Monday, June 27, 2016

it IS class warfare


theintercept |  Indeed, media reaction to the Brexit vote — filled with unreflective rage, condescension, and contempt toward those who voted wrong — perfectly illustrates the dynamics that caused all of this in the first place. Media elites, by virtue of their position, adore the status quo. It rewards them, vests them with prestige and position, welcomes them into exclusive circles, allows them to be close to (if not themselves wielding) great power while traveling their country and the world, provides them with a platform, fills them with esteem and purpose. The same is true of academic elites, financial elites, and political elites. Elites love the status quo that has given them, and then protected, their elite position.

Because of how generally satisfied they are with their lot, they regard with affection and respect the internationalist institutions that safeguard the West’s prevailing order: the World Bank and IMF, NATO and the West’s military forces, the Federal Reserve, Wall Street, the EU. While they express some piecemeal criticisms of each, they literally cannot comprehend how anyone would be fundamentally disillusioned by and angry with these institutions, let alone want to break from them. They are far removed from the suffering that causes those anti-establishment sentiments. So they search and search in vain for some rationale that could explain something like Brexit, or the establishment-condemning movements on the right and left, and can find only one way to process it: These people are not motivated by any legitimate grievances or economic suffering, but instead they are just broken, ungrateful, immoral, hateful, racist, and ignorant.

Of course it is the case that some, perhaps much, of the support given to these anti-establishment movements is grounded in those sorts of ugly sentiments. But it’s also the case that the media elites’ revered establishment institutions in finance, media, and politics are driven by all sorts of equally ugly impulses, as the rotted fruit of their actions conclusively proves.

Even more important, the mechanism that Western citizens are expected to use to express and rectify dissatisfaction — elections — has largely ceased to serve any corrective function. As Hayes, in a widely cited tweet, put it this week about Brexit:

But that is exactly the choice presented not only by Brexit but also Western elections generally, including the 2016 Clinton v. Trump general election (just look at the powerful array of Wall Street tycoons and war-loving neocons that — long before Trump — viewed the former Democratic New York senator and secretary of state as their best hope for having their agenda and interests served). When democracy is preserved only in form, structured to change little to nothing about power distribution, people naturally seek alternatives for the redress of their grievances, particularly when they suffer.

one day, you'll see armed guards on food trucks in uhmurkah too...,


endoftheamericandream |  Could you imagine living in a nation where all this is going on?

Most Americans could not even conceive of such a thing.  But of course the truth is that up until just recently most Venezuelans could not either.  In fact, just a couple years ago Venezuela was one of the most prosperous nations in all of South America
Two years ago, Venezuela was a normal functioning nation, relatively speaking of course. It was by no means a free country, but the people still had a standard of living that was higher than most developing nations. Venezuelans could still afford the basic necessities of life, and a few luxuries too.
They could send their children to school and expect them to receive a reasonably good education, and they could go to the hospital and expect to be effectively treated with the same medical standards you’d find in a developed nation. They could go to the grocery store and buy whatever they needed, and basic government services like law enforcement and infrastructure maintenance worked fairly well. The system was far from perfect, but it worked for the most part.
There are all sorts of signs that the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted in the United States is starting to crumble as well.  If you follow End Of The American Dream on a regular basis, you know that I post articles about this theme all the time.  But today I just want to share one tidbit with you.  Reuters is reporting that the number of heroin users in this country has nearly tripled since 2003, and the number of heroin-related deaths is now about five times higher than it was in the year 2000…
A heroin “epidemic” is gripping the United States, where cheap supply has helped push the number of users to a 20-year high, increasing drug-related deaths, the United Nations said on Thursday.
According to the U.N.’s World Drug Report 2016, the number of heroin users in the United States reached around one million in 2014, almost three times as many as in 2003. Heroin-related deaths there have increased five-fold since 2000.
“There is really a huge epidemic (of) heroin in the U.S.,” said Angela Me, the chief researcher for the report which was released on Thursday.
Just like Venezuela, our society is rotting too.  As I have warned before, the exact same things that are happening down there right now are coming here too.
 
It is just a matter of time.

the amount of stuff being bought, sold, and shipped around the u.s. continues to decline...,


monetarywatch |  When less stuff is being bought, sold and shipped around the country with each passing month, how in the world can the U.S. economy be in “good shape”?  Unlike official government statistics which are often based largely on projections, assumptions and numbers seemingly made up out of thin air, the Cass Freight index is based on real transactions conducted by real shipping companies.  And what the Cass Freight Index is telling us about the state of the U.S. economy in 2016 lines up perfectly with all of the other statistics that are clearly indicating that we have now shifted into recession mode.

If you are not familiar with the Cass Freight Index, here is a definition of the index from the official Cass website
Since 1995, the Cass Freight Index™ has been a trusted measure of North American freight volumes and expenditures. Our monthly Cass Freight Index Report provides valuable insight into freight trends as they relate to other economic and supply chain indicators and the overall economy.

Data within the Index includes all domestic freight modes and is derived from $25 billion in freight transactions processed by Cass annually on behalf of its client base of hundreds of large shippers. These companies represent a broad sampling of industries including consumer packaged goods, food, automotive, chemical, OEM, retail and heavy equipment. Annual freight volume per organization ranges from $1 million to over $1 billion. The diversity of shippers and aggregate volume provide a statistically valid representation of North American shipping activity.
When they say “all domestic freight modes”, that includes air, rail, truck, etc.  As you are about to see, the total amount of stuff that is being bought, sold and shipped around the country by all these various methods has now been declining for 15 months in a row.

If it was just one or two months you could say that it was just an anomaly, but how in the world can anyone explain away 15 consecutive months?

Not only that, but the brand new number that just came out for May 2016 is the lowest number that we have seen for the month of May in 6 years.

Of course the number for April was the lowest number that we have seen for that month in 6 years too, and the number for March was also the lowest number that we have seen for that month in 6 years.

Are you starting to get the picture?

Sunday, June 26, 2016

the FDA is stockpiling military weapons?


openthebooks |   Special Agents at the IRS equipped with AR15 military rifles?

