Via Truthstream Media’s new side channel Informed Dissent: According to a 1974 Senate report, corporate ownership has virtually taken over control of every major media outlet, energy company and industry. The largest 32 banks have power in combined stocks, shareholder voting, boards and directorships and more… this is an oligarchy.
Thanks to the Presidential debates, most Americans have heard of the Glass-Steagall Act which kept the country’s banking system safe for 66 years until it was repealed by President Bill Clinton in 1999, allowing the risky activities of Wall Street trading firms to merge with insured-deposit banks, setting the stage for the Wall Street collapse in 2008. But few Americans have ever heard of the Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994, which Bill Clinton signed into law less than two years after taking office. The Riegle-Neal legislation allowed bank holding companies to acquire banks anywhere in the nation and invalidated the laws of 36 states which had allowed interstate banking only on a reciprocal or regional basis. Put these two pieces of legislation together with the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, also signed into law by Bill Clinton, which allowed trillions of dollars of OTC derivatives on Wall Street to escape regulation, and you have just defined America’s current banking system from hell. In 1934, there were 14,146 commercial banks with FDIC insurance in the United States. By 1985, that number had barely budged – we had a total of 14,417. But as of this month, we have 6,172 FDIC-insured commercial banks, a decline of 57 percent, with the annual declines accelerating after the passage of Riegle-Neal in 1994.
Growing up in the 1960′s, I can still remember hearing and reading about Russian propaganda. While I am certain some of what the Western press reported was ‘spun’, even a 10-year-old could see through much of what Russia was trying to portray to its people. Fast forward to present day, we seem to have switched places. The current mainstream media reports defy nearly any and all logic on a daily basis. Reporting has obviously been very poor for many years and it really did not matter what the subject was. Economics, finance, geopolitics, home grown politics, it has not mattered, logic has been turned on its head. I could go through example after example but would now require a book …or more likely a ‘series’ of books. Using just one example to illustrate the lunacy, the U. S. now has 95 million OUT OF THE WORKFORCE and thus no longer counted as ‘unemployed’! Where is the logic here? Mainstream media reports it (under their breath) while cheerleading the lowest unemployment rate in decades. The White House and Wall Street both report ‘strong’ employment with glee. The fact remains, our true unemployment number as calculated back in the day of ‘Russian propaganda’ is somewhere around 20% … We just had an election here in the U. S. that I’ve dubbed as a rejection ‘fake news’, fake polls, fake values, fake everything. My first thought was ‘hooray for the rule of law’! What is truly disturbing (especially after the election), the House quietly passing a bill targeting ‘Russian propaganda’ websites .
This post was published at JSMineSet on December 5th, 2016.
This is becoming a familiar pattern. Every time Lavrov and Kerry appear to be making some sort of progress on ending hostilities in Syria, an unwarranted, and oddly timed attack on forces sided with the Syrian government occur. On September 9th, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary John Kerry agreed to a cessation of hostilities in Syria, amid an ultimatum for the US to finally separate the ‘moderate rebels’ from the Al Qaeda-Al Nusra jihadi fighters. *** As pressure mounted to have the full text of the Lavrov – Kerry agreement published for the international community to understand the exact conditions outlined (something the US was admittedly opposed to), the American air force ‘accidentally’attacked the Syrian Arab Army positions at Deir Ezzor, which resulted in the death of 80 soldiers who were making strong gains against ISIS.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 5, 2016.
The new gig-economy seems to struggle with the ancien world’s regulations. Uber lost a first judicial battle in the United Kingdom. The California-based firm has been ordered to change the legal nature of its relationships with its drivers who claim the right to be considered as workers rather than independent contractors. This new legal definition is not harmless. If this decision is confirmed on appeal, it would lead Uber’s relations with its drivers to be settled according to British labor law rather than ordinary law. Labor law would imply the duty to implement the minimum wage, holiday pay regulations, and other kinds of special rules. It would therefore increase transaction costs on the market. Uber’s business model would be undermined. Similar legal contests across various major countries can be observed. In France, the URSSAF, a network of organizations which belong to the social security system, has also brought a lawsuit against Uber which has been accused of practicing what can be translated as ‘hidden wage labor’ or ‘disguised employment relationships.’ The French administration is seeking to change the legal nature of Uber’s relationships with its drivers to implement French labor laws, notably in order to collect ‘social contributions’ – taxes on labor – which aims to finance public insurance schemes. Even in the US, Homejoy – a market place for housecleaning – has ceased its activities because of similar legal pressures. The gig-economy seems to suffer from legal uncertainties because of the tenuous distinction regularly made between workers and contractors.
