Category: Global Economy

Here comes Bilderberg — with talk of populism, U.S. leadership and the ‘post-truth’ world

By Jennifer Harper – The Washington Times – Tuesday, June 5, 2018

In 24 hours, the 66th Bilderberg Meeting begins in scenic Turin, Italy, — a cue for those wary of powerful secrets and/or conspiracies to go into watch mode, seeking proof that a master shadow government is at work and a new world order is afoot somewhere — or words to that effect. Organizers of what is generally described as a “secretive” gathering say 128 learned folk plus economic and political titans from 23 nations are headed for the three-day event — rumored to be staged at the NH Lingotto Congress Hotel, a sleek, historic and moderne spot with views of the Alps and a spectacular rooftop attraction which once involved race cars. The hotel is definitely sold out at the moment.

The event is closed to the squawking press in order to encourage “openness and dialogue” say the ultra-discreet Bilderberg organizers.

They are a helpful bunch, though, supplying a list of the key topics for discussion this year. And here they are, verbatim from the source: populism in Europe, the inequality challenge, the future of work, artificial intelligence, the U.S. before midterms, free trade, U.S. world leadership, Russia, quantum computing, Saudi Arabia and Iran, the “post-truth” world and current events.

The organization is not shy about revealing who’s coming to discuss these things. The attendee list is definitely global and accomplished — full of economists, historians, government officials and academics, among other designations. The names are always interesting. The U.S. contingent includes Henry Kissinger, David Petraeus, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan and veteran political analyst Charlie Cook. Motley protesters are usually a fixture at the event, but they have not quite surfaced yet. The mission, however, is clear.

“Thanks to the private nature of the meeting, the participants are not bound by the conventions of their office or by pre-agreed positions. As such, they can take time to listen, reflect and gather insights. There is no desired outcome, no minutes are taken and no report is written. Furthermore, no resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken, and no policy statements are issued,” Bilderberg says in its mission statement.

A new survey released Tuesday finds that 68 percent of the public feel worn-out by the volume of news they are exposed to on a regular basis.

“If you feel like there is too much news and you can’t keep up, you are not alone. A sizable portion of Americans are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of news there is, though the sentiment is more common on the right side of the political spectrum,” write Jeffrey Gottfried and Michael Barthel, analysts for the Pew Research Center, which conducted the survey.

“While majorities of both Republicans and Democrats express news fatigue, Republicans are feeling it more,” the analysts said. “Roughly three-quarters (77 percent) of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents feel worn-out over how much news there is, compared with about 6-in-10 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (61 percent).”

News fatigue also follows certain patterns, they found.

“Some demographic groups — most notably white Americans — are more likely than others to feel exhausted by the news,” the analysts wrote. “Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of white Americans express fatigue with the amount of news, much higher than among both Hispanic (55 percent) and black Americans (55 percent). Women are also somewhat more likely than men to feel worn-out (71 percent vs. 64 percent, respectively).”

There’s also a tolerance factor at work. The less you follow the news, the more fatigued you become, the poll revealed.

“While a majority of those who follow the news most of the time (62 percent) are feeling worn-out by the news, a substantially higher portion (78 percent) of those who less frequently get news say they are fatigued by the amount of it that they see,” the analysts said.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9219

Drought Conditions In The Southwest Are So Bad That They Are Already Being Compared To The Dust Bowl Of The 1930s

 

 

May 23, 2018 by Michael Snyder

The worst drought to hit the Southwest in decades continues to grow even worse, and many are already comparing this current crisis to the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s.  Agricultural production is way down, major rivers are running dry, and horses are dropping dead from a lack of water.  The epicenter of this drought is where the states of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico all come together, but it is also devastating areas of north Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas as well.  Portions of seven states are already at the highest level of drought on the scale that scientists use, and summer won’t even start for about another two months.  If we don’t start seeing some significant rainfall, it won’t be too long before massive dust storms start devastating the entire region.  The mainstream media is finally beginning to wake up and start reporting on this crisis, and some reporters are choosing to make a direct comparison between this drought and the Dust Bowl conditions during the Great Depression

Drought conditions are so severe across much of the Southwest that they rival those during the disastrous Dust Bowl period of the 1930s, when severe dust storms killed livestock and caused crops to fail.

Oklahoma State Climatologist Gary McManus said some climatological stations in the western part of his state have recorded less than 2 inches of rain since October.

“Some of those stations are pegging the driest 7-to-8 months on record for those locations,” McManus said.

If you are not familiar with the Dust Bowl period, you should be able to find a good documentary online to watch.  It was one of the most painful periods in American history, and we could be right on the verge of a repeat.

Those that have followed my work for an extended period of time know that I have been warning about a return of Dust Bowl conditions, and now it is actually happening.  The flow of the Colorado River is way, way down, and in some areas the Rio Grande has already dried up completely

The drought has hit the Colorado River hard. Forecasters say the river will carry only about 43 percent of its average amount of water this year into Lake Powell, one of two big reservoirs on the system.

In New Mexico, stretches of the Rio Grande — another one of North America’s longest rivers — have already gone dry as biologists have been forced to scoop up as many endangered Rio Grande silvery minnows as possible so they can be moved upstream.

As urban populations have surged, the Southwest has already been dealing with unprecedented water stress, and now this crisis is going to take things to an entirely new level.

Meanwhile, this drought has been hitting farms really hard.  Winter wheat production in some areas will be about half of what it was last year, and this summer some wheat farmers may have to abandon their fields entirely

Yield potential for hard red winter wheat in southwest Kansas and northwestern Oklahoma is roughly half that of a year ago as exceptional drought conditions take a toll on the crop, scouts on an annual tour said on Wednesday.

Some farmers may be forced to abandon their wheat fields due to blisteringly dry growing conditions, adding to woes for those already suffering from declining global demand for U.S. wheat, scouts on the Wheat Quality Council tour said.

The United States has fallen to the No. 2 world exporter, behind top shipper Russia, and U.S. farmers this season planted the fewest wheat acres in a century. Kansas is the top wheat- growing U.S. state and Oklahoma is the fifth-largest producer.

Somewhere around 60 percent of all winter wheat in Texas is being graded “poor” or “very poor”, and Kansas is on pace to have its smallest winter wheat crop in nearly 30 years.

So what is going to happen this summer if we don’t see some substantial rainfall?

Many fear the worst.  In fact, one top expert is warning that agricultural losses in the state of Texas alone this year will be in the “billions”

Home to one of the nation’s most fertile farming areas—crop production in the Texas region alone generates about $12 billion in economic activity—observers say the drought could punish the agricultural sector, affecting everything from cotton to cattle to farming-equipment sales.

