ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Apr 08 14:29

The Most Expensive Divorces in History

Apr 08 12:48

How to know a crisis has started?

Apr 08 10:21

IS THE EU RENEGING ON ITS COMMITMENT TO BANK BAIL-INS?

The European Commission on Friday struck a provisional agreement with the Italian government to reimburse some investors who bought shares in failed banks in an unprecedented move that would significantly soften EU rules on bank rescues. The agreement was welcomed by the Italian government and Bank of Italy which both argue that the European Union’s bail-in rules are damaging and virtually impossible to apply.

Those rules represent the central plank of the EU’s post-crisis banking reform. They came into law in the wake of Europe’s sovereign debt crisis and were designed to make sure that collapsing banks in Europe would in future be “resolved” with the funds of stockholders, bondholders and other investors, including account holders with deposits of more than €100,000 euros — instead of classic bailouts that raid directly or indirectly taxpayer funds. Public funds should only be used after unsecured creditors who can absorb the losses have been bailed in.

Apr 08 10:16

SocGen: Beware the Squeeze VIX

Apr 08 09:24

Saudis Threaten ‘Nuclear Option’ To Kill Petrodollar

Saudi Arabia threatened to use the “nuclear option” of undermining the petro-dollar if the U.S. moves forward with the NOPEC bill.

The U.S. Congress has been mulling legislation, known as the NOPEC bill, which would allow the Justice Department to take antitrust action against OPEC for manipulating the oil market. Specifically, the bill would remove sovereign immunity countries have from such action, allowing the U.S. government to sue. In theory, the law would prevent OPEC from coordinating production cuts.

It’s still unclear if the Congress will pass the bill, and it’s also not guaranteed that Trump will sign the bill if it reaches his desk. Moreover, even if he did sign it, it’s also not a done deal that the Justice Department would take punitive action.

Apr 08 09:17

Stacey Abrams Says Protecting Babies from Being Aborted Is ‘Bad for Business’

Speaking on Sunday on MSNBC’s “AM Joy,” Georgia’s Democratic 2018 gubernatorial candidate held nothing back about people who are pro-life — and declared that said her state’s fetal heartbeat bill is “evil.”

The bill, titled H.B. 481, seeks to limit abortions to the first six weeks of pregnancy unless the pregnancy was conceived by rape or incest. Georgia’s current law allows abortions to be performed up to 20 weeks. State lawmakers passed the fetal heartbeat bill at the end of March. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp (shown above right), who campaigned on the issue, has until May 12 to sign it into law.

Apr 08 08:59

1929 Deja Vu? Mother of all charts....

Apr 08 08:25

TO HELL AND BACK

Terrence Popp is quite a character.

If you watch his Redonkulas episodes over on YouTube regularly (which I do), then you will see that he comes across as something of a roaring asshole. He is very sarcastic, very blunt, doesn't give a damn about your feelings, and takes absolutely no prisoners while he breaks down the stupidities and insanities of our modern world using maths and logic.

He has no patience whatsoever for idiots, fatties, losers, and especially feminists. (Lord, forgive me my redundancies.) And if you judge Popp purely by what you see on his YouTube channel, you will get a rather skewed and deeply inaccurate picture of the man.

Apr 08 08:03

State of decay: US inmates sue jail over mold, mice & maggots falling on dining tables

The sorry state of a California prison, with mice falling on dining tables and mold growths covering the walls, has prompted inmates to sue the management. Lawyers say it is part of a systemic infrastructure decay problem.

A filed in a California court describes the stomach-churning details of life in the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in the city of Corcoran. The prisoners incarcerated at the facility have continually seen maggots and even mice falling from the crumbling ceiling right onto the tables in their dining hall.

Through the holes in the deteriorating roof rainwater and bird droppings seep through the crumbling ceiling and streak the walls. The constant humidity has allowed mold to spawn across the prison walls, according to Robert Escareno, an inmate who filed the California lawsuit.

Apr 08 07:56

Camping Out in Crazy Town

An increasing number of people approve of socialism. But many people are fleeing high-tax states that support expensive social programs. States can’t “print” dollars so someone—taxpayers—must pay for those programs. How long can an indebted state remain solvent when the high-income taxpayers are leaving and the “takers” are staying, while demanding more?

Apr 08 06:35

Expected bloodbath in Tripoli an outcome of ill-advised NATO toppling of Gaddafi, historian tells RT

Libya is back in the headlines after one of its two competing governments sent troops towards Tripoli. If another bloodbath happens there, it will be the inevitable result of the 2011 NATO bombing campaign, an expert told RT.
The Northern African country was once stable and quite prosperous thanks to large revenues from oil trade. But since 2011, when NATO supported a militant uprising and helped topple, then kill, longtime strongman leader Muammar Gaddafi, it remains a fractured failed state. Last week, the unending feuds between rival factions escalated, with Khalifa Haftar, a powerful military commander, launching an offensive against his rivals from the UN-recognized government in Tripoli.

The general is unlikely to immediately heed calls for a political settlement, believes US political commentator and historian Gerald Horne. This may escalate into a major battle in the capital.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Please remember; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was cheer-leading for Gaddafi's removal, and by any means necessary; once he had been assassinated, this threw the country into turmoil in 2011, and 8 years on, the turmoil continues.

