"There is no possible reason why the U.S. would not let the Germans see their gold. It’s not ‘a security issue.’ Its Germany’s gold. The whole thing is preposterous. However, it is a security issue if the vault is empty or damn near empty. Then you can’t let the Germans in because it really is a security issue. So when a country is backed into a corner the way the U.S. was with regards to the German gold, well, desperate times call for desperate measures.” -- Grant Williams, 8/19 in a Kingworld News interview
Let's begin with this video of St. Louis police murdering a man. The victim, 25 year-old Kajieme Powell was accused of stealing items from a convenience store. He had no gun and according to police had threatened the officers with a knife. There was no attempt by the officers to extricate themselves from any threat nor were they in imminent danger. They made no effort to buy time or diffuse the situation. Instead they opened fire at close range within 20 seconds of their arrival at the scene and did so with deadly intent. While the government is attempting to scare the bejeezus out of you in order to justify increased state authority, it may interest you to know that you’re eight times more likely to be killed by a police officer than a terrorist.
For the past several years and as recently as this July post I have been bringing to your attention the disturbing and growing trend of the militarization of the country's police forces. Then, in Ferguson, Mo. last month this happened:
First a fashion question: What's with the camouflage suits? The subject terrain is asphalt, 7-11 and KFC. These goofballs (and they are goofballs) are wearing grown-up versions of the Halloween costumes and GI Joe outfits of their youth. Aside from the live ammo, little has changed for them.
The Dept. of Homeland Security has since 9/11/01 been providing police departments with grants for the procurement of military equipment for "terrorism preparedness." At the same time, under its 1033 Program the Pentagon has since 1997 transferred over $5.1 billion worth of military hardware to state and local law enforcement. Not surprisingly there are now over 80,000 police SWAT raids per year in the U.S. yet until the disgusting display of militarized police force in Ferguson, Mo. this month few Americans have raised much objection. Because cowards freely relinquish their civil liberties in order to feel "safe," boobus massachusus applauded the military lock-down of the entire Boston metro area amid the pursuit of the two Marathon bombing suspects. The post 9/11 hysteria engendered an acceptance of a militarized country in which Americans trade their personal freedoms for protection wherever they are told that danger lurks. Personally, I'd prefer to be backpack-bombed than consent to such a thing but in a 2012 Harris poll nearly one third of Americans stated that they are willing to be subjected to a body cavity search by the TSA in order to feel safe when they fly.
But in Ferguson, unlike in Boston the police turned their military machinery on civilian demonstrators. Perhaps the Ferguson events will retard the militarizing trend -- perhaps at least until the next bogeyman appears (actually, the fear merchants have already rolled out their latest version) and the U.S. citizenry recoils once again, acquiescing to whatever the State informs is in the public's best interest. Nothing should terrify you more than the idea of the government looking out for your best interest.
Now let's suppose you've observed the heavily fortified police with their impressive body armor and thought-- perhaps they're onto something...perhaps the streets are more dangerous than I've realized... Maybe I really ought to buy some protective gear for myself and my kids. Well, your federal government isn't going to tolerate that type of thinking: If passed by Congress, House Resolution 5344 will forbid you from purchasing protective body armor, making it a crime punishable by up to ten years in prison. Here's the official rationale: Because protective suits can be used by criminals in gun battles with police, law enforcement is placed in increased peril because protective armor worn by criminals potentially extends such exchanges. Got that? Putting aside the state's concern for the welfare of its own agents over those of the public it is paid to serve -- this is really an extension of the folly of gun control laws which have no effect at keeping weapons out of the hands of criminals -- only those of law-abiding citizens. Imagine a conversation between two fugitives as they are loading up their Humvee for a blazing getaway with an impressive inventory of automatic weapons, assault rifles, hand grenades and ammunition. "I think we had better leave the body armor home; it's illegal now, ya know."
"Dont do stupid sh*t." ...War Hawk Hillary Clinton thus disparagingly described Barack Obama's articulated approach to foreign policy. If acurately attributed, this may actually be among the most eloquent approaches relating to U.S.foreign policy meddling since George Washington's farewell address of 1793.* Seriously, this could be the one worthy dictate comprising the otherwise entirely incoherrant work-in-progress that fans of the President like to describe as 'The Obama Doctrine.' The problem though is that President Obama can't seem to distinguish between foreign policy sh*t and foreign policy Shinola, having undertaken as much of the former in his time in office as have these people.
