Friday, September 30, 2016

Jason A Prophecy - THE WORLD IN 2017 - End of America

Internet no longer under U.S. Control by Saturday

It’s a fairytale that ends with the reality of Barack Obama destroying it

Internet no longer under U.S. Control by Saturday

Worse case scenario: When you awaken to face another new day in tumultuous times this Saturday, the Information Highway as we knew it will no longer be at your service.
With computers being all but useless without being hooked up to the Internet, set back by decades, your fingers will someday soon move over the keys of an expensive desk top computer, now essentially turned into a modern day typewriter.
On his way out of the door Barack Obama will have wholly ceded over control of the Internet to UNIDO, (United Nations Industrial Development Organization).
When it is far too late for anyone to do anything about it, history will someday record that Barack Hussein Obama hijacked public access to the Internet before leaving office.
Why he decided to hand over control of the Internet, to an unknown conglomerate of “international stakeholders—held by the United States for all 18 years of ICANN existence—five weeks before Election 2016, remains a dark-sided riddle.
Obama, Hillary Clinton, the global elite and big governments at home and abroad will be able to surf the ‘Net as usual and will be able to retain their IPs, but the masses will be left on the outside looking in.
Ditto for Internet giants like Amazon and Google and others who were getting ahead of the curve four years before the hand-off.
“Icann — the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which oversees a host of Internet-related operations, including the assignment of domain names — today revealed a list of nearly 2,000 top-level domain names that businesses and other organizations have applied to own, as part of a new move to vastly expand the range of domains that can be used. (TechCrunch, June 13, 2012)
“And while some of the applications are coming from the usual suspects among those who already figure in the domain name registration business or want to — 70 from Top Level Domain Holdings, from example, and 307 from newly-funded Donuts — it’s interesting to note that leading tech companies like Amazon, Google, Apple and Microsoft are taking very divergent strategies about how to approach this new chapter in mapping out the web.
“Here’s a rundown of how these and some others have approached the business of registrations, what they’ve registered for, and what might be behind it.
“It appears that Google has named a separate entity, Charleston Road Registry, to manage its gTLD portfolio, because Google, which is already an ICANN-accredited registrar, wants to keep its registry and registrar activities separate. We have contacted Google to ask why and it would not comment.
“But there is some explanation for the breadth of applications in a blog post by Vint Cerf, Google’s “Chief Internet Evangelist” and himself a founding father of Icann (and a former chairman). He notes that Google has applied covering four different areas: its existing trademarks (like .google); domains for its core business (eg .docs); domains for user experience (.youtube); and domains with “creative potential” (eg .lol).
“For Amazon, another company that has applied for dozens of TLDs, it looks like it may have followed a similar strategy to cover trademarks, core business, user experience and “creative potential.” We have contacted Amazon with the question and will update when we hear back.
“Sticking to brands only is definitely the approach taken so far by Microsoft, Samsung, Sony and Apple — which has been particularly conservative, registering only for “.apple”. Other brands like Facebook and Twitter do not appear to have gotten involved at all in this process.
“Some of the registrations, especially those on brand names, may well be made on a defensive basis, to make sure that competitors or others do not park on related TLDs. And — in a process somewhat similar to how some companies buy patents — they may be looking to own certain domains purely as a defensive measure to make sure that others do not get them.
“But on the other hand, the possibilities of what some of these domains might point to are interesting to contemplate. Examples: Is Amazon really looking to develop its own mobile phone? Look, it’s registered mobile, calls and talk. Is Google looking to move into more focused content plays around a specific vertical like the family? Look, it’s registered baby, kid, mom, dad and family.
“Leaving to one side that there are some here that are overlapping (along with many others in the list of nearly 2,000 name applications), there is also something interesting that both Google and Amazon could be trying to do here in their wide-ranging list of names.
“Given that both have already made extensive investments into becoming all-in-one platforms, offering content, cloud services, data management, devices, ecommerce and more, it seems like they are one step away from running their own one-stop shop internet platforms for others that want to go online. They could sell URLs based around those new TDSs and then offer a full suite of services to serve them: hosting, data management, billing, ecommerce, content streaming, voice calls, mobile and more.
“Two more things to remember about the TLDs:

“The first is that there are already some 22 TLDs in use today, but some of them get very little traffic indeed. As Cerf points out, nearly 50 percent of all traffic goes over .com. And as my colleague Sarah says, “All these new TLDs could still flop, too.”
“So some of this may be speculative bubble buying — with bubble prices to match: altogether some $350 million has been sunk into these applications so far, Icann noted in the press conference today.
“The nearly $200,000 pricetag for each registration — although Icann says it can justify the cost, and even help those who feel they should own a domain but cannot afford the application fee — has also caused some controversy for furthering the digital divide. Abe Garver, a principal at Focus Banking, notes: “That there will be negative long-term implications for those (small to middle-sized) retailers that lacked capital to be in the game, is a foregone conclusion.  I predict the new domains will radically change organic search results and further swing the advantage from the haves, to the have nots..not just in the U.S. but around the world.
“In my opinion this watershed event is akin to our Federal Government selling land in our nation’s park system.  The land has never (in my lifetime) been on the market and its future value may be astronomical.  Sure an Internet retailers could expand into a new market with a prime url, however the asset is fungible, meaning it can be sold at a later time for (hopefully) a gain,” he told me in an email exchange.
“The second is that it ain’t over yet. These now need to go through a vetting a decision awarding process that will likely see lots of horse trading and more. And this is just the first round of registrations: there will be more rounds to come.”
Continued below...

