The Manchester Free Press

Tuesday • July 14 • 2020

Vol.XII • No.XXIX

Manchester, N.H.

Biden — The Wild Card Candidate

Libertarian Leanings - Mon, 2020-07-13 18:55 +0000

A recent column by Conrad Black describes Joe Biden as "a waxwork dummy hiding in his basement."

In the absence of a feasible presidential nominee, the Democratic campaign is being conducted by the national political media with almost the sole exception of Fox News and its affiliates, the Wall Street Journal and New York Post. The New York Times has at least declared that its objective is not simply to report even-handedly but to oppose the Trump Administration. All the others do the same without acknowledging it.

This is the general and entirely voluntary immolation of the professional integrity of the American news media. The majority of Americans recognize and respond in polls that they think the media is untrustworthy. The unofficial opposition to Trump is an informal alliance between hooligans, terrorists, Democratic urban machine crooks, mudslinging media, and a pernicious virus.

With less than four months before the election, this is the campaign: a constant media carpet-bombing of defamatory lies about the president on behalf of a comatose candidate, propagation of unfounded hysteria over a fading pandemic, self-induced and redundant economic depression, open borders to admit and give free medical care to the unskilled peasantry of the world, and national self-abasement before militant African Americans demanding minority rule and the renunciation and degradation of those who founded the United States and led it to a pinnacle of influence in the world unequaled in all history. And this ludicrous, almost unimaginable, mockery of a quest for the world’s highest office is, in the perversity of these times, apparently leading in the polls.

The very apt title to Mr. Black's column is A Nightmare Campaign of Outright Idiocy, and in it Black predicts that it simply cannot last.  Says Black, "It is impossible and it will blow up."  I can't disagree.  Forget about those polls showing Biden in the lead over Trump.  July opinion polls rarely endure, and with Trump supporters disinclined to talk to pollsters, polling accuracy is almost inconceivable.  The networks and the cable outlets have dutifully filled the breach, propping up Biden and promoting the perception that there is actually a race in progress.  While it never pays to underestimate the absurdities of the Democratic voter, I remain confident that Trump will win, and quite possibly in an epic blowout.

But how on earth did Joe Biden get to be the Democratic party's presidential candidate?  I suspect it was by accident.  A series of unfortunate accidents with the catalytic event, perhaps, being the election of Volodymyr Zelensky in the 2019 Ukrainian presidential election.

Prior to his election Volodymyr Zelensky was an actor who played the role of Ukraine's president in a popular Ukrainian television comedy.  You wouldn't make this stuff up, but there it is.  On April 21, 2019 Zelensky, the reform candidate, defeated the incumbent Petro Poroshenko, a prominent Ukrainian oligarch, in a landslide victory.  A few days later Joe Biden officially entered the race for the Democratic nomination.  This was after months of deliberation.  Why right then?

A year or so earlier Joe Biden bragged to the Council on Foreign Relations how he threatened the Ukrainian government with the loss of a billion dollars in loan guarantees if it didn't fire a prosecutor who was investigating Burisma, a corrupt Ukrainian natural gas company on whose board his son Hunter Biden sat.  The younger Biden was hauling in somewhere between $50,000 and $83,000 per month, totaling $3 million plus, for the presence of his butt in a board of directors chair.  Joe's threat was clearly quid pro quo.  Joe got the law off Burisma's back as a favor to Burisma for Hunter's inordinately generous compensation.  The Poroshenko government could shut down the investigation or lose the billion in loan guarantees.  It got the money.  Except now there was a reformer, Volodymyr Zelensky, heading the Ukrainian government.  Had Poroshenko not lost the election, Joe Biden at 77 might not have felt the same urgency about throwing his hat into the presidential ring.

But he did, mounting an unimpressive campaign for the Democratic nomination, and when it looked as if socialist Bernie Sanders was going to win it, the Democratic powers that be lined up behind Biden, the electable candidate.  Elizabeth Warren was persuaded to stay in the primary races long enough to siphon votes away from front runner Sanders. An apparently reluctant James Clyburn, Democratic Representative of South Carolina, was persuaded to endorse Biden's candidacy, a crucial factor in securing South Carolina's delegates for Joe, setting off a string of victories that propelled Biden to the nomination.

But the moment Joe Biden threw his hat into the ring he created a shield for himself against possible criminal prosecution for his and Hunter's ethically dubious Ukrainian enterprises.  He was a presidential candidate, a Democratic presidential candidate.  As we have seen with Hillary Clinton and her mishandling of classified email, careerists in the U.S. Department of Justice are loathe to disrupt the campaign of a Democratic presidential candidate. 

Whether by accident or by design, Joe's status as a presidential candidate made it possible for a question about Hunter Biden that President Trump asked of President Zelensky to be considered an impeachable offense.  Without Joe running for president, Trump's question about Hunter had nothing to do with the election and could provide no pretext for impeachment.  But Joe got into the race and Democrats seized the opportunity for a second shot at Trump for colluding-with-foreigners-to-rig-a-US-election.  The House voted to impeach President Trump. 

So here I am, wondering if Joe Biden was really all that enthusiastic about running for president this time around, or was it a combination of the immunity it afforded him and the opportunity for Democrats to get Trump that pressured him into it.  He wasn't presidential material when he launched his first short-lived bid in 1987, and age hasn't improved him.  Are the Democrats looking for presidential timber in their candidate, anyway?  Or do they just want something to prop up in office while their globalist sponsors dictate policy? Biden would be the perfect prop, the ideal placeholder president.

There is one thing we know, because Biden has already said it.  There will not be a Biden administration second term.  In fact, I strongly doubt that he will bother to finish a first term, assuming he beats the odds and gets himself elected in November.  Biden is the Wild Card Candidate, and Biden's pick for VP becomes the President-in-Waiting.  With riots and Black Lives Matter so much in the forefront, Biden is reportedly leaning towards a woman of color to be his running mate.  But are there any among them who can inspire confidence in a "waxwork dummy" administration?  What VP candidate, running as the de facto presidential candidate, can carry the election once gaff-o-matic Joe Biden begins his inevitable collapse on the campaign trail?

