Monday, July 22, 2019

Silver News: A New Administrator for the LBMA Silver Price Auction; Technological Breakthroughs

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from SchiffGold:

The London Bullion Market Association recently chose a new administrator for its silver price auction, and scientists have discovered a variety of rice that accumulates and stores naturally occurring silver in the soil.

The Silver Institute covers these stories, and highlights several other technological innovations involving silver, in its latest issue of Silver News.

ICE Benchmark Administration will begin administering the silver benchmark and operating the auction underlying the London Bullion Market Association Silver Price in late September. IBA replaces a joint effort by CME Group and Thomson Reuters. IBA currently operates the London Gold Price benchmark.

The decision by the LBMA membership reflects our commitment and investment in making the LBMA Gold Price IOSCO [International Organisation of Securities Commissions] compliant over the last two years. Our centrally cleared model has already enabled broader participation and we continue to expand the gold auction. We anticipate this will support expanded participation in silver as well. We are excited to build on our work with the LBMA to ensure strong governance and the evolution of these important benchmarks.”

The benchmark is used by silver producers and consumers globally to price contracts.

The latest issue of Silver News also features some fascinating technological developments related to silver.

  • A strain of rice efficiently accumulates silver naturally occurring in the soil, according to Indian researchers. The rice variety known as Garib-sal, originates in West Bengali. Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) say the rice can collect 17 milligrams of silver per kilogram of the plant’s weight. Even when the soil contained only 0.15 mg per kg, this type of rice was able to accumulate unusually high levels of silver.
  • Scientists at the Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany, and the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), in Barcelona, have developed ‘microbots’ using silver nanoparticles. These tiny waterborne robots attack life threatening bacteria as they swim through a contaminated water supply.
  • Producing complex-shaped silver nanostructures for use in sensitive chemical sensors usually requires toxic or corrosive chemicals to help force a particular shape. But recently, scientists have learned how to use a section of banana plant to synthesize these structures, eliminating the need for dangerous compounds.
  • Hoping to stamp out ‘yogaroma’ – the accumulated odor from yoga mats – Blank Yoga has produced what it boasts is “the first antimicrobial silver infused yoga mat that doesn’t stink no matter how intense you practice.”
  • By coating silver-silica nanoparticles with an antibiotic, Brazilian scientists have found a more powerful way to kill drug-resistant bacteria.

Read More @ SchiffGold.com

Entire Volume of CIA Files On Lee Harvey Oswald, Set to Be Released in October, Has ‘Gone Missing’

by Jack Burns, The Free Thought Project:

Volume 5 of the CIA’s Lee Harvey Oswald 7-volume collection, may never be turned over, even though the law requires it to take place by October 26th of this year.

Countless concerned individuals are still searching for answers surrounding the mysterious death of the 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy. The official narrative, that a lone former Marine named Harvey Oswald assassinated him, is widely disputed.

All available documents from all government entities are required by the Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 to be released on October 26th of 2017. But if history repeats itself, the Central Intelligence Agency may not release an entire volume of documents on Oswald, known as “volume 5.”

As Sputnik reports, the release in July of 3,810 CIA and FBI documents on the assassination by the Assassination Records Review Board threw up a number of revelations that JFK researchers have hungrily devoured and enthusiastically publicized. For instance, the mayor of Dallas at the time of Kennedy’s assassination, Earle Cabell, was a CIA asset in the 1950s, and his brother, Charles Cabell, a high-ranking CIA official until 1962.

The release in October has been highly anticipated by those seeking answers. However, thanks to a deliberate fudging or records, or a conveniently timed clerical error, an entire volume may never see the light of day.

Inside Langley Air Force Base’s CIA Headquarters is an office known as the Office of Security. The Office of Security maintains its own top-secret archives known as the Office of Security Archival Holdings and is a separate archive from the agency’s more frequently used facility located in Alexandria, VA known as the Agency Archival Record Center.

As late as 1977, the entire 7-volume collection of documents was intact, having been checked out by Russ Holmes in the Office of General Counsel and noted the 7-volume series was all together, not missing any volumes. But when the CIA was asked to turn over the volume of documents on Oswald, the hitman in the assassination, it seems the agency stonewalled a bit, like a shell game according to independent investigator Malcolm Blunt.

