The Center for Intelligence Studies
CAN THE ELITES COPE?
Bloomberg reported that participants in the World Economic Forum at Davos last month were worried by the rise of anti-globalist sentiment. After being caught off guard by both the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States, the elites are finally realizing that popular resistance to their policies is much more than a public relations issue. As International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde pointed out, the middle class grew in emerging market countries last year but shrank in the developed countries. She favored increasing social spending to alleviate the problems caused by the growing wealth inequality in the U.S. and Europe. Others acknowledged that global trade is neither free nor fair in an unusual departure from the party line. Bridgewater CEO Ray Dalio stressed that the populist movement is larger than a disappointed middle class and drew comparisons to the social problems of the 1930’s. Wealth inequality is greater now than at any time since that decade, and nationalist sentiment is rising. Nobel prize-winning economists Joseph Stiglitz and Angus Deaton went so far as to say the European Union and the euro currency are not working and should be dropped. Deaton blamed the public’s unhappiness on out of control EU regulatory bodies. By and large, however, the general view appears to be that populism can be contained. They still favor public spending despite high government debt levels, combined with vague promises of making global integration work for ordinary people. In other words, they want more of the same policies that caused the current problems.
THE ROBOT REVOLUTION ROLLS ON
One of the social spending programs being pushed by the elites involves retraining displaced workers – but that only works when there are jobs for the retrained workers. As robots eliminate more and more human jobs, already staggering unemployment levels will rise to levels impossible to hide. The Seattle Times reported that Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, now has 45,000 robots working at 20 fulfillment centers to move inventory items. Picking and stowing the items is currently done by humans, but Amazon is researching ways to have that done by robots as well. According to the BBC, online grocer Ocado has a similar setup and is also working on robotic hands to select individual items for orders, in collaboration with five European universities and Disney. Presumably other companies will follow suit as cost efficiencies allow – or dictate.
The Seattle Times also reported that Amazon is pursuing the grocery business with a brick and mortar store that has no cashiers and no checkout lines. The “Just Walk Out” technology uses a smartphone app to let the customer into the store and track which items are removed from the shelves or replaced. The customer’s Amazon account is billed after leaving the store. The first store is already open to Amazon employees and is expected to open to the public early this year. How the public will respond to a cashierless store remains to be seen, but The Seattle Times noted that the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists cashiers as the second-largest occupation in the U.S. with 3.5 million people employed.
Business Insider reported that McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Panera Bread have debuted self-service kiosks to place orders, and other chains are looking into it. So far the restaurants claim they are moving wait staff into the kitchen instead of laying them off. That will save the jobs of some individuals – but the counter jobs will be gone forever.
Los Angeles Times reported that driverless trucks could put 1.7 million Americans out of work within a decade. Most long haul trucking is on highways, requiring less judgment than driving within a city. Trucks currently being tested have humans with hands on the steering wheel as a precaution, but the humans will likely be phased out as confidence in the technology grows. Humans might still be needed for a while to join the trucks at pickup locations to drive through cities. Wireless connections permit trucks to drive together in platoons or convoys, allowing them to synchronize movement and save fuel by reducing drag on all but the lead vehicle – such platoons successfully drove through Sweden, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands in April 2016. Several American states have approved laws to allow driverless truck testing. Motherboard reported driverless trucks are also being developed for use in mines and construction work. Large Australian mines are already using a mix of autonomous and human-operated vehicles.
Tech Republic reports a British study estimates that 47% of total U.S. employment can be automated over the next decade or two – but that’s probably a conservative estimate. Besides manufacturing and transportation jobs, the bulk of office and administrative support jobs are also in danger, as well as telemarketing.
Interestingly, China and Japan have the opposite problem. Yahoo Tech and AFP report that China’s labor force is shrinking as a result of its notorious one child policy. That policy was relaxed last year to allow couples to have a second child, but the workforce population decline is expected to continue until 2030 or longer. Instead of encouraging immigration as the West has done, China is turning to robots to pick up the slack. China is already the world’s largest market for industrial robots and is projected to provide 40% of the global robot market by 2019. The Mirror reports that Japan is also turning to robots to handle labor shortages caused by declining birth rates. Robots are being tested to serve bottled water, gather used dishes, and announce shuttle departures at airport lounges and hotels. The same robot is already being used to deliver supplies around hospitals. Experts agree that it’s only a matter of time before they become common in all developed countries.
Technology can even replace human actors with computer generated images. CGI has been used for years to create backgrounds, crowds, and images of animals. Braveheart in 1995 took considerable flak before the general public got the message that the scenes of horses being speared were all CGI and that no real horses were harmed. CGI has also been used in limited amounts to put a deceased actor’s face on a stunt double’s body, e.g. Paul Walker in Furious 7 and Brandon Lee in The Crow. (Both these actors died in accidents before movie filming was completed.) Jeff Bridges met his younger self in Tron: Legacy, thanks to CGI combined with motion capture technology. However, the stakes went up considerably with Lucasfilm’s use of a digital Peter Cushing in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that gave him roughly the same amount of screen time as in the original Star Wars movie. Variety reported that Cushing’s secretary of 35 years described it as “absolutely fantastic” despite feeling some emotional turmoil while watching it. This raises serious issues about the rights of actors (and their estates) to control the use of their digital likenesses. For example, if an actor declines to appear in a movie, can the movie company use computer manipulated footage or outtakes from an earlier movie? Lucasfilm obtained permission from Cushing’s estate even though British law did not require it, but other companies have not been as principled. People might scoff at the notion of all actors being digitally replaced, but Motherboard reports the porn industry is moving towards just that – and porn has always led the way in the entertainment industry’s technological innovation. Digital porn is becoming less expensive to produce than traditional porn, and the virtual reality format is increasingly popular because viewers feel they are participating. As Dana Carvey’s “Church Lady” character might sarcastically say, “Well, isn’t that special?”
UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME
Given the number of jobs expected to be lost to robots, support for a universal basic income is growing fast. This no strings, monthly stipend is intended to replace unemployment and welfare benefits and permit dismantling the massive and phenomenally expensive bureaucracies that presently administer them. CNN reports that Finland began an experiment on January 1st, giving 2000 unemployed people a monthly payment that will not be taxed. People who find work will still receive the full monthly allotment. If the program is successful, the Finnish government plans to expand it to all adults. Similar programs are being discussed in Canada, Iceland, Uganda, and Brazil, but Switzerland rejected it in a referendum. Yahoo News and AFP report that Scotland and the Netherlands are also considering it. In France, Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon is gathering support with a platform that includes a guaranteed basic income, and The Independent reports that while India favors such a program the amount of systemic corruption and red tape would wreck it if implemented now. The Universal Basic Income scheme is probably inevitable as it has strong support from business interests, for the obvious reason that business profits depend on paying customers. Still, the plan has its critics – many question claims that the savings accrued from abolishing the welfare bureaucracy will cover the cost of the stipends, and others wonder if it will destroy the work ethic. More experiments are needed to determine how best to implement it.
ROBOT LOVE AND OTHER WEIRDNESS
Sex dolls are nothing new, but robotics have upgraded them considerably. In the UK, The Sun has published several articles on how they are becoming more lifelike. The first female robot said to be able to have a conversation reached the market in 2010, although The Sun did not describe the range of its conversational ability. Several companies manufacture both female and male dolls with options to customize facial features, hair color, skin tones, tattoos, and so forth. High grade silicone skin, flexible skeletons, and vibrating genitalia add to the illusion. (Body heat is still being worked on.) Experts are already suggesting couples will have to decide for themselves if using a doll shall be considered cheating. Some researchers suggest experimenting with the dolls might help improve people’s confidence and performance with human partners, while others warn that sex with robots could inflict long-term harm on human-to-human relationships because robots are far less challenging than people and can be customized to suit the owner’s fantasies.
There are also serious concerns that robots might encourage people to act out rape or pedophile fantasies. The counter argument is that the robots could prevent people with such twisted desires from harming other humans, especially in the case of pedophiles. Profound ethical questions concerning “robot rights” will also arise as artificial intelligence advances to the point of self-awareness. Shall they be given the right to consent to or reject human demands? To leave an abusive owner?
At any rate, David Levy, author of the 2007 book Love and Sex With Robots, predicts that human-robot relationships and marriages will become commonplace by 2050. News.com.au profiled a French woman who looks forward to the day when human-robot marriages become legal. The robot she 3D printed does not look as lifelike as the expensive ones shown by The Sun, but she describes herself as “totally happy” with it and considers herself engaged.
On a more prosaic note, Hasbro sells robot cats and dogs for about $100 apiece. Marketed mainly to seniors,
the “pets” have realistic fur, make realistic sounds, and respond to petting. AIST, a Japanese company, makes a robot baby seal called PARO. This is a therapeutic device for dementia patients, and appears to be as effective as live animal therapy in keeping patients engaged with the world around them and alleviating depression. PARO can learn its name and modify its behavior to receive more strokes and to avoid being smacked for bad behavior.
BUT THEY CAN’T BEAT A PANDEMIC
The best known pandemic is probably the Black Plague that swept through Europe between 1348 and 1351, killing between a third and a half of the total population. Historians disagree on exactly how the plague spread – it spread much faster than its modern counterpart, and there may have been three different strains – but the social upheaval that resulted is well understood. Another haunting event was the flu pandemic of 1918-19, which killed at least 50 million people worldwide, and probably twice that – so many died that many colonial governments didn’t even try to keep track. This outbreak, which killed more people than the First World War, is now thought to have been the result of a flu strain already circulating in humans that picked up genetic material from a separate avian strain. The staggering death toll from that pandemic is why public health officials are so worried about another one. The ease of modern travel could literally spread a deadly contagion around the world overnight.
At the time of this writing, Reuters is tracking unprecedented outbreaks of bird flu across Europe, Africa, and Asia. There are at least half a dozen strains circulating in both wild and domesticated birds instead of the normal two or three. There also appears to be virus transmission through the air instead of the direct contact that was typical in the past. These factors lead to an increased risk of mutation into a strain that could attack humans. Authorities are rigorously culling flocks and testing people in contact with them.
Unfortunately, there’s not much else that can be done to protect people. Vaccines have proven only partially effective against flu viruses because the rapid mutation rate makes it extremely difficult to predict how it will evolve. Each year vaccine manufacturers make a guess and provide accordingly. But even when the manufacturers guess right, the American CDC admits that vaccinations are of generally limited effectiveness for older people and for children under the age of 2. CBC News reports the Canadian BC Centre for Disease Control called vaccine effectiveness disappointing at last year’s World Health Organization’s meeting on Global Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness.
The 2015-16 flu vaccine had an effectiveness of only 45 to 50%, an improvement over the 2014-15 shot which was a near total failure. Dr. Danuta Skowronski stated, “There’s no use promoting a vaccine that isn’t working well.” Canadian scientists have also noted that people who get vaccinated every year have less protection than those vaccinated for the first time. Both Canadian and American medical scientists have concluded that the nasal mist vaccine for children is not working, as it performed poorly three years in a row, and an American panel of experts had recommended doctors stop using it. As flu poses such an extraordinary threat both individuals and societies, much more work is needed to develop better methods for both prevention and treatment.
