Thursday, 23 March 2017

The New Reality.

Baltic Dry Index. 1190 -10   Brent Crude 50.99

LIR Gold Target in 2019: $30,000.  Revised due to QE programs.

Today the new reality of moslem, anti-west, anti-Christian, anti-liberal, hatred. Those out of touch smart-Alec judges in Washington State and Hawaii, who presume to know more about US public safety than President Trump, and the team of professionals in the spook community that monitor Islamic fanaticism daily, are living in a 21st century fool’s paradise.
We open with yesterday’s murder and mayhem in London. Our thoughts, condolences and prayers go out to those directly and indirectly affected.

Wed Mar 22, 2017 | 5:23pm EDT

Vehicle attacks like London easy to organize, hard to prevent

Militants are increasingly turning to vehicle-ramming attacks, like the one staged near Britain's parliament on Wednesday, because they are cheap, easy to organize and hard to prevent.

Experts say the tactic of mowing people down avoids the need to obtain any explosives or weapons and can be carried out by a "lone-wolf" attacker without using a network of fellow militants - all lessening the risk of alerting security agencies.

"This kind of attack doesn't need special preparation, it is very low-cost, within anybody's reach," said Sebastien Pietrasanta, a French Socialist lawmaker and terrorism expert.

"It is often a case of individual action," he told Reuters. "They can be quite spontaneous."

Four people were killed and at least 20 injured in London after a car plowed into pedestrians and an attacker stabbed a policeman close to parliament in what police called a "marauding terrorist attack". The attacker was shot dead.

Trucks were used to devastating effect last year against crowds in Berlin and Nice, in contrast to more organized attacks that have already hit Paris and Madrid - as well as London in 2005 - using teams of bombers or gunmen.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for both the Nice attack last July, when a truck killed 86 people celebrating Bastille Day, and for the Berlin attack in December, when a truck smashed through a Christmas market, killing 12 people.

While no group has yet claimed responsibility for Wednesday's attacks, Islamic State is under intense pressure in Syria and in Iraq, where one of its last strongholds, Mosul, is under assault from Iraqi forces backed by a coalition that Britain is part of.

Islamic State encouraged readers of its online magazine Rumiyah in 2016 to use vehicles to kill and injure.

----Using a car as a battering-ram was a tactic that was highly rated by militants because it was lethal, he said. "With a vehicle, they cause a lot more deaths than with a knife or a machete."

"Attacks today are increasingly unpredictable, with rudimentary weapons, handguns, knives, vehicles," he said.

Anne Giudicelli, head of security consultancy Terr(o)risc in Paris, said the extra vigilance over large cities had helped to spawn a change in the militants' approach.

"Every time you put in place a new measure after an attack or a thwarted attack, the assailants adapt to get around the measures in place and find the gaps," she said.

Tyson Barker, program director with the Aspen Institute thinktank in Germany, said the London attack underscored the difficulty of protecting "soft" targets, and the trade-offs between security and liberty in open Western societies.

Wed Mar 22, 2017 | 7:51pm EDT

Erdogan warns Europeans 'will not walk safely' if attitude persists, as row carries on

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Europeans would not be able to walk safely on the streets if they kept up their current attitude toward Turkey, his latest salvo in a row over campaigning by Turkish politicians in Europe.

Turkey has been embroiled in a dispute with Germany and the Netherlands over campaign appearances by Turkish officials seeking to drum up support for an April 16 referendum that could boost Erdogan's powers.
Ankara has accused its European allies of using "Nazi methods" by banning Turkish ministers from 
addressing rallies in Europe over security concerns. The comments have led to a sharp deterioration in ties with the European Union, which Turkey still aspires to join.

"Turkey is not a country you can pull and push around, not a country whose citizens you can drag on the ground," Erdogan said at an event for Turkish journalists in Ankara, in comments broadcast live on national television.

"If Europe continues this way, no European in any part of the world can walk safely on the streets. Europe will be damaged by this. We, as Turkey, call on Europe to respect human rights and democracy," he said.

Germany's Frank-Walter Steinmeier used his first speech as president on Wednesday to warn Erdogan that he risked destroying everything his country had achieved in recent years, and that he risked damaging diplomatic ties.

---- Another deputy prime minister, Veysi Kaynak, meanwhile criticized Norway for granting asylum to Turkish military officers suspected of links to the religious network accused by Ankara of orchestrating last July's coup attempt.

In dying EUSSR news, it all just keeps going from worse to worser. Happily, Dijsselbloem’s party was a big loser in the Dutch election, and soon he will no longer be Dutch finance minister, and hence ineligible to head up the Eurogroup of finance ministers. Brexit now, before Germany and Turkey declare war,

Wed Mar 22, 2017 | 2:59pm EDT

Eurogroup chairman Dijsselbloem refuses to quit over 'xenophobic' remarks

Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem rejected calls for his resignation led by Portugal's prime minister on Wednesday, but said he regretted comments suggesting southern European countries had squandered their money on "booze and women."

