Thursday, September 28, 2017

Military "Social Justice"

After years of promoting "social" experimentation in various branches of the US military, the Navy at least has finally discovered that competence trumps politically mandated social policies.
More sleep and no more 100-hour workweeks for sailors. Ships steaming in crowded waters like those near Singapore and Tokyo will now broadcast their positions as do other vessels. And ships whose crews lack basic seamanship certification will probably stay in port until the problems are fixed.
All seemingly obvious standards, military officials say, except that the Navy only now is rushing the remedies into effect after two collisions in two months left 17 sailors dead, despite repeated warnings about the looming problems from congressional watchdogs and the Navy’s own experts dating to 2010.

“Many of the issues we’re discussing today have been known to Navy leaders for years. How do we explain that, Admiral?” Senator John McCain of Arizona, the Republican chairman of the Armed Services Committee, demanded of Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, at a hearing last week.
“Senator, there is no explanation,” Admiral Richardson said.
 This humble blogster hastens to disagree. With the skyrocketing instances of shipboard pregnancies and the general lowering of competency standards due to affirmative action it is no surprise that avoidable incidents are proliferating.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Who Knew?

By Martin Armstrong

Politicians have been confronted with the real cost of their support for global warming. France has suddenly come out in support of diesel because of the jobs that could be lost. The diesel crisis may have started in Germany, but there are more diesel car owners in Europe as a whole.
Suddenly, when confronted with the loss of jobs, the politicians are turning against global warming and revealing that the scientists have been WRONG on their timing. The actual study claims we will need another 30 years to reach a level of carbon to raise the temperature by 1.5 degrees C. It still only addresses the level of carbon in the air to raise the temperature and does not address that carbon has been significantly higher historically before cars. It simply employs linear analysis and assumes whatever trend is in motion will remain in motion. They ignore even the laws of thermodynamics.

Indeed, the politicians were eager to jump on the global warming theory because they have been able to raise taxes without providing a corresponding cost. The estimated cost to the private sector for global warming has reached about $1 trillion globally. The price of everything from electricity to gasoline has risen due to global warming taxes. Not to mention, it is driving the cost of meat and dairy products higher with claims that cows, the second-leading culprit behind cars, produce damaging gas to the environment. Look at the taxes on air travel. On average, 50% of the price goes toward taxes.

We are starting to now see more and more articles in the major press exposing that global warming is a fraud (see Sun; Independent; Australian; National Geographic)


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Shoe on The Other Foot?


Black Gunman Opens Fire in Predominantly White Nashville Church killing one person and injuring others, and the U.S. Dept. of Justice is considering opening a civil rights case over the incident.  Will they find pictures of the dude with Black Lives Matter flags?  Will it be immediately assumed that the flags motivated the killer and caused the murder?  If so, will the Southern Poverty Law Center call for the banning of those “hate flags” too?  Will all future Sudanese immigrants like this shooter be banned from the country and the ones who are already here deported?

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Down the Rabbit Hole

By Daniel MacAdams

Ponder this for a minute: [Syrian President] Assad has just defeated ISIS in Deir Ezzor [Syria]. [Defeating] ISIS is the reason the US has invaded Syrian sovereignty and initiated military action. Yet according to Nikki Haley Assad’s reward for wiping out ISIS is that he must be deposed — presumably in favor of US-backed rebels who have been in bed with ISIS for six years!

Is [US Ambassador to the UN] Nikki Haley pro-ISIS? Is she pro-al-Qaeda? Is she evil or just stupid?

You decide.

But if she is not removed from office soon, she will be leading perhaps a million people to their graves.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

This is What Really Killed Khadafi... well as Saddam Hussein!

Via Dollar Collapse:

"For what seems like decades, other countries have been tiptoeing away from their dependence on the US dollar. China, Russia, and India have cut deals in which they agree to accept each others’ currencies for bi-lateral trade while Europe, obviously, designed the euro to be a reserve asset and international medium of exchange.
These were challenges to the dollar’s dominance, but they weren’t mortal threats.
What’s happening lately, however, is a lot more serious. It even has an ominous-sounding name: de-dollarization. Here’s an excerpt from a much longer article by “strategic risk consultant” F. William Engdahl:

Gold, Oil and De-Dollarization? Russia and China’s Extensive Gold Reserves, China Yuan Oil Market

