Saturday, February 23, 2019

Angela Merkel is being Called a Traitor for the Refugee Crisis

by Martin Armstrong, Armstrong Economics:

The EU has abandoned Italy while simultaneously demanding that the refugees must be taken care of. Nearly 100,000 refugees have arrived in Italy since the start of this year alone. The Italian government cannot cope with the refugee crisis and Brussels said they cannot exempt them from the restraint of busgets. That means that money for Italians must be diverted to the refugees and they keep coming.

Italy is being pushed to the limit and cannot possible cope with this burden alone while Brussels refuses to compensate them. Let any country refuse to accept refugees and Brussels is quick to condemn them, but wont pay for them itself.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is solely responsible for the refugee crisis. She is starting to be greeted with shouts of “traitor” by discontent German protesters. Nevertheless, Merkel continues to defend her decision to allow hundreds of thousands of refugees into the Germany.

Merkel only received 16,233,642 votes during the 2013 election which was  37.2{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the popular vote of Germany. So the majority of Germans are really not supporting Merkel. Because they get to form collation governments, that someone who received less that any President in the political history of the USA gets to run Euorpe. Even Donald Trump won  46.1{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the American popular vote. So someone who would never get into office under the USA system gets to dominate Europe.

Read More @ ArmstrongEconomics.com

The US Visa “Suspension” for Russians is an inconvenient administrative rerouting

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by Andrew Kotybko, The Duran:

It was just announced earlier today that the US is suspending the processing of non-immigrant visas to Russians in all of its consulates in the country on 23 August, which caused a knee-jerk social media reaction that America was essentially banning Russians from visiting. That’s not the case, at all, and anyone who read beyond the headlines would know this. According to the US’ official statement:

“…all nonimmigrant visa (NIV) operations across Russia will be suspended beginning August 23, 2017.  Visa operations will resume on a greatly reduced scale.  Beginning September 1, nonimmigrant visa interviews will be conducted only at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.  NIV interviews at the U.S. Consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, and Vladivostok are suspended until further notice.”

Basically, the US is just inconveniencing Russians by having them go to Moscow to receive their visa as opposed to the much closer consulates in whichever part of the country they live in. This might be problematic for some because of the attendant transportation and time costs inherent in, such as the case of Vladivostok, going halfway across Eurasia just to get a tourist visa, and that’s all before undergoing the planned trip to the other side of the world in the opposite direction afterwards.

There are also more technical details to the US’ announcement concerning visa fees that were already payed and a prohibition on transferring people’s applications to a closer US Embassy outside of the country instead, but these aspects are only relevant if an individual doesn’t want to travel to Moscow to complete the final stage of their visa process. While it’s understandably troublesome for some people to do this, it’s a far cry away from the exaggerated hype that the US banned Russians from visiting the country.

It’s always unfortunate when regular folks are caught in the middle of a diplomatic crisis between two countries, and the only losers are the Russian people themselves who simply wanted the convenience of processing their visa applications in a US consulate near the region that they live, but the fact is that the US might no longer have the personnel capacity to handle these tasks after complying with Russia’s request that they downscale their staff.

One should remember that Russia only issued this order months after former President Obama unilaterally seized the country’s diplomatic property and expelled its diplomats on the false pretext that they “hacked” the 2016 election, so Moscow’s response was proportionate and fair, to say nothing of being somewhat overdue. That said, however, Russia isn’t responsible for how the US decides the sovereign management of its consular and embassy activities.

Whether the US is scaling back its nonimmigrant visa operations as a snide move to punish the Russian people or if this is a genuine response to their newfound lack of staff to process such requests, the fact remains that this nevertheless isn’t anything more than a 9-day “suspension” of operations and their administrative rerouting to the Moscow Embassy from the three consulates across the country.

In no way whatsoever does this amount to the US “banning” Russians from visiting, even if it does make it more inconvenient for them to do so.

Read More @ TheDuran.com

Sanctions Are Almost Always a Prelude to War

by Darius Shahtahmasebi, Russia Insider:

Last Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump signed new sanctions into law against Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The legislation was supported so overwhelmingly in Congress that President Trump’s ability to veto the legislation was rendered completely ineffective.

Even anti-interventionist Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard voted in favor of the bill, once again proving that Republicans and Democrats always find common ground when it comes to beating the drums of war against sovereign nations who have taken very little unwarranted hostile action — if any — towards the United States.

