Is there anyone out there who still believes that Barack Obama, when he’s speaking about American foreign policy, is capable of being anything like an honest man? In a March 26 talk in Belgium to “European youth”, the president fed his audience one falsehood, half-truth, blatant omission, or hypocrisy after another. If George W. Bush had made some of these statements, Obama supporters would not hesitate to shake their head, roll their eyes, or smirk. Here’s a sample:
– “In defending its actions, Russian leaders have further claimed Kosovo as a precedent – an example they say of the West interfering in the affairs of a smaller country, just as they’re doing now. But NATO only intervened after the people of Kosovo were systematically brutalized and killed for years.”
Most people who follow such things are convinced that the 1999 US/NATO bombing of the Serbian province of Kosovo took place only after the Serbian-forced deportation of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo was well underway; which is to say that the bombing was launched to stop this “ethnic cleansing”. In actuality, the systematic deportations of large numbers of people did not begin until a few days after the bombing began, and was clearly a reaction to it, born of Serbia’s extreme anger and powerlessness over the bombing. This is easily verified by looking at a daily newspaper for the few days before the bombing began the night of March 23/24, 1999, and the few days following. Or simply look at the New York Times of March 26, page 1, which reads:
… with the NATO bombing already begun, a deepening sense of fear took hold in Pristina [the main city of Kosovo] that the Serbs would now vent their rage against ethnic Albanian civilians in retaliation. [emphasis added]
On March 27, we find the first reference to a “forced march” or anything of that nature.
But the propaganda version is already set in marble.
– “And Kosovo only left Serbia after a referendum was organized, not outside the boundaries of international law, but in careful cooperation with the United Nations and with Kosovo’s neighbors. None of that even came close to happening in Crimea.”
None of that even came close to happening in Kosovo either. The story is false. The referendum the president speaks of never happened. Did the mainstream media pick up on this or on the previous example? If any reader comes across such I’d appreciate being informed.
Crimea, by the way, did have a referendum. A real one.
– “Workers and engineers gave life to the Marshall Plan … As the Iron Curtain fell here in Europe, the iron fist of apartheid was unclenched, and Nelson Mandela emerged upright, proud, from prison to lead a multiracial democracy. Latin American nations rejected dictatorship and built new democracies … “
The president might have mentioned that the main beneficiary of the Marshall Plan was US corporations , that the United States played an indispensable role in Mandela being caught and imprisoned, and that virtually all the Latin American dictatorships owed their very existence to Washington. Instead, the European youth were fed the same party line that their parents were fed, as were all Americans.
– “Yes, we believe in democracy – with elections that are free and fair.”
In this talk, the main purpose of which was to lambaste the Russians for their actions concerning Ukraine, there was no mention that the government overthrown in that country with the clear support of the United States had been democratically elected.
– “Moreover, Russia has pointed to America’s decision to go into Iraq as an example of Western hypocrisy. … But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people and a fully sovereign Iraqi state that could make decisions about its own future.”
The US did not get UN Security Council approval for its invasion, the only approval that could legitimize the action. It occupied Iraq from one end of the country to the other for 8 years, forcing the government to privatize the oil industry and accept multinational – largely U.S.-based, oil companies’ – ownership. This endeavor was less than successful because of the violence unleashed by the invasion. The US military finally was forced to leave because the Iraqi government refused to give immunity to American soldiers for their many crimes.
Here is a brief summary of what Barack Obama is attempting to present as America’s moral superiority to the Russians:
The modern, educated, advanced nation of Iraq was reduced to a quasi failed state … the Americans, beginning in 1991, bombed for 12 years, with one dubious excuse or another; then invaded, then occupied, overthrew the government, tortured without inhibition, killed wantonly … the people of that unhappy land lost everything – their homes, their schools, their electricity, their clean water, their environment, their neighborhoods, their mosques, their archaeology, their jobs, their careers, their professionals, their state-run enterprises, their physical health, their mental health, their health care, their welfare state, their women’s rights, their religious tolerance, their safety, their security, their children, their parents, their past, their present, their future, their lives … More than half the population either dead, wounded, traumatized, in prison, internally displaced, or in foreign exile … The air, soil, water, blood, and genes drenched with depleted uranium … the most awful birth defects … unexploded cluster bombs lying in wait for children to pick them up … a river of blood running alongside the Euphrates and Tigris … through a country that may never be put back together again. … “It is a common refrain among war-weary Iraqis that things were better before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003,” reported the Washington Post. (May 5, 2007)
How can all these mistakes, such arrogance, hypocrisy and absurdity find their way into a single international speech by the president of the United States? Is the White House budget not sufficient to hire a decent fact checker? Someone with an intellect and a social conscience? Or does the desire to score propaganda points trump everything else? Is this another symptom of the Banana-Republicization of America?
Long live the Cold War
In 1933 US President Franklin D. Roosevelt recognized the Soviet Union after some 15 years of severed relations following the Bolshevik Revolution. On a day in December of that year, a train was passing through Poland carrying the first American diplomats dispatched to Moscow. Amongst their number was a 29 year-old Foreign Service Officer, later to become famous as a diplomat and scholar, George Kennan. Though he was already deemed a government expert on Russia, the train provided Kennan’s first actual exposure to the Soviet Union. As he listened to his group’s escort, Russian Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov, reminisce about growing up in a village the train was passing close by, and his dreams of becoming a librarian, the Princeton-educated Kennan was astonished: “We suddenly realized, or at least I did, that these people we were dealing with were human beings like ourselves, that they had been born somewhere, that they had their childhood ambitions as we had. It seemed for a brief moment we could break through and embrace these people.”
It hasn’t happened yet.
One would think that the absence in Russia of communism, of socialism, of the basic threat or challenge to the capitalist system, would be sufficient to write finis to the 70-year Cold War mentality. But the United States is virtually as hostile to 21st-century Russia as it was to 20th-century Soviet Union, surrounding Moscow with military bases, missile sites, and NATO members. Why should that be? Ideology is no longer a factor. But power remains one, specifically America’s perpetual lust for world hegemony. Russia is the only nation that (a) is a military powerhouse, and (b) doesn’t believe that the United States has a god-given-American-exceptionalism right to rule the world, and says so. By these criteria, China might qualify as a poor second. But there are no others.
Washington pretends that it doesn’t understand why Moscow should be upset by Western military encroachment, but it has no such problem when roles are reversed. Secretary of State John Kerry recently stated that Russian troops poised near eastern Ukraine are “creating a climate of fear and intimidation in Ukraine” and raising questions about Russia’s next moves and its commitment to diplomacy.
NATO – ever in need of finding a raison d’être – has now issued a declaration of [cold] war, which reads in part:
“NATO foreign ministers on Tuesday [April 1, 2014] reaffirmed their commitment to enhance the Alliance’s collective defence, agreed to further support Ukraine and to suspend NATO’s practical cooperation with Russia. ‘NATO’s greatest responsibility is to protect and defend our territory and our people. And make no mistake, this is what we will do,’ NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said. … Ministers directed Allied military authorities to develop additional measures to strengthen collective defence and deterrence against any threat of aggression against the Alliance, Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said. ‘We will make sure we have updated military plans, enhanced exercises and appropriate deployments,’ he said. NATO has already reinforced its presence on the eastern border of the Alliance, including surveillance patrols over Poland and Romania and increased numbers of fighter aircraft allocated to the NATO air policing mission in the Baltic States. … NATO Foreign Ministers also agreed to suspend all of NATO’s practical cooperation with Russia.”
Does anyone recall what NATO said in 2003 when the United States bombed and invaded Iraq with “shock and awe”, compared to the Russians now not firing a single known shot at anyone? And neither Russia nor Ukraine is even a member of NATO. Does NATO have a word to say about the right-wing coup in Ukraine, openly supported by the United States, overthrowing the elected government? Did the hypocrisy get any worse during the Cold War? Imagine that NATO had not been created in 1949. Imagine that it has never existed. What reason could one give today for its creation? Other than to provide a multi-national cover for Washington’s interventions.
One of the main differences between now and the Cold War period is that Americans at home are (not yet) persecuted or prosecuted for supporting Russia or things Russian.
But don’t worry, folks, there won’t be a big US-Russian war. For the same reason there wasn’t one during the Cold War. The United States doesn’t pick on any country which can defend itself.
Cuba … Again … Still … Forever
Is there actually a limit? Will the United States ever stop trying to overthrow the Cuban government? Entire books have been written documenting the unrelenting ways Washington has tried to get rid of tiny Cuba’s horrid socialism – from military invasion to repeated assassination attempts to an embargo that President Clinton’s National Security Advisor called “the most pervasive sanctions ever imposed on a nation in the history of mankind”. But nothing has ever come even close to succeeding. The horrid socialism keeps on inspiring people all over the world. It’s the darnedest thing. Can providing people free or remarkably affordable health care, education, housing, food and culture be all that important?
And now it’s “Cuban Twitter” – an elaborately complex system set up by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to disguise its American origins and financing, aiming to bring about a “Cuban Spring” uprising. USAID sought to first “build a Cuban audience, mostly young people; then the plan was to push them toward dissent”, hoping the messaging network “would reach critical mass so that dissidents could organize ‘smart mobs’ – mass gatherings called at a moment’s notice – that might trigger political demonstrations or ‘renegotiate the balance of power between the state and society’.” It’s too bad it’s now been exposed, because we all know how wonderful the Egyptian, Syrian, Libyan, and other “Arab Springs” have turned out.
Here’s USAID speaking after their scheme was revealed on April 3: “Cubans were able to talk among themselves, and we are proud of that.” We are thus asked to believe that normally the poor downtrodden Cubans have no good or safe way to communicate with each other. Is the US National Security Agency working for the Cuban government now?
The Associated Press, which broke the story, asks us further to believe that the “truth” about most things important in the world is being kept from the Cuban people by the Castro regime, and that the “Cuban Twitter” would have opened people’s eyes. But what information might a Cuban citizen discover online that the government would not want him to know about? I can’t imagine. Cubans are in constant touch with relatives in the US, by mail and in person. They get US television programs from Miami and other southern cities; both CNN and Telesur (Venezuela, covering Latin America) are seen regularly on Cuban television”; international conferences on all manner of political, economic and social issues are held regularly in Cuba. I’ve spoken at more than one myself. What – it must be asked – does USAID, as well as the American media, think are the great dark secrets being kept from the Cuban people by the nasty commie government?
Those who push this line sometimes point to the serious difficulty of using the Internet in Cuba. The problem is that it’s extremely slow, making certain desired usages often impractical. From an American friend living in Havana: “It’s not a question of getting or not getting internet. I get internet here. The problem is downloading something or connecting to a link takes too long on the very slow connection that exists here, so usually I/we get ‘timed out’.” But the USAID’s “Cuban Twitter”, after all, could not have functioned at all without the Internet.
Places like universities, upscale hotels, and Internet cafés get better connections, at least some of the time; however, it’s rather expensive to use at the hotels and cafés.
In any event, this isn’t a government plot to hide dangerous information. It’s a matter of technical availability and prohibitive cost, both things at least partly in the hands of the United States and American corporations. Microsoft, for example, at one point, if not at present, barred Cuba from using its Messenger instant messaging service.
Cuba and Venezuela have jointly built a fiber optic underwater cable connection that they hope will make them less reliant on the gringos; the outcome of this has not yet been reported in much detail.
The grandly named Agency for International Development does not have an honorable history; this can perhaps be captured by a couple of examples: In 1981, the agency’s director, John Gilligan, stated: “At one time, many AID field offices were infiltrated from top to bottom with CIA people. The idea was to plant operatives in every kind of activity we had overseas, government, volunteer, religious, every kind.”
On June 21, 2012, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) issued a resolution calling for the immediate expulsion of USAID from their nine member countries, “due to the fact that we consider their presence and actions to constitute an interference which threatens the sovereignty and stability of our nations.”
USAID, the CIA, the National Endowment for Democracy (and the latter’s subsidiaries), together or singly, continue to be present at regime changes, or attempts at same, favorable to Washington, from “color revolutions” to “spring” uprisings, producing a large measure of chaos and suffering for our tired old world.
- William Blum, America’s Deadliest Export – Democracy: The Truth About US Foreign Policy and Everything Else, p.22-5
- Walter Isaacson & Evan Thomas, The Wise Men (1986), p.158
- Washington Post, March 31, 2014
- “NATO takes measures to reinforce collective defence, agrees on support for Ukraine”, NATO website, April 1, 2014
- Sandy Berger, White House press briefing, November 14, 1997, US Newswire transcript
- Associated Press, April 3 & 4, 2014
- Washington Post, April 4, 2014
- Associated Press, June 2, 2009
- George Cotter, “Spies, strings and missionaries”, The Christian Century (Chicago), March 25, 1981, p.321
If a famine befell us and you couldn’t save everyone, would you withhold the food you had and let every citizen starve rather than endure the inequality of just saving some? If recent history is any guide, certain leftists just might say yes.
A good example of this phenomenon involved a multiple sclerosis patient in Gothenburg, Sweden, who was denied a more effective and expensive medication — even though he was willing to pay for it — because, wrote columnist Walter Williams in 2009, “bureaucrats said it would set a bad precedent and lead to unequal access to medicine.” No wonder Winston Churchill said that socialism’s “inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”
And another example just reared its ugly head in Plymouth, Michigan, where the locality’s high school is tearing down newly constructed bleachers in deference to the equality police. MyFoxDetroit.com reports on the issue, writing:
A new set of seating is being torn down outside the Plymouth Wildcats varsity boys’ baseball field, not long before the season begins, because the fields for boys’ and girls’ athletics must be equal.
A group of parents raised money for a raised seating deck by the field, as it was hard to see the games through a chain-link fence. The parents even did the installation themselves, and also paid for a new scoreboard.
So what happened? Some unnamed malcontent lodged a complaint with the feral government, at which point U.S Education Department Office for Civil Rights overlords decreed that the seating must go. Ain’t equality grand?
Except that equality is simply a ruse. And think about it with respect to this issue: the principle is that facilities “for boys’ and girls’ athletics must be equal,” but are boys’ and girls’ athletics equal? The striking contradiction in these male/female sports equality controversies is that calls for “equality” are deferred to within the context of the acceptance and promotion of an inherently unequal system. That is to say, if equality is the guiding principle here, why have separate leagues, teams and tours — protected from the best competition — for girls and women?
The solution, whether it’s the Plymouth situation or calls for equal prize money in tennis, is simple. If a lightweight boxer wants the purses the heavyweights get, he needs to fight and succeed in the heavyweight class; likewise, if feminists want what the boys/men have, they should try to compete in their arena. And I do advocate this: eliminate separate categories for women, and let the sexes compete together on a level playing field. After all, to echo what Lincoln said about laws, the best way to eliminate bad social policy is to enforce it strictly. If you believe in equality, practice it.
And live with it.
And since the boys’ American high-school mile record is considerably faster than the women’s world record — and since this gap appears, with some variation, across sports — my proposal would provide some necessary “policy clarification.”
The education department’s decree is also an attack on charity. The message is that pursuing good works just might be a waste of time because, inevitably, they’ll conflict with some government regulation or mandate. It’s in addition a quasi-Marxist assault on the market. After all, the Plymouth community’s interest in building new baseball bleachers was no doubt driven by there being greater fan turnout for the boys’ games. And the market renders such verdicts all the time. It’s said that female fashion models earn three times what their male counterparts do, bars may offer women free drinks or entry without a cover charge, and no one troubles over women-only health clubs. It’s only when market determinations seem to benefit boys or men that the equality ruse is trotted out.
