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Notes on "neoliberalism enforced" cruise to Frugality Island for 401K Lemmings

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“When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product
of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done.”

John Maynard Keynes

"Life is a school of probabilities."

Walter Bagehot

Neoliberal economics (aka casino capitalism) function from one crash to another. Risk is pervasively underpriced under neoliberal system, resulting in bubbles small and large which hit the economy periodically. The problem are not strictly economical or political. They are ideological. Like a country which adopted a certain religion follows a certain path, The USA behaviour after adoption of neoliberalism somewhat correlate with the behaviour of alcoholic who decided to booze himself to death. The difference is that debt is used instead of booze.

Hypertrophied role of financial sector under neoliberalism introduces strong positive feedback look into the economic system making the whole system unstable. Any attempts to put some sand into the wheels in the form of increasing transaction costs or jailing some overzealous bankers or hedge fund managers are blocked by political power of financial oligarchy, which is the actual ruling class under neoliberalism for ordinary investor (who are dragged into stock market by his/her 401K) this in for a very bumpy ride. I managed to observe just two two financial crashed under liberalism (in 2000 and 2008) out of probably four (Savings and loan crisis was probably the first neoliberal crisis). The next crash is given, taking into account that hypertrophied role of financial sector did not changes neither after dot-com crisis of 200-2002 not after 2008 crisis (it is unclear when and if it ended; in any case it was long getting the name of "Great Recession").

Timing of the next crisis is anybody's guess but it might well be closer then we assume. As Mark Twain aptly observed: "A thing long expected takes the form of the unexpected when at last it comes" ;-):

This morning that meant a stream of thoughts triggered by Paul Krugman’s most recent op-ed, particularly this:

Most of all, the vast riches being earned — or maybe that should be “earned” — in our bloated financial industry undermined our sense of reality and degraded our judgment.

Think of the way almost everyone important missed the warning signs of an impending crisis. How was that possible? How, for example, could Alan Greenspan have declared, just a few years ago, that “the financial system as a whole has become more resilient” — thanks to derivatives, no less? The answer, I believe, is that there’s an innate tendency on the part of even the elite to idolize men who are making a lot of money, and assume that they know what they’re doing.

As most 401K investors are brainwashing into being "over bullish", this page is strongly bearish in "perma-bear" fashion in order to serve as an antidote to "Barrons" style cheerleading. Funny, but this page is accessed mostly during periods of economic uncertainty. At least this was the case during the last two financial crisis(2000 and 2008). No so much during good times: the number of visits drops to below 1K a month.

Still I hope it plays a small but important role: to warn about excessive risk taking by 401K investors in neoliberal economic system. It designed to serve as a warning sign and inject a skeptical note into MSM coverage. There are not many such sites, so a warning about danger of taking excessive risk in 401K accounts under neoliberalism has definite value. The following cartoon from 2008 illustrated this point nicely

As far as I know lot of 401K investors are 100% or almost 100% invested at stocks. Including many of my friends. I came across a very relevant to this situation joke which nicely illustrated the ideas of this page:

Seven habits that help produce the anything-but-efficient markets that rule the world by Paul Krugman in Fortune.

1. Think short term.
2. Be greedy.
3. Believe in the greater fool
4. Run with the herd.
5. Overgeneralize
6. Be trendy
7. Play with other people's money

I would like to stress again that it is very difficult to "guess" when the next wave of crisis stikes us: "A thing long expected takes the form of the unexpected when at last it comes".

But mispricing of risk in 401K accounts is systemic for "overbullish" 401 investors, who expect that they will be able to jusp of the train in time, before the crash. Usually such expectations are false. And to sell in the market that can lose 10% in one day is not easy psychologically. I remember my feelings in 2001-2002 and again 2008-2009. That's why many people who planned to "jump" stay put and can temporarily lose 30 to 50% of value of their 401k account in a very short period of time (and if you think that S&P500 can't return to 1000, think again; its all depends on FED). At this point some freak out and sell their holdings making paper losses permanent.

Even for those who weathered the storm and held to their stock holdings, it is important to understand that paper losses were eliminated mostly by Fed money printing. As such risks remains as at one point FED might find itself out of ammunition. The fact that S&P500 recovered very nicely it does not diminish the risk of such behavior. There is no guarantee that the third crisis will behave like previous two.

Next crash will have a new key determinant: the attitude toward the US government (and here I mean the current government of Barack Obama) and Wall Street after 2008 is the lack of trust. That means that you need to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Injection on so much money into financial system was a novel experiment which is not ended yet. So how it will end is anybody's guess. We are now in uncharted waters. I think when Putin called Bernanke a hooligan, he meant exactly this. Since Bernanke was printing money out of thin air to buy financial paper, his action were tantamount to shoplifting. In some way this probably is more similar to running meth labs inside Fed building. The system was injected with narcotics. Everybody felt better, but the mechanism behind it was not healthy.

The complexity of modern financial system is tremendous and how all those new financial instruments will behave under a new stress is unknown. At the same time in the Internet age we, the great unwashed masses, can't be keep in complete obscurity like in good old time. Many now know ( or at least suspect ) that the neoliberal "show must goes on" after 2008 is actually going strongly at their expense. And while open rebellion is impossible, that results in lack of trust which represents a problem for financial oligarchy which rules the country. The poor working slobs are told be grateful for Walmart's low (poverty-subsidized) prices. Middle class is told that their declining standard of living is a natural result of their lack of competitiveness in the market place. Classic "bread and circuses" policy still works but for how long it will continue to work it is unclear.

But nothing is really new under the sun. To more and more people it is now clear that today the US is trying to stave off the inevitable decline by resorting to all kinds of financial manipulations like previous empires; yesterday, it was the British Empire and if you go further back, you get the USSR, Hapsburg empire, Imperial Russia, Spanish empire, Venetian empire, Byzantium and Roman empire. The current "Secretary of Imperial Wars" (aka Secretary of Defense) Ashton Baldwin Carter is pretty open about this:

“We already see countries in the region trying to carve up these markets…forging many separate trade agreements in recent years, some based on pressure and special arrangements…. Agreements that…..leave us on the sidelines. That risks America’s access to these growing markets. We must all decide if we are going to let that happen. If we’re going to help boost our exports and our economy…and cement our influence and leadership in the fastest-growing region in the world; or if, instead, we’re going to take ourselves out of the game.”

For the US elite it might be a time to rethink its neocon stance due to which the US is exposing ourselves to the enmity of the rising economic powers, and blowing serious cash to maintain it hegemony via maintaining huge military budget, financing wars and color revolutions in distant countries. In a way the US foreign policy became a financial racket, and racket can't last forever because it incite strong opposition from other countries.

Neoliberalism (aka casino capitalism) as a social system entered the state of decline after 2008. Like communism before it stopped to be attractive to people. But unlike communism it proved to have greater staying power, surviving in zombie state as finanfial institutions preserved political power and in some cases even enhanced it. It is unclear how long it will say in this state. Much depends on the availability of "cheap oil" on which neoliberal globalization is based.

But the plausible hypothesis is that this social system like socialism in xUSSR space before entered down slope and might well be on its way to the cliff. Attempts to neo-colonize other states by the West became less successful and more costly (Compare Ukraine, Libya and Iraq with previous instances of color revolutions). Some became close to XIX century colonial conquests with a lot of bloodshed (from half million to over a million of Iraqis, by different estimates, died ). As always this is mainly the blood of locals, which is cheap.

Libya and Ukraine are two recent examples. Both countries are now destroyed (which might be the plan). In Ukraine population is thrown in object poverty with income of less that $5 a day for the majority of population. And there is no other way to expand markets but to try to "neo-colonize" new countries by putting them into ominous level of debt while exporting goods to the population on credit. That is not a long term strategy as Greece, Bulgaria, and now Spain and Portugal had shown. With shrinking markets stability of capitalism in general and neoliberalism in particular might decrease.

Several researchers points to increased importance Central banks now play in maintaining of the stability of the banking system. That's already a reversal of neoliberal dogma about free (read "unregulated") markets. Actually the tale about "free markets", as far as the USA is concerned, actually was from the very beginning mainly the product designed for export (read about Washington consensus).

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[Aug 19, 2018] Fate Of Key Gas Pipeline In The Balance As Putin, Merkel Begin Meeting

Aug 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

"Russian influence will flow through that pipeline right into Europe, and that is what we are going to prevent," an unnamed U.S. official told the Wall Street Journal just as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chancellor Angela Merkel meet outside of Berlin on Saturday centered on the two countries moving forward with the controversial Russian-German Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, but also involving issues from the Iran nuclear deal to ending the war in Syria.

Intense pressure from Washington is overshadowing the project, construction of which is already in advanced stages, as the WSJ cites current and former US officials who say sanctions are under discussion and could be mobilized in a mere matter of weeks .

These potential sanctions, ostensibly being discussed in response to US intelligence claims of Russian interference in the 2016 election, could target companies and financial firms involved in the massive pipeline's construction . This comes after comments from President Trump at the opening of a NATO summit in July made things uncomfortable for his German counterpart when he said that Germany is so dependent on Russia for energy that it's essentially being "held captive" by Vladimir Putin and his government.

"Germany is captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia. They pay billions of dollars to Russia and we have to defend them against Russia," Trump told NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg at a televised opening breakfast.

The pipeline has been opposed by multiple US administrations, who have long accuse the Kremlin of seeking to accrue political leverage over Europe given the latter's already high dependence on Russian natural gas. The pipeline has been a frequent talking point and target of attacks by Trump, who has threatened to escalate the trade war against Germany going back months if it supported the construction of the pipeline. US officials have also expressed concern that Russia will pull pack significantly from delivering natural gas via Ukraine when its Gazprom tranit contract expires by the close of 2019. Ukraine is currently the chief Russian natural-gas export point to the EU and depends heavily on levying fees on this trade.

Both Russia and Germany have sought to calm US concerns over the Ukraine issue, with Putin himself reportedly telling both Merkel and Trump that he is "ready to preserve" gas transit through Ukraine even after Nord Stream 2 was completed.

US officials speaking to the WSJ , however, downplayed the Ukraine issue, instead focusing on the urgency of allowing such significant and irreversible Russian economic, political, and infrastructural inroads into the heart of Europe .

Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, told the WSJ , "We have been clear that firms working in the Russian energy export-pipeline sector are engaging in a line of business that carries sanctions risk," -- something which he's repeatedly emphasized with officials in Berlin. President Trump himself has also reportedly raised the issue directly with Chancellor Merkel on multiple occasions. But for all the shrill US media claims that Trump is somehow doing Putin's bidding, the WSJ has this illuminating line : "Officially, the European Commission, the EU's executive body, is coordinating the gas-transit talks, but Ms. Merkel also has played a leading role because of her regular contacts and longstanding relationship with Mr. Putin, European officials say ."

Meanwhile, it appears that Washington has a losing hand even while making threats of sanctions in an attempt to block the pipeline project.

Crucially, the WSJ report provides further confirmation of the following previously known but hugely significant detail :

A European energy executive familiar with the discussions said company representatives had told John McCarrick, deputy assistant secretary in the State Department's Bureau of Energy Resources, that the five European companies and Gazprom had already provided €5.5 billion ($6.3 billion) in financing and that the project wouldn't be stopped even if the U.S. were to impose sanctions .

The Nord Stream 2 project was started in 2015 and is a major joint venture between Russia's Gazprom and European partners, including German Uniper, Austria's OMV, France's Engie, Wintershall and the British-Dutch multinational Royal Dutch Shell.

The pipeline is set to run from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea - doubling the existing pipeline's capacity of 55 cubic meters per year, and is therefore critical for Europe's future energy needs.

Currently, the second phase involves utilizing an existing pipeline already channelling smaller amount of gas from Russia to Germany. Construction for the second phase started in May of this year.

GlassHouse101 -> Winston Churchill Sat, 08/18/2018 - 13:29 Permalink

More Sanctions!! Sanction all of the countries!

07564111 -> GlassHouse101 Sat, 08/18/2018 - 13:35 Permalink

will lead only to war with Russia..take that as fact.

[Aug 19, 2018] FBI Dealt Blow By DC Judge; Must Address Measures Taken To Verify Steele Dossier

Aug 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
The FBI has been dealt a major blow after a Washington DC judge ruled that the agency must respond to a FOIA request for documents concerning the bureau's efforts to verify the controversial Steele Dossier, before it was used as the foundation of a FISA surveillance warrant application and subsequent renewals.

US District Court Judge Amit Mehta - who in January sided with the FBI's decision to ignore the FOIA request, said that President Trump's release of two House Intelligence Committee documents (the "Nunes" and "Schiff" memos) changed everything.

Considering that the FBI offered Steele $50,000 to verify the Dossier's claims yet never paid him, BuzzFeed has unsuccessfully tried to do the same to defend themselves in a dossier-related lawsuit, and a $50 million Soros-funded investigation to continue the hunt have turned up nothing that we know of - whatever documents the FBI may be forced to cough up regarding their attempts to verify the Dossier could prove highly embarrassing for the agency.

[I]f Mr. Steele could get solid corroboration of his reports, the F.B.I. would pay him $50,000 for his efforts , according to two people familiar with the offer. Ultimately, he was not paid . - NYT

What's more, forcing the FBI to prove they had an empty hand will likely embolden calls to disband the special counsel investigation - as the agency's mercenary and politicized approach to "investigations" will be laid all the more bare for the world to see. Then again, who knows - maybe the FBI verified everything in the dossier and it simply hasn't leaked.

That said, while the FBI will likely be forced to acknowledge the documents thanks to the Thursday ruling, the agency will still be able to try and convince the judge that there are other grounds to withhold the records.

In January, Mehta blessed the FBI's decision not to disclose the existence of any records containing the agency's efforts to verify the dossier - ruling that Trump's tweets about the dossier didn't require the FBI and other intelligence agencies to act on records requests.

" But then the ground shifted ," writes Mehta of Trump declassifying the House memos. "As a result of the Nunes and Schiff Memos, there is now in the public domain meaningful information about how the FBI acquired the Dossier and how the agency used it to investigate Russian meddling."

The DOJ also sought to distinguish between the Steele Dossier and a synopsis of the dossier presented to both Trump and then-President Obama in 2016, however Mehta rejected the attempt, writing "That position defies logic," while also rejecting the government's refusal to even say if the FBI has a copy of that synopsis.

"It remains no longer logical nor plausible for the FBI to maintain that it cannot confirm nor deny the existence of documents," Mehta wrote.

It is simply not plausible to believe that, to whatever extent the FBI has made efforts to verify Steele's reporting, some portion of that work has not been devoted to allegations that made their way into the synopsis. After all, if the reporting was important enough to brief the President-elect, then surely the FBI thought enough of those key charges to attempt to verify their accuracy . It will be up to the FBI to determine which of the records in its possession relating to the reliability of the Dossier concerns Steele's reporting as discussed in the synopsis.

"This ruling represents another incremental step in revealing just how much the FBI has been able to verify or discredit the rather personal allegations contained in that synopsis derived from the Steele dossier," said Brad Moss, a lawyer pressing the lawsuit for the pro-transparency group, the James Madison Project. "It will be rather ironic if the president's peripheral actions that resulted in this ruling wind up disclosing that the FBI has been able to corroborate any of the 'salacious' allegations."

In other words, the FBI must show what they did to verify the claims contained within the Nunes and Schiff memos.

Because the case was heard on appeal, the ruling will not take immediate effect, notes Politico , which adds that the appeals court is now likely to remand the case to Mehta, while the FBI is going to try and convince him the records should remain unreleased.

GoFuqYourself -> vaporland Sat, 08/18/2018 - 12:57 Permalink

Maybe the globalists are starting to capitulate to the nationalists behind the scenes

jin187 -> GoFuqYourself Sat, 08/18/2018 - 13:08 Permalink

Strange how the alphabet soup agencies always seem to fight hardest only when it comes to hiding embarrassing information from the American people. Yet they wonder why we don't consider them all civil servants and heroes.

[Aug 19, 2018] Economics

Notable quotes:
"... each click brings us closer to the bang ..."
"... Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business ..."
"... there will be no war and no negotiations ..."
"... carries out the decrees, and answers to the Supreme Leader of Iran, who functions as the country's head of state ..."
"... Trump's ALL IN CAPS meme ..."
"... This is where Ali Khamenei's stance is more puzzling, at least to me: when he says that there will be no war, does he mean that the US threats are not credible or does he mean that Iran has the means to deter a US attack? His words make it sound like he is quite certain that there will be no war. How can he be so sure? I am especially amazed by the apparent Iranian confidence that the AngloZionists will not attack them when I compare it with the obvious Russian policy of actively preparing for war since at least 2014 (also see here , here , here , here , here and here ). Of course, Iran has been preparing for war with the US for almost 40 years now whereas the Russians only woke up to reality comparatively recently. I see several potential explanations for Ali Khamenei's statement (there might be more, of course) ..."
"... Personally, every time I think of a possible US attack on Iran I think of the Israeli attack on Lebanon in 2006 which happened in spite of the fact that it was plainly visible to everybody that the Israelis were waltzing straight into a conflict which they could not win and which, in fact, resulted into one of the most abjects defeats in military history. Conversely, while Hezbollah did win a truly historical victory, it also remains a fact that Hezbollah leaders did not expect the Israelis to launch a full-scale ground offensive. Finally, history is full of examples of wars which were started in spite of all objective factors indicating that they would end up in disaster. ..."
"... If it weren't for its nuclear arsenal, the US could be dismissed as a particularly obnoxious country led by ignorant leaders with bloated and mostly ineffective armed forces. Alas, the US nuclear arsenal is very real (and still very capable) and we know that top-level US Neocons have already considered using tactical nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state's conventional force in the past . In a twisted way, this makes sense: if you are a megalomaniac infused with a sense of messianic superiority then international or even civilizational norms of behavior are of no interest (or even relevance) to you. Listening to US Presidents, pretty much all of them (but especially Obama and Trump) it is pretty clear that these folks consider themselves to be the Kulturträger ..."
"... Shaytân-e Bozorg ..."
"... It would be a big mistake to dismiss the US because of its incapable military or moral bankruptcy. The truth is that in terms of aggregate national power, the US still remains the most powerful country on the planet (even if we don't include nuclear weapons). Anyone doubting that needs to look how how the currencies of the countries the US is singles out for attack suddenly began slipping: the Russian ruble (which has since bounced back), the Iranian rial, the Venezuelan bolivar, the Turkish lira , etc.) or how little time it took Trump to bring the (admittedly spineless) Europeans to heel . ..."
"... As for Russia, for all her military might, she remains only a semi-sovereign country in which the pro-US/pro-Israeli "Atlantic Integrationists" continue to try to sabotage (often successfully) everything Putin and his supporters are doing . I would not place big hopes in China either, especially considering the lack of meaningful Chinese action in Syria where Russia and Iran did all the heavy lifting. ..."
"... So count with yet another imperial war of aggression, a barrel of crude at over 100$ and oil shortages, rocketing inflation, job losses, a stagnant real estate market and stock exchange, and a national debt and government deficit which would make even Reagan proud. And plenty of dead Americans (nevermind the Iranians, right?). But don't worry: there will still be a huge supply of Chinese-made US flags to wave! ..."
Aug 19, 2018 | www.unz.com


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We can all thank God for the fact that the AngloZionists did not launch a war on the DPRK, that no Ukronazi attack on the Donbass took place during the World Cup in Russia and that the leaders of the Empire have apparently have given up on their plans to launch a reconquista of Syria. However, each of these retreats from their hysterical rhetoric has only made the Neocons more frustrated and determined to show the planet that they are still The Hegemon who cannot be disobeyed with impunity. As I wrote after the failed US cruise missile strike on Syria this spring, " each click brings us closer to the bang ". In the immortal words of Michael Ledeen , " Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business ". The obvious problem is that there are no "small crappy little countries" left out there, and that those who are currently the object of the Empire's ire are neither small nor crappy.

Having now shown several times that for all its hysterical barking the Empire has to back down when the opponent does not cower away in fear, the Empire is now in desperate need to prove its "uniqueness" and (racial?) superiority. The obvious target of the AngloZionist wrath is Iran. In fact, Iran has been in the cross-hairs of the Empire ever since the people of Iran dared to show the AngloZionists to the door and, even worse, succeed in creating their own, national and Islamic democracy. To punish Iran, the US, the USSR, France and all the other "democratic" countries unleashed their puppet (Saddam Hussein) and gave him full military support, and yet the Iranians still prevailed, albeit at a terrible cost. That Iranian ability to prevail in the most terrible circumstances is also the most likely explanation for why there has not been an overt attack on Iran for the past four decades (there have, of course, there has been plenty of covert attacks during all these years).

I won't list all the recent AngloZionist threats against Iran – we all know about them. The bottom line is this: the US, Israel and the KSA are, yet again, working hand in hand to set the stage for a major war under what we could call the " Skripal-case rules of evidence " aka " highly likely ". And yet, in spite of all this saber-rattling, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has summed up Iran's stance in the following words " there will be no war and no negotiations ".

First, let's first look at Iranian rationale for "no negotiations"

The obvious: "no negotiations"

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has been very clear in his explanations for why negotiating with the US makes no sense. On his Twitter account he wrote:

The Iranian Supreme Leader even posted a special graphic summary to summarize and explain the Iranian position:

Finally, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated his fundamental approach towards the AngloZionist Empire:

The contrast between the kindergarten-level low-IQ bumbling hot air and threats coming out of the White House and the words of Ali Khamenei could not be greater, especially if we compare the words the two leaders decided to post all in caps;

Trump : To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!

Khamenei : THERE WILL BE NO WAR, NOR WILL WE NEGOTIATE WITH THE U.S..

Notice first that in his typical ignorance, Trump fails to realize that Hassan Rouhani is only the President of Iran and that threatening him makes absolutely no sense since he does not make national security decisions, which is the function of the Supreme Leader. Had Trump taken the time to at the very least check with Wikipedia he would have understood that the Iranian President " carries out the decrees, and answers to the Supreme Leader of Iran, who functions as the country's head of state ". It is no wonder that Trump's infantile threats instantly turned into an Internet meme !

In contrast, Khamenei did not even bother to address Trump by name but, instead, announced his strategy to the whole world.

Trump's ALL IN CAPS meme

Of course, issuing ALL IN CAPS threats just to be treated with utter contempt by the people you are trying to hard to bully and having your words become a cause of laughter on the Internet will only further enrage Trump and his supporters. When you are desperately trying to show the world how tough and scary you are, there is nothing more humiliating as being treated like some stupid kid. Therein also lies the biggest danger: such derision could force Trump and the Neocons who run him to do something desperate to prove to the word that their "red button" is still bigger than everybody else's.

ORDER IT NOW

It is important to note here that making negotiations impossible is something the Trump administration seems to have adopted as a policy. This is best illustrated by the conditions attached to the latest sanctions against Russia which, essentially, demand that Russia admit poisoning the Skripals. In fact, all the western demands towards Russia (admitting that Russia is guilty for the Skripal case, that Russia shot down MH-17, that Russia hand over Crimea to the Ukronazis, etc.) are carefully crafted to make absolutely sure that Russia will not negotiate. The sames, of course, goes for the ridiculous Pompeo demands towards the DPRK (including handing over to the US 60 to 70 percent of its nukes within six to eight months; no wonder the North Koreans denounced a "gangster-like" attitude) or the latest US grandstanding towards Turkey. Sadly, but the Neocon run media has successfully imposed the notion that negotiations are either a sign of weakness, or treason, or both. Thus to be "patriotic" and "strong" no US official can afford to be caught red-handed negotiating with the enemy of the day.

Under these conditions, why would anybody want to negotiate with the US?

Frankly, the "no negotiations" approach makes perfectly good sense, and while the Iranians are the only ones who have openly said so, the Russians have hinted to the same on many occasions (see their words about the US being "non-agreement capable" or about US diplomats confusing Austria and Australia). To any objective observer it should by now be completely obvious by now that a) the US cannot negotiate (due to intellectual, cultural and political limitations) and b) the US has no desire to negotiate. This is, of course, a highly undesirable and dangerous situation, but it would only make things worse to pretend that civilized negotiations with the US are possible.

So, if both sides agree on "no negotiations", what about war?

The not so obvious: No war?

This is where Ali Khamenei's stance is more puzzling, at least to me: when he says that there will be no war, does he mean that the US threats are not credible or does he mean that Iran has the means to deter a US attack? His words make it sound like he is quite certain that there will be no war. How can he be so sure? I am especially amazed by the apparent Iranian confidence that the AngloZionists will not attack them when I compare it with the obvious Russian policy of actively preparing for war since at least 2014 (also see here , here , here , here , here and here ). Of course, Iran has been preparing for war with the US for almost 40 years now whereas the Russians only woke up to reality comparatively recently. I see several potential explanations for Ali Khamenei's statement (there might be more, of course):

Personally, every time I think of a possible US attack on Iran I think of the Israeli attack on Lebanon in 2006 which happened in spite of the fact that it was plainly visible to everybody that the Israelis were waltzing straight into a conflict which they could not win and which, in fact, resulted into one of the most abjects defeats in military history. Conversely, while Hezbollah did win a truly historical victory, it also remains a fact that Hezbollah leaders did not expect the Israelis to launch a full-scale ground offensive. Finally, history is full of examples of wars which were started in spite of all objective factors indicating that they would end up in disaster.

It seems to me that in purely military terms (not in political ones!) Israel could be seen as a stand-in for the US and Hezbollah as a stand-in for Iran and that the outcome of any future US-Iranian war will be very similar to the outcome of the war in 2006, albeit on a much larger (and bloodier) scale. I am confident that the folks in the Pentagon realize that, but what about their Neocon bosses – do they even care about Iranian or, for that matter, US casualties? I highly doubt it: all they care about is their power and messianic ideology.

If it weren't for its nuclear arsenal, the US could be dismissed as a particularly obnoxious country led by ignorant leaders with bloated and mostly ineffective armed forces. Alas, the US nuclear arsenal is very real (and still very capable) and we know that top-level US Neocons have already considered using tactical nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state's conventional force in the past . In a twisted way, this makes sense: if you are a megalomaniac infused with a sense of messianic superiority then international or even civilizational norms of behavior are of no interest (or even relevance) to you. Listening to US Presidents, pretty much all of them (but especially Obama and Trump) it is pretty clear that these folks consider themselves to be the Kulturträger and the Herrenvolk of the 21st century and their messianism is in no way less delusional than the one of their Nazi predecessors (or, for that matter, the one of the Popes of the past 1000 years). And why would the people who nuked two Japanese cities under the (entirely fallacious) pretext of "shortening the war" (almost a humanitarian operation!) not do the same thing in Iran?

Of sure, they probably realize that using nukes will result in a massive political backlash, but they are confident that no matter what happens in the end, they will always be able to say "screw you!" to the rest of the planet. After all, this is something which Israel and the US have been doing with almost total inpunity for decades already – why would they stop now? As for the fact that the Persian people have been dealing with all kinds of invaders since no less than 2500 years will not stop the AngloZionists from trying to crush them. After all, having laid waste to a country which many see as the cradle of civilization, Iraq, why not do the same thing to Iran? Iraq, Iran – what's the difference, they are all just "sand niggers" and our red button is bigger than theirs, right?

Standing up to Shaytân-e Bozorg (almost alone?)

It would be a big mistake to dismiss the US because of its incapable military or moral bankruptcy. The truth is that in terms of aggregate national power, the US still remains the most powerful country on the planet (even if we don't include nuclear weapons). Anyone doubting that needs to look how how the currencies of the countries the US is singles out for attack suddenly began slipping: the Russian ruble (which has since bounced back), the Iranian rial, the Venezuelan bolivar, the Turkish lira , etc.) or how little time it took Trump to bring the (admittedly spineless) Europeans to heel .

As for Russia, for all her military might, she remains only a semi-sovereign country in which the pro-US/pro-Israeli "Atlantic Integrationists" continue to try to sabotage (often successfully) everything Putin and his supporters are doing . I would not place big hopes in China either, especially considering the lack of meaningful Chinese action in Syria where Russia and Iran did all the heavy lifting.

Sadly, but the only ally Iran can truly count on is Hezbollah. And while Hezbollah is considered a "non-state actor", it has a formidable capability to strike at the US's colonial masters, especially in terms of missiles .

This will not protect Iran, but it could serve as a very real deterrent to the Israelis, especially since Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah he has made it clear that Hezbollah more than capable of taking on Israel .

For the time being, the Israelis are already preparing for a re-match against Hezbollah and they are massing forces in the north to prepare for a war against Hezbollah .

Does that look to you like there will be no war against Iran?

I hope so. But to me it very much looks like an attack is pretty much inevitable. I have been predicting such an attack since 2007 and, so far, I have been completely wrong (and thank God for that!). The very first article I ever wrote for my blog was entitled " Where the Empire meets to plan the next war " ended with the following words:

So count with yet another imperial war of aggression, a barrel of crude at over 100$ and oil shortages, rocketing inflation, job losses, a stagnant real estate market and stock exchange, and a national debt and government deficit which would make even Reagan proud. And plenty of dead Americans (nevermind the Iranians, right?). But don't worry: there will still be a huge supply of Chinese-made US flags to wave!

And yet, 11 years later, the AngloZionist attack which looked so imminent in 2007 has not happened yet. Could it be that this time again an attack on Iran can be avoided? Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appears to be very confident that it will not happen. I am not so sure, but I fervently hope that he is right.

[Aug 18, 2018] BIG TROUBLE BREWING AT THE BAKKEN Rapid Rise In Water Production Signals Red Flag Warning Zero Hedge Zero Hedge

Aug 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

By the SRSrocco Report ,

Big trouble is brewing in the mighty North Dakota Bakken Oil Field. While oil production in the Bakken has reversed since it bottomed in 2016 and increased over the past few years, so has the amount of by-product wastewater. Now, it's not an issue if water production increases along with oil. However, it's a serious RED FLAG if by-product wastewater rises a great deal more than oil.

And... unfortunately, that is exactly what has taken place in the Bakken over the past two years. In the oil industry, they call it, the rising "Water Cut." Furthermore, the rapid increase in the amount of water to oil from a well or field suggests that peak production is at hand . So, now the shale companies will have an uphill battle to try to increase or hold production flat as the water cut rises.

According to the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources, the Bakken produced 201 million barrels of oil in the first six months of 2018. However, it also produced a stunning 268 million barrels of wastewater:

Thus, the companies producing shale oil in the Bakken had to dispose of 268 million barrels of by-product wastewater in just the first half of the year. I have spoken to a few people in the industry, and the estimate is that it cost approximately $4 a barrel to gather, transport and dispose of this wastewater. Which means, the shale companies will have to pay an estimated $2.2 billion just to get rid of their wastewater this year.

Now, some companies may be recycling their wastewater, but this isn't free. Actually, I have seen estimates that it cost more money to recycle wastewater than it does to simply dispose of it. So, as the volume of wastewater increases while the percentage of oil production declines, then the shale companies are hit with a double-whammy... less oil revenue and rising wastewater disposal costs.

To give you an idea just how much more water is being produced versus oil in the Bakken, I went back to the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources and looked at their data back to 2015. Unfortunately, the data published in excel only goes back to 2015, even though they have figures published in PDF form starting in 2003.

Regardless, four years is plenty of time to show just how bad the situation is becoming in the Bakken. In June 2015, the North Dakota Bakken produced 16% more water than oil. However June this year, the Bakken field produced 38% more water than oil :

You will notice that overall oil and water production declined in 2016, due to the falling oil price, but as production grew in 2017 and 2018, the percentage increase of by-product wastewater surged to 32% and 38% respectively. Here is an interesting comparison:

Bakken Oil & Water Production:

June 2015 Oil = 34.4 million barrels

June 2015 Water = 39.8 million barrels (16% more water)

June 2018 Oil = 33.8 million barrels

June 2018 Water = 46.8 million barrels (38% more water)

As we can see, while overall Bakken oil production in June 2018 was less than it was in June 2015, the volume of waster water increased by an additional 7 million barrels.

I believe there are two negative forces at work in the Bakken as it pertains to the rising volume of wastewater.

  1. As the wells and field age, more water is produced than oil
  2. Larger Frac Stages, which require more water and sand, are now being utilized to keep production growing or to keep it from falling

While a rising water cut isn't a surprise to the industry as it is a natural progression of an aging oil well or field, the use of Larger Frac Stage wells should be a WAKE-UP CALL to investors. Why? Because Larger Frac Stage wells consume a great deal more water and sand to produce more oil initially, but the decline rates are even more severe than regular shale wells.

So, when the Investor Relations are bragging how the companies are using the newer technology of more complex Large Frac Stage wells, this isn't a good sign. This means that the company is now desperate to try and grow production, or at worst, to keep it from falling.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Shale Industry is in serious trouble. Most of the shale fields have reached a peak and when production starts to decline, especially during a collapsing oil price, I forecast a rapid disintegration of the industry. We must remember, as the oil price and oil production falls, then company stock and asset values will plummet while the high debt levels remain. Thus, the shale industry will have increasing difficulty in servicing its debt.

I will continue to monitor the production of oil and wastewater in the Bakken. Please check back for updates.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are new to the SRSrocco Report, please consider subscribing to my: SRSrocco Report Youtube Channel .

[Aug 18, 2018] The most embarrassing outcome will turn out to be that they actually did nothing to verify the Steele dossier

Aug 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

rosiescenario Sat, 08/18/2018 - 16:52 Permalink

The most embarrassing outcome will turn out to be that they actually did nothing to verify the Steele dossier. Why would they question it? They wanted to use it as a political tool. Do I question and inspect a hammer before I swing it?

Barring that, if they did try to verify it, their complete and utter stupidity will see the light of day.

In either case they are truly fucked by this court order.

MaxDemon Sat, 08/18/2018 - 18:05 Permalink

So the FBI's position is that they cannot confirm nor deny the existence of documents to confirm or deny the truth of the dossier, but they used it in the FISA warrants. But the procedure required for the warrants are that all information must be verified, so those documents need to exist. So the FBI is admitting that they did not follow the required procedure. That makes the warrants void, which means that all information obtained that way is mute, and thus the entire case collapses. Further, filling a warrant request where the rules have not been followed is perjury, making everyone who signed it guilty of a criminal offense against the court.

