ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Feb 04 18:53

This Russian Oil Giant Is Driving Putin Toward Showdown With Trump In Venezuela

in 2017 Caracas awarded licenses to Russian oil giant Rosneft for the development of two offshore gas fields, via Reuters.

In total Caracas owes Rosneft $3 billion, according to Gabuev, which could lead to "a new sort of proxy conflict in America’s backyard," which is at once economic, political, and could increasingly turn to proxy military intervention. Indeed the Kremlin has already accused the US of "meddling" in the affairs of a sovereign country in order to foster a "slow motion coup".

"Any solution to the internal political crisis in Venezuela is possible only by Venezuelans themselves," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday. "Imposing any solutions or efforts aimed at legitimizing the attempt of usurping power is, in our view, just direct and indirect meddling in Venezuela’s internal affairs," Peskov said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is beginning to look more ominous by the moment; Putin and Rosneft are going do everything within their power - short of a proxy war, if possible - to protect their interests, and the return of the money loaned.

But looking at this huge number, my sense is that if "soft diplomacy" will not work against Trump, the Russians may well believe that a war may well be their only option.

Feb 04 13:10

Venezuela Confirms Coltan Deposits, $100 Billion in Gold Reserves

The Venezuelan government has confirmed the existence of “significant” coltan deposits south of the Orinoco River, as well as proven gold reserves valued at $100 billion.

Basic Industries and Mining Minister Rodolfo Sanz told a press conference that only seven countries in the world have reserves of coltan – a valuable black mineral that combines niobite and tantalite and is used in cell phones and computer chips – in sufficient quantities for export.

Sanz said that “strategic mineral,” also known as “blue gold,” is an irreplaceable material in products such as cellular phones and electromagnetic instruments for aviation and other hi-tech industries.

“Without coltan, there are no cell phones,” the minister said in illustrating the importance of that mineral.

Feb 04 12:33

7 Financial Truths In An Uncertain 2019

Feb 04 11:42

Venezuela's Citgo, Which Refines 5% Of US Gasoline, Is Weighing Bankruptcy

In the latest salvo to emerge from the escalating fight between the Trump administration and Venezuela’s ruling Maduro regime over control of the South American country’s state-owned energy assets, the WSJ reports that in order to protect its operations, Venezuela’s Citgo Petroleum is considering various options, including filing for bankruptcy.

Citgo, which is among the largest refiners in the U.S., is weighing its options while the White House attempts to shift control of Venezuela’s assets from President Nicolás Maduro to opposition leader Juan Guaidó, whom the U.S. has recognized as the legitimate head of state prompting accusations by the Maduro regime that the US is fomenting a presidential coup.

Feb 04 11:19

Is It All Just One Giant Short Squeeze: Investors Rush To Pull Money Out Of US Stocks

After the worst December for stocks since the Great Depression, which saw the S&P500 tip into bear market territory if only for a few seconds on December 24, the market enjoyed a furious rebound last month, when it climbed 7.9%, the best January return since 1987, a fact that was not lost on president Trump who is back to tweeting about the market after taking a 3 month hiatus during the Q4 swoon.

Feb 04 11:00

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS: WASHINGTON RESURRECTED THE ARMS RACE

The meetings in Beijing during January 30-31 between Washington, Russia, China, France and the UK apparently failed to preserve the commitment to prohibit intermediate range nuclear weapons. Washington stuck to its determination to withdraw from the historic agreement of Reagan and Gorbachev to destroy all land-based intermediate range nuclear missiles. This US withdrawal from a nuclear weapons reduction agreement follows the George W. Bush/Cheney regime’s withdrawal from the anti-ballistic missile treaty. Indeed, since the Clinton regime, every US president has produced worsening trust between the two major nuclear powers.

No good can come of this as Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said at the Beijing meeting.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

By doing this, President Trump has decided to define himself, geopolitically, as some sort of unspeakable hybrid between Darth Vader and Lord Voldemort, where "bad" competes with "worse than bad", on a moment by moment basis.

Now, what to name this evil entity; Darth Trumper? Lord Trumpdemort? Well let's try Lord Darth Trumpdemort (LDT, for short, and that should make him happy; after all, one of his BFFS in the Middle East, is known by his tag of 3 initials MBS, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman).

But all kidding aside, if there was ever a time when this country absolutely, and desperately, needed a Department of Peace, which would be tasked with providing alternatives to get, or create the outcome, the US government wants to see, without resorting to war, that time is now.

And yes, I know that with weaponry, the US has a great deal of "catching up" to do with both the Russians and Chinese.

But that having been said, what I am hearing is that sweet sound of a collective financial orgasm coming from every CEO of every weapons manufacturer in this country.

Congrats, guys, you must be feeling pretty special right now; you have subsumed this President into your "War-o-Rama Killing Machine", which will make the possibility of some kind of a just and lasting peace, nearly impossible.

And were I a betting woman, one of those ramp-ups to a coming world war, will most probably be some kind of "false flag" on American assets somewhere around the world, to be used as the justification for the resurrection of the draft in this country; that's right, you read that correctly.

So I must ask this question; will walking away from this treaty, as LDT has done, mean that having the ability to murder even more people in the space of one minute, actually make this country more safe?!?

