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61

      

By Michael Maharrey


HONOLULU, Hawaii (Jan 13, 2020) – A new Hawaii law that decriminalizes marijuana possession and creates a process to expunge the records of certain marijuana offenders is now in effect. The new law takes another step toward nullifying federal cannabis prohibition in effect in the state.


Twenty Democratic representatives sponsored House Bill 1383 (HB1383). The new law decriminalizes possession of three grams or less of marijuana making it similar to a traffic violation punishable by a fine of $130. The bill also creates a process allowing individuals convicted of possession of three grams of marijuana or less to have those convictions expunged from their criminal records. Finally, HB1383 establishes a marijuana evaluation task force to make recommendations on changing marijuana use penalties and outcomes in the state.


The House passed HB1383 by a 35-16 vote. The Senate approved the measure 22-3. Gov. David Ige didn’t sign or veto the bill within his allotted timeframe and it became law on July 10 without his signature. It went into effect Jan. 1, 2020.


         



      

Enactment of HB1383 not only loosens marijuana laws and will help those with some prior marijuana convictions on their record get a new start; it will also further undermine federal marijuana prohibition. As marijuana becomes more accepted and more states simply ignore the feds, the federal government is less able to enforce its unconstitutional laws.


EFFECT ON FEDERAL PROHIBITION


Under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) passed in 1970, the federal government maintains complete prohibition of marijuana. Of course, the federal government lacks any constitutional authority to ban or regulate cannabis within the borders of a state, despite the opinion of the politically connected lawyers on the Supreme Court. If you doubt this, ask yourself why it took a constitutional amendment to institute federal alcohol prohibition.


Decriminalization, along with Hawaii’s medical marijuana program, removed a layer of laws prohibiting the possession and use of cannabis in the state, but federal prohibition remains in place. This is significant because FBI statistics show that law enforcement makes approximately 99 of 100 marijuana arrests under state, not federal law. When states stop enforcing marijuana laws, they sweep away most of the basis for 99 percent of marijuana arrests.


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Furthermore, figures indicate it would take 40 percent of the DEA’s yearly-budget just to investigate and raid all of the dispensaries in Los Angeles – a single city in a single state. That doesn’t include the cost of prosecution. The lesson? The feds lack the resources to enforce marijuana prohibition without state assistance.


HB1383 further undermines prohibition make it that much more difficult for the federal government to enforce it in Hawaii.


A GROWING MOVEMENT


Enactment of HB1383 ignores federal prohibition and continues the process of nullifying it in practice in Hawaii.


Colorado, Washington state, Oregon and Alaska were the first states to legalize recreational cannabis, and California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts joined them after ballot initiatives in favor of legalization passed in November 2016. Michigan followed suit when voters legalized cannabis for general use in 2018. Vermont became the first state to legalize marijuana through a legislative act in 2018. Illinois followed suit in 2019.




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With 33 states including Hawaii allowing cannabis for medical use, the feds find themselves in a position where they simply can’t enforce prohibition anymore.


“The lesson here is pretty straightforward. When enough people say, ‘No!’ to the federal government, and enough states pass laws backing those people up, there’s not much the feds can do to shove their so-called laws, regulations or mandates down our throats,” Tenth Amendment Center founder and executive director Michael Boldin said.



Michael Maharrey [send him email] is the Communications Director for the Tenth Amendment Center, where this article first appeared. He is from the original home of the Principles of ’98 – Kentucky and currently resides in northern Florida. See his blog archive here and his article archive here.He is the author of the book, Our Last Hope: Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty. You can visit his personal website at MichaelMaharrey.com and like him on Facebook HERE


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62

      

By Mac Slavo


Ninety-seven percent of CFOs (chief financial officers) surveyed in a new poll believe that the United States will be in recession by the end of 2020. Eighty-eight percent of CFOs represented in the survey work at companies generating greater than $1 billion in annual revenue.


Corporate financial officers are forecasting an impending economic downturn, according to a new survey of around 150 chief financial officers conducted by the consulting firm Deloitte. In its CFO Signals report covering the last quarter of 2019, Deloitte found that 97 percent of CFOs queried believe either an economic slowdown or recession will occur before the end of 2020. This is up from 88 percent one year ago. –Newsweek


         



      

According to a report by Newsweek, by the end of 2018, many CFOs surveyed “began to cite external factors” such as trade policy “over internal factors as the dominant constraint on their companies’ performance,” the report noted. And increasing concerns about a reversal of the longest economic expansion in U.S. history come amid related anxieties about Trump administration policies that may be hampering growth.



The external risk most frequently cited by CFOs in the survey was a combination of trade policy and tariffs.






The second-most cited external risk is political turmoil and general instability. Companies are also growing increasingly worried about upcoming election. While the impact of the 2020 election was only cited by a relative handful of respondents, its placement on the chart has moved substantially upward since the third quarter of 2019. –Newsweek



The CFOs surveyed expect very low interest rates and 10-year bond yields. They again expect a strong U.S. dollar as well in the upcoming year. At the same time, consumer and business spending expectations have fallen; CFOs are less likely to expect higher industry revenue and prices, according to the press release at PRNewsWire.


See: 177 Different Ways to Generate Extra Income


Expectations for a U.S. economic downturn have risen since earlier this year, with 97% of CFOs saying that a downturn in the economy (a slowdown or a recession) has already begun or will occur by the end of 2020.  That’s up quite a bit from the 88% reported in 1Q19. Overall, 12% of CFOs say they believe a downturn has already commenced, and 14% say they already see signs of a downturn in their company’s operations.





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Compared to early 2019, companies appear to be taking more defensive actions related to downturn expectations — particularly around reducing spending and limiting or reducing headcount. While CFOs expect some form of U.S. downturn by the end of 2020, the good news is that expectations of a full-blown recession have fallen sharply since 1Q19.  – Sanford Cockrell III, national managing partner of the U.S. Chief Financial Officer Program, Deloitte LLP




This article was sourced from SHTFPlan.com


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63

      

By Mac Slavo


The hypocrisy is unbelievable. In order to comply with United States sanctions on Iran, Facebook’s thought police have taken to censorship on behalf of the government. At the same time, President Donald Trump warns Iran not to use censorship.