“It’s going to be in the billions in terms of crop loss,” said Darren Hudson, director of the International Center for Agricultural Competitiveness at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

A lot of people don’t get too emotional about crops dying, but when horses start dropping dead that is another thing entirely.

At the top of this article I told you that horses have been dropping dead in the Southwest from a lack of water, and it isn’t just a few.

In fact, one media outlet recently reported the discovery of almost 200 dead horses around a dried up watering hole…

Off a northern Arizona highway surrounded by pastel-colored desert is one of the starkest examples of drought’s grip on the American Southwest: Nearly 200 dead horses surrounded by cracked earth, swirling dust and a ribbon of water that couldn’t quench their thirst. Flesh exposed and in various stages of decomposition, the carcasses form a circle around a dry watering hole sunken in the landscape, CBS affiliate KPHO-TV reports.

And please keep in mind that this is just May.

What are things going to look like once we get to July and August?

This is what a severe drought looks like.  We haven’t seen anything like this since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and to be honest the Southwest is completely unprepared for what is about to happen.

Let us pray that rain comes soon, because without sufficient precipitation things could go from bad to worse very rapidly.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9200

Steven Mnuchin Will Head to China as Trade Tensions Mount

By Alan Rappeport and Ana Swanson

April 24, 2018

WASHINGTON — With trade tensions mounting between the United States and China, President Trump said he would dispatch his Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, and other top economic advisers to Beijing next week to try to forestall an all-out trade war.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump said he was optimistic that the United States could reach a deal with China. But he warned that if the Asian nation did not live up to its promises to open its markets, his administration would proceed with the tariffs he has threatened to impose on as much as $150 billion worth of Chinese products.

“I think China is very serious, and we’re very serious,” Mr. Trump said between meetings with President Emmanuel Macron of France. “We have no choice but to be very serious.”

Mr. Trump said that the United States delegation was making the trip at China’s request and that he was heartened by recent remarks by its president, Xi Jinping, suggesting that he was prepared to open his country’s economy to more foreign investment and ease restrictions on imports of American cars.

The two economic giants have been locked in a tit-for-tat battle over tariffs, with the United States threatening to tax Chinese products like TVs and medical devices and the Chinese retaliating with tariffs on pork and threatening to impose additional penalties on soybeans and other American goods.

Mr. Mnuchin is expected to be joined on the trip by Larry Kudlow, the director of the White House’s National Economic Council, and Robert Lighthizer, the United States trade representative. The delegation comprises a wide range of views on trade, with Mr. Mnuchin and Mr. Kudlow, a former CNBC economic commentator, more receptive to free trade and resistant to draconian tariffs, and Mr. Lighthizer encouraging the president to take a harder line. Peter Navarro, a trade adviser and the author of the book “Death by China,” may also travel with the group, but an administration official said the details were not yet finalized.

Chinese officials have increasingly turned to Mr. Mnuchin as their primary contact in trade talks, which some observers say may stem from China’s perception that he is more sensitive to their concerns. After the formal “economic dialogue” between the United States and China stalled last summer, Mr. Mnuchin has held regular discussions with his Chinese counterparts, including Liu He, China’s new economic minister.

The Chinese view Mr. Mnuchin and Mr. Kudlow, who both previously worked on Wall Street, as potentially more moderate voices who would be more reluctant to start a trade conflict that could damage American businesses and cause stock markets to plunge. They hope the two men will be more sympathetic to offers to open up China’s financial market and reduce its trade surplus by making purchases of American natural gas and other products, people briefed on the deliberations said.

Mr. Navarro and Mr. Lighthizer, meanwhile, have criticized China’s offerings and insisted that the Chinese make more sweeping changes to its economy, including removing industrial subsidies and rolling back government intervention in the economy.

The stakes of the trip are high after months of increasing strain between China and the United States. Fears about a trade war between the world’s two biggest economic powers emerged in March after Mr. Trump unveiled tariffs on global imports of aluminum and steel. The threat of tariffs on up to $150 billion of Chinese imports followed.

Next month, the Treasury Department is expected to release a plan to further restrict Chinese investment in American companies, including industries such as semiconductors and artificial intelligence that are sensitive for national security reasons. The rules could also restrict American partnerships with Chinese companies abroad.

China has not taken such threats lightly. In recent weeks it has hit back with its own threats, raising concerns among farmers and businesses in the United States that the escalating dispute could be a drag on the economy and blunt the effect of the tax cuts Mr. Trump signed into law in December.

But Mr. Xi has also signaled that he is open to negotiating with Mr. Trump. He said this month that China would reduce its tariffs on autos, which Mr. Mnuchin called “a big step in the right direction.”

While some trade experts warned that China has failed to deliver on such promises before, Mr. Trump insisted on Tuesday that he was encouraged about the possibility of a deal.

“President Xi made a speech four days ago where he said that China is going to be opened up,” Mr. Trump said. “Because it’s not opened up right now. They trade with us. We can’t trade with them.”

Some China analysts were not so impressed by Mr. Xi’s speech. “I thought it was a bunch of warmed-over repetition of things we had heard before,” said Scott Kennedy, a China analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “For me, the concern is that the level of mixed messaging that we’re sending the Chinese makes them expect that they can get through this with a very limited offer.”

Edward Mills, a public policy analyst at Raymond James Financial, said he still viewed negotiations that averted tariffs as the most likely outcome. That could include, for example, China promising to reduce tariffs on American cars, open up its financial sector and drop rules that require American companies to partner with Chinese firms in many industries. But the negotiations could drag out for months, damaging business relations.

Mr. Trump “hasn’t actually identified what he wants as the end game” of the negotiations, Mr. Mills said. “I think that is something that gives a lot of flexibility to Mnuchin and the president to declare a number of things as a victory.”

Some veterans of trade talks with China caution that Mr. Trump’s approach could backfire.

“I think that it’s very dangerous to get into a tit-for-tat war in trade, because even if your goal is to be moderate and proportional in response, one thing can lead to another and it can get out of control,” Jacob J. Lew, the Treasury secretary under President Barack Obama, told CNBC last week.

However, Paul H. O’Neill, who was President George W. Bush’s first Treasury secretary and traveled to China for talks in 2001, said it was a good sign that the American delegation was making the trip. Negotiations with Chinese officials tend to be well choreographed, he said, so it is likely that the dimensions of a trade agreement are starting to take shape.

“There’s already been endless conversations, and tweets, from our side,” Mr. O’Neill said in an interview. “They are shadow dancing with each other, but behind the scenes where we can’t see what is going on, apparently they are making some progress.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9147

Drought Returns to Huge Swaths of U.S., Fueling Fears of a Thirsty Future

  • April 17, 2018
  • By David Montgomery

Residents line up in February to fill plastic water bottles and containers at a natural water spring on the site of a local brewery in Cape Town, South Africa. As a waterless Cape Town has become a potential reality, its story has sparked new concerns over the growing scarcity of the planet’s most basic resource.

