This is where excessive government spending leads to. Excessive taxation. And confiscatory tax rates. Taking as much from the wealth creators as possible to fund the welfare state. And as progressive tax systems fail to generate the desired tax revenue they will turn to every other tax they can. Until there is no more wealth to tax. Or to confiscate. When the wealth creators finally say enough is enough. And refuse to create any more wealth for the government to tax or to confiscate. Leaving the government unable to meet their spending obligations. As the critical mass of people turn from taxpayers to benefit recipients. Heralding the end of the republic.
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by: L.J. Devon
(NaturalNews) The path that pilgrims once cut, through rugged landscapes and across great rivers, has been paved over. The men who pounded the stakes and laid the railroads across the plains are now just dust, watching Amtrak trains roll over the tracks they once built. The homesteads that once provided organic produce have been replaced by long lines of people waiting for their stamps so they can buy junk food.
Hearts of independence have eroded away to systems of collective dependence, as the comforts of life make it all too easy. For so many, the path is already laid out – what they eat, learn and put in their medicine cabinet is all handed down to them. And for some reason, the depression and disconnect is worse than ever. It can be seen in the eyes of some people, walking in lines with nothing to produce, nothing to explore, nothing to live for.
The earthly connection of Native American tribes with the land has given way to distanced relationships of craned over necks and glazed over eyes, consumed by social media. As the cameras watch and calculate everyone’s next move, somewhere, where the herd thins, someone is still planting their food and reaping the harvest of their own doing.
When a free man is removed from his innate purpose of working to provide for his own keep, his eyes glaze over, like a lion’s eyes do, when relegated to the confines of a zoo cage. Maybe all the conveniences handed out so easily are not so good for the spirit of the human being. There’s something soulfully fulfilling when one provides independently and can freely share the fruits of one’s labor however one wishes.
America’s socialist experiment of the 1913 income tax has suppressed man’s freedom to provide independently and share the fruits as he wishes. For this, Americans have slowly accepted entitlement programs which are slowly stripping the American soul of its passions and freedoms. A program such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can be a valuable method to help people who honestly have no other way to feed themselves. However, this program is increasingly being used irresponsibly, and is enabling a dependence mindset. According to December 2015 statistics, the number of Americans in the food stamp program has hit nearly 50 million. Where has the independent spirit of America gone? Where has it fled?
For 56 straight months, there have been over 45 million Americans receiving food stamps in order to eat. Participation in the SNAP program has increased by more than 1,470 percent since 1969, according to USDA data. In December 2015, the average monthly benefit of recipients was $256.51, but the total cost to taxpayers now exceeds $5.73 billion.
Americans are no longer predominantly fishers, hunters, gardeners, foragers and entrepreneurs. These statistics show that self sufficiency is dying, as more people rely on corporate government structures to pump out processed junk food just to eat.
It’s the dependency, the “rich-owe-me” mindset which is plaguing people, stealing their drive and determination. Now, more people than ever before have no choice but to eat the foods they’ve been allowed to purchase with their stamps. This in turn allows recipients to keep more money in their pockets for things like cigarettes, alcohol and other drugs.
What if these programs taught people how to produce more of their own food? This new mindset would serve people better over time, instead of encouraging them to depend on free things always being there.
Worried that the unsustainable program could run out of money altogether, lawmakers in Congress are working on implementing new work requirements for Americans to receive food stamps. This is a step in the right direction, and even better would be a food growing/food sharing program that helped people reconnect with healthy foods that prevent cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Most of the products that food stamps buy only fuel people’s health woes. Reconnecting capable people with growing natural foods and organic growing practices could liberate the health of their physical bodies, while restoring the vitality of their spirit.
By adding new productivity requirements and food growing education to food stamp programs, Americans could get back on track with the right mindset, and start blazing new trails that truly lead people out of poverty and health suppression.
See featured article at Natural News
Russia has just taken significant steps that will break the present Wall Street oil price monopoly, at least for a huge part of the world oil market. The move is part of a longer-term strategy of decoupling Russia’s economy and especially its very significant export of oil, from the US dollar, today the Achilles Heel of the Russian economy.
