Aug 24

Today’s News 24th August 2017

  • Two New Totalitarian Movements: Radical Islam And Political Correctness

    Authored by A.Z.Mohamed via The Gatestone Institute,

    • The attempt in the West to impose a strict set of rules about what one is allowed to think and express in academia and in the media — to the point that anyone who disobeys is discredited, demonized, intimidated and in danger of losing his or her livelihood — is just as toxic and just as reminiscent of Orwell's diseased society.
    • The main facet of this PC tyranny, so perfectly predicted by George Orwell, is the inversion of good and evil — of victim and victimizer. In such a universe, radical Muslims are victimized by the West, and not the other way around. This has led to a slanted teaching of the history of Islam and its conquests, both as a justification of the distortion and as a reflection of it.
    • Thought-control is necessary for the repression of populations ruled by despotic regimes. That it is proudly and openly being used by self-described liberals and human-rights advocates in free societies is not only hypocritical and shocking; it is a form of aiding and abetting regimes whose ultimate goal is to eradicate Western ideals.

    Political correctness (PC) has been bolstering radical Islamism. This influence was most recently shown again in an extensive exposé by the Clarion Project in July 2017, which demonstrates the practice of telling "deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them in order to forget any fact that has become inconvenient" — or, as George Orwell called it in his novel, 1984, "Doublespeak."

    This courtship and marriage between the Western chattering classes and radical Muslim fanatics was elaborated by Andrew C. McCarthy in his crucial 2010 book, The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.

    Since then, this union has strengthened. Both the United States and the rest of the West are engaged in a romance with forces that are, bluntly, antagonistic to the values of liberty and human rights.

    To understand this seeming paradox, one needs to understand what radical Islamism and PC have in common. Although Islamism represents all that PC ostensibly opposes — such as the curbing of free speech, the repression of women, gays and "apostates" — both have become totalitarian ideologies.

    The totalitarian nature of radical Islamism is more obvious than that of Western political correctness — and certainly more deadly. Sunni terrorists, such as ISIS and Hamas — and Shiites, such as Hezbollah and its state sponsor, Iran — use mass murder to accomplish their ultimate goal of an Islamic Caliphate that dominates the world and subjugates non-Muslims.

    The attempt in the West, however, to impose a strict set of rules about what one is allowed to think and express in academia and in the media — to the point that anyone who disobeys is discredited, demonized, intimidated and in danger of losing his or her livelihood — is just as toxic and just as reminiscent of Orwell's view of a diseased society.

    These rules are not merely unspoken ones. Quoting a Fox News interview with American columnist Rachel Alexander, the Clarion Project points out that the Associated Press — whose stylebook is used as a key reference by a majority of English-language newspapers worldwide for uniformity of grammar, punctuation and spelling — is now directing writers to avoid certain words and terms that are now deemed unacceptable to putative liberals.

    Alexander recently wrote:

    "Even when individual authors do not adhere to the bias of AP Style, it often doesn't matter. If they submit an article to a mainstream media outlet, they will likely see their words edited to conform. A pro-life author who submits a piece taking a position against abortion will see the words 'pro-life' changed to 'anti-abortion,' because the AP Stylebook instructs, 'Use anti-abortion instead of pro-life and pro-abortion rights instead of pro-abortion or pro-choice.' It goes on, 'Avoid abortionist,' saying the term 'connotes a person who performs clandestine abortions.'

     

    "Words related to terrorism are sanitized in the AP Stylebook. Militant, lone wolves or attackers are to be used instead of terrorist or Islamist. 'People struggling to enter Europe' is favored over 'migrant' or 'refugee.' While it's true that many struggle to enter Europe, it is accurate to point out that they are, in fact, immigrants or refugees."

    To be sure, the AP Stylebook does not carry the same weight or authority as the Quranic texts on which radical Islamists base their jihadist actions and totalitarian aims. It does constitute, however, a cultural decree that has turned religious in its fervor. It gives a glimpse, as well, into the intellectual tyranny that has pervaded liberal Western thought and institutions.

    The main facet of this PC tyranny, so perfectly predicted by Orwell, is the inversion of good and evil — of victim and victimizer. In such a universe, radical Muslims are victimized by the West, and not the other way around. This has led to a slanted teaching of the history of Islam and its conquests, both as a justification of the distortion and as a reflection of it.