AUSTIN, Texas — Less than eight months after Hurricane Harvey pelted the Texas Gulf Coast with torrential rainfall, drought has returned to Texas and other parts of the West, Southwest and Southeast, rekindling old worries for residents who dealt with earlier waves of dry spells and once again forcing state governments to reckon with how to keep the water flowing.

Nearly a third of the continental United States was in drought as of April 10, more than three times the coverage of a year ago. And the specter of a drought-ridden summer has focused renewed urgency on state and local conservation efforts, some of which would fundamentally alter Americans’ behavior in how they use water.

In California, for example, officials are considering rules to permanently ban water-wasting actions such as hosing off sidewalks and driveways, washing a vehicle with a hose that doesn’t have a shut-off valve, and irrigating ornamental turf on public street medians. The regulations, awaiting a final decision by the California State Water Resources Control Board, were in force as temporary emergency measures during part of a devastating five-year drought but were lifted in 2017 after the drought subsided.

Water restrictions, either forced or voluntary, are nothing new to states and communities where battling drought is often a part of life. In Amarillo, Texas, the city’s water department stresses conservation with the message, “every drop counts,” and urges customers to do “at least one thing a day to save water.” A similar mantra — “squeeze every drop” — is part of the water-saving culture in Oklahoma City, where officials enforce mandatory lawn-watering restrictions and impose higher rates for excessive water use.

Years of studies by government and environmental groups have warned that future demand for water is threatening to outstrip availability, particularly in the drought-plagued West and Southwest, unless policymakers take steps to reverse those trends.

“More and more cities around the world are running into limits on how much water they have available to meet their needs,” said Peter Gleick, co-founder of the Oakland-based Pacific Institute and an expert on water and climate issues.

To understand the potential dangers, U.S. officials might look halfway around the world, to parched Cape Town, South Africa, where residents this year faced a crisis that seems straight from science fiction. After three years of drought, the city of 4 million spent months united in a struggle to fend off Day Zero, when Cape Town was projected to become the world’s first major urban center to run out of water.

Residents skimped on dishwashing and laundry, took minishowers, washed their hands with sanitizer, flushed the toilet with leftover shower water, and made numerous other sacrifices to daily routines. The objective: to cut individual water consumption to 50 liters a day, or 13.2 gallons, far below the U.S. average of 80 to 100 gallons. Hundreds queued up for daily water rations as the city deployed law enforcement officers — widely dubbed “the world’s first water police” — to enforce restrictions.

The day of reckoning was originally expected to fall in mid-April, but was postponed to May and then to June.

The draconian conservation campaign had enabled Cape Town to proclaim at least partial success in March when it pushed back Day Zero to sometime in 2019. But the executive deputy mayor, Ian Neilson, said the city is still in crisis mode until it completely replenishes its water supplies.

Cape Town Scenarios in the U.S.?

The picture of a coastal metropolis going without water once seemed inconceivable. But as a waterless Cape Town has become a potential reality, its story has sparked new concerns over the growing scarcity of the planet’s most basic resource.

U.S. government and environmental experts generally agree that no major city is in imminent danger of the kind of scenario confronting Cape Town. But residents in some small communities have struggled, and at the same time, U.S. experts worry that protracted global warming, worsening droughts, vanishing groundwater and growing populations will erode future supplies and make Americans increasingly vulnerable throughout the 21st century.

One critical water resource threatened by shortages is the Colorado River System, which includes parts of seven states and provides water for up to 40 million people. In the absence of “timely action to ensure sustainability,” the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said in a 2012 assessment of the river basin, “there exists a strong potential for significant imbalances between water supply and demand in coming decades.”

Lake Mead, a reservoir sprawling 120 miles behind the Hoover Dam in Nevada, is less than half full after years of drought. The reservoir, which is part of the Colorado River System, serves nearly 25 million people in Nevada, Arizona and California.

Burgeoning population growth is also straining water resources. The Texas Water Development Board has authorized $6.2 billion in financing for 48 municipal and regional projects after state water planners warned that the population of the second-most-populous state would grow by 70 percent over the next 50 years. Available water supplies were projected to fall by 11 percent during that same period without new investment.

The Environmental Protection Agency, in a January 2017 snapshot of the impact of climate change, predicted that the Southern Plains will face more “extreme heat” in the future, saying that the number of days of 100 degrees or hotter will quadruple by 2050.

“Increasing temperatures and more frequent and severe droughts,” the EPA said, “are expected to heighten competition for water resources for use in cities, agriculture and energy production.”

Adding to America’s water insecurity is a decadeslong decline in groundwater resources, which supply half of the nation’s residents and nearly all of its rural population, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Sustained groundwater pumping has steadily taken its toll on aquifers throughout the country, lowering groundwater levels by hundreds of feet in some places. Water levels in the High Plains aquifer system, which underlies parts of eight states, have dropped by more than 100 feet in places, largely as a result of extensive irrigation, according to the USGS.

“As more wells and deeper wells have been drilled to access groundwater, it exacerbates the groundwater level decline and there is often no way to get that back,” said Breton Bruce, a scientist with USGS in Denver. “Basically, we are pumping groundwater faster than it recharges.”

Large sections of the United States are all too familiar with drought and its devastating impact on both surface and groundwater. Over the past decade, Texas and California endured — and are still recovering from — record multiyear droughts that plunged lake levels, killed millions of trees, and cost billions of dollars in lost crops and livestock. Georgia went through four droughts from 1998 to 2016. Arizona has been confronting drought throughout the 21st century.

Two small communities, East Porterville in California and Spicewood Beach in Texas, drew national attention during their states’ droughts after their wells ran dry and outsiders came to the rescue with water deliveries. As many as 30 other Texas communities came close to running out of water during the drought, according to press reports.

“Things were grim. I didn’t get water for 20 months,” recalls Jim Burr, a peace justice and 33-year resident of Terlingua, a small community of about 800 people in the remote Big Bend region of Texas. After his 16-foot-deep well ran dry during the height of the last drought, Burr was forced to dig another that extended 45 feet deep.

The E.V. Spence Reservoir near the town of Robert Lee in West Texas ran so dry in 2011 that there were fresh water stations for residents. Texas droughts are expected to have long-term environmental and financial impacts. Many state officials worry about how U.S. cities will handle extreme drought.

Water Policy Is Fraught With Conflict

The latest wave of droughts has descended on more than a dozen states across the country. The largest band stretches across the Southwest and includes parts of southern California, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas and the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma. Pockets of drought are also in the Northern Plains, including parts of Montana and the Dakotas, and the southeastern states of Georgia and South Carolina.

