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Biden Administration Ramps Up Tensions With Russia, Institutes Sanctions

The Biden administration is ramping up the already bowstring tight tensions between the United States and Russia by issuing new sanctions.  Biden signed a decree on Thursday targeting more than 30 individuals and organizations.

The White House also moved to expel nearly a dozen of Moscow’s diplomats as ongoing tensions between Russian and Ukraine flare while the ruling class of the U.S. vocally is taking the Ukrainian side.

The move, which the White House says is in response to alleged interference by Moscow in the 2020 US presidential election, will see American companies banned from directly buying shares in Russia’s national debt, according to a report by RT. 

The Kremlin has consistently denied that it made any attempt to meddle in the contest, and there is no real evidence that they did. Sanctions have also been linked to the colossal SolarWinds cyber-espionage case, which Washington also claims Russia was behind.

Ukraine Demands “More Weapons, More Money, More Support To Join NATO” From Biden

Earlier this month, the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin warned that the US may resort to attacking bonds as part of “a deliberate calculation to create a toxic atmosphere around Russian securities in order to reduce their investment potential.” He added that Moscow was already working to create a battle plan to limit the effect such sanctions would have on the economy.

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan defended the move later on Thursday, saying that the package of sanctions comprised “proportionate measures to defend American interests in response to harmful Russia actions including cyber intrusions and election interference.” -RT

Ten of Moscow’s diplomatic representatives in the U.S. have now been declared persona non grata and ordered to leave the country. Before the decision to expel the diplomats was announced, Alexey Chepa, the deputy chairman of the Russian parliament’s international affairs committee, warned that such a move would lead to a tit-for-tat expulsion from Moscow. “If Russian envoys are expelled,” the MP said, “naturally there will have to be a mirror-image response.”

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters that the US ambassador in Moscow, John Sullivan, had been summoned for talks. We will share with you an update on the results of this conversation, which will be difficult for the American side,” she said. -RT

It sure looks the Biden administration wants to march the U.S. straight into a war with Russia. Things continue to intensify and de-escalation looks more and more unlikely by the day.

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Ukraine Demands “More Weapons, More Money, More Support To Join NATO” From Biden

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

Naturally, a CNN camera crew was in tow for last week’s visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to an area near Mariupol in Donetsk where he “walked the front line with the troops” amid renewed fighting with Russian-backed separatists in the eastern Donbass region.

Days later CNN’s homepage dramatically hyped the story with a recent headline of “Ukraine’s President runs for cover on the front line against Russia”. The story kicks off with: “Ankle-deep in thick black sludge, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky moves stealthily with his troops in single file through the warren of trenches and tunnels that form the tense front lines in the east of his country.”

And the front line feature gets even more dramatic from there: “It feels more like the early 20th century than a modern conflict, with tired, nervous soldiers gripping their rifles around him as they reach the open ground, scanning the area for movement across no-mans-land,” the CNN correspondent reports. “They know snipers, likely trained by Russians, say Ukrainian officials are looking for a chance to fire. More than 20 of their comrades have been gunned down already this year.”

But more important and hugely revealing in terms of what’s perhaps the real purpose of the CNN puff piece portraying Ukraine’s former comedian-turned-president (and now apparently an ‘action hero’ of sorts) is the following section

On board the aging presidential chopper, which retains a degree of well-worn comfort, Zelensky shouts above the engine noise of how the US is a “good friend” of Ukraine, but that President Biden “must do more,” to deter Russia and help bring this conflict to an end.

More weapons, more money to fight, and, crucially, more support to join NATO, the Western military alliance where an attack on one member commits all to respond, he explained.

“If they [the US] see Ukraine in NATO, they have to say it directly, and do it. Not words,” Zelensky told CNN.

Curiously, the interview was published the same day that NATO’s Ukraine council announced its Tuesday meeting to consider the rise in tensions on the Ukraine-Russia border, coming after widespread accusations the Kremlin is mustering a nearly unprecedented number of troops there – numbers not seen since 2014, according to US officials.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service photo of Zelensky’s April 8, 2021 visit in eastern Ukraine. AFP/STR

It also came as the Group of 7 foreign ministers issued a statement earlier this week condemning Russia’s “destabilizing activities” in the region.

The G-7 statement urged for Russia to “cease its provocations” on the Ukraine-Russia border and said they are:

“…deeply concerned by the large ongoing build-up of Russian military forces on Ukraine’s borders and in illegally-annexed Crimea.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also spoke by phone with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday, with the two also reviewing Russia’s “aggressive military buildup along Ukraine’s borders and in occupied Crimea,” according to a State Dept. statement.

So by all appearances and with these latest appeals out of the West, things don’t look to de-escalate anytime soon – instead, tensions remain on a knife’s edge.

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Russia Warns US To Stay AWAY From The Black Sea For Its “Own Good”

Russia has warned the United States on Tuesday against sending warships to the Black Sea, as ships are headed there now. The US should stay away for their “own good,” said Moscow,  as the situation along Ukraine’s border has caused increasing concern in the West.

According to a report by CBS News, the U.S. Secretary of State, while meeting with Ukrainian and NATO officials in Brussels, made it clear that the Biden administration, along with its allies in Europe, has Ukraine’s back and considers Russia’s ongoing military buildup in the region “very provocative.” On the other hand, Russian Deputy Foreign Ministry Sergei Ryabkov was cited by Russian news agencies as saying the US is helping ramp up the aggression and inch the world toward war.

“There is absolutely nothing for American ships to be doing near our shores,” Ryabkov said, warning there was a very high risk of unspecified incidents if U.S. military hardware were to be positioned in the Black Sea. “We warn the United States that it will be better for them to stay far away from Crimea and our Black Sea coast,” Ryabkov was quoted as saying. “It will be for their own good.”

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Friday that Washington had informed Ankara that two U.S. warships would pass through Turkish waters this week to be deployed in the Black Sea. The deployment would come amid a significant escalation of the conflict in eastern Ukraine between Russian-backed separatists and Ukraine’s forces, which have U.S. and European support.

Hostilities first flared in 2014 when Russia unilaterally annexed Crimea — a peninsula that sticks out into the Black Sea and is home to a Russian navy base — away from Ukraine, drawing condemnation from the Western world and a series of sanctions. –CBS News

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby declined during a regular press briefing on Friday to confirm the Turkish government’s statement that U.S. warships were being sent to the Black Sea. He noted that the U.S. “routinely” operates in the Black Sea, but said he wouldn’t “speak to operations.”

The march toward war is ongoing as rhetoric ramps up and more warships and military are sent to the area. Be ready for anything.  Hopefully this is nothing more than the rhetoric of a few ruling classes, but we know they aren’t the ones that will be going into battle if this explodes.

 

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Iran Vows To Respond To Israel’s Alleged Sabotage at Natanz Nuclear Site

Iran is promising to respond to alleged sabotage by Israel of the Natanz nuclear site. Iran’s foreign minister has issued a warning to Israel that an attack on the Natanz atomic site will not stop the country’s nuclear program.

Speaking alongside his Russian counterpart on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Israel had made a “very bad gamble” by sabotaging the Natanz nuclear site.

The underground Iranian nuclear facility at Natanz experienced a power outage on Sunday. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh called the suspected Israeli sabotage “an act against humanity, because the damage done to the plant could have caused a disaster.

The foreign minister contended that Iran’s hand in the renegotiation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the now-abandoned 2015 pact limiting Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, had been strengthened by Israel’s sabotage. “The Israelis thought the attack will weaken our hand in the Vienna talks, but in contrary, it will strengthen our position,” Zarif said. -RT

Zarif also said that Natanz would continue to be an important nuclear enrichment site for Tehran. “I assure you that in the near future more advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges will be placed in the Natanz facility,” he stated.

Israel has not taken responsibility for the act.

Iran has labeled Israel’s alleged involvement in the attack on the nuclear site as an attempt to provoke Tehran and derail talks in Vienna. Those talks are said to have a goal of bringing Iran and the US back in line with the 2015 pact which President Donald Trump unilaterally left in 2018. If successful, crippling sanctions against Iran would be removed.

If Iran does follow through on its promise to retaliate against Israel for this action against the nuclear site, we could see an escalation that could lead to war.  With the ongoing tensions currently continuing to rise between Ukraine and Russia, global conflict seems inevitable.

Stay prepared and stay aware. Use your discernment and actively employ your critical thinking skills. It’s imperative at this point in history to understand what does and does not resonate with you. Choose morality and life over dogma and political slavery. We can unite to stop these wars, but it’s going to take more people choosing to not kill each other at the commands of their rulers.

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Russia Has Moved Missiles That Can Carry Nuclear Warheads Into The Conflict Zone With Ukraine

This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog. 

How close can Russia and Ukraine come to war without actually going over the precipice?  Over the weekend, more forces on both sides continued to pour into the conflict zone.

And on the line of separation in eastern Ukraine, there are regular reports of gunfire and shelling.  At this point, there are no negotiations on the horizon, and one false move could easily spark an all-out war.  In fact, a Kremlin spokesperson is warning that we could soon see “full-scale combat operations”

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on Thursday said the situation in eastern Ukraine was ‘very unstable’ and warned it risked leading to ‘full-scale combat operations.’

As Kiev warned it could be ‘provoked’ by Russia’s aggression, several Western nations have voiced fears that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s move could trigger an all-out war, which could drag Nato allies, including Britain, into the conflict.

By rushing so many forces to the conflict zone, the Russians have prepared themselves to be ready for any scenario that may unfold.

According to one British news source, Russia now has “close to 100,000 troops” in the region…

The Russia-Ukraine crisis could explode into all-out war within days after Moscow amassed close to 100,000 troops at the flashpoint border, it was feared last night.

Senior Ukraine military sources fear Moscow’s war-planners may have wrong-footed Kiev by being far more battle-ready for a major land and sea attack than previously suspected.

If a full-blown war does break out, the Ukrainian military will be no match for the Russian military.

The Ukrainians would literally beg NATO for help, and Joe Biden has already promised “unwavering support” for the regime in Kiev.

Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. and Russia have never been closer to war than they are right now, and that is why this crisis is far more important than most Americans realize.

Within the last 24 hours, there has been quite a bit more activity along the line of separation.  The following is an English translation of a report that was posted on the official website of the Ukrainian military

During the past 24 hours, on April 10, in the area of ??the Joint Forces operation, the armed forces of the Russian Federation violated the ceasefire 10 times, including 9 shellings of Ukrainian defenders and 1 flight of an enemy UAV crossing the line of demarcation.

In particular, in the area of ??responsibility of the operational and tactical group “East”, the Russian occupation forces fired at our positions near the village of PYSCHEVYK with 82 mm mortars, anti-tank and hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers prohibited by the Minsk agreements. In the suburbs of the villages of PISKY and SHYROKYNE, the enemy opened fire with small arms, and near AVDIYIVKA and KAMYANKA – with grenade launchers of various systems.

In the area of ??responsibility of the operational and tactical group “North”, near the village of MAYORSKE, armed formations of the Russian Federation fired at the positions of Ukrainian defenders with hand-held anti-tank and grenade launchers.

Near the village of ZOLOTE-3, the enemy opened fire with automatic machine grenade launchers, large-caliber machine guns and small arms.

Of course the Ukrainians don’t always disclose when they fire upon forces on the other side, and that has been happening on numerous occasions as well.

This sort of low level fighting is only a concern because it could potentially lead to a much larger conflict.

And in preparation for such a conflict, the Russians have been moving some very serious hardware into the region.

For example, it is being reported that the Russians have moved at least six “city destroyers” into the conflict zone…

At least six 2S4 Tyulpan self-propelled mortars – capable of firing warheads 12 miles – were filmed on flat-bed trains. Dubbed the ‘city destroyer’, the weapon’s devastating power has demolished strongholds from Chechnya to Afghanistan.

Even more importantly, we are being told that the Russians have been deploying Iskander missile systems close to Ukraine

Open-source intelligence specialist at Janes Thomas Bullock identified Russian Iskander missile systems that have moved or are moving to the Ukrainian area of operations since late March through open-source intelligence.

Thomas Bullock posted a Janes article from 8 April that said he identified the deployment of Iskander short-range ballistic missile systems, likely belonging to the 119 Missile Brigade, to Voronezh from the Sverdlovsk region.

This is a sign that the Russians are definitely not messing around.

Iskander missile systems can be used to deliver conventional payloads, but they are also designed to carry nuclear warheads

Russian official sources claim that the R-500 missile carries a conventional 500 kg warhead or nuclear warhead with a yield of around 10-50 kT. It is likely that there are several different conventional warheads, including cluster, fuel-air explosive, and bunker-busting. The missile can overcome enemy air defense systems while offering high-probability of failure-free operation in countermeasures environments. It has a target accuracy of 5m to 7m and operates even in fog or low visibility.

If push came to shove, the Russians would not hesitate to use tactical nukes if they felt it was necessary.

We should all carefully monitor the situation in Ukraine because this really does have the potential to spark World War 3.

Of course, there are two other potential conflicts that could also cause global war to erupt.

China has been eyeing a potential invasion of Taiwan for quite some time now.  If China decides to actually pull the trigger, the U.S. and China would immediately be in a state of war.

