Virtue-Signaling the Decline of the Empire – 02.28.17


  • There are many reasons why Imperial Rome declined, but two primary causes that get relatively little attention are moral decay and soaring wealth inequality. The two are of course intimately connected: once the morals of the ruling Elites degrade, the status quo seeks to mask its self-serving rot behind high-minded “virtue-signaling” appeals to past glories and cost-free idealism.
  • Virtue signaling is defined as “the conspicuous expression of moral values by an individual done primarily with the intent of enhancing that person’s standing within a social group,” “the practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one’s good character or the moral correctness of one’s position on a particular issue” and “Saying you love or hate something to show off what a virtuous person you are, instead of actually trying to fix the problem.” Yes, yes and yes.

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Trump Accuses Obama Of Being Behind Protests, Leaks – 02.28.17

  • In an interview with Fox & Friends that aired early Tuesday morning, President Trump blamed former President Obama for protests against him and other Republicans, as well as “possibly” some of the leaks from the White House: “I think President Obama’s behind it, because his people are certainly behind it.”
  • Trump was asked if he believed Obama was responsible for the town hall protests against Republicans this month: “It turns out his organization seems to do a lot of these organizing to some of the protests that these Republicans are seeing around the country against you. Do you believe President Obama is behind it and if he is, is that a violation of the so-called unsaid presidents’ code?” Trump was asked.
  • “No, I think he is behind it, because his people are certainly behind it. I also think it is politics, that’s the way it is,” Trump replied.

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Dr. Doom’s Back: Marc Faber Warns Markets Will Fall “Like An Avalanche… Trump Can’t Stop It” – 02.27.17

  • “One man alone cannot make ‘America great again’. That you have to realize,” warns Marc Faber, the editor of “The Gloom, Boom, & Doom Report,” reminding the world that the US stock market is vulnerable to a seismic sell-off that won’t be caused by any single catalyst. His argument: Stocks are very overbought and sentiment is way too bullish for the so-called Trump rally to continue.
  •  “Very simply, the market starts to go down. As it goes down, it will start triggering selling, and then it will be like an avalanche,” said Faber recently on CNBC’s Futures Now. “I would underweight U.S. stocks.”
  • Faber, a supporter of President Donald Trump, isn’t blaming the new administration for his bearish forecast:
  • “Trump, unlike Mr. Reagan, is facing huge, huge headwinds — including a debt to GDP that is gigantic, as it is in other countries.”

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Welcome Aboard… But First US Marshals Will Scan Your Retina – 02.27.17

  • For some 15 years, airport security has become steadily more invasive. There are ever more checkpoints, ever more requests for documents as you make your way from the airport entrance to the airplane. Passengers adapt to the new changes as they come. But my latest flight to Mexico, originating in Atlanta, presented all passengers with something I had never seen before.
  • We had already been through boarding pass checks, passport checks, scanners, and pat downs. At the gate, each passenger had already had their tickets scanned and we were all walking on the jet bridge to board. It’s at this point that most people assume that it is all done: finally we can enjoy some sense of normalcy.
  • This time was different. Halfway down the jetbridge, there was a new layer of security. Two US Marshals, heavily armed and dressed in dystopian-style black regalia, stood next to an upright machine with a glowing green eye. Every passenger, one by one, was told to step on a mat and look into the green scanner. It was scanning our eyes and matching that scan with the passport, which was also scanned (yet again).

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Nexit Looms – Dutch Parliament To Debate Leaving The Eurozone – 2.26.17

  • Potential Eurozone disruption possibilities keep compounding.
  • For example, the Netherlands Parliament will now debate leaving the Eurozone.
  • In long-winded wording for a potential “Nexit”, Reuters reports Dutch relations with euro up for debate after lawmakers commission probe
  •  The Netherlands’ future relationship with the euro will be comprehensively debated by its parliament following elections in March after lawmakers commissioned a report on the currency’s future.
  • The motion approving the investigation by the Council of State, the government’s legal advisor, coincides with a rising tide of euroscepticism in Europe, which populist parties are hoping to tap into in a series of national elections this year also taking in eurozone powerhouses France and Germany.

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Retired Green Beret Warns “There Are Destabilizing Forces At Work Here” – 02.25.17

  • As of this writing a tremendous number of things are happening in North Korea and Russia.  Although these are not events that seem momentous, they are quite profound when taken into consideration with the grand scheme: the worldwide plot to form a state of global governance.  These behind-the-scenes maneuverings are not in the forefront of the news; however, they are having effects within the nations mentioned and influencing their current actions.
  • Almost a month ago, it was reported that one of the foremost militia commanders in the separatist-controlled Donbass area of Eastern Ukraine was assassinated via car bomb.  Then almost immediately afterward, just a few weeks later, the Chief of Staff of the Ukrainian Army of the Kiev government mysteriously died on duty of a “heart condition” although he was in his early fifties.  These “tit for tat” actions stimulated a new wave of fighting in the Eastern Provinces.

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Move Over Greece, Italy’s Crisis Will Be Worse – 02.24.17

  • Early last month, in a column on my hopes and fears for 2017, I fretted about fiscal chaos in Italy leading to default and bailouts.
  • Simply stated, I fear that Italy, along with certain other “Club Med” nations, has passed the point of no return in terms of big government, demographic decline, and societal dependency.
  • And this means that, sooner or later, the proverbial wheels are going to fall off the bus. And it might be sooner.
  • On Shaky Ground
  • I don’t always agree with his policy recommendations, but I regularly read Desmond Lachman of the American Enterprise Institute because he is one of the best-informed people in Washington on the fiscal and economic mess in Europe.
  • And Italy, to be blunt, is in a mess.
  • Here’s what Desmond just wrote about the country’s economy.

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