Unfortunately, the short answer here, is "HELL, no!"

What prevents wars, is both enlightened foreign and domestic policies, and unfortunately, right at this moment in history, the Unhinged, Surveilled State of Amerika has neither.

It was rudderless, until the Neocons got LDT completely absorbed in its philosophies and to sign off on its action plan, with a huge "To Do" list, including Iran; Africa; and whatever other country on the planet has incredible natural resources, like Venezuela, which, of course, needs a "humanitarian intervention" to make sure that its government is US-centric; that those resources will only be harvested by companies that are US centric, and that those resources ... are only sold in the American collar.

Lather; rinse; repeat. How in the name of heaven, can I make this more clear to you?!?

And the most frightening, depressing, and crazy-making aspect to all of this is, that even if the American people stood up to LDT, and said, "You're Fired!", please trust me when I say that there is already another LDT in waiting, created by the the military industrial complex and the Deep State, ready to step in to continue the agenda toward a world war.

Americans are still suffering under the delusion that when it comes to national, Presidential elections, they have a choice, when the real "choices" are those vetted and approved by the military-industrial complex; the American Deep State, and the most powerful of corporations, both here, and internationally.

Feb 04 10:36

Mutiny Breaks Out At Venezuela's Central Bank

While the world obsesses how much longer Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro can remain in power before he loses the support of the local military or the US deploys yet another "humanitarian mission" to depose him, forcing the embattled dictator to place several tons of the country's dwindling gold on a cargo plane to a non-extradition destination as he takes one final trip abroad, the ongoing "soft coup" is also playing out within the halls of the central bank, where in addition to a lot of currency printing in recent years, Bloomberg reports that staffers are waging a small mutiny and refusing to sign-off on key bank transactions.

Feb 04 10:33

GM Sought to Outsource 2.8K U.S. Jobs to Foreigners While Laying Off Americans

Multinational corporation General Motors (GM) sought to import nearly 2,800 foreign workers in the last three years to take U.S. jobs while laying off American workers.

GM will be laying off at least 4,250 of its white-collar workers in Canada and America — with the vast majority in the U.S. — starting next week.

The layoffs are just a small component of the corporation’s mass layoff scheme of 14,700 workers in North America — including at least 3,300 American factory workers. Meanwhile, GM is ramping up production of electric cars in China.

Feb 04 10:26

DEMATERIALIZING MONEY

Remember all the hype about crypto-currency at the end of last year?

We were skeptical and the first nearly five months into the year things aren’t looking good.

What’s up?

Are crypto-currencies a store of wealth?

Only if you are OK with losing half your net worth in just a few months.

Are crypto-currencies a currency?

Not if you want to pay your rent or buy groceries.

Are crypto-currencies private?

Not any more. If the government gets a whiff you have some and you don’t report it, you have a good chance of getting audited and many exchanges are handing over their customer data to the IRS.

Feb 04 10:25

China Urges the World to Undermine U.S. Sanctions

China’s state-run Global Times on Friday applauded the launch of a European system to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran, pleased by the damage it could inflict upon U.S. sanctions against China, Venezuela, North Korea, and other countries.

The Chinese saluted France, Germany, and Britain for moving toward a day when the U.S. dollar is no longer the world’s dominant currency and perhaps Chinese money will take its place.

The Global Times gave the French, Germans, and British a pat on the back for exercising “economic sovereignty” against “Washington’s imposition of its foreign policy on other countries,” noting that Chinese interests have also felt American pressure.

Feb 04 10:25

Black Monday: GM to Lay Off 4K American White-Collar Workers

Executives at General Motors (GM) announced Friday that about 4,250 white-collar workers would be laid off, the vast majority of whom are in the United States, as the multinational corporation continues shifting production overseas and to Mexico.

GM executives are set to start the layoffs on Monday of next week, with an investment strategist declaring the day “Black Monday” as thousands of workers in the U.S. and Canada will be terminated from their positions.

“Black Monday at General Motors,” David Kudla wrote online. “To those who are about to separate, we salute you.”

Feb 04 10:24

Report: Democrats’ 2019 DHS Spending Bill Opens the Border to Migrants

The House Democrats’ proposed 2019 homeland security budget reopens the nation’s southern border to migrant inflows, while it also dangles the promise of cheap labor in front of GOP legislators and donors.
The draft budget adds $1.75 billion in extra border spending to President Donald Trump’s $58.7 billion budget request for the Department of Homeland security in 2019, according to a copy published by the Washington Post.

But Democrats’ draft bill does not include any funding for the wall, and it uses the extra money to help migrants bypass border protections and then win jobs in the U.S. labor market.

Feb 04 10:09

These Billionaires Are Issuing Terrifying Warnings About Global Debt Levels

We write a lot about global debt levels at Sovereign Man.

In fact, the very first Notes from the Field I ever wrote, in June 2009, was about how broke the US was… and the severe consequences that eventually face a nation that recklessly spends money it doesn’t have.

And debt has been a major theme in this publication ever since.

As you know, since the Great Financial Crisis in 2008, debt levels have only gotten worse. But not just for governments.