Also, it appears to be just a matter of time before Israel and Iran go to war.  On Sunday, Iranian officials announced that the Natanz nuclear facility “was hit by a ‘terrorist” attack”

Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility was hit by a “terrorist” attack on Sunday, the country’s nuclear chief said, hours after reports of an electrical “accident” – and a day after new uranium enrichment centrifuges were started up.

Iran reserves the right to “take action” against those behind the incident at the Islamic Republic’s nuclear facility in Natanz, the head of the nation’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, told state TV on Sunday.

He called the incident at the plant an act of “nuclear terrorism.”

Iran’s nuclear program has been steadily moving forward, and Israel had made it abundantly clear that it will never allow the Iranians to develop their own nuclear weapons.

The clock is ticking, and there will be war at some point.

So which flashpoint will erupt first?

I don’t know, but the red horse is getting ready to ride, and things could start to spiral out of control at any time.

I believe that we will be the generation that will experience World War 3, and it truly will be too horrible for words.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream, and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial, or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter, and Parler, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

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Infrastructure Bills Do Not Lead To Recovery, Only Increased Federal Control

This article was originally published by Brandon Smith of Alt-Market.us at The Birch Gold Group. 

The concept of infrastructure stimulus has been hyped for decades as a kind of cure-all for economic decline. The propaganda runs parallel to the narrative of the “savior” of the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In fact, one cannot examine the presidency of FDR without being bombarded with one-sided worship of infrastructure spending and the “New Deal.”

The New Deal is often credited in left-leaning literature as being the singular cure for the depression, and FDR by extension has been handed messiah status among leftists. The New Deal is supposedly proof that massive socialized federal and central bank interventions through public works programs is economic ambrosia. So, it’s not surprising that nearly every president since the Great Depression has argued for an unprecedented infrastructure bill when faced with economic collapse. A large portion of the public on both sides of the aisle has been trained to think these programs will save us.

Biden, in particular, has made historic stimulus spending the very first platform of his administration, and consistently cites FDR and Lyndon Johnson as patron saints of his infrastructure bill. If it worked for them, then obviously it will work for him… right?

Actually, the New Deal wasn’t a great deal

In reality, the public works and welfare programs of FDR in particular had very little to do with the ending of the Great Depression. In fact, the New Deal actually made the situation worse.

Roosevelt’s own Treasury Secretary, Henry Morgenthau, lamented on May 6th, 1939 after two full terms of FDR’s presidency and stimulus programs that the New Deal was a complete failure. He stated to fellow Democrats during a session of the House Ways and Means Committee that:

“We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong… somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises… I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started… And an enormous debt to boot!”

High unemployment and declining living standards were an epidemic in the U.S. throughout the 1930s and well into World War II. The Census Bureau outlines the dismal state of the financial system and the U.S. consumer throughout this period in its “Historical Statistics of the United States.” By 1939 the stock market had crashed on multiple occasions, car sales imploded by 30%, business closures increased by 50%, and real estate foreclosures were still near record highs. The New Deal had achieved minimal benefits of limited scope, but not much else. For the average American, it was as if nothing had changed in a decade.

That said, for certain major companies and big banks, the gains were incredible. Companies like General Electric, IBM, Proctor and Gamble, and JP Morgan saw endless profits during the Great Depression while buying up smaller competitors for pennies on the dollar. Those companies involved in public works programs siphoned government money like a black hole while very little trickled down to American workers. All in all, the Great Depression was a windfall for the corporate elite as wealth was consolidated and centralized into fewer and fewer hands.

So we have to ask, if the New Deal was a failure and did nothing to solve the depression problem, what did solve it? Some historians and journalists suggest the beginning of World War II and increased defense spending saved America. This is incorrect. As noted by Robert Higgs, the U.S. standard of living continued to decline throughout World War II. It was not the beginning of the war that saved America, but “After the war, genuine prosperity returned for the first time since 1929.”

How the U.S. led the world out of the war

The U.S. was one of the only industrialized nations on the planet that had been left mostly untouched by the destruction. Because of this, all other nations had to turn to the U.S. for manufacturing during the long rebuilding process. In Europe, this process carried on well into the 1950s. The U.S. had very little competition, so much so that the U.S. dollar’s reserve status increased to the point of complete dominance. If you wanted access to manufactured goods, you had to trade with the U.S. and to trade with the U.S., you had to have a stockpile of U.S. dollars.

What I see today is a change in the flow of global commerce – in the opposite direction from the post-war era. Yes, trillions of dollars in stimulus measures have created a short-term reversal of the pandemic collapse. In fact, there is much evidence to suggest the economy is overheating. Price inflation is becoming rampant in numerous sectors.

In the meantime, U.S. Treasuries are being dumped by foreign investors and the dollar is in decline. Central banks are now dumping the dollar, decreasing their reserves to the lowest level since 1995.

China is now the world’s largest manufacturing base, leaving very little major industry on U.S. soil. In the background, globalists are calling for a “Great Reset” of the world economy that would centralize monetary policy even further and create the foundation of a cashless society built on a digital reserve currency system.

What’s the massive infrastructure spending really about?

I believe, according to the evidence as well as past failures like the New Deal, that Biden’s infrastructure plans will accelerate the U.S. collapse instead of reversing it. The U.S. GDP might increase, but only because it is calculated to include almost every dime the government prints out of thin air and spends. Production of fiat money is not the same as real production within the economy.

Trillions of dollars in public works programs might create more jobs, but it will also inflate prices as the dollar goes into decline. So, unless wages are adjusted constantly according to price increases, people will have jobs, but still won’t be able to afford a comfortable standard of living. This leads to stagflation, in which prices continue to rise while wages and consumption stagnate.

Another Catch-22 to consider is that if inflation becomes rampant, the Federal Reserve may be compelled (or claim they are compelled) to raise interest rates significantly in a short span of time. This means an immediate slowdown in the flow of overnight loans to major banks, an immediate slowdown in loans to large and small businesses, an immediate crash in credit options for consumers, and an overall crash in consumer spending. You might recognize this as the recipe that created the 1981-1982 recession, the third-worst in the 20th century.

In other words, the choice is stagflation, or deflationary depression.

Finally, I would point out that there may also be an ulterior motive for the deluge of federal dollars into state economies through public works. Currently, Conservative states are increasingly willing to risk the consequences of returning to business as usual, regardless of federal mandates. Resistance is building against pandemic-related restrictions.

Red states are also seeing a far superior financial recovery when compared to blue states. Blue states have sabotaged themselves with lockdowns while red states have remained more open. However, the Biden Administration is hell bent on keeping pandemic restrictions in place nationwide

What if infrastructure spending plans are designed to trap red states into compliance with future covid mandates? What if the goal is to bribe these states with trillions in stimulus, but only if they submit to federal authority? I suspect that Biden’s public works bill is partially intended to be a blue state bailout, and money will be withheld from any conservative state that refuses to conform to lockdowns.

Only time will tell what the true agenda is, but this much is undeniable given the facts at hand: Biden’s plan is either an act of desperation, a deliberate attempt to pull the rug out from under the U.S. dollar and the economy to jump-start the globalist reset or a scheme to lock state governments into obedience over pandemic restrictions.

Whatever else Biden’s “New New Deal” is, it is certainly NOT a plan for economic recovery.

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War Is Looming: US Delivers Military Cargo To Ukraine

The United States has delivered military cargo to Ukraine among ongoing tensions between Kyiv and Russia.  The amassment of military equipment such as tanks is increasing and it looks like the U.S. intends to be involved.

A Newsweek report that citing local media said that over the past two weeks, the US had made three military cargo deliveries to Ukraine. On March 25th, 350 tonnes of cargo was delivered by ship to the Black Sea port city of Odessa in southern Ukraine. Included in the delivery were 35 Humvees.

On April 2nd, a US Air Force C-17A Globemaster III military transport aircraft flew to Kyiv from a US base in Germany. On April 4th, another C-17A Globemaster III landed in the western city of Lviv. It’s not clear what the planes were carrying, but the C-17A Globemaster IIIs can transport up to 102 troops and 77 tons of cargo.

“The U.S. has reportedly delivered three military cargoes to Ukraine in the last fortnight amid growing international demands for Russia to explain its troop build-up on the border with its neighbor,” Newsweek said.

The news of the military deliveries come as tensions in the region are skyrocketing. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is calling for Ukraine to become a full-fledged member of NATO and is traveling to the conflict zone in Donbas on Thursday.

Heavy Shelling Is Being Reported In Ukraine As Russian Television Discusses A Possible “Nuclear Strike”

Discussions of a “nuclear strike” have already occurred.  Let’s all hope that’s just rhetoric because if we see a nuclear attack on anyone for any reason, we will be living through the chaos that we could only conjure up in our worst nightmares.

The military-industrial complex just has to go to war and spend the money harming and killing others. According to a report by ZeroHedge, since the US-backed coup in Kyiv in 2014 that sparked the fighting in the eastern Donbas region, the US has provided Ukraine with more than $2 billion in military aid. The Pentagon recently announced a new $125 million package for Ukraine that includes armed patrol boats, and another $150 million is expected to be provided sometime this year.

Remain prepared and alert.  Things could rupture at any moment. Remain hopeful, not fearful. Make sure you know what your morals are. Don’t allow the violence and destruction of the governments and ruling classes of the world make you more enslaved and turn of your morality, critical thinking, or discernment. The best scenario at this point would be an immediate de-escalation, but that does not appear to be a part of the rulers’ agenda.

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Heavy Shelling Is Being Reported In Ukraine As Russian Television Discusses A Possible “Nuclear Strike”

This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog. 

A new war in Ukraine would be bad for the entire globe, but we might just get one anyway.  Once the Biden administration took control of the White House, they decided to wage a campaign of maximum pressure against Russia, and Ukraine is one of the key tools that they are using.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky never would have signed Decree No. 117/2021 on March 24th without the encouragement of the Biden administration, and the extremely aggressive statements about Crimea in that document deeply alarmed the Russians.  Even more importantly, it appears that the Ukrainians were secretly preparing a massive offensive against areas of eastern Ukraine that are held by the separatists.  If those areas could have been captured before Russia could react, that would have been a massive victory for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the Biden administration.  But the Russians caught wind of what was going on, and that is why they have been sending forces into Crimea and into separatist-held areas of eastern Ukraine in numbers that we have never seen before.

If Zelensky and the Biden administration would have left things alone, we wouldn’t be on the verge of war today.

But now tensions in the region are extremely high, and a major conflict could break out at any moment.  The following is an example of how the current state of affairs is being viewed in Russia

After six years of an uneasy and at times violent truce, the specter of a new war is looming large in Russia-Ukraine relations. In retaliation for Kiev’s recent crackdown on pro-Russian media and politicians, Moscow is staging a large-scale and ostentatious military buildup along the Ukrainian border.

The situation is especially volatile in Donbass, where the ceasefire between the Ukrainian army and Moscow-sponsored breakaway territories has effectively broken down. Both sides accuse each other of provocations and regularly exchange fire, with the casualties mounting among both military personnel and civilians.

Zelensky made things even worse on Tuesday when he urged NATO to add Ukraine as a member as soon as possible

Ukraine’s president has called on Nato and key member states to hasten his country’s membership of the western military alliance in response to a growing buildup of Russian forces on his country’s borders.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy spoke to Nato’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, on Tuesday, and urged for Ukraine to be put on a pathway to future membership to halt the long-running conflict in the eastern Donbas region.

Everyone knows that Russia is desperate to keep Ukraine out of NATO, and so Zelensky had to know that his statements would result in even more stress in the region.

The Ukrainian people thought that they were voting for peace when they originally voted for Zelensky, but instead, he has been a nightmare.

Within the last 24 hours, more shelling has erupted in eastern Ukraine.  According to the Ukrainian military, mortar fire was reported close to the village of Nevelske…

In particular, in the area of ??responsibility of the operational and tactical group “East”, near the village of NEVELSKE, the enemy opened fire with 82-mm mortars, large-caliber machine guns and machine-gun anti-tank grenade launchers.

As a result of enemy shelling, one Ukrainian soldier received non-life-threatening injuries. In addition, in the area of ??the Joint Forces operation, one serviceman died as a result of an explosion on an unknown explosive device.

Even more alarming, video footage posted on social media shows “heavy shelling” near the city of Avdiivka…

Unfortunately, the fighting is likely to escalate in the coming days.

In fact, it is being reported that Ukraine is starting to call up reservists

Ukraine’s military has scrambled territorial defense units amid the unfolding threat of an all-out Russian invasion as masses of fresh regular forces concentrate near Ukraine’s borders, with NATO and United States ringing alarm.

Approximately 100,000 reservists could be called to duty, and that would definitely bolster the Ukrainian forces.

On the other side, the Russian military just announced that it will be holding more than 4,000 “training exercises” during the month of April…

Russia announced the start of mass military drills, ratcheting up tensions with neighboring Ukraine amid Western concerns about the risk of renewed fighting.

More than 4,000 training exercises will be held in military districts across Russia in April, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday, in comments posted on the ministry’s website.

Hopefully things will calm down soon, because events could spiral out of control very easily.