    As far back as 2003, the Middle East Forum reported on the findings of a study conducted by the American Textbook Council, an independent New York-based research organization, which stated:

    "[Over the last decade], the coverage of Islam in world history textbooks has expanded and in some respects improved…. But on significant Islam-related subjects, textbooks omit, flatter, embellish, and resort to happy talk, suspending criticism or harsh judgments that would raise provocative or even alarming questions."

    Thought-control is necessary for the repression of populations ruled by despotic regimes. That it is proudly and openly being used by self-described liberals and human-rights advocates in free societies is not only hypocritical and shocking; it is a form of aiding and abetting regimes whose ultimate goal is to eradicate Western ideals. The relationship between the two must be recognized for what it is: a marriage made in hell.

  • Visualizing The Countries Most And Least Accepting Of Migrants

    According to new research from Gallup, many countries on the frontlines of Europe's migration crisis are among the least-accepting countries worldwide for migrants.

    Statista's Nial McCarthy notes that the research found that Macedonia, Montenegro, Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia and Croatia which are all along the Balkan route for asylum seekers recorded the lowest scores for accepting migrants.

    Infographic: The Countries Most And Least Accepting Of Migrants  | Statista

    You will find more statistics at Statista

    Iceland was at the opposite end of the scale, scoring 8.26 out of 9.0. It was followed by New Zealand and Rwanda.

    Germany which has taken in huge numbers of refugees in recent years came 23rd overall with 7.09. The United States came 18th with 7.27. The United Kingdom came a distant 38th for migrant acceptance, scoring only 6.61 out of 9.0.

  • Globalist Strategy Exposed: Use Crazy Leftists And Provocateurs To Enrage/Demonize Conservatives

    Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.com,

    The false left/right paradigm is an often misunderstood concept. Many people who are aware of it sometimes wrongly assume that it asserts the claim that there is "no left or right political spectrum;" that it is all a farce. This is incorrect.

    In regular society there is indeed a political spectrum among the general populace from socialism/communism/big government (left) to conservatism/free markets/individualism/small government (right).

    Each citizen sits somewhere on the scale between these two dynamics. The left/right spectrum is in fact real for the average person.

    We do not find a " false" paradigm until we examine the beliefs and behaviors of the elitist and political classes. For many banking oligarchs and high level politicians, there is no loyalty to a particular political party or an identifiable "left" or "right" ideology. Many of these people are happy to exploit both sides of the spectrum, if they can, to achieve the goals of globalism; a separate ideology that doesn't really serve the interests of groups on the left or the right. That is to say, globalists pretend as if they care about one side or the other on occasion, but in truth they could not care less about the success of either. They only care about the success of their own exclusive elitist club.

    This reality also tends to apply to national loyalty as well. Globalists do not carry any ideological love for any particular nation or culture. They are more than happy to sacrifice and sabotage a country if the action will gain them greater power or centralization in return. A globalist is only "Democrat" or "Republican," or American or Russian or Chinese or European, etc., insofar as the label gets them something that they want.

    The reason globalists and the people that work for them adopt certain labels is because through this they can act as gatekeepers and better manipulate the masses. The hot button issue of the week provides us with a case in point…

    The organizer of the "Unite The Right" group during the Charlottesville circus, which ended in one death and numerous injured, happened to be an ideological playmate of the extreme left only a year ago. Jason Kessler seemed to come out of nowhere as a leading figure in the white identity or "white nationalist" movement in 2017, but in 2016, he was an avid supporter of Barack Obama, and before that, an active champion of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

    I suppose anyone can change their ideological worldview over time, but I'm certainly not stupid enough to believe that Jason Kessler went from hardcore leftist to white nationalist in less than a year. Though it cannot be proven conclusively that Kessler is a provocateur, he certainly idolized the position. Kessler is quoted in his own blog on December 12, 2015, (now shut down but archived) as stating:

    "I can't think of any occupation I admire more than the professional provocateur, who has the courage and self-determination to court controversy despite all the slings and arrows of the world."

    This is not the first time white nationalists have been exploited by agent provocateurs to make the "political right" in general look bad. And, it is certainly not the first time white nationalists have been discovered to be working directly for the federal government. Klu Klux Klan leader Bill Wilkinson openly admitted to being a FBI informant and cooperator in 1981. Hal Turner, a white supremacist radio personality notorious for calling for the deaths of judges and lawmakers, turned out to be a provocateur paid by the FBI to drum up extremism. He was exposed in 2009 after his arrest led to his admission that almost everything he did was "at the behest of the Federal Bureau of Investigations…"

    Why would the government seek to instigate white nationalist groups into violence? Well, you have to examine the larger narrative here.

