A Constitutional Anniversary to Forget

By Antonius Aquinas

Misguided Enthusiasm

While not a jubilee year, last week marked the 230th anniversary of the US Constitution. Naturally, most of its devotees enthusiastically praised the document which by now is seen on a par with Holy Writ itself.

The constitutional convention in Philadelphia, anno 1787. Things have gone downhill ever since. Many – though not all – of those taking part in the convention were members of the moneyed elite, the land speculators who had instigated the war of independence when King George foolishly tried to keep them from expanding their speculative activities to the West with his ill-conceived edict of 1763. Having won the war, they were no longer constrained by the edict, but they couldn’t leave well enough alone… sitting on their laurels apparently just wasn’t their style. The constitution was the next logical step – a successful attempt to install a centralized Merchant State after the British model, only sans King George. As Albert Jay Nock points out in Our Enemy, the State: “The great majority of them, possibly as many as four-fifths, were public creditors; one-third were land-speculators; some were moneylenders; one-fifth were industrialists, traders, shippers; and many of them were lawyers.” Not exactly the first thing they tell pupils in public schools about, we would guess. Nock also reminds us, ibid: “Wherever economic exploitation has been for any reason either impracticable or unprofitable, the State has never come into existence; government has existed, but the State, never”. [PT]

An editorial from Investor’s Business Daily provides an example of such hagiography:

The Constitution’s beauty is that it not only delineates our rights as Americans, but expressly limits and defines government’s ability to interfere in our private lives. This equipoise between citizens’ duties, responsibilities and rights makes it the defining document or our nation’s glorious freedom.

But America is wonderful largely because of the Constitution and

those who framed it…

What we have is too precious to squander…*

Most of the piece laments the widespread ignorance of its sacred contents among the denizens which it rules over and admonishes the unlearned “to bone up a bit on your constitutional heritage…”.

The editorial fails, as do most others on the Right, to understand that it is not a lack of knowledge of the Constitution’s contents among the populace which lies at the heart of America’s social, economic, and political problems, but the very document itself.

A Coup d’État

One of the main reasons why the Constitution continues to be so widely venerated is the deliberate distortion of history that its “founders” promoted and that generations of its sycophants have continued to perpetuate to this very day.

The official narrative runs that the Constitution was enacted because of widespread popular support for a change to the supposed inadequacies and deficiencies of the Articles of Confederation.

10 years earlier, in 187, the Articles of Confederation were signed. When Hamilton called for a constitutional convention, it was done on the understanding that the articles would be amended here and there, which wasn’t considered a big deal. Instead …read more

Source:: Acting Man

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China and Argentina to strengthen mining cooperation

By analyst

By Valentina Ruiz Leotaud

During the China Mining Congress & Expo held in Tianjin, the Chinese Minister of Land and Resources Cao Weixing said that the Asian giant is very interested in “intensifying investment trade and cooperation” with Argentina.

According to the press agency Telam, Cao talked to the Argentinean Deputy Secretary of Mining Development, Mario Capello, about three specific proposals. “I want to keep up with the enthusiasm in terms of the commercial exchange at the highest levels that we already have. I would also like to broaden land and mineral surveys across the entire country, and I would also like to promote cooperation among Argentinean-Chinese companies so that we can advance several projects in mining areas,” he said (translated from Spanish).

With his words, the Chinese official wanted to praise up a mining cooperation agreement signed by Presidents Xi Jinping and Mauricio Macri earlier this year.

Capello, on the other hand, said that his Chinese counterpart was very happy with Argentina’s decision to prioritize copper exploration projects. “This strategy of developing our largest deposits will help support China’s growth while creating new jobs, boosting small and medium-sized businesses, and supporting social development in Argentina,” he said (translated from Spanish).

Both governments are expected to sign a number of joint ventures to further develop mining and geological research projects in the South American country.

The post China and Argentina to strengthen mining cooperation appeared first on MINING.com.

…read more

Source:: Infomine

The post China and Argentina to strengthen mining cooperation appeared first on Junior Mining Analyst.

The Government Crackdown on Bitcoin

By James Rickards

This post The Government Crackdown on Bitcoin appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

Many advocates of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have a naïve belief that their digital assets are “beyond the reach of governments,” “cannot be traced” and “cannot be frozen or seized.”