Feb 04 09:40

Bottom 5 "Sinkhole" Cities: New York, Chicago Lead The Way

Via a report on Watchdog, analysis of the 75 most populous cities in the U.S., shows that 63 of them can’t pay their bills. The total amount of unfunded debt among them is nearly $330 billion. Most of the debt is due to unfunded retiree benefits such as pension and health care costs.

Feb 04 09:38

$145 million funds frozen after death of cryptocurrency exchange admin

Roughly $145 million worth of cryptocurrency funds are frozen in the cold (offline) wallet of a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange portal after the death of its owner.

QuadrigaCX, the exchange, has filed for legal protection against its creditors in accordance with Canadian law until it regains access to the funds, according to a message posted on its website.

Problems for the exchange started in December 2018, when its CEO, Gerry Cotten, died of Crohn's disease in Jaipur, India.

Feb 04 09:09

Abenomics harpoons Japan’s pension ‘whale’

If Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wonders about the cost of delaying vital reforms for six-plus years now, he has a Hungary-sized demonstration.

Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, the world’s largest of the genre, just posted a record $136 billion loss. That’s roughly equivalent to Hungary’s annual gross domestic product. With $1.39 trillion of total assets left, “The Whale,” as locals call it, could be the investment world’s biggest Abenomics casualty.

Feb 04 08:43

SAUDI CROWN PRINCE CALLS BILLIONAIRE SHAKEDOWN IN RIYADH’S RITZ-CARLTON A LUCRATIVE SUCCESS

A total of about $107 billion has been recovered as a result of the detention of scores of Saudi royals and businessmen in Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel in 2017, according to the kingdom’s anti-corruption commission.

It said the assets collected from the 87 detainees came in a mix of cash, real estate, companies, and securities. The commission, which was headed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), referred more than 60 people to prosecution, saying that 56 of them had “other criminal cases against them.” Eight other people “refused to settle despite the existence of evidence against them, and they were referred to the public prosecutor.”

MBS, who called the anti-corruption campaign a “shock therapy,” has declared it a lucrative success. He told Bloomberg earlier that $35 billion had been collected from the prisoners.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Anti-corruption," MY ASTROLABE!!!!!

Let's call it by its real name: submitting to pure and utter robbery, or spend time in one of Saudi Arabia's jails, very probably, for some crime they most probably did not commit, and to be sentenced to be tortured, or executed by a Kangaroo court which only exists to insure they invoke precisely the outcome the Prince wants to see.

Oh, Yeah, baby... That's justice, Prince Bin Salman style!!

It is profoundly unsettling to me, that President Trump's BFFs in the Middle East, are the Butcher of Yemen, Prince Bin Salman, and Israel's Prime Minister, the Butcher of Gaza.

I think, at some deep and profound level, Trump is actually envious that both men can pretty much do what they want, in their respective countries (and beyond) with impunity, including war crimes, as neither country has a written Constitution, nor are signatories to the ICC.

Feb 04 05:21

How much danger is the stock market rally in?

Feb 03 19:06

Is the stock market ever going to pullback?

Feb 03 14:13

As Goes January…? Really?

Feb 03 12:27

Maxine Waters: "Deutsche Bank Is Perhaps The Biggest Money Laundering Bank In The World"

Now that she controls the House Financial Services Committee, Congresswoman Maxine Waters is preparing to finally make good on her threats to subpoena Deutsche Bank to get the "full story" on President Trump's financial relationship with the only major bank that would lend to him following a series of Trump company bankruptcies during the 1990s. And as Waters prepares to let the subpoeanas fly, what better way to alert the broader financial industry that she is not playing around than to sit for an interview with CNBC's chief political correspondent John Harwood?

During a brief interview that aired on Friday, Waters told Harwood that her goal is nothing short of exposing Deutsche Bank's involvement in helping the president launder money and avoid taxes (allegations that haven't been substantiated by any media reports or Mueller probe indictments - or any information that has found its way into the public awareness over the past two years).

Feb 03 09:07

Trump confirms use of US military in Venezuela among ‘options’ on table

The option of sending the US military to Venezuela is on the table, while talking to President Nicolas Maduro is not, President Donald Trump said in an interview on Sunday.
While talking to CBS' Face the Nation, Trump would not expand on the prospects of military involvement in the crisis in the Latin America country besides replying that "it's an option."

Feb 03 08:57

MUTINY BREAKS OUT AT VENEZUELA'S CENTRAL BANK

the ongoing "soft coup" is also playing out within the halls of the central bank, where in addition to a lot of currency printing in recent years, Bloomberg reports that staffers are waging a small mutiny and refusing to sign-off on key bank transactions.

According to "four people with direct knowledge of the matter", some central bank employees received "early retirement offers" Friday after disregarding orders from upper management. The mini mutiny took place as staffers fret about potential consequences and repercussions of signing off on financial operations that have been barred by US sanctions, and as discontent bubbles over as Venezuela’s economic and political outlook deteriorates.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

President Maduro, a word, please: when the banks and the military desert you, it truly may be time to seriously re-evaluate your options.

And sir, I would suggest, in the most sang-froid way, that your best possible help might come from Russia and China, neither of which want to see their investments in your country go "mammary glands up."

And, on a personal note, if this coup starts going successfully "full-tilt boogie", expect no better, in terms of your treatment, and ultimate disposal, by US-led mercs, than did Saddam Hussein or President Gaddafi got, at the hands of the invaders of their countries.