[Aug 18, 2018] But always remember, the FBI/DOJ is honorable .

Aug 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

agcw86 , Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:07 Permalink

But always remember, the FBI/DOJ is "honorable". Yeah, that's the term they use to refer to the scumbags that "represent" us in congress. In reality, "there is no honor amongst thieves", and government is full of them because sociopaths gravitate to positions of power.

romanmoment Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:08 Permalink

It's a unruly fuck show at the FBI and nobody is being held accountable. No leadership, no standards, no neutrality, no accountability. Obama weaponized the FBI. Fire everyone.

[Aug 18, 2018] Deeply Troubling - Wall Street Journal Implores What Was Bruce Ohr Doing

Aug 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

The Wall Street Journal continues to counter the liberal mainstream media's Trump Derangement Syndrome , dropping uncomfortable truth-bombs and refusing to back off its intense pressure to get to the truth and hold those responsible, accountable (in a forum that is hard for the establishment to shrug off as 'Alt-Right' or 'Nazi' or be 'punished' by search- and social-media-giants) .

And once again Kimberley Strassel - who by now has become the focus of social media attacks for her truth-seeking reporting - does it again this morning, as she points out - hours after former CIA Director Brennan threw a tantrum over having his security clearance removed - that while Justice has released some damning documents - particularly on what Bruce Ohr was doing - much of the truth is still classified.

Via The Wall Street Journal,

What Was Bruce Ohr Doing?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department have continued to insist they did nothing wrong in their Trump-Russia investigation. This week should finally bring an end to that claim, given the clear evidence of malfeasance via the use of Bruce Ohr.

Mr. Ohr was until last year associate deputy attorney general.

He began feeding information to the FBI from dossier author Christopher Steele in late 2016 - after the FBI had terminated Mr. Steele as a confidential informant for violating the bureau's rules. He also collected dirt from Glenn Simpson, cofounder of Fusion GPS, the opposition-research firm that worked for Hillary Clinton's campaign and employed Mr. Steele. Altogether, the FBI pumped Mr. Ohr for information at least a dozen times, debriefs that remain in classified 302 forms.

All the while, Mr. Ohr failed to disclose on financial forms that his wife, Nellie, worked alongside Mr. Steele in 2016, getting paid by Mr. Simpson for anti-Trump research. The Justice Department has now turned over Ohr documents to Congress that show how deeply tied up he was with the Clinton crew - with dozens of emails, calls, meetings and notes that describe his interactions and what he collected.

Mr. Ohr's conduct is itself deeply troubling. He was acting as a witness (via FBI interviews) in a case being overseen by a Justice Department in which he held a very senior position. He appears to have concealed this role from at least some superiors, since Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified that he'd been unaware of Mr. Ohr's intermediary status.

Lawyers meanwhile note that it is a crime for a federal official to participate in any government matter in which he has a financial interest. Fusion's bank records presumably show Nellie Ohr, and by extension her husband, benefiting from the Trump opposition research that Mr. Ohr continued to pass to the FBI. The Justice Department declined to comment.

But for all Mr. Ohr's misdeeds, the worse misconduct is by the FBI and Justice Department.

It's bad enough that the bureau relied on a dossier crafted by a man in the employ of the rival presidential campaign. Bad enough that it never informed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of that dossier's provenance. And bad enough that the FBI didn't fire Mr. Steele as a confidential human source in September 2016 when it should have been obvious he was leaking FBI details to the press to harm Donald Trump's electoral chances. It terminated him only when it was absolutely forced to, after Mr. Steele gave an on-the-record interview on Oct. 31, 2016.

But now we discover the FBI continued to go to this discredited informant in its investigation after the firing -- by funneling his information via a Justice Department cutout. The FBI has an entire manual governing the use of confidential sources, with elaborate rules on validations, standards and documentation. Mr. Steele failed these standards. The FBI then evaded its own program to get at his info anyway.

And it did so even though we have evidence that lead FBI investigators may have suspected Mr. Ohr was a problem.

An Oct. 7, 2016, text message from now-fired FBI agent Peter Strzok to his colleague Lisa Page reads: "Jesus. More BO leaks in the NYT," which could be a reference to Mr. Ohr.

The FBI may also have been obtaining, via Mr. Ohr, information that came from a man the FBI had never even vetted as a source -- Mr. Simpson. Mr. Steele had at least worked with the FBI before; Mr. Simpson was a paid political operative. And the Ohr notes raise further doubts about Mr. Simpson's forthrightness. In House testimony in November 2017, Mr. Simpson said only that he reached out to Mr. Ohr after the election, and at Mr. Steele's suggestion. But Mr. Ohr's inbox shows an email from Mr. Simpson dated Aug. 22, 2016 that reads, in full: "Can u ring."

The Justice Department hasn't tried to justify any of this; in fact, last year it quietly demoted Mr. Ohr. In what smells of a further admission of impropriety, it didn't initially turn over the Ohr documents; Congress had to fight to get them.

But it raises at least two further crucial questions.

First, who authorized or knew about this improper procedure? Mr. Strzok seems to be in the thick of it, having admitted to Congress interactions with Mr. Ohr at the end of 2016. While Mr. Rosenstein disclaims knowledge, Mr. Ohr's direct supervisor at the time was the previous deputy attorney general, Sally Yates. Who else in former FBI Director Jim Comey's inner circle and at the Obama Justice Department nodded at the FBI's back-door interaction with a sacked source and a Clinton operative?

Second, did the FBI continue to submit Steele- or Simpson-sourced information to the FISA court? Having informed the court in later applications that it had fired Mr. Steele, the FBI would have had no business continuing to use any Steele information laundered through an intermediary.

* * *

Strassel concludes with the point that she and The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board have been hammering for months...

We could have these answers pronto; they rest in part in those Ohr 302 forms. And so once again: a call for President Trump to declassify.

It's time for things to get more serious than slaps on the wrist, firings, and self-inflicted black-eyes!


onewayticket2 -> IridiumRebel Fri, 08/17/2018 - 11:23 Permalink

That Mueller is ignoring this OBVIOUS Clinton/Steele/Ohr/FBI etc, etc Russian collusion while prosecuting Manafort for an unrelated, 2005 financial crime (while granting IMMUNITY to Tony Podesta for the identical crime) is all the proof you need it's a coverup, not an "investigation" into russian collusion.

Strassel deserves a Pulitzer. But instead, CNN received an award for their comey story (after it was proven that comey leaked the documents to them....it's not that CNN did tons of investigative work....the docs were handed to them and they published them - dutifully in exchange for an award to be given at the WH Correspondents' dinner.)

CheapBastard -> GoFuqYourself Fri, 08/17/2018 - 12:51 Permalink

Kimberly Strassel deserves a Pulitzer Prize for her investigative journalism, esp in the face of so many far left commie attackers.

She legitimizes the WSJ as a paper worth reading.

Kudos to Ms Strassel.

fwiw imho -> onewayticket2 Fri, 08/17/2018 - 13:06 Permalink

hmmm, cnn publishing classified documents. How is that any different than WikiLeaks?

nmewn -> Stan522 Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:07 Permalink

That's a fact, long after Steele was fired as a "foreign asset" Ohr was still passing his Russian procured bullshit through to fellow travelers within the FBI & DoJ...like McCabe and Stzrok.

Hell the day before the Trump Tower meeting with Natalia, Glenn Simpson was dining with this "Russian government lawyer".And oddly enough, the very next day too.

The ONLY Russian collusion was happening on the dim side and one of the first clues is ALWAYS watch for what they are accusing other's of cuz that is what THEY are doing ;-)

replaceme -> nmewn Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:30 Permalink

Every time I read these things I start by saying the FBI/DOJ was trying to hide ____ , then I replace that with the FBI/DOJ conspired to hide ____. You start doing that too much and you have to say the FBI/DOJ colluded to nullify the election, overthrow an elected president. Somewhere this Summer I started saying the word coup with a little more conviction. When 350 news outlets then write coordinated editorials targeting that same president, not the architects of this conspiracy, this failed (so far) coup, I tend to side more against than with them. Journalism and Yellow Journalism are different things - I think that's why they added "Yellow" to the term.

Kokulakai -> Brazen Heist II Fri, 08/17/2018 - 13:26 Permalink

Sessions was a sleeper, planted in the Trump campaign day one.

His reputation normally would exclude him from becoming AG.

Yet there he sits abetting the coup from the inside.

blindfaith -> Stan522 Fri, 08/17/2018 - 12:49 Permalink

"When CNN and MSNBC start to ask questions like this then I'll start paying attention."

Their money loving greed will never allow them to tell their dedicated liberals any such thing..

The media is the enemy of the Constitution, its amendments, and the Declaration of Independence. They do not care about who they hurt, they do not care about Americans or America....they are a foreign enemy under foreign control.

I thought better of Gates, I was wrong.

TeethVillage88s -> Ghost of PartysOver Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:01 Permalink

Hatch Act Violations by many in FBI... plus CIA, NSA, DNI, DOJ. Prohibitions against political activity by Federal Employees. Brennen should be scared that we all prove common policy prohibition does lead to lying/deceit and even sedition, treason, subterfuge, subversion charges.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/federal-eye/wp/2014/10/30/hatch-act https://osc.gov/Resources/HA%20Pamphlet%20Sept%202014.pdf https://osc.gov/Pages/The-Hatch-Act-Frequently-Asked-Questions-on-Feder https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/employee-relations/training/p

adonisdemilo -> Ghost of PartysOver Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:38 Permalink

@Ghost of PartysOver,

"Bruce Ohr was NOT a Lone Wolf"

Not a lone wolf, I agree, and he is the fall guy, bloody fool.

Darracq -> Ghost of PartysOver Fri, 08/17/2018 - 11:20 Permalink

This article, along with all the other reports, always state that the DOJ did this, the FBI did that, but fails to name the individual involved or the department heads who were responsible. The information is always muddled and obfuscated by the bureaucratic organization, so no individual is responsible. Enough of this, name names please!!! or no one will ever be accountable.

Darracq -> Ghost of PartysOver Fri, 08/17/2018 - 11:31 Permalink

Who was Ohr handing off the information to? There is an entire chain of people here who have to be exposed and prosecuted.

NumberNone -> youarelost Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:06 Permalink

Stalin had the Moscow Trials where he framed his opposition and had them executed. Does anyone doubt had Hillary won that she would have orchestrated the prosecution of Trump and his cronies knowing full well she ran the entire frame-up behind the scenes?

Who would have stood up for Trump? Both sides wanted him buried and gone. History would have written that Trump was the ultimate Manchurian candidate...paid for, supported by, and mandated to by Russia, now serving a life sentence for treason.

swamp -> NumberNone Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:57 Permalink

Mueller is doing that right now

the artist -> NumberNone Fri, 08/17/2018 - 11:59 Permalink

Very insightful comment. Nobody has any doubt but half the country wouldn't care. The other half as you eluded to, would be scattered to the wind and left at the mercy of the controlled opposition that is the Republican Party.

We all need to be ready to form a Big Tent Party outside the power structure of the current D's and R's. Obviously not the moment now but there will come a moment when we all must strike out Alone...Together . Leave these shit stains and all of their divide and conquer BS in the dust.

[Aug 18, 2018] Pentagon Whistleblower Demoted After Exposing Millions Paid To FBI Spy Halper, Clinton Crony

Aug 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

A Pentagon whistleblower was stripped of his security clearance and demoted after complaining about questionable government contracts with both FBI informant spy Stefan Halper and a company headed by Chelsea Clinton's "best friend" for whom then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arranged meetings, reports the Washington Times .

Adam Lovinger, a Trump supporter and 12-year veteran of the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment (ONA), filed a whistleblower reprisal complaint with the Defense Department's inspector general in May against ONA boss James Baker - who hired Halper, 73, to "conduct foreign relations" and kept the details of the spy's contracts "close to the vest." Baker was appointed chief of the ONA in 2015 by Obama Defense Secretary, Ashton Carter.

At that point, Lovinger wouldn't have known was a spy working with the FBI/DOJ on operation " Crossfire Hurricane " - the code name for the Obama administration's counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign.

In an internal October 2016 email to higher-ups, Mr. Lovinger wrote of " the moral hazard associated with the Washington Headquarters Services contracting with Stefan Halper ," the complaint said. It said Mr. Baker hired Mr. Halper to "conduct foreign relations," a job that should be confined to government officials.

...

In the fall of 2016, as the election loomed, Mr. Lovinger sent emails to Mr. Baker and other officials at the Office of Net Assessment complaining about the entire outside contracting process. He also said the office failed to write papers on long-term threats presented by radical Islam, China and Iran .

And in September 2016, Lovinger sent an email directly to Baker summing up the perceived problems, which reads in part:

"Some of our contractors distribute to others their ONA work for personal and professional self-promotion," wrote Lovinger. "Another part is the growing narrative that ONA's most high-profile contractors are known for getting paid a lot to do rather peripheral work ."

"On the issue of pay, our contractors boast about how much they get paid from ONA . Such boasting, of course, generates jealously among those outside the club, and particularly from those who have tried to secure ONA contracts unsuccessfully."

"On the issue of quality, more than once I have heard our contractor studies labeled 'derivative,' 'college-level' and based heavily on secondary sources . One of our contractor studies was literally cut and pasted from a World Bank report that I just happened to have read the week before reading the contractor study itself. Even the font was the same."

Halper - an Oxford University professor, former US government official and longtime FBI / CIA asset (who was married to the CIA deputy director's daughter at one point), received over $400,000 for a 2016 contract which Lovinger complained about.

According to USASpending.gov, Mr. Halper was paid $411,000 by Washington Headquarters Services on Sept. 26, 2016 , for a contract that ran until this March. - Washington Times

In total, the American citizen teaching abroad received over $1 million from contracts dated between 2012 and 2016.

Lovinger's attorney, Sean M. Bigley, filed the second of four complaints on July 18 with the Pentagon's senior ethics official, claiming that Lovinger's bosses punished him on May 1, 2017 by abusing the security clearance process to yank his credentials and relegate him to clerical chores. Lovinger's complaint also names the Washington Headquarters Services, a support agency within the Pentagon that awarded the Halper contracts.

"As it turns out, one of the two contractors Mr. Lovinger explicitly warned his ONA superiors about misusing in 2016 was none other than Mr. Halper ," wrote Bigley in the ethics complaint, which referred to the contracts as " cronyism and corruption ."

" Nobody in the office seemed to know what Halper was doing for his money ," said Bigley. "Adam said Jim Baker, the director, kept Halper's contracts very close to the vest. And nobody seemed to have any idea what he was doing at the time. He subcontracted out a good chunk of it to other academics. He would compile them all and then collect the balance as his fee as a middleman . That was very unusual."

A longtime CIA and FBI asset who once reportedly ran a spy-operation on the Jimmy Carter administration, Halper was enlisted by the FBI to spy on several Trump campaign aides during the 2016 U.S. election, including Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.

Halper's $411,575 award came three days after a September 23 Yahoo! News article by Michael Isikoff about Trump aide Carter Page, which used information fed to Isikoff by "Steele dossier" creator Christopher Steele . The FBI would use the Yahoo! article along with the largely unverified dossier as supporting evidence in an FISA warrant application for Page.

The unassuming university professor approached Page during an election-themed conference at Cambridge on July 11, 2016, six weeks after the September 26 DoD award start date. The two would stay in contact for the next 14 months, frequently meeting and exchanging emails .

He said that he first encountered the informant during a conference in mid-July of 2016 and that they stayed in touch. The two later met several times in the Washington area. Mr. Page said their interactions were benign. - New York Times

And as the Daily Caller reported, Halper used a decades-old association with Paul Manafort to break the ice with Page.

Page noted that in their first conversation at Cambridge, Halper said he was longtime friends with then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort . A person close to Manafort told TheDCNF that Manafort has not seen Halper since the Gerald Ford administration . Manafort and Page are accused in the Steele dossier of having worked together on the campaign's collusion conspiracy, but both men say they have never met. - Daily Caller

Halper would continue to spy on Page after the election. Two days after the second installment of Halper's 2016 DoD contract, On July 28, he emailed Page with what the Trump campaign aide describes as a "cordial" communication, which did not seem suspicious to him at the time.

In the email to Page, Halper asks what his plans are post-election, possibly probing for more information. " It seems attention has shifted a bit from the 'collusion' investigation to the ' contretempts' [sic] within the White House and, how--or if--Mr. Scaramucci will be accommodated there," Halper wrote.

Clinton connection

The other complaint lodged by Lovinger concerns a string of contracts totaling $11 million to Long Term Strategy Group - a D.C. consulting firm headed by self-described "best friend" of Chelseal Clinton, Jacqueline Newmyer Deal.

In October, the Washington Free Beacon reported that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arranged meetings in 2009 between Deal and Pentagon officials to discuss contracts - to which Deal says no award "resulted directly or indirectly from the actions or influence of Secretary Clinton ."

According to one 2009 email, Clinton said she recommended Deal to Michele Flournoy, the newly installed undersecretary of defense for policy, who was seeking young women to mentor.

Deal, a specialist in China affairs who worked at the White House as a press aide for First Lady Clinton in the 1990s, wrote back to Clinton saying she would meet Flournoy on May 5, 2009, and stated "thank you very much for making this happen."

Later that month, Deal thanked Clinton for "all your encouragement and help with DoD, " shorthand for the Defense Department. - Free Beacon

In a statement, Deal said: "Jacqueline Deal and the Long Term Strategy Group (LTSG) are justifiably proud of their collaboration with the US Department of Defense across multiple administrations over the last two decades, beginning under the administration of President George W. Bush. LTSG's work has consistently earned the highest respect and confidence of its clientele in government and has won LTSG a reputation for producing research and analysis of exceptional quality."

[Aug 18, 2018] "DNC server hack" was an insider transfer. Insider dead. Dead men tell no tales and so far, neither does Wikileaks

Aug 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

StarGate -> valjoux7750 Fri, 08/17/2018 - 06:41 Permalink

Double pronged exercise: 1) Start war with Russia, steal its oil, break into tiny States to destroy its power; 2) Destroy Trump as enemy of globalist world domination and USA disintegration plan.

MSM propaganda arm to sell (1) and (2).

These retired Intel specialists keep interfering in the game and interjecting inconvenient facts:

DNC server never hacked by Russia or anyone. It was an insider transfer. Insider dead. Dead men tell no tales and so far, neither does Wikileaks.

currency Thu, 08/16/2018 - 22:12 Permalink

VIPS is doing some excellent work and they show what really happened while Rosenstein is out to Lunch, Sessions is deaf dumb and blind - useless - both Sessions and Rosenstein need to go.

Muller does not care and he is not interested in the truth and is ignoring the facts and the corruption in the FBI/DOJ - Muller and his band of Clinton Loyalist are trying to frame Trump.

StarGate -> currency Fri, 08/17/2018 - 06:50 Permalink

Rosenstein and Mueller KNOW the DNC server was not hacked by Russia or by anyone. Insider transfer. So are they working for HilBarry? Or is this a magic act?

What Sessions is doing is unknown. He knows he was set up by Barry sending the Russian ambassador to his office and by (FBI? Spy) Paul Ericsson offering to connect campaign thru him to Russia. He had to recuse or be in the midst of the mess. Does he have a plan? - we don't know.

quasi_verbatim Thu, 08/16/2018 - 22:28 Permalink

It's not Russiagate, it's Americagate and it's your problem, not ours.

The only significant remaining question is whether you fade gracefully from the page of History or whether you take the Samson Option and we all go out flash-bang.

Taras Bulba Thu, 08/16/2018 - 22:28 Permalink

I have a ton of respect for Binney. Regardless as to how fucked up this country is and its govt, there are still people who will step up and try to set the record straight.

Cloud9.5 Thu, 08/16/2018 - 22:30 Permalink

Joseph Goebbels was indeed a genius. Tell a lie long enough and loud enough and it becomes the accepted truth.

TradingTroll -> Cloud9.5 Thu, 08/16/2018 - 22:42 Permalink

Not really true, that statement.

If you put a camera in front of a bunch of randomly selected Americans and ask them to state their name and where they live, before answering if they voted for Trump, you get a lot of No replies.

Now do the same questioning anonymously. The number of Nos drops.

This is the gaping hole in Goebbels argument. Anonymous polls can get closer to the truth. Then the "accepted truth" is challenged, as in 9-11.

Goebbels=too much hubris.

bh2 -> Cloud9.5 Thu, 08/16/2018 - 23:12 Permalink

It was Hitler who endorsed the Big Lie technique. Goebbels was much more subtle.

He would laugh at amateurs whose propaganda is so absurdly vulnerable to conclusive falsification by objective facts.

MrBoompi Thu, 08/16/2018 - 22:34 Permalink

"There has been much amateurish journalism, false reporting, misrepresentation, distortion, misquotation, and omission." In other words, the CIA was behind this.

hooligan2009 Thu, 08/16/2018 - 22:43 Permalink

so... the upshot is that G.2 and DCLeaks fabricated the leak as a hack AND the tools to do this and to fabricate signatures/date stamps etc existed in the CIA (proven here: https://wikileaks.org/ciav7p1/cms/index.html ) and possibly MI6, but not in Russia, or Romania?

the CIA has "stations" all over the world?

looks like a few facebook and twitter posts have resulted in the alphabet soup, deep state, DNC and MSM spending tens of billions of dollars pushing a false agenda against russia AND have caused hundreds of billions of exra dollars on military expenditure and extra security globally.

in which case, they have won by further diverting taxes away from taxpayers and increasing debt where insufficient taxes remain/ed.

bh2 -> hooligan2009 Thu, 08/16/2018 - 23:15 Permalink

Binney has said if the evidence shows the Russians did it, the Russians didn't do it.

This may be a good principle to apply even to things like Facebook ads, etc.

malcolmevans Fri, 08/17/2018 - 01:00 Permalink

The fact that the files were downloaded from the DNC computer, and not hacked from abroad, should be the key to unlocking Clinton conspiracies that would destroy large portions of the Democrat establishment if revealed.

schroedingersrat Fri, 08/17/2018 - 05:01 Permalink

I can achieve up to 1 Gbit/s up & downstream. The average up/downstream is probably quite a bit lower but +50mb/s is probably average. So i lol at the VIPS LOL

JerseyJoe -> schroedingersrat Fri, 08/17/2018 - 06:32 Permalink

Really!?! From what point to what point? Compressed or uncompressed? Fiber or Coax drop?

Laugh all you want - you come off as an idiot because you probably are.

Misean -> schroedingersrat Fri, 08/17/2018 - 15:13 Permalink

Ignorance is bliss. 1 Gb/s = 128MB/s. 50mb/s = 6.25MB/s.

http://www.netmeter.eu

Server:Russia Moscow

Download speed (down)

on 1 thread:0,64 Mbit/s (0,08 MB/s | 640,82 kbit/s)

on more threads:33,84 Mbit/s (4,23 MB/s | 33 838,65 kbit/s)

Upload speed (upload)

on 1 thread:8,47 Mbit/s (1,06 MB/s | 8 467,03 kbit/s)

Sorry dipshit. Just because a connection from your ISP to pr0nHub is fast doesn't make it fast worldwide. 8.47Mb/s = ~1MB/s.

VIPS is very clear they are talking MEGABYTES / s not megaBITS /s. 1BYTE = 8BITS.

Go pull your head out of your ass dumbf*ck

onasip123 Fri, 08/17/2018 - 07:18 Permalink

The Russia-gate narrative pushers aren't interested in the truth.

They're only interested in sowing discord and chaos to distract from crimes of sedition.

East Indian Fri, 08/17/2018 - 18:35 Permalink

The poison of partisan propaganda dumped into American polity to prevent the prosecution of the guilty (for illegally spying on Trump campaign and the assorted crimes associated with it, including the murder of Seth Rich) will continue to foul the atmosphere for decades. The fight is certainly between an unelected octopus that has captured all the three wings of American polity, and a determined if not well armed citizens. The end is not near.

There is a small, nice book by C Northecote Parkinson, "The Law and the Profits". He describes how in 1909 the British empire started a simultaneous course of welfare state and empire building warfare state bureacracy, and how it eventually bankrupted the people by 1945. America started its own version with L B Johnson's Great Society and Vietnam War. Since American economy was much bigger the dichotomous struggle has lasted much longer. But now the time to choose one over another is at hand. Candidate Trump advocated trimming the warfare state more and first. But President Trump is sending mixed signals.

The only saving grace is the self aware American citizenry and its capacity to reform itself.

[Aug 18, 2018] Coup d' tat is such an ugly word

Aug 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

JoeTurner Fri, 08/17/2018 - 09:49 Permalink

Coup d'état is such an ugly word. I prefer "domestic insurgent contingency operation"

[Aug 18, 2018] Twitter censorship is not surprising, but Trump usage of Twitter is

Notable quotes:
"... Can someone explain this to me like I'm 5. Some poor slub, baker in Colorado is forced to make a cake for some homos (I say it with love) because he violated their constitutional right of equal protection. But, twitter and Facebook can ban and censor free speech in violation of the constitution. The baker is privately owned and the propaganda companies are public, what's the deal? ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

TheSilentMajority -> Baron von Bud Fri, 08/17/2018 - 09:49 Permalink

Trump needs to immediately stop supporting the Twitter platform and switch to another platform for all his messaging.

Twitter was actually going bankrupt before trump ran for office.

Now twitter survives only because of Trumps' tweets. Yet twitter bans/censors all other "conservative" views.

#trumpdumpstwitter

MuffDiver69 -> TheSilentMajority Fri, 08/17/2018 - 09:58 Permalink

He should promote a new one alongside twitter and Facebook at the least....

inosent -> TheSilentMajority Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:00 Permalink

That is a very good idea. Trump's use of another honest 'platform' would be one heluvan endorsement, which is what the alt - twitters need, lacking all the (((billions))) the big (((3))) were given (which is why we know all about them but not so much the honest, free speech alternatives)

trippy1 -> TheSilentMajority Fri, 08/17/2018 - 11:02 Permalink

Go to GAB.ai!!! #trumpdumptwitter

HisBoyElroy -> TheSilentMajority Fri, 08/17/2018 - 11:25 Permalink

Can someone explain this to me like I'm 5. Some poor slub, baker in Colorado is forced to make a cake for some homos (I say it with love) because he violated their constitutional right of equal protection. But, twitter and Facebook can ban and censor free speech in violation of the constitution. The baker is privately owned and the propaganda companies are public, what's the deal?

the artist -> HisBoyElroy Fri, 08/17/2018 - 11:51 Permalink

Because as it stands these companies are private entities that can do whatever they want shy of discriminating against a person of one of several protected classes for one of several activities.

If the baker refused to bake a cake for the Log Cabin Republicans on the grounds that they were republicans then everything is cool. but if he refused on the grounds that they are " Log Cabins " then that aint cool.

Capiche

HisBoyElroy -> the artist Fri, 08/17/2018 - 12:06 Permalink

Still doesn't compute to me.... certain groups have only attained "protected " status due to the constitutional interpretation of "equal protection " .... in other words they are only protected because their constitutional rights may have been violated. How is the social media banning and censorship of groups not a violation of their constitutional rights, as long as they don't advocate violence?

the artist -> HisBoyElroy Fri, 08/17/2018 - 13:51 Permalink

Although political speech is protected speech, there is no requirement for private organizations to honor the same code that the central state must honor. If Twitter banned you because you were black, white or gay then you would have a case.

And you DONT want it that way. This is a moral panic not unlike the Red Scare of the 50's, the Satanic Panic of the 80s. In both cases there was a grain of truth that was used to employ broad sweeping over-reactions from people and corporations. They were both eventually replaced with the exact opposite of their stated goals.

If you started a media company you do not want the gov telling you that you must publish one thing or another.

Do not worry. This will blow up spectacularly. We are witnessing the last gasps of Legacy Media. They have become irrelevant. The future is the Wild West of Information. There will be a tipping point soon when the body politic suddenly wakes up and rejects the old way and realizes that what we crave for news and entertainment is On Another Channel. That channel will be Alt-Tech.

Alt-Tech will not contain CNN, Fox News et al. They will be outcompeted by the truth and actual investigative journalism and gritty-pulpy entertainment that is ALL against the TOS of the Legacy Tech giants.

You-tube, Twitter will go the way of Facebook where anyone with a brain knows that they are riddled with zombie accounts. Advertisers will flee (as they have already begun to do) and the architecture of Soc. Media will change forever. That is the future. Prepare for it.

Do not fall for the public utilities angle. These companies live by the sword and they will die by the sword. What develops out of their demise needs to be unfettered and pure.

Look to the giant creators like Pewdiepie and Alex Jones to get together and join en mass an Alt-tech social media site. The two of them together have more subscribers/fans than ALL of the cable pundits COMBINED.

the artist -> TheSilentMajority Fri, 08/17/2018 - 11:46 Permalink

YES YES YES!!!

Calling Peter Thiel...Put together an alt-social media site and Trump can promote it by cross posting his messages there. Only he won't post them ALL...

The really good ones he will post on Alt-Tech and force the world to bend.

This raises another point. The true power of Trump and social media is the power of the Boycott. Trump can destroy Billion dollar industries with a single message.

Trump, with this power can be the first president that continues to rule after office via social media. THAT my friends is the thing that scares the living shit out of the deep state. It is exactly what Barry Soweto Wanted to do but was thwarted at the last minute. It is the reason they are turning themselves inside out to silence the groundswell.

Something wicked this way comes for NWO Globalist Vampires.

[Aug 17, 2018] FBI Forensic labs are shit and dishonest. They had 20 years of cases reviewed because of their false testimony on hair matching.

Aug 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Abaco -> Yellow_Snow Fri, 08/17/2018 - 12:15 Permalink

FBI Forensic labs are shit and dishonest. They had 20 years of cases reviewed because of their false testimony on hair matching. Went into court swearing that dog hair was an exact match to the suspects.

FBI forensics are nothing more than a bullshit factory for manufacturing convictions.

What is the science behind ballistic "matching" of a bullet to a gun? Just a carefully constructed lie. They imply every gun bullet combination is unique. There is NO scientific basis for claiming that. In other words a "match" might be correct but the "match" might also apply to a shitload of other weapons. Those lying fucks go into court every day and bullshit juries.

What is the science behind claiming every fingerprint is unique? Most people believe that bullshit but there is no science behind it.

What do you make of this exchange?

The only part of the FBI that might not be corrupted is their efforts against sex trafficking. But even their anti child molesting activity isn't worth much because all they do is get perverts downloading images and videos. They don't go after the actual molesters because almost always has to be a state thing. Resources given to the FBI for this would be better handled at the state level.

[Aug 17, 2018] Running timeline of Steele dossier:

Notable quotes:
"... Bruce Ohr and his wife are complicit in the fake Christopher Steele Russian dossier ..."
"... All of this was orchestrated by the Obama Administration ..."
"... All of these FBI and DOJ people are just lackeys who take their orders from higher-ups. The real deep state controllers seem to always be protected by the underlings. But it's the underlings who fall on the sword. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

otschelnik Fri, 08/17/2018 - 09:40 Permalink

I've posted this before, I keep this running timeline:

StarGate -> otschelnik Fri, 08/17/2018 - 11:55 Permalink

Good work - Add:

MAY 2016

1st week, before 16 - Caputo reports someone claiming to be a former NSA agent offered him Hillary emails. He declined concerned they were classified and urged whistleblower process be followed. He reported event to Mueller.

9 or 13 - FBI Priestap in London

10 - *Papadopoulos meets Australian ambassador & Clinton Foundation sponsor Alexander Downer in 'Kensington Wine Room' in London

Reported by NYT on 30 Dec 2017.

10 - Paul Ericsson sends "Kremlin Connection" email to Sen Sessions offering to hook DJT campaign up with Russia's Putin

May Date? - Rosenstein-Mueller Special Counsel team member Preet Bharara granted a special Visa for Russian agent Natalia Veselnitskaya in order for her to meet with Trump Jr at a June 2016 Tower meeting the FBI would record. Obama sent one of his translators to the meeting. Natalia needed a special Visa because she was barred from entering the US.

StarGate -> otschelnik Fri, 08/17/2018 - 12:14 Permalink

Here's JUNE 2016

JANUARY 2016

9 - Russian Rinat Akhmetshin visits Obama White House for the day. Later he was in Trump Tower meeting of June 2016. WH visitor Log.

JUNE 2016

9 - Infamous Trump Tower meeting w/ Jr and Russian atty Natalia. Then Natalia meets w/ Simpson Fusion GPS before & after Tower mtg

14 - Russian atty Natalia attends US House Foreign Affairs hearing.

DATE? - Russian atty attends Magnitsky Act meeting w/ Dem Reps Rohrbacher and Dellums.

26 - 1st FISA court warrant denied.

27 - DoJ AG Lynch met with Bill Clinton on Arizona airport tarmac

28 - CIA Evan McMullin sister creates fake "Trump OrGAINization" site and bought from GoDaddy the domain trump-email.com. Site then fake robot calls Russian Alfa Bank to create 'ping trail.'

Registry Domain ID: 1565681481_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN .

otschelnik -> StarGate Fri, 08/17/2018 - 12:24 Permalink

SG, thanks. You mean Alfa Bank.

Where can we find references on this Evan McMullin and his sister?

StarGate -> otschelnik Fri, 08/17/2018 - 12:56 Permalink

Corrected - thx

Did not keep McMullin research. There were family pics of them. They attended same Auburn High School in WA, near Seattle.

Was Mormon mission agent in Brazil. Interned for CIA while at Mormon college. Agent for UN in Israel & Muslim nation of Jordan. For CIA was recruiter for Muslim radicals. Worked w/ British UK spy system. Did he know Steele?

McMullin ran against DJT in 2016 election w/ backers 'never Trump'. Got 21% UT vote. McMullin went directly from CIA to being "undercover?" Prez candidate.

