Monday, June 24, 2019

‘’We’ve had enough!’’ – Tensions Rise as Italian Riviera Town ‘’Invaded’’

by Damien Cowley, The Gateway Pundit:

Residents of Ventimiglia, the last Italian town before the Franco-Italian border, are up in arms over plans to build a second migrant camp in their picture postcard locale.

The mayor of Ventimiglia is not a popular man these days. Thirty two-year old Enrico Ioculano is bearing the brunt of the anger felt by his town’s inhabitants, several hundred of whom marched through the streets yesterday in protest at Italian government plans to open a new complex in Ventimiglia to house arriving migrants.

Residents of the attractive town, located a stone’s throw away from the French border on Italy’s Ligurian coast, are furious at plans to accommodate the continuing influx, saying that the seaside town has already become one enormous refugee camp.

Fearing that the situation is becoming permanent after three years, one man expressed his frustration declaring to Ruptly TV, ‘’We’ve had enough! Ventimiglia has been invaded. We can’t live freely in our own town anymore.’’

‘’It’s no longer tenable’’, the resident continued, ‘’and what’s more, they’re doing this with taxpayer money. The government imposes it on us and we pay. It can’t go on!’’

With record numbers of migrants landing at Sicily and more stringent checks on direct routes into France, Ventimiglia has become a bottleneck for those seeking to cross the border, with a constant flow of new arrivals leaving residents of the town feeling under siege. Women are reportedly afraid to venture out alone after dark and tourists are staying away.

Taking to the streets yesterday morning, hundreds of local residents marched to the town hall to confront the center-left mayor – who belongs to the same Democratic Party that governs Italy – insisting that no new reception centers be opened and that the state take action to deal with the crisis.

Hundreds of mostly African migrants are living between an already established camp and a Catholic-run mission. Hundreds more live rough along the Roya River in shanty dwellings, waiting for an opportunity to enter France either by train, along the rocky coastline or inland via mountainous back-country routes.

Concerns were expressed yesterday that the flow of tourists, particularly from France’s Côte d’Azur, is dwindling as negative publicity depicts Ventimiglia as an ‘’Italian Calais’’, a reference to the northern French port town plagued by lawlessness as migrants await passage to the UK.

That residents of Ventimiglia are reaching the end of their tether will come as no surprise to those following events in Italy; as the country’s economic and banking crisis continues, there is a feeling amongst many Italians that they have been more than charitable and that the numbers arriving are overwhelming the country – despite the significant resources and many volunteer programs in place to help migrants in difficulty.

Read More @ TheGatewayPundit.com

Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal Tries to Take Over Trump White House for McMaster, Globalists

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by Tony Lee, Breitbart:

The Wall Street Journal and its publisher Rupert Murdoch appear to be using President Donald Trump’s national security adviser H.R. McMaster as their latest weapon in their continuing battle against Trump’s America-first agenda and movement that enabled Trump to shock the world on election night.

After Trump won the White House, Democrats, the Deep State, and the legacy media have often worked together to delegitimize Trump, which is something Trump has every reason to be angry about. But the Journal, by mimicking Joe Scarborough and attempting to marginalize Trump’s nationalist advisers, is subtly trying to take over Trump’s presidency for the GOP establishment that Trump resoundingly defeated over and over and over again.

In its latest editorial on Wednesday, the paper of choice for Republican globalists hopes that there is more “clean-up duty to be done” for new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. The paper targets White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon for opposing McMaster’s “favoring more troops” in Afghanistan and McMaster’s insistence on not getting out of the Iran Deal.

The Journal laments that the “policy brawls” in a White House in which it often seems like Bannon is the lone America-first nationalist in a cage match with a team of globalists who have never understood Trump’s agenda cause “dysfunction.”

To the Journal, it is a problem that Bannon, whom former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus described as someone who worked 24 hours a day for Trump’s nationalist agenda, is a street fighter for the working-class Americans who elected Trump and whom the Journal views as mere commodities.

In March, the Journal, as Breitbart News noted, criticized Bannon’s “signature issues of economic nationalism and border security” as unacceptable positions that were responsible for “polarization” even though those issues united working-class Democrats and Republicans in the Rust Belt to deliver Trump his election-night win. The Journal has always been right in this sense—the greatest divide between Wall Street and Main Street has been on issues like amnesty for illegal immigrants that put internationalist-first globalists against America-first nationalists. And in 2016, the Journal was consistently on the wrong side of this divide.

