Pot Industry Revitalizes Entire Canadian Town’s Economy

The marijuana industry is coming to the rescue of Smith Falls, Ontario, an old factory town that is experiencing an unlikely renaissance now that Canopy Growth Corp., Canada’s largest publicly-traded cannabis producer, has become the town’s largest private-sector employer.
This summer, Canada will become the second country after Uruguay to legalize marijuana at the federal level, which has driven a boom in the local cannabis industry, according to Bloomberg.
Smiths Falls, Ontario – population 8,885 – is seeing a revival of fortunes since medical marijuana producer Tweed Inc. set up shop four years ago in an abandoned Hershey Co. chocolate factory. The company, since renamed Canopy Growth Corp., has become the world’s largest publicly traded cannabis producer and is the town’s largest private-sector employer.
For Smith Falls, Canopy’s arrival heralded a boom in younger people moving to the town, located about 75 kilometers (47 miles) southwest of Ottawa. There are sometimes bidding wars on homes. New businesses are arriving. And commercial property is seeing renewed interest. Canopy, formerly known as Tweed Inc., took over an old Hershey factory to build a giant growing operation for medical marijuana. How’s that for symbolism?
We’re recognized as the pot capital of Canada – and we’re proud of that, Mayor Shawn Pankow said in an interview from the town hall, a two-story brick building erected in 1859 on the main street. The local economy is certainly far better today than it was before Tweed came to town.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sat, 12/30/2017 –.

China Resists US Push To Blacklist Ships Caught Trading With North Korea

After the US Treasury Department released satellite images purporting to show Chinese ships transferring oil to a North Korea-flagged vessel in blatant violation of UN Security Council sanctions, the US is pressing for 10 ships, several of them Chinese, to be added to the list of entities banned by the UN.
But there’s one problem: China, which like the US holds a permanent veto over UN Security Council decisions, is pushing back. It says it will only accept sanctions on four ships, according to the Wall Street Journal.
While there’s some skepticism about how well these rules are enforced, UN sanctions would require members to bar blacklisted ships from their ports.
A Security Council resolution passed last week gives member states more authority to seize the ships that have breached international sanctions and ban them from their ports. And the satellite images mentioned above have shown just how easily North Korea has managed to circumvent sanctions managed to restrict energy flowing into the country while also choking off its exports of North Korean coal.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Fri, 12/29/2017 –.

Will War Cancel Trump’s Triumphs?

Asked what he did during the French Revolution, Abbe Sieyes replied, ‘I survived.’
Donald Trump can make the same boast.
No other political figure has so dominated our discourse. And none, not Joe McCarthy in his heyday in the early ’50s, nor Richard Nixon in Watergate, received such intensive and intemperate coverage and commentary as has our 45th president.
Whatever one may think of Trump, he is a leader and a fighter, not a quitter. How many politicians could have sustained the beatings Trump has taken, and remained as cocky and confident?
And looking back on what may fairly be called The Year of Trump, his achievements have surprised even some of his enemies.
With the U. S. military given a freer hand by Trump, a U. S.-led coalition helped expel ISIS from its twin capitals of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq, driving it back into a desert enclave on the Iraq-Syria border. The caliphate is dead, and the caliph nowhere to be found.
The economy, with the boot of Barack Obama off its neck, has been growing at 3 percent. The stock market has soared to record highs. Unemployment is down to 4 percent. And Trump and Congress just passed the largest tax cut since Ronald Reagan.
With deregulation, which conservative Republicans preached to deaf ears in the Bush I and Bush II eras, Trump and those he has put into positions of power have exceeded expectations.
Pipelines Obama blocked have been approved. Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuge has been opened to exploratory drilling. We have exited a Paris climate accord that favored China over the U. S.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Fri, 12/29/2017 –.

