Saturday, April 21, 2018

Criminals of DOJ & FBI, MSM Ignores Real News, Yield Curve Flattens


By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com 
Eleven members of the House GOP have given a criminal referral for the top people in the FBI, DOJ and State Department in the Obama Administration. James Comey, Hillary Clinton, Loretta Lynch and Andrew McCabe were all accused of a variety of crimes, including obstruction of justice to perjury.  Hillary Clinton is being accused of getting “contributions and donations by foreign nationals.”  This has never happened in U.S. history to have so many top former U.S. officials accused of this many crimes.
Meanwhile, former renowned Federal prosecutor Joe diGenova continues to accuse Democrats of “framing” the Trump Administration with “fake evidence” in a grand conspiracy to remove a duly elected President. DiGenova also accuses President Obama to be part of the conspiracy.  The mainstream media (MSM) has, by and large, refused to cover the criminal referral of multiple high ranking Obama Administration officials and treats the fired FBI director as some sort of hero on his ongoing book tour.
Gregory Mannarino of TradersChoice.net is out with a warning about the flattening yield curve. Mannarino says a flattening yield curve always signals a coming recession, which will spell trouble for the markets.
Join Greg Hunter as he talks about these stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up.
(Correction:   I meant to say “Obama had a dinner party at the White House December of 2016”– NOT Trump.  also,  Correction:   I meant to say .19 basis points instead of .10.)
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Friday, April 20, 2018