When former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was resoundingly criticized for his “act of love” remarks about illegal immigrants during the 2016 election cycle, it was the Wall Street Journal that rushed in with a flurry of pro-Jeb! articles, with one editorial suggesting that Tea Partiers and America-first nationalists were racists. Desperately hoping Bush could win the nomination without abandoning his support for open borders, the Journal eggedon Bush to not waver from his pro-amnesty views, saying at one point that Bush’s stance on illegal immigration was not an “insuperable barrier to the nomination.”

Bannon so often has to throw haymakers for Trump’s voters because nearly all of Trump’s top advisers in the White House are Democrats or GOP globalists.

Democrat Jared Kushner, whose personal taxpayer-funded spokesperson reportedly donated to Hillary Clinton as late as October of 2016, already committed political malpractice by foolishly convincing Trump that Democrats would greet FBI director James Comey’s firing like many in the Republican establishment were convinced that Iraqis would greet American troops with “sweets” and “flowers.”

Democrat and Hillary Clinton donor Gary Cohn has been trying to push Trump to adopt more globalist policies that Wall Street and Davos elites favor.

Read More @ Breitbart.com

Black Market Prices for Weapons Double, Triple in Belgium After Terror Attacks

from Sputnik News:

The prices for weapons on the black market have gone up twofold, and even threefold for certain munitions, after the terror attacks in Paris and Brussels in 2015-2016, local media reported Thursday citing the study of the Flemish Peace Institute.

BRUSSELS (Sputnik) – Kalashnikov rifles presently cost between 2,000 and 3,000 euros (between $2,300 and $3,500), whereas before the attacks the price for weapons of this type stood at 1,200 euros, La Libre Belgique newspaper said. Glock pistols now cost some 3,000 euros, which is triple the price from several years ago, according to the media.

The study also indicated that there has been a decrease in the delivery of illegal weapons to Brussels, something which can be attributed to the counterterrorism measures and threat of long-term imprisonment for selling weapons to terrorists.

Over the past two years, the globe has witnessed multiple terror attacks, including on such European cities as Paris, Brussels, Nice, Berlin, London and Stockholm, among others. On November 13, 2015, three terrorist groups carried out attacks in French capital and its suburbs, killing 130 and injuring over 350 people. On March 22, 2016, explosions hit Brussels’ airport and metro station, claiming the lives of 32 people and injuring at least 300 more.

Read More @ SputnikNews.com

Andrew Hoffman – Trump Does it Again and Again

by Kerry Lutz, Financial Survival Network:

What’s Really Happening Wednesdays with Andrew Hoffman:

  • Wednesday’s article, “Most Precious Metal Bullish Quote Ever”.
  • Trump, Re: Weak dollar
  • Today’s soon-to-be-released article, “Did I Say Yesterday, the Most Precious Metal Bullish Quote Ever? Well, Trump Took Just 24 Hours to Top It!”
  • Trump, Re: North Korea’s “Fire and fury”
  • Yesterday’s HUGE crypto event
  • Bitcoin SegWit Activation – The Gold Cartel’s worst nightmare
  • All contributing to the premise of July 27th’s “The Most Precious Metal Bullish I’ve Ever Been”
  • Etc., etc.

Click Here to Listen to the Audio

This Military Surveillance Plane Has Been Circling Seattle For Weeks And Nobody Knows Why

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by Mac Slavo, SHTFPlan:

For the past two weeks the residents of Seattle have been witnessing a very strange occurrence. Day after day, a nondescript aircraft has been flying circles over their city, and the government hasn’t fully explained why it’s in the area. It’s been identified as a CN-235, and it’s only marking is an Air Force serial number. What we do know about the aircraft is that it is decked out with highly advanced surveillance equipment.

The heavily modified USAF CASA CN-235-300 transport aircraft was outfitted with elaborate information-gathering hardware, described in all of its apparent detail by the Drive. The aircraft’s callsign is SPUD21, and was in the air as recently as Friday on one of its patrols. Its equipment includes microwave and ultra-high frequency satellite communications gear, as well as a multitude of cutting-edge sensors. It is unmarked, save for the USAF serial on its tail: 66042. SPUD21 flies its missions out of Boeing Field, operating via Clay Lacy Aviation, rather than Boeing’s military ramp.