CITIZEN PEDOPHILE HUNTER ARRESTED FOR CATCHING CHILD PREDATORS BETTER THAN POLICE

A self-proclaimed pedophile hunter, who lures would-be child molesters into public spaces where they can be arrested, has been arrested for this practice.
After he became fed up with police officers doing a terrible job at catching child predators, Rich Warner took matters into his own hands. He launched a sting operation of his own and was successful at catching pedophiles. However, he apparently became so good at his job that police have moved in to take him out.
Using fake profiles, Warner would lure in these predators. He would set up meetings and then confront the sickos who would show up. Many of Warner’s stings have been the subject of high-profile news segments in which he’s nabbed child predators who thought they were going to meet children for sex.
As Yahoo reported in August, in one of Warner’s stings, Mark Lee Smith arranged to meet the 14-year-old, known as Lou, after grooming her on an online dating site, but instead he found himself face-to-face with an undercover journalist using the alias ‘Danny Catcher’ (Warner) who detained the 28-year-old father of one and called the police.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on DECEMBER 27, 2017.

TENSIONS FLARE AS US RECON SATELLITES EXPOSE CHINESE SHIPS ILLEGALLY SELLING OIL TO NORTH KOREA

According to South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo, U. S. recon satellites have photographed around 30 illegal transactions involving Chinese vessels selling oil to North Korea.
Washington, D. C. – United States reconnaissance satellites have allegedly caught Chinese ships violating UN sanctions by engaging in illegal oil trades with North Korean vessels nearly 30 times in October.
The images were captured in the West Sea on October 19, prior to the most recent round of sanctions on the DPRK, which caps oil product shipments at 500K barrels per year, going into effect.
The satellite footage reveals a North Korean ship, named Ryesonggang 1, connected with a Chinese ship in what was deemed a ship-to-ship oil transfer, which is prohibited and deemed illegal by U. S. authorities.
According to the U. S. Department of the Treasury’s official report on the incident:

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on DECEMBER 27, 2017.

Erdoan Wants to Revise the Treaty of Lausanne

The War Cycle is in full swing upward since 2014. We have witnessed the invasion of Ukraine, the invasion of Syria, Rocketman in North Korea, and numerous civil uprisings. However, the war also comes with sharply declining economies as political leaders need to point the finger outside their domestic rule to distract their people.
The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoan is also on a power trip and the sharply collapsing currency only puts more pressure on him to start conflicts. That basic incentive has played out with his visit to Greece in December. This was the first time a Turkish leader visited Greece in 65 years. As the Guardian reports, Erdoan shocked Greece by calling for a revision of the Lausanne Treaty of 1923. The Turkish president in Turkey has sharply criticized the opposition for this demand and as always there is the justification for protecting people of Turkish origin living in Greece. Hitler used the same excuse to invade neighbors to defend Germans living on foreign lands.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Dec 28, 2017.

PROOF: THE ENTIRE TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE IS A COMPLETE SHAM, ROBERT MUELLER ISN’T EVEN INVESTIGATING TIES TO RUSSIA!

Another day, another piece of evidence that points to the now transparently obvious fact that the FBI’s counterintelligence probe being led by deep state operative and Clinton supporter Robert Mueller is nothing more than a complete sham that isn’t even actually investigating whether or not Trump colluded with Russia to win the election.
That’s right, the supposedly extremely important probe into Russian attempts at fixing the U. S. election isn’t actually looking into connections between Trump campaign officials and Russia (because there are none) but rather they are using a form of financial terrorism to bankrupt Trump associates with white-collar crime investigations that have absolutely no connection to the 2016 election, much less Russia.
This is not up for debate as this shocking fact has now been openly admitted in the mainstream media through an article by The Daily Beast’s Betsy Woodruff, a reporter who in the past has had key information leaked to her with the specific aim of taking out a democratically elected president.
The article details the fact that Mueller is likely to indict short-lived Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort once again and of course his supposed crimes have literally nothing to do with Russia.
In other words, this is a clear cut operation to take out President Trump by any means necessary.
Woodruff reports:

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on DECEMBER 27, 2017.

