- The US House Foreign Affairs Committee has passed a resolution accusing the Syrian government, Russia and Iran of war crimes and calling for an international tribunal on Syria. The move comes amid a breakthrough US-Russia deal on a Syrian ceasefire.
The document passed on Wednesday claims that the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad is guilty of “widespread torture and rape,” and its forces “massacred civilians, including through the use of chemical weapons, cluster munitions, and barrel bombs.”
- Moscow is accused of “violations of international law by leading deliberate bombing campaigns on civilian targets including bakeries, hospitals, markets and schools.”
- The resolution introduced by Republican Chris Smith (R-NJ), and co-sponsored by other two senators, reads that “vast majority of the civilians who have died in the Syrian conflict have been killed by the Government of Syria and its allies, specifically the Russian Federation, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Iran’s terrorist proxies including Hezbollah.”
- Committee Chairman Ed Royce supported the bill, saying that Russian air strikes against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) are ineffective, claiming that “Russian attacks have actually done more to help ISIS than hurt it.” He added, without giving any evidence to prove the claim, that Russian forces hit “moderate opposition” targets.
Read more at:US House panel wants to try Assad, Russia, Iran for ‘war crimes’ in Syria
- The reason both the Democratic and Republican establishments are in full on panic mode about the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders is a deep seated fear that the plebs have finally woken up.
- Democrats rail against big corporations, while Republicans rail against big government. This scheme has been used to successfully divide and conquer the public for decades while big government and big business successfully schemed to divert all wealth and power to an ever smaller minuscule segment of the population — themselves.
- It took awhile, but the people are finally starting getting it and they are royally pissed off. One of the primary mechanisms for this historic elite theft has been the creation of a two-tiered justice system in which the rich, powerful and connected are never prosecuted for their criminality. Instead, the government actively protects them by pretending corporate entities commit crimes as opposed to individuals. Of course, this is impossible, but yet it’s how the government handles white collar crime. The Orwellian named “Justice Department” casually utilizes deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs), in which companies pay a little fine and the criminals themselves walk away with not just their freedom, but ill gotten monetary gains as well.
- Nowhere is this most apparent than when it comes to the big banks. The individuals who work at these criminal cartels can literally do anything they want with total impunity. One of the most egregious examples of this was the $1.9 billion settlement arranged with HSBC for laundering Mexican drug cartel money and dealing with sanctioned countries. If you or I did this we’d be sitting in a concrete box eating porridge through a straw for the rest of our lives, but when “masters of the world” at big banks do it, the parent company just pays a slap on the wrist fine and life goes on. That’s how oligarch justice works.
- Although the Department of Justice and HSBC thought the money laundering case was settled ancient history, a determined chemist from Pennsylvania is throwing a wrench into their plans and it could have major implications.
Read more at:How The U.S. Government And HSBC Teamed Up To Hide The Truth From A Pennsylvania Couple
- Given the vicious downward spiral of competitive devaluation that is washing around the world’s economic bathtub, it appears – just as we saw during The Great Depression – that currency wars have given way to mal-investment-fueled protectionism as US launches the first missile in the trade wars with a massive 266% tariff on imports of cold-rolled steel. “There’ll be a short-term benefit,“ said John Packard of Steel Market Update. ”However, in the long run, the U.S. mills are always going to want more tariffs, and it’s questionable how much more [protection] they can get.”
- In December, we warned of China’s flooding the world with its unwanted commodities – all created and warehoused in the biggest credit-bubble-fueled mass mal-investment “boom” in human history…as Bloomberg notes,shipments of steel, oil products and aluminum are reaching for new highs, according to trade data from the General Administration of Customs.
That’s because mills, smelters and refiners are producing more than they need amid slowing domestic demand, and shipping the excess overseas.
The flood is compounding a worldwide surplus of commodities that’s driven returns from raw materials to the lowest since 1999, threatening producers from India to Pennsylvania and aggravating trade disputes. While companies such as India’s JSW Steel Ltd. decry cheap exports as unfair, China says the overcapacity is a global problem.
The flood of Chinese supplies is roiling manufacturers around the world and exacerbating trade frictions. The steel market is being overwhelmed with metal from China’s government-owned and state-supported producers, a collection of industry associations have said. The nine groups, including Eurofer and the American Iron and Steel Institute, said there is almost 700 million tons of excess capacity around the world, with the Asian nation contributing as much as 425 million tons.
Low-cost supply from China in Europe prompted producer ArcelorMittal to reduce its profit forecast and suspend its dividend.India’s government has signaled it’s planning more curbs on steel imports while regulators in the U.S. are planning to lift levies on shipments from some Chinese companies.
Read more at:Great Depression Redux: First Currency War, Now US Unleashes Trade War With China
- Politics today is not about Republicans and Democrats.
Nor is it about healthcare, abortion, higher taxes, free college tuition, or any of the other buzzwords that have become campaign slogans for individuals who have mastered the art of telling Americans exactly what they want to hear.
- Politics today is about one thing and one thing only: maintaining the status quo between the Controllers (the politicians, the bureaucrats, and the corporate elite) and the Controlled (the taxpayers).
- Hillary will not save the nation. Nor will Bernie, Trump, Rubio, or Cruz.
- The only ones who can save the nation are “we the people,” and yet the American people remain eager to be persuaded that a new president in the White House can solve the problems that plague us.