(Global Research) – China, increasingly backed by Russia—the two great Eurasian nations—are taking decisive steps to create a very viable alternative to the tyranny of the US dollar over world trade and finance. Wall Street and Washington are not amused, but they are powerless to stop it. So long as Washington dirty tricks and Wall Street machinations were able to create a crisis such as they did in the Eurozone in 2010 through Greece, world trading surplus countries like China, Japan and then Russia, had no practical alternative but to buy more US Government debt—Treasury securities—with the bulk of their surplus trade dollars. Washington and Wall Street could print endless volumes of dollars backed by nothing more valuable than F-16s and Abrams tanks. China, Russia and other dollar bond holders in truth financed the US wars that were aimed at them, by buying US debt. Then they had few viable alternative options.
Viable Alternative Emerges
Now, ironically, two of the foreign economies that allowed the dollar an artificial life extension beyond 1989—Russia and China—are carefully unveiling that most feared alternative, a viable, gold-backed international currency and potentially, several similar currencies that can displace the unjust hegemonic role of the dollar today.
For several years both the Russian Federation and the Peoples’ Republic of China have been buying huge volumes of gold, largely to add to their central bank currency reserves which otherwise are typically in dollars or euro currencies. Until recently it was not clear quite why.
For several years it’s been known in gold markets that the largest buyers of physical gold were the central banks of China and of Russia. What was not so clear was how deep a strategy they had beyond simply creating trust in the currencies amid increasing economic sanctions and bellicose words of trade war out of Washington.
Now it’s clear why.
China and Russia, joined most likely by their major trading partner countries in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), as well as by their Eurasian partner countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) are about to complete the working architecture of a new monetary alternative to a dollar world.
Currently, in addition to founding members China and Russia, the SCO full members include Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and most recently India and Pakistan. This is a population of well over 3 billion people, some 42% of the entire world population, coming together in a coherent, planned, peaceful economic and political cooperation.
Gold-Backed Silk Road
It’s clear that the economic diplomacy of China, as of Russia and her Eurasian Economic Union group of countries, is very much about realization of advanced high-speed rail, ports, energy infrastructure weaving together a vast new market that, within less than a decade at present pace, will overshadow any economic potentials in the debt-bloated economically stagnant OECD countries of the EU and North America.
What until now was vitally needed, but not clear, was a strategy to get the nations of Eurasia free from the dollar and from their vulnerability to further US Treasury sanctions and financial warfare based on their dollar dependence. This is now about to happen.
At the September 5 annual BRICS Summit in Xiamen, China, Russian President Putin made a simple and very clear statement of the Russian view of the present economic world. He stated,
“Russia shares the BRICS countries’ concerns over the unfairness of the global financial and economic architecture, which does not give due regard to the growing weight of the emerging economies. We are ready to work together with our partners to promote international financial regulation reforms and to overcome the excessive domination of the limited number of reserve currencies.”
To my knowledge he has never been so explicit about currencies. Put this in context of the latest financial architecture unveiled by Beijing, and it becomes clear the world is about to enjoy new degrees of economic freedom.
China Yuan Oil Futures
According to a report in the Japan Nikkei Asian Review, China is about to launch a crude oil futures contract denominated in Chinese yuan that will be convertible into gold. This, when coupled with other moves over the past two years by China to become a viable alternative to London and New York to Shanghai, becomes really interesting.
China is the world’s largest importer of oil, the vast majority of it still paid in US dollars. If the new Yuan oil futures contract gains wide acceptance, it could become the most important Asia-based crude oil benchmark, given that China is the world’s biggest oil importer. That would challenge the two Wall Street-dominated oil benchmark contracts in North Sea Brent and West Texas Intermediate oil futures that until now has given Wall Street huge hidden advantages.
That would be one more huge manipulation lever eliminated by China and its oil partners, including very specially Russia. Introduction of an oil futures contract traded in Shanghai in Yuan, which recently gained membership in the select IMF SDR group of currencies, oil futures especially when convertible into gold, could change the geopolitical balance of power dramatically away from the Atlantic world to Eurasia.
In April 2016 China made a major move to become the new center for gold exchange and the world center of gold trade, physical gold. China today is the world’s largest gold producer, far ahead of fellow BRICS member South Africa, with Russia number two.
Now to add the new oil futures contract traded in China in Yuan with the gold backing will lead to a dramatic shift by key OPEC members, even in the Middle East, to prefer gold-backed Yuan for their oil over inflated US dollars that carry a geopolitical risk as Qatar experienced following the Trump visit to Riyadh some months ago. Notably, Russian state oil giant, Rosneft just announced that Chinese state oil company, CEFC China Energy Company Ltd. Just bought a 14% share of Rosneft from Qatar. It’s all beginning to fit together into a very coherent strategy.
Meanwhile, in Latin America:

De-Dollarization Spikes – Venezuela Stops Accepting Dollars For Oil Payments

(Zero Hedge) – Did the doomsday clock on the petrodollar (and implicitly US hegemony) just tick one more minute closer to midnight? Apparently confirming what President Maduro had warned following the recent US sanctions, The Wall Street Journal reports that Venezuela has officially stopped accepting US Dollars as payment for its crude oil exports.
As we previously noted, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said last Thursday that Venezuela will be looking to “free” itself from the U.S. dollar next week. According to Reuters,
“Venezuela is going to implement a new system of international payments and will create a basket of currencies to free us from the dollar,” Maduro said in a multi-hour address to a new legislative “superbody.” He reportedly did not provide details of this new proposal.
Maduro hinted further that the South American country would look to using the yuan instead, among other currencies.
“If they pursue us with the dollar, we’ll use the Russian ruble, the yuan, yen, the Indian rupee, the euro,” Maduro also said.
The state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela SA, known as PdVSA, has told its private joint venture partners to open accounts in euros and to convert existing cash holdings into Europe’s main currency, said one project partner.
This first step towards one or more gold-backed Eurasian currencies certainly looks like a viable and — for a lot of big players out there — welcome addition to the global money stock.
Venezuela, meanwhile illustrates the growing perception of US weakness. It used to be that a small country refusing to take dollars could expect regime change in short order. Now, maybe not so much.
Combine the above with the emergence of bitcoin and its kin as the preferred monetary asset of techies and libertarians, and the monetary world suddenly looks downright multi-polar."

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Friday, September 15, 2017

College Graduate IQ In Freefall

By Professor Doom

     One of the weird things about higher education is how the smart people are fleeing it. Now, that’s at the grad school level, and I noticed it seemed to start just about the time I was done with graduate school: my most talented friends were getting their Ph.D.s, seeing what higher education had to offer, and decided an academic career was a terrible idea. They headed to the “real world” never to do anything for education or research. It takes brilliance and character to conceive “the four years spent getting a Ph.D. was a waste, and I need to do something different,” and walk away from all that hard work. I acknowledge my error here.

