Update (5 pm ET): And so the can has been kicked again, if only for only 2 weeks. Despite a laundry list of demands from Democrats and Republicans who appeared ready to cut off government funds, a majority of the House has voted to approve a two-week extension of government spending, a modest legislative achievement that will allow Republicans to focus on their top priority: Passing comprehensive tax reform. House Republicans managed to pass the legislation on their own in the 235-193 vote, despite often coming short of securing a majority of the majority on measures to keep the government open in recent years, the Hill reorted. The spending patch through Dec. 22 gives lawmakers time to negotiate a bipartisan budget deal, although it is unclear just how another 14 days will help when the two parties are unwilling to negotiate and compromise. At that time, Which is why, Congress is expected to pass another short-term patch so that appropriators can craft a spending package to keep federal agencies funded through the rest of the 2018 fiscal year. ‘I think it’s kind of just basic governing is keeping government going while we negotiate the final details,’ said Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). Ahead of Thursday’s vote, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made clear that Democrats wouldn’t support the two-week stopgap. Pelosi emphasized that Democrats don’t want to see a government shutdown, but couldn’t support Thursday’s bill because it doesn’t include their priorities like protections for young undocumented immigrants, funding for the opioid crisis and relief for communities affected by recent natural disasters.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 7, 2017.
Welcome to another edition of Black Bag Confidential’s Weekly Drop. In the world of espionage, a ‘dead drop’ is a secret location where materials or information can be left by one party for another to retrieve. I invite you to send me your most pressing questions at SPYfeedback@LFB.org so I can leave my answers in your inbox each week. Read on below for this week’s batch of reader mail. You’ll discover two additional items you should consider adding to your everyday carry (EDC) gear, why I don’t mind sharing my expertise with criminals and how to prepare for the coming financial collapse. Now let’s dive in. Perhaps my greatest concern is the out-of-control debt and spending. The PIPER will be paid! What are your suggestions on this coming disaster? – Ken H.
The clowns in D. C. have no conception of how fragile this nation is right now. One more gigantic policy disaster and the whole thing could fall apart. — Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) November 30, 2017
I heartily accept the motto, ‘That government is best which governs least’; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe – ‘That government is best which governs not at all’; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. – Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience As we head into 2018, I believe governments around the world will become increasingly insecure about their positions of power and control, which will result in increased paranoia about whether or not they have the consent of the governed. Being a global empire in decline, the U. S. power structure has the most to lose, making it particularly vulnerable to such panic. I suspect forces within the U. S. government are likely to engage in various attempts to reestablish authority via desperate and authoritarian moves as 2018 unfolds. I don’t say this to spread fear; rather, I think such moves will result in considerable pushback from the population at large, particularly from younger generations who are intimately aware of how spectacularity the status quo has failed them. Panic and desperation from those in control shouldn’t be feared, it should be expected and contemplated ahead of time. That’s why I’m writing this series. I want as many people as possible to start thinking about this now so we aren’t caught off guard. The areas I’ll be diving into with these pieces consist of cannabis, Bitcoin and war against Iran. I’m sure there are plenty of other areas government will target in its last ditch effort to exert control over a populace sick and tired of these busybody, corrupt authoritarians, but these are issues I follow closely and have a certain degree of familiarity with. As such, they’ll be the focus of this series.
Dear Black Bag Confidential Reader, Thanksgiving has come and gone, and it’s time once again to tuck in for another batch of must-read articles. This week’s selection runs the gamut from avoiding online holiday shopping scams to preparing for a common deadly disaster that could strike anytime you leave the house. Let’s take a look. 1. Online Holiday Shopping Scams to Watch out For Now that Thanksgiving has passed, holiday shopping has kicked off in earnest and cyberthieves are ready. This short piece offers five quick tips to help you keep your information secure when shopping online. Be sure to watch the accompanying video as well – it explains what to look for when downloading a retail app to your smartphone so you don’t get fooled by a fake program. Also, if you haven’t put a freeze on your credit with each of the three main credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion), I strongly recommend doing so now – before you start punching your credit card number in all over the internet.