The truth is that equality dogma is a fiction of modern times. As for the timeless, the word “equality” appears in only 21 biblical verses, mostly referring to matters such as weights and measures. There’s good reason for this, and don’t blame it on the supposed “backwardness” of religion because a devout evolutionist would have to be the staunchest believer in hierarchies born of natural inequality. As G.K. Chesterton pointed out, “[I]f they [people] were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal.” Look around you at the world of nature and man, which, if the evolutionists are correct, are certainly one and the same. How much equality do you see? Rams butt heads, and one ram wins and the other loses; wolves have alphas and one male lion dominates and leads a pride. Then, there are 3.1 billion possible combinations when a couple has a child. And, oh, what combinations they can be. How many of us can play golf like Tiger Woods, defy gravity and shoot baskets like Michael Jordan or compose music at four years of age as did Mozart? People have greatly varying IQs, physical capabilities, personalities, inclinations toward virtue and gifts. Equality is a pipe dream.
This variation exists among groups, too. Ashkenazi Jews have the world’s highest average IQ, while Asians enjoy that status insofar as major groups go. And disease and conditions have no regard for equality, either: the Pima Indians have the highest rate of diabetes on Earth, breast cancer afflicts mainly women, the incidence of Tay-Sachs disease is highest among Jews, black men suffer from prostate cancer at twice the rate whites do, while sickle-cell anemia is found almost exclusively among blacks. I guess reality is “racist.”
Reality is actually this: it’s completely illogical and contradictory for a person to claim on one hand that he believes in classical, cosmic-accident evolution, but on the other that all groups somehow, quite accidentally, wound up the same in capacity, inclination and worldly abilities. After all, since evolution holds that groups lived and developed separately for millions of years — subject to different environments, stresses, adaptive requirements and to the luck of the draw — their winding up “equal” was, for all intents and purposes, a mathematical impossibility.
Earlier evolutionists recognized and accepted this reality, mind you, and in fact became eugenicists. Note here that the term “eugenics” was coined by Charles Darwin’s cousin Sir Francis Galton. Also note that the concept greatly predates the term: Greek philosopher Plato advocated murdering weak children, and the Spartans had actually done it.
This doesn’t mean I embrace eugenics or classical evolution (my views on the latter are found here). The point is that whether you believe we’re accidentally different or that, as St. Therese learned, there are even divinely ordained hierarchies in Heaven, equality is certainly not a thing of this world.
This helps explain why entities prescribing “equality” — such as the early French republic and all the Marxist killing-field regimes — become the worst tyrannies. Since equality is wholly unnatural, its mullahs must violate man’s nature, must trump it and twist it, in an effort to pound their sinister square peg into the round hole of reality. And woe betide he who defies their self-deified will.
Cries for equality are today the second-to-last refuge of a scoundrel (shouts of “racism” are the absolute last). Contrary to what Churchill said, however, they don’t actually visit upon us an equal sharing of misery. Rather, the pigs more equal than others will dispense the ever-diminishing pork to the peons, as they feed at the trough of modern man’s sloth, envy and error.
At this time, our U.S. Congress rates a nine percent approval rating. It means nine percent of the American public registers “brain-dead.”
Those 535 members over the past 40 years deformed our nation from the largest creditor country in the world to the largest debtor nation in the world. We enjoyed less than $1 trillion in national debt to our current $18 trillion debt. That same Congress forced our young men and women into four hopeless, futile and asinine wars that killed tens of thousands of them and sent millions home with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, drugs and alcoholism. Not to mention dismembered limbs.
That Congress danced to the Military Industrial Complex’s tune of contrived wars benefiting the bankers and corporations that outfitted and fed those young soldiers. Those executives made millions while our kids came home in coffins or missing arms and legs and their minds.
That same Congress turned our nation from a rich manufacturing country into a multi-trillion dollar deficit nation where we import everything we once manufactured, to today where we buy everything from China to make their citizens rich. So rich, in fact, that we owe them $1.4 trillion in trade deficits. Ironically, China now owns many U.S. corporations and buys land for its own beachhead here in America, not to mention Vancouver, BC, Canada where it displaced most of the Canadians in the past 30 years. Chinese now dominates the language in once-English speaking Vancouver, BC.
That bunch of hot shot Congressional Critters took our vibrant economy and turned it into 15 million unemployed and 48 million food stamp users. Those same reps allowed 20 million illegal alien migrants to come into our country and work for crooked employers like Chipotle’s, Marriot Hotels, Holiday Inns, McDonald’s, Hormel, Tyson Chicken, Swift, painting, landscape and construction firms at minimum wages. They and the presidents that headed this country refused to enforce our laws. That’s why you MUST press “1” for Spanish and “2” for English.
Today, we face enormous consequences from their actions. Yet, U.S. voters return 96 percent of incumbents—such as Boxer, Feinstein, Hatch, McCain, Kyle, Schumer, Lindsey Graham, Levin, Udall, Bennet, Rangel, Jackson, DeGette and hundreds of other failed Congressional Critters.
So are they stupid or are they corrupt?
One reader named Brad said, “They are not necessarily stupid. It’s just that most of these psychopaths are bought. The wealthy buy their services and they get remuneration by jobs when they leave “service”, by getting to indulge in insider trading (again – was cut out, but quietly reinstated) etc.
“Just allowing insider trading makes EVERY decision with any economic consequence suspect, as they will have a vested personal income interest in helping corporations increase profits by any means. Thus the repeal of clean air and water regulations. They allow oil fracking to use 2 million gallons of water per well, pour over 530 toxic chemicals into the aquifer to poison and ruin it, and remain exempt from EPA oversight.
“Some may not be bought. Some not all the time. The sad fact is that enough ARE compromised that essentially the damages get done consistently.
“Most in office are so stupid (such as California’s Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who is also corrupt in the league with former Congressman Tom Delay of Texas) that they accept stupid, flawed societal paradigms like “what’s good for business is good for America” and we can see how well that’s working out.
“The parasitic wealthy class is stealing record profits in some of the worst working economy in history – why? Because they have the true entitlement society in which they get tax breaks, tax exemptions, no bid contracts, inflated government costs, subsidizations and most likely a ton of things we never hear about. Simply by allowing industry execs into the alphabet organizations like FDA, USDA, etc., allows them to regulate competition to a ridiculously low level, and to leverage their income, influence, and profits at everyone else’s expense.”
The greatest flaw facing all U.S. citizens remains “career politicians” that create a “good-old boy” network of cronyism and corruption.
If we citizens fail to press for a maximum of 12-year term limits, we face a downward spiral into poverty and failed government not seen since the 1930s. The majority of Congress remains corrupt. That’s why things in the USA don’t get better, but continue on the downward path.
Remember: power corrupts; long-term power corrupts absolutely.
As the US and EU apply sanctions on Russia over its annexation’ of Crimea, JP Sottile reveals the corporate annexation of Ukraine. For Cargill, Chevron, Monsanto, there’s a gold mine of profits to be made from agri-business and energy exploitation.
On 12th January 2014, a reported 50,000 “pro-Western” Ukrainiansdescended upon Kiev’s Independence Square to protest against the government of President Viktor Yanukovych.
Stoked in part by an attack on opposition leader Yuriy Lutsenko, the protest marked the beginning of the end of Yanukovych’s four year-long government.
That same day, the Financial Timesreported a major deal for US agribusiness titan Cargill.
Business confidence never faltered
Despite the turmoil within Ukrainian politics after Yanukovych rejected a major trade deal with the European Union just seven weeks earlier, Cargill was confident enough about the future to fork over $200 million to buy a stake in Ukraine’s UkrLandFarming.
According to the Financial Times, UkrLandFarming is the world’s eighth-largest land cultivator and second biggest egg producer. And those aren’t the only eggs in Cargill’s increasingly ample basket.
On 13th December 2013, Cargill announced the purchase of a stake in a Black Sea grain terminal at Novorossiysk on Russia’s Black Sea coast.
The port — to the east of Russia’s strategically and historically important Crimean naval base — gives them a major entry-point to Russian markets and adds them to the list of Big Ag companies investing in ports around the Black Sea, both in Russia and Ukraine.
Cargill has been in Ukraine for over two decades, investing in grain elevators and acquiring a major Ukrainian animal feed company in 2011. And, based on its investment in UkrLandFarming, Cargill was decidedly confident amidst the post-EU deal chaos.
It’s a stark juxtaposition to the alarm bells ringing out from the US media, bellicose politicians on Capitol Hill and perplexed policymakers in the White House.
Instability?… What Instablility?
It’s even starker when compared to the anxiety expressed by Morgan Williams, President and CEO of the US-Ukraine Business Council — which, according to its website, has been“promoting US-Ukraine business relations since 1995.”
Williams was interviewed by the International Business Times on March 13 and, despite Cargill’s demonstrated willingness to spend, he said, “The instability has forced businesses to just go about their daily business and not make future plans for investment, expansion and hiring more employees.”
In fact, Williams, who does double-duty as Director of Government Affairs at the private equity firm SigmaBleyzer, claimed, “Business plans have been at a standstill.”
Apparently, he wasn’t aware of Cargill’s investment, which is odd given the fact that he could’ve simply called Van A. Yeutter, Vice President for Corporate Affairs at Cargill, and asked him about his company’s quite active business plan.
There is little doubt Williams has the phone number because Mr. Yuetter serves on the Executive Committee of the selfsame US-Ukraine Business Council. It’s quite a cozy investment club, too.
According to his SigmaBleyzer profile, Williams “started his work regarding Ukraine in 1992″ and has since advised American agribusinesses “investing in the former Soviet Union.” As an experienced fixer for Big Ag, he must be fairly friendly with the folks on the Executive Committee.
Big Ag Luminaries — Monsanto, Eli Lilly, Dupont, John Deere…
And what a committee it is — it’s a veritable who’s who of Big Ag. Among the luminaries working tirelessly and no doubt selflessly for a better, freer Ukraine are:
- Melissa Agustin, Director, International Government Affairs & Trade for Monsanto;
- Brigitte Dias Ferreira, Counsel, International Affairs for John Deere;
- Steven Nadherny, Director, Institutional Relations for agriculture equipment-makerCNH Industrial;
- Jeff Rowe, Regional Director for DuPont Pioneer;
- John F. Steele, Director, International Affairs for Eli Lilly & Company.
And, of course, Cargill’s Van A. Yeutter. But Cargill isn’t alone in their warm feelings toward Ukraine. As Reuters reported in May 2013, Monsanto — the largest seed company in the world — plans to build a $140 million “non-GM (genetically modified) corn seed plant in Ukraine.”
And right after the decision on the EU trade deal, Jesus Madrazo, Monsanto’s Vice President for Corporate Engagement, reaffirmed his company’s “commitment to Ukraine”and “the importance of creating a favorable environment that encourages innovation and fosters the continued development of agriculture.”
Monsanto’s strategy includes a little “hearts and minds” public relations, too. On the heels of Mr. Madrazo’s reaffirmation, Monsanto announced “a social development program titled ‘Grain Basket of the Future’ to help rural villagers in the country improve their quality of life.”
The initiative will dole out grants of up to $25,000 to develop programs providing“educational opportunities, community empowerment, or small business development.”
Immense Economic Importance
The well-crafted moniker ‘Grain Basket of the Future’ is telling because, once upon a time, Ukraine was known as ‘the breadbasket’ of the Soviet Union. The CIA ranks Soviet-era Ukraine second only to Mother Russia as the “most economically important component of the former Soviet Union.”
In many ways, the farmland of Ukraine was the backbone of the USSR. Its fertile black soil generated over a quarter of the USSR’s agriculture. It exported substantial quantities of food to other republics and its farms generated four times the output of the next-ranking republic.
Although Ukraine’s agricultural output plummeted in the first decade after the break-up of the Soviet Union, the farming sector has been growing spectacularly in recent years.
While Europe struggled to shake-off the Great Recession, Ukraine’s agriculture sector grew 13.7% in 2013.
According to the Centre for Eastern Studies, Ukraine’s agricultural exports rose from $4.3 billion in 2005 to $17.9 billion in 2012 and, harkening the heyday of the USSR, farming currently accounts for 25% of its total exports. Ukraine is also the world’s third-largest exporter of wheat and of corn. And corn is not just food. It is also ethanol.
But people gotta eat — particularly in Europe. As Frank Holmes of US Global Investorsassessed in 2011, Ukraine is poised to become Europe’s butcher. Meat is difficult to ship, but Ukraine is perfectly located to satiate Europe’s hunger.
Just two days after Cargill bought into UkrLandFarming, Global Meat News reported a huge forecasted spike in “all kinds” of Ukrainian meat exports, with an increase of 8.1% overall and staggering 71.4% spike in pork exports.
No wonder Eli Lilly is represented on the US-Ukraine Business Council’s Executive Committee. Its Elanco Animal Health unit is a major manufacturer of feed supplements.
And it is also notable that Monsanto’s planned seed plant is non-GMO, perhaps anticipating an emerging GMO-unfriendly European market and Europe’s growing appetite for organic foods. When it comes to Big Ag’s profitable future in Europe, the stakes couldn’t be higher.
A Long String of Russian Losses
For Russia and its hampered farming economy, it’s another in a long string of losses to US encroachment — from NATO expansion into Eastern Europe to US military presence to its south and onto a major shale gas development deal recently signed by Chevron in Ukraine.
So, why was Big Ag so bullish on Ukraine, even in the face of so much uncertainty and the predictable reaction by Russia?
The answer is that the seeds of Ukraine’s turn from Russia have been sown for the last two decades by the persistent Cold War alliance between corporations and foreign policy. It’s a version of the ‘Deep State‘ that is usually associated with the oil and defense industries, but also exists in America’s other heavily subsidized industry — agriculture.
Morgan Williams is at the nexus of Big Ag’s alliance with US foreign policy. To wit,SigmaBleyzer touts Mr. Williams’ work with “various agencies of the US government, members of Congress, congressional committees, the Embassy of Ukraine to the US, international financial institutions, think tanks and other organizations on US-Ukraine business, trade, investment and economic development issues.”
Freedom — For US Business
As President of the US-Ukraine Business Council, Williams has access to Council cohort — David Kramer, President of Freedom House. Officially a non-governmental organization, it has been linked with overt and covert ‘democracy’ efforts in places where the door isn’t open to American interests — aka US corporations.
Freedom House, the National Endowment for Democracy and National Democratic Institute helped fund and support the Ukrainian ‘Orange Revolution’ in 2004. Freedom House is funded directly by the US Government, the National Endowment for Democracy and the US Department of State.
David Kramer is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and, according to his Freedom House bio page, formerly a Senior Fellow at the Project for the New American Century.
Nuland’s $5 Billion For Ukrainian ‘Democracy’
That puts Kramer and, by one degree of separation, Big Ag fixer Morgan Williams in the company of PNAC co-founder Robert Kagan who, as coincidence would have it, is married to Victoria “F*ck the EU” Nuland, the current Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.
