Monday, May 25, 2020

HIGH CRIMES: New Evidence Reveals Comey Drafted Statement Exonerating Hillary Before Key Witness Interviews

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from Zero Hedge:

A new letter from Senators Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham reveal testimony from new witnesses suggesting that former FBI Director James Comey had already started drafting documentation exonerating Hillary Clinton long before interviewing key witnesses, including Hillary herself. 

According to the letter, which is based on testimony from James Rybicki, Comey’s Chief of Staff, and Trisha Anderson, the Principal Deputy General Counsel of National Security and Cyberlaw, Comey began drafting a statement to announce the conclusion of the Hillary investigation in April or May 2016, well before he had interviewed up to 17 key witnesses. 

Meanwhile, as if that weren’t bad enough, the Comey statement was also drafted before immunity deals were struck with Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson who seemingly ran point, along with Platte River Networks, to destroy Hillary’s emails after a Congressional subpoena had been issued mandating their preservation.

Here is a summary from the Grassley/Graham letter:

Transcripts reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee reveal that former FBI Director James Comey began drafting an exoneration statement in the Clinton email investigation before the FBI had interviewed key witnesses.  Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senator Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, requested all records relating to the drafting of the statement as the committee continues to review the circumstances surrounding Comey’s removal from the Bureau.

 

“Conclusion first, fact-gathering second—that’s no way to run an investigation.  The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy,” the senators wrote in a letter today to the FBI.

 

Last fall, following allegations from Democrats in Congress, the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) began investigating whether Comey’s actions in the Clinton email investigation violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits government employees from using their official position to influence an election.  In the course of that investigation, OSC interviewed two FBI officials close to Comey: James Rybicki, Comey’s Chief of Staff, and Trisha Anderson, the Principal Deputy General Counsel of National Security and Cyberlaw.  OSC provided transcripts of those interviews at Grassley’s request after it closed the investigation due to Comey’s termination.

 

Both transcripts are heavily redacted without explanation. However, they indicate that Comey began drafting a statement to announce the conclusion of the Clinton email investigation in April or May of 2016, before the FBI interviewed up to 17 key witnesses including former Secretary Clinton and several of her closest aides.  The draft statement also came before the Department entered into immunity agreements with Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson where the Department agreed to a very limited review of Secretary Clinton’s emails and to destroy their laptops after review.

And here is a key excerpt from Ms. Anderson’s testimony:

Q:  So moving along to the first public statement on the case or Director Comey’s first statement the July 5, 2016 statement.  When did you first learn that Director Comey was planning to make some kind of public statement about the outcome of the Clinton email investigation?

 

A:  The idea, I’m not entirely sure exactly when the idea of the public statement um first emerged.  Um it was, I just, I can’t put a precise timeframe on it um but [redaction].  And then I believe it was in early May of 2016 that the Director himself wrote a draft of that statement …

Q:  So when you found out in early May that there was, that the Director had written a draft of what the statement might look like, how did you learn about that?

A:  [Redacted] gave me a hard copy of it…

Q:  So what happened next with respect to the draft?

A:  I don’t know for sure um, I don’t know. There were many iterations, at some point there were many iterations of the draft that circulated…

Meanwhile, as a reminder of the timing, if Comey was already drafting a statement clearing Clinton of any wrongdoing in April then it came before any of the following interviews….keep in mind that many people on 

Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

Finally, Something We Can All Agree On: The Bipartisan Support for WW3

by John Pilger, Russia Insider:

Republicans and Democrats – along with a complicit mainstream media – are plunging ahead toward war with Russia, a mad groupthink that could end life on the planet

The U.S. submarine captain says, “We’ve all got to die one day, some sooner and some later. The trouble always has been that you’re never ready, because you don’t know when it’s coming. Well, now we do know and there’s nothing to be done about it.”

Gregory Peck in a scene from the 1959 movie, “On the Beach,” showing how a nuclear war ends life on the planet.

He says he will be dead by September. It will take about a week to die, though no one can be sure. Animals live the longest.

The war was over in a month. The United States, Russia and China were the protagonists. It is not clear if it was started by accident or mistake. There was no victor. The Northern Hemisphere is contaminated and lifeless now.

A curtain of radioactivity is moving south towards Australia and New Zealand, southern Africa and South America. By September, the last cities, towns and villages will succumb. As in the north, most buildings will remain untouched, some illuminated by the last flickers of electric light.

 

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a whimper   

These lines from T.S. Eliot’s poem The Hollow Men appear at the beginning of Nevil Shute’s novel On the Beach, which left me close to tears. The endorsements on the cover said the same.

These lines from T.S. Eliot’s poem The Hollow Men appear at the beginning of Nevil Shute’s novel On the Beach, which left me close to tears. The endorsements on the cover said the same.

Published in 1957 at the height of the Cold War when too many writers were silent or cowed, it is a masterpiece. At first the language suggests a genteel relic; yet nothing I have read on nuclear war is as unyielding in its warning. No book is more urgent.

Some readers will remember the black and white Hollywood film starring Gregory Peck as the U.S. Navy commander who takes his submarine to Australia to await the silent, formless specter descending on the last of the living world.

