Tuesday, May 18, 2021

SGT

79574 POSTS 0 COMMENTS

SWAMP: Mark Zuckerberg Gave Robert Mueller Data For Trump-Russia Investigation

0

by Joshua Caplan, The Gateway Pundit:

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election has taken yet another strange turn. This time, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has transferred data on ads “likely” purchased by Russian entities.

Whatever that means.    

CNBC reports:

An internal Facebook investigation has found it is “likely” Russian operatives spent $100,000 on ads with “divisive messages” between June 2015 and May 2017.

A blog post on the issue, which was published on Wednesday, said the operation involved 3,000 separate ads over a two-year period and was likely to have been run out of Russia. In addition, Facebook found 470 affiliated fake accounts and pages.

The social media giant has turned over all information about those ads to special counsel Robert Mueller, , a source familiar with the matter said told Reuters on Wednesday. That includes copies of the ads and the identity of the buyers, the source said.

Former FBI Director Mueller is investigating Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin.

The news comes as former Trump campaign aides are saying things do not look good for Paul Manafort in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Associates believe Manafort may go down for an array of financial crimes.

Daily Caller reports:

Former Trump campaign aides are telling The Daily Caller that they increasingly believe former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort will be indicted for crimes such as money laundering or tax evasion.

One of the former campaign advisers has knowledge of the ongoing investigations into Manafort, a longtime Republican operative who joined the Trump campaign last March. Another former aide said that his knowledge of Manafort’s history of working with despots, coupled with news reports about Mueller’s investigation, led him to believe that an indictment of Manafort is becoming more likely.

Reuters reported that Mueller might use money laundering charges in order to flip Manafort into cooperating with their probe into Russian election interference. Roger Stone, a Trump confidant and former business partner of Manafort’s, pointed TheDC to Manafort’s Italian heritage.

“We Italians are tough. I predict Mueller is unsuccessful in his efforts to blackmail Manafort into bearing false witness against the president,” Stone said.

The greatest political witch hunt in U.S. history continues to roll on, as a recent report from CNN claims Special Counsel Robert Mueller has issued subpoenas for key aides to former Trump campaign manager Paul Manfort. Of course, we have to take CNN’s reporting with a grain of salt.

CNN claims:

The subpoenas seeking documents and testimony were sent to Melissa Laurenza, an attorney with the Akin Gump law firm who until recently represented Manafort, and to Jason Maloni, who is Manafort’s spokesman, according to people familiar with the matter.

Manafort is under investigation for possible tax and financial crimes, according to US officials briefed on the investigation. The allegations under investigation largely center on Manafort’s work for the former ruling party in Ukraine, which was ousted amid street protests over its pro-Russian policies.

Read More @ TheGatewayPundit:

Putin Lays Bare Moscow’s Frustration and Contempt for Washington Elites

0

from Russia Insider:

There has been a change in Russian rhetoric. The language coming out of Russia right now is unprecedented

It is difficult to talk to people who confuse Austria and Australia. But there is nothing we can do about this; this is the level of political culture among part of the American establishment. As for the American people, America is truly a great nation if the Americans can put up with so many politically uncivilised people.”

Wow. Even though I have just written a commentary on the level of frustration and, frankly, contempt, the Russians are feeling towards their American counterparts, these words by Vladimir Putin are truly a slap in the face that will resonate around the world for a long time to come even if the imperial corporate media makes another herculean effort at not noticing them. I can only repeated what I said in my previous article, I have never ever heard anything even remotely resembling the kind of language coming out of Russia today.

By the way, Putin confirmed what I wrote yesterday when he said: “The Americans had the right to reduce the number of our diplomatic offices. It is another matter altogether that they have done this in way that was absolutely uncivil“. 

Had the Americans just expelled any number of diplomats or closed some Russian diplomatic facilities the Russians would have accepted that as “played by the rules”. But Trump and the intellectual midgets surrounding him decided to publicly humiliate Russia and instead ended up ridiculing themselves. Yesterday, another well-know Russian politician, Sergei Markov, referred to the American leadership as “amoral pygmies”!

To say that the Russians are unimpressed by Trump’s thuggery is an understatement.