Blunt described the stonewalling:

This huge search by CIA did not surface Oswald’s security files and the Assassination Records Review Board (AARB) remained uninformed about their existence. Not until 1997 when an ARRB staffer stumbled across evidence that two previous congressional investigations had access to these files did CIA “discover” them.

The AARB eventually received the 7-volume set of documents on Oswald in 1998, but staffers quickly realized there was one volume missing—volume 5.

An agency explanation was offered that volume 5 could have been consolidated into Volume 4, or Volume 6 for example. Eventually, the agency concluded, according to Blunt, Volume 5 of Oswald’s Security file may never have existed.

So far, 2017 has been a year of anticipation for JFK conspiracy theorists as they await the release of all files surrounding the assassination of one of the country’s most beloved presidents. One group, known as the Citizens Against Political Assassinations, is chomping at the bits to get to volume 5 and others. They believe the official government narrative is full of holes and needs to be investigated.

Read More @ TheFreeThoughtProject.com

Banning ‘Hate Speech’ in America Will Only Make It More Popular

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by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg:

Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down. They know its power. Thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, founded in injustice and wrong, are sure to tremble, if men are allowed to reason…There can be no right of speech where any man…[is] compelled to suppress his honest sentiments. Equally clear is the right to hear. To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.”

– Frederick Douglass

A recent survey conducted by the Brookings Institution adds to my already festering concerns about American attitudes when it comes to our most precious civil liberty. Free speech.

Let’s start out by highlighting some of what we learned. First, via an opinion piece in The Washington Post:

 

Here’s the problem with suggesting that upsetting speech warrants “safe spaces,” or otherwise conflating mere words with physical assault: If speech is violence, then violence becomes a justifiable response to speech.

Just ask college students. A fifth of undergrads now say it’s acceptable to use physical force to silence a speaker who makes “offensive and hurtful statements.”

That’s one finding from a disturbing new survey of students conducted by John Villasenor, a Brookings Institution senior fellow and University of California at Los Angeles professor.

When students were asked whether the First Amendment protects “hate speech,” 4 in 10 said no. This is, of course, incorrect. Speech promoting hatred — or at least, speech perceived as promoting hatred — may be abhorrent, but it is nonetheless constitutionally protected.

Students were asked whether the First Amendment requires that an offensive speaker at a public university be matched with one with an opposing view. Here, 6 in 10 (mistakenly) said that, yes, the First Amendment requires balance.

The most chilling findings, however, involved how students think repugnant speech should be dealt with.

Let’s say a public university hosts a “very controversial speaker,” one “known for making offensive and hurtful statements.” Would it be acceptable for a student group to disrupt the speech “by loudly and repeatedly shouting so that the audience cannot hear the speaker”?

It gets even worse.

Respondents were also asked if it would be acceptable for a student group to use violence to prevent that same controversial speaker from talking. Here, 19 percent said yes.

What’s more, colleges alone are not to blame for these findings. Other data suggest that freshmen are arriving on campus with more intolerant attitudes toward free speech than their predecessors did, and that Americans of all ages have become strikingly hostile toward basic civil and political liberties.

Read More @ LibertyBlitzkrieg.com

Canada Is Suddenly a Candidate to Usher in the Next Global Financial Crisis

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from SilverDoctors:

United States’ debt problems, China’s debt problems, and now there’s Canada’s $14,000,000,000,000 hidden debt problem that may just usher in the next global financial crisis…

Earlier in the month markets got this “surprise” rate hike by the Bank of Canada with the following credit level warnings:

A quick look at the BOC statement reveals that according to Poloz, “removal of some of the considerable monetary policy stimulus in place is warranted” given stronger than expected economic performance while adding that “future monetary policy decisions are not predetermined” and will be guided by economic data and financial-market developments as they “inform the outlook for inflation.”

The Central bank also said that “close attention will be paid to the sensitivity of the economy to higher interest rates” given elevated household indebtedness. The bank will give particular focus to evolution of economy’s potential and labour market conditions, while highlighting that inflation remains below 2{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} but has evolved “largely as expected” since July MPR.

In the statement the central bank also highlighted that “excess capacity remains in labour market, wage and price pressures more subdued than historical relationships suggest” while “geopolitical risks and uncertainties around international trade and fiscal policies remain.”

Some analysts have highlighted that in the statement’s forward guidance, the central bank removed its inflation outlook, and replaced it with an outlook on potential output and the labor market.