Prime Minister Antonio Costa described Dijsselbloem's remarks as "racist, xenophobic and sexist" and said Europe would lose credibility if the Dutchman did not step down.

The spat has reawakened simmering anger in southern Europe over the harsh austerity some of their countries went through under bailouts during the euro zone debt crisis, pitting creditor nations in the north against the poorer indebted south.

"Europe will only be credible as a common project on the day when Mr. Dijsselbloem stops being head of the Eurogroup and apologizes clearly to all the countries and peoples that were profoundly offended by his remarks," Costa said.

Former Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi and a Spanish lawmaker in the European Parliament, Esteban Gonzalez Pons, echoed Costa. The Spanish legislator called the remarks "a racist and male-chauvinist insult to the southern countries, and their women".

Renzi said: "If he wants to offend Italy he should do it at the sports bar under his house, not in his institutional role."

In the weekend interview, Dijsselbloem said that wealthier northern European countries had showed solidarity with the south during the euro zone crisis by giving them financial aid.

"But whoever demands it, also has obligations. I can’t spend all my money on booze and women and then ask you for your support. This principle holds at personal ... and even European levels," he was quoted as saying.

Wed Mar 22, 2017 | 2:59pm EDT

Dutch government 'remains firmly behind' Eurogroup head Dijsselbloem: official

The Dutch government "remains firmly behind" Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who has come under fire for remarks interpreted as insulting to southern European countries.

"The position has not changed," a government official close to Prime Minister Mark Rutte told Reuters on Wednesday. "Premier Rutte has repeatedly said we are very supportive of Dijsselbloem in his role at the Eurogroup."

At the Comex silver depositories Wednesday final figures were: Registered 39.33 Moz, Eligible 149.95 Moz, Total 189.28 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today, the scandalous, anti-Trump, seditious spook campaign, gets taken to the cleaners by Snowy and Ronald Reagan’s Assistant Treasury Secretary. Time to drain the American War Party swamp before they start a nuclear war with Russia.

“Stop Breaking the Law”: Snowden Raises “Red Flag” over Testimony of NSA and FBI Chiefs

March 20, 2017
Edward Snowden has reacted to the testimony from the directors of the FBI and the NSA discussing whistleblowers before the House Intelligence Committee.

FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Michael Rogers testified before the House Select Committee on Intelligence on Monday. The questioning largely focused on allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election campaign and President Donald Trump’s accusation that his campaign was spied on by the Obama administration.

As the directors of two of America’s most prominent intelligence agencies answered a question about the leaking of classified information to the press, Snowden took to Twitter to raise a “red flag” about their testimony.

“Red flag: NSA Director careful to discuss only who can unmask USP [US persons] identities in reporting, not who can access collection involving USPs, [US persons]” Snowden tweeted.

“How many communications in which at least one participant is American are held by the NSA? The question not answered in Congress today.”

The former NSA contractor commented that the members of Congress asking the questions were conflating legality and morality, saying that while people who leak information may be breaking the law what they do is a moral act.

Snowden then retweeted a tweet from investigative journalist Carl Bernstein, who uncovered the Watergate scandal, which read: “I can state w[ith]/confidence that many intel members now decrying ‘leaks’ of classified info have themselves ‘leaked’ classified info knowingly.”

As Congressman Trey Gowdy asked whether journalists can be prosecuted for reporting on classified information Snowden said: “A member of Congress asked the Director of the FBI if journalists can be imprisoned for doing their jobs. Worse: Comey didn’t say ‘no.'”

Comey went on to claim that people can be deterred from leaking information if they know they could face prison for doing so. “This information can be deterred,” he said “It can be deterred by locking some people up.”

Snowden took issue with this statement, responding “This is simply not true. Even monstrously unjust sentences (Manning) have been shown insufficient to deter the next whistleblower.”
“You want to know how to stop the next whistleblower? Stop breaking the damn law,” he concluded.

Below, a more in depth account of American sedition against President Trump. How the “deep state” really works.

Paul Craig Roberts Exposes "The Conspiracy Against President Trump"

Mar 21, 2017 11:55 PM
Listening yesterday to the broadcast of testimony by FBI Director Comey and National Security Agency Director Admiral Michael Rogers before the House Intelligence Committee (an oxymoron) made it clear that the Democrats, Comey, and Rogers intend conflict with Russia.
The Republicans, for the most part, were interested to know how security leaks targeted at Trump Republicans came from meetings at which only the CIA Director, NSA Director, and FBI director were present. Of course, they did not get an answer, which shows how powerless congressional oversight committees are. Comey repeatedly said that he could not tell the committee anything, because it would confirm that a press leak was true. But, he said, speaking generally and of no specific leak, most leaks come from “someone who heard something” and passes it on to the media, which also explains the inaccuracy of some leaks. In other words, don’t blame us.
The Democrats were out in force to demonize Russia, Putin, and everyone, especially Trump Republicans, who speaks to a Russian even if the person is still a private citizen, as was Gen. Flynn when he recommended to the Russian ambassador that Russia not respond in kind to President Obama’s expulsion of Russian diplomats over Christmas.
The Democrats bestowed yet another demonic title on Putin. In addition to being “the new Hitler,” a “thug,” and a “Mafia don,” today Putin became a “tarantula in the center of the spy web.”
The Democrats’ position was that Flynn, by discouraging a Russian tit for tat, had interfered with the Obama regime’s policy of worsening relations between the US and Russia. Some Democrats saw this as treason. Others saw it as proof that Flynn and Trump are in Putin’s pocket, and still others see it as even worse.
The Democrats were also very concerned about lobbyists, if they be Republican, working for Russian interests, including Tillerson, the Secretary of State. The fact that every country employs lobbyists and that the lobbyists don’t always register as foreign agents, such as Israel’s lobbyists, or if news reports at the time were correct, neocon Richard Perle who represented Turkey in Washington.

