Nov 12

Today’s News 12th November 2017

  • The Surveillance State: An Inexorable March Toward Totalitarianism

    Authored by Jeremiah Johnson (nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces) via SHTFplan.com,

    The Surveillance State has slowed down its rate of growth since the President took office, however, it has not halted that growth. Instead, it lies festering below the veneer of daily events, inexorably growing its tentacles and extending their reach.

    Akin to an infestation of weeds, the roots are deep within the fabric of our communications networks: telephones, CCTV (Closed-Circuit Television) cameras, the Internet…all are thoroughly permeated.

    Gizmodo released an article entitled US Homeland Security Wants Facial Recognition to Identify People in Moving Cars,” on 11/2/17 by Matt Novak. Here is an excerpt from that article:

    The proposed program would allow Homeland Security to maintain a database of everyone who leaves and enters the US that would now include photos taken by spying robot-cameras at every border crossing.

     

    Not only does DHS want this new facial recognition program to work without anyone having to exit their vehicle, the agency wants it to work even if the travelers are wearing things like sunglasses and hats. DHS also wants it to work without cars having to stop.

    Seems they really want our information for their database. There is something more. One of the readers on the article’s website who uses the handle Artiofab posted this comment that is important, as he lives on the Texas border with Mexico:

     “11/02/17 12:31pm  Hi everybody I live near the US-MX border so I’m happy to give informed opinions on this topic, since I know that a lot of the audience at Gizmodo dot com apparently lives closer to the US-CA border.

     

    Near the US-MX border along major US highways there are these interior checkpoints. If you’re traveling “into” the US (e.g., if you’re in New Mexico and you’re driving north) you stop your car, a USBP agent asks if you’re all US citizens, you say yes, they let you keep going.

     

    (I have no personal anecdote about what happens if you don’t say yes. I have some secondhand anecdote about what happens if you are transporting a small amount of substances that the US considers illegal. But that’s tangential…)  If you’re traveling “towards” Mexico, you don’t have to stop. Instead you drive past one of these.

     

     

    Yes, those are cameras and lights that take images of your car as you drive past them. What does the USBP do with the images? Great question! I don’t know the answer. But I imagine that they might really like some facial recognition software to do some biometric data-gathering on anyone passing past those cameras.”

    This is interesting. Illegal aliens (yes, the Mexicans and foreigners who cross the border illegally are aliens: foreigners entering the United States illegally) are crossing our borders every day. These measures are not to keep the illegal aliens out.

    These measures are to keep the subjects (taxpaying American citizen-slaves) in.

    Why else would they be requiring the use of a passport starting next year on domestic flights? This is the internal passport system of the former Soviet Union, materializing before our eyes. They will not need the “Mark of the Beast” implanted or bar-coded…they have the cellular telephones.

    The taxpayer slave-serfs carry these around…willingly, of their own free will…to transmit their every activity and location every four seconds…events that are all recorded for future use in whatever capacity the rulers see fit.

    China has been the “testing ground” ever since free trade with them was initiated along with NAFTA (George H.W. Bush created this: Clinton just signed it into law). There is another revelatory article about the increase in surveillance technology in China. Entitled “This is What a 21st Century Police State Really Looks Like,” by Megha Rajagopalan for Buzz Feed News, released 10/17/17. 

    Here is an excerpt from that important article:

    For millions of people in China’s remote far west, this dystopian future is already here. China, which has already deployed the world’s most sophisticated internet censorship system, is building a surveillance state in Xinjiang, a four-hour flight from Beijing, that uses both the newest technology and human policing to keep tabs on every aspect of citizens’ daily lives.

     

    The region is home to a Muslim ethnic minority called the Uighurs, who China has blamed for forming separatist groups and fueling terrorism. Since this spring, thousands of Uighurs and other ethnic minorities have disappeared into so-called political education centers, apparently for offenses from using Western social media apps to studying abroad in Muslim countries, according to relatives of those detained.

    The reason the article is important is that Miss Rajagopalan was in the area for two months, accumulating firsthand interviews, reports, and photos. Here’s the big news. The Chinese have devices that allow them to scan cell phones and laptops from a distance at any time. They have biometric facial scanners they employ when stopping individuals on the street. The photos are a must-see: it shows an almost cowed populace infringed upon in every area of life.

    That is the type of life coming to the United States, and soon.

    In an article by the Wall Street Journal entitled, “Who Wants to Supply China’s Surveillance State?  The West,” by Dan Strumpf on 11/1/17.  This excerpt reveals the meaning of the article’s title:

    Companies from across the globe packed one of the world’s biggest surveillance trade shows to demonstrate the latest gizmos and algorithms powering the high-tech revolution in the industry, of which China is on the vanguard. Tools being hawked included facial-recognition cameras, iris scanners, software that can read a subject’s mood and cameras that can scan license plates in the dark.  The surveillance-equipment market in China was valued at $6.4 billion last year, according to IHS Markit .

