Dangerous Crossroads: Lunatics in Washington Want Direct Military Confrontation with Russia

Originally posted on Uprootedpalestinians's Blog:

By Stephen Lendman

Dangerous Crossroads: Lunatics in Washington Want Direct Military Confrontation with Russia


Russia’s sovereign independence sticks in Washington’s craw, long-term US policy determined to replace it with governance it controls – even at the risk of WW III.

Putin’s policies are bashed, notably his forthright efforts to end conflicts in Ukraine and Syria diplomatically – now his real war on terrorism, polar opposite Washington’s phony one, a pretext for ravaging one country after another.

Deputy State Department spokesman Mark Toner lied saying the Obama administration “welcome(s) a constructive role for Russia if it takes the fight to ISIS” – precisely what it’s doing as Toner knows.

Instead of acknowledging and praising its effort, he lied saying “we’ve not seen that that’s the case. We’ve seen no indication that they’re actually hitting ISIL targets.”

He persists in the Big Lie about Moscow targeting nonexistent anti-Assad moderates. Sergey Lavrov explained…

View original 465 more words

The US government just crossed the Rubicon


October 8, 2015
Caracas, Venezuela

In 49 BC, a defiant Julius Caesar stood in front of his army at the River Rubicon and made the biggest decision of his life.

It was strictly forbidden by Roman law for a general lead his army out of its province and into Rome. And the Rubicon marked the boundary.

“Alea iacta est!” (The die is cast!) he said, and led his army across the river into civil war.

The phrase “crossing the Rubicon” has stuck for more than 2,000 years, signifying a risky and dangerous point of no return.

This week, the United States government crossed the Rubicon.

In a fit of complete arrogance, a federal judge ruled that he has ‘jurisdiction’ over one of the biggest banks in mainland China, Bank of China (BOC), and demands that the bank turn over financial records to his court.

The judge is hearing a case brought by the luxury brand Gucci against an alleged Chinese counterfeiting ring for selling fake handbags in the United States.

The claim is that the Chinese defendants are sending their ill-gotten gains back to Bank of China in the mainland. And the judge wants to see their account activity.

Bank of China, as you can probably guess, is predominantly owned by the Chinese government.

So it goes without saying that this demand (not a request) is a direct affront at China’s sovereignty.

The only leverage the judge has is that Bank of China has a branch in New York City; it is officially a licensed bank in the US.

So if Bank of China doesn’t comply, the judge could theoretically order that their US license be revoked.

Once again, the United States is using its financial system as a weapon.

Since US dollars are the most widely used reserve currency in the world, every bank on the planet needs some access to the US banking system.

Whether you’re in London, Riyadh, Sydney, or Shanghai, the most widely traded commodities, bonds, and financial contracts in the world are primarily denominated in US dollars.

Plus most global trade takes place in US dollars.

So not only are banks forced to hold US dollars, they require access to the US banking system in order to clear and settle US dollar transactions.

Large international banks have what are known as ‘correspondent bank accounts’ or ‘nostro accounts’ with US banks.

So a big bank in Denmark, for example, may have a correspondent account with JP Morgan or Citibank in New York in order to facilitate its dollar transactions.

And sometimes foreign banks may even apply for their own US banking license, as in the case of Bank of China.

But if a bank were to be kicked out of the US banking system, it would be incredibly detrimental to its ability to hold and transact in US dollars. And hence quite difficult to participate in global trade and finance.

This financial leverage is an unbelievable advantage for the United States, and is a result of the rest of the world placing a great deal of trust in the US government.

But the government has shown time and time again that they are willing to abuse that trust and use their advantage as a weapon– one that is more powerful than the US military.

Just last year, the Treasury Department fined French bank BNP Paribas a whopping $9 billion for doing business with countries that the US doesn’t like, such as Cuba.

Of course, Cuba and the US are BFFs now. But I doubt BNP is getting a refund anytime soon.

And naturally, if BNP didn’t pay up, the US could threaten to evict them from its financial system.

It’s simply amazing that the US did that to its own ally.

Now they’re going after China, its biggest competitor.

The Chinese are already working on a parallel, competitive financial system.

They set up the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to compete with the vestigial IMF and World Bank.

And they’re nearing completion on an international payment system and clearing network to compete with SWIFT and the US financial system.

It’s called CIPS.

And once it’s up and running, there will likely be a rapid increase in the worldwide use of China’s currency for financial transactions– transactions that used to be executed in US dollars.

Sticking it to Bank of China like this only gives the Chinese government even more reason to wage war on the US financial system through CIPS.

The reduced demand for US dollars completely destroys America’s last remaining advantage.

If they can’t force the rest of the world to use the US banking system, then they won’t be able to force the rest of the world to hold US dollars or buy US government debt.

It weakens America considerably.

