Saudi Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih made a high profile visit to Iraq on … cooperation and praising existing coordination to boost crude oil prices.The post Saudi <b>oil</b> minister makes high profile visit to Iraq, calls for <b>oil…
MIT is getting on board the Blockchain train, issuing digital diplomas as part of a pilot program.
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In my last article ‘A Tactical Analysis Of The Las Vegas Mass Shooting Incident,’ I outlined the precarious nature of the mainstream narrative and why the Vegas event in particular requires serious independent investigation into the possibility that Stephen Paddock did not plan or execute the event alone, or, he did not plan or execute the event at all, and someone else with far more tactical knowledge and shooting experience committed the murders outside the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Given that the FBI and Vegas sheriff’s timeline seems to change every few days and that Mandalay surveillance footage is locked up tight, I think it is safe to say that someone more professional, and not muzzled by bureaucracy, needs be involved.
Setting aside the inconsistencies in the official narrative, questioning the motives behind this particular attack does not really bring us any closer to a practical solution. Of course, if you are one of those people that obsessively embraces the “crisis actor” theory, then you likely think that nothing much needs to be solved because “no one actually died.” I am not very interested in this impractical theory reminiscent of ‘The Truman Show’, nor the people that promote it. It reminds me of the 9/11 hologram plane theory — remember, the theory designed to discredit the more legitimate 9/11 truth movement which included hundreds of scientists, architects and engineers with real arguments and evidence? Yeah, those establishment disinformation tactics did not go away; they are still being used today to undermine honest and rational investigations of other potential false flag events.
Ask “fake event” theorists for ANY concrete evidence that a single death was theatrical and that thousands of concertgoers and their families are part of the conspiracy, and these guys will demand that YOU show them the dead bodies and prove that the event “wasn’t faked.” In other words, you must prove a negative, which is of course impossible.
Tell them you happen to know people with friends and family who were harmed in the event and they’ll call you a liar or a government “agent.” Show them numerous photos of dead bodies and they’ll claim the bodies are actors. Show them first hand accounts of people on the ground — hey, all those people must be actors, too. Ask them for proof again and they’ll try to pawn the burden of proof off on you; proof that they will then again deny when it is presented. It is a pointless circle of idiocy that makes alternative research look ridiculous.
If the establishment is seeking to stage a false flag, why go through the trouble of an elaborate, costly and harder-to-contain Kabuki play with numerous actors that might not keep quiet when they could simply shoot some real people with real bullets and be done with it?
This article will be focusing on the very real shooting (and attacks like it) which did in fact occur. Perhaps not the way that the mainstream media and the FBI claim, but still taking place all the same. How do we prevent such attacks in the future? What about Gladio-type false flag events (the Vegas event has numerous Gladio markers)? Can those be stopped, or is this an impossible task?
As far as false flag attacks are concerned, the long-term solution would be to nullify the people who fund and plan these scenarios. Until the day this is accomplished, though, we need some short-term protections.
I believe it is indeed possible to stop future mass shooting events, and to be sure, the solution does NOT involve further gun control measures or confiscation. Why? Because gun control does nothing to prevent mass shootings.
Just take a look at the Paris attacks perpetrated by ISIS. France has strict gun laws in line with what gun control advocates in the U.S. would like to see implemented. Even off-duty police officers in France were not allowed to carry their sidearms until after the Paris attacks in 2015.
French gun laws did nothing to stop ISIS terrorists from killing over 130 people in a single night using weapons already highly restricted in the country. All they accomplished was disarming innocent citizens and making them easy targets.
The nation of India also has some of the strictest gun laws in the world, yet this did nothing to prevent the Mumbai attacks in 2008 in which 164 people were killed.
Norway had extremely tough gun laws in 2011, but these were easily circumvented by Anders Breivik who murdered 69 members of a Workers Youth Camp on the island of Utoya.
As I noted in my previous article, the Vegas attack was initiated using more complex sniper-like tactics as evidenced in the choice of the shooter’s perch as well as in the calculations for bullet drop from an elevated position. I believe this was done quite deliberately; most mass shooters tend to be poorly trained and attack a crowd haphazardly at point blank range in order to achieve maximum casualties in the shortest amount of time. However, in Vegas, and Nevada in general, the likelihood of running into a person with a conceal carry weapon is rather high. Paddock (or whoever) might not have lasted more than a minute before being confronted with multiple defenders armed with their own sidearms.
