Are We Living Through "12 Monkeys"?

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Are We Living Through "12 Monkeys"?

A brand new mini-documentary "We’re Living in 12 Monkeys" was released today by Truthstream Media that outlines the agenda that is unfolding from the coronavirus hysteria.

The full New World Order agenda of complete control over humanity is in play. Watch below:

As we watched we were reminded of an article writte

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n in 2018 by Abraham Riesman  who noted (at the time) that '12 Monkeys' was the apocalypse movie we need right now.

Critically,  Riseman had just completed an  addendum to his essay (excerpted below), tying it perfectly back to what the world is currently experiencing...

...the world has not yet collapsed.

I just went to pick up some supplies from my local chain pharmacy outlet and people seemed to be going about their daily business much as they always do.

The ambience stood in stark contrast to the reports I’d been reading all night about what the situation is likely to become in the near future.

I felt like 12 Monkeys’ protagonist, James Cole - someone who has been in the future, after it all hit the fan, and is granted a brief, bittersweet opportunity to visit the world as it was before the fall.

Given what’s happening, we thought we should republish this essay, which I wrote a year and a half before the COVID-19 pandemic, about 12 Monkeys, a film that is less about surviving a plague than it is about making a meaningful life on the eve of a crisis - and stubbornly believing that there’s something on the other side worth preparing for.

*  *  *

“How can I save you?” says the protagonist, Bruce Willis’s James Cole, early on in the 1995 Terry Gilliam film.

“This already happened. I can’t save you. Nobody can.”

He’s speaking before a panel of psychiatrists in a mental institution in 1990, a year in which he’s newly arrived. He’s been deemed crazy for his ravings about how he’s been sent from the year 2035, where a scant remainder of humanity lives in squalid underground tunnels after having been driven from the surface by a viral pandemic.

The movie wisely wastes no time on ambiguity about whether Cole’s story about a chronological jaunt is true or mere madness. By the time he appears before the shrinks, we’ve already seen Cole’s home time.

Throughout the story, we know - sometimes even better than he does - the worldwide doom that awaits. Though there are moments in the movie in which it seems as though fate might be altered, the conclusion of this deeply pessimistic masterwork (spoiler alert) makes it clear that Cole is right: humanity falls, right on schedule.

He couldn’t save anyone. Nobody could.

I’ve been thinking about 12 Monkeys a lot lately. It seems, these days, as though the human race has passed a Rubicon and is now on a straight path toward the end of days, or at least the end of the social order as we know it...

...That's why 12 Monkeys feels so urgent: Perhaps it is, indeed, too late to avert the great catastrophe. But we cannot accept that the catastrophe is the end of the story.

There will be some kind of future, however difficult it may be to live in.

It is our responsibility to prepare whatever we can for the survival of what’s worth preserving in that coming existence.

Tyler Durden

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 23:50

Situation On Riker's Island "Unimaginably Bad" As COVID-19 Tears Through Prison

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Situation On Riker's Island "Unimaginably Bad" As COVID-19 Tears Through Prison

This weekend we reported that Harvey Weinstein had tested positive for coronavirus just days after being transported out of Riker's Island prison in New York, where 38 people had been infected with COVID-19 and another 58 inmates were under observation.

On Monday, Brooklyn public defender Scott Hechinger reported that conditions at the notorious pr

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ison are "unimaginably bad" thanks to the extremely tight quarters, lack of sanitation, and unavailability of protective medical gear.

See the rest below, or click above tweet to scroll through thread:

  • People trapped on Rikers right now are sleeping close enough to reach out and touch the next person.

  • People trapped on Rikers right now are being served food on dirty food trays.

  • There is one toilet for every 29 people trapped on Rikers Island right now.

  • People jailed on Rikers right now who are asking to be tested are not getting tested.

  • While eating, people on Rikers are forced to sit four to a table. No possibility of social distancing while sleeping or eating.

  • Those serving the food on Rikers are not wearing masks (and, therefore, possibly contaminating the food). The food also is coming in from other buildings increasing the likelihood of contamination.

  • After one of the people in their dorm tested positive for Coronavirus and was taken out, Rikers staff did not clean the general areas.

  • People are being housed with others with flu-like symptoms and there is no recourse. When people ask to be transferred to correctional health services, they are being told that there aren't enough escorts.

  • Just spent the last hour talking to another colleague about Rikers conditions. "It is like a fucking slave ship. It makes me want to fucking cry. They can't even wash their hands. It is insane that this day & age we treat human beings this way. This is shameful."

  • We heard from our social worker colleagues today that videoconferences w/ the people we represent on Rikers have now been suspended indefinitely. Were not allowed on the island. The only way we had to communicate & access information on the inside is now gone. I'm really worried.

  • Right now, there are 5,294 people jailed on Rikers. Mayor de Blasio today announced he agreed to release 75 people. He's looking at a list (we have no idea who is on this list) of a couple hundred.

  • Imagine the feeling you have these days when you go to the grocery store. I'm wearing gloves & a mask. Even then, I'm keeping my distance. Social distancing in jail is impossible. Sanitation is non-existent. No gloves. No mask. Just hundreds of people coughing on each other.

  • 5,294 humans are locked up on Rikers already at extreme risk of contracting this deadly illness. With no precautions whatsoever. Nearly guaranteed to be exposed. And spreading that deadly illness to guards & other staff, who cycle in & out daily. Our leaders are doing NOTHING.

  • While we are taking steps to prevent COVID-19 infection in our community to stay inside, social distance, and be vigilant with sanitization, these efforts will be worthless if we don’t act rapidly to prevent infection in Rikers.

  • To stem the spread of this deadly virus, we must drastically reduce the number of people in jail and limit new admissions to exceptional circumstances. And we must do so now. This is a matter of life and death.

  • Significantly fewer people in jail (not 75, not hundreds, but thousands) will: Limit spread of COVID-19 infection among people in custody & those who work there. Minimize people in custody who will need medical care. Decrease density of housing areas for people who remain.

  • Governor Cuomo could do the same as New Jersey right now. On Rikers: 500+ are serving short jail sentences for low level offenses. He could grant clemency to all. 666 are jailed for technical parole violations. He could order parole to release them. Thats 1000+ like that.

  • Note how I'm not bringing up those jailed pretrial, presumed innocent, charged w/ misdemeanors & non-violent felonies. Why? Bail reform just enacted in January 2020 has kept 1000s charged w/ these low level offenses home w/ their families, jobs & homes, & free from Coronavirus.

  • But what about those jailed pretrial on "violent" felonies? Not one of them would be eligible for death if ever convicted. And no one. I repeat: NO ONE, deserves to be infected by a deadly virus by virtue of the deliberate indifference of those w/ the power to do something.

  • I'm exhausted.

  • I have to wrap this up.

  • If we all have, and most critically right now, our leaders, have the courage to do what is necessary and what is right, at some point, hopefully soon, this pandemic will be behind us. But we cannot then just go back to business as usual.

  • The spread of Coronavirus has exposed the inhumanity, waste, and danger of a criminal legal system that has completely ignored humanity and public.

Tyler Durden

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 17:05

Credit Suisse MD Dies In Freak Accident After Slipping Through Chairlift And Being Suffocated By His Own Jacket

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Credit Suisse MD Dies In Freak Accident After Slipping Through Chairlift And Being Suffocated By His Own Jacket

Almost exactly 10 years ago, we detailed the tragic death of Gerard Reilly in a skiing accident - the point man on Repo 105, the point person for E&Y's "investigation" into the Matthew Lee whistleblower campaign, Lehman's Level 2 and Level 3 asset valuation, the brain behind the idea to spin off Lehman's commercial real

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estate business, Lehman's Archstone investment, and likely so much more:

[Reilly] was skiing alone on the John's Bypass Trail, a connector between the Excelsior and Lower Cloudspin ski runs that's accessible from either the Cloudsplitter Gondola or the Summit Quad chairlift, when he left the trail and hit a tree. A skier following behind Reilly witnessed the incident and contacted ski patrol.

...not only was he was a decent skier but he was over 6'4" tall and wearing a helmet - it may always be a mystery to us how he succumbed to his injuries so fast...

The reason we bring this up is that an investigation continues in Colorado after the death of a skier in the popular tourist town of Vail.

The skier, 46 year old Jason Varnish of New Jersey, was Credit Suisse Managing Director, and served as the bank's global head of prime services risk

In what can only be described as a freak accident, Varnish reportedly died of asphyxia and his death was ruled an accident after he slipped through the seat of the lift and his coat got caught. The incident took place at the Blue Sky Basin section of the Vail Ski Resort. 