AMERICA GETS A NEW MINISTRY OF TRUTH
On Dec. 23rd, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017 into law. The provisions include the Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act, which establishes a Center for Information Analysis and Response. This is similar to a Reagan-era counter-disinformation effort closed in the early 1990’s, but is to be located within the State Department rather than the Voice of America. There it will review domestic news as well as foreign, and coordinate with the Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors to determine which news stories are disinformation or propaganda and how best to counter them. Since Hillary Clinton lost the election, the mainstream media (MSM) and the Obama administration have blamed Russian hacking, Russian propaganda, Russian agents, useful idiots, and fake news to excuse her electoral disaster. The Washington Post even published a list of over 200 websites claimed to disseminate Russian propaganda, but it later distanced itself from its story, admitting it had not vetted the sources’ allegations. The sites on the list are mostly alternative media sources that have criticized the administration and the MSM. Some sites, e.g. Drudge Report, clearly have a conservative perspective, not something one expects from Russian influence. The Naked Capitalism blog has threatened to sue The Post for defamation.
The MSM has attempted to label as “fake news” anything it didn’t like, only to find the term used against themselves by a disgusted public. The new NDAA, however, gives the federal government authority to take action against news stories it doesn’t like – an unprecedented encroachment upon the freedom of expression guaranteed by the First Amendment.
To be clear, the Russians did hack both the Democrats and Republicans. Although The Observer has published several articles explaining this was part of normal intelligence operations, the likes of which is conducted by all nations with the technical capability to do so (including the US), the MSM has willfully misused the word “hack” in claims the Russians manipulated the election – to date, NO evidence has been shown the Russians interfered with voting procedures. Documents released by Wikileaks included emails from Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta and other associates. The MSM and three of the 16 US intelligence agencies claim these emails came from Russian intelligence sources with the intent to influence the American public in favor of Trump, but Wikileaks insists the source was not Russian. Wikileaks head Julian Assange even appeared to suggest on Dutch news program Nieuwsuur last August that a source was Seth Rich, a Democratic National Committee staffer mysteriously murdered in July. One could argue that Assange would not admit it if the source was indeed Russian, but Breitbart, Armstrong Economics, Washington’s Blog, and other alternative news outlets have all quoted sources saying the leaks looked like the work of American intelligence insiders disgusted by Clinton’s corruption – hence the MSM’s harping on Russian tools and useful idiots.
PIZZA, PEDOPHILES & PUBLIC HYSTERIA:
FAKE NEWS – OR MAYBE A COVER-UP?
Aside from Clinton’s political problems, John Podesta’s leaked emails showed connections to some rather strange people and curious references to maps, handkerchiefs, pizza, and other food items that did not make sense in context. One connection is James Alefantis, owner of a DC restaurant called Comet Ping Pong. Alefantis made GQ Magazine’s 2012 list of the fifty most powerful people in DC because of his connections to high ranking Democrats and fundraising activities. Reddit and 4Chan users took a closer look and accused Alefantis of running a child trafficking ring. The strange food references were claimed to be code words used by pedophiles, and screenshots were made of posts by Alefantis on his then-public Instagram account. The Instagram posts featured photos of young children with pedophile slang words for hashtags or search words – one photo showed a preschool age girl with her arms taped down to a table. The images were disturbing, and the accusations went viral under the hashtag of PizzaGate with calls for the FBI to investigate. A 2011 tweet by Andrew Breitbart saying, “How prog-guru John Podesta isn’t household name as world class underage sex slave op cover-upperer defending unspeakable dregs escapes me” was unearthed and published by The Washington Times. Reddit wound up banning the discussion, Twitter was accused of censoring related posts and the MSM screamed, “Fake news!” – then promptly ramped up their coverage of Russian hacking in what may have been an effort to divert the public’s attention. But people calling themselves citizen journalists or citizen investigators continue calling for the authorities to investigate.
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST
It seems Belgium is known for more than just sex trafficking. Newsbud reported that Yves Chandelon, the chief auditor of NATO, was found dead in his car near Andenne on Dec. 16th. He died of a single gunshot to his head, and the gun was found in his right hand. But his family has rejected the official ruling of suicide, stressing that he was left-handed, that he was concerned about receiving strange phone calls and that he felt threatened. Chandelon had also asked his son to hold some sensitive documents in case anything happened to him, which the son has since given to the police. Adding to suspicions, the gun that Chandelon supposedly used to kill himself was an unregistered weapon and not one of the three legal firearms he possessed. It should also be noted that in a suicide, the shot’s recoil typically knocks the gun out of the person’s hand. The body’s location was also curious, as it was found 140 km (87 miles) away from his office and 100 km (62 miles) from his home, although a friend is said to live in the area. As chief auditor, Chandelon was responsible for NATO’s financial discipline as well as the investigation of terrorist financing and money laundering. Very little is being reported in English on this case, so Newsbud’s information is sourced from French-language Belgian newspapers.
Chandelon’s first job was at a bank in Liege, Belgium, which he obtained through the help of his businessman father. After an insider trading scandal at that bank, his father moved him to a bank in Luxembourg. Chandelon reportedly did well there, bringing Belgian clients to the firm, until he obtained a job with NATO in 1998 even though he lacked a degree in either finance or accounting and had no formal training that would have qualified him for the position. As Newsbud pointed out, Belgium and Luxembourg have been hubs for shady bank dealings but it did not mention that the Netherlands Court of Audit had called for more transparency in NATO’s dealings in 2014. As reported by Reuters, Dutch independent auditors asserted that NATO’s financial management was “not in order.” Newsbud also failed to mention that since 2013 there have been a shocking number of suspicious deaths in banking circles. Alternative media often refer to the scores of dead financiers – wealthy and prominent figures – as the “Bankster Suicides,” because in every case the authorities quickly and often implausibly ruled suicide and dismissed evidence of foul play. Reports by Zerohedge and the New YorkPost, for example, include security camera footage of David Rossi’s 2013 death in Italy. Rossi supposedly jumped from a third floor window, yet the angle at which his body hit the pavement strongly suggests he either was pushed or thrown backwards out of the window. He also had injuries consistent with a struggle before his fall. The footage also shows two men walking up to the dying Rossi, eyeing him calmly, and leaving without calling for help. The string of alleged suicides comes at a time of increased scrutiny by regulators, evidence of market manipulation, claims of dirty money from terrorists and drug cartels, and increased liquidity problems in banking systems worldwide.
THEN NEXT FINANCIAL CRISIS WILL BE EVEN WORSE
Financial expert James Rickards targets 2018 for the next crisis, but he stresses that it could happen sooner – and it will be much worse than the 2008 crisis, because the financial system has greatly increased in scale since then. As he explained to MarketWatch, banks have gotten bigger and so have their derivatives positions. Banking assets are also concentrated in fewer institutions, which makes the “too big to fail” specter even more nightmarish, and there’s $70 trillion of new debt. As the financial system grows, the risks increase exponentially. In short, governments and banks learned nothing from 2008 and continued on their merry way without fixing any of the problems that caused the last crash.
Rickards suggests the crisis could be averted with measures government is loathe to do: separate investment and commercial banking (reinstate Glass-Steagall), ban most derivatives, break up big banks, and tougher enforcement of banking laws instead of turning a blind eye to banks’ wrongdoing. So far the incoming Trump administration has not addressed these issues of systemic risk, focusing on the politically urgent fiscal and economic problems of jobs, taxes and regulation instead. That’s understandable, given the circumstances, but that focus may increase the likelihood of another collapse. When it comes, Rickards expects the financial elites will respond by freezing assets – exchanges and banks will close as they did in Cyprus in 2012, and money market funds will suspend redemptions. As a perverse precautionary measure, governments around the world are moving to withdraw high denomination bills from circulation in a deliberate attempt to prevent people from stockpiling cash and circumventing asset freezes. Rickards suggests people protect themselves by investing in physical assets such as gold, silver, land, and fine art.
On Dec. 19th, a truck was hijacked and driven into the Christmas Market in Berlin, killing twelve people. The jihadist was identified as Anis Amri, a Tunisian who arrived in Italy in 2011 then travelled to Germany in 2016. The BBC reported that Amri’s asylum request had been denied, but he could not be deported because he had no valid identification papers – he’d used six different names and claimed three different nationalities while in Europe. The Guardian reported that Amri escaped Germany after the attack and travelled through the Netherlands and France to Italy, where he was shot dead by police after he opened fire on them during a routine identity check. It is not yet known what help he had in the attack and escape. Once again, European authorities failed to adequately deal with a known troublemaker and protect public safety.
Dec. 19th also saw the murder of the Russian ambassador to Turkey. Andrey Karlov was speaking at the opening of an art exhibition in Ankara when he was shot by a man identified as a Turkish police officer, Mevlut Altintas. Altintas shouted, “Don’t forget Aleppo! Don’t forget Syria!” and other slogans popular with the Islamist group al-Nusra before being killed by return fire from Turkish special forces.
Russia has since sent a team to assist Turkish authorities in the investigation to find out who ordered the attack. Unlike the US, Russia takes attacks on their ambassadors seriously: the last time a Russian diplomat was assassinated in the Mid East, the terrorist leader who ordered the hit received his brother’s severed head in box a few days later – with his genitals stuffed in his mouth.
THE MEDIA: LIES, FAKE NEWS & THE ELECTION
Throughout the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump relentlessly attacked the mainstream media (MSM), accusing them of poor reporting and outright lying. The MSM attacked him equally relentlessly while enthusiastically pumping Hillary Clinton. In August The New York Times even published a piece by Jim Rutenberg that attempted to justify the MSM’s blatantly biased coverage by claiming that Trump was such a dangerous demagogue the normal rules of balanced coverage did not apply. (Rutenberg did not address the fact that MSM coverage was never balanced to start with.) MSM even touted polls purporting to show Clinton in the lead, despite objections by professional pollsters who asserted they were deliberately biased. Due in part to the faked polls, Clinton’s supporters were shell-shocked when Trump was declared the winner on election night.
Trump was able to bypass the MSM by presenting his views directly to the public through his Twitter account and by giving interviews to alternative media sources such as Infowars. The MSM have been losing subscribers for years as people locate other news sources through the internet. Their false portrayal of Trump as an incompetent buffoon, exaggerating his wealth and sexually assaulting every woman he could lay his hands on, turned more people away from them than the GOP candidate. Alternative media had a field day skewering the ludicrous MSM coverage and protesting the free pass given to Clinton – indeed, CNN’s Donna Brazile even leaked questions to Clinton in a blatant effort to throw the debates. The only serious scrutiny Clinton received resulted from the hacked e-mails released by Wikileaks describing Clinton’s racketeering. Curiously, the Clinton team’s response was to blame Russia and to beat the war drum, ratcheting tensions between the US and Russia to new levels – without making any attempt to deny the emails’ authenticity. Putin did make public statements that Russia considered Trump the more effective candidate, but the Democrats accused Russia of so much mayhem they came to resemble the boy who cried wolf. Breitbart, Armstrong Economics, and Washington’s Blog quoted sources saying the hack looked less like the Russians than US intelligence officers outraged by Clinton’s corruption.