Also of note,

Halper is UK citizen (&US) plus Rhodes at Oxford same time as Rhodes Bill Clinton. It is unknown if Rhodes scholars take loyalty oath to UK.

otschelnik -> StarGate Fri, 08/17/2018 - 13:10 Permalink

Right on McMullin. The fact that Alfa Bank Russia was pinging Trump tower was brought up several times by the Lamestream Media during peak 'muh Russia' in 2017, and believe Clinton mentioned it in one of the debates. But there are Russian owners of apartments in Trump Tower who apparently use the house server, and (I speculate) that these Russian residents were managing their own private banking.

Now you make it sound like it was a set-up by McMullin's sister? By the way I agree with your analysis of the CIA candidate... at least strip Utah's electoral college votes from Trump.

insanelysane Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:13 Permalink

Again, there can never be a legal judgement that the DOJ and/or the FBI tried to sway a political election and then engaged in seditious actions when the election wasn't swayed. This would "destroy" the power of these institutions. It is obvious and EVIDENT that there was a conspiracy by DOJ and FBI employees to stop Trump.

The issue the Deep State has is that they were able to successfully end the IRS exposure by destroying all of the evidence as Obama was elected for another 4 years. The Deep State expected Hillary to win and stay for 8 years so none of this DOJ/FBI information would see the light of day. Trump is in charge now. If the Rs take more seats in 2018 the Deep State may do some really interesting things as they are feeling the heat. Sessions has been playing the wait and see game. As a career politician he is waiting to see which way the wind blows in November.

TeethVillage88s Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:21 Permalink

It is normal tendency in US Military to try to control war news, hold back information from the public like coffins coming home from Vietnam or Iraq. And we are not surprised if the Pentagon actually engaged in counter intelligence against US Citizens. I've said this about Obama Care (ACA) and Mr. Guber or whatever... and I've said this about Hillary Clinton.

- It is completely different when our MICC in FBI, CIA, NSA, DOJ, engage in Hatch Act Violations while on the Job against a presidential candidate with phony intel, spies, false statements to FISA court, false news stories... then 'Smirk' on camera and continue to lie to all of America. Hatch Act governs political behavior, but I'd say the FBI, NSA, CIA, DOJ are to be held to the highest levels of behavior. No politics on Govt Time/working hours. https://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/Hatch_Act.pdf

BendGuyhere Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:58 Permalink

Turns out the FBI was a TRUST-BASED organization all along. Who knew? That trust has been shattered.

At least the scum, filth, lying criminals rotting in prison own who and what they are. They can't masquerade as uber-boy scouts.

With any luck the end of Trump's second term will see a stiff housecleaning with lots of FBIers rotting in prison for a very long time.

hooligan2009 Fri, 08/17/2018 - 11:29 Permalink

bruce ohr looks asian chinese. i can't find any internet chit about his parents. Oh, and is this true?

Michelle Obama and DOJ Bruce Ohr classmates at Harvard Law for 3 yrs

https://www.patreon.com/posts/michelle-obama-3-20682188

istt Fri, 08/17/2018 - 11:32 Permalink

"He appears to have concealed this role from at least some superiors, since Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified that he'd been unaware of Mr. Ohr's intermediary status."

Is this an attempt at humor by Strassel?

And why won't Trump declassify??????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ZazzOne Fri, 08/17/2018 - 12:06 Permalink

Bruce Ohr and his wife are complicit in the fake Christopher Steele Russian dossier. Feckless Jeff Sessions needs to indict Ohr and his wife (and the rest of the Deep State cabal) involved in their treasonous coup attempt against the duly elected POTUS!!!!!!!

TacticalTrading Fri, 08/17/2018 - 13:35 Permalink

All of this was orchestrated by the Obama Administration. And because Obama must be recognized historically as the greatest and most honest president of all time, because he was the first black president ever.....

We cannot allow the legacy of the first black president to be tarnished

To allow anything else to happen could offend someone. Obama knew this would be the case and thus he knew he had a free pass to get away with anything he wanted.

Hillary knew the exact same thing and, well, When you give an honest person a chance to get away with a few things they will take a mile. Hillary is not an honest person, so she went as far as possible under the belief that she would get away with it.

Oops

Will the historians get it right? Time will tell

MrBoompi Fri, 08/17/2018 - 13:50 Permalink

All of these FBI and DOJ people are just lackeys who take their orders from higher-ups. The real deep state controllers seem to always be protected by the underlings. But it's the underlings who fall on the sword.

[Aug 17, 2018] The truth is always treason in an empire of lies...

Aug 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

LawsofPhysics, Fri, 08/17/2018 - 09:42 Permalink

The truth is always treason in an empire of lies...

[Aug 17, 2018] Deeply Troubling - Wall Street Journal Implores What Was Bruce Ohr Doing Zero Hedge

Aug 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
258 SHARES

The Wall Street Journal continues to counter the liberal mainstream media's Trump Derangement Syndrome , dropping uncomfortable truth-bombs and refusing to back off its intense pressure to get to the truth and hold those responsible, accountable (in a forum that is hard for the establishment to shrug off as 'Alt-Right' or 'Nazi' or be 'punished' by search- and social-media-giants) .

And once again Kimberley Strassel - who by now has become the focus of social media attacks for her truth-seeking reporting - does it again this morning, as she points out - hours after former CIA Director Brennan threw a tantrum over having his security clearance removed - that while Justice has released some damning documents - particularly on what Bruce Ohr was doing - much of the truth is still classified.

Via The Wall Street Journal,

What Was Bruce Ohr Doing?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department have continued to insist they did nothing wrong in their Trump-Russia investigation. This week should finally bring an end to that claim, given the clear evidence of malfeasance via the use of Bruce Ohr.

Mr. Ohr was until last year associate deputy attorney general.

He began feeding information to the FBI from dossier author Christopher Steele in late 2016 - after the FBI had terminated Mr. Steele as a confidential informant for violating the bureau's rules. He also collected dirt from Glenn Simpson, cofounder of Fusion GPS, the opposition-research firm that worked for Hillary Clinton's campaign and employed Mr. Steele. Altogether, the FBI pumped Mr. Ohr for information at least a dozen times, debriefs that remain in classified 302 forms.

All the while, Mr. Ohr failed to disclose on financial forms that his wife, Nellie, worked alongside Mr. Steele in 2016, getting paid by Mr. Simpson for anti-Trump research. The Justice Department has now turned over Ohr documents to Congress that show how deeply tied up he was with the Clinton crew - with dozens of emails, calls, meetings and notes that describe his interactions and what he collected.

Mr. Ohr's conduct is itself deeply troubling. He was acting as a witness (via FBI interviews) in a case being overseen by a Justice Department in which he held a very senior position. He appears to have concealed this role from at least some superiors, since Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified that he'd been unaware of Mr. Ohr's intermediary status.

Lawyers meanwhile note that it is a crime for a federal official to participate in any government matter in which he has a financial interest. Fusion's bank records presumably show Nellie Ohr, and by extension her husband, benefiting from the Trump opposition research that Mr. Ohr continued to pass to the FBI. The Justice Department declined to comment.

But for all Mr. Ohr's misdeeds, the worse misconduct is by the FBI and Justice Department.

It's bad enough that the bureau relied on a dossier crafted by a man in the employ of the rival presidential campaign. Bad enough that it never informed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of that dossier's provenance. And bad enough that the FBI didn't fire Mr. Steele as a confidential human source in September 2016 when it should have been obvious he was leaking FBI details to the press to harm Donald Trump's electoral chances. It terminated him only when it was absolutely forced to, after Mr. Steele gave an on-the-record interview on Oct. 31, 2016.

But now we discover the FBI continued to go to this discredited informant in its investigation after the firing -- by funneling his information via a Justice Department cutout. The FBI has an entire manual governing the use of confidential sources, with elaborate rules on validations, standards and documentation. Mr. Steele failed these standards. The FBI then evaded its own program to get at his info anyway.

And it did so even though we have evidence that lead FBI investigators may have suspected Mr. Ohr was a problem.

An Oct. 7, 2016, text message from now-fired FBI agent Peter Strzok to his colleague Lisa Page reads: "Jesus. More BO leaks in the NYT," which could be a reference to Mr. Ohr.

The FBI may also have been obtaining, via Mr. Ohr, information that came from a man the FBI had never even vetted as a source -- Mr. Simpson. Mr. Steele had at least worked with the FBI before; Mr. Simpson was a paid political operative. And the Ohr notes raise further doubts about Mr. Simpson's forthrightness. In House testimony in November 2017, Mr. Simpson said only that he reached out to Mr. Ohr after the election, and at Mr. Steele's suggestion. But Mr. Ohr's inbox shows an email from Mr. Simpson dated Aug. 22, 2016 that reads, in full: "Can u ring."

The Justice Department hasn't tried to justify any of this; in fact, last year it quietly demoted Mr. Ohr. In what smells of a further admission of impropriety, it didn't initially turn over the Ohr documents; Congress had to fight to get them.

But it raises at least two further crucial questions.

First, who authorized or knew about this improper procedure? Mr. Strzok seems to be in the thick of it, having admitted to Congress interactions with Mr. Ohr at the end of 2016. While Mr. Rosenstein disclaims knowledge, Mr. Ohr's direct supervisor at the time was the previous deputy attorney general, Sally Yates. Who else in former FBI Director Jim Comey's inner circle and at the Obama Justice Department nodded at the FBI's back-door interaction with a sacked source and a Clinton operative?

Second, did the FBI continue to submit Steele- or Simpson-sourced information to the FISA court? Having informed the court in later applications that it had fired Mr. Steele, the FBI would have had no business continuing to use any Steele information laundered through an intermediary.

* * *

Strassel concludes with the point that she and The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board have been hammering for months...

We could have these answers pronto; they rest in part in those Ohr 302 forms. And so once again: a call for President Trump to declassify.

It's time for things to get more serious than slaps on the wrist, firings, and self-inflicted black-eyes!

[Aug 17, 2018] Brennan Goes Nuclear After Losing Security Clearance, Pens Furious Screed In NYT

Aug 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Trump revoked Brennan's clearance for what he called "unfounded and outrageous allegations" against his administration, while also announcing that the White House is evaluating whether to strip clearances from other former top officials.

Trump later told the Wall Street Journal his decision was connected to the ongoing federal probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and allegedly collusion by his presidential campaign.

"I call it the rigged witch hunt, (it) is a sham," Trump said in an interview with the newspaper on Wednesday. "And these people led it."

"It's something that had to be done," Trump added. - Reuters

[Aug 15, 2018] Most US graduates won't be debt-free until they're in their 40s.

Aug 15, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

This fall, more than 20 million college students will begin a new academic year. To help cover rising tuition rates that continue to outpace inflation , they'll rely on one or more of the federal government's six low-interest loan programs, adding to the $1.5 trillion of student debt already owed in the United States. Despite nine repayment plans, eight forgiveness programs, and almost three dozen deferment options offered by the government, most won't be debt-free until they're in their 40s.

[Aug 15, 2018] Countermove in Caspian see: no NATO allowed

Notable quotes:
"... It looks as if Zuckerman's 'nightmare situation' has come about. I don't know that these were ever proven reserves, and in fact I have the impression that the supposed energy bounty of the Caspian did not turn out quite as imagined, but Washington once thought – not long ago, either – that it was imperative America controlled the Caspian region because it was about 'America's energy security'. Which is another way of saying 'America must have control over and access to every oil-producing region on the planet.' ..."
"... Richardson was correct, though, that Russia 'does not share America's values'. In fact, Americans do not share America's values, in the sense that most Americans by far would not support the actions of the Saudi military in Yemen, the clever false-flag operations of the White Helmets in Syria, the deliberate destabilization of Venezuela, regime-change operations to the right and left in order to obtain governments who will facilitate American commercial and political control, and many other things that official America considers just important tools in the American Global Dominance Toolbox. ..."
"... Washington has long nurtured the dream of being Europe's primary, if not only, energy supplier, and owning the Caspian (had the reserves expectations played out) would have brought them closer to their dream. ..."
Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

yalensis August 13, 2018 at 2:06 am

Apologies if somebody already posted, the legal partitioning of the Caspian Sea is finally complete and constitutes good news for Russia:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/russia-says-deal-to-settle-status-of-caspian-sea-reached-a8486311.html

yalensis August 13, 2018 at 2:10 am
The other backstory being that NATO wanted to stick its nose in the Caspian Sea, but has been pushed out. Not sure exactly what the pretext was. I have a piece in VZGLIAD that explains the whole thing, but I haven't worked through it yet, will probably do a piece on my own blog in the near future. But I have a couple of other projects in the queue first.
Mark Chapman August 13, 2018 at 8:39 am
Dick Cheney, among others, was convinced that the Caspian Basin holds massive deposits of oil and gas and is strategically significant for that reason.

http://coat.ncf.ca/our_magazine/links/issue46/articles/real_reasons_quotes.htm

"Central Asian resources may revert back to the control of Russia or to a Russian led alliance. This would be a nightmare situation. We had better wake up to the dangers or one day the certainties on which we base our prosperity will be certainties no more. The potential prize in oil and gas riches in the Caspian sea, valued up to $4 trillion, would give Russia both wealth and strategic dominance. The potential economic rewards of Caspian energy will draw in their train Western military forces to protect our investment if necessary."

Mortimer Zuckerman
Editor, U.S. News and World Report

"This is about America's energy security. Its also about preventing strategic inroads by those who don't share our values. We are trying to move these newly independent countries toward the West. We would like to see them reliant on Western commercial and political interests. We've made a substantial political investment in the Caspian and it's important that both the pipeline map and the politics come out right."

Bill Richardson
Then-U.S. Secretary Energy (1998-2000)

It looks as if Zuckerman's 'nightmare situation' has come about. I don't know that these were ever proven reserves, and in fact I have the impression that the supposed energy bounty of the Caspian did not turn out quite as imagined, but Washington once thought – not long ago, either – that it was imperative America controlled the Caspian region because it was about 'America's energy security'. Which is another way of saying 'America must have control over and access to every oil-producing region on the planet.'

Richardson was correct, though, that Russia 'does not share America's values'. In fact, Americans do not share America's values, in the sense that most Americans by far would not support the actions of the Saudi military in Yemen, the clever false-flag operations of the White Helmets in Syria, the deliberate destabilization of Venezuela, regime-change operations to the right and left in order to obtain governments who will facilitate American commercial and political control, and many other things that official America considers just important tools in the American Global Dominance Toolbox.

Washington has long nurtured the dream of being Europe's primary, if not only, energy supplier, and owning the Caspian (had the reserves expectations played out) would have brought them closer to their dream. A pipeline network would have carried Caspian oil and gas to Europe. Agreement among the Caspian nations was most definitely not in American interests, and if you dig you will probably find American interventions to prevent that from coming about.

[Aug 15, 2018] Lira Surges After Turkey Crushes Shorts, Imposes New US Sanctions, Denies Brunson Appeal For Release

Aug 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Meanwhile going back to the ongoing escalation in political tensions between the US and Turkey, one day after Erdogan vowed to boycott US electronics products, including the iPhone, Ankara slapped an additional tax on imports of a broad range of American goods. Turkey announced it would impose an additional 50% tax on U.S. rice, 140% on spirits and 120% on cars.

There are also additional charges on U.S. cosmetics, tobacco and some food products. The was Erdogan's latest retaliation for the Trump administration's punitive actions over the past few weeks to pressure Turkey into releasing an American pastor.

Bloomberg calculated that the items listed in the decree accounted for $1 billion of imports last year, similar to the amount of Turkish steel and aluminum exports that were subjected to higher tariffs by President Donald Trump last week.

The decision shows Turkey giving a proportionate response to American "attacks" on the Turkish economy, Vice President Fuat Oktay said in tweets this morning.

[Aug 14, 2018] No matter how globalism is repackaged, it always smells the same way in the end.

Aug 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Michael Snyder via The American Dream blog,

No matter how globalism is repackaged, it always smells the same way in the end.

For decades, the globalists have subtly (or sometimes not so subtly) been moving us toward a world in which national borders have essentially been made meaningless . The ultimate goal, of course, is to merge all the nations of the world into a "one world socialist utopia" with a global government, a global economic system and even a global religion.

The European Union is a model for what the elite hope to achieve eventually on a global scale . The individual nations still exist, but once inside the European Union you can travel wherever you want, economic rules have been standardized across the Union, and European institutions now have far more power than the national governments.

Liberty and freedom have been greatly restricted for the "common good", and a giant horde of nameless, faceless bureaucrats constantly micromanages the details of daily life down to the finest details.

With each passing day the EU becomes more Orwellian in nature, and that is why so many in Europe are completely fed up with it.

Rich Monk Tue, 08/14/2018 - 16:28 Permalink

The (((Money Changers))) have always been Humanity's greatest threat!

taketheredpill Tue, 08/14/2018 - 16:28 Permalink

I would support TERM LIMITS on Congress and Senate...

[Aug 14, 2018] Trump's Trade War with China Undermining China's Dependence on Neoliberalism

Notable quotes:
"... Trump in fact was not the consensus candidate of the American capitalist class back to the 2016 election. So with respect to these economic policies, especially about his trade protectionist measures, these new tariffs imposed on the Chinese goods, let's put it this way: These are not, certainly not the traditional kind of neoliberal economic policy as we know it. So some sections of the American manufacturing sector [capitalists] may be happy about this. But I would say the majority of the American capitalists probably would not approve this kind of trade war against China. ..."
"... So on the Chinese part, ironically, China very much depends on these overall what Martin Wolf called liberal global order, which might better be called the model of global neoliberal capitalism. So China actually much more depends on that. ..."
"... despite whatever happened to the U.S., China would still be committed to the model of openness, committed to privatization and the financial liberalization. The Chinese government has declared new measures to open up a few economic sectors to foreign investment. ..."
"... for China to rearrange towards this kind of domestic consumption-led model of economic development, the necessary condition is that you have income, wealth redistribution towards the workers, towards poor people. And that is something that the Chinese capitalists will resist. And so that is why and so far China has not succeeded in transforming itself away from this export-led model based on exploitation of cheap labor. ..."
"... first of all, China is not socialist at all today. So income of economic sector, the [space] sector accounts for a small number, a small fraction of the overall economy, by various measurements. ..."
"... And so it's expected China will also become the world's largest importer of natural gas by the year 2019. So you are going to have China to be simultaneously the largest importer of oil, natural gas, and coal. ..."
"... let's say the Chinese government right now, even though is led by the so-called Communist Party, is actually much more committed to the neoliberal global order that the Trump administration in the U.S. ..."
"... The Trump administration of this trade protectionist policy, although not justified, it reflects fundamental social conflicts within the U.S. itself, and that probably cannot be sorted out by the Americans' current political system. ..."
"... So the overall neoliberal regime has become much more unstable. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | therealnews.com

PAUL JAY: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay.

The Financial Times chief economic columnist Martin Wolf has called Trump's trade wars with Europe and Canada, but obviously the big target is China, he's called this a war on the liberal world order. Well, what does this mean for China? China's strategy, the distinct road to socialism which seems to take a course through various forms of state hypercapitalism. What does this mean for China? The Chinese strategy was developed in what they thought would be a liberal world order. Now it may not be that at all.

Now joining us to discuss what the trade war means for China, and to have a broader conversation on just what is the Chinese model of state capitalism is Minqi Li, who now joins us from Utah. Minqi is the professor, is a professor of economics at the University of Utah. He's the author of The Rise of China and the Demise of the Capitalist World Economy, and the editor of Red China website. Thanks for joining us again, Minqi.

MINQI LI: Thank you, Paul.

PAUL JAY: So I don't think anyone, including the Chinese, was expecting President Trump to be president Trump. But once he was elected, it was pretty clear that Trump and Bannon and the various cabal around Trump, the plan was twofold. One, regime change in Iran, which also has consequences for China. And trade war with China. It was declared that they were going to take on China and change in a fundamental way the economic relationship with China and the United States. And aimed, to a large extent, trying to deal with the rise of China as an equal, or becoming equal, economy, and perhaps someday in the not-too-distant future an equal global power, certainly as seen through the eyes of not just Trumpians in Washington, but much of the Washington political and economic elites.

So what does this mean for China's strategy now? Xi Jinping is now the leader of the party, leader of the government, put at a level virtually equal to Mao Tse-tung. But his plan for development of the Chinese economy did not, I don't think, factor in a serious trade war with the United States.

MINQI LI: OK. As you said, Trump was not expected. Which meant that Trump in fact was not the consensus candidate of the American capitalist class back to the 2016 election. So with respect to these economic policies, especially about his trade protectionist measures, these new tariffs imposed on the Chinese goods, let's put it this way: These are not, certainly not the traditional kind of neoliberal economic policy as we know it. So some sections of the American manufacturing sector [capitalists] may be happy about this. But I would say the majority of the American capitalists probably would not approve this kind of trade war against China.

Now, on the Chinese part, and we know that China has been on these parts, there was capitalist development, and moreover it has been based on export-led economic growth model and with exploitation of cheap labor. So on the Chinese part, ironically, China very much depends on these overall what Martin Wolf called liberal global order, which might better be called the model of global neoliberal capitalism. So China actually much more depends on that.

And so you have, indeed there are serious trade conflicts between China and U.S. that will, of course, undermine China's economic model. And so far China has responded to these new threats of trade war by promising that China, despite whatever happened to the U.S., China would still be committed to the model of openness, committed to privatization and the financial liberalization. The Chinese government has declared new measures to open up a few economic sectors to foreign investment.

Now, with respect to the trade itself, at the moment the U.S. has imposed tariffs on, 25 percent tariffs on the worth of $34 billion of Chinese goods. And then Trump has threatened to impose new tariffs on the additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. But this amount at the moment is still a small part of China's economy, about 3 percent of the Chinese GDP. So the impact at the moment is limited, but certainly has created a lot of uncertainty for the global and the Chinese business community.

PAUL JAY: So given that this trade war could, one, get a lot bigger and a lot more serious, and/or even if they kind of patch it up for now, there's a lot of forces within the United States, both for economic and geopolitical reasons. Economic being the discussion about China taking American intellectual property rights, becoming the new tech sector hub of the world, even overpassing the American tech sector, which then has geopolitical implications; especially when it comes to the military. If China becomes more advanced the United States in artificial intelligence as applied to the military, that starts to, at least in American geopolitical eyes, threaten American hegemony around the world.

There are a lot of reasons building up, and it's certainly not new, and it's not just Trump. For various ways, the Americans want to restrain China. Does this start to make the Chinese think that they need to speed up the process of becoming more dependent on their own domestic market and less interested in exporting cheap labor? But for that to happen Chinese wages have to go up a lot more significantly, which butts into the interests of the Chinese billionaire class.

MINQI LI: I think you are right. And so for China to rearrange towards this kind of domestic consumption-led model of economic development, the necessary condition is that you have income, wealth redistribution towards the workers, towards poor people. And that is something that the Chinese capitalists will resist. And so that is why and so far China has not succeeded in transforming itself away from this export-led model based on exploitation of cheap labor.

PAUL JAY: You know, there's some sections of the left in various parts of the world that do see the Chinese model as a more rational version of capitalism, and do see this because they've maintained the control of the Chinese Communist Party over the politics, and over economic planning, that do see this idea that this is somehow leading China towards a kind of socialism. If nothing else, a more rational planned kind of capitalism. Is that, is there truth to this?

MINQI LI: Well, first of all, China is not socialist at all today. So income of economic sector, the [space] sector accounts for a small number, a small fraction of the overall economy, by various measurements.

And then regarding the rationality of China's economic model, you might put it this way: The Chinese capitalists might be more rational than the American capitalists in the sense that they still use most of their profits for investment, instead of just financial speculation. So that might be rational from the capitalist perspective. But on the other hand, regarding the exploitation of workers- and the Chinese workers still have to work under sweatshop conditions- and regarding the damage to the environment, the Chinese model is not rational at all.

PAUL JAY: My understanding of people that think this model works better, at least, than some of the other capitalist models is that there's a need to go through this phase of Chinese workers, yes, working in sweatshop conditions, and yes, wages relatively low. But overall, the Chinese economy has grown by leaps and bounds, and China's position in the world is more and more powerful. And this creates the situation, as more wealth accumulates, China is better positioned to address some of the critical issues facing China and the world. And then, as bad as pollution is, and such, China does appear to be out front in terms of developing green technologies, solar, sustainable technology.

MINQI LI: OK. Now, Chinese economy has indeed been growing rapidly. It used to grow like double-digit growth rate before 2010. But now China's growth rate has slowed down just under 7 percent in recent years, according to the official statistics. And moreover, a significant part of China's growth these days derives rom the real estate sector development. And so there has been this discussion about this growing housing market bubble. And it used to be that this housing price inflation was limited to a few big cities. But for the first half of 2018, according to the latest data, the national average housing price has grown by 11 percent compared to the same period last year. And that translates into a pace of doubling every six years.

And so that has generated lots of social resentment. And so not only the working class these days are priced out of the housing market. Moreover, even the middle class is increasingly priced out of the housing market. So that is the major concern. And in the long run, I think that China's current model of accumulation will also face the challenge of growing social conflicts. Worker protests. As well as resources constrained and environmental damage. And regarding the issue of China's investment in renewable energy, it is true. China is the largest investor in renewable energy development, in the solar panels. And although China is of all the largest investor in about everything.

And so China is still the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, accounting for almost 30 percent of the total carbon dioxide emissions in the world every year. And then China's own oil production in decline, but China's oil consumption is still rising. So as a result, China has become the world's largest oil importer. That could make the Chinese economy vulnerable to the next major oil price shock.

PAUL JAY: And how seriously is climate change science taken in China? If one takes the science seriously, one sees the need for urgent transformation to green technology. An urgent reduction of carbon emission. Not gradual, not incremental, but urgent. Did the Chinese- I mean, it's not, it's so not taken seriously in the United States that a climate denier can get elected president. But did the Chinese take this more seriously? Because you don't get the same, any sense of urgency about their policy, either.

MINQI LI: Well, yeah. So like many other governments, the Chinese government also pays lip service to the obligation of climate stabilization. But unfortunately, with respect to policy, with respect to mainstream media, it's not taken very seriously within China. And so although China's carbon dioxide emissions actually stabilized somewhat over the past few years, but is starting to grow again in 2017, and I expect it will continue to grow in the coming year.

PAUL JAY: I mean, I can understand why, for example, Russia is not in any hurry to buy into climate change science. Its whole economy depends on oil. Canada also mostly pays lip service because the Alberta tar sands is so important to the Canadian economy. Shale oil is so important to the American economy, as well as the American oil companies own oil under the ground all over the world. But China is not an oil country. You know, they're not dependent on oil income. You'd think it'd be in China's interest to be far more aggressive, not only in terms of how good it looks to the world that China would be the real leader in mitigating, reducing, eliminating the use of carbon-based fuels, but still they're not. I mean, not at the rate scientists say needs to be done.

MINQI LI: Not at all. Although China does not depend on all on oil for income, but China depends on coal a lot. And the coal is still something like 60 percent of China's overall energy consumption. And so it's still very important for China's energy.

PAUL JAY: What- Minqi, where does the coal mostly come from? Don't they import a lot of that coal?

MINQI LI: Mostly from China itself. Even though, you know, China is the world's largest coal producer, on top of that China is either the largest or the second-largest coal importer in the world market as well. And then on top of that, China is also consuming an increasing amount of oil and natural gas, especially natural gas. And so although natural gas is not as polluting as coal, it's still polluting. And so it's expected China will also become the world's largest importer of natural gas by the year 2019. So you are going to have China to be simultaneously the largest importer of oil, natural gas, and coal.

PAUL JAY: The Chinese party, just to get back to the trade war issue and to end up with, the idea of this Chinese nation standing up, Chinese sovereignty, Chinese nationalism, it's a powerful theme within this new Chinese discourse. I'm not saying Chinese nationalism is new, but it's got a whole new burst of energy. How does China, if necessary to reach some kind of compromise with the United States on the trade war, how does China do that without looking like it's backing down to Trump?

MINQI LI: Well, yes, difficult task for the Chinese party to balance. What they have been right now is that on the one hand they promise to the domestic audience they are not going to make concessions towards the U.S., while in fact they are probably making concessions. And then on the other hand the outside world, and they make announcement that they will not change from the reform and openness policy, which in practice means that they will not change from the neoliberal direction of China's development, and they will continue down the path towards financial liberalization. And so that is what they are trying to balance right now.

PAUL JAY: I said finally, but this is finally. Do the Americans have a case? Does the Trump argument have a legitimate case that the Chinese, on the one hand, want a liberal world order in terms of trade, and open markets, and such? On the other hand are not following intellectual property law, property rights and law, the way other advanced capitalist countries supposedly do. Is there something to that case?

MINQI LI: Well, you know, let's say the Chinese government right now, even though is led by the so-called Communist Party, is actually much more committed to the neoliberal global order that the Trump administration in the U.S. - but I don't want to make justifications for the neoliberal global order. But let's put it this way: The Trump administration of this trade protectionist policy, although not justified, it reflects fundamental social conflicts within the U.S. itself, and that probably cannot be sorted out by the Americans' current political system.

PAUL JAY: So the crisis- you know, when you look at the American side and the Chinese side, including the deep debt bomb people talk about in China, there really is no sorting out of this crisis.

MINQI LI: So the overall neoliberal regime has become much more unstable.

PAUL JAY: All right. Thanks for joining us, Minqi. I hope we can pick this up again soon.

MINQI LI: OK. Thank you.

PAUL JAY: Thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

[Aug 14, 2018] Technocrats Rule Democracy Is 'OK' As Long As The People Rubberstamp Our Leadership

Aug 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

Technocrats rule the world, East and West alike.

We are in a very peculiar ideological and political place in which Democracy (oh sainted Democracy) is a very good thing, unless the voters reject the technocrat class's leadership. Then the velvet gloves come off. From the perspective of the elites and their technocrat apparatchiks, elections have only one purpose: to rubberstamp their leadership.

As a general rule, this is easily managed by spending hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising and bribes to the cartels and insider fiefdoms who pony up most of the cash.

This is why incumbents win the vast majority of elections. Once in power, they issue the bribes and payoffs needed to guarantee funding next election cycle.

The occasional incumbent who is voted out of office made one of two mistakes:

1. He/she showed a very troubling bit of independence from the technocrat status quo, so a more orthodox candidate is selected to eliminate him/her.

2. The incumbent forgot to put on a charade of "listening to my constituency" etc.

If restive voters can't be bamboozled into passively supporting the technocrat status quo with the usual propaganda, divide and conquer is the preferred strategy. Only voting for the technocrat class (of any party, it doesn't really matter) will save us from the evil Other : Deplorables, socialists, commies, fascists, etc.

In extreme cases where the masses confound the status quo by voting against the technocrat class (i.e. against globalization, financialization, Empire), then the elites/technocrats will punish them with austerity or a managed recession. The technocrat's core ideology boils down to this:

1. The masses are dangerously incapable of making wise decisions about anything, so we have to persuade them to do our bidding. Any dissent will be punished, marginalized, censored or shut down under some pretext of "protecting the public" or violation of some open-ended statute.

2. To insure this happy outcome, we must use all the powers of propaganda, up to and including rigged statistics, bogus "facts" (official fake news can't be fake news, etc.), divide and conquer, fear-mongering, misdirection and so on.

3. We must relentlessly centralize all power, wealth and authority so the masses have no escape or independence left to threaten us. We must control everything, for their own good of course.

4. Globalization must be presented not as a gargantuan fraud that has stripmined the planet and its inhabitants, but as the sole wellspring of endless, permanent prosperity.

5. If the masses refuse to rubberstamp our leadership, they will be punished and told the source of their punishment is their rejection of globalization, financialization and Empire.

Technocrats rule the world, East and West alike. My two favorite charts of the outcome of technocrats running things to suit their elite masters are:

The state-cartel-crony-capitalist version: the top .1% skim the vast majority of the gains in income and wealth. Globalization, financialization and Empire sure do rack up impressive gains. Too bad they're concentrated in the top 1.%.

The state-crony-socialist version: the currency is destroyed, impoverishing everyone but the top .1% who transferred their wealth to Miami, London and Zurich long ago. Hmm, do you discern a pattern here in the elite-technocrat regime?

Ideology is just a cover you slip over the machine to mask what's really going on.

* * *

My new book Money and Work Unchained is now $6.95 for the Kindle ebook and $15 for the print edition. Read the first section for free in PDF format. If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com .

[Aug 14, 2018] Censorship Is What Happens When Powerful People Get Scared

Notable quotes:
"... Facebook employees said privately over the past several months that Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg wants to outsource many of the most sensitive political decisions, leaving fact-checking to media groups and geopolitics to think tanks. The more he succeeds, the fewer complications for Facebook's expansion, the smaller its payroll, and the more plausible its positioning as a neutral platform. Facebook did not respond to a request for comment. ..."
"... The establishment "elites" are in such denial about the consequences of the world they created, all they can do is spastically attack symptoms. Trump didn't divide U.S. society and Alex Jones didn't cause our widespread (and entirely justifiably) distrust in institutions; the status quo system did that via its spectacular failures. Trump's election and Alex Jones' popularity are merely symptoms of an incredibly corrupt and failed status quo paradigm, the stewards of which continually refuse to take a look in the mirror, accept blame and reform. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

"Only the weak hit the fly with a hammer."

– Bangambiki Habyarimana

Anyone who tells you the recent escalation of censorship by U.S. tech giants is merely a reflection of private companies making independent decisions is either lying or dangerously ignorant.

In the case of Facebook, the road from pseudo-platform to willing and enthusiastic tool of establishment power players is fairly straightforward. It really got going earlier this year when issues surrounding egregious privacy violations in the case of Cambridge Analytica (stuff that had been going on for years ) could finally be linked to the Trump campaign. It was at this point that powerful and nefarious forces spotted an opportunity to leverage the company's gigantic influence in distributing news and opinion for their own ends. Rather than hold executives to account and break up the company, the choice was made to commandeer and weaponize the platform. This is where we stand today.