     

    China is a big buyer of surveillance technology as Beijing steps up its efforts to better monitor its 1.4 billion people. That is providing a boon for equipment makers, who are looking to export their gear abroad. But it has also sparked concern from rights activists about how the authoritarian government is using the souped-up “Big Brother” technology.

    China is the testing ground for the eventual use of this surveillance technology in the United States. An article posted on 11/6/17 shows us just how far the police state has come along toward completion. “Texas National Guard Using Cellphone Spy Tech on Surveillance Planes,” is the article’s title, by Michael Thalen of Info Wars.  The Texas National Guard is using technology to mimic cell phone towers and capture locations of thousands at a time. Here is part of the article:

    The devices, purchased with drug-asset forfeiture money from Maryland-based Digital Receiver Technology Inc. (DRT), are designed to locate cellphones within a certain range by emulating a cell tower.  The specific model obtained by the Texas National Guard, known as the DRT 1301C, is even capable of intercepting and recording phone calls in real-time. A leaked U.S. government catalogue of cellphone surveillance devices obtained by The Intercept in 2015 also notes the ability of the DRT 1301C, nicknamed the “dirt box,” to “locate up to 10,000 targets and can process multiple analog and digital wireless devices all at the same time.”

    There is a large question as to whether a National Guard Unit is allowed to take on the role of a police force. That question has already been covered under legislation and executive orders passed under the Color of Law that basically has thrown the rulebook out the window. Posse Comitatus has been supplanted by the Warner Defense Act of 2006, and the NDAA’s and accompanying Executive Orders under Obama have all but federalized both Active Duty military forces and National Guard troops in the never-ending “War on Terror.”

    As can be seen with these articles, the U.S. government has a new President and a new “pitch,” but many things are not changing, or if so…it is for the worse. The increasing surveillance is tightening of the noose around the necks of the American citizens.

    The surveillance state is growing more powerful and thanks to legislation, is becoming more invulnerable to challenges to its supremacy. Soon its inexorable march will be irreversible. Totalitarian control will be in place, and most of the citizens are either unaware of such, or they do not care that it is so.

  • Visualizing The Rapidly Aging Western World

    From issues such as declining fertility rates to the ongoing complications resulting from China’s famous “One Child Policy”, there are many demographic challenges that the world must grapple with in the coming years.

    However, Visual Capitalist's Jeff Desjardins notes one problem of particular importance – at least in places like Europe and the Americas – is a rapidly aging population. As the population shifts grayer, potential consequences include higher dependency ratios, rising healthcare costs, and shifting economies and cities.

    EUROPE: A PRIME EXAMPLE

    We’ve discussed Germany’s demographic cliff before, but it’s not only Germany that will be impacted by a rapidly aging population.

    The above animation from data visualization expert Aron Strandberg shows the median age of European countries between 1960 and 2060.

    Starting about a decade from now, you can see that the U.N. projects some European countries to start hitting a median age of 50 or higher. This includes countries like Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Greece, and then later Germany, Poland, Bosnia, and Croatia.

    The UK, France, Ireland, Scandinavia, and former Soviet countries will be younger – but only slightly so. Median ages in these places by 2060 will be in the early to mid-forties.

    THE AMERICAS

    Populations in North and South America are also graying fast, though not quite at Europe’s pace.

    Here’s a similar map of the Americas that highlights median age between 1960 and 2060, based on U.N. projections.

    Chile and Brazil, in particular, are trending older. Meanwhile, Canada is not far behind with an expected median age of 45 in 2060. Interestingly, the United States is anticipated to only hit a median age of 42 by 2060, which is lower than almost all Western countries.

    While this makes the U.S. look younger in comparison, the country will still experience the same type of economic burden from an aging population. In fact, it’s expected that the population of Americans older than 65 years will nearly double from 48 million to 88 million over the coming three decades.

  • Ethereum's Creator Mulls Limiting Supply In Novel Ways

    While the ICO craze has got out of control in 2017, the two leading cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin and Ethereum – have gone from strength to strength. We’ve seen frequent gut-wrenching (for bulls) drawdowns, wallet freezings (Ethereum several days ago – see here), exchange closures (China) and high-profile criticism from speakers engaging forked-tongues (Jamie Dimon's famous fraud comments, etc).  Nonetheless, like fledglings learning to leave the nest, a broad swathe of opinion senses that there is progress. Like the early days of the internet, investors will suffer losses on those ICOs which were poorly planned and/or poorly executed – which might be most of them. As this process unfolds, however, the better cryptocurrencies will be tweaked, refined and sometimes “forked” to make them better suited to a range of decentralised applications which are, themselves in state of flux.

    Talking of tweaks, the co-founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, is mulling one for Ethereum which might happen before the end of 2017. Watching the firehose of ICOs, Buterin has been asking himself whether, with Ethereum (ether), he’s creating too much of a good thing. According to Bloomberg.

    The 23-year-old helped sell one of the first digital currencies in 2014 when he introduced ether to the public. Three years later he’s witnessed scads of other digital currencies raise more than $3 billion in 2017 via so-called initial coin offerings. The sheer number of coins now being created has made him ponder the previously imponderable: limiting the supply of ether.

