http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/component/option%2Ccom_docman/itemid%2C200023/gid%2C397/boombustblog/boombustblog/boombustblog/boombustblog/is-this-the-breaking-of-the-bear.html en Gold Prices Should Rise Above $1,900/oz -“Get In Now!” http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-27/gold-prices-should-rise-above-1900oz-%E2%80%9Cget-now%E2%80%9D <p>Gold prices are likely to rise above $1,900/oz in the next phase of the bull market and investors should <em>“get in now,”&nbsp;</em>Chief Market Analyst of the Lindsey Group, Peter Boockvar told CNBC’s <em>“Futures Now”</em> yesterday.</p> <p><a href="http://www.goldcore.com/us/market-data/"><img src="http://www.goldcore.com/ie/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2016/05/gold-prices.jpg?3dbb47" alt="gold prices" width="565" height="339" class="aligncenter wp-image-5863 size-full" /></a></p> <p><em>“This is just the beginning of a new bull market in the metals,”</em> Boockvar believes.</p> <p>Ultimately, Boockvar believes that the 2011 highs of around $1,900 for gold are not only reachable, but surpassable, as he reasoned that bull markets historically exceed the previous bull market peak at some point.</p> <p>As Boockvar sees it, it’s just a matter of when.</p> <p><em>“In order to be bearish on gold, you have to believe that the Fed is going to embark on 100 to 200 basis points of hikes over the next couple of years, which I think is completely unrealistic,”</em> added Boockvar. <em>“This is an ideal opportunity for those who have not gotten in.”</em></p> <p>Citing the relative strength index (RSI), Boockvar said that gold is the most oversold it has been since mid-December. He also added that global interest rates have given trillions of dollars’ worth of sovereign bonds a negative yield. Coupled with rising Fed rates, this development would theoretically provide gold investors with positive carry on gold.&nbsp;<em><br /></em></p> <p>For additional context, Boockvar highlighted the mid-2000s, when the Fed raised the Federal funds rate from 1 percent to 5 percent. During that time, gold went from $400 to $700. The analyst also cited the start of 2016, when Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda adopted negative interest rates. However, the move failed to help the nation achieve stability in its currency.</p> <p><strong>Watch Boockvar’s interview on CNBC <a href="http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000519222">here</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Recent Market Updates<br /></strong><span style="color: #444444;"><a href="http://www.goldcore.com/gold-blog/"><span style="color: #333300;">–&nbsp;Gold and Silver “Bottom Is In” – David Morgan tells Max Keiser<br />– World’s Largest Asset Manager Suggests “Perfect Time” For Gold<br />– Gold As “Extremely Low-Risk Asset” – Rogoff Advises Creditor Nations<br />– Silver – “Best Precious Metals Trade”<br /> – Bank Bail-Ins Pose Risks To Depositors, Investors &amp; Economies<br />– Take Delivery of Gold and Silver Coins, Store Gold Bars – Hobbs</span><br /><span style="color: #333300;">– George Soros Buying Gold ETF And Gold Shares In Q1</span></a></span></p> <p><strong>Gold and Silver News<br /></strong>Gold edges up, but stays near 7-wk low on Fed rate hike outlook – Reuters<br /> Gold Snaps Six-Day Losing Streak as Rally in the Dollar Pauses – Bloomberg<br /> Oil prices top $50, Asian shares struggle as China sags – Reuters<br /> Pound Could Lose Its Reserve Currency Status on Brexit, S&amp;P Warns – Bloomberg<br /> Brexit Could Force UK to Extend Austerity by Two Years – Bloomberg</p> <p>Greece’s “breakthrough” agreement is another “extend and pretend” – Telegraph<br /> Why Strategas’ Chris Verrone Wants to Buy Gold (Video) – Bloomberg<br /> Global Monetary System Has Devalued 47% Over The Last 10 Years – Zero Hedge<br /> The Billionaires Are Wrong On Gold – Barisheff via Seeking Alpha<br /> Dominick Frisby interviews James Rickards – Frisby’s Bulls &amp; Bears<br /><strong><a href="http://news.goldcore.com/gold-and-silver-prices-and-news-40/">Read More Here</a></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.goldcore.com">www.GoldCore.com</a></strong></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-27/gold-prices-should-rise-above-1900oz-%E2%80%9Cget-now%E2%80%9D#comments Bank of Japan China George Soros Japan Peter Boockvar Precious Metals Reserve Currency Reuters Fri, 27 May 2016 09:48:12 +0000 GoldCore 562049 at http://www.zerohedge.com First Photos Of US Soldiers In Syria Released http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-26/first-photos-us-soldiers-syria-released <p>Following the<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-03/when-boot-ground-not-boot-ground"> propagandist double-speak </a>gushing forth from the Obama administration <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-27/george-orwells-ghost-laughing-obamas-no-boots-ground-doublespeak">over when a &quot;boot on the ground&quot; in Syria is a &quot;boot on the ground,&quot;</a> the following photographs via Agence France-Presse<strong> confirm US special operation forces in a rural village 40 miles from Raqqa</strong>.<a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/26/us-military-photos-syria-soldiers-fighting-isis?CMP=twt_gu"> As The Guardian reports, </a>the Pentagon press secretary, resisted commenting on the photographs and would only describe the US special operations forces&rsquo; mission in generic terms, despite the fact that <strong>these troops are at the frontline of fighting when President Obama assured America that forces are consistently behind the forward lines</strong>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-27/george-orwells-ghost-laughing-obamas-no-boots-ground-doublespeak">In April,</a> State Department spokesman John Kirby attempted to change the narrative in a stumbling proposterous way denying President Obama had ever said &quot;no boots on the ground&quot; in Syria...</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/loJ_gtF6XxM" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>And here&rsquo;s the relevant <a href="http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2016/04/256566.htm#SYRIA">transcript</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&ldquo;Kirby: there was never this &ndash; there was never this, &ldquo;No boots on the ground.&rdquo; I don&rsquo;t know where this keeps coming from.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Question<strong>:</strong> But yes there &ndash; well, yes, yes, there was.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Kirby: There was no &ndash; there was &ndash; no there wasn&rsquo;t. There was &ndash;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Question:</em><strong><em> </em></strong><em>More than &ndash;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Question: What?</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Kirby: We&rsquo;re not going to be involved in a large-scale combat mission on the ground. That is what the President has long said.&rdquo;</em></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>To anyone who has been following this, Kirby&rsquo;s argument is patently absurd. </strong>The President told the <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-36121135">BBC less than twenty-four hours previously</a> that there would be &ldquo;no boots on the ground&rdquo; &ndash; and then his administration announced that 250 more booted US soldiers would be treading Syrian ground. Not only that, but prior to the summer of last year,<strong> the President assured the American people there&rsquo;d be no &ldquo;boots on the ground&rdquo; <em>a total of <a href="http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2016/04/256566.htm#SYRIA">sixteen times</a>.