Brian A. Fuchs, associate geoscientist and climatologist at the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said the Southwestern drought that started in October is “the most intense significant drought area that we have going on right now.” The ultimate impact, he said, depends on how long it lasts. For now, he added, “the jury is still out.”

“It’s one of those situations where time is definitely going to tell,” he said. “If we see conditions continue to worsen over the next six months without any improvement, the situation is going to be a lot more significant than where we’re at right now.”

Most of the states on the front lines of the current drought already have spent decades shoring up their defenses, operating on a proven regimen that whenever one drought ends, another is lurking not far in the future. But at the same, the search for effective state water policy also has been fraught with conflict, often displaying the competing interests of agriculture, property owners, big cities, small communities, energy developers, conservationists and environmentalists and a host of others. Solutions never come easy.

“Water is fundamental to all the interests,” said Luke Metzger, executive director of Environment Texas, “and, at times of scarcity, it can be a feeding frenzy, where all the interests are competing for a finite supply.”

Water necessity has also led to innovation. Two Texas cities — Big Spring and Wichita Falls — have drawn accolades from environmentalists with projects to recycle waste water into potable water. In 1980, Arizona enacted what has widely been hailed as a pioneering initiative with its Groundwater Management Act, which, among other things, required new developments to prove they could assure enough water to last 100 years.

“Arizona has had a longtime history of marshaling its water forces,” said Doug MacEachern, communications administrator for the Arizona Department of Water Resources. MacEachern said the state uses less water overall today than it did in 1957 when there were at least 5 million fewer people.

California has also produced an array of water-saving initiatives, including enacting its version of a groundwater management act in 2014. The same year, Californians approved a $7.5 billion bond package on water projects that included expanding water storage, protecting rivers and lakes, bolstering groundwater sustainability and water recycling. In June, voters will be asked to spend another $4.1 billion for initiatives that include water infrastructure and flood protection projects.

“We’re running fast to try to make ourselves resilient for the long term,” said Felicia Marcus, who chairs the California State Water Resources Control Board.

In Texas, memories of destructive droughts and fears of future water shortages prompted voters in 2013 to create the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) to help ensure abundant water supplies through 2070. The initiative empowered the Texas Water Development Board to authorize low-interest loans and other incentives to finance municipal and regional projects envisioned under the state’s long-range water plan.

“In general, there’s enough water for the projected future population … if we do it right,” said Janice Bezanson, executive director of the Texas Conservation Alliance. She acknowledges the potential of “case by case” shortages in small communities, but said that the state is “planning far enough in the future” to assure its cities of sufficient water resources.

The Texas plan calls for the creation of 26 new reservoirs as well as for other initiatives: recycling, an expanded push for desalination and replacing infrastructure to get rid of aging, leaking pipelines blamed for water loss. Some of the proposed new reservoirs have ignited a fierce pushback from landowners and conservationists, who say new lakes would threaten farm and ranch land, endanger wilderness areas, and encroach on wildlife habitat.

Meanwhile in Cape Town, Executive Deputy Mayor Neilson said the race against Day Zero has fundamentally redefined the city’s water strategies. Officials there, too, want to find alternatives.

The city, which doesn’t have a reliable source of groundwater, draws its supplies almost exclusively from surface water in its six major reservoirs. Neilson said officials have learned that they’ll need to diversify their water supply to other sources: groundwater where possible, along with water re-use and desalination.

And what about Day Zero? Neilson said the city is placing its hopes on good fortunes from the upcoming rainy season as well as quick steps such as building temporary desalination plants, which would eventually be followed by permanent plants.

City officials will then reassess toward the end of the year, he said.

“You start off from having years of luxury and having plentiful water,” he said. “You have certain behaviors that you develop, and you then have to teach yourself to do things differently.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9136

‘New world order’ could stem from US-China trade battle

  • A tit-for-tat trade standoff between the U.S. and China has fueled market fears that the dispute could soon spiral into a full-blown trade war.
  • “The signal must be there is a new order emerging, and how that new order emerges will depend upon the wisdom, the patience and the understanding of the top leaders,” Andrew Sheng, chief advisor at China’s Banking Regulatory Commission, said Friday.
  • Sheng added he was hopeful of a positive outcome given that the world wants to see “a sensible and measured way of negotiations.”

Sam Meredith | @smeredith19

Published 7:12 AM ET Fri, 6 April 2018 CNBC.com    

A trade showdown between the world’s two biggest economies could be the flashpoint for a new international order, according to the chief advisor of China’s Banking Regulatory Commission.

A tit-for-tat trade standoff between the U.S. and China has fueled market fears that the dispute could soon spiral into a full-blown trade war. Washington and Beijing have been embroiled in escalating tariff threats since early March — with market participants concerned about the potential impact of an ensuing trade war.

“The signal must be there is a new order emerging, and how that new order emerges will depend upon the wisdom, the patience and the understanding of the top leaders,” Andrew Sheng, chief advisor at China’s Banking Regulatory Commission, told CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick on the sidelines of the European House Ambrosetti Forum in Italy Friday.

When asked whether he was optimistic about the prospect of political leaders finding an effective solution to the world’s problems, Sheng replied: “I think so … We are now seeing a much more complex, much more subtle (and) much more nuanced search for the new order.”

‘Sensible and measured’

Late on Thursday, President Donald Trump instructed the U.S. Trade Representative to consider $100 billion of additional tariffs on Chinese goods. The further charges were being proposed “in light of China’s unfair retaliation” against prior U.S. trade actions, Trump said in a statement.

China on Wednesday announced it would introduce tariffs on 106 U.S. products, including soybeans, cars and whiskey. The duties were introduced as a retaliatory measure against Trump, who just 24 hours prior, had unveiled a list of Chinese imports he planned to target with tariffs.

Sheng said the world was finally getting to grips with the “massive labor shock” brought about by globalization. And while Sheng said the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China was a “very confusing situation,” he added that he was hopeful of a positive outcome given the world wants to see “a sensible and measured way of negotiations.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9128

Bigger threat than BREXIT: Italy’s populist drive to quit the Eurozone would DEVASTATE EU

ITALY leaving the European Union and the Eurozone would be a “disaster” for the bloc from both a political and economic perspective, as it could lead to a turmoil in the financial markets and the departure of more countries, experts have claimed.

By Alice Scarsi

PUBLISHED: 11:05, Fri, Mar 9, 2018 | UPDATED: 13:08, Fri, Mar 9, 2018

The shocking outcome of the election that took place in Italy last Sunday has paved the way for populist parties Lega and Five Star Movement, which together gathered more than 50 per cent of the votes.

Both the forces are eurosceptic and have in the past promoted the idea of pushing Italy outside of the EU and the eurozone.

