Google Eyes Smart Tattoos That Turn Skin Into Touchpad

Technocrats invent because they can, not because there is a real need to do so. In this case, that age-old dream of merging technology with the human condition is clearly seen. Doesn’t everyone need a touchpad on their arm? ⁃ TN Editor

Google is working on smart tattoos that, when applied to skin, will transform the human body into a living touchpad via embedded sensors

is working on smart tattoos that, when applied to skin, will transform the human body into a living touchpad via embedded sensors.

Part of Research, the wearable project is called “SkinMarks” that uses rub-on tattoos.

The project is an effort to create the next generation of wearable technology devices, the CNET reported citing white papers and demo videos,

Here’s how the technology works.

The sensor-driven tattoos are applied to a part of the body.

The sensors can then be triggered by traditional touch or swipe gestures, like we perform on smartphones.

There are a few gestures that are more specific to working on the skin’s surface.

“You could squeeze the area around the tattoo or bend your fingers or limbs to activate the sensors”.

The researchers at Saarland University in Germany wrote in a white paper that the benefit of using skin as an interface “is tapping into the fine motor skills that human beings naturally have”.

The project is partly funded through Faculty Research Awards.

Interacting with your own skin and limbs also means you can do it without looking.

The tattoos are made by screen printing conductive ink onto tattoo paper.

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Is Parler The Uncensored Replacement For Twitter?

The Social justice crowd and other leftists are doing their best to disrupt the new social media platform, Parler, that is drawing away millions of conservatives from the highly-censored Twitter. Parler is the first alternative social media to gain serious traction against Twitter.

Technocracy News has also joined Parler as @PatrickWood and you can find our posted articles there for review and discussion. ⁃ TN Editor

I have never been a fan of social media platforms, primarily because I realize most of them are operated by leftists and globalists with an antagonistic agenda. The idea of spending all the time and resources needed to build a following on these websites only to then have that work used against you as leverage to silence your viewpoints is not appealing. The more effort you put into sites like Twitter, the more dependent you become on it to get your message out, and the more dependent you become the more power the people at at these companies hold over you.

Just ask any of the numerous conservative personalities that have been banned from Twitter over the past couple of years because of their political positions. Or ask the people who were banned from YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, etc. as part of a massive purge of accounts this past month, the vast majority of them considered conservative or moderates. Of course, these companies usually don’t admit outright that they are biased against conservative and moderate viewpoints; instead, they accuse accounts of spreading “hate speech”, violating community guidelines or violating “copyright rules”.

The claim by Twitter that they have no political bias is typical leftist misdirection. Banning people for copyright or for “hate speech” is not necessarily politically motivated, right? However, as analysts have shown in the past, conservatives are somehow FOUR TIMES more likely to be accused of “neutral” policy violations than leftists on Twitter.  As for hate speech, everything conservative is now considered a form of hate speech.  Everything moderate is considered hate speech.  Everything that does not conform to the social justice religion is considered hate speech.  And if it’s not considered hate speech today, it will be considered hate speech tomorrow.

It’s interesting that SJWs on social media can froth at the mouth with anti-white rabies whenever they please and consequences rarely befall them, yet conservatives can relate nothing more than facts and figures and are summarily booted for “racism”.

No bias?  Yeah, right…

YouTube banned thousands of accounts over the past two weeks because of “supremacist ideas and conspiracy theories”, calling the people behind them “harmful users”.

Twitch organized a “Safety Advisory Council” made up primarily of social justice leftists (including a power hungry lunatic that thinks he’s a female deer) to “inform and guide decisions” specifically on protecting the safety of “marginalized” users.

Look, I understand the concepts behind Alinsky Tactics and the reality that leftists as a rule deny everything they are doing no matter how obvious it is. They’ll even claim their own groups (like Antifa) don’t exist whenever they get caught in a compromising position. But there comes a point when the gaslighting just isn’t going to work anymore. We all know that social media platforms HATE anyone that opposes the social justice narrative; the only reason they haven’t kicked all conservatives off their platforms yet is because there is something else they hate even more – the prospect that conservatives and moderates might retaliate en masse by organizing on their own competing platforms.

Enter Parler…

I have been arguing for years that alternative analysts and anyone not on the political left should be building their own social media. If you are dependent on controlled systems, then you can be controlled. It’s really that simple. Whenever someone puts in the work to establish an alternative system, it behooves us to support it and at least give it a chance.

There have been some attempts to make this happen, but in every case the attacks from the mainstream media and leftists have been relentless.  What I want to explore here is why?  Why do the lefties care so much if we leave them to their little bubble world and start our own thing?

Parler in particular has been under endless attack the past few weeks from SJWs attempting to troll and disrupt the site, as well as disjointed criticism from the MSM.  Perhaps part of the reason is that Parler has been gaining momentum; with 500,000 new people joining in a matter of days.  We have to consider the possibility that Parler wasn’t a threat to the social justice cult, they would not be attacking it so consistently.

The main criticism of Parler by the left goes a little something like this:

Parler claims it’s a free speech site but it censors people just like Twitter, so why leave Twitter at all?”