The US government so loves, almost maniacally, to prattle on about democracy, human rights, and human dignity; but when it comes to their much loved "regime change specials", particularly when a country has an embarrassment of riches, as does Venezuela, with its oil reserves, those values are absolutely practiced in the breach, rather than the observation of them.

Unless the Russians and Chines are willing to come to your aid, militarily, Were I you, I would begin a search on countries which have no extradition treaties with the US, and decide on a permanent vacation somewhere else.

Feb 03 08:16

AMID CIVIL UNREST, INTERNET SHUTDOWNS ARE MAKING ZIMBABWE'S ECONOMIC CRISIS WORSE

Following the January 12 declaration of an official fuel price hike in Zimbabwe, civil unrest and political paranoia has rocked the nation.

President Emmerson Mnanagagwa announced that fuel prices at $1.30 USD per liter would go up by 150 percent, making Zimbabwe’s fuel among the most expensive in the world. The next day he left for a five-day tour of Russia and Eastern Europe, purportedly in search of investment deals. Chaos and anarchy broke out the following Monday.

The military was immediately deployed to quell protests after angry mobs looted and set ablaze several supermarkets and chain stores. Reports of state agents gunning down unarmed civilians circulated on social media before the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) completely shut down the Internet and all forms of social media from January 14-January 20, 2019.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unfortunately, in President Mnanagagwa's first-class jet-setting around the world in search of "investment deals" for his economically broken and impoverished country, is that he has forgotten that bit about those countries interested in making "loans" or "investment deals", will need to believe that there is a reasonable opportunity for those investments to actually be paid off.

Unfortunately, with the chaos, anger and confusion reigning right now in Zimbabwe, seeing how this will happen has to be difficult, if not impossible to prove.

One wonders if perhaps this little trip is part of President Mnanagagwa's plan to visit his "money" in more stable surroundings, leading up to a "safe abdication", and letting Zimbabwe rot from the curses of its own corruption. After all, he is reputed to be Zimbabwe's richest citizen.

Zimbabwe's Richest Man

Were I betting woman, I would not bet against this possibility.

Feb 02 16:54

Universal basic income and poverty

In 1974, in Dauphin, Canada everybody was guaranteed a basic income for 4 years in an experiment. The recipients had not only become richer but also smarter and healthier. The school performance of kids improved substantially. The hospitalization rate decreased by 8.5 percent. Domestic violence incidents were down, as were mental health complaints. And people didn't quit their jobs. Similar results have since been found in countless other experiments, from the US to India. To implement universal basic income in the entire US would cost approximately 175 billion -- a quarter of US military spending, one percent of GDP.

Feb 02 15:35

What Is the Fed Thinking?

Feb 02 10:54

Ex-German Chancellor Says Europe Needs Russia to Withstand US, China

Europe needs Russia's potential and most importantly the country's market and natural resources in order to withstand such superpowers as China and the United States, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder told the Spiegel outlet.

"If we, as Europeans, want to survive politically and economically between [such] superpowers [as] the United States and China, we cannot do this without Russia's potential. We need the country's market and, first of all, its resources", Schroeder told the outlet in an interview released on Friday.

According to the former German chancellor, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been trying to build the kind of relations with Western countries that would be based on equality and respect, but he has been repeatedly rejected when trying to reach out to Europe.

Feb 02 10:07

Euro zone, China, Amazon, US employment

Feb 02 09:55

US Sanctions as a Tool To Perpetuate Neocolonialism

It’s an evident fact that neocolonial powers are ruled by behemoth corporations whose wealth is measured in hundreds of billions of dollars, far more than the total GDP of many developing nations. The status of these multinational corporations as dominant players in international politics gets official imprimatur when the Western governments endorse the congressional lobbying practice of so-called "special interest" groups, which is a euphemism for corporate interests.

Since the Western governments are nothing but the mouthpiece of business interests on international political and economic forums, therefore any national or international entity which hinders or opposes the agenda of corporate interests is either coerced into accepting their demands or gets sidelined.

Feb 02 09:36

MAULDIN: This Time Will Be Different

Feb 02 09:29

 JOHN BOLTON THREATENS TO SEND VENEZUELA'S MADURO TO OFFSHORE US PRISON AT GUANTÁNAMO

National Security Adviser John Bolton—the neoconservative who's played a key role in the Trump administration's effort to overthrow the Venezuelan government—suggested on Friday that President Nicolás Maduro could find himself locked away in the U.S. military prison at the Guantánamo Bay Naval Station in Cuba if he does not soon step aside.

Bolton—who has repeatedly threatened U.S. military action to force out Maduro—made the threat in a "crazy" radio interview (mp3) with right-wing commentator Hugh Hewitt about President Donald Trump's broader policy toward Venezuela, including the administration's endorsement of self-declared "Interim President" Juan Guaidó, and sanctions imposed via executive order against the state-owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA).

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One wonders just how Bolton & Company will attempt to do this, in light of the fact that for the most part, Venezuela's military are still supporting Maduro.

Does President Trump plan to go into Caracas with a decap team?!?!?

This... should be very interesting.