Let's not whitewash history though. These tech companies have been compliant, out of control government snitches for a long time. Thanks to Edward Snowden, we're aware of the deep and longstanding cooperation between these lackeys and U.S. intelligence agencies in the realm of mass surveillance. As such, the most recent transformation of these companies into full fledged information gatekeepers should be seen in its proper context; merely as a dangerous continuation and expansion of an already entrenched reality.

But it's all out in the open now. Facebook isn't even hiding the fact that it's outsourcing much of its "fake news" analysis to the Atlantic Council, a think tank funded by NATO, Gulf States and defense contractors. As reported by Reuters :

Facebook began looking for outside help amid criticism for failing to rein in Russian propaganda ahead of the 2016 presidential elections

With scores of its own cybersecurity professionals and $40 billion in annual revenue in 2017, Facebook might not seem in need of outside help.

It doesn't need outside help, it needs political cover, which is the real driver behind this.

But the lab and Atlantic Council bring geopolitical expertise and allow Facebook to distance itself from sensitive pronouncements. On last week's call with reporters, Alex Stamos, Facebook's chief security officer, said the company should not be expected to identify or blame specific governments for all the campaigns it detects.

"Companies like ours don't have the necessary information to evaluate the relationship between political motivations that we infer about an adversary and the political goals of a nation-state," said Stamos, who is leaving the company this month for a post at Stanford University. Instead, he said Facebook would stick to amassing digital evidence and turning it over to authorities and researchers.

It would also be awkward for Facebook to accuse a government of wrongdoing when the company is trying to enter or expand in a market under that government's control.

Facebook donated an undisclosed amount to the lab in May that was enough, said Graham Brookie, who runs the lab, to vault the company to the top of the Atlantic Council's donor list, alongside the British government.

Facebook employees said privately over the past several months that Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg wants to outsource many of the most sensitive political decisions, leaving fact-checking to media groups and geopolitics to think tanks. The more he succeeds, the fewer complications for Facebook's expansion, the smaller its payroll, and the more plausible its positioning as a neutral platform. Facebook did not respond to a request for comment.

With that in mind go ahead and check out the Atlantic Council's donor list and all the shady characters on its board .

Now that it's been established that Facebook is in fact censoring based on advice provided by former spooks and other assorted establishment charlatans, let's talk about what this means. I think there are two major takeaways.

First and foremost, the entire push to make arbitrary de-platforming by tech giants the new norm proves the establishment is scared to death. The very powerful folks accustomed to manipulating and shaping the world via narrative creation aren't terrified about what Alex Jones says, they're terrified that it's popular. The establishment "elites" are in such denial about the consequences of the world they created, all they can do is spastically attack symptoms. Trump didn't divide U.S. society and Alex Jones didn't cause our widespread (and entirely justifiably) distrust in institutions; the status quo system did that via its spectacular failures. Trump's election and Alex Jones' popularity are merely symptoms of an incredibly corrupt and failed status quo paradigm, the stewards of which continually refuse to take a look in the mirror, accept blame and reform.

The way I see it, two key events of the 21st century directly led to the situation we find ourselves in currently. The launching of the Iraq war based on false evidence spread by intelligence agencies, politicians and the media, and the decision to bail out bankers and protect them from jail in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Combined, these two things created an environment of anger and distrust in which nearly anything becomes possible politically and socially. Trump and Alex Jones are symptoms of a failing society, not the root causes of it.

If I'm right about this, censorship of such voices by SilIcon Valley billionaires will backfire spectacularly. Alex Jones has now been made a martyr by tech oligarchs and deep state think tanks, which gives him more street cred than he had before. De-platforming does nothing to the demand side of the equation when it comes to his content, as we saw with his Infowars app soaring in the charts soon after the purge. If people want to find Alex Jones and Infowars, they will find it. Moreover, other communities are beginning to wake up to how dangerous all of this is. For example, last week we witnessed a growing number of Bitcoiners create accounts at decentralized Twitter-alternative Mastodon in case Jack Dorsey decides to step up censorship there.

Ultimately, it's safer for society to have open public forums where all ideas -- whether you consider them dangerous and crazy or not -- can be openly expressed alongside each other. That way we can see what's out there and debate or debunk them in front of large and diverse audiences.

This is 2018 and de-platforming popular content won't make it go away. It'll just shift it over into areas of the internet you can't see, where it'll fester and grow stronger over time in even more intense and radicalized echo chambers. You'll think it's gone from society because it's been safely cleansed from your corporate-government Facebook timeline, but it may grow even stronger in the shadows. This is particularly the case in a nation dominated by an entrenched, corrupt and unaccountable elitist class. One that refuses to confront the reality of its monumental failures, and instead chooses to self-interestedly obsess over what are just symptoms of a decadent empire in decline.

* * *

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Kan Tue, 08/14/2018 - 08:12 Permalink

HighImpactFlix on youtube was first, and nobody sounded the alarm... Then Infowars...

hedgeless_horseman -> wildbad Tue, 08/14/2018 - 08:23 Permalink

2. Read, Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-06/hedgelesshorsemans-revolution

Expendable Container -> cheka Tue, 08/14/2018 - 10:16 Permalink

"BLOCKED LIVES MATTER TOO!"

https://europeansworldwide.wordpress.com/2018/08/11/blocked-lives-matte

"There is also international fury over Facebook's denial of a platform of Infowars and Alex Jones. One of the self-proclaimed media Masters of the Universe is facing anger from multiple groups. One report says that to appease the hard-left, Israeli-controlled Facebook pulled the plug on 40 million users in July alone .

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and internet providers abuse their monopoly by deciding who and what information should be available to the public. It is a sinister reminder of life in the past when corporate-owned media, in alliance with government, manipulated minds by spinning news and information

As well as Alex Jones, Ron Paul, David Icke, SGT report and ex-CIA Michael Scheuer, hundreds of sites critical of Zionism or Globalism have been denied access to Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms . YouTube allows promotion of abortion; even provide recipes for abortion food but remove academic opinions being aired....."

Adolfsteinbergovitch -> lisaroy728 Tue, 08/14/2018 - 10:52 Permalink

BTW, did Google fire you recently? You no longer have your fancy car...

gmrpeabody -> Last of the Mi Tue, 08/14/2018 - 09:20 Permalink

" ... as if their echo chamber somehow extended onto the internet... yea.... right... "

Actually, their echo chamber IS the internet... (and social media)

cheka -> gmrpeabody Tue, 08/14/2018 - 09:32 Permalink

this crap shifted into high gear after the unite the right fiasco. been going on a long time. web hosting companies banned many MANY of the best websites right after that production

Brazen Heist II -> DuneCreature Tue, 08/14/2018 - 09:07 Permalink

What the surveillance technocracy is doing right now is a trial run... Too little too late.

Brazen Heist II -> DuneCreature Tue, 08/14/2018 - 10:50 Permalink

The plebs will be demanding their chains.

Karl Marxist -> DuneCreature Tue, 08/14/2018 - 09:51 Permalink

But CIA and Pentagon have bought off all platforms, all mainstream media. When I say CIA and Pentagon I mean Israel. Whose idea was it for the NSA and mass surveillance? Israel. Whose idea is it to implement SWAT as S.O.P. of all police in the entire country and world? Israel. Whose idea is it to jail someone into solitary confinement long before any charges are filed (Michael Coen, Tommy Robinson, Assange)? Israel. Who is Silicon Valley, all tech? Israel Inside. Israel manufactures Intel chips and set exploits specifically for surveillance on anyone's personal device. Yet Congress just voted for $38 billion to Israel over the next 10 years. Here at home -- TV, Rachael Maddow and the rest making double digit millions to propagandise and foment madness, normalize child sex abuse and torture and protect Israel from all real and true scrutiny.

EcoJoker -> DuneCreature Tue, 08/14/2018 - 10:05 Permalink

We deserve everything we get. Period. We don't hold anyone accountable, either by court or by assassination. We're pathetic citizens of a usurped nation.

Southern_Patriot -> EcoJoker Tue, 08/14/2018 - 14:08 Permalink

Sadly, this is the truth. As a peoole we have become pathetic and weak. Not by choice mind you, but by design. People lived long before vaccines and fluoride in the water.

If you must use social media, as we all should, its a great source for information and discussion, try the new app called Mumblit.

conraddobler -> DuneCreature Tue, 08/14/2018 - 13:20 Permalink

Same battle as it ever was.

The father of lies vs the rest of the spiritual world whatever that is to you.

It really is just good vs evil and it's funny what teammates you end up with but in the grand scheme of things even if Trump is doing someone else's bidding there is a greater plan.

I think too many don't understand that Trump was part of a marketing plan put there by the same people he's just a change of management style.

They were never going to put Hillary in there she's not a like able enough person, her husband was, she's not, and that's a terrible flaw for a national level politician.

It was simply a management change to buy time.

Everything to me is a matter of divide and conquer, they are splitting the population right down the middle for a reason to buy more time.

Why?

Well obviously to finish implementing the control grid of course and I think it's at the stage now they are confident they can move on it.

AI is scheduled to be our new overlord and we'll all be powerless to defend ourselves from it when it's fully engaged.

The primary defenders of our civilization come complete with an entire mythos that even predicts all this conveniently allow certain folks to rapture out of it and leaving the rest of us to deal with the wickedness on our own.

It's a matrix of control but who's doing the controlling? Why?

We are indoctrinated that this world is not our ultimate reward, this world is Satan's world and our ultimate reward comes in heaven not the earth.

Maybe that's true, maybe that's just the lie they tell you to keep you in line?

The only hope humanity has is a war among elites, only that is going to save us, we need division among our adversaries what's good for the goose is good for the gander type of thing.

DuneCreature -> conraddobler Tue, 08/14/2018 - 14:23 Permalink

Good post. Yeah it all gets deep and takes serious reflection. Then you have to eat. And defend yourself. And keep yourself from just wanting to pull the ejection handle.

... ... ...

Expendable Container -> SmackDaddy Tue, 08/14/2018 - 09:58 Permalink

Yes. The article says "The very powerful folks accustomed to manipulating and shaping the world via narrative creation..."

This Zionist Communist Global Dictatorship have done just that - they have set ethnic-European females against our wonderful males by turning them into feminazis who love pseudo victimhood and the blame game. And look what is the UNTOLD STORY OF OUR MEN:

"SUICIDE KILLS MORE MEN THAN WAR"

https://europeansworldwide.wordpress.com/2018/08/14/suicide-kills-more-

Space_Cowboy -> SmackDaddy Tue, 08/14/2018 - 10:50 Permalink

Here in the SF Bay area,

I still have the privilege of having a neighbor who went through the Great Depression, and fought in WWII.

He's traditionally an old school Democrat, but even he admitted society out here has lost it.

He's also about the only person I truly relate to, and can have a pleasant, high-cognitive, logical conversation with these days.

Now imagine being him (in his 90's), fully coherent, and seeing these spoiled, brainwashed little shits out here, and those in NYC and DC, run amuck actively tearing down the American society along with older Western values that were built in the modern age by his generation, damn.

purdySun -> SmackDaddy Tue, 08/14/2018 - 10:55 Permalink

Maybe Boomers were distracted. Viet Nam and "free" sex. And now they're under-the-jackboot, like everyone else.

purdySun -> SmackDaddy Tue, 08/14/2018 - 10:56 Permalink

Sorry, Boomers aren't the Perpetrators, only the Pawns. And generational conflict is just another divisive issue for the livestock.

BlackChicken -> hedgeless_horseman Tue, 08/14/2018 - 08:31 Permalink

The left is scared, and rightly so. They are actually drawing more attention to the voices they wish to cancel out. Typical liberal/leftist cluelessness.

philipat -> BlackChicken Tue, 08/14/2018 - 08:33 Permalink

The left is the other side of the same coin as the right. And they are all promoted by the "Elites", who ARE scared.

William Dorritt -> philipat Tue, 08/14/2018 - 08:42 Permalink

John Kay......MONSTER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sk3sURDS4IA

samsara -> William Dorritt Tue, 08/14/2018 - 09:09 Permalink

<snip>

The spirit was freedom and justice
And it's keepers seem generous and kind
It's leaders were supposed to serve the country
But now they won't pay it no mind
'Cause the people grew fat and got lazy
And now their vote is a meaningless joke
They babble about law and order
But it's all just an echo of what they've been told
Yeah, there's a monster on the loose
It's got our heads into a noose
And it just sits there watchin'

Our cities have turned into jungles
And corruption is stranglin' the land
The police force is watching the people
And the people just can't understand
We don't know how to mind our own business
'Cause the whole worlds got to be just like us
Now we are fighting a war over there
No matter who's the winner
We can't pay the cost
'Cause there's a monster on the loose
It's got our heads into a noose
And it just sits there watching

(America)
America where are you now?
Don't you care about your sons and daughters?
Don't you know we need you now
We can't fight alone against the monster

</snip>

Read more: Steppenwolf - Monster Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Grouchy-Bear -> samsara Tue, 08/14/2018 - 09:30 Permalink

It should be our national anthem...

Ron_Mexico -> samsara Tue, 08/14/2018 - 13:39 Permalink

well, we all got limited time here on this blue marble, so I say instead (that's right, u know dat's right):

"Get your motor runnin', head out on the highway

Lookin' for adventure in whatever comes our way."

Ima anal sphincter -> William Dorritt Tue, 08/14/2018 - 09:25 Permalink

Never even heard that song before. Lyrics are spot on. 40+ years old and true as ever.

William Dorritt -> Ima anal sphincter Tue, 08/14/2018 - 09:40 Permalink

Why would the Oligarchs allow Monster to be played on their Radio or streaming services ?

I wonder how long you would have to be on Spotify before Monster Played ?

samsara -> William Dorritt Tue, 08/14/2018 - 11:09 Permalink

If you listen to the radio much, you will see that the 60's, 70's etc have been filtered. They ONLY play songs they approve of.

No MONSTER

No Working Class Hero

on and on.

<Snip>

When they've tortured and scared you for twenty odd years
Then they expect you to pick a career
When you can't really function you're so full of fear

A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV
And you think you're so clever and classless and free
But you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see

A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

Read more: John Lennon - Working Class Hero Lyrics | MetroLyrics

</snip>

Slaytheist -> philipat Tue, 08/14/2018 - 09:27 Permalink

Agreed. But it doesn't mean that sides don't matter. They adhere to the Frankfort school of thought, which takes from Hegel, the dialectic of politics. By Frankfort, I mean Bolsheviks. They fund the Left and Right to move the mind of society in general, through Thesis, Anti-thesis or Left/Right, to a compromise where the desired solution was known. This is now evident in the caging of speech to include ONLY the dialectic. Same story repeating itself, every time Bolsheviks are allowed to feed on the public.

philipat -> wildbad Tue, 08/14/2018 - 08:25 Permalink

Despite their best efforts, they can't block the internet.

And as Ayn Rand famously said "You can ignore reality, but you can't ignore the consequences of reality". The Middle Class is dying, the American dream is dead, the Millenials are still living in Mom's basement and developing ideas about "Democratic Socialism" involving more Free Shit and Bigger Government, largely because of the above and because they have never been given an opportunity to experience real free market capitalism.

That's not a real good sign for the future?

He-He That Tickles -> philipat Tue, 08/14/2018 - 08:30 Permalink

That will come as a last ditch effort to put the milk back in the bottle. I'm sure everyone will just forget everything and go on with their slave life*

*Those of us designated as the workers to pay for all the shitheads, that is. The shitheads will be fine with being ignorant. To fix anything might mean they have to work. "Fuck that" is what they will always say until they are forced to go cold turkey.

44magnum -> wildbad Tue, 08/14/2018 - 08:45 Permalink

Is the Atlantic council where old ... gangsters go to retire?

[Aug 14, 2018] Try track me after that, google.

Aug 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Automatic Choke -> johngaltfla Mon, 08/13/2018 - 19:01 Permalink

1) remove the smartphone battery

2) smash the smartphone with a hammer

3) burn the pieces of the smartphone

4) leave the ashes at home when you are out and about

Try and track THAT, google.

[Aug 14, 2018] I am sure the tracking your movements all the time it s just a harmless oversight on the part of Google.

Aug 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

spanish inquisition Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:28 Permalink

I am sure it's just a harmless oversight.

Kefeer -> Clock Crasher Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:38 Permalink

Hammer it and remove all EMF's. An old microwave over works as a Faraday cage. Also; if you take a cell phone and wrap it in just a layer or two of aluminum foil; it will not make or receive calls.

beemasters -> Kefeer Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:42 Permalink

Or just carry a dummy phone to make yourself look important. In today's world, perception is it.

Giant Meteor -> beemasters Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:52 Permalink

Good point. Save alot of shekkels too. Why just the other day I was standing in grocery line having an imaginary conversation with my imaginary broker, on my fake phone! The conversation became quite heated. It was all going swell until I ran into the door on my way out, fell over backwards, spilt the milk carton, and crushed a dozen eggs. No one even noticed ..

cougar_w -> beemasters Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:42 Permalink

They don't need GPS to know where you are, cell towers report the same information to good enough accuracy for most uses. When Google is tracking you, that is how they are doing it usually.

JoeTurner Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:30 Permalink

The East German Stasi only wish they could be like Google...

Socratic Dog -> Grandad Grumps Mon, 08/13/2018 - 18:13 Permalink

OSMand replaces google maps very nicely, and works perfectly fine completely off line (by GPS). It also doesn't have to allow google to update its maps every 30 days to keep it working, download maps for anywhere in the world and just use them.

Lineage OS is a replacement for Android OS. I've had it in 2 phones so far, quite content with it. Open source, so lots of eyes on it to make sure this sort of shit isn't happening. You can minimize or completely eliminate the google presence, your choice.

Whether some deep-down shit is tracking me, I have no idea. I assume it is, and act accordingly.

Oldguy05 -> Socratic Dog Mon, 08/13/2018 - 18:19 Permalink

Deep-down, it's all shit!

valjoux7750 -> Socratic Dog Mon, 08/13/2018 - 18:26 Permalink

Love to try lineage but I'm on Verizon and their phones since the note 5 are locked down good. Rooting, jailbreaking, or what ever you call it is the way to go if your concerned about privacy.

Socratic Dog -> valjoux7750 Mon, 08/13/2018 - 18:31 Permalink

Rooting isn't difficult. That's why they try so hard to stop you doing it.

[Aug 14, 2018] Paranoia as a natural condition of people living in the national security state: Faraday Cages for sale! Get yours today -- or they'll get you tomorrow!

** This story brought to you by the Divorce Lawyers of America **
Aug 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

toady -> hedgeless_horseman Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:41 Permalink

Duh. Who didn't know this?

Even taking the battery out doesn't work anymore... they've built in transistors that will hold enough juice to keep the tracking capabilities enabled for several hours after the battery is removed.

NidStyles -> toady Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:44 Permalink

Are you kidding me Gracie? I assume it was you sending the nutcase

johngaltfla -> NidStyles Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:45 Permalink

Man are those geeks going to be bored as fucking hell tracking me.

Alananda -> johngaltfla Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:59 Permalink

I dindu nuffin. I never do nothing. What -- me worry? I have nothing to hide. Idiot.

johngaltfla -> Alananda Mon, 08/13/2018 - 18:57 Permalink

Humor and sarcasm. Try Googling it.

Automatic Choke -> johngaltfla Mon, 08/13/2018 - 19:01 Permalink

1) remove the smartphone battery

2) smash the smartphone with a hammer

3) burn the pieces of the smartphone

4) leave the ashes at home when you are out and about

Try and track THAT, google.

[Aug 14, 2018] Peter Strzok Fired From The FBI

Aug 13, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Peter Strzok, who spearheaded the FBI's investigations into both the Clinton email "matter" and the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, has been fired from the agency over anti-Trump texts, according to The Washington Post .

Aitan Goelman, Strzok's lawyer, said FBI Deputy Director David L. Bowdich ordered the firing on Friday -- even though the director of the FBI office that normally handles employee discipline had decided Strzok should face only a demotion and 60-day suspension. Goelman said the move undercuts the FBI's repeated assurances that Strzok would be afforded the normal disciplinary process. - Washington Post

" This isn't the normal process in any way more than name ," Goelman said.

Strzok's termination follows a June report that he was physically escorted out of an FBI building despite still being employed by the agency.

me title=

In response Goelman said in a statement: " Pete has steadfastly played by the rules and respected the process , and yet he continues to be the target of unfounded personal attacks, political games and inappropriate information leaks."

In the same June letter, Goelman complained about the " impartiality of the disciplinary process, which now appears tainted by political influence ."

In other words, Peter Strzok - who vowed in a text message to his FBI mistress to "stop" Trump, was the victim of political bias - according to his attorney.

Goelman also wrote that "instead of publicly calling for a long-serving FBI agent to be summarily fired, politicians should allow the disciplinary process to play out free from political pressure." We are confident that everyone will be very interested in watching the "impartial" disciplinary process play out fully in the coming months.

Goelman's conclusion: "Despite being put through a highly questionable process, Pete has complied with every FBI procedure, including being escorted from the building as part of the ongoing internal proceedings."

Strzok's anti-Trump sentiment came to light after an internal investigation revealed he and his FBI mistress Lisa Page had exchanged 50,000 text messages, many of which contained clear animus towards then-candidate Donald Trump.

Strzok's position in the bureau had been precarious since last summer, when Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz told Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III that the lead agent on his team had been exchanging anti-Trump messages with an FBI lawyer. The next day, Mueller expelled Strzok from the group.

The lawyer, Lisa Page, had also been a part of Mueller's team, though she left a few weeks earlier and no longer works for the FBI. She and Strzok were having an affair. - Washington Post

Perhaps the most alarming of the exchanges mentions an "insurance policy" in the event Trump is elected.

" I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office - that there's no way he [Trump] gets elected - but I'm afraid we can't take that risk." Strzok wrote to Page, adding " It's like a life insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40 ."

In another text exchange, Strzok tells Page: "I am riled up. Trump is a f*cking idiot, is unable to provide a coherrent answer," and "I CAN'T PULL AWAY, WHAY THE F*CK HAPPENED TO OUR COUNTRY (redacted)??!?! "

Page then messages Strzok, saying "And maybe you're meant to stay where you are because you're meant to protect the country from that menace . (links to NYT article), to which Strzok replied " I can protect our country at many levels ."

me title=

The text messages made abundantly clear that Strzok - the man who downgraded the FBI's assessment of Hillary's email mishandling from "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless," and used a largely unfounded Trump-Russia dossier to launch a counterintelligence operation - holds a deep disdain for Donald Trump.

In response to the discovery of Strzok and Page's texts, President Trump derided the pair as "FBI lovers." On Sunday, Trump tweeted "Will the FBI ever recover it's once stellar reputation, so badly damaged by Comey, McCabe, Peter S and his lover, the lovely Lisa Page, and other top officials now dismissed or fired? So many of the great men and women of the FBI have been hurt by these clowns and losers!"

me title=

Strzok testified at a Congressional earing last month, asserting that there was "no evidence of bias in my professional actions," and that his testimony was "just another victory notch in [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's belt and another milestone in our enemies' campaign to tear America apart."

The now-former FBI agent also creeped people out with a weird smirk during the session, as well as the generally creepy faces he made:

me title=

We're looking forward to hearing Strzok's side of the story wherever he lands next - which we assume will either be CNN or MSNBC.


Hobbleknee -> DeadFred Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:22 Permalink

He probably gets to keep his security clearance though.

vaporland -> Hobbleknee Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:25 Permalink

Pete has steadfastly played by the rules and respected the process

the crooked rules and rigged process?

Gatto -> vaporland Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:34 Permalink

PS tried to influence a US election! He should be made an example of to put fear in the 'Russians' or anyone else that ever tries to throw an election, a sentence of life in a hard labor camp will be fair!

NvrGivUp -> MagicHandPuppet Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:11 Permalink

The lawyer professing his clients innocence: https://www.zuckerman.com/people/aitan-d-goelman

Gen. Ripper -> Harry Lightning Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:43 Permalink

They didn't issue a firearm to him. He was not a graduate of FLETC nor a law enforcement agent/officer. He is not an 1811 criminal investigator. He was a CIA puke shipped to FBI for detail by Brennan. This is all lies.

Banana Republican -> Gaius Frakkin' Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:17 Permalink

Assume he's already talking to decorators about his new office at CNN.

38BWD22 -> City_Of_Champyinz Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:43 Permalink

Or MSNBC.

Boxed Merlot -> RafterManFMJ Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:55 Permalink

...PAID to lie...see reported what "so and so's lawyer said"...

Really.

And in an unrelated matter Mr. Goelman raged at the severity of the court's handling of the orphaned Menendez brothers sentencing.

Just enough "truth" to get caught in one's craw.

Seriously though, what kind of name is "Strzok"?

Never mind, I just read Mr. Strzok's, (pronounced like struck), Wikipedia entry: "This page was last edited on 13 August 2018, at 15:17 (UTC)."

I wonder how many more updates will be needed before this sordid affair runs it's course?

carbonmutant -> Bill of Rights Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:20 Permalink

I think the Deep State is throwing Trump a bone...

aqualech -> carbonmutant Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:35 Permalink

I think that the Deep State could not come up with any possible alternative.

Promethus -> aqualech Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:54 Permalink

Agreed. It is the very least they could do.

Sounds like my lib brother who says there is no need to go after Hillary because she lost. I told him by that logic we shouldn't have tried the Nazis because they lost.

tmosley -> BabaLooey Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:16 Permalink

I highly doubt this will be the end of it.

He was kept on because he was a cooperating witness. He decided not to cooperate, so now he's gone.

DeadFred -> tmosley Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:29 Permalink

Firing him only means he is of no more use. Lisa Page was fired after she had no more use other than testifying. I'll be interested to see what happens to PS. He represents an interesting mix of factors. His background is pure Deep State yet he is personally well and truly screwed. Will he flip to save his hide or will he go down with the globalist ship? I personally think he turned on them but that is just a guess. The demon-possessed kabuki testimony was just an act he was told to portray for optics IMHO. Tie will tell

SRV -> DeadFred Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:41 Permalink

He played a big role in the CIA infiltration of the FBI (to get around that annoying policy of no spying on Americans in the CIA... officially of course). He doesn't even show up as completing the FBI Academy program... same for McCabe...

But why is he not being charged for conspiracy to take down a sitting president using official government agency tools?

CRM114 -> DeadFred Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:42 Permalink

I doubt PS has any dirt on anyone who hasn't already been fired.

No, his best bet personally is to make a truckload of cash for appearances, talks and book advances (no one will buy them, of course). The Deep State look after their own.

enough of this -> BabaLooey Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:51 Permalink

Strzok thought he would be safe towing the FBI party line during his congressional hearing, where he behaved like a useful idiot. Now that he is on record defending the FBI, it was no longer necessary to keep him on the payroll, so the FBI fired him. That's how the deep-state closes ranks after they discard one of their own who stupidly embarrassed them by leaving text messages that showed FBI corruption in exonerating Clinton and framing Trump.

SummerSausage Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:41 Permalink

Not to worry. Strzok's wife is a top SEC lawyer. The Deep State will still try to manufacture garbage on Trump.

Kool Kat Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:43 Permalink

" In other words, Peter Strzok - who vowed to "stop" Trump, was the victim of political bias according to his attorney."

Everything I say is a lie. But, if everything I say is a lie, then, I'm lying as I say this. Therefore, everything I say is truth. But, if everything I say is true, and I'm telling you that I am lying

Hmmmn

1971 Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:50 Permalink

Does he get to keep his job at the CIA?

Zero-Hegemon Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:50 Permalink

This is awesome because Team Mueller & Co. won't be able to resist from pulling at the threads of this latest twist, as in "was Stroke's firing politically motivated...", and will further unravel the DNC's, Democrats and Fusion GPS collusion at all levels of government.

Fucking genius move, and most well deserved (though he got off easy). If he's smart he'll stay out of the public eye.

arrowrod Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:09 Permalink

How will the FBI operate without Strzok? He was everywhere. Russia, Hillary, Trump Tower, White House, China, Comey, Brennan.

Writing all of the warrants. Over 50,000 text messages in less than a year.

The FBI is going to have to hire 500 "special" agents, to do the work that Strzok did.

hooligan2009 Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:14 Permalink

and the question nobody is answering.

who at the FBI awarded immunity from prosecution to Clintons lawyers et al?

was it Comey, Strzok, McCabe?

why does that immunity still stand if the FBI officers that granted it were poltical hacks fucking on government time and using federal/taxpayers money?

koan Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:20 Permalink

LOL "he's been stationed in Human Resources" anyone that's dealt with HR knows this is a fate worse than death.

William Dorritt Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:22 Permalink

The FBI packed with Ivy Leaguers, Friends and Relatives of Wall Street, Social Justice Warriors, and Govt types who know they are above the Law.

The real question is, is the FBI worth saving ?

or can it even be saved and made back into a beacon of integrity?

The best policy would be to close it, terminate everyone and transfer any law enforcement or national secutiry work that it might have inadvertently been doing, to the various other myriad of Law Enforcement Agencies, like Homeland, US Marshals, Treasury, ATF etc etc etc.....

CStanford -> William Dorritt Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:28 Permalink

The FBI has never been a beacon of integrity, far from it.

[Aug 14, 2018] Trump s Creative Vision for a New, Sensible, RealPolitik American Foreign Policy

Notable quotes:
"... Financial Times ..."
"... raison d'état ..."
"... balance of power ..."
"... Gilbert Doctorow is an independent political analyst based in Brussels. His latest book, "Does the United States Have a Future?" was published on 12 October 2017. Both paperback and e-book versions are available for purchase on http://www.amazon.com and all affiliated Amazon websites worldwide. See the recent professional review http://theduran.com/does-the-united-states-have-a-future-a-new-book-by-gilbert-doctorow-review/ For a video of the book presentation made at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. on 7 December 2017 see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciW4yod8upg ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | russia-insider.com

Tharoor quotes from New York Times columnist David Brooks who concluded that Trump's behavior was that "of a man who wants the alliance to fail." He quotes extensively from Guy Verhofstadt, a former Belgian prime minister and leader of the Liberal political fraction in the European Parliament fighting for a much more integrated EU, who sees Trump as the enemy of liberal internationalism and ally of his own alt right enemies in Europe.

Tharoor also brings into play Martin Wolf of the Financial Times , who delivered a scathing attack on Trump for his rejection of the West: " today the U.S. president appears hostile to core American values of democracy, freedom and the rule of law; he feels no loyalty to allies; he rejects open markets; and he despises international institutions."

In the 23 July issue of "Today's World View," Tharoor takes advantage of the time gone by since Helsinki to refine the conclusions. He offers a pithy commentary from Susan Glasser of The New Yorker : "We are witnessing nothing less than the breakdown of American foreign policy."

In the same issue, Tharoor notes that public reaction to Trump in Helsinki is less pronounced than one might suppose from reading the pundits. He offers the following remarks of colleagues on the results of a recent poll: "Most Americans do not feel Trump went 'too far' in supporting Puitn, and while more Americans say U.S. leadership has gotten weaker than stronger under Trump, his ratings on this question are slightly improved from last fall."

If we go back in time to the days following Trump's visit to the NATO gathering in Brussels, we find in the headlines of the 11 July issue another take on what Trump is doing:

"Trump's NATO trip shows 'America First' is 'America Alone.'"

Here we read about Trump's insistence that America "stop footing Europe's bill" for its defense, namely his demand that all NATO allies pay up 2% of GDP at once, not in the remote future; and that they prepare to double that to 4% very quickly. By intentional abrasiveness, these moves by Trump are, Tharoor tells us, "undercutting the post-World War II order in pursuit of short-term, and likely illusory, wins."

All of these comments address the question of what Trump opposes. However, Tharoor is unable to say what, if anything, Trump stands for. There are only hints: continued US hegemony but without the ideological cover; might makes right; nationalism and the disputes that lead to war.

Does this make sense? Or is it just another way of saying that Trump's foreign policy stance is an inconsistent patchwork, illogical and doomed to fail while causing much pain and destruction along the way?

I fully agree with the proposition that Donald Trump is ripping up the post-Cold War international order and is seeking to end NATO and the rest of the alliance system by which the United States has maintained its global hegemony for decades. But I believe this destructive side is guided by a creative vision of where he wants to take US foreign policy.

This new foreign policy of Donald Trump is based on an uncompromising reading of the teachings of the Realist School of international affairs, such as we have not seen since the days of President Teddy Roosevelt, who was its greatest practitioner in US history.

This is not isolationism, because Trump is acting to defend what he sees as US national interests in foreign trade everywhere and in geopolitics in one or another part of the world. However, it is a world in which the US is cut free from the obligations of its alliances which entail maintenance of overseas bases everywhere at the cost of more than half its defense budget. He wants to end the risks of being embroiled in regional wars that serve our proxies, not core US national interests. And he is persuaded that by a further build-up of military might at home, by adding new hi-tech materiel the US can secure its interests abroad best of all.

I reach these conclusions from the snippets of Trump remarks which appear in the newspapers of daily record but are intentionally left as unrelated and anecdotal, whereas when slotted together they establish the rudiments of an integrated worldview and policy.

For example, I take his isolated remark that the United States should not be prepared to go to war to defend Montenegro, which recently passed NATO accession, because Montenegro had been a trouble-maker in the past. That remark underwent virtually no analysis in the media, though it could be made only by someone who understood, remarkably, the role of Montenegro at the Russian imperial court of Nicholas II precisely as "troublemaker," whose dynastic family aided in their own small way the onset of WWI.

Donald Trump is not a public speaker. He is not an intellectual. We cannot expect him to issue some "Trump Doctrine" setting out his Realist conception of the geopolitical landscape. All we get is Tweets. This inarticulate side of Trump has been used by his enemies to argue he has no policy.

In fact, Trump is the only Realist on the landscape.

Going back to 2016, I thought he was being guided by Henry Kissinger during the campaign and then in the first months of his presidency, I misjudged entirely. Trump is true to the underlying principles of Realism without compromise, whereas Henry K. made his peace with the prevailing Wilsonian Idealism of the American Establishment a couple of decades ago in order to remain welcome in the Oval Office and not to be entirely marginalized.