Winter Is Coming

“Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.” – George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones
Image result for winter is coming game of thrones
“Reflect on what happens when a terrible winter blizzard strikes. You hear the weather warning but probably fail to act on it. The sky darkens. Then the storm hits with full fury, and the air is a howling whiteness. One by one, your links to the machine age break down. Electricity flickers out, cutting off the TV. Batteries fade, cutting off the radio. Phones go dead. Roads become impassible, and cars get stuck. Food supplies dwindle. Day to day vestiges of modern civilization – bank machines, mutual funds, mass retailers, computers, satellites, airplanes, governments – all recede into irrelevance. 
Picture yourself and your loved ones in the midst of a howling blizzard that lasts several years. Think about what you would need, who could help you, and why your fate might matter to anybody other than yourself. That is how to plan for a saecular winter. Don’t think you can escape the Fourth Turning. History warns that a Crisis will reshape the basic social and economic environment that you now take for granted.” – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning
By Jim Quinn and originally published at theburningplatform.com
I’m always a little behind when it comes to popular TV, especially when the shows are on premium cable channels. Being cheap, I’ve refused to pay for any premium cable channels, plus I’ve spent much of my life on baseball fields and in hockey rinks, rather than watching TV. When my kids recently signed up for HBO Now, I finally got to watch The Sopranos, eleven years after its final episode aired. Now I’m finally able to watch Game of Thrones, after it has been on the air for seven seasons. In the opening episodes I was impressed by the theme which permeates the series. Numerous characters stated “Winter is Coming”. I was immediately struck by the parallels with the Fourth Turning theory about the cyclical nature of our world.
The phrase “Winter is Coming” has multiple meanings in the context of Game of Thrones. First, it is the motto of House Stark, referring to their vigilance regarding dark times ahead. It is a manifestation, meaning one should always be prepared for the worst. As rulers of the North, the Starks were always ready for anything that could happen because eventually something wicked would come. Thus, winter is coming. Another meaning was related to the actual seasonal dynamic in the land of Westeros. They had a very odd seasonal structure where summer and winter could last for long periods of time without anyone knowing when they would switch. They had experienced a long period of summer, meaning a long winter was coming.
The deeper metaphorical meaning of the phrase is how seasons are a reflection of sentiment and mood in our lives and in the world. Even though things may be going well in your world (summer), you know it won’t last forever – a dark period of bitter cold is coming and events will turn against you. The underlying message of the entire show is no one is safe and disaster, danger and death await everyone. Just when you think you are safe, the ominous foreboding of the phrase conveys the message that peril is just over the horizon. The advent of winter unquestionably foretells doom, destruction, and hostilities will rage on the winter winds in a never ending gale. Whether any character survives the onslaught of winter is always in doubt.
George R.R. Martin, the writer of the Game of Thrones books, was inspired by the Hundred Years War in creating the setting and mood of his dystopian adventure. The populations lived on the edge of starvation as the Black Plague, war, famine, and unyielding weather created a bleak existence. The allegorical use of winter in literature spans centuries, from Shakespeare’s winter of our discontent to the Fourth Turning describing our current Crisis period as winter in the generational cycle of history. Winter is used in Shakespearian plays, the Game of Thrones and the Fourth Turning as a metaphor to convey the dark and bitterly cold period wherein peril and death menace all who reside on this earth. Death and destruction come suddenly and un-expectantly during winter storms.
I also see other parallels between the Game of Thrones world and other aspects of Fourth Turnings. I wrote an article about the Gray Champion of this Fourth Turning – Gray Champion Assumes Command two weeks after the shocking election of Donald Trump in November 2016. There is nothing that has happened since then to convince me Donald Trump is not a Gray Champion of this ongoing Fourth Turning Crisis.