Finally, the bank expects moderation of pace of economic growth in 2H 2017, but GDP level higher than expected in July MPR.

This week we get this from Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

The world’s top financial watchdog has uncovered US$14 trillion of global dollar debt hidden in derivatives and swap contracts, a startling sum that doubles the underlying levels of offshore dollar credit in the international system.

The scale of this lending greatly increases the risk of a future funding crisis if inflation ever forces the U.S. Federal Reserve to tighten in earnest and drain worldwide liquidity, potentially triggering a dollar surge.

A forensic study by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) says enormous liabilities have accrued through FX swaps, currency swaps, and “forwards.” The data is tucked away in the “footnotes” of bank reports. “Contracts worth tens of trillions of dollars stand open and trillions change hands daily. Yet one cannot find these amounts on balance sheets. This debt is, in effect, missing,” said the BIS analysis, written by the team under Claudio Borio, the chief economist.

“These transactions are functionally equivalent to borrowing and lending in the cash market. Yet the corresponding debt is not shown on the balance sheet and thus remains obscured,” they wrote in the BIS’s quarterly report.

A breathtaking gap in global accounting rules means that the debt is booked as a notional derivative, “even though it is in effect a secured loan with principal to be repaid in full at maturity.” The hidden lending comes on top of US$10.7 trillion of recorded offshore dollar debt outside U.S. jurisdiction. It pushes the combined total to US$25 trillion, or a third of global GDP. While these contracts serve as a lubricant and hedging device for world commerce, they can be plagued by currency and maturity mismatches.

The dollar swaps serve as a “money market” for global finance. Investors often take out short-term contracts that must be rolled over every three months. The great majority have maturities of less than a year. Much of the money is used to make long-term investments in illiquid assets, the time-honoured cause of financial blow-ups. “Even sound institutional investors may face difficulties. If they have trouble rolling over their hedges, they could be forced into fire sales,” said the Swiss-based watchdog.

But for now, FX doesn’t care:

Read More @ SilverDoctors.com

Libyan chessboard: whom should you rely on in the cause of peace and salvation of statehood?

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Contributed by Correspondent Adel Karim, via SGT Report.com:

Several power centers were formed in Libya as a result of the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the destruction of the statehood. None of them has a national legitimacy. The pursuit of personal interests by some political leaders to the detriment of the general state is intertwined with territorial fragmentation. The historic regions – Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan – have de facto separated from each other. The Libyan phenomenon of the city-state arose (Misrata, Al-Zintan, Sirte, etc.). The separatist tendencies of the tribes grew stronger.

Along with it, the UN attempts to stabilize the situation in the country. In December, 2015, the United Nations brokered the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA), the Presidential Council (PC) was set up and a Government of National Accord (GNA) headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj was formed. The agreement also confirmed the legitimacy of the House of Representatives (HoR) based in Tobruk in eastern Libya while has the support of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the Libyan National Army (LNA) commander.

Despite the UN efforts, however, the conflict between Islamist, Anti-Islamist, secular, tribal and simply criminal groups which resulted in another civil war is caused by historic, social, economic and political circumstances including the interests and interference of foreign parties. Only NATO involvement in contravention of UNSC Resolution 1973 turned Libya into a perfect place for terrorist and extremist groups, a center for human trafficking and cheap resources market.

Today, the country is de facto divided by the East-West axis. The eastern regions are under LNA control. In early July, Marshal Haftar’s troops recaptured Benghazi partly stabilizing the situation in the East.

Meanwhile, in the West, the tension between the groups allegedly supporting Fayez al-Sarraj’s Government of National Accord and those who were loyal to Khalifa al-Ghawil’s Government of National Salvation grew into violent clashes. Rival militias have been battling heavily one another in Tripoli since December, 2016.

The South of the once rich and beautiful country became a battlefield of eastern and western sides, tribes and terrorists where Haftar’s supporters were slain by the Misrata-based Third Force militants in early May 2017.

The crisis is aggravating because of various Salafist jihadi groups with different ideologies that are in constant conflict in western Libya. Such groups include Libya Dawn (Libya Fajr), the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council, Ansar al-Sharia, the 17 FebruaryMartyrs Brigade, the Libya Shield Force, the Libyan Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG), etc.

