Friday, March 24, 2017

Greg Hunter, “Weekly News Wrap-Up 3/24/2017”

“Weekly News Wrap-Up 3/24/2017” 
By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com 

"Donald Trump was mocked by the mainstream media (MSM) for saying Obama “wiretapped” or spied on Trump and his top advisors. This week, Trump was proven 100% correct when information came out that President-elect Trump and his transition team were, in fact, wrapped up in government surveillance. Information was illegally leaked to the press, and identities were illegally “unmasked” to discredit and embarrass the incoming President and his team. This makes Watergate look like a squirt gun fight, and this investigation is now set to reveal “smoking gun” proof that the Obama Administration was involved in illegal activity. This investigation is far from over and could directly implicate former President Obama.

Sears is in financial trouble, and is reportedly having trouble finding the money to keep its shelves stocked with merchandise. Sears, once the largest retailer in America, is saying that it could even be filing for bankruptcy within the year. This is only the latest problem that has surfaced in the retail sector. Macy’s and JCPenney have also recently reported financial problems that have forced store closings. Nearly two dozen other national retailers are reportedly in financial trouble.

North Korea has announced it will “launch another nuclear test in the next few days.” It recently had a failed rocket test, and there are growing concerns with Japan and South Korea about threats North Korea is making. Just a few weeks ago, it fired several missiles in a mock attack on Japan. The missiles fell harmlessly into the Sea of Japan, but it still upset Japan enough to make threats of a preemptive first strike against the communist nation. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says “all options are on the table” in future dealings with North Korea."

"Join Greg Hunter as he talks about these stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up."

Thursday, March 23, 2017

X22 Report, “The Real Estate Market Has Been Pumped Up To Support The Fake Economy, When It Goes...”

X22 Report, “The Real Estate Market Has Been Pumped Up 
To Support The Fake Economy, When It Goes...”

"Initial jobless claim is continuing to move up. The art bubble is popping all over the place and artwork is losing its value quickly. New home sales spike as mortgage apps, existing home sale decline and while mortgage rates increase. The housing market is on its way to collapsing and when it does it will bring the entire system down with it. Commercial and residential loans at risk and this time its all coming down. Be prepared for the upcoming economic crisis." 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oL2zMnwxW3c

"The Narrative Has Been Set For The Collapse And The Next Event"

"70% of the people disapprove of Comey. Nunes says the FBI not involved in the investigation. Evidence is now growing against Obama, Clapper, Brennan and Rogers. Wikileaks releases nightskies 1.2, which shows the CIA has control of Macs and Iphones. Soros building an army and offering people to quit jobs and there pay will be 15k a month. WSJ ran article stating that NK is implicating in the robbery of the Federal Reserve. That NK has the ability to cyber attack the Feds financial network. UK tanks arrive in Estonia. Tillerson makes case that Montenegro should join NATO. The IS takes responsibility for the attack in London. The attack to place on the date of the Belgium attack and is also the number used for the Skulls and Bones society."

Musical Interlude: 2002, “Challenge From Heaven”

2002, “Challenge From Heaven” 
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SSN3wVQV6M&feature=related

"A Look to the Heavens"

"The dark Horsehead Nebula and the glowing Orion Nebula are contrasting cosmic vistas. Adrift 1,500 light-years away in one of the night sky's most recognizable constellations, they appear in opposite corners of the above stunning mosaic. 
 Click image for larger size.
The familiar Horsehead nebula appears as a dark cloud, a small silhouette notched against the long red glow at the lower left. Alnitak is the easternmost star in Orion's belt and is seen as the brightest star to the left of the Horsehead. Below Alnitak is the Flame Nebula, with clouds of bright emission and dramatic dark dust lanes. The magnificent emission region, the Orion Nebula (aka M42), lies at the upper right. Immediately to its left is a prominent bluish reflection nebula sometimes called the Running Man. Pervasive tendrils of glowing hydrogen gas are easily traced throughout the region."

"A Good Question..."

