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The Empire’s Sea of Woes

The Empire’s Sea of Woes

The noose cinches.

Second-rate George H.W. Bush got a first-rate Washington send-off. For one day it interrupted the downtrend in equity markets. It may mark the US apotheosis of inflated grandiosity. Across the Atlantic, Emmanuel Macron, pretentious popinjay of Gallic grandiosity, has gotten a deserved comeuppance. Brexit, Trump’s election, and nationalist uprisings in Southern and Eastern Europe apparently insufficient warning to the globalists who would rule us, the French rioters are sending yet another wake-up call. If that’s not enough, so too are many of the nations outside the Euro-American welfare state asylum.

The crazies’ kings, queens, and courtiers face a dwindling inheritance and mounting debt, but spend lavishly to keep up appearances. Falling markets and rioting taxpayers are unwelcome reminders that the money’s running out, leaving behind a stack of IOUs that won’t be paid. The aristocracy wants to offload the pain to the peasantry, but the riots demonstrate that the peasantry has other ideas. Our betters also want to blame their sea of woes on Eurasia’s leaders, but Russia, China, Russia, Turkey, and Iran are having none of that. They are, however, delighted to see the West crumbling and will do nothing to stop it.

Empire is America’s noose, hubris America’s curse. Once upon a time it didn’t matter much to the American people or their politicians what happened in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, or even Europe. During the nineteenth century, for the most part we minded our own business, and what a business it turned out to be. America became the world’s industrial, technological, and commercial powerhouse.

Success may be the hardest human condition to endure. Few individuals withstand it. For empires, it’s always temporary. They fail and topple from the pinnacle with monotonous regularity.

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

Leaked Memo Touts UK-Funded Firm’s Ability To Create “Untraceable” News Sites For “Infowar Campaign”

The hacking collective known as “Anonymous” has published more explosive documents detailing a UK-based psyop to create a “large-scale information secret service” in Europe in order to combat “Russian propaganda”  which has been blamed for everything from Brexit to Trump winning the 2016 US election to this month’s anti-Macron “Yellow Vest” protests.

We previously detailed the first trove of documents which were dumped online November 5th to the site Cyberguerilla, revealing the private UK organization with deep government ties, the Integrity Initiative, to be engaged in an aggressive campaign to organize “clusters” of journalists across the West engaged in “counter-propaganda” efforts on social media networks and in media. And now a new trove of leaked Integrity Initiative documents has been dumped online Friday.

“Combatting Russian Disinformation” – Screenshot from a bombshell newly leaked document published Friday and hosted on the Cyberguerilla site.
This week the Integrity Initiative and its founding parent organization, the Institute for Statecraft — which is known for its close relationship with the UK military and defense officials — is at the center of debate in the House of Commons over its anti-Corbyn and anti-Labour smears involving labeling party leader Jeremy Corbyn a “useful idiot” for Moscow, even while the company is a recipient of official Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) funding.
The early November online leaks of confidential Integrity Initiative documents were the first to reveal the UK government’s relationship to the private project devoted to “fighting Russian disinformation”. According to The Guardian:

FCO funding of the Integrity Initiative was revealed by a set of stolen documents posted online last month by hackers under the banner of the Anonymous hacktivist collective.

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

The War Against Globalism

The War Against Globalism

The War Against Globalism

We are the Little Folk—we!
Too little to love or to hate.
Leave us alone and you’ll see
How we can drag down the State!
-A Pict Song, Rudyard Kipling

Belgium has joined the list of countries that are rebelling against their elected leadership. Over the weekend the Belgian government fell over Prime Minister Charles Michel’s trip to Morocco to sign the United Nations Migration Agreement. The agreement made no distinction between legal and illegal migrants and regarded immigration as a positive phenomenon. The Belgian people apparently did not agree. Facebook registered 1,200 Belgians agreeing that the Prime Minister was a traitor. Some users expressed concern for their children’s futures, noting that Belgian democracy is dead. Others said they would get yellow vests and join the protests.