The generational alignment which happens every eighty to a hundred years unfolded once again in 2008, with a financial crisis on par with the 1929 Crash and subsequent Great Depression. It took until 2016 for a Gray Champion to appear, and to the surprise of the elitist chattering class it wasn’t Hillary Clinton, but billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump. His arrival marked the beginning of the most perilous portion of this winter of our discontent.
“At each of these great gates of history, eighty to a hundred years apart, a similar generational drama unfolded. Four archetypes, aligned in the same order – elder Prophet, midlife Nomad, young adult Hero, child Artist – together produced the most enduring legends in our history. Each time the Gray Champion appeared marked the arrival of a moment of “darkness, and adversity, and peril,” the climax of the Fourth Turning of the saeculum.” – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe
There is a major misconception regarding the term Gray Champion. The term champion has a positive connotation as an admired winner who is universally cheered and esteemed. This is why half of the people who read Donald Trump described as the Gray Champion immediately tune out or go ballistic. The true meaning of champion in this context is an advocate for a specific cause or agenda. Strauss and Howe borrowed the phrase from Nathaniel Hawthorne as he reflected upon the arrival of prophet generation graying stalwarts who decisively took control when all appeared lost.
“One afternoon in April 1689, as the American colonies boiled with rumors that King James II was about to strip them of their liberties, the King’s hand-picked governor of New England, Sir Edmund Andros, marched his troops menacingly through Boston. His purpose was to crush any thought of colonial self-rule. To everyone present, the future looked grim.
Just at that moment, seemingly from nowhere, there appeared on the streets “the figure of an ancient man” with “the eye, the face, the attitude of command.” His manner “combining the leader and the saint,” the old man planted himself directly in the path of the approaching British soldiers and demanded that they stop. “The solemn, yet warlike peal of that voice, fit either to rule a host in the battlefield or be raised to God in prayer, were irresistible. At the old man’s word and outstretched arm, the roll of the drum was hushed at once, and the advancing line stood still.” Inspired by this single act of defiance, the people of Boston roused their courage and acted. Within the day, Andros was deposed and jailed, the liberty of Boston saved, and the corner turned on the colonial Glorious Revolution.
“Who was this Gray Champion?” Nathaniel Hawthorne asked near the end of this story in his Twice-Told Tales. No one knew, except that he had once been among the fire-hearted young Puritans who had first settled New England more than a half century earlier.
Would the Gray Champion ever return? “I have heard,” added Hawthorne, “that whenever the descendants of the Puritans are to show the spirit of their sires, the old man appears again.”
Posterity had to wait a while before seeing him again—the length of another long human life, in fact. “When eighty years had passed,” wrote Hawthorne, the Gray Champion reappeared. The occasion was the revolutionary summer of 1775—when America’s elders once again appealed to God, summoned the young to battle, and dared the hated enemy to fire. “When our fathers were toiling at the breastwork on Bunker’s Hill,” Hawthorne continued, “all through that night the old warrior walked his rounds.” This “old warrior”—this graying peer of Sam Adams or Ben Franklin or Samuel Langdon (the Harvard president who preached to the Bunker Hill troops)—belonged to the Awakening Generation, whose youth had provided the spiritual taproot of the republic secured in their old age.
“Long, long may it be ere he comes again!” Hawthorne prophesied. “His hour is one of darkness, and adversity, and peril. But should domestic tyranny oppress us, or the invaders’ step pollute our soil, still may the Gray Champion come….” Although Hawthorne did not say when this would be, perhaps he should have been able to tell.” – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe
I have been focused on Trump as the Gray Champion, as he becomes the lightening rod during the second half of this Fourth Turning. Domestic tyranny is spreading across the land as the Deep State attempts to maintain their stranglehold over the financial, political and media levers of our surveillance state. Our hour of darkness, adversity and peril is approaching like a deadly winter storm. The arrival of Trump through the wintry mist has not rallied the entire country to his cause.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

