Friday, December 1, 2017

Chinese Communist Party Seeks to Establish Branches Overseas

China's effort to export its Communism 2.0 ideology - recently updated with a few megabytes of Xi Jinping Thought - to America is off to a bit of a rocky start, judging from Tuesday's dour report at the Party newsletter Global Times.

Chinese Communist Party
The Times laments that an attempt to establish a Chinese Communist Party wing at UC Davis failed spectacularly:
It was probably one of the most short-lived branches of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Just two weeks after Mu Xingsen, a Chinese associate professor now visiting the University of California, Davis, set up a Party branch at that campus, he folded the branch due to legal concerns.
Mu, originally from Dalian University of Technology in Northeast China's Liaoning Province, set up the branch along with six other visiting scholars from China on November 6, according to the South China Morning Post, hoping that it would help them strengthen their commitment to Communism.
But he shut it down right after learning about the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires any person in the U.S. representing the interests of foreign powers in a “political or quasi-political capacity” to disclose their relationship with that foreign government as well as any information about related activities and finances
Undaunted by this setback, Professor Su Wei of the Party School of the CPC Chongquing Municipal Committee boasted to the Global Times that "the rising number of overseas Party branches is a new phenomenon, showing the growing influence of the CPC and China."

According to the newspaper of the People's Liberation Army, there are now eight full overseas branches of the Communist Party of China, while exchange students and visiting scholars are spreading Party doctrine in over 20 foreign countries. The article specifically lists Spain, Portugal, Chile, Greece, Mexico, Italy, and the Netherlands.

The Global Times says Party members stationed at overseas branches are "required to hand in a report about their thoughts every three months, participate in a group Party activity and hold a Party meeting once every half-year, then report their activities to the university's politics department." These activities are intended to strengthen their commitment to communism and inoculate them against "the corrosive influence of harmful ideologies."

"Apart from studying Party theory, overseas Party cells are also responsible for promoting Party and government policies," the Global Times writes, cheerfully oblivious to the sinister connotations of the term "Party cell."

"In 2011, SISU's overseas Party cell members helped publicize China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) through interviews and opinion polls conducted among foreigners. In 2013, they interviewed foreigners for their views on the new slogan ‘Chinese Dream,'" the report adds, making it clear that a good deal of ideological proselytizing is being conducted by Chinese students and workers abroad.

Later in the article, the Global Times talks about the terrific opportunities for overseas Party-building presented by the massive "One Belt, One Road" international trade route. Zhen Xuexuan, vice president of the China State Construction Engineering Corporation, noted that overseas projects can last for years, so workers abroad need strong local Communist Party organizations to keep their minds right. "It is easy for their thoughts to fluctuate, posing challenges to the ideological and political work," he fretted.

The Global Times cites concerns that proper Party-building is difficult on foreign soil, because while "hanging banners with Party slogans and showcasing photographs and stories of model Party members on walls" are common practices in China, they are "considered too sensitive or even outright banned due to differences in political and social systems" in other countries.

The Internet is proving to be a useful tool for overcoming these challenges to perpetuate Communist indoctrination. "Knowledge quizzes and study groups" have been conducted for Chinese workers abroad through social media. Big Chinese firms have used video conferences to "convey the Party's messages to Party members abroad."

Of course, Chinese citizens working abroad do not just get to enjoy watching Party lectures on streaming video. The Party is watching them through the Internet, too. The New York Times ran an article called "Beijing Hinders Free Speech in America" on Sunday in which history teacher Wang Dan described how the Chinese Communist Party has been able to stymie his efforts to teach exchange students about forbidden topics like the Tiananmen Square massacre, even on American campuses.

"Through a campaign of fear and intimidation, Beijing is hindering free speech in the United States and in other Western countries," Wang warned:
The Chinese government, or people sympathetic to it, encourage like-minded Chinese students and scholars in the West to report on Chinese students who participate in politically sensitive activities - like my salons, but also other public forums and protests against Beijing. Members of the China Students and Scholars Association, which has chapters at many American universities, maintain ties with the Chinese consulates and keep tabs on "unpatriotic" people and activities on campuses. Agents or sympathizers of the Chinese government show up at public events videotaping and snapping pictures of speakers, participants and organizers.
Chinese students who are seen with political dissidents like me or dare to publicly challenge Chinese government policies can be put on a blacklist. Their families in China can be threatened or punished.
When these students return to China, members of the public security bureau may "invite" them to "tea," where they are interrogated and sometimes threatened. Their passport may not be renewed. One student told me that during one of his home visits to China he was pressured to spy on others in the United States.
And in one egregious example of intimidation, in March 2016, the police in China abducted the relatives of the Chinese journalist Chang Ping, who lives in exile in Germany, after he published an article in a German publication that was critical of President Xi Jinping's crackdown on free speech.
Wang went on to explain how visiting Chinese students steeped in their government's "patriotic education program" are all too willing to surveil and intimidate their fellow students, both in person and online. He gave the example of student Shuping Yang, who was harassed, threatened, and ultimately pressured into apologizing and begging forgiveness for the crime of praising the "fresh air of free speech" at the University of Maryland last May.

"Even Western educational institutions that have benefited from Chinese government funding, student enrollment and Chinese private donations have succumbed to pressure from Beijing. Some have canceled activities or programs, and others have resorted to self-censorship," Wang charged, noting that Chinese Communist Party influence in Australia is becoming a particular area of concern.

Let there be no doubt whatsoever: China is gearing up for full-scale ideological warfare with the West, and it is very interested in pushing its ideology to young people in Europe and the United States. China is highly adept at using market leverage to force Western companies to indulge and adopt its authoritarian ideals. It's counting on economic engagement, in the form of the "One Belt, One Road" project, to spread communism the same way Western foreign policy experts once assumed economic engagement would spread classical liberalism to authoritarian countries.

By John Hayward

Source: Breitbart

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

5 Epic Failures of North Korean Science and Industry

North Korea's belligerent threats, claims of military supremacy, and promotion of an official ideology based on independence and personal achievement are difficult to square with the endless series of horrifying blunders by the regime in Pyongyang.

Murdering a mountain with nuclear bomb tests: To give the devil his due, dictator Kim Jong-un made progress toward nuclear missile technology much faster than most analysts expected. That rapid progress has come at a terrible cost. Reports recently surfaced that a tunnel collapse in North Korea's underground nuclear testing complex at Punggye-ri killed up to 200 workers.

North Korean
North Korea's neighbors are understandably worried about further seismic events beneath Mt. Mantap and the possibility of radioactive waste leaking beyond North Korea's borders. The underground complex is so reportedly rickety after six increasingly powerful nuclear detonations that earthquakes are now occurring without nuclear bombs going off. There are concerns that further test detonations could be "suicidal," as a South Korean professor put it, because Mt. Mantap could collapse, or the volcano at nearby Mt. Paektu could erupt.

There has been speculation that China's tough attitude toward North Korean transgressions might be partly inspired by fears of what Pyongyang's twisted science experiments could do to Chinese territory and civilians. Residents of at least one sizable Chinese town have grown accustomed to earthquakes as a consequence of the nuclear mischief at Punggye-ri.

Unfortunately, the Kim regime might not have any good locations for establishing a replacement underground nuclear test site. Even more unfortunately, their next test detonation might not occur underground.

Failed missile tests: An estimated 88 percent of North Korean missile launches fail on the launch pad, or explode shortly after launch, possibly with a little help from cyber-espionage teams.

It will be a long time, if ever, before civilian observers can know for certain if these failures were the result of sabotage, and how much they might have set North Korea's missile program back. Also, it is quite possible that North Korean scientists accumulate valuable data from their failures, and the difficulty of securing reliable intelligence from the outlaw nation means some tests initially seen as failures are later deemed more successful. There is no doubt that Pyongyang's successes are more troubling than its failures are comforting, and there will be no Nelson Muntz laughs from South Korea or Japan if a malfunctioning North Korean missile crashes in a populated area.

Still, for all of North Korea's boasts, an awful lot of the missile launches intended to demonstrate their deadly proficiency turn into embarrassing fizzles. Each of them burns up some equipment they were not supposed to have and might have some trouble replacing these days.

Internet blackouts: Shortly after its suspected cyber-attack on Sony Pictures in retaliation for a comedy unflattering to dictator Kim Jong-un, North Korea experienced a massive failure of its diminutive Internet. At one point, the entire nation was said to be effectively cut off from the Internet, which must have been very annoying for the tiny percentage of elite North Koreans permitted to use it.

Speculation abounds over whether this was an equipment failure or deliberate attack by military cyber-warfare teams, freelance hacktivists, or the supremely irritated Chinese stewards of North Korea's uplink. For the record, North Korea accused U.S. hackers of crashing its Internet access on orders from President Barack Obama, whose recklessness was compared to that of a "monkey in a tropical forest" by a peeved North Korean official.