The unrest witnessed in a number of places is focused on some specific demands but it represents much broader anger. The French yellow vests initially protested against proposed increases in fuel taxes that would have affected working people dependent on transportation disproportionately. But when that demand was met by the government of President Emmanuel Macron, the demonstrations continued and even grew, suggesting that the grievances with the government were far more extensive than the issue of a single new tax. Perhaps not surprisingly, the French government is seeking for a scapegoat and is investigating “Russian interference.” The US State Department inevitably agrees, claiming that Kremlin directed websites and social media are “amplifying the conflict.”

Some commentators looking somewhat more deeply at the riots in France have even suggested that the real issue just might be regime change, that the Macron government had become so disconnected with many of the voters through both its policies and the rhetoric justifying them that it had lost its legitimacy and there was no possibility of redemption.

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

US Demands Europe to Join Its War Against Russia

US Demands Europe to Join Its War Against Russia

US Demands Europe to Join Its War Against Russia

In recent decades, the US Constitution’s clause that requires a congressional declaration of war before invading any country, has been ignored. Furthermore, ever since 2012 and the passage by Congress of the Magnitsky Act sanctions against Russia, economic sanctions by the US Government have been imposed against any company that fails to comply with a US-imposed economic sanction; a company can even be fined over a billion dollars for violating a US economic sanction. And, so, sanctions are now the way that the US Congress actually does authorize a war — the new way, no longer the way that’s described in the US Constitution. However, in the economic-sanctions phase of a war — this initial phase — the war is being imposed directly against any company that violates a US-ordered economic sanction, against Russia, Iran, or whatever target-country the US Congress has, by means of such sanctions, actually authorized a war by the US to exist — a ‘state of war’ to exist.

For the US Congress, the passage of economic sanctions against a country thus effectively serves now as an authorization for the US President to order the US military to invade that country, if and when the President decides to do so. No further congressional authorization is necessary (except under the US Constitution). This initial phase of a war penalizes only those other nations’ violating companies directly — not the target-country. Though the US Government punishes the violating corporation, the actual target is the targeted (sanctioned) country. Sanctions are being used to strangle that target. The fined companies are mere ‘collateral damage’, in this phase of America’s new warfare.

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

The End of France as We Know It?

The End of France as We Know It?

When an event grabs headlines like the protests in France have I temper my reactions to it.  I didn’t give the Yellow Vest protests much thought at first wanting to see where they would lead.

Protests like this and even bigger ones like Catalonian independence are invariably betrayed by the European political establishment.  They become an excuse to move towards tighter control — more cops, more surveillance, crackdowns on free speech, etc.

So, sometimes it’s hard to separate the manufactured reality show from the spontaneous uprising of human frustration.

But after the past two weekends of violent protests, after the French government backed down on the new diesel tax which was the inciting incident of this story, it’s safe to say this is real and there is real fear brewing among the political elite of Europe.

As Rev. Steve Turley points out in this video, the media across Europe and the U.S. are scared of where this leads.

A return of national sovereignty across Europe is no longer coming.  I think it’s here.  This can no longer be stage-managed as a relief valve of the massive discontent at neoliberal policies rammed down Europeans’ throats as it has in the past.

Something far more significant is here.  They can’t cordon off this movement in France and use it to demonize the leadership and, by extension, the people.

It’s jumped borders.  It’s part of the zeitgeist now.

No matter how many times rags like The Guardian, Der Spiegel and Politico call these people ‘far-right’ or ‘alt-right’ and link them to Nazism it doesn’t stop them because the protestors don’t see themselves that way.

And well they shouldn’t because they aren’t.

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

Europe Struggles as the ECB Pretends to Know What It’s Doing

Europe Struggles as the ECB Pretends to Know What It’s Doing

euro-tower-2867928_1920.jpg

The European Central Bank (ECB) is rumored to be planning a halt  to its four-year quantitative easing program at the end of this week when it will stop its asset purchases while continuing to keep interest rates at current near-zero levels through 2019. The Economist laments this ‘rash’ decision, arguing that the European economy is still ‘faltering’, showing only very feeble and unstable signs of growth.

