Notes for Saturday’s Discussion – “War Is A Racket!”

Posted at 11:14 AM (CST) by & filed under General Editorial.

The following are links to articles on the topics from our Saturday talk. As always, I encourage our listeners to read for themselves.

Dave

 

War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Is_a_Racket

 

Trump could not have become America’s President if he had not won the “vote” of his nation’s second-largest political donor in 2016, casinos-owner Sheldon Adelson.

 

In publicly recorded donations, as of 25 December 2018, Adelson and his wife donated $82,522,800 to Republican candidates

 

On the Democratic Party side, the largest 2016 donor was the largest of all political donors in 2016, the hedge fund manager Thomas Steyer, $91,069,795.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/02/16/how-america-dictatorship-works.html

 

Tech; Are we so spied on, there is now no way out? They own us!

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-12/can-we-boycott-big-tech-companies-even-if-we-want-hint-we-cant

 

A key question that bears repeating is, should humans worry about their inept, bloodthirsty leaders handing over the reins of the war machine to… a war machine?

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-13/ai-arms-race-likely-unleash-crisis-worse-911-warns-ex-government-agent

 

Boeing stock price 2003 25 dollars 2019 410 you do the math. This is the problem with appointing someone with “this deep of a conflict,” says Mandy Smithberger of the Project on Government Oversight’s Center for Defense Information. She told Politico that after Shanahan spent his entire career at Boeing, it would be “pretty close to impossible” for him to recuse himself from all Boeing-related matters.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/01/acting-defense-secretary-boosted-boeing-his-former-employer.html

 

http://bigcharts.marketwatch.com/quickchart/quickchart.asp?symb=BA&insttype=Stock&freq=1&show=&time=13

 

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/428395-trump-picks-ex-oil-lobbyist-david-bernhard-for-interior-secretary

 

Last October, the Trump administration pushed Iraqi officials to sign agreements with General Electric for multibillion-dollar power generation deals..

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/11/us/politics/iraq-buying-energy-iran.html

 

Police state? To serve and protect! The multi national corporations.

 

We’ve been railroaded into believing that our votes count, that we live in a democracy, that elections make a difference, that it matters whether we vote Republican or Democrat, and that our elected officials are looking out for our best interests. Truth be told, we live in an oligarchy, politicians represent only the profit motives of the corporate state, whose leaders know all too well that there is no discernible difference between red and blue politics, because there is only one color that matters in politics—green.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-13/whitehead-it-too-late-non-violent-means-restore-american-liberty

 

Multiple independent law enforcement experts, who agreed to review the incident, said the officers’ conduct was unlawful, potentially criminal, and one of the most cruel and troubling cases of police misconduct they’ve ever seen.

https://www.abc15.com/news/local-news/investigations/abuse-of-force-body-camera-video-shows-man-tased-11-times-by-glendale-officers

 

In addition to conducting a full and thorough check on the veteran’s body, the video also shows the federal agent checking Kolfage’s prosthetic legs and wheelchair, apparently for possible arms or explosives.

 

Shocked by the treatment of the most severly wounded airman in US history, the online community shamed TSA and united to express support for the veteran, who lost both his legs and his right hand in Iraq in 2004.

https://www.rt.com/usa/451156-tsa-invasive-triple-amputee-veteran/

 

Laws once added almost never go away!

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-37241626/donald-trump-mexico-will-pay-for-the-wall

 

According to the Federal Register, 58 national emergencies have been declared since the National Emergency Act of 1976 was signed into law by President Gerald Ford…and 31 have been annually renewed and are currently still in effect, as listed in the Federal Register.

Here’s a list of the presidents who declared still ongoing national emergencies.

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/list-31-national-emergencies-effect-years/story?id=60294693

 

Hypocrisy?!