</em></strong></p> <p>As George Orwell dramatized in <em><a href="http://www.mondopolitico.com/library/1984/1984.htm">Nineteen Eighty-Four</a></em>, and also in <a href="https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm">this memorable essay</a>, <strong>the degeneration of language into an instrument of concealment is one of the hallmarks of the modern age</strong>. In the novel, there is a vast apparatus concerned solely with erasing the past in order to justify the actions of the present: the Obama administration doesn&rsquo;t have the power to do that, and yet thinks it can achieve the same ends by <strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">simply denying what everyone knows to be true</span></strong>, as shown by Kirby&rsquo;s surreal exchange with reporters.</p> <p>And now<a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/26/us-military-photos-syria-soldiers-fighting-isis?CMP=twt_gu">, as The Guardian reports,</a> <strong>we have proof that not only was Kirby lying about the president&#39;s words, but the boots on the ground are far closer to the frontlines than Obama had ever admitted to the American public</strong>...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Elite US military forces have been photographed for the first time in Syria </strong>as they join largely Kurdish forces on an advance toward, Raqqa, the Islamic State terror group&rsquo;s capital.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/05/24/20160526_oorah1.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/05/24/20160526_oorah1_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 360px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A photographer with Agence France-Presse captured US special operations forces with Kurdish forces known as the YPG, part of the US-mentored Syrian Democratic Forces, in a rural village less than 40 miles from Raqqa. Some US troops wear the insignia of the YPG in an apparent show of support.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Peter Cook, the Pentagon press secretary, resisted commenting on the photographs and would only describe the US special operations forces&rsquo; mission in generic terms</strong>... More lies....</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Barack Obama announced last month that he would increase US special operations forces in Syria to 300, for what <u><strong>the Pentagon has consistently described as merely an advisory mission. AFP described the troops as &ldquo;near the frontline&rdquo; north of Raqqa, despite the Pentagon&rsquo;s frequent claims that the forces are consistently behind the forward lines.</strong></u></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/05/24/20160526_oorah2.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/05/24/20160526_oorah2_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 359px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Cook denied any mission creep</strong> had occurred, saying the &ldquo;advise-and-assist role has not changed&rdquo;, and that the elite forces, the only ones thus far acknowledged in Syria, conduct &ldquo;meetings&rdquo; with indigenous forces &ldquo;that are taking the fight to Isil&rdquo;, another term for Isis.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/05/24/20160526_oorah3.jpg"><img height="358" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/05/24/20160526_oorah3_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;They are not on the forward line. They are providing advice and assistance,&rdquo;</strong> Cook said.</p> </blockquote> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>So once again - do we believe a photographer&#39;s images and knowledge of the region or an Obama administration spokesman?</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="1442" height="864" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160526_oorah1.jpg?1464314181" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-26/first-photos-us-soldiers-syria-released#comments Barack Obama George Orwell Obama Administration President Obama Fri, 27 May 2016 09:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 562028 at http://www.zerohedge.com It's Over: Even MSNBC Turns On Hillary - "Stop Lying, Stop Digging" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-26/game-over-even-msnbc-turns-hillary-stop-lying-stop-digging <p>To say that Hillary did not react properly to the damning State Department Inspector General report which yesterday found that she broke numerous government rules by setting up her own email server, would be a gruesome understatement. </p> <p>As a reminder, Hillary's kneejerk response was to plead ignorance and <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-25/hillary-responds-damaging-state-department-report">claim that she was merely doing what her predecessors </a>had done before, a claim that was promptly refuted, which was followed by her spokesman Brian Fallon appearing on CNN and<strong> saying that the Obama appointed IG <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-25/hillary-accuses-state-department-report-having-anti-clinton-bias">had an "Anti-Clinton" bias</a> by releasing the report.</strong></p> <p>Things however turned decidedly worse for Hillary when even the rabidly pro-Clinton channel MSNBC decided to tear Hillary apart for what is now an insurmountable mountain of lies. </p> <p>It took place early today when MSNBC host Joe Scarborough slammed Hillary Clinton, <strong>calling on the Democratic presidential front-runner to "stop lying" about her personal email account.</strong></p> <p><strong>"It’s pretty remarkable,"</strong> he said on "Morning Joe" of Clinton’s response to a watchdog report that found Clinton and her top aides did not comply with policy while she served as secretary of State as <a href="http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/281344-joe-scarborough-to-clinton-stop-lying">cited by The Hill</a>. "I don’t understand why you put out a statement like that,” Scarborough added. "<strong>Stop lying, stop digging</strong>."</p> <p>Instead she should have said "I screwed up. I’m terribly sorry" according to the MSNBC anchor which he offered as alternate responses. "'I hope the American people will forgive me and I hope they will let us move on to the issues that matter.'" </p> <p>Scarborough continued his take down on Thursday saying that the issue remains a major concern for her campaign. "The biggest concern is security," he said. "A lot of people act like, ‘ooh, there’s much ado about nothing here."</p> <p>"<strong>Well, actually, there was a lot of classified documents, a lot of classified materials going through this server</strong>. The great fear all along [was] that a home-brewed server in Chappaqua, N.Y., was going to be broken into."</p> <p>And then there is the "Guccifer" wildcard. Recall that as <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-24/hacker-who-got-inside-hillary-clintons-server-said-cooperate-fully-ongoing-email-inv">we reported previously</a>, the extradited Romanian hacker Marcel Lazar who allegedly hacked into Hillary's server just pled guilty and has promised to fully comply with the ongoing investigation. He has previously claimed that he had access to the former Secretary of State's "completely unsecured" server. "It was like an open orchid on the Internet," Lazar told NBC News. "There were hundreds of folders." </p> <p>If he provides the evidence that he has done just that, and we are confident that is precisely why he was so eager to plea with the Feds, Hillary's troubles are about to skyrocket. </p> <p>Full clip below:</p> <p><iframe src="http://player.theplatform.com/p/7wvmTC/MSNBCEmbeddedOffSite?guid=n_mj_toptalk1_160526" width="645" height="363" scrolling="no"></iframe></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="610" height="460" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/msnbc%20hillary.jpg?1464291782" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-26/game-over-even-msnbc-turns-hillary-stop-lying-stop-digging#comments MSNBC NBC Fri, 27 May 2016 08:45:36 +0000 Tyler Durden 561990 at http://www.zerohedge.com And Another Week Of Selling: "In 2016, Equity Funds Have Lost The Largest Ever Outflow For The Asset Class" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-26/and-another-week-selling-2016-equity-funds-have-lost-largest-ever-outflow-asset-clas <p>For many weeks in a row now we have been asking, mostly jokingly, how with everyone else (both retail and "smart money") selling, and with stock buybacks sharply lower in recent months, is the market higher. Specifically, who is buying? </p> <p>This question is no longer a joke. After this week's 17th consecutive outflow by "smart money" funds (mostly on the back of surging hedge fund redemption), moments ago we got the latest Lipper fund flow data. It was, as BofA put it, "<strong>unambiguous risk-off weekly flows</strong>."