Countries like China, Iran and Russia carry big sticks at the United Nations and they will be the biggest beneficiaries in the newly mapped out Internet.
In China, thousands of citizens, including farmers and university students, have been imprisoned for posting to the Internet.
As Roger Aronoff explained: “According to the Epoch Times, the New York-based newspaper owned and run by Chinese-Americans opposed to the Communist regime in China, “Already, the Chinese regime is moving to fill the void left by the U.S. handover—and its new system for governing the internet goes far beyond the responsibilities held by ICANN.” They state that “Over the last two years, Chinese leaders have drafted an authoritarian set of laws that governs every facet of the internet.”
So while you may suffer the ‘Big F’ (Frustration) on trying to navigate your way through on how to retain access to the Internet on Saturday, this is what they’ll be doing in China:
October 1st is the National Day of the People’s Republic of China.
“National Day is a public holiday in the People’s Republic of China to celebrate their national day, and is celebrated annually on October 1. (Wikipedia)
“The PRC was founded on October 1, 1949, with a ceremony at Tiananmen Square. One thing should be noted is that the PRC was not founded on that day, but on September 21, 1949. The Central People’s Government passed the Resolution on the National Day of the People’s Republic of China on December 2, 1949, and declared that October 1 is the National Day.
“The National Day is celebrated throughout mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau with a variety of government-organized festivities, including fireworks and concerts. Public places, such as Tiananmen Square in Beijing, are decorated in a festive theme.
“Portraits of revered leaders, such as Mao Zedong, are publicly displayed.”
In the spun sugar fairytale, promoted by the lie-happy Lib-left, Al Gore invented the Internet.
It’s a fairytale that ends with the reality of Barack Obama destroying it.

The science world is freaking out over this 25-year-old's answer to antibiotic resistance Could this be the end of superbugs?

The science world is freaking out over this 25-year-old's answer to antibiotic resistance
Could this be the end of superbugs?
26 SEP 2016
A 25-year-old student has just come up with a way to fight drug-resistant superbugs without antibiotics.
The new approach has so far only been tested in the lab and on mice, but it could offer a potential solution to antibiotic resistance, which is now getting so bad that the United Nations recently declared it a "fundamental threat" to global health.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria already kill around 700,000 people each year, but a recent study suggests that number could rise to around 10 million by 2050.
In addition to common hospital superbug, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), scientists are now also concerned that gonorrhoea is about to become resistant to all remaining drugs.
But Shu Lam, a 25-year-old PhD student at the University of Melbourne in Australia, has developed a star-shaped polymer that can kill six different superbug strains without antibiotics, simply by ripping apart their cell walls.
"We’ve discovered that [the polymers] actually target the bacteria and kill it in multiple ways," Lam told Nicola Smith from The Telegraph. "One method is by physically disrupting or breaking apart the cell wall of the bacteria. This creates a lot of stress on the bacteria and causes it to start killing itself."
The research has been published in Nature Microbiology, and according to Smith, it's already being hailed by scientists in the field as "a breakthrough that could change the face of modern medicine".
Before we get too carried away, it's still very early days. So far, Lam has only tested her star-shaped polymers on six strains of drug-resistant bacteria in the lab, and on one superbug in live mice.
But in all experiments, they've been able to kill their targeted bacteria - and generation after generation don't seem to develop resistance to the polymers.
The polymers - which they call SNAPPs, or structurally nanoengineered antimicrobial peptide polymers - work by directly attacking, penetrating, and then destabilising the cell membrane of bacteria.
Unlike antibiotics, which 'poison' bacteria, and can also affect healthy cells in the area, the SNAPPs that Lam has designed are so large that they don't seem to affect healthy cells at all.
"With this polymerised peptide we are talking the difference in scale between a mouse and an elephant," Lam's supervisor, Greg Qiao, told Marcus Strom from the Sydney Morning Herald"The large peptide molecules can't enter the [healthy] cells."
You can see the SNAPPs (green) surrounding and ripping apart bacterial cells below:
57d7b2081300002a0039b9daUniversity of Melbourne
While the results are positive so far, it's too early to get excited about what this could mean for humans, says Cyrille Boyer from the University of New South Wales in Australia, who wasn't involved in the research.
"The main advantage seems to be they can kill bacteria more effectively and selectively [than other peptides]" Boyer told Strom, before adding that the team is a long way off clinical applications.
But what's awesome about the new project is that, while other teams are looking for new antibiotics, Lam has found a completely different approach. And it could make all the different in the coming 'post-antibiotic world'.
That's what she's hoping, anyway.
"For a time, I had to come in at 4am in the morning to look after my mice and my cells," she told The Telegraph. "I wanted to be involved in some kind of research that would help solve problems ... I really hope that the polymers we are trying to develop here could eventually be a solution."

Will We Be Ready to Fight AI?

September 30, 2016

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Will We Be Ready to Fight AI?
  • Bezos, Brin, Zuckerberg, and other tech titans have our best interests at heart.
  • They also want to protect their stakes in the digital revolution.
  • The question, however, remains: Will we succumb to AI?