Feb 02 09:17

GM to Lay Off 4,250 Salaried Workers in North America Starting Monday

General Motors will begin laying off 4,250 North American salaried workers Monday morning as part of a sweeping restructuring announced in November that includes the closure of five plants and the elimination of 15,000 jobs. The plan includes the destruction of 15 percent of the company’s 54,000 North American salaried jobs.

According to one press report, the jobs massacre will take the form of “rolling layoffs” that will continue until the end of the month. Three assembly plants—Lordstown, Ohio; Detroit-Hamtramck; and Oshawa, Ontario—along with Warren Transmission in Michigan and a propulsion plant in Maryland—are slated to close by the end of the year, devastating entire towns and cities.

Feb 02 09:03

Phantom investigation? France delays report on mystery cases of babies born without arms

France's public health agency has postponed the release of a report on an investigation into the abnormal numbers of babies being born without arms in rural regions — a medical mystery which has baffled experts.
Three infants were born with no arms between June and November 2016 within a 30km radius of Vitrolles in the Bouches-du-Rhône region. That followed another cluster of cases near the area of Ain, where eight babies were born with the defect within a 17 km radius. Similar cases have also been observed in other regions of rural France.

A nationwide investigation into the phenomenon began last October and the government had promised an update by January 31, but that date was suddenly pushed back — and the parents of affected children are becoming impatient and suspicious.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am betting here on the drug glyphosate, which is the basis drug for "Round Up Weed Killer", may well prove the culprit.

And I am also betting that the French government wants to cover this up, bigtime, because of the massive amounts of both individual and class action lawsuits about how this chemical has impacted lives of those exposed to it, and that it was a French researcher, Seralini, who found the link between glyphosate and illness.

Weed-Whacking Herbicide Proves Deadly to Human Cells, 2009

Seralini's research came out in 2009; the dates of these malformations were noted in pregnancies in 2018; my best guess is that those politicians who took money from Monsanto certainly didn't want any causation linkage be made public, because of the horrific drop one would see in demand and usage, and the potential for a class action lawsuit against both Monsanto, and the French government.

Feb 02 08:20

Twitter Bans 2,000 Pro-Maduro Accounts As Demands For Regime Change Escalate

On the evening before National Security Advisor John Bolton reiterated that "all options [including, presumably, military intervention] are on the table" regarding the situation in Venezuela, Twitter announced that it had joined the US-backed coup by taking down 2,000 accounts that it said were engaged in a "state-backed influence campaign", according to RT.

In a blog post, Twitter said it removed 1,196 accounts located in Venezuela which it deemed to "appear to be engaged in a state-backed influence campaign targeting domestic audiences." The company also removed another 764 accounts, but said "we are unable to definitively tie the accounts located in Venezuela to information operations of a foreign government against another country."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If you haven't decided that electronic media is now the "4th Estate", attempting to control both outcomes, and a free flow of information, you just might want to explore that issue just a little more!

Feb 02 08:11

Pennsylvania Identifies Over 11,000 Registered Non-Citizen Voters

Pennsylvania state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe called on the state Wednesday to immediately purge 11,198 noncitizen voters who were confirmed as registered to vote despite not being eligible, reports the Washington Times.

Pennsylvania state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe called on the state Wednesday to immediately purge 11,198 noncitizen voters who were confirmed as registered to vote despite not being eligible, reports the Washington Times.

Photo: The Patriot Post
State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, a Republican and former chairman of a House government oversight panel, said the administration of Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, belatedly acknowledged the large number of noncitizens in communications over the past two months.

“I believe that we need to take action and have those people removed immediately from the rolls,” Mr. Metcalfe told The Washington Times. “They were never eligible to vote.” -Washington Times

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"No Wall" at our Southern Borders translates into more and more illegal voters in our political contests, which is why The Democrats LOVE open border policies.

Feb 02 08:07

The Next Big Threat For Oil Comes From China

There is a widespread concern in the world regarding China’s decelerating economic growth. The slowdown, if it continues, threatens economic activity almost everywhere. Growth in Germany, for example, has already cooled due to its exports of high-quality machinery to China dropping precipitously.

Those in the oil market also worry about China. The country’s economic growth has been a key driver of global crude oil consumption. Indeed, China accounts for one-third of the International Energy Agency’s projected 2019 increase in world oil use.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The House of Saud will particularly not like this.

Feb 02 08:04

Carmakers Start 2019 With Abysmal US Auto Sales

Forget about the automobile industry turning over a new leaf for the new year: the beginning of 2019 has started just as miserably as 2018 ended for many major auto OEMs in the US. On Friday, January sales numbers for most automakers trickled in, with almost all manufacturers posting disappointing results and/or missing estimates.

Ford - which no longer reports official monthly sales numbers, just like GM - was the one exception, rising 7% versus estimates of -1.5%, according to Bloomberg who cited "people familiar". GM, on the other hand, fell 7% versus estimates of -3.7%." Japanese car giants Nissan and Toyota also both posted losses that were larger than expected and companies like Fiat Chrysler and Honda saw their meek gains falling below expectations. As was expected - and stop us if you’ve heard this one before – most companies wound up blaming the cold weather. Honda got creative and also blamed the government shutdown.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

GM is reported to be in the process of laying off 4,000 workers shortly.

