Sunday, July 10, 2016

first the unnecessariat, then the precariat, now even illegal farm workers gotta go, gotta go, gotta go!!!

marketwatch |  I remember reading a piece about farmers using drones, and I must say I was impressed. 

For farmers, the transition from manned aircraft to drones is an easy choice to make. Not only are they much cheaper, but they also provide imaging tools, which can be used for detecting a variety of crop-related issues, ranging from problems with irrigation to measuring chlorophyll levels in plants.

So today I want to talk about the next step in agri-tech evolution: robots. Although most modern farmers don’t have to spend their days in the field anymore, sweating and toiling under the sun while harvesting crops or tending to cattle, they still spend a considerable amount of time servicing machines that harvest and spray for them. If this part of the production were automated, farmers would have more time (and money) to invest in expanding and perfecting their production capacities. 

They’d also boost yields in the process. 

If you think using robots in agriculture is too futuristic, think again: They are already assisting with a growing number of back-breaking activities in fields all over the world.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

how is that community policing going in Iraq and Afghanistan again?!?!?!?!?!

WaPo |  I’m afraid that incidents such as those of the past several days will reinforce a view that violence is not only justified but appropriate. That such incidents will drive police and the communities they serve further apart, dampening any interest in reconciliation.

But I’m also optimistic. Even relationships that have been undermined by a long history of distrust and anger can be repaired. We have seen some remarkable progress in truly challenging situations, including police departments in Richmond, Calif., and Camden, N.J., just to name a few. 

We can learn from those successes, and from successes outside the United States. In Northern Ireland, for example, police and the Irish Republican Army were in a state approaching open warfare for years before establishing a tentative, then more lasting, relationship in the late 1990s. More recently, U.S. military personnel put community policing principles into practice with great effect in counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

If positive relationships can be established or repaired in those environments, surely we can do the same in the context of domestic policing. Surely we must.

america lacks the resources to repeat mistakes of 68 - making draconian clampdown inevitable

theatlantic |  Commission staffers had produced a blistering and radical draft report on November 22, 1967. The 176-page report, “The America of Racism,” recounted the deep-seated racial divisions that shaped urban America, and it was damning about Johnson’s beloved Great Society programs, which the report said offered only token assistance while leaving the “white power structure” in place. What’s more, the draft treated rioting as an understandable political response to racial oppression. “A truly revolutionary spirit has begun to take hold,” they wrote, “an unwillingness to compromise or wait any longer, to risk death rather than have their people continue in a subordinate status.” Kerner then nixed the report, and his staff director fired all 120 social scientists who had worked on it.

Nevertheless, the final Kerner Report was still incredibly hard-hitting: “This is our basic conclusion: Our Nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.” Though the commissioners had softened the language from the first draft, much of the data remained the same and the overall argument was still incredibly powerful. The report focused on institutional racism. This meant that racism was not just a product of bad individuals who believed that African Americans were inferior to white Americans, but that these racial hierarchies were literally embedded in the structure of society.

“Segregation and poverty,” the report said, “have created in the racial ghetto a destructive environment totally unknown to most white Americans. What white Americans have never fully understood—but what the Negro can never forget—is that white society is deeply implicated in the ghetto. White institutions created it, white institutions maintain it, and white society condones it.” The riots in Newark and Detroit, the report continued, “were not caused by, nor were they the consequences of, any organized plan or ‘conspiracy.’” The rioters were educated and had been employed in recent years; most of them were furious about facing constant discrimination when seeking new employment, trying to find a place to live, or, worst of all, interacting with hostile law-enforcement officials.

The police received the most scrutiny in the report. In a haunting section, the report explained, “Negroes firmly believe that police brutality and harassment occur repeatedly in Negro neighborhoods.” The rioting had shown that police enforcement had become a problem not a solution in race relations. More aggressive policing and militarized officers had become city officials’ de facto response to urban decay. “In several cities, the principal response has been to train and equip the police with more sophisticated weapons.” The report stressed that law-enforcement officers were not “merely a spark factor” to the riots but that they had come to symbolize “white power, white racism, and white oppression.”

drug war deforestation

FP |  To hear the Guatemalan government tell it, the Maya Biosphere Reserve, a sprawling national park in the northern department of Petén, is the crown jewel of the Central American park system. Look on a map, and you’ll see the protected area spreads across the northern fifth of the country like a green carpet. Within those borders lie the famous Mayan ruins at Tikal and El Mirador, as well as huge swaths of the Maya Forest, the Americas’ largest tropical rainforest outside the Amazon, an invaluable storehouse of both carbon stocks and rare plants and wildlife, among them Guatemala’s last population of macaws.

But that rosy picture hides a grimmer reality. Journey to these protected areas of northern Guatemala, and you’ll find something resembling an ongoing ecological catastrophe. In Laguna del Tigre National Park, nestled in the heart of the reserve, the tall acacia and mahogany trees have been cut and burned, exiling the macaws to the tiny fringe of forest that remains. You can see this damage on a map included in an annual report published by the National Council of Protected Areas (CONAP), the Guatemalan national park service, in partnership with Western environmental NGOs, and paid for in part by the U.S. Department of the Interior. As the map shows, the Maya Biosphere Reserve is bisected by what appears to be creeping fungus — illegal cattle ranches, which have cleared about 8 percent of the reserve since 2000. These ranches stand as a parable for the drug war. According to Guatemalan park guards, U.N. researchers, and prosecutors alike, the unintended cause of the deforestation is a drug war victory: a successful interdiction campaign that redirected billions of dollars of drug cash across Guatemala, funding a trade that threatens to destroy Central America’s greatest forest.

According to a report by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), until the early 2000s, Central America was a relative sideshow in the Western Hemisphere’s cocaine trade. The drug largely moved from Colombia across the Caribbean into either Mexico or the southern United States. But starting around 2002, aggressive U.S. law enforcement and interdiction campaigns closed the Caribbean route, seizing some 200 tons of cocaine. Other victories followed in allied states. Security forces in Mexico largely shut down direct drug flights into the country. In South America, the Colombian government broke the power of the country’s main cartels.

But the drug trade is a river of money stretching from the Andes to North America. Dam it in one place and — as long as there are still users in the United States — it will find another course.