However, the West, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey possess more powerful tools for destabilizing the region e.g. ISIS, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the Muslim Brotherhood.

A key part in counteracting IS and AQIM belongs to general Haftar who is taking measures to eliminate jihadists on the Libyan soil, near Sabha and Sirte cities in particular. Having lost Sirte, the terrorists dispersed in three directions: to the southwest of Sabha, to the west of Sabratah and to the southeast near the Sudan border. The main problem of neutralizing the groups is that they are being reinforced with volunteers from Tunis, Algeria, Mali, Chad and Nigeria and the terrorists fleeing from Syria and Iraq.

However, while the situation in the east has stabilized, the western regions are less stable and prone to changes. Mostly, this is tied to the lack of political will of Sarraj and the GNA, and to the diversity of the ultra-conservative Salafist groups in the west.

Although these opposing factions are nominally loyal to Prime Minister Saraj, experience has shown that they are not associated with any political leader. The most telling example is when at the end of October 2016, the forces of Haitham Tajouri, who heads Tripoli’s largest militia and who was allegedly loyal to the Government of National Salvation, allowed the units of Khalifa al-Ghawil to seize a number of ministries in Tripoli. There is also a question of the legitimacy of supporting these essentially terrorist formations by Fayez al-Sarraj. Probably, the latter uses them as a force capable in the future to counter the rising popularity of Khalifa Haftar among the population of Libya.

Thus, unlike Prime Minister F. Saraj, Marshal H. Haftar is a serious military and political figure on the Libyan chessboard capable of uniting tribes and clans under his banners, limiting the flows of illegal migration to the EU, liquidating the terrorist organizations like ISIS, AKIM and Muslim Brotherhood, thus restoring the statehood in the country.

——-

Adel Karim is an independent investigative correspondent who monitors the situation in the Middle East. Karim notes that he see the growing threat of ISIS spreading all around the Middle East. And although ISIS will be defeated soon in Syria, Islamists are going to create new hotbeds of tension in the Middle East, especially in Libya.

Big Brother Is Coming for Bitcoin

by Jim Rickards, Daily Reckoning:

Interest in bitcoin is red-hot right now. It’s impossible to open a website, listen to a podcast or watch a video in the financial space without hearing about the meteoric rise in the price of bitcoin.

I know about the bitcoin frenzy firsthand.

I’m a frequent guest on financial television and do many online interviews. Sooner or later in almost every interview, the anchor will turn to me and say, “Jim, I have to ask, what’s your opinion on bitcoin?” And away we go.

The fact is I actually don’t like talking about bitcoin; it’s one of my least favorite topics. But I can’t avoid it!

Of course, bitcoin is just one of many cryptocurrencies. There are hundreds in total with names like ether, dash, dogecoin and blackcoin.

For convenience, I will refer to all cryptocurrencies here as “bitcoin.” But you should understand that the analysis offered applies to the other cryptos as well.

Maybe you know a “bitcoin millionaire” who bought 500 bitcoins a few years back for $50,000 and is now sitting on a bitcoin fortune worth over $2 million. It’s true, those people actually do exist.

While I’m not a fan of cryptocurrencies, I am a believer in the power of the technology platforms on which the cryptocurrencies are based. These are usually called the “blockchain,” but a more descriptive term now in wide use is “distributed ledger technology,” or DLT. There’s no denying that fortunes have been made and still will be made in various DLT applications.

When it comes to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, I take a laissez-faire approach. Do your own thing. If you want some bitcoin in your portfolio as part of a diversified bundle of assets, that’s up to you. If you want to speculate in some of the other lesser-known cryptocurrencies, that’s fine, too. You might make a lot of money.

My only admonition is caveat emptor. Please take the time to understand how it works and what the risks are.

I am not a technophobe and I’m not a bitcoin basher. I understand bitcoin very well at a technical level. I’ve read the original technical papers on bitcoin from 2009 and many commentaries since.

I even worked with a team of experts and military commanders at U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to find ways to interdict and disrupt ISIS use of cryptocurrencies to fund their terrorist activities and caliphate.

Read More @ DailyReckoning.com

Danish Government on Muslim Migrant Crime: “Worst Situation Since 2nd World War”

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by Robert Spencer, Freedom Outpost:

The rule of law is imploding in Denmark as “low-tech jihad” and migrant gangs take over the streets. The Danish government should not be surprised. But it appears to be.

