Editor’s Note: Welcome to the Brave New World, Star Wars style… Conspiracy theorists and military nerds alike have been talking about the possibility of the US using lasers in combat, and it might be coming. According to reports, the Air Force wants to equip some planes with laser cannons by the first part of the next decade. (Geek boner.) Last week, DARPA announced it would begin a series of field tests for its High-Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS). The field tests are expected to replicate using the laser cannon against rockets, mortars, vehicles, and surface-to-air missiles.
To avoid a violent militaristic clash with China, or another cold war rivalry, the United States should pursue a simple solution: give up its empire. Americans fear that China’s rapid economic growth will slowly translate into a more expansive and assertive foreign policy that will inevitably result in a war with the US. Harvard Professor Graham Allisonhas found: ‘in 12 of 16 cases in the past 500 years when a rising power challenged a ruling power, the outcome was war.’ Chicago University scholar John Mearsheimer has bluntly argued:’China cannot rise peacefully.’ But the apparently looming conflict between the US and China is not because of China’s rise per se, but rather because the US insists on maintaining military and economic dominance among China’s neighbors. Although Americans like to think of their massive overseas military presence as a benign force that’s inherently stabilizing, Beijing certainly doesn’t see it that way. According to political scientists Andrew Nathan and Andrew Scobell, Beijing sees America as ‘the most intrusive outside actor in China’s internal affairs, the guarantor of the status quo in Taiwan, the largest naval presence in the East China and South China seas, [and] the formal or informal military ally of many of China’s neighbors.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on 05/29/2015.
21st Century Wire says… British journalist John Cantlie, said to be held captive by ISIS since 2012, once again turns up pushing ISIS propaganda – this time as a published writer in the group’s stylized online terror magazine Dabiq… Remember back in February, we reported here at 21WIRE, how Cantlie’s video message ‘From Inside Aleppo’ was an effort to ‘humanize’ ISIS and its future generation of fighters. The decidedly pro-ISIS video was heavily promoted by the intelligence group SITE and another media arm of ISIS, Al Hayat Media Center. Mainstream pundits maintain that ‘Cantlie’ is under duress and might be forced into operating as a reporter for ISIS. However, since Cantlie’s prominent role in the YouTube video series ‘Lend Me Your Ears,’ critics have been dubious of the Cantlie’s links to USAID journo James Foley –one of the as of yet, forensically unproven deaths at the hands of the estranged terror persona Jihadi John.
In a press release, the groups highlighted the links between Citigroup – which has lobbied extensively on the TPP, TTIP, and Fast Track authority – and Froman, who they note ‘received a more than $4 million golden parachute from Citigroup upon leaving the large financial institution to join the Obama administration in 2009.’ In particular, the letter’s signatories are concerned that provisions in proposed trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or the TransAtlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) would weaken or rollback existing U. S. financial regulations, for the benefit of big banks. – From the Common Dreams article: Is US Trade Rep a Wall Street Crony? Groups Demand Transparency. No one is pushing harder to pass the multi-national corporate giveaway masquerading as a free trade deal, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), than Obama’s top trade representative, Michael Froman. Therefore, we probably should know a little bit about him. What do you know? Probably not much. Here’s something you should know. From the New York Times:
May 2015 – INDIA – The death toll in the sweltering heat sweeping many parts of the country climbed to 1826 today, with 414 lives being claimed by the scorching sun in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana since yesterday. -India Express Hospitals in India are struggling to cope with an influx of victims of a blistering heat wave that has claimed nearly 1,800 lives in just over a week. Hundreds of people – mainly from the poorest sections of society – die at the height of summer every year in India but this year’s figures are unusually high. In southern Andhra Pradesh – by far the worst-hit state – 1020 people have died since May 18, more than double the number of heat-related deaths for the whole of last year. In neighboring Telangana, where temperatures hit 48 degrees Celsius over the weekend, 340 people have died from the heat recently compared to 31 in the whole of last year. ‘Heat wave conditions in 2015 so far have been of a shorter duration, yet with a higher death toll,’ said the Centre for Science and Environment’s Arjuna Srinidhi on Thursday. ‘This could be due to the sudden change in temperatures after a prolonged wet February and March that had kept the temperatures cool.’ Hospitals in New Delhi, where top temperatures have soared to 45 degrees, are struggling to cope with the fallout.