Feb 02 07:55

The Most Interesting Man In The World: Two Faces On The Same Coin

Before the big game there’s a coin toss and by the luck of the draw, decisions are made even before the teams take the field. It is the same for politics with, perhaps, the exception of luck having anything to do with the outcomes. Regardless, the games play on our screens and we passively watch; anxiously waiting to see what happens.

It’s an all-or-nothing blitz to score big and winners take all. In the interim, there are the commercial breaks revealing ads refined by the fires of focus groups and in boardrooms.

He’s a man of the moment; not the first, and he won’t be the last.

Feb 02 07:06

Erik Prince Denies Knowledge Of Blackwater-Type Training Base In China

A Hong Kong-Based training company launched by Blackwater founder Erik Prince is reportedly building a training center in the controversial Western Chinese region of Xinjiang according to Reuters, citing a company statement from Prince's Frontier Services Group (FSG).

While the exact details of the $600,000 (4 million yuan) project weren't disclosed, a state media report said that the facility will be able to train 8,000 people a year.

Despite being the founder, Executive Director and Deputy Chairman of FSG, Prince says he had "no knowledge or involvement" in the preliminary memorandum for the base, according to Reuters.

A Hong Kong-based spokesman for FSG told Reuters on Friday that the statement was “published in error by a staff member in Beijing” and had been taken off FSG’s website.

The removed statement had said that FSG signed a deal with the Kashgar Caohu industrial park in Tumxuk city in southern Xinjiang to build a training center.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

With Erik Prince denying that he is developing a training facility in China, it probably means that he is doing just that.

Feb 02 07:03

The Ruling Class & An Undeclared Civil War

There is at present an undeclared and non-violent civil war being waged in this country. The underlying factor of any civil war is an elite ruling class desperate to maintain power at odds with a majority of a population seeking change. Also prevalent in most civil upheavals is the unleashing, by those determined to retain power, of the radicalized and ultimately uncontrollable dogs of war who more often than not devour their sponsors. Both elements are currently in play.

While the ruling class publicly obsesses over Donald Trump and denigrates the vast majority of the population, they have planted the seeds, by their actions, for a takeover of the country by a radical element that will turn on them as they are presently doing within the Democratic Party.

Feb 01 20:18

Germany manufacturing PLUNGES into the RED as factory activity disappoints

GERMANY has been hit with another blow to its economy after the manufacturing sector plunged into contraction territory.

Factory activity was lower than expected for Europe’s largest economy, dropping to 49.7 points in January from 51.5 in December. A reading below 50 marks a sign of contraction. The bleak figures, revealed today by IHS Markit and the latest in the strong of a sign of a slowdown for Germany, showed the steepest fall in new orders in over 6 years.

Feb 01 17:36

AT&T Lost 267,000 Subscribers …

Feb 01 13:24

Thousands of Central American migrants resume northern trek to the border as Trump announces plans to send 2,350 troops to stop the caravan

Thousands of U.S.-bound Central American migrants resumed their northern journey on Thursday, Mexico City officials said, part of a growing group of would-be asylum seekers who say they are fleeing violence and poverty back home.

Around 2,400 migrants left a city shelter to begin the journey from the Mexican capital early Thursday morning, the latest caravan to embark upon the risky path to the U.S.-Mexican border despite U.S. President Donald Trump's determination to prevent them from entering.

Since last October, thousands of mostly Central American migrants have sought to cross into the United States, many traveling in caravans in order to minimize the risks of kidnapping and attacks by members of criminal gangs while in Mexican territory.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

With US troop commitments so completely intense right now, I have to ask; from where are these troops leaving, to protect the US from illegal immigration at the border?!?

And what have they been told about "the rules of engagement"

Feb 01 13:16

America's Apocalyptic Debt Crisis: 63 Of America's Largest 75 Cities Are Completely Broke

The debt crisis in the United States of America has reached apocalyptic proportions. A new and horrifying report out details the reason why 63 of America’s largest cities are completely broke: debt and overspending.

According to a recent analysis of the 75 most populous cities in the United States, 63 of them can’t pay their bills and the total amount of unfunded debt among them is nearly $330 billion. Most of the debt is due to unfunded retiree benefits such as pension and health care costs. That means those depending on that money, likely won’t see a dime of it.

Feb 01 13:14

EU launches mechanism to bypass US sanctions on Iran

The European Union has announced the setting up of a payment mechanism to secure trade with Iran and skirt US sanctions after Washington pulled out of the landmark nuclear deal last May.

The proposal of a financial instrument has been a key element in the EU's strategy to keep Iran from quitting the 2015 nuclear agreement, which was signed to prevent Tehran from building nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief.

The new institution, named INSTEX - Instrument In Support Of Trade Exchanges - will allow trade between the EU and Iran without relying on direct financial transactions. It is a project of the governments of France, Germany and Britain and will receive the formal endorsement of all 28 EU members.

The administration of US President Donald Trump has been closely eyeing European efforts to establish the financial mechanism and warned any attempt to evade its "maximum pressure" campaign on Iran would be subject to stiff penalties.