There are 150 countries in which U.S. troops are stationed --some to protect diplomatic personnel and corporate interests and some for more overt and nefarious activities. In the most benign of circumstances this creates resentment and bitterness toward the U.S. In cases where the U.S. has backed dictatorial regimes the result is a generational hatred of an America that is seen as having sponsored the tyranny people have been compelled to live under. So having stirred hornet's nests the world over the U.S. feigns surprise when radicalized barbarians arise out of the power vacuums it creates. There are only two possible political conditions in many of these countries: authoritarianism or chaos. Democracy (i.e. mob rule) as has been demonstrated by the utter disaster of the Arab Spring has no viability in tribal lands. By promoting it as a substitute for authoritarian regimes and arming rebel groups the U.S. has facilitated the overthrow of anti-Jihad dictators in Iraq (Saddam), Egypt (Mubarak) and Libya (Qaddafi) and engendered the most radicalized Islamic elements therein. A year ago in a New York Times editorial Vladimir Putin warned Americans about further destabilizing Syria.
But if we insist on inserting ourselves into the affairs of foreign countries why do we continually pick the wrong side to support? It now appears the U.S. has decided we've been playing for the wrong team all along in Syria (West poised to join forces with Assad in face of Islamic State) and as Glenn Greenwald points out, it was only a year ago that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry compared the man the U.S. is now (albeit reluctantly) allied with to Adolph Hitler. While vindicating Vladimir Putin, the turn of events must confuse John McCain terribly.
John McCain posing with members of Al-Queda controlled Syrian rebel group Al-Nusra Front
Senator McCain has never met a rebel group he didn't adore and the United States has been more than delighted to sponsor their ostensible democratic endeavors by furnishing them with assault weapons, grenades and rocket launchers, which have now come to very nicely fortify ISIS and other Jihadist groups.
In light of the embarrassing and Kafkaesque situation the U.S. now finds itself in Syria, the Obama administration is floating trial balloons in seeking to distance itself --via an AP report Tuesday -- from the fact that it is now fighting a group that only months ago it supported: "In an effort to avoid unintentionally strengthening the Syrian government, the White House could seek to balance strikes against the Islamic State with attacks on Assad regime targets."
Give that a minute to sink in. To demonstrate that it is emphatically not pulling an about-face, the U.S. will bomb Assad targets as well as ISIS. 'Switched sides?...uhh -- no, no not at all -- why...er..We're just keeping things fair, see?...Yea, that's the ticket...we're bombing everyone!' Someone is insane here and if this does not provoke in you a deep repulsion of the behavior of the United States government then I would suggest the afflicted party may well be you. As long as we're engaged with these people we've lost -- in the sense that "winning" these types of military engagements is a western-centric concept. Radicalized Islam's sole goal is war itself. For them fighting is victory. Russia learned this in what became a nine year guerrilla conflict with the people of Afghanistan.** We're slow learners (with the caveat that in the end, war is always about money).
So once again, with the media establishing the U.S.'s latest bogeyman -- ISIS (aka The Islamic State) by feeding gruesome images to the public 24/7, the table is being set for yet another futile bombing campaign against yet another radicalized group born out of U..S. imperialism. Of course there are no similar images of U.S. barbarism but that is because in contrast with ISIS, the CIA does not allow cameras at its torture sessions. As Charles Pierce recently pointed out, while the U.S. may not practice beheadings, "that's a pretty low bar for an evolved democracy." No matter, boobus americanus is being told that beheadings will soon be at our own doorstep if we fail to "do something." If there is to be any break from the cycle of disasterous consequences resulting from U.S. meddling in chaotic parts of the world we must remain at home. Yes, they are savages -- yes, they behead and yes, it is monstrous (and yes, we armed them). However it will either continue with our participation or without it. This is what we have sewn. We cannot repair this with more bombs. It only empowers them.