Experts claim the possibility of a so-called Italexit would be devastating for the EU, which would see a second country leaving its borders in less than two years.

Lorenzo Codogno, former general director at the Treasury Department of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance, thinks Italy exiting the European Union would lead to a “storm in the markets”.

He said: “Italy is a big country, the third-largest national economy in the eurozone and one of the six founding members of the bloc.

“If it left the Union, there would be a storm in the markets, Italy would suffer but Europe would also be hugely affected.

“Italexit would be something very difficult to manage for the EU, so the bloc would do anything to make the country remain.”

Market analyst and CEO at Explain The Market Guy Shone thinks that Italexit would highlight the divisions within the EU, although he sees an exit of Italy too dangerous for a country with such a fragile banking system.

He said: “If Italexit were to happen, I think it would be reasonable to imply that the EU in its current form would be under threat and would be failing to prove its essentiality.”

Leaving the eurozone would be even more difficult than the process undertaken by the UK of leaving the European Union.

Whereas Britain has kept the pound, Italy uses the euro, which would make an Italexit a business complicated enough to threaten the survival of the single currency.

Mr Codogno said: “Leaving the eurozone poses a much greater problem than walking out of the bloc.

“While it was an established procedure to leave the EU, there isn’t anything like Article 50 that allow countries to opt out.”

The financial difficulties that would arise from Italexit for Italy itself lead Mr Codogno to think that the process is still far from becoming a reality.

He said: “These newly-elected eurosceptic parties might soften their positions once in power and change their attitude as concrete financial problems, such as a financial crisis and the need of a new currency, would pile up with an Italexit.

Austria: The hard-Right Freedom Party (FPO) has previously been accused of xenophobia and racism

“Nevertheless, the populists’ stance may cause severe problems, and if the will of the people is strongly in favour of an exit, they could have to act accordingly.”

In 2014, Five Star Movement founder Beppe Grillo proposed a referendum that would have questioned Italians on the possibility of leaving the eurozone.

Two years later, the party decided to set aside the referendum for the moment and to work at changing the Union from within.

In September 2017, Five Star political leader Luigi Di Maio said: “We have presented a seven-point programme to the European Parliament on the euro, with a referendum on the single currency as the final point.

“If the attitude is one of openness, we are willing to take part in a discussion on changing the rules of the game.”

The Standard Eurobarometer, which analyses the mood of European citizens towards the Union, in November signalled that that only 58 per cent of Italians were in favour of the euro, the lowest percentage recorded among all the members of the EU.

The once europhile nation has changed its attitude towards Europe following the financial crisis which hit the country in 2008 and fears over illegal migration.

The possibility of an alliance between the two eurosceptic parties seems momentarily impossible, as Five Star opened to a coalition with the europhile and centre-left wing Democratic Party while Lega leader Matteo Salvini has declared he is willing to enter Palazzo Chigi only with his centre-right wing allies Forza Italia and Brothers of Italy.

Still, Lega has already stepped up his pressure against the EU.

On Wednesday, a senator from the anti-establishment party said: “The EU is becoming more and more of a German empire.

“We are seeing German bureaucrats taking over the key positions in the EU institutions.

“We can understand why Britain wanted to escape from this prison.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9071

Pieces For Apocalyptic War Have Been Moved Into Place: Kick-Off Of All-Out, Biblical War Awaits Just The ‘Trigger Event’

– Who Financed The Rise Of Islam? ‘Islam Is The ‘Enforcement Arm’ Of The New World Order’

Submitted to All News Pipeline by Pastor Dick Carmack

As you study your bible you will see no mention of an end-times war with an Asian power located to the northeast of Israel. Instead, the biblical Islam/Israel wars are all centered in the Mid-East. The next major conflict is called “Gog-Magog” and the pieces are falling rapidly into place. Bill Salus’ “Psalm 83 War may also be part of the equation.

The King James, Ezekiel 38 references a power from the “north parts” in relation to Israel, some other translations, seeking specificity try to say “the uttermost parts of the north.” Some say “far north,” “recesses of the north” and one says “inmost north.” The Hebrew calls it “sides of the north.” None however use “east” in relation to “north.” Let’s just call it “north.”

That effectively rules out Korea or China at least until the “kings of the east” ride later for Armageddon.

Most commentators think the invading power of Ezekiel 38 is Russia. A lesser number argue that Turkey fits the description better. Considering the present maneuverings, Turkey is rattling their sword more than Russia and seems to be the likely candidate. Does Russia even have an interest in the area? Certainly. Russia is a major supplier of natural gas to Europe. Proposed competing pipelines in the mid-east are the igniting factors in the Syrian-ISIS conflict and Russia has a direct interest in controlling the outcome. She would also like to become a sea power in the Mediterranean. Russia, however, suffers from a lackluster economy, only a fraction the size of the American economy and is limited in what it can actually accomplish.

Nevertheless, a major war, perhaps a world war waits in the wings. The players are lining up, the kick-off is near and we ask, “What will be the trigger event for the biblically predicted Gog-Magog event?” Only God knows for sure but from here it looks like Iran will push the envelope a little too hard and Israel will respond overwhelmingly, perhaps with a preemptive strike, to preserve themselves as a nation. After that all bets are off.

The nuclear facility located in eastern Iran (Elam) on the Persian Gulf may play a pivotal part in the coming war because if this ancient enemy of Israel, going back to the time of Abraham, is hit the entire region may explode. To complicate it further Iran’s Elam nuclear plant is reportedly sitting on a geologic fault line. If a major earthquake were to occur with the plant being damaged or destroyed all sorts of fall-out could result. If the earth moves will Israel be blamed for that?

Like it or not, the Israel haters (who argue Israel’s importance is exaggerated) will have to admit the attention of the world is centered on this small patch of land on the eastern Mediterranean. So is the Bible’s. While our media beats the drums for continual fear of a nuclear exchange between the United States and North Korea, or perhaps China and Russia, that’s not what God’s word teaches. I’ll go with the Bible, confident that when the smoke clears the Scriptures will be shown once again to be infallible.

Ancient Elam, as mentioned above and in Genesis 14 was one of the invaders of the area later known as the Holy Land, taking captives and looting the cities of the plain. It was then, and is today a prime candidate for the end-time wars. The wars associated with the descendants of Abraham run deep and continue for centuries as the details play themselves out, pre-written as prophecy in the pages of the bible.

When Abraham sired an illegitimate child with the Egyptian handmaid Hagar, at Sarai’s urging (Gen 16), the first seed of a conflict that was destined to last for the ages began its sojourn. Seed number two was the miraculous birth of Isaac when Abram was 100 and Sarai his wife was 90. The two progeny of Abram (later Abraham) were destined to conflict from then on. One child was legitimate, the second child (Isaac). The first child (Ishmael), born out of wedlock with Hagar was illegitimate. From Isaac proceeded the Jewish people, from Ishmael came the Arabs which make up the founders and the bulk of the adherents of Islam. God has made it clear the Jews are His Chosen People, the world and its prince (Satan) stand with Islam. Be sure you are on the winning side because there is no doubt as to how it will all end.

