Two for Tuesday

Joan Baez

Jimi Hendrix

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Treading water in the stream

yun_2729

By Chris Arkenberg

Source: URBEINGRECORDED

I haven’t posted much here in a while and, honestly, I don’t know if I have an audience anymore. You gotta feed the beast or it’ll just go gorge elsewhere at the unlimited trough of spankulation that is the Internet. It’s easier to tweet, and now there’s Ello which hasn’t yet found its center of gravity or true genus locii to root down a thriving community. But it’s refreshing to post more than 140 char without the expectation of serious long-form journeys. And I don’t use Facebook so Ello at least offers some potential to have an intellectual cohort that won’t rat-hole into that heady blend of extremism and uncritical non-thinking that seems to be coded directly into the DNA of Disgracebook. So consider this post my sort of Fakebook personal rant…

But then, I’m not sure I have a lot to say these days. Partly, I do so much of this sort of thing at work where the audience is internal. The content is fairly narrow but still insightful. Not the broad random walks through techno-behaviorology that I’m inclined to pursue here. Partly, on another axis, the Twitters and the constant streams of the technoverse and geopolity have got me a bit swirly, like the inertia of information is too great to adequately slow down and process into some sort of theory. The fascination with the stream is at the expense of any fascination with the particulars of life, like it’s all moving too fast and I’m being entrained to be little more than a relay node in the network. Click, retweet, copy-past, post. A servant to the memes, like apes collared to silicon just to grind out more 1’s and 0’s.

So much of the stream seams meaningless – fleeting glimpses, spikes of outrage, stories about things and events that will be wiped from the collective memory within a week. And maybe that’s the point, to bring all the mundane details to light, to share the bits with each other, to fully become the eyes of the world, in witness of it all. But then, if I really think about it, it’s appalling how many resources, how much energy, how much labor born on the backs of the impoverished, how much of this all goes to keeping the platters spinning and the switches switching and the rare earth’s rare-earthing, across global data centers sucking down megawatts to make sure we archive every random bleating of the global mind. To a post-psychedelic techno-futurist like myself, it’s a bit confusing to feel at odds with the marvel of it all.

I can’t remember the source but this phrase about digital transformation really stuck with me: that it’s emulsifying entire industries. Which underlines that there’s very real import to the network spankulation, that we have some obligation to roll the dung ball of modernity around and around beneath the Sun, to check it for deformations that might drive truly dangerous emulsifications. We can snicker at the death of old industries but what about the demise of comfort or wellness or nutrition or the oft-anticipated end of the state… Are we really ready for this degree of transformation? So I’m left with a crutch of faith that the stream is, on balance, a positive tool to keep us all engaged with the Great Work of unfolding the possible with some integrity, without destroying more than we create. That the relentless bleating of sheep is what keeps the shepherds attentive and considerate, and that the global mind helps us better evolve the animal within towards something more tenable than base self-preservation, something much holier than religion, something much more wise than science.

It’s a lot to put on a stream, I know, but maybe having a degree of faith is what keeps us swimming, lest we give in to the rushing depths and fall like stones, inert and silent.

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US Has More Sanctions Against Russia Than Against Ebola

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By Paul Craig Roberts

Source: PaulCraigRoberts.org

We have known since . . . well, when haven’t we known that our public officials are incompetent [more specifically, incompetent at tasks serving the public interest]. Their incompetence is always expensive, but now it risks a worldwide ebola pandemic.

With so little known about a deadly disease, one would think that with ebola on the rampage in three west Africa countries, air flights to and from these countries would be halted.

When riots or kidnappings present dangers in foreign lands, the State Department issues a travel advisory and warns, and sometimes prevents, Americans from traveling to areas of danger. As the ebola danger goes beyond the person himself, one would think public officials would have halted traffic to and from west Africa. In fact, it is harder for a critic of the US government, especially if the critic is Muslim, to enter the US than for a person infected with ebola. Indeed, there are a number of Russians who cannot enter the US because of unilaterally imposed US sanctions. But there are no sanctions against ebola.

Apparently, public health officials have an outdated and incorrect comprehension of ebola and how it spreads. A sufficient number of medical personnel protected against ebola patients’ body fluids but without respirators have now been infected to indicate that the current strain of ebola can spread by air like flu. This also means surface contact.

