On July 4th, the United States will celebrate Independence Day once again. But who in the world are we trying to kid? Our founders intended to create a society where freedom and liberty would be maximized, but that is not what America looks like today. Instead, we live in a country that literally has millions of laws, rules and regulations. We have a government that is obsessed with spying on the entire planet and that tries to watch, monitor, track and record as much information about all of us as it possibly can. A “Big Brother” surveillance grid is being constructed all around us, and our militarized police are becoming more brutal with each passing day. Sadly, most Americans don’t seem too alarmed by any of this. In fact, a new Gallup survey has found that 79 percent of Americans are “satisfied” with the level of freedom in this nation. That is a very alarming statistic. If most people believe that everything is “just fine”, then our leaders are going to feel free to keep doing the same things that they have been doing.
- Obama Decries Big Bonuses at Bank Trading Desks as Risky (BBG)
- India central bank seeks to swap gold to improve reserves quality (Reuters)
- There goes Q3 GDP: Arthur Strengthens to Become First Atlantic Hurricane (BBG)
- Airports Serving U.S. Tighten Checks on Stealth-Bomb Threat (BBG)
- Fear, cash shortages hinder fight against Ebola outbreak (Reuters)
- Brent Declines as Libya Rebels Say Ports Are Open (BBG)
- Shiites Train for Battle in Iraqi Holy City (WSJ)
- Dimon’s Cancer Has 90% Cure Rate With Demanding Therapy (BBG)
- Goldman says client data leaked, wants Google to delete email (Reuters)
- ECB Watchers in the Dark Look to Draghi for Illumination (BBG)
The Pentagon Has A Problem: "Vetting Moderate Al Qaeda Rebels Can Be Tough" - So Here Is A Simple Solution...Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/27/2014 19:46 -0400
Moments ago, none other than the Pentagon's rear admiral John Kirby confirmed that there is a glaring problem with Obama's intentions to disburse $500 million to "moderate" Syrian rebels.
- KIRBY SAYS A LOT OF WORK NEEDED TO VET MODERATE SYRIAN REBELS
- KIRBY SAYS CONCERNED ABOUT AID `ENDING UP IN THE WRONG HANDS'
While we share his sentiment (which we doubt is much of a concern to the US MIC as it will merely provide one set of US-made weapons to destroy another set of US-made weapons), we repeat that there is a simple solution. It comes from Andy Borowitz, who appears to have read our mind, and is breathtakingly simple. Presenting: The Moderate Syrian Rebel Application Form.
The annual human trafficking report has just been published by the US State Department in the Trafficking in Persons (TiP) report.
Nothing lasts forever: Why the perceptions of North Korea may be different from reality
Following Russia’s historic $400 billion natural gas supply deal with China last week, Japanese lawmakers are looking to revive efforts to tap into Russian natural gas supplies themselves.
There can be little doubt that Thomas Piketty's new book Capital in the 21st Century has struck a nerve globally. In fact, the Piketty phenomenon (the economic equivalent to Beatlemania) has in some ways become a bigger story than the ideas themselves. However, the book's popularity is not at all surprising when you consider that its central premise: how radical wealth redistribution will create a better society, has always had its enthusiastic champions (many of whom instigated revolts and revolutions). What is surprising, however, is that the absurd ideas contained in the book could captivate so many supposedly intelligent people.
Unrestricted flow of capital is the most effective way to encourage reforms, and North Korea is no exception. History has proven time and again that regime change does not occur when conditions are at their worst, but when circumstances begin to improve and the people grow impatient for further progress.
Today Korea is one of the most economically and technologically advanced nations on the planet, but it wasn't always like that. Merely fifty years ago it was one of the poorest places on Earth.
Recent developments indicate that North Korea is very quietly beginning to expand its commercial interests. Some of this is due to internal change, but it would seem that much larger geopolitical forces are at work.
20 years in prison... That’s the penalty you could face for traveling to a country the President has labelled to be “of concern”. Sending any form of monetary assistance to people in the country merits further steep penalties. While something as innocuous as travelling abroad is enough to get the average American 20 years in prison, the government is using your tax dollars to aid terrorism directly… and using YouTube as their auditor. Sounds about right for a terrorist organization whose leader has a Nobel Peace Prize.
The 'alarming' trend of college students accurately identifying Edward Snowden as a hero has given James Clapper a panic attack. So much so, that he is taking time away from protecting us from “terrorists” (a term that now apparently includes folks at the Bundy Ranch according to Harry Reid) to embark upon a propaganda speaking tour of U.S. college campuses to demonstrate to those silly young kids that Snowden is no hero, but actually a traitorous villain.
On Friday Russia’s parliament voted to write off roughly 90 percent of North Korea’s debt as Moscow seeks to build a gas pipeline through the Hermit Kingdom. Moscow has been pushing for the Korean gas pipeline and railway for years as part of its strategy to diversify its energy markets away from Europe and toward Asia. This general goal has gained new urgency in the wake of Russia’s clash with the West over the Ukraine and Crimea.
So what part of "All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions," did the US not understand when they decided that deploying troops to Poland was in keeping with the four-party deal? As WaPo reports, Poland and the United States will announce next week the deployment of U.S. ground forces to Poland as part of an expansion of NATO presence in Central and Eastern Europe in response to events in Ukraine. As a reminder, we noted in December, Russia's placement of tactical nuclear-capable weapons near the Polish border which at the time sent a very clear message of escalation (despite the, at the time, lack of New Cold War headlines).
A mix of military reluctance and willingness to use financial weapons was evident before the First World War, as it is now in Ukraine. Countries' efforts to protect their financial systems often centred on increased banking supervision and, in many cases, enlarging the central bank's authority to include the provision of emergency liquidity to domestic institutions. But this belief fuelled excessive confidence among those responsible for the reforms, preventing them from anticipating that military measures would soon be needed to protect the economy. Instead of being an alternative to war, the financial arms race made war more likely – as it may well be doing with Russia today.