"In the end, we return to the question, just how much do you love truth? Do you really love truth or are you just curious? Do you love it enough to rebuild your understanding to conform to a reality that doesn't fit your current beliefs, and doesn't feel 120% happy? Do you love truth enough to continue seeking even when it hurts, when it reveals aspects of yourself (or human society, or the universe) that are shocking, complex and disturbing, or humbling, glorious and amazing - or even, when truth is far beyond human mind itself? Just how much do we love truth? It's a good question to ask ourselves, I think."
- Scott Mandelker

Paul Craig Roberts: “In America Today, Facts Cannot Compete With Lies”

Free Download: Dante Alighieri, “The Divine Comedy”

Free Download: Dante Alighieri, “The Divine Comedy”

“The Divine Comedy (Italian: Divina Commedia) is an epic poem written by Dante Alighieri between c. 1308 and his death in 1321. It is widely considered the pre-eminent work of Italian literature, and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature. The poem's imaginative and allegorical vision of the afterlife is representative of the medieval world-view as it had developed in the Western Church by the 14th century. It helped establish the Tuscan dialect, in which it is written, as the standardized Italian language. It is divided into three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.

On the surface, the poem describes Dante's travels through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven; but at a deeper level, it represents allegorically the soul's journey towards God. At this deeper level, Dante draws on medieval Christian theology and philosophy, especially Thomistic philosophy and the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas. Consequently, the Divine Comedy has been called "the Summa in verse".

The work was originally simply titled Commedìa and was later christened Divina by Giovanni Boccaccio. The first printed edition to add the word divina to the title was that of the Venetian humanist Lodovico Dolce, published in 1555 by Gabriele Giolito de' Ferrari."

Free direct download links:
Dante Alighieri’s "Divine Comedy – Inferno" (6.57MB)
Dante Alighieri’s "Divine Comedy – Purgatorio" (3.74MB)
Dante Alighieri’s "Divine Comedy – Paradiso" (1.89MB)

The Poet: Eugene O'Neill, "Free"

"Free"

"Weary am I of the tumult, sick of the staring crowd,
Pining for wild sea places where the soul may think aloud.
Fled is the glamour of cities, dead as the ghost of a dream,
While I pine anew for the tint of blue on the breast of the old Gulf Stream.

I have had my dance with Folly, nor do I shirk the blame;
I have sipped the so-called Wine of Life and paid the price of shame;
But I know that I shall find surcease, the rest my spirit craves,
Where the rainbows play in the flying spray,
'Mid the keen salt kiss of the waves.

Then it's ho! for the plunging deck of a bark, the hoarse song of the crew,
With never a thought of those we left or what we are going to do;
Nor heed the old ship's burning, but break the shackles of care
And at last be free, on the open sea, with the trade wind in our hair."

- Eugene O'Neill

"The Essential Thing..."

"The most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. 
The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."
- Pierre de Courbertin

"Manipulation-Craft, or How They Get Us to Agree”

"Manipulation-Craft, or How They Get Us to Agree”
by Abrams Hap

"Manipulation takes many forms, and aims at us from multiple levels. Emotions, inattention, preoccupation, distraction, lack of information, misinformation, and levels of trust all aid in the success of manipulation-craft bewitchment. The systems and techniques, utilized to manipulate and deceive, are known and tried. They are natural systems experienced in society and the psychological functions of reality. When used with the intent to beguile they become manipulation-crafts. Below are a few examples of techniques and mechanisms you face. Knowing them and recognizing the process is key to your understanding and freewill. 

Hegelian Dialectic: For every idea or (Thesis) there would be an opposite idea or (Antithesis). The resulting conflict between the two leads to a combination of the two or (Synthesis). The Synthesis then becomes the new Thesis and the cycle continues.  This process can be observed with any meeting of the minds throughout time. However, if both parts of the equation are under the direction of the same architect, the resulting synthesis is a structure of intended design. Utilizing the Hegelian Dialectic as manipulation-craft is detrimental to a free society. It makes the political and democratic processes inept. 

Comment: H.D. is a methodology devised for guiding thoughts and actions, the purpose to bring people to an ultimate conclusion by being 1) the creator of the problem (i.e.: societal chaos), and 2) also being the one able to implement the necessary solution (i.e.: gun control). In other words, it cons people into believing the state can create a perfect world by pitting two alleged opposing forces against each other, "reluctantly" advancing the predetermined agenda (a disarmed society) "according to the people's will." You accept what you once wouldn't (rights restriction). 
Global Warming deception: 200 years of human activity has ruined our 6 billion-year-old planet. Only global cooperation will solve it. By the time the diehards, authoritarian followers and sheeple have their chilly awakening, a global government is locked in place. Who cares about the weather. 