Interestingly enough, Ms. Nuland spoke to the US-Ukrainian Foundation last 13th December, extolling the virtues of the Euromaidan movement as the embodiment of “the principles and values that are the cornerstones for all free democracies.”
Nuland also told the group that the United States had invested more than $5 billion in support of Ukraine’s “European aspirations” — meaning pulling Ukraine away from Russia. She made her remarks on a dais featuring a backdrop emblazoned with a Chevron logo.
Also, her colleague and phone call buddy US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt helped Chevron cook up their 50-year shale gas deal right in Russia’s kitchen.
Coca-Cola, Exxon-Mobil, Raytheon
Although Chevron sponsored that event, it is not listed as a supporter of the Foundation. But the Foundation does list the Coca-Cola Company, ExxonMobil and Raytheon as major sponsors. And, to close the circle of influence, the US-Ukraine Business Council is also listed as a supporter.
Which brings the story back to Big Ag’s fixer — Morgan Williams.
Although he was glum about the current state of investment in Ukraine, he’s gotta wear shades when he looks into the future. He told the International Business Times:
“The potential here for agriculture / agribusiness is amazing … Production here could double. The world needs the food Ukraine could produce in the future. Ukraine’s agriculture could be a real gold mine.”
Of course, his priority is to ensure that the bread of well-connected businesses gets lavishly buttered in Russia’s former breadbasket. And there is no better connected group of Ukraine-interested corporations than American agribusiness.
Given the extent of US official involvement in Ukrainian politics — including the interesting fact that Ambassador Pyatt pledged US assistance to the new government in investigating and rooting-out corruption — Cargill’s seemingly risky investment strategy probably wasn’t that risky, after all.
J P Sottile is a freelance journalist, radio co-host, documentary filmmaker and former broadcast news producer in Washington, D.C. His weekly show, Inside the Headlines w/ The Newsvandal, co-hosted by James Moore, airs every Friday on KRUU-FM in Fairfield, Iowa. He blogs at Newsvandal.com.
Source: JP Sottile | Ecologist
For the last half century, the American population, subjected to the greatest dumbing down experiment of psychological manipulation in all of history, has resulted in the adoption of a cultural separation from realty and true self-interest. With all the glorious aspirations, that celebrate a diverse society, the fact that humankind shares the same planet usually is not enough to resolve disparities. While DNA similarities are the basis of the specie, the genetic differences among races, put aside and banished from polite conversation, still are true and significant. Yet the civilizations that make up this world function as if the tribal differences are often paramount in the social order.The intentional indoctrination that all races are equal rests upon a specious supposition that the goals, objectives and ambitions assign a uniform desire. Once upon a time immigration to the New World came from a European heritage. That influx of settlers provided a similar experience if not an identical cultural attitude. With the introduction of the slave trade economy, the forced transplanting of African captives, initiated a road to social dissolution as demonstrated in today’s racial conflicts.
The notion that this country is a harmonious society fails because of a very basic element that few people will admit. Blacks, Caucasians, Oriental, Native Americans and any combination of mixed races all have an opportunity to interact and grow in moral character and intellectual honesty as the sins of the past are put to rest, in the reciprocal objective of creating a mature society based upon mutual respect.
However, respect needs to be earned and is not an intrinsic ingredient automatically granted to every cultural social mind-set.
Individuals have the ability to make choices. Choosing civilization over barbarianism is within the grasps of any sincere and ethically committed person.
This object of civilized unity builds a future for the greatest numbers. Recognizing that deliberate induced racial animosity has a profound political purpose is essential to understand the motives behind distorted news reporting and the progressive policy agenda that seeks to conquer by dividing the different factions, which populate the country.
Reformist activism, usually portrayed as shaping government programs that provide for “so called” well-intentioned coercive laws and regulations, is the media narrative that insults the intelligence of any thinking person.
No better example of this televised psychosomatic pollution that inflicts a national disease of artificial guilt is MSNBC. The notorious medicine-man dispenser of this kind of poison is Al Sharpton. The Reverend has a long record of demeaning his own brothers and sisters by bring new meaning to the term, Kaffir.
In The Daily Caller, political reporter Caroline May cites Sharpton’s consistent race baiting tirades.
“MSNBC host Reverend Al Sharpton invoked race over 200 times last year, according to a new tally by the conservative Media Research Center.
According to the analysis by Katie Yoder the liberal host said “race,” “racism,” or “racist” 215 times in 2013 during his MSNBC show PoliticsNation.
“From opposition to the Obama agenda to guns and even into fashion and food, Sharpton’s finely tuned nose for racism rarely took a day off last year,” Yoder wrote.
In an example the MRC notes that Sharpton was able to invoke race five times in a single paragraph about Republican attacks on Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.”
“On Wednesday night, conservatives honed in on offensive tweet that appeared on MSNBC’s official Twitter feed. The full tweet read, “Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/biracial family.”
The comment was in reference a new television commercial for Cheerios entitled “Gracie” that features a biracial family enjoying a breakfast conversation at their kitchen table. The implication by the MSNBC employee behind the tweet, of course, was that the rightwing in this country is racist, and therefore they would surely be disgusted by the visual scene of a family with one white parent and one black parent.”
Part of the story included that other mainstay of race politics and self-reproach apologist, Chris Mathews. The Hardball video, Matthews To Black Guest On Race: “I’m Speaking Now For All White People… I’m Sorry”, is a pitiful testimony.
“We got to continue this conversation, gentlemen, privately and on television. I mean a lot of people out there — I’ll just tell you one thing. And I’m speaking now for all white people, but especially people who have had to try to change the last 50 or 60 years. And they — a lot of them have really tried to change, and I’m sorry for this stuff. That’s all I’m saying.”
Tom Borelli, writes in the Liberty Alliance - MSNBC Chris Matthews Wild Race Card Attack Against Conservatives, more from this self-anointed supporter and barker for liberal delusional bigotry.
“In his foaming rant, Matthews claims voter I.D. laws are like poll taxes with the goal to suppress black voters and he adds Obama’s political opposition are the enemy that gain from hate:
“Obama’s true enemies are those who back the three dozen states now pushing voter suppression laws to make damn sure the country doesn’t go and elect another black president, or a progressive white president. You know this generation’s equivalent of poll taxes and those discredited literacy tests anything to keep minorities from their voting rights. And to this crowd the Obama haters add to them those who gnaw on the president’s health care bill with the hunger of starving rats but offer nothing in its place except their crazed notions about bringing down the government and destroying the county’s economic stature even as they deny even a penny of credit to the president for the zooming American stock market right now. These are the enemies those who stand and benefit from all the anger and hatred and indecency of the nasty right…”
Matthews is once again proving MSNBC is not a news organization but a cable outlet for political operatives whose goal is to spread progressive propaganda.”
So does this party line programming, emphasizing a racially slanted mantra, which drives wedges among the viewing public, actually help ratings? The TVNewser lists that MSNBC was down across the board compared to Nov. 2012. However, MSNBC ranked #1 among African-American viewers in both A25-54 and total viewers in all key dayparts and MSNBC ranked #1 among Hispanic viewers A25-54 in M-F primetime and M-Su primetime.Mediaite lists Sharpton #1 in Demo on MSNBC. Especially review the chart TV NEWS RATINGS: 25-54 DEMOGRAPHIC comparing with the other cable news networks.
PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton was the highest-rated show in the 25-54 demo across MSNBC’s evening schedule Monday with 214K viewers. Sharpton beat fellow MSNBC hosts Chris Matthews, who had 209K viewers and Ed Schultz, who had 170K.
Matthews was #1 in total viewers on MSNBC with 844K, followed by Rachel Maddow with 729K and Schultz with 717K.
A Pew Study Finds MSNBC the Most Opinionated Cable News Channel By Far, “A full 85% of the Comcast-owned network’s coverage can be classified as opinion or commentary rather than straight news, according to the authors of the Pew Research Center’s annual State of the News Media report.”
The significance of this data is that the gap between minority identified and 25-54 viewers and all America is increasing even wider. With the 2013 Cable News Ratings: Fox News Sees Sharp Demo Decline, CNN Suffers In Primetime. The race baiters at MSNBC seems to have consolidated their niche among targeted minorities and the products of the more recent government school educated and MTV generation.Decades of liberalizing news distortion and manufactured false re-invention of history has produced a total disconnect from reality. MSNBC is used as a poster boy network for shutting out serious journalism from the medium, but it is almost impossible to find any mainstream broadcasts that are worthy of viewership.
There is a profound reason why the stuck on stupid culture is all around us. Open and rational political debate and discourse is slated for complete removal from television. Anyone who can seriously admit being a MSNBC viewer has deep seeded issues of reckoning sane behavior.
Those limousine liberals love to champion abortion as a well-tested solution of reducing population. Minorities, particularly targeted for marginalization, need to rebel against the democratic politicians and liberal class perversion, whereby NYC: More Black Babies Killed by Abortion Than Born. For those who gain a foothold on life, the media brainwashing of the likes of Rev. Al await.Fools who drink from the cup of their own racial genocide are their own worst enemy. The national interest demands that exploitation of race as a substitute for intelligent co-existence end. Compulsory Integration or miscegenation leveling has proven a massive failure. Is it not time that all tribes start a respectful dialogue and abandon the shackles of blaming race discrimination for the general failure of society? Separation by race is natural. This fact is a news topic that serious media and journalists need to address.
It is possible that like ancient Judah, the United States is destined to come under despotic rule. Though we do not have Jeremiah to keep us informed (Jeremiah 27) it appears that the wheels of destiny are carrying us in that direction. It could be that world tyranny is God’s plan for the ultimate advance of His Kingdom. Our time is temporal while God’s time is eternal.
Jeremiah warned the people of Judah not to resist the Babylonians that it was God’s judgment that caused their captivity and when they resisted they were resisting God.
Recently, a theologically sound Christian brother graciously explained to me why it is evil to “take to the streets” in protest against tyrannical government.
He wrote that God raises up pagan rulers to shame us into repentance and if we repent He raises up Godly rulers. If a nation fails to repent God keeps it under tyrannical rule or destroys it. Remedial action involves going to the lesser magistrates – councilmen to mayors, mayors to governors to presidents, etc. – and thinks taking to the streets is “resisting the ordinance” of God.
He further contends that today’s Christian church is not nearly as bad as it was in the days of Martin Luther and that we should “diplomatically and with love and care” approach church officers to explain our concerns. If this does not work he believes God will abandon us and raise up another civilization.
When revolutions are successful in overthrowing evil and oppressive regimes, the evil and repressive regime is often replaced by another violent, evil, and repressive regime. Governments, even evil governments, serve purposes that are necessary to the functioning of society. In our time the devastating results of revolution are evident in Libya, Syria, and now in the Ukraine. See here.
Revolutionary anarchism seldom produces a superior form of government. It is often fomented by forces that intend to impose their own rule on the chaos that results.
In over fifty years of my Christian walk I have approached several ministers with suggestions on improving fidelity to the Will of God. I have yet to find an ordained minister who will consider suggestions for improvement. The status of lay persons prevents them from becoming a source of correction.
A.W. Tozer, a self-educated Christian minister, described the situation well in his 1955 book “The Root of Righteousness”: “Churches and Christian organizations have shown a tendency to fall into the same error that destroyed Israel: inability to receive admonition. After a time of growth and successful labor comes the deadly psychology of self-congratulation. Success itself becomes the cause of later failure. The leaders come to accept themselves as the very chosen of God. They are special objects of divine favor; their success is proof enough that this is so. They must therefore be right, and anyone who tries to call them to account is instantly written off as an unauthorized meddler who should be ashamed to dare to reprove his betters.”
“If anyone imagines that we are merely playing with words let him approach at random any religious leader and call attention to the weaknesses and sins in his organization. Such a one will be sure to get the quick brush off, and if he dares to persist he will be confronted with reports and statistics to prove that he is dead wrong and completely out of order. ‘We be the seed of Abraham’ will be the burden of the defense. And who would dare find fault with Abraham’s seed?”
Tozer’s description of the plight of the clerisy (1955) seems to verify the condition of the contemporary Christian Church for a period longer than the forty year ministry of Jeremiah. Attempts, gracious or otherwise, to change church leaders have failed. My experience matches Tozer’s description.
I am afraid we are long past the time when attempting to reach leaders by starting with lessor magistrates can be used as an orderly and effective redemptive procedure. In his penetrating book “The Soul of the American University” George Marsden chronicles the secularization of our Christian schools of higher learning. In 1805 Harvard University, initially a Christian institution, elected Henry Ware, a Unitarian, as Hollis Professor of Divinity. The deterioration of the United States social order began in earnest over two centuries ago.
A perfunctory confrontation to the secularization of higher education took the form of alternative colleges. In 1808 Andover Theological Seminary was founded and dedicated by charter to be forever committed to orthodox Calvinism. Yale was founded as an alternative to Harvard. Slowly all of these institutions succumbed to the popular demand for a secular education.
Men are sinners and the urge to usurp God’s sovereignty is steady and strong. Antinomianism and Arminianism have been chipping away at sound Christian doctrine since settlers landed on the shores of North America. The sound doctrines carried to the new world by the Pilgrims and Puritans were resisted by some and challenged by others. John Wesley’s Methodists brought the heresies of Jacob Arminius and spread them throughout the colonies; Baptists and Congregationalists granted autonomy to individual congregations while Quakers, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Moravians, Catholics and Jews set up churches. Continuity of Protestant doctrine was lost very early in American history.
Arminianism found fertile ground but it was the scourge of Dispensationalism that effectively declawed the Lion of Judah. Removing Law from the Christian religion is like removing the heart from a human; it is the core of Christianity. R. J. Rushdoony claims that those who hate The Law hate God. The Law reveals the character of the God of the Bible. When Christian theologians teach free-will they rob God of sovereignty and a god who is not sovereign is not really God at all. Denominations that teach these two destructive “A”s are really foreign religions.
America has a secular government and its citizens have a secular mindset. Humanism has invaded our churches. God’s Law is so far from the thinking of most modern citizens that they consider stoning a guilty individual for breaking a mandate from the Creator of the Universe worse than using weapons of modern warfare to kill hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings all created in God’s image. The hysterical fear of Sharia law is a reflection of the appraisal of God’s Law. Fear has fostered unreasonable opinions that have distorted truth and contributed to the detachment from reality that is common in our culture. We are far down the road from obedience to the God of the Bible.
The Catholic Church of Luther’s day had usurped the use of the sword and sentenced heretics to death. It was, however, a visible evil that could be confronted as a single entity. Today, we are faced with scores of more subtle enemies. The landscape is covered with the dead bodies of religious organizations whose ghosts are still active but useless.
The sad, preplanned deterioration of the United States of America has never been effectively confronted with the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Luther confronted the Catholic Church directly forcing decisive action and the Reformation went on to confront the ruling class with the status of God’s Law teaching the people that both they and their rulers are subject to the higher legal standards imposed by The Creator.
Will God discard the United States of America and work with another civilization? Maybe, but considering that God sent Jonah to Nineveh to announce judgment and then caused the hearts of the people to repent making a liar out of a reluctant Jonah, we need to understand that His actions cannot always be predicted. God will determine the fate of our nation. It appears impossible from a human appraisal but prayer and confrontation have accomplished miracles and there is still hope for the miraculous.
