Friday, December 19, 2014

Worthy Reads on America's Normalization with Cuba

Hey Conservatives: U.S.'s Cuba Policy is the Very Definition of Failed Government by Nick Gillespie

The Cuba Opening: American Foreign Policy Meets Reality by Ted Galen Carpenter

President Obama Right to Call for Trade with Cuba: Half Century of Failed Embargo Is Enough by Doug Bandow


Rubio’s Embargo Anger Plays to the Past by Michael Tomasky [note: of course Rubio would do this! He's a politician who lacks the courage to stand up for what's right vs. reelection]

Presidential Hopeful Rand Paul Backs Obama on Cuba Deal by Oliva Nuzzi

North Korea; Sony; The Movie and the Mess of America's Capitulation

The Interview.  Two words, one movie and one globally epic FUBAR by Sony and the USG.  Between calls for sanctions and embargoes, to Sony deciding not to release the film at all, to embarrassing government revelations that first informed the public that North Korea had nothing to do with hacking Sony, only to change its tune and stating there is evidence after all The Hermit Kingdom was "centrally involved" in the hack.  Whew.

So, let me get this straight: for over half a century, this isolated, despotic disgusting excuse for a nation tried anything to be recognized on the world's stage and nothing, not even nuclear missile tests and continual reminders it would inflict destruction on the United States, South Korea, Japan, and so on and so on, could give it any legitimacy whatsoever.  Now, thanks to a hacker and a corporation that couldn't secure its own assets, North Korea has finally succeeded beyond its wildest imagination!  And this from a nation whose leader, Kim Jong-un was rumored to be dead! What a friggin' resurrection this has been!  There have been those who have referred to this entire episode as a "national security matter" that requires an "appropriate response": really?  Even worse, we find that George Clooney himself believes this is an act of terrorism!

So, what's the situation now?  Well, first off, Sony caved in and decided not to release the film at all.  Real courage there.  Nothing like surprising freedom of speech at home while bemoaning the lack of it abroad.  Sure, it may feared lawsuits coming from any tragedy at a movie theater due to the threats received from some group or the other that swore a "9/11 attack" on any venue that would show the film.  So there you have it: any nut-job can threaten an attack and the resulting response will be choose safety/security over freedom and liberty.  Next, the USG, whose simple action item would have been to do nothing, looked amateurish instead, and issued a statement that this was indeed a matter of national security.  Really?  Meh.  Let's not forget as well, that this is all great cover for the Hollywood elites, from actors to studio executives, whose emails to/from Sony were released to the public, much to their embarrassment.  So, not to be too conspiratorial in my thinking, but, it is quite convenient cover (provided by its ally, the USG) to become background noise to the international story of America's capitulation to a two-bit thug of an impoverished nation.  One more conspiracy comes to mind: could the movie have been such a flop that this very situation has done Sony a favor? I dunno! It is one of those things that make you go hmmmm!

In closing, you may ask "what would you do about America's capitulation?"  Simple: nothing.  It's been done.  Move on.  I certainly do not condone force of any type.  I do recommend that Americans reread the Constitution and look beyond the headlines, the soundbites, and ignore the politicians.  Time for some reflection on the nation America's become, and that how it gets back to its core tenants of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is accomplished by being mindful, not mindless.


Some worthy reads:

The Right-Wing Billionaire Who Bowed to North Korea over ‘The Interview’

Pyongyang Shuffle: Hollywood In Dead Panic Over Sony Hack

The Sony Hack and America’s Craven Capitulation To Terror



Note to Obama: Good Move, Now Get Out of the Way

Ron Paul is right on the mark in his latest post For Truly Better Relations with Cuba, Open the Door and Get Out of the Way!:
President Obama today took a bold and surprising step toward ending the futile 50 year US embargo of Cuba. The president announced he would begin normalizing relations, including upgrading the diplomatic mission in Havana to embassy status. The president also said he was taking steps to increase travel, commerce, and the flow of information between the US and Cuba.

President Obama said that the half-century US embargo of Cuba was an “outdated approach” that “failed to advance our interests.” He rightly noted that decades of US sanctions have “had little effect.”

He noted, as I have often pointed out, that the US has had economic and diplomatic relations with communist China for 35 years and has even established productive relations with a Vietnam, where the US fought a brutal war just over four decades ago.

I was delighted to see the president make such a dramatic foreign policy move that will result in more freedom and liberty for Americans. I have always believed that the US embargo of Cuba was primarily an anti-American policy, as the US government has no business telling Americans with whom they can trade or visit. Of course the average Cuban suffered greatly under the inhuman US embargo of their country, and I hope this policy shift may result in better lives for them as well.

What is particularly encouraging about this move is that the 50 year freeze in US/Cuba relations was thawed by a simple telephone call between President Obama and his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro. I have opposed the isolationist policies of sanctions and embargoes and have encouraged US presidents to simply use diplomacy – even a simple telephone call – to clear up differences. There is a lesson in this for similarly tense US relations with Iran, Russia, Syria, and others.

I am optimistic about this policy shift by the US government but I am also very cautious.

Permitting travel to and trade with Cuba is a step in the right direction, but if the US government uses this opening to increase its meddling in internal Cuban affairs it will be one step forward and one step back. We have recently read of yet another hare-brained scheme by the US Agency for International Development to foment regime change in Cuba, this time by co-opting Cuban musicians. Before that, the US was funneling money to NGOs to create a phony Twitter program that was supposed to overthrow the Cuban government. Improving relations should not be seen as a Trojan horse to infiltrate more regime change NGOs into Cuba.

Some neoconservatives are applauding this policy shift for that very reason. Max Boot, a well-known neocon war advocate, praised Obama’s Cuba shift in Commentary Magazine today. His reasoning was very different than ours, however. Without shame or embarrassment, Boot thought the opening would provide excellent cover for increased US subversion activities inside Cuba – under the cover of “human rights” advocacy. He wrote:

The restoration of diplomatic relations will, in any case, deliver some benefits to the U.S. by allowing us to beef up the staff of the American interests section in Havana, thus increasing our ability to (at least in theory) subvert the regime through the promotion of human rights. President Obama also seemed to suggest that the US would continue meddling in internal Cuban affairs, stating that the United States “will continue to support the civil society” in Cuba. That likely means a deal to allow US NGOs in to Cuba to work toward regime change.
I have a better suggestion if the US truly wants Cuba to become a free and prosperous country: the US government should completely remove all restrictions on US citizens and then step aside. American tourists, businessmen, students, and scholars can do far more to promote real American values than bureaucrats, government-funded NGOs, and US-funded propaganda broadcasts.

A better future for the United States and Cuba simply requires our government opening the door and getting the heck out of the way!

How much do you want to bet that the new congress, now with a Republican majority, vote to not lift the 50 year-old embargo?  Also, how many Democrats will likewise vote not to lift it?   Stay tuned.

The Headlines of War

Nothing more needs to be said ...

How Many Enemies Does America Want? Congress Sacrifices U.S. Security with New Sanctions against Russia

Obama To Sign Off On Lethal US Aid To Ukraine By End Of Week, Russian Response To Follow

House Leaders snuck Russian sanctions through Congress while most Members flew home for the weekend

Three Members of Congress Just Reignited the Cold War While No One Was Looking 

Bombs Away! Obama Signs Bill For Lethal Aid To Ukraine 

An Internet Beyond ALL Government Reach? I Think So ...