Back in February Hillary Clinton was on with Ellen Degeneris and she was asked about the vice presidency.

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres asked the former Secretary of State on Thursday whether she’d agree to be on the ticket of the of the eventual Democratic nominee, if she were asked.

“Well, that’s not going to happen,” Clinton laughed. “But no, probably no.”

Pushed on the question, Clinton, 72, reluctantly said she’d consider it.

“I never say never because I believe in serving my country, but it’s never going to happen,” she said.

Very little has been heard from Hillary since then, and she's not on anybody's list of potential Biden running mates.  But the Vice Presidential Sweepstakes have been under way for months.  The longer they go on the more likely it seems that we'll wait until August and the Democratic National Convention for a dramatic "and the winner is" announcement.  And what could be more dramatic than Hillary Clinton joining the ticket?  With polls currently showing Biden with substantial leads, the Democrats may not realize they're in a tough spot, but if Joe has to come out of his bunker to campaign head to head against Trump before the August convention, that may change.  Hillary might then be seen as the indispensable savior.  With Hillary on the ticket, a vote for Joe would once again be a vote for the Hillary as first woman president in American history. 

A dramatic made-for-Hollywood moment practically writes itself.  Hillary's eleventh hour appearance on the ticket rescues the sinking Biden campaign, powering Joe and Hillary to victory.  Then on January 20, 2021 and the stage is set.  Immediately after taking the oath of office, President Biden stuns the crowd and the country by announcing his resignation.  He steps back, turns to Hillary, and Hillary, herself, steps forward to deliver the Inaugural Address.  America would be delirious with joy.

Or not.

Biden and Clinton would make a perfect match that half of America would despise.  In a Biden-Clinton administration Clinton Foundation fortunes would once again soar.  Hunter Biden would set records for most seats on boards of directors in countries getting massive foreign aid from America. The only downside for Joe Biden is a slightly heightened health risk that increases in direct proportion to the length of time he delays his departure from the Oval Office.

At the moment illegal FBI spying on the Trump campaign, based on improper FISA warrants, and prosecutorial misconduct in the Flynn case are stories that can't be ignored.  Under a Biden-Clinton administration big tech and big media could engineer a cavernous memory hole down which inconvenient news stories, facts, and opinions would disappear forever under the rationale that "misleading information" must be suppressed.  All of those things that we would never have found out about, had Hillary won in 2016, could disappear again.

Potential legal difficulties for the Bidens, the Clintons, and a host of others would disappear.  With constraints removed the FBI and DOJ would once again enjoy great latitude in protecting America from her domestic enemies, just as they have done in recent years with their spying on Carter Page, Sharyl Attkisson, and James Rosen, and their prosecutions of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, George Papadopolous, and General Michael Flynn.  The focus of the Department of Justice would once again be turned to its traditional role of prosecuting Republicans who appear to threaten Democrat political fortunes.

On the foreign policy front America could revive her many previous cordial relationships and reciprocal agreements.  Like the ones where the CIA would spy on their citizens in return for their intelligence agencies spying on Americans.  Iran could get a bomb.  With foreign aid floodgates open to the max, massive aid could be doled out on condition that spending would be directed by well connected non-government organizations who would be well compensated for their efforts.  That's in addition to the billions in aid that simply disappear.  Opportunities would once again abound for the Clinton Foundation and its laundry network.

Standing in the way of this Dream Administration are only the deplorable voters.  Perhaps a minor obstacle.  With many states on the verge of approving mail in voting for the November presidential elections, it might just be possible to correct the predictably erroneous voting by those unsuitable voters.  Election workers could assist those unable, unwilling, ineligible, or even too dead to get to the polls.  As one success builds on another, Democrats will enjoy ever greater popularity.  Could we imagine a time when Democrats become so popular they win one hundred percent of the vote?  Years ago I would never have thought so, but now I'm not so sure.

In 2016 the alliance of Democrats, corporate media, and key members of the administrative state were right on the cusp of achieving the level of control that would assure Democrat "popularity" for years to come.  An obstacle named Trump unexpectedly has delayed them. 

Even more unexpectedly, Trump has successfully resisted all of the Democrats' subsequent efforts to remove him from office.  He wisely avoided the Mueller obstruction of justice trap.  Impeachment was a farce from the word go.  The coronavirus has all but killed the economy, inducing a recession that Democrats hope to extend with lockdowns.  It will recover, as will Trump's re-election prospects.

Four years ago Trump got in the way.  2020 Democrats may turn with desperate hope toward Hillary to prevent him from doing it again.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Kayleigh McEnany

Libertarian Leanings - Sat, 2020-05-16 16:09 +0000

Suggested nickname for Kayleigh McEnany:  The Assassin.  Watch this:

Categories: Blogs, United States

House Intelligence Committee Releases Transcripts

Libertarian Leanings - Sun, 2020-05-10 14:06 +0000

This past Thursday the House Intelligence Committee released transcripts of closed-door interviews from its probe into Russia Collusion Fantasy.  Committee chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif. has been sitting on them since November of 2018.

In a statement after making the transcripts public, Schiff said that they “show precisely what Special Counsel Robert Mueller also revealed: That the Trump campaign, and Donald Trump himself, invited illicit Russian help, made full use of that help, and then lied and obstructed the investigations in order to cover up this misconduct.”