</p> <p>As BofA also put it: "<strong>Equities continued to experience outflows and lost $3.32bn (-0.1%) last week, their 4th consecutive decline. Year-to-date, equity funds have lost $58.6bn (-0.6%), the largest ever dollar outflow in any 22 week period for the asset class</strong>"</p> <p>And yet, despite record retail outflows, despite record smart money selling, despite slowing buybacks, the S&amp;P is not only higher on the year, but just shy off all time highs. At this rate the central banks will really need to reassess their strategy before they lose what little credibility they have left.</p> <p><em>Here are the fund flow details from BofA's Michael Contopoulos:</em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Equities continued to experience outflows and lost $3.32bn (-0.1%) last week, their 4th consecutive decline</strong>. <strong>Year-to-date, equity funds have lost $58.6bn (-0.6%), the largest ever dollar outflow in any 22 week period for the asset class</strong>. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/05/13/equities%20bofa.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/05/13/equities%20bofa_0.jpg" width="600" height="396" /></a><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Global high yield saw a 4th consecutive week of outflows, led by non-US HY’s $2.2bn (-0.9%) outpour and partially offset by a minor $131mn (+0.1%) </strong>inflow into US domiciled high yield funds. The divergence is likely a result of US HY’s outperformance since the February 11th lows, outpacing its European counterpart by 6.5% over the 3.5 month span. <strong>Also a contributing factor is the ECB announcement of its Corporate Sector Purchase Program, which has caused European investors to pull money out of EU high yield and invest in ECB-eligible high grade corporates</strong>. Within the US, ETFs led the inflows (+$180mn, +0.5%) compared to a $49mn outflow (-0.0%) from non-ETFs.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/05/13/HY%20bofa.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/05/13/HY%20bofa_0.jpg" width="600" height="407" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Meanwhile, loans gained $94mn (+0.1%) in net inflows, driven by the greater odds of a summer rate hike. Investment grade corporates continued to benefit from sizeable inflows, gaining $1.29bn (+0.1%) last week for the 14th straight inflow. Other asset classes we track reporting flows last week include EM Debt (-$324mn, -0.1%), munis (+$1.23bn, +0.3%), money markets (+$7.41bn, +0.3%), and commodities (-$271mn, -0.3%). As a whole, fixed income funds recorded a $2.53bn inflow, or +0.1% of AUM</p> </blockquote> <p>And the global flow details from Michael Hartnett</p> <ul> <li><strong>Equities: $9.2bn outflows (7 straight weeks) (note $11.1bn mutual fund outflows partially offset by $1.9bn ETF inflows)</strong></li> <li><strong>Bonds: </strong>$2.6bn inflows (inflows in 12 of past 13 weeks)</li> <li><strong>Precious metals: </strong>tiny $32mn outflows (only the second week of outflows in 20 weeks)</li> <li><strong>Money-markets: </strong>$12.2bn inflows</li> </ul> <p><strong>Fixed Income Flows (Chart 2)</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>First inflows to Govt/Tsy funds in 14 weeks ($0.6bn)</strong></li> <li><strong>Largest outflows from HY bond funds in 15 weeks ($2.1bn)</strong></li> <li><strong>Largest outflows from EM debt funds in 14 weeks ($0.3bn)</strong></li> <li>$2.5bn inflows to IG bond funds (12 straight weeks)</li> <li>$1.2bn inflows to Munis (36 straight weeks)</li> <li>Inflows to TIPS funds in 14 of past 15 weeks ($0.3bn)</li> </ul> <p><strong>Equity Flows (Table 2)</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Japan: </strong>$0.9bn outflows (first outflows in 3 weeks)</li> <li><strong>Europe: </strong>$3.3bn outflows (16 straight weeks)</li> <li><strong>EM: </strong>$2.0bn outflows (4 straight weeks)</li> <li><strong>US: </strong>$1.1bn outflows (outflows in 6 of past 7 weeks)</li> <li><strong>By sector, </strong>first outflows from REITs in 14 weeks ($0.2bn); largest financials inflows in</li> <li><strong>5 months </strong>($0.5bn); 6 straight weeks of tech outflows ($0.4bn)</li> </ul> <p><strong>To summarize</strong>: everything except ETFs was sold in the past week; while global equity outflows in 2016 are now at a record high $105 billion for the 22 week period.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/05/13/flow%20table%20bofa.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/05/13/flow%20table%20bofa_0.jpg" width="600" height="426" /></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="636" height="420" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/equities%20bofa.jpg?1464312480" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-26/and-another-week-selling-2016-equity-funds-have-lost-largest-ever-outflow-asset-clas#comments Bond Central Banks fixed High Yield Investment Grade Japan Precious Metals REITs Smart Money Fri, 27 May 2016 08:42:53 +0000 Tyler Durden 562023 at http://www.zerohedge.com Guest Post: Has The Pope Abandoned Europe To Islam? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-26/guest-post-has-pope-abandoned-europe-islam <p><a href="http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/8045/pope-francis-islam"><em>Submitted by Giulio Meotti via The Gatestone Institute,</em></a></p> <div> <ul class="content_preface_bullets"> <li> <p>In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI said what no Pope had ever dared to say -- that<strong> there is a link between violence and Islam.</strong> Ten years later, Pope Francis never calls those responsible for anti-Christian violence by name and never mentions the word &quot;Islam.&quot;</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Pope Francis does not even try to re-evangelize or reconquer Europe.</strong> He seems deeply to believe that the future of Christianity is in the Philippines, in Brazil and in Africa. Probably for the same reason, the Pope is spending less time and effort in denouncing the terrible fate of Christians in the Middle East.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>&quot;Multiculturalism&quot; in Europe is the mosque standing on the ruins of the church. </strong>It is not the synthesis requested by Pope Francis. It is the road to becoming extinct.</p> </li> <li> <p>Asking Europe to be &quot;multicultural&quot; while it experiences a dramatic de-Christianization is extremely risky. In Germany, a new report found that &quot;Germany has become demographically a multi-religious country.&quot;<strong> In the UK, a major inquiry recently declared that &quot;Britain is no longer a Christian country.&quot; In France, Islam is also overtaking Christianity as the dominant religion.</strong></p> </li> </ul> </div> <p>To scroll the list of Pope Francis&#39;s apostolic trips -- Brazil, South Korea, Albania, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Ecuador, Cuba, United States, Mexico, Kenya, Uganda, Philippines -- one could say that <strong>Europe is not exactly at the top of his agenda.</strong></p> <p>The two previous pontiffs both fought for the cradle of Christendom. Pope John Paul II took on Communism by toppling the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain. Benedict XVI took on &quot;<a href="http://www.vatican.va/gpII/documents/homily-pro-eligendo-pontifice_20050418_en.html" target="_blank">the dictatorship of relativism</a>&quot; (the belief that truth is in the eye of the beholder) and bet everything on re-evangelizing the continent by traveling through it (he visited Spain three times) and in speeches such as the magnificent ones at Regensburg, where he spoke bluntly about the threat of Islam, and the German Bundestag, where <a href="http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/mission-clarity-pope-benedict-s-blunt-new-world-a-788054.html" target="_blank">he warned</a> the gathered politicians against declining religiosity and &quot;sacrificing their own ideals for the sake of power.