According to The Drive, it’s equipped with tools that you wouldn’t expect (or probably want) to find on a military aircraft circling a major US city.

Above all else, these types of surveillance systems are especially good at capturing and monitoring so called “patterns of life” over and around a target area. This is an especially useful tool when collecting intelligence on an enemy target or group of targets over time and can open up new possibilities when it comes to the  process of finding, fixing and finishing the enemy.

Though it has an Air Force serial number, it’s been difficult to pin down which government agency is operating the plane. The Drive contacted all of the usual suspects including NORTHCOM, Joint Task Force North, the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), and Wright Patterson Air Force Base. None of them would give a straight answer.

Despite denying it initially, eventually AFSOC confessed to owning the plane and claimed that it was engaged in a training mission. However, AFSOC was still pretty tight lipped about the mission. “They would not elaborate or did not know what unit the aircraft belonged to specifically or exactly what type of training it was doing and who else was involved.”

At this point, “training” sounds like a poor excuse. If it was something that innocent, why didn’t the military admit it right away? There’s no reason to hide something like that. Which has to make you wonder if this strange plane is really on a training mission, or if something very serious is going down in Seattle.

Read More @ SHTFPlan.com

Syrian Army Poised To Retake Last Al-Qaeda Held District In Damascus

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by ZeroHedge:

This week the Syrian Army has been pounding the last al-Qaeda held district of Damascus, and as Alarabiya TV reports, an all out ground assault by the army is looking “imminent”. Jobar lies within the Syrian capital’s eastern side and extends close to the center of the city. The district has been held by armed opposition groups since 2013, and quickly became ground zero for al-Qaeda presence in Damascus over the past years. While the neighboring Old City and downtown districts have largely returned to normalcy after years of nation wide fighting – even including a thriving nightlife of bars, nightclubs, and restaurants – mortar shells have routinely been lobbed from Jobar. Christian and Shia neighborhoods of the Old City near “Straight Street” have been especially impacted.

But now as external supply lines to various armed opposition pockets throughout Syria have been more or less reduced and restricted, especially with Trump’s recent closure of the CIA’s Syrian arms program and with Saudi-Qatari GCC infighting, and as the Syrian Army has mostly confined al-Qaeda fighters operating in the country’s North to Iblib, the army is promising a full and final liberation of Jobar.

 

Explosions light up the Damascus sky with Mt. Qasioun in the background.
Photo provided by a local Damascus photographer, via Leith Fadel.

Middle East based Al-Masdar News spoke to a military officer of Syria’s elite 42nd Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division, now advancing in Jobar, and summarized the situation as follows:

His unit captured more than ten building blocks around the Al-Manasher Roundabout, killing and wounding several militants from Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham and Faylaq Al-Rahman.

 

The officer added that the Syrian Army will continue to advance on the ground during the day and pound the Islamist rebels with surface-to-surface missiles at night; they will stop their assault once Jobar is cleared or the militants surrender.

The specific groups operating in Jobar primarily include the Islamist group Faylaq Al-Rahman and al-Qaeda linked Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS/al-Nusra). HTS also recently made headlines after emerging victorious against other Islamist factions in consolidating control over Idlib Province, where it currently seeks to establish a caliphate. It forced out main rival, Ahrar al-Sham, which was favored by Turkey and other external powers seeking to topple the Syrian government. Western media outlets and prominent think tank ‘experts’ had long defended al-Qaeda linked Ahrar al-Sham as ‘moderate’ – yet in reality HTS dominance over Idlib was strengthened only after, according to multiple reports, “thousands of hardline Ahrar al Sham fighters, who are sympathetic to al-Qaida, defected from the movement to join JFS in forming the HTS alliance.” Currently, Russia in conjunction with other international powers are weighing military operations to dislodge the northwestern province from HTS control. 

Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

12 Critical Events That Are Going To Happen Over A 40 Day Period From August 21st To September 30th

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by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse Blog:

We are about to witness an extremely unusual convergence of events that many believe could represent a major turning point for our nation.  By now you have probably heard that on August 21st a total solar eclipse will move across the entire continental United States for the first time in decades.  In fact, we have not seen a total solar eclipse cross from the west coast to the east coast in 99 years.  And it will be the very first total solar eclipse that is only visible in this country since the United States first became a nation.  Starting with that event, there is going to be a whole lot going on until we reach the end of September.  The following are 12 critical events that are going to happen over a 40 day period from August 21st to September 30th…

August 21 – The “Great American Eclipse” will sweep across portions of Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.  Seven years later, another very unusual total solar eclipse will move across our nation, and when you plot the paths of both eclipses on a map, they form a giant “X” right over the center of the United States.