I'm all in with this ... an Internet beyond a kill-switch ... by any government ...

Is It Possible to Build an Internet So Decentralized That It's Beyond the Government's Reach? BitTorrent is Going to Try
Exciting news from BitTorrent:
It started with a simple question. What if more of the web worked the way BitTorrent does?

Project Maelstrom begins to answer that question with our first public release of a web browser that can power a new way for web content to be published, accessed and consumed. Truly an Internet powered by people, one that lowers barriers and denies gatekeepers their grip on our future.
The announcement is more of a manifesto than an actual explanation, but it's easy to extrapolate the basic details.

BitTorrent is a protocol that uses a peer-to-peer network for file sharing. It allows users to collect data in bits and pieces off the hard drives of others users instead of downloading files directly from a central server.

A Web browser built with BitTorrent could load pages by drawing information from other people who’ve already visited the same websites and automatically saved some of the information, instead of going straight to the source. So when users log on to Reason.com in the future, they'll be pulling different little pieces of data—text, pictures, ads—from millions (billions!) of other users instead of straight off of our server.

An obvious benefit is speedy browsing. With Project Malestrom, blockbuster stories at Reason.com wouldn't affect download speeds because users wouldn't all at once be trying to access the same server.

Project Malestrom could also help unclog the Internet's pipes—muting the debate over net neutrality and denying Washington justification for "fucking up the Internet"—because BitTorrent has an elegant system of prioritizing data flows called "Micro Transport Protocol."

"It's the best example we have of technology being used to solve what is perceived to be a policy problem," BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker told Fast Company when asked about its Micro Transport Protocol. "It's only through the technology that the Internet's rules are written."

But here's what I find most exciting about Project Maelstrom: If the Web is distributed over a vast decentralized network, governments have no way to control what people do and say online. Sending in men with guns to pull a server offline is a waste of time if the data on that server is duplicated on billions of computers dispersed around the globe.

This technology could also supercharge projects like OpenBazaar, a decentralized e-commerce platform in which home computers act as nodes in a vast free trade network that nobody controls. And it seems like a first step towards the dream of a "mesh network," in which the Internet has no trunk pipes and every computer is simply linked to another computer, creating a network so dispersed that no central authority could control or destroy it.

H/T: Mr. Knuckle of NXT FreeMarket.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

And Neither Do I

First comes production. Then comes income. Spending and savings follow. All the rest is debt…….unless you believe in a magic Keynesian ether called “aggregate demand” and a blatant stab-in-the-dark called “potential GDP”.

I don’t. So let’s start with a pretty startling contrast between two bellwether data trends since the pre-crisis peak in late 2007—debt versus production.
Please, read the entire piece.  It may take two or more times to grasp it, but it's time well spent. 

Sure, Let's Go To War Over a Movie

What an asshole. Sorry, had to say it.  A warmonger over a movie!  Gordon Chang argues in his post U.S. Should Make North Korea Pay for Sony Hack the United States should actually DO something in response to a private company, Sony, being hacked due to their own inability to secure its network infrastructure, over a movie!
Pyongyang has given the Obama administration no choice but to retaliate now by imposing sanctions or even an embargo.
So, let me get this straight Mr. Gordon: over a movie, and a decision by Sony to not release said movie, you want to make the people of North Korea suffer even more than they currently do, by imposing sanctions and an embargo?  Enacting those proposals is offensive over any circumstances, but over a movie?  Seriously, just how much more isolated can North Korea, known already as The Hermit Kingdom, become?  The Obama administration has many choices it can make, including the choice of doing nothing.  Of all the shit going on in this world today, to give two seconds of thought about doing anything other than doing nothing is as preposterous as it is stupid. 

Pass The Budget Without Reading It and THEN Determine What's In It

It is truly depressing to think of how many people have no idea of how real government works in Washington D.C.   As I pointed out before, the budget was over 1600 pages long and Congress had but 48 hours to read and comprehend it before voting, the day before the Christmas recess.  Sorry to pull the curtain back and expose the Wizard as being just a grumpy old man, but those that purportedly represent us, actually conspire against us, and worst of all, this is a feature, not a bug, in the system.  Here's Andrew Napolitano's explanation of how it all works against us in his latest post entitled How a Bipartisan Majority in Congress Shredded the Constitution, Again:
When the government is waving at us with its right hand, so to speak, it is the government's left hand that we should be watching. Just as a magician draws your attention to what he wants you to see so you will not observe how his trick is performed, last week presented a textbook example of public disputes masking hidden deceptions. Here is what happened:

Last week was dominated by two huge news stories. One was the revelation by the Senate Intelligence Committee of torture committed by CIA agents and contractors on 119 detainees in the post-9/11 era— 26 of whom were tortured for months by mistake. In that revelation of anguish and error were the conclusions by CIA agents themselves that their torture had not produced helpful information. President Barack Obama acknowledged that the CIA had tortured, yet he directed the Department of Justice not to prosecute those who tortured and those who authorized it.

The other substantial news story was the compromise achieved by Congress and the White House to fund the government through the end of September 2015. That legislation, which is 2,000 pages in length, was not read by anyone who voted for it. It spends a few hundred billion dollars more than the government will collect in tax revenue. The compromise was achieved through bribery; members of Congress bought and sold votes by adding goodies (in the form of local expenditures of money borrowed by the federal government) to the bill that were never debated or independently voted upon and were added solely to achieve the votes needed for passage. This is how the federal government operates today. Both parties participate in it. They have turned the public treasury into a public trough.

Hidden in the law that authorized the government to spend more than it will collect was a part about funding for the 16 federal civilian intelligence agencies. And hidden in that was a clause, inserted by the same Senate Intelligence Committee that revealed the CIA torture, authorizing the National Security Agency to gather and retain nonpublic data for five years and to share it with law enforcement and with foreign governments.

"Nonpublic data" is the government's language referring to the content of the emails, text messages, telephone calls, bank statements, utility bills, and credit card bills of nearly every innocent person in America—including members of Congress, federal judges, public officials and law enforcement officials. I say "innocent" because the language of this legislation—which purports to make lawful the NSA spying we now all know about—makes clear that those who spy upon us needn't have any articulable suspicion or probable cause for spying.

The need for articulable suspicion and probable cause has its origins in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which was written to prohibit what Congress just authorized. That amendment was a reaction to the brutish British practice of rummaging through the homes of American colonists, looking for anything that might be illegal. It is also a codification of our natural right to privacy. It requires that if the government wants nonpublic data from our persons, houses, papers, or effects, it must first present evidence of probable cause to a judge and then ask the judge for a search warrant.

Probable cause is a level of evidence that is sufficient to induce a judge into concluding that it is more likely than not that the place to be examined contains evidence of crimes. In order to seek probable cause, the government must first have an articulable suspicion about the person or place it has targeted. Were this not in the law, then nothing would stop the government from fishing expeditions in pursuit of anyone it wants to pursue. And fishing expeditions turn the presumption of liberty on its head. The presumption of liberty is based on the belief that our rights are natural to us and that we may exercise them without a permission slip from the government and without its surveillance.