 

Putin also set a trap for the Trump Administration when he said: “I will ask our Foreign Ministry to file a lawsuit. We will see how effectively the much-lauded American judicial system works.” This is a very devious move as it places the USA in a lose-lose situation: if the courts decide for the Russians, then Trump looks like an uncivilized thug, if the courts decide for the USA, it is the world-wide reputation of a putatively independent judicial system which turns into roadkill.

Finally, Putin set yet another trap for Trump: he said that he would present a UNSC Resolution authorizing the deployment of a UN contingent to protect the OSCE peacekeepers along the demarcation line in the Donbass but only after “disengaging the parties and removing the heavy equipment. This cannot be resolved without direct contact with representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic“. If the Americans say no, they now look like hypocrites, but if they say yes, then they are condoning a process which can turn the current demarcation line into something similar to the de-factor border between the Turkish-occupied zone and the rest of Cyprus, something totally unacceptable to the Neocons and their Ukronazi allies in Kiev.

But the real story is the change in Russian rhetoric. It will be mostly lost on westerners who have long given up on taking what politicians say seriously and who are used to all sorts of antics from their leaders. But in a culture in which words count (and that includes all of Asia for starters) this change of tone will be immediately understood for what it is: the equivalent of a medieval slap in the face, a deliberate sign of disrespect and even a sign of total contempt and disgust.

Read More @ Russia-Insider.com

Cryptocurrencies Make A Spectacular Comeback Despite Being Declared “Too Good To Be True”

by Jeff Berwick, The Dollar Vigilante:

Cryptocurrencies have yet again risen from the dead. Hallelujah!

I really shouldn’t be praising God for this though… this literally happens every few months almost like clockwork.

But, over the past two days since the most recent crypto-bloodbath, bitcoin and the altcoins have seen a major resurgence.

Bitcoin has risen $130 in the last 7 hours

And with Bitcoin Cash rising significantly, Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash are yet again well above $5,000 and near all-time highs.

Other cryptos have also skyrocketed, like steem which has risen over 10{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in the past two days

The total market capitalization of all cryptos has also risen roughly 16{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} from its lows on September 5th to just over $159 billion now.

But, as always, the momentary drop in prices was viewed as an opportunity to bash bitcoin and all the “I told ya so’s” came out of the woodwork… and have been silent again since the rebound.

One example being that of John Lohr’s, a writer for seekingalpha.com

They have been speculation vehicles that have drawn in people hypnotized by the out of this world run up in prices: $270 to $4700 in 8 months. Too good to be true. Sheep lured by the “Don’t miss out on this” psychology have bought, and bought and bought…

Every few days there is a new, but similar claim made about bitcoin. Luckily for your viewing pleasure they are all compiled on https://99bitcoins.com/bitcoinobituaries/ for you.

If this website isn’t proof that bitcoin is immortal, then we don’t know what is. It has been resurrected from the grave over 156 times!

And, I hate to keep embarrassing Peter Schill… ahem… Schiff publicly, but he actually does it all on its own. All I need to do is just point at it.

Just before the most recent massive rebound, Schiff posted this, effectively questioning if cryptocurrencies had just died.

Read More @ TheDollarVigilante.com

Good Cop Exposes How Nurse Arrest Was Inevitable, SLC Police Forced to Make 5 Arrests a Day

0

by Matt Agorist, The Free Thought Project:

A former SLC cop just blew the lid off the nurse assault by exposing how their officers are forced to make 5 arrests a day.

Salt Lake City, UT — Last week, the world was exposed to the face of tyranny as they watched the body camera video of Detective Jeff Payne arresting Nurse Alex Wubbels for refusing to violate the law and warrantlessly draw blood from an unconscious crash victim. Police apologists were speechless and were unable to justify this cop’s abusive behavior caught on video. Now, as news of the arrest continues to spread, even police are coming forward to expose what one whistleblower is referring to as “ongoing failure at the highest levels” of police.

When good cops sit back and do nothing as bad cops lay waste to the rights of innocent citizens, those good cops become bad ones. Those who remain silent in the face of tyranny are complicit in its growth. Eric Moutsos, a former Salt Lake City Police Officer, is now crossing the thin blue line and refusing to remain silent in the face of said tyranny.

