The events in Volgograd are part of a much larger body of events and a multi-faceted struggle that has been going on for decades as part of a cold war after the Cold War—the post-Cold War cold war, if you please—that was a result of two predominately Eurocentric world wars. When George Orwell wrote his book 1984 and talked about a perpetual war between the fictional entities of Oceania and Eurasia, he may have had a general idea about the current events that are going on in mind or he may have just been thinking of the struggle between the Soviet Union and, surrounded by two great oceans, the United States of America.
So what does Volgograd have to do with the dizzying notion presented? Firstly, it is not schizophrenic to tie the events in Volgograd to either the conflict in the North Caucasus and to the fighting in Syria or to tie Syria to the decades of fighting in the post-Soviet North Caucasus. The fighting in Syria and the North Caucuses are part of a broader struggle for the mastery over Eurasia. The conflicts in the Middle East are part of this very grand narrative, which to many seems to be so far from the reality of day to day life.
“Bandar Bush” goes to Mother Russia
For the purposes of supporting such an assertion we will have to start with the not-so-secret visit of a shadowy Saudi regime official to Moscow. Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the infamous Saudi terrorist kingpin and former House of Saud envoy to Washington turned intelligence guru, last visited the Russian Federation in early-December 2013. Bandar bin Sultan was sent by King Abdullah to solicit the Russian government into abandoning the Syrians. The goal of Prince Bandar was to make a deal with the Kremlin to let Damascus be overtaken by the Saudi-supported brigades that were besieging the Syrian government forces from Syria’s countryside and border regions since 2011. Bandar met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the two held closed-door discussions about both Syria and Iran at Putin’s official residence in Novo-Ogaryovo.
The last meeting that Bandar had with Putin was a few months earlier in July 2013. That meeting was also held in Russia. The July talks between Prince Bandar and President Putin also included Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the Security Council of the Russian Federation. One would also imagine that discussion about the Iranians increased with each visit too, as Bandar certainly tried to get the Russians on bad terms with their Iranian allies.
After Bandar’s first meeting with President Putin, it was widely reported that the House of Saud wanted to buy Russia off. Agence France-Presse and Reuters both cited the unnamed diplomats of the Arab petro-monarchies, their March 14 lackeys in Lebanon, and their Syrian opposition puppets as saying that Saudi Arabia offered to sign a lucrative arms contract with Moscow and give the Kremlin a guarantee that the Arab petro-sheikdoms would not threaten the Russian gas market in Europe or use Syria for a gas pipeline to Europe.
Russia knew better than to do business with the House of Saud. It had been offered a lucrative arms deal by the Saudi regime much earlier, in 2008, to make some backdoor compromises at the expense of Iran. After the compromises were made by Moscow the House of Saud put the deal on ice. If the media leaks in AFP and Reuters were not tactics or lies in the first place aimed at creating tensions between the Syrian and Russian governments, the purportedly extravagant bribes to betray Syria were wasted on the ears of Russian officials.
The House of Saud and the undemocratic club of Arab petro-monarchies that form the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have always talked large about money. The actions of these self portrayed lords of the Arabia Peninsula have almost never matched their words and promises. To anyone who deals with them, the House of Saud and company are known for habitually making grand promises that they will never keep, especially when it comes to money. Even when money is delivered, the full amount committed is never given and much of it is stolen by their corrupt partners and cronies. Whether it is the unfulfilled 2008 arms contract with Russia that was facilitated with the involvement of Iraqi former CIA asset Iyad Allawi or the overabundant commitments of financial and logistical aid to the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples that never materialized, the Arab petro-sheikhdoms have never done more than talk grandly and then get their propagandist to write articles about their generosity and splendor. Underneath all the grandeur and sparkles there has always been bankruptcy, insecurity, and emptiness.
A week after the first meeting with Bandar, the Kremlin responded to the media buzz about the attempted bribe by Saudi Arabia. Yury Ushakov, one of Putin’s top aides and the former Russian ambassador to the US, categorically rejected the notion that any deal was accepted or even entertained by the Kremlin. Ushakov avowed that not even bilateral cooperation was discussed between the Saudis and Russia. According to the Kremlin official, the talks between Bandar and Putin were simply about the policies of Moscow and Riyadh on Syria and the second international peace conference being planned about Syria in Geneva, Switzerland.
More Leaks: Fighting Fire with Fire?
If his objective was to get the Russians to abandon Syria, Prince Bandar left both meetings in Russia empty-handed. Nevertheless, his visit left a trail of unverifiable reports and speculation. Discretion is always needed when analyzing these accounts which are part of the information war about Syria being waged on all sides by the media. The planted story from the Saudi side about trying to buy the Russians was not the only account of what took place in the Russian-Saudi talks. There was also a purported diplomatic leak which most likely surfaced as a counter-move to the planted story about Bandar’s proposal. This leak elaborated even further on the meeting between Bandar and Putin. Threats were made according to the second leak that was published in Arabic by the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir on August 21, 2013.
According to the Lebanese newspaper, not only did Prince Bandar tell the Russians during their first July meeting that the regimes of the GCC would not threaten the Russian gas monopoly in Europe, but he made promises to the Russians that they could keep their naval facility on the Mediterranean coast of Syria and that he would give the House of Saud’s guarantee to protect the 2014 Winter Olympics being held in the North Caucasian resort city of Sochi, on the eastern coast of the Black Sea, from the Chechen separatist militias under Saudi control. If Moscow cooperated with Riyadh and Washington against Damascus, the leak discloses that Bandar also stated that the same Chechen militants fighting inside Syria to topple the Syrian government would not be given a role in Syria’s political future.
When the Russians refused to betray their Syrian allies, Prince Bandar then threatened Russia with the cancellation of the second planned peace conference in Geneva and with the unleashing of the military option against the Syrians the leak imparts.
This leak, which presents a veiled Saudi threat about the intended attacks on the Winter Olympics in Sochi, led to a frenzy of speculations internationally until the end of August 2013, amid the high tensions arising from the US threats to attack Syria and the threats coming from Iran to intervene on the side of their Syrians allies against the United States. Originating from the same politically affiliated media circle in Lebanon, reports about Russian military preparations to attack Saudi Arabia in response to a war against Syria began to circulate from the newspaper Al-Ahed also, further fueling the chain of speculations.
A House of Saud Spin on the Neo-Con “Redirection”
Seymour Hersh wrote in 2007 that after the 2006 defeat of Israel in Lebanon that the US government had a new strategy called the “redirection.” According to Hersh, the “redirection” had “brought the United States closer to an open confrontation with Iran and, in parts of the region, propelled it into a widening sectarian conflict between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.” With the cooperation of Saudi Arabia and all the same players that helped launch Osama bin Ladin’s career in Afghanistan, the US government took “part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria.” The most important thing to note is what Hersh says next: “A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.”
A new House of Saud spin on the “redirection” has begun. If there is anything the House of Saud knows well, it is rounding up fanatics as tools at the service of Saudi Arabia’s patrons in Washington. They did it in Afghanistan, they did it Bosnia, they have done it in Russia’s North Caucasus, they did it in Libya, and they are doing it in both Lebanon and Syria. It does not take the British newspaperThe Independent to publish an article titled “Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis” for the well-informed to realize this.
The terrorist bombings in Lebanon mark a new phase of the conflict in Syria, which is aimed at forcing Hezbollah to retreat from Syria by fighting in a civil war on its home turf. The attacks are part of the “redirection.” The House of Saud has accented this new phase through its ties to the terrorist attacks on the Iranian Embassy in Beirut on November 19, 2013. The attacks were carried out by individuals linked to the notorious Ahmed Al-Assir who waged a reckless battle against the Lebanese military from the Lebanese city of Sidon as part of an effort to ignite a sectarian civil war in Lebanon.
Al-Assir’s rise, however, was politically and logistically aided by the House of Saud and its shameless Hariri clients in Lebanon. He is also part of the same “redirection” policy and current that brought Fatah Al-Islam to Lebanon. This is why it is no surprise to see Hariri’s Future Party flag flying alongside Al-Qaeda flags in Lebanon. After Al-Assir’s failed attempt to start a sectarian Lebanese civil war, he went into hiding and it was even alleged that he was taken in by one of the GCC embassies.
In regard to the House of Saud’s roles in the bombings in Lebanon, Hezbollah would confirm that the attack on the Iranian Embassy in Beirut was linked to the House of Saud. Hezbollah’s leadership would report that the Abdullah Izzam Brigade, which is affiliated to Al-Qaeda and tied to the bombings, is directly linked to the intelligence services of Saudi Arabia.
Moreover, the Saudi agent, Majed Al-Majed, responsible for the attack would be apprehended by Lebanese security forces in late-December 2013. He had entered Lebanon after working with Al-Nusra in Syria. Fars News Agency, an Iranian media outlet, would report on January 2, 2014 that unnamed Lebanese sources had also confirmed that they had discovered that the attack was linked to Prince Bandar.
Wrath of the House of Saud Unleashed?
A lot changed between the first and second meetings that Prince Bandar and Vladimir Putin had, respectively in July 2013 and December 2013. The House of Saud expected its US patron to get the Pentagon involved in a conventional bombing campaign against Syria in the month of September. It is more than likely that Riyadh was in the dark about the nature of secret negotiations that the US and Iran were holding through the backchannel of Oman in the backdrop of what appeared to be an escalation towards open war.
Bandar’s threat to reassess the House of Saud’s ties with Washington is probably a direct result of the US government keeping the House of Saud in the dark about using Syria as a means of negotiating with the Iranian government. US officials may have instigated the House of Saud to intensify its offensive against Syria to catalyze the Iranians into making a deal to avoid an attack on Syria and a regional war. Moreover, not only did the situation between the US and Iran change, Russia would eventually sign an important energy contract for Syrian natural gas in the Mediterranean Sea. The House of Saud has been undermined heavily in multiple ways and it is beginning to assess its own expendability.
If one scratches deep enough, they will find that the same ilk that attacked the Iranian Embassy in Beirut also attacked the Russian Embassy in Damascus. Both terrorist attacks were gifts to Iran and Russia, which served as reprisals for the Iranian and Russian roles in protecting Syria from regime change and a destructive war. It should, however, be discerned if the House of Saud is genuinely lashing out at Iran and Russia or if it being manipulated to further the goals of Washington in the US negotiations with Tehran, Moscow, and Damascus.
In the same manner, the House of Saud wants to generously reward Hezbollah too for its role in protecting Syria by crippling Hezbollah domestically in Lebanon. Riyadh may possibly not want a full scale war in Lebanon like the Israelis do, but it does want to neutralize and eliminate Hezbollah from the Lebanese landscape. In this regard, Saudi Arabia has earnestly been scheming to recruit Lebanon’s President Michel Suleiman and the Lebanese military against Hezbollah and its supporters.
The Saud grant of three billion dollars to the Lebanese Armed Forces is not only blood money being given to Lebanon as a means of exonerating Saudi Arabia for its role in the terrorist bombings that have gripped the Lebanese Republic since 2013, the Saudi money is also aimed at wishfully restructuring the Lebanese military as a means of using it to neutralize Hezbollah. In line with the House of Saud’s efforts, pledges from the United Arab Emirates and reports that NATO countries are also planning on donating money and arms to the Lebanese military started.
In addition to the terrorists bombings in Lebanon and the attack on the Russian Embassy in Damascus, Russia has also been attacked. Since the Syrian conflict intensified there has been a flaring of tensions in Russia’s North Caucasus and a breakout of terrorist attacks. Russian Muslim clerics, known for their views on co-existence between Russia’s Christian and Muslim communities and anti-separatist views, have been murdered. The bombings in Volgograd are just the most recent cases and an expansion into the Volga of what is happening in the North Caucasus, but they come disturbingly close to the start of the Winter Olympics that Prince Bandar was saying would be “protected” if Moscow betrayed Syria.
Can the House of Saud Stand on its Own Feet?
It is a widely believed that you will find the US and Israelis pulling a lot of the strings if you look behind the dealings of the House of Saud. That view is being somewhat challenged now. Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the UK, threatened that Saudi Arabia will go it alone against Syria and Iran in a December 2013 article. The letter, like the Saudi rejection of their UN Security Council seat, was airing the House of Saud’s rage against the realists running US foreign policy.
In this same context, it should also be noted for those that think that Saudi Arabia has zero freedom of action that Israeli leaders have stressed for many years that Tel Aviv needs to cooperate secretly with Saudi Arabia to manipulate the US against Iran. This is epitomized by the words of Israeli Brigadier-General Oded Tira: “We must clandestinely cooperate with Saudi Arabia so that it also persuades the US to strike Iran.”
Along similar lines, some may point out that together the House of Saud and Israel got France to delay an interim nuclear agreement between the Iranians and the P5+1 in Geneva. The House of Saud rewarded Paris through lucrative deals, which includes making sure that the grant it gives to the Lebanese military is spent on French military hardware. Saad Hariri, the main Saudi client in Lebanon, even met Francois Hollande and French officials in Saudi Arabia in context of the deal. Appeasing the House of Saud and Israel, French President Hollande has replicated France’s stonewalling of the P5+1 interim nuclear deal with Iran by trying to spoil the second Syria peace conference in Geneva by saying that there can be no political solution inside Syria if President Bashar Al-Assad stays in power.
Again, however, it has to be asked, is enraging Saudi Arabia part of a US strategy to make the Saudis exert maximum pressure on Tehran, Moscow, and Damascus so that the United States can optimize its gains in negotiations? After all, it did turn out that the US was in league with France in Geneva and that the US used the French stonewalling of an agreement with Iran to make additional demands from the Iranians during the negotiations. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov revealed that the US negotiation team had actually circulated a draft agreement that had been amended in response to France’s demands before Iran and the other world powers even had a chance to study them. The draft by the US team was passed around, in Foreign Minister Lavrov’s own words, “literally at the last moment, when we were about to leave Geneva.”
Instead of debating on the level of independence that the House of Saud possesses, it is important to ask if Saudi Arabia can act on its own and to what degree can the House of Saud act as an independent actor. This looks like a far easier question to answer. It is highly unlikely that Saudi Arabia can act on its own in most instances or even remain an intact state. This is why Israeli strategists very clearly state that Saudi Arabia is destined to fall apart. “The entire Arabian Peninsula is a natural candidate for dissolution due to internal and external pressures, and the matter is inevitable especially in Saudi Arabia,” the Israeli Yinon Plan deems. Strategists in Washington are also aware of this and this is also why they have replicated models of a fragmented Saudi Arabia. This gives rise to another important question: if they US assess that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not a sustainable entity, will it use it until the burns out like a flame? Is this what is happening and is Saudi Arabia being sacrificed or setup to take the blame as the “fall guy” by the United States?
Who is Hiding Behind the House of Saud?
Looking back at Lebanon, the messages from international media outlets via their headlines is that the bombings in Lebanon highlight or reflect a power struggle between the House of Saud and Tehran in Lebanon and the rest of the region. Saying nothing about the major roles of the US, Israel, and their European allies, these misleading reports by the likes of journalists like Anne Barnard casually blame everything in Syria and Lebanon on a rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, erasing the entire history behind what has happened and casually sweeping all the interests behind the conflict(s) under the rug. This is dishonest and painting a twisted Orientalist narrative.
The outlets trying to make it sound like all the Middle East’s problems are gravitating around some sort of Iranian and Saudi rivalry might as well write that “the Saudis and Iranians are the sources behind the Israeli occupation of Palestine, the sources behind the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq that crippled the most advanced Arab country, the ones that are blockading medication from reaching Gaza due to their rivalry, the ones who enforced a no-fly zone over Libya, the ones that are launching killer drone attacks on Yemen, and the ones that are responsible for the billions of dollars that disappeared from the Iraqi Treasury in 2003 after Washington and London invaded that country and controlled its finances.” These outlets and reports are tacitly washing the hands of actors like Washington, Tel Aviv, Paris, and London clean of blood by trying to construct a series of false narratives that either blame everything on a regional rivalry between Tehran and Riyadh or the premise that the Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims are fighting an eternal war that they are biologically programmed to wage against one another.
Arabs and Iranians and Shias and Sunnis are tacitly painted as un-human creatures that cannot be understood and savages to audiences. The New York Times even dishonestly implies that the Sunni Muslims and Shiite Muslims in Lebanon are killing one another in tit-for-tat attacks. It sneakily implies that Hezbollah and its Lebanese rivals are assassinating one another. Bernard, its reporter in Lebanon who was mentioned earlier, along with another colleague write:
In what have been seen as tit-for-tat attacks, car bombs have targeted Hezbollah-dominated neighborhoods in the southern suburbs of Beirut and Sunni mosques in the northern city of Tripoli.
On Friday, a powerful car bomb killed Mohamad B. Chatah, a former Lebanese finance minister who was a major figure in the Future bloc, a political group that is Hezbollah’s main Sunni rival.