But it’s really not true.

On Sept. 12, China announced that it was banning the launch of initial coin offerings (ICOs) in China and closing all Chinese bitcoin exchanges. The next day, it was reported that China demanded the books and records of those exchange customers and all transactions.

From there, it’s just a short step to arresting customers for violating foreign exchange and tax regulations in China.

The attack on bitcoin does not stop with China.

North Korea’s cyber-brigades have hacked into South Korean bitcoin exchanges both to steal customer bitcoins and demand bitcoin ransom to cease the attacks. North Korea is building up a bitcoin stash to pay for weapons and food as the U.S. ramps up sanctions on conventional banking channels.

This operation reflects the fact that using bitcoin on the dark web is a haven for criminals, arms dealers, tax evaders and state enemies of the U.S. How long will it be before the U.S. joins the effort to shut down, interdict and disrupt bitcoin message traffic on the dark web and the bitcoin exchanges themselves?

Bitcoin prices fell 40% in response to these and other developments before stabilizing to some extent. But it remains highly volatile.

Now, I said it last week, but I’ll say it again…

When it comes to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, I take a laissez-faire approach. Do your own thing. If you want some bitcoin in your portfolio as part of a diversified bundle of assets, that’s up to you. If you want to speculate in some of the other lesser-known cryptocurrencies, that’s fine, too. You might make a lot of money.

My only advice is buyer beware. You need to take the time to understand how it works and what the risks are.

Governments enjoy a monopoly on money creation and they’re not about to surrender that monopoly to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

But governments know they cannot stop the technology platforms on which the cryptocurrencies are based. Blockchain technology has come too far to turn back. These are usually called the “blockchain,” but a more descriptive term now in wide use is “distributed ledger technology,” or DLT.

There’s no denying that fortunes have been made and still will be made in various DLT applications.

And while I’m not necessarily a fan of individual cryptocurrencies, I am a believer in this technology.

Governments don’t want to kill it; they want to control it.

They seek to do so using powers of regulation, taxation, investigation and ultimately more coercive powers, including arrest and imprisonment of individuals who refuse to obey government mandates with regard to blockchain.

As I also explained last week, blockchain depends on critical infrastructure, including servers, telecommunications networks, the banking system and the power grid, all of which are subject to government control, as the Chinese action shows.

That’s the back door governments …read more

Source:: Daily Reckoning feed

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Is a Federal Crackdown on Cannabis Coming?

By Ray Blanco

This post Is a Federal Crackdown on Cannabis Coming? appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

States are legalizing marijuana usage in droves, but the federal juggernaut, along with cannabis crusher Attorney General Jeff Sessions, remains a big risk for the growing business.

And that risk just kicked up a few notches.

As you know, medical marijuana is operating as a sort of grey area legally. While still banned at the federal level, the Justice Department has been blocked from enforcing existing law by Congress since 2014.

In May of that year, an amendment passed stopping the department from spending any money to stop medical marijuana legalization in the United States… but it has a sunset clause.

It if isn’t renewed, its provisions no longer operate and the feds are free to go into action, if they choose.

Since then, the amendment has been renewed several times. This year, the bill was renewed in May, when it was included in a massive spending bill. It was set to expire on Sept. 30… only to be renewed on Sept. 8 as part of an emergency hurricane aid bill.

Right now, the feds’ hands are tied until Dec. 8.

However, it remains to be seen if a longer-term renewal will happen. If that doesn’t happen, Sessions is freed to enforce his anti-pot agenda.

But even if this occurs, I don’t expect enforcement to hurt medical cannabis plays.

Unlike much of the recreational cannabis industry, most medical cannabis companies function as traditional biotechs, pursuing market access along the traditional pharma track. They follow the letter of the law when it comes to drug therapy approval by:

Running clinical trials.
Going to the FDA for marketing approval.

Even if the feds crack down, they won’t be stopping FDA-approved therapies that happen to be cannabis-derived.

In fact, renewed federal enforcement could even help boost value in this sector by taking out alternative competition that are selling OTC plant matter, extracts or other forms of the plant.

In other words, an aggressive Jeff Sessions would light a fire under biotech shares, despite being an awful scenario for many other cannabis-based businesses.