It’s become painfully obvious that the ruling class wants to get us into another war, where the young and poor are shipped off to die while the politicians and government defense contractors get rich. And the hypocrisy is becoming noticeable. Backed by the ruling class, Big Tech’s censorship is nothing new; however, this time, it’s an excuse to propagate a war:


         



      



The International Federation of Journalists condemned the censorship effort as “unprecedented in the history of social networks and in conflict with the very innate actuality of media.” In its letter to Instagram, AoIJ Tehran noted that numerous Iranian state media accounts had been removed and 15 journalists had been censored recently, which goes against and freedom of speech principles.


These massive Big Tech corporations are Thought Police for the US government: Facebook and Instagram are removing posts expressing support for Iran’s top general Soleimani,” journalist Ben Norton tweeted. “They say it’s to comply with US sanctions, but how do posts violate sanctions?RT



The answer is: they don’t.  The problem is that the war sentiment and the idea that slaughtering people for our freedoms in other countries is gone.  The elitists who need a war to profit off of it can’t convince the public to fight and die for them unless they control the narrative.  That’s why speech is being censored.


Big tech is just another arm of the U.S. government.




Hypocritically, while Facebook was acting as “thought police” on behalf of the US government (the rulers who think they own everyone), Washington has been championing free speech and warning Tehran against restricting the Iranian people’s internet access. U.S. President Donald Trump personally addressed the anti-government protesters – in Farsi, mind you – reassuring them of his unwavering support, according to a report by RT.



This article was sourced from SHTFPlan.com


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64

      

By B.N. Frank


We’ve all heard about at least some of this before.  Thanks to Full Measure for producing this new segment reminding us about why this should tick us off. Independent journalist Sharyl Attkisson also provides an update about her own computer intrusion by the U.S. government in this video.



We begin with an examination of one of the worst abuses of government power that could happen in our society. Illegal spying on U.S. citizens. Amid findings about egregious violations by our intelligence community, there’s a criminal investigation. And the court that approves surveillance on U.S. citizens has instructed the FBI to implement new safeguards as of this week. As our intelligence agencies face what may be their biggest scrutiny in decades, we examine how we got here.


Our examination of government surveillance controversies begins in 2001. Under FBI Director Robert Mueller, new rules were imposed to address FBI abuses.


FBI Agents had repeatedly gotten caught submitting false information to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to justify wiretapping or spying on U.S. citizens.



         



      


Unfortunately, increasing surveillance on non-consenting Americans by a variety of entities seems to be the new norm thanks to new and unsafe technology being forcibly installed throughout our communities (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) and even on our homes.  Activist Post reports about this regularly.  For more information, visit our archives.


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65

      

Op-Ed by Julian Rose


If the grand plan to ‘decarbonise the planet’ was based upon a human-scale renewable energy supply and de-corporatised, decentralised, small-scale environmentally friendly distribution patterns – I would have no argument with the initiators. On the contrary, I would applaud such a rare demonstration of holistic thinking.


But the reality is very, very different. In fact it could not be more opposite. The plan being put into effect actually constitutes not a slowing down – but a significant expansion of the existing highly centralised finite energy mining and distribution apparatus, backed by a rampant corporatocracy, devious propaganda and unashamed political spin.


Emerging evidence increasingly points to deliberate actions being engaged in to bring about the very conditions that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims to be trying to prevent. This United Nations organisation and its followers, appear to be intent upon expanding the volume of anthropogenic pollutants being released into the atmosphere, rather than reducing them.


         



      

The IPCC “CO2 causes global warming” position, adopted by a plethora of industries and institutions determined to benefit from its decree, has already been exposed as a fraudulent misrepresentation of the truth. Making CO2 into ‘the devil in our midst’ is an overtly false trail which I have dealt with in an earlier article.*


Observe carefully and you will notice that the great majority of political pronouncements made by leading protagonists of ‘cabal politics’ are subsequently reversed in the actions that follow. Promises of peace are followed-up by acts of war; promises of prosperity for all are followed by a widening of the poverty gap. Claims of trying to stabilize the planet’s climate are followed by acts of wilful destabilisation – and so on.


This ‘reversal of truth’ formula is the trick used by power seeking despots who have adopted dark-side practices designed to suppress – and quite literally reverse – people’s natural propensity for humanitarian expressions of warmth and mutual respect. Instead, turning those qualities into cold and calculating acts of division.


Since our world is currently in the grip of this ‘cabal agenda’ whose goals are not mutable nor flexible, attempts are being made to make it appear that every serious geological/environmental upheaval manifesting on this planet – is happening due to (the phony) ‘global warming’.


The continuous repetition of this mantra by mainstream media is essential for the unquestioned roll-out of the corporate and banker backed ‘Green New Deal/Zero Carbon’ plan (scam) – which is termed ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ by the industry that backs it. This is because it promises vast riches to the corporations contracted to build and implement the impossibly large-scale infrastructural requirements deemed necessary to shift the world from an almost 100% fossil fuel dependence to a close to 100% dependence on renewable energy.


The heavy dependence upon fossil fuel energies needed in order to make possible this (theoretical) shift, would, in practice, involve an unparalleled asset stripping march across the length and breadth of the planet. Such a situation makes a mockery of the hugely over-hyped UN term ‘sustainability’.


The ‘zero carbon’ cabal, for example, must make it appear that the disastrous fires which have ravaged South East Australia and a significant part of California, are the result of ‘anthropogenic global warming’ and, of course, could not possibly have anything to do with any ‘conspiratorial’ ulterior motives.


Which leads us to ask the following question: just who might benefit from the fact that whole communities have been wiped out and large forests burned to ashes in these countries?


A recent expose of the Australian position shows successive governments destroying the vital South East Australian river systems by deliberately siphoning-off huge volumes of river water and hoarding it in a large number of specially constructed reservoirs. Not for strategic use in irrigating the surrounding countryside in times of drought, but to sell off to the highest bidder – including foreign interests – hugely enriching the vendors.


A viciously inhuman policy which includes grossly negligent management of the Australian bush, in which millions of highly flammable gum trees have been allowed to over mature, presenting the perfect fuel for the rapid spreading of extremely dense fires.


It is believed that the real government ambition behind this appalling act of ecocide is to pave the way for the establishment of a super-sized control grid, construction of 5G microwave powered  ‘smart cities’ and a new high speed railway link between capital cities. All recognised Agenda 2030/Green New Deal ambitions.