Until last week, that is. Last week Congress, by authorizing the massive NSA spying to continue and by authorizing the spies to share what they have seized with law enforcement, basically permitted the fishing expeditions that the Fourth Amendment was written to prevent.

How can the president and Congress defy the Constitution, you might ask? Hasn't every member of the government taken an oath to uphold the Constitution? Doesn't the Constitution create the presidency and the Congress? How can politicians purport to change it? The answers to these questions are obvious, as is the belief of most of those in government that they can write any law and regulate any behavior and ignore the Constitution they have sworn to uphold whenever they want, so long as they can get away with it.

What, You're Surprised To Learn That Corporate Welfare and Cronyism Are Alive And Well?

Once again, our politicians demonstrate who they really represent, as the "Cromnibus" (the combination continuing resolution/omnibus appropriations bill) Federal Spending Bill was finally passed by Congress before the Christmas break on Friday, December 12th, 2014.

Robert Pear clearly articulates but a small example of just who benefits from the various confiscations appropriations of your money and it's not you in his New York Times piece entitled, appropriately, In Final Spending Bill, Salty Food and Belching Cows Are Winners.  As if the sheer power of lobbyists isn't enough to spoil one's affinity for our supposed constitutional republic, the ignorance of the overwhelming majority of Americans as to how this process works is extremely depressing.  But wait, there's even a more depressing fact: many people in and out of Washington lament for more bipartisanship, well, this bill was truly bipartisan, and what you get when politicians agree is simply this: screwed.  Rep. U.S. Representative Thomas Massie (R-Ky) states the bill is 1603 pages long and that Congress has 48 hours to read it before voting.  As with Obamacare, he believes the nation will be well into the Christmas break before understanding everything that's in it!  (Source: comments at the end of this Cato Daily Prodcast, ~ 10 minute mark).  Think about this for a moment: "our" representatives in Congress, scheduled to adjourn on the Christmas break, had but 48 hours to read and digest 1603 pages of a spending bill.  Do you think that each member has carefully read and weighed the pros and cons of each item of the bill, before voting?

Below are some additional worthy reads on this negligent behavior on the part of those who purport to represent their constituents:

Democrats Who Voted For The Cromnibus Received Double The Money From Wall Street Than "No" Voters  (note: Republicans received their "fair" share too, I'm sure.  This is the only concept of "fairness" politicians truly believe in: equal share at the trough)


Three pieces about the influence that Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase had on the passing of this bill.  Just goes to prove two things: Too Big To Fail and Too Big To Jail are alive and well:


Fed Vice Chairman Shocked At Wall Street Influence After Jamie Dimon "Whips" Cromnibus Votes


JPMorgan CEO helped whip votes (question: who's calling on your behalf, to "whip up votes"?)

Of course, before whipping up the votes, Dimon's minions actually penned the language for certain portions of the bill!  Presenting The $303 Trillion In Derivatives That US Taxpayers Are Now On The Hook For (which means "we" will be bailing out Wall Street once again in the very near future)


Additional worthy reads:

Cromnibus bursts at the seams with special-interest goodies 

From The Federal Spending Juggernaut:
Yes, you read that right. The budget “cuts” that will “inflict blunt pain”  will increase spending by about $2 billion.
Memo To WSJ: The CRomnibus Abomination Was Not ‘A Rare Bipartisan Success’  by David Stockman

Memo To Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat: Does Your Crony Capitalist Plunder Know No Shame?  by David Stockman

How a Bipartisan Majority in Congress Shredded the Constitution, Again by Andrew Napolitano


They Certainly Do

Pro-life death penalty advocates have a lot to think about today:  [emphasis mine]


.


In a case that could have ripple effects in criminal justice, constitutional rights, race relations, and capital punishment, the 1944 conviction and execution of a black 14-year old boy for a double murder has been vacated by a South Carolina judge.

George Stinney, Jr. was arrested for killing two white girls, aged 8 and 11, confessed to the murders after a brief interrogation by white police officers, stood trial for just three hours with a defense attorney who presented no evidence or witness on his behalf, and was electrocuted less than 3 months later after no appeal was filed. Technically, he was afforded due process, but this child was also clearly railroaded at every turn.

Though I’m not certain, this is the first case I can recall of a conviction overturned after execution. That was a grim milestone many in the anti-capital punishment movement long dreaded.

However, some death penalty advocates argue that executing an innocent person is impossible, either by virtue of the rigors of the criminal justice system and its perpetual appeal process, or by definition, arguing that a person who has been convicted by a jury after a trial is necessarily not innocent, regardless of what actually happened.  [Semper Ratio: it's almost incomprehensible that a human being could believe such a proposition as being "necessarily not innocent"]

That we executed a 14-year old boy should give anyone pause, especially the pro-life community, who often use the innate innocence of childhood to buttress their arguments defending the unborn (and just-born). But when such a young victim of the state is judged to be actually innocent, death penalty advocates have some real questions to answer.

Is the execution of an innocent person, even a child, enough to undermine faith in the criminal justice system as a whole, and capital punishment in particular? If one error is not convincing enough, is there some acceptable level of innocent life ended at the hands of the state (or their peers, if that makes you feel better) that would change your mind? Or is the (spurious) deterrent factor of the death penalty or faith in the process, regardless of further evidence, so strong as to make all wrongful convictions and executions irrelevant?

Editor’s Note: Check out Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, an organization of high-profile conservatives, libertarians, and Republicans like Richard Viguerie, former Congressman Ron Paul, Ramesh Ponnuru, and others who are skeptical about the capital punishment.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Normalization With Cuba ...

... is a good thing, and here's why, courtesy of Randall Holcombe's Normalizing Relations with Cuba: Good Policy:
President Obama announced that the United States will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba, which is a good move for both countries. The economic impact of the policy will be limited, however, because the economic embargo the United States has imposed on Cuba can be removed only by Congress. This presents the obvious political roadblock of a lame duck Democratic president pushing up against a Republican Congress.

If the trade embargo were relaxed or eliminated, it would benefit Cubans more than it would affect anyone in the United States, because it would give Cubans more access to US goods. The impact on the US economy would be minimal, because Cuba is small and poor. Commerce with a poor country of 11 million people cannot have much of an impact on a wealthy country with a population well above 300 million. Their economy can’t produce very much to sell to us, and for the same reason, Cuba can’t be a large market for American exporters either.

The trade embargo has surely done more to support Cuba’s communist government than to undermine it. The embargo allows the Cuban government to blame the country’s economic hardships on the United States. Were the embargo to be removed and relations completely normalized with Cuba, the Cuban government would no longer have the US to blame for its problems, which would make it more apparent to Cuban citizens that their poverty is a direct result of their own government’s policies.

Congress should follow the president’s lead and remove the embargo. Doing so would have only a small effect on the American economy, but would have two positive effects on Cubans. First, it would enhance their standards of living by giving them access to American goods. The Cuban people are the biggest victims of their government’s oppressive economic policies, and don’t deserve being further oppressed by US policies. Second, it would make the effects of the Cuban government’s oppressive policies more apparent to Cubans, who would exert more pressure on their government for reform.

President Obama made the right move, but in Washington, where everything is political, it appears the Republican Congress will do what it can to stand in the way of further progress.

