http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/wp-content/plugins/uBillboard/%20%20liker.profile_URL en Iran's President Rouhani Visited Russia: Another Step To A Multipolar World http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/irans-president-rouhani-visited-russia-another-step-multipolar-world <p><em><a href="http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/03/29/iran-president-rouhani-visited-russia-another-step-multipolar-world.html">Authored by Peter Korzun via The Strategic Culture Foundation,</a></em></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20170329_iran.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20170329_iran.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 303px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>The significance of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani&rsquo;s visit to Russia on March 27-28 goes far beyond the bilateral relationship.</strong> Iran is one of the main actors in Syria and Iraq. It has an importance place in the geopolitical plans of US President Donald Trump. Its relationship with Russia is an important factor of international politics. The future of the entire Middle East depends to a great extent on what Russia and Iran do and how effectively they coordinate their activities.</p> <p><strong>Less than two months are left till the presidential election in Iran.</strong> The presidential race formally starts on April 17 and Rouhani has a good chance to win. True, the country&rsquo;s foreign policy at the strategic level is defined by&nbsp;Iran&#39;s&nbsp;Supreme&nbsp;Leader, Ayatollah&nbsp;Ali Khamenei, but the executive branch of the government led by president implements it. The spiritual leader does not pay visits to other countries but&nbsp;Russian President&nbsp;Vladimir Putin met him in Tehran last year &ndash; the second time in the recent 17 years.</p> <p><strong>This was Rouhani&#39;s first official visit to Russia and the first time he and Putin met within a bilateral framework.</strong> The trip took place against the background of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ecfr.eu/publications/summary/iran_and_russia_middle_east_power_couple_7113" target="_blank">growing partnership</a>&nbsp;as both countries have become leading forces of the Astana process that made Iran, Russia and Turkey guarantors of the Syrian cease-fire.</p> <p>True, the cooperation in Syria is of utmost importance but there is each and every reason to believe that Russia and Iran will have to join together in an attempt to settle the conflict in Afghanistan. <strong>As a regional superpower, Iran will gain much by coordinating activities with Russia in that country after the US withdrawal that seems to be inevitable. </strong>Such cooperation would become a game-changing factor with far-reaching consequences for the region from the Mediterranean to Pakistan.</p> <p><strong>The emerging triangle, including Russia, Iran and Turkey, becomes an alliance, could reshape the region.</strong> A ceasefire in Syria reached as a result of the Astana process led by the &laquo;big three&raquo; would reduce the clout of the US, the UK and France. Actually, their influence has already been diminished. The neighboring states will see that progress can be achieved without the &laquo;traditional players&raquo; representing the West.</p> <p><strong>Russia is the country that can debunk the myth that the Middle East is threatened by a &laquo;Shia threat&raquo; emanating from Tehran.</strong> It can use its close and friendly relations with leading Sunni states &ndash; Egypt, Jordan, the UAE and, perhaps, Saudi Arabia &ndash; to play the stabilizing role of mediator between the Shia and Sunni camps. Russia has a unique position to act as an intermediary between Iran and Israel &ndash; something nobody else can do.</p> <p>It&rsquo;ll take years to heal the wounds and mitigate the contradictions between Shia and Sunni Muslims in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. Today, the West does not enjoy the clout it once had there. <strong>The borders drawn by Western countries caused many conflicts;</strong> direct military interventions made them lose trust and support. Under the circumstances, Russia is not exactly an outside actor. Moscow needs peace and stability in the region. This goal can be achieved in tandem with Turkey and Iran. Iraq and Syria can join the trio after they overcome the devastating results of wars. It makes the cooperation with Tehran an issue of paramount importance for Russia.</p> <p><strong>The bilateral relationship is going to be strengthened by large-scale economic projects.</strong></p> <p>Despite the importance of&nbsp;foreign policy issues, the talks mainly&nbsp;<a href="http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54119">focused</a>&nbsp;on&nbsp;prospects for&nbsp;deepening trade, economic and&nbsp;investment cooperation, including under large joint projects in&nbsp;energy and&nbsp;transport infrastructure. More than&nbsp;ten major trade and economic agreements were signed during the visit. Russia has already pumped about&nbsp;one billion euros into&nbsp;Iran&#39; railway network, with serious financial injections into&nbsp;bilateral projects yet to&nbsp;be implemented.</p> <p><strong>Exports to Iran stand at only around 1 percent of Russian foreign trade, but a trade surplus and the existence of a large market for Russian manufactured goods make Iran an important partner. The bilateral trade grew by 60 percent from $1.2 billion in 2015 to almost $2 billion in 2016.</strong></p> <p>The&nbsp;<a href="http://rbth.com/defence/2016/04/12/iran-receives-first-delivery-of-russian-s-300-missile-systems_584135">resumption of weapons deliveries</a>&nbsp;and participation in infrastructure projects financed by Russian loans have led to the doubling of exports of non-energy products from Russia to Iran. The first batch of S-300 air defense systems&nbsp;<a href="http://rbth.com/defence/2016/04/12/iran-receives-first-delivery-of-russian-s-300-missile-systems_584135">was delivered</a>&nbsp;in April 2016.</p> <p>Russia has agreed to provide Iran with a loan of $2.2 billion for infrastructure projects involving Russian companies. It is planned&nbsp;to build a power plant and enhance generation at another in Iran in a contract worth several&nbsp;billion dollars.&nbsp;Under an agreement signed between the two sides, the Russians will improve efficiency at the Ramin power plant in Khuzestan province to 50-55% from 36% now. Another Russian company will build a 1,400-megawatt power plant in the Iranian city of Bandar Abbas in Hormuzgan province. Russian truck manufacturer Kamaz plans to export 300 trucks in 2017, GAZ&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rbc.ru/business/27/12/2016/586257949a794718ec812a66#xtor=AL-%5Binternal_traffic%5D--%5Brss.rbc.ru%5D-%5Btop_stories_brief_news%5D">signed</a>&nbsp;a memorandum with the Iranian authorities for the supply of 900 buses.</p> <p><strong>Russia&rsquo;s role in reaching the Iran nuclear deal, the cooperation in Syria and the allegiance to the policy of rapprochement declared by President Putin provide ample evidence of Moscow&rsquo;s desire to boost the bilateral ties.</strong></p> <p>A momentous event to take place this year will provide an impetus to the development of Russia-Iran relations. Tehran is expected to become a full-fledged member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) this June. Iran also has expressed interest in signing a trade agreement with the Eurasian Union.</p> <p><strong>Russia and Iran are united by common goals and interests.</strong> The development of relations between the two great powers is a significant contribution into creating alternative poles of <strong>power to change the world for the better.</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="632" height="319" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170329_iran.jpg?1490834939" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/irans-president-rouhani-visited-russia-another-step-multipolar-world#comments Afghanistan Arab League–Iran relations Donald Trump Eurasian Union Foreign relations of Iran France Government Hassan Rouhani International relations Iran Iran Iran–Russia relations Iraq Israel Mediterranean Middle East Middle East Politics Saudi Arabia Shanghai Cooperation Organization Strategic Culture Foundation Turkey Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin Thu, 30 Mar 2017 06:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 592017 at http://www.zerohedge.com If Evelyn Farkas Resigned in 2015, How Did She Have Access to Trump-Russian Intelligence? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/if-evelyn-farkas-resigned-2015-how-did-she-have-access-trump-russian-intelligence <p><a href="http://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/2017/03/29/smoking-gun-obama-defense-deputy-slips-up-on-live-tv-reveals-spying-on-trump-team-and-leaking-of-intel/">This was making waves yesterday</a>, after Evelyn Farkas admitted on The Morning Joe show that she told Mika that she strongly advised people 'on the hill' and in intelligence to tuck away intelligence regarding Russo-Trump ties for the sake of preservation, in an effort to protect it from the onerous bureaucracy she obviously finds to be deplorable.