America

On Banning Terrorist Boots: This Is What Occupation Looks Like

Common Dreams - Sat, 2019-09-07 21:18
Futher Column - By Abby Zimet, Staff Writer
Categories: America

Brothers who murdered ‘Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian’ over sexy selfies might walk free

RT - 2 hours 48 min ago

Two brothers charged with murdering a Pakistani social media star and prompting Islamabad to tighten laws against “honor killings” might be set free – after their parents said they forgive them for killing their own sister.

Social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch, dubbed “Pakistani Kim Kardashian,” was found dead in July 2016. Her brothers Waseem and Aslam were charged with her murder, apparently in a practice known as “honor killing.” Now their parents are trying to get them released by telling the court that all is forgiven.

The affidavit filed by the family on Wednesday uses an old provision in Pakistani law that once allowed perpetrators of ‘honor killings’ to walk free if forgiven and pardoned by other family members. However, the Pakistani parliament unanimously passed a new law closing this loophole back in 2016 – prompted by Baloch’s death, no less.

Also on rt.com Social media star strangled in Pakistan, brother confesses to ‘honor killing,’ has ‘no regrets’

Current law says that family forgiveness could only spare those convicted of “honor killings” the death sentence, and they must spend at least 12 and a half years behind bars. However, Baloch’s parents argue that she was killed three months before the new law was adopted, and that it cannot be applied retroactively.

The 26-year-old woman, whose real name was Fauzia Azeem, had more than 750,000 Facebook subscribers, some 51,000 followers on Instagram, and about 43,000 Twitter followers. She rose to prominence by defending liberal views, defying local traditions and posting somewhat racy videos on social networks, including one in which she sits on the lap of a prominent Muslim cleric.

Pakistani woman tortured & hanged from tree in 'honor killing' https://t.co/Itsh7UtldF pic.twitter.com/dRqgaGo2rc

— RT (@RT_com) September 16, 2016

According to police, Waseem had strangled her to death and later confessed to the murder, arguing that he wanted his sister to leave the limelight and saying that her social media activities damaged the family honor he sought to redeem.

In an extremely rare move, the government also became a complainant in the case, designating it a crime against the state and blocking her family from forgiving Waseem and his brother Aslam, who was also charged with the murder. The parents, who initially vowed to never forgive the murderers, have already sought to pardon the brothers, according to Pakistani media.

The 2016 amendments aimed at stopping honor killings do not seem to have had much of an effect. Although the police in Pakistan’s most populous province of Punjab said the number of such murders has fallen since the law was passed, estimates provided by various rights groups cited by Reuters show that almost 1,000 such killings take place every year.

Also on rt.com Honor killing loophole ‘closed’ as Pakistan passes new law on mandatory conviction

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Categories: America, Forbidden, MENA, RT, World

A Record 21,380 People Just Passed The CFA Level 3 Examination

Zerohedge (BFFBT) - 2 hours 53 min ago

The CFA examination is known for being notoriously difficult, which traditionally has contributed to the poor pass rate for the examination. But that wasn’t the case this past June, according to Bloomberg.

The CFA Institute is going to be adding a record 21,380 new chartered financial analysts after a robust 56% of test takers passed the third and final level of the examination this summer. Pass rates for the exams are often under the 50% level.

However, the pass rate for the third level of the exam this year was unchanged year-over-year and compares to 41% who passed the first level of the exam and 44% who passed the second part of the exam, according to the CFA Institute.



The institute offered additional insights on its most recent examination.

For instance, women now account for more than 39% of CFA candidates and some markets, like the UK and Australia, have reached gender parity for the first part of the exam. The number of females taking the examination has more than doubled over the last five years.

Part of the reason for the record numbers is also because the institute has expanded the number of test centers that offer the exam, adding sites and places like Cambodia and Myanmar. The exam was offered at 343 test centers in 192 cities this past summer and the new CFAs will add to the ranks of 167,000 who already carry the charter.

The CFA Institute will offer computer-based testing for candidates starting in 2021, which will allow candidates to choose their own exam date within new test taking windows.

The Real Reasons Why The Media Is Suddenly Admitting To The Recession Threat

Zerohedge (BFFBT) - 3 hours 13 min ago

Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.com,

One thing that is important to understand about the mainstream media is that they do tell the truth on occasion. However, the truths they admit to are almost always wrapped in lies or told to the public far too late to make the information useful.   Dissecting mainstream media information and sifting out the truth from the propaganda is really the bulk of what the alternative media does (or should be doing).  In the past couple of weeks I have received a rush of emails asking about the sudden flood of recession and economic crash talk in the media.  Does this abrupt 180 degree turn by the MSM (and global banks) on the economy warrant concern?  Yes, it does.

The first inclination of a portion of the liberty movement will be to assume that mainstream reports of imminent economic crisis are merely an attempt to tarnish the image of the Trump Administration, and that the talk of recession is "overblown".  This is partially true; Trump is meant to act as scapegoat, but this is not the big picture.  The fact is, the pattern the media is following today matches almost exactly with the pattern they followed leading up to the credit crash of 2008.  Make no mistake, a financial crash is indeed happening RIGHT NOW, just as it did after media warnings in 2007/2008, and the reasons why the MSM is admitting to it today are calculated.

Before we get to that, we should examine how the media reacted during the lead up to the crash of 2008.

Multiple mainstream outlets ignored all the crash signals in 2005 and 2006 despite ample warnings from alternative economists. In fact, they mostly laughed at the prospect of the biggest bull market in the history of stocks and housing (at that time) actually collapsing. Then abruptly the media and the globalist institutions that dictate how the news is disseminated shifted position and started talking about “recession” and “crash potential”. From the New York Times to The Telegraph to Reuters and others, as well as the IMF, BIS and Federal Reserve officials – Everyone suddenly started agreeing with alternative economists without actually deferring to them or giving them any credit for making the correct financial calls.