In an epic rant on Facebook, Moutsos lays bare the corruption and problems boiling up through departments across the country.

Since the Nurse Wubbles incident/arrest in SLC, I feel it’s time to tell my stories. The real stories. This post is just one of them.

First, I love the American Police Officer. I was once one. In my opinion, the things they go through everyday are unparalleled to any profession in our country with the exception of the military. I know what their families go through daily; wives and kids especially. We need cops. We need good cops. More importantly, we need law and order in America.

With that said, I believe we need to have a real conversation about a giant elephant in the National Room regarding law enforcement and how some of these departments operate deep down; More importantly, from the top down. I believe it’s some administrations that put officers more in harms way than even a bad guy could.

Moutsos was publicly chastised for refusing to perform in a gay pride parade in 2014, which eventually cost him his badge and gun. To be clear, Moutsos did not refuse to act as protection for the parade, he only objected to performing acrobatics on his motorcycle as part of the parade, citing religious reasons.

However, as Moutsos points out, his choice to exercise his religious freedom was an easy way for the department to get rid of him for actually being a good cop and exposing the corruption within.

Moutsos writes:

What the public doesn’t know, is that I was passed up for two positions before ultimately joining the motorcycle squad in 2013. Why? I was ordered to arrest 5 people (misdemeanor arrests), per day, AS PART OF A QUOTA! Not just traffic tickets, but misdemeanor arrests. I told my sergeant, no. That night after only getting 3 arrests, I was ordered to stay after shift another hour – without pay- And was screamed at in front of my squad and ordered to arrest 2 more people that night; while the rest of the squad went home. I still would not do it. That was the beginning of the end.

What Moutsos is referring to here takes place in departments across the country. TFTP has exposed multiple quota systems just like this in which cops are not only told to write tickets but also make arrests.

As TFTP points out, good cops who expose these quota systems or refuse to participate are often, fired, threatened, or worse. This is what happened to Moutsos.

My name started to get tarnished in the PD among the upper brass. This was an order I actually refused. Not a parade. This is where it started for me and my family. It was unconstitutional – which I specifically told my sergeant and this was later conveyed to the administration. The current administration knows of this story (and many other scandals I am prepared to tell in the next several weeks) and has done nothing about them. This seems to be their M.O. Cover-up after cover-up. Only until it hits the press.

As TFTP pointed out, what Moutsos is referring to actually happened in the case of Nurse Wubbles. Despite the rights violations and the clear signs that the forced blood draw was an attempt to cover up police incompetence, the department never acted—until after the video went viral.  

Today, the Department is embroiled in yet another scandal – and I’m tired of it. This one involving an arrest at the University of Utah Hospital. Which they knew about for weeks before and did nothing. Today they said “there’s no acceptable reason” why people weren’t placed on admin leave. I’ll tell you the reason; they didn’t want to take “acceptable” responsibility and do the right thing.

Moutsos goes on to say how he thinks racism in policing is not as big of a problem as forcing cops to make mandatory stops.

I never met a racist cop in my 7 years on the PD. I don’t believe it’s racism that runs rampant in police agencies, however quotaism does. Mandatory stops. Why? All for statistics that lead to Federal and local funding/revenue for some police agencies.

Even if an individual police officer isn’t racist, the system they support certainly is. As TFTP has noted,these ‘mandatory’ stops for drugs, seat belts, window tint, license plate lights, and other victimless ‘crimes’ hit black communities the hardest. Moutsos wants to change this and he intends to do so by exposing it. He’s also ready to face the backlash he is going to receive by doing so.

Read More @ TheFreeThoughtProject.com

Iran Seems to Have Brilliantly Collapsed the Saudi Economy… By Doing Nothing

0

by Darius Shahtahmasebi, The Anti Media:

Saudi Arabia began its relentless bombardment of Yemen in March of 2015 at the request of Yemen’s ousted president Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who had gone into hiding. The Saudi-led coalition, supported heavily by the U.S. and the U.K., has reportedly killed thousands of civilians and displaced over one million more.

The target of Saudi Arabia’s brutal aerial campaign (when it isn’t targeting civilians) is the Houthi rebels, who fight alongside Yemen’s former leader, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who lost power in 2012. Saleh retains the loyalty of much of Yemen’s armed forces, which gives the uprising a somewhat organic component. For example, hundreds of thousands of Saleh supporters rallied in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, just days ago.