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Former Obama DoD Deputy Evelyn Farkas reveals White House gathered intel on Trump campaign staff and then leaked it! <a href="https://t.co/W6FG4IFe5Q">https://t.co/W6FG4IFe5Q</a> <a href="https://t.co/VwaF2CnZzn">pic.twitter.com/VwaF2CnZzn</a></p> <p>— ZeroPointNow (@ZeroPointNow) <a href="https://twitter.com/ZeroPointNow/status/847013582642536448">March 29, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><blockquote> <div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"Get as much intelligence as you can before President Obama leaves the administration," said Farkas in an interview yesterday on MSNBC.</p></blockquote> <p>She was afraid the Trump people would gain access to their intelligence and whisk it away -- because they're all Russian spies, obviously.</p> <p>Aside from what appears to be a brazen confirmation of spying on the Trump team, the bigger red flag here is Dr. Farkas wasn't employed by the Obama administration at the time the Russian allegations arose.</p> <p>According to Pentagon records, <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2015/09/pro-defense-farkas-wrightewing-214223">Dr. Farkas resigned</a> in September of 2015.</p> <p>So how did this non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, gain knowledge of intelligence regarding members of Trump's team and their relations with Russia, when she was the senior foreign policy advisor for Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton?</p> <p>Farkas was the prime driver behind the anti-Russia phobia inside the Pentagon during the Obama years -- <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2015/11/evelyn-farkas-russia-pentagon-215517">shilling hard for the Ukraine</a> -- requesting that the President send them anti-tank missiles -- which, essentially, would mean outright war with Russia.</p> <p>Back to the interview with Mika Brzezinski. Dr. Farkas said 'we' had good intel on Russia. Who does she refer to when she says 'we?'</p> <p><img src="https://ibankcoin.com/flyblog/files/2017/03/evelyn-farkas-2-300x169.jpg" width="300" height="169" class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-66339" /></p> <p><em>Professional Deep Stater, Dr. Evelyn Farkas, Globalist Shill</em></p> <p>Here's Mark Levin's take on this scandal.</p> <p>Perhaps someone inside the Obama government was leaking to the Hillary campaign?</p> <p>I think we all know what the answer to what that question is, regardless of how uncomfortable a thought it may be.<br /> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xfSES06rlIU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Content originally generated at <a href="https://ibankcoin.com/">iBankCoin.com</a></strong></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/if-evelyn-farkas-resigned-2015-how-did-she-have-access-trump-russian-intelligence#comments Atlantic Council Barack Obama Council on Foreign Relations Department of Defense Donald Trump Evelyn Farkas MSNBC Obama Administration Obama administration Obama government Pentagon Politics Politics Politics of the United States President Obama Twitter Twitter Ukraine United States White House White House Thu, 30 Mar 2017 03:56:23 +0000 The_Real_Fly 592026 at http://www.zerohedge.com Death At Your Door: Knock-And-Talk Police Tactics Rip A Hole In The Constitution http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/death-your-door-knock-and-talk-police-tactics-rip-hole-constitution <p><a href="https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/death_at_your_door_knock_and_talk_police_tactics_rip_a_hole_in_the_constitu"><em>Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,</em></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s 4 in the morning, there&rsquo;s headlights that are shining into your house; there&rsquo;s a number of different officers that are now on the premises; they&rsquo;re wearing tactical gear; they have weapons; and they approach your front door. <a href="http://fox17online.com/2017/03/09/michigan-supreme-court-hears-oral-arguments-in-knock-and-talk-marijuana-butter-case/">Do you think that the ordinary citizen in that situation feels that they have an obligation to comply?</a>&rdquo;</strong></em>&mdash; Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein</p> </blockquote> <p>It&rsquo;s 1:30 a.m., a time when most people are asleep.</p> <p>Your neighborhood is in darkness, except for a few street lamps. Someone&mdash;he doesn&rsquo;t identify himself and the voice isn&rsquo;t familiar&mdash;is pounding on your front door, demanding that you open up. Your heart begins racing. Your stomach is tied in knots. The adrenaline is pumping through you. You fear that it&rsquo;s an intruder or worse. You not only fear for your life, but the lives of your loved ones.</p> <p>The aggressive pounding continues, becoming more jarring with every passing second. Desperate to protect yourself and your loved ones from whatever threat awaits on the other side of that door, you scramble to lay hold of something&mdash;anything&mdash;that you might use in self-defense. It might be a flashlight, a baseball bat, or that licensed and registered gun you thought you&rsquo;d never need. You brace for the confrontation, a shaky grip on your weapon, and approach the door cautiously. The pounding continues.</p> <p>You open the door to find a shadowy figure aiming a gun in your direction. Immediately, you back up and retreat further into your apartment. At the same time, the intruder opens fire, sending a hail of bullets in your direction. Three of the bullets make contact. You die without ever raising your weapon or firing your gun in self-defense. In your final moments, you get a good look at your assailant: it&rsquo;s the police.</p> <p><strong>This is what passes for &ldquo;knock-and-talk&rdquo; policing in the American police state.</strong></p> <p><em><strong><a href="http://rutherford.org/files_images/general/03-23-2017_Scott.pdf">&ldquo;Knock-and-shoot&rdquo; policing might be more accurate</a>, however.</strong></em></p> <p>Whatever you call it, this aggressive, excessive police tactic has become a <strong>thinly veiled, warrantless exercise by which citizens are coerced and intimidated into &ldquo;talking&rdquo; with heavily armed police who &ldquo;knock&rdquo; on their doors in the middle of the night.</strong></p> <p>Poor Andrew Scott didn&rsquo;t even get a chance to say no to such a heavy-handed request before <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/03/17/appeals_court_rules_officer_who_killed_man_in_his_own_home_cannot_be_sued.html">he was gunned down by police</a>.</p> <p>It was late on a Saturday night&mdash;so late that it was technically Sunday morning&mdash;and 26-year-old Scott was at home with his girlfriend playing video games when police, in pursuit of a speeding motorcyclist, arrived at Scott&rsquo;s apartment complex, because a motorcycle had been spotted at the complex and police believed it might belong to their suspect.</p> <p><strong>At 1:30 a.m., four sheriff&rsquo;s deputies began knocking on doors close to where a motorcycle was parked. </strong>The deputies started their knock-and-talk with Apartment 114 because there was a light on inside. The occupants of the apartment were Andrew Scott and Amy Young, who were <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/03/17/appeals_court_rules_officer_who_killed_man_in_his_own_home_cannot_be_sued.html">playing video games</a>.</p> <p>First, the police assumed tactical positions surrounding the door to Apartment 114, guns drawn and ready to shoot.</p> <p>Then, without announcing that he was a police officer, deputy Richard Sylvester banged loudly and repeatedly on the door of Apartment 114. The racket caused a neighbor to open his door. When questioned by a deputy, the neighbor explained that the motorcycle&rsquo;s owner did not live in Apartment 114.</p> <p><em>This information was not relayed to the police officer stationed at the door. </em></p> <p>Understandably alarmed by the aggressive pounding on his door at such a late hour, Andrew Scott retrieved his handgun before opening the door. Upon opening the door, Scott saw a shadowy figure holding a gun outside his door.</p> <p><em>Still police failed to identify themselves.</em></p> <p><strong>Unnerved by the sight of the gunman, Scott retreated into his apartment only to have Sylvester immediately open fire. Sylvester fired six shots, three of which <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/03/17/appeals_court_rules_officer_who_killed_man_in_his_own_home_cannot_be_sued.html">hit and killed Scott</a>, who had no connection to the motorcycle or any illegal activity.</strong></p> <p><u><strong>So who was at fault here?</strong></u></p> <p><em>Was it Andrew Scott, who was prepared to defend himself and his girlfriend against a possible late-night intruder?</em></p> <p><em>Was it the police officers who banged on the wrong door in the middle of the night, failed to identify themselves, and then&mdash;without asking any questions or attempting to de-escalate the situation&mdash;shot and killed an innocent man?