Trump's vision of Realism draws from the source in the Treaty of Westphalia, 1648 with its guiding concept of sovereign nation-states that do not intervene in others' domestic affairs. It further draws on the notions of raison d'état or national interest developed by the French court of Louis XIV and then taken further by "perfidious Albion" in the eighteenth century, with temporary and ever changing combinations of states in balance of power realignments of competitors. The history of the Realist School was set out magnificently by Kissinger in his 1994 work Diplomacy . It is a pity that the master himself strayed from true and narrow.

In all of this, you have the formula for Trump's respect, even admiration for Putin, since that also is now Vladimir Vladimirovich's concept of Russia's way forward: as a strong sovereign state that sets its own course without the constraints of alliances and based on its own military might.

The incredible thing is how a man with such poor communication skills, a man who does not read much came to such an integrated vision that outstrips the conceptual abilities of his enemies, his friends and everyone in between.

We are tempted to look for a mentor, and one who comes to mind is Steve Bannon, who is very articulate, razor-sharp in his intellect and who provided Trump with much of the domestic content of his 2016 campaign from the alt right playbook. And though Bannon publicly broke with Trump in their falling out over his ever diminishing role in the Administration, Bannon's ongoing project, in particular his Movement to influence European politics and shift it to the Right by coordinating activities across the Continent during the parliamentary elections of May 2019, very closely parallel what Trump's ambassador in Berlin seems to be doing in Trump's name.

It may well be that the President and his confidantes find it prudent for him to play the hapless fool, the clueless disrupter of the global political landscape until he has the support in Congress to roll out the new foreign policy that is now in gestation.

The logical consequence of such a Realist approach to foreign policy will be to reach an understanding with the world's other two principal military powers, Russia and China, regarding respective spheres of influence in their geographic proximity. But I do not believe we will see a G-3 succeeding America's unipolar moment. Given the predispositions of both Russia and China, we are more likely to see a broader board of governors of global policy in the form of the G-20, ushering in the multipolar age. In such a formulation, regional conflicts will be settled locally by the interested parties and with the major powers involved only as facilitators, not parties to conflict. That promises a much more stable and peaceful future, something which none of Donald Trump's detractors can begin to imagine as his legacy.


Gilbert Doctorow is an independent political analyst based in Brussels. His latest book, "Does the United States Have a Future?" was published on 12 October 2017. Both paperback and e-book versions are available for purchase on http://www.amazon.com and all affiliated Amazon websites worldwide. See the recent professional review http://theduran.com/does-the-united-states-have-a-future-a-new-book-by-gilbert-doctorow-review/ For a video of the book presentation made at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. on 7 December 2017 see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciW4yod8upg

[Aug 13, 2018] The other reason The shift will be to hybrids - not fully-electric.

Aug 13, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

kellys_eye -> BarkingCat Mon, 08/13/2018 - 01:00 Permalink

The shift will be to hybrids - not fully-electric. I don't know of ANY country that has the infrastructure, let alone the electrical production capacity, to cover the needs of all-electric vehicles.

Fossil fuelled vehicles will be with us for a LONG time to come.

pcrs Sun, 08/12/2018 - 23:23 Permalink

Somehow the Saudis don't strike me as people who buy a.non gasoline car manufacturer invested in a solar city failure for a pumped up price and ever postponed profits and barely met production promises with faulty cars factory gated.

[Aug 13, 2018] Corporate America is in real trouble

No trend lasts forever. The most common investor mistake is to believe recent trends will also be long-term trends.
Notable quotes:
"... @Roy Blakeley ..."
"... @Pluto's Republic ..."
"... Volksverhetzung ..."
"... @Pluto's Republic ..."
Aug 13, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

gjohnsit on Sun, 08/12/2018 - 3:04pm Stocks have been on a record run. The S&P 500 is near all-time highs, while NASDAQ is doing even better.
But appearances are deceiving.

Six stocks account for 98% of the S&P 500 Index's advance from the July low, according to Bloomberg. That's right, 98%!
Those six stocks are (no big surprise here): Facebook FB, -1.55% Amazon AMZN, -0.64% Apple AAPL, -0.30% Netflix NFLX, -1.00% Google GOOG, -0.92% GOOGL, -0.95% and Microsoft MSFT, -0.61% Let's call them FAANG+M.

The recent gains in the general stock market hide two glaring weaknesses, both of those weaknesses involve concentration .

The American stock market has been shrinking. It's been happening in slow motion -- so slow you may not even have noticed. But by now the change is unmistakable: The market is half the size of its mid-1990s peak, and 25 percent smaller than it was in 1976.
...When I say "shrinking," I'm using a specific definition: the reduction in the number of publicly traded companies on exchanges in the United States. In the mid-1990s, there were more than 8,000 of them. By 2016, there were only 3,627, according to data from the Center for Research in Security Prices at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Because the population of the United States has grown nearly 50 percent since 1976, the drop is even starker on a per-capita basis: There were 23 publicly listed companies for every million people in 1975, but only 11 in 2016, according to Professor Stulz.

Fewer and fewer companies makes it harder for investors to diversify. It also means there are fewer and fewer small companies, leaving the economy more and more dominated by behemoths.
However, there is another hidden weakness here that is even more alarming.

Profits are increasingly concentrated in the cluster of giants -- with Apple at the forefront -- that dominate the market. For a far larger assortment of smaller companies, though, profit is often out of reach. In 2015, for example, the top 200 companies by earnings accounted for all of the profits in the stock market, according to calculations by Kathleen Kahle, a professor of finance at the University of Arizona, and Professor Stulz. In aggregate, the remaining 3,281 publicly listed companies lost money.

In theory, as a shareholder, you are entitled to a piece of a company's future earnings. That's one of the main arguments for buying stock in the first place. But the reality is that you often are buying a piece of a money-losing proposition. Aside from the top 200 companies, the rest of the market, as a whole, is burning, not earning, money .

I think that is mind-blowing. Even a majority of the S&P 500 are money losers.
Netflix, for example, loses money constantly despite being a member of the elite FAANG.

So when the media talks about record earnings, keep in mind that the corporate world has even more inequality than society in general.

All of those corporations losing money means that they must cover expenses with borrowing, and that leads us to a looming crisis .

Much has been made of the degradation of the $7.5 trillion U.S. corporate debt market. High yield offers too little, well, yield. And "high grade" now requires air quotes to account for the growing dominance of bonds rated BBB, which is the lowest rung on the investment-grade ladder before dropping into "junk" status. And then there's the massive market for leveraged loans, where covenants protecting investors have all but disappeared.

How does that break down? Corporate bonds rated BBB now total $2.56 trillion, having surpassed in size the sum of higher-rated debentures, which total $2.55 trillion, according to Morgan Stanley. Put another way, BBB bonds outstanding exceed by 50 percent the size of the entire investment grade market at the peak of the last credit boom, in 2007.

But aren't they still investment grade? At little to no risk of default? In 2000, when BBB bonds were a mere third of the market, net leverage (total debt minus cash and short term investments divided by earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) was 1.7 times. By the end of last year, the ratio had ballooned to 2.9 times.

Yield for these "investment grade" corporate bonds is extremely low, which means prices are extremely high, even while these companies lose money hand over fist.
I believe there is a name for that.

Even the few money-making companies are borrowing because interest rates have been so cheap.
The problem is what they are doing with that cash.

Welcome to the Buyback Economy. Today's economic boom is driven not by any great burst of innovation or growth in productivity. Rather, it is driven by another round of financial engineering that converts equity into debt. It sacrifices future growth for present consumption. And it redistributes even more of the nation's wealth to corporate executives, wealthy investors and Wall Street financiers

Corporate executives and directors are apparently bereft of ideas and the confidence to make long-term investments. Rather than using record profits, and record amounts of borrowed money, to invest in new plants and equipment, develop new products, improve service, lower prices or raise the wages and skills of their employees, they are "returning" that money to shareholders. Corporate America, in effect, has transformed itself into one giant leveraged buyout.

Last year, public companies spent more than $800 billion buying back their own shares and, thanks to all the cash freed up by the recent tax bill, Goldman Sachs estimates that share buybacks will surge to $1.2 trillion this year. That comes at a time when share prices are at an all-time high -- so companies are buying at the top -- and when a growing global economy offers the best opportunity to expand into new products and new markets. This is nothing short of corporate malpractice.

It amazes me how no one is talking about reforming Corporate America.
It seems obvious that corporate culture is toxic, predatory, and working against the interests of the country.
Have people forgotten that we can change the rules on how corporations function?
There is simply no good reason why we can't make corporations more democratic and more responsive to the people of this nation.

Finally, there is the inevitable outcome for all of this money burning.

New Chapter 11 bankruptcies in the US spiked 63% year-over-year in March to 770 filings, the highest number of filings for any month since April 2011 (when there had been 789 filings as companies were still trying to emerge from the Great Recession).
we can change the rules on how corporations function

sounds good, sign me up. What tools do I need to fix this thing? I've woodworking, metal smithing, electrical, plumbing, landscaping, trench warfare, roofing, brain numb chucks, plows, psychic voodoo and a few special chemicals. I'll meet you at the source. I'm the lady with a big back pack and passion in her eyes.

karl pearson on Sun, 08/12/2018 - 5:20pm
Reforming Corporate America--Ha! Ha!

The mainstream media used to report the outrageous salaries and lavish lifestyles of CEOs. How long has it been since we've heard about a $6000 shower curtain or $30 million yearly compensation? (spoiler alert--Aug. 2002) When financial regulations were weakened during the Clinton and Bush administrations, the banks were bailed out in 2008, Obama supported the status quo, and Trump and the Republicans are gutting Frank-Dodd, there's little incentive for Corporate America to change. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

gjohnsit on Sun, 08/12/2018 - 5:45pm
Heroic assumption

link

For equity valuations to avoid reverting closer to a historical average these will be required to at least maintain their current pace of buying. Most importantly, record corporate stock buyback activity will be required to continue to make up for the demographic headwind to equity valuations.

The question of, "Who will baby boomers have to sell to?" is about more than just real estate. It's also about equities. The Fed has estimated that over the coming years demographic trends could mean the stock market reverts to a price-to-earnings ratio of 8 versus 24 today. Without record stock buyback activity or radical central bank intervention this outcome becomes a near certainty.

The Voice In th... on Sun, 08/12/2018 - 8:38pm
Who will baby boomers have to sell to?

@gjohnsit
China. The one thing they really need from us is space. The developed coast of China is incredibly crowded.
And, indeed, Chinese investors are recycling dollars buying real estate.

link

For equity valuations to avoid reverting closer to a historical average these will be required to at least maintain their current pace of buying. Most importantly, record corporate stock buyback activity will be required to continue to make up for the demographic headwind to equity valuations.

The question of, "Who will baby boomers have to sell to?" is about more than just real estate. It's also about equities. The Fed has estimated that over the coming years demographic trends could mean the stock market reverts to a price-to-earnings ratio of 8 versus 24 today. Without record stock buyback activity or radical central bank intervention this outcome becomes a near certainty.

Lookout on Sun, 08/12/2018 - 6:38pm
They own the media...

It amazes me how no one is talking about reforming Corporate America.

People are talking about it but their voices don't carry very far...
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/trillions-and-trillions-speculation-fu...

There are plenty of overvalued companies, and Apple is only the most ridiculous because of the combination of the transcendent hugeness of its valuation and the cultish devotion of its most avid consumers, who respond to the company's ever-blander aesthetic like John Ruskin swooning over 19th-century Venice. But we should worry when whole trillion-dollar pieces of our economies are effectively make-believe, when, as was the case in 2007-2008 and in the dot-com blowup before that, a small spark of panic anywhere can swiftly cause a run on the whole rickety thing.

Tesla comes to mind as well. They lose money on every car they sell.

I thought this piece expressed much of the problem pretty well... as did yours. Economies falter as empires collapse don't they?

Roy Blakeley on Sun, 08/12/2018 - 10:20pm
Apple is not a particularly egregious example

@Lookout Apple has a huge valuation, but also huge earnings. Estimated P/E for 2018 is between 17 and 18. I agree that there is probably more downside risk than upside potential, but they at least make huge profits so you can argue that the capitalization is reasonable. Some of these other companies (Tesla being perhaps the most extreme example) make huge losses and it's not clear how they will become profitable.

It amazes me how no one is talking about reforming Corporate America.

People are talking about it but their voices don't carry very far...
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/trillions-and-trillions-speculation-fu...

There are plenty of overvalued companies, and Apple is only the most ridiculous because of the combination of the transcendent hugeness of its valuation and the cultish devotion of its most avid consumers, who respond to the company's ever-blander aesthetic like John Ruskin swooning over 19th-century Venice. But we should worry when whole trillion-dollar pieces of our economies are effectively make-believe, when, as was the case in 2007-2008 and in the dot-com blowup before that, a small spark of panic anywhere can swiftly cause a run on the whole rickety thing.

Tesla comes to mind as well. They lose money on every car they sell.

I thought this piece expressed much of the problem pretty well... as did yours. Economies falter as empires collapse don't they?

divineorder on Sun, 08/12/2018 - 7:04pm
Heh. This part is snark, right?

"It amazes me how no one is talking about reforming Corporate America.
It seems obvious that corporate culture is toxic, predatory, and working against the interests of the country.
Have people forgotten that we can change the rules on how corporations function?"

There has been plenty of talk of change. As long as congress remais a wholly owned subsidiary, options will be few.

smiley7 on Sun, 08/12/2018 - 8:39pm
May i scream one word ... oligarchy, thank you.

@divineorder

"It amazes me how no one is talking about reforming Corporate America.
It seems obvious that corporate culture is toxic, predatory, and working against the interests of the country.
Have people forgotten that we can change the rules on how corporations function?"

There has been plenty of talk of change. As long as congress remais a wholly owned subsidiary, options will be few.

dfarrah on Sun, 08/12/2018 - 8:30pm
I read an article that layed out

what several companies could do instead of buying the stock back.

Supposedly, McDonalds could give each of their employees $4,000.00, and other companies could pay up to $22,000 per employee ! It may have even been higher, but I can't recall the details.

These corporate pigs simply refuse to pay employees. I'm all for making that form of company illegal. They depend on financial engineering, their products frequently suck, and they now have monopolistic powers.

The Voice In th... on Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:41am
Stock buybacks should be outlawed.

@dfarrah
If stock prices are too low, a reverse split is the answer.
However, stock buybacks are used to produce artificial results to boost bonuses.
If a company has too much money and nothing to do with it, it should issue taxable dividends.

what several companies could do instead of buying the stock back.

Supposedly, McDonalds could give each of their employees $4,000.00, and other companies could pay up to $22,000 per employee ! It may have even been higher, but I can't recall the details.

These corporate pigs simply refuse to pay employees. I'm all for making that form of company illegal. They depend on financial engineering, their products frequently suck, and they now have monopolistic powers.

Roy Blakeley on Sun, 08/12/2018 - 10:50pm
Many stocks are simply a con game

Google (Alphabet), for example, has three types of stock. Google type C confers no voting rights and pays no dividends. So you are buying part of a company when you buy Google C, but the only way you get your money back or make a profit is if someone buys it from you and you have no say in what the company does. The stock really has no intrinsic value. At least with dividend paying stocks, you get cash and if the company grows you get more cash.

thanatokephaloides on Sun, 08/12/2018 - 11:03pm
speculation-only stocks: they are a con!

@Roy Blakeley

Many stocks are simply a con game Google (Alphabet), for example, has three types of stock. Google type C confers no voting rights and pays no dividends. So you are buying part of a company when you buy Google C, but the only way you get your money back or make a profit is if someone buys it from you and you have no say in what the company does. The stock really has no intrinsic value. At least with dividend paying stocks, you get cash and if the company grows you get more cash.

That doesn't sound like a Google C share represents anything whatsoever at all.

And all speculation-only stocks (like Google C) are cons......

Google (Alphabet), for example, has three types of stock. Google type C confers no voting rights and pays no dividends. So you are buying part of a company when you buy Google C, but the only way you get your money back or make a profit is if someone buys it from you and you have no say in what the company does. The stock really has no intrinsic value. At least with dividend paying stocks, you get cash and if the company grows you get more cash.

Pluto's Republic on Sun, 08/12/2018 - 11:22pm
Here's a different kind of approach.

According to Critical Thinking at the Free School in London, there are three structural flaws that must be fixed before any new approach can work. (More on that below.) Every year they publish an ever more refined roadmap to restructuring the global monetary system and transforming the political economy.

This is their latest paper and I think it is very good with novel ideas that we never talk about:

Reform Proposals in the Monetary System for Attaining Global Economic Stability

They are an evidence-based think tank, which is unusual in a world filled with ideological-based think tanks. Critical Thinking offers a free education in monetary policy. They believe that it is essential for the People to understand the context in which money operates; who controls money, and who controls the levers of power. When people are able to see it for what it does, they will have the power to transform it.

Excerpt from the article, inked above:

The Structural Elite is comprised of banking and industrial dynasties, European royalty, those in charge of the "military industrial – media academic complex" (MIMAC), political and economic predators and the super-rich.

Underpinning the political economy are three fundamental flaws which shape it and create the global and domestic problems we suffer today:

• Institutional hierarchy.
• Denial of access to the commons.
• Usury.

::

Surplus food facilitated specialization from which emerged institutional hierarchy ; activities became less communal, non-hierarchical and amateur, evolving into a stratified pyramid of wealth and power administered by a professional, technocratic class serving the interests of the Structural Elite at the apex.

Nowhere is specialization more significant than among the technocratic, political class which creates laws to shape the evolving political economy to benefit the Structural Elite controlling the other levers of power. It matters not whether we are governed by theocracy, monarchy, dictatorship, oligarchy, Soviet/ Chinese communism or representative democracy, the end result is the same because farming humans is much more profitable than livestock or crops.

::

Once hierarchy became established, the ruling classes, initially priests who controlled the harvest, began to colonize not just the harvest but land and other resources. Over time, through conquest, enclosures, and privatization, more and more of the commons have been appropriated for the benefit of the Structural Elite, denying the rest of humanity the means to life unless we enter a Faustian pact with the abusive, oppressive and destructive political economy.

Land and resources are the most obvious commons that have been appropriated but there are others such as the radio spectrum or knowledge which has been increasingly monetized and restricted through intellectual property rights, denying humanity our birthright.
To survive, we have to work like domesticated animals but the number of real jobs is diminishing while the population demanding the means to life is growing.

::

Although the first two flaws created inequality, usury or interest on money is the wealth transfer mechanism on steroids that drives inequality today. It is also the means by which banking dynasties have accumulated vast wealth and power. Interest is the invisible wrecking machine at the heart of the economic system.

The interest-based economy demands exponential growth which has potentially fatal consequences. Interest drives unsustainable debt growth creating bubbles followed by collapse. All because we give money a "time value" through interest. We need a monetary system which conforms to natural law, a system which is not about growth per se but which delivers prosperity, justice, and freedom.

To find out how they put it into action, read on.

smiley7 on Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:58am
Spot on and thanks, Pluto ...

@Pluto's Republic

They believe that it is essential for the People to understand the context in which money operates; who controls money, and who controls the levers of power. When people are able to see it for what it does, they will have the power to transform it.

Were i to draft a simple essay tomorrow proposing a contest in which the winner is the person or person's combined who creatively replace the word oligarch in all its meaning, either by another word--unknown to be at this writing--or a short phrase that could transform the meaning of oligarch to language that everyone could and would immediately understand; comprehend?

Suggest leaving a thread open for a week so many c99ers could have fun and participate.

Best phrase or word wins tickets to the hearts of mankind's "in need of help production."

Silly or go for it?

Think ... what would Edward Bernays come up with?

According to Critical Thinking at the Free School in London, there are three structural flaws that must be fixed before any new approach can work. (More on that below.) Every year they publish an ever more refined roadmap to restructuring the global monetary system and transforming the political economy.

This is their latest paper and I think it is very good with novel ideas that we never talk about:

Reform Proposals in the Monetary System for Attaining Global Economic Stability

They are an evidence-based think tank, which is unusual in a world filled with ideological-based think tanks. Critical Thinking offers a free education in monetary policy. They believe that it is essential for the People to understand the context in which money operates; who controls money, and who controls the levers of power. When people are able to see it for what it does, they will have the power to transform it.

Excerpt from the article, inked above:

The Structural Elite is comprised of banking and industrial dynasties, European royalty, those in charge of the "military industrial – media academic complex" (MIMAC), political and economic predators and the super-rich.

Underpinning the political economy are three fundamental flaws which shape it and create the global and domestic problems we suffer today:

• Institutional hierarchy.
• Denial of access to the commons.
• Usury.

::

Surplus food facilitated specialization from which emerged institutional hierarchy ; activities became less communal, non-hierarchical and amateur, evolving into a stratified pyramid of wealth and power administered by a professional, technocratic class serving the interests of the Structural Elite at the apex.

Nowhere is specialization more significant than among the technocratic, political class which creates laws to shape the evolving political economy to benefit the Structural Elite controlling the other levers of power. It matters not whether we are governed by theocracy, monarchy, dictatorship, oligarchy, Soviet/ Chinese communism or representative democracy, the end result is the same because farming humans is much more profitable than livestock or crops.

::

Once hierarchy became established, the ruling classes, initially priests who controlled the harvest, began to colonize not just the harvest but land and other resources. Over time, through conquest, enclosures, and privatization, more and more of the commons have been appropriated for the benefit of the Structural Elite, denying the rest of humanity the means to life unless we enter a Faustian pact with the abusive, oppressive and destructive political economy.

Land and resources are the most obvious commons that have been appropriated but there are others such as the radio spectrum or knowledge which has been increasingly monetized and restricted through intellectual property rights, denying humanity our birthright.
To survive, we have to work like domesticated animals but the number of real jobs is diminishing while the population demanding the means to life is growing.

::

Although the first two flaws created inequality, usury or interest on money is the wealth transfer mechanism on steroids that drives inequality today. It is also the means by which banking dynasties have accumulated vast wealth and power. Interest is the invisible wrecking machine at the heart of the economic system.

The interest-based economy demands exponential growth which has potentially fatal consequences. Interest drives unsustainable debt growth creating bubbles followed by collapse. All because we give money a "time value" through interest. We need a monetary system which conforms to natural law, a system which is not about growth per se but which delivers prosperity, justice, and freedom.

To find out how they put it into action, read on.

lotlizard on Mon, 08/13/2018 - 1:44am
Perhaps something very politically incorrect -- lice? ticks?

@smiley7
fungus? -- involving the concept of parasites or parasitical behavior, combined with deep-seated, instinctive disgust.

"U.S. invaded by savage tick that sucks animals dry and spawns without mating"
https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/08/us-invaded-by-savage-tick-that-s...

Anything too effective would be prosecuted as "hate speech" (or especially in Germany, " Volksverhetzung ") for sure.

#10

They believe that it is essential for the People to understand the context in which money operates; who controls money, and who controls the levers of power. When people are able to see it for what it does, they will have the power to transform it.

Were i to draft a simple essay tomorrow proposing a contest in which the winner is the person or person's combined who creatively replace the word oligarch in all its meaning, either by another word--unknown to be at this writing--or a short phrase that could transform the meaning of oligarch to language that everyone could and would immediately understand; comprehend?

Suggest leaving a thread open for a week so many c99ers could have fun and participate.

Best phrase or word wins tickets to the hearts of mankind's "in need of help production."

Silly or go for it?

Think ... what would Edward Bernays come up with?

k9disc on Mon, 08/13/2018 - 2:34am
Sith Lords. The Dark Side.

The Force is our only tool.
@smiley7

#10

They believe that it is essential for the People to understand the context in which money operates; who controls money, and who controls the levers of power. When people are able to see it for what it does, they will have the power to transform it.

Were i to draft a simple essay tomorrow proposing a contest in which the winner is the person or person's combined who creatively replace the word oligarch in all its meaning, either by another word--unknown to be at this writing--or a short phrase that could transform the meaning of oligarch to language that everyone could and would immediately understand; comprehend?

Suggest leaving a thread open for a week so many c99ers could have fun and participate.

Best phrase or word wins tickets to the hearts of mankind's "in need of help production."

Silly or go for it?

Think ... what would Edward Bernays come up with?

GreyWolf on Mon, 08/13/2018 - 7:45am
very interesting, thanks for the info ;)

@Pluto's Republic

According to Critical Thinking at the Free School in London, there are three structural flaws that must be fixed before any new approach can work. (More on that below.) Every year they publish an ever more refined roadmap to restructuring the global monetary system and transforming the political economy.

This is their latest paper and I think it is very good with novel ideas that we never talk about:

Reform Proposals in the Monetary System for Attaining Global Economic Stability

They are an evidence-based think tank, which is unusual in a world filled with ideological-based think tanks. Critical Thinking offers a free education in monetary policy. They believe that it is essential for the People to understand the context in which money operates; who controls money, and who controls the levers of power. When people are able to see it for what it does, they will have the power to transform it.

Excerpt from the article, inked above:

The Structural Elite is comprised of banking and industrial dynasties, European royalty, those in charge of the "military industrial – media academic complex" (MIMAC), political and economic predators and the super-rich.

Underpinning the political economy are three fundamental flaws which shape it and create the global and domestic problems we suffer today:

• Institutional hierarchy.
• Denial of access to the commons.
• Usury.

::

Surplus food facilitated specialization from which emerged institutional hierarchy ; activities became less communal, non-hierarchical and amateur, evolving into a stratified pyramid of wealth and power administered by a professional, technocratic class serving the interests of the Structural Elite at the apex.

Nowhere is specialization more significant than among the technocratic, political class which creates laws to shape the evolving political economy to benefit the Structural Elite controlling the other levers of power. It matters not whether we are governed by theocracy, monarchy, dictatorship, oligarchy, Soviet/ Chinese communism or representative democracy, the end result is the same because farming humans is much more profitable than livestock or crops.

::

Once hierarchy became established, the ruling classes, initially priests who controlled the harvest, began to colonize not just the harvest but land and other resources. Over time, through conquest, enclosures, and privatization, more and more of the commons have been appropriated for the benefit of the Structural Elite, denying the rest of humanity the means to life unless we enter a Faustian pact with the abusive, oppressive and destructive political economy.

Land and resources are the most obvious commons that have been appropriated but there are others such as the radio spectrum or knowledge which has been increasingly monetized and restricted through intellectual property rights, denying humanity our birthright.
To survive, we have to work like domesticated animals but the number of real jobs is diminishing while the population demanding the means to life is growing.

::

Although the first two flaws created inequality, usury or interest on money is the wealth transfer mechanism on steroids that drives inequality today. It is also the means by which banking dynasties have accumulated vast wealth and power. Interest is the invisible wrecking machine at the heart of the economic system.

The interest-based economy demands exponential growth which has potentially fatal consequences. Interest drives unsustainable debt growth creating bubbles followed by collapse. All because we give money a "time value" through interest. We need a monetary system which conforms to natural law, a system which is not about growth per se but which delivers prosperity, justice, and freedom.

To find out how they put it into action, read on.

TheOtherMaven on Mon, 08/13/2018 - 3:50pm
Kirtimukha

(Joseph Campbell mucked this all up in retelling it)

The word mukha in Sanskrit refers to the face while kīrti means "fame, glory". The story of Kirtimukha begins when a great king Jalandhara, who "by virtue of extraordinary austerities ... accumulated to himself irresistible powers."[2] In a burst of pride, he sent forth his messenger, the monster Rahu, whose main task is eclipsing the moon, to challenge Shiva. "The challenge ... was that Shiva should give up his shining jewel of a bride [Parvati]."[3] Shiva's immediate answer was to explode a tremendous burst of power from his third eye, which created a horrendous, emaciated, ravenous lion. A terrified Rahu sought Shiva's mercy, which Shiva agreed to. But how then were they to feed the ravenous demon lion? "Shiva suggested that the monster should feed on the flesh of its own feet and hands."[4] So Kirtimukha willingly ate his body starting with its tail as per Lord Shiva's order, stopping only when his face remained. Shiva, who was pleased with the result gave it the name Face of Glory and declared that it should always be at the door of his temples. Thus Kirtimukha is a symbol of Shiva himself.

The point, of course, is that consuming yourself to feed yourself is self-defeating.

[Aug 13, 2018] The Annals of Roacheforque Back That A$$et Up ...

Aug 13, 2018 | roacheforque.blogspot.com

Sunday, August 12, 2018 Back That A$$et Up ... From the first sentence of Michael Sproul's There's No Such Thing as Fiat Money (2007) :

I make the claim that fiat money does not exist, and that the money that is commonly called fiat money is actually backed by the assets of its issuer.
Who would argue against the premise that modern currencies are backed by the issuer's assets? The questions that remain are: How broad a definition of "assets" is being considered? And does "asset backing" justifiably negate the meaning of "fiat", or is this mere semantics?

In any event, I would counter argue that the meaning of "fiat" is possibly in need of clarification. And such clarification would then allow for the sensible conclusion that fiat money does indeed exist. Sproul's premise is a good launch pad for clarifying just what it is that backs the US Dollar.

Many have said that the US military "backs" the dollar. And indeed, the US Deep State and its Military Industrial Corporatist alliance represents a huge investment in strategic worldwide military deployment. That investment is an asset, and it does in part back the dollar. There are other factors, that are considered in the foreign exchange marketplace, and there are varying opinions as to which factors bear such weight upon the prime factor : relative changes in purchasing power.

As we have discussed before, usage is a considerable factor in determining a currency's relative purchasing power, which in turn supports further usage, in a circular fashion. In times past, there were set fundamentals that established relative fiat currency exchange value: the country's stability, its industrial base, trade practices and metrics, population demographics and economic condition, debt to GDP, and so on.

As our real world has progressed into a world of derivative statistic and valuation, through the rise of financialization, those fundamental factors have evolved to include other factors that are brought to bear upon a modern digital currency's backing.

Does the depth of a currency in global derivative positions act as a form of backing? This is a factor which did not exist prior to the existence of derivatives. Does that depth not guarantee further usage, and that further usage not create greater depth? Does the currency function successfully as a systemic weapon against other currency issuers? Again, relatively recent dollar era phenomena.

But there is an incredibly powerful, hugely overlooked factor which begins only around 2008, which backs the US dollar. I will tell you now that it is the US Government's control over its people which gives the US dollar the largest share of "asset backing" of any other factor under consideration - in the FX market and otherwise.

When the US Government publicly bailed out the global banking system and made the American people the guarantor of that bailout, an incredible precedent was set. It proved to the families that the issuer of the US Dollar could obligate its tax base to an unrepayable debt, and that tax base would neither understand, nor care enough about the consequences of that precedent ... to stand up and fight against the fraud and thievery that keeps the 99% in perpetual bondage, and the 1% in a risk free position to do as they please.

The issuer has proven to generational wealth that it can divert the attention of the tax base from the world's most egregious robbery, and do it again every so often, including to other middle classes who hold wealth, as it moves from country to country. And they will do so in equally powerful police states, combined with well developed welfare states, as the fiat wealth concept manages the debt slaves of any culture, keeping them pacified under the doctrine of "debt as wealth".

You will watch in amazement as China eventually "becomes" the USA in this regard. To the North, there is one proud people, who thrive on the adversity which shapes their strong cultural identity - who will be a thorn in the dollar's side - but they will be dealt with, as opportunity allows.

This modern state of affairs is an incredible asset which the global corporatist banking cartel (the BIS led global central banking system) has endowed upon the US Dollar - and it's rival issuers are part and parcel to that system. Until China, India and Russia's central banks (along with their strategic but smaller allied CBs) achieve a true Coup d'etat (either publicly - or more likely privately) and begin to act independently from BIS mandate, the world's middle classes will never have any enduring prosperity - only the fleeting type that comes with targeted booms, busts and the fraud and bailouts they enable.

Much more importantly ... that Coup will NEVER HAPPEN as long as the American people agree to the dollar contract they are so deeply sworn to. Americans have been taught to accept the double standard they now live by. They can default on debt and lose everything they own, but their lenders can never default - they will be bailed out by whatever wealth remains. There is no other society on earth who have been so culturally conditioned to accept slavery and socialism as the generation of Americans whose OBEDIENCE backs the dollar today. That compliance, coupled with contempt for the wealth of their fellow man, and the social justice herd mentality, makes the family's smile with exceeding confidence ... that this dollar empire can milk much more middle class wealth across the globe as it spreads its "debt as wealth" religion even further into systemic entrenchment.

And this Trump fellow. He and Wilbur are doing well to earn the trust of generational wealth.

An unexpected wildcard can always be drawn, including an international war. But the Roacheforque's will profit from war as well - nonetheless, and just the same. Generational wealth aways profits from the spread of global corporatism, as they are both the authors and benefactors of it.

This we learn ... from the flower of understanding.

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[Aug 13, 2018] The Real Reason Why Trump Cancelled The Iran Deal by Eric Zuesse

This is ,of course, hypothesis by Eric Zuesse, and the idea that the USA elite decided to abandon EU elite is somewhat questionable, but some of his consideration are interesting...
Notable quotes:
"... Yeah, its the defense contractors. It has nothing to do with the zillions of cars that clog every fucking freeway in this country every morning and every evening, 7 days a week. Its not the assholes cruising around in monster trucks alone, just to show off their stupid trucks. It has nothing to do with the the zillions of jets screaming through the skies carry all those fat assholes to meetings all over the world for no reason. It has nothing to do with the billions of barrels of oil that come to the US on tankers as long as city blocks filled constantly day and night. ..."
Aug 12, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
45 SHARES Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The following is entirely from open online sources that I have been finding to be trustworthy on these matters in the past. These sources will be linked-to here; none of this information is secret, even though some details in my resulting analysis of it will be entirely new.

It explains how and why the bottom-line difference between Donald Trump and Barack Obama, regarding US national security policies, turns out to be their different respective estimations of the biggest danger threatening the maintenance of the US dollar as the world's leading or reserve currency. This has been the overriding foreign-policy concern for both Presidents .