Well over two years since the commencement of the Saudi-led campaign, Saudi Arabia is far from achieving a military victory. As Bloomberg noted at the beginning of the year:

“Saudi Arabia has better weapons than its enemies in Yemen, no surprise in a war that pits one of the richest Arab countries against the poorest. And still the Saudis are struggling to impose their will.” [emphasis added]

And what is the cost of this intervention for the oil-rich Kingdom?

“The war is costing them financially, at a time that they need to focus funding on restructuring and diversification of their economy,” said James Dorsey, a Saudi specialist and senior fellow in international studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, according to Bloomberg.

Al-Monitor explained further at the beginning of last year:

“Since leading a war, especially one with little prospect of ending, comes with huge costs, Saudi Arabia recorded the highest budget deficit since the post-Gulf War period at nearly $100 billion (15{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of GDP) in 2015, and projected its highest budgeted-for deficit yet for 2016 (13.5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of GDP).”

At the beginning of the conflict, Reuters estimated the war would cost Saudi Arabia approximately $175 million per month. In reality, by the end of the first year of the war, the Kingdom had to increase its defense spending by $5.3 billion to keep up with the war. At the end of 2016, Saudi Arabia then had to announce a projected increase of 6.7 percent in defense spending for 2017, bringing its total budget to around $50.8 billion USD.

While the U.S. and the U.K. are more than happy to provide a neverending supply of arms to Saudi Arabia to commit its mass criminal behavior, Saudi Arabia is struggling to afford them. As Brookings Institute explained:

“Moreover, it’s unlikely that the Saudis could pay for a $110 billion deal any longer, due to low oil prices and the two-plus years old war in Yemen. President Obama sold the kingdom $112 billion in weapons over eight years, most of which was a single, huge deal in 2012 negotiated by then-Secretary of Defense Bob Gates. To get that deal through Congressional approval, Gates also negotiated a deal with Israel to compensate the Israelis and preserve their qualitative edge over their Arab neighbors. With the fall in oil prices, the Saudis have struggled to meet their payments since.” [emphasis added]

Not surprisingly, leaked emails show that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, already wants out of the conflict entirely even though he has been identified as its main instigator.

But what prompted the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s decision to sacrifice so much money and civilian life in the first place?

Iran. Saudi Arabia views the Houthi movement as an Iranian proxy and is desperate to prevent an Iranian ally from setting up shop directly on its border.

The problem for Saudi Arabia is that Iran’s involvement in Yemen has been greatly exaggerated. Following a flurry of misinformation on this topic, the Washington Post admitted last year:

“Yet as [the author] argued in a recent article in the May 2016 issue of International Affairs, the Chatham House journal, Tehran’s support for the Houthis is limited, and its influence in Yemen is marginal. It is simply inaccurate to claim that the Houthis are Iranian proxies.” [emphasis added]

This was further confirmed by U.N. experts in January of this year who warned primarily about Saudi Arabia’s criminal behavior before stating:

The panel has not seen sufficient evidence to confirm any direct large-scale supply of arms from the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, although there are indicators that anti-tank guided weapons being supplied to the Houthi or Saleh forces are of Iranian manufacture.” [emphasis added]

The weapons that are of Iranian manufacture appear to be entering Yemen via Somalia, but this is hardly substantive proof of large-scale Iranian involvement.

Even reports that attempt to demonstrate Iran’s “crucial support” for the Houthi rebels explicitly state that the specific allegations against Iran cannot be verified. This is not in anyway an attempt to absolve Iran – it is a simple question of evidence. Where is the evidence of large-scale Iranian involvement in Yemen, and where is it coming from?

Read More @ TheAntiMedia.com

Are You Ready for Your Implantable Microchip?

0

by Mark Nestmann, Lew Rockwell:

If you’re familiar with the Star Trek spin-off television series, The Next Generation, starring Patrick Stewart, you know about the Borg.

A highly advanced and aggressive network of humanoid drones, the Borg is part organic, part artificial life. At birth, a Borg infant is implanted with chips and other biotechnology that gives it superior mental and physical abilities. The chips link the baby’s brain to a collective consciousness, giving it seamless access to all knowledge assimilated by the Borg over thousands of years. The drone is collectively aware but loses its consciousness as a separate individual with free will.