Obama’s New Law Gives $42.4 Billion Back to Taxpayers…
On December 18, 2015, President Obama quietly signed a bill that gives 119 million eligible Americans the chance to collect on “consumer rebate checks” that could go anywhere from $1,230 to $12,900 for some people. There are no income requirements to collect. Full Details Here
Robotics is an increasingly sophisticated discipline, but for the sake of humanity (and their potential profits), some major names in innovation are doing their best to prevent AI from totally dominating us.
David DittmanDear Wall Street Daily Reader,
Have no fear: When the robots make their move against humanity, companies like Amazon, DeepMind/Google, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft will have our backs.
Well, that's what the tech behemoths would have us believe.
As Will Knight notes for the MIT Technology Review: "That such fierce rivals would come together in this way shows how important the companies feel it is to head off public concern and speculation over the potential impacts of AI."
I can't help but think of the pact that united Hitler and Stalin, just before Germany and the Soviet Union engaged in the deadliest one-on-one conflict in human history.
Look, none of Bezos, Brin, Zuckerberg, or any of the other mucky mucks in charge of those dominant enterprises is either "Hitlerian" or "Stalinesque." Those two creatures are extremely unique, if not in world history, then at least in the context of the 20th century.
But the fact that these latter-day tech masters would form the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society is a pretty clear indication of the weight of the matters at hand.
The division of Europe was a big deal.
And so is the future of artificial intelligence.
Of course the real, legitimate concern about computers, robotics, and AI is more prosaic, summed up by Erik Brynjolfsson's and Andrew McAfee's contention that the slowdown in jobs growth during the last decade and a half is the result of automation's impact on manufacturing, clerical, and retail employment.
The future, as David Rotman notes in a June 12, 2013, piece for MIT Technology Review, will see AI move into more sophisticated disciplines such as law, financial services, education, and medicine.
In the introduction to their 2012 e-book Race Against the Machine, Brynjolfsson and McAfee, both of MIT's Center for Digital Business, write:
When people talk about jobs in America today, they talk about cyclicality, outsourcing and off-shoring, taxes and regulation, and the wisdom and efficacy of different kinds of stimulus. We don't doubt the importance of all these factors. The economy is a complex, multifaceted entity.
But there has been relatively little talk about role of acceleration of technology. It may seem paradoxical that faster progress can hurt wages and jobs for millions of people, but we argue that's what's been happening. As we'll show, computers are now doing many things that used to be the domain of people only. The pace and scale of this encroachment into human skills is relatively recent and has profound economic implications. Perhaps the most important of these is that while digital progress grows the overall economic pie, it can do so while leaving some people, or even a lot of them, worse off.
But the authors conclude their work by describing the positive net impact digital technology will have on humanity: "[W]hen we look at the full impact of computers and networks, now and in the future, we are very optimistic indeed. These tools are greatly improving our world and our lives, and will continue to do so."
Amazon, DeepMind/Google, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft are all making a lot of progress with AI.
IBM, for example, has taken a giant step with a processor designed based on the architecture of the human brain, its TrueNorth chip.
In a paper published in the September 9, 2016, issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, IBM researchers demonstrated that TrueNorth is a viable "neuromorphic network" capable of incorporating the current deep-learning standard "convolutional neural networks" to establish a new state of the art.
As Dharmendra Modha, chief scientist for brain-inspired computing at IBM Research-Almaden, told IEEE Spectrum, "The new milestone provides a palpable proof of concept that the efficiency of brain-inspired computing can be merged with the effectiveness of deep learning, paving the path towards a new generation of chips and algorithms with even greater efficiency and effectiveness."
In addition to enabling even further automation of hitherto human functions in the economy — industrial robots are on the march! — AI will soon permeate our lives.
Uber is already testing a fleet of self-driving cars in Pittsburgh. The current state of the art relies on sensors, radar, cameras, and data communication systems — with humans in the driver's seat.
Apple and Google, among others, are at work on fully autonomous vehicles that will run on AI.
The aerospace and defense industry has been making use of unmanned aerial vehicles for years now. Soon we'll see AI fighter pilots. UPS and Amazon are in the early stages of drone-delivery warfare.
"Robo-advisers" have entered the financial services industry. The present and future of financial technology is rooted in AI and its ability to enable electronic and mobile banking, simplification of payment processes, acceleration of trade settlement, more efficient security and fraud protection, as well as credit verification.
AI is going to be a key driver of the growth of the Internet of Things due to its ability to process enormous amounts of data. AI-based analytics will be a big growth market, with applications including web search, marketing, digital security, and financial services.
Meanwhile, InTouch Health's "telehealth" machine connects patients to specialists for acute (emergency and intensive) care, post-acute (skilled nursing, home health) care, and community care. A mobile robot streams a doctor's face and voice from hundreds or even thousands of miles away.
And a Xenex robot uses ultraviolet light to kill up to 70% of bacteria in hospital rooms in about 12 minutes, reducing the incidence of hospital acquired infections (HAI). It's billed as "the world's only Full Spectrum UV Germ-Zapping Robot."
We've been worried about the potential of machines to destroy us since at least 1872, when Samuel Butler published Erewhon; or, Over the Range. Wrote Butler, nearly 150 years ago:
There is no security against the ultimate development of mechanical consciousness, in the fact of machines possessing little consciousness now. A jellyfish has not much consciousness. Reflect upon the extraordinary advance which machines have made during the last few hundred years, and note how slowly the animal and vegetable kingdoms are advancing. The more highly organized machines are creatures not so much of yesterday, as of the last five minutes, so to speak, in comparison with past time.
I'll take lukewarm comfort in its statement that the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society "will work to advance public understanding of artificial intelligence technologies (AI) and formulate best practices on the challenges and opportunities within the field."
The incalculable business opportunity before them may indeed have been the ultimate motivator driving the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence's founders — they want to set the tone rather than allow government to step in on behalf of fearful constituents.
And it's tough to make predictions, especially about the future. So I won't say there will never be a Skynet-driven "rise of the machines."
But the real threats are less dramatic.
It's the economic displacement.
It's the possibility that "a machine-learning system designed to identify disease that is fed biased data might discriminate against certain people," as Will Knight notes.
These are legitimate, real-world concerns.

