by Zero Hedge - May 28th, 2016 10:00 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
I have recently posted a piece in which I tried to debunk a few popular myths about modern warfare. Judging by many comments which I received in response to this post, I have to say that the myths in question are still alive and well and that I clearly failed to convince many readers. What I propose to do today, is to look at what Russia is really doing in response to the growing threat from the West. But first, I have to set the context or, more accurately, re-set the context in which Russia is operating. Let’s begin by looking at the AngloZionist policies towards Russia.
The West’s actions:
First on this list is, obviously, the conquest by NATO of all of Eastern Europe. I speak of conquest because that is exactly what it is, but a conquest achieved according to the rules of 21st century warfare which I define as “80% informational, 15% economic and 5% military”. Yes, I know, the good folks of Eastern Europe were just dreaming of being subjugated by the US/NATO/EU/etc – but so what? Anyone who has read Sun Tzu will immediately recognize that this deep desire to be ‘incorporated’ into the AngloZionist “Borg” is nothing else but the result of a crushed self-identity, a deep-seated inferiority complex and, thus, a surrender which did not even have to be induced by military means. At the end of the day, it makes no difference what the locals thought they were achieving – they are now subjects of the Empire and their countries more or less irrelevant colonies in the fringe of the AngloZionist Empire. As always, the local comprador elite is now bubbling with pride at being, or so they think, accepted as equals by their new masters (think Poroshenko, Tusk or Grybauskaite) which gives them the courage to bark at Moscow from behind the NATO fence. Good for them.
Second is the now total colonization of Western Europe into the Empire. While NATO moved to the East, the US also took much deeper control of Western Europe which is now administered for the Empire by what the former Mayor of London once called the “great supine protoplasmic invertebrate jellies” – faceless bureaucrats à la François Hollande or Angela Merkel.…
by Zero Hedge - May 28th, 2016 9:17 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
Last Tuesday the Senate Intelligence Committee approved the annual Intelligence Authorization Act for 2017, which is now set to be considered by the full Senate.
The bill is used to authorize funding for the intelligence community, sets policy and authorizes resources for intelligence purposes. We bring this up because the only committee member to vote against the bill was Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore), who later released a statement on why he did not vote for the bill – notably, that the FBI would be allowed to obtain Americans’ email using only a national security letter, meaning it will now be able to access email without a court order.
While the intrusion of civil liberties is something that everyone lets the government get away with in today’s society (as long as there are ample episodes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians on to keep people’s mind occupied), it’s nice to see that at least somebody is paying attention, let alone cares enough to warn the public about what is taking place.
Here is the full statement
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Washington, D.C. –Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today voted against the 2017 Intelligence Authorization Act in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The bill includes provisions to expand warrantless government surveillance and takes aim at a valuable independent oversight board.
“This bill takes a hatchet to important protections for Americans’ liberty,” Wyden said following the vote. “This bill would mean more government surveillance of Americans, less due process and less independent oversight of U.S. intelligence agencies. Worse, neither the intelligence agencies, nor the bill’s sponsors have shown any evidence that these changes would do anything to make Americans more secure. I plan to work with colleagues in both chambers to reverse these dangerous provisions.”
Wyden opposes multiple provisions to the bill, including;
-Allowing the FBI to obtain Americans’ email records with only a National Security Letter. Currently, the FBI can obtain email records in national security investigations with an order from the FISA Court. The bill would allow any FBI field office to demand email records without a court order, a major expansion of federal surveillance powers. The FBI can currently obtain phone records with a National Security Letter, but not email records.
-Narrowing the jurisdiction of
by Zero Hedge - May 28th, 2016 8:40 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
Here is the bottom line about the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Inspector General’s Report regarding the use of email by the Secretary of State’s Office: It does not look good for Hillary. Not just in the political sense, but in the legal sense as well. The pundits seem concerned that Clinton refused to be interviewed by OIG investigators. Sure it’s troubling, but she’s involved in a FBI investigation, and her attorneys likely advised her not to talk. That’s not the issue.
In addition, conservatives have said over and over again that the difference between Clinton’s email usage and that of former Secretary of State Colin Powell is that she had a private server. But again, the pundits are missing the point. The fact that she kept a server made it worse, but both Clinton and Powell clearly violated federal record keeping rules by not turning over copies of their emails when they left office.
“Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service, and because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act,” the audit report said. Bottom line: Mrs. Clinton violated the Federal Records Act.
However, what is probably the most troubling about all of this is that, despite these blatant violations, there will be absolutely no legal repercussions for Mrs. Clinton for this offense. She’s off the hook! Why aren’t all the pundits screaming about that?
As LawNewz.com‘s contributor, Dan Metcalfe, wrote about several weeks ago, anyone who violates this law (and leaves office) will face zero consequences. That’s because it is a civil law, not a criminal law, and penalties only apply to current federal employees. Employees, like Clinton and Powell, who leave office, can skirt punishment. The Federal Records Act is in place not only to provide the American public with some level of transparency but also “to protect the legal and financial rights of the Government and of persons directly affected by the agency’s activities.”
