US State Department Admits Plans To Meddle In Hungary’s Democracy

As we noted last week, hypocrisy may be the only consistent guiding principle of US foreign policy.
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The Rex Tillerson State Department will pump $700,000 into Hungarian media to remove Viktor Orban.
TheDuran’s Alex Christoforou writes:
When another nation state uses media to communicate it’s point of view, its flagged as a foreign agent, a ‘bad actor’, and often declared as an ‘act of war (i.e. RT).
When the US government uses its petrodollar strength to insert its agenda into another country’s politics it’s branded ‘democracy and human rights programming’.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 25, 2017.

North Korean Propaganda On Trump: ‘Garbage That Reeks Of Gunpowder To Ignite War’

After North Koreans heard from their state-run media (propaganda) that Donald Trump had said some harsh things about life in the isolated nation, they fired back. And many believe Trump will ‘ignite a war’ between the United States and their own country.
In a speech on Wednesday, President Trump called the isolated communist country ‘a hell that no person deserves.’
But the rebuttal from North Koreans was equally harsh. One woman, who CNN spoke to on the streets of Pyongyang called Trump’s assertion ‘foolish,’ ‘absurd,’ and another word CNN claims they cannot print. ‘The reality here is very different. We’re leading a happy life,’ Ri Yong Hui, a housewife in Pyongyang, told CNN.
North Korean state media reported that Trump had spoken on Thursday, but did not include concrete details of his speech, in which the President slammed Pyongyang’s human rights abuses.

This post was published at shtfplan on November 9th, 2017.

Finally Belgium Speaks Out Against Spanish Oppression

The Belgium Prime minister Charles Michel has come out against Spain and now other European leaders applaud him for taking a position against the repressive action by Spain’s Civil Guard and National Police despite the fact that those in Brussels remain silent because they care only about their own jobs. Brussels has been silent fearing others will rise up as separatists against their rule. So Brussels has demonstrated to the world that human rights come second to self-interest. This oppression in Spain has done far more damage to the EU than most people realize. Their silence has been taken as proof that they too would resort to violence to protect their jobs as well.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Oct 16, 2017.

Is Identity Politics Brewing a Holocaust?

Signs of American collapse are everywhere. Apparently no one notices. The world continues to vote with the US in the UN. When even Russia and China serve as handmaidens to US foreign policy by voting with Washington against North Korea, it appears that the image of America as the exceptional and indispensable country is a propaganda success even among Washington’s most threatened enemies. When Russia and China follow Washington’s lead, it shows the world that there is no alternative to Washington’s leadership.
A country with a $20 trillion public debt, an even larger private debt, a work force drowning in debt and employed in third world lowly paid domestic services, a stock market pumped up beyond all reason by Federal Reserve liquidity and companies using their profits to repurchase their own stock, a military that’s been tied down for 16 years by a few lightly armed Muslims, a propaganda ministry instead of a media with public ignorance the consequence, and with a total collapse of morality in public and private institutions along with the disappearance of courage, is nevertheless able to make the entire world dance to its tune. Washington is the Wizard of Oz.
Washington in the past 16 years has destroyed in whole or part seven countries, murdering, maiming, orphaning, widowing, and displacing millions of peoples. Yet Washington still presents itself as the great defender of human rights, democracy, and all that is good. The American people have voiced few words of protest against the massive crimes against humanity committed by ‘their’ government.

This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on September 20, 2017.

Could Bitcoin Help Venezuelans As Crisis Deepens?

Protests continue to rage in Venezuela as inflation soars to unprecedented levels and the price of oil remains low. The country’s national currency is now worth less than fictional gold in Azeroth, the setting of the popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft, pushing Venezuelans to bitcoin to hedge against the nation’s struggling economy.
So, What Happened?
Under President Hugo Chavez, Venezuela underwent a revolution, bringing social programs such as education and health care to the people, propped up by increasing oil prices. During his presidency, however, Chavez was accused of bending the economy for personal gain, human rights violations, and intimidation of the media. Price controls placed on basic goods, including food, initially meant to redistribute wealth and reduce costs, led to hyperinflation and shortages. Crime and violence also increased drastically under Chavez, leaving the country as one of the most violent in the world. Venezuela’s misfortune increased, however. In 2013, Chavez passed away and his Vice President, Nicols Maduro, took power. Worries of corruption mounted while plummeting oil prices created an economic climate which was less than desirable. Maduro’s inherited economic burden, in addition to the leader’s failure to diversify the country’s economy led to widespread protests in 2014.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 13, 2017.

