Off the Keyboard of Brandon Smith
Published originally on Alt-Market on August 22, 2012
Discuss this article at the Epicurean Delights Smorgasbord inside the Diner
Almost three years ago I wrote an analytical piece on the concept of deliberately engineered wars, big and small, by elitists to distract the masses away from particular global developments that work to the benefit of the establishment power structure. That article was entitled ‘Will The Globalists Trigger Yet Another World War?’:
In that analysis, I concluded that since at least 2008, the power’s that be (whether posing as Republicans or Democrats) had set in a motion a series of events that revolved around Iran, and most disturbingly, Syria, which could be used to trigger a vast global war scenario. Today, unfortunately, it seems my concerns were more than valid, and circumstances evolving in that particular region are dire indeed.
Now, some may argue that circumstances in the Middle East have always been “dire” and that it does not take much to predict a renewal of chaos. Admittedly, for the past six years alone the American public has been treated to one propaganda campaign after the other testing the social waters to see if a sizable majority of the citizenry could be convinced to support strikes against Iran. The U.S. and Israeli governments have come very close on several occasions in rhetoric and in the build up of arms, to just such an event. However, I would submit that the previous threats of war that came and went are absolutely nothing in comparison to the danger today.
Syria’s civil war has developed into something quite frightening, well beyond the blind insurrections of the so-called “Arab Spring”. So many outside interests (especially U.S. interests) are involved in the conflict it is impossible to tell whether there are actually any real revolutionaries in Syria anymore. This unsettling of the country’s foundation has taken a turn which I warned about recently, namely, the removal of UN monitors from the area, which was announced only days ago: http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/08/16/syria-crisis-idINL6E8JGDXH20120816
The removal of UN monitors is a sign that some kind of strike is near the horizon.
Accusations of potential “chemical weapons stores” in Syria are being floated by the Department of Defense as a clear cut rationale for invasion, and Israel has essentially admitted that an attack on Iran is not only on the table but beyond planning stages into near implementation. Even Israeli citizens are openly worried that their government is “serious” this time in its calls for preemptive attack, stockpiling gas masks and even protesting against the policy:
The tension of the atmosphere surrounding this crisis is unlike anything the Middle East has seen in decades, and that includes the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.
But before we can understand the true gravity of this situation, we must first confront some misconceptions…
Firstly, I realize that there are many people out there who have natural and conditioned inclinations towards the hatred of Muslim nations. There are also just as many people out there who are inclined to distrust the intentions of the government of Israel. Both sides make good points on occasion, and both sides also have a tendency to get lazy, painting with a ridiculously broad brush and blaming all the woes of the world on one side or the other so that they don’t have to think through the complexities of globalism and the one world technocratic club, or accept that “Al-Qaeda” is not the biggest threat to peace and stability. It’s much easier to convict an entire race, or an entire religion, than it is to comprehend the mechanizations of an elite minority that plays both sides off each other.
Whatever side you may favor, simply know that in the end the sides are irrelevant. We could argue for months about who is just, who is right, who was there first, etc. Again, it’s irrelevant. What does matter, though, are the potential consequences of an exponential conflict in the region, which no one can afford.
Sadly, there are still plenty of Americans out there that believe the U.S. is the “richest nation on the globe” and has finances beyond reckoning with which to wage endless wars.
Here are the facts. Here is exactly what will happen if the U.S., NATO, or Israel, enter into a hot war with either Iran or Syria, and the results are not optimistic:
1) Syria And Iran Will Join Forces
In 2006, Iran and Syria signed a mutual defense treaty in response to the growing possibility of conflict with the West. Both countries are highly inclined to fulfill this treaty, and it would seem that Iran is already doing so, at least financially, as Syria spirals into civil war. In fact, the U.S. supported insurgency in Syria was likely developed in order to strain or test the mutual aid treaty. Given that the CFR is now applauding Al-Qaeda for its efforts in destabilizing the country, I hardly find it outlandish to suggest that the entire rebellion is being at least loosely organized by NATO interests to either draw Iran into open military support of Assad and a weakening proxy war, or to remove Syria from the equation in preparation for a strike on Iran itself (take notice that whenever the mainstream media shows images of Syrian rebels, they are always smiling or looking valiant with guns held high; a typical subliminal tactic used to paint them as “the good guys”):
2) Iran Will Shut Down The Strait Of Hormuz
With all the grandstanding at the Department of Defense, you would think that the Hormuz is a non-issue. This is a mistake. The strait is around 21 miles wide at its narrowest point which lays right off the coast of Iran, however, of that 21 miles only two safe shipping lanes are available, each measuring a miniscule 2 miles across. Hormuz is one of two of the most vital oil transit checkpoints in the world, and approximately 20% of all oil produced passes through it. The logistics for blocking the two working shipping lanes on the strait are simple given the existence of the new Ghader Missile System, which Iran tested successfully this year. The weapon is specifically designed as a “ship-killer” with the ability to travel at Mach 3, and evade most known radar methods:
In the tightly boxed in waterways of the Hormuz, a large scale and difficult to track missile attack would be devastating to any Navy present, and would turn the sea lanes into a junk yard impossible to navigate for oil tankers. Result? A catastrophic inflationary event in oil around the world, making gasoline unaffordable for most people and most uses. The EU’s recent move to stockpile oil in preparation for an Iran strike reveals the seriousness of the situation: http://www.euractiv.com/energy/europe-starts-piling-oil-iran-wa-news-514340 3) Israeli Action Will Draw In The U.S.
Forget what the U.S. Joint Chief of Staff General Martin Dempsey says; the U.S. will absolutely involve itself militarily in Iran or Syria following an Israeli strike. To begin with, there is no way around a supporting or primary role, especially when Iran closes the Strait of Hormuz. With 20% of the world’s oil supply on hiatus, at least half of the American populace will be crying out for U.S. military involvement. Guaranteed. Dempsey’s claim that Israel may not get American support is simply a charade meant to infer that the subversion of Syria and Iran is not necessarily a joint venture, which it absolutely is. There is zero chance that an Israeli strike will not be met with frantic calls by the Pentagon and the White House to open the floodgates of U.S. military might and protect one of our few “democratic allies” in the Middle East.
4) Syria Will Receive Support From Russia And China
The Russian government has clearly stated on numerous occasions that they will not step back during a strike against Syria, and has even begun positioning naval ships and extra troops at is permanent base off the coast of Tartus, a development which I have been warning about for years:
Tartus is Russia’s only naval base outside the periphery of its borders, and is strategically imperative to the nation. Action by the U.S. or Israel against Syria would invariably elicit, at the very least, economic retaliation, and at the most, Russian military involvement and possible widespread war.
China, on the other hand, will likely respond with full scale financial retaliation, up to and including a dump of U.S. Treasury Bonds (a move which they have been preparing for since 2005 anyway). With oil prices skyrocketing due to increased Middle Eastern distress, multiple countries including the BRIC trading bloc nations and most of the ASEAN trading bloc will have the perfect excuse to dump the dollar, allowing for the introduction of the IMF’s newly revamped SDR (Special Drawing Rights) global currency mechanism to take hold.
Syria is the key to what I believe will be an attempt on the part of globalists within our government to actually coax a volatile conflict into being, a conflict that will create ample cover for the final push towards global currency, and eventually, global governance.
5) Economic Implosion Will Become “Secondary”…To The Banksters’ Benefit
In the minds of the general public, the economic distress that we will soon face regardless of whether or not there is ever a war with Iran and Syria will be an afterthought, at least for a time, if the threat of global combat becomes reality. The fog of war is a fantastic cover for all kind of crime, most especially the economic kind. Sizable wars naturally inhibit markets and cause erratic flux in capital flows. Anything, and I mean anything, can be blamed on a war, even the destruction of the U.S. economy and the dollar. Of course, the real culprits (international and central banks) which have been corrupting and dismantling the American fiscal structure for decades will benefit most from the distraction.
Syria and Iran are, in a way, the first dominos in a long chain of terrible events. This chain, as chaotic as it seems, leads to only one end result: Third world status for almost every country on the planet, including the U.S., leaving the financial institutions, like monetary grim reapers, to swoop in and gather up the pieces that remain to be fashioned into a kind of Frankenstein economy. A fiscal golem. A global monstrosity that removes all sovereignty whether real or imagined and centralizes the decision making processes of humanity into the hands of a morally bankrupt few.
For those on the side of Israel, the U.S., and NATO, and for those on the side of the Middle East, Russia China, etc., the bottom line is, there will be no winners. There is no “best case scenario”. There will be no victory parade, for anyone. There will be no great reformation or peace in the cradle of civilization. The only people celebrating at the end of the calamitous hostilities will be the hyper-moneyed power addicted .01%, who will celebrate their global coup in private, laughing as the rest of the world burns itself out, and comes begging them for help.
Off the Keyboard of Brandon Smith
Published originally on Alt-Market on August 16, 2012
Discuss this article at the Epicurean Delights Smorgasbord inside the Diner
It is inevitable. There comes a point in the development of every crisis, every catastrophe, every impending disaster, every act of methodical dictatorship, in which the generations selected by fate or destiny to endure the trial must attempt to look beyond the intellectual and the psychological, to deeply consider the greater philosophical or spiritual questions of their epoch. Certain moments in history demand that truly free individuals relinquish their cynicism, and embrace that inherent world of form and conscience that exists in each of us but remains largely unexplained. Without this act of “faith”, or intuitive knowing, good cannot exist, inspire, or prevail.