     That’s my anecdotal evidence regarding the really smart people (although I’m not alone in seeing it), but what of the rank and file college student? What’s been happening there? A helpful chart answers the question:

      It may only seem like a few points every decade, but in terms of statistics, there’s much to be said about this chart.

     First, a minor digression.

     In the olden days, companies would give “aptitude tests” to people they might possibly hire. This was a perfectly reasonable thing to do, as the company would invest considerable resources into training an employee. Thus they were quite motivated to make sure the employee was “apt,” able to learn the skills the company needs.

       There were complaints that these aptitude tests were RACIST, and so companies that used them opened themselves up to huge lawsuits from a government with infinitely deep pockets to pay for the lawyers to file such lawsuits. Companies not wanting to fight such an impossible battle got rid of the tests.

       The government forced aptitude tests to disappear but companies still wanted some way to tell if a person would be able to learn the work they were going to train for. What to do? Well, the government generously allowed companies to restrict hiring to “college graduates,” i.e., hiring to only people who had a government-granted certification of aptness.

      Say, does anyone else see a conflict of interest in government forcing people to not use anything but government to determine something? Let’s see how the Law of Unintended Consequences works out here.
I majored in Computer Science at college. I programmed every day. I went to graduate school for computer science. I programmed every day.
My first job: I was a computer programmer at HBO.
I was so bad that they had to send me to REMEDIAL school for two months to learn enough about computer programming to be as good as their WORST programmer.

     Thus it came to pass that having a college degree became a “gateway” into the middle class, unlike in the past where simple talent and skills were enough. The funny thing is, a college degree as it is today doesn’t really help companies much. Even if you have a very specific skills degree like “Computer Programming,” if a company hires you, you’ll likely still have months of training in how to actually program in a way that the company will find useful. The collegiate version of programming focuses on computer languages and skills which went obsolete a decade or more ago (because it takes at least 10 years to set up a college degree program, and anyone who deals with computers knows a decade may as well be 1,000 years for computers…).

      While I blame the student loan scam for the immense growth in the size of our campuses, the loans just pay for the degrees…the demand comes because many companies have no other way to restrict their hires beyond requiring a college degree, and the kids are told this nearly every day in school.

     Now, let’s look at that chart more carefully, by first considering the variation from each decade, for the first four decades:

60s to 70s
70s to 80s
80s to 90s
90s to 2000s
     You can dispute the validity of intelligence tests in general but you can’t dispute the trend in the above. Certainly you expect to see variation from decade to decade, but when the variation is always in one direction (down), you must suspect it’s not random.

      It may look like there’s a bit of convergence, namely that the drop is going to zero, but this is just how probability works—the proportion of people with IQ between, say 109.1 and 112.2 is roughly the same as the proportion between 102.9 and 103.9 even if the latter is a smaller range of numbers.

      More simply said, in terms of proportion, every decade we lose about same amount of intelligence in our college graduates. Ok, that still might not be simple enough, but the gist should be clear to the layman: a college degree means way less than it used to in terms of intelligence.

       Now, let’s consider the most recent decade, where the drop in IQ is now 2.9. This is a relatively huge drop compared to the previous decade, about 4 times as much in terms of proportion.

       In short, we’ve gone from a disturbing but relatively constant drop in the IQ of our college graduates to a very sharp drop.

      Today, in terms of intelligence, a college graduate now is simply average. How useful is such a government certification? The price of the degree has gone up dramatically while the usefulness of that degree to employers has dropped even more so, to effectively zero. You could just get a random guy off the street and expect average intelligence, after all.

      I’m saddened by the loss of our most intelligent people in graduate school: we’re losing our best and brightest because they’re smart enough to see quickly that higher education is a dying system that would merely exploit them…this does not bode well for humanity, as this will impact the advancement of human knowledge.

     Alas, the issues are even bigger than what’s happened in graduate school:

To say we're well into the territory of diminishing returns is to understate the problem--we're past the point of negative returns. Most Americans in college today are not benefiting from being there. They're foregoing work to accrue debt for degrees that, if they increase earning power at all, do so only marginally and they're picking up an unhelpful sense of entitlement in the process.
     While there is truth in the above, I’m more concerned by the suddenly accelerating drop in IQ of our college graduates in the last decade. At this pace, it’s reasonable to conjecture that very soon a college graduate will have below average intelligence. It’ll be perfectly clear then that the smart people aren’t just leaving graduate school, they’re fleeing college in general.

     It’s a big problem for humanity that our scholars will no longer represent the smartest people humanity has to offer. It’s a bigger problem for humans that having a college degree will soon mean that you’re of below average intelligence.

     If the trend continues, and all evidence says it will, by next decade having a college degree will be telling your employer: “I was stupid enough to get a degree and you should not hire me.”

     Once again, we see the Law of Unintended Consequences in action, as turning higher education into a government program to determine who is qualified to have a good job will instead determine who is unqualified.

      That our kids are going in debt for a certification of incompetence is insult to the injury. End the student loan scam.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Computer Modeling as "Science"

 By Thomas DiLorenzo

Hurricane Irma destroyed many parts of the Caribbean, including much of the beautiful Island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  The hysterical media projected the same for Florida, but nothing at all like that occurred.  As for their “forecasting expertise,” when I went to bed on Saturday night at my home in Delray Beach, Florida, on the east coast, they were all saying that their “models” — the same ones used to forecast global temperatures 50-100 years from now to hysterically warn us of a global warming human catastrophe  — were forecasting a direct hit of a possible Category 5 hurricane on the east coast.

