http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/article/article/ww.icecapassetmanagement.com en Why The Collapse Of The U.S. Economic & FInancial System Has Accelerated http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-01/why-collapse-us-economic-financial-system-has-accelerated <p><img src="https://srsroccoreport.com/wp-content/uploads/SRSroccoReport-Logo-230x123-px.png" alt="SRSrocco Report" width="230" height="123" /></p> <p>By the <strong><a href="https://srsroccoreport.com/">SRSrocco Report</a></strong>,</p> <p>The collapse of the U.S. economic and financial system accelerated this year, thus pushing the country closer to a third-world status.&nbsp; Most Americans are unaware of the dire consequences facing the nation, so they continue to believe business as usual will continue indefinitely.</p> <p>Unfortunately, lousy reporting by the Mainstream media along with the public's denial and delusional thinking is a recipe for disaster for most Americans over the next several years.</p> <p>The U.S. economy is being propped up by a great deal of monetary printing, Fed stock and bond purchases and extreme leverage in all areas of the market.&nbsp; While these policies have given the "ILLUSION" of continued prosperity, or at best a sustainable slow growing economy, the debt now in the system is unsustainable.</p> <p>Still to this day, most investors (including precious metals investors) do not understand the real reason for the massive increase in U.S. Federal debt.&nbsp; They believe the debt was either increased to enslave Americans or to fund continued economic growth.&nbsp; <span style="color: #800000;"><strong>While the second reason is more accurate, they still fail to understand the "ROOT CAUSE" of the debt increase.</strong></span></p> <p><strong>The Massive Increase In U.S. Debt Tied To Falling U.S. Oil Production &amp; Rising Oil Prices</strong></p> <p>This chart puts the huge increase in total U.S. debt in perspective:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://srsroccoreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/U.S.-Debt-Peak-Oil-Rising-Oil-Price.png" alt="Federal Debt vs Peak Oil" width="650" height="301" style="vertical-align: middle;" /></p> <p>The annual increase in U.S. debt was very small up until the 1970's.&nbsp; This was due to the peak of cheap U.S. domestic oil production.&nbsp; U.S. oil production peaked in 1970 at about 10 million barrels per day (mbd).&nbsp; That year, total U.S. debt was $370 billion.&nbsp; <span style="color: #800000;"><strong>That's hilarious, because the annual deficits today are larger than the entire U.S. debt in 1970.</strong></span></p> <p>As the oil price increased in the 1980's and as U.S. oil production declined, total U.S. debt continued to increase.&nbsp; However, in the late 1990's, the U.S. debt leveled off.&nbsp; This was due to the price of oil declining below $20, reaching $14 in 1998 and $19 in 1999.&nbsp; In 1999, U.S. debt had increased to $5.4 trillion.</p> <p>Then as the price of oil increased from $30 in 2000 to nearly $100 in 2008, total U.S. debt nearly doubled to $10.5 trillion.&nbsp; In addition, U.S. domestic oil production declined nearly 4 million barrels per day from 1985 to 2008.&nbsp; This also had a negative impact on U.S. debt levels.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>------------------------------------</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: #ff0000;"><strong>IF YOU ARE PAYING MORE THAN 30 BASIS POINTS A YEAR TO STORE PRECIOUS METALS, YOU ARE PAYING TOO MUCH!!!</strong></span>&nbsp; If you haven't checked out our new&nbsp; new <a href="https://srsroccoreport.com/precious-metals-investing/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">PRECIOUS METALS INVESTING</span></strong></span></a> section or our new <a href="https://srsroccoreport.com/lowest-cost-precious-metals-storage/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">LOWEST COST PRECIOUS METALS STORAGE</span></strong></span></a> page on our <span style="color: #000000;"><strong>SRSrocco Report</strong></span> site, I highly recommend you do.&nbsp; </p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>-----------------------------------</strong></p> <p><span style="color: #800000;"><strong>While it's true that the cost of energy is only a small part of U.S. GDP,&nbsp; its impact is multiplied when the U.S. economy and government try to provide the same standard of living as it did prior to 1970.</strong></span>&nbsp; Furthermore, the EROI- Energy Returned On Invested of U.S. oil production declined significantly since the 1950's.&nbsp; The EROI of U.S. oil and gas production in 1970 was 30/1, however shale oil comes in at a low EROI of 5/1.</p> <p><span style="color: #800000;"><strong>Thus, the falling EROI means less profitable barrels to provide the same (higher) standard of living as Americans enjoyed before 1970.</strong></span></p> <p><strong>The U.S. Economy Is Propped Up By Massive Govt Spending</strong></p> <p>In fiscal 2015, the United States Govt. (supposedly) spent $3.8 trillion on mandatory, discretionary funding and interest on the debt.&nbsp; Total revenues were only $3.18 trillion, so the U.S. Govt had to borrow $583 billion to pay its bills:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://srsroccoreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/United-States-2015-Budget.jpg" alt="U.S. Govt Budget" width="550" height="754" style="vertical-align: middle;" /></p> <p>These next two charts break down the "Mandatory" and "Discretionary" spending:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://srsroccoreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/U.S.-Govt-Mandatory-Spending-2015.png" alt="Mandatory Spending" width="500" height="457" style="vertical-align: middle;" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://srsroccoreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/U.S.-Govt-Discretionary-Spending-Fiscial-2015.png" alt="Discretionary Spending" width="500" height="457" style="vertical-align: middle;" /></p> <p>The $3.8 trillion in U.S. Govt spending is 21% of total U.S. GDP for fiscal 2015.&nbsp; Even though the U.S. Govt spends a lot of money on many different areas, let's focus on Social Security and Medicare-Health.&nbsp; These two parts of the mandatory spending equal $2.2 trillion of the $3.8 trillion total Federal budget.&nbsp; This is nearly 58% of the total budget.</p> <p><span style="color: #800000;"><strong>That $2.2 trillion spent in the U.S. economy has a "MULTIPLIER EFFECT".</strong></span>&nbsp; This is the reason the Fed and U.S. Govt won't allow a collapse in stock, bond or real estate values.&nbsp; The revenues collected by the U.S. Govt depend on elevated stock, bond and real estate prices.&nbsp; Once these start to collapse, then revenues plummet causing the annual budget deficit to balloon higher.&nbsp; If the budget deficit was $583 billion (that's what the Govt reports) in 2015 ,then what happens when the market cracks and highly inflated stock, bond and real estate prices collapse?</p> <p>Well, we already experienced that in 2008.&nbsp; Here is the most recent update of the U.S. Retirement Market as of Q1 2016:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://srsroccoreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/U.S.-Total-Retirement-Market-Q1-2016.png" alt="U.S. Retirement Market" width="500" height="277" style="vertical-align: middle;" /></p> <p>The total U.S. Retirement Market collapsed 21% from 2007 to 2008 ($17.7 trillion down to $13.9 trillion).&nbsp; The current U.S. Retirement market is valued at $24.1 trillion.&nbsp; When the U.S. broader markets finally crack, I forecast a 50% decline in the U.S. Retirement market in the first wave.&nbsp; This could take place over a few years.&nbsp; A 50% decline would put the U.S. Retirement market at $12 trillion, a little less than what it was in 2008.</p> <p>This is highly likely as the markets have been propped up with a lot of leverage since 2009.&nbsp; A 50% decline in the stock and real estate prices will cause serious trouble to the entire U.S. economy and financial system.</p> <p>...... THIS IS THE CRASH WE NEVER COME OUT OF.</p> <p><strong>U.S. Financial &amp; Economic Market Suffered Two Big Blows</strong></p> <p>As I mentioned in the beginning of the article, ENERGY has been the key in pushing the U.S. debt to record levels.&nbsp; Now, you would think that the huge increase of domestic U.S. shale oil production would have helped stabilize the annual increase of U.S. debt..... IT DIDN'T.&nbsp; Actually, it did the opposite.</p> <p>Unfortunately, the addition of U.S. shale oil production came at a huge cost.&nbsp; It only added more overall debt to the system.&nbsp; Even though the price of oil remained above $100 for three years, most of the shale oil companies made no real profit.&nbsp; Which means, the increase of U.S. domestic oil production from 5 mbd in 2008 to a peak of 9.6 mbd last year, did nothing to keep the U.S. debt from rising.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>This was due to two reasons:</strong></span></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">1) The U.S. Govt continued to print money while suffering even larger annual budget deficits to provide a standard of living for Americans that it really couldn't afford.<br />2) The EROI- Energy Returned On Invested of U.S. shale oil production of 5/1 was way too low to sustain our modern economy that needs something north of 12/1.</p> <p>While the situation for the United States became even worse as domestic oil production surged higher, the consequences will be even more dire as oil production plummets over the next several years.</p> <p><strong>Top Two Shale Oil Fields Suffer Hugh Production Losses</strong></p> <p>The top two shale oil fields in the U.S. suffered huge production losses over the past year... especially over the last six months.</p> <p>The Bakken Oil Field in North Dakota was touted to make the U.S. energy independent.&nbsp; While the author of this article never believed the hype by the U.S. Energy Industry, many Americans fell for this delusion.&nbsp; As the price of oil declined on top of exceedingly high decline rates, Bakken oil production has dropped significantly.</p> <p>How much??</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://srsroccoreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Bakken-Oil-Field-Production-Lost-Forever.png" alt="Bakken Oil Losses" width="500" height="358" style="vertical-align: middle;" /></p> <p>If we go by the minimum production between August 2014 and December 2015, the Bakken is down 137,000 barrels per day (bd).&nbsp; While the Bakken achieved a much higher production peak, I am going by the minimum oil production achieved in that time-frame.</p> <p><span style="color: #800000;"><strong>Thus, the Bakken will now lose 4.1 million barrels of oil in a month and 50 million barrels in a year compared to what it was producing last year.</strong></span>&nbsp; A loss of 50 million barrels in a year from the North Dakota industry is a BIG DEAL.&nbsp; That being said, the Bakken will continue to lose production going forward so the annual production loss will be even greater than 50 million barrels.&nbsp; At $50 a barrel, North Dakota is losing $2.5 billion a year.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><strong>NOTE:</strong>&nbsp; A small part of the Bakken is located in Montana, but this doesn't really change the overall situation for North Dakota all that much.