- No matter who wins this next presidential election, you can rest assured that the new boss will be the same as the old boss, and we—the permanent underclass in America—will continue to be forced to march in lockstep with the police state in all matters, public and private.
- Indeed, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, it really doesn’t matter what you call them—the 1%, the elite, the controllers, the masterminds, the shadow government, the police state, the surveillance state, the military industrial complex—so long as you understand that no matter which party occupies the White House in 2017, the unelected bureaucracy that actually calls the shots will continue to do so.
- Consider the following a much-needed reality check, an antidote if you will, against an overdose of overhyped campaign announcements, lofty electoral promises and meaningless patriotic sentiments that land us right back in the same prison cell.
FACT: Despite the fact that the number of violent crimes in the country is down substantially, the lowest rate in forty years, thenumber of Americans being jailed for nonviolent crimes such as driving with a suspended license is skyrocketing.
FACT: Thanks to an overabundance of 4,500-plus federal crimes and 400,000-plus rules and regulations, it is estimated that theaverage American actually commits three felonies a day without knowing it. In fact, according to law professor John Baker, “There is no one in the United States over the age of 18 who cannot be indicted for some federal crime. That is not an exaggeration.”
Read more at:Reality Check: No Matter Who Wins The White House, The New Boss Will Be The Same As The Old Boss
- On January 26, 1841, two years into the First Opium War between China’s Qing Dynasty and the British Empire, Commodore Sir Gordon Bremer hoisted the British flag above Possession Point in Hong Kong.
- At the time the island’s population numbered less than 10,000. Most were illiterate fishermen.
- Hong Kong was also devoid of any meaningful natural resources except for well-placed geography.
- So when the war ended in 1842 and British diplomats formally annexed Hong Kong into their empire, they turned it into a free port almost immediately.
- This means that no taxes were charged on goods traded in Hong Kong—an anomaly back then.
- Governments routinely squeezed trading posts for tax revenue, taking a cut of all goods shipped through the port.
- Governments still do this today, charging custom duties and other taxes on imported goods crossing their borders.
- As a free port, Hong Kong immediately attracted entrepreneurs and speculators from all over the world to set up their operations.
- People were attracted to the low tax environment, and the fact that the imperial government bureaucrats were over 5,000 miles away.
- Trade quickly flourished. And as commercial activity grew, the island prospered and rapidly became more developed.
Read more at:The Entire System Is Rigged Against Your Prosperity
- Corporate earnings reports for the fourth quarter are pretty much in the books.The deception, falsification, accounting manipulation, and propaganda utilized by mega-corporations and their compliant corporate media mouthpieces has been outrageously blatant. It reeks of desperation as the Wall Street shysters attempt to extract the last dollar from their muppet clients before this house of cards collapses.
- The CEOs of these mega-corporations accelerated their debt financed stock buybacks in 2015 as stock prices reached all-time highs and are currently so overvalued, they will deliver 0% returns over the next decade. This disgraceful act of pure greed by the Ivy League educated leaders of corporate America to boost their own stock based compensation is reckless and absurd.
- It is proof education at our most prestigious universities has produced avaricious MBAs following financial models and each other like lemmings going over the cliff. Proof of their foolishness is self evident after perusing the chart below. These intellectual giants evidently never learned the basic rule of buying low and selling high in order to make a profitable trade.
- The previous all-time high in stock buybacks occurred in 2008 at the previous peak. That brilliant strategy led to 50% shareholder losses in a matter of months. No Board of Directors fired any CEO for these disastrous strategic blunders. These cowardly ego maniacs didn’t buy back any stock in 2009 and 2010 when they could have made a killing with valuations at decade lows.
Read more at:The Great Corporate Earnings Fraud
- As Fed inflates away dollar’s value, government gains more control to manipulate taxpayers and savers
- Former Treasury secretary Larry Summers wants to get rid of the $100 bill. But I think he has it exactly backward. I think we need to restore the $500 and $1000 bills. And the reason is that people like Larry Summers have done a horrible job.
- Summers wrote recently in The Washington Post that the $100 bill needs to go. The reason, he says, is that it’s a favorite of criminals, along with the 500 euro note, which is likely to be discontinued. The New York Times editorialized in agreement, writing: “Getting rid of big bills will make it harder for criminals to do business and make it easier for law enforcement to detect illicit activity. … There is no need for large-denomination currency. Britain’s top bill is the 50-pound note ($72), which has been perfectly sufficient. The United States stopped distributing $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 bills in 1969. There are now so many ways to pay for things, and eliminating big bills should create few problems.”
- Reading this got me to thinking: What is a $100 bill worth now, compared to 1969? According to the U.S. Inflation Calculator online, a $100 bill today has the equivalent purchasing power of $15.49 in 1969 dollars. Likewise, in 1969, a $100 bill had the equivalent purchasing power of $645.55 in today’s dollars.
- So even if we brought back the discontinued $500 bill, it wouldn’t have the purchasing power today that a $100 bill had in 1969, when larger denominations were discontinued. And carrying around a $100 bill today is basically like carrying around a $20 in 1969.
- And although inflation isn’t running very high at the moment, this trend will only continue. If the next few decades are like the last few, paper money in current denominations will become basically useless.
Read more at:Law Professor Slams Summers: “Cash Is The Currency Of Freedom”