Donald Trump has already lost one of his electoral votes, and there are indications that a number of additional electors may be prepared to abandon him. Prior to the election, I warned my readers that we would not officially know who the next president would be until December 19th. On that Monday, the 538 members of the Electoral College will gather in their state capitals in all 50 states to formally elect the next president. Throughout U. S. history electors have voted according to the will of the people more than 99 percent of the time, but in 2016 there is a concerted effort to persuade Republican electors not to vote for Trump. If 37 Republican electors can be convinced to vote for someone other than Trump, that would keep Trump under the 270 vote threshold needed to win and it would throw the election into the House of Representatives. Most people had considered this to be a longshot, but on Monday a Republican elector named Christopher Suprun publicly announced in the New York Times that he will not cast his vote for Donald Trump. On the other side, there are at least 8 Democratic electors that have already publicly pledged to switch their votes from Hillary Clinton to a compromise Republican alternative to Trump. So we already know that there will be quite a few ‘faithless electors’ on December 19th. The question will be whether or not they are able to rally enough electors to their cause to deny Donald Trump the presidency. What Christopher Suprun has chosen to do is really unprecedented in the history of modern American politics. Not only has he publicly announced that he is not voting for Trump, he is also attempting to convince other Republican electors to join him. He explained his reasoning for this move in his editorial for the New York Times…
The conservative watchdog site, Judicial Watch, today announced it filed a motion seeking to unseal the audiovisual recordings of the depositions of top Clinton aides and State Department officials. The depositions come in connection with a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that seeks records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, deputy chief of staff to former Secretary Clinton (Judicial Watch v. U. S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)). Judicial Watch argues that ‘even though the election is over, the news media and the public continue to monitor and follow the proceedings in this case.’ A coalition of 19 news media organizations is already on record with the Court supporting public access to the videos.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 5, 2016.
The following video was published by X22Report on Dec 5, 2016 US wants UN monitors out of Afghanistan. The UK says it sees no problem with Saudi Arabia bombing civilians and children. Russia and Syria have given the moderate rebels an ultimatum leave Aleppo or be destroyed. Kerry trying to hold everything together until Obama gets out of office. US might be getting ready to use ground troops in Iraq and Syria, time will tell. Russia says its bank was cyber attacked today but did no damage.
Wednesday will be the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It happened three-quarters of a century ago, but it remains the defining moment of our time. It continues to inform the way we look at the world, and it triggered a redefinition of the federal government that still haunts us in some ways. That day – the way it happened and the manner in which we responded – redefined the United States… a redefinition that we still struggle with today. The World Before the Attack The origin of the attack was Japan’s extraordinary rise. When Commodore Matthew Perry forced Japan into trade relations with the United States in 1853, Japan was a society driven by animal and human muscles. There were no steam engines or railroads or any powered industry. By 1905, the Japanese navy defeated the Russians, and Japan was rapidly emerging as a major industrial power. Japan’s great weakness was that it was devoid of mineral resources. It had to import almost all the resources an industrial society needed. In order to sustain its industry, Japan had to deal with China, the Dutch East Indies, and Indochina. All three were under some degree of control by European powers. The Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) belonged to the Netherlands, Indochina belonged to France, and all major European powers plus the United States controlled much of coastal China. These were Japan’s economic competitors. Over time, Japan became less and less economically secure, and in the 1930s, it invaded China. The US opposed the invasion as it did not want to face a Japanese challenge in the Pacific. It supported Chinese resistance against Japan.
The battle for free speech on the Internet is reaching the main stage. Curiously, authority over the world wide web has concentrated into fewer hands than ever, and has traded hands in ways that we little understand. Right now, words are being twisted, and used against us. There are cyber bombardments underway right now. The big campaign is being sold under ‘fake news,’ in the hopes that dissent can be stifled and propaganda can once again by scripted and authoritative. This new narrative is working as well as they had hoped, but it is getting the point across – the the kind of websites that bucked the system during the campaign season aren’t going to be tolerated much longer. Some of the websites that have been smeared are now suing for defamation and a retraction maligning their work as foreign propaganda. According to the Daily Caller: One of the websites The Washington Post labeled ‘fake news’ in a November story demanded a retraction and threatened the paper with a defamation lawsuit in a demand letter Sunday.
This post was published at shtfplan on December 5th, 2016.
Republican Congressman Richard Hudson from North Carolina is set to introduce national concealed carry legislation for the next congress after Donald Trump is sworn in as president. The bill, known as the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, will allow a person with a concealed carry permit in one state to carry a handgun in any other state that permits residents to conceal carry, as long as the person is not banned from possessing or transporting a firearm under federal law, The Daily Caller has learned. You can read the full bill here. ‘Our Second Amendment right doesn’t disappear when we cross state lines, and I plan to introduce legislation in the first days of the 115th Congress to guarantee that. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is a common sense bill to provide law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits,’ Rep. Hudson told The Daily Caller.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 5, 2016.
President-elect Donald Trump told a Cincinnati audience this week that he intends to make some big changes in US foreign policy. During his ‘thank you’ tour in the Midwest, Trump had this to say: We will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past. We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments. … In our dealings with other countries we will seek shared interests wherever possible…’ If this is really to be President Trump’s foreign policy, it would be a welcome change from the destructive path pursued by the two previous administrations. Such a foreign policy would go a long way toward making us safer and more prosperous, as we would greatly reduce the possibility of a ‘blowback’ attack from abroad, and we would save untold billions with a foreign policy of restraint. However as we know with politicians, there is often a huge gap between pronouncements before entering office and actions once in office. Who can forget President George W. Bush’s foreign policy promises as a candidate 16 years ago? As a candidate he said: