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The Economic Scam of the Century

March 27, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The leaders of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee,  Sen. Tim Johnson (D., S.D.) and Sen. Mike Crapo (R., Idaho),  released a draft bill on Sunday that would provide explicit government guarantees on mortgage-backed securities (MBS) generated by privately-owned banks and financial institutions. The gigantic giveaway to Wall Street would put US taxpayers on the hook for 90 percent of the losses on toxic MBS the likes of which crashed the financial system in 2008 plunging the economy into the deepest slump since the Great Depression. Proponents of the bill say that new rules by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) –which set standards for a “qualified mortgage” (QM)– assure that borrowers will be able to repay their loans thus reducing the chances of a similar meltdown in the future. However, those QE rules were largely shaped by lobbyists and attorneys from the banking industry who eviscerated strict underwriting requirements– like high FICO scores and 20 percent down payments– in order to lend freely to borrowers who may be less able to repay their loans.  Additionally, a particularly lethal clause has been inserted into the bill that would provide blanket coverage for all MBS  (whether they met the CFPB’s QE standard or not) in the event of another financial crisis. Here’s the paragraph:

“Sec.305. Authority to protect taxpayers in unusual and exigent market conditions….

If the Corporation, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, determine that unusual and exigent circumstances threaten mortgage credit availability within the U.S. housing market, FMIC may provide insurance on covered securities that do not meet the requirements under section 302 including those for first loss position of private market holders.” (“Freddie And Fannie Reform – The Monster Has Arrived”, Zero Hedge)

In other words, if the bill passes,  US taxpayers will be responsible for any and all bailouts deemed necessary by the regulators mentioned above.  And, since all of those regulators are in Wall Street’s hip-pocket, there’s no question what they’ll do when the time comes. They’ll bailout they’re fatcat buddies and dump the losses on John Q. Public.

If you can’t believe what you are reading or if you think that the system is so thoroughly corrupt it can’t be fixed; you’re not alone. This latest outrage just confirms that the Congress, the executive and all the chief regulators are mere marionettes performing whatever task is asked of them by their Wall Street paymasters.

The stated goal of the Johnson-Crapo bill is to “overhaul” mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac so that “private capital can play the central role in home finance.” (That’s how Barack Obama summed it up.) Of course, that’s not really the purpose at all. The real objective is to hand over the profit-generating mechanism to the private banks (Fannie and Freddie have been raking in the dough for the last three years) while the red ink is passed on to the public. That’s what’s really going on.

According to the Wall Street Journal,  the bill will

“construct an elaborate new platform by which a number of private-sector entities, together with a privately held but federally regulated utility, would replace key roles long played by Fannie and Freddie….”

“The legislation replaces the mortgage-finance giants with a new system in which the government would continue to play a potentially significant role insuring U.S. home loans.” (“Plan for Mortgage Giants Takes Shape”, Wall Street Journal) 

“Significant role”? What significant role? (Here’s where it gets interesting.)

The WSJ:

“The Senate bill would repurpose the firms’ existing regulator as a new “Federal Mortgage Insurance Corp.” and charge the agency with approving new firms to pool loans into securities. Those firms could then purchase federal insurance to guarantee payments to investors in those bonds. The FMIC would insure mortgage bonds much the way the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. provides bank-deposit insurance.”

Unbelievable. So they want to turn F and F into an insurance company that backs up the garbage mortgages created by the same banks that just ripped us all off for trillions of dollars on the same freaking swindle?

You can’t be serious?

More from the WSJ:  “Mortgage guarantors would be required to maintain a 10% capital buffer against losses and to have that capital extinguished before the federal insurance would be triggered.”

10 percent? What the hell difference does 10 percent make; that’s a drop in the bucket.  If the banks are going to issue mortgages to people who can’t repay the debt, then they need to cover the damn losses themselves, otherwise they shouldn’t be in the banking biz to begin with, right?

This is such an outrageous, in-your-face ripoff, it shouldn’t even require a response. These jokers should be laughed out of the senate. All the same,  the bill is moving forward, and President Twoface has thrown his weigh behind it. Is there sort of illicit, under-the-table, villainous activity this man won’t support?

Not when it comes to his big bank buddies, there isn’t. Now check out this clip from an article by economist Dean Baker. Baker refers to the Corker-Warner bill, but the Crapo-Johnson fiasco is roughly the same deal. Here’s Baker:

“The Corker-Warner bill does much more than just eliminate Fannie and Freddie. In their place, it would establish a system whereby private financial institutions could issue mortgage-backed securities (MBS) that carry a government guarantee. In the event that a large number of mortgages in the MBS went bad, the investors would be on the hook for losses up to 10 percent of its value, after that point the government gets the tab.

If you think that sounds like a reasonable system, then you must not have been around during the housing crash and ensuing financial crisis. At the peak of the crisis in 2008-2009 the worst subprime MBS were selling at 30-40 cents on the dollar. This means the government would have been picking up a large tab under the Corker-Warner system, even if investors had been forced to eat a loss equal to 10 percent of the MBS price.

The pre-crisis financial structure gave banks an enormous incentive to package low quality and even fraudulent mortgages into MBS. The system laid out in the Corker-Warner bill would make these incentives even larger. The biggest difference is that now the banks can tell investors that their MBS come with a government guarantee, so that they most they stand to lose is 10 percent of the purchase price.” (“The disastrous idea for privatizing Fannie and Freddie”, Dean Baker, Al Jazeera)

Just ponder that last part for a minute: “The bill would make these incentives even larger.”

Do you really think we should create bigger incentives for these dirtbags to rip us off? Does that make sense to you? Here’s more from Baker:

“The changes in financial regulation are also unlikely to provide much protection. In the immediate wake of the crisis there were demands securitizers keep a substantial stake in the mortgages they put into their pools, to ensure that they had an incentive to only securitize good mortgages. Some reformers were demanding as much as a 20 percent stake in every mortgage.

Over the course of the debate on the Dodd-Frank bill and subsequent rules writing this stake got ever smaller. Instead of being 20 percent, it was decided that securitizers only had to keep a 5 percent stake. And for mortgages meeting certain standards they wouldn’t have to keep any stake at all.

Originally only mortgages in which the homeowner had a down payment of 20 percent or more passed this good mortgage standard. That cutoff got lowered to 10 percent and then was lowered further to 5 percent. Even though mortgages with just 5 percent down are four times as likely to default as mortgages with 20 percent or more down, securitizers will not be required to keep any stake in them when they put them into a MBS.”

Hold on there, Dean. You mean Dodd Frank didn’t ”put things right”?  What the heck? I thought that “tough new regulations” assured us that the banks wouldn’t blow up the system again in five years or so. Was that all baloney?

Yep, sure was. 100% baloney. Once the banks unleashed their army of attorneys and lobbyists on Capital Hill,  new regulations didn’t stand a chance. They turned Dodd Frank into mincemeat and now we’re back to square one.

And don’t expect the ratings agencies to help out either because they’re in the same shape they were before the crash. No changes at all.  They still get paid by the guys who issue the mortgage-backed securities (MBS) which is about the same as if you paid the salary of the guy who grades your midterm exam. Do you think that might cloud his judgment a bit? You’re damn right, it would; just like paying the ratings agencies guarantees you’ll get the rating you want. The whole system sucks.

And as far as the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, well, you guessed it. The banks played a role in drafting the new “Qualified Mortgage” standard too, which is really no standard at all, since no self-respecting lender would ever use the same criteria for issuing a loan or mortgage. For example, no banker is going to say, “Heck, Josh, we don’t need your credit scores. We don’t need a down-payment. We’re all friends here, right? So, how much do you need for that mortgage old buddy, $300,000, $400,000, $500,000.  You name it. The sky’s the limit.”

No down payment? No credit scores? And they have the audacity to call this a qualified mortgage?

Qualified for what? Qualified for sticking it to the taxpayers?  The real purpose of the qualified mortgage is to protect the banks from their own shifty deals. That’s what it’s all about. It provides them with “safe harbor” in the event that the borrower defaults. What does that mean?

It means that the government can’t get its money back if the loan blows up.   The qualified mortgage actually protects the banks, not the consumer. That’s why it’s such a farce,  just like Dodd Frank is a farce. Nothing has changed. Nothing. In fact, it’s gotten worse. Now we’re on the hook for whatever losses the banks run up peddling mortgage credit to anyone who can fog a mirror.

We’ll leave the last word for Dean Baker, since he seems like the only guy in America who has figured out what the hell is going on:

“In short, the Corker-Warner plan to privatize Fannie and Freddie is essentially a proposal to reinstitute the structure of incentives that gave us the housing bubble and the financial crisis, but this time with the added fuel of an explicit government guarantee on the subprime MBS. If that doesn’t sound like a great idea to you then you haven’t spent enough time around powerful people in Washington.”

The Johnson-Crapo bill doesn’t have anything to do with “winding down” Fannie and Freddie or “overhauling” the mortgage finance industry. It’s a bald-face ripoff engineered by two chiseling senators who are putting the country at risk to beef up Wall Street’s bottom line.

It’s the scam of the century.


Mike Whitney is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com

Federal Agents Raid Gun Store For Customer List

March 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

atf

ATF agents raided a gun parts store over the weekend to obtain a customer list.

The raid began after Dimitri Karras, the owner of Ares Armor, in National City, Calif., refused to turn the customer list over to the federal government as demanded. A retired Marine, Karras said agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) wanted to investigate a list of 5,000 customers who unknowingly had purchased an allegedly illegal part at the store.

The customers reportedly purchased a specific 80 percent lower receiver — used to build an AR-15 rifle – that the Department of Justice and the ATF contend is illegal because it does not have a serial number.

Ares Armor was among a handful of stores which recently received a letter from ATF agents demanding that they not only turn the non-compliant gun part over to the federal government, but provide the names of all customers who bought the item as well.

Karras’ attorney asked for and received a temporary restraining order against the ATF from a federal judge, Janis L. Sammartino, who was nominated by President George W. Bush. A preliminary hearing is scheduled to review the situation on March 20.

But on Saturday the ATF agents did break in and enter Karras’ gun parts store, which was closed at the time. They walked out with several boxes of files. Federal attorneys had obtained a judicial “ex parte order,” which allowed them to search the store as long as no one was there. Sammartino had issued that, too.

 

Karras previously had said federal officials had told him to turn over the files “or we are coming in and taking pretty much anything.”

“Which is a huge privacy concern and something we are not willing to do,” he had said. “They were going to search all of our facilities and confiscate our computer and pretty much shut our business down. The government invades our privacy on a daily basis and everyone thinks it’s okay. This is one of those situations where hopefully the government institutions come in and say, ‘This is protected and you’re not taking it from them.’”

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During the Saturday ATF raid on Ares Armor, the agent converged upon the store in full tactical gear and confiscated the remaining AR-lower receivers. Just prior to the raid, both plain clothes and undercover ATF agents reportedly questioned customers outside of the California gun store.

The customers who purchased the part likely will be contacted by federal officials soon.

“If you have purchased an 80% lower receiver from a storefront location or over the Internet from any vendor, I think it is safe to assume that the federal government either has your customer data, or is in the process of trying to obtain your customer data,” wrote BearingArms.com editor Bob Owens. “If you want a truly anonymous 80% lower, pay cash via a private sale, the same as you would with a serialized firearm.

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“We have to wonder if this raid wasn’t as much an attempt to send a message to 80% lower customers as it was a raid for user data. Perhaps they’re attempting to scare people away from buying from these companies, so that they go out of business.”

Source: (Tara Dodrill | Off The Grid News)  

World Has No Idea How U.S. Decides On Wars

March 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

People from Yemen and Pakistan and elsewhere have told me, and have testified in the U.S. Congress, that they have a hard time convincing their neighbors that everyone in the United States doesn’t hate them.  There are buzzing killer robots flying over their houses night and day and every now and then blowing a bunch of people up with a missile with very little rhyme or reason that anyone nearby can decipher.  They don’t know where to go or not go, what to do or not do, to be safe or keep their children safe.  Their children have instinctively taken to crouching and covering their heads just like U.S. children in the 1950s were taught to do as supposed protection from Soviet nuclear weapons.

The good news is that, of course, we don’t all hate Yemenis or Pakistanis or Somalis or Afghans or Libyans or any of the other people who might suspect us of it.  The bad news — and the news that I’m afraid would be almost incomprehensible to many millions of people around the world — is that most of us have only the vaguest idea where any of those countries are, some of us don’t know that they ARE countries at all, and we pay far greater attention to our sports and our pets than to whom exactly our government is killing this Tuesday.

This obliviousness comes into sharpest relief perhaps when we elect the officials who are legally called on to decide on our wars.  The extent to which Congress has handed war making over to presidents is also brought out by observing Congressional elections.  It is not at all uncommon for U.S. Congressional candidates’ platforms to entirely ignore all questions of war and peace, and to win support from either Democrats or Republicans despite this omission — despite, in particular, taking no position on the area funded by 57% of the dollars they will vote on if elected, namely wars and war preparations.

Here in Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District, a man named Lawrence Gaughan recently announced as a Democratic candidate for Congress.  I’d never heard of him, so I took a look at the “Issues” section of hiswebsite.  Not only WAS there such a section (some candidates campaign purely on their biography without taking positions on anything), but Gaughan’s site had clear forthright statements on a number of important issues.  He backed labor unions despite their virtual nonexistence in his district.  He admitted the existence of climate change.  He backed Eisenhower era tax rates (!!).  And his statements made commitments: “I will not vote for any tax cuts for those making over 250,000 dollars a year.” “I support the Dream Act.” “I would vote for any legislation that would bring back jobs in construction, manufacturing and production.” Either this guy had real principles or he was just too new for anyone to have explained to him how to make his promises vague enough not to commit himself to any specific actions.

All too typically, however, when I scrolled through the “Issues,” I noticed a gap.  I sent this note off to the candidate’s staff:

“Your candidate has some of the best and clearest positions on domestic issues that I’ve seen, and dramatically superior to Congressman Hurt’s, but judging by his website as it stands today he seems to have no position on foreign policy whatsoever, or even on that 57% of discretionary spending that, according to the National Priorities Project, goes to militarism.  For people who support domestic social justice AND peace in the world in this district, we are put in a bind by our history. Congressman Perriello voted for every war dollar he could, and has made a career of pushing for new wars since leaving office.  Congressman Hurt is a disaster on other issues but listened to us and took a stand against missile strikes on Syria. He even listened to us on lawless imprisonment and voted against a “Defense” Authorization Act on one occasion. Helpful as it is to know what Lawrence Gaughan thinks of 43% of the budget, some of us are really going to have to know what he thinks of the larger part.  Would he cut military spending? Would he oppose new wars? Does he oppose drone strikes? Would he repeal the authorization to use military force of ’01 and that of ’03? Would he support economic conversion to peaceful industries on the model now set up in Connecticut? Would he advance a foreign policy of diplomacy, cooperation, actual aid, and nonviolent conflict resolution? Are there any foreign bases he would close?  Does he think having U.S. troops in 175 nations is too many, too few, or just right? Does he support joining the ICC? Thanks for your time!”

A couple of days later, Gaughan called me on the phone.  We talked for a while about foreign policies, wars, peace, militarism, the economic advantages of converting to peaceful industries, the danger of handing war powers over to presidents.  He said he opposed wars. He said he wanted to take on the influence of the military industrial complex.  He didn’t seem particularly well informed, but he seemed to be coming from a fairly good place or to at least be willing to get there.

He proposed allowing military veterans to never pay any taxes.  That’s not exactly the sort of resistance to militarism that President Kennedy had in mind when he wrote that wars would continue until the conscientious objector has the honor and prestige of the soldier.  Gaughan offered no tax cuts for conscientious objectors.  Still, he said he’d get some good statements on foreign policy added to his website right away. He also said he’d be willing to debate the other candidates, including the incumbent, on foreign relations, should peace groups create such a forum and invite him.

Lo and behold, the next day, this appeared on Gaughan’s website:

Military

“We have strayed from our constitution when it comes to the defense of our nation and declaration of war. I was opposed to the war in Iraq for many reasons.  The enormous price paid by our brave men and women as well as the huge financial debt that we incurred was not necessary.  Republicans in Congress continue to defer those costs on our military personnel and our veterans through the sequester and other austerity measures.

“Not withstanding the government shutdown, the Republican budget proposals that my opponent, Robert Hurt, has voted for over the past three years, have forced the Pentagon into reductions that have taken a tremendous toll on enlisted personnel right here in our district. These political policies are also causing reductions to TriCare, active duty health benefits, and to retired military pensions. As the greatest nation on earth, it is unacceptable that we have homeless veterans or military families who struggle to pay the bills.

“We owe so much to the men and women who serve. Instead of laying off soldiers and cutting funding for the VA, we could begin by eliminating the ongoing fraud by military contractors. Fraud committed by dozens of irresponsible military industry corporations have cost taxpayers more than $1.1 trillion. Eliminating this fraud would offset most of the estimated $1.2 trillion in policy savings required over the next decade in order to realize the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimated $1.4 trillion in deficit reduction without ‘gutting our military’. Furthermore, as a component of tax reform, there should be a tax exemption status for veterans written into the tax code.”

His topic, all too typically — people around the world should understand — is not how to relate to the 95% of humanity that is not in the United States, but how to treat “The Military.”

His first sentence echoes our discussion of the past three-quarters century of undeclared wars, but doesn’t spell it out.  Will he oppose wars that lack a Congressional declaration or not?

He picks one past war to oppose without stating his position on future wars.  He describes the costs of a war that killed some million Iraqis and destroyed a nation as all being paid by the U.S. and its soldiers.

He blames the sequester agreement on only one of the two parties that agreed to it, and buys into themyth that it has resulted in cuts to the military.  (True, Democrats in the Senate recently put up a token effort to fund veterans’ needs and were blocked by Republicans.)  Gaughan claims that we owe “so much” to members of the military who “serve.”  What exactly do we owe them? Can he name something that we owe them? He doesn’t want soldiers to be “laid off,” as if employing them is a make-work jobs program.

In my view we owe veterans housing, healthcare, education, a clean environment, and a healthy society because they are human beings — and we owe it equally to every other human being.  But we shouldn’t pretend that the military’s so-called “service” isn’t making us hated around the world.  We shouldn’t try to produce more veterans as if there were something noble about murdering people.

Gaughan almost closes on an up note.  He acknowledges fraud by military contractors.  He even calls them “military,” rather than using the misleading term “defense.”  But then he makes clear that he doesn’t want to cut the military. He wants to create efficiency to avoid cuts while saving money.

Would he repeal authorizations to use military force? Who knows. Would he back future wars? Who can tell? Does he believe U.S. troops should be in 175 nations? Perhaps.  But if they were in 182 would he then think 182 was the right number?  Does he favor allowing presidents to murder people with missiles from drones or by any other means?  Does he think antagonizing Russia and China and Iran should remain the focus of U.S. foreign policy?  Does he want the occupation of Afghanistan ended? Who knows.

He brought up a Department of Peace on our phone call, but it didn’t make the website yet.  One can hope that Gaughan’s website is a work in progress.  There’s certainly a chance he’ll become a far better candidate and Congress member than this district has had in a long time.

But this, dear world, is more or less how the world’s largest-ever killing machine operates.  It turns its eyes away from the machine’s work and, if pushed, debates the care of the machine itself — maintaining more or less complete obliviousness to the horrors the machine produces in those far away places where you live and die.

Source: DavidSwanson | Washington’s Blog

Missing Military-Industrial-Complex Money

February 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

When Major General Smedley Butler made his case,”War is a Racket” he did not pull any punches. “The normal profits of a business concern in the United States are six, eight, ten, and sometimes twelve percent. But war-time profits – ah! That is another matter – twenty, sixty, one hundred, three hundred, and even eighteen hundred per cent – the sky is the limit. All that traffic will bear. Uncle Sam has the money. Let’s get it.” The business of military procurement has multiplied since his fateful revelations.Not satisfied with fair profits or feasible competition, the practices of the defense corporatists illustrate one aspect of waste, graft and systemic bribery. William D. Hartung describes the consolidation and expanse of a select group of companies in the paper, The Military-Industrial Complex Revisited: Shifting Patterns of Military Contracting in the Post-9/11 Period

“Many of the same companies that benefited from increased Pentagon and war spending were top contractors for other security related agencies. For example, Lockheed Martin was not only the top contractor for the Pentagon, but it also ranked number one at the Department of Energy; number eight at the Department of Homeland Security (Boeing was number one); number two at the State Department; and number three at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Contracts let by these agencies were only a fraction of the levels awarded by the Pentagon, but they were significant nonetheless. For example, the Department of Homeland Security issued $13.4 billion in contracts in FY2008, NASA $15.9 billion, the State Department $5.5 billion, and the Department of Energy $24.6 billion.”

us-military-spending-vs-rest-of-world-from-sipri-from-globalissues-org.jpg

This dramatic growth in budgets is even more significant, when viewed in the context of world expenditures of other counties. Leaving aside the relative merits of the dangers and risk of external threats, the gigantic enterprise of fostering the biggest military apparatus in history has made select factions rich at the expense of the many.

Jonathan Turley in Pentagon Plugs: New Study Finds Pentagon Has Hidden Trillions In Missing Money And Equipment, references an example on how the overall avoidance of financial accountability, outright fraud and intentional concealment operates.

“A new report has detailed how the military has cooked the books to hide trillions, that’s right trillions, in missing money and equipment. The military calls them “plugs,” a curious term for fraud. These are knowingly fake figures used to hide the fact that there is no accurate record of the money.

The plugs are generally the work of the office of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the Pentagon’s main accounting agency. Required to complete an audit, the staff simply faked the numbers.”

Reuter’s reports on a Special Report: The Pentagon’s doctored ledgers conceal epic waste.

“Over the past 10 years, the Defense Department has signed contracts for the provision of more than $3 trillion in goods and services. How much of that money is wasted in overpayments to contractors, or was never spent and never remitted to the Treasury, is a mystery. That’s because of a massive backlog of “closeouts” – audits meant to ensure that a contract was fulfilled and the money ended up in the right place.”

Now trillions are sums that are unimaginable The Department of the Treasury acknowledges that U.S. gold reserves (if you believe their figures) total $11,041,059,958.16 as of their Current Report: January 31, 2014.

An eleven billion dollars equivalent is a mere drop in the bucket to the monies allocated to the military and homeland security. Taxpayers are regularly deceived about the costs. Congress is kept in the dark about black programs. And the war racket keeps funneling and siphoning off unknown sums to accounts that only a super computer can track.

 

Corporatocracy: How the Corporate Welfare State Divides and Conquers is a video by James Corbertt that provides an insightful analysis which establishes a surreal account how the oligarchy operates. The financial shenanigans of corporatists contribute to the interlocking directorates, which run the money pit that keeps the empire operating.

A rational reform of a depraved money laundering arrangement is impossible without a fundamental repudiation of the internationalist foreign policy doctrines that permeates the State Department. Funding advance technological warfare platforms that are unheard of to even congressional oversight is profoundly unconstitutional.

When such practices become routine, the economic incentives breed crooked abuses. The obligations for responsible public policy are methodically destroyed, when transparency is eliminated.

The Washington Blog provides several useful sources that document the extent of the problem in “$8.5 TRILLION In Taxpayer Money Doled Out By Congress To The Pentagon Since 1996 … Has NEVER Been Accounted For” and sums up with a bleak assessment.

“The Pentagon is the only federal agency that has not complied with a law that requires annual audits of all government departments. That means that the $8.5 trillion in taxpayer money doled out by Congress to the Pentagon since 1996, the first year it was supposed to be audited, has never been accounted for. That sum exceeds the value of China’s economic output last year.”

Evidently, the elites that benefit from bilking appropriations and the board members that steer the defense contractors want the con to continue. For all the money directed towards maintaining the war machine, our actual security become less secure.

Banks laundry ill-gotten gain, as prevailing practice, in the normal course of business because the arm merchants are protected players in the trade. The reprehensible circle that the dogs of war unleash the cash flow from their illicit drug sales, through arms sales, allows for the smooth transfer of hidden blood money into number accounts.

Such an organized system of mutual payoffs greases the ever growing industry of fear and destruction. All the missing money is buried in the unknown cashes of subterranean tyranny. Creating false flag threats allows for imaginary scourges to be new enemies. Protection from such manufactured foes is the real business of the military-industrial-complex.

So, when more details surface about the lost and unaccounted military funding money, it is just part of the price of keeping you safe.


Sartre is the publisher, editor, and writer for Breaking All The Rules. He can be reached at: BATR

Sartre is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Urban War Zones In America

February 2, 2014 by · 4 Comments 

Urban War Zones are now a reality inside many American cities.

It’s no longer necessary to go to Iraq, Afghanistan or Africa to enter a real war zone and have to fight for your life.

Thanks to massive CIA drug trafficking and American Free-trade Treaties like NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT & WTO, many American inner cities have been transformed into actual war zones.

These inner city war zones are infested with drug gangs that outnumber police and out gun them too.

At present these gangs are typically competing and battling with each other for turf and making a living selling drugs and running prostitutes, some captive sex-slaves. At some point if the economy worsens and the SHTF, they could easily start looting and attacking anyone and everyone.

However, in every major city in America at present, violent urban predators prey on the unarmed, old, weak, sick or disabled. And while out of control Police Swat Teams battle these predators and drug gangs, they often tyrannize the innocent which include women and young children, using excessive force all too often. There are numerous incidents of such teams murdering innocents after attacking the wrong home.

The massive War on Drugs was designed as a dualistic program. One hand, the top secret part involves the USG bringing in massive amounts of illegal drugs to raise “off the books money” for covert ops. The other hand uses all serious gang crimes arising as a pretext to militarize the police as justify their deployment as Nazi Storm Troopers.

This second part of the War on Drugs is for public disclosure and consumption. In response to all this massive urban breakdown, the worsening economy and increasing government tyranny from the Department of Homeland Security, the TSA and out of control local police, Americans are arming at an astounding rate. Guns are literally flying off the shelves and ammo sales are at an all time high also.

Americans now arming up in mass in order  to protect themselves from and this increasing USG Tyranny of the USG, DHS and their local militarized and Mind-kontrolled local police (1)  and from increasing and spreading urban crime which includes robberies, car-jackings, home burglaries and home invasions.

Also given as an important reason for arming up for the first time when asked, is a fear of possible impending economic collapse with an associated SHTF occurrence. Many express a salient and absolute need to be able to protect themselves and/or their family members from possible looters and armed home invaders which would likely accompany a SHTF urban breakdown situation.

And who should be credited with creating such a foreboding urban environment? It is the Globalist Traitors and infil-Traitors who have hijacked the political process and Banking in America.

These Globalist “enemies within” have rammed through economically disastrous Free-Trade Agreements and forced Diversity, Perversions and Political correctness accompanied by massive immigration, most illegal. All this has been designed to destroy the borders, language and culture of America, to neutralize its Constitution, Bill of Rights and Rule of Law while transforming America into a economically distressed Third World Nation.

These Globalist enemies within the Gates have been working very hard to transform America into a Democracy (Mob rule by the masses) from the Republic which was set up by our Founding Fathers.  Obviously any real enforcement of the US Constitution would assure that American would remain a republic the way it was set up.

Since the imposition of so-called “Free Trade” policies upon the American Republic, urban decay and blight have become epidemic in major American cities. Many cities have turned into Urban Jungles, where only the strongest survive. In these Urban Jungles, violent gangs prevail and the weak are parasitized and consumed, afraid to go out of their homes, especially after dark.

Take Chicago, which has become a “kill or be kill” free fire Urban War Zone in some of its Urban areas. Chicago is the one of the most gun restricted areas ever, but the only ones that do not carry guns to defend themselves are law abiding citizens.

Gang members have all the guns they want, supplied by drug gangs and the CIA and BATF.http://www.cbsnews.com/news/gang-wars-at-the-root-of-chicagos-high-murder-rate/

Some of these areas such as Washington DC have been rated as having a 300% chance of being mugged if out after dark in certain areas, which means you could likely be robbed three times in a single block if you have a victim profile (old, young, weak, disabled, female). The real unemployment rate is 37%, despite phony USG that it is 7% or less.(2)

And now Detroit has been declared Bankrupt. It has been reported that retired police and City workers will now receive approximately 13% of their pensions due.

The Ruins of Detroit:

The ten Most Dangerous American Cities which are truly Urban Jungles at Night:

There are areas in Detroit, South Chicago and St. Louis that are so violent and infested with violent gangs that even the police refuse to enter unless ordered and then do so with major forces.

Until recently parts of Detroit was so violent that police and ambulances refused to provide service during the night hours and often found abandoned dead bodies (murder victims) days later. Detroit, known as “Iron City”, the jewel of America, used to be prosperous beyond measure based on the manufacture of the world’s finest cars.

Remember what a 1965 Olds Starfire coupe was like, or a mid 60′s Buick Wildcat or Pontiac Bonneville was like.  How about a mid 60′s Chevy with a HP409 engine or a Plymouth Belvedere with a 426 Hemi or 440 Wedge engine?

That all changed in 1971 with the introduction of very extreme anti-pollution “clean air” laws which reduced automotive engine compression ratios from approximately 10.5 to 8.5, required the installation of retarded, goofy extremely inefficient camshafts.  The result was garbage engines that had little power, consumed huge increases in gasoline and a major shift in chassis quality to near complete crap. At that point American automotive quality was gone and is only starting to come back now forty years later.

This is but one symptom of the covert Globalist engineering of American Society on behalf of the City of London zionist Central Banksters.

This of course created a great opportunity for the Japanese Auto manufacturers, secretly owned and controlled by the super-elite American Banking families. When W. Edwards Deming, an astute American engineer approached American Automotive Manufacturers in Detroit and proposed his plan to drastically reduce defects and lemons, he was rebuffed because it was felt his plan was too expensive and too slow.

Deming’s plan required 100% quality checks and verification of all parts from every supplier instead of the approximately 1% or less sampling. When Deming approached the Japanese, who had already shown a new coming expertise in motorcycles and quality circles in their electronics manufacturing, his program was accepted and implemented.

The rest is history, and after about 15 years, the American Automotive manufacturers have been playing a catch up game ever since for quality with the Japanese Auto manufacturers.

And now the Korean Automotive Manufacturers have hired retired Japanese automotive engineers as consultants and have adopted many of their same practices and principals to their automotive manufacturing.  The result?

Some Autos manufactured in South Korea have attained the same quality as the Japanese which are considered to currently be the highest quality in the world. As many automotive enthusiasts suggest, if you want the best performance buy German, if you want the highest quality buy Japanese.

It is a fair assumption that Globalism and the Free-Trade Agreements it produced, have resulted in the exportation of most American heavy industry, manufacturing and millions of good paying jobs. This alone has seriously harmed the American economy and set America on a path of destruction, starting first with its Urban Centers which have become urban wastelands and jungles, and now progressively spreading to middle class and upper middle class outlying suburbs.

Fair Trade with suitably adjusted reasonable Tariffs to protect American Jobs are necessary to America’s economic survival and prosperity. Free Trade is not Free at all and is an abomination to the American republic and its Sovereignty.

It is a tool of the Globalists to enhance the earnings of their international offshore Globalist corporations at the expense of the American worker.  It is nothing less than a secret war against America’s Sovereignty and the Republic itself.

The only other globalist tactic to destroy America that approaches its effectiveness are the policies of unrestricted illegal immigration, forced diversity, cultural programming that perversion is good, required perversion programming in the public schools that it is normal, and political correctness.

Obviously these are all Globalist weapons of covert war waged against America to destroy its borders, language and culture and gut it economically.  These Globalist weapons have been deployed against Americans in order to transform America into a Third World “Democracy” instead of the Republic that it was set up to be by the Founding Fathers.

These Traitors and Infil-Traitors in Congress and the Administration keep financing and running foreign wars for Israel in order to establish Democracy like they keep claiming we have in America. We have never had a democracy but they have been doing their best to kill the Republic on the behalf of their zionist owners and masters This is of course one of the biggest lies ever told.

America has always been a Republic, a democracy is mob rule. Of course bringing in 30-60 million illegal immigrants and millions of legally sanctioned foreign workers has quickly undermined American culture and tradition and established a real base to elect politicians who appeal to the masses. The election of President Obama was the first of such travesties.

Up until recently when American aircraft manufacturers starting buying foreign parts, American aircraft were the best in the world, especially the military aircraft and fighter/interceptors. Now we have an F-22 with a contaminated O2 system from China that causes some pilots to start passing out and a Boeing Dreamliner with a faulty battery system that was imported.

For years St. Louis has been so poor that some of their police radio don’t work properly and their squad cars are in disrepair. In East Los Angeles, despite how tough and well armed the LA Police Department is, top police officials know that they are completely outgunned by Mexican drug gangs allowed to enter and do business inside America and also provided arms shipped by the CIA and the BATF.

It’s not as if Americans weren’t duly warned what such Free-Trade Treaties would produce, because Presidential Candidate Ross Perot went public with what was coming.  He described the effects as a “giant sucking sound” for American jobs as they would leave America in droves.

But despite Perot’s grave warnings, President George HW Bush signed NAFTA on Dec. 17, 1992 with full Congressional support. The NAFTA Treaty was ratified after Bill Clinton became President. Soon after the sucking sound started, with shocking support the the US Department of State which provided massive grants to major corporations to move manufacturing to Mexico.  These grants continued at American taxpayer expense under the subsequent Trade Treaties that were subsequently signed and ratified such as CAFTA, GATT, and WTO.

Unbeknownst to most Americans, President Obama is now deeply involved in secret negotiations to pass the Trans Pacific Partnership Treaty (TPP) which experts have described as “NAFTA on Steroids”. TPP is far more than just another Free Trade Treaty which continues to lower the value of American wages to the “rock bottom” levels in third world  countries. If signed and ratified by Congress, the TPP would be the complete end to any remaining American Sovereignty.

What established this frenzy for Free-Trade Agreements? It is now known that The last duly elected President of the United States of America was Ronald Reagan.  It is also known by seasoned intel officers that Ronald Reagan distrusted American Intel in general and especially his Vice President George HW Bush.

In fact it has now been discovered that President Reagan distrusted the CIA and American Intel so much, he set up his “Kitchen Cabinet” and brought in Lee Wanta as his Secret Agent under the Totten Doctrine (3).

George HW Bush was illegally elected later as President, since his father Prescott Bush had signed an Immunity Agreement that no future Bushes (Scherfs) would ever run for office after he was arrested for “aiding the enemy” and his Union Bank assets were seized by FDR during WW2.