</em></p> <p><em>Was it the courts, which not only ruled that the police had qualified immunity against being sued for Scott&rsquo;s murder but also <a href="http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-judge-says-lake-fatal-shooting-justified-20140922-story.html">concluded that Andrew Scott provoked the confrontation</a> by retrieving a lawfully-owned handgun before opening the door?</em></p> <p><strong>Or was it the whole crooked system that&rsquo;s to blame? </strong>I&rsquo;m referring to the courts that continue to march in lockstep with the police state, the police unions that continue to strong-arm politicians into letting the police agencies literally get away with murder, the legislators who care more about getting re-elected than about protecting the rights of the citizenry, the police who are being trained to view their fellow citizens as enemy combatants on a battlefield, and the citizenry who fail to be alarmed and outraged every time the police state shoots another hole in the Constitution.</p> <p><strong>What happened to Andrew Scott was not an isolated incident.</strong></p> <p>As Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch <a href="http://www.standard.net/Courts/2017/03/22/A-taste-of-SCOTUS-nominee-Neil-Gorsuch-s-western-wisdom">recognized</a> in a dissent in <em>U.S. v. Carloss</em>: &ldquo;The &lsquo;knock and talk&rsquo; has won a prominent place in today&rsquo;s legal lexicon&hellip; published cases approving knock and talks have grown legion.&rdquo;</p> <p>In fact, the Michigan Supreme Court is <a href="http://fox17online.com/2017/03/09/michigan-supreme-court-hears-oral-arguments-in-knock-and-talk-marijuana-butter-case/">currently reviewing a case</a> in which seven armed police officers, dressed in tactical gear and with their police lights on, carried out a knock-and-talk search on four of their former colleagues&rsquo; homes early in the morning, while their families (including children) were asleep. The police insist that there&rsquo;s nothing coercive about such a scenario.</p> <p>Whether police are knocking on your door at 2 am or 2:30 pm, as long as you&rsquo;re being &ldquo;asked&rdquo; to talk to a police officer who is armed to the teeth and inclined to kill at the least provocation, you don&rsquo;t really have much room to resist, not if you value your life.</p> <p>Mind you, these knock-and-talk searches are little more than <a href="http://www.standard.net/Courts/2017/03/22/A-taste-of-SCOTUS-nominee-Neil-Gorsuch-s-western-wisdom">police fishing expeditions carried out without a warrant</a>.</p> <p><strong>The goal is intimidation and coercion.</strong></p> <p>Unfortunately, with police departments increasingly shifting towards pre-crime policing and relying on dubious&nbsp;<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/the-new-way-police-are-surveilling-you-calculating-your-threat-score/2016/01/10/e42bccac-8e15-11e5-baf4-bdf37355da0c_story.html">threat assessments</a>, behavioral sensing warnings, flagged &ldquo;words,&rdquo; and &ldquo;suspicious&rdquo; activity reports aimed at snaring&nbsp;<em>potential</em>&nbsp;enemies of the state, <a href="http://www.standard.net/Courts/2017/03/22/A-taste-of-SCOTUS-nominee-Neil-Gorsuch-s-western-wisdom">we&rsquo;re going to see more of these warrantless knock-and-talk police tactics</a> by which police attempt to circumvent the Fourth Amendment&rsquo;s warrant requirement and prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures.</p> <p><strong>We&rsquo;ve already seen a dramatic rise in the number of home invasions by battle-ready SWAT teams and police who have been transformed into extensions of the military.</strong> Indeed, with every passing week, we hear more and more horror stories in which homeowners are injured or killed simply because they mistook a SWAT team raid by police for a home invasion by criminals.</p> <p>Never mind that the unsuspecting homeowner, woken from sleep by the sounds of a violent entry, has no way of distinguishing between a home invasion by a criminal as opposed to a government agent.</p> <p>Too often, the destruction of life and property wrought by the police is no less horrifying than that carried out by criminal invaders.</p> <p>These incidents underscore a dangerous mindset in which civilians (often unarmed and defenseless) not only have less rights than militarized police, but also one in which the safety of civilians is treated as a lower priority than the safety of their police counterparts (who are armed to the hilt with an array of lethal and nonlethal weapons).</p> <p><strong>In fact, the privacy of civilians is negligible in the face of the government&rsquo;s various missions, and the homes of civilians are no longer the refuge from government intrusion that they once were.</strong></p> <p>It wasn&rsquo;t always this way, however.</p> <p>There was a time in America when a person&rsquo;s home was a sanctuary where he and his family could be safe and secure from the threat of invasion by government agents, who were held at bay by the dictates of the Fourth Amendment, which protects American citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures.</p> <p>The Fourth Amendment, in turn, was added to the U.S. Constitution by colonists still smarting from the abuses they had been forced to endure while under British rule, among these home invasions by the military under the guise of writs of assistance. These writs were nothing less than open-ended royal documents which British soldiers used as a justification for barging into the homes of colonists and rifling through their belongings.</p> <p>James Otis, a renowned colonial attorney, &ldquo;condemned writs of assistance because they were perpetual, universal (addressed to every officer and subject in the realm), and allowed anyone to conduct a search in violation of the essential principle of English liberty that a peaceable man&rsquo;s house is his castle.&rdquo; As Otis noted:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Now, one of the most essential branches of English liberty is the freedom of one&rsquo;s house. A man&rsquo;s house is his castle; and whilst he is quiet, he is as well guarded as a prince in his castle. This writ, if it should be declared legal, would totally annihilate this privilege. Custom-house officers may enter our houses when they please; we are commanded to permit their entry. Their menial servants may enter, may break locks, bars, and everything in their way; and whether they break through malice or revenge, no man, no court can inquire. Bare suspicion without oath is sufficient.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>To our detriment, we have now come full circle, returning to a time before the American Revolution when government agents&mdash;with the blessing of the courts&mdash;could force their way into a citizen&rsquo;s home, with seemingly little concern for lives lost and property damaged in the process.</strong></p> <p>Actually, as I make clear in my book <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Battlefield-America-War-American-People/dp/1590793099"><em>Battlefield America: The War on the American People</em></a><em>,</em> we may be worse off today than our colonial ancestors when one considers the extent to which courts have sanctioned the use of no-knock raids by police SWAT teams (occurring at a rate of 70,000 to 80,000 a year and growing); the arsenal of lethal weapons available to local police agencies; the ease with which courts now dispense search warrants based often on little more than a suspicion of wrongdoing; and the inability of police to distinguish between reasonable suspicion and the higher standard of probable cause, the latter of which is required by the Constitution before any government official can search an individual or his property.</p> <p><em><strong>Winston Churchill once declared that &ldquo;democracy means that if the doorbell rings in the early hours, it is likely to be the milkman.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <p><u><strong>Clearly, we don&rsquo;t live in a democracy.</strong></u></p> <p>No, in the American police state, when you find yourself woken in the early hours by someone pounding on your door, smashing through your door, terrorizing your family, killing your pets, and shooting you if you dare to resist in any way, you don&rsquo;t need to worry that it might be burglars out to rob and kill you: <strong>it&rsquo;s just the police.</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="474" height="300" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170329_warrant.jpg?1490833495" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/death-your-door-knock-and-talk-police-tactics-rip-hole-constitution#comments American police Fail Government Knock and talk Law enforcement Michigan Michigan Supreme Court Militarization of police National security Police Richard Bernstein Rutherford Institute SWAT Thu, 30 Mar 2017 03:20:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 592016 at http://www.zerohedge.com GHoST IN THe SMeLL... http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/ghost-smell <p><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/33343590120/in/dateposted-public/" title="SHE'S BACK!"