Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Manufactured Terrorism – U.S. Officials Claim Credit for Stopping Another Terror Attack Created By...The FBI

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By Michael Krieger  and originally published at libertyblitzkrieg.com  
Nearly every major post-9/11 terrorism-related prosecution has involved a sting operation, at the center of which is a government informant. In these cases, the informants — who work for money or are seeking leniency on criminal charges of their own — have crossed the line from merely observing potential criminal behavior to encouraging and assisting people to participate in plots that are largely scripted by the FBI itself. Under the FBI’s guiding hand, the informants provide the weapons, suggest the targets and even initiate the inflammatory political rhetoric that later elevates the charges to the level of terrorism.
– From Glenn Greenwald’s latest piece: Latest FBI Claim of Disrupted Terror Plot Deserves Much Scrutiny and Skepticism

The “war on terror” is the best thing to happen to power hungry politicians since a fire of questionable origin destroyed the Reichstag building in Berlin on February 27, 1933. Not only does the “war on terror” represent big business for shady crony capitalists, it gives politicians, i.e., professional authoritarians, an excuse to destroy civil liberties and implement a total surveillance system to ensure the plebs don’t get out of line. This is not just an unfortunate trend that has developed organically due to a dangerous world, these are the goals of the oligarch class and they will do whatever it takes to achieve them.
This is where the “war on terror” and constant fear-mongering comes into play. There’s only one small problem. In the absence of real terror attacks in the U.S., it’s difficult to keep the stupid serfs shivering in a corner in the fetal position. Enter fake terrorist attacks; funded, created and planned by the FBI.

If you were getting your news from the mainstream media yesterday, you were no doubt barraged by headlines about a dangerous plot to bomb the U.S. Capitol building. Headlines such as this one from MSNBC: US terror plot foiled by FBI arrest of Ohio man.
Or what about this one from the Wall Street Journal: Ohio Man Charged With Plotting ISIS-Inspired Attack on U.S. Capitol.