WARNING: The Order To Ban This Book Could Come At Midnight
Let’s be upfront — Congress does not want you to know what’s in this book.

It’s not slander. But nothing in this book makes Congress look good.

Instead, it reveals their greatest free perks, and how you can get them too. There’s a huge potential payoff for you.

This kind of knowledge could easily be called “surprising”, “controversial,” and even “unfair.”

But I warn you, the order to ban this book could come at any time.

Click here to see this controversial book while you still can.
Old Things New
It seems appropriate, in the context of today's subject matter, to mention the HAL 9000, the AI that drives a compelling astronaut-computer conflict in Stanley Kubrick's awesome, epoch-spanning 1968 epic 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Smart Investing,
David Dittman
David Dittman
Editorial Director, Wall Street Daily

What Turns a Muslim Into a Terrorist Extremist?

Obama handing The Peoples’ Internet to Communist China

Here’s hoping the four attorneys general who filed yesterday’s lawsuit won’t let a spiteful America-hating Obama drop a black curtain over ‘the Peoples’ Internet’

Obama handing The Peoples’ Internet to Communist China

There’s not even the slightest shadow of a doubt about to whom President Barack Obama is handing-off the Internet at midnight tonight if the four Republican attorneys general making an 11th-hour bid to block him do not succeed in the lawsuit they filed yesterday.
Obama is handing control of the Internet over to the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU).  ITU is run by the Peoples Republic of China.
“Already under fire for seeking to usurp new powers to control the Internet, the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is facing intense criticism after appointing a Chinese Communist to lead the controversial UN agency starting next year. (The New American, Oct. 27, 2014.)
“Even more alarming, perhaps, is that the new ITU boss claims censorship is in the eye of the beholder. On October 23, at an ITU summit in Busan, South Korea, member governments and dictatorships overwhelmingly selected Houlin Zhao of mainland China — where the dictatorship operates among the most Orwellian censorship regimes on Earth, currently working on overdrive to spin and conceal the uprising in Hong Kong — to serve as the UN outfit’s secretary general. Zhao joins a growing roster of Chinese Communist operatives in charge of powerful UN agencies.
“Considering the largely totalitarian-minded member regimes within the UN and its telecommunications agency, which has openly sought to seize control over the World Wide Web, analysts said the fact that a Communist Chinese figure will lead it was hardly surprising.
“However, the decision is likely to have an unintended side effect: It will now become much more difficult for the ITU and its member regimes to advance their plot for global regulation of the Internet by the UN. Already, Western governments have resisted ITU calls for planetary controls over the Web. With Zhao’s appointment — heavily influenced by behind-the-scenes scheming from Beijing, as Communist Chinese propaganda outlets readily admitted — such a plot becomes even more controversial. It may even kill the globalist dream of UN Internet controls entirely.”
Unfortunately the nightmare comes true at the stroke of midnight tonight.
ITU’s self-acclaimed mandate is “connecting the world”,  but it pushes global warming/climate change memes when holding symposiums worldwide.
“Entrepreneurs and small-and-medium sized enterprises, or SMEs, provide up to 70% of global employment, and we need their expertise, innovation and investment to achieve our common goals of sustainable, economic and social development” Zaho told attendees at the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day:ICT Entrepreneurship for Social Impact, in Geneva, Switzerland on May 17 this year.
“Republicans in Congress, though, have long-objected to the transfer, which they called a “giveaway” to the rest of the world. They argue that handing over control to a non-government entity would give countries like Russia and China the ability to control online speech – something supporters categorically deny. (, Sept. 29, 2016)
“The AGs from Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma and Nevada asked a judge late Wednesday to step in and stop the transition to an international oversight body, after GOP lawmakers failed to stall the move as part of a short-term spending bill.
“Trusting authoritarian regimes to ensure the continued freedom of the internet is lunacy,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement. “The president does not have the authority to simply give away America’s pioneering role in ensuring that the internet remains a place where free expression can flourish.”
“Paxton was among the four Republican AGs who filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas, Galveston Division. 
Continued below...

