Hiring of Arjuna Mahendran is latest sign of economic shake-up from Sirisena
How to Stop Terrorism: 7 Ways to Drain the Swamp
In the wake of the barbaric Paris terror attack, everyone is debating how to stop further terrorism.
Some say we need more war against Islamic countries … or more spying … or more crackdowns on our liberties.
But – despite what the talking heads may say – the methods for stopping future attacks are well known …
We’ve got to drain the swamp.
I. Stop Supporting the Dictators Who Fund Terrorists
Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest sponsor of radical Islamic terrorists.
The Saudis have backed ISIS and many other brutal terrorist groups. According to sworn declarations from a 9/11 Commissioner and the Co-Chair of the Congressional Inquiry Into 9/11, the Saudi government backed the 9/11 hijackers (see section VII for details).
Saudi Arabia is the hotbed of the most radical Muslim terrorists in the world: the Salafis (both ISIS and Al Qaeda are Salafis).
And the Saudis – with U.S. support – back the radical “madrassas” in which Islamic radicalism was spread.
And yet the U.S. has been supporting the Saudis militarily, with NSA intelligence and in every other way possible for 70 years.
In addition, top American terrorism experts say that U.S. support for brutal and tyrannical countries in the Middle east – like Saudi Arabia – is one of the top motivators for Arab terrorists.
So if we stop supporting the House of Saud and other Arab tyrannies, we’ll get a two-fold reduction in terror:
(1) We’ll undermine the main terrorism supporters
(2) We’ll take away one of the main motivations driving terrorists: our support for the most repressive, brutal Arab tyrannies
II. Stop Arming Terrorists
We’re arming the most violent terrorists in the Middle East, as part of a geopolitical strategy to overthrow leaders we don’t like (see section III for more details). And see this, this, this, this and this.
Previously-leaked documents showed that the CIA warned Obama that funding extremist rebels doesn’t work … but Obama decided to fund the Syrian rebels anyway for cynical political gain.
Indeed, the French terrorists who just murdered the cartoonists in Paris apparently just returned from waging war against the Syrian government, where they may – directly or indirectly – have obtained U.S. weapons and training.
And – strangely – we’re overthrowing the more moderate Arabs who stabilized the region and denied jihadis a foothold.
If we want to stop terrorism, we need to stop supporting the terrorists.
III. Stop Imperial Conquests for Arab Oil
The U.S. has undertaken regime change against Arab leaders we don’t like for six decades. We overthrew the leader of Syria in 1949, Iran in 1953, Iraq twice, Afghanistan twice, Turkey, Libya … and other oil-rich countries.
Neoconservatives planned regime change throughout the Middle East and North Africa yet again in 1991.
Top American politicians admit that the Iraq oil was about oil, not stopping terrorism (documents from Britain show the same thing). Much of the war on terror is really a fight for natural gas. Or to force the last few hold-outs into dollars and private central banking.
And the U.S. military described terror attacks on the U.S. as a “small price to pay for being a superpower“:
A senior officer on the Joint Staff told State Department counter-terrorism director Sheehan he had heard terrorist strikes characterized more than once by colleagues as a “small price to pay for being a superpower”.
Security experts – including both conservatives and liberals – agree that waging war in the Middle East weakens national security and increases terrorism. See this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.
For example, James K. Feldman – former professor of decision analysis and economics at the Air Force Institute of Technology and the School of Advanced Airpower Studies – and other experts say that foreign occupation is the main cause of terrorism. University of Chicago professor Robert A. Pape – who specializes in international security affairs – agrees.
We’ve fought the longest and most expensive wars in American history … but we’re less secure than before, and there are more terror attacks than ever.
Remember, Al Qaeda wasn’t even in Iraq until the U.S. invaded that country.
If we want to stop terrorism, we have to stop overthrowing Arab leaders and invading Arab countries to grab their oil.
IV. Stop Mass Surveillance
Top security experts agree that mass surveillance makes us MORE vulnerable to terrorists.
V. Stop Torture
Top terrorism and interrogation experts agree that torture creates more terrorists.
Indeed, the leaders of ISIS were motivated by U.S. torture.
Once again, we have a very current example: Paris terrorist Cherif Kouchi told a court in 2005 that he wasn’t radical until he learned about U.S. torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
If we want to stop creating new terrorists, we have to stop torturing … permanently.
