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04.25.15  –  US troops in Europe request bigger guns amid Russia anxieties

  • The US regiment involved in a much-publicized ‘Dragoon Ride’ mechanized tour across Eastern Europe in a gesture of support against ‘Russian aggression’ has asked for 30-mm cannons as new addition to its arsenal.
  • The Germany-based 2nd Cavalry is to have 81 of its Stryker infantry carrier vehicles fitted with 30-mm automatic cannons, according to the website Breaking Defense, citing a Department of Defense memo. The Army officially approved the urgent upgrade and the House Armed Services Committee is already setting aside money for it.
  • The cannons would be twice the caliber of the standard .50 BMG (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machineguns that the vehicles are normally armed with and would give the American vehicles a significantly greater punch.
  • The M1126 Infantry Combat Vehicle (ICV) variant of the Stryker family vehicles is equipped with a Protector Remote Weapon Station, which can have a machinegun or a grenade launcher mounted on it.
  • Back in 2008 its producer Kongsberg Gruppen worked with Stryker maker General Dynamics Land Systems on a new platform called Medium Caliber Remote Weapons Station (MCRWS), which would support a bigger 30 mm cannon. The MCRWS looks like a turret, but it’s actually not, as it lacks a basket extending down.
  • The system was successfully tested in February 2014, and it appears that the 2nd Cavalry would be among the first units to give it a test-run. The memo says that the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) would study the “potential application… across the broader Stryker force.”
  • The Pentagon has an even heavier Stryker variant called M1128 Mobile Gun System (MGS), which is armed with a 105 mm tank gun.
  • The 2nd Cavalry paraded 60 of its Stryker vehicles last year in a tour to the Baltic States, Poland and Czech Republic. The “dragoon ride” was meant as a confidence-building gesture to the NATO members in the light of what the alliance calls ‘Russian aggression’.
  • The introduction of the improved Stryker ICV’s was justified by the US Army’s needs in Iraq and Afghanistan. It underwent development during this period.

