ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

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The pamphlet is a historical document, but if you squint at it right and replace “Western Electric” with, say, “Facebook” or “Google” or “Amazon,” you actually get an accurate sense of what Silicon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.

Apr 05 12:02

Libyan strongman Haftar orders troops to move on Tripoli

Eastern Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar has ordered his troops to move on the capital Tripoli, seat of the UN-backed government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.
In an audio address broadcast to his troops and published on Facebook, Haftar ordered all army units to “advance to Tripoli,” and free the capital from “militias and terrorists.” The Thursday address came hours after Haftar’s forces captured the town of Gharyan, 100km south of the capital.

Haftar also vowed to protect foreigners, civilians and those surrendering to his troops, promising to ensure their “safety and security.”

Drone-filmed footage shows scores of Haftar's Libyan National Army (NLA) vehicles en route to the capital, most of them machine-gun-armed 'technicals.'

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Looks like the US-ordered assassination of Gaddafi, has caused this country to spin completely out of control, much to the US government's embarrassment.

So what are they going to do with Khalifa Haftar, order an "Assassination 2.0" on the guy?!?

Apr 05 11:57

Liberal Dark Money Group to Receive Private Briefing From House Dem Jerrold Nadler

Democracy Alliance holds private gathering at luxury Austin hotel, plots nearly $300 million in new political spending.

AUSTIN—The largest donors on the left will be given a private briefing on investigations into President Donald Trump by House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.) during a secretive Texas gathering this week, according to documents obtained exclusively by the Washington Free Beacon.

The Democracy Alliance, a group of millionaire and billionaire funders of the liberal movement, is holding its Spring Partner Retreat and Strategy Conference at the Four Seasons hotel in Austin, where security has been patrolling the meeting areas since Wednesday. As always at the group's secretive meetings, all programming is off the record and closed to members of the media.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What is next, Judiciary Chair Nadler, is for the Dementocrats deciding to do something constructive for the people who elected you into office.

You have the job sir, that's what your constituents hired you to do; now, let's see a little delivery for those you represent, rather than this horrific plunge into toxic, "Gotcha!" politics!!

Apr 05 11:43

AUSSIE SENATE RUSHES THRU BILL THAT WOULD FINE SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANIES FOR NOT TAKING DOWN 'ABHORRENT' CONTENT FAST ENOUGH

Following the Christchurch mosque shooting, the New Zealand government swiftly declared footage and photos of the shooting illegal and started rounding up citizens who violated the censorship body's new declaration. The government of its closest neighbor has responded to the tragedy in a similar fashion, outlawing the sharing of "abhorrent violent material."

Tragedies make for bad laws. And Australia -- while relatively short on tragedy -- has been crafting some supremely bad laws lately. The national security flag was waved around a bit to justify encryption-breaking mandates. Now, the government has rushed through a bill targeting content like the Christchurch shooter's livestream of his violent act.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I'm sorry; but how will this law define "not taking down quickly enough", in a moment when the horrific images are live-streamed?!?

My deepest sympathies for those who got killed or maimed in this brutal assassination; but there is something about this which just doesn't pass the
smell test for me, and I am not quite sure what.

But here is a companion piece about this legislation:

After Christchurch shooting, Australia doubles-down on being stampeded into catastrophically stupid legislation.

Apr 05 11:36

The World’s Cheapest Natural Gas

Apr 05 11:20

What Greece And Venezuela Can Teach Us About Minimum Wage Laws

By Jon Miltimore

States across America are increasing the minimum wage. This is bad policy for numerous reasons, but the movement nonetheless appears to be gaining steam.

Eighteen states began 2019 with new minimum wage laws. Several more passed legislation in 2019, including Maryland, where legislators overrode a veto to pass a $15 minimum wage. McDonald’s, perhaps reading the landscape, recently announced it will no longer lobby against mandated increases in workers’ pay.

The reasons for this aren’t hard to divine. Minimum wage increases are lousy policy—violating the rights of employers and workers while denying the most vulnerable in society the dignity of work—but they are great politics...

Apr 05 10:54

Entrepreneurs: Changing The World Through Business

By Per Bylund

Politics is hardly an effective force for bringing about positive change in society. Instead, real change, and especially such that changes people’s lives for the better, comes from elsewhere. It comes from business, and specifically from innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers in the market. And very often it does so despite politics and the state — or even in direct conflict with it.

Apr 05 10:50

TSA PLANS TO PUT NEW LYING SIGNS IN AIRPORTS

According to a press release issued today by the Transportation Security Administration, the TSA plans to start posting signs as shown above in airports throughout the USA, claiming that “ID Requirements Are Changing” and that “Beginning Beginning October 1, 2020, you will need a REAL ID compliant license or another acceptable form of ID, such
as a valid passport or U.S. military ID, to fly within the U.S.”

According to today’s TSA press release:

REAL ID-compliant licenses or other acceptable forms of ID, such as a valid passport, federal government PIV card or U.S. military ID, will be mandatory for air travel beginning on October 1, 2020. Critically important, on October 1, 2020, individuals who are unable to verify their identity will not be permitted to enter the TSA checkpoint and will not be allowed to fly.

These signs and this and similar press releases are lies.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As some of you may know, my late Dad, Spencer, was an aircraft instrument mechanic, with whom his employer always had what I would describe as a "love/hate relationship", because dad NEVER signed off on the air-worthiness of an instrument before it went back on a plane, unless the instrument calibrated out perfectly.

That meant that the place's departure would be delayed, which infuriated his employer,but Spencer wanted to make sure that every instrument on which he signed off, was perfect.

When I was a kid, I used to love to fly, because I believed that every aircraft instrument mechanic took his job as seriously as did my Dad.

But since the TSA got its talons around air travel, I absolutely dread it.

Terrorist, me?!? NO ONE in their right mind would ever have that opinion of me, if they got to know me.

As a Christian pacifist activist I want to see the ending of wars as a means of settling international disputes, not more of them, thank you very much.

But this has been a paradigm shift in American culture, that when one travels, one is presumed "guilty until proven innocent", harking back to Code Napoleon.

As a thinking Christian, and someone who cares about the future trajectory of both US foreign and domestic policies, I abhor this shift in American values.

Apr 05 10:47

Name the State

By Jeffrey A. Tucker

The number one problem of all public debate about politics and economics is the failure to name the state. If this would change, so would public opinion.

There is no shortage of examples. People talk about health care for all, solving climate change, providing security in old age, universal educational access, boosting wages, ending discrimination, and you can add to the list without end. That’s one side.

The other speaks of national identity, protecting jobs, making us more moral, forming cultural cohesion, providing security against the foreign enemy, and so on.
Obfuscation

All of this, no matter how fancy the language, is obfuscation...

Apr 05 10:25

Jobs Narrative Continues To Be Bullshit

Apr 05 04:56

The Japanification of the World

Apr 05 03:52

Manhattan Home Sales Dip to 2008 Levels

Apr 04 19:23

Monopoly Power Is Growing In Response To Sustainable Development

By Patrick Wood

The International Monetary Fund says that the reason for growing market concentration is unclear. Unclear? Really?...

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