The Vegas shooter was smart to avoid a point blank, ground level confrontation. But how do we make future shooters think twice about longer range attacks at crowded events?
The federal government and DHS will probably call for stricter security measures in locations in which many people congregate. I would not be surprised to see demands for TSA-style security in streets in major tourist areas and at concerts, sporting events, etc. Body scanners and luggage scanners in major hotels? Count on it, eventually. Hardcore anti-gun ordinances within major cities, much like the gun measures in places like Washington D.C.? Do not be shocked.
As mentioned above, none of this will really stop a determined mass shooter or terrorist (and certainly not a false flag), but without an alternative solution, frightened people have a tendency to go along with the deluded notion that more government means more security.
Vegas is not a stranger to crisis, but it seems to have forgotten how to prevent it. Many Americans are unaware that back in 1992 during the Rodney King riots, Las Vegas had to deal with its own major civil unrest with millions of dollars in damage and multiple deaths. This was barely reported because of Vegas’s habit of burying stories that might stain the tourist destination’s fun-loving image. But, it did take place.
West Las Vegas erupted in violence in the wake of the Rodney King trial, including snipers shooting at police officers and bystanders, but the Vegas Strip went largely untouched. This was perhaps because hotel and casino private security at that time had a reputation for being rather well armed and vicious. Many hotels had their own rooftop shooters ready and waiting. Given, Vegas was still highly “mobbed up” in the 1990s, but one must admit that their security was not to be trifled with.
No major federal measures were needed and intrusive security was minimal. Can this effect be achieved again (without the mob)? Yes.
If mass shooters, terrorists and “others” seek to attack highly populous events using advanced tactics, then the organizers of these events should be employing private security groups with applicable tactical training and experience. There are thousands of well-trained veterans and civilians out there with the skills necessary to stop an active shooter, and they are not being employed where they are most capable. A team of two people trained in counter-sniping positioned near the concert at the Mandalay Bay could have cut down the shooter within a couple minutes rather than 10 minutes (or more), saving dozens of lives.
To be clear, I am not talking about poorly organized volunteer security made up of people not vetted, led by other men of questionable competence. I am not talking about guys who claim they have training but are never asked to prove it before they show up for the “gig.” And I am not talking about security groups composed of individuals who barely know each other and have never worked together, as we have seen in scenarios like the Berkeley riots.
What I am talking about is the employment of quiet, vetted and tested professionals hired out for specific events in which large crowds will be present.
The Feds are not needed and, in most cases, not wanted. Private security firms WITHOUT federal affiliations could handle the protection of major venues without constitutional violations by simply placing people at events with the proper training. The mere presence of these people may even act as a deterrent for future attacks.
Security should also be organized and managed independently from the venues which they are tasked to protect. As we have seen recently with the very odd behavior of MGM security employee, Jesus Campos; including his disappearance right before he was expected to give his accounting of events at the Mandalay and his sudden reappearance on the Ellen Show to give a farce of an interview devoid of hard facts or timeline confirmations, rent-a-cops owned by the venue are more vulnerable to manipulations and possible “coaching” after a crisis event occurs.
Excitement seekers and the public at large should avoid events that refuse to pay for truly independent and tactically skilled security, and instead choose typical rent-a-cops, retired cops and moonlighting cops that need extra cash. It is clear in light of the Vegas attack that these people do not have the ability to obstruct any attacker using more advanced combat strategies. Nor are they likely to be honest about what really happened after the fact.
On top of this, more training and more responsibly armed Americans continue to be the best methods towards defusing and deterring active shooters. The point is, if the American public does not pursue alternative solutions and take tactical realities into account, then the only other option will be government interference on a scale that will promote totalitarianism in the name of safety. It is time for the American people to grow up, stop waiting for Big Brother to protect them and start taking their security into their own hands.
The post Brandon Smith: How To Stop All Future Mass Shootings appeared first on crude-oil.news.
Company towns used to be a defining feature of the American economy. Nowadays, as Raul at HowMuch.net notes, thanks to globalization and offshoring, it is much harder to find employers that exert such influence over a small town (with a few&n…
After nearly a year of cogitating, no one in the media, usually a fairly leaky institution, has been able to figure out who exactly who provided the infamous “Trump Dossier” to BuzzFeed which was published on January 10, 2017 and promptly debunked within approximately 35 seconds.
