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Europe May Fold, but China and Russia See Opportunity

Europe May Fold, but China and Russia See Opportunity

And we recently discovered, if it was not known before, that no amount of power can withstand the hatred of the many. 

–  Marcus Tullius Cicero

Although European leaders are talking a big game about keeping the Iran deal (JCPOA) alive following Trump’s unilateral withdrawal, there’s a good chance nations across the pond, especially the UK and France, will ultimately fold to U.S. demands. This is despite the fact these countries stand to lose far more economically than America. Acquiescing to U.S. imperial demands as submissive client states is simply what Europe does. On the other hand, China and Russia sense opportunity for major geopolitical gains and will not back down.

Political leaders in China and Russia must be licking their chops at the short-sighted stupidity of Donald Trump’s decision to ditch the Iran deal. As mentioned in previous pieces, the Trump administration isn’t just saying the U.S. will sanction Iran from its end, but that it could leverage the global financial system and its dependency on the USD, to punish those who dare defy U.S. policy.

As discussed in the recent post, The Road to 2025 (Part 3) – USD Dominated Financial System Will Fall Apart, this unilateral move against Iran is likely to be a key catalyst in the planet transitioning away from a financial system completely and totally dominated by the USD into a more multi-polar currency world. Trump’s essentially willing to trade away U.S. global geopolitical and financial dominance because he’s obsessed with taking out the Iranian regime.

While Europe may not be willing to make a huge fuss about all this right now, its leaders, and more importantly its citizenry, know exactly what this means. As long as the global financial system is totally dominated and controlled from the U.S. via the USD, no country on earth can be truly sovereign, in terms of economic or foreign policy.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trump Pulls Out of Iran Deal – U.S. Determined to Become a Rogue State

Trump Pulls Out of Iran Deal – U.S. Determined to Become a Rogue State

Let me cut to the chase. Every single world leader knows Trump’s full of shit. Even more importantly, the citizens of their nations also know it. Everyone with a functioning brain understands that pulling out of the Iran deal has nothing to do with terrorism, nuclear bombs or any other fairytale propagated by U.S. neocons. This is simply about the existence of a non-U.S. client state in a key strategic region sitting on massive oil reserves. It’s about empire — global games of power and money fueled by a desperate attempt to hold on to a unipolar world where the U.S. bosses everyone around.

A global empire will keep pushing and pushing until something snaps. The leaders of empire become convinced of their invincibility right before the end, and the U.S. is no different. Given the rise of China economically and militarily, as well as Russia exerting its influence in Syria, the writing’s already on the wall as far as where the world’s headed. Towards a multi-polar planet in which the U.S. will still have influence, but far less than it’s enjoyed since WW2. While shifts are already well underway beneath the radar, American leadership refuses to admit it. A serious decline of U.S. global power as a result of major mistakes related to Iran will begin to play out publicly from here.

It’s important to understand what a massive mistake pulling out of the Iran deal is. Irrespective of your opinion on its merits, it’s a deal agreed to by all major global powers. The U.S., Iran, France, Britain, Germany, China and Russia signed it. There’s only one country in that wants to scrap it (and did so today), the U.S.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Road to 2025 (Part 4) – A Very Bright Future If We Demand It

The Road to 2025 (Part 4) – A Very Bright Future If We Demand It

Whenever all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.

– Thomas Jefferson letter to C.Hammond, 1821

The first three parts of this series focused on the obvious reality that imperial America is not just increasingly being seen as a rogue state around the world, but that it’s also become harmful and parasitic to its own people. It’s become abundantly clear that empire is not compatible with Constitutional government.

As power and resources have become increasingly centralized in Washington D.C., the American people have suffered. We’ve suffered from an increasingly rigged economic and financial system, continued security-state encroachment in the form of mass surveillance and a militarization of police, and a war industry which relentlessly funnels more and more wealth toward protecting imperial dominance overseas.

As anyone who’s read the U.S. Constitution knows, this is not the way the union was supposed to function. Indeed, the founders were obsessed with avoiding the pitfalls of European empires since they knew how that story ends. At the federal level, a separation of powers between the three branches of government: the legislative, the executive and the judicial was a key component of the Constitution. The specific purpose here was to prevent an accumulation of excessive centralized power within a specific area of government.

While this separation of powers still exists on paper, it’s been eroded to a very dangerous degree. When it comes to war, which the legislative branch is supposed to declare, Congress has chosen to abdicate its responsibility and simply allows the executive to do whatever it wants.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Road to 2025 (Part 4) – A Very Bright Future If We Demand It

The Road to 2025 (Part 4) – A Very Bright Future If We Demand It

Whenever all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.