    Anti-conservative propaganda has been overwhelmingly one-track over the past several years. If you are well educated on the activities of deceit machines like the Southern Poverty Law Center, you understand that the thrust of all of their operations has been to tie white nationalism directly to conservative organizations even if there is no connection. I call this "guilt by false association." Keep in mind that the SPLC cooperates closely with government agencies like the DHS and their "Working Group To Counter Violent Extremism" to create profiling techniques to identify "right wing extremists." Meaning, their skewed propaganda is often what the media and government agencies use as a reference when writing articles or implementing policy.

    The SPLC is inseparable from the mainstream media and government agendas dealing with conservatives.

    In order to justify the madness and violence of the left in recent months, it is more important than ever for the establishment to maintain the lie that conservatives are also all violent racists and "fascists" that need to be destroyed. Propaganda alone is rarely enough to make such notions stick in the public consciousness. Sometimes, provocateurs are needed to "stir the pot."

    However, this is only half the equation of the American civil war being engineered before our eyes.

    In my article 'The Social Justice Cult Should Blame Itself For The Rise Of Trump' published in August of 2016, I warned that Trump would indeed win the presidential election and that this would actually serve the interests of establishment elites. In the article, I outline the classic division that globalists have used for decades to divide and conquer societies as well as conjure instability and even geopolitical conflicts — namely the communist versus fascist division.

    The political left in the U.S. has gone "full retard" as they say, and it is my belief that this is by design. George Soros, an avid globalist and Nazi-collaborator that now pretends to be a "Democrat" (remember, in reality these people have no loyalty to either side), is a prominent figure behind the funding and strategy initiatives of far-left groups like Black Lives Matter and others related to Antifa activities.

    The current behavior of SJW groups like Antifa is similar in numerous ways to the actions of Maoists in China during the Cultural Revolution. Maoists sought to erase all vestiges of China's "imperialist history" in a wave of violence that resulted in the destruction of priceless pieces of Chinese historical significance, and the prosecution of political opponents. This unchecked fervor eventually culminated in mass killings of anyone found to be a heretic of the new social justice religion. The only group to truly benefit from the rabid outburst was Mao and the elites of China's political establishment.

    The left's uncomfortably similar war against confederate statues in America is not about slavery, and it's certainly not about a respect for life (if that were the case, they would have admonished the shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise by a Bernie Sanders supporter as much as they wailed about the killing of Heather Heyer by a white nationalist).  Where was all the outrage from the left over Scalise?  And, where was the outrage over Confederate statues during Barack Obama's presidency?  Why isn't the left blaming him for the continued existence of these "racist" landmarks?

    Clearly, none of these statues glorify slavery in any way, they merely represent a piece of America's past which was far more complex than poorly educated SJW lunatics are able to comprehend. Of course, they don't care about real history, they only care that the issue of confederate statues as a means by which they can implement deconstruction of American cultural heritage, which is predominantly conservative in ideals.

    What the left wants is to START with confederate statues because this is easiest to for them to rationalize to the public, then move on to the founding fathers, then to the Constitution and round out their assault with the erasure of conservative thought altogether.

    What globalists like George Soros want is to encourage leftists to pursue this goal, but not necessarily with the expectation that they will succeed. In fact, the globalists are about to throw the leftists to the wolves.

    My readers are well aware of my position on the Trump presidency. I said it before his election and I continue to hold to my prediction to this day; Trump is either a patsy and a scapegoat for the inevitable economic and social crisis that has been brewing within America for years, or, he is a pied piper and willing participant in the scheme. Either way, conservatives are being lashed to the hull of Trump's Titanic, and when it sinks, we are all supposed to go down with it.

    The social justice cultism of leftists, growing ever more heinous and illogical, is MEANT to push conservatives not just into the arms of the Trump White House, but it is also meant to push us towards a more totalitarian mindset. The more aggressive the left becomes, the more inclined the right will be to use government as a weapon to pulverize them with an iron fist. This is exactly what globalists want, for once conservatives abandon our Constitutional principles in the name of defeating the left we will have become the monster we have always sought to defend against. We will have lost the long game, and the globalists will have us exactly where they want us.