The New York Times is cunningly trying to make its readers think that Hezbollah was responsible for the bombing as part of a Shiite-Sunni sectarian conflict by concluding with an explanation that the slain former Lebanese finance minister belonged to “Hezbollah’s main Sunni rival” after saying that the bombings in Lebanon “have been seen as tit-for-tat attacks” between the areas that support Hezbollah and “Sunni mosques” in Tripoli
The US and Israel wish that a Shiite-Sunni sectarian conflict was occurring in Lebanon and the rest of the Middle East. They have been working for this. It has been them that have been manipulating Saudi Arabia to instigate sectarianism. The US and Israel have been prodding the House of Saud—which does not represent the Sunni Muslims, let alone the people of Saudi Arabia which are under its occupation—against Iran, all the while trying to conceal and justify the conflict being instigated as some sort of “natural” rivalry between Shiites and Sunnis that is being played out across the Middle East.
It has been assessed with high confidence by outsiders concerned by the House of Saud’s inner dealings that Prince Bandar is one of the three Al-Saud princes managing Saudi Arabia’s security and foreign policy; the other two being Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the Saudi deputy foreign minister and one of King Abdullah’s point men on Syria due to his ties to Syria from his maternal side, and Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the interior minister. All three of them are tied to the United States more than any of their predecessors. Prince Bandar himself has a long history of working closely with the United States, which explains the endearing moniker of “Bandar Bush” that he is widely called by. “Chemical Bandar” can be added to the list too, because of the reports about his ties to the Syrian chemical weapon attacks in Ghouta.
As a US client, Saudi Arabia is a source of instability because it has been conditioned hence by Washington. Fighting the terrorist and extremist threat is now being used by the US as a point of convergence with Iran, which coincidently has authored the World Against Violence and Extremism (WAVE) motion at the United Nations. In reality, the author of the regional problems and instability has been Washington itself. In a masterstroke, the realists now at the helm of foreign policy are pushing American-Iranian rapprochement on the basis of what Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former national security advisor of the US, said would be based on Tehran and Washington working together to secure Iran’s “volatile regional environment.” “Any eventual reconciliation [between the US and Iranian governments] should be based on the recognition of a mutual strategic interest in stabilizing what currently is a very volatile regional environment for Iran,” he explains. The point should not be lost either that Brzezinski is the man who worked with the Saudis to arm the Afghan Mujahedeen against the Soviets after he organized an intelligence operation to fool the Soviets into militarily entering Afghanistan in the first place.
The House of Saud did not work alone in Afghanistan during the Cold War either. It was rigorously backed by Washington. The United States was even more involved in the fighting. It is the same in Syria. If the diplomatic leak is to be believed about the meeting between Bandar and Putin, it is of merit to note that “Bandar Bush” told Putin that any “Saudi-Russian understanding” would also be part of an “American-Russian understanding.”
Has the “Redirection” Seen its Stalingrad?
Volgograd was called Stalingrad for a part of Soviet history, in honour of the Republic of Georgia’s most famous son and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. It was Volgograd, back then called Stalingrad, where the Germans were stopped and the tide of war in Europe was turned against Hitler and his Axis allies in Europe. The Battle of Stalingrad was where the Nazis were defeated and it was in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe where the bulk of the fighting against the Germans was conducted. Nor is it any exaggeration to credit the Soviets—Russian, Kazakh, Uzbek, Tajik, Tartar, Georgian, Armenian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Chechen, and all—for doing most of the fighting to defeat the Germans in the Second World War.
Judging by the bellicose 2013 New Years Eve speech of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the terrorist attacks in Volgograd will be the start of another Battle of Stalingrad of some sorts and the launch of another Russian “war on terror.” Many of the terrorists that Russia will go after are in Syria and supported by the House of Saud.
The opponents of the Resistance Bloc that Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and the Palestinian resistance groups form have called the battlefields in Syria the Stalingrad of Iran and its regional allies. Syria has been a Stalingrad of some sorts too, but not for the Resistance Bloc. The alliance formed by the US, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and Israel has begun to unravel in its efforts to enforce regime change in Syria. The last few years have marked the beginning of a humiliating defeat for those funding extremism, separatism, and terrorism against countries like Russia, China, Iran, and Syria as a means of preventing Eurasian cohesion. Another front of this same battle is being politically waged by the US and the EU in the Ukraine in a move to prevent the Ukrainians from integrating with Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan.
Volgograd and the Conquest of Eurasia
While speculation has been entertained with warning in this text, most of what has been explained has not been speculative. The House of Saud has had a role in destabilizing the Russian Federation and organizing terrorist attacks inside Russia. Support or oppose the separatist movements in the North Caucasus, the point is that they have been opportunistically aided and used by the House of Saud and Washington. Despite the authenticity of the narrative about Bandar’s threats against Russia, Volgograd is about Syria and Syria is about Volgograd. Both are events taking place as part of the same struggle. The US has been trying to encroach into Syria as a means of targeting Russia and encroaching deeper in the heart of Eurasia.
When George Orwell wrote 1984 he saw the world divided into several entities at constant or “eternal” war with one another. His fictitious superstates police language, use total surveillance, and utterly manipulate mass communication to indoctrinate and deceive their peoples. Roughly speaking, Orwell’s Oceania is formed by the US and its formal and informal territories in the Western Hemisphere, which the Monroe Doctrine has essentially declared are US colonies, confederated with Britain and the settler colonies-cum-dominions of the former British Empire (Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa). The Orwellian concept of Eurasia is an amalgamation of the Soviet Union with continental Europe. The entity of Eastasia on the other hand is formed around China. Southeast Asia, India, and the parts of Africa that do not fall under the influence of Oceanic South Africa are disputed territory that is constantly fought for. Although not specifically mentioned, it can be extrapolated that Southwest Asia, where Syria is located, or parts of it are probably part of this fictional disputed territory, which includes North Africa.
If we try to fit Orwellian terms onto the present set of global relations, we can say that Oceania has made its moves against Eurasia/Eastasia for control of disputed territory (in the Middle East and North Africa).
1984 is not just a novel, it is a warning from the farseeing Orwell. Nonetheless, never did he imagine that his Eurasia would make cause with or include Eastasia through a core triple alliance and coalition comprised of Russia, China, and Iran. Eurasia will finish, in one way or another, whatOceania has started. All the while, as the House of Saud and the other rulers of the Arab petro-sheikhdoms continue to compete with one another in building fancy towers, the Sword of Damocles is getting heavier over their heads.
Source: Global Research
It was the winter of 1939, only a few months earlier the Soviet Union and Hitler’s Third Reich had signed a partially secret accord known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact; essentially a non-aggression treaty which divided Europe down the middle between the fascists and the communists. Hitler would take the West, and Stalin would take the East. Stalin’s war machine had already steamrolled into Latvia. Lithuania, and Estonia. The soviets used unprecedented social and political purges, rigged elections, and genocide, while the rest of the world was distracted by the Nazi blitzkrieg in Poland. In the midst of this mechanized power grab was the relatively tiny nation of Finland, which had been apportioned to the communists.
Apologists for Stalinist history (propagandists) have attempted to argue that the subsequent attack on Finland was merely about “border territories” which the communists claimed were stolen by the Finns when they seceded from Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution. The assertion that the soviets were not seeking total dominance of the Finns is a common one. However, given the vicious criminal behavior of Russia in nearby pacified regions, and their posture towards Finland, it is safe to assume their intentions were similar. The Finns knew what they had to look forward to if they fell victim to the iron hand of Stalin, and the soviet propensity for subjugation was already legendary.
The Russian military was vastly superior to Finland’s in every way a common tactician would deem important. They had far greater numbers, far better logistical capability, far better technology, etc, etc. Over 1 million troops, thousands of planes, thousands of tanks, versus Finland’s 32 antiquated tanks, 114 planes which were virtually useless against more modern weapons, and 340,000 men, most of whom were reservists rallied from surrounding farmlands. Finland had little to no logistical support from the West until the conflict was almost over, though FDR would later pay lip service to the event, “condemning” soviet actions while brokering deals with them behind the scenes. Russian military leadership boasted that the Finns would run at the sound of harsh words, let alone gun fire. The invasion would be a cakewalk.
The battle that followed would later be known as the “Winter War”; an unmitigated embarrassment for the Soviets, and a perfect example of a small but courageous indigenous guerrilla army repelling a technologically advanced foe.
To Fight, Or Pretend To Fight?
Fast forward about seven decades or so, and you will discover multiple countries around the globe, including the U.S., on the verge of the same centralized and collectivized socialist occupation that the Finnish faced in 1939. The only difference is that while their invasion came from without, our invasion arose from within. The specific methods may have changed, but the underlying face of tyranny remains the same.
In America, the only existing organization of people with the slightest chance of disrupting and defeating the march towards totalitarianism is what we often refer to as the “Liberty Movement”; a large collection of activist and survival groups tied together by the inexorable principles of freedom, natural law, and constitutionalism. The size of this movement is difficult to gauge, but its social and political presence is now too large to be ignored. We are prevalent enough to present a threat, and prevalent enough to be attacked, and that is all that matters. That said, though we are beginning to understand the truly vital nature of our role in America’s path, and find solidarity in the inherent values of liberty that support our core, when it comes to solutions to the dilemma of globalization and elitism, we are sharply divided.
While most activist movements suffer from a complete lack of solutions to the problems they claim to recognize, constitutional conservatives tend to have TOO MANY conceptual solutions to the ailments of the world. Many of these solutions rely upon unrealistic assumptions and methods that avoid certain inevitable outcomes. Such strategies center mostly on the concepts of “non-aggression” or pacifism idealized and romanticized by proponents of Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, and the anti-war movements of the 1960′s and 1970′s. The post-baby boomer generations in particular have grown up with an incessant bombardment of the “higher nature” of non-violence as a cure-all for every conceivable cultural ailment.
We have been taught since childhood that fighting solves nothing, but is this really true?
I can understand the allure of the philosophy. After all, physical confrontation is mentally and emotionally terrifying to anyone who is not used to experiencing it. The average “reasonable” person goes far out of their way on every occasion to avoid it. Most of the activists that I have met personally who deride the use of force against tyrannical government have never actually been in an outright confrontation of any kind in their lives, or if they have, it ended in a failure that scarred them. They have never trained for the eventuality. Many of them have never owned a firearm. The focus of their existence has been to hide from pain, rather than overcome their fears to achieve something greater.
There is nothing necessarily wrong with becoming an “intellectual warrior”, unless that person lives under the fantasy that this alone will be enough to defeat the kind of evil we face today.
Non-aggression methods rely on very specific circumstances in order to be effective. Most of all, they rely on a system of government that is forced to at least PRETEND as if it cares what the masses think of it. Gandhi’s Indian Independence Movement, for example, only witnessed noticeable success because the British government at that time was required to present a semblance of dignity and rule of law. But what happens if a particular tyranny reaches a point where the facade of benevolence disappears? What happens when the establishment turns to the use of the purge as a tool for consolidation? What happens when the mask comes completely off?
How many logical arguments or digital stashes of ethereal Bitcoins will it take to save one’s life or one’s freedom then?
Arguments For And Against Violent Action
The position against the use of “violence” (or self defense) to obstruct corrupt systems depends on three basic debate points:
1) Violence only feeds the system and makes it stronger.
2) We need a “majority” movement in order to be successful.
3) The system is too technologically powerful – to fight it through force of arms is “futile”, and our chances are slim to none.
First, violence does indeed feed the system, if it is driven by mindless retribution rather than strategic self defense. This is why despotic governments often resort to false flag events; the engineering of terrorist actions blamed on scapegoats creates fear within the unaware portions of the population, which generates public support for further erosion of freedoms. However, there is such a thing as diminishing returns when it comes to the “reach, teach, and inspire” method.
The escalation of totalitarianism will eventually overtake the speed at which the movement can awaken the masses, if it has not done so already. There will come a time, probably sooner rather than later, when outreach will no longer be effective, and self defense will have to take precedence, even if that means subsections of the public will be shocked and disturbed by it. The sad fact is, the faster we wake people up, the faster the establishment will degrade social stability and destroy constitutional liberties. A physical fight is inevitable exactly because they MAKE it inevitable. Worrying about staying in the good graces of the general populace or getting honest representatives elected is, at a certain point, meaningless. I find it rather foolish to presume that Americans over the next decade or two or three have the time needed to somehow inoculate the system from within. In fact, I’m starting to doubt that strategy has any merit whatsoever.
Second, the idea that a movement needs a “majority” of public backing to shift the path of a society is an old wives tale. Ultimately, most people throughout history are nothing more than spectators in life, watching from the sidelines while smaller, ideologically dedicated groups battle for superiority. Global developments are decided by true believers; never by ineffectual gawkers. Some of these groups are honorable, and some of them are not so honorable. Almost all of them have been in the minority, yet they wield the power to change the destiny of the whole of the nation because most people do not participate in their own futures. They merely place their heads between their legs and wait for the storm to pass.
All revolutions begin in the minds and hearts of so-called “outsiders”. To expect any different is to deny the past, and to assume that a majority is needed to achieve change is to deny reality.
Third, I’m not sure why non-aggression champions see the argument of statistical chance as relevant. When all is said and done, the “odds” of success in any fight against oligarchy DO NOT MATTER. Either you fight, or you are enslaved. The question of victory is an afterthought.
Technological advantage, superior numbers, advanced training, all of these things pale in comparison to force of will, as the Finnish proved during the Winter War. Some battles during that conflict consisted of less than a hundred Finns versus tens-of-thousands of soviets. Yet, at the end of the war, the Russians lost 3500 tanks, 500 aircraft, and had sustained over 125,000 dead (official numbers). The Finns lost 25,000 men. For every dead Finn, the soviets lost at least five. This is the cold hard reality behind guerrilla and attrition warfare, and such tactics are not to be taken lightly.
Do we go to the Finnish and tell them that standing against a larger, more well armed foe is “futile”? Do we tell them that their knives and bolt action rifles are no match for tanks and fighter planes? And by extension, do we go to East Asia today and tell the Taliban that their 30 year old AK-47′s are no match for predator drones and cruise missiles? Obviously, victory in war is not as simple as having the biggest gun and only the uneducated believe otherwise.
The Virtues Of Violence
The word “violence” comes with numerous negative connotations. I believe this is due to the fact that in most cases violence is used by the worst of men to get what they want from the weak. Meeting violence with violence, though, is often the only way to stop such abuses from continuing.
At Alt-Market, we tend to discuss measures of non-participation (not non-aggression) because all resistance requires self-sustainability. Americans cannot fight the criminal establishment if they rely on the criminal establishment. Independence is more about providing one’s own necessities than it is about pulling a trigger. But, we have no illusions about what it will take to keep the independence that we build. This is where many conceptual solutions are severely lacking.
If the system refuses to let you walk away, what do you do? If the tyrants would rather make the public suffer than admit that your social or economic methodology is better for all, how do you remove them? When faced with a cabal of psychopaths with deluded aspirations of godhood, what amount of reason will convince them to step down from their thrones?
I’m sorry to say, but these questions are only answered with violence.
The Liberty Movement doesn’t need to agree on the “usefulness” of physical action because it is coming regardless. The only things left to discern are when and how. Make no mistake, one day each and every one of us will be faced with a choice – to fight, or to throw our hands in the air and pray they don’t shoot us anyway. I certainly can’t speak for the rest of the movement, but in my opinion only those who truly believe in liberty will stand with rifle in hand when that time comes. A freedom fighter is measured by how much of himself he is willing to sacrifice, and how much of his humanity he holds onto in the process. Fear, death, discomfort; none of this matters. There is no conundrum. There is no uncertainty. There are only the chains of self-defeat, or the determination of the gun. The sooner we all embrace this simple fact, the sooner we can move on and deal with the dark problem before us.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
2014 is upon us. For a person who graduated from Georgia Tech in 1961, a year in which the class ring showed the same date right side up or upside down, the 21st century was a science fiction concept associated with Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film, “2001: A Space Odyssey.” To us George Orwell’s 1984 seemed so far in the future we would never get there. Now it is 30 years in the past.
Did we get there in Orwell’s sense? In terms of surveillance technology, we are far beyond Orwell’s imagination. In terms of the unaccountability of government, we exceptional and indispensable people now live a 1984 existence. In his alternative to the Queen’s Christmas speech, Edward Snowden made the point that a person born in the 21st century will never experience privacy. For new generations the word privacy will refer to something mythical, like a unicorn.
Many Americans might never notice or care. I remember when telephone calls were considered to be private. In the 1940s and 1950s the telephone company could not always provide private lines. There were “party lines” in which two or more customers shared the same telephone line. It was considered extremely rude and inappropriate to listen in on someone’s calls and to monopolize the line with long duration conversations.
The privacy of telephone conversations was also epitomized by telephone booths, which stood on street corners, in a variety of public places, and in “filling stations” where an attendant would pump gasoline into your car’s fuel tank, check the water in the radiator, the oil in the engine, the air in the tires, and clean the windshield. A dollar’s worth would purchase 3 gallons, and $5 would fill the tank.
Even in the 1980s and for part of the 1990s there were lines of telephones on airport waiting room walls, each separated from the other by sound absorbing panels. Whether the panels absorbed the sounds of the conversation or not, they conveyed the idea that calls were private.
