Bill Clinton Attempted to Give Paid Speeches to North Korea and the Congo While Hillary was Secretary of State

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With each passing day, it become clearer and clearer just what a crumbling charade of greed, cronyism and phony humanitarianism the Clinton family really is. In the latest revelation, we find out that Bill Clinton tried to get State Department support to deliver paid speeches to two of the most repressive regimes in the world: North Korea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Apparently, the $48 million “Slick Willie” raked in during the four years Hillary was Secretary of State wasn’t enough to “pay the bills.”

We learn from ABC News:

ABC News has obtained State Department e-mails that shed light on Bill Clinton’s lucrative speaking engagements and show he and the Clinton Foundation tried to get approval for invitations related to two of the most repressive countries in the world — North Korea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

While Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State, Bill Clinton earned speaking fees around the globe totaling more than $48 million — speeches that had to be vetted by the State Department to ensure there were no conflicts of interest with his wife’s work as America’s top diplomat. These newly revealed emails show speech requests that the State Department refused to approve.

One email sent in June 2012 to Clinton State Department chief of staff Cheryl Mills from Amitabh Desai, a foreign policy director at the Clinton Foundation, passed on an invitation for a speaking engagement in Brazzaville, Congo.

The catch? The dictators of Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo would both be attending — and required photos with Bill Clinton. The speaking fee? A whopping $650,000.

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The Pentagon Creates Partnership with Apple to Develop Wearable Tech

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Last week, in the post JP Morgan Hires Recently Retired U.S. General, Raymond T. Odierno, I made the following observation:

How can you ensure that the interests of TBTF Wall Street mega banks and the military-intelligence-industrial complex remain aligned? Create a revolving door of course.

Of course it’s much, much bigger than this. The genius of the current status quo system is that it has created a complicated and opaque interlocking system of crony partnerships and interdependencies between the government, mega corporations and academia so massive, wealthy and powerful it has become exceedingly difficult to challenge. This is precisely because almost everyone now depends on it for their paychecks.

Creating such corrupt networks often happens in the shadows, and in recent years has taken the form of “public-private partnerships” and secret trade deals such as the TTP, TTIP and TISA. This is how modern America operates in a nutshell, and it’s continued metastasis is rapidly destroying what’s left of freedom, common sense and free markets in this nation.

Moving along to today’s post, how free does it make you feel that the Department of Defense is partnering with 162 companies, universities and other groups to develop wearable technology? How independent can these companies and universities actually be when they are engaged in such schemes with the U.S. government. The answer is obvious: Not independent at all.

From NBC News:

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The Financial Times Calls for Ending Cash, Calls it a “Barbarous Relic”

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Earlier this week, as the financial world was mesmerized by a min-stock market crash, the Financial Times published a dastardly little piece of fascist propaganda.

There is no more egregious anti-liberty economic policy imaginable than banning cash. I covered this earlier in the year in the post, Martin Armstrong Reports on a Secret Meeting in London to Ban Cash. Here’s an excerpt:

At this point, anyone paying even the slightest bit of attention to the central planning economic totalitarians running the fraudulent global financial system is aware of the blatant push in the media to acclimate the masses to accepting a “cashless society.”

In the mind of an economic tyrant, banning cash represents the holy grail. Forcing the plebs onto a system of digital fiat currency transactions offers total control via a seamless tracking of all transactions in the economy, and the ability to block payments if an uppity citizen dares get out of line.

While we’ve all seen the idiotic arguments for banning cash, i.e., it will allow central planners to more efficiently centrally plan economies into the ground, Martin Armstrong is reporting on a secret meeting in London with the aim of getting rid of any economic privacy that remains by ending cash.

Three months later,  the Financial Times publishes an article titled, The Case for Retiring Another “Barbarous Relic.”  When you start to see increased propaganda about banning cash, you know the status quo is very scared and things are getting very serious. You’ve been warned.