– Thomas Jefferson letter to C.Hammond, 1821

The first three parts of this series focused on the obvious reality that imperial America is not just increasingly being seen as a rogue state around the world, but that it’s also become harmful and parasitic to its own people. It’s become abundantly clear that empire is not compatible with Constitutional government.

As power and resources have become increasingly centralized in Washington D.C., the American people have suffered. We’ve suffered from an increasingly rigged economic and financial system, continued security-state encroachment in the form of mass surveillance and a militarization of police, and a war industry which relentlessly funnels more and more wealth toward protecting imperial dominance overseas.

As anyone who’s read the U.S. Constitution knows, this is not the way the union was supposed to function. Indeed, the founders were obsessed with avoiding the pitfalls of European empires since they knew how that story ends. At the federal level, a separation of powers between the three branches of government: the legislative, the executive and the judicial was a key component of the Constitution. The specific purpose here was to prevent an accumulation of excessive centralized power within a specific area of government.

While this separation of powers still exists on paper, it’s been eroded to a very dangerous degree. When it comes to war, which the legislative branch is supposed to declare, Congress has chosen to abdicate its responsibility and simply allows the executive to do whatever it wants.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Road to 2025 (Part 3) – USD Dominated Financial System Will Fall Apart

The Road to 2025 (Part 3) – USD Dominated Financial System Will Fall Apart

It’s our currency, but it’s your problem.

– U.S. Treasury Secretary John Connelly to European Finance Ministers, 1971

Today’s post will cover a topic that consumed my thoughts for many years, but one I haven’t discussed much lately. Namely, the terminal nature of a global financial system being propped up artificially by central bank shenanigans.

First, it’s crucial to understand that at the very core of our global economy is a financial system dominated by the U.S. dollar. The USD is a fiat currency directly backed by nothing, the supply of which can be arbitrarily altered and manipulated by a group of unelected bureaucrats in charge of the Federal Reserve. This money system represents the most powerful tool of centralized power on planet earth.

The USD is unique in that it grants the U.S. the “exorbitant privilege” of having a national currency which at the same time serves as the global reserve currency. This was solidified toward the end of World War 2 with the Bretton Woods agreement, and was accepted because the U.S. agreed to offer sovereign nations holding dollars a right to exchange these dollars for gold at a fixed price. This fell apart in 1971, but was shortly replaced with an unofficial “petrodollar” system, which allowed the USD to remain the world reserve currency despite no longer being redeemable in gold.

Before moving on, I want to share a few excerpts from an article I read yesterday titled, The De-Dollarization in China:

Petrodollars emerged when Henry Kissinger dealt with King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, after “Black September” in Jordan.

The agreement was simple. Saudi Arabia had to accept only dollars as payments for the oil it sold, but was forced to invest that huge amount of US currency only in the US financial channels while, in return, the United States placed Saudi Arabia and the other OPEC neighbouring countries under its own military protection.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Road to 2025 (Part 2) – Russia and China Have Had Enough

The Road to 2025 (Part 2) – Russia and China Have Had Enough

Part 1 of this series focused on how the U.S. empire no longer provides any real benefit to the average American citizen. Rather, the spoils of overseas wars, the domestic surveillance state and an overall corrupt economy are being systematically funneled to a smaller and smaller group of generally unsavory characters. The public’s starting to recognize this reality, which is why we saw major populist movements emerge on both the traditional right and left of the political spectrum in 2016.

As millions of Americans emerge from their long slumber, much of the world’s been aware of this reality for a long time. They don’t see the U.S. as a magnanimous humanitarian empire, that’s a fairytale more suited for children’s books and the mass media. In fact, it seems clear that the billions of humans who live in various sovereign nations around the world would certainly prefer to be in control of their own destinies as opposed to mere vassal states of the U.S., they simply haven’t possessed the military or economic power to stand up and chart their own course. But things are changing.

The most significant geopolitical change of the 21st century is the emergence of China, and the reemergence of Russia, as globally significant military powers. This is the core driver behind the establishment’s panic about Russia. It has nothing to do with Putin’s authoritarianism or human rights abuses, that’s just marketing directed at a heretofore extremely gullible public.

In reality, those determined to perpetuate a unipolar world run by the U.S. are appalled and concerned about the fact Russia was able to become involved in Syria and prevent another regime change operation. Russia very publicly, and very successfully, stood up and said “no” to U.S. imperial ambitions in Syria. This isn’t just historically significant, it’s seen as blasphemous and recalcitrant by the U.S. status quo.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Road to 2025 (Part 1) – Prepare for a Multi-Polar World

The Road to 2025 (Part 1) – Prepare for a Multi-Polar World

If pressed to describe what I think the next several years will look like as concisely as possible, I’d simply provide the following quote, often misattributed to Lenin:

“There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.”