As the Daily Caller points out today, less than a handful of people had access to the dossier before it made its way to BuzzFeed: John McCain, David Kramer (a former State Department official and an associate of McCain), then FBI Director James Comey and Fusion GPS (the creator of the document). Fusion GPS has since admitted under oath that they did not share the document with BuzzFeed which basically just leaves John McCain (and/or his associate) or James Comey.
Asked about the dossier recently, an irritable, and perhaps defensive, McCain lashed out at a Daily Caller reporter (seemingly a new trend for McCain of late) saying only “I don’t know why you’re digging this up now.”
In addition to McCain and Steele, opposition research firm Fusion GPS had the dossier, as did David J. Kramer, a former State Department official and an associate of McCdoain’s.
One person who was provided a copy of the salacious document, written by former British spy Christopher Steele, is Arizona Sen. John McCain. But McCain, who has already acknowledged providing an early version of the dossier to former FBI Director James Comey, denied this week that he also gave a version to BuzzFeed, which published it on Jan. 10.
“I gave it to no one except for the director of the FBI. I don’t know why you’re digging this up now,” McCain said during a testy exchange with The Daily Caller on Wednesday.
McCain was asked whether he was BuzzFeed’s source after the Republican’s office declined to answer direct questions on the matter.
As a reminder, here is a recap of the timeline leading up the dossier’s BuzzFeed debut.
McCain and Kramer, a former official at the McCain Institute, were first told about the dossier in November, during a conversation with Sir Andrew Wood, a former British spy and associate of Steele’s. McCain then dispatched Kramer to meet with Steele in London on Nov. 28.
Steele, who operates Orbis Business Intelligence in London, has revealed in the London lawsuit that he allowed Kramer to view the dossier but did not provide him a copy. He said that an “arrangement” was later made for Fusion to provide a copy of the dossier to McCain through Kramer.
McCain then provided a copy of the document to Comey during a Dec. 9 meeting.
Four days after McCain met with Comey, Steele would produce the final memo of the dossier, the one that was provided to BuzzFeed and which included the allegations against Gubarev.
Steele sent the final memo to Fusion with instructions to pass a hard-copy to Kramer and McCain. It is unclear how the dossier was disseminated after that. Fusion has not said whether it disseminated the final version of the dossier to anyone outside the company.
The denials by Steele, Fusion and McCain that they were BuzzFeed’s sources leaves just a few posibilities, including Kramer.
Kramer has not responded to multiple requests for comment about his handling of the dossier or whether he gave it to any news outlets. He has not talked on the record to any reporters since being identified in the controversy.
Of course, the identity of BuzzFeed’s source is significant for two reasons. First, because a Russian tech executive, Aleksej Gubarev, was accused in the document of hacking into DNC computers to dig up dirt on Hillary during the 2016 campaign. And second, but certainly not least, because it could shed light on whether someone in Trump’s own party or, and perhaps even more disturbing, within the FBI ordered a “political hit” on the newly elected – if wildly unpopular (at least on the DC circuit) – president.
It is a central question in a lawsuit filed against the media outlet by Aleksej Gubarev, a Russian tech executive named in the dossier. Gubarev is identified by name in Steele’s Dec. 13 memo. In it, Steele alleges that Gubarev was recruited under duress by the FSB, Russia’s intelligence agency, and that he used his companies to infiltrate the computer systems of the Democratic National Committee.
Gubarev’s attorneys have said they want to find out if BuzzFeed’s source provided any warnings or qualifications about the allegations made in the dossier. If so, the lawyers are likely to argue that BuzzFeed was negligent and careless in publishing the document.
BuzzFeed, which has apologized to Gubarev, has defended its decision to publish the dossier, noting that its article unveiling the Steele memos explicitly stated that the memos had not been corroborated. The website also said that the dossier was newsworthy because Comey had briefed President Trump on its allegations during a meeting on Jan. 6.
On top of its importance to the lawsuit, the identity of BuzzFeed’s source is of widespread interest because of the possibility that a government official disseminated the uncorroborated document to the media, possibly as a hit job on Trump.
And then, of course, there is the issue of who ordered the dossier in the first place…
Workers of firm involved with the discredited and Fake Dossier take the 5th. Who paid for it, Russia, the FBI or the Dems (or all)?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 19, 2017
The post Did John McCain Provide The Infamous ‘Trump Dossier’ To BuzzFeed? appeared first on crude-oil.news.
UN Security Council sanctions aside, one of the reasons China has closed much of its border with North Korea and imposed emergency measures to monitor radiation flowing across the mountainous terrain is because the country’s scientists worry that the mountain under which North Korea has held five of its six nuclear tests is in danger of collapsing and unleashing a devastating cloud of radiation on the surrounding terrain.
