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Assange Arrested, Brexit Squashed — Just Another Day in the Empire

Assange Arrested, Brexit Squashed — Just Another Day in the Empire

And down goes Julian Assange, right beside Brexit. If there was ever any doubt that The Powers That Be are unrelenting in their cruelty just look at the 24 hours starting on Wednesday. 

First Theresa “The Snake Oil Lady” May kicks 17.4 million voters into the weeds.

And then she oversees the arrest and judging of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

The timing of this is important beyond dovetailing it with her Brexit betrayal. They had to go after Assange now, because Theresa May’s time in office is ending. 

A Jeremy Corbyn-led government would not grant the U.S. it’s prize. 

Corbyn, for all of his faults, would be a breath of fresh air in the unraveling of the ‘special relationship’ between the U.S. and U.K. in foreign policy for as long as he lasted in office.

Still think Theresa works for anyone other than her owners?

Still think the opposition to Corbyn predicated on his “Socialism” isn’t anything other than a coordinated psy-op? It’s no different than the narratives spinning around Trump being a Nazi or a Russian stooge, except that Corbyn actually is a socialist. 

But, he is also far more independent than anyone in the British political class wants running the country, that much is certain.

Trump is running for re-election opposing “Socialism” in the U.S., Venezuela and soon, Cuba.

The Leave campaign, thanks to May, was focused for the week leading to Assange’s arrest on her sitting down, “with an avowed Socialist.” 

May and Trump are captured figures, dutifully doing their owners’ bidding. 

This 12 hour period may be the most brazen abuse of a Western nation by its government that I’ve seen. 

But nothing surprises me about the evil of Theresa May anymore. 

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

Can the EU Survive Its Own Censorship?

Can the EU Survive Its Own Censorship?

The EU’s new, comprehensive new Copyright Directive passed the European Parliament ensuring the way we use the Internet will change in the future.

And not for the better.

The controversial parts are Articles 11 and 13, the “link tax” and the “upload filter” requirements. For a good run down of how terrible these new rules are look anywhere on the internet but this article at Gizmodo (who I hope doesn’t charge me a link tax for doing so!) will do. 

I would also watch this video from Dave Cullen, a resident of Ireland, i.e. the EU, as to what he thinks this means.

Dave makes a number of fantastic points about the ramifications of Articles 11 and 13 which I will not dispute. 

The arrogance and pig-headedness of EU MEPs to push this through without even listening to arguments for Amendments speaks volumes as to how much this legislation was bought and paid for.

And you know who was doing the buying. The same folks currently behind destroying Brexit — The Davos Crowd. I don’t want to put too fine a point on this now, since I’ve covered all this recently (here) and in the past (here ).

Controlling The Wire

But there are very valid reasons why this push for control of information flow from the EU is yet another example of their desperations to keep control of what I’ve in the past called The Wire:

In short, The Wire is the main conduit through which we communicate with each other. Even money is The Wire. What are prices if not information about what we are willing to part with our money in exchange for?
Without The Wire modern society fails. So, government can’t shut it down but neither can it allow unrestrained access to it.

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

Globalism’s Last Disgrace: The Army vs. the Yellow Vests

Globalism’s Last Disgrace: The Army vs. the Yellow Vests

Globalism’s Last Disgrace: The Army vs. the Yellow Vests

There are few people in this world more odious than French President Emmanuel Macron after his behavior this week. I’m sure there are child molesters who are worse. But as a man who is pivotal in the future of hundreds of millions of people, his decision to order the French military to quell the Yellow Vests protests with live ammunition is simply vile.

Macron outed himself as the very symbol of what animates the globalist elite he represents.

Disdain.

The disdain he holds for the people he leads is palpable. It’s as palpable for his disdain for the British who voted for Brexit. To him the EU is all, the EU is inevitable and when faced with the choice of serving France or serving the EU, he chooses the EU every time.