I read On the Beach for the first time the other day, finishing it as the U.S. Congress passed a law to wage economic war on Russia, the world’s second most lethal nuclear power. There was no justification for this insane vote, except the promise of plunder.

Aiming Toward a Hot War

The “sanctions” are aimed at Europe, too, mainly Germany, which depends on Russian natural gas and on European companies that do legitimate business with Russia. In what passed for debate on Capitol Hill, the more garrulous senators left no doubt that the embargo was designed to force Europe to import expensive American gas.

Their main aim seems to be war – real war. No provocation as extreme can suggest anything else. They seem to crave it, even though Americans have little idea what war is. The Civil War of 1861-65 was the last on their mainland. War is what the United States does to others.

The only nation to have used nuclear weapons against human beings, they have since destroyed scores of governments, many of them democracies, and laid to waste whole societies – the million deaths in Iraq were a fraction of the carnage in Indochina, which President Reagan called “a noble cause” and President Obama revised as the tragedy of an “exceptional people.” He was not referring to the Vietnamese.

Filming last year at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, I overheard a National Parks Service guide lecturing a school party of young teenagers. “Listen up,” he said. “We lost 58,000 young soldiers in Vietnam, and they died defending your freedom.”

At a stroke, the truth was inverted. No freedom was defended. Freedom was destroyed. A peasant country was invaded and millions of its people were killed, maimed, dispossessed, poisoned; 60,000 of the invaders took their own lives. Listen up, indeed.

Read More @ Russia-Insider.com

WikiLeaks Publishes Info on CIA’s Tool to Secretly Load Implants on Computers

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from Sputnik News:

The WikiLeaks whistleblowing platform released Thursday new documents from the Vault 7 series, which contain information on the tool which the CIA used to load and execute implants targeting computers using Microsoft Windows operating systems.

The WikiLeaks whistleblowing platform released Thursday new documents on the CIA tool called Angelfire. It is an implant comprising of five components: Solartime, Wolfcreek, Keystone (previously MagicWand), BadMFS, and the Windows Transitory File system, according to Wikileaks.

The CIA reportedly uses Angelfire to load and execute malicious user applications on target computers. One of tool’s components modifies the boot sector, allowing the implants to be downloaded simultaneously with Windows’ boot time device drivers. Loaded implants never touch the file system, so it is rather difficult to track the process.

“Like previously published CIA projects (Grasshopper and AfterMidnight) in the Vault7 series, it is a persistent framework that can load and execute custom implants on target computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system (XP or Win7),” the statement from Wikileaks reads.

The revelation comes a week after Wikileaks released documents on the CIA’s ExpressLane tool, which the agency uses to collect extra biometric data from US liaison services, such as the National Security Agency (NSA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The publictaions are made as part of the Vault 7 project, a large archive of CIA-related classified documents that Wikieaks has obtained. The platform released the first batch of the documents in March, containing a total of 8,761 documents.

According to the website, a large archive comprising various viruses, malware, software vulnerability hacks and relevant documentation, was uncovered by US government hackers, which is how WikiLeaks gained access to some of the data from the trove.

Read More @ SputnikNews.com

Tevi Troy Praises Trump Admin’s Planning, Preparation and Response for Hurricane Harvey

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by Dan Riehl, Breitbart:

CEO of the American Health Policy Institute and author of “Shall We Wake The President? Two Centuries of Disaster Management from the Oval Office,” Tevi Troy joined Breitbart News DailySiriusXM host Alex Marlow on Wednesday to discuss the Trump administration’s response to Hurricane Harvey.

Troy also wrote a Wall Street Journal item yesterday, “Trump’s Reassuring Hurricane Response,” praising President Trump’s handling of events.

From the piece:

President Trump visited Texas Tuesday to assess the damage from Hurricane Harvey and show concern for its victims. So far, his administration is largely getting praise for effective handling of the crisis. Washington’s disaster authorities appear to be in sync with the state on roles and responsibilities; the Federal Emergency Management Agency and its leader, Brock Long, deployed resources as Harvey approached; and the government response as a whole appears well coordinated.

“I give FEMA a grade of A-plus, all the way from the president down,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told “Fox News Sunday.” Yes, Mr. Abbott is a fellow Republican, but he is also interested in protecting Texas and would not have said “A-plus” if the state weren’t getting what it needed. That assessment is backed up by Rear Adm. W. Craig Vanderwagen, a former career emergency manager who is plugged into the Harvey effort. “Early read,” he told me in an email, “is that Executive Branch is performing well under this President.”

Said Troy today, “I think he (Trump) has been doing a good job in large part because he brought in smart personnel, experienced personnel, who know how to deal with disasters and have dealt with them before. and they also did a lot of preparation in advance. So, thus far, I’ve been pleased with what I’ve been seeing in their response.”

Troy pointed out that the administration pre-deployed equipment and personnel, calling it “a very important first step” and key to a successful effort in Texas.