Sounds really scary, right? Makes you relieved that the U.S. government in on the case! There’s only one slight problem. How can you foil a plot that was planned by the FBI itself?
For example NBC News reports that:
An Ohio man who allegedly wanted to set up an ISIS cell in the U.S. was arrested Wednesday and accused of planning to attack the U.S. Capitol. But U.S. officials told NBC News the man was dealing with a government informer working undercover the entire time and was never in a position to carry out his plan.
Again, how can you foil an attack that never could have occurred in the first place?
Christopher Lee Cornell, 20, of Green Township, near Cincinnati, was arrested after he bought two M-15 semi-automatic rifles and about 600 rounds of ammunition as the undercover operative watched, according to an FBI affidavit.
Cornell’s father, John Cornell, said the family was blindsided by the arrest.
“He never showed any signs of violence or anything,” John Cornell said of his son.
Yeah, until the FBI showed up. Turns out the FBI is better at radicalizing Muslims to violence than any genuine terror network on planet earth.
NBC News even mentions another example (there are many) of FBI entrapment.
In 2011, Rezwan Ferdaus, of Ashland, Massachusetts, was charged with plotting to attack the Capitol and the Pentagon with a remote-controlled aircraft filled with plastic explosives. He was sentenced to 17 years in prison. He, too, was dealing with undercover agents the whole time.
Glenn Greenwald chimed in on this whole charade in his usual incisive manner. Here are some excerpts from his piece (I strongly suggest you read the entire thing):
The alleged would-be terrorist is 20-year-old Christopher Cornell (above), who is unemployed, lives at home, spends most of his time playing video games in his bedroom, still addresses his mother as “Mommy” and regards his cat as his best friend; he was described as “a typical student” and “quiet but not overly reserved” by the principal of the local high school he graduated in 2012.
The DOJ’s press release predictably generated an avalanche of scary media headlines hailing the FBI. CNN: “FBI says plot to attack U.S. Capitol was ready to go.” MSNBC: “US terror plot foiled by FBI arrest of Ohio man.” Wall St. Journal: “Ohio Man Charged With Plotting ISIS-Inspired Attack on U.S. Capitol.”
Just as predictably, political officials instantly exploited the news to justify their powers of domestic surveillance. House Speaker John Boehner claimed yesterday that “the National Security Agency’s snooping powers helped stop a plot to attack the Capitol and that his colleagues need to keep that in mind as they debate whether to renew the law that allows the government to collect bulk information from its citizens.” He warned: “We live in a dangerous country, and we get reminded every week of the dangers that are out there.” 
Yes, we are conveniently reminded of the dangers via fake terror attacks concocted by the FBI.
The known facts from this latest case seem to fit well within a now-familiar FBI pattern whereby the agency does not disrupt planned domestic terror attacks but rather creates them, then publicly praises itself for stopping its own plots.
First, they target a Muslim: not due to any evidence of intent or capability to engage in terrorism, but rather for the “radical” political views he expresses. In most cases, the Muslim targeted by the FBI is a very young (late teens, early 20s), adrift, unemployed loner who has shown no signs of mastering basic life functions, let alone carrying out a serious terror attack, and has no known involvement with actual terrorist groups.
Consider the truly remarkable (yet not aberrational) 2011 prosecution of James Cromitie, an impoverished African-American Muslim convert who had expressed anti-Semitic views but, at the age of 45, had never evinced any inclination to participate in a violent attack. For eight months, the FBI used an informant – one who was on the hook for another crime and whom the FBI was paying – to try to persuade Cromitie to agree to join a terror plot which the FBI had concocted.And for eight months, he adamantly refused. Only when they dangled a payment of $250,000 in front of him right as he lost his job did he finally assent, causing the FBI to arrest him. The DOJ trumpeted the case as a major terrorism arrest, obtained a prosecution and sent him to prison for 25 years.
Cornell’s father accused the FBI of responsibility for the plot, saying of his son: “He’s a mommy’s boy. His best friend is his cat Mikey. He still calls his mother ‘Mommy.’” His father said that “he might be 20, but he was more like a 16-year-old kid who never left the house.” He added that his son had only $1,200 in his bank account, and that the money to purchase guns could only have come from the FBI. It was the FBI, he said, who were “taking him somewhere, and they were filling his head with a lot of this garbage.”
This guy can’t even make a plan to leave his mom’s house let alone plot a terror attack against the U.S. Capitol.
Having crazed loners get guns and seek to shoot people is, of course, a threat. But so is allowing the FBI to manufacture terror plots: in the process keeping fear levels about terrorism completely inflated, along with its own surveillance powers and budget. Ohio is a major recipient of homeland security spending: it “has four fusion centers, more than any other state except California, New York and Texas. Ohio also ranks fourth in the nation (tying New York) with four FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs).”