I love this argument because it really showcases the dishonest sophistry of leftists. First, leftists do not care about free speech and haven’t cared for at least a decade. They only care about controlling the narrative. How often do you see leftists attacking Twitter or YouTube for censorship of conservatives? They won’t do that, because they like it and they know the odds are slim that those platforms will ever come after them.

Second, when Parler says it’s a “free speech platform” I think it’s obvious that they are referring to political speech specifically. Leftists OPENLY ADMIT to trolling Parler in order to disrupt and sabotage its progress, including posting pornography and other childish tactics in order to force Parler to ban them so that they can then say “Look! Parler lied about free speech…”

The left defends censorship by companies like Twitter, Facebook and Google because they are “private corporations” and websites are private property (imagine that, commies defending private property rights). I actually agree with that basic premise, but there are some problems with their arguments. Parler is indeed a private company and is perfectly within its rights to ban trolls that are attempting to disrupt discussion and drive people off the platform.  But, there is a big difference between sites like Parler and the major media platforms.

Most major tech conglomerates, like Google and Facebook, receive billions of dollars in state and federal government subsidies and taxpayer dollars. As far as I can tell from my research Parler does not.  Twitter even received an extensive tax break for eight years worth over $70 million for being based in San Francisco as part of a program called “the Twitter tax break”.  In return for giving welfare and special treatment to silicone valley, Californians in SF now enjoy a historic bubble in real estate and rental prices, along with a spike in poverty and homelessness as well endless traffic.  Many of the people that work at these companies can’t even afford to live in the same city as them.

Major social media platforms that accept government funds are receiving an unfair advantage over other competing companies and should therefore be held accountable as public services, not private businesses. If a corporation like Google wants to give up taxpayer cash and pay full price for all that bandwidth it uses, then sure, they should be allowed to censor whoever they want. But until then, these companies are subject to oversight, just as any corporate monopoly would be.

The fact that Parler is encouraging political free speech is what matters here. And so far the only leftists being kicked off the site are those that deliberately go there to try to burn it down. Is it perfect? No, nothing is. But Twitter and others have a proven prejudice against conservative voices and even liberal voices that go against the accepted script. Why stay on Twitter when there are other options that are more free?

I suspect SJWs despise Parler because it represents a focal point for conservative organization, and they think they own the organizational wheelhouse.

Leftists, being collectivist in nature, are only adept at one thing – mobilizing bodies through lies and manipulation. This is where they have a distinct advantage over conservatives. The issue is that leftists are easy to mobilize because they have a drone mentality. They tend to follow their gatekeepers blindly. Conservatives tend to be more independent and often question the motives behind any given movement, and this causes internal disagreements on mobilization. Our liberty mindedness is our strength as well as our weakness, and the political left knows it.

By congregating on a platform that is not relentlessly hostile to us, we are given a free hand to discuss options and organize without being attacked by an engineered mob in the process.

When I see the vitriol from leftists over Parler, I am also reminded once again that communists don’t see people as “allies”, they see people as property. They want to get rid of conservatives from their platforms but also don’t want conservatives to leave and build their own platforms. I often think of the Chinese invasion of Tibet when pondering this mentality. The CCP’s strategy was one of ethnic cleansing; building railways to Tibet to import Chinese people and run out the indigenous Tibetans. But, when Tibetans sought to leave the country on foot to go to Nepal, the Chinese government set up snipers in the mountains to kill them as they tried to escape.

This is the communist philosophy – You are not allowed to walk away. You are not allowed to stay as you are. Your only choice is to be reeducated. Your only option is to conform.

One criticism that I’ve seen on the conservative side is that by moving to Parler we are “walling ourselves off” from public discourse and will not have any sway going into election time. This is an idiotic notion.

There is no rule that says you can’t use BOTH Parler and Twitter to spread your message. If you really think elections still matter, then by all means jump on as many platforms as you can. Just understand that the purge on sites like Twitter and YouTube is going to get much worse as 2020 comes to a close. Count on it.

Beyond that, if you believe that the lines are not already deeply drawn on the political divide in the US then you are kidding yourself. Most people have made up their minds as to which side they are on. The only ambiguity is perhaps that many people don’t yet realize how bad the situation could get. Staying on leftist platforms to “fight the good fight” is, in my view, a waste of time. Now is the time to build community so that we are ready for the political and social storm that is ready to make landfall, I have no interest in trying to win raving leftists to my side.

I’m promoting Parler in this article because it’s the first major attempt I’ve seen to grow a conservative friendly social media outlet. They don’t pay me, I don’t know the people that run the company, and I don’t have any stake in Parler’s success or failure. I have joined the site, and anyone who wants to follow me there can do so by searching @altmarket. My hope is that the site will become an internet safe haven for conservatives during these troubled times. I feel it can be used as a tool for us to join forces and prepare. Conservative ideals and principles of limited government, civil liberties, free markets and individualism must endure for the sake of future generations. We have to begin building our citadels, and Parler could be a good place to start.

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World Economic Forum: The Institution Behind ‘The Great Reset’

Sustainable Development, aka Technocracy, is racing to the finish line as the world is forced into a ‘Great Reset’ by the global elite. This is the culmination of the Trilateral Commission’s original New International Economic Order from 1974. COVID-19 is the main driver now. ⁃ TN Editor
 

In a recent article I briefly examined a number of advances that global planners made prior to the World Economic Forum’s announcement in June of a new initiative dubbed ‘The Great Reset‘. Taken together, the United Nation’s Agenda 2030, the Paris Climate Agreement, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Bank for International Settlement’s ‘Innovation BIS 2025‘ offer an insight into how elites want to turn the lives of every man, woman and child inside out over the course of the next decade.