It is also known that George HW Bush ran his own private CIA inside the CIA which served the specific needs of the zionist City of London Central Banksters and their franchisees, the American private Federal Reserve and major Wall Street Banksters.

Some former top American Intel believe that it was this private GHW Bush Intel organization that tried to assassinate President Reagan, by using their man, a secret service man who fired a high speed plastic disc from a compressed air powered disc-gun, the type displayed by William Colby in Congressional Hearings on the abuses of American Intel.

PBS Judy Woodruff had reported this of seeing the SS man fire a gun from a second story window that night on PBS but the story was quickly squelched and she changed it after a very convincing “not to worry visit” from some very serious American Intel agents. President Reagan, despite a long slow disjointed route to the hospital, survived. This assassination attempt however signaled that the Treasonous Bush Cabal had attained a major power base inside the Military and Congress.

The sad thing is that all the political power and influence  necessary to accomplish this and to transform the American Congress into Traitors was due to the vast money provided to K Street Lobbyists and zionist espionage groups like AIPAC, ADL, B’nai B’brith, and the like by the Central Banksters and the various Judaic groups shaken down and manipulated by zionist for donations.

So the first beach-head of the Globalists (aka zionist City of London Central Banksters and the “Old Black Nobility” they represented) was established with a bought, owned and controlled US Congress.  Once GHW Bush was elected President, the circle of control was complete.

One of George W. Bush’s major assignments was to take American further down the Globalist path by fighting more Mideast wars for Israel. Another was to destroy the Republic party by being the worst President ever and fully debasing the Republican, which he did. Now the Republican leaders in Congress are tricking the Republican Party into committing suicide by agreeing to back the Democratic legislation for making illegal immigrants legal and future citizens.

So it is now obvious that the Republic Party is finished and Americans need to rise up and form a new Third Party. Otherwise you can be assured that just like in the last Presidential election, both candidates will be owned by the Bush Cabal.Unless the Bush Cabal has been fully exposed and displaced by then which is now  real possibility.

It has been estimated that there are now approximately 30 million illegal immigrants inside Americaallowed in by a Globalist controlled USG who prevented border enforcement and liberal immigration laws which are not enforced. With the the passage of the currently proposed Democratic plan for legalizing illegal immigrants, this number could easily grow to 60 to 100 million.

In most major American Cities, Police are not allowed to arrest suspected illegal immigrants for minor traffic violations or check their identification for legal status. Not so for those whose license plates are run and show up as actual American Citizens. And this is all due to orders coming down from a few top policy-Makers who operate at the nexus of the Secret Shadow Government (SSG).

GHWB could now institute major efforts to undo all the excellent plans for the economic and industrial reconstruction of America that President Reagan had set in place and activated. As has been disclosed in a previous article (4), President Reagan had brought in Lee Wanta to serve as his Secret Agent because he didn’t trust the CIA which had been corrupted and hijacked by GHWB.

It should now be exceedingly clear to those who are well informed about the degradation of the American economy and rule of law accompanied by increasing tyranny, deployment of DHS, TSA and the passage of all the unConstitutional draconian laws (like the so-called Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and NDAA 2014).

All this is being engineered by foreign controlled Globalist traitors and infil-Traitors who have hijacked America and worked hard to export  heavy industry, manufacturing and jobs.

And that they are doing this to asset strip America, destroy it’s economy and the Republic itself in order to Balkanize America and prevent it from ever rising in economic strength again and operating as a Republic “of the people, by the people and for the people”.

Their motives for all this?  To covertly re-fight the Revolutionary war that was lost and retake America on behalf of the zionist City of London Central Banksters and their Kingpin overlords the Old Black Nobility (OBN).  These hidden masters of the world-wide occult network which runs the IZCS prefer to stay hidden in the background where they can pull all the strings of several top Policy-Makers in America with no personal risk to themselves.

What can be done to turn this around? Obviously the first step is to get rid of all Free-Trade Agreements. In order to do this all the zionist espionage fronts inside America such as AIPAC, ADL, B’nai B’rith and the like must be fully exposed and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. In order to do this zionist Israeli-American dual citizens inside Congress and the USG and its Agencies must be exposed as traitors and agents of foreign espionage and routed out of power.

America has to stop fighting Israel’s illegal Mideast wars and withdraw all aid and support for Israel as long as it is a criminal, racist apartheid state persecuting and murdering Palestinians and stealing their land incrementally.

Lee Wanta, a great American Heroe that served as President Reagan’s Secret Agent under the Totten Doctrine and was instrumental in bringing down the evil Soviet Union

We need to re-institute the Wanta Reconstructing America Plan based on the Maglev High Speed Rail System which has the necessary funding already available. (5)

And it is time to also re-establish the Want Economic Recovery Plan for America that was also set up under President Reagan, but later stopped cold by George HW Bush and his Cabal when they instituted a secret coup to take over the whole USG on behalf of the City of London zionist Central Banksters and their Wall Street and Federal Reserve Franchisees.(6)

In fact it is a reasonable assumption that the massive Free-Trade attack on America’s economy was largely a reaction by the Bush Cabal to these amazing economic reconstruction plans President Reagan had put in place through his Secret Agent Lee Wanta, who was the master strategist that took down the Soviet Union for President Reagan.

Recent respected surveys show that a majority of American are disgusted with the current administration and rating of the lowest ever experienced in America in the last century. Congress is also rated at an all time low with only 9% approving of it. Many view the current President as an alien imposter with no traceable past.  Some alternative media writers have stated that he is a sheep-dipped CIA creation just like Bill Clinton. All this is a mute point.  Why?

Because Ronald Reagan was the last duly elected President of the United States of America, the Republic, all presidents since have been fraudulently elected and owned by the Bush Cabal. And this Bush Cabal is the Action Agent of the City of London zionist Central Banksters and their International Zionist Crime Syndicate (IZCS).

The IZCS is centered in Israel where most intel is done by privatized Israeli corporations serving as American Defense and Intel contractors.  It is these private Israeli contactors who control all NSA raw intel and almost all American communications including internal White House phone calls and messaging, as well as all Pentagon and DOD communications.

Obviously the Bush Cabal has been able to install its own Presidential puppets and run a lucrative illegal drug trafficking operations into America.  All done to destabilize and “dirty up” American Cities while absorbing a great deal of the Welfare dollars and capturing vast “off the books” funds for their own covert operations and bribery of Congress. It is a fair conclusion that the Bush Cabal has destroyed the American Rule of Law, debased any true enforcement of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights and has corrupted every institution and agency of the USG.

However there is good news.  A growing force for good has emerged in the Alternative Media now transmitted everywhere instantly on demand by the worldwide Internet, the new Gutenberg Press and the NWO Globalist’s Achilles Heel. Yes, the Controlled Mass media (CMMM) has been a propaganda mouthpiece for the Bush Cabal and the IZCS, but is now losing its appeal and credibility. The CMMM keeps feeding lies and crap to the American public that are obviously false, like the Mideast American wars are wars to establish Democracy.  More and more Americans now realize this is complete BS, that we are there to fight Israel’s wars and defend British Oil interests.

Compare the articles of Veterans Today and other respected truth media now which are being published and read by millions inside America and all over the world with the CMMM. You will see the gap between the alternative media truth and the CMMM lies is ever widening and we are starting to see Alternative Media’s popularity driving stories into the CMMM, even thought the CMMM usually attempts to neutralize their significance.

Many thousands of brave American Soldiers who were lied to and deceived into fighting these illegal, unConstitutional, unprovoked, undeclared wars for Israel and Big Oil, thinking that they were defending America and its freedom. Few greater lies and deceptions has ever been predicated on Americans than this complete lie.  Many thousands of Americans have been killed and horribly wounded and disabled in this war.

If the American Military ever fully realizes that all these wars were phony and based on a lie and that Israel did the 9/11 attacks with the help of a cabal within the USAF and JCS, there will be hell to pay for all those perps involved. And now there is good reason to believe that day is coming in the not too distant future.

As most Americans are beginning to realize, America has been infil-Traited by Traitors and Infil-Traitors in the highest positions of the USG.  The major economic deterioration and loss of assets to the Wall Street Banksters and the private Federal reserve through financial Fraud have been staggering and Americans are catching on the the BLATANTLY OBVIOUS.

When American society reaches a critical mass awakening to this obvious situation that Globalists have been doing everything they can to destroy America, there will be major Blow-back of astounding proportions. When 12% of Americans are awakened, a critical mass and major turning point will be reached and you will begin to see major social change like never conceived, and this will all be due to major Blow-back from awakening.

The elites hate to acknowledge it, but when large numbers of ordinary people are moved to action, it changes the narrow political world where the elites call the shots. Inside accounts reveal the extent to which Johnson and Nixon’s conduct of the Vietnam War was constrained by the huge anti-war movement. It was the civil rights movement, not compelling arguments, that convinced members of Congress to end legal racial discrimination. More recently, the townhall meetings, dominated by people opposed to health care reform, have been a serious roadblock for those pushing reform…. A big turnout … can make a real difference….When someone tells you to stop imagining that you are having an impact, ask them to please direct their energy into getting 10 friends to join you in doing what needs to be done. If it has no impact, you’ll have gone down trying. If it has an impact, nobody will tell you for many years. (7)

This coming complete awakening will be due to information dispensed and diffused by the Alternative Media and the worldwide Internet as well as word of mouth. it is best viewed as a byproduct of a new and powerful emerging worldwide populism which has now reached the point it is unstoppable. One recent study has established 10% as a critical mass, turning point for Society.(8)

I believe we are already at 11% and when we reach 12%, the days of the Bush cabal will be dated. They know it too and are scared sh*tless. That is why they have been going for broke trying to ram the NWO down our throats and militarize local police and build up DHS to oppress and then mass murder us.

It’s time to speak up to all your family, friends and associates that we need to abandon the Republican and Democratic political Parties.  Both parties are owned and controlled by the same Overlord, the IZCS who bought them and can blackmail them with NSA provided intel.

Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, who is also a Vet and a Navy Seal/UDT man had it right in his book of the Replican and Democrat Political Gangs in America, DemoCRIPS and ReBLOODlicans (9).

Gov. Ventura recommends Americans dump both political Parties which serve the same corrupt masters and start electing alternative candidates only who are not associated with either of the two parties.

Conclusion:

It should now be exceedingly clear to those who are well informed about the degradation of the American economy and rule of law accompanied by increasing tyranny, deployment of DHS, TSA and the passage of all the unConstitutional draconian laws (like the so-called Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and NDAA 2014), that all this is being engineered by foreign controlled Globalist traitors and infil-Traitors who have hijacked America and worked hard to export  heavy industry, manufacturing and jobs.

And that they are doing this to asset strip America, destroy it’s economy and the Republic itself in order to Balkanize America and prevent it from ever rising in economic strength again and operating as a Republic “of the people, by the people and for the people”.

Their motives for all this?  To covertly re-fight the Revolutionary war that was lost and retake America on behalf of the zionist City of London Central Banksters and their Kingpin overlords the Old Black Nobility (OBN).  These hidden masters of the world-wide occult network which runs the IZCS prefer to stay hidden in the background where they can pull all the strings of several top Policy-Makers in America with no personal risk to themselves.

(1) http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/02/17/robocops/

(2) http://www.tpnn.com/2014/01/22/actual-unemployment-rate-37-2-not-6-7-says-wall-street-adviser/

(3) TOTTEN DOCTRINE [ 92 U.S. 105, 107 (1875) ]

(4) http://www.veteranstoday.com/2014/01/05/the-wanta-reconstructing-america-plan/

(5) http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/12/28/high-speed-rail/

(6) http://wantarevelations.com/2014/01/wanta-plan-macro-financial-economic-check-list/

(7) http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2014-01-31/powers-be-are-secretly-terrified-people%E2%80%99s-power-%E2%80%A6-and-only-pretend-they%E2%80%99re-fi

(8) http://scienceblog.com/46622/minority-rules-scientists-discover-tipping-point-for-the-spread-of-ideas/

(9) http://www.amazon.com/DemoCRIPS-ReBLOODlicans-More-Gangs-Government/dp/162087587X/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391327762&sr=1-2&keywords=jesse+ventura+democrips+and+rebloodlicans

Source: Preston James | Veterans Today

Gerald Celente: Top Ten Trends 2014

December 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

In 33 years of forecasting trends, the Trends Research Institute has never seen a new year that will witness severe economic hardship and social unrest on one hand, and deep philosophic enlightenment and personal enrichment on the other. A series of dynamic socioeconomic and transformative geopolitical trend points are aligning in 2014 to ring in the worst and best of times.

Ready or not, here they come.

March Economic Madness: One of the most difficult aspects of trend forecasting is getting the timing right. And when it comes to economics, there are many wildcards that can stall or detour any on-rushing trend. We called the Crash of ’87, the 1997 Asian Currency Crisis and the Panic of ’08 (we even established the domain name in 2007) right on the button. But we missed the mark with our Crash of 2010 prediction.

Why? The Federal Reserve and central banks around the world were secretly pumping tens of trillions of dollars into a failing financial system. These were, at the time, unimagined schemes for nations that pride themselves on capitalism. And while we are not naïve to the dirty dealings of the financial industry, rigging the daily multi-trillion dollar LIBOR and FOREX markets was not on our radar. Thus, what we believed to be economic truths and hard facts were, in fact, cover-ups and lies….

Such unforeseeable factors aside, we forecast that around March, or by the end of the second quarter of 2014, an economic shock wave will rattle the world equity markets. What will cause this econo-shock? How can you prepare for it? It’s a Top Trend of 2014. Read about it in the Winter Trends Journal.

Global Chinatowns: Name the continent or pick a country, every one contains its own brand of Chinatown. The Chinese global buying binge, now in its early growth stage, will noticeably accelerate in 2014. From coal mines in Zambia, to Borscht Belt resorts in New York, to factories in Italy, and to farmlands in Ukraine, a seemingly endless variety of Chinese development projects are being incubated around the world. If there is a deal to be had and a need to be filled, Chinese players are increasingly at the front of the line.

Wealthy investors, college graduates without jobs, skilled and unskilled laborers will be migrating out of their overpopulated, congested and highly polluted nation to foreign shores. Where are the new growth areas? What actions will be taken to stop or control the trend? Who will benefit? Who will lose? And what are the dangers and opportunities? You’ll find the answers in the Winter Trends Journal.

Wake Up Call: Last year we forecast the Great Awakening 2.0, a period reminiscent of the first Great Awakening that provided the intellectual, philosophical and spiritual ammunition that ignited the American Revolution. The “Awakening” has begun. Throughout 2014, and beyond, you will hear the Wake Up Call. It will be loud and distinct.

In 2013, the White House and Congress proved their extreme incompetence with a series of public failures. From closing down the government, to the debt ceiling debacle, to the aborted attack on Syria and, ultimately, to the disastrous launch of Obamacare, the ineptness of our political leaders was overwhelming. As polls show, a majority of citizens registered levels of scorn and ridicule unparalleled in modern America.

But this phenomenon is not limited to America. Around the world, citizen distrust has turned into universal disdain for entrenched political parties whose draconian austerity measures and punishing economic policies have thrown millions into poverty and pushed millions of protesters into the streets. Civil wars, civil unrest, revolts and revolutions will be just some of the cards dealt by an angry public that has lost everything and has nothing left to lose.

Will those in power hear the Wake Up Call? Or will they attempt to stamp it down and drown it out? Hear it or not, the movement is unstoppable. It will be a battle of the classes. What will it mean? Where will it take the biggest toll? Can the protests and disturbances of tomorrow bring peace and enlightenment that will lead to the Great Awakening 2.0? It’s all in the Top Trends 2014 Winter Trends Journal.

Seniors Own Social Media: Seniors now comprise the fastest-growing user segment of the social media world, and the year ahead will see the retail, business, political, health and entertainment industries evolve aggressive strategies to realize the robust economic potential in engaging seniors.

The gamut of possibilities is so grand that we forecast technological and product advances that impact everything from nursing home life to political campaigns and causes. Read the Winter Trends Journal to pinpoint how this trend will unfold and affect you and your interests.

Populism: Regardless of how professional politicians deride it or how the traditional media describe it, “populism” is a megatrend sweeping Europe, and it will soon spread across the globe. Mired in prolonged recession, disgusted with corrupt political parties, and forced to follow EU, ECB and IMF austerity dictates, populist movements are seeking to regain national identity and break free from the euro and Brussels domination. These movements are positioned to bring down ruling parties and build up new ones.

The discontent of the one-size-fits-all Euro Union formula is so deep that populists are expected to gain some 25 percent of the European Parliament seats in next year’s elections. “We have the big risk to have the most ‘anti-European’ European Parliament ever,” cried Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta. “The rise of populism is today the main European social and political issue,” Mr. Letta added. “To fight against populism, in my view, is a mission today – in Italy and in the other countries.”

Already, some nations, such as Spain, have passed new laws restricting public demonstrations while imposing police-state measures to stamp out dissent. What is the future of populism? How far will it spread? Will it lead to the formation of new parties, or lead to civil wars? Read about it in the Trends Journal’s Top Trends 2014 edition.