&quot;</p> <p><strong>Pope Francis, on the contrary, simply ignores Europe, as if he already considers it lost.</strong> This former Argentinian Cardinal, a representative of the &quot;global South&quot; Christianity, made spectacular trips to the migrants&#39; islands of <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-23224010" target="_blank">Lampedusa</a> (Italy) and <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/16/pope-francis-flies-to-lesbos-to-highlight-humanitarian-crisis-in-europe" target="_blank">Lesbos</a> (Greece), but never to the heart of the old continent. Pope Francis has also made it difficult for <a href="http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1350982?eng=y" target="_blank">Anglicans</a> to enter into the Catholic Church, by downplaying the dialogue with them.</p> <p>Most importantly, however, in his important May 6 speech for the Charlemagne Prize, the Pope, in front of European leaders, <strong>castigated Europe on migrants and asked its leaders to be more generous with them.</strong> He next introduced something revolutionary into the debate: <strong>&quot;The identity of Europe is, and always has been, a <a href="http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2016/may/documents/papa-francesco_20160506_premio-carlo-magno.html" target="_blank">multicultural</a> identity,&quot; he said. This idea is questionable.</strong></p> <p><u><strong>Multiculturalism is a specific policy formulated in the 1970s.</strong></u> and it was absent from the political vocabulary of Schuman and Adenauer, two of Europe&#39;s founding fathers. Now it has been invoked by the Pope, who spoke of the need for a new synthesis. What is this all about?</p> <p><strong>Today, Christianity appears marginal and irrelevant in Europe. </strong><em>The religion faces an Islamic demographic and ideological challenge, while the post-Auschwitz remnants of Jewish communities are fleeing from the new anti-Semitism. Under these conditions, a synthesis between the old continent and Islam would be a surrender of Europe&#39;s claim to the future.</em></p> <p><strong>&quot;Multiculturalism&quot; is the mosque standing on the ruins of the church. It is not the synthesis requested by the Pope. It is the road to becoming extinct.</strong></p> <p><u><strong>Asking Europe to be &quot;multicultural&quot; while it is experiencing a dramatic de-Christianization is also extremely risky. </strong></u>In <a href="http://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article154769649/Islam-etabliert-sich-als-grosse-Religion-in-Deutschland.html?wtrid=socialmedia.socialflow....socialflow_twitter" target="_blank">Germany</a>, a new report just found that &quot;Germany has become demographically a multi-religious country.&quot; In the <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/12036287/Britain-is-no-longer-a-Christian-country-and-should-stop-acting-as-if-it-is-says-judge.html" target="_blank">UK</a>, a major inquiry recently declared that &quot;Britain is no longer a Christian country.&quot; In <a href="http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3426/islam-overtaking-catholicism-france" target="_blank">France</a>, Islam is also overtaking Christianity as the dominant religion. You find the same trend everywhere, from Protestant Scandinavia to Catholic Belgium. That is why Pope Benedict was convinced that Europe needed to &quot;<a href="http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2011/sep/27/pope-recapture-europe-catholic" target="_blank">re-evangelized</a>.&quot; Pope Francis does not even try to re-evangelize or reconquer Europe. Instead, he seems deeply to believe that the future of Christianity is in the Philippines, Brazil and Africa.</p> <p>Probably for the same reason, the Pope is spending less time denouncing the terrible fate of Christians in the Middle East. <a href="http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1350927?eng=y" target="_blank">Sandro Magister</a>, Italy&#39;s most important Vatican observer, sheds light on the Pope&#39;s silences:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;He remained silent on the hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram. He remained silent on the young Sudanese mother Meriam, sentenced to death solely for being Christian and finally liberated by the intervention of others. He remains silent on the Pakistani mother Asia Bibi, who has been on death row for five years, because she too is an &#39;infidel&#39;, and [He] does not even reply to the two heartrending letters she has written to him this year, before and after the reconfirmation of the sentence.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI, in his <a href="http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/speeches/2006/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20060912_university-regensburg.html" target="_blank">Regensburg lecture</a>, said what no Pope had ever dared to say -- that there is a link between violence and Islam. Ten years later, Pope Francis never calls those responsible for anti-Christian violence by name, and never mentions the word &quot;Islam.&quot; </strong>Pope Francis also recently recognized the &quot;<a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-32727421" target="_blank">State of Palestine</a>,&quot; before it even exists -- a symbolic and unprecedented first. The Pope also might abandon the Church&#39;s long tradition of a &quot;<a href="http://theweek.com/articles/619107/pope-francis-dump-just-war-doctrine" target="_blank">just war</a>,&quot; one regarded as morally or theologically justifiable. Pope Francis always speaks of the &quot;Europe of peoples,&quot; but never of the &quot;Europe of Nations.&quot; <strong>He advocates welcoming migrants and washes their feet, while he ignores that these uncontrolled demographic waves are transforming Europe, bit by bit, into an Islamic state.</strong></p> <table align="center" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="margin-bottom: 5px; max-width: 600px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="max-width: 600px; border: 1px solid black;"><img border="0" height="392" src="http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/pics/1624.jpg" width="600" /><br /> <p style="font-size: 82%; margin: 4px 6px;">In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI (left) said what no Pope had ever dared to say -- that there is a link between violence and Islam. Ten years later, Pope Francis (right) never calls those responsible for anti-Christian violence by name and never mentions the word &quot;Islam.&quot; (Image source: Benedict: Flickr/Catholic Church of England | Francis: Wikimedia Commons/korea.net)</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>That is the meaning of Pope Francis&#39; trips to the islands of Lampedusa, Italy, and Lesbos, Greece -- both symbols of a dramatic geographical and civilizational boundary. That is also the meaning of the Pope&#39;s speech for the Charlemagne Prize.</p> <p><u><em><strong>Has the head of Christianity given up on Europe as a Christian place?</strong></em></u></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="572" height="304" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160526_pope.jpg?1464310768" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-26/guest-post-has-pope-abandoned-europe-islam#comments Belgium Brazil France Germany Greece Guest Post Italy Mexico Middle East Turkey Fri, 27 May 2016 08:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 562022 at http://www.zerohedge.com How Bad Are The US Computer Systems? An 8'' Floppy Disc Houses Nuclear Coordinate Data http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-26/how-bad-are-us-computer-systems-8-floppy-disc-houses-nuclear-coordinate-data <p>If you thought that $80 billion a year would be a sufficient enough budget for the US government to systematically upgrade its computer systems, <u><strong>think again.