</p> <p>Now, if you think the loss of production from the Bakken is bad, you need to take a look at the disaster taking place at the Eagle Ford Field in Texas:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://srsroccoreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Eagle-Ford-Oil-Field-Production-Lost-Forever.png" alt="Eagle Ford Oil Losses" width="500" height="359" style="vertical-align: middle;" /></p> <p><span style="color: #800000;"><strong>The Eagle Ford has lost 300,000 barrels per day since its minimum production between Aug 2014 and Dec 2015.</strong></span>&nbsp; That's one hell of a lot of oil.&nbsp; In Dec 2015, the Eagle Ford was producing 1,508 thousand barrels per day (1.508 mbd) and is forecasted to decline to 1,212 thousand barrels per day in June.&nbsp; <span style="color: #800000;"><strong>This is a 20% decline in six months.</strong></span></p> <p>Thus, the Eagle Ford will now lose 9.1 million barrels of oil per month and a whopping 110 million barrels annually.&nbsp; Again, this is only if production stabilizes.&nbsp; That figure continues to increase as Eagle Ford production continues to decline.</p> <p>While some individuals believe the decline in U.S. shale oil production was due to falling oil prices, this was only part of the reason.&nbsp; According to the energy analysts that I have been reading, these two shale oil fields were going to peak between 2015-2017, even with higher oil prices.&nbsp; So, yes... the low oil price forced the peak a little sooner than later.</p> <p>What happens as U.S. shale oil production continues to decline??&nbsp; Well, it puts more pressure on the U.S. energy sector that is saddled with debt up to their eyeballs.&nbsp; Here is a chart I published in one of my articles a few weeks back:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://srsroccoreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/U.S.-Energy-Sector-Interest-Payments-On-Debt-.png" alt="U.S. Energy Debt % Of operating Profits" width="500" height="358" style="vertical-align: middle;" /></p> <p><span style="color: #800000;"><strong>If the U.S. Energy sector is paying about 50% of its operating profits just to pay the interest on its debt (2015)... WHAT HAPPENS AS OIL PRODUCTION DECLINES??&nbsp; Correct... it just makes a bad situation WORSE.</strong></span></p> <p>Americans have no clue the dire situation they face.&nbsp; No longer will we be able to offer U.S. Treasuries in the future for oil.&nbsp; Of course, this won't end overnight, but the trend is not on our side.</p> <p>The healthy U.S. economy and financial system in the 1950's-1960's was powered by its cheap domestic rising oil production.&nbsp; This is why we were the powerhouse of the world.&nbsp; <span style="color: #800000;"><strong>However, as the years went by and domestic oil production declined as prices increased, we were forced to use the ENERGY CREDIT CARD. </strong></span></p> <p>While this worked for many decades, the ENERGY CREDIT CARD BALANCE now is unsustainable.&nbsp; The decline of U.S. shale oil production will speed up the demise of the U.S. economy and empire.</p> <p>If Americans haven't connected the DOTS by purchasing physical precious metals, the majority of their supposed wealth will EVAPORATE into thin air.&nbsp; Even though owning precious metals doesn't guarantee an individual will make it through the coming economic and financial collapse unscathed, it will at least offer better options than 99% of the Americans out there.</p> <p>Please check out our new <a href="https://srsroccoreport.com/precious-metals-investing/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">PRECIOUS METALS INVESTING</span></strong></span></a> section or our new <a href="https://srsroccoreport.com/lowest-cost-precious-metals-storage/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">LOWEST COST PRECIOUS METALS STORAGE</span></strong></span></a> page.</p> <p>Check back for new articles and updates at the <strong><a href="https://srsroccoreport.com/">SRSrocco Report</a></strong>.&nbsp; </p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-01/why-collapse-us-economic-financial-system-has-accelerated#comments Bond Budget Deficit Fail Ford Precious Metals Real estate Sat, 02 Jul 2016 02:11:03 +0000 SRSrocco 564971 at http://www.zerohedge.com Hacked Emails Confirm NATO Push To Provoke, Escalate Conflict With Russia http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-01/hacked-emails-confirm-nato-push-provoke-escalate-conflict-russia <p>Just two weeks ago, <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-06-18/suddenly-nato-imploding-alliance-member-germany-slams-nato-warmongering-against-russ">a huge scandal erupted within another &#39;union&#39; as <strong>Germany slammed NATO for &quot;warmongering&quot;</strong></a> destroying the fictional narrative that &#39;innocent&#39; NATO was merely reacting to evil Russian provocations. Furthermore, as <strong><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-06-14/nato-begins-encirclement-russia">NATO accelerated its encirclement of Russia</a></strong>, with British soldiers deployed in Estonia, US soldiers operating in Latvia and Canadians in Poland, while combat units are being increased in the Mediterranean<strong><em>...</em></strong><span class="s2"><strong><em>&nbsp;</em></strong></span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2"><strong><em><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/06/13/20160614_nato.jpg"><img height="272" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/06/13/20160614_nato_0.jpg" width="499" /></a></em></strong></span></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-06-15/nato-says-it-might-now-have-grounds-attack-russia">NATO found another excuse for war, assessing </a>that it may now have grounds to attack Russia when it announced that if a NATO member country becomes the victim of a cyber attack by persons in a non-NATO country such as Russia or China</strong>, then NATO&rsquo;s Article V &ldquo;collective defense&rdquo; provision requires each NATO member country to join that NATO member country if it decides to strike back against the attacking country.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Specifically, NATO is alleging that <strong><em>because Russian hackers had copied the emails on Hillary Clinton&rsquo;s home computer</em></strong>, this action of someone in Russia taking advantage of her having privatized her U.S. State Department communications to her unsecured home computer and of such a Russian&rsquo;s then snooping into the U.S. State Department business that was stored on it, <strong>might constitute a Russian attack against the United States of America</strong>, and would, if the U.S. President declares it to be a Russian invasion of the U.S., <strong>trigger NATO&rsquo;s mutual-defense clause and so require all NATO nations to join with the U.S. government in going to war against Russia</strong>, if the U.S. government so decides.</p> </blockquote> <p>Now, as <a href="https://theintercept.com/2016/07/01/nato-general-emails/">The Intercept&#39;s Zaid Jilani and Lee Fang expose</a>, retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove <em>(yes an ironic name for a warmonger)</em>, until recently the supreme commander of NATO forces in Europe, <strong>plotted in private to overcome President Barack Obama&rsquo;s reluctance to escalate military tensions with Russia</strong> over the war in Ukraine in 2014,<strong> according to apparently hacked emails from Breedlove&rsquo;s Gmail account</strong> that were posted on a new website called <a href="http://dcleaks.com/index.php/about/">DC Leaks</a>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Obama <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/12/world/europe/defying-obama-many-in-congress-press-to-arm-ukraine.html?_r=0">defied</a>&nbsp;political pressure from hawks in Congress and the military to provide lethal assistance to the Ukrainian government, fearing that doing so would increase the bloodshed and provide Russian President Vladimir Putin with the justification for deeper incursions into the country.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Breedlove, during briefings to Congress, notably contradicted the Obama administration regarding the situation in Ukraine,</strong> leading to <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/04/11/exclusive-key-general-splits-with-obama-over-ukraine.html">news stories</a> about conflict between the general&nbsp;and Obama.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/07/01/20160701_nato1.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/07/01/20160701_nato1_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 337px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But <strong>the leaked emails provide an even more dramatic picture of the intense back-channel lobbying</strong> for the Obama administration to begin a proxy war with Russia in Ukraine.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In a series of messages in 2014, Breedlove sought meetings with former Secretary of State Colin Powell, asking for advice on how to pressure the Obama administration to take a more aggressive posture toward Russia.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><u><strong>&ldquo;I may be wrong, &hellip; but I do not see this WH really &lsquo;engaged&rsquo; by working with Europe/NATO. Frankly I think we are a &lsquo;worry,&rsquo; &hellip; ie a threat to get the nation drug into a conflict,&rdquo;</strong></u></em> Breedlove wrote in an <a href="http://dcleaks.com/emails/Philip_Mark_Breedlove-Email_Archive/html/breedlove_ullman/Re_%20reintroduction.html">email</a> to Powell, who responded by accepting an invitation to meet and discuss the dilemma. &ldquo;I seek your counsel on two fronts,&rdquo; Breedlove continued, &ldquo;how to frame this opportunity in a time where all eyes are on ISIL all the time, &hellip; and two, &hellip; how to work this personally with the POTUS.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="img-wrap align-none width-auto" style="width:auto"><img alt="" class="alignnone size-article-medium wp-image-71783" src="https://prod01-cdn07.cdn.firstlook.org/wp-uploads/sites/1/2016/07/PB2C09392014.jpg" style="height: 241px; width: 600px;" /></div> <div class="img-wrap align-none width-auto" style="width:auto">&nbsp;</div> <p>Breedlove attempted&nbsp;to influence the administration through several channels, emailing academics and retired military officials, including former NATO supreme commander Wesley Clark, for assistance in building his case for supplying&nbsp;military assistance to Ukrainian forces battling Russian-backed separatists.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>&ldquo;I think POTUS sees us as a threat that must be minimized, &hellip; ie do not get me into a war????&rdquo; </strong></u>Breedlove wrote in an <a href="http://dcleaks.com/emails/Philip_Mark_Breedlove-Email_Archive/html/breedlove_ullman/Re_%20powell%20follow%20on.html">email</a> to Harlan Ullman, senior adviser to the Atlantic Council, describing his ongoing attempt to get Powell to help him influence&nbsp;Obama.