To understand what we face in our age of encroaching technocracy draped like glistening silicon across the face of a third world American cesspool, we must accept certain realities; the first and foremost being the existence of “evil”. Not the evil of ignorance, that is easy to recognize. Not the evil of apathy and moral relativism, though the stench of both sharply permeates the sour underside of our culture. No, I am talking about pure, unbiased, unflinching, perfectly conscious and fully absorbed evil. The kind that they tell stories about. The kind that history books speak of almost in awe, as if it is miraculous in nature. A dark tide. A prehistoric leviathan. An unbelievable and seemingly inhuman myth made manifest by astonishingly vile despots.
This evil is so overwhelming that many people today scarcely imagine it possible. It is our society’s greatest weakness; the denial of ultimate malice.
Our current governmental system has adopted a policy of open theater, in which the two sides of the false paradigm now barely hide their farcical opposition to each other. Their rhetoric no longer obscures their acts of political collusion in the destruction of our founding principles and Constitutional protections. In the past several years they have acted in the best interests of corporate minorities and moneyed elites without hiding their intentions towards globalism and the destruction of sovereignty, fearlessly spitting on the redresses of the public. All of this while they arm themselves to the teeth with billion-plus round stockpiles of ammunition and Orwellian surveillance technologies. Yet, foolish subsections of our populace still argue that the government is a “product of elections”, and is “made up of Americans for Americans”. Even if we do not see them as an enemy, they certainly see us as such.
Our financial system is a stampeding procession of nightmare fueled blood-drenched circus freaks dancing in an ether driven haze of pungent absurdity. It is as if our economy has become a morbid parody of itself, like a queasy piece of horror/comedy cinema. We are so far along in the collapse of our markets that the banksters no longer see the need to hide the fraud. With the advent of the Libor Scandal, governments, central banks, corporate financiers, all flaunt their criminality with pride. Yet, some Americans still clasp their naïve hopes to a chance of fiscal recovery.
To fight against an evil of this magnitude takes more than anger, or physical preparation, or organization. It takes personal exploration, a steeling of one’s heart, and a conquering of one’s shortcomings.
Tyranny, true tyranny, thrives on our selective awareness, and our ability to bend our minds and our vision to avoid seeing that which is really there. In the end, victory over tyranny is less about guns, bombs, mass dissent, and civil fury; it instead requires an acceptance of the dark side of the world, and the unwavering will of honorable men ready to face it. That is to say, the defeat of tyranny begins and ends in the mind.
In America today, many minds are not ready to handle the trials ahead. Maybe it’s the ease of several generations of uninterrupted prosperity. Maybe it’s the Babyboomers. Maybe it’s Generation X. Maybe it’s the public education system. Maybe it’s the water. Maybe it’s all of the above and more. At this point, we have little time to debate symptomatic culprits. It is time to go to the root of the problem, and cut it out.
What we need is a foundation, a set of “personal rules for combat” when engaging a tyrannical establishment. This “code” should above all else provide a way of mentally and spiritually confronting one’s own weaknesses and presumptions. Dictators and oligarchs are not our primary concern. Our inner state is.
Rule #1: Stop Waiting For Others To Fight The Battle For You
If you want to put an end to totalitarianism, you can’t sit around waiting for other people to solve the problem for you. The greatest downfall of any political campaign (even when led by a liberty minded candidate) is the centralization of popular focus on a single man. There is no knight in shining armor coming to lead the Liberty Movement to the promised land. These unrealistic expectations will only end in disappointment and nihilism. The solution starts not with others, but with YOU. Where do you contribute to freedom? What actions have you taken? Who have you inspired? What ideas have you offered? What project have you organized, struggled for, sweat for? Take the reigns of your own destiny and finally join the fight instead of perusing the internet longing for a guru to hand you a mission.
Rule #2: Believe In Something Greater Than Yourself – Abandon Childish Cynicism
This is where we get all “spiritualized”, which for the typical cynic is a rather gooey and uncomfortable affair. If accepting a higher purpose to the universe and your own existence is too much for you, then at least consider deeply the future of humanity in general. Think not of what mankind is today, but what mankind could be tomorrow if you make it so. Know that there is an indelible good within us, though it may be difficult to see at times. Cradle that spark, and champion its return. It is not enough to oppose tyranny. One must know exactly what he is fighting for in order to triumph.
Cynics do not make history, or change a country for the better. They are the forgotten dust wafting about in the wayward attics of time.
Rule #3: Deal With Your Fear, Or It Will Be Used Against You
A subjugating government’s size, military might, technological superiority, and overall gravitas are irrelevant. The fight will come whether we want it or not. Accept the fact that the fight is coming to YOU; your fear of it does not change the eventuality of it. Wars, especially those waged for freedom, are won by the will, not by arms or technology. Not by laser guided missiles and predator drones. Tyrants always have the advantage. They always have the upper hand. They win when they are able to convince the masses that this advantage makes them invincible and that resistance is a futile exercise. They lose when the people could care less about the size of the guns pointed at them.
All men are afraid to take risks, especially mortal risks. However, great men understand the necessity of risk in the pursuit of that which is right. Fear should play no part in your life, ever.
Rule #4: Understand The Nature Of Tyrants
Overcoming fear is one thing. Being overconfident is another. Understand that the evil you face is capable of absolutely any depravity in its lust for absolute control. Understand that the crimes you will one day witness in your battle to dethrone the autocrats are designed to rattle your will and eradicate your resolve. Know that to attain a free country you must struggle through social, economic, and physical carnage you never thought possible before. Be ready, psychologically and emotionally, for anything…
Rule #5: Dump Nihilists And Obstructionists By The Wayside
You can’t save everybody, and you certainly can’t impart a sense of greater purpose on cowards, weaklings, and nihilists. These people are inherently self centered, and seek only to prolong the ease and length of their own existences regardless of the cost to others. Nihilists in particular are so inwardly and subconsciously ashamed of their own weaknesses that they go out of their way, often obsessively, to project those weaknesses on the whole of the movement. They have to believe that if they are not capable of fighting back, no one else can be either, and they will shriek to the rafters about the impending doom of us all.
Nihilists and Obstructionists are dead weight on any dissenting activist movement, even though they pretend to support the cause, and should be tossed to the curb immediately. A revolution for liberty requires foresight, and courage. If a person does not meet both these criteria, they will eventually bring you down with them.
Rule #6: Find A Love For Humanity Once Again
I know as well as anyone how hard it is today to care about most people given the amount of utter stupidity so many display on a daily basis and the costs this behavior has accrued in our society over time. Get over it. Recognize that when you fight for freedom, you fight for EVERBODY, even people who have not earned your efforts. If you fight only for yourself, or your immediate circle, you will lose. Look at the bigger picture, and know the real breadth and consequence of this undertaking. Fight for all, or you might as well crawl into a shallow hole and pull the dirt over your head now.
Rule #7: Remain Adaptable To The Circumstances Of The Environment
Absorb what works, and cast off what doesn’t. Be stubborn in your principles and your resolve, but not in your strategies. Vulnerability comes with predictability. Blaze trails the tyrants don’t expect. Show them something they’ve never seen before. Be bold, or go home.
Rule #8: Retain Your Principles Or You Will Fail
The philosophical doctrine being peddled by elites in our military today states that “in order to defeat a monster you must be willing to act like a monster”. This is insanity. Forgoing one’s principles and adopting dishonorable and vicious methods is not the way of a warrior; it is the way of the tyrant. Remember what you are fighting for. This is not just about our personal survival, but the survival of a worthy ideal. Abandoning that ideal may give us the illusion of short term success, but in the long run, the cost will bankrupt our movement, demolish our moral high ground, and make hollow any victories we do achieve.
The Real Fight Is Within
Some may have stumbled upon this essay with the expectation that it would outline a kind of step-by-step instructional guide to crippling the globalists. Sorry to dissatisfy if that was the case, but it is better that we all comprehend now that there will never be such guide. As much as globalists and collectivists with aspirations of world dominance and total financial centralization are a threat to our way of life, the real fight, the fight that matters most, is not without, but within. We will overcome them only when we overcome our own failings.
I imagine many wish, as I surely wish, that simple days and comfortable times could continue on forever. The difficult truth is that history tests man, and sets the extraordinary apart from the mundane. Sometimes these tests are so epic in their scale that one wonders if anyone will step forward to weather the storm. Someone always does, and we owe those brave souls a debt of gratitude which can only be paid with our own stand in our own era. At the end of all things, we will either open the door to a better world, or we will cut our own throats. Tyranny is nothing but an opportunity for the best in all of us to rise.
Posted originally on Alt-Market on August 7, 2012
Off the Keyboard of Brandon Smith
Discuss this article at the Epicurean Delights Smorgasbord inside the Diner
The idea of “collapse”, social and financial, comes with an incredible array of hypothetical consequences ranging from public dissent and martial law, to the complete disintegration of infrastructure and the devolution of mankind into a swarm of mindless arm chewing cannibals. In an age of television nirvana and cinema overload, I have found that the collective unconscious of our culture has now defined what collapse is based only on the most narrow of extremes. If they aren’t being hunted down by machete wielding looters or swastika wearing jackboots, then the average American dupe figures that the country is not in much danger. Hollywood fantasy has blinded us to the tangible crises at our doorstep.
