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        Hostesses pose for a photo beside the models of a high speed train during the China High Speed Railway on Fast Track exhibition in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday. China has sweetened its bid in a race with Japan to win the construction contract for a high-speed railway connecting Jakarta to the city of Bandung, Indonesia, officials said on Tuesday. Rivan Awal Lingga/Antara Foto/Reuters
                         
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 :-\

                             

      An Iraqi boy working for a grocery store collects his vegetables after a truck bomb attack in Jameela market in the predominantly Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday. The massive truck bomb ripped through the popular Baghdad food market in the Iraqi capital's crowded neighborhood in the early Thursday in one of the deadliest single blasts in the capital in years. Karim Kadim/AP
                       
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        Youth filling out job applications at Opportunity Fair and Forum at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill., on Thursday, as part of the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative. The Initiative creates pathways for youth with untapped talent and potential to build skills, gain credentials and employment, and reclaim the American Dream. Peter Wynn Thompson/100,000 Opportunities Initiative/AP
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Don’t Be Fooled by the Political Game: The Illusion of Freedom in America

Published by The Daily Bell - August 12 2015

Editorial by John Whitehead

Being a citizen in the American corporate state is much like playing against a stacked deck: you’re always going to lose.

The game is rigged, and “we the people” keep getting dealt the same losing hand. Even so, most stay in the game, against all odds, trusting that their luck will change.

The problem, of course, is that luck will not save us. As I make clear in my book, Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the people dealing the cards—the politicians, the corporations, the judges, the prosecutors, the police, the bureaucrats, the military, the media, etc.—have only one prevailing concern, and that is to maintain their power and control over the citizenry, while milking us of our money and possessions.

It really doesn’t matter what you call them—Republicans, Democrats, the 1%, the elite, the controllers, the masterminds, the shadow government, the police state, the surveillance state, the military industrial complex—so long as you understand that while they are dealing the cards, the deck will always be stacked in their favor.

Incredibly, no matter how many times we see this played out, Americans continue to naively buy into the idea that politics matter, as if there really were a difference between the Republicans and Democrats (there’s not).

As if Barack Obama proved to be any different from George W. Bush (he has not). As if Hillary Clinton’s values are any different from Donald Trump’s (with both of them, money talks). As if when we elect a president, we’re getting someone who truly represents “we the people” rather than the corporate state (in fact, in the oligarchy that is the American police state, an elite group of wealthy donors is calling the shots).

Politics is a game, a joke, a hustle, a con, a distraction, a spectacle, a sport, and for many devout Americans, a religion.


In other words, it’s a sophisticated ruse aimed at keeping us divided and fighting over two parties whose priorities are exactly the same. It’s no secret that both parties support endless war, engage in out-of-control spending, ignore the citizenry’s basic rights, have no respect for the rule of law, are bought and paid for by Big Business, care most about their own power, and have a long record of expanding government and shrinking liberty.

Most of all, both parties enjoy an intimate, incestuous history with each other and with the moneyed elite that rule this country. Don’t be fooled by the smear campaigns and name-calling. They’re just useful tactics of the psychology of hate that has been proven to engage voters and increase voter turnout while keeping us at each other’s throats.

Despite the jabs the candidates volley at each other for the benefit of the cameras, they’re a relatively chummy bunch away from the spotlight, presenting each other with awards (remember when Jeb Bush presented Hillary Clinton with a Liberty Medal for her service to the country), attending each other’s weddings (Bill and Hillary had front-row seats for Trump’s 2005 wedding), and embracing with genuine affection.

Trump’s various donations to the Clintons (he donated to Hillary’s Senate campaigns, as well as the Clinton Foundation) are not unusual. Remember, FOX News mogul Rupert Murdoch actually hosted a fundraiser for Hillary’s Senate reelection campaign back in 2006 and contributed to her presidential campaign two years later. In fact, FOX News has reportedly been one of Hillary’s biggest donors for the better part of two decades.

Are you starting to get the picture? It doesn’t matter who wins the White House, because they all work for the same boss: Corporate America. In fact, many corporations actually hedge their bets on who will win the White House by splitting their donations between Democratic and Republican candidates.