    Communism and fascism are two sides of the same coin. Both ideologies were originally developed and funded by international banks and conglomerates in the early 20th century. For undeniable evidence of this I recommend reading works of Antony Sutton, including Wall Street And The Bolshevik Revolution, as well as Wall Street And The Rise Of Hitler.

    Communism is a totalitarian/collectivist model based on the fraudulent premise that the strongest and most successful in a society must be diminished or erased in order to elevate the weak and unsuccessful. All based on the assumption that the strong must have risen to their position through oppression and exploitation. Through this erasure they hope to create "equality."

     

    Fascism is a totalitarian/collectivist model based on the fraudulent premise that the weak and unsuccessful in a society must be diminished or erased because they are a parasitic drain on the strong.

    Both rely heavily on the power of government, the blind servitude of the majority and the use of terror to achieve their goals.

    Neither of these systems is compatible with conservative philosophy and both of them act as a catalyst for greater centralization and less freedom, which the globalists benefit greatly from. In fact, if you believe in the force of big government and the collectivist mindset then you CANNOT call yourself a conservative. The two worldviews are mutually exclusive.

    Conservatives can, though, be corrupted, just like anyone else. In the case of the present day, conservatives are being stabbed with a thousand needles by the left, luring us into a mindset of vengeance and rage. We are also being falsely associated with white nationalist movements (many of them operated by agent provocateurs) that do often promote fascism as if it is some kind of "misunderstood" elixir of stability and utopia. I think it is clear that regardless of who wins — fascists or communists, conservatives are the primary target.

    It is my view that the left is cannon fodder in this agenda. They are being wielded like a blunt instrument; a battering ram composed of useful idiots, a buzzing of flies and mosquitoes. Conservatives will be encouraged to act against constitutional values in order to stop this threat in the most brutal way. The time is coming when we will have to make a choice – stand by our values and fight the left the hard way, or abandon our values and serve the globalists by adopting their methods of government totalitarianism. It is my hope that enough of us will stand by the constitution and conscience in this schizophrenic era and disrupt the tides of madness before they erode our nation completely.

  • If Student Loans Were Honest

    College is going to be one of the biggest investments of your life…

    …which is why you should just trust what the student loan companies tell you without even thinking twice about how much you could be screwed after school has ended.

  • Guard Your Mind Like the Precious Resource It Is

    Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

    I’m concerned about a better world. I’m concerned about justice; I’m concerned about brotherhood; I’m concerned about truth. And when one is concerned about that, he can never advocate violence. For through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can’t murder murder. Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can’t establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can’t murder hate through violence.  Darkness cannot put out darkness; only light can do that.

     

    Martin Luther King, Jr. (1967)

    Something I’ve been working on personally is becoming more in control of my emotions and, more importantly, trying not  to immediately respond when something makes me angry. In order to do this, I’ve found it necessary to be conscious of the anger itself. Specifically, I’ve noticed that when we get angry we tend to move into a state of mind that is obsessively focused on the source of this anger. We dwell on how we were wronged over and over in our minds like an uncontrollable movie, which then makes us even more angry. In an attempt to stop the movie and momentarily feel better about the situation, we tend to lash out. It feels good for a second, but it almost never gets you anywhere.

    Anger and fear are two emotions that serve important evolutionary purposes and certainly have their place, but I’ve found neither to be productive when it comes to solutions to serious problems, or to establishing better relationships with those you care about. When one is angry or fearful the instinctual response is to do whatever might make you feel better in the moment. Allowing oneself to react from a state of fear or anger will almost always lead to poor decision making, unless you are actually in a situation that requires such a response.

    I discussed this concept in May’s post, Do Ends Justify the Means?

    I think many people will quickly answer the question “do the ends justify the means” without putting enough thought into it. The question is meant to be considered when it comes to premeditated voluntary actions of questionable ethics taken with a defined objective in mind. It has nothing to do with matters of self-defense, or anything in that category. For example, if someone is coming at your family with an intent to inflict harm, the ethical decision might be to harm the aggressor to protect your family despite the fact that harming another person in itself is an immoral act. Pretty much everyone can agree with this, so it doesn’t add anything to the argument of whether the ends justify the means.

     

    What about if you’re walking down the street and you see someone come from behind an old lady, hit her on the head and then struggle with her on the ground in an attempt to take her purse. You aren’t being directly attacked, so should you intervene with violence if necessary against the perpetrator to help an innocent bystander? Again, I think the right and ethical decision here is to step in to try to help the victim if possible.