 

Venezuelan people have legitimate grounds for taking to the streets to protest against their president in times of hardship, but the French people do not. No siree!  To add insult to rubber bullet injury, Emmanuel Macron, the man who has triggered the biggest protests in France for over half a century, has the gall (no pun intended) to be right at the forefront of those supporting an un-elected leader in Venezuela, and all in the name of ‘democracy.’

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/450887-venezuela-macron-maduro-france-protests/

 

They hate us for our freedom! Bulls#*t! They hate us because we gassed them during Saddam’s imposed war on Iran from 1980 to 1988, the Western governments provided the Iraqi regime with chemical weapons and sophisticated military equipment as well as strategic supports.

http://english.khamenei.ir/news/2168/20-things-the-U-S-did-to-help-Saddam-against-Iran

 

During Saddam’s imposed war on Iran from 1980 to 1988, the Western governments provided the Iraqi regime with chemical weapons and sophisticated military equipment as well as strategic supports.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2004/06/17/how-reagan-armed-saddam-with-chemical-weapons/

 

 

WARSAW — Vice President Mike Pence used an American-convened conference on Middle East security to lash out at Washington’s three closest European allies on Thursday, accusing them of trying “to break American sanctions against Iran’s murderous revolutionary regime.”

Nothing better illustrates Washington’s opposition to democracy and self-determination than the blatantly public coup Washington has organized against the properly elected president of Venezuela

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/14/world/europe/pompeo-pence-us-iran.html

 

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/02/08/venezuela-is-an-opportunity-for-russia-and-china-to-change-the-world/

 

Fallar told lawmakers that China actively supports autocratic governments in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, and employs predatory lending practices across the continent. He said Beijing has been instrumental in developing infrastructure such as a secret antenna located in the deserts of Patagonia.

 

Brian Weeden, a space policy and security analyst with the Secure World Foundation, indicated that the US military deploys antennas similar to the one in Argentina.

“Unless there is something specifically different about this, it’s a little bit of the pot calling the kettle black,” he said.

“To me, there is no specific piece of evidence other than it happens to be Chinese that signals that it is nefarious.”

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-10/why-there-chinese-military-space-station-hiding-argentina

 

The US dollar dying a thousand cuts.

 

More than 40 countries and international organizations, including China, Indonesia, and Israel, as well as some South American countries, have expressed interest in a free-trade deal with the EEU. The trade bloc has also held negotiations with South Korea, Egypt, and India.

Iran signed an interim agreement with the economic bloc last year, with a full-fledged agreement expected within three years.

https://www.rt.com/business/451039-russia-free-trade-zone/

 

 Warfare?

 

US military scientists, hiding behind diplomatic activities, are testing artificially created viruses in Pentagon laboratories in 25 countries (countries of the former USSR (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Uzbekistan and Ukraine (three laboratories), Middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa ), exposing injections allegedly from dangerous pathogens and diseases to hundreds of thousands of people, and we, Kazakhstanis, have long been “guinea pigs.” If we recall the massive outbreaks of meningitis last year with fatal cases, as well as the deaths of hundreds a few saigak heads a few years ago, the emergence of foci of atypical diseases or those that have long been suppressed, then everything immediately falls into place.

https://www.veteranstoday.com/2019/02/10/epidemic-in-kazakhstan-us-blamed-for-germ-warfare-test/

 

I’ve always been fascinated by nuclear weapons and the self-destructive tendencies of mankind.  I discovered that as many as 400,000 American soldiers and sailors observed nuclear explosions just a few miles from ground zero in more than 200 atmospheric tests conducted between 1946 and 1962. It was difficult to get a precise count of how many men were involved, because most information was classified

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/12/opinion/atomic-soldiers.html

 

Now approaching nearly a year after the April 7, 2018 alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria — which the White House used as a pretext to bomb Syrian government facilities and bases throughout Damascus — a BBC reporter who investigated the incident on the ground has issued public statements saying the “Assad sarin attack” on Douma was indeed “staged”.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-14/bbc-shocks-douma-gas-attack-scene-staged-producer-says-after-6-month-syria

 

War and the end of the hegemon.