Thousands of incidents involving loosened wheel bolts on cars, large rocks or cinder blocks thrown from highway overpasses, and thin steel wires strung across bicycle paths meant to decapitate unsuspecting cyclists, is spreading a growing sense of horror among the Danes.

In almost all cases, the perpetrators have turned out to be from MENAP countries (Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan).

In the latest development of what has been characterized as massive low-tech jihad,” gangs of migrants and refugees of Arab or North African descent are now shooting innocent people at random in the capital city of Copenhagen, placing in danger the lives of both locals and visitors to this popular tourist city.

Three people already have been shot in what appears to be a savage form of target practice. Since all of the injured were young men — in an attempt to minimize the number of future victims — the Danish police now warns all men between 17 and 25 years of age to avoid public spaces in Copenhagen.

Preben Bang Henriksen, a spokesman for Denmark’s majority government party, the Liberal Venstre, is horrified by such a rapid decline in the safety of public spaces for the previously safe and calm kingdom:

“We have not had such warnings from the police since the 2nd World War. It is totally unacceptable,” said Preben Bang Henriksen.

A spokeswoman for the opposition Social Democrats, Trine Bramsen, concurs with the Liberal government, calling the current security situation “a catastrophe.”

For decades, critics of Islam and Muslim immigration have warned about irresponsible liberal policies that encourage accepting migrants or refugees from Islamic countries. Therefore, Danish politicians should not be surprised about the emergence of this despicable violence. But apparently, they are.

Read More @ FreedomOutpost.com

Freedom Is a Myth: We Are All Prisoners of the Police State’s Panopticon Village

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by John Whitehead, via Washington’s Blog:

“We’re run by the Pentagon, we’re run by Madison Avenue, we’re run by television, and as long as we accept those things and don’t revolt we’ll have to go along with the stream to the eventual avalanche…. As long as we go out and buy stuff, we’re at their mercy… We all live in a little Village. Your Village may be different from other people’s Villages, but we are all prisoners.”— Patrick McGoohan

First broadcast in Great Britain 50 years ago, The Prisoner—a dystopian television series described as “James Bond meets George Orwell filtered through Franz Kafka”—confronted societal themes that are still relevant today: the rise of a police state, the freedom of the individual, round-the-clock surveillance, the corruption of government, totalitarianism, weaponization, group think, mass marketing, and the tendency of humankind to meekly accept their lot in life as a prisoner in a prison of their own making.

Perhaps the best visual debate ever on individuality and freedom, The Prisoner (17 episodes in all) centers around a British secret agent who abruptly resigns only to find himself imprisoned, monitored by militarized drones, and interrogated in a mysterious, self-contained, cosmopolitan, seemingly tranquil retirement community known only as the Village. The Village is an idyllic setting with parks and green fields, recreational activities and even a butler.

While luxurious and resort-like, the Village is a virtual prison disguised as a seaside paradise: its inhabitants have no true freedom, they cannot leave the Village, they are under constant surveillance, their movements are tracked by surveillance drones, and they are stripped of their individuality and identified only by numbers.

The series’ protagonist, played by Patrick McGoohan, is Number Six.

Number Two, the Village administrator, acts as an agent for the unseen and all-powerful Number One, whose identity is not revealed until the final episode.

“I am not a number. I am a free man,” was the mantra chanted on each episode of The Prisoner, which was largely written and directed by McGoohan.

In the opening episode (“The Arrival”), Number Six meets Number Two, who explains to him that he is in The Village because information stored “inside” his head has made him too valuable to be allowed to roam free “outside.”

Throughout the series, Number Six is subjected to interrogation tactics, torture, hallucinogenic drugs, identity theft, mind control, dream manipulation, and various forms of social indoctrination and physical coercion in order to “persuade” him to comply, give up, give in and subjugate himself to the will of the powers-that-be.

Number Six refuses to comply.

In every episode, Number Six resists the Village’s indoctrination methods, struggles to maintain his own identity, and attempts to escape his captors. “I will not make any deals with you,” he pointedly remarks to Number Two. “I’ve resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.”

Yet no matter how far Number Six manages to get in his efforts to escape, it’s never far enough.

Watched by surveillance cameras and other devices, Number Six’s getaways are continuously thwarted by ominous white balloon-like spheres known as “rovers.” Still, he refuses to give up. “Unlike me,” he says to his fellow prisoners, “many of you have accepted the situation of your imprisonment, and will die here like rotten cabbages.”

