Monday, June 24, 2019

All Signs Point To Western-Backed Destabilization In Iran – U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia Implicated

by Brandon Turbeville, Activist Post:

The signs that the protests in Iran are indeed a Western destabilization campaign are growing with each passing day. Regardless of whatever legitimacy these protests may have had at the beginning (agitation for greater freedoms and improved methods of handling the economy, etc.), they have now devolved into an attempt to weaken and unseat the current Iranian government. With pro-Western foreign policy demands and vague calls being made against the fabric of the government itself in addition to shadowy shooters and violent assaults on security, government, and even opposition members, a number of actors involved in the protests are emerging which suggest a coordinated Western/Israeli/GCC color revolution/destabilization operation.

The Involvement Of MEK

A recent piece by Newsweek entitled, “Iran Protests: Who Are The Iranian Opposition And Who Will Rule If The Regime Falls?” attempts to paint a picture of the opposition marching through the streets in Iran and, more importantly, what factions of Iranian society that might take power if something did occur to overthrow the Iranian government. One of the factions mentioned by Newsweek is the MEK (Mujhadeen al-Khalq), the radical Marxist extremist organization that has not only been at odds with the religious dictatorship of the Ayatollah but who has also collaborated with the Israelis on numerous occasions, including the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists. The MEK was previously listed as a terrorist organization by the United States but delisted by the Obama administration.

Newsweek’s Callum Paton writes,

The Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK), or People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran, has proven popular with many in the corridors of power in Washington and in European capitals.

The MEK has found supporters in the GOP from backers like Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich but also from Democratic figures such as former Florida Governor Howard Dean. In January 2017, Reutersreported, the group’s backers asked President Donald Trump to open a dialogue with the MEK.

While many in Washington may support the group in its ambition to overthrow the regime in Iran, it has courted controversy since the 1970s. The MEK supported Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, pursuing a guerilla war against the Shah, but then parted ways with the revolution in 1981, vowing to topple the Islamic Republic. From 1997 to 2012, and after the group formed an alliance with Saddam Hussein, the MEK was designated a terrorist group by the State Department.

During this week’s protests, Maryam Rajavi, MEK’s leader, pledged her solidarity with the demonstrators, saying in a statement to Newsweek: “This uprising has tolled the death knell for the overthrow of the totally corrupt dictatorship of the mullahs, and is the rise of democracy, justice and popular sovereignty.”

Some of the MEK’s banners have been seen at demonstrations in Iran, but the group remains deeply divisive inside the country. It also remains the perpetual boogey man of the regime. Iranian State television reported Friday, according to the Associated Press, that three MEK members were arrested 185 miles southwest of Tehran for engaging in sabotage.

Old Monarchs

Newsweek also writes about another lesser known faction waiting in the wings for the collapse of the Iranian government, i.e. the old Western-supported monarchists who were installed in Iran after the tragic U.S.-orchestrated coup against Mohammed Mosadegh.

Paton reports,

But among the most surprising slogans heard in the streets of Iran were those calling for the reinstatement of the Pahlavi monarchy, ousted in 1979.

Crown Prince of Iran Reza Pahlavi, who fled Iran with his father Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the former shah, has seized upon what appears to be at least some support for his return.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4, the prince suggested a form of constitutional monarchy would offer stability in Iran following the collapse of the Islamic Republic.

“Who then do you think people are chanting for today? I think they realize I am a person they can trust, a person they can recognize that has a particular political capital associate with this name. They attribute it to the modernity and progress that Iran had,” he said.

The crown prince has said he is not a monarchist and instead a democrat, but he ruled out returning to Iran until his safety can be assured. While he may have seen some smattering of support in recent days, this is most likely because of support among younger protesters who have no memory of pre-revolution Iran.

The Tehran-based intelligentsia that would have to back any meaningful revolution against the current regime would be unlikely to support his cause.

Read More @ ActivistPost.com

I Don’t Want Your Leaders

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by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg:

In 2017, I wrote a lot about how dangerously centralized our political system in the U.S. has become, and how we need to decentralize governance in order to restore power, liberty and policy experimentation to the local level. This notion that a sprawling and culturally diverse nation of 325 million individuals should constantly battle to the death over the ring of political power in Washington D.C. so as to impose their view on the other half of the country which completely disagrees is patently ludicrous. States, and even metro areas themselves, should be making most of the important decisions that impact their citizens’ lives on a day to day basis.