TERRORISM ON THE RISE
Breitbart Texas has obtained FBI documents claiming 7,712 “known or suspected terrorist encounters” in the US between July 20, 2015 and July 20, 2016. The documents show encounters in every single state and the District of Columbia. The areas with the most incidents are California (879), New York (827), Texas (585), Florida (569), D.C. (415), Michigan (414), and Illinois (411). Five of these seven areas are border states, and some of the encounters involve people attempting to enter the US illegally. While the majority of the encounters involve Islamic terrorists, the numbers also include “Other International Terrorist Groups or Affiliates” and “Domestic Terrorism”. It is not explained how an incident is rated as a “suspected” terrorist encounter or how the data was gathered. But if these numbers are even close to accurate, the American public has been woefully misinformed about the extent of terrorist activity within this country. While statistics can be easily inflated to suit a government agency’s purpose – such as obtaining increased funding for surveillance – these documents clearly demonstrate the need for better border controls and for a proper vetting of all immigrants. Yet the Obama administration stubbornly refuses to crack down on illegal immigration, and pledges to bring in greater numbers of refugees with blatant disregard for public safety.
Texas has accepted more refugees than any other state and is now having second thoughts after an Iraqi refugee attempted to bomb two Houston malls earlier this year. The Houston Chronicle reports that Texas is threatening to leave the federal refugee resettlement program unless national security officials ensure that refugees do not pose a security threat to Texas. Federal officials say that such a guarantee is impossible even though they claim their vetting process is thorough. It should be noted that the Texas state government cannot stop the federal government or private agencies from moving refugees into the state. Leaving the federal program simply means the Texas Health and Human Services Commission would no longer assist in the resettlements and would stop passing federal money through to charities and other agencies after January 31, 2017. It is not known how much effect the state’s ceasing cooperation would have, but even as a symbolic gesture it points to the growing divide between the Political Elite in D.C. and the rest of the country.
Obama likes to boast that the Islamic State is facing looming defeat because it’s losing territory in Syria and Iraq, but the claim is either a deliberate lie or a reflection of the Administration’s near total failure to grasp the nature of the threat. For as The Washington Times reported, Nicholas Rasmussen – the director of the National Counterterrorism Center – testified at a Senate hearing that the Islamic State’s ability to strike abroad “has not thus far been significantly diminished.” If anything there is a rising trend of self-radicalized Muslims carrying out the simple sort of attacks urged by the Islamic State’s social media. That’s one problem; another identified by FBI Director James Comey is that IS soldiers fleeing lost territory in the Mid East will try to go to Europe and the US to continue their fight. In other words, crushing the Islamic State’s de facto country won’t end the Islamic State’s threat. It will simply revert to an insurgency with battle hardened fighters scattered over a wider range.
Former CIA Director Porter Goss explained to Newsmax that terrorists in the US also have the advantage over Mid East fighters of being protected by Miranda and other civil rights. Goss also criticized Obama and his administration for being inconsistent and often “in La-La Land” when it comes to terrorism policy. These charges are nothing new. Hardly a month goes by without high ranking military or intelligence officials criticizing Obama and his thinly veiled belief that he is their moral and intellectual superior. If Obama isn’t the most disrespected Commander-in-Chief this country has ever had, it’s hard to say who would be.
Another threat was highlighted by reports that seven Afghan soldiers went AWOL while training in the US during September. They were being trained under the International Military Education and Training program of the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency. An unnamed defense official said two of the seven have been accounted for and might have left the US. Sometimes trainees disappear because they don’t want to return home, but some turn up in terrorist ranks. One of them was Gulmurod Khalimov, an Islamic State military commander who completed five American counterterrorism programs while he was part of Tajikistan’s special forces. His defection to Islamic State in April 2015 was said to have shaken governments around the world. The American training program is supposed to help develop military leadership in allied countries and promote cooperation with the US. But Khalimov and other terrorists who have infiltrated the program have received both operational training and valuable insights on enemy (American) methods.
In a separate report, the Washington Free Beacon quoted an Iranian military leader named Salar Abnoush as saying that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, the country’s elite military unit, is sending (or will send – the status is not clear) people to infiltrate the US and Europe to thwart plots against its Islamic Republic. Despite the nuclear agreement made last year that gave Iran $1.7 billion, Iranian military and government officials have continued threatening violence against the US and its allies. Such threats should not be viewed as empty, as Iran is a major sponsor of state terror and is currently upgrading its military hardware.
CIVIL WAR IN EUROPE
Prof. Gilles Kepel of the Sciences Po, in Paris, France believes the larger goal of the Islamic State is to provoke civil war in Europe. The British newspaper The Sun explains the strategy is based on the belief that young Muslims with poor job prospects can be exploited to commit more and more acts of terror in order to incite hatred toward Muslims, which will radicalize others and escalate into a civil war that will destroy Europe and the moderate Muslims living there. The Islamic State hopes to take advantage of the resulting chaos to rebuild Europe as an Islamic society much the same way it exploited instability in Syria and Iraq to establish its caliphate.
Instability is certainly growing. Britain’s Express reports the number of refugees worldwide has passed a record 65 million. About half of the refugees are children, many separated from their parents. Developing regions still host 86% of the refugees, but the tide moving into industrialized nations is up and will continue to grow. Filipo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, insists that Europe must continue taking refugees and share responsibility for not doing more to stop global conflicts. This is in direct opposition to Austria, Hungary and the Balkan countries, which insist the influx must stop and control be restored to Europe’s external borders. They say they simply cannot handle the number of people coming in.
In Germany, which already has accepted over a million refugees, the public is becoming increasingly afraid their country will become Islamic. Polls show that 57% of Germans are worried about it. People over the age of 45 were more worried than people under the age of 24. The anti-immigrant AfD party gained ground in regional September elections, prompting Chancellor Merkel to attempt conciliatory public remarks. Some news outlets reported the comments as regret for the open door policy, but it was no more than political theater. There are as yet no signs of the open door shutting on refugees, despite the astounding number of violent crimes committed by the migrants.
There are also serious security issues with the refugees. Hungarian officials told The Telegraph seven of the ten terrorists who carried out attacks in Paris last November entered Europe posing as refugees, and some of them are thought to have also taken part in the Brussels attacks last March. The suspects were born in Europe but traveled to Syria for training after becoming radicalized. They then used fake Syrian passports to travel back to Europe with refugees.
RT reported the Austrian town of Wels set a curfew on refugees after seventeen women were sexually assaulted at a wine and beer festival in September. Refugees also assaulted women at summer festivals in Sweden and Denmark. Perhaps the public should consider the possibility that sexual assault is one of the acts of terror Prof. Kepel predicted, instead of blaming it on booze. The mayor of Wels did call for better border controls in addition to increased security at festivals. Critics say measures aimed at refugees are turning into a witch hunt – which fits Prof. Kepel’s prediction, too.
MORE BANKSTER SHENANIGANS
Wells Fargo has been fined $185 million by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau for opening unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts in customer names – and profiting from fees while the customers suffered overdraft charges and hits to their credit scores. CNN Money reports the bank has fired 5,300 employees since 2011 over the fraudulent activity. CEO John Stumpf blamed the fraud on low level employees, insisting such behavior violated the company culture. Former Wells Fargo employees told CNN otherwise, speaking of horrendous pressure from managers to meet unrealistic sales quotas, forced overtime without pay, and of being fired when they attempted to report illegal activity. Boing Boing reports the fraud appears to have started years earlier than Wells Fargo admits, possibly going back to 1998, and that many of the 5,300 fired may actually have been fired for refusing to take part in the scam. California and Illinois have cut Wells Fargo from handling state government business, and the federal government is said to be considering charges.
The banking and finance sector as a whole continues to hurt customers around the world. Central bank policies of low, zero, and even negative interest rates mean that savers are actually losing money by keeping it in the bank. Cheap credit also encourages unsustainable levels of debt: stock market advances reflect companies buying back their own stocks, not productivity growth or any other kind of growth that would strengthen economies. The Telegraph reports that UN trade economists warn that corporate debt levels in emerging economies exceed $25 trillion. (By comparison, the US housing market had an exposure of $2 trillion before the Lehman crisis in 2008.) If the global economy continues to slow, much of that debt will become unpayable. Truly frightening is the fact that some countries have fallen further behind the industrialized nations than they were in 1980, despite the Elites’ insistence that globalization is the cure for all the world’s ills.
The Twilight of the United States:
GLOBALISM AND THE NEW WORLD ORDER EIGHT YEARS LATER
An Essay by Nevin Gussack
Eight years after writing The Twilight of the United States: Globalism and the New World Order, the strategic and economic situation continues to deteriorate. Despite the promises made by President Obama to revise our commitment to free trade globalism, crack down on crony capitalism, and reduce the deficit, America’s power has declined precipitously. In reality, Obama’s commitment to “hope and change” (i.e. the restoration of the social contract) was a political deception. Obama and his Cabinet are far more interested in appeasing America’s enemies, increasing the size and scope of the Federal government, and satiating the desires of their Wall Street/Globalist supporters by passing or promoting free trade agreements such as KORUS and the TPP, maintaining close relations with Communist China, refusing to restore Glass-Steagall, and pushing for Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Putin’s Russian Federation. Resistance to and dissatisfaction with free trade and open borders increased apace with the Administration’s policy of global integration, which can be described as “Globalism on steroids.”
Obama’s failures to honor his campaign promises – and the Republican Establishment’s unwillingness to hold him to them – paved the way for Donald Trump’s victory in the Republican Primary of 2016. The audacious and bombastic Trump cleverly utilized his access to media and straight talk to connect with the demoralized and disgusted masses of unemployed and heavily stressed American workers and housewives, a fearful middle class, and independent businessmen. Fearful that Trump would upset their gravy train, boatloads of Neo-Conservatives and Wall Street insiders defected from the Republican Party to support Hillary Clinton or feign neutrality in the general election. Other formerly Never Trump conservatives such as commentator Mark Levin or Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) sought to opportunistically accommodate themselves to Trump’s popular movement.
Statistics prove the abject failure of current globalist trade policies. Despite the bipartisan promises of lower trade deficits, America’s balance of payments continued to increase. Future agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are projected even by the best estimates to increase our trade deficits by $21.7 billion (according to the rosy estimates of the International Trade Commission). It is projected that the TPP would disproportionately benefit the service and agricultural sectors to the detriment of the manufacturing and energy industries. Furthermore, the agreement does not address concerns about communist Chinese goods transshipped through TPP signatory countries. Such practices would further injure the already battered American industrial sector. Lastly, it is unlikely that the TPP will adequately safeguard the national security interests of the United States in the face of an increasingly militant and militarized Red China.
That Obama has been untruthful on this count has been indirectly confirmed by officials within his Administration. Russian Mir TV reported that Secretary of State John Kerry quietly supports the entry of Putin’s Russia and Communist China to the TPP. William Craft, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Trade Policy confirmed China’s potential participation in the TPP: “We’re certainly not doing this as an anti-Chinese thing…We can foresee them (China) joining it.” The failure of the Obama administration to recognize China as an adversarial nation is curious indeed, especially since the Global Times has reported the Vietnamese and Chinese Ministers of Defense are seeking to cement their implicitly anti-American alliance based on their shared ideological commitment to communism, notwithstanding territorial disputes. The Red Chinese press organs Global Times and Xinhua noted that “the two sides have a keen sense of socialist community of shared destiny and strengthen political mutual trust.”
