A Stunning Look At California’s Historic Drought – From The Air

“Ugly brown rings where waves used to lap at the shore. Dry docks lying on desiccated silt. Barren boat ramps. Trickles of water.” Those are just some of the disturbing images California’s Department of Water Resources team saw in an aerial tour of Northern California’s Folsom Lake, Lake Oroville and Shasta reservoirs released this week…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 07/23/2015.

Shocking Video: LAPD Cops Shoot Man in Wheelchair with Bean Bag Rounds and a Taser

Three rounds with a bean bag gun and a taser – deployed against a man in a wheelchair.
The LAPD is facing criticism after a video surfaced that shows them firing beanbag rounds at a man in a wheelchair and then hitting him with a taser.
According to LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith, the man in the wheelchair, Christopher Adam Zareck, 43, swung a pole at police when they tried to take him into custody.
Police were called to the scene around 7:00 pm last Friday after a man reported that he’d been in an altercation with Zareck. Ironically enough, the man claiming he’d been in an altercation with Zareck said he successfully defended himself against the wheelchair-bound man. However, nearly a dozen officers were deployed to stop this one man.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on July 23rd, 2015.

Judge Says Pentagon, CIA Allowed to ‘Neither Confirm Nor Deny’ US Citizens Killed by Drone Strikes

We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.
— CIA (@CIA) June 6, 2014

The CIA’s first official Tweet
Does the title of this story remind you of the first tweet that the CIA sent out?
‘We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.’
But it is no joke.
A federal judge recently ruled, ‘the CIA and Defense Department (DOD) do not have to confirm or deny whether they have records on the ‘factual basis for the killing’ of either Samir Khan or Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, who were killed in two separate drone strikes in September and October of 2011.’

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on July 23rd, 2015.

An Example Of Collective Idiocy

Here’s yet another exhibit of the many that shows why I believe we’re utterly doomed unless there is a mass-awakening of the American people.
DETROIT (AP) – Like most Americans, the drivers of Detroit are required to carry auto insurance whenever they get behind the wheel, but many law-abiding residents can’t afford the Motor City’s highest-in-the-nation auto premiums, which top $5,000 a year in some neighborhoods.
So fully half of Detroit drivers do what’s known locally as “driving dirty” – taking to the streets without any coverage. It’s practically a tradition here.
Now Mayor Mike Duggan is trying to do something about the high insurance costs based on concerns that they are deterring new residents and investment from coming to Detroit as it rebuilds after emerging from bankruptcy last year.
The chief reason for the high rates: Michigan is the only state that requires auto insurance policies to come with unlimited lifetime personal-injury protection, meaning that people who are hurt in car crashes get 100 percent of their medical expenses covered, sometimes for years or even decades. The protection applies regardless of who was at fault.
The law also allows care providers to charge much more for treatment of auto injuries.
“Every doctor in every hospital in this state understands … that if you schedule an MRI for a rehab case for somebody who fell off a ladder and has Blue Cross, you get paid a certain amount,” Duggan said. “If that person got hurt in a car accident, you get reimbursed triple.”

This post was published at Market-Ticker on July 23, 2015.

Strategic Petroleum Reserve No Longer Key Part Of US National Security

The U. S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), once seen as a cornerstone of America’s energy security, is losing its shine in Washington.
The SPR was established in the aftermath of the 1973-1974 oil embargo, which led to high gasoline prices, fuel rationing, price controls, and long lines at gas stations. The U. S. government decided to stockpile oil in salt caverns in Texas and Louisiana, fuel that could be used in the event of a supply outage. Today, the SPR holds 695 million barrels of oil.
In the decades since, oil from the SPR has only been released a handful of times – including the Persian Gulf War in 1990-1991, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and during the Arab Spring in 2011.
Sales from the SPR have often undergone quite a bit of scrutiny in the U. S. Congress. It is seen as a stockpile only to be tapped as a last resort measure, with the intention to supply the market only when there is a short-term disruption in supply (as in the examples mentioned above). Even the 2011 sale from the SPR was met with harsh criticism from certain members of Congress, who argued that the petroleum release was not needed.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 07/23/2015.

Caught On Camera: Illegals Smuggle Drugs Into Laredo Before Trump Visit

As Donald Trump prepared to arrive in Laredo for a tour of the US border, Infowars captured astounding footage which shows illegals sneaking across the Rio Grande river before they frantically throw huge bags of drugs into a vehicle and swim back to Mexico.
Infowars reporters Joe Biggs and Josh Owens traveled to Laredo to cover Trump’s highly publicized visit. While recording footage of the Rio Grande river, which forms part of the Mexico – US border, Owens spotted illegals crossing the water in the distance on rafts and began to film.
The clip then shows an individual holding open the trunk of a red Ford Explorer before four illegals frantically run up carrying huge packs of what are almost certainly drugs before quickly throwing them into the vehicle and fleeing back towards Mexico.

This post was published at shtfplan on July 23rd, 2015.

The Eroding Character of the American People – Paul Craig Roberts

How can the life of such a man Be in the palm of some fool’s hand? To see him obviously framed Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land Where justice is a game. – Bob Dylan, ‘Hurricane’
Attorney John W. Whitehead opens a recent posting (see below) on his Rutherford Institute website with these words from a song by Bob Dylan. Why don’t all of us feel ashamed? Why only Bob Dylan?
I wonder how many of Bob Dylan’s fans understand what he is telling them. American justice has nothing to do with innocence or guilt. It only has to do with the prosecutor’s conviction rate, which builds his political career. Considering the gullibility of the American people, American jurors are the last people to whom an innocent defendant should trust his fate. The jury will betray the innocent almost every time.
As Lawrence Stratton and I show in our book (2000, 2008) there is no justice in America. We titled our book, ‘How the Law Was Lost.’ It is a description of how the protective features in law that made law a shield of the innocent was transformed over time into a weapon in the hands of the government, a weapon used against the people. The loss of law as a shield occurred prior to 9/11, which ‘our representative government’ used to construct a police state.
The marketing department of our publisher did not appreciate our title and instead came up with ‘The Tyranny of Good Intentions.’ We asked what this title meant. The marketing department answered that we showed that the war on crime, which gave us the abuses of RICO, the war on child abusers, which gave us show trials of total innocents that bested Joseph Stalin’s show trials of the heroes of the Bolshevik Revolution, and the war on drugs, which gave ‘Freedom and Democracy America’ broken families and by far the highest incarceration rate in the world all resulted from good intentions to combat crime, to combat drugs, and to combat child abuse. The publisher’s title apparently succeeded, because 15 years later the book is still in print. It has sold enough copies over these years that, had the sales occurred upon publication would have made the book a ‘best seller.’ The book, had it been a best seller, would have gained more attention, and perhaps law schools and bar associations could have used it to hold the police state at bay.

This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on July 23, 2015.

Has The Land War Begun: Turkish Tanks Are Firing Into Syria

Update, from the horse’s mouth: Turkey admits 4 tanks entered Syria to use something called a “retaliation right”:
@zerohedge to prevent false infos, i must say just 4 tanks get through to use retaliation right.
— Lit. Col. Kenan Winer (@harunayanoglu) July 23, 2015

After Monday’s tragic terrorist attack in the Turkish town of Suruc, just across from the Syrian border and kilometers away from ISIS-controlled Kobani, which left dozens dead in what authorities claim was due to an ISIS-linked 20 yhear old suicide bomber, hostilities have dramatically escalated in the past few days culminating with news that one Turkish soldier killed and one was wounded in border province of Kilis by gunfire from Syria, according to state-run Anadolu Agency reports.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 07/23/2015.

Will Donald Trump Will Be Assassinated By a Man with a Diary?