Source: rt.com

Economic Collapse,  Dollar Collapse,Gold,Silver,Prepping,Preppers

04.25.15  –  One Last Look At The Real Economy Before It Implodes

  • All problems, all crises, have at least one solution, if not many solutions. There is no such thing as an unwinnable scenario. Some may not be smart enough or courageous enough to see it, but the solution is always there, waiting to be discovered. The only fight that cannot be won is the fight in which the enemy makes all the rules and we foolishly abide by those rules. Life is not a game of chess, and a man can choose to be more than a pawn anytime he has the guts to do so.
  • In the past, I have likened the liberty movement to a rebellion against not just tyrants but the game itself – a group of people willing to walk away from the chess board and make their own rules. I stand by that assertion. However, simply walking away is not enough; we must also be willing to take actions that will destroy the game entirely.
  • In order to accomplish this task, any rebellion against corruption of power must be self-critical – more self-critical of its own weaknesses than opposing propagandists could ever be. Most of our problems as a society are being caused by a relatively small number of elitists, but we will never be able to undo these problems without understanding our weaknesses as much as the enemy’s weaknesses. In this final installment of my six-part series, I will talk about REAL solutions to the inevitable economic implosion in front of us, but I will also discuss the shortcomings of the liberty movement as an obstacle to the success of those solutions.
  • Perhaps the most detrimental of weaknesses within the Liberty Movement is a propensity of some to demand action by others before they take action themselves. Not all solutions require a synchronized mass movement led by top-down leadership. Often the best solutions are implemented by individuals and small groups within the local sphere. One man alone may not be able to change the entire world, but each individual can change the immediate world around him in smaller ways each day. Activists need to stop concerning themselves with what everyone else is doing and worry more about what THEY are doing to derail tyranny.
  • As noted in Part 5 of this series, segments of the liberty movement have fallen into a trap of biased assumption, namely a gullible embrace of the false East/West paradigm. I find it a little sad at times when I come across freedom activists who worship the footsteps of Henry Kissinger/International Monetary Fund puppet Vladimir Putin, or those who cheer for a globalist petri dish like China, all because they hate American imperialism so much they have decided out of reactionary fervor to cheerlead for the “lesser of two evils.” There is no difference between those who buy into the false East/West paradigm and those who buy into the false Left/Right political paradigm. There is no “good guy” in the world of geopolitical maneuvering. East or West, it is all irrelevant primarily because both sides serve the same international interests. Those who refuse to recognize this fact will find themselves utterly incompetent in terms of presenting practical solutions. One cannot defeat the game if one plays by the unfair rules of the game.
  • Another issue within the liberty movement is an inability by some to consider where the globalist ideal will actually lead. I know very well that there are 1,001 theories out there as to what the globalists actually want to achieve, which is why I personally look at the evidence at hand. The best available evidence is the evidence the elites openly ADMIT to, as they are apt to do in random fits of arrogance. It is important to understand that the elites often cannot help themselves and are desperate to boast of their activities before said activities are a forgone conclusion. Some analysts in recent history have presented undeniable admission by the elites, yet some activists still bicker about the enemy’s intent.
  • Whether it be the surprising words of insiders like Carroll Quigley, or the in-depth investigations of Antony Sutton, or the quotable quotes of frothing Fabian socialists, there is indeed a distinct strategy in play and this strategy is hidden in plain sight; the strategy of order out of chaos. And in terms of economics, there is an openly admitted goal, namely the integration of national currencies into a single global basket system (the special drawing rights, or SDR) controlled by the IMF and the Bank for International Settlements. I do not “believe” this is the goal; I KNOW this is the goal because the elites have for decades openly admitted to it in articles like “Get Ready For The Phoenix” published by the Rothschild-owned The Economist in 1988, which stated that a global currency system will be established under the auspices of the SDR by 2018.
  • Further information on the plan for global economic reset can be found in my article ‘The Economic Endgame Explained.’
  • As I have shown with ample evidence throughout this series, the U.S. is on the verge of fiscal collapse, the dollar is already in the process of losing its world reserve status, the East is just as subservient to the reset plan as the West, and all of this is in preparation for an engineered disaster that will anesthetize the masses and prepare them for a shift toward total centralization.
  • Solutions require us to first grasp the fundamental nature of the greater threat. The cold, hard truth is that we as a movement for freedom are alone in the fight against globalization. There are no nation states to fall back on. There is no safe region on the planet to run away to. No white knight is coming to our rescue, and any embrace of the East will end only in co-option and defeat for liberty activists.
  • Believe it or not, though, I am still an optimist.
  • Knowing the scale of the threat gives clarity to our response. The movement stands alone, therefore, we must act without naively waiting for outside aid. We must take on an attitude of self-reliance.
  • The gravity of our situation also reveals to us what solutions actually have merit and which “solutions” present false hopes. I have seen numerous attempts at silver-bullet solutions in the movement over the past decade, from useless and intangible crypto-currencies to pyramid schemes designed to generate enough revenue to “sue” the Federal Reserve to blind armed marches on Washington planned by tactically retarded spokesmen to even more national election drives wasting even more money and more energy on candidates that may mean well but have no chance at defusing the economic time bomb already ticking away.
  • If the solution presented seems too easy, then it is probably nonsense. If someone is trying to sell you on the idea that no sacrifice, no struggle and no pain will be required to defeat globalism, then they are probably a con man trying to take something from you, whether it be your money or your common sense. Throughout history, the only real solutions to real problems — economic, social or political — require much pain and sacrifice. To change the world for the better, to fight for the truth, you must be willing to take risks up to an including risking your life, otherwise failure is guaranteed.
  • I do not believe in silver-bullet solutions. I do not believe there is a path of “least resistance.” The following methods are not academic. They are not philosophical. They will not appeal to the egghead libertarian portion of the movement, obsessed with theory rather than practice. And they will not appeal to self-proclaimed pacifists terrified of consequence and public perception. These are difficult actions requiring the will to endure. Every response listed here is a response I am applying in my own community, and I would not suggest a solution that I would not undertake myself.
  • Localism
  • If you want to undermine a concerted campaign of globalization, you must generate an opposing system. The opposite of tyranny is voluntarism. The opposite of collectivism is individualism. The opposite of globalism is localism.
  • Localism is economic organization based upon the methodology of self-reliance. While globalism forces people, cities, states and countries to become interdependent and unable to survive or prosper without each other, localism brings internal economic stability and removes dependency. If all communities were based on localism and independent fiscal strength, such redundancy would make widespread financial collapse a thing of the past.
  • While globalism is a top down model in which all decisions and power bottleneck at the peak of the pyramid, localism is a bottom up grass-roots initiative completely voluntary in nature. It is a methodology in which no one has power over the lives of others. That said, in order for localism to become a reality, these things must be accomplished first…
  • Real Preparedness
