Saturday, April 20, 2019

“Meathead” is Running the Committee to Investigate Russia

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by Phil Butler, New Eastern Outlook:

Imagine a movie script in which everything you read, hear, and see is concocted by a global cabal of elites bent on profit at all cost. If you can believe that Sylvester “Rambo” Stallone avenged America’s loss in the Vietnam War, then Hollywood run by Zionist mafiosos is just another movie and popcorn. Allow me to present you with an all-star cast of globalist propagandists.

When a friend shared a video featuring legendary actor Morgan Freeman warning Americans we are under attack by Russia, I figured it was some kind of spoof. Then I followed the headlines and the trail of Russophobic nonsense back to an organization called the Committee to Investigate Russia. The video is part of a campaign by filmmaker Rob Reiner and his scary friends to put the fear of Putin in every heart in America. Quoting the Daily Beast on Freeman’s performance in the short: “We have been attacked. We are at war.”

With all the sincerity and vigor the Academy Award winning actor is famous for, Putin and Russia are sizzling on the ultra-liberal hot plate. Freeman does a masterful job as always, with one small problem. Everything he says in the advertisement is a lie. But Hollywood is widely known for spinning whatever the media bosses need spun. What’s most important to understand about this new non-profit, is who stands behind. Reiner, Freeman, and the former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (and NSA liar) are joined by George W. Bush’s speechwriter David Frum (Board of Directors of the Republican Jewish Coalition) and a cadre of other “winners”. Reiner’s listed co-conspirators at CIR are not nearly as interesting as the unlisted ones.

If you know anything about social media and the web, then you know there is no hiding the truth when all is said and done. What goes on the web, stays on the web, forever. So, Rob Reiner tweeting with pride Freeman and his spanking new Council to Investigate Russia initiative also linked him inextricably to some rather unsavory characters. One of these is a man called Bill Browder, the CEO of Hermitage Capital, Head of Global Magnitsky Justice campaign, and Author of Red Notice. For those unfamiliar with the billionaire financier, Browder’s outfit was the largest foreign portfolio investor in Russia, that is until Vladimir Putin tossed him and his henchmen out on their ears for trying to carve up the nation’s wealth for the globalist elites. That’s right, Reiner’s new Red Scare initiative is linked to the Zionist mafia bent on destroying Putin and stealing Russian wealth.

Browder is not “first” among the tweeps CIR followed, but he is 8th after; the host of The Stephanie Miller Show, Michele Reiner (Reiner’s wife), the aforementioned David Frum (3rd), US Navy spook Malcolm Nance turned author, Rob Reiner himself, his dad Rob Reiner, and Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Eastern Europe Evelyn Farkas, followed by Browder and a “who’s who” of Donald Trump haters. CIR’s follows reflect the people influencing and those to be influenced by Reiner’s movement including the warmonger Senator Adam Schiff, Newsweek wild man Kurt Eichenwald, and the ultimate crazy Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Read More @ Journal-NEO.org.com

Putin Supports Crypto Currencies – His Central Bankers Do Not

by John Driscot, Russia Insider:

“Russia, which missed its opportunity to be a part of the personal computing revolution in the last century due to its isolation, is grasping this opportunity to get ahead of its geopolitical competitors.”

Imagine my shock: the head of Russia’s central bank, Elvira Nabuilliana, has expressed doubt that Russia should legalize cryptocurrencies.

Nabuilliana, dubbed “Putin’s right-hand woman” in an article in the Economist last April, suggested to the 15th International Banking Forum in Sochi last week that the future of cryptocurrencies is uncertain in Russia, especially after the news that China was banning ICO’s. Her deputy governor, Dmitry Skobelkin said that “China doesn’t recognize cryptocurrency as payment and forbids ICOs,” according to Bloomberg.

Conveniently left out is the fact that China has not banned cryptocurrency outright, but merely banned new ones. Projects such as NEO still exist and cooperate with the Chinese government.

As was widely reported, Putin met with the founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, back in June. Ethereum is one of the biggest cryptocurrencies, with the second largest market capitalization (behind Bitcoin), and some believe it has the potential to overtake Bitcoin sometime in the future. Putin’s meeting suggested to many that the Russian government would be for the economics of the future by embracing blockchain technology.

Read More @ Russia-Insider.com

Russia Releases Photos Showing U.S. Special Forces, SDF, Working In ISIS Territory With No Fear Of Attack

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by Brandon Turbeville, Activist Post:

On September 24, the Russian Ministry of Defense may have corroborated what many researchers and journalists familiar with the Syrian crisis have been exposing all along; that the United States is working directly with ISIS on the ground and that its SDF forces are doing so as well.

The Russian MOD has released photos allegedly depicting U.S. forces and ISIS working alongside one another against Russian and Syrian forces in Deir ez-Zour.

The photos, which were released on Twitter, depict the SDF and American Special Forces working together in ISIS-controlled territory. What is notable is that neither forces have faced resistance from ISIS nor have they come under attack by the terror organization. In addition, neither the SDF nor the U.S. forces appeared to have maintained defensive positions, perimeters, or patrols, indicating that they are quite confident that the jihadists in the surrounding areas will not attack them. The latter aspect seems to lend credence to the idea that both forces are working with ISIS, not simply having entered into a truce with them since a truce would still necessitate the construction of a defensive perimeter. They are, in effect, moving amongst one another as allies tend to do.

Along with the photos, the Russian Ministry of Defense released a statement which read,

#US Special Operations Forces (#SOF) units enable US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (#SDF) units to smoothly advance through the ISIS formations.

