en Trump Plans Massive Increase In Federal Immigration Jails, Report <p>Following a 43% year over year surge in illegal immigrant arrests between January 22, 2017 and September 9, 2017, the <a href="">USA Today</a> is reporting that the Trump administration is quietly reaching out to private prison operators with requests to house some 4,000 detainees of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE).</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>The Trump administration is planning an increase in federal immigration jails across the country for the thousands of additional undocumented immigrants its agents are arresting.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In recent weeks, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has put out requests to identify<strong> privately-run jail sites in Chicago, Detroit, St. Paul, Salt Lake City and southern Texas,</strong> according to notices published on a federal contracting website. It did not publicly announce its plans to house 4,000 more detainees at the facilities.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The detention expansion would represent the latest step in President Trump's efforts to crack down on illegal immigration.</p> </blockquote> <p>And here is an example of one <a href=";mode=form&amp;id=a4f6c1d1a72becc29d334e5bf4ac2942&amp;tab=core&amp;_cview=0">Request for Information </a>posted to for an<strong> "existing, renovation or new construction" facility in South Texas.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is issuing a Request for Information (RFI) to identify one or more facilities (existing, renovation, or new construction) to be turnkey ready and able to provide housing, medical care, guard services, meals, and the day to day needs for approximately 1000 ICE adult male and adult female detainees</strong> within 50 ground-commute miles of Interstate 35. If utilizing multiple facilities, there may be no less than 200 beds per facility. The preference is for facilities to be dedicated for ICE detainees exclusively, but shared facilities may be considered. ICE anticipates issuing a single award, indefinite delivery - indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract for this requirement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>This RFI is issued to identify potential sources that can provide the physical structure, equipment, personnel, and vehicles in a properly staffed and secure environment under the authority of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended. </strong>The intent of this RFI is to obtain market information in accordance with FAR 15.201(e) for planning purposes and to determine appropriate strategies to meet the Agency's requirements. If the results of market research and other factors indicate that it is in the Government's best interest, ICE may release Requests for Proposals (RFP) for these potential requirements in the near future. However, this RFI is issued solely for information and planning purposes and does not constitute a Request for Proposal (RFP) or a commitment to an RFP in the future. Responses to this notice are not considered offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract. Responders are advised that the Government will not pay for any information or administrative cost incurred in response to this announcement and information submitted in response to this RFI will not be returned.</p> </blockquote> <p><img src="" alt="Immigration" width="600" height="374" /></p> <p>Currently, ICE houses anywhere between 31,000 and 41,000 detainees each day in federal prisons, privately-operated facilities and local jails.</p> <p>Of course, the director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies said it's <strong>by no means a coincidence that 4 out of the 5 cities identified by the Trump administration for new detention facilities are in so-called "santuary cities" where local police forces have been instructed to not cooperate with federal ICE agents.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Trump supporters say the new jails are necessary to tackle an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, which backs Trump's immigration enforcement, noted that four of the cities identified for new jails — Chicago, Detroit, St. Paul and Salt Lake City — are all "sanctuary cities."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One of the core disputes is that some cities refuse to detain undocumented immigrants in their local jails for federal immigration agents.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"ICE cannot rely on local law enforcement agencies to cooperate with them in holding deportable criminal aliens, so they have to acquire their own space that they control,"</strong> Vaughan said. "This is very encouraging."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>ICE still has a long way to go before it can open any facilities. The notices invite private companies to provide information on possible locations, and whether it would be necessary to build new facilities or renovate existing ones.</p> </blockquote> <p>Meanwhile, reports of the new facilities was welcome news to shareholders of GEO Group, one of the largest private pension operators in the country, which has rallied over 60% since Trump's election and is one of the most likely recipients of any new awards.</p> <p><a href=" - GEO.jpg"><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 459px;" /></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="792" height="494" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Center for Immigration Studies Customs Enforcement Agency Demography Department of Homeland Security Detroit Donald Trump Illegal immigration Illegal immigration to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency Immigration detention in the United States Presidency of Donald Trump Sanctuary city Secure Communities Social Issues South Texas Southern Texas Trump Administration U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement United States Wed, 18 Oct 2017 03:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605494 at If North Korea Can Kill 90% Of Americans In A Year, Why Did DoD Just Defund The Congressional EMP Commission? <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Daisy Luther via The Organic Prepper blog,</em></a></p> <p><strong>At a House hearing yesterday, experts warned members of Congress that a North Korean EMP attack could kill 90% of Americans within one year, calling it an &ldquo;existential threat.&rdquo; </strong></p> <p><a href=""><strong><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 344px;" /></strong></a></p> <p><strong>But despite this looming crisis, the Department of Defense has decided now was the time to defund the Congressional committee that has been studying the threat since 2001.</strong></p> <p>The Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack has been around for nearly two decades, but their efforts have mostly been restricted to making sure that the U.S. national command authority and U.S. strategic forces could continue to function.<strong> Meanwhile &ldquo;no major efforts were then thought necessary to protect critical national infrastructures.&rdquo; </strong>Apparently, the plan was that our defense would be so effective, no further steps were needed.</p> <p>This has all changed with recent strides in nuclear weaponry by North Korea. T<strong>he results of an EMP strike could be apocalyptic.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>With the development of small nuclear arsenals and long-range missiles by new, radical U.S. adversaries, beginning with North Korea, the threat of a nuclear EMP attack against the U.S. becomes one of the few ways that such a country could inflict devastating damage to the United States. It is critical, therefore, that the U.S. national leadership address the EMP threat as a critical and existential issue, and give a high priority to assuring the leadership is engaged and the necessary steps are taken to protect the country from EMP. (<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">source</a>)</p> </blockquote> <p>What a lot of people didn&rsquo;t know was that just a couple of weeks ago, Sept. 30, 2017, <strong>the Department of Defense terminated the funding for the EMP Commission</strong>. At the same time, &ldquo;North Korea detonated an H-Bomb that it plausibly describes as capable of &ldquo;super-powerful EMP&rdquo; attack and released a technical report &ldquo;The EMP Might of Nuclear Weapons&rdquo; accurately describing what Russia and China call a &ldquo;Super-EMP&rdquo; weapon.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;The EMP Commission has been urging EMP preparedness on a national level for 17 years, but no one has been listening, despite alarming strides toward that goal in just the past six months.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Recent events have proven the EMP Commission&rsquo;s critics wrong about other highly important aspects of the nuclear missile threat from North Korea:</p> <ul> <li>Just six months ago, most experts thought North Korea&rsquo;s nuclear arsenal was primitive, some academics claiming it had as few as 6 A-Bombs. Now the intelligence community reportedly estimates North Korea has 60 nuclear weapons.</li> <li>Just six months ago, most experts thought North Korea&rsquo;s ICBMs were fake, or if real could not strike the U.S. mainland. Now the intelligence community reportedly estimates North Korea&rsquo;s ICBMs can strike Denver and Chicago, and perhaps the entire United States.</li> <li>Just six months ago, most experts thought North Korea was many years away from an HBomb. Now it appears North Korea has H-Bombs comparable to sophisticated U.S. two-stage thermonuclear weapons.