     

    “I’m concerned a lot of these token models aren’t going to be sustainable,” Buterin said in a rare interview last week at the Ethereum Developers Conference in Cancun, Mexico. So what’s the problem? There’s a hard limit — 21 million coins — on the supply of bitcoin, the first successful cryptocurrency, that helps underpin its value. Buterin isn’t mulling a cap like that, but he’s intrigued by the idea of imposing fees on applications built atop ethereum. Those fees would destroy — or burn, in Buterin’s parlance — ether tokens over time.

    Finite supply is hardly a new concept, but it’s certainly entered the consciousness of Bitcoin investors. There’s been much debate on Ethereum supply and while there isn’t a hard limit, the inflation in Ethereum supply is set to decline exponentially, with the maximum amount somewhere in the region of 100 million. There is a quote on Reddit that is attributed to Buterin on this subject.

    During the interview at the Ethereum conference, Buterin pondered – at times in slightly less than coherent fashion – the need to limit Ethereum supply in order to differentiate it from fiat currencies.

    “If the token is being burned, then you have an economic model that says the value of the token is the net present value of basically all future burnings,” he said.

     

    Otherwise, “it’s just a currency that goes up and down. It feels kind of like voodoo economics and the price of the token isn’t really backed by anything,” Buterin added.

     

    “That’s a very spooky thing.” Reminded that he created such a coin himself, he said going forward that could change. “It’s a fact that’s definitely informing a lot of design choices,” Buterin said. “Introducing some kind of sinks into ethereum is definitely something we’re looking at,” he said. “By sinks, I mean fees that lead to the token actually being destroyed.”

    If he decides against “burning”, another possibility is essentially warehousing some of the supply, eliminating it from circulation.

    Another way to limit supply, at least temporarily, is through locking up some of the ether currently in circulation. That’s the plan as ethereum moves to a new way of verifying transactions on its network. Known as proof-of-stake, it requires users who want to be rewarded for validating transactions to deposit ether for a set amount of time. The more ether they set aside, the bigger the reward for verifying the network. Buterin said the ethereum community may transition to proof-of-stake as early as the end of the year.

    While Bloomberg notes that Ethereum’s abundance has obviously not adversely affected its price this year, our question is what impact would limiting supply have on Ethereum? Especially when  cryptocurrency prices are so sensitive to newsflow, even when it’s ill-informed, in Dimon’s case, for example. Talking of limiting supply, Buterin had some cautionary words on the ICO boom although, given the nature of financial market regulation, nothing will be done until something really bad happens, which is sadly inevitable.

    Buterin said ICOs had both good and bad attributes. The way they’re currently structured skews the incentives of the startups that have raised over $3 billion this year. In nearly all ICOs, groups have pitched tokens to fund projects still in development, leaving open the question of what happens if they fail to deliver on promises. “The token models we have right now are lopsided and give skewed incentives,” Buterin said. “The worst part is the front-loading. Basically getting $140 million before you have a product. The right way to do that is to come up with a mechanism that either splits the ICO up across rounds or has a mechanism where if it doesn’t go well people can get refunds or anything similar.” ICOs have solved a key problem, making it easier for developers to raise money to fund their work, he said. But that doesn’t mean that every project should start with an offering, Buterin said. “It’s definitely a complicated balance,” he said.

    The ICO boom is definitely not balanced.
     

  • Libya: The Forgotten Reason North Korea Desperately Wants Nuclear Weapons

    Authored by Ted Galen Carpenter via The National Interest,

    The United States and its allies continue to cajole and threaten North Korea to negotiate an agreement that would relinquish its growing nuclear and ballistic-missile programs.

    The latest verbal prodding came from President Trump during his joint press conference with South Korean president Moon Jae-in. Trump urged Pyongyang to “come to the negotiating table,” and asserted that it “makes sense for North Korea to do the right thing.” The “right thing” Trump and his predecessors have always maintained, is for North Korea to become nonnuclear.

    It is unlikely that the DPRK will ever return to nuclear virginity. Pyongyang has multiple reasons for retaining its nukes. For a country with an economy roughly the size of Paraguay’s, a bizarre political system that has no external appeal, and an increasingly antiquated conventional military force, a nuclear-weapons capability is the sole factor that provides prestige and a seat at the table of international affairs. There is one other crucial reason for the DPRK’s truculence, though. North Korean leaders simply do not trust the United States to honor any agreement that might be reached.

    Unfortunately, there are ample reasons for such distrust.

    North Korean leaders have witnessed how the United States treats nonnuclear adversaries such as Serbia and Iraq. But it was the U.S.-led intervention in Libya in 2011 that underscored to Pyongyang why achieving and retaining a nuclear-weapons capability might be the only reliable way to prevent a regime-change war directed against the DPRK.