Facing no resistance of the ISIS militants, the #SDF units are advancing along the left shore of the #Euphrates towards #Deir_ez_Zor.

The aerial photos made on September 8-12 over the ISIS locations recorded a large number of American #Hummer vehicles, which are in service with the #America’s #SOF.

The shots clearly show the US SOF units located at strongholds that had been equipped by the ISIS terrorists. Though there is no evidence of assault, struggle or any US-led coalition airstrikes to drive out the militants.

Despite that the US strongholds being located in the ISIS areas, no screening patrol has been organized at them. This suggests that the#US_troops feel safe in terrorist controlled regions”.

Previously, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Igor Konashenkov stated that “SDF militants work to the same objectives as Daesh terrorists. Russian drones and intelligence have not recorded any confrontations between Daesh and the ‘third force’, SDF”.

With this in mind, although some headway has been made in Syria with the Trump administration seeming to back off on the goal of total destruction of both the country and the government in favor of breaking Syria up into several petty states, it is clear that the agenda is still moving forward. Despite campaign rhetoric, the Trump administration is merely committing to the Obama administration’s Plan B. Both, however, involved collusion with ISIS since it was the United States, NATO, and the GCC, that created, funded, organized, and directed the terrorist organization to begin with. With Russia apparently realizing that the Trump administration is simply continuing the insanity initiated under Obama, it seems Russia is more willing to release information documenting the American support for terrorism in Syria.

Read More @ ActivistPost.com

Brazil’s Latest Outbreak of Drug Gang Violence Highlights the Real Culprit: the War on Drugs

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by Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept:

ON JULY 1, 2001, Portugal enacted a law to decriminalize all drugs. Under that law, nobody who is found possessing or using narcotics is arrested in Portugal, nor are they turned into a criminal. Indeed, neither drug use nor possession is considered a crime at all. Instead, those found doing it are sent to speak with a panel of drug counsellors and therapists, where they are offered treatment options.

Seven years after the law was enacted, in 2008, we traveled to Lisbon to study the effects of that law for one of the first comprehensive reports on this policy, the findings of which were published in a report for the Cato Institute. The results were clear and stunning: This radical change in drug laws was a fundamental and undeniable success.

While Portugal throughout the 1990s was (like most Western countries) drowning in drug overdoses along with drug-related violence and diseases, the country rose to the top of the charts in virtually all categories after it stopped prosecuting drug users and treating them like criminals. This stood in stark contrast to countries that continued to follow a harsh criminalization approach: the more they arrested addicts and waged a “war on drugs,” the more their drug problems worsened.

With all the money that had been wasted in Portugal to prosecute and imprison drug users now freed up for treatment programs, and the government viewed with trust rather than fear, previously hopeless addicts transformed into success stories of stability and health, and the government’s anti-drug messages were heeded. The predicted rise in drug usage rates never happened; in some key demographic categories, usage actually declined. As the 2009 study concluded: “The data show that, judged by virtually every metric, the Portuguese decriminalization framework has been a resounding success.”

“The data show that, judged by virtually every metric, the Portuguese decriminalization framework has been a resounding success.”

Over the weekend, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, writing from Lisbon, re-visited this data, now even more ample and conclusive than it was back in 2009. His conclusions were even more stark than the Cato report of eight years ago: namely, Portugal has definitively won the argument on how ineffective, irrational, and counterproductive drug prohibition is.

The basis for this conclusion: Portugal’s clear success with decriminalization, compared to the tragic failures of countries, such as the U.S. (and Brazil), which continue to treat addiction as a criminal and moral problem rather than a health problem. Kristof writes:

After more than 15 years, it’s clear which approach worked better. The United States drug policy failed spectacularly, with about as many Americans dying last year of overdoses — around 64,000 — as were killed in the Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq Wars combined.

In contrast, Portugal may be winning the war on drugs — by ending it. Today, the Health Ministry estimates that only about 25,000 Portuguese use heroin, down from 100,000 when the policy began.

The number of Portuguese dying from overdoses plunged more than 85 percent before rising a bit in the aftermath of the European economic crisis of recent years. Even so, Portugal’s drug mortality rate is the lowest in Western Europe — one-tenth the rate of Britain or Denmark — and about one-fiftieth the latest number for the U.S.

Kristof succinctly identified one key reason for this success: “It’s incomparably cheaper to treat people than to jail them.” But there are other vital reasons, including the key fact that when it comes to efforts to persuade addicts to obtain counseling, “decriminalization makes all this easier, because people no longer fear arrest.”

Read More @ TheIntercept.com

What Can Be Done?

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by Paul Craig Roberts, Paul Craig Roberts:

Despite clear evidence that Washington has chosen the path to conflict with Russia and China, European governments have not objected. Poland, Ukraine, and the Baltics even seem to demand more conflict or a quicker path to conflict. The European peoples themselves have not elected leadership that is willing to repudiate vassalage to Washington and conduct a rational foreign policy toward Russia.

Last Sunday’s German election was an opportunity for the German electorate to repudiate Washington vassal Angela Merkel and the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and to some extent they did. But you would never know it from the news reporting.

The headlines were Merkel wins fourth term. In the US Hillary’s folks emphasize that Trump lost the popular vote, but Merkel lost it by 70{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}. Only 3 Germans out of 10 voted for her. Her party’s vote fell from 41.6{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in the previous election to just under 33{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}.

