Tuesday, March 26, 2019

MORE COLLIDING SHIPS… IS THERE SOMETHING GOING ON?

by Joseph P. Farrell, Giza Death Star:

In my News and Views from the Nefarium last Thursday (Jan 11th), I prefaced my remarks about the Franco-Chinese summit by pointing out that these past two weeks have seen some strange stories, stories suggesting that while the war between the great powers for hegemony may not have gone hot, it’s at least much warmer than before. For example, in the space of a few days, we’ve seen (1) the US launch, and as quickly lose, a classified space satellite; (2) ships colliding in the Aegean Sea and in the Persian Gulf, and (3) Russia shoot down over a dozen drones which it claims “Syrian militants” shot at Russian bases.

It takes no great leap of the mind to understand that “Syrian militants” aren’t producing or manufacturing those drones by themselves in the Syrian desert in the “Syrian Militant Secret Desert Drone Manufacturing Facility”; they’re getting them from somewhere, and that somewhere is probably the U.S.A.  It takes no greater leap of the imagination to understand that as part of that “sale” the “militants” were probably told “target Russian bases.” The satellite story is intriguing in the context of everything else going on, and we’ll probably blog about that in this weeks’ blog offerings of high octane speculations. Suffice it to say, some people are already speculating about the satellite lose being due to sabotage. In the context of drones and colliding ships it does take on a different shape.

It’s those colliding ships, however, that really have me going “Hmmmm,” and apparently they have quite a few other people going “hmmmm” too, because the story was one of the highest represented in this weeks’ “inbox” of articles, so a brief word of thanks to all of you who sent in various versions of the story along with some of your own high octane speculations.

32 missing, oil tanker on fire after collision off China

Body found on burning Iranian oil tanker off Chinese coast

One individual who sent a version of this story, Mr. J.C., wondered if this was part of the warned “tanker war,” and frankly, I have to wonder too. But besides this collision between an Iranian tanker and a Chinese freighter, the Russians appear to have experienced a collision in the Aegean Sea:

Russian & Sierra Leone-flagged ships in Aegean Sea collision

Now, I mention the last article, shared by Mr. P.K., which, while short, is perhaps the most significant of the three, since the incident reported occurred on Dec. 30th, and the story was only posted by RT on Jan 10th, nearly a week and a half after the “event.” We’re given no details about the Chinese-Iranian collision, but the Russian collision in the Aegean contains this significant detail:

The collision was caused by the Orka-2 ship, which in violation of international rules followed “a parallel course and overtook the Russian ship on the port side,” Sputnik reports, citing the military’s statement. It added that the ship then suddenly changed course to the right (sic) and caused a collision.”No one was hurt, and the ships remained on the move. (Emphasis added)

Suddenly changing course to starboard and “causing” a collision strongly suggests that the collision was deliberate, and that the Russian vessel was a deliberate target. What’s interesting here is that in the wake of the USS Fitzgerald and USS McCain incidents, videos began to be posted on YouTube which, to put it mildly, were astonishing, for they showed passing ships, one of which would suddenly change course and crash into another, clearly the cause of deliberate action, and clearly someone thought the videos might explain the McCain and Fitzgerald incidents. Indeed, I’ve had my suspicion about the latter, since no one seems to want to talk about the crews of the ships doing the “colliding into”, although some reports of the Fitzgerald incident mention that the crew appeared to have been in some sort of mental state of indecision.

At the time, I advanced the high octane speculation that one might be looking at two technologies: a sophisticated electromagnetic technology that could take over a ship’s specific systems remotely, and cause them to crash (recalling the USS Donald Cookincident with a Russian fighter-bomber in the Black Sea), or that one might be looking at a mind manipulation technology capable of influencing the crew of either one, or the other, or both ships. Since that time, we can add two other possibilities: cyber warfare (either through hacking into ships’ systems, or via defective hardware ala the recent Intell defective chips story), or global positioning “spoofing”, which I have also blogged about.

The real question – once one admits the possibility that some of these incidents are not accidental but are being deliberately caused – is “Who is doing it, and why?” One obvious answer to this question is that the West was being targeted in the Donald Cook through McCain incidents, and that the Chinese-Iranian and Russian-Sierra Leonese collisions are the “response” from the West. Throw in “Syrian militant drone attacks on Russian bases” and you get the idea: the context – if indeed it is a context – makes sense. But at the time of the Fitzgerald incident, I pointed out that the obvious possibilities for an “attack” – Russia and China, perhaps North Korea – really had little to gain from such action and much to lose, if only for the fact that Russia and China are trying very hard to improve their images abroad.  Similarly, I can see that the West has little really to gain by any covert attack on Iranian, Chinese, or Russian shipping other than increasing tensions, and a case can be made that the last thing anyone wants to do is increase tensions…at least, at one level.