     

    In both these cases the negative “means” of violence you might be required to use against violent aggressors do indeed justify the ends — in the first instance the protection of your family, and in the second a vulnerable old lady. Given these examples, one might be led to believe that the ends can often justify the means, but I would argue that this only holds true in extreme examples such as the ones described above, and that for a principled person, the ends almost never justify the means.

     

    When people seriously consider whether the ends of a particular action justify the means, it’s almost never in relation to scenarios like the ones described above for two reasons. First, those are extremely rare situations that many people (in the developed world at least) will only experience a few of times in the course of a lifetime, if that. On the other hand, many of us face constant but often overlooked ethical dilemmas on a daily or weekly basis. We all face situations where we are confronted with the choice to do something we know is wrong, but perhaps do it anyway either for instant gratification or in the pursuit of a larger goal.

    The point is that most of us (at least here in the U.S.) rarely find ourselves in situations where the proper course of action would be to respond instinctually from a state of fear or anger. For most of us, the best course of action is to become aware of our anger and acknowledge that it is a normal response, but to also then recognize that this state of mind must be transcended in order to come up with conscious and productive ways to overcome the root problem. This is the wisdom the spiritual masters of all faiths throughout history have taught us. Easier said than done for sure, but that doesn’t make it any less true or important.

    This is part of what it means to be more conscious, or aware. It means you’ve learned to acknowledge the constant presence of the crazy “monkey mind” which tends to dominate human thought. Recognizing it is the crucial first step, taming it is a whole other ballgame, and one I am only beginning to work on.

    For the purposes of this piece, the key thing I want to hammer home is that people are much more easily manipulated when they don’t realize they’re being manipulated. Moreover, the easiest way to manipulate someone is to ensure they get in, and stay in, a state of either fear or angry, preferably both. Whether intentional or not, the media seems to be professionals at creating such an environment, which  is why it’s so important to tune from 90% of the nonsense they publish. It’s quite literally brain cancer.

    It’s not just the corporate media though. I’m seeing it across the political spectrum, whether from “new right” pundits, or anti-free speech leftists advocating violence. Becoming your enemy to fight your enemy has become a new rallying cry for the unconscious across the political spectrum. “But they’re doing it, so now we’re gonna do it.” Is this political discourse, or toddlers throwing sand at each other in the playground?

    The bottom line is if you ever hear anyone advocating such tactics run away from them as fast as you can. These people are poison.

    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

    Only conscious people can help create a better world, unconscious people never will.

  • Hartford Bankruptcy Looms As CT Gov Admits "We Spent Money On Wrong Things"

    Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy is among the country’s least popular governors after forcing through two tax hikes that sent individuals and corporations fleeing from the state. Luckily for the state and its people, Malloy apparently has no interest in sticking around to take the heat when it comes time for the next hike: He has announced that he will not seek a third term.

    Connecticut has gone without a budget for two months, and is facing devastating cutbacks in municipal services if one isn't passed soon. But Malloy took time off this week from grappling with legislators to speak with a reporter from Reuters, he offers little insight into what lead to the state’s precarious fiscal situation. Instead, he blames it on overspending on prisons.

    "The state invested in the wrong things for a period of time. It allowed its higher educational institutions to suffer while it sought to placate communities with respect to other forms of local reimbursement," Malloy told Reuters during an interview in his office on Thursday.

     

    "We built too many prisons, which we're still paying off even while we're closing them," he said. The Democrat took office in 2011 and is not seeking a third term.”

    Prisons are only a small part of the state's problem. Choked by outmigration and a debt-service burden that’s the highest in the nation compared with revenues, Connecticut’s fiscal situation is deteriorating rapidly. And after two months without a budget, Reuters reports that, unless lawmakers act soon, the government of one of the wealthiest states in the country will begin cutbacks in education spending and municipal aid as Malloy tries to close an expected $3.5 billion budget shortfall over the coming two years.

    Connecticut is one of a handful of US states on the verge of a Greece-style debt-crisis, as it struggles to service some $23 billion in municipal debt, all while lawmakers keep one eye on the state’s unfunded pension liabilities, which have climbed to a terrifying $50 billion, thanks to the generous retirement packages enjoyed by Connecticut state employees.