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts – If Only It Was True

“A demagogue must be neither an educated nor an honest man; he has to be an ignoramus and a rogue. You possess all the attributes of a demagogue: a screeching, horrible voice, a perverse, cross-grained nature and the language of the market-place.”
Aristophanes, The Knights
Trump announced the withdrawal of the US from the Paris climate accords today. At the end of the day it was mostly a symbolic act in withdrawing from a largely toothless agreement.
He missed a wonderful opportunity to actually announce something with teeth in it, like major infrastructure initiatives to improve the power grid in the US, and encourage the use of renewable energy and new technologies.
He might even have suggested that the US will start looking at the trade inflows from countries that are major polluters and abusers of human rights with a less favorable eye. That might have some real bite to it. And not a collection of voluntary agreements from politicians who are above all artful liars.
Trump says he is doing this for the average working people of the US. If only this was true.
Doing things for the common people of the US is a fig leaf that the GOP perennially likes to use when they are doing some fairly despicable things in the service of Big Business. If you think that they care about the public, watch what they are doing with healthcare and taxes and fiscal policy initiatives to create living wage employment.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 01 JUNE 2017.

Turks Buying Gold, Uncertain of Their Political Future

A constitutional referendum in Turkey in mid-April could bring the most significant change to the county’s political structure since the introduction of its multiparty election system in 1945. With all of the uncertainty surrounding the vote and a shaky monetary system, Turks are starting to buy gold in large quantities. Turkish gold imports surged 17-fold to 28.2 tons in March, according to a Reuters report, as Turks seek out the safe haven inherent in precious metals.

Polling indicates a close and contentious vote, and passage of the referendum would create a ‘Turkish-style’ executive presidency and vastly increase the president’s powers. According to Human Rights Watch, two important provisions would immediately go into effect.
‘The president would have increased authority over the body that administers the judiciary and controls the appointment of judges and prosecutors, and the prohibition against the president having a formal party affiliation would be lifted. The courts in Turkey are already under political influence and these changes would further reduce judicial independence.’

This post was published at Schiffgold on APRIL 5, 2017.

GIBRALTAR: A Tax Haven, Not A Nation

21st Century Wire says…
Former Conservative leader Michael Howard has suggested that British Prime Minister Theresa May ‘would be prepared to go to war to protect Gibraltar as Margaret Thatcher once did for the Falklands’. His comments have been met with immediate criticism and dubbed ‘inflammatory’.
Fabian Picardo, the chief minister of Gibraltar, received a call from May on Sunday morning to say the UK remained ‘steadfastly committed to our support for Gibraltar, its people and its economy’.
With regards to economy, enter Craig Murray and his popular blog. A historian, former Ambassador, and Human Rights Activist, Craig takes us down the road that the mainsteam media today are not discussing; Gibraltar as a ‘tax haven’ and the so called ‘nationalism’ and discussion of ‘sovereignty’ by the British Parliament.
Are the British government authentically steadfast to the democratic wishes of the British inhabitants of Gibraltar, or is this developing Brexit fracas more about preservation of another UK tax haven.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on APRIL 2, 2017.

Tax Revolt in Belarus Turning to Mass Arrests

For weeks now, thousands of people have gone public in Belarus to protest against a special tax for ‘little workers’ and demanded the resignation of Aleksandr Grigoryevich Lukashenko who has been the autocratic President of Belarus, in office since July 20th, 1994. Lukashenko had issued a decree that people who work less than six months a year have to pay a tax of 189 euros. This was to prevent ‘social parasitism’, which he explained was the justification. In view of the protests, he temporarily suspended the decree, but the crisis is getting worse.
Lukashenko is seen by many as really a dictator. His police arrests those who were going to speak at the protest and they stormed the human rights office arresting people there in advance. The instability building in Belarus is really serious. Additionally, Lukashenko has lashed out at Russia and accused Moscow of violating their 20-year old border agreement, in a escalating dispute that has become a source of tension with his country’s neighbor and strongest ally. It appears that we will see the collapse of the current government by 2020.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Mar 27, 2017.