The notion that telephone calls are private left Americans’ consciousness prior to the NSA listening in. If memory serves, it was sometime in the 1990s when I entered the men’s room of an airport and observed a row of men speaking on their cell phones in the midst of the tinkling sound of urine hitting water and noises of flushing toilets. The thought hit hard that privacy had lost its value.
I remember when I arrived at Merton College, Oxford, for the first term of 1964. I was advised never to telephone anyone whom I had not met, as it would be an affront to invade the privacy of a person to whom I was unknown. The telephone was reserved for friends and acquaintances, a civility that contrasts with American telemarketing.
The efficiency of the Royal Mail service protected the privacy of the telephone. What one did in those days in England was to write a letter requesting a meeting or an appointment. It was possible to send a letter via the Royal Mail to London in the morning and to receive a reply in the afternoon. Previously it had been possible to send a letter in the morning and to receive a morning reply, and to send another in the afternoon and receive an afternoon reply.
When one flies today, unless one stops up one’s ears with something, one hears one’s seat mate’s conversations prior to takeoff and immediately upon landing. Literally, everyone is talking nonstop. One wonders how the economy functioned at such a high level of incomes and success prior to cell phones. I can remember being able to travel both domestically and internationally on important business without having to telephone anyone. What has happened to America that no one can any longer go anywhere without constant talking?
If you sit at an airport gate awaiting a flight, you might think you are listening to a porn film. The overhead visuals are usually Fox “News” going on about the need for a new war, but the cell phone audio might be young women describing their latest sexual affair.
Americans, or many of them, are such exhibitionists that they do not mind being spied upon or recorded. It gives them importance. According to Wikipedia, Paris Hilton, a multimillionaire heiress, posted her sexual escapades online, and Facebook had to block users from posting nude photos of themselves. Sometime between my time and now people ceased to read 1984. They have no conception that a loss of privacy is a loss of self. They don’t understand that a loss of privacy means that they can be intimidated, blackmailed, framed, and viewed in the buff. Little wonder they submitted to porno-scanners.
The loss of privacy is a serious matter. The privacy of the family used to be paramount. Today it is routinely invaded by neighbors, police, Child Protective Services (sic), school administrators, and just about anyone else.
Consider this: A mother of six and nine year old kids sat in a lawn chair next to her house watching her kids ride scooters in the driveway and cul-de-sac on which they live.
Normally, this would be an idyllic picture. But not in America. A neighbor, who apparently did not see the watching mother, called the police to report that two young children were outside playing without adult supervision. Note that the next door neighbor, a woman, did not bother to go next door to speak with the mother of the children and express her concern that they children were not being monitored while they played. The neighbor called the police. http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/mom-sues-polices-she-arrested-letting-her-kids-134628018.html
“We’re here for you,” the cops told the mother, who was carried off in handcuffs and spent the next 18 hours in a cell in prison clothes.
The news report doesn’t say what happened to the children, whether the father appeared and insisted on custody of his offspring or whether the cops turned the kids over to Child Protective Services.
This shows you what Americans are really like. Neither the neighbor nor the police had a lick of sense. The only idea that they had was to punish someone. This is why America has the highest incarceration rate and the highest total number of prison inmates in the entire world. Washington can go on and on about “authoritarian” regimes in Russia and China, but both countries have far lower prison populations than “freedom and democracy” America.
I was unaware that laws now exist requiring the supervision of children at play. Children vary in their need for supervision. In my day supervision was up to the mother’s judgment. Older children were often tasked with supervising the younger. It was one way that children were taught responsibility and developed their own judgment.
When I was five years old, I walked to the neighborhood school by myself. Today my mother would be arrested for child endangerment.
In America punishment falls more heavily on the innocent, the young, and the poor than it does on the banksters who are living on the Federal Reserve’s subsidy known as Quantitative Easing and who have escaped criminal liability for the fraudulent financial instruments that they sold to the world. Single mothers, depressed by the lack of commitment of the fathers of their children, are locked away for using drugs to block out their depression. Their children are seized by a Gestapo institution, Child Protective Services, and end up in foster care where many are abused.
According to numerous press reports, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 year-old children who play cowboys and indians or cops and robbers during recess and raise a pointed finger while saying “bang-bang” are arrested and carried off to jail in handcuffs as threats to their classmates. In my day every male child and the females who were “Tom boys” would have been taken to jail. Playground fights were normal, but no police were ever called. Handcuffing a child would not have been tolerated.
From the earliest age, boys were taught never to hit a girl. In those days there were no reports of police beating up teenage girls and women or body slamming the elderly. To comprehend the degeneration of the American police into psychopaths and sociopaths, go online and observe the video of Lee Oswald in police custody in 1963. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FDDuRSgzFk Oswald was believed to have assassinated President John F. Kennedy and murdered a Dallas police officer only a few hours previously to the film. Yet he had not been beaten, his nose wasn’t broken, and his lips were not a bloody mess. Now go online and pick from the vast number of police brutality videos from our present time and observe the swollen and bleeding faces of teenage girls accused of sassing overbearing police officers.
In America today people with power are no longer accountable. This means citizens have become subjects, an indication of social collapse.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.
Source: Paul Craig Roberts
The Legend of “Nostradamus, Jr.” continues…
Most predictions about the future are risky attempts at guessing. If one is fortunate, they come across a clairvoyant, who has a long established record of forecasting political prospects. In the long tradition of prognostication, by the one and only, Nostradamus, Jr., William B. Kaliher presents his 2014 prophecy. The yearly feature on the EtherZone site produced a loyal following of eager future deprived junkies. Taking pleasure in continuing this esteem exercise in sarcasm, Stuck on Stupid offers commentary on a sample of these mystic omens, which can be found on “Nostradamus, Jr.” Kaliher’s Annual Top 101 Predictions for 2014
10. A new danger this year will be Progressive heads unexpectedly exploding. Study of the syndrome will reveal after mistakenly reading a reputable publication, damaged and unused synapses in Progressives will heal sufficiently to realize even after six years imitating a president, Obama’s resume and accomplishments still don’t measure up to superwoman Sarah Palin.
Such an admission that NeoCon Palin has more accomplishments means there is an antidote to government school brainwashing.
14. Communist Mijail Gorbachov will be recognized as more enlightened than Abraham Lincoln for allowing bullied states to secede.
The realization of self-determination impacts Europe, while still unknown in the Disunited States of Amerika.
18. The original Birthers, the Hillary Clinton camp, will feed more information to their front man Donald Trump to find the grave of the real Barry Bin Hussein Obama who was born dead.
When the CIA creates one of their own Manchurian Candidate’s they better use MI6 to forge the documents.
20. Quivering Chris “Fatty” Matthews, will admit the Obama administration is the most corrupt in American history, but insist Obama is so sexy it’s no wonder the media overlooked his failures.
MSNBC casting couch requires an interview with Bill Gates and a test of how far the Feeling and Thrill Goes up the Leg.
23. Facing questioning on her failures concerning the Benghazi disgrace America’s favorite crone, H. Rodham Clinton, will harken back to her infamous Selma days, and employ her “colored voice” in an effort to claim the Senators questioning her are racist.
When under attack the best defense is a rally of all the Boyz n da Hood.
25. Newt Gingrich will change parties and be re-elected to the House as a Congressman from New Jersey.
Closet DeomcoRATS strip off their GOP garb and get down to their real roots.
27. Eric Holder’s, of Fast & Furious shame, next false flag operation in Mexico will involve sending the drug cartels 15,000 automatic rifles as well as an undetermined amount of anti-personnel and anti-tank weaponry.
Preparing for the final invasion of the borders requires the deployment of the heavy infantry.
39. Progressives and their lackeys will fail to understand why Conservatives find it hilarious the anti-corporate Occupy Wall Street operation was underwritten by corporate offices on Wall Street.
The grunts that camp out to protest the international bankers are collecting their sustenance from debit cards.
44. Illegal alien and famed American clown, Barack Hussein Obama, will handle the Iranian nuclear crisis by sending Chicago Community Organizers, commanded by dingle-berry-eating Janeane Garofalo, to pow-wow with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The Chicago outfit will make a deal that they can’t refuse. Just ship some of the same nuke fuel that previously went to Israel.
45. When Hillary Clinton finally sobers up and recovers from her, (ha-ha-hee-hee-hee), concussion to testify concerning the Benghazi disgrace, she will claim the failure was because her security man, Craig Livingston, of Filegate fame, wasn’t on the job.
The queen of mean never gets dirty when a Mr. Clean crew is on duty. In this case, they were in rehab.
46. Liberal/Progressive/Democrats will be so embarrassed over being played for fools and buying snake oil salesman Albert “Carbon Footprint” Gore’s “man-made Global Warming” farce; he will no longer feel safe in England.
Brits will disclose that Gore is the programmer of the NSA information leak that exposed the global warming hockey stick.
48. It will be revealed Chucky “Sanctimonious” Schumer, Democrat, N.Y., suffered bouts of depression because 193 fellow Progressives beat him for television face time to decry the second amendment before the blood dried after the Connecticut school shootings.
Schumer’s press agent gets him a booking on the spin off the biggest loser for “POLS”.
51. Chinese diplomats will defend North Korea and the sanity of former leader and world class golfer, Kim Jong Il and his son Kim Jong-un, explaining, “With Obama in office the Jong’s aren’t the craziest leaders around. They’re actually reasonable and stable in comparison.”
Jong addresses the UN and condemns Obama for crimes against humanity.
61. Obama will confuse opponents about the tax money his thirty-plus czars take from the poor via the public trough by naming Mijail Gorbachov as the first non-Marxist in the group.
Twitter posts the first news that an IPO is ready from the bankrupt TARP interests to refloat their operations.
65. Satan’s more evil son,108 year-old Nazi George Soros, will be given command of both Obama’s first armed FEMA brown-shirt graduates http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/10/federal-goverment-graduates-first-class-of-homeland-youths/ and their armored personnel detachment.
The neo-Stasi brigade infiltrates resisting neighborhood to enforce DNA collection.
71. Democrat Party fact-falsification operation, Snopes, will deny the media quit covering Darfur, homelessness, Club Gitmo and environmental problems after Mr. Obama’s election.
Politico and the Huffington Post win pulitzer prizes for blaming Bush for ongoing Obama decisions.
72. Caring Liberals, (are there any other kind?) will band together to discover what evil is preventing tax escape artist Warren Buffet, from voluntarily and patriotically paying more taxes.
Buffet announces that Berkshire Hathaway invested into underwriting the next cycle of Democrat candidates.
80. Progressives will quit their war on Christmas when new birth questions force Obama sycophants to claim Barry was born in a manger.
Valerie Jarrett heads up the acquisitions of the CTN, TBN and the TCT networks to facilitate an orderly transition into the Church of Obama.
87. The DNC will give a special award of merit to John Boehner for his work in passing Democrat legislation.
Boehner get a CNN gig now that Gingrich joined the Democratic Party.
92. By June over half the American population will think Vladimir Putin cares more about American democracy than the administration.
Inquiries begin to see if a foreign born can become U.S. President.
95. Joe Biden will refer to the Prez using the “N” word and fellow liberals will justify his racist remark by claiming Biden has grown in office.
Obama claims he has matured as a white in office and is now under attack by his former brothers.
96. Some liberal Democrats will be removed from management positions in the Republican National Committee.
The GOP big tent collapses as a failure.
100. Barry Obama will set new records funding Green companies, including Alaskan Palm Orchards, Ltd., Arizona Cactus From South Georgia Swampland, Inc., Sliced & Diced Rare Birds of Yet-More Wind Propellers, Corp., owned by friends and political allies.
Obama reaches out to Gore to fund his retirement and provide the ex-VP with protection.
This list was selected as the tame examples. If you are daring, read the entire 101 items. A serious analysis and critical review of politics is mostly ignored by the general public. The popular culture is made up of people who cannot learn, of fools who repeat their mistakes time and again, and persons who constantly screw up.
The art in satire varies with the source and even more with the audience. Mr. Kaliher’s perspective may seem twisted to an apologist for the establishment. It might seem downright hostile to the statist, who places trust in government. However, the continual absurdity, year after year, just grows.
Both in the irony of the illustrations and in the intensity of the deranged circumstances, what comes out of the political class of illusionists, is even more frightening. Truth is stranger than fiction. Yet the refusal to admit the con game that is played on citizens is the primary reason that it never ends.
Accepting a corrupt system as normal or inevitable is defeatist to the core. Each generation of public officials move closer to act as irrelevant puppets and lap dog administers for the dictates of perverted elites. Is there humor in this act or is it beyond the abilities of the system to provide a correcting mechanism to reverse the unwavering descent into the ridiculous.
So what are the reasonable expectations for 2014? Will the Republicans take the Senate? Will an amnesty immigration bill pass? Or will the administration find a magic medicine to cure Obamacare? The score card usually misses the final outcome of the game.
When drawn together, all the Nostradamus, Jr. Predictions for the last ten years, the picture seems far more enlightening than entertaining. The sorry state of affairs, when considered as a continual trend towards a loss in quality of life, is the only conclusion possible. Only a lazy meathead refuses to face the facts and adjust behavior when the seer speaks.
Guess who’s investing in America’s future?
Nobody, that’s who.
Just check out this excerpt from an article by Rex Nutting at Marketwatch and you’ll see what I mean. The article is titled “No one is investing in tomorrow’s economy”:
“The U.S. economy simply isn’t investing enough to ensure that there will be enough good paying jobs for our children and our children’s children. Net investment — the amount of capital added to our stock — remains at the lowest levels since the Great Depression. …
Net investment…measures the additional stock of buildings, factories, houses, equipment, software, and research and development — above and beyond the replacement of worn-out capital. In 2012, net fixed investment totaled $485 billion, only about half of the $1.1 trillion invested in 2006…
If businesses, consumers and governments were investing for the future at usual rate, the economy would be at least 3% larger, employing millions more people. That’s a huge hole in the economy that can’t be filled by heavily indebted consumers, especially at a time when government is handcuffed by forces of austerity.” (“No one is investing in tomorrow’s economy”, Rex Nutting, Marketwatch)
Now the author seems to believe that the lack of net investment is just a temporary phenom that will work itself out in the years ahead. But he could be wrong about that. After all, why would a company build up its capital stock for the future when the future is so uncertain? Certainly, there’s nothing in the data that would suggest that the US economy is about to shake off its five year post-recession funk and shift into high-gear again, is there? No, of course not. In fact, it looks like the economy has reset at a lower level of activity that will only get worse as the impact of budget cuts and stagnation are felt. That will further curtail consumer spending which, to this point, had been the primary driver of growth.
Bottom line: Net investment is down because there’s no demand. And there’s no demand because unemployment is high, wages are flat, incomes are falling, and households are still digging out from the Crash of ’08. At the same time, the US Congress and Team Obama continue to slash public spending wherever possible which is further dampening activity and perpetuating the low-growth, weak demand, perma-slump.
So, tell me: Why would a businessman invest in an economy where people are too broke to buy his products? He’d be better off issuing dividends to his shareholders or buying back shares in his own company to push stock prices higher.
And, guess what? That’s exactly what CEOs are doing. Check this out in the Washington Post:
“Battered by months of disappointing sales, networking giant Cisco needed a way to give its shareholders a pick-me-up. So the San Jose-based firm did what has become routine for many big U.S. companies in a slow-growing economy: It announced last month that it was buying back shares of its stock…..
This is what U.S. multinationals do now with their cash. Rather than tout big new investments, raise worker wages or hire more employees, companies are more likely to set aside funds to reward shareholders — a trend that took a dip during the recession but has roared back during the recovery.
The 30 companies listed on the Dow Jones industrial average have authorized $211 billion in buybacks in 2013, according to data from Birinyi Associates, helping to lift the benchmark stock index to heights not seen since the tech boom of the late 1990s. By comparison, the amount is nearly three times what the group spent on research and development last year, according to data from S&P Capital IQ.
Why spend so much on stock repurchasing?
When the number of shares outstanding falls, the value of each one goes up, instantly rewarding shareholders.” (“Companies turning again to stock buybacks to reward shareholders”, Washington Post)
Corporations don’t care about the future. What they care about is maximizing shareholder value, that’s the name of the game; profits. If that means boosting net fixed investment then, okay, that’s what they’ll do. But if the Fed creates incentives to do something else, like gaming the system with stock buybacks, then they can make the adjustment. And that’s what the Fed’s zero rate policy does. It’s incentivizes businesses to use their capital in a way that’s damaging to the real economy. Here’s more from the same article:
“Helping to fuel the stock market’s meteoric rise is the Federal Reserve’s stimulus program designed to lower borrowing costs. Companies are taking advantage, often by borrowing money at low rates to repurchase shares, although it’s unclear how much of the debt is being used to pay for buybacks.
“It somehow feels scarier if they borrowed the money to buy back stock than if they had some investment opportunities,” Inker said. “That somehow seems more sustainable than just levering up to reduce the share count.”