Merkel’s coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party (SDU) also suffered a vote decline that resulted in the SDU refusing to enter into another coalition government with Merkel. This means that Merkel has to go to the Free Democratic party (FDP) which got 10.7 percent of the vote and to the Greens which got 8.9 percent of the vote. That coalition produces 52.6 percent from which a government can be formed. Merkel’s “win” was such a defeat that she is perhaps on the way out.

Where did the votes lost by Merkel’s party and coalition partner (SDU) go?
They went to a new party that stands for Germany, and not for Washington, not for the refugees from Washington’s wars, and not for conflict with Russia. This party is Alternative for Germany (AfD). It is now Germany’s third largest political party with 12.6{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the vote and 94 seats in the German legislature.

As the party is against the massive Muslim immigration supported by Merkel and against Washington’s policy toward Russia, the AfD was promptly branded “far-right,” a term that is saddled with Nazi connotations.

In other words, if you stick up for Germany and the German people, you are a Nazi.

The German people have been so brainwashed by Washington since World War II that Germans have no positive conception of themselves, only guilt and fear of anything said to be “far right.” Yet, the third largest vote went to the “far right” party.

Jewish organizations have gone berserk over the AfD vote. Hitler is being resurrected, and so on. It is difficult to believe that Jews are really this paranoid. One sometimes wonders if Jewish watchdog organizations have some other agenda.

Clearly, in Germany a political party, which does not want to be in conflict with Russia or to be the dumping ground for the human residue of Washington’s wars in the Middle East and Africa, is defined by presstitutes in the US, Europe, Canada, UK, Australia, and even in English language Russian news services such as Sputnik, as “far right.”

Although it is encouraging to see 12.6{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the German people wake up, the vote seems to be based less on avoiding the looming conflict with Russia and more on not being the dumping ground for the human debris of Washington’s wars. How does one judge these two threats to Germany?

Germany does not exist, nor does Europe, if Washington brings nuclear conflict to the world. Germany does not exist if the country is overrun by other peoples fleeing from Washington’s atrocities in the Middle East and Africa.

In the first case, there is nothing left of Germany. In the second case, there is a country that is no longer German.

As far as we have evidence, Western Europe is captive by Washington and will go to its destruction rather than dissociate from Washington’s foreign policy. But there are signs of hope in parts of Eastern Europe.

Unlike Germany, some of the Eastern European countries have refused to accept their quota of refugees from Washington’s wars. The EU Commission itself accepts its vassalage function as a dumping ground for Washington’s “collateral damage,” the euphemism Washington applies to the casualties of its wars for profits and hegemony, and is suing the EU members who refuse their quotas of refugees. The former president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus, responded to the EU’s determination to impose immigrant quotas on the Czech nation by declaring: “The time has come to start preparing the exit of our country from the European Union.” http://gatesofvienna.net/2017/06/vaclav-klaus-the-time-has-come-to-start-preparing-the-exit-of-our-country-from-the-european-union/

The dictatorial character of the EU is a good reason for every member to leave it. Countries already subjected to looting by American global corporations and financial entities have no spare money with which to support the victims of Washington’s illegal wars. For the EU to try to force Washington’s external war costs upon its members proves how much of a tool of Washington the EU is.

The more important reason for Eastern Europe, or that part of it that still has the capability of independent thought, is to avoid nuclear armageddon. Washington’s quest for world hegemony is driving the world to the third, and final, World War. Eastern European governments could prevent this looming war by breaking from their vassalage to Washington and forming a neutral buffer between NATO and Russia.

Such realistic behavior on the part of Eastern Europe could possibly even wake up Germany, France, and Great Britain to the extreme danger that they face as Washington’s vassals.

It is extraordinary, as I reported (http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/09/25/washington-initiated-military-conflict-russia/), that Washington has twice directed attacks against Russian military forces in Syria. This insanity can come to no good end. Americans are so out to lunch that they have no idea of the terrible war that Washington’s madness is brewing. Apparently, neither do the Europeans or the British.

Read More @ PaulCraigRoberts.org

GOLD DOWN $13.65 TODAY YET GLD INVENTORY ADVANCES BY 8.57 TONNES/SILVER DOWN 9 CENTS TODAY YET NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV

by Harvey Organ, Harvey Organ Blog:

AGAIN AT THE COMEX, THE AMOUNT OF SILVER INCREASES: THIS TIME BY 30,000 OZ/USA SLAPS A 220{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} TARIFF ON BOMBARDIER JET/CDN DOLLAR FALLS BY 1.11 CENTS/TAX REFORM INTRODUCED TO A MIXED RECEPTION

GOLD: $1284.45 DOWN $13.65

Silver: $16.79DOWN 9 CENT(S)

Closing access prices:

Gold $1282.85

silver: $16.78

SHANGHAI GOLD FIX:  FIRST FIX  10 15 PM EST  (2:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)

SECOND FIX:  2:15 AM EST  (6:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)

SHANGHAI FIRST GOLD FIX: $1304.39 DOLLARS PER OZ

NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME:  $1295.15

PREMIUM FIRST FIX:  $9.24 (premiums getting larger)

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SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1300.85

NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1294.55

Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$6.30  

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LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX:  5:30 am est  $1291.30

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1289.60 ???

LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX  10 AM: $1282.55

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. 1283.40???

