Tags: Oligarchy

Congress Moves to Eliminate Labels Showing Consumers Where Meat Comes from Following WTO Ruling

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A House committee has voted to get rid of labels on packages of meat that say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered.

The House Agriculture Committee voted 38-6 to repeal a “country-of-origin” labeling law for beef, pork and poultry Wednesday — just two days after the World Trade Organization ruled against parts of the law. The labels tell consumers what countries the meat is from: for example, “born in Canada, raised and slaughtered in the United States” or “born, raised and slaughtered in the United States.”

From the Washington Post article: House Panel Votes to Repeal Country-Origin Meat Labeling Law

The following article should take on an increased significance given the Obama administration’s current desperate and aggressive push to receive “fast-track” authority to pass the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. If you aren’t up to speed on the topic, see:

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Number of NYC Apartments for Rent Above $50k/Month Triples Since ’08; 82% of U.S. Construction = Luxury Units

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Here is good news for the plutocrat who wants to try out Manhattan’s ritziest neighborhoods before taking the multimillion-dollar plunge. The market for super-high-end rentals is booming, with plenty of enticing options for tenants of every taste.

In all, 82 apartments renting for at least $50,000 a month were listed on StreetEasy during the first three months of the year, more than triple the number listed in the first quarter of 2008. At lower thresholds, luxury listings are also on the rise. Apartments renting for more than $25,000 a month made up 0.95 percent of total inventory in the first quarter of 2015, up from 0.46 percent in the first quarter of 2008…

Of 370,000 multifamily rental units completed from 2012 to 2014 in 54 U.S. metropolitan areas, 82% were in the luxury category, according to CoStar Group Inc., a real-estate research firm. The firm defines luxury buildings as those that command rents in the top 20% of the market. In some places, including Denver, Tampa, Baltimore and Phoenix, virtually all new apartment construction has been targeted to high-end renters. In Atlanta, about 95% of new apartments have been in the luxury category.

– From Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal:

The oligarch recovery marches forward with reckless enthusiasm, despite extremely disturbing underlying trends which are all but guaranteed to result in significant societal unrest in the years ahead. The U.S. economy, and indeed the global economy, is much more similar to pre-1789 France than any other historical period I can think of.

You have a handful of super wealthy people, completely disconnected from any sense of reality, running around telling governments what to do. All the same characters who created the global financial crisis remain in charge of the world’s most powerful institutions, and continue to benefit handsomely from its aftermath. While claiming to have “saved the global economy,” the only things they really saved were their own positions of power and wealth. The only thing that was saved, was the very thing that should have been completely discarded, the global status quo. 

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How Chinese Oligarchs Used Fake Trade Invoices to Launder Almost $1 Trillion Globally

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Our estimates show that the developing world lost US$991.2 billion in illicit financial flows in 2012, over ten times the amount of official development aid received by these countries in that year, and greater than the amount of net foreign direct investment received. From 2003 – 2012, US$6.6 trillion left developing country economies illicitly.

Illicit outflows from developing countries increased at a trend rate of 9.4 percent per annum in real terms over the time period from 2003 to 2012. Though growth rates of IFFs tended to be higher before the financial crisis, their volume continues to climb. Over this time period, illicit financial flows were equivalent to 3.9 percent of developing world GDP on average.

Save for a brief slowdown during the financial crisis, illicit financial flows have been allowed to grow unchecked over the past decade. In 2012, illicit outflows reached a staggering new peak of US$991 billion.

– From the Global Financial Integrity Report: Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2003-2012

While the U.S. government loves to target and imprison small time so-called “money launderers” such Bitcoin pioneer Charlie Shrem, the real money launderers, the ones who help drug cartels and pump criminally sourced money into foreign real estate thus pricing out domestic populations worldwide, face no consequences whatsoever. I’ve explored this hypocrisy on many occasions, most recently in the post, Some Money Launderers are More Equal than Others Part 2 – CEO of BitInstant is Arrested. Here’s an excerpt:

Last May, I wrote an article titled: Some Money Launderers are “More Equal” than Others, which likened the U.S. government to the pigs that ruled the roost in George Orwell’s classic novel Animal Farm. In that article, I decided to compare the way the “authorities” used money laundering laws against Liberty Reserve, versus the way they tip-toed around massive money laundering for Mexican drug cartels that HSBC engaged in. Since I wrote that article, JP Morgan has been fined tens of billions of dollars for a cornucopia of criminal activities. Meanwhile, we have yet to see a single executive arrested or put behind bars. Why?