Trouble in Slavelandia: Even as total US personal wealth soars above a record high of $77 trillion, fueled by the stock market’s own record highs, life for the growing number of have-nots in Slavelandia has become more desperate. In today’s Plantation Economy – driven by the bottom line needs of multinationals and flailing austerity-prone governments – low-paying service jobs and reduced hours engineered to evade corporate responsibility to provide benefits, are making it tough for the working poor, a group that now includes debt-burdened and underemployed college graduates and seniors as well as the traditional underclass.

Nearly half of the requests for emergency assistance to stave off hunger or homelessness comes from people with full-time jobs. As government safety nets are pulled out from under them – as they will continue to be for the foreseeable future – the citizens of Slavelandia will have no recourse but action. The fast-food worker strikes of 2013, seeking a higher minimum wage, were just a mild taste of what is to come. Learn more in the WinterTrends Journal.

The New Altruism: Several burgeoning trends identified for 2014 will coalesce in a welcome trend toward selfless concern for the wellbeing of others and an interest in the common good. Across the age divide, from people in their youth to those of advanced years, the search for meaning will intensify and become more widespread in response to waning resources, want, and an over-commodified culture. As despair quietly takes more prisoners, Doing Good will be recognized as the key to escape.

Ironically, the Internet that has been much maligned for currying narcissism will make the donation of money, time and talents so easy that people will be able to enact their better natures without resistance. Be they Boomers in renaissance or populists in revolt, people will discover and expand the humanist side of globalism and act accordingly. See why in the Top Trends of 2014 Winter edition of the Trends Journal.

Private Health Goes Public: While the world focused on the blockbuster NSA surveillance revelations and other cyber-snooping episodes of 2013, another powerful trend line was firmly planted: Your health data has been progressively mined, assembled and made accessible to a widening group of interested parties.

While signing up for the Affordable Care Act brought some attention to this developing trend, around the globe, data on individuals’ health status, behaviors, prescriptions and even their genetic indicators have been funneled to a wide range of databases. Those databases have many purposes and a growing number of hands on them.

The positive and negative implications of this trend are equally powerful. Individuals and their health care providers can more easily tie vital physical data with worldwide medical databases to anticipate and potentially prevent disease. But, in the wrong hands, the data can be used to exploit, damage and take advantage of individuals and their families. Security concerns will rise in equal importance with the potential benefits of this critical trend line.

What does this mean for you, your family, or your business? The Winter Trends Journal will provide the answers.

Boomer Renaissance Arrives: Distinct and strengthening economic, lifestyle and societal determinants are building a creative foundation for the older population as it discovers new approaches to work and finds long-elusive contentment in the process.

You already know that older workers, seeing their retirement plans shattered, have to work beyond traditional retirement years. You also know that those same economic dynamics are forcing aging Boomers to entirely rethink retirement. And, of course, you know that as Boomers are living longer, traditional thinking about retirement has been stood on its head. What you might not realize is how these factors are compelling Boomers to unearth potent creative energies not only to survive, but to realize potential that evaded them in traditional work roles.

In 2014, we will see growing evidence of this Boomer Renaissance, accentuated by waves of self-guided entrepreneurism that alchemizes commerce, survival and self-actualization into a new world and self view. The Winter Trends Journal will explore this compelling 2014 trend in depth.

Digital Learning Explodes: Fears that online educational platforms fall short of providing depth and effectiveness in the learning experience will all but disappear. Across the entire educational spectrum, online learning will expand to include not only course instruction, but also a wealth of real-life learning experience, with considerable participation by the skills-hungry business community.

For individuals, educational institutions, industries, small businesses and up-and-coming entrepreneurs, the implications are enormous. From traditional degree-based education to very specific micro skills-based learning, this trend line explodes. The Trends Research Institute will break down the implications for individuals, business professionals and a range of industries in its Winter Trends Journal.

Source: Gerald Celente  |  The Trends Journal via LewRockwell.com

When Revolution Comes, What Is Your Logistics Plan?

December 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

On the modern battlefield the American army is a mighty force but not all soldiers participate in the fighting in a similar fashion. For every combat arms person there are eight or more support personnel behind the lines making sure the trigger pullers on the front line have the materials they need to fight. Without this supply function the battle would come to a halt in a very short time. Amateurs talk of strategy while generals talk of logistics. Logistics mean fighting capability. Without the materials of war victory is difficult if not impossible to achieve.

When the south went to war in 1861 they were at a decided disadvantage. They had little in the way of raw materials or production capability. This led to final defeat in 1865. When the final shot was fired the south was slowly starving to death from lack of war materials and lack of food. Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. Let this failed attempt at freedom be a lesson to future soldiers. It takes more than brave men with guns to win a war.

When the revolution comes again, it will require many types of people to win it. The trigger pullers are imperative but they will need support from many quarters to continue the fight. It will require machinists to make repair parts, repair weapons and build weapon systems. It will require seamstresses to make and repair clothing. It will require people willing to risk their lives to gather intelligence. It will require people that can produce food in a clandestine manner to feed the fighters. It will require medical professionals and herbalists that can make medicine from locally available plants. It will require veterans that can teach the art of war to a new generation. It will require an unwavering belief in the hand of providence to see the people through the days of desperation that will follow.

Everyone will have a different role to play in the days to come. It is important not to disparage those that do not step forward to be trigger pullers. They may have another function to perform that is just as important. A well rounded logistics base is the key to sustaining the fight over the many weeks and months it will take for final victory. While preparing the militia for the coming battles, it will be important to prepare the local logistics as well to insure a fighting capability.

The Federals know the importance of logistics and are working tirelessly to destroy any abilities by the population to produce the necessary materials in the future. The EPA, FDA and USDA are in a war to destroy small farms that will provide a production platform for food and raw materials to aid the people. They are working to destroy the small businesses that can provide production capability for many finished products. They are destroying the seeds that can be used as a perpetual supply of food and fibers. They are destroying the ability to move freely along the highways and through communities with proposed checkpoint booths. They are destroying the ability of men to bear arms and employ resistance. They are destroying the ability of individuals to be self sufficient and resist government orders. They are destroying the ability of people to work and be productive so they can properly care for their families. They are destroying the ability to get healthcare without government intervention or knowledge. They are destroying the Christian beliefs to give the population a feeling of hopelessness.

What can the average person do to facilitate a logistics base for future operations? Can you buy an extra hundred pounds of beans , rice and oats to provide a basic food supply to someone else? Can you buy extra ammo, reloading supplies, or spare parts that will be needed? Can you store extra medical supplies and antibiotics for future use by fighters? Can you fix or maintain radio equipment? Can you store heritage seeds in bulk to ensure the ability to produce crops or raise breeding stock to produce meat in the future? Can you store materials to repair clothing and shoes? Can you put a hidden cellar on your property to store bulk supplies until needed? Can you store scrap metal and lead wheel weights for future use as war materials?

The average person can do something meaningful to support future operations. It does not have to be much but every little thing adds to the overall ability to conduct future operations. It might be the ability to build producer gas systems to provide power to vehicles and generators. It may be knowledge to recycle oil to be reused in machines or the ability to produce things such as thermite, blackpowder or C4 from scratch.

When the police state hammer comes down it will be too late to start thinking about logistics. If the foundation for resupply has not already been laid it will be an uphill battle all the way and forces may never be able to achieve full fighting abilities. The future of America will be determined before the first round is fired. We can either determine that future now or sit back and let the chips fall where they may. One way is easy and the other will be very hard. The time is now to separate the sunshine patriots from the true believers.

Source: Project Chesapeake

The Revolutionaries In Our Midst

November 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

New York – Jeremy Hammond sat in New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center last week in a small room reserved for visits from attorneys. He was wearing an oversized prison jumpsuit. The brown hair of the lanky 6-footer fell over his ears, and he had a wispy beard. He spoke with the intensity and clarity one would expect from one of the nation’s most important political prisoners.

On Friday the 28-year-old activist will appear for sentencing in the Southern District Court of New York in Manhattan. After having made a plea agreement, he faces the possibility of a 10-year sentence for hacking into the Texas-based private security firm Strategic Forecasting Inc., or Stratfor, which does work for the Homeland Security Department, the Marine Corps, the Defense Intelligence Agency and numerous corporations including Dow Chemical and Raytheon.

Four others involved in the hacking have been convicted in Britain, and they were sentenced to less time combined—the longest sentence was 32 months—than the potential 120-month sentence that lies before Hammond.

Hammond turned the pilfered information over to the website WikiLeaks and Rolling Stone and other publications. The 3 million email exchanges, once


Jeremy Hammond is shown in this March 5, 2012 booking photo from the Cook County Sheriff’s Department in Chicago

made public, exposed the private security firm’s infiltration, monitoring and surveillance of protesters and dissidents, especially in the Occupy movement, on behalf of corporations and the national security state. And, perhaps most important, the information provided chilling evidence that anti-terrorism laws are being routinely used by the federal government to criminalize nonviolent, democratic dissent and falsely link dissidents to international terrorist organizations. Hammond sought no financial gain. He got none.The email exchanges Hammond made public were entered as evidence in my lawsuitagainst President Barack Obama over Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Section 1021 permits the military to seize citizens who are deemed by the state to be terrorists, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military facilities. Alexa O’Brien, a content strategist and journalist who co-founded US Day of Rage, an organization created to reform the election process, was one of my co-plaintiffs. Stratfor officials attempted, we know because of the Hammond leaks, to falsely link her and her organization to Islamic radicals and websites as well as to jihadist ideology, putting her at risk of detention under the new law. Judge Katherine B. Forrest ruled, in part because of the leak, that we plaintiffs had a credible fear, and she nullified the law, a decision that an appellate court overturned when the Obama administration appealed it.

Freedom of the press and legal protection for those who expose government abuses and lies have been obliterated by the corporate state. The resulting self-exile of investigative journalists such as Glenn GreenwaldJacob Appelbaum and Laura Poitras, along with the indictment of Barret Brown, illustrate this. All acts of resistance—including nonviolent protest—have been conflated by the corporate state with terrorism. The mainstream, commercial press has been emasculated through the Obama administration’s repeated use of the Espionage Act to charge and sentence traditional whistle-blowers. Governmental officials with a conscience are too frightened to reach out to mainstream reporters, knowing that the authorities’ wholesale capturing and storing of electronic forms of communication make them easily identifiable.

Elected officials and the courts no longer impose restraint or practice oversight. The last line of defense lies with those such as Hammond, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning who are capable of burrowing into the records of the security and surveillance state and have the courage to pass them on to the public. But the price of resistance is high.

“In these times of secrecy and abuse of power there is only one solution—transparency,” wrote Sarah Harrison, the British journalist who accompanied Snowden to Russia and who also has gone into exile, in Berlin. “If our governments are so compromised that they will not tell us the truth, then we must step forward to grasp it. Provided with the unequivocal proof of primary source documents people can fight back. If our governments will not give this information to us, then we must take it for ourselves.”

“When whistleblowers come forward we need to fight for them, so others will be encouraged,” she went on. “When they are gagged, we must be their voice. When they are hunted, we must be their shield. When they are locked away, we must free them. Giving us the truth is not a crime. This is our data, our information, our history. We must fight to own it. Courage is contagious.”

Hammond knows this contagion. He was living at home in Chicago in 2010 under a 7-a.m.-to-7-p.m. curfew for a variety of acts of civil disobedience when Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning was arrested for giving WikiLeaks secret information about military war crimes and government lies. Hammond at the time was running social aid programs to feed the hungry and send books to prisoners. He had, like Manning, displayed a remarkable aptitude for science, math and computer languages at a young age. He hacked into the computers at a local Apple store at 16. He hacked into the computer science department’s website at the University of Illinois-Chicago as a freshman, a prank that saw the university refuse to allow him to return for his sophomore year. He was an early backer of “cyber-liberation” and in 2004 started an “electronic-disobedience journal” he named Hack This Zine. He called on hackers in a speech at the 2004 DefCon convention in Las Vegas to use their skills to disrupt that year’s Republican National Convention. He was, by the time of his 2012 arrest, one of the shadowy stars of the hacktivist underground, dominated by groups such as Anonymous and WikiLeaks in which anonymity, stringent security and frequent changes of aliases alone ensured success and survival. Manning’s courage prompted Hammond to his own act of cyber civil disobedience, although he knew his chances of being caught were high.

“I saw what Chelsea Manning did,” Hammond said when we spoke last Wednesday, seated at a metal table. “Through her hacking she became a contender, a world changer. She took tremendous risks to show the ugly truth about war. I asked myself, if she could make that risk shouldn’t I make that risk? Wasn’t it wrong to sit comfortably by, working on the websites of Food Not Bombs, while I had the skills to do something similar? I too could make a difference. It was her courage that prompted me to act.”

Hammond—who has black-inked tattoos on each forearm, one the open-source movement’s symbol known as the “glider” and the other the shi hexagram from the I Ching—is steeped in radical thought. As a teenager, he swiftly migrated politically from the liberal wing of the Democratic Party to the militancy of the Black Bloc anarchists. He was an avid reader in high school of material put out by CrimethInc, an anarchist collective that publishes anarchist literature and manifestos. He has molded himself after old radicals such as Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman and black revolutionaries such as George Jackson, Elaine Brown and Assata Shakur, as well as members of the Weather Underground. He said that while he was in Chicago he made numerous trips to Waldheim Cemetery to visit the Haymarket Martyrs Monument, which honors four anarchists who were hanged in 1887 and others who took part in the labor wars. On the 16-foot-high granite monument are the final words of one of the condemned men, August Spies. It reads: “The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voice you are throttling today.” Emma Goldman is buried nearby.

Hammond became well known to the government for a variety of acts of civil disobedience over the last decade. These ranged from painting anti-war graffiti on Chicago walls to protesting at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York to hacking into the right-wing website Protest Warrior, for which he was sentenced to two years in the Federal Correctional Institute at Greenville, Ill.

He said he is fighting as “an anarchist communist” against “centralized state authority” and “exploitative corporations.” His goal is to build “leaderless collectives based on free association, consensus, mutual aid, self-sufficiency and harmony with the environment.” It is essential, he said, that all of us work to cut our personal ties with capitalism and engage in “mass organizing of protests, strikes and boycotts.” Hacking and leaking, he said, are part of this resistance—“effective tools to reveal ugly truths of the system.”

Hammond spent months within the Occupy movement in Chicago. He embraced its “leaderless, non-hierarchical structures such as general assemblies and consensus, and occupying public spaces.” But he was highly critical of what he said were the “vague politics” in Occupy that allowed it to include followers of the libertarian Ron Paul, some in the tea party, as well as “reformist liberals and Democrats.” Hammond said he was not interested in any movement that “only wanted a ‘nicer’ form of capitalism and favored legal reforms, not revolution.” He remains rooted in the ethos of the Black Bloc.

“Being incarcerated has really opened my eyes to the reality of the criminal justice system,” he said, “that it is not a criminal justice system about public safety or rehabilitation, but reaping profits through mass incarceration. There are two kinds of justice—one for the rich and the powerful who get away with the big crimes, then for everyone else, especially people of color and the impoverished. There is no such thing as a fair trial. In over 80 percent of the cases people are pressured to plea out instead of exercising their right to trial, under the threat of lengthier sentences. I believe no satisfactory reforms are possible. We need to close all prisons and release everybody unconditionally.”

He said he hoped his act of resistance would encourage others, just as Manning’s courage had inspired him. He said activists should “know and accept the worst possible repercussion” before carrying out an action and should be “aware of mass counterintelligence/surveillance operations targeting our movements.” An informant posing as a comrade, Hector Xavier Monsegur, known online as “Sabu,” turned Hammond and his co-defendants in to the FBI. Monsegur stored data retrieved by Hammond on an external server in New York. This tenuous New York connection allowed the government to try Hammond in New York for hacking from his home in Chicago into a private security firm based in Texas. New York is the center of the government’s probes into cyber-warfare; it is where federal authorities apparently wanted Hammond to be investigated and charged.

Hammond said he will continue to resist from within prison. A series of minor infractions, as well as testing positive with other prisoners on his tier for marijuana that had been smuggled into the facility, has resulted in his losing social visits for the next two years and spending “time in the box [solitary confinement].” He is allowed to see journalists, but my request to interview him took two months to be approved. He said prison involves “a lot of boredom.” He plays chess, teaches guitar and helps other prisoners study for their GED. When I saw him, he was working on the statement, a personal manifesto, that he will read in court this week.

He insisted he did not see himself as different from prisoners, especially poor prisoners of color, who are in for common crimes, especially drug-related crimes. He said most inmates are political prisoners, caged unjustly by a system of totalitarian capitalism that has snuffed out basic opportunities for democratic dissent and economic survival.

“The majority of people in prison did what they had to do to survive,” he said. “Most were poor. They got caught up in the war on drugs, which is how you make money if you are poor. The real reason they get locked in prison for so long is so corporations can continue to make big profits. It is not about justice. I do not draw distinctions between us.”

“Jail is essentially enduring harassment and dehumanizing conditions with frequent lockdowns and shakedowns,” he said. “You have to constantly fight for respect from the guards, sometimes getting yourself thrown in the box. However, I will not change the way I live because I am locked up. I will continue to be defiant, agitating and organizing whenever possible.”

He said resistance must be a way of life. He intends to return to community organizing when he is released, although he said he will work to stay out of prison. “The truth,” he said, “will always come out.” He cautioned activists to be hyper-vigilant and aware that “one mistake can be permanent.” But he added, “Don’t let paranoia or fear deter you from activism. Do the down thing!”

Chris Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on Truthdig, has previously spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.