Obama placed as being the top threat to the dollar, a breakaway of the EU (America's largest market both for exports and for imports) from alliance with the United States. He was internationally a Europhile. Trump, however, places as being the top threat to the dollar, a breakaway of Saudi Arabia and of the other Gulf Arab oil monarchies from the U.S. Trump is internationally a Sunni-phile: specifically a protector of fundamentalist Sunni monarchs -- but especially of the Sauds themselves -- and they hate Shia and especially the main Shia nation, Iran .

Here's how that change, to Saudi Arabia as being America's main ally, has happened -- actually it's a culmination of decades. Trump is merely the latest part of that process of change. Here is from the US State Department's official historian , regarding this history:

By the 1960s, a surplus of US dollars caused by foreign aid, military spending, and foreign investment threatened this system [the FDR-established 1944 Bretton Woods gold-based US dollar as the world's reserve currency ], as the United States did not have enough gold to cover the volume of dollars in worldwide circulation at the rate of $35 per ounce; as a result, the dollar was overvalued. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson adopted a series of measures to support the dollar and sustain Bretton Woods: foreign investment disincentives; restrictions on foreign lending; efforts to stem the official outflow of dollars; international monetary reform; and cooperation with other countries. Nothing worked. Meanwhile, traders in foreign exchange markets, believing that the dollar's overvaluation would one day compel the US government to devalue it, proved increasingly inclined to sell dollars. This resulted in periodic runs on the dollar.

It was just such a run on the dollar, along with mounting evidence that the overvalued dollar was undermining the nation's foreign trading position, which prompted President Richard M. Nixon to act, on August 13, 1971 [to end the convertibility of dollars to gold].

When Nixon ended the gold-basis of the dollar and then in 1974 secretly switched to the current oil-basis, this transformation of the dollar's backing, from gold to oil, was intended to enable the debt-financing (as opposed to the tax-financing, which is less acceptable to voters) of whatever military expenditure would be necessary in order to satisfy the profit-needs of Lockheed Corporation and of the other US manufacturers whose only markets are the US Government and its allied governments, as well as of US extractive industries such as oil and mining firms, which rely heavily upon access to foreign natural resources, as well as of Wall Street and its need for selling debt and keeping interest-rates down (and stock-prices -- and therefore aristocrats' wealth -- high and rtising).

This 1974 secret agreement between Nixon and King Saud lasts to the present day, and has worked well for both aristocracies. It met the needs of the very same "military-industrial complex" (the big US Government contractors) that the prior Republican President, Dwight Eisenhower, had warned might take control of US foreign policies. As Bloomberg's Andrea Wong on 30 May 2016 explained the Nixon system that replaced the FDR system, "The basic framework was strikingly simple. The US would buy oil from Saudi Arabia and provide the kingdom military aid and equipment. In return, the Saudis would plow billions of their petrodollar revenue back into Treasuries and finance America's spending."

This new system didn't only supply a constant flow of Saudi tax-money to the US Government; it supplied a constant flow of new sales-orders and profits to the military firms that were increasingly coming to control the US Government -- for the benefit of both aristocracies: the Sauds, and America's billionaires.

That was near the end of the FDR-produced 37-year period of US democratic leadership of the world, the era that had started at Bretton Woods in 1944. It came crashing to an end not in 1974 (which was step two after the 1971 step one had ended the 1944 system) but on the day when Ronald Reagan entered the White House in 1981. The shockingly sudden ascent, from that moment on, of US federal Government debt (to be paid-off by future generations instead of by current taxpayers) is shown, right here, in a graph of "US Federal Debt as Percent of GDP, 1940-2015" , where you can see that the debt had peaked above 90% of GDP late in WW II between 1944-1948 , and then plunged during Bretton Woods, but in 1981 it started ascending yet again, until reaching that WW II peak for a second time, as it has been ever since 2010 , when Obama bailed-out the mega-banks and their mega-clients, but didn't bail out the American public, whose finances had been destroyed by those banksters' frauds, which Obama refused to prosecute; and, so, economic inequality in America got even more extreme after the 2008 George W. Bush crash, instead of less extreme afterward (as had always happened in the past).

Above 90% debt/GDP during and immediately following WW II was sound policy, but America's going again above 90% since 2010 has reflected simply an aristocratic heist of America, for only the aristocracy's benefit -- all of the benefits going only to the super-rich.

Another, and more-current US graph shows that, as of the first quarter of 2018, this percentage (debt/GDP) is, yet again, back now to its previous all-time record high of 105-120%%, which had been reached only in 1945-1947 (when it was justified by the war).

Currently, companies such as Lockheed Martin are thriving as they had done during WW II, but the sheer corruption in America's military spending is this time the reason , no World War (yet); so, this time, America is spending like in an all-out-war situation, even before the Congress has issued any declaration of war at all. Everybody except the American public knows that the intense corruptness of the US military is the reason for this restoration of astronomical 'defense' spending, even during peace-time. A major poll even showed that 'defense' spending was the only spending by the federal Government which Americans in 2017 wanted increased; they wanted all other federal spending to be reduced (though there was actually vastly more corruption in military spending than in any other type -- the public have simply been hoodwinked).

But can the US Government's extreme misallocation of wealth, from the public to the insiders, continue without turning this country into a much bigger version of today's Greece? More and more people around the world are worrying about that. Of course, Greece didn't have the world's reserve currency, but what would happen to the net worths of America's billionaires if billionaires worldwide were to lose faith in the dollar? Consequently, there's intensified Presidential worrying about how much longer foreign investors will continue to trust the oil-based dollar.

America's political class now have two competing ideas to deal with this danger , Obama's versus Trump's, both being about how to preserve the dollar in a way that best serves the needs of 'defense' contractors, extractive firms, and Wall Street. Obama chose Europe (America's largest market) as America's chief ally (he was Euro-centric against Russia); Trump chose the owner of Saudi Arabia (he's Saudi-Israeli centric against Iran) -- that's the world's largest weapons-purchaser, as well as the world's largest producer of oil (as well as the largest lobbies) .

The Saudi King owns Saudi Arabia, including the world's largest and most valuable oil company, Aramco, whose oil is the "sweetest" -- the least expensive to extract and refine -- and is also the most abundant, in all of the world, and so he can sell petroleum at a profit even when his competitors cannot. Oil-prices that are so low as to cause economic losses for other oil companies, can still be generating profits -- albeit lowered ones -- for King Saud; and this is the reason why his decisions determine how much the global oil-spigot will be turned on, and how low the global oil-price will be, at any given time. He controls the value of the US dollar. He controls it far more directly, and far more effectively, than the EU can. It would be like, under the old FDR-era Bretton Woods system, controlling the exchange-rates of the dollar, by raising or lowering the amount of gold produced. But this is liquid gold, and King Saud determines its price.

Furthermore, King Saud also leads the Gulf Cooperation Council of all other Arab oil monarchs, such as those who own UAE -- all of them are likewise US allies and major weapons-buyers.

In an extraordinarily fine recent article by Pepe Escobar at Asia Times, "Oil and gas geopolitics: no shelter from the storm" , he quotes from his not-for-attribution interviews with "EU diplomats," and reports:

After the Trump administration's unilateral pull-out from the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), European Union diplomats in Brussels, off the record, and still in shock, admit that they blundered by not "configuring the eurozone as distinct and separate to the dollar hegemony". Now they may be made to pay the price of their impotence via their "outlawed" trade with Iran.

As admitted, never on the record, by experts in Brussels; the EU has got to reevaluate its strategic alliance with an essentially energy independent US, as "we are risking all our energy resources over their Halford Mackinder geopolitical analysis that they must break up [the alliance between] Russia and China."

That's a direct reference to the late Mackinder epigone Zbigniew "Grand Chessboard" Brzezinski, who died dreaming of turning China against Russia.

In Brussels, there's increased recognition that US pressure on Iran, Russia and China is out of geopolitical fear the entire Eurasian land mass, organized as a super-trading bloc via the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), [and] the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), is slipping away from Washington's influence.

This analysis gets closer to how the three key nodes of 21st century Eurasia integration -- Russia, China and Iran -- have identified the key issue; both the euro and the yuan must bypass the petrodollar, the ideal means, as the Chinese stress, to "end the oscillation between strong and weak dollar cycles, which has been so profitable for US financial institutions, but lethal to emerging markets."

It's also no secret among Persian Gulf traders that in the -- hopefully unlikely -- event of a US-Saudi-Israeli war in Southwest Asia against Iran, a real scenario war-gamed by the Pentagon would be "the destruction of oil wells in the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council]. The Strait of Hormuz does not have to be blocked, as destroying the oil wells would be far more effective."

And what the potential loss of over 20% of the world's oil supply would mean is terrifying; the implosion, with unforeseen consequences, of the quadrillion derivatives pyramid, and consequentially [consequently] of the entire Western financial casino superstructure.

In other words: it's not the 'threat' that perhaps, some day, Iran will have nuclear warheads, that is actually driving Trump's concern here (despite what Israel's concerns are about that matter), but instead, it is his concerns about Iran's missiles, which constitute the delivery-system for any Iranian warheads: that their flight-range be short enough so that the Sauds will be outside their range . (The main way Iran intends to respond to an invasion backed by the US, is to attack Saudi Arabia -- Iran's leaders know that the US Government is more dependent upon the Sauds than upon Israel -- so, Iran's top targets would be Saudi capital Riyadh, and also the Ghawar oil field, which holds over half of Saudi oil. If US bases have been used in the invasion, then all US bases in the Middle East are also be within the range of Iran's missiles and therefore would also probably be targeted.)

Obama's deal with Iran had focused solely upon preventing Iran from developing nuclear warheads -- which Obama perhaps thought (mistakenly) would dampen Israel's (and its billionaire US financial backers') ardor for the US to conquer Iran. Israel had publicly said that their concern was Iran's possibility to become a nuclear power like Israel became; those possible future warheads were supposed to be the issue; but, apparently, that wasn't actually the issue which really drove Israel. Obama seems to have thought that it was, but it wasn't, actually. Israel, like the Sauds, want Iran conquered. Simple. The nuclear matter was more an excuse than an explanation.

With Trump now in the White House, overwhelmingly by money from the Israel lobbies (proxies also for the Sauds) -- and with no equivalently organized Jewish opposition to the pro -Israel lobbies (and so in the United States, for a person to be anti-Israel is viewed as being anti-Semitic, which is not at all true, but Israel's lies say it's true and many Americans unfortunately believe it) -- Trump has not only the Sauds and their allies requiring him to be against Iran and its allies, but he has also got this pressure coming from Israel: both the Big-Oil and the Jewish lobbies drive him. Unlike Obama, who wasn't as indebted to the Jewish lobbies, Trump needs to walk the plank for both the Sauds and Israel.

In other words: Trump aims to keep the dollar as the reserve currency by suppressing not only China but also the two main competitors of King Saud: Iran and Russia. That's why America's main 'enemies' now are those three countries and their respective allies.

Obama was likewise targeting them, but in a different priority-order , with Russia being the main one (thus Obama's takeover of Ukraine in February 2014 turning it against Russia, next door ); and that difference was due to Obama's desire to be favorably viewed by the residents in America's biggest export and import market, the EU, and so his bringing another member (Ukraine) into the EU (which still hasn't yet been culminated).

Trump is instead building on his alliance with King Saud and the other GCC monarchs, a group who can more directly cooperate to control the value of the US dollar than the EU can. Furthermore, both conservative (including Orthodox) Jews in the United States, and also white evangelical Protestants in the US, are strongly supportive of Israel, which likewise sides with the Arab oil monarchs against Iran and its allies. Trump needs these people's votes.

Trump also sides with the Sauds against Canada. That's a matter which the theorists who assert that Israel controls the US, instead of that the Sauds (allied with America's and Israel's billionaires) control the US, ignore; they ignore whatever doesn't fit their theory. Of course, a lot doesn't fit their theory (which equates "Jews" with "Israelis" and alleges that "they" control the world), but people whose prejudices are that deep-seated, can't be reached by any facts which contradict their self-defining prejudice. Since it defines themselves, it's a part of them, and they can never deny it, because to do so would be to deny who and what they are, and they refuse to change that. The Sauds control the dollar; Israel does not, but Israel does the lobbying, and both the Sauds and Israel want Iran destroyed. Trump gets this pressure not only from the billionaires but from his voters.

And, of course, Democratic Party billionaires push the narrative that Russia controls America. It used to be the Republican Joseph R. McCarthy's accusation, that the "commies" had "infiltrated" , especially at the State Department . So: Trump kicked out Russia's diplomats, to satisfy those neocons -- the neoconservatives of all Parties and persuasions, both conservative and liberal.

To satisfy the Sauds, despite the EU, Trump has dumped the Iran deal . And he did it also to satisfy Israel, the main US lobbyists for the Sauds. (Americans are far more sympathetic to Jews than to Arabs; the Sauds are aware of this; Israel handles their front-office.) For Trump, the Sauds are higher priority than Europe; even Israel (who are an expense instead of a moneybag for the US Government) are higher priority than Europe. Both the Sauds and Israel together are vastly higher. And the Sauds alone are higher priority for Trump than are even Canada and Europe combined . Under Trump, anything will be done in order to keep the Sauds and their proxy-lobbyists (Israel) 'on America's side'.

Consequently, Trump's political base is mainly against Iran and for Israel, but Obama's was mainly against Russia and for the EU. Obama's Democratic Party still are controlled by the same billionaires as before; and, so, Democrats continue demonizing Russia, and are trying to make as impossible as they can, any rapprochement with Russia -- and, therefore, they smear Trump for anything he might try to do along those lines.

Both Obama and Trump have been aiming to extend America's aristocracy's dominance around the world, but they employ different strategies toward that politically bipartisan American-aristocratic objective: the US Government's global control, for the benefit of the US aristocracy, at everyone else's expense. Obama and Trump were placed into the White House by different groups of US billionaires, and each nominee serves his/her respective sponsors , no public anywhere -- not even their voters' welfare.

An analogous example is that, whereas Fox News, Forbes, National Review, The Weekly Standard, American Spectator, Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Breitbart News, InfoWars, Reuters, and AP , are propagandists for the Republican Party ; NPR, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, Mother Jones, The Atlantic, The New Republic, New Yorker, New York Magazine, New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Huffington Post, The Daily Beast , and Salon , are propagandists for the Democratic Party ; but, they all draw their chief sponsors from the same small list of donors who are America's billionaires, since these few people control the top advertisers, investors, and charities, and thus control nearly all of the nation's propaganda. The same people who control the Government control the public; but, America isn't a one-Party dictatorship. America is, instead, a multi-Party dictatorship . And this is how it functions.

Trump cancelled the Iran deal because a different group of billionaires are now in control of the White House, and of the rest of the US Government. Trump's group demonize especially Iran; Obama's group demonize especially Russia. That's it, short. That's America's aristocratic tug-of-war; but both sides of it are for invasion, and for war. Thus, we're in the condition of 'permanent war for permanent peace' -- to satisfy the military contractors and the billionaires who control them. Any US President who would resist that, would invite assassination; but, perhaps in Trump's case, impeachment, or other removal-from-office, would be likelier. In any case, the sponsors need to be satisfied -- or else -- and Trump knows this.

Trump is doing what he thinks he has to be doing, for his own safety. He's just a figurehead for a different faction of the US aristocracy , than Obama was. He's doing what he thinks he needs to be doing, for his survival. Political leadership is an extremely dangerous business. Trump is playing a slightly different game of it than Obama did, because he represents a different faction than Obama did. These two factions of the US aristocracy are also now battling each other for political control over Europe .

caconhma -> MoreSun • Mon, 08/13/2018 - 00:57 Permalink

The article is correct:

The Bottom Line

Trump and its policies have no chance to succeed neither inside nor outside the USA. The USA has less than 3-5 years to maintain the present status quo.

PitBullsRule -> PitBullsRule • Sun, 08/12/2018 - 23:40 Permalink

Yeah, its the defense contractors. It has nothing to do with the zillions of cars that clog every fucking freeway in this country every morning and every evening, 7 days a week. Its not the assholes cruising around in monster trucks alone, just to show off their stupid trucks. It has nothing to do with the the zillions of jets screaming through the skies carry all those fat assholes to meetings all over the world for no reason. It has nothing to do with the billions of barrels of oil that come to the US on tankers as long as city blocks filled constantly day and night.

Its not that, its Lockheed selling them airplanes. Thats how the sand niggers got so much US money, Lockheed.

What a fucking conspiratorial ass-swipe this guy is.

NiggaPleeze -> wet_nurse Mon, 08/13/2018 - 00:02 Permalink

Eric Zeusse ranks in popularity right along the Gatestone Institute - though Eric may just be ignorant and opinionated whilst Gatestone is an affirmative disinformation propaganda organ, both are equally annoying to read. I just came for the comments :).

JSBach1 -> NiggaPleeze Mon, 08/13/2018 - 00:38 Permalink

+1. Eric Zuesse is part-and-parcel of the agenda that the Gatestone Institute espouses.

Eric Zuesse's real agenda can be revealed by his position on 9/11 (see second link below). He also blames Obama for everything (he shifts the blame away from Israel onto any other party which could be blamed due to either direct or indirect ties)

Here is Eric Zuesse in his own words:

Notice the absence of Israel/Zionism

Historic New Harpers Article Exposes Who Controls America
Posted on December 17, 2015 by Eric Zuesse.

"The fundamentalist-Sunni royal family of the Sauds have bought the highest levels of the U.S. government in order to control U.S. foreign policies, especially the ongoing wars to take down the governments of Iraq, Libya, Syria, and ultimately (they hope) of Russia itself, which latter nation has allied itself instead with Shia countries. The controlling entities behind American foreign policies since at least the late 1970s have been the Saud family and the Sauds' subordinate Arabic aristocracies, which are the ones in Qatar (the al-Thanis), Kuwait (the al-Sabahs), Turkey (the Turkish Erdoğans, a new royalty), and UAE (its six royal families: the main one, the al-Nahyans in Abu Dhabi; the other five: the al-Maktoums in Dubai, al-Qasimis in Sharjah, al-Nuaimis in Ajman, al-Mualla Ums in Quwain, and al-Sharqis in Fujairah). Other Saudi-dominated nations -- though they're not oil-rich (more like Turkey in this regard) -- are Pakistan and Afghanistan."

". But, perhaps, one can safely say that the alliance between the U.S. aristocracy and the royal Sauds, is emerging as a global dictatorship, a dictatorial type of world government. Because, clearly: those two aristocraciues have been, to a large extent, ruling the world together, for several decades now. From their perspective, jihadists are themselves a weapon, not merely a political nuisance.

This is a more realistic explanation of America's decades-long catastrophic failures to make significant progress in eliminating even a single one of the numerous jihadist groups around the world: that's how things have been planned to be. It's not just 'intelligence errors' or 'not being tough enough.' Those 'explanations' are just cover-stories, propaganda, PR from the aristocrats. It's skillful 'crowd control': keeping the people in their 'proper' places."

http://washingtonsblog.com/2015/12/historic-new-harpers-article-exposes

9/11: Israel Didn't Do It; The Plan Was Co-Led by U.S. & Saud Governments
By Eric Zuesse

March 15, 2018

"9/11 was a well-planned operation, whatever it was. Substantial money paid for it, but little if any of that came from either Iran or Israel. It all came from fundamentalist-Sunnis.

And, if all of the money was fundamentalist-Sunni, then the only non-Sunni people who could have been involved in planning the operation would have been George W. Bush and his friends

The problem certainly isn't Jews nor Muslims. The problem is the aristocracy, which controls Saudi Arabia, and the aristocracy which controls Israel, and the aristocracy which controls America. The victim is the public, and the victimizer is the aristocracy. It's not just 9/11."

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48957.htm

Obama's Nazis
Posted on August 17, 2014 by Eric Zuesse.

(Zuesse's obsession with the word nazis or Nazis)

"What Obama has done and is doing in Ukraine is historic, like what Adolf Hitler did, and like what Slobodan Milosevic* did, and like other racist fascists have done; and he, and we Americans (if we as a nation continue accepting this), will be remembered for it, like they and their countries were. Evil on this scale cannot be forgotten. No matter how solidly the American "news" media hide this history, it is already solidly documented for the history books. Obama will be remembered as the worst President in U.S. history, just as the racist-fascist or 'nazi' leaders of other countries are."

http://washingtonsblog.com/2014/08/obamas-nazis.html

Jewish Billionaire Finances Ukraine's Aydar SS Nazi Troops
Posted on April 7, 2015 by Eric Zuesse.

"The hyper-nationalist Ukrainian-Israeli billionaire Ihor Kolomoysky, a friend of the Obama White House and employer of Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden, is a major donor to far-right Ukrainian causes. He sides with the followers of Stepan Bandera, the pro-Nazi Ukrainian leader whom Hitler ditched when Bandera made clear that he wanted Ukraine to be nazi but independent of Germany's Nazi Party. Briefly, Bandera's #2 in command, Yaroslav Stetsko, led nazi Ukraine, and approved the slaughter of thousands of Jews there."

http://washingtonsblog.com/2015/04/jewish-billionaire-finances-ukraines

"Zuesse is pushing Zionist lies. One of the links in the article goes to a Reuters story, "Exclusive – Over 100 Russian soldiers killed in single Ukraine battle – Russian rights activists," that claims to get its info from the "Russian presidential human rights council."

If you want to read more lies by Zuesse, go to this "AMAZON" link to read reviews of his book, "Iraq War: The Truth," in which Zuesse claims that GW Bush invaded Iraq to thank Jesus for his alcohol and drug addiction cure and to neuter the International Criminal Court???

There is one comment lavishing praise on Zuesse's book about the Iraq War by David Swanson, another Zionist tool and BS artist, who's been outed in the past by the blog, "American Everyman."

https://careandwashingofthebrain.blogspot.com/2014/09/stay-away-from-wh

http://beforeitsnews.com/survival/2015/01/i-expect-my-apology-from-wash

Winston Churchill -> wet_nurse Mon, 08/13/2018 - 00:06 Permalink

A total one, although his mention of MacKinder was only bright spot.

The US has been using the Heartland strategy since before the occupation of Afghanistan, which

was in response to the Taliban approving oil pipelines from Iran to China thru the Kush.The real reason

for the everlasting war there.With the defection of Pakistan to the SCO, the only option is take out Iran

and Turkey now that Syria is lost.Its not even a matter of which faction of billionaires controls empire

policy, its pure geography.You build the alliances around that geography,not the other way around.

The Great Game was played for 200 years over this same ground,only the players have changed.

Hence both the Turkey and Iran situation now, the empire wants control of both,but will probably get neither.

The last roll of the dice.

Hyjinx Sun, 08/12/2018 - 23:42 Permalink

What is this rambling unfocused BS? Just because Trump thought the Iran deal was shitty doesn't mean he works for the Saudis.

OverTheHedge -> My Days Are Ge Mon, 08/13/2018 - 00:20 Permalink

See how fast the internet warriors are to claim the article is rubbish, and not reflecting reality. No argument to back up their propaganda, but that's not important. Must be depressing running the Sunday evening shift in the cubicle farm; all the boys in their neatly pressed uniforms, clicking away to keep us safe from democracy. Well done lads, another day keeping the evil Russians /Iranians at bay.

I actually find it interesting to see what shakes the foundations, and this article seems to be something that they don't like, so probably worth a re-read just to get all the nuances. Of course, the author suggesting that it is not Jews running America will get short shrift from some commenters, but it is certainly interesting to have pointed out, finally, that Israel is a net drain, and Saudi Arabia an enormous gain for the US. We always say to follow the money, and whilst Israel is good profit for the MIC, Saudi Arabia IS the petrodollar system - mustn't forget that. No oil in Saudi Arabia, no petrodollar. I wonder how long they have left until it's all gone? That would probably be the over-riding factor in deciding war with Iran.

Joe A Mon, 08/13/2018 - 00:55 Permalink

I always wondered why the EU did nit make bigger efforts to replace the petrodollar with the petroeuro but nobody wants to end up as Ghadaffi or Saddam Hussein who threatened to do just that. Iran has also repeatedly threaten to that. Also Putin has recently said that Russia wants to move away from the petrodollar. He must know that that is dangerous for one's health so there must be some sort of alliance against the dollar being formed.

hugin-o-munin Mon, 08/13/2018 - 01:15 Permalink

Well written article that sums it up nicely:

The United States is in a state of constant war with the entire world.

[Aug 13, 2018] CBO Cuts 2018 GDP Outlook, Sees Fewer Fed Rate Hikes

Rising oil prices will slow down the growth and secular stagnation will return. The USA economy has no capacity to grow in oil prices are approximately above $70-$80
Aug 13, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Four months after the CBO surprised US economy watchers by releasing an especially strong outlook for 2018 US GDP, which it said would hit 3.3%, on Monday afternoon in its latest projections , the CBO unexpectedly trimmed its 2018 real GDP forecast to 3.1% citing concerns over rising trade war coupled with higher inflation.

The Congressional Budget Office kept its 2019 GDP growth forecast unchanged at 2.4%, and also trimmed its 2020 outlook to 1.7% from 1.8% in April.

hotrod -> kurwamac • Mon, 08/13/2018 - 15:11 Permalink

What does it matter, they have adjusted what constitutes GDP 3 times in the last fiver years. The most current being the extra 1 trillion they found by basically adjusting the price deflator down ward.

The fact is there is NOTHING NEW in this economy generating higher GDP except Cost and Debt. Healthcare alone over the last 5 years has added trillions yet it picks everyone's pockets to the point they cant use it.

[Aug 13, 2018] Will Turkey be the first domino to fall Zero Hedge Zero Hedge

Aug 13, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

So the question is looking at today's markets, who will be the first domino to fall? Some thought Cyprus but that was contained. Then there was Greece but that was contained. There was talk of Italy being the first. Then last week we had Turkey. If the Turkish situation deteriorates you can bet that the financial markets will, like during the Asian crisis, become nervous regarding areas beyond Turkey bringing considerable risks of financial contagion. We already saw investors dumping stocks such as Italian bank UniCredit last week, for fear that they are over exposed to risks in Turkey. According to the Bank for International Settlements, international banks had outstanding loans of $224 billion to Turkish borrowers, including $83 billion from banks in Spain, $35 billion from banks in France, $18 billion from banks in Italy, $17 billion each from banks in the United States and in the United Kingdom, and $13 billion from banks in Germany. So what happens next is anybody's guess but to believe that it couldn't happen again is probably not the most prudent view to take.

[Aug 13, 2018] The Founding Fathers would have impeached corrupt Trump in a New York minute

Aug 13, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

fbazzrea Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:23 Permalink

please forgive me but had to share this OT article. it's MSM/DS propaganda in full bloom. slow thread so...

UPDATE: The Founding Fathers would have impeached corrupt Trump in a New York minute

Today 11:05 AM ET (MarketWatch) Print

By Rex Nutting, MarketWatch

The Founding Fathers had someone just like Donald Trump in mind when they banned any and all emoluments to the president from any foreign or state governments

Conservatives, we are constantly told, believe in strict adherence to the Constitution based primarily on the text and secondarily on the views of the Founding Fathers, who wrote and breathed life into our founding document. If conservatives really were "originalists," they would be the first to say that Donald Trump is exactly the kind of president who ought to be impeached.

Unique among presidents, Trump has divided loyalties ( https://www.citizensforethics.org/profitingfromthepresidency/ ). He has entangled his business interests with his official duties, ( http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/399541-senate-dem-hints-trump-hotel- ) creating the impression, if not the reality, that his own financial interest -- not his duty as president -- guides his thoughts and actions.

The Founding Fathers, savvy students of history and human nature, were highly attuned to the risks of public corruption -- actual or perceived -- and inserted language into the Articles of Confederation and later into the Constitution to guard against such human frailties. They wanted to make sure that anyone who held a public office would serve only one master: the American people.

A farewell to kings

For the Founders, public corruption wasn't just a theoretical danger. They viewed it as the primary threat to their independence. Living in a small, fledgling country, the Americans feared that the European powers would seize control of the American democracy by flattering and bribing our officials.

The kings and princes of Europe were masters of the art. The British king had corrupted Parliament by providing titles and sinecures, a major contributor to the split between the colonies and Britain. The true history of the 1670 Treaty of Dover had just been published, which revealed that King Louis XIV of France had bribed Charles II of England with a secret pension, a beautiful and beloved French mistress, and a promise of protection. In exchange, Charles had agreed to convert to Catholicism and to join Louis in his costly and fruitless war against the Dutch, his former ally.

During the Constitutional Convention ( http://avalon.law.yale.edu/subject_menus/debcont.asp ), Gouverneur Morris (who is regarded as the chief architect of the presidency) argued that receiving such emoluments would justify impeachment of the president: Because the president would not have a lifetime office or income, Morris said, "he may be bribed by a greater interest to betray his trust; and no one would say that we ought to expose ourselves to the danger of seeing the first Magistrate in foreign pay, without being able to guard against it by displacing him."

It seems the Founding Fathers had Donald Trump (or someone very like him) in mind when they wrote those clauses into the Constitution. They were concerned about our government officials being corrupted by foreign or domestic powers. Alexander Hamilton argued in Federalist Paper #73 ( https://www.congress.gov/resources/display/content/The+Federalist+Papers ) that the domestic emoluments clause was designed to keep the president independent and incorruptible.

'Appealing to his avarice'

"In the main," Hamilton argued, "it will be found that a power over a man's support is power over his will."

With the emolument ban in place, "they can neither weaken his fortitude by operating on his necessities, nor corrupt his integrity by appealing to his avarice," Hamilton wrote.

The key passage in the Constitution is Article I, Section 9: ( https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution-transcript#toc-sect -) "No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State."

The point of this clause is to prevent any foreign power from gaining influence over the U.S. government by providing gifts, titles, jobs or other benefits to its officials.

No exceptions

Article II, Section 1 ( https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution-transcript#toc-sect ) specifically limits the president and does not allow Congress to approve exceptions: "The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them."

The point of this clause is to prevent the Congress or any of the states from gaining undue influence over the president by lining his pockets.

Note that these prohibitions don't require a legal finding of bribery. The Constitution doesn't say payments are OK as long as there's no quid pro quo. Such "emoluments" are unconstitutional, full stop.

Trump is sued

Trump has been hit with lawsuits alleging that he is violating ( http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2017/06/t )those two constitutional provisions. One of the lawsuits is moving forward, bad news for this utterly corrupt administration.

The facts of the case are clear: Foreign and state officials do patronize his businesses with the express purpose of currying his favor ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/2016/11/18/9da9 known as "stay to play"). Trump is soliciting business from foreign officials and U.S. politicians. The emoluments he receives from them is significant and important to his business ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/at-president-trumps-hotel-in-ne ). Congress has not been asked for its consent, nor has it been granted. State government officials have also patronized his hotel ( http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/348558-government-watchdogs- ). The federal government has also granted Trump an "advantage" by approving the continuation of the lease ( http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/348558-government-watchdogs- )for his hotel at the Old Post Office despite the clear wording in the lease that "no elected official" shall benefit from it.

The only real point of dispute between Trump's defenders and his critics is over the meaning of the word "emolument." Trump's lawyers say ( http://oag.dc.gov/sites/default/files/2018-03/Defendants-Motion-to-Dism )"emolument" means only the money that is earned for holding an office (and not for renting a room or granting a lease). His critics say "emolument" means any profit, advantage, gain or benefit.

'Originalist' approach

Recently, Federal District Judge Peter J. Messitte sided with Trump's critics ( http://oag.dc.gov/sites/default/files/2018-07/2018_07_25_Emoluments_Opi )as to the legal meaning of "emoluments," and ruled that a lawsuit alleging violations of the emolument clauses could proceed. ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal-judge-allows-emoluments )

It's interesting that Messitte's ruling relies heavily (but not exclusively) on an "originalist" approach. He notes in his opinion that the preponderance of the evidence shows that the common meaning in 1787 of the word "emolument" was any "profit," "gain" or "advantage." Nearly all dictionaries of the day followed this definition, and many authors and politicians at that time also used that definition. Trump's alternative definition has almost no contemporaneous support, the judge ruled.

Messitte's ruling may be overturned, of course. There is considerable pressure on Republican office holders, as well as conservative jurists, to ignore the stench of corruption stemming from Trump's ownership of a large and complex business that does business with governments near and far.

The Founding Fathers could well imagine that a foreign or domestic power would try to corrupt the president. But they could not imagine that the constitutional system they created would ever permit the president to corrupt the Congress or the courts. Let's hope they weren't wrong about us.

'Guard against corruption'

Edmund Randolph, governor of Virginia, delegate to the Philadelphia convention and first attorney general of the United States, said during the ratification debate that the president "is restrained from receiving any present or emolument whatever. It is impossible to guard better against corruption."

And if the president does so, "he may be impeached," Randolph declared with no reservations.

The Founding Fathers, in other words, would have impeached Trump in a New York minute.

-Rex Nutting; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com

RELATED: To drain the swamp of corruption, Congress must require Trump to divest his businesses ( http://www.marketwatch.com/story/to-drain-the-swamp-of-corruption-congr )

RELATED: Donald Trump builds the best swamps ( http://www.marketwatch.com/story/donald-trump-builds-the-best-swamps-an )

RELATED: The EPA's Pruitt is finally gone, but there's plenty of rot left ( http://www.marketwatch.com/story/its-time-for-the-republican-congress-t )

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 13, 2018 11:05 ET (15:05 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

[Aug 13, 2018] Carter Page was a plant, just like Manafort and Papadapolous

Aug 13, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

trentusa Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:32 Permalink

ZH is just as bad as cnn and fox news these days. Report the REAL NEWS you fucks. Tylers i am so sorry what happened to this website, nothing but russian propoganda anymore.

