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Monday, March 27, 2017

How to Think About Vladimir Putin

How to Think About Vladimir Putin

Christopher Caldwell
Senior Editor, The Weekly Standard 

The following is adapted from a speech delivered on February 15, 2017, at a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar in Phoenix, Arizona.
Vladimir Putin is a powerful ideological symbol and a highly effective ideological litmus test. He is a hero to populist conservatives around the world and anathema to progressives. I don’t want to compare him to our own president, but if you know enough about what a given American thinks of Putin, you can probably tell what he thinks of Donald Trump.
Let me stress at the outset that this is not going to be a talk about what to think about Putin, which is something you are all capable of making up your minds on, but rather how to think about him... 

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Promise Official Trailer 1 (2016) - Christian Bale Movie


Scheduled to be released in April, 2017. The Armenian Genocide has never been portrayed on screen because of the threats of violence from Turkish interests. The threat continues today.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

SSN: Proposed All Aboard Florida Regulations: Driven by Safety Concerns or Politics?

Proposed All Aboard Florida Regulations: Driven by Safety Concerns or Politics?

March 20, 2017
Since 2014, the team behind All Aboard Florida (AAF) and Brightline has known that expanding rail in the Space Coast and the Treasure Coast would not be an easy sell. Over the past year, All Aboard Florida officials have expressed optimism after winning court battles and obtaining permits to move forward.
But that mood might be changing. State Sen. Debbie Mayfield, R-Vero Beach, an opponent of the rail project, has introduced “The Florida High-Speed Passenger Rail Safety Act.”
Reach Ed Dean, senior editor at Sunshine State News, at EdDean29@yahoo.com

Monday, March 13, 2017

Flashback: Rick Perry Tied To Agenda 21, Globalist Policies

Flashback: Rick Perry Tied To Agenda 21, Globalist Policies


 

https://www.technocracy.news/index.php/2017/03/12/flashback-rick-perry-tied-to-agenda-21-globalist-policies/


Thursday, March 9, 2017

How Taxpayers Fund Anti-Trump Protests

How Taxpayers Fund Anti-Trump Protests


by Cliff Kincaid 

Friday, March 3, 2017

U.S. Gives Soros Groups Millions to Destabilize Macedonia’s Conservative Govt.

U.S. Gives Soros Groups Millions to Destabilize Macedonia’s Conservative Govt.

Copyright © 2011 Judicial Watch, Inc. All Rights Reserved

FEBRUARY 28, 2017 - LINK

The U.S. government has quietly spent millions of taxpayer dollars to destabilize the democratically elected, center-right government in Macedonia by colluding with leftwing billionaire philanthropist George Soros, records obtained by Judicial Watch show. Barack Obama’s U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia, Jess L. Baily, has worked behind the scenes with Soros’ Open Society Foundation to funnel large sums of American dollars for the cause, constituting an interference of the U.S. Ambassador in domestic political affairs in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

The cash flows through the State Department and the famously corrupt U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID), which is charged with providing global economic, development and humanitarian assistance. USAID has allocated about $5 million to leftwing Soros groups in Macedonia since 2012, documents show, and at least $9.5 million has been earmarked by the agency to intervene in the Balkan nation’s governmental affairs for 2016-2011. State Department figures have been tougher to come by and Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the numbers. Judicial Watch also fired off a public records request to USAID because the preliminary figures, obtained through various sources in both the U.S. and Macedonia, appear to be incomplete.

Here’s how the clandestine operation functions, according to high-level sources in Macedonia and the U.S. that have provided Judicial Watch with records as part of an ongoing investigation. The Open Society Foundation has established and funded dozens of leftwing, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Macedonia to overthrow the conservative government. One Macedonian government official interviewed by Judicial Watch in Washington D.C. recently, calls it the “Soros infantry.” The groups organize youth movements, create influential media outlets and organize violent protests to undermine the institutions and policies implemented by the government. One of the Soros’ groups funded the translation and publication of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” into Macedonian. The book is a tactical manual of subversion, provides direct advice for radical street protests and proclaims Lucifer to be the first radical. Thanks to Obama’s ambassador, who has not been replaced by President Trump, Uncle Sam keeps the money flowing so the groups can continue operating and recruiting, sources in Macedonia and the U.S. confirm.