Airplane cleaning crews at New York LaGuardia are on strike because there are no precautions or protections for cleaners who could come into contact with ebola from an infected passenger. Neither does the next passenger on an outgoing flight have any assurance that he will not be sitting in the seat occupied by an ebola carrier on the incoming flight.

In fact, something like this might have already occurred. A British citizen who has not been to countries where there are ebola outbreaks has just died in Skopje, Macedonia, apparently from ebola. His companion told authorities that they had travelled straight from the UK. The hotel has been sealed off, and the hotel staff and ambulance crew have been isolated. I assume also the traveling companion, but the report doesn’t say. http://rt.com/news/194640-briton-ebola-macedonia-dead/

Five US airports that have flights to the infected west African countries have imposed screening on incoming passengers, such as temperature checks. This is better than nothing, but if, as is believed, the deadly virus has a long incubation period, this screening would only catch people with symptoms, and, of course, there are many reasons for high temperatures, especially during cold and flu season.

So what our incompetent public officials have arranged is screening that will quarantine people who have caught a cold but fail to catch those carrying ebola who have not yet come down with it.

Par for the course.

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9 Crucial Ballot Measures that Could Legalize Marijuana and Help End the Drug War this Election

war-on-drugs

There are more drug policy reform questions on the ballot this November than ever in American history.

By Stephen Gutwillig

Source: Alternet

It may be an off-year election, but it’s a big one for drug policy reform. In seven weeks, voters across the country will have a chance to accelerate the unprecedented momentum to legalize marijuana and end the wider drug war. In fact, there are more drug policy reform questions on the ballot this November than ever in American history. Voter initiatives — primarily reforming or repealing marijuana laws — appear on the ballots in seven states, at least 17 municipalities and one U.S. territory. To help you keep score at home, here’s an overview, starting with the highest-profile measures.

Oregon: Passage of Measure 91 [3] will make the Beaver State the third to legalize marijuana for adults outright. Like the historic laws adopted in Colorado and neighboring Washington two short years ago, this initiative would legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana for adults 21 and older and create a statewide system to regulate production and sales. And similar to Colorado’s law, Measure 91 would allow adults to cultivate small amounts of marijuana under controlled circumstances. In this entirely vote-by-mail election, the initiative has already been endorsed by the Pacific Northwest’s largest daily paper [4] and would likely boost efforts across its southern border to end marijuana prohibition in California two years from now.

Alaska: The other statewide marijuana legalization initiative, Measure 2 [5], is closely modeled on Colorado’s Amendment 64 and tracks many of the elements in Oregon’s prospective law. Alaska was something of a marijuana reform pioneer as possession and cultivation of small amounts for personal use in a private residence has been protected under the Alaska Constitution since the 1970s. Alongside Oregon in 1998, Alaska was among the first states to legalize medical marijuana. With a deep-rooted respect for personal freedom, Alaska would become the first red state to legalize marijuana for adult use, no doubt raising eyebrows across the political spectrum.

Florida: Amendment 2 [6] is the only statewide medical marijuana initiative on the ballot this year, and it’s one to watch. Victory would make Florida, with its huge population and bell weather status in American politics, the very first southern state to adopt a medical marijuana law. With 23 other medical marijuana states and super-majority support [7] nationally, passage of Amendment 2 would effectively settle any lingering questions on public acceptance of marijuana as medicine. It’s going to be a challenge, though, since Florida law requires 60% to pass a voter initiative. While polls indicate enormous support [8], casino mogul Sheldon Adelson contributed a few million dollars [9] to stop it as Amendment 2 is associated with Charlie Crist’s comeback gubernatorial campaign. Adelson’s intervention has created the first well-funded opposition to a statewide marijuana reform campaign ever.

California: On the heels of reforming its harshest-in-the-nation Three Strikes law in 2012, Californians are now poised to refine six low-level, nonviolent offenses, including simple drug possession, from felonies to misdemeanors. Proposition 47 [10]would then dedicate the savings — likely more than $1 billion a year — to schools, victim services, and mental health treatment. With retroactive sentencing and expungement provisions, the impact of Prop 47 in California on wasteful corrections spending and individual lives would be profound and surely resonate across the country.