Read More @ Breitbart.com

CONVERSATIONS WITH AN AIRLINE PILOT ABOUT 9/11

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by James Perloff, JamesPerloff.com:

Since publishing “9/11 Simplified,” I’ve received emails from six pilots, none of whom accept the official 9/11 story. Two were scheduled to fly in Boeings on the morning of 9/11.

Another is a UK-born pilot with about 20 years of flight experience. He is still actively flying as a captain on Airbus A300s, and spent many years training airline pilots. He has provided me with so many technological insights into aviation and 9/11 that I felt I should publish excerpts from our exchanges. For enhancement, I have added a few graphics and embedded some of the video clips he referred me to. For clarity, my comments are in bold and his in normal font. Of course, what we originally said has been rearranged into a more orderly sequence.

 

To keep his identity confidential, I’ll call him “Pilot A.” Some of his remarks bear on 9/11 in general, and some are specific to my article “9/11 Simplified,” so it will be helpful to readers if they are familiar with that post, which I may eventually republish in a revised edition.

Pilot A greeted me saying:
Great shows about “9-11 simplified” and I agree with most of your analysis so far, so please keep up the good work.

He knew from personal experience that the U.S. government’s theory of how the Twin Towers collapsed is bogus.

I know, like many others do, that heavy fuel like diesel and jet fuel cannot melt steel. Even Oxy-Acetylene or Oxy-Propane cutting torches require large amounts of high pressure oxygen injected into the fuel stream to melt steel, and it takes some time to get thick steel up to a softening/melting state. I went to tech college in the 90s to qualify as a welder and gas cutting was one of the disciplines. I’ve spend countless hours cutting and fabricating steel. I had an experience with an old 600 gallon diesel tank which I was cutting the top off to convert into a storage box. In the bottom below the drain plug level was some remaining fuel and sludge, but as I got about 3/4 of the way through cutting the lid off, the molten metal ignited the fuel in the bottom. The dirty fire that poured out the top burned for about 30 minutes, but the wafer thin (3 mm) steel didn’t even glow.

Pilot A agreed with my article’s 10-point proposal that small nuclear weapons had destroyed the Towers, and also agreed with the thesis that pre-planted thermite had indeed been used at the level of the “airplane strikes.” Most of us in the 9/11 community have seen the famous footage of molten steel dripping from a corner of the South Tower:

However, Pilot A had an insight about this I had not thought of:

Now I do think they used thermite as it was probably part of the structural weakening component, but could also have been part of the show to try and prove that “Look, jet fuel does melt steel!”

In my article I had discussed various evidences against jetliners striking the Towers, such as the uncontrollable speeds, and the impossible physics of an aluminum tail and wings and flying through 14-inch steel columns without breaking off. I had concluded that cloaked missiles, or possibly drones, were better explanations. I ask Pilot A what the likelihood was of commercial jetliners hitting the Towers:

Well, I have a couple of extra variables to your main idea for you to play with so here goes:

If you’re going to plan a dastardly event like a “New Pearl Harbour” to achieve all the things like more war, military spending, contracts for the corporate criminals, police state etc., then you want as much shock and horror as possible which includes, noise, fire, smoke and destruction on steroids. The planners would need this area of the operation a guaranteed certainty, no chance of foul-ups anywhere, total control, no variables, flawless. You wouldn’t use actual commercial jetliners piloted by humans to achieve this, too much to go wrong. E.g., the pilots could “chicken-out,” miss the towers, partially hit the towers, passengers could over-run the cockpit, the jet fuel might not ignite so no fire and explosion (more on that later), the damage to the building might be too little, pathetically small even, rogue military pilot ignoring orders to buzz off somewhere else might actually shoot the planes down . . . and on and on it goes.

What’s better than planes flying into buildings? The illusion of planes flying into buildings. Especially if it’s a high explosive/incendiary guided missile with some sort of holographic projection device strapped to its back. Better still let’s have 3 or 4 of them for damage consistency to really make a statement. These can be controlled by a central source, have a known and guaranteed outcome because the military has umpteen thousand examples of the destructive power of missiles, and they can be sent to a specific target with pin point accuracy and timing – perfect.

Passenger planes are very difficult to fly accurately with only external visual reference. With no electronic guidance or without heads-up display technology it’s too risky to try and fly into a specific point by line of sight. Not all pilots have the same level of skill or experience, and this sort of thing you only get to practice for real once!! Simulators have their limits as well for this sort of practice. I can almost see the pilots that have probably tried this in the simulators and predict the outcomes. An educated guess would be overcompensation to try and maintain an accurate flight path at high speed. The air that planes fly through isn’t always constant. There are pools and eddies like a river with rocks, changing currents and speeds. All these require constant adjustment which is easily achieved on approach at 140 knots, with all the control surfaces moving at their full potential and the aircraft slow enough to keep inertia to a minimum. But completely impossible for a novice pilot with only some light aircraft flight experience.