The G-20 Was Never Serious About Free Trade

There is much hand-wringing in the financial media this week after Treasury Secretary (and Lego Batman producer) Steve Mnuchin helped push the G-20 to remove its long standing language to ‘reject protectionism’ from its annual statement. While the Trump administration’s embrace of anti-trade policies is a very real concern for the global economy, it is worth noting that the G-20’s desire for free trade was every bit as sincere as the UN’s commitment to human rights. What the G-20 members call ‘free trade’ is really government managed trade, complete with complex multinational trade agreements that Trump is right to oppose.
After all, if the G-20’s criticism of protectionism was worth more than the ink it was written with, then there could have easily long been an agreement dropping all trade restrictions – or at the very least anti-trade policies between member countries. Yet instead every single member of the G-20 engages in a variety of protectionist schemes.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on March 22, 2017.

Why Gold is the Ace Up Trump’s Sleeve

Trends are born, they grow, mature, reach old age and die…
The Donald Trump, businessman/reality show star turned President of the United States trend has just been born.
I’ve never seen anything like it.
Never in modern history has the nation stood so divided and nations across the globe so alarmed following the election of the leader of the world’s largest economy and most powerful military.
And with each passing day, social tensions rise, equity markets tremble and geopolitical uncertainty grows with each new executive order, accusation, proclamation and tweet.
People are taking to the streets.
Immediately following Trump’s inauguration, The Women’s March of nearly 5 million women and men across America and throughout much of the western world took a stand, vowing to protect ‘our rights, our safety, our health, and our families… and that women’s rights are human rights.’

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on February 3, 2017.

Turkey Warns Citizens About Travel To US Over “Social Tensions”, Anti-Trump Protests

Several days after the US Embassy in Istanbul ordered the families of employees to depart, and advised U. S. citizens to avoid travel to southeast Turkey and “carefully consider the risks of travel to and throughout the country”, Turkey has responded by warning its citizens on Saturday about travel to the United States, in response to what the foreign ministry called “increasingly violent protests against President-elect Donald Trump.”
“Within the context of risks caused by the incidents and of social tension, our citizens who live in the U. S., or who are considering traveling there, should be cautious,” the ministry said in a statement.
The advisory said the unrest began after Tuesday’s elections: “Sometimes the protests turn violent and criminal while protesters (are) detained by security forces,” the ministry of foreign affairs said Saturday, adding that “racists and xenophobic incidents increased in USA.”
“Considering the risks, we advise our citizens living and traveling to US to follow local media, to follow the warning of our embassy in Washington and American security forces, to stay away from protests, to increase their security in work space and to apply to local security when there is a racist or xenophobic attack while keeping calm,” the statement added.
Demonstrators across America, some allegedly funded by George Soros-linked organizations, have staged four consecutive nights of protests against Trump, whose election they say poses a threat to their civil and human rights, a day after a protester was shot in Portland, Oregon.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 13, 2016.

One Frustrated Millennial Explains “How I Went From Voting For Obama In ’08 To Trump In ’16”

I truly believe this election is not about Republicans versus Democrats. This is an election for change, for someone who wants to reduce taxes and the power of government, versus someone who wants to strengthen its strangle hold of debt on the American people.
A true career Washington insider versus the ultimate unscripted, unpolished outsider. Someone who has enriched themselves with a career in business versus a politician who is now worth over 250 million and runs a foundation who took foreign donations from countries that violate human rights for favors while acting as Secretary of state.
I am not a journalist.
I am an ordinary US citizen concerned with the direction of our country. I come from a hard-working middle class family, people who believe the American dream is possible.
I was born in Staten Island, NY, but grew up in a small town with my father and sister in New Jersey. Being a single parent, my father struggled but always put his children first.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 7, 2016.

