The Coming Economic Collapse And The Next Great Depression

The Coming Economic Collapse And The Next Great Depression
The forgotten man painting by McNaughton (click image for video) I believe this image best exemplifies where we stand today, pun intended.

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Friday, July 31, 2015

I Dare You!




Posted July 30th, 2015 at 7:33 PM (CST) by Jim Sinclair & filed under Bill Holter.

Dear CIGAs,

Let’s look at two different topics where we are seeing contradictory "evidence". First up is what’s happening in the gold and silver markets. Never before have I seen sentiment as poor as it is today. Nor have I seen so many negative articles about gold in the various mainstream publications. It has gotten so bad, gold has even been compared to "pet rocks"! While we have seen food fights before, the name calling as of late has become deafening led recently by Martin Armstrong and Cliff Droke. I wonder how or what their response is to the physical side of the argument?

As you know, there have been "air pockets" in the price of gold over the last three years. Nearly always, these takedowns occur at night and in particular Sunday nights. The last one a couple of weeks back, saw $2.7 billion worth of gold sold over a two minute span. I have asked the question many times, "who" controls this much gold and if we could identify someone or some entity, "who" would ever sell in a manner to destroy pricing if a profit motive truly exists? Can anyone conjure up an answer to this while including the phrase "profit motive"? I dare any of the gold bashers to answer these two very simple questions! Front running just a bit, any real answer I would imagine must have "desired lower gold price" as part of the explanation.

A very real problem or flaw in logic exists in the current gold and silver markets. If there is in fact so much selling (panic selling), how is it possible the U.S. Mint had to stop selling Silver Eagles nearly a month ago? It can only be for one of two reasons. Either they had enough silver but could not produce coins fast enough to satisfy demand, or, they could not source enough silver to make the coins. But this does not make any sense. How could there be "too much demand" if everyone is selling? Also, how could there not be enough silver available if everyone is selling and has sold? Where did all of this "sold" silver go to? Again, I dare anyone to come up with a logical answer to this.

We are also seeing the same thing in gold. It is trading in backwardation ($7 plus) in London and with substantial premiums in India and throughout Asia. If the masses are dumping gold then supply should be plentiful, how can physical tightness exist or premiums over the paper price exist if recently sold gold is falling out of dump trucks on their way to refineries? Any logical answers for this? The gold bashers say "see, the price is down, there is your proof". Do Armstrong and crew deny that the only thing necessary to sell a COMEX gold or silver contract short is the ability to post margin? Do they deny that "money" (margin) can be and is created for free ? And then used to "water down" the futures in the same manner as a company over issues stock or a country over issues money supply?

There is a very real distinction between paper gold and physical gold, this will soon become apparent. The difference is physical in your own control is no one else’s liability. Paper gold on the other hand is the liability of the issuer of the contract. Currently, COMEX has a whopping 11.7 tons left of deliverable gold left. JP Morgan claims to have less than four tons, these are the lowest numbers I can ever remember. To put it in perspective, 11.7 tons of gold is worth less than $400 million dollars. The COMEX can now be broken and exposed with petty cash! As sure as the Sun will rise tomorrow, there will eventually be a "call" on real gold. Not only on COMEX gold but ALL paper gold …any call will not be met because the gold does not exist to meet the call. There are now more than 100 paper ounces of gold sold for every one ounce of real gold that exists to deliver. If there were 100 fake shares of IBM trading and watering down every one real share in existence, the price of IBM stock would be trading in the low single digits! The fake shares would alter perception but not the reality of what the company is worth as an ongoing concern.

Another area to touch on is the "threat" of the Fed raising interest rates. I view a rate hike as ONLY a threat at this point and will get into that shortly. Looking back, the Fed has floated the idea of rate normalization ever since early 2010. It was always six months out …and continually extended. But this time they really mean it? The consensus is now for a rate hike in September. I can only say one thing to Janet Yellen and the gang, I DARE YOU! In my opinion, if the Fed were to raise rates we might only have a functioning financial system for about 48 hours, I cannot see more than a week or two at the most.

Why is this you ask? Let’s count the ways … First, global trade is already imploding. China is entering a margin call scenario on many fronts. An already strong dollar is pressuring an over indebted world that owes in dollars. Internally, the U.S. is missing on many cylinders, retail sales and housing turnover already weak will become disastrous. Reported economic numbers are barely treading water even with bogus assumptions and accounting. Tightening credit will also have a negative effect on the banking system with razor thin margins and even more so in the derivatives complex. Higher rates on their own will create margin calls, not to mention investors scrambling for the door in fear of even more rate hikes. Panic begets panic in other words.

The way I see it, there is a very real probability the Fed not only does not raise rates in September, a very real chance exists for QE4 to be announced and implemented in a panic. It should be added that the possibility of forced U.S. Treasury sales by China is a distinct possibility. They may be forced to do this to shore up their panicky markets. Who will be the buyer? Yes of course, the Fed and ONLY the Fed! It is my belief the Fed is about to be tested beyond breaking not only as lender of last resort but also "buyer of only resort" when it comes to the Treasury market. Liquidity is already quite tight world wide, can the Fed really exacerbate the situation by raising rates? Is any economy anywhere in the world strong enough to bare higher rates? Any financial system solid enough? I DARE THEM to raise rates …I bet they will instead be forced to do the opposite and pump unprecedented new liquidity!

Standing watch,

Bill Holter
Holter-Sinclair collaboration

DESTRUCTION OF MIDDLE CLASS CONTINUES




by KURT NIMMO | INFOWARS.COM | JULY 31, 2015
Fed continues to hold out false hope economy will turn around
Two week ago Janet Yellen, the current boss of the Federal Reserve, said the American worker would see an uptick in wages.

“Wage increases are still running at a low level, but there have been some tentative signs that wage growth is picking up,” Yellen said. “We’ve seen an increase in the growth rate of the Employment Cost Index and a mild uptick in the growth of average hourly earnings.”

Yellen’s prediction was trashed on Friday when the Labor Department released figures on wages and salaries in the second quarter. The numbers show a scant 0.2 percent increase in wages, the smallest since records began in 1982. The dismal number followed a 0.7 percent increase in the first quarter.

Zero Hedge says this should not be surprising considering the fact the United States was converted into part-time worker and minimum wage service sector society.

The globalists have worked long and hard to transfer decent, relatively high paying jobs to third world hellholes where people work 12 hours a day for a dollar an hour or less. This has resulted in a massive and unprecedented concentration of wealth by large transnational corporations and the destruction of a middle class in America.

The government has facilitated the gutting of the middle class by imposing a blizzard of rules and regulations on business which in turn encourages it to move operations overseas. Enabling by Congress is quite natural considering it is owned by Wall Street, corporations and large banks.

Globalist Imposed Serfdom

The Federal Reserve’s pollyannaish predictions are offset by stark economic facts largely ignored by the corporate media.

In addition to the fact the average American family is worth 36 percent less than it was a decade ago, nearly half are now experiencing financial stress. 76 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and 36 percent do not have a single penny saved for retirement..

For more distressing statistics, see 30 Facts That Prove The American Middle-Class Is Being Destroyed.

According to David Boyle of the New Economics Foundation, this situation will result in a tiny monied elite lording over a sprawling class of serfs within 30 years.

“The place where this is heading is a strange society with a tiny elite and a long struggling, straggling line which is the rest of us, a new proletariat,” Boyle writes.

The Federal Reserve plays a key role in the plan to destroy the middle class and usher in a new serfdom.

As Ron Paul has noted, the privately held banker cartel masquerading as a federal agency “is very biased against the middle class.”

“It’s the policy of the fed, the destruction of money, the intervention. It’s a system that is very biased against the middle class. It’s been well known that if you destroy a currency, there is a natural transfer of wealth from the middle class to the very wealthy,” Paul said in 2012 when he ran for president.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

THE WAR ON CASH: WHY NOW?


Eradication of cash only benefits governments and central banks


by CHARLES HUGH SMITH | MISES.ORG | JULY 29, 2015

You’ve probably read that there is a “war on cash” being waged on various fronts around the world.

What exactly does a “war on cash” mean?

It means governments are limiting the use of cash and a variety of official-mouthpiece economists are calling for the outright abolition of cash. Authorities are both restricting the amount of cash that can be withdrawn from banks, and limiting what can be purchased with cash.

These limits are broadly called “capital controls.”

Why Now?

Before we get to that, let’s distinguish between physical cash — currency and coins in your possession — and digital cash in the bank. The difference is self-evident: cash in hand cannot be confiscated by a “bail-in” (i.e., officially sanctioned theft) in which the government or bank expropriates a percentage of cash deposited in the bank. Cash in hand cannot be chipped away by negative interest rates or fees.

Cash in the bank cannot be withdrawn in a financial emergency that shutters the banks (i.e., a bank holiday).

When pundits suggest cash is “obsolete,” they mean physical paper money and coins, not cash in a bank. Cash in the bank is perfectly fine with the government and its well-paid yes-men (paging Mr. Rogoff and Mr. Buiter) because this cash can be expropriated by either “bail-ins” or by negative interest rates.

Inflation and Negative Interest Rates

Mr. Buiter, for example, recently opined that the spot of bother in 2008–09 (the Global Financial Meltdown) could have been avoided if banks had only charged a 6 percent negative interest rate on cash: in effect, taking 6 percent of the depositor’s cash to force everyone to spend what cash they might have.

Both cash in hand and cash in the bank are subject to one favored method of expropriation, inflation. Inflation — the single most cherished goal of every central bank — steals purchasing power from physical cash and digital cash alike. Inflation punishes holders of cash and benefits those with debt, as debt becomes cheaper to service.