Since 2015, the ECB has bought bonds worth almost $3trn. However, core inflation has remained fairly low, exports have waxed and waned, and the Euro area has shown no clear signs of recovery after the 2008 financial collapse. Groping in the dark, The Economistblames “[p]oor weather, strikes and a bad flu season” for the shaky start of 2018, and low demand, both domestic and foreign, for the overall bleak outlook.

But in fact, the European economy is a very sick patient whose self-appointed doctor, the ECB, is treating it with the same poison that made it ill in the first place. It is also judging the health of its patient by monitoring the wrong signs, i.e. looking for some color in its cheeks rather than a strong heartbeat.

Mises (2009, 20) pointed out as early as 1934 that

[…] the inevitable and ineluctable consequence of the expansion of credit… was bound to lead eventually to a collapse. And the thing which is chiefly advocated as a remedy is nothing but another expansion of credit, such as certainly might lead to a transitory boom, but would be bound to end in a correspondingly severer crisis.

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

How To Avoid A New War In Europe

How To Avoid A New War In Europe

There is a rather embarrassing negative perspective for maintaining rational military strategic parity between Russia and USA and Russia and NATO as a whole in the coming decades due to future tremendous expenditures of the USA for modernizing strategic and tactical nuclear forces that will require $ U.S. 1,2-1,7 trillion during next three decades for hammering out a qualitatively new strategic nuclear triad only. Substantial amount of money will be allocated for procurement of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), space-based strike assets and conventional arms as well. No other nation in the world can afford to spend such enormous amount of money.

The problem is complicated by the existing 15 unresolved issues in arms control between Moscow and Washington due to lack of desire of the latter to resolve the most burning issues, like limiting BMDS, taking the U.S. tactical nuclear weapons (TNW) from Europe and refraining from weaponization of outer space, etc.

A potential withdrawal of the USA from the INF Treaty no doubt:

1) will undermine the global strategic equation, push all nuclear-weapon states into a deep-seated mistrust, destroy the NPT regime and prompt all 32 states capable to produce intermediate-range missiles without any limitations;

2) will create a negative domino-style effect that will complicate nuclear arms control, namely:

  1. In military sphere it will block the potential resolution of the nuclear arms deal to be applied to the Korean Peninsula, may bring the U.S. nuclear weapons to Japan and the Republic of Korea, and
  2. In political domain such step will undermine specific solutions at the upcoming 2020 NPT Review Conference and erect unsurmountable obstacles for entry into force of the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

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

 

Trust Is Failing on Both Sides of the Pond

Trust Is Failing on Both Sides of the Pond

Trust Is Failing on Both Sides of the Pond

I’ve been warning for a while now that we are pushing towards an inflection point in history.  With each passing week it feels like events are accelerating as change to the status quo is everywhere.

In Europe, the EU leadership and Theresa May are so desperate to stop Brexit they can’t stop lying about everything.  In one day we have May’s government found in contempt of Parliament for not releasing the full legal advice of her Brexit deal and the European Court of Justice pronounce that the U.K. can unilaterally cancel Brexit if they want to.

They are this desperate because there is a real probability of May’s horrific deal not getting the thumbs up from parliament. That said, the arm-twisting behind the scenes is likely epic as one by one May’s remaining cabinet members come out in favor of the deal because they see they have no other option.

At the same time France is literally on fire thanks to a good ol’ fashioned tax revolt, which reviled, unprepared and arrogant President Emmanuel Macron cannot fathom.  Macron’s handling of these protests has been abysmal, displaying a level of contempt for the French people so profound he may wind up more hated in the end than Theresa May.

Both of these odious people make no bones about their real loyalties and the more they talk, the more they try to sell their latest betrayal of national interests for Brussels’ the more the intensity of the hatred of them increases.