</li> <li>Just six months ago, most experts claimed North Korean ICBMs could not miniaturize an ABomb or design a reentry vehicle for missile delivery. Now the intelligence community reportedly assesses North Korea has miniaturized nuclear weapons, and has developed reentry vehicles for missile delivery, including by ICBMs that can strike the U.S.1</li> </ul> <p>After massive intelligence failures grossly underestimating North Korea&rsquo;s long-range missile capabilities,&nbsp;number of nuclear weapons, warhead miniaturization, and proximity to an H-Bomb, the biggest North Korean threat to the U.S. remains unacknowledged&mdash;nuclear EMP attack.&nbsp; (<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">source</a>)</p> </blockquote> <p>So, for 17 years, this group has been ringing the warning bell and no one has been listening. <strong>Now that the threat is at our doorstep, their&nbsp;funding has been pulled.</strong> Something doesn&rsquo;t add up.</p> <h3><u>The technology exists for a North Korean EMP attack</u></h3> <p>A successful attack doesn&rsquo;t even require a Super-EMP&nbsp;weapon. The Commission concluded that even a primitive weapon could successfully render our infrastructure obsolete.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>&ldquo;Therefore, terrorists or state actors that possess relatively unsophisticated missiles armed with nuclear weapons may well calculate that, instead of destroying a city or military base, they may obtain the greatest political-military utility from one or a few such weapons by using them&mdash;or threatening their use&mdash;in an EMP attack.&rdquo;&nbsp;(<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">source</a>)</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>But that isn&rsquo;t the worst of in. In 2004, two Russian generals told the EMP Commission that their design for a Super-EMP weapon was &ldquo;accidentally transferred to North Korea.&rdquo;</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 359px;" /></a></p> <p>Let that sink in.<strong> Somehow, North Korea has had their hands on the design for an incredibly powerful EMP weapon for more than a decade. </strong>The report says:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>In 2004, two Russian generals, both EMP experts, warned the EMP Commission that the design for Russia&rsquo;s Super-EMP warhead, capable of generating high-intensity EMP fields over 100,000 volts per meter, was &ldquo;accidentally&rdquo; transferred to North Korea. They also said that due to &ldquo;brain drain,&rdquo; Russian scientists were in North Korea, as were Chinese and Pakistani scientists according to the Russians, helping with the North&rsquo;s missile and nuclear weapon programs.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In 2009, South Korean military intelligence told their press that Russian scientists are in North Korea helping develop an EMP nuclear weapon. In 2013, a Chinese military commentator stated North Korea has Super-EMP nuclear weapons.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Super-EMP weapons are low-yield and designed to produce not a big kinetic explosion, but rather a high level of gamma rays, which generates the high-frequency E1 EMP that is most damaging to the broadest range of electronics. North Korean nuclear tests, including the first in 2006, whose occurrence was predicted to the EMP Commission two years in advance by the two Russian EMP experts, mostly have yields consistent with the size of a Super-EMP weapon. The Russian generals&rsquo; accurate prediction about when North Korea would perform its first nuclear test, and of a yield consistent with a Super-EMP weapon, indicates <strong>their warning about a North Korean Super-EMP weapon should be taken very seriously</strong>.&nbsp;(<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">source</a>)</p> </blockquote> <p>The report&nbsp;says that while everyone is focused on the future, when Pyongyang may develop &ldquo;highly reliable intercontinental missiles, guidance systems, and reentry vehicles&rdquo;, a North Korean EMP attack wouldn&rsquo;t require that level of accuracy.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>EMP attack does not require an accurate guidance system because the area of effect, having a radius of hundreds or thousands of kilometers, is so large. No reentry vehicle is needed because the warhead is detonated at high altitude, above the atmosphere. Missile reliability matters little because only one missile has to work to make an EMP attack against an entire nation.&nbsp;(<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">source</a>)</p> </blockquote> <p>It would be a strategic initial strike to take down the American power grid to disable the maority of the country before undertaking any other form of attack.</p> <h3><u>How would a North Korean EMP attack be likely to occur?</u></h3> <p>Potential vehicles of attack are submarines or&nbsp;freighters, which could launch an EMP weapon to the relatively low altitude of 30 kilometers over the United States. &nbsp;Unsettlingly, &ldquo;even a balloon-lofted warhead detonated at 30 kilometers altitude could blackout the Eastern Electric Power Grid that supports most of the population and generates 75 percent of U.S. electricity.&rdquo;</p> <p>A more likely choice would be a satellite.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>A Super-EMP weapon could be relatively small and lightweight, and could fit inside North Korea&rsquo;s Kwangmyongsong-3 (KMS-3) and Kwangmyongsong-4 (KMS-4) satellites. These two satellites presently orbit over the United States, and over every other nation on Earth&ndash; <strong>demonstrating, or posing, a potential EMP threat against the entire world.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>North Korea&rsquo;s KMS-3 and KMS-4 satellites were launched to the south on polar trajectories and passed over the United States on their first orbit. Pyongyang launched KMS-4 on February 7, 2017, shortly after its fourth illegal nuclear test on January 6, that began the present protracted&nbsp;nuclear crisis with North Korea.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The south polar trajectory of KMS-3 and KMS-4 e<strong>vades U.S. Ballistic Missile Early Warning Radars and National Missile Defenses</strong>, resembling a Russian secret weapon developed during the Cold War, called the Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (FOBS) that would have used a nuclear-armed satellite to make a surprise EMP attack on the United States.&nbsp;(<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">source</a>)</p> </blockquote> <p>The report goes on to explain that our defense systems are completely unready for any of these scenarios.</p> <h3><u>There&rsquo;s a lot of misinformation about the threat of EMPs.</u></h3> <p>The report counters a great deal of misinformation about the threat of EMPs. While no one really wants to consider the devastating effects, many &ldquo;uninformed persons posturing as experts&rdquo; completely deny the possibility. However, the Commission says that the empirical basis for an EMP attack is better established than that of a cyber attack.</p> <p>They offered numerous examples of hard data regarding the effects of EMPs.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><ul> <li>The U.S. STARFISH PRIME high-altitude nuclear test in 1962 over Johnston Island that generated an EMP field over the Hawaiian Islands, over 1,300 kilometers away, causing widespread damage to electronic systems.</li> <li>Six Russian EMP tests 1961-1962 over Kazakhstan that with a single weapon destroyed electric grids over an area larger than Western Europe, proving this capability six times.</li> <li>30 years (1962-1992) of U.S. underground nuclear testing that included collecting data on EMP effects.</li> <li>Over 50 years of testing by EMP simulators, still ongoing, including by the Congressional EMP Commission (2001-2008) that proved modern electronics are over 1 million times more vulnerable to EMP than the electronics of 1962.</li> <li>&ldquo;Radio Frequency Weapons were used in separate incidents against the U.S. Embassy in Moscow to falsely set off alarms and to induce a fire in a sensitive area.&rdquo;</li> <li>&ldquo;In Kzlyar, Dagestan, Russia, Chechen rebel commander Salman Raduyev disabled police radio communications using RF transmitters during a raid.&rdquo;</li> <li>&ldquo;In June 1999 in Bellingham, Washington, RF energy from a radar induced a SCADA malfunction that caused a gas pipeline to rupture and explode.&rdquo;</li> <li>&ldquo;In 1999, a Robinson R-44 news helicopter nearly crashed when it flew by a high-frequency broadcast antenna.&rdquo;</li> <li>North Korea used a Radio Frequency Weapon, purchased from Russia, to attack airliners and impose an &ldquo;electromagnetic blockade&rdquo; on air traffic to Seoul, South Korea&rsquo;s capital. The repeated attacks by RFW also disrupted communications and the operation of automobiles in several South Korean cities in December 2010; March 9, 2011; and April-May 2012.(<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">source</a>)</li> </ul> </blockquote> <p>The threat is real. So, again, why would the Department of Defense withdraw funding from the Commission that wants to take steps to harden our infrastructure against this possibility?</p> <h3><u>What would the aftermath of an EMP attack look like?</u></h3> <p><a href=""><u><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 426px;" /></u></a></p> <p>The Commission cited several examples of real-world electrical grid failures and their catastrophic consequences.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><ul> <li>The Great Northeast Blackout of 2003&ndash;that put 50 million people in the dark for a day, contributed to at least 11 deaths, and cost an estimated $6 billion&mdash;originated from a single&nbsp;failure point when a powerline contacted a tree branch, damaging less than 0.0000001 (0.00001%) of the system.