The beneficial effect of inflation on debt has been in play for decades, so it can’t be the cause of governments’ recent interest in eliminating physical cash.

So now we return to the question: Why are governments suddenly declaring war on physical cash, the oldest officially issued form of money?

Why They Hate Cash in Hand

The first reason: physical cash has the potential to evade both taxes as well as officially sanctioned theft via bail-ins and negative interest rates. In short, physical cash is extremely difficult for governments to steal.

Some of you may find the word theft harsh or even offensive. But we must differentiate between taxes — which are levied to pay for the state’s programs that in principle benefit all citizens — and bail-ins, i.e., the taking of depositors’ cash to bail out banks that became insolvent through the actions of the banks’ management, not the actions of depositors.

Bail-ins are theft, pure and simple. Since the government enforces the taking, it is officially sanctioned theft, but theft nonetheless.

Negative interest rates are another form of officially sanctioned theft. In a world without the financial repression of zero-interest rates (ZIRP — central banks’ most beloved policy), lenders would charge borrowers enough interest to pay depositors for the use of their cash and earn the lender a profit.

If borrowers are paying interest, negative interest rates are theft, pure and simple.

Why are governments suddenly so keen to ban physical cash? The answer appears to be that the banks and government authorities are anticipating bail-ins, steeply negative interest rates and hefty fees on cash, and they want to close any opening regular depositors might have to escape these forms of officially sanctioned theft. The escape mechanism from bail-ins and fees on cash deposits is physical cash, and hence the sudden flurry of calls to eliminate cash as a relic of a bygone age — that is, an age when commoners had some way to safeguard their money from bail-ins and bankers’ control.

Forcing Those With Cash To Spend or Gamble Their Cash

Negative interest rates (and fees on cash, which are equivalently punitive to savers) raise another question: why are governments suddenly obsessed with forcing owners of cash to either spend it or gamble it in the financial-market casinos?

The conventional answer voiced by Mr. Buiter is that recession and credit contraction result from households and enterprises hoarding cash instead of spending it. The solution to recession is thus to force all those stingy cash hoarders to spend their money.

There are three enormous flaws in this thinking.

One is that households and businesses have cash to hoard. The reality is the bottom 90 percent of households have less income now than they did fifteen years ago, which means their spending has declined not from hoarding but from declining income.



While corporate America has basked in the glory of sharply rising profits, small business has not prospered in the same fashion. Indeed, by some measures, small business has been in a six-year recession.


The bottom 90 percent has less income and faces higher living expenses, so only the top slice of households has any substantial cash. This top slice may see few safe opportunities to invest their savings, so they choose to keep their savings in cash rather than gamble it in a rigged casino (i.e., the stock market).

The second flaw is that hoarding cash is the only rational, prudent response in an era of financial repression and economic insecurity. What central banks are demanding — that we spend every penny of our earnings rather than save some for investments we control or emergencies — is counter to our best interests.

A War on Cash Is a War on Capital

This leads to the third flaw: capital — which begins its life as savings — is the foundation of capitalism. If you attack savings as a scourge, you are attacking capitalism and upward mobility, for only those who save capital can invest it to build wealth. By attacking cash, the central banks and governments are attacking capital and upward mobility.

Those who already own the majority of productive assets are able to borrow essentially unlimited sums at near-zero interest rates, which they can use to buy more productive assets. Everyone else — the bottom 99.5 percent — is reduced to consumer-serfdom: you are not supposed to accumulate productive capital, you are supposed to spend every penny you earn on interest payments, goods, and services.

This inversion of capitalism dooms an economy to all the ills we are experiencing in abundance: rising income inequality, reduced opportunities for entrepreneurship, rising debt burdens, and a short-term perspective that voids the longer-term planning required to build sustainable productivity and wealth.

Physical Cash: Only $1.36 Trillion

According to the Federal Reserve, total outstanding physical cash amounts to $1.36 trillion.

Given that a substantial amount of this cash is held overseas, physical cash is a tiny part of the domestic economy and the nation’s total assets. For context: the US economy is $17.5 trillion, total financial assets of households and nonprofit organizations total $68 trillion, base money is around $4 trillion, and total money (currency in circulation and demand deposits) is over $10 trillion (source).

Given the relatively modest quantity of physical cash, claims that eliminating it will boost the economy ring hollow.

Following the principle of cui bono — to whose benefit? — let’s ask: What are the benefits of eliminating physical cash to banks and the government?

Benefits To Banks and the Government of Eliminating Physical Cash

The benefits to banks and governments by eliminating cash are self-evident:

1. Every financial transaction can be taxed.
2. Every financial transaction can be charged a fee.
3. Bank runs are eliminated.

In fractional reserve systems such as ours, banks are only required to hold a fraction of their assets in cash. Thus a bank might only have 1 percent of its assets in cash. If customers fear the bank might be insolvent, they crowd the bank and demand their deposits in physical cash. The bank quickly runs out of physical cash and closes its doors, further fueling a panic.

The federal government began insuring deposits after the Great Depression triggered the collapse of hundreds of banks, and that guarantee limited bank runs, as depositors no longer needed to fear a bank closing would mean their money on deposit was lost.

But since people could conceivably sense a disturbance in the Financial Force and decide to turn digital cash into physical cash as a precaution, eliminating physical cash also eliminates the possibility of bank runs, as there will be no form of cash that isn’t controlled by banks.

So, when the dust has settled who ultimately benefits by this war on cash, government and the central banks, pure and simple.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Truth, Justice, And (No Longer) The American Way!





Dear CIGAs,

While taking a short vacation last week, this article was intended to be my first one upon returning. That plan was squashed a week ago with the brutal "interventions" upon gold and silver during the illiquid overnight hours early Sunday morning. Let me add to what I wrote last Friday by saying the phrase "TIME AND SALES"! For anyone who does not know what this means, any trade on any market anywhere in the world has a "paper trail". It is called a "time and sales report". Very simply, it reports who traded what, in what amounts and to whom. Once the broker is identified, then regulators can query as to who the customer was for whatever trade in question. If they want to know "whodunit", it’s quite simple.

This is not rocket science. It is not hocus pocus or even anything "special". Time and sales have been around since the dawn of trading. Even prior to computers, handwritten records were taken to record who traded what, when and in what quantities. Should the SEC, NYSE, CFTC or anyone else want to know who is doing what, it takes five seconds or less to find out.. (This includes the Chinese who have outlawed selling under the penalty of firing squad!!! So who is doing all the selling?) In my opinion, the regulators should be strung up on lampposts for their lack of doing the jobs they are being paid public tax money to do. They have turned a blind eye, presumably because they are told or believe it is for "the greater good"? …the greater good… sounds like something out of Russia or China back in the day when I was a youngster in the 1960′s – or even something in the history books we read as kids in school regarding Nazi Germany.

Do you remember this time period? I still remember this time frame very well and pine for it every day. Back in those days we couldn’t wait to get home from school so we could get to play baseball, football, basketball or even hike it to the nearest pond in winter time to play some pickup hockey. Back in those days our parents knew where we were by where our bicycle was.



There were no cell phones and if we needed to make a call from a public place, we would pull the dime out of our pocket our parents always insisted we have.



We could sell (or even buy) lemonade without a health department license and had no fear of arrest – we even gave the police free samples. We walked a half mile or even a full mile to get to school (but not uphill both ways nor always in the snow). We did this with friends or if we were late we did it alone. Back then this was the norm. Today, parents are regularly being arrested for allowing a child to go two blocks away on their own… not to mention the nine-year-olds for selling lemonade!!!
After playing, we’d all head home for dinner and get to watch some TV. Remember? " TV" where no cussing was allowed. Most shows had a "theme" or an underlying lesson that taught kids "good always triumphed over evil". We watched Batman, Superman and others. Western’s were in vogue and there was always a lesson to be learned from watching The Rifleman or Gunsmoke. I have said several times over the years when writing on this subject, "Leave it to Beaver cannot even be found on syndicated reruns anymore". My point is, the "wholesome" world we grew up in is so far gone, current history books don’t even mention it as a footnote!

Think about where we are today. Where handshakes used to suffice, contracts are now drawn up to be purposely broken. More than half of our population "takes" while less than half the population supports this spending habit. Worse, it is the "supporters" who are vilified today because they don’t "give enough." We used to have free speech as outlined in The Constitution, now there is only free speech for the "special" groups. Anyone who speaks against any of these very special groups is branded a racist, sexist, homophobe, or religious persecutor (except of course, unless you’re speaking against Christians – that’s OK… even seemingly encouraged). Or worst of all, you could be labeled a "CONSERVATIVE!"

Today it is OK to burn the American flag, outlaw the quaint historical Confederate flag …while flying the flag of any other nation (here in Texas the favorite to fly is that of Mexico) on our own sovereign soil. I noticed yesterday while in a very long U.S. Customs line upon returning home, how much longer, formal and probably difficult it was rather than just swimming across the river! Many states no longer require a voter registration card to vote or even a driver’s license, so the motto "vote early and often" applies. Citizens who pay for "old" health insurance now get "charged" extra on their taxes, while those who can’t afford insurance get it for free… along with cellphones, housing, food, stipends for each child etc. …and anyone who speaks out about it is branded a "crazy." Please let me remind you, this country was originally formed because of oppression and the practice of "taxation without representation." Have we pretty much gone full circle?