What Do We Know About Syria? Next to Nothing

Anyone accepting "facts" or narratives from any interested party is being played
About the only "fact" the public knows with any verifiable certainty about Syria is that much of that nation is in ruins. Virtually everything else presented as "fact" is propaganda intended to serve one of the competing narratives or discredit one or more competing narratives.
Consider a partial list of "interested parties" spinning their own narratives about events in Syria: (in no particular order)
1. The government of Syria
2. non-state groups in Syria
3. Turkey
4. Saudi Arabia
5. Iran
6. Jordan
7. The government of Iraq
8. non-state groups in Iraq
9. The Kurds
10. Hamas
11. Israel
12. Lebanon
13. The Gulf States
14. Russia
15. United States
16. European Union
17. United Kingdom
18. France
19. Germany
20. Italy
21. China
This doesn't exhaust the list of interested parties, of course, but it reflects the spectrum of competing parties pushing a narrative that supports their particular interests in Syria. These include neighboring countries, regional powers, global powers and consumers of Syrian energy exports.
Let's start by stating the obvious: the only way to gain any reasonably accurate contexts / assessments in Syria is to have intelligence-gathering assets on the ground. The situation is fluid and complex, and there is no one "truth." 
The only way to get any sort of handle on the military, political and social dynamics in Syria is to have access to the intelligence assessments and analyses of all the major players' intelligence agencies.
In other words, the only way to get any sort of comprehensive understanding would be to have a WikiLeaks-type release of intelligence reports from all the players with assets on the ground and have a deep enough understanding of the history and culture of the region to make sense of the overlaps, conflicts, nuances and shades of "truth" presented in each of the intel reports.
Only by collating "raw" (unfiltered) intel gathered on the ground and high-level analysis by those directing the various interests' campaigns could a reasonably accurate assessment be assembled.
Short of that, we know next to nothing. What are presented as "facts" are narratives designed to persuade us of the fidelity of the "facts" being presented and the rightness of the narrative supported by the presented "facts."
If the "facts" aren't designed to support a specific narrative, then they're designed to undermine or discredit a competing narrative.
There are several ways to push a narrative: one is to present "evidence" that supposedly verifies the "facts," and the other is to limit the public's access to competing narratives amd claims.
In the good old days, the Soviet propaganda machine was famous for erasing public figures from photos once they ran afoul of the regime. In the photo published last week, Igor was standing next to a KGB apparatchik, and in the photo published this week, Igor has vanished, replaced by a snowy background--perhaps appropriate, given that Igor ould soon be enjoying the rigors of a Siberian gulag.
Nowadays, digital manipulation is much easier and more ubiquitous. Not just photos and videos can be edited--all sorts of digital fingerprints can be faked.
We know from various leaks about NSA/CIA capabilities that these agencies (and presumably others) engineer computer viruses so they appear to be the work of foreign intelligence agencies or hackers.
It's difficult to assess the "facts" in a world awash in digital manipulation and misdirection.
We know a few things, but they're not "news." We know oil and natural gas are still the primary energy sources of the industrialized global economy. So-called renewables (so-called because wind turbines and solar panels don't last forever and thus they are more correctly called replaceables rather than renewables) remain a tiny sliver of total global energy consumption.
We also know that Syria and Iraq are the geographic armature of the Mideast.
As I have noted in previous essays, sometimes the strategy isn't to control the assets being contested so much as disrupt competitors' enjoyment of the assets and send signals about future costs and consequences.
It is a grave mistake to take any narrative or set of "facts" presented by interested parties as being anything more than propaganda or signaling. Only those on the ground with intelligence on all the other players on the ground have anything close to a useful understanding of the situation, and they can only claim to have a useful understanding if they also possess a deep appreciation of the regional contexts, histories and dynamics that are in play.
In summary: anyone accepting "facts" or narratives from any interested party is being played. It's best to retain a healthy skepticism of all narratives and an equally healthy appreciation of how little we know or can ever know about the full spectrum of events and dynamics in Syria.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