But these are just sanctions, not acts of war, right? There’s nothing wrong with economically bullying other countries into submission over non-compliance with the current global order, right?

Not quite.

Sanctions are always a prelude to war. Though few are aware, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 was arguably in response to America’s attempt to cripple Japan’s booming economy through embargos and asset freezes, ending Japan’s commercial relationship with the United States and provoking the desperation that led to their attack.

In August 1990, the U.S. began a sanctions regime against Saddam Hussein in Iraq. In 1991, the United States invaded Iraq and completely decimated its armed forces, also directly targeting its civilian infrastructure. Following this devastation, the U.S. extended and expanded these economic sanctions on Iraq as further punishment. The U.N. estimated these sanctions led to the deaths of 1.7 million Iraqi civilians, including between 500,000 and 600,000 children.

When Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was questioned on these statistics, she intimated that the price was “worth it.”

These sanctions only came to an end after the U.S. invaded again in 2003 (and the complete international sanctions regime was only lifted in December 2010).

Libya also faced American-imposed sanctions beginning in the 1990s, as well, and we all know how that story ended.

In May of 2004, the U.S. imposed economic sanctions on Syria, supposedly over Syria’s support for terrorism and its “failure to stop militants entering Iraq” – a country the U.S. destabilized in the first place. In reality, these sanctions were a response to Syria and Iran’s growing relationship as the two countries had reportedly agreed to a mutual defense treaty that same year.

Syria has been the target of a regime change operation since as far back as 2006, and the U.S. has been openly bombing its territory under both Barack Obama and Donald Trump; the U.S. has already bombed the Syrian government multiple times over the past year. If it had not been for the Russian intervention, the U.S. most likely would have ousted the Syrian government by force before Trump even took office.

Iran has been battling with sanctions for some time now, with the anti-Iranian sanctions regime serving as a smokescreen for regime change in the same manner that Libya, Syria, and Iraq were targeted previously.

In the case of Iran, the underlying motives are quite clear: the renewed set of sanctions is designed to undermine the 2015 nuclear agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Even though the Trump administration is aware that Iran is in full compliance with the JCPOA, Trump has made it an official policy of his own to deliberately erode the deal.

Why would he do that?

As explained in the book Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran, authored by an ex CIA analyst who promoted the 2003 invasion of Iraq:

“For those who favor regime change or a military attack on Iran (either by the United States or Israel), there is a strong argument to be made for trying this option first. Inciting regime change in Iran would be greatly assisted by convincing the Iranian people that their government is so ideologically blinkered that it refuses to do what is best for the people and instead clings to a policy that could only bring ruin on the country. The ideal scenario in this case would be that the United States and the international community present a package of positive inducements so enticing that the Iranian citizenry would support the deal, only to have the regime reject it. In a similar vein, any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context – both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it. The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer – one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down.” [emphasis added]

This paradigm brilliantly explains why hawkish members of Trump’s team are completely opposed to Trump unilaterally derailing the JCPOA: These officials don’t want the blame to rest on the U.S., as it will ignite new tensions within the international community and directly affect the U.S. dollar.

Read More @ Russia-Insider.com

The Peak of Globalization and The Reason Trump Won

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by Harry Dent, Market Oracle:

Fareed Zakaria just put out a special show on why Trump won: He got the rural white vote in unprecedented margins – like 80{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} plus. Even before Election Day, we put out an infographic explaining why Trump could win despite the polls. Still, even I was a little surprised when he won!

I bring this up again now, not to bash Trump, but to highlight the demographic and cyclical explanation behind his victory. And to show that the events that brought Trump into power aren’t done stirring things up. There’s a lot more to come. Trump is only the beginning…

My father was a major political strategist at the state and national level. In fact, he was the architect of the “Southern Strategy.” He got Nixon elected in 1968 with a campaign that touted a vote for Wallace (the strong third-party candidate in the conservative South) was a vote for Humphrey, one of the more liberal candidates ever. He used his uber-conservative senator ally, Strom Thurmond, who he managed his campaigns for over a decade, to counter the southern conservative voters to back Nixon as a counter to Humphrey.

My father told me when I was a kid, that it wasn’t the average voter that decides elections. Rather, it was the swing vote – 15{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} – what he called the “all-star wrestling fans.” And don’t think this was meant as an insult. He loved watching the wrestling shows. He loved the drama and the everyday entertainment. I never saw him laugh as much as when he was watching.

