Today Lewis is joined by Keith Preston to discuss the geopolitics of Russia.
By Chris Powell, Money Metals Exchange
At least the Financial Times now has come clean about its hostility to gold – as well as to free markets and elementary journalism.
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA) friend Chris Kniel of Orinda, California, sent to the newspaper’s chief economic columnist, Martin Wolf, the excellent summary of gold and silver market manipulation just written by gold researcher Ronan Manly.
Wolf replied derisively and dismissively: “This is a matter of absolutely no importance whatsoever. Who cares about the prices of useless metals?”
Stunned by such a counterfactual assertion, Kniel prompted Wolf to elaborate, receiving this from the FT columnist: “I mean to dismiss the whole monetary history of gold. It has no significance in the modern world. It is, as Keynes said, a barbarous relic.”
Actually, Keynes’ “barbarous relic” remark was made not about gold itself but about the gold standard for currencies. Keynes wasn’t denying gold’s use as money. But that is the least of the problems with Wolf’s reply.
Who cares about the prices of useless metals? “No significance in the modern world”?
For starters, governments themselves care.
That’s why central banks, against Wolf’s advice, continue to hold huge inventories of gold and lately have been increasing them.
It’s why central banks classify gold as a Tier 1 asset, equivalent to government-issue bonds and cash.
It’s why central banks constantly trade the metal and its derivatives surreptitiously, directly and through the Bank for International Settlements, usually to restrain the metal’s price, recognizing that gold is a determinant of currency values, interest rates, and government bond prices.
It’s why the International Monetary Fund forbids its members from formally linking their currencies to gold, lest the metal gain precedence over government-issued currencies.
Further, London is the center of the world’s gold trading, the bullion banks are major employers there, and the FT is based in London, so the newspaper itself ordinarily might care.
Of course, Wolf’s dismissing “the whole monetary history of gold” doesn’t make that history disappear. Indeed, today Agence France-Presse distributed a report about gold’s monetary history that is both fascinating and tragic, gold’s history being a big part of human history.
The US Army has been quietly conducting a secret flight operation in and around Washington DC for months, judging from recently released fiscal documents. US military experts have outlined the possible goals of the clandestine mission and the agencies behind it.
On 22 July, Bloomberg revealed that at least 10 Black Hawk helicopters are involved in conducting “a classified flight mission” in the National Capital Region (NPR), citing a $2.5 billion Army reprogramming request.
According to the document, the Pentagon asked the US Congress to allocate an additional $1.55 million for aircraft maintenance, aircrews, travel, and a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) capability in support of the mission.
”Soldiers from assault helicopter company and aviation maintenance units will be supporting the mission with 10 UH-60s and maintenance capabilities for four months”, the document says, arguing that “without additional funding, the Army will not be able to perform this classified mission”.
The task of the aforementioned flight mission, which, according to Bloomberg, kicked off “early in the fiscal year” that started on 1 October 2018, remains shrouded in secrecy.
Possible Aims of the Secret Flight Mission
Karen Kwiatkowski, a former Defence Department adviser, and Keith Preston, a military analyst and chief editor of Attack the System, have outlined at least three possible goals behind the classified operation:
· Surveillance operations
· Evacuation of leading officials in case of emergency situations
· Preventing potential terrorist activities in the National Capital Region
“The forces that are involved may be conducting surveillance operations”, suggests Keith Preston. “They also may be preparing to be deployed or activated in case of an actual emergency situation. We have to remember that the capital was one of the sites of the terrorist actions in 2001 [11 September 2001 terrorist attacks – Sputnik]. The capital area has been on heightened security ever since”.
Karen Kwiatkowski presumes that the mission is unlikely to be directly aimed at ensuring the US president’s safety, but “probably” envisages “an expansion to preserve and transport lower levels of executive branch personnel”.
Press TV. Listen here.
Hostility between major political parties in the US has now reached is greatest level, according to an American analyst.
Large majorities of Americans believe the tone of political debate in the United States has become more negative in recent years and the inflammatory political rhetoric could encourage acts of violence, and President Donald Trump is a major factor in this growing problem, according to a new poll.