  • Self-reliance requires preparedness. There is no way around it. There is no such thing as crisis for those who are prepared. This means placing oneself in a position to provide the necessities of life so that one does not become a slave to need. Desperation often leads to moral relativism, and tyrants thrive on the moral weakness of a population. The more prepared an individual is, the more likely he is to fight back against despotism. The more prepared a community is, the less that community will feel inclined to request aid from those who might leverage such aid to oppress that community.
  • Preparedness can also in some cases include commodity investment by individuals and networks of individuals. While beans, bullets and Band-Aids are a priority, no one can deny the trend of foreign central banks stockpiling precious metals. And this stockpiling is clearly being done as a parallel measure to de-dollarization and the rise of the SDR basket. Metals are useful during windows of time just before collapse and after rebuilding has begun. They are a back-up. They are not a solution by themselves.
  • Real Production
  • Americans, in particular, will have to become producers again. And by production I mean useful items, useful skills and useful ideas, rather than frivolous attempts to sustain our avarice and empty materialism. Do you have the skills to produce food, clean water, shelter, warmth or energy? Are you able to invent or reimagine useful tools? Can you repair useful items? Do you have any experience with hard labor whatsoever? If you have answered in the negative to these questions, then you have a lot of work ahead of you to learn what you can in the time we have left. If you were to approach a group of people today and try to convince them of your value as a producer, what would you tell them? If you were thrust into an economic system in which barter was the primary means of wealth circulation, what would you trade that people would actually want? It is not about being “communally useful”, but it is about supply and demand. What can you provide that is commonly in demand during faltering fiscal conditions?
  • This is not necessarily a call for Americans to revert back to 18th century living; it is a call for Americans to reclaim their heritage of entrepreneurship and adaptability. Globalism is merely feudal mercantilism wearing a modernized mask. It is globalism that is taking us back to the Dark Ages. And only localism can bring us into a future where technical achievement works for the common man rather than against him.
  • Real Community
  • Humans are social beings, but there are healthy forms of social organization, and unhealthy forms. At this stage in our society, collectivism has nearly decimated all vestiges of true community. Today, people have no clue who their neighbors are and most of them do not want to know. They have little to no interaction with their surroundings beyond superficial consumerism, and they see every other person around them as a competitor rather than an ally. Their idea of the “greater good” is a mentally deranged one. For them, the state is the root source of safety and communal coherency rather than the citizenry, and the people around them are not to be trusted.
  • Collectivism isolates people from each other to the point that their only means of feeling a connection with their fellow man is to do so through support of the establishment control grid. Participation in the totalitarian framework becomes a shallow replacement for participation in the world around us. By paying taxes, blindly supporting a war, giving to impotent international charities and voting once every two to four years in the farcical election process, we fool ourselves into believing we are a part of a “team” and that our civic duty has been fulfilled.
  • This terrible cycle can be broken, but it takes the effort of individuals going out and actively building relationships with others of like mind off the grid, so to speak. The liberty movement in particular should be forming groups and associations all over the country — not just to complain about the condition of the nation, but to take tangible actions. Mutual aid and barter groups, neighborhood watches and community preparedness teams, business ventures and engineering projects are all useful means of organization. These organizations will not form themselves. YOU must make them happen.
  • Real Self-Defense
  • As I discussed in my article ‘If You Are Not Thinking Tactically You Are Not A Survivalist,’ self-defense is an imperative that simply cannot be denied. This defense must include preparation for all enemies, foreign and domestic, and corrupt government is not excluded.
  • Economic collapse is very often followed by an increase in oppressive state power. And in the end, the establishment does not relinquish power over the citizenry unless it is forced to do so. Because of this reality, all honorable people should endeavor to become dangerous people, the more dangerous the better.
  • Voices expressing nihilism and futility in self defense are rarely constructive and should be ignored. Frankly, I find such cowardice stomach churning. There may very well come a day in which you will have to decide between freedom or absolute slavery. The size, strength and technological advancement of the enemy should have NO bearing whatsoever on the choice to fight for freedom; it should only have bearing on the applied strategy. Again, there is no problem without a solution if you have the courage to seek it. I hope that my joint project with Oath Keepers on how to build a working thermal evasion suit, due to be released in the next few weeks, will provide a good example as to why a technologically advanced tyranny is still vulnerable to a resourceful citizenry.
  • Real Grass-Roots Expansion
  • There has always been a lot of talk within the liberty movement of “nullification.” But ultimately, the philosophy of nullification is useless unless it comes from a position of strength. Federal overreach will not stop simply because a state happens to pass a bill denying the establishment full access. Here in Montana, medical marijuana legalization was crushed by the Feds despite state recognition. They simply marched in and arrested on drug charges anyone who dared open up shop, and the state did nothing to stop it. This is just one example of many in which nullification failed because people refused to accept that written law is meaningless unless it is backed by a vigilant public. Words on paper alone have never stopped the ascendance of totalitarians.
  • I suspect that as the overall economic implosion becomes more obvious to average people, there will be some counties and states that develop a desire for nullification on a grand scale. Americans will want resource implementation to provide wealth protection. And some states have more than enough resources to offset a national financial disaster, or at least stop that disaster at their borders. This would require the complete dissolution of numerous federal laws prohibiting resource development.
  • Such dissolution will not be successful unless counties and states have enough strong grass-roots communities in place to defend against federal intrusion — or at least make the idea so costly and prohibitive that they have second thoughts. Each smaller liberty group linking with other liberty groups can eventually create this kind of expansion. This is, of course, a best-case scenario. County and state organization should take a backseat to neighborhood and town organization until wider expansion becomes realistic. Strong counties and states begin with strong individuals, strong neighborhoods, and strong towns.
  • The collapse itself could easily be prolonged through a series of smaller catastrophes; or it could happen in a matter of days, depending on the trigger. For now, it appears that the U.S. is to be worn down to nothing as the IMF works closely with the BRICS to promote the SDR basket system. All nations will be negatively affected by this shift, but some will be hurt far more than others. War is certainly a possibility and would make for great cover as the IMF’s global reset is enacted. I can’t speak much to this kind of event other than to say that regardless of what happens, the IMF and the BIS will remain neutral, waiting until the conflict subsides so that they can step in as “heroes” ready to rebuild the world.
  • The liberty movement must also be ready to rebuild, and our ideal must be fully formed if we are to compete with the globalists. The most difficult reality of all is the reality that economic implosion is only the end of one struggle and the beginning of a new struggle. Our responsibility will not only be to fight against the machinations of elitists, but also to convince the world that the way of independence and freedom is more useful and preferable than the way of collectivist peasantry. Collapse is already upon us; now we must decide who will determine what happens next.