World War III Will Be An Economic War

By Brandon Smith and originally published at alt-market.com
There is a mass delusion in the mainstream created I think in large part by too much exposure to movie fantasy and TV fiction. It is an immediate assumption; one that I believe is far more dangerous than many people give it credit for. The assumption is that the next great war, should it occur, will inevitably be a nuclear one, and the doom surrounding it will end everything as we know it. Many people even get excited at the idea of World War III and the notion that it will “wipe the slate clean,” setting the stage for a positive human reformation from the ashes. I’m here to say that this is likely not how things will play out.
There are much more precise and effective weapons than nukes in the arsenal of the establishment globalists that manipulate political systems in various nations.
For example, the use of weaponized economics and false paradigms. As I have warned for years now, a conflict between East and West has been engineered to take place, and this conflict will primarily be an economic one. I outlined this dynamic in October 2016 in my article East vs. West Division Is About The Dollar — Not Nuclear War.
The excitement and dread surrounding potential nuclear warfare distracts from the much more legitimate threat of a staged financial war between East and West (as well as regional wars by proxy in Syria and North Korea which could bog the US down in a mire). It is important to remember that all wars are invariably banker wars — that is to say, almost all wars benefit international financiers by creating an environment ripe for centralization of wealth and political power. This notion tends to confuse some analysts and activists in the liberty movement.
There is a strange clinging obsession with these people to the idea that there is true international division and that this division includes Eastern governments on one side verses globalist controlled governments on the other. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Considering the reality that the very same globalist representatives and institutions that permeate Western finance and politics ALSO sit in positions of influence in countries like Russia and China, I find it hard to believe that there is any sort of “division” in the upper echelons of their respective power structures. For all intents and purposes, the same poisonous influences, from Goldman Sachs to JP Morgan to Rothschild run corporations to Henry Kissinger (Mr. “New World Order”), all loom over Eastern economic policy and politics as well.
I have been writing about the false east/west paradigm since at least 2014 and compiling evidence on globalist influences in Russia and China; you can read more here and here.
The bottom line is this: Russia and China are in full support of globalist controlled institutions like the Bank for International Settlements (the central bank of central banks) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The governments of both nations have called for the IMF to assert their Special Drawing Rights basket currency framework as a foundation for a new world reserve currency system. Again, both Russia and China want the IMF, a globalist controlled entity, to become the de facto ruler of a new global monetary structure.
This call for a complete world monetary shift has not been taken as seriously as it should have been, primarily because mainstream economists argue that there is no alternative to the highly liquid U.S. dollar. This is no longer true, though.
With the rise of simple to generate cryptocurrencies and the easily tracked blockchain exchange mechanism, globalists now have the perfect liquidity tool for replacing the dollar as world reserve. All they need now is a crisis event to provide cover for the transition. That is to say, the masses must be thoroughly distracted by an engineered disaster theater. This would create the proper level of fear and confusion necessary to implement full spectrum changes in the world’s fiscal systems without ample resistance from populations suffering from the effects of the reset.
It would appear that a crisis event is now being triggered in the form of an international trade war. This trade war, in my view, is designed to become so widespread that it will one day be considered a “world war.”
China has been preparing for the move away from the US dollar since at least 2005 when they began issuing what the western financial media called "panda bonds", or Yuan denominated bonds.  Back then, the idea was almost treated as a joke.  Not so much anymore, as China has expanded its liquidity by trillions over the past 13 years through various Yuan denominated instruments and has now even begun purchasing oil in Yuan instead of dollars.  This has created what is being called a "petro-yuan" market, a move which was predicted far in advance by many of us in the alternative media, but for the mainstream it has been presented as something out of left field.  Petro-yuan futures are being traded globally, and considering the fact that China is the largest importer/exporter in the world, it is only a short matter of time before many of China's trading partners switch from the dollar to the yuan for exchanges.
All of this is culminating in a final action - the end game for developing trade war.  This action will be the complete dumping of the dollar itself by China and its allies.  With evidence building that China is stopping purchases of US treasury bonds, this action may come much sooner than many people seem to think.  The naysayers continue to argue that China "will never break from the US and the dollar", yet, this is exactly what is happening.  It appears that these people will not accept the reality of the situation until it sets up camp on their front lawn in the form of a monetary collapse.
As far as distractions are concerned, the trade war activity has been very effective. For example, over the past few months I have been pointing out the strange relationship between announcements by the Federal Reserve concerning interest rate increases and balance sheet cuts and announcements by Donald Trump on tariffs against China and other nations. In almost every instance that the Fed’s actions precipitate a major drop in stock markets (such as last week when Jerome Powell announced an increased number of interest rate hikes and further balance sheet reductions) Trump simultaneously announces more aggressive tariff measures.
The mainstream media automatically blames Trump and the trade war for instability in stocks while completely ignoring the direct correlation between the Federal Reserve removing artificial support from stock markets and their continuing declines. The central bankers created the massive market bubble, now they are imploding it, and they want to do this without suffering any blowback to themselves. Trump seems to be helping them in this regard.
Even now, there are alternative economists and their followers that still don’t get what is happening. People who still think the Fed’s actions are a “policy error;” that the bankers are unaware of what they are doing, and that they will eventually reverse course and begin propping up stocks once again. My question is — why would they?
International financiers and central banks have everything to gain by pulling the plug on life support for stocks, bonds, real estate, etc. at this time. In the midst of a trade war panic, they can pretty much do anything they want without retaliation. All future catastrophe can now be dumped in the lap of any number of scapegoats. Some people will blame Donald Trump and the conservatives that voted for him. Some people will blame China and Russia as the culprits behind our ills. Other people will blame “capitalism” and “free markets” in general for the crisis even though we haven’t enjoyed true free markets in well over a century. But, very few people will blame global banks specifically.
I can tell you exactly what globalists will say as they salivate over the panic; they will blame the “selfishness” of  “nationalism” as the great culprit, and they will call for a one world economic system built on a one world currency framework as the solution.
In many ways a world economic war could be far more disastrous than a nuclear one. In the event of economic collapse just as many people could very well perish as trade infrastructure and freight systems shut down, but the damage can be more easily directed and centrally controlled by financial elitists. Wealth can be shifted into any number of assets anywhere on the planet — so the idea that globalists have anything to lose in this scenario is rather naive. In the meantime, the banks plan to steal even more power for existing organizations like the IMF. As some countries suffer economic breakdown, globalist institutions will only grow.
In a nuclear war, there is only pandemonium. In an economic war, centralized dominance remains possible. The greatest disaster would not be the tragedy of mass unemployment, degradation of infrastructure, loss of monetary stability or loss of reliable food and energy production. No, the greatest disaster would be the continued thriving of banking conglomerates and central bank organizations as large portions of the world crumble. The greatest disaster will be what happens AFTER the collapse — the consolidation of a “new world order,” if the banking elites are not unmasked as the real catalyst behind the next world war.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