Later in November the Russian Energy Ministry has announced that it will begin test-trading of a new Russian oil benchmark. While this might sound like small beer to many, it’s huge. If successful, and there is no reason why it won’t be, the Russian crude oil benchmark futures contract traded on Russian exchanges, will price oil in rubles and no longer in US dollars. It is part of a de-dollarization move that Russia, China and a growing number of other countries have quietly begun.
The setting of an oil benchmark price is at the heart of the method used by major Wall Street banks to control world oil prices. Oil is the world’s largest commodity in dollar terms. Today, the price of Russian crude oil is referenced to what is called the Brent price. The problem is that the Brent field, along with other major North Sea oil fields is in major decline, meaning that Wall Street can use a vanishing benchmark to leverage control over vastly larger oil volumes. The other problem is that the Brent contract is controlled essentially by Wall Street and the derivatives manipulations of banks like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP MorganChase and Citibank.
The ‘Petrodollar’ demise
The sale of oil denominated in dollars is essential for the support of the US dollar. In turn, maintaining demand for dollars by world central banks for their currency reserves to back foreign trade of countries like China, Japan or Germany, is essential if the United States dollar is to remain the leading world reserve currency. That status as world’s leading reserve currency is one of two pillars of American hegemony since the end of World War II. The second pillar is world military supremacy.
US wars financed with others’ dollars
Because all other nations need to acquire dollars to buy imports of oil and most other commodities, a country such as Russia or China typically invests the trade surplus dollars its companies earn in the form of US government bonds or similar US government securities. The only other candidate large enough, the Euro, since the 2010 Greek crisis, is seen as more risky.
That leading reserve role of the US dollar, since August 1971 when the dollar broke from gold-backing, has essentially allowed the US Government to run seemingly endless budget deficits without having to worry about rising interest rates, like having a permanent overdraft credit at your bank.
That in effect has allowed Washington to create a record $18.6 trillion federal debt without major concern. Today the ratio of US government debt to GDP is 111%. In 2001 when George W. Bush took office and before trillions were spent on the Afghan and Iraq “War on Terror,” US debt to GDP was just half, or 55%. The glib expression in Washington is that “debt doesn’t matter,” as the assumption is that the world—Russia, China, Japan, India, Germany–will always buy US debt with their trade surplus dollars. The ability of Washington to hold the lead reserve currency role, a strategic priority for Washington and Wall Street, is vitally tied to how world oil prices are determined.
In the period up until the end of the 1980’s world oil prices were determined largely by real daily supply and demand. It was the province of oil buyers and oil sellers. Then Goldman Sachs decided to buy the small Wall Street commodity brokerage, J. Aron in the 1980’s. They had their eye set on transforming how oil is traded in world markets.
It was the advent of “paper oil,” oil traded in futures, contracts independent of delivery of physical crude, easier for the large banks to manipulate based on rumors and derivative market skullduggery, as a handful of Wall Street banks dominated oil futures trades and knew just who held what positions, a convenient insider role that is rarely mentioned inn polite company. It was the beginning of transforming oil trading into a casino where Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP MorganChase and a few other giant Wall Street banks ran the crap tables.
In the aftermath of the 1973 rise in the price of OPEC oil by some 400% in a matter of months following the October, 1973 Yom Kippur war, the US Treasury sent a high-level emissary to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In 1975 US Treasury Assistant Secretary, Jack F. Bennett, was sent to Saudi Arabia to secure an agreement with the monarchy that Saudi and all OPEC oil will only be traded in US dollars, not Japanese Yen or German Marks or any other. Bennett then went to take a high job at Exxon. The Saudis got major military guarantees and equipment in return and from that point, despite major efforts of oil importing countries, oil to this day is sold on world markets in dollars and the price is set by Wall Street via control of the derivatives or futures exchanges such as Intercontinental Exchange or ICE in London, the NYMEX commodity exchange in New York, or the Dubai Mercantile Exchange which sets the benchmark for Arab crude prices. All are owned by a tight-knit group of Wall Street banks–Goldman Sachs, JP MorganChase, Citigroup and others. At the time Secretary of State Henry Kissinger reportedly stated, “If you control the oil, you control entire nations.” Oil has been at the heart of the Dollar System since 1945.
