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91

      

By Tyler Durden


As was previewed by Trump two days earlier, moments ago Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed that the Trump administration is imposing new sanctions on Iran, specifically targeting the country’s metals exports and eight senior leaders. The Treasury said the actions Friday target the 13 largest steel and iron manufacturers in Iran and top copper and aluminum producers.


With the latest sanctions targeting steel, aluminum, copper and iron as well as sectors of the economy such as construction, manufacturing, textiles and mining, it now appears that virtually the entire Iranian economy is off-limits to any nation that has diplomatic ties with the US. As a reminder, Iran’s critical oil exports and shipping industries were already sanctioned in 2019, sending the economy in turmoil as most of the country’s oil exports were taken offline with only a handful of countries such as China and India still importing Iranian crude.


         



      


In this vein, the new measures are aimed at cracking down on Iran’s few remaining sources of export revenue and squeezing the nation’s economy to force its leaders back into negotiations for a new nuclear agreement.


“We want Iran to simply behave like a normal nation,” Pompeo said during a media briefing at the White House.


The move to expand penalties on the Islamic Republic followed one day after President Trump said Iran would be sanctioned “immediately” for the airstrikes against two U.S. military installations in Iraq, which resulted in no casualties.


As Bloomberg notes, “the administration first prepared the sanctions in December, before tensions escalated between the U.S. and Iran, leading to the Jan. 2 U.S. airstrike in Baghdad that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.”






“By cutting off the economics to the regime, we are having an impact,” Mnuchin said.


Separately, Mnuchin also said that the U.S. will issue waivers on sanctions against Iran to allow investigators from the US and other countries to take part in the probe of a Ukrainian jetliner crash in Tehran earlier this week which several Western nations have said was likely downed by an Iranian missile shortly after Tehran attacked US air bases in Iraq.


Reiterating that the target of US economic pressure remains Iran’s oil industry, the State and Treasury Departments issued guidance that warns ship insurers, banks, charter companies, port owners, crews and captains that they all face sanctions exposure if they can’t account for the legitimacy of the cargoes they carry. The administration is seeking to close a significant loophole that allows Iran and other nations to avoid sanctions: ship-to-ship transfers of crude oil, refined petroleum and other goods.




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Ironically, the biggest client of Iranian oil exports remains China in stark violation of US sanctions; yet despite this clear snub of Washington in the international arena, US and China are expected to sign the Phase One trade deal as early as next Monday.


As for the immediate impact of the sanctions, it is debatable if they will achieve the desired concession by Rouhani to sit down on the negotiating table with Trump; instead a far more likely outcome is that after Iran’s leaders succeeded in placating the population’s thirst for retaliation and vindication after Soleimani’s assassination, which was achieved with Iran’s casualty-free attack on US airbases in Iraq, the angry Iranian population will demand another round of retaliatory escalation, made more likely by the fact that now Tehran’s cash-strapped government has even fewer sources of income, which may explain why risk assets are suddenly sinking.



This article was sourced from Zerohedge.com


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92

      

By Aaron Kesel


There are many who accuse U.S. President Donald Trump of “wagging the dog” when it comes to the recent bombing that killed Al Quds commander Qassem Soleimani due to the fact he is facing impeachment. While many media outlets have stated this accusation suggesting the assassination of Iran’s Soleimani was pre-planned, to this writer’s knowledge no one has pointed out that five total Pentagon officials resigned prior to the murder or Eric Trump’s strange tweet about “opening a can of whoop ass,” right before the New Year.


Wag the Dog was released one month before the outbreak of the Lewinsky scandal and the subsequent bombing of the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Sudan by the Clinton administration in August 1998, which prompted the media to draw comparisons between the film and reality. The comparison was also made in December 1998 when the administration initiated a bombing campaign of Iraq during Clinton’s impeachment trial over the Lewinsky scandal. – Wikipedia


         



      

Although the evidence is not directly from documents, it’s worth mentioning that prior to the assassination of Soleimani a total of five high-ranking Pentagon officials resigned, The Hill reported. Those officials were — Ambassador Tina Kaidanow, senior adviser for international cooperation; Randall Schriver, the top Asia policy official; Jimmy Stewart, the acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness; Steven Walker, head of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and Kari Bingen; principal deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence.