This isn’t complicated. People who live in Boulder, Colorado such as myself have a very distinct worldview on most things from the average resident of let’s say Houston, Texas. This isn’t to say one is superior to the other, we’re just talking generally different mindsets and cultures. The residents of these distinct places should be able to express themselves via policy in a way that most fits the desires and values reflective of these particular regions. While this does happen to some degree, all U.S. citizens are still beholden to the whims of centralized political power in Washington D.C. to a very unhealthy and dysfunctional degree.

One of the worst side effects of centralized power in Washington D.C. is most Americans waste all their political energy speculating on, or rooting for, who will be elected the next supreme ruler (President) every four years. This is such a gigantic waste of time and energy, but one reason it happens is because the U.S. has an imperial Presidency these days. The executive simply acts in a manner that the founders had never intended, and the other branches of government (legislative and judiciary) permit it.

Congress deserves a huge part of the blame, as its members intentionally refuse to exercise their Constitutional duty to handle war. Our so-called “representatives” consistently just allow the President to do whatever they want when it comes to the exercise of state violence abroad, whether that President is George W. Bush, Barrack Obama, or Donald Trump.

It’s absolutely pathetic that less than two weeks into the new year, all I heard about yesterday was how Oprah might run for President two years from now. Think about how insane a society has to be (in light of all of our enormous current problems), to start already manically obsessing about who could be our savior if we just vote properly in 2020. Didn’t the Presidency of Barrack Obama, who said all the right things but coddled the plutocracy for 8 years straight teach you anything?

It’s not just Oprah though. Last summer we learned Hamptons oligarchs had already decided Kamala Harris (more than three years before the next Presidential election) would be their pick for the Democratic nominee in 2020. Primary voters need not apply.

Naturally, Mark Cuban chatter never goes away either, as I pointed out the other day.

Meanwhile, what do Oprah and Cuban have in common? Both billionaires, just like Trump. Is that the future the plutocrats have planned for us? Groveling for a new billionaire dear leader every four years? Sorry, but I have too much respect for myself to ever do that. I’m done playing this childish game.

The spark that inspired this post was actually a tweet I sent out this past weekend. Its reception was very encouraging and told me that a lot of people around the world are coming to a very similar conclusion. This is really important because we can’t change things until we realize how completely ridiculous our current paradigm is.

Here’s the big secret. Human beings create the world we live in. Nothing about our governments or economy are provided to us by nature or the divine. The insufferable centralized hierarchies we live under were created by other humans that came before us, and are aggressively propagated by those currently in power. There’s absolutely no reason we need to accept these systems as permanent or perfect.

Read More @ LibertyBlitzkrieg.com

Social Security proposes “immediate and permanent reduction” in benefits

by Simon Black, Sovereign Man:

On a deep, dark evening last June in the spectacularly celestial deserts of northern Chile, scientists made a phenomenal discovery.

It was a supernova… one that they named ASASSN-15lh.

This wasn’t just any supernova. It was the BIGGEST and BRIGHTEST supernova ever recorded.

Supernovas are exploding stars whose ejected mass and energy can create a light show so brilliant that they can sometimes be seen with the naked eye in our own night sky.

At its most luminous, ASASSN-15lh was over 500 BILLION times brighter than our own sun, and FAR greater than the previous record holder.

This is so bright that, according to one of the lead researchers, if it had been located within our own galaxy there would have been no darkness on earth for weeks.

Fortunately for us, ASASSN-15lh was from a galaxy far, far away– 3.8 BILLION light years away. So its intensity didn’t have much of an effect on Planet Earth.

Of course, such a prodigious distance also means that ASASSN-15lh actually went supernova 3.8 billion years ago.

The star was so far away from our planet that it took billions of years for the light from the supernova to reach us.

It’s mind boggling to think about. But in a way, the same can be said of many of the financial risks that we face.

Consider the exploding star of Social Security, one of the largest and most important pension programs in the world.

Literally tens of millions of people depend on it.

The Social Security Administration itself reports that 62% of recipients rely on the program for at least HALF of their income.

And further research by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) shows that, without Social Security, 22.1 million Americans would fall below the poverty line.

Needless to say, major cuts to the program would have nuclear effects.

And yet, year after year, the Social Security Board of Trustees publishes an annual report that describes the program’s terminal financial challenges in excruciating detail.