That is what led him to this disastrous decision to deploy the French military to the streets for the first time since 1948 with orders to shoot protestors.

And that disdain is so complete that he doesn’t realize what happens if even one of those men goes too far and takes the President at his word. Thankfully, that did not happen.

But if it did, he would have lost complete control of his country, if he hasn’t already.

The estimates for Act XIX of the Gilets Jaunes this weekend were over 125,000 across France. That many people taking to the streets risking getting shot is not something you dismiss with a wave of your hand.

It is something as a leader you need to take very seriously.

Because the real fear for Macron is not a violent demonstration that ends with protestors shot and killed. No, the real fear is the protests that are peaceful.

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

Censorship Tightens As Governments Lose Control

Censorship Tightens As Governments Lose Control

Governments have lost control of the narrative that they are in control of events. Everyday I wake up to another instance of outrageous censorship from some ‘social media’ company blocking or banning someone for no apparent reason.

The latest outrage is Twitter banning the account of Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange’s mother, Christine. 

Australian and New Zealand ISPs have gone bonkers IP blocking sites in the wake of the Christchurch massacre. Sites like Zerohedge have been targeted in the past two weeks for publishing narratives orthogonal to what the governments in the West are comfortable with people consuming. 

First it was Facebook, blocking and then unblocking Zerohedge with no apparent reasoning behind it. Now its ISP’s over-reacting to an emotional event ensuring that a good crisis never goes to waste.

And these ISPs are going much farther than just avoiding any potential legal liabilities. They are now openly calling for the platforms themselves — Twitter, Facebook, etc. — be regulated by governments to stop ‘dangerous information’ from reaching the eyeballs of consumers. 

And another mask is ripped off revealing the ugly totalitarians underneath. 

It begins with legitimizing de-platforming people like Alex Jones and social media companies like Gab. Because some speech is too free. These are people supposedly too fringe to be suffered. 

So it’s easy to whip up some public support for censorship of them alongside a one-sided media bombardment of justify their silencing to a large swath of people. 

Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been…?

It’s especially easy to do this after having whipped everyone up into two camps of highly polarized and radicalized camps across multiple political vectors.

Trump vs. Liberals in the U.S.

Remainers vs. Leavers in the U.K.

Open borders vs. Immigration control across the West

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

Moving Forward, Iran Outflanks the U.S. in Iraq and Beyond

Moving Forward, Iran Outflanks the U.S. in Iraq and Beyond

Iran has successfully navigated the first phase of its resistance to U.S. sanctions pressure. The U.S. State Department has admitted it’s goal of reducing Iran’s oil exports to zero is not feasible.

The goal now is a 25% drop to 800,000 barrel per day. And that is no joke. It’s a big drop from where Iran was looking to produce in the coming years under the auspice of the JCPOA. 

The U.S. will not stop until all avenues have been exhausted or Trump fires his current cabinet. 

Iran’s total non-oil exports have suffered as well, since gas condensate exports have also dropped along with the crude oil numbers. 

But Iran is finding friends in other places. They are currently finalizing a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) with Belarus leading the talks at the 15th meeting between their Joint Economic Committee. 

Iran’s non-oil exports, however, are still just one-fifth of their peak exports. Like Russia it is working quickly with regional partners to change that dynamic. 

It won’t be enough to overcome the U.S.’s economic pressure in the short term.

But as I always say if it survives the initial onslaught then market forces open up opportunities for change. Things like INSTEX, the EU special purpose vehicle for getting around U.S. sanctions, is a perfect example.

Bilateral trade outside of the U.S. dollar is another.

North-South Trade Routes

The completion of the North South Transport Corridor (NSTC) is also helping. For example, trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Iran rose more than 70% last year. 

Speaking in the event, [Azeri Trade Minister] Mustafayev mentioned the 12 meetings between the two countries’ presidents during the past five years and said “that is an indication of how good the relations between the two countries are.”