From the FT:

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Big Brother Idiocy – TSA Spent $160 Million on Naked Body Scanners that Fail 96% of the Time

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It’s now becoming clear exactly how many tens of millions of dollars the TSA spent on body scanners that have missed airport security threats, outraged passengers and brought the agency under congressional scrutiny.

The $160 million bill includes $120 million for the body scanners now in place in hundreds of airports nationwide, according to newly disclosed figures obtained by POLITICO. The rest of the money went to the agency’s “naked” X-ray scanners, which it pulled from airports two years ago amid worries about health risks and the devices’ detailed images of travelers’ bodies.

A recent security audit found that TSA had failed to find fake explosives and weapons in 96 percent of covert tests. And members of Congress familiar with the classified details say the body scanners are to blame for much of the problem.

Johnson said that while bomb detection is obviously a complex undertaking, “these things weren’t even catching metal.”

“If you really want to keep using those, and I’m not saying we shouldn’t, at a minimum we should put a metal detector on the other side,” the Wisconsin Republican said in an interview. “Why not go through two? You’ve just gotta use common sense.”

– From the Politico article: Price for TSA’s Failed Body Scanners: $160 Million

I’ve been a vocal critic of the TSA’s naked body scanners since day one. Not only have I never gone through one of these devices due to my refusal to participate in self-inflicted intellectual genocide in the name of slave conditioning, but it was clear from very early on that they were nothing short of pure, ineffectual security theatre.

Specifically, in a post published earlier this year, TSA Agents Caught Gaming System so Male Screener Could Grope Attractive Passengers; No Criminal Charges Filed, I noted that:

As someone who has never gone through a naked body scanner, I am particularly sensitive to where they are positioned and where they are not. In Denver, they are basically everywhere, yet interestingly, in the terminal serving Frontier Airlines at La Guardia in NYC there are none. This seems incredible to me given how big of a terrorist target it is. Somehow New York City is able to screen passengers just fine without the naked body scanners, yet Denver can’t? How is that the case? It’s the case because the expensive new screeners are nothing more than security theatre. Security theater that pays very, very well for the device manufacturers.

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Margin Calls Emerge as Loans Against Stock Portfolios Used to Buy Homes, Boats and “Pretty Much Everything”

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In a securities-based loan, the customer pledges all or part of a portfolio of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and/or other securities as collateral. But unlike traditional margin loans, in which the client uses the credit to buy more securities, the borrowing is for other purchases such as real estate, a boat or education.

The result was “dangerously high margin balances,” said Jeff Sica, president at Morristown, N.J.-based Circle Squared Alternative Investments, which oversees $1.5 billion of mostly alternative investments. He said the products became “the vehicle of choice for investors looking to get cash for anything.” Mr. Sica and others say the products were aggressively marketed to investors by banks and brokerages.

From the Wall Street Journal article: Margin Calls Bite Investors, Banks

Today’s article from the Wall Street Journal on investors taking out large loans backed by portfolios of stocks and bonds is one of the most concerning and troubling finance/economics related articles I have read all year.

Many of you will already be aware of this practice, but many of you will not. In a nutshell, brokers are permitting investors to take out loans of as much as 40% of the value from a portfolio of equities, and up to a terrifying 80% from a bond portfolio. The interest rates are often minuscule, as low as 2%, and since many of these clients are wealthy, the loans are often used to purchase boats and real estate.

At the height of last cycle’s credit insanity, we saw average Americans take out large home loans in order to do renovations, take vacations, etc. While we know how that turned out, there was at least some sense to it. These people obviously didn’t want liquidate their primary residence in order to do these things they couldn’t actually afford, so they borrowed against it.

In the case of these financial assets loans, the investors could easily liquidate parts of their portfolio in order to buy their boats or houses. This is what a normal, functioning sane financial system would look like. Rather, these clients are so starry eyed with financial markets, they can’t bring themselves to sell a single bond or share in order to purchase a luxury item, or second home. Of course, Wall Street is encouraging this behavior, since they can then earn the same amount of fees managing financial assets, while at the same time earning money from the loan taken out against them.