PressTV-Americans say Trump has made US political debate toxic: PollLarge majorities of Americans believe the tone of political debate in the United States has become more negative in recent years, a new poll shows.
“It is true that in recent years the rhetoric between political partisans, between Democrats and Republicans, and Liberals and Conservatives, has certainly escalated,” Keith Preston, told Press TV in an interview on Saturday.
“And, on the margin there has been some conflicts in the streets between the far left and the far right in recent years, as well,” he added.
“Research by social scientists will show that the level of hostility between members of the two major political parties is now at the greatest that it has been in at any time in US history since the late 19th century,” Preston insisted.
Some 85 percent of US adults say that political debate in the country is getting increasingly negative and less respectful, according to a survey conducted this spring by the Pew Research Center, a fact tank based in Washington, DC.
The poll found that 55 percent of Americans believe Trump has changed the tone and nature of America’s political debate for the worse, while just 24 percent say he has changed it for the better.
Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents overwhelmingly say the Republican president has changed political discourse for the worse. Eight-in-ten or more Democrats say Trump’s comments often or sometimes make them feel concerned, confused, embarrassed, exhausted, angry, insulted and frightened.
Preston said that “nowadays you have different networks that can appeal to different political constituencies”.
“And also, social media, and the alternative media, the internet media, since that has come into being, that has also fueled partisanship,” he argued.
Preston noted that American society had become a lot more diverse in the past few decades.
“Naturally, there is going to be a wider divergence of opinion on a lot of topics, as well,” he noted.
Despite the heated political rhetoric, the violence is still low-key, according to Preston.
“But, at the same time it has to be viewed in context since the political environment may involve a lot of heated political rhetoric, but it is still fairly low-key compared to what you find in many countries where there is full-blown civil war, or routine acts of political violence,” he concluded.
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
I sympathize with Willem Van Spronsen. Maybe that’s a bad way to start this post but it feels like the most honest way to start this post. A mentally ill anarchist, not unlike myself, Willem wanted to end his life but he wanted to end it for a cause. So he attacked an ICE detention center with pipe bombs and let the cops do the rest. I’ve never made my disdain for Antifa a secret, I’ve befriended too many right-wing anti-imperialists caught in their crossfire, but god help me, this struck me as a move in the right direction for Pacific Northwest anarchists, who have lately been far too busy bombarding alt-right imbeciles to confront our growing police state.
My sympathy is not exclusively political however. My sympathy comes from a place of very personal outrage and my outrage comes from a deeply traumatic childhood. I can usually retain a pretty jaded gonzo snark with my writing, stemming from my misanthropic drag queen sense of humor. But when you’ve been fucked with by role-crazy adults as a child, part of you will always be that child. So when I see kids in fucking cages, I see myself brutally misgendered in a confessional waiting for hell. And that’s when I flip my proverbial shit and get downright histrionic. The only reason why I haven’t gone full Kaczynski like Willem, aside from the fact that my meds are working and I generally appose initiatory violence, is because I’m usually too livid in these moments to handle anarcho-home-ec projects like IED’s. I’m also probably too pissed off to write a completely lucid blog post, so this time I decided to wait a week and take a closer look at the issue of the camps.
It’s very tempting to drop the lion share of the blame on a loud-mouth bully like Trump. He’s certainly made the immigration issue more personal by declaring entire classes of people war criminals and encouraging his beloved gorilla juice-heads in ICE to get their Gestapo on. The harsh reality that the media has chosen to ignore however is that there is nothing particularly new about Orange-Man-Bad’s persecution of pint-sized undocumented line-crossers. In fact, the bastard still comes in fourth behind the last three presidents in mass deportations. The modern militarization of the boarder actually started decades before Trump with another sanction-happy rapist named Bill Clinton (I believe the two may have met once or twice at one of Jeffrey Epstein’s Pretty Baby-Eyes Wide Shut Parties) which was just one small part of his fascistic war on children, the hallmark of which was his draconian Biden-approved crime bill which essentially declared black childhood to be a felony. And this is where we meet the concentration camp question.
Press TV. Listen here.
Accused child sex trafficker, Jeffrey Epstein, is a “flight risk” particularly as he is in possession of a Saudi passport and, therefore should be held without bail, says a political commentator.
Virginia-based Keith Preston made the comments in an interview with Press TV Wednesday after a raid on the house of the American financier and close friend of President Donald Trump, who has been charged with sex trafficking underage girls.
The investigators found an expired Saudi Arabia passport and a “pile of cash” after the Monday raid.
PressTV-Did pedophile Jeffrey Epstein work for Mossad?Jeffrey Epstein’s sex scandal smacks of a sophisticated intelligence service compiling material to blackmail prominent politicians and other public figures.
“Under American law, it’s a fairly standard practice that if a person is charged with serious crimes, they will be held without bail; they will be held in detention before they go to trial,” Preston said, further calling Epstein a “flight risk.”
Being a billionaire, Epstein has “a lot of connections and support all over the world,” argued the commentator, therefore; such a case applies to him.
Preston further suggested that it is natural for such a billionaire to have Saudi ties.
“Someone of his class, a billionaire class, is typically going to have business that they’re conducting in countries like Saudi Arabia,” he said. “The American business class and the Saudi business class are heavily and intricately connected with one another in a number of different industries, not just petroleum.”
The expired Saudi passport was found in a “locked safe” in Epstein’s Manhattan mansion.
At a bail hearing in Manhattan federal court, Assistant US Attorney Alex Rossmiller revealed that the passport, issued in the 1980s, has a photo of Epstein but a different name.
By Stefan Gleason, Money Metals Exchange
President Trump moved recently to nominate an avowed sound money advocate, Judy Shelton, to the Federal Reserve Board. That triggered a flurry of superficial and derisive references in the controlled media to Shelton’s past support of a gold standard.
For example, CBS News described her as “a believer in the return to the gold standard, a money policy abandoned by the U.S. in 1971.” According to the story, “mainstream economists believe it’s a fringe view.”
As the “mainstream” media portrays sound money advocates, we apparently are nostalgic for the monetary system that existed all the way up until 1971.
Being backward looking by nature, our driving purpose in life is apparently to salvage that “abandoned” system.
Never mind the fact that the post-World War II Bretton Woods gold window that existed until 1971 was meant to ensure U.S. dollar hegemony in international trade – not sound money for the people.
Occasionally, new readers will come to this site and ask who I am and what I’m about? Briefly, this is me:
Over the past 20 years or so, I have written half a dozen books, hundreds of essays, given dozens of lectures, done hundreds of podcasts and radio and television interviews, made thousands of blog posts, and tens of thousands of social media posts, most of which are accessible from AttacktheSystem.Com. My main area of interest is the ongoing concentration of political and economic power on a global scale, and critiquing the state and power elites generally.
Philosophically, I am an egoist in the tradition of Nietzsche, Stirner, and other similar thinkers. Politically, I am a classical/traditional anarchist, though with some modern tweaks, and within the framework of a wider pan-radical, pan-decentralist, pan-secessionist/separatist umbrella.
However, I regard political ideologies, religions, ethical theories, philosophical systems, and economic schools as having the same basic function. None of these are “true” per se in the same way that gravity is true. Instead, they are a collection of myths, creeds, dogmas, narratives, rituals, and prejudices that individuals use to give order to their own psyche and to form social bonds with other people. These things are all “tribes” in the same way that the Ibo or Visigoths or Comanche are tribes. I also think the philosophical, religious, political, moral, etc. beliefs that people are drawn to will reflect their psychological makeup and personality type, along with their genetic proclivities, and these things will find their expression based of cultural and social experiences.
Most of the material I have written over the years has been more analytical (in the vein of trends research) than ideological per se (“This is what is happening, like it or not”). Even the ideological stuff I consider to be more prescriptive or pragmatic rather than deontological. “If you really want to overthrow the globalists/imperialists/Zionists/capitalists/Illuminati/lizard people/whatever, this is what you need to do” or “Given the fractiousness and diversity of modern societies this is the most viable alternative political model.”