Despite promises to the contrary, the Obama sponsored and Establishment backed “reset” – implausibly supported by self-proclaimed Congressional Tea Party patriots – failed miserably with Putin’s Russian Federation. Trade deficits piled up while Moscow continued its aggressive assault on US interests, and solidified its alliance with the military-economic colossus in Beijing. The Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) signed in 2011 only served to increase the trade deficit from $13 billion in 2011 to over $28 billion in 2015. Trade deficits represent lost wealth and production, not “free” gifts in the form of consumer and capital goods. Much of America’s trade deficit reflects goods that we manufactured until quite recently. The store shelves, car showrooms, and workplaces provide depressing and tangible evidence of this state of affairs.
But there is some good news: recent technological innovations and entrepreneurial ventures have increasingly been moving in a decentralized, localized direction. The continued popularity of family farms; the rise of on-site, on demand 3-D printing; mobile and programmable robots and localized, Made in America outlets and manufacturers both reflect and contribute to the growing rebellion against the faceless, bureaucratized multinational corporations and globalization. Independent farms – now including ingenious “urban farms” – serve to reforge strong local communities, strengthen family ties, provide healthy work environments and assist in the development of personal relationships between agricultural producers and consumers. The expanding number of websites and outlets for Made in America goods is especially encouraging, for they allow consumers to purchase long-lasting, high quality goods made by American workers. In the long run, American-made goods save American consumers money.
Ultimately, radical changes in American trade, domestic labor, and immigration policies are necessary to restore the social contract which used to exist in American capitalism, enhance our military power and expand our intellectual capability for innovation and the development of new products and services. The trend toward local, grassroots level economic endeavors are exceptionally positive features within American society and provide real reason for hope. But they are not, in and of themselves, enough to revitalize American power in a world of enemies and international rivals. That will require realistic, nationally oriented policies – and for that reason protecting America’s sovereignty, promoting our national security and enhancing social stability is a crucial mission that American politicians, businessmen, and academics need to take seriously. To this end, Conservatives, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents need to unite around three principles:
1)Economic nationalism and balanced trade within the framework of free enterprise made America an economic and military superpower. A strong and productive economy (industry, agriculture, mining, education, and infrastructure) translates into an almost invincible military power.
2)Countervailing power is necessary to ensure a minimum of abuses by both big business and over-centralized governments. The reinstitution of Glass-Steagall, meaningful enforcement of antitrust laws (e.g. Sherman Antitrust Act), the reform of Right to Work laws, and the progressive dissolution of whole Departments of the Federal government will provide the countervailing power to the fraud and abuse perpetuated by multinational corporations and an increasingly centralized, socialistic Federal government. The new nationalism would concur with the sentiment of the famous conservative writer for National Review, James Burnham, who stated:
I share with...conservatives generally a presumption in favor of the free market, and against governmental intervention. However, in the real world (as distinguished from the theoretical world of Von Misean abstractions) it does not follow that government intervention is never in order....
In today’s intricate society, moreover, there is inevitably a border country where private and governmental enterprise overlap, and we Americans have demonstrated a special creativity in operating therein. 
3) The development of a doctrine which postulates the fusion of morality and capitalism. Such a doctrine will implicitly reject the spirit of the libertarian “free market” and collectivist economics as well. The development of what I term Balanced and Nationalist Capitalism will once again provide an incentive for America’s workers and professional classes to become staunch defenders of economic freedom. Such a development would take the wind from the sails of the American Left, including such groups like the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, organized communism, and Marxists embedded in the leadership of the American labor union movement. The new nationalism disagrees with the atomistic, soulless variant of capitalism best exemplified by the statement made by Dr. Milton Friedman: “Few trends could so much undermine our free society as the acceptance by corporate executives of social responsibility.”
Grassroots nationalists within the Trump movement, nationalist and populist conservatives, political independents, and the blue collar Reagan Democrats need to network with wealthy patriots who subscribe to the principles listed above. The good news is such personalities do exist. They include business leaders like Theodore Malloch, Jack Davis, Dan DiMicco, and other comparatively wealthy individuals who are nationalists. A new political establishment will need to be formed with its own think tanks and scholarship institutions in order to mentor young professors, political candidates, and other opinion makers to shift the Establishment Consensus towards nationalism and anti-globalism. The Koch Brothers and Soros need a patriotic challenge and competition. Once the flowering of constitutionally based American Nationalism occurs, the depredations wrought by uncontrolled, unaccountable globalism will at last be subject to control.
As of this writing, the U.S. national debt stands at $19,491,679,054,033.20 or approximately $60,207.05 for each and every citizen in America. As of December 2015, America’s trade deficit stood at $745,660,000.20 with its rivals, enemies, and allies.
 Accessed From: https://www.usitc.gov/press_room/news_release/2016/er0518ll597.htm
 Accessed From: https://sputniknews.com/business/20151102/1029480695/kerry-invites-russia-china-tpp.html
 Ellis, Curtis. “Will Obama Shanghai Congress on Trade Deal” Worldnetdaily http://www.wnd.com/2015/04/will-obama-shanghai-congress-on-trade-deal/
 Accessed From: http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1003803.shtml
 All of the Senators that were associated with the Tea Party wave of conservatism voted to provide Vladimir Putin with Permanent Normal Trade Relations in 2012. They included Marco Rubio (FL), Jim DeMint (SC), Ron Johnson (WI), Rand Paul (KY), Mike Lee (UT), and Pat Toomey (PA). Accessed From: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?&congress=112&session=2&vote=00223
 Accessed From: https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5800.html
 Quoted from Francis, Samuel T. “Power and History: The Political Thought of James Burnham” Accessed From: http://www.mmisi.org/pr/12_01/francis.pdf
 Quoted in Clyde Prestowitz’s Betrayal of American Prosperity
As public opposition to globalization becomes more vocal, the Global Elites are both doubling down and casting about for alternatives. Alibaba CEO Jack Ma has advocated setting up an online World Trade Platform to simplify the logistics of international trade for small businesses. Presumably, he believes letting smaller businesses in on the action will help defuse opposition to Globalism. He maintains that his proposal would complement the World Trade Organization, but it would be driven primarily by business not by governments. The plan requires easing import regulations around the world and has been submitted to G20. But it’s not clear why small businesses would want to become more global, given the expense of shipping goods across the planet, or how the plan would lessen the existing inequities caused by global trade. On closer examination, Ma’s plan looks more window dressing for loosening the regulatory restrictions that global corporations complain about.
The G20 group continues to speak of technological innovation, invigorating the markets, and interconnectedness. They have no new solutions, just more of the same policies that have wrecked economies across the globe. Financial commentator Jim Rickards says the Elites out of touch because they live in a bubble, and he’s right: JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has been widely quoted as saying the annual World Economic Forum in Davos is “where billionaires tell millionaires what the middle class feels.”
Rickards has little faith in the Elites. He believes that Western central banks are technically insolvent, and for that reason they’re unable to pull themselves out of the holes they’ve dug. A former lawyer, Wall Street Banker, economist, author and now consultant to the Pentagon and CIA, Rickards predicts the World Bank will respond to the looming crisis by bailing out the national banks – thereby becoming, in effect, the world’s central bank by making the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Right the new reserve currency of choice. If Rickards is right, American fiscal policy will be determined by the IMF and World Bank, a massive blow to national sovereignty. The SDR is currently a basket of currencies, i.e., a mix of US dollars, euros, Japanese yen and the British pound sterling. Effective October 1st, the SDR basket will also include the Chinese yuan or renminbi.
It should be noted that on August 31st, the World Bank sold a batch of SDR bonds in China. The bonds were for three years and sold at .49%, well below the three-year Chinese government bond yield of 2.434%. Investors will be able to settle the bonds in any of the currencies in the SDR basket. The SDR bond was created in 1975, but the last issue was in 1981 because investor interest dried up. The Chinese purchase is thought to be part of their push to gain wider international acceptance of the renminbi, as part of a long-term strategy to replace the dollar with the renminbi as the world’s core reserve currency. Regardless of whether the dollar is displaced by the renminbi or by the IMF’s SDR’s, Rickards thinks it is inevitable that the dollar will suffer a massive loss of value – thereby precipitating America’s economic collapse.
In apparent coordination with Russia, China is challenging the US in the military arena as well. Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski has called for the US to form working alliances with these countries instead of trying to remain the sole superpower. This is a startling change after a lifetime of working to expand NATO and to contain Russia and the former Soviet Union, but it doesn’t necessarily mean Brzezinski now favors a multipolar world. If the US no longer has the resources to maintain its hegemony, it would make sense to shape its new role as the leader of a cooperative coalition and not suffer a humiliating defeat by competitors.
Interestingly, Brzezinski’s policy prescription is not far from that of Donald Trump, who seems to be advocating a spheres-of-influence policy within the global balance of power system.
The Globalist Elite is still wedded to the notion of global integration through Free Trade, but there are now strong reasons to believe they are on the wrong side of history: recent technological developments promise to reverse the process of globalization by making it more economical to produce things locally again.
One such area is renewable energy – solar, in particular. The sun provides enough energy every day to power the world for more than a year, but storing the sun’s energy has until recently been an insurmountable problem. That seems to have been solved by Elon Musk’s company, Tesla Energy, which recently unveiled its Powerwall rechargeable lithium-ion battery designed to make residential homes independent of the power grid when coupled with solar panels. Although Tesla dropped the larger of the two home battery units due to lack of demand, the smaller 6.4 kWh version is still for sale. Cost is still an issue for many homeowners, but Tesla is continuing to work on improvements and costs are expected to come down over time. In the meantime, the US Government is pursuing battery technology as well: according to the British newspaper The Telegraph, the US Energy Department is funding 75 projects aimed at better and safer low cost batteries. According to the Deutsch Bank, reported storage costs are considerably higher actual experience, and in any event, storage costs are expected to drop to one seventh of current costs in five years. At that point, solar power is expected to emerge as the dominant energy source, ending the need for nuclear power plants and imported oil. Optimists have predicted that this would happen by 2025; the Deutsch Bank suggests it might be even sooner.
Another stunning development is “3D Printing,” also known as additive manufacturing. The first 3D worked by laying down layer after layer of micro-thin plastic materials until the desired object was built up to design specification, but now objects made of various metals, ceramics, graphite, fibers and some food substances can be “printed.”. As companies expand the range of materials and designs, more consumer goods become possible. Some forecasters predict manufacturing will return to local areas because robotic 3D printers will be cheaper than overseas labor and shipping costs. More daring forecasters predict consumers will make many of their goods in their own homes as needed, e.g. a new pair of shoes. The Institute for National Strategic Studies reports that worldwide over 278,000 desktop 3D printers were sold in 2015, up 75% from 2014. Metal printer sales are up 45% from 2014. The quality of the printed items is also improving dramatically: major aircraft manufacturers are now using 3-D printers to create aircraft wings from super-strong composite materials, and the US Navy is testing 3-D printers about ships as a means of manufacturing spare parts on the go, and even ammunition. Many 3D-printed items are actually stronger than those made by traditional means; 3-D ceramics, for example, are not only stronger but capable of withstanding higher temperatures.