Friday, July 08, 2016

DPD has a supply of bombs, drones, and used one to kill a civilian in a public place today...,

theverge |  Police in Dallas used a bomb disposal robot to kill a suspect after last night’s deadly shooting during a protest. In a press conference, Dallas police chief David Brown said that the robot was deployed after negotiations with the suspect failed. "We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was," said Brown. "Other options would have exposed our officers to great danger. The suspect is deceased as a result of detonating the bomb."
It’s not entirely clear what the "device" in question was, although it may have been one of the small explosives that are normally used to safely detonate larger bombs. A previous statement, from Dallas’ mayor, said only that the suspect had died after police used explosives to "blast him out."
Police have used remote-controlled bomb disposal robots for other purposes; San Jose police talked a man out of suicide last year after delivering a phone and pizza to him via one. But this is the first known case where a department has described using one as a weapon, defense technology expert Peter Singer posted on Twitter, although he notes it's been used this way informally by US troops and insurgents. Unlike with the "killer robots" that have ethicists most worried, any decisions in Dallas were made clearly by humans — it’s much more like an advanced tool used in an unexpected way than anything artificially intelligent or designed for murder. Still, beyond the unmanned drones used in bombing strikes, it’s one of the first known times that a robot has been intentionally used to kill a human outside the battlefield.

if this little unpleasantness stays rooted in race, it'll blow over - if it goes to class - all hell breaks loose...,

Criminality correlates a lot better to class than race.  It's just that in many areas, class correlates pretty well with race.  Looking at our nation's history, when the Black Panthers stuck to talking about race issues, the FBI didn't like them but dealt with them.  Even though the Black Panthers were arming themselves and talking of revolution.  However, as soon as the Black Panthers started talking about class and showing common cause with white people, the FBI exterminated them.  Food for thought. 
If this little unpleasantness stays rooted in race, it'll blow over.  If it gets anywhere near economic issues, all hell will break loose.  As soon as it looked like Occupy Wall Street was going to stick around, Obama coordinated public and private militias and took them out.  As ever, what Empires fears most is a peasant revolt.

rorschachian juggling of the absurdities of uhmurkan necropolitics internationale, worldwide...,

whitehouse |  "But regardless of the outcome of such investigations, what's clear is that these fatal shootings are not isolated incidents. They are symptomatic of the broader challenges within our criminal justice system, the racial disparities that appear across the system year after year, and the resulting lack of trust that exists between law enforcement and too many of the communities they serve.

"In the meantime, all Americans should recognize the anger, frustration, and grief that so many Americans are feeling -- feelings that are being expressed in peaceful protests and vigils.  Michelle and I share those feelings. Rather than fall into a predictable pattern of division and political posturing, let’s reflect on what we can do better.  Let’s come together as a nation, and keep faith with one another, in order to ensure a future where all of our children know that their lives matter."

peasant false flag distractions in Dallas vs great-ape war planning in Warsaw

Telegraph |  David Cameron 'shocked and horrified'

British Prime Minister David Cameron is "shocked and horrified" by the shootings, Downing Street has said.

The Prime Minister is expected to discuss the tragic incident with Barack Obama on the margins of the Nato summit which both are attending in the Polish capital, Warsaw.

The deaths - and injuries to six other officers - have been blamed on snipers who opened fire during a protest in the Texas city over this week's fatal police shootings of two black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.

Mr Cameron's official spokeswoman told a regular Westminster media briefing: "The Prime Minister is shocked and horrified by the terrible scenes we have seen overnight.

"He is due to be at the Warsaw summit and I think he will have the opportunity to talk to President Obama about it directly.

"I think he would echo what the President has said, which is that these attacks on police officers simply doing their job and trying to keep people safe are horrific and cannot be justified."

Valodya not handing his nizzuts over to Granny and Apokalips...,

ICH |   The Russian president was meeting with foreign journalists at the conclusion of the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 17th, when he left no one in any doubt that the world is headed down a course which could lead to nuclear war.

Putin railed against the journalists for their "tall tales" in blindly repeating lies and misinformation provided to them by the United States on its anti-ballistic missile systems being constructed in Eastern Europe. He pointed out that since the Iran nuclear deal, the claim the system is to protect against Iranian missiles has been exposed as a lie.

The journalists were informed that within a few years, Russia predicted the US would be able to extend the range of the system to 1000 km. At that point, Russia's nuclear potential, and thus the nuclear balance between the US and Russia, would be placed in jeopardy.

Putin completely lost patience with the journalists, berating them for lazily helping to accelerate a nuclear confrontation by repeating US propaganda. He virtually pleaded with the western media, for the sake of the world, to change their line:

    We know year by year what's going to happen, and they know that we know. It's only you that they tell tall tales to, and you buy it, and spread it to the citizens of your countries. You people in turn do not feel a sense of the impending danger - this is what worries me. How do you not understand that the world is being pulled in an irreversible direction? While they pretend that nothing is going on. I don't know how to get through to you anymore.

Does anyone in the reeking garbage heap that is mainstream western media have a conscience? Do they even have enough intellect to get what Putin is saying - that they are helping to push the planet towards World War III? 

withholding suspect information scrapes Granny Goodness' crimes off the front pages...,

marketwatch |  Eleven police officers were shot by at least two snipers in Dallas Thursday night during a protest over police brutality, leaving five officers dead and wounding six, throwing the city into chaos and turning parts of downtown into a massive crime scene by Friday morning.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown said the snipers had opened fire on officers from “elevated positions” during the protests. A civilian was also wounded.

Three suspects were taken into custody, including a woman.

A fourth suspect exchanged gunfire with police in a tense, hourslong standoff with police overnight, but that confrontation ended early Friday morning, according to a city spokesperson. Sana Syed, a Dallas public information officer, said she couldn’t confirm the status of the fourth and final suspect, but said “the standoff is over.”

The suspect had told police negotiators that “the end is coming,” and that bombs had been placed around the garage and downtown with the aim of killing more law-enforcement personnel, Chief Brown said, adding that he had asked his staff for a plan to end the standoff.