    Partially in response to Washington’s war that ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in the spring of 2003, ostensibly because of a threat posed by Baghdad’s “weapons of mass destruction,” Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi seemed to capitulate regarding such matters. He signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in December of that year and agreed to abandon his country’s embryonic nuclear program. In exchange, the United States and its allies lifted economic sanctions and pledged that they no longer sought to isolate Libya.

    Qaddafi was welcomed back into the international community once he relinquished his nuclear ambitions.

    That reconciliation lasted less than a decade. When one of the periodic domestic revolts against Qaddafi’s rule erupted again in 2011, Washington and its NATO partners argued that a humanitarian catastrophe was imminent (despite meager evidence of that scenario), and initiated a military intervention. It soon became apparent that the official justification to protect innocent civilians was a cynical pretext, and that another regime-change war was underway. The Western powers launched devastating air strikes and cruise-missile attacks against Libyan government forces. NATO also armed rebel units and assisted the insurgency in other ways.

    Although all previous revolts had fizzled, extensive Western military involvement produced a very different result this time. The insurgents not only overthrew Qaddafi, they captured, tortured and executed him in an especially grisly fashion. Washington’s response was astonishingly flippant. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton quipped: “We came, we saw, he died.”

    The behavior of Washington and its allies in Libya certainly did not give any incentive to North Korea or other would-be nuclear powers to abandon such ambitions in exchange for U.S. paper promises for normal relations. Indeed, North Korea promptly cited the Libya episode as a reason why it needed a deterrent capability—a point that Pyongyang has reiterated several times in the years since Muammar el-Qaddafi ouster. There is little doubt that the West’s betrayal of Qaddafi has made an agreement with the DPRK to denuclearize even less attainable than it might have been otherwise. Even some U.S. officials concede that the Libya episode convinced North Korean leaders that nuclear weapons were necessary for regime survival.

    The foundation for successful diplomacy is a country’s reputation for credibility and reliability. U.S. leaders fret that autocratic regimes—such as those in Iran and North Korea—might well violate agreements they sign. There are legitimate reasons for wariness, although in Iran’s case, the government appears to be complying with its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that Tehran signed with the United States and other major powers in 2015—despite allegations from U.S. hawks about violations.

    When it comes to problems with credibility, though, U.S. leaders also need to look in the mirror. Washington’s conduct in Libya was a case of brazen duplicity. It is hardly a surprise if North Korea (or other countries) now regard the United States as an untrustworthy negotiating partner. Because of Pyongyang’s other reasons for wanting a nuclear capability, a denuclearization accord was always a long shot. But U.S. actions in Libya reduced prospects to the vanishing point. American leaders have only themselves to blame for that situation.

  • She's Back! La Niña Is Here For The Second Consecutive Year

    For the second consecutive time in two years, La Niña (translated from Spanish as “little girl”) is back and she means business. New data from Climate.gov indicates La Niña conditions have formed just in time for winter weather in the Northern Hemisphere.

    On Thursday, the Climate Prediction Center confirmed La Niña after analyzing October ocean temperatures cooling along the equatorial eastern and central Pacific Ocean. La Niña is often declared when sea surface temperatures in the region (just stated) decline by 0.5 degrees Celsius.

    John Morales‏, Chief Meteorologist WTVJ NBC-6 Miami, shows the progression of cool water over the equatorial Pacific Ocean responsible for La Niña formation.

    The cooler waters have an influence on atmospheric conditions by decreasing evaporation in the tropics, which is a major driver of global weather.

    According to the Weather Channel,

    A typical La Niña winter in the U.S. brings cold and snow to the Northwest and unusually dry conditions to most of the southern tier of the U.S., according to the prediction center.

     

    The Southeast and Mid-Atlantic also tend to see warmer-than-average temperatures during a La Niña winter. New England and the Upper Midwest into New York tend to see colder-than-average temperatures.

    Climate Prediction Center /NCEP/NWS Full Report: La Niña conditions are predicted to continue (~65-75% chance) at least through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2017-18.

    During October, weak La Niña conditions emerged as reflected by below-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) across most of the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean [Fig. 1]. The weekly Niño indices were variable during the month, with values near -0.5° C during the past week in the Niño-3.4 and Niño-3 regions [Fig. 2]. Sub-surface temperatures remained below average during October [Fig. 3], reflecting the anomalously shallow depth of the thermocline across the central and eastern Pacific [Fig. 4]. Also, convection was suppressed near the International Date Line and slightly enhanced over parts of the Maritime Continent and the Philippines [Fig. 5]. Over the equatorial Pacific Ocean, low-level trade winds were mainly near average, but the upper-level winds were strongly anomalously westerly and the Southern Oscillation Index was positive. Overall, the ocean and atmosphere system reflects the onset of La Niña conditions.

     

    For the remainder of the Northern Hemisphere fall and winter 2017-18, a weak La Niña is favored in the model averages of the IRI/CPC plume [Fig. 6] and also in the North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) [Fig. 7]. The consensus of forecasters is for the event to continue through approximately February-April 2018. In summary, La Niña conditions are predicted to continue (~65-75% chance) at least through the Northern Hemisphere winter (click CPC/IRI consensus forecast for the chance of each outcome for each 3-month period).