You could not have told me even 20 years ago we would be where we are today. We have a system where the president makes up laws as he goes along, the Supreme Court rubber stamps his illusions and Congress has been relegated to irrelevance. Speaking of Congress, didn’t "We the People" just throw the bums out? Didn’t the Republicans run on a ticket that said they would overturn all sorts of ridiculous (and if you ask me) tyrannical laws? Have they overturned anything? No, they just passed the fast track trade bill which will gut our economy even further …while the Democrats voted against it …? Forget about the giant sucking sound Ross Perot spoke of, we will soon hear the wheezing and gurgling last breaths of a nation, in my sad opinion. In the interest of not losing you as a reader, I could go on and on about subjects like guns, GMO’s, baby parts for sale or whatever but I think you get the point and I’ll stop here.

From an economic and financial standpoint, it is funny that while away I read "The Scarlet Woman of Wall Street." This was the story of Daniel Drew, Vanderbilt, Fisk, Gould and Erie railroad during the mid to late 1800′s. There were no financial laws back then that prevented anything with the exception of bribery which was impossible to prove unless the giver and receivers were both stupid beyond their years. Then all sorts of laws were written and the playing field was somewhat leveled (as much as it could have been). Now, there are so many laws on the books, it is impossible not to break one of them. The thing is, financial institutions do not care. Since no one goes to jail (except for a couple of hedge fund managers), it is more profitable to illegally and blatantly swipe $10 billion because you know your fine will only be $100 million. If you think about it, management in today’s world could probably be held accountable in today’s civil legal system for NOT BREAKING THE LAW and leaving money on the table. Why play fair when everything is rigged, while you can steal and pay only 1% or less of what you made? It is almost management’s "fiduciary duty" to lie, cheat and steal in order to not fall behind!

To wrap this piece up I would like to say this, if you don’t believe or cannot see that all markets are rigged all of the time I’m sorry. If I offended anyone for any reason, again I’m sorry. If you believe today is "normal" in any way, I am sorry. Actually, let me clarify this: I am not sorry, but I am sorry you don’t understand the point I am trying to get across and sorry you cannot see it. Unfortunately, the American people have been slow boiled into believing our lives are normal and things are "just the way they are." We have been lulled into believing we are an "exceptional" people and "deserve" the finer things in life. What we have forgotten is that hard work, hard money, and innovation is what made this country great to begin with. Many today don’t remember or never knew this very basic tenet…but ignorance does not change the fact. Truth and justice (and for the most part "business") was what America was once all about. Please do not tell me I am na├»ve. I am not. Please do not tell me this is not being done according to a plan. It is. There is zero percent probability the policies in place today are by mistake. They are not by mistake and no one could be so stupid which leaves only one option …"purposeful" is the operative word.

The United States was the shining light of the world in so many ways. We are no longer. We were built as a Republic that followed The Constitution which was written mainly by God fearing Christians. We have evolved into a perverted, apologetic, weak and slovenly society with little to no values regarding anything from our ethics, morals, constitutions, or anything else. We believe we deserve the best and should work the least (if at all). It’s the American WAY!!! Unfortunately, what I write here is now considered by the majority as either anti-government or unpatriotic. It is neither. In fact, all I advocate is following The Constitution. You know, that "thing" our politicians "swear to God to uphold" (did you catch that? They swear to God! Not to Walt Disney, Facebook or even the almighty Google!) while raising their right hand with their left hand on The Bible? I am a true patriot in a world where burning the flag, shredding The Constitution and spitting on The Bible is considered sane and normal. I am here to remind you it certainly is not! I am not writing this to convert the perverts, only to let those who are still sane know that yes, you are still sane. That said, in today’s ludicrous world, what I write here can be used as proof of my "insanity" and my lack of "patriotism." You decide.

I guess I would sum it all up by twisting the words of Superman, "Truth, Justice and (is no longer) The American Way!

Standing watch (with tears in my eyes),

Bill Holter
Holter -Sinclair collaboration
Comments welcome!

Monday, July 27, 2015

How To Fix America



Meet The Kagans: Seeking War To The End Of The World




Submitted by Robert Parry, via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

If the neoconservatives have their way again, US ground troops will reoccupy Iraq, the US military will take out Syria’s secular government (likely helping Al Qaeda and the Islamic State take over), and the US Congress will not only kill the Iran nuclear deal but follow that with a massive increase in military spending.

Like spraying lighter fluid on a roaring barbecue, the neocons also want a military escalation in Ukraine to burn the ethnic Russians out of the east, and the neocons dream of spreading the blaze to Moscow with the goal of forcing Russian President Vladimir Putin from the Kremlin. In other words, more and more fires of Imperial “regime change” abroad even as the last embers of the American Republic die at home.

Much of this “strategy” is personified by a single Washington power couple: arch-neocon Robert Kagan, a co-founder of the Project for the New American Century and an early advocate of the Iraq War, and his wife, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who engineered last year’s coup in Ukraine that started a nasty civil war and created a confrontation between nuclear-armed United States and Russia.

Kagan, who cut his teeth as a propaganda specialist in support of the Reagan administration’s brutal Central American policies in the 1980s, is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a contributing columnist to The Washington Post’s neocon-dominated opinion pages.

On Friday, Kagan’s column baited the Republican Party to do more than just object to President Barack Obama’s Iranian nuclear deal. Kagan called for an all-out commitment to neoconservative goals, including military escalations in the Middle East, belligerence toward Russia and casting aside fiscal discipline in favor of funneling tens of billions of new dollars to the Pentagon.

Kagan also showed how the neocons’ world view remains the conventional wisdom of Official Washington despite their disastrous Iraq War. The neocon narrative gets repeated over and over in the mainstream media no matter how delusional it is.

For instance, a sane person might trace the origins of the bloodthirsty Islamic State back to President George W. Bush’s neocon-inspired Iraq War when this hyper-violent Sunni movement began as “Al Qaeda in Iraq” blowing up Shiite mosques and instigating sectarian bloodshed. It later expanded into Syria where Sunni militants were seeking the ouster of a secular regime led by Alawites, a Shiite offshoot. Though changing its name to the Islamic State, the movement continued with its trademark brutality.

But Kagan doesn’t acknowledge that he and his fellow neocons bear any responsibility for this head-chopping phenomenon. In his neocon narrative, the Islamic State gets blamed on Iran and Syria, even though those governments are leading much of the resistance to the Islamic State and its former colleagues in Al Qaeda, which in Syria backs a separate terrorist organization, the Nusra Front.

But here is how Kagan explains the situation to the Smart People of Official Washington:

Critics of the recent nuclear deal struck between Iran and the United States are entirely right to point out the serious challenge that will now be posed by the Islamic republic. It is an aspiring hegemon in an important region of the world.

It is deeply engaged in a region-wide war that encompasses Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, the Gulf States and the Palestinian territories. It subsidizes the murderous but collapsing regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and therefore bears primary responsibility for the growing strength of the Islamic State and other radical jihadist forces in that country and in neighboring Iraq, where it is simultaneously expanding its influence and inflaming sectarian violence.
The Real Hegemon

While ranting about “Iranian hegemony,” Kagan called for direct military intervention by the world’s true hegemonic power, the United States. He wants the US military to weigh in against Iran on the side of two far more militarily advanced regional powers, Israel and Saudi Arabia, whose combined weapons spending dwarfs Iran’s and includes – with Israel – a sophisticated nuclear arsenal.

Yet reality has never had much relationship to neocon ideology. Kagan continued:

Any serious strategy aimed at resisting Iranian hegemony has also required confronting Iran on the several fronts of the Middle East battlefield. In Syria, it has required a determined policy to remove Assad by force, using US air power to provide cover for civilians and create a safe zone for Syrians willing to fight.

In Iraq, it has required using American forces to push back and destroy the forces of the Islamic State so that we would not have to rely, de facto, on Iranian power to do the job. Overall, it has required a greater US military commitment to the region, a reversal of both the perceived and the real withdrawal of American power.

And therefore it has required a reversal of the downward trend in US defense spending, especially the undoing of the sequestration of defense funds, which has made it harder for the military even to think about addressing these challenges, should it be called upon to do so. So the question for Republicans who are rightly warning of the danger posed by Iran is: What have they done to make it possible for the United States to begin to have any strategy for responding?
In Kagan’s call for war and more war, we’re seeing, again, the consequence of failing to hold neocons accountable after they pushed the country into the illegal and catastrophic Iraq War by selling lies about weapons of mass destruction and telling tales about how easy it would be.

Instead of facing a purge that should have followed the Iraq calamity, the neocons consolidated their power, holding onto key jobs in US foreign policy, ensconcing themselves in influential think tanks, and remaining the go-to experts for mainstream media coverage. Being wrong about Iraq has almost become a badge of honor in the upside-down world of Official Washington.

But we need to unpack the truckload of sophistry that Kagan is peddling. First, it is simply crazy to talk about “Iranian hegemony.” That was part of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rhetoric before the US Congress on March 3 about Iran “gobbling up” nations – and it has now become a neocon-driven litany, but it is no more real just because it gets repeated endlessly.

For instance, take the Iraq case. It has a Shiite-led government not because Iran invaded Iraq, but because the United States did. After the US military ousted Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein, the United States stood up a new government dominated by Shiites who, in turn, sought friendly relations with their co-religionists in Iran, which is entirely understandable and represents no aggression by Iran. Then, after the Islamic State’s dramatic military gains across Iraq last summer, the Iraqi government turned to Iran for military assistance, also no surprise.

Back to Iraq

However, leaving aside Kagan’s delusional hyperbole about Iran, look at what he’s proposing. He wants to return a sizable US occupation force to Iraq, apparently caring little about the US soldiers who were rotated multiple times into the war zone where almost 4,500 died (along with hundreds of thousands of Iraqis). Having promoted Iraq War I and having paid no price, Kagan now wants to give us Iraq War II.