Russian benchmark importance
Today, prices for Russian oil exports are set according to the Brent price in as traded London and New York. With the launch of Russia’s benchmark trading, that is due to change, likely very dramatically. The new contract for Russian crude in rubles, not dollars, will trade on the St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange (SPIMEX).
The Brent benchmark contract are used presently to price not only Russian crude oil. It’s used to set the price for over two-thirds of all internationally traded oil. The problem is that the North Sea production of the Brent blend is declining to the point today only 1 million barrels Brent blend production sets the price for 67% of all international oil traded. The Russian ruble contract could make a major dent in the demand for oil dollars once it is accepted.
Russia is the world’s largest oil producer, so creation of a Russian oil benchmark independent from the dollar is significant, to put it mildly. In 2013 Russia produced 10.5 million barrels per day, slightly more than Saudi Arabia. Because natural gas is mainly used in Russia, fully 75% of their oil can be exported. Europe is by far Russia’s main oil customer, buying 3.5 million barrels a day or 80% of total Russian oil exports. The Urals Blend, a mixture of Russian oil varieties, is Russia’s main exported oil grade. The main European customers are Germany, the Netherlands and Poland. To put Russia’s benchmark move into perspective, the other large suppliers of crude oil to Europe – Saudi Arabia (890,000 bpd), Nigeria (810,000 bpd), Kazakhstan (580,000 bpd) and Libya (560,000 bpd) – lag far behind Russia. As well, domestic production of crude oil in Europe is declining quickly. Oil output from Europe fell just below 3 Mb/d in 2013, following steady declines in the North Sea which is the basis of the Brent benchmark.
End to dollar hegemony good for US
The Russian move to price in rubles its large oil exports to world markets, especially Western Europe, and increasingly to China and Asia via the ESPO pipeline and other routes, on the new Russian oil benchmark in the St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange is by no means the only move to lessen dependence of countries on the dollar for oil. Sometime early next year China, the world’s second-largest oil importer, plans to launch its own oil benchmark contract. Like the Russian, China’s benchmark will be denominated not in dollars but in Chinese Yuan. It will be traded on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange.
Step-by-step, Russia, China and other emerging economies are taking measures to lessen their dependency on the US dollar, to “de-dollarize.” Oil is the world’s largest traded commodity and it is almost entirely priced in dollars. Were that to end, the ability of the US military industrial complex to wage wars without end would be in deep trouble.
Perhaps that would open some doors to more peaceful ideas such as spending US taxpayer dollars on rebuilding the horrendous deterioration of basic USA economic infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers in 2013 estimated $3.6 trillion of basic infrastructure investment is needed in the United States over the next five years. They report that one out of every 9 bridges in America, more than 70,000 across the country, are deficient. Almost one-third of the major roads in the US are in poor condition. Only 2 of 14 major ports on the eastern seaboard will be able to accommodate the super-sized cargo ships that will soon be coming through the newly expanded Panama Canal. There are more than 14,000 miles of high-speed rail operating around the world, but none in the United States.
That kind of basic infrastructure spending would be a far more economically beneficial source of real jobs and real tax revenue for the United States than more of John McCain’s endless wars. Investment in infrastructure, as I have noted in previous articles, has a multiplier effect in creating new markets. Infrastructure creates economic efficiencies and tax revenues of some 11 to 1 for every one dollar invested as the economy becomes more efficient.
A dramatic decline for the role of the dollar as world reserve currency, if coupled with a Russia-styled domestic refocus on rebuilding America’s domestic economy, rather than out-sourcing everything, could go a major way to rebalance a world gone mad with war. Paradoxically, the de-dollarization, by denying Washington the ability to finance future wars by the investment in US Treasury debt from Chinese, Russian and other foreign bond buyers, could be a valuable contribution to genuine world peace. Wouldn’t that be nice for a change?