Christians are vested with the responsibility of confronted evil with righteousness. Strident confrontations of sinful behavior properly express the Will of God and should be part of our resistance. Our God is not a pantywaist. We are to avoid chaos and anarchy but we are to be active in promoting the Kingdom of God against the pervasive kingdom of man.
Without a modern Jeremiah God’s directions must be conveyed through His Word. Public platforms for the dissemination of information are closely controlled and Christians are not allowed. The streets may be the only venue available for voicing true Christianity; don’t worry though, there a few Christians willing to take on such a responsibility.
My Christian friend who took issue with “taking to the streets” uses the word “ethics” in reference to “God’s Law”. He maintains that the meanings are the same. I believe he is wrong. Ethics is less offensive and is often used as a secular term whereas God’s Law is specific. Pulling punches may quell conflict but it is dishonest and breaches God’s injunction to let our yeas be yea and our nays be nay. R. J. Rushdoony writes, “A true church can suffer in battle, because it confronts the enemy; a false church refuses to battle, because it is at peace with sin and death, and does not know Jesus Christ as Lord.”
There is a time for war and a time for peace. Christians are losing the war because they refuse to suffer!
I cannot end this essay without including a quote for Rushdoony’s Second Volume of Systematic Theology (Page 967). This quote describes perfectly our condition and its remedy:
“We are then told, first, that for faithfulness to God’s law, man will be blessed in the weather, the land, and in it harvests (Lev.26:3-5). Second, there shall be peace, i.e., no danger from enemies external and internal. This peace goes hand in hand with victory (Lev. 26:6-8). Third, there will be fruitfulness, i.e., many children, because God’s covenant peace is with them. They will also have fruitful harvests and an abundance of food (Lev. 26:9-10). Fourth, God shall dwell among His people to keep them in safety (Lev. 26 11-13. Fifth, If they are disobedient or faithless, God will curse them. Terror, plagues, enemies, and more will pursue them, and they will see depopulation (Lev. 26:14-26). Famine will take its toll. Sixth, in their continued apostasy, they will be pushed into cannibalism and more. The Lord will destroy their cities, and their land will be made a desolation. They will be taken into captivity also. All this will allow the land to enjoy its Sabbaths as they go into captivity (Lev. 26:27-43. Seventh, in all of this, God will seek their restoration. His judgments will be covenant judgments, seeking their return to the law and the covenant (Lev. 26:44-46)”
Get a load of this chart from DataQuick’s National Home Sales Snapshot. It’ll tell you everything need to know about housing.
As you can see, prices are flatlining or drifting lower while sales are sinking like a stone. That’s the whole ball of wax, isn’t it?
Sure, sales will increase in the spring (as they always do), but judging by the sharp dropoff in last year’s hottest markets, this could be the crappiest spring selling season since the crash.
Because prices are too high, rates are too high, “organic” demand is too weak, credit is too tight, and the pool of potential buyers has shrunk to the size of a walnut, that’s why.
The banks have reduced the percentage of distressed homes (foreclosures and short sales) on the market to roughly 11 percent from 59 percent in 2009. Fewer distressed homes mean higher prices, but higher prices mean fewer sales. It’s a trade-off. The banks get their money, but the market goes to hell. That’s how it works. According to most estimates, there are roughly 4.5 million homes in some stage of foreclosure. That means that –at the present pace–we should get through this Housing Depression a few weeks before Judgment Day. But don’t hold me to that.
Did you catch this gem on Bloomberg last week? It’s about the big private equity guys exiting the market. Take a look:
“Blackstone Group LP is slowing its purchases of houses to rent amid soaring prices after a buying binge made it the biggest U.S. single-family home landlord. Blackstone’s acquisition pace has declined 70 percent from its peak last year, when the private equity firm was spending more than $100 million a week on properties, said Jonathan Gray, global head of real estate for the New York-based firm…
“The institutional wave has passed,” Gray, who oversees almost $80 billion in property investments, said in a telephone interview. ‘It’s at a much lower level than it was 12 or 24 months ago.’
Private-equity firms, hedge funds, real estate investment trusts and other institutional investors have spent more than $20 billion to buy as many as 200,000 rental homes in the last two years. They snapped up properties after prices fell as much as 35 percent from the 2006 peak…
American Homes 4 Rent and Colony American Homes, the second- and third-largest single-family landlords, also have been scaling back as bargains dry up…
“We’re going to have to probably slow down a little bit on our acquisition pace until we have a better view or actual certainty of the capital being available,” (Chief Executive Officer David ) Singelyn said.
Colony Financial Inc. (CLNY), a REIT that invests in Colony American Homes, slowed its funding for acquisitions last year to focus on improving operations, CEO Richard Saltzman said in a November conference call…
American Residential Properties Inc. (ARPI), a landlord with 6,000 homes, slowed acquisitions by almost half in its latest quarter ending Dec. 31. It invested $104 million in 633 homes compared with $204 million on 1,251 homes in the previous quarter, the Scottsdale, Arizona-based company said in a statement.” (Blackstone’s Home Buying Binge Ends as Prices Surge, Bloomberg)
Okay, so the speculators are getting out of housing. How’s that going to effect the market?
No one really knows yet, but it can’t be good, after all, all-cash deals amounted to nearly 50 percent of all homes sales in many of the hotter markets last year. That’s why prices went up even though the economy was still in the shitter, because the fatcats were loading up on cheap real estate. Now it looks like they’re headed for the hills. That’s NOT going to be good for sales.
Did you know that existing home sales have dropped for six months straight, dipping below trend to the same level they were at in 1998?
But how can that be, you ask, when everyone’s blabbing about the recovery? How can that be when the Fed has purchased more than $1.4 trillion in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and rates are a measly 4.5%? How can that be prices have been climbing higher for more than a year?
Sales are dropping because millions of people are underwater on their mortgages and can’t afford to move. Millions more are stuck in their homes and aren’t paying anything at all. Millions more have student debt up to their eyeballs and will probably never own a home. And millions more still can’t find a job. That’s why home sales are plunging, because the economy stinks. It’s that simple. Sure, the market got a nice little bump from Bernanke’s $4 trillion liquidity-surge. Big whoop. Besides, that was 2012-2013. Today things are different. Today the Fed is winding down QE and there’s even talk of rate-hike. How do you think that’s going to impact sales?
Now get a load of this from Redfin:
“Home sales continued to be sluggish in February, and decreasing affordability is holding back would-be buyers, according to Redfin…. Slow sales have been largely attributed to low inventory for months, but many markets have now seen inventory rise while sales continue to fall. Several markets along the West Coast have seen sharp increases in inventory, yet home sales in the West fell 13.4 percent year over year, hitting their lowest point in five years in the first two months of 2014, while prices rose 19.1 percent year over year…
West Coast Sales Hit Lowest Point in Five Years
– In Redfin’s West Coast markets, sales fell 13.4% from February 2013, and hit a five-year low in the first two months of 2014. Sales fell most dramatically in Las Vegas (-22.7%), Sacramento (-21.8%) and Ventura (-20.8%). Across 19 markets, sales fell 10.3%, with markets east of the Rockies taking a less dramatic hit and a few even seeing modest increases.” (Redfin)
Did you catch that part about “inventory rising while sales continue to fall”?
For months, the media has been using the “low inventory” excuse for the rotten sales figures. Now they’ve moved onto “bad weather” to pull the wool over people’s eyes. Talk about a lame excuse. It’s been in the 70 and 80s in California for most of the winter and sales are down by a whopping 13 percent. Are potential buyers staying at home because they’re afraid of getting skin cancer? Is that it? (That’ll probably be the next excuse.)
So why ARE home sales tanking?
It’s because you can’t buy a house if you’re working graveyard at Freddie’s Burger Bar for $8.50 an hour. It’s because you can’t put together a 20% down-payment if you’re camped out on Mom’s sofa in the attic along with Uncle Murray’s trombone and your Dad’s photo collection of soup cans. It’s because you can’t qualify for a mortgage when 100 percent of your weekly paycheck goes to paying the VISA, filling the gas-tank, and buying a few groceries at Danny’s Discount Foodmart. It can’t be done.
That’s what’s really going on. That’s why the share of firsttime homebuyers is currently at its lowest level ever. That’s why purchase applications are at an 18-year low. That’s why the homeownership rate has slipped to levels not seen since 1995. And that’s why mortgage originations were down almost 60 percent year-over-year. It’s because the economy sucks. Everyone knows it.
Now take a look at one last chart. It’s by Logan Mohtashami at dshort.com. from an article titled,Mortgage Purchase Applications Running Out Of Time.
As you can see, there’s a pretty close connection between incomes (the green line) and the mortgage purchase applications index. (The people who can afford to buy homes.)
Of course not, because most people assume there’s a relationship between ‘what a person earns’ and his ‘ability to buy a home’. After all, we haven’t always lived in this bizarro credit-addled world where anyone who can sit upright in a chair and sign his name on the dotted line can buy a $450,000 rambler in Orchard Hills. That’s a fairly new development.
And that brings us to the point of this article, which is to show that all the monetary hocus pocus has achieved nothing. The Fed’s Koolaid infusions have been a dead-loss. The market is still flat on its back. Kaput. Which shows, that if you want to fix housing, you have to fix the economy. And if you want to fix the economy; you have to put people back to work and pay them a fair wage. It’s that simple.
So why can’t anyone in Washington figure it out?
(Note: As this article was going to press, the latest “existing home sales” data was released.) According to USA Today:
“Existing home sales slowed again in February, falling to the lowest pace in 19 months.”
So February was even slower than the coldest month of the year, January?
“We are witnessing a huge geopolitical game in which the aim is the destruction of Russia as a geopolitical opponent of the US or of the global financial oligarchy…..The realization of this project is in line with the concept of global domination that is being carried out by the US.”
- Vladimir Yakunin, former Russian senior diplomat
“History shows that wherever the U.S. meddles; chaos and misery are soon to follow.”
- Kalithea, comments line, Moon of Alabama
Following a 13 year rampage that has reduced large swathes of Central Asia and the Middle East to anarchy and ruin, the US military juggernaut has finally met its match on a small peninsula in southeastern Ukraine that serves as the primary operating base for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. Crimea is the door through which Washington must pass if it intends to extend its forward-operating bases throughout Eurasia, seize control of vital pipeline corridors and resources, and establish itself as the dominant military/economic power-player in the new century. Unfortunately, for Washington, Moscow has no intention of withdrawing from the Crimea or relinquishing control of its critical military outpost in Sevastopol. That means that the Crimea–which has been invaded by the Cimmerians, Bulgars, Greeks, Scythians, Goths, Huns, Khazars, Ottomans, Turks, Mongols, and Germans–could see another conflagration in the months ahead, perhaps, triggering a Third World War, the collapse of the existing global security structure, and a new world order, albeit quite different from the one imagined by the fantasists at the Council on Foreign Relations and the other far-right think tanks that guide US foreign policy and who are responsible for the present crisis.
How Washington conducts itself in this new conflict will tell us whether the authors of the War on Terror–that public relations hoax that concealed the goals of eviscerated civil liberties and one world government–were really serious about actualizing their NWO vision or if it was merely the collective pipedream of corporate CEOs and bored bankers with too much time on their hands. In the Crimea, the empire faces a real adversary, not a disparate group of Kalashinov-waving jihadis in flip-flops. This is the Russian Army; they know how to defend themselves and they are prepared to do so. That puts the ball in Obama’s court. It’s up to him and his crackpot “Grand Chessboard” advisors to decide how far they want to push this. Do they want to intensify the rhetoric and ratchet up the sanctions until blows are exchanged, or pick up their chips and walk away before things get out of hand? Do they want to risk it all on one daredevil roll of the dice or move on to Plan B? That’s the question. Whatever US policymakers decide, one thing is certain, Moscow is not going to budge. Their back is already against the wall. Besides, they know that a lunatic with a knife is on the loose, and they’re ready to do whatever is required to protect their people. If Washington decides to cross that line and provoke a fight, then there’s going to trouble. It’s as simple as that.
Perma-hawk, John McCain thinks that Obama should take off the gloves and show Putin who’s boss. In an interview with TIME magazine McCain said “This is a chess match reminiscent of the Cold War and we need to realize that and act accordingly…We need to take certain measures that would convince Putin that there is a very high cost to actions that he is taking now.”
“High cost” says McCain, but high cost for who?
What McCain fails to realize is that this is not Afghanistan and Obama is not in a spitting match with puppet Karzai. Leveling sanctions against Moscow will have significant consequences, the likes of which could cause real harm to US interests. Did we mention that “ExxonMobil’s biggest non-US oil project is a collaboration with Russia’s Rosneft in the Arctic, where it has billions of dollars of investments at stake.” What if Putin decides that it’s no longer in Moscow’s interest to honor contracts that were made with US corporations? What do you think the reaction of shareholders will be to that news? And that’s just one example. There are many more.
Any confrontation with Russia will result in asymmetrical attacks on the dollar, the bond market, and oil supplies. Maybe the US could defeat Russian forces in the Crimea. Maybe they could sink the fleet and rout the troops, but there’ll be a heavy price to pay and no one will be happy with the outcome. Here’s a clip from an article at Testosterone Pit that sums it up nicely:
“Sergei Glazyev, the most hardline of Putin’s advisors, sketched the retaliation strategy: Drop the dollar, sell US Treasuries, encourage Russian companies to default on their dollar-denominated debts, and create an alternative currency system with the BRICS and hydrocarbon producers like Venezuela and Iran…
Putin’s ally and trusted friend, Rosneft president Igor Sechin…suggested that it was “advisable to create an international stock-exchange for the participating countries, where transactions could be registered with the use of regional currencies.” (From Now On, No Compromises Are Possible For Russia, Testosterone Pit)
As the US continues to abuse its power, these changes become more and more necessary. Foreign governments must form new alliances in order to abandon the present system–the “dollar system”–and establish greater parity between nation-states, the very nation-states that Washington is destroying one-by-one to establish its ghoulish vision of global corporate utopia. The only way to derail that project is by exposing the glaring weakness in the system itself, which is the use of an international currency that is backed by $15 trillion in government debt, $4 trillion in Federal Reserve debt, and trillions more in unpaid and unpayable federal obligations. Whatever steps Moscow takes to abort the current system and replace the world’s reserve currency with money that represents a fair store of value, should be applauded. Washington’s reckless and homicidal behavior around the world make it particularly unsuitable as the de facto steward of the global financial system or to enjoy seigniorage, which allows the US to play banker to the rest of the world. The dollar is the foundation upon which rests the three pillars of imperial strength; political, economic and military. Remove that foundation and the entire edifice comes crashing to earth. Having abused that power, by killing and maiming millions of people across the planet; the world needs to transition to another, more benign way of consummating its business transactions, preferably a currency that is not backed by the blood and misery of innocent victims. Paul Volcker summed up the feelings of many dollar-critics in 2010 when he had this to say:
“The growing sense around much of the world is that we have lost both relative economic strength and more important, we have lost a coherent successful governing model to be emulated by the rest of the world. Instead, we’re faced with broken financial markets, underperformance of our economy and a fractious political climate.”
America is irreparably broken and Washington is a moral swamp. The world needs regime change; new leaders, new direction and a different system.