“The U.S. government has been in charge of domain names for more than three decades, thanks to a Commerce Department agency’s oversight of an obscure, but powerful, Los Angeles-based nonprofit called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
“If the transfer takes place – as it is set to do on Oct. 1—the suit argues people will “lose the predictability, certainty, and protections that currently flow from federal stewardship of the Internet and instead be subjected to ICANN’s unchecked control.”
“The suit argues the looming transfer violates the property clause in the U.S. Constitution which prohibits handing over government property without Congress’ approval. The suit also claims the handoff would violate First Amendment rights and says ICANN, the nonprofit owners in control, would be unchecked and could start to censor speech.
“Plans to transfer control over functions—like the directories that help web browsers and apps know where to find the latest weather, maps and Facebook posts – have been in the works since the 1990s.
“Momentum grew following the Edward Snowden leaks about U.S. government surveillance, and the Commerce agency said it would cede oversight. Since then the administration has tried to fast-track the transfer as a sign that the U.S. government isn’t policing the internet—and has disputed the warnings from Republicans and others.
“In a blog post last month, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information Lawrence E. Strickling said the transition marks the “final step” of a commitment that dates back nearly two decades.
“He said the new model will maintain “the stability, security, and openness of the Internet that users across the globe depend on today.”
“The new lawsuit also claims ICANN “has a documented history of ignoring or operating outside of its governing bylaws.”
“Nothing protects the Plaintiffs from additional occurrences of ICANN oversight failures,” the suit says. Mark Grabowski, an internet law professor at Adelphi University in New York, agrees.
“There is currently nothing prohibiting ICANN, post-transition, from eliminating or transferring what are essentially the Web addresses for U.S. government and military websites,” Grabowski wrote in
“He added, “A company owned by or located in Russia or China could end up managing, or Losing control of these web domains would put our nation’s security at risk.”
“Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who aggressively campaigned against the transfer, called it a “a profound disappointment” when a measure stalling the move was left out of the latest government spending bill. He called the Obama administration’s actions “dangerous and indefensible.”
“Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who aggressively campaigned against the transfer, called it a “a profound disappointment” when a measure stalling the move was left out of the latest government spending bill. He called the Obama administration’s actions “dangerous and indefensible.”

Short of an 11th-hour miracle the Internet as we know it is over at midnight tonight.
With the stroke of his infamous pen, President Barack Hussein Obama, is handing over the American taxpayer supported ICANN—in place since 1998—to the control of the Chinese run ITU.
Mainstream media and social media, who had four years to get ahead of the curve, are making it sound as if the handing over of the Internet is no big deal, and for them, it is not.
Only Congress and the courts can stop it, and they have only until midnight tonight to do so.
First Amendment rights don’t exist in countries like China, Russia and Iran who will be the stakeholders in the conglomerate of “international stakeholders” that ITU will be certain to empower as the new Praetorian Guard of the Information Highway.
The new regime that will be governing internet access for the world masses will already be in place for Hillary Clinton, who has vowed to get rid of Alex Jones’ InfoWars and Breitbart, if the Democrats and global elitists elect her to the 2016 presidency.
It is vital to remember that once Obama has turned ICANN over to the ITU, there is no getting it back.
In a world fraught with government corruption and voter fraud, communication on an independent Internet is the only effective weapon dissenters and the Clinton tagged “deplorables” have.
Canada Free Press (CFP) scoured the worldwide web over the past week looking for the full story of ICANN’s coming transfer over to the United Nation’s obscure but power obsessed ITU.
No one does a better job of explaining what it happening than Stefan Molyneux of Molyneux does a great job explaining how we stand to lose the Internet forever. He explains how Obama used the excuse of the NSA scandal to turn control of the ‘Net over to foreign powers.
Here’s hoping the four attorneys general who filed yesterday’s lawsuit won’t let a spiteful America-hating Obama drop a black curtain over ‘the Peoples’ Internet’.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

European World Leaders Attend Satanic Ritual in Switzerland...

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation: Risky Search For New Balance?

RSIS Commentary is a platform to provide timely and, where appropriate, policy-relevant commentary and analysis of topical issues and contemporary developments. The views of the authors are their own and do not represent the official position of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, NTU. These commentaries may be reproduced electronically or in print with prior permission from RSIS and due recognition to the author(s) and RSIS. Please email: for feedback to the Editor RSIS Commentary, Yang Razali Kassim. 

No. 239/2016 dated 29 September 2016
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation:
Risky Search For New Balance?
By Aidar Amrebayev


The recent SCO summit in Tashkent may not only be a turning point in the regional configuration of forces. It could potentially affect the strategic balance in the world order.


ON 23-24 June 2016 the Uzbek capital city of Tashkent hosted the summit of leaders from the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). This was an important event that could not only become a turning point in the regional configuration of forces but also affect world order.

Interestingly, the SCO was formed after the collapse of the Soviet Union to tackle cross-border issues between the new Central Asian Independent States and China in the context of their fight against the so-called "three evils" (terrorism, extremism, and separatism). The SCO is clearly seeking to play a more significant role in today's world. But while the trajectory is one of expansion, its growth is not without risks.

Raising SCO’s Global Ambition

The SCO’s expansion to include India and Pakistan was the main issue on the Summit’s agenda. In past SCO agreements, the leaders of these two countries had committed their support for the SCO. After the ratification, India and Pakistan will become full members of the SCO next year. Additionally, Iran may also join following the lifting of UN sanctions.