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
See featured article at:
The following text is an excerpt of a chapter by Peter Dale Scott from the Global Research Publishers, “The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century.” first published in 2010.
The U.S. Treasury’s Financial Bailout
The bailout measures of late 2008 may have consequences at least as grave for an open society as the response to 9/11 in 2001. Many members of Congress felt coerced at the time into voting against their inclinations, and the normal procedures for orderly consideration of a bill were dispensed with.
The excuse for bypassing normal legislative procedures was the existence of an emergency. But one of the most reprehensible features of the legislation, that allowed Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to permit bailed-out institutions to use public money for exorbitant salaries and bonuses, was inserted by Paulson after the immediate crisis had passed.
According to Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vermont) the bailout bill originally called for a cap on executive salaries, but Paulson changed the requirement at the last minute. Welch and other members of Congress were enraged by “news that banks getting taxpayer-funded bailouts are still paying exorbitant salaries, bonuses, and other benefits.” In addition, as the Associated Press reported in October 2008, “Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. questioned allowing banks that accept bailout bucks to continue paying dividends on their common stock. ‘There are far better uses of taxpayer dollars than continuing dividend payments to shareholders,’ he said.”
Even more reprehensible is the fact that after the bailouts, Paulson and the Treasury Department refused to provide details of the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) spending of hundreds of billions of dollars, while the New York Federal Reserve refused to provide information about its own bailout (using government-backed loans) that amounted to trillions. This lack of transparency was challenged by Fox TV in a FOIA suit against the Treasury Department, and a suit by Bloomberg News against the Fed.
The financial bailout legislation of September 2008 was only passed after members of both Congressional houses were warned that failure to act would threaten civil unrest and the imposition of martial law.
U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., and U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., both said U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson brought up a worst-case scenario as he pushed for the Wall Street bailout in September. Paulson, former Goldman Sachs CEO, said that might even require a declaration of martial law, the two noted.
Here are the original remarks by Senator Inhofe:
Speaking on Tulsa Oklahoma’s 1170 KFAQ, when asked who was behind threats of martial law and civil unrest if the bailout bill failed, Senator James Inhofe named Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson as the source. “Somebody in D.C. was feeding you guys quite a story prior to the bailout, a story that if we didn’t do this we were going to see something on the scale of the depression, there were people talking about martial law being instituted, civil unrest… who was feeding you guys this stuff?,” asked host Pat Campbell. “That’s Henry Paulson,” responded Inhofe. “We had a conference call early on, it was on a Friday I think – a week and half before the vote on Oct. 1. So it would have been the middle… what was it – the 19th of September, we had a conference call. In this conference call – and I guess there’s no reason for me not to repeat what he said, but he said – he painted this picture you just described. He said, ‘This is serious. This is the most serious thing that we faced.’”
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA 27th District) reported the same threat on the Congressional floor:
The only way they can pass this bill is by creating a panic atmosphere… Many of us were told that the sky would fall… A few of us were even told that there would be martial law in America if we voted no. That’s what I call fear-mongering, unjustified, proven wrong.
So it is clear that threats of martial law were used to get this reprehensible bailout legislation passed. It also seems clear that Congress was told of a threat of martial law, not itself threatened. It is still entirely appropriate to link such talk to the Army’s rapid moves at the time to redefine its role as one of controlling the American people, not just protecting them. In a constitutional polity based on balance of powers, we have seen the emergence of a radical new military power that is as yet completely unbalanced.
Continuity of Operations (COOP)
The Army’s New Role in 2001: Not Protecting American Society, but Controlling It. This new role for the Army is not wholly unprecedented. The U.S. military had been training troops and police in “civil disturbance planning” for the last three decades. The master plan, Department of Defense Civil Disturbance Plan 55-2, or “Operation Garden Plot,” was developed in 1968 in response to the major protests and disturbances of the 1960s.