I don’t know how you could do a last-minute modification to a flight path to achieve this accuracy at the speed they were supposedly traveling. Once you get above 200 knots all the moving surfaces (Ailerons, Elevators, Rudder) are in high speed mode and become either artificially loaded or movement restricted to prevent excessive loading and structural damage. If you were slightly off course, you couldn’t make any large corrections to the trajectory at the last minute; everything is done gently. Plus eye-balling your way around a city you’ve never flown over before (if you believe the Muslim hijacker theory) is near impossible, even for a local city dweller! The city layout is different when looking down on it and the view from the flight deck is very limited, unlike a Cessna which has great views. And traveling at hundreds of knots makes this all the more idiotic to achieve.

So if the planes missed the towers, or partially struck the towers, or the jet fuel failed to ignite, then the Hollywood-style fireball scene is a flop. Jet fuel, which is basically paraffin, needs certain requirements to burn. Unlike the petrol gas (95/98) stuff that you put in your Chevy, Avtur (Aviation Turbine Fuel) won’t ignite if you pour some on the ground and throw a match or lighter into it. I know, I’ve tried it. It usually requires heat (compression chamber) and/or pressure (injector nozzle) to combust. The likelihood, though, is that it would probably ignite because the engines were hot, but not guaranteed especially if the engines sheared off on the outside of the building. Yet more variables.

But the main problems I have with the plane crashes shown on TV is the lack of fuselage crumpling effect, therefore showing no deceleration at all and the complete melting of the entire machine into the buildings with no debris shattering off on the outside and dropping to the street. The wing’s strength is primarily in the vertical axis, they’re built for lifting so they would shear off at the root upon contact with anything solid. That large leading edge surface area and leverage against the wing root would rip them completely off. Try walking through a doorway with your arms stretched out and feel the force on your shoulders as your arms try to go through the wall. Now the fuel tanks might rupture and some of the fuel might go into the building, but no way the entire plane would.

Also aeroplanes are a semi-monocoque construction like an egg (monocoque) with a frame inside it. But the skin is pulled over the frame under a lot of tension to maintain aerofoil shape and increase strength. But when this highly strung aluminium skin is ruptured; it springs off as the tension is released. In fact it almost explodes off if a large enough area is damaged. Watch the wing and tail of this ATR as it clips a bridge in Taiwan shortly before crashing:

Read the rest @ JamesPerloff.com

“Weather Wars” Theorists Claim Hurricane Harvey Was Engineered, “Steered” Toward Houston as a “Weather Terrorism” Weapon

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by Mike Adams, via SHTFPlan:

We’re bringing this claim to your attention because a growing number of observers, websites and analysts are concluding that Hurricane Harvey was “engineered” and made into a “weather weapon” through a combination of ground-based temperature manipulation tools and “chemtrail” seeding.

Yes, it sounds absurd at first, until you realize that Al Gore tells us that human activity controls the climate every day. It’s called “climate change,” and in fact, Al Gore and the climate alarmists directly tell us that we created Hurricane Harvey and all the other “extreme” weather events anyone sees. Weather modification, in other words, has become the de facto belief of climate alarmists. The entire mainstream media routinely insists that hurricanes, droughts, floods, snowstorms and tornadoes are all unintentionally created by human activity.

The key difference between Al Gore and the “weather wars” theories is that those who believe in weather wars insist these hurricanes are deliberately created, selectively amplified and steered into selected targets. Al Gore believes hurricanes are created by Man, in other words, and the weather wars theorists say they are precisely controlled and deployed as weapons of terrorism to inflict economic damage and achieve psychological goals involving terror and death.

This claim seems absurd to most people at first glance, but there is a growing community of weather skeptics who insist that such events are not accidents but weapons. That’s why we’re covering this story: Not as an endorsement of such conclusions but rather as a look at a curious corner of the internet where weather wars, weather modification and geoengineering have become popular, alternative explanations for significant weather events. In fact, there are at least two key patents(linked below) that describe this technology in great detail, including a “space-based power system” that can alter “weather elements” including hurricanes. (Keep reading for details…)

One of the most popular sites asserting such claims is WeatherWar101.com, whose author — a former network engineer — explains:

For ten years, I have been proving the irrefutable reality of daily manufactured flash flood deluge and severe weather – every single day. Denying the reality of these daily manmade weather events is akin to denying the existence of the combustion engine, and it is just as easy to prove. If you can understand boiling water, you can understand where trillions of gallons of water vapor come from that create and fuel the daily trillion-gallon floods we see washing a different community away, somewhere in the world. This isn’t debatable, and it is as easy to observe as sunrise.

Unless I have the names mixed up, the author seems to go by the name of “Sofia Smallstorm” (to avoid being identified by name, of course) and goes to great lengths to protect his or her identity. This person also wrote the foreward to No Natural Weather: Introduction to Geoengineering 101.

The site has published a 14-minute analysis of Hurricane Harvey, asserting that the hurricane was augmented by “On-Land Water Vapor Generation from Texas, Louisiana, etc.” The video description also states, “It’s also no coincidence that Hurricane Harvey is hitting the United States, 25 years to the day after Hurricane Andrew hit Florida. Since all of these storms are very clearly and very obviously deliberated manufactured, this “Anniversary Hurricane” was clearly intentional.”