Health and Human Services ‘Special Office of Inspector General Agents’ being trained by Army’s Special Forces contractors?

The Department of Veterans Affairs arming 3,700 employees?

KEY FINDINGS (FY2006-FY2014) – THE MILITARIZATION OF AMERICA
 
  • Sixty-seven non-military federal agencies spent $1.48 billion on guns, ammunition, and military-style equipment.
  • Of that total amount, ‘Traditional Law Enforcement’ Agencies spent 77 percent ($1.14 billion) while ‘Administrative’ or ‘General’ Agencies spent 23 percent ($335.1 million).
  • Non-military federal spending on guns and ammunition jumped 104 percent from $55 million (FY2006) to $112 million (FY2011).
  • Nearly 6 percent ($42 million) of all federal guns and ammunition purchase transactions were wrongly coded. Some purchases were actually for ping-pong balls, gym equipment, bread, copiers, cotton balls, or cable television including a line item from the Coast Guard entered as "Cable Dude".
  • Administrative agencies including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Small Business Administration (SBA), Smithsonian Institution, Social Security Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Mint, Department of Education, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and many other agencies purchased guns, ammo, and military-style equipment.
  • Since 2004, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) purchased 1.7 billion bullets including 453 million hollow-point bullets. As of 1/1/2014, DHS estimated its bullet inventory-reserve at 22-months, or 160 million rounds.
  • Between 1998 and 2008 (the most recent comprehensive data available) the number of law enforcement officers employed by federal agencies increased nearly 50 percent from 83,000 (1998) to 120,000 (2008). However, Department of Justice officer count increased from 40,000 (2008) to 69,000 (2013) and Department of Homeland Security officer count increased from 55,000 (2008) to 70,000 (2013).
  • The Internal Revenue Service, with its 2,316 special agents, spent nearly $11 million on guns, ammunition and military-style equipment.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spent $3.1 million on guns, ammunition and military-style equipment. The EPA has spent $715 million on its ‘Criminal Enforcement Division’ from FY2005 to present even as the agency has come under fire for failing to perform its basic functions.
  • Federal agencies spent $313,958 on paintball equipment, along with $14.7 million on Tasers, $1.6 million on unmanned aircraft, $8.2 million on buckshot, $7.44 million on projectiles, and $4 million on grenades/launchers.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) spent $11.66 million including more than $200,000 on ‘night vision equipment,’ $2.3 million on ‘armor – personal,’ more than $2 million on guns, and $3.6 million on ammunition. Veterans Affairs has 3,700 law enforcement officers guarding and securing VA medical centers.
  • 12. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service spent $4.77 million purchasing shotguns, .308 caliber rifles, night vision goggles, propane cannons, liquid explosives, pyro supplies, buckshot, LP gas cannons, drones, remote controlled helicopters, thermal cameras, military waterproof thermal infrared scopes, and more.
OpenTheBooks Oversight Report – The Militarization of America, click here to download a PDF copy of our report

Saturday, June 25, 2016

ethics as an OS - the preconditions of revolution exist in the west


theguardian |  Robert David Steele, former Marine, CIA case officer, and US co-founder of the US Marine Corps intelligence activity, is a man on a mission. But it's a mission that frightens the US intelligence establishment to its core.

With 18 years experience working across the US intelligence community, followed by 20 more years in commercial intelligence and training, Steele's exemplary career has spanned almost all areas of both the clandestine world.

Steele started off as a Marine Corps infantry and intelligence officer. After four years on active duty, he joined the CIA for about a decade before co-founding the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity, where he was deputy director. Widely recognised as the leader of the Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) paradigm, Steele went on to write the handbooks on OSINT for NATO, the US Defense Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Special Operations Forces. In passing, he personally trained 7,500 officers from over 66 countries.

In 1992, despite opposition from the CIA, he obtained Marine Corps permission to organise a landmark international conference on open source intelligence – the paradigm of deriving information to support policy decisions not through secret activities, but from open public sources available to all. The conference was such a success it brought in over 620 attendees from the intelligence world. 

But the CIA wasn't happy, and ensured that Steele was prohibited from running a second conference. The clash prompted him to resign from his position as second-ranking civilian in Marine Corps intelligence, and pursue the open source paradigm elsewhere. He went on to found and head up the Open Source Solutions Network Inc. and later the non-profit Earth Intelligence Network which runs the Public Intelligence Blog. 

I first came across Steele when I discovered his Amazon review of my third book, The War on Truth: 9/11, Disinformation and the Anatomy of Terrorism. A voracious reader, Steele is the number 1 Amazon reviewer for non-fiction across 98 categories. He also reviewed my latest book, A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization, but told me I'd overlooked an important early work – 'A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility, Report of the UN High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change.'  

Last month, Steele presented a startling paper at the Libtech conference in New York, sponsored by the Internet Society and Reclaim. Drawing on principles set out in his latest book, The Open-Source Everything Manifesto: Transparency, Truth and Trust, he told the audience that all the major preconditions for revolution – set out in his 1976 graduate thesis – were now present in the United States and Britain. 

Steele's book is a must-read, a powerful yet still pragmatic roadmap to a new civilisational paradigm that simultaneously offers a trenchant, unrelenting critique of the prevailing global order. His interdisciplinary 'whole systems' approach dramatically connects up the increasing corruption, inefficiency and unaccountability of the intelligence system and its political and financial masters with escalating inequalities and environmental crises. But he also offers a comprehensive vision of hope that activist networks like Reclaim are implementing today.

"We are at the end of a five-thousand-year-plus historical process during which human society grew in scale while it abandoned the early indigenous wisdom councils and communal decision-making," he writes in The Open Source Everything Manifesto. "Power was centralised in the hands of increasingly specialised 'elites' and 'experts' who not only failed to achieve all they promised but used secrecy and the control of information to deceive the public into allowing them to retain power over community resources that they ultimately looted."

top people better understand the importance of distributed ownership and governance


forbes |  How do we expect to feed that many people while we exhaust the resources that remain?
Human activities are behind the extinction crisis. Commercial agriculture, timber extraction, and infrastructure development are causing habitat loss and our reliance on fossil fuels is a major contributor to climate change.