Many said they were resigning for various different reasons but the probability of all resigning at once before a big move that could spark global conflict is slim to none.  This may be because the option for killing Soleimani was presented around this time which many saw as a potential “war move” and these Pentagon officials didn’t want to be involved with the next conflict. Entirely speculation, but warranted, since if we dig even deeper we can see this option indeed was presented to Trump as an “extreme measure” according to government officials who spoke under the condition of anonymity to the New York Times. Further, former National Security Adviser John Bolton, also tweeted that it was “long in the making,” congratulating his former administration.




Trump’s own son, Eric Trump, also issued a strange tweet on December 31st which suggested foreknowledge of the assassination of Soleimani. This tweet is significant since on December 28th The Last American Vagabond reported: “An American Was Just Killed In A Rocket Attack In Iraq Just After Pompeo Set The Stage To Blame Iran.”




It is also worth noting that people high up in the Pentagon in the year 2001 planned 7 wars with 5 countries as 4-star U.S. General Wesley Clark stated.


In 2007, Clark revealed that high top brass at the Pentagon in 2001, mere weeks after 9/11, planned to invade seven countries within five years with the last remaining country being, you guessed it: Iran!






Those countries included — Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.



Now why would war hawks suddenly want a war with Iran? Perhaps it is due to the fact that a new oil field which would increase Iran’s proven reserves by about a third was discovered months ago, as the BBC reported.


This oil field would account for 53 billion barrels of crude oil, according to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. This is significant since when the U.S. looked to be ready to invade Venezuela, John Neo-con Bolton as the former National Security Adviser told the truth to the world when he slipped up on Fox News by stating it’s all about the oil, as TeleSur reported.



“It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela,” Bolton told Fox News in an interview this week.


“The reason is seizing the oil of Venezuela, because we have the largest oil reserves, we confirm that we have the largest reserves of gold in the world, we have the world’s fourth-largest gas (reserves), have large reserves of coltan , diamonds, aluminum, iron, we have drinking water reserves throughout the national territory, we have energy and natural resources,” said Venezuelan president Maduro.



Things seem to have calmed down for now, with Trump declaring de-escalation efforts. But the evidence of oil found in Iran prior to Soleimani’s assassination and the resignation of Pentagon officials can’t be ignored. The House which is held by Democrats has passed a resolution to limit Trump’s military actions in Iran, using the 1973 War Powers Act. The bill now heads to the Senate.




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Another key fact that needs to be looked at is, ironically, U.S. Col Douglas Macgregor warned Trump about false flag attempts to get him into war using his favorite TV network Fox News in 2019.


“I think the president needs to watch carefully for the potential for something like the Gulf of Tonkin incident,” Col. Macgregor said. “Many of your viewers may not remember that it never happened and we could very well be treated to something like that in the Gulf. We should watch for that, and this is an example of President Trump’s comments on fake news, he should not be sabotage by fake news.”


All of this is a hell of a coincidence; and as Joseph P. Kennedy (John F. Kennedy’s father) said to a reporter in the 1960s, “There are no accidents in politics.”



**By [@An0nkn0wledge](https://steemit.com/@an0nkn0wledge)**


Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute, Facebook and Twitter.


Image credit: The Anti-Media


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93

      

By Matt Agorist


Oklahoma City, OK — As TFTP reported last year, a rather disturbing scene unfolded in Oklahoma City as police officers attempting to kill a robbery suspect opened fire on four small children, shooting three of them. For months, the family and residents demanded answers and the police remained silent. Now, after the police have refused to hold anyone accountable, the mother of the three children who were shot is seeking legal action int he form of a lawsuit.


The Free Thought Project has learned that Olivia Hill has filed a tort claim against the city of Hugo. The claim was filed last month against the city, in which Hill is seeking unspecified monetary damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish and emotional distress, current and future medical bills and counseling, and damages to the truck.


“The shooting was objectively unreasonable, unnecessary, and reckless or negligent, and the City of Hugo and other members of the (Hugo Police Department) were negligent in hiring, training, and supervising the Officers who perpetrated it,” according to the claim.


         



      

According to WPSD, medical records say a bullet pierced the left frontal lobe of 4-year-old Asia Jacobs’ brain. Her 5-year-old brother suffered a skull fracture and her 1-year-old sister was left with deep facial cuts. Asia’s 2-year-old brother was not hit.