For comex gold:

SEPTEMBER/

NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR SEPT CONTRACT MONTH: 0 NOTICE(S) FORnilOZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 93 FOR 9300 OZ  (0.2892 TONNES)

For silver:

SEPTEMBER

 

 78 NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR

 

390,000  OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 6,538 for 32,690,000 oz

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

end

Today Gold falls by $13.65 and yesterday by $6.95 and yet GLD rises by 8.57 tonnes????.  Silver falls by 24 cents yesterday and today by 9 cents and yet it’s inventory remains constant???

 

these two vehicles are nothing but frauds.  For many months a huge amount of gold inventory left the GLD.  This was probably real physical inventory and that gold went to satisfy countries of eastern persuasion. Gold and silver are hugely backward in London and it is thus impossible for the crooks to add real physical inventory.  Thusonly paper obligations are added and when this blows up,(a physical default)  the bang will be huge and heard around the globe.

Let us have a look at the data for today

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In silver, the total open interest FELL BY ONLY 1026 contracts from  187,932  DOWN TO 186,906  WITH THE GOOD SIZED FALL IN PRICE THAT SILVER UNDERTOOK IN YESTERDAY’S TRADING (DOWN 24 CENTS ). AGAIN TODAY, IT SURE LOOKS LIKE WE GOT JUST A TINY AMOUNT OF  BANKER SILVER SHORTS WERE ABLE TO COVER. THIS WEEK IS OPTIONS EXPIRY ON THE LONDON/OTC MARKET AND ALWAYS THEY RAID LIKE CLOCKWORK.

RESULT: A SMALL FALL IN OI COMEX  WITH THE HUGE 24 CENT PRICE FALL. IT LOOKS LIKE WE HAD A TINY AMOUNT OF BANKER SHORTS COVERING.  THE BANKERS AGAIN ORCHESTRATE ANOTHER RAID TODAY. 

 In ounces, the OI is still represented by just UNDER 1 BILLION oz i.e.  0.935 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 134{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT MAY MONTH/ THEY FILED: 78 NOTICE(S) FOR 390,000OZ OF SILVER

In gold, the open interest FELL BY A LARGE 8713 CONTRACTS WITH THE FALLin price of gold ($6.95 DROP) WITH YESTERDAY’S COMEX TRADING.  The new OI for the gold complex rests at 549,637.  WE ARE NOW IN THE MIDDLE OFOPTIONS EXPIRY WEEKSO IT IS NOT A SURPRISE THAT THE CROOKS CONTINUED WITH THEIR RAIDING. THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THE RAID TODAY HAS THE OBJECT OF INTEREST BEING SILVER AND NOT GOLD AS WE STILL WITNESS STUBBORN LONGS REFUSE TO BUDGE FROM THEIR SILVER TREE.

 

Result: A LARGE SIZED DECREASE IN OI WITH THE GOOD SIZEDFALL IN PRICE IN GOLD ($6.90).

we had: 0 notice(s) filed upon for NIL oz of gold.

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With respect to our two criminal funds, the GLD and the SLV:

GLD: WOW!! 

Tonight , A HUGE CHANGEin gold inventory at the GLD: A DEPOSIT OF 8.57 TONNES WITH GOLD DOWN$13.65 TODAY

Inventory rests tonight: 864.65 tonnes.

SLV

Today: a no changes in inventory:

INVENTORY RESTS AT 326.757 MILLION OZ

 

end

.

First, here is an outline of what will be discussed tonight:

1. Today, we had the open interest in silver FELL BY ONLY 1026 contracts from 187,932DOWN TO 186.906 (AND now A LITTLE FURTHER FROM THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET ON FRIDAY/APRIL 21/2017 AT 234,787) . AGAIN TODAY, IT  SEEMS THAT A TINY FRACTION OF OUR BANKER SHORTS COVERED.  THEY NEED TO COVER A MUCH HIGHER NUMBER WHEN RAIDS ARE ORCHESTRATED.  SO THEY TRIED AGAIN TODAY.

RESULT:  A SMALL SIZED DROP IN SILVER OI  AT THE COMEX WITH THE GOOD SIZED RISE IN PRICE OF 24 CENTS IN YESTERDAY’S TRADING. ANOTHER RAID ORCHESTRATED FOR TODAY SEEMS TO HAVE FAILED IN SILVER.

(report Harvey)

.

2.a) The Shanghai and London gold fix report

(Harvey)

 

2 b) Gold/silver trading overnight Europe, Goldcore

(Mark O’Byrne/zerohedge

and in NY:  Bloomberg

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)Late TUESDAY night/WEDNESDAY morning: Shanghai closed UP 1.58 POINTS OR 0.05{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}   / /Hang Sang CLOSED UP 129.42 POINTS OR 0.47{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}/ The Nikkei closed DOWN 63.14 POINTS OR 0.31{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN 0.07{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed WELL DOWN at 6.6390/Oil DOWN to 51.90 dollars per barrel for WTI and 58.20 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED GREEN. Offshore yuan trades  6.6427 yuan to the dollar vs 6.6390 for onshore yuan. NOW THE OFFSHORE MOVED MUCH WEAKER  TO THE ONSHORE YUAN/ ONSHORE YUAN HUGELY WEAKER (TO THE DOLLAR)  AND THE OFFSHORE YUAN IS WEAKER TO THE DOLLAR AND THIS IS COUPLED WITH THE STRONGER  DOLLAR. CHINA IS NOT VERY HAPPY TODAY

Read More @ HarveyOrganBlog.com

On the ground in Venezuela: this country is being cut off from the rest of the world

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by Simon Black, Sovereign Man:

The first thing to understand about Venezuela today is that it’s becoming exceedingly difficult to even get here.