 

It’s curious that references to a major Asian power can be found in Bible prophecies that foretell in Revelation 16:12 that “the kings of the east” must come. Basically, this means that China is going to play a major role in the end of time event that quite possibly will be a nuclear holocaust also know WWIII.
https://journal-neo.org/2019/02/11/china-russia-rapprochement-is-still-firing-on-all-cylinders

 

Britain’s new aircraft carrier will be sent to China’s backyard in a show of strength as President Xi’s government increasingly disputes Pacific waters.  Meanwhile, just to make sure China is really pissed off, overnight two US warships sailed near islands claimed by China in the disputed South China Sea,

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-11/uk-sending-aircraft-carrier-china-show-force

 

In response, Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua cancelled scheduled trade talks with Britain’s finance minister Philip Hammond just “hours” after the remarks, Reuters revealed Thursday.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-14/china-dramatically-cancels-uk-trade-talks-hours-after-defence-secretarys-bellicose

 

Japan wants Russian gas. It’s currently buying it as LNG from Yamal and shipping it via the Arctic Sea Route.

 

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reiterated this position this weekend after signing a major agreement with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. At some point there is only so long you can hold countries as vassals. Their best interests eventually come to dominate the relationship.

The U.S. is feeling that now with Japan and Germany and it all because of Russia’s vast energy reserves and their ability to craft win/win relationships with everyone.

https://tomluongo.me/2019/02/11/russias-exports-continue-to-defy-sanctions/

 

Markets & Economy

 

The US economy is struggling for two reasons: The scope for a powerful monetary and fiscal response is limited, and the current “leadership” under President Trump lacks the competence to adequately respond to a crisis, during an interview with Bloomberg in Dubai.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-11/paul-krugman-warns-us-wildly-unprepared-imminent-recession

 

Congress should give the economy a bump. Once a slowdown begins, it will be too late.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/04/opinion/shutdown-recession-trump.html

 

Bill, you posted this.  What it proves is that Wall Street and Main Street are miles apart.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/12/a-record-number-of-americans-are-90-days-behind-on-their-car-payments.html

 

In the land of the Federal Reserve and its market-manipulating mechanisms, there’s now an unofficial market term called the “Powell Put” or the “Powell Pivot.”

https://dailyreckoning.com/get-used-to-the-powell-put/

 

The US equity market brushed off a sharp and surprising plunge in December retail sales, the worst since the Great Financial Crisis of 2008-2009. The numbers were so bad that analysts were tempted to dismiss them as an anomaly, although the Commerce Department insisted that the government shutdown did not affect the collection of data, and the drop occurred through most major sectors.

https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/02/article/who-are-you-going-to-believe-me-or-your-lying-data/

 

Markets are all rigged?

 

Once again, the Federal Reserve has upended markets.  Investors had been bracing for the Fed to keep raising interest rates and shrinking its vast portfolio of assets, the equivalent of tapping on the brakes of the United States economy.  But this year, the central bank has signaled that it was backing off.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/10/business/federal-reserve-stock-market.html

 

Dow futs closed over 600 points higher than the overnight lows on the crappiest week’s macro-economic data in 8 years!! “Goldilocks, my ass” as one veteran trader said.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-15/stocks-soar-8th-straight-week-earnings-macro-data-collapse

 

Globalism

https://socioecohistory.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/3_city_states_control_world-vatican_city_of_london_washingtondc.jpg

 

Unfortunately, there is no America. There is nothing to make great again. “America” is a fiction, a fantasy, a nostalgia that hucksters like Donald Trump (and other, marginally less buffoonish hucksters) use to sell whatever they are selling … themselves, wars, cars, whatever. What there is, in reality, instead of America, is a supranational global capitalist empire, a decentralized, interdependent network of global corporations, financial institutions, national governments, intelligence agencies, supranational governmental entities, military forces, media, and so on. If that sounds far-fetched or conspiratorial, look at what is going on in Venezuela.