Public corporations are responding to consumer demand and pressure from Wall Street. Professors Christopher Wright and Daniel Nyberg published Climate Change, Capitalism and Corporations last fall, arguing that businesses are locked in a cycle of exploiting the world’s resources in ever more creative ways.

“Our book shows how large corporations are able to continue engaging in increasingly environmentally exploitative behaviour by obscuring the link between endless economic growth and worsening environmental destruction,” they wrote.

Yale sociologist Justin Farrell studied 20 years of corporate funding and found that “corporations have used their wealth to amplify contrarian views [of climate change] and create an impression of greater scientific uncertainty than actually exists.”

Corporate capitalism is committed to the relentless pursuit of growth, even if it ravages the planet and threatens human health.

We need to build a new system: one that will balance economic growth with sustainability and human flourishing.

A new generation of companies are showing the way forward. They’re infusing capitalism with fresh ideas, specifically in regards to employee ownership and agile management.

brexit not inevitable, but the removal of self-serving pompous political leaders may be...,


theintercept |  “In voting to leave the EU, it is vital to stress that there is no need for haste,” Johnson said, “and indeed, as the prime minister has just said, nothing will change over the short term, except that work will have to begin on how to give effect to the will of the people and to extricate this country from the supranational system.”

Given that the popular mandate his side had just won was summed up in a single word on the backdrop behind him, “Leave,” it seemed odd that Johnson made no mention of the fastest way to get that process started, by pressing for an immediate Article 50 declaration.

That fact did not escape observers in other parts of Europe, like the former foreign minister of Sweden, Carl Bildt.

The reason could be that Johnson has something very different in mind: a negotiated compromise that would preserve most of the benefits of EU membership for British citizens and businesses but still satisfy the popular will to escape the attendant responsibilities and costs.

In this context, it is important to keep two things in mind. First, it was Johnson himself who suggested, when he joined the Leave campaign in February, that a vote to depart could be used as a stick to negotiate not a full departure from the EU, but a better deal for the UK. “There is only one way to get the change we need, and that is to vote to go, because all EU history shows that they only really listen to a population when it says ‘No,'” Johnson wrote then. “It is time to seek a new relationship, in which we manage to extricate ourselves from most of the supranational elements.”

Second, as the legal blogger David Allen Green has explained clearly, the measure Britons just voted for “was an advisory not a mandatory referendum,” meaning that it is not legally binding on the government. No matter who the prime minister is, he or she is not required by the outcome to trigger Article 50. And, despite what senior figures in the EU and its other states might say, there is no way for them to force the UK to invoke Article 50.

What all this means in practice is that, while it would be political suicide for any leader to try to avoid acting to satisfy the popular will expressed at the ballot box, there is some wiggle room for a new government to try to find a compromise arrangement that would satisfy a larger share of the population than just the slim majority of voters who demanded separation.

As he makes up his mind on whether to seek the premiership, and considers how to appeal to the nearly half of the British population that wanted to stay in the EU, Johnson did not have to go far to get a sense of the seething outrage in parts of the country, like London, that voted overwhelmingly against leaving. Walking out of his home on Friday, Johnson was booed and jeered by some of his neighbors, who chanted, “scum” and “traitor.”

Friday, June 24, 2016

elite parasites pretend that peasant racism/xenophobia trump their own greed and forced austerity


Time |  In a stunning victory for the anti-establishment forces that have upended mainstream politics across the Western world, British voters chose on Thursday to pull their country out of the European Union, sending global markets into a tailspin and encouraging anti-E.U. forces across the continent to push for their own referenda on whether to break away.

“The E.U. is failing, the E.U. is dying,” declared the leader of the U.K. Independence Party, Nigel Farage, one of the leaders of the campaign for the British exit, or Brexit, from the union formed from the ruins of Europe after World War II. “It’s a victory against big business…against big politics,” he told reporters early on Friday morning, as the results showed 52% of the votes had been cast in favor of leaving and 48% against.

That margin of victory – amounting to around 1.3 million votes – did not simply repudiate the British government’s calls for openness and unity with Europe. It also offered a blueprint for how ballot-box insurgencies across the West could, in the course of a single campaign, shatter the legitimacy of the ruling elites.

This formula is a familiar one, drawing fuel from a potent mix of xenophobia and angst over the loss of sovereignty and national identity. In the last couple of years, it has been deployed with explosive effects across Europe — and looks set to define the race for the U.S. presidency.

Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, just happened to arrive in the U.K. to open a golf resort as the final results were announced, and wasted no time in linking them to his own insurgent campaign. British voters had “taken their country back,” he said, echoing a slogan that has helped him win over the base, if not always the old guard, of the Republican Party.

“In a sense, the result of this referendum is a victory for Trumpism the world over,” says Tony Travers, a noted political scientist in London and adviser to the British parliament. “It definitely has the same roots.” Trump supporters, much like backers of Brexit, tend to feel that traditional parties have ignored their concerns over migration and economic inequality for too long. Their response has been a wide-ranging revolt against the status quo that has opened the political arena to a variety of upstart candidates for the first time in a generation or more.

could Granny's unmitigated arrogance and mendacity provoke a consitutional crisis?



observer |  This gives the lie to Clinton’s much-repeated mantra that she never sent or was sent anything marked classified

In reality, nobody goes to jail for mishandling classified information at the Confidential level. However, the Hanley email proves that Hillary’s staff was emailing her classified information in unclassified channels, that it was marked classified, and that it was transiting Clinton’s personal email server. It’s difficult to believe that a mere aide like Monica Hanley decided to break the law like this, as she surely knew she was, on her own initiative.

It’s also difficult to see how the FBI can ignore such an obvious violation of the law. It likewise raises questions about what was in the 30,000 emails that Clinton decided to delete. In the nearly five months remaining until the presidential election, we can expect a regular drumbeat of revelations about EmailGate, none of them flattering to the Democratic nominee.

