While many on the left have celebrated California’s push to legalize marijuana as a victory for a progressive, harm-reduction approach to combating addiction and crime, the pullback in the number of low-level prisoners entering the state’s penal system is leaving the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Court mandates to reduce overcrowding in the state’s prisons – combined with the legalization of marijuana, the most commonly used drug in America (aside from alcohol, of course) – have led to a sharp drop in the number of prisoners housed at state facilities in recent years. Interestingly, one byproduct of this trend is it’s creating headaches for the state officials who are responsible for coordinating the emergency wildfire response just as California Gov. Jerry Brown is warning that the severe fires witnessed this year – the most destructive in the state’s history – could become the new status quo. To wit, since 2008, the number of prisoner-firemen has fallen 13%. As the Atlantic reports, California has relied on inmates to help combat its annual wildfires since World War II, when a paucity of able-bodied men due to the war effort forced the state to turn to the penal system for help. More than 1,700 convicted felons fought on the front lines of the destructive wildfires that raged across Northern California in October.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 10, 2017.
Via GEFIRA, The world’s third largest economy has an aging and shrinking population and will simply disappear. The low fertility is not unique to Japan. The same problem besets Taiwan, China and Korea as well as the United States and Europe. In the West the establishment has opted for population replacement. Countries like the UK, France and Sweden see a population growth only thanks to mass migration from Africa and Central Asia. The US replenished its dwindling population stock with migrants from Mexico to such an extent that in some counties Spanish is now the language of the majority. After the Second World War Japan experienced the post-war baby boom. In 1948 a law was passed, most probably serving American interests, enabling easy access to abortion. At that time the fertility rate (average number of children born to a woman over her lifetime) was more or less stable – about 2.1 – which is the level needed to maintain population. However, in 1973 it started to decline rapidly and in 2005 it reached the lowest value of 1.26; in the same year the number of deaths has been higher than the number of births. Nowadays it stands at about 1.46.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 5, 2017.
The Brooklyn prosecutors who won a guity verdict against former pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli over the summer are demanding the ‘Most Hated Man in America’ forfeit $7.4 million in cash and assets as part of his punishment. In order to do this, Bloomberg says Shkreli will likely need to surrender the $5 million bail he posted in late 2015, and the one-of-a-kind Wu Tang Clan album he purchased for more than $2 million shortly before his former company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, was exposed for hiking the price of Daraprim, a live-saving AIDS drug, by 5,000%. Shkreli tried to sell the album on eBay back in September. He managed to secure a winning bid of more than $1 million, but was abruptly jailed before he could work out the details with the winning bidder. Prosecutors asked that Shkreli’s bail be revoked after he published messages about Hillary Clinton that prosecutors felt were threatening in nature. Shkreli maintained that they were satirical. Shkreli was convicted in August on three counts of fraud related to a scheme where he tried to make investors in his two failed hedge funds whole by hiring them as ‘consultants’ at Retrophin, the pharmaceutical company Shkreli founded before Turing. In their filing, the prosecutors list assets they could possibly take. Among them are the Wu-Tang Clan album, a Picasso painting, an Enigma machine from World War II, and Shkreli’s remaining interest in Turing.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 1, 2017.
The previously retired air raid warning sirens from the Cold War era in Hawaii will be wailing again come December. Only this time, it’s due to the rising tensions between the United States and North Korea. Hawaii has long been a military defense outpost sparking fears that North Korea could target the island. ‘I suppose that’s necessary as a precaution,’ said Ted Tsukiyama, a Hawaiian resident, and WWII veteran. ‘But I don’t think North Korea is gonna attack,’ Tsukiyama said. ‘They’d be foolish to threaten South Korea or Japan or the United States.’ But the concerns are growing as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has repeatedly threatened to drop a bomb over the Pacific Ocean, and President Donald Trump has threatened North Korea with ‘fire and fury’ and designated North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. In turn, North Korea has continually failed to abide by the United Nations sanctions placed on them, as they advance their weapons of mass destruction. Sirens were installed around Hawaii after the second world war started, according to Tsukiyama, and there would be periodic tests. ‘I remember hearing the sirens going off. The radio would give us a warning: ‘This is only a test, don’t get alarmed,” said Tsukiyama, who was born and raised in Hawaii.
This post was published at shtfplan on November 27th, 2017.
Seventy-four years ago, the U. S. Marines waged war against Japanese forces across the Tarawa atoll in the Gilbert Islands. Japanese Admiral Keiji Shibasaki, commander of the highly-fortified garrison on Betio Island, was reportedly so confident in his position that he claimed it would take one million men 100 years to take control of the atoll. The U. S. Marines took it in three days, but it was, according to one historian, ‘the toughest battle in Marine Corps history,’ Business Insider introduced. The Battle of Tarawa, the first target of the broader Central Pacific campaign in World War II and part of Operation Galvanic, began on November 20, 1943 as 18,000 U. S. Marines stormed the beaches at Betio, Tarawa’s largest island defended by around 4,500 Japanese troops, many of which were first-rate troops, as well as mines, barbed wire, machine gun nests and pillboxes, and various heavy artillery.