Models, schmodels.  By morning, it was apparent that the brunt of the storm would be on the west coast, which it was.  And it was not “the storm of the century,” although it did do quite a bit of damage.  An elderly relative of mine in Sarasota on the west coast went to a shelter, expecting that her home would simply not be there after the storm after watching television non-stop for the previous several days.  When she woke up Monday morning she asked, “Where is the storm?  Has it arrived yet?” Her home was exactly the same as when she left.

Yes, there are a lot of downed trees and tree branches and, thanks to the ineptitude of the state-enforced power monopoly, Florida Power and Light (FPL), the power is still out in many places.  (Like other state-enforced electric power monopolists, FPL threads its wires through forests of tree branches, and whenever a single branch breaks in a storm, the power is out.  They eventually get around to fixing it, and the costs are all simiply passed on, 100%, to the customers because, hey, they’re a state-enforced monopoly.  What do they care about over-pricing?).

Weather and climate “forecasting” is a lot like economic “forecasting”/fortune telling.  The forecasts are almost always wrong, and then once the event occurs the forecasters pretend that they were right all along.  In reality, they have only “forecasted” something that had already happened.  The public quickly forgets the folly of these witch doctors, and then falls for all their baloney again and again and again.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Definition of Insanity

A new bombshell joint report issued by two international weapons monitoring groups Tuesday confirms that the Pentagon continues to ship record breaking amounts of weaponry into Syria and that the Department of Defense is scrubbing its own paper trail. On Tuesday the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) produced conclusive evidence that not only is the Pentagon currently involved in shipping up to $2.2 billion worth of weapons from a shady network of private dealers to allied partners in Syria – mostly old Soviet weaponry – but is actually manipulating paperwork such as end-user certificates, presumably in order to hide US involvement.

The OCCRP and BIRN published internal US defense procurement files after an extensive investigation which found that the Pentagon is running a massive weapons trafficking pipeline which originates in the Balkans and Caucuses, and ends in Syria and Iraq. The program is ostensibly part of the US train, equip, and assist campaign for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF, a coalition of YPG/J and Arab FSA groups operating primarily in Syria’s east). The arms transfers are massive and the program looks to continue for years. According to Foreign Policy’s (FP) coverage of the report:
The Department of Defense has budgeted $584 million specifically for this Syrian operation for thefinancial years 2017 and 2018, and has earmarked another $900 million of spending on Soviet-style munitions between now and 2022. The total, $2.2 billion, likely understates the flow of weapons to Syrian rebels in the coming years. But perhaps more shocking is the following admission that Pentagon suppliers have links with known criminal networks, also from FP:
According to the report, many of the weapons suppliers — primarily in Eastern Europe but also in the former Soviet republics, including Kazakhstan, Georgia, and Ukraine — have both links to organized crime throughout Eastern Europe and spotty business records.
The sheer amount of material necessary for the Pentagon program — one ammunition factory announced it planned to hire 1,000 new employees in 2016 to help cope with the demand — has reportedly stretched suppliers to the limit, forcing the Defense Department to relax standards on the materials it’s willing to accept.
It is likely that the organized crime association is the reason why the Pentagon has sought to alter its records. In addition, the sheer volume of weaponry continuing to ship to the Syrian battlefield and other parts of the Middle East means inevitable proliferation among unsavory terror groups – a phenomenon which has already been exhaustively documented in connection with the now reportedly closed CIA program to topple the Syrian government. The associations and alliances among some of the Arab former FSA groups the DoD continues to support in the north and east remains fluid, which means means US-supplied weapons will continue to pass among groups with no accountability for where they end up. One of the authors of the OCCRP/BIRN report, Ivan Angelovski, told Foreign Policy that, “The Pentagon is removing any evidence in their procurement records that weapons are actually going to the Syrian opposition.” The report is based on internal US government memos which reveal that weapons shipment destination locations have been scrubbed from original documents.
Falsified and altered Pentagon procurement documents (Click to enlarge):

Balkan Insight, which is hosting the original investigative report: “Seven US procurement documents were whitewashed to remove reference to ‘Syria’ after reporters contacted the Pentagon to enquire about whether the exporting countries – Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine and Georgia – had been informed of the destination.”
The fact that Foreign Policy, which is the foremost establishment national security publication in the world, would admit that the Pentagon’s Syria weapons procurement program is tied to East European organized crime is itself hugely significant. At this point the evidence is simply so overwhelming that even establishment sources like FP – which itself has generally been pro-interventionist on Syria – can’t deny it.
FP further reports that the Pentagon program “appears to be turbocharging a shadowy world of Eastern European arms dealers.” And adds further that, “the Pentagon is reportedly removing documentary evidence about just who will ultimately be using the weapons, potentially weakening one of the bulwarks of international protocols against illicit arms dealing.”