Last week the Associated Press broke a big story about how Clinton’s “unclassified” emails included the true names of CIA personnel serving overseas under cover. This was hardly news, in fact I broke the same story four months ago in this column. However, the AP account adds detail to what Clinton and her staff did, actions that placed the lives of CIA clandestine personnel at risk. It also may be a violation of theIntelligence Identities Protection Act, a 1982 law that featured prominently in the mid-aughts scandal surrounding CIA officer Valerie Plame, which so captivated the mainstream media. More recently, former CIA officer John Kiriakou spent two years in Federal prison for violating this law.

To make matters worse for Team Clinton, last week it emerged that several of the classified emails under investigation involved discussions of impending CIA drone strikes in Pakistan. Clinton aides were careful to avoid hot-button words like “CIA” and “drone” in these “unclassified” emails, engaging in a practice that spies term “talking around” an issue.

However, the salient fact is that the CIA—which has the say here—considers this information to be Top Secret, as well as enormously sensitive. It had no business being in anybody’s unclassified emails. As the secretary of state, Ms. Clinton and her top staff had access to classified communications systems 24 hours a day. They chose not to use them here—a choice that clearly violated Federal law. Moreover, this new report demonstrates that a previous Clintonian EmailGate talking point, that discussions of drones in emails were no more than pasting press pieces, and therefore innocuous, was yet another bald-faced lie.

How the FBI can look at all this and not recommend prosecution of someone for something in EmailGate strains the imagination. Yet President Obama has clearly signaled that it’s all no big deal. Director James Comey has a tough job before him when he takes the FBI’s official recommendations regarding EmailGate to Attorney General Lynch for action, probably sometime this summer. Since Comey is now under a cloud over the FBI’s embarrassing mishandling of Omar Mateen, the Orlando jihadist mass murderer, perhaps his resignation over that matter would be welcome in the White House, which then could find a new director more willing to bend to Obama’s wishes.

tone-deaf/odor-blind neoliberalcons dropping all partisan pretence to fundraise for granny goodness....,


FP |  A prominent neoconservative intellectual and early promoter of the Iraq War is headlining an official campaign fundraiser for Hillary Clinton next month, Foreign Policy has learned. The move signals a shift in the Clinton campaign’s willingness to associate with prominent Republicans and is the latest sign of how far some GOP defectors are willing to go to block a Donald Trump presidency.

Robert Kagan, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a co-founder of the Project for the New American Century, will speak at a Hillary for America fundraiser in Washington’s Logan Circle neighborhood on July 21. According to an invite obtained by FP, the “event will include an off-the-record conversation on America’s continued investment in NATO, key European allies and partners, and the EU.”

Kagan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Clinton campaign has made clear it believes Trump’s high unfavorable ratings and provocative comments have created an opening for her candidacy among traditional GOP voters, and will soon begin actively courting the Republican electorate.

The campaign has been careful about such overtures in the past as it fended off criticisms from the left by her primary rival Bernie Sanders, who highlighted her 2002 vote in favor of the Iraq War, ties to controversial Republican figures like Henry Kissinger, and warm relationship with Wall Street.

“In her book and in this last debate, she talked about getting the approval or the support or the mentoring of Henry Kissinger,” Sanders said during a February debate. “Now, I find it rather amazing, because I happen to believe that Henry Kissinger was one of the most destructive secretaries of state in the modern history of this country.”

While dozens of Republican foreign-policy insiders have publicly renounced Trump, far fewer have announced their support for Clinton. But cracks are beginning to emerge.

more corporatist twaddle blithely not-seeing the Left Behind...,


newyorker |  If you are reading this post, the likelihood is that you, like me, are one of the winners. Highly educated, professional people tend to work in sectors of the economy that have benefitted from the changes in the international division of labor (e.g., finance, consulting, media, tech) or have been largely spared the rigors of global competition (e.g., law, medicine, academia). From a secure perch on the economic ladder, it is easy to celebrate the gains that technology and globalization have brought, such as a cornucopia of cheap goods in rich countries and rising prosperity in poor ones. It’s also tempting to dismiss the arguments of people who ignore the benefits of this process, or who can’t see that it is irreversible.

But, as Baker points out, “it is a bit hypocritical of those who have benefited” from this economic transformation to be “mocking the poor judgment of its victims”—especially now that the forces of global competition and technological progress are reaching into areas that were previously protected. In a world of self-driving cars and trucks, what is the future for truck drivers, cab and limo drivers, and delivery men? Not a very prosperous one, surely. And the creative destruction that the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter celebrated won’t stop there. With software that can transfer money at zero cost, medical robots that can carry out the most delicate of operations, and smart algorithms that can diagnose diseases or dispense legal advice, what is the future for bankers, surgeons, doctors, lawyers, and other professionals?

There is no straightforward answer to this question, just as there is no easy answer to the question of what can be done to help those who have already lost out. One option is to strengthen the social safety net and, perhaps, to move toward some sort of universal basic income, which would guarantee a minimum standard of living to everybody, regardless of employment prospects. The political enactment of such solutions, however, is contingent on the existence of social solidarity, which the very process of economic and technological change, by heightening inequalities and eroding communal institutions, undermines.

epic corporatist FAIL and twaddle - but at least we got teh geh marriage...,



theguardian |  They used to call it Greek tragedy when the fates wrought their revenge on human folly and weakness. But maybe a better term in the case of the folly and weakness of the modern Tory party is European tragedy. For, as a broken David Cameron announced his resignation on Friday morning, one question must have been battering his exhausted brain more than any other.

How was it that a modern-minded liberal Conservative leader who long ago told his party to “stop banging on about Europe” if it wanted to get back into power after three successive defeats – and who then delivered two terms in government – has himself been brought down by that same party over that same European question?

Cameron himself played the role of tragic hero as he notified the nation of his intention to step down before the autumn. “There can be no doubt about the result,” he said. “The British people have voted to leave the European Union and their will must be respected.”

But he added that the tortuous negotiations ahead with the EU would require “strong determined and committed leadership” that he felt he could no longer provide. “The country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction.”