This was one of the most spectacular "epic fails" of Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State, and ... if (God help us, no), she decides to run for President, and wins, one has to wonder; what other spectacular defects in her logic and vision will she demonstrate to both this country and the world?!?

I am looking at many of the possible geopolitical situations here which could go "mammary glands up" in a heartbeat, if unsound, or truly monumentally bad decisions are made by this country's leadership about how the US should approach challenges abroad.

So color me nervous about Libya right now; there are many factions looking at what seizing Tripoli, and the country, could mean for them, economically; and I would rather suspect that the US government is standing right in front of that line, trying to figure out how best to conjure a Lybia 2.0 invasion, but struggling to find ways which potentially insure, that the optics of such an invasion...appear to be a very different kind of animal, let's say, for example, like perhaps several battalions of enraged, GMO'd kangaroos, covertly chucking death stars out their pouches.

BUT, MIND YOU, THIS WILL NOT BE AN INVASION!!

But seriously, I have to wonder, if I had family in Libya, how I would get them out, or get them to safety, if the airports are ordered closed because of an on-coming military attack? If I had kids, or medically fragile elderly members who needed special care, and attention.

These are the kinds of brutal choices many families in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia must make on a daily basis; but for me, the worst of this is, that these decisions are far too frequently a direct result of US foreign policy in their countries.

Time will, of course, resolve this; but to see so many people throughout the Middle East are are suffering, and will suffer so catastrophically because the international battles for their oil (usually courtesy of the Unhinged, Surveilled State of America).

I know that I am a citizen of a country whose leadership is very comfortable with being war criminals. As a Christian Pacifist, I never advocate violence.

But my suggestion here, is that my brother and sister Americans, need, urgently, to have a national conversation about what we can do (again peacefully) to assist our government in creating a different tone of its foreign policies, which might resemble a reasonably sane foreign policy.

Sanity in foreign policy tends to lead to peaceful, amicable relations with a country's neighbors, and the world.

This government desperately needs to rediscover what that means.

Apr 08 05:41

Brace for a turbulent earnings season

Apr 08 05:07

Russiagate: A Moral Reckoning Is Due

Authored by Renee Parsons via Off-Guardian.org,

With Russiagate, the Democrats created some powerful karma to answer for; especially for the likes of Rep. Adam Schiff and Rep. Eric Swalwell, (D-Calif.), both of whom persist in the mindless search for the Holy Grail.

After cheating Bernie out of the nomination in 2016, the Dems had not yet learned their karmic lesson when they lost the Presidential election. The Mueller Report is but the latest of that karmic reckoning.

There is no pride in being one of those who “got it right” that there was no evidence, not a scintilla of material fact to prove collusion between the Trump campaign and the dastardly Russians. As the country has been torn asunder by a two year politically tainted investigation begun with no evidentiary standard and no probable cause, there is little satisfaction to be gained.

Apr 08 04:38

Here’s who owns everything in Big Media today

The media landscape used to be straightforward: Content companies — studios — made stuff — TV shows and movies — and sold it to pay TV distributors, who sold it to consumers.

Now things are up for grabs: Netflix buys stuff from the studios, but it’s making its own stuff, too, and it’s selling it directly to consumers. That’s one of the reasons older media companies are trying to compete by consolidating. Disney, for example, recently completed its purchase of 21st Century Fox. Distributors like AT&T, which bought Time Warner last year, are becoming media companies, too.

Meanwhile, giant tech companies like Google, Amazon, and Apple that used to be on the sidelines are getting closer and closer to the action. Apple’s newest TV strategy positions the company as a TV guide, a TV storefront selling services like HBO, and a TV creator that employs the likes of Steven Spielberg and Jennifer Anniston to make exclusive shows for Apple users.

Apr 08 04:35

After Golan, are Trump and Netanyahu coming for West Bank?

A warning: If Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is still in office in late 2020 or 2024, when President Donald Trump’s time in office is coming to a close, there is a good chance the two leaders will declare American recognition of Israeli annexation of all or most of the occupied West Bank.

The precedent for such a move was put in place Monday as two significant anti-Arab events took place in Washington.

First, at the annual AIPAC conference, Democratic and Republican speakers alike ignored the Israeli occupation of Palestinian and Arab territory, choosing instead to rail against Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who has been vilified for openly criticizing the powerful Israel lobby group’s outsize influence.

A bipartisan consensus pretended that AIPAC was being silenced, turning on its head the reality that the organization is supporting legislation seeking to silence supporters of Palestinian rights.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In a short answer to the rhetorical question asked at the beginning of this article, HELL, yes!!

Apr 08 04:25

AMERICAN INTERNET COMPANIES ARE PRIVATIZED INSTRUMENTS OF AMERICAN GEOPOLITICAL POWER, AND THEY’RE NOT EVEN HIDING IT

Perhaps the one positive thing that’s come out of RussiaGate is that no one believes Silicon Valley’s global utopianism anymore.
BY YASHA LEVINE
Originally published at Yasha Levine’s Influence Ops

I was in the New York Public Library recently doing research in the archives when I stumbled on a 1944 pamphlet from Western Electric, the old American techno-telephone monopolist. It’s called “Circuits for Victory” and its 40 glossy, slickly produced pages are dedicated to one thing: celebrating all the ways that the company’s telecommunication technology helps the United States government fight and win wars.