The skier reportedly suffocated to death after being "caught in a chairlift" and the incident marks about the 8th skier death in Colorado this year, which marks a pace slightly lower than last year, according to the Washington Post. 

Kara Bettis, local coroner, commented: 

 “We are still investigating how this whole situation happened. According to our initial investigation, the deceased slipped through the seat of the chair lift and his ski coat got caught up in the chair.”

His folding seat was left in the upright position, so when Varnish went to sit down, he slipped through the seat before his coat got caught around his head and neck, cutting off his airway. Ski patrol then performed CPR, but Varnish was pronounced dead at the hospital. 

Joseph Bloch, a Colorado attorney who litigates ski incidents, immediately seemed to blame the operators of the lift:

“They should’ve just hit the stop button, there’s an emergency stop and there’s a slow stop and if they’re doing their job they could hit the slow stop before the guests are loading.”

The lift was closed for the remainder of the day and the following day, but Vail Resorts then released a statement defending its lifts as having been inspected and as properly functioning. 

Beth Howard, the resort's CEO, said:

 “Vail Mountain and the entire Vail Resorts family express our sincere condolences and extend our support to the guest’s family and friends.”

Nice touch, Beth. At least you didn't offer the family free lift tickets...

But,  more seriously, we are sure it's just a coincidence that 10 years after the man at the center of the Lehman debacle dies mysteriously, a very senior Credit Suisse MD dies in a freak accident as the bank faces ongoing issues from its 'spying' scandal (just 5 months after 'the spy' was found dead.)

Tyler Durden

Thu, 02/20/2020 - 04:15

A Global Paradox: "The Great Muddling Through" Continues

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A Global Paradox: "The Great Muddling Through" Continues

Via The ZMan blog,

When one era ends and another begins is always a hot topic for historians and academics, because history does not make it easy. The old staggers on for a long time, despite it having become pointless or exhausted. The new is not always ready to take center stage, so it is never clear as to when it started. It is Sorites Paradox. Just as we know

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there is a point where grains of sand eventually become a heap, we know one epoch gives way to another, but exactly when is impossible to say.

Of course, while you are in such a transition period, it is even more difficult to know when the old has finally receded into the past and when the new has begun. History is full of false starts and false transitions. Ideologues are always sure the great transition is right around the corner. For the people living through a transition, it just feels like a “great muddling through” for those aware of what’s happening. For the rest it is just the way things are, as they try to not to think about such things.

Whether we are in such a great transition is hard to know for certain, but people who think of such things are thinking about it. This paper on how NATO can adapt to the populist era is such an example. It is written by Jeff Giesea, someone who has been on the edges of populist politics in America. The focus on the paper in how NATO can adapt to the rise of populism in Europe in order to maintain itself and address some of the issues that give rise to populist movements.

NATO is a great example of why marking the end of one period and the start of the next is so difficult, especially for the people living through it. The senior administrative staff in NATO probably started their careers in the Cold War. Many of the senior political leaders in the West are still people who came of age in that era. NATO has already outlived the Cold War and now may be outliving the age of globalism. It is a legacy institution that still staggers on for no obvious reason.

That’s why they invest time and money thinking about how the institution can adapt to the new age, whatever one calls it. What started as a temporary alliance among Western nations to guard against Soviet aggression in Europe, is now a permanent part of the European landscape. It’s like a union job or a government contract. No one wants to see it end. The Red Army is long gone, but NATO remains ready for them if they ever reappear on the European Plain.

It is a good example of the problems of post-nationalism. NATO was always a national entity, designed to defend nations. In a world without borders, having a military organization built for defending borders makes little sense. Critics of the organization always point to the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the bigger problem for NATO is that it is rooted in the concept of sovereign nations. Each member contributes men, material, bases and money to maintain a joint military force.

In a world where European countries don’t have control of control over their own budgets and cannot mint their own coins, how can they possibly have an active voice in a military alliance? Italy, for example, has to get permission from Brussels to operate a new landfill or power plant. The EU regulates the acceptable size of bananas and how much can be spent on picking up dog droppings. Globalism reduced nations to dependents with no agency of their own.

NATO also underscores a hidden truth about globalism and that is it only exists because the American empire exists. NATO exist because America keeps it going. If America ever started acting like a real country again, it would abandon legacy entities like NATO, as they serve no national interest. The same is true about globalism. The EU has been allowed to flourish, because it enjoys American protection. Take that protection away and Europe returns to a continent of nations.

It’s also an example of how the people muddling through a transition period may be all wrong about what they are noticing. The conventional wisdom says the world is transitioning from nationalism to post-nationalism. Global entities will supplant nation states and global corporations will manage the global economy. These populist uprisings we see in the West are just rearguard actions by those who will not be part of the glorious multicultural global paradise that is tomorrow.

In reality, we may be living through the opposite. The Cold War era may have been the globalist era, dominated by two great democratic empires. On the one side was the democracy of communism. On the other was the democracy of natural rights. First the Soviet Empire collapsed and now the American Empire is receding. The flurry of cosmopolitan globalism is not a rearguard action, but more like the scavengers profiting from the end of that great epoch in Western history.

What is called populism today is simply the West waking up from the long slumber that was the great battle between two empires. Generations of Europeans sublimating national interests for a common defense are now waking up from that period to assert those interests again. In the US, regional and now racial interests that have long been suppressed are bubbling up to the surface. Just as NATO is an entity from a bygone era, cosmopolitan globalism is the echo of a bygone age.

Tyler Durden

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 21:45

Trump Supporters Attacked After Van Plows Through GOP Voter Registration Tent In Florida

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Trump Supporters Attacked After Van Plows Through GOP Voter Registration Tent In Florida



Approximately six Trump supporters were attacked in the parking lot of a Jacksonville, Florida Walmart Saturday afternoon at around 3:50 p.m. when a man in his 20s plowed through a voter registration tent, according to the local Sheriff's Office.






JSO: White man, 20’s, drives through voter registration tent for local GOP, endangering peop

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le & damaging tent, tables. No injuries. When asked if this was politically motivated: “At this point we don’t know the motivation of the suspect but the investigation is just starting.” pic.twitter.com/1qMQHnnS9t

— Russell Colburn (@RussellANjax) February 8, 2020







The duke of URL: Zoom meetups' info leaked out through eavesdrop hole

logicfish Security duke zoom meetups info leaked through eavesdrop hole All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
Now patched, but yikes. For our next meeting, let's dial in from a phone box

Video-conferencing outfit Zoom had a major vulnerability in its URL scheme that miscreants could exploit to eavesdrop on private meetings.…


2015-member database floats off through breach in Royal Yachting Association's hull

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Change your passwords, ye scurvy-free non-landlubbers

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has told members that "an unauthorised party" may have pilfered a database containing personal information from 2015.…


Dollar Dips As Trump-Macron Agree On Tariff "Truce" Through Year-End

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Dollar Dips As Trump-Macron Agree On Tariff "Truce" Through Year-End

According to a French diplomat, French President Macron and US President Trump have agreed a truce in their dispute over digital taxes that will mean neither side imposes punitive tariffs this year.

As a reminder, France decided in July to apply a 3% levy on revenue from digital services earned in France by firms with revenues of more than 25 million

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euros ($28 million) in France and 750 million euros worldwide.

After concluding that the tax on digital revenues - that hits large American tech companies including Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.com - unfairly discriminated against US tech companies, the Trump administration had threatened to impose 100% tariffs on up to $2.4 billion of French imports, including champagne.

But, if the diplomat and Macron's tweet are to be believed, both sides have de-escalated...

“Great discussion with @realDonaldTrump on digital tax,” Macron said in a tweet.

“We will work together on a good agreement to avoid tariff escalation."

The dollar dipped back to unchanged on the news...

The two countries will continue negotiations along with their European partners until the end of 2020 in order to agree a global framework that ensures tech companies pay an appropriate amount of tax, the diplomat said.

Tyler Durden

Mon, 01/20/2020 - 14:11


Technology Internet


In "Spectacular" Jail Break, 75 Prisoners Including 6 Contract Killers Flee Paraguay Jail Through Tunnel

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In "Spectacular" Jail Break, 75 Prisoners Including 6 Contract Killers Flee Paraguay Jail Through Tunnel

Someone has been watching too many reruns of The Shawshenk Redemption.

In a dramatic prison escape that would make both Andy Dufresne and El Chapo proud, no less than 75 prisoners, all members of a violent Brazilian gang - one of South America's most notorious - which also included six contract killers, launched what Bloomber

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g called a "spectacular jail break" in Paraguay.

The Pedro Juan Caballero city jail entrance on Jan. 19 after dozens of inmates escaped; Photo: AP.