Must Reads on Liberialism / Progressivism

Liberalism In Crisis by John C. Goodman

Liberalism Is a Hoax by Matthew Continetti


Nutrition 101

Great starting point for a new repository on nutrition.  Let's start off by debunking the myths that are killing us.  All new updates will be in RED BOLD going forward:

New: This Mineral Found to Reduce ‘All Cause Mortality’ Dramatically

The ketogenic diet: high fat, high hopes

6 Awesome Health Benefits of Coffee  and 10 Superfoods You Can Add to Your Coffee

Eating These 3 ‘Fatty’ Foods Can Make You Thinner


Always A Must Read:  The Last Anti-Fat Crusaders  And WHO are the last of these crusaders? The government.  Crony-capitalism KILLS.

Always A Must Read:  Looks Like The Medical Establishment Was Wrong About Fat 

How to Lose Weight by Identifying Hidden Sugars in Your Diet  Disclosure: I firmly believe that the ONLY way to lose weight it to eliminate sugar.

Top 9 Anti-aging Antioxidants  Disclosure: I take Resveratrol and Alpha-lipoic acid daily. 

8 Impressive Health Benefits of Turmeric

My Top 5 Superfoods

Our Secret Weapon: The Green Drink

Study: Eating High-Fat Dairy Lowers Type 2 Diabetes Risk

12 Signs You Need to Eat More Protein

What’s the Deal with Fiber? 

Breakfast—Not the Most Important Meal After All... 

Butter Is Back—Processed Foods Are Identified as Real Culprits in Heart Disease

10 Reasons Green Tea Is The Healthiest Drink In The World

Top 10 Destructive Nutrition Lies Ever Told

Not All Carbs Are Bad: How You Can Tell the Difference

4 Foods That Have Surprising Medicinal Benefits

Study Shows That Coconut Oil Can Help Reduce Belly Fat

10 Shocking Facts About Processed Food

Four Great Fat Rich Foods To Start Adding To Your Diet

High-Carb Diet May Increase Your Risk of Dementia

The Health Benefits of Coconut Flour • A Gluten-Free Flour Substitute

John Yudkin: The Man Who Tried to Warn us About Sugar  [1.5hr video in the article is worth the time.  Sugar is a killer, plain and simple; followed by wheat]

5 Lies About Healthy Food That Are Making You Fat  [your body needs fat; plenty of it! Same with cholesterol.  Please, read the following books: Wheat Belly; Grain Brain]

7 Foods For Teeth That Your Dentist Wants You To Eat More Often  [not so sure about #6, as any sweetener will trip insulin production to some degree. I'm still researching this!]

10 Surprising Benefits of Walnuts You May Not Know About

11 Charts That Show Everything Wrong with Our Modern Diet

18 food replacement hacks worth giving a shot

7 Unexpected Ingredients You Might Eating For Lunch Today

15 Best Anti-Aging Foods You Need To Start Eating Now [Note: I'd say '14' ... be careful about #3: stay away from wheat! And, I'm not on board with the 'anti-aging' - they're just good foods]

All Salt is Not Equal

10 Amazing Benefits of Oolong Tea You Didn’t Know

Supplement Alert: Antioxidants May Protect Cancer Cells Instead Of Protecting Us From Them  [note: key word here is "may" ... more studies need to be conducted, and, the raw data and methodology for THIS study needs to be peer reviewed as well]

The Benefits of Coconut Oil

6 Things You Need To Know About Protein

How To Win An Argument With A Nutritionist

The Top Foods That Lead To Inflammation–Avoid These At All Costs

7 Super Foods That Will Make You Live Longer

8 Foods that Speed Up Ageing While Promoting Sickness:
4. Artificial sweeteners are worse than sucrose. Ignore the aspartame and diet soda trap, too. You should actually avoid all sodas, including diet soda. Aspartame is a neuron excitoxin that can excite brain cells to death, putting you in the fast lane to dementia or even brain cancer.

Health Repository: Exercise and Medicine

A health repository for superb articles on exercise and medicine.

Check back often - your health depends on it!

New: This Mineral Found to Reduce ‘All Cause Mortality’ Dramatically

Looks Like The Medical Establishment Was Wrong About Fat

Link Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Dementia Confirmed

Basic Tips For Being Healthy

Brushing and flossing are good for your brain?  [Answer hint: YES!!!!]

5 Surprising Factors That Make You Pack on Pounds


Extremely Important: Fluoride Treatment  5 Ways to Detox Fluoride

7 Facts about trans-Resveratrol

Walking More May Be Key for a Longer, Healthier Life

Study: Exercise Protects The Brain Against Depression

Nutritional Approaches to Mental Health

To Protect Your Heart, Your Sodium to Potassium Ratio Is More Important Than Your Overall Salt Intake

7 Tips to Ignite and Maintain Your Digestive Fire [note: I'm not so keen on #7, i.e., while I support the need for fiber, I'm not convinced of "whole grains" being the best source]

How Sugar Harms Your Brain Health and Drives Alzheimer’s Epidemic (aka "Sugar Kills and You Won't Even Know It - Literally")

Why Do People Gain Weight? (aka "Never Eat in These 11 Situations" - also explains the "freshman 15" though not explicitly)

9 Signs You Need to Eat More Fat

Must Read: Ketogenic diet beats chemo for almost all cancers Note: Doctor Thomas Seyfried is no quack!

Maybe We Don't All Need Annual Physicals

Fasting diets like the 5:2 'can help prevent diabetes by reducing cholesterol after 10 to 12 hours'

Is Alzheimer’s Caused by an Infection?

Are These the Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Belly Fat?

Top Ten Ways the American Health Care System Fails

The Importance of Vitamin D for Normalizing Your Cholesterol Levels

How To Workout At Home Without Equipment Or Weights  I liked this, but the language is unnecessary IMHO.  I guess I'm just getting old.

Hero’s Workout Styles You Can’t Miss My favorite set of exercises.  These come courtesy of Neila Rey's Free Visual Workouts

80% of Strokes Are Preventable

The Best Exercise There Is, Hands Down  easy, here it is:
The single best exercise there is, hands down, is the one you’ll do.

69 Kettlebell Exercises That Quickly Help You Get in Shape

7 Simple Ways To Be Healthy And Avoid Getting Sick [watch the video on sugar!]

7 Benefits of the Bulgarian Split Squat

Can exercising for just 60 seconds a week transform your health? 