The children’s mother, Olivia Hill, says: “Emotionally, they’re not OK. Physically, they’re here.” However, Hill notes that their injuries are substantial.


Not until six days after the shooting did police release any information as to what happened. While they have refused to elaborate on any video of the incident, we now know that the suspect William Devaughn Smith, 21, did not fire on police before police opened fire on the truck full of children. Also, we now know that police were in an unmarked car and not in uniform when they approached Smith.


According to police, they saw Smith in his pickup truck with the four children and when they made contact with him, they began shooting after they claim he tried to flee. Police claim that Smith attempted to run them over with the truck. However, as TFTP has reported on countless occasions, this defense is used all the time when cops could’ve simply stepped to the side and allowed the driver to leave — especially if there are four small children inside.


What’s more, according to the police report, Smith was backed up when he saw the plainclothes men pull out their guns and come after him. He then hit a pole in the parking lot and stopped.


Hill’s lawyer backs up this claim and says two Hugo detectives fired at least 26 shots into a stationary truck full of kids.


In May, police identified the officers involved as Hugo Police Department detectives Billy Jenkins and Chad Allen. Both of the officers were in an unmarked car and in plainclothes when they approached Smith.


The officers were put on paid administrative leave pending the investigation. However, a review of the shooting obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request shows a panel of five Hugo police officers and the Choctaw County sheriff found neither detective violated department policy.


Following the naming of the officers, District Attorney Mark Madoff said it would take him several weeks to review the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation report and determine whether detectives Billy Jenkins and Chad Allen committed crimes. However, it appears they have simply swept the case under the rug and are refusing to release any more details.


When asked asked about the probe after Hill filed the claim, Matloff declined to comment on the status of the “investigation” by OSBI.


OSBI spokeswoman Brooke Arbeitman said the report contains only facts learned by agents and “does not make any recommendation or whether or not to file charges.”






As we reported, during the shooting, police apparently didn’t care about or didn’t see the children in the pickup truck and so three of them were shot, along with Smith.


After shooting three children, police took to the press to point out the fact that not all of the children were shot as one of them luckily came out unscathed.


“I don’t know what these injuries are. And then one child, from what I understand was not injured,” said Virden.


“I mean my children, for crying out loud. Four innocent little children,” said Hill.


Tulsa attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons, who is representing the family, pointed out the obvious noting that if Smith saw two armed men coming at him in plainclothes, he likely had no idea they were police.


“If you don’t know if someone is law enforcement or not, it changes things,” he said. “I don’t know what happened, but that’s concerning to me.”


“They are terrified to go anywhere or hear anything,” Solomon-Simmons said of the small children. “The two-year-old keeps asking about ‘Am I going to get shot again.’ It’s a bad deal. The child who had a bullet in the brain, there’s some question now that she may have a permanent injury. She might be looking at a lifetime injury.”




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“My 4-year-old daughter was shot in the head, and she has a bullet in her brain, and my 5-year-old has a skull fracture,” Hill said. “My 1-year-old baby has gunshot wounds on her face. My 2-year-old wasn’t touched with any bullets.”


According to The Frontier, investigation records show Jenkins has been involved in at least one other shooting in the past few years — the fatal December 2014 shooting of William Lee Honea, 33, in Hugo. That shooting was ruled justified by the district attorney, but like in this case, resulted in a civil lawsuit against the city of Hugo, Choctaw County and others that was settled in 2018 for an undisclosed amount of money.


“How am I supposed to tell my kids that the people who are supposed to protect them are the ones that shot them?” father of the children, Quin Jacobs said. We agree.


The city now has 90 days under state law to respond to the claim. If it does not respond, the claim is considered denied and Hill can then file a lawsuit against the city.



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.


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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94

      

By Brandon Smith


Gold has seen an impressive price spike in the past 18 months, and if you are wondering what the cause is, you’ll find almost everyone has a different theory. That said, certain factors in historic gold rallies tend to be ignored. For example, the mainstream financial media often hyper focuses on stimulus measures by the Federal Reserve as the cause, but I would remind people that the most recent upward trend in gold started while the Fed was tightening liquidity and raising interest rates, not stimulating. Also, many analysts suggest that precious metals absorb investment cash flows when equities are sliding.  Yet, for now, stocks have been rallying for the past year as gold prices also trend upward. So, what is the mainstream missing here?