</li> <li>The New York City Blackout of 1977, that resulted in the arrest of 4,500 looters and injury of 550 police officers, was caused by a lightning strike on a substation that tripped two circuit breakers.</li> <li>The Great Northeast Blackout of 1965, that effected&nbsp; (sic) 30 million people, happened because a protective relay on a transmission line was improperly set.</li> <li>India&rsquo;s nationwide blackout of July 30-31, 2012&mdash;the largest blackout in history, effecting&nbsp;(sic) 670 million people, 9% of the world population&mdash;was caused by overload of a single high-voltage powerline.</li> <li>India&rsquo;s blackout of January 2, 2001&mdash;effecting 226 million people&mdash;was caused by equipment failure at the Uttar Pradesh substation.</li> <li>Indonesia&rsquo;s blackout of August 18, 2005&mdash;effecting 100 million people&mdash;was caused by&nbsp;overload of a high-voltage powerline.</li> <li>Brazil&rsquo;s blackout of March 11, 1999&mdash;effecting 97 million people&mdash;was caused by a lightning strike on an EHV transformer substation.</li> <li>Italy&rsquo;s blackout of September 28, 2003&mdash;effecting 55 million people&mdash;was caused by overload&nbsp;of two high-voltage powerlines.</li> <li>Germany, France, Italy, and Spain experienced partial blackouts on November 4, 2006 effecting (sic)10-15 million people&mdash;from accidental shutdown of a high-voltage powerline.</li> <li>The San Francisco blackout in April 2017 was caused by the failure of a single high voltage breaker&nbsp;(<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">source</a>)</li> </ul> </blockquote> <p><a href=""><strong>My mind immediately goes to the down-grid disaster occurring right now in Puerto Rico.</strong></a></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 302px;" /></a></p> <p>The death toll from such a disaster would be unprecedented:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The result could be to shut down the U.S. electric power grid for an indefinite period, leading to t<strong>he death within a year of up to 90 percent of all Americans</strong>&mdash;as the EMP Commission testified over eight years ago.</p> </blockquote> <p>We&rsquo;re talking about the <strong>deaths of more than 270 million people. </strong></p> <p>President Trump signed an Executive Order in May called &ldquo;<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure</a>&rdquo; which will hopefully harden our country against both cyber attacks and EMPs. The Commission provided a list of actionable suggestions on pages 11-14 of <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">this report</a>, but will the steps be undertaken before it&rsquo;s too late? Especially now that they&rsquo;re defunct.</p> <h3><em><u>How do you prep for something so massive?</u></em></h3> <p><strong>It doesn&rsquo;t seem as though the government is very interested in taking steps to protect our power grid. We can <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">look at what is happening in Puerto Rico</a> as a glimpse of the apocalyptic future that would follow such an attack. Restoring power after an EMP could take multiple years, and things in America would never be the same after a sustained change in our way of life.</strong></p> <p>The result of an EMP attack would be a protracted blackout that would put at risk the lives of millions of people. Climate control, a lack of off-grid survival skills, looting, lawlessness, lack of medication, starvation, waterborne disease &ndash; all of these threats to our survival cannot be overlooked. If you haven&rsquo;t read the book <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">One Second After</a>, I recommend you do so for a fictionalized yet nonetheless realistic look at life after the grid. If that doesn&rsquo;t inspire you to prepare for such an event, nothing will.</p> <p>The best resource for preparing for an attack like this is <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Disaster Preparedness for EMP and Solar Storms</a>, by Dr. Arthur T. Bradley. A NASA scientist, Dr. Bradley has spent years studying the aftereffects of such a catastrophe. His book dispels many myths an provides realistic, lifesaving information. My <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">personal plan is a low-tech one</a> &ndash; I am not spending a fortune on generators and fancy gadgets I wouldn&rsquo;t be able to use once the fuel runs out.</p> <p>Preparing for something this massive is beyond the scope of this article. I strongly encourage you to begin researching and create your own low-tech plan. Don&rsquo;t put it off until you get your perfect homestead in the boondocks or you talk your family members into it. Disasters like this don&rsquo;t wait for a convenient time &ndash; in fact, strategically speaking, the less convenient it is, the more the attacker benefits.</p> <p><strong><em>If World War 3 starts off with an EMP, it renders <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">many of our plans</a> moot. We have been warned in the strongest terms possible, but will it be enough?</em></strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="793" height="455" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Brazil China Circuit Breakers Congress Congressional committee Congressional EMP Commission Department of Defense Electromagnetic compatibility Electromagnetic pulse Electromagnetic radiation Electronic warfare EMP Commission Energy Energy weapons France Germany India Intercontinental ballistic missile Italy Kazakhstan Kwangmy?ngs?ng-4 National Aeronautics and Space Administration New York City North Korea Nuclear electromagnetic pulse Nuclear weapons Physical cosmology Physical universe Politics Puerto Rico radio frequency U.S. embassy in Moscow U.S. national command authority War western Europe Wed, 18 Oct 2017 03:25:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605526 at Chicago Politician Pushes Ban On Businesses Banning Cash <p>In July, <a href="">Visa officially entered the global &#39;war on cash&#39;</a>, adding to a long list of academics, elites, and bankers urging the removal of one of the last freedoms &#39;for the good of the rest of us&#39;. However,<a href=";utm_medium=social&amp;;utm_campaign=DNAinfoCHI"> if Alderman Edward Burke has his way, that &#39;war on cash&#39; will end in Chicago</a> after he<strong> submitted an ordinance at last week&#39;s City Council meeting to ban businesses from banning cash</strong>.</p> <p><img height="374" src="" width="600" /></p> <p><strong>According to the ordinance, &quot;credit card giant Visa announced it is &#39;launching a major effort to encourage businesses to go cashless,&quot; </strong>through a campaign called the Visa Cashless Challenge offering $500,000 for 50 businesses to go cash-free.</p> <p><a href=";utm_medium=social&amp;;utm_campaign=DNAinfoCHI"><em>As reports</em></a>, the ordinance cites Argo Tea, SweetGreen, Epic Burger and Goddess and the Baker as Chicago businesses that have already gone cashless, <strong>but the stores themselves don&#39;t seem to have had any issues...</strong></p> <p>Xuan Tea, a shop at 1816 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Bucktown, opened in September and is credit card-only.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&quot;It&#39;s been working out fine. Some are taken aback initially, but we haven&#39;t had any problems with it,&quot; </strong>manager Will Quanstrom said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Mostly everyone has a credit card in their pocket, even if they&#39;re just out for a jog. It&#39;s easier and it&#39;s simpler for us. We don&#39;t have to go to the bank, or count drawers out.&quot; The tea shop has a sign at the front counter that says it only takes credit cards.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href=";utm_medium=social&amp;;utm_campaign=DNAinfoCHI">Nevertheless, as notes, </a>the ordinance, however, points out that credit card companies typically tack on a 1 percent to 3 percent fee on transactions,<em><strong> &quot;a business cost typically passed on to consumers via increased pricing.&quot;</strong></em></p> <p><em><strong>&nbsp;</strong></em>Burke called his ordinance a &quot;fair and equal access&quot; issue and calls out Visa&#39;s repression of the poor and young...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&quot;A &#39;no cash&#39; sign is a &#39;not welcome&#39; sign for many without ready access to credit,</strong> including those who are low- or fixed-income, homeless, undocumented, young or victims of identity theft,&quot; he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It adds that those under 18 can&#39;t apply for credit cards, <strong>making a cash ban &quot;de facto age discrimination,&quot; </strong>while many low-income families can&#39;t even afford to open a bank account.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>The ordinance would make it illegal to decline cash as payment at any business in retail sales or food and drink, under the penalty of fines starting at $1,000 and up to $2,500 a day.</strong></p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><a href="">As we noted previously, </a><strong>this ongoing&nbsp;<a href="">push</a>&nbsp;for a cashless society in&nbsp;<a href="">Europe</a>,&nbsp;<a href="">Asia,</a>&nbsp;and the Americas is about much more than just phasing out paper money - it&rsquo;s about central planners solidifying control over the public&rsquo;s wealth. </strong>This ongoing merger of corporate and government interests is the definition of crony capitalism. Regardless of the blatant collusion, the choices individuals make will still ultimately decide the direction for the future. Buying material goods on credit has become a lifestyle for millions, but the long-term costs of those decisions must be understood if there&rsquo;s any chance for progress.