Something has to be done to justify all that terrorism spending. For all those law enforcement agents with little to do, why not sit around and manufacture plots to justify those expenditures, giving a boost to their pro-surveillance ideology to boot? Media outlets have a responsibility to investigate the FBI’s claims, not mindlessly repeat them while parading their alarmed faces and scary graphics.
My friends at Activist Post poignantly added their two cents:
The FBI initially found a patsy by trolling Twitter for support of ISIS. That’s exciting because finding someone retarded enough to admit support for murderers is really difficult. Then they sent an in-house jihadist to team up with the patsy to plan a grand terror attack on the nation’s Capitol. Heroically, the moment the 20-year-old patsy said he would “go forward with violent jihad” the FBI steps in and declares a victory in the war on terror.
Well, the only reason this story exists at all is to make the public feel that there are genuine terror threats targeting the US Capitol. That is then used to justify spying on the Internet and funding the huge terrorism-industrial complex that has nothing better to do than make up the reasons to keep giving them money.
That last line is particularly important, particularly since U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron is now pleading the Obama Administration to support his insane agenda on encryption (see: Britain’s “War on Terror” Insanity Continues – David Cameron Declares War on Encryption). The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that:
British Prime Minister David Cameron plans to lobby President Barack Obama this week to more publicly criticize U.S. technology companies, such as Facebook Inc., that offer encrypted communications that can’t be unscrambled even with a court order, two people familiar with the matter said.
The move would extend Mr. Cameron’s efforts to help intelligence and security officials access the information they say they need to help counter terror. One issue he and intelligence officials have highlighted in recent days is the growing use of encryption and the difficulty it poses for law enforcement. The U.S. Justice Department has also sought a way to access encrypted communications with a court order, but has been rebuffed by civil-liberties concerns.
Mr. Cameron also plans to mention his push to require social-media companies to proactively monitor their users to spot budding national-security threats, the people familiar with the matter said.Tech executives say that would be a nonstarter in the U.S.
Through a spokeswoman, the White House declined to comment on a meeting that hasn’t taken place yet.
Messrs. Cameron and Obama are scheduled to meet for a working dinner Thursday, as well as additional meetings and a news conference Friday.
A meeting of the minds this surely will not be. In any event, I can guarantee you banning encryption will stop terrorists from using encryption as much as banning guns stopped terrorists from using guns to carry out their recent attacks in Paris. Or as much as the ban on drugs has stopped drug use. These laws are not directed at criminals or terrorist, they are intended to keep the plebs under perpetual surveillance.
Just in case you had any doubt that the U.S. government could care less about cyber crimes, witness the fact that no one at the CIA will be held responsible for breaking into Senate computers and seemingly violating the Constitution. The Washington Post reportsthat:
An internal CIA panel concluded in a report released Wednesday that agency employees should not be punished for their roles in secretly searching computers used by Senate investigators, a move that was denounced by lawmakers last year as an assault on congressional oversight and a potential breach of the Constitution.
Rejecting the findings of previous inquiries into the matter, the CIA review group found that the agency employees’ actions were “reasonable in light of their responsibilities to manage an unprecedented computer system” set up for Senate aides involved in a multiyear probe of the CIA’s treatment of terrorism suspects.
“Let me be clear: I continue to believe CIA’s actions constituted a violation of the constitutional separation of powers,” Feinstein said in a written statement. She noted that CIA Director John O. Brennan had previously apologized for the dispute but said she was “disappointed that no one at the CIA will be held accountable.”
How cute, Feinstein is “disappointed.” If you or I did this we would be locked up in solitary for the rest of our lives faster than you can say CIA torture.
The Bayh-led panel was set up after that fight had burst into public view. The panel was charged with determining whether any of the five CIA employees identified in the IG’s report should face discipline. But the “accountability review board” concluded that the CIA-Senate arrangement was so convoluted that the panel could find no clear rules on how the shared computer system was to be run, let alone whether any rules had been violated. In addition to Bayh, the panel included former White House counsel Robert F. Bauer and three senior CIA officers who have not been identified.
Unsurprisingly, some “hackers” are more equal than others