Police are working on the assumption that all four may have been involved in the attack. It appeared the suspects had knowledge of the protest route, allowing them to take up “triangulated” positions above the march and target officers.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

little is more corrosive of democracy than impunity...,

monbiot |  When politicians do terrible things and suffer no consequences, people lose trust in both politics and justice. They see them, correctly, as instruments deployed by the strong against the weak.
Since the First World War, no prime minister of this country has done something as terrible as Tony Blair’s invasion of Iraq. This unprovoked war caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the mutilation of hundreds of thousands more. It flung the whole region into chaos, chaos which has been skillfully exploited by terror groups. Today, three million people in Iraq are internally displaced, and 10 million need humanitarian assistance.

Yet Mr Blair, the co-author of these crimes, whose lethal combination of appalling judgement and tremendous powers of persuasion made the Iraq war possible, saunters the world, picking up prizes and massive fees, regally granting interviews, cloaked in a force field of denial and legal impunity. If this is what politics looks like, is it any wonder that so many people have given up on it?

The crucial issue – the legality of the war – was, of course, beyond Sir John Chilcot’s remit. A government whose members were complicit in the matter under investigation (Gordon Brown financed and supported the Iraq war) defined his terms of reference. This is a fundamental flaw in the way inquiries are established in this country: it’s as if a defendant in a criminal case were able to appoint his own judge, choose the charge on which he is to be tried and have the hearing conducted in his own home.

But if Brown imagined Sir John would give the authors of the war an easy ride, he could not have been more wrong. The Chilcot report, much fiercer than almost anyone anticipated, rips down almost every claim the Labour government made about the invasion and its aftermath. Two weeks before he launched his war of choice, Tony Blair told the Guardian: “Let the day-to-day judgments come and go: be prepared to be judged by history.” Well, that judgement has just been handed down, and it is utterly damning.

Blair and his government and security services, Chilcot concludes, presented the severity of the threat posed by Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction with “a certainty that was not justified”: in other words they sexed up the evidence. Their “planning and preparations for Iraq after Saddam Hussein were wholly inadequate.” They ignored warnings – which proved to be horribly prescient – that “military action would increase the threat from Al Qaida” and “invasion might lead to Iraq’s weapons and capabilities being transferred into the hands of terrorists.”

house oversight committee has neuticle comey live on the grill...,

until Granny Goodness the Hon.Bro.Preznit has been obsessed with punishing secrecy violations...,

theintercept |  this case does not exist in isolation. It exists in a political climate where secrecy is regarded as the highest end, where people have their lives destroyed for the most trivial – or, worse, the most well-intentioned – violations of secrecy laws, even in the absence of any evidence of harm or malignant intent. And these are injustices that Hillary Clinton and most of her stalwart Democratic followers have never once opposed – but rather enthusiastically cheered. In 2011, Army Private Chelsea Manning was charged with multiple felonies and faced decades in prison for leaking documents that she firmly believed the public had the right to see; unlike the documents Clinton recklessly mishandled, none of those was Top Secret. Nonetheless, this is what then-Secretary Clinton said in justifying her prosecution:
I think that in an age where so much information is flying through cyberspace, we all have to be aware of the fact that some information which is sensitive, which does affect the security of individuals and relationships, deserves to be protected and we will continue to take necessary steps to do so.
Comey’s announcement also takes place in a society that imprisons more of its citizens than any other in the world by far, for more trivial offenses than any western nation – overwhelmingly when they are poor or otherwise marginalized due to their race or ethnicity. The sort of leniency and mercy and prosecutorial restraint Comey extended today to Hillary Clinton is simply unavailable for most Americans.

What happened here is glaringly obvious. It is the tawdry by-product of a criminal justice mentality in which – as I documented in my 2011 bookWith Liberty and Justice for Some – those who wield the greatest political and economic power are virtually exempt from the rule of law even when they commit the most egregious crimes, while only those who are powerless and marginalized are harshly punished, often for the most trivial transgressions.

Had someone who was obscure and unimportant and powerless done what Hillary Clinton did – recklessly and secretly install a shoddy home server and worked with Top Secret information on it, then outright lied to the public about it when they were caught – they would have been criminally charged long ago, with little fuss or objection. But Hillary Clinton is the opposite of unimportant. She’s the multi-millionaire former First Lady, Senator from New York, and Secretary of State, supported by virtually the entire political, financial and media establishment to be the next President, arguably the only person standing between Donald Trump and the White House.

Like the Wall Street tycoons whose systemic fraud triggered the 2008 global financial crisis, and like the military and political officials who instituted a worldwide regime of torture, Hillary Clinton is too important to be treated the same as everyone else under the law. “Felony charges appear to be reserved for people of the lowest ranks. Everyone else who does it either doesn’t get charged or gets charged with a misdemeanor,”

only a cleansing blue fyer can counter torrential vile secretions

WaPo |  When FBI Director James B. Comey stepped to the lectern to deliver his remarks about Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, he violated time-honored Justice Department practices for how such matters are to be handled, set a dangerous precedent for future investigations and committed a gross abuse of his own power.

Some have praised Comey’s remarks as much-needed truth-telling from a fearless, independent law-enforcement authority, an outcome Comey no doubt had in mind. But in fact, his willingness to reprimand publicly a figure against whom he believes there is no basis for criminal charges should trouble anyone who believes in the rule of law and fundamental principles of fairness.

Justice Department rules set clear guidelines for when it is appropriate for the government to comment about individuals involved in an ongoing investigation, which this matter was until prosecutors closed it Wednesday. Prosecutors and investigators can reassure the public that a matter is being taken seriously, and in some rare cases can provide additional information to protect public safety, such as when a suspect is loose and poses a danger. 

And when the department closes an investigation, it typically does so quietly, at most noting that it has investigated the matter fully and decided not to bring charges.

These practices are important because of the role the Justice Department and FBI play in our system of justice. They are not the final adjudicators of the appropriateness of conduct for anyone they investigate. Instead, they build cases that they present in court, where their assertions are backed up by evidence that can be challenged by an opposing party and ultimately adjudicated by a judge or jury. 