The pamphlet is a historical document, but if you squint at it right and replace “Western Electric” with, say, “Facebook” or “Google” or “Amazon,” you actually get an accurate sense of what Silicon Valley monopolies are today: privatized extensions of American Empire.

Apr 08 04:21

A DRUG RESISTANT “SUPER FUNGUS” KILLS NEARLY HALF THE PEOPLE IT INFECTS – AND IT IS SPREADING ACROSS AMERICA

SOURCE: THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE

The medical community knew that a day of reckoning was coming. For years, they were repeatedly warned that the rampant overuse of certain types of medications would result in the development of “super diseases” that we would not be able to stop, and now that day has arrived. Just like many types of bacteria, fungi have also been developing defenses against our most effective modern medicines. One in particular, a fungus known as Candida auris, is now a massive public health threat. An expert quoted by the New York Times has admitted that it is “pretty much unbeatable”, it spreads very easily, and it kills close to 50 percent of the people that it infects. In other words, we are in the early chapters of a medical horror show of our own making, and there is no way out.

Candida auris (or C. auris for short) spreads most easily among those with weakened immune systems. Infants, seniors, smokers and diabetics are among the most vulnerable.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Please educate yourself on what natural methods you can use to keep yourself healthier. There are a number of responsible, logical sites which can give you places to go, and natural things to do to boost your immunity.

Apr 07 13:52

Theater of the Absurd

Apr 07 11:31

Tick, Tick, Talk, 2019 Recession Coming

Apr 07 11:08

EXTREME Sentiment Across Global Stock Indexes

Apr 07 09:42

The stock market and economy look like 1937?

Apr 07 09:40

Why Oil Prices Rallied 30% This Year

Apr 07 09:29

IS THE EU RENEGING ON ITS COMMITMENT TO BANK BAIL-INS?

Quietly but ominously, making taxpayers, rather than bank creditors, pay for bank failures appears to be becoming acceptable policy in Europe once again as EU bank regulation threatens to come full circle, meaning it won’t have gone anywhere at all.

Apr 07 09:22

'The NOPEC Law Would Be A Major Blow To Critical OPEC-US Cooperation'- Analyst

Saudi Arabia has allegedly planned to switch its oil trade from using the US dollar if Washington passes the NOPEC Bill. The accord would extend American anti-trust laws to foreign entities such as OPEC.

Sputnik has discussed this with Dr Cyril Widdershoven, a veteran global energy market expert who holds several advisory positions with international think tanks in the Middle East and energy sectors in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Sputnik: Washington is threatening to pass a bill exposing OPEC members to US anti-trust lawsuits — NOPEC. It has never made it into law, but there is a chance that President Trump could back it. What implications could the law have for the US if passed and what consequences could this have on the shale segment of the market?

Apr 07 09:19

NETANYAHU: IF I WIN ELECTION, 'I WILL EXTEND SOVEREIGNTY'

(Haaretz) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israel’s Channel 12 News on Saturday evening that he will start extending Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank if re-elected prime minister in the election on April 9.

It remains unclear at this point whether Netanyahu was referring to all of the West Bank, or only parts of it.

“A Palestinian state will endanger our existence and I withstood huge pressure over the past eight years, no prime minister has withstood such pressure. We must control our destiny,” the premier said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Forgive me, Prime Minister Netanyahu; but could you, please possibly share with those who have read your promises to do this, (AFTER the 9 April, Israeli general elections, of course!) HOW a peaceful, democratic independent Palestine, trading with Israel and other countries in the region, can be a threat, and endanger Israel in any way?!?

So what will be your policy toward those Palestinians whose homes you are going to either demolish, or annex, as this flood of settlers comes in, claiming that the West Bank now all belongs exclusively to Israel and its Jewish settlers?!?

Will you have the IDF shooting them down, like fish in a barrel, should they refuse to go quietly, even the kids and toddlers?!? Do you intend to make this a "blood bath event"?? Or maybe you'll stream it, live, on an Israeli "pay for view" channel, so your voters can watch and listen?!?

I would politely suggest, Mr. Prime Minister, that the optics of such a slaughter will make your country the despised pariah in the world, and a country with which the world absolutely doesn't want to have to deal.

You and your brother and sister Israelis may see a BDS movement so intensely engineered, that there is no escape from it, and those who sell merchandise or services outside of Israel, will be clogging up the phones at the Knesset, with their anger.

Apr 07 09:01

How Brzezinski's Chessboard Degenerated Into Brennan's Russophobia

“Russia is an inalienable and organic part of Greater Europe and European civilization. Our citizens think of themselves as European. That’s why Russia proposes moving towards the creation of a common economic space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, a community referred to by Russian experts as ‘the Union of Europe’ which will strengthen Russia’s potential in its economic pivot toward the ‘New Asia.’”

- Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, February 2012

The allegations of ‘Russian meddling’ only make sense if they’re put into a broader geopolitical context.

Apr 07 08:59

It's Not Just San Francisco and Portland, Philadelphia Is a Hellscape Too

My original title for this article was going to be 30 Blocks of Potholes, Shitholes, and Assholes, but I didn’t want to offend the sensibilities of my highbrow readership. The trigger for that title was my morning commute on 34th Street in West Philly near the Philadelphia Zoo. This extremely well-traveled four lane highway resembles a moonscape of craters capable of blowing a tire (which I did a few years ago while turning onto Girard Avenue).