George Soros Hacked, Over 2,500 Internal Docs Released Online

Last Thursday, as Bloomberg was gingerly setting the stage, and the preemptive damage control for what was about to be a historic leak, it did everything in its power to deflect attention from the key topic, namely that prominent liberal billionaire and Hillary supporter, George Soros had been hacked and countless documents were about to be leaked, and instead focus on the alleged identity of the hackers, the so-called DCLeaks, which – like all other “experts” – it positioned as yet another Russian government-sponsored operation.
To this we had one retort: “Far more important than the inane speculation on the hackers’ identity, is the now official disclosure – and warning – that Soros himself was hacked. Bloomberg writes that Open Society Foundations, the Soros group, reported the breach to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in June, according to spokeswoman Laura Silber, who added that an investigation by a security firm found the intrusion was limited to an intranet system used by board members, staff and foundation partners.”
And, sure enough, over the weekend that is precisely what DCLeaks revealed as it disclosed over two thousand internal documents from groups run by George Soros were leaked online Saturday after hackers infiltrated the groups. The 2,576 files were released by DCLeaks, a website which claims to be ‘launched by the American hacktivists who respect and appreciate freedom of speech, human rights and government of the people.’
The documents are from multiple departments of Soros’ organizations. Soros’ the Open Society Foundations seems to be the group with the most documents in the leak. Files come from sections representing almost all geographical regions in the world, from the USA, to Europe, Eurasia, Asia, Latin, America, Africa, the World Bank ‘the President’s Office’, as well as an unknown entity named SOUK. As the Daily Caller notes, there are documents dating from at least 2008 to 2016.
Documents in the leak range from research papers such as “EUROPEAN CRISIS: Key Developments of the Past 48 Hours” focusing on the impact of the refugee crisis, to a document titled “The Ukraine debate in Germany“, to an update specific financials of grants.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 15, 2016.

Erdogan Goes Too Far, Market Warns As Lira, Turkish ETF Suddenly Tumble

While so far the Western diplomatic response to Erdogan’s unprecedented putsch has been mostly stunned silence (with just the U. N. human rights chief expressing alarm about the mass suspension or removals of judges so far), the market is starting to get concerned, and moments ago the Turkish Lira suddenly tumbled, sliding below Friday’s closing level, while at the same time the MSCI Turkish ETF plunged as well.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 19, 2016.

Everything’s Fake About China Except This…

Fake goods, fake economic growth, fake trade, fake cities, fake human rights, fake country. Real debt.
The global trade in counterfeit goods accounts for 2.5 percent of the world’s imports and is worth almost half a trillion euro, according to a report from the OECD and EUIPO. US, Italian and French brands suffer the most from the lucrative global trade in knockoffs. The report analyzed customs seizures around the world between 2011 and 2013, finding that China accounted for the most fake goods of any nation by some distance.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 04/24/2016 –.

The Formlessness of Progressivism

Progressives are often good people with good intentions. However, modern Progressivism has evolved into something so shapeless and amorphous as to amount to little more than a belief in ‘things that sound nice.’ Mainstream Progressives have done an abysmal job of outlining precisely, in their view, the proper role of government and what (if any) limiting principle(s) apply to the state as a whole.
Everything Is Now a Taxpayer-Funded ‘Right’
Problems with today’s leftism begin with the ideology’s conception of ‘rights.’ In the common laissez-faire view, rights are universal because they do not impose a duty on others to act positively on our behalf. Simply put, the proper view of human rights is that they prohibit us from initiating coercion against others.
Moreover, not only are the rights universal, but they are inherent to being human. To argue that the state confers these rights suggests that the state, through whatever ‘legitimate’ institutions it may possess, can also take them away. This is an unacceptable possibility in a society of free people.
Modern Progressivism, however, has so warped the entire nature of rights as to turn almost any desired good or service into a right.
In this view, private employers refusing to subsidize birth control purchases by employees are violating a woman’s ‘right’ to birth control. Business owners with religious convictions about homosexuality are denying ‘rights’ by refusing to bake cakes for homosexual couples. Offering someone a job that pays wages belowsome arbitrary federal or state mandated minimum is now an act in violation of a ‘labor right.’
A service once voluntarily offered to the public is now a duty enforced by the violent arm of the state.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on DECEMBER 30, 2015.