This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on THE DAILY CALLER NEWS FOUNDATION / NOVEMBER 21, 2017.
Staff at the Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation Center laughed as a decorated World War II veteran took his last gasps of air after frantically calling for help six different times, according to a shocking new investigation from 11Alive.com. The investigation included the release of a never before seen hidden camera video that not only completely contradicted statements given by the nursing home staff but also proved, without a shadow of doubt, that the nursing home essentially let the decorated veteran die as if it were a joke. The video is so disgusting that attorneys for the nursing home repeatedly tried to stop its release, going through a series of court battles with the local news station in which they hoped that the media would be ordered to censor the footage. Thankfully, the judge in the case ruled in favor of actual journalism and the nursing home, after seeing no other possible outcome, eventually dropped their appeal to the Georgia State Supreme Court. In the 11Alive investigation, the news outlet details the fact that a nurse who was on duty at the time directly lied about what actually happened before being confronted with the hidden camera video.
This post was published at shtfplan on November 18th, 2017.
To ‘commemorate’ the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution in Russian, I’ve been sharing a series of columns on the evil of communism. On October 30, I looked at the death toll resulting from communist tyranny. On November 5, I discussed the shameful actions of communist apologists. On November 7, I shared some amusing mockery of totalitarian communism. Today, I’m going to target my profession. But I’m going to bend over backwards to be fair. I’m not going to condemn the economists back in the 1920s and 1930s who were sympathetic to central planning. They were horribly wrong, but that was before economists from the Austrian School prevailed in the ‘Socialist Calculation Debate.’ So we’ll give them an undeserved pass. And we’ll even excuse the wrongheaded thinking of economists who sympathized with communism in the first couple of decades after World War II. After all, maybe they were just naive when they blindly accepted and regurgitated statistics from the Soviet Union (just as I think some people today are being somewhat gulliblewhen they accept stats today from Beijing). But there’s no excuse for any sentient being – especially an economist – to have praised the decrepit communist economic model by the time we got to the 1980s. Yet some very prominent economists were guilty of whitewashing the sins of communism. I condemned Paul Samuelson two years ago (albeit only in a postscript) for his Pollyannish assessment of the Soviet economy. There was absolutely no excuse for him to write that, ‘…the Soviet economy is proof that…a socialist command economy can function and even thrive.’ Especially since he made that claim shortly before the Berlin Wall collapsed. That takes a special type of ignorance. But Samuelson wasn’t the only academic economist to disseminate nonsense. Alex Tabarrok of Marginal Revolution shares some additional examples of mal-education.
Pre-war tensions in the middle-east are surging almost as fast as the price of crude… and that is just fine with the Saudi Royal Family, which is willing to risk world war if it means pushing the price of oil back to triple digits. One day after Saudi Arabia warned on Monday that Lebanon had declared war against it because of attacks against the Kingdom by the Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah – and shortly after the Saudis intercepted what they claimed was an Iranian-made ballistic missile near Riyadh launched by Yemen rebels, on Tuesday Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels threatened retaliation against the ports and airports of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, which this week closed the Yemeni land, sea and air borders. “All airports, ports, border crossings and areas of any importance to Saudi Arabia and the UAE will be a direct target of our weapons, which is a legitimate right,” read a statement released by the rebels’ political office, carried by AFP.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 7, 2017.
This report is a PAID ADVERTISEMENT from Oilprice.com *** Cybercrime attacks are expected to cost us $6 trillion a year by 2021. In a single year, cyber terrorism could cost us three times more than the entire U. S. housing and real estate industry is currently worth. The Chairman of IBM calls it the ‘greatest threat to every profession, every industry, every company in the world’. Cisco cites a report saying it will be more profitable than the global trade of all major illegal drugs combined. ATT calls it the greatest transfer of economic wealth in history. The response? A desperate scramble to ramp up spending to protect their businesses, and another massive opportunity for investors.
There’s now a small kink in the hose for the North Korean dictator intent on started World War 3. Kim Jong-Un’s plans to nuke the United States will have to wait, as a tunnel collapsed at a nuclear test site killing 200 workers. The tunnel was being built at the Punggye-ri test site when it collapsed, according to a report on Japan’s TV Asahi citing an unnamed source in North Korea. As many as 200 construction workers are now dead after the collapse. Is the communist nation putting their plans for an attack on hold now after this major and horrific setback in their nuclear program? It said that about 100 people were initially trapped in the tunnel and another 100 may have been killed by a second collapse as they tried to rescue the first group.