Source: Truthdig

Man Heals His Excruciating Pain With Cannabis After A Battery of Pharmaceuticals Failed

October 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

A man with excruciating pains following multiple traumas was monitored, daily, over one year while managing chronic pain by self-administering quantifiable amounts of natural cannabis. Tetrahydro-cannabinol, Cannabidiol, and Cannabinol were all measured in tinctures, capsules, smoke-able product plus some baked goods, prior to their administration. By allowing standardization, the man was able to develop a daily regimen of pain management that was resistant to a battery of most patented analgesics.

More than 100 million people in the United States suffer from debilitating chronic pain. Pain resulting from a severe on-the-job injury is a frustrating experience both for the patient as well as the treating health practitioners and physicians. If pursuing conventional medical care, it leads to chronic dependence on opiate painkillers and anti-depressants which eventually cause toxicity of the brain and metabolic function. However the relief of pain may be less desired if quality of life of such individuals is poor. The physician and the patients are left with no option but to resort to alternative modes of therapy.

Cannabis has been documented to be one of such measures, especially in advanced cases of cancer. It holds an enormous potential as medicines derived from cannabis plant exhibit a phenomenon termed strain specific symptom relief. It has been documented to be of proven value in arthritis and multiple sclerosis; however few controlled clinical trials for its use in chronic intolerable pain have been reported.

Some studies have examined the effect of adding a cannabinoid to the regimen of patients with chronic pain who report significant pain despite taking stable doses of potent opioids.

An investigational cannabinoid therapy helped provide effective analgesia when used as an adjuvant medication for cancer patients with pain that responded poorly to opioids, according to results of a multicenter trial reported in The Journal of Pain, published by the American Pain Society.

When patients begin to consume cannabis, there is a notable decline in the amount of prescribed medications taken, such as antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and pain relievers. These drugs have severe side effects. There is not one clinical study which examined the use of cannabis for pain relief where subjects were not able to reduce their drug intake.

U.S. Patent 6630507 was initiated in 2003 when researchers found that cannabinoids, high ratios which are found in marijuana, had specific antioxidant properties making them useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia. Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidoil, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention.

Study Details

The person involved in this study was a member of the Green Cross Society of British Columbia, which has Federal tax number to distribute cannabis for medical purposes. The Society provides natural product (cannabis, herbal medicine) to its qualified members.

The volunteer, a 33 year old Caucasian male, volunteer was selected from the membership based on his record keeping ability, the severity of his injury, plus his daily presence at the Society, allowing continuous monitoring. The man kept detailed notes of his condition, including pain charts, medications and dietary habits, allowing comparison by study observers. The individuals note taking allowed an in depth review of his condition. The case described here is strikingly similar to four others of its type, run over the same year, with comparable observations and outcome.

The cannabis supplied by the Societys contracted growers was optimized for THC concentration through genetic selection of specific strains, growing conditions and fertilizers. Organic growing conditions were a priority.

For 15 months the man was monitored for all forms of cannabis use. They accumulated data on the amount of smoke-able, encapsulated, edible and tincture preparations consumed by the man on a daily basis. His prescription record, physicians notes, urine (drug) tests, plus daily interviews were maintained and examined. Daily cannabis use totaling 10 g of natural product cannabis, translating to an average of 420-500 mg of THC, 40-80 mg of CBD and 20-60 mg CBN, was required to achieve a sufficient degree of pain management.

Significant reductions in daily pain scores as well as improved sleep, muscle spasm and general quality of life were achieved. The patient was able to get back to the daily activities, do some part time volunteer work, go to the gym, and lead what resembles a normal life.

He consumed 10-15 g of cannabis per day. He also found benefit in a number of supplements: for chronic pain and depression, including,GABA (500 mg), L- Tyrosine (500 mg), L-Tryptophan (550 mg), DL- Phenylalanine (500 mg) and S-adenosyl methionine (liquid) 40 drops a day. For the breakthrough pain he used cannabis tincture at 10 mg THC/drop; 2 mg CBD/drop: 15-25 drops (as needed), which relieved intense pain, in a couple of seconds. He also used Volcano (vaporizer), 2-4 g a day. A medical examination showed all liver functions to be normal, including clearance of the hypercholesterolemia.

There Is No Longer Doubt That Cannabis Addressed Pain Relief

The analgesic properties of cannabis are becoming well established in the literature. The purpose of this case study was to observe the efficacy and usefulness of the standardized whole plant cannabis medicine. Indeed, the complexities of elucidating the efficacy of such preparations is a difficult task, yet the benefits of the natural product far outweigh the contrary in consideration of toxicity, efficacy and side-effects. With regard to the latter, more frequently unwanted side effects from cannabis result from overdose than any other parameter. And, most frequently, this overdose results from oral ingestion of un-standardized baked goods (i.e. brownies).

Overdose results in confusion, paranoia and fear that subsides after four to six hours, often into sleep. In no case, has it been observed to cause permanent physical or mental damage, but can often leave the individual with extreme caution to repeating the event. The second most frequently observed un-wanted side effects arise from incorrect strain selection for the symptom.

For example, a person seeking pain relief and also suffering from anxiety, chooses a strain containing high concentrations of CBN, with little comparative CBD and low THC, may experience increased anxiety, with little or no pain relief. Another important observation is that there is a genealogical factor in tolerance experienced by individuals of different ethnic backgrounds. Persons of Celtic descent (Scottish, Irish or Welsh) appear to be 3 to 5 times more tolerant to cannabis than persons of middle European or African descent. The person described in this study had a Scottish mother, which may explain the high THC levels required by him, but not by persons in similar studies but of different ethnic background.

Proven Results With Cannabis

With 70% of the members treating chronic pain the same phenomenon is observed over and over that people achieve a significant degree of pain management using standardized natural product cannabis. Often a better quality of life is attained with cannabis use only. The subject in this study was nearly one year using only natural product cannabis plus supplements for his severe pain. He then went through yet another two surgeries to back and hand using only cannabis for postoperative pain.

About the Author

Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.

Source: Waking Times

Repo, Baby, Repo: How Unregulated Banking Triggered The Crash of ’08

October 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

“Repo has a flaw: It is vulnerable to panic, that is, ‘depositors’ may ‘withdraw’ their money at any time, forcing the system into massive deleveraging. We saw this over and over again with demand deposits in all of U.S. history prior to deposit insurance. This problem has not been addressed by the Dodd-Frank legislation. So, it could happen again.” – Gary B. Gorton, Professor of Management and Finance, Yale School of Management (lifted from Repowatch)

Subprime mortgages did not cause the financial crisis, nor did the housing bubble or Lehman Brothers. The financial crisis originated in a corner of the shadow banking system called the repo market. That’s where the bank run occurred that froze the secondary market, sent prices on mortgage-backed assets plunging, and pushed the financial system into a death spiral. In the Great Crash of 2008, repo was ground zero, the epicenter of the global catastrophe. As analyst David Weidner noted in the Wall Street Journal, “The repo market wasn’t just a part of the meltdown. It was the meltdown.”

Regrettably, the Federal Reserve’s nontraditional monetary policies (ZIRP and QE) have succeeded in restoring the repo market to it’s precrisis level of activity, but without implementing any of the changes that would have made the system safer. Repo is as vulnerable and crisis-prone today as it was when the French bank PNB Paribas stopped redemptions in its off-balance sheet operations in 2007 kicking off the tumultuous bank run that would eventually implode the entire system and push the economy into the deepest slump since the Great Depression. By failing to rein in repo, the Fed has ensured that financial crises will be a regular feature in the future occurring every 15 or 20 years as was the case before banks were more strictly regulated and government backstops were put in place. Repo returns us to Wild West “anything goes” banking.

Why would the Fed be so reckless and pave the way for another disaster? We’ll get to that in a minute, but first, let’s give a brief explanation of repo and how the system works.

Repo is short for repurchase agreement. The repo market is where primary dealers sell securities with an agreement for the seller to buy back the securities at a later date. This sounds more complicated than it is. What’s really going on is the seller (primary dealers) are getting short-term loans from money market funds, securities firms, banks etc in order to maintain a position in securities in which they’re suppose to make markets. So, repo is like a loan that’s secured with collateral. (ie–the securities) It is a “funding mechanism”.

What touched off the Crash of 2008, was the discovery that the collateral that was being used for repo funding was “toxic”, that is, the securities were not Triple A after all, but subprime mortgage-backed gunk that would only fetch pennies on the dollar. So, when PNB Paribas stopped redemptions in its off-balance sheet operations on August 9, 2007, the rout began. Cash-heavy investors (like money markets) turned off the lending spigot, which reduced trillions of dollars of MBS to junk-status, precipitated massive fire sales of distressed assets that were dumped on the market pushing prices further and further down wiping out trillions in equity and reducing the financial system to a smoldering pile of rubble. That’s why the Fed stepped in, backstopped the system with explicit guarantees for both regulated and unregulated financial institutions and set about to reflate financial asset prices to their precrisis highs.

Newly appointed Fed chairman Janet Yellen summarized what happened in the panic in a speech she gave earlier this year. She said:

“The trigger for the acute phase of the financial crisis was the rapid unwinding of large amounts of short-term wholesale funding that had been made available to highly leveraged and/or maturity-transforming financial firms.”

In other words, the crisis began in repo. Unfortunately, Wall Street has fended off all attempts to fix the system, because repo is a particularly lucrative area of activity. And we are talking serious money here, too. Tri-party repo alone–which is a small subset of the larger repo market–represents “about $1.6 trillion in outstanding repos daily.” That means that the prospect of a big dealer dumping his portfolio of securities on the market at a moment’s notice igniting another panic, is never far away.

Why do banks borrow in the unregulated, shadow system instead of conducting their business in the light of day where regulators can check the quality of the underlying collateral, oversee the various transactions on public trading platforms, and make sure that capital requirements are maintained?

It’s because the banks want to deploy all their capital, leverage up to their eyeballs and play fast-and-loose with the rules. Here’s what the New York Fed has to say on the topic:

“One clear motivation for intermediation outside of the traditional banking system is for private actors to evade regulation and taxes. The academic literature documents that motivation explains part of the growth and collapse of shadow banking over the past decade…

Regulation typically forces private actors to do something which they would otherwise not do: pay taxes to the official sector, disclose additional information to investors, or hold more capital against financial exposures. Financial activity which has been re-structured to avoid taxes, disclosure, and/or capital requirements, is referred to as arbitrage activity.” (“Shadow Bank Monitoring“, Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Reports, September, 2013)

In other words, the banks are conducting their operations in the shadows because it’s cheaper. That’s what this is all about. Here’s more from the same report:

“While the fundamental reason for commercial bank runs is the sequential servicing constraint, for shadow banks the effective constraint is the presence of fire sale externalities. In a run, shadow banking entities have to sell assets at a discount, which depresses market pricing. This provides incentives to withdraw funding—before other shadow banking depositors arrive.”

Okay, so when there’s a run on the local bank, the bank may have to offload some of its illiquid assets (real estate, commercial property, etc) to meet the increased demand of depositors who want their money, but they can also rely on government backing. (deposit insurance). But with shadow banking–like repo– it’s a bit different; the problem is fire sales. For example, when repo lenders–like the big money markets–demanded more collateral from the banks in exchange for short-term funding; the banks were forced to dump more of their assets en masse pushing prices lower, eroding their equity and leaving many of the banks deep in the red. This is how the panic wiped out Wall Street and cleared the way for the $700 TARP bailout. It all started in repo.

The point is, had the system been adequately regulated with the appropriate safeguards in place, there would have been no fire sales, no panic, and no crisis. Regulators would have made sure that the underlying collateral was legit, that is, they would have made sure that the subprime borrowers were creditworthy and able to repay their loans. They would have made sure that repo borrowers (the banks) had sufficient capital to meet redemptions if problems arose. And regulators would have limited excessive leveraging of the securitized assets.

Regulation works. It provides safety, stability, and security as opposed to panic, bankruptcy and severe recession which is the scenario that Wall Street’s profiteers seem to prefer. Now check this out from the NY Fed:

“While leveraged lending collapsed in 2008 from a peak of $680 billion in 2007, it has rebounded very quickly, and is now at record levels of volume, projected to be larger than $1 trillion in 2013…” (NY Fed)

How’s that for progress, eh? So, Bernanke’s reflation efforts have effectively restored the same shabby, poorly designed system to its former glory putting all of us at risk again. Here’s more:

“One area of concern, however, is the significant increase in the fraction of covenant lite loans, which have increased dramatically from 0 percent in 2010 to 60 percent in 2013. This deterioration in loan underwriting has come hand-in-hand with an increased presence of retail investors in the leveraged loan market, through both CLOs and prime funds, as relatively sophisticated investors, like banks and hedge funds, are exiting the asset class.” (New York Fed)

Great. So now we are seeing the same problems that emerged in 2004 and 2005 with subprime mortgages, that is, there’s so much liquidity in the system–thanks to the Fed’s zero rates and QE– that investors are dabbling in all-types of risky garbage that you wouldn’t normally touch with a 10 foot dungpole. Check this out from Testosterone Pit:

“Shadow banking loans are estimated to have reached $15 trillion in the US. And among them is a particularly hot category: lending to highly leveraged companies with junk credit ratings. … the NY Fed found that these loans are increasingly issued in a loosey-goosey manner, with low underwriting standards. And issuance has soared…

Layered into these crappy and risky loans are the crappiest and riskiest of all loans, namely “covenant-lite” loans. Their covenants are so watered down and so full of holes that investors have few if any protections in case of default. If the Fed ever allows reality to set, and these companies stumble under their load of debt or can’t refinance it at ridiculously low rates, investors can kiss their money goodbye.” …

these desperate small investors…have unknowingly made a quantum leap in risk – allowing the smart money, which hears the hot air hissing from the credit bubble, to bail out. This must be one of the proudest moments in Chairman Bernanke’s glorious tenure.” (“Fed: Hedge Funds, Banks Sell Crappiest Debt To Small Investors (Before Credit Bubble Blows Up) ” Testosterone Pit)

Nice, eh? So the big boys are planning to vamoose before the whole house of cards comes tumbling down. Meanwhile, Mom and Pop are about to get reamed for the umpteenth time when the Fed “tapers” and these covenant lite IEDs blow up in their face taking another sizable chunk out of their retirement savings. Way to go, Bernanke. Here’s more from the NY Fed report:

“Shadow credit transformation increased from only 5 percent of total credit transformation in 1945 to a peak amount of 60 percent in 2008 before declining to 55 percent in 2011.”

So now the shadow players are generating more than half of all the nation’s credit via their dodgy, unregulated operations. Why? So a handful of ravenous banks can make bigger profits.

According to the Financial Stability Board (FSB) “credit intermediation that takes place in an environment where prudential regulatory standards and supervisory oversight are either not applied or are applied to a materially lesser or different degree than is the case for regular banks engaged in similar activities.” (FSB, 2011).

Read that over again. What they’re saying is that it’s a completely ridiculous, insane system. We’ve given the banks this outrageous privilege of creating private money out of thin air, (credit) and they spit in our face. They won’t even follow a few simple rules that would make the process safer for everyone. Keep in mind, that Dodd Frank does nothing to remedy the problems in repo.

One last thing (from the NY Fed):

“Intermediaries create liquidity in the shadow banking system by levering up the collateral value of their assets. However, the liquidity creation comes at the cost of financial fragility as fluctuations in uncertainty cause a flight to quality from shadow liabilities to safe assets. The collapse of shadow banking liquidity has real effects via the pricing of credit and generates prolonged slumps after adverse shocks.”

Repeat: “liquidity creation comes at the cost of financial fragility as fluctuations in uncertainty cause a flight to quality from shadow liabilities to safe assets.”

Can you believe it? The Fed doesn’t even try to deny what’s going on. They admit that letting the banks ratchet up their leverage increases “financial fragility ” which could precipitate another crash. (“flight to quality from shadow liabilities to safe assets.”) In other words, the Fed KNOWS the system is nuts, just like they know that it’s only a matter of time before the whole bloody thing blows up again and the economy goes off the cliff. Still, they’re not going to lift a finger to change the system.

Why?

You know why.

Because a few fatcats at the top like the way things are now, that’s why.

If that doesn’t make your blood boil, I don’t know what will.


Mike Whitney is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com

How Many Lies Can The White House Tell Before Walls Collapse?

October 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Obama has no one to blame but himself:

He was the one who campaigned, in 2008, on Hope and Change. He was the one who deployed high-flying rhetoric to promise a new day in Washington politics.

He was the one who said he was going elevate the level of discourse and make government transparent. He positioned himself as a new kind of leader. He was the one who turned his candidacy into a religious experience.

He was the one who convinced voters he stood above the fray, as a man and as a symbol, and on that basis they boarded his train and rode it all the way.

He was the one who, inheriting a desperate economy, made his signature move upon gaining office:

Obamacare.

Not jobs. Not prosecutions of corporate and banking criminals.

He made devastating choices for all Americans.

He was and is the one who has presided over a sinking economic ship.

Given his proclivity for big and bigger government, he could have launched a serious public program, one which really put people back to work, repairing the infrastructure of the nation. But even this was beyond him.

And getting out of the way and letting Americans expand their small businesses, and supporting them with the same intensity of rhetoric he used to win his election? Out of the question. Not in the playbook. Not for a second.

His big play out of the gate, Obamacare, shocked his closest advisers. They assumed jobs would be his number-one priority. They were dead wrong.