</p> <p><strong>Americans have made a huge mistake by running up a staggering $<a href="">1 trillion dollars</a>&nbsp;in credit card debt with an average interest rate of over&nbsp;<a href="">16%</a>.</strong> Thanks to the Federal Reserve system, companies like Mastercard, Discover, and American Express can issue bonds paying&nbsp;extremely low-interest&nbsp;rates to the investors while simultaneously lending that money out to credit card holders at sky high rates. Companies will always take advantage of opportunities to increase profits, but the people&rsquo;s willingness to keep borrowing from them is at the core of the problem.</p> <p>Access to&nbsp;<a href="">cheap capital</a>&nbsp;has been extended to the largest corporations for over a decade, but when it comes to small businesses or individuals there is a completely different&nbsp;<a href="">set of standards</a>. The pressure to consistently increase revenues and stock prices has led to an unnatural parasitic relationship between these companies and their customers. <strong>Cash is one of the last options that allows people a way to avoid dealing with this kind of shakedown.</strong></p> <p><strong>More than <a href="">30% of all payments </a>in the U.S. are still conducted in cash, but <a href="">financial intermediaries</a> that charge processing fees are <a href="">joining</a> with the State and central banks to ensure the public has no room to innovate.</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="661" height="412" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American Express American Express Business Cashless society Central Banks City Council Credit cards Debit cards Digital currency Federal Reserve Finance Financial services Interchange fee MasterCard Money Payment systems Social Issues US Federal Reserve Visa Cash Visa Inc. Wed, 18 Oct 2017 03:05:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605458 at FBI Uncovered Russian Bribery Plot Before Obama Approved Uranium One Deal, Netting Clintons Millions <p>As the mainstream media continues to obsess over $100,000 worth Facebook ads allegedly purchased by Russian spies in 2016 seeking to throw the presidential election, we're almost certain they'll ignore the <strong>much larger Russian bombshell dropped today</strong> in the form of<strong> newly released FBI documents that reveal for the very first time that the Obama administration was well aware of illegal bribery, extortion and money laundering schemes being conducted by the Russians to get a foothold in the atomic energy business in the U.S. before approving a deal that handed them 20% of America's uranium reserves...<span style="text-decoration: underline;">and resulted in a windfall of donations to the Clinton Foundation</span>.</strong></p> <p>As we pointed out last summer when Peter Schweizer first released his feature documentary <a href="">Clinton Cash</a>, the Uranium One deal, as approved by the Obama Administration, netted the Clintons and their Clinton Foundation millions of dollars in donations and 'speaking fees' from Uranium One shareholders and other Russian entities.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Russian Purchase of US Uranium Assets in Return for $145mm in Contributions to the Clinton Foundation - Bill and Hillary Clinton assisted a Canadian financier, Frank Giustra, and his company, Uranium One, in the acquisition of uranium mining concessions in Kazakhstan and the United States. &nbsp;Subsequently, the Russian government sought to purchase Uranium One but required approval from the Obama administration given the strategic importance of the uranium assets. &nbsp;<strong>In the run-up to the approval of the deal by the State Department, nine shareholders of Uranium One just happened to make $145mm in donations to the Clinton Foundation. &nbsp;Moreover, the <a href="">New Yorker</a> confirmed that Bill Clinton received $500,000 in speaking fees from a Russian investment bank, with ties to the Kremlin, around the same time. </strong>&nbsp;Needless to say, the State Department approved the deal giving Russia ownership of 20% of U.S. uranium assets&nbsp; </p> </blockquote> <p>Now, thanks to newly released affidavits from a case that landed one of the Russian co-conspirators, Vadim Mikerin, in jail, we learn that not only was the Obama administration aware the Russians' illegal acts in the U.S. but it may have also been fully aware that <strong>"Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow."&nbsp;</strong> Per <a href="">The Hill</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010</strong> giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, <strong>the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States,</strong> according to government documents and interviews.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating <strong>Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow,</strong> sources told The Hill.</p> </blockquote> <p><img src="" alt="Clinton Cash" width="550" height="250" /></p> <p>Of course, when Schweizer's book first made Uranium One a political hot topic in 2015, both the Obama administration and the Clintons defended their actions and insisted there was no evidence that any Russians or donors engaged in wrongdoing and there was no national security reason for anyone to oppose the deal.&nbsp; That said, we now know that the FBI was aware of wrongdoing going back to at least April 2009 even though the deal wasn't approved until October 2010.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>But FBI, Energy Department and court documents reviewed by The Hill show the FBI in fact had gathered substantial evidence well before the committee’s decision that Vadim Mikerin — the main Russian overseeing Putin’s nuclear expansion inside the United States — <strong>was engaged in wrongdoing starting in 2009.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The first decision occurred in October 2010, </strong>when the State Department and government agencies on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States unanimously approved the partial sale of Canadian mining company Uranium One to the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom, giving Moscow control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium supply.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In 2011, the administration gave approval for Rosatom’s Tenex subsidiary to sell commercial uranium to U.S. nuclear power plants in a partnership with the United States Enrichment Corp. Before then, Tenex had been limited to selling U.S. nuclear power plants reprocessed uranium recovered from dismantled Soviet nuclear weapons under the 1990s Megatons to Megawatts peace program.</p> </blockquote> <p>And guess who ran the FBI's investigation into this particular Russian plot?&nbsp; As The Hill notes, the <strong>Mikerin probe began in 2009 under Robert Mueller,</strong> now the special counsel in charge of the Trump case, an<strong>d ended in late 2015 under the controversial, former FBI Director James Comey</strong> who was relieved of his duties by President Trump.</p> <p><strong>Ironically, when the DOJ finally arrested Mikerin in 2014,</strong> following 5 years of investigations in a massive international bribery and money-laundering scheme, rather than publicly celebrate,<strong> they seemingly swept it under the rug.&nbsp; In fact, there was no public release concerning the case at all until a full year later when the DOJ announced a plea deal with Mikerin right before labor day.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Bringing down a major Russian nuclear corruption scheme that had both compromised a sensitive uranium transportation asset inside the U.S. and facilitated international money laundering would seem a major feather in any law enforcement agency’s cap.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>But the Justice Department and FBI took little credit in 2014 when Mikerin, </strong>the Russian financier and the trucking firm executives were arrested and charged.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The only public statement occurred an entire year late</strong>r when the Justice Department put out a little-noticed press release in August 2015, <strong>just days before Labor Day. </strong>The release noted that the various defendants had reached plea deals.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By that time, the criminal cases against Mikerin had been narrowed to a single charge of money laundering for a scheme that officials admitted stretched from 2004 to 2014. And though agents had evidence of criminal wrongdoing they collected since at least 2009, federal prosecutors only cited in the plea agreement a handful of transactions that occurred in 2011 and 2012, well after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States’s approval.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The final court case also made no mention of any connection to the influence peddling conversations the FBI undercover informant witnessed about the Russian nuclear officials trying to ingratiate themselves with the Clintons even though agents had gathered documents showing the transmission of millions of dollars from Russia’s nuclear industry to an American entity that had provided assistance to Bill Clinton’s foundation,</strong> sources confirmed to The Hill.</p> </blockquote> <p>Perhaps this is what the "most transparent" President in history meant when he told Medvedev that he would have<strong> "more flexibility" </strong>after his 2012 election.