At times, I find myself trying to evaluate the seriousness of Donald Trump’s announced intention to secure the Republican nomination for President. In a recent poll, Trump had the support of 24% of the polled would-be voters. As a result, Trump had an 11% lead on the rest of the Republican field.
Forbidden Topics
In the short time he has been running for President, Trump is talking about forbidden topics such as national sovereignty and the unwise free trade agreements which have cost millions of Americans their jobs. He is talking about the value of protecting the honor and integrity of an American citizenship. There is not one other candidate who is openly discussing these values. We live in an open border society where the middle class has become an endangered species. Trump makes one want to fly the American flag outside one’s home.
At times, I find myself laughing hysterically as the other presidential candidates, the minions for the bankers that have hijacked our country, and how they are trying to align in order to counter this new 800 pound guerrilla in the room. If it were not for Trump, everyone of these bought and paid for politicians look, sound and smell alike. Trump has added passion to the early days of the Presidential race. He has people genuinely excited about politics. Trump has put these politicians and the corporate controlled media in a state of panic and this has become the most entertaining comedy act that I have seen in a long time.

This post was published at The Common Sense Show on July 23, 2015.

Is the Echo Housing Bubble About to Burst?

Echo bubbles aren’t followed by a third bubble.
Speculative bubbles that burst are often followed by an echo bubble, as many participants continue to believe that the crash was only a temporary setback.
The U. S. housing market is experiencing a classic echo bubble. Exhibit A is the Case-Shiller Housing Index for the San Francisco region, which has surged back to levels reached at the top of the first bubble.

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on THURSDAY, JULY 23, 2015.

Today’s Strangled, Muzzled, Darkened and Halted ‘Free’ Markets

We truly pity the earnest stockbroker today. Imagine trying to have a sensible conversation with your client about what’s going on in world markets when almost nothing makes sense anymore.
It is an inherent underpinning of ‘free markets’ that they must remain open for trading during regular market hours unless there is a catastrophic event like war or a terrorist attack. Even after the Tuesday, September 11, 2001 event when planes flew into two World Trade Center towers, leaving much of lower Manhattan covered in rubble and a jungle of tangled, destroyed electronic cables, the New York Stock Exchange reopened the following Monday.
But here we are with no war (other than a war of words) and no terrorist attack and yet Greece’s stock market has been closed for more than three weeks. China is officially reporting that it is experiencing 7 percent economic growth but 20 percent of its stocks on its stock exchanges remain halted from trading and commodity prices are collapsing, a further sign of a serious slowdown in the world’s largest raw-commodity consuming country.

This post was published at Wall Street On Parade on July 22, 2015.

‘Trump’ing Political Success Through An Irate Silent Majority

Four years ago Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga rebirthed the musical-cicada of the 1937 song, ‘The Lady Is a Tramp’… which makes me think that maybe we could be facing in 2016 a reenactment of the 1968 presidential election, this time Donald Trump taking the role of George Wallace; a political musical that could appropriately be given the lyrical title, ‘The Politician Is a Trump.’
Alabama’s Gov. Wallace, unable to represent the Democratic Party in the presidential election, created back then his own party: The American Independent Party; a party that by embracing Wallace’s views on segregation gave Richard Nixon ease-of-entry to the White House. Donald Trump, with his equally verboten stand on immigration as Geo. Wallace was on segregation, is not likely to receive the seal of approval from the old guard in the Republican Party, which brings the possibility that Mr. Trump, in boastful arrogance, might decide to invest a few of his many millions in a third party candidacy which could add a new chapter to his book, ‘The Art of the Deal,’ if elected; or create fresh material for his television pseudo-business repertoire, if turned down by the electorate.
Richard Nixon made hay of the term ‘Silent majority’ back in November 1969 to defend his Vietnam War policy. It has since been used by American politicians to legitimize and expand the nature of a non-descript huge following they claim as their own, quite often asserting the existence of magnified populism and an implied democracy. Nixon’s baton seems to have been now passed to Donald Trump, as he submits his candidacy for the highest political office in the land, and grabs the microphone to broadcast his unfiltered stand on immigration. A message that questionably-qualified experts in the media are quick to devour, then defecate, on a public more receptive to shallow issues dealing with celebrities than anything of social significance or depth.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 07/22/2015.