Click image for larger size.
Problem Reaction Solution: This manipulation technique avoids opposition to the goal of the manipulators. It manipulates the targeted individual(s) into wanting the manipulator to do what the manipulator had planned to do, but could not have done without the support of the targeted person(s).  For example, you create a problem, that can not be traced back to you. This problem causes your intended reaction from the targeted individual(s). Use of appropriate media and other influences can aid greatly in shaping the desired reaction of the targeted subject(s). The manipulated reaction of the targeted victim(s) then causes the victim(s) to demand a solution to the problem you created.

The leaders of country "A" want to go to war with country "B". However the people of country "A" do not support this action. Country "A" initiates events that appear to be acts of war taken by country "B". The indignation from the people of country "A" demand that their leaders take action. The leaders of country "A", with the support of their people, attack country "B".

Comment: In this case there is no "testing the waters." There is a specifically calculated event (i.e.: false flag) or a fortuitous natural or social disaster that becomes larger-than-life in the media, festering out of control, consuming public attention (repetitive message with subjective/suggested implications). It creates a designed reaction (fear/panic) that culminates in a lasting change in the mindset of society. A solution appears and is accepted. The Blackberry Riots in the UK was a case-in-point. The riots followed the death of Mark Duggan who was shot by the police at a traffic stop. Mobile devices are now what the public remembers as the cause of disturbance thanks to media refocusing techniques. The solution implemented was the monitoring of chat logs, GPS coordinates and private information for "suspicious activities." 

Linchpin Theory: Linchpin Theory argues that overt social, political, economic, and technological complexity causes destructive events. It neglects acknowledging those facilitating the events. It is a perception that social, political, economic, and technological tides are unguided and chaotic, that all is random, and disaster is a product of chance triggered by an over-complicated system. It disguises order, with chaos masking the intended manipulation of the destructive event. The current financial crisis here in America and around the world, as well as the steady devaluing of the US dollar and other sovereign currencies make a good example. 

Comment: A not-so hypothetical scenario: Almost every major economy on the globe has been brought to the verge of collapse. It is inevitable that one or more of these explosive tension points will erupt and cause a financial chain reaction around the planet. The linchpin and the chain reaction will become the focus, while the instigators will fade into oblivion. It will be called a random act of fate, a mathematical inevitability in an overly complex system. The solution: end national sovereignty, dissolve borders, centralize nation states under a single economic and political body. (Eggs in one basket. How is this working out for the EU these days?) 
FYI: Lynchpin theory (subversive design) also works extremely well for globalist interests utilizing war as a change-agent to alter the life, thinking, culture and trajectory of an entire people. Lynchpin example is the Pearl Harbor bombing event to entice the U.S. into WWII. 

Propaganda: Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed towards influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position by presenting only one side of an argument. Propaganda is usually repeated and dispersed over a wide variety of media in order to create the chosen result in audience attitudes. As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda, in its most basic sense, presents information primarily to influence an audience. Propaganda often presents facts selectively, thus possibly lying by omission to encourage a particular synthesis, or uses loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. The desired result is a change of the attitude toward the subject in the target audience to further a political, religious or commercial agenda. Propaganda can be used as a form of ideological or commercial warfare. 

Doublespeak: Doublespeak utilizes language to deliberately disguise, distort, or reverse the meaning of words. Doublespeak may take the form of euphemisms meant to make the truth sound more palatable, i.e. "We are fighting for peace" said by Shimon Peres former Prime Minister of Israel or House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's infamous quote, "It's not a tax increase, it's eliminating a tax decrease that was there." Doublespeak may also refer to intentional ambiguity in language or to actual inversions of meaning, i.e. from George Orwell's 1984 "War is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength." In such cases, doublespeak disguises the nature of the truth. Doublespeak is most closely associated with political language. 

The Impression of a Choice: Manipulation can cloak itself in the guise of freewill. A skilled salesmen, hoping to get a meeting, asks their prospective client if they would like to meet tomorrow morning or tomorrow afternoon. Thereby limiting, to an extent, the option for the client to say no. On a larger scale we witness this throughout society. Coke or Pepsi, McDonald's or Burger King, Republican or Democrat. We can avoid this type of manipulation-craft when we acknowledge other options. 