This is not a linear thing.  It’s the kind of situation that goes from murmurs and shrugs to outright violence in a matter of days.

Especially when you come out and tell the very nationalistic French people that nationalism is akin to evil.

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

The Next French Revolution – Is it Beginning?

The austerity measures of the EU are having a profound impact in Europe. In Paris of December 1st, 2018 (right on time with our volatility models for December) there was a major civil uprising, the worst France has witnessed in recent decades. Yellow Vests have converged in Paris to protest high living costs or in other words – a TAX RIOT. Rioters ran across central Paris torching cars and buildings, looting shops, smashing windows and clashing with police. The French President, Emmanuel Macron, was in Argentina for a G20 summit and said he called an emergency meeting on Sunday when he would return. Jeanne d’Hauteserre, the mayor of Paris’ 8th district, near the Arc de Triomphe, came out and told the press: “We are in a state of insurrection, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

This has followed what was billed as a violent protest two weeks before of nationwide against fuel taxes and living costs. This tax rebellion is known as the “Yellow Vest” movement after fluorescent jackets kept in all vehicles in France. Politicians simply never learn. This is not just the youth. This is the older generations as well. Revolutions come become of taxes and corruption. The famous saying of Marie Antoinette “Let them eat cake” was the popular slogan during the French Revolution. There is no evidence that she ever actually said those words. Still, it inspired a revolution. The “cake” was not a desert, but it was a term that referred to the crust of the pâté which was left over. It certainly seems that the EU politicians are making the very same mistake. With that callous remark that was attributed to her, the Queen of France became the most hated symbol of the decadent monarchy and fueled the revolution that would cause her to (literally) lose her head several years later.

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

Explaining France’s Grassroots “Yellow Vest” Movement – And Why It’s Spreading Across Europe

For three weeks, tens-of-thousands of French protesters have donned yellow vests and marched throughout Paris. While the “yellow vest” movement began on November 17 as a grassroots protest against president Emmanuel Macron’s gas tax – levied in the name of climate change, it has morphed into a general rage against the French government in general at a time when Macron’s approval rating is at an all time low.

What’s more, the movement is spreading – with yellow vest demonstrations seen in Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands by those expressing frustration over similar issues. The protests have turned violent, as disaffected rioters have been setting cars on fire, causing structural damage, and assaulting the police.

Riot cops in Brussels, for example, were pelted with billiard balls, cobblestones and other hard objects last week, while the yellow vest movement is now working to form a Belgian political party under the name Mouvement citoyen belge

What’s behind the movement?

French authorities have predictably blamed the right-wing for the protests – with interior minister Christophe Castaner denouncing National Rally (*formerly National Front) leader Marine Le Pen of encouraging the violence.

“Marine Le Pen urged people to come to the Champs Elysees, and there are members of the ultra-right putting up barriers,” said Castaner, adding “They have responded to Marine Le Pen’s call and want to take the institutions of state. We want people to be responsible.”

The real cause, however, may be quite a bit more nuanced and a long time coming. As political commentator Kark Sharro suggests in a seven-part tweetstorm, the Yellow Vest movement is “about marginalsation and the impotence felt by ordinary people.”

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

European oil consumption after North Sea Peak Oil

European oil consumption after North Sea Peak Oil

Hors-d’oeuvre

On the streets of Paris: 24 Nov 2018

Fuel-protests_24Nov2018Fuel price protests on the Champs Elysees

France-price-fuels_2008-2018https://france-inflation.com/prix-carburants.php

Reunion_truck_gilets-jaunes

20 Nov 2018: The “gilets jaunes” have a hard time to convince truck drivers to join their movement
https://www.francetvinfo.fr/economie/transports/prix-des-carburants/gilets-jaunes-les-routiers-divises_3045615.html

They were more successful on the French island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean, where blocked roads and petrol rationing resulted in empty supermarket shelves, highlighting how vulnerable our just-in-time society is.

