You can’t say you weren’t warned. The writing on the wall that “smart devices” would prove to be manna from heaven for spy agencies and hackers around the world has been obvious for a very long time. And now, from none other than James Clapper, we get confirmation...
Investment expert, Harry Markopolos, wrote detailed letters to the SEC for years, raising red flags that Bernie Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme – only to be ignored by the SEC as Madoff fleeced more and more victims out of their life savings. Today, there are two equally erudite scribes who have jointly been flooding the SEC with explosive evidence that some Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) that trade on U.S. stock exchanges and are sold to a gullible public, may be little more than toxic waste dumped there by Wall Street firms eager to rid themselves of illiquid securities.
A day after German authorities arrested three men in connection with a planned terrorist attack on Berlin, Germany's intelligence chief warns that ISIS fighters are hiding among the 1.1 million refugees the country took in 2015. "We have repeatedly seen that terrorists have slipped in camouflaged or disguised as refugees," he says. “This is a fact that the security agencies are facing.”
The List Grows ...
More than half (51%) of Muslims in America believe they should "have the choice of being governed according to Sharia." Only 39% of those polled said that Muslims in the U.S. should be subject to American courts. Nearly a quarter believed that, "It is legitimate to use violence to punish those who give offense to Islam by, for example, portraying the prophet Mohammed."
- World shares heat up as Bank of Japan goes sub-zero (Reuters)
- Stocks Rally With Bonds as BOJ Ends Grim January on High Note (BBG)
- Japan Follows Europe Into Negative Interest Rate Territory (WSJ)
- Decision On Oil Cut Only Possible If All Exporters Agree, Russian Energy Minister Says (BBG)
- Trump overshadows Republican debate even as he sits it out (Reuters)
- Trump skips debate, wins on social media (Reuters)
In the US the rule of law, and with it liberty, have been lost. With few exceptions, Americans are too ignorant and unconcerned to do anything about it. The longer the rule of law is set aside, the more difficult it is to reestablish it. Sooner or later the rule of law ceases even as a memory. No candidate in the upcoming election has made the rule of law an issue. Americans, even well informed ones, dramatically over-estimate the knowledge of presidents and the neutrality of the information that is fed to them by the various agencies and advisors. Information is power, and presidents get the information that Washington wants them to receive.
The airwaves in the United States were filled with images of sailors on their knees while a US Navy vessel was searched. Unjustified outrage swept the nation. The US Secretary of Defense blamed the incident on a simple navigation error, however a chain of events leading back to 2009 demonstrates the facts are a little more complicated than first appear. The chain of events leads defense analysts to one unmistakable conclusion: Iran has the ability to disrupt US GPS systems.
More than 50 years after King was assassinated, his vision of a world without racism, militarism and materialism remains a distant dream. Indeed, the reality we must contend with is far different from King’s dream for the future: America has become a ticking time bomb of racial unrest and injustice, police militarization, surveillance, government corruption and ineptitude, the blowblack from a battlefield mindset and endless wars abroad, and a growing economic inequality between the haves and have nots. King’s own legacy has suffered in the process.
Anyone who thinks the adversarial relationship between Washington and Tehran has turned into “détente” due to the nuclear deal is living in Never-Never Land. Your bullshit-ometer should be making an awful racket in response to the shifting explanations given for the twenty-four-hour Iranian hostage scare involving two US Navy boats intercepted in the Gulf. The signing of the Iran deal means that we are in for a long series of provocations in the Gulf, and this is only the beginning. In order to keep all this in perspective, just remember that the long dance between Washington and Tehran involves at least four partners, including their hard-liners and ours.
At the start of September last year, as stocks began to ramp aggressively off the Black Monday crash lows, we unveiled a rather discomforting "decoupling" that suggested strongly "don't believe the hype." Four months later, and able to remain strongly convicted of the trade, the inverse VIX ETF (XIV) and the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) have recoupled back at the lows from August 24th. We await the recoupling of equity exuberance to credit curmudgeon-ness...
See For Yourself ...
"The bottom line is that people around the world, regardless of their nationality, should know that the United States is not spying on ordinary people who don’t threaten our national security, and that we take their privacy concerns into account in our policies and procedures. This applies to foreign leaders as well." - Barack Obama, January 17, 2014
Evil corporate America meets oppressive police state: “When we received word of potential strikes and disruptive activity on Black Friday 2012, that’s when we started to ask the ARC to work with us. ARC had contracted with Lockheed leading up to Black Friday to help source open social media sites.”