Or get out.

Nearly every major regional and international carrier has discontinued service to/from Caracas.

Due to safety concerns amid all the chaos and violence here, Lan Airlines in Chile (now merged with TAM in Brazil as Latin America’s biggest airline) no longer serves Venezuela.

Aerolinias Argentinas, based in Buenos Aires, stopped flying to Caracas last month.

Delta Airlines. United. Air Canada. British Airways. Alitalia. Aeromexico. All of these airlines have no longer fly here.

Even Avianca, the national carrier of Colombia (right next door) terminated its daily flight between Bogota and Caracas back in July.

There are only a few routes remaining– I flew from Panama on Copa Airlines. And it was ridiculously expensive (more on that below).

Overall, Venezuela is being systematically cut off from the rest of the world.

But it gets worse.

Foreign governments are starting to put up barriers to prevent Venezuelans from coming to their countries.

For example, the Panamanian government decreed a few weeks ago that Venezuelan citizens will require visas in order to visit Panama, effective October 1st.

And there will likely be more of these visa requirements as the situation here in Venezuela deteriorates.

Moreover, the visas are becoming harder to acquire.

I keep hearing stories here from people who have been rejected for travel visas to other countries, mostly because the foreign consulates believe [perhaps accurately] that a Venezuelan tourist will attempt to stay illegally in their country.
There’s a story, for instance, about a Venezuelan family who applied for a visa to Australia to visit family there.

The consular official denied their visa, stating, “I cannot be satisfied that you genuinely intend a temporary stay in Australia.”

But even if someone here in Venezuela is lucky enough to be able to obtain a visa and find a flight, the cost of travel is now prohibitive.

My roundtrip ticket between Panama and Caracas cost over $2,000. It’s only about a two hour flight.

(Granted, I flew in business class, but even the economy ticket was nearly $1,500. Crazy.)

This a simple supply/demand issue. There are hardly any airlines flying out of Venezuela, and a whole ton of people who want to get out. So the price goes through the roof.

Bear in mind that due to the nasty hyperinflation that Venezuelans have suffered, the minimum wage here works out to be about $32/month.

So it would literally require a minimum-wage earner more than four years of saving 100{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of his/her paycheck just to afford a ticket out of this place.

This means there are millions… and millions… of people trapped here. And they’re suffering immeasurably.

For a place that used to be one of the wealthiest countries in the region, Venezuela is now completely destitute. People are running out of food. Medicine. Even toilet paper (yes, the stories are true).

The reversal of fortunes is remarkable. And the lessons are abundant.

First and foremost, Venezuela is an obvious example that rational, thinking people should have a Plan B.

No matter how peachy and wonderful things may seem, it makes sense to have a backup plan… especially if your government happens to be running woefully unsustainable finances as Venezuela’s government has done for years.

At a minimum, that backup plan ought to include some savings, ideally denominated in a stronger currency or an asset like gold that has a 5,000+ year history of holding its value, and held overseas in a stable country out of harm’s way.

Additionally, consider obtaining a second residency in a foreign country that you and your family enjoy.

Legal residency in a foreign country provides a LOT of advantages.

It means that you’ll always have a place where you and your family are welcome to go… and in many cases to work, invest, and do business.

Many foreign residency programs also make you eligible to apply for citizenship and a second passport after a few years have passed… which provides even MORE benefits that could be passed down to your children, grandchildren, and future generations.

In many countries, legal residency can be incredibly straightforward to obtain. We’ve written a lot about residency in places like Panama, Chile, Andorra, Philippines, Belgium, etc.

But nearly every country on the planet has standard procedures to obtain residency. So there really is a world of options out there.

Venezuela shows that when crisis hits, it’s too late. The options dry up.

So, again, a rational person develops a Plan B… now. When everything is just fine.

Think about it like insurance; you don’t wait until the house is engulfed in flames to buy a fire insurance policy. You buy the policy when everything is still fine.

And the great thing about a strong, robust Plan B is that even if nothing bad ever happens, you won’t be worse off.

There’s no downside to having the legal right to live, work, invest, etc. in a foreign country that you and your family really enjoy… where one day you can obtain a second passport.

Read More @ SovereignMan.com

Trump: We’re ‘Totally Prepared’ for ‘Military Option’ Against North Korea

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by Melanie Arter, CNSNews:

President Donald Trump pushed back Tuesday on the North Korean foreign minister’s claim that the president has declared war on North Korea, characterizing his remarks at the United Nations as a “reply” to Kim Jong Un’s provocation, “not an original statement.”

During a joint press conference with Spanish President Mariano Rajoy, Trump was asked about the foreign minister’s statement and threat that Pyongyang would shoot at U.S. planes flying in international airspace.

 

“The foreign minister said you have declared, effectively, war on North Korea, and the North Korean government has threatened to shoot down or aim at American planes flying in international airspace. I would like your reaction to that,” CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett asked.

Read more @ cnsnews.com

Cracks in Dollar Are Getting Larger

by Jim Rickards, Daily Reckoning:

Many Daily Reckoning readers are familiar with the original petrodollar deal the U.S made with Saudi Arabia.

It was set up by Henry Kissinger and Saudi princes in 1974 to prop up the U.S. dollar. At the time, confidence in the dollar was on shaky ground because President Nixon had ended gold convertibility of dollars in 1971.

Saudi Arabia was receiving dollars for their oil shipments, but they could no longer convert the dollars to gold at a guaranteed price directly with the U.S. Treasury. The Saudis were secretly dumping dollars and buying gold on the London market. This was putting pressure on the bullion banks receiving the dollar.