As we watch the end-time players, we notice that Islam has obviously become the chosen enforcement arm of the New World Order. The money people, all over the world, not just in New York, need to have a group of thugs to enforce their will, thus we see an Islamic invasion of the entire world. The stage has been set, the players are in place and the final moves are in the process of implementation. The only question remaining is will the Globalist crowd be successful now, or later? Because, the Bible clearly teaches at a certain point a world government will be administered through a group of ten “kings” (Dan 7:24; Rev 17:12) or political hacks for Antichrist.

Da 7:24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

To further complicate the incentives of the mid-east players is the desire of Russia to extend its territory farther south for more access to the Mediterranean Sea. Having lost much of its prestige when Reagan was successful in tearing down the Berlin Wall, a move that hastened Russia’s fall, since then the Kremlin has struggled to regain its once strong position as a world player. Many however believe Russia to be a paper tiger.

Despite its apparent power, much of it may simply be drama. Take for example last week’s announcement of an “unstoppable atomic missile.” Many have noted there were no pictures of the actual missile, simply an animation that may have been taken from a 2007 YouTube video. This leads to other information that much of Russia’s power may just be bluster. Check out the story at this link.

Such bluster leads us to believe when push comes to shove for the Gog-Magog invasion Russia may well take a back seat with Erdogan’s Turkey being the main player from “the north quarters.”

The second, and larger reason war between Iran and Israel is next is the “Trump Plan” being touted, and soon to be “revealed” that calls for a Palestinian State on the West Bank (of the Jordan) with its capital in East Jerusalem. Trump’s plan may fly with the Palestinians, but it will not fly with the religious Jews and if it somehow gets over those hurdles, God Himself will take care of the problem because He says clearly in the third chapter of Joel that if they do “part” Jerusalem, that will bring on the war to end all wars,

Joe 3:2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.

Yes, Gog-Magog and Armageddon may be separate wars, then again Gog may morph into Armageddon. We do know certain things, particular conflicts are going to happen, the timing of all of them however is very uncertain. The point of this article is that war with Korea at this time does not fit into the prophetic plan, war between Israel and Islam does.

WHO HAS FINANCED THE RISE OF ISLAM?

Regarding the relative sudden emergence of Islam popping up all over the world and taking a major role in world politics can only be accounted for by an amazing amount of money being spent buying off otherwise somewhat rational politicians. One such is Germany’s Angela Merkel (plus the European Union in general) completely losing her mind in throwing open that country’s borders to the invasion of an unwashed, uneducated mass of insane humanity called Islam, descending on the civilized world from the Mid East.

It just does not compute that the world’s politicians have suddenly, collectively lost their minds in throwing open their borders to Islam. The Bible says the love of money is the root of all evil and the most logical explanation is that a few billion dollars have been printed out of thin air and used to buy the allegiance of world leaders in pushing an Islamic invasion on the world. Both the Europeans and Islam will do the bidding of their Money Masters, the driving force of the push for world government. As many are prone to say, “Follow the money.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9067

Turkey, Japan and Germany Will Unite And Produce Nuclear Weapons To Create A World Superpower Coalition And War Against The United States

By Ted on February 8, 2018 in Featured, General

 “The way of peace they have not known,

And there is no justice in their ways;

They have made themselves crooked paths;

Whoever takes that way shall not know peace.” (Isaiah 59:8)

“America first” declares: ‘Let the world police itself,’ accelerating the restoration of militarist Japan, giving it the green light to become militarily independent. It is also enabling Muslim Turkey and Germany to become military giants (more on that later). With this exclusive report Shoebat.com provides here, this trinity of evil will be a formidable match to the US.

The days of Japan being known strictly as a pacifist nation are beginning to wane. Shinzo Abe’s government has reinterpreted the constitution to allow for “collective self defense,” which is just an elusive and incremental way to bring Japan closer and closer to the warpath, its militarism of olden days.

The former defense minister of Japan, Shigeru Ishiba, said in September of last year that Japan should pursue producing nuclear weapons, stating:  “Is it really right for us to say that we will seek the protection of US nuclear weapons but we don’t want them inside our country?” Ishiba questioned whether or not the US would really come to the defense of Japan in the event of a war between Japan and North Korea. “It’s important to know when the United States would ‘open’ the nuclear umbrella for us,” Ishiba said.  “If Japan, the only country to have suffered a nuclear attack, possessed nuclear weapons, it would send a message that it’s fine for anyone in the world to have them”.

While there is constant yammer coming from the masses that Japan will not return to the warpath because it is somehow militarily inept, or overly dependent on the US, the reality is that Japan would not have difficulty in becoming a very dangerous force (the naive do not understand that Japan already has an efficient military force). In fact, the US government knows that Japan and Germany have the ability to make nuclear weapons, not in a matter of years, but  months. The US also knows very well that these countries will begin to show interest in producing nuclear weapons if they start to ‘lose trust’ in the United States. This issue was made known in a report addressed to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States Senate in 2008, entitled: Chain Reaction: Avoiding a Nuclear Arms Race in the Middle East, in which it says:

“In the cases of Germany and Japan, both countries can easily obtain nuclear weapons but have chosen not to because of their integration beneath a NATO (Germany) or an American (Japan) security umbrella. Today, all of these countries have the technical capacity to obtain nuclear weapons in a matter of months or a few short years. Yet, they chose not to because of their respective cost-benefit analyses. Pursuing nuclear weapons demands a large amount of finite money and other resources and could invite punishing international political pressure and economic sanctions. At the same time, little need exists to pursue such an undesirable policy because these countries do not view nuclear weapons as necessary for their national security. This belief derives primarily from the fact that these countries rest comfortably beneath a U.S. or U.S.-led security umbrella. If these countries ever begin to question the reliability of this security umbrella, they would almost certainly reassess past nuclear weapons decisions.”

This statement from the 2008 document proves that the United States knows that if Germany and Japan begin to show distrust for the United States to provide security, they will begin having interests in acquiring nuclear weapons. Trump, before he was even elected, was showing that he would not mind Japan having a nuclear arsenal, when he said:

“Would I rather have North Korea have [nuclear weapons] with Japan sitting there having them also? You may very well be better off if that’s the case. … If they’re attacked… we have to come totally to their defense. And that is a — that’s a real problem.”

Trump showed that he does not want the US to come to Japan’s defense. What did this do? It gave Japan more of a sign that they can further pursue military independence.