Map/Infographic produced as part of the OCCRP/BIRN report, itself confirmed by Foreign Policy magazine. Notice the map denotes that prior CIA weapons went directly to Idlib province (northwest, section in green) and the Golan border region (south). Both of these areas were and continue to be occupied by al-Qaeda (in Idlib, AQ’s Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham). In Idlib specifically, analysts have confirmed genocidal cleansing of religious minorities conducted by AQ “rebels” directly assisted by CIA weapons.
Late last month we featured the story of Bulgarian journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva, who was fired from her job after being interrogated by national intelligence officials for exposing the same Pentagon arms network which is the subject of the latest OCCRP/BIRN investigation. At the time, Al Jazeera was the only major international outlet which covered the story, which confirmed that Bulgarian agents interrogated Gaytandzhieva and “tried to find out her sources.” An anonymous source had leaked a large trove of internal government files connected to the arms trafficking to the East European-based Trud Newspaper journalist, which was the basis of her reporting. The newest investigation released Tuesday appears to include some of the same documents, also confirmed by Gayandzhieva.
Read the full OCCRP/BIRN investigation here.
Read Zero Hedge’s original coverage of the Pentagon’s Balkan arms pipeline here.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Black Gowned Tyranny

 By Martin Armstrong

We are supposed to live in a free society, but we do not. A federal judge claims the same power as the former king and he can sentence you to die in prison without a lawyer, trial, or even a charge.

The majority of Federal judges are the most ruthless people you will ever encounter. They have ZERO respect for human rights and on this point I seriously disagree with Trump and his undying support for the law enforcement divisions in this country. If you have not been exposed to the Judicial System, you are clueless.

The US government relies on the contempt power claimed by judges asserting right as if they were pre-revolution judges of the king. The prosecutors are keeping a former police officer in prison until he dies because he claims not to be able to remember the code to decrypt two hard drives under investigation.

Francis Rawls, the former sergeant in the Philadelphia police department, has spent nearly two years in prison for contempt of court after refusing to provide the passcode for two hard drives the Feds took from his home back in 2015 during an investigation into child abuse images.
Rawls claims he can’t remember the passcode for the two drives, encrypted using Apple’s FileVault system. The government says that he’s stalling because he fears that the contents could see him in serious trouble with his former employers. That’s speculation, but what happened to the 5th Amendment since the mere possession of a file is a crime?

Sure, we may have no sympathy for this particular issue. However, the precedent is set and they can do this to you for taxes. The government can claim you have an account in Bangladesh and you say you do not. The judge then throws you in prison for life until you tell them the location of something that may not even exist. They need not prove anything anymore, they rely on the judge claiming he has inherent power to effectively kill you. What next – off with your head?

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Monday, September 11, 2017

Is Venezuela Next?

By Darius Shahtahmasebi
via The Anti-Media

A theory advanced in William R. Clark’s book Petrodollar Warfare – and largely ignored by the mainstream media – essentially asserts that Washington-led interventions in the Middle East and beyond are fueled by the direct effect on the U.S. dollar that can result if oil-exporting countries opt to sell oil in alternative currencies. For example, in 2000, Iraq announced it would no longer use U.S. dollars to sell oil on the global market. It adopted the euro, instead.

By February 2003, the Guardian reported that Iraq had netted a “handsome profit” after making this policy change. Despite this, the U.S. invaded not long after and immediately switched the sale of oil back to the U.S. dollar.

In Libya, Muammar Gaddafi was punished for a similar proposal to create a unified African currency backed by gold, which would be used to buy and sell African oil. Though it sounds like a ludicrous reason to overthrow a sovereign government and plunge the country into a humanitarian crisis, Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails confirmed this was the main reason Gaddafi was overthrown. The French were especially concerned by Gaddafi’s proposal and, unsurprisingly, became one of the war’s main contributors. (It was a French Rafaele jet that struck Gaddafi’s motorcade, ultimately leading to his death).

Iran has been using alternative currencies like the yuan for some time now and shares a lucrative gas field with Qatar, which may ultimately be days away from doing the same. Both countries have been vilified on the international stage, particularly under the Trump administration.

Nuclear giants China and Russia have been slowly but surely abandoning the U.S. dollar, as well, and the U.S. establishment has a long history of painting these two countries as hostile adversaries.

Now Venezuela may ultimately join the bandwagon, all the while cozying up to Russia, as well (unsurprisingly, Venezuela and Iran were identified in William R. Clark’s book as attracting particular geostrategic tensions with the United States). The CIA’s admission that it intends to interfere inside Venezuela to exact a change of government — combined with Trump’s recent threat of military intervention in Venezuela and Vice President Mike Pence’s warning that the U.S. will not “stand by” and watch Venezuela deteriorate — all start to make a lot more sense when viewed through this geopolitical lens.

What initially sounded like a conspiracy theory seems to be a more plausible reality as countries that begin dropping the U.S. dollar and opting for alternative currencies continuously — and without exception — end up targeted for regime change.
If the U.S. steps up its involvement in Venezuela, the reasons why should be clear to those who have been paying attention.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Saturday, September 09, 2017

A Laughingstock

By Paul Craig Roberts:

The United States shows the world such a ridiculous face that the world laughs at us.

The latest spin on “Russia stole the election” is that Russia used Facebook to influence the election. The NPR women yesterday were breathless about it.

We have been subjected to ten months of propaganda about Trump/Putin election interference and still not a scrap of evidence. It is past time to ask an unasked question: If there were evidence, what is the big deal? All sorts of interest groups try to influence election outcomes including foreign governments. Why is it OK for Israel to influence US elections but not for Russia to do so? Why do you think the armament industry, the energy industry, agribusiness, Wall Street and the banks, pharmaceutical companies, etc., etc., supply the huge sum of money to finance election campaigns if their intent is not to influence the election? Why do editorial boards write editorials endorsing one candidate and damning another if they are not influencing the election?