The primitive state of North Korea's Internet access is embarrassing from a public welfare standpoint, and nauseating from a human rights perspective, but it can also be an asset to the totalitarian government. Cyber-espionage experts believe that at least one orchestrated cyber-espionage campaign conducted by the U.S. against North Korea's nuclear program failed because their computer networks are too primitive and disconnected from one another to effectively sabotage.

The Hotel of Doom: Looming above the Pyongyang skyline is a seemingly eternal construction project mockingly referred to by outsiders as the "Hotel of Doom." Note: referring to the Ryugyong Hotel by this name is probably unwise for any North Korean citizens who somehow gained access to the Internet and are reading this.

The hotel is 105 stories of embarrassing failure, ostentatiously designed to look like a rocket on the launch pad. It has been under construction since 1987, with an original target opening date of 1989, at which time it would have been the world's tallest hotel. Instead, it is currently considered to be the world's tallest unoccupied building.

A regime that cannot afford to feed its people somehow finds endless loads of cash to dump into this boondoggle - well over half a billion dollars, according to some estimates. A recent flurry of ostentatious construction work on the Ryugyong Hotel, coinciding with the anniversary of the Korean War armistice, resulted in two new walkways leading up to the front door, and a big red propaganda sign declaring North Korea to be a "Rocket Power Nation."

A new flock of construction trucks and cranes came to roost outside the tower a few weeks ago, prompting government tour guides to chirp that at least part of the building might soon be open as office space, or housing, or an entertainment complex, or something. Given the lingering questions about the structural integrity of the long-under-construction tower, a stay in the upper floors could be quite exciting.

"The guides didn't say much. They seemed both proud of the hotel and somehow embarrassed," said one recent visitor to Pyongyang.

Humanitarian aid for North Korea's citizens: By the standards of North Korea's totalitarian ideology, it should be a tremendous embarrassment that huge amounts of humanitarian aid are needed to feed and care for its peasant population.

Japan and South Korea recently squabbled over the latter's determination to proceed with another $8 million in humanitarian assistance to provide vaccines, medicine, and malnutrition treatment to North Korea's children and pregnant women. Tokyo felt the aid package would blunt the impact of sanctions against North Korea, while Seoul cited World Food Program and UNICEF reports on the dire situation faced by women and children in the North Korean worker's paradise of supreme self-reliance.

The United Nations expressed fears that "chronic food insecurity, early childhood malnutrition, and nutrition insecurity" meant tougher sanctions against North Korea could be dangerous for the civilian population.

According to the U.N., 41 percent of the North Korean population is undernourished, and it would take $114 million in humanitarian aid to address the problem. The reluctance of donors to fund North Korean relief projects while the psychotic government in Pyongyang threatens the world with nuclear war was cited as cause for deep concern.

North Korea also requires extensive outside assistance with natural disasters such as flood and famine. The last round of major floods left 70 percent of the population short of food, prompting a request for $21 million in emergency aid from the World Food Program. These are not entirely natural disasters, despite the Kim regime's pathetic insistence that the dictator cannot be held responsible for the rain. Excessive deforestation and the miserable condition of peasant housing - while the regime splurges on luxuries for the ruling class, flashy urban construction projects, military hardware, and nuclear weapons - make every flood worse than it should have been.

The Kim regime, by the way, is quite happy to hold its own people hostage, refusing humanitarian aid to punish the donors for participating in U.N. sanctions against North Korea's nuclear program. It holds other nations responsible for the suffering of North Korean serfs, because they refuse to give in to the regime's demands and provide the dictatorship with resources for its favorite projects. It's one of the most sickening cases of North Korea weaponizing its own failures to use as leverage against the civilized world.

By John Hayward

Source: Breitbart

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Monday, October 2, 2017

DHS Chief: U.S. Efforts to Combat Chemical, Biological, Nuclear Threats 'Inadequate'

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) efforts to combat chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats facing Americans are "inadequate," the department’s acting secretary told lawmakers Wednesday.

iran missile launch
In written testimony prepared for a Senate panel hearing on threats to the American homeland, Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke revealed, "The Department’s current approach to addressing CBRN matters is inadequate. For nearly a decade, DHS has looked at reorganizing internally to better counter these dangers."

DHS is reportedly taking action to address its shortcomings in dealing with CBRN issues.

"I want to emphasize that we are overhauling homeland security to cope with changes in the threat landscape," testified Secretary Duke.

"As we continue this overhaul, it is clear that the authorities, structures, and accountability measures developed for DHS over 15 years ago are no longer sufficient," she added.

Choosing not to elaborate further in a public setting, Secretary Duke only said that terrorist groups are showing a "renewed" interest in weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), telling Senators:
Our intelligence professionals have seen renewed terrorist interest in WMD and are aware of concerning developments on these issues, which can be discussed further in an appropriate setting. That is one reason why the Department is eager to establish a focal point for our work to protect Americans against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats.
On top of trafficking drugs, violence, and dangerous goods across the U.S. borders, transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) in Latin America could potentially lend assistance to terrorists in their quest to acquire WMDs, indicated the DHS secretary.

Echoing the U.S. military, she added that TCOs could also facilitate the entry of terrorism-linked illegal aliens into the United States.

Secretary Duke also told lawmakers:
TCOs pose a persistent national security threat to the United States. They provide a potential means for transferring weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to terrorists or for facilitating terrorists’ entry into the United States. We have already seen migrants with terror connections travel from conflict zones into our Hemisphere, and we are concerned that criminal organizations might assist them in crossing our borders. The shifting travel patterns of these foreign nationals has been cause for concern.
The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), deemed the "primary" threat against the United States by the witnesses during the hearing, has reportedly shown an interest in WMDs.

In a 2015 op-ed article published in its propaganda magazine Dabiq, ISIS indicated that it could smuggle a nuclear weapon into the U.S. through Mexico using existing trafficking networks in Latin America.

During the hearing held by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, Duke testified alongside FBI Director Christopher Wray and the leader of the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), a component of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Nicholas Rasmussen.

While the DHS has deemed its efforts to combat the chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear problems afflicting the United States as "inadequate," Wray acknowledged in his prepared remarks:
The FBI, along with its U.S. Government partners, is committed to countering the Weapons of Mass Destruction ("WMD") threat (e.g., chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) and preventing terrorist groups and lone offenders from acquiring these materials either domestically or internationally. 
Domestically, the FBI’s counter-WMD threat program, in collaboration with our U.S. Government partners, prepares for and responds to WMD threats (e.g., investigate, detect, search, locate, diagnostics, stabilization, and render safe WMD threats). Internationally, the FBI, in cooperation with our U.S. partners, provides investigative and technical assistance as well as capacity-building programs to enhance our foreign partners’ ability to detect, investigate, and prosecute WMD threats.
Secretary Duke told lawmakers that DHS hopes to work with lawmakers to improve America’s defenses against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats.

DHS intends to create "a focal point for such activities like most other national security departments and agencies, improving strategic direction, instituting business management best practices across the CBRN space, boosting morale, helping with leadership recruitment and retention, and over time reducing waste, overlap, and duplication," she said.

"Our leadership team is breaking down legacy bureaucratic barriers to make DHS operate more efficiently and effectively to counter threats to our nation. We are ramping up unity of effort within the department and tight collaboration with law enforcement, the intelligence community, and our allies," she continued later. "And we are looking at ways to further integrate intelligence and operations so that our actions are driven by timely information and that we respond quickly to new dangers."

The DHS secretary and ODNI director warned that the magnitude of the terrorist threats facing the United States may "exceed" the 9/11 period.

By Edwin Mora

Source: Breitbart

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Is this Bush's secret bunker?

Mount Weather is a top-security underground installation an hour's drive from Washington DC. It has its own leaders, police, fire department - and laws. A cold war relic, it has been given a new lease of life since 9/11. And no one who's been inside has ever talked. Tom Vanderbilt reports.

'Actually, you may want to just put those down a minute," Tim Brown is telling me, as I peer through binoculars at a cluster of buildings and antennae on a distant ridge. "The locals might get a bit nervous." A Ford F-150 cruises by, and the two men inside regard us casually as they pass.
We are sitting, hazards blinking, in Brown's BMW on a rural road in Virginia's Facquier County, a horsey enclave an hour west of Washington DC. The object of our attention is Mount Weather, officially the Emergency Operations Centre of the Federal Emergency Management Authority (Fema); and, less officially, a massive underground complex originally built to house governmental officials in the event of a full-scale nuclear exchange. Today, as the Bush administration wages its war on terror, Mount Weather is believed to house a "shadow government" made up of senior Washington officials on temporary assignment.