How To Lose Fat Fast

Ketogenic Diet Improves Insulin Sensitivity and Numerous Aging Markers

Free Visual Workouts

6 Illustrated Guides To Different Types Of Meditation

Set Goals by Time Instead of Distance or Quantity  [IMHO this is the critical success factor to getting back into an exercise routine.  Don't set distance or quantity goals, i.e., '2 miles' or '20 reps'. It works]

15 Reasons to Sprint More This Year

Placebo Effect Dictates Therapeutic Effect of Headache Medication

Flame Thrower: Top 10 Natural Ways to Reduce Inflammation


A Must Read: Black Gold Loses Glitter

With all the commotion in the global markets with respect to what's going on with oil, there's one source that we can depend on to separate the facts from the fiction: Peter Schiff.  If you're curious about what's truly going on with oil as well as the impact on the markets and within certain countries, read Black Gold Loses Glitter:

The stunning 40% drop in the price of oil over the past few months has scrambled global economic forecasts, changed the geo-political landscape, and has severely pressured many energy sector investments. Economists are scratching their heads to determine if the drop is good or bad for the economy or whether cheap oil will add to or decrease unemployment, or complicate the global effort to "defeat" deflation. While all of these issues merit detailed discussions, the first question to address is if the steep drop is here to stay and whether energy prices will stay low enough, for long enough, to seriously reshuffle the economic deck. Based on a variety of factors, this is not likely to happen. I believe a series of technical, industrial, and monetary factors will combine to push oil back up to, and potentially beyond, the levels that it has seen over the last few years.
The dominant narrative explaining the current situation is that oil has collapsed largely because the growing mismatch between surging supply and diminishing demand. But there is little evidence to suggest that such conditions exist on the global stage.
According to the data available this month from the International Energy Agency (IEA), global demand for crude oil has increased by .74%. from 2013 to 2014, and is 3.6% higher than the average demand seen over the past five years (2009-2013). The same trend holds true for the United States, where 2014 demand is expected to come in 1.3% higher than 2013 and essentially the same as the average demand over the previous five years. (As an aside, the relative stagnation of U.S. oil demand provides a strong counterpoint to the current belief that the U.S. economy is stronger in 2014 than it has been in recent years).
 
So if the low prices are a function of supply and demand, but demand has not collapsed, then the difference has to be supply. The theory here is that the fracking and shale boom in North America has flooded the world market with unexpected supply, thereby pushing down the price. While it is true that the new drilling techniques have revolutionized energy production in the U.S. and Canada, the increase in production has been mostly negligible on the global stage.
 
Oil production in North America increased a hefty 8.8% from 2013 to 2014, and 17.7% over two years from 2012 to 2014. But outside of North America the story has been quite different. In fact, total global production increased by just .55% between 2012 and 2013 (2014 global data is not yet available). In 2012, North America accounted for just 17.4% of global production, but over the following year contributed 59% to the total increase of global production. So the fracking miracle is, at present, primarily a local phenomenon that has made limited impact on the global stage. In fact, in its most recent data, the IEA estimated that in 3rd Quarter 2014 total world demand exceeded total world supply by only .6%, hardly a figure that suggests an historic glut.
 
So if it's not supply and demand, what could it be? First, there are technical factors. There was a widespread concern going into 2014 that the recovery would bring with it higher oil prices. This may explain the surge in speculative "long" contracts in crude oil futures seen in 2014. These positions, in which investors sought to make a levered bet on rising oil prices, peaked around July at 4 million contracts, nearly four times as high as 2010. With so much money anticipating an increase, a small pullback in crude could have caused a wave of selling to close out losing positions. If that is the case, in an over-levered market, this could lead to a domino effect that pushes prices far lower than market levels. But as these positions get unwound, markets eventually return to normal. If that happens, we could see a significant rally in oil.
 
The surging dollar is another factor that has pushed down prices. Oil is globally priced in dollars so any increase in the dollar translates directly into a decrease in the price of crude. Over the past few months the dollar has seen a major rally that I suspect has been caused by the widespread, but unfounded, belief that the Federal Reserve will begin to tighten policy in 2015 just as the other major central banks shift into prolonged easing campaigns. When traders realize that this is unlikely to occur, the dollar should sell off and oil should rise.
 
Industrial forces will also come to bear soon. Much of the new North American shale production has been characterized by relatively high extraction costs, large production volumes, and fast depletions. A high amount of capital expenditure is needed to maintain production volumes. If the price of crude stays low, we can expect to see a decrease in capex expenditures from the companies most closely aligned with horizontal drilling and fracking. In fact, such evidence has already come to light. This means that volume decreases will start to bite far sooner than they would in the case of traditional oil extraction.
 
Ordinarily, falling energy prices are a great economic development. Lowering the cost of heating, power, and transportation means consumers and businesses have more money to spend on everything else. But the U.S. economy is now far more vulnerable to energy sector weakness. A substantial portion of high paying jobs that have been created in the last few years have been in energy production. Already the capex slowdown in the Dakotas and Texas is beginning to be felt by energy workers in those areas (12/2/14, The Globe and Mail). If these trends continue, the employment reports that currently drive so much of the economic confidence, will begin to look decidedly weaker.
 
But falling energy will also help hold down consumer prices. And while this may sound like a good thing to anyone with a standard amount of common sense, it is not seen as a good thing by economists who believe that higher inflation is a prerequisite for economic growth. Weakening employment and slowing inflation could quickly entice the Federal Reserve to launch the next round of QE far sooner than anyone currently predicts. This could turn the table on the current dollar rally and help push oil back up.
 
If oil stays low, it may turn out that entire U.S. oil boom was just another Federal Reserve inflated bubble. If it pops, the job losses and debt defaults that would ensue could have a far greater impact on the economy and the credit markets than did the bursting of the Internet bubble back in 2000. For those who think that cheap oil prices will provide a strong enough shock absorber, think again. When the housing bubble burst in 2008, $35 oil did not spare the U.S. economy from recession. Nor did $20 oil keep us out of recession in 2001. Oil producers have raised hundreds of billions of "junk bond" financing that may become vulnerable if oil prices stay low for an extended period. I do not believe the Fed will allow debt defaults that would result to impact the broader economy. They will be inclined to support oil prices just as they have been willing to support other strategically important asset classes.
 
If oil investors overbuilt capacity based overly optimistic price assumptions, which were created by artificially low interest rates and QE, why would similar mistakes made by investors in stocks, real estate, and bonds not be similarly exposed? This could mean that the popping of the oil bubble may be just one of many bubbles that are ready to burst. But given the difficulty of dealing with such a situation, QE 4 may ultimately need to be larger than QE1, 2, and 3 combined!
 
As a major player in oil production, the U.S. stands to gain far less from the current price slump than many of our trading rivals. Saudi Arabia, the dominant producer, has notoriously low production costs and should likely withstand the current slump with little need for structural reform (Saudi Arabia's geopolitical strategy for cheaper oil was recently examined by John Browne in his recent Euro Pacific column).
 
The primary beneficiaries of the current oil dip are the Asian countries that use lots of oil but produce very little. Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, India, China and Indonesia all import oil and, therefore, will benefit by varying degrees. Many governments (India, Indonesia, Malaysia) are removing high cost subsidies - so the immediate benefit is not to the consumer, but to government fiscal balances, which will improve greatly.
 
So every silver lining usually comes with a cloud or two. Although the dip in oil prices is currently the biggest thing on the street and the cause for optimism, good times come with a cost, and they are likely to be short-lived. Energy stocks have been unfairly beaten down and could offer long-term value at current price levels.

Manufacturing War: A Primer

The history that is NOT taught in schools, and the type that makes you friendless pretty quickly at a party.  Here's Martin Hellman's Manufacturing War: A Primer:

Now that President Obama’s administration is giving itself the option to have “boots on the ground” in Iraq, there has never been a more important time to look at how we get sucked into unending wars. Professor Martin Hellman examines how it’s been done for the last 70 years.


Of course, the people don’t want war… But… it is always a simple matter to drag the people along… All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism… It works the same way in any country.
So said Hermann Göring, Hitler’s right-hand man, before he committed suicide while facing the death penalty for war crimes in 1946.