In a case where the government decides it will not submit its assertions to that sort of rigorous scrutiny by bringing charges, it has the responsibility to not besmirch someone’s reputation by lobbing accusations publicly instead. Prosecutors and agents have followed this precedent for years.
In this case, Comey ignored those rules to editorialize about what he called carelessness by Clinton and her aides in handling classified information, a statement not grounded in any position in law.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

yesterday morning Granny Goodness took James Comey's badge, gun, and testicles....,

the age of disintegration

tomdispatch |  Consider Syria. The expansion of the free market in a country where there was neither democratic accountability nor the rule of law meant one thing above all: plutocrats linked to the nation’s ruling family took anything that seemed potentially profitable. In the process, they grew staggeringly wealthy, while the denizens of Syria’s impoverished villages, country towns, and city slums, who had once looked to the state for jobs and cheap food, suffered. It should have surprised no one that those places became the strongholds of the Syrian uprising after 2011. In the capital, Damascus, as the reign of neoliberalism spread, even the lesser members of the mukhabarat, or secret police, found themselves living on only $200 to $300 a month, while the state became a machine for thievery.

This sort of thievery and the auctioning off of the nation’s patrimony spread across the region in these years. The new Egyptian ruler, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, merciless toward any sign of domestic dissent, was typical. In a country that once had been a standard bearer for nationalist regimes the world over, he didn’t hesitate this April to try to hand over two islands in the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia on whose funding and aid his regime is dependent. (To the surprise of everyone, an Egyptian court recently overruled Sisi's decision.)

That gesture, deeply unpopular among increasingly impoverished Egyptians, was symbolic of a larger change in the balance of power in the Middle East: once the most powerful states in the region -- Egypt, Syria, and Iraq -- had been secular nationalists and a genuine counterbalance to Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf monarchies. As those secular autocracies weakened, however, the power and influence of the Sunni fundamentalist monarchies only increased. If 2011 saw rebellion and revolution spread across the Greater Middle East as the Arab Spring briefly blossomed, it also saw counterrevolution spread, funded by those oil-rich absolute Gulf monarchies, which were never going to tolerate democratic secular regime change in Syria or Libya.

Add in one more process at work making such states ever more fragile: the production and sale of natural resources -- oil, gas, and minerals -- and the kleptomania that goes with it. Such countries often suffer from what has become known as “the resources curse”: states increasingly dependent for revenues on the sale of their natural resources -- enough to theoretically provide the whole population with a reasonably decent standard of living -- turn instead into grotesquely corrupt dictatorships. In them, the yachts of local billionaires with crucial connections to the regime of the moment bob in harbors surrounded by slums running with raw sewage. In such nations, politics tends to focus on elites battling and maneuvering to steal state revenues and transfer them as rapidly as possible out of the country.

This has been the pattern of economic and political life in much of sub-Saharan Africa from Angola to Nigeria. In the Middle East and North Africa, however, a somewhat different system exists, one usually misunderstood by the outside world. There is similarly great inequality in Iraq or Saudi Arabia with similarly kleptocratic elites. They have, however, ruled over patronage states in which a significant part of the population is offered jobs in the public sector in return for political passivity or support for the kleptocrats.

In Iraq with a population of 33 million people, for instance, no less than seven million of them are on the government payroll, thanks to salaries or pensions that cost the government $4 billion a month. This crude way of distributing oil revenues to the people has often been denounced by Western commentators and economists as corruption. They, in turn, generally recommend cutting the number of these jobs, but this would mean that all, rather than just part, of the state’s resource revenues would be stolen by the elite. This, in fact, is increasingly the case in such lands as oil prices bottom out and even the Saudi royals begin to cut back on state support for the populace.

Neoliberalism was once believed to be the path to secular democracy and free-market economies. In practice, it has been anything but. Instead, in conjunction with the resource curse, as well as repeated military interventions by Washington and its allies, free-market economics has profoundly destabilized the Greater Middle East. Encouraged by Washington and Brussels, twenty-first-century neoliberalism has made unequal societies ever more unequal and helped transform already corrupt regimes into looting machines. This is also, of course, a formula for the success of the Islamic State or any other radical alternative to the status quo. Such movements are bound to find support in impoverished or neglected regions like eastern Syria or eastern Libya.

Note, however, that this process of destabilization is by no means confined to the Greater Middle East and North Africa. We are indeed in the age of destabilization, a phenomenon that is on the rise globally and at present spreading into the Balkans and Eastern Europe (with the European Union ever less able to influence events there). People no longer speak of European integration, but of how to prevent the complete break-up of the European Union in the wake of the British vote to leave.

The reasons why a narrow majority of Britons voted for Brexit have parallels with the Middle East: the free-market economic policies pursued by governments since Margaret Thatcher was prime minister have widened the gap between rich and poor and between wealthy cities and much of the rest of the country. Britain might be doing well, but millions of Britons did not share in the prosperity. The referendum about continued membership in the European Union, the option almost universally advocated by the British establishment, became the catalyst for protest against the status quo. The anger of the "Leave" voters has much in common with that of Donald Trump supporters in the United States.

The U.S. remains a superpower, but is no longer as powerful as it once was. It, too, is feeling the strains of this global moment, in which it and its local allies are powerful enough to imagine they can get rid of regimes they do not like, but either they do not quite succeed, as in Syria, or succeed but cannot replace what they have destroyed, as in Libya. An Iraqi politician once said that the problem in his country was that parties and movements were “too weak to win, but too strong to lose.” This is increasingly the pattern for the whole region and is spreading elsewhere. It carries with it the possibility of an endless cycle of indecisive wars and an era of instability that has already begun.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Urban Dictionary Update - "with the quickness": speed of Granny Goodness email exoneration

WaPo |  FBI Director James B. Comey said Tuesday that while Hillary Clinton and her staff were “extremely careless” in how they handled emails while she was secretary of state, the bureau would not recommend criminal charges. Here is a transcript of Comey’s prepared remarks released by the FBI:

Good morning. I’m here to give you an update on the FBI’s investigation of Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail system during her time as Secretary of State.

After a tremendous amount of work over the last year, the FBI is completing its investigation and referring the case to the Department of Justice for a prosecutive decision. What I would like to do today is tell you three things: what we did; what we found; and what we are recommending to the Department of Justice.

This will be an unusual statement in at least a couple ways. First, I am going to include more detail about our process than I ordinarily would, because I think the American people deserve those details in a case of intense public interest. Second, I have not coordinated or reviewed this statement in any way with the Department of Justice or any other part of the government. They do not know what I am about to say.