     

    La Niña is likely to affect temperature and precipitation across the United States during the upcoming months (the 3-month seasonal temperature and precipitation outlooks will be updated on Thursday November 16th). The outlooks generally favor above-average temperatures and below-median precipitation across the southern tier of the United States, and below-average temperatures and above-median precipitation across the northern tier of the United States.

    La Niña weather phenomenon easily explained:

    Ben Noll, Meteorologist, National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research of New Zealand, compares the equatorial sea-surface temperatures in 2016 and 2017. His findings indicate 2017 waters “not as large farther west” when compared with 2016. Basically he validates NOAA’s “weaker La Niña” claim…

    NOAA’s winter weather outlook indicates normal participation for the mid-tier of the United States. The southern-tier is forecasted to see much drier conditions. Meanwhile, the Great Lakes region and Northwest of the United States appear to have much wetter conditions.

    Temperature outlooks for this winter include at-least 2/3 of the United States well above average. Below average to normal in regions, such as the Great Lakes region and Northwest.

    Bottomline: What do weather forecasters and Dennis Gartman both have in common?… Well you guessed it– terrible forecasting…

  • Who Killed President Kennedy And Why?

    Via Oriental Review,

    In late October President Trump ordered that “the veil be lifted” from the investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. More than 3,000 new, previously classified FBI, CIA, and Congressional documents were released to the public. A quick overview of the material shows that the bulk of it pertains either to the CIA’s covert operations against Cuba (one of the most popular theories about JFK’s assassination focuses on the ties between Lee Harvey Oswald and anti-Castro paramilitary groups that were upset about Kennedy’s “soft” policy toward the island) or the CIA’s search for a “Soviet fingerprint” in the crime – as can be seen in Langley’s fruitless but determined attempts to turn the defector Yuri Nosenko into a key source of information (although, truth be told, he adamantly refused to give the required “testimony” and was for this reason long suspected of being a KGB double agent). We cannot avoid the impression that these huge document dumps – along with the scores of “investigations” conducted over the last 54 years, in addition to the books and movies about this cryptic murder – have one goal: to keep whoever really ordered the JFK assassination from being brought to justice.

    All of these materials focus in one way or another on the figure of the unhappy “psychopath,” known as Lee Harvey Oswald, the lone gunman who shot the 35th US president on Nov. 22, 1963, from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas, using a 6.5mm Mannlicher-Carcano Italian rifle with telescopic sight. Each new batch of released documents (and there have been three just this year: on July 24, Oct. 26, and Nov. 3) triggers another round of furious debate, all over the world, about his motives, connections, and the facts of the crime.

    Oswald being led from the Texas Theatre following his arrest

    Oswald being led from the Texas Theatre following his arrest, Nov 22 1963

    The narrative of the murder would seem quite straightforward. Just a few minutes after the fatal shots were fired, the security services were already combing through the depository building. On the 6th floor, they discovered an open window, three shell casings, and a rifle bearing Oswald’s fingerprints. Forty minutes after Kennedy’s death, the cops already had a name, physical description, and address for his alleged killer. The crime of the century was easily solved. The police surrounded the Texas Theatre building where Mr. Oswald was hiding, and he was arrested barely an hour after the president was assassinated.

    But not everything was quite so simple. A 26-second movie, made that day by Abraham Zapruder, shows the exact moment of the murder, which has made it possible to dissect the instant of Kennedy’s death, frame by frame.

    According to the official story, three shots were fired (the first missed, the second passed through the president’s neck and ricocheted into the chest, wrist, and thigh of Texas Governor John Connally, and the third bullet struck Kennedy in the head). But the film clearly shows that the second bullet (frame 225) and third bullet (frame 313) are of completely different types: the second passed through the president’s neck without serious tissue damage, while the third was obviously an expanding bullet, the impact of which shattered the American leader’s skull! A mix of different types of bullets within a single clip of a semi-automatic gun would be a game-changer for shooters. But the most likely explanation is that there were at least two snipers involved.

    A number of recognized probe inconsistencies (missing bullets, improper autopsy procedure, faked autopsy photos & notes, to point out a few) that led to repeated official and inofficial attempts to reconsider the case for the past decades, eventually resulted in the fact that today only 24% of Americans believe that LHO had acted alone.

    An analysis of the Zapruder film prompts even more awkward questions. It turns out that the killer took about five seconds to fire all the shots. That seems quite unlikely for this model of rifle with a telescopic sight, because the bolt has to be cycled with each firing. If you look at the video below, a professional is taking a few shots using the same type of rifle, but without the telescopic sight.

    If you time the video carefully, you can see that this expert rifleman takes just about five seconds to get off three shots, but you’ll notice that he’s making no attempt to aim! Is it possible to believe that a second-rate marksman like Lee Harvey Oswald could have performed with robot-like precision in such an extreme situation?