Without reading any of the transcripts, know that they say no such thing.  If the transcripts truly did reveal what Schiff said they did, they would have been made public years ago.  Here they are:

Correspondence:
  • Letter from HPSCI to Acting Director of Intelligence Richard Grenell (May 7, 2020)
  • Correspondence between HPSCI and Office of Director of National Intelligence and White House (November 2018 – May 2020)
Interview Transcripts:
  • Interview Transcript of Rinat Akhmetshin (November 13, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Stephen Bannon (January 16, 2018)
  • Interview Transcript of Stephen Bannon (February 15, 2018)
  • Interview Transcript of Andrew Brown (August 30, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Michael Caputo (July 14, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of John Carlin (July 27, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Thomas Catan (October 18, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of James Clapper (July 17, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Samuel Clovis (December 12, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Dan Coats (June 22, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Michael Cohen (October 24, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Rick Dearborn (January 17, 2018)
  • Interview Transcript of Diana Denman (December 5, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Marc Elias (December 13, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Boris Ephsteyn (September 28, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Evelyn Farkas (June 26, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Peter Fritsch (October 18, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Michael Goldfarb (December 12, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Rob Goldstone (December 18, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Jeffrey Gordon (July 26, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Rhona Graff (December 22, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Shawn Henry (December 5, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Hope Hicks (February 27, 2018)
  • Interview Transcript of Ike Kaveladze (November 2, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of David Kramer (December 19, 2017)
  • Letter from Counsel to David Kramer to HPSCI (December 23, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of David Kramer (January 10, 2018)
  • Letter from Counsel to David Kramer to HPSCI (January 5, 2018)
  • Letter from Counsel to David Kramer to HPSCI (January 10, 2018)
  • Interview Transcript of Jared Kushner (July 25, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Corey Lewandowski (January 17, 2018)
  • Interview Transcript of Corey Lewandowski (March 8, 2018)
  • Interview Transcript of Loretta Lynch (October 20, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Simona Mangiante (July 18, 2018)
  • Interview Transcript of Andrew McCabe (December 19, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Mary McCord (November 1, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Alexander Nix (December 14, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Carter Page (November 2, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Brad Parscale (October 24, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Walid Phares (December 8, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of John Podesta (June 27, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of John Podesta (December 4, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Samantha Power (October 13, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Erik Prince (November 30, 2017)
  • Letter from HPSCI to Department of Justice (April 30, 2019)
  • Interview Transcript of Benjamin Rhodes (October 25, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Susan Rice (September 8, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Jonathan Saffron (October 12, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Anatoli Samochornov (November 28, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Felix Sater (December 20, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Keith Schiller (November 7, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Jefferson Sessions (November 30, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Roger J. Stone, Jr. (September 26, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Jake Sullivan (December 21, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Michael Sussman (December 18, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Matthew Tait (October 6, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Yared Tamene Wolde-Yohannes (August 30, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Donald Trump, Jr. (December 6, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Witness Name Redacted (December 20, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Sally Yates (November 3, 2017)
  • Interview Transcript of Christopher Wylie (April 25, 2018)
Reports
  • House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence – Democratic Minority Views (March 26, 2018)
  • House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence – Republican Report on Russian Active Measures (March 22, 2018)
Categories: Blogs, United States

The Doctors Argue It's Time To End The Lockdown

Libertarian Leanings - Fri, 2020-05-08 14:10 +0000

Dr. Dan Erickson and his business partner Dr. Artin Massihi, both former emergency room physicians, co-own Accelerated Urgent Care in Bakersfield, California.  They've tested thousands of people, they've analyzed the current CDC statistical data on COVID-19, and they've come to the conclusion that it's time to end the lockdown. 

Pandemia_ opinión académica - dr Dan erickson from Jose Luis Gil Terron Lull on Vimeo.

Their message:  Quarantine the sick, not the healthy.  Open up the businesses and bring back the workers.  Re-open the hospitals and bring back the furloughed doctors.

Watch the whole thing.

Update 4/28/2020, 3:39pm:  This is not a message YouTube would like the rest of us to hear.  "This video has been removed for violating YouTube's Terms of Service," says YouTube. Whatever those might happen to be.  This new video is a slightly longer version of the previous one.  Let's see how long it will remain available for public viewing.

Update 4/28/2020, 4:05pm:  I've replaced the YouTube embedded video by another version of the same video on Vimeo.

Update 4/30/2020. 1:25pm:  The previous Vimeo video was removed. I've replaced it again.

Update 5/5/2020. 1:10pm:  These videos of Dr. Erickson keep disappearing.  And I keep finding another one.

Update 5/8/2020 10:08am:  Once again Dr. Erickson has disappeared.  Found another one, this one posted by and for our Spanish speaking friends.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Motion To Dismiss With Prejudice

Libertarian Leanings - Fri, 2020-05-08 14:00 +0000

The U.S. Department of Justice has moved to dismiss charges against General Michael Flynn.  PDF of the Government's 20-page motion is here.  The following excerpt captures the essence.

[P]rior to the interview, there were internal FBI discussions about whether to show Mr. Flynn the transcripts of his calls with Mr. Kislyak.5 In light of the fact that the FBI already had these transcripts in its possessions, Mr. Flynn’s answers would have shed no light on whether and what he communicated with Mr. Kislyak.—and those issues were immaterial to the no longer justifiably predicated counterintelligence investigation. Similarly, whether Mr. Flynn did or “did not recall” (ECF No. 1) communications already known by the FBI was assuredly not material.

Under these circumstances, the Government cannot explain, much less prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt, how false statements are “material” to an investigation that—as explained above—seems to have been undertaken only to elicit those very false statements and thereby criminalize Mr. Flynn.

The DOJ has been out of control for a long time.  Scooter Libby was convicted of criminal disagreement with the late Tim Russert over who heard from whom that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA.  James Comey was the Acting Attorney General who appointed his pal Patrick Fitzgerald to be the Special Prosecutor in that case.  The conviction of Arthur Andersen in a phony criminal case was eventually overturned by the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision, but only years after the company was destroyed.  The prosecutor was Andrew Weissmann, one of Mueller's Special Counsel prosecutors in the Russian Collusion Fantasy.  The conviction of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens for political corruption was obtained through the misconduct of two Justice Department prosecutors.