VI. Stop Drone Assassinations of Innocent Civilians
Top CIA officers say that drone strikes increase terrorism (and see this).
The CIA – the agency in charge of drone strikes – even told Obama that drone kills can increase terrorism.
If we want to stop creating new terrorists, we have to stop the drone strikes.
VII. Stop Covering Up 9/11
Government officials agree that 9/11 was state-sponsored terrorism … they just disagree on which state was responsible.
Because 9/11 was the largest terror attack on the U.S. in history – and all of our national security strategies are based on 9/11 – we can’t stop terror until we get to the bottom of what really happened, and which state was behind it.
Many high-level American officials – including military leaders, intelligence officials and 9/11 commissioners – are dissatisfied with the 9/11 investigations to date.
The Co-Chair of the congressional investigation into 9/11 – Bob Graham – and 9/11 Commissioner and former Senator Bob Kerrey are calling for either a “permanent 9/11 commission” or a new 9/11 investigation to get to the bottom of it.
The Co-Chair of the Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 and former Head of the Senate Intelligence Committee (Bob Graham) said that the Paris terror attack, ISIS, and other terrorist developments are a result of failing to stand up to Saudi Arabia and declassify the 9/11 investigation’s report about Saudi involvement in 9/11:
The 9/11 chairs, Ron Paul, and numerous other American politicians have called for declassification, as well.
Again, others have different ideas about who was behind 9/11. But until we get to the bottom of it, terror attacks will continue.
Stop Throwing Bodies In the River
Defenders of current government policy say: “we have to do something to stop terrorists!”
Yes, we do …
But we must also stop doing the 7 things above which increase terrorism. We have to stop “throwing new bodies in the river.”
But the powers-that-be don’t want to change course … they gain tremendous power and influence through our current war on terror strategies.
For example, the military-complex grows rich through war … so endless war is a feature – not a bug – of our foreign policy.
Torture was about building a false justification for war.
Mass surveillance is about economic and diplomatic advantage and crushing dissent.
Supporting the most radical Muslim leaders is about oil and power … “a small price to pay” to try to dominate the world.
A leading advisor to the U.S. military – the Rand Corporation – released a study in 2008 called “How Terrorist Groups End: Lessons for Countering al Qa’ida“. The report confirms what experts have been saying for years: the war on terror is actually weakening national security (see this, this and this).
As a press release about the study states:
“Terrorists should be perceived and described as criminals, not holy warriors, and our analysis suggests that there is no battlefield solution to terrorism.”
We, the People, have to stand up and demand that our power-hungry leaders stop doing the things which give them more power … but are guaranteed to increase terrorism against us, the civilian population.
Stocks surged yesterday after the Reserve Bank of India surprised the market with a rate cut.
David Cameron ‘delighted’ after Christine Lagarde says British economy provides ‘eloquent and convincing’ leadership for EU
The head of the International Monetary Fund has handed David Cameron a helpful pre-election gift, hailing the British economic recovery as “exactly the sort of result” she would like to see.
The prime minister warmly welcomed the remarks by the IMF’s managing director, Christine Lagarde, who said that Britain’s economic performance was providing “eloquent and convincing” leadership for the rest of the EU.
A month ago, when the Russian Ruble was crashing, developed nations were delighted to poke fun of Russians who lined up in front of currency exchange kiosks, supposedly to convert their rapidly devaluing Rubles into Dollars or other rising fiat.
* * *
Today, those same developed nation hecklers are deathly silent after what may be the biggest western central bank faux pas in recent history, and which in addition to sending the Swiss Franc soaring has – perhaps for the first time in history – manifested in lines of people in front of currency exchange bureaus nowhere else, but in that bastion of capitalism: Geneva.
Direct consequences of SNB abandoning 1.20 EURCHF floor. Currency exchange has never seen a queue before! pic.twitter.com/MUhbHlqKd9
— Richard Watts (@watts_richard) January 15, 2015
Still queuing at the currency exchange. Should be closing soon pic.twitter.com/LzUhia4mGh
— Richard Watts (@watts_richard) January 15, 2015
Swiss currency exchange. Queuing at all the exchanges that are still open pic.twitter.com/K4Blj8xte5
— Richard Watts (@watts_richard) January 15, 2015
Swiss currency exchange, that’s a huge difference between buy and sell rates pic.twitter.com/7zuERaGZsK
— Richard Watts (@watts_richard) January 15, 2015
What’s going on? AFP explains:
“It’s like Christmas all over again!” enthused Vanessa, as she joined a swelling queue outside a currency exchange office in downtown Geneva Thursday.