In our last article, we tried to draw attention to the role of big oil in the present crisis. Author Nafeez Ahmed expands on that theme in a “must read” article in Monday’s Guardian. Check out this brief excerpt from Ahmed’s piece titled “Ukraine crisis is about Great Power oil, gas pipeline rivalry”:
“Ukraine is increasingly perceived to be critically situated in the emerging battle to dominate energy transport corridors linking the oil and natural gas reserves of the Caspian basin to European markets… Considerable competition has already emerged over the construction of pipelines. Whether Ukraine will provide alternative routes helping to diversify access, as the West would prefer, or ‘find itself forced to play the role of a Russian subsidiary,’ remains to be seen.” (Guardian)
The western oil giants have been playing “catch up” for more than a decade with Putin checkmating them at every turn. As it happens, the wily KGB alum has turned out to be a better businessman than any of his competitors, essentially whooping them at their own game, using the free market to extend his network of pipelines across Central Asia and into Europe. That’s what the current crisis is all about. Big Oil came up “losers” in the resource war so now they want Uncle Sam to apply some muscle to put them back in the game. It’s called “sour grapes”, which refers to the whining that people do when they got beat fair and square. Here’s more from Ahmed:
“To be sure, the violent rioting was triggered by frustration with (Ukrainian President) Yanukovych’s rejection of the EU deal, (in favor of Putin’s sudden offer of a 30% cheaper gas bill and a $15 billion aid package) along with rocketing energy, food and other consumer bills, linked to Ukraine’s domestic gas woes ….. Police brutality to suppress what began as peaceful demonstrations was the last straw…” (Ukraine crisis is about Great Power oil, gas pipeline rivalry, Guardian)
In other words, Yanukovych rejected an offer from Chevron that the EU and Washington were pushing, and went with the sweeter deal from Russia. According to Ahmed, that pissed off the bigwigs who decided to incite the rioting. (“Putin’s sudden offer of a 30% cheaper gas bill and a $15 billion aid package provoked the protests…”)
Like we said before; it’s just a case of sour grapes.
So, tell me, dear reader: Is this the first time you’ve heard a respected analyst say that oil was behind the rioting, the coup, and the confrontation with Moscow?
I’ll bet it is. Whatever tentacles Wall Street may have wrapped around the White House, Capital Hill, and the US judiciary; Big Oil still rules the roost. The Apostles of the Fossil are the oldest and most powerful club in Washington, and “What they say, goes”. As Ahmed so articulately points out:
“Resource scarcity, competition to dominate Eurasian energy corridors, are behind Russian militarism and US interference…Ukraine is caught hapless in the midst of this accelerating struggle to dominate Eurasia’s energy corridors in the last decades of the age of fossil fuels.” (“Ukraine crisis is about Great Power oil, gas pipeline rivalry”, Guardian)
Did I hear someone say “Resource War”?
As we noted in an earlier article, NWO mastermind Zbigniew Brzezinski characterized the conflict with Russia in terms of cutting off “Western access to the Caspian Sea and Central Asia”. For some unknown reason, America’s behemoth oil corporations think the resources that lie beneath Russian soil belong to them. The question is whether their agents will push Obama to put American troops at risk to assert that claim. If they do, there’s going to be a war.
Once upon a time, there was an industrial combine in Nazi Germany called IG Farben. It was the largest chemical/pharmaceutical octopus in the world. It owned companies, and it had favorable business agreements with companies from England to Central America to Japan.
As I mentioned in a recent article, the author of The Devil’s Chemists, Josiah DuBois, traveled to Guatemala in the early days of World War 2, and returned with the comment that, as far as he could tell, Guatemala was “a wholly owned subsidiary of Farben.”
The pharmaceutical empire was and is one of the major forces behind the European Union (EU). It is no accident that these drug corporations wield such power. They aren’t only involved in controlling the medical cartel; they are political planners.
This is how and why Big Pharma fits so closely with what is loosely referred to as the New World Order. The aim of enrolling every human in a cradle-to-grave system of disease diagnosis and toxic drug treatment has a larger purpose: to debilitate, to weaken populations.
This is a political goal. It facilitates control.
IG Farben’s component companies, at the outbreak of World War 2, were Bayer, BASF, and Hoechst. They were chemical and drug companies. Farben put Hitler over the top in Germany, and the war was designed to lead to a united Europe that would be dominated by the Farben nexus.
The loss of the war didn’t derail that plan. It was shifted into an economic blueprint, which became, eventually, the European Union.
The European Commission’s first president was Walter Hallstein, the Nazi lawyer who, during the war, had been in charge of post-war legal planning for the new Europe.
As the Rath Foundation reports: In 1939, on the brink of the war, Hallstein had stated, “The creation of the New Law [of the Nazis] is ONLY the task of the law-makers!”
In 1957, with his reputation sanitized, Hallstein spoke the words in this manner: “The European Commission has full and unlimited power for all decisions related to the architecture of this European community.”
Post-war, IG Farben was broken up into separate companies, but those companies were following a common agenda. If, for example, you want to know why the endless debate over labeling GMO food rivals the real issue—banning GMO crops altogether—you can look to these Farben allies: Bayer, BASF, and Sanofi, among others.
They are among the leaders in GMO research and production. BASF cooperates withMonsanto on research projects. Sanofi is a leader in GM vaccine research.
The original IG Farben had a dream. Its executives and scientists believed they could eventually produce, synthetically, any compound in a laboratory. They could dominate world industry in this fashion.
The dream never died. Today, they see gene-manipulation as the route to that goal.
I refer you to the explosive book, The Nazi Roots of the Brussels EU, by Paul Anthony Taylor, Aleksandra Niedzwiecki, Dr. Matthias Rath, and August Kowalczyk. You can read it at relay-of-life.com. It is a dagger in the heart of the EU.
At the Rath Foundation, you can also read Joseph Borkin’s classic, “The Crime and Punishment of IG Farben.”
In 1992, I was deeply engaged in researching the specific devastating effects of medical drugs. Eventually, I concluded that, at the highest levels of power, these drugs weren’t destructive by accident. They were intended to cause harm. This was covert chemical warfare against the population of the planet. The Rockefeller-Standard Oil-Farbenconnection was a primary piece of the puzzle.
It was, of course, Rockefeller (and Carnegie) power that forced the birth of pharmaceutical medicine in America, with the publication of the 1910 Flexner Report. The Report was used to excoriate and marginalize Chiropractic, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, and other forms of traditional natural practice, in favor of what would become the modern juggernaut of drug-based treatment.
In an article about the FDA, “Medical Murder in the Matrix,” I point out the fact that this federal agency has permitted at least 100,000 deaths of Americans, per year, from the direct effects of drugs it, the FDA, has certified as safe.
The FDA knows these death figures. “Unintended” and “accidental” can no longer be applied to this ongoing holocaust.
The same can be held true for the pharmaceutical industry itself.
People are exceedingly reluctant to come to this obvious conclusion. They prefer to hem and haw and invent excuses or deny the facts.
To understand the dimensions and history of the ongoing chemical warfare against the population, in the form of medical drugs (and of course pesticides), one must factor in the original octopus, IG Farben.
World War 2 never ended. It simply shifted its strategies.
And just as one can trace extensive collaboration between major American corporations and the Nazi war machine, during the military phase of the war, today you see American corporations wreaking destructive havoc on the American people, as Dow, DuPont, Monsanto and others “work their magic for a better life.”
In any fascist system, the bulk of the people working inside the system, including scientists, refuse to believe the evidence of what is happening before their own eyes. They insist they are doing good. They believe they are on the right side. They see greater top-down control as necessary and correct. They adduce reasonable explanations for inflicted harm and death.
This is how and why conspiracies can exist. Only a few people, at the very top, need to know the true motives.
Everyone else tells themselves fairy tales. This deep-seated obsession is an integral part of mind control, and ultimately it is self-inflicted.
The self-created victim calculates: “I would rather stay in my dream than wake up to a nightmare.”
Yes, but acknowledging the nightmare is a step on the road to liberation.
In centuries past, empires conquered foreign lands and made colonies out of them. When that era ended, a less overt style of military and economic conquest was initiated. But there is something most people don’t realize.
When richer nations now go into poorer nations, the so-called incidental goal of bringing “life-saving” medical care with them is a front and a pose.
One of the chief goals of the conquerors is, in fact, pharmaceutical. Changing the habits of populations, so they come to rely on these drugs is high on the to-do list. It rings up profit, of course, for the pharmaceutical empire, and it also poisons the poor into even greater desolation than they are already experiencing. They become even easier to control.
On top of that, the actual untreated causes of the routine desolation—starvation, generation-to-generation malnutrition, contaminated water supplies, lack of general sanitation, overcrowding, and previously stolen agricultural land—are shoved on the back burner of the global media.
Suddenly, we learn that various germ-caused diseases are the real scourges of these countries, and help is coming (slowly), in the form of drugs that kill the germs, along with the medical heroes who will deliver these drugs.
This is a cover story. It’s a preposterous lie. In the conditions of desolation mentioned above, it doesn’t matter what germs are present, and trying to attack them is futile and absurd.
The general desolation weakens and destroys immune systems. At that point, what would normally be completely harmless germs, any germs, can sweep through an area and cause death and severe illness, because the routine processes of the immune system, which would immediately neutralize the germs, are disabled.
The “medical intervention” is meant to defer, for yet another day, the remedying of the actual problems that keep causing disease—and the medical drugs create new and lethal toxicity, leading to more deaths.
This is the standard op of the modern pharmaceutical empire. To know it is proceeding apace, all you have to do is see foreign doctors getting off planes in Third World countries, or read about some drug giant that is undertaking a humanitarian program of supplying medicines and vaccines to “people in desperate need of them.”
The author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon Rappoport was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com
The desperation of the Anglo-American leadership, guided by the steady corrupt banker hands, has never been more acutely high, nor obvious in full view. The entire Ukraine situation is a travesty. It includes Langley agents killing police and street demonstrators from rooftops, the confirmation coming from the Estonian Embassy (translation of scripts). It includes thefts of official Ukrainian Govt funds, again sent to the Swiss hill sanctuary. It includes sanctions delivered by a US Paper Tiger, sure to cause horrific backlash. It involves the last gasp attempt to obstruct the Gazprom energy pipelines, which will inevitably corner the European market in monopoly. It involves subterfuge with the NATO card (aka Narcotics And Treachery Outlaws) with missiles placed on the Russian borders. Look for NATO members to find a back door to exit the spurious treaty. It involves playing with nitro-glycerine in the Petro-Dollar room. It involves putting tremendous risk for much more clear isolation of the United States. The more the USGovt pushes, the more the US will be isolated. Remember that Nazis steal from their enemy states, de-fraud from their allied states, and force themselves into an isolated state. In Ukraine, the United States has over-played its weak hand. Already, a secret document was leaked in London that the UKGovt would not support the US-led sanctions against Russia.
History repeats itself from the Kremlin phone calls made during the Syrian conflict just a few months ago, when the UKGovt withdrew its support and left the US isolated, looking very weak. Already, Putin has threatened to dump USTreasury Bonds. Putin aptly calls the Anglo-Americans as Mutants. Imagine the lunacy of trying to cut off the only Russian warm water military naval port in the Crimea. Just as stupid as the Trans Pacific Partnership faux pas, trying to cut off China from its Asian neighbors and partners in trade. The intelligence level of the USGovt has never been more stupid, destructive, and in full view. The lost ground for the United States is obvious and glaring in the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Caucasus region.
IMMEDIATE PETRO-DOLLAR RISK
If the Kremlin demands Gold bullion (or even Russian Rubles) for oil payments, then the interventions to subvert the Ruble currency by the London and Wall Street houses will backfire and blow up in the bankster faces. Expect any surplus Rubles would be converted quickly to Gold bullion. If the Chinese demand that they are permitted to pay for oil shipments in Yuan currency, then the entire Petro-Dollar platform will be subjected to sledge hammers and wrecking balls. The new Petro-Yuan defacto standard will have been launched from the Shanghai outpost. If the Saudis curry favor to the Russians and Chinese by accepting non-USDollar payments for oil shipments, then the Petro-Dollar is dead and buried. The rise of the Nat Gas Coop run by Gazprom is in progress, its gas pipelines to strangle the OPEC and its bastard Petro-Dollar child. The entire USDollar foundation with the USTreasury Bond bank reserve structure is at risk is collapsing, as consequence to the desperate adventure and criminal activity conducted in Ukraine.Just like with Syria, a hidden giant energy deposit is concealed under the table. Off the Lebanese and Syrian coast, a massive off-shore energy deposit was recently discovered. The US & UK & Israeli oligarchs wish to take it all. Confusion is their game. In the western plains of Ukraine, a massive gas deposit was recently discovered. The US & European oligarchs wish to take it all. Confusion is their game.
The danger level has never been higher. No resolution to the Global Monetary War can come, which we have been seeking, without a climax. It is hardly just a financial crisis amidst a stubborn economic recovery. The nature of the currencies and their underlying sovereign bond foundation is highly toxic, which requires a strong replacement as solution, using an alternative to the USDollar alongside its reserve ledger item the USTreasury Bond. A return to the Gold Standard is coming, but the birth will have loud pangs and possibly broad damage suffered. The Global Currency Reset is better named the Return to the Gold Standard. The United States and London will not give up their control of the Weimar Printing Press easily, used for elite self-dole of extreme wealth. It has served well as the Elite credit card. They will not go quietly, and assume their place in the backwater without taking the world to the brink. No climax can occur without enormous risk and loss. The Global Paradigm Shift is in full gear, with attendant risk huge here and now. My Jackass firm belief is that the US/UK fascist team face a Waterloo event in Ukraine, the victim to be the Imperial Dollar. This bulletin will not be a comprehensive note, as the situation is too vast. The information in the Hat Trick Letter is used to interweave a story of the impending removal of the USDollar from its corrupt throne.
UNITED STATES TRAPPED AND CORNERED
The Anglo Americans have fallen into a carefully designed trap by the Russians and Chinese in a clever designed sequence. More Sun Tzu tactics have been put into practice, which utilize the momentum from the enemy to be thrust back on them. Planning for final steps must have taken place during high level Putin meetings with Xi from the elite Sochi viewing box. The unfolding of events has been more carefully engineered and orchestrated than what appears. The US/UK team has been caught in a vise for months, as the rejection of the USDollar as global reserve currency is in high gear, the refusal of the USTBond a recognized trend in diversifications. The death process is slow and grueling. Much of the American Hemisphere is surrounded and controlled by Russia & China, whether the canal, the port facilities, the oil supply, the mineral deposits, even Yuan Swap facilities. Africa has largely gone under Chinese control, with Russia playing a hidden role as well.
The Persian Gulf is in transition, with the critical protectorate role shifting to China. The Qatar royals have just ordered a dismissal of USGovt ambassadors from their nation. Note that Qatar is the site of a giant USNaval base. To be sure, the Sochi Olympic Games are over, a successful event. The gloves have thus come off. The risks have reached acute levels. The US leadership seems cavalier to the risks that over half the USGovt debt is in foreign hands, over 30% of it in Russian & Chinese hands. A severe backlash cometh. The most vulnerable player in the room is the most aggressive, arrogant, vile, and obnoxious. The instability of the situation is far beyond acute. The victim will be the USDollar and its sidekick the USTreasury Bond. The USTBonds will be kicked out of the global banking system. The Third World awaits the United States, for its domestic betrayals, its financial failures, its criminal deeds, and its war aggression.