While Japan does not currently have nuclear weapons, it most certainly has the capacity to develop nuclear weapons, and the sophistication to deliver nuclear attacks. Unlike North Korea, Japan is a far more formidable force in East Asia. Japan has enough plutonium to create more than 5000 nuclear bombs. Japan’s capacity for nuclear technology is described by Mark Fitzpatrick:

“While the intentions behind Japan’s nuclear-hedging strategy are often kept hidden, the capabilities are clearly visible. Japan has the largest number of civilian nuclear facilities of any non-weapons state and the only one with complete fuel-cycle technologies, including both enrichment and reprocessing.”

Back in the 1980s the CIA was talking about inquiring to see how fast Japan would be able to obtain nuclear weapons. Shoebat.com poured into numerous CIA archives on Japan and its nuclear capacity. In a 1988 document found in the CIA archives, entitled: Query from Senator Murkowski (R., Alaska) about Japan’s capability to develop a nuclear weapon, it reads:

“During a recent briefing, Senator Murkowski diverted the discussion to Japan’s peaceful nuclear energy program and its acquisition of plutonium. He eventually asked if the Agency could provide a brief overview on the possibility of a nuclear program being undertaken in Japan. What additional capability would Japan need in order to use plutonium from its energy industry to fabricate a nuclear weapon?”

Where is North Korea ranked in comparison to Japan? Although Japan is currently ranked the seventh most powerful military in the world, with it being the third largest economy in the world, it has the potential to become much higher in the list of the most powerful militaries. In 1982, the CIA’s Foreign Broadcast Information Service produced a document entitled Japan Report, in which it presented the transcript of a panel discussion between leading Japanese officials on whether or not Japan must increase its military capacity, independently of the United States, since it could not rely on the Americans in case of a war.

The documents we discovered reveal that Japan has been showing interest in military independence for decades. In one part of the 1982 document, Masatsugu Ishibashi, the secretary general of the leftist Socialist party, said:

“The question has been raised as to whether the United States is certain to come to the rescue in the event Japan is attacked and invaded. I have no confidence at all on this point. I cannot entertain such easy-going expectations that the United States will hurry to Japan’s aid if it expects its own homeland to be devastated.”

 

Ishibashi goes on to say that if Japan did not honor its pacifist constitution, specifically Article 9 of the constitution (which prohibits any active role in war), then Japan, having the third largest Gross National Product (GNP) in the world, would become the third largest military on earth:

“If there were no Peace Constitution and if we did not have the power to insist that Article 9 be obeyed, Japan’s military strength would not be limited to seventh (some say eighth) place in the world. Since the GNP is third highest in the world, it can be said that the military power would be certain to be comparable, i.e., third largest in the world.”

This means that Japan has been preparing to turn its plowshares into swords. Ishibashi further on in his presentation says: “preparations are being made to alter the constitution, if possible, to officially recognize the right to collective defense.” This was said in 1982, and now in the second decade of the 21st century, this sentiment is stemming right from the top. Shinzo Abe and his government have been talking seriously about amending Article 9 of the Japanese constitution.

Snapshot of Japan Report document

In the panel debate, Ishibashi exhorts for Japan to increase its military spending from one percent of its GNP, to three percent:

Japan, being ranked third in its GNP, Turkey ranked second in NATO militarily, and Germany being the most powerful military and economy in Europe, are all striving to make their militaries even more powerful. Knowing past history, the three combined spells catastrophe.

Goro Takeda, a Japanese general who was in the panel, expressed a desire for Japan to be militarily independent, when he said: “it is the will of the people to defend Japan by themselves. Since those we are going to fight are our enemy, there is no one else except the Japanese, in actuality, to stand in the way of the invaders.” Takeda was talking about a war against the Soviet Union. While both Takeda and Ishibashi agreed that peace should be pursued, their words reflected an itching for military independence. The reality remains that talks of military independence has been in Japan for decades, and in the present zeitgeist of militarism and nationalism, this desire is getting closer to fruition.

JAPAN AND URENCO

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, the Japanese government is currently going through negotiations to purchase Urenco, one of the largest producers of enriched plutonium in the world. The deal is expected to be worth several billions of dollars.

While the Japanese are stating that their reason behind this deal is to become more dependent on nuclear power as a source for electricity, this is just one of the motivations. Japan is interested in purchasing Urenco to prevent Russia or China from buying this company, in what looks to be a nuclear proliferation competition between these countries. According to one report: “The joint bid for Urenco is aimed at keeping Russia and China at bay. Both countries are said to be showing interest in acquiring the enriched uranium producer.”

China currently has thirty five nuclear reactors as of January 2017, while Russia has thirty. Japan almost combines both. It has fifty-three nuclear reactors. However, if you include the nuclear reactors that are being planned in Russia and China, Russia has fifty-five, and China eighty-two, surpassing Japan’s fifty-three nuclear reactors. Japan wants to counteract China’s and Russia’s nuclear production by purchasing a huge share of Urenco.

The Japanese plan to purchase a huge chunk of Urenco is part of American industrial interests. In March of 2017, Westinghouse, an American nuclear company under Toshiba, went bankrupt. The Trump administration, supposedly, was terrified that China would buy Westinghouse, and the US government was even determined to stop any Chinese purchase of the company (Toshiba eventually sold Westinghouse for $4.6 billion to the Canadian investment firm Brookfield Business Partners). Now with Japan expected to purchase a significant part of Urenco, the United States is pleased to see their Japanese ally gaining an advantage position in nuclear production against China and Russia.

And there is major American industrial backing to Japan’s nuclear aspirations. Daniel Poneman, president and CEO of Centrus Energy who served as U.S. deputy energy secretary under Obama, according to one report, “can act as a go-between to the current White House and help Japan maintain a solid relationship with the U.S.”

The government of Japan is currently holding talks with shareholders of the company. The owners of the company are the governments of the Netherlands and of Great Britain, and the German companies E.ON and RWE.

While Urenco has denied that these negotiations are taking place, one must ask why the world’s largest financial newspaper, Nikkei, would lie about such a thing? Why would such a reputable paper make up this entire story, with all of this detail? It looks like Urenco is denying that the negotiations are happening to cover up their plans.

The Japan Bank of International Cooperation, which is owned by the Japanese government, is expected to make an offer alongside the U.S. nuclear energy company, Centrus Energy (the same company that Poeman is a CEO of, showing private American industrial interest in this purchase).

The objective behind this is political, and has everything to do with Japan being the dominating superpower in Asia. The CEO of Japan Bank of International Cooperation is Tadashi Maeda, who is also a member of the major think-tank, International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

In 2014, Maeda attended a panel discussion in Oslo, Norway, called the 11th IISS Global Strategic Review. In the conference Maeda made it clear — using what tickles American ears — that Japan’s nuclear interest were against Russia. A document published by IISS on the event recounted that, “Maeda noted that the gradual restarting of Japan’s nuclear power plants following the Fukushima nuclear accident would act against Russian supply prospects, as would the Japanese domestic energy-distribution monopoly, which has impeded pipeline construction in the past.”