According to the newspaper ABC, the prisoners pulled a page out of one of Stephen King's most popular stories, and fled through a large tunnel.

Or maybe they didn't, because as the country's Interior Minister Euclides Acevedo told the TV station Telefuturo, the tunnel, which started in a cell and ended outside the prison walls, may have been a decoy to mask the fact that most of the escapees simply walked out of the main door. And as an indication of the sheer chaos and corruption in Latin America's penal system, investigators believe some of the former inmates may even have left the prison in previous days.

The escaped prisoners were members of the drug gang First Command of the Capital, known as PCC, Justice Minister Cecilia Perez told Telefuturo; the gang, sporting more than 10,000 members, is one of Brazil’s largest criminal organizations. The PCC dominates the drug trade and prisons in Sao Paulo and in recent years has expanded its operations into other countries including Paraguay; in 2012, the group unleashed a wave of violence that included more than 200 murders in protest of the election of Fernando Haddad as Sao Paulo’s mayor.

After the escape, no less than five prison guards were arrested and the head of the prison - who was conveniently on holiday at the time - as been fired, news channel NPY reported.

That said, if Andy Dufresne's historic jailbreak was indeed the inspiration for the escape, then the Paraguay version appears to have been the work of rank amateurs: as Bloomberg notes, the tunnel was the work of days if not weeks, as the amount of soil shifted could not have passed unnoticed and was easily visible from the prison corridor, Perez explained as television images showed dozens of bags of soil piled up in a cell.

Clothes are seen in a tunnel entrance where inmates escaped from Pedro Juan Caballero city jail. Source: AP

Yet even if this particular escape was more luck than skill, we are confident the same group will have ample opportunity to show off its capabilities in the near future. According to InSight Crime, which investigates organized crime in Latin America, the PCC has also been blamed for several large heists including the biggest armed robbery in Paraguay’s history, in which the headquarters of security company Prosegur in Ciudad del Este was attacked by a gunmen who broke in using long tunnels and walked away with $40 million in an assault that was carried out with a wide array of weapons, including AK 47s, C4 explosives, infrared weapons, snipers and even anti-aircraft guns and a helicopter. We described that particular robbery in April 2017 in "In "Spectacular Heist" Dozens Of Heavily-Armed Robbers Steal $40 Million From Paraguay Vault."

In 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported that the PCC was trying to recruit members of Colombia’s FARC rebel group for their expertise in heavy weaponry.

Tyler Durden

Sun, 01/19/2020 - 22:30

Tanker Operators Suspend Travel Through Strait Of Hormuz

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Tanker Operators Suspend Travel Through Strait Of Hormuz

Following Iran's decision to lob missiles at US-Iraqi bases last night, several major tanker operators have suspended sailing through the Straits of Hormuz, the site of several tanker attacks last year.

Petrobras, Bahri - Saudi Arabia's state-run tanker operator - and other tanker companies have suspended sailing through the Straits of Hormuz, WSJ reports, citing unidentif

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ied people familiar with the matter.

Meanwhile, Gulf officials are already trying to convince the world that there's nothing to worry about in what's essentially a tinderbox inside another tinderbox. United Arab Emirates’ Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said on Wednesday he saw no immediate risk to oil passing through the critical gateway through which 20% of the global supply of crude travels. al-Mazrouei made the comments on the sidelines of a conference in Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital.

The source of their concerns is clear: Iran carried out its "retaliation" for the killing of General Suleimani last night - though the Pentagon has confirmed that there have been no American casualties from Iran's strikes. However, many fear that Iran isn't finished with its retaliation.

Mazrouei added that OPEC was not discussing any precautionary steps at the moment, but would re-evaluate the situation if a supply shortage emerged, according to Reuters. He said earlier that the global oil market was well supplied.

Oil prices initially moved higher after last night's attacks, but prices have since settled, and the market largely ignored the news about the tanker suspensions, as it was already largely priced in.

On Tuesday, Washington warned about "the possibility of Iranian action against US maritime interests" in the Middle East.

"U.S. commercial vessels are advised to exercise caution and coordinate vessel voyage planning for transits of the Persian Gulf and nearby waterways," the U.S. Maritime Administration said in a statement on its website.

UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace over the weekend sent two warships to the Strait of Hormuz to prevent attacks on British-flagged tankers.

The cancellations mark an apparent about face after WSJ reported earlier on Tuesday that tanker operators in the region didn't expect their ships to be targeted in the near term as part of any tit-for-tat escalation between Iran and the US.

"The Middle East is like a powder keg, but we don’t expect any attacks on tankers, at least for now," said an executive at a Europe-based operator of more than two dozen tankers. "We’ve had some verbal assurances [from Iran] that ships won’t be hit, so we keep our fingers crossed."

It's understandable that the industry is on edge: Ship insurers have already paid out more than $100 million in compensation over last year’s attacks. Meanwhile, daily tanker freight rates soared in September from $18,500 to more than $200,000 after Trump slapped sanctions on tankers run by a unit of Chinese state-owned Cosco Shipping Energy Transportation Co., one of the world’s largest tanker companies, for allegedly violating sanctions.

Freight rates have since settled between $80,000 and $120,000, depending on the ship. But with the region set to remain turbulent, analysts expect rates to remain "elevated" for the foreseeable future.

Tyler Durden

Wed, 01/08/2020 - 07:16

1000s Stranded On Beach Encircled By Flames As Bushfires Blaze Through Australia

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1000s Stranded On Beach Encircled By Flames As Bushfires Blaze Through Australia

Thousands of tourists and locals were left stranded on a beach in southeast Australia on Tuesday as bushfires ravaged a popular tourist area, leaving no escape by land.

The Epoch Times' Katabella Roberts reports, up to 4,000 people are trapped on the foreshore of the encircled seaside town of Mallacoota, in the E

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ast Gippsland region of Victoria, where authorities said nearby fires were manifesting extreme self-generating thunderstorms and “ember attacks.”

On Monday, Victoria’s Emergency Management Commissioner, Andrew Crisp, told residents and holidaymakers to leave the area by 9 a.m. or risk being stranded. However, in a later update he said it was now “too late” to get out of the area safely.

Firefighters were deployed to protect those stranded on the beach, and preparations are underway for a sea or airborne evacuation if needed.

“We’ve got three strike teams in Mallacoota that will be looking after 4,000 people down on the beach there. We’re naturally very concerned about communities that have become isolated,” he added.

Hundreds of people have taken to social media to share apocalyptic images of the area, which is currently blanketed in a thick cloud of red haze.

It comes after authorities warned up to 30,000 tourists currently visiting the area to leave as strong winds pushed an emergency-level bushfire towards the town.

The fire moving towards Mallacoota began at Wingan River on Sunday and spread rapidly towards the coast, RNZ reported.

Meanwhile, in a press conference on Tuesday, Premier Daniel Andrews said that four people are currently missing in Victoria.

“There are a number of people who remain unaccounted for—four people, and of course we have fears for their safety,” Andrews said.

“We cannot confirm their whereabouts, but as soon as we can bring any further information to you, then, of course, we will do that.”

Andrews also asked Prime Minister Scott Morrison for military assistance amid the raging fires, suggesting naval vessels help get supplies to isolated communities or heavy-lift aircraft to work alongside the state’s air fleet.

1030am at Mallacoota

However, no decisions regarding military assistance have been finalized as of yet.

On Monday, around 100,000 people were urged to flee five Melbourne suburbs. The swirling bushfires killed a volunteer firefighter who was battling a separate blaze in the countryside.

Another volunteer firefighter from the New South Wales Rural Fire Service also died on Monday when the truck he was traveling in was overturned by strong winds and crashed at Jingellic, about 110 kilometers (68 miles) east of Albury.

Authorities named him as 28-year-old Samuel McPaul, who was reportedly expecting his first child in May with his wife, Megan, whom he married last year.

Two of his male colleagues, aged 39 and 52, also suffered burns in the incident but are said to be in a stable condition.

Another eight people have been killed so far this fire season, while more than 1,000 homes have been destroyed, according to local reports.

Tyler Durden

Tue, 12/31/2019 - 18:30


Disaster Accident


IG Report Confirms Brennan Lied Through His Teeth About Steele Dossier

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IG Report Confirms Brennan Lied Through His Teeth About Steele Dossier

While the hotly anticipated IG 'FISA' report was perhaps the world's loudest wrist-slap - resulting in just one criminal referral despite a mountain of evidence that the FBI's top brass made serious errors while investigating the Trump campaign, The Federalist's Madeline Osburn points out that former CIA director John Brennan was just

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caught in a lie when he said they did not rely on the infamous Steele dossier for the Obama administration's Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA).