The Illinois Supreme Court has used STRICT CONSTRUCTION to defend the State against State Employee pensions that have been bankrupting the State. Previously, back in 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that health care benefits provided to state employees were a ‘permanent benefit’guaranteed by the state constitution. That has led to a complete disaster as healthcare costs have risen out of control thanks to Obamacare, which handed insurance companies more money and a monopoly status that everyone had to have insurance even the y7outh who never used it. Those health care costs are destroying the fabric of the entire economy pushing pension costs over the top. The Supreme Court is mindful of the disaster he caused with its 2014 ruling and they have been obvious under political pressure to reverse it. They figured a way to do this using STRICT CONSTRUCTION. Therefore, the benefit cannot be greater than what was expressed in the statute. Consequently, they now delivered a six-word ruling on Thanksgiving eve refusing to hear the retirees’ appeal of a state Appellate Court ruling that essentially upheld Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s now-completed, three-year phase-out of retiree health care coverage.
For at least three decades scientists and environmental activists have been warning that the world is on the verge of a global warming ‘apocalypse’ that will flood coastal cities, tear up roads and bridges with mega-storms and bring widespread famine and misery to much of the world. The only solution, they say, is to rid the world of fossil fuels – coal, natural gas and oil – that serve as the pillars of modern society. Only quick, decisive global action can avert the worst effects of manmade climate change, warn international bodies like the United Nations, who say we only have decades left – or even less! Of course, human civilization has not collapsed, despite decades of predictions that we only have years left to avert disaster. Ten years ago, the U. N. predictedwe only had ‘as little as eight years left to avoid a dangerous global average rise of 2C or more.’ This failed prediction, however, has not stopped the U. N. and others from issuing more apocalyptic statements. To celebrate nearly three decades of dire predictions, The Daily Caller News Foundation put together this list of some of the most severe doomsday prophecies made by scientists, activists and politicians:
The last thing we need in Alabama and the U. S. Senate is a Schumer/Pelosi puppet who is WEAK on Crime, WEAK on the Border, Bad for our Military and our great Vets, Bad for our 2nd Amendment, AND WANTS TO RAISES TAXES TO THE SKY. Jones would be a disaster! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 26, 2017
President Trump has been active on Twitter this morning, taking aim at the Alabama Senate race… *** President Trump’s de facto endorsement of Roy Moore comes after his comments last week that “We don’t need a liberal Democrat in that seat … [Moore] totally denies [the accusations].” And as Duane Norman from the Free Market Shooter blog explains, it is the extreme platform of Roy Moore that has been lost amid the Roy Moore saga. In spite of an endorsement by President Trump, Luther Strange was defeated by Roy Moore in the Republican primary on September 26th for Alabama’s special Senate election, to fill the seat vacated by now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 26, 2017.
Within the last 7 days, 134 earthquakes ‘have hammered a three-mile stretch around Monterey County on the San Andreas fault’. 17 of those earthquakes were of magnitude 2.5 or greater, and many believe that these quakes could be a warning sign that a much bigger quake is imminent. Let’s hope not, because when the ‘Big One’ finally strikes California we will witness devastation on a scale that is unlike anything that we have seen before in modern American history. The Northridge earthquake of 1994 was crippling, but it was only a magnitude 6.7 quake. Experts tell us that when the ‘Big One’ finally hits, we could be looking at a quake of magnitude 9.0 or greater, and such a disaster would make the Northridge earthquake look like a Sunday picnic. The San Andreas fault stretches for more than 700 miles along the California coast, and in a previous article I discussed how seismologists have warned that it could potentially ‘unzip all at once’. There is a reason why it is one of the most famous earthquake faults in the entire world, and all of the shaking that we have seen over the past 7 days has many scientists deeply concerned… In the last week 134 earthquakes have hammered a three-mile stretch around Monterey County on the San Andreas fault. Of those earthquakes, 17 were stronger than 2.5 magnitude and six of them were stronger than 3.0, with more tremors expected in the coming weeks, experts warn. It follows fears raised last week that the ‘Big One’ is about to hit after a series of ten ‘mini quakes’ struck the same area.