</strong></u></p> <p>In a report released by nonpartisan congressional investigators found that <strong>about $60 billion of the government&#39;s $80 billion IT budget goes straight to maintenance just to keep the aging technology running, not to modernization</strong> according to <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/govt-report-feds-spend-billions-run-ancient-technology-39357709">ABC News</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/05/26/20160526_floppy_0.JPG"><img height="392" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/05/26/20160526_floppy_0.JPG" width="600" /></a></p> <p>To make matters worse, the government is expected to spend $7 billion less in 2017. In addition to <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-14/government-breaks-through-deficit-reduction-will-lower-social-security-payments">screwing people out of their social security payments</a>, we can now add jeopardizing critical IT systems to the list of &#39;out of the box&#39; cost cutting measures that the US government has come up with. Then again, money must be freed up in order to fund such toys such as <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-17/introducing-uss-zumwalt-us-navys-new-44-billion-ship">$4.4 billion destroyers</a>.</p> <p>GAO information technology expert David Powner sums up the situation quite nicely, telling a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee at a hearing that &quot;clearly, there are billions wasted.&quot;</p> <p>Forget billions being wasted for a moment, how about the disturbing fact that The Defense Department&#39;s Strategic Automated Command and Control System, <strong>the control system used to coordinate the operational functions of the United States nuclear forces, runs on a 1970s IBM computing platform and uses 8&#39;&#39; floppy discs to store data. </strong></p> <p>That&#39;s not all, the list <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/govt-report-feds-spend-billions-run-ancient-technology-39357709">continues</a>...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>Treasury&#39;s individual and business master files</strong>, the authoritative data sources for taxpayer information. <span style="text-decoration: underline;">The systems are about 56 years old and use an outdated computer language that is difficult to write and maintain</span>. Treasury plans to replace the systems but has no firm dates.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>Social Security systems that are used to determine eligibility and estimate benefits</strong>, <span style="text-decoration: underline;">about 31 years old</span>. Some use a programming language called COBOL, dating to the late 1950s and early 1960s. &quot;Most of the employees who developed these systems are ready to retire and the agency will lose their collective knowledge,&quot; the report said. &quot;Training new employees to maintain the older systems takes a lot of time.&quot; Social Security has no plans to replace the entire system but is eliminating and upgrading older and costlier components. It is also rehiring retirees who know the technology.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>Medicare&#39;s Appeals System</strong>, <span style="text-decoration: underline;">which is only 11 years old, faces challenges keeping up with a growing number of appeals</span>, as well as questions from congressional offices following up on constituent concerns. The report says the agency has general plans to keep updating the system, depending on the availability of funds.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>The Transportation Department&#39;s Hazardous Materials Information System</strong>, used to track incidents and keep information regulators rely on. <span style="text-decoration: underline;">The system is about 41 years old, and vendors no longer support some of its software</span>, which can create security risks. The department plans to complete its modernization program in 2018.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Although the report concluded that legacy IT investments are becoming obsolete and have outlived their effectiveness, nothing concrete has been done about the issue outside of recent legislation creating a $3 billion revolving fund for replacing and upgrading older technology - apparently something the government can&#39;t figure out how to do with the already allotted $80 billion. To add to the insanity, it appears as though for the first time congress cares about money when it comes to this situation, with rumblings of Republicans wanting to see tangible cost savings from the upgrades.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&quot;Legacy federal IT investments are becoming obsolete,&quot; the report concluded. &quot;The federal government runs the risk of continuing to maintain investments that have outlived their effectiveness and are consuming resources that outweigh their benefits.&quot;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>The White House has been nudging agencies to identify obsolete systems for replacement, but GAO said that clearer, more specific goals and timetables are needed. A starting point could be recent legislation supported by the administration to create a revolving fund of $3 billion for replacing or upgrading older technology.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&quot;This is not a partisan issue,&quot; said committee chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who supports modernizing the government&#39;s aging systems, but has not committed to any particular legislation.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&quot;We all need to come together on this, on both sides of the aisle,&quot; added Chaffetz. &quot;It is a vital part of the infrastructure we need in order to have a fully functional government.&quot;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>But some Republicans said before they&#39;ll agree, they first want concrete evidence that new systems will save money</strong>. That could be a difficult test, since government technology projects have a mixed record.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>* * *</p> <p>This is how the government manages itself - Everyone feel safe?</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/05/26/20160526_cybersec_0.JPG"><img height="448" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/05/26/20160526_cybersec_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="587" height="424" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160526_IT.jpg?1464293710" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-26/how-bad-are-us-computer-systems-8-floppy-disc-houses-nuclear-coordinate-data#comments ABC News Medicare White House Fri, 27 May 2016 07:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 561996 at http://www.zerohedge.com The Looting Stage Of Capitalism Begins: Germany's Assault On The IMF http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-26/looting-stage-capitalism-begins-germanys-assault-imf <p><a href="http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/26/the-looting-stage-of-capitalism-germanys-assault-on-the-imf/"><em>Submitted by Paul Craig Roberts via Counterpunch.org,</em></a></p> <p>Having successfully used the EU to conquer the Greek people by turning the Greek &ldquo;leftwing&rdquo; government into a pawn of Germany&rsquo;s banks, <strong>Germany now finds the IMF in the way of its plan to loot Greece into oblivion.</strong></p> <p><strong>The IMF&rsquo;s rules prevent the organization from lending to countries that cannot repay the loan</strong>. The IMF has concluded on the basis of facts and analysis that Greece cannot repay.&nbsp; <strong>Therefore, the IMF is unwilling to lend Greece the money with which to repay the private banks.</strong></p> <p>The IMF says that Greece&rsquo;s creditors, many of whom are not creditors but simply bought up Greek debt at a cheap price in hopes of profiting, must write off some of the Greek debt in order to lower the debt to an amount that the Greek economy can service.