    Back in May, all three of the main rating agencies downgraded the credit rating on the state’s general-obligation bonds, sending the state’s credit risk soaring. Meanwhile, municipal debt for the city of Hartford, Connecticut’s once-proud capital, has been downgraded to junk status. Health-insurance giant Aetna, which was founded in Hartford nearly 200 years ago, recently dealt the city a major blow when it announced plans to relocate its headquarters to New York City, though most of the company’s 6,000 employees will remain in the state.

    About a year earlier, General Electric, which had been headquartered in Fairfield, CT for decades, announced it would re-locate to Boston, where it would face a lower tax bill AND access to top-flight talent, who typically prefer to work and live in trendy urban hubs.

    After meeting with Millstein & Co, the same firm that tried to help Puerto Rico reorganize its massive debt burden, State Comptroller Denise Nappier proposed a new tax-secured revenue bond program, which she says will lower borrowing costs and boost reserves. The bonds would be issued in lieu of general-obligation bonds, according to Reuters.

    But that's a long-term solution. Right now, the state still desperately needs a budget, or its municipalities will be faced with devastating cuts.

    “…until lawmakers craft a budget, the state's fiscal uncertainty is causing havoc among municipalities. Some are considering whether to delay the start of school or dip into reserves.

     

     And for Hartford, the longer the state goes without a budget, the closer the city comes  to a possible bankruptcy filing, said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, a 38-year-old former U.S.  Treasury official.

     

    "The lack of a state budget… makes a liquidity challenge come that much faster," he said.”

    By some measures, Connecticut has the worst debt problem in the country.

    “It has the most net tax-supported state debt per capita in the nation at $6,505, versus a median of $1,006, according to Moody's Investors Service.

     

    It has the highest debt service costs as a portion of state revenues, as well as debt relative to gross domestic product, Moody's said.”

    During fiscal 2017, CT spent $2.85 billion servicing debt – the most in seven years.

    “The $2.85 billion of principal and interest the state paid on its bonds in fiscal 2017 was the highest in six years, according to preliminary unaudited information from State Treasurer Denise Nappier's office that has not yet been published.”

    A crisis at the state level promises to ripple across the state, destabilizing municipalities that have taken state aid for granted for too long.

    “Further, the state's budget crunch is threatening its cities including the state capital of Hartford, which is considering bankruptcy due, in part, to its dependence on state aid.

     

    Connecticut has borrowed for decades to fund school construction, whereas nearly all other states typically borrow at the local level for those projects.

     

    Lack of county governments means some other local costs are picked up by the state, including for all of its detention facilities.”

    As with many of its troubled peers, Connecticut’s financial struggles began with the crisis.

    “Connecticut has piled on debt to bolster its public pensions, selling $2.3 billion of bonds in April 2008.

     

    And again in December 2009, the state sold $916 million of economic recovery notes to close a budget deficit after depleting its rainy day fund during the Great Recession.”

    Beyond that, its decline has been hastened by a combination of forces. A deteriorating local economy, coupled with a plunge in hedge fund profits, have strained the state’s already narrow tax base. Meanwhile, high taxes have inspired wealthy hedge fund types to move to states that are more tax-friendly, like Florida.

    Despite its desperate financial situation, the state still leads the country in one important metric…

    …college basketball championships.
     

  • Bezos Vs Putin – Who Will Be The First Trillionaire?

    Authored by James Durso via TheHill.com,

    Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the one of the world’s richest men, and he may become the first trillionaire. But some think Russian President Vladimir Putin’s alleged $200 billion fortune surpasses Bezos’ paltry $90 billion. Who is really #1?

    It depends how you count.

    First, the numbers are dodgy.

    Putin critic Bill Browder, once Russia’s largest foreign investor, says Putin has a $200 billion fortune (compared to Russia’s $1.6 trillion GDP). Browder was ejected from Russia in 2005 after being designated a "threat to national security" and said of his activism, “I was not going after his [Putin’s] enemies, I was going after his [Putin’s] own financial interests.”

    He hasn’t produced any proof of the $200 billion other than his “belief,” but his humiliating ejection from Russia and the death in prison of hi­s lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, might be related.

    Second, no one manages $200 billion by themselves. If Putin “had” $200 billion he would demand it be managed well, and that means managed as a portfolio. A portfolio similar in size to Putin’s is Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway with a total equity of $283 billion. What do you do with $283 billion? You buy things like a railroad or large, visible positions in the airline sector. (And after all that, Buffet still has $100 billion in cash left over.) Managing all that money requires lawyers and financial specialists who are world-class at managing money and keeping their mouths shut. Forever.