Unfortunately, what might be called The Göring Doctrine has proved as tempting to democratic leaders as to fascist dictators. Witness these examples drawn from recent American history.

Remember the Maine?

In March 1962, seven months before the Cuban missile crisis, the Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously recommended to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and President Kennedy that the United States use Göring’s prescription for dragging the people into war with Cuba. They suggested a number of false flag operations including:
We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba. … [Or] we could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington. … [fostering] attempts on lives of Cuban refugees in the United States even to the extent of wounding [anti-Castro Cubans].
While McNamara and JFK rejected these proposals, Bobby Kennedy resurfaced the idea during the Cuban missile crisis:
We should also think of whether there is some other way we can get involved in this, through Guantánamo Bay or something. Or whether there’s some ship that … you know, sink the Maine again or something. [Tuesday, October 16, 1962, 6:30 PM meeting in the Cabinet Room, recorded on JFK’s secret taping mechanism].
While that suggestion was also rejected, the Göring Doctrine came into its own two years later, when the Tonkin Gulf incidents of August 2 and 4, 1964, provided the legal basis for the Vietnam War.

Remember the Gulf of Tonkin?

At the time, the Johnson Administration portrayed America’s full-scale, boots-on-the-ground entry into the civil war between North and South Vietnam as a response to unprovoked acts of communist aggression. But a now-declassified phone call that LBJ made to former Treasury Secretary Robert Anderson on August 3 reveals the truth: communist naval forces in the Tonkin Gulf were in fact responding to U.S. covert operations in North Vietnam.

Unbeknownst to the American public, Johnson told Anderson, American forces were already
blowing up some bridges and things of that kind, roads, and so forth. So I imagine they wanted to put a stop to it. So they come out there and fire and we respond immediately with five-inch guns from the destroyer and with planes overhead.
In other words, contrary to what he later told Congress and the world, LBJ knew that prior American actions had provoked this North Vietnamese attack.

Equally startling is the fact that the second (August 4) Tonkin Gulf attack never happened at all—a conclusion reached by several sources. A formerly top secret NSA history states unequivocally: “no attack happened that night.”

Adm. James Stockdale, who was overhead in a jet fighter sent to provide air cover for the American destroyers corroborates that this second attack never occurred:
I had the best seat in the house from which to detect boats – if there were any … but no wakes or dark shapes other than those of the destroyers were ever visible to me.

There something wrong out here. Those destroyers are talking about hits, but where are the metal to metal sparks? And the boat wakes – where are they? And boat gun flashes? The day before yesterday [August 2, 1964, the date of the first incident], I saw all those signs of small-boat combat in broad daylight! Any of those telltale indicators would stand out like beacons in this black hole we’re operating in.
During his over seven years as a POW in North Vietnam, Stockdale’s greatest concern was that his captors would realize he was flying air cover during the second “incident” and torture him into making statements which would hurt the war effort by proving that we had gone to war on false pretenses. Stockdale thought that war was inevitable, but was deeply disturbed that President Johnson had lied to win public support for it.

In spite of the first incident being provoked by our covert operations and the second never even occurring, when LBJ went on television on August 4 to beat the drums for war, he portrayed the U.S. as the innocent victim of aggression in Vietnam:
… renewed hostile actions against United States ships on the high seas in the Gulf of Tonkin have today required me to order the military forces of the United States to take action in reply.

… it is my considered conviction, shared throughout your Government, that firmness in the right is indispensable today for peace; that firmness will always be measured. Its mission is peace. [August 4 television address]
Remember 9/11 and the Weapons of Mass Destruction?

The Göring Doctrine came into play again after 9/11, when the Bush Administration rallied public support for an attack on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. This was done by continually linking Saddam to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Several years later, when a reporter asked, “What did Iraq have to do with … the attack on the World Trade Center?” President Bush replied, “Nothing. … nobody has suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack.”

While Bush was technically correct, he was employing sophistry. A week before the invasion of Iraq, the Christian Science Monitor noted:
In his prime-time press conference last week… President Bush mentioned Sept. 11 eight times. He referred to Saddam Hussein many more times than that, often in the same breath with Sept. 11.

[T]he overall effect was to reinforce an impression…that the Iraqi dictator did play a direct role in the attacks. A New York Times/CBS poll this week shows that 45 percent of Americans believe Mr. Hussein was “personally involved” in Sept. 11…

In a Knight Ridder poll, 44 percent of Americans reported that either “most” or “some” of the Sept. 11 hijackers were Iraqi citizens. The answer is zero.
And then there was the second of the shifting justifications for going to war. Speaking to the UN Security Council on February 5, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell spelled out the case for attacking Iraq because it was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction.

The media at the time hailed this speech. But it was based on blatant fabrications.
Powell’s Chief of Staff, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who worked on the speech, later lamented his part in crafting that speech:
I participated in a hoax on the American people, the international community and the United Nations Security Council.
Ironically, al Qaeda-linked groups, which were virtually non-existent in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, today control large swaths of Iraqi territory and are threatening Syria as well.

Back to the Future?

Unfortunately, the West risks repeating the mistakes of Cuba, Vietnam and Iraq in the current Ukraine crisis.

A bipartisan chorus of opinion inside and outside Washington has pinned all of the blame for the conflict on Putin. A New York Times editorial summed it up this way: “There is one man who can stop it—President Vladimir Putin of Russia.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a front-runner for her party’s presidential nomination in 2016, has compared Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler–-implying that if the West doesn’t intervene in Ukraine, Americans may well be fighting Russian aggression on their own shores in the future.

It has, paradoxically, been left to advisers to former Republican presidents to raise serious doubts about this rush to judgment.

For example, Ronald Reagan’s Ambassador to Moscow, Jack Matlock, wrote:
I believe it has been a very big strategic mistake – by Russia, by the EU and most of all by the U.S. – to convert Ukrainian political and economic reform into an East-West struggle. (emphasis added)
Dmitri Simes, who advised President Nixon on Soviet matters, stated in an interview:
I think it [the Obama administration’s approach to the Ukraine] has contributed to the crisis. … there is no question in my mind that the United States has a responsibility to act. But what Obama is doing is exactly the opposite from what should be done in my view.
Henry Kissinger wrote:
The politics of post-independence Ukraine clearly demonstrates that the root of the problem lies in efforts by Ukrainian politicians to impose their will on recalcitrant parts of the country, first by one faction, then by the other. …

A wise U.S. policy toward Ukraine would seek a way for the two parts of the country to cooperate with each other. We should seek reconciliation, not the domination of a faction.
Some may wonder if these criticisms are motivated by a partisan instinct to criticize foreign policy while Democrats hold the White House (although I do not). But a voice from overseas also challenges the emerging anti-Putin consensus from another perspective.

Tony Brenton, British Ambassador to Moscow from 2004 to 2008, has warned against basing a foreign policy on the “narrative” that Putin is an insatiable expansionist:
Western policy has been built on two false premises.  … As this narrative runs: yesterday Russia took Crimea; today Eastern Ukraine; tomorrow – who knows – Estonia, Poland? This precisely mirrors the Russian nightmare of predatory NATO expansion; yesterday Poland and Estonia, today Georgia, tomorrow – who knows – parts of Russia itself? The mutual suspicions of 1914 spring worryingly to mind.
Brenton goes on to warn that “the Russians are ready to go to the brink to achieve their political objectives in Ukraine.” The Russian bear has lost many of its teeth, leaving nuclear threats—and therefore, potentially, nuclear use – as its only ace in the hole.