In 2007/2008, the discussion revolved around derivatives, a subject just complicated enough to confuse the majority of people and cause them to be disinterested in the root trigger for the economic crisis, which was central bankers creating and deflating bubbles through policy engineering. Instead, the public just wanted to know how the crash was going to be fixed. Yes, some blame went to the banking system, but almost no one at the top was punished (only one banker in the US actually faced fraud charges). Ultimately, the crisis was pinned on a “perfect storm” of coincidences, and the central banks were applauded for their “swift action” in using stimulus and QE to save us all from a depression level event. The bankers were being referred to as “heroes”.

Of course, central bank culpability was later explored, and Alan Greenspan even admitted partial responsibility, saying the Fed knew there was a bubble, but was "not aware" of how dangerous it really was. This was a lie. According to Fed minutes from 2004, Greenspan sought to silence any dissent on the housing bubble issue, saying that it would stir up debate on a process that “only the Fed understood”. Meaning, there was indeed discussion on housing and credit warning signs, but Greenspan snuffed it out to prevent the public from hearing about it.

Today we have a very similar dynamic.

Use of the “R word” in the mainstream media and among central banks has been strictly contained for the past several years.  In the October 2012 Fed minutes, Jerome Powell specifically warned of what would happen if the Federal Reserve tightened liquidity and raised interest rates into economic weakness.  He warned that this would have negative effects on the stimulus addicted investment environment that the central bank had fostered.  This discussion was held back from the public until only a year-and-a-half ago.  As soon as Powell became chairman, he implemented those exact actions.

Only in the past year has talk of recession begun to break out, and only in the past couple of weeks have outlets become aggressive in pushing the notion that a financial crash is just around the corner. The reality is that if one removes the illusory support of central bank stimulus, our economy never left the "Great Recession" of 2008.  Signals of renewed sharp declines in economic fundamentals have been visible since before the 2016 elections.  Alarms have been blaring on housing, auto markets, manufacturing, freight and shipping, historic debt levels, the yield curve, etc. since at least winter of last year, just as the Fed raised rates to their neutral rate of inflation and increased asset cuts from the balance sheet to between $30 billion to $50 billion or more per month.

The media should have been reporting on economic crisis dangers for the past 2-3 years.  But, they didn't give these problems much credence until recently.  So, what changed?

I can only theorize on why the media and the banking elites choose the timing they do to admit to the public what is about to happen. First, it is clear from their efforts to stifle free discussion that they do not want to let the populace know too far ahead of time that a crash is coming. According to the evidence, which I have outlined in-depth in previous articles, central banks and international banks sometimes engineer crash events in order to consolidate wealth and centralize their political power even further. Is it a conspiracy? Yes, it is, and it's a provable one.

When they do finally release the facts, or allow their puppet media outlets to report on the facts, it seems that they allow for around 6-8 months of warning time before economic shock events occur. In the case of the current crash in fundamentals (and eventually stocks), the time may be shorter. Why? Because this time the banks and the media have a scapegoat in the form of Donald Trump, and by extension, they have a scapegoat in the form of conservatives, populists, and sovereignty activists.

The vast majority of articles flowing through mainstream news feeds on economic recession refer directly to Trump, his supporters and the trade war as the primary villains behind the downturn. The warnings from the Fed, the BIS and the IMF insinuate the same accusation.

Anyone who has read my work for the past few years knows I have been warning about Trump as a false prophet for the liberty movement and conservatives in general. And everyone knows my primary concern has been that the globalists will crash the Everything Bubble on Trump's watch, and then blame all conservatives for the consequences.

To be clear, Trump is not the cause of the Everything Bubble, nor is he the cause of its current implosion. No president has the power to trigger a collapse of this magnitude, only central banks have that power. When Trump argues that the Fed is causing a downturn, he is telling the truth, but when he claims that recession fears are exaggerated, or "inappropriate", he is lying.   What he is not telling the public is that his job is to HELP the Fed in this process of controlled economic demolition.

Admissions of crisis in the media are coinciding directly with Trump's policy actions. In other words, Trump is providing perfect cover for the central banks to crash the economy without receiving any of the blame. Trump's insistence on taking full credit for the bubble in stock markets as well as fraudulent GDP and employment numbers, after specifically warning about all of these things during his election campaign, has now tied the economy like a noose around the necks of conservatives. The tone of warning in the media indicates to me that the banking elites are about to tighten that noose.

Another factor on our timeline beyond Trump's helpful geopolitical distractions is the possibility of a 'No-Deal' Brexit in October.  I continue to believe this outcome (or something very similar) has been pushed into inevitability by former Prime Minister Theresa May and EU globalists, and that it will be used as yet another scapegoat for the now accelerating crash in the EU.  With Germany on the verge of admitting recession, Deutsche Bank on the edge of insolvency, Italy nearing political and financial crisis, etc., it is only a matter of months before Europe sees its own "Lehman moment".  The Brexit is, in my view, a marker for a timeline on when the crash will hit its stride.

To summarize, the mainstream media and global banking institutions have two goals in informing the public about recession right now :

  1. They are seeking to cover their own asses when the next shoe drops so they can say they "tried to warn us", and...

  2. ...they are conditioning a majority of the public to automatically blame conservatives and sovereignty proponents when the consequences hit them without mercy.

As the truth of a recession smacks the public in the face, the media will likely pull back slightly, just as they did in 2008, and suggest that the downturn is "temporary".  They will claim it's "not a repeat of the credit crisis", or that it will "subside after Trump is out of office".  These will all be lies designed to keep the public complacent even as the house of cards collapses around them.  The fact is, the hard data shows that economic conditions in the US and in most of the world are far more unstable than they were in 2008.  We are not looking at the crash of a credit bubble, we are looking at the crash of the 'Everything Bubble'.