Warner Bros Pictures might want to rethink the shooting of San Andreas II – the sequel to the 2015 blockbuster about a massive earthquake striking the San Francisco Bay Area that starred the Rock, Paul Giamatti and a host of other A-list actors. Because if the US Geological Survey’s worst fears are confirmed, the seismic devastation depicted in the film might hit a little too close to home. According to the Daily Mail, 134 earthquakes have hammered a three-mile stretch around Monterey County on the San Andreas fault over the last week – a pace that’s making seismologists nervous. The San Andreas fault stretches 750 miles north to south across coastal California, forming the boundary of the Pacific plate and North American plate. Of those earthquakes, 17 were stronger than 2.5 magnitude and 6 of them were stronger than 3.0. And experts at the USGS warn that more tremors are expected in the coming weeks. The rumblings are amplifying fears raised last week that the ‘Big One’ – the mythical quake depicted in the movie ‘San Andreas’ – could be about to hit. In another sign of impending disaster, ten ‘mini quakes’ struck the same area last week. That swarm included one 4.6-magnitude quake that was felt in San Francisco more than 90 miles away.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 22, 2017.
Socialism always promises heaven and gives hell. In the early hours of Thursday, November 2, the Maduro regime certified its latest failure with what they promised would never happen: technical default. With his usual arrogance, Maduro issued a ‘decree’ demanding ‘the refinancing and restructuring of the debt as of November 3.’ That is, default. The bad news for investors or high-yield hunters is that the likelihood of being swindled again is almost 100%. Chavez once said ‘put me oil at zero and Venezuela will not suffer,’ and Maduro stated that ‘a revolutionary government with economic power as the one I preside has plans to surpass any situation arising from any price of oil.’ Reality has now kicked in. Venezuela was not destroyed by low oil prices, but by high socialism. Socialism has led Venezuela to an unparalleled economic disaster . No, it’s not ‘the price of oil.’ Venezuela is the only OPEC country that has fallen into default, depression, and hyperinflation. It’s not oil, it’s socialism. The management disaster is spectacular and the greatest example of the devastating effect of socialism is the state-owned oil company. PdVSA, the national oil company, has gone from being one of the most efficient and profitable twenty years ago, to end up importing oil.
About a week ago, we warned about the infamous bearish stock market pattern developing in US equities coined by some as the ‘Hindenburg Omen’. The pattern is known for its bearish tendencies developed after the Hindenburg disaster of 1937. The key understanding is breadth deterioration, when more stocks hit 52-week lows than 52-highs. Since the warning, a liquidity gap has developed in stocks thwarting any attempt at new all time highs. *** Fast forward to this morning and a very ironic situation has unfolded in the skies 50-miles north of London. And no – it’s not a giant penis drawn by US-Navy pilots in F-18s – it’s a true ‘Hindenburg Omen’ as the world’s longest airship crashed early this morning. The 25m airship called ‘Airlander 10’ appeared to ‘break in two,’ a witness told the BBC. Reports suggest the airship broke free from mooring less than 24-hours after a successful test. At the time, no-one was on board of the aircraft, but Bedfordshire police, paramedics and fire crews were alerted and treated a women who suffered minor injuries.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 18, 2017.