Read More @ GizaDeathStar.com

Peeking Inside an Actual Bitcoin Mine: Care to Buy a Mining Operation?

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by Mish Shedlock, Mish Talk:

What’s a bitcoin mine look like? Let’s take a look inside a Washington State mine.

Here are some image clips from a video article about an actual bitcoin mining operation.

Mine Details

  1. The mine is in Wenatchee, Washington has 1,800 servers running every day with very little downtime.
  2. The mine is run by Malachi Salcido, president and CEO of The Salcido Connection.
  3. The mine produces five-to-seven bitcoins every day. Salcido wants to expand his operation to get up to 50 bitcoin per day.

The story Crypto Mining Stresses Electrical Grid in One Washington State County certainly rings true.

uy Your Own Mine

Kodak is branding a $3,400 bitcoin-mining machine that you would have to be ape-shit nuts to buy.

  • The Kodak-branded mining rig called the KashMiner, which was showcased at this year’s CES. It’s created and run by a company called Spotlite, and has licensed the Kodak name.
  • Users pay $3,400 to rent the mining machine for two years and give Kodak half of any bitcoins mined.
  • Kodak claims the KashMiner will produce about $375 worth of new bitcoins every month, which would lead to estimated revenues roughly $9,000 over those two years.

If these devices actually were profitable to anyone but Kodak, the company would start its own mine rather than selling them. If you are dumb enough to buy one of these devices, you will be competing against the Salcido Connection and every company like it.

Kodak

Kodak spiked from $3 to $13 over the past few days on this nonsense coupled with its KodakCoin announcement.

Read More @ MishTalk.com

Drowning In The Money River

by Adam Taggart, Peak Prosperity:

If you suspect society is unfair, that there’s a different set of rules the rich live by, you’re right.

I’ve had ample chance to witness first-hand evidence of this in my time working on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley. Simply put: our highly financialized economy is gamed to enrich those who run it, at the expense of everybody else.

The Money River

A recent experience really drove this home for me.

Having received my MBA from Stanford in the late 90s, I remain on several alumni discussion groups. Recently, a former classmate of mine, who now runs her own asset management firm, circulated her thoughts on how today’s graduating students could best access an on-ramp to the ‘money river’.

What’s the ‘money river’? Good question.

The money river is the huge tsunami of investment capital sloshing around the globe, birthed by the historically-unprecedented money printing conducted by the world’s central banks over the past decade. Since 2008, they’ve more than tripled their collective balance sheet:

(Source)

The $13+ trillion in new thin-air money issued to achieve this is truly staggering. It’s so large that the human brain really can’t wrap around it. (For those who haven’t seen it, watch our brief video How Much Is A Trillion? to better understand this.)

But suffice it to say, all that money has to go somewhere. And it first goes into the pockets of those with closest access to it, and of those who direct where it flows.

In the context of MBA graduates working in finance, accessing the ‘money river’ often follows this recipe:

  • Step 1: Get hired by a buy-side fund (asset management firm, hedge fund, etc)
  • Step 2: Make friends at other funds by investing part of your portfolio in their offerings
  • Step 3: Leave to create your own fund, which all your new buddies will invest part of their firms’ portfolios in
  • Step 4: Collect a fat annual salary of 2% of assets under management (regardless of how your fund performs), plus 20% of any gains

Let’s put a little math behind this, with real-world numbers based on another classmate of mine who followed this recipe. After graduating, he went to work for a prestigious private equity firm, spending nearly a decade there as a fund manager. He then left to start his own fund.

Since he had invested in scores of ventures and funds while working for the private equity firm, he had amassed plenty of industry insiders who knew they had to reciprocate when it came time for him to hang out his own shingle, because “that’s how the game is played”. You help me when I need it, and I’ll do the same for you.

Only a few weeks after announcing the formation of his new fund, he had raised $100 million for it. At his 2% management fee, that gave him an annual salary of $2 million no matter how the fund performed. And with the standard carried interest percentage, he had substantial additional upside of 20% of any profits the fund may take in the future.

Since forming this fund nearly ten years ago, the financial markets have been on a historic bull run, with hardly any corrections along the way. This is primarily due to the trillions in new money provided by the world’s central banks mentioned above. So, it’s little surprise that my former classmate’s fund now stands at over $1.1 billion in assets under management.

That’s now a $20 million annual management fee. Plus 20% on (conservatively estimating) hundreds of millions of gains made along the way.