They mince no words in plainly stating that Social Security pays out far too much money, and takes in far too little.

According to the 2017 Trustees report, “Trust Fund reserves become depleted in 2035.”

They’re practically giving us a date that we can circle on a calendar and mark “End of Social Security.”

The Trustees go on to lightly propose solutions, including an “immediate and permanent reduction” in benefits to all current and future Social Security recipients.”

And in case you’re wondering who these whack-job Trustees are, they include the Treasury Secretary of the United States, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the Secretary of Labor.

These aren’t just random people.

We’re talking about politicians at the highest levels of government who are telling us that Social Security is running out of money… and calling for an immediate and permanent cut in benefits.

Given the tens of millions of people who depend on the program, the consequences of either scenario would be catastrophic.

Sadly, this is not a new problem. The Trustees have been screaming for years that Social Security’s finances are unsustainable.

Yet year after year, the problem was ignored… which brings the end-game one year closer, and the ultimate solution that much more painful.

That’s what makes Social Security a gigantic supernova.

The star exploded years ago. But it will take until 2035 for everyone to realize it… though frankly it could be sooner than that.

People are living longer than ever before– the average life expectancy in the US is a full EIGHTEEN YEARS longer than it was when Social Security was conceived back in the 1930s.

This means that Social Security will have to pay out more money to more recipients for much longer than they’ve ever had to pay before.

This will be an enormous cost to the program.

Simultaneously, despite all the celebration of the low unemployment rate in the US, the Labor Force Participation Rate is still near a multi-decade low.

This means that there are fewer people in the work force who are actually paying in to the Social Security System.

According to its own projections, Social Security requires 3 employed workers to support one retiree.

And they watch this worker-to-beneficiary ratio very closely.

Read More @ SovereignMan.com

USA: A Different Strategy For A Different Ambition

by Christopher Black, New Eastern Outlook:

I have just read through the new United States National Security Strategy released by President Trump in December 2017. There have been many comments on it most of them focusing on the hostility in the document towards Russia and China but also some question of what the Strategy is. Well, after reading page after page of delusions, bombast, bragging, bullying, lies, fantasies and deep-seated megalomania, you discover that there is no strategy. They don’t have one. The only use that document has is as irrefutable evidence that the government of the United States is what they like to call a Joint Criminal Enterprise intent on seizing control of the world for its sole interests. Fortunately, they have, apparently, no idea how they are going to achieve that goal except through war, war, and more war, and if that doesn’t work some more war until they collapse from exhaustion, like a mad, rabid dog.

But it’s clear who they are afraid of and so show their weakness. China and Russia make them nervous. And, if I were an adviser to the government of Pakistan, I’d say “watch your back, more trouble is coming.” Other nations that still have a backbone, the usual list, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Syria, Iran, the defiant ones, are like an itch they can’t scratch, and the written scowls in this document are meant to make them shake in their boots but only make you laugh. And, oh, for the rest of the world, it’s, “Do what you’re told, make us money, don’t get in the way, and keep your mouth shut, but love us, love us, love us, make sure you love us.”

As Milton said, they want us to bow and sue for grace with suppliant knee, and deify their power, to bring us low indeed. For to be weak is to be miserable and we’re meant to be miserable. That’s their intent. It’s so bad that it’s easy to feel that nations can act only contrary to their will just to maintain self-respect. But our nations are not controlled by the mass of the people, instead, by factions and cliques of the class with the money who control the machinery of the governments so we see little of that, acting contrary Washington’s will, that is.

There once was a time when working people were on the move, had confidence in themselves, created their own leaders, their own heroes and heroines, their own philosophy, their own ideas of democracy, of society, of their conditions and how to overturn the old brutality of the capitalist system and establish new conditions favourable to us. But failures and betrayals have sapped the energy, weakened the will, created confusions and illusions, turned sister against brother, wounded the solidarity of our class, and pitted people against people in war after war solely to advance the quest for profit. As Milton asked, ‘How can we overcome this dire calamity, what reinforcement can we gain from hope, resolution from despair’ when we are faced with a society that, having brought its own people to ruin, is now committed to bringing ruin and humiliation to the rest of the world?