The state of Alaska is preparing for a potential war with North Korea. The Alaskans are being urged not to evacuate, though should Kim Jong-Un launch a missile toward Alaska, it would only take 20 minutes to get there. Emergency planners in Alaska have warned it will not attempt evacuations if a warhead is fired because time would not be on their side. Jeremy Zidek, from the state’s disaster planning team, will urge locals to find shelter rather than risk being caught in the open. He also urged families to have an emergency stash of food and water, flashlights and radios, and medical supplies including the anti-radiation pill Prussian Blue – medication that lessens the radiological impacts on your body. Tensions have escalated lately on the Korean peninsula after a series of missile tests in the hermit kingdom and propagandized media threats were made sentencing president Donald Trump to death. Tyrant Kim Jong-un has since threatened a ‘nuclear holocaust’ and there are fears the regime will soon have a missile capable of reaching the US mainland. Zidek admitted that the state’s defensive facilities could be picked for an attack. Alaska is home to Fort Greely, where the US has interceptor rockets designed to destroy incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). The state also has missile defenses at the Pacific Spaceport Complex as well as radar warning systems at Clear Air Force Station.
This post was published at shtfplan on November 16th, 2017.
November 7, 2017, marked the one hundredth anniversary of the Russian (or Bolshevik) Revolution in Russia that happened on that date in November 1917, which lead to the communist ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ and ushered in an epoch of totalitarian tyranny and mass murder both in Russia and in every other country where socialism was put into practice. *** Historians estimate that as many as 150 million people, if not more – innocent men, women and children – were killed in the name of building the collectivist utopia. They were shot, tortured, worked or starved to death in prison cells, in interrogation rooms, in labor camps, or just in the places where they lived. ‘Socialism-in-practice’ created a chamber of horrors in which the individual was reduced to a mere expendable ‘cog in the wheel’ to serve the collective good, or made into ‘enemies of the people’ to be eliminated as the prelude to building the ‘bright, beautiful communist future.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 9, 2017.
I have great confidence in King Salman and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, they know exactly what they are doing…. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2017
In Part 1 of this series, I detailed the recent aggressive power plays initiated by 30-something Saudi princeling Mohamed bin Salman (MBS), who is effectively the absolute leader of Saudi Arabia at this time. I also highlighted how 30-something U. S. princeling Jared Kushner, son-in-law of U. S. President Donald Trump, may have been involved in MBS’s scheming during an unannounced visit to Saudi Arabia a little over a week before the purge hammer dropped. Today’s post will focus on what I think this means for the future of the Middle East, as well as U. S. imperial ambitions. Before I get started, I want to make something clear. I don’t think I’m Nostradamus or anything. These posts are based on the assumption that certain realities remain in place in the months and years ahead. The first is that Mohamed bin Salman’s attempt to consolidate power will prove successful, at least long enough for him to make more extremely stupid mistakes. The second assumption is that Donald Trump will continue to foolishly give this princeling a blank check when it comes to whatever insane aggressions he pursues within the region. It’s perfectly clear that MBS views recent setbacks in Syria, where Saudi ISIS forces were routed by Russia and Assad, as unacceptable. As such, he’s looking for another place to fight a proxy war with Iran. Never mind the fact that his war in Yemen has been a total failure and humanitarian disaster, MBS doesn’t appear to be someone who lets one failure get in way of future failures. He appears to have chosen Lebanon as the place for his next chaotic adventure.
If someone told you that the President of the United States in 2028 would be a Democrat and a woman from the state of New York, could you guess who it might be? We highly doubt it. In 1998, ten years before being elected president, Barack Obama had just been re-elected to the Illinois State Senate and was on no one’s radar as a Presidential candidate. In fact, had you been told at that time an African-American Democrat from Illinois would be president in 2008, it’s likely you would have assumed that two-time democratic presidential nominee Jesse Jackson would be the 44th President. In 1990, George W. Bush had just bought the Texas Rangers baseball club and was still four years from becoming Governor of Texas. In 1983, Bill Clinton was ten years out of law school and serving his second term as Governor of Arkansas. We could keep going down the line of presidents, and you would realize that even armed with some key details about the future, it would be extremely difficult to predict who a future president might be. Stock investing is a little different. If you know the future level of three simple data points, you can calculate to the penny the price of any stock or index in the future and the exact holding period return. This precise prediction will hold up regardless of wars, economic activity, natural disasters, UFO landings or any other event you can dream up. Unfortunately, those three data points are not readily available but can be inferred using historical trends, future expectations and logic to project them. With projections in hand, we can develop a range of price and return expectations for an index or an individual stock. In this paper, we provide an array of projections based on those factors and provide return expectations for the S&P 500 for the next ten years.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 8, 2017.