I want to start by thanking the FBI employees who did remarkable work in this case. Once you have a better sense of how much we have done, you will understand why I am so grateful and proud of their efforts.

war, what is it good for?

doomsteaddiner |  A while back I wrote a 5 part series analyzing the relationship between Money, Energy, Waste and Thermodynamics I titled "The Money Valve".  The effort there was to show that the way the monetary system works is to regulate the downhill flow of an energy stock as it is dissipated and turned into waste of various kinds.  The physical waste that stacks up in landfills, the CO2 that collects in the atmosphere, the pollution that works its way into the groundwater, rivers, lakes and finally into the biggest toilet of them all, the world oceans, etc. 

I looked at the major players in this game, Goobermints, Banks, Industry, the Military and Consumers, but I missed a very important connection.  How the War Machine itself directly produces Waste!  In fucking COPIOUS QUANTITY AND FAST!
This came to me in another epiphany when I was considering how Mother Russia has recently been upgrading and increasing it's Military power in a number of areas, due to the constant and increasing threat from NATO on its borders.  NATO is moving missiles into states bordering Russia which were formerly part of the old Soviet Union, and in response the Ruskies have formed up entirely new divisions to drop on these borders also.  It's not just manpower they're ramping up here, they're upgrading their jets and boats and coming up with their own hi-tech drone systems as well. 

Besides those investments in military personnel and hardware, they're doing NATO one better in the Death From Above campaign against ISIS down in Syria, which is no cheap operation.  Where is all the money coming from for this bizness, which does not have any direct form of revenue coming out of it?  It's not like Mother Russia is swimming in cash these days, like the other Oil exporting nations their budget has been hit hard by the collapse in oil prices.  Nevertheless, over the last 15 years, Mother Russia has somehow found the money to keep upgrading their military hardware, apparently actually doing better with this task than NATO and the FSoA.  Their new Jets apparently actually WORK, unlike the F-35s. 

So now we can answer the question: What is War Good For?
It's good for the ECONOMY, stupid!  lol.

At least it is good for a Waste Based Economy, which is the only type of economy Homo Saps have run since Agriculture supplanted H-G living. 

What War does is to DESTROY much if not all of what was built before, which then means it must all be REBUILT!  That provides a lot of new jobs!  In our current situation, at least in the 1st World, we have a SURPLUS of housing.  You might not believe that since there are so many homeless people, but it's true.  The problem for the homeless is not that the housing doesn't exist for them, the problem is they can't AFFORD that housing. 

The next thing that War does is to disproportionately remove a large slice of the Poor population, from both the sides of the Winners and Losers of the War.  It is the poor mostly conscripted as grunts used as Cannon Fodder in Wars, and the poor also suffer the most civilian casualties.  They can't get out of the way.  The wealthy people in a society generally can find somewhere to run and hide until the war is over. 

In Biblical terms, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Famine, Pestilence, War and Death took a 25% cut of the Homo Sap population each time they showed up.

Above the Law WarPig Gov/Prez HillBilly Grew Female Prison Population 800%..,

theantimedia |  Holly Harris may wear cowboy boots to work, but the Kentucky mom and Executive Director for the US Justice Action Network (USJAN) is far from your average southerner.

This past Saturday, June 25th, Harris talked about her work to a group of journalists and bloggers who traveled to Washington D.C. from different corners of the country to hear from leaders of the criminal justice reform movement. Harris was the first speaker at FreedomWorks#JusticeForAll event, and as the leader of USJAN, she set the tone for what turned out to be a fascinating conference.

The veteran litigator opened her speech by outlining USJAN’s goals, explaining the organization believes “our [criminal] code just doesn’t make sense.” That’s why their “goal is to shrink criminal codes” and “get rid of these unfair, unnecessary duplicative and inconsistent laws.”

But it was something else she told the crowd a few minutes later that got attendees worked up.
The fastest growing segment of the prison population in America,” Harris articulated, “is women … and nobody is talking about that.”

According to the Families Against Mandatory Minimums Foundation (FAMM), the female prison population in the United States has grown by over 800 percent in the last 30 years, while the male population grew by 416 percent during the same period. Despite this staggering growth, violent criminals are not being sent to prison in droves. Instead, nearly two-thirds of female prisoners are incarcerated for nonviolent offenses.

About 56 percent of incarcerated women are in jail due to the drug war or over property crimes, FAMM reports. These types of offenses usually carry mandatory minimums, which are sentences that must be imposed no matter what. This strips judges of the ability to consider mitigating circumstances.

Due to mandatory minimums, FAMM contends, many women are given sentences that do not fit the crime — and the result is tragic.

Because 60 percent of women in prison are also mothers to children under the age of 18, the drug war has negatively impacted countless families; the number of American children whose mothers are in jail has more than double since 1991.

When data is broken down into racial classifications, we also learn there’s a serious racial element to incarceration in the United States.

According to FAMM, 380 out of every 100,000 black women in America are in jail, while 147 out of every 100,000 Hispanic women and 93 out of every 100,000 white women are incarcerated. While whites account for 79.8 percent of the U.S. population and 63.8 percent of women in America are white, only 45.5 percent of the female prison population is white. “By contrast,” the FAMM report explains, “black women represent 32.6 percent of female prisoners, but only 12.8% of the general population,” making black children “nearly 7.5 times more likely than white children to have a parent in prison.”

Monday, July 04, 2016

Too Much Democracy - PEASANTS!!!

rollingstone |  One of the underpublicized revelations of the financial crisis, for instance, was that millions of Americans found themselves unable to get answers to a simple questions like, "Who holds the note to my house?"

People want more power over their own lives. They want to feel some connection to society. Most particularly, they don't want to be dictated to by distant bureaucrats who don't seem to care what they're going through, and think they know what's best for everyone.

These are legitimate concerns. Unfortunately, they came out in this past year in the campaign of Donald Trump, who'd exposed a tiny flaw in the system.

People are still free to vote, and some peculiarities in the structure of the commercial media, combined with mountains of public anger, conspired to put one of the two parties in the hands of a coverage-devouring billionaire running on a "Purge the Scum" platform.

But choosing a dangerous race-baiting lunatic as the vehicle for the first successful revolt in ages against one of the two major parties will have many profound negative consequences for voters. The most serious will surely be this burgeoning movement to describe voting and democracy as inherently dangerous.