But all is not lost and rise we will again. The countries and peoples that resist are the proof before us that the omnipotence of the empire is illusory as all empires, based on power and fear, are. The resurgence of working class parties and movements is a fact. Things are happening. If we can find our way out of the maze they have created around us by dividing us into a thousand self interests, special interests, “identity” interests, gender interests, dividing us by religion, skin colour, accent, level of pay, nationality and ethnicity, and all the other things they use to get us opposed to each other, if we can make working people comprehend their own power once united, to see that anyone who works for a living is the brother and sister of all others who must do the same, then the resistance moves to a more concrete level.

But can the people of the world win over a United States that has the power, with its allies, to dominate the world? When we consider the destructive forces they unleash when they don’t get their way it might seem futile to consider it. But the economic power of the USA is in fast decline, its people are increasingly impoverished and increasingly killing each other, the police are murderous, justice corrupted, the government a debacle, the leadership made up of generally right wing criminals, gangsters, and confidence men, their armed forces both corrupted and motivated by immoral, not moral, purposes and their economic system profits a few on the backs of the many the world over. They themselves must know this.

So one would think that when the President of the United States sits down with his advisors and asks them about these problems and to come up with an American national strategy to resolve them that they would take that task seriously and get together all the best scientists, doctors, sociologists, psychologists, economists, philosophers, poets, and artists, writers and musicians, engineers, trades people, committees of locally chosen working people and, of course military men interested in maintaining a continuum of peace instead of war. But on reading the new Strategy document you find that all these people are missing.

It is so bad that even the organ of the Council of Foreign Relations, the journal, Foreign Affairs, stated that,

“The document, an attempt to turn Trump’s “America First” instincts into a foreign policy doctrine, has failed to align ambitious ends with ways and means; to prioritize among objectives; and to convey actual presidential intent. Those criticisms are well founded. But the flaws don’t just stem from the failures of the Trump administration; they also serve as an extreme reminder of what has gone wrong with the entire endeavor of the NSS—problems that predate the Trump era.

The NSS is supposed to map out a strategy, but over time, the project has devolved into a rhetorical exercise, characterized by grandiose ambitions and laundry lists of priorities. Rather than forcing the U.S. government to engage in serious strategic planning, it has become a case study in the failure to do so.”

The problem for one faction of the American elite speaking through that statement is not that the goal of domination of the world by America is wrong but that the goal is not accompanied by any rational means of achieving that domination. But for us in the larger world affected by American ambition and aggression the problem is not the failure to set out the means to achieve the objective but the injustice, immorality, chauvinism, and brutality inherent in the objective. The reason the United States leadership cannot formulate a strategy is not because they are incompetent but because strategy and objective are intertwined so that the objective is the cause of all the terrible consequences that they promise their citizens their objective is meant to deal with. They want to “make America great” but to do that they have to make things worse. It’s inherent in their logic and so long as the driving force behind all of this is not abandoned, the drive for profit, and replaced with the driving force to provide peoples needs, so long will the world continue to suffer war, poverty, injustice and ecological catastrophe.

Read More @ Journal-NEO.org

Google managers kept blacklists of conservative employees — and one manager even considered holding ‘trials’, alleges a new lawsuit

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by Julie Bort, Business Insider:

  • Employees at Google who express “conservative viewpoints in politically-charged debates” may find themselves blacklisted by managers at the company, alleges an explosive new lawsuit.
  • And by blacklisted, that means their names may appear on actual lists, the suit contends.
  • Google employees who identify as conservative say they have complained to HR and senior management about the blacklists.
  • These allegations are part of a lawsuit filed on behalf of fired Google engineer James Damore that seeks to represent white males and conservatives who feel like they’ve been the target of discrimination.

A well-known Republican San Francisco lawyer has filed a lawsuit against Google seeking to represent white, male or conservative employees who believe the company has discriminated against them.

The lawyer is Harmeet Dhillon, a partner with the Dhillon Law Group in San Francisco and the former chairwoman of the Republican Party in San Francisco.  

She has been on the hunt for such victims since she took on fired Google engineer James Damore as a client in August. And on Monday she presented the first fruits of her research in a 161-page complaint that’s chock full of allegations and screenshots.

The most jaw-dropping allegation is that “Google publicly endorsed blacklists” of conservatives. The lawsuit claims that several hiring managers publicly vowed not to hire people categorized as “hostile voices” aka conservatives.

For instance, one manager wrote on one internal forum, “I will never, ever hire/transfer you onto my team. Ever.”

