THE ANGRY ARAB: US Violated Unspoken Rule of Engagement with Iran, by As’ad AbuKhalil

What sort of reprisals will the assassination of Qassem Soleimani lead to by Iran? From As’ad AbuKhalil at consortiumnews.com:

As’ad AbuKhalil analyzes the Trump administration’s decision to escalate hostilities with Iran and its regional allies.   

U.S. paratroopers deploy to the Middle East following the Baghdad airstrike, Jan. 4, 2020.(U.S. Army/Hubert Delany, Wikimedia Commons)

Something big and unprecedented has happened in the Middle East after the assassination of one of Iran’s top commanders, Qasim Suleimani.

The U.S. has long assumed that assassinations of major figures in the Iranian “resistance-axis” in the Middle East would bring risk to the U.S. military-intelligence presence in the Middle East.  Western and Arab media reported that the U.S. had prevented Israel in the past from killing Suleimani.  But with the top commander’s death, the Trump administration seems to think a key barrier to U.S. military operations in the Middle East has been removed.

The U.S. and Israel had noticed that Hizbullah and Iran did not retaliate against previous assassinations by Israel (or the U.S.) that took place in Syria (of Imad Mughniyyah, Jihad Mughniyyah, Samir Quntar); or for other attacks on Palestinian and Lebanese commanders in Syria.

The U.S. thus assumed that this assassination would not bring repercussions or harm to U.S. interests. Iranian reluctance to retaliate has only increased the willingness of Israel and the U.S. to violate the unspoken rules of engagement with Iran in the Arab East.

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Hubris, by Sven Henrich

The bull markets in bonds and stocks will not go quietly into that good night. From Sven Henrich at northmantrader.com:

One day this bull market will end and the age of the central banking enabled debt bubble will be exposed for the hubris that it is and all the sins of “potential side effects” that central bankers warn about but never do anything about will come back to haunt all of us. It’ll be the age of the great unwind. Nobody will tell us in the moment when it peaks and I suspect it will not start with a bang, rather a whimper, but only end with a bang.

And this great unwind will not last a month or a year, but many years as all the excesses will have to work themselves through the system and all the systematic buy programs will turn into systematic sell programs that will be just as relentless on the way down as they were on the way up.

They very notion of the permanent can kicking we are witnessing now will reveal itself to have been a fantasy. People forget that 2019 and into 2020 came about because of systemic failure of epic proportions. The single one time central bankers tried to tighten blew up in their faces. And the Fed’s forced re-expansion of their balance sheet has now bestowed this blow-off top that has pushed asset prices the farthest distance above the underlying size of the economy that we’ve ever seen. A perversion of the financial system that has created wealth for the few not seen since the 1920s.

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On the 70th anniversary of Orwell’s death: The danger of third parties “curating” and “fact checking” our info, by Sharyl Attkisson

There are all sorts of official, semi-official, and private busybodies who want to protect us from “fake news.” We’re all just too stupid to sort through it on our own. From Sharyl Attkisson at sharylattkisson.com:

Political writer George Orwell, who died Jan. 21, 1950

It is a dangerous practice: Government, corporations, universities, news outlets and “experts” curating our information so that we cannot access, see or believe that which they determine we should not access, see or believe.

If anyone had suggested to Orwell, or the American founders, that we would invite this sort of manipulation and control of our information, they wouldn’t have believed it.

The idea was first introduced on the national stage by President Obama in October of 2016 right before the presidential election. He insisted that somebody needed to step in and “curate” our information in the “Wild, Wild West” internet environment.

Nobody had been clamoring for any such thing.

So the challenge for those who came up with this bright idea– in my opinion in an effort to control news and information– was to convince the public to accept something very un-American: their information being shaped and censored by others.

Watch Attkisson’s Tedx talk: Astroturf and Manipulation of Media Messages

This feat was accomplished in concert with the anti-fake news effort, started in September 2016 through a nonprofit called First Draft. (First Draft was funded by Google, owned by Alphabet, run by Eric Schmidt, a major Hillary Clinton funder and supporter.) The anti-fake news effort was also an effort by special interests to step in and control news and internet information.

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More Than 4 Times as Many Police Officers Killed Themselves Than Were Shot in 2019, by Matt Agorist

Police are under a lot of stress. From Matt Agorist at thefreethoughtproject.com:

In 2019, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, 47 police officers were shot, 7 killed in a vehicular assault, and three died from assault. Another 77 cops died as a result of car crashes, heart attacks, and illnesses. Absent from the database of fallen officers, however, are the 228 cops who ended their own watch. This number is a giant leap from the year before and the fourth consecutive year that it’s risen.