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="img-wrap align-none width-auto" style="width:auto"><img alt="" class="alignnone size-thumbnail wp-image-71782" src="https://prod01-cdn07.cdn.firstlook.org/wp-uploads/sites/1/2016/07/PB2HU093022014.jpg" style="height: 196px; width: 600px;" /></div> <div class="img-wrap align-none width-auto" style="width:auto">&nbsp;</div> <p><u><strong>&ldquo;Given Obama&rsquo;s instruction to you not to start a war, this may be a tough sell,&rdquo; Ullman replied a few months later, in another <a href="http://dcleaks.com/emails/Philip_Mark_Breedlove-Email_Archive/html/breedlove_ullman/Re_%20sec%20gen.html">string of emails</a> about Breedlove&rsquo;s&nbsp;effort to &ldquo;leverage, cajole, convince or coerce the U.S. to react&rdquo; to Russia.</strong></u></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Breedlove did not respond to a request for comment. He&nbsp;stepped down from his NATO leadership position in May and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.af.mil/AboutUs/Biographies/Display/tabid/225/Article/104769/general-philip-m-breedlove.aspx">retired</a>&nbsp;from service on Friday, July 1. Breedlove was a four-star Air Force general and served as the 17th Supreme Allied Commander of NATO forces in Europe <a href="http://www.stripes.com/news/breedlove-assumes-command-at-eucom-stavridis-retires-1.220425">starting</a>&nbsp;on May 10, 2013.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Phillip Karber, an academic who corresponded regularly with Breedlove &mdash; providing him with advice and intelligence on the Ukrainian crisis &mdash; &nbsp;<strong>verified&nbsp;the authenticity of several of the emails in the leaked cache</strong>. He also told <em>The Intercept</em> that Breedlove confirmed to him that the general&rsquo;s Gmail account was hacked and that the incident had been reported to the government.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;The last conversation I had about it with General Breedlove, he said, &lsquo;Yeah, I&rsquo;ve been hacked several times,&rsquo;&rdquo;</strong> said Karber. He added that he noticed at least one of his personal emails appearing online from the leak before we had contacted him. &ldquo;I turned this over to the U.S. government and asked them to investigate. No one has given me any answer.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I have no idea whose account was leaked or hacked,&rdquo; said Powell, when reached for comment about the emails. Powell said he had no comment about the discussions regarding Obama&rsquo;s response to the conflict in Ukraine.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the European press, Breedlove has been portrayed as a&nbsp;hawkish figure known for leaning on allied nations to ditch diplomacy and to adopt a more confrontational role again Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine. <strong>Breedlove, testifying before Congress earlier in February of this year,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rferl.org/content/nato-breedlove-russia-existential-threat/27574037.html">called</a>&nbsp;Russia &ldquo;a long-term existential threat to the United States and to our European allies.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Der Spiegel</em> <a href="http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/germany-concerned-about-aggressive-nato-stance-on-ukraine-a-1022193.html">reported</a> that <strong>Breedlove &ldquo;stunned&rdquo; German leaders with a surprise announcement in 2015 claiming that pro-Russian separatists had &ldquo;upped the ante&rdquo; in eastern Ukraine with &ldquo;well over a thousand combat vehicles,</strong> Russian combat forces, some of the most sophisticated air defense, battalions of artillery&rdquo; sent to Donbass, a center of the conflict.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Breedlove&rsquo;s numbers were &ldquo;significantly higher&rdquo; than the figures known to NATO intelligence agencies and seemed exaggerated to German officials.</strong> The announcement appeared to be a provocation designed to disrupt <a href="http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/minsk-deal-represents-and-fragile-opportunity-for-peace-in-ukraine-a-1018326.html">mediation efforts</a> led by Chancellor Angela Merkel.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In previous instances, <strong>German officials believed Breedlove overestimated Russian forces along the border with Ukraine by as many&nbsp;as 20,000 troops </strong>and found that the general had falsely claimed that several Russian military assets near the Ukrainian border were part of a special build-up in preparation for a large-scale invasion of the country. <u><strong>In fact, much of the Russian military equipment identified by Breedlove, the Germans <a href="http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/germany-concerned-about-aggressive-nato-stance-on-ukraine-a-1022193.html">said</a>, had been stored&nbsp;there well&nbsp;before the revolution&nbsp;in Ukraine.</strong></u></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><u>The emails, however, depict&nbsp;a desperate search by Breedlove to build his case for escalating the conflict</u></strong>, contacting colleagues and friends for intelligence to illustrate the Russian threat. Karber, who visited Ukrainian politicians and officials in Kiev on several occasions, sent <a href="http://dcleaks.com/emails/Philip_Mark_Breedlove-Email_Archive/html/breedlove_karber/Evidence%20of%20Russian%20submunitions%20being%20employed%20in%20Ukraine.html">frequent</a> messages to Breedlove &mdash; &ldquo;per your request,&rdquo; he <a href="http://dcleaks.com/emails/Philip_Mark_Breedlove-Email_Archive/html/breedlove_clark/Evidence%20of%20Russian%20submunitions%20being%20employed%20in%20Ukraine.html">noted</a> &mdash; regarding information&nbsp;he had received about separatist military forces and Russian troop movements. In several updates,&nbsp;Breedlove <a href="http://dcleaks.com/emails/Philip_Mark_Breedlove-Email_Archive/html/breedlove_karber/Re_%20Images%20of%20Separatist%20Insignia%20aircraft%20being%20trained%20in%20Russia%20&amp;%20T-90%20tanks%20inside%20Ukraine.html">received</a>&nbsp;military data sourced from Twitter and social media.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Karber, the president of the Potomac Foundation, became the center of a related scandal last year when it was discovered&nbsp;that he had facilitated a <a href="http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/02/19/say-it-aint-so-phil-ukraine-russia-open-source-analysis/">meeting</a> during which images&nbsp;of purported Russian forces in Ukraine were distributed&nbsp;to the office of Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., and were published by a <a href="http://freebeacon.com/national-security/exclusive-photos-show-russian-military-in-ukraine-arming-separatists/">neoconservative blog</a>. The pictures turned out to be a&nbsp;deception; one supposed&nbsp;picture of Russian tanks in Ukraine was, in fact, an old photograph of Russian tanks in Ossetia during the war with Georgia.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Breedlove stayed in close contact with Karber and other officials who shared his views on the Ukrainian conflict.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Phil, can&rsquo;t we get a statement to counteract the Russians on use of force? what can I do to help? If the Ukrainians lose control of the narrative, the Russians will see it as an open door,&rdquo; wrote retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who <a href="http://dcleaks.com/emails/Philip_Mark_Breedlove-Email_Archive/html/breedlove_karber/Fw_%20Saturday_Sunday.html">forwarded</a> on his messages with&nbsp;Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. He also passed along concerns from the Bulgarian president that Bulgaria might be Russia&rsquo;s next target.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In other messages, Clark <a href="http://dcleaks.com/emails/Philip_Mark_Breedlove-Email_Archive/html/breedlove_clark/Visit%20to%20Ukraine.html">relayed</a> specific requests for the types of military aid desired by Ukrainian officials. In addition to radar systems and other forms of military equipment, <strong>Clark recommended that Breedlove &ldquo;encourage Ukraine to hire some first rate pr firms and crisis communications firms in U.S. and Europe.&rdquo; He added, &ldquo;They need the right tools to engage in information warfare.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Ukraine did hire several D.C. lobbying and communication firms to influence policymakers.</strong> In June 2015, the government <a href="https://www.fara.gov/docs/6291-Exhibit-AB-20150622-3.pdf">signed</a> a deal with APCO Worldwide, an influential firm with ties to senior Democratic and Republican officials.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In an email in February 2015, Karber <a href="http://dcleaks.com/emails/Philip_Mark_Breedlove-Email_Archive/html/breedlove_karber/CLOSE%20HOLD.html">told</a> Breedlove that &ldquo;Pakistan has, under the table, offered Ukraine 500 TOW-II launchers (man-portable version) and 8,000 TOW-II missiles,&rdquo; adding that deliveries of the anti-tank weapons could begin by the end of the month. &ldquo;However,&rdquo; Karber wrote, &ldquo;Pakistan will not make these deliveries without U.S. approval; moreover they will not even request that approval unless they have informal assurance that it would be approved.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Karber told <em>The</em>&nbsp;<em>Intercept</em> that the Pakistani arms deal never materialized.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Breedlove was most recently in the news explaining that he now thinks we need to talk to the Russian government to resolve the conflict in Ukraine. &ldquo;I think we need to begin to have meaningful dialogue,&rdquo; <a href="http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/policy-budget/policy/2016/06/09/breedlove-nato-talk-to-russia-communication/85645152/">he said last week</a>,&nbsp;while reiterating his views on the need for a strong NATO to militarily match Russia. <strong>&ldquo;Russia does understand power, and strength, and unity,&rdquo; </strong>he said.</p> </blockquote> <p><span class="s1">With all that in mind, we return to <em>German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier&#39;s </em>recent exclamation that <strong>&quot;anyone who thinks you can increase security in the alliance with symbolic parades of tanks near the eastern borders, is mistaken</strong>,&quot; and given the &#39;proof&#39; above that it is indeed NATO that is provoking and warmongering, the unprecedented reality in which NATO&#39;s biggest and most important European member is <strong>suddenly and quite vocally against NATO </strong>and as a result may be pivoting toward Russian, <em><strong>we for one can&#39;t wait to see just how this shocking geopolitical debacle for western neocons and war hawks concludes.</strong></em></span></p> <p><span class="s1"><em><em><span class="s1">The emails were released by D.C. Leaks, a database run by self-described &ldquo;hacktivists&rdquo; who are collecting the communications of elite stakeholders such as political parties, major politicians, political campaigns, and the military. The website currently has documents revealing some internal communications of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and George Soros&rsquo;s Open Society Foundation, among others.