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Six Stocks to Buy for Profiting Amid 2022 Challenges

Six stocks to buy for profiting amid 2022 challenges should be fueled by key investment themes.  The six stocks to buy for profiting amid 2022 challenges share characteristics of high quality, inflation-protected dividend yield, value rather than…

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Six stocks to buy for profiting amid 2022 challenges should be fueled by key investment themes. 

The six stocks to buy for profiting amid 2022 challenges share characteristics of high quality, inflation-protected dividend yield, value rather than growth, free cash flow (FCF) generation and more, according to BofA Global Research. Other factors that led to their recommendation include fund positioning, the investment firm’s analysts’ 2022 earnings outlook versus consensus forecasts, as well as other catalysts.

In addition, these six stocks are mostly neglected by active funds and benefit more from inflation, rising interest rates, heightened gross domestic product (GDP), increased oil prices and wage growth, compared to an equal-weighted 11 sector portfolio. The following six stocks to buy for profiting amid 2022 challenges were picked by BoA, which provided analysis for each of its choices. 

The Fed’s Jan. 5 release of the minutes from its December Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting indicated an increasingly aggressive plan to wind down quantitative easing (QE), raise the Fed Funds Rate and reduce the $9 trillion in debt on the Fed’s balance sheet, Bryan Perry wrote to his Cash Machine newsletter readers. The news impaired short-term investor sentiment and triggered heavy selling in the market’s favorite and dominant growth stocks in subsequent days, he added.

The only sectors holding up under the stress of broad market downside pressure are energy, financials, consumer staples and utilities, Perry opined.

Paul Dykewicz interviews Bryan Perry, who heads the Cash Machine newsletter, as well as the Premium Income, Quick Income Trader, Breakout Profits Alert and Hi-Tech Trader trading services.

Exxon Mobil Is One of Six Stocks to Buy for Profiting Amid 2022 Challenges

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) shares traded above $70 on Tuesday, Jan. 11, to reach a new 52-week high. The stock also pays a 5% dividend yield at that breakout level, said Perry, who has been watching the stock rise as an existing recommendation in his Cash Machine newsletter.

Exxon Mobil will stand as the only oil major to emerge from the last five years with capacity for growth in free cash flow, according to BofA Global Research. But while claiming a rich opportunity slate, its chosen pace of investment is perceived as having underestimated cyclical risks, the investment firm wrote.

XOM proved capable of navigating COVID volatility but at a price, adding $20 billion to its balance sheet, and overshadowing prudent management of prior cycles, in contrast to some peers that cut their dividends, BofA wrote. As BofA’s top Energy sector stock for 2022, Exxon Mobil is estimated to have the capacity to resume dividend growth on both an absolute and per-share basis, while restoring its balance sheet to pre-COVID levels.

Bob Carlson, who heads the Retirement Watch investment newsletter, said his top pick for conservative to moderate investors is Energy Select SPDR (XLE), featuring Exxon Mobil as the fund’s top holding among 21 stocks. Carlson, who serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Virginia’s Fairfax County Employees’ Retirement System with more than $4 billion in assets, said energy stocks finished 2021 strongly, and most of the factors that propelled those gains will continue in 2022.

“Inflation is likely to remain high for much of 2022 and perhaps longer,” Carlson said. “Energy stocks traditionally are a good inflation hedge.” 

Pension fund and Retirement Watch chief Bob Carlson answers questions from columnist Paul Dykewicz.

From discussions with certain investors, the preponderance of views suggests a big issue that gained support from enough shareholders to win 3 of 12 Exxon Mobil board seats was less about climate and more about capital discipline and continuing a sustainable and growing dividend for the stock, BofA wrote. There is little doubt dividend sustainability came under scrutiny through the cyclical trough of 2020 and the company’s payout may increase in 2022 for the first time since 2019, BofA added.

Chart courtesy of www.stockcharts.com

Mondelez Joins Six Stocks to Buy for Profiting Amid 2022 Challenges

Mondelez International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MSLZ), a multinational confectionery, food, holding and beverage and snack food company based in Chicago, Illinois, is BofA’s top pick in the Consumer Staples sector. BoA described Mondelez as a high-quality stock that has positive gross domestic product (GDP) and interest rate betas.

Based on analysts offering 12-month price targets for Mondelez International in the last three months. The average price target is $72 with estimates ranging from a high of $76 to a low of $67, according to NASDAQ. 