And what about “post-racial” America? That was not only a dud, it was a disaster. Division and polarization are the order of the day.

How about dependence, and government as the solver of all problems, as the beneficent giver? How has that worked out? How can it possibly work out? America is going to become one big Sweden? Really?

It’s one thing for a Clinton or a Bush to lie and skate and divert and play the usual horrific games. But Obama set himself up as a man who was fundamentally different. That was his ace. That was how he won the Presidency. That was what people bought into.

So he falls further, even as his media supporters keep launching blizzards of lies to prop him up.

Many of his loyal followers believe “powerful forces” have fenced Obama in and sabotaged his efforts to work positive transformations. If so, then as a transcendent figure, he should step forward and use his oratorical powers to expose the criminal enterprise that surrounds the Presidency. He should speak directly to the American people and lay it on the line.

Or else he confesses that he is, in fact, another Clinton, another Bush.

The public loves fairy tales and myths, but considering the shape this country is in, that fascination is wearing very thin. It isn’t going to sustain the next three years of Obama in the White House.

The Matrix Revealed

90 million people are out of the work force. 50 million are on food stamps. Recovery? Is the President really going to keep pushing that narrative?

Admitting the truth might, as a long shot, create a platform from which Obama could launch a real campaign to restore jobs…but faking the unemployment crisis has been his chosen path.

The government Obamacare website is a shambles. It doesn’t appear that a simple fix is possible, which means chaos will continue for many months, perhaps longer. Private insurance companies are canceling hundreds of thousands of policies.

The last seven years of American political life have added up to a disaster. Blaming it all on Congressional gridlock, on delaying the ability of the White House to invent trillions more in debt at the drop of a hat, isn’t working.

So many actions and omissions of madness…it leaves us with the reasonable conclusion that Obama’s Presidency was designed from the outset to flame out and fail.

And the principal target was the economy.

The President, fresh off an election victory in 2008, and in that glow, could have used his monumental leverage to put people back to work. He could have hammered on it day and night. He could have rallied support and energized the country.

But now…what do we have? Welfare America to the nth degree. Beyond what anyone thought was possible. And media traitors are backing it.

For decades, for more than a hundred years, power has been in the wrong place.

It belongs with you and with me.

Source: Jon Rappoport

The Top 10 Ridiculous Ways The Government Shutdown Will Affect You According To CNN

September 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Millions around the world today are hoping the US federal government shuts down at midnight on Monday. Many have thoughts of wars and occupations ending in their regions… but, sadly, this is not part of the “services” that will be cut during a shutdown.

In fact, not only will the Department of Offense continue on as usual but so will all the tyrannical agencies such as the DEA, IRS, ATF, CIA and countless other alphabet soup agencies of oppression.

What will “shut down”? According to CNN these are the Top 10 Ways A Government Shutdown Would Affect Your Daily Life:

1. I’m Proud To Be An American. According to CNN, “the biggest hit would be to the collective psyche. America is the largest economy in the world and a beacon for how democracy ought to work”. It is sad if even one person in the US has their “psyche” hurt because of this! It is sad how many people in the US now consider their country/region and the government that rules it as being one in the same. Not to mention that the US was never designed to be a democracy… it was set-up as a Republic and all the founding fathers spoke very warily against any sort of democracy. Democracy, fundamentally, is mob rule and anti-freedom. It is the tyranny of the majority against the minority.

2. Anything Dirty or Dingy or Dusty. It is unbelievable that this #2 reason from CNN warns people of how dramatically their lives will be affected if the federal government shuts down (and this after #1 was that it might hurt their “psyche”). It goes on to say that the only region in the entire country where trash pickup may stop in the event of a shutdown is in Washington, District of Criminals. Hardly a national disaster! And, not to mention, that if that really were the case, free market private enterprise would spring up, like in Detroit, and people would actually have good options for waste disposal rather than a communist style, centrally planned garbage pickup.

3. Money. According to CNN, if you need a loan from the government, you won’t be able to get it in event of a shut down. Good! If you are such a credit risk that no one in private enterprise will lend you money then, definitely, the government shouldn’t lend you the money they stole from the innocent victims in their tax farm! They also mention that Socialist InSecurity (SS) cheques may stop coming. This is often one of the first things the government tries to scare people with, as Barack Obama did in 2011, during the last event of this type. Why? Because old people vote in much greater numbers than younger people and scaring them with threats of withheld money works. What should really scare them is that both the US government and its SS Ponzi scheme is bankrupt.

4. Ammunition. According to CNN, “A shutdown would affect the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Translation: That gun permit you wanted processed wouldn’t happen anytime soon”. The ATF shutting down would be a wonderful thing. So sad in the “land of the free” that one of the biggest threats to a government shutdown is that you may not get permission from the government to have a gun!

5. Drugs. According to CNN, “The Republicans want to defund Obamacare in exchange for funding the government. But the health care act at the center of this storm would continue its implementation process during a shutdown. That’s because its funds aren’t dependent on the congressional budget process”. CNN is really reaching to find 10 ways this shut down will affect people when they explicitly state that #5 won’t affect drugs or Obamacare!

6. The Mail. CNN is really running out of ideas now that they have to bring up the post office, that bankrupt, antiquated, 1800s style of delivering information that the internet, FedEx and UPS rendered it obsolete decades ago. Oh, but here CNN again let’s us know that even that embarrassing anachronism won’t actually shut down! “You know that whole ‘Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night’ thing? Apparently, the U.S. Postal Service works through shutdowns as well.”

7. The Roads! Muh Roads! For the third time in a row CNN says this will be unaffected (what was the point of this list again?). They pitch this one as, “If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street” as though to lead you into thinking the roads will close without the federal government, but then they don’t mention roads again. Here’s what they had to say on it, “You may be thinking, ‘No functioning government, no need to pay taxes.’ Think again. The Man would continue to collect taxes. U.S. bonds would still be issued. And other essential banking functions would go on”. So, here is another one that won’t affect you, unfortunately. You still have to pay extortion to the federal government, even if they are “shut down”.

8. The Military. CNN says, “The good news (for you) is that the men and women in uniform would continue to keep you safe. “… okay, that’s four in a row that won’t affect people on a list of 10 ways the shut down will affect you! Instead it is the usual propaganda trying to make people feel like the US military “protects” Americans.

9. Celebrate! Seriously, this is #9 on the list. Here’s what they said, “Don’t come to work if you’re a federal employee. You’re on furlough. (Offer not valid for workers in ‘critical services,’ such as air traffic controllers, hazardous waste handlers and food inspectors.) Do take some time to celebrate. In previous shutdowns, everyone who stayed home was paid retroactively after peace returned to Washington”. So, the shutdown is a good thing because millions of federal government employees get a free vacation that will be paid by Americans who will be paying for them to do nothing.

10. National Parks. According to CNN, “Need to get away? Well, you can’t. At least not to national parks. Or to national zoos. Or to national museums. They’d all be closed. That’s 368 National Park Service sites closed, millions of visitors turned away. Were you thinking more along the lines of a trip to France? If you don’t already have a passport, you might have to bid that adieu — you might not get your blue book in time. The last time the government threw a hissy fit, 200,000 applications for passports went unprocessed. Tourism and airline revenues reeled”. So, some parks may be shuttered and your permission to travel may be withheld.

That’s it? That’s the best that CNN can come up with on how a potential government shutdown will affect people? Your psyche may get hurt (if you had a delusional belief in the US government being the same as yourself); there may not be garbage collection in Washington, Den of Criminals; you won’t be able to get a federal loan and you may not get permission from the government to have a gun or travel.

And this is what has the mainstream media talking about non-stop?

Of course, if the Federal Reserve did not print the money (QE2Infinity) to keep the US government going with over a $1 trillion deficit per year, 90% plus of what the government does would come to an immediate halt. Then there would be countless very serious things that would “affect your life”. Anyone depending on food stamps (which is now over 50 million people), anyone depending on SS to survive would definitely be affected as there’d be no money to pay them. And, not to mention, every bank in the US would be insolvent and all depositor’s money would be lost as the FDIC is also bankrupt.

But, we aren’t betting on that ever happening. This is democracy, after all. And that means keeping the debts and new money flowing until the economic system collapses as the printing of money causes the eventual demise of the dollar and The End Of The Monetary System As We Know It (TEOTMSAWKI).

This system is now down to two options: massive debt default or massive inflation and neither is particularly good for anyone living in the US. Every major government or empire in history when faced with those two options chose to continue printing money until the currency collapsed.

In either case, what is happening today is nothing compared to what is going to happen. Use this time to prepare and get your assets, and if you can, even your own ass outside of what will be ground zero for this economic collapse, the US.

We talk about all the ways to do that at the TDV newsletter including things like putting your IRA into a self-directed IRA and getting the assets internationalized (into precious metals offshore – like we talk about in Getting Your Gold Out Of Dodge – and foreign real estate like Galt’s Gulch in Chile), getting offshore bank accounts and set-up with an offshore corporation for your business endeavors (TDV Offshore), getting a foreign residency or passport (TDV Passports) and, if you have assets over $1 million, using TDV Wealth Management to get the assets safely outside of the blast radius.

What is going on in Washington, DC, today could mean postponing a trip to Yellowstone national park or having delayed garbage pickup in DC itself. What is coming in the next few months and years has the potential to destroy all your assets and leave you devoid of any way of earning income as the economy is totally destroyed by a currency collapse.

The best case scenario for the populace of the US in the long run is for a complete shutdown of the US federal government… But, that collapse is going to be messy and a lot of people are going to get hurt in the short term during that collapse.

Anarcho-Capitalist. Libertarian. Freedom fighter against mankind’s two biggest enemies, the State and the Central Banks. Jeff Berwick is the founder of The Dollar Vigilante, CEO of TDV Media & Services and host of the popular video podcast, Anarchast. Jeff is a prominent speaker at many of the world’s freedom, investment and gold conferences as well as regularly in the media including CNBC, CNN and Fox Business.

Source: Jeff Berwick  |  The Dollar Vigilante

CIA Gun-Running, Qatar-Libya-Syria

August 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

report from CNN’s Jake Tapper has reintroduced “Benghazi-Gate” to the US media spotlight. The report claims that “dozens” of CIA operatives were on the ground in Benghazi on the night of the attack, and the CIA is going to great lengths to suppress details of them and their whereabouts being released. The report alleges that the CIA is engaged in “unprecedented” attempts to stifle employee leaks, and “intimidation” to keep the secrets of Benghazi hidden, allegedly going as far as changing the names of CIA operatives and “dispersing” them around the country.

One suspects this has a single and defined purpose – to hide the CIA’s culpability in supplying arms to known extremists in Libya and Syria. Moreover, the CNN report alludes to the CIA supplying “surface-to-air missiles” from Benghazi to rebels in Syria, but this may only be the tip of the iceberg. The report goes on to state: (my emphasis)

Sources now tell CNN dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground that night, and that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secretCNN has learned the CIA is involved in what one source calls an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agency’s Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out.

Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency’s missions in Libya, have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations,according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency’s workings. The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress. It is being described as pure intimidation, with the threat that any unauthorized CIA employee who leaks information could face the end of his or her career.

Speculation on Capitol Hill has included the possibility the U.S. agencies operating in Benghazi were secretly helping to move surface-to-air missiles out of Libya, through Turkey, and into the hands of Syrian rebels.

Although Saudi Arabia have recently been kindly given “the Syrian card” by the United States – with Prince Bandar once again becoming “Prince of the Jihad”; it has become common knowledge that since the onset of the Syrian crisis, it was Qatar at the forefront of supplying arms and funds to both the political and militant elements of the so-called “opposition”. This has undoubtedly included tacit support of the dominant radical elements among the plethora of brigades on the ground in Syria; with Jabhat al Nusra being the most obvious beneficiary of Qatari largesse. Earlier this year it wasreported that the CIA had been in direct “consultation” with the Qatari Monarchys’ network of arms smugglers – run primarily from the Emir’s palace in Doha. Accordingly, it seems certain that both the CIA and Qatari intelligence were involved in an operation to ship arms stockpiles from “rebels” in Libya; to the “rebels” in Syria: both varieties of which are inextricably linked to Al Qaeda affiliates and radical Salafi-Jihadi militants.

New York Times report from 30th March 2011 reveals that the CIA had been active in Libya “for weeks”, to “gather information for [NATO] airstrikes, and to contact and ‘vet’ the rebels battling “Gaddafi’s forces”. The New York Times report also states that Obama had signed a presidential finding in the weeks previous, which gave authority to the CIA to arm and fund the rebels. Furthermore, the Independent revealed in March 2011 that Obama had requested Saudi Arabia supply arms to the Libyan militants. Obama had also given his blessing for Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to ship arms into Benghazi, urging them to supply non-US manufactured arms to avert suspicion – in violation of the No-Fly Zone and arms embargo he helped to enforce, and all in total violation of the US Constitution and International Law.

The current Libyan authorities have made little effort to disassociate themselves from reports of large-scale arms shipments bound for Syria, leaving from the port of Benghazi. As stated in a UN Security Council report; the sheer size, monetary and logistical requirement to organise such delivery would almost certainly require at least some local government knowledge and assistance, one Libyan congress-member has openly admitted as such. Moreover, in a Telegraph report from November 2011, it is noted that the post-Gaddafi Libyan military commander Abdel Hakim Belhadj – widely regarded as the former leader of Al Qaeda affiliate: the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and a lead figure in the militant uprising against Gaddafi – visited members of the Syrian opposition “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) in Turkey to discuss sending “money and weapons”, and also discussed “Libyan fighters to train troops”.

In a Fox News report from December 2012  an “International Cargo-Shipper” candidly revealed that arms shipments from Libya to Syria commenced “almost immediately after the fall of Muammar Qaddafi” (Oct 2011) and had continued on a weekly basis from multiple ports including Misrata and Benghazi. Some of the “sources” shipments were reported to be in excess of 600 tons. The report goes on to quote anonymous “sources” on the ground in Benghazi as alleging that: “Weapons and fighters were absolutely going to Syria, and the U.S. absolutely knew all about it – though most shipments have stopped since the attack on the American Consulate,”

Furthermore, an extensive UN report from the Security Council group of experts, from April 2013, also highlights the rife lawless proliferation of arms throughout Libya, and seeping beyond its borders. The report stated that arms were fueling conflicts from Syria to Mali, and arms were spreading from Libya at an “alarming rate”. Qatar and the United Arab Emirates were singled out in the UN report for blatant violations of the arms embargo during the 2011 “uprising” against Gaddafi; the report revealed that multiple Qatari arms shipments had been allowed to flow into Libya with the full knowledge and acquiescence of NATO – in much the same way they have been allowed to flow into Turkey from Qatar, with Syria being the final destination.

Elements of the Libyan “military” leadership undoubtedly have strong links to former Al Qaeda affiliates, and were brought to power via Qatari largesse and special forces, CIA coordination, and a NATO airforce. Considering this, it is not hard to imagine the same actors would be willing to at least “turn a blind eye” to what has become an overt and unabated Libyan arms-smuggling route into Syria, as is once again demonstrated in this June 18th 2013 report from Reuters, titled: “The adventures of a Libyan weapons dealer in Syria:

Abdul Basit Haroun (former comander of “February 17th brigade”) says he is behind some of the biggest shipments of weapons from Libya to Syria, which he delivers on chartered flights to neighboring countries and then smuggles over the border….  A Reuters reporter was taken to an undisclosed location in Benghazi to see a container of weapons being prepared for delivery to Syria. It was stacked with boxes of ammunition, rocket launchers and various types of light and medium weapons.

Haroun says he can collect weapons from around the country and arrange for them to be delivered to the Syrian rebels because of his contacts in Libya and abroad. “They know we are sending guns to Syria,” Haroun said. “Everyone knows.” His weapon dealing activities appear to be well-known, at least in Libya’s east. Senior officials in Libya’s army and government told Reuters they backed supplying weapons to the Syrian opposition, while a member of Libya’s congress said Haroun was doing a great job of helping the Syrian rebels.

Furthermore, according to a recent New York Times report from June 29th 2013, Qatar have been carrying out arms shipments to “rebels” in Syria from Libya, since at least the same time they “stepped up efforts” to oust Colonel Gaddafi. Consequently, this can only be interpreted as Qatar commencing shipments of arms to Syria – from Benghazi – before Gaddafi had been killed, which means before October 2011.

It is highly plausible that Benghazi was indeed a CIA-run, arms “buy-back” program – with the further “possible” intent of forwarding those arms to Syria. As the State Department has confirmed, it allocated $40 million dollars for the purchase and “collection” of arms used during the conflict in Libya, including a “missing” stockpile of up to 20,000 MANPADS – which at least 15,000 are still unaccounted for. A report written by former US special forces operatives who served in Libya titled “Benghazi: the definitive report”, alleges that the “consulate” and weapons stockpile program was entirely run by John Brennan – Obama’s National Security Advisor at the time and now Director of the CIA – and outside the usual CIA chain of command with the sole purpose of “moving the stockpiled weapons to the another conflict – possibly Syria”. Furthermore, it should also be noted that several prominent US government figures (Clinton, Brennan, Patreaus, et al) were openly lobbying for that precise policy; this adds the possiblity that certain players within the government or the many factions of the Military Industrial Complex may have been acting outside of the Obama administrations specific consent – or building the logistics to fulfill such policy in the future. Thus, a possible explanation of the attack on the “consulate” – which we can now assume was a CIA operated arms cache – was the Obama administrations’ public reluctance to supply MANPADS or other specific heavy weaponry to the rebels fighting in Syria. Moreover, the authors of “Benghazi: the definitive report” claim that John Brennnan was targetting hardline Islamist militia in Libya via drone strikes and special operations, which may provide another pretext for the attack. Certain rebel factions, their regional donors, or their Libyan affiliates may have felt aggrieved and decided to act against the CIA and attempt to seize the weapons under their own volition.