The Kübler-Ross Model: Denial, Anger, Depression, Bargaining, Acceptance. Also known as the five stages of denial or grief. This psychological process can be experience in many ways, including the realization of orchestrated deception and unthinkable breaches of trust. These steps are natural and understanding them helps greatly to facilitate a healthy state of mind. However understanding how they can be used against you is also important. By prolonging or maintaining a stage of the Kübler-Ross Model, you are kept from reaching fruition. Each stage allows unique opportunities for manipulation. 
Comment: 
Truth: There is no Social Security. There is no Trust Fund. We have debt. 
Denial: Social Security is alive and well. One day I will have a nice retirement. 
Anger: Recriminations, blame the Rich, the Poor, the Government, someone else. 
Depression: We are as poor as we actually are and have been lying to ourselves for decades. Doomed! 
Bargaining: Should have done more borrowing, less lending, spending, if only... 
Acceptance: No one is going to save us. Next plan? 

The Association Fallacy:  Association fallacy is an inductive informal fallacy of hasty generalization, or red herring, which asserts that qualities of one thing are inherently qualities of another merely by an irrelevant association. The two types are sometimes referred to as guilt by association and honor by association, and can be based on an appeal to the emotions, and lack of knowledge by the target of the manipulation. Utilizing this Manipulation-Craft the practitioner can associate the good with bad, making the good appear guilty by association. Likewise, the bad can be made to look righteous if this is the practitioner's intent.

Comment: Former White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, stated: "You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." Read as: new legislation and regulation translating to less freedom, prosperity and privacy - enabled by the "problem." The systems and techniques to manipulate and deceive are all around us everywhere you look. From selling breakfast cereal - to government cover-ups - to how we raise our kids - to what is written in our history books, we are bombarded with covert and subliminal messaging aimed at manipulating our thoughts and responses, patterns and behaviors. It is invading. It is persistent. It keeps on coming. It is no great wonder that anything resembling truth and reality is so hard to recognize."

The Economy: "When the Tidal Wave Hits, Part III"

"When the Tidal Wave Hits, Part III"
by Jeff Nielson

"Part I of this series explained that (most) Western nations are heading toward an economic cataclysm which is historically unprecedented. Part II expanded upon the economic diseases which have sent us into this terminal descent and also factored in some of the social diseases which have left us more vulnerable to an economic crash than at any other time in history.

This installment is dedicated to illustrating the political and legal devolution which has taken place across the Corrupt West, along with explaining how and why this political/legal devolution has led to our economic and social decline. Any discussion of this nature must begin with the Rule of Law. An articulate essay by American writer Matthew Spalding spells out the principles here:

"The rule of law may be the most significant and influential accomplishment of Western constitutional thinking. The very meaning and structure of our Constitution embody this principle. Nowhere expressed yet evident throughout the Constitution, this bedrock concept is the first principle on which the American legal and political system was built."

The Rule of Law is not a single mantra or principle. It is a legal philosophy which is a collection of principles that, when combined, create the necessary conditions for fundamental justice. A society which adheres to this philosophy will produce justice for all members of that society, subject to occasional errors in the interpretation and execution of those principles. Conversely, any society which is not governed by these principles can never and will never produce consistent justice.

More specifically: "A principle that itself is quite old and long predates the United States, the rule of law is the general concept that government as well as the governed are subject to the law and that all are to be equally protected by the law . Its roots can be found in classical antiquity. The vast difference between the rule of law as opposed to that of individual rulers and tyrants is a central theme in the writings of political philosophers from the beginning. In the works of Plato and as developed in Aristotle’s writings, it implies obedience to positive law as well as rudimentary checks on rulers and magistrates.

In Anglo-American history, the idea was expressed in Magna Carta in 1215. In its famous thirty-ninth clause, King John of England promised to his barons that “No free man shall be taken, imprisoned, disseized, outlawed, or banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will he proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers and the Law of the Land.” The idea that the law is superior to human rulers is the cornerstone of English constitutional thought as it developed over the centuries."

While the principles of the Rule of Law govern all human and governmental conduct, the most important of these principles are our guarantees against arbitrary actions by our rulers. In particular, this means freedom from arbitrary imprisonment. No member of society can ever be deprived of their liberty except according to the procedural principles of due process:

As all are subject to the law, so all - government and citizens, indeed all persons - are equal before the law, and equally subject to the legal system and its decisions. No one is above the law in respect to enforcement; no one is privileged to ignore the law, just as no one is outside the law in terms of its protection . As the phrase goes, all are presumed innocent until proven guilty. We see this equal application of equal laws reflected in the Constitution’s references to “citizens” and “persons” rather than race, class, or some other group distinction, as in the Fifth Amendment’s language that “No person shall... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” 

There are now numerous legal contexts where the principles of due process are no longer observed in the Corrupt West. However, nowhere is our departure from fundamental justice more obvious and appalling than with respect to the political/legal/moral abomination known as “The War on Terror.”