How the Postal Service Loses So Much Money

By  and originally published at mises.org
Lately, when he isn’t trying to blame China on America’s competitiveness woes, President Donald Trump has become obsessed with the online retailer Amazon. While there’s speculationthat Trump is using the reins of government to carry out a personal grudge because Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, also owns The Washington Post, the more recent obsession is based on his belief that the United States Postal Service is subsidizing Amazon’s activity. The claim is that, based on a cost-plus method of pricing, Amazon is being subsidized $1.47 per package delivered by the USPS as a last-mile carrier. With an estimated 608 million boxes shipped by the online retailer in 2017, Trump is implying that Amazon has shorted the postal service by $893 million. Considering the USPS lost $2.7 billion, this further implies that Amazon is a key reason why the USPS is struggling financially. Trump goes on to state that Amazon should fork over the entire $2.7 billion to cover the difference.
A key problem here is the assumption that businesses operate on a cost-plus basis. This kind of thinking is a result of how warped government operations are, which frequently engage in cost-plus kinds of contracts. Cost-plus contracts are where the government agrees to cover all the applicable costs of performing the work plus a guaranteed profit. These forms of contracts are relatively unusual in the private business sector, where bidding on price are the primary form of activity. Because of the nature of cost-plus, and how they will frequently go over-budget because there is little incentive to control costs of performance, companies generally don’t engage in them. This means, in the world outside of tax-funded activity, the USPS has to compete with other package carriers like UPS and FedEx and doesn’t have the luxury of guaranteeing itself a profit on every activity.
When it comes to the USPS, the organization has significant fixed costs. In business planning, prices are usually lower-bound by the variable cost of activity. Any revenues that are collected above and beyond the variable costs are able to contribute toward fixed expenses. This is referred to as the contribution margin. Because the fixed component exists whether the product or service is sold or not, companies will be pressured to lower prices until they reach this contribution margin is exhausted. Companies then hope to generate sufficient volume at this margin to cover the fixed expenses. If the choice is between no sale and a sale below an optimal price with some contribution margin, the organization will usually go with the lower than optimal price to at least slow the resource deterioration.
The reason the USPS is in trouble and is struggling to cover its estimated $29 billion in fixed costs is because of its status as a partial legal monopoly. From the own words of the USPS, Congress has granted, with criminal penalty, the USPS total monopoly over the delivery of letters, with some carve-out exceptions (such as urgent or free of charge). Like most monopolies, the USPS had little incentive to keep costs controlled. In 1999, the USPS even went so far as to shrug off the burgeoning Internet, e-mail in particular, as some fad and engaged in sorting facility expansions with the expectation that letter volume would continue to grow. Since peaking in 2001, the number of letters delivered by the USPS has since collapsed to nearly half as much in 2017. The USPS costs, however, continued to increase, from $62 billion in 2000 to $72.3 billion in 2017, despite the collapse of business volume. The USPS was only able to remain solvent by leveraging its monopoly status by driving up the price of stamps from $0.34 for a first class stamp in 1999 to $0.50 later this year. But even this is running into limitations as the decline in mail volume accelerates.
This monopoly, however, doesn’t cover package delivery, putting the USPS in a strange position of having a legal monopoly on only part of its business. This creates the impression that the package business is subsidized by the letter business since the prices on the letter side aren’t limited by a competitive force. This then creates the further impression that the expenses, which were never controlled because of the historical reliance on letter delivery, should be evenly applied to package delivery as well. Thus the assumption there is a subsidy at all when in reality the costs are grossly overinflated due to a lack of market discipline.
When a private business is threatened by decreased volume, they usually have to trim operations to adjust their size to meet the new market demands. The USPS, on the other hand, does not do this. The organization continues to operate on the assumption it must make daily deliveries, six days a week, to every address in the nation. Even the old rural excuse has become weakened as the nation becomes more urban (assuming it was ever justified to tax city residents to provide city amenities to those who elected to live in remote places). Not that rural residents need a monopoly organization to deliver junk mail.

Repeal the Postal Service's Monopoly

So what’s the answer to the failings of the USPS? Repeal the Private Express Statutes and let the USPS loose to manage its own affairs without Congressional interference in its operations. As Lysander Spooner famously proved back in 1844 with the American Letter Mail Company, the private sector can not only deliver the mail, it can deliver the mail profitably for a fraction of the cost of the postal service. This solves two problems:
  1. The appearance that Amazon is subsidized through the USPS is eliminated
  2. Profitable, stable delivery organizations can come into play
Repealing the private express statutes and getting government out of the mail delivery business may also very well save the USPS as not only can the USPS get out from under populist mandates, such as the overly generous retirement program and maintaining an absurd number of postal service locations; the USPS maintains over twice as many postal stops as McDonald’s has restaurants. It will also open up the market to more competition and competition breeds superior operations for competing members as creative methods of operation are more likely to be identified and can be mimicked, leading to superior operations for all players.
In the end, the “problem” with Amazon is self-inflicted by the government insisting it operates a monopoly letter carrier. Trump can fix the problem with one fell swoop by pressuring Congress not to pass laws imposing higher rates on Amazon delivered packages, which will only accelerate the failure of the USPS since Amazon would just pick an alternate carrier, but to open up unrestricted competition in mail delivery and cut the USPS loose from the government tether. It certainly worked out well in New Zealand.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Why Do They Tell Us Transparent Lies?