The 28-year-old hospital orderly was one of many across Switzerland rushing to cash in on a soaring Swiss franc.
Minutes after a shock announcement from the Swiss central bank that it was abandoning the minimum rate of 1.20 francs against the euro, the safe haven Swiss currency strengthened almost 30 percent to 0.8517 against the common European currency before easing back to 1.0421.
“I heard the news this morning. I’m so happy!” Vanessa, who refused to give her last name, told AFP outside of one of many mobbed exchange offices in Geneva.
She has reason to be extatic: she is one of some 280,000 people working in Switzerland but living and paying bills in eurozone countries France, Germany or Italy.
These so-called “frontaliers”, or border-crossers, are the biggest winners in Thursday’s Swiss franc surge, seeing their incomes jump 30 percent in the blink of an eye.
Vanessa said she was contemplating “changing all of my Swiss franc savings into euros”.
Other frontaliers were also celebrating Thursday, but said they would not immediately buy large amounts of euros.
“For those of us living in France and working in Switzerland, this is great!” said Doina Bancila, a 40-year-old bank employee.
“But I don’t want to buy euros in a panic. I’ll wait for next week or the week after to see how the situation evolves,” she told AFP.
Gaelle Voisin, another resident of France, meanwhile said she had only learned about the bonanza she had in store when she turned up at the exchange office.
“I was really surprised to see all of these people here,” said the 40-year-old radio presenter, adding she at first thought the crowd was waiting to buy the latest copy of Charlie Hebdo, in tribute to the 12 people killed in last week’s attack on the satirical weekly’s Paris office.
“I was just going to do a simple exchange, and then this. It’s good for me, and for all the French people working in Switzerland,” she said.
Many Swiss residents were also rubbing their hands over their booming currency, envisioning vacations abroad and perhaps buying up cheaper real estate on the other side of the border.
“This could mean we can take cheaper euro vacations … and if you want to buy a secondary home in France, this is a good thing,” 70-year-old wealth manager Charles Gutowski told AFP.
But, he added, the Swiss central bank itself will loose a fortune, since it has huge foreign currency reserves, and large Swiss companies will take a beating.
“This is going to cause a lot of trouble,” he said.
Swiss business leaders called the central bank’s decision a disaster, with banking giant UBS saying it would lead to a drop of 5 billion francs worth of exports and knock 0.7 percentage points off overall output growth.
“I am at a loss for words,” Swatch group’s boss Nick Hayek told news agency ATS. “What the SNB has sparked here is a tsunami.”
The Swiss watchmaking giant was the biggest loser on a Swiss stock exchange bathed in red Thursday, with its shares sinking 16.4 percent.
The Swiss exchange’s main SMI index lost nearly nine percent Thursday.
The first time the phrase Emergency Liquidity Assistance, or ELA, was used in the context of Greece was in August 2011, when Greece was imploding, when its banking sector was on (and past) the verge of collapse, and just before the ECB had to unleash a global coordinated bailout with other central banks including global central bank liquidity swap and unleash the LTRO to preserve the Eurozone.
As a reminder, this is what happened back then: “In a move described as the “last stand for Greek banks”, the embattled country’s central bank activated Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) for the first time on Wednesday night.”
“Although it was done discreetly, news that Athens had opened the fund filtered out and was one of the factors that rattled markets across Europe. At one point Germany’s Dax was down 4pc before it recovered. The ELA was designed under European rules to allow national central banks to provide liquidity for their own lenders when they run out of collateral of a quality that can be used to trade with the ECB. It is an obscure tool that is supposed to be temporary and one of the last resorts for indebted banks.”
Submitted by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,
“Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.” ? Aldous Huxley, Ends and Means
If 2014 was the year of militarized police, armored tanks, and stop-and-frisk searches, 2015 may well be the year of technologized police, surveillance blimps and scan-and-frisk searches.
Just as we witnessed neighborhood cops being transformed into soldier cops, we’re about to see them shapeshift once again, this time into robocops, complete with robotic exoskeletons, super-vision contact lenses, computer-linked visors, and mind-reading helmets.