Confidence in the dollar began to crack. Henry Kissinger and Treasury Secretary William Simon worked out a plan. If the Saudis would price oil in dollars, U.S. banks would hold the dollar deposits for the Saudis.

These dollars would be “recycled” to developing economy borrowers, who in turn would buy manufactured goods from the U.S. and Europe. This would help the global economy and help the U.S. maintain price stability. The Saudis would get more customers and a stable dollar, and the U.S. would force the world to accept dollars because everyone would need the dollars to buy oil.

Behind this “deal” was a not so subtle threat to invade Saudi Arabia and take the oil by force. I personally discussed these invasion plans in the White House with Kissinger’s deputy, Helmut Sonnenfeldt, at the time. The petrodollar plan worked brilliantly and the invasion never happened.

Now, 43 years later, the wheels are coming off. The world is losing confidence in the dollar again. China just announced that any oil-exporter that accepts yuan for oil can convert the oil to gold on the Shanghai Gold Exchange and hedge the hard currency value of the gold on the Shanghai Futures Exchange.

The deal has several parts, which together spell dollar doom. The first part is that China will buy oil from Russia and Iran in exchange for yuan.

The yuan is not a major reserve currency, so it’s not an especially attractive asset for Russia or Iran to hold. China solves that problem by offering to convert yuan into gold on a spot basis on the Shanghai Gold Exchange.

This straight-through processing of oil-to-yuan-to-gold eliminates the role of the dollar.

Russia was the first country to agree to accept yuan. The rest of the BRICS nations (Brazil, India and South Africa) endorsed China’s plan at the BRICS summit in China earlier this month.

Now Venezuela has also now signed on to the plan. Russia is #2 and Venezuela is #7 on the list of the ten largest oil exporters in the world. Others will follow quickly. What can we take away from this?

This marks the beginning of the end of the petrodollar system that Henry Kissinger worked out with Saudi Arabia in 1974, after Nixon abandoned gold.

Of course, leading reserve currencies do die — but not necessarily overnight. The process can persist over many years.

For example, the U.S. dollar replaced the UK pound sterling as the leading reserve currency in the 20th century. That process was completed at the Bretton Woods conference in 1944, but it began thirty years earlier in 1914 at the outbreak of World War I.

That’s when gold began to flow from the UK to New York to pay for badly needed war materials and agricultural exports.

The UK also took massive loans from New York bankers organized by Jack Morgan, head of the Morgan bank at the time. The 1920s and 1930s witnessed a long, slow decline in sterling as it devalued against gold in 1931, and devalued again against the dollar in 1936.

The dollar is losing its leading reserve currency status now, but there’s no single announcement or crucial event, just a long, slow process of marginalization. I mentioned that Russia and Venezuela are now pricing oil in yuan instead of dollars. But Russia has taken its “de-dollarization” plans one step further.

Russia has now banned dollar payments at its seaports. Although these seaport facilities are mostly state-owned, many payments, like those for fuel and tariffs, were still conducted in dollars. Not anymore.

This is just one of many stories from around the world showing how the dollar is being pushed out of international trade and payments to be replaced by yuan, rubles, euros or gold in this case.

Read More @ DailyReckoning.com

Forget Taxes: What if Estonia Made More Money Selling Services?

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from Daily Bell:

$60 Billion plus is the U.S. dollar equivalent to how much Bitcoin is currently in circulation. That amount of money would keep the Estonian government running at current expenditures for almost 60 years.

$60 billion is more than double Estonia’s Gross Domestic Product.

So what if Estonia released a cryptocurrency that was that successful? It’s not a stretch to think the first government-sponsored crypocurrency would do as well or better than Bitcoin. It would still have to be structured properly on the blockchain with secure technology. But the legitimacy an actual country and government could give to a digital cryptocurrency is immense.

Just from the money Estonia made off a Bitcoin level token offering, they wouldn’t have to charge taxes anymore. The country could become a bastion of unprecedented wealth, as every investor and business in the world would want to move to a zero tax rate jurisdiction.

The idea has been floated to start a digital currency based on the Estonia e-residency program.

But the idea is still in the infant stages, not an official government proposal as some rumors indicated. The confusion came from the fact that the Managing Director of Estonia’s e-residency program Kaspar Korjus posted an article discussing the possibility of a government-backed cryptocurrency.

This would enable Estonia to invest in new technologies and innovations for the public sector, from smart contracts to Artificial Intelligence, as well as make it technically scalable to benefit more people around the world. Estonia would then serve a model for how societies of the future can be served in the digital era…

As with e-Residency however, the longer term opportunities could be far greater and possibly beyond anything we can currently comprehend.

In time, estcoins could also be accepted as payment for both public and private services and eventually function as a viable currency used globally.

I would call their current online services a “beta program.” They are still figuring out exactly who wants their services and why.

E-residency currently costs $50. It allows e-residents from Estonia and abroad to open an e-business all online. It is basically a package of online tools for people who want to do international business more easily. It is still somewhat limited, but their list of products is growing. You can sign documents online with a special ID card, and open bank accounts. You are being sold a legitimate online identification.

Read More @ dailybell.com

White House Aides Are Stopping Deal With Assange, Congressman Says

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from Disobedient Media:

Source: White House Aides Are Stopping Deal With Assange, Congressman Says Via @dailycaller

President Donald Trump is being blocked from knowing he can pardon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in exchange for information vindicating Russia of hacking allegations, according to Republican California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher.