“There are absolutely no penalties provided by law for this misconduct,” Metcalfe said. He would know, Metcalfe was the founding director of the Justice Department’s Office of Information and Privacy. He was essentially “the federal government’s chief information-disclosure ‘guru.’”
by ilene - May 28th, 2016 8:34 pm
Courtesy of John Rubino.
The most widely-reported result of the recent G-7 meeting was Japan’s attempt to convince the other major economies to admit that a crisis is imminent and take appropriately radical steps. The response seems to have been a bunch of blank stares. As India’s Business Standard noted:
A Group of Seven compromise offers minimal cover for Shinzo Abe. The Japanese prime minister’s plan to revitalize the world’s third-largest economy needs fresh impetus. Abe didn’t get as much international backing as he might have liked from hosting the rich nations’ club. But, the summit communique can, just about, be spun his way.
Abe’s counterparts, understandably, do not share his view that the world risks another Lehman Brothers-style financial crisis. That is important because Abe has inexplicably committed to raising the country’s sales tax next April, a surefire way to choke off recovery – unless a shock of this scale emerges.
So Japan — which, remember, has already borrowed eye-popping amounts of money, increased its central bank balance sheet by more as a percent of GDP than have either the Fed or ECB, and pushed interest rates on most of its government bonds into negative territory, all to no avail — has decided to act on its (manifestly justified) sense of panic by starting a new round of deficit spending:
(Bloomberg) – Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to propose a fiscal stimulus package of as much as 10 trillion yen ($90.7 billion) after warning Group of Seven leaders that the global economy faces significant risk of another crisis, according to the Nikkei newspaper.
Abe will seek a second supplementary budget worth 5 trillion yen to 10 trillion yen after July’s upper-house election, the Nikkei reported Saturday without attribution. Proposals will include accelerating the construction of a magnetic-levitation train line from Nagoya to Osaka, issuing vouchers to boost consumer spending, increasing pay for child-care workers and setting up a scholarship fund, the Nikkei said.
“When you want to get the economy going, as long as demand in Asia is weak, you need additional public spending,” Martin Schulz, a senior economist at Fujitsu Research Institute in Tokyo, said by phone. “Since private spending is still not picking up, the government is simply
by Zero Hedge - May 28th, 2016 8:00 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
When NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden first exposed the world to just how easily the government could compromise their technology and spy on them, many immediately sought ways to secure their data and protect their gadgets.
But, as Wired.com reports, Snowden is here to help. “‘Going Black’ is a pretty big ask,” he tells VICE’s Shane Smith, but not impossible, as Snowden shows how to “make sure your phone works for you… instead of working for someone else.”
by ilene - May 28th, 2016 7:30 pm
Geniuses in Charge
Is there any smarter group of homo sapiens on the planet? Or in all of history? We’re talking about Fed economists, of course.
Not only did they avoid another Great Depression by bold absurdity…giving the economy more of the one thing of which it clearly had too much – debt. They also carefully monitored the economy’s progress so as to avoid any backsliding into normalcy.
And where do we get this penetrating appraisal? From the Fed economists themselves, of course. Bloomberg:
“The U.S. Federal Reserve’s decisions to delay interest-rate hikes helped cushion the economic shocks caused by rapidly rising borrowing costs for U.S. companies from late last year through early 2016, according to economists at the New York Fed.
“By maintaining the federal funds rate lower, the FOMC managed to substantially offset the effect of tightening financial conditions on the economy,” the authors, referring to the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee, wrote in a blog post on the bank’s website on Wednesday.”
They’re geniuses. No doubt about it. That’s why they’re in charge and we’re not. They’re the elite. They run the Deep State. They may not pay the piper, but they call the tune anyway. And good on them! Who knows what prices we might discover if we were left on our own?
The gap between economic output and the debt accumulated to achieve it continues to widen…while savers are expropriated and capitalists are given an incentive to consume their capital (the “euthanasia of the rentier” propagated by Keynes has finally been achieved)
Four Lost Decades
One of the endearing features of the ruling classes is their abiding faith in their own judgment. Despite inexhaustible evidence that they are bumbling incompetents, the power elite stick to their guns – literally – and to their cushy sinecures.
We are now seven years into the “recovery” supposedly engineered by the PhDs at the Fed. At a cost variously estimated between $4 trillion and $10 trillion, we have now achieved a growth rate that is about half what it was 40 years ago…
by Zero Hedge - May 28th, 2016 7:00 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
Iceland has had a difficult past few months politically, as its Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunlaugsson became the first casualty of the Panama Papers.
Economically however, the story is more upbeat, as the country has rebounded since the financial crisis. The Icelandic Krona has stabilized against the Euro, the rate of change in inflation has slowed, and the country has recorded year-over-year growth in GDP each year since 2011.
However, in a shocking turn of events, a law passed on May 22 by Iceland’s parliament is offering the foreign holders of about $2.3 billion worth of krona-denominated bonds a choice of either selling out in June at a below-market exchange rate, or have the money they receive upon maturity be impounded indefinitely in low interest bank accounts. In other words, Iceland is trying to kick out foreign investors.