Monday, January 26, 2015

When Central Banks Are Upside Down

By  and originally published at theautomaticearth.com 
The Swiss have unleashed a pretty wild storm in financial markets. All sorts of companies and people today are licking their wounds, and quite a few will simply have to fold. It’s no exception to be so leveraged in foreign exchange wagers that a move of a few percent can wipe you out, let alone one of 30%. Leverage makes sure that right off the bat a whole bunch of foreign exchange brokers, including FXCM, the biggest, are literally dead in the water – FXCM stock fell 90% -.
We’ll hear about the real losses in the days and weeks to come, but rest assured they’ll be very substantial. Banks like Goldman, Deutsche and Barclays were heavily short the franc, and therefor of course, so were their clients. Many private investors have lost everything and then some. As if the losses from oil’s jump off the cliff weren’t damaging enough yet to the realm of finance. But, you know, the CHF franc was pegged to the slumping euro, so what did everybody really expect? The timing may have been a surprise, but come on ..
There’s number of lessons in this, but I don’t feel confident that they will be learned. If only because we’ve gotten so used to living in an upside down world that it has become a solid new normal, especially for those who’ve made a killing off of it. But everything, says physics, tends back to equilibrium. And we were many miles removed from that.
The world of finance decries the fact that the Swiss central bank didn’t ‘telegraph’ beforehand that they were going to get rid of the euro peg. And that’s completely upside down, right there. Even apart from the fact that the SNB move wouldn’t have worked if it had indicated it beforehand, what’s the idea behind central banks having to tell you anything at all? Just look at this from Bloomberg:
Switzerland’s central bank officials have just eaten their words, risking lingering indigestion in financial markets. Just three days after Swiss National Bank (SNBN) Vice President Jean-Pierre Danthine called the franc cap a “pillar” of monetary policy, the SNB yesterday dropped the minimum exchange rate of 1.20 per euro. The shock abandonment of the SNB’s primary policy of the past three years may now leave investors warier of taking officials’ words at face value, according to economists including Karsten Junius, chief economist at Bank J. Safra Sarasin. By scrapping one tool, the franc cap, SNB President Thomas Jordan risks blunting the effects of another. “The SNB’s credibility has suffered a bit,” said Junius, a former economist at the International Monetary Fund.
“Statements will get read in the future with a bit more caution. Verbal interventions will hardly work any more.” The central bank’s regular pledge to defend the franc cap with “utmost determination” had become part of the institution’s brand, not least because of the success of that policy in protecting the country’s domestic economy. “They’ve lost part of their credibility, I think, ”Han De Jong, chief economist at ABN Amro told Angie Lau on Bloomberg TV. “Whatever they will say, markets will not trust them very much.” George Buckley at Deutsche also argues the SNB’s words are hard to reconcile with the SNB’s new policy stance. “Their commentary now means nothing,” he said. “This is not utmost determination, is it?”
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has suffered similar criticism. He was labeled an “unreliable boyfriend” by one U.K. lawmaker last year for giving conflicting messages on the possible timing of interest-rate increases in the U.K. SNB President Jordan yesterday defended his surprise move, saying that a tool like the cap would always need to be abandoned unexpectedly. Anatoli Annenkov at SocGen agrees. “It’s something we aren’t used to anymore because most central banks are talking about warning markets, improving communication, not surprising anymore,” Annenkov said by phone from London. “But in such circumstances, there’s basically no other way to do this. Markets would have speculated, positioned themselves beforehand.”
There’s this sense of entitlement seeping through from this that makes you want to, I don’t know, shout, puke? Traders and journalists that chide a central bank for not giving them what they want, when they want it? On what logical basis? That Greenspan and Bernanke did it for years, and so screwed up the entire US financial system? That information from central banks is now some god-given right for traders and bankers? Are you nuts? Are we all? We now know the Swiss are not, or let’s say that for whatever reason they did what they did, they’re not completely off their rockers.