As I swerved through this obstacle course of government incompetence, I reflected upon how Philadelphia was a real shithole city run by Democrat asshole politicians (those not in prison yet). I’ve written dozens of articles about the 30 Blocks of Squalor over the last decade and one thing remains constant – West Philly is still a shithole, occupied by low income, low IQ, low morality, welfare state slaves who continue to vote for the same assholes who have enslaved them in squalor.

Apr 07 08:50

THE CURIOUS MAN BEHIND NORDIC BANKING SCANDALS

In recent days Sweden’s largest mortgage bank, Swedbank, fired its CEO amid charges she was involved in a multi-billion dollar money laundering operation. Swedbank now joins Denmark’s largest bank, Danske Bank, and several other European Union banks implicated in laundering what has been claimed amounts to more than $1 trillion in funds of Russian or Ukraine or other origin in recent years. As impressive as the scandal appears, equally interesting is the curious man triggering the scandals .

Apr 07 08:38

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says She Can See Automation Liberating Americans. Don’t Bet on It.

Recently Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the most prominent figures in the Democratic Party, weighed in with remarks that garnered a great deal of attention.

“We should be excited about automation, because what it could potentially mean is more time educating ourselves, more time creating art, more time investing in and investigating the sciences, more time focused on invention, more time going to space, more time enjoying the world that we live in,” Ocasio-Cortez said, putting the anti-1-percenter firmly on the side of the optimistic 52 percent of technologists.

But something else she said got less attention, and spoke more to the pressing issue: The “reason we’re not excited by it is because we live in a society where if you don’t have a job, you are left to die. And that is, at its core, our problem.”

Apr 07 07:53

The Golden Rule Requires Markets

By Robert E. Wright

What generally passes for The Golden Rule is some variation of treating others as you want to be treated. Like Jack Kennedy’s admonition to ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country, it doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny...

Apr 07 07:13

Islamabad Has 'Reliable Intel' India Readying New Attack on Pakistan

This comes a day after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan slammed India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for purportedly trying to use false claims of Pakistan using an F-16 in the February dogfight between the two countries to promote “war hysteria”.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has claimed that he has “reliable intelligence that India is planning a new attack on Pakistan” which may take place between 16 and 20 April.

“I am saying it with responsibility and I have a responsible position, I know each word I say would make headlines in the international press”, Qureshi said.

READ MORE: India Warns Pakistan of Escalatory Retaliation in Direct Phone Call — Source

He added that New Delhi’s planned attack aims to “increase diplomatic pressure against Pakistan." India’s Foreign Ministry is yet to comment on the matter.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would implore a couple of "adults in the room" (ladies and gentlemen, who know who you are) to please start working the phones on this, and see if might be possible for the tensions to ratcheted down here, in a deal to create, and foster, peace, and good business relationships between both countries.

Both are nuclear armed countries, and this could escalate completely out of control, if leadership in neither country wants to take a responsible stand toward a greater peace in the region.

Apr 07 06:59

WATCH US Redeploy Military Personnel From Libya as Tensions Rise

US Africa Command (AFRICOM) commander Thomas D. Waldhauser said that the decision to redeploy US forces was made "due to increased unrest". According to him, the situation in Libya has deteriorated and American troops are no longer safe there.

Libyan media released footage showing the temporary redeployment of the US Africa Command's military personnel.

READ MORE: US Evacuates Personnel From Libya Due To Increased Unrest — Report

US Africa Command (AFRICOM) commander Thomas D. Waldhauser said that the decision to redeploy US forces was made "due to increased unrest". According to him, the situation in Libya has deteriorated and American troops are no longer safe there.

Libyan media released footage showing the temporary redeployment of the US Africa Command's military personnel.

READ MORE: US Evacuates Personnel From Libya Due To Increased Unrest — Report

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder; to where were these troops evacuated from Libya, headed?!? And here is some more current coverage, dateline today:

And here is a final update, from sputnik.com:

Situation in Libya Amid Haftar's Army Air Operation Over Tripoli

The article goes on to state:

"Tensions in war-torn Libya have escalated since 4 April, after the Libyan National Army, led by Khalifa Haftar, started an offensive aimed at seizing Tripoli from the UN-recognised government. While making its way to Tripoli, the LNA captured several settlements; at the same time, the GNA's prime minister ordered troops to use force if necessary.

On Sunday, the Libyan National Army (LNA) commenced an aerial bombardment of the Libyan capital Tripoli, a top Libyan military source told Sputnik."

Folks, my heart is praying for the people of Libya, who just are desperately get out of harm's way, and just find in a place where they, and their families can just be safe, even for a little while.

Apr 07 06:55

"It Belongs To The People, Not The Bankers" - Italy Moves To Seize Gold From Central Bank

Two weeks ago, somewhat out of the blue, ECB President Mario Draghi issued an odd statement confirming that the European Central Bank needs to approve any operation in the foreign reserves of euro zone countries, including gold and large foreign currency holdings.