Tucker Carlson has a predictable response to the Willem Van Spronsen incident. I disagree with Carlson that the Antifa is inherently connected to the mainstream Democratic Party-oriented left just as I disagree with the often-made claim that the Trumpians are inherently connected to the neo-fascists.
As a general rule, I do not take sides in the usual conflicts between liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, and Proudboys/Alt-Right vs. Antifa/Far-Left. I consider all of this to be playing the System’s game, and a “bread and circuses” distraction from the real issues.
I would generally give Willem Van Spronsen an A for attitude and an F for execution. Whatever one’s views on the immigration question, a revolutionary upheaval will certainly involve attacks on state facilities and outposts in various circumstances. It’s the way revolution is done. Any kind of revolutionary upheaval needs folks that will go the distance. However, he strikes me as a mentally ill guy who committed suicide by cop via virtue signaling, which is often the case with these “lone wolf” terrorist types. He did nothing to improve conditions in the detention centers, and likely made them worse by motivating the authorities to increase the level of security in such places.
Nor do I think Van Spronsen’s Antifa associates would create a better society than the one we have now. In fact, they would create a much worse society, basically like Bolshevism, possibly more like Maoism or the Khmer Rouge. Not that they would ever be large enough or functional enough to bring that about. Like their Alt-Right tribal enemies, the only value of these groups is as disruptive virus within the system, and counterforce to each other.
But the outrage over “terrorism” coming from “the other side” also rings hollow. The US federal regime/global empire is the number one terrorist organization in the world today. So-called “federal agents” (the entire alphabet soup of them) are by nature members of a terrorist organization. The Tacoma incident was simply a matter of a mini-terrorist taking on a mega-terrorist. Big deal.
This is quite good. Totally smashes the conventional narrative that the abuse of migrants is somehow unique to Trump. The same thing is happening with the migrant detention center issue nowadays that happened with the Iraq War during the George W. Bush era. In both cases, liberal and left opinion used the issue to score some partisan and ideological points, and then quickly forgot about the issue (with some exceptions, of course) when there was a change in the political winds. When Obama came along, the antiwar left virtually disappeared. When another Democrat becomes president, the migrant issue will be dropped as well.
I’m of two minds on these people. On one hand, I prefer these supposed “far left” (really just center-left) figures like Alexandria, Omar, Tlaib, etc. to both the mainstream Democrats and the Republicans because they’re usually much better on foreign policy (more anti-Israel, anti-Saudi, less antagonistic to Russia, Iran, the DPRK, etc). They’re also more antagonistic to the corporate class and (all things considered) have a less favorable view of the so-called “criminal justice system” (police state). However, like a lot of leftists who are good on those issues, they mix it with a lot of loopiness (impractical economic policies, eco-hysteria, idpol victimology, “political correctness, contempt for the culture Middle America, etc).
I like them for the same reason that I tend to like Trump (although I think they’re actually much better than Trump on many issues). Trump has given the finger to the Bush-Romney Republican elites, exploited the “far right” taken them for a ride and discarded them, while making populist and isolationist rhetoric acceptable among the rank and file Republicans. I’d like to see the Democrats move in the direction of DSA or the Greens and the Republicans move in the direction of France’s National Front, thereby strangling the “centrists” from both ends.
My main criticism of the mainstream right is their jingoistic flag-waving, dupiness for imperialism and their corporate-love (“those poor oppressed billionaires paying capital gains taxes”). My main criticism of the “far-right” is that many of them are so anti-immigrant and anti-private crime (particularly black crime) they end up sucking the dicks of feds and cops in the process. If you don’t want immigration, build a wall around your city-state or township. If you want to fight crime, form a posse or militia or expanded neighborhood watch. But Fuck the System and its stooges. Period.
By Darlene Cunha
New York Times
Tracy Nuetzi, a Trump voter and resident of Florida, was an American citizen for 60 years, until the country decided she wasn’t.