Another manager wrote in another, “I keep a written blacklist of people whom I will never allow on or near my team, based on how they view and treat their coworkers. That blacklist got a little longer today.”

The lawsuit cites another post from another hiring manager that said, “If you express a dunderheaded opinion about religion, about politics, or about ‘social justice’, it turns out I am allowed to think you’re a halfwit… I’m perfectly within my rights to mentally categorize you in my [d*ckhead] box… Yes, I maintain (mentally, and not (yet) publicly).”

Interestingly, the lawsuit doesn’t show the statements that provoked such strong reactions from these managers. It only characterizes them as “tactfully expressed conservative viewpoints in politically-charged debates.”

Whether expressing anti-diversity sentiments at a workplace is a protected “conservative viewpoint” or, rather, a form of bigotry that actually creates a hostile environment is at the heart of the case — and it reflects a broader debate gripping the country under the divisive presidency of Donald Trump.

“Something resembling a trial”

The lawsuit shows that in at least one case, a manager (a white woman), was contemplating keeping some kind of actual, public list of employee names.

The manager wrote on an internal post, “I am thinking of something like a google doc that accepts comments, and which calls out those googlers that are unsupportive of diversity,” she wrote.

She wondered, in the post, whether special “trials” should be held for employees nominated for the list, to determine whether they belonged on it or not. 

The lawsuit shows her post as evidence:

The lawsuit names other instances, too. It says that conservative employees reported such lists or other attempts to block them and their comments on Google’s internal social media sites to HR who told them that employees have the right to block others or make statements about the type of employees they liked to work with.

The lawsuit says that conservative employees on two occassions in the fall of 2017, also brought the matter of such lists up with Paul Manwell, Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s chief of staff, and to senior lawyer Kent Walker. 

This lawsuit was filed on behalf of Damore, the engineer who created a firestorm last summer with his memo about women in tech and his comments about how Google treats conservatives. It seeks class-action status to represent other white or male or conservatives employees who believe they faced discrimination at Google.

Read More @ BusinessInsider.com

Hungary’s PM: “We Don’t See Them As Refugees, We See Them As Muslim Invaders”

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from ZeroHedge:

In an interview with German newspaper Bild, Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban called the migrant crisis an invasion.

He said:

“We do not consider these people to be Muslim refugees, we regard them as Muslim invaders.”

“One has to cross four countries to arrive from Syria in Hungary”, Orban said.

“Those people do not run for their lives but seek a better life. The refugees should have requested admission in advance, but instead they had breached the border illegally.

As Deutsche Welle reports, according to Orban what Europe has seen was not a wave of refugees, but an invasion. He mentioned that he never understood how in a country like Germany the chaos and the illegal crossing of borders could be celebrated as something good.

When asked by Bild whether it was fair for Germany to accept hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants while Hungary accepted none, Orban responded:

“The difference is, you wanted the migrants, and we didn’t.”

Migration, he said, threatens the “sovereignty and cultural identity” of Hungary.

The Hungarian prime minister rejected the idea that his country should accept people from Muslim-majority countries.

“We believe that a large number of Muslims inevitably leads to parallel societies, because Christian and Muslim society will never unite,” he said.

“Multiculturalism is only an illusion.”

Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

Feds conducted surprise ‘active shooter training’ two weeks before the October 1 Las Vegas massacre

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from Intellihub:

Las Vegas Metro Police Department reportedly taken by surprised after federal agents conducted an active shooter training drill without any forewarning

LAS VEGAS (INTELLIHUB) — An unannounced federal-level ‘active shooter training’ drill was conducted several weeks before the Oct. 1 Route 91 massacre where 58 people lost their lives.

According to the founder of Las Vegas Emergency Incidents Mikey Slyman: “The feds ran a drill, an active shooter drill, in the northwest area of town and they did not tell the police department.”

The disturbing news that federal officials would come into the city and fire guns without warning the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department or the general public, for that matter, is ludicrous.

“Metro had no idea it was going on,” Slyman said. “Concerned citizens were calling in to 911 and 311 and saying there’s a gunfight and it never hit the media.”

Several weeks later the mass shooting took place.