THE RUSSIAN BACKLASH TO BE SUDDEN
Russian President Vladimir Putin will slam the West, and very soon. The initial salvo might be a natural gas cutoff by Gazprom, the Russian giant which has fast moved into the global monopoly position. Eventually, Putin might demand gold payment for the natgas in the captured pipelines, that being the plan according to The Voice. Russia supplies one quarter of Western European gas needs. It will be the opening salvo for Gold Trade Settlement, for which the Iran workarounds to the sanctions provided the critical prototype. Combined with a formal announcement of USTreasury Bond sales in volume by Russia & China, the impact would be tremendous, even devastating. The reverberation will be soon seen as the pending demise of the defacto Petro-Dollar Standard, dictated by crude oil sales in USD terms. It will also be soon seen as the end of the USTBond as the global reserve standard in banking systems. Notice for over two years, the primary buyer of USGovt debt (and its refunded rollover) has been the US Federal Reserve via bond monetization, an absolute heresy to central banking. Hyper monetary inflation cannot stand as fixed policy. The world has responded by constructing an alternative to trade settlement. The forum has been the BRICS conferences and the G-20 Meetings of finance ministers. The US & UK will gradually be excluded from both forums, a process well along. Even traditional allies like Japan are buying gold in high volume, with suppressed lowball data so far. This is game over for the USDollar, the direct victim of Ukraine backlash. The war against Russia has been veiled, but the Jackass has exposed it.
VEILED ATTACKS AGAINST RUSSIAN GAZPROM
First was the attack against Russian Gazprom in Cyprus. It was a hidden attack made to look like a bank confiscation event. Notice no bank account confiscations outside the small but important island nation. The entire Russian banking clearance system had been done through Cyprus. Also, Russia was making significant transactions to purchase Gold bullion using Cyprus as clearing house for the purchases. Second was the attack against Russian Gazprom in Syria, another complicated event. The US had used the Libyan Embassy as a weapons running facility (major diplomatic violation), after which the US lost Egypt as a transfer station on the weapons running. The false flag attack in Syria was made to look like a chemical weapons event. However, the Saudis were the guilty party. The motive by the US was to block the advance of Russian Gazprom pipelines, which are to connect to the vast Iran supply centers. Iran has far more oil & gas than Iraq. In fact, Iran is the linchpin nation, which will throw its support toward Russia. Iran will push the Nat Gas Coop certain to eclipse Saudi Arabia and the loud gaggle of OPEC members. With the Russian Gazprom, together Iran and the Nat Gas Coop will usher in the Petro-Yuan Standard and bury the Petro-Dollar, the price set by Russia, the contracts set in Shanghai. Thus the Saudis will be expendable, and their Gold in London to be totally stolen.
Move to the present. Third was the attack against Russia Gazprom in Ukraine, done by the CIA and its partner security agents from the small ally nation on the SouthEast Med corner. The old game of destabilization, popular uprising, bank thefts, and now data files stolen has been put into action. The theft of significant funds in Ukraine has only started, funds gone to Swiss banks. The full betrayal will be seen soon. The US & UK have a lunatic plan to corral the Ukraine pipelines and possibly the vast farmlands of Ukraine. The wrong-footed plan will backfire, when Putin cuts off the natgas supply to Europe, when Putin demands a new type of energy supply payment structure, and when Putin engineers certain other steps. They might execute a Nat Gas Coop double in price, much like the OPEC event in 1973. Witness the upcoming Birth of the Eurasian Trade Zone, the birth pangs heard in Ukraine. The United States and Great Britain will not be included. The Eurasian Trade Zone will span 14 time zones and will settle in gold.
IRAN WORKAROUND AS KEY PROTOTYPE SOLUTION
The Anglo Americans have disrupted a key nation with longstanding historical and religious ties to Russia. The land of Ukraine also contains Russia’s only warm water naval port in the Crimea, the site of a recent suspicious earthquake. The response will be swift and firm. The Eastern nations (led by China & Russia) have been making detailed preparations in the last couple years to launch the alternative trade system founded in Gold Settlement. Its launch lacks a potential open door trigger, possibly offered by the Ukraine situation. The Gold Standard could return in a baptism by fire. The open door trigger appears to be the Western interventions into Ukraine, since the Western banking structures will not be permitted to collapse, the ugly reality. The abuse of the central bank monetary expansion and fraudulent bond redemption has gone totally out of control, forcing an endless cycle of alternative preparations and motivated reactions, including the Iran workaround with Turkey as intermediary in gold provision. Other attacks have taken place in the last few months against the Russian Ruble by Wall Street firms. The reaction will possibly be the launch of what could eventually be understood to be a gold-backed Ruble currency, combined with natgas cutoffs to Europe and USTBond dumps. At first it could be perceived as the oil-backed Ruble, but its quick hidden conversion to Gold bullion could be revealed later on. The USDollar will be discarded as obsolete, even toxic. The USDollar debt basis might be widely accepted to be the cause of the global financial crisis, and the USFed Quantitative Easing be widely understood to be the cause of the global financial collapse.
EUROPE AS KEY REGION TO TIP EASTWARD
Events inside Western Europe could unfold rapidly. Behind the scenes, much is happening. The important German-French Axis is breaking down, weakened by each passing month and bailout exercise. The motive for much of the German support of bailouts and rescue plans, as faulty as they have been, is the oversized German ownership of both French Govt debt and big French banks. They will fail, both the French sovereign debt and the big French banks. Germany must undergo a split, with a restructure from the devastating damage due to Southern European sovereign debt and related big bank losses. At the same time, Germany is on the verge of turning East to Russia. Already Russia is a large energy and mineral supplier to Germany, the heavy railway facilities in place. The core of Nordic Europe is firm. Austria and Finland are aligned with the pragmatic forces in Germany and the Netherlands. Italy is being transformed, but Spain might be lost to chaos. Turkey is also undergoing change during chaotic reform. The entire NATO Alliance has never been weaker. The military action in Ukraine is framed as a supposed NATO exercise to honor a treaty. Watch the loose end like Turkey fall off the NATO wagon, while Finland falls off the Euro currency wagon. The Jackass is eager to see the Snowden NSA files reveal key data on the illicit usage of NATO bases for narcotics distribution, the origin being Afghanistan. What a bombshell it would be if Turkey announced that their government would no longer permit heroin shipments from USMilitary aircraft on their Incirlik Airbase.
A key player in the mix is Israel. They have a Tamar floating platform, whose natgas has been pledged under contract to Russian Gazprom. The tiny nation is possibly changing its alliances out of pragmatism, seeing its drained weakened host that has duly served its purpose. The next big step is for Western Ukraine to suffer the drain of remaining resources (financial and agricultural) to the West, using all the diplomatic tools the Euro Elite can muster. The people in the East will realize that they have been betrayed once more by the Western powers. This is the critical final step. Several swing nations will consequently align with Germany, if only to make being integrated by Russia less painful. During all the transitions, China will take care of Asia in this game. The remaining overriding question is whether the US & Britain will go quietly in the night of faded empires, or else to wreck the world with nukes and viruses. The main exports out of the United States and its royal handlers have been fraudulent bonds, military hardware, genetically modified food, fast food with diabetes, pharmaceuticals, surveillance software, computer viruses, and jamming software technology. Such is the nature of the fascist transformation.
RUSSIA CANNOT BE ISOLATED
The West is in for a gigantic surprise in the sequence of events to unfold. They have placed criminal oligarchs into top government positions in Ukraine. Doing so might suit the West but not the Ukrainian people. The political brain trust in Berlin shows extremely errant strategy, still kowtowing to the USGovt and London Elite in an incomprehensible manner. The West cannot isolate Russia, which is the latest absurd bone-headed strategy. They need Russia in vital ways that will become apparent when the West faces energy supply cutoff or forced Gold payments during an open global USDollar rejection. The US will quickly feel the lost Petro-Dollar gear mechanisms. China has already aligned itself beside Russia, which makes isolation impossible. Consider the Russian commodity supply and Chinese industrial power, the new axis to the Eurasian Trade Zone.
The West cannot continue to bully Russia & China. Poking a stick in the bear’s face will not work for long. Disrespecting the Chinese creditor is deep folly. The risk that coincides is for the two Asian superpowers to threaten or actually execute a dumping initiative of USTreasury Bonds, and force the United States to use its last card in a grotesque display of hugely amplified monetary expansion. The US would collapse by falling on its own sword, the event occurring in the Weimar chamber. A super high volume bond monetization machine to cover globally dumped USTBonds is a strong likelihood as climax event, with a broken derivative mechanism that is revealed during its fracture. The London banker murders (another Jackass correct forecast, made in mid-2011) indicate a motive to keep covered up the extreme $100 billion JPMorgan derivative losses at the hands of the London Whale Bruno Iksil, first sighted in May 2012. The accelerated hyper monetary inflation in response to Russian & Chinese joint retaliation would finally kill the USDollar. The echo event, born from failure, would be for the USGovt to launch the new split Scheiss Dollar. Then the USGovt could have its domestic currency finally, and then wreck it with an assured painful sequence of devaluations. The fundamentals for the US domestic only currency are truly horrible, typical of a Third World nation. Ukraine is about the last gasp of the USDollar. It has no viable defense.
UKRAINE AS WATERLOO FOR THE US DOLLAR
Ukraine is the Waterloo event for Team Obama and the Wall Street handlers, the true controllers of the White House puppet. Ukraine will lead to wreckage to the USDollar and its USTBond partner in crime. Witness the death of the USDollar and the Birth of both the Gold Trade Standard, on the new Eurasian Trade Zone landscape. Neither Russia nor China will cooperate on the IMF super sovereign reformed currency basket at this point, not during extreme hostility and conflict. Hope and pray for cooler heads to prevail, since already many serious military attacks have occurred with advanced weapons off the Syrian coast. The Western Press prefers to frame the Ukraine situation as one more curious Orange Revolution event staged in Eastern Europe, akin to the other deceptive Arab Spring events. The old Soviet Union was trapped years ago, forced to use hyper monetary inflation in defense, as the nation imploded financially. The United States is now trapped in an ironic parallel manner, and will be exposed for its heretic inflationary response that ramps up to obscene volumes, followed by financial implosion. In fact, the events from here onward are the final hurrah for the USDollar regime and the criminal cabal.
Now has never been a better time to own a big stack of gold & silver coins & bars, stored in a secure place outside the United States, outside England, outside Switzerland, even outside Canada. The people must defend against a climax of systemic failure, led by arrogance, stupidity, desperation, and delusion, even armed aggression. It remains to be seen whether the Kremlin has some secret allies who might emerge in time, from other worlds. But that is an entire other story to be told someday maybe. We earthlings will all find out soon enough. Times are changing fast, and better to be alert than to get hurt. The Global Currency Reset lies directly ahead, complete with its doubled Gold price and doubled Silver price. The Russians & Chinese are motivated to respond to a military prod, poke, and nudge by delivering a financial response. The rejection of the USDollar is near. The rapid diversification away from the USTreasury Bond is near. The arrival of the new Global Gold Standard is imminent.
In this high-speed society we created for ourselves, Americans live in traffic-congested cities with skyscrapers piercing the sky.
On the ground floor, humans race to catch crowded busses, packed subways and Yellow Cabs. With expressways gridlocked from dawn to dusk, people overflow sidewalks and sirens slash through the air 24/7. The evening news reports robberies, accidents, homicides and a plethora of calamities too numerous for human emotions to endure.
But if you look at all the people living in cities, whether in their workplace or their office cubicle, what do you see on the partition wall?
You see posters of what they would rather being doing: windsurfing, skiing, sunbathing on a beach in the Caribbean, scuba diving, dancing, mountain climbing, camping, rafting, bicycling and a dozen other activities they would rather be living.
If you’re one of those people wishing you lived a different life or wishing you could live your dreams, then why don’t you go after it?
Why not live your poster instead of wishing you were windsurfing across Lake Tahoe or sunning on the beach in Hawaii?
Did you ever wonder how those people you see traveling around the world with a backpack or bicycle, or climbing mountains or taking a winter off to go ski bumming do it?
They defeat the tyranny of resistance.
Henry David Thoreau said, “The mass of men and women live lives of quiet desperation”.
In 2014 America, anyone at any station in life, at any age, can renew his or her life by choice, by intention and by action. Such individuals learn how to defeat the “tyranny of resistance.”
First of all, what constitutes this modern day tyranny that locks people into cubicle prisons in cities or into humdrum jobs that provide zero meaning?
Such persons yield to an inner resistance to transform themselves because they feel afraid, don’t know how to break their cubicle-bonds and, often times, none of their office mates know any better. It’s easier to be safe with the constancy and comfort of a paycheck and friends.
Do you remember the TV sitcom “King of Queens” with the fat boy Kevin James and co-star Leah Remini, who also got fat in the series, staged in New York City? They never showed any happiness, but mostly conflict. Their jobs: meaningless! They didn’t know how to escape their relationship or their jobs.
If you live such a scenario, how can you avoid a lifetime of regrets?
- Find your gift of what turns you on to life. Discover your talent, your ability, your genius and your expertise. You can find it by examining what you do in your spare time. Pursue it, love it and live it.
- Practice self-awareness. Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living”. Instead of going through the motions, create your own wave and ride it.
- Incorporate your independent will as a “course correction” on your way to your life’s destination. As Jack London said, “You can’t wait for inspiration to change your life; you have to go after it with a club.”
- Discover your True North in the scheme of your life. That’s your soul’s true knowing and what you desire most about your life. It’s your deepest truth.
Finally, you must engage your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.
Exercise daily to blow off excess energy in the body to release your mind to express itself. Eat healthy foods to maintain a lean frame. That, in turn, allows you emotional balance that originates with your relationship with friends, families and co-workers. For your mental well-being, read books, take classes and express yourself through journaling, painting, sculpting or other art forms. Finally, feed your spiritual being via inspirational books, church or nature, and the peace you find from a walk down a tree-lined path.
You will find the tyranny of resistance fades as you walk or gallop toward your happiness in work, play and friends. You won’t wish for what you see in the poster on your cubicle wall, you will live it for real.
“Show me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are” — ancient proverb.
The conflicts in Ukraine, Venezuela, and Syria have one thing in common: the U.S. government is in favor of the groups who aspire to topple — or who have toppled — the government in power. Thus, U.S. politicians are giving either political, financial, or military support to these “opposition” movements.
But in all three cases there are leading groups steering the “opposition” that want absolutely nothing to do with democracy — these groups are as far-right as politics gets: European-style fascism in Ukraine, Islamic extremism in Syria, and in Venezuela the elite-favored tradition of military dictatorships.
But there has been a virtual U.S. media blackout as to the leadership of the movements in Ukraine, Syria, and Venezuela, and for good reason; if these groups come to power, the country will be far worse off than it is now. The American public would give zero support to these groups if they knew the truth, which is why the level of U.S. media misinformation about these groups is as Orwellian as the workings of Obama’s NSA.
Take Ukraine for example. The day after democratically elected government forces fled from the capital Kiev, the successful opposition political leaders sucked the enthusiasm out of the “revolution” when they informed the public that they would be presiding over a “doomed” transitional government , because they “have to make some unpopular decisions.” The new nominee for Prime Minister called his new cabinet a “Kamikaze government.”