Trump told reporters Sunday that has “never heard” of a potential deal with Assange.

“I think the president’s answer indicates that there is a wall around him that is being created by people who do not want to expose this fraud that there was collusion between our intelligence community and the leaders of the Democratic Party,” Rohrabacher told The Daily Caller Tuesday in a phone interview.

Rohrabacher met with Assange in August at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder has lived in asylum since 2012 due to now-dropped sexual assault charges in Sweden. However, American authorities are reportedly still investigating Assange for his role in disseminating thousands of classified U.S. documents.

The California congressman told TheDC in August that Assange promised him information that reveals Russia is not behind the hacking and leaking of Democratic National Committee emails during the 2016 election, as U.S.intelligence officials have claimed.

The U.S intelligence community has also said that Russian state actors were involved with the hacking and leaking of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails. Rohrabacher told TheDC Tuesday that he “didn’t go into detail other than the DNC” with Assange.

The WikiLeaks founder has previously said that Russia was not the source of either the Podesta or DNC emails that his site released.

Rohrabacher said that a pardon would likely have to occur for Assange to give up this information about the source of the DNC emails. Assange has long maintained that he would never reveal a source, but Rohrabacher said that Assange now “wants to get out of the Ecuadorian embassy.”

Rohrabacher told TheDC that he has yet to view the information Assange says vindicates Russia, but that Assange would be able to exchange it if the president “is on board.” The president is able to preemptively pardon someone.

The congressman spoke to chief of staff John Kelly two weeks ago about the potential deal with Assange. The Wall Street Journal reported that Kelly told Rohrabacher to bring the information to the intelligence community.

“This would have to be a cooperative effort between his own staff and the leadership in the intelligence communities to try to prevent the president from making the decision as to whether or not he wants to take the steps necessary to expose this horrendous lie that was shoved down the American people’s throats so incredibly earlier this year,” Rohrabacher said.

Read More @ DisobedientMedia.com

How Hot will the Year 2017 be? A War of Words, or the Countdown has Begun?

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by Konstantin Asmolov, New Eastern Outlook:

Quite recently, we discussed the North Korean response to the UN sanctions resolution, noting that from the North Korean side, the raising of the rates was minimal. However, this was only sufficient until a new round of retaliatory moves, which, in the author’s view, increased the likelihood of a conflict on the Korean peninsula by another five percent.

The highlight of the program was a speech by Donald Trump on September 19, 2017 at the UN General Assembly, which had a rhetoric that at times resembled a sermon before a pogrom. “The scourge of our planet today is a small group of rogue regimes that violate every principle on which the United Nations is based. They respect neither their own citizens nor the sovereign rights of their countries.  If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph…The United States has great strength and patience. But if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. » The leadership of this country was described as a gang of criminals responsible for the starvation of millions of people in their country while torturing, killing and harassing many others, and Kim Jong-un himself was named a “rocket-man,” who is participating in a “suicide mission for himself and for his regime”.

The hype was great, including the question: “Is Trump the leader that the global community currently needs?” However, in actuality, during an interview with CNN that was conducted earlier, US Permanent Representative to the UN Nikki Haley spoke along the same lines: The UN Security Council has practically exhausted all possibilities for influencing Pyongyang, and if North Korea continues “behaving recklessly”, the US shall be forced to defend its allies, and the North Korean regime will be “destroyed.” And, even earlier, there were statements about unprecedented fire and fury…

Such harsh statements are a very troubling sign. Firstly, if the North Korean statements that run along the “we will bury you” lines are traditionally perceived as propaganda rhetoric, the American ones are indeed pulling on a real threat. At the same time, such threats from the rostrum of the United Nations formally indicate that this destruction will take place with the approval of the “international community”. Secondly, given that in the same speech, Trump talked a lot about non-interference in the affairs of other countries, it turns out that there are civilized countries in respect of which these rules work, and other rogue states that can be destroyed with impunity. Thirdly, Trump’s statements are an obligation that both his critics and outside observers will later always be able to remind him of. It is one thing when Trump-the-man writes about “fire and fury” in the private space of his Twitter, and quite another when Trump-the-president openly makes statements in support of such things from the UN rostrum.

Here, we note that in doing so, Trump did not pursue any “red lines” of the category “we will destroy the DPRK, if it …” say, it commits a provocation against the South or its missile falls in the territorial waters of the United States. This is very important, as, in this case the US president will decide for himself what is enough as an excuse for destruction and what is not.

A little later, on September 21, Trump announced new economic sanctions against North Korea and countries that conduct business with the DPRK: “Tolerance for this disgraceful practice must end now.” According to these, the United States is imposing a 180-day ban on airplanes and ships that previously traveled to the DPRK from visiting the country.

 In addition, the US Secretary of Treasury is now able to block any funds flowing through bank accounts linked to the DPRK, and to impose sanctions “on persons engaging North Korea in such industries as construction, energy, finance, fishing, information technology, medicine”, and people involved in the mining, textile and transport industries,” as well as “any foreign financial institution that knowingly conducts or facilitates any significant deal with North Korea“. It can be said that the concept of a secondary boycott has acquired its legal embodiment.

At the same time, the United States is trying to persuade the countries of the world to strengthen measures of pressure on the North. In the short time since the beginning of September, DPRK ambassadors were declared persona non grata in Mexico, Peru, Kuwait and Spain. Philippine authorities have declared a discontinuation of trade relations with North Korea. Thailand has announced a reduction of its economic cooperation with Pyongyang, and even the government of Taiwan has joined the sanctions regime of the UN Security Council and completely banned the export of purified oil and liquefied gas to North Korea as well as the import from it of fabrics and ready-made sewing products. 