August 23 – A FEMA exercise known as “EarthEX2017” will simulate “catastrophes such as mega earthquakes, cyber terrorism or high altitude electromagnetic pulse attacks”

An exercise sponsored by FEMA and the U.S. Department of Energy set to take place on August 23 called EarthEX2017 will wargame responses to catastrophes such as mega earthquakes, cyber terrorism or high altitude electromagnetic pulse attacks.

The exercise will simulate a “subcontinent-scale, long duration power outage, with cascading failures of all other infrastructures,” according to the official Earth Ex website.

“Black sky events” are defined as, “Catastrophic occurrences caused by man or nature that bring society to its knees.”

September 1 – This marks the start of FEMA’s annual “National Preparedness Month“.

September 1 – The U.S. State Department’s ban on U.S. citizens traveling into North Korea goes into effect.  Many are concerned that this is yet another sign that we are moving toward war with North Korea.

September 11 – This will be the 16th anniversary of 9/11.

September 20 – Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset.

September 21 – The UN International Day Of Peace

September 23 – This is the date of what has become known as “the Revelation 12 sign”.  If you are not familiar with this alignment yet, the following is a very brief summary

On September 23rd a unique astronomical alignment of the Sun, Moon, constellation Virgo, constellation Leo, and planets Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, and Venus is going to fulfill this passage from the book of Revelation:

And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.  She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.

September 24 – Very important national elections will be held in Germany.

September 29 – Yom Kippur begins at sunset, and it concludes on September 30th.  Of course September 30th will be the end of a 40 day period that began back on the day of the Great American Eclipse on August 21st.

September 29 – U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says that the debt ceiling will be breached on this day if Congress does not raise it by then.

September 30 – If Congress does not pass a budget by the end of this day, there will be a government shutdown just like we witnessed in 2013.

On top of everything else, the month of September is when the Federal Reserve is scheduled to begin unwinding  their 4.5 trillion dollar balance sheet

The other big market force that could ruffle markets is clearly the Fed, which is expected to begin the untested task of unwinding its $4.5 trillion balance sheet in September.

In addition, it is very interesting to note that a large asteroid will come within 4,200 miles of our planet on October 12th…

The asteroid has not been seen since its 2012 discovery, when it sped past Earth at about one-fourth the distance from Earth to the moon. It’s been too distant and too faint to be detected over the last five years. As it starts to approach Earth this summer, large telescopes will be used to detect it and re-establish the asteroid’s precise trajectory.

The asteroid, known as 2012 TC4, could come as close as 4,200 miles to Earth, NASA said. That’s actually fairly close, when you consider that the moon is about 239,000 miles away.

So what does all of this mean?

I don’t know, but I am sure that I will receive even more criticism for putting this list together.  Those of us that monitor global events and warn about where things are headed are often highly criticized.  But in this day and age, we desperately need independent thinkers that are willing to challenge the system.  Way too often people just go with the herd and will believe whatever the mainstream media tells them to think.

Never let someone else do your thinking for you.  Investigate things for yourself and come to your own conclusions.  Learning to think critically is one of the most important skills that you can have, and you will find that it is one of the most common traits among those that are truly “awake” to what is going on in the world.

The truth is out there, and if you diligently seek it you will eventually find it.

Read More @ TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com

Mainstream Normalizes Pedophilia with ‘Victoria Secret’-Style Lingerie Show Featuring 5yo Girls

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by Jay Syrmopoulos, The Free Thought Project:

The latest movement within media and Hollywood pop culture is a distinctive agenda to normalize pedophilia and the sexualization of children. The latest example of this growing trend within mainstream media is a fashion show that many feel crossed the line from – with scantily clad girls, who appear to be as young as five-years-old, walking the runway in a Victoria’s Secret–style show.

The show, held at a shopping mall in China, revealed shocking images of young girls wearing nothing but lingerie, costume wings, and headpieces. This comes on the heels of Kim Kardashian sparking controversy last month after she posted images of her new children’s line, which included a bikini and lace slip dress.