The pace of the narrative is quickening, and I would suggest that a collapse of the bubble will move rather quickly, perhaps in the next four to six months. If it does, then it is likely that Trump is not slated for a second term as president in 2020. Trump's highly divisive support for “Red Flag” gun laws, a move that will lose him considerable support among pro-gun conservatives, also indicates to me that it is likely he is not meant to be president in 2020.  This is another sign that a massive downturn is closing in.

As events are unfolding right now, it appears that Trump has served his purpose for the globalists and is slated to be replaced next year; probably by an extreme far-left Democrat.  There are only a couple of scenarios I can imagine in which Trump remains in office, one of them being a major war which might require him to retain the presidency so the globalists can finish out a regime change agenda in nations like Iran or Venezuela.  This could, however, be pursued under a Democrat president almost as easily as long as Trump and his elitist cabinet lay the groundwork beforehand.  As in 2007/2008, it is unlikely that the mainstream would admit to a downturn that is not coming soon. Using the behavior of the media and of banking institutions as a guide, we can predict with some measure of certainty a crisis within the economy in the near term. Clearly, a major breakdown is slated to take place before the election of 2020, if not much sooner.

*  *  *

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Treasury Targets Chinese 'Kingpins' In Opioid Distribution Crackdown

Zerohedge (BFFBT) - 3 hours 33 min ago

The Trump administration on Wednesday announced a crackdown on international opioid trafficking, including coordinated actions by the US Treasury against Chinese nationals accused of being "significant foreign narcotics traffickers." 

The Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control identified Fujing Zheng (Zheng) and the Zheng Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) as significant foreign narcotics traffickers pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). Chinese national Guanghua Zheng was also designated for his support of the organization. 

"The Chinese kingpins that OFAC designated today run an international drug trafficking operation that manufactures and sells lethal narcotics, directly contributing to the crisis of opioid addiction, overdoses, and death in the United States.  Zheng and Yan have shipped hundreds of packages of synthetic opioids to the U.S., targeting customers through online advertising and sales, and using commercial mail carriers to smuggle their drugs into the United States," according to Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. 

Zheng created several websites to sell drugs in over 35 languages, and touted his ability to avoid detection by customs and law enforcement officials. 

According to the Treasury, Zheng's organization "used its chemical expertise to create analogues of drugs with slightly different chemical structures but the same or even more potent effect. The Zheng DTO even agreed to manufacture adulterated cancer medication, creating counterfeit pills that replaced the active cancer-fighting ingredient with dangerous synthetic drugs."

The group laundered their drug proceeds using digital currency and bank accounts in China and Hong Kong. 

Protests in EU ‘have larger, graver consequences’ than in Russia – Putin

RT - 3 hours 42 min ago

Politically motivated rallies in Europe are much larger in scale and often lead to violent clashes with many demonstrators and police officers injured, Putin said answering a journalist’s question in Helsinki.

“The protests in Moscow are not something unique for this world and Europe in particular,” Putin said answering a question about the demonstrations during a joint press conference with the Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in Helsinki on Wednesday.

Events that take place [in Europe] are much larger in scale and, while they are also held under political slogans, they lead to rather drastic consequences for those who take part in the demonstrations.

Protests ended up with “thousands of injured people, including some sustaining serious injuries, both among protesters and law enforcement officers” and even deaths, Putin said.Earlier this week, he made similar comments about Moscow protests during a press conference with the French President Emmanuel Macron.

The latter said he closely followed the events in Moscow and sought to lecture the Russian president on how to deal with the demonstrators. Ironically, France has been gripped by Yellow Vest protests which have been met with police batons, rubber bullets and tear gas for the past 40 weekends.

Scuffles break out on 40th weekend of #YellowVests protests pic.twitter.com/5K7fwQb95X

— RT (@RT_com) August 18, 2019

The French rallies held every weekend since November 2018 indeed have witnessed some chilling outbreaks of violence. Many protesters blamed police violence for their life-changing injuries like lost eyes and limbs. In July, hundreds of people even joined the ‘march of the mutilated’ in Paris to protest police brutality.Not only France, but protests for Catalonia’s independence from Spain in Barcelona recently saw heavy clashes and police brutality, as well as G20 protests in Hamburg among others.

Moscow believes that Russians have every right to defend their interests by holding rallies but protests but should follow the rule of law, Putin concluded on Wednesday.

Also on rt.com Macron lectures Putin on ‘right to protest’ amid own crackdown on Yellow Vests

A series of protests in Moscow followed a local election committee’s decision to ban several opposition candidates from running in the upcoming city council vote. The committee said that the banned candidates faked people’s signatures which were required to get on the ballot. The candidates disputed this decision by calling it flawed.

Over the past weeks, the city saw a couple of peaceful rallies attended by thousands of people willing to support the banned politicians. They were coordinated with the local authorities. Several other protests that were not sanctioned spiraled into standoffs between demonstrators and police and resulted in a high number of detentions

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Categories: America, Forbidden, MENA, RT, World

Protect the crops! Israeli paratroopers ‘accidentally’ open fire at civilian plane (VIDEO)

RT - 3 hours 46 min ago

Israeli soldiers chose a small Israeli crop-dusting plane for target practice after mistaking it for an enemy aircraft ‘intruding’ into the airspace of occupied Golan Heights.

The appearance of a tiny agricultural aircraft over the clear blue skies of the Golan provoked an immediate response by the trigger-happy IDF paratroopers, who opened fire at the supposed intruder thinking it was a Syrian plane that had invaded Israel.

Stopping in the middle of the road, three soldiers began offloading their magazines at the approaching plane that was seen flying over the fields, video of the encounter shows.

המטווח שעשו היום לוחמי גדוד 101 של הצנחנים במרכז רמת הגולן על מטוס צילום ישראלי אזרחי, לאחר שחשבו בטעות שהוא מטוס סורי עויין שחדר לישראל. המטוס חטף כמה קליעים. לטייס שלום. זה היה עלול להיגמר רע מאד. pic.twitter.com/9KR2QWAOU6

— Or Heller אור הלר (@OrHeller) August 21, 2019

The plane caught several bullets before the soldiers realized they have been firing at a fellow Israeli.The pilot, who himself thought he was sustaining fire from the Syrian side of the border, managed to land the plane at the Mahanaim airfield near Rosh Pina, local outlets reported.