(click here for Part 1,Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5)

Source: zerohedge.com

Economic Collapse,  Dollar Collapse,Gold,Silver,Prepping,Preppers

04.24.15  –  Anti-austerity occupiers to be ejected from Manchester Albert Square

  • Homelessness and anti-austerity campaigners who have formed a protest camp outside the city council chambers in Manchester’s Albert Square could be gone within hours after losing a court battle to remain.
  • After trying to overturn a court order on Friday, the demonstrators, who are protesting the rise of homelessness in the city as a result of austerity measures, are faced with a stark choice between moving on voluntarily or being forcibly removal.
  • Recent weeks have seen a flurry of legal exchanges between council bosses and occupiers.
  • The city council had won an injunction to eject the protesters, which was appealed by those in the camp earlier this week.

Homeless protest camp in Manchester’s Albert Square. via@pixel8foto@MENnewsdeskhttp://t.co/K1WKvGX0FJpic.twitter.com/nLYBpWqj3l

— Yakub Qureshi (@yqshi) April 17, 2015

  • While the case was set to be heard next Tuesday, council bosses again outflanked protesters and brought the hearing forward to Friday.
  • Despite the setback, protestors may further challenge the result under the Human Rights Act and the Housing Act.
  • The group was represented by Waddell Taylor Bryan Solicitors. Solicitor Ben Taylor told the Manchester Evening News: “They have to leave immediately.”
  • “If they do not then the bailiff’s department will be instructed to enforce the possession order. We are considering the merits of pursuing an appeal now.”
  • The protest heated up last week amid claims it was hijacked, resulting in a number of people attempting to storm the council buildings.
  • A local government spokesman told the Manchester Evening News: “The delays have been incredibly disappointing as, following the behavior of a group of protesters who behaved aggressively towards our staff and damaged property last week, we have had no choice but to increase security at the town hall while valuable police resources have also been tied up.”
  • Housing and homelessness has become an increasingly fraught topic in the UK.