><img src="https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3722/33343590120_eaf8810a0c_b.jpg" alt="SHE'S BACK!" width="1024" height="767" /></a></p> <script src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js"></script> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/ghost-smell#comments Baseball Hall of Fame balloting Education Politics Thu, 30 Mar 2017 02:57:19 +0000 williambanzai7 592025 at http://www.zerohedge.com Can Trump Turn Back Time On Coal Mining Employment? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/can-trump-turn-back-time-coal-mining-employment <p>President Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday, <strong>repealing many of the environmental regulations</strong> introduced by his predecessor Barack Obama and rescinding a moratorium on the leasing of federal land to coal mining companies.<strong> In &ldquo;ending the war on coal&rdquo;,</strong> Trump tries to make good on his campaign <strong>promise to bring thousands of unemployed coal miners back</strong> to work and secure U.S. energy independence.</p> <p><a href="https://www.statista.com/chart/8734/coal-mining-employment-in-the-united-states/"><em>As Statista&#39;s Felix Richter notes,</em></a> Trump, like many of his supporters, <strong>blames Obama&rsquo;s environmental policies for the coal industry&rsquo;s decline</strong>, which, as the chart below illustrates, <strong>started long before Obama took office in 2009</strong>. While it is true that coal consumption and mining employment did drop significantly during Obama&rsquo;s presidency, experts keep pointing out that the decline was caused <strong>primarily by the rise of natural gas and only secondarily by environmental regulation</strong>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.statista.com/chart/8734/coal-mining-employment-in-the-united-states/" title="Infographic: Can Trump Turn Back Time on Coal Mining Employment? | Statista"><img alt="Infographic: Can Trump Turn Back Time on Coal Mining Employment? | Statista" height="428" src="https://infographic.statista.com/normal/chartoftheday_8734_coal_mining_employment_in_the_united_states_n.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p><em>You will find more statistics at <a href="https://www.statista.com/">Statista</a></em></p> <p><strong>In the late 2000s, a boom in&nbsp;<a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/265331/natural-gas-production-in-the-us/">natural gas production</a>, driven by new hydraulic fracturing (fracking) technology, drove down prices for natural gas and the demand for electricity produced from coal subsequently plummeted.</strong> In 2000, coal accounted for more than 50 percent of U.S. electricity generation. By 2016, that percentage had dropped to around 30 percent with natural gas going the opposite direction.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/220174/total-us-electricity-net-generation-by-fuel/">When natural gas surpassed coal for the first time in 2016</a>, the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=25392" target="_blank">EIA concluded</a>&nbsp;that the rise of gas &ldquo;was mainly a market-driven response to lower natural gas prices that have made natural gas generation more economically attractive&rdquo;.</p> <p><strong>Repealing environmental regulation will likely slow down the decline of the coal industry, but it is highly doubtful that it will reverse a trend that has been ongoing for decades. </strong>By easing fracking limitations, President Trump&rsquo;s anti-regulation policy may even worsen the coal industry&rsquo;s situation as laxer extraction rules could drive down the price of natural gas even further.</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="688" height="378" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170329_coal.jpg?1490833279" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/can-trump-turn-back-time-coal-mining-employment#comments Barack Obama Business Coal Coal mining Energy Environment Environmental policy under the Trump administration Fracturing Natural Gas Natural gas Nature Peak coal Physical universe Shale gas Thu, 30 Mar 2017 02:55:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 592015 at http://www.zerohedge.com George W. Bush On Trump's Inauguration: "That Was Some Weird Shit" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/george-w-bush-trumps-inauguration-was-some-weird-shit <p>Perhaps just as memorable as the somewhat surreal Trump inauguration on Jan. 20, was the unforgettable crusade of George W. Bush to tame his poncho on that rainy Friday afternoon. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Some of us are sad today, but others had a great time playing peekaboo with a plastic sheet. <a href="https://t.co/yOE0RJkNx8">pic.twitter.com/yOE0RJkNx8</a></p> <p>— Kashana (@kashanacauley) <a href="https://twitter.com/kashanacauley/status/822529947784843264">January 20, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>Whether flustered by the elements, or simply due to this residual antagonism for the president, after Trump’s short and dire speech, Bush departed the scene and never offered public comment on the ceremony. Until now. </p> <p>According to a new report by <a href="http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/03/what-george-w-bush-really-thought-of-trumps-inauguration.html">New York magazine</a>, three people present at the event say they heard Bush's assessment of the swearing in ceremony. </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>"That was some weird shit."</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Bush attended Trump's inauguration, sitting near former President and First Lady Bill and Hillary Clinton as well as former President and first lady Barack and Michelle Obama. He has kept a low profile since. </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="1043" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/W%20Poncho.jpg?1490840773" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/george-w-bush-trumps-inauguration-was-some-weird-shit#comments American people of German descent Bush family Conservatism in the United States Donald Trump George H. W. Bush George W. Bush Human Interest Inauguration of Donald Trump Politics Republican Party United States) Schuyler family Twitter Twitter Thu, 30 Mar 2017 02:36:43 +0000 Tyler Durden 592024 at http://www.zerohedge.com Second Foundation: Empire Crumbling http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/second-foundation-empire-crumbling <p><a href="https://www.theburningplatform.com/2017/03/28/second-foundation-empire-crumbling/">Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog,</a></p> <div class="entry-content"> <p>In <a href="https://www.theburningplatform.com/2017/03/26/foundation-fall-of-the-american-galactic-empire/"><strong>Part One</strong></a> of this article I analyzed the similarities of Isaac Asimov&rsquo;s Foundation Trilogy to Strauss &amp; Howe&rsquo;s Fourth Turning, trying to assess how Donald Trump&rsquo;s ascension to power fits into the theories put forth by those authors. In <a href="https://www.theburningplatform.com/2017/03/27/foundation-and-empire-is-donald-trump-the-mule/"><strong>Part Two</strong></a> of this article I compared and contrasted Donald Trump&rsquo;s rise to power to the rise of The Mule in Asimov&rsquo;s masterpiece. Unusually gifted individuals come along once in a lifetime to disrupt the plans of the existing social order. Despite the forlorn hope Donald Trump or some other savior can reverse our course, <strong>decades of missteps, dreadful decisions, ineffectual leadership, and unconcealed treachery have paved a path to destruction for the American Empire.</strong></p> <h3><u>American Empire Crumbling</u></h3> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>&ldquo;Mr. Advocate, the rotten tree-trunk, until the very moment when the storm-blast breaks it in two, has all the appearance of might it ever had. The storm-blast whistles through the branches of the Empire even now. Listen with the ears of psychohistory, and you will hear the creaking.&rdquo;</em> &ndash; <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Foundation-Trilogy-Isaac-Asimov/dp/0307292061/ref=as_sl_pc_tf_til?tag=thebur01-20&amp;linkCode=w00&amp;linkId=789693348822eb1ce5483249f2ae4b2c&amp;creativeASIN=0307292061"><strong>Isaac Asimov</strong>, <strong>Foundation</strong></a></p> <p><img alt="http://static.safehaven.com/authors/burningplatform/33080_b.jpg" class="aligncenter" height="261" src="http://static.safehaven.com/authors/burningplatform/33080_b.jpg" width="520" /></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>&ldquo;Now any dogma, based primarily on faith and emotionalism, is a dangerous weapon to use on others, since it is almost impossible to guarantee that the weapon will never be turned on the user.