While political enemies were persecuted, transgressions by political allies were overlooked.  The Fast and Furious gun-running scandal and the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, the IRS targeting of conservative political groups, and the kid glove treatment of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for her mishandling of classified information in the email scandal are all instances where federal agencies were illegally or unethically put to work for political purposes.  In all of the cases mentioned above, no one was held accountable for their misconduct.

Maybe now they will.

Categories: Blogs, United States

This Is J. Edgar Hoover Stuff

Libertarian Leanings - Thu, 2020-05-07 12:17 +0000

Lindsey Graham: The legal foundation for Mueller's appointment is crumbling.

Categories: Blogs, United States

The Backfiring Case Against General Flynn

Libertarian Leanings - Tue, 2020-05-05 17:01 +0000

This article by James A. Gagliano, CNN analyst, assistant professor at St. John's, and retired 25-year veteran of the FBI, concludes that General Michael Flynn was railroaded for no other reason but political bias. It goes way beyond political bias in my view.

The final nail in the coffin of those who pretend political bias did not influence the FBI’s decisions in 2016 and 2017 is a text exchange between Strzok and Page on Feb. 25, 2016, discussing how to approach the Clinton interview:

Page: “One more thing: She might be our next president. The last thing you need us going in there loaded for bear. You think she’s going to remember or care that it was more DOJ than FBI?”

Strzok: “I called Bill and relayed what we discussed. He agrees.”

Compare that to Priestap's quote: “What’s our goal? Truth/Admission or get him to lie, so we can get him fired?”

This was all about the DOJ and the Intelligence Community taking it upon themselves to prevent Donald Trump from winning the 2016 election, or upon failing that, to get him turned out of office if he somehow won anyway. The crucial first step in getting Trump thrown out of office was to get rid of Flynn, Trump's newly appointed Director of National Intelligence, who would have discovered what they were up to. This is about unaccountable members of the Washington bureaucracy overturning a federal election. What's truly frightening is how they went about it with such confidence, never imagining that they would be found out.

What happened next infuriates me.

The Flynn FD-302 interview notes appear to have been manipulated by Strzok and Page. Pientka was apparently the note taker. Consistent with FBI protocols, Strzok, as a party to the interview, can certainly discuss recollections with Pientka prior to the final document being approved by both. But somehow, Page, the DOJ attorney who was not present at the interview and was not an FBI agent, was involved in the edits.

Strzok advises Page, in a newly released batch of text exchanges between the two, that he was “trying to not completely rewrite” the FD-302, “so as to save [redacted] voice.” The redacted name is most likely Pientka. Strzok wants the document to appear to be voiced by the other agent. But only after he and Page can craft the words to make Flynn appear guilty of lying to the FBI.

It's a frightening prospect to consider, what would America be, if they had gotten away with it? Are anyone's constitutional rights protected when career federal employees are entitled to monitor, frame, or entrap elected leaders with whom they disagree. They might still get away with it, sacrificing some low level fall guy while the real criminals remain untouched.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Is Physical Money on the Verge of Elimination?

Libertarian Leanings - Thu, 2020-04-23 20:35 +0000

The following article was provided by Stefan Gleason, President of Money Metals Exchange.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The metals markets are being pulled in multiple directions simultaneously like never before. The global virus-triggered economic freeze has caused industrial demand for all commodities to crater.

At the same time, mining output is also crashing as virus fears force many mines around the world to suspend operations.

What is the “right” equilibrium price for copper, silver, gold, and other metals in an environment of such extreme and unstable supply and demand stresses? The verdict of the market changes – often dramatically – day by day.

In March, hard assets tumbled along with stocks as investors priced in increasingly dire scenarios for the economy. A double-digit contraction in U.S. GDP and double-digit spike in unemployment became inevitable after economic lockdowns spread across the country.

Now hopes are growing for the economy being able to start reopening in May and reverse some of the damage done by the draconian policies prescribed Dr. Fauci and adopted by most state governors.

Still unknowable, however, is how quickly the economy will be able to heal itself… and to what extent demand for raw materials will recover toward pre-virus levels.

The biggest wild card in all this may be the effects of unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus.

Already the federal budget deficit is set to explode to an all-time record over $3 trillion (likely closer to $4 trillion) and represent a greater share of the U.S. economy than at any time since World War II. Already the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet has ballooned to $6.1 trillion as central bankers furiously try to prop up everything from mortgages to junk bonds.

All this is leading toward a devaluation of the U.S. dollar. That should naturally make sound money – gold and silver – more valuable in dollar terms.

However, as we saw last month, demand destruction amidst a wrecked economy pull down precious metals prices quite suddenly – if only temporarily. Gold has since rebounded strongly to a new 8-year high while silver is regaining its footing from historically depressed levels.

Drilling Down into Supply and Demand Fundamentals

The Silver Institute had forecasted in early February – back when the economic impact of the virus was thought to be minimal outside of China – that global silver demand would rise by 3% in 2020. The Institute projected supply would nearly keep pace with 2% growth (which would be the first annual increase in five years).

Those forecasts now have to be thrown out the window. Both demand and supply are set to plummet in the near term.

On the plus side, investment demand for silver bullion products spiked last month to levels dealers had never seen before, clearing out inventories of most coins, rounds, and bars.

Bullion buying has receded from the frantic pace seen at the peak of the panic but remains strong. Safe-haven buying could remain a feature of investor psychology for many months ahead until an effective COVID-19 vaccine is widely available – and that figures to be 12-18 months out.

As for mining supply, it’s going to be a long road ahead before mines are fully operational again. Platinum and palladium production is largely offline in South Africa. Mexico’s giant Peñasquito mine, one of the country’s leading sources of gold and silver, suspended operations on Monday.

The silver supply picture is complicated by the fact that few primary silver mines exist. Most silver is produced as a byproduct of mining other metals (copper, lead, zinc, gold).

Base metals producers are shutting down. As Reuters reported, “Copper prices advanced on Tuesday, with London copper touching a four-week high, as more virus-related mining disruptions in key producing countries sparked global supply concerns.”