Which makes the mutual saber-rattling over Ukraine that much more dangerous. After 70 years, it is high time to learn from the mistakes of the past, and stop following Göring’s script from dragging us into needless wars.


NOTE: Other historical examples of the malign influence of The Göring Doctrine on U.S. foreign policy can be found in Prof. Hellman’s 10-part series on Avoiding Needless Wars.

A Real Inconvenient Truth: Ethanol not only isn’t Green… It’s Blacker than Coal

From A Real Inconvenient Truth: Ethanol not only isn’t Green… It’s Blacker than Coal:

Mother Jones Ethanol Problem Breakdown

and:

Resource Media - Ethanol, Food or Fuel

What, You're Surprised to Learn That ...

... Uncle Sam Does The Impossible: Loses $105 Million/Year Coining (Nickels & Pennies) Money!:
It costs the United States nearly twice as much to make a penny as that penny is actually worth, writes Christopher Ingraham for the Washington Post, reporting that it costs the government 1.7 cents to make a penny. And pennies aren’t the only problem: it costs the government more than 8 cents to make a nickel. A new report from the U.S. Mint reveals that it’s still not cost-effective to make pennies and nickels. Pennies and nickels used to be profitable in the early 2000s, says Ingraham, but the cost of producing the coins began rising in 2006 and has only gone up. While currency costs fell overall this year due to declining copper prices, the two coins still cost more than their face value. The rest of American currency is doing alright:
  • It costs 5.4 cents to make a dollar bill.
  • It costs 8.95 cents to make a quarter.
  • It costs 3.91 cents to make a dime.
Ingraham writes that America could save $100 million each year simply by getting rid of the penny and the nickel, noting that Americans lost $105 million in 2013 due to their production. While, alternatively, the United States could save money by changing coins’ metal makeup, such a move would require vending machines to be upgraded across the country, costing billions. Source: Christopher Ingraham, “It cost 1.7 cents to make a penny this year, and 8 cents to make a nickel,” Washington Post, December 15, 2014.

"Normalization" With Cuba! Finally!

Finally, an action worthy of a president who is seeking to define his legacy: U.S., Cuba plan restored relations after 50 years of hostility.  The first order of business should be to lift the 50 year-old embargo, which is a sanction by another name.  Our country has done almost as much harm to the people of Cuba as has Fidel Castro.  Our nation's embarrassing behavior lasted this long only because of the simple fact that Cuba was a small island, very close to our shore.  Think about what we've witnessed over the course of these past 50 years: the emergence of China; normalization with Vietnam, where our nation lost over 50,000 lives, not to mention the loss of Vietnamese life; the fall of the Soviet Union; German reunification and the lifting of the Iron Curtain in general.  All this and out country still let Cuba mire in its own misery. 

Back in 2009, when I started this blog in response to a life (mine) in crisis, I penned this post on February 11th, 2009: Stimulus: Iconoclastic Style in which my #1 iconoclastic idea was to lift the embargo on Cuba.  Now boldly onward to #2 and beyond!

The Required Wisdom for Investing: Something Most of Us Do Not Possess (but ...)

... there's hope.

122 Things Everyone Should Know About Investing And The Economy

74. The book Where Are the Customers' Yachts? was written in 1940, and most people still haven't figured out that brokers don't have their best interest at heart. 
96. For many, a house is a large liability masquerading as a safe asset.
105. The Congressional Budget Office's 2003 prediction of federal debt in the year 2013 was off by $10 trillion. Forecasting is hard. But we still line up for it.
111. "Do nothing" are the two most powerful -- and underused -- words in investing. The urge to act has transferred an inconceivable amount of wealth from investors to brokers.
122. Take two investors. One is an MIT rocket scientist who aced his SATs and can recite pi out to 50 decimal places. He trades several times a week, tapping his intellect in an attempt to outsmart the market by jumping in and out when he's determined it's right. The other is a country bumpkin who didn't attend college. He saves and invests every month in a low-cost index fund come hell or high water. He doesn't care about beating the market. He just wants it to be his faithful companion. Who's going to do better in the long run? I'd bet on the latter all day long. "Investing is not a game where the guy with the 160 IQ beats the guy with a 130 IQ," Warren Buffett says. Successful investors know their limitations, keep cool, and act with discipline. You can't measure that.

 10 Legendary Investment Rules From Legendary Investors 




and lastly?  Read Nassim Taleb.

A Must Read on The Decline of the Two Parent Family in America

Likely to offend some, but so be it: truth is often tough to swallow, especially in today's entitled America.  Please, read Moynihan Was Right In 1965: A Monograph On The 50-Year Decline Of The Two Parent Family by Sara McLanahan and Christopher Jencks at Education Next.  It's a long piece, so I won't repost, however, please don't let that stop you from reading this extremely important paper.

Japanese Economy - Abenomics

Latest Updates Below, in RED:

Recall how Japanese recycled Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has printed stimulated the Japanese economy to the tune of $116B, all with the goal of course of ending Japan's journey through the economic doldrums (recession), which has been underway now for at least 30 years.  Of course, Abe said that "this time it would be different" as the stimulus would be "targeted" not on infrastructure, but on innovation and technology.  Well, all is not well and this time will be no different (well, at least if you're not counting being worse than before as 'different') than from the other failures in the past: Keynesianism does not work and you cannot borrow or print your way out-of-debt. 

So Abe-san, how's that stimulus working out for 'ya?

Why "This Time Won't Be Different" For Japan In Two Charts by Tyler Durden  [especially interesting is the impact of Japan's decision to shutdown all but one of its nuclear power plants after the tsunami]

Abe Says Fears Of Hyperinflation Are "Mostly" Unfounded As He Urges Companies To Hike Wages by Tyler Durden [last few sentences are all that need to be said]


Japan Food Prices Set To Soar As Government Hikes Wholesale Wheat Prices By 10% by Tyler Durden:
If the past three months have been any indication of what Japan has to look forward to from Abenomics, we have a feeling his tenure will be as short, if not shorter, than all of his recent (and numerous, among which he, himself) predecessors. Because while the stock market may have risen in lock step with the plunge in the Yen, what has also soared are costs. And while a very select few benefit from the transitory surge in the Nikkei, the rising costs, i.e., inflation, hit everyone equally.
But while the "no free lunch" reality has until now mostly been felt by those who need energy, as shown in "You Wanted Inflation, You Got It: Japanese Gasoline Price Rises To Eight Month High" the inflationary impact on Chinese imports is about to hit everyone like a sledgehammer right where it hurts the most: in the stomach, as the inevitable has finally happened, and the agriculture ministry announced that wholesale wheat prices are set to rise by a near-record 9.7% in April, which will shortly thereafter send regular food prices soaring.
And just like that Japan is about to learn that soaring stock prices always have a trade off, a lesson which even GETCO's S&P ramping algos will not be exempt from when the latest bout of soaring food inflation results in central banks scrambling to withdraw liquidity, just as they did in early 2011. The results will naturally be the same.

As for how long Abe's government will remain in power after energy and food inflation sweep through the net importing nation, that is anyone's guess.