&rdquo; &ndash; </em><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Foundation-Trilogy-Isaac-Asimov/dp/0307292061/ref=as_sl_pc_tf_til?tag=thebur01-20&amp;linkCode=w00&amp;linkId=789693348822eb1ce5483249f2ae4b2c&amp;creativeASIN=0307292061"><strong>Isaac Asimov</strong>, <strong>Foundation</strong></a></p> <p>The elitist ruling class gathers at Davos and their secretive Bilderberg meetings to <strong>plot the course of the world, divvying up the vast wealth plundered through their globalization schemes, and developing the newest propaganda narrative to keep the global masses confused</strong>, distracted, and powerless to fight back. Despite their wealth and power, an epic level of hubris is always their undoing.</p> <p>The normal people have begun to fight back but, like the rotten tree trunk Galactic Empire, the &ldquo;mighty&rdquo; American Empire, forged from the debris of two world wars, awaits the storm blast which will expose its true level of rot.<strong> The American Empire is crumbling under the weight of military overreach; the burden of unpayable debts; currency debasement; cultural decay; civic degeneration; diversity and deviancy trumping common culture and normality; pervasive corruption at every level of government; and the failure of shortsighted leaders to deal with the real problems.</strong></p> <p>You can hear the creaking as the winds of this <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Fourth-Turning-American-Prophecy-Rendezvous/dp/0767900464/ref=as_sl_pc_tf_til?tag=thebur01-20&amp;linkCode=w00&amp;linkId=ea5733609f1dcee0d0971eb4338f041f&amp;creativeASIN=0767900464"><strong>Fourth Turning</strong></a> winter howl through the branches of this dying empire. Trump may have forced the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Deep-State-Constitution-Shadow-Government/dp/0143109936/ref=as_sl_pc_tf_til?tag=thebur01-20&amp;linkCode=w00&amp;linkId=ccd91ea3bbabeb44e3246c77d9637230&amp;creativeASIN=0143109936"><strong>Deep State</strong></a> Second <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Foundation-Trilogy-Isaac-Asimov/dp/0307292061/ref=as_sl_pc_tf_til?tag=thebur01-20&amp;linkCode=w00&amp;linkId=4b8b64051b9923275d897a236bef8f40&amp;creativeASIN=0307292061"><strong>Foundation</strong></a> to reveal itself as they seek to destroy him, but the relentless decline of the American Empire continues unabated. Tinkering around the edges of a healthcare system designed to benefit mega-corporations and the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Deep-State-Constitution-Shadow-Government/dp/0143109936/ref=as_sl_pc_tf_til?tag=thebur01-20&amp;linkCode=w00&amp;linkId=ccd91ea3bbabeb44e3246c77d9637230&amp;creativeASIN=0143109936"><strong>Deep State</strong></a> will do nothing to reverse or even delay the decline.</p> <p><strong>Slowing the growth of government when the national debt is already $20 trillion and headed to $30 trillion within the next decade won&rsquo;t cure the rot in our tree trunk. </strong>Completely ignoring the $200 trillion of unfunded welfare state liabilities helps accelerate the inevitable collapse of this empire. Cutting taxes while expanding the war making machine known as the military industrial complex does nothing to reverse what is already in motion.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter" height="357" src="http://www.whatamimissinghere.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/US-National-Debt-1980-2019-Chart.jpg" width="500" /></p> <p>In addition to the absolutely quantifiable reasons why the American Empire will collapse, <strong>there are demographic, cultural, and societal trends which will contribute dramatically to the fall.</strong> The rapidly aging populace, with 10,000 Americans per day turning 65 years old, is the driving force towards national bankruptcy, as this inexorable demographic tsunami sweeps over the fraying fabric of welfare state promises.</p> <p>The onslaught of illegal immigrants and purposeful execution of a plan by the effete liberal elite to weaken our common American culture through the insertion of Muslim refugees into our communities, is undermining the shared values which built the country. The immigrants who built this country assimilated, learned the language, worked hard, and adopted our common culture. The hordes invading America at this time hate our values and refuse to assimilate. This Soros funded effort to create diversity havoc throughout the world is part of the globalization one world order plan.</p> <p><strong>As Europe disintegrates under the unrelenting wave of violent refugees creating upheaval, chaos, and spreading religious zealotry through viciousness, the next target is the mighty American Empire</strong>. Fighting in the streets between the normal law abiding Trump supporters and the Soros funded, draped in black, flag burning, social justice warrior criminals has begun. Widespread societal strife is just around the corner.</p> <p>When the next financial crisis, created by the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Deep-State-Constitution-Shadow-Government/dp/0143109936/ref=as_sl_pc_tf_til?tag=thebur01-20&amp;linkCode=w00&amp;linkId=ccd91ea3bbabeb44e3246c77d9637230&amp;creativeASIN=0143109936"><strong>Deep State</strong></a> to further their plans, destroys the remaining wealth of the barely surviving middle class, all hell will break loose in the streets. The 86% of the country occupied by red state, gun owning, Trump supporters will openly go to war against the condescending, left wing, violence provoking blue state liberals. Blood will be spilled in copious amounts.<strong> It always does during Fourth Turnings.</strong></p> <p><img class="aligncenter" height="338" src="https://i0.wp.com/metrocosm.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/election-2016-county-map.png" width="525" /></p> <p><strong>Will Trump&rsquo;s reign resemble the reign of The Mule? </strong>The Mule&rsquo;s conquest was astonishingly fast. He defeated the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Foundation-Trilogy-Isaac-Asimov/dp/0307292061/ref=as_sl_pc_tf_til?tag=thebur01-20&amp;linkCode=w00&amp;linkId=4b8b64051b9923275d897a236bef8f40&amp;creativeASIN=0307292061"><strong>Foundation</strong></a> and established the Union of Worlds after only five years. The unpredictability of his arrival and rare mental talents befuddled the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Foundation-Trilogy-Isaac-Asimov/dp/0307292061/ref=as_sl_pc_tf_til?tag=thebur01-20&amp;linkCode=w00&amp;linkId=4b8b64051b9923275d897a236bef8f40&amp;creativeASIN=0307292061"><strong>Foundation</strong></a>. Then he inexplicably paused in his campaign of conquests. Instead he launched repeated expeditions in search of the Second Foundation. The mysterious Second Foundation inhibits The Mule from further conquest as he is consumed with finding their location and paralyzed with fear they can defeat his mentalic powers.</p> <p><strong>The Second Foundation comes briefly out of hiding to face the threat of The Mule.</strong> It is revealed to be an assemblage of the most intelligent humans in the galaxy, descendants of Seldon&rsquo;s psychohistorians. Using the force of its strongest minds, the Second Foundation ultimately wears down the Mule. They succeed in defeating the Mule, transforming him into a relatively harmless individual, lacking ambition, and no longer a threat to the Seldon Plan. His destructive posture is adjusted to a benign one. He returns to rule over his kingdom peacefully for the rest of his life, without any further thought of conquering the Second Foundation.</p> <p><strong>Trump has had an astonishingly fast rise to power.</strong> He went from frivolous reality TV star to the most powerful leader on earth in the space of two years. With his clownish exploits and rhetoric, he rose to power through being underestimated every step of the way &ndash; infuriating his many enemies who miscalculated his level of political savvy and persuasion skills. Unless he is overthrown by the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Deep-State-Constitution-Shadow-Government/dp/0143109936/ref=as_sl_pc_tf_til?tag=thebur01-20&amp;linkCode=w00&amp;linkId=ccd91ea3bbabeb44e3246c77d9637230&amp;creativeASIN=0143109936"><strong>Deep State</strong></a> or killed, he will be able to put his imprint on the nation for at least four years and possibly eight.</p> <p><strong>His first two months in power will likely reflect his entire presidency. The Washington establishment and sinister <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Deep-State-Constitution-Shadow-Government/dp/0143109936/ref=as_sl_pc_tf_til?tag=thebur01-20&amp;linkCode=w00&amp;linkId=ccd91ea3bbabeb44e3246c77d9637230&amp;creativeASIN=0143109936">Deep State</a> players will attempt to thwart Trump&rsquo;s every move.</strong> They have already impeded his immigration controls and attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, while using their illegal surveillance state techniques to undermine his administration.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter" height="291" src="https://cdn.static-economist.com/sites/default/files/images/print-edition/20150523_USD001_0.jpg" width="517" /></p> <p><em><strong>The Second Foundation, through unyielding pressure and generating fear of the unknown into the mind of The Mule, was able undermine his plans of conquest and turn him into a non-disruptive, toothless, nonthreatening, passive figurehead. As Trump&rsquo;s best laid plans are obstructed, agenda foiled, and legislation hindered, will his enthusiasm for governance wane?