Earlier today, I was deeply alarmed to learn that there has even been a discussion about a potential “nuclear strike” on Russian public television

However, in a frightening public report, Russian public television “Russia 1” spoke of a nuclear strike. They said about:

“If there is a possible escalation in Ukraine, then a nuclear strike is on the agenda. This will make Americans afraid and we will do whatever we want.”

Hearing that should send a chill through your bones because if nuclear weapons are used that will cross a line that will never be able to be uncrossed.

We are so close to a nightmare scenario, but most Americans continue to be completely and utterly oblivious to what is going on.

A hothead is in charge of our foreign policy, he is surrounded by a team of all-star warmongers, and we are now closer to war with Russia than we have been in decades.

And at this hour, even more, forces are racing toward the conflict zone in Ukraine…

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream, and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial, or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter, and Parler, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

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Satellite Images Show Russia Is Building It’s Military Presence In The Artic

Satellite images are showing Russia is beefing up its military presence in the Arctic. The country is said to be testing new weapons there as it looks to assert its dominance over the region.

According to a report by The Hill, Russia is building upon military bases, hardware, and underground storage facilities on its Arctic coastline, with bombers, MiG31BM jets, and new radar systems close to the Alaskan coast, according to satellite images provided to CNN by space technology company Maxar.

Included in the buildup is the Poseidon 2M39 unmanned stealth torpedo, a so-called super-weapon powered by a nuclear reactor. Russia quickly developing the armament and tested it in February, with further tests planned this year, according to Russian state media.

A report by CNN declares this to be a “military challenge” after a discussion with a member of the ruling class. Are they propagating the public for a war? It kind of feels that way.

“There’s clearly a military challenge from the Russians in the Arctic,” a senior State Department official told CNN. “That has implications for the United States and its allies, not least because it creates the capacity to project power up to the North Atlantic.”

“I think we’ve been very clear about the threats that we see from Russia across domains. … We’re taking them very, very seriously,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said last week.

The ruling class looks like they want a war. This world is getting unbelievable.  This is the reality they want for us. Humans killing each other for them and their agendas so they can control and enslave those who are left. We have to be prepared and wake up to these tactics.  They are all agendas. Everything is preplanned and we need to use our own critical thinking and discernment and remember that killing each other is not the solution to the differences the ruling class made sure they fomented in our minds.

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Putin Responds To Biden “Killer” Slur: “It Takes One To Know One”

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has responded to Biden’s explosive Wednesday interview wherein he agreed with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that Putin is a “killer.” In his characteristic way of using his wry humor and wit to perhaps lighten the intensity of the situation and expose it as somewhat asinine, the Russian leader simply said that evaluating other countries “is like looking in a mirror”.

“I wish him good health” Putin quipped while noting the US president is probably engaged in a bit of psychological projection, according to Russian state sources. “I say that without irony or joking.” Here’s what Putin said in context:

“It takes one to know one,” Putin said in televised remarks, using a saying from his childhood.

“That’s not just a children’s saying and a joke. There’s a deep psychological meaning in this.”

“We always see in another person our own qualities and think that he is the same as us.”

Putin added that he wished Biden, 78, good health. “I’m saying this without irony, not as a joke.”

“When I was a kid, when we were arguing with each other in the playground, we used to say, ‘Whatever you say [about others] is what you are yourself,’” Putin explained.

The comments were made on Russian television Thursday, the day after Biden’s ABC News interview aired wherein Biden also asserted that Putin “doesn’t have a soul”.

Here’s the key controversial part of that interview that Putin is responding to:

Asked whether he believes Mr Putin is a “killer” in a pre-taped interview that aired on Wednesday, the president responded: “I do.”

“The price he’s going to pay, you’ll see shortly,” he said. Mr Biden recalled meeting Mr Putin, during which he reportedly told him that he “doesn’t have a soul”: “I wasn’t being a wise guy.”

“He looked back at me and said, ‘We understand each other’,” Mr Biden said.

“I know him relatively well,” Biden had introduced the comments with, and added that “the most important thing dealing with foreign leaders in my experience… is just know the other guy.”

Meanwhile, amid the rapidly spiraling relations, the Kremlin had recalled its ambassador to the United States late in the day Wednesday.

When pressed about Biden’s “killer” comments about Putin, Psaki tried to play it down:

At Wednesday’s press briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined to specify whether the president believes the Russian president, literally or metaphorically, is a killer.

He’s not going to hold back in his direction communications [with Russia]. He’s not going to hold back publicly,” Psaki said.

And further, on the recalling back home to Moscow of the Russian ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov, Psaki said the administration “is going to take a different approach in our relationship to Russia than the prior administration. …We are going to be straightforward and we are going to be direct in areas where we have concerns.”

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The Song That Is Irresistible: How the State Leads People to Their Own Destruction

This article was originally published by Robert Higgs at The Mises Institute. This is from Robert Higgs’s Schlarbaum Award Acceptance Speech, delivered on October 12, 2007, at the Mises Institute’s 25th Anniversary Celebration.

Margaret Atwood’s poem “Siren Song” begins:

This is the one song everyone
would like to learn: the song
that is irresistible:
the song that forces men
to leap overboard in squadrons
even though they see the beached skulls.

Our rulers know how to sing that song, and they sing it day and night. The beached skulls are those of our fathers and our sons, our friends, and our neighbors, for whom the song proved not only irresistible but fatal.

The state is the most destructive institution human beings have ever devised — a fire that, at best, can be controlled for only a short time before it o’erleaps its improvised confinements and spreads its flames far and wide.

Whatever promotes the growth of the state also weakens the capacity of individuals in civil society to fend off the state’s depredations and therefore augments the public’s multifaceted victimization at the hands of state functionaries. Nothing promotes the growth of the state as much as a national emergency — war and other crises comparable to war in the seriousness of the threats they pose.

States, by their very nature, are perpetually at war — not always against foreign foes, of course, but always against their own subjects. The state’s most fundamental purpose, the activity without which it cannot even exist, is robbery. The state gains its very sustenance from robbery, which it pretties up ideologically by giving it a different name (taxation) and by striving to sanctify its intrinsic crime as permissible and socially necessary. State propaganda, statist ideologies, and long-established routine combine to convince many people that they have a legitimate obligation, even a moral duty to pay taxes to the state that rules their society.

They fall into such erroneous moral reasoning because they are told incessantly that the tribute they fork over is actually a kind of price paid for essential services received, and that in the case of certain services, such as protection from foreign and domestic aggressors against their rights to life, liberty, and property, only the government can provide the service effectively. They are not permitted to test this claim by resorting to competing suppliers of law, order, and security, however, because the government enforces a monopoly over the production and distribution of its alleged “services” and brings violence to bear against would-be competitors. In so doing, it reveals the fraud at the heart of its impudent claims and gives sufficient proof that it is not a genuine protector, but a mere protection racket.

All governments are, as they must be, oligarchies: only a relatively small number of people have substantial effective discretion to make critical decisions about how the state’s power will be brought to bear. Beyond the oligarchy itself and the police and military forces that compose its Praetorian Guard, somewhat larger groups constitute a supporting coalition. These groups provide important financial and other support to the oligarchs and look to them for compensating rewards — legal privileges, subsidies, jobs, exclusive franchises and licenses, transfers of financial income and wealth, goods and services in kind, and other booty — channeled to them at the expense of the mass of the people. Thus, the political class in general — that is, the oligarchs, the Praetorian Guards, and the supporting coalition — uses government power (which means ultimately the police and the armed forces) to exploit everyone outside this class by wielding or threatening to wield violence against all who fail to pay the tribute the oligarchs demand or to obey the rules they dictate.

Democratic political forms and rituals, such as elections and formal administrative proceedings, disguise this class exploitation and trick the masses into the false belief that the government’s operation yields them net benefits. In the most extreme form of misapprehension, the people at large become convinced that, owing to democracy, they themselves “are the government.”

Individual passages back and forth across the boundary between the political class and the exploited class testify, however, to nothing more than the system’s cunningly contrived flexibility and openness. Although the system is inherently exploitative and cannot exist in any other form, it allows some leeway at the margins in the determination of which specific individuals will be the shafters and which the shaftees. At the top, a modest degree of “circulation of elites” within the oligarchy also serves to mask the political system’s essential character.

It is a sound interpretive rule, however, that anything that cannot be accomplished except with the aid of threats or the actual exercise of violence against unoffending persons cannot be beneficial to one and all. The mass belief in the general beneficence of democracy represents a kind of Stockholm syndrome writ large. Yet, no matter how widely this syndrome may extend, it cannot alter the basic fact that owing to the operation of government as we know it — that is, a government without genuine, express, individual consent — a minority lives on balance at the expense of the rest, and the rest, therefore, lose on balance in the process, while the oligarchs (elected or not, it scarcely matters) preside over the enormous web of criminal organizations we know as the state.

Notwithstanding the ideological enchantment with which official high priests and statist intellectuals have beguiled the plundered class, many members of this class retain a capacity to recognize at least some of their losses, and hence they sometimes resist further incursions on their rights by publicly expressing their grievances, by supporting political challengers who promise to lighten their burdens, by fleeing the country, and, most important, by evading or avoiding taxes and by violating legal prohibitions and regulatory restraints on their actions, as in the so-called underground economy, or “black market.”

These various forms of resistance together compose a force that opposes the government’s constant pressure to expand its domination. These two forces, working one against the other, establish a locus of “equilibrium,” a boundary between the set of rights the government has overridden or seized and the set of rights the plundered class has somehow managed to retain, whether by formal constitutional constraints or by everyday tax evasion, black-market transactions, and other defensive violations of the government’s oppressive rules.

Politics in the largest sense can be viewed as the struggle to push this boundary one way or the other. For members of the political class, the crucial question is always: how can we push out the frontier, how can we augment the government’s dominion and plunder, with a net gain to ourselves, the exploiters who live not by honest production and voluntary exchange, but by fleecing those who do so?

National emergency — war or a similarly menacing crisis — answers the political class’s crucial question more effectively than anything else, because such a crisis has a uniquely effective capacity to dissipate the forces that otherwise would obstruct or oppose the government’s expansion.

Virtually any war will serve, at least for a while, because in modern nation-states the outbreak of war invariably leads the masses to “rally ’round the flag,” regardless of their previous ideological stance in relation to the government.

Recall the situation in 1941, for example, when public-opinion polls and other evidence indicated that a great majority of the American people (approximately 80 percent as late as autumn) opposed outright engagement in the world war, an engagement that Franklin D. Roosevelt and his administration had been seeking relentlessly by hook and by crook from the very beginning. When news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor reached the public, mass opposition to war dissolved overnight almost completely. No wonder the neocon intriguers, in a September 2000 report of the Project for the New American Century, expressed their yearning for “some catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor.”

Although other kinds of great crises may not elicit the same immediate submission to the government’s announced program for the people’s salvation, they may prove equally effective if they are sufficiently menacing and persistent. Thus, the Great Depression, which pushed millions of Americans into economic desperation in the early 1930s, was eventually viewed by almost everybody as, in Justice Brandeis’s words, “an emergency more serious than war.” Other pregnant crises have included nation-wide strikes or widespread labor disturbances, so-called energy crises, such as those of the 1970s, perceived crime waves, great epidemics or health scares, and, lately, even a bogus scare about global warming.

In 2001, the attacks of 9/11 answered to perfection the neocon prayer for “a new Pearl Harbor.” An administration that had been wallowing without a breeze in its sails was suddenly invested with overwhelming public support for aggressive military action abroad. In a Gallup poll taken during September 7–10, 2001, 51 percent of the respondents approved of “the way George W. Bush [was] handling his job as president,” 39 percent disapproved, and 10 percent had no opinion — yielding an “opinion balance” of + 12 percent (= 51–39). A few days later, while the ruins of the World Trade Center’s twin towers were still smoldering, 86 percent approved, 10 percent disapproved, and only 4 percent had no opinion — an opinion balance of + 76 percent, or more than six times greater than it had been just a few days earlier. Although Bush had done absolutely nothing to demonstrate an abruptly improved performance of his job as president, nearly the entire population, many members of which roundly disliked the president, suddenly showered approbation on his performance in office. A week later, the opinion balance had risen even higher, to 84 percent, on the strength of a 90-percent approval response.

Afterward, Bush’s job-performance-approval rating followed a long downward trend, interrupted by only brief upticks, until it reached its present range. In the Gallup poll of July 6–8, 2007, the opinion balance was negative 37 percent, and only 29 percent of the respondents rated the president’s performance favorably. (In more recent polls, the balance has stood a few points higher in the president’s favor, but such small differences have little significance.) During the long downhill slide, Bush’s performance-approval rating held up amazingly well among Republicans but fell lower and lower among both Democrats and independents — an expression of how normal political partisanship reasserted itself as the initial, unifying crisis slipped farther and farther into the background.

Similar movements may be seen in the Gallup polls that asked the respondents whether they viewed George W. Bush himself favorably or unfavorably: here, the opinion balance jumped from + 25 percent in August 2001 to + 76 percent in November 2001 — a three-fold increase — before beginning a long downward trend and becoming increasingly negative after mid-2005.

