Category: News Items

Welcome to Liberland – The Tiny Strip of Land in Europe to Which 360,000 People Have Applied for Citizenship

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If we accepted everyone, we would be larger than Iceland.

– Liberland founder, Vit Jedlicka

If there was ever a sign that people are hungry, starving actually, for freedom and an escape from the corrupt and overbearing global status quo, this is it.

Welcome to the Free Republic of Liberland, seven square kilometers of unclaimed land between Croatia and Serbia, which intends to becomes the world’s newest, and most free, sovereign state. To prove Ron Paul’s contention that “freedom is popular,” Liberland has already received 360,000 applications for citizenship, including 600 architects.

Want to learn more? Watch this video:

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China Launches Biggest Military Overhaul in Decades as Warships Spotted Off Alaska for First Time

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It’s never a good sign when the world’s second largest economy announces the most significant revamp of its military in decades, at almost the exact same time that its economy implodes. Unfortunately, this is what just happened. From Bloomberg:

President Xi Jinping will as soon as this month announce the most sweeping overhaul of the Chinese military in at least three decades, moving it closer to a U.S.-style joint command structure, people familiar with the matter said.

The blueprint would unify the army, navy, air force and strategic missile corps under one command, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the proposal hasn’t been released. The plans call for thinning the ranks of officers and traditional ground forces, helping elevate the role of the navy and air force, to better project force in a modern conflict, they said.

Xi is preparing to unveil the proposal in the wake of Thursday’s World War II anniversary parade in Beijing, which will showcase his authority over the People’s Liberation Army and China’s growing clout in the region. The plan to mold the military into a force that meets Xi’s goal of being “able to fight and win a modern war” has been delayed for months as anti-graft investigators swept up dozens of current and retired generals, referring the PLA’s former top general to prosecutors in July.

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Bloomberg Announces Major Reorganization – Is it Trying to Become More Clownish Like CNBC?

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Bloomberg News puts out a lot of good stuff. I link to Bloomberg articles often when it comes to finance and market stories, and I’m grateful for them. As such, when a news source this huge fires 90 journalists, and its recently hired editor in chief writes a 3,000 word memo announcing a major reorganization, it’s important to pay attention.

As much as I appreciate a lot of the work Bloomberg does, I have noticed what seems to be an increasing number of headlines pandering to what I call “oligarch porn,” as well as stories that seem to serve no news purpose other than celebrating the inane and superficial. Here’s a recent example, which I flagged via Twitter:

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South Dakota Makes Teaching Early American History Optional for High School Students

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Want to know the quickest way to ensure the nation’s youth grow up to be a collection of unthinking, ignorant drone-slave adults? Just ask South Dakota’s Board of Education. They’ve got it down to a science.

From Argus Leader:

History teachers across South Dakota will be working with a new set of classroom guidelines after a Monday decision to approve social studies standards.

College professors balked at the new benchmarks because there isn’t a requirement for teaching early American history at the high school level.

In spite of protests, the state Board of Education agreed to overhaul the standards after an almost yearlong public hearing process. There is no requirement for teaching the first 100 years of the nation’s history, including the Revolutionary War and the drafting of the U.S. Constitution, but the rewritten standards do give teachers a choice.

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KKR Employee and Former CIA Head, General David Petraeus, Suggests Supporting al-Qaeda Against ISIS

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Members of al Qaeda’s branch in Syria have a surprising advocate in the corridors of American power: Retired Army general and former CIA Director David Petraeus.

The former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan has been quietly urging U.S. officials to consider using so-called moderate members of al Qaeda’s Nusra Front to fight ISIS in Syria, four sources familiar with the conversations, including one person who spoke to Petraeus directly, told The Daily Beast.

– From the Daily Beast article: Petraeus: Use Al Qaeda Fighters to Beat ISIS

No, unfortunately, this is not a headline from The Onion.

In a world in which U.S. foreign policy looks more like a tragic comedy than a projection of strength and democracy, things continue to get more and more surreal. I suppose this is what happens when an inept status quo fails to step aside (or be imprisoned), despite decades of gross mismanagement and monumental failure.

We see the negative outcomes all around us. Whether it’s the destruction of the American middle class and a solidification of an untouchable oligarchy following the forced taxpayer bailout of the financial status quo, or the humanitarian disasters and chaos across the Middle East that resulted from a zero accountability policy for military-industrial-intelligence complex “leaders.” When those in positions of power face zero repercussions for their failed actions, this is exactly what you get.