</strong></em></p> <p>The surveillance agencies who are supposed to act on his behalf are clearly trying to subvert his presidency. Leaks and fake news designed to sabotage the credibility of Trump and his administration will continue. Will the fear of retribution from mysterious surveillance state operatives convince Trump to fall into line and become a submissive lackey, no longer making waves for the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Deep-State-Constitution-Shadow-Government/dp/0143109936/ref=as_sl_pc_tf_til?tag=thebur01-20&amp;linkCode=w00&amp;linkId=ccd91ea3bbabeb44e3246c77d9637230&amp;creativeASIN=0143109936"><strong>Deep State</strong></a>?</p> <p>I have no illusions Trump is some sort of savior who will reverse decades of political corruption, currency debasement, financial market rigging, global military missteps, cultural decay, pervasive entitlement mindset, and out of control espionage operatives. <strong>At best, he will slow some aspects of the decline over a short time frame. More likely, he will provoke his enemies to such an extent the decline will be accelerated due to civil and/or global war breaking out.</strong> The oncoming financial collapse will further push the country toward the brink. It&rsquo;s not a matter of if, but when. And the when is closer than most people imagine.</p> <p>The seeds of destruction for the American Empire were planted as Ben Franklin departed the Constitutional Convention two hundred and thirty years ago responding to a question from Mrs. Powell that they had given the people a republic, if they could keep it. The seeds were slow to take root, but the transition from republic to democracy insured long-term decline as the people voted for more benefits, paid for by their fellow citizens and financed by debt.</p> <p>With the secretive creation of the privately owned Federal Reserve in 1913, the debasement of our currency was begun.<strong> The true birth of the American Empire occurred with surrender of Germany &amp; Japan at the conclusion of World War II.</strong> As the only major power not in physical and economic shambles, America dominated the world until its hubris kicked in during the late 1960s with the birth of the welfare/warfare state financed by debt. Closure of the gold window in 1971 sealed our fate.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter" height="332" src="https://forextraderdotlive.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/purchasing-power-us-dollar.png" width="544" /></p> <p><strong>We&rsquo;ve crossed our Rubicon with the preservation and expansion of empire bankrupting the nation. We just refuse to admit it. </strong>It&rsquo;s already a done deal. Default is baked in the cake. It&rsquo;s happened to the Greeks, Romans, Spanish, Dutch, British, and many other civilizations throughout history. The path to destruction is always the same because the actions of humans in large numbers are entirely predictable. The American Empire has exploited all of the productive people, leaving nothing left to invest in the future. Investment by corporate America today constitutes greedy CEOs buying back their stock to boost earnings per share and share price in order to earn multi-million dollar bonuses.</p> <p>The globalization scam was the last dying gasp to exploit the dwindling resources of the planet and the people. There is nothing left to fund the bread and circuses keeping the ignorant masses distracted, amused, and fed. The monetary machinations of the Federal Reserve have reached their limit. Economic crisis is inevitable before this <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Fourth-Turning-American-Prophecy-Rendezvous/dp/0767900464/ref=as_sl_pc_tf_til?tag=thebur01-20&amp;linkCode=w00&amp;linkId=ea5733609f1dcee0d0971eb4338f041f&amp;creativeASIN=0767900464"><strong>Fourth Turning</strong></a> runs its course.</p> <p><strong>The economic meltdown will likely result in the final breakup of the American empire. </strong>The best laid plans of Deep State billionaire intellectuals will be for naught. The law of large numbers will win again. All empires eventually die, and life will go on, unless the psychopaths controlling this country blow the planet up rather than relinquish their wealth and power. Is history already written or do we as individuals have a say?</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>&ldquo;Throughout you have invariably relied on authority or on the past&mdash;never on yourselves.&rdquo;</em> &ndash; <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Foundation-Trilogy-Isaac-Asimov/dp/0307292061/ref=as_sl_pc_tf_til?tag=thebur01-20&amp;linkCode=w00&amp;linkId=789693348822eb1ce5483249f2ae4b2c&amp;creativeASIN=0307292061"><strong>Isaac Asimov</strong>, <strong>Foundation</strong></a></p> <p><img class="aligncenter" height="300" src="http://russia-insider.com/sites/insider/files/main/2016-Jul-13/decl.png" width="509" /></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>&ldquo;But Empire building also bears the seeds of its own destruction. The closer a state comes to the ultimate goal of world domination and one-world government, the less reason is there to maintain its internal liberalism and do instead what all states are inclined to do anyway, i.e., to crack down and increase their exploitation of whatever productive people are still left. </em></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>Consequently, with no additional tributaries available and domestic productivity stagnating or falling, the Empire&rsquo;s internal policies of bread and circuses can no longer be maintained. Economic crisis hits, and an impending economic meltdown will stimulate decentralizing tendencies, separatist and secessionist movements, and lead to the break-up of Empire. We have seen this happen with Great Britain, and we are seeing it now, with the US and its Empire apparently on its last leg.&rdquo;</em> &ndash; <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Short-History-Man-Progress-Decline/dp/1610165918/ref=as_sl_pc_tf_til?tag=thebur01-20&amp;linkCode=w00&amp;linkId=61a3405b52aff6025da4755a42b0a8c0&amp;creativeASIN=1610165918"><strong>Hans-Hermann Hoppe</strong></a></p> </div> <p>&nbsp;</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="518" height="261" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170329_asimov.jpg?1490832753" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/second-foundation-empire-crumbling#comments American people of German descent Climate change skepticism and denial Corporate America Corruption Davos default Donald Trump Donald Trump Federal Reserve Fiction Foundation series Galactic Empire Germany Isaac Asimov Japan Meltdown National Debt Obamacare Reality Science fiction Second Foundation Second Foundation Speculative fiction The Apprentice Union of Worlds US Federal Reserve WWE Hall of Fame Thu, 30 Mar 2017 02:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 592014 at http://www.zerohedge.com Westinghouse Bankruptcy Puts Fate Of Four U.S. Nuclear Reactors In Limbo http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/westinghouse-bankruptcy-puts-fate-four-us-nuclear-reactors-limbo <p>When Westinghouse Electric filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday morning, few were surprised as the outcome was the only one which allowed the company's troubled, and near-insolvent Japanese parent, Toshiba, to continue operating, even if it meant the bankruptcy of the iconic company. Westinghouse was one of the originators of the nuclear age, building the world’s first commercial nuclear reactor 60 years ago. Its pressurized water reactor design is in 430 power plants and accounts for 10% of electricity generated in the world. </p> <p>However, few were prepared for the unexpected aftermath of this particular bankruptcy, which has set off a showdown between Toshiba and a major U.S. utility, has left the fate of four half-finished nuclear reactors and is threatening to drive a wedge between the US and Japanese governments over the fate of industries each considers vital. </p> <p><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/03/27/westinghouse%20GA_0.jpg" width="500" height="326" /><br /><em>The Vogtle Unit 3 and 4 site, a Westinghouse project, near Waynesboro, Ga., in February</em></p> <p>For those who have missed our previous discussion on the underlying cause for today's default, Westinghouse incurred billions in runaway cost overruns related to four nuclear reactors it is building in the southeastern U.S. These costs from the half-finished reactors had spiraled so large, they threatened the viability of its Japanese parent company, Toshiba, which in turn has been engulfed in a series of accounting and fraud scandals in recent years, has seen its profitability plummet and whose precarious finances have attracted attention of Japan’s government. </p> <p>Admitting defeat in the nuclear business, Toshiba CEO Satoshi Tsunukawa said that “this is a de facto withdrawal from the overseas nuclear business for us. Therefore, we don’t see any more risk."