered an example of “market failure”. Not to put too fine a point to it, this is complete bunkum (sorry, economics students – you are being taught piffle!). For one thing, there is not a shred of empirical evidence for this. On the contrary, over many decades, papers published in economic journals that have studied “natural monopoly” type situations throughout history, had to admit that the exact opposite of what this diagram suggests has actually happened in free competitive markets in which the State did not intervene on the suspicion that it had to counter the threat of a private “monopoly”.  The theory on monopoly may look superficially convincing, if not for the fact that Rothbard came along in 1963 and completely debunked it in Man, Economy and State. We have a more detailed article on the topic in the works that will flesh out many of the points made by Keith here – stay tuned! [PT] – click to enlarge.

 

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Mad as a Hatter

Somewhere, someone first said “bull markets don’t die of old age.”  We suppose this throwaway phrase was first uttered in a time and place much like today.  That is, in the midst of a protracted bull market where stock prices had detached from the assets and earnings of companies their shares represent claim to.

 

Cow skeleton in the desert in Baroon village - aka the middle of nowhere, Rajasthan, IndiaThey may not die of old age… but they do occasionally die.

Photo credit: Brett Cole

 

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