District of Columbia: Earlier this year, the D.C. Council adopted the nation’s most far-reaching marijuana decriminalization law [11]. In November, voters in the nation’s capital will decide whether to go even further. Initiative 71 [12] makes it legal for adults over the age of 21 to possess and cultivate small amounts of marijuana. While District law prevents the ballot initiative from addressing the sale of marijuana, the D.C. Council is considering a bill that would tax and regulate marijuana within the District. D.C. has the highest per capita marijuana arrest rates in the U.S. with enormous racial disparities as police target African Americans for 91 percent of these arrests. Initiative 71 will be the first marijuana reform campaign fought primarily on the issue of the drug war’s ongoing toxic impact on black communities.

Other races: Voters in municipal elections from the Northeast to Micronesia will weigh in November 4th on a range of marijuana focused issues.

  • Guam: Voters could make this U.S. territory the first to adopt medical marijuana. The binding referendum [13] would allow for dispensaries regulated by the Department of Public Health and Social Services.
  • Maine: By a wide margin in 2013, Portlanders chose to eliminate criminal penalties for adult possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. In seven weeks, voters in York, South Portland, and Lewiston [14] will tackle the same question.
  •  Michigan: In the last two years, residents of seven cities have voted to remove local penalties for adult possession of small amounts of marijuana in a private residence. As of now, a whopping 11 other cities [15] (with apparently more to come) will have the chance to follow suit this year.
  • New Mexico: Last month, the City of Santa Fe became the first in the state to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. On the ballot in November, voters in Bernalillo (Albuquerque) and Santa Fe Counties will decide [16] if their county should affirm decriminalization efforts.

Public opinion has shifted dramatically over the last decade in favor of reforming marijuana laws and dismantling the egregious excesses of the drug war. And elected officials have begun to take notice. The U.S. House has voted five times in recent months to let states set their own marijuana policies while Senators Rand Paul and Cory Booker have introduced similar bi-partisan legislation in the U.S. Senate in addition to a cluster of other long-overdue criminal justice reforms. When the dust settles on November 5th, the momentum for change in this country will only have accelerated.

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Saturday Matinee: Combat Shock

combatshock

By Oliver Hall

Source: Dangerous Minds

Frankie’s having a terrible day. His wife and infant son are starving. He’s run out of money and food. Now he’s going to be evicted. He’s got a gun. Let’s hear it for Frankie…

If this sounds familiar, it’s because the story of the 1984 Troma movie Combat Shock bears a striking resemblance to that of Suicide’s harrowing song “Frankie Teardrop.” The movie concerns the struggle of a young man named Frankie to feed his wife and child in blighted Staten Island, and if you’ve heard the song, I don’t have to tell you that it ends pretty badly for Frankie, his family, you, me, and the entire human race.

Frankie isn’t a factory worker in this version of the story, but an unemployed Vietnam vet whose days and nights are continually interrupted by flashbacks of ‘Nam and the torture he suffered at the hands of the VC. These, in turn, lead to flashbacks within flashbacks where, for purposes of exposition, Frankie relives arguments with his father, now estranged because a) Frankie has refused to carry on the family legacy of race hate and b) Dad disapproves of Mrs. Frankie. Suffering through the exposition of any movie is itself a form of torture.

However, these gestures toward the conventions of plot are mercifully few and brief, and Combat Shock soon makes with the laffs and gasps you crave from late-night horror fare. Much of the pleasure of watching Combat Shock comes from the genre detail writer, director, producer and editor Buddy Giovinazzo adds to extend Suicide’s story to feature length. For instance, because of Frankie’s exposure to Agent Orange, and because this is a Troma movie, the child looks like a cross between the Eraserhead baby and Edvard Munch’s screamer.

Until the awful climax, the movie takes its time presenting a loser’s-eye view of urban anomie. If you’ve ever lived in a place that had a TV set, you already know all these characters: Frankie’s slow descent into madness involves demoralizing encounters with small-time hoods (Frankie’s creditors), child prostitutes, junkie thieves and social workers (one of whom is missing a Ronco Veg-O-Matic). There are also one or two thrilling surprises, even for the very jaded.

And in case you somehow feel cheated of your full share of human misery after watching Combat Shock, here’s a kind of sequel to “Frankie Teardrop,” Alan Vega’s 12-minute bum-out “Viet Vet.”