With a population of about 2 million, Macedonia has one of the more conservative governments in Europe. This includes the lowest flat tax in Europe, close ties with Israel and pro-life policies. The country recently built a border fence to crackdown on an illegal immigration crisis that overwhelmed law enforcement agencies. Between 10,000 and 12,000 illegal aliens were crossing the Greek-Macedonian border daily at the peak of the European migration crisis, a Macedonian official told Judicial Watch, and the impact was devastating. This is likely of big interest to Soros, a renowned open borders advocate who pushes international governance, diminished U.S. global power and an increase in Muslim immigration. Soros spent tens of millions of dollars to support Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Just this month Hungary’s prime minister lashed out against Soros for funding groups to secretly influence the country’s politics. “Large-bodied predators are swimming here in the waters,” said Viktor Orban in his annual state of the nation speech. “This is the trans-border empire of George Soros, with tons of money and international heavy artillery.”

This appears to be the case in Macedonia with the help of American financing. There have been a number of violent protests in recent months that have been coordinated by Soros’ Open Society Foundation through its U.S.-funded NGOs, sources tell Judicial Watch. Some U.S. members of Congress have expressed interest in the issue and have demanded answers from Ambassador Baily, USAID and the State Department. In typical fashion, the State Department has stonewalled the inquiries and USAID hasn’t been much more forthcoming. Last month Utah Senator Mike Lee sent Ambassador Baily a letter asking questions involving the U.S. Mission to Macedonia’s involvement in the political process and its connections to the Open Society Foundation. It’s unlikely that Americans will receive answers, especially since Baily is probably on his way out. The fact remains however, that millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars have already been spent on this illicit operation and the government agencies need to be held accountable.


Highlighting added by this editor.

Friday, February 24, 2017

(What’s Left of) Our Economy: Some Real Fake News on Trump and Trade Data

(What’s Left of) Our Economy: Some Real Fake News on Trump and Trade Data

Friday, 24 February 2017

Posted by     LINK

Talk about a non-story. That some globalization cheerleaders have tried to blow up into a scandal. And all because the Trump administration seems to be interested in correcting important distortions in some commonly used U.S. trade data that presents a misleading picture of America’s exports, imports, and trade balances.
Here’s the situation. Last Sunday, The Wall Street Journal reported that  “The Trump administration is considering changing the way it calculates U.S. trade deficits, a shift that would make the country’s trade gap appear larger than it had in past years, according to people involved in the discussions.”
According to the Journal, “The leading idea under consideration would exclude from U.S. exports any goods first imported into the country, such as cars, and then transferred to a third country like Canada or Mexico unchanged….”
Continued the article, “Economists say that approach would inflate trade deficit numbers because it would typically count goods as imports when they come into the country but not count the same goods when they go back out, known as re-exports.”
So in other words, President Trump and his minions are thinking of artificially deflating the figures describing what the United States sells to the rest of the world, but not making a corresponding change on the import side that would reduce the amount of goods that the nation buys from its trade partners. The result would be a larger U.S. trade deficit, and added ammo for the administration’s claim that America’s trade policy needs major surgery. Talk about creating “alternative facts,” right?
That’s what the Journal‘s editorial board concluded. Charged these trade zealots, the Trump-ers’ “effort to recalculate U.S. trade flows to show larger deficits” is a “trick….borrowed from the political left” that “deserves to be hooted down as an attempt to manipulate statistics to assist bad economic policy [i.e., curbs on trade flows].”
But these allegations aren’t even close to the mark – that is, if you believe theJournal‘s own reporting. For as the original piece eventually reveals (based, as is the entire article, on anonymous sources), the president’s team is indeed mulling making those import data changes, too – which would involve switching the import measure “to ‘imports for consumption,’ a slightly narrower way of measuring imports that would make less of a difference in the overall balance. “
Which means that – weirdly – the Journal reporters decided not to tell those outraged economists that the supposed Trump administration exercise would make statistically valid symmetrical changes, or that these (of course nameless) economists received this info from the reporters and decided to ignore it in order to try to create the appearance of impropriety. It also means that Journal editorial writers either didn’t read their own publication’s coverage all the way through, or chose to ignore that decisive material. Either way, someone has just massively violated their profession’s ethics.
As for the change (reportedly) under consideration itself, it’s entirely justified because those re-exports that under the main system for presenting trade data are counted as real exports literally are not Made in America. As indicated above, they enter the U.S. economy from abroad and then are shipped overseas (or across the border to Canada or Mexico) in nearly all cases entirely or virtually unchanged.
This means that they add virtually nothing to American economic growth or employment – a major and entirely valid reason that exports are so beloved). Andalthough, as some trade advocates claim, their transit into and through the United States creates logistical jobs (in transportation and,warehousing services), such logistical jobs would be created anyway if those goods were domestically produced (Unless you think that such products typically don’t need to be stored after production and then transported to customers, too?)
Moreover, the distortions resulting from sloppy methodology of the main exports numbers are anything but bupkis. Last year, for example, failing to strip out foreign-produced goods boosted total U.S. merchandise exports by 15.43 percent – or $224.33 billion. Relatively speaking, the impact on manufactures exports was even bigger – 17.48 percent, or $223.36 billion.
And the effects on America’s goods exports to Mexico and Canada, its partners in the controversial North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), are especially noteworthy. Proper counting would reduce 2016 U.S. merchandise exports to the former by 23.19 percent and manufactures exports by 25.30 percent. The comparable numbers for Canada are 17.14 percent and 17.93 percent.
Moreover, since proper counting has little effect on import totals, either globally or for NAFTA trade, raising its profile would definitely show higher U.S. deficits. And the export gap has been growing steadily across the board.
Fittingly, this story can be closed on an absurd note, too. As indicated above, the U.S. government already compiles and reports (though in an unsatisfactorily low-profile way), export and import data that quantify exports actually produced in America, and imports actually consumed in America (although, as discussed inthis solid Public Citizen analyses, the import numbers could still use some improvement). So a changeover to more accurate figures that reveal trade’s true impact on U.S. production and job creation looks to be pretty easy. Think we’ll be reading about that in The Wall Street Journal?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Congress wants to spend $6 billion more on healthcare, but here’s a good suggestion for them