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

Time Runs Out on U.S. Opposition to Nordstream 2

Time Runs Out on U.S. Opposition to Nordstream 2

The Nordstream 2 pipeline represents the last stand of U.S. influence over the internal affairs of Europe. 

Once finished it will stand as a testament to the fundamental split between the European Union and the United States.

Europe will this as its first successful defense of its newly-declared independence. And the U.S. will have to come to terms with no longer having control overseas.

This is a theme repeating itself all around the world right now. 

Your view of Nordstream 2 depends on who you are. 

If you are the U.S. it is a massive rebuke of the post-WWII institutional order mostly paid for by the U.S. to rebuild Europe and protecting it from the scourge of the U.S.S.R.

From Europe’s perspective it’s, “Job well done and all that but Russia isn’t a threat anymore and it is time for us to come out from underneath the U.S.’s shadow.”

And if you are Russia Nordtream 2 is the wedge driving these two adversaries apart while improving national security on your western border.

Europe has imperial ambitions of its own and Nordstream 2 is a very important part of that. Those ambitions, however, are not in line with those in the U.S., particularly under the “leadership” of Donald Trump. 

Trump has this strange idea that the U.S. has gotten nothing in return for our running the world these past seventy-odd years. Our massive trade deficit is wealth stolen by our trade partners in Trump’s simplistic mind.

He refuses to see the wealth we’ve ‘lost’ as squandered by decades of corruption, sloth, regulatory over-reach, etc. 

And so, to Trump, Nordstream 2 is an abomination because he’s funding NATO to protect Europe from Russia but they then are increasing the amount of gas they buy from that very same ‘enemy.’

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

Super Mario Draghi’s Day of Reckoning Has Arrived

Super Mario Draghi’s Day of Reckoning Has Arrived

“Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me, it will be enough.” — MARIO DRAGHI JULY 26TH 2012

No quote better defines Mario Draghi’s seven-plus years as the President of the European Central Bank than that quote. Draghi has thrown literally everything at the deflationary spiral the Euro-zone is in to no avail.

What has been enough has been nothing more than a holding pattern. 

And after more than six years of the market believing Draghi’s words, after all of the alphabet soup programs — ESM, LTRO, TLTRO, OMB, ZOMG, BBQSAUCE — Draghi finally made chumps out of traders yesterday.

Draghi reversed himself after December’s overly hawkish statement in grand fashion but none dare call it capitulation. For years he has patched together a flawed euro papering over cracks with enough liquidity spackle to hide the deepest cracks. 

The Ponzi scheme needs to be maintained just a little while longer.

He’s not alone. In fact, all the major central banks have been working in concert since the day they broke the gold bull market back in September 2011, when the Swiss National Bank pegged the Franc to the euro which began the era of coordinated central bank policy.

And since 2013’s Taper Tantrum when then FOMC-Chair Ben Bernanke  
timidly announced a future without QE the markets have consistently tore at their resolve to normalize monetary policy.

Because when you paper over reality you don’t fix the underlying problems. The losses are still there, hidden in plain sight, held at mark-to-model prices, on central bank balance sheets. 

Ben retired and Janet took over. She held the fort for nearly her entire term, refusing to raise rates while Draghi sent rates negative alongside Japan’s Kuroda. 

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

Interview: Ron Paul and the Never-Ending Story of Empire

Interview: Ron Paul and the Never-Ending Story of Empire

The other day was felt like the fulfillment of a life goal. Sitting down to talk politics, economics, and climate with the irreplaceable Ron Paul was beyond a thrill, it was an honor.

It’s been a long time coming. This blog and the content I produce is the culmination of a fifteen year journey towards this. It began innocently enough with reading one article at Lewrockwell.com back in 1999, right after the site went live. 

Then I read the rest of them. That day and pretty much every day for years. It took me six years to get up the courage to submit a piece to Lew for publication.

For me discovering LRC, the Mises Institute and Dr. Paul were like a lot of young men today discovering Jordan Peterson. 