The ICA report - thrown together over the course of a month, was used to inform President Barack Obama and then-President-elect Donald Trump in January, 2017 of Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 US election.

And according to Monday's FISA report, there was significant discussion on whether to include the Steele dossier in the main body of the ICA report - with former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe saying that "he felt strongly that the Steele election reporting belonged in the body of the ICA, because he feared that placing it in an appendix was ‘tacking it on’ in a way that would ‘minimiz[e]’ the information and prevent it from being properly considered."

Ultimately, the ICA included a short summary and assessment of the dossier, which was incorporated in an appendix. “In the appendix, the intelligence agencies explained that there was ‘only limited corroboration of the source’s reporting’ and that Steele’s election reports were not used ‘to reach analytic conclusions of the CIA/FBI/NSA assessment,'” the IG report states. -The Federalist

Brennan's lie

Several months after the ICA report was released, on May 23, 2017, Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee that the CIA did not rely on the Steele dossier for the ICA report "in any way."

Mr. Gowdy: Do you know if the Bureau ever relied on the Steele dossier as any — as part of any court filings, applications, petitions, pleadings?

Mr. Brennan: I have no awareness.

Mr. Gowdy: Did the CIA rely on it?

Mr. Brennan: No.

Mr. Gowdy: Why not?

Mr. Brennan: Because we — we didn’t. It wasn’t part of the corpus of intelligence information that we had. It was not in any way used as a basis for the Intelligence Community assessment that was done. It was — it was not.

(via The Federalist)

Except, on Page 179 of the FISA report we find that former FBI Director James Comey told investigators that he remembers being "part of a conversation, maybe more than one conversation, where the topic was how the [Steele] reporting would be integrated, if at all, into the IC assessment." 

Comey added that Brennan and other officials argued that the Steele dossier was found credible by intelligence community analysts, and that while they did not want to include it in the main body of the ICA, "they thought it was important enough and consistent enough that it ought to be part of the package in some way, and so they had come up with this idea to make an [appendix]. 

Tyler Durden

Mon, 12/09/2019 - 15:00

An Independent Ukraine's Painful Journey Through The Five Stages Of Grief

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An Independent Ukraine's Painful Journey Through The Five Stages Of Grief

Via The Saker blog,

In my July 25th article “Zelenskii’s dilemma” I pointed out the fundamental asymmetry of the Ukrainian power configuration following Zelenskii’s crushing victory over Poroshenko: while a vast majority of the Ukrainian people clearly voted to stop the war and restore some kind of peace to the Ukraine, the real levers of power in the

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post-Maidan Banderastan are all held by all sorts of very powerful, if also small, minority groups including:

  1. The various “oligarchs” (Kolomoiskii, Akhmetov, etc.) and/or mobsters

  2. Arsen Avakov’s internal security forces including some “legalized” Nazi death squads

  3. The various non-official Nazi deathsquads (Parubii)

  4. The various western intelligence agencies who run various groups inside the Ukraine

  5. The various western financial/political sponsors who run various groups inside the Ukraine

  6. The so-called “Sorosites” (соросята) i.e. Soros and Soros-like sponsored political figures

  7. The many folks who want to milk the Ukraine down to the last drop of Ukrainian blood and then run

These various groups all acted in unison, at least originally, during and after the Euromaidan.  This has now dramatically changed and these groups are now all fighting each other.  This is what always happens when things begin to turn south and the remaining loot shrinks with every passing day.

Whether Zelenskii ever had a chance to use the strong mandate he received from the people to take the real power back from these groups or not is now a moot point: It did not happen and the first weeks of Zelenskii’s presidency clearly showed that Zelenskii was, indeed, in “free fall“: instead of becoming a “Ukrainian Putin” Zelenskii became a “Ukrainian Trump” – a weak and, frankly, clueless leader, completely outside his normal element, whose only “policy” towards all the various extremist minorities was to try to appease them, then appease them some more, and then even more than that.  As a result, a lot of Ukrainians are already speaking about “Ze” being little more than a “Poroshenko 2.0”.  More importantly, pretty much everybody is frustrated and even angry at Zelenskii whose popularity is steadily declining.

Factors beyond “Ze’s” control:

Still, it would be an oversimplification to bring it all down to Zelenskii’s total lack of experience in politics.  There are objective factors which make any kind of resolution of the Ukrainian problem very complicated, even for a very strong and principled leader.  Here are some of them.

1. Ukraine is a completely artificial country composed of no less than 4 different regions: the western Ukraine (Lvov), the southern Ukraine (Odessa, Nikolaev), the eastern Ukraine (Donbass) and the north-central Ukraine (Kiev).  It is important to stress here that these regions do not have well-defined borders so one map might show them quite differently from another one.  Here are three examples to illustrate this point:

2. The concept of an “independent Ukraine” has always been based on strong ideological founding myths. For example, the expression “independent Ukraine” is a contradiction in terms since in order to be a “ukraine” – that is a frontier/border region, you need to be “the ukraine of something”, of some other entity, like say “Serbian Krajina in Croatia” or the “Siberian Ukraine” in Siberia.   These myths include all the silly stuff we have already heard (the ancient “Ukrs” built the pyramids, spoke proto-Sanskrit, taught Buddha, dug the Black Sea, came from Mars, were mentioned by Herodotus [who himself was Ukrainian] etc. etc. etc.) but also a few absolutely crucial recent founding myths including:

  • The Euromaidan was a “revolution for dignity” which was supported by the vast majority of the people of the Ukraine.  All the shots that day were fired by “Russian agents”.

  • The war in the East was started when Russian agents seized official buildings and guns leading to a “covert invasion” (whatever that means) of the Russian armed forces.

  • The so-called “LDNR” leaders are Russian FSB agents, mafia thugs and terrorists who oppress the local population which does not support them.

  • The Ukrainian armed forces defeated the “Russian hordes” and successfully stopped “Putin” who was planning to invade the entire Ukraine.  The Russians still have such plans and are ready to strike.

  • The new and improved Ukrainian armed forces are ready to liberate every inch of Ukrainian land.

  • The White European Ukraine stands ready to defend Europe against the Russian Asiatic hordes threatening it.

  • The “entire world” (no less!!) is united against Russia in support of the Ukraine.

  • The Donbass and Crimea will be liberated from the Russian invaders and their local collaborators who will all be carefully interrogated in special filtration camps and all the disloyal elements will be eliminated.

This gentlemen is, according to Ukronazi propaganda, a “defender of Europe from the Russia Asiatic hordes”

3. Now this set of ideological imperatives makes for a very easy to understand “program” for low-IQ wannabe storm-troopers, but it makes for an insurmountable set of obstacles to the Minsk Agreements or the Steinmeier Formula (which is simply an explication of the terms of the Minsk Agreements). The fact that it was “their” President (Poroshenko) who gave his approval to both of these makes no difference to the nationalists.  The main psychological/ideological problem is that the Minsk Agreements and the Steinmeier Formula both obligate the regime in Kiev to negotiate directly with the leaders of the LDNR.  So far, nobody in the powerful minorities mentioned above is ready for such a compromise.  Why?  Simply because IF the government in Kiev finally agrees to talk with the Novorussians then the entire recent ideological basis for the Euromaidan (mentioned above) comes tumbling down.  IF the LDNR leaders are not Russian agents and terrorists, then they represent the people of Novorussia and if the people of Novorussia have elected these people, then it is the people of Novorussia who want nothing to do with the ugly “Banderastan” which the AngloZionists and the Ukronazis attempted to impose upon the people of the Ukraine in a bloody (and, not to mention, totally illegal) coup.

The Russian narrative is winning

Another major problem for Zelenskii are two competing narratives: the Ukronazi one and, shall we say, the “Russian” one.  I have outlined the Ukronazi one just above and now I will mention the competing Russian one which goes something like this:

  • The Euromaidan was a completely illegal violent coup against the democratically elected President of the Ukraine, whose legitimacy nobody contested, least of all the countries which served as mediators between Poroshenko and the rioters and who betrayed their word in less than 24 hours (a kind of a record for western politicians and promises of support!).

  • All, repeat, ALL the steps taken to sever crucial economic and cultural links between Russia and the Ukraine were decided upon by Ukrainian leaders, never by Russia who only replied symmetrically when needed.

  • Even with international sanctions directed at her, Russia successfully survived both the severance of ties with the Ukraine and the AngloZionist attempts at hurting the Russian economy.  In contrast, severing economic ties with Russia was a death-sentence for the Ukrainian economy which has now become completely deindustrialized.