This was a serious incident that is being investigated. Lessons will be learned.

No one was injured in this bizarre encounter, the IDF said, noting that it is a standard military procedure to identify and engage “infiltrating aircraft” so close to the Syrian border.

Also on rt.com Israeli tweet of ‘Hamas children’ playing with TOY guns BACKFIRES

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Kyle Bass Summarizes The State Of The World: "This Is Insane!"

Zerohedge (BFFBT) - 3 hours 48 min ago

Despite interest rates having bounced (albeit very modestly) in the last few days, prompting shrieks of "the lows for yields are in" once again, and hyped-up belief that 'There Is No Alternative' to dumping bonds and buying stocks at record highs, Hayman Capital fund manager Kyle Bass has a different view suggesting that a global re-awakening of easier-and-easier monetary policy will drive US rates to zero (and potentially beyond).

"This is insane. The Japanese are going to keep going. The Chinese print money like it’s a national pastime today. Europe is going to restart QE."

During an interview with CNBC, Bass exclaimed:

“We’re the only country that has an integer in front of our bond yields,”

“We have 90% of the world’s investment-grade debt. We actually have rule of law and we have a decent economy. All the money is going to come here.”

For now, it appears that money is buying bonds AND stocks...

Which, Bass notes, will spark even more inequality (as 'assetholders' get richer - in ever more diluted dollar terms while the rest suffer from inflationary living costs)

"The unintended consequences of central bank printing are that it makes the rich even richer, it makes the middle class stay where they are and it makes the poor stay poor."

Bass also noted that he does not think a China trade deal is anywhere in sight.

I think Trump’s political calculus is to keep talking. If he does a deal, it will be too easy and he’ll get attacked from the right. If he does a deal that’s too difficult, they won’t sign it.”

Watch the full interview below:

More Americans Live Alone Than Ever Before

Zerohedge (BFFBT) - 3 hours 53 min ago

Submitted by Nicholas Colas of DataTrek

More Americans live alone than ever before, some 28% of the population. They actually outnumbers households with 4+ people and demographic trends point to even more single-person households over the next decade. This is one of those long-term secular trends that should be part of every investor’s checklist when considering the merits of a company’s product/service offering.

First, a brief overview of the data (graph below):

  • As of 2018, 28.0% of Americans lived alone. The raw numbers: 35.7 million single-person households and 127.6 million total households.
  • That percentage has been rising steadily for +50 years.
  • In 1960, for example, only 13.1% of Americans lived alone. If you walked into a random American house back then, you were 3x more likely to see 4 or more residents. Now, the odds favor meeting only one inhabitant.
  • The crossover point between single-person households and 4-or-more was 1998.
  • The trend to more Americans living alone rather than in a “traditional” 2-adults, 2-or-more kids household is the central reason the number of people/household has declined from 3.3 in 1960 to 2.5 today.

Why is this happening?

  • Greater female labor force participation, which allows women the choice of living alone, is one factor. LFP for this cohort went from 38% in 1960 to 60% in 2000 and is at 57% today.
  • Lower birthrates is another, with the US going from 3.7/woman in 1960 to 1.8 today.
  • An aging population is the last variable, since men typically die 5 years earlier than women. Data from other aging populations such as Europe (33% 1-person households) and Japan (35%) show where the US statistics will likely go in coming years.

Why does this matter from an investment perspective?

  • The US consumer is the backbone of the domestic economy, and the growing percentage of 1-person households is theoretically a secular positive. Single person households do not typically share durable goods like motor vehicles, major appliances, rent/mortgage or even smaller items like media subscriptions. They therefore will tend to consume more than a multiple-person household.
  • The offsetting problem: since America’s growing single-person household percentage is partly due to an aging population, consumption will be lower than if this was all due to millennials living alone.

Bottom line: the growth of single-person US households is one of those big macro trends that should filter its way into considering what sorts of companies will prosper in the next decade. Just ask yourself “would a person living alone buy X, subscribe to Y, or use Z’s services?” If the answer is a resounding “yes”, that’s a good start.

Sources:

CME FedWatch (odds of rate cuts): https://www.cmegroup.com/trading/interest-rates/countdown-to-fomc.html

US Census (Households by size): https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/families/households.html

Russia ‘expert’ says Ukraine economy doing great, citing mail-order bride blog

RT - 3 hours 57 min ago

Notoriously wrong Swedish economist Anders Aslund invoked monthly wage statistics from a dating website geared toward Western men seeking eastern European wives to argue that Ukraine is doing better than Russia.

Ukraine’s average monthly wage at $428, almost back to where it was in 2013 before “Russian aggression,” Aslund tweeted on Wednesday, noting that wages in Russia have fallen under President Vladimir Putin.

From 2013 to 2015, Ukraine's average monthly wage in USD collapsed from $429 to $200 with devaluation & Russian aggression. https://t.co/YsW3U8m404
In July 2019 it has recovered to $428, more than doubling in four years. Meanwhile Russian USD wages have fallen.

— Anders Åslund (@anders_aslund) August 21, 2019

The senior fellow at the US-funded Atlantic Council think tank, known for his strong anti-Russia views, quickly got called out for using as his source Elena’s Models, a dating service matching Russian and Ukrainian women to wealthy Westerners. 

“Do you often visit mail order bride websites, Anders?” asked one amused tweeter.

“One thing about the Russia/Ukraine beat, at least it's never boring,” quipped Russia-based journalist Bryan MacDonald, who screencapped the exchange just in case.

An @atlanticcouncil lobbyist uses a mail-order bride site as a source for Ukrainian economic data. One thing about the Russia/Ukraine beat, at least it's never boring. pic.twitter.com/MC6A2E86Ya

— Bryan MacDonald (@27khv) August 21, 2019

While Aslund has been wrong about Russia repeatedly, often and in major ways – he famously predicted the country’s total collapse in 1999 and has been trying to wish it into happening ever since – in this particular instance he may have been on to something, after a fashion. 