Best-Case and Worst-Case Scenarios

Given the extreme dynamics setting up in supply, demand, and monetary expansionism, market conditions are likely to remain volatile. We do think we have seen “peak fear” in this cycle – but not the end of uncertainty surrounding the virus and the economic damage it could continue to inflict.

In a best-case scenario, COVID-19’s spread steadily declines into the summer and the economy embarks on a V-shaped recovery. In a worst-case scenario, the virus makes a devastating resurgence in the fall, the economy locks down all over again, and markets descend back into chaos.

If the optimistic outlook prevails, then rising industrial demand for copper, silver, platinum, and palladium can be expected to drive those metals higher. Demand can recover faster than supply, which can’t simply be turned back on like a switch.

If the pessimists prevail, then all bets are off. Rounds of asset deflation will lead to accelerating hyperinflationary monetary responses. Social chaos, martial law, and possibly a postponement of elections could result.

In such a scenario, no investment could be counted on to perform well. But gold, the ultimate money, can always be counted on retain value even during the worst of times.

Stefan Gleason is President of Money Metals Exchange, the national precious metals company named 2015 "Dealer of the Year" in the United States by an independent global ratings group. A graduate of the University of Florida, Gleason is a seasoned business leader, investor, political strategist, and grassroots activist. Gleason has frequently appeared on national television networks such as CNN, FoxNews, and CNBC, and his writings have appeared in hundreds of publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Detroit News, Washington Times, and National Review.

Categories: Blogs, United States

It's Not Hysteria

Libertarian Leanings - Sat, 2020-04-11 11:28 +0000

Are we over reacting with our self imposed quarantine?  Well, it sure looked like hysteria as toilet paper and paper towels disappeared from store shelves with lightning speed. 

I went into Sam's Club on a weekday morning with a plan to stock up on essentials like beer in the event we had to quarantine ourselves.  I forgot the popcorn, but I remembered to pick up enough canned tuna, canned chicken, coffee, evaporated milk, and mayonnaise to last for a couple of weeks.  I'll carefully venture out on an as-needed basis to pick up fresh milk and bread.

Meanwhile Wall Street is going wild.  Somebody's gonna make a fortune, but it ain't me.  My formerly robust IRA account has lost more than 20% since the end of February, and today is shaping up to be another brutal day.  Yes, the market will come back, so in the long run I'm not worried.  Besides, I can scrape by without it.  Still, it's disheartening to see the losses pile up, even though I expect they will never be anything but paper losses.

On a somewhat brighter side Willis Eschenbach posting on Watts Up With That? thinks that things may not be so dire. The source of his optimism is the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined for weeks with a Coronavirus breakout.

We had a perfect petri-dish coronavirus disease (COVID-19) experiment with the cruise ship “Diamond Princess”. That’s the cruise ship that ended up in quarantine for a number of weeks after a number of people tested positive for the coronavirus. I got to wondering what the outcome of the experiment was.

So I dug around and found an analysis of the situation, with the catchy title

of Estimating the infection and case fatality ratio for COVID-19 using age-adjusted data from the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship (PDF), so I could see what the outcomes were.

As you might imagine, before they knew it was a problem, the epidemic raged on the ship, with infected crew members cooking and cleaning for the guests, people all eating together, close living quarters, lots of social interaction, and a generally older population. Seems like a perfect situation for an overwhelming majority of the passengers to become infected.

And despite that, some 83% (82.7% – 83.9%) of the passengers never got the disease at all … why?

Michael Levitt, said the same thing.  Levitt is an American-British-Israeli biophysicist and Nobel Prize laureate who accurately predicted that the spread of the virus in Wuhan would slow down in February.  Levitt says "the end of the pandemic is near," pointing to the Diamond Princess to reinforce his argument.

The Diamond Princess cruise ship represented the worst-case scenario in terms of disease spread, as the close confines of the ship offered optimal conditions for the virus to be passed among those aboard. The population density aboard the ship was the equivalent of trying to cram the whole Israeli population into an area 30 kilometers square. In addition, the ship had a central air conditioning and heating system, and communal dining rooms.

“Those are extremely comfortable conditions for the virus and still, only 20% were infected. It is a lot, but pretty similar to the infection rate of the common flu,” Levitt said. Based on those figures, his conclusion was that most people are simply naturally immune.

Statistics for the Diamond Princess outbreak can be found in this analysis: Estimating the infection and case fatality ratio for COVID-19 using age-adjusted data from the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.  I decided to compare those numbers to an earlier epidemic, the 2009-2010 H1N1.  Nothing fancy, just calculated the percentages from the Diamond Princess Coronavirus numbers, applied the percentages to the U.S. population, and compared the results to the H1N1 numbers.  I compiled the following table from those statistics.

 

Diamond Princess Coronavirus Outbreak

Age Passengers Infected Deaths %Infected %Deaths 0 - 9 16 1 0 6.25% 0.00% 10 - 19 23 5 0 21.74% 0.00% 20 - 29 347 28 0 8.07% 0.00% 30 - 39 428 34 0 7.94% 0.00% 40 - 49 334 27 0 8.08% 0.00% 50 - 59 398 59 0 14.82% 0.00% 60 - 69 923 177 0 19.18% 0.00% 70 - 79 1015 234 6 23.05% 2.56% 80 - 89 216 54 1 25.00% 1.85% Totals 3711 619 7 16.68% 1.13%             H1N1 2010
308,745,538 60,800,000 12,469 19.69% 0.0205% USA 2020 330,000,000 55,044,462 622,474 16.68% 1.13%

 

Seven deaths out of 3,711 doesn't seem like a lot, but actually it is.  When you compare the infection rates of H1N1 to that of the Coronavirus, 19.69% vs. 16.68%, you can see that they are roughly comparable.  However, applying the infection rate, 16.68%, and the fatality rate, 1.13%, from the Diamond Princess to the entire 2020 U.S. population, it turns out there is no comparison to the H1N1.  The Coronvirus is far more deadly with over 622,000 projected Coronavirus deaths compared to 12,469 actual H1N1 deaths. 