We’re in trouble, folks, and picking a new president won’t save us.

Just consider how insidious, incestuous and beholden to the corporate elite the various “parts” of the government mechanism have become.

Congress. Perhaps the most notorious offenders and most obvious culprits in the creation of the corporate-state, Congress has proven itself to be both inept and avaricious, oblivious champions of an authoritarian system that is systematically dismantling their constituents’ fundamental rights. Long before they’re elected, Congressmen are trained to dance to the tune of their wealthy benefactors, so much so that they spend two-thirds of their time in office raising money.

The President. With the 2016 presidential election shaping up to be the most expensive one in our nation’s history, with estimates as high as $10 billion, “the way is open for an **** of spending by well-heeled interest groups and super rich individuals on both political sides.” Yet even after the votes have been counted and favors tallied, the work of buying and selling access to the White House is far from over. Such access comes with a steep price tag.

The Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court—once the last refuge of justice, the one governmental body really capable of rolling back the slowly emerging tyranny enveloping America—has instead become the champion of the American police state, absolving government and corporate officials of their crimes while relentlessly punishing the average American for exercising his or her rights. Indeed, law professor Erwin Chemerinsky makes a compelling case that the Supreme Court, whose “justices have overwhelmingly come from positions of privilege,” almost unerringly throughout its history, sides with the wealthy, the privileged, and the powerful.

The Media. Of course, this triumvirate of total control would be completely ineffective without a propaganda machine provided by the world’s largest corporations. Besides shoving drivel down our throats at every possible moment, the so-called news agencies which are supposed to act as bulwarks against government propaganda have instead become the mouthpieces of the state. The pundits which pollute our airwaves are at best court jesters and at worst propagandists for the false reality created by the American government.

The American People. “We the people” now belong to a permanent underclass in America. It doesn’t matter what you call us—chattel, slaves, worker bees, drones, it’s all the same—what matters is that we are expected to march in lockstep with and submit to the will of the state in all matters, public and private. Through our complicity in matters large and small, we have allowed an out-of-control corporate-state apparatus to take over every element of American society.

Our failure to remain informed about what is taking place in our government, to know and exercise our rights, to vocally protest, to demand accountability on the part of our government representatives, and at a minimum to care about the plight of our fellow Americans has been our downfall.

Now we find ourselves once again caught up in the spectacle of another presidential election, and once again the majority of Americans are acting as if this election will make a difference and bring about change—as if the new boss will be any different from the old boss.


Published by The Daily Bell - www.thedailybell.com - All Rights Reserved.

 
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How lucky we Americans are.

                     

      A girl studies while sitting on top of a taxi outside her shanty home at a roadside in Mumbai, India, Tuesday. Shailesh Andrade/Reuters
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      A worker paints a frame for a modular container at a plant in the village of Supikovice, Czech Republic, Tuesday. The company which belongs to the modular division of the Paris-based Touax Group has been recently benefiting from orders from Germany that uses these modular like buildings to house thousands of migrants. Petr David Josek/AP
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          Ships are moored near the Old Town as the water level of Elbe river drops due to hot temperatures in Dresden, Germany, Tuesday. Matthias Rietschel/Reuters
     
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     Kashmiri villagers watch the funeral procession of a civilian, Bilal Ahmad Bhat, at Padgampora village south of Srinagar, India, Wednesday. Bhat was killed on Tuesday after Indian security forces allegedly opened fire on protesters who were protesting against the killings of two suspected militants in an encounter with Indian security forces, local media reported. Danish Ismail/Reuters
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All Items Gold Related / All Hail Our Banking Overlords!
« Last post by Golden Oxen on July 23, 2015, 08:33:46 am »

          All Hail Our Banking Overlords!

   
      
   

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  :D :D

    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.
~ Chris Martenson
http://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/93588/all-hail-our-banking-overlords
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Why I'm a Libertarian.  :'(


                                                           

Jade Helm, Terrorist Attacks, Surveillance and Other Fairy Tales for a Gullible Nation

 



“Strange how paranoia can link up with reality now and then.”  – Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly

Once upon a time, there was a nation of people who believed everything they were told by their government.