Details of ‘The Great Reset‘ came as nations began to reopen their economies following a global lockdown. The extent to which Covid-19 has dominated every facet of existence – largely because of unrepentant media coverage – has encouraged people to focus exclusively on what life will be like after the virus. For many, what came before now seems inconsequential. It is anything but.

For example, three months before Covid-19 took hold, a global pandemic exercise – ‘Event 201‘ – was held in New York City which simulated the outbreak of a coronavirus that originated in Brazil. The scenario focused on a novel zoonotic virus that ‘transmitted from bats to pigs to people that eventually becomes efficiently transmissible from person to person, leading to a severe pandemic.’ Whilst initially some countries managed to control the outbreak, it ended up spreading and ‘eventually no country can maintain control‘.

The simulation culminated at the eighteen month mark with 65 million people having died and severe economic and societal repercussions. But that was not the end of it. As the scenario explained, ‘the pandemic will continue at some rate until there is an effective vaccine or until 80-90 % of the global population has been exposed. From that point on, it is likely to be an endemic childhood disease.’

Event 201 also used the exercise as an opportunity to warn that ‘the next severe pandemic will not only cause great illness and loss of life but could also trigger major cascading economic and societal consequences that could contribute greatly to global impact and suffering.’

That pandemic arrived in the shape of Covid-19, just weeks after the conclusion of Event 201.

On examining the make up of Event 201, we find that the three institutions at the forefront of the simulation were the World Economic Forum, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

It is through the WEF that ‘The Great Reset‘ was launched, in what the group said was in response to Covid-19. Johns Hopkins has been the go to source for the number of global infections and deaths thanks to their newly established ‘Coronavirus Resource Center‘. And then you have The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which has been a driving force behind efforts for a vaccination to be found and disseminated worldwide.

Event 201 consisted of fifteen ‘players‘ that represented, amongst others, airlines and medical corporations. Out of these fifteen, six are direct partners of the World Economic Forum. One is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with the other five being Marriott International (hospitality), Henry Schein (medical distribution), Edelman (communications), NBCUniversal Media and Johnson & Johnson.

To be clear, these organisations do not all operate at the same level within the WEF. For instance, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Johnson and Johnson are ‘Strategic Partners‘, the highest stage for a participant. Only 100 global companies are Strategic Partners, and to qualify for an invitation they must all have ‘alignment with forum values‘. Not only that, but Strategic Partners ‘shape the future through extensive contribution to developing and implementing Forum projects and championing public-private dialogue.’

Beneath the Strategic Partners are the ‘Strategic Partner Associates‘, which is the category that NBCUniversal Media fall under. Strategic Partner Associates include some of the largest businesses in the world, who are ‘actively involved in shaping the future of industries, regions and systemic issues‘. According to the WEF, associates also believe in ‘corporate global citizenship‘.

Next come the ‘Partners‘ which comprise of Marriott International, Henry Schein and Edelman. Partners are described by the WEF as ‘world class companies‘ who possess a ‘strong interest in developing systemic solutions to key challenges‘.

Finally, there are the ‘Associate Partners‘. Whilst they participate in ‘forum communities‘ and have a ‘strong interest in addressing challenges affecting operations and society at large‘, none were present at Event 201.

Every major industry in the world, be it banking, agriculture, healthcare, media, retail, travel and tourism, is directly connected to the World Economic Forum through corporate membership.

What is evident is that the deeper a corporation’s ties with the WEF, the greater its ability to ‘shape‘ the group’s agenda. Which brings us to what the WEF call their Strategic Intelligence platform – the mechanism which brings all the interests that the WEF concentrate on together.

They describe the platform as ‘a dynamic system of contextual intelligence that enables users to trace relationships and interdependencies between issues, supporting more informed decision-making‘.

As for why the WEF developed Strategic Intelligence, they say it was to ‘help you (businesses) understand the global forces at play and make more informed decisions‘.

Growing the platform is an ever present goal. The WEF are always looking for new members to become part of Strategic Intelligence by joining the ‘New Champions Community‘. But they will only allow a new organisation on board if they ‘align with the values and aspirations of the World Economic Forum in general‘. A 12 month ‘New Champions Membership‘ comes in at €24,000.

In arguing for the relevance of Strategic Intelligence, the WEF ask:

How can you decipher the potential impact of rapidly unfolding changes when you’re flooded with information—some of it misleading or unreliable? How do you continuously adapt your vision and strategy within a fast-evolving global context?

In other words, Strategic Intelligence is both an antidote to ‘fake news‘ and an assembly for corporations to position themselves as global pioneers in a rapidly changing political and technological environment. That’s the image they attempt to convey at least.

We can find more involvement from global institutions via Strategic Intelligence. The platform is ‘co-curated with leading topic experts from academia, think tanks, and international organizations‘.

Co-curators‘ are perhaps the most important aspect to consider here, given that they have the ability to ‘share their expertise with the Forum’s extensive network of members, partners and constituents, as well as a growing public audience‘.