All of this was, of course, expected. Back in April, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson called on all states to either suspend or downgrade diplomatic relations with the DPRK, and threatened to impose sanctions on foreign companies and people supporting the DPRK without hesitation.

All this is also being complemented by ongoing muscle games. On September 18, the air forces of the ROK and the United States conducted another joint exercise in the sky over the Korean peninsula involving two B-1B Lancer strategic bombers (here, we shall recall that their previous departure was August 31). On September 21, the United States and the ROK conducted artillery exercises involving units of the Eighth Infantry Division of the United States Army stationed in the ROK and the 18th Field Artillery Brigade based at Fort Bragg Garrison in North Carolina. On the same day, the joint marine infantry exercises, which involved the use of equipment and aviation as part of the regular maneuvers of the Korea Maritime Exercise Program (KMEP), ended. It is also reported that in early October, the United States and Japan shall conduct joint exercises on the prevention of a missile threat, while the navies of the ROK and the United States are organizing exercises involving the nuclear-powered carrier “Ronald Reagan”.

Add to this the results of a poll carried out on September 15 by the Gallup agency between September 6 and September 10 among 1022 United States residents. 58{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the respondents agree with the need for a military strike against North Korea in the event that diplomatic and economic ways of solving the North Korean problem prove to be unsuccessful. At the same time, 50{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the survey participants believe that the North Korean problem can be resolved peacefully by political means, and 59{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} believe that a strike by Pyongyang on the United States would have a low impact .

South Korean public opinion looks similar: 76{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of respondents believe that the sixth nuclear test of the DPRK poses a threat to the ROK. 37{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of respondents gave an affirmative answer to the question of the possibility of the beginning of a war with the North, while 65{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} indicated that any assistance to the DPRK should be stopped completely, although only 33{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of Koreans supported the possibility of a US preemptive strike against the DPRK in the event of a North Korean nuclear threat.

The North Korean response was not long in coming. At the beginning of September 20, Head of the North Korean Foreign Ministry, Ri Yong-ho, compared Trump’s statements about his willingness to destroy North Korea in the event of a direct threat with a “dog barking.” But then, the “rocketman” immediately personally made a counter response. And although the invective rhetoric took a couple of new heights, if we put the insults in parentheses, the point is as follows: the US actions “do not intimidate and do not stop me, but, on the contrary, they confirm that the path I have chosen is the right one, and I should go on with it to the end”.

“I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire,” Kim stated in the last sentence, after which Ri Yong-ho suggested that the promised “super-stiff retaliatory measures” could include “the most powerful explosion of a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific.” However, the minister noted, “We have no idea what actions can be taken, since the order is given by Kim Jong-un himself.”

Earlier, according to Yonhap, Kim Jong-un had stated that North Korea would soon complete the development of its nuclear forces in spite of the sanctions. “We should clearly show the big-power chauvinists (note, the PRC and the RF are usually referred to in that way in a negative context), how our state attains the goal of completing its nuclear force despite their limitless sanctions and blockade.” In the same statement, the leader of the DPRK once again outlined the main objective of the DPRK nuclear program: “to achieve real military parity with the United States and force the US authorities not to dare talk about a military option for resolving the conflict over North Korea.”

As for what will happen next, we will wait and see, but sometimes, it seems to the author that, consciously or not, Trump is trying to solve the difficult choice he is facing, which is analogous with the US plan to join the Second World War, which some conspiracy theorists attribute to Roosevelt. Roosevelt himself was allegedly hampered by the isolationist lobby to launch this start. However, in 1941, America imposed a fuel embargo against Japan. After that, the country of the rising sun should have either shamefully renounced all its conquest, or been forced into a war with the United States, and as its initiator, and after the “Date Which Will Live in Infamy” at Pearl Harbor, all the questions were dropped.

Here, again, one can imagine a strategy aimed at creating the impression on the young and impulsive North Korean leader that he has been finally cornered, and that the only way out is through a tough and effective demonstration of power. An inappropriate move of any kind that can be used as a casus belli will solve all the problems of the USA. It is one thing to start a war by using the pretext of “reasonable suspicion”, and another when there is an obvious act of aggression. The consequences of the conflict can also be attributed to Pyongyang.

However, despite the American rhetoric, the voice of reason is also heard quite loudly. Here, even the Minister of National Defense of the Republic of Korea, Song Young-moo, while speaking at a meeting of the relevant parliamentary committee on September 18, announced that only 10{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the motivation of the North in this matter is connected with the desire to ensure the stability of its regime. The other 90{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}, the minister stressed, is due to a sense of a military threat from outside. In a similar vein, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel spoke in an interview with the newspaper Bild: The North Korean nuclear issue will be resolved by providing the DPRK with the necessary security guarantees. Pyongyang is developing a nuclear missile program because it believes that then, no one would be able to threaten it.

Russia plays a prominent role among these voices. As Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, noted on September 21 while speaking at the UN General Assembly, hysteria around the DPRK is not just a deadlock, but a ruinous path. Similarly, the statement of the official spokesperson of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, María Zakharova, in which she actually repeated the author’s sentiments about rash moves, “Given the arms build-up in the region, any rash move or even an unintended incident could spark a military conflict.”

Read More @ Journal-NEO.org