Prove me wrong. Do a story on the reason Carter Page was never charged w/ a crime is bc he was a cooperating fbi witness in 2016 and the fbi knew CP wasnt a spy bc he just finished helping them, the fbi, bust up a REAL russian spy ring, or does that not fit into your narrative? https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/02/02/the-fbi-knew-carter-page-m

detached.amusement -> trentusa Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:04 Permalink

stfu, anyone who has been paying attention knows goddam well that Carter Page was giving testimony of behalf of the gov just a couple months before he magically became a russian agent so that they could justify all the spying they'd already been doing on team trump. Carter Page was a plant, just like Manafort and Papadapolous.

[Aug 13, 2018] Social Unrest Breaks Out In China After Panic Bank Run On Peer-2-Peer Lenders

Aug 13, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Social Unrest Breaks Out In China After "Panic" Bank Run On Peer-2-Peer Lenders

by Tyler Durden Sun, 08/12/2018 - 16:29 233 SHARES

One week ago, when discussing the " source of China's next debt crisis ", namely the recent explosion in Chinese household debt which over the past year has soared by over 40% even as credit growth across other debt categories remained relatively stable...

... and which was on the verge of surpassing the nation's corporations as the biggest source of credit demand, we highlighted the one financial sector that has recently emerged as most at risk in China's economy: online peer-to-peer lenders who collect money from retail investors and dispense small loans to consumers, usually without collateral, putting the loans at risk of a default with zero recovery.

We pointed out that outstanding loans on P2P platforms rose 50% just last year to total Rmb1.49 trillion ($215 billion) - making the size of China's P2P industry far bigger than in the rest of the world combined - and due to their lack of collateral, interest rates often are as high as 37%, with additional charges for late payment.

P2P, in which platforms gather funds from retail investors and loan the money to small corporate and individual borrowers, promising high returns, started to flourish nearly unregulated in China in 2011. At its peak in 2015, there were about 3,500 such businesses.

But after Beijing launched a campaign several years ago to defuse debt bubbles and reduce risks in the economy (a campaign which recently reversed once the Trump trade war started getting hot), including the country's enormous non-bank lending sector, cracks began to appear as investors pulled their funds.

As a result, the peer-to-peer lending channel not only got clogged up, but went in reverse. In a recent article, the WSJ reported that a string of Chinese internet lenders have already shut their doors in recent weeks, stranding investors as the economy slows and regulators tighten controls over an unruly side of the fintech sector.

Across China, more than 200 internet-based fund managers since late June have either shut down, closed parts of their operations or are reeling from cash crunches, missing executives and other problems, according to industry tracker Wangdaizhijia.

The tide began to turn even more forcefully against the sector ahead of a late June deadline for new stringent registration regulations. With a slowing economy making it difficult for some companies to pay back loans, many lenders decided to simply shut down. Meanwhile, investors, already souring on the sector, began pulling out funds, further pinching the lending platforms, and as Reuters reports , since June, 243 online lending platforms have gone bust, according to wdzj.com, a P2P industry data provider. In that period, the industry saw its first monthly net fund outflows since at least 2014.

And, as we noted last week, it was only a matter of time before social unrest spread as Chinese investors who had funded these usually small, unregulated P2P operations, found they had lost all their money demanding a bail out.

That's precisely what happened... except for one thing: Beijing was already one step ahead of the protesters.

Take the case of Peter Wang: as Reuters reports , Wang was asleep at his home in Beijing last Monday when police officers arrived before dawn to detain him, saying he had helped organize a protest planned for later that day. Peter wasn't alone, and across Beijing, others who had lost money investing in China's online peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms - including some who had traveled from half way across the country - got similar visits from police.

A police officer gestures at the photographer as security patrol outside the headquarters of China's banking regulator, to prevent planned protests by investors who lost money from collapsed peer-to-peer (P2P) online lending platforms

Why the crackdown?

Because by the time they were released, the demonstration they had planned using social media chat groups had fizzled amid a massive security response around the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) headquarters in the heart of Beijing's financial district. Those protesters who did show up were in for a surprise: instead of demanding that the government bail out the hundreds of collapsed P2P companies, they were forced onto buses and carted away to Jiujingzhuang, a holding center for petitioners on the outskirts of Beijing, according to two Reuters sources.

"Once the police checked your ID cards and saw your petition materials, they knew you are here looking to protect your rights. Then they put you on a bus directly," said Wang, who works at an auto repair shop, and who is a perfect representative of China's prevailing ideology that a government bailout of any investment is a fundamental "right."

Wang did not give up and after his detention he joined a separate, smaller protest in a different part of Beijing. "There was no channel to solve any problems. All they care about was preventing any disturbance."

* * *

The latest burst of anger, which led to the planned protests, flared up ahead of a June 30 deadline for companies to comply with new business practice standards, which are still being finalised, and as noted above, many P2Ps shut down rather than face tougher regulations, Zane Wang, chief executive of online micro-loan provider China Rapid Finance told Reuters.

That caused panic in the broader market. Investors tried to pull funds from P2P companies, causing liquidity problems for many smaller operators, Wang said, although larger ones are faring better. "Some platforms might become a winner out of this, and some platforms, probably a large portion of the platforms, might not be able to make it," he said.

Naturally, to avoid an even bigger panic, no mainland Chinese media - official mainstream papers or more independent-leaning publications - reported the attempts to protest in China's capital. The media blackout took place as China's propaganda machine swung into action as Beijing sought "to reassure people that the Chinese economy and financial markets are healthy" despite a trade war with the United States and steep declines in the value of stock prices and the yuan.

As part of the government's crackdown, many would-be protesters " were forced to give fingerprints and blood samples and prevented from traveling to Beijing. Some were even removed from Beijing-bound trains ahead of the protests, said a Shanghai-based P2P investor who lost 1.3 million yuan ." She declined to be named out of fear for her safety.

What is surprising, is just how worried about the prospect of widespread social unrest Beijing was: even after the demonstrations were effectively snuffed out, hundreds of security personnel patrolled around CBIRC's office, "highlighting authorities' sensitivity to any form of social instability" according to Reuters.

It has reason to be worried: on Sunday, Xinhua reported that the government has proposed 10 measures to reduce risk in the P2P sector, including a strict ban on new P2P companies and online finance platforms, and a blacklist under China's social credit rating system for those who don't repay their loans. This means that P2P investors will soon suffer tens of billions in more losses (although it may well end up being good news for those who borrowed money from the insolvent P2Ps as there will be nobody left to collect).

* * *

This is not the first time China was burned on P2P platforms, which traditionally lend to customers that might be deemed too risky for a commercial bank, which has resulted in liquidity crises when too many investors demand their funds at once if loans appear to be going south.

The most famous case of P2P fraud is Ezubao - a $7.6 billion Ponzi scam involving more than 900,000 investors - which we described in early 2016 , and which led to a similar forceful government crackdown after the public demanded a full bailout. While none has come close to the scale of Ezubao's collapse, there are currently more than 100 publicly listed Chinese companies that are involved in P2P, and 32 of those own more than 30% of a P2P company, according to a July research report by CITIC Securities.

Exacerbating the problems facing the P2P industry, China extended by two years a separate June 30 deadline for an online finance clean-up campaign. But rather than calming matters, it created more uncertainty, market watchers said as CITIC Securities estimated that - under the campaign - only about 100 platforms out of 1,836 would be able to meet even today's regulatory standards and obtain a license. Less than 50 would thrive.

This would amount to hundreds of billions in investor losses, and not even an army could prevent the social outcry that would result.

Meanwhile, the market is starting to price in the worst, and shares of some of the Chinese P2P companies listed in the U.S. have plunged. China Rapid Finance shares have lost 73% in 2018, while Yirendai slumped 71%. PPDai dropped 44%, and Hexindai is down 27%.

And as if to ensure that the peer-2-peer bank run in China gets worse, Tang Ning, founder and chief executive officer of CreditEase, the majority owner of P2P lending platform Yirendai, told Reuters that he was concerned that the "industry-wide panic" would escalate .

He urged regulators to "act with a sense of urgency" to protect good P2P companies while punishing bad players to avoid harming China's financial system and economy.

"Otherwise, it will be 'winter' for the industry. All companies will be hit, both illicit and compliant. Everyone will lose and that's a situation no one wants to see," said Tang. "Small businesses will lose an important, or the most important source of funding. That's not only hurting the financial system but also the real economy."

As for individual investors such as the abovementioned Peter Wan - who was so sure it is his "right" to be bailed out by the government - the pain is acute. He and his family had invested 7 million yuan - their life savings, with which they had planned to use to buy a home at the end of the year - in two P2P platforms that have shut down.

"They recovered none of their investment."

[Aug 12, 2018] David Stockman The World Economy Is At An Epochal Pivot by Adam Taggart

From comments: "Relax everyone, Stockman says exactly the same thing this time every year, he just changes the dates."
Notable quotes:
"... We are in a "never before seen" monetary "experiment" Some debt will be written off. Stocks will fall. Banks will fail. Long overdue. ..."
"... Today's doom porn is brought to you by the letters D and S ..."
"... He says the Earth has entered the Anthropocene. Although it is not an official epoch on the geological timescale, the Anthropocene is entering scientific terminology. It spans the time since industrialisation, when our species started to rival ice ages and comet impacts in driving the climate on a planetary scale. Fenner says the real trouble is the population explosion and "unbridled consumption". ..."
"... Capitalism requires growth to survive. Look at what happened to FB recently when they merely stated that their growth was slowing. ..."
"... The answer to your question, is yes. As short term rates continue to rise, PM hoarders will begin cashing in much of their holdings, to chase yields. which will start a run ..."
"... I suspect the waterfall move down will be in property prices, both CRE and residential. ..."
Aug 11, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Adam Taggart via PeakProsperity.com,

A 'great reset' approaches...

David Stockman warns that the global economy has reached an "epochal pivot", a moment when the false prosperity created from $trillions in printed money by the world's central banks lurches violently into reverse.

There are few people alive who understand the global economy and its (mis)management better than David Stockman -- former director of the OMB under President Reagan, former US Representative, best-selling author of The Great Deformation , and veteran financier -- which is why his perspective is not to be dismissed lightly. He knows intimiately how how our political and financial systems work, as well as what their vulnerabilties are.

And Stockman thinks the top for the current asset price bubble era is in -- specifically, he thinks it hit its apex in January 2018. As this "Everything Bubble" prepares to burst, Stockman estimates the risk of economic crisis is as great, if not greater than, the 2008 Great Financial Crisis because of the radical and unsustainable monetary policy expansion the central banks have pursued over the past decade.

This has caused the prices of stocks, bonds, real estate and most other assets to appreciate at rates that have no basis in the ongoing income/cash flow of the global economy. In short, they are wildly overvalued.

A key condition that Stockman has been waiting to see, that serves as a signal the bubble's bursting is nigh, is the concentration of speculative capital into fewer and fewer stocks as the "good" options for investors shrink. We now clearly see this in the FAANG complex (a topic covered in detail in our recent report The FAANG-nary In The Coal Mine )

Stockman's main warning is that there's no bid underneath this market -- that when perception shifts from greed to fear, the bottom is much farther down than most investors realize. In his words, it's "rigged for implosion".

He predicts a Great Reset is imminent. One that, for those who see it coming and take prudent action today, will offer tremendous, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime, investment opportunity once the dust settles.

To hear Stockman's specific predictions and warnings, listen to this 16-minute interview:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/zHAHVUUFdZM

Those interested in having the opportunity to spend an entire day with David Stockman, where he'll present the specifics of his forecasts as well as address investor Q&A, should consider attending Peak Prosperity's New York City Summit with him on Sep 26, 2018 .

It's a good thing this Summit is coming up soon. We very likely do not have much time left before Stockman's predicted Great Reset begins.

As he puts it himself:

You would think by now that the big thinkers and strategists of Wall Street would get the joke. Trump's election was always a dagger aimed squarely at the egregious financial bubbles on Wall Street that have been building for 30 years at the expense of a stagnant main street economy.

And now [America's] no-holds barred pursuit of Trade Wars and Fiscal Debauch have guaranteed that the day of reckoning is at hand.

In fact, it may be only days away. And this chart from the final days of the dotcom bubble may be a pretty serviceable roadmap as to why and when.

Sonny Brakes Sat, 08/11/2018 - 12:56 Permalink

Eventually, Dave will be correct.

Maybe one of the keys to surviving this upcoming economic collapse is to be completely out of debt with very little money in the bank and with just enough precious metals to keep from starving while living in a small town just far enough away from the city to keep foreigners from invading.

Truther -> Sonny Brakes Sat, 08/11/2018 - 12:58 Permalink

One day, and sooner than we think, David may be right.

But.... I'm not buying any books, rather holding the shiny phyzz is my hedge.

JRobby -> Truther Sat, 08/11/2018 - 13:05 Permalink

"Lurches violently into reverse"

We are in a "never before seen" monetary "experiment" Some debt will be written off. Stocks will fall. Banks will fail. Long overdue.

Adolfsteinbergovitch -> Amnaroy789 Sat, 08/11/2018 - 14:52 Permalink

Dear Cherie girl,

There is no second act in American lives

- R Scott Fitzgerald

This could apply to you, but i don't think you have an IQ high enough to understand. That's the problem when you deal with stupid people...

eforce -> Adolfsteinbergovitch Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:32 Permalink

"This hatred will be still further magnified by the effects of an economic crises, which will stop dealing on the exchanges and bring industry to a standstill. We shall create by all the secret subterranean methods open to us and with the aid of gold, which is all in our hands, a universal economic crises whereby we shall throw upon the streets whole mobs of workers simultaneously in all the countries of europe. These mobs will rush delightedly to shed the blood of those whom, in the simplicity of their ignorance, they have envied from their cradles, and whose property they will then be able to loot."

--The Protocols (1905)

TRN -> francis scott Sat, 08/11/2018 - 14:23 Permalink

If you want timing, I would say within the month we will have the first installment of the correction. As for fixing things, it is never guaranteed, much like a war.

francis scott -> TRN Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:19 Permalink

Lots of people are saying that the correction won't come in installments, but in one lump sum. Dunno, but doesn't timing always include those 'limit down' days?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2y4pdH12xDM

Snaffew -> Truther Sat, 08/11/2018 - 15:44 Permalink

as long as the pm's are in your control and not at some brokerage storage area, you should be fine. If you can't touch it every day, then you don't own it is my philosophy.

Truther -> Snaffew Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:56 Permalink

Oh believe me. I'm touching it, rubbing it, holding it. And every time I do, I get such a fucking boner that makes my wife beg for it.

The boner that is..

ShrNfr -> Sonny Brakes Sat, 08/11/2018 - 13:02 Permalink

Today's doom porn is brought to you by the letters D and S and the number 1,693,988,000,237,681,444,314,159,625.

Endgame Napoleon -> ShrNfr Sat, 08/11/2018 - 14:07 Permalink

This economy is more Oscar-the-Grouch-like than Big Birdish, no matter how much bragging is done. It is not Big Bird's fault, however. It was all in place before he ever got there. Sunny day, not.

Endgame Napoleon -> oldmanofthesee Sat, 08/11/2018 - 14:09 Permalink

He likely means any group that can undercut underemployed US citizens, driving down wages in the few available jobs.

Endgame Napoleon -> kurwamac Sat, 08/11/2018 - 14:14 Permalink

One question, though...If you are an average Venezuelan, wouldn't it be easier to have BitCoin? Affluent people have the means to store gold and better ways of selling it in the case of an economic catastrophe. It would be interesting to hear the perspective of ordinary people in places with hyperinflated currency. They would probably be afraid to discuss it, though, due to nutty .gov officials. It seems like people could help them easier via BTC, assuming they have some way to spend it on staples. In the event of a calamity, most people will just give up, I fear.

jm Sat, 08/11/2018 - 12:57 Permalink

LOL.

1. Life always finds a way to survive.

2. There are always winners and losers. Winners take risk, losers fret over the end of the world.

3. The apocalyse porn industry is remarkably resilient

oddjob -> jm Sat, 08/11/2018 - 13:10 Permalink

Thousands of species have gone extinct over time, so always might be a bit short sighted.

Condor_0000 -> oddjob Sat, 08/11/2018 - 13:54 Permalink

Actually, I believe it's 99% of all species that ever existed have gone extinct. Humans will not be the exception. What people don't realize is how soon down the road human extinction might be.

----------------------

"We're Going To Become Extinct, Probably Within 100 Years" Eminent Scientist Says

June 16, 2010

The Australian

Excerpts

"We're going to become extinct," the eminent scientist says. "Whatever we do now is too late."

Fenner is an authority on extinction. The emeritus professor in microbiology at the Australian National University played a leading role in sending one species into oblivion: the variola virus that causes smallpox.

And his work on the myxoma virus suppressed wild rabbit populations on farming land in southeastern Australia in the early 1950s.

He made the comments in an interview at his home in a leafy Canberra suburb. Now 95, he rarely gives interviews.

He says the Earth has entered the Anthropocene. Although it is not an official epoch on the geological timescale, the Anthropocene is entering scientific terminology. It spans the time since industrialisation, when our species started to rival ice ages and comet impacts in driving the climate on a planetary scale. Fenner says the real trouble is the population explosion and "unbridled consumption".

The number of Homo sapiens is projected to exceed 6.9 billion this year, according to the UN. With delays in firm action on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, Fenner is pessimistic.

"We'll undergo the same fate as the people on Easter Island," he says. "Climate change is just at the very beginning. But we're seeing remarkable changes in the weather already. The human species is likely to go the same way as many of the species that we've seen disappear.

"Homo sapiens will become extinct, perhaps within 100 years," he says. "A lot of other animals will, too. It's an irreversible situation. I think it's too late. I try not to express that because people are trying to do something, but they keep putting it off.

"Mitigation would slow things down a bit, but there are too many people here already."

Endgame Napoleon -> Condor_0000 Sat, 08/11/2018 - 14:20 Permalink
Condor_0000 -> Endgame Napoleon Sat, 08/11/2018 - 15:02 Permalink

Capitalism requires growth to survive. Look at what happened to FB recently when they merely stated that their growth was slowing. Almost all of capitalism's growth comes from population expansion. If we demanded that nobody could reproduce, and the global population was quickly cut in half, capitalism would utterly collapse. So, what do you want to do? What do you think the richest capitalists, who totally rule the world, want to do? Well, we know what they're going to do. We're watching them do it. They're going to drive humanity towards extinction and hope that their massive wealth allows them to survive while 7 billion people perish; as if climate change will abruptly come to a halt at that point and they will be spared. They won't be. But that's their only game plan. What else could they possibly do?

jm -> Not Too Important Sat, 08/11/2018 - 15:37 Permalink

LOL.

This planet has seen Cambrian and other explosions of diversity as well as Permian-level extinctions that wiped out 90% of all organisms and 40% of phyla. YET LOOK HOW THINGS STAND NOW.

Forget the cult of doom-saying, which really has all the elements of a weird religious movement. If you bet, bet on life. Not jackassery.

delmar Jackson -> Condor_0000 Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:17 Permalink

"Fenner says the real trouble is the population explosion and "unbridled consumption".

The population of almost every western nation has been declining for years. Even in the USA, if we subtracted immigration the numbers would show a below replacement level birthrate. Africa, on the other hand, shows a surprising increase in population every year defying the expectations of demographers year after year and the continent is now expected to have 4 trillion Africans by the end of the century. So we do not have an overpopulation problem on planet earth. We have an African problem. Furthermore, nearly all the growth in greenhouse gases in western countries is driven by the transfer of immigrants from very low carbon footprint countries to high carbon footprint countries. If open border globalist David Gelbaum had not bribed the Sierra Club in 2006 with 100 million dollars to never mention immigration and the harm it does our environment more people would be talking about the dangers of immigration to our environment.

The eminent scientist may be right, we could be headed for extinction, but not for his reasons, but for our fear of confronting the reckless growth in Africa and the agenda of the globalist to turn all western countries into dysfunctional ungovernable tribal nations via massive endless immigration.

east of eden -> Ward of the Squid Sat, 08/11/2018 - 14:43 Permalink

The problem is, that in a crisis, yes, both gold and silver will drop, possibly almost as much as the stock and bond markets, however, at some point during the crisis, they will snap back, and roar upwards. The problem, as always, is that in a crisis environment, would you even be able to obtain physical gold and silver, and, at what premium? It wasn't so long ago that silver was trading at a 35% premium to spot, and we weren't even in a financial or banking crisis, so, you can just imagine the kind of spreads you would be paying to own physical, in a real crisis.

To my way of thinking, if you believe in the durability of gold and silver to weather not only severe inflation, but also severe deflation, one is much better off buying before the crisis hits.

If inflation becomes the dominant trend, then your gold and silver will rise with each hit on fiat currencies and the reserves banks that issue them. If deflation becomes the dominant theme, yes, you may loose nominal value compared to the price you purchased those holdings at, but since everything else will be plummeting in prices, your relative wealth advantage will be preserved.

It's difficult to say what will happen when the bottom falls out, once again. This time will not be like 2008/09, when the Fed and other central banks had small balance sheets and could buy government debt at very low interest rates. Considering the trap that many countries (US included) find themselves in now, I am not sure it is realistic to expect interest rates to rise to 22% as they did when Nixon closed the gold window, for the simple reason that interest rates at that level will definitely bankrupt many sovereigns, making the situation even worse.

It might also be of interest to note, that in the last 15 years, the price of gold, in all major currencies (pound, dollar, franc, euro, yen, AUS and CAD) has risen between 10 and 12% a year, on average over those years. Which simply means that the 'real' inflation rate has been between 10% and 12% in those currencies.

That is what gold does. It doesn't make you 'moar' money, but it does preserve the purchasing power of the money you do have.

Dewey Cheatum -> silverer Sat, 08/11/2018 - 13:17 Permalink

The answer to your question, is yes. As short term rates continue to rise, PM hoarders will begin cashing in much of their holdings, to chase yields. which will start a run

Imo, gold and silver will continue to go down, which means, better buying opportunities.

oddjob -> Dewey Cheatum Sat, 08/11/2018 - 13:27 Permalink

Anybody leveraged into PM's is long gone, I suspect the waterfall move down will be in property prices, both CRE and residential. A tripling of interest rates would not even get them back to historical norms, this will devastate most mortgage holders.

Arrowflinger -> Herdee Sat, 08/11/2018 - 14:07 Permalink

Once the $21 trillion was obtained by single-entry accounting by the oddly-named "Defense" department, the Fed is powerless over money supply.

Endgame Napoleon -> Arrowflinger Sat, 08/11/2018 - 14:31 Permalink

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-24/ron-paul-heres-21-trillion-re

[Aug 12, 2018] One of the things folks are not getting is that when a crash occurs that there is no place for the crash to land

Notable quotes:
"... The 1920s roared with debt based consumption and speculation until it all tipped over into the debt deflation of the Great Depression. No one realised the problems that were building up in the economy as they used an economics that doesn't look at private debt, neoclassical economics. ..."
"... Same economics, same problem, globally. Neoliberalism was just one huge debt fuelled boom, which was replicated across the UK, the US, the Euro-zone, Japan and China. ..."
"... The early neoclassical economists hid the problems of rentier activity in the economy by removing the difference between "earned" and "unearned" income and they conflated "land" with "capital". ..."
"... DS has been saying that Armageddon is just around the corner for about seven years at this stage. Yet the ponzi continues.... ..."
Aug 12, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Fantasy Free E Sat, 08/11/2018 - 14:06 Permalink

One of the things folks are not getting is that when a crash occurs that there is no place for the crash to land. There is no ground on which the economy can land in order to reset. The only growth engines in play are new expanded human herding opportunities and using government to add value to assets. Both of these engines are running out of gas.

http://quillian.net/blog/the-deficit-spending-racket/

Arrowflinger -> Fantasy Free E Sat, 08/11/2018 - 14:12 Permalink

The 'gas' is infinite.

falconflight Sat, 08/11/2018 - 14:23 Permalink

The red reset button is a bit over the top. Playing on me fears and tears...oh my!

Let it Go Sat, 08/11/2018 - 14:37 Permalink

The massive debt load hanging above our heads has not receded or gone away it has merely been transferred to the public sector where those in charge of such things feel it is more benign . By a series of off-book and backdoor transactions those in charge have transferred the burden of loss from the banks onto the shoulders of the people, however, shifting the liability from one sector to another does not alleviate the problem.

Writing off bad debt is usually a painful process and often results in a huge change in what something is worth. The creditor, meaning the person, business, or institution that holds the paper can suffer a huge loss. Defaults generally constitute an unplanned and involuntary financial adjustment. We as individuals should be concerned as to how defaults can spill over and affect our lives. The article below delves into this subject.

http://Debt Has Burgeoned, Is The Day Of Reckoning Near? html

falak pema Sat, 08/11/2018 - 14:52 Permalink

Mr Reaganomics is now shitting in his pants for what his ancient master has created in Jefferson's land...

Batman11 Sat, 08/11/2018 - 15:12 Permalink

The economics of the neoliberal era had a fundamental flaw.

The 1920s roared with debt based consumption and speculation until it all tipped over into the debt deflation of the Great Depression. No one realised the problems that were building up in the economy as they used an economics that doesn't look at private debt, neoclassical economics.

Same economics, same problem, globally. Neoliberalism was just one huge debt fuelled boom, which was replicated across the UK, the US, the Euro-zone, Japan and China.

At 25.30 mins we can see the super imposed the debt-to-GDP ratios.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAStZJCKmbU&list=PLmtuEaMvhDZZQLxg24CAiFgZYldtoCR-R&index=6

The damage is done and the collapse begins.

Batman11 -> Batman11 Sat, 08/11/2018 - 15:57 Permalink

You may not like it, but it's always been craponomics.

It was corrupted at birth to hide the discoveries of the Classical economists.

They had realised most at the top of society were parasites living off the hard work of everyone else, an idle rentier class.

The early neoclassical economists hid the problems of rentier activity in the economy by removing the difference between "earned" and "unearned" income and they conflated "land" with "capital".

They also took the focus off the cost of living, which had been so important in Classical Economics.

Clogheen Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:35 Permalink

DS has been saying that Armageddon is just around the corner for about seven years at this stage. Yet the ponzi continues....

Drop-Hammer Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:25 Permalink

The 'epochal pivot', of which (((Stockman))) speaks, is The Great Trumpening. Everything else is back-ground radiation like from The Big Bang.

[Aug 11, 2018] Soros: We may be heading for another major financial crisis

Anythin coming from this financial shark is suspicious. also at 86 he probably does not understand as much as thirty years before. But it is true that the glory days of neoliberalism are over and with them Soros statute and influence.
Aug 11, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

Briefly touching on Europe's economic outlook, he said, "We may be heading for another major financial crisis." Partly in response to his warning, the Dow fell nearly 400 points that day. Soros is generally considered the greatest speculator Wall Street has known, and though he stopped managing other people's money years ago, the reaction was a real-time display of his continued ability to move markets. The attention given to that comment also underscored, in a subtle way, an enduring frustration of his life: His financial thoughts still tend to carry more weight than his political reflections.

[Aug 11, 2018] Looks like Session was the insurance about which Strzok texted

Aug 11, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Trump attacked former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, the man at the center of the Trump dossier scandal, who had extensive contacts with the Department of Justice's former #4 ranked official, before and after the FBI opened its Trump-Russia probe in the summer of 2016, according to new emails recently turned over to Congressional investigators.

That official, Bruce Ohr, was demoted twice after the DOJ's Inspector General discovered that he lied about his involvement with opposition research firm Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson - who employed Steele. Ohr's CIA-linked wife, Nellie, was also employed by Fusion as part of the firm's anti-Trump efforts, and had ongoing communications with the ex-UK spy, Christopher Steele as well, suggesting that Steele was much closer to the Obama administration than previously disclosed, and his DOJ contact Bruce Ohr reported directly to Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates - who approved at least one of the FISA warrants to surveil Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

"The big story that the Fake News Media refuses to report is lowlife Christopher Steele's many meetings with Deputy A.G. Bruce Ohr and his beautiful wife, Nelly. It was Fusion GPS that hired Steele to write the phony & discredited Dossier, paid for by Crooked Hillary & the DNC.... " Trump tweeted.

"...Do you believe Nelly worked for Fusion and her husband STILL WORKS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF "JUSTICE." I have never seen anything so Rigged in my life. Our A.G. is scared stiff and Missing in Action. It is all starting to be revealed - not pretty. IG Report soon? Witch Hunt!"

me title=

me title=

Trump's latest broadside on Steel and Ohr was likely prompted by speculation that the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is preparping subpoenas for people connected to the controversial Steele dossier. As The Hill reported earlier this week , Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) is said to be preparing subpoenas for Bruce Ohr, his wife Nellie Ohr and Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson.

By escalating his all too public demands on AG Sessions, Trump is risking further scrutiny by Robert Mueller, who is already poring over Trump's tweets to solidify his Obstruction of justice case, while inviting a whole new set of contradictory statements by his newest attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who most recently said that Trump would be willing to sit down with Mueller if two specifics topics are not discussed:

  1. Why Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.
  2. What Trump said to Comey about the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Of course, by continuing his periodic twitter attacks on Sessions, Trump makes it prohibitively difficult for Mueller to agree to those terms. Tags Multiline Utilities - NEC

Comments Vote up! 26 Vote down! 5

DarkPurpleHaze Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:34 Permalink

It's hard to say what's really going on behind the scenes but you'd think at some point soon that a huge and undeniable truth-bomb is revealed.

Here's a sick thought...is Session's position as Trump's AG the "insurance policy" (((they))) had in place?

If Session's isn't part of Trump's plan then he'll be gone soon enough. If Trump endlessly tolerates Session's inactivity and merely berates him periodically (just for optics) then we'll know Sessions is clandestinely working behind the scenes (w/HUBER) and this movie starts to finally get interesting.

Obama, Hillary & Co. will pay for their attempted/failed treason. But will Session's be the AG that see's it through?

#WWG1WGA

FireBrander -> Kidbuck Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:53 Permalink

Would like to hear Trump explain why Sessions still works for HIM!

The Attorney General may be removed at will by the President under the Supreme Court decision Myers v. United States ,

DingleBarryObummer -> FireBrander Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:57 Permalink

He's just trying to mess with your head and make you confused. That's what he does.

"Hit it from every angle. Open multiple fronts on your enemy. He must be confused, and feel besieged on every side."- Roger Stone's Rules (the guy who got trump elected.)

What you don't realize is WE the people are his "enemy" in that tactic above. It's gaslighting.

Here's another Stone rule

"Always praise 'em before you hit 'em."

"Politics isn't theater. It's performance art. Sometimes, for its own sake."

"Unless you can fake sincerity, you'll get nowhere in this business"

sound familiar?

Algo Rhythm -> Kidbuck Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:58 Permalink

He reads just fine but he reads what the zio-bankers and israhell gives him to read. The Administration has become such a fucking dissapointment.

loveyajimbo -> brushhog Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:49 Permalink

What does that make Trump... knowing Sessions is a disgrace and useless... but refusing to fire him? No nut-sack?

DingleBarryObummer -> Ajax-1 Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:17 Permalink

https://imgur.com/a/ZQSNEBb

Prehuman Insight -> brushhog Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:53 Permalink

MetaMussolini Our golfing warthog president has picked a cabinet of semi-human dirty people who are intellectually corrupt gangsters. Trump makes worse the sorrows of the middle class.

UmbilicalMosqu -> Ajax-1 Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:11 Permalink

Myers v. United States ,

Adolfsteinbergovitch -> DingleBarryObummer Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:46 Permalink

One name: Skripal.

fauxhammer -> DarkPurpleHaze Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:37 Permalink

Jeeesus...get on with it already. Stop your tweeting and start arresting criminals you fucking blowhard.

DingleBarryObummer -> fauxhammer Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:40 Permalink

Stop your tweeting and start arresting criminals

I guarantee you no one will go to real jail because this is not real beef. Just kabuki.

Baron von Bud -> fauxhammer Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:45 Permalink

This confirms what we've been hearing on the alt news. Sessions isn't doing his job and the criminals will get a pass. Mr. Sessions, you may not agree with the President and may feel you're acting honorably but that's a problem. You were put there to round up the criminals (your former esteemed colleagues) and didn't follow through on your duties. Step aside and let someone step up who isn't timid and let's git 'er done. Of course, that's assuming any of this was real to begin with and I have serious doubts.

the artist -> Baron von Bud Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:12 Permalink

If Hill-Obama crew are influencing AG or obstruction in other ways then that extends any statute of limitations.

Push -> DarkPurpleHaze Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:46 Permalink

So, do you think that Hillary and Obama are influencing mi5 and mi6 to run their operation against Trump? Or do you think it's the other way around?

brushhog -> Push Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:50 Permalink

I think it goes a lot deeper than Hillary, Obama, or any intel agencies. All the way up to the globalist western oligarchs who are scared shitless of losing control and allowing a populist movement to fuck up their racketts.

Orders come down the pike from the oligarchs through the politicans [ who's campaigns cannot be funded without the oligarchs, and who nod is needed to be accepted by either of the two parties ] and their appointed intelligentce agents, down through the media, through the special interest groups to the idiot at home watching CNN.

Miggy -> DarkPurpleHaze Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:48 Permalink

Very curious the MIA of Sessions and even more so the relative quiet from the Trump administration about it.

Kidbuck -> Miggy Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:52 Permalink

Who has the better home videos of Denny Hastert's last Christmas party, Trump or Sessions?

DingleBarryObummer -> DarkPurpleHaze Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:53 Permalink

If Session's isn't part of Trump's plan then he'll be gone soon enough. If Trump endlessly tolerates Session's inactivity and merely berates him periodically (just for optics) then we'll know Sessions is clandestinely working behind the scenes (w/HUBER) and this movie starts to finally get interesting.

We are 568 days into the presidency. THIS Is What President Trump Can Do RIGHT NOW To Fix The System. By Gregory Mannarino - YouTube

KuriousKat -> DarkPurpleHaze Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:13 Permalink

bingo..sessions was the insurance


PrintCash -> Omen IV Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:00 Permalink

Do you think that there are a lot of public servants in Washington DC who practice rule of law, hold themselves to higher ideals, are interested in promoting and spreading liberty? Tell me about them. Most Reps are just talking heads, that's all they do, appear before cameras looking like they are accomplishing shit. Same with Sessions, except now he's in a appointed position, where there's actual things to be accomplished besides finding the next donor to sell out to. But it's not called the swamp for nothing. These law abiding freedom loving so called conservatives we've been voting for are a joke, no significant gains, only slightly less aggressive rate of deterioration into a bigger state. And Session fits into that club nicely. The conservative club is the joke. I'm merely pointing it out. I'd like to be wrong, but I see no evidence of it. We're way past the tipping point, too many of us are in on the take, in one way or another, to go back, and by design.