However, Mondelez’s share price has soared recently, so the potential profit by investing in the stock now is not as large as it would have been a little more than a month ago. Nonetheless, Mondelez International gained a nod from BofA analysts.

Chart courtesy of www.stockcharts.com

Welltower Gains Spot With Six Stocks to Buy for Profiting Amid 2022 Challenges

Welltower Inc. (NYSE: WELL), a Toledo, Ohio, real estate investment trust (REIT) that invests in health care infrastructure, is BofA’s preferred choice in the real estate sector. BofA cited the REIT’s “attractive dividend yield” of 2.9% as a reason to own its shares.

The $94 price objective for WELL set by BofA accounts for depressed earnings due to the COVID pandemic, as well as expectations of a multi-year period of above-average earnings growth due to a rebound in senior housing as the pandemic wanes. The stock’s price may outperform that estimate amid better-than-expected senior housing or medical office building performance, higher-than-forecast dividend growth and reduced interest rates.

But risks remain. They include public-pay reimbursement cuts, a more competitive acquisitions environment, weaker-than-expected senior housing fundamentals, increased tenant credit risk and rising interest rates, BofA noted.

Welltower has been one of the top holdings of one of Carlson’s recommended funds, Cohen & Steers Realty Shares (CSRSX). Cell tower firms and data storage companies have benefited from increased use of mobile technology and will do so, he added. 

Chart courtesy of www.stockcharts.com

Six Stocks to Buy for Profiting Amid 2022 Challenges Include Eastman Chemical

Kingsport, Tennessee-based Eastman Chemical (NYSE: EMN), an independent global specialty materials company that produces a broad range of advanced materials, chemicals and fibers for everyday purposes, received an upgraded rating to a buy from neutral by BofA in August 2021. The investment firm boosted its earnings per share (EPS) and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) estimates, as well as its price objective on Eastman Chemical to $140, up from $130.

The company, BofA’s favorite choice in the Materials sector, offers an attractive dividend yield of 2.6%. Once a subsidiary of Kodak, EMN’s businesses today offer a highly diversified set of chemical products delivering exposure to various markets. This is accomplished through an expertise in four primary chemical chains: coal gasification and acetyls, para-xylene and polyesters, olefins, and methanol and alkyamines. EMN then markets these products to customers across the product chain, starting at upstream commodities and moving down to highly differentiated chemical derivatives, BofA wrote.

Chart courtesy of www.stockcharts.com

Eastman Chemical Should Not Be Overlooked, BofA Wrote

Eastman Chemical has executed well both through and in the wake of the COVID recession, building on innovation-led initiatives while adding additional avenues for growth, BofA wrote. Supplementing the revenue story is a transition in cash deployment from debt pay down to more direct shareholder value creation. With its shares trading below its highs, BofA sees an attractive value and entry point for investors.

BofA’s $140 price objective is based on the average of its enterprise value to 2022 estimated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) valuation of $147 and its price to 2022 estimated earnings per share (EPS) valuation of $134. The price target is based on 10.5x and 13.5x multiples for BofA’s 2022 EBITDA and EPS estimates, respectively, near the high-end of historical five-year peak valuations of 11.0x forward EBITDA and 14.5x forward P/E. BofA described that level as appropriate due to Eastman Chemical’s expected return to normal profit level, consistent free cash flow generation and positive earnings momentum.

CVS Captures Place Among Six Stocks to Buy for Profiting Amid 2022 Challenges

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, is one of the largest health care companies in the United States, providing retail, mail and specialty pharmacy dispensing services and pharmacy benefits. CVS is one of the most vertically integrated publicly traded healthcare companies and ranks as BofA’s favorite health care stock. 

CVS Health has been taking share across its three businesses and continues to generate a significant amount of cash flow to support the ongoing growth strategy, BofA wrote. Thus, BoA affirmed its buy rating on CVS and boosted its price objective from $112 to $115.

BofA increased its fiscal year 2021 EPS from $8.00 to $8.04, maintained its fiscal year 2022 E0PS at $8.23 and cut its fiscal year 2023 EPS from $9.08 to $8.98. The latter change stemmed from incremental investments tied to different service buildouts, which are not expected to aid profit materially until at least fiscal year 2024. Share buybacks are expected, with potential mergers and acquisition (M&A) action tied to the company’s growth initiatives to offer near-term catalysts aside from sustaining ongoing operational strength.