</p> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>Below are the affidavits released today:</strong></em></p> <p><iframe src=";view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-1KruSlw1gQLLv68Bb1ZB&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe src=";view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-N455a4bz5qQFSYWLdHvG&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe src=";view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-9FqAb64N1wtBrEk5gxzZ&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0" 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="557" height="253" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bill Clinton Clinton Cash Clinton Foundation Clinton Foundation Colleges of the University of Oxford Committee on Foreign Investment Corruption Department of Energy Department of Justice Department of State DOJ Energy technology FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Government Hillary Clinton Kazakhstan national security Nuclear materials Nuclear Power Nuclear power Obama Administration Obama administration Peter Schweizer Politics Rodham family Russian government United States Uranium Uranium Uranium One Wed, 18 Oct 2017 02:54:42 +0000 Tyler Durden 605468 at US Army Is Preparing For Decades Of Hybrid Wars <p>Released on Monday, the <a href="">US Army’s Training and Doctrine Command</a>, or TRADOC, drafted a new strategy for how US ground forces will operate, fight, and campaign successfully across multiple domains—space, cyberspace, air, land, maritime—against all enemies in the 2025-2040 timeframe.</p> <p><img src="" width="332" height="604" /></p> <p>The new strategy calls for “super-empowered individuals and small groups”, who are mobile and can simultaneously fight in every domain of warfare, which will replace the conventional large units like today.</p> <p>Since the end of the Cold War, US and Joint Forces have enjoyed considerable amounts of freedom across all domains. The purpose of this new concept is to prepare the US for an increasing number of actors who challenge US global hegemony.</p> <p>The reported titled “Multi-Domain Battle: Evolution of Combined Arms for the 21st Century, 2025-2040?, repeats one key point over and over again according to <a href=";utm_medium=social&amp;;utm_campaign=buffer">Defense One</a>.</p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="553" /></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Adversaries will make life as difficult as possible for U.S. troops by not declaring themselves to be the enemy, or, as the concept puts it, by “combining regular and irregular forces with criminal and terrorist enterprises to attack the Joint Force’s vulnerabilities while avoiding its strength.”</p> </blockquote> <p>The world got a whiff of this new concept in Libya, Syria, and Ukraine through the use of local paramilitaries and proxy forces. “Adversaries have blurred the distinction between actions ‘below armed conflict’ and ‘conflict,’ enabling the achievement of strategic military objectives short of what the U.S. traditionally considers ‘war,” the report says.</p> <p>Defense One then summarizes four more reasons why the US Army has to evolve onto a multi-domain battlefield or face the risk of losing America’s global empire:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <ol> <li>The exponential speed of information technology. U.S. forces can’t assume that they will have the best phones, drones, or computer hardware on the battlefield. As computers get smaller, cheaper, and more widely available, U.S. tech advantages will disintegrate.</li> <li>Warfare will be much more urban. Some 60 percent (conservatively) of the Earth’s population will live in cities in 2030, many in megacities with populations of more than 10 million. This is where adversaries will try to engage U.S. forces, not in open fields or deserts where today’s Army and it senormous battle vehicles have the advantage.</li> <li>The internet will be a key aspect of the battlefield, not just in terms of trading cyber attacks with enemy hackers but in the need to constantly and expertly shape global opinion about the conflict. Troll armies spreading fake news and disinformation, coupled with enough social-media traffic to overwhelm open-source analysts, could “complicate the [Army’s] ability to gain and maintain an accurate, up-to-date, intelligence-driven understanding of the situation, as well as control of the information environment,” the document says. </li> <li>Every bad guy becomes The Joker. The Army sees a rise of “Super-empowered individuals and small groups” who can “use access to cyberspace, space, and nuclear, biological, radiological, and chemical weapons of mass effects to change the battlespace calculus and redefine the conditions of conflict resolution.” Read that to mean: lone wolves and minescule teams with the power to rival many of today’s nation-states.</li> </ol> </blockquote> <p>Glancing at the American Empire, there are nearly 800 military bases in more than 70 countries and territories abroad. To maintain this global force,&nbsp; the US Senate <a href="">approved </a>a $700 billion military bill this year. The amount eclipses $549 billion military spending cap established by 2011 Budget Control Act.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="301" /></a></p> <p>Summing up, America’s Army is going through a drastic overhaul after the failed conventional wars in the Middle East. The idea of small and decentralized nodes loosely connected operating across multiple domains–space, cyberspace, air, land, maritime seems to be today’s answer for tomorrow’s warfare. The concept has already been implemented in Libya, Syria, and Ukraine with not the best results. Meanwhile, as the American Empire unravels, the military–industrial complex is set to profit from years of war, as outlined in the report. </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="1024" height="576" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> America’s Army army Command and control Human Dimension Information Technology Joint Force Middle East Middle East Military Military doctrines Military science Military strategy Net-centric Politics Ukraine United States Army United States Senate US Army US Army’s Training and Doctrine Command War Wed, 18 Oct 2017 02:44:51 +0000 Tyler Durden 605527 at "One Of The Biggest Fears I Have Is I Miss It": There Is A Sudden Rush To Open Long-Vol Funds <p>Last month, Soc Gen analyst, Praveen Singh, analyzed evolving cross-asset volatility trends, and boldly went where so many have unsuccessfully gone before. Singh&rsquo;s warning was that the market is <strong>&quot;<a href="">now entering dangerous volatility regimes</a>.</strong>&quot;</p> <p>The crux of Soc Gen&rsquo;s argument was mean reversion, notably that <strong>the current low level of volatility happens less than 2% of the time for equities. </strong><strong>Furthermore, Soc Gen found that when equity volatility has been this low in the past, it went on to rise by 3 points in the subsequent 12 months. </strong>This means that volatility is more likely to go up than fall further from current levels... at least in theory.</p> <p>Portfolio managers, however, are increasingly thinking along the same lines. While it&rsquo;s rumoured that Brevan Howard will shortly launch a long volatility fund, <a href="">according to a Bloomberg </a>it appears that there is a surge of interest in launching long volatility funds.</p> <p>According to Bloomberg <strong>&ldquo;</strong><strong><a href="" target="_blank" title="Brevan Howard Is Said to Plan Hedge Funds Amid Client Exodus (1)">Brevan Howard Asset Management</a>, 36 South Capital Advisors, One River Asset Management and at least three other firms are rolling out new funds designed to protect investors from rising market turbulence.&rdquo;</strong> Former SAC Capital&rsquo;s, Hamming Rao, opened a volatility fund with a long bias this June, based in Florida.</p> <p>While buying volatility has been a <em>widowmaker</em> trade in recent years, the fund managers Bloomberg spoken to by Bloomberg couldn&rsquo;t be more optimistic: Jerry Haworth, the co-founder of 36 South who &ldquo;tripled investor&rsquo;s money&rdquo; during the GFC, launched the Lesidi Fund earlier this month. Haworth commented <strong>&ldquo;This is a multi-decade opportunity to buy volatility&rsquo;&hellip;</strong>To increase the appeal of his long-volatility strategy, Haworth focuses on reducing the &lsquo;negative carry,&rsquo; or steady bleed of cash, that accompanies calm markets. That&rsquo;s gotten easier these days as prices for options and other volatility-linked derivatives have fallen.&rdquo;</p> <p>In a similar vein, Michael Preiss, a portfolio strategist at $1.9bn Singapore-based Taurus Wealth Advisers argued <strong>&ldquo;The most mispriced asset class in the world is volatility&hellip;a bunch of our clients are in discussions with us at the moment about whether to add volatility strategies.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p><strong>&ldquo;The opportunity is right now. One of the biggest fears I have is I miss it.&rdquo;</strong> according to Arun Singhal of Astrid Hill. Singhal expects to launch a &nbsp;volatility fund before year-end with an initial target size between $50 million and $100 million.</p> <p>The conundrum for investors was perfectly explained a few days ago by the new Nobel laureate in economics, Richard Thaler <strong>&ldquo;We seem to be living in the riskiest moment of our lives, and yet the stock market seems to be napping.&rdquo; </strong>Of course, we can point to all manner of risks which <em>could</em> have major knock-on effects in financial markets, North Korea, Brexit, Peshmerga, several major European banks, China&rsquo;s credit bubble, etc.