The government is suicidal because they are seeking loans from western financial institutions — like the IMF and European Commission — that come at a heavy price; in exchange for money Ukraine will have to implement a massive austerity program where the living standards of Ukrainians will be destroyed in Greek-like fashion.
This was the original reason why the now-ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych began to lean towards Russia, since Putin agreed to give Ukraine the money with no strings attached. Of course, this background information — which is crucial to understanding the events in Ukraine — was simply ignored in the western media, which misleadingly referred to the protests as “pro-EU protests.” It’s true that the suppression of a small pro-EU protest helped ignite wider sections of the population against the Ukrainian government, but the average Ukrainian would of course, not risk life and limb only to be torn asunder by a pro-EU austerity program.
The U.S. media also ignored the motor force of the Ukrainian protesters: the Ukrainian fascist party Svoboda, whose already-large presence in the Ukrainian parliament has been empowered because of the protests. There was yet another U.S. media blackout about the role of Svoboda in the protests, whose members or sympathizers acted as the shock troops against the democratically elected government. As writer Mike Whitney recently noted:
“The United States helped defeat Nazism in World War 2. Obama helped bring it back.”
It’s possible that once the current transitional government completes its austerity-suicide mission, the Svoboda party could then take total power and seek to funnel the immense anger of the austerity programs into anti-Russia and anti-Jewish sentiment. Svoboda was already rewarded for its role in the protests and given six ministerial posts in the transitional government, including the deputy prime minister and the powerful Secretary of the Security and National Defense Committee. But once the transitional government discredits itself with austerity, Svoboda will blame the senior member of the coalition, the “Fatherland” party, and seek to boost itself into total power.
This nightmarish scenario seems entirely possible now, and if it happens, Svoboda will undoubtedly be indebted to President Obama and the U.S. media for their role in giving the protests political cover, not to mention the critical role played by the U.S. in helping strategize the overthrow of Yanukovych — the audio recording of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland goes intoMachiavellian detail about how the U.S. was working to bring about the coup ; and the significance of this incredible recording was ignored by the U.S. media, which reduced the story to how “rude” Nuland had acted by uttering an expletive about the European Union.
In Syria, Obama has consistently relied on the right-wing extremists as the leaders of the opposition against the Assad government. The role of these al-Qaeda style Islamic extremists has been ignored by the media, even as their atrocities pile up on Youtube.
Syria was one of the most modern, cosmopolitan countries in the Middle East and is now being dragged back to the Dark Ages by Obama’s “allies” on the ground, who would like Syria to look like Saudi Arabia, another “close ally” of the U.S., where there is no such thing as political, religious, or labor-related freedoms.
The Islam of Saudi Arabia is the far-right type favored by the dictatorial monarchy that rules the country. Like its fascist friends of Ukraine, the U.S. is relying on another ultra-right ideology in Syria in order to bring a pro-U.S. government to power.
The newest coalition of Syrian opposition ground forces calls itself the Islamic Front. The U.S. media portrays this group as the “good rebels,” versus the al-Qaeda rebels who are also fighting the Syrian Government. But of course, the U.S. media kept quiet when the most powerful militia inside the Islamic Front, Ahrar al Sham, declared itself to be the “real” representative of al-Qaeda in Syria ( U.S. politicians had long known that Ahrar al Sham was ideologically linked to al-Qaeda ).
If Obama gets his way and the Islamic Front comes to power, Syria will experience a cultural devolution along similar lines of the Taliban-era Afghanistan. In the meantime, Obama and the U.S. media will continue to give crucial political support to an opposition that deserves none.
Venezuela, too, has recently been in the news, with far-right led opposition protests that the Obama administration is backing 100 percent. An excellent article in the Guardian by Mark Weisbrotoutlined the subtle and more direct ways that the Obama administration was giving political and financial support to the Venezuela opposition protests.
In dutiful fashion the U.S. media stayed on message. In a recent pro-opposition op-ed in the New York Times , it was nonchalantly declared, “Clearly, Venezuela is sliding toward dictatorship,” even though there were municipal elections that were just completed across the country, and in the previous year presidential elections occurred, which by all standards were “free and fair.”
If the Venezuelan opposition comes to power, we know exactly what they will do. When they took power briefly in a U.S.-backed military coup in 2002 they immediately disbanded all the democratic institutions that governed the country, since they prefer the type of political system that served them well during their hundreds of years of pre-Chavez dictatorships.
Of course, anybody who sympathizes with the above “opposition” movements are not automatically members of the far-right. One of the successes in this political strategy is the far-right movement’s attempt to tap into existing frustrations, and when the political flames are stoked, the energy is quickly exploited by those leading the movement in an attempt to violently overthrow the government.
Why does the Obama administration choose this type of foreign policy? The main reason is that the above-targeted countries had slid out of the U.S. orbit of control, and only these far-right groups are interested in getting their country back into the U.S. orbit. Ultimately, U.S. capitalists gain mountains of profit when a country is dependent on U.S. loans, U.S.-made weapons, manufactured goods, foodstuffs, etc.
This is why the U.S. establishment — now represented by the Obama administration — will not simply leave Latin America, the Middle East, or Eastern Europe to be independent or fall into the orbit of a competing regional power like Russia. There is simply too much profit at stake. Peace is not an option.
In order to stop the never-ending warmongering of U.S. foreign policy, the U.S. government itself must be fundamentally transformed. The U.S. establishment that favors the capitalist economic system will endlessly provoke wars for profit, while an economic system without a profit-motive will have no need for foreign wars.
http://www.economist.com/news/ briefing/21597974-can-ukraine- find-any-leaders-who-will- live-up-aspirations-its- battered-victorious
http://www.longwarjournal.org/ archives/2014/02/zawahiris_ chief_repr.php
http://www.theguardian.com/ commentisfree/2014/feb/18/ venezuela-protests-us-support- regime-change-mistake
As you may know, I bicycled for a year in South America, top to bottom. I enjoyed the Amazon jungle, the wildlife and especially the insect life. I took pictures of tens of thousands of butterflies dancing on an endless canopy of flowers. Many of my columns deal with saving the natural world such as an international 25-cent deposit-return law for all plastic, glass and metal containers. We must keep plastics from destroying our fellow creatures—especially in our oceans.
Today, I appeal to you to use the links provided to send the chemical giant Monsanto a letter to demand they stop marketing “Round-up” ; “Weed-b-gone” and other poisons that threaten the extinction of the Monarch butterfly.
Monarch butterflies vanish faster with each passing year — and all signs point to Monsanto as the main culprit.
Major press outlets worldwide reported last month that Monarchs face “grave danger”, with their population reaching the lowest numbers ever recorded. Now, an independent study linked the monarch’s decline with Monsanto’s “Round-up” herbicide.
One of the most beautiful phenomena in the natural world — the annual mass migration of 60 million monarchs from Canada to Mexico – stands on the verge of being a relic of history. We need to fight this now, before it’s too late for the butterflies.
Join me and tell Monsanto to pull its butterfly-killing herbicide before it’s too late.
“This corporate giant knows what it’s doing,” said a spokesperson for Sum of Us. “But Monsanto says we should balance the butterfly’s survival with what it calls “productive agriculture”(read: Monsanto’s bottom line equals money not nature.).
Tell Monsanto to pull its butterfly-killing herbicide before it’s too late.
The annual mass migration of 60 million Monarchs from Canada to Mexico represents one of the most beautiful phenomena in the natural world. I know because on one of my many cycle trips along the coast of California, I saw millions of Monarchs hanging from trees during their rest stops.
But Monarchs stand on the verge of being a relic of history, and a key link in our food chain.
“The monarch butterfly is in a serious, decades-long decline,” said the spokesperson. “The World Wildlife Fund reported that this winter, the monarchs are only occupying an area of 1.7 acres in Mexico, down from 45 acres in 1996. An evolutionary strategy based on eating a common weed seemed smart — until Monsanto came along. Just one state along the monarchs’ migration route, Iowa, is reported to have lost 98 percent of its milkweed.”
Monsanto products like Roundup dominate the agricultural market worldwide. This corporate giant sells matching genetically-engineered plants resistant to its pesticides – and encourages factory farms to douse fields with gallons of Monsanto’s herbicides.
“But sprayed over vast areas, these poisons effect the entire ecosystem,” a spokesperson said. “Monsanto’s Roundup wipes out the monarchs’ primary food source – a plant called milkweed. Scientists have linked the monarch’s rapid population decline to the spread of Monsanto’s pesticides. Losing these butterflies means wiping out insects, birds and small mammals that rely on the monarch and its place in the food chain.”
Take a few minutes to visit the website and send in your letter to Monsanto. Tell Monsanto to save the monarchs by pulling its ecosystem-threatening herbicide.
Every second wasted nails another spike into the butterfly’s coffin leading to extinction. Let’s harness that awareness to save the monarchs from Monsanto!
Seyeda Zeinab, Syria - During a meeting at the Dama Rose hotel in Damascus the other morning, this observer was briefed by ‘Abu Modar,” a reputedly battle-honed field commander of the “Death Brigade,” a unit based in the northern Syria Eskanderoun region, north of Latakia. Abu Modar explained that he personally had chosen the rather peculiar name for his outfit to symbolize the willingness of its members to die for their cause—protecting Syria.
“Before each battle or each mission I ask my God to let me die defending Syria”, he explained. “If we are involved with a joint operation with Hezbollah, who are much admired because of their honesty and trustworthiness, I lead my men to the front line and ahead of Hezbollah troops out of respect for them and because we Syrians believe that as their grateful hosts we have this duty.”
The gentleman began explaining the history of his militia, one of thousands (both pro-and anti-government) operating in Syria these troubled days. It is a history that included some of his predecessors fighting with the PLO in Beirut during the summer of 1982, but as he was relating all this, his phone rang. The conversation was not long. The caller, he informed this observer upon ringing off, was his “contact,” advising him that certain intelligence sources had received information overnight that an individual had been observed in the vicinity of Zeinab’s shrine placing a parcel of explosives into a vehicle, presumably with the intention to detonate it near her resting place. This riveted my attention, in part because this observer was scheduled by chance to join an army escort the next day and visit the historic site, located about 40 minutes south of Damascus. Nearly two months ago the government regained control of the area, but there are still some snipers around, I had been apprised by friends. Abu Modar’s specific mission was to take some of his commandos and kick in the door of the suspect’s house sometime during the night, arrest him, and turn him over to someone for interrogation. His mission struck me as simple enough and he was matter of fact in outlining his plan.
“We do this sort of mission often. This is part of our expertise, and we do it whenever we are asked by Resistance friends and Syrian authorities. It spares the army for their normal work on battlefields, and our unit is specialized, and from long experience we have acquired certain useful skills.”
I demurred when he invited me to join him, explaining I was a bit out of shape and did not want to get in the way of his men’s work or potentially hamper their operation. But he insisted, saying that I could stay in his jeep and just observe, and he doubted that I would be in any serious danger. I was tempted to accept his invitation, and agreed to his proposal to meet after lunch to finalize our plans for that night’s outing. At this point, however, I called a trusted and knowledgeable Syrian friend, who knows a lot about these matters, and she seemed exasperated I would even consider tagging along with the Death Brigade.
“Absolutely not Franklin! Khalas! (finish!) You are visiting Seyeda Zeinab bokra with the army and you are not going with anyone else!”
Frankly, I was a bit relieved by my friend’s unequivocal counsel, and my new pal from the “Death” militia (who is acquainted with her) sportively understood. An interesting anecdote was at this point related by my interpreter: that Abu Modor had laughed and claimed a badge of honor upon recently being shown YouTube videos regarding his macho, George-Patton-style exploits in Qusayr, and in villages around Qalamoun, and rebel claims that he and his brigade were “the number one pro-regime murderers in Syria.” I might also mention that the “Death” unit is part of the not-well-known-in-the-West Popular Front for the Liberation of Iskanderun (PFLI), currently fighting rebels north of Latakia, in the mountains bordering Turkey, and whose forces have also periodically spent time guarding the resting place of Zeinab.
The geographical place name “Seyeda Zeinab” can be confusing for an untutored foreigner, the reason being that it may refer to a group of five small cities in the governorate of Damascus—Al Zeyabeya, Hujayr, Husseiniya, Akraba and Babila—or, alternately, to the sacred burial place and shrine for Zeinab bint Ali, the daughter of Ali, the first Shia Imam, and his first wife Fatima. Zeinab was also the granddaughter of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and the sister of Husayn and Hassan. Her shrine and pilgrimage destination are located in the small town of Seyeda (Lady) Zeinab, but given its fame, the name also refers to a wider area. As a holy shrine and place of prayer and scholarship, one imagines this place to be in the category of perhaps Qoms in Iran, and Najaf in Iraq. All three attract thousands of pilgrims and tourists, and since the area surrounding Seyeda Zeinab was liberated and essentially pacified by the Syrian Army recently, visitors are again arriving daily from countries including Yemen, Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, India, Pakistan and Lebanon, among others.
The Mayor of Seyeda Zeinab, this observer’s gracious host, is Mohammad Barakat, a Sunni engineer from Homs, roughly in his early 50’s. His staff is of mixed religious backgrounds, and, as with most Syrian citizens I have met over the past three years, was essentially blind to and uninterested in sectarian differences in existence before the current crisis. All the mayor’s staff members are working long hours these days, responding to numerous requests for post-liberation help, appeals which they try their best to accommodate with their limited available resources. My three-hour discussion with Mayor Barakat was interrupted perhaps as many as a couple of dozen times by the appearance of an aid often seeking his signature or mayoral stamp on citizen petitions covering anything from requests for food stuffs, problems with housing, or attempts to find employment with a municipal project now getting started.
In his bee hive of an office, the mayor used a pointer to highlight locations on a large wall map hanging next to his desk, the map illustrating areas where repair and construction projects are being readied. Mr. Barakat enthusiastically proclaimed, “2014 is the year we intend to start and finish area restoration work, and we take pride in the prospect that what we achieve here in Seyeda Zeinab can be a model for restoration work all over Syria that hopefully can begin soon.”
The Mayor of Seyeda Zeinab and staff members in front of the wall may illustrating plans to complete reconstruction of the area by the end of 2014 Photo: 2/25/14)
Barakat and three of his staff members accompanied this observer on an informative and inspiring tour of the Mosque and Shrine of Saeyda Zeinab. The shrine, our hosts informed us, is an example of Shia architecture, and the dome is made of pure gold. The grave of Zeinab is enclosed within a raised, crypt-like structure centered directly beneath the massive golden dome. The doors of the shrine are apparently also made of pure gold, with mirror works on the roof and walls. The minarets and the entrance gate of the holy shrine are covered with Iranian moarrahg tile designed by the famous Iranian architect and tile artist Ali Panjehpour. My colleague from the mayor’s office allowed me to finger one and explained that each 4 x 4 inch tile, of which there were hundreds of thousands in the complex, cost more than $100 USD. There is also a large mosque adjoining the shrine which this observer was advised can accommodate more than 1,300 people and a further 150 in the attached courtyards. The two tall minarets, one of which was damaged by a rebel mortar, dominate the architecture of the mosque as well as a large souk on the other side of a newly-built security wall.
In the cavernous nave of the Seyeda Zeinab, just next to the beautifully inlaid, elevated crypt holding her remains, approximately 50 men were performing mid-day Salat al Duhr prayers. Some were in camouflage uniforms and appeared to be on military leave or from the security units guarding the inside and perimeter of Zeinab’s Shrine.