What is the difference between influencing the election and influencing the government? Washington is full of lobbyists of all descriptions, including lobbyists for foreign governments, working round the clock to influence the US government. It is safe to say that the least represented in the government are the citizens themselves who don’t have any lobbyists working for them.

The orchestrated hysteria over “Russian influence” is even more absurd considering the reason Russia allegedly interfered in the election. Russia favored Trump because he was the peace candidate who promised to reduce the high tensions with Russia created by the Obama regime and its neocon nazis—Hillary Clinton, Victoria Nuland, Susan Rice, and Samantha Power. What’s wrong with Russia preferring a peace candidate over a war candidate? The American people themselves preferred the peace candidate. So Russia agreed with the electorate.

Read the entire article

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

A Green and Politically Correct Evacuation?

How many of these vehicles are "eco friendly?

By Jack Hellner:

There are many people throughout the world who advocate stopping the use of all fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are said to be dirty, wasteful, polluting, and the source of profits for, horrors, Big Oil.

That's all fine and dandy, but there's a such thing as a mass emergency evacuation, such as we see with Hurricane Irma. And we saw city and state officials bending over backward to ensure adequate fuel supplies for the likely coming evacuation in the days before the storm. They weren't touting wind power at a time like that, it was all about getting gas tankers to fill the stations. Some even had police escorts to ensure their delivery so that people would be able to fill up for the trip out.

Wouldn't the evacuation of over five million people have gone as well without fossil fuels? We could have all the cars, airplanes, semis, cruise ships and road equipment either powered by wind and solar or maybe batteries which were charged only on wind and solar since there would be no fossil fuels. This is pretty close to the actual plan for places such as California, but don't think there aren't others who would follow in the name of virtue-signaling in the media. Speaking of the press, maybe all the reporters who go to and leave from Florida should arrive and leave without fossil fuels since almost all of them pontificate about how much damage these same fossil fuels cause.
Read the entire Article

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ 

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Epic Fail

 By José Niño

It’s no secret that Latin America is rife with violence. A recent ranking from the Citizen's Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice (CCSPJP) further illustrates this point with the top 10 most violent cities in the world being exclusively located in Latin America. Additionally, Latin America has the dishonor of having 43 of the 50 most violent urban centers located in the region.
These shocking levels of violence can be attributed to several factors — corruption, failed drug war policies, and the lack of rule of law in the region.
But there is one elephant in the room that is largely ignored in the discussion of crime in Latin America: the stringent gun-control laws present in these countries.
While the previously mentioned factors cannot simply be discounted, the lack of coverage on Latin American gun control policy is rather alarming.
Countries like Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela feature some of the most draconian gun control policies in the region. With crime rates at already high levels, gun control simply makes matters worse for law-abiding citizens fearful of criminals.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

American Jackboot Diplomacy

The latest extraordinary roughshod violation of Russian diplomatic rights by the American authorities shows that the US doesn’t want to restore normal bilateral relations. Indeed, it has now resorted publicly to jackboot diplomacy.

The rapid ordering of Russia to vacate three of its diplomatic properties – in a matter of hours – amid reported threats from the American authorities that they would smash down entrance doors if the orders were not complied with, shows a reckless disregard for Russia’s sovereign rights. Not just Russia’s sovereign rights, but the rights of all nations, as far as America is concerned.

There were also reports that US secret service agents conducted inspections of the properties while Russian officials were deprived access to the building. Such conduct marks not only provocative contempt for Russian authorities, it also raises concerns that US agents were attempting to plant incriminating evidence which might be subsequently «uncovered» by the ongoing probes into alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election last year.

What’s more, the manhandling of Russian diplomatic rights came on the personal orders from President Donald Trump, according to press reports. Previously, Trump had stated his desire to restore normal bilateral relations with Russia. One has to conclude that the latest breach of Russian sovereignty is a blunt sign that American official policy is now fully aligned in an antagonistic agenda toward Moscow.

The collective American amnesia is astounding. The shuttering of the three Russian properties in San Francisco, New York and Washington was presented by the US State Department and US media as a «retaliation» for Russia’s expulsion of some 455 American diplomats in July. Downplayed or omitted in the US media coverage was the fact that Russia expelled those diplomats in response to the Obama administration expropriating three Russian properties and ejecting 35 Russian diplomats back in December 2016. Russia had patiently waited seven months to see if the new Trump administration would do the decent thing and undo the Obama violations. The Trump administration not only did not undo the damage, it went further to impose new trade and political sanctions on Russia.
Thus, Russia had every right to reciprocate with its expulsions in July, which in any case brought the remaining 400 or so US diplomats down to the same number as Russian diplomats residing in the US. Moscow also gave the American side a month to vacate its premises. The Americans gave the Russians 12 hours.

Trump’s latest diplomatic infringement brings the total number of closed Russian properties to six, and marks a dramatic escalation in the dispute. Moscow has said it will respond appropriately.

Relations between the two nations are deteriorating rapidly beyond the already frayed level. But let’s be clear: it is the US side which is responsible for the downward spiral.

Obama’s unprecedented expulsions and expropriations were premised on lurid accusations that the Russian government ordered an interference campaign in the US presidential election. No evidence has yet been provided by the US intelligence agencies to support this sensational and nebulous claim. Yet we are in an extraordinary situation of tit-for-tat diplomatic blows based on unproven American allegations. This is a mockery of legal due process.