Another video from APlaneTruth.info offers a more detailed explanation of “weather geoengineering” phenomena and how they say it relates to Hurricane Harvey, citing numerous patents, weather control conference, military technology and so on:

Do water vapor generators exist that can unleash clouds?

The idea of land-based water vapor generators that could contribute any meaningful amount of water to Hurricane Harvey seems absurd to those who have never looked into all this. According to recent estimates, Hurricane Harvey dumped 11 trillion gallons of water on Houston and surrounding areas. For any land-based machinery to contribute even 1/1000th of that volume — just 11 billion gallons of water — would take a massive fleet of mechanized water vapor generators burning through an enormous quantity of fuel or electricity. That seems unrealistic by any rational analysis.

Read More @ SHTFPlan.com

Google Has Become a Major Threat to Democracy in America

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by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg:

About 10 years ago, Tim Wu, the Columbia Law professor who coined the term network neutrality, made this prescient comment: “To love Google, you have to be a little bit of a monarchist, you have to have faith in the way people traditionally felt about the king.”

Wu was right. And now, Google has established a pattern of lobbying and threatening to acquire power. It has reached a dangerous point common to many monarchs: The moment where it no longer wants to allow dissent.

When Google was founded in 1998, it famously committed itself to the motto: “Don’t be evil.” It appears that Google may have lost sight of what being evil means, in the way that most monarchs do: Once you reach a pinnacle of power, you start to believe that any threats to your authority are themselves villainous and that you are entitled to shut down dissent. As Lord Acton famously said, “Despotic power is always accompanied by corruption of morality.” Those with too much power cannot help but be evil. Google, the company dedicated to free expression, has chosen to silence opposition, apparently without any sense of irony.

In recent years, Google has become greedy about owning not just search capacities, video and maps, but also the shape of public discourse. As the Wall Street Journal recently reported, Google has recruited and cultivated law professors who support its views. And as the New York Times recently reported, it has become invested in building curriculum for our public schools, and has created political strategy to get schools to adopt its products.

It is time to call out Google for what it is: a monopolist in search, video, maps and browser, and a thin-skinned tyrant when it comes to ideas.

Google is forming into a government of itself, and it seems incapable of even seeing its own overreach. We, as citizens, must respond in two ways. First, support the brave researchers and journalists who stand up to overreaching power; and second, support traditional antimonopoly laws that will allow us to have great, innovative companies — but not allow them to govern us.

– From Zephyr Teachout’s powerful arcticle: Google Is Coming After Critics in Academia and Journalism. It’s Time to Stop Them.

The mask has finally come off Google’s face, and what lurks underneath looks pretty evil.

2017 has represented a coming out party of sorts for Google and the control-freaks who run it. The company’s response to the James Damore controversy made it crystal clear that executives at Google are far more interested in shoving their particular worldview down the throats of the public, versus encouraging vibrant and lively debate. This is not a good look for the dominant search engine.

The creeping evilness of Google has been obvious for quite some time, but this troubling reality has only recently started getting the attention it deserves. The worst authoritarian impulses exhibited at the company appear to emanate from Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt, whose actions consistently seem to come from a very dark and unconscious place.

Today’s piece focuses on the breaking news that an important initiative known as Open Markets, housed within the think tank New America Foundation, has been booted from the think tank after major donor Google complained about its anti-monopoly stance. Open Markets was led by a man named Barry Lynn, who all of you should become familiar with.

The Huffington Post profiled him last year. Here’s some of what we learned:

 

There’s a solid economic rationale behind Washington’s new big thing. Monopolies and oligopolies are distorting the markets for everything from pet food to cable service. There’s a reason why cable companies have such persistently lousy customer-service ratings. They know you have few (if any) alternatives. Today, two-thirds of the 900 industries tracked by The Economist feature heavier concentration at the top than they did in 1997. The global economy is in the middle of a merger wave big enough to make 2015 the biggest year in history for corporate consolidation

Most political junkies have never heard of the man chiefly responsible for the current Beltway antitrust revival: Barry C. Lynn. A former business journalist, Lynn has spent more than a decade carving out his own fiefdom at a calm, centrist Washington think tank called the New America Foundation. In the process, he has changed the way D.C. elites think about corporate power.

“Barry is the hub,” says Zephyr Teachout, a fiery progressive who recently clinched the Democratic nomination for a competitive House seat in New York. “He is at the center of a growing new ― I hesitate to call it a movement ― but a group of people who recognize that we have a problem with monopolies not only in our economy, but in our democracy.”

Many Southerners who relocate to the nation’s capital try to temper their accents for the elite crowd that dominates the District’s social scene. Lynn, a South Florida native, never shed his drawl. He pronounces “sonofabitch” as a single word, which he uses to describe both corrupt politicians and big corporations. He is a blunt man in a town that rewards caginess and flexibility. But like King, Lynn’s critique of monopolies does not reflect a disdain for business itself.

Lynn left Global Business for The New America Foundation in 2001 and began work on his first book, End of the Line: The Rise and Coming Fall of the Global Corporation, which argues that globalization and merger mania had injected a new fragility into international politics. Disruptive events ― earthquakes, coups, famines, or at worst, war ― could now wreak havoc on U.S. products that had once been safely manufactured domestically. Production of anything from light bulbs to computers all could shut down without warning.