But that’s not enough. Kagan wants the US military to intervene to make sure the secular government of Syria is overthrown, even though the almost certain winners would be Sunni extremists from the Islamic State or Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front. Such a victory could lead to genocides against Syria’s Christians, Alawites, Shiites and other minorities. At that point, there would be tremendous pressure for a full-scale US invasion and occupation of Syria, too.

That may be why Kagan wants to throw tens of billions of dollar more into the military-industrial complex, although the true price tag for Kagan’s new wars would likely run into the trillions of dollars. Yet, Kagan still isn’t satisfied. He wants even more military spending to confront “growing Chinese power, an aggressive Russia and an increasingly hegemonic Iran.”

In his conclusion, Kagan mocks the Republicans for not backing up their tough talk: “So, yes, by all means, rail about the [Iran] deal. We all look forward to the hours of floor speeches and campaign speeches that lie ahead. But it will be hard to take Republican criticisms seriously unless they start doing the things that are in their power to do to begin to address the challenge.”

While it’s true that Kagan is now “just” a neocon ideologue – albeit one with important platforms to present his views – his wife Assistant Secretary of State Nuland shares his foreign policy views and even edits many of his articles. As she told The New York Times last year, “nothing goes out of the house that I don’t think is worthy of his talents. Let’s put it that way.” [See “Obama’s True Foreign Policy ‘Weakness.’”]

But Nuland is a foreign policy force of her own, considered by some in Washington to be the up-and-coming “star” at the State Department. By organizing the “regime change” in Ukraine – with the violent overthrow of democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 – Nuland also earned her spurs as an accomplished neocon.

Nuland has even outdone her husband, who may get “credit” for the Iraq War and the resulting chaos, but Nuland did him one better, instigating Cold War II and reviving hostilities between nuclear-armed Russia and the United States. After all, that’s where the really big money will go – toward modernizing nuclear arsenals and ordering top-of-the-line strategic weaponry.

A Family Business

There’s also a family-business aspect to these wars and confrontations, since the Kagans collectively serve not just to start conflicts but to profit from grateful military contractors who kick back a share of the money to the think tanks that employ the Kagans.

For instance, Robert’s brother Frederick works at the American Enterprise Institute, which has long benefited from the largesse of the Military-Industrial Complex, and his wife Kimberly runs her own think tank called the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

According to ISW’s annual reports, its original supporters were mostly right-wing foundations, such as the Smith-Richardson Foundation and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, but it was later backed by a host of national security contractors, including major ones like General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and CACI, as well as lesser-known firms such as DynCorp International, which provided training for Afghan police, and Palantir, a technology company founded with the backing of the CIA’s venture-capital arm, In-Q-Tel. Palantir supplied software to US military intelligence in Afghanistan.

Since its founding in 2007, ISW has focused mostly on wars in the Middle East, especially Iraq and Afghanistan, including closely cooperating with Gen. David Petraeus when he commanded US forces in those countries. However, more recently, ISW has begun reporting extensively on the civil war in Ukraine. [See “Neocons Guided Petraeus on Afghan War.”]

So, to understand the enduring influence of the neocons – and the Kagan clan, in particular – you have to appreciate the money connections between the business of war and the business of selling war. When the military contractors do well, the think tanks that advocate for heightened global tensions do well, too.

And, it doesn’t hurt to have friends and family inside the government making sure that policymakers do their part to give war a chance — and to give peace the old heave-ho.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The American Nightmare: The Tyranny of the Criminal Justice System




By John W. Whitehead
July 21, 2015

How can the life of such a man
Be in the palm of some fool’s hand?
To see him obviously framed
Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land
Where justice is a game.—Bob Dylan, “Hurricane”

Justice in America is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Just ask Jeffrey Deskovic, who spent 16 years in prison for a rape and murder he did not commit. Despite the fact that Deskovic’s DNA did not match what was found at the murder scene, he was singled out by police as a suspect because he wept at the victim’s funeral (he was 16 years old at the time), then badgered over the course of two months into confessing his guilt. He was eventually paid $6.5 million in reparation.

James Bain spent 35 years in prison for the kidnapping and rape of a 9-year-old boy, but he too was innocent of the crime. Despite the fact that the prosecutor’s case was flimsy—it hinged on the similarity of Bain’s first name to the rapist’s, Bain’s ownership of a red motorcycle, and a misidentification of Bain in a lineup by a hysterical 9-year-old boy—Bain was sentenced to life in prison. He was finally freed after DNA testing proved his innocence, and was paid $1.7 million.

Mark Weiner got off relatively easy when you compare his experience to the thousands of individuals who are spending lifetimes behind bars for crimes they did not commit.

Weiner was wrongfully arrested, convicted, and jailed for more than two years for a crime he too did not commit. In his case, a young woman claimed Weiner had abducted her, knocked her out and then sent taunting text messages to her boyfriend about his plans to rape her. Despite the fact that cell phone signals, eyewitness accounts and expert testimony indicated the young woman had fabricated the entire incident, the prosecutor and judge repeatedly rejected any evidence contradicting the woman’s far-fetched account, sentencing Weiner to eight more years in jail. Weiner was only released after his accuser was caught selling cocaine to undercover cops.

In the meantime, Weiner lost his job, his home, and his savings, and time with his wife and young son. As Slate reporter journalist Dahlia Lithwick warned, “If anyone suggests that the fact that Mark Weiner was released this week means ‘the system works,’ I fear that I will have to punch him in the neck. Because at every single turn, the system that should have worked to consider proof of Weiner’s innocence failed him.”

The system that should have worked didn’t, because the system is broken, almost beyond repair.

In courtroom thrillers like 12 Angry Men and To Kill a Mockingbird, justice is served in the end because someone—whether it’s Juror #8 or Atticus Finch—chooses to stand on principle and challenge wrongdoing, and truth wins.

Unfortunately, in the real world, justice is harder to come by, fairness is almost unheard of, and truth rarely wins.

On paper, you may be innocent until proven guilty, but in actuality, you’ve already been tried, found guilty and convicted by police officers, prosecutors and judges long before you ever appear in a courtroom.

Chronic injustice has turned the American dream into a nightmare.

At every step along the way, whether it’s encounters with the police, dealings with prosecutors, hearings in court before judges and juries, or jail terms in one of the nation’s many prisons, the system is riddled with corruption, abuse and an appalling disregard for the rights of the citizenry.

Due process rights afforded to a person accused of a crime—the right to remain silent, the right to be informed of the charges against you, the right to representation by counsel, the right to a fair trial, the right to a speedy trial, the right to prove your innocence with witnesses and evidence, the right to a reasonable bail, the right to not languish in jail before being tried, the right to confront your accusers, etc.—mean nothing when the government is allowed to sidestep those safeguards against abuse whenever convenient.

It’s telling that while President Obama said all the right things about the broken state of our criminal justice system—that we jail too many Americans for nonviolent crimes (we make up 5 percent of the world’s population, but our prison population constitutes nearly 25% of the world’s prisoners), that we spend more money on incarceration than any other nation ($80 billion a year), that we sentence people for longer jail terms than their crimes merit, that our criminal justice system is far from color-blind, that the nation’s school-to-prison pipeline is contributing to overcrowded jails, and that we need to focus on rehabilitation of criminals rather than retribution—he failed to own up to the government’s major role in contributing to this injustice in America.

Indeed, while Obama placed the responsibility for reform squarely in the hands of prosecutors, judges and police, he failed to acknowledge that they bear the burden of our failed justice system, along with the legislatures and corporations who have worked with them to create an environment that is hostile to the rights of the accused.

In such a climate, we are all the accused, the guilty and the suspect.

As I document in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we’re operating in a new paradigm where the citizenry are presumed guilty and treated as suspects, our movements tracked, our communications monitored, our property seized and searched, our bodily integrity disregarded, and our inalienable rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” rendered insignificant when measured against the government’s priorities.

Every American is now in jeopardy of being targeted and punished for a crime he did not commit thanks to an overabundance of arcane laws. Making matters worse, by allowing government agents to operate above the law, immune from wrongdoing, we have created a situation in which the law is one-sided and top-down, used as a hammer to oppress the populace, while useless in protecting us against government abuse.

Add to the mix a profit-driven system of incarceration in which state and federal governments agree to keep the jails full in exchange for having private corporations run the prisons, and you will find the only word to describe such a state of abject corruption is “evil.”

How else do you explain a system that allows police officers to shoot first and ask questions later, without any real consequences for their misdeeds? Despite the initial outcry over the shootings of unarmed individuals in Ferguson and Baltimore, the pace of police shootings has yet to slow. In fact, close to 400 people were shot and killed by police nationwide in the first half of 2015, almost two shootings a day. Those are just the shootings that were tracked. Of those killed, almost 1 in 6 were either unarmed or carried a toy gun.

For those who survive an encounter with the police only to end up on the inside of a jail cell, waiting for a “fair and speedy trial,” it’s often a long wait. Consider that 60 percent of the people in the nation’s jails have yet to be convicted of a crime. There are 2.3 million people in jails or prisons in America. Those who can’t afford bail, “some of them innocent, most of them nonviolent and a vast majority of them impoverished,” will spend about four months in jail before they even get a trial.

Not even that promised “day in court” is a guarantee that justice will be served.

As Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals points out, there are an endless number of factors that can render an innocent man or woman a criminal and caged for life: unreliable eyewitnesses, fallible forensic evidence, flawed memories, coerced confessions, harsh interrogation tactics, uninformed jurors, prosecutorial misconduct, falsified evidence, and overly harsh sentences, to name just a few.

In early 2015, the Justice Department and FBI “formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period…. The admissions mark a watershed in one of the country’s largest forensic scandals, highlighting the failure of the nation’s courts for decades to keep bogus scientific information from juries, legal analysts said.”