The Borg travel in cube-shaped spaceships that seek out and assimilate technology. When a Borg ship encounters other humanoid forms, it captures them and converts them into Borg using the same technology that babies receive. Those who refuse “assimilation” are killed.

Returning to the real world, are we becoming the Borg?  We are – and we’re embracing the transition.

Consider Wisconsin firm Three Square Market (32M). Last month, it announced a voluntary initiative for its employees to have microchips implanted in their hands. The company that sells kiosks designed to replace vending machines wanted to showcase its kiosks’ ability to handle cashless transactions. Instead of paying with a credit card or a smartphone, a consumer could simply wave their hand across a scanner.

One analyst called 32M’s initiative a PR stunt. If that was the intention, it worked, because the initiative sparked headlines worldwide.

Unquestionably, “chipping” has numerous benefits. On a video posted on 32M’s website, a company spokesman outlined some of them, including:

  • No need to carry cash or credit cards to make payments
  • No need to carry keys or pass cards to enter a secure area
  • Identity theft protection; all data is encrypted, so that hackers can’t access it

Across the country and the world, implantable microchips are experiencing increased acceptance. Implantable radio frequency identification (RFID) chips are routinely embedded in domestic animals. An FDA-approved implantable microchip is available for Alzheimer’s patients and other persons deemed incapable of caring for themselves. In Sweden, Epicenter, a hub for high-tech start-ups, has made implantable microchips available for its workers and the employees of companies headquartered there. Several of my clients have informed me they’ve considered chipping their children so they can be tracked if they are kidnapped.

Imagine a future where you can simply wave your hand across a scanner to pay for goods or services, open the door to your home, or identify yourself when you cross an international border. The technology for that future already exists, courtesy of a patent recorded by IBM. The patent application describes a process under which every manufactured product contains an RFID tag with a unique identification number. Each number is registered to the person who buys it. IBM also proposed that the government track people through their RFID tags using a “person tracking unit.” This device could zero in on RFID tags and track people in any public place.

An obvious person-tracking unit, of course, is an implantable microchip. When these technologies converge, we will have developed something that begins to resemble a Borg technology prototype.

Undoubtedly, a world with most humans were implanted with microchips would be very convenient, at least most of the time. Microchips would replace all current forms of ID, so you would identify yourself at an airport or border crossing simply by swiping your hand across a scanner. Your chip would be tied to your bank account, so you would no longer need to carry cash. The chip could also include data on your family history, address, occupation, criminal record, income tax information, etc.

It’s even possible that an advanced microchip could be equipped with a satellite modem to allow you to browse the internet anywhere on earth. This ability begins to approach the “collective consciousness” achieved by the fictional Borg.

But such a world could also evolve into the ultimate police state. At the touch of a button, your assets could be frozen, medical treatment denied, etc. The ultimate punishment would be to have your chip deactivated. In that case, you could no longer exist, since all personal and financial interactions would require verification of identity and confirmation of sufficient assets to be completed.

Proponents of implantable microchips tell us these concerns are misplaced, since our smartphones and other mobile technology are already collecting and sharing our personal data. They also deny such a nightmare scenario could come to pass, because implantable chip use is voluntary. But voluntary is not an appropriate word to describe something that might one day be required to merely exist as a human being. I have the option of eating at different times of the day, but eating is not voluntary.

An example of how voluntary could become involuntary is legislation that requires sex offenders receive RFID microchip implants instead of going to prison. The sex offenders could then be tracked by satellite. Avoiding prison would be conditional on the offender voluntarily receiving an implant.

What politician would have the guts to stand up to protect the privacy rights of sex offenders? Yet, by implanting microchips into the likes of sex offenders and other persons whose proclivities disgust most people, we start down a path that will be nearly impossible to reverse.

Read More @ Lew Rockwell.com

Bra tycoon Michelle Mone selling £192m of Dubai apartments in bitcoin

by Isabelle Fraser, The Telegraph:

Michelle Mone made a splash when she entered the House of Lords. Offering fellow peers advice on underwear and nicknamed ‘Baroness Bra’, the lingerie tycoon was elevated by David Cameron while she served as his business tsar.