I found later in my demographic research that 16{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of people regularly watch all-star wrestling… that was an “aha” moment for me.

Globalization Has Reached its Peak

We have been documenting for many years that the top 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}, and more so the top 1{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} and 0.1{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}, have been dominating the income and wealth gains since the 1990s, much as they did in the early 1900s into the 1929 peak. Back then, the top 1{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} controlled 50{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the wealth.

This is simply not sustainable! You can’t have the generals advancing without the troops.

That peak in stocks and the economy in late 1929 led to the Great Depression… and as few have fully noticed, the middle class rose out of that deflationary crisis because it favored them over the upper class for decades, especially from 1945 forward.

And that same pattern will repeat this time around as well, according to my 80-Year Four-Stage Economic Cycle, which shows that we entered the Economic Winter Season in 2008. Central banks have been desperately stimulating to counter the effects of this season ever since. However, they can’t and won’t win this battle against the fundamental trends.

Debt and financial asset bubbles always favor the upper class that owns most of those financial assets. But when those bubbles burst, the rich get hit the hardest, even more than the everyday people, even though they’re the first to lose their jobs. The deflation that follows a burst bubble lowers the cost of living for everyday people and the upper class loses the most in financial assets that deflate.

Everyday people still feel the effects from wage competition with the likes of Asia and immigrants (legal and illegal). I’ve shown in many Economy & Markets articles and Leading Edge issues how the middle and lower middle class have lost in their real wage gains since 2000. This is why these people were (and remain) so angry, and why many voted for Trump.

This is the beginning of the next Civil War, as I outline in more depth in my up-and-coming book Zero Hour. It’s due out mid-November.

The red states and blue states can’t agree on political policies or much of anything else, and there’s a real chance we may see this country split. Europe faces the same potential, map-shattering, change, as does much of the rest of the world.

Globalization is peaking, and could retreat for a few decades, like it did from 1913 to 1945.

It’s been a major driver of growth since World War II. Look at this chart of global trade since the 1500s. It accelerated from the mid-1800s into World War I, then retreated for decades!

Read More @ MarketOracle.com

The Future of the Third World

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by Jayant Bhandari, Acting Man:

Decolonization

The British Empire was the largest in history. At the end of World War II Britain had to start pulling out from its colonies. A major part of the reason was, ironically, the economic prosperity that had come through industrialization, massive improvements in transportation, and the advent of telecommunications, ethnic and religious respect, freedom of speech, and other liberties offered by the empire.

After the departure of the British — as well as the French, German, Belgians, and other European colonizers — most of the newly “independent” countries suffered rapid decay in their institutions, stagnant economies, massive social strife, and a fall in standards of living. An age of anti-liberalism and tyranny descended on these former colonies. They rightly became known as third-world countries.

An armchair economist would have assumed that the economies of these former colonies, still very backward and at a very low base compared to Europe, would grow at a faster rate. Quite to the contrary, as time went on, their growth rates stayed lower than those of the West.

Socialism and the rise of dictators were typically blamed for this — at least among those on the political Right. This is not incorrect, but it is a merely proximate cause. Clarity might have been reached if people had contemplated the reason why Marxism and socialism grew like weeds in the newly independent countries.

Was There a Paradigm Shift in the 1980s?

According to conventional wisdom, the situation changed after the fall of the socialist ringleader, the USSR, in the late 1980s. Ex-colonized countries started to liberalize their economies and widely accepted democracy, leading to peace, the spread of education and equality, the establishment of liberal, independent institutions. Massive economic growth ensued and was sustained over the past three decades. The “third world” was soon renamed “emerging markets.”

Alas, this is a faulty narrative. Economic growth did pick up in these poor countries, and the rate of growth did markedly exceed that of the West, but the conventional narrative confuses correlation with causality. It tries to fit events to ideological preferences, which assume that we are all the same, that if Europeans could progress, so should everyone else, and that all that matters are correct incentives and appropriate institutions.