Number Six’s escapes become a surreal exercise in futility, each episode an unfunny, unsettling Groundhog’s Day that builds to the same frustrating denouement: there is no escape.

As journalist Scott Thill concludes for Wired, “Rebellion always comes at a price. During the acclaimed run of The Prisoner, Number Six is tortured, battered and even body-snatched: In the episode ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ his mind is transplanted to another man’s body. Number Six repeatedly escapes The Village only to be returned to it in the end, trapped like an animal, overcome by a restless energy he cannot expend, and betrayed by nearly everyone around him.”

The series is a chilling lesson about how difficult it is to gain one’s freedom in a society in which prison walls are disguised within the trappings of technological and scientific progress, national security and so-called democracy.

As Thill noted when McGoohan died in 2009, “The Prisoner was an allegory of the individual, aiming to find peace and freedom in a dystopia masquerading as a utopia.”

The Prisoner’s Village is also an apt allegory for the American Police State: it gives the illusion of freedom while functioning all the while like a prison: controlled, watchful, inflexible, punitive, deadly and inescapable.

The American Police State, much like The Prisoner’s Village, is a metaphorical panopticon, a circular prison in which the inmates are monitored by a single watchman situated in a central tower. Because the inmates cannot see the watchman, they are unable to tell whether or not they are being watched at any given time and must proceed under the assumption that they are always being watched.

Eighteenth century social theorist Jeremy Bentham envisioned the panopticon prison to be a cheaper and more effective means of “obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example.”

Bentham’s panopticon, in which the prisoners are used as a source of cheap, menial labor, has become a model for the modern surveillance state in which the populace is constantly being watched, controlled and managed by the powers-that-be and funding its existence.

Nowhere to run and nowhere to hide: this is the new mantra of the architects of the police state and their corporate collaborators (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Instagram, etc.).

Government eyes are watching you.

They see your every move: what you read, how much you spend, where you go, with whom you interact, when you wake up in the morning, what you’re watching on television and reading on the internet.

Every move you make is being monitored, mined for data, crunched, and tabulated in order to form a picture of who you are, what makes you tick, and how best to control you when and if it becomes necessary to bring you in line.

When the government sees all and knows all and has an abundance of laws to render even the most seemingly upstanding citizen a criminal and lawbreaker, then the old adage that you’ve got nothing to worry about if you’ve got nothing to hide no longer applies.

Apart from the obvious dangers posed by a government that feels justified and empowered to spy on its people and use its ever-expanding arsenal of weapons and technology to monitor and control them, we’re approaching a time in which we will be forced to choose between obeying the dictates of the government—i.e., the law, or whatever a government official deems the law to be—and maintaining our individuality, integrity and independence.

When people talk about privacy, they mistakenly assume it protects only that which is hidden behind a wall or under one’s clothing. The courts have fostered this misunderstanding with their constantly shifting delineation of what constitutes an “expectation of privacy.” And technology has furthered muddied the waters.

However, privacy is so much more than what you do or say behind locked doors. It is a way of living one’s life firm in the belief that you are the master of your life, and barring any immediate danger to another person (which is far different from the carefully crafted threats to national security the government uses to justify its actions), it’s no one’s business what you read, what you say, where you go, whom you spend your time with, and how you spend your money.

Unfortunately, George Orwell’s 1984—where “you had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized”—has now become our reality.

We now find ourselves in the unenviable position of being monitored, managed and controlled by our technology, which answers not to us but to our government and corporate rulers.

Consider that on any given day, the average American going about his daily business will be monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways, by both government and corporate eyes and ears.

A byproduct of this new age in which we live, whether you’re walking through a store, driving your car, checking email, or talking to friends and family on the phone, you can be sure that some government agency, whether the NSA or some other entity, is listening in and tracking your behavior.

This doesn’t even begin to touch on the corporate trackers that monitor your purchases, web browsing, Facebook posts and other activities taking place in the cyber sphere.

