UPDATE: Shared by a Reader who says: Here’s a 5 minute video that is one excellent history/political science lesson! I’m not a big Madonna fan, but I think she hits one out of the park here. Andrew Weber didn’t imagine the social impact that this musical would actually have — it’s a shame it’s no longer being presented as a testament to the fallacy of big government.
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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is reportedly willing to testify in the investigation surrounding alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.
The claim that Assange is willing to speak to congressional investigators was made on Friday by his long-time associate, Randy Credico. Radio host Credico told MSNBC’s Ari Melber that Assange wanted to speak with Democrat Adam Schiff to “clear this whole thing up.”
Credico challenged Schiff to travel to the UK to interview Assange, saying: “He’s got the credibility, Nixon went to China.”
He said that Assange would only speak with investigators if they came to the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder has been in self-imposed exile since 2012. Assange fears that if he leaves the sanctuary of the embassy, he would be extradited to the United States to face a raft of charges relating to the release of a trove of classified US intelligence material by WikiLeaks. . . . Click title to continue reading.
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Venezuela has freed U.S. missionary Josh Holt, Trump says . . . to find this article felt like I was pulling teeth.
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[If they block the sound on the video below, click the video title to listen on youtube. I’m tired of ‘playing’ with them. As I prepare to publish, it is still not working.]
I was surprised in the video below to be reminded that Trump used to be a Democrat!
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I regard the following articles on various topics as important background reading for what will likely begin to happen next week:
Cryptocurrencies: A Tool for Bypassing Sanctions. . . this article and the next are a bit of background history.
Politicians in Iran and Russia are discussing the possibility of using digital currencies to bypass sanctions.
Decentralization is one of the biggest advantages of cryptocurrencies. Unlike traditional fiat currencies, cryptocurrency transactions cannot be stopped by a central party or authority.
Some countries have sanctions imposed on them by the USA and many European nations. Several experts believe that certain countries may be bypassing international sanctions by using decentralized cryptocurrencies. Russia and Iran are two countries that are currently under heavy sanctions that may soon use cryptocurrencies to bypass sanctions.
Exclusive: Russia Secretly Helped Venezuela Launch a Cryptocurrency to Evade U.S. Sanctions, March 20, 2018
President Donald Trump may not have realized on Monday that his executive order would step on Russia’s toes. Its official target was Venezuela, specifically the country’s plan to create the world’s first state-backed cryptocurrency, the petro, which went on sale Tuesday.
But behind the scenes, the petro was in fact a collaboration—a half-hidden joint venture between Venezuelan and Russian officials and businessmen, whose aim was to erode the power of U.S. sanctions, sources familiar with the effort told TIME.
Trump’s executive order did not mention the petro’s Russian backers, whose role has not previously been reported. Citing economic sanctions that the U.S. imposed against Venezuela in August, the order simply made clear that anyone who buys or uses the new cryptocurrency would be in breach of those sanctions, as would anyone under U.S. jurisdiction who helps Venezuela develop the petro. “Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited,” the document states.
That may be why the Russians involved in this operation have been keen to remain in the shadows, in part through a clumsy online campaign to obscure their role in the project. But a TIME investigation has found Moscow’s fingerprints all over the creation of the petro, a scheme that reveals the range of Russia’s efforts to fight back against U.S. sanctions. Click article title to continue reading.
Hyperinflation Meets Free Electricity: Venezuela’s Crypto-Mining Mania Goes Mainstream . . . while this article is important, I think it is presented in something of a negative light and winds up calling Maduro a ‘thug’.
Most Venezuelans still can’t buy the Petro, the state-sponsored, oil-backed cryptocurrency launched in February by President Maduro and his increasingly desperate government. Meanwhile, the number of Venezuelans who own at least some bitcoin continues to grow. And now, nearly seven months after we first reported that the number of bitcoin miners operating in Venezuela had eclipsed 100,000, Bloomberg is reporting that nearly every home in Caracas is operating a bitcoin mining rig.
Argentina Is Suddenly on the Verge of ANOTHER Economic Collapse . . . this is another article with much information, whose author seems confused about what-is-what and who-is-who in Venezuela. I have to wonder why this is . . . I’m also wondering why Zerohedge, who does such a great job with ‘alternative’ news, always seems to publish negative articles about Venezuela.
The economic collapse of Argentina in 2001 is the stuff of prepper legends. For years, it was the example that we pointed to when trying to convince others that, yes, it really can happen. (Now, of course, that example has been replaced by the dramatic fall of Venezuela.) There’s even a fantastic book about the Argentinian collapse with survival lessons that has fueled many a prepper to get stocked up, in which Fernando Aguirre, also known as FerFal, shared the inside story.
And now, sadly, it looks like just as hopeful Argentinians believed the country was getting back on its feet, another collapse could be imminent.
President Mauricio Macri, a business tycoon who vowed to reincorporate Argentina into the global economy, has asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a hefty credit line of at least $19.7 billion to see the country through the rest of his term, which ends in 2019.
When the IMF gets involved, it tends to be the beginning of the end, as we saw in Greece, whose crisis was at its peak between 2009 and 2016. . . .Click article title to continue reading.
20 Years Of Socialist Utopia In Venezuela Summed Up In 20 Dramatic Seconds . . . another zerohedge article.
Socialist countries are quite adept at providing excuses for their inevitable failure.
And as GoldTelegraph’s Virginia Fidler recently noted, as socialist utopia Venezuela hits bottom, the latest culprit is oil.
But oil prices have been rising since the fourth quarter of 2017, and Venezuela’s economy has only gotten worse. These higher prices should be a boom for Venezuela by creating greater revenues. Instead, its oil industry is in shambles and decline.
Falling oil prices are not the cause of Venezuela’s misery. It’s socialism. It’s the system whereby government owns the means of production. Historically, governments do a horrible job managing businesses. The Venezuelan government isn’t managing its industries on any level. It’s slowly destroying them. President Maduro has been unable to keep the oil industry running. There are no new investors because the government will confiscate any further exploration. . . . Click article title to continue reading
Cuba Air Crash Is Damning Indictment of US Economic Warfare. . . I felt there was something strange about this plane crash, because Cuba supports Venezuela, but I had it all wrong.
It’s not up to Uncle Sam but up to Syria and Iran alone
After last Thursday’s relatively brief meeting in Sochi between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad wherein Putin stressed that it is necessary for all “foreign forces” to withdraw from Syria, there’s been much speculation over what Putin actually meant.
Many were quick to point out that Assad had agreed that “illegal foreign forces” should exit Syria – meaning those uninvited occupying forces in the north and northeast, namely, US troops, Turkish troops and their proxies, and all foreign jihadists – while most mainstream Western outlets, CNN and the Washington Post among them, hailed Putin’s request to see Iran withdraw from Syria.
Whatever non-Syrian entity Putin intended to include by his words, both Syria and Iran gave their unambiguous response on Monday: Iran announced it would stay in Syria at the request of the Assad government.
“Should the Syrians want us, we will continue to be there,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi declared from Tehran, cited by Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency. “Nobody can force Iran to do anything; Iran has its own independent policies,” Qasemi said, in response to a question referencing the widespread reports that Russia desires Iran to withdraw forces from Syria.
“Those who entered Syria without the permission of the Syrian government are the ones that must leave the country,” he said further in a clear reference to the some 2000 US troops currently occupying Syrian-Kurdish areas in the northeast and eastern parts of the country. . . . Click article title to continue reading.