At the Tashkent meeting, along with the issues of regional security, the heads of state discussed Russian President Vladimir Putin's proposal to assess the global impact of the interactions of three regional groupings: the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), SCO and ASEAN. China’s leader Xi Jinping also tried to promote the SCO as a platform for the implementation of the Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB). The summit’s adoption of a joint declaration during the 15th anniversary of the founding of the SCO reflected a new perspective on SCO’s international positioning.   

There is potential tension arising from very difficult relations between India and Pakistan. Until recently, the SCO has only one "main game" - between China and Russia in their tussle for influence over the Central Asia states. Now the internal tensions will be more complex, commensurate with the impending entry of India and Pakistan.

The traditional focus of SCO has been on Central Asia’s regional security, economic cooperation, and humanitarian interaction. New members that do not have direct common borders with the region may divert SCO’s attention away from Central Asia and increase the number of new influencing factors. In addition, the traditional "non-Western” autocratic political regimes have prevailed in this region. But with the entry of India and Pakistan, the SCO may undergo major changes arising from their democratically-oriented political systems and enduring good relations with the United States.

Voice of the East or West?

For example, several experts agree that India today may be the "voice" of the West, whose opinion as a whole can undermine the current unanimity of the SCO. Formed on the basis of the so-called "Shanghai Spirit", the SCO approaches decision-making by consensus. It is also difficult to expect a clear "consensus" between dynamically developing and competing economies of China and India.
This will significantly reduce the weight of the Central Asian countries in the SCO. They will be even more dependent on the ambitions of the different external forces, which include new members India and Pakistan. Big players will press their own strategies and interests in this project.  For example, Russia is seeking to consolidate its status quo in the Central Asia region where its strategic interests lie.

Russia aims to coordinate possible projects of cooperation between the SCO and EEU in alignment with its own oil interests. While China hoped that the SCO will implement the strategy of "One Belt, One Road”, with its “Go West" slogan, India and Pakistan want to revive the TAPI project, a gas pipeline linking Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

It is safe to assume that the SCO will come under the scrutiny of extremist groups from South Asia and the Middle East, resulting in a need for an active relationship with the US and the countries of the Western coalition in Afghanistan.

Other Complexities

The prospect of Iran joining the SCO can add greater complexity to the organisation. Having been recently freed from sanctions and now promoting its interests in regional affairs, Iran is unlikely to follow the consensus of the "Shanghai Spirit". All the more, Iran has the most direct interests in Central Asia; its entry may trigger conflict with some of the SCO member states.

Another potential risk to the SCO’s expansion of its international influence is a retraction of the organisation in the "opposition bloc" vis-a-vis the West. The political-economic strategy of the major players in the SCO - Russia and China - is to oppose, for example, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. They argue that the TPP directly inhibits economic development opportunities in all the SCO space, even though the SCO possesses considerable potential to develop its own trading group.   

In a nutshell, the SCO is emerging as a new factor of diplomacy within the established global order. While it has the potential to compete or complement other regional groupings, the SCO in the long run could lead to a new balance in the international order - if it could overcome the attendant risks of expansion.

Aidar Amrebayev is Head of the Centre of Applied Political Science and International Studies in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He is currently a Senior Visiting Fellow with the China Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Click HERE to read this commentary online.

The Government Is Turning the Entire United States Into A Debt Prison

The Government Is Turning the Entire United States Into A Debt Prison

News Image By Shaun Bradley/ September 29, 2016 Share this article:

Since the United States was founded, citizenship has represented a safe haven from oppressive regimes around the world. By preserving the principles of small government and free markets, those who were willing to work hard found success, and America became a magnet for innovation. 

But as the U.S. continues to erode personal and economic freedom, more people than ever before are handing over their U.S. passports to seek better opportunities abroad.

The staggering amount of debt held by the American empire ensures the public will be working it off for generations to come. The government has already begun its campaign to make it more difficult to leave the country, and it has also begun to crack down on the finances of the eight million Americans living abroad. 
Regardless of whether you're a millionaire with multiple foreign bank accounts or a recent college graduate with a boatload of debt, the status of being a United States citizen brings with it a burden that will only grow heavier over time.

Since 2008, the number of individuals giving up their citizenship has increased by almost 560%, setting new records each of the past three years. Some of these expats are motivated by the extra tax load paid when working abroad while others are trying to avoid student loan debt. Others have just had enough of the encroaching police state.

Every taxpayer left in the country now owes more than $149,000 of the national debt, so it's no surprise the tide is beginning to turn. By hook or by crook, in the coming years, citizens will be fleeced of that money through higher taxes, savings that are inflated away, and an overall drop in their standard of living. 

Many can see the writing on the wall and have become determined to protect themselves from the years of economic repression coming down the pipe.

Draconian steps have already been taken to slow the rate of expatriation. For one, the IRS has broadened its reach into foreign bank accounts through the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. 

Through agreements with over 100 nations, the law is able to require all financial institutions abroad to report the account details of any American customers they have. With access to this new information, the IRS can revoke the passports of potential tax evaders and hinder their ability to travel using yet another additional power the agency was granted last year.

The Internal Revenue Service is one of the most powerful agencies of the federal government and has a track record of persecuting groups for political reasons. The fact that they have now set their sights are expats shouldn't surprise anyone.