</p> <p>The banks don&rsquo;t want Greece to be able to service its debt, because the banks intend to use Greece&rsquo;s inability to service the debt <strong>in order to loot Greece of its assets and resources </strong>and in order to roll back the social safety net put in place during the 20th century.&nbsp; <strong>Neoliberalism intends to reestablish feudalism&mdash;a few robber barons and many serfs: the One Percent and the 99 percent.</strong></p> <p>The way Germany sees it, the IMF is supposed to lend Greece the money with which to repay the private German banks.&nbsp; Then the IMF is to be repaid by forcing Greece to reduce or abolish old age pensions, reduce public services and employment, and use the revenues saved to repay the IMF.</p> <p>As these amounts will be insufficient, additional austerity measures are imposed that require Greece to sell its national assets, such as public water companies and ports and protected Greek islands to foreign investors, principallly the banks themselves or their major clients.</p> <p><strong>So far the so-called &ldquo;creditors&rdquo; have only pledged to some form of debt relief, not yet decided, beginning in 2 years.</strong>&nbsp; By then the younger part of the Greek population will have emigrated and will have been replaced by immigrants fleeing Washington&rsquo;s Middle Eastern and African wars who will have loaded up Greece&rsquo;s unfunded welfare system.</p> <p><strong>In other words, Greece is being destroyed by the EU that it so foolishly joined and trusted.&nbsp;</strong> The same thing is happening to Portugal and is also underway in Spain and Italy.&nbsp; The looting has already devoured Ireland and Latvia (and a number of Latin American countries) and is underway in Ukraine.</p> <p>The current newspaper headlines reporting an agreement being reached between the IMF and Germany about writing down the Greek debt to a level that could be serviced are false.&nbsp; No &ldquo;creditor&rdquo; has yet agreed to write off one cent of the debt.&nbsp; All that&nbsp;the IMF has been given by so-called &ldquo;creditors&rdquo; is unspecific &ldquo;pledges&rdquo; of an unspecified amount of debt writedown two years from now.</p> <p><strong>The newspaper headlines are nothing but fluff that provide cover for the IMF to succumb to presssure and violate its own rules. </strong>The cover lets the IMF say that a (future unspecified) debt writedown will enable Greece to service the remainder of its debt and, therefore, the IMF can lend Greece the money to pay the private banks.</p> <p>In other words, the IMF is now another lawless Western institution whose charter means no more than the US Constitution or the word of the US government in Washington.</p> <p><strong>The media persists in calling the looting of Greece a &ldquo;bailout.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>To call the looting of a country and its people a &ldquo;bailout&rdquo; is Orwellian</strong></span>.&nbsp; The brainwashing is so successful that even the media and politicians of looted Greece call the financial imperialism that Greece is suffering a &ldquo;bailout.&rdquo;</p> <p>Everywhere in the Western world a variety of measures, both corporate and governmental, have resulted in the stagnation of income growth. <strong>In order to continue to report profits, mega-banks and global corporations have turned to looting.&nbsp; </strong>Social Security systems and public services are targeted for privatization, and indebtedness so accurately described by John Perkins in his book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1626566747/counterpunchmaga"><em>Confessions of an Economic Hit Man</em></a>, is used to set up entire countries to be looted.</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>We have entered the looting stage of capitalism. Desolation will be the result.</strong></span></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="491" height="315" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160526_greece.jpg?1464310461" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-26/looting-stage-capitalism-begins-germanys-assault-imf#comments Creditors Germany Greece headlines Ireland Italy Latvia Newspaper Portugal Ukraine Fri, 27 May 2016 06:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 562020 at http://www.zerohedge.com This Is How Much Your Health Insurance Payment Is About To Jump By http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-26/how-much-your-health-insurance-payment-about-jump <p>It's official: years of warnings that Obamacare will lead to dramatic increases in healthcare premiums are about to be validated.</p> <p>As the <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/insurers-seek-big-premium-boosts-1464220397">WSJ writes</a>, big health plans stung by losses in the first few years of the U.S. health law’s implementation are seeking hefty premium increases for individual plans sold through insurance exchanges in more than a dozen states. </p> <p>To be sure, we have extensively covered the imminent danger of rising healthcare prices as a result of Obamacare's intrusive intervention in the insurance sector; however now that this is about to become mainstream information, we expect consumers to hunker down and save even more in anticipation of what is about to be a shock price increase for millions of middle-class American families.</p> <p>As the WSJ reports, the insurers’ proposed rates for individual coverage in states that have made their 2017 requests public largely bear out health plans’ grim predictions about their challenges under the health-care overhaul. <strong>According to the insurers’ filings with regulators, large plans in states including New York, Pennsylvania and Georgia are seeking to raise rates by 20% or more.</strong></p> <p>In states such as Florida and Maryland, insurers are seeking to raise premiums by percentage averages that are markedly above 10%. Among those that have published so far, only in Vermont do big insurers’ requests fall below 10%.&nbsp; Proposals still have to be approved by state regulators, and a full picture of final approved rates across the entire country likely won’t be known until shortly before HealthCare.gov and state equivalents reopen for the law’s fourth main enrollment window on Nov. 1. </p> <p>Nonetheless, the proposed average increases that are available are a vivid indicator this year of how insurers are adapting to the 2010 Affordable Care Act’s transformation of the way health coverage is priced and sold in the U.S.</p> <p>So for all those currently enrolled in healthcare plans administered in the following states, this is how much, on average, your plans will go up by.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/05/13/healthcare%20premiums%20WSJ.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/05/13/healthcare%20premiums%20WSJ_0.jpg" width="600" height="864" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The silver lining? Since this effective tax goes straight to "<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-10-29/and-biggest-contributor-q3-gdp-was">boosting US GDP</a>", we look forward to a year of "above trendling" GDP growth thanks to this forced reallocation of consumers' disposable income into the infamous "healthcare" category. </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="1295" height="918" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/healthcare%20premiums%20WSJ_jaggy.jpg?1464270227" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-26/how-much-your-health-insurance-payment-about-jump#comments Florida Obamacare Fri, 27 May 2016 03:27:29 +0000 Tyler Durden 561940 at http://www.zerohedge.com Beware What Washington Wishes For - Russia Is Ready For War http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-26/beware-what-washington-wishes-russia-ready-war <p><a href="https://www.rt.com/op-edge/344002-beware-russia-war-us/"><em>Authored by Pepe Escobar, Op-Ed via RT.com,</em></a></p> <div class="article__summary summary "><strong>So foreign ministers from the 28 NATO member-nations met in Brussels for a two-day summit, while mighty military power Montenegro was inducted as a new member.