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 512px; height: 260px;" /></a></p> <p>However, since central bank policies are the major reason for our low volatility world, the fact that monetary accommodation is now being (slowly) withdrawn - with ECB expected to join shortly - means that there is finally some prospect for a &ldquo;regime change&rdquo; in financial markets. After all, the bubble merchants have generally been raising rates at the onset of recessions in the past.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="352" src="" width="500" /></a></p> <p>Of course, it would require a change in regime that overwhelms the central banks&rsquo; ability to unload a few thousand VIX contracts at &ldquo;just the right time&rdquo; and a vast number of HFTs and algos which are doing very nicely in the current BTFD environment.</p> <p>Meanwhile, talking of mean reversions, there is another factor which makes the current timing slightly more attractive than it has been (ever actually).</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 260px;" /></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="512" height="260" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Asset classes Brevan Howard Business Central Banks China ETC European Central Bank Finance Financial markets Florida Implied volatility Investment Lesidi Fund Mathematical finance Mean Reversion Money Nobel Laureate North Korea Options S&P/ASX 200 VIX SAC Technical analysis VIX Volatility Volatility Wed, 18 Oct 2017 02:25:26 +0000 Tyler Durden 605523 at This Is How Tyranny Rises And Freedom Falls: The Experiment In Freedom Is Failing <p><a href=""><em>Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,</em></a></p> <p>It is <strong>easy to be distracted right now </strong>by the circus politics that have dominated the news headlines for the past year, but don&rsquo;t be distracted.</p> <p>Don&rsquo;t be fooled, not even a little.</p> <p><strong>We&rsquo;re being subjected to the oldest con game in the books,</strong> the magician&rsquo;s sleight of hand that keeps you focused on the shell game in front of you while your wallet is being picked clean by ruffians in your midst.</p> <p><strong>This is how tyranny rises and freedom falls.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><strong><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 392px;" /></strong></a></p> <p><strong>What characterizes American government today is not so much dysfunctional politics as it is ruthlessly contrived governance carried out behind the entertaining, distracting and disingenuous curtain of political theater. </strong>And what political theater it is, diabolically Shakespearean at times, full of sound and fury, yet in the end, signifying nothing.</p> <p>We are being ruled by a government of scoundrels, spies, thugs, thieves, gangsters, ruffians, rapists, extortionists, bounty hunters, battle-ready warriors and cold-blooded killers who communicate using a language of force and oppression.</p> <p><strong>The U.S. government now poses the <span style="text-decoration: underline;">greatest</span> threat to our freedoms.</strong></p> <p>More than terrorism, more than domestic extremism, more than gun violence and organized crime, even more than the perceived threat posed by any single politician, the U.S. government remains a greater menace to the life, liberty and property of its citizens than any of the so-called dangers from which the government claims to protect us.</p> <p>This has been true of virtually every occupant of the White House in recent years.</p> <p><strong>Unfortunately, nothing has changed for the better since Donald Trump ascended to the Oval Office.</strong></p> <p>Indeed, Trump may be the smartest move yet by the powers-that-be to keep the citizenry divided and at each other&rsquo;s throats, because as long as we&rsquo;re busy fighting each other, we&rsquo;ll never manage to present a unified front against tyranny in any form.</p> <p>The facts speak for themselves.</p> <p><strong>We&rsquo;re being robbed blind by a government of thieves. </strong>Americans no longer have any real protection against government agents empowered to seize private property at will. For instance, police agencies under the guise of asset forfeiture laws are taking Americans&rsquo; personal property based on little more than a suspicion of criminal activity and keeping it for their own profit and gain.</p> <p><strong>We&rsquo;re being taken advantage of by a government of scoundrels, idiots and cowards.</strong> When you&rsquo;ve got government representatives who spend a large chunk of their work hours <a href="">fundraising</a>, being feted by lobbyists, shuffling through a <a href="">lucrative revolving door</a> between public service and lobbying, and making themselves available to anyone with enough money to secure <a href="">access to a congressional office</a>, you&rsquo;re in the clutches of a <a href="">corrupt</a> oligarchy.</p> <p><strong>We&rsquo;re being locked up by a government of greedy jailers.</strong> We have become a <a href="">carceral state</a>, spending <a href="">three times more on our prisons</a> than on our schools and imprisoning close to a <a href="">quarter of the world&rsquo;s prisoners</a>, despite the fact that crime is at an all-time low and the U.S. makes up only 5% of the world&rsquo;s population. The rise of overcriminalization and profit-driven private prisons provides even greater incentives for locking up American citizens for such non-violent &ldquo;crimes&rdquo; as having an <a href="">overgrown lawn</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>We&rsquo;re being spied on by a government of Peeping Toms.</strong> The government is watching <a href="">everything</a> you do, reading everything you write, listening to everything you say, and monitoring everything you spend. Omnipresent surveillance is paving the way for government programs that profile citizens, document their behavior and attempt to predict what they might do in the future, whether it&rsquo;s what they might buy, what politician they might support, or <a href="">what kinds of crimes they might commit</a>.</p> <p><strong>We&rsquo;re being ravaged by a government of ruffians, rapists and killers. </strong>It&rsquo;s not just the police <a href="">shootings of unarmed citizens</a> that are worrisome. It&rsquo;s the <a href="">SWAT team raids gone wrong</a>&mdash;<a href="">more than 80,000 annually</a>&mdash;that are leaving innocent citizens wounded, children terrorized and family pets killed. It&rsquo;s the <a href="">roadside strip searches</a>&mdash;in some cases, cavity searches of men and women alike carried out in full view of the public&mdash;in pursuit of drugs that are never found. It&rsquo;s the potentially lethal&mdash;and unwarranted&mdash;<a href="">use of so-called &ldquo;nonlethal&rdquo; weapons such as tasers on children</a> for engaging in little more than childish behavior.</p> <p><strong>We&rsquo;re being forced to surrender our freedoms&mdash;and those of our children&mdash;to a government of extortionists, money launderers and professional pirates.</strong> Under the guise of fighting its wars on terror, drugs and now domestic extremism, the government has spent billions in taxpayer dollars on endless wars that have <em>not</em> ended terrorism but merely sown the seeds of blowback, surveillance programs that have caught <em>few</em> terrorists while subjecting all Americans to a surveillance society, and militarized police that have <em>done little</em> to decrease crime while turning communities into warzones.</p> <p><strong>We&rsquo;re being held at gunpoint by a government of soldiers: a standing army. </strong>As if it weren&rsquo;t enough that the American military empire stretches around the globe (and continues to leech much-needed resources from the American economy), the U.S. government is creating its own standing army of militarized police and teams of weaponized bureaucrats. These <a href="">civilian employees are being armed to the hilt</a> with guns, ammunition and military-style equipment; trained in military tactics; and authorized to lock the nation down under martial law.</p> <p>Whatever else it may be&mdash;a danger, a menace, a threat&mdash;the U.S. government is certainly no friend to freedom.</p> <p>As I make clear in my book <a href=""><em>Battlefield America: The War on the American People</em></a>, you cannot have a republican form of government - nor a democratic one, for that matter - when the government views itself as superior to the citizenry, when it no longer operates for the benefit of the people, when the people are no longer able to peacefully reform their government, when government officials cease to act like public servants, when elected officials no longer represent the will of the people, when the government routinely violates the rights of the people and perpetrates more violence against the citizenry than the criminal class, when government spending is unaccountable and unaccounted for, when the judiciary act as courts of order rather than justice, and when the government is no longer bound by the laws of the Constitution.</p> <p>We won&rsquo;t be able to sustain this fiction much longer.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;Things fall apart,&rdquo; </strong>wrote W.B. Yeats in his dark, forbidding poem &ldquo;The Second Coming.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;The centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world&hellip; Surely some revelation is at hand.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Wake up, America, and break free of your chains.</p> <p><strong>Something wicked this way comes.