I established in earlier articles that Green New Deal is a key part of the New World Order’s strategic march to power. It is founded on the fictitious ‘greenhouse effect’ science of the IPCC/United Nations; and on the insanely bizarre plan to achieve an end to the use of fossil fuels (‘zero carbon’) by mining and burning vast volumes of oil, coal and gas (fossil fuels) in order to achieve this end!


Looking at steel alone, the embedded energy (fossil fuel) requirement involved in the construction of the tens of thousands steel hungry giant wind farms that would be needed to satisfy the Green New Deal ‘zero carbon’ scam – would lead to a terrible massacre of the ecology of the planet.






Quite obviously, chasing this monstrous Zero Carbon ‘Industrial Revolution’ (oxymoron) ambition will be the harbinger of severe climactic reactions. Quantum physics has already revealed the intimate interrelatedness and interactions that occur between man’s global activities and Gaia’s subtle levels of equilibrium and balance. The sheer scale of the Green New Deal undertaking will involve unavoidable destabilisation of all aspects of planetary life, including that of the biosphere.


Under such a regime one can expect to see the build-up of a wide variety of intense environmental and geological upheavals, coupled to those already set in motion due to other nefarious anti-life programmes like the deadly HAARP ionospheric heaters, highly toxic global atmospheric aerosol geoengineering activities and the ubiquitous build-up of WiFi electronic smog. These are, of course, coupled with other military/space attack and defence programmes manifest by a long running US determination to exert its hegemonic ambitions at will.


Weather, already largely under the manipulative control of the US military, will become even more a victim of political/corporate attempts to carve up the planet for their own deeply narcissistic ends.


However, all forms of geological and atmospheric disruption will be blamed on ‘global warming/climate change’ with a stupefied public clinging to the quite demonic notion that ‘zero carbon’ – achieved at the cost of planetary ecocide – will finally put everything right!


This insider-created ‘planetary climate emergency’ – now with the backing of almost the entire global corporate cabal elite and a posse of high flying multi billionaires to boot – is operating under the Green New Deal moniker. The Green New Deal’s professionally trained propaganda front-runners have been given the title ‘Extinction Rebellion’, so as to give the impression of being cool anti-government rebels. The UK Green Party has also willingly been brought into the fold, like so many errant sheep searching for a safe pen to keep them out of trouble.


Under this infamous Green New Deal, governments and their cohorts are further capitalising on spurious and fraudulent planetary ‘carbon trading’ schemes. Schemes that fill the coffers of already bloated insider wheeler-dealers whose insatiable appetites lead them to rip-off the needy for the further aggrandisement of their uncontrolled narcissistic cravings. Carbon trading has nothing to do with climate stabilisation, it is just another ‘green dressing’ for pure neocolonial exploitation.


Where the insanity on display reaches its most cruel zenith, is in the astounding degree of top-down deception that is being perpetrated on humanity. “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” has never been a more apt declaration.


Perhaps the outstanding slight of hand performed by these trickster’s highly organised disinformation campaign – is the use of the word ‘Green’ to describe the materialistic rape of our blessed Earth.


All those who grasp the true meaning of the word Green, used as a synonym for environmentally friendly ecological management systems that support localised  human-scale communities and benign land practices, must now speak out and vigorously decry this fake-green wholesale evisceration of the essential life support system of the planet. Let us not allow ourselves the misplaced luxury of thinking that at some point all this craziness is just going to magically dissolve away. It is not.




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Those who recognise themselves as ‘Real Greens’ must now unite in overcoming the subversive fake-green interlopers, whose activities are carried-out with seemingly cool disdain – while boasting an unquestioning commitment to the six defining flags of green deception: ‘Sustainable Development’, ‘Agenda 2030’, ‘Green New Deal’, ‘Climate Emergency’ and ‘Extinction Rebellion.’


May all those capable of thinking and acting responsibly, now come together to stand resolutely for actions that work with – not against – nature.  Let us also rise up as one in support of the ever threatened sanctity of humanity, remembering that everything of value starts with Reverence for Life.


*http://www.julianrose.info/2019/10/zero-carbon-5g-denial-and-green-fascism/


Related sites:


https://www.newchartistmovement.org.uk/welcome/real-greens-v-fake-greens-an-investigation-into-the-green-movement


https://www.ukcolumn.org/



Julian Rose is author of  ‘Overcoming the Robotic Mind – Why Humanity Must Come Through,   now available from independent book stores and Amazon. See www.julianrose.info for more information. Julian is an international activist, writer, broadcaster, organic farming pioneer and actor.  In 1987 and 1998, he led a campaign that saved unpasteurized milk from being banned in the UK; and, with Jadwiga Lopata, a ‘Say No to GMO’ campaign in Poland which led to a national ban of GM seeds and plants in that country in 2006. Julian is currently campaigning to ‘Stop 5G’ WiFi.


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66

      

We Bring You This Critical Alert, Contributed By WealthResearchGroup.com and Their Founder, Lior Gantz, Who Our Staff Looks At For Accurate Economic Forecasting.


The price of gold has hit an all-time high in Euros and a 40-yr high in Japanese Yen. Gold started climbing in December 2015 (four years and one month ago) and is now up 55%, since then. During this time, (1) the FED was tightening, (2) inflation was low, (3) the stock market SOARED, (4) the dollar was hitting ALL-TIME highs and other commodities didn’t participate in a rally.


In other words, gold’s price gains a few days ago from $1,053 to $1,610 is extremely weird, to put it mildly. In the 1970s, when gold quadrupled by a factor of 24, from $35 to $850, inflation was soaring. In the 2000s, when it rose from $250 to $1,915, interest rates were slashed, China boomed, oil went from $10/barrel to over $150 and the U.S. markets traded sideways for 8 years.


         



      

This current bull market is unique. Many seasoned billionaires are indicating that this current environment is totally confusing to them. Ray Dalio, for example, the pioneer of Risk Parity, suffered his 1st full-year loss in 19 years. In 28 years, Dalio has only lost money for investors in four calendar years. What’s even odder is that the S&P 500 has just closed on its best year since 2013.


As individual investors, we are freed from the nuisance of performing on a quarterly basis or an annual basis. We look at markets in increments of 5-10 years and allow investments to mature. Ideally, our active income generated from our main career compounds fast, so that we can add new funds to our portfolios every single month.