The reality is that collapse is not a singular event, but a process. It is a symphony of doom, composed of a series of exponentially more powerful crescendos. If the past four years since the implosion of the derivatives bubble have proven anything, it is that catastrophe has the ability to drown a nation slowly like a river of molasses, rather than sweep it away like a flash flood. That said, almost every recorded collapse of modern societies in the past century has been preceded by a primary trigger event; a moment in which the mathematical certainty of failure becomes clear, even if the psychological certainty is muddled.
In 2012, we still await that trigger event, which I believe will be the announcement of QE3 (or any unlimited stimulus program regardless of title), and the final debasement of the dollar. At the beginning of this year, I pointed out that we were likely to see such an announcement before 2012 was out, and it would seem that the private Federal Reserve is right on track.
Last month, the Fed announced that it was formulating a plan to “expand its tool kit”. This includes an openly admitted possibility of a third round of quantitative easing starting as early as September:
This timeline appears to coincide perfectly with the breakdown of the EU, which may also see a climax event in September. In that month, EU policymakers will return from summer holiday. German courts will make a ruling which could put an end to any chance that the country will support a eurozone rescue fund. The Dutch, which are anti-bailout, will vote in elections. Greece will be attempting to renegotiate its financial lifeline. And, the ECB will have to assess the impending chaos in Spain and Italy:
As far as the Fed’s ability to remedy the fiscal situation goes, let’s clear something up right here; the Fed has NO TOOLKIT. Sorry, but central banks have only two options when attempting to shift the tide of the economy: They can lower interest rates to zero, and, they can print-print-print. That is it. We’ve had TARP, numerous bailouts, QE1 and QE2, Operation Twist, and interests rates have been kept near zero for years! These so called solutions have been strapped like millstones around our necks and absolutely nothing has been accomplished since 2008.
Real unemployment still stands at over 20%. The housing crisis remains an unstoppable juggernaut. Europe is on the verge of meltdown (despite the trillions in American taxpayer dollars handed to EU banks). The national debt continues to grow at a pace far beyond what the Obama Administration and mainstream economists (who should have been fired long ago) predicted in 2010. There are no secret magic tricks up the sleeve of Ben Bernanke. Even if the Fed actually wanted to save our financial system, and our currency (which they don’t), there is nothing they can do except make the situation worse. Central banks are perhaps the most useless institutions ever devised, unless, of course, their true purpose is to diminish the financial health of a country and siphon away its economic sovereignty…
Enter the death of the dollar.
The IMF has been consistently calling for the end of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, and for its replacement by the SDR (Special Drawing Rights):
The new president of France, Francois Hollande, has recommended the expulsion of the dollar as the go-to reserve, a deeper relationship between France and the BRIC nations:
China has been demanding an end to dollar primacy for years:
And so has Russia…
And so has the UN…
It’s not as if it’s a big secret that the dollar is on everyone’s hit list. Until recently, alternative economists could only point out circumstantial evidence that this sentiment was a product of collusion between the world’s central banks and elements of various governments. Suggesting that China, Russia, the UN, the IMF, and the Federal Reserve were working in tandem to devalue the dollar and replace it with a global currency has always elicited at least a few jeers and the ever present standby catch-all accusation of “conspiracy theory”. However, the times they are a’ changen’…
With the exposure of the Libor Scandal, we now have definitive proof and even open confessions from international banks, the Federal Reserve, and the Treasury, admitting that the true debt problems of major institutions have been hidden, deliberately, in tandem with multiple agencies in multiple countries, from the general public, with the full knowledge of numerous governments. The most vital and shocking element of the Libor Scandal is that it shows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there is indeed a conspiracy which has melded the corporate world and the political world into a single ominous creature.
The collusion has become so brazen, central banks around the globe now institute policy initiatives within the same hour of each other: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/05/us-centralbanks-action-idUSBRE8640RN20120705
Years back, I wrote an article about the most important signs to watch for when facing a heightened state of collapse. One of those signs was the advent of openly admitted corruption on the part of the banks. When criminals become absolutely transparent and nonchalant about their criminality, it is usually because they no longer fear the threat of justice or reprisal. This is exactly the atmosphere we have in 2012. But, what could possibly have made the banksters so confident that they are willing to flaunt their racket to the world? I can only surmise that an event is on the horizon. One so distracting that the hucksters believe we will forget all about them.
Looking at it from another perspective; if I was a globalist hell bent on undercutting the dollar as the world reserve and replacing it with a centralized standard while turning the U.S. into a third world pit in the process, I would probably pull the plug soon. Here are some reasons why:
Drought Crisis Provides Inflationary Cover
The drought which has struck half of the U.S. agricultural centers and which has also hit Russian production is the perfect cover event for dollar devaluation. The full view of crop production and yields will be revealed this autumn, and according to the mainstream, the numbers will be dismal. Maybe they will be, maybe they won’t, but the likelihood of inflation in food prices all over the planet is high. If the Fed announces QE3 and sets an implosion of the dollar in motion, the price spikes this will cause in commodities, especially grains and other foodstuffs, can be easily blamed on drought, rather than the destruction of the greenback. At least for a time. Syria And Iran Theater
If the UN pulls observers from Syria, expect an attack by either the U.S., Israel, or both is on the way. Expect Russia to be quite unhappy. Expect China to respond with financial warfare. Expect Iran to fulfill its mutual defense pact with Syria and come to their aid. Expect hard core catastrophe. I have been warning about Syria as a catalyst for global crisis for quite some time. Long before anyone ever heard the name “Assad”:
Every time I catch a glimpse of the MSM, whether it be MSNBC, CNN, or FOX, they are all spewing the same rhetoric: The U.S. should have invaded Syria months ago. It would seem that the American people are being psychologically prepped for a new war, but in reality, they are being prepped to be distracted from the banking sector’s primacy in the economic calamity that is about to unfold.
European Seesaw Of Destruction
With the EU in shambles, and only getting worse, the ECB has been attempting to work around the rules of its own charter which forbid the infusion of capital directly into governments. The latest weapon in the fight against the financial stupidity of EU member countries? European stimulus! That’s right folks, the U.S. is not the only country that will be raping its own currency this year! Be sure to catch the euro-sized version of QE: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/08/03/maybe-draghis-speech-wasnt-a-disaster-after-all/
I believe, in keeping with the collusion central banks have already shown, that the Federal Reserve and the ECB will announce new stimulus measures very close to each other, if not in tandem. The continued devaluation of the Euro will help to hide the effect of the falling dollar as the two currencies seesaw back and forth, allowing for a delayed reaction from the public as well as investment markets. Investors looking for a safe haven currency will be scrambling in confusion.
Stocks Ready To Bust
Finally, it is very likely that the Fed will wait for markets to dive in the wake of faltering demand for goods and raw materials in all major economies, as well as declines in manufacturing. As I have said in the past, the Fed wants us to beg for QE3. The only reason this decline has not occurred yet is because investors that are still participating are salivating for new stimulus and expect it shower them with riches soon. So, to put this in perspective, the Dow is above 13,000 right now because investors have already priced in a QE package not just in the U.S., but in the EU as well. If they do not get it fast, they will pull out, and stocks will plummet. The market addiction to fiat injection is so pervasive now, I cannot imagine how they would react if the pipeline was cut off. It would probably induce a fiscal bloodbath.
What Will Collapse Really Be Like?
I expect the event will be spectacular in some ways, but subdued and subversive in many other ways. Triggers may be swift and startling, but the reactions of the populace slow, uncertain, and presumptive. There will be fissures in our foundation, but the complete extent of the danger may take a few more years to become evident. While the public continues to maintain its fixation on some Mad Max nightmare scenario, the real collapse will be taking place right under their noses in the form of 25%-50% increases in food and fuel, tightened job availability with pensions swallowed by austerity, food lines hidden by food stamps until the government finally defaults and pulls the rug out from under entitlement programs, etc. For a time, it will look and feel like a slightly darker version of today, and not the cinematic melodrama that we have come to envision. The worst of times that we often find extolled in the pages of history books come at the cost of years of almost equal disparity, and usually, the lead up is far more difficult to handle than the finale…
Off the Keyboard of Brandon Smith
I think it’s safe to say with some conviction that in the year of 2012 the concept of survival prepping is NOT an alien one to most Americans. When National Geographic decides there is a viable market for a prepper TV show (no matter how misrepresentative of true preppers it may be), when Walmart starts stocking shelves with long term emergency food storage kits, when survivalism in general becomes one of the few growing business markets in the midst of an otherwise disintegrating economy; you know that the methodology has gone “mainstream”. There is a noticeable and expanding concern amongst Americans that we are, indeed, on the verge of something new and unfortunate.
Is it the big bad hoodoo of the soon to expire Mayan Calendar? For a few, maybe, but for the majority of us, no. That jazz is a carnival sideshow designed to make the prepping culture appear ridiculous. We don’t need to believe in magical prophecies to know that there is a catastrophic road ahead; all we have to do is look at the stark realities of our current circumstances. It does not take much awareness anymore to notice looming fiscal volatility, social unrest, the potential for unrestrained war, and the totalitarian boldness of our government. I’ll take the wrath of Quetzalcoatl any day over the manure storm that is approaching us currently.
With some estimating a count of 3 million prepper families and growing in the U.S., the motto of “beans, bullets, and band-aids” is finding a home amongst legions. However, being closely involved in the survivalist movement during the past six years and speaking with literally thousands of preppers, it has become clear to me that we still have a long journey ahead of us before we can claim true efficiency and mastery.