    And so Oswald was arrested. I did not kill President Kennedy … I didn’t kill anybody … I don’t know anything about what you are accusing me, he said. Nor for that matter was he allowed to call a lawyer. He never admitted to murdering Kennedy. And two days after the president’s death, while Oswald was being transferred between jails, he was shot at close range by a Texas underworld figure named Jack Ruby (Jacob Rubenstein), who was also, according to the Warren Commission, “a lone gunman.” You don’t have to dig too deeply into the man’s background to realize that he had very deep ties to the police and American security agencies.

    And then within the next two years, an astonishing number of people (more than 50!) who possessed some kind of information about the Kennedy assassination died under mysterious circumstances. The Navy officer Lt. William Pitzer, who managed the closed-circuit camera in the autopsy room at the at Bethesda Naval Hospital and filmed the proceeding, was later discovered to have “shot himself”, and the tape of the film had vanished. A week later, the taxi driver who drove Oswald home from the book depository on the day of the president’s assassination, William Whaley, was killed in a car crash. The same fate befell one of the witnesses to the Kennedy assassination, Lee Bowers, who saw “two men shooting from behind the fence.” Three of the five people who were present in Jack Ruby’s house on the evening of Nov. 24, 1963 were shot to death (the lawyer Tom Howard and reporters Bill Hunter and Jim Koethe) … And on Nov. 8, 1965, Dorothy Kilgallen, who was the only journalist granted a private interview with Jack Ruby after Oswald’s assassination, died of a “drug overdose,” although she had never taken drugs. There are dozens of such examples, and the names involved have never been a secret, but is it even worth pointing out once again that these people are never mentioned in the declassified files from the US National Archives?

    On Nov. 29, 1963, Lyndon Johnson, the former vice president who had automatically risen to head of state upon JFK’s death, ordered a special commission to be established to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy. The chief justice of the US Supreme Court, Earl Warren, was asked to head the seven-man panel, which also included two senators, two members of the House of Representatives, the former director of the CIA Allen Dulles, and the banker John McCloy. The commission listened to testimony from 552 witnesses and obtained more than 3,000 reports from courts and law-enforcement agencies, which, in turn, had conducted approximately 26,000 interviews, collected in 26 volumes of documentation.

    However, the final report, which was intended to shed light on the mysterious details of the “crime of the century,” merely offered withering criticism of the CIA, the FBI, and the Dallas police for not being able to prevent the death of the president, who had been shot by a deranged lone gunman…

    Hale Boggs, a Democratic Representative from Louisiana, was the only member of the Warren Commission who did not buckle to Earl Warren and his disciples and disagreed with the conclusion. In October 1972 he was killed in a plane crash over frozen Alaska…

    Rep. Hale Boggs

    One of the last photos of Rep. Hale Boggs

    The findings of the investigation, which ignored a whole slew of facts and the death of almost all the witnesses, were so obviously bizarre that in 1976 the US Congress created a new special commission on the Kennedy case. In 1979 it issued its verdict: Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.” The HSCA determined, based on available evidence, that the probable conspiracy did not involve the governments of the Soviet Union or Cuba. The committee also added that no organized crime group, anti-Castro group, or the FBI, CIA, or Secret Service was mixed up in that conspiracy. Is it any wonder that following this report, the FBI and the US Department of Justice “raised numerous concerns regarding perceived inadequacies in the Committee’s experts’ methodology, which led to the conclusion of a conspiracy”?

    So, who ordered the murder of President Kennedy and then covered up the tracks? Obviously the masterminds were not merely some group of conspirators or Mafiosi, but rather individuals who wield immense and very real power in the American government. So immense that they could force the entire US law-enforcement system to do everything necessary to keep this crime from being solved and to compel the Kennedy family to obediently close their eyes to it!

    Who would have been capable of doing this? The Mafia? Cuban emigrants? Anyone could pull the trigger, but not just anyone could force the investigation to overlook obvious facts and turn a blind eye to what any of us can see in the films and photos. Nor did the CIA or FBI command such power. If it were simply a matter of liquidating an undesirable foreign political figure or an out-of-control drug baron, then either of these agencies could contain the scandal on its own. But even they would be in over their heads in any attempt to assassinate a US president in his own country.

    In order to get closer to unraveling one of the most mysterious political murders of the 20th century, we should turn our attention to an obscure document signed by that resident of the Oval Office less than six months before his death.

    On June 4, 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order 11110, authorizing the US Treasury to issue paper currency that could be redeemed for silver held by the treasury.

    As a result, this US currency was printed in denominations of $2 and $5 and inscribed with the words “United States Note” instead of “Federal Reserve Note.”

    United States Note 1963

    United States Note 1963 5 dollars

    Kennedy’s order was intended to wean the Federal Reserve System away from printing money, beginning a smooth transition toward returning the printing press to the hands of the American government.