So how about other central bankers? Everyone seems to be sure now that Draghi at the ECB has more reason than ever, after the SNB move, to launch full tilt QE. And I’m thinking, I don’t know kiddos, perhaps he has less reason now, because the markets’ faith in central banks has taken a jolt, because the effectiveness of that QE, which has been in the works forever, has already been priced in by those markets, and because the Germans are sure to contest it all throughout their court system(s). What use would a Draghi QE be at this point? Close to zero. He might still do it, but that would just expose him as a tool. And he can resign and become Italy’s new president right after. And it’s not just Draghi:
Haruhiko Kuroda’s monetary “bazooka” just got outgunned by the Swiss. Since April 2013, Japan’s central banker has been pumping trillions of dollars into the economy in an attempt to generate 2% inflation. But in a mature, aging economy like Japan’s, the effort is 95% about confidence. In order to “drastically convert the deflationary mindset,” as Kuroda puts it, the Bank of Japan must transform sentiment among households and businesses. Kuroda’s massive bond purchases mean little if the Japanese don’t trust that better days lay ahead. The Swiss National Bank’s move to abandon the franc’s cap against the euro may have blown a hole in Kuroda’s strategy.
By reneging on a promise made time and time again that he wouldn’t ditch the policy, SNB President Thomas Jordan “has undermined the credibility of central banks,” says Simon Grose-Hodge of LGT. Now, at central banks around the globe, he adds, “the unthinkable is entirely possible. You can’t rule anything out.” Even if the BOJ issues another blast of quantitative-easing after its two-day policy meeting next week, the question is how effective the move would be. Kuroda’s Oct. 31 shock-and-awe stimulus announcement worked for a time by bolstering perceptions that steady inflation was within reach. But this time, with even Economy Minister Akira Amari admitting “it will probably be difficult” for the BOJ to succeed, markets are likely to be more skeptical of the bank’s staying power.
It’s not really the Swiss, central bank credibility was already shot through the past decade, if not more. You have no credibility as a central banker if you serve the interests of one particular niche. Like traders. You need to serve the interests of the entire nation you ‘serve’, or your time will come. No matter how much Draghi, Kuroda or Bernanke were tempted by the omnipotence narrative, deep down they must have known it wouldn’t last.
And now they have to face a new world, one they’re not used to at all. One in which their credibility is shot. I’m guessing that means they understand their ‘normal’ course of action, QE up the wazoo, no longer works. So what then?
Look, Draghi may well come up with that QE of his, but it’ll be stillborn. It’ll only be yet another transfer of money from the public to the private sector. Let’s buy a trillion worth of bonds! Yeah, that worked great for everyone else… But can Draghi still do that? Yes, it’ll bring down the euro for a bit, but the euro is going down no matter what he does. This is turning into a game of whodunnit. And then, of course, there’s the Fed:
Janet Yellen is leaving the Greenspan “put” behind as she charts the first interest-rate increase since 2006 amid growing financial-market volatility. The Federal Reserve chair has signaled she wants to place the economic outlook at the center of policy making, while looking past short-term market fluctuations.
To succeed, she must wean investors from the notion, which gained currency under predecessor Alan Greenspan, that the Fed will bail them out if their bets go bad – just as a put option protects against a drop in stock prices. “The succession of Fed puts over the years has led to a wide range of distortions in financial markets,” said Lawrence Goodman at the Center for Financial Stability. “There have been swollen asset values followed by sharp declines. This is a very good time for the Fed to move away.”
We’re getting back to normal, and though normal’s going to hurt – and far more than you realize yet-, it’s hugely preferable to upside down; you hang uprise down long enough, it makes your brain explode. The price of oil was the first thing to go, central banks are the next. And then the whole edifice follows suit. The Fed has been setting up its yes-no narrative for months now, and that’s not without a reason.
But everyone’s still convinced there won’t be a rate hike until well into this new year. And the Swiss central bank said, a few days before it did, that it wouldn’t. And then it did anyway. The financial sectors’ trust in central banks is gone forever. And none too soon. Now they’ll have to cover their own bets. If anything spells deflation, it’s got to be that. But not even one man in a thousand understands what deflation is.
We have a ways to go before we solve this puzzle. But we are, at least and at last, on our way.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Best Way to Protect the Family