When the public’s approval of the president’s actions is broken down by specific issues, we see that his greatest 9/11-related jump occurred in the area of — mirabile dictu — foreign affairs. In the Gallup poll taken during July 10–11, 2001, the opinion balance in this area was + 21 percent (54 percent favorable minus 33 percent unfavorable), but in the poll taken during October 5–6, 2001, the opinion balance had jumped to 67 percent, or more than three times higher (81 percent favorable minus 14 percent unfavorable).

The lesson is clear: if the president conducts foreign policy so as to antagonize foreigners and provoke them to launch massively destructive attacks on this country, the American public will respond with an enormous outpouring of approval of his actions, as if to prove that in our political system no failure goes unrewarded.

Bertrand Russell long ago stated the underlying condition for this sort of perverse public reaction when he remarked that “neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.” Indeed, the fundamental condition of the entire process by which the government leads people to their own destruction is widespread public fear, which causes people to put aside their normal distrust of the state and to turn to it, especially to its chief, as a child turns to a parent, for security and reassurance that everything will be okay if only people do as they are told.

Not only did the events of September 11, 2001, cause the American public to look more favorably on the president as a person, as a president, and as the principal architect of US foreign policy, but those events also apparently caused the public to express more trust in the federal government in general in its handling of both international and domestic matters.

In the Gallup poll of September 7–10, 2001, 68 percent of the respondents expressed “a great deal” or a “fair amount” of trust and confidence in the government’s handling of international problems, whereas 31 percent expressed “not very much” or “none at all,” which implied an opinion balance of + 37 percent (= 68–31). A month later, in the poll conducted during October 11–14, this opinion balance had risen to 67 percent (= 83–16), almost doubling. The public’s perversely increased trust in the government had also spilled inexplicably onto its handling of domestic problems, increasing this opinion balance from 22 percent (= 60–39) in the early September poll to 56 percent (= 77–21) in the October poll.

A final measure of public opinion, “trust in Washington to do what is right,” which is normally a fairly stable indicator, also rose in an unusual way owing to 9/11. In the Gallup poll of July 6–9, 2000, 42 percent of the respondents expressed confidence that the government will do what is right “just about always” or “most of the time,” whereas 58 percent responded “only some of the time” or “never,” which implies an opinion balance of negative 16 percent. When the pollsters next asked this question, in October 5–6, 2001, however, the opinion balance had risen to + 21 percent (= 60–39), indicating a complete turnaround toward greater trust than distrust in government.

At the time of these events, as I considered everything that was going on, I was dismayed by what seemed to me to be a wholly unwarranted public stampede into the protective arms of the federal government — the same government that had been robbing and abusing most of the people in countless ways for as long as they could remember. Hardly anyone asked whether the government’s actions abroad might actually have provoked the 9/11 attacks — of course, most were so ignorant of those actions that they had no inkling of how the government might have created such a provocation. Many people seemed consumed by a combination of fear and rage that manifested itself in a desire to “nuke” someone, anyone, who might have had something to do with the attacks. Standards of proof fell precipitously. People didn’t want careful investigation; they didn’t want to “get to the bottom” of what had happened. Instead, they wanted action, and in particular, they wanted the government to “strike back” immediately at any and all plausible targets.

In searching for the cause of this tremendous, rationally unjustified “rallying ’round the flag,” we do not have far to go. Such public reactions are always driven by a combination of fear, ignorance, and uncertainty against a background of intense jingoistic nationalism, a popular culture predisposed toward violence, and a general inability to distinguish between the state and the people at large.

Because the government ceaselessly sings the siren song, relentlessly propagandizing the public to look upon it as their protector — such alleged protection being the principal excuse for its routinely robbing them and violating their natural rights — and because the mass media incessantly magnify and spread the government’s propaganda, we can scarcely be surprised if that propaganda turns out to have entered deeply into many people’s thinking, especially when they are in a state of near-panic. Unable to think clearly in an informed way, most people fall back on a childlike us-against-them style of understanding the perceived threat and what should be done about it.

If any resistance should arise to the rulers’ war-making, the state has a time-tested means of disposing of the resisters. Perhaps the classic description of this tactic was given by the Nazi bigwig Hermann Göring when he was being held in prison during the trials at Nuremberg in 1946. This account comes to us from Gustave M. Gilbert, the German-speaking prison psychologist who had free access to all of the prisoners during the trials and talked to them frequently in private. On the evening of April 18, 1946, Gilbert visited Göring in his cell, and he later described their conversation as follows:

We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.

“Why, of course, the people don’t want war,” Göring shrugged. “Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.”

“There is one difference,” I pointed out. “In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare war.”

“Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country. (Nuremberg Diary, pp. 278–79)

Göring was right, and matters have only become worse in this regard during the past sixty years. Under the postwar regime in the United States, of course, Congress never declares war — it has made no such declaration since June 5, 1942, when it declared war on Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary — and the president now wages war solely at his own pleasure and caprice, as if he were Caesar.

“Dragging the people along,” as Göring put it, remains as easy as ever, because, as we have seen, an initial incident, even one the government itself has provoked or trumped-up, invariably causes the masses to rally ’round the flag. We have also seen, however, that the ardent enthusiasm and mindless support for the government’s war-making begins to erode soon afterward. When the people increasingly come to their senses, as casualties and other costs accumulate and as bits and pieces of the truth seep out, why does the system not revert to the status quo antebellum?

The answer is that actions taken during the early days of the crisis, when the government responds practically without opposition to the public’s fear and desire for retribution by vastly expanding its powers (Stage II of the ratchet phenomenon), take the form of political, legal, and institutional changes that set precedents or become so deeply embedded that not all of them are abandoned during the post-crisis stage of incomplete retrenchment (Stage IV of the ratchet phenomenon).

For example, soon after the Pearl Harbor attack, the government enacted the First War Powers Act (December 18, 1941) and the Second War Powers Act (March 27, 1942). These sweeping delegations empowered the president to rearrange the executive branch as he pleased, gave him a free hand to contract with munitions suppliers almost as he pleased, and gave him far-reaching control over international financial transactions and censorship power over all communications between the United States and any foreign country; they expanded the government’s powers to seize private property for war purposes, empowered the president to set priorities for deliveries of designated goods and services, and gave the president effectively unrestrained power over resource allocation in the domestic economy, a power he delegated to the War Production Board under his direct oversight. Wielding all this authority, the president and his lieutenants became in effect central planners of a command economy for the duration of the war.

Similarly, just six weeks after the 9/11 attacks, the government enacted the USA PATRIOT Act, which greatly trenched on civil liberties and long-established rights, effectively demolished the Fourth Amendment, and gave a mighty boost to the US police state. Other measures moving in the same direction followed soon afterward, including nationalization of the airline-security industry and creation of the bureaucratic monstrosity known as the Department of Homeland Security, an organization as menacing in its ideological underpinnings as it is feckless and absurd in its day-to-day operations.

Once the government has expanded greatly at the outset of war or other crisis and then employed its new powers for an extended period, getting rid of all the new weapons in the government’s arsenal of power is virtually impossible even when the emergency ends and people clamor for a return to normal arrangements. Therefore, many of the crisis measures become permanent parts of the government’s apparatus for dominating and robbing those outside the political class.

Wartime organizations may be retained to carry out new functions, as, for example, the War Finance Corporation of World War I was kept going for six years after the war, providing subsidized credit to exporters, agricultural cooperatives, and rural banks. After finally having been discontinued in 1925, it was revived in 1932 as the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, a huge lender to politically favored railroads, banks, and insurance companies during the Depression, and later the government’s chief agency for financing a variety of military-industrial undertakings during World War II. Retained after 1945, the RFC continued to make subsidized loans to privileged borrowers until it sank in a storm of scandal in 1953, only to be replaced — as a political quid pro quo — by a similarly egregious agency, the Small Business Administration, which has continued its politically driven misallocation of taxpayer money ever since.

Cases such as that of the War Finance Corporation and its direct descendants exemplify how national emergency solidifies so-called iron triangles: alliances of government bureaucrats, congressional overseers, and privileged private-sector beneficiaries. These arrangements are called “iron” because they are so difficult to break. Their beneficiaries have great incentive to fight for the retention and even for the expansion of the triangle’s activities, whereas the general public rarely has much incentive to fight against them, even when it is aware of them because the public burden per capita is normally too small to justify anyone’s expenditure of much time or effort in the requisite politicking.

Under modern conditions, high wartime taxes always stick to some extent, leaving the amount of the government’s plunder much greater after the war than it was before the war. In the present so-called war on terror, the government has partially concealed this increased seizure of private property by running up the national debt, rather than by jacking up ordinary tax rates or imposing new kinds of taxes, but this financial trick does not alter the raw fact that the government has been using more of the people’s resources for its own purposes, as shown by the rapid run-up of its spending, leaving the public on the hook to pay the increased interest and eventually to repay the principal, or to suffer the consequences if the government should attempt in effect to repudiate its obligations to creditors by inflating the money stock. During the present Bush administration, Treasury debt held by the public has grown from $3.3 trillion (end FY 2001) to an estimated $5.1 trillion (end FY 2007), or by about 53 percent in only six years.

During the Great Depression, governments at every level greatly increased their tax revenues, by imposing new kinds of taxes — state and local sales taxes, for example, and an undistributed-profits tax at the federal level. In fiscal year 1940, with the Depression still lingering, the federal government collected 57 percent more total revenue than it had in the prosperous year 1927. Federal taxes relative to GNP doubled between 1933 and 1940.

Apart from the financial legacies that exacerbate the government’s burden on the public, national emergencies leave institutional legacies of various kinds that enhance government power at the expense of the people’s liberties. The rent controls of World War II, for example, never ended here in New York City. For more than sixty years, they have denied landlords and tenants the liberty to contract on any mutually agreeable terms, and they have created incentives that foster the avoidance of maintenance for rented apartments and discourage the construction of the new structures that would be built if only the housing market were free of these war-borne fetters.

The institutional legacies of the New Deal, of course, are legion even now, nearly seventy years after FDR’s political momentum petered out: a vast system of agribusiness subsidies; intricate regulations of financial markets, union-management relations, and financial intermediaries; federal insurance of bank deposits, home mortgages, and other financial liabilities; direct federal involvement in electricity production and distribution — the list goes on and on.

Perhaps most important crisis has effects on the dominant ideology that works in favor of long-lasting government power and the permanent reduction of public liberties. During wartime or other crises, governments take many actions that would be more or less unthinkable in a reasonably free society during normal times, because people would not tolerate them. Having tolerated them during a national emergency, however, people may come to regard them not only as permanently tolerable but even as desirable.

For example, nearly everything the US government did during the Great Depression had an obvious wartime precedent in the Great War. President Herbert Hoover declared, “We used such emergency powers to win the war; we can use them to fight the depression.” Everything from the Depression-era agricultural price controls to the industrial cartelization program, the public housing program, the schemes to control oil and coal prices, the tax hikes, and the promotion of labor unionization had a precedent during 1917–18. Obviously, many of these war-inspired public policies then became permanent after the 1930s, as did, later, the military-industrial complex created from 1940 to 1945. People can get used to almost anything, especially if it has a plausible justification. War and other great crises managed by government soften up formerly free people and habituate them to government controls and abuses that they would resist except for their alleged emergency necessity. In this way, government emergency measures change the very character of once-free people, by breaking down their will to be free and their determination to resist homegrown tyranny.

It is important to appreciate that all the effects on freedom that I have been discussing occur regardless of the rationale for the war or other crisis intervention itself. One may regard a war, for example, as ever so necessary and desirable or not, yet these effects will occur in any event. The logic of a government at war asserts itself in more or less the same fashion regardless of the war’s provocation and purpose, because every major war requires the government to take a much bigger bite out of the people’s resources quickly, and it cannot do so successfully without suppressing many normal liberties and rights, especially those that might be exercised to obstruct the government’s wartime programs and policies or to persuade people to resist the war or to demand its discontinuation or settlement.

Hence, as Göring noted, the government and its supporters vigorously denounce all those who stand in the way as traitors, and the state encourages the masses to act as amateur G-men, identifying “disloyal” citizens, hounding them into buckling under, and reporting them to governmental authorities. Great peacetime initiatives operate similarly. Many historians have noted the parallels between the government’s intimidating public efforts to entice or browbeat people into cooperation with the National Recovery Administration and the Nazi extravaganzas being staged in Germany at the same time.

Nowadays, for example, the government frequently encourages all of us to report any “suspicious” persons or actions to the police or the FBI, ostensibly to prevent terrorism. Needless to say, no free society can exist when everyone in effect has enlisted as a government informant, especially when the character of the threatening persons and actions is so vague that it is bound to give rise to abuses. Not uncommonly now, people are reported for nothing more than looking like an Arab or for speaking a strange language to strange-looking companions. This insidious enlistment of informants, so reminiscent of the atrocious American Protective League during World War I, is turning our once-open society into a sort of East Germany redux. Horror stories abound of perfectly innocent persons taken into custody for interrogation or worse.

While the government promotes mindless support of its war-making and may induce a sort of patriotic hysteria in the most mentally fragile personalities, many citizens swing into action as faux patriots on strictly opportunistic grounds. War contractors, for example, may be able to position themselves to make a killing, so to speak, off of the actual killing; moreover, they may parlay their wartime business as government suppliers into a profitable postwar business that long outlives the war itself. The aircraft companies that suddenly profited so greatly during World War II, for example, became permanent, highly successful feeders at the government’s trough, where some of them are feasting lavishly even now, the current administration’s military buildup having proved a godsend for them and a boon to their stockholders. Other people simply want a cushy job in the government’s expanded wartime bureaucracy.