I don’t even want to contemplate the deflationary impact that this practice will have once the cycle turns in earnest. Devastating momentum liquidation is the only thing that comes to mind.

So when you hear about margin loans against stocks, it’s not just to buy more stocks. It’s also to buy “pretty much everything…”

From the Wall Street Journal:

Loans backed by investment portfolios have become a booming business for Wall Street brokerages. Now the bill is coming due—for both the banks and their clients.

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Facebook Censors Feminist Author Due to “Profane” Book Title

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Apparently, Facebook users are such delicate, helpless little snowflakes they are unable to discern what is profane and what is not profane without the unrequested aid of Big Brother Zuckerberg.

The Independent reports:

Facebook has reportedly refused to publicise a post for a feminist author’s conference discussing her influential book because of its “profane” title.

Anne Summers wrote on her personal Facebook account the social media behemoth had “denied permission” to boost a post promoting a conference discussing her 1975 book Damned Whores and God’s Police.

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Rutgers University Warns Students – “There is No Such Thing as Free Speech”

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Ironically, U.S. college campuses are rapidly becoming the least free, most censored places in the country. Many people have commented on this, including high profile, enormously talented comedians such as Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld. In fact, Chris Rock was so appalled that he stopped playing colleges because audiences had become “too conservative” Before getting all bent out of shape, this is what he meant:

Not in their political views — not like they’re voting Republican — but in their social views and their willingness not to offend anybody. Kids raised on a culture of “We’re not going to keep score in the game because we don’t want anybody to lose.” Or just ignoring race to a fault. You can’t say “the black kid over there.” No, it’s “the guy with the red shoes.” You can’t even be offensive on your way to being inoffensive.

Although I’ve touched upon this subject before, I haven’t given it nearly the amount of attention it deserves. That said, I would suggest rereading a powerful post published earlier this summer, A Professor Speaks Out – How Coddled, Hyper Sensitive Undergrads are Ruining College Learning. Here’s an excerpt:

Things have changed since I started teaching. The vibe is different. I wish there were a less blunt way to put this, but my students sometimes scare me — particularly the liberal ones.

I once saw an adjunct not get his contract renewed after students complained that he exposed them to “offensive” texts written by Edward Said and Mark Twain. His response, that the texts were meant to be a little upsetting, only fueled the students’ ire and sealed his fate.  That was enough to get me to comb through my syllabi and cut out anything I could see upsetting a coddled undergrad, texts ranging from Upton Sinclair to Maureen Tkacik — and I wasn’t the only one who made adjustments, either.

The current student-teacher dynamic has been shaped by a large confluence of factors, and perhaps the most important of these is the manner in which cultural studies and social justice writers have comported themselves in popular media. I have a great deal of respect for both of these fields, but their manifestations online, their desire to democratize complex fields of study by making them as digestible as a TGIF sitcom, has led to adoption of a totalizing, simplistic, unworkable, and ultimately stifling conception of social justice. The simplicity and absolutism of this conception has combined with the precarity of academic jobs to create higher ed’s current climate of fear, a heavily policed discourse of semantic sensitivity in which safety and comfort have become the ends and the means of the college experience.

Moving along to today’s post, I want to highlight two different stories that I came across today demonstrating just how far “higher education” has cratered in recent years. First, let’s turn to Rutgers University, whose “Bias Prevention & Education Committee (BPEC)” recently put out an alert that began with the following statement:

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North Dakota Becomes First State to Legalize Drones Weaponized with Tasers, Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets & Sound Canons

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It is now legal for law enforcement in North Dakota to fly drones armed with everything from Tasers to tear gas thanks to a last-minute push by a pro-police lobbyist. 

With all the concern over the militarization of police in the past year, no one noticed that the state became the first in the union to allow police to equip drones with “less than lethal” weapons. House Bill 1328 wasn’t drafted that way, but then a lobbyist representing law enforcement—tight with a booming drone industry—got his hands on it.