As such, the nation continues to be led right off a cliff by greedy, incompetent, unethical “elites” who still can’t recognize what an enormous mess they’ve created. With each new crisis (created by them in the first place), these clowns bail themselves out and maneuver to firmly maintain the reins of powers. This is the primary reason the middle class has died, and why America has become a glorified Banana Republic.

Which brings us to David Petraeus. One of the best representations of the dangers of “elite” privilege. Not only was he given a pass for passing along classified government information to his mistress, but he then went ahead and took a cushy, and no doubt lucrative, job with private equity giant KKR. Apparently, that’s not enough for the good general. He is now suggesting the U.S. government align with al-Qaeda in Syria in order to fight ISIS.

Yes, you read that right. American citizens are now supposed to ally with the very group our nation was conned into relinquishing our civil liberties to battle.

Why are we molested at the airport before getting on a plane?  al-Qaeda.

Why have we given up our digital privacy to a surveillance state panopticon? Because al-Qaeda.

Why do governments now want to ban cash? Because al-Qaeda.

Why is free speech under attack around the world? Because al-Qaeda.

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The Oligarch Recovery – Low Income Americans Can’t Afford to Live in Any Metro Area

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We were told we needed to bail out Wall Street in order to save Main Street. Well the results are in…

Wall Street has never done better, and Main Street has never done worse.

From the Huffington Post:

Low-income workers and their families do not earn enough to live in even the least expensive metropolitan American communities, according to a new analysis of families’ living costs published Wednesday.

The analysis, released by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, is an annual update of the think tank’s Family Budget Calculator that reflects new 2014 data. The Family Budget Calculator is a formula designed to determine the income “required for families to attain a secure yet modest standard of living” in 618 different communities across the country that the U.S. Census Bureau defines as metropolitan areas. The formula uses data collected by the government and some nonprofit groups to measure costs of housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, “other necessities” like clothing, and taxes for families of 10 different compositions in these specific locales.

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COMPROMISED – How Two of Hillary Clinton’s Top Aides Received Golden Parachutes from Wall Street

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Over the weekend, Bernie Sanders generated quite a bit of buzz by accurately noting, “I believe the business model of Wall Street is fraud,” during an interview on CNN. Although Hillary strains herself to sound populist for the cameras every now and again, her plunging popularity is not merely the result of high profile scandals. Rather, she has a long history as a dedicated Wall Street coddler, and no amount of soundbites will convince anyone to the contrary.

Of course, we’ve seen some grassroots acknowledgement of this fact earlier this year, when the following cartoon appeared across New York City:

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Fast forward a couple of months, and there’s currently a bill in Congress known as the “Financial Services Conflict of Interest Act,” which aims to crack down on Wall Street golden parachutes. Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley have already come out in favor of it. Hillary has not. Perhaps this is why.

From the Intercept:

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Unusually Massive Protests Erupt in Japan Against Forthcoming “War Legislation”

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In case you aren’t up to speed on your Japanese history, the nation’s post WWII Constitution prohibits military action unless it’s in self-defense. Clearly a sensible approach, which is why the current Japanese government, led by the demonstrably insane and incompetent Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, wants to get rid of it.

This story is very important. Not only will this action increase the likelihood of World War III in the Far East, but it’s another important example of a government acting against the will of the people.

Polling has indicated the Japanese public is against a pivot toward militarization and war, but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe  is pushing forward nonetheless. In fact, the current legislation to allow overseas military intervention has already passed the lower house of government. This prompted many Japanese to emerge from their decades long political apathy and get out into the streets. It’s estimated these protests were the largest in recent memory.

The AP reports:

TOKYO (AP) — Mothers holding their children’s hands stood in the sprinkling rain, some carrying anti-war placards, while students chanted slogans to the beat of a drum against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his defense policies.

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Video of the Day – Bernie Sanders Says “I Think the Business Model of Wall Street is Fraud”

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During a recent interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Bernie Sanders exclaimed: “I think the business model of Wall Street is fraud.”

Basically. Unfortunately, it will never change until serious jail sentences are handed out for the serious fraud, as opposed to taxpayer bailouts.

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