Patrick Watson of Mauldin Economics adds indoor agriculture to the list. Big Agriculture engages in large-scale monocropping, then ships the food they produce all over the world. Local food movements have long sought to stimulate local economies, but the movement has been limited by local climates.
During the economic crisis that followed the Soviet Union’s collapse, Cuba demonstrated the efficiency of “roof top farming,” and now many grow-local enthusiasts are promoting “vertical agriculture” – that is, indoor farms housed in urban skyscrapers. LED lighting paired with renewable energy to create a controlled indoor climate has made it possible to grow a wide variety of produce anywhere year round in almost any type of building. Unfortunately, illicit marijuana farmers were the early adopters of this technology and for that reason many legitimate, small scale indoor farms have been raided by mistake.
Communications technology is a mixed bag. On the one hand, instantaneous high-quality communications will sharply reduce the need for business travel: technology that will allow a businessman to don a virtual reality helmet and “meet” with a dozen or more others in what appears to be a conference room already exists. When perfected and commercially available, it will slash business costs by reducing travel expenses and providing dramatic time savings for senior executives. On the other hand, that same technology will likely contribute to a new form of regional centralization, at least in some fields. Telemedicine enables medical personnel to evaluate patients in remote areas using video communication and advanced diagnostic technology. The field is growing rapidly with projections between 14% and 18% annually over the next several years. It’s gaining acceptance as a quick fix for doctor shortages. On the surface it appears that more patients have access to health care without having to travel, but the care is actually being dispensed by fewer physicians. America’s doctor shortage is well documented, but it does not appear to have made much impression on the public. In fact public discussion focuses on insurance as if that were the only barrier to health care. Currently twelve states have less than half of their primary care needs met, mostly because doctors cluster in big cities and in the better paid specialties. However, doctors have a high burnout rate, and Fox Business reports between 300 to 400 doctors commit suicide each year, while thousands of others opt for early retirement. This is serious because ageing populations require far more medical care than younger populations – and the number of Americans over the age of 65 is expected to grow by 40% to 45% over the next decade. The Association of American Medical Colleges predicts that by 2025 the shortage will be between 61,700 to 94,700 physicians. Both primary and specialty care will be affected.
IS THE PARTY OVER?
This election year, many voters have been disgusted by their party’s behavior. Sanders’ supporters comprise roughly 40% of the Democrat base, and they remain outraged by the underhanded treatment Sanders received from the Democratic Party apparatus – which, as Wikileaks proved, conspired to rig the nomination process to favor Hillary Clinton. Some Democrats will no doubt switch to the Green or Libertarian parties, or even the GOP, but the numbers are unclear as of this writing. Conversely, Donald Trump’s nomination has sorely divided the Republicans, as the Old Guard Establishment struggled against the anti-Globalist revolt of the party’s rank and file.
Importantly, both Sanders and Trump have attacked the Trans-Pacific Partnership – the latest in a long line of Globalist trade deals – as a corporate giveaway that would send even more jobs overseas. By doing so, they revealed the power of Globalism/Anti-Globalism as a “cross-cutting issue.” Simply put, a large area of overlap shared by Republican and Democrat rank and file has emerged, making a party realignment likely as some disenchanted voters migrate from one party to another.
Because party realignments tend to occur at roughly 40 year intervals, a realignment is long overdue by historical standards: the last unambiguous realignment occurred in the 1960’s. After the 1964 Civil Rights Act was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, a Democrat, many white, conservative, Southerners switched their party loyalty from the Democrats to the Republicans. This had the effect of reversing the pervious realignment of the 1930’s, which was caused in part by the migration of the once solidly Republican Black voters to the Democrats during the New Deal. Democrats have been ascending since George H. W. Bush gutted Reaganism in the late 1980’s, and many observers believed that Barack Obama’s election heralded a new realignment in favor of his party. But since the voters opted for divided government in 2010, by giving the House to the GOP, and again in 2014, by giving them the Senate, the Obama realignment was left hanging fire. Should Hillary win in November, she may be able to suppress the rank and file uprising against Globalism and cement the Democrat’s hold on power. In that case, a Democrat realignment will have occurred.
But the Trump-led GOP is now positioned to capture the surging anti-Globalist sentiment, because Hillary Clinton has throughout her career been an enthusiastic supporter of Free Trade and global integration. Much, however, depends on Trump’s outreach effort to Black and Hispanic voters: should it succeed, it will reverse the trend toward a Democrat realignment and establish the New Republican Party as the dominant force in American politics for decades to – provided, of course, that he also manages to drive the entrenched, pro-Globalist GOP Establishment from power.
MEANWHILE THE CLINTON CORRUPTION CONTINUES
Since FBI director James Comey implausibly announced the Bureau would not seek charges against Hillary Clinton regarding her personal email server, attention has shifted to the Clinton Foundation. In the latest Clinton scandal, the Foundation appears to have been selling access to the State Department: at least 85 of the 154 people who met with Clinton were Foundation donors, and they gave a total of $156 million. One of these donors was the Crown Prince of Bahrain, who had given $32 million to the Clinton Global Initiative. Curiously, the prince requested a meeting through both official government and unofficial Foundation channels. That he felt the need to do so speaks volumes. Between 2010 and 2012 Clinton’s State Department approved $630 million of direct arms sales to Bahrain at a time when Bahrain was violently cracking down on dissenters and human rights activists.
Bahrain isn’t the only one. In May of 2015, International Business Times reported Bahrain was one of the twenty countries that had donated to the Clinton Foundation prior to the State Department’s approval $165 billion worth of arms sales. Some of these countries, e.g. Algeria, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Qatar, were also being criticized by the State Department for human rights abuses even while increased arm sales were approved. The Foundation also received donations from companies making the arms sales: Boeing, General Electric, Hawker Beechcraft, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, and United Technologies.
The foreign donations are even more problematic because the Foundation did not make the disclosures that Clinton promised during her confirmation hearing as Secretary of State. The Clinton Health Access Initiative was supposed to submit all foreign government donations to the State Department for review, but failed to submit a single one. The CHAI was also supposed to disclose its donors annually, but it did not. The Clinton Foundation also did not disclose millions of dollars in speaking fees for Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea until May 2015. Even when the Foundation did report donations, it did not report exact amounts and dates.
Financial irregularities began long before Hillary became Secretary of State. Charles Ortel and Peter Schweizer have both investigated the Foundation and accused it of charity fraud. The Foundation was originally set up as a presidential archive in Little Rock, Arkansas, but it has not provided an independent certified audit of its financial records or made public documents that would prove its initiatives are permissible to a tax-exempt charity, and it has failed to make accurate and complete state filings in a timely manner. Federal and state laws also prohibit public charities being run for private gain – the Foundation’s web of operations hiring companies owned by Foundation employees and by Clintons’ relatives appears to violate those laws principle. In another twist, The Observer reports that for six months in 2012, Hillary’s aide Huma Abedin was even employed by the Clinton Foundation and the State Department at the same time.
Dr. Dady Chery, a Haitian biologist and journalist interviewed on Solari Report last June, flatly accused the Clinton Foundation of fraud and money laundering. Part of the money raised by the Clinton and Bush Initiative to provide aid in Haiti after the earthquake was used to build luxury hotels, and a substantial amount of the money raised has not been accounted for.
Through all the revelations, Hillary Clinton insists that she has done nothing wrong as if repeating it will make it true. So far regulatory agencies have let her have her way: the laws don’t apply to the elites.
A COUP IN TURKEY
On July 15th around 9:30 pm, a faction of the Turkish military tried to overturn the Turkish government. Part of the military remained loyal to President Erdogan and public demonstrators turned out in large numbers to support his government. The coup attempt collapsed the next day, after a reported 256 people had been killed. Government officials have since claimed the plot was instigated by Turkish exile Fethullah Gulen and the CIA. Erdogan further claimed that because senior Turkish officers at Incirlik Air Base aided the coup, the US must have known about the plot. Incirlik is a key NATO facility where most of the 2500 US military personnel in Turkey are based, and it plays a critical role in the coalition air campaign against the Islamic State. The US has formally denied prior knowledge of the coup and stated that if Turkey wants Gulen returned, an extradition request must be made through proper channels.
Fethullah Gulen is a Turkish cleric and the leader of a popular movement called Hizmet – or “service” – which runs schools around the world, including more than 100 charter schools in the US. The schools place boys and girls on an equal footing and emphasize a secular Western curriculum taught in English. Gulen is almost unique among Muslim clerics in that he advocates blending the best of Islam and the West into a new and harmonious whole for Islamic nations.
Based in Pennsylvania since 1999, Gulen and Hizmet had been in and out of favor with the Turkish government until late 2013, when an Istanbul prosecutor thought to be a Gulenist set in motion a massive corruption scandal by accusing the Turkish government of trading gold for Iranian oil in violation of international sanctions. Erdogan accused the Gulenists of manufacturing the scandal to undermine his government, calling them terrorists and accusing them of attempting to build a parallel state. The claimed CIA connection is apparently based on the fact that former CIA officer Graham Fuller wrote a letter in support of Gulen’s US visa request and – curiously – alleged ties to the Clinton Foundation. Several alternative media sources also claim that CIA agents have posed as English teachers in Hizmet schools, and Russian news sources have cited unsubstantiated claims by Turkish officials that Gulen is working with the Agency.
Gulen himself has condemned the coup, but that has not stopped Erdogan from using the Gulen/CIA narrative to help consolidate his control. According to The Guardian, the Turkish government has arrested 16,000 public servants, including judges and teachers, and fired 50,000. Arrest warrants for 89 dissident journalists have been issued, and 131 media outlets have been shut down. With regard to the armed forces, 149 of 325 flag rank officers have been fired – about 40 percent of Turkey’s admirals and generals – and nearly 1,700 lesser ranks have been dishonorably discharged. Erdogan has also threatened to reinstate the death penalty for coup plotters, in violation of European Union standards.
The speed and depth of the purge indicates Erdogan and his supporters had prepared for the coup by assembling lists of people deemed unreliable. This has led some – including Gulen – to speculate that Erdogan engineered the coup as a pretext for solidifying his grip on power. Alternatively, it may be that the plotters learned of the intended purge, and acted to preempt it. Al-Monitor’s Turkey Pulse dissected the coup in detail, and stated the coup was moved up twice: once to take place before an expected shakeup at the Supreme Military Council scheduled for the first week in August, and then by five hours on the eve of the coup because the plot had been discovered by Turkish intelligence monitoring the communications of known Gulenists. The plotters are said to have communicated with each other through the WhatsApp messaging service, and communications retrieved from WhatsApp have been cited by Mid Eastern news sources.