Sadly, having a stockpile of food, weapons, and some slick tactical gear is not enough to ensure a high likelihood of survival, at least not in any of the social collapses that have occurred in the past century around the world. It’s a start, but only just…
There are a number of detrimental weakness to the survivalist movement and considerable holes in prepper knowledge that must be addressed now while we have the time and relative safety to do so. The greatest threat to the common survivalist is not economic collapse, roving bandits, Blackwater mercenaries, or predator drones; those dangers are a piece of cake compared to the threat of an overblown ego, which will get a man killed faster than the most sophisticated smart bomb. If we cannot accept that there is always more to learn, and room to improve, we have been defeated before we have begun.
The following is just a short list of the many areas in which there is obvious and acute inadequacy in the movement overall…
Secondary Retreat Locations
Never put all your eggs in one basket. I hear a lot of tough talk from some survivalists who claim they would rather die than leave their property. Of course, I suspect they will see the error in this brand of bravado when the legitimate chance of death actually arises. There is no harm whatsoever in having a backup plan. I’m not sure any survivalist who doesn’t is really a survivalist. Stand your ground when necessary, but don’t let pure pride and stupidity prevent you from living to fight again another day.
Physical Fitness And Health
You may be the Tom Berenger-like master sniper of your particular county, but if you can’t run a hundred yards with your rifle rig without going into coronary thrombosis, then you aren’t going to live long during a collapse scenario. Even those preppers who have age as an excuse…don’t really have an excuse. I personally know survivalists and homesteaders in their 60’s and 70’s who could physically outmatch numerous other preppers of the same age or younger without much effort. The difference? They make a concerted effort to take care of their health.
Sometimes certain wise-cracks made by the insipid yuppies of our modern era against suvivalists are true, and we should take serious note when this occurs. The primary insult being that many of us are far too fat to outrun or outfight a paper sack, let alone a determined opponent. I have, to be honest, seen chest beating antics from more than a few clinically obese “preppers” that were truly embarrassing. On the bright side, this does not have to be a permanent hindrance to our success.
The solution is simple: Eat less. Eat healthier. Exercise more.
A person who has attained a high level of physical fitness has done more than prove his prowess. He has also proven he has the will and the passion to pursue a directed goal and achieve it, regardless of difficulty. This is where the adults are separated from the children in this world. Are you willing to endure extreme difficulty to win something of legitimate value? Do you have the self discipline to forgo certain luxuries and comforts to gain long term advantages? Or, would you rather take the path of least resistance and certain doom? Personal health is no joke for the survivalist.
Community Building And Networking
Organization is not the strongest suit of the survivalist movement for a number of reasons. The first being that our paranoia completely impedes our ability to work with others. Now, to be clear, it is not paranoia if they are really out to get you, and with multiple leaked documents like the MIAC Report, the Virginia Fusion Center Report, and the DHS reports on “right wing extremism”, it is not as if our concerns are unfounded. However, the movement needs to realize that the primary object of labeling us as “extremists” and categorizing us as potential threats to national security is to create crippling fear. Their main goal is to condition preppers to censor themselves, and to stifle their own organizational efforts.
Solid community, even open formation of community, is necessary for countless reasons. The more we isolate ourselves from one another now, the more alone and vulnerable we will be tomorrow. Calls for “OPSEC” should be embraced to a point, but they can also become an excuse for laziness and inaction. No prepper who goes it alone during crisis is going to come out unscathed, if they come out alive at all. This is the great forgotten lesson of survival, from the Depression and Weimar Germany, to Argentina and Bosnia; those persons and families who were isolated simply did not make it. The wide spectrum of skill sets and supplies needed to establish a survival foundation are far too many for any single prepper to attain.
The logical fallacy that usually prevents survival networking is the argument that if you are a bigger group, you are a bigger target. This thinking shows a lack of prioritization. During a social or economic collapse, EVERYONE is a target. National chaos does not make distinctions between those who never shared their survivalist tendencies and those who did. The DHS might, but they are not the biggest threat to the common prepper. The most dangerous environment for the prepper, no matter what the circumstances may be, is one in which he has no support.
If you do not have ample neighbors and friends on board with the prepper lifestyle, and who can be counted on in an emergency, then you are not ready, nor are your chances very good. Period.
Barter Markets And Trade Skills
At Alt-Market we relentlessly promote the idea of decentralized trade markets because, to be frank, they are going to spring up one day soon whether the IRS, the DOJ, or the Federal Reserve likes it or not. The crisis in the EU has proven my position on the inevitability of the barter dynamic conclusively. These private trade networks are becoming the new foundation for countries like Greece, Italy, and Spain, and it should be noted that the financial instabilities in America far outweigh any of the problem in those places. If we know that economic danger is on the horizon, and we know that barter markets will be the immediate result, then why not build them now, instead of waiting and scrambling after disaster strikes?
Any survivalist that does not know who he will be trading for essential supplies, and who does not know what skills he will use to garner those supplies, is in for a world of hurt.
Overlooked But Vital Items
There is a saying in the survival movement: You’re never done prepping. I absolutely agree. Unless you are a millionaire with a highly organized brain, there will always be some other piece of equipment that you’ll discover you need down the line. That said, there are some things every prepper should have, but many, from my observations, do not. I have also heard every excuse imaginable and some unimaginable when such people are presented with the recommendation that they obtain these items, lack of money being the usual suspect.
Yes, many of us are broke, or feel broke, these days Invariably, though, when most survivalists examine their financial situation carefully, they will discover a host of peripheral expenses that are unnecessary or outright extravagant. I once had a would-be survivalist make the argument that he could not afford a year’s supply of food, then admit that he had just went on a Carnival Cruise to the Caribbean. This is an extreme example, but it illustrates a common hang up. Now is not the time for people to live beyond their means, or to shrug off their preps so that they can have a new La-Z-Boy, cable TV, an internet gaming account, a high priced vacation, a six day a week stockpile of beer (hey, cut back a day, guys! Try it out and see how it fits) etc. Times are changing, and they will definitely change without us if we are not careful.
There is always a way to get the preps you need, if you are motivated enough to make it happen. Here are a few items that seem to escape from people’s lists:
Extra Survival Clothing:
Clothing is a real pain for a lot of survivalists because it is one prep that they must absolutely purchase doubles and triples of. Good durable shoes, pants, even socks, can get expensive. Base layer clothing like Smart Wool sometimes costs in the range of $100 or more for a single set. Take the pain, bite the bullet, and get the absolute best clothing you can find in multiples. It may have to last you quite a long time without replacement, especially the artificial fabrics. Imagine having to wear the same vapor producing sweat drenched crusty duds day in and day out while sharing a retreat location with some less than amused buddies. They may end up coming after you before the looters do.
This stuff is going to be at a premium in the near future. I have already seen price spikes in good body armor in the days after the Aurora Theater shootings. Why? Because the fear is that the establishment will move to try to ban said gear in response, causing a rush to purchase. That fear is not misplaced. Plus, I would imagine a bullet to the gut, whether accidental or intentional, is not an event to celebrate with a rootbeer float. Believe it or not, body armor rigs that include rifle plates are extremely sparse amongst preppers right now, and this simply can’t continue.
Gas Masks And Filters:
Not long ago I wrote about the revolutions and rebellions that took place in Russia after the formation of the Soviet Union against the abuses of communism. At that time, the more successful the rebellion, the more apt the Soviets were to dump chemical weapons over entire towns, mountains, and valleys, to erase the problem. Never expect that a tyrannical government is going to fight fair. In fact, expect that they won’t. Even if you don’t foresee such an event taking place in the U.S., it is imperative that every person owns not just a gas mask, but extra filters as well. Plan on dealing with multiple incidences in which your air will be unsafe to breath.
NBC Alert Items:
How many preppers do you know with a Geiger Counter? I know three, out of the hundreds I speak with regularly. This is not a good sign. If the Fukushima disaster has taught us anything, it is that radiological threats are not just relegated to the realm of nuclear bombs. Every community should have several Geiger Counter devices handy, along with chemical warfare strips which change color when exposed to an offending airborne agent. Remember the panic buying that ensued in Japan for these kinds of goods after the reactor meltdown? Don’t overlook radioactivity. Knowing what has been hit by concentrated fallout and what hasn’t is a tremendous advantage.
A box of road flares, IR flashlights, and IR floodlights, should be in every survivalists home. With the advent of predator drones armed with night vision and thermal vision, as well as numerous other nasty weapons platforms, the need for countermeasures that create false thermal signatures to confuse an attacker with this kind of technology is a must.
Extra First Aid Supplies:
During a collapse, you become the hospital, and no amount of Obamacare is going to help you. Almost every prepper has a first aid kit, but few have one that will really last through a prolonged crisis. Collapse brings with it all kinds of injuries and sicknesses we never think of facing in our current atmosphere, with more frequency than I believe many would like to admit possible. A sterile bandage may be as sought after and as rare as a warm shower in the near future, so stock an ample supply.
I am astonished at how many preppers still do not have any solar power capability today. It’s FREE off grid power, for god’s sake! Pay the initial costs, and at least buy a system that is capable of charging and running batteries and essential electronics that will aid you in your survival.
When discussing the idea of relocation, I sometimes hear the assertion that places like Montana are terrible for growing food (usually from people who have never lived in Montana). In fact, a survival garden could be grown almost anywhere, regardless of region or climate, if you use the right methods. One of the best methods is the use of a greenhouse, which many preppers do not have. Set aside your preconceptions of what gardening is, and do what works. Even in winter, some plants can be grown in a greenhouse environment to provide you and your family with precious vitamin rich food. Just build it.