Congress wants to spend $6 billion more on healthcare, but here’s a good suggestion for them

November 30, 2016 by 

Congress, you need to stop. Like, really.  Just stop.
With the release of a 1,000-page health care spending bill, the Republican-heavy Congress has proved it has no interest in shrinking the size of the federal government.
Despite spending a majority of the Obama administration criticizing the Affordable Care Act for increasing Washington DC’s footprint, House leaders now appear no different than their Democratic counterparts who crammed the law through without any consideration for the consequences. (Remember, “We have to pass it to see what’s in it?”) Even more concerning is why the GOP is forcing this bill through with a new administration looming; especially one that has promised to repeal Obamacare and its wasteful habits.
And what is the name of this new bill? The 21st Century Cures Act, which is ironic because it’s not going to cure what really ails this country: the fat-cat lobbyists and politicians who will be the primary beneficiaries of such an act.
Daniel Horowitz explains what’s packed in the bill and how they plan to pay for it at Conservative Review:
Despite all the hand-wringing about partisan fighting in Washington, the “21st Century Cures Act” is a quintessential example of the two liberal parties coming together to grow the federal government, increase rather than decrease spending, give handouts to all their respective lobbyists, and sell the bill as the next step to curing cancer. In short, it represents everything wrong with Washington.
The $6.3 billion package contains $4.8 billion in extra funding for the NIH [National Institute of Health] to further research cancer, brain cells, and precision medicine. It also gives the FDA another $500 million to move drugs and medical devices to patients more quickly, and a billion dollars in grants to states to combat the “opioid crisis.”
As is always the case, the bill’s authors have concocted a hodgepodge of notional accounting gimmicks to “pay for” the cost of the bill. Not a single government program is eliminated to offset the cost of this new spending; rather the bill relies on receipts from selling off our Strategic Oil Reserves over ten years to pay for this bill. Using the Strategic Oil Reserves as a private piggybank to pay off lobbyists in order to grow government has become the new go-to source for “spending offsets.”
A similar version of this bill passed in the House just last year, but the new version has grown three times the size of the original. If the new version passes, the Department of Health and Human Resources will have billions of dollars coursing through its veins much like the very opioid addicts the bill vows to cure. It will be a non-stop taxpayer-funded binge, and Washington will never want to come off of that high.
Though the bill contains some reforms to the FDA and Bill Clinton’s 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, it’s canceled out by the billions in new spending. Much like the outgoing liberal administration, Republican leaders are selling the bill with keywords like “health” and “cure” in an effort to make the medicine go down easier. But the American people have spoken, and they elected a new administration which promised to repeal and replace Obamacare. When the “conservatives” in Washington won’t act like conservatives, how can they claim to be the party of small government ever again?
I’ll let Horowitz have the last word:
Rather than canceling the lame duck session and saving this endeavor for a new GOP mandate next year, House Republicans plan to drop this complex, multifaceted bill on the floor on Wednesday.
Inexcusable.
#JustGoHome