It was a frightening vision with implications for economic policy and national security alike. It was also ideologically inconvenient for the techno-utopian zeitgeist of its day. Lynn’s book landed on shelves about the same time as Thomas Friedman’s better-known tome, The World Is Flat, which declared globalization a triumph of innovation and hard work for anyone willing to do the hard work of innovating. 

Today, Lynn’s predictions of market disruption and political unrest appear to have been ahead of their time. Early globalization champions, including Martin Wolf and Lawrence Summers, are rethinking their judgments of a decade ago. But Lynn turned several influential heads when his book was published. Thomas Frank, bestselling author of What’s The Matter With Kansas?, became a Lynn enthusiast. So did food writer Michael Pollan. 

“He was writing about an issue that nobody was paying attention to, and he was doing it with a very strong sense of history,” Pollan says. “Barry understood antitrust going back to the trust-busters a century ago, and how our understanding of the issue shrank during the Reagan administration … The food movement is not very sophisticated on those issues.”

Lynn’s history nerd-dom is eccentric in a town that hyperventilates over every hour of the cable news cycle. Ask about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, and Lynn will oblige you a polite sentence or two. Ask him about former Supreme Court Justices Louis Brandeis or William Howard Taft, and you’ll need to reschedule your dinner plans.

“He once asked me to read about Roman law for a piece on common carriage,” says Lina Khan, referencing a plank of net neutrality policy not typically associated with the Code of Justinian. 

After he published his second book in 2010, Lynn began bringing on his own staff within New America. Khan was one of his first hires. Teachout, a Fordham University Law School professor, was another. Teachout eventually ran for office and published a book of her own on the history of corruption in America. Another of Lynn’s associates, Christopher Leonard, published a book on meat industry monopolies around the same time. These works shared a common theme: Monopolistic businesses create social problems beyond consumer price-gouging, from buying off politicians to degrading the quality of our food.

Analyzing the political power of companies with overwhelming market positions used to be a normal part of antitrust thinking. But over the decades, a narrower conception focused on consumer prices has taken hold in Washington. Even if anti-competitive behavior can be proved, according to this thinking, it’s not a problem unless it raises prices for consumers. Under this view, it’s not necessarily an antitrust problem, if, say, Amazon used its market position to force publishers into charging lower prices for books. If the result is lower prices, everything is fine. It would only become a problem if Amazon used its market power to raise prices.

That’s not how Lynn sees it. When the Authors Guild, the American Booksellers Association, the Association of Authors’ Representatives and Authors United went after Amazon in 2015 for requiring publishers to accept lower e-book prices, Lynn penned a 24-page position paper to the Department of Justice on their behalf. It wasn’t just a question of immediate consumer impact. Amazon’s market position was so dominant, he argued, that the company could restrict or cut off access to books from publishers it wanted to punish for rejecting its pricing requirements. It could “exercise control over the marketplace of ideas in ways that threaten not merely open markets but free speech.”

Monopolies, according to Lynn, are fundamentally political enterprises — not just players in a market.

As the Amazon conflict demonstrates, some of Lynn’s chief targets are tech giants. That makes him an odd fit for New America, which was founded in 1999 as Silicon Valley’s think tank in search of a “radical center,” as The New York Times put it. Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is still on New America’s board of directors, yet Lynn consistently puts the company under the microscope. 

When Warren blasted tech monopolies this summer, she was speaking at a conference that Lynn had organized. When Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) asked about “platform” monopolies at a Senate hearing in March, he was echoing Lynn’s objections to digital kingpins, including Amazon, Apple and Google. 

But Lynn’s apostasy gets results. The Obama administration conferred with him on an anti-monopoly executive order this spring, and he helped work antitrust language into the 2016 Democratic Party platform. He can’t claim the same kind of direct credit for the Republican Party’s partial conversion to the antitrust cause. But his work is changing the way Washington thinks about corporate power, and that shift is having bipartisan repercussions.

Barry Lynn and his Open Markets initiative have been a thorn in the side of tech-monopoly plutocrats for a while, and Google apparently decided that it finally had enough.

As the The New York Times noted in a blockbuster article published earlier today:

WASHINGTON — In the hours after European antitrust regulators levied a record $2.7 billion fine against Google in late June, an influential Washington think tank learned what can happen when a tech giant that shapes public policy debates with its enormous wealth is criticized.

The New America Foundation has received more than $21 million from Google; its parent company’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt; and his family’s foundation since the think tank’s founding in 1999. That money helped to establish New America as an elite voice in policy debates on the American left.

Read More @ LibertyBlitzkrieg.com

The Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey: 5 Immediate Threats Victims Will Face and How to Prepare

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by Tess Pennington, Ready Nutrition:

After more than 50 inches of rain dumped on the greater Houston area, these coastal towns and cities face a new set of problems – the aftermath. The damage caused by this hurricane is expected to cost in the tens of billions of dollars. While city and state officials believe the recovery will be quick, there is a lot of work ahead and more problems to face before it is all said and done. While some threats will be short-lived, there will be issues that will be long-standing, and the gravity of the situation is dangers don’t end once the storm has passed.

There are immediate threats that hurricane victims must be aware of and be prepared to encounter. Not mentioned is the economic ramifications this disaster will have on the fifth-largest economy in the United States. This could be another disaster in and of itself. But one thing is for sure, this disaster could be felt throughout the United States with the increase of gas prices or shortages. Only time will tell, but the following are the most immediate threats to be aware of.

5 Immediate Threats Hurricane Harvey Victims Will Face

1.Water contamination – This environmental threat is very typical following a hurricane, but because of the mass scale of the flood damage, it could be an even larger concern for those living in the greater Houston area. Typically, utility facilities that remove contaminants from drinking water are usually unusable if they’re inundated with floodwaters or the facilities that clean the water supply may not have the power needed to run their pumps or an ability to get fuel for their generators. (Source)

What it might be contaminated with ranges from unpleasant but relatively harmless gastrointestinal hazards, such as norovirus, to rarer, more serious bacteria — including Vibrio, a potentially deadly micro-organism naturally found along the Gulf Coast. Vibrio can make you sick both by ingesting it and also through wound infections that come in contact with flood water. Your best bet at this point is to ensure your water is properly filtered and stay out of the flood water.

2. Infectious Disease – Floodwaters may also contain a number of pathogens that can cause illness. According to an article at CBSNews, “Flood waters harbor bacteria, different viruses, and fungi, all of which can make people sick,” Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told CBS News.

One of the biggest concerns with flood water is the possibility of cholera, a highly contagious bacterial disease-causing severe diarrhea. Cholera can spread when water is contaminated with infected feces and then others ingest it, either by drinking the water or consuming food that has come in contact with the water. While cholera is far more common in third-world countries, Glatter says the possibility of it occurring in Texas “wouldn’t be impossible.” “These types of bacteria can live in mixtures of murky water,” he said. “It’s possible to have this type of infection, especially if the water supply becomes contaminated.” Other infectious diseases that can be passed through flood water include hepatitis A, typhoid fever, and Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection that can cause muscle aches, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

As well, due to the excessive flooding in many homes, mold could also pose a serious health problem and can exacerbate asthma, allergies, or other respiratory diseases like COPD. Mold can appear in as little as 24 to 48 hours after flood waters recede. Experts suggest not to touch it. Wear rubber gloves, wear a mask when handling it and if you are in a dwelling where there is mold, you should leave.

3. Mosquitoes – Mosquitoes are notorious disease breeders. And it goes without saying that dealing with itchy bites won’t be the only concern for Texans. Mosquitoes are notorious for harboring diseases, of which the following have been known to show up in that state:

  • Dengue
  • West Nile
  • Zika
  • Chikungunya
  • St. Louis Encephalitis
  • La Crosse Encephalitis

As well as a few others that mainly affect animals:

  • Western Equine Encephalitis
  • Dog Heartworm

So it’s important for homeowners in this region to take certain measures to prevent the proliferation of mosquitoes. This requires keeping an eye out for things on your property that might contain even the smallest puddles of water. As well, experts are recommending that homeowners drain pools and if you see mosquitoes in larger areas of standing water to alert authorities.

Make sure you clear any trash or debris in your yards such as tires or cans and don’t leave any water out in flower pots or water bowls. It’s also a good idea to secure any leaky pipes you might have outside of your home, and clear out any leaves in your gutters. In some cases, you may need to fill or drain spots that tend to collect water on your property.  As an added defense, build traps that will cull the local mosquito population.

4. Mental Health – Depression, PTSD, and mood disorders are very common following a disaster and it is essential to assess yourself and your loved ones realistically and objectively and call a medical professional if you see signs. As well, children will be adversely affected by the traumatic events they have gone through. For the most part, children are not going to be able to process and adapt to the major changes as quickly as adults will. Experts say that in a situation where children are faced with too many changes in a given period, their sense of normalcy and security is disrupted, thus causing unwanted fear, anxiety and psychological distress. A child can also show signs of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Read more on helping children adjust to a major disaster.

5. Looting – While looting has been at a minimum at this point, nevertheless, it is still a threat. When people begin running out of their provisions and grocery stores unable to restock store shelves, more and more will go looking for them and this includes breaking into homes and businesses. A common saying in the preparedness world is “if you can’t defend it, you don’t own it.” There will be people looking at taking things and the best way you can prevent them from taking your provisions and belongings is to stay vigilant of what is happening in your neighborhoods and defend yourself if necessary. As well, do what you can to fortify your home from looters using these steps. One report stated that the volunteer organization Cajun Navy claims that looters fired on their boats as they attempted to rescue people. On a personal note, my sister, who is a victim of the hurricane, has said that looters had made their way into her neighborhood looking to pilfer through people’s homes that had been evacuated. It is a threat and one that people should prepare for, especially when the water begins to recede.

While the hurricane itself is one of epic proportions, the aftermath could be just as bad and just as destructive. Knowing what to expect will help an already battered community prepare for the next set of challenges they face.

Read More @ ReadyNutrition.com

Dangers Are Coming to the Rule of Law

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by Andrew P. Napolitano, Lew Rockwell:

Amid the bad news this summer of racial tensions in Charlottesville and biblical-like floods in Houston and preening saber rattling between Pyongyang and Washington, a dangerous below-the-radar trend has been developing about which all who believe that the Constitution means what it says should be concerned. It is the reckless influence upon local law enforcement coming from the Trump administration.

Here is the back story.

When the states joined the union, they gave certain powers to the federal government, and they kept others to themselves.

The powers surrendered are articulated in the Constitution, and the 10th Amendment clarifies the truism that those powers not surrendered have been retained.

The traditional terminology for the powers retained is the “police power.” The police power does not refer to police as in cops on the streets, but it does refer to states’ powers to make laws and policies that are often enforced by cops on the streets.

In constitutional parlance, police power is the right and obligation of each state to legislate for the health, safety, welfare and morality of people in the state.

This is basically what state governments — and local governments with the approval of their state governments — do. And it is basically what the Constitution was written to prevent the federal government from doing.

Those who wrote, ratified and amended the Constitution all took pains to keep the police power out of the hands of the federal government for several reasons. One was federalism. The states are sovereign entities, 13 of which are older than the federal government. By retaining the police power in the states, the Constitution’s drafters provided a check — a limitation — on the reach of the federal government.

A second reason for retention of the police power in the states is what President Ronald Reagan whimsically called voting with one’s feet. He meant, of course, that since we all have the natural right to travel — to leave a geographical area that has a government we reject — we can go to a state more to our liking.

If you don’t like the taxes in New Jersey, you can move to Pennsylvania. If you don’t like the regulations in Massachusetts, you can move to New Hampshire. You can see the simplicity and constitutional beauty of his argument.

Yet the federal government — notwithstanding which political party is in power — has repeatedly found ways around these profound constitutional principles.

One way has been to use the commerce clause, which empowers Congress to regulate interstate commerce, to regulate anything that might affect interstate commerce — from the wheat a farmer grows only for his family’s own use to legal marijuana a pain-ridden patient grows only for her own use to countless items that never leave their state of origin or are not commercial in nature.

Another way for the federal government to reach into and control state and local behavior is by legalized bribery. For example, Congress cannot regulate highway speed limits or the minimum blood alcohol content sufficient to trigger DWI prosecutions, but it can offer the states cash to pave highways in return for the states imposing the congressional will on vehicle speeds and on DWI triggers.

And the courts have upheld this — effectively telling the states that if they want the federal cash, they must accept the federal strings attached. Because the states are all cash-strapped — and Congress knows that — the states always take the cash and the strings.

Now back to the troubling trend this summer. The Department of Justice last month told local police in states that prohibit the seizure of a criminal defendant’s assets before conviction that the police can just ignore these state prohibitions and follow the looser federal rule — which does permit seizure of assets before trial, while the defendant is still innocent — and the feds will share the seized assets with the local police who have seized them.

This is another example of federal bribery of state officials, although as yet untested in the courts.

This past week, the DOJ also announced it will be offering to local police vast amounts of surplus military equipment — much of it new, fearful and lethal — from body armor to listening devices to battle tanks.

Read More @ LewRockwell.com

The Time to Buy Gold Is Now

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by Justin Spittler, Casey Research:

It finally happened.

On Monday, the price of gold topped $1,300 for the first time since November.

But gold didn’t just inch past $1,300. It blew past it.

Just look at the chart below. You can see that gold jumped from $1,298 to $1,315—a 1.3{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} gain.

Since Monday, gold has held steadily above $1,300.

This is a big deal, and not just because $1,300 is a big round number.

• Gold tried to top $1,300 three other times this year…

It failed each time it got close. Just look at this chart.

You can clearly see that $1,300 acted as a key resistance level. It prevented gold from rallying.

But it won’t anymore. That ceiling has been breached.

This is a major victory for gold bulls. But it’s not the only reason to like gold.

• A perfect storm has hit the gold market…

North Korea is launching missiles at Japan.

Donald Trump is threatening to shut down the government to pay for the wall.

And Hurricane Harvey has rocked Houston, America’s fourth largest city. Some estimates say the storm did more than $100 billion in damage. Now, the federal government will likely shell out billions of dollars in aid, and that means sinking deeper and deeper into debt.

Long story short: investors have plenty to be nervous about right now. And that’s good for gold.

You see, gold has survived every financial crisis imaginable. It’s the ultimate safe-haven asset. This is why every investor should own a little gold. (We recommend having 10-15{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of your money in gold at all times.)

But here’s the thing. Not everyone owns gold as a chaos hedge. Some people buy it for quick profits. They trade it.

And Monday’s big breakout could be the buy signal that many traders have been waiting on.

That’s because $1,300 was a key psychological level. It was keeping a lot of investors from buying gold.

But that resistance has been broken. And that means a lot of people who were on the fence about gold could become new buyers.

Read More @ CaseyResearch.com