The actual number of covert, sub-covert and affiliated covert agencies the United States operates is classified, although the few who ought to know have probably lost track. One thing is certain; there is a plethora of spooks and otherwise Grade B script writers with all too much time on their hands and excessive amounts of taxpayer money in their petty cash slush accounts. It all leads to counter-productive mischief that serves nobody's interest but theirs. What fun they must have receiving government salaries (plus all the cash they can steal from disbursements earmarked for "operations") while cooking up ways to amuse themselves. This particular caper was hatched by the U.S. Agency for International Development, whose ostensible purpose is to oversee humanitarian aid: AP: US sent Latin youth undercover in anti-Cuba ploy.
You just can't make this stuff up. At least the United States government has the good sense to fudge economic data before it's released. The Canadians really need to send some of their pencil-pushers to intern at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to learn the 'ins and outs' of government data-doping: Canada Releases Atrocious Jobs Data; Then Revises It above the Highest Estimate Following Public Outcry
And then there is this: Fact or Fiction: US Treasury agents go undercover posing as Russian businessmen
This month marks the fortieth anniversary of Richard Nixon's resignation from the U.S. Presidency and the commencement of the post-Watergate campaign finance reform era. Four decades later the American political system has never been more corrupt. Well intentioned people however continue to waste their time discussing further "reforming" of campaign laws and layering additional anti-corruption legislation upon existing layers already in place. It is all a pointless sideshow that detracts from the real issue; as long as there are obscene amounts of money swirling around government the corruption cannot be controlled. A mountain of sugar draws ants. Step on as many as you wish but until you remove the sugar or at least reduce the size of the mountain the ants will continue their march. Total government expenditures (federal, state and local) have ballooned from $453 billion in 1974, the year Nixon resigned to $6.3 trillion today. The ants have never been happier.
Think the labor market would be a problem? Try the derivatives market: Jackson Hole Theme: Labor Markets Can’t Take Higher Rates - Bloomberg
Janet Tavakoli, who has been featured here on several occasions, is one of the world's experts on derivatives -- the systemic time bomb underneath the financial system. Note her comment regarding the reception to her warnings. Janet Tavakoli: The derivatives problem is bigger than ever
"When people like me speak up we're bullied...You speak up and you'll get nailed."
Why would you take investment advice from a former mafia boss? Because he likely has more integrity than the average Wall Street professional: CNBC: Mob boss calls a stock bubble. Mr. Franzese also sounds more competent. I'd prefer to share a foxhole with him than any banker.
Silver and gold...
Grant Williams succinctly summarized the obvious custodial gold Ponzi operation being run by the United States Federal Reserve. The difference between the victims of a private Ponzi schemes and those of a sovereign one is that there is a distinction between the ultimate victims (the people) and the official victims (politicians/government stewards). So the latter have similar incentive to perpetuate the lie as do the scheme's actual perpetrators.
I conclude with GATA Secretary/Treasurer Chris Powell's latest update on GATA's Freedom of Information Act lawsuit and an appeal for contributions to assist with the legal costs. GATA is quite fortunate to be represented by and have Ted Olson as its legal counsel. I've often stated that given its counter-intuitive price action, I don't understand why anyone would be invested in gold today without believing that its price is heavily manipulated. This is your cause GATA is fighting for. Please support it.
"The Fed provided many records but, having secured an exemption for its most incriminating records, none of the records disclosed were of any interest. Meanwhile the State Department purported to be unable to find any gold-related records at all -- even as outside researchers were able to find such records on the department's own Internet site."
All the best,
* Proclamation of Neutrality; 1793: "It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world…”
** Despite its overwhelming military advantage and lopsided "kill rate," Russia ultimately placed its tail between its legs and withdrew. Estimates of Afghans killed range from 900,000 to 1,500,000 vs. 14,000 Russians, a comparative casualty ratio of from 64:1 to over 100:1 at the higher end of the range. Russia's hardware superiority and military sophistication proved as futile in battling the terrain and will of the enemy as the disproportionate body count. By the end of the War the former Soviet Union had lost 451 aircraft (including 333 helicopters), 147 tanks, 1314 armored personnel carriers and armed infantry vehicles, 433 artillery guns and mortar and 11,369 cargo and fuel tanker trucks.