“I thought, ‘This is a mistake, this must be a mistake,’” she said. Ms. Nuetzi spent nearly a year, from December 2017 to November 2018, trying to prove she was an American, and not liable to be arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
US President Donald Trump’s immigration policies have been extremely divisive and has led to rising social tensions across the country, says an American political analyst in Virginia.
the United States right now, immigration is one of these very divisive
issues,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.
“In American politics, there will always be occasionally some very divisive issue that emerges in which people have very emotionally-held beliefs,” Preston told Press TV on Sunday.
“It appears that this issue is now escalating and becoming more intense,” he added.
A 69-year-old man armed with a rifle threw incendiary devices at an immigration jail in Washington state early on Saturday morning, then was found dead after four police officers arrived and opened fire, authorities said.
A friend of the dead man said she thought he wanted to provoke a fatal conflict, the Seattle Times reported, and described him as an anarchist and anti-fascist.
The Tacoma police department said the officers responded about 4am to the privately run Tacoma Northwest Detention Center, a Department of Homeland Security detention facility that holds migrants pending deportation proceedings.
Immigration has been the subject of a divisive political battle in the US, which has struggled for more than a year with a migration crisis on its southern border with Mexico.
Many Americans oppose immigration and believe that immigrants bring crime and steal good jobs, while others are sympathetic to immigrants and recognize that the US is an aging nation of low birthrate and needs immigration to make its economy and population grow.
Thousands of protesters staged rallies across the United States on Friday to protest Trump’s immigration policies.
Trump has made his hard-line stance on immigration an integral part of his presidency and has promised to build a wall along the US-Mexican border to curb the flow of migrants from Mexico and Central America.
The Trump administration has sought to curb the flow of undocumented migrants and limiting legal immigration, and replace it with a merit-based system.
Many undocumented migrants crossing illegally into the US are asylum seekers fleeing violence and poverty in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
The treatment of migrants in the detention centers, particularly child migrants, has come under fire in recent months, with reports emerging of filthy conditions and cruelty from staff.
Last week, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said she is “deeply shocked” at the conditions in which the US government is keeping detained migrants and refugees, including children.
-North, Central, and South America will become increasingly integrated into a Schengen-like borderless trade zone.
-US international hegemony will begin to recede due to imperial overstretch with international power increasingly being ceded to transnational institutions.
-Class relations in the US will increasingly resemble the “Third World” (traditional) model, highly stratified and polarized with a small middle class.
-The US will become an ever more diverse society but at the cost of increased domestic conflict.
-Civil unrest caused by increased political, class, and demographic conflict will lead to increased state repression.
-The police state apparatus that was created in the 70s and 80s with the “war on drugs,” the 90s war on crime, and the 2000 war on terrorism, combined with surveillance technology, will be increasingly used for political repression.
-Political divisions will make democratic government virtually impossible leading to de fact executive/administrative dictatorship.
-The emerging ruling class of tech-oligarchs, Wall Street financiers, the “newly rich,” bourgeois bohemians, and “woke capitalism” will increasingly adopt the multicultural/rainbow/diversity framework as its self-legitimating ideology, with a parallel eradication of the cultural framework of the historic WASP culture, e.g. replacing Washington/Jefferson commemorations with icons of civil rights, feminism, gay rights, etc.
-Technological developments will cause further socioeconomic dislocations leading to even wider class divisions.
-Increased incidents of extreme weather will cause additional dislocations and civil unrest leading to further state repression.
This seems to be the way trends are pointing.
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
Surrounded by trigger happy Tonkinesque gunboats and drowning in debt, the Islamic Republic of Iran has made the risky decision to play the last card left in their deck; to defy the P5+1 Deal in order to save the P5+1 Deal. It’s a hell of a gambit but it already has those pussies in the EU clamoring for new talks with the embattled nation. Under the circumstances, I would argue that Iran’s decision to enrich Uranium past the amount allowed in the deal but still far short of anything potentially lethal isn’t just tactically savvy, it’s the right thing to do.