Miggy -> PrintCash Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:50 Permalink

Nothing personal but this is wrong. Sessions is an insider and sharp as a rats tooth.

My guess is they have something on him.

chunga -> DingleBarryObummer Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:11 Permalink

Sure. It's a possibility. But then I wonder why the Awan guy walked right out the front door.

Pollygotacracker Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:38 Permalink

What has Sessions been doing? The man is A.W.O.L. They guy needs to get to work or find another job.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 -> Pollygotacracker Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:42 Permalink

Amen! I heard a sound clip of Sessions giving a speech on XM 125 a few days ago. The man can barely talk and when he does talk he sounds like a moron. A real life Forest Gump. He sounds retarded. Bad choice on the part of Trump.

It was this speech. Jeez, the lefties and fags are freaking out and saying Sessions visited a hate group. At least he slammed SPLC! https://www.dailysignal.com/2018/08/08/sessions-calls-out-southern-pove

ADF: Alliance Defending Freedom and is made of Christians. Because of that it is a hate group. The fucking commies will never stop. This PC crap that everything is hate speech and everything is racist is nonsense. I'm sick of it, quite frankly. Want to be racist? Go ahead. Want to say something hateful or stupid? Go ahead. Let the leftists freak out. I have had enough of their caterwauling!

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:40 Permalink

This is awesome: "lowlife Christopher Steele's many meetings with Deputy A.G. Bruce Ohr and his beautiful wife, Nelly." If you have seen pics of Nelly, well, she isn't beautiful. Her being married to Ohr is weird. Beyond weird. These two things do not go together!

Too funny to see Trump trolling! He's good!

Chupacabra-322 Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:42 Permalink

Bongino just broke that suddenly Mark Warner who sits the the Senate Intelligence Committee wants to meet with Julian Assange behind closed doors.

KuriousKat -> Chupacabra-322 Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:28 Permalink

Thats interesting because waldman inserted himself with assange and did nine visits..the purpuse of that was to establish a mythical Russian bridge to Assange that would be used against him by Mueller who was exposed workin on Oleg Matter with the FBI . Oleg powed 25 M of own money..and never got his visa. Chris steele was working to Get Oleg his visa..Walman represented steele assange and Oleg...

He completed his mission..on assange then sold him down the river turning the immunity deal over to Warner...

Knowing full well Warner Comey and deepstate would trash it.

Warner is King of the Snakes..Adam was just doing what was best for his mafioso boss Olegs business. Oleg and FBI are joined at the hip.

KuriousKat Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:13 Permalink

Sessions was the insurance. He screened everyone during the transition including halper, who was then pushed aggressively by Navarro... Its ironic that when paige , the patsy, went to the Cambridge meeting paid by Halpers connection.. Paige took it cuz no body wanted to go so he volunteered.. the guest speakers were Madelinne Albright of the Atlantic Council and Vin Weber disgraced congressman whose PR firm was scrutinized by Mueller.

Albright went to emphasize what a threat Trump and the populist movement was and how important it was to get on the transition team. No telling how many others Sessions let thru. Make no mistake.. he will be implicated in this. Trump knows what a betrayal this really was.

[Aug 11, 2018] A White, Trump-Voting Charlottesville Survivor Reflects On "An Entire Failed System Propped Up On Lies"

Aug 11, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

What other historical events and movements have we been lied to about? And can you prop up an entire failing system based on lies?

... ... ...

Senate Democrats, using the excuse of "Russian disinformation" campaigns, are already circulating a memo that would establish more government control over Internet content, including the de facto end of online anonymity [ Senate Democrats Are Circulating Plans for Government Takeover of the Internet: Reason Roundup , by Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Reason, July 31, 2018].

Slowly, America is moving toward a system where only favored groups will be allowed to express their opinion. Arguably, America is already at the point where groups such as Antifa simply do not have to obey the law at all, while ruinous lawsuits and "lawfare" are unleashed against conservative groups.

... ... ...

The end result: a country that increasingly seems on the brink of madness as it is gaslighted by a media growing ever more shrill. America is being put on a permanent war footing -- and the enemy its people are being mobilized against is the historic American nation, those European-Americans who live this country and its heritage.

[Aug 10, 2018] On Contact: Casino Capitalism with Natasha Dow Schull

Highly recommended!
This is kind of symbolic and amazing figures: 34 billions are spend in casinos each year. and that's just official figure...
Notable quotes:
"... Casinos and Gambling are a tax on the ignorant and the indigent. ..."
"... Economist, Michael Hudson recently said in an interview that economics trumps politics every time. I am an observer of casinos and gambling in it's many forms. I am someone who has been fleeced by vulture capitalists and unscrupulous financial types as well as government officials in charge of business financial assistance schemes that don't deliver. ..."
"... Another version of how ''Brave New World'' has come to pass. The documentaries: ''The Century of the Self'' and ''HyperNormalisation 2016'' by Adam Curtis explain how we have been subdued. This lady professor is very knowledgable. Excellent episode. ..."
"... Completing the circle of predatory capitalism. Government controlled by oligarchy/plutoracry that see us, the citizens, as enemies of the state. ..."
Mar 25, 2017 | www.youtube.com

On this week's episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges discusses the ramifications of casino culture in America with Professor Natasha Dow Schüll, author of " Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas". RT Correspondent Anya Parampil examines how gambling has become our premier form of entertainment and escape.


gre999999man , 1 year ago

Casinos and Gambling are a tax on the ignorant and the indigent.

Gerald Comeau , 1 year ago (edited)

Economist, Michael Hudson recently said in an interview that economics trumps politics every time. I am an observer of casinos and gambling in it's many forms. I am someone who has been fleeced by vulture capitalists and unscrupulous financial types as well as government officials in charge of business financial assistance schemes that don't deliver.

Often the two ie the vultures and the government officials work in tandem.

I have extreme distaste for these zombies and an always on the alert. I am bowled over with how an overwhelming number of people in society are scammed day in and day out and having their lives ruined. I fear it will shatter life as we know it not for individuals only but for whole nations. People must pay more attention to attention to what this video says and what Michael Hudson explains in his books .....Killing the Host and Junk Economics are his most recent ones.

PleaseStayTuned , 1 year ago

I liked what she had to say, but I wonder why she didn't go a bit deeper into the operant conditioning aspect considering that's what Skinner's work was based on. Why intermittent rewards work so well, and why the dopamine spike curve is so important in conditioning a behavior in anything with a limbic system. Important because understanding how dopamine and dopamine spikes work came largely from gambling research for slot machines. Technology that was built on Skinner's work by the gov and then business marketing along with gov propaganda, then gambling. If people understood how it worked and where the technology came from they would be much less likely to let gambling addiction happen in the first place.

Darren Swift , 1 year ago

I come from a family of gamblers, at least on my father's side. My dad towed us around to the racetracks and billiards parlors until we were old enough to drive, and card games for money were a frequent family activity for us. I never felt attracted to gambling, and often feel bored by the prospect. Needless to say, with advanced age I now find myself estranged from my remaining siblings. What had occurred to me some time ago is how living life is such a gamble. Outcomes can always vary, from planning and preparing for a career to going to the market for groceries. Games of chance seem to furnish a microcosm of the life experience, where participants are allowed an illusion of greater control and the outcomes tend to be uniformly immediate. It also allows you to ignore your greater life experience. Maybe that's the "zone" so many enjoy. I didn't remember what "March Madness" is. Until all those slots were shown I thought they were talking about something similar to Black Friday. Now that I remember, it hits me that my brother and sister undoubtedly have their bets down in multiple pools.

John E , 1 year ago

Another version of how ''Brave New World'' has come to pass. The documentaries: ''The Century of the Self'' and ''HyperNormalisation 2016'' by Adam Curtis explain how we have been subdued. This lady professor is very knowledgable. Excellent episode.

writernthesky , 1 year ago

And casinos have no windows so that it's difficult to track the time.

Richard Burt , 6 months ago

Skinner on slot machine as metaphor for the Skinner box! incredible.

Joe M , 1 year ago

Completing the circle of predatory capitalism. Government controlled by oligarchy/plutoracry that see us, the citizens, as enemies of the state.

Patricia MacLeod , 1 month ago

23:50 right on. We selfie generation are too busy trolling the media and playing games to think, meditate, analyze, understand and act for our fellow man or a healthier future for our country. It's all about me and my short-term gratifications.

starmanskye , 1 year ago

Casino-Disasterism Capitalism is well named -- All of the engineered mechano-psychological traits used to make longshot escapist-gambling popular, lucrative and addicting, based on the faux-goals of numb indulgence, cultivating of cheap-thrill delights, pandering to the conceits of synthetic wastrel satisfactions and dead-end fatalism -- is evident in the terminal phase of the global corporate deepstate technoracy of Empire Inc. that is pillaging and plundering its way across the planet, securitizing the earth right out from under our feet! ~ ; )

Mechyuda , 1 year ago

Professor Natasha Dow Schüll said Trump won the presidential election, because Trump used his casino expertise to manipulate voters. Based on the news I've seen, Trump was a failed casino owner. Trump is a con-artist who uses his massive inheritance, multiple bankruptcies, privatized large gains, socialized larger losses, and sales hype in order "to win". Trump, Obama, and Bush Jr. are good examples of how the average person lacks the talent, training, and experience to manage his/her own nation. Democracy, majority tyranny, mob rule, or dumb-mock-crazy elections are modern myths.

inessa armand , 1 year ago

The Clinton era, signified so much. Basically, in regard to this aspect, the very ending of any culture whatsoever; gambling casinos took over our down-towns, and our oldest landmarks. I went in once and saw those carpets and nearly puked. Now she tells why they are so ugly. Why any human being would find that appealing reminds me of Kissinger's infamous quote: "We've successfully made the public so dumb, I cannot die. For there is no one to replace me.."

[Aug 10, 2018] When> people use the term Jews they typically mean Financial oligachy

Notable quotes:
"... I never meet Jew haters in my personal life but there sure are a lot on this site. How does less than 2% of the US population utterly dominate the nation? Is each Jew 50 times stronger than every gentile. ..."
"... They tend to be urban dwellers where salaries are higher but standards of living are often lower. Those in my neighborhood are very well assimilated. They put elaborate Christmas lights on their houses. It is not a rich neighborhood. ..."
"... Their earlier history was wretched and included slavery and persecutions for thousands of years. Don't waste much time fearing Jews ..."
Jun 27, 2018 | www.unz.com

Patricus , June 5, 2018 at 11:43 pm GMT

I never meet Jew haters in my personal life but there sure are a lot on this site. How does less than 2% of the US population utterly dominate the nation? Is each Jew 50 times stronger than every gentile.

I meet many Jews but can't recall a single super Jew. Maybe they are clever deceivers? The great majority are middle earners. There are some rich and some poor. Jews dominate Hollywood and certain occupations but they are underrepresented as engineers and architects. So what.

They tend to be urban dwellers where salaries are higher but standards of living are often lower. Those in my neighborhood are very well assimilated. They put elaborate Christmas lights on their houses. It is not a rich neighborhood.

Jewish history does not support the idea of a super race. They only entered middle classes in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and only in the western world. Before that they were not allowed to attend universities or even own land in many cases.

Their earlier history was wretched and included slavery and persecutions for thousands of years. Don't waste much time fearing Jews.

[Aug 10, 2018] Hitler Trump The Great Man Theory Debunked by Gerold

Notable quotes:
"... Although he was a brilliant orator, Hitler's failures are too innumerable to list. [Link] He was certainly a failure as a painter and his General staff considered him an incompetent military strategist (fortunately for the Allies.) However, Hitler was merely the right man at the right time and place to achieve power. As Ross explains, Hitler was , "the result of a large protest movement colliding with complex patterns of elite self-interest, in a culture increasingly prone to aggressive mythmaking and irrationality." That sounds all too close to home, doesn't it? ..."
"... Enter Donald Trump; the right man at the right time and place. He's a brute, a bully, and a demagogue, but he understands the zeitgeist, the spirit of the times and he adjusts his message to appeal to his base. ..."
"... I have known many bullies; on the playground and in the boardroom. A bully may achieve short-term gain, but for long-term pain. It is very easy to destroy corporate culture, but extremely difficult, if not impossible, to mend a toxic workplace after the bully was dismissed. Now, extrapolate this to the world under Donald Trump. ..."
"... After his first meeting with Trump, he wrote that Trump "saw every unknown person as a threat and that his first instinct was to annihilate that threat. 'He's like a velociraptor. He has to be boss, and if you don't show him deference he kills you.'" ..."
"... If everything is so awesome, why are Americans drinking themselves to death in record numbers?" [Link] ..."
Aug 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Gerold via GeroldBlog.com,

We're told that great leaders make history. Like so much of what we are taught, that's a load of bunk. Yes, great leaders make it into the history books, but they do not make history. You make history. I make history. All we dirt people together make history. Government-run schools don't teach us this because it makes us easier to control.

The "Great Man Theory" [Link] tells us that history can be largely explained by the impact of great leaders. This theory was popularized in the 1800's by the historian and social commentator Thomas Carlyle [Link] The Great Man Theory downplays the importance of economic and practical explanations. It is an appealing theory because its simplicity offers the path of least resistance. That should ring an alarm.

Herbert Spencer [Link] forcefully disagreed with the "Great Man Theory." He believed that great leaders were merely products of their social environment. "Before he can remake his society, his society must make him." Tolstoy went so far as to call great leaders "history's slaves." However, this middle ground still misses the mark.

At the other extreme is "history from below" [Link] aka 'the people's history.' "History from below" takes the perspective of common people rather than leaders. It emphasizes the daily life of ordinary people that develop opinions and trends " as opposed to great people introducing ideas or initiating events." Unfortunately, this too is only half the equation, and it is no surprise that it appeals to Leftist and Marxist agendas.

Having studied politics and history ever since the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, I determined that although history is partly the environments and individuals shaping each other reciprocally, it is more than that. It is you and I who make history with every decision we make, every dollar we spend, everything we learn, every vote we cast and every opinion we voice. It's even what we don't do. It is mostly organic and cannot easily be explained in a simple, linear fashion the way the aforementioned political philosophers tried.

Great leaders are merely the right person at the right time and place. However, they do not lead so much as follow from the front. They stick their finger in the air to see which way the wind blows. They may be brutes, bullies or demagogues, but they are sensitive enough to understand the zeitgeist , the spirit of the times and so, they adjust their message accordingly.

That is one reason Jimmy Carter was a failed President. He was a nice guy, but he did not get an accurate reading of the times. Instead, he acted on the wishful thinking that is characteristic of liberals.

One of the significant shortcomings of many political philosophers is their ignorance of human nature. That is why Collectivism in all its forms appeals to the downtrodden. "Share and share alike" is a beautiful ideal so long as you get other people's stuff, but the flip side of the coin is not quite so appealing.

I heard a radio interview with a self-avowed Communist:

"So do you believe in 'share and share alike?"

"Yes, I do."

"And, if you had more than one house, you'd give them away and keep just one for yourself?"

"Yes. I would."

"And, if you had more than one vehicle, you'd give them away and keep just one for yourself?"

"Yes, I would."

"And, if you had more than one shirt "

"Whoa, wait a minute! I have more than one shirt."

I can't remember the rest of the interview as I was laughing too hard.

The Great Man Theory is one extreme, its critics are somewhere in the middle and 'the history of the people' is at the other end of the spectrum. Despite this, we are still fascinated by great leaders. That is human nature. Whether we are slaves at heart, or lack self-confidence or some other explanation is endlessly debatable. However, the fact remains that we are fascinated by great leaders and our inability to understand them further disproves the accepted theories.

Adolph Hitler is the ultimate example of our fascination with a great man. According to Alex Ross's "The Hitler Vortex," [Link] tens of thousands of books have been written about Hitler. "Books have been written about Hitler's youth, his years in Vienna and Munich, his service in the First World War, his assumption of power, his library, his taste in art, his love of film, his relations with women, and his predilections in interior design ('Hitler at Home')."

Tens of thousands of books failed to explain Hitler. Ross, too, does no better when he writes, "What set Hitler apart from most authoritarian figures in history was his conception of himself as an artist-genius who used politics as his métier. It is a mistake to call him a failed artist; for him, politics and war were a continuation of art by other means." WTF? Are we to believe Hitler was simply an artist who used the world as his canvas? Equally pointless is the notion that, "Hitler debased the Romantic cult of genius to incarnate himself as a transcendent leader hovering above the fray."

Although he was a brilliant orator, Hitler's failures are too innumerable to list. [Link] He was certainly a failure as a painter and his General staff considered him an incompetent military strategist (fortunately for the Allies.) However, Hitler was merely the right man at the right time and place to achieve power. As Ross explains, Hitler was , "the result of a large protest movement colliding with complex patterns of elite self-interest, in a culture increasingly prone to aggressive mythmaking and irrationality." That sounds all too close to home, doesn't it?

Enter Donald Trump; the right man at the right time and place. He's a brute, a bully, and a demagogue, but he understands the zeitgeist, the spirit of the times and he adjusts his message to appeal to his base.

I have known many bullies; on the playground and in the boardroom. A bully may achieve short-term gain, but for long-term pain. It is very easy to destroy corporate culture, but extremely difficult, if not impossible, to mend a toxic workplace after the bully was dismissed. Now, extrapolate this to the world under Donald Trump.

John Feeley is the former U.S. Ambassador to Panama portrayed in The New Yorker magazine article "The Diplomat Who Quit the Trump Administration." [Link] After his first meeting with Trump, he wrote that Trump "saw every unknown person as a threat and that his first instinct was to annihilate that threat. 'He's like a velociraptor. He has to be boss, and if you don't show him deference he kills you.'"

Feeley fears that "the country was embracing an attitude that was profoundly inimical to diplomacy 'If we do that we will become weaker and less prosperous.'" He is correct in that regard. China is building a large, new embassy at the mouth of the Panama Canal visible to every ship "as they enter a waterway that once symbolized the global influence of the United States."

Feeley is also correct in warning that the Trump administration's gutting the diplomatic corps will have negative repercussions. Throughout Latin America, leftist leaders are in retreat, and popular movements reject corrupt governance. Yet, America is losing "the greatest opportunity to recoup the moral high ground that we have had in decades." Instead, the U.S. is abandoning the region to China. Feeley calls it "a self-inflicted Pearl Harbor."

China is replacing U.S. influence in Latin America and Chinese banks "provided more than a hundred and fifty billion dollars in loan commitments to the region In less than two decades, trade between China and Latin America has increased twenty-seven-fold." Although that began long before Trump, "We're not just walking off the field. We're taking the ball and throwing a finger at the rest of the world."

Feeley says that he felt betrayed by what he regarded as "the traditional core values of the United States." Sorry, Feeley, but America lost its core values long before Trump was elected. Trump is not the cause; he is the symptom, the result of the declining American Empire.

Hunters know that one of the most dangerous animals is a wounded one. The same is correct about failing empires because they are a danger not only to others but to their own citizens as well. The elites are running out the clock in order to loot as much as they can before it hits the fan.

We dirt people will continue to suffer from stagnant wage growth while the so-called increase in national wealth goes to a tiny minority. [link]

Moreover, nobody wins a trade war that raises consumer prices even if Trump eventually triumphs.

The economy staggers under the weight of phony wars, fake finances, fake GDP, fake CPI, fake employment, fake pensions and fake everything. [Link] The national debt increases $1 trillion every year, consumer debt is at an all-time high [Link] while the tax cuts benefit only the ultra-wealthy. Also, the fake news tells us everything is wonderful. Don't believe it. "If everything is so awesome, why are Americans drinking themselves to death in record numbers?" [Link]

It is said that every few generations, money returns to its rightful owners. That is what's happening now.

America emerged relatively unscathed from the Second World War whereas many other countries were bombed back into the Stone Age. The Marshal Plan helped rebuild countries that were to become both America's future customers and its competitors. America's busy factories transformed from war production to consumer goods, the demand for which was created by "the Father of Spin" Edward Bernays' marketing propaganda. [Link]

As well, the U.S. stole the gold that the Nazis had stolen from others, [Link] and that wealth in addition to robust, productive capacity temporarily propelled the U.S. far ahead of other nations. However, it would not last. Eventually, the undeserved prosperity of the 1950's and '60's began to run out of steam as other nations rebuilt and competed with the U.S. President Nixon defaulting on the dollar in 1971 by "closing the gold window" signaled the end of America's good times . The subsequent debt creation now unconstricted by a gold basis helped to cushion the blow for several decades, but wealth was now flowing to Asia along with factory jobs.

For 5,000 years, China was a world superpower with only a short, two-century hiatus that is now ending as China again emerges as an economic superpower. Such a massive shift in wealth cannot be attributed to either leadership or the people below. It is a painful reversion to the mean. All the finger-pointing and wailing and gnashing of teeth not even bombastic Trump and his tariffs can stem the tide and make America great again as money continues to flow back to its rightful owners.

The USA is a declining, bankrupt, warmongering police state and most of its indoctrinated citizens think they live in a free, peaceful country.

China is a corrupt police state, but most of its citizens know it.

We have met the enemy, and he is us. The future awaits.

[Aug 10, 2018] Butina Case Neo-McCarthyism Engulfs America

Several US lobbing organizations leadership should probably also be arrested if the same criteria is applied...
Aug 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Phillip Giraldi via The Stratgeic Culture Foundation,

The United States Department of Justice would apparently have you believe that the Kremlin sought to subvert the five-million-member strong National Rifle Association (NRA) by having two Russian citizens take out life memberships in the organization with the intention of corrupting it and turning it into a mouthpiece for President Vladimir Putin.

Both of the Russians – Maria Butina and Alexander Torshin – have, by the way, long well documented histories as advocates for gun ownership and were founders of Right to Bear Arms, which is not an intelligence front organization of some kind and is rather a genuine lobbying group with an active membership and agenda.

Contrary to what has been reported in the mainstream media, Russians can own guns but the licensing and registration procedures are long and complicated, which Right to Bear Arms, modeling itself on the NRA, is seeking to change.

Maria Butina, a graduate student at American University, is now in solitary confinement in a federal prison, having been charged with collusion with Torshin and failure to register as an agent of the Russian Federation. It is unusual to arrest and confine someone who has failed to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, but she has not been granted bail because, as a Russian citizen, she is considered to be a "flight risk," likely to try to flee the US and return home. It is to be presumed that she is being pressured to identify others involved in her alleged scheme to overthrow American democracy through NRA membership.

Indeed, in any event, it would be difficult to imagine why anyone would consider the NRA to be a legitimate intelligence target. It only flexes its admitted powerful legislative muscles over issues relating to gun ownership, not regarding policy on Russia. In short, Butina and by extension Torshin appear to have done nothing wrong. Both are energetic advocates for their country and guns rights, which they appear to believe in, and Butina's aggressive networking has broken no law except not registering, which in itself assumes that she is a Russian government agent, something that has not been demonstrated. To put the shoe on the other foot, will every American who now travels to Russia and engages in political conversations with local people be suspected of acting as an agent of the US government? Once you open the door, it swings both ways.

One might dismiss the entire Affair Butina as little more than a reflection of the anti-Russia hysteria that has been sweeping the United States since Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election, but that would be unfair to those remaining honest FBI agents who may have investigated Butina and Torshin and come up with what they believed to be a plausible case for an indictment . There were possibly suspicious money transfers as well as email intercepts that might be interpreted as incriminating.

But two important elements are clearly missing.

The first is motive. Did the Kremlin seriously believe that it could get anything substantial out of having a gun totin' attractive young Russian woman as a life member in the NRA? What did the presumed puppet masters in Moscow expect to obtain apart from the sorts of group photos including Butina that one gets while posing with politicians at the annual NRA convention? Sure, the photo might even evolve into a cup of coffee together, but what is the end game?

Second is the lack of any of the hallmarks of an intelligence operation, which is referred to in the business as tradecraft. Spies meet secretly or at least outside the public eye with prospective agents whereas Maria operated completely in the open and she made no effort to conceal her love for her country and her desire that Washington and Moscow normalize relations. Spies also communicate securely, which means that they use encrypted systems or various cut-outs, i.e. mis-directions, when maintaining contact with those who are running them. Again, Maria did none of that, which is why the FBI has her emails. Also spies work under what is referred to as an "operating directive" in CIA-speak where they have very specific information that they seek to obtain from their contacts. There is no indication that Maria Butina in any way sought classified information or intelligence that would relate either to the security of the United States or to America's political system. And finally, Maria made no attempt to recruit anyone and turn them into an actual controlled Russian agent, which is what spies eventually seek to do.

It has come down to this: if you are a Russian and you are caught talking to anyone in any way influential, there is potentially hell to pay because the FBI will be watching you. You are automatically assumed to be part of a conspiracy. Once "evidence" is collected, you will be indicted and sent to prison, mostly to send a message to Moscow.

It is the ultimate irony that how the old Soviet Union's judiciary used to function is now becoming standing operating procedure in the United States.

[Aug 09, 2018] SEC Is Probing Musk's Going Private Tweet To Determine If He Lied Zero Hedge

Aug 09, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

With Elon Musk refusing to name any of the parties from whom he has allegedly "secured funding" after launching a huge short squeeze in Tesla yesterday with his now infamous Tesla "going private" series of tweets, it was only a matter of time before the regulators - who have so far stubbornly ignored Tesla - started asking questions.

According to the WSJ , that time is now, because the SEC has inquired with Tesla about Elon Musk's announcement that he may take the company private " and whether his claim was factual ", or in other words, whether Musk lied when he said he had secured financing.

The regulator also asked why the disclosure which kept people glued to twitter for hours was made on the social network rather than in a regulatory filing, and whether the firm believes the announcement complies with investor-protection rules.

According to the WSJ, the SEC inquiries - which originated from its San Francisco office so it will be relatively easy to visit the Fremont office - suggest Tesla could come under an enforcement investigation if regulators develop evidence that Musk's tweet was misleading or false.

"Frankly, the bigger issue is going to be whether the information is correct or not," said Ira Matetsky, a partner at Ganfer & Shore in New York, who outlined questions the SEC might ask. "When Musk tweeted this, was he saying this was something that was definitely going to happen? Something that might happen? How would a reasonable investor interpret that and was it consistent with the facts as they existed at the time?" - BBG

And while it is mostly semantics, so far it remains unclear if the SEC had opened a formal enforcement investigation based on the answers it received from the company.

"To put that out unless he absolutely has financing secured and is ready to make the bid that could be market manipulation," Keith Higgins, a Ropes & Gray partner who formerly led the SEC's corporation finance unit, told Bloomberg . "He could be in big trouble if that turns out not to have been true."

The biggest risk for Musk is if regulators find that he made a statement only intending to goose his company's share price, or as he likes to put it, "crush the shorts." Under US securities law, companies and corporate officers can (and will) be held liable for making misstatements or omitting information that shareholders need to make informed investment decisions.

In his email to employees on Tuesday, instead of detailing the circumstances around the "pre-commited" going private deal, Musk blamed short sellers and other pressures public markets put on companies as factors in announcing he wanted to take the company private.

However, that's not enough.

As we noted earlier , one potential problem is that merely the intent of a "going private" transaction, triggers rule 13E-3, which requires the company to file a Schedule 13E-3 with the SEC as well as furnish the required disclosures to the company's shareholders. Note: the rule is triggered in either case, even if the intent to go private is ultimately unsuccessful.

13E-3 or no, the SEC will demand to know just what is going on, what the Board knew and when - recall it stated today that it was made aware of Elon's plans last week and yet there was no mention of this in the 10-Q's "Recent Developments" section - and if Musk was even sober and rational when he tweeted what he did.

Meanwhile, Tom Farley, the former President of the NYSE, had some advice for the SEC:

Dear @SEC_News, this is an easy one: ask TSLA to show you the agreement(s) signed by their funding source(s) by 5pm EST that demonstrates the funding is "secured" and "certain." If there is no such agreement, require a statement by 5:30pm. Inspire market confidence.

And while Musk has historically been extremely cavalier with his tweeting, this time it could cost: if found guilty of stock fraud, he would surely be on the hook for billions as the lawsuits start piling in, with the worst case scenario giving Musk an unlimited amount of time to tweet to his heart's content... from prison.

The stock dropped back under $370 on the news, and is rapidly approaching the $359.8676 conversion price of the $920 million of convertible bond due March 2019, which some have speculated is the entire reason behind the "going private" spectacle. Vote up! 3 Vote down! 1

FBaggins -> Cryptopithicus Homme Wed, 08/08/2018 - 16:48 Permalink

Something really smells:

In the beginning Tesla looked like a good business venture because of limited oil reserves in the world and the promise of increasing oil prices.

The prospects for vast profits were very promising for the people who control US fiances, and Musk an insider bought a controlling interest of the company.

Eight years ago Musk brought the company public to raise funds developing its then upcoming Model S electric car. However, the company was also at the time awash in red ink. It had lost $290.2 million since its 2003 founding, and its first-quarter loss in 2010 was $29.5 million, but a $465 million U.S. Department of Energy loan helped the company gain some momentum.

Musk's companies, Tesla Motors Inc., SolarCity Corp. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, together have benefited from an estimated $4.9 billion in government support. The figure underscores a common theme running through his emerging empire: a public-private financing model underpinning long-shot start-ups.

It is government money being used and not exclusive private money for such risks, but what is the difference when the same people control US finances, the Fed, and the government?

A year before Musk announced his recent intention to take Tesla Motors private all things seemed to go wrong for the company, like thousands of Model 3s electric cars dormant in various parking lots as if they are not selling (as if they have really tried), production delays, and numerous unprecedented numbers of Tesla autos catching fire with occupants dying - very dramatic. The stocks stocks begin to fall and then Musk just recently announces his plans to go private.

What promise does Musk really see in his various models? Has this very connected man or the people behind him made efforts to screw SH's by depressing share value?

[Aug 09, 2018] Institutionalizing Intolerance Bullies Win, Freedom Suffers When We Can't Agree To Disagree by John Whitehead

Notable quotes:
"... Silencing unpopular viewpoints with which the majority might disagree -- whether it's by shouting them down, censoring them, muzzling them, or criminalizing them -- only empowers the controllers of the Deep State. ..."
"... It's political correctness disguised as tolerance, civility and love, but what it really amounts to is the chilling of free speech and the demonizing of viewpoints that run counter to the cultural elite. ..."
"... Instead of intelligent discourse, we've been saddled with identity politics, "a safe space from thought, rather than a safe space for thought." ..."
Aug 09, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

"Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech." ― Benjamin Franklin

What a mess.

As America has become ever more polarized, and those polarized factions have become more militant and less inclined to listen to - or even allow for the existence of - other viewpoints, we are fast becoming a nation of people who just can't get along.

Here's the thing: if Americans don't learn how to get along - at the very least, agreeing to disagree and respecting each other's right to subscribe to beliefs and opinions that may be offensive, hateful, intolerant or merely different - then we're going to soon find that we have no rights whatsoever (to speak, assemble, agree, disagree, protest, opt in, opt out, or forge our own paths as individuals).

In such an environment, when we can't agree to disagree, the bullies (on both sides) win and freedom suffers.

Intolerance, once the domain of the politically correct and self-righteous, has been institutionalized, normalized and politicized. Even those who dare to defend speech that may be unpopular or hateful as a constitutional right are now accused of " weaponizing the First Amendment ."

On college campuses across the country, speakers whose views are deemed "offensive" to some of the student body are having their invitations recalled or cancelled, being shouted down by hecklers, or forced to hire costly security details. As The Washington Post concludes, " College students support free speech -- unless it offends them ."

At Hofstra University, half the students in a freshman class boycotted when the professor assigned them to read Flannery O'Connor's short story "Artificial Nigger." As Professor Arthur Dobrin recounts, "The boycotters refused to engage a writer who would use such an offensive word. They hadn't read the story; they wouldn't lower themselves to that level. Here is what they missed: The story's title refers to a lawn jockey, a once common ornament of a black man holding a lantern. The statue symbolizes the suffering of an entire group of people and looking at it bring a moment of insight to a racist old man."

... ... ...

What we have instead is regulated, controlled speech, and that's a whole other ballgame.

Just as surveillance has been shown to " stifle and smother dissent, keeping a populace cowed by fear ," government censorship gives rise to self-censorship, breeds compliance, makes independent thought all but impossible, and ultimately foments a seething discontent that has no outlet but violence.

The First Amendment is a steam valve. It allows people to speak their minds, air their grievances and contribute to a larger dialogue that hopefully results in a more just world.

When there is no steam valve - when there is no one to hear what the people have to say - frustration builds, anger grows and people become more volatile and desperate to force a conversation. By bottling up dissent, we have created a pressure cooker of stifled misery and discontent that is now bubbling over and fomenting even more hate, distrust and paranoia among portions of the populace.

Silencing unpopular viewpoints with which the majority might disagree -- whether it's by shouting them down, censoring them, muzzling them, or criminalizing them -- only empowers the controllers of the Deep State.

Even when the motives behind this rigidly calibrated reorientation of societal language appear well-intentioned -- discouraging racism, condemning violence, denouncing discrimination and hatred -- inevitably, the end result is the same: intolerance, indoctrination and infantilism.

It's political correctness disguised as tolerance, civility and love, but what it really amounts to is the chilling of free speech and the demonizing of viewpoints that run counter to the cultural elite.

We've allowed ourselves to be persuaded that we need someone else to think and speak for us. And we've allowed ourselves to become so timid in the face of offensive words and ideas that we've bought into the idea that we need the government to shield us from that which is ugly or upsetting or mean.

The result is a society in which we've stopped debating among ourselves, stopped thinking for ourselves, an