Now she is creating waves in the property industry with her new venture: selling homes in Dubai paid for using bitcoin.

This is the first property development ever to be sold using the virtual currency. Baroness Mone of Mayfair, who became a millionaire after founding the underwear brand Ultimo with her ex-husband, is launching it with her boyfriend, businessman Doug Barrowman.

It comes as the volatile cryptocurrency’s value has plummeted, with bitcoin down 20pc against the dollar in the last three days. Its price hit a record high of $4,700 last week, from around $1,000 at the start of this year.

They are selling $250m (£192m) of property in Dubai, which includes two 40-floor towers and a huge shopping mall, covering 2.4m sq ft.

The first 150 apartments in the complex will go on sale today using bitcoin. Buyers can also decorate their new home using Baroness Mone Interiors, her design service, paid for using the cryptocurrency.

A studio apartment in the complex starts from around 30 bitcoins, or $133,000, rising to 85 bitcoins for a two-bedroom flat. They come with access to a gym, swimming pool and residents’ lounge, and have views over the Dubai Hills and the city skyline.

 The 40-floor towers being sold by Michelle Mone and her boyfriend
The 40-floor towers being sold by Michelle Mone and her boyfriend

“I’ve been invested in cryptocurrency for some time, it’s not a new thing,” Mr Barrowman said. “We’re offering the opportunity for people who’ve made significant gains to invest it in land.”

His company, the Knox group, has done a deal with BitStamp to immediately convert the bitcoin payment into dollars so it has no exposure to the volatile cryptocurrency. The apartments are priced in dollars and converted into bitcoin for buyers. 

Read More @ TheTelegraph.co.uk

The Political Environment I Want to See

0

by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg:

Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American, and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him, Feinstein, and King, the better off we all are. If they had taught a class on how to be the kind of citizen Dick Cheney worries about, I would have finished high school.

– Edward Snowden

Today’s post will focus on the political environment I’d like to see, not in my ideal fantasy world, but within the context of the system we have today.

As things stand, we’re being bombarded relentlessly about how divided we are as a people and how these divisions have become insurmountable. By constantly focusing on genuinely divisive social issues, the media creates a self-fulfilling prophesy, which merely serves to divide us further. Allowing ourselves to be pitted against one another redirects much of our political energy, and ensures we will never unite and face the real existential threats to the nation.

The truth of the matter is this. We as Americans have a legacy that consists of certain key principles enshrined in our Constitution. The most important of these are the first ten amendments to our founding document, known as the Bill of Rights. These simple yet timeless passages inform us we posses certain liberties that should never be infringed upon no matter what emotional state the public or politicians happen to be in at any given moment. They protect us not just from the government, but also from the periodic unrestrained, authoritarian passions of each other.

While the Bill of Rights represents a core set of principles the nation was founded upon, they are very much in jeopardy in practice. The 4th Amendment has more or less vanished into thin air as a result of the hysteria generated from two failed government crusades, the “war on drugs” and the “war on terror.” Both of these “wars” have served little purpose other than to manufacture enough fear so the general public accepts a creeping unconstitutional surveillance state. With the right to privacy sufficiently weakened, we now see certain factions going after the most important right of all, the right to free speech. If free speech ends up being lost, the American experiment will be over.

As such, the current state of affairs presents both an existential threat and a fascinating opportunity. Since the Bill of Rights itself is under attack by authoritarian factions on both the “right” and the “left,” we are gifted with a critical issue that can hopefully unite the majority of us. If we can’t agree that these core civil liberties represent a fundamental part of the American experiment, then America no longer exists. Indeed, the defining feature of a real patriot isn’t flag waving and cheerleading televised invasions, but a tireless commitment to the civil liberties expressed in our Constitution. There aren’t many things in life worth dying for, but that’s one of them.

A healthy political environment would consist of a vast majority of the U.S. population being vigorously protective of the Bill of Rights and the civil liberties enshrined in them. This would force politicians of all stripes to instinctively proclaim their undying allegiance to such ideals, thus making it unthinkable for any of them to pass laws or advocate for executive orders that infringe upon these rights. The present environment is pretty much the exact opposite. Large segments of the population have been so bombarded with endless fear-mongering they’ve been conditioned to beg politicians to do away with civil liberties in order to provide security. This is a rejection of our true heritage and is the most unpatriotic thing a U.S. citizen can do.

