Don’t ‘Iraq’ Iran

don’t-‘iraq’-iran

14-05-19 08:09:00,

How many people advocating for war against Iran actually know what it looks like from an on the ground perspective? How many neocon advocates for bombing Tehran have actually seen the ultra-modern downtown skyline of the capital city? How many know flesh and blood Iranians who whose world and families and whole existence will be shattered when the missiles are unleashed? 

Once again, the armchair hawks are clamoring to bomb far-away places which for them contain abstract “villains” which in reality pose little to no direct threat to the United States all based on anonymously sourced and vague “intelligence”. Like the disastrous Iraq war, Washington is now saying, just “trust us”. And like Iraq, the results of yet another war to “take out the regime” will no doubt be a worse nightmare than the current status quo and stability, however undesirable Iran’s current leaders might be. 

The below is authored by Eric Margolis via The Ron Paul Institute

Downtown Tehran, Iran at night.

Is it just a coincidence that TV networks are re-running old “Dirty Harry” films just as a powerful US Naval armada and Air Force B-52 bombers are headed for what could be a clash with Iran? Here we go again with the “good guys” versus the “bad guys,” and “make my day.”

Maybe it’s more bluffing? The current US military deployment was scheduled before the latest flare-up with Iran, but the bellicose threats of White House neocon crusaders like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo certainly create the impression that the US wants war.

Adding to the warlike excitement, President Trump just ordered seizure of a large North Korean bulk cargo ship. This was clearly a brazen act of war and violation of international law. More dangerous brinkmanship by administration war-mongers who increasingly appear besotted by power and hubris.

So much for the president who vowed to avoid foreign wars – and so much for the millions of anti-war voters who believed him.

Why does Trump let his two horsemen of the apocalypse get away with this?

Déjà vu: The same rhetoric used to justify going into Iraq is back,

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Don’t Blame Technology, Blame Yourself

don8217t-blame-technology-blame-yourself

28-02-19 04:26:00,

Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via The American Institute for Economic Research,

An older woman and her middle-aged son were at a public restaurant for Thanksgiving. He spent the whole of the dinner flipping through his phone, without uttering a word. She did her best to maintain her dignity while looking past him and trying to pretend that this is what life is like. This tragic scene lasted until they paid the bill and left.

The scene was relayed to me by a senior in college who explains how her generation is figuring out the right and wrong ways to use new technology, correcting for the errors of their parents, who somehow allowed their lives to be drained by the newness of it all.

Zak Tebbal drew the perfect cartoon for how our relationship to our smartphones has changed over the last 10 years.

No one planned it. It just seemed to happen. The gadget scratched an itch. We have to know everything, to be in touch with everyone, to be everywhere at once. It’s an everything box, miraculous in its own way. Why are so many people creeped out these days that we seem to have turned over the whole of our lives to our smartphones?

It began with Facebook’s brilliant notification system. Your friends are contacting you, liking you, appreciating you, and surely you need to know that! Every application caught on. More buzzes, dings, alerts, reasons to stare and scroll. During this time, your device holds your primary attention, and interrupts anything else that is happening.

Hours and hours per day, adding up to a day or two in a week, a week in a month, and, ultimately, years and years of our lives, staring senselessly at things that matter maybe a little but not that much.

And at what cost? Disciplined reading, social engagement with those around us, our attention span, serious thought, and even our sleep. No one signed up for our lives to be put into total upheaval one step at a time, forsaking all human connection and conversation, and eschewing serious mental and emotional development, in favor of digital trivia 24/7.

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Don’t Hold Your Breath on US Troop Withdrawal from Syria

don8217t-hold-your-breath-on-us-troop-withdrawal-from-syria

20-12-18 01:13:00,


It would be nice to think the president has final say on foreign policy, given the U.S. Constitution. But the misleading troop withdrawal announcement, followed by Trump’s boastful tweet, suggests the exact opposite, says Patrick Lawrence.

By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News

The announcement on Wednesday that the U.S. will withdraw all remaining troops from Syria within the next month looked at first like a rare victory for Donald Trump in his admittedly erratic opposition to senseless wars of adventure. “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there,” the president tweeted with an unmistakable air of triumph.

Don’t get your hopes up. Just about everything in these initial reports is either wrong or misleading. One, the U.S. did not defeat the Islamic State: The Syrian Arab Army, aided by Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah militias did. Two, hardly was ISIS the only reason the U.S. has maintained a presence in Syria. The intent for years was to support a coup against the Assad government in Damascus—in part by training and equipping jihadists often allied with ISIS. For at least the past six months, the U.S. military’s intent in Syria has been to counter Iranian influence.

Last and hardly least, the U.S. is not closing down its military presence in Syria. It is digging in for an indefinite period, making Raqqa the equivalent of the Green Zone in Baghdad. By the official count, there are 503 U.S. troops stationed in the Islamic State’s former capital. Unofficially, according to The Washington Post and other press reports, the figure is closer to 4,000—twice the number that is supposed to represent a “full withdrawal” from Syrian soil.

It would be nice to think Washington has at last accepted defeat in Syria, given it is preposterous to pretend otherwise any longer. Damascus is now well into its consolidation phase. Russia, Iran, and Turkey are currently working with Staffan de Mistura, the UN’s special envoy for Syria, to form a committee in January to begin drafting a new Syrian constitution.