“I’m not dressing my 4-yr-old daughter in a leopard n lace slip dress Kim Kardashian Kids Line,” one disgruntled parent replied.

What you see talking place is simply the latest manifestation of what is, without question, a creeping agenda within the mainstream of pop culture to normalize and force public acceptance of pedophilia.

We’ve previously reported on the constant drive within pop culture to normalize pedophilia:

In the current age of political correctness, some sects of society know no limits as to how far they will go to force acceptance to avoid offending others. In one extreme case of forcing such political correctness, Salon magazine implies that society must be accepting of pedophiles. In two separate articles, Salon refers to pedophilia as an ‘alternate sexual preference’ and suggests that society should embrace these differences by insinuating that this poor man is just misunderstood.

The article and video on Salon deal with pedophiles known as ‘non-offending’ — meaning while these individuals admit they are sexually attracted to prepubescent children, they claim they’ve never acted on it. However, the subject of one Salon article, Todd Nickerson admitted to seeking out jobs as a babysitter and noted that he “fell in love” with a five-year-old whom he babysat.

The U.S. corporate mainstream media is, without a doubt, the most sophisticated propaganda operation in the history of humankind, according to political philosopher Noam Chomsky, author of Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of Mass Media.

The mainstream media works diligently to alter and shape our perceptions and values. It seems clear that the propagandists are attempting to engineer a society that is accepting of pedophilia as a normalized behavior.

Both Elijah Wood and Corey Feldman have publicly discussed the fact that Hollywood is a den of pedophilia – noting that numerous powerful moguls and others within the Hollywood scene prey on the vulnerable like “vultures.”

Revealing exactly how the normalization propaganda operates, the New York Times published an op-ed proclaiming that pedophilia is “not a crime” – instead sympathetically characterizing pedophilia as a “disorder” that “these people [pedophiles] are living with.”

The sell is that people who rape, or who fantasize about exploiting or raping children are portrayed as victims living with a condition that they have little choice over. The article goes on to insert tidbits about “recent studies,” which is an appeal to authority meant to imply that the author’s normalization agenda is backed by science.

Thus, claims such as: “Men with pedophilia are three times more likely to be left-handed or ambidextrous, a finding that strongly suggests a neurological cause,” leaving readers to discern the credibility of the author’s opinion based on an unprofessional interpretation of the actual study.

Essentially, the idea being forwarded is that people who want to have sexual relations with children are suffering from a “disorder,” and thus are not subject to a moral evaluation, but instead are in need of compassion. The idea that pedophilia is a “condition,” rather than an internal mental process involving desires and attitudes, leaves the pedophile blameless.

It’s clearly a sign of the times when the New York Times devotes more time to making excuses for pedophilia than it does defending innocent and victimized children!

Read More @ TheFreeThoughtProject.com

North Korea: fire, fury and fear

by Pepe Escobar, Asia Times:

Beware the dogs of war. The same intel “folks” who brought to you babies pulled from incubators by “evil” Iraqis as well as non-existent WMDs are now peddling the notion that North Korea has produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead able to fit its recently tested ICBM.

That’s the core of an analysis completed in July by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Additionally, US intel believes that Pyongyang now has access to up to 60 nuclear weapons. On the ground US intel on North Korea is virtually non-existent – so these assessments amount to guesswork at best.

But when we couple the guesswork with an annual 500-page white paper released earlier this week by the Japanese Defense Ministry, alarm bells do start ringing.

The white paper stresses Pyongyang’s “significant headway” in the nuclear race and its “possible” (italics mine) ability to develop miniaturized nuclear warheads able to fit on the tips of its missiles.

This “possible” ability is drowned in outright speculation. As the report states, “It is conceivable that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program has already considerably advanced and it is possible that North Korea has already achieved the miniaturization of nuclear bombs into warheads and has acquired nuclear warheads.”

Western corporate media would hardly refrain from metastasizing pure speculation into a “North Korea has miniaturized nuclear weapons” frenzy consuming the cable news cycle/ newspaper headlines. Talk about hearts and minds comfortably numbed by the fear factor.

The Japanese white paper, conveniently, also escalated condemnation of China over Beijing’s actions in both the East and South China seas.