The Libyan weapons route to Syria has quite possibly been ongoing since Qatari (and Western) special forces and their Libyan Al Qaeda affiliated proxies took a hold of Benghazi. In turn the shipments to Syria have gradually increased as Gaddafi’s stockpiles became available and the lawless possibilities inside Libya expanded. These developments could also explain fighters of Libyan origin representing a large percentage of foreign fighters within the oppositions ranks; with a recent study finding Libyan fighters making up over twenty percent of foreign fatalities. If Qatar were indeed coordinating arms shipments from Libya to Syria during the early stages of the Syrian crisis in 2011, and the CIA have also been “consulting” the Qatari shipments and their follow-on transit points through Turkey; then the simplistic mainstream narrative and timeline of the conflict in Syria merely erupting from the suppression of peaceful protesters, and in turn spiralling into full-blown civil-war, is again brought into doubt.

Uncovering the chain of events that led to the attack on the US “consulate”, and the variety of militia the US and its allies were arming in Libya; could in turn reveal the full extent of the Obama administrations’ support of extremist proxy-forces in Syria. Which may explain the administrations’ zealous attempts to stifle any debate or serious questioning of the events that surround Benghazi.

Source: Global Research

Still Believe Nature Got It Wrong? Top 10 Health Benefits of Marijuana

May 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

There is no plant on Earth more condemned than marijuana. We’re talking about a living organism which governments have taken upon themselves to designate as an illegal substance. Despite no existing evidence of anyone ever dying of a marijuana overdose, possession of this plant is still illegal in many parts. Marijuana has been found to suppress cancer, reduce blood pressure, treat glaucoma, alleviate pain and even inhibit HIV. It is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective. Can you understand more now why it’s illegal?

No Independent Study Has Ever Linked Marijuana To Psychosocial Problems

Cannabis is one of the most powerful healing plants on the planet. Dozens of studies have made pseudoscientific attempts to indicate that young people who use cannabis tend to experience psychological, social problems and mental decline. However, there is no evidence that marijuana use is directly linked with such problems, according to the results of a study published in The Lancet.

“Currently, there is no strong evidence that use of cannabis of itself causes psychological or social problems,” such as mental illness or school failure, lead study author Dr. John Macleod of the University of Birmingham in the UK told Reuters Health.

“There is a great deal of evidence that cannabis use is associated with these things, but this association could have several explanations,” he said, citing factors such as adversity in early life, which may itself be associated with cannabis use and psychosocial problems.

Macleod and his team reviewed 48 long-term studies, 16 of which provided the highest quality information about the association between illicit drug use reported by people 25 years old or younger and later psychological or social problems. Most of the drug-specific results involved cannabis use.

Cannabis use was not consistently associated with violent or antisocial behavior, or with psychological problems.

In another study, Scientists from King’s College, London, found occasional pot use could actually improve concentration levels.

The study, carried in the American Journal of Epidemiology, tested the mental function and memory of nearly 9,000 Britons at age 50 and found that those who had used illegal drugs as recently as in their 40s did just as well, or slightly better, on the tests than peers who had never used drugs.

‘Overall, at the population level, the results seem to suggest that past or even current illicit drug use is not necessarily associated with impaired cognitive functioning in early middle age,’ said lead researcher Dr Alex Dregan.

Dr Dregan’s team used data on 8,992 42-year-olds participating in a UK national health study, who were asked if they had ever used any of 12 illegal drugs. Then, at the age of 50, they took standard tests of memory, attention and other cognitive abilities.

Overall, the study found, there was no evidence that current or past drug users had poorer mental performance. In fact, when current and past users were lumped together, their test scores tended to be higher.

The Age of Deception is Ending 

In 2003, the U.S. Government as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services filed for, and was awarded a patent on cannabinoids. The reason? Because research into cannabinoids allowed pharmaceutical companies to acquire practical knowledge on one of the most powerful antioxidants and neuroprotectants known to the natural world.

The U.S. Patent 6630507 was specifically initiated when researchers found that cannabinoids had specific antioxidant properties making them useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia. Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidoil, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention.

In a historic and significant moment in American history, last November, Colorado became the first US state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. The impact of the decision could ripple across the entire country with vast opportunities to educate millions on the top health benefits of marijuana.

With the passage of I-502 in the 2012 Washington State election, marijuana also became legal in Washington–not just for medical use, but also for recreational use. Weed is still illegal as far as the United States government is concerned, but Washington and Colorado both have yet to figure out how that will work. It’s certain that this issue will continue to evolve and smooth out as time goes by, but the remaining states will eventually follow suit or be left behind with outdated laws.

Top Health Benefits

It’s no surprise that the United States has decreed that marijuana has no accepted medical use use and should remain classified as a highly dangerous drug like heroin. Accepting and promoting the powerful health benefits of marijuana would instantly cut huge profits geared towards cancer treatment and the U.S. would have to admit it imprisons the population for no cause. Nearly half of all drug arrests in the United States are for marijuana.

According to MarijuanaNews.com editor Richard Cowan, the answer is because it is a threat to cannabis prohibition “…there really is massive proof that the suppression of medical cannabis represents the greatest failure of the institutions of a free society, medicine, journalism, science, and our fundamental values,” Cowan notes.

Besides the top 10 health benefits below, findings published in the journalPLoS ONE, researchers have now have now discovered that marijuana-like chemicals trigger receptors on human immune cells that can directly inhibit a type of human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) found in late-stage AIDS.

Recent studies have even shown it to be an effective atypical anti-psychotic in treating schizophrenia, a disease many other studies have inconsistently found it causing.

1. Cancer

Cannabinoids, the active components of marijuana, inhibit tumor growth in laboratory animals and also kill cancer cells. Western governments have known this for a long time yet they continued to suppress the information so that cannabis prohibition and the profits generated by the drug industry proliferated.

THC that targets cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 is similar in function to endocannabinoids, which are cannabinoids that are naturally produced in the body and activate these receptors. The researchers suggest that THC or other designer agents that activate these receptors might be used in a targeted fashion to treat lung cancer.

2. Tourette’s Syndrome

Tourette’s syndrome is a neurological condition characterized by uncontrollable facial grimaces, tics, and involuntary grunts, snorts and shouts.

Dr. Kirsten Mueller-Vahl of the Hanover Medical College in Germany led a team that investigated the effects of chemicals called cannabinols in 12 adult Tourette’s patients. A single dose of the cannabinol produced a significant reduction in symptoms for several hours compared to placebo, the researchers reported.

3. Seizures
Marijuana is a muscle relaxant and has “antispasmodic” qualities that have proven to be a very effective treatment for seizures. There are actually countless cases of people suffering from seizures that have only been able to function better through the use of marijuana.

4. Migraines
Since medicinal marijuana was legalized in California, doctors have reported that they have been able to treat more than 300,000 cases of migraines that conventional medicine couldn’t through marijuana.

5. Glaucoma
Marijuana’s treatment of glaucoma has been one of the best documented. There isn’t a single valid study that exists that disproves marijuana’s very powerful and popular effects on glaucoma patients.

6. Multiple Sclerosis
Marijuana’s effects on multiple sclerosis patients became better documented when former talk-show host, Montel Williams began to use pot to treat his MS. Marijuana works to stop the neurological effects and muscle spasms that come from the fatal disease.

7. ADD and ADHD A well documented USC study done about a year ago showed that marijuana is not only a perfect alternative for Ritalin but treats the disorder without any of the negative side effects of the pharmaceutical.

8. IBS and Crohn’s
Marijuana has shown that it can help with symptoms of the chronic diseases as it stops nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

9. Alzheimer’s
Despite what you may have heard about marijuana’s effects on the brain, the Scripps Institute, in 2006, proved that the THC found in marijuana works to prevent Alzheimer’s by blocking the deposits in the brain that cause the disease.

10. Premenstrual Syndrome
Just like marijuana is used to treat IBS, it can be used to treat the cramps and discomfort that causes PMS symptoms. Using marijuana for PMS actually goes all the way back to Queen Victoria.

Mounting Evidence Suggests Raw Cannabis is Best

Cannabinoids can prevent cancer, reduce heart attacks by 66% and insulin dependent diabetes by 58%. Cannabis clinician Dr. William Courtney recommends drinking 4 – 8 ounces of raw flower and leaf juice from any Hemp plant, 5 mg of Cannabidiol (CBD) per kg of body weight, a salad of Hemp seed sprouts and 50 mg of THC taken in 5 daily doses.

Why raw? Heat destroys certain enzymes and nutrients in plants. Incorporating raw cannabis allows for a greater availability of those elements. Those who require large amounts of cannabinoids without the psychoactive effects need to look no further than raw cannabis. In this capacity, it can be used at 60 times more tolerance than if it were heated.
Raw cannabis is considered by many experts as a dietary essential. As a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, raw cannabis may be right u there with garlic and tumeric.

About the Author

Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy. 

Sources: 
scribd.com
bigbudsmag.com
berkeleypatientscare.com
washingtonpost.com
about.com
safeaccess.ca

Source: Waking Times

Wikileaks Has Done It Again

April 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Would you believe that the United States tried to do something that was not nice against Hugo Chávez?

Wikileaks has done it again. I guess the US will really have to get tough now with Julian Assange and Bradley Manning.

In a secret US cable to the State Department, dated November 9, 2006, and recently published online by WikiLeaks, former US ambassador to Venezuela, William Brownfield, outlines a comprehensive plan to destabilize the government of the late President Hugo Chávez. The cable begins with a Summary:

During his 8 years in power, President Chavez has systematically dismantled the institutions of democracy and governance. The USAID/OTI program objectives in Venezuela focus on strengthening democratic institutions and spaces through non-partisan cooperation with many sectors of Venezuelan society.

USAID/OTI = United States Agency for International Development/Office of Transition Initiatives. The latter is one of the many euphemisms that American diplomats use with each other and the world – They say it means a transition to “democracy”. What it actually means is a transition from the target country adamantly refusing to cooperate with American imperialist grand designs to a country gladly willing (or acceding under pressure) to cooperate with American imperialist grand designs.

OTI supports the Freedom House (FH) “Right to Defend Human Rights” program with $1.1 million. Simultaneously through Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI), OTI has also provided 22 grants to human rights organizations.

Freedom House is one of the oldest US government conduits for transitioning to “democracy”; to a significant extent it equates “democracy” and “human rights” with free enterprise. Development Alternatives Inc. is the organization that sent Alan Gross to Cuba on a mission to help implement the US government’s operation of regime change.

OTI speaks of working to improve “the deteriorating human rights situation in” Venezuela. Does anyone know of a foreign government with several millions of dollars to throw around who would like to improve the seriously deteriorating human rights situation in the United States? They can start with the round-the-clock surveillance and the unconscionable entrapment of numerous young “terrorists” guilty of thought crimes.

“OTI partners are training NGOs [non-governmental organizations] to be activists and become more involved in advocacy.”

Now how’s that for a self-given license to fund and get involved in any social, economic or political activity that can sabotage any program of the Chávez government and/or make it look bad? The US ambassador’s cable points out that:

OTI has directly reached approximately 238,000 adults through over 3000 forums, workshops and training sessions delivering alternative values and providing opportunities for opposition activists to interact with hard-core Chavistas, with the desired effect of pulling them slowly away from Chavismo. We have supported this initiative with 50 grants totaling over $1.1 million.

“Another key Chavez strategy,” the cable continues, “is his attempt to divide and polarize Venezuelan society using rhetoric of hate and violence. OTI supports local NGOs who work in Chavista strongholds and with Chavista leaders, using those spaces to counter this rhetoric and promote alliances through working together on issues of importance to the entire community.”

This is the classical neo-liberal argument against any attempt to transform a capitalist society – The revolutionaries are creating class conflict. But of course, the class conflict was already there, and nowhere more embedded and distasteful than in Latin America.

OTI funded 54 social projects all over the country, at over $1.2 million, allowing [the] Ambassador to visit poor areas of Venezuela and demonstrate US concern for the Venezuelan people. This program fosters confusion within the Bolivarian ranks, and pushes back at the attempt of Chavez to use the United States as a ‘unifying enemy.’

One has to wonder if the good ambassador (now an Assistant Secretary of State) placed any weight or value at all on the election and re-election by decisive margins of Chávez and the huge masses of people who repeatedly filled the large open squares to passionately cheer him. When did such things last happen in the ambassador’s own country? Where was his country’s “concern for the Venezuelan people” during the decades of highly corrupt and dictatorial regimes? His country’a embassy in Venezuela in that period was not plotting anything remotely like what is outlined in this cable.

The cable summarizes the focus of the embassy’s strategy’s as: “1) Strengthening Democratic Institutions, 2) Penetrating Chavez’ Political Base, 3) Dividing Chavismo, 4) Protecting Vital US business, and 5) Isolating Chavez internationally.” 1

The stated mission for the Office of Transition Initiatives is: “To support U.S. foreign policy objectives by helping local partners advance peace and democracy in priority countries in crisis.” 2

Notice the key word – “crisis”. For whom was Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela a “crisis”? For the people of Venezuela or the people who own and operate United States, Inc.?

Imagine a foreign country’s embassy, agencies and NGOs in the United States behaving as the American embassy, OTI, and NGOs did in Venezuela. President Putin of Russia recently tightened government controls over foreign NGOs out of such concern. As a result, he of course has been branded by the American government and media as a throwback to the Soviet Union.

Under pressure from the Venezuelan government, the OTI’s office in Venezuela was closed in 2010.

For our concluding words of wisdom, class, here’s Charles Shapiro, US ambassador to Venezuela from 2002 to 2004, speaking recently of the Venezuelan leaders: “I think they really believe it, that we are out there at some level to do them ill.” 3

The latest threats to life as we know it

Last month numerous foreign-policy commentators marked the tenth anniversary of the fateful American bombing and invasion of Iraq. Those who condemned the appalling devastation of the Iraqi people and their society emphasized that it had all been a terrible mistake, since Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein didn’t actually possess weapons of mass destruction (WMD). This is the same argument we’ve heard repeatedly during the past ten years from most opponents of the war.

But of the many lies – explicit or implicit – surrounding the war in Iraq, the biggest one of all is that if, in fact, Saddam Hussein had had those WMD the invasion would have been justified; that in such case Iraq would indeed have been a threat to the United States or to Israel or to some other country equally decent, innocent and holy. However, I must ask as I’ve asked before: What possible reason would Saddam Hussein have had for attacking the United States or Israel other than an irresistible desire for mass national suicide? He had no reason, no more than the Iranians do today. No more than the Soviets had during the decades of the Cold War. No more than North Korea has ever had since the United States bombed them in the early 1950s. Yet last month the new Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, announced that he would strengthen United States defenses against a possible attack by [supposedly] nuclear-equipped North Korea, positioning 14 additional missile interceptors in Alaska and California at an estimated cost of $1 billion. So much for the newest Great White Hope. Does it ever matter who the individuals are who are occupying the highest offices of the US foreign-policy establishment? Or their gender or their color?

“Oh,” many people argued, “Saddam Hussein was so crazy who knew what he might do?” But when it became obvious in late 2002 that the US was intent upon invading Iraq, Saddam opened up the country to the UN weapons inspectors much more than ever before, offering virtually full cooperation. This was not the behavior of a crazy person; this was the behavior of a survivalist. He didn’t even use any WMD when he was invaded by the United States in 1991 (“the first Gulf War”), when he certainly had such weapons. Moreover, the country’s vice president, Tariq Aziz, went on major American television news programs to assure the American people and the world that Iraq no longer had any chemical, biological or nuclear weapons; and we now know that Iraq had put out peace feelers in early 2003 hoping to prevent the war. The Iraqi leaders were not crazy at all. Unless one believes that to oppose US foreign policy you have to be crazy. Or suicidal.

It can as well be argued that American leaders were crazy to carry out the Iraqi invasion in the face of tens of millions of people at home and around the world protesting against it, pleading with the Bush gang not to unleash the horrors. (How many demonstrations were there in support of the invasion?)

In any event, the United States did not invade Iraq because of any threat of an attack using WMD. Washington leaders did not themselves believe that Iraq possessed such weapons of any significant quantity or potency. Amongst the sizable evidence supporting this claim we have the fact that they would not have exposed hundreds of thousands of soldiers on the ground.

Nor can it be argued that mere possession of such weapons – or the belief of same – was reason enough to take action, for then the United States would have to invade Russia, France, Israel, et al.