For now, investors aren’t interested in the deal and wish to stay invested in Iceland, even as officials are clearly trying to push foreign investors out.
From the WSJ
Investors, including Boston-based mutual-fund companies Eaton Vance Corp. and Loomis Sayles & Co., a unit of Natixis SA, don’t want to go. They say they will reject the government’s offer.
“We would like to stay invested,” said Patrick Campbell, a global bond analyst at Eaton Vance.
The dispute is the result of a wholesale turnaround in Iceland’s relationship with foreign investors.
The country became synonymous with financial alchemy after its banks ballooned by borrowing in bond markets and attracting foreign depositors with high interest rates. That system imploded in 2008 when depositors made a run on the banks just as their bonds fell due, causing the krona to sharply devalue against the euro.
Yet a growing number of fund managers are now buying Icelandic government bonds, including those that were marooned on the island when it applied capital controls. The country is now one of the few offering a combination of high interest rates and strong economic growth prospects.
Eaton Vance and another holder of the legacy debt, also called “offshore” debt, hedge fund Autonomy Capital LP, have been courting the government for months to allow them to keep their cash on the island, even offering to swap their holdings into long-term bonds that they would pledge to hold on to.
by Zero Hedge - May 28th, 2016 6:30 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
While still relatively low, USA sovereign CDS spreads have risen to 8-month highs, surging off early March lows. The reasons are likely numerous though we suggest the 4 surges in the last 3 months appear to line up with notable ‘events’…
While correlation does not imply causation, it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing “look over here.”
Note: Sovereign CDS represent a combination both default and devaluation risks.
Could it be that Trump’s honest comments on the creditworthiness of the USA are beginning to resonate with market participants as the probability of his winning in November rises?
by Zero Hedge - May 28th, 2016 6:00 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
It is not a secret that democracy can be used to abolish democracy.
It may have finally begun to dawn on the people that Swedish Sweden will soon be lost forever, and in many areas replaced by a Middle Eastern state of affairs, where different immigrant groups (mainly Muslims) make war on each other as well as on the Swedes.
According to Dr. Peter Hammond, in his book Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat, the goal of Islam is not to convert the whole world, but rather, to establish sharia law all over the world.
There is no country where Islam is dominant that can be considered a democracy with freedom of speech and equal justice under law.
In Sweden’s last census in which citizens were asked about their religious beliefs, in 1930, fifteen people said that they were Muslims. Since 1975, when Sweden started its transformation from a homogenous, Swedish country into a multicultural and multi-religious one, the number of Muslims has exploded. Now, approximately one million Muslims live here — Sunni, Shia and Ahmadiyya from all the corners of the world — and Mosques are built and planned all over the country.
No one, however, seems to have asked the crucial question upon which Sweden’s future depends: Is Islam compatible with democracy?
The Swedish establishment has not grasped that Islam is more than a private religion, and therefore it dismisses all questions about Islam with the argument that Sweden has freedom of religion.
Two facts point to Islam not being compatible with democracy. First, there is no country where Islam is dominant that can be considered a democracy with freedom of speech and equal justice under law. Some point to Malaysia and Indonesia — two countries where flogging and other corporal punishments are meted out, for example, to women showing too much hair or skin, as well as to anyone who makes fun of, questions or criticizes Islam. Others point to Turkey as an example of an “Islamic democracy” — a country which routinely imprisons journalists, political dissidents and random people thought to have “offended” President Erdogan, “Islam” or “the nation.”
by Zero Hedge - May 28th, 2016 5:30 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
Donald Trump’s intention to build a wall along the southern border of the United States is well known, and the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has even released his plan on how the US would be able to make Mexico pay for it.
One thing that won’t change whether Trump builds a wall or not, is the intense violence and a lack of job opportunities that act as catalysts to drive scores of immigrants to the US border. What has changed, however, is the time frame by which immigrants plan to take their chance. As a Trump presidency becomes more and more of a possibility, immigrants believe that if there ever was a time to try and get across the border to the United States, that time is now – before Trump has a chance to act on his words.
From the Washington Post
Although the overall number of migrants apprehended along the border this year has not yet reached the proportions of the 2014 flood of Central Americans, some believe that could happen, with a summer surge before the presidential election in November.
“We’re definitely on track to catch up to it, which is not a good thing,” said Chris Cabrera, a Border Patrol agent and union representative here. “The political climate has a lot to do with it.”
The upcoming presidential election marks a fork in the road for U.S. immigration policy: A Democratic victory could lead to more unauthorized immigrants getting permits to work and live in the United States. Trump has vowed to build the giant border wall, deport millions of undocumented immigrants and block remittances. Intense violence and a lack of job opportunities are the driving forces behind the Central American migration, and critics say those problems will continue to push people northward regardless of whether there is a bigger wall. For some of the migrants, sooner seems more appealing than later.
Trump “says he wants to build a wall. They want to get over before he builds it,” said Mario Saucedo Mendoza, who works at the Senda de Vida migrant shelter in Reynosa, the Mexican city across the border from McAllen. “He’s said these things, and people are trying to get in front of him, they are trying to cross now.”