“The ECB shall approve both the operations in foreign reserve assets remaining with the NCBs (national central banks)...and Member States’ transactions with their foreign exchange working balances above a certain threshold,”

“The purpose of this competence is to ensure consistency with the exchange rate and monetary policy of the Union.”

Specifically, Draghi made this statement to two Italian members of the European Parliament.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Look for Italy's economic freefall, and soon; the Italian Central bankers will do anything - and I mean, anything, to retain Italy's gold.

Apr 07 06:51

Saudi Arabia has gone nuclear, threatening the petrodollar. Or has it?

The report from Zerohedge via Reuters that Saudi Arabia is angry with the U.S. for considering a bill exposing OPEC to U.S. antitrust law is a trial balloon.

The chances of the U.S. bill known as NOPEC coming into force are slim and Saudi Arabia would be unlikely to follow through, but the fact Riyadh is considering such a drastic step is a sign of the kingdom’s annoyance about potential U.S. legal challenges to OPEC.

If these things are so unlikely then why make the threat public? There are a number of reasons.

First, one must remember that the Saudis are hemorrhaging money. Their primary budget deficit in 2018 was around 7% of GDP. Since the 2014 crash in oil prices it has gone from almost zero sovereign debt to $180 billion in debt to finance its spending, or around 22% of GDP.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I think that the US needs to tread very carefully at the moment, concerning oil and pricing issues,, and for Saudi Arabia's military not having to have been able to, finally, completely occupy Yemen, even with US military assistance here.

Apr 07 06:31

Lawmakers Urge Trump Not to Veto Yemen War Powers Challenge

Letter says Trump has opportunity to restore cooperation with Congress.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers from both the Senate and the House have issued a letter to President Trump urging him not to veto the SJ Res 7 War Powers Act challenge to the Yemen War. The resolution passed the Senate last month, and the House on Thursday.

The War Powers Act requires the president to get the approval of Congress for any overseas military conflicts, and allows Congress to demand a withdrawal form those nations if the operation is unauthorized. The Yemen War was never authorized by Congress.

President Trump has threatened to veto the resolution, and the letter urges him not to, arguing that he has an historic opportunity to set a precedent for cooperation with Congress by complying with the law and ending an unconstitutional war that was launched under President Obama.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I absolutely agree with these bipartisan members of Congress; unfortunately, because there is still so much "bromance and pull" between Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, also know in Yemen as "The Butcher of Yemen", and President Trump, I would be amazingly surprised if he did not veto.

But what has happened in Yemen, for the last 3 years, is a level of butchery and genocide against the Yemeni people, that it definitely comes up to the standar of US-abetted Saudi war crimes in Yemen.

I actually never wanted to be a citizen of a country which commits war crimes; and here I am, nearly 70, and watching the madness of the last several administrations, from Bush II to President Trump, operating very overtly; with impunity; and with no question as to whether these actions are morally right, or morally repugnant.

The steps of the pattern emerge very clearly, if you are looking for them.

First, we see demonizations of countries with the resources the US wants; then the regime change of demonized leadership happens; the then, there is an "anointing " of a US-centric leader or leaders; and finally, the assignment of US- centric companies to expropriate those resources; and sell them only for American dollars.

When Karl Marx made the observation that all wars are economic in their origins, the guy was absolutely correct.

And again, I find it very interesting, that President Trump's BBFs in the Middle East, are the Butcher of Gaza, Israel's Bibi Netanyahu, and Crown Prince bin Salman,the Butcher of Yemen.

Apr 07 06:13

More:http://tass.com/world/1052444?_ga=2.242498114.1993041757.1554612644-363929275.1477368173

The Libyan National Army under the command of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar declared on Saturday a no-fly zone for combat aircraft in the country’s western part, where it is mounting an offensive against Tripoli, the Al Arabiya TV channel reported citing the military.

"The Libyan army declares the western region of the country a military operation zone and imposes a ban on combat aircraft flights in the area," the military said in a communique. "We will carry out strikes against any airports in the west from where sorties are made.".

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Haftar is completely unambiguous; he has warned countries, like the US, and Pan-national military entities, like NATO, and the UN, NOT to do something stupid.

The following article appeared in guardian.co.uk, yesterday: UN Expresses deep concern for Libya as Haftar closes in on Tripoli

Are you telling me that, 8 years after the assassination of Muammar Ghadaffi, which has resulted in horrific civil wars, with slaves bought and sold in this country 'It Was As if We Weren’t Human.' Inside the Modern Slave Trade Trapping African Migrants, is THIS is the bloody best the impotent UN can state?!?

No matter what the US government says, it is laser-focused on Libya's oil wealth, and how to control it,and insure that it is only sold for US dollars.

If they think Haftar negotiable on the issue, they may well side with him; if they do not, look for another flash-point in Africa to heat up, and massively soon.

War and Economy; the battle for Libya's oil.

There is a real risk that Haftar's military will do battle with local, UN-sponsored militias, as reported yesterday at aljazeera.com:

Libya: High alert in Tripoli after renegade leader orders advance

As reported at Sputnik, there is supposed to be an "urgent meeting" on Libya this coming Friday, 12 April; UN will have an "urgent" meeting on Lybia Friday 12 April

IF these people choose not to move the deadline up, and quickly (like perhaps today), Haftar will have control of Tripoli, control of its oil, and control of the country.

