Wednesday, February 20, 2019

STOP buying from AMAZON!

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from TheHealthRanger:

The Health Ranger explains why Amazon.com is a threat to your survival, sustainability and local community.

Is the US Trying to Start a Hot War with Russia?

by Steven MacMillan, New Eastern Outlook:

Another day, another major escalation of tensions caused by US actions. The recent downing of a Syrian jet by a US F-18 Super Hornet, is just the latest instalment in a series of US provocations in Syria since Donald Trump took office in January.

The ‘non-interventionist’ Commander-in-Chief has continued and expanded the wars launched by previous US leaders, as Trump has essentially given the military carte blanche to do whatever it wants. From using white phosphorus in Iraq and Syria, to sendingthousands more troops into Afghanistan, the US military machine remains completely out of control.

But why did an American fighter jet shoot down a Syrian warplane? Whilst the US – which is operating illegally in Syria – justified the action by saying that the Syrian jet was targeting US-backed forces on the ground (in the form of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)), the Syrian government said that the jet was on a mission against ISIS militants (who were created thanks to US-backing).

Understandably, Russia responded furiously to the illegal US action. Aleksey Pushkov, the head of Russia’s Communications Policy Committee, described the strike as an “act of war.” The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergey Ryabkov, said in relation to the incident, that:

“What is it then, if not an act of aggression, an act directly in breach of international law. If you want, it’s actually help for the terrorists the US is fighting, declaring that they are conducting a counterterrorism policy.

As tensions ratchet up to new levels, Russia has warned the US that they are now tracking US-led coalition jets that fly west of the Euphrates river as potential targets.

Baiting Russia into a Military Response?

Although the official US narrative was that they were protecting US-backed forces on the ground, one cannot help but question the justification used by a country that has repeatedly lied and deceived in order to launch imperial wars.

There is a very real danger that the decision to shoot down a Syrian jet was designed to provoke Syria to respond militarily to US forces, therefore providing justification for a full-scale invasion of Syria by the US and her allies.

Moreover, and more dangerously, there is a potential that this incident was designed (by rogue elements with the US) to provoke Russia to respond militarily to the US in Syria, providing justification to start a hot war with Russia, and launch a pre-emptive nuclear attack on Russia.

Although this may sound like madness, we should not underestimate how mad the neocons are. The US and Russia have reportedly already come extremely close to a direct confrontation in Syria earlier this year. In April, after the US launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield, Russia was “an inch from confrontation” with the US, according to the Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani.

Any followers of Dr. Paul Craig Roberts work, the former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy, who also worked at a variety of US think tanks in Washington, will know that he has repeatedly warned that some belligerent and crazed elements within Washington are actually considering launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike on Russia.

It is not just Dr. Roberts that is warning of this apocalyptic scenario however. At the end April, the Deputy Head of Operations of the Russian General Staff, Lt. Gen. Viktor Poznikhir, warned of the potential that the US could launch a “sudden nuclear missile strike” against Russia:

“The presence of US missile defense bases in Europe, [and] missile defense vessels in seas and oceans close to Russia, creates a powerful covert strike component for conducting a sudden nuclear missile strike against the Russian Federation.”

US anti-ballistic missile systems in eastern Europe and in other regions cannot only be used to try and intercept any retaliatory Russian nuclear missiles fired toward NATO countries in response to a US pre-emptive nuclear strike, but, as Vladimir Putin has repeatedly warned, many of these ‘defensive’ systems can be quickly turned into offensive systems, used to launch nuclear missiles at Russia in a sneak attack. This is part of the reason why Russian officials have repeatedly called the US anti-missile shield a threat, with Romania hosting a $800m section of the shield.

Read More @ Journal-NEO.org

The New Brownshirts: Thugs vs. Free Speech on Campus

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by Robert Spencer, Freedom OutPost:

Leftist students routinely intimidate and even physically menace those who dissent from their views, especially pro-Israel students. Conservative speakers are rarely invited to campuses, and when they are, face legions of hostile and even violent protesters. Universities are increasingly hostile to conservative views, and are mostly indoctrination centers for the hard Left. This is academia today, as I detail in my new book The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Free Speech (and Its Enemies).