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Awakened Warriors Arise

Silhouette illustration of two figures doing martial art stance

By Zen Gardner

Source: ZenGardner.com

Life is a struggle. How much more then is the spiritual life, the fight to remain conscious in an illusory world where deviant forces vie for control more than caring, battering your very body and soul day in and day out on top of your struggle to survive. Oh, we’re going peacefully downstream in the conscious dimensions. There we learn to let go and follow the flow of the Universe and synchronicity. But in this physical, lower density world, we’re fighting directly upstream.

In addition, we’re living in a time of increasingly turbulent waters. Our kayaks hit all kinds of eddies and crosscurrents, never mind the rocks and rapids we have to navigate–all while idiots, enemies and doubters, prodded on by the propaganda whores, are screaming obscenities from the shore and trying to hit us with anything they can get their hands on! But alas, grasshoppers—we have powers they know not of!

The Call to Battle

We’re in a warfare, any way you look at it. Only it’s not a warfare of hate, but of love. It’s not a warfare of physical violence, but a spiritual one of intention and a Truth directed life. The inherent cause and effect of Universal consciousness is the dissolution of the ways born of ignorance and darkness by means of the all powerful exposing and enlightening weapons of Light, Love and Truth.

The medieval matrix, no matter how fancy and hi-tech it has become, is dissolving and losing its grip. We need to actively help it on its way to oblivion, identifying its lies and blatant agenda for control and subjugation.

Don’t forget, non-compliance is a decisive action, not inaction. Inaction is going with the current of the matrix.

There is no sitting still. We’re all doing one or the other. Complying, or rejecting and countering their flow.

That’s the choice. That’s the battle.

In A Time of Imbalance the Call to Rise is Natural

Similar to the poetic beauty of martial arts, the Truth warrior uses his weapons skillfully and with great discretion. While many argue we need evil for good to exist and all that esoterica, we happen to be living in a time of great imbalance.

Do you enjoy having lords of darkness rule over you and yours, exercising more death dealing, spirit quelling control over humanity by the day?

I didn’t think so. Will it collapse under its own weight? In many ways it has to. Will it do it all by itself? We have to play our parts. As long as we’re here we’re integral to the Great Design and clearly need to do our part.

All I know is that what I am finding out and tuning in to calls me to participate, as so many are experiencing. It’s as real as the sun and water hitting a seedling and the organism responding. If it’s not evident to you that our planet and civilization are under attack I do wonder how you got to this article. It couldn’t be any clearer. That’s why they direct the angst people are feeling, the knowing that something is wrong, towards fabricated “outside” enemies to divert attention from the real perpetrators and agenda. Hence the daily “scare” headlines, whatever they are.

Similar to how religion co-opts, steers and contains the human soul’s hunger for the spiritual, the Controllers arouse, channel and misdirect humanity’s sense that it is being attacked and they literally harness what they themselves have aroused, using it for their own parasitic, vampiric purposes.

Cattle prods and sheep dogs driving humanity into the slaughterhouse, mentally, spiritually and physically.

Sorry, not on our watch. It’s long been time to sound the alarm and awaken as many as we possibly can. The spiritual, mental and physical arousal has way more effect than we can begin to imagine. Only your mind and low level system programming diminish its importance.

Trust your heart.

There is No “They”…They Said.

The old “tell a big enough lie” ploy is at work here. Their biggest tool is to say there is no “they”. There are no dark forces according to mainstream understanding in this dumbed down world. In fact, we’re told the “they” are the good guys looking out for us. It reminds me of the adage that the biggest lie Satan ever told is that he doesn’t exist. Pretty clever these demons. Just laugh at them.

Yet their all usurping lie remains:

There is no negative, destructive, usurping parasitic force in the Universe other than far away safely distanced religious concepts. Most feel humanity just has other controlling humans to worry about. The powers that be are here to simply save us from each other then becomes the most believable option, and into the cattle chute they go.

After all, that’s the mantra of the anti-conspiracy camp. ” THEY? Are you crazy? You really think there’s some ‘secret cabal’ running things from behind the scenes? How insane are you? If that were the case we’d be hearing all about it in the mainstream media! No way they could hide something that big!”

Same old, same old.

