Oil price drop a conspiracy, Iran’s president says

While describing the slump in oil prices as a plot against Middle East producers, Iran's president said Wednesday it's time to wean the budget from oil.
"The slide in crude oil prices is not merely an economic issue, and it stems from a conspiracy and political planning by certain countries," President Hassan Rouhani said.
Price variances among the 12 blends from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are seen by some as a sign of internal rivalries among producers that can withstand lower oil prices and those that can't.
Western economic sanctions on Iran's energy sector are already impacting the health of the Iranian economy. For fiscal year 2013-14, the World Bank estimates the Iranian economy has contracted at an annual rate of 1.7 percent.

This post was published at UPI

E.U. leaders to pledge more Ukraine money, threaten Russia sanctions

The E.U. is prepared to inject more money into Ukraine and to impose further sanctions on Russia if need be, draft summit conclusions say.
The provisional text – agreed by EU states ambassadors’ on Monday (8 December) and seen by EUobserver – “congratulates Ukraine on its new government and welcomes its determination to carry out political and economic reforms”.
It says that following a recent E.U. aid payment of €500 million “the Union and its member states stand ready to further facilitate and support Ukraine's reform process”.
It notes the “situation in eastern Ukraine remains a strong concern” and urges both sides to implement the 5 September ceasefire accord.

This post was published at EU Observer

USDA Reports – Focus shifts to Global Supply Numbers

USDA issued its December Supply and Demand report today and as usual, it set off some expected reactions across the grain floor.
About the only surprise in the report that I can see at this time came in the corn numbers. The trade was looking for a corn carryover near last month’s numbers of 2.008 billion bushels. Instead USDA upped usage reducing the amount of corn leftover to 1.998 billion bushels. However, they also raised the expected GLOBAL stockpiles to 192.2 million metric tons from last month’s 191.5 million. Apparently, corn sweeteners will find the cheap corn prices attractive and as a result use more of the stuff in making HFCS. They came up with an additional 10 million bushels worth of demand from that sector ( note that it includes the feed sector but based on what I can see, USDA had already factored in the livestock and poultry industry numbers last month.
Strangely enough, they also RAISED the US export numbers by 10 million bushels. That makes ZERO sense to me since corn exports thus far this year have been lagging behind expectations in the trade. With the projected increase in global supplies increasing combined with the US Dollar as strong as it has been, (and with the greenback expected to resume its uptrend nextyear,) I have no idea why USDA would expect US exports to increase given the fact that corn is plentiful and cheap globally. The US is not the only game in town anymore when it comes to corn and currency differentials make a big deal when it comes to sourcing grain by foreign buyers.

This post was published at Trader Dan Norcini on Wednesday, December 10, 2014.

DHS And FBI Issue A New Alert, Threats From Terrorist Could Be On The Rise – Episode 538

The following video was published by X22Report on Dec 10, 2014
The American recovery does not exist. 40% of American live paycheck to paycheck. Real estate delinquencies rise in certain states. Baltic Dry Index falls again. US Treasury ordering survival kits for bankers. Spending to house illegals reaches 200 million dollars. DHS and FBI issue a new terror alert. Founding Fathers opposed torture. US Senate approves sanction on individuals in Venezuela. Ukraine needs 15 billion dollars to keep from collapsing. Kerry asks Congress to allow The President to put boots on the ground. Syrian opposition fighters will be trained in March 2015.

The Game Is Rigged: Why Americans Keep Losing To The Police State

‘The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens.’ – Leo Tolstoy
My 7-year-old granddaughter has suddenly developed a keen interest in card games: Go Fish, Crazy Eights, Old Maid, Blackjack, and War. We’ve fallen into a set pattern now: every time we play, she deals the cards, and I pretend not to see her stacking the deck in her favor. And of course, I always lose.
I don’t mind losing to my granddaughter at Old Maid, knowing full well the game is rigged. For now, it’s fun and games, and she’s winning. Where the rub comes in is in knowing that someday she’ll be old enough to realize that being a citizen in the American police state is much like playing against a stacked deck: you’re always going to lose.
The game is rigged, and ‘we the people’ keep getting dealt the same losing hand. Even so, we stay in the game, against all odds, trusting that our luck will change.
The problem, of course, is that luck will not save us. The people dealing the cards – the politicians, the corporations, the judges, the prosecutors, the police, the bureaucrats, the military, the media, etc. – have only one prevailing concern, and that is to maintain their power and control over the country and us.
It really doesn’t matter what you call them – the 1%, the elite, the controllers, the masterminds, the shadow government, the police state, the surveillance state, the military industrial complex – so long as you understand that while they are dealing the cards, the deck will always be stacked in their favor.
Incredibly, no matter how many times we see this played out, Americans continue to naively buy into the idea that it’s our politics that divide us as a nation. As if there were really a difference between the Democrats and Republicans. As if the policies of George W. Bush were any different from those of Barack Obama. As if we weren’t a nation of sheep being fattened for the kill by a ravenous government of wolves.
We’re in trouble, folks, and changing the dealer won’t save us: it’s time to get out of the game.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 12/10/2014.