</span></em></em></span></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="223" height="139" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160701_nato2.jpg?1467418513" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-01/hacked-emails-confirm-nato-push-provoke-escalate-conflict-russia#comments Barack Obama Bulgaria China Estonia George Soros Germany Latvia Neocons Obama Administration Poland Reality Twitter Twitter Ukraine Vladimir Putin Sat, 02 Jul 2016 02:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 564968 at http://www.zerohedge.com ISIS Mastermind Behind Istanbul Terrorist Attack Was A "Refugee" Protected By Europe http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-01/isis-mastermind-behind-istanbul-terrorist-attack-was-refugee-protected-europe <p>Following Tuesday's <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-06-28/explosions-gunfire-multiple-injuries-reported-istanbuls-ataturk-airport">horrific attack at Istanbul's Ataturk </a>airport which resulted in 44 death at the hands of 3 suicide bombers, Turkey was quick to blame the Islamic State for the terrorist act. And while that may be accurate, something surprising has emerged about the alleged ringleader of the group of three men who have been <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-blast-raids-idUSKCN0ZG0RM">since identified </a>as Russian, Uzbek and Kyrgyz nationals. As <a href="http://kommersant.ru/doc/2905221">Russia's Kommersant </a>and Turkish media report, a Chechen national suspected of being the mastermind behind the deadly Istanbul airport terrorist attack, <strong>had previously received refugee status in Austria</strong>, <strong>which helped him to repeatedly avoid extradition to Russia on terror charges.</strong> </p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/06/27/chataev.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/06/27/chataev_0.jpg" width="500" height="281" /></a></p> <p><em>Ahmed Chataev </em></p> <p>As the complete picture of the latest terrorist attack in Turkey comes together, it has emerged that the attack was allegedly organized by Ahmed Chataev, a Russian citizen of Chechen origin, who joined the Islamic State in 2015 and now fights in Syria, Turkish media report, citing police sources. </p> <p>Chataev was assigned a leading role in training extremists that would then commit terrorist attacks in both Russia and Western Europe, the Deputy Chairman of the Russian Investigative Committee Andrey Przhezdomsky said, adding that, in Syria, Chataev also commands a unit consisting “primarily of immigrants from the North Caucasus."</p> <p>It has been also revealed that Chataev was long wanted by the Russian authorities for terrorism-related offenses but he fled to Europe, where he was granted asylum, and successfully managed to escape extradition to Russia. The alleged mastermind joined Islamist secessionist militants that fought against Russia in the Second Chechen War between 1999 and 2000, where he lost an arm. Later, he was considered to be a representative of Dokka Umarov, once a “terrorist ?1” in Russia, in the Western Europe.</p> <p>The attack coordinator was on a wanted list in Russia since 2003 for sponsoring terrorism, recruiting extremists and membership in a terrorist group, Russian media report. <strong>However, in the same year, he received asylum in Austria. Chataev reportedly claimed that he lost his arm as he was severely tortured in Russian prison adding that he is being persecuted by Russian authorities.</strong> </p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/06/27/chataev%20arm.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/06/27/chataev%20arm_0.jpg" width="500" height="945" /></a><br /><em>He lost his arm in Russia in the early 2000s, though there are conflicting reports </em><br /><em>as to how he lost the limb</em></p> <p>In 2008, he was detained with some other Chechen nationals in the Swedish town of Trelleborg as police found Kalashnikov assault rifles, explosives and ammunition in his car. As a result, he spent more than a year in Swedish prison.</p> <p>In 2010, Chataev was arrested in Ukraine with his mobile phone files containing a demolition technique instruction and photos of people killed in a blast. Russia requested his extradition on terrorism-related charges <strong>but the European Court for Human Rights ordered Ukraine not to hand him over to Russia with Amnesty International also urging Ukrainian authorities to halt extradition as Chataev “could face an unfair trial and would be at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.</strong>”</p> <p>Below is the actual statement filed by Amnesty International titled "<a href="https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/eur50/001/2010/en/">Ukraine: Chechen risks torture if returned to Russia</a>"</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Ahmed Chataev, </strong>an ethnic Chechen man, is threatened with imminent forcible return from Ukraine to Russia. If he is returned, he could face an unfair trial and would be at risk of torture and other ill-treatment in order to extract “confessions” from him. <strong>Ahmed Chataev has been granted refugee status in Austria and was visiting Ukraine with a valid visa</strong>. Ukraine is a state party to the Refugee Convention and the UN Convention against Torture, which prohibit the return of anyone to a situation where they would be at risk of torture.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/06/27/chataev_1.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/06/27/chataev_1_0.jpg" width="500" height="491" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One year later, he was again detained as he was crossing the border between Turkey and Bulgaria but he again avoided extradition because of the interference of human rights organizations that stressed Chataev had a refugee status in Austria and thus cannot be sent to Russia, Kommersant reported. Between 2012 and 2015, Chataev reportedly lived in Georgia, where he also joined some terrorist groups and served a prison sentence on terrorism-related charges.</p> <p>In February 2015, he left Georgia for Syria, where he joined IS militants and soon took a high position in the Islamic State hierarchy. </p> <p>Finally, in October 2015, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury <a href="https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20151005.aspx">added Chataev to its terrorist list </a>because of his alleged involvement into recruitment of extremists.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/06/27/chatave%20protected.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/06/27/chatave%20protected_0.jpg" width="500" height="544" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And just like that, in the span of 5 years, a person whose extradition to Russia was prevented by Europe and Amnesty ended up a formally recognized terrorist by the US, and ultimately his actions resulted in the death of 44 people. If only there was less political bickering between Russia and Europe, more than 40 innocent lives could have been spared.</p> <p>Finally, in light of these revelations, one wonders precisely what is the function of the ubiquitous NSA in today's world?</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="777" height="528" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/chataev%20teaser.jpg?1467401602" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-01/isis-mastermind-behind-istanbul-terrorist-attack-was-refugee-protected-europe#comments Bulgaria Department of the Treasury Kalashnikov Turkey Ukraine Sat, 02 Jul 2016 01:33:28 +0000 Tyler Durden 564947 at http://www.zerohedge.com This Is What Loretta Lynch Said When Cornered About Her Clinton Meeting http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-01/recusal-loretta-lynch-removes-herself-fbi-probe-hillary-emails <p>Having been forced to remove herself from the Hillary Clinton email probe, Loretta Lynch admitted that her shockingly ill-advised private meeting with Bill Clinton has <strong>&quot;cast a shadow&quot; over the investigations and questions on the meeting are &quot;fair.&quot;</strong> Her magnanimity was further expressed <strong><em>&quot;I wouldn&#39;t do it again,&quot; </em></strong>while claiming that she had <strong>made the decision to &#39;recuse&#39; herself days before her Bubba meeting.</strong></p> <p>Highlights - &quot;No Comment&quot; on the system being rigged...</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/y2J1EXkALjY" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>The headlines of what she said:</p> <ul> <li><strong>*LYNCH ON BILL CLINTON SAYS QUESTIONS ON CLINTON MEETING FAIR</strong></li> <li><strong>*LYNCH SAYS HER BILL CLINTON MTG RAISED QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS</strong></li> <li><strong>*LYNCH SAYS HILLARY CLINTON E-MAIL INVESTIGATION INDEPENDENT</strong></li> <li><strong>*LYNCH SAYS `FULLY EXPECT&#39; TO ACCEPT INVESTIGATOR RECOMMENDATION</strong></li> <li><strong>*LYNCH SAYS SHE&#39;LL BE BRIEFED, `WILL BE&#39; ACCEPTING FINDINGS</strong></li> <li><u><strong>*LYNCH SAYS DECISION ON HANDLING CLINTON PROBE MADE BEFORE MTG</strong></u></li> <li><u><strong>*LYNCH SAYS SHE, BILL CLINTON TALKED GRANDKIDS, TRAVEL ON PLANE</strong></u></li> <li><u><strong>*LYNCH SAYS MEETING `CAST A SHADOW&#39; OVER PROBE OF CLINTON E-MAIL</strong></u></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As we detailed earlier, on Monday evening US Attorney General Loretta Lynch conveniently just happened to <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-06-30/bill-clinton-holds-private-meeting-loretta-lynch-fbi-probes-hillary">meet up </a>with Bill Clinton for a private meeting on her plane on a Phoenix airport tarmac.</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="355" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/sRWDP-PWunE" width="600"></iframe></p> <p>Despite Lynch promising everyone that the only things that were discussed were Bill&#39;s golf game and grandchildren, conservative watchdog Judicial Watch<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-06-30/judicial-watch-demands-doj-inspector-general-probe-scandalous-lynch-clinton-meeting"> requested</a> that the DOJ&#39;s Office of the Inspector General investigate the meeting. <a href="http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/286202-lynch-pressured-to-recuse-herself-after-clinton-tarmac-meeting">As The Hill reports</a>, <strong>pressure is intensifying on Attorney General Loretta Lynch to hand off oversight of the federal investigation connected to Hillary Clinton&rsquo;s private email server...</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Calls for Lynch to step aside &mdash; which had already been simmering for months &mdash; appeared primed to boil over Thursday following the attorney general&rsquo;s unscheduled, private meeting with Clinton&rsquo;s husband, former President Bill Clinton.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Considering the ongoing criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton, this secret meeting between the Attorney General and Bill Clinton shows an astounding lack of judgment by Loretta Lynch,&rdquo; House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said in a statement on Thursday calling for Lynch to recuse herself.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;Given the culture of unaccountability in the Obama Administration, it is unlikely that Attorney General Lynch will heed the growing calls for her resignation,&rdquo; </strong>he said. &ldquo;But at a minimum, Lynch should immediately recuse herself from the Justice Department&#39;s criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton&rsquo;s unlawful activities, and appoint a special prosecutor to handle the case, so the American people can know the truth about this secret meeting and finally rest assured the criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton is being conducted fully and impartially, without even the appearance of corruption.