And there seemed scant consolation in his laconic summary of what he would rather be remembered for. “I believe we’ve made great steps, with more people in work than ever before in our history, with reforms to welfare and education, increasing people’s life chances, building a bigger and stronger society, keeping our promises to the poorest people in the world and enabling those who love each other to get married whatever their sexuality, but above all restoring Britain’s economic strength.”

is it on a par with black wednesday?


marketwatch |  U.S. stock futures unraveled early Friday morning in New York, after the U.K. declared its intention to end its four-decade relationship with the European Union after a so-called Brexit vote.

Investors have been fretting that such an unprecedented decision to leave Europe’s trading bloc could destabilize the Europe’s fragile union and rattle markets.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average YMU6, -2.53%  fell as much as 700 points, but losses were paring from that ugly fall. 

Most recently, the Dow was down 485 points, or 2.7%, to 17,436. Futures for the S&P 500 ESU6, -3.26% tumbled 80 points, or 3.7%, to 2,028 and Nasdaq-100 futures NQU6, -3.24% cratered 173 points, or 3.9%, to 4,289.


Markets began plunging after U.K. broadcasters BBC and ITV in the early hours of Friday morning local time forecast that the “leave” campaign had won the Brexit referendum and that the U.K. will sever its ties with the trading bloc it has been a member of since 1973. 

European stock-market indexes were being punished in the aftermath of the vote, with the Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, -6.61%  off 8% at 318.81.

But moves in currencies, in particular, the British pound USDGBP, +6.7519% were the most pronounced. Sterling hit a low of $1.3230, a 10% slide from $1.4871 late Thursday in New York. But it has since pared some of that decline most recently at $1.3796. 

The stunning moves come after global markets rallied, betting that Britons would vote to reject Brexit, or a British exit from the EU. 

All three U.S. indexes soared into Thursday’s close, with the Dow DJIA, +1.29%  surging 230.24 points, or 1.3%, to finish at 18,011.07, while the S&P 500 SPX, +1.34% gained 27.87 points, or 1.3%, to close at 2,113.32. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +1.59%  climbed 76.72 points, or 1.6%, to close at 4,910.04.

Indications that the “leave” vote has won sets up global markets for the most volatile and frightening trading day since the market sank last August on fears about a slowdown in China’s stock market.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

the syrian strategic agenda of Granny Goodness and her furies...,



wikileaks |  UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05794498

Date: 11/30/2015 RELEASE IN FULL The best way to help Israel deal with Iran's growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad. Negotiations to limit Iran's nuclear program will not solve Israel's security dilemma. Nor will they stop Iran from improving the crucial part of any nuclear weapons program — the capability to enrich uranium. At best, the talks between the world's major powers and Iran that began in Istanbul this April and will continue in Baghdad in May will enable Israel to postpone by a few months a decision whether to launch an attack on Iran that could provoke a major Mideast war. Iran's nuclear program and Syria's civil war may seem unconnected, but they are. For Israeli leaders, the real threat from a nuclear-armed Iran is not the prospect of an insane Iranian leader launching an unprovoked Iranian nuclear attack on Israel that would lead to the annihilation of both countries. What Israeli military leaders really worry about -- but cannot talk about -- is losing their nuclear monopoly. An Iranian nuclear weapons capability would not only end that nuclear monopoly but could also prompt other adversaries, like Saudi Arabia and Egypt, to go nuclear as well. The result would be a precarious nuclear balance in which Israel could not respond to provocations with conventional military strikes on Syria and Lebanon, as it can today. If Iran were to reach the threshold of a nuclear weapons state, Tehran would find it much easier to call on its allies in Syria and Hezbollah to strike Israel, knowing that its nuclear weapons would serve as a deterrent to Israel responding against Iran itself. Back to Syria. It is the strategic relationship between Iran and the regime of Bashar Assad in Syria that makes it possible for Iran to undermine Israel's security — not through a direct attack, which in the thirty years of hostility between Iran and Israel has never occurred, but through its proxies in Lebanon, like Hezbollah, that are sustained, armed and trained by Iran via Syria. The end of the Assad regime would end this dangerous alliance. Israel's leadership understands well why defeating Assad is now in its interests. Speaking on CNN's Amanpour show last week, Defense Minister Ehud Barak argued that "the toppling down of Assad will be a major blow to the radical axis, major blow to Iran.... It's the only kind of outpost of the Iranian influence in the Arab world...and it will weaken dramatically both Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza." Bringing down Assad would not only be a massive boon to Israel's security, it would also ease Israel's understandable fear of losing its nuclear monopoly. Then, Israel and the United States might be able to develop a common view of when the Iranian program is so dangerous that military action could be warranted. Right now, it is the combination of Iran's strategic alliance with Syria and the steady progress in Iran's nuclear enrichment program that has led Israeli leaders to contemplate a surprise attack — if necessary over the objections of Washington. With Assad gone, and Iran no longer able to threaten Israel through its, proxies, it is possible that the United States and Israel can agree on red lines for when Iran's program has crossed an unacceptable threshold. In short, the White House can ease the tension that has developed with Israel over Iran by doing the right thing in Syria. The rebellion in Syria has now lasted more than a year. The opposition is not going away, nor is the regime going to accept a diplomatic solution from the outside. With his life and his family at risk, only the threat or use of force will change the Syrian dictator Bashar Assad's mind. UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05794498 Date: 11/30/2015 The Obama administration has been understandably wary of engaging in an air operation in Syria like the one conducted in Libya for three main reasons. Unlike the Libyan opposition forces, the Syrian rebels are not unified and do not hold territory. The Arab League has not called for outside military intervention as it did in Libya. And the Russians are opposed. Libya was an easier case. But other than the laudable purpose of saving Libyan civilians from likely attacks by Qaddafi's regime, the Libyan operation had no long-lasting consequences for the region. Syria is harder. But success in Syria would be a transformative event for the Middle East. Not only would another ruthless dictator succumb to mass opposition on the streets, but the region would be changed for the better as Iran would no longer have a foothold in the Middle East from which to threaten Israel and undermine stability in the region. Unlike in Libya, a successful intervention in Syria would require substantial diplomatic and military leadership from the United States. Washington should start by expressing its willingness to work with regional allies like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar to organize, train and arm Syrian rebel forces. The announcement of such a decision would, by itself, likely cause substantial defections from the Syrian military. Then, using territory in Turkey and possibly Jordan, U.S. diplomats and Pentagon officials can start strengthening the opposition. It will take time. But the rebellion is going to go on for a long time, with or without U.S. involvement. The second step is to develop international support for a coalition air operation. Russia will never support such a mission, so there is no point operating through the UN Security Council. Some argue that U.S. involvement risks a wider war with Russia. But the Kosovo example shows otherwise. In that case, Russia had genuine ethnic and political ties to the Serbs, which don't exist between Russia and Syria, and even then Russia did little more than complain. Russian officials have already acknowledged they won't stand in the way if intervention comes. Arming the Syrian rebels and using western air power to ground Syrian helicopters and airplanes is a low-cost high payoff approach. As long as Washington's political leaders stay firm that no U.S. ground troops will be deployed, as they did in both Kosovo and Libya, the costs to the United States will be limited. Victory may not come quickly or easily, but it will come. And the payoff will be substantial. Iran would be strategically isolated, unable to exert its influence in the Middle East. The resulting regime in Syria will see the United States as a friend, not an enemy. Washington would gain substantial recognition as fighting for the people in the Arab world, not the corrupt regimes. For Israel, the rationale for a bolt from the blue attack on Iran's nuclear facilities would be eased. And a new Syrian regime might well be open to early action on the frozen peace talks with Israel. Hezbollah in Lebanon would be cut off from its Iranian sponsor since Syria would no longer be a transit point for Iranian training, assistance and missiles. All these strategic benefits and the prospect of saving thousands of civilians from murder at the hands of the Assad regime (10,000 have already been killed in this first year of civil war). With the veil of fear lifted from the Syrian people, they seem determine to fight for their freedom. America can and should help them — and by doing so help Israel and help reduce the risk of a wider war.