Here is an update on the story, yesterday, from bbc:

Libya crisis: Fighting flares on outskirts of Tripoli

Apr 07 05:38

Clashes erupt as Greek police stop migrants from reaching border

* Migrants head toward border after false rumour goes viral

* Police block access to nearby border crossing

* Buses start taking some people back to housing

* Tens of thousands of migrants, refugees stuck in Greece (Updates with quotes, detail)

By Lefteris Papadimas

DIAVATA, Greece, April 6 (Reuters) - Greek police fired teargas on Saturday as angry migrants hoping to travel to northern Europe hurled stones and bottles after being barred from reaching a nearby border crossing, witnesses said.

Spurred by a false rumour about border openings that spread on social media, hundreds of migrants and refugees arrived and pitched tents on Thursday in a field next to the Diavata migrant camp near Greece's border with North Macedonia.

There were dozens of tents in the field on Saturday and riot police formed a cordon to block an access route, parking 20 buses to stop the migrants from leaving the field. Authorities also sent buses to take people back to housing settlements.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What a damned cruel joke, on both the Greek people, who are suffering the dual blow of austerity, and an unimaginable burden by the sheer number of illegal immigrants with which they are having to deal.

Greece's President Prokopis Pavlopoulos is going to have to solve this; otherwise, we may possibly see a genuine uprising against him, and this policie, which have put Greece in such a terrible bind.

Apr 07 05:12

Russia revamps military base to stake claim on Arctic region

SEVERNY KLEVER MILITARY BASE, Russia – Missile launchers ply icy roads and air defense systems point menacingly into the sky at this Arctic military outpost, a key vantage point for Russia to project its power over the resource-rich polar region.

The base, dubbed Severny Klever (Northern Clover) for its trefoil shape, is painted in the white, blue and red colors of the Russian national flag. It has been designed so soldiers can reach all of its sprawling facilities without venturing outdoors — a useful precaution in an area where temperatures often plunge to minus-58 degrees during the winter and even in the short Arctic summer are often freezing at night.

It’s strategically located on Kotelny Island, between the Laptev Sea and the East Siberian Sea on the Arctic shipping route, and it permanently houses up to 250 military personnel responsible for maintaining air and sea surveillance facilities and coastal defenses like anti-ship missiles.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is a reasonable thing for Russia to do; there have been a number of caches of oil and natural gas found here.

Energy and mineral riches of the Arctic

This is a very reasonable thing for the Russian government to exploit, and protect.

Apr 07 05:06

Trump administration nearly doubles H-2B guest visa program, which brings many Mexican workers

As President Donald Trump threatened to shut down the U.S.-Mexico border in recent days, his Department of Homeland Security nearly doubled the number of temporary guest worker visas available this summer.

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DHS and the Labor Department plan to grant an additional 30,000 H-2B visas this summer on top of the 33,000 H-2B visas they had planned to give out, the agencies confirmed.

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The H-2B visa is for foreign workers to come to the United States and work for several months at a company such as a landscaper, amusement park or hotel. About 80 percent of these visas went to people from Mexico and Central America last year, government data show.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This makes sense, when you consider that most of these people would make a lot less money than would their American counterparts, so, in Trump's eyes, this is "good for business."

Apr 06 12:04

Scott Adams: TDS, Chelsea Handler, New Trump 2020 Ad, AOC’s Accent, Immigration

Comments at: https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1114528218361389057

President Trump is a strong father figure
Supporters find him protective, comforting, caring
Haters FEAR the qualities of a strong father figure
Chelsea Handler takes some personal responsibility for her TDS
Tells Bill Maher she sought Psychiatric help for her TDS
Whiteboard: TDS Awareness Scale
Some things are ONLY a story because of partisan pundit framing
NOT a coincidence how various media frames things
Professional persuaders guide media framing of the news
Media framing becomes their target audiences opinion
You’ve likely been given your opinions by media you follow
2020…strong economy = reelection of sitting President, historically
Tucker asks the question…
How many is the right number of immigrants to allow in?
Immigration: What are you trying to accomplish?

Apr 06 10:06

Stephen Moore: The Fed’s New Bucking Bull

Apr 06 09:55

Capital One Says ‘No’ to Democrats Request For Trump Records

As the Attorney General defends his summary of Mueller Report, democrats keep digging finding new ways to increase scrutiny on President Trump. This time they are targeting his bank records.

As reported by SaraACarter.com, last month three top House of Representatives democrats, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) requested documentation from Capital One Bank related to the President’s business holdings.

Capital One responded that they are preserving the records but “given the confidentiality obligations we have as a financial institution, including under state and federal law we respectfully request that any production of materials be made pursuant to a subpoena rather than an informal request.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

With the losers of the 2016 election still pathologically incapable of swallowing that bitter pill of their ignominious defeat, they just can't let go.

And right now, to the American people, the Democrats look, and sound like, the Party of NO!!

NO, we will not work for the interests of the people who hired them by electing them!

NO, we will avoid, and not work for any of the end results President Trump wants to see happen, even if they are good for the country; we will do everything possible to poison those efforts, and also focus on his family, to see who is lawfare worthy in it, and do this right up to the 2020 elections.

NO, we do not want any and every border control effort to pass, because we want all illegal aliens voting Democratic, even if that is, at the moment, illegal in all 50 states.