I predict this state of affairs will be short-lived, however, if it does happen a DEA crackdown on medical cannabis dispensaries across the country would stoke real outrage.

Support for medical marijuana is topping 94% in public opinion these days, a really amazing number.

With banning would come backlash — and pressure on legislators in Congress to solve the problem.

A number of legalization bills are currently poised to make their way through the labyrinthine legislative process.

For example, one recent bill set to be introduced will help spur medical marijuana research. Sessions and others would be hard-pressed to impede these developments without creating a significant uproar.

As I said, I expect no negative impact on Big Pharma companies working to develop FDA-approved, cannabis-based therapies since they will have the backing of a well-renowned federal institution.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on developments in the meantime, and as more information comes to light, I’ll be right back here to tell you how to make …read more

Source:: Daily Reckoning feed

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General Market Commentary – Mon 25 Sep, 2017

By Cory Old and New Drivers in the Week Ahead

I have a doctor’s appointment this morning so I will not be able to get up any interviews until the afternoon. In the meantime here is a post by our friend Marc Chandler outlines his thoughts on what will be the main drivers for the markets.

Click here to visit Marc’s website. He has great content everyday!

Last week’s developments will continue to shape the investment climate in the week ahead, and at the same time, new inflation readings from the US, EMU, and Japan will add incrementally to investors’ information set.

We do not expect the results of the German election to have much market impact. The most likely result is a strong signal of continuity with a return of the Grand Coalition. At the same time, French President Macron’s speech next week is to herald a new post-Brexit, post-financial crisis, phase of the European Project, which a fourth-term Merkel may warm up to if Macron can truly reinvigorate the French economy and reduce its deficit and debt.

The New Zealand election is a different story. The status quo was challenged more than in Germany, and this political uncertainty may have held back the New Zealand dollar. The Nationals and its current ally looked two seats shy of a majority. This makes the New Zealand First Party a bit an of a kingmaker. It may take a couple of weeks to sort out things. The technical indicators remain constructive, especially against the Australian dollar. Perhaps, the election uncertainty or comments coming from the RBNZ meeting can knock the Kiwi back, offering a new opportunity.

It looks increasingly likely that Japan’s Prime Minister Abe will call for snap elections, probably slated for October 22, which is nearly a year early. It is a politically astute move. Public support had waned over various scandals and allegations, which may have contributed to the LDP’s stunning defeat in Tokyo elections a few months ago. Abe responded by a reshuffling of his cabinet, while the tensions with North Korea gave him an opportunity to lead. Support for Abe and the LDP has risen. Meanwhile, main opposition party, Democrat Party of Japan, is in disarray and divided. The election may be too soon for Tokyo Governor Koike to consolidate the new movement.

The likely re-election of Abe speaks to the continuity of policy, and this means Kuroda or at least Kuroda-esque policies. Kuroda’s term expires next year, and Japan’s tradition is for a governor to have a single term. Many suspect Kuroda could be reappointed, but are not particularly confident.

The broader issue is whether the next Governor is in line with an activist stance associated with Kuroda (whose name means black rice paddy) or a reversion back to the traditional stance represented by Kuroda’s predecessor Shirakawa (whose name means white river). This is also supported by the dissent from the BOJ’s decision not to change policy. It was a call to do more, unlike previous dissents, to do less.

UK optics are poor. The same …read more

Source:: The Korelin Economics Report

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Dennis Gartman Is Bullish On Gold

What, me worry? Commodities king Dennis Gartman sees gold surging to $1,400 within months Stephanie Landsman | @stephlandsman   The commodities king explains why he thinks bullion has a lot more room to run. The monetary authorities are all still remaining expansionary,” Gartman told CNBC, and the winner is likely to be gold. He called 2017’s gold rally, here’s what Dennis Gartman is forecasting now  2:17 PM ET Thu, 21 Sept 2017 | 02:07 He called this year’s gold rally, and Dennis Gartman isn’t letting ominous signs change his forecast. Gartman, often known as the commodities king, predicts the yellow metal’s run has a lot more gas in it. “A year from now, gold will be demonstrably higher than it is right now,” The Gartman Letter’s founder told “Futures Now” in a recent interview. “I would certainly think we could see $1400 [an ounce] in dollar terms.” That would represent a gain of about … Continue reading

TheDailyGold Premium Update #536

By Jordan Roy-Byrne CMT, MFTA

The 27-page update has been published, emailed to subscribers and uploaded to the members section of the website.