The so-called war on terror has given rise to a huge industry that has emerged almost from scratch during the past few years. According to a 2006 Forbes report, the Department of Homeland Security and its predecessor agencies paid private contractors at least $130 billion after 9/11, and other federal agencies have spent a comparable amount. Thus, besides the military-industrial-congressional complex (MICC), we now have a parallel security-industrial-congressional complex (SICC).

Between 1999 and 2006, the number of federal homeland-security contractors increased from nine companies to 33,890, and a multi-billion-dollar industry selling security-related goods and services has emerged complete with specialized newsletters, magazines, websites, consultants, trade shows, job-placement services, and a veritable army of lobbyists working around the clock to widen the river of money that flows to these opportunists. As Paul Harris wrote, “America is in the grip of a business based on fear.” The last thing these vultures want, of course, is an abatement of the perceived terrorist threat, and we can count on them to hype any signs of an increase in such threats and, of course, to crowd the trough, happily slurping up the taxpayers’ money.

What chance does peace have when millions of well-heeled, politically connected opportunists of all stripes depend on the continuation of a state of war for their personal financial success? For members of Congress, the Department of Homeland Security has quickly become the most magnificent dispenser of pork and patronage to come along in decades. Everyone is happy here, except for the beleaguered ordinary citizens, whose pockets are being picked and whose liberties are being overridden by politicians and private-sector predators with utter contempt for the people’s intelligence and rights. Yet, so long as the people continue to be consumed by fear and to fall for the age-old swindle that the government seeks only to protect them, these abuses will never end.

Along the Gulf Coast during the past two years, a legion of opportunists has similarly rushed onto the scene to take advantage of the unprecedented sums of federal money pouring into the area in the guise of financing recovery from the damage wreaked by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Bank accounts have been stuffed with this loot, to be sure, but little in the way of genuine recovery and reconstruction has sprung from it. Never mind: in the immortal words of President Bush, “Brownie, you’re doin’ a heck of a job.” The ridiculous Brownie was subsequently sacked as the head of FEMA, of course, but the “heck of a job” goes on as before, all at taxpayer expense and at great profit for the corporatist cronies, political favorites, and other privileged parties who are appropriating the people’s money after it has been duly laundered through the federal treasury.

Recall Margaret Atwood’s poem “Siren Song,” with which I prefaced my remarks. It begins,

This is the one song everyone
would like to learn: the song
that is irresistible:
the song that forces men
to leap overboard in squadrons
even though they see the beached skulls.

And the poem ends,

Alas
it is a boring song
but it works every time.

In the present regard, it works every time because the people falsely believe that those who sing it are their protectors, rather than their exploiters. Until people learn to disregard the state’s siren song of beneficence and protection, they will continue to suffer and die as victims of the state’s wars, foreign and domestic. People yearn for security, and they look to the state to provide it, but they are calling upon a wolf to guard the sheep.

The state cannot refrain from crime because it is an inherently criminal enterprise, living by robbery (which it relabels taxation) and retaining its turf by mass murder (which it relabels war). Constantly singing the siren song, it seduces the people by giving back to them a portion of what it has previously extorted from them and by ceaselessly claiming to protect them from all manner of threats to their lives, liberties, property, and even their self-esteem. If it protects them at all, however, it does so only as a shepherd protects his captive flock: not because he recognizes and respects the natural rights of his sheep, but only to keep them unmolested in his sole possession and control until he finds it expedient to shear or slaughter them.

A peaceful state is an impossibility. Even a state that refrains from fighting foreigners goes on fighting its own subjects continuously, to keep them under its control and to suppress competitors who might try to break into the domain of its protection racket. The people cry out for security, yet they will not take responsibility for their own protection, and like the mariners of Greek mythology, they leap overboard immediately in response to the state’s siren song.

When the Israelites had fled from their captivity in Egypt, they made do for centuries with only judges, yet they were not satisfied, and eventually, they demanded a king, crying out:

we will have a king over us; That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles. (1 Samuel 8:19–20)

Well, they got a king all right, just as we Americans have embraced one of our own, though we call ours a president. The Israelites, as the prophet Samuel had warned, were no better off for having a king, however: King Saul only led them from one slaughter to another (1 Samuel 14: 47–48). Likewise, our rulers have led us from one unnecessary slaughter to the next; and, to make matters worse, they have exploited each such occasion to fasten their chains around us more tightly. Like the ancient Israelites, we Americans shall never have real, lasting peace so long as we give our allegiance to a king — that is, in our case, to the whole conglomeration of institutionalized exploiters and murderers, we know as the state.

 

 

The post The Song That Is Irresistible: How the State Leads People to Their Own Destruction first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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In Every Simulated War Game, The U.S. Loses Against China

In the autumn of 2020, the United States Air Force held a simulated war game against China, set approximately 10 years in the future. In every single scenario that played out, the United States lost.

This was reportedly part of the classified war game and the details are just now being revealed.

The simulation began with a biological weapon released by the Chinese that quickly dealt with America’s military bases and warships in the Indo-Pacific region. Then, China staged a massive military exercise to veil a gigantic deployment of an invasion force. The simulation culminated with Chinese missile strikes raining down on U.S. bases and warships in the region, and a lightning air and amphibious assault on the island of Taiwan.

China won, within a very short timeframe. Most Americans are fast asleep and unaware that the United States would lose a war as they champion policies that provoke China, and back them into a corner.

Years of classified Pentagon war games strongly suggest that the U.S. military would lose a war with China, this isn’t new information:

“More than a decade ago, our war games indicated that the Chinese were doing a good job of investing in military capabilities that would make our preferred model of expeditionary warfare, where we push forces forward and operate out of relatively safe bases and sanctuaries, increasingly difficult,” Air Force Lt. Gen. S. Clinton Hinote, deputy chief of staff for strategy, integration and requirements, told Yahoo News in an exclusive interview.

“At that point the trend in our war games was not just that we were losing, but we were losing faster,” Hinote said. “After the 2018 war game I distinctly remember one of our gurus of war gaming standing in front of the Air Force secretary and chief of staff, and telling them that we should never play this war game scenario [of a Chinese attack on Taiwan] again, because we know what is going to happen. The definitive answer if the U.S. military doesn’t change course is that we’re going to lose fast. In that case, an American president would likely be presented with almost a fait accompli. South Front

This information should be sobering. Wake up. If you don’t want to be ruled by the Chinese, why are you ok being ruled by other humans that weren’t born across an ocean? This information, while important, should also seek to open your eyes.  Sure, this could be predictive programming, but we have to stop looking to politicians and rulers who think they have the right to own us and take as much of our property as they want for salvation. A war will accomplish at least one obvious thing for the elitists: a massive decline in population.

And for those who think “simulations” are meaningless, I advise you to research Event 201. Apply critical thinking and discernment, because we all are going to need those skills in the coming months and years.

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The Power to Make War

Two weeks ago, while the House of Representatives was finalizing its 700-page legislation authorizing the Treasury to borrow and spend $1.9 trillion in the next six months, and the Senate was attempting to confirm more of President Joseph R. Biden’s cabinet nominees, Biden secretly ordered the Pentagon to bomb militias in Syria.

The United States is not at war with Syria. It is not at war with the militias that were bombed, and it didn’t seek or have the permission of the Syrian government to enter its air space and engage in deadly military activities. Biden later claimed that the bombing was conducted as “a lesson to Iran,” another country with which the U.S. is not war.

His campaign promises to the contrary notwithstanding, Biden has followed in the footsteps of his immediate predecessors. They bombed civilians in an aspirin factory in Kosovo (Clinton), bombed civilians in Iraq (G.W. Bush), bombed military targets and government buildings in Libya and bombed a cafe in the Yemen desert targeting an American who was having tea (Obama), bombed the same location as Biden in Syria, and bombed a convoy of trucks in Iraq targeting an Iranian general who was on his way to lunch with an Iraqi counterpart (Trump).

All of these bombings and targeted killings violated the U.S. Constitution, the U.N. Charter — which is a treaty largely written by the U.S., and to which the U.S. is a signatory — and international law.

What is going on with American presidents and war?

The Constitution specifically separates the power to make war from the power to wage war. The delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 spent more time debating this than any other topic — beside the makeup of Congress. In the end, they were adamant and unanimous that only Congress can declare war and only the president can wage war.

Congress cannot tell the president how to deploy the military, and the president cannot use the military against foreign targets without a congressional declaration of war.

James Madison — the scrivener at the Convention — famously offered that if a president could declare war and wage war, or even use the military to target any foreign entity he wished, then he would be a king, not a president. He argued that war exacerbates the president’s “strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses.” And when he drafted the Bill of Rights, Madison had the presidency in mind when he wrote in the Fifth Amendment that the government may not take life, liberty or property without due process of law.

Taken together, the exclusive constitutional delegation of war-making to Congress and the Due Process Clause absolutely restrain the legal ability of the president to use violence in another country without a declaration of war from Congress; and in the case of violence against an American, without a conviction by a jury and all the constitutional protections attendant upon that. And, against civilians — never.

When President George W. Bush decided to invade Afghanistan in retaliation for what he argued was providing haven and resources for those who planned, paid for and carried out the attacks on 9/11, he first went to Congress. Congress did not declare war on Afghanistan. Instead, it enacted a resolution called the Authorization to Use Military Force of 2001. That authorized Bush and his successors to use the military to target the perpetrators of 9/11 wherever and whenever they found them.

Unlike traditional declarations of war, the AUMF of 2001 did not have an endpoint, and that is its fatal flaw. Presidents Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Biden disingenuously cited it as their legal authority to bomb Middle Eastern targets that had no conceivable relationship to the perpetrators of 9/11.

When Bush sought to invade Iraq to locate and destroy what he claimed were weapons of mass destruction, Congress enacted another AUMF in 2002. It, too, has no endpoint.

Last week, a bipartisan group of senators offered legislation to repeal both AUMFs and Biden has indicated that he will sign the repeal. That is a good start toward taming the executive appetite for military violence, but it is not enough.

Under international law and the natural law, the U.S. may only use force defensively. That means it may attack the military of a foreign country or group that has attacked the U.S. or an ally, and it may attack the military of a foreign country or group that is imminently about to attack the U.S. or an ally. Those are the only instances in which the president may deploy U.S. forces for violent purposes without a congressional declaration of war.

Congress must do more than just repeal the two AUMFs if it believes that the Constitution means what it says. Congress needs to repeal the War Powers Resolution of 1973 — which purports to permit presidents, upon notification to Congress, to wage 90-day offensive wars, in violation of the Constitution and international law.

Congress needs to prohibit absolutely the unauthorized presidential expenditure of money and deployment of armed personnel on any nondefensive violent actions. I say “personnel” rather than “military” because modern presidents have often used the CIA to fight wars and argued that because those wars did not involve the military, no congressional approval or notification was needed.

Congress should criminalize such presidential violence and the expenditures of resources to support it, as it is a crime to kill without lawful authority. And Congress should call nondefensive killings — by the government or anyone — by their legal name: Murder.

The post The Power to Make War first appeared on Tenth Amendment Center.

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WH Is Preparing To Launch “Clandestine” Cyberattacks Against Russia: Biden Could Start A WAR

Joe Biden appears, for all intents and purposes, to be making an all-out effort to start a war. The White House is now preparing to launch “clandestine” cyberattacks against Russia. The only question remaining, is why the mainstream media is telling us about it.

Citing officials familiar with the operation, the New York Times said that a “series of clandestine actions” aimed at Russia is expected to begin over the next three weeks and that the cyberattacks are intended to be “evident” to President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s intelligence services, but not to the “wider world.”

The definition of clandestine is: kept secret or done secretively, especially because illicit. But this hardly seems secret when every mainstream media source is reporting on it. It is certainly illicit, however. So why are they telling the public intentionally making the use of the word “clandestine” a complete lie?

Predictive programming to set up a war with Russia perhaps, and manipulate the masses into accepting another war. That’s just speculation, but once you apply critical thinking to this story, it stinks in more ways than can be counted.

In an interview last week, Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, told the Times that he supported carrying out clandestine operations that would be “understood by the Russians, but may not be visible to the broader world,” arguing that such actions would force a “broad strategic discussion” with Moscow.

The allegedly imminent cyberattack has been framed as a retaliatory measure in response to the high-profile SolarWinds breach. The hack, first reported in December, provided backdoor access to a widely used network-management program distributed by the Texas-based SolarWinds company. The hackers were able to use the exploit to compromise the systems of more than 100 commercial firms around the world, as well as nine US government agencies. Described as one of the largest and most sophisticated cyberattacks. -RT

Of course, all of that is if you trust what comes out of the mouths of the ruling class and their hired propagandists in the mainstream media.

Pay attention, stay prepared, and polish those critical thinking and discernment skills.  We have to all start to wake up to what’s going on and at a faster rate unless we want to see our children living in invisible chains that will be impossible to break.