wasn't waging aggressive war the principle charge agsinst the nazis at nuremburg?


buchanan |  Last week, 31,000 NATO troops conducted exercises in Poland and the Baltic republics, right alongside the border with Russia.

For the first time since 1945, German tanks appeared in Poland.

Now we are planning to base four NATO battalions — one U.S.-led, one British, one German, and perhaps one Canadian, as the French and Italians are balking at being part of a tripwire for war.

How would we react if 31,000 Russian, Chinese, Cuban, Iranian and North Korean troops conducted military exercises across from El Paso and Brownsville, Texas?

How would we react if each of those countries left behind a battalion of troops to prevent a repeat of General “Black Jack” Pershing’s intervention in Mexico in 1916?

Americans would be apoplectic.

Nor are some Europeans enthusiastic about confronting Moscow.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called the NATO exercises “warmongering” and “saber-rattling.” He adds, “Anyone who believes that symbolic tank parades on the alliance’s eastern border will increase security is wrong. We would be well-advised not to deliver any excuses for a new, old confrontation.”

Not only is Steinmeier’s Social Democratic Party leery of any new Cold War with Russia, so, too, is the German Left Party, and the anti-EU populist party Alternative for Germany, which wants closer ties to Russia and looser ties to the United States.

This month, we sent the USS Porter into the Black Sea. Why? Says Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, “to deter potential aggression.”

While there is talk of a NATO Black Sea fleet, Bulgaria, one of the three NATO Black Sea nations, appears to want no part of it.

The European Union also just voted to extend sanctions on Russia for annexing Crimea and supporting separatists in Ukraine.

Donald Trump calls the NATO alliance a rip-off, a tripwire for World War III and “obsolete.” Hillary Clinton compares Putin’s actions in Ukraine to Hitler’s actions in Germany in the early 1930s. 

the warmongering fury slated to run granny goodness pentagon calls for more bombing...,


theintercept |  Michele Flournoy, the former Defense Department official whom Defense One calls “the woman expected to run the Pentagon under Hillary Clinton,” this week advocated for “sending more American troops into combat against ISIS and the Assad regime than the Obama administration has been willing to commit.” In an interview with that outlet, Flournoy “said she would direct U.S. troops to push President Bashar al-Assad’s forces out of southern Syria and would send more American boots to fight the Islamic State in the region.” She had previously “condemned the Obama administration’s ISIS policy as ineffectual,” denouncing it as “under-resourced.”

This week, Flournoy specifically advocated what she called “limited military coercion” to oust Assad. In August 2014, Obama announced what he called “limited airstrikes in Iraq” — and they’re still continuing almost two years later. Also note the clinical euphemism Flournoy created — “military coercion” — for creating a “no-bomb zone” that would entail “a declaratory policy backed up by the threat of force. ‘If you bomb the folks we support, we will retaliate using standoff means to destroy [Russian] proxy forces, or, in this case, Syrian assets,’” she said. Despite D.C. conventional wisdom that Obama is guilty of “inaction” in Syria, he has sent substantial aid, weapons, and training to Syrian rebels while repeatedly bombing ISIS targets in Syria.

Even U.S. military officials have said that these sorts of no-fly or no-bomb guarantees Flournoy is promising — which Hillary Clinton herself has previously advocated — would risk a military confrontation with Russia. Obama’s defense secretary, Ash Carter, told a Senate hearing last December that the policy Clinton advocates “would require ‘substantial’ ground forces and would put the U.S. military at risk of a direct confrontation with the Syrian regime and Russian forces.” Nonetheless, the Pentagon official highly likely to be Clinton’s defense secretary is clearly signaling their intention to proceed with escalated military action. The carnage in Syria is horrifying, but no rational person should think that U.S. military action will be designed to “help Syrians.”