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>And, now, as <a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/dde305412b0e4c37ad15615e46428b4f/official-ag-will-accept-prosecutor-call-clinton-case">AP</a> reports, a<strong> Justice Department official said that Loretta Lynch intends to <u>accept </u>whatever recommendation career prosecutors and federal agents make in the investigation into Hillary Clinton&#39;s use of a private email server.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;<strong>The Attorney General expects to receive and accept the determinations and findings of the Department&#39;s career prosecutors and investigators, as well as the FBI Director,</strong>&quot; the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing probe.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Lynch was expected to discuss the matter further at a summit Friday in Aspen, Colorado.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This revelation comes amid a controversy surrounding an impromptu private discussion that Lynch had aboard her plane on the tarmac at a Phoenix airport on Monday with Clinton&#39;s husband, former President Bill Clinton. That get-together has been criticized as inappropriate by Republicans and some Democrats at a time when the Justice Department has been investigating whether classified information was mishandled through Clinton&#39;s exclusive use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Lynch told reporters that she did and Bill Clinton did not discuss the email investigation during the encounter.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The announcement also appeared intended to assuage concerns, particularly among Republicans, that Lynch &mdash; a Democratic appointee &mdash; might overrule recommendations from the agents and prosecutors who have worked on the case. Disputes on charging decisions between the FBI and the Justice Department are not uncommon, particularly in national security cases, though many legal experts see any criminal prosecution in this matter as exceedingly unlikely.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Decisions on whether to charge anyone in the case will be made by &quot;career prosecutors and investigators who have been handling this matter since its inception&quot; and reviewed by senior lawyers at the department and the FBI director, and Lynch will then accept whatever recommendation comes</strong></span>, the official said.</p> </blockquote> <p>* * *</p> <p>So by releasing this statement does that mean that Lynch routinely overrides other case recommendations from the FBI and DOJ staff? Also, based on the fact that the FBI may very well <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-23/fbi-may-leak-clinton-email-probe-if-doj-blocking-continues-grassley-warns">leak the facts of the case</a> if the DOJ doesn&#39;t follow its recommendation, we will be able to learn whether or not Lynch is telling the truth. We won&#39;t hold our breath.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/07/01/20160701_lynch_0.JPG"><img height="399" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/07/01/20160701_lynch_0.JPG" width="600" /></a></p> <p><em>&quot;I did not have email-probe-relations with that man&quot;</em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="460" height="306" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160701_lynch.JPG?1467377089" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-01/recusal-loretta-lynch-removes-herself-fbi-probe-hillary-emails#comments Corruption FBI headlines Judicial Watch national security Obama Administration Sat, 02 Jul 2016 01:33:24 +0000 Tyler Durden 564911 at http://www.zerohedge.com Brexit Simplified http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-01/brexit-simplified <p>Simple as that...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/07/01/20160701_brexit.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/07/01/20160701_brexit_0.jpg" width="600" height="419" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><a href="http://michaelpramirez.com/uploads/3/4/9/8/34985326/mrz062916-color_1_orig.jpg">Source: MichaelPRamirez.com</a></em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="1085" height="757" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160701_brexit.jpg?1467412427" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-01/brexit-simplified#comments Sat, 02 Jul 2016 01:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 564963 at http://www.zerohedge.com The Invisible Hand Of The Disogranized Masses http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-01/invisible-hand-disogranized-masses <p><a href="http://philosophyofmetrics.com/the-invisible-hand-of-the-disorganized-masses-and-the-application-of-pre-french-revolution-conditions-in-the-modern-world-freepom/"><em>Submitted by JC Collins via Philosophy Of Metrics blog,</em></a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>The comments this week coming from the so-called elite referencing the ignorant masses have manufactured an aggressive response</strong>.&nbsp; The mainstream media have not picked up on these comments but the alternative media have been on the cultural front lines with well strategized talking points.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>It should be noted that I have often referenced the disorganized masses in previous posts.&nbsp; This phrase stands in contrast to what is being referenced with the term ignorant masses.&nbsp; Disorganized would suggest non-ignorance with a lack of focus and intent.&nbsp; Ignorant simply means that the masses are too intellectually inferior for advanced comprehension.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">While it cannot be denied that there is a vast component of ignorance maintained within the disorganized masses, this ignorance, for the most part, is not willful and is the product of massive cultural and socioeconomic conditioning.&nbsp; Being that all people are not intellectually equal, it can be assumed that there are varying degrees of comprehension when it comes to socioeconomic trends and directions.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>The one common trait which is shared by all demographics is the expression of self-interest.</strong>&nbsp; The term &ldquo;Invisible Hand&rdquo; was first used by Adam Smith in the lead up years to the French Revolution.&nbsp; The invisible hand described the unintended social benefits of individual actions.&nbsp; It was reasoned that individuals&rsquo; efforts to pursue their own interest may frequently benefit society more than if their actions were directly intending to benefit society.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>The French population was guided by this invisible hand as the people expressed their self-interest through anger at the French monarchy in 1789.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In his book <a href="http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/PROOFS_OF_A_CONSPIRACY_John_Robison.pdf">Proofs of a Conspiracy Against All the Religions and Governments of Europe, Carried on in the Secret Meetings of Free Masons, Illuminati, and Reading Societies, Collected from Good Authorities</a>, John Robison, Professor of Natural Philosophy, and Secretary to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, presented a strong case that the French Revolution was manufactured through the manipulation of the domestic economy by external banking interests.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The book, which was published in 1798, only a few years after the initial revolution, has since been minimized and disregarded as inaccurate and unproven.&nbsp; This typical smear tactic, which we still see in use today, has done little to address most of the facts and events discussed in the book.&nbsp; The work is a major announcement of the methodology which was used, and continues to be used, by international banking interests against the ignorant (disorganized) masses.&nbsp; I have a first printing from 1798 in my own collection and consider it to be one of my most prized possessions.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The accepted causes of the French Revolution are listed on <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_the_French_Revolution">Wikipedia</a> as follows:</p> <ol style="text-align: justify;"> <li><strong><em>Cultural:</em></strong><em> The Enlightenment philosophy desacralized the authority of the King and the Church, and promoted a new society based on &ldquo;reason&rdquo; instead of traditions.</em></li> <li><strong><em>Social:</em></strong><em> The emergence of an influential bourgeoisie which was formally part of the Third Estate (commoners) but had evolved into a caste with its own agenda and aspired to political equality with the clergy (First Estate) and the aristocracy (Second Estate). </em></li> <li><strong><em>Financial:</em></strong><em> France&rsquo;s debt, aggravated by French involvement in the American Revolution, led Louis XVI to implement new taxations and to reduce privileges.</em></li> <li><strong><em>Political:</em></strong><em> Louis XVI faced virulent opposition from provincial parliaments which were the spearheads of the privileged classes&rsquo; resistance to royal reforms.</em></li> <li><strong><em>Economic:</em></strong><em> The de-regulation of the grain market, advocated by liberal economists, resulted in an increase in bread prices.&nbsp; In period of bad harvests, it would lead to food scarcity which would prompt the masses to revolt.</em></li> </ol> <p style="text-align: justify;">These are all the same causes which John Robison also attributes to the French Revolution.&nbsp; The difference is that Robison does not accept that idea that these conditions materialized as a natural process of socioeconomics.&nbsp; For Robison, the intentional manufacturing of these conditions by powers outside France was obvious.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Turning entire populations towards revolution takes years of socioeconomic conditioning and the application of downward pressure on civil liberties while also drawing attention to that downward pressure.&nbsp; The disorganized masses through the ultimate expression of self-interest, as defined by the invisible hand of Adam Smith, will inevitably rise up and overthrow those they perceive as being the cause of the problem.&nbsp; The solution to the problem will have been previously weaved into the fabric of the revolution.</strong></span></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In the case of the French Revolution the problem was the monarchy and the solution was the overthrow of that monarchy and the establishment of the state governance framework and central bank methodology.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It would be beneficial to consider that in the modern world globalization and central bank practices are fulfilling the same role as the monarchy.&nbsp; The solution, which will wear the revolutionary mask of modern-nationalism, will morph into the final objective of global governance and monetary consolidation.&nbsp; The framework for these objectives has already been weaved into the developing response.