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Biden’s Syria Attack: An Actual Impeachable Offense

This article was originally published by Ron Paul at The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. 

Last Thursday President Biden continued what has sadly become a Washington tradition: bombing Syria. The President ordered a military strike near the Iraqi-Syrian border that killed at least 22 people. The Administration claims it struck an “Iranian-backed” militia in retaliation for recent rocket attacks on US installations in Iraq.

As with Presidents Obama and Trump before him, however, Biden’s justification for the US strike and its targets is not credible. And his claim that the US attack would result in a “de-escalation” in the region is laughable. You cannot bomb your way toward de-escalation.

Biden thus joins a shameful club of US leaders whose interventions in the Middle East, and Syria specifically, have achieved nothing in the US interest but have contributed to the deaths of many thousands of civilians.

President Trump attacked Syria in 2018 in what he claimed was retaliation for the Assad government’s use of chemical weapons against its own citizens. The Trump Administration never proved its claim. Logic itself suggests how ridiculous it would have been for the Syrian president to have used chemical weapons in that situation, where they achieved no military purpose and would almost certainly guarantee further outside attacks against his government.

Trump’s 2018 attack only added to the misery of the Syrian people, who suffered under US sanctions and then suffered President Obama’s “Assad must go” intervention that trained and armed al-Qaeda affiliated groups to overthrow the government.

Trump’s airstrike on Syria did nothing to further real American interests in the region. But sending in 100 Tomahawk missiles to blow up a few empty buildings did a great deal to further the bottom line of missile-maker Raytheon.

Interestingly, Biden’s Secretary of Defense came to the Administration straight from his previous position on the board of, you guessed it, Raytheon. Libertarian educator Tom Woods once quipped that no matter who you vote for you get John McCain. Perhaps it’s also fair to say that no matter who you vote for you get to enrich Raytheon.

The Democrats wasted four years trying to remove Trump from office under the bogus “Russiagate” lie and then the equally ridiculous and discredited claim that Trump led an insurrection against the government on January 6th. Yet when Trump started raining bombs down on Syria with no Congressional declaration of war or even authorization, most Democrats stood up and cheered. Left-wing CNN talking head Fareed Zakaria swooned, “I think Donald Trump became president of the United States last night.”

In fact, initiating a war against a country that did not attack and does not threaten the United States without Congressional authority is an impeachable offense. But both parties – with a few exceptions – are war parties.

President Biden should be impeached for his attack on Syria, as should have Trump and Obama before him. But no one in Washington is going to pursue impeachment charges against a president who recklessly takes the United States to war. War greases Washington’s wheels.

Isn’t it strange how we’ve heard nothing about ISIS for the past couple of years, but suddenly the mainstream media tells us the ISIS is back and on the march? When President Biden says “America is back,” what he really means is “the war party is back.” As if they ever left.

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Biden’s Push To “Challenge China”

This news could give you a reason to stay up at night. Joe Biden’s administration is getting more aggressive against China. Biden has unveiled a Pentagon “China task force” to deal with the “challenges” China poses.

As the Asian nation has over one billion in population, a war with the CCP would end badly for the United States. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows that a war with China is already all but lost. Maybe everyone except Joe Biden.  Because he’s flexing muscle he doesn’t have toward the Chinese. Biden has launched a military task force to assess US policy toward Beijing, vowing to confront the “China challenge” as he continues his predecessor’s naval deployments in the country’s backyard, according to numerous reports. 

In a move that amounts to ramping up military aggression dramatically, Biden announced the new task force during a Pentagon visit on Wednesday, his first to the department, declaring that his administration would “meet the growing challenges posed by China to keep peace and defend our interests.”  This decision has nothing to do with “peace.”

Anytime the government talks about peace, you’d be wise to prepare for war.

Led by Eli Ratner, who serves as special assistant on China to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the task force will be composed of 15 civilian and uniformed defense officials and will deliver its findings to Austin within four months, according to a Pentagon fact sheet, which dubbed the project a “sprint effort.” The panel is not expected to produce a publicly available report, however -RT

Biden also said he would not “hesitate to use force,” against China.

Biden’s first major foreign policy address took a combative stance toward Beijing, which he dubbed America’s “most serious competitor” while echoing rhetoric reminiscent of Trump’s on China’s alleged economic abuses” and “attack” on intellectual property. In announcing the China task force on Wednesday, the president went even further in his vows to confront Beijing, warning that he would “never hesitate to use force,” though nonetheless said military action should be a “last resort.” -RT

If this escalates, this will be the final nail in the coffin of this country. Wake up.  These people (all ruling classes ad elitists) want war.  But they won’t be fighting it. They want money, but they won’t be earning it.  They want power, and they will be taking it from us by force.

Remain vigilant.  Things seem to be coalescing behind the scenes. Put two and two together and use your discernment to come up with the answers, because we know we won’t get them anywhere else.

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Biden Takes Trump’s Wall to Next Level, New ‘Smart’ Wall Will Spy on Americans Hundreds of Miles Inland

This article was originally published by Matt Agorist at The Free Thought Project. 

On January 20, in the minds of the establishment left, a new dawn was on the horizon with nothing but unicorns, a$15 minimum wage, and free health care and college for all. However, many on the left are already learning that their new messiah, Joseph R. Biden, is not that different from the right’s former messiah when it comes to wars, the police state, and immigration.

Though the right claims Biden is “going to open up the borders” so all the immigrants can rush in and “take our jobs and rape our children” that is not what will happen. For people outraged by Trump putting “kids in cages” as part of his crackdown on illegal immigration over the last four years, Joe Biden is not different, in fact when you read below to see what is unfolding, you will see that he is worse.

Remember, Biden was vice president during the Obama administration which aggressively deported more immigrants than Trump and who also put “kids in cages.” In fact, the photos used to first bring attention to kids in cages under Trump were actually taken during Biden’s tenure as VP and the detention facilities were an Obama era creation.

Sure, Biden used executive action to stop the construction of Trump’s silly wall that was easily scalable and could easily be circumvented. He also stopped new enrollments in the Migrant Protection Protocols program, which forced asylum seekers to wait in often-dangerous circumstances in Mexico for their US immigration hearings. However, this is little more than virtue signaling for which the media can have something to praise him. Behind the scenes, Biden and his advisers have something in the works that dwarfs Trump’s wall — a “virtual” or “smart” wall.

Biden’s new “Smart” wall will use advanced surveillance technology to patrol the border presenting a danger to immigrants and citizens alike. According to a report in the Nation, while the full text of the immigration legislative proposal Biden sent to Congress has not been made public, a fact sheet distributed to reporters contains a section titled “Supplement existing border resources with technology and Infrastructure,” which calls for additional funding to, among other things, “enhance the ability to process asylum seekers” and “manage and secure the southern border between ports of entry that focuses on flexible solutions and technologies that expand the ability to detect illicit activity.”

The smart wall will not be as obvious and physically offensive as an actual wall, but aerial drones, infrared cameras, motion sensors, radar, facial recognition, and artificial intelligence is far more ominous than steel and bricks. According to the Nation:

These implements have the veneer of scientific impartiality and rarely produce contentious imagery, which makes them both palatable to a broadly apathetic public and insidiously dangerous.

Unlike a border wall, an advanced virtual “border” doesn’t just exist along the demarcation dividing countries. It extends hundreds of miles inland along the “Constitution-free zone” of enhanced Border Patrol authority. It’s in private property and along domestic roadways. It’s at airports, where the government is ready to roll out a facial recognition system with no age limit that includes travelers on domestic flights that never cross a border.

A frontline Customs and Border Protection officer, who asked not to be identified as they were not authorized to speak publicly, told The Nation that they had concerns about the growth of this technology, especially with the agency “expanding its capabilities and training its armed personnel to act as a federal police.” These capabilities were showcased this summer when CBP agents joined other often-unidentified federal forces in cities with Black Lives Matter protests. The deployments included the use of ground and aerial surveillance tech, including drones, as first reported by The Nation.

This sort of mission creep illustrates the folly in complacency over the use of advanced surveillance tech on the grounds that it is for “border enforcement.” It is always easier to add to the list of acceptable data uses than it is to limit them, largely owing to our security paranoia where any risk is unacceptable.

One of the most minacious aspects of this smart wall is that it will extend the police and surveillance state tactics used at airports — around the entire country. Imagine you are checking into a flight at an airport, excited to go on vacation but when you attempt to get your ticket, you are told you cannot fly. Suddenly, you are surrounded by security and hauled off for questioning. You have committed no crime and you have no recourse to ask why you cannot fly. This happens every day in this country as Homeland Security enforces the unconstitutional No Fly List.

Experts like Edward Hasbrouck, a consultant with the Identity Project and writer at the affiliated Papers Please blog, say the new border wall will essentially implement a no-fly list around the entire country. Hasbrouck told the Nation DHS officials “complain constantly and explicitly about the fact that, unlike at the airport, where we know who’s getting on the plane before they get on the plane, at the land border anybody can just show up. They regard this as a horrible defect that they’re working assiduously to rectify.”

As the Nation points out, entire companies have formed to cater to these contracts, including Anduril, headed by crypto-fascist troll Palmer Luckey, who has close ties to mass surveillance firm Palantir (not coincidentally, both are companies named after objects from Lord of the Rings, by people who probably cheered the villains’ quest for absolute power).

They have already poured millions into this new surveillance state project.

All of this is happening out of sight of the general public who largely has no idea what is taking place. As the mainstream media praises Biden as their new savior, his administration is building a virtual TSA that will encompass the entire country. Imagine attempting to flee the future technocracy that America will surely become, only to be met by aerial drones and Boston Dynamic robot dogs. This could soon be a reality akin to the scariest Black Mirror episode.

What’s more, it is important to remember that all this technology the government has been implementing to keep people out can and will just as easily be used domestically to keep people in.

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US Warship “Expelled” From South China Sea By PLA Forces

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

The superpower clash between China and the U.S. continued on Friday as a U.S. Navy ship sailed near the Chinese-controlled Paracel Islands in the heavily disrupted South China Sea, only to get a stern rebuke (and what some would call, an appropriate response) from Beijing.

The USS John S. McCain, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, entered the waters near Paracel islands Friday without China’s permission on a “freedom of navigation operation,” the first known operation in the heavily disputed area under the new Biden administration. 

Shortly after, CGTN reported that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) “expelled” the destroyer after it “trespassed” into China’s territorial waters. Tian Junli, a spokesperson for the PLA Southern Theater Command, said the move “seriously infringed China’s sovereignty and security.” He said PLA troops in the region are on “high alert at all times to protect the peace and stability of the region.”

The heavily disputed waterway is one of the flashpoints in the U.S.-China relationship, including a trade war, technology war, U.S. sanctions, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

U.S. sailings of warships near the militarized islands in the South China Sea have angered Beijing in the past.

The U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet said the destroyer USS John S. McCain “asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the vicinity of the Paracel Islands, consistent with international law”.

Meanwhile, according to the latest naval deployment map from Stratfor, other US naval ships located just off China’s coast include the carrier CVN 71 Roosevelt, and the LHA 6 America large Amphibious group.

Last month, USS Theodore Roosevelt entered the South China Sea for what the Navy called routine freedom of navigation operation. There’s more here than meets the eye as a great power competition continues to brew between both countries.

Over the past year, the U.S. has increased aerial patrols, and U.S. Navy warship sails through the disrupted region and near and through the Taiwan Strait, an exercise aimed at angering Beijing. Such “close encounters” and US flyovers and sail throughs in the South China Sea and near Taiwan become more frequent during the tail-end of the Trump presidency.

As Al Jazeera notes, “Last year Chinese military jets made a record 380 incursions into Taiwan’s defense zone, with some analysts warning tensions between the two sides were at their highest since the mid-1990s.”

Earlier in the week Monday, two US reconnaissance planes flew near Taiwan’s airspace at a moment Taipei has begun to publicly acknowledge for the first time the presence of both American and Chinese PLA jets sometimes in the same aerial defense zones, which constitutes an alarming and highly dangerous situation.

The post US Warship “Expelled” From South China Sea By PLA Forces first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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Enemies of the Deep State: The Government’s War on Domestic Terrorism Is a Trap

This article was originally published by John W. Whitehead at The Rutherford Institute. 

“This is an issue that all Democrats, Republicans, independents, Libertarians should be extremely concerned about, especially because we don’t have to guess about where this goes or how this ends. What characteristics are we looking for as we are building this profile of a potential extremist, what are we talking about? Religious extremists, are we talking about Christians, evangelical Christians, what is a religious extremist? Is it somebody who is pro-life? [The proposed legislation could create] a very dangerous undermining of our civil liberties, our freedoms in our Constitution, and a targeting of almost half of the country.”—Tulsi Gabbard, former Congresswoman

This is how it begins.

We are moving fast down that slippery slope to an authoritarian society in which the only opinions, ideas, and speech expressed are the ones permitted by the government and its corporate cohorts.

In the wake of the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol, “domestic terrorism” has become the new poster child for expanding the government’s powers at the expense of civil liberties.

Of course, “domestic terrorist” is just the latest bull’s eye phrase, to be used interchangeably with “anti-government,” “extremist” and “terrorist,” to describe anyone who might fall somewhere on a very broad spectrum of viewpoints that could be considered “dangerous.”