Feb 01 13:01

ELLIOTT ABRAMS, TRUMP’S PICK TO BRING “DEMOCRACY” TO VENEZUELA, HAS SPENT HIS LIFE CRUSHING DEMOCRACY

ON DECEMBER 11, 1981 in El Salvador, a Salvadoran military unit created and trained by the U.S. Army began slaughtering everyone they could find in a remote village called El Mozote. Before murdering the women and girls, the soldiers raped them repeatedly, including some as young as 10 years old, and joked that their favorites were the 12-year-olds. One witness described a soldier tossing a 3-year-old child into the air and impaling him with his bayonet. The final death toll was over 800 people.

The next day, December 12, was the first day on the job for Elliott Abrams as assistant secretary of state for human rights and humanitarian affairs in the Reagan administration. Abrams snapped into action, helping to lead a cover-up of the massacre. News reports of what had happened, Abrams told the Senate, were “not credible,” and the whole thing was being “significantly misused” as propaganda by anti-government guerillas.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This appointment demonstrates to the world (as though the world needed any convincing) that the US government will do anything to obtain and expropriate those foreign resources they deem necessary to the financial health of its empire, and that having US-trained mercs killing and raping children is just "the cost of doing business", to get what it wants.

Right now, unfortunately, the Unhinged, surveilled state of America, really qualifies as the greatest war crimes perpetrator on the planet; and as an American, I am having to do everything I can to keep from reeling in numbed shock, to hear how horrific these actions have been, and continue to be.

Feb 01 12:42

There Are Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics and The Employment Report

Last month the Government’s Bureau of Lies And Statistics served up an employment report purporting 312,000 new jobs in December. This despite massive seasonal retail lay-offs in the latter half of the month. The BLS happily counts those jobs when hired in October but forgets to remove them when are dismissed at the end of the holiday shopping season. As John Williams (Shadow Government Statistics), the 312,000 jobs were created by re-doing the spreadsheets for prior months’ jobs reports:

Surging December payrolls were a reporting fraud, a canard, no more than massive prior-period revisions “recalculation of seasonal factors” that shifted growth from past months into the October 2018 to December 2018 time-frame, without showing the headline downside revisions to the earlier months from which the growth was borrowed

Feb 01 12:40

U.S. Push to Oust Venezuela’s Maduro Marks First Shot in Plan to Reshape Latin America

The Trump administration’s attempt to force out the president of Venezuela marked the opening of a new strategy to exert greater U.S. influence over Latin America, according to administration officials.

In sight isn’t just Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, but also Cuba, an antagonist that has dominated American attention in the region for more than 50 years, as well as recent inroads made by Russia, China and Iran.

Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday greeted Carlos Alfredo Vecchio, right, who was named a diplomatic representative to the U.S. by Juan Guaidó, who has claimed Venezuela’s presidency.Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg News

While Mr. Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chávez, have long drawn Washington’s condemnation, the Trump administration is stocked with officials who have long believed Cuba to be the more serious national-security threat. They cite Cuba’s intelligence operations in the U.S., and its efforts to spread anti-American views in other Latin American countries.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is apparent that those people surrounding President Trump, who see no problems "regime changing" both Cuba and Venezuela, have their heads collectively so far up another, very dark orifice, that they are seeing the world, not with a 21st century vision which has learned the hard lessons of history, but through a very myopic, antique dystopian, 20th century vision, which utterly refuses to learn the hard lessons from world history.

So what we have here, is not a case of "shrunken heads", which are terrifying, but shrunken brains, which are even more terrifying to me.

These "shrunken brains" as we can see very clearly, create the kind of blind jingoistic rage we hear emanating from their "The US does no harm, and has every right to rule the world." message.

This has been coupled with both extreme SMD (selective memory disorder), on the part of these people, and intense demonization of both Venezuela and Cuba.

But what is missing, in these plans, is any true grasp of the situation at hand.

Would such a series of actions, sort of eating up Central and South America, much like Pacman, and turning these country's leadership to the US government's liking, have possibly worked in the 20th century, say in 1919?!?

The answer is, an unqualified "perhaps"; but can this be made to work in the 21st century?!? I fear, absoflippinglutely NOT.

This is absolute, utter desperation on the cusp of madness, and may well result in Russia and China coming to the aid of both countries, and beyond, perhaps even militarily.

It may well cause all the governments of South and Central America to become a very unified force against the United States, and create robust, economic and defense ties with larger countries when it is to their benefit.

Mr. President, a word, please: those answers and actions which might have been brought into play a century ago, cannot work at this moment, in the
21st century. As our President and Commander in Chief, you need to understand that.

I am very politely suggesting that you change tack here, before what these people are plotting results in yet another unmitigated disaster in Central and South America; Think about what we can do as a nation to "engage rather than enrage."

You may be close to "bearing fruit" with North Korea; I know that only time will tell here,

But those people who supported you in your 2016 campaign, absolutely did not intend for your foreign policy to bring us nearer to the abyss of a world war.

Feb 01 11:44

Bull Trap

Feb 01 11:31

Did the ECB really end up printing?

Feb 01 10:56

Senate Vote Opposes Ending US Wars in Syria, Afghanistan: Non-binding vote declares withdrawing troops a serious risk

In a surprising vote Thursday, the Senate voted 68-23 to pass a resolution from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) expressing opposition to President Trump’s plan to withdraw US troops from Syria, and expressing opposition to any theoretical pullout from Afghanistan that might result from a negotiated deal to end that war.