Chart courtesy of www.stockcharts.com

Walt Disney Snares Spot in Six Stocks to Buy for Profiting Amid 2022 Challenges

Despite near term COVID pressures and higher direct-to-consumer (DTC) expenses, BofA expect Disney to grow stronger due to robust Disney+/Hulu/ESPN+ subscriber growth and long-term theme park margin potential, among other reasons. Key catalysts incl Disney+ video price increases and more widespread launch in Japan, theme park re-openings and capacity increases and resumption of feature film/TV releases. 

BofA wrote on that it maintains a Buy rating and a $192 price objective on the stock. The investment firm also trimmed its earnings outlook for Disney to reflect slower vaccine rollout leading to more gradual theme park and hotel re-openings, causing temporary delays in production due to a resurgence in COVID cases, theatrical film delays and increased investment in DTC initiatives.

Disney also has been slowed by closures of Disneyland in California and Disneyland in Paris on Oct. 30, along with Disneyland in Hong Kong on Dec. 1, BofA wrote. Those shutdowns led to employee furloughs and other cost-saving measures.

Chart courtesy of www.stockcharts.com

Single-Day Hospitalizations in America Hit New High

U.S. hospitalizations due to COVID-19 surpassed last winter’s peak, proving the virus is becoming increasingly prevalent as the highly contagious Omicron variant spreads across the country. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that 142,388 people were hospitalized nationwide with the virus as of Sunday, Jan. 9, exceeding the previous single-day record of 142,315 reported on January 14, 2021.

As an indicator of how the virus is spreading, the seven-day average of daily hospitalizations hit 132,086, up 83% from two weeks ago. In addition, the Biden administration called for U.S. insurers to cover eight at-home tests each month.

The holiday season of 2021 marked the second straight year that COVID-19 has interfered with the travel plans of families and friends hoping to gather. Canceled flights keep growing by the thousands due to rising COVID cases, as workers at airlines, airports and related retailers call in sick.

Scientists have confirmed the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 is spreading much faster than the Delta version. However, the severity of the Omicron variant seems weaker than Delta, according to early reports.

Omicron recently has become the dominant variant of COVID-19 in the United States by a wide margin. That version of the coronavirus is blamed for causing the Mid-Atlantic region of Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia to set records for daily cases. Many other regions are reporting new peaks for COVID-19 cases, too.

COVID-19 Concerns Mount Along With Cases and Deaths

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is combining with the Delta version to trigger renewed calls for people in high-risk locales to obtain vaccinations, wear masks indoors and even stay home. Government and public health leaders in the United States also are urging people to receive booster shots, if they are eligible.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the variants are spurring people to obtain COVID-19 boosters. However, nearly 62 million people in the United States remain eligible to be vaccinated but have not done so, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief White House medical adviser on COVID-19.

As of Jan 11, 247,321,023 people, or 74.5% of the U.S. population, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC reported. Those who are fully vaccinated total 207,954,605, or 62.6% of the U.S. population, according to the CDC.

COVID-19 deaths worldwide, as of Jan. 11, topped the 5.5 million mark to hit 5,503,857, according to Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide COVID-19 cases have zoomed past 313 million, reaching 313,353,216 on that date.

U.S. COVID-19 cases, as of Jan. 11, jumped more than 5 million in the past week to total 62,308,132 and caused 842,141 deaths. America has the dreaded distinction as the country with the most COVID-19 cases and deaths.

The six stocks to buy for profiting amid 2022 challenges are recommended by BofA to purchase and hold for the full year. Investors open to accepting that commitment may be rewarded for their patience in what could be a volatile year for the markets.

Paul Dykewicz, www.pauldykewicz.com, is an accomplished, award-winning journalist who has written for Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, USA Today, the Journal of Commerce, Seeking Alpha, GuruFocus and other publications and websites. Paul, who can be followed on Twitter @PaulDykewicz, is the editor of StockInvestor.com and DividendInvestor.com, a writer for both websites and a columnist. He further is editorial director of Eagle Financial Publications in Washington, D.C., where he edits monthly investment newsletters, time-sensitive trading alerts, free e-letters and other investment reports. Paul previously served as business editor of Baltimore’s Daily Record newspaper. Paul also is the author of an inspirational book, “Holy Smokes! Golden Guidance from Notre Dame’s Championship Chaplain,” with a foreword by former national championship-winning football coach Lou Holtz. The book is great as a gift and is endorsed by Joe Montana, Joe Theismann, Ara Parseghian, “Rocket” Ismail, Reggie Brooks, Dick Vitale and many others. Call 202-677-4457 for multiple-book pricing.