Raw Building Materials:
Do you have a stockpile of lumber and nails? What about raw iron and steel? Sealants to repel pests and maintain your home? Bags of concrete to reinforce a new addition? Think about how much you will need to build after the final shoe drops. Probably a lot more than you have ever built in your life…
No Room For Error
Time is running short, and if we are to succeed as a movement, we must be ready to hold a candle to ourselves, admit where we are lacking, and fix the problem while we have the luxury to do so. Ultimately, the most important and most ignored aspect of prepping is our own mindset. Do we have the correct sense of urgency, and are we acting on it? Have we prepared ourselves psychologically for the difficulties ahead? Are we ready to make sacrifices for survival and victory? Will we have what it takes at our core to see this thing through? At this very moment, many do not. But, they have the potential to rise to the occasion. The decision is theirs to make…
Off the keyboard of Brandon Smith
In January of this year, I wrote an analytic financial piece entitled ‘Baltic Dry Index Signals Renewed Market Collapse’:
In that article I discussed the record breaking low hit by the BDI and its implications for the global economy; namely, that it signaled a steep decline in true demand around the world for raw materials used in the manufacture of consumer goods, and that similar declines in the BDI’s past have almost always prophesized a crisis event in financial markets. The mainstream media attempted to write off the implosion of the BDI as a fluke, tied to the “overproductions of cargo ships”, instead of a warning sign of deteriorating demand. Of course, the past 6 months have proven that assertion to be entirely false.
Manufacturing has tumbled in the U.S., the EU, and Asia simultaneously as orders drop back to the dismal levels last seen in 2008-2009 after the credit crisis first took hold:
Despite the astonishing amount of manipulation that goes into our fiscal system by major banks, there are still a few fundamental rules to economics that never change. The bottom line? Demand around the world is derailing, hinting at a broad spectrum disintegration of public buying power. Where demand goes, so goes the economy.
As I have pointed out in the past when explaining the importance of the BDI, crashes in the index are usually made visible on mainstreet around 8 months to a year after the event. That is to say, the economies of multiple nations move into a widely felt crisis event around 8 to 12 months after the BDI crashes.
There is a strange delayed reaction between the initial exposure of weakness in the financial system and the public’s realization of the truth, sort of like Wile E. Coyote dashing off a cliff in the cartoons only to continue running in mid-air above the abyss below. It is a testament to the fact that beyond the math, there is an undeniable power of psychology in our economy. The investment world naively believes it can fly, even with the weight of endless debt around its ankles, and for a very short time, that pure delirious oblivious belief sustains the markets. Eventually, though, gravity always triumphs over fantasy…
In May, I also discussed the impending disaster in the EU in light of elections which would obviously lead to a clash (or engineered clash) between proponents of austerity and proponents of endless stimulus spending. I suggested that this clash would trigger a possible remodeling or complete breakdown of the European Union in the near future:
Today, I do not think that it would be outlandish to suggest (even to the casual market observer) that the EU has indeed been fractured, though the establishment still strives to maintain the façade.
Spain and Italy have both requested bailouts from the ECB, finally exposing a problem which alternative analysts have been warning about for years. While the mainstream media has been bicycle-kicking the long dead horse of Greece, the much more detrimental problems of the rest of the EU have been completely ignored. Only now are investors beginning to understand that there is no such thing as a “Greek Contagion”; the whole of Europe has been quietly suffering through a debt malaise that surpasses the Greek issue. Still, central banks pushed the idea that Greece was the gangrenous toe of the EU, claiming it had to be cured or amputated, or the infection would invade the entire body. The truth is, Europe has been host to a systemic disease from the very beginning. Greece is just a side-note.
The UK has openly admitted that it has “returned” to recession. Mass credit downgrades have been issued by S&P and Moody’s in primary EU economies, including France and Spain. Italy’s credit rating has been cut only two notches above junk status and its bond sales have turned to Jell-O. Spain has declared austerity cuts which include the confiscation of employee pension funds. Does this sound like an economic body near “recovery”, as was the rhetoric spouted by the MSM a year ago, or, does it sound like the EU has gone off the deep end?
In the meantime, China continues to court their global trading partners with bilateral trade agreements designed to remove the dollar as the world reserve currency, and recent events appear to be hastening this process. With American and European demand faltering, Chinese manufacturers are threatened with an even more severe export breakdown than they saw back in 2008, and so, it is only a matter of time before the BRIC and ASEAN economic blocs fully solidify their trade partnerships outside of the West, and away from the dollar.
The year of 2012 has proven to be the most startling as far as financial news has been concerned. Vastly more startling to me than 2008. In 2008, the illusion of bank coherence and government action was carefully molded for the consumption of the masses. The intimate connections between government and corporate fraud were glossed over with expert care. There was an active and methodical effort to make us believe that the problems of 2008 were peripheral, and that the system at its foundation was sound. This time around, the corruption has become utterly blatant and disturbingly nonchalant. There is no attempt on the part of central and corporate banking interests anymore to hide the fact that the entire edifice is a cheap magic trick. In fact, they now parade their distortions as if they are “helping” the country, instead of destroying it.
When criminals are no longer concerned with hiding their crimes, it is time for the rest of us to start worrying. That is to say, the current behavior of the establishment leads me to believe that a new phase in the crisis is about to arise.
Three recent events in particular (on top of all that has already happened this year) should be noted by those who wish to gauge the acceleration of financial hazard around the world:
Multiple Central Banks Issuing Policy Changes Simultaneously
Only a week ago, the supposedly independent and sovereign central banks of China, the UK, and the EU made multilateral policy changes including cutting interest rates to zero and reinstituting stimulus measure all within the SAME HOUR of each other:
This is a disturbing and open admission by central banks that they not only dominate the economic structure of their host countries, but they do so in a coordinated fashion. In the past, central bankers have made a point to at least pretend that they do not work in tandem with each other and are not centralized around a global methodology or hierarchy. Today, they do not seem to mind if the public is aware of how they really operate.
Some might argue that central banks of individual nations have cooperated in the past, and that this is nothing new. Partly true. Central banks have enacted policy initiatives in tandem with each other before, but usually only after absurd levels fanfare and summits galore. The pageantry of G8’s and G20’s and Davos and any number of other global meetings were a fulcrum point which central banks used to buy political capital with sovereign populations. They had planned to institute these multilateral economic actions anyway, but the pageantry and theater came first. Today, private central banks are taking joint action without ANY public meetings, even fake meetings.
I feel that this is the start of an expedited trend towards full centralization of sovereign economies, and that soon, central banks will act as if single broad spectrum global monetary policy measures and global economic governance are legal and “commonplace”.
Trade Volume Collapsing
The S&P has now generated the worst market volume in over a decade. Small market investors are fleeing in droves away from stocks, leaving only the big players to dominate the field:
This extreme lack of volume will facilitate a return to volatility, and we are about to see the same kind of massive stock spikes and drops that we tasted three years ago. I would like to point out that the Fed, almost religiously, waits until stock markets go into cardiac arrest before announcing new stimulus measures and quantitative easing. They delay until the investment world begs for printing, and then, they give it to them, with a smile.
The Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate) Scandal
Like the bankruptcy of Lehman Bros. that heralded the credit crisis, the Libor Scandal has the potential to rock the pillars of the banking world like nothing I have ever seen before. The average person needs to understand three things about Libor:
1) The manipulation of loans and credit swaps through the Libor interest rate mechanism has allowed big banks to hide the true extend of their incredible debts since the 2008 derivatives implosion. Some mainstream economists are actually calling this a “good thing”, because, according to them, the lie of Libor fooled investors into supporting the markets where they may not have otherwise if they had known the truth. They say the lie “averted Armageddon”. Frankly, this is idiotic. Libor has saved nothing, and the lack of transparency and honesty from corporate banks has only postponed an inevitable calamity which will be even worse now because it was allowed to continue on for years longer than it should have.
2) Barclays and other institutions have claimed that they “had to use Libor fraud”. Why? Because every other major bank used it! Their argument is that they had to lie in order to remain competitive. Even if you buy this rationalization, you have to acknowledge the deeper problem here: Barclays is essentially pointing out that EVERY major bank uses Libor to hide the fact that they are in dire straights. In 2012, the system has openly confessed its own insolvency. You do not need a fortune telling gypsy to predict a major collapse for you; the banks have just told us exactly what is about to happen.
3) Finally, regulators and central banks on both sides of the ocean, from the U.S. to the UK, from the Federal Reserve to the Bank Of England, relent that they KNEW about the Libor fraud being conducted by numerous banks as early as 2008, but kept their mouths shut. This shows not only that central banks have been complicit in financial criminal activities, but governments have played along as well. This fits right in with what I have stated for years:
The economic collapse could not possibly be a “random” event. Its culmination requires the collusion of so many corporate and government entities that it would be foolish to call it anything other than conspiracy.
So, what comes next? According to the path which I predicted back in January, the economy is near a climax event. Perhaps an announcement of QE3 leading to ugly dollar devaluation, perhaps another bankruptcy by a “too big to fail” conglomerate leading to a firestorm in stocks, or perhaps even the exit of certain countries from the EU. Maybe all of this and more. The point is, keep your eyes fixed on the financial sector as we move into fall and winter. There is a bleak harvest on the horizon…
Alt-Market is an organization designed to help you find like-minded activists and preppers in your local area so that you can network and construct communities for mutual aid and defense. Join Alt-Market.com today and learn what it means to step away from the system and build something better.