Stingray devices mounted on police cars to warrantlessly track cell phones, Doppler radar devices that can detect human breathing and movement within in a home, license plate readers that can record up to 1800 license plates per minutesidewalk and “public space” cameras coupled with facial recognition and behavior-sensing technology that lay the groundwork for police “pre-crime” programspolice body cameras that turn police officers into roving surveillance cameras, the internet of things: all of these technologies add up to a society in which there’s little room for indiscretions, imperfections, or acts of independence—especially not when the government can listen in on your phone calls, monitor your driving habits, track your movements, scrutinize your purchases and peer through the walls of your home.

As French philosopher Michel Foucault concluded in his 1975 book Discipline and Punish, “Visibility is a trap.”

This is the electronic concentration camp—the panopticon prison—the Village—in which we are now caged.

It is a prison from which there will be no escape if the government gets it way.

As Glenn Greenwald notes:

“The way things are supposed to work is that we’re supposed to know virtually everything about what [government officials] do: that’s why they’re called public servants. They’re supposed to know virtually nothing about what we do: that’s why we’re called privateindividuals. This dynamic – the hallmark of a healthy and free society – has been radically reversed. Now, they know everything about what we do, and are constantly building systems to know more. Meanwhile, we know less and less about what they do, as they build walls of secrecy behind which they function. That’s the imbalance that needs to come to an end. No democracy can be healthy and functional if the most consequential acts of those who wield political power are completely unknown to those to whom they are supposed to be accountable.”

Even now, the Trump Administration is working to make some of the National Security Agency’s vast spying powers permanent.

Read More @ WashingtonsBlog.com

Without This, All Your Preps and Training Are For Naught, by M.P. in Ohio

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from Survival Blog:

The Answer Is Good Health

Instead of teasing you by giving you the answer in the third paragraph, here is what you need for your preps and training to be meaningful; it is good health. So before you think you’ve already read similar articles, please read on. I think you’ll find this different. Your health during SHTF scenarios is more important than:

1) All your training,

2) All your stored goods, and

3) Your bug out location

I understand we can’t all be in perfect health, but you owe it to yourself to be as healthy as possible. I’m not only talking about getting in better shape, but included with your preps, you should include certain foods, herbs, and spices that I will list here to help keep you healthy and to cure many ailments when you get sick. If you think staying healthy is difficult now, imagine how hard it will be to do so after TSHTF. There will be no doctors, no hospitals, and no pharmacies to run to when you need them. Without good health, all your preps may likely go to someone else who comes along and takes it.

I can’t tell you the number of acquaintances I know who have spent years and lots of money stockpiling but don’t do squat (no pun intended) to stay healthy. How they think they’ll survive is beyond me.

 

Inexpensive, Easy To Grow, and Easy To Store

The good news is most of the items I’m referring to are either inexpensive or can be grown in most areas of the U.S. They are lightweight in the event that you must bug out, and they can be preserved for many years without losing much of their potency. Of course one method to preserving is keeping spices/herbs in air-proof containers. I put much of mine in plastic Food Saver bags and shrink wrap them. They can also be preserved in Mylar bags that are placed in 5-gallon buckets and then all of the oxygen removed from the bucket. There are many videos you can research on how to do this.

Call it a coincidence if you must, but by including a certain regiment of foods, herbs, and spices in my diet on a daily basis, I have not had a sick day from work in over 10 years. I’m no spring chicken either. I’m a baby boomer. I’ll list items to grow and store, followed by my daily regimen. I will also include linked sources at the end of this article to back up the information.

Tumeric

Tumeric is one of the most important to have on hand. This powerful herb contains curcumin, which is an anti-inflammatory. It helps reduce pain and swelling and is needed by many boomers, such as me, due to minor arthritis. Some studies indicate it may also help prevent colon cancer and Alzheimer’s. Fortunately turmeric can be easily grown in most U.S. climates.

Cinnamon

A recent German study shows cinnamon is helpful for those with Type II diabetes, as it reduces blood sugar by 10{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}. It’s also shown to help reduce cholesterol. Mind you it’s possible to take too much of this spice, and it can be dangerous. Cinnamon is not grown in the U.S., so you must buy and store it.

Garlic

I know many who avoid eating garlic merely because they’re afraid how others might react to the odor from their breath. After Armageddon, who gives a hoot? I’m sure some will respond to this by saying the odor may give yourself away if you’re on patrol while in a survival camp, but in my humble opinion the benefits outweigh the smell. I’m also not suggesting that you eat it every day. I too have certain work related appointments where garlic breath wouldn’t be preferred.