</strong></div> <p>Global Robocop NATO predictably discussed Afghanistan (a war NATO ignominiously lost); Iraq (a war the Pentagon ignominiously lost); Libya (a nation NATO turned into a failed state devastated by militia hell); Syria (a nation NATO, via Turkey, would love to invade, and is already a militia hell).</p> <p>Afghans must now rest assured that NATO&rsquo;s Resolute Support mission &ndash; plus <em>&ldquo;financial support for Afghan forces&rdquo;</em> &ndash; will finally assure the success of Operation Enduring Freedom forever.</p> <p><strong>Libyans must be reassured, in the words of NATO figurehead secretary Jens Stoltenberg, that we <em>&ldquo;should stand ready to support the new Government of National Accord in Libya.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p>And then there&rsquo;s the icing on the NATO cake, described as&nbsp;<em>&ldquo;measures against Russia&rdquo;.</em></p> <p>Stoltenberg <a href="http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_130923.htm">duly </a>confirmed, <em>&ldquo;We have already decided to enhance our forward presence in the eastern part of our alliance. Our military planners have put forward proposals of several battalions in different countries in the region. No decision has been taken on the numbers and locations.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>These puny <em>&ldquo;several battalions&rdquo;</em> won&rsquo;t cause any Russian planner to lose sleep. The real <em>&ldquo;measure&rdquo;</em> is the&nbsp;<a href="http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/us-presses-start-key-third-world-war/ri14413">deployment</a> of the Aegis Ashore system in Romania last week &ndash; plus a further one in Poland in 2018. This has been vehemently opposed by Moscow since the early 2000s. NATO&rsquo;s argument that the Aegis represents protection against the <em>&ldquo;threat&rdquo;</em> of ballistic missiles from Iran does not even qualify as kindergarten play.</p> <p><strong>Every Russian military planner knows the Aegis is not defensive. This is a serious game-changer &ndash; as in de-localizing US nuclear capability to Eastern Europe. No wonder Russian President Vladimir Putin had to make it clear Russia would respond <em>&ldquo;adequately&rdquo;</em> to any threat to its security.</strong></p> <p>Predictably all Cold War 2.0 hell broke loose, all over again.</p> <p><strong>A former NATO deputy commander went <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/18/%20west-russia-on-course-for-war-nato-ex-deputy-commander">ballistic</a>, while saner heads&nbsp;<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alastair-crooke/putin-west-war_b_9991162.html">wondered</a> whether Moscow, sooner rather than later, would have had enough of these shenanigans and prepare for war.</strong></p> <h2><u>That worthless Patriot</u></h2> <p>A case can be made that the Beltway &ndash; neocons and neoliberalcons alike - do not want a hot war with Russia. <strong>What they want, apart from racking in more cash for the Pentagon, is to raise the ante to such a high level that Moscow will back down - based on a rational cost analysis. </strong>Yet oil prices will inevitably rise later in 2016 &ndash; and under this scenario Washington is a loser. So we may see a raise of interest rates by the Fed (with all the money continuing to go to Wall Street) trying to reverse the scenario.</p> <p><strong>Comparisons of the current NATO buildup to pre-WWII buildups, or to NATO when opposed to the Warsaw Pact, are amateurish. </strong>The THAAD and Patriot missiles are worthless - according to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) themselves; that&rsquo;s why they tried to improve them with Iron Dome.</p> <p>Meanwhile, those new NATO army <em>&ldquo;battalions&rdquo;</em> are inconsequential. The basic thrust behind the Pentagon&rsquo;s moves under neocon Ash Carter continues to be to draw Russia ever further into Syria and Ukraine (as if Moscow actually was involved in, or wanted, a Ukrainian quagmire); trap Russia in proxy wars; and economically bleed Russia to death while crippling the bulk of oil and natural gas income to the Russian state.</p> <p><strong>Russia does not want &ndash; and does not need &ndash; war. </strong>Yet the <em>&ldquo;Russian aggression&rdquo;</em> narrative never stops. Thus it&rsquo;s always enlightening to come back to this RAND corporation <a href="http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/revealed-russian-invasion-could-overrun-nato-60-hours-15112">study</a>, which examined what would happen if a war actually took place. RAND reached an <em>&ldquo;unambiguous&rdquo;</em> conclusion after a series of war games in 2015-2015; Russia could overrun NATO in a mere 60 hours &ndash; if not less &ndash; if it ever amounted to a hot war on European soil.</p> <p><strong>The Rand Corporation is essentially a CIA outpost &ndash; thus a propaganda machine.</strong> Yet it&rsquo;s not propaganda to state the Baltic States and Ukraine would completely fall in less than three days before the Russian Army. However, the suggestion that additional NATO air power and heavily armored combat divisions would make a material difference is bogus.</p> <p><em><u><strong>The Aegis changes the game in the sense that it qualifies as a launch area for US missile defense.</strong></u></em> Think US missiles with minimum flying time &ndash; around 30 minutes &ndash; from Moscow; that&rsquo;s a certified threat to the Russian nation. The Russian military has also been <em>&ldquo;unambiguous&rdquo;</em>; if it is ascertained that NATO &ndash; via the Pentagon &ndash; is about to try something funny, there are grounds for a preventive strike by Iskander-M systems out of Transnistria &ndash; as in the destruction of the US missiles by conveniently armed precision weapons.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Moscow has pulled a stunning success &ndash; of course, it&rsquo;s far from over &ndash; in Syria. <strong>So what&rsquo;s left for the Pentagon &ndash; via NATO &ndash; is essentially to play the scare tactics card.</strong> They know Russia is prepared for war &ndash; certainly much better prepared than NATO. They know neither Putin nor the Russian military will back down because of kindergarten scaremongering. As for a too conciliatory tone by the Kremlin towards Washington, things may be about to&nbsp;<a href="http://thesaker.is/counter-propaganda-russian-style/">change</a> soon.</p> <h2><u>Say hello to my S-500</u></h2> <p><strong>The Russian military are about to&nbsp;<a href="http://rbth.com/defence/2016/04/07/enemies-will-not-be-able-to-listen-in-on-russias-new-s-500-system_582867">test</a> the first prototypes of the S-500 Prometey air and missile defense system, also known as 55R6M Triumfator M &ndash; capable of destroying ICBMs, hypersonic cruise missiles and planes at over Mach 5 speeds; and capable of detecting and simultaneously attacking up to ten ballistic missile warheads at a range of 1300 km. This means the S-500 can smash ballistic missiles before their warheads re-enter the atmosphere.</strong></p> <p>So in the case of RAND-style NATO pussyfooting, the S-500 would totally eliminate all NATO air power over the Baltic States &ndash; while the advanced Kornet missile would destroy all NATO armored vehicles. And that&rsquo;s not even&nbsp;<a href="http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/russia-makes-sure-war-will-be-hell-its-enemies-video/ri14375">considering</a> conventional weapon hell.</p> <p><strong>If push comes to nuclear shove, the S-400 and especially the S-500 anti-missile missiles would block all incoming US ICBMs, cruise missiles and stealth aircraft. Offensive drones would be blocked by drone defenses. The S-500 practically consigns to the dustbin stealth warplanes such as the F-22, F-35 and the B-2.</strong></p> <p><u><strong>The bottom line is that Russia &ndash; in terms of hypersonic missile development &ndash; is about four generations ahead of the US,</strong></u> if we measure it by the development of the S-300, S-400 and S-500 systems. As a working hypothesis, we could describe the next system &ndash; already in the drawing boards &ndash; as the S-600. It would take the US military at least ten years to develop and roll out a new weapons system, which in military terms represents a generation. Every Pentagon planner worth his pension plan should know that.