– From the Daily Beast article: First State Legalizes Taser Drones for Cops, Thanks to a Lobbyist

You could see the writing on the walls years ago. In an increasingly authoritarian, lawless, surveillance state like America, it was always inevitable that drones would be weaponized. In North Dakota, this is now a reality.

Although I haven’t written much about domestic drones as of late, I published many articles on the topic several years ago. In the 2012 piece, Drones in America? They are Already Here…I warned:

Like with any new technology, drones can be put to good use or to evil use.  Just like nuclear power can harness energy or destroy humanity altogether, drones could do a lot of good, but the problem is that the government is clearly moving more and more towards a surveillance state so we must be extra careful.  Stay vigilant.

Apparently, North Dakotans weren’t particularly vigilant, and now the state has become the first in the nation to legalize weaponized drones; not a distinction they should be proud of. What started out as a bill to require police using drones for surveillance obtain warrants, turned into a law that puts tasers and tear gas on them. Go ‘Merica.

The Daily Beast reports:

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Anti-American Sentiment Runs High in Russia After Retired U.S. General Suggested “Start Killing Russians”…

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“The only way the United States can have any effect in this region and turn the tide,” Mr. Scales said, “is to start killing Russians … killing so many Russians that even Putin’s media can’t hide the fact that Russians are returning to the motherland in body bags. But, given the [small] amount of support we’ve given to the Ukrainians, given the ability of the Ukrainians themselves to counter-attack against these, what? 12,000 Russians camped in their country…sadly that’s not likely to happen.”

– Retired U.S. Major General Robert H. Scales

Earlier this year, I outlined my take on modern American foreign policy in the post, The Forgotten War – Understanding the Incredible Debacle Left Behind by NATO in Libya. This was my conclusion:

There are only two logical conclusions that can be reached about American foreign policy leadership in the 21st century.

1) American leadership is ruthlessly pursuing immoral wars all over the world with the intent of creating outside enemies to focus public anger on, as a conscious diversion away from the criminality happening domestically. As an added bonus, the intelligence-military-industrial complex makes an incredible sum of money. The end result: serfs are distracted with inane nationalistic fervor, while the “elites” earn billions.

2) American leadership is completely and totally inept; being easily manipulated into overseas conflicts by ruthless corporate interests and cunning foreign “rebels” in order to advance their own selfish interests, which are in conflict with the interests of the general public.

I can’t come up with any other logical conclusion. Either way, such people have no business running the affairs of these United States, and their actions are merely increasing instability and violence across the planet. The longer they remain in charge with no accountability, the more dangerous this world will become.

Just a month later, retired U.S. Major General Robert H. Scales was interviewed on Fox Business with Lou Dobbs, and he suggested killing so many Russians that Putin would lose his power base back home. I really wish I was making it up, but watch it here for yourself:

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New UN Privacy Chief Proclaims – UK Digital Surveillance is “Worse than Orwell”

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Cannataci says we are dealing with a world even worse that anything Orwell could have foreseen. “It’s worse,” he said. “Because if you look at CCTV alone, at least Winston was able to go out in the countryside and go under a tree and expect there wouldn’t be any screen, as it was called. Whereas today there are many parts of the English countryside where there are more cameras than George Orwell could ever have imagined. So the situation in some cases is far worse already.

– UN Privacy chief, Joseph Cannataci

The UN special rapporteur on privacy, Joseph Cannataci, pulls no punches when it comes to privacy. It’s hard to disagree with what he has to say.

From the Guardian:

The first UN privacy chief has said the world needs a Geneva convention style law for the internet to safeguard data and combat the threat of massive clandestine digital surveillance.

Speaking to the Guardian weeks after his appointment as the UN special rapporteur on privacy, Joseph Cannataci described British surveillance oversight as being “a joke”, and said the situation is worse than anything George Orwell could have foreseen.

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