On September 29, 2016, retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel and former Congressman Allen West was scheduled to speak at Saint Louis University (SLU) on what he termed “the threat of radical Islam.” A group of Leftist and Muslim student protesters, led by the SLU Rainbow Alliance and the Muslim Students’ Association, packed the hall and then walked out, leaving West to speak to a nearly empty room.

That was the culmination of protests that had led SLU administrators to forbid the Young America’s Foundation (YAF), the organization sponsoring West’s speech, to use the words “radical Islam” on posters and fliers advertising it. West, not disposed to acquiesce to this censorship, had written before the event, “I along with the YAF activists will not back down from this challenge. And if this is just a case of ill-conceived political correctness, we’ll rectify that. But, if this is a case of the influence of stealth jihad radical Islamic campus organizations such as the Muslim Student Association, an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, then you will be exposed. And I recommend to the President of St. Louis University, you do not want it known that a radical Islamic organization is dictating speakers on your campus—that is not the type of PR you really want.”

But rather than affirming the importance of free discourse and the airing of dissenting views (never mind rejecting jihad and Islamic supremacism), SLU President Fred Pestello declared his “solidarity” with the protesters against the “provocateur” West.

YAF national spokeswoman Emily Jashinsky noted that what happened to West at SLU is common. “This is what happens when students attempt to bring one conservative speaker to a liberal campus. Threatened leftists do everything they can to erect obstacles.”

The whiff of a threat was unmistakable. And it was understandable that Jewish groups would feel intimidated, as groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Students Association have been growing increasingly aggressive and even physically menacing toward those who dare to question support for the Palestinian jihad against Israel.

Universities were much more solicitous about the sensibilities of Muslims.

The April 5, 2016 issue of The Gleaner, the student paper of Rutgers University–Camden, published a cartoon of Muhammad, Buddha, and Jesus in a bar. Its content, however, cannot be known at this point, because at the behest of Muslims on campus the entire issue has been deep-sixed. This is an incident fraught with implications for the health of the freedom of speech today.

Two weeks after the cartoon was published, the April 19 issue of The Gleaner contained a letter from the Muslim Brotherhood campus group, the Muslim Students Association, saying that it found the image offensive and asking The Gleaner to remove the image from the April 5 issue and circulate a new edition of that issue without it. The MSA letter claimed that Christians and Jews on campus told MSA members that they, too, found the image offensive.

The MSA letter stated, “Even though freedom of speech and press is emphasized and is something all of us value as proud Americans, the University prides itself on diversity of people of different faith and backgrounds so we feel that it is necessary to respect those faiths and backgrounds by honoring their beliefs.”

The April 19, 2016, Gleaner contained a response to the MSA letter written by Christopher Church, the paper’s editor in chief. Church apologized to the MSA and agreed to meet with it “so that we can rectify this issue and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.” He also agreed to remove any copies of the offending April 5 issue from the Gleaner boxes around campus and destroy them.

Neither Church nor anyone at Rutgers appeared to be aware of, or to care about, the fact that the freedom of speech as a Constitutional right it is not negated by anyone’s taking offense. This incident could and should have been a chance for Rutgers and The Gleaner to explain why the freedom of speech must be protected as our fundamental bulwark against tyranny, and why that means that we must all learn to put up with material that offends us.

Read More @ FreedomOutPost.com

Trump Is Being Moved Aside So That Conflict with Russia Can Proceed

by Paul Craig Roberts, Paul Craig Roberts:

What is the Congress up to with their stupid bill that imposes more sanctions and removes the power of President Trump to rescind the sanctions that President Obama imposed?

Congress is doing two things. One is that Congress is serving their campaign contributors in the military/security complex by being tougher with Russia, thus keeping the orchestrated threat alive so that Americans denied health care don’t start looking at the massive military/security budget as a place to find money for health care.

The other is to put President Trump in a box. If Trump vetos this encroachment on presidential power, Congress and the presstitute media will present the veto as absolute proof that Trump is a Russian agent and is protecting Russia with his veto. If Trump does not veto the bill, Trump will have thrown in his hand and accepted that he cannot reduce the dangerous tensions with Russia.

In other words, the bill is a lose-lose for Trump. Yet Republicans are supporting the bill, thus undermining their president.