It is safe to assume then that when co-curators speak, members and partners of the World Economic Forum listen. This in part is how the WEF’s agenda takes shape.

Who are the co-curators? At present, they include Harvard university, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Imperial College London, Oxford University, Yale and the European Council on Foreign Relations.

It was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that in March published an article titled, ‘We’re not going back to normal‘, just as Covid-19 lockdowns were being implemented world wide. Citing a report by fellow co-curator Imperial College London that endorsed the imposition of tougher social distancing measures if hospital admissions begin to spike, MIT proclaimed that ‘social distancing is here to stay for much more than a few weeks. It will upend our way of life, in some ways forever.’

As well as co-curators there are what’s known as ‘Content Partners‘, who the WEF say are ‘amplified by machine analysis of more than 1,000 articles per day from carefully selected global think tanks, research institutes and publishers‘.

Content partners include Harvard university, Cambridge university, the Rand Corporation, Chatham House (aka the Royal Institute of International Affairs), the European Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institute.

Getting into specifics, the way Strategic Intelligence is structured means that the higher your position in the corporate fold, the more ‘platforms‘ you can be part of. Whereas Strategic Partners must be part of a minimum of five platforms, Associate Partners only have access to a single platform of their choice.

Here is a list of some of the platforms hosted by the World Economic Forum:

  • COVID Action Platform
  • Shaping the Future of Technology Governance: Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies
  • Shaping the Future of the New Economy and Society
  • Shaping the Future of Consumption
  • Shaping the Future of Digital Economy and New Value Creation
  • Shaping the Future of Financial and Monetary Systems
  • Shaping the Future of Technology Governance: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • Shaping the Future of Trade and Global Economic Interdependence
  • Shaping the Future of Cities, Infrastructure and Urban Services
  • Shaping the Future of Energy and Materials
  • Shaping the Future of Media, Entertainment and Culture

As we will look at in a follow up article, ‘The Great Reset‘ is made up of over 50 areas of interest that are formed of both ‘Global Issues‘ and ‘Industries‘, which in turn are all part of the WEF’s Strategic Intelligence platform.

Corporate membership is essential for the World Economic Forum to spread its influence, but in the end every single member is in compliance with the agenda, objectives, projects and values of the WEF. These take precedent over all else.

Also in concurrence with the WEF are the organisation’s Board of Trustees. Three of these include the current Managing Director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde and former Bank of England governor Mark Carney. The Trilateral Commission are also represented amongst the trustees through Larry Fink and David Rubenstein.

To add some historical context to the WEF, the group dates back to 1971 when it was originally founded as the European Management Forum. At the time the conflict in Vietnam was raging, social protest movements were building and the United States was about to relinquish the gold standard. By 1973 when the post World War Two Bretton Woods system collapsed and the Trilateral Commission was formed, the Forum had widened its interest beyond just management to include economic and social issues. From here onwards political leaders from around the world began to receive invitations to the institution’s annual meeting in Davos.

The World Economic Forum is classified today as the ‘International Organisation for Public-Private Cooperation‘, and is the only global institution recognised as such. It is in this capacity that the forum ‘engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.’

Like how the Bank for International Settlements acts as a forum to bring central banks together under one umbrella, the WEF plays the same role by uniting business, government and civil society.

The WEF declare themselves as being a ‘catalyst for global initiatives‘, which is accurate considering ‘The Great Reset‘ agenda originates at the WEF level. And it is initiatives like ‘The Great Reset‘ and the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution‘ which the WEF say are distinguished by ‘the active participation of government, business and civil society figures‘.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) narrative was developed out of the World Economic Forum back in 2016. The WEF have confidently asserted that because of 4IR, ‘over the next decade, we will witness changes tearing through the global economy with an unprecedented speed, scale and force. They will transform entire systems of production, distribution and consumption‘.

Not only that, but the world is on the verge of witnessing ‘more technological change over the next decade than we have seen in the past 50 years.’

The group now plan to use ‘The Great Reset‘ as their theme for the 2021 annual meeting in Davos as a vehicle for advancing the 4IR agenda. 4IR is marketed as a technological revolution, where advancement in all the sciences ‘will leave no aspect of global society untouched.’

And like their global counterparts, such as the BIS and the Trilateral Commission, the WEF nurture their agenda gradually and seek to maintain their focus on the long term rather than ‘the emergencies of the day‘.  In their own words, ‘success is measured not only in terms of immediate results – we understand that real progress takes time and sustained commitment.’

For my next article we will look into the specifics of ‘The Great Reset‘ agenda as well as what global planners are seeking to achieve out of Covid-19.

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Is Black Lives Matter Joining Radical Islam To Destroy Capitalism?

In a dangerous turn, radical Islamic protestors have joined BLM protestors in the UK and together they are claiming that ‘racism exists because of Capitalism’. Thus, the destruction of Capitalism will ‘cure’ racism. It is also the immediate goal of Technocracy to kill Capitalism as well. ⁃ TN Editor

On Sunday, hundreds of pro-Yemeni and Black Lives Matter protesters joined forces in London to demonstrate against “white” capitalism, systemic racism, and the war in Yemen.