It’s long been beyond doubt that Clinton intends to embark upon a far more militaristic path than even Obama forged — which is saying a lot given that the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner has bombed seven predominantly Muslim countries in seven years. Repeatedly, Clinton has implicitly criticized Obama for excessive hostility toward Israel, and she has vowed more uncritical support for Israel and to move closer to Netanyahu. Just yesterday, Clinton surrogates battled Sanders’s appointees in the Democratic Platform Committee meeting over Israel and Palestine, with Clinton’s supporters taking an even more hard-line position than many right-wing Israeli politicians. Clinton was the leading voice that successfully convinced a reluctant Obama to involve the U.S. in the disastrous intervention in Libya.

congress adjourned for the holiday leaving geriatric HNIC's sitting on the floor...,


NYTimes |  Paul D. Ryan and his fellow Republicans reclaimed control long enough to force through a major spending bill. They then abruptly adjourned and left the Capitol.

Furious Democrats remained on the House floor, where they huddled around their leader, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, who praised their stand as a “discussion heard around the world.”

Ms. Pelosi expressed bewilderment at the Republican position. “What could they be thinking?” she asked. “Whatever it is, they don’t want to tell anybody about it. That’s why they left in the dead of night.”

The standoff, which began with a Democratic sit-in on the House floor just before noon on Wednesday, did not end until about 3 a.m. Thursday when Mr. Ryan — barreling over Democrats’ objections — took the rare and provocative step of calling a vote on a major appropriations bill in the wee hours and without any debate. He then adjourned the House, with no legislative votes scheduled until July 5.

The House approved the bill, which includes $1.1 billion in emergency financing to fight the mosquito-borne Zika virus — and more than $80 billion in other government spending — by a vote of 239 to 171 shortly after 3 a.m.

Republicans dashed from the chamber into the sticky heat gripping Washington and were met by protesters who jeered, with some shouting, “Do your job!”

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Brookings Argues For Back-Room Deals, Party Hacks & Unlimited Money in Politics



theatlantic |  Astonishingly, the 2016 Republican presidential race has been dominated by a candidate who is not, in any meaningful sense, a Republican. According to registration records, since 1987 Donald Trump has been a Republican, then an independent, then a Democrat, then a Republican, then “I do not wish to enroll in a party,” then a Republican; he has donated to both parties; he has shown loyalty to and affinity for neither. The second-place candidate, Republican Senator Ted Cruz, built his brand by tearing down his party’s: slurring the Senate Republican leader, railing against the Republican establishment, and closing the government as a career move.

The Republicans’ noisy breakdown has been echoed eerily, albeit less loudly, on the Democratic side, where, after the early primaries, one of the two remaining contestants for the nomination was not, in any meaningful sense, a Democrat. Senator Bernie Sanders was an independent who switched to nominal Democratic affiliation on the day he filed for the New Hampshire primary, only three months before that election. He surged into second place by winning independents while losing Democrats. If it had been up to Democrats to choose their party’s nominee, Sanders’s bid would have collapsed after Super Tuesday. In their various ways, Trump, Cruz, and Sanders are demonstrating a new principle: The political parties no longer have either intelligible boundaries or enforceable norms, and, as a result, renegade political behavior pays.

Political disintegration plagues Congress, too. House Republicans barely managed to elect a speaker last year. Congress did agree in the fall on a budget framework intended to keep the government open through the election—a signal accomplishment, by today’s low standards—but by April, hard-line conservatives had revoked the deal, thereby humiliating the new speaker and potentially causing another shutdown crisis this fall. As of this writing, it’s not clear whether the hard-liners will push to the brink, but the bigger point is this: If they do, there is not much that party leaders can do about it.

And here is the still bigger point: The very term party leaders has become an anachronism. Although Capitol Hill and the campaign trail are miles apart, the breakdown in order in both places reflects the underlying reality that there no longer is any such thing as a party leader. There are only individual actors, pursuing their own political interests and ideological missions willy-nilly, like excited gas molecules in an overheated balloon.

No wonder Paul Ryan, taking the gavel as the new (and reluctant) House speaker in October, complained that the American people “look at Washington, and all they see is chaos. What a relief to them it would be if we finally got our act together.” No one seemed inclined to disagree. Nor was there much argument two months later when Jeb Bush, his presidential campaign sinking, used the c-word in a different but equally apt context. Donald Trump, he said, is “a chaos candidate, and he’d be a chaos president.” Unfortunately for Bush, Trump’s supporters didn’t mind. They liked that about him. Brookings eBook.


dossier on hillary clinton from dnc


guccifer2 |  It’s not a report in one file, it’s a big folder of docs devoted to Hillary Clinton that I found on the DNC server.

The DNC collected all info about the attacks on Hillary Clinton and prepared the ways of her defense, memos, etc., including the most sensitive issues like email hacks.

As an example here’re some files:

MEMO — Clinton Cash Claims (2)