The phrase means nothing. It is just as intellectually bankrupt as declaring “a war on war”: engaging in the killing of human beings in order to (supposedly) prevent the killing of human beings. Nonsense. Any war initiated without any clear boundaries or definition is destined to be an endless war. The “War on Terror” was intended to be an endless war: the creation of Boogeymen (the “terrorists”) and the commission of serial false-flag attacks in order to create what is effectively a police state across the Western world.

In a police state, arbitrary imprisonment is a fact of life, meaning the Rule of Law has ceased to exist. Arbitrary imprisonment is the cornerstone of the War on Terror. Dictatorial (puppet) governments point their fingers at members of society, utter the Magic Word (“terrorist”), and instantly any pretense of the Rule of Law and due process vanishes from our lawless societies.

Why do the governments of the Corrupt West claim the right to arbitrarily imprison so-called “terrorists” – without evidence – and instantly strip them of any-and-all human rights? It is supposedly in the interests of “national security”. We abandon the Rule of Law in the interest of our security. This is yet another intellectually bankrupt assertion which has already been exposed through a famous quotation attributed to Ben Franklin:

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety,
 deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

Some historians argue that this quotation has been taken out of its original context. That is irrelevant. The phrase acquired its stature and enduring quality because our ancestors understood and accepted the plain meaning of the words: giving up our liberty in the interest of so-called “security” is yet another affront to the Rule of Law. It is an attempt to create an arbitrary exception to these principles: sometimes “security” is more important than justice. Never.

Apologists for our puppet governments and their War on Terror will claim there is evidence presented against the so-called “terrorists” – behind closed doors. And there are trials for the so-called “terrorists”, behind closed doors. Once again, these are corrupt assertions which long ago were rejected by our societies, as illustrated by one of the most important principles of fundamental justice in the Western world.

"Justice must not only be done. It must be seen to be done."

Translation: justice is always and exclusively a public process. “Evidence” presented behind closed doors is not evidence. A “trial” behind closed doors is not a trial. Null and void.

Western constitutions prohibit arbitrary imprisonment. Our governments are bound by these constitutions. The so-called “laws” created by these regimes to take away our Law (i.e. our fundamental liberties) exceed the authority of these corrupt regimes. Their laws are null-and-void. We used to be societies governed by the Rule of Law. Today we are societies subjected to the arbitrary decrees of corrupt rulers. The Rule of Law has been abandoned. Our constitutions have been (illegally) ignored. Our equally corrupt judiciaries rubber-stamp these appalling, illegal acts.

Why? Why did these corrupt regimes choose to impose police states upon us, manufacturing the absurdly transparent charade of “the War on Terror” as a pretext? It is because the economic devolution of our societies and the economic rape of the citizens of these societies was a planned event. The imminent economic destruction which lies ahead of us will be characterized (in one way or another) as “a surprise” in the propaganda of the mainstream media. Nothing could be less accurate.

The monetary policies of the banking crime syndicate are nothing less than an economic crime against humanity. As explained in the previous installments of this series, they were knowingly malicious acts - actions designed to produce inevitable consequences.

These banking overlords commanded our puppet governments to manufacture the “War on Terror” and create these police states as control mechanisms. When our economies and societies collapse, and when angry, frightened and likely hungry citizens begin rioting and (belatedly) demanding accountability, these police states have been created to allow these puppet governments to cling to power - so they can continue to serve our banking overlords.

Hundreds of “detention centers” have been created across the United States, capable of warehousing millions of people. Dissidents all over the U.S. (and perhaps other Western nations) will be banished to these gulags, very likely for doing nothing more than protesting against the crimes committed against us.

Former UK Prime Minister and ardent Nazi, David Cameron, stood before the United Nations general assembly and declared that those who simply dared to criticize our corrupt governments should be treated as “terrorists” - and thus deprived of their rights and imprisoned in our governments’ gulags. “Security” is everything, claim these fascists; liberty means nothing is what they imply. All about control.

The final installment of this series will answer three questions. Who are the Puppet Masters responsible for this political and economic fascism? Where is this downward political/economic/social spiral leading? What can we do on a practical basis to protect ourselves when the tidal wave hits?"

The Daily "Near You?"