Bush's secret bunker
Following the collapse of the USSR, Mount Weather seemed like an expensive cold-war relic. Then came September 11. News reports noted that "top leaders of Congress were taken to the safety of a secure government facility 75 miles west of Washington"; another reported "a traffic jam of limos carrying Washington and government license plates." As the phrase "undisclosed location" entered the vernacular, Mount Weather, and a handful of similar installations, flickered back to life. Just two months ago, a disaster-simulation exercise called Forward Challenge '06 sent thousands of federal workers to Mount Weather and other sites.

Mount Weather is not hard to find. From the White House, we take Route 66 west until it meets Highway 50. Fifty miles later, we turn off on Route 601, a small two-lane rural feeder that snakes up a ridge. That road seems to be going nowhere until suddenly, at the crest, we come into a clearing, bounded by two lines of tall, shiny, razor-wired fencing, marked with faded signs that say: "US Property. No Trespassing." Behind sits a grouping of white aluminium sheds and a few cars.

We have arrived at the edge of the known republic. What lies beyond is obscured by Appalachian scrub and the inky black of government classification. No one has ever been allowed to tour the underground complex at Mount Weather and tell of what they saw. Occupying 500 acres of Blue Ridge real estate, it functions like a rump principality, with its own leaders, its own police and fire departments, and its own set of laws.

Mount Weather is more easily viewed from outer space than down the block. Earlier in the afternoon, I had been looking at grainy 1m-resolution aerial images of Mount Weather assembled by Brown, a national security researcher and aerial imagery expert. He pointed to small notches on the side of a hill (tunnel entrances), helipads, and a series of "military-style above-ground soft support housing". The mountain straddles the two entrances, he noted. "It's something like 200ft of shelter on top of you at the highest point."

Just driving round the perimeter of Mount Weather, you can see the traces of recent work. "See how they've obscured this," he says, pointing to the black sheeting threaded through a length of fence. "You used to be able to see the helipad through that fence." He gestures towards the new entrance. "Look at the truck barriers. When you turned, there'd be no time to build up speed. They got smart."

The changes to its exterior landscape - not to mention the gossip among local residents - are just one sign that that something very important has been going on at Mount Weather, a level of activity not seen here since the days when Eisenhower and his advisers trooped out here during drills. For some, this is a sign of prudent planning in a world where the security calculus has been for ever altered; for others, it is the symbol of an administration with a predilection towards exercising power in secret. As we pull away from Mount Weather, Brown says, "I wouldn't want to be driving a rental truck and have it break down in front of the gate."

Mount Weather first caught the American imagination on December 1 1974, when a Dulles-bound TransWorld Airlines 727, struggling through heavy rains and 50mph winds, crashed into the top of the mountain, less than a mile and a half from the site. The crash briefly severed the underground line linking to the Emergency Broadcast System, and teletype machines in news offices across the country began spitting out garbled transmissions.

The story might have died there. With Vietnam and Watergate in the air, however, the words "secret government facility" did not exactly induce a frisson of patriotic glee. The Progressive, in 1976, published an article, entitled The Mysterious Mountain, which said Mount Weather, a place little known even to Congress, was home not only to a replica mini-government, but to files on at least 100,000 Americans. In 1991, Time published the fullest exposй, describing (based on conversations with retired engineers) a sprawling underground complex bristling with mainframe computers, air circulation pumps, and a television/radio studio for post-nuclear presidential broadcasts.

What information has emerged about Mount Weather has always been rather sketchy. At some point in the 1950s, however, it seems that a drilling experiment into the mountain's rugged foundations of Precambrian basalt was turned into an exercise in underground city building, with the army corps hollowing out of the "hard and tight" rock a complex of tunnels and rooms with roofs reinforced by iron bolts.

The base formed part of a "federal relocation arc", an archipelago of hardened underground facilities, each linked by a dedicated communications system and equipped with amenities ranging from showers to wash off nuclear fallout to filtration systems capable of sucking air clean down to the micron level. The sites, staffed by "molies", were spartan steel-and-concrete expanses, subterranean seats of power: the president could repair to Mount Weather; Congress had its secret bunker under the Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia; the Federal Reserve had a bunker in Culpeper, Virginia; the Pentagon was given a rocky redoubt called Site R in the mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania; while the nation's air defences were run out of Norad's (North American Aerospace Defence Command) Cheyenne Mountain facility. "The nuclear age has dictated that these men carry out their responsibilities inside a solid granite mountain," wrote the defence command.

Mount Weather's secrecy was never absolute. In the 1957 novel Seven Days in May, the authors referred to a shadowy facility called Mount Thunder, all but revealing its location. Driving around those Blue Ridge byways today, a curious mixture of secrecy and openness still prevails. On Route 601, an Adopt-a-Highway sign is sponsored by employees of the Mount Weather Emergency Operations Centre. But pull off toward the entrance of that facility, and things get a bit strange. Looking for the home of a local resident, I hail an exiting Mount Weather employee. As we begin to chat, cars side by side, I suddenly hear a strange, siren-like sound and notice that a black SUV has loomed into my rear-view. The occupant, wearing sunglasses, hastily points me in the right direction.

This contradictory world of sunshine and shadow is at one with the parallel nature of the facility itself. On the one hand, it is, as Fema describes it, "a hub of emergency response activity providing Fema and other government agencies space for offices, training, conferencing, operations and storage". Less discussed is Mount Weather's obliquely assumed status as one of the key "undisclosed locations" of the Bush administration. "Look, there are two Mount Weathers - there's the Fema one and the Mount Weather one," says John Weisman, a writer of military and spy thrillers and a neighbour of the facility. "I wouldn't be at all surprised if [the vice-president, Dick] Cheney had been here before, and if [the secretary of defence, Donald] Rumsfeld had been here before, because they were part of some hugely sensitive stuff that was going on in the 1980s."

Weisman is referring to a series of classified programmes, described by the journalist James Mann in The Rise of the Vulcans, in which Cheney and Rumsfeld were said to be "leading figures". According to Mann, the resurgence of tensions with the Soviet Union during the Reagan administration lent new urgency to "continuity of government" programmes. With a secret executive order, and an "action officer" in the form of Oliver North, top officials pondered such constitutional quandaries as whether it would be necessary to reconstitute Congress following a nuclear attack (the answer was no).

On September 11 2001, Mann writes, the long-dormant plan was activated, and any number of top officials - possibly including Cheney himself - were shuttled to Mount Weather.

Residents on the mountain did not need to read the newspapers to discern that something was going on there. Joe Davitt, a retired civil servant who lives in a small A-frame house a mile or so away, told me that on September 11 2001 his wife was returning home from Florida. At the bottom of the hill, he says, she was stopped by state troopers, who asked for identification. At the facility itself, he says, "The Mount Weather guards were not only armed, they had their guns in firing position." John Staelin, a member of the Clarke County Board of Supervisors, says that on September 11, the county's 911 line received a call from an agitated local woman. "She said, 'I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, but the whole mountain opened up and Air Force One flew in and it closed right up. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.' So they said, 'Yes, ma'am.' "

Whatever else, Mount Weather makes for an interesting neighbour. "My God," says Davitt, as we sit on his back porch, "they put a plough up there at the first forecast of snow. They've always been good at keeping the road ploughed."

"We call our house ground zero," says Weisman. "This mountain has its interesting moments, between the helicopter flights and the people coming and going." Where for years "Mount Weather was nothing but a sleepy little byway", Weisman complains that the post-9/11 security adjustments have only served to draw attention to the facility. "It now says, 'Boy, am I important!' "

The local people are, by and large, perfectly happy to talk about Mount Weather. Sometimes, however, a veil of secrecy descends. When I asked about Mount Weather at the Daily Grind coffee shop in nearby Berryville, a woman smiled nervously and told me one woman she knew saw "missiles" being taken there. I was forwarded an email from a mountain resident (with the .mil domain that suggests a military background) that contained complaints about late-night helicopter flights, as well as recent episodes of nocturnal machine-gun fire and even a "massive explosion" that had shaken the house. My email seeking further comment received an immediate, terse response demanding that the sender not be associated with the story.

Inquiries to Fema yield little more light. "There's been a general upgrade of security at all federal installations around the country, and Mount Weather is one of them," says spokesman Don Jacks. "I answered your question in a very general way. We're not going to talk about Mount Weather, period. It's not that I can't, we just don't."

A request to talk to Reynolds Hoover, the director of Fema's Office of National Security Coordination, dies on the vine. And forget about James Looney, Fema chief at Mount Weather. "To talk to Mr Looney you would have to talk about Mount Weather," Jacks reminds me. "And we don't talk about Mount Weather."