The Journeyman Pictures YouTube channel has the story

Read More @ Intellihub.com

Feinstein Just Took It Upon Herself To Release The 312-Page Transcript Of Fusion GPS’ Founder Glenn Simpson’s Closed Door Interview

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by Tim Brown, Freedom Outpost:

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) took it upon herself to release the 312-page transcript of the interview of Glenn Simpson, a former journalist and co-founder of Fusion GPS, which commissioned the infamous and debunked Trump dossier that has led to untold millions being spent on a witchhunt in DC that has basically turned up nothing.

The release of the documents comes just 4 days after senators called for an investigation into Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier and ex-MI6 British spy.

Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote a letter to Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) asking him to release the full transcript of the interview.

However, on Monday, it was reported that Grassley did not intend to release the transcript from the closed-door interview.

Needless to say, one might question why Feinstein believes she has authority to release the transcript in the middle of an ongoing investigation.

Zero Hedge reports:

Needless to say, Grassley was furious, stating that it is “totally confounding that Senator Feinstein would unilaterally release a transcript of a witness interview in the middle of an ongoing investigation” and that “Her action undermines the integrity of the committee’s oversight work and jeopardizes its ability to secure candid voluntary testimony relating to the independent recollections of future witnesses.”

Read More @ FreedomOutpost.com

BREAKING=> O’Keefe Strikes Again: Undercover Video Reveals Far Left Twitter Ready to Give Trump’s Private Messages to DOJ

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by Cristina Laila,,The Gateway Pundit:

O’Keefe strikes again!

Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe sent out a tweet taunting Deep State and media Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday morning O’Keefe tweeted out a picture of himself in a disguise warning “15 mins. Here we go…”

James O’Keefe revealed Twitter is ready to hand over President Trump’s private messages to the Justice Department.

Undercover Video of Twitter Engineer Clay Haynes Saying “We’re more than happy to help the DOJ with their little investigation”

Via Project Veritas:

Content Disclosed to DOJ Includes: “Even the ones he’s deleted, any direct messages”

Engineer is Self-Proclaimed “Bleeding-Heart Liberal” Stating “It comes with the territory [at Twitter]”

Goes on to Explain Additional “Big Brotherish” Practices at Twitter

 A Project Veritas undercover investigation has revealed a senior network security engineer at Twitter stating that his company is “more than happy” to turn over the private communications and deleted tweets of President Donald Trump to the Department of Justice. If true, it is yet unknown whether Twitter is voluntarily disclosing this sensitive information or acting under a court order. Twitter is currently in the midst of defending itself from left-leaning criticism that President Trump hasn’t been removed from the enormous media platform for violations of Twitter’s Terms of Service.

VIDEO:

Read More @ TheGatewayPundit.com

The Three Major Themes for Gold in 2018 – Craig Hemke

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by Craig Hemke, Sprott Money:

Beginning in late 2016, we began to question what we termed “The Generally Accepted Narrative of 2017”. This allowed us to accurately forecast rising precious metal prices last year. For 2018, we will generally rely upon three overriding themes, and we discuss them in detail today.

As a recap, what was GAN2017? We first spelled it out in a formal post on January 17, 2017. You can read it here: https://www.tfmetalsreport.com/blog/8103/questioni…

From that post, the five primary tenets of GAN2017 were:

1. Major US deficit spending will promote economic growth

2. This economic growth will allow The Fed to hike the Fed Funds rate 3-4 times

3. Rates on the long end will rise, too, as “the bond bubble bursts”

4. All of this growth and higher rates will prompt a huge rally in the dollar

5. And the US stock market will charge toward 25,000 on the Dow.

So, how did this turn out?

1. Economic growth as measured by GDP looks to come in at around 2%. Trump’s only political win came with the tax cuts of late December. Nothing done on infrastructure or healthcare.

2. The Fed did, in fact, hike the FF rate 3 times.

3. Long rates fell, and the bond bubble definitely did NOT burst.

4. “King Dollar” did NOT return, and the Dollar Index fell by over 10%.

5. The Dow topped 25,000 for the first time in history last week.

For the purposes of precious metal investing, points number 3 and 4 were the most important. Because rates and the dollar fell, Comex gold rose over 13% on the year . . . its best annual gain since 2010.

So, what’s next for 2018?

As we’ve already mentioned, 2018 will be defined by three general risks. How these play out will dramatically impact the dollar, the bond market and precious metals. The three risks are:

Political Risk — By late summer of this year, attention will turn to the coming mid-term elections in the US. If the Democrats are poised to regain control of Congress, speculation regarding a move to impeach President Trump will rapidly intensify. How will this affect US fiscal and monetary policy?