So let’s look at the agendas in play. The War Party in the US, with its myriad connections in the industrial-military-media complex, obviously wants/needs war to keep the machinery oiled. Tokyo, for its part, would much appreciate a pre-emptive US military attack – and damn the inevitable, massive South Korean casualties that would result from Pyongyang’s counterpunch.

It’s quite enlightening that Tokyo, for all practical purposes, considers China as a “threat” as serious as North Korea; Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera went straight to the point when he said, “North Korea’s missiles represent a deepening threat. That, along with China’s continued threatening behavior in the East China Sea and South China Sea, is a major concern for Japan.” Beijing’s response was swift.

Kim Jong-Un, demonized ad infinitum, is not a fool, and is not going to indulge in a ritual seppuku unilaterally attacking South Korea, Japan or US territory. Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal represents the deterrent against regime change that Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi could not count on. There’s only one way to deal with North Korea, as I’ve argued before; diplomacy. Tell that to Washington and Tokyo.

Meanwhile, there’s United Nations Security Council Resolution 2371. It does target North Korea’s major exports – coal, iron, seafood. Coal accounts for 40{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of Pyongyang’s exports, and arguably 10{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of GDP.

Yet this new sanctions package does not touch imports of oil and refined-oil products from China. That’s one of the reasons why Beijing voted in favor.

Beijing’s strategy is a very Asian attempt to find a face-saving solution – and that takes time. UNSC resolution 2371 buys time – and may dissuade the Trump administration, for now, from going heavy metal, with horrible consequences.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi cautiously stated the sanctions are a sign of international opposition to North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons programs. The last thing Beijing needs is a war right on its borders, also bound to negatively interfere with the expansion of the New Silk Roads, a.k.a. Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Beijing could always work on re-building trust between Pyongyang and Washington. That’s an order taller than the Himalayas. One just needs to look back at the 1994 Agreed Framework, signed during Bill Clinton’s first term.

The framework was supposed to freeze – and even dismantle – Pyongyang’s nuclear program and was bound to normalize US-North Korea relations. A US-led consortium would build two light-water nuclear reactors to compensate for Pyongyang’s loss of nuclear power; sanctions would be lifted; both parties would issue “formal assurances” against the use of nuclear weapons.

Nothing happened. The framework collapsed in 2002 – when North Korea was enshrined in the “axis of evil” by the Cheney regime. Not to mention that the Korean War is still, technically, on; the 1953 armistice was never replaced by a real peace treaty.

Read More @ ATimes.com

Venezuela: Dictatorship, Collapse And Consequence

by Brandon Smith, Alt Market:

If you want to outline the numerous failures of ideological and economic socialism, just name any socialist nation and you are sure to uncover an endless supply of examples. In fact, many countries where socialism is not total but making considerable inroads often suffer from severe decline — the U.S. being one of them. Whatever socialism touches it destroys, because forced interdependency does not work. It is a broken concept with no large scale successes (this includes China, which suffers from considerable poverty and a totalitarian government despite it being the most successful garbage economy out of a host of other garbage economies). Yet, proponents of socialism keep trying again and again claiming that “this time is different.”

So ample have been socialism’s failures in the past several years that socialists have resorted to a classic blame game in order to maintain the delusion. You see, when you bring up nations at the very end of the socialist cycle on the verge of extinction — nations like Venezuela, all you are going to hear is the argument that it was “the evil western capitalists that sabotaged the experiment.”

This is a fascinating journey into cognitive dissonance. Because in order to believe this nonsense, you have to first ignore the cold hard reality that socialist policies and politics have permeated every aspect of most western nations to the point that they can no longer be called free market societies. The fact is, IF sabotage of Venezuela can be proven as the cause of its economic ills rather than the inherent pitfalls of socialism, it would merely be a group of socialist nations sabotaging another socialist nation. “Capitalism” plays no part in this mess whatsoever.

In fact, it has been international banks like Goldman Sachs that continue to fund failed socialist projects like Venezuela through bond investment.  If anything, the banks have been artificially keeping the government afloat when it should be allowed to fail so that it can be replaced.

Venezuela is perhaps the easiest of modern examples of socialist collapse, and maybe it is lazy to pull the Venezuela card when discussing these issues, but consider for a moment that the country is important exactly because it is a cautionary tale. Venezuela as a disaster state is at the end of the path ALL other socialist nations are traveling down. Venezuela is the future, and the future is bleak.