The beginning and end of the Soviet communist era in newspaper headlines. The overthrow of Kerensky’s interim government was the start of Bolshevik rule. To be precise, the Bolsheviks took over shortly thereafter, when they disbanded the constituent assembly in in early 1918 and subsequently gradually did the same to all non-Bolshevik Soviets that had been elected. A little more than seven decades later, the last Soviet Bolshevik leader resigned. It is worth noting that by splitting the Russian Federation from the Ukraine and Belorussia, Yeltsin effectively removed Gorbachev from power – the latter was suddenly president of a country that no longer existed and chairman of a party that was declared illegal in Russia. [PT] – click to enlarge.

The claimed liberalization in the “emerging markets” after the collapse of the USSR did not really happen. Progress was always one step forward and two steps back. In some ways, government regulations and repression of businesses in the “emerging markets” have actually gotten much worse. Financed by increased taxes, governments have grown by leaps and bounds — not for the benefit of society but for that of the ruling class — and are now addicted to their own growth.

The ultimate underpinnings of the so-called emerging markets haven’t changed. Their rapid economic progress during the past three decades — a one-off event — happened for reasons completely different from those assumed by most economists. The question is: once the effect of the one-off event has worn off, will emerging markets revert to the stagnation, institutional degradation, and tyranny that they had leaped into soon after the European colonizers left?

The One-Off Event: What Actually Changed in the 1980s

In the “emerging markets” (except for China) synchronized favorable economic changes were an anomaly. They resulted in large part from the new, extremely cheap telephony that came into existence (a result of massive cabling of the planet implemented in the 1980s) and the subsequent advent of the new technology of the internet. The internet enabled instantaneous transfer of technology from the West and as a consequence, unprecedented economic growth in “emerging markets.”

Meanwhile, a real cultural, political, and economic renaissance started in China. It was an event so momentous that it changed the economic structure not just of China, but of the whole world. Because China is seen as a communist dictatorship, it fails to be fully appreciated and respected by intellectuals who are obsessed with the institution of democracy.

But now that the low-hanging fruit from the emergence of the internet and of China (which continues to progress) have been plucked, the “emerging markets” (except, again, for China) are regressing to their normal state: decay in their institutions, stagnant economies, and social strife. They should still be called the “third world.”

There are those who hold China in contempt for copying Western technology, but they don’t understand that if copying were so easy, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and South Asia would have done the same. They were, after all, prepared for progress by their colonial history.

European colonizers brought in the rule of law and significantly reduced the tribal warfare that was a matter of daily routine in many of the colonies — in the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Britain and other European nations set up institutional structures that allowed for the accumulation of intellectual and financial capital. Western-style education and democracy were initiated. But this was helpful in a very marginal way.

ReadMore @ Acting-Man.com

US Wages Cyberwar Abroad Under Cover of “Activism”

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by Joseph Thomas, New Eastern Outlook:

The threat of cyberterrorism has competed for centre stage in American politics with fears of “Russian hackers” disrupting everything from elections to electrical grids. And yet as US policymakers wield threats of cyberterrorism to promote a long and growing list of countermeasures and pretexts for expanding its conflict with Moscow, it is simultaneously promoting very real cyberterrorism globally.

Worst of all, it does so under the guise of “activism.”

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace recently published a paper titled, “Growing Cyber Activism in Thailand.”

In it, readers may have expected a detailed description of how independent local activists were using information technology to inform the public, communicate with policymakers and organise themselves more efficiently.

Instead, readers would find a list of US-funded fronts posing as “nongovernmental organisations” (NGOs) engaged in subversion, including attacks carried out against Thai government websites aimed at crippling them, the dumping of private information of ordinary citizens online and coercing policymakers into adopting their foreign-funded and directed agenda.

US-Backed Cyberterrorism

The paper cites petitions created by the US-funded Thai Netizen Network on the US-based petition site, Change.org as well as distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) aimed at crippling essential government websites, a campaign defended by US-funded Thai Netizen as being “virtual civil disobedience.”

The paper would claim (our emphasis):

The most innovative countermeasure was a series of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks: an anonymous group, Thailand F5 Cyber Army, declared a cyberwar on the Thai government by encouraging netizens to visit listed official websites and continuously press F5 on their keyboards to refresh the pages. The goal was to overwhelm web servers and cause a temporary collapse of the websites of the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Government House of Thailand, National Legislative Assembly, and Internal Security Operations Command. The group disseminated detailed instructions on the operation to its anonymous activists. It then demanded that the junta cancel its Single Gateway proposal. 