Watch and see: we are all about to become enemies of the state.

In a déjà vu mirroring of the legislative fallout from 9/11, and the ensuing build-up of the security state, there is a growing demand in certain sectors for the government to be given expanded powers to root out “domestic” terrorism, the Constitution be damned.

If this is a test of Joe Biden’s worthiness to head up the American police state, he seems ready.

As part of his inaugural address, President Biden pledged to confront and defeat “a rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism.” Biden has also asked the Director of National Intelligence to work with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security in carrying out a “comprehensive threat assessment” of domestic terrorism. And then to keep the parallels going, there is the proposed Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021, introduced after the Jan. 6 riots, which aims to equip the government with “the tools to identify, monitor and thwart” those who could become radicalized to violence.

Don’t blink or you’ll miss the sleight of hand.

This is the tricky part of the Deep State’s con game that keeps you focused on the shell game in front of you while your wallet is being picked clean by ruffians in your midst.

It follows the same pattern as every other convenient “crisis” used by the government as an excuse to expand its powers at the citizenry’s expense and at the expense of our freedoms.

As investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald warns:

“The last two weeks have ushered in a wave of new domestic police powers and rhetoric in the name of fighting ‘terrorism’ that are carbon copies of many of the worst excesses of the first War on Terror that began nearly twenty years ago. This New War on Terror—one that is domestic in name from the start and carries the explicit purpose of fighting ‘extremists’ and ‘domestic terrorists’ among American citizens on U.S. soil—presents the whole slew of historically familiar dangers when governments, exploiting media-generated fear and dangers, arm themselves with the power to control information, debate, opinion, activism and protests.”

Greenwald is referring to the USA Patriot Act, passed almost 20 years ago, which paved the way for the eradication of every vital safeguard against government overreach, corruption, and abuse.

Free speech, the right to protest, the right to challenge government wrongdoing, due process, a presumption of innocence, the right to self-defense, accountability and transparency in government, privacy, press, sovereignty, assembly, bodily integrity, representative government: all of these and more have become casualties in the government’s war on the American people, a war that has grown more pronounced since Sept. 11, 2001.

Some members of Congress get it.

In a letter opposing the expansion of national security powers, a handful of congressional representatives urged their colleagues not to repeat the mistakes of the past:

“While many may find comfort in increased national security powers in the wake of this attack, we must emphasize that we have been here before and we have seen where that road leads. Our history is littered with examples of initiatives sold as being necessary to fight extremism that quickly devolve into tools used for the mass violation of the human and civil rights of the American people… To expand the government’s national security powers once again at the expense of the human and civil rights of the American people would only serve to further undermine our democracy, not protect it.”

Cue the Emergency State, the government’s Machiavellian version of crisis management that justifies all manner of government tyranny in the so-called name of national security.

This is the power grab hiding in plain sight, obscured by the political machinations of the self-righteous elite. This is how the government continues to exploit crises and use them as opportunities for power grabs under the guise of national security. Indeed, this is exactly how the government added red flag gun laws, precrime surveillance, fusion centers, threat assessments, mental health assessments, involuntary confinement to its arsenal of weaponized powers.

The objective is not to make America safe again. That has never been the government’s aim.

Greenwald explains:

“Why would such new terrorism laws be needed in a country that already imprisons more of its citizens than any other country in the world as the result of a very aggressive set of criminal laws? What acts should be criminalized by new ‘domestic terrorism’ laws that are not already deemed criminal? They never say, almost certainly because—just as was true of the first set of new War on Terror laws—their real aim is to criminalize that which should not be criminalized: speech, association, protests, opposition to the new ruling coalition.”

So you see, the issue is not whether Donald Trump or Roger Stone, or MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell deserve to be banned from Twitter, even if they’re believed to be spouting misinformation, hateful ideas, or fomenting discontent.

Rather, we should be asking whether any corporation or government agency or entity representing a fusion of the two should have the power to muzzle, silence, censor, regulate, control, and altogether eradicate so-called “dangerous” or “extremist” ideas.

This unilateral power to muzzle free speech represents a far greater danger than any so-called right- or left-wing extremist might pose.

The ramifications are so far-reaching as to render almost every American an extremist in word, deed, thought, or by association.

Yet where many go wrong is in assuming that you have to be doing something illegal or challenging the government’s authority in order to be flagged as a suspicious character, labeled an enemy of the state, and locked up like a dangerous criminal.

Eventually, all you will really need to do is use certain trigger words, surf the internet, communicate using a cell phone, drive a car, stay at a hotel, purchase materials at a hardware store, take flying or boating lessons, appear suspicious, question government authority, or generally live in the United States.

The groundwork has already been laid.

The trap is set.

All that is needed is the right bait.

With the help of automated eyes and ears, a growing arsenal of high-tech software, hardware, and techniques, government propaganda urging Americans to turn into spies and snitches, as well as social media and behavior sensing software, government agents have been busily spinning a sticky spider-web of threat assessments, behavioral sensing warnings, flagged “words,” and “suspicious” activity reports aimed at snaring potential enemies of the state.

It’s the American police state’s take on the dystopian terrors foreshadowed by George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, and Phillip K. Dick all rolled up into one oppressive pre-crime and pre-thought crime package.

What’s more, the technocrats who run the surveillance state don’t even have to break a sweat while monitoring what you say, what you read, what you write, where you go, how much you spend, whom you support, and with whom you communicate. Computers by way of AI (artificial intelligence) now do the tedious work of trolling social media, the internet, text messages, and phone calls for potentially anti-government remarks, all of which is carefully recorded, documented, and stored to be used against you someday at a time and place of the government’s choosing.

For instance, police in major American cities have been using predictive policing technology that allows them to identify individuals—or groups of individuals—most likely to commit a crime in a given community. Those individuals are then put on notice that their movements and activities will be closely monitored and any criminal activity (by them or their associates) will result in harsh penalties.

In other words, the burden of proof is reversed: you are guilty before you are given any chance to prove you are innocent.

Dig beneath the surface of this kind of surveillance/police state, however, and you will find that the real purpose of pre-crime is not safety but control.

Red flag gun laws merely push us that much closer towards a suspect society where everyone is potentially guilty of some crime or another and must be preemptively rendered harmless.

This is the same government that has a growing list—shared with fusion centers and law enforcement agencies—of ideologies, behaviors, affiliations, and other characteristics that could flag someone as suspicious and result in their being labeled potential enemies of the state.

For instance, if you believe in and exercise your rights under the Constitution (namely, your right to speak freely, worship freely, associate with like-minded individuals who share your political views, criticize the government, own a weapon, demand a warrant before being questioned or searched, or any other activity viewed as potentially anti-government, racist, bigoted, anarchic or sovereign), you could be at the top of the government’s terrorism watch list.

Moreover, as a New York Times editorial warns, you may be an anti-government extremist (a.k.a. domestic terrorist) in the eyes of the police if you are afraid that the government is plotting to confiscate your firearms, if you believe the economy is about to collapse and the government will soon declare martial law, or if you display an unusual number of political and/or ideological bumper stickers on your car.

According to one FBI latest report, you might also be classified as a domestic terrorism threat if you espouse conspiracy theories, especially if you “attempt to explain events or circumstances as the result of a group of actors working in secret to benefit themselves at the expense of others” and are “usually at odds with official or prevailing explanations of events.”

Additionally, according to Michael C. McGarrity, the FBI’s assistant director of the counterterrorism division, the bureau now “classifies domestic terrorism threats into four main categories: racially motivated violent extremism, anti-government/anti-authority extremism, animal rights/environmental extremism, and abortion extremism.”

In other words, if you dare to subscribe to any views that are contrary to the government’s, you may well be suspected of being a domestic terrorist and treated accordingly.

Again, where many Americans go wrong is in naively assuming that you have to be doing something illegal or harmful in order to be flagged and targeted for some form of intervention or detention.

In fact, U.S. police agencies have been working to identify and manage potential extremist “threats,” violent or otherwise, before they can become actual threats for some time now.

In much the same way that the USA Patriot Act was used as a front to advance the surveillance state, allowing the government to establish a far-reaching domestic spying program that turned every American citizen into a criminal suspect, the government’s anti-extremism program renders otherwise lawful, nonviolent activities as potentially extremist.

In fact, all you need to do these days to end up on a government watch list or be subjected to heightened scrutiny is use certain trigger words (like cloud, pork, and pirates), surf the internet, communicate using a cell phone, limp or stutterdrive a car, stay at a hotel, attend a political rally, express yourself on social mediaappear mentally ill, serve in the militarydisagree with a law enforcement officialcall in sick to work, purchase materials at a hardware store, take flying or boating lessons, appear suspicious, appear confused or nervous, fidget or whistle or smell bad, be seen in public waving a toy gun or anything remotely resembling a gun (such as a water nozzle or remote control or a walking cane), stare at a police officer, question government authority, or appear to be pro-gun or pro-freedom.

Be warned: once you get on such a government watch list—whether it’s a terrorist watch list, a mental health watch list, a dissident watch list, or a red flag gun watch list—there’s no clear-cut way to get off, whether or not you should actually be on there.

You will be tracked wherever you go.

You will be flagged as a potential threat and dealt with accordingly.

This is pre-crime on an ideological scale and it’s been a long time coming.

The government has been building its pre-crime, surveillance network in concert with fusion centers (of which there are 78 nationwide, with partners in the corporate sector and globally), data collection agencies, behavioral scientists, corporations, social media, and community organizers and by relying on cutting-edge technology for surveillance, facial recognition, predictive policing, biometrics, and behavioral epigenetics (in which life experiences alter one’s genetic makeup).

If you’re not scared yet, you should be.

Connect the dots.

Start with the powers amassed by the government under the USA Patriot Act, note the government’s ever-broadening definition of what it considers to be an “extremist,” then add in the government’s detention powers under NDAA, the National Security Agency’s far-reaching surveillance networks, and fusion centers that collect and share surveillance data between local, state and federal police agencies.

To that, add tens of thousands of armed, surveillance drones and balloons that are beginning to blanket American skies, facial recognition technology that will identify and track you wherever you go, and whatever you do. And then to complete the picture, toss in the real-time crime centers being deployed in cities across the country, which will be attempting to “predict” crimes and identify so-called criminals before they happen based on widespread surveillance, complex mathematical algorithms, and prognostication programs.

Hopefully, you’re starting to understand how easy we’ve made it for the government to identify, label, target, defuse and detain anyone it views as a potential threat for a variety of reasons that run the gamut from mental illness to having a military background to challenging its authority to just being on the government’s list of persona non grata.

There’s always a price to pay for standing up to the powers-that-be.

Yet as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, you don’t even have to be a dissident to get flagged by the government for surveillance, censorship, and detention.

All you really need to be is a citizen of the American police state.

The post Enemies of the Deep State: The Government’s War on Domestic Terrorism Is a Trap first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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Bill Gates: “Pandemic Preparedness Must Be Taken As Seriously As We Take The Threat of War”

Bill Gates is at it again, asking for more totalitarian intervention to stop a future pathogen.  He wants to “prepare” for a plandemic in as serious of a manner as “we take the threat of war.”

Preparing for these plandemics is easy for the rulers because they’ve been “predicting” or setting up their authoritarian responses to these scamdemics beforehand. 

Are we honestly to believe that a eugenicist who helped develop a fast-tracked vaccine that’s killing and damaging more people than the COVID-19 scamdemic could ever hope to is doing anything for the food of anyone but himself?

In the annual letter from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Microsoft co-founder calls for billions of dollars in investments to develop a global alert system for emerging germs and build the capacity for the ruling class to respond quickly.

Government, Not Coronavirus, Is Killing Small Businesses

“We can’t afford to be caught flat-footed again,” Gates wrote. “To prevent the hardship of this last year from happening again, pandemic preparedness must be taken as seriously as we take the threat of war.”

While the cost may sound high, billions spent on infrastructure and technology would represent huge savings compared to the estimated $28 trillion global toll of COVID-19 and its associated economic fallout, he said, according to a report by the Seattle Times.   That cost was all to the little people, though, as Bill Gates made tons of money thanks to the scamdemic hoax the ruling classes of the world pulled off.

“No one needs to be convinced that an infectious disease could kill millions of people or shut down the global economy,” Gates wrote. Yeah.  No one needs to be convinced that the ruling classes who think they own other human beings will attempt to congeal power so all of the elitists’ agendas can come together all at once for the New World Order and the Great Reset.

Luckily, people are figuring this out. They are sick of having masters and even more tired of being slaves.

 

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In Just A Few Days, Biden Has Brought The U.S. Much Closer To A War With China

This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog. 

The warmongers are back in control in Washington, but this time the wild-eyed lunatics that Joe Biden has surrounded himself with won’t just be starting wars in the Middle East.  Relations with China are already taking a turn for the worse, and the Chinese are warning that actions that the Biden administration is taking could soon push us to the brink of military conflict.

I know that this may surprise many of my readers because a major Republican talking point has been that Joe Biden and his family have been way too friendly with the Chinese in the past.  Many had assumed that Biden would have a very cozy relationship with China now that he is in the White House, but it looks like the opposite is going to be true.  The Biden administration is taking a very aggressive posture, and the Chinese are not happy about that at all.