The post Six Stocks to Buy for Profiting Amid 2022 Challenges appeared first on Stock Investor.

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Easyjet share price down 3% as pandemic losses hit £2.2 billion

The EasyJet share price shed over 3% today to give up a chunk of…
The post Easyjet share price down 3% as pandemic losses hit £2.2 billion first appeared on Trading and Investment News.

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The EasyJet share price shed over 3% today to give up a chunk of the gains the budget airline had made earlier in the week. The new slide came after it announced a £213 loss for the last quarter of the year covering the Christmas period, taking losses for the Covid-19 pandemic period to £2.2 billion. The airline also told investors it is still burning through £150 million in cash every month as it struggles to build capacity back up.

The short-haul airline that makes most of its income shuttling holidaymakers and business travellers around Europe said it is still only operating at around half of its pre-pandemic capacity. However, it is hopeful that pent-up demand and an end to travel restrictions mean it will return to pre-pandemic levels by summer and enjoy much brisker trade than of late over the Easter and spring period.

easy jet plc

But before then the airline company will again have to absorb deep losses over the current quarter, which is traditionally its weakest of the year. Even a strong summer period, think most analysts, will be insufficient to see the company return to profit this year. EasyJet’s value is still less than half of what it was in February 2020 before the coronavirus-induced market sell-off that hit later that month and saw markets dive into March before starting to recover. The share prices of rival budget airlines Ryanair and WizzAir have recovered much more strongly in comparison to EasyJet’s and are now close to their pre-pandemic levels. There have been concerns around whether EasyJet could survive the pandemic but investors contributed £1.2 billion last autumn to bolster its balance sheet.

The EasyJet share price is closing the week at around £6.15 compared to over £15 before the pandemic. However, there is now hope the worst may be behind the airline and it can begin its, potentially long, journey back to health. Chief executive John Lundgren attempted to soften the announcement of another hefty loss with a bullish statement on where things go from here for his company:

“Booking volumes jumped in the UK following the welcome reduction of travel restrictions announced on January 5, which have been sustained and given a further boost from the UK government’s decision this week to remove all testing requirements.”

“We believe testing for travel across our network should soon become a thing of the past. We see a strong summer ahead, with pent-up demand that will see easyJet returning to near-2019 levels of capacity, with UK beach and leisure routes performing particularly well.”

For now, however, forward guidance for the immediate quarter remains cautious with the company admitting it has fallen short of its expectations to be at 80% capacity by this quarter, sitting at just 67%. However, with most analysts confident the company will eventually return to strength, and profit in the 2022-23 financial year, EasyJet shares could offer a good buying opportunity at current levels.

The post Easyjet share price down 3% as pandemic losses hit £2.2 billion first appeared on Trading and Investment News.

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Government

Xi Jinping Seeking “Global Domination”: Mike Pompeo

Xi Jinping Seeking "Global Domination": Mike Pompeo

Authored by Nathan Worcester via The Epoch Times,

Mike Pompeo said Chinese leader Xi Jinping wants “global domination—hegemony for the Chinese Communist Party,” warning that the…

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Xi Jinping Seeking "Global Domination": Mike Pompeo

Authored by Nathan Worcester via The Epoch Times,

Mike Pompeo said Chinese leader Xi Jinping wants “global domination—hegemony for the Chinese Communist Party,” warning that the rise of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) could destroy the rules-based international order in place since the end of World War II.

“It’s not about putting a Chinese tank division in Taiwan. It’s about accreting political power and influence throughout the world,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo, who served first as CIA director and later as Secretary of State under President Donald Trump, made the statement in an appearance at the Argus Americas Crude Summit 2022.

He said his tenure as CIA director came at a time when U.S. attention had to shift from terrorism to other threats, foremost among them the CCP.

He added that a “global awakening” is taking place about what he sees as the ambitions of the CCP.

“Most of the credit goes to Xi Jinping. He foisted a virus on the world, for goodness’ sake, and refuses to let anybody go figure out where it came from,” Pompeo said.

The CCP has met with international criticism for blocking access to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) and related facilities in Wuhan by the United Nations. Many scientists and journalists suspect the CCP virus that causes COVID-19 originated at the WIV.

Pompeo also commented on ongoing trade-related conflict between the United States and China, raising questions about the United States’ initial decision to open up to China in the context of its primary Cold War conflict with China’s then-rival, the Soviet Union.

“The trade war began maybe in 1972,” he said, referring to Henry Kissinger and President Richard Nixon’s visit to the People’s Republic of China in the context of restoring diplomatic ties.