Newly released police body cam video footage shows cops in California wrestle a pregnant woman to the ground and arrest her after she refuses to show them identification. The incident occurred on January 26, and the footage, recorded by Barstow Police, was released by the ACLU last week. It reveals the unlawful arrest of Charlena Michelle Cooks, who at the time was eight months pregnant and dropping off her second-grade daughter at school.
In early 2013, before Mary Jo White was confirmed as the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), I wrote a post predicting she would be a bankster codling fraud in the post, Meet Mary Jo White: The Next SEC Chief and a Guaranteed Wall Street Patsy. Here’s an excerpt: Obama’s nominee to head the SEC, Mary Jo White, is just another gatekeeper appointed to make sure no one ever goes after the Wall Street crime syndicate. As I have written about many times in the past, Obama does not nominate anyone to a high position of power in government who will not behave like a good little lapdog for Wall Street. Despite Obama’s propagandist statement about how ‘you don’t want to mess with Mary Jo,’ her background implies she will function as a useful servant to the financial oligarchs. Forget for a second about that fact at her recent firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP her clients included the usual suspects such as such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS), and UBS AG, but she is actually known as the prosecutor who popularized the ‘slap Wall Street on the wrist’ approach.
This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Michael Krieger | Posted Friday May 29, 2015.
May 29, 2015 Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile I came across an interesting story from India recently. In a landmark animal rights case, the High Court there ruled that birds can no longer be kept in cages. The judges asserted that birds have a fundamental right to live with dignity and be free. Incredible. If only we humans had the same fundamental right. Many of us come from a country that claims to be free. We grow up singing songs about our freedom, and we are told by our governments that evil men in caves hate us because we are so free. This is powerful propaganda that starts practically from birth and stays with us for our entire lives. Even Hollywood does its part with heroic action movies portraying the homeland as strong and free, with evil villains who invariably have foreign accents. But it’s all a ruse.
Homelessness in the U. S. is continuing to skyrocket, despite what the government would like us to believe. And if you want to help your fellow Americans who are in need, well…there is a price to be paid. You see, the government isn’t going to just LET you go out and feed hungry folks. Nope. Like pretty much ANYTHING else in this country, that will require a permit, and permits aren’t cheap. The good people of a non-profit organization found this out the hard way. Luke Rudkowski of We Are Change recently visited Los Angeles, California to talk to Cloud 9, which is a non-profit organization that has been helping the homeless. Because no good deed goes unpunished, Cloud 9 recently had the government show up at a charity event and demand they pay over $400 for a permit in order to continue their work.
Meet Gulmurod Khalimov, the US-trained and funded former commander of Tajikistan’s special forces, who, as Reuters reports, has now gone to Syria to fight with ISIS. He has a message: “Listen, you American pigs, I’ve been three times to America, and I saw how you train fighters to kill Muslims…God willing, I will come with this weapon to your cities, your homes, and we will kill you.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on 05/29/2015 –.
21st Century Wire says… There are various types of provocateurs. Some act on a completely voluntary basis; often confused while playing the role of ‘useful idiot’ and seeking YouTube and Facebook fame where possible. Others are professionals on the government payroll, as it were. Sadly, many thousands seemed to have fallen for the Garland, Texas installment of the Charlie Hebdo-style PR stunt, where two patsies, including one with an assigned FBI handler, showed up to a staged political event with 40 armed security operatives pre-positioned for a firefight. No surprise that the authorities changed their story after the fact in an attempt to make this improbability sound somehow more plausible (which is an impossible task in itself). Jon Ritzheimer (below), an ex-Marine, wants to stage another ‘Mohammed Cartoon Contest’ in Phoenix, although at a slightly more humble venue than Pamela Gellar’s compartmentalized tactical building in Garland. We’re told that ‘Atheist Patriot’ Ritzheimer will be holding his event (try not to laugh) at the local Denny’s diner. Then he’s asked the mob, who he has also told to bring guns with them, to march with their ‘Mohammed Art’ down to the local Mosque in order to picket and antagonize all the Muslim congregation inside. Naturally, he is being egged-on by right-wing radio hosts and given tacit support by FOX.