The Tea Party movement, whatever your views on it, experienced this first-hand during the 2012 elections. Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator of Tea Party Patriots spoke on the targeting scandal:

"The IRS has demonstrated the most disturbing, illegal and outrageous abuse of government power. This deliberate targeting and harassment of tea party groups reaches a new low in illegal government activity and overreach."

While penalties are being levied against those with enough money to work around the world, the most impactful measures are aimed at those just making ends meet. The initial paperwork for renouncing citizenship used to cost just $450, but it has skyrocketed to $2,350, making it the most expensive fee of any country in the world. 

It may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but this additional expense directly targets the young and working class, creating a huge barrier to even starting the process. As an added bonus, the price increase has raised over $12 million for government coffers in just over a year.

The $19.5 trillion in debt that has been amassed through decades of interventionist policies and clandestine operations can only be maintained by taxing the government's human livestock. After all, the federal government counts student loans as almost 30% of their net worth. 

If the young and productive workers of the future are allowed to leave, U.S. power and wealth will go with them.

The Millennial generation has been completely duped by the federal loan programs, pumped out to any 18-year-old with a pulse. The $1.3 trillion in outstanding student loans is akin to indentured servitude for those entering the dismal job market. 

And students themselves aren't the only ones on the chopping block -- 90% of these loans are co-signed by the parents, attaching the ball and chain further up the family tree. 

For those tempted to jump ship and disappear into another country, their families will be held responsible in their stead. It's reminiscent of North Korea, where the families of defectors are punished.

Noah Brown, president of the Association of Community College Trustees wrote:

"If you default, your financial life is ruined. You have to deal in cash for the rest of your life. It used to be death and taxes were the only certainty. You can throw in student loans now."

Many are learning the hard way that these loans are unique and can't be wiped away by simply declaring bankruptcy. Instead of the collateral being a house or a car, it's future earnings that can be seized.

Those who find themselves with no way out have been offered a deal with the devil -- work in the public sector for 10 years and you will be granted your freedom. This has created a perverse incentive to work directly for the state, placing fresh cogs in the military, police, and bureaucratic machines. 

The policies seen so far are soft measures compared to what may be tried in the future as the government grows and the economy weakens. 

A new type of debt prison is being built in the U.S., and as the inmates realize their predicament, the rush for the exits could be chaotic -- so long as people can afford to pay the fee to leave.

Those who understand the fragile state of our economic and political system can see that when politicians start building walls, it may be more about keeping people in than out. 

Despite the brainwashing often conducted in public schools, many are realizing the future for U.S. citizens may look very different than the past. 

The freedom and opportunity that have been synonymous with U.S. citizenship are being transformed before our eyes. When America abandoned its core values and let loose the scourge of oppressive big government, the countdown to when citizens would pay the price began.

Originally published at - reposted with permission.

Billionaire: Chinese real estate is 'biggest bubble in history'

Billionaire: Chinese real estate is 'biggest bubble in history'

Chinese billionaire warns of real estate 'bubble'

Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin made his fortune in the country's real estate market -- and now he's warning that it's spiraling out of control.

It's the "biggest bubble in history," he told CNNMoney in an exclusive interview Wednesday.
Bubble is a sensitive word in China after the dramatic rise and spectacular crash in the country's stock market last year, which wiped out the savings of millions of small investors who thought Beijing wouldn't allow the market to drop.
After struggling to contain the fallout from the stock market debacle, China's leaders could face a similar headache in the real estate sector.
Related: IMF tells China to fix its debt problem now
The big problem, according to Wang, is that prices keep rising in major Chinese metropolises like Shanghai but are falling in thousands of smaller cities where huge numbers of properties lie empty.
"I don't see a good solution to this problem," he said. "The government has come up with all sorts of measures -- limiting purchase or credit -- but none have worked."
It's a serious worry in China, where the economy is slowing at the same time as high debt levels continue to increase rapidly. There are massive sums at stake in the real estate market: direct loans to the sector stood at roughly 24 trillion yuan ($3.6 trillion) at the end of June, according to Capital Economics.
Related: This Chinese province has produced the second most billionaires in the world
"The problem is the economy hasn't bottomed out," Wang said. "If we remove leverage too fast, the economy may suffer further. So we'll have to wait until the economy is back on the track of rebounding -- that's when we gradually reduce leverage and debts."
He says, though, that he's not worried about the prospect of a "hard landing" -- a sudden and catastrophic collapse in economic growth.
Wang's comments carry weight. He is the richest man in China, according to Forbes and Hurun Report data from 2015, and his real estate and entertainment empire brought in revenue of about $44 billion last year.
Wang has been warning of trouble in the Chinese property market for a while. His Dalian Wanda Group, which has developed huge malls and office complexes across China, has been gradually cutting back on its real estate business.
Related: Billionaire vows to crush Disney in China
Instead, it's pouring resources into entertainment, sports and tourism -- areas where it sees potential for growth.
Wang has been on an overseas shopping spree lately, with a particular focus on the U.S. movie industry. And he's on the hunt for more juicy targets.
In January, he bought the Hollywood studio Legendary Entertainment, which made blockbuster movies like "Jurassic World" and "Godzilla." Less than two months later, his movie theater business AMC snapped up Carmike Cinemas, forming the biggest cinema chain in the world. And Wanda's in talks to buy Dick Clark Productions, which produces shows like the American Music Awards and the Golden Globe awards.
But the major prize he's seeking is control of one of Hollywood's "Big Six" movie studios: 20th Century Fox, Columbia, Paramount, Universal Pictures, Warner Brothers and Walt Disney.
China's richest man's Hollywood ambitions