First and foremost, it’s important to understand that gold is not necessarily just an inflation hedge; it is also a crisis hedge. As economic and geopolitical uncertainty grows, gold prices skyrocket. The past decade has seen uncertainty and instability that the world has not seen for almost a century. The problem is, the average American is oblivious to this state of affairs. They have no idea how bad the situation can get, as they assume there are checks and balances to counter any potential disaster in the financial structure. They assume that the government or the banks will step in.


         



      

However, there are signals that tell us that this will not be the case. In fact, it appears that central banks around the world are preparing for an event that they either cannot quantify yet or simply refuse to warn the public about. This is evident in the acceleration in gold stockpiling by banking institutions.


In 2018, foreign central banks bought levels of gold not seen since 2010. The past year of 2019, according to 3rd quarter figures, shows that banks bought even more; 12% more than in 2018. Last year, central banks purchased at least 550 tons of the “barbaric relic”, and it looks like they don’t plan to stop anytime soon.


Leading buyers have included Russia, China and Turkey, with the former two being the leading buyers for several years now. But central banks aren’t just buying gold, they are also demanding their gold storage be transferred away from offshore holdings and back to their own vaults.


Germany repatriated $31 billion (583 tons) in gold from Paris and New York vaults. Turkey repatriated 220 tons from the Federal Reserve. The Netherlands repatriated 122 tons. Poland repatriated 100 tons of gold from vaults in England. Both Hungary and Romania have announced plans to get their gold holdings back, and nationalists in Italy have demanded that Italy’s gold reserves be released by banks and returned to public control.


The bottom line is, there is a gold rush going on by central banks as well as governments, and the public is being left utterly out of the loop as to why.


See: 177 Different Ways to Generate Extra Income


I would suggest that it’s clear what is going on: They know that a global crisis is about to happen, and so they prepare as any smart investor would, by buying the one commodity that always goes up when the manure hits the fan and most other assets go down. But what is the nature of the crisis they are preparing for? Most likely, a geopolitical conflagration followed by a monetary crisis with the U.S. dollar at the epicenter.


Economic disasters do not generally happen in a vacuum. There are always geopolitical threats that trigger the collapse of financial bubbles, or, the threats are engineered to coincide with the bubble collapse in order to obscure the true culprits behind it. One way or another, it would appear that central banks are privy to a looming calamity that will result in a threat to the current monetary order. I suspect that this event will be preceded by a geopolitical conflict; a smokescreen or scapegoat that will take the blame for the disaster while the central banks that created the mess in the first place escape scrutiny.


The growing rift between the U.S. and other major trading partners, along with the increased danger of regional war with nations like Iran, are setting the stage for what I predict will end in the loss of the dollar’s world reserve status. Some people might see this as a good thing, but such a reset would leave the American economy in shambles for decades to come, as our economy acclimates to losing the single thread that was holding our system together. Rebuilding the system without dependency on reserve status or centralization would be nice, but that can only happen if the central bankers are removed from the equation and true free markets and price discovery are allowed to flourish.


As long as the banking elites remain in charge, our economy will never be healthy and will never recover from a major crash or monetary crisis.


Frankly, they don’t want us to recover anyway. If central banks intended to save the current system, then they would tell the public why they have been stockpiling gold and what the specific threat is that they are preparing for. They would be encouraging the public to buy gold and silver as well and find some financial independence and security.






I am often asked why globalists and international banks would seek to deliberately hide or instigate a global economic crash. Wouldn’t this threaten their base of power, the golden goose that they use to exploit vast amounts of capital and entire political systems?


My answer is simple but historically correct: The banking elites need crisis to consolidate power. They don’t lose power or financial influence during a fiscal panic, they gain power and influence. With each passing financial demolition, the public loses more and more hard assets. These assets are gobbled up and devoured by financial institutions, not because they have much use for all that private property, but because they don’t want YOU to have private property.


That is to say, the banks are machines designed to slowly (or sometimes quickly) siphon private property away from the public until private property is a memory. Once private property is gone, public survival depends on the “charity” of the state and its corporate partners. Without property, dependency metastasizes like a cancer.