Shortly after Biden was inaugurated, the USS Theodore Roosevelt and its battle group entered the South China Sea.  It is being called a “Freedom of Navigation Operation”, but the Chinese are viewing this aircraft carrier battle group as a major provocation

CHINA has angrily accused the US of “flexing its muscles” in the South China Sea after new President Joe Biden sent an aircraft carrier group into the disputed waterway in a move which Beijing warned could trigger a disastrous war.

Meanwhile state-run Chinese media has claimed the new administration is seeing how far it could push China, both with regard to the South China Sea and Taiwan.

In addition, the U.S. State Department issued a very blunt statement on January 23rd which greatly alarmed the Chinese…

The United States notes with concern the pattern of ongoing PRC attempts to intimidate its neighbors, including Taiwan. We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan’s democratically elected representatives.

We will stand with friends and allies to advance our shared prosperity, security, and values in the Indo-Pacific region — and that includes deepening our ties with democratic Taiwan. The United States will continue to support a peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues, consistent with the wishes and best interests of the people on Taiwan. The United States maintains its longstanding commitments as outlined in the Three Communiqués, the Taiwan Relations Act, and the Six Assurances. We will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability. Our commitment to Taiwan is rock-solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and within the region.

China considers Taiwan to be Chinese territory, and any suggestion otherwise is considered to be extremely offensive.

So for the Biden administration to say that Taiwan is China’s “neighbor” is a really big deal in Beijing.

And I guarantee you that the phrase “deepening our ties with democratic Taiwan” really pissed off Xi Jinping and other top Chinese officials.

If all of that wasn’t enough, the Biden administration actually invited the de facto ambassador from Taiwan to the inauguration.  That is something that hadn’t been done since the 1970s.

As much as Trump liked to anger the Chinese, not even he went that far.

China has responded to these moves by sending military aircraft into Taiwanese airspace on a daily basis.  The following is from a news report that was posted on January 23rd

CHINA has breached Taiwan’s Air Defence Zone with eight bombers and four fighter jets in a blatant provocation against the autonomous island, sending a clear signal to new US President Joe Biden in the process.

CNN’s Aditya Raj Kaul tweeted: “Taiwan’s Defence Ministry says that 8 Chinese PLA Bombers and 4 Fighters have Breached Island’s Air Defence Zone. Airborne alert sorties had been tasked, radio warnings issued and air defense missile systems deployed to monitor the activity.”

And then on Saturday and Sunday, China sent more planes than ever toward Taiwan…

China sent 13 warplanes into Taiwan’s ADIZ on Saturday and 15 on Sunday. The first incursion included nuclear-capable bombers, fighter jets, and an anti-submarine aircraft. The second incursion featured more anti-sub planes, advanced fighters capable of using stealth technology, and a reconnaissance aircraft.

On both days, Taiwan scrambled fighter jets, activated its surface-to-air missile defenses, and broadcast radio warnings to the Chinese planes.

I don’t think that military action is imminent, but it is important to remember that the Chinese have been rehearsing an invasion of Taiwan for a very long time.

In addition to the saber-rattling by the Chinese military, China’s state-run Global Times published a very strongly worded editorial on Monday

If the tension across the Taiwan Straits is to be eased, we must return to its deteriorating starting point, which is the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities in Taiwan refusing to recognize the 1992 Consensus and opposing the one-China principle. All tensions across the Taiwan Straits originate from the DPP authorities’ perverse act. And this is in contradiction with the US establishment’s general direction in controlling the situation in the Taiwan Straits, and is also incompatible with the three China-US joint communiqués. If the US places its China policy on the basis of the DPP authorities’ reckless moves, which obviously have a trend of Taiwan secessionism, then it will bear long-term and cumulative strategic risks.

The easing of the tension in the Taiwan Straits should start from the political point of view. It cannot reach a breakthrough through strategy. The interaction among the Chinese mainland, the US and the island of Taiwan has been broken in all directions and is difficult to repair. In the later period of the Trump administration, the situation across the Taiwan Straits actually reached the edge of collapse. If the Biden administration does not want the situation to get out of control or get itself seriously involved, they should sent out a clear political signal to distinguish themselves from the previous administration’s mischief, and restore the controllability of the Taiwan Straits on the basis of the one-China principle.

As far as the Chinese government is concerned, the status of Taiwan, the status of Hong Kong, and the status of the South China Sea are non-negotiable issues.

If the Biden administration continues to push the envelope on those issues, it will inevitably bring us closer and closer to a future military conflict with China.

Of course many would argue that we need to be tough on bullies such as China, and it is hard to argue with that reasoning.

But foreign policy takes finesse because if you push the other side too fast or too hard they could snap and do something irrational.

President Reagan understood this very well, and his patience was one of the reasons why we were able to win the Cold War.

Now a new Cold War is here, and the warmongers that Biden has put in charge of our foreign policy could end up starting a war with China that nobody wants.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream, and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial, or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter, and Parler, and anyway that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

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Jake Tapper questions rep’s ‘commitment’ to democracy after vet who lost his legs argued against impeachment

CNN anchor Jake Tapper questioned a GOP congressman’s “commitment” to democracy on Wednesday for arguing against impeaching President Donald Trump in a rushed vote, after noting that the representative lost both his legs while fighting overseas for the United States.

What are the details?

During a segment covering debates on the House floor ahead of the vote to impeach Trump for allegedly inciting an insurrection, Tapper told co-host Dana Bash, “Congressman Brian Mast, a Republican from Florida, who lost his legs, by the way, fighting for democracy abroad, although—I don’t know about his commitment to it here in the United States.”

Rep. Mast, a Purple Heart recipient and veteran of the Afghanistan War, tweeted in response, “I lost two legs for @jaketapper’s right to say whatever the hell he wants, but that free speech also protects the Republicans he is so eager to condemn for asking Constitutional questions about the election.”

In reaction to Tapper’s statement, BlazeTV’s Dave Rubin tweeted, “This might be the most vile thing ever said on cable news. Tapper was CNN’s last hope and he turned out to be the absolute worst.”

Mast, arguing against impeaching Trump, had asked rhetorically on the House floor earlier in the day if any of the people who stormed the Capitol building last week had been brought before the lower to chamber to testify as to “whether they did that because of our president.”

Bash, after promising to share evidence to the contrary, posted a video online showing a protester yelling outside the Capitol, insisting, “We were invited here! We were invited!…We were invited by the president of the United States!”

Mast tweeted after the impeachment vote, “In the debate of this very serious decision to impeach a President, Congress has not held one hearing or asked any questions. Congress cannot make an honest assessment without conducting an honest deliberation!”

The Democrat-led House acted swiftly Wednesday to vote on impeaching Trump in a 232-197 vote that saw ten Republicans vote in favor of the action.

Democrats have pressed for rushing to impeach the president before he leaves office next week, but the GOP-led Senate will not conduct its trial on the charge against Trump until he leaves office next week, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

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The Coming War on Wealth and the Wealthy

This article was originally published by Charles Hugh Smith at Of Two Minds Blog. 

Here’s looking at you, Federal Reserve–thanks for perfecting ‘legalized looting’ and neofeudalism in America.

The problem with pushing a pendulum to its maximum extreme on one end is that it will swing back to the other extreme minus a tiny bit of friction.

America has pushed wealth/income inequality, unfairness, and legalized looting to the maximum extreme. Now it will experience the swing back to the other extreme. This will manifest in a number of ways, one of which is a self-organizing populist war on wealth and the wealthy.

To say the system is rigged to benefit the already-wealthy and powerful is a gross understatement. Take the tax code as an example–thousands of pages of arcane tax breaks and giveaways passed by a thoroughly corrupted Congress and thousands of more pages of arcane regulations and legal precedents.

How many pages apply to the bottom 95% of American taxpayers? Very few. There are the standard deductions for mortgage interest, healthcare costs, etc., but virtually no other tax breaks. Very few pages apply to even the 99%–go talk to a CPA and you’ll find there are no more tax breaks for a sole proprietor making $500,000 in earned income than there are for a sole proprietor making $50,000.

99.9% of the tax code benefits the top 0.1% and the corporations, LLCs, and philanthro-capitalist foundations and trusts they own/control. Stripped of artifice and spin, America’s tax code is nothing but legalized looting. This is only one small slice of the entire pie of legalized looting, of course, but it’s one we can all understand.

A sole proprietor pays 15.3% in Social Security and Medicare taxes. Why don’t America’s billionaires pay 15.3% in Social Security and Medicare taxes? Aren’t Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid the bedrock social safety net programs of the American people? Then why does a struggling sole proprietor pay 15.3% tax to support these essential programs and billionaires pay essentially zero?

There’s a term for this disparity/injustice/unfairness: legalized looting. The super-wealthy pay essentially zero percent of their income and wealth to the programs that provide basic economic security for the disabled/elderly citizenry, while Jose the sole proprietor pays 15.3% of every dollar he earns.

So explain to us again why Mr. Buffett can’t afford to pay 15.3% of every dollar of his income to help fund basic economic security for the disabled/elderly. In a system of even the most basic fairness, every dollar of income would be taxed at the same rate. In a system of even the most basic fairness, those with incomes of $100 million would pay the same 15.3% Social Security and Medicare tax as the sole proprietor earning $100,000.

Needless to say, if this most basic fairness was applied to America’s wealthy and powerful, these programs would not be facing insolvency.

If Joe the sole proprietor hits the big time, he pays 32% federal tax over $165,000, 35% over $210,000, and 37% over $524,000. If we add 15.3% to 37%, we get 52.3%. How many of America’s super-wealthy / billionaires pay 52% in Social Security-Medicare and income taxes? Zero.

Could America’s super-wealthy / billionaires afford to pay 52%? Of course, they could–they own the majority of all financial assets and skim the majority of all income. But they won’t, because the system is rigged to benefit the few at the expense of the many via legalized looting.

It isn’t just the inequality of ownership of capital and power that enrages the oppressed; it’s the blatant unfairness of our neo-feudal/neocolonial system. As I explained in Neofeudalism and the Neocolonial-Financialization Model (May 24, 2012) and Welcome to Neocolonialism, Exploited Peasants! (October 21, 2016), the Financial Nobility have “come home” and applied the same rapacious exploitation they perfected in colonialism to the domestic populace.

Here’s looking at you, Federal Reserve–thanks for perfecting legalized looting and neofeudalism in America.

The gulf between the lavishly praised American ideals and the putrid, corrupt reality of America’s neo-feudal system is wider than the Grand Canyon. As the pendulum accelerates to an extreme equal but opposite to the current extremes of unfairness, exploitation, and legalized looting, those who have suffered the consequences of this systemic inequality will find expression in whatever ways are available.

Since it’s difficult to get to the protected compounds of the super-wealthy, the signifiers of the merely wealthy will offer readily available targets. The new Tesla won’t just get keyed; it will be “reworked,” to the great satisfaction of the “workers.”

Please note that I am not promoting a war on wealth and the wealthy, I am merely pointing out that it is as inevitable as the gravity pulling the pendulum.

The war on wealth and the wealthy will manifest politically, socially, and economically. It won’t be a tightly controlled, top-down movement. It will be spontaneous, self-organizing, and unquenchable.

If you don’t understand why a war on wealth and the wealthy is inevitable, please study this chart: the way of the Tao is reversal.

The post The Coming War on Wealth and the Wealthy first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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Xi Orders Chinese Army To “Be Ready To Fight At Any Second”

Chinese communist party leader and totalitarian tyrant has ordered the Chinese army to be ready to fight “without fear of death.” He has said the army should “be ready to fight at any second,” as tensions continue to heighten with India and Taiwan.

Xi, one of Earth’s most brutal tyrants, who chairs China’s Central Military Commission, ordered the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to maintain “full-time combat readiness” and to be ready to “act at any second.” He has also reportedly directed the military to bolster training in 2021 and use more hi-tech in its drills, according to a report by RT. 

The commanders and the soldiers of the whole army must… carry forward the spirit of combat without the fear of hardships and the fear of death,” the order read, noting that this year will be the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China.

Last month, China sent an aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait a day after a US warship sailed there. Beijing’s increased military posturing in the region took place as Taipei launched a rearmament program and secured several major arms deals with Washington.

China and the US continued accusing each other of provocative maneuvers in the South China Sea, while their ties were further damaged by a trade war and Washington’s support for the protest movement in Hong Kong. -RT

Nigel Farage has also been outspoken about the CCP’s desire for total war on the planet. “This Chinese Communist Party poses a massive threat to the world, a threat to our freedom, a threat to our way of life,” Farage said. “So my next campaign is to make sure people understand who China are, what the Chinese Communist Party is, what it’s doing to its own people, what it wants to do to the rest of the world.” He added: “We need to wake up to the threat that is posed by China,” he said according to a report by Sky News Australia. 

The warning about China from Farage is timely considering China appears to be preparing its soldiers for death.  As we are all stuck on this prison planet with the ever-increasing enslavement of the masses by the few politicians and elitists, it is becoming much more difficult to stick one’s head in the sand and pretend it is anything less.

The post Xi Orders Chinese Army To “Be Ready To Fight At Any Second” first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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