It was life-affirming. And it gave the next phase of my life something it was missing to that point — direction, shape and purpose. 

I was there in 2008 when Ron Paul did the bravest thing I’ve seen a politician ever do, stand up to the bully Guiliani on the world’s biggest stage and criticize our foreign policy. It was the spark that lit the fire that led to where we are today.

It showed a strength and depth of character that leapt off the screen and galvanized the silent majority to be silent no longer. And the rest was a refutation of the end of history.

Today we stand on a point in the continuum, a possible inflection point in the direction the world will go. Embrace the tired and ugly Marxist filth that destroyed hundreds of millions of people in the twentieth century (and altered the trajectory of history) or reject it whole cloth and build new institutions learning from those incalculable mistakes and horrors.

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

Merkel Stands Against Trump’s Energy Dominance

Merkel Stands Against Trump’s Energy Dominance

Merkel Stands Against Trump’s Energy Dominance

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s speech at the Munich Security Conference this weekend was met with resounding approval from the gathering. Throwing barbs back at US Vice President Mike Pence over a myriad of issues Merkel expressed Europe’s dissatisfaction with the Trump administration’s belligerence and lack of diplomacy.

And that’s putting it mildly.

Trump’s pressuring Germany over the Nordstream 2 pipeline, withdrawing from the JCPOA and increasing NATO funding all have a common theme which even for an EU-firster like Merkel is a non-starter.

Trump is trying to make Germany’s economy uncompetitive by raising the cost of imported energy.

This is obvious when we look at the US’s opposition to Nordstream 2. Trump has made no bones about his distaste for the pipeline because he’d rather Germany, his ally, buy beautiful, clean LNG from Cheniere in Louisiana rather than from dirty, nasty gas from Russia, his enemy.

The other two issues, however, are just as energy-focused for Trump, or at least, economically-focused. Let’s start with Iran.

The JCPOA was signed in 2015 when it looked like the Operation to Blow Apart Syria for Fun and Profit was on the verge of victory. Giving Iran a lifeline to begin selling oil on the open market again was Europe’s ‘get’ in that war.

Turkey would ‘get’ Idlib, Aleppo, Afrin and Manbij. The Saudis and Qataris would ‘get’ gas pipelines into Europe. Israel breaks up the Shia Crescent with the newly-independent Kurdish territory and ‘get’ a US/Israeli campaign to undermine Iran’s government while leaving a hotbed of terrorism to export around the region.

Elijah Magnier called this creating a ‘Syrian jungle.’ I just call it vile.

But it didn’t work because of Putin, Hezbollah and the IRGC with China playing silent partner.

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

Energy Dominance Isn’t Just a Trump Obsession

Energy Dominance Isn’t Just a Trump Obsession

Energy Dominance should be the catchphrase of the day. It’s on the minds of every political figure, and the focus of every economy.

This is especially true of those vulnerable to a change in the status quo, namely Saudi Arabia.

While some continue to believe the gyrations of the oil market over the past few months are evidence of our running up against the limit of the petroleum based global economy, I disagree. 

The world is awash in decades of easily-extracted oil and gas. The supply of it has been kept off the market due to its centrality in the grand game of geopolitics. But, it has nothing to do with the amount of oil and gas out there.

Peak oil has become a religion among its adherents. Decrying the U.S. shale boom, rightly, for its profligacy has more to do with it being a consequence of disastrous central bank inflation rather than some grand plan of the ‘cabal’ because we passed peak EROEI some time ago.

When you drop interest rates to zero and flood the world with liquidity that can only find a home in equity markets, the natural result is malinvestment into unsustainable business practices.

The first wave of the shale boom in the U.S. occurred during this period and created the dynamic we have today. It’s groundwork was laid when oil prices spiked during Greenspan’s post-9/11 reflation and the Iraq War took a lot of marginal supply off the table. 