Importantly, the military officers and civilian officials purged are pro-Western, anti-corruption, and religiously moderate. Their replacements will undoubtedly be loyal to Erdogan and his party and suspicious of the West, as will those who have been permitted to retain their positions. Removing nearly half of the military’s top officers will also have an adverse effect on the preparedness and combat capability of the Turkish military. Since it will be years before the newly promoted replacements grow into their roles, the purge has placed Turkey in a vulnerable position.
Turkey’s turn from the West has not been sudden – though largely hidden, it has accompanied Erdogan’s rise to power. Aside from defying Western sanctions imposed on Iran, Turkey under Erdogan made little effort to hide the fact that it was buying black-market oil from the Islamic State even though Turkey is – supposedly – a member of the anti-ISIS coalition. The Erdogan government’s repositioning away from the West may have been accelerated by the lukewarm support Turkey received from NATO after Turkish forces shot down a Russian warplane near Turkey’s border with Syria last November 24th. Rather than providing the sort of vigorous support that would be normally expected for a NATO member, the US and NATO urged both countries to reduce tensions instead. The reason for the surprising lack of support may have been revealed by James Corbett of The Corbett Report, and Sibel Edmonds of the Boiling Frog Post, who both predicted the following month that the US and NATO would attempt to replace Erdogan with someone more pro-Western.
After Turkey refused to apologize for downing the Russian plane, Moscow retaliated with sanctions: banning the import of Turkish fruits, vegetables, poultry, and salt; banning the sale of charter holidays for Russians to Turkey; restricting construction projects in Russia by Turkish firms; and suspending work on a new pipeline that would have boosted Russian gas sales to Turkey. But when the UK voted on June 23, 2016 to leave the European Union – amidst predictions that both the EU and NATO were on the verge of collapse – Erdogan quickly backed down, apologized to Russia and offered to pay reparations for the two Russians killed in the shootdown. Russian sanctions surely had an effect, but the timing of Erdogan’s apology after BREXIT is striking. Putin is intent upon reestablishing Russia as a superpower, and can be expected to become ever more aggressive if Europe falls into chaos or if NATO fails. Given that reality, Erdogan may believe that snuggling up to Turkey’s historic foe is his best option for now.
He met with Putin in Saint Petersburg on August 9th. Thus far, little substantive information concerning their meeting has become available.
EUROPE REELS UNDER ATTACKS
On July 26th, two nineteen-year-old Islamists killed an elderly priest in France during Mass. Encouragingly, Al Jazeera reported that French Muslims attended Mass the following Sunday in solidarity with the Christians.
Less happily, the second half of July saw an acceleration of Islamist attacks, which began happening every few days. The tempo has led Europeans to believe urgent action must be taken to forestall a much bigger attack. In Denmark, which was last attacked in February of 2015, the country’s second largest party has called for a halt to immigration from Muslim countries. There are already 270,000 Muslims in Denmark, and at least some harbor Islamic State sympathies. Spokesmen for the largest party, the Social Democrats, condemned the proposal, but the fact that an immigration ban has gained mainstream support is telling.
In France, Corsica has gone further. Agence France-Presse reports that on July 28th, the Corsican regional parliament urged the national government in Paris to close any meeting places that are centers of radicalization or where speeches are made that create an atmosphere of violence. They also called for increased security in areas frequented by tourists. This was apparently in response to a splinter group of the Corsican National Liberation Front (FLNC) publishing a warning to Islamists that any attack on the island of Corsica would be met with “a determined response, without any qualms.” The FLNC had previously declared a ceasefire in the armed struggle for Corsican independence in 2014, but it appears ready to take up arms again in defense of the island. The FLNC also warned the national government in Paris that it would be held responsible for attacks in Corsica “because it knows who the Salafists in Corsica are.”
Unfortunately the French government has demonstrated little enthusiasm for protecting the Corsican people. After the Bastille Day attack in Nice by a Tunisian migrant that killed 84 people, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls was quoted by Bloomberg as saying, “Times have changed, and we should learn to live with terrorism.” Perhaps that’s why Marine Le Pen and her National Party are currently riding high in French polls with calls for tighter immigration controls and a referendum to leave the European Union. But the current French government appears more interested in hiding the facts from the public than taking action: Heat Street reported a French government committee investigating the November shooting attacks in Paris suppressed information that victims at the Bataclan Theatre were tortured, castrated, and beheaded. Heat Street’s description of the torture was graphic, and noted that survivors who posted eyewitness accounts on social media were ignored by the mainstream media and harassed into silence by trolls. The government also refused to release some bodies to families because the remains were not “presentable”.
Shielding the public from unpleasant facts doesn’t protect anyone – but it does erode the public’s trust in government and makes them susceptible to foreign manipulation. As governments try to rationalize or explain away large scale Islamic terrorist attacks, e.g. Nice, Paris, and Orlando, other voices – presumably at the behest of Russian intelligence – seek to undermine what little faith in government remains by claiming the attacks are “false flags” operations carried out by the government itself. Caught between official lies and obfuscations on the one hand, and disinformation on the other, public confidence in Europe and America has been gravely undermined.
RACIAL POLARIZATION AND POLICE IN AMERICA
Videos of police killings are circulating with greater frequency, mostly depicting black victims. This has created a pattern in which Black Lives Matter holds protests and fans the flames of community outrage, which then receives saturation coverage from the Mainstream Media, fanning flames further while the public quarrels about whether or not police killings are racially tinged. Then other police officers not involved in the shootings are killed in ambush, and the MSM shifts coverage to what wonderful people the murdered officers were. Some of the activists who protested police killings then appear to publicly assert that killings of police are just as bad. The public turns out for the officers’ funerals, officials call for unity and healing – and then the cycle repeats itself with another killing somewhere else. The problem of unjustified killings by police is difficult to get a handle on. The FBI doesn’t keep track of police killings in general, although it announced it will attempt to do so after being shamed by the British newspaper, The Guardian. Most killings by the police are thought to be justified, but the exact numbers can’t be pinned down and the racial aspect is surprisingly slippery. Half the people killed by police are white, and nearly 40% are black. Whether or not blacks are more likely to be killed than whites when numbers are adjusted for percentages of local populations and criminal involvement depends on who’s adjusting the numbers. Black Lives Matter insists it’s open season on black men while ignoring the larger number of white deaths. People are ridiculed for suggesting that racism is not the only factor and that poor police training and black criminality also play a part. To make matters even worse, a large segment of the public has staked out extreme, emotionally polarized positions: all police are bad according to some, while others argue that all police are good. The common sense notion that there are a few rotten apples in an otherwise good barrel seems to have been lost amidst the sound bites.
What is clear is that MSM dials up public anger at authority then dials it down again when it starts to get out of hand. That’s good for ratings, but bad for society: public anger prevents rational discussion and analysis, and effectively precludes constructive remedies. Realizing that nothing will change, some then turn to violence out of frustration.
The pattern, however, is not a circle. It’s a downward spiral that could easily end in armed insurrection.
MORE OF THE SAME:
ELITE RESPONSE TO POPULAR RESISTANCE
The G-20 meeting ended Sunday, July 24th. According to Bloomberg, the group understands the public worldwide is unhappy with the results of globalization to date, yet remains determined to press forward toward a single global economy. Since what they’re doing isn’t working, they’ve decided – as governments often do – to adopt more of the same as their solution. From the group’s viewpoint, “geopolitical conflicts, terrorism, and refugee flows continue to complicate the global economic environment” and “downside risks persist, highlighted by fluctuating commodity prices, and low inflation in many economies.”
The breakdown of law and order that has accompanied the migrant flow into Europe and the United States afflicts ordinary citizens, but since they live in gated communities protected by armed guards the Elite deems it a minor complication. Low inflation is another glitch, because the group wants higher inflation even though increased prices will make life for the lower 99% even more difficult than it already is. Their answer to that particular wrinkle is more stimulus spending – which means more debt for tax payers – in the hope that it will finally spark the economic growth needed to solve their other problems.
US Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew’s claim that the US economy is strong bordered upon bizarre, because America’s economic outlook can charitably be described as a work of creative fiction: almost half the working age population is now permanently and involuntarily unemployed; nearly a quarter of the US population is forced to rely on government transfer payments (welfare) and the number of people on food stamps is at an all time high. Simply put, those at the top are either lying or delusional – and neither bodes well for the public.
According to CFIS Chairman Charles S. Viar, we are witnessing an across-the-board leadership failure throughout the developed world.
According to the White House, the Bureau of Labor Statistics report for July was spectacular: 255,000 jobs added in a single month.
But the numbers are bogus - they were generated by what economists call the "Birth-Death Model," which has precisely nothing to do with work-a-day reality. According to former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Paul Craig Roberts, PhD., the real figure was a dismal 55,000 new jobs, and most of them were low-skilled, low-paying service industry positions.
For more on the Government's fraud, please click on the link below:
For decades, it has been assumed that Globalism - that is, the process of global integration - was irreversible. But three developments have falsified that belief. The first is the global Islamic Insurgency, which is driven in part by resistance to the goal of a united, secular world. The second was the populist rebellion in Britain that led to the recent BREXIT vote. But the third is far more profound, though still barely recognized: technology has performed a dramatic about face and is now taking the world in the opposite direction, toward what analysts describe as Localism.
Three factors are driving Localism: revolutionary advances in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and 3-D Printing.
For more on this encouraging story, please click on the link below:
LIES, DAMNED LIES AND STATISTICS: RIGGING THE POLLS FOR HILLARY
There has never been any real question of media bias: although the Mainstream Media (read: Corporate) laughably denies it, MsM outlets are without exception committed to ever-expanding government and for that ferociously partisan. But in order to maintain the pretense of objectivity, they have in past elections gone through the motions of hiding their bias.
Not this time. Indeed, they've gone so far as to rig their own polls to create the impression that Hillary Clinton has surged far ahead of Donald trump. But according to Democratic pollster Patrick Caddell, it's complete nonsense.
For more on Mr. Caddell's blistering criticism, click on the link below:
GLOBALISM CRACKS / DOMESTIC TERRORISM DOESN’T
On June 23rd, the UK voted in favor of leaving the European Union. The tally was close: 51.9% to 48.1% across the UK as a whole, although voters in Scotland and Northern Ireland favored remaining. The Financial Elite and their media lackeys were stunned. Prime Minister David Cameron announced he would step down by October, and financial markets around the world tanked for several days before recovering. Public reactions ranged from anger to gloom to giddy joy with an occasional expression of astonishment: “Huh? My vote actually counted for something?”
The Establishment Media initially published hysterical predictions of economic doom brought on by the ignorant, racist masses. Alternative news outlets countered that the economic problems already existed and that Elite attitudes toward the masses are part of the problem. Mark Blyth, a Scot who’s currently a professor of Political Economy at Brown University, told Greek news outlet AthensLive that although there are rational reasons for people to blow up the EU’s currency – Eastern Europe benefits from EU membership at the expense of Western Europe – the Leave vote was similar to what he calls Trumpism: the working class is signaling that they are fed up with the Establishment selling them down the river to unelected technocratic elites. As Blyth tells his American hedge fund friends, the Elite needs to realize “the Hamptons is not a defensible position.” The Mainstream Media hacks are now busy making pronouncements that the UK will probably be allowed to continue doing business with Europe after all, albeit under a different arrangement, even though German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pouting. And The Telegraph has suddenly remembered that David Cameron didn’t want another term as PM anyway. So there – nothing to get excited about, folks, the Financial Elite and their minions in the Political Establishment can deal with it. Really...