Hoh Hoh Hoh…. Remember The Burned Baby?

Well well, look at what we got here….
A federal grand jury in Georgia on Wednesday indicted a former sheriff’s deputy involved in a drug raid that left a 19-month-old child severely burned from a flash bang grenade explosion.
The indictment charges former Habersham County deputy Nikki Autry, 29, with providing false information to a judge in order to obtain a search warrant for the raid, the U. S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Georgia said.
‘Without her false statements, there was no probable cause to search the premises for drugs or to make the arrest,’ acting U. S. Attorney John Horn said in a statement. ‘And in this case, the consequences of the unlawful search were tragic.’

This post was published at Market-Ticker on July 22, 2015.

The New Great Game Round-Up: July 22, 2015

U. S. Finds Pretext for Staying in Afghanistan as Warlords Join Forces, Saakashvili Fans Try to Exploit Georgian Border Woes & More!
*The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits in Central Asia and the Caucasus region between a U. S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is now fighting on multiple fronts after the neo-Nazis from Pravyi Sektor recently turned their attention from the evil Russkies to the regime in Kiev. As the west of the country descends into chaos as well, the Odessa region under the leadership of Poroshenko’s buddy Mikheil Saakashvili is becoming Kiev’s showcase project. Odessa is supposed to show the world that Ukraine is headed in the right direction and the former Georgian President and his minions are tasked with guiding “Ukraine’s reforms path away from Russia.” After bringing in several of his compatriots, Saakashvili is now looking for other “talents” to improve his team. The 25-year-old Euromaidan activist Yulia Marushevska, who became famous for her appearance in the “I Am a Ukrainian” propaganda video, was the obvious choice and Saakashvili’s next appointment was even more fitting:
Russian shock therapy reformist’s daughter to work for Saakashvili Chairman of Odesa Regional State Administration Mikheil Saakashvili on Friday introduced as his new deputy the Russian opposition politician, journalist, social activist Maria Gaidar, who is a daughter of Yegor Gaidar, the architect of the controversial shock therapy reforms in post-Perestroika Russia, according to local news portal Dumskaya. “All Ukrainians, all Europeans and all Russians are looking at Odesa. The successful changes in Odesa will influence the situation in the world,” Gaidar said, Dumskaya wrote. According to Saakashvili, she will be in charge of social issues. Her official appointment should be enacted by President Petro Poroshenko in the near future.

This post was published at Boiling Frogs Post on July 21, 2015.

“Two-Faced” Japan Accuses China Of Stealing Gas With Sea Rigs

Over the course of the last several months, China has found itself at the center of a rather spirited international “debate” over the country’s land reclamation efforts in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.
To recap, Beijing has created more than 1,500 acres of sovereign territory in the Spratly archipelago by using dredgers to construct man-made islands atop reefs. Although China isn’t the first country to embark on reclamation efforts in the region, its projects have been described by the US and its allies as far more ambitious than those of its neighbors.
The situation escalated rapidly when the Chinese Navy threatened a US spy plane with a CNN crew aboard. Shortly thereafter, the US claimed to have spotted artillery on one of the islands and the entire situation culminated in a hilarious propaganda campaign by the Chinese apparently designed to show that life on its new islands was really all about girls, gardening, pigs, and puppies.
Now, China finds itself at the center of yet another maritime dispute, this time over the construction of oil and gas platforms in the East China Sea. Reuters has more:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 07/22/2015.