OK, it's not apples to apples, comparing the entire U.S. to the Diamond Princess.  Social distancing was nearly impossible on the Diamond Princess, but we are doing it as a country, and it's sure to lower the fatality rate.

When Trump began reinstating border enforcement, when he started construction of the wall on the southern border, when he imposed tariffs, when he renegotiated trade contracts, when he devised a tax policy to repatriate U.S. companies' foreign earned income, it was all with the objective of rebuilding our manufacturing capacity, and helping American workers. All of those things have put us in a position to better withstand our current Coronavirus crisis. We can wait it out.

Open border policies never made any sense before, but now they make even less sense, if that's possible.  And suddenly we make another startling discovery: Rebuilding American manufacturing capacity — for producing our own life saving drugs which are now produced in China, as an example — isn't really such a bad idea.  Things Trump has done to protect American jobs, will help to protect American lives.

The fact is, though, our concern over the Coronavirus is not hysteria.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Silence

Libertarian Leanings - Thu, 2020-04-02 16:00 +0000

On March 22, 2020 the New York Post published a story about a Florida man who credits hydroxychloroquine with saving his life.

Trump last week said he was instructing the FDA to fast-track testing of hydroxychloroquine and a related drug, chloroquine, as treatment for COVID-19.

Giardinieri said he contacted an infectious disease doctor about the drug.

“He gave me all the reasons why I would probably not want to try it because there are no trials, there’s no testing, it was not something that was approved,” said Giardinieri.

“And I said, ‘Look, I don’t know if I’m going to make it until the morning,’ because at that point I really thought I was coming to the end because I couldn’t breathe anymore,” Giardinieri continued.

“He agreed and authorized the use of it and 30 minutes later the nurse gave it to me.”

After about an hour after taking the pills, Giardinieri said, it felt like his heart was beating out of his chest and, about two hours later, he had another episode where he couldn’t breathe.

He says he was given Benadryl and some other drugs and that when he woke up around 4:45 a.m., it was “like nothing ever happened.”

Also on March 22, 2020 Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that New York would begin clinical trials in which a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin would be used in treating coronavirus patients.

As more and more cases emerge, there is a growing and desperate need to not only adequately treat, but to find a cure for COVID-19. This is true particularly in New York, which is grappling with skyrocketing coronavirus cases.

Due to the increase in numbers, New York is set to launch a clinical trial for an experimental drug treatment Tuesday, March 24. It also plans to be the nation's first state to try to heal critically ill patients using the antibodies extracted from the plasma of individuals who have recovered from the virus.

The federal government cleared the way for New York to experiment with the malaria and lupus drug hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic Zithromax (generic name azithromycin) as a treatment for COVID-19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said over the weekend.

On March 24, 2020 the New York Post reported that massive doses of vitamin C showed promising results when administered to patients suffering from the coronavirus in a New York test.

About 700 patients are being treated for coronavirus across the hospital network, Molinet said, but it’s unclear how many are getting the vitamin C treatment.

The vitamin C is administered in addition to such medicines as the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, the antibiotic azithromycin, various biologics and blood thinners, Weber said.

As of Tuesday, New York hospitals have federal permission to give a cocktail of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to desperately ill patients on a “compassionate care” basis.

There was nothing in the article to indicate how many patients were given the vitamin C, nor how many patients were given hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin.  Nor was there any information on the outcome of the hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin treatments, either in the Post or anywhere else for that matter.  It's as if there's a gag order.  I went so far as to search the NH.gov COVID-19 webpage for hydroxychloroquine, and got these results.


Since the FDA approved the use of the hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin combination for COVID-19, I've found no news articles in the mainstream media outlets with results of patient treatments.  It's been well over a week.  However, a website called Tech Startups has been publishing stories about Dr. Vladimir Zelenko of Monroe, New York who claims to have successfully treated over 600 patients with a 5-day regimen of hydroxychloroquine sulfate, zinc, and arithromycin.  Dr. Zelenko defines success as "not to die."

When Trump offered hope that these drugs could help, the New York Times quickly countered with an expert opinion piece, No, These Medicines Cannot Cure Coronavirus.  The experts went on to blame Trump for the death of an Arizona man whose wife fed him chloroquine phosphate, fish tank cleaner.  CNN blamed Trump for the hospitalization of three NIgerians who overdosed on chloroquine after they heard what Trump had to say.

HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine. The FDA has moved mountains - Thank You!

That was on March 21st.  It's been over a week since treatments using the various combinations of hydroxychloroquine sulfate, zinc, and arithromycin began in the U.S.  The treatment takes five days, so there's been plenty of time to see if those treatments were not working out.  I have a hard time believing that no news is bad news.  The Times, CNN, The Washington Post, and other like oriented news outlets would on be it at the first sign of failure, saturating the news cycles with stories of how wrong, irresponsible, and dangerous Trump had been with his cheerleading.  So, why the silence?

Dr. Zelenko may have the answer.

In a new video post, Dr. Vladimir Zelenko provides important update regarding the treatment regimen. He’s also sounded warning about shortage of the Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate, Zinc and Z-Pak.

Dr. Zelenko asks people to return drugs they don't need and haven't used, so that patients who need them may get them.

In the meantime, media dreams of Trump's Katrina are on hold.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Bafflingly Silent?

Libertarian Leanings - Tue, 2020-03-31 17:24 +0000

In a column in Reason Magazine, Robby Soave asks the question, "Why Are the Mainstream Media Ignoring Tara Reade's Sexual Assault Accusation Against Joe Biden?"

On September 14, 2018, The New York Times reported the existence of an unverified sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The story cited three people who had read a letter sent by the accuser—Christine Blasey Ford—to Sen. Diane Feinstein (D–Calif.). Ford was not interviewed for the story; indeed, she wasn't named.