NO, we will NOT stop giving an inordinate amount of money to Israel, because we depend on both the money and the influence from AIPAC to keep getting re-elected.

NO, we have absolutely no plan in place, for 2020, to bring this country into the spirit and energy of being an excellent place to live, work, and raise a family, because when people get angry at wealth inequality, they will vote for us, because we always promise them freebies.

NO, we have no plan for making the world more safe, less crazed, and to hold countries accountable for their wars and weapons use. We are bought and paid for, as good corporate and national "assets", to promote the legislation corporations and foreign countries they want, which may not at all be good for You the People.

Tom Perez, I am personally holding you responsible for delivering a candidate who will turn the Democratic party back into the party of We the People, not of Those, the Privileged; and please, this election, do not let the nomination be politically repressed or stolen from someone who COULD have won it for you, like Bernie Sanders.

I, too, and very frustrated with this President, who sounded great on the campaign trail, but has proven to be an utter card-carrying failure, in his inability to deliver on so much of what he was telling us he would do for this country.

Tom, in 2020, you, and the DNC have to do better on this. Please do not, again, offer us a candidate with more baggage than Kim Kardashian has on a photo shoot!

And you had damned well better start the process right the hell now.

You, and the DNC, really need to be listening to people like us, even if some times you really hate what we have to tell you, because if you do not, 2020 will wind up a repeat of 2016.

And hey, I'm no Nostradamus; but I am sensing a real, and mushrooming anger, by people who have been loyal to the DNC over time, but felt utterly betrayed at your and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, having "decided" that Hillary HAD to be the candidate for 2016, so you, collectively, and in fact, stole the nomination from Bernie Sanders.

Apr 06 09:50

Is America losing its grip on world economy? 5 big defeats for US financial interests abroad

Donald Trump made it a banner promise of his presidency to stop the US being abused as the world’s “piggybank” – but not all foreign powers seem to be cowed into submission by his assertive style of foreign economic policy.

The United States remains the world’s second-biggest exporter after China, but these five cases show that it can’t always get its own way – even among its allies. Is this a consequence of Trump’s personal abrasiveness, a period of painful adjustment before as the giant rouses, or perhaps a harbinger that the rest of the world no longer needs America as much as it used to?

Apr 06 09:35

German ‘rent insanity’ sparks mass tenant protests, expropriation action

Germans in large cities are protesting on Saturday against what they see as the unfair influence of large landlords on the housing market. They want the biggest players undercut and their property expropriated.

In past years, German people living in larger cities saw a wave of gentrification and rising rent levels. Some of the tenants couldn’t keep up and had to move out, while others had to leave when owners of their homes decided to tear them down and build new, more expensive property, which could generate more profits.

The situation in Berlin was among the most acute, with rent doubling over a decade. Some attempts by the authorities to rein in the growth, like the so-called rent-break in 2015, were underwhelming.

Apr 06 09:24

“CORPORATE HOMICIDE”: RALPH NADER DEMANDS BOEING RECALL JETS AFTER ETHIOPIA CRASH KILLS HIS NIECE

A wrongful death case was filed against Boeing on the same day that a preliminary investigation into last month’s Ethiopian Airlines crash revealed damning details about the aircraft manufacturer and raised new questions about whether it gave pilots proper instructions for navigating new software. The findings were released Thursday in Ethiopia, based on the analysis of a team of 18 investigators, less than a month after the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash killed all 157 people on board.

The report found similarities in the technical issues experienced by pilots on both the Ethiopian Airlines flight and October’s Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610, which also crashed just minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 people on board. Both flights were on a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Look for a series of class action lawsuits which will make Boeing reel, financially; but they brought it on themselves, by taking risky shortcuts which could (and did) destroy people's lives in these two crashes so I have utterly no sympathy for them.

Apr 06 07:30

Poor countries’ debts at ‘crisis’ point

Apr 06 04:25

The Widening Gap Between Fantasy & Reality

Apr 05 17:16

US/China specialist: NZ shouldn't have to choose a side

"You shouldn't have to choose between a very profitable trading relationship with China and a strong political, military, security relationship with the US," says John Pomfret, author, journalist and specialist in US/China relations.

"If America puts you in a position of having to choose, that would be as much to their detriment as to New Zealand's detriment."

Pomfret, a fluent Mandarin speaker, has been reporting on China since the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising.

A Washington Post correspondent for more than 20 years - including six as Beijing bureau chief - he was in New Zealand this week to speak at the Institute of Directors' annual leadership conference.

Apr 05 16:18

U.S clings to “regime change” fantasy by occupying Syrian territory and threatening economic Warfare

The West’s fantasy of Syrian regime change has not gone away, the strategy has changed course.
***
With the military situation largely frozen, the last two months have been marked mainly by developments involving the US – the ending of the ISIS caliphate in the US-controlled part of Syria, Trump’s U-turn over keeping US forces in Syria, and US recognition of Israel’s annexation of the Golan.

US policy

Ambassador James Jeffrey, the US special envoy for Syria, gave an under-reported press briefing on 25 March which made fairly plain the US strategy. Far from being sated with its demolition of ISIS and resigned to Assad’s ‘victory’, the US clearly clings to its desire to remove Assad and proposes to go about that through economic warfare and by maintaining a military presence using the pretext of ensuring the ‘enduring’ defeat of ISIS

>>>

(*and they say The Democrats can't let go !)