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The Federal Reserve Refuses to Provide Names Requested by Congress in Probe

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Over the past week or so, I’ve written several posts highlighting the dangers of “public-private” partnerships. This is the preferred term being used by savvy members of the status quo to provide cover for their relentless pursuit of economic fascism. It provides a good soundbite, but in reality is nothing more than a license to loot and pillage with government backing. Here’s how I described the scam in the post, Meet Cyber P3 – The U.S. Military’s Public-Private Partnership to Create Corporate/Government “Cyber Soldiers.”

It makes perfect sense if you think about it. If you’re a large corporation, there’s nothing better than guaranteed profits; and there’s no better way to guarantee profits than by going into business with the one entity that can do this: government. On the other hand, if you are an ambitious and greedy politician, what better way to earn a fortune while ostensibly engaging in “public service” than by lining the pockets of big corporations, which will then line your pockets in return in various opaque ways. Extraordinary fees for speeches is one preferred way of doing this, as is the classic revolving door that gives the person a cushy corporate job after leaving government.

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More Clinton Foundation Cronyism – The Deal to Sell Uranium Interests to Russia While Hillary was Secretary of State

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As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

Whether the donations played any role in the approval of the uranium deal is unknown. But the episode underscores the special ethical challenges presented by the Clinton Foundation, headed by a former president who relied heavily on foreign cash to accumulate $250 million in assets even as his wife helped steer American foreign policy as secretary of state, presiding over decisions with the potential to benefit the foundation’s donors.

From the New York Times article: Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation as Russians Pressed for Control of Uranium Company

If you looked at the U.S. economy under a microscope, what you’d see is a gigantic cancerous blob of cronyism surrounded by tech startups and huge prisons. If you zeroed in on the cancerous tumor, at the nucleus you’d see a network of crony institutions like the Federal Reserve, intelligence agencies, TBTF Wall Street banks and defense contractors. Pretty close to that, you’d probably find the Clinton Foundation. A veritable clearinghouse for cronyism masquerading as a charity.

This year has seen a great deal of investigative work on the shadiness of the Clinton Foundation, much of which has been highlighted here at Liberty Blitzkrieg. Here’s the tally so far:

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The Dissident Dad – Raising Independent Minded Children in America is Tough

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No joke, trying to raise an independent-minded, decent human being in America is like trying to fly through a Category 5 hurricane.

For starters, nothing beats some of the toys offered up to kids. For example, you can hone your child’s remote killing skills by buying him or her a military drone toy. Not only can you kill women and children in their homes, but you can do so without actually having to deploy overseas!

Teach your kids this valuable skill via the, Maisto Fresh Metal Tailwinds 1:97 Scale Die Cast United States Military Aircraft – US Air Force Medium Altitude, Long Endurance, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) RQ-1 Predator with Display Stand, available at Amazon:

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Meet Cyber P3 – The U.S. Military’s Public-Private Partnership to Create Corporate/Government “Cyber Soldiers”

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At a time when the Pentagon arguably is losing a battle with industry for top tech talent, the Army is offering companies the resumes of its best cyberwarriors.

The initiative is designed to pump out 3,500 to 5,000 Army reserve soldiers. So far, 21 private employers have signed up to transition service members into civilian careers at Citibank, Microsoft, Fox Entertainment and Chevron, among other companies. 

“We’re looking at how do we marry up cyber soldiers with their civilian career,” like a reservist doctor in private practice, Nelson said. “If they do that on a full-time basis and they are immersed in cybersecurity on their civilian job, they are going to be very perceptive cyber soldiers.”