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Don’t Get Distracted By The Trump/Fed Soap Opera – The Crash Will Continue

don8217t-get-distracted-by-the-trumpfed-soap-opera-8211-the-crash-will-continue

29-11-18 09:52:00,

Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.com,

At the beginning of 2018 I wrote extensively on what was likely to happen under the administration of Jerome Powell, the new Federal Reserve Chairman. In my article ‘New Fed Chairman Will Trigger A Historic Stock Market Crash In 2018‘, published in February, I predicted that the Fed would continue interest rate increases and balance sheet cuts throughout the year and they would knowingly initiate a crash in equities.

To be clear, this was not a very popular sentiment at the time, just as it wasn’t popular when I predicted in 2015 that the Fed would launch interest rate hikes instead of going to negative rates in order to start a catalyst for economic crisis. The problem some people have with this concept is that they just can’t fathom that the central bank would deliberately crash the system. They desperately cling to the notion that the Fed and other central banks want to keep the machine rolling forward at any cost. This is simply not true.

The claim is that the banking elites are “required” to keep the system propped up in a state of reanimation because they are reliant on the system to provide capital and thus “influence.” The people that assert this argument don’t seem to understand how central banks operate.

As most liberty activists should know by now, central banks are essentially a legally protected counterfeiting scheme. Using fractional reserve banking at a ratio that is secret, central banks create their own capital from thin air, and they can infuse capital into international banks at will when it suits their purposes. There is no “profit motive” for the banking syndicate. They can print the cash or digitally conjure it anytime they wish, and they can use it to purchase tangible assets before their printing diminishes the buying power of the currency, passing price inflation on to regular citizens.

Thus, keeping the system in perpetual positive motion is not necessary in terms of the transfer of wealth from the population to the banking class. In fact, economic crisis events are very useful to the elites because these events allow the banks to buy up concrete assets like natural resources,

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Don’t Share This! EU’s New Copyright Law Could Kill The Free Internet

Don’t Share This! EU’s New Copyright Law Could Kill The Free Internet

24-09-18 08:15:00,

Authored by Neil Clark, op-ed via RT.com,

It’s basically a battle between billionaires Axel Springer SE and Google. But it is ordinary internet users who will fall victim to the EU’s new copyright law, which urgently needs modification.

It’s good to share. But the European Parliament clearly doesn’t think so. Its new copyright legislation, passed last week, clamps down quite severely on sharing things online. The dynamism of the internet is at threat. When Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, warns us of the dangers the new law poses, we should all sit up straight and pay attention.

For a start, the legislation shifts the responsibility for the uploading of copyright material to the internet platforms themselves. Beforehand it was the job of the companies who thought their copyright was infringed to do this. Many don’t bother, and are happy to see their material uploaded to sites like YouTube as they know it promotes an artist’s work and boosts sales. But all that is likely to change.

Under Article 13, platforms would have to install “upload filters”.YouTube could be shorn of much of its content. Big sites would probably survive but, as ZDNet warns here, smaller sites could easily be put out of business by “copyright trolls”.

Not that there’s anything wrong of course, with sensible protection of copyright. As a prolific five-articles-a-week writer and author I can’t tell you how frustrated and angry I feel when I see my work “pirated”by a commercial website which hasn’t even asked my permission to reprint it, let alone offer me  payment. Copyright law needs reform for the digital age. There needs to be an easy way for creators of content to receive payment from those who have stolen their work. The trouble is, the EU has used a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

Look at the way the ability to link to, and quote from, other work without payment, is threatened by the directive.

Sites like RT’s ‘Op-ed’ section, which you are reading now, would be adversely affected and may be even put out of action.

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Don’t Cry for Me Argentina – It’s a Global Debt Crisis | Armstrong Economics

Don’t Cry for Me Argentina – It’s a Global Debt Crisis | Armstrong Economics

05-09-18 08:08:00,

QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; Our government here in Argentina has told us we should expect more poverty and there is no hope for the future. Socrates has been amazing on its forecasts on our currency. There are enough of us down here who would sincerely ask would you consider advising Argentina to straighten out our economy and nation? You have forecast this emerging market crisis long before anyone else and your solution video on YouTube is very thought-provoking. If we can demand the government meets with you, would you do it?

KRD

ANSWER: The sone maybe Don’t Cry for Me Argentina, but it applies to the entire world for what happens in Argentina is merely the beginning of the global debt crisis. We can see from the chart that the dollar has been soaring. However, the Array picked August as the Panic Cycle and that has been spot on. Unfortunately, it does not look like this is going to calm down. We may be headed into a real Emerging Market crisis by October.

The reason why we are able to forecast such events well in advance is rather common sense. As I have said before, every solution to a crisis sets the stage for the next crisis. The Emerging Market debt crisis is unfolding because central banks in the USA and Europe lowered interest rates to “stimulate” the economy and they have no idea about how an economy truly functions. This is all based upon Keynesianism which is in turn based upon an isolated theory of the economy. They never consider that you lower interest rates and there are pensions who simply need higher rates to break-even. Then emerging markets issued debt in dollars with higher yields for the pension funds bought it assuming there was no currency risk. Now we have Portuguese and Spanish banks who would not lend to their domestic economies for there were way too many nonperforming loans so they ran and bought Turkish debt.

What began in Argentina and Turkey has snowballed into broader collapse complete confidence in Emerging Market debt and the pension funds stopped buying and simply are now trying to get out as fast as they can.

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