Unconfirmed reports of a teenaged Kavanaugh assaulting a teenaged Ford evidently merited coverage from The Times. This prompts an obvious question: Why is the paper of record now declining to publicize a very troubling allegation against former Vice President Joe Biden?

The Times is hardly alone in this regard. The mainstream media have remained bafflingly silent about Tara Reade, a former member of then-Senator Biden's staff who claims that he sexually assaulted her in 1993.

What is so baffling?  News outlets are going broke left and right.  Find out who is propping them up.  Billionaires can lose money on media ventures if those media ventures return value in some other form.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Israel's Coronavirus Vaccine Prototype

Libertarian Leanings - Tue, 2020-03-31 17:02 +0000

The Jerusalem Post reports that Israel is testing a coronavirus vaccine prototype on rodents at a defense laboratory.

JERUSALEM - Israel has begun testing a COVID-19 vaccine prototype on rodents at its bio-chemical defense laboratory, a source said on Tuesday.   Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR), in rural Ness Ziona, to join the fight against the coronavirus pandemic on Feb. 1, prompting an easing of its secrecy as it cooperates with civilian scientists and private firms.     In a statement, Netanyahu's office said IIBR director Shmuel Shapira had informed him of "significant progress" in designing a vaccine prototype and that the institute "is now preparing a model for commencing an animal trial."   A source familiar with IIBR activities told Reuters that trials were already under way on rodents.
Israel has reported 4,473 cases.  There have been 19 deaths  
Categories: Blogs, United States

Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc, Azithromycin

Libertarian Leanings - Tue, 2020-03-31 13:58 +0000

In a study conducted by Dr. Vladmir Zelenko, a board-certified family practitioner in New York, 699 coronavirus patients were treated with a combination of hydroxychloroquine sulfate, zinc, and azithromycin.  No patients died, no patients were intubated, and only four were hospitalized.

Categories: Blogs, United States

FDA Approves Hydroxochoroquine and Chloroquine for COVID-19

Libertarian Leanings - Tue, 2020-03-31 13:57 +0000

From the WSJ, An FDA Breakthrough on Treatment.

The Food and Drug Administration on Sunday green-lighted two malaria medicines that have shown some promise treating the novel coronavirus, and the emergency approvals couldn’t come soon enough. Expanding their use could bring quicker relief to patients and hospitals while allowing scientists to better assess their efficacy.

The malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine (HC) and chloroquine have been around for more than five decades, so their safety is well documented. New evidence suggests that they could also help fight the novel coronavirus, as op-eds by Dr. Jeff Colyer on these pages have reported. Both chloroquine and HC in vitro block the replication of RNA viruses like the novel coronavirus.

Dr. Vladimir Zelenko has had impressive success treating patients afflicted with the Wuhan Virus.  Of 699 patients treated with the combination of hydroxochloroquine, zinc, and azithromycin, no one died and no one had to be intubated.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin

Libertarian Leanings - Mon, 2020-03-30 11:04 +0000

From this morning's WSJ, An Update on the Coronavirus Treatment: Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin continue to show results for patients.

For my entire career, I have taken a conservative approach to medicine. I don’t want to give false or premature hope. All of this is subject to further refinement as more information arrives. But likewise I can’t ignore the available evidence. This appears to be the best widely available option for treating Covid-19 and not merely easing the suffering from the disease. It would be irresponsible not to pursue this option aggressively.

The author, Dr. Jeff Colyer, is a practicing physician who served as governor of Kansas from 2018 to 2019.

Categories: Blogs, United States

My Coming to Christ

Daily Anarchist - Thu, 2020-03-26 23:00 +0000

Hello everyone,

It must be a surprise to hear from The Daily Anarchist after having been silent for so long. I’ve known for a while that the day would come when it was time to resurrect this old blog for one last message. And I believe that time is now.

I’ve got some things I’d like to tell you all. In fact, I’d like to tell this to all who would listen, but doubly so the people who love liberty.

When I created The Daily Anarchist I was not a Christian. I believed in God, for sure, but had no use for “religion” or “The Bible,” and often ridiculed privately Christianity. A few years ago, however, I became overcome with a severe feeling of dread. Every fiber of my body was telling me that America was soon to be conquered. The New World Order was ready to show its fangs and put to rest the remaining vestiges of freedom in the world. Things were going to get ugly, unlike ever before seen in the world, and I was floored with panic.

Shortly after seeing the writing on the wall, my wife of several years, and lifelong Christian, happened across a Bible prophecy series that she began watching herself. I asked her why she didn’t include me and she replied that she didn’t think I would be interested. A fair assumption, but I’ve always been intrigued by end-times prophecy, which is what the series was about. So, we started from the beginning. Long story short, it blew my mind. Not only had the series explained the Bible and sound Christian doctrine in a way I had never heard before, but it explained clearly, using the Bible, who the Antichrist is, the objectives of said Antichrist, and the end of days is general.

I was fascinated. The problem was I didn’t believe in the Bible. I had picked it up years before and attempted to read it from cover to cover. I made it through about the first three and a half books. Then I stopped. My attitude was that if I could not believe the creation story and the beginning of the universe and all life on planet Earth, then why should I believe the rest of the Bible?

You see, I was raised by secular parents and attended government schools growing up. I was fully steeped in The Big Bang Theory and Darwinian evolution. The clear reading of the Bible talked of an entirely different order to the creation of the Universe and humanity. The two simply could not be reconciled.

So, at the time of my fascination with biblical end-times prophecy, I decided to look into “Creationism.” That is, the science and evidence supporting a young-Earth and recent creation of humanity and all life. I devoured many resources, and continue to do so today. And the conclusion I came to is that the Bible can be trusted from beginning to end, and that science, archaeology, and reason all point strongly to the “Creationist” viewpoint. Shortly thereafter, I surrendered to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

It wouldn’t be in my nature to simply give my testimony, though. If there’s one thing I really love to do in life, it is to share what I’ve learned with others. So, I’m going to make this one giant mega-post with as much information as possible to get each of you, Lord willing, into the Kingdom.