Elena’s Models seems to have an accurate understanding of official statistics, MacDonald noted, adding that economic data from ex-Soviet states should be taken “with a pinch of salt” due to “large grey economies.”

Not to mention that simply converting average wages into US dollars at the current exchange rate, without accounting for inflation of purchasing power, is just lazy economics and even lazier analysis. Or, as it is also known, par for the course. 

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Categories: America, Forbidden, MENA, RT, World

Trump Paves The F*cking Way For Politicians Swearing In Public

Zerohedge (BFFBT) - 4 hours 13 min ago

President Trump is not one to mince words. The New York billionaire won hearts and minds in 2016 using candid, coarse, and at times profane language while speaking at rallies and in interviews.

"I’d say swearing is part of his appeal," author Melissa Mohr told the New York TimesMohr wrote "Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing." 

"It helps create the impression that he is saying what he thinks, ‘telling it like it is.’ We tend to believe people when they swear, because we interpret these words as a sign of strong emotions. In his case, the emotion is often powerful anger, which his supporters seem to love."

And while Trump's coarse language has been largely relegated to the words "Bullshit", "Hell" and "Ass," Democrats have cranked it up to 11 over Twitter and elsewhere, dropping F-bombs and all sorts of other colorful language as they attempt to match Trump's bluster, according to The Hill

In analysis conducted exclusively for ITK, GovPredict, a government relations software company, found that the frequency of lawmakers using words that might make one’s grandmother blush has increased steadily since 2014.

President Trump and several of the candidates seeking to replace him next year — including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) — have used impassioned swear words to make their points recently. Sanders responded to a debate comment about "Medicare for All" last month by saying that he "wrote the damn bill," and Trump used the word “hell” at least half a dozen times at a Thursday night rally. 

GovPredict’s data shows that obscene language not including the words "shit" and "f---" has been used at an all-time high by politicians, with 1,225 instances on Twitter so far this year compared to 833 in 2018. -The Hill

Weeks ago, 2020 White House hopeful Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) dropped an F-bomb while discussing the MSM's failure to hold Trump accountable for fanning the flames of racial discord, saying "He's been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. Members of the press, what the fuck?"

Cory Booker said in a text message shared by his campaign manager over Twitter: "Listening to the president. Such a bullshit soup of ineffective words." In May, Booker said on CNN while discussing gun control "We are not going to give thoughts and prayers, which to me is just bullshit. I’m sorry to say that as a man of faith, but I was taught that faith without works is dead."

In January, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) told a cheering crowd of Trump "We're gonna go in and impeach the motherfucker.Did she learn that kind of language from her grandmother?

Meanwhile, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) wrote on Twitter that voters should "Demand the Members of Congress get rid of ALL assault weapons or kick our ass out of Congress!"

And in a 2017 speech, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said "If we are not helping people, we should go the fuck home." 

UCSD professor of cognitive science Ben Bergen opines on the new abnormal. 

"For the most part, with a few exceptions, candidates have avoided being recorded swearing," says Bergen, who authored "What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves." 

"We’ve seen media become democratized. There are fewer and fewer channels of communication that are censored. And as a result, there’s just more swearing around," added Bergen. 

Bergen also says that for veterans of Congress who have "spent decades and decades crafting a public image," talking blue could be a calculated choice: "They believe that there’s work that swearing can do for them, and that although there is risk associated with it, they’re willing to take that risk for the potential reward."

Pitkin says that "as a growing number of elected officials break social norms, we are not likely to see a tempering of open-mindedness and self-expression by way of the usage of foul language." -The Hill

According to Bergen: "It’s hard to tell whether this is a moment that we’re experiencing where political discourse is now, because of heightened emotions and stakes and so on, [such] that people are trying to reach into a quiver of more affectively laden language or whether this is just the new normal.

Will it backfire? 

According to Bergen - no fucking way

"People who are already likely to be supportive of those individuals are more likely to believe that they are honest, they’re telling the truth, are more likely to believe that they’re emotionally involved in the things that they’re saying, and that they are powerful." 

Talk of Moving UK's Embassy in Israel

Oped News - 4 hours 14 min ago
As things stand, the EU prohibition on relocating embassies to Jerusalem will fall on Nov. 1, writes Craig Murray.
Categories: America, World

Trump might one day NUKE Denmark, ‘prophetic’ Ted Cruz predicted in 2016

RT - 4 hours 16 min ago

No one could have predicted in 2016 that US President Donald Trump would be throwing a geopolitical hissy fit over Denmark’s refusal to consider his offer to buy Greenland. No one, that is, except… Republican ex-rival Ted Cruz?

I don’t know anyone who would be comfortable with someone who behaves this way having his finger on the [nuclear] button. We’re liable to wake up one morning and Donald, if he were president, would’ve nuked Denmark,” Cruz told a crowd during a New Hampshire campaign event in February 2016.

With Trump cancelling a visit to Denmark in a fit of pique after PM Mette Fredriksen refused to discuss his offer to purchase Greenland, a C-SPAN producer with a shockingly good memory dug the Cruz clip out of the archives and posted it on Twitter, where it enjoyed a popularity Cruz never did when he was running for president.

Ted Cruz really is a prophet,” one user marveled. “It’s easy to forget, but I do occasionally agree with Cruz,” another admitted. Others elaborated on the nuclear futures of Trump’s tantrum: “If I can’t have it, no one can!

Such a nice big island with such colorful houses, wouldn't it be a shame if something happened to it.

— Jill Lawrence (@JillDLawrence) August 21, 2019

pic.twitter.com/T6mX9TcRaR

— WHBlakemore (@Woodyman502) August 21, 2019

French satirical outlet Le Gorafi posted its own tribute, which translates to “Donald Trump accuses Denmark of possessing weapons of mass destruction.”