Makeshift campsites pitches up in Albert Square in Manchester to protest about homelessness in the city. #c4newspic.twitter.com/rJLSk19N49

— Robert Windscheffel (@RWindscheffel) April 16, 2015

  • On Tuesday, housing and anti-homelessness protestors blockaded the entrance of London’s annual Property Awards on Tuesday in a bid to highlight Britain’s critical lack of social housing.
  • Demonstrators chanted “housing is a human right” at attendees, who arrived wearing tuxedos and designer dresses.
  • Campaigners obstructed the entrance to the event with a large banner reading “No more deaths on our streets.”
  • The Property Awards annual dinner celebrates the UK’s leading developers and companies, many of whom build luxury flats in London which retail for more than £900,000 and are marketed to investors abroad.
  • Protestors came from a variety of campaigns, including Occupy, Focus E15 – a group of mothers who fought off eviction in Newham – the Sweets Way Resists group, and Friends of the Joiners.
  • Participants from the recent March for the Homeless on Downing Street also joined the demonstration.
  • Some campaigners attempted to enter the hotel before storming a neighboring Foxtons estate agents and forcing staff to retreat to back rooms, according to reports.
  • One activist, who is interviewed in a video of the demonstration published by Urban Pictures UK, described the awards ceremony as “vulgar.”

Source: rt.com

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04.24.15  –  Election ‘Chaos’ In UK Could Trigger ‘Lehman Moment’ For Pound

  • - UK economy a ‏’timebomb’ and will explode after election – Albert Edwards
    – Telegraph warns of “Lehman Moment” stemming from possible election chaos
    – Currency traders view pound as being particularly vulnerable
    – Latest data shows UK poised to slip into deflation for the first time since 1960
    – Polls place Labour and Tories neck and neck as election looms
    – Hung parliament may force either side to enter coalition with potentially disliked partners
    – Outright majority for either side would also lead to further uncertainty
    – Political uncertainty may impact sterling and UK assets
    – UK has massive debt and vulnerable to Eurozone debt crisis
  • With the British general election due in just under two weeks on May 7, concerns are growing about the outlook for the UK pound after the election and the long term outlook of the UK economy due to the extremely high levels of debt – particularly in the private sector in the UK.
  • UK debt has continued to rise throughout the recovery and has soared to an eye-watering £1.48 trillion. In recent days, a slew of foreign exchange analysts have warned that the pound is vulnerable to falling in value.
  • London’s Telegraph warned last week that election ‘chaos’ could lead to a “Lehman moment” for the pound. The pound has been in steady decline since July apparently due to traders pricing in uncertainty around the election. It is currently trading at $1.51, down from $1.71 in July.
  • The incumbent government have not reined in public and trade deficits and have been accused of juicing the property market and the economy to postpone a crisis until after the election. Indeed, the Guardian reports that the current account deficit “was the widest for more than 60 years in 2014″.
  • To compound the problem, data for February and March show that the UK is on the verge of deflation for the first time in over 25 years.
  • There was 0% inflation in both months. It was expected that data for March would show negative growth. In the event, the data was neutral which led to what is likely to be a temporary bounce for the pound.
  • The Telegraph quoted Forex.com analyst Kathleen Brooks as saying “If you got a big shock, say -0.3pc, I think that would be when the panic stations would ring and then we’ll get into a real parabolic phase when you just see the pound drop like a stone.”
  • UKIP are polling well in terms of percentages although how it will translate into seats remains unclear. The YouGov poll sees UKIP with 13% of the vote. The two leading parties have around 35% while the LibDems score just 7%.
  • Given the fragile nature of the London property market, the UK economy and uncertainty regarding a Grexit and new Eurozone debt crisis, such high levels of uncertainty could not come at a worse time.
  • Given the interlinked nature of so many financial institutions a “Lehman moment” for the pound and the UK could lead to widespread contagion and quickly morph into a Lehman moment for the world.