Property is protected by hedging capital into defensive commodities, as well as by organized defiance of theft. During any major crisis there is always a window of time in which precious metals can be used to secure hard necessities while countering the loss of buying power common during inflation or stagflation. The longer you can remain solvent during crisis, the more influence you will have over the course of events. The more dependent or desperate you are during a crisis, the less use you will be to anyone.


The levels of central bank gold buying have increased so rapidly in the past two years, this suggests to me that whatever they are preparing for is about to occur very soon. With consumer and corporate debt at all-time highs, the recent liquidity crisis and repo market loan response from the Fed, along with the highly volatile tensions between the U.S. and Iran, I seriously doubt we will make through 2020 without a shock to the system.


Certain central banks have been positioned to benefit. Others, like the Fed, are decidedly unprepared as there is not much concrete proof that our own gold reserves exist. Looking at the bigger picture, the shift in gold holdings around the world shows us where the global elites plan to stash their cash while the U.S. takes a nosedive. These will be the regions most immune to a monetary wildfire.




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While price fluctuations are always rampant in times like this, as I noted in July of last year, the overall trend for precious metals will be up from here on. And, unless you suddenly see central banks start dumping their gold reserves instead of buying hand over fist, then I suggest readers copy their strategy and get a stack of physical gold as well.



This article was written by Brandon Smith and originally published at Birch Gold Group


If you would like to support the work that Alt-Market does while also receiving content on advanced tactics for defeating the globalist agenda, subscribe to our exclusive newsletter The Wild Bunch Dispatch.  Learn more about it HERE.


With global tensions spiking, thousands of Americans are moving their IRA or 401(k) into an IRA backed by physical gold. Now, thanks to a little-known IRS Tax Law, you can too. Learn how with a free info kit on gold from Birch Gold Group. It reveals how physical precious metals can protect your savings, and how to open a Gold IRA. Click here to get your free Info Kit on Gold.


You can contact Brandon Smith at: [email protected]


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95

      

By B.N. Frank


Opposition to 5G is worldwide and for many reasons in addition to biological and environmental risks (see 1, 2). Lawsuits have been filed (see 1, 2, 3, 4).  Experts (including from the U.S. Department of Defense) have been warning about very serious problems with the technology (see 1, 2, 3) including cybersecurity vulnerabilities which could lead to undesirable AND catastrophic results.


From Purdue University:



At the Association for Computing Machinery’s Conference on Computer and Communications Security in London, researchers are presenting new findings that the 5G specification still has vulnerabilities. And with 5G increasingly becoming a reality, time is running out to catch these flaws.


“The thing I worry about most is that attackers could know the location of a user.”  SYED RAFIUL HUSSAIN, POST DOC RESEARCHER | PURDUE COMPUTER SCIENCE


The researchers from The Department of Computer Science at Purdue University and the University of Iowa are detailing 11 new design issues in 5G protocols that could expose your location, downgrade your service to old mobile data networks, run up your wireless bills, or even track when you make calls, text, or browse the web. They also found five additional 5G vulnerabilities that carried over from 3G and 4G. They identified all of those flaws with a new custom tool called 5GReasoner.



         



      


People and pets have also been getting sick where 5G has been turned on (see 1. 2, 3, 4).  Can’t we be done with this nightmare already?


Activist Post reports regularly about 5G and other sources of unsafe technology.  For more information visit our archives and the following websites.



5GCrisis
5GExposed
5G Information
The 5G Summit
Environmental Health Trust
Last Tree Laws
My Street, My Choice
Physicians for Safe Technology
Scientists for Wired Tech
TelecomPowerGrab.com
Whatis5G.Info
Zero5G

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96

      

By Tyler Durden


A new Rasmussen poll shows that just 21 per cent of Americans believe Jeffrey Epstein killed himself while 52 per cent believe he was murdered.


It should come as no surprise that so few people believe the official narrative as Zachary Stieber reports that video footage from outside Jeffrey Epstein’s cell actually “no longer exists,” the government said in a new letter, less than a month after prosecutors initially said the footage wasn’t available, before quickly saying in an update that the footage had been found.


Writing to U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas, prosecutors Maurene Comey and Jason Swergold said there was a mix-up when they asked the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) to preserve the footage from outside the cell.