I’d like to start with making the case for “Creationism.” We can begin by looking to the heavens with an excellent trilogy titled “What You Aren’t Being Told About Astronomy.” The first two parts can be found on Youtube. The third part, unfortunately, has not been uploaded, but can be purchased.

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzyQbOQ0dv0&t

Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E66409i-yn4

Part 3: https://usstore.creation.com/product/411-astronomy-vol-3-our-crea ted-universe-dvd

Next, I’d like to show you why evolution, in the most popularly understood sense, is wrong.

Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels: https://usstore.creation.com/product/396-evolutions-achilles-heel s-dvd

Next is something on history.

Patterns of Evidence: Exodus: https://usstore.creation.com/product/405-patterns-of-evidence-exo dus-dvd

Those are what I highly recommend starting with. If you enjoy those, there are a plethora of DVD’s on many different subjects.

Explore: https://usstore.creation.com/category/19-dvds?resultsPerPage=1000 00&page=1

Next, I’d like to make the case for why I am a “King James Onlyist.” That is to say, why I believe the King James Bible, and only the King James Bible should be used for Christian doctrine.

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNv-zzpIwBs&t

Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqBEuxGY7DI&t

Next, a really interesting video which shows how what the vast majority of people believe, including most Christians, is likely wrong.

The Temple Mount: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tzom66XhZ8&t

Next, this is the series which really showed me the Bible in a way I’d never heard it before, and frankly, neither have most Christians. I’m not going to say I agree with every doctrine in this series, but I agree with most. And as the host says, if there is something you disagree with, keep watching. Eat the melon and spit out the seeds.

The Prophecy Code with Doug Batchelor: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYx1tOOUv4Syo7GFfkcEbfqeZP 7cMREvs

Yes, it’s 20 parts.

And last, but definitely not least, this video shows why I believe we are in the very last days.

Bewilderment Survival by Pastor Harold White: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6ElQBt4Uy0&t

That’s it, everyone. There are days and days worth of videos to watch there. I cannot recommend highly enough starting now and watching everything. Nobody knows the day or the hour of Christ’s second coming, but we can know the season. And it feels like the season to me. I don’t know how it will all go down, but if the New World Order keeps choking the economy and debasing the monetary system, this could lead to riots. And riots could lead to gun confiscation. And gun confiscation could lead to a revolution. And a revolution could lead to martial law and the mark of the beast.

I don’t think libertarians, be they minimalists or anarcho-capitalists, are ever going to realize their dreams in this life. Freedom just isn’t popular.

2 Corinthians 3:17 “… where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

May those of you already followers of Christ keep the faith, and those of you not yet in the faith, come to find it. God bless you all.

Categories: Blogs, United States

More Coronavirus Hoarding

Libertarian Leanings - Wed, 2020-03-25 21:08 +0000

It's not just toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and paper towels that have been flying off store shelves.

Updated March 24, 2020: As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread across the United States, its impact can be seen in every community. Businesses and schools are closed, the stock market is exceptionally volatile, and store shelves are empty as the American public has scrambled to prepare for the worldwide pandemic and social distancing prescribed by the WHO and CDC.

While people have stockpiled toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and pantry essentials, they've also purchased ammunition at an unprecedented rate. Here at Ammo.com, our growth in sales directly correlates with the rise of COVID-19 and its spread across the country. Starting on February 23rd, sales began to increase as the search term “coronavirus” gained traction, according to Google Trends. This increase in sales has continued as follows:

  • 720% increase in revenue
  • 434% increase in transactions
  • 334% increase in site traffic
  • 27% increase in conversion rate
  • 45% increase in average order value

Read the rest here.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Dark Journalist: Reddit AMA Video - The Breakaway Civilization

Daily Paul - Sun, 2015-04-12 00:34 +0000


http://youtu.be/gl2y-GQn1HU

Dark Journalist will be joining the reddit conspiracy community for an AMA (ask me anything) question and answer session on April 16th at 4pm EST. He is happy to answer any questions that viewers may have on subjects such as the Black Budget Economy, The Breakaway Civilization, Deep State, Secret Space Program and UFO Secrecy.

read more

Categories: Articles, United States

My review of The Most Dangerous Superstition

Daily Paul - Sun, 2015-04-12 00:02 +0000

I'm very proud to have written the most-upvoted review of Larken Rose's great book, The Most Dangerous Superstition. Somehow or other, I never got around to posting the review on the Daily Paul. So here it is, my last words on my late-great favorite website:

Little children learn morality from their parents: things are good or bad because Mommy and Daddy SAID so. A little later, they may be taught that things are good or bad because God SAID so, in some Holy Book. And still later, when they are taught "civics" in government schools, they will be taught that things are good or bad because "It's the law." (And it's GOOD to obey the law, BAD to break it.") But "the law" is just whatever politicians SAY it is.

A person becomes an adult when he outgrows the need to be given moral commandments from people he thinks of as "authorities," and learns to judge for himself what is right or wrong. This is a book to read to discover just how adult YOU really are. The book as a whole is a litmus test that will show whether the reader is an adult with independent judgment, or still a child, believing every fantasy and superstition that the "authorities" in his life have told him to believe.

read more

Categories: Articles, United States

Over 1000 People Show Up At Las Vegas Rand Paul Rally Today..Over Capacity At Venue

Daily Paul - Sat, 2015-04-11 23:49 +0000

BEYOND STANDING ROOM ONLY ... http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/04/11/rand-paul...

Categories: Articles, United States

The Manchester Free Press aims to bring together in one place everything that you need to know about what’s happening in the Free State of New Hampshire.

Media

Articles

Bloggers

Daily Anarchist

Our friends & allies

New Hampshire

United States

We publish links to the sites listed above in the hopes that they will be useful. The appearance of any particular site in this list does not imply that we endorse everything that the particular site advocates.