</p> <p>Others, however, see <em><strong>substantial risk </strong></em>now that their claims against Westinghouse are reduced to the status of a prepetition unsecured claim. First and foremost, is Toshiba's now former, and quite angry customer, Tom Fanning, CEO of Southern Co., the Atlanta power company and primary owner of two of the reactors being built in Georgia, who on Wednesday characterized the completion of the reactors as an international political issue, calling it a test of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s commitments with President Donald Trump at a summit in February to help create American jobs.</p> <p>“The commitments are not just financial and operational, but there are moral commitments as well,” Mr. Fanning said in an interview from Tokyo, where he had traveled to lobby for a resolution to the mounting dispute. <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/toshibas-westinghouse-electric-files-for-bankruptcy-protection-1490771532">Quoted by the WSJ</a>, Fanning said there are 5,000 jobs directly at stake at the two Georgia reactors, jobs that could be lost if Toshiba doesn’t commit to paying billions in future costs, which it won't now that it has severed ties with its insolvent subsidiary. </p> <p>Westinghouse designed the reactors and also is building them for Southern, and contractually had agreed to shoulder cost overruns, at least until its Chapter 11 filing this morning.</p> <p>Perhaps unaware of the ramifications, Trump administration officials were quiet on the bankruptcy Wednesday. </p> <p>According to the WSJ, the U.S. Department of Energy, which has provided an $8 billion loan guarantee for the Georgia reactors, said it was in discussions with various companies. “We are keenly interested in the bankruptcy proceedings and what they mean for taxpayers and the nation,” said Lindsey Geisler, an agency spokeswoman. </p> <p>Ironically, based on a new Westinghouse design, the reactors, the first to be constructed in the U.S. in nearly four decades, were supposed to be an answer to cost overruns and delays that have dogged the nuclear power industry. We say ironically, because it is cost overruns and delays that eventually led to the company's bankruptcy.&nbsp; Worse, these plants are already years behind schedule in addition to causing huge losses for Toshiba.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Toshiba said it expected to lose about $9 billion in the fiscal year ending March 31, largely because it guaranteed nearly $6 billion in Westinghouse’s obligations to Southern and Scana Corp.—the company for which Westinghouse is building the other two reactors in South Carolina. </p> </blockquote> <p>What happens next is unclear. After the bankruptcy filing, Southern and Scana have said they would finance continued construction of the reactors for 30 days, <strong>but weren’t clear where construction funding would come from after that time. </strong>Scana also said, for the first time, that it would consider abandoning the two reactors underway if costs changed dramatically.</p> <p>More problematic are the potential political implications: Southern's CEO has made it clear he intends to escalate this to the level of an international conflict if he must. Fanning, who said he has spoken to Vice President Mike Pence, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Energy Secretary Rick Perry about the importance of completing the reactors, argued that more was at stake economically than the direct future of the facilities. </p> <p><strong>“Westinghouse declaring bankruptcy has national security implications,” </strong>said Mr. Fanning, who also happens to be chair of the board of the Atlanta Fed.</p> <p>Fanning said the estimated cost of the entire project was roughly $16 billion, but cautioned that the companies were unsure of how much more was needed to finish the partially built reactors. The current target dates for completion of the Georgia reactors are 2019 and 2020, three years behind the original schedule.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Richard Nephew, a fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, said Mr. Fanning appeared to be using the Trump administration’s reputation for defending U.S. jobs and taking a tough stance even with allies, to his advantage. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“This is someone who knows what the triggers are for this administration,” Mr. Nephew said. “Everyone now has a sense of what the president’s triggers are and I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of companies use those triggers to gain an advantage in negotiations with foreign companies.”</p> </blockquote> <p>Another problem is the overall viability of nuclear energy.&nbsp; Toshiba casting away Westinghouse is merely the latest indication of an industry in turmoil, demonstrated recently by Siemens' decision to abandon the industry, Areva SA’s financial and safety problems, the falling market value of China General Nuclear Power Group and the junk-bond status of Russia’s Atomenergoprom.</p> <p>“I don’t see how this can mean anything but even greater cost growth for the plants under construction and an unacceptable risk for any that are under consideration,” said Fred Beach, assistant director of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the biggest threat from the bankruptcy is fallout in the already tense diplomatic relations between the US and Japan.</p> <p>A Japanese government official said the U.S. had not raised Mr. Fanning’s complaints with the Abe administration and that there had been no request for help to keep the projects alive. “This is a private company’s business and operation,” the person said.</p> <p>It will hardly remain that way, and it remains to be seen what will happen if and when Trump demands that Japan make whole the US companies that were cheat by Toshiba's decision.</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="1242" height="810" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/westinghouse%20GA.jpg?1490839652" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/westinghouse-bankruptcy-puts-fate-four-us-nuclear-reactors-limbo#comments Abe administration Areva Atlanta Fed Business Business Center on Global Energy Policy China Columbia University default Department Of Energy Donald Trump Economy Energy Institute Japan Japanese government Japan’s government Manufacturing Mitsui national security Nuclear Power Nuclear power Nuclear power in the United States South Carolina southeastern U.S. Toshiba Trump Administration U.S. Department of Energy University of Texas at Austin Vogtle Electric Generating Plant Vogtle Unit Westinghouse Electric Company Wilbur Ross Thu, 30 Mar 2017 02:08:12 +0000 Tyler Durden 592023 at http://www.zerohedge.com Foreign Investors Are Dumping Japanese Bonds & Stocks At Almost Record Pace http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/foreign-investors-are-dumping-japanese-bonds-stocks-almost-record-pace <p>Foreigners selling Japanese assets has become very seasonal as <strong>liquidity needs appear critical at quarter-ends</strong> for much of the last three years. </p> <p>Last week - as Q1 ends - Foreigners sold 1.923 trillion Yen in Japanese bonds and 754 billion Yen in Japanese stocks. <strong>That was the second largest dump of Japanese assets in history</strong>...</p> <p>This is also the <strong>biggest Q1 plunge ever</strong> - worse than in 2008.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20170329_japan.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20170329_japan_0.jpg" width="600" height="316" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The size of this combined selling of Japanese bonds and stocks at $24 billion in one week, was <strong>only bettered by the Q3 2016-end</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="967" height="510" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170329_japan.jpg?1490838645" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/foreign-investors-are-dumping-japanese-bonds-stocks-almost-record-pace#comments Bond Business Economy Finance Financial markets Human Interest Japan Japanese yen Market liquidity Money Stock market crashes Yen Thu, 30 Mar 2017 01:52:20 +0000 Tyler Durden 592022 at http://www.zerohedge.com The Political Parties Are An Illusion Designed To "Relegate The Governed To The Level Of Cattle" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/political-parties-are-illusion-designed-relegate-governed-level-cattle <p><a href="http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/the-political-parties-are-an-illusion-designed-to-relegate-the-governed-to-a-position-barely-above-that-of-cattle_03282017"><em>Authored by Jeremiah Johnson (nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces) vis SHTFplan.com</em></a>,</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_pols.jpg"><img height="256" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/28/20161101_pols.jpg" width="554" /></a></p> <p>As I wrote in several previous articles:</p> <ol> <li>The President cannot be completely assessed for effectiveness until the first 6 months have passed in this term,</li> </ol> <ol> <li>He needs to attain success within the first year (and optimally within the first six months) as the midterm election campaigning will begin for both houses of Congress in November. The President needs solid victories and a concrete direction for the administration to ensure no flip-flops and a loss of control of the Congress, and</li> </ol> <ol> <li>He must overcome the <em>true</em> masters of this country, as both political parties are an illusion with the paradigm shift well under way to loss of Constitutional freedoms and the &ldquo;crafting&rdquo; of transition to global governance with abrogation of national sovereignty and identity for Americans.