Democrats were also after Gen. Flynn for saying that he had not received money from the Russian government. Flynn received a fee for attending the 10th Anniversary celebration of RT in Moscow. Is RT, a news organization, the Russian government? Its budget is supported by the Russian government, but how does this differ from the US government’s support of the budgets of National Public Radio, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Voice of America? Does this mean that everyone who gives an interview to NPR, Radio Liberty, and VOA is an American agent in the pocket of the US president? If you attend a function of one of these organizations, does it make you an “American agent/dupe”? Will there be a list of these people?

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy under President Reagan, and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal.

Newly Obtained Documents Prove: Key Claim of Snowden’s Accusers Is a Fraud

Glenn Greenwald  March 21 2017, 10:23 a.m.
For more than four years, a cottage industry of media conspiracists has devoted itself to accusing Edward Snowden of being a spy for either Russia and/or China at the time he took and then leaked documents from the National Security Agency. There has never been any evidence presented to substantiate this accusation.
In lieu of evidence, the propagators of this accusation have relied upon the defining tactic of tawdry conspiracists everywhere: relentless repetition of rumor and innuendo based on alleged inconsistencies until it spreads far enough through the media ecosystem to take on the appearance of being credible. In this case, there was one particular fiction — about where Snowden spent his first 11 days after arriving in Hong Kong — which took on particular significance for this group.

They insist that Snowden, contrary to what he has always maintained, did not check into the Mira Hotel on May 21, 2013, the day after he arrived in Hong Kong. Instead, they assert, he checked-in only on June 1, which means Snowden has 11 “unaccounted-for” days from the time he arrived in Hong Kong until he met with journalists at the Mira in the beginning of June. They have repeatedly leveraged this Missing Eleven Days into the insinuation that Snowden used this time to work with his Russian and/or Chinese handlers in preparation for meeting the U.S. journalists in Hong Kong.

Technology Update.

With events happening fast in the development of solar power and graphene, I’ve added this section. Updates as they get reported. Is converting sunlight to usable cheap AC or DC energy mankind’s future from the 21st century onwards? DC? A quantum computer next?

Two-dimensional MXene materials get their close-up

Date: March 14, 2017

Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Summary: Researchers have long sought electrically conductive materials for economical energy-storage devices. Two-dimensional (2D) ceramics called MXenes are contenders. Unlike most 2D ceramics, MXenes have inherently good conductivity because they are molecular sheets made from the carbides and nitrides of transition metals like titanium.
MXenes were co-discovered by Michael Naguib, now a Wigner Fellow at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, while pursuing his PhD at Drexel University in 2011. MXene layers can be combined to engineer ultrathin electronics, sensors, batteries, supercapacitors and catalysts. About 20 MXenes have since been reported.
Recently, ORNL scientists using state-of-the-art scanning transmission electron microscopy, or STEM, provided the first direct evidence of the atomic-defect configurations in a titanium-carbide MXene synthesized at Drexel University. Published in ACS Nano, a journal of the American Chemical Society, the study coupled atomic-scale characterization and electrical property measurements with theory-based simulation.
"Using atomic-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy imaging, we visualized defects and defects clusters in MXene that are very important for future nano electronic devices and catalytic applications," said lead author Xiahan Sang of the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS), a DOE Office of Science User Facility at ORNL.
"Atomic-level defects can be engineered into materials to enable new functionalities," said senior author Raymond Unocic of CNMS. "Understanding these defects is critical for advancing materials."
---- To synthesize free-standing MXene flakes, the Drexel team first treated bulk MAX with an etchant of fluoride salt and hydrochloric acid to selectively remove unwanted layers of aluminum from between titanium carbide layers. Then they manually shook the etched material to separate and collect the titanium carbide layers. Each layer is five atoms thick and is made of carbon atoms binding three titanium sheets. Etching and exfoliating MAX produces many of these free-standing MXene layers. This relatively simple technique may enable manufacturing-scale production.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished February

DJIA: 20,812  +133 Up. NASDAQ:  5,825 +120 Up. SP500: 2,364 +115 Up.

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