Not bad work if you can get it.

No Fund For You!

But that’s a big part of my point here. The 99% don’t have a key past the velvet rope to access the money river.

Look, I don’t begrudge this guy his success. Well, maybe I do; but it’s not personal — I know him well enough to say that for certain he’s extremely smart, bold and hardworking. But he’s benefiting from being in the Big Club that George Carlin railed about. The rest of us ain’t in that club, and won’t ever be. But our futures are being determined — or more accurately put, undermined — by it.

All that liquidity being provided by the central banks? To keep that money flowing it needs to be cheap to those who want to borrow it, so the banks have concurrently driven interest rates down to the lowest levels in recorded history (going back over 5,000 years). Some extra-aggressive central banks have even pursed negative interest rates.

What this has resulted in is a tremendous transfer of wealth to the already-rich at the expense of everybody else.

Those with the means and access to borrow have been able to get essentially free money to do so; while savers and those dependent on fixed income have been starved of any yield whatsoever.

The wave of global stimulus plus the low cost of borrowing has driven capital into nearly every asset market, rocketing prices higher. So those who have held those assets have become substantially richer, while those who have not have become increasingly priced out.

Along with asset prices, prices of nearly everything else have risen, too, dramatically increasing the cost of living:

(Source)

But, as costs have risen, wages have not. Especially when measured in real (i.e. inflation-adjusted) terms.

Real wages are now 7% lower than they were in 1973  –and that’s calculated using the official government-reported inflation rate, which we all know vastly undercalculates the actual inflation rate. (Read our report on The Burrito Index to understand why the true price inflation households suffer is more like 5x greater than the official reported rate).

Read More @ PeakProsperity.com

First Charges Brought in Relation to Uranium One Scandal

by Kenneth Whittle, Disobedient Media:

On Friday, Mark Lambert, former co-president of Maryland-based shipping company Transport Logistics International (TLI), was charged in an 11-count indictment. The charges include of one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and to commit wire fraud, seven counts of violating the FCPA, two counts of wire fraud and one count of international promotion money laundering.

As stated by Reuters, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act makes it a crime for businesses to bribe overseas officials to win business.

According to the Department of Justice, “The charges stem from an alleged scheme to bribe Vadim Mikerin, a Russian official at JSC Techsnabexport (TENEX), a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation and the sole supplier and exporter of Russian Federation uranium and uranium enrichment services to nuclear power companies worldwide, in order to secure contracts with TENEX.”

According to the indictment, from 2009 until October of 2014, Lambert and others at “Transportation Corporation A” (Transport Logistics International), conspired to “…make corrupt and fraudulent bribery and kickback payments to offshore bank accounts associated with shell companies, at the direction of, and for the benefit of, a Russian official, Vadim Mikerin, in order to secure improper business advantages and obtain and retain business with TENEX.”

Vadim Mikerin, the former director at the Russian state-owned Rosatom, was sentenced in 2015 to four years for money laundering in connection to these bribes, while Daren Condrey, Lambert’s former co-president at Transport Logistics International, plead guilty to bribery and wire fraud. Condrey is currently awaiting sentencing.

The Hill reported on the Uranium One scandal in October, writing that documents: “indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.”

In December, Press reports indicate that Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered the Justice Department to begin probing FBI agents for information about the long dormant Uranium One deal.

Read More @ DisobedientMedia.com

Significance of the JFK Assassination (VIDEO)

by James Hall, The Sleuth Journal:

For those who were of age and alive at the time of the Dallas killing, a fresh memory of the times and era are integral to their assessment. Those who were born later, have no firsthand experience of the actual change that took place to the body politics. Comparing before and after is mostly forgotten by the history accounts. For those who remember, the country started on a downward spiral that continues to the present. The assassination of John F. Kennedy was a political coup d’état and has been described as an enigma with many layers of disinformation. However, peeling back this onion exposes a rot that very much explains the current condition of our country.

When raising the subject of a conspiracy, it is both amusing and tragic that establishment defenders are quick to discredit the investigator, while avoiding facts, evidence and common sense. Solving the mystery to the satisfaction of competing and often conflicting factions is not necessary. However, understanding the course of events that took hold after the Camelot myth was buried is intensely valuable. The end of innocence became an existential awakening to the perceptive, while believing the conclusions of the Warren commission provided reassurance for not facing reality.

Why did powerful elites fear Kennedy? The Entire John F. Kennedy Secret Society Speech provides the motive behind the mask of the media filter.

From this “President and the Press” Speech (April 27, 1961)

“The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.”