San Antonio, Texas, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"Such A Paradox..."

“How is one to live a moral and compassionate existence when one is fully aware of the blood, the horror inherent in life, when one finds darkness not only in one’s culture but within oneself? If there is a stage at which an individual life becomes truly adult, it must be when one grasps the irony in its unfolding and accepts responsibility for a life lived in the midst of such paradox. One must live in the middle of contradiction, because if all contradiction were eliminated at once life would collapse. There are simply no answers to some of the great pressing questions. You continue to live them out, making your life a worthy expression of leaning into the light.”
- Barry Lopez

"The Friend..."

"The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing... not healing, not curing... that is a friend who cares."
- Henri Nouwen 

"The Divided Deep State is a Symptom, Not the Disease"

"The Divided Deep State is a Symptom, Not the Disease"
by Charles Hugh Smith

"Hell is empty and all the devils are here."
- William Shakespeare, "The Tempest"

"I’ve been writing about the divided Deep State for a number of years, most recently in "The Conflict within the Deep State Just Broke into Open Warfare." The topic appears to be one of widespread interest, as this essay drew over 300,000 views.

It’s impossible to understand the divided Deep State unless we situate it in the larger context of profound political disunity, a concept I learned from historian Michael Grant, whose slim but insightful volume "The Fall of the Roman Empire" I have been recommending since 2009.

As I noted in my 2009 book "Survival+," this was a key feature of the Roman Empire in its final slide to collapse. The shared values and consensus which had held the Empire’s core together dissolved, leaving petty fiefdoms to war among themselves for what power and swag remained.

A funny thing happens when a nation allows itself to be ruled by Imperial kleptocrats: such rule is intrinsically destabilizing, as there is no longer any moral or political center to bind the nation together. The public sees the value system at the top is maximize my personal profit by whatever means are available, i.e. complicity, corruption, monopoly and rentier rackets, and they follow suit by pursuing whatever petty frauds and rackets are within reach: tax avoidance, cheating on entrance exams, gaming the disability system, lying on mortgage and job applications, and so on.

But the scope of the rentier rackets is so large, the bottom 95% cannot possibly keep up with the expanding wealth and income of the top .1% and their army of technocrats and enablers, so a rising sense of injustice widens the already yawning fissures in the body politic.

Meanwhile, diverting the national income into a few power centers is also destabilizing, as Central Planning and Market Manipulation (a.k.a. the Federal Reserve) are intrinsically unstable as price can no longer be discovered by unfettered markets. As a result, imbalances grow until some seemingly tiny incident or disruption triggers a cascading collapse, a.k.a. a phase shift or system re-set.

As the Power Elites squabble over the dwindling crumbs left by the various rentier rackets, there’s no one left to fight for the national interest because the entire Status Quo of self-interested fiefdoms and cartels has been co-opted and is now wedded to the Imperial Oligarchy as their guarantor of financial security.

The divided Deep State is a symptom of this larger systemic political disunity. I have characterized the divide as between the Wall Street-Neocon-Globalist Neoliberal camp–currently the dominant public face of the Deep State, the one desperately attempting to exploit the “Russia hacked our elections and is trying to destroy us” narrative–and a much less public, less organized “rogue Progressive” camp, largely based in the military services and fringes of the Deep State, that sees the dangers of a runaway expansionist Empire and the resulting decay of the nation’s moral/political center.

What few observers seem to understand is that concentrating power in centralized nodes is intrinsically unstable. Contrast a system in which power, control and wealth is extremely concentrated in a few nodes (the current U.S. Imperial Project) and a decentralized network of numerous dynamic nodes. The disruption of any of the few centralized nodes quickly destabilizes the entire system because each centralized node is highly dependent on the others. This is in effect what happened in the 2008-09 Financial Meltdown: the Wall Street node failed and that quickly imperiled the entire economy and thus the entire political order, up to and including the Global Imperial Project.

Historian Peter Turchin has proposed that the dynamics of profound political disunity (i.e. social, financial and political disintegration) can be quantified in a Political Stress Index, a concept he describes in his new book "Ages of Discord":
If we understand the profound political disunity fracturing the nation and its Imperial Project, we understand the Deep State must also fracture along the same fault lines. There is no other possible output of a system of highly concentrated nodes of power, wealth and control and the competing rentier rackets of these dependent, increasingly fragile centralized nodes."
Of related interest:
• "Is the Deep State Fracturing into Disunity?" (March 14, 2014)
• “The American Dream Part 4 - The "Deep State" Is Now In Charge”
http://www.zerohedge.com/
• “The Unstable Empire - A Campfire Tale”
http://www.acting-man.com/?p=48888#more-48888

"I Wish..."