‘Voluntary’ Home Inspections for Illegal Weapons, Toy Guns: Police Searches ‘Help People Make Themselves Safer’

The tyranny around us is all an illusion. Everything you see is for your safety.
Repeat: It’s all for your safety.
So are the new, unwarranted police home searches for weapons… in fact, they are just voluntary. Explicit consent instead of implied consent. Even pretend.
While we’re at it, there’s a dress rehearsal for martial law going on in Los Angeles with Marines in full combat gear, just after real martial law in Ferguson during months of protests and riots.
Until today, police in Beloit, Wisconson, a city with about 37,000 people, were asking residents to open their doors to ‘voluntary’ home inspections so police can look for illegal guns… and whatever else they might find:
As part of its new ‘Consent to Inspect’ program, authorities in Beloit, Wisconsin, want residents to open their doors so they can come and inspect for illegal guns without a warrant.
The effort is part of a new push to help get firearms off the streets in an area that has suffered an uptick in homicides this year. Beloit Police Chief Norm Jacobs feels that gun violence is a disease and his new program, which asks local residents to allow officers to come by and search for firearms and even modified toy guns, is a step to a cure.
It stands to reason that a voluntary search for illegal guns (which ones are they?) might well include police tracing, databasing and verifying serial numbers, owners and/or purchase histories as well. Oh, and of course, investigation of any other contraband or regulated items of interest, etc. Slippery slope.
But it is all just friendly fun and games.
The local news piece made it seem like a favor for a good neighbor:

This post was published at shtfplan on December 10th, 2014.

Illinois Passes Law Making it a Felony to Video Police; How to Stop Police Abuse; More on CIA Torture

How to Stop Police Abuse
There’s one way and one way only to stop police abuse: Criminally prosecute it, then allow civil penalties.
In a podcast today with Chris Martenson, Chris suggested civil penalties should come straight out of the police retirement fund, not taxpayer pockets.
But as with CIA torture, government does not really want to stop abuse, they want to stop reporting the abuse.
Earlier this year, Illinois passed a law making videotaping of police illegal. However, the Illinois Supreme Curt struck down the law as a violation of free speech.
So what did the Illinois legislature do? They wrote an even worse law.
Illinois Passes Law Making it a Felony to Video Police
Via email from Jacob Huebert, senior attorney at the Liberty Justice Center, the Illinois Policy Institute’s free-market public-interest litigation center.
Earlier this year, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down a state eavesdropping law that made it a crime for citizens to record conversations with police or anyone else without the other person’s permission. The court held that the old law ‘criminalize[d] a wide range of innocent conduct’ and violated free-speech rights. In particular, the court noted the state could not criminalize recording activities where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy, including citizens’ ‘public’ encounters with police.
Now the old law is back, with just a few changes, in a new bill sent to the governor’s desk by the Illinois Senate on Dec. 4. The bill not only passed, but did so overwhelmingly with votes of 106-7 in the House on and 46-4-1 in the Senate.
The new version is nearly as bad as the old one.

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on December 10, 2014.

US Tanks Are Rolling Across Latvia

Having grown used to images and clips of “Russian” tanks rolling through Ukraine, crossing borders, and generally creating havoc, we thought the following clip was of note. With NATO and Russia rattling sabres ever louder, the site of a trainful of American tanks passing through Latvia will, we are sure, do nothing to calm both sides.

As LiveLeak reports,
According to the representative of national armed forces of Latvia, till December 6 transportation of heavy military equipment of the first cavalry division of army of the USA from Adazhi and Estonia was carried out to Lithuania. As NATO builds its forces…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 12/10/2014.

Rigging Justice: More Tales of the New Oligarchy and the Supreme Court

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”
Hannah Arendt
“Those who have crossed With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom Remember us – if at all – not as lost Violent souls, but only As the hollow men The stuffed men.”
T. S. Eliot
The power of Big Money is often ostentatious, heavy with sanctimonious ceremony and media envy, but sometimes it is even more powerfully subtle.
The Supreme Court has a limited docket, and apparently a penchant for choosing certain lawyers of repute to bring cases before them.
So Big Money hires those lawyers.
The people tend to vote for the less repugnant of the choices that the two political parties in their elections.
So Big Money gets ahead of the curve and pre-selects the candidates from the two major parties…

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 10 DECEMBER 2014.