That sparked a gold rush mentality and a huge boom occurred as oil prices kept rising after “Bernanke saved the world” with trillions in liquidity and multiple rounds of QE. 

Properties were bought based on sky-high valuations which were the result of searching for yield in a yield-free world. 

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

Trump Betrays MAGA Over Venezuela

Trump Betrays MAGA Over Venezuela

The U.S. backed a coup in Venezuela that has failed. And President Trump was the architect of it. This is a farce surrounding an intrigue contained within a tragedy.

What has happened in Venezuela is tragic. Nicolas Maduro is a comical figure straight out of central casting for a South American leader of a junta. But it has been the U.S.’s designs on Venezuela’s oil and gas reserves (the largest proven in the world as of 2017) that is the real story behind this week’s events.

For anyone still harboring doubts as to who Trump truly is Venezuela should end them. Trump’s Energy Dominance policy is at the core of his foreign policy. And he will do whatever it takes to secure that policy and deliver a long-standing order to the U.S. and European oligarchy to gain control over Venezuela.

Energy Dominance

As Alistair Crooke succinctly put it last year at Strategic Culture:


The US – were energy dominance to succeed – simply would control the tap to the economic development – or its lack thereof – for rivals China, and Asia. And the US could squeeze Russia’s revenues in this way, too. In short, the US could put a tourniquet on China’s and Russia’s economic development plans. Is this why JCPOA was revoked by President Trump?
Here then, is the squaring of that circle (more US power, yet less empire): Trump’s US aims for ‘domination’, not through the globalists’ permanent infrastructure of the US defence umbrella, but through the smart leveraging of the US dollar and financial clearing monopoly, by ring-fencing, and holding tight, US technology, and by dominating the energy market, which in turn represents the on/off valve to economic growth for US rivals. In this way, Trump can ‘bring the troops home’, and yet America keeps its hegemony. Military conflict becomes a last resort. 

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

Embarrassing Speeches: Signs of a Dying Empire

Embarrassing Speeches: Signs of a Dying Empire

“What are you reading my lord?” — Polonius

“Words.” — Hamlet

Something has changed in U.S. politics. And it may finally signal something changing for the better. Since the announcement (but no real follow through) to end our military involvement in Syria what passes for our statesmen — John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — have been ignored, mocked or both.

Bolton attempted to box Trump in on not leaving Syria while Israel chest-thumped about how they will not yield an inch to Iran. Turkish President Erdogan publicly lambasted him with no response from President Trump.

Or anyone else for that matter.

When was the last time you heard of a major U.S. political figure go overseas and be refused a meeting with a foreign head of state, publicly upbraided and sent home like an irrelevant flunkie?

I can’t think of one.

Bolton came into the Middle East and made demands like he was the President which Bolton knew were clearly red lines for Erdogan — guaranteeing the safety of the Syrian Kurds.

And he did this from Jerusalem.

The insult couldn’t be plainer. The lack of Bolton’s self-awareness and understanding of the situation was embarrassing. And it left Erdogan the perfect opportunity to call out the Trump Administration’s policies as beholden to a foreign power, Israel.

Pompeo’s Pomp

Next up we have His Rotundity, Mike Pompeo. He goes into Cairo and gives a speech which again shows a stunning lack of specific knowledge of history. Pompeo spent most of the speech doing what he does best.

Misrepresenting history of U.S. involvement in the Middle East so ardently one really thought he should have done it in his private man place.

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

Political Nightmares Multiply for Europe Ahead of Davos

Political Nightmares Multiply for Europe Ahead of Davos

Europe’s dreams of integration are slipping away as the people wake up from the nightmare erected for them.

As we approach Act IX of the Yellow Vest protests in France and the threats of creating bank runs we get the news that both Presidents Trump and Macron will not be attending the convocation of globalists known as the World Economic Forum at Davos.

Trump’s not attending because it’s clear he’s no longer a member of The Davos Crowd and Macron isn’t because any public appearance by him will double the number of people donning high visibility safety gear and taking to the streets.