Published originally on Alt-Net on Thursday, 28 June 2012 02:58 Brandon Smith
Totalitarian governments, like persistent forms of cancer, have latched onto the long history of man, falling and then reemerging from the deep recesses of our cultural biology to wreak havoc upon one unlucky generation to the next. The assumption by most is that these unfortunate empires are the product of bureaucracies gone awry; overtaken by the chaotic maddening hunger for wealth and power, and usually manipulated by the singular ambitions of a mesmerizing dictator. For those of us in the Liberty Movement who are actually educated on the less acknowledged details of history, oligarchy and globalized centralism is much less random than this, and a far more deliberate and devious process than the general unaware public is willing to consider.
Unfortunately, the final truth is very complex, even for us…
One cannot place the blame of despotism entirely on the shoulders of globalists. Sadly, the crimes of elites are only possible with a certain amount of complicity from subsections of the populace. Without our penchant for apathy and fear, there can be no control. That is to say, there is no power over us but that which we give away. We pave the road to our own catastrophes.
In the end, a tyrant’s primary job is not to crush the masses and rule out of malevolence, but to obtain the voluntary consent of the citizenry, usually through trickery and deceit. Without the permission of the people, subconscious or otherwise, no tyranny can survive.
As with the oppressive regimes of the past, America has undergone a dramatic transformation, heavy with fear and ignorance. Our tradition of elections has been corrupted and negated by the false left/right paradigm, and the leaderships of both defunct parties now seek only to elevate a select minority of men bent on globalization. Our Constitutional liberties have been dismantled by legal chicanery. Our principles have been diluted by intellectual games of rationalism and moral relativism. Our country is ripe for conquest.
Americans battle over whose side is most to blame; Democrat or Republican, while ironically being disenchanted with both entities. For some people, the thought of holding each party equally accountable, or accepting that they are essentially the same animal, never crosses their minds.
While this irrelevant farce of a debate rages on, the true culprits plotting the demise of our Republic gain momentum, and implement policy initiatives that the public should and must take note of. In the past year alone, many blatant steps towards the Orwellian gulag have been openly administered. A carnival of peddlers and freaks and greasy popcorn overwhelms our senses, but the stench of this cheap circus still tickles our noses, and if we use our eyes for even a moment, certain dangerous trends reveal themselves. Here are just a few recent events that bear a dire warning; the ultimate assault on freedom in this nation grows near… Acclimation To Subservience
Every totalitarian state worth its salt has its own goon squad. The Nazi’s had the “Brownshirts”, the Soviets had the “Militsiya” and the “Voluntary People’s Brigade”, the Communist Chinese have the “Chengguan”, etc. In America, however, all tyrannical measures are given innocuous bureaucratic labels to mislead and distract the masses. In this country, we have the Transportation Security Administration…
The TSA has become the most hated alphabet agency in the U.S. in perhaps the fastest time on record. It has violated the personal rights of more people on a daily basis in my view than the IRS, DEA, and the ATF combined. Clearly, this slobbering demon child of the Department of Homeland Security is being molded for something quite terrible and grand.
When confronted by the public on the use of irradiating and intrusive naked body scanner technology, the agency responded by allowing their blue handed ghoul army to molest our nether-regions. When confronted by state and local governments on their absurd tactics, the TSA threatened economic blockades and airport shutdowns. The organization then began expanding its jurisdiction to bus and train stations and even our highways when it introduced the VIPR program and implemented random roadside checkpoints in Tennessee last year. But, this behavior is nothing compared to what is next on the horizon: a compromise…
Beware of government agencies bearing gifts. The TSA along with the International Air Transport Association has announced a new methodology of “less intrusive” passenger screening measures, in order to address the concerns of the public over pat downs and irradiating naked body scanners. This SOUNDS like a step in the right direction, and a proper response to the grievances of the citizenry. Instead, it turns out to be a refined example of totalitarianism in motion, and a perfect lesson in how the masses can be duped into handing over their inherent freedoms.
Revamped security protocols call for biometric data collection, including fingerprint and retina scans, and a tunnel which combines multiple detection systems into one area (who knows how radioactive this will end up being):
The mainstream article above makes this development sound like a win/win scenario for everyone, painting biometric data collection as a matter of convenience, but it also reveals the true design of the system; to illicit voluntary subservience:
“The key to speeding up checkpoints and making security less intrusive will be to identify and assess travelers according to the risks they pose to safety in the skies. The so-called riskiest or unknown passengers would face the toughest scrutiny, including questioning and more sensitive electronic screening. Those who voluntarily provide more information about themselves to the government would be rewarded with faster passage…” They enforce destructive anti-personal rights policies then pretend to acquiesce by replacing them with a technocratic nightmare grid which requires the cataloging of our very genetic essence in order to function. The only remaining injustice left would be to apply this grid to the rest of the country outside of the airports and train stations, which I assure you, they plan to do. Militarization
Last week, I covered the disturbing use of armored vehicles (APC’s or urban tanks) in open training regiments on the streets of St. Louis by the U.S Army, despite the fact that all of their exercises could have easily been accomplished on any number of military bases across the country. The action is an obvious attempt to condition the American populace to the sight of military units operating in a policing capacity:
I received multiple letters from current serving military who stated that in all their years in the armed forces they had never seen such a brash mishandling of public relations or an overstepping of bounds when it came to the restrictions of Posse Comitatus. It was encouraging to hear from military men and women who did not agree with or condone this kind of psyop activity on the part of our government.
Though the St. Louis event is not isolated, I believe it does represent an escalation.
Remember the controversy over the Mayor of Toledo and his refusal to allow 200 Marines to conduct urban combat drills on the public streets of his city in 2008? The media clamored to crucify this public official; one of the few who had any sense whatsoever in his head:
Or the tactical exercises using helicopters and combat troops over LA and Chicago early this year?
During each one of these events, city officials and local media attempted to inoculate the public with claims that they were “simply exercises”. This argument misses the point entirely. Whether or not these are “exercises” is not the issue. The issue is that this training could be done ON BASE. Using public streets and running drills within cities is absolutely unnecessary given the vast resources already available to the military, unless, of course, the goal is to BE SEEN by the public and to influence them to view the sight of armed troops around them as “normal”.
Add to this the fact that many of these military training exercises are being conducted in tandem with local police departments, and you have a recipe for the utter militarization of our society, turning peace officers into combat soldiers, and combat soldiers into law enforcement mechanisms; a juxtaposition that will soon lead to unmitigated disaster.
Arms Race Against the People?
When a country is quietly preparing for war, the first signs are usually revealed by a disclosure of armaments. If stockpiling is taking place without a warranted threat present from a legitimate enemy, there is a considerable likelihood of aggression on the part of that nation. America has gone well beyond the psychological process of militarization and has begun the extensive arming of particular agencies whose primary purpose revolves around the domestic.
The DHS, for instance, placed an order for over 450 million rounds of hollowpoint .40 cal ammunition in April of this year:
And it placed an order for over 7000 new semi-automatic combat rifles chambered in .223 (5.56 by 45mm NATO) immediately after:
While local police through federal programs (like the 1033 Program) are being given millions of dollars in free military equipment, including body armor, night vision equipment, APC’s, aircraft, first aid supplies, weapons, surveillance equipment, Kevlar helmets, gas masks and filters, vehicles, etc.:
All of this equipment, though issued to state agencies, is still heavily tracked and regulated by the federal government, making it clear that these “gifts” come with strings attached:
And finally, new FAA regulations will soon allow the dispersion of tens of thousands of predator drones with armament capability in the skies of the U.S. over the course of the next few years: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/feb/7/coming-to-a-sky-near-you/
Now, anyone with any logic would ask who it is that the government is arming itself and local police to fight against? Al Qaeda? Let’s not be naïve…
The passage of the NDAA and its provisions for the indefinite detainment of ANY person, even an American citizen, under the laws of war has ended the debate over government intent in terms of domestic action. FBI Director Robert Mueller’s admission that he “did not know” if assassination programs would be used against American citizens also heaped evidence on the matter. The bottom line? Our government wishes to label and treat citizens as enemy combatants. Of course they would then organize armaments to follow through on their policy.
Pulling The Trigger
All despotic systems have another distinct similarity; they each began with a series of trigger events which opened the door to tighter controls over the population. The most immediate trigger event for the U.S. is the looming peril of a collapsing economy followed by inevitable civil unrest. With the EU currently in debt shambles, global markets are on the verge of a considerable breakdown. The Federal Reserve response will be predictable; QE3 and massive stimulus all around to mitigate the crisis. This time, though, the go-to Keynesian quick fix will not work in the slightest. In fact, it will make matters more untenable by placing the world reserve status of the dollar at risk.
Everything that has happened so far in the markets this year has been easy to foresee. Alt-Market predicted the economic slowdown around the world and the collapse of overall demand using the Baltic Dry Index as a gauge back in January:
We also predicted the accelerated turmoil in the EU in light of the recent election results in France and Greece:
If alternative economic analysts can predict these developments despite the manipulated statistics spewed out by the government every month, then I think the government and our central bank has a tremendously transparent view of what is coming down the road in terms of financial distress. I believe the establishment is very well aware of a potential crisis event, economic or otherwise, that is barreling down upon the U.S. I believe the evidence shows that they are preparing for this eventuality in a command and control fashion, without alerting the public to the coming implosion. I believe they will use the despair that flows forth from the fiscal wreckage as an excuse to institute martial law.