Garlic has many benefits. It is known to lower cancer risk, improve cardiovascular health, reduce high blood pressure, help prevents strokes by slowing arterial blockages, and reduce cholesterol. It’s also one of the few plants in existence that is all three, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. Besides being easy to grow, garlic can also be dehydrated. There are many books available from Amazon that will include all its benefits.

Rosemary

We may end up having to fry or grill meats after TSHTF, so including rosemary will help prevent the risk of potent carcinogens that are often in meat that are cooked at high temperatures. Rosemary contains two antioxidants that reduce carcinogens. Rosemary is easy to grow inside your home or outside in your garden. And if you don’t grow it, it’s inexpensive to buy and stores for long periods.

Flax Seed

Many have the false belief that all fats are unhealthy, but nothing can be further from the truth. Our bodies need a certain amount of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA), because without it we die. Many of you have heard the term “rabbit starvation”. Simply put, if for example someone were to rely on rabbit as their sole source of protein, the lack of fat in the meat will put one’s health at risk.

One source of EFA’s are oils such as olive, canola, peanut, and vegetable oil and many others you are now using at home. The problem comes from the fact that you won’t have access to many oils because they don’t have a long shelf life and can go rancid. Even if you stock up on oils, they will run out. Olives can only grow in certain climates, and those of us in areas outside of the Southwest cannot grow it. However, two seeds that can grow in most areas of the U.S. are sunflower seeds and flax seeds that contain EFA. Flax can be grown in your garden in abundance. Flax can be consumed as a seed or the oil can be extracted.

Now unless you have a seed press (a good one is pricey), it can be difficult to extract the oil. Flax seed can be heated on the stove for a short time, which will draw the oil out that will float to the top of the water. Then you merely pour off the oil and store it in a cool place. It’s not as beneficial as the first cold press extraction method, because heating it up will cause some of the health benefits to dissipate. But hey, beggars can’t be choosers. The oil will also have a shelf life of 1-2 weeks using this method, even if refrigerated, so it’s important to use the heating process on a routine basis and only process a small amount at a time.

Ginger

Eating the wrong foods or foods that have spoiled during SHTF periods could become more common. Ginger helps prevent nausea whether it’s from upset stomach, pregnancy, or motion sickness. In one study, ginger was shown to be more effective than Dramamine for subjects who suffer from motion sickness. Ginger grows in most climates and can be dehydrated.

Onions

I could fill up a book on the benefits of onions, but with so many varieties available and the ability to grow them in most any climate, onions are among the healthiest of foods. I know many individuals that find onions difficult to digest making it impossible for them to eat. But the majority of us have no such issues. Without including all the benefits here, see the link at the end of the article for additional details. Onions can also be chopped up and dehydrated for long storage life.

Horseradish Root

Another food item that grows in most climates, horseradish is a powerful plant that is connected to many health benefits, including its ability to reduce weight loss, lower blood pressure, alleviate respiratory conditions, build strong bones, improve immune system health, stimulate healthy digestion, and promote heart health.

Cayenne Pepper

One of the best books I’ve read is by John Heinerman entitled The Health Benefits of Cayenne. It’s only 48 pages long and you’ll read it in an hour or so, but no one I know explains the benefits of hot peppers like Heinerman. There are many varieties of hot peppers that grow in most climates, but the key ingredient– capsicum– seems to be most prevalent in cayenne peppers. Its key benefits will help reduce severity of colds, improves circulatory and digestive issues, infections, and respiratory ills. Like most items listed above, cayenne can be crushed and dehydrated.

Read More @ SurvivalBlog.com

Geoengineering Creating Freeze Fry Extremes

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by Dane Wigington, Geoengineering Watch:

Global climate engineering operations are creating ever more extreme weather and temperature whiplash scenarios. The immense scale of climate forcing being carried out by the geoengineers is wreaking havoc on the biosphere. Over 70 years of covert climate intervention and weather warfare (along with countless other forms of anthropogenic activity) has done unimaginable damage to the planet’s life support systems. The blowback is already unfolding and will get rapidly worse. The extreme and unprecedented temperature imbalances already occurring in the US, and forecasted (scheduled) to occur, are beyond alarming. The 15 minute video below exposes some of the most primary agendas of the ongoing climate engineering operations.

Read More @ GeoengineeringWatch.org