And just in case anybody doubted the veracity of China’s warnings, a slew of independent analysts have confirmed what Beijing has long feared: North Korea’s Mount Mantap, a 7,200-foot-peak under which North Korea has carried out most of its recent nuclear tests, is suffering from “tired mountain syndrome,” according to the Washington Post.
Satellite images captured during the North’s Sept. 3 test of a purported hydrogen bomb, Mt Mantap could be seen visibly shifting during the enormous detonation which triggered a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in North Korea’s northeast.
And since that test, the region – which is not known for seismic activity – has experienced several landslides and no fewer than three more earthquakes.’
The North, which carried out its first nuclear test more than ten years ago in 2006, has built a complex system of tunnels underneath the mountain that’s known as the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Facility. According to WaPo, intelligence analysts use satellites to monitor the three known entrances to Punggye-ri to try and anticipate when another test might be coming.
Arms Control Wonk describes the site in more precise detail.
North Korea’s nuclear test site comprises a number of tunnel complexes in mountains surrounding a main support area. Following an initial nuclear explosion in 2006, subsequent nuclear tests have been conducted in a tunnel complex to the North of the support area, under Mt. Mantap. The site contains additional tunnel complexes that may be suitable for nuclear explosions to the south and west of the support area. The Punggye-ri site is capable of hosting nuclear explosions in tunnels with yields of up to a few hundred kilotons.
The tremors unleashed by the North’s last test shook homes in northeastern China. And eight minutes after the initial quake subsided, there was a 4.1-magnitude earthquake that appeared to be a tunnel collapsing at the site.
Images captured by Airbus showed the mountain trembling during the test. An 85-acre area on the peak of Mount Mantap visibly subsided during the explosion, an indication of both the size of the blast and the weakness of the mountain.
Anybody who was around in the 1950s and 1960s will remember that “tired mountain syndrome” was a diagnosis last applied to the Soviet Union’s atomic test sites. To be sure, earthquakes also occurred at the US nuclear test site in Nevada after detonations there.
“The underground detonation of nuclear explosions considerably alters the properties of the rock mass,” Vitaly V. Adushkin and William Leith wrote in a report on the Soviet tests for the United States Geological Survey in 2001. This leads to fracturing and rocks breaking, and changes along tectonic faults.
Analysts Frank V. Pabian and Jack Liu worry that the blasts have caused substantial damage to the North’s tunnel network.
“Based on the severity of the initial blast, the post-test tremors, and the extent of observable surface disturbances, we have to assume that there must have been substantial damage to the existing tunnel network under Mount Mantap,” they wrote in a report for the specialist North Korea website 38 North.
Of course, just because the mountain is literally crumbling doesn’t mean the North will stop using it as a test site. As WaPo notes, the US didn’t abandon the Nevada test site after earthquakes there, they said. Instead, the US kept using the site until a nuclear test moratorium took effect in 1992. For that reason, analysts will continue to keep a close eye on the Punggye-ri test site to see if North Korea starts excavating there again — a sign of possible preparations for another test.
But as Chinese scientists have warned, one more test might be one too many.
Chinese scientists have warned that another test under the mountain could lead to an environmental disaster. If the whole mountain caved in on itself, radiation could escape and drift across the region, said Wang Naiyan, the former chairman of the China Nuclear Society and senior researcher on China’s nuclear weapons program.
“We call it ‘taking the roof off.’ If the mountain collapses and the hole is exposed, it will let out many bad things,” Wang told the South China Morning Post last month.
But perhaps equally as concerning as the collapse of Mantap is the possibility that another test could trigger an eruption at Mt. Paektu, an active supervolcano located on the North Korea-China border, about 80 miles from Pyungge-ri.
The mountain has not experienced a major eruption for centuries, and its last small rumble was in 1903. But an eruption could have devastating consequences – possibly causing more death and destruction than a nuclear blast.
And with a North Korean diplomat reiterating today that the North intends to continue with its nuclear program, while the country has also decried the military exercises happening in the waters east of the peninsula, where the USS Ronald Reagan is conducting training drills with the South Korean navy.
However, the North’s Oct. 10 holiday and the Oct. 18 beginning of China’s National Party Congress having come and gone without a new test. And signs of movement at some of the country’s missile test sites spotted in recent weeks have apparently been false alarms.