The non-binding resolution was passed with overwhelming support from the Republican majority, setting them squarely against parts of President Trump’s foreign policy. A number of Democrats who voted against it expressed concern that it was tantamount to a vote advocating a state of permanent war.

Which it realistically is. The 2001 authorization for the Afghan War was built around 9/11 and the defeat of al-Qaeda. Neither are hugely relevant issues in 2019 Afghanistan, and a peace treaty being negotiated centers heavily around the Taliban promising to keep al-Qaeda and ISIS out of the country in the future.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As I have stipulated many times before on this blog, just because something is the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing the US government and military can do, is no bet they won't do it.

Staying on in Syria, and continuing the occupation of Afghanistan, are both exceptionally bad choices

Staying in Syria means more than a measure of concern about the US and Russia getting into a military engagement here, as the US presence was neither asked for nor recognised by the Syrian government.

The Iranians are here, but in very small numbers, and have been working with the government to get rid of the US/Western-backed, trained, and funded jihadists.

So at the end of the day, Syrians should be able to make their own self-determination about who stays in power as Syria's government, or who does not.

Feb 01 10:42

Moscow: Russian Hypersonic Weapons Eliminate Threat From US Exit From INF Treaty

On 4 December, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave Russia two months to "return to compliance" with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty or Washington would leave the accord on February 2.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stated Friday that Russia's military capabilities guarantee the country's security irrespective of the US moves on the INF Treaty.

"I think this [US withdrawing from the INF] is an inevitable prospect, and there will be no deviations from the path stated by President Trump and his national security assistant John Bolton when he was in Moscow. This game is played, the Americans will eventually reject the contract", he added.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Leaving this treaty, as the US government has done, will generate an intense weapons race between the US, Russia, China, and other assorted nations, and private entities from around the world.

I am reminded of a line from one of Tom Leher's comedy bits, more profoundly real than he could have known over his lifetime, called "Who's Next"?!?, about just this sort of thing happening:

Who's Next?!? a satirical lyric about countries vying for better WMDs

Feb 01 10:31

THE U.S. GOVERNMENT’S LOVE OF FOREIGN DICTATORSHIPS

Lest anyone be tempted to believe that President Trump and other U.S. interventionists are intervening in Venezuela because of some purported concern for the Venezuelan people, let’s examine just a few examples that will bring a dose of reality to the situation. This latest intervention is nothing more than another interventionist power play, one intended to replace one dictatorial regime with another.

Egypt comes to mind. It is ruled by one of the most brutal and tyrannical military dictatorships in the world. The U.S. government loves it, supports it, and partners with it. There is no concern for the Egyptian citizenry, who have to suffer under this brutal tyranny and oppression.

Saudi Arabia also comes to mind. It too is a brutal and tyrannical dictatorship, also a murderous one. The U.S. government loves it too, supports it, and partners with it. There is no concern for Saudi citizens who have to suffer under this brutal tyranny and oppression.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is never the people of a country the US regime changes who matter; it is always about the money and the resources.

Do you think for one moment, that the US is concerned about the people of Venezuela, rather than its proven oil reserves?!?

Of course, not!!

Feb 01 10:25

 YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE NY TIMES’ SUPPORT OF US-BACKED COUPS IN LATIN AMERICA

On Friday, The New York Times continued its long, predictable tradition of backing U.S. coups in Latin America by publishing an editorial praising Donald Trump’s attempt to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. This will be the 10th such coup the paper has backed since the creation of the CIA over 70 years ago.

A survey of The New York Times archives shows the Times editorial board has supported 10 out of 12 American-backed coups in Latin America, with two editorials—those involving the 1983 Grenada invasion and the 2009 Honduras coup—ranging from ambiguous to reluctant opposition. The survey can be viewed here.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have to wonder just how many of the op-ed writers for the NY Times are invested in the military/industrial complex.

This pathetic attempt to overthrow the legitimately elected President of Venezuela, to date, has proven itself to be an epic fail, to date, with Venezuela's military still standing strong behind Maduro.

Unless and until that changes, Venezuela's "regime change" will just be another pipe-dream for the American Deep State, which will respond by sulking off into a corner, and nursing its geopolitical wounds; that is, of course, until it thinks it has the strength to fight another day, with another coup somewhere on the planet.

Feb 01 10:15

WATCH A SUPER-FAST 3D PRINTER SCIENTISTS CALL THE “REPLICATOR”

But now scientists at the University of California, Berkeley have found a shortcut: a printer that can fabricate objects in one shot using light — and which could, potentially, revolutionize rapid manufacturing technology.

THE REPLICATOR
The research, published in the journal Science yesterday, describes a printer the researchers nicknamed “the replicator” in a nod to “Star Trek.”

It works more like a computed tomography (CT) scan than a conventional 3D printer. It builds a 3D image by scanning an object from multiple angles, then projects it into a tube of synthetic resin that solidifies when exposed to certain intensities of light. In two minutes, for instance, the team was able to fabricate a tiny figurine of Auguste Rodin’s famous “The Thinker” statue.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is always fascinating, seeing how quickly science fiction turns into science fact!!

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