One afternoon, I went to have lunch with Jim Wink at the Horseshoe Curve, a saloon tucked away near the hamlet of Pine Grove. It has been the unofficial canteen of Mount Weather for as long as anyone can remember. "I've seen Seabees [members of the US Navy Construction Battalions] come out of the tunnels at the end of the day and come down to the bar for a few beers," says Weisman. A Comanche pickup in the parking lot has a bumper sticker that says Terrorist Hunting Permit.

"I checked you out last night," Wink says by way of introduction. "So did Ray." He's talking about Ray Derby, a former Mount Weather employee whom I had visited the night before, who has suddenly appeared today. Wink, an Irish-blooded South Philadelphian with a tight smile and a steely, penetrating stare, does not seem like a man of whom you would like to run afoul. A retired counterterrorism expert with stints in the CIA, the Secret Service and any number of other agencies, he seems to have been in every place in the world at the most politically sensitive time. He was one of the last several hundred US personnel in Vietnam in April 1975, until he heard the song White Christmas - a coded message to get out of the country.

His office is filled with memorabilia culled from the more occluded arenas of US foreign policy; there is a plaque signed by the team tracking the Shining Path leader, Abimael Guzman, in Peru; a collection of Wink's identity cards from various intelligences agencies around the world (he's wearing sunglasses in most of them); and, among other souvenirs, a photograph of the slain drug lord Pablo Escobar. "There's your richest man in the world," he says, handing me a snapshot of a bloated, blank-eyed corpse. "He did not die a good death."

There's a Vets for North sticker on one wall, and, on another, one that says: "Even My Dog is Conservative."

Wink came to Mount Weather in the 1980s. "I needed a training facility and they offered a great deal up here."

When he came with the Secret Service one day to the Curve for a beer, he met his future wife, Tracee, whose grandfather had owned the bar. "Cheney and Rumsfeld, they've been here," he says, gesturing to the bar. "And Ollie. We all worked here together years ago. She can even tell you what they drank." His eyes shift toward his wife, behind the bar. "When I used to run exercises we'd bring 1,000 people," he says. "Most of the things we did, they didn't let 'em off the post." He talks vaguely of one training exercise. "We had to do the psychology of being locked up," he says. "We started with submarines."

There have been curious visitors to Mount Weather from the start, he says, including the Russians. "The State Department, in their infinite lack of wisdom, allowed the Russians to have a R&R center on the river here, right below Mount Weather." The Curve, which sits off an entrance to the Appalachian Trail, attracts wayward visitors. "One hiker came in and said he was hiking all the facilities. Said you could get closer that way. He was trying to find out a little too much."

Local people, Wink says, like to help Mount Weather maintain its low profile. "They won't talk about it," he says. "As a matter of fact," he says, fixing his eyes on me, "you might meet a local cop if you ask too many questions about it. Many of the men around here served in the second world war," he continues. "Consequently they don't discuss those things."

I had encountered a similar line of thinking the night before from Derby, a long-time federal emergency coordinator and civil defence officer who is now retired and living in nearby Winchester. "All the employees of Mount Weather have always been told, rightly so, that no matter what someone asks you, just don't say if it's true or not true. Just ignore the question. You'll get that if you ask," says Derby, a chain-smoker with neatly Brylcreemed hair who drinks what he calls "martoonis" out of a tumbler. His office, in the upstairs of his split-level suburban home, is filled with various presidential commendations, as well as a photograph of what looks like a emergency conference room.

"I designed that," he says, peering through a dense curl of cigarette smoke, "but I can't tell you where it is".

By Tom Vanderbilt

Source: Guardian

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

U.S. Is Still a Global Leader. Trump Can't Change That

Trump's America is dying. The rest of the nation is a growing, shining city on a hill.

If you think of the U.S. as a global leader, these are troubling times. This past week's G-20 meeting showed how weak the U.S. has become. At a big international summit, the president seems uninterested and withdrawn.
Donald Trump
Trump has surrendered, but the nation hasn't
But America is not now and has never been a homogeneous country with universal shared values. And while perhaps the shrinking part of America that Trump represents may seek to go its own way, the growing parts of America that represent the future are likely to redefine a 21st-century version of global leadership.

In the years following World War II, Europe's and Japan's economies were in ruins. Mostly unscathed by war and economically empowered by wartime production, the U.S. inherited its position as the world's dominant superpower. Industrial-era cities were at their high. Factories were booming. The parents of baby boomers were expanding into the suburbs, financed by government-backed mortgages and new highways. We had visions of man setting foot on the moon.

For parts of America, much has gone wrong since then. Europe and Japan rebuilt their economies, and the rise of China and other emerging markets led to competition for American manufacturing jobs. Outsourcing and productivity improvements slowly hollowed out America's factories. Continued domestic migration south and west, along with lower fertility rates, put demographic strains on the Northeast and the Midwest. Highways may have been a boon for the American economy, but communities far from them slowly became economically irrelevant. In stagnant communities, strains from pension costs and aging infrastructure have led to a host of financial, social and political challenges. The shock of the 2008 financial crisis was a body blow from which many communities are still reeling. The election of Trump was a response to all of this.

Globalization and demography certainly created American losers -- to borrow Trump's terminology. But those forces also created winners, who represent America's future. The areas with growing populations have the best prospects.

States in the South and the West now account for the bulk of American population growth. Whereas postwar population growth was somewhat homogeneous -- white families settling into newly created suburbs -- today's population growth has a decidedly more diverse, global look. It's first- and second-generation Hispanic families settling all over the South and the West. Asian immigrants moving to the West Coast and large metro areas in the South. African-Americans moving from struggling Midwestern cities like Chicago to more vibrant Southern ones like Atlanta. And continued white migration from the Northeast and the Midwest to the South and the West. As Adam Carstens of PQ Partners showed, roughly 80 percent of the U.S. population growth for ages 25 to 44 this decade is taking place in the South and the West, and the vast majority of that is non-white.

Ongoing trends in the global economy favors these parts of America as well. Think ahead 20 years to when millennials are running the world. Solar energy should represent a much larger share of global energy consumption, with oil far less important. This is great news for energy consumers like the Sun Belt, and bad news for hydrocarbon producers like Russia and the Middle East. The role of technology should continue to increase, with West Coast American companies like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon better-positioned to capitalize on these trends than anyone else in the world. The development of autonomous vehicles could help unchoke traffic gridlock in sprawling car-dependent metro areas in the South and the West.

As the global economy continues to shift from manufacturing to services, U.S. media, content and culture have more and more influence around the world. Whether it's the aforementioned technology companies, Hollywood, Disney, global brands like Nike and Starbucks, or athletes and musicians like LeBron James and Ariana Grande, here too America has unparalleled dominance. The U.S. continues to have the largest, deepest and most transparent capital markets in the world, with Wall Street banks in their best health in decades. As the emerging world like China becomes wealthier, it also seeks to become more educated. Here, too, America is poised to thrive. One of the noteworthy aspects as China is supposedly set to wrest the global leadership mantle from the U.S. is that those in China with the means to get out want to buy real estate in the U.S. and send their children to U.S. schools.

And then there is the matter of demography. Europe, Russia and Japan have shrinking populations. China's working-age population has already peaked, and is set to decline by 90 million by the year 2040. The only large and powerful nation in the 21st century that has a reasonable birthrate and is also an attractive destination for immigrants is the U.S.

Trump's America, with its backbone as factory towns in the Midwest, may be in decline. But America's future, one based on thriving, diverse Sun Belt metropolises like Los Angeles, is poised to lead the world of the future.

By Conor Sen

Source: Bloomberg

industrial gold

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Truth About The Stock Market

"But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things..." —1st Timothy 6:9-11
Billions of Taxpayer Dollars Stolen, Paid to Wall Street Thieves

Greed - A Road to Destruction

Many people have destroyed their lives by living to make money.  Notice carefully that the Scriptures are speaking here to "they that will be rich" (That is--they are NOT rich yet).  Millions of people have "pierced themselves through with many sorrows" by trying to retire early or "get ahead" in life.  In case you haven't figured it out yet, kindly said, the rich men who control our government and economy DON'T want us to prosper.  I mean, when you have to pay for 3 houses just to buy 1, something is dreadfully wrong!

When we have to keep paying into the social security system while being told repeatedly that it may NOT be there for us when we retire, something is very wrong!  When we heard of Enron retirees being cheated out of their life-savings, we definitely knew something was wrong (some people personally lost over a million dollars).  The most sickening part is that the politicians in Washington condoned Enron executive's crimes by doing nothing to prosecute them.  This is because Enron made large campaign contributions to those politicians.  God will judge those evil people!