This observer did not want to awkwardly press his hosts for details regarding the identities of the armed men guarding Seyeda Zeinab or where they are from. Some Western media sources have speculated that Shia fighters from Iraq and Lebanon came to Syria to protect Seyeda Zeinab following the desecration in Iraq of the tomb of Hajar Bin Aday. Several sites on the Internet published reports claiming that a takfiri group exhumed the tomb of Bin Aday, who was one of the most prominent Muslim leaders at the time of the Prophet Muhammad and who was loyal to Imam Ali bin Abi Talib. Bin Aday’s remains were reportedly taken to an unknown location. This observer infers that Hezbollah is currently a prominent presence guarding Seyeda Zeinab, and my Syrian companion noted Lebanese accents in the guard station at the entrance.
At the entrance to the women’s area, several women were praying and others appeared to be part of the shrine’s Women’s Auxiliary, or Guild, as they directed visitors while graciously assisting and providing female visitors with black chadors upon entering the sanctuary. One charming middle age woman, who appeared to be Iranian, smiled knowingly at me, and with a twinkle in her eyes jokingly offered this visiting American a chador as “a gift and souvenir from our Holy Shrine and from our community—to take back to your country, in appreciation of you not bombing us…yet!” And she laughed at her own joke, as did all who heard it, including the mayor, some nearby soldiers, and teen-aged visiting students.
Photo 2/25/14 shows the Gold Dome and the column that was damaged by a mortar round and the new security wall in the background.
Update on the capture of the bad person sought by Abu Modar
Well, did Abu Modar and his “Death Brigade” get their man?
They did indeed, and it was the night before this observer’s arrival at Seyeda Zeinab. Abu Modar detailed to this observer and a few of his militia guys the evening’s events as we made plans to leave the next morning for the Iskandroun region and an interview the PFLI President, Ali Kyali. The capture, it seems, came about not by kicking in the alleged bad guy’s door, American SWAT team-style. Rather, the suspect was stealthily followed and, during the early morning of 2/25/14, apprehended at one of the Syrian army checkpoints that surround the village of Seyeda Zeinab.
Such incidents make it clear that Seyeda Zeinab is still a target of some jihadist types given its great importance to Syria, the region, and among Muslims globally. Yet across sectarian divides here there are growing signs of the great majority of the exhausted populations being ready, to a degree, to forgive and forget at least some of the events of the past nearly 36 months.
Visiting Seyeda Zeinab is a wonderful, solemn, exhilarating and inspiring ecumenical experience—one highly recommended to all tourists planning to come to the Syrian Arab Republic as improving security conditions begin to allow for the return of international visitors.
May the Sainted Martyr, Zeinab bint Ali, whose life was devoted to charity and to nursing others, and who is a model for all humanity of resistance and defiance against oppression and all forms of injustice, forever rest in peace.
Perhaps Arizona governor Jan Brewer was sincere when saying that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 1062) she vetoed yesterday could “create more problems than it purports to solve.” After all, observers such as Napp Nazworth at The Christian Post contend that SB 1062 might actually — contrary to all the hysteria — have made it harder for most business owners to refuse service to homosexuals. This analysis may have merit and can be read here, but it’s irrelevant to a larger point:
The GOP’s handling of this matter was a good illustration of conservatism’s fatal flaw.
Whatever the legal realities, about something we can be sure: many conservatives believed in SB 1062. And as with the three GOP lawmakers who voted for the bill but turned against it after the heat was turned up, many of those conservatives caved under great pressure from greedy businesses, limp-wristed neo-con artists (John McCain) and that great leftist public-relations team (the media).
I’ve long lamented that conservatives are conservative; that is to say, they play defense and just try to protect the status quo, which was, though conservatives generally appear oblivious to the fact, created by yesterday’s liberals.
So they never actually try to rescind those efforts at thought control called hate-crime laws, but just hope to limit the scope of new proposals for them. They never really endeavor to eliminate government programs and bureaucracies; they just aim to slow down their metastasizing. They hardly ever try to reduce spending and shrink government, but just seek to limit the rate at which both balloon. And with the Arizona effort, they weren’t really willing to do what was necessary to reclaim freedom of association. They just proposed a half measure and then folded like cheap cameras.
As for the Three Mouseketeers who ran for cover — senators Bob Worsley, Adam Driggs and Steve Pierce — they wrote in a letter to Brewer that while they wanted “to create a shield for all citizens’ religious liberties, the bill has been mischaracterized by its opponents as a sword for religious intolerance.”
Wow, is that all it takes?
We might as well just bow down and lick the left’s jackboots right now.
How did these three chronologically adult politicians think the left would characterize their effort? Who are these guys, Beaver and Wally Cleaver and Dennis (the Menace) Mitchell? Of course the left is going to call you names! That’s what they do. And now you’ve just confirmed for them, once again, that this is all they have to do to bring you to your knees. Welcome to How to Lose a Culture War 101.
How should conservatives handle such name calling?
Hurl names right back.
Call the leftists what they are: tyrants, socialists and haters of liberty. Explain that they want to destroy freedom of association. Seek to control the language of the debate and to frame the narrative — and use their own Alinsky tactics against them. And we do have one great advantage: we’re right and righteous.
As for strategy, realize that framing this as a matter of freedom of religion makes it seem a special-interest cause, as not everyone considers himself “religious.” What we really need is a Freedom of Association Restoration Act.
For this freedom is increasingly trampled. A photographer in New Mexico being sued and two Oregon bakers forced to close their business — both for refusing to be party to lesbian so-called “weddings” — are just two examples of the phenomenon.
But think about the supposition justifying this kind of government coercion: no one would deny me the right to include in or exclude from my home whomever I please. Why should I lose this right simply because I decide to erect extra tables and sell food?
It’s still my private property, paid for with my own money and created by the sweat of my own brow. It’s tyranny to give me a choice between relinquishing my rights — and starving.
Likewise, no one would force you to bake cakes for or take pictures of people with whom you didn’t want to consort. Why should this change just because you decide to bake cakes or take pictures for money? The principle is simple: your home, your oven, your camera — your choice.
The hypocrisy here is thick, too. We wouldn’t force a Muslim butcher to deal in pork or a Jewish baker to place Nazi symbols on a cake; in fact, there’s a story about a supermarket that refused to place the name of a neo-Nazi’s son — Adolf Hitler Campbell — on a birthday cake. And even more recently we heard about a bar in California denying service to legislators seeking to protect marriage. Of course, the left will claim there’s no comparison, as pork eaters, Nazis and pro-marriage individuals aren’t protected groups. So let’s get this straight:
They trumpet discrimination as an argument for disallowing discrimination.
And what invidious discrimination theirs is. They somehow think that supporting the granting of just some groups “protected status” — and thus leaving other groups, apparently, “unprotected” — gives them moral high ground in trying to discriminate against yet other groups by forcing them, but not others (e.g., those opposing and denying service to traditionalist legislators), to violate their deeply held convictions. Only a twisted mind could consider this justice. Of course, though, with liberals telling us via a high-school textbook (Magruder’s American Government & Civics) that justice “is difficult to define for justice is a concept, an idea, an invention of the human mind [and that] [l]ike other concepts such as truth, liberty, and fairness justice means what people want it to mean,” this is no surprise.
Some will balk at my argument, saying that my position on freedom of association would allow businesses to discriminate even on the basis of race or sex. The answer to this is illustrated with a simple analogy: does freedom of speech mean anything if only extended to popular speech? It then isn’t freedom of speech at all, but merely the establishment of different prohibitions than may exist in Iran, North Korea or Cuba. Likewise, the true test of whether we really believe in freedom of association is if we’ll extend it to even those who would exercise it in a way we abhor.
As for businesses that must operate in today’s tyrannical, rights-squelching environment, I have a solution. If, for instance, people forced me through law to provide bakery services for them, the trauma just might affect my ability to identify and measure ingredients and follow a recipe. And I would then show them that you can have your cake, but you can’t eat it, too.
The big currency reset. It’s not a case of ‘if’ – it’s a case ofwhen.
Don’t expect your provincial Secretary of Treasury or Chancellor Exchequer to warn you about what is coming around the corner, because they are either too stupid to know, or too busy covering their own backsides.
To understand where we are, it’s very important to understand how we got here (another point which bureaucrats and backers do not want the general populace to know).
A quick history lesson then…
The Opposite of Emerging is Submerging
Lulled and distracted by the antics of developed country central banks and emerging economy central banks – to constantly “pump-up the jam” and flood the economy with paper casino chips from either Fort Knox or Mount Gox, the real tectonic shift of the global economy since 2008 has been more or less ignored by financial gurus and sages. It is taken as “normal” that deflation, ordisinflation is operating in the developed economies, but now we can see that rip-roaring inflation operating in the emerging economies.
Supposedly, this is ‘Muddle Through’, but since 2008 the North-South paradigm has all but dissolved – the developed OECD economies are locked in a death embrace with the Emerging economies. The developed economies are now locked into chronic globalization – exporting monetary inflation while importing cheap industrial goods, services and resources.
Since 2008 the always-promised ‘world shift’ of the economy from west to east, and from north to south has happened, but the net result is a shock. Pretending “we didn’t know” is comforting, but ultimately stupid.
This is an unstable equilibrium, or an interregnum – even a sideshow, because the current global economic context and process is the exact opposite of sustainable. Harm to both North and South is now the main impact of the post-2008 process of overreach and intense fiat paper shuffling. Listing the consequences and causes of this overreach is not easy and always open to argument, but possibly the best summary is to suggest that since 2008, ‘Ricardo’s comparative advantage‘ paradigm has been inverted. Economic and above all monetary globalization is now the path to ruin and poverty. From win-win to lose-lose. The worse it gets, expect the architects of ruin – establishment politicians, central bankers and financial pundits, to retreat into even deeper denial.
The Production Bubble That Triggers the Collapse
Another simple way to argue the global economy has overreached is that industrial and economic production capacity in the Emerging economies (EMs), starting with the BRICs, is now massively over-sized. This means the EMs can and will saturate the post-industrial, deflating North with industrial supply at every stage and opportunity as technology, design and product development throw up a new market openings everywhere. Examples like the car and cellphone, fashion wear and off-shore call center industries are relatively “classic”. All of these are already saturated with capacity – but the EMs are still adding more. Previous historical “classic examples” of this process for example included the ship building industry, but the scale paradigm has been woefully ignored.
BRAZILIAN SKILLZ: Production of top-line automobiles in Brazil has surpassed many of its ‘developed’ counterparts.
Since 2008, the process has intensified, creating an increasingly certain outlook for a forced and fiat end to the willingness of the EMs to accept the fiat currency endlessly printed to finance the deflating, de-industrializing DMs (developed economies).
This will not necessarily be a politicized process, of the type hinted at by India’s central bank governor (see http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/tag/raghuram-rajan/), due to the rapidity and scale of the crisis, but instead trigger the collapse of the current global fiat monetary orderdictated by national economic self-defence and survival in the EMs.
The economic jump start of the Ricardo model, which has run riot for the last quarter-century, and went into over-drived from 2008 – will be abandoned.
Deflation/Inflation: Two Sides of the Same Bitcoin
Ricardo’s original model held sunny Portugual as a producer of cork and sherry, while rainy England could produce wine casks from its oak forests and wool from its sheep flocks. The money used in a basically resource-based exchange using then-rapidly growing maritime transport capabilities was held to be stable and gold-linked (or based). Later on, low-cost labor resources were built into Ricardo’s paradigm called “comparative advantage”. The EMs since the 1980s have played the role of resource providers while the DMs were the solvent market suppliers.
While there was a clear limit on cork, wine, oak casks and woolens supply and demand, this does not really apply to modern global fiat money and modern industrial technology. These are high gain positive feedback processes which only stop when they hit a brick wall.
The Ricardo comparative advantage model does not apply to post-1980′s globalization and super economies – like those of China and India, where industrial technology has raced ahead of infrastructure development. This is simply a bomb waiting to explode, alongside the industrial capacity growth, the EMs engaged massive growth of credit, mushroom growth urbanization, neglect of the agriculture and food sector, and turning a blind eye to rampant or even “structural” corruption. Inflation was the sure and certain result.
The results do not stop there. While inflation took off inside the EMs, with their economies producing more than they can consume, and exporting to the DMs which consume more than they produce, the EMs are also exported deflation to the developed market economies. At the same time, the emerging market economies mined out their capital bases to maintain their breakneck growth of industrial capacity.
On an almost daily basis now, the EMs are all shifting to current account deficit with the inevitable consequences of national currency devaluation, further inflation, and of course – higher interest rates.
Win-Win to Lose-Lose: Global Fiat Currency Crisis
The post-1980′s economic globalization paradigm can be called an initial ‘Win-Win’ model which eventually morphed to Lose-Lose.
The industrial nations of the DMs, which formerly benefited from the resource nations of the EMs under the previous ‘Ricardo-type’ model, are now mired in debt and de-industrialization, making it impossible for them to “grow their way out of crisis”. The EMs on their present industrial expansion path can only grow themselves into rapidly-deepening crisis.
The “money-in-the-middle” especially concerns the US dollar and its subsidiary partner, theeuro, both of which are vastly overvalued fiat currencies – but against what? Almost inevitably, this will feature a big rebound for gold, playing the starring role of in this latest episode of “Canary in the Monetary Coal Mine”. From a personal standpoint, or national (for those who have any), physical gold and silver could end up providing solid protection against the exposure of a monetary reset.
Conversely, commodities are unlikely to profit on an enduring sustained basis, due to economic restructuring, re-centering and contraction being almost certain.
Commenting on the IMF’s latest report on global capital flows since 1980, Reuters on 30 January said that while the IMF estimates net capital inflows to emerging economies as $7 trillion or more only since 2005, this was a “legacy trend” hinged on the EMs running a much higher GDP growth differential above the DMs than present. The IMF report noted that for 2014, economic growth in the BRICs will go on declining, and for Russia and Brazil, they will be less even than the GDP growth of the US and Britain. While the IMF’s economists do not allow themselves to project break-of-series change to the global economy, the process of what Gordon T. Long calls “Global collateral impairment” can easily default as the net result of apparently ‘unrelated and complex’ runaway processes.
This collateral impairment will inevitably trigger multi-national currency protection measures, a situation already clear in countries like Turkey, India, Argentina and other EMs.
For DMs in the North, plans are likely already underway. Will the reset feature a brand new reserve currency, or the introduction a fledgling single global, or virtual currency? If so, what will it be backed by (or maybe it won’t). It’s hard to know right now, but a shift of that magnitude could provide for the introduction of something new in the mix.
It’s a case of problem, reaction, solution, and one can assume that this Hegelian equation has already been mapped out on the back of a napkin in an executive dining floor of the one of the world leading central banks, possibly written using Christine Lagarde’s lip stick.
As a result, sacrificing GDP growth to protect the national money in the EMs will be inevitable. In turn, this will send a severe shock wave North to the DMs ,which have surfed on the latter-day version of the Ricardo paradigm for the last 30 years, and are now left unable to adapt.
The basic conclusion is that a global monetary reset is now overdue.
There will be shock waves, and haircuts too.
Brace yourself for impact, because it’s coming.