Most of the attacks were successful. Activists wanted to demonstrate the government’s technological ineptitude and its lack of capacity to manage the Single Gateway. Arthit Suriyawongkul, coordinator of the Thai Netizen Network, described the campaign as virtual civil disobedience—an online version of the nonviolent resistance practiced by civil rights groups in the United States. 

In another case, an activist group called Anonymous launched a #BoycottThailand campaign on Twitter and reportedly hacked government websites, snatched confidential information from official databases, and shared it online.

The Thai Netizen Network is funded by the US State Department via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) subsidiary, Freedom House, as well as convicted financial criminal George Soros’ Open Society and a number of other foreign governments and corporate-funded foundations.

The role of a foreign-funded front coordinating efforts to undermine Thailand’s national security, including promoting cyberterrorism as “civil disobedience,” carries with it many implications. That the US is the foreign state promoting these activities in Thailand, undermines its own efforts to define and combat cyberterrorism back home.

What is Cyberterrorism?  

Cyberterrorism is described on the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) website as:

…the use of computer network tools to shut down critical national infrastructures (e.g., energy, transportation, government operations) or to coerce or intimidate a government or civilian population.

Attacking government websites millions of people across Thailand depend on for information and services while pilfering the personal information of thousands of ordinary citizens clearly fits the definition of not only cyberterrorism because of the political motivations involved, but also malicious criminality in general.

Unlike alleged Russian hacks which divulged emails detailing impropriety among American politicians, the information pilfered by US-backed hackers in Thailand included the personal information of  millions of ordinary citizens using government services as part of their daily lives.

Bangkok Post would fill in the missing information intentionally omitted from the Carnegie Endowment paper, reporting that:

Files posted by Anonymous and examined by the Bangkok Post appear to be from the court system, as the Anonymous posters claimed. 

An SQL database file of 1.1 gigabytes contains thousands of names, ID card numbers, photos, email addresses, personal phone numbers and more — all in clear text.

By dumping this information online, US-backed hackers targeted ordinary citizens, jeopardising their privacy and exposing them to criminal elements the world over involved in identity theft.

US Cyberterrorism is not “Activism”

The Carnegie Endowment paper itself was drafted by Janjira Sombatpoonsiri, assistant professor of political science at Thammasat University, Thailand. She is also cited as a member of the Carnegie Endowment’s Civic Activism Network. Not only is she an active, contributing member of Thailand’s foreign-backed opposition, she is admittedly involved in a foreign think-tank funded by foreign corporate interests.

The Carnegie Endowment includes among its sponsors in its 2016 annual report; the US government, pharmaceutical giants including Gilead, petrochemical monopolies including Chevron, British Petroleum and Shell, defence contractors including Lockheed Martin and several automakers including Ford.

Read More @ Journal-NEO.org

Barcelona – The Hypocrisy of Sorrow

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by Peter Koenig, Global Research:

Barcelona, 17 August, 5 PM – a white van plows with 70 km/h into a mass of pedestrians, many of them tourists, on the famous Las Ramblas, in the heart of Barcelona. The death toll, 13 plus more than 100 injured. In an adjacent event, the police kill one alleged perpetrator. The main suspect flees and is still at large. Or is he? – Maybe he has already been killed.

All the recent truck killings were carried out by white vans. Does it mean anything? Maybe not. But importantly ISIS has already claimed responsibility, through their news agency Amaq, so say the presstitute media. Does anybody other than the mainstream media check? – Probably not. Doesn’t matter. When ISIS claims responsibilities, it puts hearts and minds at ease. The culprit has been found. It’s always the bloody Islamists-jihadists. We can rest in peace. And life goes on.

Indeed, life must go on and being prepared for more and increasing terror attacks is what the Mayor of London and Mr. Macron, the novice French President, already predicted. They must know a thing or two we don’t. OK, let’s brace ourselves. Much else we can’t do anyway – or can we?

The French head of the conservative Republican Party, François Fillon, a losing contender of the recent Presidential elections, said with regards to the French tourists who died in the Barcelona attack: “We must assume our responsibility…” referring to the fact that he was not elected President – as he, Monsieur Fillon, would have done away with this Islamist terror. How low-low can you sink? There are no words, no comments.