There will be many such weeks from now until 2025, with the end result an emergence of a multi-polar world that will permanently unseat the unipolar U.S. imperial paradigm.

Since World War 2, the U.S. has successfully sustained a position of global dominance unlike anything the world’s ever seen. Virtually each and every corner of the planet has been subject to inescapable and overwhelming American influence, both culturally and economically. This root of this power didn’t just emerge from GDP strength and the USD, but from Hollywood, popular music and tv shows. The impact of the U.S. empire on the planet over the past 70 years has been extraordinary but, like all things, it too shall pass. I believe this end will be realized by around 2025.

When I say this sort of stuff people think I’m calling for the end of the world. I suppose that’s what it may feel like to many, because a paradigm change of this magnitude will indeed have monumental global implications. Yet the world will go on, it’ll just be very different place. That said, Americans should not see this as an apocalyptic thing. It’s not healthy or sustainable for one nation to dominate the planet in such a manner. Many of us like to think that a benevolent global empire led by philosopher kings is just fine, but the problem is this is utter fantasy. What happens in real life, to quote Lord Acton, is  that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Liberty Links 4/14/18 – World War 3

Liberty Links 4/14/18 – World War 3

World War 3
Sharing links unrelated to the reckless, criminal and unconstitutional act launched by Donald Trump and the U.S. government last night feels kinda inappropriate. As such, here are a few short paragraphs on what I think it all means. I’ll have more next week.

I think last night’s historically foolish action by the U.S., UK and France may mark the official start of World War 3. You could argue it began long ago, but there’s always been hope for the trends to reverse. We’ve now likely gone over the brink, and the odds of turning this ship around is so low it doesn’t deserve serious consideration.

Russian leadership are not a bunch of fools, nor will they back down. After last night, they know for certain the U.S. empire is determined to castrate them globally at all costs in order to impede an inevitable emergence of a multi-polar world.

I don’t think Russia or Iran will respond with a shock and awe attack any time soon, nor will this likely spiral out of control in the near-term. It’s more likely we’ll see this all play out over the course of the next 5 years or so.

I also don’t expect this to go nuclear, but I think the chances the U.S. experiences an imperial collapse similar to that of the USSR (or like any historically unmanageable and corrupt empire) has become increasingly likely. My view at this point is the U.S. and its global power position will be so dramatically altered in the years ahead, it’ll be almost unrecognizable by 2025, as a result of both economic decline and major geopolitical mistakes. This will cause the public to justifiably lose faith in all leadership and institutions.

I’ve been increasingly using Twitter to express my thoughts, so you should really check out my timeline there.

Here are a few tweets from the last 24 hours.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Brave New World Revisited and the Disease of Over-Organization

Brave New World Revisited and the Disease of Over-Organization

When people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking or thinking I cannot choose but laugh. No such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists; but I hope it will exist. But it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more.

– John Adams letter to Thomas Jefferson, July 15, 1817

Brave New World Revisited is one of the few books I’ve read in my life that I continue to think about on a regular basis. In terms of understanding where humanity stands at present and what we need to do to get out of the mess we’ve created, it’s one of the more important pieces of non-fiction you can find.

I recently felt the need to reread the book for some unknown reason, and I’m glad I did. The choices we make as a species about how we reorganize human affairs in the decades to come will determine the future of human freedom on this planet. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World Revisited offers an abundance of wisdom for us to consider as we move forward.

Huxley was deeply concerned with the importance of individual human freedom and the forces relentlessly trying to stifle it. Here’s a brief description of how Huxley viewed our species:

In the course of evolution nature has gone to endless trouble to see that every individual is unlike every other individual. We reproduce our kind by bringing the father’s genes into contact with the mother’s. These hereditary factors may be combined in an al­most infinite number of ways. Physically and mentally, each one of us is unique. Any culture which, in the interests of efficiency or in the name of some political or religious dogma, seeks to standardize the human individual, commits an outrage against man’s biological nature…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

There’s Only One Word to Describe Julian Assange’s Internet Being Cut Off – Pathetic

There’s Only One Word to Describe Julian Assange’s Internet Being Cut Off – Pathetic

Let’s get right to it. Earlier today, Julian Assange had his internet access severed.

Here’s a translation of the statement from the government of Ecuador, in whose embassy he’s been trapped since 2012:

The Government of Ecuador suspended the systems that allow Julian Assange to communicate with the outside world from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where the citizen remains in an international protection situation for six years due to the risk to his life and integrity.