In light of all the corruption, government scams (like $59,000,000,000 being stolen from the HUD program), corporate crimes, deficit spending, increased taxes and so forth...I have no desire to even try to play their game anymore.  I have no desire to "get ahead" in life.  I could care less about working overtime, but that's me.  I don't live to work.  I won't do it.  I want to spend the time with my wife and children.  I'm not a slave to their system.  I've never bought a lottery ticket in my life and don't plan to start now (it's just an added tax on the stupid).  I don't gamble at casinos and wouldn't be caught dead betting on horses (why give those greedy men and women your money?).

The Stock Market is a Scam, Controlled from Within

Stock Market
I also avoid the stock market, it is a man-made invention designed to take away the public's wealth, it is a scam.  This has been documented (if you read beyond the newspaper).  Read the following article from Richard Ney's book titles, "The Wall Street Gang" (temporarily out of print).

"The hard-hitting market critic, Richard Ney, has written three books that I know of. His first, and probably most famous, is The Wall Street Jungle, written in 1970. He next wrote The Wall Street Gang, published in 1974 by Praeger Publishers. Chapter 2 of the latter book opens as follows:
"It is no accident that most investors lose money in the stock market. Their losses are an inevitable by-product of their ignorance of how little they know about the invisible world of the Stock Exchange. Like machines dominated by external influences, they are capable only of mechanical action.
Regrettably, the arrangements that exist to preserve the traditions and legalize the frauds of the security industry are inseparable from the general organization of a society controlled by the financial establishment, a society whose laws and principal customs have been contrived to serve the special interests of the financial community. Thus, although the Stock Exchange's most profitable practices clearly compromise the freedoms granted others by the constitution, Exchange Insiders are granted immunity from the legal obligations and penalties that should be imposed on them."
 In 1975, Ney published his third book, Making it in the Market: Richard Ney's Low risk System for Stock Market Investors."

Would You Pay $100 for a Gallon of Milk?

I have read so many website articles which speak of the stock market as a scam, but then they proceed to tell you how you can make money by following their advice (don't do it!).  I studied the stock market long enough to know that it's all a big scam.

In the first place, the whole concept of a P/E ratio (price-to-earnings ratio) is a joke.  People are suckered into paying 20, 30, sometimes even 100 times what a stock is actually worth.  There is NO true value.  People are taught by Wall Street con men to pay outrageous prices for a stock (because someone say it's a good deal).  In reality, it's a foolish game of money swindling that has robbed the public of trillions of dollars.  If you think about it, there is basically NO value to the stock market (If you were to take all of the thousands of stocks on the various stock market exchanges and average their actual earnings together, you'd find their total value to be less than 1% of what the public is actually paying for those same stocks).

In other words, your buying NOTHING!  The public is taught by the greedy people who operate Wall Street that it is a "GOOD DEAL" to buy stocks with absolutely NO EARNINGS. This is absurd! People foolishly buy into these lies. These greedy and ungodly Wall Street crooks (especially the bankers) have created a SYSTEM of smoke and mirrors over the years that utilize a series of economic and governments REPORTS to manipulate alleged "sentiment value" of the stock market.  They also use any public news release available to justify a market move.  I've heard every excuse you can imagine for the stock market going up or down (and it's very humorous to listen to day-by-day).

Wall Street Criminals Use News Releases to Manipulate Their Victims

Wall Street said on one particular day that the stock market went down for fear that the Iraqi Freedom war would take longer than expected.  The next day they claimed the stock market went up because Saddam Hussein was missing (thinking he was dead).  It's utterly ridiculous to think that the public is stupid and gullible enough to believe these lies...but they soak it up!!!  Where do you think the news media gets their information on the stock market?  They get their news from Wall Street's crooks!  The rule of Wall Street is simple: The people who control Wall Street will do whatever it takes (even a radical move if need be) to ensure that 95% of the public losses their money.  I've seen bad stocks with NO earnings soar sky-high on no news at all.

I've also seen very good company stocks go south on great news.  I recall recently that Harley Davidson posted their best earnings ever and the stock tanked over $5 in one day.  Can you say scam?  I remember reading the internet news on IBM a couple years ago, the stock had jumped up like $15 in one day because of a dozen fantastic reports released on the internet.  No kidding, the next day the stock tanked over $10 and the news was nothing but the sky-is-falling for IBM.  What had changed overnight?  Nothing, not one stinking thing.

Can you say scam?  Several Wall Street Investment Firms were just fined 1,400,000,000 for cheating people (but they made hundreds of Billions in profit, a convenient way for them to keep getting richer.  They do this stuff on purpose, expecting to get caught.  They could care less because they know they are making hundreds of BILLIONS).  This type of criminal behavior (where the punishment never fits the crime) is plaguing many of our American industries.  It's sickening to any honest, hard-working American.  People are being CHEATED on purpose, but the victims rarely ever see a dime of the lawsuit money.

The "Herd Mentality," Running into the Slaughter House

I read another book by Richard Ney titled The Wall Street Jungle.  Mr. Ney documents how the stock market is a fraud, controlled by scheming con artists.  He shows how the stock market went up for several weeks straight, in spite of an over abundance of bad financial news.  He then documents the same process, but with the stock market going down in spite of consistent good news.  The point here is that the news media is deliberately given bogus news by Wall Street cons to mislead investors.

People hear bad news and avoid the stock market, meanwhile the market is going up and the public is missing out.  The opposite is also true, the public runs in (with a herd mentality) to buy stocks on good news, while in reality the market keeps progressing lower and lower.  People are like ignorant sheep, it's their own fault for not THINKING outside the herd.  Kindly said, you MUST READ BOOKS and learn to THINK FOR YOURSELF.

The Stock Market Bubble Will One Day Burst . . . a Total Crash!

A day will come when money will be blowing worthless in the streets of the United States of America!  Already, the U.S. dollar has lost 30% of it's worth since the year 2000.  I've already mentioned that the entire stock market is a big mirage (something you see that is NOT really there).  It a mirage of false wealth.  The big bubble could pop in one day!  Gold has real value!  This is why China is wisely buying up the world's gold supply.  Gold retains it's value, stocks do not.  A commodity has real value!  I can eat corn or bacon, I can't eat a stock.

Listen friend, the entire stock market is a big fictitious man-made invention of arbitrary numbers which mean nothing if you give it even a little thought.  It's a big scam!  I have also mentioned that people are paying 20, 30 or even 100 times what a stock is worth (P/E ratio).  This goes against good business sense.  Sure, I know there are people like Warren Buffet who made billions on Coca-Cola, but his father was a stock broker and Warren began investing at age 9.  He was very fortunate and he'll admit it.

However, for every Warren Buffet there are ten thousand wanna-be rich men who have ended up losing their jobs, marriages and even their lives.  The stock market makes some people lose their minds by inspiring their fears and greed.  These are NOT wise emotions for a Christian to subject him or herself to.

People ignorantly put their money into the stock market, having no comprehension that the stock market is controlled from within...not without.  I've heard time and time again on the early morning news such statements as, "INVESTORS decided to take early profits this morning" or "INVESTORS decided to sell at the opening of the market this morning."

Do you really think there are that many people up at that time of morning placing stock trades?  No!  The "investors" they are speaking of are the "insiders" on Wall Street who make millions upon millions of dollars a year.  They each pay $2,000,000 just to have a seat on the New York Stock exchange.

The Best Things in Life are Not Things!

The purpose of my article is simple friend...AVOID the stock market!  There are NO secrets to outsmart  the greedy rich men at their rigged game (and your in for a financial loss if you think you can).  Oh sure, you might make some money at first, but more than likely you'll be sorry down the road.  I realize that there are investments which are considered "safer" such as the S&P 500 and utility company stocks (some of which pay nice dividends).  However, there is NO guaranteed "SAFE" investment in the stock market.  These would be the only two investments I'd might consider if I were going to invest in stocks, but personally I don't want anything to do with the stock market because of all the insider corruption.

Trying to "get ahead" has ruined many families, I'm happy with what God has given me.  As my old pastor Dr. Jack Hyles used to say, "There's two ways to be rich: Have all you want OR want all you have."  That's a good statement.   I want all I have; therefore, I am a very rich man indeed!  If you're frustrated (as a lot of people are), you need to learn to relax and stop letting life frustrate you.  If your burned out, sell your stocks and forget the stock market before it destroys you.  Trust me, in time you'll thank yourself.  Do you want true peace in life?  The first step is to decide to be content with what you have.
"But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content." —1st Timothy 6:6-8
We were born empty-handed and we'll die empty-handed.  You can't control everything, but you can avoid the things which may ruin your life.  It's ok to work for a living.  Some people drive themselves insane trying to find a way out of work.  Your going to end up ruining your life because of your greed to make money (Read 1st Timothy 6:9-11 again).  An extremely small amount of investors have been lucky in the stock market, but nearly all the people who have played the stock market have lost money (many their shirt and pants as well).