    He was correcting a clear violation of the US Constitution and an absurd situation in which the US government could not print its own money. It was a quiet and inconspicuous coup d’état. For the bankers who had founded the Federal Reserve, their greatest fear was about to come true. Now with one stroke of the pen, their plans to establish complete control over the US government and American society were faced with a clear and present danger. Because the fact was that the issuance of these small banknotes was to be followed by the complete suspension of the Fed’s right to print money. So what was that agency to do then? Regulate the financial market, monitoring it so as to forestall any crises? Fine, regulating and monitoring is all well and good. Just stop printing money …

    The Federal Reserve’s monopoly on the issuance of its own dollar, which is for some reason considered to be the “US dollar,” hinges on a single act of legislation that was signed by President Woodrow Wilson in December of 1913. Consequently, a single, different act of legislation would be enough to destroy this monopoly. But John F. Kennedy failed to realize his agenda. Executive Order 11110 was not revoked but was never actually implemented. For the owners of the Fed, however, the threat remained that the order could be revived by a new US president, potentially JFK’s brother Robert, who in his position as US Attorney General fully grasped the implications of what was happening. And the equally enigmatic murder of Robert Kennedy, who was a leading candidate headed into the Democratic primary for the 1968 presidential election, occurred exactly five years after the signing of the very executive order that killed his brother. It looks like the very influential bankers from the Federal Reserve sent a clear signal: the clan whose representatives tried to betray the System will no longer be allowed to play a significant role in US politics. And they haven’t.

    We still can’t reliably assess President Trump’s motivation in releasing the JFK files. The plenitude, relevance and authencity of this archive are highly questionable. Nevertheless, he might have intuitively felt that the draining of Washington’s swamp should eventually be completed at the Constitution Avenue…

  • DHS Warns That "Weaponized Drones" Are A Serious Terror Risk

    In what appears to be an expertly timed exercise in fearmongering less than two weeks after the horrifying Halloween terror attack in lower Manhattan – the deadliest attack in America’s financial center since 9/11 – the Department of Homeland Security has issued a bulletin warning the public about the risk of drones being used to facilitate acts of terrorism.

    Drones, which are now easy to obtain and modify in potentially deadly ways (one Connecticut man was investigating after he published a video of a drone equipped to fire a nine-millimeter) DHS is warning about the threat of weaponized drones being used to carry out chemical attacks and the targeting of commercial aircraft, according to ABC.

    "We continue to face one of the most challenging threat environments since 9/11, as foreign terrorist organizations exploit the internet to inspire, enable or direct individuals already here in the homeland to commit terrorist acts," reads the bulletin.

    The National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin, which replaced the old color-coded system, is used to give the public and local law enforcement a summary about ongoing and potentially new terror threats.

    A senior DHS official told ABC that there's been an "uptick in terrorist interest" in using unmanned aerial systems as weapons in the United States and other western countries.

    These tactics have been used by terrorists on the battlefield, and the department wants to "guard against those tactics being exported to the west," said the official.

    The official said that DHS wants to be "forward leaning" about seeing what terrorists are doing overseas and tactics they might adopt in the future.

    DHS has been implementing wide-ranging security measures for all airports and airlines that fly directly to the U.S. In June, the administration announced "enhanced screening" of passengers and their electronic devices, as well as "seen and unseen" security around the aircraft and inside the airport.

    White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said terrorists still see "aviation as the crown jewel target,” when the security measures were announced.

    At the time, he was the head of DHS, a cabinet-level department that was created by George W Bush after 9/11.

    The measures, which are being rolled out in phases, are aimed at detecting concealed explosives, insider threats and identifying suspicious passengers.

    The US has been urging other countries to adopt similar measures, according to current acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke.

    The new bulletin also warns of the use of "poisons or toxins," which the DHS official says there has been increased chatter about in the terror realm.

    The "big picture" is that the homeland security fight is shifting, the senior DHS official told ABC.

    The department's response to the terror threat is adapting as ISIS is close to defeat in safe havens, but continues to have branches and affiliates around the world, according to DHS.

    For the record, here’s the video of the handgun-firing drone…

    ;

    Read the full bulletin below:

     

    17 1109 NTAS Bulletin by zerohedge on Scribd

     

  • Plague Fears Grow As New Virus With No Cure Appears: "This Is Worse Than The 'Black Death'"

    Malawi is bracing itself for an outbreak of the plague after the Daily Mail reports that deadly disease continues to spread across the island nation of Madagascar. At least 143 people have died and more than 2,000 others have been infected in Madagascar since an outbreak in early August this year which has now spread to its 10th African nation.

    Malawi's health secretary confirmed the country is ready for any reported cases of the disease amid mounting concerns of Africa's 'porous borders'.

    He said: 'We have infection prevention materials ready and groups and teams ready to be activated if there is a trigger.'

    South Africa, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania, La Réunion, Mozambique, Kenya, Ethiopia and Comoros have all been warned they could be at risk from a possible outbreak as well…

    The strain can be cured with antibiotics and the WHO money will go towards paying for extra medical personnel, the disinfection of buildings and fuel for ambulances.

    Cases have risen by eight per cent in just the space of one week and scientists are now working hard to ensure the disease does not spread from Madagascar to mainland Africa.