And when future historians write the history of the decline of the United States, there will no doubt be a chapter on how the US government made it a matter of national policy to consistently abuse the power entrusted to them by the global banking community.

Of course, Julius Caesar didn’t learn that lesson either.

After crossing the Rubicon, he won a long civil war, after which the Roman Senate made him dictator for life.

And fearing he would abuse it, he was assassinated just a few weeks later by the very people who entrusted him with that power.

PayPal Crashes: Global System Fault Hits Every Account Monday Night

Source:  http://thomasdishaw.com/paypal-crashes-global-system-fault-hits-every-account-monday-night/

PayPal crashes causing millions of users unable to access recent payments (myself included). I have noticed a lot of strange things happening with my PayPal account over the last few days, most notably not being able to log in for hours and not being able to transfer money to my bank account. Another reason to stockpile cash. Read more from Computing:

Electronic payments platform PayPal has been hit by a major systems failure worldwide. The fault rendered all new transactions made since the fault occurred invisible to both the sender and the recipient.

Some users reported that their account showed a reduced balance after making a transaction, but that the transaction itself was not listed. As a result, their money appeared to have “vanished into thin air”, according to one account holder.

Historical transactions were apparently not affected.

The problem began at approximately 17.00 UK time and hit every account in the world, according to a spokeswoman from the company’s customer service team. “No one can see any transactions,” she said. This apparently included PayPal staff: “We can’t see anyone’s activity logs,” she explained.

Computing broke the story at 19.30 UK time, and at 21.00 the problem still appeared to be ongoing.

Users were not informed of the system failure unless they contacted PayPal by phone, meaning that PayPal was “swamped” by complaints from every part of the world, with some customers making payments twice, believing that the error must have been theirs.

Asked why the company had not posted a warning on its website, PayPal told Computing that it “expected the problem would have been fixed [by now]”.

The problem also hit purchases made via PayPal on the platform of former owner, eBay. eBay’s annual revenues are in the order of $18bn, which means that roughly $2m of transactions were being affected by the fault every hour.

Many other outlets accept PayPal payments, including Asos, Topshop, Zara, Argos, John Lewis, British Airways, and thetrainline.com, potentially creating serious problems for both retailers and customers, with neither side knowing if payments had been made or received.

PayPal’s spokeswoman acknowledged that the fault lay in PayPal’s internal systems. “It is our technical problem,” she said, but was unable to confirm when the glitch would be fixed, or what had caused it.

However, she told Computing that all transactions should become visible once the error was located and fixed.

• Ironically, the system failure occurred only hours after PayPal was named as one of the most valuable global brands for 2015 by specialist consultancy Interbrand. PayPal made its debut entry on the Top 100 survey at 97.

Venezuela is now the most expensive country in the world


October 7, 2015
Caracas, Venezuela

Forget Norway. Japan. Iceland. Switzerland. Or any of the other places around the world that are notorious for being painful on the wallet.

Venezuela is now the most expensive country in the world, hands down.

To give you an idea, the cost of a 15-minute taxi ride to the beach yesterday afternoon totaled an eye-popping $158.

(I paid less than that to rent a helicopter in Colombia last week.)

With all of its vast mineral resources, Venezuela should be the most prosperous country in Latin America by far. And it once was.

But years of corruption, incompetence, and central planning have taken their toll.

Normally, when huge companies like Exxon Mobil extract oil out of the ground, they reinvest a portion of their profits back into improving their operations.

They spend money on more infrastructure, technology, and exploration. In short, they invest in the future.

But in Venezuela, guys like Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro spent years funneling oil revenues into idiotic social programs designed to keep themselves in power.

Venezuela did not invest in the future. Now its oil infrastructure is rotting. Production is in serial decline. And the oil price has collapsed to boot.

This is bad news for a government that generates a huge proportion of its revenue from oil exports.

And just like how the United States and most of the West can’t balance their budgets without going even further into debt, Venezuela’s government also spends far more than it generates in revenue.

Especially now. With the government’s budget deficit at 14% of GDP, they’re barely able to make their debt payments this month without defaulting.

In fact, Venezuela is so screwed up that the government doesn’t have a hope of balancing its budget unless the oil price is between $100 and $120 per barrel.

Thus, they’ve had to resort to even more destructive ways of making ends meet.

Like most governments, that means printing money.

The problem is: the Venezuelan bolivar isn’t used as a reserve currency around the world like the US dollar or euro.

That is what has enabled the US to get away with its relentless printing so far, as much of the resulting inflation is simply exported abroad.

Instead, here when they print bolivars, Venezuelans are stuck with all of it. Zimbabwe style.

Inflation in Venezuela has been among the highest in the world, with some private estimates as high as 800%.