A very dark time right now indeed. All the recent pandemic scares, terrorism stagings, and economic and phony political rattlings attest to it. And if those fade they’ll create some new ones.

Consciousness Calling

If you feel the call to participate more it’s consciousness calling, any way you slice it.  Take your place on the great mandala and all that, but there’s a bulldozer headed for your house. Are you just gonna sit there?

No doubt you’ve given all of this serious thought. And I know many of you have activated and it’s absolutely beautiful. I’m proud to be associated with so many amazing, loving committed people. I think we just need to be adaptive and prepared for more. The winds are picking up and the battlefield is becoming more fluid, more challenging and more demanding.

And for those on the sidelines: It’s time to choose your course of action – or let it choose you.

I’m not gonna tell anyone what to do. If people don’t learn to choose for themselves, consciousness is not at work and back to the old paradigms we go. But do something. Get the boat in motion or the rudder can’t take effect. Find and take your calling seriously and step it up. We all have to.

Meditate, intend, pray, affirm, that’s great…but act! Change your life, change the etheric world around you by your loving actions and intentions. Try new consciousness technologies while changing your lifestyle. And perhaps move to a smarter and safer location away from this obvious steamroller coming at many of you. Why just sit there?

Meanwhile write, talk, show up, contribute, speak to groups, attend gatherings of active and motivated individuals or just get honest with your loved ones. Find the opening and jump in. The rest will follow. Time is too short to do otherwise.

Contribute we must. Hopefully with our whole lives. It’s all we have for all we’re worth.

It’s not a time to get frantic by any means, but take this as a loving alert, something I know many of you are also feeling. Our old views of just weeks and months ago are shifting and will continue to do so. It’s subtle, but it’s profoundly real. We have to step it up and yield to what consciousness is calling each of us to do and let go of the baggage holding us back.

A purely inspired and motivated heart will always find the way.

Again and again.

Much love,

Zen

www.zengardner.com

Posted in Activism, consciousness, culture, Psychology, Social Control, society, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

From Washington’s ‘Fear Factor’ playbook: The Khorasan Group is coming to get us

Dees_Illustration_Osama_Bin_Laden-and_Roller_Coaster.

By Dave Alpert

Source: Intrepid Report

While our attention had been focused on ISIS, the new and heretofore unheard of Khorasan Group has been organizing and planning to implement a terror attack here in the United States.

Who are these people? According to U.S. officials, they are linked to al-Qaeda and consist of radical veteran fighters who are “running amok in the Middle East and bent on destruction” (primarily in the U.S.).

James Comey, head of the FBI, stated in an interview with 60 Minutes on CBS, “Khorasan was working and you know, may still be working on an effort to attack the United States and our allies, and looking to do it very, very soon.” Comey also admitted he knew the identities of those Americans fighting alongside radical groups in the Middle East.

I don’t know about you but I find this very strange. Khorasan was initially introduced to the Western world in the middle of September and just as suddenly was never mentioned for the subsequent three weeks. And now, they’re back.They are supposedly very dangerous and may attack us very, very soon. But, we know very little about them and they have successfully remained off our radar screens.

But the icing on the cake came when Comey stated that the government knows the names of these Americans who have fought with ISIL. They have American passports and if they wish to return to the U.S., they have every right to do so. But, he promised that they will be tracked very carefully.

Initially, I thought Comey was rehearsing for some stand-up comedy routine he was performing. Here we have Americans who have been fighting alongside jihadist fundamentalists in Syria, a country we are bombing, and they are members of a terrorist group who is planning to attack the U.S.; the FBI knows their identities, and we are told they have the right of return. This is something even Palestinians do not enjoy and all they want is to go home.

I may have misunderstood, but there are heavy consequences in place for those Americans who give aid and support to any organizations that have been deemed terrorists by our government.

Case in point: In May of 2013, the Obama administration targeted and killed, Awlaki, a United States citizen. What was his crime?

Mr. Awlaki was a radical Muslim cleric, born in New Mexico, and, at the time of his death, living in Yemen. Awlaki made anti-U.S. speeches to members of his congregation and encouraged Muslims to confront and fight U.S. imperialism. The crime of “imminent” threat was that sometime in the future he might be involved in a terrorist act in the U.S.