But on January 19, 2001, on the last day of the Clinton administration, the U.S. Army promulgated a new and permanent Continuity of Operations (COOP) Program. It encapsulated its difference from the preceding, externally oriented Army Survival, Recovery, and Reconstitution System (ASRRS) as follows:
a. In 1985, the Chief of Staff of the Army established the Army Survival, Recovery, and Reconstitution System (ASRRS) to ensure the continuity of essential Army missions and functions.
ASRRS doctrine was focused primarily on a response to the worst case 1980’s threat of a massive nuclear laydown on CONUS as a result of a confrontation with the Soviet Union.
b. The end of the Cold War and the breakup of the former Soviet Union significantly reduced the probability of a major nuclear attack on CONUS but the probability of other threats has increased. Army organizations must be prepared for any contingency with a potential for interruption of normal operations.
To emphasize that Army continuity of operations planning is now focused on the full all-hazards threat spectrum, the name “ASRRS” has been replaced by the more generic title “Continuity of Operations (COOP) Program.
This document embodied the secret Continuity of Government (COG) planning conducted secretly by Rumsfeld, Cheney and others through the 1980s and 1990s. This planning was initially for continuity measures in the event of a nuclear attack, but soon called for suspension of the Constitution, not just “after a nuclear war” but for any “national security emergency”. This was defined in Reagan’s Executive Order 12656 of November 18, 1988, as “any occurrence, including natural disaster, military attack, technological emergency, or other emergency, that seriously degrades or seriously threatens the national security of the United States.” The effect was to impose on domestic civil society the extreme measures once planned for a response to a nuclear attack from abroad. In like fashion, ARR 500-3 Regulation clarified that it was a plan for “the execution of mission-essential functions without unacceptable interruption during a national security or domestic emergency.”
Donald Rumsfeld, who as a private citizen had helped author the COG planning, promptly signed and implemented the revised ARR 500-3. Eight months later, on 9/11, Cheney and Rumsfeld implemented COG, a significant event of which we still know next to nothing. What we do know is that plans began almost immediately – as foreseen by COG planning the 1980s – to implement warrantless surveillance and detention of large numbers of civilians, and that in January 2002 the Pentagon submitted a proposal for deploying troops on American streets.
Then in April 2002, Defense officials implemented a plan for domestic U.S. military operations by creating a new U.S. Northern Command (CINC-USNORTHCOM) for the continental United States. In short, what were being implemented were the most prominent features of the COG planning which Oliver North had worked on in the 1980s.
“Deep Events” and Changes of Party in the White House
Like so many other significant steps since World War Two towards a military-industrial state, the Army’s Regulation 500-3 surfaced in the last days of a departing administration (in this case the very last day). It is worth noticing that, ever since the 1950s, dubious events – of the unpublic variety I have called deep events – have marked the last months before a change of party in the White House. These deep events have tended to a) constrain the incoming president, if he is a Democrat or, alternatively, b) to pave the way for the incomer, if he is a Republican.
Consider, in the first category, the following (when a Republican was succeeded by a Democrat):
– In December 1960 the CIA secured approval for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, and escalated events in Laos into a crisis for which the Joint Chiefs proposed sending 60 000 troops. These events profoundly affected President Kennedy’s posture towards Cuba and Indochina.
– In 1976 CIA Director George H.W. Bush installed an outside Team B intelligence unit to enlarge drastically estimates of the Soviet threat to the United States, eventually frustrating and reversing presidential candidate Jimmy Carter’s campaign pledge to cut the U.S. defense budget.
Equally important were events in the second category (when a Democrat was succeeded by a Republican):
– In late 1968 Kissinger, while advising the Johnson administration, gave secret information to the Nixon campaign that helped Nixon to obstruct the peace agreement in Vietnam that was about to be negotiated at the peace talks then taking place in Paris. (According to Seymour Hersh, “The Nixon campaign, alerted by Kissinger to the impending success of the peace talks, was able to get a series of messages to the Thieu government” in Saigon, making it clear that a Nixon presidency would offer a better deal. This was a major factor in securing the defeat of Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey. Kissinger was not the kind of person to have betrayed his president on his own personal initiative. At the time Nixon’s campaign manager, John Mitchell (one of the very few in on the secret), told Hersh, “I thought Henry [Kissinger] was doing it because Nelson [Rockefeller] wanted him to. Nelson asked Henry to help and he did.”