Reunion_barrages_25Nov201825/11/2018 Road blocks in Réunion
https://www.linfo.re/la-reunion/societe/barrages-le-point-sur-le-reseau-routier

Reunion_fuel-shortage_Nov2018Petrol lines in St Denis, €20 rationing, shops closed, shelves emptying, medical supply disruptions
https://www.francetvinfo.fr/economie/automobile/essence/la-reunion-une-ile-asphyxiee_3048073.html

Oil statistics

European oil production peaked in 2000 at almost 7 mb/d, with a production plateau above 6.8 mb/d lasting for 7 years between 1996 and 2002. 17 years after the peak, production was around half of what it was at peak.

Europe_production_imports_1965-2017Fig 1: Europe oil consumption, net oil imports and production

BP’s definitions are as follows: “Oil production includes crude oil, shale oil, tar sands and NGLs (natural gas liquids – the liquid content of natural gas where this is recovered separately). It excludes liquid fuels from other sources such as biomass and derivatives of coal and natural gas.

Oil consumption is from inland demand plus international aviation and marine bunkers and refinery fuel and loss. Consumption of biogasoline (such as ethanol), biodiesel and derivatives of coal and natural gas are also included.

Notes: Differences between these world consumption figures and world production statistics are accounted for by stock changes, consumption of non-petroleum additives”

In Fig 1 and 3, net oil imports are calculated as the difference between production and consumption.

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

European Gas Stations Out of Diesel: French Refinery Strike Deepens Crisis 

Diesel is in short supply in Europe. The situation is about to worsen as the biggest French refinery is shutting down.

Bloomberg reports Europe’s Diesel Woes Deepen as Strike Halts French Oil Refinery.

Total SA, France’s biggest refiner, is in the process of shutting its largest plant in the country, the 247,000-barrel-a-day Gonfreville facility in Normandy, due to a labor dispute, a spokeswoman for the company said on Tuesday. A few hundred miles away, in the Netherlands, retail fuel stations are running out of supplies because of shipping constraints on the Rhine, according to Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

Shell said Nov. 20 that it cut production at its Rheinland refining site, the biggest complex of its kind in Germany, due to low water levels on the Rhine. In a tweet on Tuesday, the company said that it was temporarily unable to supply some unmanned fuel stations in the Netherlands.

Gas stations in Germany had already been running dry due to the situation on the Rhine, a major petroleum product transportation corridor that runs northwest from the Swiss Alps all the way to the Netherlands. Switzerland released emergency fuel stockpiles because of the situation on the river.

The premium per barrel of diesel over Brent crude – another indicator of market strength – was at $15.96 on Tuesday, the highest for the time of year in six years.

Diesel Price Poised to Soar

This shutdown cannot possibly come at a worse time for French President Emmanuel Macron.

Macron is already reeling over a protest of his diesel tax.

Diesel Tax Turns Violent

​People from across France went to Paris to let the president know how they feel about the taxes in general and the tax on diesel. The [Diesel Tax Protests](Diesel Protests in France Turn Violent) then turned violent.

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

Major Psy-Op in Europe Exposed: UK Government Tramples on Values It Vowed to Protect

Major Psy-Op in Europe Exposed: UK Government Tramples on Values It Vowed to Protect

Major Psy-Op in Europe Exposed: UK Government Tramples on Values It Vowed to Protect

Those who have been saying that the West has turned Russia into a scapegoat to be blamed for each and every thing that goes wrong have been proved right. We have witnessed concocted stories invented to denigrate Moscow that have gone viral as directed by the secret services. The UK, the country that is spearheading the anti-Russian information campaign, offers a good example that illustrates how this is being done.

An online group of hackers known as Anonymous has just revealed covert UK activities in the EU. According to the documents released by that group, London is in the midst of a major program to interfere in the internal affairs of EU members, the US, and Canada. Anonymous threatens to release more information on the clandestine operations of the UK government, unless it agrees to remove the shroud of secrecy protecting those information-warfare efforts. On Nov. 24 Twitter deleted RT comments on the issue. The UK knows it has friends it can rely on in a crunch.