Many of Donald Trump’s core supporters are not particularly keen on Saudi Arabia, and for very good reasons. Candidate Trump exploited this sentiment on the campaign trail, often tweeting in populist terms when it came to the barbaric absolute monarchy. As is too often the case, Donald Trump the President has taken a completely different tack. In fact, his very first foreign visit upon being inaugurated was to Saudi Arabia. This was no accident. It was a very clear and ominous statement of things to come. Here’s some of what I wrote about the visit back in June in the post, Trump’s Middle East Foreign Policy is a Disaster Waiting to Happen: The main thing we learned from Trump’s grotesque, orb clutching spectacle of a visit to the 9/11-funding absolute monarchy of Saudi Arabia, was that our demented President essentially green-lighted the Saudis to do whatever the heck they want in the Middle East. Considering Saudi Arabia is effectively being run by a 30-something princeling with sociopathic tendencies, absolutely nothing good can come of this. While Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East was an unmitigated humanitarian and geopolitical disaster, it appears Trump’s doing his best to one up his predecessor. While I knew princeling Mohamed bin Salman (MBS) would do some really insane and violent stuff, the events of this past weekend exceeded even my most wildest of negative expectations. Before I get into that, I want to highlight the likely role in all of this of America’s very own 30-somehting princeling with delusions of grandeur, Jared Kushner. In order to understand what just happened, we should all be aware of a recent clandestine trip that occurred just before all the crazy regional events unfolded over the past couple of days. Specifically, Jared Kushner took an unannounced trip to Saudi Arabia. As Politico reported on October 29:
Episode #209 of SUNDAY WIRE SHOW resumes on Nov 5th 2017 as host Patrick Henningsen brings you this week’s LIVE broadcast on the Alternate Current Radio Network (ACR) – covering all the top news stories both at home and internationally… LISTEN LIVE ON THIS PAGE AT THE FOLLOWING SCHEDULED SHOW TIMES: 5pm-8pm UK Time | 12pm-3pm ET (US) | 9am-12am PT (US) This week the SUNDAY WIRE is broadcasting LIVE as host Patrick Henningsen is joined by in-studio guest host Mike Robinson from UK Column as we attempt to tackle this week’s breaking news including the Great Saudi Purge, the Lebanese PM Hariri’s shock resignation, Westminster’s pathetic ‘Sex Scandal’ side shows and the infamous ‘Pound Shop Weinstein’, along with the UK ‘celebration’ of the 100 year anniversary of the modern disaster known as the Balfour Declaration. We’ll also talk about 21WIRE’s recent fact-finding mission to Iraq last week and Patrick thoughts on the country and their incredible victory over ISIS. Afterwards, we’ll be joined by 21WIRE associate editor Vanessa Beeley to share her thoughts on the Iraq story, as well as breaking news on Yemen and a new NGO scandal in Syria. Enjoy the show… SUPPORT 21WIRE – SUBSCRIBE & BECOME A MEMBER @21WIRE. TV Strap yourselves in and lower the blast shield – this is your brave new world… *NOTE: THIS EPISODE MAY CONTAIN STRONG LANGUAGE AND MATURE THEMES*
If there is one thing we know about President Trump, it is that he likes “winning,” and that means someone else is “losing.” If the following chart is anything to go by (and anything but ‘transitory’) then President Trump should be smiling…
While US manufacturing is rebounding back to cycle highs, Mexico’s manufacturing economy has collapsed into contraction to record lows as the natural disaster that hit Mexico led to a deterioration in the health of the manufacturing sector in October, with companies signalling lower output and new orders.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 1, 2017.