This was our first update post-Precious Metals Summit, which was in Beaver Creek, Colorado Monday through Wednesday.

The update included extended commentary (6 full pages) on a number of our holdings as well as some watch list companies. We also opined on the outlook for the precious metals sector as well as which of our holdings we think are the best values (least downside risk) and which two are the strongest right now.

…read more

Source:: The Daily Gold

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PEA shows 22-year life for B.C. copper-gold-moly mine

By analyst

By Andrew Topf

A preliminary economic assessment for a mine on Vancouver Island, British Columbia is showing promising economics – despite being in a jurisdiction challenging to build mines.

Releasing the PEA last Thursday, NorthIsle Copper and Gold (TSXV:NCX) said its proposed North Island open-pit mine could produce 75,000 tonnes per day for 22 years. It’s the first publicly released study on the Hushamu and Red Dog deposits, which were discovered in the 1960s.

The CAD$1.3 billion project on northern Vancouver Island is about 200 miles northwest of BHP’s reclaimed Island Copper mine.

If approved, it would mine 82 million pounds of copper, 79,000 ounces of gold, and 3 million pounds of molybdenum annually, according to the PEA.

“We are very pleased with the results of our maiden PEA,”NorthIsle President Jack McClintock said in the press release. “This PEA shows the Project can be built and operated with excellent returns based on conservative metal prices.”

Total indicated resources are 456.5 million tonnes at 0.2% copper, 0.25 grams per tonne gold and 0.008% molybdenum.

The former British Columbia Liberal government was pro-resource development and could point to a number of new mines opened under their 16-year period in government, including the $811-million Brucejack underground gold mine in northern B.C. However the Mount Polley disaster involving a tailings pond breach also cast doubts on the government’s oversight over mining projects.

The new NDP-Green Party coalition which forced the Liberals from power is much more reticent on mining and energy projects, having sought intervenor status in court challenges against the Canadian government’s approval of the $7.4-billion project Trans Mountain pipeline project; and referring the Site C dam to an independent review to see whether it should continue, be paused or completely cancelled – despite construction on the mega-project already having been set in motion by the previous Liberal government.

On Vancouver Island, the NDP and the Greens enjoyed a near-clean sweep, winning 13 out of 14 seats.

The post PEA shows 22-year life for B.C. copper-gold-moly mine appeared first on MINING.com.

…read more

Source:: Infomine

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Drone footage of Bingham Canyon copper mine

By analyst

By MINING.com Editor

Drone technology is advancing so quickly it’s hard to keep up with it. From aerial shots of construction projects to surveillance of strategic locations and even heat maps of crops to make farming more efficient, unmanned aerial vehicles are a disruptive technology that appears to have unlimited staying power.

Rio Tinto’s (LON, NYSE,ASX:RIO) Matt Key is chief drone pilot at Rio’s Kennecott operations in Utah. Key leads a team of 20 certified drone pilots and is helping to improve safety and productivity at the Bingham Canyon copper mine, according to a spotlight on Key by Rio Tinto.

Key says two of the biggest advantages of flying drones at Kennecott are safety and maintenance.

“There are some jobs where it’s better for drones to do it rather than people – for instance high wall mapping or rock fall analysis. By using drones we’re removing people from harm’s way. We can also use drones to identify safety risks – such as cracks and signs of rock movement,” he says. “We can see things we’ve never seen before. For instance, we’re using thermal diagnostic capability to identify equipment problems from the air. We can identify high friction rates on equipment in real time and notify the maintenance teams so the issues can be addressed.”

Kennecott’s operations include the Bingham Canyon Mine, Copperton Concentrator, Garfield Smelter, refinery, power plant and associated facilities.

In production for over 110 years, Kennecott produces copper, molybdenum, gold, silver and sulphuric acid.

Check out the aerial footage of a drone flying through Bingham Canyon, presenting a bird’s eye view of the operation.

The post Drone footage of Bingham Canyon copper mine appeared first on MINING.com.

…read more

Source:: Infomine

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