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><u><strong>Let&rsquo;s take another look at the causes of the French Revolution detailed above and apply modern trends to them:</strong></u></p> <ol style="text-align: justify;"> <li><strong>Cultural:</strong> Like the Enlightenment, the Information Age and developing technology is changing the world at the fastest pace since Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution.&nbsp; The pressure which is building on the old traditions and ways of life is promoting the concept once again of a new society.</li> <li><strong>Social:</strong> Like the French bourgeoisie a new caste of &ldquo;elite&rdquo; have risen from within the ranks of the commoners (disorganized masses) and have aspired to political equality with the clergy and aristocracy.&nbsp; The American elite simulacra of political families, such as Clintons, Bushes, etc.., are fulfilling this role whether they realize it or not.</li> <li><strong>Financial:</strong> Like pre-revolution France, western governments have accumulated vast amounts of debt fighting wars around the world and unrestrained fiscal spending.&nbsp; This debt has caused some nations to reduce privileges through austerity measures and increase taxation on the disorganized masses.</li> <li><strong>Political:</strong> Like the provincial parliaments in pre-revolution France, nationalist political movements are developing in countries around the world.&nbsp; This new modern-nationalism will be the tip of the spear for further global governance and monetary consolidation.&nbsp; The response to BREXIT of deeper monetary consolidation within the EU and the development of an EU Super-State would suggest this to be the case.</li> <li><strong>Economic:</strong> Like the de-regulation of the grain market in France, the modern world has experienced a massive amount of de-regulation in everything from energy to banking.&nbsp; As in the past, this de-regulation has caused additional strain on the disorganized masses and has contributed to the growing sense of unfairness and aggression.</li> </ol> <p style="text-align: justify;">As we can see, all of the components which facilitated the French Revolution are being used in the modern world in various forms.&nbsp; The methodology which was used in pre-revolution France went on to be used against other nations and fundamentally changed the world and how massive populations were managed and wealth distributed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Over the last few years I have been writing extensively on the <strong>fundamentals of the monetary transition aspects of this new global governance mandate.</strong>&nbsp; On so many occasions I have attempted to present a convincing case to readers that we are being herded down a path which has been engineered with great care and attention.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But unfortunately the large majority of readers have been unable to accept the methodology described and have instead folded under the massive mainstream and alternative propaganda which is fulfilling the same mandates as in the French Revolution.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As before, where the mass population of France could not see the external influence from outside, the disorganized masses of the modern world cannot see that the five causes of revolution described above are being engineered by a power which resides above the nation state and the structure of central banking.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>While we are focusing our anger on central banks and our political classes the real framework is being weaved into the well planned out response, which will take the form of modern-nationalism with a focus on repairing the damages which have been hammered into the five effective causes defined as cultural, social, financial, political, and economic.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><u><strong>Each of our own expressions of self-interest, the invisible hand which is manipulated, is being used against us for a larger purpose.</strong></u></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Often I am asked the question of why I think the plans of the elites will work.&nbsp; I am told that this time it is different.&nbsp; <strong>This time the people have awakened and they are taking their power back</strong>.&nbsp; The obvious answer is that we are talking two different elites.&nbsp; Most readers consider the elites to be the political and financial classes which have been allowed to develop.&nbsp; The elite I reference have engineered those used and abused subjects for the specific purpose of attracting the anger and aggression of the disorganized masses.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Some of this methodology and engineering have been further described in the following posts:</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><a href="http://philosophyofmetrics.com/how-rothschild-inc-saved-donald-trump-freepom/">How Rothschild Inc. Saved Donald Trump</a></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><a href="http://philosophyofmetrics.com/brexit-the-new-modern-nationalism-is-global-governance-freepom/">BREXIT &ndash; The New Modern Nationalism is Global Governance</a></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><a href="http://philosophyofmetrics.com/new-age-socialism-and-the-end-of-debt-based-money-creation-freepom/">New Age Socialism and the End of Debt-Based Money Creation</a></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">All of the above, like this article, are FREEPOM posts, which are meant to spread the message as far as possible.&nbsp; Some information shouldn&rsquo;t have a monetary value, and my attempt to spread truth is genuine.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Trends are difficult to reverse, and the disorganized masses are impossible to organize without access to massive media formats.&nbsp;</strong> Blogs such as<a href="http://philosophyofmetrics.com/the-invisible-hand-of-the-disorganized-masses-and-the-application-of-pre-french-revolution-conditions-in-the-modern-world-freepom/"> Philosophy of Metrics </a>are one of the only methods available of attempting to spread truth and awaken the masses to the methodology described above.&nbsp; The information age has provided this opportunity to stimulate a true awakening.&nbsp; Unfortunately this open media is being massively infiltrated and used through alternative media to manufacture the aggressive response required.&nbsp; <u><strong>They serve the same purpose as the commoner leaflets in the lead up to the French Revolution.</strong></u></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It is ironic that the site which is honestly attempting to provide an education on the methodologies and socioeconomic engineering being used is frequently accused of promoting the agenda of the elites. Such is the power and influence of the scripting which is being used.&nbsp; <strong>Like the French population of the past, our populations today are blinded to the real causes and purpose of the events of our time.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The question of why I feel so confident that these plans will work has its obvious answer in the fact that the question even exists.&nbsp; Like John Robison, I am attempting to do my part for the good of humanity but feel burdened with the lack of acceptance and encouragement from the larger population.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Standing as a man of conviction I will continue to research and present information for those few among us who still remain free in spirit and thought.&nbsp; The ignorance of the disorganized masses will continue and this post will be attacked across the blogosphere as more JC entitlement and lack of understanding the economic fundamentals.</p> <p>Renewing the spark of life within each of us is more important than taking a punch in the face.&nbsp; <strong><em>This transformation of the world&#39;s systems will continue and the disorganized masses will bitch and moan about engineered elites and scripted imbalances.&nbsp; What was before will be again.&nbsp; But this time I&rsquo;m awake, and no matter what the world becomes the truth inside can never be altered or destroyed.</em></strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="760" height="388" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160629_krieger_0.jpg?1467411934" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-01/invisible-hand-disogranized-masses#comments Central Banks Demographics Donald Trump ETC France Nationalism Sat, 02 Jul 2016 01:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 564962 at http://www.zerohedge.com Clinton Is Spending $500k A Day On TV Ads While Trump Spends Nothing http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-01/clinton-spending-500k-day-tv-ads-while-trump-spends-nothing <p>It&#39;s well known that throughout the GOP campaign and into the general election, Donald Trump has done things his own way, and for the most part it has worked out favorably. Most recently Trump made it known that at the GOP convention, there would be more than just traditional politicians to interact with, as the likes of Bobby Knight, Mike Tyson and Mike Ditka <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-06-29/trump-plans-have-tyson-ditka-bobby-knight-gop-convention">have been invited to attend</a>.</p> <p>What is also known, and has sent the mainstream media and <a href="http://www.people.com/article/donald-trump-campaign-cash-crisis-trumpsopoor">everyone else</a> into a frenzy, is the fact that Trump&#39;s cash levels were dwarfed by Clinton at the start of June. Trump wasn&#39;t the least bit concerned with the levels of funding, <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/trump-fundraising-response-224598">saying</a> &quot;<strong>There could be unlimited cash on hand, as I would put up my own money, as I have already done through the primaries, spending over $50 million dollars</strong>.&quot;</p> <p>As it turns out, Clinton is going to need all of that cash the campaign is generating because as Bloomberg <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-07-01/clinton-spending-roughly-500-000-a-day-on-tv-ads-trump-zero">reports</a>, <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>the Clinton Campaign has run 9,781 ads from June 15-27 at an estimated cost of $6 million, or nearly $500,000 a day</strong></span>.</p> <p>For context as to the amount of advertising spending Clinton is doing, the $1 million Hillary spent on Orlando television from June 19-26 is significantly more than the $682,000 Obama spent exactly four years earlier seeking re-election.</p> <p>Clinton has focused heavily on Orlando, Denver, and Raleigh, the markets in battleground states, and in other markets such as Las Vegas, Clinton has only aired a few spots, allowing super-PAC Priorities USA do the bulk of the spending there.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/07/01/20160701_HCtv.JPG"><img height="584" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/07/01/20160701_HCtv_0.JPG" width="600" /></a></p> <p>As Bloomberg <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-07-01/clinton-spending-roughly-500-000-a-day-on-tv-ads-trump-zero">points out</a>, the Clinton campaign advertising shows no signs of slowing down. Among some of the bigger advertising reservations set to air during the first two weeks of July are $2.7 million on national cable and satellite television targeting specific markets and states, $1.1 million in the Tampa-St. Petersburg market and $853,000 in Charlotte, North Carolina.