Monday, October 17, 2016

Why fears of a "runaway convention" can "finally be abandoned"

Posted by Rodney Dodsworth on October 11, 2016

Over the course of my three years in support of an Article V State Convention to propose amendments, a regular fear expressed by Article V opponents is that the convention will conduct itself in the same Animal House atmosphere of our sorry US Congress. While no one can predict the future of such things with certainty, recent experience points to a different place, one where ladies and gentlemen firmly, yet decorously, stood to express the will of the state legislatures that commissioned them to restore the American republic.
I wouldn’t have bothered with this post had not 137 commissioners from fifty states convened this past September at Williamsburg in a simulated convention of the states. The great and feared red, blue, and purple divide that threatens to tear our nation asunder was . . . gone! Where was the runaway convention so feared by the John Birch Society and Eagle Forum? State commissioners rose to the occasion and conducted themselves as if the eye of history was actually upon them.
At the risk of being admonished here for posting excerpts from a ratifying convention and drawing comparisons from it to a still-to-happen state convention to propose amendments, I think the analogy is legitimate. Passions run high in any gathering of strong willed people; they must be restrained and directed toward productive work. That is the essence of the often demanding job description of those who lead conventions, their presidents.
Every organization takes on the character and demeanor of its leaders. From the parents of a family, to the CEO of a corporation, to the President of the United States, they all, for better or for worse, have great influence over their institutions. Here, I wish to highlight the psychological environments set up by convention presidents Edmund Pendleton at Virginia's ratifying convention in 1788, and Utah state representative Ken Ivory at Williamsburg in 2016.
Richmond 1788. Sixty-seven-year-old Edmund Pendleton thanked the convention for electing him, despite his known physical infirmities and decline in mental powers. He assured the delegates he would execute his duties to the best of his ability, so as to prevent any dishonor or inconvenience to the convention.
Edmund Pendleton:
“Order and decorum in the deliberations of all public bodies is absolutely necessary, not only to preserve their dignity, but that reason and argument may have their proper effect in decision, and not be lost in confusion and disorder. You have made it my duty to be the centinel over order, and endeavors to preserve it shall not be wanting. But those will be wholly ineffectual, unless assisted by your example and support, which I shall therefore confidently hope for.”
He reminded the delegates that they were trustees for the citizens of Virginia, which required their most serious attention. Since they all had the same end in view, they should calmly reason with one another as friends. Strive to avoid all heats, intemperance, and personal altercations, which always impede and never assist fair investigation.
As the signers to the Declaration of Independence appealed to the “Supreme Judge of the World for the rectitude of (their) Intentions,” Edmund Pendleton hoped the Virginia Ratifying Convention may reasonably “stand justified in (its) decision, whatever it may be, to those we act for, God and The World.”
Williamsburg 2016. Convention president Ken Ivory of Utah thanked the assembled commissioners for the honor of electing him. Prior to the convention, he visited Monticello and Montpelier. Along with a few other commissioners, they sat in the room where James Madison drafted the Virginia Plan of Government, and took in the enormity of what took place there.
He compared our governing form to a near broken-down bicycle. In previous times, when it was maintained, it operated as designed. Today, the federal tire is so bloated that it may explode at any time, while the state tire is so flat that it’s about the chew the tire from the rim.
He invoked The Federalist #51, in which James Madison stressed separation of powers, structural checks and balances. In the machinery of the Framers’ system, the power of the sovereign people was divided into two spheres, like a bicycle’s two tires. When the machinery of a bicycle or government is near collapse, changing the rider or president is not a solution to the problem.
Representative Ivory said, “I would submit to you that the Founders, knowing like every good bicyclist that goes out for a long ride, you’re going to need a repair kit. You’re going to need tools and patch kits and pumps and a multi-tool, because they knew that there would need to be repair and maintenance on that system the more it was used. George Washington said, ‘We left the door open, we left the constitutional door open.’ And the constitutional tool they left is Article V. Article V of the Constitution is the multi-tool to repair and amend and maintain the system. Not personality, not policy. We have a system problem.”
Citing W. Edwards Deming, Rep Ivory said, “Every system is perfectly designed to achieve the results it gets.” Our system in disrepair is designed to achieve trillion-dollar a year deficits, $20 trillion in debt, 90,000 pages of regulation, 5,000 federal felonies. We also have a system designed to achieve the necessary repairs, and you all swore an oath, as you were intended to be constitutional officers, to work on the system. That’s you. That’s the people you represent. As I was walking from here to grab my binder after breakfast, someone that’s just staying in the hotel said, “What are you all doing here?” I said, “We’re Commissioners from every one of the states, here to exercise our oath to repair and maintain the system.” He said, “I’m so glad. I’m so glad. Please, do that job. We need it so badly.”
President Ivory closed with, “Commissioners, the winds of change are about to blow. You swore an oath, and as James Madison said in introducing the Bill of Rights, ‘The state legislatures will be the sure guardians of the people’s liberty. They will be able to resist the federal encroachments with more effect than any other power on earth can do, because they are the sure guardians of the people’s liberty.’ Today, as we work, please, let’s work diligently, because we are the sure guardians of the people’s liberty. Thank you very much, thank you for being here. I’m honored that there are so many people willing to stand up for the liberty of my children. I know that the nation has its eyes on you. Thank you for being here. Let’s get to work.”
Upon the close of the simulated convention, New Mexico State Representative Yvette Herrell reported, “What I found amazing about the simulated convention was the commissioner’s dedication to the process. It was remarkable to witness the level of participation and the various conversations happening throughout the convention floor. We took our responsibilities as commissioners seriously, as if to collectively exhibit to the nation that Liberty is alive and well, that through the Article V process, state legislators can succeed in amending the Constitution in a way that is safe and meaningful. Above all else, we exemplified that fears of a runaway convention can finally be abandoned.”
We are the many; our oppressors are the few. Be proactive. Be a Re-Founder. Join Convention of States. Sign our COS Petition.
Reference: The State Historical Society of Wisconsin. (1990). The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution, Volume IX Virginia. Madison: The State Historical Society of Wisconsin.