  • Now that the Ukraine has been completely deindustrialized, all she can export are either people or land/soil.  In the case of people, we are talking primarily about cheap manual labor and prostitutes to the West and engineers and technical specialists towards Russia (especially engineers and scientists of the now defunct, but formerly very powerful, Ukrainian military industrial complex).  In terms of land/soil, the party “servant of the people” is now advocating a new law which will do to Ukrainian land/soil what the famous “vouchers” did to the Soviet economy: put it all in the hands of crooks and billionaires.

  • Crimea is gone and nothing will ever change that, least of all an attempt by Kiev to reconquer Crimea by force (Crimea is currently one of the most defended spots on the planet).

  • While some western politicians simply cannot make a mea culpa and admit that they completely misread, misunderstood and mismanaged the entire Ukrainian crisis, most folks in the West are already seeing a very simple sentence written on their mental walls: the Ukraine is a dangerous failed state with only one thing left to plunder: the Ukrainian soil.  In contrast, Europe really needs Russia on all levels, from energy to defense.  This is especially true now that Russia and China are embarking on truly gigantic common projects.

  • Russia is now strong enough to take on a combined attack of NATO forces.  The LDNR forces are smaller than the Ukrainian military, but much better trained, commanded, equipped and supported and they are most likely to defeat any Ukronazi attack.  Still, should a Ukrainian attack be successful and the future of the LDNR be at risk, Russia could stop any such invasion without even deploying ground forces into Novorussia.

For Zelenskii or, for that matter, for any other Ukrainian leader the above contradictions are unsolvable and every step taken in a direction of pragmatism, no matter how small (and ALL his steps so far have been small), gets an immediate reaction of outrage and threats by the hardcore Nazis of Poroshenko & Co.

The subtle Ukronazi message to “Ze”

Some of the threats made by these Ukronazis are dead serious and the only person who, as of now, kinda can keep the Ukrainian version of the Rwandan “Interahamwe” under control would probably be Arsen Avakov, but since he himself is a hardcore Nazi nutcase, his attitude is ambiguous and unpredictable.  He probably has more firepower than anybody else, but he was a pure “Porokhobot” (Poroshenko-robot) who, in many ways, controlled Poroshenko more than Poroshenko controlled him.  The best move for Zelenskii would be to arrest the whole lot of them overnight (Poroshenko himself, but also Avakov, Parubii, Iarosh, Farion, Liashko, Tiagnibok, etc.) and place a man he totally trusts as Minister of the Interior.  Next, Zelenskii should either travel to Donetsk or, at least, meet with the leaders of the LDNR and work with them to implement the Minsk Agreements.  That would alienate the Ukronazis for sure, but it would give Zelenskii a lot of popular support.

Needless to say, that is not going to happen.  While Zelenskii’s puppet master Kolomoiskii would love to stick this entire gang in jail and replace them with his own men, it is an open secret that powerful interest groups in the USA have told Zelenskii “don’t you dare touch them”.  Which is fine, except that this also means “don’t you dare change their political course either”.

So what might happen next?

The personal future of Poroshenko and his Ukronazis will be decided in the USA.  If Trump prevails over the Clinton-Biden gang, then there is a tiny theoretical chance that a joint “go ahead” between the US and Russia could give Zelenskii the go-ahead to begin denazifying the Ukraine.  I find this hypothesis most unlikely.  Failing that, Russia will embark on a policy of unilateral actions and decisions.  What might these be?

To answer that we need to look at Russia’s real conditions (as opposed to the official ones).  They are pretty straightforward:

  1. Crimea is Russian forever

  2. Kiev will not be allowed to seize Novorussia by force

  3. The Ukraine will never be allowed to join NATO

  4. Russia will not pay alone for the reconstruction costs of the Ukraine

  5. Russia can live with a unitary, but confederated, Ukraine

  6. Russia can also live with whatever is left following a breakup of the Ukraine

  7. Unless a viable solution is found, and in a reasonable time frame, Russia can, and will, recognize the LDNR and even allow it to re-join Russia (under what kind of status legally is yet to be determined as there are several possible options here)

They first obvious key question here is this: can the AngloZionist Empire do anything to prevent the Russians from achieving their goals as outlined above?

My personal answer is no, the Empire does not have the means to impose something different from what Russia wants, at least not in the Ukraine.  This is not only because of Putin vs the clueless western leaders, it is simply that the Russians have a huge historical and geographical advantage in the Ukraine over any combination of western powers.  True, Russia did pathetically drop the ball, but things are now clearly changing and Russia is now in a rather enviable position in which she can rely mostly on unilateral actions (such as handing out Russian passports) while letting the Ukronazi occupied Ukraine slowly destroy itself.

So what happens if nothing happens?

How do you say “Lasciate ogni speranza, o voi che entrate” in Ukrainian?

And since a (currently entirely theoretical) “united West” can’t do anything to prevent Russia from reaching one of the outcomes acceptable to her, neither can any Ukrainian President, Zelenskii or other.

Right now, the supporters of a Banderastan are going through the famous Kübler-Ross stages of griefs: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance: currently, most of them are zig-zagging between bargaining and depression; acceptance is still far beyond their – very near – horizon.  Except that Zelenskii has nothing left to bargain with.

The prospects for the future of the Ukraine are rather grim, at least in the short to mid term.  What will actually happen is impossible to predict (it is much easier to say what will not happen), but here are a few options I find credible:

A collapse of the central authority followed by a surge in violence and a break-up of the rump-Ukraine into some entity in the West.  The south will probably seek quasi-independence to make business with Russia while most of the violence will take place in the north-central region which is very polarized and only silent because of the fear of the SBU and/or Nazi deathsquads.  As soon as Kiev loses control, these regions are likely to rise up.  If that happens the current line-of-contact will become an international border between the LDNR and the rest of the Ukraine.  Most UN members will not recognize the LDNR (fear of Uncle Shmuel) but one will: Russia.  And that will be the end of the “independent Ukraine” as we know it.

I would never exclude a last minute patriotic coup or, even more likely, counter-coup by Ukrainian patriots in the armed forces, not necessarily one supported by Moscow, but one which will at least replace frankly rather demented Ukronazis with more pragmatic people.  There are plenty of such people in the Ukraine, some are known and some are less known.  If I were “Ze” I would keep an eye on Vadim Rabinovich, not because he is my personal ideal candidate, but because he is very smart and very well connected.  He is not at all popular in the Ukraine, but he has strong support in the West and in Israel.  Check out this rather interesting Wikipedia article on Rabinovich and see why he is a typical “мутный типчик” (roughly, an “unclear” guy – meaning somebody you would suspect of being a crook).  He is unlikely to ever be elected by the people.  But he, or somebody like him, might make a good “anti-Nazi” front-figure for a coup (or counter-coup) should the need for such a figure become useful to the Empire.  By the way, the Kremlin’s reaction to a Rabinovich (or similar) led coup (or counter-coup) would be just like when Iulia Timoshenko came to power: they will work with any person who is a pragmatist and who can deliver on promises.

Finally, a war in the East is always, and by definition, a possibility for as long as a rabidly russophobic regime is in power in Kiev. From a purely military point of view, any Ukrainian attack against the LDNR would be suicidal: either the Novorussians will take care of the attacking force, or the Russians will.    But either way, the Ukrainian attacking force will be destroyed.  From a political point of view, however, such an attack might make sense simply because this would be a gigantic distraction allowing all the Nazi rats to leave the sinking ship and quietly slip away.  Finally, there is no doubt that the Neocons have been dreaming of a (real, not fictional) Russian attack as a way to shock Europe back into total submission to Uncle Shmuel.  This is also why I believe that a Russian counter-attack on Ukrainian forces might be limited to long range strikes (kinetic and electronic) and the imposition of a no-fly zone.

Conclusion: Russia can wait, the Ukraine cannot

It’s really that simple.  In fact, time was always on the Russian side here, even if not necessarily on the side of the people of Novorussia who have suffered through the horrors of this war.  However, it appears now that the Novorussians have been successful in their efforts to turn a hodgepodge of more or less trained militias into a credible and disciplined military force capable of tactical and operational actions, in other words, capable of dangerous counter-attacks.  Finally, Russian policies towards the rump-Ukraine and Novorussia are now all unilateral in nature, which gives Russia a great deal of flexibility.

With a weak leader like “Ze” the Ukraine looks stuck in the no man’s land somewhere between denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  The faster the Ukrainian leaders get to the “acceptance” phase, the less the people of the Ukraine will have to suffer (not that anybody in the Ukronazi leadership cares about the common people).