The Obama-Hezbollah Conspiracy Could Shake The “Deep State” And Latin America

Authored by Andrew Korybko via Oriental Review,
Politico published an explosive investigative report which alleges that the Obama Administration politically interfered to obstruct a far-reaching criminal justice operation against Hezbollah in order to facilitate the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
***
The expos is extensive and covers a wide array of purported activities over a ten-year period all across the US, Latin America, West Africa, Europe, and the Mideast, though the point of this analysis isn’t to summarize what’s contained in the report or to judge its veracity, but to interpret the significance of it being made public at this point in time. The codename given to the investigation into Hezbollah’s global economic network was ‘Operation Cassandra’, and it alleges to have discovered the mechanics behind the group’s self-sustaining financial ecosystem, some of which supposedly dealt with organized criminal activities such as drug trafficking and money laundering.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 26, 2017.

“Wealth Effect” = Widening Wealth Inequality

Note that widening wealth and income inequality is a non-partisan trend. One of the core goals of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policies of the past 9 years is to generate the “wealth effect”: by pushing the valuations of stocks and bonds higher, American households will feel wealthier, and hence be more willing to borrow and spend, even if they didn’t actually reap any gains by selling stocks and bonds that gained value. In other words, the mere perception of rising wealth is supposed to trigger a wave of renewed borrowing and spending. This perception management only worked on the few households which owned enough of these assets to feel wealthier–the top 5%, the top 6 million out of 120 million households. This chart shows what happened as the Fed ceaselessly goosed financial assets higher over the past 9 years: the gains, real and perceived, only flowed to the top 5% of households earning in excess of $200,000 annually. Spending by the bottom 95% has at best returned to the levels reached a decade ago in 2007.

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on TUESDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2017.

26/12/17: U.S. Wars Budgets: More Lessons Never Learned

An interesting report on the official accounts for war-related spending in the U. S. is available here: Which is, of course, a massive under-estimate of the full cost of 2001-2017 wars to the U. S. taxpayers.
It is worth remembering that war-related expenditures are outside discretionary budgetary allocations (follow links here: And you can read more here: The problem, as I repeatedly pointed out, is that no one can tell us what exactly – aside from misery, failed states, collapsed economies, piles of dead bodies etc – did these expenditures achieve, or for that matter what did all the adventurous entanglements the U. S. got into in recent year deliver? In Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen and Syria, in Pakistan and Sudan, in Ukraine, in Somalia and Egypt. The sole bright spot on the U. S. ‘policy horizon’ is Kurdistan. But the problem is, the U. S. has been quietly undermining its main ally in the Syria-Iraq-Turkey sub-region in recent years. In South China Seas, Beijing is fully running the show, as multi-billion U. S. hardware bobbles up and down the waves to no effect. In North Korea, a villain with a bucket of uranium is in charge, and Iran is standing strong. In its historical backyard of Latin America, the U. S. is now confronting growing Chinese influence, while losing allies.

This post was published at True Economics on Tuesday, December 26, 2017.

Truly Bizarre Treasury Data

I’m not sure what’s going on here, but this much I do know — nobody is talking about this in the media, and they should be.
The latest MTS (Monthly Treasury Statement) has some interesting data that I cannot explain when it comes to Medicare and Medicaid.
Specifically, it appears that Medicare and Medicaid spending is down materially in the first couple of months of the year (by about 5%). This is chimera, however, and the internals are really troubling.
First, the funds given to the states for Medicaid are up by 4.55%. That’s bad. Worse, by a lot, are the SCHIP (children’s health fund) payments, which I’ve flagged repeatedly — they’re up an outrageous 13.9% over comparable year period.

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-12-26.

US Slashes United Nations’ Budget By $285 Million Following “Stunning” Jerusalem Rebuke

The United States announced a $285 million cut in the United Nations’ “bloated” budget for next year, negotiated by UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. A statement by the United States Mission to the United Nations reads:
Today, the United Nations agreed on a budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. -Among a host of other successes, the United States negotiated a reduction of over $285 million off the 2016-2017 final budget. In addition to these significant cost savings, we reduced the UN’s bloated management and support functions, bolstered support for key U. S. priorities throughout the world, and instilled more discipline and accountability throughout the UN system.
Pleased with the cuts, Haley added “you can be sure we’ll continue to look at ways to increase the UN’s efficiency’ while protecting our interests.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 25, 2017.