The measure was adopted in the face of Assange’s failure to comply with the written commitment it assumed with the Government at the end of 2017, for which it was obliged not to issue messages that implied interference with other States.

The Government of Ecuador warns that the behavior of Assange, with its messages through social networks, puts at risk the good relations that the country maintains with the United Kingdom, with the rest of the States of the European Union and other nations. Therefore, to prevent potential damage, the embassy in London interrupted this March 27 communications abroad to which Assange has access.

The Executive also keeps open the way to the adoption of new measures in the face of breach of commitment by Assange.

The excuse for this egregious act against Assange is his social media activity “puts at risk the good relations that the country maintains with the United Kingdom, with the rest of the States of the European Union and other nations.” Naturally, we must ask what Assange has been tweeting about lately that prompted some bigger country, or countries, to force Ecuador’s hand. The answer is Catalonia.

I’ve been following Assange’s tweets closely following the revelation that German police seized Catalonia’s elected President Carles Puigdemont on behalf of Spain. Assange provided some much needed context and commentary about the disturbing incident over Twitter in recent days. Here are a few examples that likely ruffled the feathers of various EU governments.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Only Reason We’re Examining Facebook’s Sleazy Behavior Is Because Trump Won

The Only Reason We’re Examining Facebook’s Sleazy Behavior Is Because Trump Won

Trust me, there’s nobody more thrilled to see Facebook’s unethical and abusive practices finally getting the attention they deserve from mass media and members of the public who simply didn’t want to hear about it previously. I’ve written multiple articles over the years warning people about the platform (links at the end), but these mostly fell on deaf ears.

That’s just the way things go. All sorts of horrible behaviors can continue for a very long time before the corporate media and general public come around to caring. You typically need some sort of external event to change mass psychology. In this case, that event was Trump winning the election.

The more I read about the recent Facebook scandal, it’s clear this sort of thing’s been going on for a very long time. The major difference is this time the data mining was used by campaign consultants of the person who wasn’t supposed to win. Donald Trump.

To get a sense of what I mean, let’s take a look at some excerpts from a deeply troubling article recently published at the Guardian‘Utterly Horrifying’: Ex-Facebook Insider Says Covert Data Harvesting Was Routine:

Hundreds of millions of Facebook users are likely to have had their private information harvested by companies that exploited the same terms as the firm that collected data and passed it on to Cambridge Analytica, according to a new whistleblower.

Sandy Parakilas, the platform operations manager at Facebook responsible for policing data breaches by third-party software developers between 2011 and 2012, told the Guardian he warned senior executives at the company that its lax approach to data protection risked a major breach…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

‘Whataboutism’ is a Nonsensical Propaganda Term Used to Defend the Failed Status Quo

‘Whataboutism’ is a Nonsensical Propaganda Term Used to Defend the Failed Status Quo

If you spend any time on Twitter, you’ll probably be familiar with the latest pathetic attempt to defend and insulate the U.S. status quo from criticism. It centers around the usage of an infantile and meaningless term, “whataboutism.”

Let’s begin with one particularly absurd accusation of “whataboutism” promoted by NPR last year:

When O’Reilly countered that “Putin is a killer,” Trump responded, “There are a lot of killers. You got a lot of killers. What, you think our country is so innocent?”

This particular brand of changing the subject is called “whataboutism” — a simple rhetorical tactic heavily used by the Soviet Union and, later, Russia. And its use in Russia helps illustrate how it could be such a useful tool now, in America. As Russian political experts told NPR, it’s an attractive tactic for populists in particular, allowing them to be vague but appear straight-talking at the same time.

The idea behind whataboutism is simple: Party A accuses Party B of doing something bad. Party B responds by changing the subject and pointing out one of Party A’s faults — “Yeah? Well what about that bad thing you did?” (Hence the name.)

It’s not exactly a complicated tactic — any grade-schooler can master the “yeah-well-you-suck-too-so-there” defense. But it came to be associated with the USSR because of the Soviet Union’s heavy reliance upon whataboutism throughout the Cold War and afterward, as Russia.

This is a really embarrassing take by NPR. First, the author tries to associate a tactic that’s been around since humans first wandered into caves — deflecting attention away from yourself by pointing out the flaws in others — into some uniquely nefarious Russian propaganda tool. Second, that’s not even what Trump did in this example.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

As Trump Moves Toward War, “The Resistance” Refuses to Resist

As Trump Moves Toward War, “The Resistance” Refuses to Resist

Tuesday’s post, It’s Impossible to Overstate How Terrible Mike Pompeo Is, laid out the view that Trump’s firing of Rex Tillerson represents a major shift toward war footing for the Trump administration, with Iran the specific target. This pivot was easily predictable, and I wrote numerous articles doing just that during 2017. Nevertheless, forecasting it and then seeing the disastrous pieces being moved into place are two different things.