I stick with these 16 Life-Principles to experience a BLOWOUT year!



Courtesy: Zerohedge.com



As you can see above, through organic trends, such as demographics and productivity, as well as through the successful economic measures of the Trump administration, the U.S. economy has reached an exceptional point. Historically, this happens before recessions and before market peaks and wage growth is higher than unemployment rates.


As you can see, this is predictive of yield curve steepening, which is the most reliable recessionary indicator that economists use.


The Dow Jones eclipsed 29,000 points this past week for the 1st time ever. About 55% of Americans, or 181 million citizens, have ZERO exposure to stocks. To them, this means that others are getting wealthier, but the way for them to own equities is getting more distanced. At $27/hour – the average worker compensation across all industries – you’d have to work over 1,000 hours to own one point of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.






Nearly half of the workforce earns roughly $30K/annum, so you can see how most families find it IMPOSSIBLE to create the secondary wealth engine called passive income stream.


2020 started good for stocks. When the initial trading week begins this way, the S&P 500 finishes up on 82 out of every 100 years. On top of that, the average return is over 13%.


Like I said, this looks to be another year of generous market returns, BUT with a dollar bear market attached to it!



Courtesy: Zerohedge.com



In a few days, China and the U.S. will officially sign the Phase 1 deal. To my knowledge, we were the FIRST to draw the correlation between the dollar bear market and the trade deal.


As we see it, The European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan will EASE far less than the FED will in 2020, so the dollar will continue to head down. In fact, on a technical analysis basis, its 50-DMA just did a Death Cross.


This, of course, is good for commodities and the valuation of mining stocks.


Lastly, I want to make sure you understand that while more price gains are highly likely to come this year, the stock market is TRULY expensive:



Courtesy: Zerohedge.com



As you can see, when this ratio reaches a PEAK, both in 1971, 2000 and today (most likely), gold prices go UP, UP AND AWAY.




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Gold has been one of the best investments of the past 19 years, up more than 600%.


After its best year since 2010, this could be a PIVOTAL time for it to gain double digits, which will result in $1,700/ounce at some point during 2020.


      
                     

ActivistPost.com absolutely loves the articles, contributed by WealthResearchGroup.com


            

Of all the investment and economic commentators we're tracking, this one is, by far, part of the top echelon.


            

We read his free newsletter daily


            

In fact, he's opened-up registration to our readers, so you can subscribe to his award-winning free letter right here!


         




   
   

   

   
      
      
       
   
   
   




      
      
   

67

      

By Clint Siegner


Market forecaster Martin Zweig famously warned investors against underestimating the power of the Federal Reserve Bank to control markets. He coined the phrase “Don’t fight the Fed” back in the ’80s. Precious metals investors are wondering if this is still good advice.


On one hand, it is pretty hard to argue with that bit of wisdom.


The Fed Zweig was referencing had begun taking a more overt role in markets, using interest rates as a tool for managing the economy.


Paul Volcker dramatically raised interest rates to put price inflation from the late 1970s back under control.


         



      

Zweig hailed from an era of less irresponsible central bankers. He expected them to use their immense power in rational ways.


Today he might be disturbed by just how vast the powers of the central bank have become. Officials there recognize no limits on their authority. They buy stocks, spearhead bank bailouts, monetize federal debt, and act as a lender of last resort in the repo markets.


The Fed’s balance sheet exploded to 4 trillion dollars over the past decade. It is stuffed with assets few others wanted to buy; U.S. debt with very low yields, dodgy mortgage securities and who knows what else.


Officials there have unlimited power, but the way they use it undermines – not inspires – confidence. The feeble attempt to normalize interest rates and unload some of the junk on their balance sheet failed a year ago when the stimulus addicted equity markets went into withdrawal.






Past assurances about being able to throttle back when the economy recovered proved to be worthless. They are back to spiking the punch bowl, and investors have to worry about how crazy things will get this time around.


Fed bankers won’t give an honest accounting for their extraordinary intervention in the repo markets, but it smells like trouble. If it spreads, rates will be headed back toward zero.


They talk openly about even more bizarre and extreme policies, including negative interest rates, as tools to combat an economic slowdown.


The power of the Fed isn’t the only consideration when deciding how to invest. It is just as important to think about who wields that power and how well they do it.




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For the most part, today’s central bankers lack wisdom or principles. They have Politburo-like arrogance in their ability to centrally plan the economy. And they lack Volcker’s tolerance for pain which explains why the bubbles they blow just keep getting bigger and more dangerous.


Fighting the Fed may be a bad idea. But so is climbing on board with the people running policy there. We suggest the best plan is to try and get out of their way. That is what an investment in physical gold and silver is really about.



Clint Siegner is a Director at Money Metals Exchange, a precious metals dealer recently named “Best in the USA” by an independent global ratings group. A graduate of Linfield College in Oregon, Siegner puts his experience in business management along with his passion for personal liberty, limited government, and honest money into the development of Money Metals’ brand and reach. This includes writing extensively on the bullion markets and their intersection with policy and world affairs.


Subscribe to Activist Post for truth, peace, and freedom news. Become an Activist Post Patron for as little as $1 per month at Patreon. Follow us on SoMee, Flote, Minds, Twitter, and Steemit.


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68

      

By Anumeha Verma


On 10th of January, 2019, the Supreme Court of India requested the Indian central government to review the suspension of internet services in Jammu and Kashmir. The ruling stated that the five-month long communication blockade imposed on the region by the Indian government is unlawful, and it gave the administration seven days to justify its continued use.


Since August 5 2019, after the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution that provided special autonomy status to Jammu and Kashmir, access to mobile, landline and internet networks have been suspended. The government cited protection of national security as a reason for the restrictions. In October 2019, certain services were partially restored; however, most of Kashmir has remained disconnected from the internet making it the longest network restriction in a country that likes to describe itself at the ‘world’s largest democracy’.


         



      


In November 2019, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court disposed of a petition seeking restoration of prepaid mobile phone connectivity and internet services in Kashmir on the ground that similar petitions were pending before the Supreme Court.