Obama has a visit scheduled, so that option might still be something Trump is considering.

— Redacted (@DetegoDetectum) August 21, 2019

He forgot to say, ‘and I will have helped him,’” one user snarked, referring to Cruz’s transformation into a stalwart Trump supporter post-election, despite the president having nicknamed him “Lyin’ Ted” on the campaign trail and insulting both his wife and his father.

Also on rt.com Alaska for Greenland! Former Belgian PM proposes exchange as 'Danish explorer was there 1st'

Most Danish politicians called the idea of the US purchasing Greenland “absurd” and likened it to an “April fool’s joke,” but some went a step further. Greenland’s own PM Kim Kielsen suggested that since the Vikings had found America before Columbus, “it is only natural for us to get the United States back,” but it might not be the wisest investment given Washington’s massive debt problems.

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Categories: America, Forbidden, MENA, RT, World

Incredibly Sick, Federally-Funded Experiments Happening Behind Closed Doors In Secret Labs Across America

Zerohedge (BFFBT) - 4 hours 33 min ago

Authored by Michael Snyder via The End of The American Dream blog,

Some of the things that are being done in the name of “scientific research” are almost too horrifying to talk about.  But it is vitally important that we shine a light on these practices, because most Americans don’t realize what is really going on

Normally when we talk about crime, the primary focus is on the drug abuse and violence in the urban areas of our major cities.  But the truth is that often the worst crimes are committed by “doctors”, “scientists” and “researchers” wearing white lab coats.  The experiments that I am about to share with you are incredibly disgusting, and I apologize for this in advance, but the only way that they will stop is if they are fully exposed.  And since these experiments are funded by our tax dollars, the nation as a whole will ultimately be held accountable for the great evil that is taking place.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration ended “all internal National Institutes of Health (NIH) experimentation using aborted human fetal tissue”, and when that happened many came to the conclusion that the problem had been solved…

This summer, the Trump Administration made the commendable decision to terminate all internal National Institutes of Health (NIH) experimentation using aborted human fetal tissue. It also canceled a controversial $2 million contract between the NIH and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) which required two healthy human fetuses per month from elective abortions to be used for disturbing and unnecessary taxpayer-funded medical experimentation on animals.

Unfortunately, the experiments that were canceled represented only a very small fraction of the federally-funded human fetal tissue experimentation that is going on around the nation.  The White Coat Waste Project and Pro-Life San Francisco teamed up to investigate, and they just shared what they discovered in a joint op-ed in the Washington Examiner

Our organizations — White Coat Waste Project and Pro-Life San Francisco — recently analyzed NIH spending data and related scientific publications. Unfortunately, we’ve discovered that the canceled projects are just the tip of the iceberg. While the administration’s June decision ended NIH’s internal human fetal tissue experiments and the UCSF contract it funded, it did not halt another 200 projects outside of NIH using human fetal tissue that received a combined $115 million in taxpayer funds from NIH in 2018.

115 million dollars is an enormous amount of money, and a tremendous amount of good could be done with a sum that large.

But instead, that money is being used to conduct extremely sick experiments in secret laboratories all over the United States

Here’s how it works: First, babies are terminated at abortion clinics in university-affiliated hospitals. The remains of these unwanted children are harvested for research. College professors, eternally hungry for lucrative federal grants, solicit NIH funds earmarked for nightmarish human fetal tissue research on animals. Its big business, which is why it’s no surprise that UCSF has openly stated their hostility to any restrictions on fetal tissue research.

For instance, at UCSF, the abortion training capital of the US, experimenters recently used a $2 million government slush fund to transplant intestines removed from 18-24 week-old aborted fetuses onto the backs of 6 to 8-week-old mice. In other bizarre Frankenstein study funded by taxpayers, UCSF implanted intact reproductive tracts from 9.5 to 22-week-old human fetuses, including from a pair of aborted twins, into mice dosed with synthetic estrogen.

Before we proceed, let me ask you a question.

What do you think a nation that does such things deserves?

And nobody in the federal government can claim ignorance, because these practices have been debated on Capitol Hill repeatedly.  In fact, during a congressional hearing last December the director of the NIH openly defended these practices

But addressing Congress in December, NIH director Francis Collins defended the practice.

He said: “There is strong evidence that scientific benefits come from fetal tissue research, [which] can be done with an ethical framework.”

They all know what is going on, and yet this funding keeps getting approved on the federal level year after year no matter which political party is in power.

Overseas, the experiments are even more bizarre.

For example, over in China a team of scientists recently made headlines all over the world after they created “a hybrid human-monkey embryo”

Scientists have successfully formed a hybrid human-monkey embryo – with the experiment taking place in China to avoid “legal issues”.

Researchers led by scientist Juan Carlos Izpisúa spliced together the genes to grow a monkey with human cells.

We are talking about “Planet of the Apes” type stuff, and it is happening right out in the open.

And as time goes on, criminals in lab coats will be combining human genetic material with all sorts of different creatures.

In fact, the Japanese government has now officially approved the creation of “rat-human hybrids”

Human-animal hybrids are to be developed in embryo form in Japan after the government approved controversial stem-cell research.

Human cells will be grown in rat and mouse embryos, then brought to term in a surrogate animal, as part of experiments set to be carried out at the University of Tokyo.

Supporters say the work – led by renowned geneticist Hiromitsu Nakauchi – could be a vital first step towards eventually growing organs that can then be transplanted into people in need.

Of course it is theoretically possible to combine the genetic material of dozens of different creatures into one “super creature”, and given enough time it is inevitable that scientists would cook up all sorts of bizarre hybrids in their labs.

As I have repeatedly warned my readers, just about every sort of evil that you can possibly imagine is exploding all over the world, and what I have talked about in this article is definitely a great evil.