Russia has consistently dismissed those accusations, saying that they are motivated by anti-Russian prejudice and US political in-fighting and scapegoating. Ironically, Trump who has lambasted the «Russia collusion» claims as fake news put out by the pro-Democrat news media and intelligence community is now, in effect, jumping on the anti-Russia juggernaut with his latest order of diplomatic seizures. American folly knows no bounds.

The American amnesia is even more problematic. The sanctions against Russia began in 2014 over the Ukraine crisis. That crisis was instigated by American and European interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine and the eventual violent coup against an elected government in Kiev. The US-backed regime that seized power has been attacking the separatist ethnic Russian population of eastern Ukraine for the past three years. Meanwhile the people of Crimea voted in a referendum to join the Russian Federation instead of recognizing the Neo-Nazi Banderite Kiev regime. Yet it is Russia which is sanctioned by the US and its European allies for «destabilizing Ukraine».

The US is showing itself with full inglorious nakedness to be a petulant bully that flouts international law. In short, an utterly shameless rogue regime that is now completely out of control, and doesn’t even care what others think. The latest violation of Russian sovereignty epitomizes the general high-handed attitude of the Americans to international law and the sovereign rights of all nations.

Amazingly, US media made self-justifying speculative comments that the alleged burning of documents inside the Russian consulate in San Francisco was «evidence» of Russian subterfuge and espionage. It is every nation’s sovereign right under international law to be afforded privacy for its diplomats. Instead of insinuating Russian wrongdoing, the proper, more disturbing, perspective should be that America has so little respect for international law that other nations no longer trust the US to abide by diplomatic legal standards.

The violation of Russian rights is consistent with the US violation of Ukraine which is in turn consistent with American violation of Syria, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, Venezuela, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan, to mention just a few other recent cases.
On North Korea, what gives the US the legal and moral authority to declare that diplomacy does not work, or that negotiations might only be permitted if stringent preconditions are met by Pyongyang? How is that the US arrogates the «right» to threaten war on North Korea (as well as Iran and Venezuela and others) while glibly ruling out the obligation to hold equal dialogue and comply with diplomatic protocols? This is the behavior and mindset of a tyrant. A fascist state.

The latest manhandling of Russian sovereign rights is a stark milestone in the degeneration of the United States. It is abandoning any pretense at civil diplomacy.

Jackboot diplomacy is the corollary of US wars of aggression, mass murder, mass torture, and the systematic destruction of international law. All with the narcissistic smile of smug self-righteousness.

reprinted with the Strategic Culture Foundation's permission

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Fair Weather Gropers

By Becky Akers

You’re probably as nauseated as I each time the TSA claims that it “Protects the nation’s transportation systems…”—nonsense that its lapdogs in the corporate media reliably echo. Indeed, said lapdogs often amplify that basic whopper: “… new regulations and technology are designed to make the process a little more secure this year. The Transportation Security Administration was formed two months after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, to screen passengers and their luggage and keep people safe.”
Well, turns out the TSA only “keeps people safe” in good weather. Hang onto your blood pressure, because the perverts’ latest trick will send it skyrocketing. Hurricane Irma has frightened the Thieves and Sexual Assailants at Key West International Airport into abandoning their checkpoints tonight, after the day’s last flight leaves at 5:50 PM. Which would be stellar, an absolute win for passengers—except that the agency has also forbidden any further flights from departing. Ergo, “those unable to take one of the few remaining flights out of Key West will have to evacuate by automobile and rely on U.S. Highway 1 from Key West to the Florida mainland as the only available route.” Tellingly, “General [i.e., private] aviation will continue until conditions become unsafe to operate.

It seems the TSA needs to revise its “mission”: “Gropes the nation’s passengers except when storms send its cowardly deviants scurrying. In which case we also deprive grown adults of choosing whether to drive through torrential rain or fly, albeit without our grotesque ministrations.”
When will travelers whom the TSA not only sexually assaults but repeatedly endangers in such situations as this revolt against this demonic bureaucracy? (Thanks to David Mueller for the links.)

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Monday, September 04, 2017

Don't Buy Their Snake Oil

By Thomas DiLorenzo

I speak of course of the preeminent hate group of the extreme, communistic Left, the Southern Poverty Law Center (a.k.a. Soviet Poverty Lie Center).  Chuck Baldwin responds to their malicious, libelous smears of Christian ministers, equating them with “neo-Nazis” for believing in the Christian Bible.  Several of these organizations, led by James Kennedy Ministries, are suing the Soviet Poverty Lie Center for defamation.

Attention Clueless SPLC donors:  You may think you are donating money for “poverty law,” but did you know that the SPLC is sitting on assets of at least $328 million, and has been stashing millions in offshore bank accounts in the Caymen Islands?  And you thought your money was helping “the poor.”  Suckerrrrrrrrrssss.

And did you know that, according to the SPLC’s 2015 IRS 990 form it took in $50 million in donations, but only spent about $61,000 (0.12%) on lawsuits, some of which were probably defending itself from defamation suits?  So with $328 million in assets, it spent .019% of that on “poverty law.”  Suckerrrrrrrssss.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Obviously an Existential Threat to World Peace

Supermarket in Russia

Our Enemy The Media

By John Nolte

It is important to keep in mind that our media is nothing more than the communication branch of the Democrat Party. When you look at everything the media does — the lying, the campaigns of personal destruction, the fake news, the focus on stuff like Melania’s shoes — this explanation is the only one that makes sense. The media is a full-blown leftwing political operation run, for the most part, by former Democrat operatives like Jake Tapper, George Stephanopolous, and Chuck Todd, as well as those related to Democrat operatives.