</p> <p><strong>Russian &ndash; and Chinese &ndash; missiles are already able to knock out the satellite guidance systems for US nuclear tipped ICBMs and cruise missiles.</strong> They could also knock out the early alert warnings that the satellite constellations would give. A Russian hypersonic ICBM flight time, launched for instance from a Russian nuclear sub all the way to the US East Coast, counts for less than 20 minutes. So an early warning system is absolutely critical. Don&rsquo;t count on the worthless THAAD and Patriot to do their job. Once again, Russian hypersonic technology has already&nbsp;<a href="http://russia-insider.com/en/can-russia-destroy-us-missile-defenses-europe/ri14460">rendered</a> the entire missile defense system in both the US and Europe totally obsolete.</p> <p><em><strong>So why is Moscow so worried by the Pentagon placing the Aegis system so close to Russia&rsquo;s borders? A credible answer is that Moscow is always concerned that the US industrial military-complex might develop some really effective anti-missile missiles even though they are now about four generations behind.</strong></em></p> <p>At the same time, Pentagon planners have reasons to be very worried by what they know, or hint. At the same time the Russian military &ndash; in a very Asian way &ndash; never reveal their full hand. The key fact of the matter needs to be stressed over and over again; <em><u><strong>the S-500 is impenetrable - and allows Russia for the first time in history to launch a first strike nuclear attack, if it ever chooses to do so, and be immune to retaliation.</strong></u></em></p> <p>The rest is idle babbling. Still, expect the official Pentagon/NATO narrative to remain the same. After all, the industrial-military complex is a cash-devouring <a href="http://russia-insider.com/en/can-russia-destroy-us-missile-defenses-europe/ri14460">hydra</a>, and a powerful enemy is a must (the phony Daesh &ldquo;caliphate&rdquo; does not count).</p> <p><strong>The Threat Narrative rules that Russia has to meekly accept being surrounded by NATO. Russia is not allowed any response; in any case, any response will be branded as <em>&ldquo;Russian aggression&rdquo;</em></strong>. If Russia defends itself, this will be <em>&ldquo;exposed&rdquo;</em> as an unacceptable provocation. And may even furnish the pretext for a pre-emptive attack by NATO against Russia.</p> <p><strong>Now let those Pentagon/NATO planners duly go back to play in their lavish kindergarten.</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="237" height="174" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160526_russwash.jpg?1464309006" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-26/beware-what-washington-wishes-russia-ready-war#comments Afghanistan Eastern Europe Iran Iraq Natural Gas Neocons Poland Rand Corporation Romania Turkey Ukraine Vladimir Putin Fri, 27 May 2016 03:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 562016 at http://www.zerohedge.com Is There Ample Evidence To Indict Hillary? This Judge Thinks So http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-26/there-ample-evidence-indict-hillary-judge-thinks-so <p>After the latest State Department announcement that <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-25/hillary-trouble-state-department-says-clinton-did-not-comply-federal-record-policies">Hillary Clinton violated government rules</a>, Judge Andrew Napolitano definitively says there is now ample evidence to indict. Sadly, he is much less certain on whether or not the indictment will actually come.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/05/26/20160526_nap_0.JPG"><img height="328" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/05/26/20160526_nap_0.JPG" width="600" /></a></p> <p>Here is Napolitano&#39;s case as he <a href="http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2016/05/26/judge-nap-says-theres-now-ample-evidence-to-indict-clinton-over-her-email-scandal/">laid it out</a> to Bill O&#39;reilly:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&quot;Today is a big deal for a couple of reasons. <strong>First, it directly refutes a statement she has made dozens of times, &#39;it was allowed&#39;, we now know that it was not allowed. She never even asked.</strong>&quot;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&quot;She signed a two page statement under oath on her first day on the job which was given after she had a two hour tutorial by two FBI agents telling her about the proper care and legal obligations for state secrets. In that oath she swore that she had the obligation to know how to care for state secrets and to recognize them.&quot;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&quot;Here is what&#39;s new in the report today. Her server in her house went down a couple of times, and when it went down the blackberry wouldn&#39;t work. The state department IT people said &#39;here use a state department blackberry&#39;, and <strong>she said through her assistant Huma Abedin &#39;no because we are concerned with the Freedom of Information Act&#39;, so she went dark and she had documents verbally read to her rather than transmitted to her through the state department email system</strong>.&quot;</em></p> </blockquote> <p>When Bill O&#39;reilly was surprised to hear about the fact that Clinton was concerned about having documents subject to FOIA, Napolitano hammers home the the point that now the FBI has intent.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&quot;<strong>Now what does this tell the FBI? This shows intent</strong>. You don&#39;t have to prove intent when you&#39;re talking about espionage, you can prove it by gross negligence, there&#39;s ample evidence of gross negligence. But avoiding the transparency laws shows a consciousness of evading the requirements.&quot;</em></p> </blockquote> <p>On whether or not Napolitano believes, after all of the above, that Clinton will actually be indicted, the judge wasn&#39;t so sure.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&quot;I believe there&#39;s ample evidence to indict her and the <strong><u>only way she wouldn&#39;t be is if the president or the attorney general makes a political decision</u></strong>.&quot;</em></p> </blockquote> <p>And just as <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-23/fbi-may-leak-clinton-email-probe-if-doj-blocking-continues-grassley-warns">we said long ago</a>, Napolitano also believes that one way or another, the FBI will get the evidence out to the public.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&quot;<strong>Whether she&#39;s indicted or not I believe we&#39;ll learn what it is</strong>. <span style="text-decoration: underline;">I believe it&#39;ll happen before the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, that&#39;s two months.</span>&quot;</em></p> </blockquote> <p>* * *</p> <p>Well then, based on Obama&#39;s <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-10/obama-defends-hillary-email-scandal-theres-classified-and-theres-classified">guarantee that there will be absolutely no political influence in the decision</a> on whether or not the DOJ decides to indict, we should expect the indictment in the coming months... right?</p> <p>Full Interview</p> <script src="http://video.insider.foxnews.com/v/embed.js?id=4912241346001&amp;w=600&amp;h=263" type="text/javascript"></script><p><noscript>Watch the latest video at <a href="http://video.foxnews.com">video.foxnews.com</a></noscript></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="590" height="379" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160526_hill.jpg?1464296475" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-26/there-ample-evidence-indict-hillary-judge-thinks-so#comments FBI FOIA Freedom of Information Act Transparency Fri, 27 May 2016 02:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 561999 at http://www.zerohedge.com