Related: Disney CEO says China is tough but a 'great opportunity'
"We are waiting for the opportunity," he said. "It could come in a year or two, or longer, but we have patience."
His relations with Disney (DIS) came into the spotlight in May when he said the U.S. company "really shouldn't have come to China" with its giant new Shanghai resort. Wanda is also investing heavily in theme parks in the country.
Wang said Wednesday that his beef with the House of Mouse was "not personal."
"When it comes to movies, Disney is our biggest partner," he said. "But when it comes to entertainment tourism, we are archrivals. So of course we want to smash them."
-- Steven Jiang contributed to this report.

The “Everything Bubble” is Popping – Here’s How to Protect Yourself ...

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The “Everything Bubble” is Popping – Here’s How to Protect Yourself ...
The dot-com bubble and bust. The housing bubble and bust. They were among the most painful crises our economy – and investors like you – have ever faced.
But they pale in comparison to the disaster that’s coming: The “Everything Bubble and Bust.” That’s my term for what I see happening all around us. Indeed, we have:
  • An unsustainable, out-of-control boom in corporate debt. Balance sheets have never been as stretched as they are now. Worse, the debt is being used to repurchase stock or buy competing companies, rather than fund productive, real-world investment in factories, properties, and R&D ...
  • A bond bubble so big that some $13 trillion in government debt is now “yielding” less than zero percent. This has literally never been seen before in 5,000 years of recorded history ...
  • Soaring commercial real estate prices and wild speculation from one end of the U.S. to the other. In fact, prices have surged even more this time around than they did in the last mega-bubble in real estate (which Wall Street bankers and government officials promised would never happen again) ...
  • Multi-billion valuations for wing-and-a-prayer tech “unicorns.” Just like the dot-bombs from the late 1990s, few of them actually make money or have a workable business plan – other than to incinerate as much investor capital ... in as short a period of time ... as possible ...
  • The biggest surge ever in ultra-high-risk auto loans. These loans look very much like the subprime mortgages we saw more than a decade ago, and which helped blow up the entire economy ...
Scary stuff to be sure. What’s even scarier: After watching these bubbles inflate massively over the course of the past seven years, all my indicators tell me they’re now beginning to pop. That’s creating huge risks ... and huge profit opportunities ... for investors like you.
It’s also why I’m hopping on a plane soon to head to the New Orleans Investment Conference, which runs from October 26-29, 2016. My plan? To explain precisely what the “Everything Bubble” is, why it’s popping now, and most importantly, how you can protect and grow your wealth in this treacherous environment!
If you’re not familiar with the New Orleans Investment Conference, you should know that it’s one of the longest-running, most-important gatherings focused on precious metals, mining shares, and the broader markets. I’ll be speaking at two events there. Plus, you’ll also get access to some of the best and brightest minds in the investment world. They include James Grant, Marc Faber, Charles Krauthammer, Peter Schiff, Stephen Moore, Brien Lundin, and more.
My recommendation: Check out the conference details by clicking here. Alternatively, you can call 800-648-8411 to learn details about the show, the venue (Hilton New Orleans Riverside), and more. Just be sure to mention that you’re calling as a Money and Markets or Safe Money Report subscriber.
The Everything Bubble is one of the single-most important developments in the investment world today. If it pops when you aren’t prepared, the financial fallout could be devastating. So I’m going to do everything in my power to ensure that doesn’t happen.
Until next time,
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Mike Larson

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UK Follows Iceland's Example As Mass Arrests Of Bankers Begin

UK Follows Iceland's Example As Mass Arrests Of Bankers Begin

First group to go on trial is HBOS bankers

By: Jacky Murphy  |@NeonNettle
 on 13th September 2016 @ 11.28am
first group to go on trial is hbos bankers who are charged with fraudulent trading  money laundering  and corruption © press
first group to go on trial is HBOS bankers who are charged with fraudulent trading, money laundering, and corruption.
The UK is set to follow Iceland's footsteps as the first group of top Bankers are to go on trial. Authorities have now begun the process of arresting and prosecuting the bankers who were responsible for the crash of 2008, the first group to go on trial is HBOS bankers who are charged with fraudulent trading, money laundering, and corruption.
The first trial of its type will be heard at Southwark Crown Court. Some predict that this will open floodgates for similar trials in the UK and around the world. reports: Two former senior HBOS managers and six other defendants will appear in court this month. The heavily postponed trial was originally scheduled to start at the beginning of the year. The defendants were initially charged in 2013.
Those charged also include bankers David Mills and Michael Bancroft, as well as their wives, who are accused of giving money and “numerous high-value gifts” to HBOS managers in exchange for favors.
The alleged scam was exposed by Thames Valley Police after a two-year investigation code-named Operation Hornet.
HBOS collapsed in 2008 and was bought by UK-backed Lloyds TSB. Its one-time head of corporate lending, Peter Cummings, was fined £500,000 and was banned from the banking industry.
The British government bailed out Lloyds at the height of the financial crisis in 2008 at a cost of some £20 billion, handing the state a 43-percent stake in the bank.