As the number of officers killed in the line of duty decreased by 20%, the number of cops taking their own lives has increased 35%. The website Blue H.E.L.P. (Honor. Educate. Lead. Prevent.) has already recorded five officer suicides in 2020.

The mainstream media often portrays the unfortunate random killing of police officers as analogous to a larger “war on cops.” The reality is that there is a concerted public relations effort underway, on the part of law enforcement, with the intention of stemming the growing public calls for more oversight and accountability.

If law enforcement were genuine about wanting to save the lives of cops, they would begin by attempting to put focus on the out of control epidemic of police suicides, which dwarfs the number of cops fatally shot the line of duty. Cops are killing themselves at a rate 4 times higher than they are dying in the line of duty and this subject seems entirely taboo.

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“The 2-Child Policy Has Failed”: China’s Birth Rate Hits Record Low As Growth Slows, by Tyler Durden

At its present birth rate China cannot sustain the growth rates that have made it an economic powerhouse. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

China finally abandoned its controversial one-child policy in November 2013. But more than six years later, millions of Chinese couples are still unwilling to have a second child. And that’s a huge problem for the Communist Party, whose legitimacy in the eyes of the public depends on its ability to deliver on promises of unbridled growth and prosperity.

And who can blame them? Entrenched behaviors die hard, and after the government’s brutal treatment of citizens who defied its policy (which was initially imposed to ward off famine), we can sympathize with Chinese who simply believe that having two children isn’t in keeping with the fundamentals of patriotic socialism with Chinese characteristics.

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NJ Vaccine Bill To End Religious Exemptions Collapses: Is The Tide Turning? by Richard Enos

People are no longer accepting without question that vaccines are safe. According to this article, since 2004, there has not been one death from measles in the United States. In that same period, there have been at least 108 deaths from the measles vaccine, according to the government’s own reporting system. From Richard Enos at collective-evolution.com:

IN BRIEF

  • The Facts:A State Senate vote in Trenton, NJ on the removal of religious exemptions for childhood vaccines was derailed as a result of a boisterous protest by people who want to maintain the right to choose whether or not to vaccinate their children.
  • Reflect On:Are we seeing a watershed moment in the struggle between mandatory vaccination and people’s right to choose?

The battleground is now set. On one side are those who continue to claim “the science is settled” on vaccine safety and want to eliminate all vaccine exemptions, essentially forcing all children to get vaccines whether their parents agree or not. On the other side are those who believe that the science is far from settled, and believe that parents should have the right to choose what gets injected into their children’s bodies without fear of punishment.

The latest skirmish of this battle was on Monday in Trenton, NJ, where a bill proposing one of the nation’s broadest bans on religious exemptions to childhood vaccines did not have enough support in the Democrat-controlled State Senate to be put up for a vote. The bill would have ended a policy that allows parents in New Jersey to cite religious beliefs as the reason their children have not been immunized, without affecting the child’s ability to be enrolled in school.

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Deadly Distractions: Laying the Groundwork for the Next Civil War, by John W. Whitehead

The ball to keep one’s eye on is the steady and ongoing expansion of government power and the consequent erosion of individual liberties and freedoms. The impeachment is a distraction. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

Pity the nation oh pity the people
who allow their rights to erode
and their freedoms to be washed away…”
—Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet

And so it continues.

This impeachment fiasco is merely the latest in a never-ending series of distractions, distortions, and political theater aimed at diverting the public’s attention from the sinister advances of the American Police State.

Don’t allow yourselves to be distracted, diverted or mesmerized by the cheap theater tricks.

This impeachment spectacle is Shakespearean in its scope: full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Nothing is the key word here.

Despite the wall-to-wall media coverage, nothing will change.

Mark my words: the government will remain as corrupt and self-serving as ever, dominated by two political factions that pretend to be at odds with each other all the while moving in lockstep to maintain the status quo.

So President Trump’s legal team can grandstand all they want about the impeachment trial being “an affront to the Constitution” and “a dangerous perversion of the Constitution,” but that’s just smoke and mirrors.

You know what is really “an affront to the Constitution”? The U.S. government.

We’ve been losing our freedoms so incrementally for so long—sold to us in the name of national security and global peace, maintained by way of martial law disguised as law and order, and enforced by a standing army of militarized police and a political elite determined to maintain their powers at all costs—that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it all started going downhill, but we’re certainly on that downward trajectory now, and things are moving fast.

The republic has fallen.

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