</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="980" height="641" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American government B+ Crime prevention Donald Trump E-government Government headlines Human rights Law enforcement Martial Law Mass surveillance Militarization of police National security Politics Prevention Rutherford Institute Security Surveillance US government White House White House Wed, 18 Oct 2017 02:05:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605525 at What Goldbugs Have Been Waiting For: Goldman’s New Primer On Gold <p>The good news is that Goldman believes <strong>&ldquo;precious metals remain a relevant asset class in modern portfolios, despite their lack of yield&rdquo;</strong> and disagrees with Ben Bernanke and the naysayers <strong>&ldquo;They are neither a historic accident or a relic</strong>. Indeed, by looking at each of the physical properties of an ideal <strong>long-term store of value</strong>&hellip;we can clearly see why precious metals were initially adopted and why they remain relevant today.&rdquo;</p> <p>It was sounding really good &ndash; and there was 91 pages to go - although when it came to the drivers of precious metal prices, Goldman did not exactly re-invent the wheel &ldquo;We see two key drivers of the precious metals markets: Fear and Wealth&rdquo;</p> <p>That said, there was a new take on what, in Goldman&#39;s eyes constitutes <em><strong>fear</strong></em> as &ldquo;in our new framework we see a closer link to growth expectations. <strong>However, we ?nd that many risk factors are relevant, depending on the sub-component of gold demand: real interest rates, debasement risks, sovereign balance sheet risks, geopolitical risks and other market tail-risks</strong>. Stated more simply, we are talking about the drivers of &ldquo;risk-on&rdquo;/&rdquo;risk-off&rdquo; behavior in markets.&rdquo;</p> <p>On the wealth angle, the good news for gold was that &ldquo;as economies grow, they tend to go through a rapid gold accumulation phase at around per capita GDP of $20,000-$30,000, following a &lsquo;hump-shaped&rsquo; relationship between per capita income and gold demand. As more EM economies (including China) are set to grow to these income levels over the next few decades.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>As in-depth students of gold market research, our mood was lifted by some genuinely original research. Goldman found that the ratio between gold purchases and household savings (global we assume) has been broadly stable at around 1.7% for almost 40 years. Who knew that.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 357px;" /></a></p> <p>Goldman approximates the gold supply available for households to purchase as new mine supply plus net central bank sales. It goes on to use some simple maths &ldquo;we can view the equilibrium 1 .7% share of savings allocated to gold (?*) through the following relationship, where the equilibrium real gold price is p*, the amount of household savings is Y , and the supply of gold available to households (de?ned as mine supply plus central bank net sales) is S.&rdquo;</p> <p>Solving the equation for the real price of gold suggests that gold is positively correlated with savings and negatively correlated with the value of mine supply and net central bank selling. Yet again, it&rsquo;s not a surprise, but we were surprised by the closeness of the fit with the real price of gold since 1980 (left hand chart).</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 200px;" /></a></p> <p>Goldman&rsquo;s analysts tweak the model to improve the fit from fear variables, principally &ldquo;risk-off&rdquo; periods when there are portfolio reallocations from equities to gold &ldquo;<strong>We see large and persistent deviations from the long-run equilibrium allocation to gold, driven by &lsquo;risk-on&rsquo;/&rsquo;risk-off&rsquo; episodes</strong>. While the forces driving risk sentiment can shift over time, they are nearly always highly cyclical in nature. Growth expectations and the business cycle are therefore key variables, being negatively correlated to gold demand.&rdquo;</p> <p>We are pleased &ndash; in the current environment of central bank bubbles &ndash; that the establishment&rsquo;s favourite investment bank emphasised gold&rsquo;s role as a hedge to systemic tail risk, which is precisely what got most of us interested in gold more than a decade ago. To wit &ldquo;Gold tends to preserve its real purchasing power over the very long run (albeit with substantial short-term deviations). Since Roman times, the real value of gold has remained more or less unchanged in the face of wars and political, social and technological shocks. <strong>Many investors therefore see gold as a way to hedge against structural tail risks, which could potentially erase the real value of all other ?nancial assets</strong>&hellip;Throughout history, governments have run de?cits and built large levels of debt. Having accumulated a large stock of debt, <strong>governments must either pursue austerity, ?nd a way to boost growth, or engineer in?ation (&lsquo;print money&rsquo;) to erode the real value of their debt</strong>. Historically, governments often chose money expansion over austerity. Gold has traditionally been in competition with government paper currencies. When there is loss of credibility in the central bank/government&rsquo;s ability to meet their liability of maintaining the real purchasing power of their currency, gold demand tends to go up. Normally, this happens when the government does a large monetary expansion, which the public fears could lead to currency debasement.&rdquo;</p> <p>The report goes on to compare gold and cryptos, <strong>asking if</strong> <strong>cryptocurrencies are the &ldquo;new gold&rdquo; and concluding &ldquo;We think not, gold wins out over cryptocurrencies in a majority of the key characteristics of money.&rdquo; </strong>Briefly, Goldman argues that gold is not subject to competition from alternatives (ignoring silver and cryptos, of course), holding its purchasing power (although cryptos are untested) and much lower daily volatility. It finds that cryptos (on the basis of Bitcoin) are vulnerable to hacking, regulatory risk, network and infrastructure risk, while being superior in terms of portability and divisibility.</p> <p>The Goldman report touches on one critical feature of the gold market, but only barely, noting that <strong>&ldquo;Investors have become more conscious of the physical vs. futures market distinction in the post-2008 crisis period</strong>. As such, the fear drivers have likely tilted demand more in favor of physical gold (or physically-backed ETFs) as a hedge against black-swan events vs. using futures.&rdquo;</p> <p>We apologise if we are getting a bit &ldquo;picky&rdquo; (not for &ldquo;serious Goldbugs&rdquo; perhaps), but Goldman doesn&rsquo;t address the fact that the global gold market, including the LBMA (over 95% of the trading in unallocated &ldquo;paper gold&rdquo;), is a fractional reserve system, in which the ratio of paper to physical was estimated by the Reserve Bank of India at 92:1.</p> <p>We would also have liked to see the discussion of issues such as</p> <ol> <li>Repeating daily trading patterns which seem to be driven by computer algorithms.</li> <li>The near-lock step movement of the gold price and the Yen since the Fed and the BoJ expanded QE in late-2012.</li> <li>Frequent intra-day waterfall declines in the gold price where large volumes of futures contracts are &ldquo;dumped&rdquo;, without any attempt to maximise the selling price.</li> <li>The role of the Bank for International Settlements in the gold market and opaque central bank lending policies of physical metal.</li> <li>The volume of LGD bars in London vaults (excluding official holdings and known physically-backed ETFs) which is the &ldquo;float&rdquo; backing the massive LBMA trade.</li> </ol> <p>These omissions tainted a generally positive view of a report in which Goldman turned surprisingly bullish on gold.</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="300" height="168" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Ben Bernanke Ben Bernanke Bitcoin BOJ Business China computer algorithms Currency Economy Finance Futures contract Futures market Gold Gold as an investment Goldbugs Hedge India London bullion market Money Precious Metals Precious metals Purchasing Power Real interest rate Real Interest Rates Risk Security Subprime mortgage crisis US Federal Reserve Volatility Yen Wed, 18 Oct 2017 01:45:01 +0000 Tyler Durden 605524 at Marc Faber Racist Diatribe Costs Him CNBC, Fox Slots; Sprott Board Seat <p><em><strong>Update: </strong></em>as previewed earlier, Sprott announced that at the request of the Board of Directors and Sprott management, <strong>Marc Faber has resigned as a director of the Company effective immediately.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>“The recent comments by Dr. Faber are deeply disappointing and are completely contradictory with the views of Sprott and its employees,” said Peter Grosskopf, CEO of Sprott. “We pride ourselves on being a diverse organization and comments and behavior of this sort will neither be condoned nor tolerated. We are committed to providing an inclusive workplace for all of our employees and we extend the same respect to our clients and investors.”</p> </blockquote> <p>Separately, both CNBC and Fox Business Network, cable channels where he had appeared in the past, said they won't invite him on in the future.</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>Marc "Dr. Doom" Faber is in trouble, only this time it's not for yet another doomsday forecast which hasn't come true, but for launching into a racially charged diatribe telling subscribers to his newsletter that he was glad that “white people populated America, and not the blacks.”