Similarly, just as military equipment created for the battlefield has been deployed on American soil against American citizens, we’re about to see military technology employed here at home in a manner sure to annihilate what’s left of our privacy and Fourth Amendment rights.
For instance, with the flick of a switch (and often without your even being aware of the interference), police can now shut down your cell phone, scan your body for “suspicious” items as you walk down the street, test the air in your car for alcohol vapors as you drive down the street, identify you at a glance and run a background check on you for outstanding warrants, piggyback on your surveillance devices to listen in on your conversations and “see” what you see on your private cameras, and track your car’s movements via a GPS-enabled dart.
That doesn’t even begin to scrape the surface of what’s coming down the pike, with law enforcement and military agencies boasting technologies so advanced as to render everything up until now mere child’s play.
Once these technologies, which used to belong exclusively to the realm of futuristic sci-fi films, have been unleashed on an unsuspecting American public, it will completely change the face of American policing and, in the process, transform the landscape of what we used to call our freedoms.
It doesn’t even matter that these technologies can be put to beneficial uses. As we’ve learned the hard way, once the government gets involved, it’s only a matter of time before the harm outweighs the benefits.
Imagine, if you will, self-guided “smart” bullets that can track their target as it moves, solar-powered airships that provide persistent wide-area surveillance and tracking of ground “targets,” a grenade launcher that can deliver 14 flash-bang grenade rounds, invisible tanks that can blend into their surroundings and masquerade as a snow bank or a soccer mom’s station wagon, and a guided mortar weapon that can target someone up to 12 miles away.
Or what about “less lethal weapons” such as the speech jammer gun, which can render a target tongue-tied; sticky foam guns, which shoot foam that hardens on contact, immobilizing the victim; and shock wave generators, which use the shockwaves from a controlled explosion to knock people over.
Now imagine trying to defend yourself against such devices, which are incapable of distinguishing between an enemy combatant and a civilian. For that matter, imagine attempting to defend yourself or your loved ones against police officers made superhuman thanks to technology that renders them bullet-proof, shatter-proof, all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful.
Does rendering a government agent superhuman make them inhuman, as well, unable to relate to the mass of humanity they are sworn to protect and defend?
Pointing out that the clothes people wear can affect how they act, Salon magazine reporter Geordie Mcruer notes that “when clothing has symbolic meaning – such as a uniform that is worn only by a certain profession – it prepares the mind for the pursuit of goals that are consistent with the symbolic meaning of the clothing.”
When we dress our police officers in camouflage before deploying them to a peaceful protest, the result will be police who think more like soldiers. This likely includes heightening their perception of physical threats, and increasing the likelihood that they react to those threats with violence. Simply put, dressing police up like soldiers potentially changes how they see a situation, changing protesters into enemy combatants, rather than what they are: civilians exercising their democratic rights…
There’s no better way to start a conversation with a friend than to bring up potential doomsday scenarios. Luckily with this infographic guide, you will be readily equipped.
Keep in mind this is the real deal, and not any of this wimpy economic collapse stuff. We’re talking planets and stars exploding, near-extinction, and Bruce Willis coming to the rescue type of stuff.
One event that we have talked about before is human overpopulation, and the concerns that it brings to natural resources and the environment. As the global population moves towards 10 billion and with fertility rates dropping as countries get more advanced, we don’t see this as being an apocalyptic scenario. However, we do see it as causing scarcity and creating opportunity for resource investors and the creation of new technologies.
One common theme in this tongue-in-cheek graphic is that all of these scenarios involve our planet. That is why expanding beyond into space is important, and people like Elon Musk have a good point. The sooner we colonize a planet like Mars, the sooner we find a way to avoid the full extinction possibility of some of these potential events.
Submitted by Peter Schiff via Euro Pacific Capital,
By ending its three year currency peg to the weakening euro Switzerland has become the first major economy to surrender in the international currency war, and in so doing has given a long-delayed victory to the Swiss people. Contrary to the indignant reaction by the media and financial establishment, the decision is not a disaster for Switzerland. A continuance of an open-ended peg to the euro could have ultimately ruined the country. Its surprise move, perhaps prompted by the European Central Bank’s recently announced intentions to unleash its own quantitative easing program, may be looked at in the future as the first significant counter-attack against our current global system of monetary insanity.