In a Breitbart London exclusive video, protesters are seen shouting the Islamic phrase “Allah hu Akbar” (Allah is greater [than your god]), “Justice for Yemen”, as well as common slogans to the BLM movement in Britain such as “the UK is not innocent”.

A white male activist — who said that he will never truly understand the plight of minorities because he does not “live in a black body” — pointed to the capitalist system as the reason for the world’s ills.

“Quarterly return is the god that capitalism continually worships at. The realities are, as Extinction Rebellion well put it, that the profit motive means that you can never have infinite growth on a finite planet,” he said.

The left-wing speaker went on to warn of the consequences of unemployment during the economic crisis spurred by the Chinese coronavirus. He said: “The realities are that within the next six months we may well have 50 per cent unemployment in the United Kingdom and when that happens, you’re going to see huge, huge social change.”

Another activist took aim at the American Declaration of Independence, saying that it was a product of “white capitalist slave owners” and therefore was used to oppress black people.

“We trust in a concept that was built off our backs and built to enslave. Democracy today does not exist, when we have black people dying on the streets, when we have famine in Yemen and occupation in Palestine. Democracy doesn’t exist because, in the UK, capitalist interests mean more than the interests of the general public,” she said.

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Study: Autonomous Cars Way Oversold On Reducing Accidents

Technocrats build with a vision of Utopia but Utopia never arrives. Claims that autonomous cars will prevent 2/3 of all accidents and associated deaths have been greatly exaggerated and unattainable. Other risks include hacking, software faults and mechanical failure. ⁃ TN Editor

Some 94% of vehicle crashes are caused by humans. This figure is often touted by autonomous vehicle developers when they try to promote the potential value in their tech. It sounds logical: remove humans and road safety will improve dramatically. However, the improvements might not be as dramatic as we’d hope for.

According to a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), only one third of vehicle accidents will be avoided if we pivot to autonomous cars or “robotaxis,” AP reports.

The main benefits of autonomous vehicles are that they can’t get drunk or sleepy and can react much faster than humans. These traits will be enough to mitigate some accidents, but totally reducing car crashes is far more challenging.

The IIHS studied over 5,000 vehicle crashes to understand their causes, the roles humans played, and simulated how autonomous cars would react in the same scenarios. It found that self-driving vehicles are good replacements for drunk people, but are not necessarily perfect replacements for sober humans.

It seems that computer-controlled vehicles will still fall foul to some human-like errors in judgement, such as driving too fast for road conditions, misjudging the speeds of other vehicles, and not being able to take appropriate evasive action.

In many cases, some accidents simply aren’t avoidable. The volume and speed of traffic often create crash scenarios that, by the laws of physics, are simply unavoidable.

Think about multi-car pile-ups on interstate highways and motorways. Many vehicles in these accidents were involved not because of who or what was controlling the vehicle, but because the vehicle was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The argument for autonomous cars here would be that they could “talk” to each other and warn other vehicles of upcoming hazards, but this only works when there’s enough distance and time between the cars.

It’s also worth noting that the IIHS‘s study worked on the premise that all cars on the road would pivot to being autonomous. If only a fraction of vehicles were autonomous, reductions in crashes will be even smaller.

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The Barren Economic Landscape Of Post-Capitalism

TN readers know that Sustainable Development, aka Technocracy, is an economic system that is sworn to overthrow Capitalism and Free Enterprise. What seemed impossible six months ago has how happened in 3 short months, thanks to the Great Panic of 2020. ⁃ TN Editor

There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars.

It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today!

Our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that perfect world in which there’s no war or famine, oppression or brutality — one vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused.

–Arthur Jensen (Ned Beatty) to Howard Beale (Peter Finch), Network, 1976, Network – Money speech

Readers of the BullBear Market Report have been following as I have tracked the progress of what I conceptualized as the final 5th wave of a Secular Long Wave in markets, economics, politics and society that began, as measured and indicated by the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI), in 1949.  Accompanying the completion of this very long term secular movement in the general advancement of human structures, we have anticipated a disrupted period of transition, similar or at least analogous to the 1929-1949 period.  In my last report, “Apocalypse Now? The Secular Shift at the Crest of the Long Wave“, I concluded that there was sufficient cause to think that the 70-year cycle had completed and that we are now participating in the “Secular Shift” to a new paradigm.

While we can look to the past for clues as to what to expect from this contemporary experience, we also need to keep in mind that history does not repeat itself, it merely often rhymes.  In this introduction to the latest BBMR, we’re going to take a detached view of the current reality so that we can establish a fresh, unbiased and free context for our trading and investing decisions.

Long ago, in 2013, in “The Death of Disasterism“, I surveyed the various prevailing market viewpoints and concluded that from a contrarian perspective, the bullish outlook was the most viable.  I held this view while at the same time anticipating that the assumptions that underpinned it would ultimately come to an end.  And it seems there is every reason to think that that end has arrived.  At this pivotal time, it’s also appropriate to do a “self-check” to make sure that we are not proceeding from ingrained bias and lazy assumptions.

Generally, I avoid commentary and stay focused on technical analysis.  But at certain junctures, context becomes primary to any analytical framework.  And this is definitely one of those times.