Trump’s push to install Mike Pompeo as U.S. Secretary of State is a crystal clear indication that he’s begun the process of building his war cabinet. The next steps, likely to begin over the course of 2018, is to walk away from the Iran deal. I suspect relentless war propaganda to be unleashed simultaneously as the neocon/neoliberal/mass media war-monger alliance plays its well established role in selling the American public on another pointless and destructive war.

My prior post discussed Pompeo in detail, so I don’t want to be repetitive, but to revisit: Pompeo has contempt for the First Amendment, referred to torturers as patriots, wants Edward Snowden executed and is an extreme warhawk when it comes to Iran. In other words, he’s your typical neocon lunatic who’s just a bit more rough around the edges publicly. He represents the exact opposite sort of foreign policy to what so many Trump voters thought they were getting.

Switching gears a bit, today’s piece will zero in on Trump’s other desired appointment, Gina Haspel to head the CIA. Gina’s famous for running a CIA black site in Thailand where detainees were tortured. In fact, she performed her role with such gusto she was nicknamed “Bloody Gina” by some colleagues, and also played a key role in destroying videotape evidence of the torture. Her promotion represents a bizarre way to “drain the swamp,” but I digress.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What’s Going Down in China is Very Dangerous – Part 2

What’s Going Down in China is Very Dangerous – Part 2

One of the more concerning ramifications of China’s recent turn toward a more totalitarian stance at home is what it means for the geopolitical environment in the years ahead. Several people asked in the comment section of Part 1 why I care about what’s going on in China when we have so many serious problems in the U.S. The reason is because a major shift in the polices of the second largest economy in the world, populated with over a billion people and run by leadership intent on establishing a far more dominant position on the world scale militarily and politically, will affect everyone.

Government propaganda is one of the most insidious and dangerous things that regularly occurs within human society, and it’s been pervasive in essentially all civilizations to-date. The media’s always a key ally in the dissemination of propaganda, something much of the American public has finally come to understand. The election of Donald Trump despite the U.S media’s unanimous support of Hillary Clinton was the real wakeup call, and has led to incessant calls for platform monopolies like Google and Facebook to censor speech that questions the dominant intelligence agency narratives. There’s nothing more terrifying to an entrenched power structure than a loss of the narrative, and the election of Trump proved to them that they lost it. The American establishment isn’t really afraid of Trump, it’s far more concerned that his election signified a loss of narrative control.

Narrative is particularly important to lunatics who run a global empire, and the U.S. media’s almost always happy to oblige. For example, the media’s enthusiasm to swallow government propaganda is what led to the Iraq war disaster, in addition to so many other societal tragedies I write about here on a daily basis.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What’s Going Down in China is Very Dangerous – Part 1

What’s Going Down in China is Very Dangerous – Part 1

I’m sure all of you are aware of the dramatic power play pulled off over the weekend by China’s Communist Party to eliminate term limits for both the president and vice president. Prior to the move, Chinese leaders have stuck to two five-year terms since the presidency of Jiang Zemin (1993-2003), but that’s about to change as wannabe emperor Xi Jinping positions himself as indefinite ruler of the increasingly totalitarian superstate.

While the weekend announcement was illuminating enough, I found the panicked reactions by Chinese authorities in the immediate aftermath far more telling. The country’s propagandists took censorship to such an embarrassing level in attempts to portray the decision as widely popular amongst the masses, it merely served to betray that opposite might be true.

China Digital Times compiled a fascinating list of words and terms banned from being posted or searched on Weibo. Here’s just a sample of some I found particularly interesting.

  • The Emperor’s Dream (皇帝梦) — The title of a 1947 animated puppet film.
  • Disney (迪士尼) — See also “Winnie the Pooh,” below.
  • personality cult (个人崇拜) — Read more about the image-crafting campaign that has been steadily cultivated by state media over Xi’s first term.
  • Brave New World (美丽新世界) — See also “1984,” below.
  • my emperor (吾皇)
  • Yuan Shikai (袁世凯) — Influential warlord during the late Qing Dynasty, Yuan became the first formal president of the newly established Republic of China in 1912. In 1915, he briefly re-established China as a Confucian monarchy.
  • Hongxian (洪憲) — Reign title of the short-lived, re-established monarchy led by Yuan Shikai, who declared himself the Hongxian Emperor. After much popular disapproval and rebellion, Yuan formally abandoned the empire after 83 days as emperor.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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