</p> <p>The eccentric veteran investor and former Drexel director, who predicted the 1987 stock market crash and has been a fixture on financial television, claimed in his October 3 monthly newsletter that “<strong>the U.S. would look like Zimbabwe</strong>” if the country had been settled by black people instead of whites. In the latest edition of his 15-page investor letter, "The Gloom, Boom &amp; Doom Report," Faber argued against the removal of confederate statues, saying the only crime of the men those monuments honored was to defend slavery and that the controversy distracts from more important <a href="">debates, according to Bloomberg</a>. There, inbetween quotes from George Orwell and historian Edward Gibbon and his opinions on universal basic income, Faber wrote the following:</p> <p>"<strong>And thank God white people populated America, and not the blacks. Otherwise, the US would look like Zimbabwe, which it might look like one day anyway, but at least America enjoyed 200 years in the economic and political sun under a white majority</strong>."</p> <p>He then added that <strong>"I am not a racist, but the reality — no matter how politically incorrect — needs to be spelled out."</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="245" /></a></p> <p><em>Source: @<a href="">Beardedmiguel</a></em></p> <p>In the newsletter, Faber's comments also address the confrontation in Charlottesville, Virginia, where violence sparked a national debate over race and monuments that honor prominent Confederate figures that Faber decided to weigh in on. Faber called the monuments "statues of honourable people whose only crime was to defend what all societies had done for more than 5,000 years: keep a part of the population enslaved."</p> <p>Asked for a comment by the WSJ Faber responded in an e-mail: “I am naturally standing by this comment since this is an undisbutable (SIC) fact.”</p> <p>Reached for <a href="">comment by CNBC</a>, Faber similarly did not back away from his statements: "If stating some historical facts makes me a racist, then I suppose that I am a racist. For years, Japanese were condemned because they denied the Nanking massacre." In addition to the brief statement, he sent a link to a USA Today story titled, "Banned in Biloxi, 'To Kill a Mockingbird' raises old censorship debate," focusing on the Harper Lee classic.</p> <p>His comments drew an immediate reaction, and as <a href="">Bloomberg reports</a>, Sprott CEO Peter Grosskopf said will ask the board to demand the immediate resignation of Marc Faber, who is a director on Sprott's board. Grosskopf added that he had already spoken to the company chairman about Marc Faber.</p> <p>Grosskopf also said that the company is “deeply disappointed” and shocked by Faber’s comments. </p> <p>“We take pride in the fact that we are a global organization with a racially inclusive employee, client and investment base. Our policies in that regard are crystal clear and well known. As such these comments and thinking are completely unacceptable and we will be taking immediate steps to distance ourselves from Mr. Faber and request his resignation from our board."</p> <p><a href="">According to the WSJ</a>, the comments sparked a broad backlash from investors and market commentators Tuesday. <strong>CNBC and Fox Business Network, cable channels where he had appeared in the past, said Tuesday they don’t intend to book him in the future.</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="800" height="431" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Board of Directors and Sprott CNBC Faber Finance Fox Business George Orwell Marc Faber Market Crash Reality Social Issues Surname Television in the United States Wed, 18 Oct 2017 01:31:13 +0000 Tyler Durden 605493 at CIA Urges Trump To Delay Release Of 3,000 Never-Before-Seen Documents On JFK Assassination <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Alex Christoforou via,</em></a></p> <p>More than 3,000 never-before-seen documents from the FBI, CIA, and Justice Department on the assassination of&nbsp;John F.&nbsp;Kennedy are scheduled be released, with <strong>many experts&nbsp;fearing that such a large release of secret JFK assassination documents will spur &ldquo;a new generation of conspiracy theories.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="339" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>According to Roger Stone, <strong>the CIA is urging President Donald Trump to delay disclosing some of the files for another 25 years.</strong></p> <p>Roger Stone said in a post on his website&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;They must reflect badly on the CIA even though virtually everyone involved is long dead.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><a href="">Newsmax</a>&nbsp;reports:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>More than 3,000 never-before-seen documents from the FBI, CIA, and Justice Department are set to be released, along with 30,000 that have only been partially released in the past. The document dump &ldquo;will simply fuel a new generation of conspiracy theories,&rdquo; write Philip Shenon and Larry J. Sabato.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sabato is the director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics and author of&nbsp;<a href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1508196042&amp;sr=1-1&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=newsmedi9a-20&amp;linkId=JWQX7Q4SOSP2L6BP"><strong>&ldquo;The Kennedy Half-Century&rdquo;</strong></a>&nbsp;and Shenon is a former reporter for the New York Times and author of,&nbsp;<strong><a href=";linkCode=as2&amp;tag=newsmedi9a-20&amp;linkId=JWQX7Q4SOSP2L6BP">&ldquo;A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination.&rdquo;</a></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The CIA is urging President Donald Trump to delay disclosing some of the files for another 25 years according to friend and political adviser Roger Stone but the National Archives would not say whether any agencies have appealed the release of the documents.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">According to The Gateway Pundit</a>&nbsp;Roger Stone and Gerald Posner, two&nbsp;<em>New York Times</em>&nbsp;bestselling authors who are polar opposites about who killed JFK, have joined together to urge Donald Trump to release all the remaining classified files on Kennedy&rsquo;s assassination.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>About 3,100 files are still sealed in the National Archives. Under the 1992 JFK Records Act, the Archives have until&nbsp;<span>October 26</span>&nbsp;to decide which of those files to publicly disclose.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Some of the classified documents include a CIA personality study of Oswald, top-secret testimony of former CIA officers to congressional committees, transcripts of interrogations with Soviet defector and Oswald handler Yuri Nosenko, letters about the case from J. Edgar Hoover and Jackie Kennedy, the CIA file on Jack Wasserman, the attorney for New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello, and the operational file of E. Howard Hunt, career spy and Watergate burglar.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Roger Stone, in his bestselling 2013&nbsp;<em>The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ,&nbsp;</em>set forth the case that LBJ was the mastermind of plot that included the CIA, the Mob and Big Texas Oil to kill Kennedy.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Gerald Posner, in his 1993 bestselling finalist for the Pulitzer for History,&nbsp;<em>Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK</em>, concluded that the Warren Commission conclusions are correct and Oswald acting alone had killed Kennedy.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>While they might not agree on who killed Kennedy, Stone and Posner are longstanding advocates for the release of all the government files on the assassination.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;These files should have been released long ago,&rdquo; says Posner. &ldquo;The government does this all the time, over classified documents and then holds on to them for decades under the guise of &lsquo;national security.&rsquo; <strong>All the secrecy just feeds people&rsquo;s suspicions that the government has something to hide and adds fuel to conspiracy theories.&rdquo; </strong>Posner is convinced the case will still be closed when the last document is made public.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&rdquo;I know CIA Director Pompeo is urging the President to delay release of these records for another 25 years,&rdquo; said Stone. &ldquo;They must reflect badly on the CIA even though virtually everyone involved is long dead.&rdquo; Stone believes the evidence supporting the case in his book is still hidden somewhere in government files.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Both authors called on President Trump &ndash; who is empowered to make the final decision should the National Archives or CIA balk on releasing all the files &ndash; to opt for transparency.</p> </blockquote> <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="743" height="420" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Assassination of John F. Kennedy Central Intelligence Agency Central Intelligence Agency Department of Justice Donald Trump E. Howard Hunt FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Film Gerald Posner JFK John F. Kennedy Lee Harvey Oswald national security New Orleans New York Times Politics President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act SPY Testimony Transparency United States University of Virginia Center for Politics Warren Commission Warren Commission Yuri Nosenko Wed, 18 Oct 2017 01:25:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 605522 at