“Maybe it was the right thing to do in 1972—but the trade war long predates the Trump administration.”

“We encouraged business together. I don’t fault the businesses who went there. Notice the past tense of this. America’s policy encouraged connectivity with the Chinese Communist Party. Today, that is an enormous liability for the world, and Xi Jinping knows that,” Pompeo said.

Tyler Durden Fri, 01/28/2022 - 23:00

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Authoritarian Madness: The Slippery Slope From Lockdowns To Concentration Camps

Authoritarian Madness: The Slippery Slope From Lockdowns To Concentration Camps

Authored by John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“All the Dachaus must remain standing. The Dachaus, the Belsens, the Buchenwal

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Authoritarian Madness: The Slippery Slope From Lockdowns To Concentration Camps

Authored by John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“All the Dachaus must remain standing. The Dachaus, the Belsens, the Buchenwald, the Auschwitzes—all of them. They must remain standing because they are a monument to a moment in time when some men decided to turn the Earth into a graveyard. Into it they shoveled all of their reason, their logic, their knowledge, but worst of all, their conscience. And the moment we forget this, the moment we cease to be haunted by its remembrance, then we become the gravediggers.”

- Rod Serling, Deaths-Head Revisited

In the politically charged, polarizing tug-of-war that is the debate over COVID-19, we find ourselves buffeted by fear over a viral pandemic that continues to wreak havoc with lives and the economy, threats of vaccine mandates and financial penalties for noncompliance, and discord over how to legislate the public good without sacrificing individual liberty.

The discord is getting more discordant by the day.

Just recently, for instance, the Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board suggested that government officials should mandate mass vaccinations and deploy the National Guard “to ensure that people without proof of vaccination would not be allowed, well, anywhere.”

In other words, lock up the unvaccinated and use the military to determine who gets to be “free.”

These tactics have been used before.

This is why significant numbers of people are worried: because this is the slippery slope that starts with well-meaning intentions for the greater good and ends with tyrannical abuses no one should tolerate.

For a glimpse at what the future might look like if such a policy were to be enforced, look beyond America’s borders.

In Italy, the unvaccinated are banned from restaurants, bars and public transportation, and could face suspensions from work and monthly fines. Similarly, France will ban the unvaccinated from most public venues.

In Austria, anyone who has not complied with the vaccine mandate could face fines up to $4100. Police will be authorized to carry out routine checks and demand proof of vaccination, with penalties of as much as $685 for failure to do so.

In China, which has adopted a zero tolerance, “zero COVID” strategy, whole cities—some with populations in the tens of millions—are being forced into home lockdowns for weeks on end, resulting in mass shortages of food and household supplies. Reports have surfaced of residents “trading cigarettes for cabbage, dishwashing liquid for apples and sanitary pads for a small pile of vegetables. One resident traded a Nintendo Switch console for a packet of instant noodles and two steamed buns.”

For those unfortunate enough to contract COVID-19, China has constructed “quarantine camps” throughout the country: massive complexes boasting thousands of small, metal boxes containing little more than a bed and a toilet. Detainees—including children, pregnant women and the elderly— were reportedly ordered to leave their homes in the middle of the night, transported to the quarantine camps in buses and held in isolation.

If this last scenario sounds chillingly familiar, it should.

Eighty years ago, another authoritarian regime established more than 44,000 quarantine camps for those perceived as “enemies of the state”: racially inferior, politically unacceptable or simply noncompliant.

While the majority of those imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camps, forced labor camps, incarceration sites and ghettos were Jews, there were also Polish nationals, gypsies, Russians, political dissidents, resistance fighters, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and homosexuals.

Culturally, we have become so fixated on the mass murders of Jewish prisoners by the Nazis that we overlook the fact that the purpose of these concentration camps were initially intended to “incarcerate and intimidate the leaders of political, social, and cultural movements that the Nazis perceived to be a threat to the survival of the regime.”

As the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum explains:

“Most prisoners in the early concentration camps were political prisoners—German Communists, Socialists, Social Democrats—as well as Roma (Gypsies), Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, and persons accused of ‘asocial’ or socially deviant behavior. Many of these sites were called concentration camps. The term concentration camp refers to a camp in which people are detained or confined, usually under harsh conditions and without regard to legal norms of arrest and imprisonment that are acceptable in a constitutional democracy.”

How do you get from there to here, from Auschwitz concentration camps to COVID quarantine centers?

Connect the dots.