Some analysts say companies are better off repurchasing shares than pouring money into investments promising dubious payoffs, especially in a slow-growing economy.” (“Companies turning again to stock buybacks to reward shareholders”, Washington Post)
There you have it; instead of investing in R&D, factories or new technologies, (all of which produce more high-paying jobs) companies are taking advantage of the Fed’s cheap money, goosing stock prices and raking in hefty profits. That’s just the way the policy works. The only way change the outcome, is to change the incentives. But the Fed doesn’t want to do that, and neither does the Congress because, at present, they have working people right where they want them, under their bootheel.
If you are looking for proof that workers are getting shafted, just look at the condition of the US consumer who is still on the ropes 5 years after the recession ended. Now, according to the latest Fed’s Flow of Funds report, “Household net worth rose by $1.9 trillion in the last quarter” which means that everything should be hunky dory, right? It means the long period of deleveraging should be over and consumers should be ready to go on another madcap spending spree like they did up-until 2007. Unfortunately, the Fed’s report is a bunch of baloney. The $1.9 trillion merely accounts for rising asset prices that have been reflated by Bernanke’s quantitative easing boondoggle. While working people have seen some uptick in housing prices, the bulk of the gains have gone to stock and bond speculators who’ve made out like bandits. As for consumers, well, they’re still stuck in the doldrums as economist Stephen S. Roach points out in this article at Project Syndicate. Here’s a clip:
“In the 22 quarters since early 2008, real personal-consumption expenditure… has grown at an average annual rate of just 1.1%, easily the weakest period of consumer demand in the post-World War II era.” (It’s also a) “massive slowdown from the pre-crisis pace of 3.6% annual real consumption growth from 1996 to 2007.” (“Occupy QE“, Stephen S. Roach, Project Syndicate)
So, personal consumption has dropped from 3.6% to 1.1%?!?
Yep. No wonder there’s no recovery. And, keep in mind, this is no short-term deal either, mainly because Democrats and Republicans are equally committed to future budget cuts which means it will be more difficult for households to get out of the red and resume spending. More austerity means more retrenchment and hard times for consumers, households and workers. Economist William R. Emmons provides a good summary of what’s-in-store for consumers in a recent post titled “Don’t Expect Consumer Spending To Be the Engine of Economic Growth It Once Was”. Here’s a clip from the article:
“Lower wealth: First and foremost, U.S. household wealth took a beating during the Great Recession. …., the loss of significant amounts of wealth and the severe pressure in some households to deleverage their balance sheets (reduce debt) are likely to contribute to restrained consumer spending for some time.
Stagnant incomes: The economic recovery under way since mid-2009 has been mediocre, at best. Job growth barely matches population growth, while incomes of the typical worker are barely keeping up with inflation. …, most of the overall gains in income appear to be flowing to high-income workers.
Tight credit: Consumer lenders either have disappeared altogether or are offering credit on a much more restricted basis than before the downturn.. …
Fragile confidence: Major consumer-confidence indexes have rebounded from their lowest levels during 2009 in the immediate aftermath of the recession, but they remain below the levels that prevailed just as the recession began in late 2008 …
Looming reversal of stimulus: The Federal Reserve has explored options to “exit” its extraordinarily accommodative monetary policy, while Congress and the president agree that budget consolidation is necessary in the not-too-distant future. In both cases, a tightening of policy measures represents a withdrawal of support for household incomes and wealth and, therefore, consumer spending.”
Individually, any of the five obstacles noted above might be surmountable. But combined, these contractionary forces make the outlook for broad-based consumer spending growth challenging. To be sure, some households weathered the economic and financial storms well, but we can’t count on these fortunate few to step up their spending sufficiently to offset the lost spending caused by declines in wealth, income, access to credit, confidence and government support.” (“Don’t Expect Consumer Spending To Be the Engine of Economic Growth It Once Was”, William R. Emmons, The Regional Economist |via The Big Picture
Emmons offers a bleak, but realistic assessment of our present predicament. There’s really no way the US economy can rebound without a dramatic reversal in the current fiscal policy. Most Americans appear to grasp this point which is why survey after survey show that the majority think the country is “on the wrong track”. The public’s frustration with Congress -(whose public approval rating is at all-time lows) is reflected in growing pessimism which is affecting their spending habits. This is completely normal, given that most middle income working people do not expect their financial situation to improve in the next year. Lower expectations mean more penny pinching, fewer job openings, skimpy net investment, and sluggish growth. That’s the future in a nutshell.
It’s worth noting that the investor class will also pay a heavy price for the current misguided policy. Stocks have had an impressive 4-year run, but there are signs that the day of reckoning is fast approaching. Get a load of this from USA Today:
“A potential warning to stock investors: the fourth-quarter earnings pre-announcement season is shaping up to be the most negative on record. In what seems like a major disconnect, the number of profit warnings relative to upbeat guidance is the widest it has ever been — at a time when the U.S. stock market is trading near record territory. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index notched a new closing high of 1809 Monday.
For every 10 companies warning of weaker-than-expected earnings for the October-through-December period, only one has said it will top forecasts, says earnings-tracker Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The actual 10.4-to-1 negative-to-positive pre-announcement ratio is on track to eclipse the prior record of 6.8 warnings for every positive one back in the first quarter of 2001. The long-term ratio is 2.3 warnings for each positive one.
“This is off the charts, I’ve never seen it this high,” says Gregory Harrison, analyst at Thomson Reuters.” (“As stocks hit record highs, so do profit warnings”, USA Today)
So why is Wall Street taking such dire warnings in their stride, you ask?
It’s because investors no longer pay attention to the fundamentals. Demand doesn’t matter. Earnings don’t matter. What matters is the Fed and the Fed alone. “Is Bernanke going to keep pumping trillions in liquidity into the financial markets or not?” That’s the policy upon which all investment decisions are made.
So when Bernanke announces his plan to “taper” his asset purchases (scale-back QE), equities will adjust accordingly.
Did somebody say “crash”?
Researching economic publications on the first century of the Federal Reserve System provides a wealth of financial information that attempts to explain the way the central bank works. Rarely will the academic studies and official reports address the raw nature of a money creation by a private banking monopoly. The common practice of disparaging sources outside government or corporatist business circles, attempts to avoid addressing, much less confronting the plutocracy that controls the debt created money system.
One such source list of the ownership of the Federal Reserve, compiled by Thomas D. Schauf appears on The Federal Reserve Scam! However, before getting to the particulars of the actual families behind the central banking cabal, it is important to go directly to the source of the primary chronicler who investigated and exposed the scheme. The late, Eustace Mullins – Secrets of The Federal Reserve, video reveals the entire sordid background.
Now review 25 Fast Facts About The Federal Reserve You Need To Know, from ETF Daily News that advises investors. The way these items play into the central banking model practiced by all 187 nations that belong to the IMF, demonstrates that banksters of the most select rank, are behind continued debt bubbles that are strangling the world.
On the Left Hook site by Dean Henderson, a five part series on the Federal Reserve provides added documentation. Mr. Henderson cites from Part 1 in this series, The Federal Reserve Cartel: The Eight Families, “They are the Goldman Sachs, Rockefellers, Lehmans and Kuhn Loebs of New York; the Rothschilds of Paris and London; the Warburgs of Hamburg; the Lazards of Paris; and the Israel Moses Seifs of Rome.”
Finally, watch the video by G Edward Griffin Creature From Jekyll Island A Second Look at the Federal Reserve. Mr. Griffin explains the broad picture in simple and clear terms.
With such definitive information available and widely known within financial circles, why is the public so content to remain in the dark? They live under the aftermaths of the Federal Reserve is a Cache of Stolen Assets, but resign themselves to the oblivion of lost expectations and the burden of diminished opportunities.
“Think about who really owns the land, the buildings and the resources in our country. In order to really understand the scope and extent of the economy, the differential between actual Main Street enterprise, that feeds, clothes and shelters the population, is minuscule when compared to the financial assets, both liquid and real property, that is under the command and control of the central bank.”
The political class and the business establishment simply refuse to buck the controllers of the currency. Attempts for a Jackals of Jekyll Island – Federal Reserve Audit, are pushed aside because any accountability for the Fed would ripple throughout the entire world fiat paper banking system. ”The FED’s grip on the global moneychangers’ racket is based upon maintaining the U.S. Federal Reserve funny money, as the reserve currency for the planet. The value and worth of Treasury Bills and Bonds are on the path to have the value of
Reichsbank marks. Recognize the enemy that is destroying the country and world economy.”The Cato Institute provides a working paper, Has the Fed Been a Failure?, that traces the history, avowed mission and actual results of the Federal Reserve System. This scholarly approach acknowledges that other financial frameworks are “relatively easy to identify viable alternatives to the adoption of the Federal Reserve Act in 1913.”
“However, recent work suggests that there has been no substantial overall improvement in the volatility of real output since the end of World War II compared to before World War I . . . the Fed cannot be credited with having reduced the frequency of banking panics or with having wielded its last-resort lending powers responsibly. In short, the Federal Reserve System, as presently constituted, is no more worthy of being regarded as the last word in monetary management than the National Currency System it replaced almost a century ago.”
Lastly, the essay, Who Owns The Federal Reserve?, by Ellen Brown, substantiates that the “Fed is privately owned, and its shareholders are private banks. In fact, 100% of its shareholders are private banks. None of its stock is owned by the government.”
Since the adoption of a private banking, money creation venture, the dollar has lost virtually its entire store of value. The currency has lost its universal acceptance, as multiple alternatives circulate to replace its reserve status.
The Federal Reserve’s First 100 Years: A Dismal Record by Dan Ferris, identifies the ultimate consequence of the stewardship under a central bank. “The century prior to the Fed, despite setbacks, was a century of improvement in the dollar’s value. The century after it, despite enormous gains in productivity, was a century of rampant Federal Reserve destruction of the dollar’s value.”This failure to maintain and preserve the integrity of the dollar is no accident. The actual purpose of the architects of the Federal Reserve System has never changed. Consolidate the control of money into a concealed cartel of banking houses that ultimately decide economic and political policy.
Dispensing of credit to corporatist projects, owned or run by reliable operatives of the cabal is the objective. The only beneficiaries are the original stockholders.
“Under the terms of the Federal Reserve Act, public stock was only to be sold in the event the sale of stock to member banks did not raise the minimum of $4 million of initial capital for each Federal Reserve Bank when they were organized in 1913 (12 USCA 281). Each Bank was able to raise the necessary amount through member stock sales, and no public stock was ever sold to the non-bank public.”
For the rest of Americans, the Federal Reserve conspiracy is an ongoing theft syndicate. It only takes the will to admit the undeniable. Without the courage to abolish this usury monster, the next century will witness the total destruction of the country.
No one can question the fact that the demand for silver has grown exponentially in the past few years, record sales for American Eagle coins being one small example, record buying in India, another larger example. Demand has never been greater. Supply, on the other hand, keeps diminishing.
Global mining production is at its lowest in the past decade. The annual Consumption/ Production ratio is indicative of acute deficits. Whenever there is a situation where demand rises sharply, while supply commensurately declines, it is a recipe for higher prices, and usually, much higher prices. This is true, unless one is talking about the silver market. Under the conditions of record rising demand and considerably less supply, the price of silver is at its lowest levels in the past three years.
With talk of silver going anywhere from $150 to $500 higher, it currently struggles to hold $20, why is this so?
The answer is not to be found in the myriad supply and demand figures, no matter how cogently presented: as absolute numbers, or dramatically presented graphs, and with so many comparisons to other times/situations. Facts and figures do not lie. Politicians and bankers do.
The reason why silver continues to languish is purely a political one. Silver, along with gold, compete against fiat currencies. All [Western]currencies are issued by central banks. All central banks are owned by the elites, New World Order, [NWO], the moneychangers, call them whatever you will. These elites have a vested interest in preserving the Ponzi monopoly they have enjoyed ever since Mayer Amschel Rothschild discovered the power of interest collected on debt, over 200 years ago.
Debt = Wealth. That is the motto for the elites who charge their central banks with running up as much debt as possible for every man, woman, child. and country. The more debt, the more interest owed to the 1/10th of 1% who own the world’s wealth. As an example, what was the answer to resolve Greece’s unmanageable debt problems? Have that country borrow even more!
The problem today is that the NWO is losing its grip as the growth of debt escalates to previously unimagined levels. The biggest threat to fiat currencies is sound money, such as being backed by gold and silver. This is why the United States eliminated the backing of United States Notes with silver and gold. This move was instigated by the elites who have controlled the United States since it was forced into bankruptcy in 1933.
The next move was to have President Nixon repudiate gold backing in 1971. The stage was set to flood the world with Federal Reserve Notes, backed by oil, hence the petro-dollar as the world’s reserve currency. The US has been exporting its debt-ridden society on the world ever since. What it did not count on was China, even Russia, to a lesser extent, emerging as world powers, and world powers that now have the gold.
The Western central bankers have been leasing, hypothecating and re-hypothecating gold with impunity, no country ever strong enough to challenge Western financial supremacy. Then, in the 1990s, China wanted its gold back from the United States. “Sorry, Chinks!” was the arrogant response from the US. It was gone, “leased” out to keep a controlled lid on the world’s price of gold. Central bankers were running a scam, one of the largest Ponzi schemes, ever.
It is now payback by the Chinese. Now aligned with Russia, Brazil, India, and South Africa, the BRICS nations have formed a trading alliance outside of the US petro-dollar. The world’s reserve currency has not only been challenged, it has fast become irrelevant, except in West and EU, and even in the EU, that is changing.
The golden genie was let out of the bottle over a decade ago, and all the central bankers cannot put it back. Every attempt has been made to keep a lid on the price of silver and gold by central bankers desperate to hang onto their waning power. This is why Germany was told it would have to wait seven years to get its gold back from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It simply ain’t there, anymore. Gone. Guess where it is?
China. Retribution can be a bitch. The East is over taking the West, and they are doing it by buying all the available physical silver and gold. Even more. China has been on a shopping spree, buying as many precious metals mining operations around the world as are available. Here is your largest demand factor, followed by the remaining BRICS nations.
What about diminishing supply? What about the almost empty vaults at COMEX and LBMA? What about the demand of 68:1 claim for each ounce of gold? What about… insert your own example of how supply is being exhausted. All factual, all true.
The elephant in the room no one is addressing is the political one. The elites have kept pressure on PMs to keep their last gasp efforts of control alive. The current price of silver has nothing to do with supply and demand, nothing. It is all about central banks being used by the elites to prevent silver and gold from exposing the fraud.
There was a reason why, in the Wizard of OZ, the theme was to “follow the yellow brick road.” The all-controlling Wizard behind the curtain was a fraud. The all-controlling elites behind the central bank curtain are also a fraud, but a more sinister one that has been cornered like a rat, and they are fighting back.
The way in which the elites are fighting back is why silver is under $20, right now. If the price of silver were allowed to rally and reflect reality, the exponentially higher prices would expose what lies behind the central bank fraud. The market is rigged. The sad truth is all markets are rigged. The Libor interest rate market, the Federal Reserve taper-on stock market, the OPEC oil market, the De Beers diamond market, the US world-wide drug trade market, the pharmaceutical market, the food supply market. Each factor that controls a specific market is also ultimately controlled by the elites, the New World Order.
If you want an idea of what to expect for the future price of silver, one only has to look at Bitcoin. It is not a government regulated market, and it is one that has taken the world by surprise. Just a few years ago, Bitcoin was under $1. Recently, it ran up to over $1,200. The appetite for any fiat alternative is huge. Bitcoin is not a currency, nor does it have the history of being currency-backed like silver and gold do. Once the lid is taken off the precious metals markets, they will leave Bitcoin in the dust.
The good news is: every single fiat currency throughout the history of the world has failed. An ounce of silver is still the same ounce of silver from thousands of years ago. The bad news is: no one knows for how much longer the elites can keep control, via their central banks, in suppressing the price. The good news to the bad news is that the end is near.
We are looking at the sale of the century for the price of silver, right now. There is a reason why China, Russia, and India have been huge buyers of physical silver and gold. Because of silver’s properties of being an indispensable necessity for industrial use, it has been used up considerably more than has gold. Both will rise incredibly in the not too distant future, and odds based on the gold/silver ratio favor silver.
One is likely to experience a greater return on investment in silver over gold. There is never any guarantee, but using historical relationships between the two makes silver a better buy and hold. The ratio is around 62:1. As both metals rise, once freed from central bank tentacles, the probability is that the ratio will move more toward 20:1. Wherever it goes, anything less than 62:1 makes silver preferred, on that basis.
This remains the best opportunity to be buying and holding physical silver. Only buy the physical metal, in coin or bar form, as you can afford. Do not buy silver in any form of paper, for you are unlikely to ever received physical, if promised. Plus, the fine print will tell you that delivery can be made in some form of paper payment in place of physical delivery.
If one has learned anything over the past few years, it is that governments cannot be trusted, and there is zero credibility in banks, all thieves, given the opportunity. Does it make sense to wait for the “best price possible?” Not as far as we are concerned. Silver may not be available at any price, or in very limited quantities, at some point. Plus, the reasons for buying are about wealth preservation that will eventually lead to increased wealth, when price finds its eventual true level. It is not worth the risk if you intend to accumulate silver and then not be able to buy any.