– In 1980 the so-called October Surprise, with the help of people inside the CIA, helped ensure that the Americans held hostage in Iran would not be returned before the inauguration of Reagan. This was a major factor in securing the defeat of incumbent Jimmy Carter. Once again, the influence of the Rockefellers can be discerned. A CIA officer later reported hearing Joseph V. Reed, an aide to David Rockefeller, comment in 1981 to William Casey, the newly installed CIA Director, about their joint success in disrupting Carter’s plans to bring home the hostages.
Both the financial bailout, extorted from Congress and the escalated preparations for martial law can be seen as transitional events of the first category. Whatever the explanations for their timing, they constrained Obama’s freedom to make his own policies. Moreover they have the consequence of easing this country into unforeseen escalations of the Afghan war.
The Intensive Quiet Preparations for Martial Law
Let us deal first with the preparations for martial law. In late September 2008, at the height of the financial meltdown, The Army Times announced the redeployment of an active Brigade Army Team from Iraq to America, in a new mission that “may become a permanent part of the active Army”:
The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys.
Now they’re training for the same mission – with a twist – at home.
Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks… After 1st BCT finishes its dwell-time mission, expectations are that another, as yet unnamed, active-duty brigade will take over and that the mission will be a permanent one… They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control.
This announcement followed by two weeks the talk of civil unrest and martial law that was used to panic the Congress into passing Paulson’s bailout legislation. Not only that, the two unprecedented events mirror each other: the bailout debate anticipated civil unrest and martial law, while the announced positioning of an active Brigade Combat Team on U.S. soil anticipated civil unrest (such as might result from the bailout legislation).
Then on December 17, 2008, U.S. Northern Command chief General Renuart announced that “the US military plans to mobilize thousands of troops to protect Washington against potential terrorist attack during the inauguration of president-elect Barack Obama.”
The U.S. Army War College also raised the possibility of the U.S. Army being used to control civil unrest, according to the Phoenix Business Journal:
A new report by the U.S. Army War College talks about the possibility of Pentagon resources and troops being used should the economic crisis lead to civil unrest, such as protests against businesses and government or runs on beleaguered banks.
“Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security,” said the War College report.
The study says economic collapse, terrorism and loss of legal order are among possible domestic shocks that might require military action within the U.S.
It is clear that there has been a sustained move in the direction of martial law preparations, a trend that has been as continuous as it has been unheralded. Senator Leahy was thus right to draw our attention to it on September 29, 2006, in his objections to the final form of the Fiscal Year 2007 National Defense Authorization Act, which gave the president increased power to call up the National Guard for law enforcement:
It… should concern us all that the Conference agreement includes language that subverts solid, longstanding Posse Comitatus statutes that limit the military’s involvement in law enforcement, thereby making it easier for the President to declare martial law. There is good reason for the constructive friction in existing law when it comes to martial law declarations.
This quiet agglomeration of military power has not “just growed”, like Topsy, through inadvertence. It shows sustained intention, even if no one has made a public case for it.
1. WCAX, Burlington, Vermont, http://www.wcax.com/Global/story.asp?S= 9567271, 22 December 2008; Cf. CNBC,http://www.cnbc.com/id/27423117, 30 October 2008: ” ‘You can get paid $30 million under this program’, says Michael Kesner, who heads Deloitte Consulting executive compensation practice, ‘There’s no limit on what you can get paid.’ “
2. John Dunbar, AP, http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/081025/meltdown_evolving_bailout.html, 25 October 2007.
3. David Hirst, “Fox Joins Battle cry for Details of US Bail-out”, BusinessDay,http://www.businessday.com.au/business/fox-joins-battle-cry-for-details-of-us-bailout-20081223-74eh.html?page=-1, 24 December 2008.