 

In a globalized world what is an American company and to they care more about Americans than any one else?  So why is the US military, which we pay for, used as toll for these corporations?

 

What what about those American oil corporations? They want that Venezuelan oil, don’t they? Well, sure they do, but here’s the thing … there are no “American” oil corporations. Corporations, especially multi-billion dollar transnational corporations (e.g., Chevron, ExxonMobil, et al.) have no nationalities, nor any real allegiances, other than to their major shareholders. Chevron, for example, whose major shareholders are asset management and mutual fund companies like Black Rock, The Vanguard Group, SSgA Funds Management, Geode Capital Management, Wellington Management, and other transnational, multi-trillion dollar outfits. Do you really believe that being nominally headquartered in Boston or New York makes these companies “American,” or that Deutsche Bank is a “German” bank, or that BP is a “British” company?

http://www.unz.com/chopkins/making-globalism-great-again/

 

Gold

 

“Starting my working life in a Swiss Bank in Geneva two years before Nixon’s fatal decision, I have experience of that fall of the dollar that the Chinese predicted. In 1970, there were 4.30 Swiss francs to the dollar. Today you get just under one Franc for one US$. That is a catastrophic collapse of 77% of the world’s reserve currency in almost 50 years. If we look at the graph of the dollar against the Swiss franc below, we can see that this currency pair has been in a long consolidation at the bottom since 1987.

CHINA PREDICTED IN 1971 “THE DECLINE OF THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM”

The People’s Daily is the most influential and authoritative newspaper in China. It has been the official voice of the central government of the People’s Republic of China for the last 71 years.

The paper declared in 1971 when Nixon closed the gold window: “These unpopular measures reflect the seriousness of the US economic crisis and the decay and decline of the entire capitalist system.”

 

The paper further stated that the measures “mark the collapse of capitalist monetary system with the US dollar as its prop” and that “Nixon’s new economic policy cannot extricate the US from financial and economic crisis.” The article predicted instead that the measures would intensify the crisis.

 

https://goldswitzerland.com/the-value-of-the-dollar-has-no-guarantee-whatsoever/

 

Italy’s populist de facto leader Matteo Salvini seems set on shaking Europe’s financial establishment to the core.  One day after the Italian deputy prime minister and leader of the League party, called for the elimination of Italy’s central bank and the country’s financial regulator, Consob, saying the two institutions should be “reduced to zero.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-11/salvini-suggests-seizing-control-italys-gold-reserves-central-bank

 

So we may see negative interest rates in the US, meaning you earn more holding gold (nothing) than you do losing money in cash.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-11/normalization-nirp-reason-437-own-gold

 

Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay nearly C$5.5 million to settle class-action lawsuits in Canada accusing the bank of manipulating the gold and silver markets, according to the Toronto law firm representing the plaintiffs.

http://www.gata.org/node/18857

 

Production of gold by South African mines retreated the most in six years in December as a strike at the nation’s top producer of the metal continued.

 

Gold output declined 31 percent from a year earlier, compared with a revised 14 percent drop in November, Pretoria-based Statistics South Africa said in a statement on its website Thursday.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-14/south-african-gold-output-plunges-most-in-six-years-in-december

 

Crypto!

 

A generation of the young with dead-end social and economic prospects, calling themselves “dirt spoons,” aimed to strike it rich. They’ve ended up with big losses.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/10/business/south-korea-bitcoin-cryptocurrencies.html

 

JPMorgan Chase & Co.  (JPM – Get Report) will issue the first ever cryptocurrency by a U.S. bank, marking a significant change in tack for CEO Jamie Dimon, who once threatened to fire any employee he found trading bitcoin.

https://www.thestreet.com/investing/bitcoin/jpmorgan-to-launch-first-united-states-bank-cryptocurrency-14866499