When terrorists attacked the country, and government officials claimed to have been caught by surprise, the people believed them. And when the government passed massive laws aimed at locking down the nation and opening the door to total government surveillance, the people believed it was done merely to keep them safe. The few who disagreed were labeled traitors.

When the government waged costly preemptive wars on foreign countries, insisting it was necessary to protect the nation, the citizens believed it. And when the government brought the weapons and tactics of war home to use against the populace, claiming it was just a way to recycle old equipment, the people believed that too. The few who disagreed were labeled unpatriotic.

When the government spied on its own citizens, claiming they were looking for terrorists hiding among them, the people believed it. And when the government began tracking the citizenry’s movements, monitoring their spending, snooping on their social media, and surveying their habits – supposedly in an effort to make their lives more efficient – the people believed that, too. The few who disagreed were labeled paranoid.

When the government let private companies take over the prison industry and agreed to keep the jails full, justifying it as a cost-saving measure, the people believed them. And when the government started arresting and jailing people for minor infractions, claiming the only way to keep communities safe was to be tough on crime, the people believed that, too. The few who disagreed were labeled soft on crime.

When the government hired crisis actors to take part in disaster drills, never alerting the public to which “disasters” were staged, the people genuinely believed they were under attack. And when the government insisted it needed greater powers to prevent such attacks from happening again, the people believed that, too. The few who disagreed were told to shut up or leave the country.

Finally, the government started carrying out covert military drills around the country, insisting they were necessary to train the troops for foreign combat, and most of the people believed them. The few who disagreed, warning that perhaps all was not what it seemed, were dismissed as conspiracy theorists and quacks.

By the time the government locked down the nation, using local police and the military to impose martial law, there was no one left in doubt of the government’s true motives – total control and domination – but there was also no one left to fight back.

Now, every fable has a moral, and the moral of this story is to beware of anyone who urges you to ignore your better instincts and trust the government.

In other words, if it looks like trouble and it smells like trouble, you can bet there’s trouble afoot.

For instance, while there is certainly no shortage of foul-smelling government activities taking place right now, the one giving off the greatest stench is Jade Helm 15. This covert, multi-agency, multi-state, eight-week military training exercise is set to take place from July 15 through Sept. 15 in states across the American Southwest.

According to official government sources, “Jade Helm: Mastering the Human Domain” is a planned military exercise that will test and practice unconventional warfare including, but not limited to, guerrilla warfare, subversion, sabotage, intelligence activities and unconventional assisted recovery. The training exercise will take place in seven different southwestern states: California, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, Utah and Nevada.

U.S. Army Special Operations Command will primarily lead this interagency training program but the Navy Seals, Air Force Special Operations, Marine Special Operations Command, Marine Expeditionary Units, 82nd Airborne Division and other interagency partners will also be involved. Approximately 1,200 troops are expected to participate in these exercises.

The training is known as Realistic Military Training because it will be conducted outside of federal property. The exercises are going to be carried out on both public and private land, with the military reportedly asking permission of local authorities and landowners prior to land usage. The military map listing the locations that will host the exercise shows Texas, Utah and the southern part of California as “hostile territory.” According to U.S. officials, these three areas are marked as hostile to simulate environments where American troops are viewed as the enemy. The other areas on the map are marked as permissive, uncertain (leaning friendly), or uncertain (leaning hostile).

Military officials claim that the southwestern states were chosen because this exercise requires large areas of undeveloped land as well as access to towns and population hubs. These states purportedly also provide a climate and terrain that is similar to that of potential areas of combat for the United States, particularly Iraq, Iran and Syria.

Now, the mainstream media has happily regurgitated the government’s official explanation about Jade Helm. However, there is a growing concern among those who are not overly worried about being labeled conspiratorialists or paranoid that the government is using Jade Helm as a cover to institute martial law, bring about total population control, or carry out greater surveillance on the citizenry.

In the first camp are those who fear that Jade Helm will usher in martial law. These individuals believe that by designating the two traditionally conservative and Republican-dominated states, Utah and Texas, as hostile territory, while more Democratic states like Colorado and California are marked as friendly, the military plans to infiltrate the states with large numbers of gun owners and attempt to disarm them.