Knowing that, and knowing the long history of leftwing regimes (Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Chavez, Castro), we know what a leftwing political operation does when its influence begins to diminish. Because their ideas are so unappealing and are proven failures, the left ultimately has no choice but to embrace violence and censorship. This truth is as old as the Bolshevik Revolution, and this is exactly what we are seeing unfold today in our own country.

 Rather than politicians, though, it is our media that has turned dangerously militant.
Rush Limbaugh is absolutely correct, the Democrat party is dead. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, the party’s two supposed leaders, are non-entities. From top-to-bottom, the party is a feckless pile of incompetence. Knowing this, the media has told Schumer and Pelosi to hold their beer as they seize the levers of power in the leftwing cause. As a result, the media has used billions of corporate dollars to launch a propaganda campaign to unseat Trump and to keep the divisive issue of identity politics thriving.

Naturally, this rabid pursuit of so-called  “social justice” is meant only to serve what has always been the overriding goal of leftwing tyrants: control of our lives through a centralized government.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Racist Rescuers?

 Logan Anderson
It didn’t take long for the politicization of the Texas floods to shift from First Lady Melania Trump’s high heels to the tried-and-true meme of the Confederate battle flag.
Logan Anderson, 24, a former digital strategist for the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign, took to Twitter to vent over white men in an airboat rescuing black people trapped by Hurricane Harvey’s high water because the boat sported the “Southern Cross” – the battle flag of Confederate fighting men.
“Y’all, the Confederate flag crowd is helping black people evacuate in Houston,’ she tweeted, adding three skull emojis to her message.
“I would absolutely get on that boat, by the way. And then, when they dropped me off, I’d tear off the flag and drop it into the flood,” she said in a second tweet.
If Anderson did try to “tear off the flag,” she’d probably be disappointed, as the banner is painted on the airboat’s large rudder.

But Anderson wasn’t finished, intimating in a pair of tweets the white rescuers really had sinister, racist motives that put their unsuspecting black passengers in danger.
“Let’s be honest: The black people who are being rescued from the flood by good ol’ boys will probably end up in the sunken place … get it? Like … ‘sunken place’ because of the flood, but also like in get out? Huh? Anybody?”
logan_anderson_tweet4This isn’t the first time Anderson has gone after the historic Confederate symbol. As a student at Louisiana State University, she attacked the tradition of flying a yellow and purple version of the flag at pre-game tailgate parties.
“It was two hours into tailgating when I saw a purple and gold Confederate flag flying high over the parade ground,” she wrote. “It stopped me in my tracks. A million questions ran through my head: How is it possible that, in the 21st century, this is still something that we as a community are allowing to happen?
“Purple and gold flags are actually a very popular item for the cross-section of people who happen to be fans of both Louisiana State University and slavery – a cross-section which is, sadly, very large.”

Anderson joined the Hillary Clinton campaign after a picture of her in her LSU graduation gown sporting the Democrat’s campaign logo went viral. She took advantage of her instant popularity to tout her bachelor’s degree in mass communications and minor in political science and ask for a job, getting hired immediately and starting just four days later.
Now, thanks to her tweets, Anderson is doing a new kind of mass communication and has a new kind of instant popularity, and this time it’s not enhancing her resume.
Following her characterization of the white rescuers as being bent on harming the rescued blacks, Anderson passed it off as “terrible jokes [that] help me not panic,” most of those responding to her tweets were having none of it.
Among their messages were ones like these:
  • Those are Texans taking care of Texans, selflessly. I don’t expect you to understand through your veil of hatred.
  • All I see is people helping each other. Why y’all always gotta bring race into everything?
  • He’s saving people…I’m not really sure what your problem is.
  • Her problem is that she’s an ignorant racist in denial.
  • She’s sick, racist, and entitled. Unfortunately that doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Ironically, Anderson’s own family – trapped on the second floor of their Texas home – had been rescued the previous day. No word on the race of the rescuers.

Source: WorldNetDaily                                Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Friday, September 01, 2017

He “Declines”—And No, He’s Not a Noun But A Murderer

By Becky Ackers

You may recall the appalling case of Justine Damond, the Australian lady living in Minneapolis who called the cops (NEVER, EVER do that, no matter what; you stand a better chance with free-lance thugs than official ones) “to report a possible sexual assault behind her home.” Unarmed and wearing pajamas since it was late at night, “she approached the responding squad car.” One of the badged bullies inside shot her. Yes. For no reason. In cold blood.
At any rate, T.K sent me a link to the next chapter in this horror story:
The Hennepin County attorney says he expects to make a decision about filing charges in the fatal Minneapolis police shooting of Justine Damond by the end of the year.
Got that? Said attorney isn’t debating what charges to file—murder would be my vote—but whether he’ll file any at all. Imagine Ms. Damond’s tragedy in reverse: suppose she had fired at and killed a cop. How long would the “Hennepin County attorney” deliberate before nailing her? One nanosecond or none?
Note as well that Ms. Damond’s killer “has declined to be interviewed by investigators.” “Declined.” As if “investigators” were inviting him to a little fete Saturday night but, gosh, he’s already made plans and must regretfully decline. Try that the next time the State demands its pound of flesh from you, whether taxes, jury duty, or your cooperation with an investigation into a crime you’ve committed: “decline” and see what happens.
The gulf between us serfs and our overlords yawns ever more widely.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