Donald Trump is dangerous because as president, he'd likely have little respect for law. But a gang of people whose metaphor for society is "We are the white cells, voters are the disease" is comparably scary in its own banal, less click-generating way.

These self-congratulating cognoscenti could have looked at the events of the last year and wondered why people were so angry with them, and what they could do to make government work better for the population.

Instead, their first instinct is to dismiss voter concerns as baseless, neurotic bigotry and to assume that the solution is to give Washington bureaucrats even more leeway to blow off the public. In the absurdist comedy that is American political life, this is the ultimate anti-solution to the unrest of the last year, the mathematically perfect wrong ending.

Trump is going to lose this election, then live on as the reason for an emboldened, even less-responsive oligarchy. And you thought this election season couldn't get any worse.

fear of slave revolts drove american insurrection against Britain independence...,

NYTimes |  FOR more than two centuries, we have been reading the Declaration of Independence wrong. Or rather, we’ve been celebrating the Declaration as people in the 19th and 20th centuries have told us we should, but not the Declaration as Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams wrote it. To them, separation from Britain was as much, if not more, about racial fear and exclusion as it was about inalienable rights.

The Declaration’s beautiful preamble distracts us from the heart of the document, the 27 accusations against King George III over which its authors wrangled and debated, trying to get the wording just right. The very last one — the ultimate deal-breaker — was the most important for them, and it is for us: “He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.” In the context of the 18th century, “domestic insurrections” refers to rebellious slaves. “Merciless Indian savages” doesn’t need much explanation.

In fact, Jefferson had originally included an extended attack on the king for forcing slavery upon unwitting colonists. Had it stood, it would have been the patriots’ most powerful critique of slavery. The Continental Congress cut out all references to slavery as “piratical warfare” and an “assemblage of horrors,” and left only the sentiment that King George was “now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us.” The Declaration could have been what we yearn for it to be, a statement of universal rights, but it wasn’t. What became the official version was one marked by division.

Upon hearing the news that the Congress had just declared American independence, a group of people gathered in the tiny village of Huntington, N.Y., to observe the occasion by creating an effigy of King George. But before torching the tyrant, the Long Islanders did something odd, at least to us. According to a report in a New York City newspaper, first they blackened his face, and then, alongside his wooden crown, they stuck his head “full of feathers” like “savages,” wrapped his body in the Union Jack, lined it with gunpowder and then set it ablaze.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

the server, the foundation, billybob - hugh hewitt OWNS clinton apologists...,

hotair |  Finally, let’s stop focusing on the fact that this meeting was inappropriate because Clinton’s wife is under investigation by Lynch’s Justice Department. I mean, that’s bad, but it’s actually letting Lynch and Clinton off the hook a bit. By focusing on the appearance of conflict because Hillary Clinton is being investigated, we are willfully overlooking the very real conflict in the fact that Clinton himself is under investigation, as the Grand Poo-bah at the Clinton Foundation. (Fox News)
The FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email as secretary of state has expanded to look at whether the possible “intersection” of Clinton Foundation work and State Department business may have violated public corruption laws, three intelligence sources not authorized to speak on the record told Fox News.
This new investigative track is in addition to the focus on classified material found on Clinton’s personal server.
“The agents are investigating the possible intersection of Clinton Foundation donations, the dispensation of State Department contracts and whether regular processes were followed,” one source said.
Yes, the investigation into the intersection of Clinton Foundation donations and the State Department slimes Hillary Clinton since it happened during her tenure as Secretary of State, but what about Bill Clinton? If the State Department and Hillary Clinton acted improperly or illegally by commingling staff and by granting favors to Clinton Foundation donors, isn’t the Clinton Foundation, and Bill Clinton equally guilty of wrongdoing?

This may explain why the day after the surreptitious meeting in Phoenix, Lynch’s Justice Department informed a judge they were going to drag their feet on the release of emails connecting the former president’s foundation and the State Department: (Daily Caller)
Department of Justice officials filed a motion in federal court late Wednesday seeking a 27-month delay in producing correspondence between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s four top aides and officials with the Clinton Foundation and Teneo Holdings, a closely allied public relations firm that Bill Clinton helped launch.
If the court permits the delay, the public won’t be able to read the communications until October 2018, about 22 months into her prospective first term as President. The four senior Clinton aides involved were Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Michael Fuchs, Ambassador-At-Large Melanne Verveer, Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, and Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin.
I guess when all of this adds up, it’s clear why Lynch and her FBI agents were so intent on keeping this inappropriate meeting private.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

you can't be sure what you think

DOTE |  Implicit bias is usually associated (in research) with racial bias. Thus the Aeon article cited at outset goes through this exercise.
Do you think racial stereotypes are false? Are you sure? I’m not asking if you’re sure whether or not the stereotypes are false, but if you’re sure whether or not you think that they are. That might seem like a strange question.
We all know what we think, don’t we?
But of course the whole point is that we don't know what we think.
...Another consequence [of ISA theory] is that we might be sincerely mistaken about our own beliefs.
Return to my question about racial stereotypes. I guess you said you think they are false. But if the ISA theory is correct, you can’t be sure you think that.
Studies show that people who sincerely say that racial stereotypes are false often continue to behave as if they are true when not paying attention to what they are doing.
Such behavior is usually said to manifest an implicit bias, which conflicts with the person’s explicit beliefs. But the ISA theory offers a simpler explanation. People think that the stereotypes are true but also that it is not acceptable to admit this and therefore say they are false. Moreover, they say this to themselves too, in inner speech, and mistakenly interpret themselves as believing it.
They are hypocrites but not conscious hypocrites. Maybe we all are.
Maybe we're all unconscious hypocrites. In fact, that is part of the Flatland claim. The Flatland model also says that "implicit bias" is far more general than simple racial bias. We can't be sure what we think because those biases exist in the unconscious, which by definition is inaccessible to us.
Now, consider an essay which just appeared in The Guardian called—and I'm not kidding—Why elections are bad for democracy. The author is named David VanReybrouck.
Brexit is a turning point in the history of western democracy. Never before has such a drastic decision been taken through so primitive a procedure — a one-round referendum based on a simple majority.
Never before has the fate of a country—of an entire continent, in fact—been changed by the single swing of such a blunt axe, wielded by disenchanted and poorly informed citizens.
I'm here to tell you that there is nothing more democratic than a simple up/down referendum where each vote counts equally. Nothing. That's as democratic as things get.

the link between language and cognition...,

aeon |  Scientists working on animal cognition often dwell on their desire to talk to the animals. Oddly enough, this particular desire must have passed me by, because I have never felt it. I am not waiting to hear what my animals have to say about themselves, taking the rather Wittgensteinian position that their message might not be all that enlightening. Even with respect to my fellow humans, I am dubious that language tells us what is going on in their heads. I am surrounded by colleagues who study members of our species by presenting them with questionnaires. They trust the answers they receive and have ways, they assure me, of checking their veracity. But who says that what people say about themselves reveals actual emotions and motivations?