The Bible has much to say about money, mainly that we're better off without it.  Notice 1st Timothy 6:11 says "But thou, O man of God, flee these things..."  Go fishing, take your family to the park, sit out in the yard...but don't waste your life pursuing filthy lucre (and anyone who tells you that you can "be a better you" if you had more money is a LIAR!).  You CAN be a great person without money!

Money has ruined many people!!!  The fact is that most of the people who posses a lot of money are not very great people.  You don't need money to be happy in life, but you do need God.



Saturday, July 1, 2017

Beware of 'presumptions' – they’re everywhere!


As a result of the Bankruptcy of America in 1933, everything changed. The changes that started in the 30s were formalized in the 50s-60s, when the Uniform Commercial Code was installed (by stealth) into each state.

Uniform Commercial CodeFrom attorney Melvin Stamper’s book Fruit from a Poisonous Tree (pg 62):
In the 1950s, the Uniform Commercial Code was adopted in most of the States as a means of unifying the generally accepted procedures for handling the new legal system of dealing with commercial fictions as though they were real. Security instruments replaced substance as collateral for debts. Security instruments could be supported by presumptive adhesion contracts. Debt instruments with collateral and accommodating parties could be used instead of money. Money and the need for money was disappearing, and a uniform system of law had to be put in place to allow the courts to uphold the security instruments that depended on commercial fictions as a basis for compelling payment or performance. All this was accomplished by the mid-1960s.
The commercial code is merely a codification of accepted and required procedures which all people engaged in commercial activity must follow. The basic principles of commerce had been settled thousands of years ago, but were refined as commerce become more sophisticated over the years. In the 1900s, the age-old principles of commerce shifted from substance to form. Presumption became a major element of the law. Without giving a degree of force to legal presumption, the new direction in enforcing commercial claims could not be supported in Equity/Admiralty courts and had no chance in common law. If the claimants were required to produce their claims every time they tried to collect from the people, they would seldom be successful. The principles articulated in the commercial code combine the methods of dealing with substantive commercial activity with presumptive commercial activity. These principles work as well for us as they do for the entrenched powers. The rules are neutral and respect neither side of a dispute, as they are ancient in origin.
The entrenched powers that engineered the scheme for the people to register their property and person with the United States and its instrumentalities gained control of the peoples' property and right to property through registration and licensing. The United States became the trustee of the titles to everything. The definition of "property" is the interest one has in a thing. The thing is the principal. The property is the interest in the thing. Profits (interest) made from the property of another belong to the owner of the thing. The International Bankers made profits by pledging as surety the registered property of the people in commercial markets, but the profits do not belong to the Bankers. The profits belong to the owners of the thing. That is always the people. The corporation government shows only ownership of paper – titles to things. The substance cannot appear in the fiction. Sometimes the fiction is manufactured to appear as substance, but fiction can never become substance; it is an illusion. This is why the proper spelling of your name in upper and lower case is never used in court documents. The ALL CAPS spelling represents the legal fiction, which the government holds title to and jurisdiction over, as it is the creation of the government. The substance cannot appear in the fiction. What will happen when you appear and claim the name ascribed on the complaint? You and the fiction become one and the same; you have changed masks from a natural person to an artificial one.


There is no way out of the deceptive traps of "presumptive adhesion contracts" other than to formally rebut the presumptions that seemingly tie us to them. We must define our legal characters as living flesh and blood men and women and rebut the presumption that we are nothing more than legal fictions. And the best way to do that is to publish your Notice of Condition Precedent.

By AntiCorruption Society

Source: AntiCorruption Society

native gold

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The United States is in Deep Doodoo!

"Mr. Speaker, we are here now in chapter 11. Members of Congress are official trustees presiding over the greatest reorganization of any Bankrupt entity in world history, the U.S. Government. We are setting forth hopefully, a blueprint for our future. There are some who say it is a coroner's report that will lead to our demise." - United States Congressional Record - March 17, 1993 - Vol. #33, page H-1303 - Speaker: The Honorable Representative James Traficant, Jr. (Ohio) addressing the House . . .
Imagine for a moment that someone inherits a farm. Let's say that the farm has good topsoil, a good well, good breeding stock, good seed, and excellent farm equipment in good repair. Prior to passing into the control of the present owner the farm did a good business selling vegetables, meat, and dairy products to the local market, and it made a small profit.

U.S. Federal Government Debt
But let us suppose for a moment that the present owner of the farm doesn't understand farming, or isn't even really interested in learning. The present owner has no objection to standing around looking good, so he stays at the farm, standing in front of it, looking good to passers by.

Of course, the bills still come in, so our farmer puts them on his credit card. When that bill comes due he uses another credit card, Then another. Pretty soon the interest payments alone are higher than his bills and the banks get nervous and call him. No problem. Our farmer sells the tractor, takes the money around to the various credit cards, the food store, the utilities, and pays off all his bills. Then he stands around in front of the farm looking good to passers-by, the lord of his domain.

Will, the bills still come in. Again the credit cards get loaded up. So, this time our farmer sells the harvester. Then later on, the cattle, then the chickens, then the seeds, then he leases the well to his neighbor and finally sells the top soil from his farm to another farm down the road whose soil is getting tired. The cash is taken around to the various creditors, the food store, the utilities, etc.

Now at this point, our farmer thinks everything is okay. The bills are paid, he has a little cash in his pocket, and everything is fine.

Of course, you know better. The farm simply does not exist any more; it's just an empty lot with a few buildings, and soon they will be gone as well. The path from the farmer's present condition to seizure of the property for unpaid taxes is a foregone conclusion, even if the farmer doesn't look far enough ahead to see it.

Poor, dumb, stupid farmer.

That farmer is our government, and our business leaders.

Just as our hypothetical farm has lost its soil, livestock, seed, and farm equipment, America has lost its manufacturing ability. Short sighted business leaders, with as little interest in manufacturing as our farmer had in farming, decided their own personal bonuses would be higher if they simply sold their factories rather that ran them. After WW2, the 27 American TV companies including Zenith, Emerson, RCA, GE, etc. led the world in TV technology. Then, the owners of the patents on TV technology decided they didn't need to dirty their hands by actually making the TV sets themselves any more, and they started selling licenses to manufacture, which the Japanese bought.

By 1987, the only remaining American TV company is Zenith. The patent holders get their money, but the American products which can be sold overseas are gone, along with the jobs to make them.

The same happened in high-tech electronics. The integrated circuit was invented in the United States. But rather than focus on selling integrated circuits, the companies that owned that technology sold the machines to MAKE integrated circuits around the world, and now America sells very few chips anywhere. The patent holders have their money, but the cash flow from sales of manufactured goods, and the jobs that go with them, are gone. When Seymour Cray needed custom chips for his supercomputers, he had to order them from Japan.

The same thing has been happening in aviation. The airplane was invented in the United States, and through the 60s, we sold a lot of them around the world. But lately, all aircraft sales to foreign countries involve "offsets", a portion of the core technology that gets licensed to the purchasing nation and gets manufactured there. Bit by bit, the core technology gets bled off, taking with it jobs, and cash flow from the sale of those manufactured products. Along the way, the rights to manufacture American inventions outside America leak away on a steadily increasing basis. Even the mighty F-16 is now being manufactured overseas, under license.

To cover the loss of manufacturing jobs, our government has invented the catch phrase "service economy". This is the idiotic notion that we don't need to actually sell manufactured products; that we can grow and prosper our nation by doing each other's laundry. To conceal the loss of manufacturing jobs, the government has legislated into existence thousands upon thousands of useless paper-shuffling jobs, and declared their necessity by fiat. The most obvious is the income tax which has been so obfuscated by the government that half of you had to rely on an outside expert to figure out just what all those incomprehensible words really meant. By this device, the government has replaced those jobs that made products to sell with an equal number of jobs that produce nothing whatsoever of any worth, except to keep the unemployment figures down. This over-burdening of the American people with gratuitous regulations and paperwork has accomplished nothing except to obfuscate the loss of manufacturing jobs, and to transform the American character from innovators and inventors creating new products to that of minor clerks, peeking under each other's seat cushions for lost change.

So, with most of our manufacturing now gone, just what DOES America make? Trouble, mostly. With 4% of the world's population and 18% of the economy, we have 50% of all the lawyers, all looking to make a killing by looting those few industries that still call America home (like Microsoft). Kids don't want to be scientists and engineers; they've seen how little such people are valued in our country. Based on recent history, kids see the "big bucks" are in corporate law, specifically investment banking, leveraged buyouts, greenmail, junk bonds, in short what other countries describe as "trying to make money grow by shaking it side to side".