If we really want to deal with the evil that is plaguing America, I would suggest that the streets of our inner cities are not the first place to start.  Sadly, the truth is that many of our politicians, scientists and “researchers” are a much bigger problem, and it is probably extremely unlikely that they will ever be held fully accountable for the atrocities that they have been committing.

Chart Of The Day: China's Economy Slows To 4.6% In June

Zerohedge (BFFBT) - 4 hours 53 min ago

According to Fathom Consulting, a global independent macro research consultancy, it's proprietary China Momentum Indicator 2.0 has slowed to 4.6% in June, the lowest reading since Aug. 2016.

There is also a growing gap between the China Momentum Indicator 2.0 at 4.6% and official GDP data at 6.2%. Might suggest China's economy hasn't yet bottomed, could continue to decline through 2H19 into 1H20.

Gary Cohn, the former chief economic advisor to Donald Trump, has said the slowdown predates the trade war and reflects a strategic decision by China to rebalance the economy.

Fathom notes that China's economy was even slowing before the rebalancing.

The global macro research firm said, "with the consumer share of total import demand on a downward trend since 2016, we also find little evidence to suggest that China is successfully rebalancing."

To combat dangerous crosscurrents of the trade war disrupting global supply chains in and out of China, Chinese policymakers resorted to the same playbook as before, pump the economy with record amounts of the stimulus earlier in the year.

Currency depreciation came into the picture when President Trump escalated the trade war by raising tariffs to 25% from 10% on $200 billion of Chinese goods in May. Then a massive devaluation of the renminbi followed in early August, when the president slapped 10% tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, effective Sept. 1.

"Trade talks are continuing, and during the talks the U.S. will start, on Sept. 1, putting a small additional Tariff of 10% on the remaining 300 Billion Dollars of goods and products coming from China into our Country...We look forward to continuing our positive dialogue with China on a comprehensive Trade Deal, and feel that the future between our two countries will be a very bright one!" Trump said in a tweet last month.

Since the trade war began last March, the renminbi has weakened 13% against the U.S. dollar, neutralizing some of the tariffs imposed by the U.S. on imports from China.

Currency devaluation undermines hopes for a soft landing, while further infuriating the Trump administration who has recently branded China as a currency manipulator.

And for more bad news, China has said its rebalancing will continue through 2020 and offered a pessimistic view of how Beijing won't sign a trade deal until after the November 2020 election. This would almost guarantee China is allowing its export economy to weaken while stimulating its domestic economy, all in the attempt to trigger a recession in the U.S. to diminish President Trump's probabilities of getting reelected.

The Pseudo Debate Over Jeffrey Epstein's Suicide

Oped News - 4 hours 59 min ago
Death, sex, power, intrigue, murder, suicide -- these are the staples of the 19th century penny press, mass media and the CIA, writes Edward Curtin.
Categories: America, World

Will Dems Keep Trump In The White House By Overplaying Race Card?

Zerohedge (BFFBT) - 5 hours 13 min ago

Authored by Graham Noble via LibertyNation.com,

The Democratic Party appears to have decided that the surest way to win control of the White House in 2020 is to make racial division the centerpiece of its agenda. That is a gamble, to say the least, but unless the US economy crashes before the general election, the race card may be the only one President Donald Trump’s opponents can play.

Potential 2020 challengers to Trump are trying to outdo each other on the issue of perceived racial injustice and bigotry. As usual, the left-wing mediaare doing all they can to influence the next election in favor of Democrats – in this case, by ramming down the throats of Americans the notion that the Commander-in-Chief is a white nationalist and, by extension, so are his supporters.

Dem Candidates All-In On Racism Claims

Addressing the Young Leaders Conference in Atlanta on July 17, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) pledged to “go to war against white nationalism and racism in every aspect of our lives.” The senator cited his personal history, saying that his father’s entire family was wiped out by “Hitler and his white nationalism.” Ironically, just as Hitler scapegoated Jews as being responsible for almost all of Germany’s problems at the time, so the modern American left seeks to hold white people of European descent responsible for all the Western world’s problems today.

In truth – while there is no doubt that Hitler was a racist – it is not accurate to describe him as a white nationalist. The Nazis allied themselves with the Japanese and also with Muslim Arabs while waging war on, or occupying, many European majority-white countries: Poland, Czechoslovakia, Britain, France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, and Norway. Though European Slavs are white – many with blond hair and blue eyes – Hitler considered them sub-human.

Hitler’s brand of racism was based not primarily on skin color but on a rather unscientific notion of racial heritage; he viewed people of “Germanic” descent to be superior to all others, regardless of skin color. Just as Africans and Asians have used tribal heritage as a reason to slaughter one another, so did Hitler use the same idea. While it is ridiculous to argue the relative merits of different brands of racism – since none has any merit – to blame white nationalism for Hitler’s atrocities is to rewrite history.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), whose campaign has yet to get off the ground, in July told CNN’s Dana Bash that Trump is “worse than a racist.” That is a rather confusing pronouncement, implying that the senator believes racists are not the worst of all people. Booker tried to explain himself: “[Trump] is actually using racist tropes and racial language for political gains, trying to use this as a weapon to divide our nation against itself.” Once again, a Democrat politician demonstrates his complete ignorance of the concept of irony.

Booker is not the only person on the left whose rhetoric requires redefining the word “outrageous.” MSNBC put alleged investigative journalist Vegas Tenold on the air, back in July, to claim, “We’re at a point where Trump is more racist than neo-Nazis.”

In August, Robert “Beto” O’Rourke said of Trump, “He is a racist, and he stokes racism in this country, and it does not offend our sensibilities; it fundamentally changes the character of this country and it leads to violence.”

Racial Rhetoric Coming From Only One Side

Only one of the two main political parties in the US appears to be obsessed with skin color (no prizes for guessing which). The main question, though, is why Democrats have decided to push this issue more than any other.

Only Joe Biden, by virtue of his eight years as Barack Obama’s vice president, truly commands the loyalty of most black Democrat voters. The concern must be that no other presidential hopeful can be assured the same level of loyalty from the black community.