    The claim that Putin is richest man in the world rests on the assumption that he has front men managing his money. How easy is to do that and not be noticed? Well, for comparison, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud of Saudi Arabia is worth $17.8 billion. But according to The Economist, “his sums don’t add up,” in part because he could be fronting for others members of the Saudi royal family. We can infer from this that Putin would need a herd of billionaires to do his bidding as his alleged fortune is almost 12 times larger than Alwaleed’s, while he has managed to maintain more secrecy than any Saudi royal.

    You have to go back in Russian history to know how Putin manages his assets.

    Back one hundred years in fact, to the reign of Czar Nicholas II when the wealth of the Romanovs was estimated to be $45 billion (in 1917 dollars) and it was “impossible to separate Czar Nicholas II's wealth from the state's.” Putin probably has a few billion somewhere just to oil the wheels, but who needs bank accounts when the assets of the state are yours?

    Like all politicians, Putin probably considers himself immortal. But he also probably remembers what happened to the families of Soviet officials who were purged: if they were lucky they survived their sentence to the Gulag. Which brings us to Putin’s friends and their children, the Kremlin juniors.

    Putin’s closest friends from St. Petersburg, such as Gennady Timchenko and Yuri Kovalchuk, the largest shareholder in Bank Rossiya, are reputed to be some of the sources of Putin’s wealth. As such, they were sanctioned by the U.S. in the wake of Russia’s seizure of Crimea but will likely stand firm because they believe in Putin and they know what happened to those in the first generation of oligarchs who wavered.

    Nikolai Shamalov is a Putin friend and co-founder with Putin and others of The Ozero (Lake) Cooperative, a development near St. Petersburg. (As Putin friends go, you don’t get closer than an Ozero owner.) His two sons, Yury and Kiril, went on to important positions in state-influenced companies, and Kiril married Putin’s daughter Katerina at a resort owned by Yuri Kovalchuk. The couple is reportedly worth $2 billion.

    Russia’s first post-Soviet ruling class may expire peacefully with substantial assets in the hands of their children. Do they have more money than Bezos? It’s hard to tell, but it doesn’t matter if you have the power.

    As he shuffles off this mortal coil, the unrepentant Chekist will smile knowing he beat them all.

  • Watchdog Group Files FOIA Request For Mnuchin's Flight Logs After Wife's Instagram Spat

    Steve Mnuchin’s bombshell of a ‘trophy wife’, Scottish actress Louise Linton, is about to learn that there are consequences for snarky, condescending social media rants…well, for Republicans and their immediate family anyway. 

    Apparently Linton’s now-infamous Instagram post yesterday responding to a social media troll has sparked the interest of a watchdog group called Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW) who has now filed a FOIA request for all of Steve Mnuchin’s travel records.  Among other things, CREW seems to be alleging that Mnuchin and Linton planned their usage of a government plane around this week’s eclipse.

    Per CREW‘s website, the FOIA request seeks the following:

    CREW requests:

     

    1.  copies of all records concerning authorization for and the costs of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s use of a government plane to travel to Lexington, Kentucky on Monday, August 21, accompanied by his wife Louise Linton.

    2.  copies of all records concerning authorization for and the costs of Secretary Mnuchin’s use of a government plane for any purpose since his appointment as Treasury Secretary.

     

    On August 21, 2017, Secretary Mnuchin and his wife Louise Linton travelled to Lexington, Kentucky, purportedly for the Secretary to present remarks along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at a luncheon sponsored by the Louisville chamber of commerce, Greater Louisville Inc. Afterward, Secretary Mnuchin and his wife “headed to Fort Know…to tour the bullion reserve at the Army post and view the eclipse.”

     

    The requested records would shed light on the justification for Secretary Mnuchin’s use of a government plane, rather than a commercial flight, for a trip that seems to have been planned around the solar eclipse and to enable the Secretary to secure a viewpoint in the path of the eclipse’s totality. At a time of expected deep cuts to the federal budget, the taxpayers have a significant interest in learning the extent to which Secretary Mnuchin has used government planes for travel in lieu of commercial planes, and the justification for that use.

    And here is the full FOIA request:

     

    Sorry, Louise…snark and beauty may have their career benefits in Hollywood but in Washington D.C., particularly when you’re a member of a Republican administration completely hated by the Deep State, they only serve to increase the size of the target on your back.