At the end of all arguments and theories, there is a crucial fact which cannot be ignored: the Euromaidan Revolution (which is what the coup against Yanukovich and the subsequent civil war in the Donbass are) has failed.  In fact, it was stillborn from Day1 being built on an ideology which most Ukrainians did not share.  Furthermore, this revolution alienated the most productive and richest parts of the Ukraine: the Donbass and Crimea.  Next, the Urkonazi regime was soundly defeated by the Novorussian insurgents not once, but twice.  Finally, by severing all economic ties with Russia, the independent Ukraine basically committed seppuku.  None of that can be reversed or easily fixed.

As always, in the battle between ideology and reality the latter prevailed. The outcome of this struggle between ideology and reality was never in doubt, at least not for rational, pragmatic, people, and so the blood and tears of all those who needlessly died, were maimed or had to become refugees will forever remain on the consciences of those who started this “revolutionary fire”: the leaders of the united West.

Tyler Durden

Sun, 11/17/2019 - 07:00


War Conflict


"Panic, Pure Panic" - Chilean Peso Collapses To 800/USD, Blowing Through Record Lows

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"Panic, Pure Panic" - Chilean Peso Collapses To 800/USD, Blowing Through Record Lows

The Chilean peso extended a four-day losing streak on Tuesday, sinking by the most in eight years, to a new record low at 800/USD.

Source: Bloomberg

Bearish market sentiment, political chaos, and a national strike intended to ratchet up pressure on the government and its plans to cha

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nge the constitution...

Source: Bloomberg

Bloomberg reports that Chile has been wracked by more than three weeks of protests and riots against the rising cost of living and inequality. While the government has made concessions, including increased spending and a pledge to draw up a new constitution, it has failed to halt the protests with unions at the state-owned copper company Codelco saying they had downed tools.

“This is panic, pure panic,” said Felipe Alarcon, chief economist at EuroAmerica in Santiago.

“It’s the gringos leaving the country.”

However, Bloomberg reports that Citigroup believes that the Chilean peso is not yet at a stage where BCCh would intervene.

The central bank last stepped into market in 2009, when CLP’s real effective exchange rate was ~9% weaker than the current level (REER was about 3% weaker in 2014-15 vs now and the bank didn’t intervene back then).

Citi adds that Chile’s low growth, low inflation environment means country can afford weaker currency without much discomfort.

But, according to Eurasia, President Ivan Duque’s low political capital “heightens social risks as discontent with the administration will probably increase adherence to a national protest” planned for Nov 21.

Tyler Durden

Tue, 11/12/2019 - 10:00


Business Finance


Rabo: A Look At Markets "Through The Lens Of The Wall"

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Rabo: A Look At Markets "Through The Lens Of The Wall"

Authored by Michael Every via Rabobank,

The Wall Of Memories

Today is Armistice Day in the UK, where those who made the ultimate sacrifice in WW1 are recalled at 11am.

Yesterday was also the anniversary of Kristallnacht - against a backdrop of attacks on synagogues and graves in Germany, Scandinavia, and the US, a

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nd a UK election where anti-Semitism is a major issue.

On top of that, Saturday was the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which marked the end of the Cold War and the triumph of capitalism over Communism.

Yet “Chinese Socialism” has faster internet and trains;

NATO is “brain dead”; US millennials “continue to lose faith in capitalism”, and 70% would vote socialist;

Secretary of State Pompeo’s recent speech (“The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future”) argued “Today, authoritarianism is just a stone’s throw away...We thought free societies would flourish everywhere...Sadly, we were wrong.”; 

and George Soros’s thoughts are similar.

So let’s look at events today through the lens of The Wall.

"In the Flesh?" Markets have kept saying a US-China trade deal is agreed and US tariffs are to be rolled back. We finally heard from US President Trump on Friday. Guess, what? He doesn’t agree.

"The Thin Ice” Trump made clear while he wants a deal, the very best offer is a delay to new 15% tariffs on 15 December. Moreover, the ‘deal’ to that might not happen until 2020 now.

"Another Brick in the Wall, Part 1" A BBC UK poll tracker has the Tories on 38%, Labour on 27%, the Lib Dems on 16%, and the Brexit Party on 9%. So much for the Remain alliance? Moody’s has downgraded the UK’s credit outlook, just to cheer the spirits.

"The Happiest Days of Our Lives" Chinese inflation data over the weekend were terrible. Pork prices surged, pushing headline CPI to a seven-year high of 3.8% y/y. Yet prices elsewhere are sagging, and PPI inflation was -1.6%, meaning deflation.

"Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2" Spain’s general election, meant to resolve gridlock, has produced more of the same – and a collapse of the liberal centre-right Citizens in favour of the Far Right Vox. More far-right Europeans. How has that ever gone wrong before?

"Mother" Angela Merkel commemorated the 30th anniversary of the collapse of The Wall by saying “no wall is too high to be broken down”. She also isn’t much for putting walls up against China’s Huawei, of course – but her own defence minister, and possible successor, disagrees.

"Goodbye Blue Sky" Markets are trading as if there are now no threats to the global economy – ignoring the further slump in Chinese imports and that once the fumes of the CCP’s 70th anniversary pump-priming wear off, the next leg in the global downturn will re-emerge.

"Empty Spaces" With global steel demand falling and over-capacity through the roof, Chinese steel output are up 8.4% y/y to a new record high. And local governments, driving growth via borrowing that can’t be repaid, are defaulting in places.

"Young Lust" …for equities show no signs of disappearing despite these risks…because global central banks are doing the opposite of what was promised in 1989: “Free markets” - Hah!

"One of My Turns" Yet how long until we see the bond market, at least, reverse some of its recent reversal?

"Don't Leave Me Now” You are half-way through the Daily. Stick with it to the end if you can!

"Another Brick in the Wall, Part 3" Bolivia’s president Morales has been forced to stand down after poll fraud accusations. Another partial victory for people power following Lebanon…perhaps some of the 1989 spirit is back(?)

"Goodbye Cruel World" Mainly in the winners though. “How the megacities of Europe stole a continent’s wealth” underlines that globalised free markets see capital and people congregate in key lucky locations as the rest wither away, relatively. The left behind can vote though...

"Hey You" The Ukraine-gate whistle-blower will not be testifying in public. ‘Because impeachment’. The bare-knuckle 2020 fight is now a knife-fight about the post-1989 world.

"Is There Anybody Out There?"…paying attention to Iran deliberately breaking the terms of the nuclear deal? Or of North Korea talking about walking away from talks?

"Nobody Home" Indeed, Israel has got the message from what happened to the Kurds and is preparing for potential war with Iran. Shouldn’t that be risk off at all? No? Really?

"Vera" ECB President Lagarde, pushing Europe to spend money it does not want to, is facing internal pressure for more voting on ECB monetary policy decisions. That will be fun.

"Bring the Boys Back Home"…is what didn’t happen in Syria. US troops just moved to hold Syria’s oil. Why? Don’t ask: we are all too busy with the potential mess of Trump’s impeachment.

"Comfortably Numb"…is how markets want to stay regardless. There is no pain you are receding, etc. And they have some powerful backers singing the same song.

"The Show Must Go On”…as Mike Bloomberg really is going to run for President to keep the post-1989 world safe, at least for billionaires. But not all billionaires. On which note…

"In the Flesh"…Trump will speak Tuesday at the US Veterans Day Parade and before that at the Economic Club of New York. Let’s just say it’s more likely he sounds like Pompeo than Kudlow.

"Run Like Hell"…would be the logical reaction for bond yields if the market understands the breakdown of the post-1989 world order that is implied. Then again, they won’t listen when Trump openly tells them that tariffs are not coming off.

"Waiting for the Worms"…is consequently the position of market bears and bond bulls. Until the real economic data turn south again – which they will sooner than people think.

"Stop"…and think about that before diving in to any year-end momentum chasing.

"The Trial" Yes, it is, waiting for markets to realise the 30th anniversary of The Wall coming down shows many of the gains from that genuine triumph have been squandered, and defeat rammed down the mouth of victory wrapped in a foldable smartphone installed with multiple ‘gig’ economy apps.

"Outside the Wall" Which leads to the question: which side of which wall do you want to be on when they inevitably go back up? Because they can and they will go up, and perhaps as suddenly as The Wall came down. Recall on November 9th 1989, the Morning Star, the British Far Left’s paper of choice, reported: “GDR unveils reform package.”

Tyler Durden

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 11:15

Japanese hotel chain sorry that hackers may have watched guests through bedside robots

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Can we at least turn the thing around before we... y'know?