Source: goldcore.com

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04.23.15  –  11 Signs That We Are Entering The Next Phase Of The Global Economic Crisis

  • Well, the Nasdaq finally did it.  It has climbed all the way back to where it was at the peak of the dotcom bubble.  Back in March 2000, the Nasdaq set an all-time record high of 5,048.62.  On Thursday, after all these years, that all-time record was finally eclipsed.  The Nasdaq closed at 5056.06, and Wall Street greatly rejoiced.  So if you invested in the Nasdaq at the peak of the dotcom bubble, you are just finally breaking even 15 years later.  Unfortunately, the truth is that stocks have not been soaring because the U.S. economy is fundamentally strong.  Just like the last two times, what we are witnessing is an irrational financial bubble.  Sometimes these irrational bubbles can last for a surprisingly long time, but in the end they always burst.  And even now there are signs of economic trouble bubbling to the surface all around us.  The following are 11 signs that we are entering the next phase of the global economic crisis…
  • #1 It is being projected that half of all fracking companies in the United States will be “dead or sold” by the end of this year.
  • #2 The rig count just continues to fall as the U.S. oil industry implodes.  Incredibly, the number of rigs in operation in the United States has fallen for 19 weeks in a row.
  • #3 McDonald’s has announced that it will be closing 700 “poor performing” restaurants in 2015.  Why would McDonald’s be doing this if the economy was actually getting better?
  • #4 As I wrote about the other day, we could be right on the verge of a Greek debt default.  In fact, we learned on Thursday that the Greek government has been “running on empty” for months…

Greece warned it will go bankrupt next week after failing to stump up enough cash to pay millions of public sector workers and its international debts.

Deputy finance minister Dimitras Mardas set alarm bells ringing yesterday when he declared the country had been ‘running on empty’ since February.

With a debt repayment deadline looming on May 1, Greece faces the deeply damaging prospect of having to snub its own employees to make a €200m payment to the International Monetary Fund.

  • #5 Coal accounts for approximately 40 percent of all electrical generation on the entire planet.  When the price of coal starts to drop, that is a sign that economic activity is slowing down.  Just prior to the last financial crisis in 2008, the price of coal shot up dramatically and then crashed really hard.  Well, guess what?  The price of coal has been crashing again, and it is already lower than it was at any point during the last recession.
  • #6 The price of iron ore has been crashing as well.  It is down 35 percent in the last nine months, and David Stockman believes that this is because of a major deflationary crisis that is brewing in China…

There is no better measure of the true contraction underway in China than the price of iron ore. The Wall Street stock peddlers will tell you not to be troubled by the 70% plunge from the 2012 highs and the 35% drop just in the last nine months. According to them, its all the fault of the big global miners who went overboard opening up massive new iron ore pits and mining infrastructure.

  • #7 At this point, China accounts for more total global trade than anyone else in the world.  That is why it is so alarming that Chinese imports and exports are both absolutely collapsing…

China’s monthly trade data shows exports fell in March from a year ago by 14.6% in yuan terms, compared to expectations for a rise of more than 8%.

Imports meanwhile fell 12.3% in yuan terms compared to forecasts for a fall of more than 11%.

  • #8 The number of publicly traded companies in the United States that filed for bankruptcy during the first quarter of 2015 was more than double the number that filed for bankruptcy during the first quarter of 2014.
  • #9 New home sales in the United States just declined at their fastest pace in almost two years.
  • #10 U.S. manufacturing data has been shockingly weak lately…

On the heels of weak PMIs from Europe and Asia, Markit’s US Manufacturing PMI plunged to 54.2 in April (from 55.7). Against expectations of a rise to 55.6, this is the biggest miss on record. Of course, this is ‘post-weather’ so talking-heads will need to find another excuse as New Orders declined for the first time since Nov 2014.

  • #11 When priced according to “the average blue-collar hourly wage“, U.S. stocks are the most expensive that they have ever been in history right now.  To say that this financial bubble is overdue to burst is a massive understatement.
  • For a long time, I have been pointing to 2015 as a major “turning point” for the global financial system, and I still feel that way.
  • But for the first four months of this year, things have been surprisingly quiet – at least on the surface.
  • So what is going on?
  • Well, I believe that what we are experiencing right now is the proverbial “calm before the storm”.  There is all sorts of turmoil brewing just beneath the surface, but for the moment things seem like they are running along just fine to most people.  Unfortunately, this period of quiet is not going to last much longer.
  • And those that are “in the know” are already moving their money in anticipation of what is coming.  For example, consider the words of  Snapchat founder and CEO Evan Spiegel…

Fed has created abnormal market conditions by printing money and keeping interest rates low. Investors are looking for growth anywhere they can find it and tech companies are good targets – at these values, however, all tech stocks are expensive – even looking at 5+ years of revenue growth down the road. This means that most value-driven investors have left the market and the remaining 5-10%+ increase in market value will be driven by momentum investors. At some point there won’t be any momentum investors left buying at higher prices, and the market begins to tumble. May be 10-20% correction or something more significant, especially in tech stocks.