Trump certainly is unlikely to win even 50% of the black or Latino vote in 2020, but he need only take a larger share of those votes than previous Republican presidential candidates claimed to put his eventual Democrat challenger in real trouble. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) currently is surging, but she does not enjoy anything like Biden’s level of loyalty among black voters. If the latter fades from the top tier of the nomination race, Warren is unlikely to benefit, though she certainly is one of those most likely to win her party’s nomination, and her support among blacks appears to dwarf Bernie’s.

Overplaying Your Hand

One would have thought that at some point the Democrats might worry that they are overplaying the race card. Such is the level of hysteria over the president’s alleged racism that the eventual Democratic Party presidential candidate will have little choice but to make the issue the very centerpiece of his or her campaign. Such a strategy is very unlikely to prove successful since most American voters – white, black, or brown – will probably base their choice on concerns other than racism.

Over many years the left has so diluted the impact of the label “racist” that there is little prospect a significant number of voters will be swayed by such allegations – particularly at a time of record-low unemployment among blacks and Latinos. Furthermore, Trump’s policies have done nothing to indicate racist sentiments. His attempts to reduce illegal immigration and impose a merit-based legal immigration system are the only things the left can interpret as racist policies.

Nevertheless, the majority of Americans agree, at the very least, that illegals should not be given a free pass, even if they may differ on how strict US immigration enforcement should be.

What chance, then, does a challenger to the president have of winning the 2020 election by focusing on portraying Trump  – and by association all of his supporters – as racist? Very little at all is the only possible answer.

Israel strikes ‘military targets’ in Gaza in response to rocket fire

RT - 5 hours 32 min ago

The IDF has struck multiple targets in the Gaza Strip after at least one rocket coming from the enclave landed in an open field in southern Israel.

Israeli warplanes launched several raids on Gaza City and its surroundings shortly after midnight on Thursday, Wafa reports. At least one house destroyed in the raid but no casualties have been reported
thus far.

Video from #Gaza of #IDF strikes. pic.twitter.com/oeZR59oJES

— Aurora Intel (@AuroraIntel) August 21, 2019

The IDF confirmed the strikes, noting that a number of “military targets in a Hamas naval facility in the northern Gaza Strip” were hit.

In response to the rocket fired from #Gaza to #Israel, we just struck a number of military targets in a Hamas naval facility in the northern Gaza Strip.

— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) August 21, 2019

Hours earlier, Gazan militants fired a rocket into southern Israel, the fifth in the past week. While rocket sirens sounded in Nahal Oz in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, no damage or injuries were reported from the strike that landed in an open area.

Tel Aviv has repeatedly initiated retaliatory strikes against Hamas, blaming the organization in charge of the Strip for everything that unfolds there.

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Categories: America, Forbidden, MENA, RT, World

China's Gold Reserves Jump For 7th Month As Consumption, Production Slump

Zerohedge (BFFBT) - 5 hours 33 min ago

A new report from the China Gold Association, first examined by China Daily, said gold consumption in China reached 523.54 metric tons in 1H19, down 3.27% YoY, due mostly to offlining of production facilities, the demise of zombie company producers, and readjusting the industrial structure to a period of lower demand.

Gold bar consumption declined 17.29% YoY to 110.51 tons in 1H19, while gold coins plunged 29.27% YoY to 2.9 tons. Gold for industrial purposes fell 0.6% YoY in 1H to 51.36 tons, the report said, outlining how some of gold's lackluster demand in 2019 is the result of soaring spot prices.

"China's total gold output decreased as the industry is upgrading the production techniques and cleaning up some mining rights issues," said Zhu Yi, senior analyst of metals and mining at Bloomberg Intelligence.

Demand for domestic gold jewelry bucked the trend, came in at 358.77 tons in 1H19, up 1.97% YoY.

"China's increasing demand for gold jewelry is due to consumers' rising needs and falling demand for gold bars and coins due to the decreasing investment needs."

The association said, "domestic companies in the gold sector have been pushing forward high-quality development, to close down outdated production facilities, optimize the industrial structure, integrate high-quality gold resources, against a background of global macroeconomic weakness and domestic economic restructuring."

China National Gold Group, a state-owned gold corporation, has "rooted out" 31 zombie company producers that rely on government bailouts to survive.

Zijin Mining Group Co saw stellar YoY growth of its overseas gold output in the 1H19. The miner has been focusing its efforts on expanding projects in countries with rich deposits of gold and copper.

Chen Jinghe, Chairman of Zijin Mining Group Co, told China Daily that its overseas mines are the main focus at the moment. 

Zhu believes gold production and consumption in the country will remain depressed through the early 2020s. China's gold industry is slowing, the days of super growth are over. 

"Large-scale gold producers are increasing capacity and output to ride on the price hike. Going overseas for mining assets is one of the quickest ways to add reserves and output."

Gold prices are likely to remain elevated due to its safe-haven function amid central banks shifting global policy rates towards zero as a worldwide recession could be imminent.

Spot prices broke above a 22 quarter neckline in June, prices have moved up 26% in 11 months.

The association said China's gold output fell 9.6 tons to 180.68 tons in 1H19, down 5.05% YoY, as miners cut production, suspension of production due to environmental and technical issues, and modernization efforts of facilities in Henan and Inner Mongolia.

However, gold reserves in China were up for the seventh consecutive month in June, with reserves reaching 1,926.55 tons.

China added 74.03 tons of gold in 1H19, as, along with many other global nations, it attempts to de-dollarize and reduce dependency on the US hegemon.

Which is notable since it appears China is "allowing" yuan to devalue against gold...

Ed Smart, Father of Elizabeth Smart, Announces He Is Gay and Reveals Truths About Religion and Gay People

Oped News - 5 hours 48 min ago
When Ed Smart, the father of Elizabeth Smart, recently came out and announced he is gay, he also revealed some important information about religion and its impact on gay people.
Categories: America, World

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