This post was published at shtfplan on October 31st, 2017.
As the presstitute media has no allegiance to truth, one has to wonder if we can even believe obituaries. For what it is worth, perhaps nothing, the presstitutes report that three US aircraft carrier battle groups are off North Korea or on the way there. What for? Why are the morons in Washington following the 19th century British practice of sending warships? This is juvenile. China has already said that China will allow no attack on North Korea unless Korea strikes first. The Russians have indicated their opposition as well. Both China and Russia have missiles that can wipe out the three aircraft battle groups at will. So what is the point of sending obsolete ships, like the battleships anchored in Pearl Harbor for the Japanese, other than to have them obliterated and to use their demise as an excuse to start World War III? The two-bit punk Washington puppet, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg, has declared that ‘We recognize that Europe has also entered the North Korean missile range, and NATO member states are already in danger.’ Remember, this was the same lie told about Europe being in range of non-existent Iranian missiles, an excuse for putting US missiles on Russia’s border just as North Korea is being used to put US missiles on China’s border.
The rogue nation of North Korea is bracing itself for World War 3. The country has now undergone mass evacuation and blackout drills designed to ready the public for a war. Although the drills were not conducted in the capital city of Pyongyang, the North Korean government had many other cities practice evacuations and ‘blackout’ drills. Blackout drills are designed to disguise the people from enemy aircraft in the event of a war by minimizing the lighting. With tensions sky-high between the United States and North Korea, the ultra-secretive country reportedly staged the training in towns and cities throughout the nation last week. North Korea’s refusal to abide by international sanctions may be part of the reason of their insistence on war preparations, all while US Defense Secretary James Mattis fears threats of a nuclear missile attack by the regime are accelerating. ‘North Korea has accelerated the threat that it poses to its neighbors and the world through its illegal and unnecessary missile and nuclear weapons programs,’ Mattis said on Saturday.
This post was published at shtfplan on October 30th, 2017.
Communism: An Unmitigated Disaster This October marks the centennial anniversary of the Bolshevik takeover of Russia and the establishment of Soviet-style Communism which tragically, for the Russian people, would last for some seventy interminable years. Not only did the Soviet regime liquidate and imprison millions, but its idiotic system of central planning impoverished the country, turning it into an economic basket case, the effects of which reverberate to this day. Just as bad, the Bolsheviks murdered the last Czar, Nicholas II and his family, brutally ending nearly five hundred years of monarchical rule of Russia. Within a year of the demise of the Russian aristocracy, two other of Europe’s venerable royal houses – Germany and Austria – met the same fate, all three casualties of their insane decision to participate in World War I. The end of the German Court and especially that of Austria came at the vengeful insistence of then President Woodrow Wilson, who brought the US into the conflict on the pledge to make the ‘world safe for democracy.’
This post was published at Acting-Man on October 26, 2017.
President Trump’s firing of FBI chief James Comey on May 9 spurred much of the media and many Democrats to rally around America’s most powerful domestic federal agency. *** But the FBI has a long record of both deceit and incompetence. Five years ago, Americans learned that the FBI was teaching its agents that ‘the FBI has the ability to bend or suspend the law to impinge on the freedom of others.’ This has practically been the Bureau’s motif since its creation in 1908. The bureau was small potatoes until Woodrow Wilson dragged the United States into World War I. In one fell swoop, the number of dangerous Americans increased by perhaps twentyfold. The Espionage Act of 1917 made it easy to jail anyone who criticized the war or the government. In September 1918, the bureau, working with local police and private vigilantes, seized more than 50,000 suspected draft dodgers off the streets and out of the restaurants of New York, Newark, and Jersey City. The Justice Department was disgraced when the vast majority of young men who had been arrested turned out to be innocent. In January 1920, J. Edgar Hoover – the 25-year-old chief of the bureau’s Radical Division – was the point man for the ‘Palmer Raids.’ Nearly 10,000 suspected Reds and radicals were seized. The bureau carefully avoided keeping an accurate count of detainees (a similar pattern of negligence occurred with the roundups after the 9/11 attacks). Attorney General Mitchell Palmer sought to use the massive roundups to propel his presidential candidacy. The operation took a drubbing, however, after an insolent judge demanded that the Justice Department provide evidence for why people had been arrested. Federal judge George Anderson complained that the government had created a ‘spy system’ that ‘destroys trust and confidence and propagates hate. A mob is a mob whether made up of government officials acting under instructions from the Department of Justice, or of criminals, loafers, and the vicious classes.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 25, 2017.