You Could Be Fined 250,000 Dollars If You Offend A Transgender Woman In New York City

Political correctness is officially out of control in New York City. According to brand new rules that were just issued by the New York City Commission on Human Rights, you could potentially be fined $250,000 if you purposely offend someone that is transgender. This includes such offenses as calling a transgender woman ‘him’ when she wants to be called ‘her’, or not allowing a transgender woman to use the women’s bathroom. These guidelines are particularly focused on the behavior of landlords, employers and businesses, but they will undoubtedly create a chilling effect on speech all throughout New York City.
Needless to say, these new regulations will result in a flood of litigation as transgender individuals exercise their new ‘rights’. According to the New York City Commission on Human Rights, employers must now use ‘an individual’s preferred name, pronoun and title’ when referring to that person. And some of the pronouns that were given as examples by the Commission were only recently introduced to the English language and many people don’t even know how to pronounce them. The following comes directly from the new ‘guidelines’…
The NYCHRL requires employers and covered entities to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun and title(e.g., Ms./Mrs.) regardless of the individual’s sex assigned at birth, anatomy, gender, medical history, appearance, or the sex indicated on the individual’s identification. Most individuals and many transgender people use female or male pronouns and titles.
Some transgender and gender non-conforming people prefer to use pronouns other than he/him/his or she/her/hers, such as they/them/theirs or ze/hir.
All facilities in New York City will now also be required to allow transgender individuals to use whatever bathrooms and locker rooms they prefer. Here is more from the new ‘guidelines’…

This post was published at End Of The American Dream on December 28th, 2015.

IMF CHIEF CHRISTINE LAGARDE TO STAND TRIAL

Charges are unrelated to her greatest crimes – representing the US-controlled IMF and Western monied interests at the expense of beneficial social change.
The agency is a bandit operation, the loan shark lender of last resort, force-feeding economic and financial harshness on nations in return for loans – followed by new ones needed to pay debt service, an endless cycle of debt peonage, monied interests profiting hugely.
Ordinary people suffer greatly as expected. So do debt-entrapped countries, forced to obey harsh IMF diktats – incompatible with social democracy, civil and human rights.
Nations are strip-mined of their resources, material wealth, state enterprises, and other crown jewels – transferred from public to private hands, hollowed out into dystopian backwaters, their people able to have jobs transformed into serfs.
Except for the privileged few, the result is the worst of all possible worlds – wracked by extreme poverty, hunger, malnutrition, diseases and early usually painful death.
Washington got Lagarde appointed – to serve as a neoliberal maestro of misery.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on DECEMBER 21, 2015.

The Cost Of China’s “Manipulated Market Stability” May Be Too High, BofAML Warns

In August, we learned that even spending CNY1 trillion in plunge protection to prop up an equity market reeling from the unwind of a bevy of backdoor margin lending channels was woefully insufficient. The reason (or one of the reasons): the millions of semi-literate retail investors, housewives, and farmers that had poured money into the market and had previously been inclined to buy every last dip were suddenly selling every last rip in a desperate attempt to recoup their savings which had just been vaporized before their very eyes.
Ultimately, once Beijing had tried halting three quarters of the market and then throwing more than a trillion yuan at the ‘problem’, Chinese authorities just started arresting people. First short-sellers, then brokers, then journalists, and finally, just plain old sellers.
True, that’s not good for China’s international reputation from a kind of human rights/freedom of speech perspective, but when it comes to showing the world that you’re committed to liberalizing capital markets, it sure beats effectively nationalizing a whole collection of equities and halting 75% of trading. Not to mention the fact that when you’re trying to execute a ‘controlled’ currency deval on your own terms and there’s already quite a bit of downward pressure, it’s not entirely clear that you want to be printing too many more trillions of yuan.
Of course even though China may have succeeded in ‘arresting’ some of the pressure with its ‘kill the chicken to scare the monkey’ witch hunt and thereby might possibly have avoided having to dump still more money into buying shares, to a certain extent the reputational damage was done from June-July when CSRC bought some CNY900 billion in shares. As we’ve put it before, that falls outside the bounds of manipulated market decorum even in a world that’s used to central banks providing plunge protection.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/14/2015 –.