***

Fortunately, the alleged chief perpetrator leaves, as usual and conveniently, an ID behind in the cabin of the white van. So, he can be traced to Melilla, a Spanish enclave in Morocco. In a related event, in a small town, Alcanar, some 250 km south of Barcelona, where on Wednesday night – well before the deadly Ramblas run, a massive explosion took place in a residence, leaving one person dead and 7 insured. One person was arrested by police. One of the injured persons was suspected to be the driver of the white Rambla van.

In the early morning hours of Friday, hours after the Barcelona van-ram in the beach town of Cambrils, some 120 km south of Barcelona, another van runs a police barricade, attempting to embark on a similar terror attack against a tourist-packed pedestrian strip. Apparently one pedestrian was killed. The police however, so the ‘news’, killed all five alleged terrorists in the van. The police now say they suspect one of them was the driver of the white van that rammed the Rambla. Dead men can’t talk.

All has – sadly but predictably – the putrefied smell of another false flag. And the ‘system’, the deep-deep dark state, again, gets away with it.

The mix of information, is seemingly incoherent and purposely very confusing. Connections must be fabricated. Let chaos reign. Keep people confused. Keep them in the belief that police are on top of it and on the guard. You people must not think. Indeed, shopping, according to RT is almost back to normal. There is a candle vigil going on in plain daylight – and a bit of a somber ambiance – and a crowd is holding an anti-islamisation rally in the center of Barcelona. All the while the Rambla is overflowing with tourists as usual. That’s the way it should be. Shopping is first. Put police in charge. They will protect us henceforth. In case they can’t handle it, the military are right at hand.

In the meantime – and foremost – and immediately after the horror massacre, messages of condolences poured in from such illustrious personalities, like Theresa May, Madame Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Sweden’s PM Stefan Löfven, from Belgium, Denmark…. Sorrow, no end.

Let’s not forget, in the last year the Ram-Truck-Terror, now a convenient tool of horror, fear and killing, has hit Nice, France – 14 July 2016, Promenade des Anglais, 86 killed, almost 500 injured; Berlin, 19 December 2016, Christmas Market, 12 people dead, 56 injured; England twice, 22 March 2017, Westminster Bridge, 5 dead, more than 50 injured; London Bridge, June 2017, 7 dead; Stockholm, 8 April 2017, the city’s busiest shopping street – 4 died, 15 injured. And now Barcelona Spain.

The condolences of these leaders sound hollow and so hypocritical because they, the very leaders, are at the heart of the problem. If not the direct instigators of this simply patterned string of terror attacks, they are utterly complicit, allowing the strings being pulled on their secret services by order of the Master Global Deep State, whose goal it is to subdue Europe, to convert her into a police – military state, chaos, possibly civil war. A civil war not as bad as to curtail essential consumption. But civil strife all the same. Give corporate finance enough room to escalate their debt and profit spiral, but leave the populace poor enough to produce a Europe that is devoid of thinking; no time to reflect, no time to protest – as people will struggle for their sheer survival.

You don’t believe it? Look at Greece and elsewhere, what’s going on around you. Militarization slow motion. Macron is fully committed to it – and doesn’t shy from saying so. The French have understood, and Macron’s popularity has sunk from 66{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} after the “election” to less than 35{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} today. Never mind. He is there to stay for 5 years. The French Constitution says so. A (people’s) miracle would have to happen to remove him.

On another occasion, I have mentioned the sophisticated hundreds of millions of euros worth ghost town being built in a German military camp in Saxony-Althaus – for the very purpose of training urban warfare – just in case, you and your fellow protesters, when you can’t take it anymore, you may take to the streets and go on the barricades – that’s when the urban trained forces of power come in to oppress you, even kill you, if necessary. What you saw in Hamburg at the G20 Meeting in early July was just a benign precursor of what’s to come.

Yes, that’s what’s expecting us Europeans – the US is already there, they are always a few notches ahead of us, they are doing the trial run for us. – Barcelona is just a little stone in the mosaic, in the Big Picture of “Full Spectrum Dominance” – the ultimate goal of the PNAC (Plan for a new American Century) – the Washington’s and the Deep-Dark One-Eyed State’s Bible, written and periodically updated by the ultimate One-Eyed Anglo-Zionists on top of the echelon. We are almost there.

Read More @ GlobalResearch.ca

US Asset Bubbles Crack as Frantic China “Restricts” Outbound Investments

by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:

What happens to prices when the biggest, reckless buyer walks away?