SJH Show #3 – State Sponsored Terrorism; CIA Torture & US Hypocrisy; Truth about Royal Family’s National Parks

World leaders are denouncing state-sponsored terrorism and the CIA’s Torture Report is exposing the hypocrisy of U. S. policy throughout the world.
In Episode #3 of the SJH Show, watch Special Contributor for 21st Century Wire Stuart J. Hooper break down calls from world leaders for the West to stop sponsoring terrorist activities. You’ll also hear of the extensive hypocrisies exposed by the release of the CIA’s Torture Report.
To round things off, it is asked why American leaders are turning into fawning sycophants at the feet of British ‘Royalty’. Learn about the true, highly disturbing, history of the British Royal Family’s ties to the creation of ‘National Parks’ in Africa.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 10, 2014.

Leaked document: Ukraine’s government to eliminate… everything.

As the holiday season approaches you might have mistletoe on your mind for cheery, romantic reasons.
What you might not have known however is that the festive flora and its relatives are all actually parasites.
Unable to photosynthesize to feed itself, mistletoe latches on to a host plant and steals away its nutrients and water.
From the mistletoe’s point of view this may seem like a great idea… for a while.
Depleted of nutrients, the host’s growth is stunted. Branches fall off. And eventually if the mistletoe grows large enough, the entire host plant just dies.
Thus, mistletoe can quite literally eat its own self out of house and home. This isn’t exactly a solid long-term strategy.
Given their behavior it seems that most governments belong to the same genus.
The public sector has no ability to support itself. In theory, they’re supposed to survive by taking a modest portion of people’s earnings through taxation, and then providing valuable services in exchange.
Nature calls this ‘symbiosis’. But life rarely follows theory.
In reality, bureaucrats and politicians who produce nothing of value parasitically choke off the productive class through onerous taxation and regulation.
This cannot last forever, because at some point they will have no hosts left to feed off of.
Ukraine is the perfect example of this right now.
In a leaked version of a new budget proposal (in Ukrainian), we are seeing the drastic extent to which bankrupt governments feed on their hosts.
The proposal includes measures to cut public education in Ukraine from 11 to 9 years. And more importantly, education will no longer be funded by the state.

This post was published at Sovereign Man on December 10, 2014.

Revelations from the Torture Report – CIA Lies, Nazi Methods and the $81 Million No-Bid Torture Contract

After initially helping to devise the ‘enhanced interrogation’ efforts, they were designated as the only two contractors allowed to oversee these interrogations at sites around the world. In 2005, they formed a company to receive contracts from the CIA. According to the Senate report, the base value of their contract in 2006 was in excess of $180 million.
By the time the CIA terminated their contract in 2009, the consulting firm founded by the two men had collected $81 million in taxpayer money. In May of that year, ProPublica reported, the firm abruptly gave up the lease on its Spokane, Washington, headquarters and disconnected the phone.
Still, according to the Senate report, the CIA will provide $5 million in indemnity costs to the firm to cover all legal expenses for potential criminal prosecution and investigations through 2021.
– From the Huffington Post article: Architects Of CIA Torture Program Raked In $81 Million, Report Reveals
One of the greatest propaganda successes of the consolidated and corporate owned mainstream media in the US. has been the ability to convince many naive Americans that people with fascist tendencies do not exist in our society, and it they do, they certainly don’t occupy the highest halls of power.
One of the key points I try to get across in my writing is that the sociopathic mindset knows no borders, and a society that ignorantly believes that its ‘leadership’ consists of good people with a moral high ground is a society of sheep primed for slaughter. Not only do fascist types exist at the highest levels of the U. S. status quo, the smart ones will typically do everything they can to attain such positions. Why?
As I noted recently in the post, In Great Britain, Protecting Pedophile Politicians is a Matter of ‘National Security’:

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Dec 10, 2014.

US Army Major Replies to My Torture Post

In response to CIA Torture Reports: Frozen to Death; Dick Cheney War Criminal I received an interesting response from a U. S. Army Major.
USAM writes …
Hi Mish,
Just thought I’d write to share my Facebook post on the recent torture revelations:
“I’m sad and horrified to read the details of the CIA’s torture program. To me, it represents the sickest form of consequentialism, one that has run roughshod over any type of moral authority the U. S. can claim in offering its leadership to the world. I’m further upset that my fellow brothers and sisters in uniform will most likely underwrite this disastrous program, as the enemy will now be all too eager to respond in kind to any American serviceman or woman unlucky enough to endure capture. I only wish we had the moral courage to make those responsible accountable for these unmistakable atrocities.”
All you’ve written on the subject is very well said.
US Hypocrisy…

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on December 10, 2014.