But given the amount of time that has elapsed since the North’s most recent missile test, it’s likely that the next provocative test – be it a test of a new long-range missile or a seventh nuclear test – isn’t too far off.
The post “Tired Mountain Syndrome” – North Korea’s Nuclear Test Site Is Headed For A Deadly Collapse appeared first on crude-oil.news.
At least one person was killed after an oil barge caught on fire. The barge was carrying around 133,000 barrels of crude oil to a refinery in Corpus …The post One dead, another missing after <b>oil</b> barge fire off Texas appeared f…
Authored by Alex Thomas via SHTFplan.com,
A meeting of the College Republicans at the University of California, Santa Cruz was taken over and subsequently shut down by hard-left students who literally screamed that the groups very existence was a threa…
Last weekend, One River’s CIO Eric Peters explained what he thought would be the nightmare scenario for the next Fed chair, who as we now know will either be Jerome Powell or John Taylor, or both (with an outside chance of Yellen remaining in her post). According to the hedge fund CIO, the “worst case scenario” is one in which despite an improving economy, yields simply refuse to go up, leading to the final asset bubble and Fed intervention that “pops” it:
“if we don’t see a sustained cyclical jump in wages, then yields won’t go up. And if yields don’t go up, then the asset price ascent will accelerate,” continued the strategist. “Which will lead us into a 2018 that looks like what we had expected out of 2017; a war against inequality, a battle for Main Street at the expense of Wall Street, an Occupy Silicon Valley movement.” He paused, flipping through his calendar. “Then you’ll have this nightmare for the next Federal Reserve chief, because they’ll have to pop a bubble.”
While Peters never names names in his pieces, the “strategist” in the weekend letter was BofA’s Michael Hartnett, who several days after Peters penned the above, followed up with some thoughts of his own on precisely this topic, and in a note released this week, described what he believes is the “biggest market risk” for the market. Not surprisingly, it is precisely what Peters was referring to in the above excerpt.
Responding to the question of “What is the biggest market risk”, Hartnett writes that “in our gut, it’s that the two most important investment trends of the past decade, central bank liquidity & technological disruption, ends in a bubble for tech stocks (Chart 7), & High Yield & EM bonds, the epicenters of the “scarce growth” & “scarce yield” themes.
As with Peters, for Hartnett it all comes down to one thing: inflation and higher yields, specifically among long-dated yields:
Multi-year lows in unemployment, multi-year highs in consumer confidence, soaring global PMIs, soaring profits, a doubling of the oil price, fiscal stimulus…little wonder the world is short bonds in 2017.
And yet inflation & bond yields refuse to rise.
The reason is simple: in attempting to stimulate wage growth, and thus benign inflation, the Fed continues to target the symptom of a condition which it no longer has any control over. Remember: Deflation = Debt + Demographics + Disruption? Well, they’re back. Quote Hartnett:
Aging Demographics and excess Debt remain structural impediments to higher inflation. But the biggest impediment is technology, and the potential for the labor market to be permanently disrupted, as AI and robotics crush wage expectations, particularly in the service sector.
For now the bond market still gives the Fed the benefit of the doubt, with 10Y yields occasionally pushing higher when the nearly extinct bond vigilantes make a surprise appearance, pushing rates up at least until the next deflationary scare emerges. But what happens if the bond vigilantes finally throw in the towel? Well, that’s what unleashes the final bubble… and sends 30Y yields toward 2% and the Nasdaq to 10,000.
Capitulation of bond bears would send 30-year Treasury yields toward 2%, the Nasdaq toward 10,000, and high yield & Emerging Market bond spreads 100bps tighter (all-time lows…241bps in the US, 179bps in Europe, 139bps in EM). The outperformance of “deflation” versus “inflation” could turn exponential (Chart 8).
And while the market may or may not have a major correction in the coming months (Hartnett also predicted last week that the next major market drop will take place between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day), the longer-term implications as this tension is finally resolved either way, most likely with the intervention of the Fed – whose next chair will have no choice but to burst the bubble – will define the market for the next generation, or as the BofA strategist puts it:
‘“Icarus Unleashed” in coming quarters would then set-up 2018/2019 as a period of volatility, aggressive Fed tightening to pop bubbles, and more hostile War on Inequality & Occupy Silicon Valley politics, setting the stage for the end of the bull market as Icarus crashes back to earth.’
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Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,
Asked to name the defining attributes of the America we wish to become, many liberals would answer that we must realize our manifest destiny since 1776, by becoming more equal, more diverse and more democr…