With America's ability to actually produce products that can compete on the open world market in decline, it's no wonder that the balance of trade is the problem it is. Nobody buys our export products because we just don't make that many any more, and like or not, we have to buy our appliances from the people who make them, which are NOT Americans. (When Ampex invented the VCR, they didn't even bother trying to find an American company to make it, they immediately sold the rights to Japan).

So, what do all these countries on the plus side of the trade imbalance do with their surplus billions? Well, they have been loaning it right back to us!

Our government engages in a practice politely called "deficit spending". Other terms which would aptly describe the practice include "counterfeiting" and "check kiting", but it all comes down to the same thing; spending money one does not actually have.

What would be a Jailable offense for a normal citizen was rendered legal for the government by the Federal Reserve Act. This was not a popular piece of legislation. In fact the Democrats had campaigned in 1912 on a platform of rejection of the creation of a private bank in charge of a fiat money system. Nevertheless, on December 23, 1913, taking advantage of the absence of congressmen opposed to the creation of a fiat monetary system during the Christmas break, the Federal Reserve Act was passed.

Years later, during the great depression, Congressman Louis T. McFadden (who served twelve years as Chairman of the Committee on Banking and Currency) asked for congressional investigations of criminal conspiracy to establish the privately owned 'Federal Reserve System'. He requested impeachment of Federal officers who had violated oaths of office both in establishing and directing the Federal Reserve -- imploring Congress to investigate an incredible scope of overt criminal acts by the Federal Reserve Board and Federal Reserve Banks. McFadden even suggested that the Federal Reserve deliberately triggered the great stock market crash of 1929, in order to eventually force the passage of the Emergency Banking Act of March 9, 1933, which suspended the gold standard.
"Mr. Chairman, we have in this country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal reserve banks. The Federal Reserve Board, a Government Board, has cheated the Government of the United States and he people of the United States out of enough money to pay the national debt. The depredations and the iniquities of the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal reserve banks acting together have cost this country enough money to pay the national debt several times over. This evil institution has impoverished and ruined the people of the United States; has bankrupted itself, and has practically bankrupted our     Government. It has done this through the misadministration of that law by which the Federal Reserve  Board, and through the corrupt practices of the moneyed vultures who control it." - In describing the FED, McFadden remarked in the Congressional Record, House pages 1295 and 1296 on June 10, 1932.
Why all the fuss over the gold standard?

gold standard
Well it goes back to the original Founding Fathers and the meaning of the word "dollar". "Dollar" is actually a weight measure of silver, 371.25 grains, to be exact. Our American silver dollars are actually heavier, since other metals were added for durability. But that 371.25 grains of silver WAS the dollar, matching in weight an unbroken chain of accepted monetary units that reached back through the Spanish Milled Dollar, the Dutch Dollar, back to the German Thaler; the product of a silver mine which sold it's product in coins of an exact weight. The Coinage Act of 1792 defined our dollar to exactly match in weight the silver dollars in use around the world, and then defined the gold dollar to be that amount of gold which would equal the worth of silver in a silver dollar, 24.75 grains, 1/15 the weight of the silver in a silver dollar.

So, what's wrong with this? Nothing really. When you, as a citizen, hold a silver dollar or a gold dollar in our hand, you hold that actual worth of metal. Nothing the government can do can change the worth of the money in your control.

Take the Roman Silver Denarius pictured above. The Roman Empire is long gone, but the money that Rome issued still has worth because the coins themselves had inherent worth. Long after the collapse of the empire, Roman silver coins were still used as money, because the silver in the coin itself did not depend on the issuing government for its worth.

Of course, carrying around too much coin can be bothersome, so many nation, including our own, issued paper notes as a convenience. But that paper currency of the nation was just a convenience. The gold and silver certificates were merely "claim checks" for the equivalent weight of gold or silver held in the treasury, and which would be produced on demand when the certificate was presented. But in the end, the lawful dollar of the United States was 371.25 in silver, or 24.75 grains of gold.

The problem with this system from the point of view of the government or the banks is that it limits the amount of money they can work with. When the bank runs out of silver or gold (or the equivalent certificates) it can no longer lend any more money with which to earn interest. When the government runs out of gold or silver (or the equivalent certificates) it can no longer spend money (just like the rest of us).

The immediate effect of ending the gold standard was that with the paper dollar no longer legally dependent on 371.25 in silver or 24.75 grains of gold, more paper dollars (now called "Federal Reserve Notes") could be printed, their worth no longer under the control of the citizens but under the control of the issuing central bank, based on the total number of dollars printed (or created as credit lines). The more dollars which are created out of thin air, the less each one is worth.

A Federal Reserve Note

federal Reserve Note
The swindle of the system is simple. The Federal Reserve Bank hires the US Treasury to print up some money. The Federal Reserve only actually pays the treasury for the cost of the printing, they do NOT pay $1 for each 1$ printed. But the Federal Reserve turns around and loans out that money (or credit line) to banks at full face value, those banks which have exhausted their deposits then loan that Federal Reserve fiat money to you, and you must repay it in the full dollar value (plus interest) in work product, even though the Federal Reserve printed that money for pennies, or created it out of thin air in a computer.

As the Federal Reserve overprints more money, the money supply inflates, and too much money starts chasing too few goods and services, which means prices go up. But contrary to the charade put on by the Federal Reserve, inflation doesn't just come and go due to some arcane sorcery. The Federal Reserve can halt inflation any time it wants to by simply shutting down those printing presses. It therefore follows that both inflation and recession are fully under the control of the Federal Reserve.

Over time, that excess of printing has destroyed the value of that dollar you think you have. If you want to know by just how much, go out and try to purchase 371.25 in silver right now. Usually, the deterioration is gradual. Sometimes, it has to be obvious, such as the 1985 devaluation (done to halt the trade imbalance) which triggered the Japanese real-estate grab in this country.

Many politicians have attempted to reverse this process. John F. Kennedy issued an Executive Order 11110, requiring the Treasury Department to start printing and issuing silver certificates for the silver then remaining in the US Treasury.

Kennedy decided that by returning to the constitution, which states that only Congress shall coin and regulate money, the soaring national debt could be reduced by not paying interest to the bankers of the Federal Reserve System, who print paper money then loan it to the government at interest. This was the reason he signed Executive Order 11110 which called for the issuance of $4,292,893,815 in United States Notes through the U.S. Treasury rather than the traditional Federal Reserve System.

John F. Kennedy's United States Note

That same day, Kennedy signed a bill changing the backing of one and two dollar bills from silver to gold, adding strength to the weakened U.S. currency.

John F. Kennedy's United States Note
Kennedy's comptroller of the currency, James J. Saxon, had been at odds with the powerful Federal Reserve Board for some time, encouraging broader investment and lending powers for banks that were not part of the Federal Reserve system. Saxon also had decided that non-Reserve banks could underwrite state and local general obligation bonds, again weakening the dominant Federal Reserve banks".

Kennedy's executive order was never implemented following his assassination, and shortly afterwards, United States silver coins were taken out of circulation and replaced with the copper clad slugs in use today. These two events, the failure to print new silver certificates, and the substitution of worthless slugs for our silver coins, may explain why the Warren Commission included on its panel John J. McCloy, a man with no experience in crime, law enforcement, or national security, but who had been the President of the Chase Manhattan Bank.

It should be noted that the banks themselves are still using the gold standard. Accounts are still settled between major national banks by the transfer of gold bullion.

So here we are with a bank that legally counterfeits the money you borrow but expects a full value (plus interest) repayment. But what's good for the Federal Reserve is good for the government itself, and this is where we get back into that funny word "deficit spending". The government spends more money than it takes in. It has for many years now. The Federal Reserve, being the only lawful source of this fiat money, prints up the excess cash the government needs (or manufactures a credit line in a computer). This extra cash is treated as a loan, in order to keep the government overspending from further eroding the worth of the dollar in the world market. The government (meaning the taxpayers) is on the hook for the full face value, plus interest.

But there's another problem. The government is borrowing so much money that it drives the interest rates up! You pay MORE interest on your mortgage, car loan, and credit cards, because the government cannot balance its books. That extra interest you pay is therefore another hidden tax. The government, in its "generosity", gives you a tax credit on mortgage interest that is higher because of their own borrowing!

During the 80s, as exports dropped, and jobs moved from manufacturing to lower paying "service sector" jobs, the US tax base declined. In order to keep the jobless rate from rising, a massive defense program called the Strategic Defense Initiative was cranked up, but since this program produced no exportable product, it produced no taxable sales revenues, and hence the money poured into the project accelerated the government decline into debt. Because manufacturing was on the decline, fewer start-up companies were approaching the lending institutions, so the government loosened up the rules (while increasing the insurable deposit limit) to allow "investments" in more high risk ventures, most of which turned out to be frauds, or worse, money laundering operations for drug criminals. This includes Whitewater, Flowerwood, and Castle Grande. Despite shifting the S&L loss primarily onto the taxpayers (to reassure foreign investors that the taxpayers still made America a safe place to park their surplus cash) the government plunged further into debt.