China’s State Council has issued guidelines on what Chinese companies can and cannot acquire overseas. The purpose is to “promote healthy growth of overseas investment and prevent risks.” These risks would be that the $18 trillion of Chinese corporate debt will balloon further, though much of this debt is already going bad, and that it will blow up, triggering a spectacular financial crisis. This is to be avoided.

So Chinese companies have been given priorities, and their efforts to invest in overseas commercial real estate – such as office towers and apartment buildings – in hotels, and in Hollywood will be axed.

What’s on:

The guideline intends to drive the output of China’s products, technology and services, and deepen cooperation with countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.

The government will support “eligible” Chinese companies “to make overseas investment and join in the construction of projects in the Belt and Road Initiative.”

These enterprises should take the lead to export China’s superior technology and equipment, upgrade the nation’s research and manufacturing ability, and make up the shortage of energy and resources through prudent cooperation in oil, gas and other resources.

What’s off:

Other investments will be “restricted,” particularly those “against the peaceful development, win-win cooperation, and China’s macro control policies.” These policies are now being implemented to dodge this spectacular financial crisis.

Among those outbound investments and acquisitions that will be “restricted” and that directly impact US markets and valuations are:

  • “Real estate”
  • “Hotels”
  • “Entertainment”

There have already been examples of big deals in the US in these three categories that got scuttled – or that succeeded and the Chinese acquirer is now being pushed to unload the property – because Chinese authorities have been putting pressure on their state-owned banks to curtail lending to fund these overseas acquisition binges at peak prices by Chinese conglomerates. Here are just a few:

Real Estate: In April 2016, LeEco, a Chinese company that had surged out of nowhere, bought Yahoo’s 49 acres of land in Santa Clara, Silicon Valley, for $250 million. LeEco was going to build its global headquarters on it and hire 12,000 people. Earlier this year, LeEco scuttled those plans and pulled back from the US, after China’s state-owned banks had refused to lend it more money. It is now trying to unload assets, including this property.

Hotels: Anbang efforts in September 2016 to acquire Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide fell apart. In June this year, its chairman was detained by the Chinse government.

Entertainment: In March this year, Eldridge Industries said that it had terminated its agreement, made in November, to sell its Dick Clark Productions – the company behind the Golden Globes telecast – to China’s Dalian Wanda Group for $1 billion because Wanda had “failed to honor its contractual obligations.” The state-owned banks had turned off the spigot. This comes after Wanda had bought movie producer Legendary Entertainment for white-hot price of $3.5 billion. Wanda, under pressure from Chinese authorities, has since been unloading a number of it Chinese properties.

China outbound M&A targeting US companies has plunged 65{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} so far this year, compared to the same period last year, according to Dealogic, “amid growing regulatory scrutiny.” Last year, Chinese companies made $65.2 billion in acquisitions in the US, including HNA’s acquisition of 25{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of Hilton Worldwide.

“Since then, regulatory agencies have been reviewing and rejecting an increasing number of transactions,” Dealogic said. This is “an effort to stem capital flight and depreciation of the yuan.” There was also more intense scrutiny in the US, particularly by the Committee on Foreign Investment, which is concerned that Chinese investments may threaten national security.

How big of a deal is this Chinese crackdown on outbound investments for the US?

Read More @ WolfStreet.com

Dave Janda’s Operation Freedom Sunday, August 20, 2017 – John Titus, Dane Wigington and Eric Dubin

by Dave Janda, Dave Janda:

Topics Discussed

Benghazi, Bank of International Settlements, Weather Modification, Manipulation of financial markets, SEAL Team 6, Extortion 17, Benghazi, New World Order Syndicate, Obama Care, Free Market Health Reform, Putin, The Ukraine, ISIS, Syria, The Constitution, Natural resources, Reserve currency, Corruption, gold, silver, Global Elite, International Banking Cabal, debt, Federal Reserve, Too Big To Fail Banks, Crony Capitalism, Debt Ceiling, Financial implosion, Recession, Economic Depression, Freedom, Liberty

Click HERE for John Titus

Click HERE for Dane Wigington

Click HERE for Eric Dubin

Read More @ DaveJanda.com

Video Emerges Showing Clashes Between Indian, Chinese Soldiers

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from ZeroHedge:

Late last week, we reported that in the first documented clash between Chinese and Indian soldiers who have been piling up across the border between the two nations over the latest territorial dispute, “Indian and Chinese soldiers were involved in an altercation” in the western Himalayas on Tuesday, “further raising tensions between the two countries which are already locked in a two-month standoff in another part of the disputed border.” A Reuters source in New Delhi who was briefed on the military situation on the border, said Indian soldiers “foiled a bid by a group of Chinese troops to enter Indian territory in Ladakh, near the Pangong lake.” He added that some of the Chinese soldiers carried iron rods and stones, and in the melee there were minor injuries on both sides.