Call it “crazy”. Call it “conspiracy theory”. Call it “coincidence”. Call it “fear mongering”. Whatever you like. I find it far more insane to shrug off the strange and twisted behavior of our power structure, and simply hope that it’s all irrelevant to the future. Whenever I run into starry eyed historical romanticists who look back in astonishment at the tyrannies of the past and wonder out loud, “How could those people have not known where their country was headed?!!”, I think of where we are today…
You can contact Brandon Smith at:
In the initial stages of nearly every recorded tyranny, the saucer eyed dumbstruck masses exhibit astonishing and masterful skill when denying reality. The facts behind their dire circumstances and of their antagonistic government become a source of cynical psychological gameplay rather than a source of legitimate concern. Their desperate need to maintain their normalcy bias creates a memory and observation vacuum in which all that runs counter to their false assumptions and preconceptions disappears forever. It is as if they truly cannot see the color of the sky, or the boot on their face. The concrete world of truth becomes a dream, an illusion that can be heeded or completely ignored depending on one’s mood. For them, life is a constant struggle of dissociation, where the tangible is NOT welcome…
This is the problem that we in the Liberty Movement deal with most often in our writings and films. Our confrontation with willful ignorance has been epic, even by far reaching historical standards. The gains in social awareness have been substantial, and yet the obstacles are incredible. Unprecedented. As an activist trend, we have an almost obsessive drive to draw back the curtain so that the public has at least the opportunity to see what is on the other side. Unfortunately, there is another danger that must be taken into account…
It is one thing to bear witness to the rejection of truth in our time and the oblivious attitudes of many towards the growth of totalitarianism. Eventually, though, a second phase in the development of oligarchy arises. I am speaking of the point at which tyranny becomes so blatant that the skeptics have to acknowledge its existence, but after doing so, they choose to rationalize it as necessary. Yes, there are many in this world that will laugh at the prospect of the Orwellian nightmare only to happily embrace it when it arrives in full color.
I was recently looking into the divisive issue of U.S. Marine Sgt. Gary Stein, whose position has come under threat due to his criticisms of Barack Obama and his founding of the ‘Armed Forces Tea Party Facebook Page’. What I discovered was a large number of Americans in support of Stein’s right to speak as a citizen (even under Marine regulations) against the unconstitutional actions of any president or presidential candidate. I also discovered a considerable number who wanted to see the soldier dishonorably discharged, or even set upon a noose as punishment.
Now, we all know that the Department of Defense monitors web news and social networking activity, and they have been caught red handed in the past posing as regular citizens with strangely militant pro-authoritarian views (look into their organized propaganda attacks on websites dealing with the levee failures during Katrina, for instance). It is by no means a stretch to suggest that they would also troll the comments sections of mainstream news articles in an attempt to engineer a fraudulent consensus that Sgt. Stein’s actions have been negatively received by the majority of Americans. But that aside, the underlings at the DOD are still Americans, and the views they espouse are still expressions of a subsection of this country (a small elitist one). Also, sadly, there are plenty of non-government-paid people out there who believe exactly as they do.
Surely, we can debate over the details of Marine regulations until our ears bleed, and I could point out several facts that the mainstream media did not cover in their hit pieces on Stein (like the fact that he went to his superiors and asked them to advise him in the handling of his political position long before the present charges against him were ever formulated, and the fact that he followed many of their suggestions…), but ultimately, the regulations of the Marines or the Federal Government are irrelevant. Such laws are transitory, and are usually written so broadly that the authorities of the day can execute them however they wish to fit their needs at the moment. The real question here is one of principle, moral compass, and Constitutionality (a document which is a reflection of eternal natural law). We have to set aside the pointless legalese of defense standards in the case of Sgt. Stein and ask ourselves an important question; do U.S. troops have a right to free speech?
If you believe so, then their rights are not limited or exclusive. They are free to say whatever any other American has a right to say. If you believe they do not, then you have relegated the troops to the position of second class citizens, or even property of the state. There is NO in-between. Discipline and military coherence be damned. Either these men and women have First Amendment protections and are full citizens or they are mechanisms of the government whose civil liberties have been erased.
Even though I understand the psychology behind it, I am still shaken with raw electrical astonishment when confronted by those who support the latter notion that American soldiers are indeed property of the state, that their actions must be dictated by the president and not the Constitution, and that this is required for the military to function.
Very few of these absurd multitudes ever ask what “function” such a military, populated by ethical robots who are blindly subservient to the dictates of a single man, would actually serve?
What good is an unprincipled military? An unprincipled government? An unprincipled society? What reason is there for these constructs to exist? The Nuremberg Trials solidified the reality that soldiers will be held accountable for following criminal orders, and still, there are some who claim that our troops must adopt a shoot first pay later methodology.
I bring up the circumstances of Sgt. Stein to illustrate the situation our nation is currently facing; we are on the threshold of total despotism, where the naysayers who shrugged off the threat of rogue government yesterday suddenly embrace it and support it today. When Stewart Rhodes first formed the Oath Keepers organization, the same talking point was consistently used in an attempt to derail it; “The orders you would refuse to obey could never occur in this country…” And yet, many of the warnings of Oath Keepers have come to pass, including the unlawful disarming of peaceful U.S. citizens during the disaster in New Orleans, the institution of government directed assassination programs of U.S. citizens under Bush and Obama, the passing of NDAA legislation which includes provisions for indefinite detainment of Americans without trial, warrantless wiretapping, surveillance, and even home invasion by authorities is becoming common, and the Obama Administration has put into place several executive orders (including the The National Defense Resources Preparedness EO) which pave the way for Martial Law to be declared.
The cold hard reality is, the Oath Keepers were right, and Sgt. Stein is right.
And, now that this is becoming undeniable, the opponents of their tenets are switching gears to fight for the implementation of unconstitutional laws which they used to deny were even possible. Can this situation be any more insane? Oh yes…
There are no limits to the surrealist hell that can be unleashed when dealing with what I like to call the “Slave Mentality”. The slave mentality takes many shapes. It is pervasive in times of social distress, and, it can be infectious. The psychologist Carl Jung wrote in his book ‘The Undiscovered Self’ that the cruel sociopathy seen in the populations of Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia is actually latent in many of us. All it needs is the right set of sociopolitical circumstances and a weak enough will, and the shadows in the hearts of lesser men are given license to come out and play. This is just as true in America, where people now operate on assumptions that the state is an absolute provider in the event of national calamity.
But what are the signs of this unconscious desire for collectivism and control? What makes a slave do what he does? Here are just a handful of explanations to consider…
The True Slave: The true slave is not a person who has been shackled, beaten, tortured, and made to comply under threat of death. As long as that poor soul has the spirit of rebellion and is ever seeking freedom, they are not imprisoned fully. The true slave is a person who enjoys their subservience, who is weighted with fear by the very idea of independence from the system, and who would actually fight and die to maintain the establishment which enslaves them. The true slave is not able to imagine living any other life beyond his micro-managed existence.
The Facts Lose Value: The worst flaw of the slave is not necessarily his ability to overlook the truth, but his ability to see it, comprehend it, and then shrug it off anyway because it is contrary to his mission to fulfill his private delusions. For the slave, the truth exists, but is no longer useful. Lies make his universe turn, and facts are a tool to be used or cast aside at his leisure.
The Obsession With The Law: The slave mentality, though illogical and psychotic, still requires a certain foundation to hold it together. The laws of governments tend to suffice. These laws may go completely against the force of inherent conscience, but because the slave has already abandoned listening to his inner voice of reason, this does not bother him much. If you have ever wondered why modern tyrannies always feel the need to put their horrific enforcements in writing first, THIS is why. Oligarchs understand that the law provides the slave with a means to rationalize his participation in the crimes of the state. After all, if some gut-bloated bloodthirsty elitists in government etch their mad inbred ramblings into law, then we have no choice but to follow them, right?
The Need To Be Accepted: A slave seeks harmony not within, but without, even when that “harmony” is with a system that is designed to destroy him. The viciousness of collectivism lay in its ability to comfort converts with atrocity. As long as the slave feels as though he is a part of the machine, and accepted by the group, he cares not what the machine does to others. Common arguments include; “We all have to live together, and so we must sacrifice our selfish individualism for the greater good…” or “Governments are here to protect us and we should do everything we can to make their job easier…” Rarely if ever do they question if the system is legitimately helpful or harmful. The system just “is”, it fulfills their need to be coddled, and that is good enough for them. For all their talk of “unity” and the “greater good”, collectivists are for the most part deeply selfish. They do not support or participate in the collective for the sake of others. They do it to satiate their personal desires.
The Need For Control: I suppose it’s ironic, but the average slave loves tyranny because it affords him a perceived seat at the table of power, perhaps for the first time in his entire life. Collectivist slaves are often people who have felt weak and inadequate since childhood. While honorable human beings fight this personal uncertainty by strengthening themselves physically and mentally, and improving upon their own character, the slave takes the easy route by joining with bureaucracy and living vicariously through its conquests. Through the state, the hollow, cowardly, and stupid, have the ability to “show the world who’s boss”, and get revenge for a life filled with meaninglessness.