The London stock exchange closed July 1st at a 10 month high, the best week it’s had since 2011.
The referendum was an advisory, i.e., legally non-binding, so the British government could ignore it – but only if it’s willing to admit British democracy is a sham. Still, the cracks could divide further as it’s encouraged Scottish nationalists to demand another independence referendum so Scots can rejoin the EU without Britain. But according to Professor Blyth, they haven’t through thought through the implications of letting Germany manage Scotland’s pension funds – as they do in Greece.
Northern Ireland is, predictably, calling again to unite with the Republic of Ireland. France, Italy, and the Netherlands might hold their own referenda on withdrawing from the EU. Because the advanced Western European countries have been forced to subordinate their economies to the needs of the less developed EU members, referendums do not bode well for the Union. And as a practical matter, the Globalist promise of equality has involved more of what Henry Kissinger has criticized as “leveling down” rather than uplifting the poor. But the Financial Elite and the Political Establishment cling to their lofty perches because someone has to run the show. As George Orwell wrote in Animal Farm, some are more equal than others.
Brexit and the possibility of other defections have put a damper on free trade agreements such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and it is expected that Britain will have to renegotiate treaties as an independent state. There is also the beginning of public posturing in both Britain and the US that the working class will need better protection or cushioning in trade agreements. What form that protection might take is not specified, as the Elite is still wedded to free global trade. As Harvard economist Dani Rodrick pointed out in 2007, we cannot have democracy, national sovereignty, and global economic integration all at the same time. We can have two of the three, but not all three. Increasing global economic integration requires decreasing either democracy or national sovereignty. A country that places its own interests above the global community interests disrupts the integration. Conversely, greater global integration requires each country to put the global community interests above the interests of its own people – which is precisely why ordinary Britons rose in protest. But the Globalists have not given up. They’ve just fallen back to regroup.
The US population could certainly use more protection from criminal criminals. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) says it has obtained Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) documents showing that ICE grossly misrepresented the number of additional crimes committed by released aliens in a report to the House Judiciary Committee last July. ICE reported 1,423 additional offenses by the 30,558 aliens it released in FY 2014. The actual number of additional offenses documented is 13,288 --- nearly ten times as many. The offenses include kidnapping, homicide, assault, sexual assault, DUI, and burglary, so criminal aliens are a clear threat to public safety. Making a bad situation even worse, the US Government’s indifference to illegal alien crimes had made the US a magnet for Third World criminals: the chances of being caught are low, and even if they are caught the chances of being deported are lower still. Illegals have everything to gain and little or nothing to lose.
Since ICE isn’t deporting violent criminals, it’s not surprising ICE isn’t deporting many people who overstay their visas either. The Washington Times reports at least 480,000 people overstayed last year, raising the total to an estimated 5 million. Only 2,500 overstays were deported last year. Canadians are the largest group of offenders, but overstays come from around the globe. In fact, some of the 9/11 hijackers in 2001 are believed to have been overstays. Homeland Security officials say they regularly scan visa lists for security risks based on information from the intelligence community, but lack of funding limits their ability to better track overstays. They also consider overstay offenders a low priority because about 40% of them eventually leave on their own and because they are generally thought to have low risk of violence (the 9-11 terrorists apparently excepted). It will be interesting to see if Michael Sandford helps change that perception. According to LasVegasNow.com, the young Brit accused of attempting to shoot Donald Trump was an illegal visa overstay.
In addition to ordinary criminals, there can be no doubt that Islamist terrorists are entering the US for the specific purpose of launching attacks against civilian “soft targets.” Some are entering as refugees while others are being smuggled across the Mexican border with help from drug traffickers. Judicial Watch reported in June that a Middle Eastern woman had been apprehended in New Mexico with plans of the region’s gas pipelines in her possession. An Islamic State operative named Shaykh Mahmood Omar Khabir has bragged that it’s easy to stake out American targets because the Mexican border region is wide open. Indeed credible intelligence sources report Islamists have been engaging in small scale attacks against electrical transformers and are strongly suspected of having set several forest fires in the Western US. Such attacks are especially appealing to terrorists because they can inflict disproportionate damage with the expenditure of slight resources. Power blackouts could, for example, shut down water systems, transportation systems, hospital equipment, banks and grocery stores. For these reasons, security experts have urged the Obama administration for years to improve security against both physical and cyber attacks – but alas, to no avail.
FBI STRETCHED TOO THIN
If ICE lacks the manpower to deal with the tide of illegal aliens, the FBI is in an even worse position. It simply cannot handle the volume of potential terror cases. According to the Bureau, that accounts for their bungled investigation of Omar Mateen, since identified as the gunman in the June 12th attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which killed 49 and wounded 53. The reporting on this mass shooting has been filled with twists and turns as groups sought to exploit the incident for their own agendas. Although Mateen called 911 from the club to claim credit for the Islamic State, his father insisted the shooting was not about religion and suggested instead that Mateen was motivated by a hatred for gays. But several people soon made statements public statements claiming they had seen Mateen regularly at the nightclub, and had communicated with him through gay dating apps. One man even appeared in disguise on Univision with claims of having had a sexual relationship with Mateen.
The Los Angeles Times reported on June 23rd that FBI investigators have found no evidence to support these claims, but that has not stopped the LGBT community from using the atrocity to propagandize for gay rights. And since the guns used in the attack – a Sig Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifle and a 9mm Glock 17 handgun – were legally purchased by Mateen, gun control supporters called for further restrictions on firearms. The fact that Mateen had called 9-11 in the midst of his killing spree and pledged loyalty to the ISIS terrorist organization was conveniently ignored or shouted down by those who wanted to minimize the Islamist connection, or by those who misunderstand that terrorists today often follow the dictum of think globally, act locally and do not need the formal organizational structures used in the past. Islamic State instructional materials are available online and there are vast numbers of Jihadi accounts on Twitter: as soon as Twitter locates and suspends Jihadi accounts, they reappear under new user names in what amounts to an online game of Whack-a-Mole. Face to face personal contact with other terrorists is not required for group membership: post 9-11 terrorists are self-selected and self-directed, but they are NOT in any sense lone wolves.
One thing that has become clear despite the media circus is that the FBI investigated Mateen in 2013 and 2014 but concluded he had no links to terrorists. AlterNet reported the FBI sent an informant to lure Mateen into a plot, but since Mateen didn’t take the bait the FBI concluded he was not a security risk and removed his name from two databases for terror suspects. Mateen’s ex-wife and former co-workers say he was physically abusive and bigoted. His employer, G4S Secure Solutions, had been forced to move him to an unarmed post at a gated retirement community because of complaints he threatened to kill people at a courthouse security job. Those threats prompted the FBI investigation, but the FBI never charged him and G4S never fired him. In fact, the revelation that Mateen worked for G4S set off a flurry of reports about other G4S employees who had killed people or abused prisoners and sexually abused minors, leading to questions about the company’s screening practices and why G4S remains a federal contractor.
In hindsight, Mateen’s behavior should have been dealt with differently by his employer and by the authorities. According to The Daily Beast, Mateen had behavioral problems in school and also needed English for Speakers of Other Languages classes through middle school even though he was born in New York. His parents were Afghan immigrants with a history of domestic violence, and Mateen’s father hosts an internet political talk show in which he has sometimes praised the Taliban. Given this background, it is difficult to understand why the FBI closed its investigation.
As noted above, the Bureau’s claims they simply lack the manpower. Proper surveillance of a suspect requires at least 30 people. Since the FBI doesn’t have enough resources --- it has over a thousand Islamic State cases in progress --- it relies heavily on informants, some of whom regard information peddling as a lucrative business opportunity. “Peddlers” are known to have lured mentally ill suspects into plots planned and financed by the FBI, in which suspects who had no idea how to purchase the needed equipment were put in touch with agents posing as arms dealers. If these suspects had been left alone, they would have had neither the contacts nor the resources to carry out a terror plot. Effort wasted on these bits of Security Theater are even more appalling because they divert resources away from real threats such as Omar Mateen --- and Tamerlan Tsarnaev of the Boston Marathon bombing --- to run amok.
If the FBI’s Muslim terrorist caseload looks big, the white Christian extremist caseload is reportedly even bigger. Credible intelligence sources estimate Homeland Security devotes about 60% of its resources to white extremists, militant Christians and military vets. The government and some academics claim that militia and white supremacist groups are responsible for the majority of attacks in the US, and point to last year’s shooting at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church as an example. Other academics – and experienced analysts – disagree and assert those numbers are generated by a deliberately biased reporting system. In actual fact, they say Muslim killings outnumbered domestic terror deaths by 3 to 2, and are expected to grow exponentially in the near future.
The Obama administration has always been strangely reluctant to refer to Islamic terrorists as Islamic terrorists or even acknowledge the threat they pose to American citizens. Retired General Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA and CIA, agreed with CNN’s Jake Tapper that political correctness has hampered counterterrorist investigations, citing the 2009 Fort Hood shooting as an example. The Army and FBI knew that Major Nidal Hasan had become radicalized, and was in contact with Al Qaeda’s Anwar al-Awlaki, yet they refrained from taking action against him. The Administration’s willful disregard of severe and immediate threats in favor of those that are far less dangerous – and the grotesque limitations imposed by Political Correctness on domestic security agencies – are ultimately rooted in the Financial Elite’s effort to reposition away from its traditional white, Western and nominally Christian base to a new Global and largely non-white, non-Western and non-Christian base of support. Although Gen. Hayden is correct in asserting that the FBI needs additional tools and resources to combat terrorism, the prospect that those tools and resources will be turned against law-abiding Americans who simply oppose Globalism gives cause for genuine concern.
AND THEN THERE’S HILLARY
The FBI spent a year investigating Hillary Clinton’s email and private server improprieties. Reports vary on whether 147 agents were assigned to the task or only 50. Either number is impressive given the Bureau’s manpower complaints. The FBI finally interviewed Clinton herself for 3 ½ hours Saturday, July 2nd. On July 5th, FBI Director James Comey announced the FBI would recommend to the Department of Justice not to file charges. Even though Clinton and her colleagues “were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information” --- even though “it is possible that hostile actors gained access” to Clinton’s personal email account --- the FBI determined that Clinton’s astounding misconduct was neither intentional nor criminal even though she and her colleagues should have known better. Comey made a point of saying in his press statement, “To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions.”
Although Comey stressed Clinton’s violations were not intentional, he also stated near the beginning of his remarks that it’s “a felony to mishandle classified information either intentionally or in a grossly negligent way” and “a misdemeanor to knowingly remove classified information from appropriate systems or storage facilities.” As Comey made clear, Clinton had done both of these things, yet recommended against filing charges.