</p> <p>The Clinton campaign will also continue to rely heavily on Priorities USA to continue the barrage of advertising. Priorities USA says that it plans to spend at least $158 million in digital, television, and radio advertising through election day, including $10.5 million for advertising in Pennsylvania that it announced in the past week. The super-PAC raised more than $88 million through the end of May and <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-07-01/clinton-spending-roughly-500-000-a-day-on-tv-ads-trump-zero">says</a> it has $45 million more in commitments.</p> <p>&quot;<strong>Advertising is reality. Campaigns can talk about states being competitive or not competitive, but where they put their TV dollars reveals what they really think</strong>.&quot; said Ken Goldstein, a University of San Francisco professor.</p> <p>Goldstein&#39;s statement may actually be true, because <strong>during the time that Clinton was embarking on an all out media blitz, Donald Trump ran precisely... drum roll please... <span style="text-decoration: underline;">zero ads</span></strong>.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>&quot;I don&#39;t even need commercials, if you want to know the truth&quot; </strong></span>Trump <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-07-01/clinton-spending-roughly-500-000-a-day-on-tv-ads-trump-zero">said</a>.</p> <p>* * *</p> <p>And so there we have it, the reason Trump isn&#39;t concerned about having a large cash balance is simply because, at least at this point, The Donald plans on remaining frugal and <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-14/trump-may-have-just-played-entire-media-universe-fools-again">letting the mainstream media do the advertising for free</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/07/01/20160701_trump.JPG"><img height="333" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/07/01/20160701_trump_0.JPG" width="600" /></a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="626" height="347" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160701_trump.JPG?1467411253" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-01/clinton-spending-500k-day-tv-ads-while-trump-spends-nothing#comments Donald Trump Las Vegas Reality Sat, 02 Jul 2016 00:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 564961 at http://www.zerohedge.com Clinkle Goes Clunk http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-01/clinkle-goes-clunk <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">We begin with this photograph of Lucas Duplan,&nbsp;<em>entrepreneur extraordinaire:</em></p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><img src="http://nextshark.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/duplandouche.png" width="640" height="640" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2) 0px 1px 4px;" class="alignnone" /></p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">I first wrote about young Mr. Duplan&nbsp;<a href="http://slopeofhope.com/2014/09/clinkle-is-the-new-color.html" target="_blank" style="color: #21759b; outline: none;">in this post nearly two years ago</a>. My post was about this new firm, Clinkle, garnering tens of millions of dollars in funding to create an app which would let you give little goodies (they called them "treats") to your friends based on how much you used your credit card.</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">It seemed like a moronic idea to me, and when at last the product was launched, the reviews were - - how shall I put this - - chilly:</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><img src="http://slopeofhope.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/0929-reviews1.png" width="815" height="441" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2) 0px 1px 4px;" class="alignnone" /></p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">Lucas saw things differently, however. When describing his firm and its product, he stated:&nbsp;<strong>“Clinkle is a movement to push the human race forward by changing how we transact</strong>.”&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">Let's take that one sentence and focus on two of its bits: first off, "movement".&nbsp;<strong>Clinkle is</strong>&nbsp;(or&nbsp;<em>was</em>, as you shall soon read)&nbsp;<strong>a "movement"</strong>. To which my only intelligent reply is: go fuck yourself. The Bernie Sanders campaign&nbsp;is&nbsp;a movement. The growth over the past twenty years of organic produce&nbsp;is&nbsp;a movement. Putting out some lame-ass app no one uses&nbsp;is&nbsp;<em>not&nbsp;</em>a movement. Sorry, sweetie.</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">The second bit - "<strong>push the human race forward</strong>" - is, of course, ten times worse. I am compelled to guzzle down a bottle of ipecac syrup, vomit into a bucket, and invert the aforementioned bucket on top of Mr. Duplan's arrogant, self-aggrandizing head. But, again, as you shall soon see, none of this is necessary anymore.</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">Because, as you might guess, Clinkle and its $40 million of funding has yielded nothing more than a puddle of piss evaporating in the midday summer sun of 2016. This should come as no huge surprise, however, given some of the earlier assessment of Duplan's management prowess:</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><img src="http://slopeofhope.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/0701-worst.png" alt="0701-worst" width="664" height="256" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2) 0px 1px 4px;" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-57602" /></p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">And the above headline wasn't apparently the view of just some crank; employees seem to chime in with similar feelings as well:</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><img src="http://slopeofhope.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/0701-quotes.png" alt="0701-quotes" width="834" height="285" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2) 0px 1px 4px;" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-57603" /></p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">And, thus, the combination of a ridiculous, useless app and ham-handed management yields different Google results than I suspect Duplan dreamed he would be seeing these days:</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><img src="http://slopeofhope.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/0701-goog.png" alt="0701-goog" width="633" height="187" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2) 0px 1px 4px;" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-57601" /></p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">There are some more self-aware societies when the instigator of such a mess would have committed&nbsp;<em>seppuku</em>, but the Silicon Valley is famously forgiving, so if you hop onto&nbsp;<a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/lduplan" target="_blank" style="color: #21759b; outline: none;">LInkedIn</a>, you'll find Lucas' smiling face, ready for action.</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><a href="http://slopeofhope.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/0630-asdf.png" style="color: #21759b; outline: none;" rel="attachment wp-att-57583"><img src="http://slopeofhope.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/0630-asdf.png" alt="0630-asdf" width="674" height="800" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2) 0px 1px 4px;" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-57583" /></a></p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">Take note of the portion I highlighted above, however. "<strong>Low margin, high cost business so discontinued</strong>." Do you sniff the faint stench of non-responsibility here? Does it seem rather astonishing a person would brush off this multi-zillion dollar fiasco with a shrug of their shoulders. It's almost like the synopsis of a failed blind date ("Yeah, she looked hot in her picture, but when I met her, she was 300 pounds, so we just went to Chipotle's.") &nbsp;But I guess putting "Product laughed off the face of the planet and investors left behind&nbsp;choking in the midst of&nbsp;scorched earth." doesn't lend itself to a good LinkedIn profile. But his explanation (as if anyone was asking) seems awfully goddamned flippant.</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">Of course, I was naturally curious to see what the former CEO of Clinkle was doing, and right there on his page it shows he is in fact the CEO of&nbsp;<strong>Treats</strong>&nbsp;(which, I suppose, could be considered a lateral career move, what with being a CEO and all).</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">There's one problem, though. As far as I can see, there's no such&nbsp;<em>thing</em>&nbsp;as Treats, Inc. Well, there is, but I don't think it's what this guy is claiming to be the&nbsp;leader&nbsp;of..........</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><a href="http://slopeofhope.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/0630-sad.png" style="color: #21759b; outline: none;" rel="attachment wp-att-57584"><img src="http://slopeofhope.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/0630-sad.png" alt="0630-sad" width="704" height="580" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2) 0px 1px 4px;" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-57584" /></a></p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">......nor do I think it's this one...........</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><a href="http://slopeofhope.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/0630-clin2.png" style="color: #21759b; outline: none;" rel="attachment wp-att-57585"><img src="http://slopeofhope.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/0630-clin2.png" alt="0630-clin2" width="796" height="476" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2) 0px 1px 4px;" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-57585" /></a></p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">What I do know, however, is that the $40 million (or whatever the figure ultimately turned out to be) has resulted in the following home page for&nbsp;<a href="http://clinkle.com/" target="_blank" style="color: #21759b; outline: none;">Clinkle</a>.</p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><a href="http://slopeofhope.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/0630-clin.png" style="color: #21759b; outline: none;" rel="attachment wp-att-57586"><img src="http://slopeofhope.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/0630-clin.png" alt="0630-clin" width="604" height="140" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2) 0px 1px 4px;" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-57586" /></a></p> <p style="line-height: 1.71429; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.71429rem; color: #444444; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">For every success in Silicon Valley, there are a thousand failures. I only hope in sharing this example of one of them, I've managed to help push the human race forward. It's what I do.