Two weeks later, Awlaki’s 16 year old son, Abdulrahman al- Awlaki, who was born in Denver, Colorado, was targeted and killed. The explanation offered by U.S. officials was that because of who his father was, he might someday grow into a terrorist and commit acts against our homeland. His crime was that he had the wrong father.

A more recent story is about Shannon Maureen Conley, 19, a certified nurse’s aid who was arrested at Denver International Airport last April. She had planned to fly to Germany and eventually an ISIS camp near the Turkish border. She was taking this long trip because she was planning on meeting her suitor, Yousr Mouelhi, whom she met online and planned to marry. Unfortunately Yousr is a member of ISIS.

Conley thought she could be helpful in Syria by using her skills as a nurse’s aide.

In a plea agreement, Conley pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. She faces up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

As part of the plea agreement, Conley must provide law enforcement agencies with information about others looking to provide help to terrorist organizations abroad.

None of those mentioned above had any active role in organizing or implementing a terrorist attack. Yet, two men have been executed and a naive young woman has been sentenced to prison.

However, the 12 or so Americans who can be identified, are welcomed back on U.S. soil, despite the fact that the FBI claims they fought alongside terrorists and have been trained to implement terrorist attacks inside the U.S.

This whole scene seems unbelievable. As Glenn Greenwald stated, “The last thing the Washington political class and the economic elites who control it want is for this war to end. Anyone who doubts that should just look at the express statements from these leading Democrats, who wasted no time at all seizing on the latest Bad Guys to justify literally decades more of this profiteering and war-making.”

“As the Obama administration prepared to bomb Syria without congressional or U.N. authorization, it faced two problems. The first was the difficulty of sustaining public support for a new years-long war against ISIS, a group that clearly posed no imminent threat to the ‘homeland.’ A second was the lack of legal justification for launching a new bombing campaign with no viable claim of self-defense or U.N. approval.

“The solution to both problems was found in the wholesale concoction of a brand new terror threat that was branded ‘The Khorasan Group.’ After spending weeks depicting ISIS as an unprecedented threat—too radical even for Al Qaeda!—administration officials suddenly began spoon-feeding their favorite media organizations and national security journalists tales of a secret group that was even scarier and more threatening than ISIS, one that posed a direct and immediate threat to the American Homeland. Seemingly out of nowhere, a new terror group was created in media lore.”

People have called me a “conspiracy nut” because I don’t accept the official 9-11 story but the government needed a “New Pearl Harbor” to gather support for military engagement in the Middle East and 9-11 ensured they got it. It may be time now for the government to stage another event to gather support for its predicted 30-year war in Syria and its fight against ISIS.

BEWARE! It’s not the Khorasan Group that worries me, it’s our own government.

 

 

Posted in black ops, CIA, conditioning, culture, divide and conquer, Empire, False Flag, FBI, Geopolitics, History, propaganda, Psy-ops, Social Control, society, State Crime, war, war on terror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

9 Ominous Signals Coming From The Financial Markets That We Have Not Seen In Years

Meltdown-Secret-History-of-Global-Financial-Collapse

By Michael Snyder

Source: The Economic Collapse

Is the stock market about to crash?  Hopefully not, and there definitely have been quite a few “false alarms” over the past few years.  But without a doubt we have been living through one of the greatest financial bubbles in U.S. history, and the markets are absolutely primed for a full-blown crash.  That doesn’t mean that one will happen now, but we are starting to see some ominous things happen in the financial world that we have not seen happen in a very long time.  So many of the same patterns that we witnessed just prior to the bursting of the dotcom bubble and just prior to the 2008 financial crisis are repeating themselves again.  Hopefully we still have at least a little bit more time before stocks completely crash, because when this market does implode it is going to be a doozy.

The following are 9 ominous signals coming from the financial markets that we have not seen in years…

#1 By the time the markets closed on Monday, we had witnessed the biggest three day decline for U.S. stocks since 2011.

#2 On Monday, the S&P 500 moved below its 200 day moving average for the first time in about two years.  The last time this happened after such an extended streak of success, the S&P 500 ended up declining by a total of 22 percent.

#3 This week the put-call ratio actually moved higher than it was at any point during the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.  This is an indication that there is a tremendous amount of fear on Wall Street right now.