By Dennis Prager and originally published at prageruniversity.com
Why do the Ten Commandments single out adultery as particularly harmful? Because adultery can destroy the foundational unit of a society -- the family. If exposed, adultery leads to a sense of betrayal. If hidden, it forces the offending spouse to lie. Children are often the unintended victims. This may be one of the most difficult Biblical laws to follow, but it's also one of the most important.

There is an old joke about The Seventh Commandment, "Do Not Commit Adultery." Moses comes down from Mount Sinai, and announces: "I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I got Him down to ten. The bad news is that adultery stays." 

The joke is telling. The prohibition on a married person having sexual relations with anyone except his or her spouse may be, for many people, the most consistently difficult of the Ten Commandments to observe. The reasons shouldn't be hard to guess. 

One is the enormous power of the sex drive. It can be very hard to keep in check for the entirety of one's marriage -- especially when an attractive outsider makes him or herself sexually or romantically available. Another reason is the human desire to love and be loved. For normal people, there is no more powerful emotion than love. If one falls in love with someone while married, it takes great effort not to commit adultery with that person. And if we add in the unfortunate circumstance of a loveless marriage, adultery becomes even more difficult to resist. That's why the joke with which I began is funny -- because it reflects truth. 

Why is adultery prohibited in the Ten Commandments? Because, like the other nine, it is indispensable to forming and maintaining higher civilization. Adultery threatens the very building block of the civilization that the Ten Commandments seeks to create. That building block is the family -- a married father and mother and their children. Anything that threatens the family unit is prohibited in the Bible. Adultery is one example. Not honoring one's father and mother is another. And the prohibition on injecting any sexuality into the family unit -- incest -- is a third example.

Why is the family so important? Because without it, social stability is impossible. Because without it, the passing on of society's values from generation to generation is impossible. Because commitment to a wife and children makes men more responsible and mature. Because, more than anything else, family meets most women's deepest emotional and material needs. And nothing comes close to the family in giving children a secure and stable childhood. 

And why does adultery threaten the family? The most obvious reason is that sex with someone other than one's spouse can all too easily lead to either or both spouses leaving the marriage. Adultery should not automatically lead to divorce; but it often does. There is another reason adultery can destroy a family. It can lead to pregnancy and then to the birth of a child. That child will in almost all cases start out life with no family -- meaning no father and mother married to each other -- to call his or her own. 

And if adultery doesn't destroy a family, it almost always does terrible harm to a marriage. Aside from the sense of betrayal and loss of trust that it causes, it means that the adulterous partner lives a fraudulent life. When a husband or wife is having sex with someone other than their spouse, their thoughts are constantly about that other person and about how to deceive their spouse. The life of deception that an adulterous affair necessarily entails inevitably damages a marriage even if the betrayed spouse is unaware of the affair.

Finally, the Commandment prohibiting adultery doesn't come with an asterisk saying that adultery is OK if both spouses agree to it. Spouses who have extramarital sex with the permission of their husband or wife may not hurt their spouse's feelings, but they are still harming the institution of marriage. And protecting the family, not protecting spouses from emotional pain, is the reason for the commandment. 

Many marriages, sadly, are troubled. And it is not for any of us to stand in judgment of others' behavior in this realm. No one knows what goes on in anyone else's marriage. And if we did, we might often well understand why one or the other sought love outside the marriage. But no higher civilization can be made or can endure that condones adultery. That is why it is prohibited in the Ten Commandments.

I'm Dennis Prager.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Middle East War Coming, Iran Russia Unite, Ferguson Cop Cleared