Political Correctness Hampers Honest Debate What would the world be like today had Europeans never colonized Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, and South Asia? Most of these societies would still not have discovered the wheel. It takes a huge amount of reality-avoidance and ineptitude for outsiders who travel there not to realize that a billion or more people in the Third World still wouldn’t have discovered the wheel. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that the Third World would have independently found, discovered, or invented even a fraction – if any at all – of the sciences and technologies that exist today. Without Europeans, lives in what were once colonized countries would have been brutish and much shorter than they are. These countries would have had nothing remotely resembling the concept of the rule of law. After the end of the World War II, countries in the Third World started to gain their so-called independence. One the largest waves of immigration of Indians to the UK happened soon after the process of British decolonization started. Locals in those days knew that once the British were gone, India and Africa would enter a phase of chaos. After almost 70 years, this chaos shows little sign of abating. It is getting worse.
This post was published at Acting-Man on October 25, 2017.
Two years after the European Commission carried out the bidding of German Chancellor Angela Merkel by approving a plan to distribute migrants entering the Schengen area through Greece and Italy evenly across the European Union, the people of Europe have made their displeasure with Merkel’s ‘open door’ policy abundantly clear. Last month, Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union suffered its most embarrassing showing in a federal election in decades, allowing a far-right, anti-immigrant party into parliament for the first time since World War II. The Alternative for Germany party’s unexpectedly strong showing fractured the ruling coalition spearheaded by Merkel’s conservatives as her partners, the Social Democrats opted to rebuild in opposition, complicating Merkel’s attempts to form a ruling coalition. In what was widely celebrated by the right as an important public capitulation, Merkel announced that her government would consider implementing a refugee cap of 200,000 (far larger than the cap adopted by the Trump administration). While it’s unclear whether the cap will ultimately become law, the fact that Merkel has publicly acknowledged the failure of open doors was interpreted as a sea change in Europe’s response to the worsening migrant crisis. And now, French President Emmanuel Macron – Merkel’s de facto partner in leading the European project – has himself made a small but important concession to the growing anti-immigrant sentiment in France, which, like many of its neighbors in western Europe, has suffered a horrific string of terror attacks inspired or actively organized by the Islamic State, the South China Morning Post reported. In a wide ranging interview this week, Macron revealed a new policy whereby illegal immigrants who commit crimes in France will face deportation. Presently, being an illegal immigrant in France isn’t a criminal offense. Even without new legislation ‘we can take tougher measures’ and expel illegal immigrants if they commit a crime, ‘whatever it may be,’ Macron said.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 21, 2017.
New photos of a recent highway construction in China could be part of a contingency plan to invade North Korea or amass a huge army on their shared border. Experts fear this newly uncovered plot could stoke the fires of World War 3, inevitably involving the United States. According to The Express UK, communist China has traditionally been North Korea’s closest ally, but Kim Jong-un’s continued nuclear and ballistic missile tests have tested Beijing’s patience on the rising tensions worldwide. These new revelations also come as North Korea was spotted transporting 30 Scud missiles from Hwangju, south of the capital Pyongyang, to Nampo, on the Korea Bay coast opposite China. New photos have emerged and they reveal that the Communist superpower is building a six-lane highway in its desolately populated northeast on route to North Korea. With most Chinese peasants not able to afford the luxury of a car, the construction of the G1112 Ji’an – Shuangliao Expressway, has led experts to believe it will be used for quick deployment of tanks and troops to its North Korean border. The photos obtained by Daily Star Online show Chinese construction workers digging tunnels through the mountains and massive cranes constructing bridges over rivers.
This post was published at shtfplan on October 16th, 2017.
Dr Bouthaina Shaaban, Political and Media Advisor to Syrian President, Bashar Al Assad. The announcement by the Russian Ministry of Defence that US support for terrorists is a major obstacle to the elimination of the terrorist organisation in Syria is not a simple or transitory declaration. It is an important and dangerous declaration that must be carefully looked at. ‘The successes of the Syrian army with the support of the Russian space air force in the rapid liberation of the Euphrates valley seem to contradict the plans of American colleagues,’ Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashinkov said, noting that US forces did not allow the Syrian army to pursue terrorists in the al-Tanf area. It is understood, of course, that Russia does not want to initiate a conflict with the United States and to start a third world war, but such declarations and statements by the Russian Ministry of Defence, even if they are uttered in such de-escalatory terms such as ‘American colleagues,’ represent a clear and explicit link between ISIS and US plans in both Syria and Iraq. This at the international level undermines the credibility of the United States, and undermines the impact of any American statements bragging about the fight against terrorism. Especially as Russian forces announced that the ISIS offensive relied on aerial reconnaissance that cannot be attained by the group unless provided by American reconnaissance planes.