Japanese hotel chain HIS Group has apologised for ignoring warnings that its in-room robots were hackable to allow pervs to remotely view video footage from the devices.…


Iran? More like Ivan: Brit and US spies say they can see through Turla hacking group's facade

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Russian-backed cell's Middle East campaign pretended to be of a Persian persuasion

British and US spies have blamed Russian hacker group Turla for masquerading as Iranian hackers to launch recent attacks mostly on government systems in the Middle East.…


America 2020 Through 2040...The Era Of The 80+ Year-Old

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America 2020 Through 2040...The Era Of The 80+ Year-Old

Authored by Chris Hamilton via Econimica blog,


  • 2020 through 2040, the US 20+yr/old population is estimated to grow by 15 million fewer than during past 20 years.

  • Of that growth, 48% will be among 80+ year olds, 28% among 70 to 80 year olds, and just 28% among those aged 20-70 years old.

  • Read More

  • The implication for future employment is a drastic 70% deceleration of potential employment growth over the next two decades.

In a nation with twin trade deficits and budget deficits, the simplest of means to gauge potential growth, is to gauge the growth of the consuming population.  The chart below details the changing demographic picture in the United States.  According to UN and Census estimates, from 2020 to 2040, there will be little to no growth among the population of young (0-20yr/olds, green line) as I recently detailed How Low Will US Births Go?, likewise for the child-bearing population (20-40yr/olds, blue line).  Meanwhile the post childbearing but still working 40-70yr/olds (grey line) will rise but the largest population increases will be among the 70-80yr/olds (yellow line), and particularly among the 80+yr/olds (red line).  So what?

Breaking the above growth into twenty year periods by age segments and folding the 20 to 70 year-olds into one grouping, below, you can see how the next twenty years are nothing like the US has ever seen before.  The 70+ year old population will rise by 24 million versus just an increase of 9 million among the 20 to 70 year-old working age population.  However, even among the elderly, the bulk of the growth will be among the ultra-elderly 80+ year olds, representing nearly 50% of all total population growth over the next two decades.

Why do I mention this?  I just happen to catch this CLOWN on CNBC yesterday talking absolute nonsense.  The headline read, "Millennials are about to trigger a major ‘changeover point’ for the US economy, asset manager says".  Mr. Smead suggested if you "just do the math"...millennials are about to rock the US economy and...“In 20 years, there is going to be way more payers into the social security system and there is going to be way fewer taker-outers — and that problem will solve itself through demographics.”  Apparently, Mr. Smead had not done the math.  However, CNBC appeared to have no problem allowing his ignorant statements and hawking his services based on entirely erroneous statements.  Hmmm.

Why This Matters

Every age group has a general labor force participation rate (detailed by the BLS HERE), forming a bell curve, from low participation among 15 to 24 year-olds, peak participation among 35 to 44 year-olds, and collapsing among 65+ year-olds.  So, when there is minimal population growth among the working age populations, and those age groups that do all the work, are at historical peaks of employment to population size (chart below)...and the bulk of population growth will be among those that typically don't work...well, we have a problem.

But participation rates among the elderly have been rising over the last decade (65 to 74yr/olds rising from 18% to 27% and estimated to rise to 32% by 2028, 75+yr/olds rising from 5% to 9% and estimated to rise to 12% by 2028).  So, if we want to gauge potential employment growth ("just do the math"), it is a simple exercise.  Multiply estimated population growth by age groups and their participation rates...and the simple answer is that over the next twenty years, the maximum number of potential new employees the US can support is about 1/3rd any period since WWII.

This means, at best, the US will have just 1/3rd the potential new home buyers, car buyers, tax payers, etc. etc. than anytime since WWII.  Although this simple truth nor myself (as I have nothing to sell or buy, no "recommendations") is not likely to make it on CNBC or any other "info-mercial" outlet, this is simply "just the math".  This decelerating growth is why rates will only go down, debt plus QE (and other forms of monetization to artificially boost asset prices) only become ever greater.  This substitution of artificial growth for the lack of organic growth is "just the math".

Population data via US Census Population Projections and UN World Population Prospects 2019, Employment data via BLS.

Tyler Durden

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 14:09


Social Issues


Egyptian government caught tracking opponents and activists through phone apps

logicfish Security egyptian government caught tracking opponents activists through phone apps All http://go.theregister.com   Discuss    Share
Intelligence services developed system, says security outfit

The Egyptian government has been targeting and tracking citizens in a sophisticated spying program that allows it to read emails, log contacts and record their location, according to a new report by Check Point.…


Nasdaq, Small Caps Plunge Through Key Technical Levels

zerohedge News nasdaq small caps plunge through technical levels All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
Nasdaq, Small Caps Plunge Through Key Technical Levels

A 'bad' trade headline and suddenly Nasdaq and Small Caps are tumbling below their 50- and 100-day moving averages.

S&P and The Dow have some rom to run yet...

What happens next?

We are going to need a 'good' trade headline stat!

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Tyler Durden

Fri, 09/27/2019 - 13:01


Business Finance


Analytics exec nicked as Ecuador tries to rush through privacy laws after massive data leak

logicfish Security analytics exec nicked ecuador tries rush through privacy laws after massive data leak All http://go.theregister.com   Discuss    Share
Government gave them the deets, so not a hacking charge

The head of Novaestrat, the data analytics company at the centre of the huge leak revealed on Monday involving personal information about more than 20 million Ecuadorian citizens, has been taken into custody.…


Tesla Model S Spotted At Nurburgring Reportedly "Broke Halfway Through A Lap"

zerohedge News tesla model spotted nurburgring reportedly broke halfway through All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
Tesla Model S Spotted At Nurburgring Reportedly "Broke Halfway Through A Lap"

After Porsche announced that its 750 HP Taycan EV, being dubbed a "Tesla-killer", had set a 7:42 time at the Nurburgring, Elon Musk quickly Tweeted out that the Model S would be there the "next week" to make a run of its own.

That's when, unfortunately, Road and Track actually called the Nurburgring, who informed them of the truth at the time:

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that Tesla did not, in fact, have an upcoming track time bookedand that the Nurburgring was instead booked solid for the season. 

But one week later, a Model S was spotted at a shop outside of the Nurburgring with "a clear wicker attached to its trunk lid and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Rs, some of the stickiest and most aggressive tires you can buy today."

But, despite the Model S being at the Nurburgring, Road and Track says they heard the Model S would be instead participating in the Ring's Industry Pool - where timing is "strictly prohibited" and "there's so much traffic that a fast lap is impossible".

Some sources on the ground said that Tesla has booked a private track to set a time for next week. The Nurburgring issued a schedule change for September 21, inserting a new 30 minute private window into a session that was already set for public laps and Ring taxi laps. Carving out time from a public lap session was likely an "expensive proposition" and "guaranteed to make the track money". 

Meanwhile, Musk himself has said that the run probably won't be this week.

Even funnier is that a Model S had already been spotted on the track, but wound up breaking halfway through a lap:

We've also heard that a Model S, likely the one with the wicker and the Cup 2 Rs, was on the track already and was absolutely flying, pulling away from other cars, but broke halfway through a lap.

Many have noted the configuration of the Model S that was spotted near the track, asking the question of whether or not the car would really be setting a record if it doesn't offer its modified configuration to customers. Will the company be running a special edition of the vehicle made just for the Nurburgring? Even better, will the Model S battery swap make an appearance?

Meanwhile, Musk Tweeted early Thursday morning that the Model S he plans on running has 7 seats.

...a claim that was rightfully met with immediate skepticism from social media...

Tyler Durden

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 09:05

CDC Shuts Down Military Lab Studying Ebola, Plague Amid Fears It's Getting Out Through Wastewater

zerohedge News shuts down military studying ebola plague amid fears getting through wastewater All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share

Authored by Daisy Luther via The Organic Prepper blog,

We may not have to wait for a traveler from the Democratic Republic of Congo to visit the United States for an Ebola outbreak. It just might be brought to us by our own military along with the plague and other horrifying germs.

The laboratory at Fort Detrick, the  U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, has been sent a cease-and-desist order by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention after a second inspection show

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ed sloppy handling of deadly germs and viruses.

The CDC inspected the military research institute in June and inspectors found several areas of concern in standard operating procedures, which are in place to protect workers in biosafety level 3 and 4 laboratories, spokeswoman Caree Vander Linden confirmed in an email Friday.

The CDC sent a cease and desist order in July.

After USAMRIID received the order from the CDC, its registration with the Federal Select Agent Program, which oversees disease-causing material use and possession, was suspended. That suspension effectively halted all biological select agents and toxin research at USAMRIID, Vander Linden said in her email. (source)

At this time “no infectious pathogens, or disease-causing material, have been found outside authorized areas.” The New York Times reports that the CDC could not provide more specific details due to “national security reasons.”

What was USMRIID doing wrong?