Geo-Political Risk — If you’re paying any attention at all to global events, this needs no further explanation. Whether it’s the possibility of renewed war on the Korean Peninsula, conflagration in the Middle East or actual Hot War between NATO and Russia, geo-politics have the potential to greatly unsettle global markets in 2018.

De-Dollarization Risk — The global pace of de-dollarization is clearly quickening. Later this month, a yuan-denominated crude oil contract will begin trading in Shanghai. Later this year, a ruble-denominated gold contract will begin trading in Moscow. These and other events will provide a clear challenge to US dollar hegemony in 2018.

In 2017, the mainstream financial press blindly pumped GAN2017 without any regard to other possible outcomes. At TFMR, we were first to proclaim GAN2017 a sham, and we were all rewarded with gains in gold and silver. Now in 2018, where in the media do you see ANYONE discussing the three risks laid out above? Instead, it’s all about the cryptos and Dow 25,000. Well, I can assure you that just as we were generally correct about GAN2017, we’re going to be correct about The Three Themes of 2018, too. Just give it a while to play out.

To that end, 2018 has begun with a continued fall in the broad-based US Dollar Index. As mentioned above, this index fell over 10% in 2017. If it soon drops below 90, it will be poised to fall a similar amount in 2018.

Read More @ SprottMoney.com

Undeniable Proof That Jeff Sessions Is a Deep State Operative

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by Dave Hodges, The Common Sense Show:

If anyone had any doubt if Attorney General Jeff Sessions was an agent for the Deep State, this article should go a long way in confirming these suspicions.

Jeff Sessions has declared war on all 50 states. In effect, in violation of the 10th Amendment, he has told all 50 states that if you promote the use of marijuana, either for recreational or for pharmaceutical reasons, he will put people in prison.

Millions of people smoke pot and as I have detailed here on this website, marijuana has significant side-effects. However, it’s use as a counter to chemotherapy and its positive impact on people with certain eye conditions, is undeniable. Of course, the Deep State does not want pot legalized in any form, because it would compete with their illegal drug trafficking and Jeff Sessions is doing his part in protecting that illicit endeavor.

Further, The Common Sense Show has previously documented the disproportionate amount of  people that are arrested for simple possession of marijuana the vast numbers of people that occupy our grossly over-sized prison population. And with the recent combination of events, initiated by Trump and Sessions, the prison population in America is going to grow exponentially.

The move to crimnalize pot smoking, by Sessions, combined with the undeserved tax breaks to the private prison industry, in the new tax bill, constitute aiding and abetting Deep State interests.

ThePresident’s Tax Plan Favors the Deep State Private Prison Interests

Several tax experts have reviewed the recently passed tax plan and have concluded that it is, in part, designed to favor the private prison industry. Here is an example of this majority opinion from the Guardian:

…Individual investors in US private prisons are poised to collect their most lucrative earnings ever thanks to changes in the tax code signed by Donald Trump, continuing what has been a banner year for the industry since the 2016 election.

“It’s going to be great for the investors, banks and hedge funds that own shares in private prisons, and are dependent on increased incarceration and criminalization,” said Jamie Trinkle, campaign and research coordinator with the racial and economic justice coalition…Under the new GOP law, investments in so-called “real estate investment trusts” (reits) will see a 25% reduction in tax, from 39.6% down to 29.6%.

This is an undeserved tax break and it is going to impact more than the bottom line of the private prison system.

We’re Number One

There are over two million inmates in American prisons, or one in 743 people. Communist China, which has five times the population of the United States, has 500,000 less inmates. The United States has only 5% of the world’s population, but has 25% of the world’s prison population.

In 1972, the U.S. had less than 300,000 inmates. By 1990, the incarceration rate had skyrocketed to one million and by today, the rate has more than doubled again. Again, I ask why?  Because there are very big monied interests behind the growth industry of privatized prisons and they are encouraging mandatory sentencing and zero tolerance sentencing regulations.

According to Charles Campbell, author of  The Intolerable Hulks (2001), the privatization of the prisons movement has its origins in the Revolutionary War period. England began to put undesirables and prisoners in prison ships. The U.S. fully embraced the use of private prisons during the Reconstruction Period (1865-1876) in the south, following the Civil War. Plantation owners and business owners needed “free” replacements to compensate for the loss of their previous slave laborers. In 1868, convict leases were awarded to private business interests in order to bolster their labor workforce and the practice continued until the early 20th century.