U.S. Intelligence Officials Demand that Obama Release MH-17 Intel

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Releasing an Intelligence Report on Shoot-Down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17
It has been a year since the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine, resulting in the death of 298 passengers and crew. The initial response by the U. S. government supported the contention that the likely perpetrators were anti-government forces in southeastern Ukraine (the customary media misnomer for them is ‘separatists’), and that they were possibly aided directly by Moscow.
On July 29, 2014, we Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) suggested that the United States Government report publicly what intelligence it actually had relating to the shoot-down lest the incident turn into another paroxysm of blaming Russia without cause. We are still waiting for that report.
Executive Summary
Tensions between the United States and Russia over Ukraine are fast reaching a danger point. A major contributing factor in the American public’s negative perception of Moscow is last year’s downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
A public report detailing the investigation of the incident by the Dutch Safety authorities is expected by October but the draft is reportedly already in the hands of the United States government. There is speculation that the report will dovetail with media and leaked government sources that have placed primary blame on the ethnic Russian Ukrainians in southeastern Ukraine opposed to the government put in place after the Western-engineered coup of Feb. 22, 2014, in Kiev.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on July 22nd, 2015.

The Ridiculous Reason Why UK Cops Just Dropped A Broker Fraud Probe

A few months back, when US Attorney General Loretta Lynch was out to prove how serious the post-Holder DoJ is about prosecuting white collar crime, we went out of our way to explain exactly why it was that Wall Street banks were allowed to effectively demand immunity from punishment in exchange for guilty pleas in FX rigging cases.
Essentially, the banks were able to obtain SEC waivers which ensured that their ability to “efficiently” raise capital and participate in private offerings (among other important activities) would not be curtailed if they pleaded guilty. More specifically, the excuse for allowing Wall Street to skirt the very penalties that were put in place as a result of the very things for which the banks were being prosecuted was two-fold: 1) there’s the so-called ‘Arthur Andersen effect’whereby the decade-old collapse of an accounting firm and the layoffs that accompanied it are somehow supposed to represent what would happen if a Wall Street bank were not able to claim seasoned issuer status, and 2) curtailing a major bank’s ability to issue capital “speedily and efficiently”, participate in private placements, and manage mutual funds represents a systemic risk.
So in essence, the banks took a look at what the ramifications of pleading guilty might be and decided that it wasn’t in their best interests to go along with a deal that would come with the prescribed penalties. Not wanting to waste a chance at scoring public perception points by extracting completely hollow guilty pleas from the Wall Street banks which Main Street has come to profoundly distrust since 2008, the DoJ actually delayed the settlements in order to give the banks time to negotiate the waivers. As we noted in May:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 07/22/2015.

Is America’s Left Eating Itself?

21st Century Wire says…
Make no mistake. In American today, the wheels of change are turning.
But what happens if a radical minority seizes a nation’s social agenda? Some believe that if it pushes too far and too fast, that this will lead to blow-back – even within previously unified ranks of the wider political left-wing. That’s exactly what we are witnessing in America today. TheWashington Post explains:
‘Some core Democratic groups are finding a disconnect with the rapid change in social issues as well. Fifty-one percent of non-whites, a growing group of Democratic supporters, say they are uncomfortable with the pace of social change. Two-thirds of women also say they are uncomfortable, as are 50 percent of adults under age 30.’ (see the full report below)
Polls are clearly indicating that what are perceived in the media to be ‘social issues’, in reality reflect a much deeper meaning. In other words, for many in the US, issues like abortion and gay marriage are being found to represent the concept of sanctity – rather than just another box to tick on the liberal social justice checklist. Some Americans who might count themselves as members of the orthodox political left – are now suddenly rejecting the classic cultural Marxist mantra that regarding society, ‘nothing is sacred’. Perhaps these issues are much more nuanced and multi-layered than many on the left would care to admit.
This new reality may have significant political implications in the US, not least of all, for the upcoming 2016 Presidential election.
Indeed, the wheels of change are in motion, but maybe not necessarily in the direction everyone thought…

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on July 22, 2015.