In the 12 years of the Reagan/Bush administrations, the United States went from being the world's largest creditor nation to the world's largest debtor. Many of those nations which had enjoyed huge trade surpluses started loaning that profit back to the United States with the stipulation that we work on our manufacturing, clean up our infrastructure, raise taxes, in short, clean up our act, so that investment in America makes sense!

However, we didn't quite do that.

There has been some shuffling around to try to conceal the real scope of the problem. Over the last several years, the Federal Government has been sending less tax money back to the states than it takes in in taxes. This means that the states have to borrow MORE money to cover their obligations. The net result is that the debt is being transferred to the states, to conceal its true size. The government will easily admit to a $3 trillion "publicly held" debt, grudgingly concede that it's "unfunded liability" brings that number to almost $7 trillion, but the real hard truth is that total government debt, state and federal, is now over $14 trillion dollars, or about 50,000 for every man, woman, and child inside the United States. Since 1960, the taxpayers have shelled out $15 trillion in interest payments alone, while the principal continues to rise.

total federal debt
Yet another stunt the government has pulled is to "borrow" from the various trust funds under its control. Some $2 billion has vanished from the trust accounts of Native Americans (presently suing the Departments of the Interior and Treasury), and nearly ? of a TRILLION dollars has been removed from your Social Security retirement trust fund and spent in the last 8 years.

If the government has to borrow your retirement money when things are supposed to be so good, under what conditions can it repay the money? Or is that government IOU in your retirement account merely a promise to either tax you a second time or stiff you on the benefits you thought you were paying for?

In the last 8 years, during what are supposed to be record setting good times, the Federal government has nearly DOUBLED its debt load. The estimated interest on the debt equals all the personal income tax paid by all Americans. Our government is so deep in debt that it cannot get out.

This brings us to the issue of collateral. We've borrowed so much money the lenders are getting nervous. Back during the Johnson administration Charles DeGaulle demanded the United States collateralize the loans owed to France in gold and started carting out the bullion from the treasury. This caused several other nations to demand the same and President Nixon had to slam the gold window closed or the treasury would have been emptied, since the United States was even then in debt for more money than the treasury could cover in gold.
total credit market debt U.S.
But Nixon had to collateralize that debt somehow, and he hit upon the plan of quietly setting aside huge tracts of American land with their mineral rights in reserve to cover the outstanding debts. But since the American people were already angered over the war in Vietnam, Nixon couldn't very well admit that he was apportioning off chunks of the United States to the holders of foreign debt. So, Nixon invented the Environmental Protection Agency and passed draconian environmental laws which served to grab land with vast natural resources away from the owners and lock it away, and even more, prove to the holders of the foreign debt that US citizens were not drilling. mining, or otherwise developing those resources. From that day to this, as the government sinks deeper into debt, the government grabs more and more land, declares it a wilderness or "roadless area" or "heritage river" or "wetlands" or any one of over a dozen other such obfuscated labels, but in the end the result is the same. We The People may not use the land, in many cases are not even allowed to enter the land.

This is not about conservation, it is about collateral. YOUR land is being stolen by the government and used to secure loans the government really had no business taking out in the first place. Given that the government cannot get out of debt, and is collateralizing more and more land to avoid foreclosure, the day is not long off when the people of the United States will one day wake up and discover they are no longer citizens, but tenants.

The following map shows the current extent of all lands grabbed by the government under the guise of environmentalism.
In short, the United States is in deep trouble. We have lost a huge amount of our manufacturing capacity, and those products we still make do not compete well on the world market, despite the steady devaluation of the dollar. In short we have vast debts to pay and little to pay them with. Like the foolish Farmer we have sold the machinery that allowed us to prosper, and we stand around shaking our investment portfolios back and forth in the hopes that the money inside will somehow grow all by itself. It won't. It never has. The very best that can be said is that money gets moved from one person to the other.

Those nations and banks to whom we owe money have been very patient indeed with us. They know that our economies are so tightly entwined that what hurts America will hurt them. But sooner or later, possibly after a market crash, someone, in order to pay their own debts, will demand their loans to the United States be paid. Rather than get caught with "bad paper", there will be a run on the United States government.

In addition to the government debt of $14 trillion, our businesses are home to trillions more in foreign investment, kept here by the promise that the American taxpayer will be made to cover all losses. But with our manufacturing in decline and our schools producing far more lawyers than anything else, it should be obvious to the prudent observer that the American taxpayer, even if so inclined, may not be able to cover the losses of their own government, let alone a foreign investor. That has to be making them nervous as well.

This brings us to the "equities markets", most notably the stock market. Over the last several years a constant media harangue has assured us that the soaring numbers of the stock market are the sole measure of how good our economy is. But close examination of those high-priced stocks reveals that most are heavily over-valued; their price the result of market forces rather than underlying worth (earnings ability)., as one example, has had a terrific run-up of its stock price, even though the company itself has yet to show a profit.

The government has admitted to using covert means to prevent a market downturn; to keep the stock prices at an artificially high and overvalued level, in order to wave those impressive numbers about as "proof" that everything is okay so that the taxpayers go back to work and pay more taxes. But in order to keep those stock prices up above their actual worth, demand must be maintained to keep the prices high. In other words, NEW investors must constantly be brought into the bottom of the pyramid to keep the prices of the stocks at the top from dropping. Hence the onslaught of commercials luring neophyte investors into the stock market via "online trading". Like any Ponzi scheme, the stock market will collapse when no more new buyers can be dragged in at the bottom. As the market starts to stutter, governments (most recently Britain) have moved to dump huge reserves of gold onto the world market to depress gold prices and deter investors from deserting the stock market for gold.

Some years back I worked on the film version of "The Day The Bubble Burst", and in between playing a stock broker, I got to spend some time with the show's consultant, Mr. William Hupt, who had been on the trading floor in 1929 as it all fell apart. He still had, framed, that last strip of ticker tape that ushered in the Great Depression, and he shared some stories which have a bearing on what is going on today.

The first story Bill shared is that there had been early indications of a dangerously over-valued market, running to deep on margin, and like the Plunge Protection Team, the largest investment houses, in particular the House of Morgan, attempted to reverse the early corrections by purchasing large blocks of stock in order to create market demand and drive the prices back up. It worked all but the last time.

The second story Bill shared was that a friend of his, riding up to his office in September of 1929, overheard the elevator operator chatting about his own stock portfolio, and his investments. Something about that image of an elevator operator playing the market set of warning signals, and Bill's friend immediately liquidated his entire portfolio, just in time to miss the great crash. Many people, including the actor Charlie Chaplin, had recognized the "recruitment" of that segment of society that did NOT have risk capital as new investors as a desperate attempt to prop up an overvalued market, and got out in time to save their own personal fortunes.

In the end, there is no such thing as a free lunch. You cannot make money grow in value by shaking it back and forth from one bank to another. You cannot prosper a nation by doing each other's laundry, or filling out their government mandated and greatly obfuscated paperwork, or flinging stock certificates around which may have as little real worth as Federal Reserve Notes. To make money, to show a profit, you must make products that somebody else wants to buy, and sadly, that is a capability the United States has allowed to slip away in great measure. The "service economy" was political propaganda to make the public believe that the decline of our manufacturing ability was a good thing.

Our nation is broke, bankrupt, and having sold much of its machinery and technology (or given it away to political donors), is unable to easily return to those endeavors which once made our nation great. Our infrastructure is in decay (the percentage of roads in the US with major damage doubled last year alone), our public schools unable to produce a workforce able to function in a high-tech manufacturing environment, and those managers end engineers with manufacturing experience have in great part been lured away to other nations. The severity of our total government debt has reached a point where the promise that the taxpayers can be made to cover any foreign investment loss rings hollow, because we can no longer pay the debts our government has now.

Our nation is in trouble. We don't make many of the products we used to make. Consequently we don't have the products to sell that we used to. We don't even make most of the products we need ourselves (like that computer you're staring at this very moment). Result: we have a massive trade imbalance. Cash is flowing out of the nation, and it's not coming back in anywhere near as fast. There's no way to spin it; that is a major problem. Our nation is becoming poorer, it is hopelessly in debt, and all the artificial escalation of stock prices cannot conceal that.

And as the artificially pumped up stock market continues to decline, the true scale of the economic horror which is the product of decades of government corruption, will become apparent to all.



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