The Integrity Initiative is a London-based organization set up and funded by the government-friendly Institute for Statecraft, in cooperation with the Free University of Brussels (VUB) to wage information-warfare operations against Russia. Anonymous calls it a “large-scale information secret service.” It aims to “change attitudes in Russia itself” as well as the influence of Russian natives living abroad. The Integrity Initiative’s budget for the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2019 is estimated at £1.96 million ($2.51 million). The network has received grants from NATO, the US State Department, and Facebook.

The Initiative’s operations have been kept under wraps. Its activities are conducted by “clusters” of local politicians, journalists, military personnel, scientists, and academics involved in anti-Russian propaganda efforts. The list includes William Browder, a US-British businessman convicted in absentia in Russia for tax evasion.

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

Salvini Takes Control of Europe’s Future

Salvini Takes Control of Europe’s Future

Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini just declared himself the leader of the Europe’s future.  He refuses to budge one inch in negotiations with the European Union over Italy’s budget now threatening to take down the government.

And in doing this he not only speaks for Italians, he is now speaking for that growing part of the European population who sees what the EU is morphing into and recoiling in horror.

Protests in France over Emmanuel Macron’s new tax on diesel have turned violent.  The British leadership has completely betrayed the people over Brexit.  They may win this battle but the animosity towards the Britain’s leadership will only grow more virulent over time.

As the core leadership in France and Germany fades in popularity, held in place because of domestic political squabbling, Angela Merkel and Macron are ratcheting up the rhetoric against the rising nationalism Salvini represents and are now pushing hard for their Federation of Europe before both of them leave the scene in the next few years, at best.

If they lose their battles with Salvini and Hungary’s Viktor Orban they may be run out of office with pitchforks and firebrands.

Bernard Connelly, author of the brilliant expose The Rotten Heart of Europe (which should be required reading) asks the salient question about Brexit no one associated with Project Fear can confront.

If separation from the EU is so complicated, why was no one talking about blockades and economic catastrophe before the Scottish Independence referendum in 2014?

The answer is simple. No one in power expected the referendum to pass and when it didn’t the issue ended.

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

Anonymous Exposes UK-Led Psyop To Battle “Russian Propaganda” 

The hacking collective known as “Anonymous” published a trove of documents on November 5 which it claims exposes a UK-based psyop to create a “large-scale information secret service” in Europe in order to combat “Russian propaganda” – which has been blamed for everything from Brexit to US President Trump winning the 2016 US election.

The primary objective of the “Integrity Initiative” – established in 2015 by the Institute for Statecraft – is “to provide a coordinated Western response to Russian disinformation and other elements of hybrid warfare.”

And while the notion of Russian disinformation has become the West’s favorite new bogeyman to excuse things such as Hillary Clinton’s historic loss to Donald Trump, we note that “Anonymous” was called out by WikiLeaks in October 2016 as an FBI cutout, while the report on the Integrity Initiative that Anonymous exposed comes from Russian state-owned network RT – so it’s anyone’s guess whose 400lb hackers are at work here.


“Anonymous” has been controlled by FBI agent “Sabu” and other agencies, including the CIA. Likely an attempt to manipulate.


Operating on a budget of £1.9 million (US$2.4 million), the secretive Integrity Initiative consists of “clusters” of local politicians, journalists, military personnel, scientists and academics. The team is dedicated to searching for and publishing “evidence” of Russian interference in European affairs, while themselves influencing leadership behind the scenes, the documents claim.

The UK establishment appears to be conducting the very activities of which it and its allies have long-accused the Kremlin, with little or no corroborating evidence. The program also aims to “change attitudes in Russia itself” as well as influencing Russian speakers in the EU and North America, one of the leaked documents states. –RT

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
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