Apr 05 12:45

West Virginia Joins Growing Sound Money Movement — Six Other States Now Weighing Their Own Bills to End Taxes on Gold & Silver

By Jp Cortez

Before the ink could even dry on West Virginia Governor Jim Justice’s signature on a repeal of sales taxation on gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion and coins, legislators in Wisconsin and Maine introduced similar measures in their own states.

All told, 39 states have now reduced or eliminated sales taxes on the monetary metals, and Wisconsin, Maine, Kansas, Arkansas, Minnesota, and Tennessee are all actively considering bills of their own this month...

Apr 05 12:39

US must choose between Turkey and terrorists’: Ankara slaps Pence with counter-ultimatum

Turkey’s vice president said his US counterpart must choose between an alliance with a loyal NATO partner or siding with terrorists, after Mike Pence issued an ultimatum for Ankara to pick its F-35 jets over Russian S-400 systems.
“The United States must choose. Does it want to remain Turkey’s ally or risk our friendship by joining forces with terrorists to undermine its NATO ally’s defense against its enemies?” Vice President Fuat Oktay tweeted, in response to Mike Pence’s demands.

The Turkish official did not make clear what “terrorists” he was talking about. Ankara is at odds with Washington over the military support it provides to Syrian Kurdish militias which are designated as terrorist organizations in Turkey.

That aside, self-exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose entity Turkey accuses of plotting the 2016 coup attempt, has found a safe haven in the US which also poisons relations between the two NATO allies.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It appears that Pence has fully accepted his position as the Vice"merchant of death in Chief", when it comes to hawking US weapons systems other countries really don't want to buy.

But that he threatened Turkey in this very public way, is not going to get him any favors from Turkey, which may be thinking seriously about resigning their NATO membership, and that really poses a problem for NATO.

Because of it bordering both Europe and Central Asia, straddling the Black Sea and Mediterranean Seas, along with bordering Bulgaria; Iran; Syria; Cypress; Armenia and Georgia, Turkey is strategically vital to NATO's operations.

And I have to wonder; after a not so lustrous showing in Turkey's general elections, will NATO decide that Turkey needs a "regime change"?!? Were I Edrogan, I would want to think about this very, very carefully.

Apr 05 12:27

H.R.5404 - To define the dollar as a fixed weight of gold.

To define the dollar as a fixed weight of gold.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. FINDINGS.

Congress finds the following:

(1) The United States dollar has lost 30 percent of its purchasing power since 2000, and 96 percent of its purchasing power since the end of the gold standard in 1913.

(2) Under the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent inflation objective, the dollar loses half of its purchasing power every generation, or 35 years.

(3) American families need long-term price stability to meet their household spending needs, save money, and plan for retirement.

(4) The Federal Reserve policy of long-term inflation has made American manufacturing uncompetitive, raising the cost of United States manufactured goods by more than 40 percent since 2000, compared to less than 20 percent in Germany and France.

Apr 05 12:13

Netanyahu, Israel's 'King Bibi', in quest for fifth term

Jerusalem (AFP) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's long domination of Israeli politics has earned him the nickname "King Bibi" but he now faces the twin risks of a strong political challenger in an April 9 election and possible indictment for corruption.

Should he win again for a fifth term in office, Netanyahu will be on track to surpass Israel's founding father David Ben-Gurion's record of more than 13 years in office.

But opinion polls show Netanyahu's right-wing Likud locked in a close battle with a centrist alliance led by former armed forces chief of staff Benny Gantz.

The attorney general has announced his intention to indict Netanyahu on fraud, bribery and breach of trust charges pending a hearing, which will be held after the election.

Netanyahu is not legally required to resign if indicted, only if convicted with all appeals exhausted, but political pressure would likely be intense.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Should Netanyahu get re-elected, this is bad news for Israelis, Palestinians, and the world in general.

These corruption charges are not going away, no matter how Netenyahu tries to minimize them as "a misunderstanding".

He is now a cornered, politically wounded animal; and both people, and animals are at their nastiest when they are both cornered, and wounded.

Today is 5 April; the Israeli General Elections are this Tuesday, 9 April.

I wonder just what kind of a stunt he will pull, to try to create in a "further misdirection " away from those charges. And heaven knows, there are opportunities abounding in terms of what he might do, like a strike into Syria; the re-taking of Gaza at gunpoint; or an invasion of Lebanon.

Just color me very concerned about this coming weekend, and what he may try to do to get the Israeli voting public, voting for him, rather than Gantz.

Apr 05 12:10

Saudi Arabia ready to ditch petrodollar as ‘nuclear option’ to stop NOPEC bill – reports

Saudi Arabia is reportedly threatening to sell its oil in other currencies if the US passes a bill permitting antitrust lawsuits to be filed against OPEC members in US courts, a move which would decimate the tottering petrodollar.

If the US infringes on OPEC states' sovereign immunity and greenlights lawsuits for antitrust violations, energy officials in Riyadh are prepared to sell their oil in other currencies, according to multiple sources familiar with Saudi energy policy, one of whom told Reuters the threat has already been communicated to high-ranking US energy officials.

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