“How do rogue forensic scientists and other bad cops thrive in our criminal justice system?” asks Judge Kozinski. “The simple answer is that some prosecutors turn a blind eye to such misconduct because they’re more interested in gaining a conviction than achieving a just result.”

The power of prosecutors is not to be underestimated.

Increasingly, when we talk about innocent people being jailed for crimes they did not commit, the prosecutor plays a critical role in bringing about that injustice. As The Washington Post reports, “Prosecutors win 95 percent of their cases, 90 percent of them without ever having to go to trial…. Are American prosecutors that much better? No… it is because of the plea bargain, a system of bullying and intimidation by government lawyers for which they ‘would be disbarred in most other serious countries….’”

This phenomenon of innocent people pleading guilty makes a mockery of everything the criminal justice system is supposed to stand for: fairness, equality and justice. As Judge Jed S. Rakoff concludes, “our criminal justice system is almost exclusively a system of plea bargaining, negotiated behind closed doors and with no judicial oversight. The outcome is very largely determined by the prosecutor alone.”

It’s estimated that between 2 and 8 percent of convicted felons who have agreed to a prosecutor’s plea bargain (remember, there are 2.3 million prisoners in America) are in prison for crimes they did not commit.

Clearly, the Coalition for Public Safety was right when it concluded, “You don’t need to be a criminal to have your life destroyed by the U.S. criminal justice system.”

It wasn’t always this way. As Judge Rakoff recounts, the Founding Fathers envisioned a criminal justice system in which the critical element “was the jury trial, which served not only as a truth-seeking mechanism and a means of achieving fairness, but also as a shield against tyranny.”

That shield against tyranny has long since been shattered, leaving Americans vulnerable to the cruelties, vanities, errors, ambitions and greed of the government and its partners in crime.

There is not enough money in the world to make reparation to those whose lives have been disrupted by wrongful convictions.

Over the past quarter century, more than 1500 Americans have been released from prison after being cleared of crimes they did not commit. These are the fortunate ones. For every exonerated convict who is able to prove his innocence after 10, 20 or 30 years behind bars, Judge Kozinski estimates there may be dozens who are innocent but cannot prove it, lacking access to lawyers, evidence, money and avenues of appeal.

For those who have yet to fully experience the injustice of the American system of justice, it’s only a matter of time.

America no longer operates under a system of justice characterized by due process, an assumption of innocence, probable cause, and clear prohibitions on government overreach and police abuse. Instead, our courts of justice have been transformed into courts of order, advocating for the government’s interests, rather than championing the rights of the citizenry, as enshrined in the Constitution.

Without courts willing to uphold the Constitution’s provisions when government officials disregard them, and a citizenry knowledgeable enough to be outraged when those provisions are undermined, the Constitution provides little protection against the police state.

In other words, in this age of hollow justice, courts of order, and government-sanctioned tyranny, the Constitution is no safeguard against government wrongdoing such as SWAT team raids, domestic surveillance, police shootings of unarmed citizens, indefinite detentions, asset forfeitures, prosecutorial misconduct and the like.

- See more at: http://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/the_american_nightmare_the_tyranny_of_the_criminal_justice_system#sthash.povs2p3Y.dpuf

Gay Marriage Activists Take Aim At Guns




by Mick Warshaw - Jul 21, 2015
Zach Silk makes no bones about it: His side won the gay marriage fight, and now he’s looking for the next battle. Silk says he’s found exactly the right issue – gun control.

“There is a moral element to the thing that has similarities to marriage,” Silk said, before going on to detail to the New Yorker how he and his lackeys plan to co-opt the language used by gun rights advocates and pervert its meaning, just as they did with marriage verbiage.

Silk helped spearhead the successful gay marriage fight in Washington state by taking the words right out of the traditional marriage playbook and using them for gay marriage, words like love, family, and commitment. Following the Supreme Court decision last month, Silk said he saw gun control as the natural next step in his activism.

Similar to the gay marriage battle, Silk and his ilk are looking for small, piecemeal victories in the states, one state at a time, to slowly shift perception over time. Silk himself has been fighting for stricter background check regulations in Washington for several years.

The gay activists won by essentially relying on the slippery slope. There was the Supreme Court striking down anti-sodomy laws, then there was tax benefits in several states, then hate crimes legislation, then gay adoptions, all of which eventually led to gay marriage.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito warned of further damage from this phenomenon in a wide ranging interview with Bill Kristol published earlier this week, noting that the Obergefell decision wipes away clear understanding of laws generally, and sets the stage for further distortions of law to suit the views of particular justices rather than the rule of law.

“Well, the decision was based on, really, one word in the 14th Amendment. The Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment prohibits the deprivation of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. So this was all based on liberty and on a substantive protection of liberty, not a procedural protection…”

“The idea of substantive due process has been very controversial throughout the Court’s history… the New Deal Constitutional Revolution tried to either kill off substantive due process completely or relegate it to very, very minor role.”

“But it has experienced a revival in more recent years, not in the area of property rights, but in the area of some non-property individual rights, including same-sex marriage. So the jurisprudential question is what limits the definition – how do we determine what liberty in the 14th Amendment means? Liberty means different things to different people…”

“The Court’s conception, I said in this opinion and I believe to be true, is a very postmodern idea; it’s the freedom to define your understanding of the meaning of life. Your – it’s the right to self-expression. So if all of this is on the table now, where are the legal limits on it?

“If a libertarian is appointed to the Supreme Court, is it then proper for the libertarian to say, ‘Well, I think that there is a right to work less than the minimum wage? I think there is a right to work as many hours as I want without being limited by the government. I think I have the right to build whatever I want on my property irrespective the zoning laws and so forth.’

“If a socialist is appointed to the Supreme Court, can the socialist say, ‘I think that liberty and the 14th Amendment means that everyone should have a guaranteed annual income or that all education through college should be absolutely free,’ or whatever. There’s no limit…

“But the Obergefell decision… did not claim that there was a strong tradition of protecting the right to same-sex marriage, this would have been impossible to find. So… we are at sea, I think. I don’t know what the limits of substantive liberty protection under the 14th Amendment are at this point.”

Alito is correct in pointing out that the decision subverts previously understood clear meanings in the amendment, and thus weakens the position of law in every associated area – and in the discussion of equal protections, every area can be associated.

This describes exactly the tactics the Zach Silks of the world now want to employ in the gun control fight. Win small battles here, redefine a word there, and send the whole country sliding down the slippery slope to tyrannical gun laws that don’t allow for an individual’s right to defense.

“Community. Safety. Responsibility. Protecting my family.” These are the new buzzwords Silk hopes to take from the opposition and employ on behalf of the radical left, asserting that protecting a family is the responsibility of the community as a whole instead of individuals, ignoring that the community isn’t present to stop, say, a rape in a dark alley.

In his new fight, Silk is convincing the old guard of gun control to join with him and use his tactics. “We have more momentum than this issue has had in decades,” said Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “I do think you can make the strong case that this is the next big issue.”

Given the success of these tactics in completely redefining a huge portion of our culture, gun rights advocates need to take this threat seriously. This will not be a short fight, or a simple one. The radical left is re-organizing, and then they are going to come to your statehouse, and keep coming. Constant vigilance will be the price to maintain our freedoms.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

All Hail Our Banking Overlords!



Submitted by Chris Martenson

You really have to be paying attention to see what’s truly going on these days. The keepers of the system, that is the banking elites, now openly control everything -- though you'd never know that by listening to the media.

Consider this:

Eurozone backs €7bn bridging loan
Jul 16, 2105

Eurozone ministers have agreed to give Greece a €7bn (£5bn) bridging loan from an EU-wide fund to keep its finances afloat until a bailout is approved.

The loan is expected to be confirmed on Friday by all EU member states.

In another development, the European Central Bank (ECB) agreed to increase emergency funding to Greece for the first time since it was frozen in June.

The decisions were made after Greek MPs passed tough reforms as part of a eurozone bailout deal.
How generous of the finance ministers of all those EU member states to agree to a “bridge loan” that will help Greece "keep its finances afloat". This should provide the people of Greece with a bit of breathing room, right? Maybe access to their bank accounts (finally!), perhaps?

No, not at all. Here’s what the entirety of the “”loan”” will go towards instead:

The bridging loan means Greece will be able to repay debts to the ECB and IMF on Monday.
Ummmm…that “money” will not ever go anywhere near Greece.

This is all merely electronic window-dressing for entirely esoteric bookkeeping purposes. Servers will blink at one location in Europe as digital 1s and 0s are transmitted to another. The electronic balances at the ECB and the IMF will change, but not much else.

The people of Greece will see none of it. Nor will they see their bank accounts unfrozen.

This act of banker "largess" is, of course, of, by, and entirely for the bankers. It has nothing to do with Greece or its people, about whom the banker class cannot care less.

But, they hide this disdain under and increasingly thin and condescending veneer of graciousness. Take, for example, the recently-announced 'generosity' of the powers that be -- that is, the banking powers that be -- which will permit the long suffering depositors to…*cough*…deposit more money into the banks:

Greece: Banks Can Reopen ... for Deposits
Jul 17, 2015

Greek banks will reopen Monday after a three-week closure, the country's deputy finance minister says, though withdrawal restrictions will stay in place. Bank customers "can deposit cash, they can transfer money from one account to the other," but they can't withdraw money except at ATMs, the official says, and a withdrawal limit of 60 euros ($67) a day will stay in place, he said, though Greek authorities are working on a plan to allow people to roll over access to their funds so that if they don't make it to a bank machine one day, they can take out 120 euros the next day.