4By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com 
Several top stories are all coming out of the Middle East, and they all show war is approaching.  Yemen has fallen into the hands of Islamic radicals, and there is total chaos and anarchy in the country which now has no formal government.  This is an ominous development as it borders Saudi Arabia where staunch U.S. ally, King Abdullah, just died.  A successor has been named, and he faces a country on its Southern border overrun with rebels that oppose America and its allies.  President Obama has called Yemen a success story, and now it is a disaster that can and will further destabilize the Middle East.  My question is when will the anti-American rebels try to overthrow Saudi Arabia?  That is coming.  The U.S. can’t let that happen because if they do, it’s lights out for the petro-dollar.  The U.S. has been moving men and machinery to the region to fight ISIS.  Will they be diverted to Saudi Arabia?
Israel attacked positions in Syria and killed the son of a Hezbollah leader and an Iranian General.  Iran and Hezbollah say they are going to invade northern Israel in a counterattack.  The Israelis say an attack on Israel was already in the planning stages, and it attacked preemptively.  This could get ugly and very bloody.  Hezbollah has been amassing thousands of missiles, and they could rain down so many missiles on Israel it could swamp the Iron Dome missile defense system.  A missile attack by Hezbollah could make what Hamas did in the south look tame.  This might ratchet up the violence as Israel moves to stop such an attack.
Meanwhile, Iran just signed a defense pact with Russia that could send sophisticated S-300 missiles to Iran.  These missiles are defensive and might thwart a possible air strike from Israel over Iran’s nuclear program.  Here’s a big question, if Israel attacks Iran, will Russia feel obligated to then attack Israel?  Who knows, but this news clearly shows tensions on the rise and peace is being pushed further out of the picture.  A direct attack on Iran by Israel would surely cause a wider way.  On top of that, Israel has released satellite photographs that it says shows Iran has what appears to be a new ballistic missile.  The Israelis claim it is capable of hitting targets far beyond the Middle East.
Closer to home, Congress has invited Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress.  The White House was bypassed, and now the Obama Administration says it will not meet with Netanyahu while he is in town.  The official reason is that the Prime Minister is too close to his election, and the White House does not want to appear to be showing favoritism to a candidate or a party.  Others say President Obama is furious the White House was bypassed.  Speaker John Boehner has voiced his displeasure over how the talks have dragged on with Iran over its nuclear program and says “hell no” to Obama signing a bad deal.  President Obama threatened to veto any legislation that intensifies sanctions on Iran.  My prediction is the House will have bipartisan legislation for more sanctions and so will the Senate.  There may be enough Democrats that will vote to override a veto.  This is what I predicted after the mid-term elections, and this is what is happening.  More and more Democrats will vote against the President as time goes on.
On the financial front, the European Central Bank (ECB) started its own “open-ended” money printing, or QE program.  It will be spending $70 billion a month buying bonds, but the ECB says it is only picking up 20% of the tab.  It wants other central banks to pick up the other 80%.  I don’t think any other banks can afford it, and Germany certainly will not be chipping in 20%.  I don’t see how it will work.  The euro has been sinking in value, and the U.S. dollar has been rising.  At least two USAWatchdog guests predicted the dollar would rise, and that may indeed force the Fed to start another round of money printing to knock down the dollar.  U.S. companies, which get much of their revenue from sales abroad, are hurting because of the spiking dollar.  The Fed will not let that happen, so expect more money printing to devalue the dollar.
There are also plenty of signs that say the economy is not in a so-called “recovery” but a downward spiral.  This is another excuse to start another round of money printing to prop up the economy a little longer.  Oil and energy companies have been laying off workers by the tens of thousands.  Other parts of the economy are also announcing they are shedding jobs such as eBay, American Express, plenty of retailers and even big banks like Bank of America.  The President touted that the economy was strong, but out here in the real world, it looks weak and getting weaker.
Finally, Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson has been exonerated by the U.S. Justice Department.  This means the entire “hands up, don’t shoot” movement was based on a gigantic lie.  White police officers are not hunting down unarmed black men and executing them.  More than 5,000 blacks a year are murdered by other blacks in America, and those lives don’t seem to matter to people like Al Sharpton.  Much of the city of Ferguson, Missouri, was burned to the ground based on hype and lies. That is a tragedy for the business owners, most of them minority owned, who suffered because their town was being used as a political piñata.
Join Greg Hunter as he analyzes these stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