</li> </ol> <p>Over the course of the past week and the attempt to rid the United States of the abomination of Obamacare, the <em>true</em> nature of the state of things&hellip;the stance of our government&hellip;has <em>revealed</em> itself.&nbsp; Here is how they have done it:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>When Obama was in power, the Congress stamped their feet and yelled with &ldquo;faux&rdquo; frustration: powerless to reverse Obamacare.&nbsp; Now Obama is gone and President Trump is in, and it is Congress&hellip;the <em>Republican</em>-controlled Congress, mind you&hellip;that will not get rid of Obamacare.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Citizens, let the investigations begin!&nbsp; How many of these globalist lackeys, these pseudo-Republicans in Congress are on the payroll to vote to keep Obamacare against the will of their constituents?&nbsp; Just in the manner of John Roberts of the Supreme Court: either paid or threatened to cast his vote.&nbsp; Scan the accounts, check the deposits, and follow the money.&nbsp; <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Always</span> follow the money!&nbsp; Who has been paid?&nbsp; They can be found and the money can be traced to the paymaster(s), to the globalist oligarchs and/or their institution/LLC/NPO/NGO, etc.&nbsp; I call all of it &ldquo;Seesaw Tyranny,&rdquo; the method they are using to push the paradigm shift.</p> <p>&ldquo;<span style="text-decoration: underline;">Seesaw Tyranny&rdquo;</span>: When 1/3 or 2/3 of the three &ldquo;checks and balances&rdquo; branches (President, Congress, or the Supreme Court) takes the blame for heinous laws or a failure to repeal them, and the remainder hops up and down, feigning indignation and pretending to be against what has happened&hellip;the subversion of representing the true will of the people.</p> <p>That is what we have here, folks.&nbsp; Start the investigations.&nbsp; This is a Republican-controlled House of Representatives, and a Republican-controlled Senate.&nbsp; The leaders of each have feigned indignation and incredulity&hellip;but they were also ones who took a firm stance before the Presidential election not to repeal Obamacare, but to repeal and <em>replace</em> Obamacare. They are Ryan and McConnell.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s time to function in the manner of &ldquo;Madame Defarge,&rdquo; and knit ourselves the lists of those Republicans who are against repealing Obamacare.&nbsp; Then let the investigations begin, and start them out by following the money.</p> <p>What is at stake here is that the government must&hellip;<strong><em>must</em></strong>&hellip;have a foothold to carry out intrusive acts in our lives.&nbsp; The vehicle is the requirement by law to have health care coverage.&nbsp; For more than 100 years, healthcare coverage required by law was the goal, and they will not&hellip;<strong><em>absolutely not</em></strong>&hellip;relinquish that control now that they have it!&nbsp; They <em>must</em> have the ability to <em>demand</em> that we have it in order to control our money, our occupations, our children, and our lives!</p> <p><strong>Remember: Those bastards exempted <span style="text-decoration: underline;">themselves</span> from the requirement to have it.</strong></p> <p>If this is not repealed, it will sit and fester.&nbsp; The <strong>end goal</strong> is right out of Cloward and Piven&hellip;<strong>to use the existing system to collapse the society&hellip;</strong>and Obamacare is the vehicle.&nbsp; This is the vehicle to crush the middle class and saddle them with the burden of the poor&hellip;the &ldquo;patsies&rdquo; lured into supporting the Marxists with bread (EBT cards and food stamps) and circuses (free cell phones, free everything).&nbsp; The middle class collapses under the burden as the taxes steadily increase&hellip;<strong>and we pay for the jailers to fortify and refine the prison walls that confine us</strong>.</p> <p>These pseudo-Republicans were paid off&hellip;to maintain the existing order (in this case Obamacare).&nbsp; Meanwhile, the media and the Democrats will continue to work against everything that the President does&hellip;to stymie productive results&hellip;and the fickle populace will put the Democrats in control of Congress again&hellip;then the Democrats (Marxists) will keep pushing for the paradigm shift and eventually limit the President to one term.&nbsp; Then Obamacare will be here to stay, and worse.&nbsp; Do you think that&rsquo;s the end state?&nbsp;&nbsp; No, just the means to the end state&hellip;one as horrible as you can imagine, making &ldquo;Soylent Green&rdquo; appear tame.&nbsp; They&rsquo;ll also use our children as a weapon: a means of attaining compliance.&nbsp; Tell me where a 26-year-old is a &ldquo;kid&rdquo; and his parents obligated to keep health care coverage for him/her.&nbsp; No, it is about control.&nbsp; Dominion.&nbsp; <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Enslavement</span>.</p> <p>The future of this country is on hold right now.&nbsp; What we need is for the President to go above and beyond the call of duty to save the country.&nbsp; He must reign in these Republicans.&nbsp; He must succeed by making the changes he promised in his campaign and show successes to a population with the attention span of a gnat whose votes can be bought by handouts.&nbsp; He needs to take the gloves off, put a roll of quarters in each hand, and then put the gloves back on.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Vince Lombardi: &ldquo;Winning isn&rsquo;t everything, it&rsquo;s the <em>only</em> thing.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>We can&rsquo;t afford to lose this one, and we only have until November when the battle really becomes joined.&nbsp; Obamacare needs to be repealed and <span style="text-decoration: underline;">renounced</span>, not repealed and replaced.&nbsp; <strong>All Republicans that went against the repeal need to be investigated.</strong>&nbsp; They need to be &ldquo;repealed,&rdquo; (removed) and replaced with representatives who will vote the will of the people and <em>represent</em> the people.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s all BS anyway: we&rsquo;re going to be subjected to this &ldquo;seesawing&rdquo; of nothing being accomplished.&nbsp; The subterfuge and sabotage by the Democrats and the pseudo-Republicans will continue for a &ldquo;watered down&rdquo; brief hiatus from the last 8 years of nightmarish misery&hellip;until a return to power by the Marxists.&nbsp; Those pseudo-Republicans are the ones who will enable it.&nbsp; Picture Elizabeth Warren in four years as the President with her husband, Cass Sunstein in the White House.</p> <p>This battle against the President&rsquo;s reforms and changes with Obamacare is only the beginning.&nbsp; It is a battle on many fronts with numerous issues.&nbsp; As citizens, we need to investigate these pseudo-Republican traitors who have not carried out the wills and wishes of their constituents.&nbsp; The political parties are an illusion, but there is one thing that is <em>not</em> illusory: <strong><em>the absolute desire of government to rule without the consent of the governed and to relegate the governed to a position barely above that of cattle</em></strong>.&nbsp; The President needs to take the gloves off and throw the Marquis of Queensbury rules aside in order to win.&nbsp; We the People need to help him do it.&nbsp; If not, we&rsquo;re going to lose this country even before the next presidential election and fall into the hands of the globalists.&nbsp; Should that happen, all our freedoms will die, and so will we as a nation.&nbsp; The time to act is now, and the responsibility to act is ours.</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="554" height="256" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20161101_pols.jpg?1490814348" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/political-parties-are-illusion-designed-relegate-governed-level-cattle#comments 115th United States Congress cell phones Congress Elizabeth Warren ETC House of Representatives Internal Revenue Code Law Obamacare Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act replacement proposals Politics Presidency of Barack Obama Senate Statutory law Supreme Court United States United States Army Special Forces White House White House Thu, 30 Mar 2017 01:40:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 591994 at http://www.zerohedge.com