This might be true for simple attitudes free from moralisations (‘What is your favourite music?’), but it seems almost pointless to ask people about their love life, eating habits, or treatment of others (‘Are you pleasant to work with?’). It is far too easy to invent post-hoc reasons for one’s behaviour, to be silent about one’s sexual habits, to downplay excessive eating or drinking, or to present oneself as more admirable than one really is.

No one is going to admit to murderous thoughts, stinginess or being a jerk. People lie all the time, so why would they stop in front of a psychologist who writes down everything they say? In one study, female college students reported more sex partners when they were hooked up to a fake lie-detector machine, demonstrating that they had been lying when interviewed without the lie-detector. I am in fact relieved to work with subjects that don’t talk. I don’t need to worry about the truth of their utterances. Instead of asking them how often they engage in sex, I just count the occasions. I am perfectly happy being an animal watcher.

Now that I think of it, my distrust of language goes even deeper, because I am also unconvinced of its role in the thinking process. I am not sure that I think in words, and I never seem to hear any inner voices. This caused a bit of an embarrassment once at a meeting about the evolution of conscience, when fellow scholars kept referring to an inner voice that tells us what is right and wrong. I am sorry, I said, but I never hear such voices.

Am I a man without a conscience, or do I – as the American animal expert Temple Grandin once said about herself – think in pictures? Moreover, which language are we talking about? Speaking two languages at home and a third one at work, my thinking must be awfully muddled. Yet I have never noticed any effect, despite the widespread assumption that language is at the root of human thought. In his 1972 presidential address to the American Philosophical Association, tellingly entitled ‘Thoughtless Brutes’, the American philosopher Norman Malcolm stated that ‘the relationship between language and thought must be… so close that it is really senseless to conjecture that people may not have thoughts, and also senseless to conjecture that animals may have thoughts’.

the meaning of the war on terra...,

energyskeptic |  The opening quote in this book is “We must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us.” Obama 2013

Danner has defined the nature and scope of this struggle as a war on terror.  He says that our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan is a Republican attempt to replace “being tough on communism as a defining cause in their political identity” with a war on terrorism.

To make the case for a “war on terror” as our reason for being there, Danner needs to state why we are NOT in the Middle east due to the 1980 Carter doctrine, which states “the overwhelming dependence of the Western democracies on oil supplies from the Middle East…[any] attempt by an outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.”

Since then we’ve invaded, occupied, or bombed Iran (1980, 1987–1988); Libya (1981, 1986, 1989, 2011); Lebanon (1983); Kuwait (1991); Iraq (1991–2011, 2014–present); Somalia (1992–1993, 2007-present); Saudi Arabia (1991, 1996); Afghanistan (1998, 2001–present); Sudan (1998); Yemen (2000; 2002-present); Pakistan (2004-present); and now Syria.

The reason Carter said this is because many Americans, Europeans, and Chinese would die if the oil stopped flowing, but especially Americans since no other nation on earth is as dependent on oil as we are (why we have to be the world’s unpaid policeman is another topic).  Just consider a few of the things that what would happen if trucks stopped running:  by day 6 grocery stores would be out of food, restaurants, pharmacies, and factories closed, ATMS out of cash, sewage treatment sludge and slime storage tanks full, gas stations closed, 685,000 tons of trash piling up every day, livestock suffering from lack of feed deliveries. Within 2 weeks clean water would be gone since purification chemicals couldn’t be delivered. Within 1 to 2 months coal power plants would shut down due to lack of coal, and much natural gas is pumped through pipelines electrically, so natural gas power plants would shut down too.  And there goes the financial system – our energy, electricity, and other 16 vital infrastructures are inter-dependent, which makes us incredibly vulnerable, since many of them can pull each other down.

Friday, July 01, 2016

the meaning of lil'pookie pretending to interview AG Lynch about Granny Goodness....,

vanityfair |  I sat on an uncomfortable chair, facing a camera. Generators hummed amid the delphiniums. Good Morning America was first. I had been told that Diane Sawyer would be questioning me from New York, but ABC has a McVeigh “expert,” one Charles Gibson, and he would do the honors. Our interview would be something like four minutes. Yes, I was to be interviewed In Depth. This means that only every other question starts with “Now, tell us, briefly … ” Dutifully, I told, briefly, how it was that McVeigh, whom I had never met, happened to invite me to be one of the five chosen witnesses to his execution.

But I’ve left you behind in the Ravello garden of Klingsor, where, live on television, I mentioned the unmentionable word “why,” followed by the atomic trigger word “Waco.” Charles Gibson, 3,500 miles away, began to hyperventilate. “Now, wait a minute … ” he interrupted. But I talked through him. Suddenly I heard him say, “We’re having trouble with the audio.” Then he pulled the plug that linked ABC and me. The soundman beside me shook his head. “Audio was working perfectly. He just cut you off.” So, in addition to the governmental shredding of Amendments 4, 5, 6, 8, and 14, Mr. Gibson switched off the journalists’ sacred First. 

Why? Like so many of his interchangeable TV colleagues, he is in place to tell the viewers that former senator John Danforth had just concluded a 14-month investigation of the F.B.I. that cleared the bureau of any wrongdoing at Waco. Danforth did admit that “it was like pulling teeth to get all this paper from the F.B.I.”