Remember that most famous of all winks at the LBJ swearing in? Look to None Dare Call It Conspiracy!, and put the pieces of the puzzle in place.

“The significance of the Stone film, JFK, is demonstrated by the assault that the established order heaped upon his portrayal. Believe it or reject it, but investigate the questions that have never been answered. If logic has meaning, have Arlene Spector explain that magic bullet again. That ‘Man X’ was real – his name, colonel Fletcher Prouty, a true ‘black bag’ magician.”

Lyndon B. Johnson initiated the Reign on Terror that continues to this day. His involvement into the plot is supported in the new book, The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ by Roger Stone with Mike Colapietro.

“The notable individuals that knew and said Johnson was involved in murderous acts is also well-documented… they include Oswald murderer Jack Ruby, Dexter Scott King, son of Dr. Martin Luther King, as well as LBJ associate Billy Sol Estes, LBJ mistress Madeleine Brown, Texas Governor Allan Shivers, renowned Texas Ranger Clint Peoples, CIA asset E. Howard Hunt and US Senator and 1964 Republican nominee for President Barry Goldwater. The KGB, fearing that they or their puppet state Cuba would be falsely blamed conducted their own investigation and concluded LBJ killed JFK at the same to time French Intelligence would tell Jackie Kennedy LBJ murdered her husband.”

If this is just too much to accept, look at the “Skull and Bones” operative, who just happened to be a Texas Oilman. Similarly, he was Vice President at the time of an assassination attempt that almost was successful. Sure, such a coincidence should be fodder for an Oliver Stone sequel – Reagan.

Now consider the CIA component in the “Big Event”. Did George H.W. Bush Coordinate a JFK Hit Team?

“Next, George Bush can be seen in photos of Dealey Plaza, next to the TSBD doorway and Ed Lansdale, shortly following the assassination (see below). These photos, unmistakably George Bush, tell us where he went after he left the Dallas Sheriff’s Office: back to the crime scene to get an update on all that he had missed. He must have made his call to the FBI reporting James Parrot from the Dallas Sheriff’s Office, at 1:45 PM, because Bush is seen in Dealey Plaza with Lansdale, who would leave the plaza at about 2 PM and walk past “the three tramps” toward the parking lot. Bush obviously had to go straight back to Dealey Plaza for him to be photographed with Lansdale, who remained around Dealey Plaza until Oswald was arrested at the Texas Theater at 1:50 PM.”

Edgar Hoover’s FBI was up to his ears in the investigation. He certainly was no friend of the Kennedy’s. Therefore, when eyewitness testimonyfrom scores of witnesses was ignored or discarded by the Bureau, no one should be surprised that the final report will be suspect. The Mary Ferrell Foundationsite furnishes the following:

Read More @ TheSleuthJournal.com

Shocking Footage Shows Crowd Of Hungry Venezuelans Slaughtering A Cow In The Open

from ZeroHedge:

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s plan to order markets to slash prices of food – an attempt to combat speculation and rampant inflation of the bolivar – has apparently backfired as mobs of hungry Venezuelans have started looting supermarkets and slaughtering cattle in the open to survive, Reuters  reports.

Last week, we reported on near-riots that broke out in Caracas after the mandatory price cuts for food stoked widespread shortages as what little inventory that remained on market shelves quickly disappeared.

Venezuelans are suffering from a plethora of economic and social maladies.Four years of recession and an inflation rate approaching 4,000% by some measures have made the country’s currency practically worthless. Widespread shortages of food and medicine led to violent riots during the spring and early summer of 2017 that resulted in more than 100 deaths, including the burning alive of one suspected Maduro supporter by a crowd of citizens. Law enforcement in the capital and many of the country’s smaller cities has effectively disbanded, leading to a rise in lynchings and streets justice. Indeed, suspected thieves are sometimes killed.

Venezuela’s regime probably would’ve collapsed by now if it weren’t for the aide of Russia and China, which have lent the Maduro regime money in exchange for a discount on future oil deliveries. But now that the price of oil is finally climbing again, Maduro could find himself rescued by commodity markets. In apparent anticipation of higher oil prices, the administration announced late last year that it would finally introduce “the Petro” – a state-designed cryptocurrency that will help Venezuela’s customers pay for their goods while circumventing the petrodollar system.

In a shocking example of just how severe Venezuela’s food shortages have become, a video on social media showed roughly a dozen men running into a lush pasture, chasing a cow, and then apparently beating it to death for the meat.

“They’re hunting. The people are hungry!” says the narrator of the video, who filmed the incident from his car. Lawmaker Paparoni said some 300 animals were believed to have been killed, though this hasn’t been independently confirmed.