Iran offered Europe and the US everything but a weekly colonoscopy with that deal and we’ve given them jack shit in return for their patience. While Trump shredded the agreement in a reckless Israel-friendly hissy fit, Europe has sheepishly reneged on their promises to stand up to Orange-Man-Bad and ease their own sanctions. Their indecision isn’t just an embarrassing display of geostrategic cowardice that would gag Charles de Gaulle like a gimp, it’s a brazen violation of the very deal they claim to remain committed to. In this dire situation, for Iran to continue to sit on their hands, would be a betrayal of both international diplomacy and their long suffering citizenry who these values are supposed to protect.
But this move also begs a bigger and rather uncomfortable question for peaceniks like me. Could Nukes be good for peace? Just typing those words feels blasphemous on my fingertips, but history speaks for itself. Iraq and Libya both forfeited their own nuclear weapons programs for the sake of self-preservation and both ended up brutally mugged for their efforts by the world’s preeminent nuclear superpower. Further more, international law on this regard, is little more than a sick fucking joke. Iran has been hounded for decades by an illegally nuclear armed Israel and the only nation to ever use one of those goddamn things while even the intelligence agencies of these very rogue states admits that this program is a total fiction. Meanwhile, India and Pakistan continue their own flagrantly illegal arms race while being bathed in buckets of western aid. And evil Iran should what, be the last boy-scout while they get ransacked? It clearly doesn’t make any fucking difference whether they actually have the bombs or not, so why not arm up?
By Mike Gleason, First Published on Sound Money Defense League
Chairman Powell’s testimony this week was closely scrutinized not just for its economic implications but also for its political overtones. Powell cited “trade tensions” as cause for concern about the strength of the global economy. He clearly seemed to be blaming President Trump’s tariffs.
But if the tariffs are what ultimately move the Fed to cut rates, Trump will have finally gotten what he wants out of Powell. In recent weeks, Trump has stepped up his attacks on the central bank, calling it the biggest problem facing the economy, floating the idea of firing Powell, and suggesting his administration would match China’s and Europe’s “currency manipulation game.”
Press TV. Watch here.
In this edition of The Debate, Press TV interviews Keith Preston, chief editor at AttacktheSystem.com from Richmond, VA and Robert Fantina, author, activist, and journalist from Kitchener, on Iran’s scaling down of the JCPOA commitments, at a time the country’s uranium enrichment level exceeds 4.5%.
Press TV. Listen here.
The incompetence and division in American politics is not unique to the administration of President Donald Trump and has rather spanned all US administrations, says a political analyst in Virginia.
Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com, made the comment in an interview with Press TV on Sunday while reacting to reports that said Britain’s ambassador to the United States had referred to Trump as “incompetent” and “inept.”
Leaked on Saturday, notes sent to the British Foreign Commonwealth Office showed Kim Darroch finding it unlikely for the White House to “ever look competent” under Trump.
“We don’t really believe this administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction driven; less diplomatically clumsy and inept,” Darroch wrote.
“It’s certainly true that the Trump administration demonstrates a lot of signs of dysfunction and internal division and incompetence and so forth, but that’s not necessarily original to the Trump administration,” Preston said. “We can go back to the Obama administration, the George W. Bush administration and some other earlier administrations and find several examples.”
Preston also pointed to what he said was a “rift” between the Trump administration and various European elites, which particularly stemmed from a conflict between Washington and the European Union over trade-related issues, the NATO and its funding.
The British envoy also described the never-ending conflicts inside the Trump administration as “knife fights.”
The revelations came weeks after Trump paid a long-delayed state visit to Britain.
The US and Europe are already in the middle of a tense trade dispute, with Trump having imposed steel and aluminum tariffs on the EU since last May, criticizing the bloc for the trade deficit in US-EU dealings.
Washington has also threatened to impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on European auto imports, which would have a far greater impact on the European economy.
Moreover, Trump has repeatedly criticized NATO over how the alliance is funded and pressured other member states to increase military spending.
NATO members are required to spend at least 2 percent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on military affairs. This is while the US currently spends around 4 percent.
The American head of state threatened that Washington would “go its own way” in 2019 if other NATO countries did not increase their military spending levels.