4. Mike Sunnucks, “Ariz. Police say they are Prepared as War College warns Military must prep for Unrest; IMF warns of Economic Riots”, Phoenix Business Journal, http://phoenix.bizjournals.com/phoenix/stories/2008/12/15/daily34.html, 17 December 2008.
5. 1170 KFAQ, “Paulson Was Behind Bailout Martial Law Threat”, Blacklisted News,http://www.blacklistednews.com/news-2367-0-13-13–.html, 23 November 2008.
6. Rep. Brad Sherman, in the House, 8:07 EST PM, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaG9d_4zij8&NR=1, 2 October 2008; Rep. Sherman later issued the following clarification: “I have no reason to think that any of the leaders in Congress who were involved in negotiating with the Bush Administration regarding the bailout bill ever mentioned the possibility of martial law – again, that was just an example of extreme and deliberately hyperbolic comments being passed around by members not directly involved in the negotiations.” See Rep. Sherman, Alex Jones Show,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bH1mO8qhCs.
7. Army Regulation 500-3, “Emergency Employment of Army and Other Resources”, Army Continuity Of Operations (COOP) Program, http://www.wikileaks.org/leak/us-army-reg-500-3-continuity-2001.pdf, emphasis added; Tom Burghardt, “Militarizing the ‘Homeland’ in Response to the Economic and Political Crisis: NORTHCOM’s Joint Task Force-Civil Support”, Global Research, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10534, 11 October 2008.
8. Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America, Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press, 2007, p. 183-87; James Mann, The Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet, New York, Viking, 2004, p. 138-45.
9. Peter Dale Scott, Road to 9/11, op. cit., p. 183-87.
10. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, 9/11 Commission Report, p. 38, 326; 555, footnote 9; Peter Dale Scott, Road to 9/11, op. cit., p. 228-30.
11. Ritt Goldstein, “Foundations are in Place for Martial Law in the US”, Sydney Morning Herald,http://www.smh.com.au/articles/ 2002/07/27/10274974183 39.html, 27 July 2002.
12. Peter Dale Scott, Road to 9/11, op. cit., p. 240-41.
13. Ibid., p. 60-61.
14. Robert Parry, “Henry Kissinger, Eminence Noire”, ConsortiumNews,http://www.consortiumnews.com/2008/122808.html, 28 December 2008: “Kissinger… – while serving as a peace-talk adviser to the Johnson administration – made obstruction of the peace talks possible by secretly contacting people working for Nixon, according to Seymour Hersh’s 1983 book, The Price of Power”, p. 21.
15. Seymour Hersh, The Price of Power, 1983, p. 18; Jim Hougan, Spooks: The Haunting of America, New York, William Morrow, 1978, p. 435: “Kissinger, married to a former Rockefeller aide, owner of a Georgetown mansion whose purchase was enabled only by Rockefeller gifts and loans, was always the protégé of his patron, Nelson R[ockefeller], even when he wasn’t directly employed by him.”
16. Peter Dale Scott, Road to 9/11, op. cit., p. 93-118.
17. Ibid. p. 82-87, 91, 104-05.
18. Gina Cavallaro, “Brigade Homeland Tours Start Oct. 1″, Army Times,http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/09/army_homeland _090708w/, 30 September 2008; Michel Chossudovsky, “Pre-election Militarization of the North American Homeland, US Combat Troops in Iraq Repatriated to ‘Help with Civil Unrest’”, Global Research, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php? context= va&aid=10341, 26 September 2008.
19. AFP, Agence France-Presse,http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iTBOy3JF8pVAthIthq8C1NrMf4Cg, 17 De- cember 2008.
20. Mike Sunnucks, “Ariz. Police say they are Prepared as War College warns Military must prep for Unrest; IMF warns of Economic Riots”, Phoenix Business Journal, http://phoenix.bizjournals.com/phoenix/stories/2008/12/15/daily34.html, 17 December 2008.
21. Remarks Of Sen. Patrick Leahy, “National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2007 Conference Report”, Congressional Record, http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200609/092906b.html, 29 September 2006.