Friday, September 2, 2016

(What’s Left of) Our Economy: Can the U.S. Chamber Put One & One Together on Trade?

(What’s Left of) Our Economy: Can the U.S. Chamber Put One & One Together on Trade?


I’ve long urged trade policy critics (including Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump) to stop questioning the intelligence of globalization cheerleaders. Especially, when we’re talking about offshoring-happy multinational corporations and their hired guns in Washington, I’ve insisted, they’ve known exactly what they’ve been doing – pushing the trade and other international economic policies likeliest to reward the companies with the biggest profits in the shortest time-frame.
True, the longer-term effects have produced losses for many of them – especially since the immense imbalances resulting from these policies helped trigger the financial crisis and ensuing Great Recession, which at least initially hit earnings and stock prices. But charges of stupidity don’t seem valid even in this regard, since most of the American economic system’s incentives discourage long-term thinking.
A new U.S. Chamber of Commerce report, however, could justify a rethink. For it’s a great example of an organization ignoring evidence that’s been staring it in the face for literally decades – and that’s become especially glaring recently. Moreover, it inadvertently validates the claim made by American politicians like Trump that major numbers of manufacturing jobs could be returned to the United States if Washington only mustered the will to do so.
The Chamber, of course, has been one of the most powerful mainstays of the overlapping corporate offshoring and cheap labor lobbies, and this morning released a study bemoaning the worldwide growth of what’s often called “techno-protectionism.” That is, more and more countries have been working harder and harder to promote their own domestic information technology industries through a variety of new regulations that the Chamber rightly notes have cloaked simple beggar-thy-neighbor aims in national security rationales.
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