Adding fuel to the fire is the mysterious and sudden temporary closures of five Walmart stores in Texas, California, Oklahoma and Florida, two of which are located near Jade Helm training sites. Those in this camp contend that the military is planning to use the Walmart stores as processing facilities for Americans once martial law is enacted.

Pointing to the mission’s official title, “Jade Helm: Mastering the Human Domain,” there is a second camp that fears that the military exercises are merely a means to an end – namely total population control – by allowing the military to discern between friendly civilians and hostiles. This concern is reinforced by military documents stating that a major portion of Jade Helm training will be about blending in with civilians, understanding how to work with civilians, using these civilians to find enemy combatants and then neutralizing the target.

In this way, the United States military is effectively using psychological warfare to learn how people function and how to control them.

As a study written by military personnel states, mastering the human domain, also known as identity processes, means “use of enhanced capabilities to identify and classify the human domain; to determine whether they are adversarial, friendly, neutral, or unknown.” The study later states that identity processes can be used to “manage local populations during major combat, stability, and humanitarian assistance and/or disaster relief operations.”

While the military has promised that the work they are doing is aimed for use overseas, we have seen first-hand how quickly the military’s weapons and tactics used overseas are brought home to be used against the populace. In fact, some of the nation’s evolutionary psychologists, demographers, sociologists, historians and anthropologists have been working with the Department of Defense’s Minerva Initiative to master the human domain. This security research includes “Understanding the Origin, Characteristics, and Implications of Mass Political Movements” at the University of Washington and “Who Does Not Become a Terrorist and Why?” at the Naval Academy Post Graduate School. Both studies focus on Americans and the different movements and patterns that the government can track to ensure “safety and security.”

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is also working to infiltrate churches across the country to establish a Christian Emergency Network, carry out emergency training exercises to prevent and prepare for disasters (active shooter drills and natural disaster preparedness), and foster two-way information sharing, while at the same time instituting a media blackout of their activities. As the DHS continues to establish itself within churches, a growing number of churches are adopting facial recognition systems to survey their congregations, identify and track who attends their events, and target individuals for financial contributions or further monitoring. As the partnership between churches and the DHS grows, their facial recognition databases may be shared with the federal government, if that is not already happening.

Finally, there is the third camp, which fears that Jade Helm is merely the first of many exercises to be incorporated into regular American life so that the government can watch, study and better understand how to control the masses. Certainly, psychological control techniques could be used in the future to halt protests and ensure that the nation runs “smoothly.”

It remains to be seen whether Jade Helm 15 proves to be a thinly veiled military plot to take over the country (one lifted straight out of director John Frankenheimer’s 1964 political thriller "Seven Days in May"), turn the population into automatons and psychological experiments, or is merely a “routine” exercise for troops, albeit a blatantly intimidating flexing of the military’s muscles.

However, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the problem arises when you add Jade Helm to the list of other troubling developments that have taken place over the past 30 years or more: the expansion of the military-industrial complex and its influence in Washington DC, the rampant surveillance, the corporate-funded elections and revolving door between lobbyists and elected officials, the militarized police, the loss of our freedoms, the injustice of the courts, the privatized prisons, the school lockdowns, the roadside strip searches, the military drills on domestic soil, the fusion centers and the simultaneous fusing of every branch of law enforcement (federal, state and local), the stockpiling of ammunition by various government agencies, the active shooter drills that are indistinguishable from actual crises, the economy flirting with near collapse, the growing social unrest, the socio-psychological experiments being carried out by government agencies, etc.

Suddenly, the overall picture seems that much more sinister. Clearly, there’s a larger agenda at work here, and it’s one the American people had better clue into before it’s too late to do anything about it.

Call me paranoid, but I think we’d better take James Madison’s advice and “take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties.”

This article contributed courtesy of John Whitehead and The Rutherford Institute.

http://www.thedailybell.com/editorials/36399/John-Whitehead-Jade-Helm-Terrorist-Attacks-Surveillance-and-Other-Fairy-Tales-for-a-Gullible-Nation/
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