‘Imagination is a force of nature. Is this not enough to make a person full of ecstasy? Imagination, imagination, imagination. It converts to actual. It sustains, it alters, it redeems!’ -Saul Bellow, Henderson the Rain King ‘When the imagination sleeps, words are emptied of their meaning.’ -Albert Camus ‘I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.’ -Albert Einstein ‘But imagination gives us the sweet music of tiniest insect wings, enables us to hear, all around the world, the vibration of every needle, the waving of every bole and branch, the sound of stars in circulation like particles in the blood. The Sierra canyons are full of avalanche debris – we hear them boom again, and we read the past sounds from present conditions. Again we hear the earthquake rock-falls. Imagination is usually regarded as a synonym for the unreal. Yet is true imagination healthful and real, no more likely to mislead than the coarse senses. Indeed, the power of imagination makes us infinite.’ -John Muir ‘Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.’ -Mark Twain ‘The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.’ -Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Did you really think that Baltimore would return to normal after everything that has happened? On Thursday, a mother and her 7-year-old son were both shot in the head in a double murder that has shocked the entire nation. Police believe that the son may have been shot in order to prevent him from identifying the individual that shot his mother. So is this what America is turning into? A place where 7-year-old kids are executed in cold blood? That mother and son were the 37th and 38th murder victims in the city of Baltimore so far this month. That makes this the deadliest month in Baltimore in 15 years, but because of all the controversy surrounding the death of Freddie Gray, police in Baltimore are afraid to do their jobs at this point. In some areas of the city, young men boldly smoke weed in public and wave guns around at innocent bystanders without any worry that police will intervene. Baltimore has descended into a state of lawlessness, and this is just the beginning. As I discussed just the other day, the same kind of lawlessness will soon sweep all across this country. Have you ever been afraid to step outside of your own home? That is what day to day life is like for many residents of Baltimore right now. In fact, one woman is even barricading her door and setting up metal slabs behind her windows to deflect gunfire. Just check out the following excerpt from a recent news report about what is going on in the city… ‘I’m afraid to go outside,’ said Antoinette Perrine, whose brother was shot down three weeks ago on a basketball court near her home in the Harlem Park neighborhood of West Baltimore. Ever since, she has barricaded her door and added metal slabs inside her windows to deflect gunfire. ‘It’s so bad, people are afraid to let their kids outside,’ Perrine said. ‘People wake up with shots through their windows. Police used to sit on every corner, on the top of the block. These days? They’re nowhere.’
The standard narrative floating about the mainstream press is that the developing world is held back by a quagmire of free market fundamentalism. Sure, there are a few exceptions to this narrative, such as Peter Bauer and William Easterly. But pretty much all we hear is a chorus from the likes of Jeffrey Sachs; that in order for these poor countries to become wealthy, they must receive aid from wealthy countries and rein in the free market. Salon even had the audacity to refer to Honduras as a ‘modern day libertarian dystopia.’ As the author states, ‘Eliminate all taxes, privatize everything, load a country up with guns and oppose all public expenditures, you end up with Honduras.’ A country where ‘the police ride around in pickup trucks with machine guns, but they aren’t there to protect most people. … For individual protection there’s an army of private, armed security guards.’ And then there’s Naomi Klein, whose popular book The Shock Doctrine claimed those who support free markets actually use crises to enact their free-market reforms on poor countries and ensure such poverty continues. There is so much wrong with all of this that it’s hard to know where to start. First of all, Klein gets things backward. While corporations have certainly done their share of wrong (usually with the help of the government), Robert Higgs showed quite clearly in Crisis and Leviathan that it is the state that uses crises to grow. In the United States, the government grew vastly during World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, and even the Cold War. It is now using the War on Terror to grow once again.