Yesterday I heard an orchestrated, staged “interview” between two women on NPR’s “All Things Considered” (on NPR all things are never considered). It was a propaganda show focused on Trump’s expression of disappointment in Jeff Sessions, whom Trump mistakenly appointed Attorney General.

When Trump nominated Sessions, the Democrats and the presstitutes went berserk. Sessions was “unqualified,” a “racist,” blah-blah. But now Sessions is the hero of the presstitutes and Democrats. They love him, because he has sold out Trump on the question of the justification for an investigation of Trump as a suspect “Russian agent” by an independent prosecutor who happens to be a member of the anti-Trump ruling establishment.

In other words, Sessions, who has been beat up previously by the establishment, is too afraid to do his job.

In other words, Trump had, as I predicted, no idea what he was doing when he chose his government.

So now he suffers for his ignorance.

What was the point of the staged NPR interview between the two women? The point was that Sessions, unlike Trump, respects the rule of law whereas Trump wants to bend the law in order to cover up for himself. The interview was staged so that without the two women having to say it, Trump’s anger at Session was proof that Trump was guillty of some illigitimate “Russian connection.”

In other words, it was carefully constructed innuendo. Who constructed the innuendo? NPR’s women were just reading from a script.

As far as I can tell, there is no one in Trump’s government who is loyal to Trump or who is willing to back Trump’s effort to stop provoking the Russians and to cease serving as Israel’s military force in the Middle East. As far as I can tell not only the Democratic Party but also the Republican Party supports the left-wing’s view that Trump’s election was illegitimate, because he was elected by the votes of illegitimate people—“the deplorables” to use Hillary’s term.

Who are “the deplorables?” They are the remnants of the American working class. They are the people whose jobs were sent overseas to Asia by the global US corporations in order to enrich their shareholders and executives via higher profits from lower labor costs. They are the people who in order to stay afloat had to rely on debt in place of the missing income and whose debt is now so high that they have no disposable income. A huge proportion of the American population is incapable of raising a measly $400 without having to sell personal possessions.

In other words, they are refugees from a destroyed American middle class.

Trump stood up for them against the rich who ruined them, and now the rich are going to ruin Trump.

It will teach a lesson. Henceforth in the United States no one will dare to stick up for the American people. America is not for Americans any more than the world is for the peoples of the world. America and the world are for the One Percent. No one else. Russia, China, and Iran are in the way, and, thus, they are on Washington’s hit list.

It is heartbreaking to watch the Russians continue to believe, lesson after lesson to the contrary, that they can reach a deal with Washington. This unrealistic hope will destroy Russia. The Russian government will continue to grasp at straws and be put off guard.

Read More @ PaulCraigRoberts.org

NASA confirms: Sea levels have been FALLING across the planet for two years … media SILENT

by Mike Adams, Natural News:

As the global warming narrative unravels under revelations of scientific fraud, data alteration and faked “hockey stick” data models, the fake news media remains suspiciously silent over the fact that NASA now confirms ocean levels have been falling for nearly two years.

On a NASA page intended to spread climate alarmism (https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/sea-level/), NASA’s own data reveal that world-wide ocean levels have been falling for nearly two years, dropping from a variation of roughly 87.5mm to below 85mm.

These data, of course, clearly contradict the false narrative of rapid, never-ending rising ocean levels that flood continents and drown cities — a key element of the climate change “boogeyman” fiction that’s used to scare gullible youth into making Al Gore rich.

Check out the sea level chart for yourself, showing the downward trend across 2016 – 2017:

Even in the worst case, sea levels will only rise about a foot in a century

Global warming alarmists might say this is only a “pause” in the rising ocean levels, and that the long-term trend is clearly in the direction of rising oceans. However, these people wildly exaggerate the degree of ocean level increases to the point of absurdity.

If you zoom out on the NASA chart, you’ll see a long-term trend of sea levels rising 3.4mm per year on average, according to NASA’s own analysis. This means that over an entire century, the oceans would rise 340mm, or 13.4 inches … a little over a foot.

That’s about one foot in a century, a far cry from the doomsday predictions of “science scaremongers” like Al Gore who depict entire cities inundated with a 20-foot wall of water where millions of humans drown to death.