  • It may not happen next week, or even next month, but big financial trouble is coming.
  • And when it finally arrives, it is going to shock the world, even though anyone with any sense can see the coming crisis approaching from a mile away.

Source: theeconomiccollapseblog.com

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04.23.15  –  Maryland gov. sends state troopers to Baltimore as protesters crowd City Hall

  • Baltimore residents and police clashed as protesters marched downtown to protest the mysterious death of Freddie Gray in police custody. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said he will send 32 state troopers to the city in order to oversee demonstrations.
  • No concrete numbers are in, but hundreds of protesters took to the streets of downtown Baltimore, rallying in front of City Hall and the US Courthouse while calling for justice in Gray’s death. The 25-year-old African-American man died as a result of a severe spinal cord injury, though it’s unclear exactly how or when he was hurt. His funeral is set for Monday.
  • As demonstrators marched through the streets, they chanted phrases such as, “All night, all day – we’re going to fight for Freddie Gray” and “Hands up, don’t shoot!”
  • Protests for #FreddieGray are in their fifth day in Baltimore, with demonstrators in front of City Hall demanding justice and answers. Anya Parampil reports live from the scene.Posted by RT America on Thursday, April 23, 2015
  • At one point, demonstrators surrounded a police vehicle and climbed on top of it, according to WNEW News.
  • In some instances, people pushed into the streets, interrupting traffic as they spread their message. Some simply chanted “Freddie, Freddie!”while others called for the six officers involved in Gray’s death to be indicted.
  • Gray was detained after making eye contact with police and running away. Officers gave chase and claimed he possessed a knife, but this account is disputed by Gray’s family.
  • Speaking with the Baltimore Sun, Hogan said he had sent 32 state troopers to the city following a request for assistance from the Baltimore Police Department. The troopers reportedly have “expertise”in crowd control.
  • “There’s raw emotions. People legitimately have concerns, and the community is out in force protesting,”Hogan told the paper. “I want to thank the folks involved in that. So far it has been peaceful. We want to try to keep things under control. The last thing we need is more violence in Baltimore City.”
  • While state troopers will be present in Baltimore, Hogan said city police will continue to bear most of the responsibility.
  • “The Baltimore Police Department, as a matter of past practice, asks for the assistance of local and state law enforcement partners for any large-scale event, festival and other occasions that draw large crowds,”the police said in a statement, adding that it “will continue to do everything possible to ensure the safety of those engaged in the expression of their constitutional rights.”
  • Meanwhile, the circumstances surrounding Gray’s death continue to be hazy. Michael Davey, anattorney for the police union who is representing at least one of the six officers currently under investigation, said that officers did not secure Gray with a seatbelt after arresting him and placing him in a police van. If true, that would be a violation of Baltimore PD policy.
  • “It is not always possible or safe for officers to enter the rear of those transport vans that are very small, and this one was very small,” Davey said.
  • The Baltimore PD confirmed that it has a policy requiring all prisoners to be properly seatbelted during transport,” but did not clarify whether or not Gray was secured. It added that photographs of the van could not be shared with the media because they are currently part of an investigation.
  • Police have said that Gray was conscious when he was placed in the van but unconscious when taken out. They have acknowledged that Gray – who appeared injured as police attempt to get him inside the van, according to footage recorded by a bystander – asked for an inhaler, but a request for medical assistance was not made for another 40 minutes or so.
  • Due to all of these unanswered questions, Hogan told the Baltimore Sun that he will sign a recently passed bill that would let police departments outfit officers with body cameras.
  • “We’re getting bits and pieces of information from bystanders that may or may not show the whole story, so we don’t know what happened before the incident or after the incident that we have on tape,” he said.“Having the real evidence of exactly what happened, having everything videotaped, is a step in the right direction.”