"I wish I could protect you from the world. It's a cold, dark place. It has very little light, where it used to abound in it, but alas, I am one lone candle. I cannot speak for the world, just for what I've seen and felt. Being in the world means you could very well realize how lost you are. You find out you cannot find yourself all alone. However, as long as a light shines, all hope is not lost. One day we'll all know for certain which paths are best traveled, and which were left narrow."
- Jennifer Megan Varnadore

Free Download: WikiLeaks Release, “Vault 7: Projects- ‘Dark Matter’”

WikiLeaks Release, “Vault 7: Projects- ‘Dark Matter’” 

"Today, March 23rd 2017, WikiLeaks releases Vault 7 "Dark Matter", which contains documentation for several CIA projects that infect Apple Mac Computer firmware (meaning the infection persists even if the operating system is re-installed) developed by the CIA's Embedded Development Branch (EDB). These documents explain the techniques used by CIA to gain 'persistence' on Apple Mac devices, including Macs and iPhones and demonstrate their use of EFI/UEFI and firmware malware.

Among others, these documents reveal the "Sonic Screwdriver" project which, as explained by the CIA, is a "mechanism for executing code on peripheral devices while a Mac laptop or desktop is booting" allowing an attacker to boot its attack software for example from a USB stick "even when a firmware password is enabled". The CIA's "Sonic Screwdriver" infector is stored on the modified firmware of an Apple Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter.

"DarkSeaSkies" is "an implant that persists in the EFI firmware of an Apple MacBook Air computer" and consists of "DarkMatter", "SeaPea" and "NightSkies", respectively EFI, kernel-space and user-space implants.

Documents on the "Triton" MacOSX malware, its infector "Dark Mallet" and its EFI-persistent version "DerStake" are also included in this release. While the DerStake1.4 manual released today dates to 2013, other Vault 7 documents show that as of 2016 the CIA continues to rely on and update these systems and is working on the production of DerStarke2.0.

Also included in this release is the manual for the CIA's "NightSkies 1.2" a "beacon/loader/implant tool" for the Apple iPhone. Noteworthy is that NightSkies had reached 1.2 by 2008, and is expressly designed to be physically installed onto factory fresh iPhones. i.e the CIA has been infecting the iPhone supply chain of its targets since at least 2008.

While CIA assets are sometimes used to physically infect systems in the custody of a target it is likely that many CIA physical access attacks have infected the targeted organization's supply chain including by interdicting mail orders and other shipments (opening, infecting, and resending) leaving the United States or otherwise.”
Read online or download these documents in PDF format here:

Musical Interlude: Suzanne Ciani, "Anthem"

Suzanne Ciani, "Anthem"

Shakespeare's "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow"


Shakespeare's "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow"

MACBETH:
"I have almost forgot the taste of fears.
The time has been my senses would have cooled
To hear a night-shriek, and my fell of hair
Would at a dismal treatise rouse and stir
As life were in ’t. I have supped full with horrors.
Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts
Cannot once start me."

(Re-enter SEYTON)
"Wherefore was that cry?"

SEYTON:
"The queen, my lord, is dead.

MACBETH"
"She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."

- William Shakespeare, "Macbeth"

"How It Really Is"

“How Are Things Going, Joe?”

“You go up to a man, and you say, “How are things going, Joe?” and he says, “Oh fine, fine... couldn’t be better.” And you look into his eyes, and you see things really couldn’t be much worse. When you get right down to it, everybody’s having a perfectly lousy time of it, and I mean everybody. And the hell of it is, nothing seems to help much.”
- Kurt Vonnegut

"The Worst Retail Cataclysm Ever: Sears Warns It Is On The Verge Of Collapse As Payless Prepares To File For Bankruptcy"

"The Worst Retail Cataclysm Ever: Sears Warns It Is On
 The Verge Of Collapse As Payless Prepares To File For Bankruptcy"
by Michael Snyder

"More than 3,500 retail stores are going to close all across America over the next few months as the worst retail downturn in U.S. history gets even deeper. Earlier this week, Sears shocked the world when it announced that there is “substantial doubt” that the company will be able to “continue as a going concern” much longer. In other words, Sears has announced that it is on the verge of imminent collapse. Meanwhile, Payless stunned the retail industry when it came out that they are preparing to file for bankruptcy. The “retail apocalypse” that I have been warning about is greatly accelerating, and many believe that this is one of the early warning signs that the economic collapse that is already going on in other parts of the globe will soon reach U.S. shores.