It almost feels like we’ve reached Peak Davos, with these announcements. But, clearly neither of these men are invited because in the minds of The Davos Crowd they no longer figure in their long-term plans.

Macron not attending is also a sign his government will be sacrificed on the altar of the Yellow Vests in the near future.

The Yellow Vest protests will have to be dealt with in a substantive manner that goes far beyond a few temporary injunctions against higher taxes. They are now vandalizing another symbol of middle class oppression in France, speed cameras.

All of the governments of Europe are broke. And the speed camera is simply another in a long line of instances of them trying to squeeze blood from the now impoverished and shrinking middle class.

The symbology of them smashing speed cameras and demanding their money from the banks cannot be clearer. When you take everything from someone, when he has nothing left to lose, he becomes free.

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

Macron May Trigger Debt Crisis with Yellow Vest Crackdown

Macron May Trigger Debt Crisis with Yellow Vest Crackdown

The Yellow Vests have reached critical mass. And the movement has now created the perfect storm for President Emmanuel Macron.

He can no longer ignore it, even though he tried to do so. And his lack of understanding of the situation as well as his open contempt for his opposition has placed him in a political vice.

Ignoring the problem will only make him look weaker and more disinterested. He could address the situation, put France first and step aside for new elections, which is the decent thing to do.

But, he’s chosen the predictable third option, crack down on the protesters in a futile show of strength. Authoritarians react to challenges like clockwork.

Disobedience is met with violence. More disobedience is met with more violence.

Before last weekend’s Act VIII protests Macron had one of the Yellow Vests original organizers, Éric Drouet, a truck driver, arrested and released pending a trial for “organizing an undeclared demonstration” while meeting with friends at a restaurant.

Guns Not Butter

Update: Now PM Edouard Philippe is signaling a new law that will ban all forms of protests. According to the latest from Zerohedge:

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe presented the new initiative to curtail the violence and unrest while targeting “troublemakers” and banning anonymity through wearing masks on French TV channel TF1 on Monday. He said the law would give police authority crack down on “unauthorized demonstrations” at a moment when police are already arresting citizens for merely wearing a yellow vest, even if they are not directly engaged in protests in some cases.
PM Philippe said the government would support a “new law punishing those who do not respect the requirement to declare [protests], those who take part in unauthorized demonstrations and those who arrive at demonstrations wearing face masks”.

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

Trump Walks Back Syria Pullout As Noose Tightens

Trump Walks Back Syria Pullout As Noose Tightens

If anyone still thinks that Donald Trump has some master plan to kill off his Deep State adversaries they should check themselves into therapy. I know withdrawal is hard, but admitting you have a problem is the first step to curing it.

He doesn’t have a plan. He may fight them but it won’t be with any kind of master plan to trap them in some beautiful bit of political judo.

Frankly, Vladimir Putin he is not.

No, Trump is winging things at this point. While he still has the office he’s trying to do some of the things he promised. Doing that may keep him in power for a few more months.

But with his walking back the timetable for pulling troops out of Syria after a visit from Lindsay Graham (R-MIC/AIPAC) should tell you all you need to know about Trump’s willingness to stand up to the pressure he’s under.

Add to that the opening salvo from Mitt Romney (R-Wall St.) and it becomes pretty clear that Trump was told what the score really is. When, not if, the Democrats push for impeachment or a 25th Amendment proceeding against him Graham and Romney will lead a GOP revolt against him, siding with Senate Democrats to get rid of him.

That’s been the point of this from the beginning. Pat Buchanan and I both talked about this from the moment he was elected. Pat reminding us of what happened to Nixon who was hounded out of office because he did the unthinkable — ending the Vietnam War.

I’ve been simply looking at this from the standard libertarian perspective that “War is the health of the state” and Trump’s opposition to our Middle East follies would net him nothing but contempt.

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
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