#4 Everybody is watching the VIX at the moment.  According to the Economic Policy Journal, the VIX has now risen to the highest level that it has been since the heart of the European debt crisis.  This is another indicator that there is extraordinary fear on Wall Street…

US stock market volatility has jumped to the highest since the eurozone debt crisis, according to a closely watched index, the the CBOE Vix index of implied US share price volatility.

It jumped to 24.6 late on Monday and is up again this morning. On Thursday, it was as low as 15.

That’s a very strong move, but things have been much worse. At height of the recent financial crisis – the Vix index peaked at 80.1 in November 2008.

Could we get there again? Yeah.

#5 The price of oil is crashing.  This also happened in 2008 just before the financial crisis erupted.  At this point, the price of oil is now the lowest that it has been in more than two years.

#6 As Chris Kimble has pointed out, the chart for the Dow has formed a “Doji Star topping pattern”.  We also saw this happen in 2007.  Could this be an indication that we are on the verge of another stock market crash similar to what happened in 2008?

#7 Canadian stocks are actually doing even worse than U.S. stocks.  At this point, Canadian stocks have already dropped more than 10 percent from the peak of the market.

#8 European stocks have also had a very rough month.  For example, German stocks have already dropped about 10 percent since July, and there are growing concerns about the overall health of the German economy.

#9 The wealthy are hoarding cash and precious metals right now.  In fact, one British news report stated that sales of gold bars to wealthy customers are up 243 percent so far this year.

So what comes next?

Some experts are saying that this is the perfect time to buy stocks at value prices.  For example, USA Today published a story with the following headline on Tuesday: “Time to ‘buy’ the fear? One Wall Street pro says yes“.

Other experts, however, believe that this could represent a major turning point for the financial markets.

Just consider what Abigail Doolittle recently told CNBC

Technical strategist Abigail Doolittle is holding tight to her prediction of market doom ahead, asserting that a recent move in Wall Street’s fear gauge is signaling the way.

Doolittle, founder of Peak Theories Research, has made headlines lately suggesting a market correction worse than anyone thinks is ahead. The long-term possibility, she has said, is a 60 percent collapse for the S&P 500.

In early August, Doolittle was warning both of a looming “super spike” in the CBOE Volatility Index as well as a “death cross” in the 10-year Treasury note. The former referenced a sharp move higher in the “VIX,” while the latter used Wall Street lingo for an event that already occurred in which the fixed income benchmark saw its 50-day moving average cross below its 200-day trend line.

Both, she said, served as indicators for trouble ahead.

Posted in Corporate Crime, culture, Economics, Financial Crisis, Recession, Social Control, society | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two for Tuesday

Kery James

Posted in Activism, Art, culture, Music Video, Two for Tuesday, Video | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Political issues in the Ebola crisis

ebola

By Patrick Martin

Source: WSWS.org

The report that a healthcare worker in Dallas, Texas, one of those who treated Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan before his death, has herself contracted the disease, is a significant and troubling event. Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, admitted in a television interview Sunday, “It’s deeply concerning that this infection occurred.”

While Frieden claimed that current protocols for treating Ebola patients were effective in preventing the spread of the disease, arguing that there must have been “a breach of protocol,” no actual explanation has been given for how the healthcare worker became infected. She was not one of the 48 primary contacts with Duncan who were being monitored for possible exposure, but worked in a more peripheral role. Her infection was only detected when she contracted a fever and reported it herself.

There are a growing number of such cases, including doctors and nurses in the affected regions of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, who were well aware of the procedures, and an NBC News photographer, whose infection has caused the quarantining of the entire reporting team, led by Dr. Nancy Snyderman, the network’s chief medical correspondent. These cases suggest that despite the repeated assurances from health officials, there is much that is not known about how the disease is transmitted.

What is certain is that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is a catastrophe for the people of that region. More than 8,000 people have been infected and more than 4,000 have died, with no signs that the epidemic has been curtailed. The heroic efforts of doctors, nurses and aid workers have been sabotaged by the collapse of the healthcare systems of these countries, among the poorest in the world. Only 20 percent of the affected population in West Africa has access to a treatment center.