Epstein was found unconscious with marks around his neck early July 23, 2019. Epstein’s cellmate at the time was accused murderer Nicholas Tartaglione. The defendant’s lawyer requested video footage from outside Epstein’s cell from July 22 and July 23, 2019.


Prosecutors told the defense on Dec. 19, 2019, that it confirmed with staff at the center that the footage was preserved. On Jan. 3, the center provided the government with a copy of the video it preserved.








“After reviewing the video, it appeared to the government that the footage contained on the preserved video was for the correct date and time, but captured a different tier” than the one where Epstein and Tartaglione’s cell was, prosecutors wrote in the letter.


Legal counsel at MCC told prosecutors that the computer system at the center listed a different cell for Tartaglione, leading to staff preserving the wrong video.


While the center has a backup system in place to house all video footage for its Special Housing Unit, where Epstein and Tartaglione were being held, the FBI reviewed the system as part of a separate investigation “and determined that the requested video no longer exists on the backup system and has not since at least August 2019 as a result of technical errors.”


The update is the third change in the government’s position on the video footage.


On Dec. 18, 2019, Swergold, the assistant U.S. attorney, told Karas in court that nobody could find the video. A day later, he and Comey wrote to Karas to tell him that the government confirmed with staff at the MCC that the video was preserved.


Epstein, 66, died about two weeks after the July 23, 2019, incident. He was awaiting trial on child sex trafficking charges.




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The government letter also came a day after a judge in Florida denied an effort to release records from the 2006 grand jury that indicted Epstein on a felony prostitution count.


“It sounds like a fishing expedition to me,” Chief Circuit Judge Krista Marx told Assistant State Attorney Marshall Levering Evans, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. She added, “I’m not understanding how it will be helpful and to what end.”



By Tyler Durden | ZeroHedge.com | Republished with permission


This article was sourced from The Mind Unleashed.


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97
Huffington Post General Discussion / What is Localization?
« Last post by administrator on January 09, 2020, 09:53:33 PM »

      

By Adam Kokesh


Localization begins by introducing voluntaryism as a means to bring decision-making back to the community level.


Adam Kokesh breaks down how the United States could transition to a more localized paradigm of governance that better respects the principles of sovereignty and independence — it’s what Adam calls the “everybody gets what they want” strategy.


         



      


Subscribe


Visit Adam Kokesh’s site FreedomLine.com


Image credit


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Provide, Protect and Profit from what’s coming! Get a free issue of Counter Markets today.


   
98

      

By The Last American Vagabond


Welcome to The Daily Wrap Up, a concise show dedicated to bringing you the most relevant independent news, as we see it, from the last 24 hours (1/8/19).


As always, take the information discussed in the video below and research it for yourself, and come to your own conclusions. Anyone telling you what the truth is, or claiming they have the answer, is likely leading you astray, for one reason or another. Stay Vigilant.


         



      



Visit TheLastAmericanVagabond.com. Subscribe to TLAV’s independent news broadcast on YouTube or iTunes. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Minds. Support at Patreon or PayPal.


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99

      

By Mac Slavo


According to a new National Bureau of Economic Research paper, “approximately 100 percent” of the costs associated with the tariffs on Chinese goods have fallen onto American importers and consumers.  It’s a simple economic fact that those at the bottom of the production hierarchy (the consumers) will pay to cost increases for any reason.  Tariffs are no exception.



         



      

Research is consistently showing that the finite laws of basic economics don’t get broken. In fact, the more government meddling in the issue, the worse it’s getting.  Free trade should be a human right, but governments of the world have taken it upon themselves to squash the freedom to trade with others for power and political gain.


President Donald Trump has repeatedly and falsely claimed that China and other nations have paid the tariffs he levied on thousands of products over the past two years. But “approximately 100 percent” of those costs have fallen onto American buyers, according to a new National Bureau of Economic Research paper.








“Using another year of data including significant escalations in the trade war, we find that US  tariffs continue to be almost entirely borne by US firms and consumers,” the economists — Mary Amiti of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Stephen J. Redding of Princeton, and David E. Weinstein of Columbia University — wrote in a paper that was circulated this week.


According to Business Insider, a 10% tariff is associated with about a 10% drop in imports for the first three months, according to economists, and this relationship becomes more intense as time goes on. So the effects of tariffs, which were increased this fall, may have not yet come to fruition. “The continued stability of import prices for goods from China means U.S. firms and consumers have to pay the tariff tax,” New York Federal Reserve economists Matthew Higgins, Thomas Klitgaard, and Michael Nattinger wrote in a November study.