Besides computer security problems, Clinton has also received questionable funding. The Washington Free Beacon reported her Super PAC accepted $200,000 in donations from Suffolk Construction, a Department of Defense contractor, in violation of campaign finance regulations. CNN reported the Clinton Foundation failed to disclose a $500,000 donation from Algeria or $26.4 million in speaking fees from foreign governments and corporations. Zerohedge reported claims that Saudi Arabia has funded 20% of her presidential campaign.
Still not known is what all that corporate and foreign money has bought from Clinton. Not that it would matter to the Department of Justice – for as Comey made clear, Clinton is above the law. American justice has been effectively abolished. These days, it’s used to keep the peasants in line and to punish those who fall afoul of the Financial Elite or their hirelings in the Political Establishment.
A BRAVE AND BORDERLESS NEW WORLD
Secretary of State John Kerry gave the commencement address at Northeastern University in Boston on May 6th. While many media outlets published a sound bite construed as a jab at Donald Trump, Time published Kerry’s full speech. The address was a stirring one, and Kerry’s speechwriter(s) are to be congratulated. It painted a rosy picture of exceptional achievements made and still to be made in the world by Americans, including Northeastern’s new graduates. Not a word was mentioned of recession or American unemployment or the disappearance of the middle class as the gulf between rich and poor widens. Instead Kerry’s speech was about global advancement of corporations, medicine, film, and technology – a shining world dependent on American leadership to solve the problems of “a complex and borderless world…where non-state actors play a central role”. Somehow it doesn’t sound like the world Russian and Chinese leaders are envisioning.
But it does sound like an ironic amalgamation of Antonio Gramsci’s theory of cultural hegemony and Rudi Dutschke’s elaboration. Gramsci, an Italian Communist, wrote that the bourgeoisie maintained control by teaching the young that their values were natural and normal. For that reason, Gramsci argued the Left should create its own culture to supplant that of the bourgeoisie. Dutschke, a German student leader in the late 1960’s, argued that Gramsci’s new Leftist culture should engage in a “long march through the institutions of power” – that is, the schools, courts, and the news media – until it was gradually accepted as the new normal.
The Grand Irony here is the ideas of Gramsci and Dutschke have been put into play by a bizarre alliance of Neo-Marxists and Corporatists, rather than the Communists for whom they were intended. Kerry spoke of corporations and NGOs perfecting the world, rather than ideologically driven governments. The “complex and borderless world” he extolled is the One World of the Financial Elite, in which neither Communism nor American sovereignty will have a place.
THE CHILDREN’S INVASION
A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies reveals that U.S. border officials expect 75,000 or more unaccompanied children from Central America in 2016 and 2017. The number of these children crossing illegally peaked at 69,000 in 2014 then fell to 40,000 in 2015 but will now almost double in FY 2016. The Obama administration initially treated the children as trafficking victims, but it soon became clear that while the vast majority of the children are smuggled, they are not trafficked for exploitation – instead, they are in fact coming to the U.S. to join relatives already here. The Administration then tried to set up a special refugee program to offer an alternative channel for these children to enter the U.S. safely. The participation numbers have been dismal because the program requires the parents in the U.S. to be legal immigrants. Since these children are coming to join relatives who also arrived illegally, the Administration is expanding the refugee program in association with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Despite media attempts to portray these children as fleeing violence, the UNHCR repeatedly admitted that most of the children are simply trying to join family members and find better opportunities in the U.S. In other words, the children do NOT meet the normal criteria for refugees. But since they are children – and therefore vulnerable – they are entitled to “international protection” under treaties, such as the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child. According to UNHCR guidelines, “States are responsible for protecting the human rights of all persons within their territory, including refugee children, and for providing the adults accountable for these children with the support necessary to fulfill their own responsibilities.” Accordingly, the Obama administration has requested $1.226 billion in funding for the Unaccompanied Children FY 2017 program. (The FY 2016 base funding is $948 million.)
The CIS points out that once the expanded refugee program is set up, children will be able to apply at centers in Central America and then be flown to the U.S. for reunification with their parents. The children will automatically receive legal status and will be eligible for citizenship five years after entering the U.S. Then in a bizarre twist of law, the children-turned-citizens will then be able to sponsor the illegal immigrant parents they came here to join! The CIS calls this “a family reunification program specially crafted for illegal aliens and their children under the cover of refugee resettlement.” The CIS assessment is accurate: rather than deport their illegal immigrant parents, the Obama administration is now locating the children the left behind in order to fly them to the U.S. – and provide them with government-paid food, housing, and health care.
A separate study published by the CIS in September 2015 found that 51% of immigrant households (both legal and illegal) were enrolled in at least one federal welfare program compared to 30% of native households. Illegal immigrant households receive an average of $5,692 annually, while legal immigrant households receive an average of $6,378. Households headed by immigrants from Central America and Mexico receive an average of $8,251, while American-born households receive an average of $4,431. The explanation for the disparity is that immigrant households tend to have more children and a lower level of education than native households. Illegal immigrant households receive welfare because they have children who were either born in the U.S. or were admitted as refugees. If officials are hoping illegal immigrants will boost payroll tax revenues, these numbers are not encouraging. On the other hand, if officials are actually hoping illegal immigrants will swell the ranks of dependent citizens who will vote for ever expanding government, they might be on to something. The borderless world envisioned by President Obama, Secretary Kerry and other self-professed “Progressives” looks less and less like a confederation of constitutional republics and more and more like a global welfare plantation.
SEX ED FOR MIGRANTS
Meanwhile the international press has taken notice of a new German portal named, Zanzu, My body in Words and Images. The government-sponsored site provides for sex education and relationship advice in twelve languages, including Arabic, Turkish, and Albanian, as well as English and several European languages. Appearing only two months after the wave of sexual assaults during New Year’s celebrations, many people take it for an attempt to educate migrants. But a spokesperson for Germany’s Federal Center for Health Education told Deutsche Welle that the site is intended to help the German public as well. In addition to the kind of anatomical illustrations standard in sex education material, Zanzu includes graphic cartoon images depicting various sexual positions. There are also short articles on relationships, contraception, equal rights and the legal repercussions of violence. But since the site is Politically Correct, it is also incomplete: in an apparent effort to placate Gays, it conspicuously omits the known and scientifically established dangers of homosexual behavior.
Some critics speculate that images of interracial couples are meant to encourage migrants to enter relationships with German women in the hope it will help integrate migrants into German society. If so, it’s naive at best: it takes years to adjust to a new culture, and as Oswald Spengler pointed out long ago, full assimilation is never possible. It should also be noted the migrants are predominantly young men, which will create a gender imbalance where they settle. There simply will not be enough women to go around if monogamy remains the standard – and that creates a dangerous situation for women, as evidenced by both India and China.
Regardless of what government officials say or privately believe, sex education inevitably carries with it an element of social engineering. Which facts are chosen for presentation and how those facts are discussed are determined by the values of the educators, which are at least partially absorbed by those being educated. It is for this reason that parents need to carefully monitor the sex education their children receive, whether that education comes from the government, the internet or other sources, and to discuss their values with their children instead of letting alleged experts handle it unsupervised. In a democracy, the values of the nation and the government are supposed to conform to those of its citizens, rather than vice-versa.
RE-EDUCATION CAMPS IN THE WEST
In a May 16th article datelined Guantanamo-Sur-Loire but filed from Marseille, The Daily Beast reported a plan announced by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls to round up suspected Islamic extremists for a mandatory 10 month internment in “deradicalization centers.” Why a country which proudly proclaims itself a democracy would follow in the footsteps of Communist totalitarianism by imprisoning people who have violated no law is unclear: to date, the policy has been vaguely justified as a response to the threat of Islamic terrorism, “a stubborn phenomenon that has widely spread through society and which threatens it because it could expand massively.”
How the French government will identify Muslims committing Thoughtcrime is not clear, as the plan apparently does not include working with local imams – some of whom, at least, are trying to combat extremism. Hardly a surprise, then, that these clergymen are concerned that innocent people will be swept into a French version of the Guantanamo Bay military prison, creating radicalism where none had previously existed and making the jihadi problem worse than it already is.
Valls’s plan is vaguely described as one in which trained psychological counselors and teachers willll administer an around the clock treatment program for men and women aged 18 to 30. On one level this plan is gross violation of Western legal norms, which have always insisted that punishment without crime is unjust. On another level it smacks of the psychological programming described in George Orwell’s Orwellian dystopian novel, 1984 – similar in intent to the CIA’s Project ARTICHOKE of the 1950’s and 60’s, which employed drugs and hypnosis to impose beliefs and behavioral predispositions upon test subjects. The object was to assert sufficient mastery over the subjects’ minds as to compel them to act against their basic nature and even against their sense of self preservation. According to declassified CIA documents, the program was a success: they were able to program otherwise unwilling test subjects to attempt murder on command with unloaded guns and rubber daggers.
The CIA was not alone in conducting such research; their effort lagged behind the Nazis, the Soviets and the British – all of whom achieved notable success with their own programs. Throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s the KGB dispatched false defectors to the West, some of whom had been clearly programmed by techniques similar to those developed in the course of Project ARTICHOKE. The KGB is also known to have shared their version of ARTICHOKE with the Communist party-states of Eastern Europe, and their allies in North Vietnam and the Arab world, and also with various terrorist groups. Hence the phenomenon of programmed suicide bombers. The technique is so simple, and so inexpensive, that it has spread throughout the world.
At the very least, the French program strongly implies some kind of coercive mental conditioning. Eradicating extreme politico-religious beliefs in 10 months or less – assuming the French manage to round up genuine terrorist wannabes – cannot be accomplished by any other means.
It would be much easier – and probably far more effective – to simply expel malcontents and likely terrorists. For that reason, one cannot dismiss the possibility that the French simply want test subjects for an expanded and ever-more sophisticated psychological control program, and are using the terror threat as a convenient smokescreen.
In France, at least, Islamic immigration has killed the Western legal tradition. It is being replaced by a form of Velvet Totalitarianism.
NO SEX, PLEASE – WE’RE ROBOTS!
The Robot Revolution is upon us. At the start of 2014, Internet retail giant Amazon had a total of 1000 robots working in its warehouses; today, the number is approximately 15,000. The most common Bot is called Kiva, named after the robotics company Amazon recently purchased. The Kiva is a squat little contraption that lifts and carries entire shelves of merchandise to the humans that – for now – fulfill individual orders. Robots intended to replace the fulfillment workers are under development.
Meanwhile in Japan, the Pepper series robot manufactured by SoftBank has been a stunning success: they now work in banks and hotels as customer service representatives, and in retail sales. Because they’re able to read human emotions and interact with humans on an emotive level, they are increasingly popular as human companions and guardians – especially for the elderly.
The proliferation of Pepper Bots as companions has prompted the manufacturer to require individual purchasers to sign a pledge promising not to use the bots for sexual purposes. Given the fact that the Pepper series is physically incapable of engaging in any form of sexual activity, that seems curious until one considers the role of deviancy in technological development: according to a prominent film director, it is “an indisputable fact” that pornography drove the technological revolution in Hollywood.
Pepper’s manufacturer, he says, is cynically attempting to establish a legal precedent to protect itself from lawsuits involving a follow-on generation of robots that will be fully – and deliberately – capable of sexual acts.