The delusional paranoia of climate change cultists like Al Gore is so far gone beyond rationality that Gore recently declared oceans were rising so fast that fish were already “swimming in the streets of Miami.” Not long before that, Al Gore claimed God told him to fight global warming, so he’s now apparently getting rich off the climate change scam because he was ordered to do so by God himself.

Read More @ NaturalNews.com

Risk has been Abolished, According to Institutional Investors

by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:

Why? Wall Street sells “more financial products and generates more profits when investors are bullish.”

“Covenant-lite” loans – risky instruments issued by junk-rated borrowers, with few protections for creditors – set an all-time record at the end of the second quarter.

They’re part of the risky universe of “leveraged loans,” and they’re secured by some collateral, but they don’t come with the protections and restrictive maintenance requirements in their covenants that traditional leveraged loans offer creditors.

Even leveraged loans with more restrictive covenants are so risky that banks just arrange them and then try to off-load them to institutional investors, such as pension funds or loan funds. Or they slice and dice them and package them into Collateralized Loan Obligations (CLOs) and sell them to institutional investors. Leveraged loans trade like securities. But the SEC, which regulates securities, considers them loans and doesn’t regulate them. No one regulates them.

The amounts are not trivial. Total outstanding leveraged loans in the US reached nearly $1 trillion ($943 billion) at the end of the second quarter, according to S&P Capital IQ LCD. And covenant lite loans made up 72.5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of them, the highest proportion ever.

That’s up from 69{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} at the end of the fourth quarter. This chart shows the surge in the proportion of covenant-lite loans to total leveraged loans over the past three years, from about 55{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} at the end of Q2 in 2014 to 72.5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} at the end of Q2 2017:

So what’s the big deal? When there is no default, there is no difference. And since there is apparently no longer any risk of default, it’s, well, no big deal. That’s what investors are thinking.

But when defaults do occur – as they have a nasty tendency to do – or before they even occur, investors have less recourse and fewer protections, and losses can be much higher.

The Fed and the OCC have been jawboning banks into backing off with leveraged loans for three years. Banks can get stuck with leveraged loans. They did during the Financial Crisis, which helped sink the banks. That’s when investors found out that leveraged loans are not exactly, as they say, as good as gold. But back then, the proportion of covenant lite loans was much smaller. So next time, the ride will be wilder.

Why do investors do this? They’re chasing yield, little else matters, and companies take advantage of that. LCD about the covenant lite loans:

For obvious reasons, they are more attractive to issuers, and have gained steady acceptance from loan arrangers [banks] and investors, particularly since 2012, when the US leveraged loan market found a higher gear after the financial crisis of 2007-08.

Then again, as naysayers are fond of pointing out, they’ve never comprised this much of the market before, so they will be under scrutiny once the current credit cycle turns.

Read More @ WolfStreet.com

House Conservatives Gunning for Probe of James Comey and Hillary Clinton

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by Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner:

A group of House conservatives has filed an amendment asking the Justice Department for information related to former FBI Director James Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email case.

The amendment, first reported by the Washington Post, demands information on “leaks by James B. Comey,” on “the propriety and consequence of immunity deals given to possible Hillary Clinton co-conspirators” and Comey’s decision to “usurp the authority of then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch in his unusual announcement that criminal charges would not be brought against” Clinton.

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., a co-sponsor of the amendment, told the Washington Examiner he aims to “push back” against “accusations” that are distracting from the agenda of President Trump and Republicans in Congress.

“The bottom line is we are tired of passively letting people make accusations to overcrowd our agenda and they ought to respond to claims we know exist about their misconduct,” Biggs said in an interview, referring to Clinton and other Democrats targeted in the amendment, including Susan Rice, former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser.

The amendment requires the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to explore the Justice Department and FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation.

“For the past several years, Democrats have obstructed justice and blocked every Congressional investigation imaginable,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, another sponsor of the amendment, in a statement to the Washington Examiner. “Both parties have criticized James Comey over the past year for his performance as FBI director. Even Sen. Feinstein [Dianne] says there should be an investigation into Loretta Lynch and James Comey’s handling of the Clinton investigation. Let’s have a special counsel for that and see how serious congressional Democrats are about getting to the truth.”