And it isn’t like this should surprise anyone.  If costs go up (mandated minimum wages, tariffs on imported materials, forced compliance with regulations, etc.) that cost is paid by someone.  If a company wants to stay in business, they must either cut costs by eliminating jobs, lower costs by lowering the quality of the product or pass the cost onto the next buyer. It is not a difficult concept, and yet we have people so blinded by their love for Donald Trump that they will push logic and economic law aside and say “to hell with the free market” all for a false “win” against a manufactured enemy.




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We truly live in strange times.



This article was sourced from SHTFPlan.com


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By Derrick Broze


While the world anxiously watches the situation in Iraq unfold, it’s important to understand domestic byproducts of the ongoing military conflict between the United States and Iran.


Specifically, the tensions between the two nations have lead to an increase in the questioning of travelers of Iranian descent who attempt to cross U.S. borders. There have also been reports of police departments exploiting the hysteria to increase surveillance and security measures.


The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) released a statement noting their opposition to any “targeting of people for digital surveillance based on their race, religion, or nationality, at our border and in our interior.” As the Mind Unleashed previously reported, on January 4 more than 60 people of Iranian descent, including U.S. citizens, were held at the border between Canada and Washington state for many hours and questioned. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) denied that it detained or refused entry to Iranians based on their national origin despite multiple reports from travelers. According to a Buzzfeed report, a CBP officer coerced at least one U.S. citizen into providing the password to his smartphone before taking the phone away for two hours.


         



      

“EFF has long argued, including in Alasaad v. McAleenan, that travelers have significant privacy interests in their digital data and that the U.S. Constitution protects such interests at the border,” EFF writes. “We’ve also argued that these rights are not suspended if an international traveler happens to be of a particular race, religion, or nationality. Indeed, digital surveillance at the border, if predicated on these factors, is both unconstitutional and a moral outrage.”


Following Donald Trump’s decision to launch a missile strike into Iraq and kill Iranian General Soleimani, the New York City Police Department and the Los Angeles Police Department announced a boost in security of New York City and Los Angeles. EFF warns that there is reason to be concerned this security boosting could lead to an increase of police surveillance of Iranian communities.


EFF notes that in 2012 both the NYPD and the Newark Police Department settled legal claims brought by civil liberties groups opposing police surveillance and infiltration of Muslims in their cities. The surveillance included shops, restaurants, mosques, and schools. EFF also reminds Americans that in the build up to the Iraq war, the FBI targeted Iraqi Americans for surveillance.




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The potential targeting of Iraqis and Iranians is reminiscent of the weeks following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, when the U.S. government rounded up several hundred individuals suspected of ties to terrorism. The arrests were allegedly based on tips received through a hotline.


In total, 762 people were detained around the country. Some individuals were even deported after being found to have no ties to terrorism. Detainees were held between three to eight months in facilities in New York and New Jersey. Many of the detainees were subject to solitary confinement for 23 hours a day and faced punishment from authorities, including slamming them into walls, bending or twisting their arms, hands, wrists and fingers, stepping on their leg restraints, leaving them handcuffed or shackled in their cells, insulting their religion, and making humiliating sexual comments during strip searches. Since that time, not one U.S. government official has been held accountable.


A lawsuit filed in federal court in April 2002 sought to hold former top U.S. officials accountable, including then-Attorney General John Ashcroft and former FBI Director Robert Mueller. Unfortunately, in June 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that officials cannot be held accountable for the actions of the post 9/11 kidnappings. The court stated that “high officers who face personal liability for damages might refrain from taking urgent and lawful action in a time of crisis.”


Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the one dissenting opinion, stating, “History warns of the risk to liberty in times of national crisis.” Breyer mentioned the imprisonment of dissenters during World War I, and the “unnecessary internment during World War II of 70,000 American citizens of Japanese origin,” as examples of mistakes the U.S. government ought not repeat.




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It’s important that the American public not stay silent during times of turmoil and tension between political leaders. If we stand by silently while power hungry warmongers attempt to take advantage of a crisis, we risk becoming a guilty party in gross violations of basic civil liberties and human rights.



By Derrick Broze | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com


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