    Health expert Professor Jimmy Whitworth described the current outbreak as the 'worst in 50 years or more'.

    But as SHTFplan.com's Mac Slavo notes, a new virus for which medical officials have no remedy is spreading. The infectious disease also has a fatality rate of almost 90% making it much more deadly than the black death plaguing Madagascar.

    deadly outbreak of a rare and highly fatal virus has broken out in eastern Uganda and five cases have already been identified, the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed. The disease is known as the Marburg virus. It is similar to the Ebola virus and can be fatal in up to 88% of cases.

    The outbreak of the contagious and deadly Marburg virus disease in the Kween district of eastern Uganda was declared by the nation’s Ministry of Health back on October 19. Since then, five cases have been identified as international aid agencies, stretched thin by Madagascar’s black death outbreak, have rushed to deploy teams on the ground to control the recent outbreak. This news comes amid a surge in cases of plague in Madagascar, which is considered to be the “worst outbreak in 50 years” and now at “crisis” point.

    Marburg virus disease (MVD), which causes severe viral hemorrhagic fever, ranks among the most virulent pathogens known to infect humans, according to the World Health Organization. The WHO website reads: “Marburg virus disease is a rare disease with a high mortality rate for which there is no specific treatment. The virus is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids, and tissues of infected persons or wild animals (e.g. monkeys and fruit bats).” MVD also falls within the same family as the Ebola virus – the hemorrhagic fever that decimated West Africa and killed around 11,000 in 2014 and 2015.

    The outbreak is thought to have begun in September when a man in his 30s, who worked as a game hunter and lived near a cave with a heavy presence of bats, was admitted to a local health center with a high fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. The man’s condition deteriorated quickly and he failed to respond to antimalarial treatments. He died after being taken to another hospital, and a short time later, his sister in her 50’s also died of the same ailment.

    Emergency screening has begun at the Kenya-Uganda border in Turkana after all three members of the same family died of the disease in Uganda. Health workers have been asked to work with communities to stop the deadly Marburg outbreak from devastating communities in the rural region.

    Dr. Zabulon Yoti, a Technical Coordinator for Emergencies at the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa, said: “Community engagement is the cornerstone of emergency response.” He urged health officials to “work with the communities to build their capacity for success and sustainability” and develop a better understanding of the local customs and traditions.

    Early symptoms include fever, chills, headache, and myalgia (muscle pain). Several hundred people have been exposed to the virus as officials worry this outbreak could spread rapidly into regions already devastated by the ongoing black death outbreak.

  • Geopolitical Tsunami: Pax Americana, Petrodollar, & The Coming Crisis In The Gulf

    It’s easy to get lost in all things Middle East, especially concerning the chaotic events that unfolded over the weekend in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.

    Three days after the most stunning purge in recent Saudi history – which was really a countercoup, that led to the arrest of dozen of Saudi Arabian royals, ministers and businessmen to further the control of the Kingdom – Saudi Arabia called Yemen’s missile launch on Riyadh an ‘act of war’ by Iran, and also played victim by saying Lebanon has declared war against the Kingdom.

    How to make sense of this all? 

    An author on twitter by the handle Black Pigeon Speaks beautifully outlines today’s events in an easy to understand video titled: PAX AMERICANA, PetroDollar & the Coming CRISIS in the GULF… 

    The author of the video focuses on the Middle East and says a perfect storm is gathering upon the horizon, as the whole world is changing and the only way to change it for the better is to understand the world around you.

    The video opens up with a brief understanding of the stunning purge in Saudi Arabia and how it has cleared any potential obstacles for King Salman’s son ascension to the throne.

    This was done by a widespread arrest of royals, ministers and businessmen who have large sums of money and control key parts of the economy and parts of the military. Such an unorthodox move is bound to force internal conflict with-in the country that could very well spillover.

    In the next section, the author says “this comes all at a time of seeming change for the Kingdom”. Allowing women to drive was merely a window dressing event and the real issue is the country’s economic transition away from oil. The problem resides around the world’s most generous social welfare systems of which most citizens do not work. The money transfer from state to citizens is similar to the United States social programs, but the objective in Saudi Arabia has been to sedate the populace from expressing any collective opposition to the kingdom. It is easy to understand how fragile the house of Saud really is….

    Moreover as what was highlighted by the recent arm sales via the Trump administration. The country is armed with the most technological weapons in the world, as it has completely abandoned the line of succession through a stunning weekend purge.

    The idea that Saudi Arabia is trying to cement a new era for the kingdom at the expense of those who have been purged could pose serious problems. And how the author puts it, “you have a recipe for civil war– for two reasons:

    • Those who have been purged will claim they’ve a legitimate claim to power. These individuals are very wealthy and have the means to buy mercenary armies to fight for their claim
    • Breakdown of the social welfare program

    The outlook for Saudi Arabia is bleak and in our view, the conditions are perfect for a civil war. The probability of an expansionist war also increases as the kingdom has Iran and Lebanon in its crosshairs.

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