Once that became a problem, their solution was to introduce price controls, which failed miserably. Venezuela infamously tried fixing prices in the grocery stores and ended up with crippling shortages of everything from beef to toilet paper.

Then they decided to try capital controls by forcing a completely absurd ‘official’ exchange rate to the local currency.

And that’s what makes this country so expensive.

The official rate of the bolivar is 6.3 per US dollar. But the black market rate is over 60x higher.

Last night I met up with a local guy who had sacks of cash hidden all around his house, and I changed $50 for 20,000 bolivares. That’s a rate of 400 per US dollar.

It’s an unbelievable difference. 6.3 under the official rate. 400 in the black market.

My taxi ride yesterday really cost me 1,000 bolivares. Using the black market rate, that’s a pittance at just $2.50. But using the official rate, it’s $158.

So depending on which exchange rate you use, Venezuela can either be one of the cheapest countries in the world, or the most expensive.

But as you can imagine, exchanging currency in the black market carries SEVERE penalties.

And that’s not all they’re doing to prevent people from protecting themselves against a rapidly depreciating bolivar.

They’ve even tried blocking access to Bitcoin-exchange websites to prevent people from purchasing crypto-currency.

(Though these efforts are easily defeated by using a VPN.)

Desperate to make ends meet in an environment where they see their savings and standards of living deteriorate by the day, many people have been driven to crime.

Caracas used to be a paradise; now it’s one of the most dangerous cities in the world.

It’s a damn shame too, because this is a really wonderful country. And were it not for the crime, Venezuela would be a top retirement destination, attracting many an expat looking to live like royalty on $1,000 per month.

But that’s not the case. Instead, Venezuela is sinking to rock bottom, and people here are suffering immeasurably.

All of this was brought on by yet another experiment in ‘central planning for the greater good’ gone dreadfully wrong.

Too much spending created too much debt and too much money printing, which in turn created too much inflation.

Inflation then led to price controls. Capital controls. Media controls. Destroying people’s standards of living. Appalling levels of violent crime.

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Venezuela is a case in point, and shows just how short that road can actually be.

Westerners always think that these sorts of consequences can’t happen where they live, as if the laws of the financial universe only apply south of the border.

It’s not to say that the West will become Venezuela.

But if your government is already making its way down this path, taking on $60+ trillion in debt and printing limitless quantities of money, it’s seriously foolish to assume that that it will not end up somewhere similar.

The TPP: a monster too big to fail?

Originally posted on Jon Rappoport's Blog:

The TPP: a monster too big to fail?

by Jon Rappoport

October 6, 2015

(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, The Matrix Revealed, click here.)

“For every President, there comes a moment when he does what he has been put into office to do. All prior bets and decisions are off the table. They carry no freight. He knows this. He knows he has no excuses. He has no one to blame. He must win. He must succeed. If he fails, he falls. He falls hard. The electorate? His colleagues, friends, and advisors? His flock of adoring supporters? All dust in the wind. He must do this one thing. He must go as deep and as dark and as crazy as he has to, in order to pull off the crime he was sent in to commit.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)

I have written extensively about the Trans-Pacific Partnership…

View original 948 more words

Obama Accuses Russia of Going After America’s “Good Guy Terrorists”


Any doubt the world is run by psychopathic lunatics?

Originally posted on Uprootedpalestinians's Blog:

Global Research, October 01, 2015


Amply documented but rarely mentioned in news reports, the ISIS is a creation of US intelligence, recruited, trained and financed by the US and its allies including Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Israel and Jordan.  

Until recently, the ISIS was known as Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). In 2014, it was renamed the Islamic State (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).

Russia is Now Involved in the War on Terrorism

A major turning point in the dynamics of the Syria-Iraq war is unfolding. Russia is now directly involved in the counter-terrorism campaign in coordination with the Syrian and Iraqi governments.

While Washington has acknowledged Moscow’s resolve, Obama is now complaining that the Russians are targeting the “good guy terrorists” who are supported by Washington.

From the Horse’s Mouth

According to the…

View original 684 more words

The Shocking Reality: This Chart Shows Just How Bad Unemployment Is Today Compared to The Great Depression

Originally posted on Tales from the Conspiratum:

The collapse that many have suggested will take place at some point in the future is actually happening right here and now.

Source: The Shocking Reality: This Chart Shows Just How Bad Unemployment Is Today Compared to The Great Depression

Mac Slavo
October 3rd, 2015


While the Obama administration and their mainstream surrogates maintain that the economy is growing at a booming pace, the reality of the situation is starkly different.

According to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics some 94.6 million Americans (age 16 and over) are either not working or have made no effort to find a job. With a population of 320 million, that means nearly one in three people in the United States are currently out of work.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a record 94,610,000 people (ages 16 and over) were not in the labor force in September. In other words they were…

View original 741 more words