The Supreme Court of India, responding to the petition by Ms Anuradha Bhasin, the Executive Editor of Kashmir Times, gave the petitioners and the people of Jammu and Kashmir a glimmer of hope with this verdict. Ms Bhasin, in her argument, challenged that such blanket restrictions violate the fundamental right to freedom of expression, and that there is no proved connection between the availability of the internet and the rise of terrorism.


The ruling by the Apex Court is being seen as a welcome move, even though restrictions on fundamental rights in Jammu and Kashmir continues.




The blockade has affected the lives of millions of people in Jammu and Kashmir, depriving them of the basic right to access the internet, which many take for granted in today’s digital age. This situation is also taking a huge toll on the economy.






The Apex Court of India has given the government a week’s time to review the internet ban. It also noted the imposition of Section 144 (unlawful assembly) of the Criminal Procedure Code which prevents movement in the Kashmir valley, and said the law can’t be used over and over again for a long time and needs to be justified. The Court based its decision in the Indian Constitution, which grants citizens the right of freedom of speech and expression.


A three-judge bench, headed by Justice N V Ramana delivered the ruling saying:


We declare that the freedom of speech and expression and the freedom to practice any profession or carry on any trade, business or occupation over the medium of internet enjoys constitutional protection under Article 19(1)(a) and Article 19(1)(g).




The bench further added:





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Although the choice is seemingly challenging, we need to clear ourselves from the platitude of rhetoric and provide a meaningful answer so that every citizen has adequate security and sufficient liberty.



What the ruling entails


The ruling clearly states that the right to freedom of speech and expression cannot be taken away without specifying reasons and duration for restrictions on this fundamental right.


So far, the restrictions have also included a ban on the internet in educational institutions and hospitals. Some hotels, businesses and government offices have had their internet restored since October 2019 under certain conditions. The January 10 ruling has given instructions to restore internet connections for all the essential services.


The government has been citing security concerns and a fear of loss of lives as the reason behind the continued ban on internet access. However, with the Supreme Court’s new ruling making it mandatory for the government to publish orders that have been passed, newer petitions challenging the lockdown of Jammu and Kashmir will emerge.


The Internet Freedom Foundation (India) has said in a an statement on the verdict:


The judgement in Anuradha Bhasin v. Union of India provides a sound legal basis to challenge future communication shutdowns but it does little to address the harm already caused to Kashmiris in the last 158 days. The Court has rejected several extreme arguments made by the government regarding secrecy of orders and national security, and the principles and safeguards laid down, in this case, are the first steps in reforming the telecom suspension process in India. This judgement is a call to action in a lot of ways and it marks the beginning of a long uphill campaign. There needs to be disciplined and strategic follow up action to ensure it is implemented by the government in its true spirit in Kashmir and other states.



Anumeha Verma — I am a blogger, storyteller & communication professional with experience in media, education & publishing. I blog at www.quirkystrokes.com. I love to discover places, people and issues through my stories.


This article was sourced from Global Voices.


Top image: The nature of Internet shutdown in India over the past 8 years. Chart via Internetshutdowns.in CC BY-NC-SA 4.0


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69

      

By Tyler Durden


US and Chinese economies are undergoing a great decoupling despite an optically pleasing Phase 1 trade deal.  The Trump administration is preparing to ground the largest civilian drone program in the country because drones are made in China and could be susceptible to foreign hackers, reported the Financial Times.


The Department of the Interior is expected to ground nearly 1,000 drones in the near term, two sources told the Times. They said the drones are at high risk of being hacked by the Chinese.


The decision to ground the drones could be expensive – as there would need to be non-Chinese alternatives to fill the void. The Times reviewed internal documents from the agency that shows strong protests against banning of the drones. David Bernhardt, secretary of the Interior, has not signed the order to ban Chinese drones from the agency. Sources said he’s planning to ground the fleet, with several exceptions, including the use for natural disasters and training.


         



      

The drones in focus are made by Chinese company DJI, which is the world’s largest civilian drone maker. Congress has been debating a bill for some time that could ban all DJI products from federal agencies.


Western companies have admitted defeat to DJI, as the company controls 70% of the global civilian drone market share. The proposal by U.S. officials to ban DJI from the Interior and other agencies could be a ploy to encourage development among domestic brands.


If the Interior decides to ground DJI drones, it could then trigger a widespread banning across all agencies.


A DJI spokesperson said: “While we have not seen the new policy, we look forward to reviewing the findings of DOI’S comprehensive review of its drone program, given the lack of credible evidence to support a broad country-of-origin restriction on drone technology.”


The Fish and Wildlife Service warned that a ban on DJI products would undermine the agency’s ability to monitor controlled burns and wildfires.


The cost of economic decoupling the U.S. from China would squash innovation and drive up costs for the Interior.


This article was sourced from Zerohedge.com


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70

      

By Matt Agorist


In case after infuriating case, the Free Thought Project has reported on instances of horrifying rights violations all stemming from a police officer claiming to smell a plant. We have seen both women and men sodomized and raped — often times in public — as cops search for this smell. We have seen entire families held hostage, women and children beaten up, rampant sexual assault, and all of it stemming from a plant smell. Now, police are arming themselves with a “smell amplifier” to go after those who’d dare grow or partake in a plant—in a state where recreational marijuana is legal.


In December 2018, the state of Michigan legalized recreational marijuana. According to the city council in the town of Bessemer, however, the most common complaint from residents in the town is the smell of weed. Despite it being legal, cops are now arming themselves with new smell technology to go after those who dare partake in a legal plant in the legal state.


         



      

The Daily Globe reported that the Michigan town of Bessemer has voted to spend approximately $3,400 to purchase a device to smell marijuana plants and train police officers in its use.


“The city of Bessemer stinks,” council member Linda Nelson said. “You can smell marijuana everywhere. We’ve got people who can’t sit in their backyard because the smell from their neighbor is so bad.”


Council Member William McDonald added, “It’s time we do something,” even though he said the cost of the equipment posed some concern for him, the Globe reported.


As Newsweek reports:



Michigan law enforcement has been struggling with the ramifications of marijuana use since it was legalized. In November 2019, Newsweek reported that state police were still receiving calls about marijuana smoke and odor but lacked the jurisdiction to investigate them unless they suspect that it was being consumed by underage users.


While it is legal to grow marijuana in Michigan, the state’s statute mandates that the plants cannot be visible to the naked eye or grown outside of an enclosed, secure area.