You don’t have to be unvaccinated or a conspiracy theorist or even anti-government to be worried about what lies ahead. You just have to recognize the truth in the warning: power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

This is not about COVID-19. Nor is it about politics, populist movements, or any particular country.

This is about what happens when good, generally decent people—distracted by manufactured crises, polarizing politics, and fighting that divides the populace into warring “us vs. them” camps—fail to take note of the looming danger that threatens to wipe freedom from the map and place us all in chains.

It’s about what happens when any government is empowered to adopt a comply-or-suffer-the-consequences mindset that is enforced through mandates, lockdowns, penalties, detention centers, martial law, and a disregard for the rights of the individual.

The slippery slope begins in just this way, with propaganda campaigns about the public good being more important than individual liberty, and it ends with lockdowns and concentration camps.

The danger signs are everywhere.

Claudio Ronco, a 66-year-old Orthodox Jew and a specialist in 18th-century music, recognizes the signs. Because of his decision to remain unvaccinated, Ronco is trapped inside his house, unable to move about in public without a digital vaccination card. He can no longer board a plane, check into a hotel, eat at a restaurant or get a coffee at a bar. He has been ostracized by friends, shut out of public life, and will soon face monthly fines for insisting on his right to bodily integrity and individual freedom.

For all intents and purposes, Ronco has become an undesirable in the eyes of the government, forced into isolation so he doesn’t risk contaminating the rest of the populace.

This is the slippery slope: a government empowered to restrict movements, limit individual liberty, and isolate “undesirables” to prevent the spread of a disease is a government that has the power to lockdown a country, label whole segments of the population a danger to national security, and force those undesirables—a.k.a. extremists, dissidents, troublemakers, etc.—into isolation so they don’t contaminate the rest of the populace.

The world has been down this road before, too.

Others have ignored the warning signs. We cannot afford to do so.

As historian Milton Mayer recounts in his seminal book on Hitler’s rise to power, They Thought They Were Free:

“Most of us did not want to think about fundamental things and never had. There was no need to. Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about—we were decent people‑—and kept us so busy with continuous changes and 'crises' and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the 'national enemies', without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us.”

The German people chose to ignore the truth and believe the lie.

They were not oblivious to the horrors taking place around them. As historian Robert Gellately points out, “[A]nyone in Nazi Germany who wanted to find out about the Gestapo, the concentration camps, and the campaigns of discrimination and persecutions need only read the newspapers.”

The warning signs were there, blinking incessantly like large neon signs.

“Still,” Gellately writes, “the vast majority voted in favor of Nazism, and in spite of what they could read in the press and hear by word of mouth about the secret police, the concentration camps, official anti-Semitism, and so on. . . . [T]here is no getting away from the fact that at that moment, ‘the vast majority of the German people backed him.’”

Half a century later, the wife of a prominent German historian, neither of whom were members of the Nazi party, opined: “[O]n the whole, everyone felt well. . . . And there were certainly eighty percent who lived productively and positively throughout the time. . . . We also had good years. We had wonderful years.”

In other words, as long as their creature comforts remained undiminished, as long as their bank accounts remained flush, as long as they weren’t being locked up, locked down, discriminated against, persecuted, starved, beaten, shot, stripped, jailed or killed, life was good.

Life is good in America, too, as long as you’re able to keep cocooning yourself in political fantasies that depict a world in which your party is always right and everyone else is wrong, while distracting yourself with bread-and-circus entertainment that bears no resemblance to reality.

Indeed, life in America may be good for the privileged few who aren’t being locked up, locked down, discriminated against, persecuted, starved, beaten, shot, stripped, jailed or killed, but it’s getting worse by the day for the rest of us.

Which brings me back to the present crisis: COVID-19 is not the Holocaust, and those who advocate vaccine mandates, lockdowns and quarantine camps are not Hitler, but this still has the makings of a slippery slope.

The means do not justify the ends: we must find other ways of fighting a pandemic without resorting to mandates and lockdowns and concentration camps. To do otherwise is to lay the groundwork for another authoritarian monster to rise up and wreak havoc.

If we do not want to repeat the past, then we must learn from past mistakes.

January 27 marks Remembrance Day, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, a day for remembering those who died at the hands of Hitler’s henchmen and those who survived the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps.

Yet remembering is not enough. We can do better. We must do better.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, the world is teetering on the edge of authoritarian madness.

All it will take is one solid push for tyranny to prevail.

Tyler Durden Fri, 01/28/2022 - 23:40

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