14 Facts That Prove That The Number Of Children Living In Poverty This Christmas Is At A Record High

Did you know that 65 percent of all children in the United States live in a home that receives aid from the federal government? We live at a time when child poverty in America is exploding. Yes, the U. S. economy is experiencing a temporary bubble of false stability for the moment, but even during this period of false stability the gap between the wealthy and the poor continues to rapidly expand and the middle class is being systematically destroyed. And sadly, this is having a disproportionate impact on children. This is happening for a couple of reasons. First of all, poorer households tend to have more children than wealthier households. Secondly, most people tend to have children when they are in their young adult years, and right now young adults are being absolutely hammered by this economy. As a result, things just continue to get even worse for children living in this country. Here are 14 facts that show that the number of children in America living in poverty this Christmas is at an all-time record high…
#1 The National Center for Children in Poverty says that 45 percent of all U. S. children belong to low income families.
#2 According to a Census Bureau report that was released just this week, 65 percent of all children in America are living in a home that receives some form of aid from the federal government…
‘Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of children,’ said the Census Bureau, ‘lived in households that participated in at least one or more of the following government aid programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Medicaid, and the National School Lunch Program.’

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on December 10th, 2014.

Is Insider Trading Legal Following Appeals Court Tossing Out Two Hedge Fund Convictions

In a stunning rebuke of Preet Bharara’s insider-trading prosecutions record, Businessweek reports a federal appeals court overturned and threw out the guilty verdicts of two hedge fund managers, Todd Newman and Anthony Chiasson, ruling jury instructions tainted their verdictsand imperiling other cases brought in his multiyear probe. In a 28-page decision that could rewrite the course of insider trading law, sharply curtailing its boundaries, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan tossed out the case on technicalities which could also lead to the release of SAC’s Michael Steinberg – Bharara’s signature prosecution – as Steinberg’s lawyer remarked, “it sends a loud and clear message that the government will be rebuked when it tries to turn innocent conduct into a crime.” So insider-trading is legal now… with the right lawyer and judge.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 12/10/2014.

Photo Revelations of U.S. Torture Atrocities Likely

Yesterday, the U. S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a499-page Executive Summary of its 6,000-page report on the use of torture by the CIA during the presidency of George W. Bush. The outrage to the findings was immediate and worldwide. The New York Times called the conduct ‘a portrait of depravity that is hard to comprehend.’
Senator John McCain, who experienced torture first-hand during the Vietnam War, said the CIA had ‘stained our national honor.’ Stephen Kinzer, writing in the Boston Globe, said that ‘no one has suggested that these officers, or their superiors, were doing anything other than what elected leaders wanted them to do. By focusing on the CIA’s kidnappers, torturers, and fabulists, this report diverts us away from the central responsibility of political leaders.’

This post was published at Wall Street On Parade on December 10, 2014.

Video: Wow, These Americans Just Love Themselves Some Secret Torture

The long-awaited, stalled-at-every-turn, heavily edited and redacted CIA torture report summary has now been released, and even CNN is reporting, ‘The CIA’s harsh interrogations of terrorist detainees during the Bush era didn’t work, were more brutal than previously revealed and delivered no ‘ticking time bomb’ information that prevented an attack, according to an explosive Senate report released Tuesday.’
Ahead of the release, the call-in question on CSPAN’s Washington Journal today was ‘Should the Senate release its report on the use of torture?’ but for a bunch of callers it turned into a soap box for every propaganda point you can imagine about why torture is simply the greatest thing since sliced bread and America just has to commit heinous and disgusting war crimes to ‘protect America.’

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on December 10th, 2014.

A Russophobic Rant From Congress

Hopefully, Russians realize that our House of Representatives often passes thunderous resolutions to pander to special interests, which have no bearing on the thinking or actions of the U. S. government.
Last week, the House passed such a resolution 411-10.
As ex-Rep. Ron Paul writes, House Resolution 758 is so ‘full of war propaganda that it rivals the rhetoric from the chilliest era of the Cold War.’
H. R. 758 is a Russophobic rant full of falsehoods and steeped in superpower hypocrisy.
Among the 43 particulars in the House indictment is this gem:
‘The Russian Federation invaded the Republic of Georgia in August 2008.’
Bullhockey. On Aug. 7-8, 2008, Georgia invaded South Ossetia, a tiny province that had won its independence in the 1990s. Georgian artillery killed Russian peacekeepers, and the Georgian army poured in.
Only then did the Russian army enter South Ossetia and chase the Georgians back into their own country.
The aggressor of the Russo-Georgia war was not Vladimir Putin but President Mikheil Saakashvili, brought to power in 2004 in one of those color-coded revolutions we engineered in the Bush II decade.

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on December 10, 2014.