This move by the city to acquire a smell device to catch “stinky” marijuana users and growers highlights a problem that still plagues the United States — the bureaucracy’s addiction to the war on drugs. A recent article out of Forbes pointed out just how bad this problem has become.


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Despite an increasing number of states legalizing marijuana, arrests for the beneficial plant continue to increase. As Forbes reports:



According to new data released by the FBI in October, there were 663,367 marijuana arrests in the country in 2018.




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That’s one every 48 seconds, and represents an uptick from the 659,700 cannabis busts American police made in 2017, and from 2016’s total of 653,249.


The jump comes despite the fact that there are now 11 states where marijuana is legal for adults over 21.



“Americans should be outraged that police departments across the country continue to waste tax dollars and limited law enforcement resources on arresting otherwise law-abiding citizens for simple marijuana possession,” NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said. We agree.


Now, cops are reverting back to smell technology they used when weed was illegal nationwide. This is a dangerous move in the wrong direction for many reasons.


As TFTP reported in June, an infuriating video was shared with the Free Thought Project showing North Carolina cops violate the rights of multiple innocent people because one of them smelled marijuana. No marijuana was found, but that didn’t stop cops from holding a family and their guests hostage for over an hour to look for it.


Also in June, TFTP reported the case of Erica Reynolds, 37, who is seeking $12.5 million in damages accusing police of sexual assault and battery, wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, gross negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The reason for this sexual assault and battery? Cops smelled weed.




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Just last September, TFTP reported on another case in which Chanel Bates, 26, was leaving a restaurant when she was targeted by police who claimed they smelled marijuana. The officers’ olfactory intuition was then used as the justification to detain, savagely beat, and kidnap the entirely innocent woman who had caused harm to no one. The infuriating and disturbing scene was captured on video.


There is at least one state moving in the right direction, however. As TFTP reported in August, the violence associated with cops claiming to smell weed has gotten so out of hand that one top court in Maryland is doing something about it. The court ruled that police are not justified in searching a person based solely off of the smell of marijuana


This ruling is a major boon for freedom and will only serve to improve police and citizen interactions by removing one of the ways police can harass individuals. Hopefully it will spread to other states like Texas where tyrant cops like smash in people’s heads for the smell.


In the land of the free, cops will claim to smell a plant on you and use that claim to violate your body in the most horrific way. And some people still have the audacity to call this “justice.”



Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project, where this article first appeared. Follow @MattAgorist on Twitter, Steemit, and now on Minds.


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71
Huffington Post General Discussion / The War on Media Comes Home
« on: January 13, 2020, 04:06:10 PM »

      

By Jon Rappoport


“Instead of scurrying into a corner and wailing about what media are doing to us, one should charge straight ahead and kick them in the electrodes.” Marshall McLuhan, 1960.


For the past 35 years, I’ve been pointing out “flaws” in major media presentations of the news. Specific lies, specific omissions, specific strategies intended to keep the public from knowing the truth about a variety of life and death matters.


The word “media” comes from the Latin, meaning “middle.” And “middle” suggests there are two ends. The media are between two ends. What are they?


Well, when you back up a few steps from The News, you see that elite anchors and their colleagues are interposed between EVENTS and THE PUBLIC AWARENESS OF THESE EVENTS. The anchors and reporters are the eyes, ears, and mouths for the population. This, at best, is a highly precarious set-up.


         



      

Why would anyone in his right mind place blind faith in these newspeople? The answer is simple. No one who gives that faith is in his right mind. He has surrendered his mind.


Surrendered it to the need for authority. “You have to trust somebody.” This is the rube and yokel factor. “The man behind the news desk looks good. He speaks well. He seems sure of himself. He represents a large successful organization. Therefore, he wouldn’t lie. Truth is his job description. If he’s lying, then what else about reality might be a lie? I’m not looking for a sinkhole to fall into. I want to keep my balance. The anchor helps me do that. I have to maintain a basic trust in my fellow man. It’s part of my religion…”


Then there is a psychological need for The One. More-than-one takes a person into a realm of uncertainty, and who wants that? “You mean I have to choose? I have to make distinctions? Forget it. Give me Lester Holt. Give me the anchor who looks the cleanest. Give me the one friend above all others. I have the one God, so I want the one anchor.”


But here’s the trick. No one who places his blind faith in the one anchor wants to admit that this is what he’s doing.


Instead, he might say, “Well, of course Lester is giving me the facts. What else would he be up to? Stop doubting. Stop all this conspiracy nonsense.”


In other words, there are only two supposed territories. The first is bland neutral surety. It almost sounds like science. Then there is crazy Loonsville, where insane fantasies are floated. The correct choice is obvious. “Congratulations, you just made the right selection. You get a gold star in the sky.”


In the second half of the 19th century, Western philosophers made a sharp turn. Instead of trying to describe ultimate reality (more and more, a losing proposition), they focused on the term “epistemology.” The study of knowing. How do people know what they know? This led to all sorts of hypotheses about the brain, the eye, the five senses, and so on. The philosophers, as it emerged, missed the boat. How do people know? Through The News. That’s how. Through substituting someone else for themselves. Voila.


And then the question became: who is that someone else going to be? Aha. Yes. The news networks were very interested in the question and the answer. “What will make the public choose our man? What does he need to look like? How does he need to speak? What can we do to make our man into a star?”


An effective series of strategies along that line, resulting in high ratings, opened yet another door: “Now that we have our one anchor, and now that the public has surrendered their minds to him, how can he present the news with thin surface and short circuits and tricks and lies and omissions, in order to serve our basic agenda?”


Because, face it, opting for truth, no matter where it led, no matter how deep it went, no matter who it EXPOSED, would leave the news networks naked, out in the rain, bereft of sponsors and begging for pennies on the street. It would cut them off from government and corporate sources of information. The networks weren’t looking to EXPOSE, they were looking to COLLUDE.


COLLUDE gives you power, it gives you important allies, it gives you money, it gives you uninterrupted access, it gives you a giant leg up on your enemies, it gives you the opportunity to fashion and simulate reality. That last factor creates a natural alliance with the intelligence community, because they simulate reality all day long, every day. And they have hills and mountains of interesting information they can pass along to you. They can guide you on what to broadcast and what to hold back. They can, in fact, hand you ready-made packages of false realities. They’re your best friends.