I have repeatedly warned my readers that “Sears is going to zero“, and now Sears is officially saying that it might actually happen. When you file official paperwork with the government that says there is “substantial doubt” that the company will survive, that means that the end is very near: "The company that operates Sears, the department store chain that dominated retail for decades, warned Tuesday that it faces “substantial doubt” about its ability to stay in business unless it can borrow more and tap cash from more of its assets. “Our historical operating results indicate substantial doubt exists related to the company’s ability to continue as a going concern,” Sears Holdings said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Sears Holdings operates both Sears and Kmart stores. In the wake of that statement, the price of Sears stock dipped 13.69% to $7.85 a share."

Personally, I am going to miss Sears very much. But of course the truth is that they simply cannot continue operating as they have been. For the quarter that ended on January 28th, Sears lost an astounding 607 million dollars: "The company said it lost $607 million, or $5.67 per diluted share, during the quarter that ended on Jan. 28. That compared with a loss of $580 million, or $5.44 per diluted share, a year earlier. It has posted a loss in all but two of the last 24 quarters, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence." How in the world is it possible for a retailer to lose that amount of money in just three months? As I have said before, if they had employees flushing dollar bills down the toilet 24 hours a day they still shouldn’t have losses that big.

This week we also learned that Payless is heading for bankruptcy. According to Bloomberg, the chain is planning to imminently close at least 400 stores: "Payless Inc., the struggling discount shoe chain, is preparing to file for bankruptcy as soon as next week, according to people familiar with the matter. The company is initially planning to close 400 to 500 stores as it reorganizes operations, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations aren’t public. Payless had originally looked to shutter as many as 1,000 locations, and the number may still be in flux, according to one of the people."

Of course these are just two examples of a much broader phenomenon. Never before in U.S. history have we seen such a dramatic wave of store closures. According to Business Insider, over 3,500 retail locations “are expected to close in the next couple of months”: Thousands of mall-based stores are shutting down in what’s fast becoming one of the biggest waves of retail closures in decades. More than 3,500 stores are expected to close in the next couple of months."

Once thriving shopping malls are rapidly being transformed into ghost towns. As I wrote about just recently, “you might be tempted to think that ‘Space Available’ was the hottest new retail chain in the entire country.”

The demise of Sears is going to be an absolute nightmare for many mall owners. Once “anchor stores” start closing, it is usually only a matter of time before smaller stores start bailing out: "When an anchor store like Sears or Macy’s closes, it often triggers a downward spiral in performance for shopping malls. Not only do the malls lose the income and shopper traffic from that store’s business, but the closure often triggers “co-tenancy clauses” that allow the other mall tenants to terminate their leases or renegotiate the terms, typically with a period of lower rents, until another retailer moves into the anchor space."

Years ago I wrote of a time when we would see boarded-up storefronts all across America, and now it is happening. Instead of asking which retailers are going to close, perhaps we should be asking which ones are going to survive this retail cataclysm. In the past, you could always count on middle class U.S. consumers to save the day, but today the middle class is steadily shrinking and U.S. consumers are increasingly tapped out.

For instance, just look at what is happening to delinquency rates on auto loans: "US auto loan and lease credit loss rates weakened in the second half of 2016, according to a new report from Fitch Ratings, which said they will continue to deteriorate. “Subprime credit losses are accelerating faster than the prime segment, and this trend is likely to continue as a result of looser underwriting standards by lenders in recent years,” said Michael Taiano, a director at Fitch."

The last time so many Americans got behind on subprime auto loans was during the last financial crisis. We are seeing so many similarities to what happened just prior to the last recession, and yet most Americans still seem to think that the U.S. economy is going to be just fine in 2017.

Unfortunately, major red flags are popping up in the hard economic numbers and in the financial markets. The last recession probably should have started back in late 2015, but thanks to manipulation by the Fed and an unprecedented debt binge by the Obama administration, official U.S. GDP growth has been able to stay barely above zero for the last year and a half.

But just because something is delayed does not mean that it is canceled. All along, our long-term economic imbalances have continued to get even worse, and a date with destiny is rapidly approaching for the U.S. economy."