    * * *

    For those who missed it, below is our post from yesterday on Linton’s Instagram rant…complete with our thorough ‘research’ on her career ‘accomplishments.’

    As was always likely, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s wife Louise Linton has been forced to apologize for her Marie Antionette moment… A short and to the point statement read…

    “I apologize for my post on social media yesterday as well as my response. It was inappropriate and highly insensitive.”

    We are sure that will satiate the twitter hordes that just got confirmation of everything they believed about ‘the elites’.

    *  *  *

    As we detailed earlier, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s 36-year-old (he’s 52 btw) trophy wife Louise Linton has landed herself in a bit of hot water this morning after an epic social media rant against a taxpayer who took issue with one of her Instagram posts.

    Apparently @jennimiller29 didn’t appreciate Linton hastagging her entire expensive wardrobe (including #rolandmouret, #tomford, #hermesscarf, and #valnetinorockstudheels) while traveling on a taxpayer funded private plane, during her husband’s trip to “check” if the gold at Fort Knox is still there, which prompted the following snarky comment:

    “Glad we could pay for your little getaway.”

    And while most folks have learned to simply ignore the social media trolls, Linton apparently has not…which is great news for everyone else because it prompted the following epic rant in reply:

    “Cute! Aw!!! Did you think this was a personal trip?! Adorable! Do you think the US govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol. Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country? I’m pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day ‘trip’ than you did. Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you’d be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours. You’re adorably out of touch. Thanks for the passive aggressive nasty comment. Your kids look very cute. Your life looks cute. I know you’re mad but deep down you’re really nice and so am I. Sending me passive aggressive Instagram comments isn’t going to make life feel better. Maybe a nice message [sic], one filled with wisdom and hunanity [sic] would get more traction. Have a pleasant evening. Go chill out and watch the new game of thrones. It’s fab!”

    Others quickly chimed in: “Quite the populist hashtags on Louise Linton’s Instagram (Mnuchin’s wife), following her taxpayer-funded day trip to Kentucky,” joked Matt McDermott, a pollster and Associate Director at Whitman Insight Strategies.

    “Curiously this Instagram post is no longer available. F–king hedge funders,” wrote one Twitter user. “Louise Linton is a hideous person, growing fat off of our tax dollars,” another said.

    At one point during the evening, someone even went so far as to change Linton’s Wikipedia page to reflect her IG comment. “Never forget she posted this on Instagram,” the page read as of 10:30 p.m.

    Alas, in the end, it seems that only the President is permitted to post outlandish social media rants as Linton’s post has since been deleted and her account turned private.

    Finally, since we know this is the only reason you clicked on this post anyway…here you go:

    Linton

    Link for Linton’s Maxim photoshoot

  • America's Inner Cities Are In Chaos… Just Look At Baltimore & Chicago

    Via StockBoardAsset.com,

    America’s real war zone is not in Afghanistan or on the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

    It’s actually in our inner cities where this forgotten war decades old is plagued with out of control homicides and an opioid crisis tearing America apart at the seams.

    The root cause of this chaos is from with-in and linked to 50-years of democratic controlled leadership, along with decades of deindustrialization.

    A new crisis is looming and the first shot was heard in Charlottesville. The growing tensions in America between the left and right could spur a “new civil war”,  according to Rush Limbaugh.

    The battlefield of choice is America’s inner city, where leftist groups threw the first punch in toppling Confederate statues not just in Baltimore or Chicago, but across the entire United States.

    Battlefield Report of America’s Inner Cities: 

    The battlefield report for Baltimore is grim so far this week.

    There have been 11 people shot and 3 homicides police are investigating in 2 days.

     

    The city is on track for the record breaking homicides this year according to The Economist.

     

    The battlefield report for Chicago was deadly last weekend.

    Chicago Tribune reports a total of 63 people were shot and 8 were killed.

     

    Earlier this summer, the Trump administration sent 20 ATF agents as reinforcements to assist with ballistics information intended to help local police solve violent crime quicker.

     

    The casualty count stands at 451 homicides this year, 16 fewer than last.

     

    A total of 2,435 have been shot compared with 2,710 last year.

    Conclusion

    Coupling the already known fact that some of America’s inner cities are a war torn mess, along with the very real possibility of an American civil war. The millennial generation might have to rethink city living in areas like Baltimore and Chicago.

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