Palm Beach, CA – At a Credit Suisse conference in West Palm Beach this week, representatives from major defense contractors spoke to their investors about how well business was going in these times of global war. Representatives from top firms like Raytheon, Oshkosh, and Lockheed Martin were in attendance, in somewhat of a celebration of the escalating conflict in the middle east and Africa.
Lockheed Martin Executive Vice President Bruce Tanner gave a speech openly praising the “indirect” benefits that defense contractors would see as a result of the war in Syria. A portion of his speech was captured on audio by someone inside and shared widely on the internet hours after the conference.
In the audio that was captured, Tanner discussed the many recent troubles in the Middle East, with an escalation of conflict in Syria and Turkey. He pointed out how these conflicts would lead to increased sales for their company.
Tanner said that the increased conflict would cause “an intangible lift because of the dynamics of that environment and our products in theater.”
According to the Intercept, during another speech at the conference, Wilson Jones, the president of the defense manufacturer Oshkosh, said that “with the ISIS threat growing, there are more countries interested in buying Oshkosh-made M-ATV armored vehicles.”
Raytheon Chief Executive Tom Kennedy also joined in the informal celebration, saying that his company was seeing “a significant uptick for defense solutions across the board in multiple countries in the Middle East.”
“It’s all the turmoil they have going on, whether the turmoil’s occurring in Yemen, whether it’s with the Houthis, whether it’s occurring in Syria or Iraq, with ISIS,” Kennedy added.
In addition to the growing wars, the contractors also celebrated the fact that the defense sector was recently granted a $607 billion budget by the government.
“Our programs are well supported [in the budget]. We think we did fare very well,” Tanner concluded.
A recent report by journalist Glenn Greenwald pointed out stock prices for weapons manufacturers sharply increased just after the terrorist attacks in Paris last month. Greenwald was following the tip of Brooklyn journalist Aaron Cantú, who posted screenshots for the recent stock performances of major weapons contractors on his Twitter page.
You can listen to the leaked audio from the conference below:
John Vibes is an author and researcher who organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference. He also has a publishing company where he offers a censorship free platform for both fiction and non-fiction writers. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can purchase his books, or get your own book published at his website www.JohnVibes.com.
Paul Craig Roberts 6.01.2015
Climate change is a controversy. What appear to be independent scientists say that the climate is warming due to greenhouse gases produced by human activity. This warming, apparently measurable, has many impacts on sea levels, and on plant, animal, sea, and bird life, as well as food supply for a heavily populated earth.
Readers, accustomed to me telling them the truth about issues on which I am competent, ask me about the climate problem. Is it real or not?
As far as I can tell the polluting corporations have sufficient think tanks and research institutes to neutralize the independent scientists. If one is not a climate expert, which I am not, one doesn’t really know. However, I have learned in my many years that an independent voice is far more reliable than a paid voice.
Over the years I have come to appreciate Dahr Jamail’s reporting. Here is his report on the situation:http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/31089-imminent-collapse-of-the-antarctic-ice-shelf-and-a-new-era-in-the-arctic
Possibly climate change is occurring because of solar activity or because of activity inside the earth itself. The attention should not be on the cause but on the fact. First establish the fact, then look for the cause.
My view of this is that life depends on climate, and it doesn’t take a lot of change in one direction or the other to create problems for life. This fact makes climate change an important issue, and corporations should stop paying people to lie about it.
Climate change, if real, is clearly a much greater threat than Muslim terrorists or alleged Chinese and Russian hegemonic aspirations. Therefore, Washington should spend some of the one trillion dollars Washington blows on the military/security complex on arriving at the best conclusion about climate change and its remedies, if any.
The United States is a strange country. The population accepts the destruction of privacy and civil liberty out of fear of essentially non-existent terrorists created by propaganda, but ignores the threat of climate change presented by independent scientists, a threat amplified by the ongoing multi-year drought in California and the western US.
It seems very strange to me that with Lake Mead drying up and California left with only one year’s water supply that the US government is focused on gratuitous but expensive wars and in turning over environmental decisions to polluting corporations via TTIP.
Whatever this is, it is not leadership.