There could be one more new low in the near future, but that does not mean the physical will be commensurately lower. It is a personal choice. The time to buy is now, in the present. When silver eventually reaches over $150 the ounce, will it have made any material difference if you paid a dollar or two more or less the ounce? We live in an increasingly Orwellian world. Name, address, and SSN may be required, at some point. Anonymity will be lost.
The past cannot be changed, the future has not yet happened, so we can only deal with the present tense. The use of charts has its detractors, many simply from an inability to understand them, some from misapplying them, and a few from saying the charts are not real because they reflect the paper market, which is rigged. True, true, and true. However, paper valued or not, even the price for the physical is dictated by the paper market, [at least for now]. Until that changes, it is the only game in town.
Most people have something to say about the silver market. Here is how we see what the silver market has to say about the people trading it. For anyone not overly used to looking at charts, they do convey a certain degree of logic, and the message can, at times, be incredibly helpful.
A chart reflects the directional momentum of price behavior exhibited by participants. It is a way of tracking the results of all bets being placed, and it is the best way to see how the most skilled and informed, what we call smart money that moves markets, operate. Smart money trades with prevailing price direction, called the trend. They buy low and sell high, axiomatically, so it pays to have an idea of what they are doing.
A monthly chart provides the overall history and context of a market, and it is closely followed by smart money. Most traders/investors do not even look at monthly charts. We look for any existing synergy between the various time frames, for it tells a more compelling “story” about what is likely to happen. To the degree any synergy may be apparent, the greater the degree of logic one can glean from the charts.
According to the charts, the price of silver is not ready to reverse its trend. The monthly chart, and the lower time frames, clearly indicate the trend as down. Knowledge of the trend is the most important piece of information one can have, as a starting point.
By our apathy, our unawareness and our complete disregard as to what our U.S. Congress thrusts upon our country—we face enormous obstacles to our continued existence as a country let alone an intact civilization.
Within 37 years, at current immigration rates, we face adding 100 million more people—enough to add another 20 of our most populated cities. The enormity of the water, food, energy, housing, education and sustainability of that many people boggles the mind. Simple fact: none of us will be able to live at the level of wealth, waste and pollution we currently enjoy, or should I say destroy!
Hear this: it’s not if we add 100 million people, but a definite fact of an added 100 million people—if we don’t rescind the 1965 Immigration Reform Act and the 1986 Immigration Amnesty and if we don’t stop the final passage of the S744 Amnesty Bill that will return to Congress in 2014.
This 100 million immigrant-number constitutes something SO ominous, SO egregious and SO monumental that it will spiral our nation into its death throes as described in this series.
Do you care about your children’s future? Do you care about the environment in which they will live? Do you care about the quality of life and standard of living that you bequeath to future generations? Here’s what it will look like if you fail to tack action:
“Immigration by the numbers—off the chart” by Roy Beck
This 10 minute demonstration shows Americans the results of unending mass immigration on the quality of life and sustainability for future generations: in a few words, “Mind boggling!” www.NumbersUSA.org
Have you written emails and made phone calls to the 20 contacts I have offered in preceding parts to this series? If not, why not? If not now, when? The fact remains that the current immigration laws from 1965 and 1986 continue the onslaught of 1 million legal immigrants annually, their children and chain-migrated relatives without pause.
In a Constitutional Republic, only YOU can force change. Only your participation creates discussion and debate. Only your actions change the future.
I am not researching and writing this series to be read and forgotten. I write it in order to give you the power to take collective action.
President Teddy Roosevelt said, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.”
Poisoning our world
With 316 million Americans along with 20 million illegal alien migrants, our country faces enormous consequences on multiple fronts as described by this series.
But they may all pale in comparison to the poisoning of our world. If we continue adding people and hit the projected 438 million by 2050—a scant 37 years from now—that encompasses another 138 million people—all using poisons and chemicals.
At 80,000 chemicals now being injected into the air, land and water 24/7—-just imagine the cancer rates by mid century. Every family, every person in America will be affected by cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, Lupus, Autism and other diseases caused by chemicals wrecking our nervous systems.
The Fukushima radioactive injection of billions possibly trillions of gallons of contaminated water circulates to all oceans around our planet. It poisons all marine life and affects all oceanic eco-systems. You might call it “Planetary genocide” when the final story surfaces in the coming decades.
“Planetary Genocide”: Fukushima One Year Later: The Poisoning of Planet Earth By Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri
Perlingieri said, “With various half-lives –some eons-long– of numerous radioactive components, the human race and every other living creature on our planet is on its way to extinction, due to the known sterilization effects of radiation. Here is a short list of the half-life of five of the radioactive isotopes that are and will continue to poison all of our children, and us, ad infinitum, in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink and in which we bathe:
- Cesium 137: 30 years
- Plutonium 239: 24,000 years
- Strontium 90: 29 years [mimics calcium in the body]
- Uranium 235: 700-million years
- Iodine 131: 8 days [absorbed into the thyroid and gives heavy radiation dose. Also goes into the soil, passed onto us through cow’s milk.]
“In a report released just a few week’s ago, the milk tested in the San Francisco area still had radioactive levels of Cesium 134 and Cesium 137. According to even a compromised EPA, these are now at “150 percent of their maximum contaminant level.”
Think about another 100 million people added to the USA spraying, injecting and disbursing Round-up, Weed-be-Gone, Tilex, crop pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and thousands of other chemicals that pile-up ultimately within our bodies.
Monsanto poisoning our world
Genetically modified organisms are made by manipulation of extremely deadly viruses & bacteria (such as E. coli) that have been engineered to be immune to antibiotics. Monsanto spends millions of dollars each year in order to “sugar” coat the facts of what GMOs actually are and more importantly, how they are made. This video explains the scientific facts on how Monsanto manufactures their GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) by simply removing all the corporate propaganda, the “smoke & mirrors” if you will. This video will educate you:
Aspartame created and sold by Monsanto, a synthetic sugar used in every “diet soda” and “sugar-free” food, has been implicated in lupus, fibromyalgia and brain cancers. Yet, the American public buys “diet soda” like milk with no clue as to the diseases it causes. The enclosed video gives you an idea of Aspartame’s deadly consequences.
When you tally the 80,000 chemicals injected into our air, land, water, food and homes—no wonder one in three of us will be affected by cancers in our lifetimes.
Multiply another 100 million immigrants added to the USA in 37 years, and what do we as a country face? Answer: a multiplication of all those problems by 100 million more people.
Whether you add up the medical costs, the crowding, the contaminated water supplies, the acid rain contaminating our soils and dozens of other consequences—we face a growing poisoned civilization and all the people living in it.
Do you sit by and watch it happen to your kids or do you take action? Answer: take action! Force the immigration issue to the highest media sources by writing them.
The double suicide bombing targeting the Iranian embassy in Beirut – with at least 23 people killed and 170 wounded – was a de facto terror attack happening on 11/19. Numerology-wise, naturally 9/11 comes to mind; and so the case of the Washington-declared war on terror metastasizing – largely conducted by oozy forms of Saudi “intelligence”.
Yet don’t expect the “West” to condemn this as terror. Look at the headlines; it’s all normalized as “blasts” – as if children were playing with firecrackers.
Whether carried out by a hazy al-Qaeda-linked brigade or by Saudi spy chief Bandar bin Sultan’s (aka Bandar Bush’s) goons, the Beirut terror attack is essentially configured as a major, Saudi-enabled provocation. The larger Saudi agenda in Syria implies getting both Hezbollah and Iran to be pinned down inside Lebanon as well. If that happens, Israel also wins. Once again, here’s another graphic illustration of the Likudnik House of Saud in action.
Nuance also applies. Bandar Bush’s strategy, coordinated with jihadis, was to virtually beg for Hezbollah to fight inside Syria. When Hezbollah obliged, with only a few hundred fighters, the jihadis scurried away from the battlefield to implement plan B: blowing up innocent women and children in the streets of Lebanon.
While Hezbollah welcomes the fight, wherever it takes place, Tehran’s position is more cautious. It does not want to go all out against the Saudis – at least for now, with the crucial nuclear negotiation on the table in Geneva, and (still) the possibility of a Geneva II regarding Syria. Yet the House of Saud is not welcoming Geneva II anytime soon because it has absolutely nothing to propose except regime change.
On Syria, the main pillar of Bandar Bush’s strategy is to turn the previously “Free” Syrian Army into a “national army” of 30,000 or so fully weaponized hardcore fighters – mostly supplied by the “Army of Islam”, which is nothing but a cipher for the al-Qaedesque Jabhat al-Nusra. King Playstation of Jordan, also known as Abdullah, collaborates as the provider of training camps near the Syrian border. Whatever happens, one thing is certain; expect Bandar Bush’s goons to be carrying out more suicide bombings on both Lebanon and Syria.
The Zionist/Wahhabi/Salafi axis
The dodgy al-Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades in theory exist since 2005, placing the odd bomb here and there. One sheikh Sijareddin Zreikat tweeted responsibility for the Beirut terror attack. Curioser and curioser, the claim was “discovered” and translated into English by the Israeli disinformation website SITE. 
Yet another Israeli intelligence disinformation site, DEBKAfile, claimed the terror attack was an Iran/Hezbollah false flag, based on a “Saudi warning” reaching “Western intelligence agencies, including Israel”.  The rationale, according to “Saudi intelligence”, was “to convince Hezbollah fighters consigned against their will to the Syrian battlefield”.
This does not even qualify as pathetic. Hezbollah is basically defending the Lebanese-Syrian border, and has only a few hundred fighters inside Syria. Moreover, no string of suicide bombings will deter Hezbollah and Tehran from regaining control of what really matters in the Syrian strategic context; the Qalamoun area.
Qalamoun, ringed by mountains, is a 50-kilometer stretch bordering the Bekaa valley in Lebanon, between Damascus and al-Nabk, and right on the absolutely critical Damascus-Homs corridor of the M5 highway. The Syrian army is on the offensive in Qalamoun. Recapturing the whole area is just a matter of time. This means controlling the northern approach to Damascus. Hezbollah is helping in the offensive out of Bekaa valley. This does not mean they will camp out in Syria afterwards.
Now for the false flag accusation. As far as real false flags are concerned, one just has to re-examine three recent international bombings that supposed victimized Israel. In India the bomb had no projectiles; it barely injured an Israeli attache. In Azerbaijan the bomb was miraculously “discovered” before it went off. And in Thailand, the bomb exploded too soon, injuring only a nearby Iranian.
Crass Israeli disinformation is unmasked when it leaps into this conclusion:
If Tehran is capable of such atrocities merely as a diversionary tactic, then perhaps Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin ought to take a really hard look at their negotiating partner across the table before signing a major deal Wednesday, Nov. 20, which leaves Iran’s nuclear program in place.
So this neatly ties up with the current Israeli hysteria about the Geneva negotiations, which also includes the umpteenth report by a News Corporation outfit, London’s Sunday Times, that Saudi Arabia will help Israel to attack Iran. 
It also ties up with the proverbial US shills spinning, gloating rather, that, “strategically, this de-facto Israeli alliance with the Saudis is an extraordinary opportunity for Israel”. 
Even such shills have to admit that the House of Saud is “blocking formation of any government in Lebanon, for example, to obstruct Iran’s ally, Hezbollah”. “Blocking” of course is a euphemism to normalize suicide bombing.
And then comes the ultimate wishful thinking disguised as “analysis”; Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu “bidding to replace the United States as military protector of the status quo”. Translation; the Likudniks dreaming of becoming the new military Mob boss of petrodollar Wahhabis.
Bandar Bush’s strategy – weaponizing and providing cover to Salafis, jihadis and every patsy or mercenary in between – will go on unabated. After Bandar Bush convinced Washington to get rid of the Muslim Brotherhood-friendly Qataris, the Saudis are the supreme warfare go-to channel. The Bandar Bush machine has ties with virtually every jihadi outfit in the Levant.
It certainly helps that Bandar has the perfect cover; the fact that he knows and has cajoled every significant player in Washington. In the US, Bandar Bush remains a dashing hero, even eliciting fawning comparisons with Gatsby.  Right. And my name is actually Daisy.
Even with its own embassy attacked in Lebanon, Iran is maintaining an extremely calibrated approach. The number-one priority is the nuclear negotiations in Geneva with the partner that really matters, the US. This explains Iran blaming the Beirut terror attack on the proverbial “Zionists”, and not Saudi-enabled jihadis posing as “rebels” and part of the whole Bandar Bush nebula.
For the moment though, enough of Orwellian newspeak. What happened in Beirut was a terror attack, cheered by Israel, and fully enabled by Saudis; a graphic display by the Likudnik-House of Saud axis.
1. Al-Qaida-linked group claims responsibility for deadly Beirut attack, Ha’aretz, November 19, 2013.
2. Incredible! Beirut bombings killing 25 people were self-inflicted by Iran and Hizballah as a diversionary tactic, DEBKAfile, November 19, 2013.
3. Israel, Saudi Arabia Unite For Attack On Iran, RT, November 17, ’13.
4. The stakes of an Iranian deal, Washington Post, November 15, 2013.
5. Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia’s Gatsby, Master Spy, The Daily Beast, November 16, 2013.
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).
He may be reached at email@example.com.
Source: Asia Times
A couple of decades ago we were discussing whether or not American soldiers would fire on U. S. citizens? Many thought they would balk at such a travesty. Now it is common knowledge that Army leaders are selected on their willingness to do just that. Troops are trained to do what they are told and when they are ordered to do evil deeds only a tiny number resist; some even relish the savagery.
If you are dubious consider the present state of law enforcement in the United States. Citizens are handcuffed and arrested for trivial offenses and for no offense. They are murdered in their homes by policemen who invade by mistake. Young men who resist their absolute power are killed or beaten into submission and even women are not immune to their violent demands. There is little accountability for these savage encounters.
When nations decline and hunger sets its teeth into society, major violence begins and when violence begins those who fight it become equally violent.
Ambition often trumps righteousness. Sacrificing principle to achieve personal advancement is common strategy for those who seek power. Shakespeare wrote, “Let me have men about me that are fat, sleek-headed men and such as sleep a-nights. Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look, He thinks too much; such men are dangerous.” Our government is full of lean, hungry, ambitious men and women!
The sin of leaders is greater than the sin of followers but both are culpable.
When a society is subjected to massive amounts of propaganda and leaders are forced by an agenda driven media to support its erroneous content, prevarications become the basis for actions that create a vortex of injustice and confusion. This is where we are in America. What began as little propagandas has metastasized and overcome our society. Both leaders and followers overlook innumerable falsehoods. The tangle has reached such proportions and goes so deep that it is difficult to find a thruthful consensus.
Confusion is used by shadowy oligarchs to control people and nations.
Unfortunately the initial fault was not in our leadership but in our culture. We failed to confront dishonesty and turpitude in our homes, our churches, our businesses, and our government. Our failure to confront evil has allowed evil to flourish. We have re-elected politicians who have voted for legislation that has destroyed our government. We have allowed our schools to instruct our children in a morally empty humanism. We have closed our eyes to the accumulation of power that has allowed a handful of like-minded individuals to control information. We have allowed our church leaders to evade their responsibility to address and uphold our moral standards. We have voted for the lessor to two evils when we should have shunned the electoral process in protest.
American politics is hopelessly corrupt. Meaningful political change is impossible.
Penny’s Department Stores hired an executive from another industry who spent millions of dollars offering the public an honest price structure. His attempt to bring truth to the retail business almost bankrupted the company. It seems that American citizens would rather live in a titillating fantasy of lies than in mundane reality.
Fred Reed has written a descriptive article about support for our military. Americans are jingoistic; we are quick to support war and have a romantic relationship with our armed forces. We are not concerned that war is state sanctioned murder which seldom accomplishes anything. We are quick to believe the devious propagandists who inflict false hate on our society. We hate Muslims because we are told they hate us because of our freedom. We hated Germans and Japanese during WWII and transferred that substantial hate to Communists during the Korean conflict and Vietnam. We prefer emotional patriotism to denouncing the butchery of exceptionalism. We have forgotten that every human being is created in God’s image that He loves everyone. We have forgotten that the murder of innocent citizens in foreign lands is a national breach of the Commandment not to kill.
The Revolutionary War helped relieve us of English domination and other wars gained territory but wars from the Twentieth Century forward were useless. They made some citizens wealthy while killing millions of innocent people, disrupting our nation, destroying our morals, and injured our youth.
We should be ashamed when our churches support war by asking us to pray for our troops. We have the audacity to come before the King and Kings praying for his support in the murder of millions of people made in His image. It is devilish silliness when Christian churches implore the Prince of Peace to aide in mass murder!