The laboratory, which is located in Frederick, Maryland, studies different deadly bugs for biological warfare purposes. They have failed inspection specifically by the Federal Select Agent Program, which oversees the possession, use and transfer of biological select agents and toxins that could potentially pose a severe threat to public, animal or plant health.

CDC spokeswoman Kathryn Harben wrote in an email that the Federal Select Agent Program doesn’t comment directly on whether a program is registered or what specific enforcement actions are taken.

“As situations warrant, [Federal Select Agent Program] will take whatever appropriate action is necessary to resolve any departures from regulatory compliance in order to help ensure the safety and security of work with select agents and toxins,” Harben said in the email.

The suspension was due to multiple causes, including failure to follow local procedures and a lack of periodic recertification training for workers in the biocontainment laboratories, according to Vander Linden. The wastewater decontamination system also failed to meet standards set by the Federal Select Agent Program, Vander Linden said in a follow-up email.

The suspension was due to multiple causes, including failure to follow local procedures and a lack of periodic recertification training for workers in the biocontainment laboratories, according to Vander Linden. The wastewater decontamination system also failed to meet standards set by the Federal Select Agent Program, Vander Linden said in a follow-up email.

“To maximize the safety of our employees, there are multiple layers of protective equipment and validated processes,” she said.

Vander Linden could not say when the laboratory would be able to continue research.

“USAMRIID will return to fully operational status upon meeting benchmark requirements for biosafety,” she said in an email. “We will resume operations when the Army and the CDC are satisfied that USAMRIID can safely and consistently meet all standards.” (source)

The problems started with a flood in 2018.

It’s important to note that the USAMRIID facility was flooded in May of 2018.

In May 2018, storms caused a flood at the Fort Detrick facility, seriously damaging its 10-year-old steam sterilization plant, which provides high-tech wastewater management. The plant was offline for months, and the incident resulted in upgraded biosafety procedures. But as Vander Linden told the Frederick News-Post, the new protocols significantly increased “operational complexity” at the facility. The CDC inspection found that the “new procedures were not being followed consistently,” along with the discovery of “mechanical problems with the chemical-based decontamination system, as well as leaks [inside the lab]. (source)


A lab with all sorts of deadly viruses flooded, and most of us never heard a single thing about it. And ever since, the wastewater leaving the lab may or may not have been properly treated by steam sterilization.

What is the lab at Fort Detrick studying?

The USAMRIID is the Department of Defense’s (DoD) lead laboratory for medical biological defense research. Their mission is to “provide leading-edge medical capabilities to deter and defend against current and emerging biological threat agents.” Their vision is to “advance medical biological defense to protect our military and the nation.”

So they study biological warfare from both an offensive and defensive standpoint.

The local news outlet, The Frederick News-Post said:

At the time of the cease and desist order, USAMRIID scientists were working with agents known to cause tularemia, also called deer fly or rabbit fever, the plague and Venezuelan equine encephalitis, all of which were worked on in a biosafety level 3 laboratory. Researchers were also working with the Ebola virus in a biosafety level 4 lab, Vander Linden said.

Of the pathogens, Ebola, bacteria Yersinia pestis (plague), and bacterium Francisella tularensis (tularemia) are on the list of the Health and Human Services select agents and toxins. The three are considered Tier 1 agents, which pose a severe public health and safety threat.

Venezuelan equine encephalitis also falls under the Federal Select Agent Program, according to the Code of Federal Regulations. (source)

Nifty. Just imagine that stuff getting out with the facility’s wastewater.

There’s no word on when operations will resume.

I imagine the good people of Frederick, Maryland aren’t too thrilled to be in the same neighborhood as a laboratory which is sloppily studying all these deadly bugs. This is reminiscent of the rumors about Plum Island and ticks weaponized with Lyme disease, which lawmakers have recently been investigating. And it’s certainly no wonder the people of Manhattan, Kansas didn’t want the research facility being built there.

Every time I see a story like this it reminds me of books like The Stand and movies like Outbreak.  All it takes is one careless laboratory accident – you know, like not sanitizing the wastewater before it leaves the facility – to start something that simply cannot be contained. It looks like all those folks prepping for a deadly pandemic may not be so crazy after all.


Trump: No Asylum For Central Americans Who Travel Through Mexico

zerohedge News trump asylum central americans travel through mexico All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share

In what we suspect will be immediately greeted by an avalanche of "we're a nation of (legal) immigrants" and calls of 'racism' and 'hitler', AP reports that the Trump administration on Monday moved to end asylum protections for most Central American migrants.

According to a new rule published in the Federal Register, asylum seekers who pass through another country first will be ineligible for asylum at the U.S. southern border.

The rule, expected to go into effect Tuesday, also applies to children who hav

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e crossed the border alone.

AP does not, however, that there are some exceptions:

If someone has been trafficked, if the country the migrant passed through did not sign one of the major international treaties that govern how refugees are managed (though most Western countries have signed them)...

or if an asylum-seeker sought protection in a country but was denied, then a migrant could still apply for U.S. asylum.

The new rule also will apply to the initial asylum screening, known as a "credible fear" interview, at which migrants must prove they have credible fears of returning to their home country. It applies to migrants who are arriving to the U.S., not those who are already in the country.

By way of background, things have escalated quite dramatically in the last decade:

  • During the budget year for 2009, there were 35,811 asylum claims, and 8,384 were granted.

  • During 2018 budget year, there were 162,060 claims filed, and 13,168 were granted.

Immigration courts are backlogged by more than 800,000 cases, meaning many people won't have their asylum claims heard for years despite move judges being hired.

As AP notes, the policy is almost certain to face a legal challenge, and we suspect some judge somewhere in California is already drafting the order to strike down this policy, so don't hold your breath for any further slowdown in illegal border crossings.


Uncle Sam accuses Chinese pair of romping through Anthem's servers for almost a year

logicfish Security uncle accuses chinese pair romping through anthems servers almost year All http://go.theregister.com   Discuss    Share
Fujie charged with killing them softly with his scripts. And by them, we mean, the health insurance giant's computers

US prosecutors today formally accused two people of being part of a Chinese hacking crew responsible for one of the biggest cyber-heists in American history.…


A day in the life of London seen through spam and weak Wi-Fi

logicfish Security life london seen through spam weak wi-fi All http://go.theregister.com   Discuss    Share
You've read through the terms and conditions, yes?

Something for the Weekend, Sir?  I arise with thoughts of robots having sex.…


Public spending watchdog snipes at UK.gov's £1.3bn infosec plan – but broadly nods it through

logicfish Security public spending watchdog snipes ukgovs 13bn infosec plan broadly nods through All http://go.theregister.com   Discuss    Share
Less hiding behind 'national security' to hush up failures, please

Britain's Cabinet Office (CO) hasn’t quite bungled the National Cyber Security Programme (NCSP) but it could certainly be doing things a lot better, the National Audit Office said today.…


Who needs malware? IBM says most hackers just PowerShell through boxes now, leaving little in the way of footprints

logicfish Security needs malware says most hackers just powershell through boxes leaving little footprints All http://go.theregister.com   Discuss    Share
Direct-to-memory attacks now account for 57 per cent of hacks, apparently

A company's internal network, once compromised, is now more likely to be ransacked by automated scripts than a piece of malware.…


Apple puts bullet through 'Do Not Track', FaceTime snooping bug and iOS vulnerabilities

logicfish Security apple puts bullet through track facetime snooping vulnerabilities All http://go.theregister.com   Discuss    Share
Patch your iThings – there are at least two holes being exploited right now in the wild

Apple on Wednesday removed the vestigial "Do Not Track" (DNT) privacy technology from Preview Release 75 of its macOS Safari browser, and buried the corpse without ceremony. DNT is also missing from mobile Safari 12.1 in the soon-to-be released iOS 12.2.…


Apple puts bullet through 'Do Not Track', FaceTime snooping bug and other vulnerabilities

logicfish Security apple puts bullet through track facetime snooping other vulnerabilities All http://go.theregister.com   Discuss    Share
Widely ignored privacy grovel gets put out of its misery

Apple on Wednesday removed the vestigial "Do Not Track" (DNT) privacy technology from Preview Release 75 of its macOS Safari browser, and buried the corpse without ceremony. DNT is also missing from mobile Safari 12.1 in the soon-to-be released iOS 12.2.…


What's Farsi for 'as subtle as a nuke through a window'? Foreign diplomats in Iran hit by renewed Remexi nasty

logicfish Security whats farsi subtle nuke through window foreign diplomats iran renewed remexi nasty All http://go.theregister.com   Discuss    Share
Iran, spying on foreigners within its borders? Shocked, shocked, we tell you

A newly uncovered spyware-slinging operation appears to have been targeting foreign diplomats in Iran for more than three years.…

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