TV-watchers have no doubt noted so often that they are no longer aware of how often the interchangeable TV hosts handle anyone who tries to explain why something happened. “Are you suggesting that there was a conspiracy?” A twinkle starts in a pair of bright contact lenses. No matter what the answer, there is a wriggling of the body, followed by a tiny snort and a significant glance into the camera to show that the guest has just been delivered to the studio by flying saucer. This is one way for the public never to understand what actual conspirators—whether in the F.B.I. or on the Supreme Court or toiling for Big Tobacco—are up to. It is also a sure way of keeping information from the public. The function, alas, of Corporate Media. 

the meaning of the elite establishment...,

journal-neo |  The long-term Washington strategy since at least 1992, well before September 11, 2001 and the Washington’s declaration of its War on Terror, has been by hook or by crook, by color revolution or outright invasion, to directly, with US “boots-on-the-ground,” militarily control the vast oil reserves and output of the major Arab OPEC oil countries. This is a long-standing institutional consensus, regardless who is President.

Cheney: ‘Where the Prize Ultimately Lies’
To appreciate the long-term strategic planning behind today’s chaotic wars in the Middle East there is no better person to look at than Dick Cheney and his statements as CEO of the then-world largest oilfield services company. In 1998, four years after becoming head of Halliburton, Cheney gave a speech to a group of Texas oilmen. Cheney told the annual meeting of the Panhandle Producers and Royalty Owners Association in reference to finding oil abroad, “You’ve got to go where the oil is. I don’t think about it [political volatility] very much.”

During his first five years as CEO of Halliburton, Cheney took the company from annual revenues of $5.7 billion to $14.9 billion by 1999. Halliburton foreign oilfield operations went from 51% to almost 70% of revenues in that time. Dick Cheney clearly looked at the global oil picture back then more than most.

In September 1999 Cheney delivered a speech to the annual meeting of an elite group of international oilmen in London. One section is worth quoting at length:
“By some estimates there will be an average of two per cent annual growth in global oil demand over the years ahead along with conservatively a three per cent natural decline in production from existing reserves. That means by 2010 we will need on the order of an additional fifty million barrels a day. So where is the oil going to come from?
Governments and the national oil companies are obviously controlling about ninety per cent of the assets. Oil remains fundamentally a government business. While many regions of the world offer great oil opportunities, the Middle East with two thirds of the world’s oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies, even though companies are anxious for greater access there, progress continues to be slow.”
The PNAC Warplan
Now let’s follow that bouncing ball sometimes called Dick Cheney a bit further. In September 2000 Cheney signed his name before his selection as George W. Bush’s vice presidential running-mate, to an unusual think-tank report that became the de facto blueprint of US military and foreign policy to the present. Another signer of that report was Don Rumsfeld, who would become Defense Secretary under the Cheney-Bush presidency (the order reflects the reality–w.e.)

The think-tank, Project for a New American Century (PNAC), was financed by the US military-industrial complex, supported by a gaggle of other Washington neo-conservative think tanks such as RAND. The PNAC board also included neo-conservative Paul Wolfowitz, later to be Rumsfeld’s Deputy Secretary of Defense; ‘Scooter Libby,’ later Vice President Cheney’s Chief of Staff. It included Victoria Nuland’s husband, Robert Kagan. (Notably Victoria Nuland herself went on in 2001 to become Cheney’s principal deputy foreign policy adviser). It included Cheney-Bush ambassador to US-occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, and hapless presidential candidate Jeb Bush.

Cheney’s PNAC report explicitly called on the future US President to remove Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and militarily take control of the Middle East a full year before 911 gave the Cheney-Bush Administration the excuse Cheney needed to invade Iraq.

The PNAC report stated that its recommendations were based on the report in 1992 of then-Secretary of Defense, Dick Cheney: “In broad terms, we saw the project as building upon the defense strategy outlined by the Cheney Defense Department in the waning days of the Bush Administration. The Defense Policy Guidance (DPG) drafted in the early months of 1992 provided a blueprint for maintaining U.S. pre-eminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests.”

At a time when Iran as a putative nuclear “threat” was not even on the map, PNAC advocated Ballistic Missile Defense: “DEVELOP AND DEPLOY GLOBAL MISSILE DEFENSES to defend the American homeland and American allies, and to provide a secure basis for US power projection around the world. (emphasis added)

In the report Cheney’s cronies further noted that, “The military’s job during the Cold War was to deter Soviet expansionism. Today its task is to secure and expand the “zones of democratic peace; (sic)” to deter the rise of a new great-power competitor; defend key regions of Europe, East Asia and the Middle East; and to preserve American preeminence…”

The Cheney PNAC document of 2000 went on: “The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.

The quote is worth reading at least twice.

A year after the PNAC report was issued, then-General Wesley Clark, no peacenik to be sure, in a March 2007 speech before the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco, told of a Pentagon discussion he had had shortly after the strikes of September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center and Pentagon with someone he knew in Defense Secretary Rumsfeld’s office.

popular puerto rican opposition to debt enslavement is meaningless...,

sprottmoney |  Where's all the news - where are all the headlines? A major event has taken place yesterday and another event is about to unfold tomorrow. Puerto Rico is going to default on its debt and the US government is A-OK with it.

Once again, the American taxpayers have been on the short end of the stick. This story is receiving little to no press and it is truly baffling given the ramifications and meaning behind it. Perhaps this is exactly why it is receiving so little attention.

The story of the Puerto Rican default is just another example of the crumpling system of the elites. The establishment is desperately trying to keep this broken fiat system together for as long as they possibly can, sucking maximum profits from it before it implodes.

The U.S. Senate has done its part in this farce, as they passed the bailout bill with overwhelming support yesterday, ensuring that Puerto Rico, like Greece, can put off its consequences of overspending for the time being and continue to stagnate. It's another stellar example of extend and pretend by the elites.

Tomorrow, the government of Puerto Rico was supposed to be paying back $2 billion in debt repayments - no small sum of money, but a drop in the bucket when you look at the massive $70 billion that they owe in debt payments.

Fortunately and unfortunately for them, they are being given a "free" pass by the U.S. government this time. I say unfortunately, because the trade-off for them is their freedom and liberty. As part of the bailout deal, the elites will install overseers that will monitor the Puerto Rican government. Essentially, they are giving up their free will.

Despite this being a major story, don't expect to hear much about it. The elites don't want to embolden other states or countries to default on their debt as well. The illusion of debt and fiat money must be maintained at all cost, or they risk completely losing the crumbling empire they have built around them.