There has been steady resistance to the legalization of abortion by a morally bankrupt Supreme Court. But the resistance seldom deplores the fact that the choice to murder a baby is made by the woman who carries it. A moral nation would not use such a service! Our nation is said to be divided over abortion; half for and half against. If that is true half of our citizens support the murder of babies. Isn’t it time our churches began to teach God’s moral code so that at least a majority of our citizens understand the Second Commandment by rejecting murder whether in the womb or by armed force?
A media conspiracy censors and distorts the news preventing Americans from knowing and understanding large amounts of important information. Conspiracies are ubiquitous; they are common in homes, in churches, in businesses, and schools; when people gather with a common goal conspiracy of some sort soon follows. To believe they are not common in government and the media is a serious distortion of reality. The press censors all suggestion of conspiracy and demonizes the word. We have failed to confront this serious distortion of reality.
Sanguinity has replaced obedience and become the objective of our churches. Christian churches that offer an emotional escape from reality are growing by leaps and bounds. Healing, tongues, inspiring music, and a positive message attract a work warn populace. Instead of confronting pervasive evil and teaching the Path to Righteousness and Peace church leaders allow their parishioners to behave like Hophni and Phinehas, (Read about the fate of their Father, Eli, in 1 Samuel 4)
A thoughtful bystander watching our government leaders on C-Span has to wonder how they can destroy our freedom over a bogus threat of terrorism and still sleep at night. President George W. Bush told us we were fighting in the Middle East to preserve our freedom. Now that our freedom is being threatened we are blaming it on terrorists who might be a creation of the bogus wars we are fighting. While we allow immigrants of all ilks to enter our country legally and illegally we train our army to put down civil unrest. We spend more money on armaments than the rest of the world combined but still are expected to give up freedom for protection. We are being governed by lies, terrorism has never been a major threat to our nation and it is a form on insanity when our leaders pass freedom threatening laws to counter a bogus enemy.
For more than two millenniums Christianity has offered hope to the world, but centralized power has always created kings and tyrants. We have failed to follow the Biblical pattern by decentralizing power to the individual family. Because we have failed to obeyed His Commandments, the blessings of obedience have never been realized. As time goes on Christianity is gaining ground but we are now in one of the darkest periods the world has ever known. This period of darkness will eventually end and Christianity will be victorious. God will continue to extend His Kingdom. In the meantime Christians are ordered to stand.
Does anyone in the United States understand or comprehend what America will look like in 2050 “IF” we continue endless immigration into our country? Does any leader possess an inkling of the ramifications of adding the projected 100 million immigrants, their kids and chain-migrated relatives?
That’s correct, at the current rate of immigration legalized by the 1986 Reagan amnesty, we continue on course to add 100 million immigrants from all over the world. They arrive legally at 1.0 million annually. They birth 900,000 babies among their numbers annually. (Source: Dr. Steven Camorata, www.cis.org) With chain migration, that means each “new” American may invite 10 of his or her relatives to join them with “family-reunification.” If the current S744 amnesty bill passes, your US Congress jumped that 1.0 million to 2.0 million legal immigrants annually.
Do the math! Any way you cut it, that means America will experience an avalanche, a human tsunami, or simply the biggest wave of humanity ever to hit our country or any country, ever. We will grow from our current 316 million to well over 438 million people within 37 years. The extra 38 million will come from our own “population momentum.” These figures stem from our country reaching 300 million in October of 2007. We grow by 3.1 million annually.
What’s it going to look like? Answer: it will become ugly on multiple levels—environmentally, sociologically, linguistically, culturally, quality of life and downgraded standard of living—for starters. Parts 1 through 5 will cover what we face.
First of all, 100 million immigrants will equal our adding 20 of our most populated cities. Think of it: we will add another New York City, Detroit, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and eight other American cities.
We face watering 100 million more people, housing them, transporting them, warming them, feeding them and finding jobs for them.
Today in 2013, seven states face shortages: Georgia, Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California. But Georgia will grow from 8.2 million to 16.4 million. Florida expects to grow from 18 million to 36 million. For the whopper fact of all, California expects to jump from 38 million to 58 million.
Our cities face resembling present-day Mumbai, India; or Tokyo, Japan; or Paris, France; or Shanghai, China—bursting at the seams with 50 to100 mile traffic jams, people smooched into 200 square foot apartments rising out of the ground like mindless stalactites.
Our rivers will run with endless chemicals from industrial, farm, human and acid rain pollution. Our National Parks will become so crowded that you will be forced to draw a lottery number in order to visit them.
Every last bit of arable land and wildreness will be destroyed by what scientists call “ecological footprint.” In Ethiopia, it takes .4 (4/10ths) of an acre of land to feed, water and house a person. In the USA, it takes 25.4 acres of land to support one person. (Source:www.allspecis.org)
With those 100 million immigrants, we must destroy 2.54 BILLION acres of land. That, in turn, guarantees accelerating our current 250 species suffering extinction annually in the lower 48 to double that number which will mean 5,000 species a year suffering extinction at the hands of our encroachment on the natural world.
As those enormous human numbers impact the carbon footprint and impact the “water footprint”, we face water predicament that will become unsolvable and irreversible. We face water wars, water confrontations, water irrigation problems heretofore never imagined.
Our giant aquifers like the Ogallala will dry up leaving us with no irrigation of our corn, wheat and hay fields.
We incorporate a Faustian Bargain in 2013 to reap a Hobson’s Choice in 2050—a scant 37 years from now.
Our quality of life cannot help but degrade into severe limitations as to hunting, fishing, wildlife extermination, energy exhaustion and resource depletion.
Let’s talk about energy: we hit Peak Oil in 2011. We face the last 50 percent of all oil remaining on the planet. It takes more energy units to pump it and less energy units out of the ground. Finally, at some point, we will be left with little oil at staggering prices—but a 438 million population to feed. Of sobering note, the world will have added 3.1 billion humans to feed, to this nightmare extends beyond our borders.
How about the environment? Anybody want to guess how much damage our carbon footprint will wreak havoc on our oceans with acidification and warming of the waters? My guess: we face annual Hurricane Sandy’s and Katrina’s. More tornadoes will mow humans down at an outstanding rate.
Additionally: I’ve only covered the tip of the iceberg of what we bequeath to our children.
As I sit here with the scientific facts, my own world travels having seen the 12 largest cities on the planet and my own scientific experiences in Antarctica—I am appalled that the American people and our leaders gallop into this added 100 million more immigrants without so much as a shout, whimper or cry.
Our kids will curse our stupidity, arrogance and outright disregard for their futures. My own two U.S. Senators understand what we face because I spent 45 minutes explaining the facts to their staffs, but they voted to add 2.0 million legal immigrants annually to make our fate arrive even faster than 37 years.
My guess: our leaders resemble intellectual lunatics. Our people resemble the dumbest sheep on the planet.
Finally, why am I one of the few Americans who “sees” this so clearly? Why aren’t there tens of millions of Americans who “see” and take it to “60 Minutes” ; “Charlie Rose” ; “Today Show” ; “DateLine” ; “Good Morning America” ; Scott Pelley, Diane Sawyer, Brian Williams, Wolf Blitzer, Kelly Mygen, Shepard Smith and every other media leader? Why don’t we demand a national discussion?
If we refuse to act, remain too apathetic to act, or don’t act—the S744 Amnesty Bill will pass and add that 100 million immigrants to this country in a blink of time. God help our children when they inherit our legacy of 100 million immigrants.
A man with excruciating pains following multiple traumas was monitored, daily, over one year while managing chronic pain by self-administering quantifiable amounts of natural cannabis. Tetrahydro-cannabinol, Cannabidiol, and Cannabinol were all measured in tinctures, capsules, smoke-able product plus some baked goods, prior to their administration. By allowing standardization, the man was able to develop a daily regimen of pain management that was resistant to a battery of most patented analgesics.
More than 100 million people in the United States suffer from debilitating chronic pain. Pain resulting from a severe on-the-job injury is a frustrating experience both for the patient as well as the treating health practitioners and physicians. If pursuing conventional medical care, it leads to chronic dependence on opiate painkillers and anti-depressants which eventually cause toxicity of the brain and metabolic function. However the relief of pain may be less desired if quality of life of such individuals is poor. The physician and the patients are left with no option but to resort to alternative modes of therapy.
Cannabis has been documented to be one of such measures, especially in advanced cases of cancer. It holds an enormous potential as medicines derived from cannabis plant exhibit a phenomenon termed strain specific symptom relief. It has been documented to be of proven value in arthritis and multiple sclerosis; however few controlled clinical trials for its use in chronic intolerable pain have been reported.
Some studies have examined the effect of adding a cannabinoid to the regimen of patients with chronic pain who report significant pain despite taking stable doses of potent opioids.
An investigational cannabinoid therapy helped provide effective analgesia when used as an adjuvant medication for cancer patients with pain that responded poorly to opioids, according to results of a multicenter trial reported in The Journal of Pain, published by the American Pain Society.
When patients begin to consume cannabis, there is a notable decline in the amount of prescribed medications taken, such as antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and pain relievers. These drugs have severe side effects. There is not one clinical study which examined the use of cannabis for pain relief where subjects were not able to reduce their drug intake.
A U.S. Patent 6630507 was initiated in 2003 when researchers found that cannabinoids, high ratios which are found in marijuana, had specific antioxidant properties making them useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia. Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidoil, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention.
The person involved in this study was a member of the Green Cross Society of British Columbia, which has Federal tax number to distribute cannabis for medical purposes. The Society provides natural product (cannabis, herbal medicine) to its qualified members.
The volunteer, a 33 year old Caucasian male, volunteer was selected from the membership based on his record keeping ability, the severity of his injury, plus his daily presence at the Society, allowing continuous monitoring. The man kept detailed notes of his condition, including pain charts, medications and dietary habits, allowing comparison by study observers. The individuals note taking allowed an in depth review of his condition. The case described here is strikingly similar to four others of its type, run over the same year, with comparable observations and outcome.
The cannabis supplied by the Societys contracted growers was optimized for THC concentration through genetic selection of specific strains, growing conditions and fertilizers. Organic growing conditions were a priority.
For 15 months the man was monitored for all forms of cannabis use. They accumulated data on the amount of smoke-able, encapsulated, edible and tincture preparations consumed by the man on a daily basis. His prescription record, physicians notes, urine (drug) tests, plus daily interviews were maintained and examined. Daily cannabis use totaling 10 g of natural product cannabis, translating to an average of 420-500 mg of THC, 40-80 mg of CBD and 20-60 mg CBN, was required to achieve a sufficient degree of pain management.
Significant reductions in daily pain scores as well as improved sleep, muscle spasm and general quality of life were achieved. The patient was able to get back to the daily activities, do some part time volunteer work, go to the gym, and lead what resembles a normal life.
He consumed 10-15 g of cannabis per day. He also found benefit in a number of supplements: for chronic pain and depression, including,GABA (500 mg), L- Tyrosine (500 mg), L-Tryptophan (550 mg), DL- Phenylalanine (500 mg) and S-adenosyl methionine (liquid) 40 drops a day. For the breakthrough pain he used cannabis tincture at 10 mg THC/drop; 2 mg CBD/drop: 15-25 drops (as needed), which relieved intense pain, in a couple of seconds. He also used Volcano (vaporizer), 2-4 g a day. A medical examination showed all liver functions to be normal, including clearance of the hypercholesterolemia.
There Is No Longer Doubt That Cannabis Addressed Pain Relief
The analgesic properties of cannabis are becoming well established in the literature. The purpose of this case study was to observe the efficacy and usefulness of the standardized whole plant cannabis medicine. Indeed, the complexities of elucidating the efficacy of such preparations is a difficult task, yet the benefits of the natural product far outweigh the contrary in consideration of toxicity, efficacy and side-effects. With regard to the latter, more frequently unwanted side effects from cannabis result from overdose than any other parameter. And, most frequently, this overdose results from oral ingestion of un-standardized baked goods (i.e. brownies).
Overdose results in confusion, paranoia and fear that subsides after four to six hours, often into sleep. In no case, has it been observed to cause permanent physical or mental damage, but can often leave the individual with extreme caution to repeating the event. The second most frequently observed un-wanted side effects arise from incorrect strain selection for the symptom.
For example, a person seeking pain relief and also suffering from anxiety, chooses a strain containing high concentrations of CBN, with little comparative CBD and low THC, may experience increased anxiety, with little or no pain relief. Another important observation is that there is a genealogical factor in tolerance experienced by individuals of different ethnic backgrounds. Persons of Celtic descent (Scottish, Irish or Welsh) appear to be 3 to 5 times more tolerant to cannabis than persons of middle European or African descent. The person described in this study had a Scottish mother, which may explain the high THC levels required by him, but not by persons in similar studies but of different ethnic background.
Proven Results With Cannabis
With 70% of the members treating chronic pain the same phenomenon is observed over and over that people achieve a significant degree of pain management using standardized natural product cannabis. Often a better quality of life is attained with cannabis use only. The subject in this study was nearly one year using only natural product cannabis plus supplements for his severe pain. He then went through yet another two surgeries to back and hand using only cannabis for postoperative pain.
About the Author
Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.
Source: Waking Times
First and foremost we should be governed by common sense. ~ Vladimir Putin (Time Magazine, 2007)
President Vladimir Putin is audaciously attempting to remove the brush covering from atop the common sense rabbit hole, which is not only a truly rare and subversive act in the eyes of the Con, but a potentially great gift to humanity – if only humanity had the sensitivity to appreciate it.
Nonetheless, this will no doubt prove to be a thrilling ride for those willing to take up the challenge. Russians are fortunate to have such a sane leader, and the West would be wise to follow his lead, but what exactly does Mr. Putin mean by Common Sense?
Here’s a quick peek at a couple of dictionary definitions:
1) Sound judgment not based on specialized knowledge; native good judgment.
The ability to soundly judge is important to understanding what common sense is all about, as is the fact that judgment is not an isolated act made according to individuated, specialized knowledge, but of something that is of a more general nature that is shared, common or native to the species as a whole.
To better understand how common sense operates as a cognitive process, Aristotle provides a clear and useful description:
The reason for having several senses is in fact that it increases the chances that we can distinguish and recognize things correctly.] Each sense is used to identify distinctions, such as sight identifying the difference between black and white, but, says Aristotle, all animals with perception must have “some one thing” which can distinguish black from sweet.]
see section on “Aristotelian Common Sense” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_sense
This shared or common sense, as opposed to a two-step Stimulus-Response model, appears to operate, according to Aristotle’s description, as a three-step process:
B) Understanding (through comparative analysis)
Why is something as fundamental and basic to humanity’s existence operating according to a three-step rather than two-step process?
If you look around the world today, everything is presented in opposing, pairs: A-B. Not A-B-C.
As such, critical A-B-C thinking, aka Common Sense is fundamental to the evolution of awareness, consciousness, cooperation and love which seems to occur with great frequency in nature, but not nearly as much in most human societies.
The Con understands this reality quite well, and they exploit it to their benefit. The Con does everything it can to lock humanity into a system characterized by dualism, stimulus-response programming, isolation, separation, competition, narcissism and egotism.
According to Aristotle’s logic, while each individual is inseparable from the whole, without common sense,i.e. a shared vision of the whole, perception of reality is too narrow, distorted and false.
Aristotle also said:
Common sense is where comparison happens, and this must occur by comparing impressions or symbols or markers of what the specialist senses have perceived. This is therefore also where consciousness originates, “for it makes us aware of having sensations at all”
see section on “Aristotelian Common Sense” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_sense
Aristotle emphasizes the act of comparison as critical to Understanding (Step B) the three-step A-B-C Common Sense-making process.
After perceiving an object, the perceiver compares and contrasts that object in relation to similar objects found within the perceiver’s experience. Finally, based on that understanding, the perceiver, in a creative act of synthesis, finds the true center or third way derived from the act of comparison and projects that decision out into the world.
In 2006, after carefully analyzing and deconstructing Vladimir Putin’s year 2000 Millennium Manifesto, author Gavin Slade from the Central European University in Budapest, an affiliate of The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS), affirms the Russian leader’s propensity for utilizing in the political arena the type of Hegelian common sense widely discussed in this article:
In the 1990s Russia’s political discourse was framed in terms of good and evil. There was little compromise or synthesis.
The rejection of revolution and change shows that Putin is effectively trying to establish a discourse focused on unity and stability knowing that the binary oppositions of politics during the Yeltsin era had created a situation where the state was unable “to muster a critical mass of leaders who articulate[d] one or another political discourse that resonate[d] in political society.
Rare among today’s world leaders, Vladimir Putin appears to well understand the evolutionary necessity of this third way approach to governance based on common sense-derived synthesis, and leverages that knowledge to promote unity, social cohesion and commonality of purpose on a national and international scale.
Aristotle even goes as far as to say that common sense is where consciousness originates. So if a society is lacking in common sense, and there’s little to no conscience, morality, empathy, consciousness, creativity, taste, discernment or love, how does one propose to govern such a population? This no doubt created a quandary for the rulers of large populations in the past, and clearly still presents governance challenges today.