The Need For Structure: An individual takes responsibility for himself, learning over time to provide his own structure which works at his pace and serves his unique needs. A slave does not have the energy or the drive to do that, and so, he asks the establishment to tell him how he should live. He will hold at face value the word of nearly anyone in a position of petty authority. When confronted with those who go their own way, or who rebel against the cookie-cutter template for social participation, the slave sneers in disgust. Independent rebellion is abhorrent to him, because the system provides him with his very identity. To insult the fabric of the system is to insult who he is. It’s pathetic, but common…
The Need For Vindication: Sometimes it is not enough for certain people to have their own world view. The slave seeks approval for his world view at every turn, even if that world view is twisted by bleary eyed logic, and will go so far as to force others to agree with it so that they can feel safer in their beliefs. It is natural for people to seek out others with similar views and ideals, but, it is not natural or healthy for those same people to use the government apparatus as a weapon to frighten the rest of us into submission just so they can become more confident in their ludicrous slapdash philosophies. Slaves want a world without contradiction. Laughably, everything they do is a contradiction.
What I have seen in a number of the reactions to the honest activism of Sgt. Gary Stein is a knee-jerk bias that reeks of the slave mentality, but it offers us a window in gauging the leanings of the general public. Now that the once theoretical dangers of federal fascism are breaking the surface of the water and circling the American sinking ship, the great test is to watch closely where the masses place their priorities. Will they take the path of the individual, admit to the laboratory mutation that our government has become, and try to make things right again? Or, will they take the path of the slave, forget their past follies and empty arguments, and jump on the totalitarian bandwagon? Certainly, it is not as if the cheerleaders of the state usually get out of the tumult with all their limbs intact. In most cases, they are lucky to get out alive once the smoke clears. One might think that the lessons of history would be guide enough, but then again, the average slave has taken every conceivable measure to ensure that his particular fantasy land is magical enough to withstand substantial examination. The system is their drug, and the upheaval that free thought brings is such a buzz-kill…
As a proponent of legitimate free markets, I am always up for a little creative entrepreneurship. However, there is a considerable difference between building productive markets, and engaging in monopolistic piracy. Global conglomerates and the elites that operate them have long been familiar with the pirate’s life, and not the fun filled adventure-time rope swinging swashbuckling brand. In fact, it was elitists like Sir Francis Drake, commissioned by the English monarchy, who embodied this disturbing covert bedlam. We’re talking murder, mayhem, and blood-money, folks! So, it should be of no surprise to anyone that the thieving mercantile swine of our era are returning to the high seas to plunder once again, only in a much more subversive and devious manner.
This past week, World Bank President Robert Zoellick made his organization’s intentions for oceanic regimentation known, at least in a candy coated way, at the Economist World Oceans Summit in Singapore.
Over the last several years, World Bank has seen fit to insinuate itself into the environmental movement as a “bastion” of green ideology. In reality, World Bank has long used the threats of environmental destabilization (some of them real, some of them fake) as tools for the centralization of resources into the hands of mega-corporations. In fact, if one was to attempt to sum up exactly what it is that World Bank actually does in a single phrase, it would probably be “resource domination”. This domination is achieved through the strict lending guidelines that sovereign countries have to commit to in order to attain financing from the supranational entity.
Like a greasy loan shark working for a hardboiled mob cartel, World Bank’s M.O. is to lend large capital packages (made with money or credit created out of thin air) which the target country and its government obviously cannot afford to pay back. These loans often stipulate that the country relinquish control of its natural resources, the true wealth of the nation, over to international corporate bodies for “management”. Through this process, World Bank removes competition from a market and hands designated companies (globalist front-companies) the keys to the kingdom.
Environmental manipulation has been used in the past by World Bank as a cover for resource piracy. Global corporations including Enron, Bechtel, GM, and Monsanto from the late 90’s onward have been handed coveted water rights to entire communities and nations under the guise of managing “water scarcity”. This control of the water supply has extended even to rainwater collection. World Bank’s argument in the case of water privatization was that monetizing the resource would create “incentives” for populations to conserve water. That is to say, the higher they could increase the cost of water, the more coveted it would become, and the more careful people would be when using it. This feudalistic idea was expressed clearly in a World Water Council (founded with the help of the Vice President of World Bank) document entitled “The Long Term Vision For Water, Life, And Environment”:
In 1998 the World Water Forum expounded a need for control and regulation over the planet’s water supply. This meeting was packed with top multinational corporations and commissioned by a viper’s nest of global elites, including:
-Dr Ismali Serageldin (Commission Chair), Vice President, World Bank, and Chair of Global Water Partnership
-Margaret Catley-Carlson, President, Population Council
-Gordon Conway, President, The Rockefeller Foundation
-Mohamed T. El-Ashry, Chair and CEO of the Global Environment Facility
-Howard Hjort, former Deputy Director, FAO
-Enriquo Iglesias, President, Inter-American Development Bank
-Yolanda Kababadse, President, World Conservation Union
-Jessica Mathews, President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, USA
-Robert S. McNamara, Co-Chair, Global Coalition for Africa
-Maurice Strong, Chair, Earth Council, member of Commission on Global Governance, and a chief adviser in charge of the UN reform process
-Wilfred Thalwitz, former Senior VP, World Bank
-Jerome Mondo, Chair of the Supervisory Board, Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux
In March of 2000, the forum made the following statement:
“Water is an economic good and its economic value should be recognized in the allocation of scarce water resources to competing uses. While this should not prevent people from meeting their basic needs for water services at affordable prices, the price for water must be set at a level that encourages conservation and wise use…”
This methodology of artificially raising prices through the issuance of securities to enforce a particular environmentalist ideal, in the end, has NOTHING to do with protecting the environment. Essentially, it creates the derivitization of natural resources that is the calling card of globalized tyranny. Cap and Trade programs were designed to monetize air usage. Energy derivatives were used by Enron to allow easier manipulation of electric and oil prices. Water privatization was designed to corporatize a free flowing resource and create artificial scarcity. And now, World Bank wants to apply the same con game to one of the last economic commons; the ocean. The only beneficiaries in these schemes have always been large conglomerates, along with a smattering of stock investors who revel in the idea of erecting entire markets out of absolutely imaginary products with no real inherent value.
As with water privatization, the flood of massive bureaucracy in the guise of corporate management over oceanic usage will only create a mind boggling maze of red tape that will thwart all business interests except the largest. This is entirely deliberate.
Not only does it cause prices to rise to levels beyond what the impoverished (a global majority) can pay for a commodity, but it also squeezes out small business owners whose only advantage was the level playing field of an open resource. On the oceans of World Bank, a small fishing outfit will have no chance to make a living, because the permit process, new taxes, and new legal requirements, will empty their bank accounts before they ever get started, leaving only the big boys to ravage the seas at will, and legally, because they will have paid the exorbitant fees for the right to do so.
There is also a very good reason why Zoellick at the World Oceans Summit mentioned fishery issues so often, and why he is so keen on the idea of international regulations on their operations.
On dry land, companies like Monsanto are the slavemasters of food supply. The centralization of national farming infrastructures has given these companies unrivaled power over how we eat, and thus, how most of the populace survives. However, the ocean, an unparalleled food source, is still a decentralized region of production. Anyone can fish it, almost anywhere, without having to ask permission from the government, or a private company. This obviously does not sit well with World Bank, not because they fear overfishing, but because it provides a sovereign means of survival, allowing people to remain independent from the globalist system.
By utterly corporatizing resources that have through all of time been freely accessible to every human being, World Bank and the elitists they serve hope to build a framework for total centralization of all means of production and sustenance on Earth. Does this sound like mad scientist stuff? Absolutely. Does that make it any less factual or terrifying? Not a chance.
The real cleverness in using the environmental aspect of ocean management lay in the reality that there is, indeed, severe damage being done to many parts of the ocean’s ecosystems. Cap and trade is based on the lie of anthropomorphic global warming and highly misrepresented data on the effects of CO2 (just ask any global warming enthusiast why NASA and the CRU have never released the source data for their experiments to prove that their claims are true). The monetization of the air we breathe can be defeated in the minds of the general public for this reason. But with the oceans, legitimate pollution is occurring. This gives World Bank a much more tangible argument for supranational regulation in the name of environmentalism. What people must realize, though, is that this regulation will have no effect on the deterioration of the seas. In fact, it will likely hasten their destruction.
The international nature of how the oceans are utilized also opens the globalization door to World Bank. When a supranational entity is given de facto governance over a region that is used by all sovereign countries, it gives that entity the ability to interfere in the decision making processes of those nations without any input or respect to the people who live within them. For Americans, this means being susceptible to laws created by men far outside our borders who we cannot vote in, vote out, or chase down with our pitchforks when the voting is rigged. This has always been the goal of globalists; to create the most dominant and unaccountable ruling body in history, while at the same time convincing the masses that we cannot live without it.
At bottom, centralization is the foundation for the collectivist fallacy; that there is a “greater good” that must be maintained by the establishment. This process makes the establishment indispensable in the minds of the public. The elites in power today have chosen environmental dogma as their version of the “greater good”, because the “end of the world as we know” can be used to rationalize almost any brand of despotic behavior, from food and water rationing as a method for social conditioning, to population control or even depletion in the name of “saving the planet”. Always beware the true motivations of any governing institution that seeks to assert itself as the purveyor of all that is “best” for the people. Such groups are rarely if ever what they seem…
You can contact Brandon Smith at: firstname.lastname@example.org