News becomes, by its very nature and essence, FAKE.


What else would you expect?


At that point, all the networks needed was a raft of executives and work-a-day drones who wouldn’t bother to think about how, for example, intentionally misreporting the vital details of a war would result in the unnecessary deaths of thousands or millions of people. And what do you know? Such employees were readily available. Pump them up with a little bullshit about the Mission of journalism, wind them up, and release them. They’ll carry out their functions.


You have a news network. Actually, you have a major corporation. And the overriding success of a corporation is in peddling product.


As long as the public keeps trusting. Blindly.






Should I continue for a bit? Why not? I’ll offer the example I’ve most often cited in these pages over the past 20 years: the Starfield Revelation. It’s based on my strategy of exposing facts FROM the mainstream in order to ACCUSE AND INDICT the mainstream. No woo-woo, no fringe, no aimless speculation.


On June 26, 2000, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a review by Dr. Barbara Starfield, who was a respected and revered public health expert at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Impeccable MAINSTREAM credentials, all the way up and down the line. The review was titled, “Is US Health Really the Best in the World?”


Starfield stated that the death toll in the US, in a given year, directly CAUSED by medical treatment, was 225,000. (106,000 as a result of correctly prescribed medical drugs and 119,000 as result of mistreatment and errors in hospitals)


With a few seconds of extrapolation, you would arrive at a figure of 2.25 MILLION deaths caused by the US medical system, over the course of a decade.


Now, I can’t force anyone to register in their minds what that means. I can’t force them to think. I can’t force them to experience a shock to their system. But the facts speak for themselves. The US medical system kills 2.25 million people per decade.


Nine years after Dr. Starfield published her findings, I interviewed her. She told me the US government had never contacted her to consult on a plan to stop all this killing, and the US government had never put together a plan to stop all this killing.


What about the news media? Well, after the publication of Starfield’s review, there were stories in the press. For a little while. Then they disappeared. None of those stories expressed great shock or indicated that deep journalistic investigations were on the way.


In other words, the press did a limited hangout. That’s a term that comes straight out of the intelligence agencies, and it means you expose a piece of a story, not the whole sordid tale, and you move on, assuming that the (blind and trusting) public will be satisfied. And incurious.


Because, as you, the reader, can no doubt realize, mainstream news execs COULD HAVE rolled up their sleeves and said, “This is one of the biggest scandals we’ve ever seen. It’s horrendous. The cost of human lives is on the level of a war. But it’s happening in the HEALING profession, and no one in government has been doing anything to stop the war. We’re going to put our most relentless people on it. They’re going to wave the Starfield report in front of the noses of every person on Capitol Hill. They’re going to go to the White House. They’re going to interview doctors and medical school presidents and journal editors and the families of people who have died in this healing war. They’re going to invade the FDA and find out why that agency has seen nothing and done nothing. They’re going to go to the pharmaceutical companies and pound on doors until those people start to talk. There are MANY GUILTY PARTIES here, and we’re going to find out and prove who they are. We’re going to force it. We’re going to get people to roll over on each other, come hell or high water, and we’re going to keep climbing up on the ladder of influence and control and CRIME. We’re going to publish an ongoing chronicle of our findings, week in and week out, for as long as it takes. We’re going to launch a shit storm…”


You get the idea.


That’s called journalism. It’s the kind of journalism you can do when you have large resources and dedicated personnel.




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But those elite news anchors—you know, the ones who are in the middle, between events and the public awareness of events—they don’t have the air time or the inclination or the courage to challenge the basic structure of their news organizations, which exist as a result of COLLUSION.


Neither do their editors and other bosses have the inclination.


On just one of a number of levels—it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what would happen to the pile of money derived from pharma advertising, if a major mainstream news network decided to pursue this story into the gates of hell.


At any rate, when I see how much time mainstream media outlets are clocking, in their crusade to call thousands of “alternative people” fake news, I register ZERO degree of wonderment or surprise. I understand their game. I know how it’s played and where it comes from. I know the character of the people who are playing it. After all, I named my website NoMoreFakeNews.com 19 years ago. I wasn’t buying their act then, and I’m not buying it now.


You want to see a real and genuine and serious and profound and criminal mental disorder, as opposed to the disorders cooked up by committees of psychiatrists who may as well be meeting in the offices of drug companies who are waiting for the latest categories, so they can start manufacturing toxic meds as treatments? You want to see the real thing?


Put on a helmet and a hazmat suit and turn on the news.



(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, The Matrix Revealed, click here.)


(To join our email list, click here.)


The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.


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72

      

By Michael Snyder


Lost in all of the headlines about Iran and impeachment is the fact that the U.S. economic slowdown which began during the latter stages of last year appears to be accelerating.  The final numbers which will tell us if we are officially in a recession at this moment won’t be released until months from now, but for millions upon millions of Americans it definitely feels like one has already started.


Yes, the stock market has been soaring, but at this point the stock market has become completely divorced from economic reality.  And as you will see later in this article, stock prices are now the most overvalued that they have ever been in all of American history.


But before we get to that, let’s talk about what is happening in the real economy.


The following are 12 signs that the economy is seriously slowing down as 2020 begins…


         



      

#1 The U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index has been in contraction for 5 months in a row, and it is now at the lowest level we have seen since June 2009.


#2 Last month, manufacturing employment fell at the fastest pace we have seen since August 2009.


#3 Last month, new manufacturing orders fell at the fastest pace we have seen since April 2009.


#4 Chicago PMI has been contracting for 4 months in a row.


#5 European manufacturing PMI declined again in December.


#6 Borden Dairy, one of the largest dairy companies in the entire world, declared bankruptcy just a few days ago.


#7 Earlier this month, the Baltic Dry Index had its worst day in 6 years.


#8 Overall, the decline in the Baltic Dry Index this month is the largest that we have seen since 2008.


#9 The auto recession just continues to get even worse.  Thanks to the substantial slowdown we witnessed during the second half of 2019, the total number of cars and trucks sold in the United States during all of 2019 was actually below the level that we witnessed back in 2000 when our population was significantly smaller.


#10 Used heavy duty truck prices have fallen “as much as 50%“.


#11 Macy’s just announced that they will be closing 28 stores.


#12 To start the year, AT&T is laying off thousands of workers, and according to Robert Reich those being laid off “will have to train their foreign replacements“.