We currently reside in a country where the consensus position of most establishment politicians from both the Republican and Democratic cults is to push for a reduction of civil liberties in the name of safety. This has become particularly perverse following our nationwide mental breakdown during the post 9/11 period, and it continues to get worse and worse. It’s no coincidence that things have so fundamentally deteriorated in our society and economy since that gruesome attack. As a people, we turned our backs on our heritage and assumed the role of fearful subjects, as opposed to engaged, active citizens. Politicians have taken full advantage of our deranged submissiveness, and the results are all around us. We now live in a predatory, unaccountable oligarchy.

This isn’t to say issues beyond civil liberties are unimportant or should be discarded. What I’m saying is we need to take a step back as a people, assuming we still want to function as a nation, and look at our first principles. It’s imperative that we focus at least some energy on the really big picture items that should unite us all. We need to make civil liberties a suicidal line for any politician to cross, which would put them on notice that we will not be so easily manipulated. Once we’ve reaffirmed consensus on some core principles, all the other issues can and should be vigorously debated by various factions and political parties.

As things stand today, nothing seems to unite us, and mainstream politicians in both major parties tend to exhibit widespread authoritarian tendencies. We saw it with Bush, Obama and now Trump. The only way to break the cycle is for us to unite on certain core issues and say enough is enough.

Read More @ LibertyBlitzkrieg.com

The Nuclear Blast Heard Around the World

0

by Jim Rickards, Daily Reckoning:

BOOM!

That’s the sound of a hydrogen bomb exploding, and the sound of gold prices rocketing higher as a result.

North Korea detonated a nuclear weapon early on Sunday, Sept. 3. This was the sixth time they had done so, but the first time since their ICBM missile tests and the first time under President Trump’s administration.

This test was different in another important way. It is estimated to be a hydrogen bomb instead of an atomic bomb. The difference is significant.

Both types of nuclear weapons work by releasing neutrons in critical-state radioactive material, either highly enriched uranium or plutonium. The difference is that the atomic bomb works by fission, literally “splitting” an atom, so that a neutron is emitted, collides with other atoms and causes a chain reaction with an enormous release of energy.

The hydrogen bomb works by fusion. Atomic particles are “fused,” or pushed together, in a way that destabilizes the atom and also releases a neutron.

Both methods start a chain reaction. But the fusion method in a hydrogen bomb is orders of magnitude more powerful. The destructive force can be 100 or even 1,000 times greater than that of an atomic bomb.

This gives North Korea many more options in their attack scenarios.

They can put more destructive force in a smaller space, thereby achieving the warhead miniaturization needed to fit on an ICBM.

They do not have to worry as much about accuracy. An atomic weapon has to hit the target to destroy it. A hydrogen bomb just has to come close. This means that North Korea can pose an existential threat to U.S. cities even if its missile guidance systems are not quite perfected. Close is good enough.

Finally, a hydrogen bomb gives North Korea the ability to unleash an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). In this scenario, the hydrogen bomb does not even strike the Earth; it is detonated near the edge of space. The resulting electromagnetic wave from the release of energy could knock out the entire U.S. power grid. Good luck with your bitcoins in that scenario.

Got gold?

These threats are existential from a U.S. perspective. Deterrence does not work when the opponent has so little to lose. Kim Jong Un tortures and starves his own people on a good day. At times the North Korean people have been reduced to eating bark from trees.

Why should Kim Jong Un be deterred by U.S. threats to attack if he and his ruling elite are secure in their bomb-proof bunkers?

It’s too late for negotiation or diplomacy. That conclusion is based on what is called “breakout” behavior. It’s one thing to develop these weapons in baby steps and back off when the major powers confront you. Then you negotiate some concessions, wait a few years and break your promises. Wash, rinse and repeat. That’s what Iran has been doing for 20 years.

Breakout is different. It’s more like football when you’re in the red zone and decide to throw a pass into the end zone. You just go for it.

Read More @ DailyReckoning.com