The amendment, also sponsored by Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Mike Johnson, R-La., will be attached to a bill from Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., that requests the Justice Department provide documents related to Comey’s firing.

In recent days, Trump has complained on Twitter that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has not moved to investigate Clinton on other issues unrelated to her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. However, when he was president-elect, Trump said that he would not pursue a new investigation of Clinton.

“I don’t want to hurt the Clintons, I really don’t,” Trump told reporters in November. “She went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways, and I am not looking to hurt them at all. The campaign was vicious.”

The conservative-authored amendment asks the Justice Department to explain why the FBI did not further investigate Clinton for “selling access to the U.S. State Department through Clinton Foundation donations.”

Biggs insisted he and his colleagues did not file their amendment to do the bidding of Trump.

“This is a matter of seeking justice,” Biggs said. “It’s what this is always about. If you don’t seek justice, people lose faith and confidence in their representatives.”

Read More @ WashingtonExaminer.com

Declassified Memos Show Obama’s NSA Spied On Americans Way More Than You Thought

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from ZeroHedge:

Back in May the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) found that the National Security Agency (NSA), under former President Obama, routinely violated American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall.

“The October 26, 2016 Notice disclosed that an NSA Inspector General (IG) review…indicated that, with greater frequency than previously disclosed to the Court, NSA analysts had used U.S.-person identifiers to query the result of Internet “upstream” collection, even though NSA’s section 702 minimization procedures prohibited such queries…this disclosure gave the Court substantial concern.”

The court order went on to reveal that NSA analysts had been conducting illegal queries targeting American citizens “with much greater frequency than had previously been disclosed to the Court“…an issue which the court described as a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue.

“Since 2011, NSA’s minimization procedures have prohibited use of U.S.-person identifiers to query the results of upstream Internet collection under Section 702. The October 26, 2016 Notice informed the Court that NSA analysts had been conducting such queries in violation of that prohibition, with much greater frequency than had previously been disclosed to the Court.”

“At the October 26, 2016 hearing, the Court ascribed the government’s failure to disclose those IG and OCO reviews at the October 4, 2016 hearing to an institutional ‘lack of candor’ on NSA’s part and emphasized that ‘this is a very serious Fourth Amendment issue.'”

Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

DOVISH FED WITH “LACK OF INFLATION” SENDS GOLD AND SILVER SOARING AFTER COMEX CLOSES

NORTH KOREA WILL LAUNCH ANOTHER ICBM MAYBE BY TONIGHT/USA PASSES LEGISLATION ORCHESTRATING MORE SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA: THIS TIME SANCTIONING ANYBODY DOING BUSINESS WITH THEIR OIL
from Harvey Organ:

GAS SECTOR/RUSSIA RESPONDS!! EUROPE WILL RESPOND SHORTLY

In silver, the total open interest ROSE BY ONLY 279 contract(s) UP to 206,347 WITH THE RISE IN PRICE THAT SILVER TOOK WITH YESTERDAY’S TRADING (UP 10 CENT(S). YESTERDAY THE COMMERCIALS TRIED IN VAIN TO COVER BUT TO NO AVAIL. THE SPEC SHORTS ARE HEARING RUMOURS OF TROUBLE WITH DELIVERIES IN LONDON SO THEY TOO ARE TRYING TO GET OUT OF THEIR SHORTS. THE LONGS CONTINUE TO REMAIN STOIC AND ADD GENTLY TO THEIR LONG SIDE.

In ounces, the OI is still represented by just OVER 1 BILLION oz i.e. 1.03 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 148{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT MAY MONTH/ THEY FILED: 21 NOTICE(S) FOR 105,000 OZ OF SILVER

In gold, the total comex gold SURPRISINGLY ROSE BY 4859 CONTRACTS DESPITE THE FALL IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($2.10 with YESTERDAY’S TRADING). The total gold OI stands at 463,827 contracts. Surprisingly the liquidation in the front month has stopped as spec longs decided to foolishly take on the bankers on comex expiration week. The bankers mercilessly supplied all the necessary paper. The spec shorts continued to pile into the short side and thus the OI rise.

we had 14 notice(s) filed upon for 1400 oz of gold.

Read More @ Harveyorganblog.com