Yeah, depositing more money into the Greek banking system is exactly what all 12 remaining Greek idiots are clamoring to do...everybody else just wants their money back, thank-you-very-much.
Obviously, the only rational response of anybody in Europe watching this charade of theft continue would be to sell gold, right? (which has happened vigorously ever since the Greek crisis began) Because, you know, nothing says “confidence” quite like selling your gold so you can then park that money in a bank that may not let you withdraw it again.

Of course, we here at Peak Prosperity hold to the view that everything, and we mean everything, in our ””markets”” is stage-managed. And that especially includes gold. The central banks are demanding and commanding complete fealty to their story line, no exceptions tolerated. We are at that all-or-nothing moment in history when everything either works out perfectly or it all falls apart.

Savers have to be punished so debtors can be saved.

Why? Because if debtors are rescued, that makes it possible for more debts to be issued in the future..

And why is that important? Because the banking system needs ever more loans in order to survive.

Why do we slavishly feed a banking system that is rapacious, insatiable and always threatening calamity whenever it doesn’t get exactly everything it wants, when it wants it? That is a question nobody in power is willing to address.

Why not? Because there's no good reason to do it -- unless you're a bank, or one of the many proxy agents (like politicians) receiving kick-backs from the banks.

We have a banking system that feeds on the blood, sweat and tears of the public. But the public's collective output is no longer ‘enough’ to subsidize everything that central planners have promised. So with a stagnating/shrinking pie – surprise! – the group that writes the rules, the banks, has decided that they should be the ones to get as much of it as possible.

Naturally, this will not work for very long. History is replete with examples why it can’t. Just consider the root meaning of “bankrupt” which has an interesting history:

The word actually comes from Italian banca rotta, a broken bench (not a rotten one, as the false friend of Italian rotta might suggest — it’s from Latin rumpere, to break). The bench was a literal one, however: it was the usual Italian word for a money dealer’s table. In his dictionary, the great Dr Johnson retold the legend that when an Italian money trader became insolvent, his table was broken.
(Source)
To “break the banker’s table” means to smash the money lender’s physical place of business after they have taken or lost all of your wealth. It’s speaks of an act of anger by the betrayed. And that’s where the banking system finds itself again and again over time, for the exact same reasons all through history -- today being no different in anything but scale and complexity.

Conclusion
You have to read past the headlines today because they quite often say exactly the opposite of what’s actually happening. Like today’s description spinning GE’s 2Q, $1.38 billion earnings loss as a 5% rise in profits.

The bankers and financiers are badly overplaying their hands, again, and people are starting to catch on to the scam.

Real wealth is tangible things produced with tangible effort. Loans made out of thin-air 'money' require no effort and are entirely ephemeral. But if those loans are used to acquire real ownership of real assets, then something has been exchanged for nothing and one party is getting screwed.

That’s what has just happened in Greece. And expect it to happen increasingly elsewhere, as Charles Hughes Smith and I recently discussed in this week's excellent Off The Cuff podcast.

If you had asked me ten years ago if there was any chance of Greece becoming a failed state within a decade, I would have said ‘No, no chance.’ But here we are. In ten years, I suspect, we’ll be marveling over all the other failed states as the rot proceeds from the outside in. Again, Charles does a wonderful job articulating why in his recent report More Sovereign Defaults Are Coming.

There’s simply too much debt and too little cheap oil for there to be any other trajectory to this story. Boneheadedly, our leadership is so out-of-touch that their best response to this set of predicaments is to sacrifice the populace of an entire developed nation (for generations to come) just to keep the status quo stumbling along for a bit longer.

We need to all prepare for the inevitability that, as the rot proceeds, the people of Greece will not be the only casualties of the banks' attempts at self-preservation. They'll try to throw all of us under the bus before taking any losses themselves.

Friday, July 17, 2015

“The True Story of the Bilderberg Group” and What They May Be Planning Now




For over 14 years, Daniel Estulin has investigated and researched the Bilderberg Group’s far-reaching influence on business and finance, global politics, war and peace, and control of the world’s resources and its money.

His book, “The True Story of the Bilderberg Group,” was published in 2005 and is now updated in a new 2009 edition. He states that in 1954, “the most powerful men in the world met for the first time” in Oosterbeek, Netherlands, “debated the future of the world,” and decided to meet annually in secret. They called themselves the Bilderberg Group with a membership representing a who’s who of world power elites, mostly from America, Canada, and Western Europe with familiar names like David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, Bill Clinton, Gordon Brown, Angela Merkel, Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Lloyd Blankfein, George Soros, Donald Rumsfeld, Rupert Murdoch, other heads of state, influential senators, congressmen and parliamentarians, Pentagon and NATO brass, members of European royalty, selected media figures, and invited others – some quietly by some accounts like Barack Obama and many of his top officials.

Always well represented are top figures from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), IMF, World Bank, Trilateral Commission, EU, and powerful central bankers from the Federal Reserve, the ECB’s Jean-Claude Trichet, and Bank of England’s Mervyn King.

For over half a century, no agenda or discussion topics became public nor is any press coverage allowed. The few invited fourth estate attendees and their bosses are sworn to secrecy. Nonetheless, Estulin undertook “an investigative journey” that became his life’s work. He states:

“Slowly, one by one, I have penetrated the layers of secrecy surrounding the Bilderberg Group, but I could not have done this withot help of ‘conscientious objectors’ from inside, as well as outside, the Group’s membership.” As a result, he keeps their names confidential.

Whatever its early mission, the Group is now “a shadow world government….threaten(ing) to take away our right to direct our own destinies (by creating) a disturbing reality” very much harming the public’s welfare. In short, Bilderbergers want to supplant individual nation-state sovereignty with an all-powerful global government, corporate controlled, and check-mated by militarized enforcement.

“Imagine a private club where presidents, prime ministers, international bankers and generals rub shoulders, where gracious royal chaperones ensure everyone gets along, and where the people running the wars, markets, and Europe (and America) say what they never dare say in public.”

Early in its history, Bilderbergers decided “to create an ‘Aristocracy of purpose’ between Europe and the United States (to reach consensus to rule the world on matters of) policy, economics, and (overall) strategy.” NATO was essential for their plans – to ensure “perpetual war (and) nuclear blackmail” to be used as necessary. Then proceed to loot the planet, achieve fabulous wealth and power, and crush all challengers to keep it.

Along with military dominance, controlling the world’s money is crucial for with it comes absolute control as the powerful 19th century Rothschild family understood. As the patriarch Amschel Rothschild once said: “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes its laws.”

Bilderbergers comprise the world’s most exclusive club. No one buys their way in. Only the Group’s Steering Committee decides whom to invite, and in all cases participants are adherents to One World Order governance run by top power elites.

According to Steering Committee rules:

“the invited guests must come alone; no wives, girlfriends, husbands or boyfriends. Personal assistants (meaning security, bodyguards, CIA or other secret service protectors) cannot attend the conference and must eat in a separate hall. (Also) The guests are explicitly forbidden from giving interviews to journalists” or divulge anything that goes on in meetings.

Host governments provide overall security to keep away outsiders. One-third of attendees are political figures. The others are from industry, finance, academia, labor and communications.

Meeting procedure is by Chatham House Rules letting attendees freely express their views in a relaxed atmosphere knowing nothing said will be quoted or revealed to the public. Meetings “are always frank, but do not always conclude with consensus.”

Membership consists of annual attendees (around 80 of the world’s most powerful) and others only invited occasionally because of their knowledge or involvement in relevant topics. Those most valued are asked back, and some first-timers are chosen for their possible later usefulness.

Arkansas governor Bill Clinton, for example, who attended in 1991. “There, David Rockefeller told (him) why the North American Free Trade Agreement….was a Bilderberg priority and that the group needed him to support it. The next year, Clinton was elected president,” and on January 1, 1994 NAFTA took effect. Numerous other examples are similar, including who gets chosen for powerful government, military and other key positions.

Bilderberg Objectives

The Group’s grand design is for “a One World Government (World Company) with a single, global marketplace, policed by one world army, and financially regulated by one ‘World (Central) Bank’ using one global currency.” Their “wish list” includes:

– “one international identify (observing) one set of universal values;”

– centralized control of world populations by “mind control;” in other words, controlling world public opinion;

– a New World Order with no middle class, only “rulers and servants (serfs),” and, of course, no democracy;

– “a zero-growth society” without prosperity or progress, only greater wealth and power for the rulers;

– manufactured crises and perpetual wars;

– absolute control of education to program the public mind and train those chosen for various roles;

– “centralized control of all foreign and domestic policies;” one size fits all globally;

– using the UN as a de facto world government imposing a UN tax on “world citizens;”

– expanding NAFTA and WTO globally;

– making NATO a world military;

– imposing a universal legal system; and

– a global “welfare state where obedient slaves will be rewarded and non-conformists targeted for extermination.”

Secret Bilderberg Partners

In the US, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is dominant. One of its 1921 founders, Edward Mandell House, was Woodrow Wilson’s chief advisor and rumored at the time to be the nation’s real power from 1913 – 1921. On his watch, the Federal Reserve Act passed in December 1913 giving money creation power to bankers, and the 16th Amendment was ratified in February creating the federal income tax to provide a revenue stream to pay for government debt service.

From its beginnings, CFR was committed to “a one-world government based on a centralized global financing system….” Today, CFR has thousands of influential members (including important ones in the corporate media) but keeps a low public profile, especially regarding its real agenda.

Historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. called it a “front organization (for) the heart of the American Establishment.” It meets privately and only publishes what it wishes the public to know. Its members are only Americans.

