Do You Remember Signs that Read “The End Is Near”?

Tyler Durden's picture

Guest Post: How Does It End?

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/14/2013 – 11:32

The days of reasonable economic forecasting are over. Today, an economic forecast is more like the analysis of a criminal mind than the evaluation of economic data. The dominating role of government overpowers markets intentionally. In the short-term that will continue. Reactions to Federal Reserve minutes referencing continuation, alteration or cessation of quantitative easing cause stock markets to move by over 100 points. Other markets are affected by government interventions, just not so noticeably. Long term, markets will overpower government. Welfare states can no longer maintain their level of spending, services and welfare. However, they dare not stop lest civil unrest and violence break out. The bind they are in has no solution. Governments around the world are doing whatever is necessary to survive. Lying, stealing and outright confiscation will begin in order to support their bankruptcies. Cyprus was a minor precursor of what is coming.

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Scary Things Coming Out of the Woodwork

From February 5th on Yahoo News by Adam Clark Estes.

(I couldn’t let this crazy piece of reporting go un-shared. Either the moon is having a very strong effect on leadership segments, or I need to go back on Prozac soon. It’s scary out here alone in the dark.)

Human rights advocates were floored on Monday night when NBC News published the details of an alarming Justice Department memo detailing the protocol for sending drones after United States citizens. It’s not as if they hadn’t suspected that the Obama administration’s top secret drone attack protocol contained some unsavory details. They just didn’t expect them to be so frightfully broad. . .Put simply, the government believes that a lethal drone attack against an American citizen is justified if the targets are a) “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaeda or b) “an associated force.”

One of those two qualifiers is infinitely more worrisome than the other. Going after leaders of al Qaeda makes sense. . . .

But what does “an associated force” mean? It seems like the guy who sells the terrorists bomb supplies would probably qualify, but what about the unknowing neighbor or the hired hand? Can we just kill them too in good conscience? Quite unfortunately, the government isn’t exactly sure. The memo suggests that anyone who “present[s] an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States” qualifies for assassination “a lawful killing in self defense,” but that “does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.” In other words, an “informed, high-level” official can order the killing of any American citizen that was “recently” involved in threatening “activities.” As Isikoff points out, the memo fails to define both of those terms.

“This is a chilling document,” said Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union.  “Basically, it argues that the government has the right to carry out the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen. . .A couple of years ago, The New York Timesprovided some insight into how subjective the process of deciding when to kill and when not to kill American citizens based on a top secret memo that justified the killing of al-Awlaki. That document as well as this latest leak from the Justice Department essentially says that a lethal attack, likely by a drone, is the method of choice whenever a capture mission would put other American lives on the line.

. . .the Obama administration is keeping it completely secret, despite years worth of calls to disclose its decision-making process.

This could be the beginning of an enlightening time for those who demand answers about the government’s shady drone program. . . .

A commenter on this news story wrote the following:

Attorney General Secretly Granted Gov. Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on Innocent Americans
In a secret government agreement granted without approval or debate from lawmakers, the U.S. attorney general recently gave the National Counterterrorism Center sweeping new powers to store dossiers on U.S. citizens, even if they are not suspected of a crime, according to a news report.
Earlier this year, Attorney General Eric Holder granted the center the ability to copy entire government databases holding information on flight records, casino-employee lists, the names of Americans hosting foreign-exchange students and other data, and to store it for up to five years, even without suspicion that someone in the database has committed a crime, according to the Wall Street Journal, which broke the story.
Whereas previously the law prohibited the center from storing data compilations on U.S. citizens unless they were suspected of terrorist activity or were relevant to an ongoing terrorism investigation, the new powers give the center the ability to not only collect and store vast databases of information but also to trawl through and analyze it for suspicious patterns of behavior in order to uncover activity that could launch an investigation.
The changes granted by Holder would also allow databases containing information about U.S. citizens to be shared with foreign governments for their own analysis.
A former senior White House official told the Journal that the new changes were “breathtaking in scope.” (Source: Wall Street Journal via Wired Magazine Online 12.13.12)

Nothing to See Here; Move Along!

Hmm. Chicago, St. Louis, Miami, and Houston. Joint classified exercises between military and local police during rush hour — so everyone sees it. Except no one was told in advance it was going to happen. Citizens thought the exercises, which simulated live gunfire exchanges, were attacks. News reporters, who wanted to know what was going on, were told, “Sorry, it’s classified.”

Like the famous storm troopers line from Star Wars: “Move along. Nothing to see here.” That is the official response to enquiring minds who want to know “what are you doing?” Even the likes of Glen Beck are taking notice.

I file this under “Things that make me say Hmm.”

Zimbabwe Has No More Money–They Want Yours

Excerpted from Adam Clark Estes, Jan 29, 2013

There are cash-strapped governments and there are broke governments. And then there’s Zimbabwe, which, after paying last week’s government salaries, has just $217 left in the bank…Zimbabwe, the country that’s home to some of the world’s largest plutonium and diamond reserves, literally has the same financial standing as a 14-year-old girl after a really good birthday party. The country’s finance minister admitted, “Last week when we paid civil servants there was $217 [left] in government coffers.” and “The government finances are in paralysis state at the present moment. We are failing to meet our targets.”

. . . The economy started to come apart at the seams in 2000, when President Robert Mugabe seized the land of over 4,000 white-owned farmers, effectively dismantling the country’s agriculture industry. Over the course of the next decade, the country spiraled into an extended period of hyperinflation, the likes of which the world almost never sees. . .

It’s unclear how the Zimbabwean government is going to get itself out this fiscal mess, but whatever it does, it needs to do it quickly. . .The country obviously desperately needs a major change. “But action against corruption probably won’t come until the end of Mugabe’s reign, and a new constitution coming up for a referendum this spring — presuming the funds can be found — might set up the aging autocrat for another term in power,” writes Fernholz.

Until then, looking for quarters under the couch isn’t going to cut it, so Zimbabwe is doing the only thing it can do. “We will be approaching the international community,” Biti said. You’ll never guess who’s most likely to come to the rescue. Hint: They’re big fans of rare minerals.

Author: Adam Clark Estes

Sources
Zimbabwe has $217 in the bank: finance minister, AFP
Zimbabwe only has $217 in the bank, Tim Fernholz, Quartz