Of course many of the “experts” continue to assure us that everything will be just fine.


In fact, one panel of “experts” recently came to the conclusion that there is “almost no chance of a recession this year”.


That would be absolutely wonderful news if it was true.


Sadly, the numbers that I just shared with you tell a completely different story.  They tell the story of an economy that is most definitely heading for a recession.


And according to John Williams of shadowstats.com, if the government was using honest numbers they would show that we are actually in a recession right now.




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But what about the stock market?


Shouldn’t the fact that stock prices have been soaring be seen as an optimistic sign?


Well, there have been a few other stock bubbles of this nature throughout our history, and all of them have ended very badly.


In 1929, stock prices were at an all-time record high and it seemed like the economic good times would never end.


But then the stock market crashed and we plummeted into the Great Depression of the 1930s.


In 2000, the dotcom bubble pushed stock prices to absolutely absurd heights, but then stock prices quickly collapsed when the bubble burst and the U.S. economy fell into a very painful recession.


During the years leading up to 2008, stock prices once again rose to dizzying levels and it seemed like the party would last indefinitely.


But then the financial crisis struck, and the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009 was the most excruciating economic downturn our nation has experienced since the 1930s.


Unfortunately, we are even more primed for a stock market crash now than we were in any of the previous examples that I just shared.


So how do I know this?


Well, for one thing P/E ratios have become ridiculously inflated.  The following comes from Marketwatch…





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Indeed stocks are overvalued according to the popular measure of price-to-earnings (P/E) — which compares the price of one share of stock to one year of per-share earnings relative to recent history. The S&P 500 index SPX, -0.29% is trading at 18.6 times forward earnings, according to FactSet data, above the average ratio of 16.7 during the past five years and 14.9 over the past ten.



In addition, price-to-sales ratios for the S&P 500 are now at the highest level in all of U.S. history…



The above chart, from Ned Davis Research, shows that price relative to sales for the S&P 500 is at a record high, “well in excess of what they were in 2000 or 2007 at those peaks,” wrote Ned Davis in a Wednesday note to clients.


Other measures, like the median price to earnings ratio — which exclude the skewed effects of very profitable and very unprofitable companies — shows the S&P 500 overvalued by nearly 30% versus the typical valuation level seen since 1964.



In other words, in the entire history of the United States stock prices have never been more overvalued than they are at this moment.


And every other time we have seen stock price ratios get this high, an absolutely horrifying stock market crash has followed.


The optimists are insisting that things will somehow turn out differently this time.


They assure us that everything is under control and that very bright days are ahead.


You can believe them if you want, but every indicator is pointing in the opposite direction.



About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.


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73

      

By Corbett Report Extras


James joins Ernest Hancock for his bi-monthly appearance on Declare Your Independence to discuss the New (multipolar) World Order, the false hope of the BRICS, and how to overcome (not weaponize) learned helplessness.


SHOW NOTES:



Episode 369 – Globalization is Dead. Long Live the New World Order!
Episode 090 – Our Leaders Are Psychopaths
Corbett Report Radio 070 – Overcoming Learned Helplessness
‘Learned Helplessness’ & Torture: An Exchange
B.F. Skinner’s “Walden Two” – FLNWO #17
Episode 189 – Choose Life
Only Love Can Defeat the New World Order

         



      


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74

      

By Jason Ditz


Last week, Iraq’s parliament voted to expel US troops from the country. The US claims they’ve not heard of that. Iraqi PM Adel Abdul Mahdi spoke with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and the State Department is trying to dodge specific comment. US officials insist, either way, that they don’t intend to leave.


The truth is uglier than that. Not only is the Trump Administration refusing a perfectly lawful Iraqi decision to revoke permission to keep troops in their country, they have also threatened a series of sanctions that would cripple the Iraqi economy virtually overnight.


         



      

Iraq made the unwise decision, earlier in the US occupation, to set up a bank account at the New York Federal Reserve for the Oil Ministry to handle all money from international oil sales. Banker to the world, but only if the US feels like it.


That account holds substantially all oil trade revenue, and that is a substantial part of Iraq’s government’s entire revenue. The US is now threatening to block Iraqi access to this account, and with it virtually their entire treasury, if they expel US troops.


The US froze this account very briefly in 2015 and it did major damage to the Iraqi economy, causing a panic. This freeze is a threat of a more permanent type, and would all but bankrupt Iraq overnight.


Iraqi bank officials expressed doubt the US would do this, noting it would cause a permanent break in US-Iraqi relations. Since President Trump seems to view the sum total of US interests in Iraq being a place to keep the military, however, and seems more than willing to do anything to make an example of Iraq for not letting the US stay.


By Jason Ditz / Republished with permission / ANTIWAR.COM / Report a typo


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75

      

By Sean Walton


More than a dozen Saudi service members training at U.S. bases will be expelled, a U.S. official confirmed to CBS News’ David Martin. The service members are being expelled after an investigation into the deadly December shooting by a Saudi national at Naval Air Station Pensacola.


The service members are not accused of having involvement in the shooting, but some are said to be linked to extremist movements and a number are accused of possessing child pornography.


CNN first reported the news of the Saudi service members’ expulsion.


         



      

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said on “Face the Nation” on Sunday that there has been an investigation by the Department of Justice and FBI into the shooting.


“I’ve signed out directives that address enhanced screening of all of our foreign students that address credentialing going forward, weapons policies, etc.,” Esper told CBS News. “So we’re doing everything we can. The investigation is being conducted by DOJ and FBI. I’m sure they will release something on that in the coming days.”


Three people were killed and eight others wounded when a gunman opened fire at Naval Air Station Pensacola on December 6. The 21-year-old suspect, who was also killed, was a member of the Saudi Air Force and an aviation student at the base. The FBI said at the time that they will “work with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism.”


The suspect had been in the country since August 2017 to participate in a Saudi Arabia-funded U.S. Air Force Foreign Military Sales training and was scheduled to stay until August 2020. The weapon used in the attack was purchased lawfully.


Following the shooting, the Pentagon grounded Saudi military aviation students at three bases in Florida: Naval Air Station Pensacola, Naval Air Station Whiting Field and Naval Air Station Mayport.



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Sean Walton is a researcher and journalist for The Daily Sheeple. Send tips to [email protected]


   

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