It is almost impossible to overstate the dimensions of the disaster. Until this year, Ebola was a disease of remote rural areas that had killed only 1,500 people in 20 previous outbreaks over 40 years. Now the disease has reached urban centers like Monrovia, capital of Liberia, a city of one million, and individuals infected with the virus have travelled from the region only to fall ill in the United States, Spain and Brazil. There are well-founded fears that Ebola could become a global plague, particularly if it reaches more densely populated countries like Nigeria, or the impoverished billions of South and East Asia.

The impotent global response to the immense tragedy in West Africa is a serious warning. The Ebola crisis has proven to be a test of the ability of capitalism, as a world system, to deal with an acute and deadly threat. The profit system has failed. A society organized on the basis of production for private gain and divided into antagonistic nation-states, with a handful of imperialist powers dominating the rest, is incapable of the systematic, energetic and humane response that this crisis requires. It is no accident that the Ebola outbreak takes place in countries that are former colonies of imperialist powers. Guinea was a French colony, Sierra Leone a British colony, and Liberia a de facto US colony since its founding by freed American slaves. Despite their nominal independence, each country remains dominated by giant corporations and banks based in the imperialist countries, which extract vast profits from the mineral wealth and other natural resources. Guinea is the world’s largest bauxite exporter, Sierra Leone depends on diamond exports, Liberia has long been the fiefdom of Firestone Rubber (now Bridgestone).

These countries are unable to provide even rudimentary healthcare services to their populations, not because they lack resources, but because they are exploited and oppressed by a global economic system controlled by Wall Street and other financial and commodity markets. This economic system is so unequal that the 85 richest individuals on the planet control more wealth than the poorest three billion people, nearly half of humanity.

Economic development, particularly over the past 40 years, has created an interconnected and globalized world. Thousands of people travel every day between West Africa and other parts of the world. The revolution in transportation and communications means that what happens in West Africa today can affect Dallas, Boston, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro tomorrow. This makes the Ebola epidemic not a regional event, but a world event.

But the response to the Ebola crisis is carried out by national governments driven by competing national interests, and concerned, not with the danger of the virus to the world’s people, but with how it affects the interests of the ruling class in each nation. Thus there are calls in the United States and Europe for imposing an embargo on travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, although health experts warn that such an action would cause the economic collapse of these countries, vastly worsening the epidemic and making its global spread more rather than less likely.

Equally reactionary is the Obama administration’s decision to send 4,000 US troops to Liberia, ostensibly to build health treatment facilities. Why are heavily armed soldiers chosen for such a mission? They are not construction workers or healthcare providers. If healthcare workers and journalists have become infected, despite taking every precaution, then certainly soldiers could themselves fall victim to the disease, and bring the virus home with them. The real agenda of Washington is to secure a basis for its Africa Command (AFRICOM), up to now excluded from the continent by local opposition, thus advancing the interests of American imperialism against its rivals, particularly China.

The potential dangers of a disease like Ebola spreading from rural Africa to the world have long been understood by epidemiologists and other scientists. It has been the subject of specialized studies and best-selling books. The issue has even penetrated into popular culture through films from The Andromeda Strain to Outbreak and 28 Days. But the profit system has been incapable of generating a serious effort to forestall an entirely predictable crisis.

The detection of Ebola in the mid-1970s should have been the occasion for the launching of an intensive effort to study the virus, analyze how it is transmitted and develop antidotes and a vaccine. This did not take place, in large measure, as a report last month suggested, because the giant pharmaceutical companies that control medical research saw little profit in saving the lives of impoverished villagers in rural Africa (see “Profit motive big hurdle for Ebola drugs”).

What little research has been conducted on possible cures and vaccines was funded by the US Pentagon, for dubious reasons: at best, to protect US soldiers who might be deployed to the jungles of central Africa as an imperialist invasion force; at worst, to determine whether the virus could be weaponized for use against potential enemies.

What would a serious response to the Ebola crisis look like? It would entail a massive, internationally coordinated response which calls on vast resources on the scale necessary both to save as many as possible of those under immediate threat and to prevent the development of an outbreak on a global scale.

It would mean the mobilization of doctors, nurses, public health workers and scientists from America, Europe, Russia, China and the rest of the world to fight back against a deadly threat to the entire human race. And it would mean taking control of this response out of the hands of the national military establishments, particularly the Pentagon, and the giant pharmaceutical firms, one of the most corrupt and rapacious detachments of big business.

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