The Trilateral Commission (discussed below) is a similar group that “brings together global power brokers.” Founded by David Rockefeller, he’s also a leading Bilderberger and CFR Chairman Emeritus, organizations he continues to finance and support.

Their past and current members reflect their power:

– nearly all presidential candidates of both parties;

– leading senators and congressmen;

– key members of the fourth estate and their bosses; and

– top officials of the FBI, CIA, NSA, defense establishment, and other leading government agencies, including state, commerce, the judiciary and treasury.

For its part, “CFR has served as a virtual employment agency for the federal government under both Democrats and Republicans.” Whoever occupies the White House, “CFR’s power and agenda” have been unchanged since its 1921 founding.

It advocates a global superstate with America and other nations sacrificing their sovereignty to a central power. CFR founder Paul Warburg was a member of Roosevelt’s “brain trust.” In 1950, his son, James, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: “We shall have world government whether or not you like it – by conquest or consent.”

Later at the 1992 Bilderberg Group meeting, Henry Kissinger said:

“Today, Americans would be outraged if UN troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow, they will be grateful. This is especially true if they were told there was an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all people of the world will plead with world leaders to deliver them from this evil….individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well-being granted to them by their world government.”

CFR planned a New World Order before 1942, and the “UN began with a group of CFR members called the Informal Agenda Group.” They drafted the original UN proposal, presented it to Franklin Roosevelt who announced it publicly the next day. At its 1945 founding, CFR members comprised over 40 of the US delegates.

According to Professor G. William Domhoff, author of Who Rules America, the CFR operates in “small groups of about twenty-five, who bring together leaders from the six conspirator categories (industrialists, financiers, ideologues, military, professional specialists – lawyers, medical doctors, etc. – and organized labor) for detailed discussions of specific topics in the area of foreign affairs.” Domhoff added:

“The Council on Foreign Relations, while not financed by government, works so closely with it that it is difficult to distinguish Council action stimulated by government from autonomous actions. (Its) most important sources of income are leading corporations and major foundations.” The Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Ford Foundations to name three, and they’re directed by key corporate officials.

Dominant Media Partners

Former CBS News president Richard Salant (1961 – 64 and 1966 – 79) explained the major media’s role: “Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have.”

CBS and other media giants control everything we see, hear and read – through television, radio, newspapers, magazines, books, films, and large portions of the Internet. Their top officials and some journalists attend Bilderberg meetings – on condition they report nothing.

The Rockefeller family wields enormous power, even though its reigning patriarch, David, will be 94 on June 12 and surely near the end of his dominance. However, for years “the Rockefellers (led by David) gained great influence over the media. (With it) the family gained sway over public opinion. With the pulse of public opinion, they gained deep influence in politics. And with this politics of subtle corruption, they are taking control of the nation” and now aim for total world domination.

The Bilderberger-Rockefeller scheme is to make their views “so appealing (by camouflaging them) that they become public policy (and can) pressure world leaders into submitting to the ‘needs of the Masters of the Universe.’ ” The “free world press” is their instrument to disseminate “agreed-upon propaganda.”

CFR Cabinet Control

“The National Security Act of 1947 established the office of Secretary of Defense.” Since then, 14 DOD secretaries have been CFR members.

Since 1940, every Secretary of State, except James Byrnes, has been a CFR member and/or Trilateral Commission (TC) one.

For the past 80 years, “Virtually every key US National Security and Foreign Policy Advisor has been a CFR member.

Nearly all top generals and admirals have been CFR members.

Many presidential candidates were/are CFR members, including Herbert Hoover, Adlai Stevenson, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter (also a charter TC member), George HW Bush, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, and John McCain.

Numerous CIA directors were/are CFR members, including Richard Helmes, James Schlesinger, William Casey, William Webster, Robert Gates, James Woolsey, John Deutsch, George Tenet, Porter Goss, Michael Hayden, and Leon Panetta.

Many Treasury Secretaries were/are CFR members, including Douglas Dillon, George Schultz, William Simon, James Baker, Nicholas Brady, Lloyd Bentsen, Robert Rubin, Henry Paulson, and Tim Geithner.

When presidents nominate Supreme Court candidates, the CFR’s “Special Group, Secret Team” or advisors vet them for acceptability. Presidents, in fact, are told who to appoint, including designees to the High Court and most lower ones.

Programming the Public Mind

According to sociologist Hadley Cantril in his 1967 book, The Human Dimension – Experiences in Policy Research:

Government “Psycho-political operations are propaganda campaigns designed to create perpetual tension and to manipulate different groups of people to accept the particular climate of opinion the CFR seeks to achieve in the world.”

Canadian writer Ken Adachi (1929 – 1989) added:

“What most Americans believe to be ‘Public Opinion’ is in reality carefully crafted and scripted propaganda designed to elicit a desired behavioral response from the public.”

And noted Australian academic and activist Alex Carey (1922 – 1988) explained the three most important 20th century developments – “The growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.”

Web of Control

Numerous think tanks, foundations, the major media, and other key organizations are staffed with CFR members. Most of its life-members also belong to the TC and Bilderberg Group, operate secretly, and wield enormous power over US and world affairs.

The Rockefeller-Founded Trilateral Commission (TC)

On page 405 of his Memoirs, David Rockfeller wrote:

“Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure – one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”

In alliance with Bilderbergers, the TC also “plays a vital role in the New World Order’s scheme to use wealth, concentrated in the hands of the few, to exert world control.” TC members share common views and all relate to total unchallengeable global dominance.

Founded in 1973 and headquartered in Washington, its powerful US, EU and East Asian members seek its operative founding goal – a “New International Economic Order,” now simply a “New World Order” run by global elites from these three parts of the world with lesser members admitted from other countries.

According to TC’s web site, “each regional group has a chairman and deputy chairman, who all together constitute the leadership of the Committee. The Executive Committee draws together a further 36 individuals from the wider membership,” proportionately representing the US, EU, and East Asia in its early years, now enlarged to be broadly global.

Committee members meet several times annually to discuss and coordinate their work. The Executive Committee chooses members, and at any time around 350 belong for a three-year renewable period. Everyone is a consummate insider with expertise in business, finance, politics, the military, or the media, including past presidents, secretaries of state, international bankers, think tank and foundation executives, university presidents and selected academics, and former senators and congressmen, among others.

Although its annual reports are available for purchase, its inner workings, current goals, and operations are secret – with good reason. Its objectives harm the public so mustn’t be revealed. Trilaterals over Washington author Antony Sutton wrote:

“this group of private citizens is precisely organized in a manner that ensures its collective views have significant impact on public policy.”

In her book, Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management, Holly Sklar wrote:

Powerful figures in America, Europe, and East Asia let “the rich….safeguard the interests of Western capitalism in an explosive world – probably by discouraging protectionism, nationalism, or any response that would pit the elites of one against the elites of another,” in their common quest for global dominance.

Trilateralist Zbigniew Brzezinski (TC’s co-founder) wrote in his Between Two Ages – America’s Role in the Technotronic Era:

“people, governments and economies of all nations must serve the needs of multinational banks and corporations. (The Constitution is) inadequate….the old framework of international politics, with their sphere of influence….the fiction of sovereignty….is clearly no longer compatible with reality….”

TC today is now global with members from countries as diverse as Argentina, Ukraine, Israel, Jordan, Brazil, Turkey, China and Russia. In his Trilaterals Over America, Antony Sutton believes that TC’s aim is to collaborate with Bilderbergers and CFR in “establishing public policy objectives to be implemented by governments worldwide.” He added that “Trilateralists have rejected the US Constitution and the democratic political process.” In fact, TC was established to counter a “crisis in democracy” – too much of it that had to be contained.

An official TC report was fearful about “the increased popular participation in and control over established social, political, and economic institutions and especially a reaction against the concentration of power of Congress and of state and local government.”

To address this, media control was essential to exert “restraint on what newspapers may publish (and TV and radio broadcast).” Then according to Richard Gardner in the July 1974 issue of Foreign Affairs (a CFR publication):

CFR’s leadership must make “an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece,” until the very notion disappears from public discourse.

Bilderberg/CFR/Trilateralist success depends on finding “a way to get us to surrender our liberties in the name of some common threat or crisis. The foundations, educational institutions, and research think tanks supported by (these organizations) oblige by financing so-called ‘studies’ which are then used to justify their every excess. The excuses vary, but the target is always individual liberty. Our liberty” and much more.

Bilderbergers, Trilateralists and CFR members want “an all-encompassing monopoly” – over government, money, industry, and property that’s “self-perpetuating and eternal.” In Confessions of a Monopolist (1906), Frederick C. Howe explained its workings in practice:

“The rules of big business: Get a monopoly; let Society work for you. So long as we see all international revolutionaries and all international capitalists as implacable enemies of one another, then we miss a crucial point….a partnership between international monopoly capitalism and international revolutionary socialism is for their mutual benefit.”

In the Rockefeller File, Gary Allen wrote:

“By the late nineteenth century, the inner sanctums of Wall Street understood that the most efficient way to gain a monopoly was to say it was for the ‘public good’ and ‘public interest.’ “

David Rockefeller learned the same thing from his father, John D., Jr. who learned it from his father, John D. Sr. They hated competition and relentlessly strove to eliminate it – for David on a global scale through a New World Order.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Trilateralists and CFR members collaborated on the latter’s “1980 Project,” the largest ever CFR initiative to steer world events “toward a particular desirable future outcome (involving) the utter disintegration of the economy.” Why so is the question?

Because by the 1950s and 1960s, worldwide industrial growth meant more competition. It was also a model to be followed, and “had to be strangled in the cradle” or at least greatly contained. In America as well beginning in the 1980s. The result has been a transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich, shrinkage of the middle class, and plan for its eventual demise.