Today, this practice has been taken over by private corporate interests who are increasingly taking over our prison system and this unholy practice is no less exploitative than the slave labor abuses of the past and as in all forms of slavery, it is being fueled by profit.

 Prison for Profit

Private prisons are big business and Trump and Sessions are catering to these entities. The GEO Group is not the only profitable privatized prison group. The Corrections Corporation of America is the largest private prison operator in the United States. The CCA, now known as CoreCivic, procured its first private prison in, ironically, 1984.

Did you know that in many states, privatized prisons are guaranteed 90% to 100% occupancy rates by the government?

According to the California Prison Focus “The private contracting of prisoners for work fosters incentives to lock people up. Prisons depend on this income. Corporate stockholders who make money off prisoners’ work lobby for longer sentences, in order to expand their workforce. The system feeds itself,” says a study by the Progressive Labor Party, which accuses the prison industry of being “an imitation of Nazi Germany with respect to forced slave labor and concentration camps.”

A Globalist Endeavor to Incarcerate As Many People As Possible

There are almost 75,000 juveniles in prison and the rates are skyrocketing because of a phenomenon that is now being referred to as the school to prison pipeline in which schools are increasingly refusing to deal with even minor discipline issues and are placing juveniles in police custody.

This has been an ongoing trend in terms of incarcerating as many people as possible. As far back as 2010, there were 5,574 school-based arrests of juveniles in the Chicago Public School. The juvenile arrests accounted for about one of every five juvenile arrests in the entire city of Chicago for all of 2010. The incarceration rates for Chicago’s juveniles are in line with most other metropolitan areas in the country. There is also a general trend of disproportionate rates of minority contact within the juvenile justice system, Black youth accounted for 74% of school-based arrests, and 22.5% of youth arrested were Latino. The enrollment of Chicago schools in was 45% Black and 41% Latino. These high arrest rates for so many of our minority youth, create potential slave laborers for the Prison Industrial Complex. Once a child is adjudicated in the justice system, society usually witnesses a straight line right to prison. These precious children are having their futures robbed from them before they can even get started. What are they being arrested for? The number one reason is fighting on school grounds. Drug use, with marijuana being number one, is the second most prevalen
t reason that juveniles are in prison. 

Privatized prisons are big business, very big business. The GEO Group, headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla., claimed $115 million in profits on $1.52 billion in revenue in 2013. The GEO Group is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, is worth $2.3 billion, and it paid Chairman and Chief Executive George Zoley $4.62 million in total compensation in 2015.

According to public analysis from the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), the largest holder in Corrections Corporation of America is Vanguard Group Incorporated. Vanguard is a major player in controlling several media giants. Vanguard is the third largest holder in Viacom and AOL Time Warner. Vanguard is also the third largest holder in the GEO Group. The GEO group, second only in size to the CCA with regard to privatized prisons as it controls over 100 correctional facilities in the US, UK, Australia and South Africa. In addition to CCA’s unwarranted control over the media, the number-one holder of both Viacom and Time Warner is a company called Blackrock. Blackrock is the second largest holder in CCA, and the sixth largest holder in the GEO Group in this never-ending incestuous relationship. This is why you are not hearing about these abuses in the media.

Need A Job? Go to Prison, They’re Hiring-SLAVE LABOR IN AMERICA

The Prison Industrial Complex is an impressive growth industry which is fueled by its Wall Street investors and leads to greatly overcrowded and inhumane prisons.

According to the Left Business Observer, the highly privatized federal prison industry produces “100% of all military helmets, ammunition belts, bullet-proof vests, ID tags, shirts, pants, tents, bags, and canteens. Thus, we see a partial marriage between private prisons and our government’s wars of occupation. Namely, prison slave labor is being used to produce the weapons and supplies of war.

America has found an antidote to the loss of manufacturing through the various free trade agreements (i.e. NAFTA, CAFTA). Unfortunately, prison slave labor is the solution. The Left Business Observer identifies private corporate interests benefiting from prison slave labor which includes the manufacturing of “93% of all paints and paintbrushes; 92% of stove assembly; 46% of body armor; 36% of home appliances; 30% of headphones/microphones/speakers; and 21% of office furniture.”

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