We’ve Let The Clowns Come Way Too Far

By  and originally published at theautomaticearth.com  
In yesterday’s State of the Union, Obama said The ‘Shadow Of Crisis Has Passed’, and the one and the only thing I thought was: ‘Good, so now we can tackle the crisis itself?!’. If speeches like the SOTU last night, and the reactions to it, make anything clear, it’s that the PR guys won the fight against critical thinking. Sure, there are people for whom that shadow has passed, but a president is supposed to be there for all Americans, not just for those who finance his campaigns and those of his successors.
And for most Americans, the shadow hasn’t passed at all, and the crisis certainly hasn’t. And hollow promises to help the middle class are not going to change anything about that. It’s an elite game, and all others are left to fend for themselves. For now that remains hidden behind the veil of over 50% of Americans receiving some kind of government benefit, but that won’t last. We may have some idea of how much richer the rich are getting, and even that is a stretch, but we have much less idea of how much the poor got poorer.
And the President, of all Americans, won’t tell us, he’d rather hail his ‘achievements’ as prepared and blown out of all proportions by his spin team. His political ‘adversaries’, who play their role of ‘hating’ him only halfway convincingly, won’t call him on the spin, because they have nothing to gain from trying to blow up the newfangled American Dream.
Their message looking forward to the 2016 elections is that they would do even better, but that doesn’t sound credible with the 5% GDP growth and 5.2% unemployment numbers the White House pulls out of its top hat. They’re just as dependent on spin as Obama is, and he trumped them on it. What are they going to do? Promise 10% GDP growth?
The GOP will look to drastically cut those benefits, and they know full well that that would cut growth numbers, not raise them. 5% growth is already so far out of left field that Obama’s spin doctors have the other side cornered on US economy. They have on international politics, too.
The White House’s ludicrous stance on Russia’s involvement in Ukraine, ludicrous because none of its accusations have ever been proven over an entire year, and the sanctions that were instated because of the hollow accusations, are a hard act to follow even for John McCain and his dementing octogenarian rabble rousers who crave nothing more than for that final grand scale deadly battle in their lifetime. Can we make in nuclear please? After them the flood.
All they could do to better Obama from here is send in American boots on the ground in the Donbass, and they know that would be the least popular decision in many decades. But domestically, economically, and internationally, it’s back to the drawing board for the Grand Old Elephants all the time, they’re always a step behind. Must be frustrating. The Obama people have played them as much as they have played the American people.
Who, as should be obvious by now, have nothing to expect from either side, since both owe allegiance not to the flag or the Founding Fathers, but to the rich getting richer who fund them, without whom they’d have to give up their power plays and -dreams. Something a certain kind of people will resist at any price. The kind that floats to the top of this kind of cesspool.
Allow money into politics and the former will end up owning the latter, no exceptions. Money won’t support candidates with a conscience, only those who’ll do anything to advance their careers, who are as pliable as and spineless as a stick of wet gum, and those are all that will be left. If anything typifies American politics, it’s moral bankruptcy. One dollar one vote. 100 million dollars, 100 million votes. And then they insist on calling that democracy, a concept promoted by the media purchased the same way the politicians are.
All you need to do is get people to believe whatever it is you got for sale. And 99.9% of people are easily fooled. That’s how you define democracy in 2015: how many people can you fool? Which is the most convincing sleight of hand?
The Europeans are well down that same road. Mario Draghi is set to announce over $1 trillion in QE tomorrow, and none of it will ever reach the alleged target, the real economy. He set up his QE in a ‘proportional’ way, meaning most of that trillion will go to Germany and France, not the Greeks and Italians who need it most.
Draghi will buy government bonds, but that doesn’t help Europe’s businesses. And not just because they are far more dependent on bank loans than American companies are, who issue more bonds, but because demand, and spending, is way down. That’s what it means that Europe is in deflation. It’s not falling prices, it’s that people don’t spend, and they certainly don’t borrow.
Draghi is engaging in the classic central banker’s ‘pushing on a string’, and Goldman’s former banker and present day acolyte knows it. He’s created a situation in which another $1 trillion looks acceptable, necessary even, to the majority of the eurozone politicians. Who mostly are clueless about the effects of such expenditures. But who look at the US and think it must have worked over there; who fall for Obama’s spin doctor narratives as much as the America people do.
Draghi’s $1 trillion has long been priced in, it won’t do anything for EU economies but gut them even further, and it may be completely irrelevant as soon as this Sunday when Greece may well elect a government that has vouched to blow up the deals the Troika made with the technocrats the EU itself installed in Athens.
Not a pretty picture, is it, either in Washington or in Brussels?! Well, I can guarantee you it’ll get a lot worse before it gets any better. We’ve let the clowns come too far. Way too far.