The North American Union (NAU)

The idea emerged during the Reagan administration in the early 1980s. David Rockefeller, George Schultz and Paul Volker told the president that Canada and America could be politically and economically merged over the next 15 years except for one problem – French-speaking Quebec. Their solution – elect a Bilderberg-friendly prime minister, separate Quebec from the other provinces, then make Canada America’s 51st state. It almost worked, but not quite when a 1995 secession referendum was defeated – 50.56% to 49.44%, but not the idea of merger.

At a March 23, 2005 Waco, Texas meeting, attended by George Bush, Mexico’s Vincente Fox, and Canada’s Paul Martin, the Security and and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) was launched, also known as the North American Union (NAU). It was a secretive Independent Task Force of North America agreement – a group organized by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations, and CFR with the following aims:

– circumventing the legislatures of three countries and their constitutions;

– suppressing public knowledge or consideration; and

– proposing greater US, Canadian and Mexican economic, political, social, and security integration with secretive working groups formed to devise non-debatable, not voted on agreements to be binding and unchangeable.

In short – a corporate coup d’etat against the sovereignty of three nations enforced by hard line militarization to suppress opposition.

If enacted, it will create a borderless North America, corporate controlled, without barriers to trade or capital flows for business giants, mainly US ones and much more – America’s access to vital resources, especially oil and Canada’s fresh water.

Secretly, over 300 SPP initiatives were crafted to harmonize the continent’s policies on energy, food, drugs, security, immigration, manufacturing, the environment, and public health along with militarizing three nations for enforcement.

SPP represents another step toward the Bilderberg/Trilateralist/CFR goal for World Government, taking it one step at a time. A “United Europe” was another, the result of various treaties and economic agreements:

– the December 1951 six-nation European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC);

– the March 1957 six-nation Treaty of Rome establishing the European Economic Community (EEC);

also the European Atomic Energy Commission (EAEC) by a second Treaty of Rome;

– the October 1957 European Court of Justice to settle regional trade disputes;

– the May 1960 seven-nation European Free Trade Association (EFTA);

– the July 1967 European Economic Community (EEC) merging the ECSC, EAEC and EEC together in one organization;

– the 1968 European Customs Union to abolish duties and establish uniform imports taxing among EEC nations;

– the 1978 European Currency Unit (ECU);

– the February 1986 Single European Act revision of the 1957 Treaty of Rome; it established the objective of forming a Common Market by December 31, 1992;

– the February 1992 Maastricht Treaty creating the EU on November 1, 1993; and

– the name euro was adopted in December 1995; it was introduced in January 1999 replacing the European Currency Unit (ECU); euros began circulating on January 2002; they’re now the official currency of 16 of the 27 EU states.

Over half a century, the above steps cost EU members their sovereignty “as some 70 to 80 per cent of the laws passed in Europe involve just rubber stamping of regulations already written by nameless bureaucrats in ‘working groups’ in Brussels or Luxembourg.”

The EU and NAU share common features:

– advocacy from a influential spokesperson;

– an economic and later political union;

– hard line security, and for Europe, ending wars on the continent between EU member states;

– establishment of a collective consciousness in place of nationalism;

– the blurring of borders and creation of a “supra-government,” a superstate;

– secretive arrangements to mask real objectives; and

– the creation of a common currency and eventual global one.

Steps Toward a North American Union

– the October 4, 1988 Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the US and Canada, finalized the previous year;

– at the 1991 Bilderberg meeting, David Rockefeller got governor Bill Clinton’s support for NAFTA if he became president;

– on January 1, 1994, with no debate under “fast-track” rules, Congress approved WTO legislation;

– in December 1994 at the first Summit of the Americas, 34 Hemispheric leaders committed their nations to a Free Trade of the Americas agreement (FTAA) by 2005 – so far unachieved;

– on July 4, 2000, Mexican president Vincente Fox called for a North American common market in 20 years;

– on February 2001, the White House published a joint statement from George Bush and Vincente Fox called the “Guanajuato Proposal;” it was for a US-Canada-Mexico prosperity partnership (aka North American Union);

– in September 2001, Bush and Fox agreed to a “Partnership for Prosperity Initiative;”

– the September 11, 2001 attack gave cover to including “security” as part of a future partnership;

– on October 7, 2001, a CFA meeting highlighted “The Future of North American Integration in the Wake of Terrorist Attacks; for the first time, “security” became part of a future “partnership for prosperity;” also, Canada was to be included in a “North American” agreement;

– in 2002, the North American Forum on Integration (NAFI) was established in Montreal “to address the issues raised by North American integration as well as identify new ideas and strategies to reinforce the North American region;”

– in January 2003, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE – composed of 150 top CEOs) launched the “North American Security and Prosperity Initiative” calling for continental integration;

– in April 2004, Canadian prime minister Paul Martin announced the nation’s first ever national security policy called Securing an Open Society;

– on October 15, 2004, CFR established an Independent Task Force on the Future of North America – for a future continental union;

– in March 2005, a CFR report titled Creating a North American Community called for continental integration by 2010 “to enhance, prosperity, and opportunity for all North Americans;” and

– on March 23, 2005 in Waco, Texas, America, Canada and Mexico leaders launched the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) – aka North American Union (NAU).

Secretive negotiations continue. Legislative debate is excluded, and public inclusion and debate are off the table. In May 2005, the CFR Independent Task Force on the Future of North America published a follow-up report titled Building a North American Community – proposing a borderless three-nation union by 2010.

In June and July 2005, the Dominican Republic – Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) passed the Senate and House establishing corporate-approved trade rules to further impoverish the region and move a step closer to continental integration.

In March 2006, the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC) was created at the second SPP summit in Cancun, Mexico. Composed of 30 top North American CEOs, it serves as an official trilateral SPP working group.

Secret business and government meetings continue so there’s no way to confirm SPP’s current status or if Barack Obama is seamlessly continuing George Bush’s agenda. In an earlier article, this writer said:

SPP efforts paused during the Bush to Obama transition, but “deep integration” plans remain. Canada’s Fraser Institute proposed renaming the initiative the North American Standards and Regulatory Area (NASRA) to disguise its real purpose. It said the “SPP brand” is tarnished so re-branding is essential – to fool the public until it’s too late to matter.

Bilderbergers, Trilaterists, and CFR leaders back it as another step toward global integration and won’t “stop until the entire world is unified under the auspices and the political umbrella of a One World Company, a nightmarish borderless world run by the world’s most powerful clique” – comprised of key elitist members of these dominant organizations.

In April 2007, the Transatlantic Economic Council was established between America and the EU to:

– create an “official international governmental body – by executive fiat;

– harmonize economic and regulatory objectives;

– move toward a Transatlantic Common Market; and

– a step closer to One World Government run by the world’s most powerful corporate interests.

Insights into the 2009 Bilderberg Group Meeting

From May 14 – 17, Bilderbergers held their annual meeting in Vouliagmeni, Greece, and according to Daniel Estulin have dire plans for global economies.

According to his pre-meeting sources, they’re divided on two alternatives:

“Either a prolonged, agonizing depression that dooms the world to decades of stagnation, decline and poverty (or) an intense but shorter depression that paves the way for a new sustainable world order, with less sovereignty but more efficiency.”

Other agenda items included:

– “the future of the US dollar and US economy;”

– continued deception about green shoots signaling an end to recession and improving economy later in the year;

– suppressing the fact that bank stress tests were a sham and were designed for deception, not an accurate assessment of major banks’ health;

– projecting headlined US unemployment to hit 14% by year end – way above current forecasts and meaning the true number will be double, at minimum, with all uncounted categories included; and

– a final push to get the Lisbon Treaty passed for pan-European (EU) adoption of neoliberal rules, including greater privatizations, fewer worker rights and social benefits, open border trade favoring developed over emerging states, and greater militarization to suppress civil liberties and human rights.

After the meeting, Estulin got a 73-page report on what was discussed. He noted that “One of Bilderberg’s primary concerns….is the danger that their zeal to reshape the world by engineering chaos (toward) their long term agenda could cause the situation to spiral out of control and eventually lead to a scenario where Bilderberg and the global elite in general are overwhelmed by events and end up losing their control over the planet.”

Estulin also noted some considerable disagreement between “hardliners” wanting a “dramatic decline and a severe, short-term depression (versus others) who think that things have gone too far” so that “the fallout from the global economic cataclysm” can’t be known, may be greater than anticipated, and may harm Bilderberger interests. Also, “some European bankers (expressed great alarm over their own fate and called the current) high wire act ‘unsustainable.’ ”

There was a combination of agreement and fear that the situation remains dire and the worst of the crisis lies ahead, mainly because of America’s extreme debt level that must be resolved to produce a healthy, sustainable recovery.

Topics also included:

– establishing a Global Treasury Department and Global Central Bank, possibly partnered with or as part of the IMF;

– a global currency;

– destruction of the dollar through what longtime market analyst Bob Chapman calls “a stealth default on (US) debt by continuing to issue massive amounts of money and credit and in the process devaluing the dollar,” a process he calls “fraud;”

– a global legal system;

– exploiting the Swine Flu scare to create a WHO global department of health; and

– the overall goal of a global government and the end of national sovereignty.

In the past, Estulin’s sources proved accurate. Earlier, he predicted the housing crash and 2007 – 2008 financial market decline, preceded by the kind of financial crisis triggered by the Lehman Brothers collapse. Watch for further updates from him as new information leaks out on what the world’s power elites have planned going forward.

Estulin will be the featured guest on The Global Research News Hour Tuesday, June 2. He can be heard live or afterwards through the program archive.

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre of Research for Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.