Here is the problem: Human beings need some structure to function as a group, this is true. But, human beings also need participation in a structure to be voluntary, otherwise, they are unlikely to find meaning or happiness within that structure. Without productive and inventive individuals striving to improve a structure, the structure will eventually stagnate or implode. Without individuals to support it, the system is nothing; it does not exist.

Socialists tend to suffer from severe mental blockage when contemplating the idea of “voluntarism.” They just can’t seem to grasp it. I believe this stems from a core assumption — the assumption that other people need to be forced to do “necessary” things, otherwise they will not do them. So, for example, socialists and big government champions will consistently argue that infrastructure like roads and fire fighting and police and schools could not exist without taxation; taxation being the stealing of other people’s money to pay for services that are supposedly vital to everyone. However, all of these services and more can and have been built and maintained in the past through free markets as well as through voluntary efforts. Force and taxation was not required back then, but for some reason it is required today.

What changed? Nothing. We have only strayed so far down the path of interdependency and government interference that most people can’t imagine life without it.

Another argument I hear often from pro-socialism types is the argument that interconnectivity is its own rationale. That is, they argue that the community requires dependency, because if you are independent then you are not supporting others and are thus harming the system. “We all have to live together within a society and if you are not helping us then you are hurting us,” they state.

See how that works? You MUST participate, because if you don’t you are harming everyone else. It is not a victimless crime to walk away or to build a competing structure like those “selfish” libertarians claim. You are a part of the machine and if you stop serving your function then the whole machine may break and then we all suffer. Therefore, the application of force and coercion becomes morally acceptable because the “needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

This is the horrifying perpetual circle that is collectivism; we all stand together or we all fall together, toe the line or else!

Well, as we have seen many times this ideology is not very practical or successful. If human beings were bugs with a central hive mind then maybe socialism would have some merit. But thankfully, most of us are not bugs and we do not thrive in environments that treat us like drones. We might tolerate them for a while, but we certainly do not thrive in them. Frankly, such systems should be allowed to collapse because they are a hindrance to mankind, not a beacon of progress.

When examining Venezuela, we see the classic big government collapse in motion. First comes economic strife as the inability of the system to provide “equality” becomes apparent. All high minded socialist and communist (same difference) structures end up with an oligarchy. As long as big government is present, the power mongers will flourish.

Beyond the massive gap that inevitably develops between the power elite and everyone else, socialism is actually highly effective at creating wealth equality; in that it makes all other people equally poor. In Venezuela, the government has hiked the minimum wage three times this year, and surprise surprise, this has done nothing to alleviate the problem. Try explaining this to the leftists in the U.S. demanding a mandatory $15/hr minimum wage and they will dismiss the comparison outright. Explain to them how, just like in Venezuela, hiking minimum wage requirements results in more poverty rather than less, and they’ll start talking about what is socially “correct” rather than what is mathematically evident.

At bottom, wage increases and social welfare measures are meaningless in the face of severe currency devaluation.  Venezuela has seen its currency value disintegrate by 93{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in the past two years.  So terrible are the conditions now that starvation is becoming normalized.  In Venezuela, they call it the “Maduro Diet”.

The next phase of the socialist breakdown is usually dictatorship. When the fantasy of pure equality dies and people are left with very little to show for their faith in the system, they start to become disillusioned and angry. Some citizens will decide to try the peaceful method and walk away from the broken structure so that they can build their own. Ultimately though, this is nothing more than a stopgap.

The Venezuelan government has been cracking down on alternative markets (often called “black markets“) for years in order to force the population to remain as cogs within the socialist system. You see, in a socialist framework, people are property to be used for promotion of the system. They are not allowed to leave while the system is in dire straights, because the simple act of leaving stands as a damning indictment of the system itself. Leaving the system or peacefully competing with the system is treated as an act of war on the system.

The mode of dictatorship eventually meets with political opposition. People are only tolerant of tyranny for so long, and they will act. But, being generally moral, the average person will first seek out non-violent strategies to counter overt oppression. Again, this is nothing more than a stopgap. Venezuela has followed the same battle plan multiple dictatorships have followed in the past; namely the imprisonment of political opponents and activists.

This is usually a signal that the subject nation is on the verge of full spectrum collapse or civil war. Within months of any political cleansing, most totalitarian governments either start a war with another country to unify the public through fear, or, they destabilize into civil unrest. It is clear that Venezuela is going to fracture completely in the near term.

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