For most consumers of alternative news and media, the lineup of the players constitutes the tyrants and their systemic control, and the enlightened underground, with both sides fighting the great battle of winning the hearts and minds of the rest of the public. For the alternative news and information community, the possibility of large-scale psychological operations within alternative media itself are generally outside the spectrum of the possible. Indeed, crowds today are sill cheering on Assange and his Vaudeville Whistleblower Roadshowwith Bradley-Chelsea Manning, and more recently, finding themselves intellectually snowed-in by our last hero, Snowden.
Today, I am releasing a report submitted by Jeff Barber and his wife, from El Paso, Texas. The Barbers decided to investigate 47 a mile stretch of ‘open border’ between Mexico and the United States. Barber obviously examined the claims that I made, via a Judicial Watch report, which stated that ISIS had a base camp only 8 miles from El Paso. Mr. Barber provided me with the results of his investigation. Below are key excerpts from the Barber report. The Barber Report ‘I have personal confirmation from a Mexican law enforcement officer that there are two ISIS cells in Chihuahua state. My direct information from the Border Patrol officer is that the Obama administration has cut 75% of the ‘in the field’ Border Patrol from East County to give people (illegals) a safe passage to Estados Unidos/United States. So when the drug cartel stole 200 stinger missiles from the Mexican Army I had an ‘inside’ source that this incident was real. (I would trust this Mexican officer more than the Jay Carney/Josh Ernest spin from the White House). My wife and I decided we’d go investigate these matters for ourselves… Several CNN reports included interviews with ranchers, so we decided to go to their ranches as well and see what the real story was for ourselves’.
“Almost 1,200 migrants – some crammed onto overcrowded inflatable dinghies – have been picked up by Greek authorities in the eastern Aegean Sea in the past two days,” correspondents for the British newspaper Daily Mail Jenny Stanton and Mario Ledwith mentioned in their article published on Tuesday. Although the article is intended to highlight the plight of refugees arriving in Dodecanese islands from neighboring Turkey, it mainly focuses on the island of Kos, a popular tourist destination for U.K. teens. According to the British newspaper, “after Italy, financially crippled Greece is the main destination for refugees, mostly from war-ravaged Syria plus economic migrants seeking a better life in the E.U.” with the total new arrivals exceeding 30,000 this year. Kos is situated approximately two miles from the southwestern Turkish region of Bodrum and the journey from the Turkish port to the Greek holiday island takes around 20 minutes. In order for the desperate migrants to cross the Aegean Sea in search for a better life, up to €800 should be paid to smugglers for a place on a boat.
Are we calling peak German property? Or are we witnessing a new German housing market in gestation, driven by imbalances between supply and demand, fired by an urge to buy not rent? Germany has one of the lowest rates of home ownership in Europe. Just 15% of Berliners own property. That figure is rising. "Germany is counter-cyclical to Britain," says Hilton. "In Britain, property ownership is in decline. In Germany it is the other way round." Meanwhile, supply is constrained and will remain so. "Although new-build property is coming on, there isn't anything like enough of it. Last year, 4,000 properties were built in Berlin. The demand is for 20,000."
The following video was published by Greg Hunter on May 28, 2015 The big future war probability, that isn’t getting much coverage, is China. The South China Sea is supposed to be international waters, but China is now claiming a large chunk of it. That country is building islands, lighthouses and future military bases on them. The Chinese themselves say these Islands are for military purposes. They are building bases with long runways, and this is a way for China to project power. It should worry anyone with a brain. The Chinese claim the US is causing ‘provocations and instigations.’ The Pentagon says it will keep sending ships and surveillance aircraft into the South China Sea. Can a military conflict be far off? Ukraine and Iraq are also big problems, but China could be the granddaddy of them all. Even billionaire George Soros is warning of a war with China. President Obama’s immigration policy that would allow 5 million illegal immigrants to stay in America and receive benefits took another body blow. A Federal appeals court upheld the blocking of Obamas immigration amnesty that was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge earlier this year. Goldman Sachs is warning the world is drowning in debt. It is outright warning of another financial calamity that could be caused by a ‘liquidity crisis’ and ‘ballooning debt.’ Multiple countries around the world have debt to GDP ratios near or more than 100%. The USA is just over 100%. History shows that when countries have more debt than GDP, bad things happen to the economy–like it can implode.