  • THE CLINTON FOUNDATION RECEIVED DONATIONS FROM INDIVIDUALS TIED TO SAUDI ARABIA WHILE CLINTON SERVED AS SECRETARY OF STATE
  • AN EMBATTLED BUSINESSMAN WITH “TIES TO BAHRAIN’S STATE-OWNED ALUMINUM COMPANY” GAVE BETWEEN $1 MILLION AND $5 MILLION TO THE CLINTON FOUNDATION
  • A VENEZUELAN MEDIA MOGUL WHO WAS ACTIVE IN VENEZUELAN POLITICS DONATED TO THE CLINTON FOUNDATION DURING CLINTON’S TENURE AS SECRETARY OF STATE
  • GERMAN INVESTOR WHO HAS LOBBIED CHANCELLOR MERKEL’S ADMINISTRATION GAVE BETWEEN $1 MILLION AND $5 MILLION TO THE CLINTON FOUNDATION, SOME OF WHICH WAS DURING MRS. CLINTON’S TENURE AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT
  • THE CEO OF AN AMSTERDAM BASED ENERGY COMPANY DONATED AT LEAST $1 MILLION TO THE CLINTON FOUNDATION AND LATER ANNOUNCED AT THE 2009 CGI MEETING A $5 BILLION PROJECT TO DEVELOP ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY POWER GENERATION IN INDIA AND CHINA
  • INDIAN POLITICIAN AMAR SINGH, WHO HAD DONATED AT LEAST $1 MILLION TO THE CLINTON FOUNDATION, MET WITH HILLARY CLINTON IN SEPTEMBER 2008 TO DISCUSS AN INDIA-U.S. CIVIL NUCLEAR AGREEMENT
  • THE CLINTON FOUNDATION RECEIVED ADDITIONAL DONATIONS FROM INDIAN BUSINESS INTERESTS PRIOR TO HER BECOMING SECRETARY OF STATE
  • BILLIONAIRE STEEL EXECUTIVE AND MEMBER OF THE FOREIGN INVESTMENT COUNCIL IN KAZAKHSTAN LAKSHMI MITTAL GAVE $1 MILLION TO $5 MILLION TO THE CLINTON FOUNDATION BEFORE CLINTON BECAME SECRETARY OF STATE
  • SOON AFTER SECRETARY CLINTON LEFT THE STATE DEPARTMENT, THE CLINTON
    FOUNDATION “RECEIVED A LARGE DONATION FROM A CONGLOMERATE RUN BY A
    MEMBER OF CHINA’S NATIONAL PEOPLE’S CONGRESS”
  • …AND THE CLINTON FOUNDATION DEFENDED ITS PARTNERSHIPS WITH BOTH FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC CORPORATE INTERESTS
  • POWERFUL AND CONTROVERSIAL CORPORATE INTERESTS BASED IN THE U.S. ALSO DONATED TO THE CLINTON FOUNDATION
  • AMONG THE CLINTON FOUNDATION DONORS REVEALED IN 2009 WERE SEVERAL FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS WHO HAD GIVEN MILLIONS OF DOLLARS
  • WHEN HILLARY CLINTON BECAME SECRETARY OF STATE IN 2009, BILL CLINTON AGREED TO STOP ACCEPTING CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE CLINTON FOUNDATION FROM MOST FOREIGN COUNTRIES
  • IN THE PAST, SOME OBSERVERS HAD LINKED FOREIGN GOVERNMENT DONATIONS TO THE CLINTON FOUNDATION AND SECRETARY CLINTON’S WORK AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT
  • THE CLINTON FOUNDATION CAME UNDER INTENSE SCRUTINY IN FEBRUARY 2015 WHEN IT WAS REVEALED THAT THE FOUNDATION HAD ACCEPTED DONATIONS FROM FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS AFTER SECRETARY CLINTON LEFT THE STATE DEPARTMENT
  • THE WALL STREET JOURNAL TIED FOREIGN GOVERNMENT DONORS TO THE CLINTON FOUNDATION’S ENDOWMENT FUNDRAISING UNDER SECRETARY CLINTON
  • CLINTON FOUNDATION ANNOUNCED THAT SHOULD HILLARY CLINTON DECIDE TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT, THE FOUNDATION WOULD FOLLOW APPROPRIATE PROCEDURES FOR ACCEPTING DONATIONS FROM FOREIGN DONATIONS, JUST LIKE IT HAD HAD UNDER SECRETARY CLINTON…
  • REPORTS THAT STATE DEPARTMENT LAWYERS DID NOT EXHAUSTIVELY VET BILL CLINTON’S PAID SPEECHES DURING SECRETARY CLINTON’S TENURE RAISED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ROLE CLINTON FOUNDATION DONATIONS MAY HAVE PLAYED IN ORGANIZING THOSE SPEECHES
  • SOME CONSERVATIVES USED THE FOREIGN DONATIONS CONTROVERSY TO IMPLY THAT THE CLINTON FOUNDATION IS NOT A CHARITY AND QUESTION THE FOUNDATION’S CHARITABLE WORK
  • THE CLINTON FOUNDATION HAS ACCEPTED DONATIONS FROM INDIVIDUALS, SOME OF WHOM HAD TIES TO FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS, DURING HER TENURE AS SECRETARY OF STATE
  • THE CLINTON FOUNDATION RECEIVED MONEY FROM A FOUNDATION FORMED BY FORMER UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER VICTOR PINCHUK
  • WALL STREET JOURNAL COLUMNIST MARY O’GRADY CITED A CONTRACT BETWEEN TWO CLINTON DONORS FOR HAITI AID AS EVIDENCE OF A CONFLICT OF INTEREST FOR THE CLINTONS

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

global beta tests continue - was Miss Lindsey Graham at Bilderberg against Trump or for Neoconnery?



googlecache |  Coursera, Carnegie, Alphabet, Bloomberg, Hudson, Alcoa, CFR, AEI, WSJ; then of course every big bank and hedgefund.
Coursera, huh? And Alphabet?
Charles Murray (yeah, that Charles Murray) is there. I wonder what issues he's been asked there about? Why don't they ever invite Pat Buchanan?
Peggy Noonan, Niall Ferguson, Peter Thiel, Robert Rubin, Kissinger himself, Craig Mundie, David Petreaus, Lindsey f**king Graham...
Don't expect any of these people to mention they were ever there, or to talk about what was talked about.
Trump has officially shaken the elite to the core. Never in a million years would I think Bilderberg to stoop SO LOW as to invite Lindsey Graham. Lindsey Graham. I can't even...they usually stick to the rich elite that aren't public officials. Graham is a prop for the US IC to spread the notion that the US is full of war hungry politicians to the Saudis, the Gulf states, and other dictators that respect violence.
Virtually every American they invited has been publicly anti-Trump (Noonan and Ferguson signed the #NeverTrump letter); Thiel is a Trump RNC delegate (he's basically a spy), as is Kissinger (who has been Trump's informal diplomatic liaison during the campaign).
People around Clinton, like Eric Schmidt, are there.
You people that don't know anything about Bilderberg need to get with the program. Go to Sci-hub and search the academic literature.
Here's a quick history of Western diplomacy:
The Round Table, the Inquiry, Chatham House, Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderberg (Marshall, Schuman, Monnet), Club of Rome, Trilateral Commission...and they've been simmering since.
Too bad the censor happy mods took down the Official Bilderberg 2016 thread. I'm sure they'll take this one down too. Keep living in Oz, people. I'm sure you'll find that brain in your regressions and your "peer reviewed" bulls**t.