</p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-01/clinkle-goes-clunk#comments Bernie Sanders Google None Sat, 02 Jul 2016 00:18:51 +0000 Tim Knight from Slope of Hope 564967 at http://www.zerohedge.com "EU Wants An Empire" - Brussels Plans To Expand Into Middle East, Africa http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-01/eu-wants-empire-brussels-plans-expand-middle-east-africa <p><a href="http://planetfreewill.com/2016/07/01/brussels-looks-to-expand-into-middle-east-and-africa-ukip-mp-eu-wants-an-empire/"><em>Submitted by Joseph Jankowski via PlanetFreeWill.com,</em></a></p> <p><strong>The latest EU foreign policy document, titled &ldquo;<span style="color: #3366ff;"><a style="color: #3366ff;">A Global Strategy for the European Union&rsquo;s Foreign And Security Policy</a></span>&ldquo;, calls for an extension of the Union&#39;s influence in regions as far as Central Asia and Central Africa.</strong></p> <p>It also outlines&nbsp;&ldquo;gradual synchronisation and mutual adaptation&rdquo; between different member states&rsquo; individual defence strategies.</p> <p>The executive summary of the document reads:</p> <blockquote class="td_quote_box td_box_center"><p><strong>It is in the interests of our citizens to invest in the resilience of states and societies to the east stretching into Central Asia, and to the south down to Central Africa</strong>. Under the current EU enlargement policy, a credible accession process grounded in strict and fair conditionality is vital to enhance the resilience of countries in the Western Balkans and of Turkey. Under the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), many people wish to build closer relations with the Union: our enduring power of attraction can spur transformation in these countries.</p> </blockquote> <p>The documents speaks of transforming the current EU system&nbsp;and commits to the deliverance of a global governing body.</p> <p>EU Foreign Policy Cheif Federica Mogherini writes in the foreword:</p> <blockquote class="td_quote_box td_box_center"><p>We will invest in regional orders, and in cooperation among and within regions. And we will promote reformed global governance, one that can meet the challenges of this 21st century. We will engage in a practical and principled way, sharing global responsibilities with our partners and contributing to their strengths. We have learnt the lesson: my neighbour&rsquo;s and my partner&rsquo;s weaknesses are my own weaknesses. So we will invest in win-win solutions, and move beyond the illusion that international politics can be a zero-sum game.</p> </blockquote> <p>The latest plan outlines how&nbsp;how the EU wants autonomy in defence and security matters.</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;European security and defence efforts should enable the EU to act autonomously while also contributing to and undertaking action in co-operation with NATO,&rdquo; </strong>the Brussels document reads.</p> <p>&ldquo;Member States need the technological and industrial means to acquire and sustain those capabilities which underpin their ability to act autonomously.&rdquo;</p> <p>It goes on to read, &ldquo;Gradual synchronisation and mutual adaption of national defence planning cycles and capability development practice can enhance strategic convergence between Member States.&rdquo;</p> <p>When asked if he believed&nbsp;the document showed Brussels was&nbsp;positioning itself as a rival to NATO, UKIP&rsquo;s&nbsp;Mike Hookem said:&nbsp;&ldquo;I&rsquo;m not sure whether in reality it will be a threat to NATO.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;Although I am sure it would like to be, because NATO are competent,&rdquo; </strong>says Hookem.</p> <p>The fear&nbsp;of a European army was at the core of the Brexit campaign&nbsp;as&nbsp;Armed Forces Minister Penny Mordaunt <span style="color: #3366ff;"><a href="http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/673463/Britain-forced-EU-ARMY-leave-Armed-Forces-Minister" style="color: #3366ff;">warned</a></span> that if Britain were to stay in the EU, it would be forced to join the EU&rsquo;s army.</p> <p>According to reports from Brussels, the Global Strategy document was kept secret as the UK was preparing to hold a referendum on its EU membership out of fears that it could affect the outcome by&nbsp;boosting the&nbsp;<em>&ldquo;Leave&rdquo;</em> campaign&rsquo;s popularity.</p> <p><strong>Several&nbsp;European politicians have recently voiced support for the creation of an EU army. As </strong><em>RT</em>&nbsp;<span style="color: #3366ff;"><a href="https://www.rt.com/news/348927-eu-security-strategy-army/" style="color: #3366ff;">reports</a></span>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Meanwhile, EU officials repeatedly voiced the idea of forming the Union&rsquo;s own armed forces. On June 26, the head of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, Elmar Brok, said that the EU needs a common military headquarters that could pave the way for a united EU armed force, which would make the block&rsquo;s policy much more effective and strengthen its role in the world.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>In 2015, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called for the creation of a united European army, which he said would be aimed at <em>&ldquo;deterring&rdquo;</em> Russia and strengthening the alliance.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><em><strong>&ldquo;The EU wants its own Empire as former Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso made clear when he was in charge,&rdquo;&nbsp;</strong></em>UKIP&rsquo;s defence spokesman Mike Hookem <span style="color: #3366ff;"><a href="http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/685005/EU-superstate-army-plans-Brussels-expand-reach-China-Africa-Brexit-Ukip" style="color: #3366ff;">said</a></span>.<em>&nbsp;</em></p> <p><em>&ldquo;This global strategy by the EU is yet another reason why last Thursday&rsquo;s result was a <strong>lucky escape for the UK</strong>.&rdquo;</em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="621" height="320" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160701_EU.jpg?1467410971" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-01/eu-wants-empire-brussels-plans-expand-middle-east-africa#comments European Union Middle East Reality Turkey Sat, 02 Jul 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 564959 at http://www.zerohedge.com Heads Up: Taiwan Mistakenly Fires Missile Toward China http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-01/heads-taiwan-mistakenly-fires-missile-toward-china <p>The recent <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-06-04/us-says-china-building-great-wall-self-isolation">back and forth</a> events between China, the US, and various other countries including <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-06-09/new-tensions-erupt-east-china-sea-time-russian-twist">Japan</a> as it relates to the South China Sea are well known at this point, however <strong>Taiwan has now entered into the picture as well</strong>.</p> <p>Last Saturday, the Chinese government said it had stopped a communication mechanism with Taiwan because of the <strong>refusal of the self-ruled island&#39;s new government to recognize the &quot;one China&quot; principle.</strong></p> <p>Reuters <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-taiwan-idUSKCN0ZB05R">explains</a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>China, which regards Taiwan as wayward province, is deeply suspicious of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, who took office last month, as they suspect she will push for formal independence</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Tsai, who heads the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, says she wants to maintain the status quo with China and is committed to ensuring peace.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But China has insisted she recognize something called the &quot;1992 consensus&quot; reached between China&#39;s Communists and Taiwan&#39;s then-ruling Nationalists, under which both agreed there is only one China, with each having their own interpretation of what that means.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In a brief statement carried by the official Xinhua news agency, China&#39;s Taiwan Affairs Office said that since May 20, when Tsai took office, Taiwan has not affirmed this consensus.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Because the Taiwan side has not acknowledged the 1992 consensus, this joint political basis for showing the one China principle, the cross Taiwan Strait contact and communication mechanism has already stopped,&quot; spokesman An Fengshan said.</p> </blockquote> <p>Just days later, it was <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/news/taiwan-test-fire-missiles-us-china-tensions-rise-112351298.html">reported</a> that <strong>Taiwan planned to test-fire its newest anti-missile system for the first time in the United States in the coming months.</strong> Although the missile system was purchased in 2008, before Tsai&#39;s leadership, the testing of the missiles coupled with the fact that it would be in the United States surely annoyed China further.</p> <p>Speaking of missiles, as Communist Party rulers in Beijing celebrated the party&#39;s 95th birthday on Friday, <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Taiwan&#39;s Navy fired a supersonic missile allegedly in error and hit a Taiwan fishing boat in waters separating the island from China</strong></span>.</p> <p>As Reuters <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-taiwan-missile-idUSKCN0ZH4CH">reports</a>, the<strong> missile did not explode but pierced the boat and killed one Taiwan fisherman</strong>. The ship-to-air missile was mis-fired from a 500-ton Navy patrol vessel during pre-inspection in southern Taiwan ahead of a mock exercise Taiwan&#39;s Navy Chief of Staff Mei Chia-shu told reporters.</p> <p>&quot;<strong>That this is politically motivated, or this is to create crisis in the surrounding situation, this is not the case</strong>&quot; said Taiwan Defense Ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi.</p> <p>Taiwan&#39;s Defense Ministry also said that it had not detected irregular movements by China&#39;s military after the accident.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/07/01/20160701_missile1_0.JPG"><img height="347" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/07/01/20160701_missile1_0.JPG" width="600" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/07/01/20160701_missile2_0.JPG"><img height="362" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/07/01/20160701_missile2_0.JPG" width="600" /></a></p> <p>* * *</p> <p>We&#39;re not sure what to be more concerned about for Taiwan, the fact that its presumably very expensive missile didn&#39;t actually explode upon impact, or that China will become even more annoyed - then again, both should probably be on their list of things to worry about.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="569" height="343" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160701_missile2.JPG?1467410371" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-01/heads-taiwan-mistakenly-fires-missile-toward-china#comments China Japan Reuters Fri, 01 Jul 2016 23:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 564958 at http://www.zerohedge.com