Today we are confronted with an unprecedented global cessation of economic activity, trade, consumption and travel.  Simultaneously, we are presented with an equally unprecedented monetary and fiscal intervention by central banks and governments.  This situation was provoked not by a viral pandemic, but by the global governmental response to the potential for a viral pandemic.  Regardless of what you may think about the origins of the COVID-19 virus, the response to it and the consequences of that response is entirely man-made.

Shutting down the US economy entirely and placing the population in “lockdown” mode was a choice, not a necessity.  The threat of the virus could also have been managed by:

  • Vigorous public education on proper use of Personal Protective Equipment
    • Kinds of face masks, how and when to use them
    • gloves
    • sanitizers
    • recommendation for workplace and public space PPE use and sanitary practices
  • Government direct purchase and distribution of masks and PPE to the public and health care facilities via states and city government agencies
  • Government authority compelling appropriate industries to manufacture appropriate PPE; contracting to purchase the resulting production
  • Restriction of travel to and from global viral hotspot centers
  • Recommending that large scale gatherings be postponed
  • Advising that at-risk populations (elderly) be isolated
  • Vigorous public education on proper diet, nutritional and exercise guidelines to boost immune system efficiency

If government had speedily and efficiently exercised such responsible and forthright leadership, in place of launching an irrational panic, we could have controlled the outbreak of the virus, preserved our economic and personal well-being, retained our freedoms and placed ourselves in a good position from which to recover from the relatively mild disruption.

Instead, panic was chosen.  The resulting economic crisis is completely man-made.

It is man-made because prior to the first coronavirus case, the entire U.S. and global economy was floating on the thin skin of an Everything Bubble, inflated continuously since the institution of ongoing Quantitative Easing and near-zero interest rates in the wake of the last man-made financial crisis.  And it is man-made because the policy response of panicked shutdown lockdown was totally unnecessary.  And I will go so far as to state that at the highest levels of power, the coronavirus was seized upon as an opportunity to use the potential for a pandemic as the pin to intentionally prick the Everything Bubble with the right hand while waiting with the left hand to bail the whole mess out using the virus as a cover to accomplish strategic goals that could not be accomplished absent an atmosphere of total crisis and panic.

At a Secular Shift, it’s reasonable and appropriate to anticipate and expect fundamental changes to financial, economic, political and social structures.  Generally, one might hope for an eventually better future, following a difficult period of transition and gestation.  I think we can say that we are in the midst of such a period now, but its characteristics and the eventual outcome may not be unfolding as many have expected.

We have to first wrap our minds around the basic facts of recent events.  The most essential fact is that the U.S. and global economy is now in receivership.  It has been declared insolvent and shut down.  The receiver is the Central Banking Authority.  The maintenance and operation of all economic (and by extension, political and social) mechanisms is now in the possession of the fundamental power to create money.  By fiat power, the entirety of economic activity has been extra-legally declared to be under the direct and ultimate purview and responsibility of the Money Power.

This is nothing short of a coup.  The seizure of ultimate power by extra-legal means under the mantle of presumed and unchallenged authority and the cover of fear.

The Federal Reserve Bank, as the issuer of the global reserve currency, and its associated global central banks, have unilaterally granted themselves the power to issue any amount of currency.  They have declared the power to buy and sell with literally unlimited artificially-created funds in any market at any time for any reason.  They have issued the edict that all bankruptcy, all default and all consequence for any misallocation of resources is illegal and null.  Any form of speculation and financial engineering, whether in the past, present or future, has been sanctioned and authorized.  Those without access to the spigots of central bank liquidity will receive subsistence levels of Universal Basic Income.

There are no more free markets.  There is no capitalism.  If there is an actor in the markets which can intervene in any way at any time for any reason in any amount without any process of authorization then there are no markets.  There is only pure, centralized, fiat power.

None of this could have been accomplished absent a pervasive atmosphere of fear and a population willingly submitting to lockdown.  There are no tanks in the streets, but the first UBI checks are in the mail.

Since the Everything Bubble would have eventually burst on its own, it was decided to intentionally pop it, place the economy in receivership and then effect a controlled reorganization.

Just as the first experimental rounds of Quantitative Easing and near-zero real interest rates were never rolled back, long after the financial crisis was over and well into a supposed economic recovery, the current state of affairs will never be reversed.  Instead, this sudden power grab will form the basis of financial, economic, political and social authority going forward, a foundation upon which a new order will be built.

Since 2008, free market capitalism has been held captive in a cell, tortured, beaten and bloodied.  In March 2020, it was taken out back, put up against a wall and shot in the head.  We are in Post-Capitalism 1.0 now.

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Is COVID-19 Forcing Deglobalization?

There is lots of discussion about the global pandemic dismantling globalization, but it fails to take into account Technocracy and its practitioners who are only interested in the destruction of Capitalism and Free Enterprise. ⁃ TN Editor
 

One of the more worrying consequences of the coronavirus is that it looks likely to become a catalyst for deglobalisation.

At the centre of this will be the decoupling of the Chinese economy with developed economies and the US in particular. The world’s three largest free economies – the European Union, the United States and Japan – are all drawing up separate plans to lure their companies out of China.