The system’s time-honored, traditional answer to the problem of populations lacking in common sense was to oppress them into submission, with increased submission leading to an ever more constrictive cycle of dominance, oppression and abuse. It’s not outrageous to consider both parties to be at fault for this social dynamic that still exists and thrives today.
The cognitive process of common sense is part of humanity’s spiritual endowment and is similar to the Greek idea of knowledge or nous, which is the divine spark or knowledge within that is shared or common to all.
While nous may be common to all, it seems at present to be buried deep within the human psyche, and as such, unfortunately, is largely inactive.
Humanity’s drive to separate, exceptionalize and specialize (such groveling at the feet of society’s beloved specialists), is but a tiny sliver of the whole spoon-fed matrix. These absurd, self-destructive values are automatically downloaded at face value and parroted aloud as that which everybody knows.
These automatic, pre-programmed responses demonstrate the process of individual and social decay which epitomizes dualistic A-B programming, and as such represents an evolutionary dead-end. And yet despite its flaws, this system, while abhorrent to many not only does have value in populations largely lacking in common sense, but also provides stark contrast to utopian social visions, as well as important motivation for those who wish to overcome its glaring inadequacies.
So cheer up, the news is not entirely bleak. To find oneself, one must first lose oneself, and so humanity has intentionally (if not consciously), led itself astray. The capacity for auto-correction is built into the natural system of the Earth and undoubtedly woven into the very fabric of cosmic existence itself. And yet in order to auto-correct, one must first dare to walk down dark paths leading to destinations unknown.
Compliance with Globalist diktat is ensured by the Con’s ability to provide endless streams of mindless distractions and short-term pleasures quick as you can afford them. And if you can’t afford them but still crave them, you get a gold star for being a motivated world citizen.
But try inducing people to step off that wheel, swallow the red pill and slide down the rabbit hole. Just see how that works out.
Of course this makes no sense. Why choose isolated, short-term pleasures over long-term ones? Freedom is sold cheap in exchange for a handful of trinkets and beads. But as the late great George Carlin once said: “nobody seems to notice; nobody seems to care.”
The average person, lacking common sense, is unable to step outside his bubble and recognize the divinely entangled oneness of reality.
How many times do you have to read in the alternative media about the daunting lack of empathy on the part of the Globalist controllers, and this is true, but how about the lack of empathy among the masses? Without common sense, there is no empathy, and the masses are sorely lacking in common sense.
The inability to put themselves in the shoes of others keeps the un-awoken strapped to the bed of their own egotistical, narcissism. Good luck getting through to them. They are simply incapable of being awakened in anything less than a repeatedly rough manner.
Russian history is chock-full of examples of these rough awakenings, and it therefore should not be so surprising that today’s Russian population is relatively more awake than those still snoozing in the pampered, declining West.
Perhaps this is why those cast in the role of Controllers – along with their robotic minions – are as nasty and brutish as they are, since it falls on them to rouse Joe Sixpack in the only way he seems to understand: by shoving his face deep down into the toilet bowl of an unexamined life. Spend enough time down there, and you may finally see that all your dreams of wealth, success and material gain have just been so much meaningless crap.
And so the seemingly endless stream of futile chatter in the alternative media referring to the slumbering masses and how if they just had the right information is, sorry to say, nothing but pure fantasy, wishful thinking and projection on the part of the awakened, common sense minority.
The Great Awakening that many feel today, and it is palpable, is not widespread; it’s actually emanating from a very small, scattered fraction of the global population. It’s just that this small but slowly growing group of A-B-C common sense types, specialists in their own right, have a tendency, despite their incessant utilization of the common sense process, largely due to a lifetime of incessant “all men are created equal” propaganda, to erroneously project their common sense values on to the masses, and as a result are time and time again disappointed when their best intentions to rouse the herd are not taken seriously. Boo-hoo.
If the world was in fact brimming over with common sense, which currently it is not, reality would appear quite different than it does. No, the prison planet has been specially designed to serve the masochistic masses precisely what they need in order to evolve. It wouldn’t actually be so bad if it weren’t so damn destructive. If anything, it’s not dull.
As it is presented today, the Con’s “reality” is designed to stroke the mass ego consciousness with just enough happy endings to keep the machine humming and its occasionally unruly parts alternately motivated, sedated and restrained. This seems to be an unfortunate yet necessary design for an emotionally immature, Id-raging majority.
On the other hand, within an awakened community, no matter how small, which is not characterized by delusion but common sense, the rules of the game could not be more different. Within such a community, you can always choose another path and consciously create what you want. Life there is no longer an either/or A-B equation. You can finally transcend childish dualism as you take a quantum leap into the common sense adult world of contemplation, awareness, empathy, consciousness, comparative analysis, and synthesis. In this vitally thrilling world, A + B = C.
The goal of discourse is to create the transcendental, a higher centre of meaning outside the plurality of visions and interpretations, ‘to arrest the flow of differences, to construct a centre. ‘Thus, ‘at the base of Putin’s policies and what we shall describe as his “third way” lies the idea of a grand transcendence of so many of the conflicts that had both shaped and torn Russia in the modern era.’ -http://www.sras.org/deconstructing_the_millennium_manifesto
Mr. Putin has tirelessly and with increasing success preached his neo-Gnostic common sense gospel to a Russian population that has in the not-so-distant past become familiar on an unprecedented scale with such intense suffering and pain that an increasingly large portion of them now appear eager to listen to and act upon Putin’s challenge to reclaim their common heritage as intelligent, discerning and consciously evolving individuals in a country of rich heritage and national achievement. This development on a national scale is uncommon.
The economic prosperity that Putin’s leadership has helped generate, impressive as it is, pales in comparison to the raising of individual consciousness en masse in Russia, which is what can happen to a nation when real common sense is applied to governance. That requires rare leadership qualities on a level that few in other countries have experienced in a long while.
What many in the West often fail to comprehend (because they lack empathy) is that when you’re the leader of a 9 time zone wide, 17 million square kilometer (6.6 million sq mi) Eurasian land mass comprised of a wide range of European, Caucasian, Asian and Indigenous cultures, in order to successfully lead and inspire such a diverse group, you must possess a Yin Yang-balanced, personal and diplomatic Swiss Army-like skill-set.
This mixing of Western and Russian ideas is only a part of a blend of inter-discursive features adopted by Putin. It is in his co-optation of different discourses and ideas that Putin attempts to suture rifts in identity and win the war of position within discourse. It is, as some have said, a ‘third way.’
As an individual, Vladimir Putin displays many attributes of the modern Renaissance Man. He’s a vigorous yet contemplative gentleman of refinement and culture with an admiration for various art forms and a genuine appreciation for the diverse beauty and splendor of nature.
Although Mr. Putin enjoys hunting and fishing, it’s not part of some macho power trip to defeat and kill defenseless animals, but rather as a way for him to feel vitally connected to the natural world that we share with each other and are invited to explore if only we dare.
Here’s a striking passage from a May, 2011 Outdoor Life Magazine interview where Mr. Putin candidly describes his experience obtaining a whale biopsy:
OL: In August 2010, you helped scientists obtain skin samples from a whale off Russia’s Pacific Coast by darting one with a crossbow. I imagine that has to be one of the more incredible of your wildlife encounters.
VP: That was indeed an unforgettable experience, and I remember very well how impressed I was.
First, all that surrounded me—the low sky, the stormy sea and, of course, the whales—was magnificent. Besides, these elegant giants showed us a real performance, leaping out of the water in front of our boat.
Second, I was really thrilled. I do not want to offend your feelings as a hunter, but, by its intensity, its dynamics, that was a real hunt. But without killing the animal. And this was a special pleasure. This is not a melodramatic statement. That’s the way it really was.
We left not just to see the whales, but to take a biopsy—in other words, to dart one of the animals with a crossbow arrow, which can rip off a small part of whale skin necessary to make a special analysis. It was not that easy; three times I failed, and only the fourth attempt was successful. Of course, I could justify myself that the boat was tossing badly and that it was the first time for me to handle a crossbow, but the main reason I see was my anxiety, because participation in the scientific experiment is a very important undertaking.
OL: After you successfully darted a whale, a reporter asked you if it was dangerous. You replied that, “Living, in general, is dangerous.” Do you have any comment on that?
VP: I think what I meant by that is obvious. Despite all the achievements of civilization, the human being is still one of the most vulnerable creatures on earth. None of us is protected from crimes, epidemic outbreaks, natural and technogenic disasters. What I am saying is not a fatalistic view of the world, it is a realistic one.
Mr. Putin, with obvious empathy for the whale and a humble appreciation for the magnitude of the moment, describes in a nutshell the fragility of the human experience within a natural world that is both nurturing and fraught with risk. Unlike his ego-driven political counterparts who can never admit to any weakness, it’s a feather in his cap that he does not appear to be afraid to convey his fear and anxiety at being in the middle of what most would agree was an unsafe situation.
Mr. Putin seems to be implying that you might as well take risks because risk is inherent to life. To therefore feel some degree of anxiety when taking bold steps is natural, and nothing to be afraid of. Taking those bold steps is part of a personal and national awakening process.
Having repeatedly put his personal safety in jeopardy for the sake of the greater good, as demonstrated by his biopsy of whales, soaring with endangered cranes and tranquilizing tigers…
…it should come as no surprise when Mr. Putin applies a calculated risk approach to diplomacy, as demonstrated by his swift response to an extraordinary early August 2013 meeting with the head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Bandar, an event first reported in the UK Telegraph and widely acknowledged in the Russian press as well as a number of other sources.
This colorful September 30th, 2013 recapitulation of that same fateful meeting comes courtesy of an approving Pravda opinion column, “Come the Day, Come The Hour”:
Essentially, Bandar Bush went to Putin – purportedly with the full backing of the US, and offered to cut a secret deal to carve up the oil profits if Russia would back off on Syria and allow a regime change. Putin quietly and politely offered a nyet. He was not for sale and neither were his principles. Bandar went on to then threaten Russia by turning loose Chechen terrorists to cause havoc in the Winter Sochi Olympics. Saying that all terrorists groups are under their control and that they can turn them on or off as they like. Well, it appears that at this stage, the negotiations moved from being polite – Putin warned Bandar that if Syria is attacked, Russia would bomb Saudi Arabia. At last, someone with balls. This threat was communicated to senior members of the Armed Forces with instructions to prepare to strike Saudi Arabia. Obviously, this was leaked.
The now famous and universally acclaimed accord on chemical weapons aside, wouldn’t it be more than likely that President Putin’s declaration of intent to bomb Saudi Arabia if Syria was attacked is the real, under-reported reason why a near-certain U.S. strike on Syria was called off? Just a theory…
President Putin, a man of principle and a strong advocate of International Law, rejected out of hand Bandar’s pathetic bribe, since unlike many other politicians, he has principles, and can’t just be bought off.
Nonetheless, upon digesting Prince Bandar’s incredible admission of he and his country’s direct support for state-sponsored terrorism, despite his usual placid demeanor, President Putin’s jaw must have dropped when he received a not-so-thinly veiled threat of Olympic terrorist attack if cooperation on the Syria question was not forthcoming. President Putin rightly determined that this was not only a direct threat to Russia, but to the entire civilized world, and so he did what he had to do: stand up to the bully.
Only a leader so level-headed and eminently comfortable in his own skin could stare the impudent Saudi down and call his bluff in terms that were crystal clear and absolutely appropriate to the threat. Exercising his capacity for A-B-C common sense, Mr. Putin perceived, understood and decided what to do without hesitation.
When threatened with force, sometimes the only way to get the other party to take you seriously is to threaten them right back. That took guts and is deserving of recognition.
World War III was averted (for now), and Putin’s stock has deservedly risen to such a high level around the world that he was in serious contention for the Nobel Prize. The fact that he didn’t win is probably better PR than if he had won, since Obama won it for bailing out the bankers. Putin is probably ok then with an honorable mention.
When an individual like Vladimir Putin, who both at home and abroad is recognized as having an authentic character, repeatedly demonstrates sane, balanced actions, as he declares the rule of law and common sense governance as the goals of the nation and backs it up with corresponding actions, he naturally enjoys widespread support and trust.
Sadly, these common sense leadership qualities, which should be essential prerequisites for every political leader, are sorely lacking in the West, where there seems to be a permanent disconnect between common sense and politics.
Often unfairly lampooned in the press for his bare-chested macho man image, Mr. Putin also appears to genuinely be in touch with his feminine side.
As a Judo master, Putin is adept at using his opponents’ momentum against them, which can only be done by respecting the power of each “adversary,” as well as being sensitive to the flow of energy emanating from that person. A perfect example of a real world application of that principle is how President Putin “flipped” and redirected the Saudi Prince’s malevolent, threatening, violent energy right back at the Prince and synthesized the product of that energy for the purpose of creating peace.
Check out Putin’s judo moves here:
Sometimes Presidents really do need to act like car salesmen, but the car that Putin is selling is built to last and runs efficiently on common sense, common law (i.e. as long as you’re not hurting anyone, you’re acting within the law), and community. And that’s a vehicle more and more Russian citizens are being convinced by Putin to buy, since he drives one himself.
Putin’s manifesto is rich in inter-discursivity, appropriating elements from competing ideologies and rejecting binary oppositions in order to win the war of position within the discursive field thus creating ‘an all-national spiritual reference point that will help to consolidate society, thereby strengthening the state. This reference point, a new Russian idea, helps construct an image of the state as a nation of people represented by a spokesperson, the president.
Those of the awakened minority who are frustrated and at odds with Globalist domination strategies should find solace in the fact that the dream of a New World Order, of which much of the world is presently dreaming into reality, must according to its unnatural and unsustainable underlying principles, much like its Soviet system predecessor, inevitably collapse under the weight of its excessive absurdity.
And if you’re one of the small but proud members of the common sense minority community, if you haven’t already done so, please do yourselves a big favor and cease all efforts aimed at trying to wake up humanity, because it can’t be done. Instead, continue waking yourselves up.
Humanity can only wake itself up one individual at a time. The newly awakened, in their own time, will make connections with others without your incessant nudges. So try to let go. You’ll feel better if you do.
In stark contrast to the West’s current political downward slope, it’s fascinating to observe the progress of Vladimir Putin in his quest to help instill and nurture a return of common sense to the realm of politics. It makes one hopeful that new leadership possessing similar strength of character will follow President Putin’s lead.
Unlike Mr. Putin, we can’t all play the part of hero in this movie, although there’s no character too minor and no act too small.
Continue speaking your truth, get along with others, and have a good time. The rest will take care of itself.
That’s just plain old common sense.
And to close the show, Ladies and Gentlemen and Children of all ages, live from the internet, the one, the only…:
Source: Waking Times
Beirut – In modern times, France has done far better diplomatically when it has advocated against impetuous military involvement in the internal affairs of other countries. French standing in international politics has been highest when its government was cautious about its military involvement, when it adopted the wise posture of Old World Europe, counseling the impetuous upstarts of the New World. When Charles de Gaulle told Kennedy, then Johnson, to stay out of Vietnam, his international standing skyrocketed. When Chirac told Bush not to go into Iraq, the same thing happened as history repeated. It was the threat of a UN Security Council veto by then-President Jacques Chirac, and French doubts about America’s evidence of weapons of mass destruction, that forced the Bush administration to seek a “coalition of the willing” outside the UN.
This was decidedly not the case with Syria, when France, led by an inexperienced president, decided to rush in and partner with its “oldest friend,” this time adopting a very different posture—essentially leading the European charge in “punishing” the Assad regime, as Francois Hollande, ignoring history, repeatedly vowed to do.
The French president did deservedly receive some credit for the January 2013 French military invasion of Mali, but it that case France had been asked by the Government of Mali to help put down an Islamist uprising, and Hollande had the support of the UN Security Council and the EU as well as the US and UK. The French public rewarded Hollande, perceived as weak in foreign policy, with a fleeting surge in his otherwise usually dismal approval ratings. These ratings have been low in large part due to French economic woes coupled with a public perception that he has been vacillating in domestic leadership.
When Mr Hollande cast himself in the role of western war leader for the second time in a year, his popularity shot up again, though not with the French public, but with the US Zionist lobby and the neocons in Congress. For his pains, Hollande found his country described as America’s “oldest ally” by the US secretary of state, this after Britain’s parliament had already rejected military strikes on Syria. Suddenly his ability to project French military power—this time in Syria—depended on the outcome of a vote in the American Congress, and despite his bold words, President Holland found himself uncomfortably constrained, with his advisers, and his country, divided over what to do next.
When John Kerrey told Francois Hollande that France was America’s” oldest friend” he was referring to the period of the early American Republic—a time when France did back America, in 1776, against the British colonial power. But the nation overstretched itself militarily and economically, in the process triggering the French Revolution of 1789 that ended its own monarchy. As Gustave Flaubert, reputed to be France’s leading novelist of the second half of the nineteenth century, wrote, ‘irony takes nothing away from pathos’. In today’s terms, President Hollande would do well to pay more attention to history.
Syria of course presented a vastly more complex and difficult challenge than Mali. As a member of Hollande’s own party acknowledged, “people became very aware that Syria is not Mali. Suddenly there were some very difficult questions being discussed. Can we do it? Is it legitimate to do it? Will it achieve anything?”