I have written much of the above in previous editions of this report, going back to 2003. But I’m afraid that I and other commentators will have to be repeating these observations for years to come. Myths that reinforce official government propaganda die hard. The mainstream media act like they don’t see through them, while national security officials thrive on them to give themselves a mission, to enhance their budgets, and further their personal advancement. The Washington Post recently reported: “A year into his tenure, the country’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, has proved even more bellicose than his father, North Korea’s longtime ruler, disappointing U.S. officials who had hoped for a fresh start with the regime.” 4

Yeah, right, can’t you just see those American officials shaking their heads and exclaiming: “Damn, what do we have to do to get those North Korean fellows to trust us?” Well, they could start by ending the many international sanctions they impose on North Korea. They could discontinue arming and training South Korean military forces. And they could stop engaging in provocative fly-overs, ships cruising the waters, and military exercises along with South Korea, Australia, and other countries dangerously close to the North. The Wall Street Journal reported:

The first show of force came on March 8, during the U.S.-South Korean exercise, known as Foal Eagle, when long-range B-52 bombers conducted low-altitude maneuvers. A few weeks later, in broad daylight, two B-2 bombers sent from a Missouri air base dropped dummy payloads on a South Korean missile range.

U.S. intelligence agencies, as had been planned, reviewed the North’s responses. After those flights, the North responded as the Pentagon and intelligence agencies had expected, with angry rhetoric, threatening to attack the South and the U.S.

On Sunday, the U.S. flew a pair of advanced F-22s to South Korea, which prompted another angry response from the North. 5

And the United States could stop having wet dreams about North Korea collapsing, enabling the US to establish an American military base right at the Chinese border.

As to North Korea’s frequent threats … yes, they actually outdo the United States in bellicosity, lies, and stupidity. But their threats are not to be taken any more seriously than Washington’s oft expressed devotion to democracy and freedom. When it comes to doing actual harm to other peoples, the North Koreans are not in the same league as the empire.

“Everyone is concerned about miscalculation and the outbreak of war. But the sense across the U.S. government is that the North Koreans are not going to wage all-out war,” a senior Obama administration official said. “They are interested first and foremost in regime survival.” 6

American sovereignty hasn’t faced a legitimate foreign threat to its existence since the British in 1812.

The marvelous world of Freedom of Speech

So, the United States and its Western partners have banned Iranian TV from North America and in various European countries. Did you hear about that? Probably not if you’re not on the mailing list of PressTV, the 24-hour English-Language Iranian news channel. According to PressTV:

The Iranian film channel, iFilm, as well as Iranian radio stations, have also been banned from sensitive Western eyes and ears, all such media having been removed in February from the Galaxy 19 satellite platform serving the United States and Canada.

In December the Spanish satellite company, Hispasat, terminated the broadcast of the Iranian Spanish-language channel Hispan TV. Hispasat is partly owned by Eutelsat, whose French-Israeli CEO is blamed for the recent wave of attacks on Iranian media in Europe.

The American Jewish Committee has welcomed these developments. AJC Executive Director David Harris has acknowledged that the committee had for months been engaged in discussions with the Spaniards over taking Iranian channels off the air. 7

A careful search of the Lexis-Nexis data base of international media reveals that not one English-language print newspaper, broadcast station, or news agency in the world has reported on the PressTV news story since it appeared February 8. One Internet newspaper, Digital Journal, ran the story on February 10.

The United States, Canada, Spain, and France are thus amongst those countries proudly celebrating their commitment to the time-honored concept of freedom of speech. Other nations of “The Free World” cannot be far behind as Washington continues to turn the screws of Iranian sanctions still tighter.

In his classic 1984, George Orwell defined “doublethink” as “the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.” In the United States, the preferred label given by the Ministry of Truth to such hypocrisy is “American exceptionalism”, which manifests itself in the assertion of a divinely ordained mission as well in the insistence on America’s right to apply double standards in its own favor and reject “moral equivalence”.

The use of sanctions to prevent foreign media from saying things that Washington has decidedshould not be said is actually a marked improvement over previous American methods. For example, on October 8, 2001, the second day of the US bombing of Afghanistan, the transmitters for the Taliban government’s Radio Shari were bombed and shortly after this the US bombed some 20 regional radio sites. US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld defended the targeting of these facilities, saying: “Naturally, they cannot be considered to be free media outlets. They are mouthpieces of the Taliban and those harboring terrorists.” 8 And in Yugoslavia, in 1999, during the infamous 78-bombing of the Balkan country which posed no threat at all to the United States, state-owned Radio Television Serbia (RTS) was targeted because it was broadcasting things which the United States and NATO did not like (like how much horror the bombing was causing). The bombs took the lives of many of the station’s staff, and both legs of one of the survivors, which had to be amputated to free him from the wreckage. 9

Notes

  1. Read the full memo. ↩
  2. USAID Transition Initiatives Website ↩
  3. Washington Post, January 10, 2013 ↩
  4. Washington Post, March 16, 2013 ↩
  5. Wall Street Journal, April 3, 2013 ↩
  6. Ibid. ↩
  7. PressTV news release ↩
  8. Index on Censorship online, the UK’s leading organization promoting freedom of expression, October 18, 2001 ↩
  9. The Independent (London), April 24, 1999, p.1 ↩


William Blum is the author of:

  • Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2
  • Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower
  • West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir
  • Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire


Portions of the books can be read, and signed copies purchased, at www.killinghope.org

Email to bblum6@aol.com

William Blum is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Gun Rights: Are There Any Peaceful Solutions Left?

February 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Throughout history, citizen disarmament generally leads to one of two inevitable outcomes:  Government tyranny and genocide, or, revolution and civil war.  Anti-gun statists would, of course, argue that countries like the UK and Australia have not suffered such a result.  My response would be – just give them time.   You may believe that gun control efforts are part and parcel of a totalitarian agenda (as they usually are), or, you may believe that gun registration and confiscation are a natural extension of the government’s concern for our “safety and well-being”.  Either way, the temptation of power that comes after a populace is made defenseless is almost always too great for any political entity to dismiss.  One way or another, for one reason or another, they WILL take advantage of the fact that the people have no leverage to determine their own cultural future beyond a twisted system of law and governance which is, in the end, easily corrupted.

The unawake and the unaware among us will also argue that revolution or extreme dissent against the establishment is not practical or necessary, because the government “is made of regular people like us, who can be elected or removed at any time”.

This is the way a Republic is supposed to function, yes.  However, the system we have today has strayed far from the methods of a Free Republic and towards the machinations of a single party system.  Our government does NOT represent the common American anymore.  It has become a centralized and Sovietized monstrosity.  A seething hydra with two poisonous heads; one Democrat in name, one Republican in name.  Both heads feed the same bottomless stomach; the predatory and cannibalistic pit of socialized oligarchy.

On the Republican side, we are offered Neo-Con sharks like George W. Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney, who argue for “conservative” policies such as limited government interference and reduced spending, all while introducing legislation which does the exact opposite.  The recent passage of the “Safe Act” in New York with extensive Republican support proves that Republicans cannot be counted on to defend true conservative values.

The Democrats get candidates like John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, who claim to be anti-war and against government abuse of civil liberties, and yet, these same “progressive and compassionate” politicians now froth at the mouth like rabid dogs sinking their teeth into the flesh of the citizenry, expanding on every tyrannical initiative the Republicans began, and are bombing more civilian targets in more foreign countries than anyone with a conscience should be able to bear.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; the government is not our buddy.  It is not our ally or friend.  It is not a “part of us”.  It is now a separate and dangerous entity.  A parasite feeding off the masses.  It has become a clear threat to the freedoms of average Americans.  It is time for the public to grow up, snap out of its childish delusions, and accept that there is no solace or justice to be found anymore in Washington D.C.

Once we understand this fact, a question then arises – What do we do about it?  If we cannot redress our grievances through the election process because both parties favor the same authoritarian direction, and if our street protests are utterly ignored by the mainstream media and the establishment, and if civil suits do nothing but drag on for years with little to no benefit, then what is left for us?  Is the way of the gun the only answer left for the American people at this crossroads?

I cannot deny that we are very close to such a conclusion.  Anyone who does deny it is living in a candy coated fantasy land.  However, there are still certain options that have not been exhausted, and we should utilize them if for no other reason than to maintain the moral high ground while the power elite continue to expose their own despotic innards.

State And County Nullification

The assertion of local authority in opposition to federal tyranny is already being applied across the country.  Multiple states, counties, and municipalities are issuing declarations of defiance and passing legislation which nullifies any future federal incursions against 2nd Amendment protections.  For instance, the Gilberton Borough Council in PA in conjunction with Police Chief Mark Kessler has recently adopted a resolution defending all 2nd Amendment rights within their municipal borders up to and including the denial of operations by federal officers:

http://oathkeepers.org/oath/2013/02/03/first-molon-labe-town-in-america/

Approximately 283 county Sheriffs and multiple police officers have taken a hard stand, stating that they will either not aid federal enforcement officials with gun control related activities, or, that they will not allow such activities within their county, period:

http://cspoa.org/sheriffs-gun-rights/

This trend of dissent amongst law enforcement officials debunks the nihilistic view promoted by disinformation agents that “no one in law enforcement will have the guts to stand up to the government no matter how sour it turns”.   It has also shaken the Obama Administration enough that the White House is struggling to counter it by wining and dining police unions and sheriffs departments in order to form their own “coalition of the willing”.  Obama seems to believe that holding press conferences using children or police as background props will somehow earn him political capital in the battle for gun rights, but I have my doubts:

http://news.yahoo.com/obama-asks-police-help-pass-183056466.html

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/55716645-90/com-congress-doing-enforcement.html.csp

Multiple states have legislation on the table to nullify as well, and it would seem that the violent push by the establishment to extinguish the 2nd Amendment has actually sharply rekindled the public’s interest in States Rights and the 10th Amendment.

This does not mean, though, that we should rely on nullification alone.  While the gun grabbers are stumbling into severe resistance at the national level, some representatives are attempting to supplant gun rights at the state level, including New York, California, Washington State, and Missouri.  The goal here is obvious; counter states rights arguments by using anti-gun legislators to impose federal controls through the back door of state legislation.

They will claim that if we support states rights, then we have to abide by the decisions of regions like New York when they ban and confiscate firearms.  It’s sad how gun grabbers lose track of reality.  Neither federal authority, nor state authority, supplants the legal barriers of the Constitution itself, meaning, no federal or local authority has the right or power to remove our freedom of speech, our freedom of assembly, our freedom of privacy, OR our freedom to own firearms (including firearms of military utility).  The Constitution and the Bill of Rights supersede all other legal and political entities (including treaties, as ruled by the Supreme Court).  At least, that’s what the Founding Fathers intended when they established this nation.  The point is, a state is well within its rights to defy the Federal Government if it is enacting unconstitutional abuses, and the people are well within their rights to defy a state when it does the same.

Economic Nullification

There is actually a fantastic economic opportunity to be had by states and counties that nullify gun control legislation.  Many gun manufacturers and retail businesses are facing financial oblivion if the establishment has its way, and moving operations outside the U.S. is not necessarily practical for most of them (gun manufacturing is one of the last business models we still do better than the rest of the world).  Municipalities could offer safe haven to these businesses, allowing them to continue producing firearms and high capacity magazines, fulfill expanding public demand, and create a surging cash flow into their area while at the same time giving the federal government the finger.

This strategy does not come without dangers, though.  Many states and counties are addicted to federal funding, and some would go bankrupt without it.  The obvious first response by the feds to protesting local governments will be to cut off the river of cash and starve them into subservience.

This brand of internal financial warfare can be countered by local governments by nullifying a few other unconstitutional regulations, including those issued by the EPA and the BLM.  States and counties could easily disable federal land development restrictions and begin using resource development as a means to generate supplemental income.  North Dakota is essentially doing this right now in the Bakken Oil Fields, becoming one of the few states in America that is actually creating legitimate high paying jobs (instead of part time wage slave jobs), and growing more prosperous every year.

This tactic is not limited to state governments either.  Counties also have the ability, with the right officials involved, to regain control of their economic destinies anytime they want.  All it takes is the courage to rock the establishment boat.

Refuse All Registration Schemes

National firearms registration and gun databases are almost always followed by full gun confiscation.  The process is usually done in a standardized manner:  First demand extensive registration and cataloging of gun owners.  Second, ban more effective styles of weaponry, including semi-automatics and high capacity rifles (Let the sport hunters keep their bolt actions for a time, and lure them onto your side with the promise that they will get to keep their .270 or their 30-06).  Then take all semi-auto handguns.  Then, ban high powered magnum style bolt actions by labeling them “sniper rifles”.  Then demand that the gun owners that still remain allow official “inspections” of their home by law enforcement to ensure that they are “storing their weapons properly”.  Then, force them to move those weapons to a designated “warehouse or range”, locked away for any use other than recreational shooting.  Then, when the public is thoroughly disconnected from their original right to bear arms, take everything that’s left.

Keep in mind that the federal government and certain state governments are acting as if they would like to skip ALL of the preliminary steps and go straight to full confiscation.  I am not discounting that possibility.  But, they may feign certain concessions in the near term in order to get the one thing they really want – full registration.

Registration must be the line in the sand for every single gun owner in this country, whether they own several semi-automatics, or one pump action shotgun.  Once you give in to being registered, fingerprinted, photographed, and tracked wherever you decide to live like a convicted sexual predator, you have shown that you have no will or spirit.  You have shown that you will submit to anything.

After a full registration has been enacted, every gun (and maybe every bullet) will be tracked.  If confiscation is utilized, they know exactly what you have and what you should not have, and exactly where you are.  Criminals will still acquire weapons illegally, as they always have.  The only people who will suffer are law abiding citizens. It’s a recipe for dictatorship and nothing more.

Gun Barter Networks

The retail firearms and ammo markets are Sahara dry right now, and will probably remain that way in the foreseeable future.  Anything that is available for purchase is usually twice the price it was last year.  Extremely high demand is removing retail from the picture before any legislation is even passed.  Enter barter…

Cash will remain a bargaining tool for as long as the dollar remains the world reserve currency and holds at least some semblance of value (this will end sooner than most people think).  That said, as gun items become scarce, the allure of cash may be supplanted.  The signs of this are already evident.

Gun owners are now looking more to trade firearms and accessories for OTHER firearms and accessories, because they know that once they sell an item, they may never see it again, and the usefulness of cash is fleeting.  Gun Barter is not only a way for firearms enthusiasts to get what they need, it is also a way for them to move around any future gun sale restrictions that may arise.  Private gun sales are legal in some states, but do not count on this to last.  Barter leaves no paper trail, and thus, no traceable evidence of transaction.  For those who fear this idea as “legally questionable”, all I can do is remind them that an unconstitutional law is no law at all.  If it does not adhere to the guidelines of our founding principles, our founding documents, and our natural rights, then it is just a bunch of meaningless words on a meaningless piece of paper signed by a meaningless political puppet.

3D Printing And Home Manufacturing

3D Printing is now available to the public and for those with the money, I recommend they invest quickly.  Unless the establishment wants to make the possession of these printers illegal, as well as shut down the internet, there will be no way to stop data streamers from supplying the software needed to make molds for every conceivable gun part, including high capacity mags.  This technology has been effectively promoted by the Wiki Weapons Project:

http://defensedistributed.com/

According to current ATF law, the home manufacture of gun parts is not technically illegal, as long as they are not being produced for sale.  But in a state or county where federal gun laws have been nullified, what the ATF says is irrelevant.

Home manufacturing of gun parts and ammo would be a highly lucrative business in such safe haven areas.  And, the ability to build one’s own self defense platform is a vital skill in a sparse market environment.  The ultimate freedom is being able to supply your own needs without having to ask for materials or permission from others.  It should be the goal of every pro-gun activist to reach this independence.

Force The Establishment To Show Its True Colors

While some in the general public may be incensed by the trampling of our freedoms by government, many (including myself) would view direct action and aimless French Revolution-style violence as distasteful and disastrous.  The moral high ground is all that any dissenting movement has.  It will be hard enough to keep this ground with the constant demonization of liberty minded people that is being espoused by propaganda peddlers like the SPLC and numerous media outlets.  We do not need to help them do their jobs.

Now, to be clear, I have NO illusions that the above strategies will defuse a confrontation between those who value freedom, and those who desire power.  The hope is that enough people within our population will refuse to comply, and that this will make any future despotism impossible to construct.  However, it is far more likely that these acts of defiance will elicit a brutal response from the government.  And in a way, that is exactly what we want…

The Founding Fathers went through steps very similar to those I listed above and more to counter the tightening grip of the British Empire during the first American Revolution.  The idea is simple:

Peacefully deny the corrupt system’s authority over your life by supplying your own needs and your own security, rather than lashing out blindly.  Force them to show their true colors.  Expose their dishonor and maliciousness.  Make them come after you like the predators they are, and then, once they can no longer play the role of the “defending hero” in the eyes of the public, use your right to self defense to send them a message they won’t forget.

Skeptics will claim that physical defense is useless against a technologically advanced enemy.  They will claim that we need a “majority” we do not have in order to prevail.  These are usually people who have never fought for anything in their lives.  They do not understand that the “odds” are unimportant.  They mean nothing.  No revolution for good ever begins with “majority support”.  Each is fought by a minority of strong willed and aware individuals.  When all other methods of protest have been dismantled, the system leaves us with only two options: stand and fight, or kneel and beg for mercy.  All you need to know is what YOU would do when faced with that choice.

There is no other culture on earth that has the capacity, like Americans currently do, to defeat centralists, defend individual liberty, and end the pursuit of total global power in this lifetime.  We are the first and last line.  If freedom is undone here, it is undone everywhere for generations to come.  This is our responsibility.  This is our providence.  There can be no complacency.  There can be no compromise.  There can be no fear.  It ends on this ground.  One way, or another.

Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market

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