European Union trade commissioner Phil Hogan has called on companies to consider moving away from China; US President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser Larry Kudlow has said the government should pay the costs of American firms moving manufacturing back from China onto US soil; and Tokyo has unveiled a US$2.2 billion fund to tempt Japanese manufacturers back to Japan or even to Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile, bills are piling up in the US Congress aimed at reducing America’s reliance on Chinese supply chains and pushing for a decoupling of the world’s two largest economies.

While these are recent moves, the truth is the debate on globalisation – and deglobalisation – began more than a decade ago in the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008.

After decades of globalisation in trade, capital flows and even people-to-people exchanges, the trend has reversed over the past decade as trade and financial integration stalled.

Protectionist tendencies are on the rise. Since 2008, G20 countries have added more than 1,200 restrictions on exports and imports. Britain’s decision to leave the EU, the election of Trump on a protectionist agenda, and the rising popularity of right-wing political parties in France, Italy and elsewhere are all examples of rising public discontent with the status quo.

Deglobalisation gained steam when Trump launched tariff wars against many of American’s trade partners, China in particular. Since the advent of the US-China trade war in the past two years there has been growing evidence of a sharp decrease in merchandise, capital and people-to-people flows.

Conventional wisdom suggests globalisation makes the world a better place to live as a whole, as free trade generally promotes global economic growth. Economic liberalisation creates jobs, makes companies more competitive, and lowers prices for consumers. Advances in technology and communications have made it easier than ever for people and businesses to stay connected.

But globalisation is a complicated issue and its benefits and disadvantages are not equally shared. Globalisation is good for multinational corporations and Wall Street as it opens up opportunities to sell goods and services to much larger markets with greater profits. They also benefit from moving assembly lines to developing countries where production costs are lower.

The biggest problem for developed countries is that jobs are lost in the process. Supporters of globalisation point out that it has brought about cheaper imported goods. But this benefit does not offset the decline of jobs and therefore wages.

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e-scooters

Pandemic Might Bury E-Scooters Once And For All

A lot of city-dwellers will not lose any sleep over the disappearance of e-scooters scattered around sidewalks, but COVID-19 may present a financial burden that just cannot be overcome. ⁃ TN Editor

Vultures are circling around shared micromobility.

E-scooter operators like Bird, Lime, Jump, and Spin were confronting financial headwinds even before Covid-19 drastically reduced urban trips worldwide. Faced with plummeting usage, the companies have yanked their fleets off the street and retreated from entire continents. Their financial outlook is bleak: Bird recently laid off nearly 40 percent of its staff, while Lime is reportedly seeking an emergency round of financing at a sharply reduced valuation.

Dockless micromobility’s biggest uncertainty is no longer the extent to which cities will accommodate a new form factor, but whether shared scooters will still be available when we emerge from the current pandemic. The time has come for local officials to consider an idea that would have seemed anathema two months ago: Should they stop imposing fees on e-scooter operators and start —  gulp — subsidizing them?

Such a question may initially sound absurd. After all, we’re in the midst of a near-global lockdown, with urban residents worldwide instructed to stay home unless a trip is essential. Local transportation officials are scrambling to keep their employees safeexpand street space available for social distancing, and ensure essential workers can get to their jobs. Should a micromobility mode that’s famous for amusing tourists and angering sidewalk users really be a priority right now?

A number of signs say yes. Virtually all scooter and bike riders will maintain the six feet of distance from others recommended by the CDC, one of the reasons why Citi Bike in New York City trips rose 67% when the virus emerged. Like bikeshare, shared e-scooters can fill gaps where bus and train service has been cut in response to the virus. Cities including DenverTampa, and San Francisco have classified e-scooter businesses as essential. E-scooters aren’t yet legal in Pennsylvania, but Pittsburgh Department of Mobility and Infrastructure Director Karina Ricks hopes that changes soon, because they could fill gaps created by restricted bus service: “I think they could be a missing link right now between essential workers and the places they need to reach.”

Officials in Portland, Oregon, have provided financial incentives to keep e-scooter service available. On April 6, the city announced a partnership with Spin in which the city will temporarily waive e-scooter daily fees of up to $0.20 per scooter and $0.25 per trip in exchange for Spin reducing the cost of a ride by around 50 percent. Providing a net subsidy — a step we are not aware of any city taking to date — would go still further.

If cities want to keep e-scooters available during the current pandemic, they may need to consider flexible steps like Portland’s to bolster operators’ bottom line. With dwindling cash reserves, e-scooter operators are exiting markets around the world, and there is no timetable for their return. In Minneapolis, Department of Public Works Director Robin Hutcheson says she is “watching carefully and with some hopefulness” that Bird and Lyft will deploy 2,500 e-scooters as planned in her city this spring, but she has received no guarantees.

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5G Small Cell Tower

Trump Requests $2 Trillion Infrastructure Package

If Congress goes along with this, it will far exceed the House of Representatives’ $760 billion infrastructure proposal from January 2020, from which Trump walked away. Green New Deal advocates are already lining up to insure creation of the digital economy. ⁃ TN Editor

President Trump is calling for a $2 trillion infrastructure package as part of the government’s emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have called for increased infrastructure spending to mitigate the outbreak’s effects, after talks between the White House and Democrats failed in recent years.

It remains to be seen if Congress will be comfortable passing another mammoth spending measure after approving the emergency $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill last week.