By Paul Craig Roberts and originally published at paulcraigroberts.org
US officials and the presstitutes tell us that the illegal US missile attack on Syria destroyed chemical weapons sites where chlorine and sarin are stored/manufactured. If this were true, would not a lethal cloud have been released that would have taken the lives of far more people than claimed in the alleged Syrian chemical attack on Douma? Would not the US missile attack be identical to a chemical weapons attack and thus place the US and its vassals in the same category as Washington is attempting to place Assad and Putin?
What about it, you chemical weapons experts? Do chemical weapons only release their elements when they explode from intended use but not when they explode from being militarily attacked? 
There is no evidence in Syria of chemical residue from the chemical weapons facilities allegedly destroyed by US missiles. No dead victims. No reports of hospitals treating Syrian casualties of the American chemical attack. How can this be if such sites were actually hit? 
When I was a Wall Street Journal editor newspapers had competent journalists to whom such a question would occur. But no more. Stephen Lendman takes the New York Times to task for its unprofessionalism. The NY Times is no longer a news source. It is a propaganda megaphone. http://stephenlendman.org/2018/04/nyt-imperial-mouthpiece-2/

Sunday, April 15, 2018

We Believe in the Resurrection

By Jill Carattini and originally published at rzim.org
Though there are no doubt those among us who would not believe on any amount of evidence that something so unusual as the resurrection could happen, there are countless others who are asking perceptive questions: What happened on that first Easter morning? Why would the disciples go to their deaths making such an outrageous claim? And why does the rise of Christianity remain a challenge unanswered? 
Such questions are a good starting point for anyone, and often—like the resurrection for those who first beheld it—the questioner is moved quickly from historical matters below to matters far above. As N.T. Wright notes:
“[T]he challenge [of the resurrection] comes down to a much narrower point, not simply to do with worldviews in general, or with ‘the supernatural’ in particular, but with the direct question of death and life, of the world of space, time and matter and its relation to whatever being there may be for whom the word ‘god,’ or even ‘God,’ might be appropriate. Here there is, of course, no neutrality.”(1)
The earliest creeds confess Jesus as one who “suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried…. [And] on the third day he rose again.”(2) The writers of these creeds confessed the suffering of Jesus as a datable event, his crucifixion as an occurrence in history. Even “three days later” is a confession of a historical, quantifiable occasion—albeit an occasion wholly unprecedented.
Unlike modern presuppositions might project, there is absolutely nothing abstract about the details confessed by those who first beheld the risen Christ. Yet the resurrection of Jesus was clearly not viewed as a static fact either, a fixed event both occurring and remaining in history. Their confessions included a keen understanding of implication: “We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe…” says Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:14. The resurrection of Christ was seen an eschatological event with both clear consequences and necessary responses. It was a phenomenon that was actively interpreted in the backdrop of the very anticipation that beheld it.
Henry Ossawa Tanner, Two Disciples at the Tomb, oil on canvas, 1906.
The details of death, burial, and the third day confessed of Jesus in the earliest creeds are similarly followed by certain understood implications. Jesus is now “seated at the right hand of the Father.”(3) The resurrection verified Jesus’s ties with the Father as well as his claim to divine authority. This rabbi who was accused of blasphemy for calling himself equal to God was now shown by God to be speaking the truth. “For God raised him from the dead,” writes Paul in 1 Thessalonians 1:10. Far from the rebel Jesus was accused of being, the risen one and his claims to the Father were in one instant, visibly and unmistakably, confirmed by the God of Israel.
Thus, it is also confessed of Christ: “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.”(4) For those who first beheld it, the resurrection is clearly not seen as a one time event. There are ways in which it informs the future and, indeed, touches all of history. As theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg writes, “Through his resurrection from the dead, Jesus moved so close to the Son of Man that the insight became obvious: the Son of Man is none other than the man Jesus who will come again.”(5) For the disciples, this meant the beginning of all end events—the arrival of the time of judgment as well as the universal resurrection of the dead. In the words of the Athanasius Creed: “All men shall rise again with their bodies: and shall give account for their own works.”
In the eyes of Jesus’s beholders, the resurrection had clear implications for our own bodies, lives, and deaths. Paul is similarly bold in his application: “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20). As the fulfillment of apocalyptic hope, the risen Jesus is understood as the one who ushers in the future resurrection promised to all of God’s people.
The resurrection is so much more than an event in history, but that it is an event in history is what allows us—indeed, requires us—to answer the very question Jesus first asked his disciples: Who do you say that I am? However we answer this question, there is, of course, no prospect of neutrality.



Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

(1) N.T. Wright, Resurrection of the Son of God (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003), 712.
(2) Excerpt from the Apostles’ Creed. Similar wording is found in both the Nicene Creed and the Creed of Athanasius.
(3) The Apostles’ Creed, The Nicene Creed
(4) The Apostles’ Creed, The Nicene Creed
(5) Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jesus, God, and Man (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1977), 68.