Japan: Front-Runner Of Outright Monetization by Ryutaro Kono of BNP Paribas

Japanese Welfare Recipients Hit All-Time High by Tyler Durden

The Abenomics Farce Continues by Tyler Durden

Abenomics Tries To Make Sure Japan Is Going Down Swinging by Wolf Richter

Abenomics Utter Fail: Japan’s Crazy Exploding Trade Deficit  by Wolf Richter

Abenomics Wins: Budget And Inflation Both Jump (Over The Cliff) by Wolf Richter

“We Don’t Feel Any Impact Of Abenomics Here”  by Wolf Richter

Japan’s Frantic Redo Of An Artificial Boom Followed By A Bust  by Wolf Richter

BNP Warns Only 10% Chance That Abenomics "Ends Well" by Tyler Durden

Japanese Consumers, Hammered By Abenomics, Get Gloomier   by Wolf Richter

Cheered on by the OECD, Japan Announces Higher VAT Rate to Enable Bigger Government by Dan Mitchell

What Will It Take To Blow Up The Entire Japanese Banking System? (Not Much, According To The Bank of Japan)  by Wolf Richter

Chart Of The Day: "Japan Has No Alternative But To Print And Print And Print" by Tyler Durden

Abenomics One Year Later by Tyler Durden

Dismal Abenomics Leads To 16th Consecutive Decline In Japanese Wages by Tyler Durden

The Japanese Feel The Heat From The Big Lie Of Abenomics by Wolf Richter  [last for 2013]

*******************   2014 *******************************

Crazy Abenomics Orgy In Japan Is Ending Already – Pounding Hangover Next by Wolf Richter

The Madness Of Abenomics In One (Crazy) Chart by Wolf Richter

Total Abenomics Fail Slams Japan Where It Hurts Most by Wolf Richter

Double Data Whammy For Japan As PMI Tumbles & Industrial Production Misses By Most Since Abenomics by Tyler Durden

The Economic Catastrophe That Is Abenomics Sends Japanese Gas Prices To Five Year Highs by Tyler Durden

Abenomics At Work: Largest Ever Trade Deficit Slams Domestic Wages, Gooses Overseas Corporate Profits by Mike Mish Shedlock

Abenomics At Work: Japanese Consumer Confidence Plummets Due To Rising Prices, Stagnant Wages by Pater Tenebrarum

Abenomics Down The Memory Hole: Maniac Money Printing Has Not Stopped Japan’s Falling Wages by Jeffrey P. Snider

Abenomics At Work: Japan’s April Output And Orders Fall Sharply by Mike Mish Shedlock

Japan’s 10th Round Of QE: Still A Flat-Out Failure by Jeffrey P. Snider

Abenomics: Japan’s Live Fire Test Of Keynesian Central Banking Is A Growing Disaster by David Stockman

Abenomics' Legacy: Japan's Greatest "Misery" In 33 Years by Tyler Durden

Abenomics Nails Japan’s Workers: April Real Wages Down 3% Y/Y by Jeffrey P. Snider

Japan’s Great Keynesian Rebuke: Abenomics Has Wiped Out ItsTrade Accounts—-Exactly Opposite The Theory by Jeffrey P. Snider

The Essence Of Abenomics: Swapping Japan’s Historical Trade Mercantilism For Keynesian Financialization by Jeffrey P. Snider

The Wrath of Abenomics: Sales Collapse, Inflation Soars by Wolf Richter

Abe's Worst Nightmare: Household Spending Collapses As Inflation Spikes by Tyler Durden

Printing Press “Prosperity”: The Complete And Utter Failure Of Abenomics by Andy Sirkis

Japan’s ‘Surge’ Undone: The Abenomics Rebuke To Keynesian Money Printers by Jeffrey P. Snider

The Flame-Out Of Abenomics, in One Crucial Chart by Wolf Richter

 Pity The Japanese: They’ve Been Turned Into Keynesian Lab Rats  by Jeffrey P. Snider

 What Japan’s June Trade Disaster Really Means: Abenomics Is Flaming-Out by Wolf Richter

Abenomics Is Working: Japanese Households On Welfare Rise To Record by Tyler Durden 

The Raging “Success” of Abenomics in one Crucial Chart  by Wolf Richter

Japan’s Keynesian Money Printing Experiment Continues To Fail: Jobs, Real Incomes And Spending Plunge Again from ZeroHedge

Keynesian Central Banking Is An Economic Scourge: More Evidence From Japan from Jeffrey P. Snider

The Wrath of Abenomics Crushes Japanese Consumers, Eviscerates Economy by Wolf Richter:
So the hapless Japanese consumers are in the nightmarish situation of having to watch how the government that they themselves elected into power is executing its plan that had been part of its election platform. That plan is now destroying their earnings power and their life savings at a rate that middle-aged Japanese have only read about in history books.

Abenomics Crushes Sony: Electronics Giant Forced To Cancel Dividend For First Time Ever by Tyler Durden

Miraculous Impact of Abenomics on Trade, in One Chart by Wolf Richter

Prime Minister Abe’s Keynesian Delusions  by Jeffrey P. Snider

Japanese Stocks Tumble After BoJ Bond-Buying Operation Fails For First Time Since Abenomics from ZeroHedge

In Memoriam: Abenomics from ZeroHedge

Keynesian Yen Trashers At Work: Abenomics Triggers Soaring Bankruptcies In Japan from ZeroHedge 

QE Is Clearly Destroying Japan, So BoJ Panics Into More by Jeffrey P. Snider

The BOJ Jumps The Monetary Shark—–Now The Machines, Madmen And Morons Are Raging by David Stockman 

Kuroda’s Madness Intensifies: New Yen Flood Was Designed To Counter Slumping Oil Prices! by Raúl Ilargi Meijer 

Abe Approval Tumbles As Majority Say Japan's "Banzainomics" QE Will Have Negative Effects from ZeroHedge

Abenomics Creates "Potential For Economic Collapse Triggered By Bond Market Crash", Warns Richard Koo from ZeroHedge 

"Godfather" Of Abenomics Admits Japanese Policy "Is A Ponzi Game... Taxpayers May Revolt" from ZeroHedge 

Japan’s Last Stand - Portent Of Keynesian Collapse from ZeroHedge

The Inevitable End—–Statist Economics Are Destroying Japan  by Jeffrey P. Snider 

The Abenomics Death Spiral  by Peter Schiff

PROOF: While The Bank Of Japan Goes 'Full-QE-Retard', Japanese Investors Are Hoarding Physical Gold

The Abenomics Devastation: Japanese Real Wages Decline For Record 16 Consecutive Months from Zero Hedge

Crashing Yen Leads To Record Number Of Japanese Bankruptcies from ZeroHedge

The BOJ’s Relentless Bid: Why Japan’s Financial System Is Heading For Chaos by Wolf Richter

Japan’s Latest GDP Drop: Proves, Again, Keynesians Don’t Know Difference Between Healthy Growth And Destructive Redistribution by Jeffrey P. Snider

Abenomics—-A Policy Disaster Designed For Japan’s Emerging Scarecrow Economy from ZeroHedge 

New:  The Curse Of Keynesian Dogma: Japan’s Lemmings March Toward The Cliff Chanting “Abenomics” by David Stockman