French public opinion is running strongly against Hollande; a poll published recently in the conservative daily newspaper Le Figaro showed about two-thirds of the French opposed to military action against Syria as well as Iran. Growing demands that the president grant Parliament a vote on the matter were made last month amidst considerable speculation that he would lose if he did. In the end he did not.
To complicate matters even more, there have been recent revelations of Hollande’s socialist administration granting hundreds of millions of dollars in tax exempt deals to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Gulf royals have managed to secure, at bargain-basement rates, some high-priced, historic landmark-type properties, including the historic acreage opposite the Eiffel Tower, while more than 10 percent of the French population lives in sub-standard housing. Despite the socialist leader’s claim that all this will aid France in getting good deals for gas and oil—while providing a particularly huge windfall when Assad’s government is finally replaced with a pro-Western one—pressure is building on Holland to “come home to France” and focus on pressing domestic problems.
Another embarrassment came with the Russian proposal to encourage President Assad to give up his chemical weapons. Consultations between Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, dramatically sidelined Hollande and set Paris’ military invasion position against the diplomatic momentum. In reaction, Hollande, less than 24 hours after the Russian proposal, tried to regain the lead by presenting a separate resolution to the UN Security Council. The French draft was immediately dismissed by Moscow, as it appeared that the document suggested the authorization of the use of force, under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, if Assad failed to comply with the chemical weapons transfer. Lavrov ridiculed that condition “unacceptable,” and in the end, France had zero substantive role in solving the conundrum over the dismantlement of Syria’s chemical arsenal. That accomplishment was achieved solely through US-Russian talks, with discrete input from Tehran.
Hollande has put himself into the position of being criticized for failing a basic test of French politics — protecting the country’s pride. Having impetuously agreed to join in a military action, France is now forced to wait on the sidelines of the Levant as Russia, America and Iran take the diplomatic lead, repudiating France’s stance. Some of Mr. Hollande’s critics now say he looks like a lackey.
France promises Israel to stay “tough” on Iran.
Some observers are suggesting that the French president has decided to seek refuge from the fallout—fallout from what many in France regard as his political ineptitude—by linking himself with Israel’s PM Netanyahu. More than a few of the 200 members of the Chamber of Deputies, even from Hollande’s socialist party, are commenting on this while also pointing to a perceived humiliation dealt their country by way of Hollande’s failed efforts at being a ‘player’ in the Syria crisis.
On 10/11/13, after the Israeli premier warned Paris of “succumbing to the charms of Tehran,”Hollande hastened to assure Netanyahu that France will remain “tough” with Iran on its nuclear program. It was in a television interview earlier that same day, on channel France24, that Netanyahu had urged France to be tough on Iran “with or without Rouhani’s smiles.” The comments apparently were prompted by an historic French-Iranian presidential handshake on the fringes of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month—a handshake which the Israeli staff traveling with their prime minister criticized on the grounds that it would embolden the Islamic republic.
“If Iran really wanted to dismantle their nuclear weapons program, they’d come out with it,” Netanyahu told France24.
According to French daily Le Monde, Hollande told Netanyahu that he was flabbergasted by Obama’s hesitation to bomb Syria, and complained: “If Obama does not strike Iran, how can we believe he would help Israel in case of Iranian aggression?”
In the France 24 interview, Netanyahu also ignored a question as to why Israel did not “come out with it” with respect to its own nuclear and chemical weapons arsenals.
President Hollande ignored the same question.
Trying to rebound off the ropes, where it has been pummeled for the past several decades, The United Auto Workers (UAW) has launched an aggressive organizing campaign in the South, in line with an AFL-CIO resolution emphasizing organizing there, where unionization rates are weak across the board.
As reported in The New York Times, the UAW has taken an international approach where union members in Brazil are picketing Nissan dealerships, a U.S. UAW contingent is traveling to South Africa to embarrass Nissan over its antiunion policies, and a similar campaign is underway in Tokyo and Paris.
Actor Danny Glover, has been persuaded to visit college campuses to recruit students to help in the union drive, and community groups are being organized, which include the NAACP, to help as well.
All of these measures are positive steps. Because of globalization and the ease in which industries can escape to anti-worker environments, private sector unions have suffered serious setbacks since the early 1980s. But globalization can be countered.
For example and most importantly, because it is leaning on international support, the UAW has rightly felt obligated to return the favor. In 2010 the UAW demonstrated outside a Hyundai center near Detroit to support the striking workers in Korea. By helping the Korean workers win higher wages, the UAW reduces the incentive for auto industries to flee to Korea.
By repeating this strategy in all other countries with auto manufacturing, globalization in the auto sector could be forced to a standstill. Instead of workers from different countries competing against one another in a race to the bottom – where the goal is to accept lower wages in order to attract business – by adopting the principle of solidarity, workers around the world can begin to raise their standard of living and all rise together.
In this way we could begin to reverse the steady transfer of income from working people to corporations. As The New York Times reported (U.S. Companies Thrive As Workers Fall Behind, 2013): “…wages and salary income in 2012 amounted to 44 percent of G.D.P., the lowest at any time since 1929, which is as far back as the data goes…The flip side of that is that corporate profits after taxes amounted to a record 9.7 percent of G.D.P. Each of the last three years has been higher than the earlier record high, of 9.1 percent, which was set in 1929.”
The UAW’s effort to connect to students and community organizations has the potential to change the balance of forces. Corporations want good public relations. They invest in huge amounts of money to run one-page ads to tout how much money they contribute to local schools or how much they care for the environment. They know more than most of us that public opinion can be a powerful weapon because it serves as the foundation for culture, and a culture conducive to business interests is a huge money-saver for them.
By turning to the community in order to conduct a campaign of shame, the UAW can begin to change culture in a pro-worker direction, which, of course, would benefit most people. But this turn will have to embrace more than a cultural dimension in order to take hold; the union will have to actually champion causes that will benefit the community, for example, by demanding that corporations pay their fair share of taxes so that schools and social services can be properly funded. Those kinds of gains would amount to what are called, “game changers.”
But the UAW will have to overcome some of its missteps if it wants to succeed. In 2007 they accepted a contract that included a $14 per hour salary for new hires, thereby creating a yawning chasm between their pay and that of the current workforce. What this means is that the workers at that time voted in favor of reduced wages for other workers, not for themselves, which inevitably produces animosity between the two groups. But only solidarity can save the union at this point, so in the next contract the union must champion the wages of the newcomers over their more senior coworkers in order to reduce the wage-gap between them.
Secondly, UAW President Bob King has adopted a somewhat contradictory theoretical and strategic framework that needs adjusting. Labor Notes quotes him as saying: “We have completely discarded the ‘us versus them’ mentality.” But Labor Notes went on to note that Gary Walkowicz, who ran against King in the last election for president, doesn’t think that will work and quoted him as saying: “If we want to convince the people in the non-union plants, we have to fight,” he said. “Turn back the concessions and give people a reason to want to join the UAW.” Of course he is right.
In his interview with Labor Notes, King offered this justification: “If workers have a larger voice they produce a better product,” In this way he hopes to promote employers’ success while rejecting “an adversarial work environment.”
There is usually a grain of truth in what people say, and King can boast of his grain, but he fails to capture the larger picture. His partnership philosophy is taking place within the context of capitalism, which radiates in all directions a culture of competition, self-interest and greed. In such a climate corporations are unable to distinguish between the highest good and the highest profit. Their number one concern is always their rate of profit. King’s philosophy will work only under limited conditions that have on the whole disappeared: if the company cannot move to a non-union location elsewhere and make a higher profit, then it will accept the partnership. But just as foxes are programmed to eat chickens, corporations are programmed to maximize profits, and genteel gestures will have little impact on this instinctive reaction. Unless globalization is brought to an abrupt halt, at least as it is currently practiced, King’s auto companies will move to greener pastures.
The “partnership” philosophy, which was trumpeted by John Sweeney, former head of the AFL-CIO, had disastrous consequences. Labor suffered some of its greatest defeats and watched its membership plummet.
Instead of turning to the corporations for partners, the UAW will need to redouble their efforts to build partnerships both domestically and internationally in order to organize a powerful movement of all those who are the victims of corporate policies. When the world’s population, that is overwhelmingly against corporate policies that impoverish workers and trash the environment, is organized, the balance of forces will shift and real change will be possible.
Bill and Beth (not their real names) are professing Christians. Bill gave Beth a “promise ring” so she decided that God would be okay with them living together as man and wife. If the arrangement works out, they’ll marry. If it doesn’t work out they’ll move on to the next relationship.
Beth’s mom is also a Christian. Beth opened up to me that when her mom found out she had decided to live in sin her only concern was that she could become pregnant. Both of Beth’s sisters have children out of wedlock and this understandably distresses Mom as she worries that her youngest may follow in her two older sisters’ footsteps. To me what’s more troubling than the pregnancy issue is that this Christian mother isn’t all that concerned that by living together Beth and Bill are sinning against God! In fact, she hasn’t even broached the subject with her daughter.
Except for Christmas and Easter, Beth and Bill haven’t attended church together. According to Beth, Bill has a hang up about church that he prefers keeping to himself. Since she doesn’t want to probe too deeply into her man’s past, she has decided that it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie (in bed on Sunday) and join her mother for the service. What would happen, I queried, if Bill doesn’t get over his church hang up? Beth replied sharply, “Well, he’d better!”
I also asked what her pastor would say if he knew that she was living with her boyfriend without the benefit of marriage. She appeared surprised and said with conviction, “Nothing!”
I pressed on. “A minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has no problem with Christians living in sin?” Her bemused expression spoke volumes: “If he doesn’t like it, I’ll change churches,” she stated matter-of-factly. In other words, Beth would shop around for a church with a more progressive thinker in the pulpit; a church that bends to her life-style choices, one that meets her needs.
Therein lies the problem.
By Beth’s way of thinking, the church she chooses will have to accept the sort of behavior that’s explicitly forbidden in Scripture or she’ll find one that does!
After listening to Beth attempt to justify her sinful lifestyle for several agonizing minutes, I passed on the Apostle Paul’s instructions concerning how the Church body should handle those who indulged in overt sin. Briefly stated, Paul made clear that couples involved in sex out of wedlock (heterosexual or homosexual) must be counseled by church leaders to abstain forthwith. Moreover, they had to repent of their sin and separate. Unrepentant sinners were prevailed upon by their church family to leave. This is known as “church discipline.” Paul’s instructions still apply today. In other words, God has not changed his mind.
Well, Beth was shocked. “That’s ridiculous!” she gasped. “They can’t make me leave my church, can they?”
I assured her that church discipline is biblical and that this sort of confrontation and correction has been practiced all throughout Church history (2 Thes. 3:14-15; 1 Cor. 5:12-13;Mat.18:15-17) and that the purpose is to bring the person to godly sorrow and repentance. I reminded her that some folks need a swift kick in the pants to get them to turn away from sin. However, punishment is never the goal; the aim is a fully restored relationship with God and other believers.
Beth wasn’t buying it. She retorted, “There are other couples living together and my pastor knows it. They haven’t been disciplined!”
It seemed Beth had already found a liberal pastor that had chosen to ignore the biblical teaching on “fornication.” I had taken up the “sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17) to defend my position so I decided it was best to leave it at that and simply pray for the Holy Spirit to illuminate Beth’s mind and convict her of sin.
Those of us who spend time reading the Bible are fully aware that from beginning to end sin is a major topic. When we read through the Old Testament we learn that our Creator was justifiably at odds with His people over their continual sin and their unrepentant hearts. In our postmodern world, many of God’s people don’t realize that when we sin—no matter how big or how small it is—we are sinning against God. Psalm 51:4 makes this clear:
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
In his essay A God-Centered Understanding of Sin, Stephen Witmer wrote: “The Bible consistently presents sin as mainly a ‘vertical’ (person-to-God) offence.” … “The seriousness of sin is a function of the worth and value of the one who is sinned against.” (emphasis mine)
Consequently, the Lord deals harshly with sinners. Take for example David and Bathsheba. Most Christians are familiar with this story and the result of their adultery, which is first and foremost a sin against God. So His punishment was harsh:
The Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and went into his house and spent the nights lying on the ground. The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them. On the seventh day the child died. (2 Samuel 12:15-18)
God’s judgment was that the child Bathsheba borne to David should die. Yes, David confessed his sin, he sincerely repented, and the Lord forgave him. Still, there were grave consequences for what he did. In the New Testament we have the story of Ananias and Sapphira. (Acts 5:1) In a nutshell, the couple lied to the Holy Spirit and to God’s people. His punishment for their hypocrisy was swift — He struck them dead on the spot. Yes, our Heavenly Father is merciful and long suffering. However, He will only toleratesin for so long. Ananias and Sapphira paid with their lives! Many believers fail to realize that an attribute of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is that He is “independently, infinitely, immutably holy.” Revelation 15:4 says:
Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
Thus, a holy God cannot tolerate sin in His presence! Psalm 29:2 reminds us:
Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
For those who wish to understand why sin is so egregious, read the following scriptures:
All humans have sinned, Romans 3:23; 5:12
Devastating effects of sin, Romans 1:18-3:30
God will punish the world for its evil, Isaiah 13:11
Sin breaks our fellowship with God, Isaiah 59:1-2; 1 John 1:6-7
Sin causes death, Romans 6:23
Three areas of sin: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, pride of life, 1 John 2:16
When I first became a Christian, Isaiah 59:2 hit me like a ton of bricks:
But your iniquities have separated you from God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
I was terrified to learn that sin separates us from God, that we can petition God until we’re blue in the face, but He may not be listening! In other words, He hears our prayers but chooses not to act. At times He looks the other way. To stand in God’s holy presence, our sins must be removed. How is this accomplished? By the blood of the Lamb that takes away (covers) our sins. “And he [Jesus Christ] is the propitiation [turning away God’s wrath by an offering] for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). (See also 2 Cor. 5:19; Gal. 1:4)
With all the willful unrepentant sin going on in the Body of Christ, one can’t help but wonder if God has indeed hidden His face from a whole host of believers who don’t seem to realize that sin is our mortal enemy, thus it shouldn’t be taken lightly. So when we knowingly transgress we must sincerely repent. Moreover, we must make every effort not to become repeat offenders. “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (1 John 3:9)
Today when a pastor dares to preach on sin (or hell) it gets under the skin of the folks who go to church for sheer entertainment value. (Read my column on church entertainmenthere.) For many church goers hearing the “s” word is downright offensive. In point of fact, sin isn’t in their vocabulary! In an attempt to not offend their parishioners, sinner has been replaced with less offensive words such as wrongdoer. And when wrongdoers misbehave they must be reassured that God will tolerate it. These folks mustn’t be told that God severely punishes bad behavior. Their image of God is the father who places his hands on his hips and says to his defiant child: “That is not okay, Justin,” and simply walks away. No punishment. No consequences.
Sadly, more and more Christians are choosing churches that offer contemporary praise and worship songs because, through music, they feel they can experience God on a much deeper level than simply reading and studying His Word. These same people insist on hearing a message that’s positive and uplifting — not too preachy, thank you very much. About all they can handle is a sermonette that tickles the ears and makes them feel warm and fuzzy all over.
Enter the false gospel of the Word of Faith movement. Much of this sort of “feel goodism” found in the visible Church comes to us via popular name-it-and-claim-it/health and wealth gurus such as (here I go naming names) Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, T.D. Jakes, Kenneth Copeland, Paul& Jan Crouch, Bennie Hinn, Todd Bentley, Paula White – and a whole host of pastors (if you want to call them that) who preach the prosperity gospel in local churches. Now, because someone has a regular time slot on God TV or TBN…has written a number one best-seller…has appeared on Oprah… speaks at Christian conferences…is the CEO of a megachurch…travels the globe giving aid to those who are less fortunate…and so on and so forth, doesn’t make that person biblically sound! Sometimes just the opposite is true! The luminaries mentioned above are not biblically sound, not even close. All of these faith healers are false teachers and false prophets.
Take heed: False prophets (1 John 4:1) have penetrated every nook and cranny of evangelicalism. And because these men and women are wildly popular, many undiscerning believers hang on their every word, as if what they teach is the gospel truth. I could go on and on about these wolves, but I am drifting from my point.
In today’s pop culture it’s all about a person’s “felt needs.” So if a minister’s message fails to meet those perceived needs, disgruntled consumers, like the aforementioned Beth,go looking for a church where sin is swept under the rug. Pastor Brent Riggs reminds us that “Sin is the essence of everything bad, wrong, ruined, spoiled, messed up and broken in your life. Therefore, you should be educated about it.”
Riggs has is right when he suggests Christians should be educated about sin.
Straightforward preaching from the pulpit on sin and hell is essential. As John Wesley so aptly put it:
Give me nothing but one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on earth.
Christians must become a people who fear God, not man. “In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me” (Psalm 56:11).
So starting today, brothers and sisters in Christ, let’s shake the gates of hell!
When People Are Big And God Is Small—Edward T. Welch