“There was an altercation near the Pangong lake,” said a police officer in Srinagar, the capital of India’s Jammu and Kashmir state, under which the area falls. An army source in Srinagar, quoted by Reuters, spoke of an altercation following what he called a Chinese army “incursion in Pangong lake area”. This fresh standoff at Pangong Tso lake in Ladakh comes in the backdrop of tensions between Indian and Chinese troops over Doklam plateau in Sikkim sector with the PLA skipping the ceremonial border meetings on Independence Day.

What is notable about this concerning breakout of violence, is how silent both India and China have been, with neither side issuing an official statement confirming or denying last week’s events.

Overnight, thanks to India’s NDTV, five days after the “unconfirmed” scuffle in Ladakh, a video of the clash has surfaced. The video, which has been widely circulated on social media, shows many soldiers from the two countries punching and kicking each other and throwing stones.

Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

The ‘Hack’ Narrative Collapses

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by Karl Denninger, Market Ticker:

This is a pretty-good read, all-in.

“A speed of 22.7 megabytes is simply unobtainable, especially if we are talking about a transoceanic data transfer,” Folden said. “Based on the data we now have, what we’ve been calling a hack is impossible.” Last week Forensicator reported on a speed test he conducted more recently. It tightens the case considerably. “Transfer rates of 23 MB/s (Mega Bytes per second) are not just highly unlikely, but effectively impossible to accomplish when communicating over the Internet at any significant distance,” he wrote. “Further, local copy speeds are measured, demonstrating that 23 MB/s is a typical transfer rate when using a USB–2 flash device (thumb drive).”

I wouldn’t go so far as to claim impossible, but I would say “highly unlikely.”  The second part of the statement, however, is utterly true — it is completely consistent with either a SD card or USB flash drive inserted into a computer.

When it comes to Internet transfer of data, remember one thing: You’re only as fast as the slowest link in the middle.

There are plenty of places on the Internet with gigabit (that’s ~100MegaBYTE per second) speeds.  But you would need such pipes end to end, and in addition, they’d have to be relatively empty at the time you exfiltrated the data.

What’s worse is that there is a real bandwidth product delay problem that most “pedestrian” operating systems do not handle well at all.

In other words as latency and number of hops go up, irrespective of bandwidth, there’s an issue with the maximum realistically obtainable speed, irrespective of whether there’s sufficient available pipe space to take the data.  This is a problem that can be tuned for if you know how and your system has the resources to handle it on some operating systems — specifically, server-class operating systems like FreeBSD.  But the “common” Windows machine pretty-much cannot be adjusted in this way and it requires expert knowledge to do so.

If that was the end of the evidence it would be pretty compelling.  But it’s not.  Just as with Obama’s “birth certificate” there is plenty of evidence of amateur hour attempts to frame the Russians in the narrative here, including blatantly-apparent metadata tampering in the files allegedly “stolen” by the Russians.

A skilled hacker — in other words, a Russian who knows what he or she is doing — would not make that mistake.  They certainly would not make it on a consistent basis across all the documents.  But a clown-car brigade fool trying to frame the Russians certainly would — not intentionally of course, but rather out of ignorance.

Why would the DNC not use a skilled hacker?  For the same reason a skilled person (with something real to lose) wouldn’t forge a birth certificate: They would never take the job, knowing full well that getting caught would at best end their career and might lead directly to a prison cell.

The skilled folks, in short, are intelligent enough to understand the risks in undertaking the task, they know how hard it is to do and not get caught due to accidentally leaving a trace somewhere and in addition they have a lot to lose.  They also tend not to be so arrogant as to think they’re the “smartest”; the real deal folks know damn well that no matter how good you are there is always someone better, and that “better” person is capable of catching you.

Is this report the last word on the matter?  No.

Read More @ Market-Ticker.org