Violent lootings and hijackings – long a staple of life for Venezuela’s remaining merchants – are also growing increasingly common.

Zuley Urdaneta, a 50 year-old vet in Merida, witnessed the looting of a truck along the highway around 2 pm Thursday afternoon, she told Reuters. About two hours later, he said some 800 people converged on a food collection center and proceeded to plunder it.

“They knocked down the gates and looted flour, rice, cooking oil, cooking gas,” said Urdaneta. “The police and the National Guard tried to control the situation by giving out what was left.”

Despite the grinding poverty and widespread social unrest that has challenged the last vestiges of Chavismo, Maduro has effectively sidelined his opposition while brutally suppressing popular uprisings.

Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

The New Cold War in 2018 — A Discussion With Professor Stephen F. Cohen

by Craig Hemke, TF Metals Report:

A few days ago, we had the opportunity to visit with Professor Stephen F. Cohen. As regular readers know, we’ve been featuring his weekly podcasts with John Batchelor for the past four years so it was a real honor to speak with him directly regarding The New Cold War.

As mentioned at the beginning of this podcast, we are all indebted to John and Steve for their regular, weekly discussions. Their podcasts offer the only fair and balanced coverage of The New Cold War that you will find anywhere in the western media. Rather than a simple regurgitation of the War Party line, John and Steve consider the conflict from the historical perspective of each side. Thus, in listening to them over the past four years, I almost feel as if I have participated in a graduate-level Russian Studies class.

To be certain that this discussion is as widely-heard as possible, I’ve taken the additional step of transcribing portions of the audio. We begin with Professor Cohen providing some historical background regarding Ukraine, Russia and the run-up of this New Cold War.

Click HERE to listen

Read More @ TFMetals.com

Italian mayor: “Something extremely beautiful has happened: we have been invaded by immigrants”

by Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch:

Yes, what could be more beautiful?

What neither Leoluca Orlando nor anyone else will acknowledge is that Islam is a political and social system as well as a religion. All too many of the Muslim migrants are coming to Italy those who do have a ready-made model of society and governance that they consider superior to the Italian model, and are determined to replace the one with the other. This will not end well.

“French Media Pushing Pro-Migrant Narrative: Claims It is ‘Beautiful’ To Be ‘Invaded By Migrants,’” by Chris Tomlinson, Breitbart, January 12, 2018 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

Sicily has borne much of the brunt of the large wave of migrants coming into Italy. But despite this, the mayor of Palermo has declared his love for migrants saying that the future of Italy is “Google and Ali the immigrant”.

Mayor of Palermo Leoluca Orlando declared his love for newly arrived migrants from Africa, most of them coming into the country illegally claiming to be asylum seekers, in a largely pro-migrant article published by French centre-left newspaper Libération.

If you ask me how many immigrants there are in Palermo, I do not answer 60, 70, or 80,000. Anyone who arrives in Palermo is a Palermo,” Orlando said.

“The future has two names: Google and Ali the immigrant. Google expresses the virtual connection and Palermo is today the best wired and computerised city in the entire Mediterranean. Ali the migrant represents the human connection. We want to be a welcoming and modern city,” he added.

Around a million people have arrived in Italy in the last three years from Africa. Although the number arriving has considerably declined after the Italian government enacted stricter rules of conduct on pro-migrant NGO ships, many migrants remain in Italy.

Read More @ JihadWatch.org

BREAKING: Indictment Handed Out In Russian Bribery Case Involving Uranium One, Hillary Clinton

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by Ryan Saavedra, The Daily Wire:

An 11-count indictment was handed out on Friday connected to the alleged Russian bribery scheme involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Obama administration, and Uranium One.

The charges are against Mark Lambert, who is the “former co-president of a Maryland-based transportation company that provides services for the transportation of nuclear materials to customers in the United States and abroad.” Lambert, 54, of Maryland, was charged with “one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and to commit wire fraud, seven counts of violating the FCPA, two counts of wire fraud and one count of international promotion money laundering,” the DOJ said in a statement.

The charges are connected to the alleged bribery scheme that involves “Vadim Mikerin, a Russian official at JSC Techsnabexport (TENEX), a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation and the sole supplier and exporter of Russian Federation uranium and uranium enrichment services to nuclear power companies worldwide, in order to secure contracts with TENEX.”

TENEX is the commercial sales arm for Russia’s Rosatom, which took full control of Uranium One in 2013.

A report from October revealed that federal agents started collecting evidence in 2009 about Russian officials that were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion, and money laundering connected to the Uranium One deal:

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.

Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.

Read More @ DailyWire.com