Source: rt.com

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04.23.15  –  Russia to deploy military drones to monitor Arctic

  • Russian drones will start monitoring the situation in the Arctic as well as on a part of the Northern Sea Route starting May 1, authorities announced. The vehicles can be used in navigation as well as in search and rescue missions.
  • “The drones’ task is to maintain impartial control of the situation in the Russian sector of the Arctic, including the ecological and ice situation in the adjoining sea areas and along the Northern Sea Route,” Colonel Aleksandr Gordeev said.
  • The division of UAV [Unmanned aerial vehicle] Orlan-10 of Eastern Military District will deploy in Chukotka [Peninsula] from May 1.

#Арктика: Подразделения #ВВО проводят тестовые полеты #БЛА #Орлан10 в Заполярье, в районах о.Врангеля и м.Отто Шмидта pic.twitter.com/pgoTMnka4I

— Минобороны России (@mod_russia) March 25, 2015

  • Produced at the Special Technological Centre of Saint Petersburg, the Orlan-10 drones are capable of reaching speeds of 90-150kph.
  • The drones will perform such tasks as “managing objective control over the situation in the Russian Arctic,” and section of the Northern Sea Route, Gordeev added.
  • The vehicles will be delivered aboard Mi-26 heavy transport helicopters to any area for monitoring the situation in the Russian Arctic, navigation as well as in search and rescue missions.
  • Russia to create united naval base system for ships, subs in Arctic – Putin
    Plans to implement drones in the Arctic were revealed at the end of 2014. The test flights of Orlan-10 started in March 2015.
  • Russia has recently started developing its northern regions, which includes the production of hydrocarbons, with national companies developing the exploration and construction of drilling facilities.
  • Home to the largest icebreaker fleet in the world, Russia is the only nation to use nuclear-propelled icebreakers. With climate change making the Arctic region more accessible, Moscow sees its development a priority both for the sake of its natural resources and as a potential route for transport vessels from Asia to Europe.

Source: rt.com

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04.23.15  –  Middle East a Powder Keg as Saudi Bombing of Yemen Resumes

  • - Saudi operation in Yemen enters new phase as U.S. and Iranian Navies gather in the Gulf of Aden
    – Saudi’s blame Houthi rebels and Iran for Saudi bombardment of Yemen, supported by US
    – Chinese President Xi calls Saudi King Salman urging speedy resolution to crisis, Chinese media take neutral stance
    – Russian media describes Saudi operation as ethnic cleansing and Iranian media emphasise that Saudi is operating without a UN mandate to restore their ally, the former President, to power in Yemen
  • While the US beefs up its navy presence around the Gulf of Aden – apparently in response to Iran dispatching a navy convoy to bring arms to the Yemeni rebels – the Saudi’s operation has entered a new phase.
  • Following an initial announcement on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia was to end its bombardment of Yemen, it later resumed bombing of rebel positions. The risk of a ‘proxy’ war remains real.
  • The resumption of violence was played down by the Saudi government who insist that any further bombings will be in response to Houthi rebel actions.
  • The latest phase of Saudi’s war in Yemen which has resulted in the deaths of more than 1,000 people is being called “Renewal of Hope” according to the New York Times.
  • “Saudi ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, said the campaign was shifting to a new phase — one in which Saudi airstrikes would be more limited and come only in response to Houthi attacks, such as the assault against Yemeni troops in Taiz”, reports The New York Times.
  • It adds, incongruously, that “The Houthis issued a statement declaring that they were ready ‘to resume political dialogue’ under United Nations auspices, but only after ‘a complete end to the aggression against Yemen and the lifting of the blockade.’ “
  • The U.S. appears to have lost a degree of control over its main Arabian ally, the New York Times reports.
  • The narrow Gulf of Aden is a potential flash-point between the Iranian and U.S. navies. It could also be a flashpoint between the Saudi and Iranian militaries.
  • Russia Today has described the Saudi’s operation as being about “chaos and violence and genocide” in Yemen. Iran’s Press TV has emphasises the illegal nature of the Saudi’s actions and the the blatant use of violence to restore power to their ally, former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, in a sovereign nation.
  • The Saudi bombing of Yemen is another flash point and will deepen tensions between the U.S., NATO allies and Russia and indeed China. Geopolitical risk remains high and the region remains a powder keg that is likely to explode as has already been seen in Syria and much of North Africa.

Source: zerohedge.com

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