President Donald Trump is ready to spend again.

Four days after signing an unprecedented $2 trillion relief bill to blunt the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic, the president on Tuesday called for the U.S. to spend another couple trillion bucks on a massive infrastructure package. In a tweet, he wrote that “this is the time” to craft an infrastructure overhaul with U.S. interest rates at zero during the crisis.

“It should be VERY BIG & BOLD, Two Trillion Dollars, and be focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our Country! Phase 4,” the president said, referencing the three pieces of emergency legislation lawmakers have already passed to combat the outbreak rampaging across the U.S.

Trump has long pushed for a proposal to revamp American roads, bridges and airports, and Democratic congressional leaders saw the issue as a key area where they could cooperate with the Republican president when he first took office. But efforts to put together a sprawling infrastructure plan have fallen apart.

Last April, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Trump and Democrats agreed on the outline of a $2 trillion package. A month later, Trump then walked out of an infrastructure meeting, saying he would not work with Democrats on the issue while they investigated his administration.

Circumstances have changed: The House impeached Trump in December and the Senate acquitted him in February. COVID-19 has shredded the U.S. economy, jammed hospitals and stretched stores of health-care equipment, making federal intervention more appealing across the ideological spectrum.

In interviews this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has pushed for infrastructure investment as part of the next phase of the federal response. She wants components related to health care and the digital economy.

Schumer, meanwhile, has pushed for a “Marshall Plan” to strengthen the U.S. public health infrastructure. He has touted emergency funding for hospitals and equipment included in the $2 trillion package signed into law last week.

Republicans — who control the Senate — may not have an appetite for more historic federal action after passing the largest emergency spending measure in U.S. history last week. Spokespeople for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy did not immediately respond to requests to comment on Trump’s tweet.

At least one Senate Republican cheered Trump’s call for infrastructure improvements — though he did not endorse spending $2 trillion. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., called on Tuesday to pass an existing bipartisan Senate highway bill that is “ready to go.”

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Streetscooter

‘Streetscooter’: First Large Bankruptcy In Electric Mobility

When the Green Economy meets Capitalism, one or the other will die; in this case, the eco-socialists in Germany bit the dust and the first large electric mobility bankruptcy should send a strong message to the rest of the world. ⁃ TN Editor

Manufacturer “Streetscooter”, purchased by Deutsche Post (German Post) in 2014, will be scrapped. The German media of course blame it on “bad management” by the large company.

Which city dweller doesn’t know the small, yellow electric scooters of the German post office that the postmen and women deliver letters and small packages to citizens comfortably and efficiently? Not long ago I received news via Facebook on how the e-delivery-vehicles just barely made it back to the post office, especially in winter, and only when the heating is off.

Now the management of the Swiss Post is also following suit and ending the experiment with delivery street scooters.

The company used to be a small startup, a young dynamic private company in a “sexy” field – just like artificial intelligence or climate protection technology. Deutsche Post bought the company with the benevolent support of the eco-loving press and used it to polish up its otherwise staid image a bit.

However, any PR coup based on electro-chemistry ultimately has to prove itself in everyday life over years. The post office scooters obviously couldn’t. Pushing an electric vehicle still loaded with letters back to the local depot when the battery is empty is not possible: the scooter is too big and heavy for that. Or you have to plan shorter routes (in winter), which reduces efficiency. Since letters are only delivered during the day, the scooters can be conveniently charged at night. But if you have to reload during working hours, it takes hours, and you don’t have the time for that.

Take, for example, the Berlin E-bus experiment: the lithium buses run from 8 to 12 a.m., then the diesel vehicles take over. Our speaker Prof. Alt talks in this context about a double infrastructure, which is of course also roughly twice as expensive. Presumably Deutsche Post had to manage a similarly inefficient double fleet of about 13,000 street scooters. The scooters broke down more often and then soon had to be repaired, and replaced by diesel-powered delivery vans.

A commentator from ntv television, however, blames it on the slow management of Deutsche Post: A project like an electric fleet of electric cars has to be run by flexible start-up managers with heart and attitude, then it would work.

The Streetscooter deserved a dynamic, creative and risk-taking management – and the opportunity to obtain the necessary funds independently on the capital market.

This claim is not convincing. Whether it’s a startup or the Deutsche Post, both must adhere to the main laws of physics and economics. One thing must never be forgotten: Deutsche Post is a business group that has to make money.

The city administration of Berlin, on the other hand, can waste money at will with misguided planning. They work with funds from taxes levied by force. And Berlin’s eco-socialist politicians, who are poor in arithmetic, are elected and are not held accountable for their failures with their own private assets.

Of course some will claim that Tesla has achieved what the N-TV quote above calls for. But this is not true: Elon Musk is an eco-media darling who has already received billions of dollars in US subsidies. Without these billions he would have long since gone bankrupt or become a mini-manufacturer for a niche.

We Germans are now experiencing the same thing in Brandenburg: because Merkel’s “grand coalition” wants to have a share in the media sexiness of Tesla, the “Gigafactory” is being heavily subsidized there.

The fact that an entire forest is being cut down and cheaper Polish workers have to be hired is of no consequence to someone like Federal Economics Minister Peter Altmaier. The press as well.

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