– From the Defense One article: The Army Is Sharing Its Top Cyber Warriors With Hollywood and Wall Street

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that whenever you hear the term “public-private” partnership, brace yourself for a screw job of epic proportions. It’s in exactly the same vein as the classic observation uttered by the late comedian, George Carlin, about politics:

The word bipartisan means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. 

It makes perfect sense if you think about it. If you’re a large corporation, there’s nothing better than guaranteed profits; and there’s no better way to guarantee profits than by going into business with the one entity that can do this: government. On the other hand, if you are an ambitious and greedy politician, what better way to earn a fortune while ostensibly engaging in “public service” than by lining the pockets of big corporations, which will then line your pockets in return in various opaque ways. Extraordinary fees for speeches is one preferred way of doing this, as is the classic revolving door that gives the person a cushy corporate job after leaving government.

In many ways, the Clinton Foundation is proving to be the shadiest public-private partnership of them them. Naturally, it isn’t marketed that way, but when the founders of it consist of a former President, and his former Secretary of State and Presidential candidate wife, you can see that this is a money-making scheme masquerading as a charity. I’ve covered this angle in detail over the past few months (links at the end), but right now I want to highlight a much anticipated book that is about to be released by Peter Schweizer titled, “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.” One thing we found out from the New York Times is that:

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Girl Gang Raped during Spring Break in Florida as Crowds Stand Around and Do Nothing to Stop It

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I’m simply speechless after reading the following.

From CBS News:

PANAMA CITY, Fla. – Two college students have been charged with sexually attacking a woman on a crowded Florida beach filled with spring break revelers who apparently did nothing to stop it, authorities said.

Delonte’ Martistee, 22, and Ryan Austin Calhoun, 23, were arrested Friday and charged with sexual battery by multiple perpetrators, according to the Bay County Sheriff’s Office.

The attack, recorded on a cellphone video, happened sometime March 10-12 in Panama City, Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen said at a news conference. Authorities learned of the assault when police in Troy, Alabama, discovered the video while investigating a shooting.

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Illinois Man Commits Suicide in Front of U.S. Capitol Holding a “Tax the 1%” Sign

This. Is. Sparta!
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Yesterday, 21-year old Josephine Witt captured the world’s attention (and much of its admiration) for interrupting a press conference being held by the European branch of the global central banking cartel by sprinkling confetti all over ECB crime boss Mario Draghi. What was equally important, but didn’t make the headlines, was that just days earlier a 22-year old Illinois man committed suicide in front of the U.S. Capitol while holding a sign that said: “Tax the 1%.”

His death seems to have been, in part at least, a political statement. As such, people should pay close attention. While I don’t doubt the sincerity of his beliefs, I am troubled by the simplicity of the message on his sign because it reminds me of a phony political slogan. It likely demonstrates a deep ignorance of how the financial system actually works, and how the super rich exercise economic and political dominance.

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TSA Agents Caught Gaming System so Male Screener Could Grope Attractive Passengers; No Criminal Charges Filed

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Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

– Benjamin Franklin

When a society becomes sufficiently afraid of an outside enemy, it can be manipulated into irrational responses that are then easily abused by those in power. This has been the sad story of America in the decade and a half since 9/11 (for more, see: How I Remember September 11, 2001).

The TSA is just one of many shady and generally useless government agencies (and private companies) involved in a massive money and power grab since the kickoff of the endless, Orwellian “war on terror.” Rather than preventing any terrorist attacks, the TSA is engaged in security theatre. This has become very obvious to me during my many trips between Denver and New York City over the past five years.

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.

Yet, it is much more dangerous than this. Whenever you give bureaucracies absurd powers “to protect you,” what you’ll invariably end up with is egregious abuse in the name of “for your own good.” The latest evidence of this was recently revealed in the emergence of a scheme by two TSA employees at Denver International Airport to allow a male screener to grope specific passengers that he found attractive. Importantly, this scam couldn’t have occurred if metal detectors were used.

We learn from CBS4 News that:

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