ARMS PRODUCTION

Japan has just recently completed its XASM-3 supersonic anti-ship missile, and is planning on mass producing them by 2019. According to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper: “The introduction of the new missile is aimed at keeping the Chinese Navy — which has been taking high-handed action in the East China Sea and other places — in check”. The missile will be carried by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s (JASDF) F-2 multirole fighter jets, a Mitsubishi license-produced variant of Lockheed Martin’s F-16.

Japan is also planning on arming their F-35A stealth fighter jets with the Joint Strike Missile (JSM) by 2025. This new missile will be able to hit a target 500 kilometers (310 miles) away, with extreme precision.

The production of weapons like the XASM-3 is being conducted under the umbrella of the Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA), which was just formed in July of 2015 in order to “bring together disparate parts of the Ministry of Defense working on defense R&D [research and development], procurement, and exports under one roof.”

Japan’s pursuit towards becoming a military industrial center has been going on for a very long time. In 1967, Prime Minister Eisako Sato set up “Three Principles on Arms Export and Their Related Policy Guidelines,” prohibiting any sort of exporting of arms to communist countries, countries involved in violent conflicts, or countries placed under arms embargoes by the United Nation. These rules became even more stringent in 1976, when Prime Minister Takeo Miki established a complete ban on exporting any arms regardless of where they were sent. These rules lasted for four decades, until the 1980s when Japan allowed for the one single exception that arms could be exported to the United States, of course, especially for cooperation on Ballistic Missile Defense.

This rule began to see a turning point in 2013, when Japan released its first ever National Security Strategy, which set out a promise to review the prohibition on exports. In April of 2014, Abe’s Cabinet did a revision on the rules, allowing for arms exports for the purpose of advancing Japan’s own security interests. All of these actions are incremental steps to an ultimate goal, and that is a militarily independent Japan. The creation of ATLA is part of this goal, working on creating efficiency in the production of military technology.  What is very interesting about ATLA is that, in the words of Crystal Pryor, “Parliamentary oversight is basically nonexistent, even though as an advanced democracy, Japanese people should demand that their elected officials be involved.”

In the Meiji era of Japan in the 19th century, the slogan was “rich nation/strong army” (Fokuku kyohei), and the foundation of this strategy was “increase industrial productivity” (shokusan kogyo). This policy was inspired by the German victories over France in the Franco-Prussian War. This mentality still has never left Japan, with the country still working to be militarily advanced.

TECHNONATIONALISM

Japan has a strategy of fusing technocratic aims and nationalist aims, which is defined as “technonationalism.” In the words of Richard Samuels:

“Japanese military and industrial strategies have been built on a fusion of industrial, technology, and national security policies. This fusion, dubbed technonationalism [italics mine], has persisted in both the prewar era, when Japan used military means to achieve its national objectives, and in the postwar period, when its policies were more completely commercial.” (See Michael J. Green, Arming Japan)

Of course it is obvious that Japan is not the only country that utilizes technonationalism. The United States and many other countries use this, and soon this will all erupt in a clash of nations, in war.

The technologies for warfare that the most powerful of nations are developing are beyond conventional imaginations when it comes to military conflicts. The weaponry that they are producing is nothing like what was seen in the Second World War, and has gone beyond general military technology. We are speaking of robots and artificial intelligence (AI) for the use of killing people in the battlefield. Now this is no longer beyond general military manufacturing and has become common in defense production. Arthur Herman speaks of “technologies and systems that until recently lay outside the conventional defense sector,” and analyst Toshifumi Kokubun, commentating on these words, writes:

Core components of this strategy include unmanned systems, robotics, miniaturization, artificial intelligence (AI) and big data, among others. That list overlaps with many key sectors identified in various national-technology plans, which invariably include robotics, AI, and big data, along with nanotechnology, biotechnology, quantum computing and composite materials. The U.S. Defense Innovation Initiative, launched in 2014, aims to tap the energy and potential of actors ‘outside the Department of Defense’s traditional orbit.’ Foreign countries are among them. Japan, which has cutting-edge technologies in many of these fields, is a primary partner in this effort.

The United States Innovation Initiative is seeking after this technology outside of the watch of the Department of Defense. In other words, corporations can override the auspices of government. Japan is so advanced (unlike the “threat” of North Korea), that the United States is essentially going to learn from Japan’s military technological research.

After the Second World War, Japan, understandably, was made militarily dependent on the US. In the 1970s, Japan pushed to become a more militarily independent country through the collaboration between industries and government. This desire to further this policy is found in a 2014 report from Japan’s Ministry of Defense, in which it talks about how Japan’s Self-Defense Forces were made subordinate to the US after its defeat in the Second World War, but that it was determined to break out of this and develop military technology independently through its own government-industry cooperation. As the report says:

“Most of Japan’s defense production and technological base was lost at the end of WWII. The newly established JSDF (Japan Self-Defense Forces, established in 1954) was dependent on US deliveries and leases of defense equipment by the U.S., but Japan strived to strengthen its defense production and technological bases by license production and indigenous production, and research and development of major defense equipment, through government-industry cooperation based on the basic guideline for production and development of defense equipment (so-called kokusanka-hoshin (guideline for indigenous development/production) of 1970.”

Notice that the report affirms that Japan was determined to establish its own production of military technology independent of the United States. This is a reflection of what Japan currently wants to do: to break away from US control and bring back its own militarist country, with the aspirations of reviving its old empire. Lets not forget that Shinzo Abe himself said that he likens his military policies to the Meiji era of Japan, in which the country was unified, placed under emperor worship and would arise as the dominant nation in East Asia that would eventually crush the Russians in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), establishing itself as a force that impressed both the Western powers and the Ottoman Empire.

Going back to the 2014 document from Japan’s Ministry of Defense, it expresses Japans desire for “independence of security as well as having characteristics of industrial policy in the sense that production of defense equipment has a positive ripple effect on economic activity by private companies”. Notice the words, “independence of security,” denoting an agenda of being militarily free from the American security umbrella. Remember what the 2008 document addressed to the Committee on Foreign Relations warns: that if Japan and Germany begin to express distrust for the American security umbrella, they will acquire nuclear weapons. Well, its quite obvious that Japan wants, and has been wanting, to become militarily independent from the United States, and is, and has been, expressing distrust for the United States, which means that it will certainly pursue the production of nuclear weapons.

JAPAN, TURKEY AND FRANCE

What makes Japan even more interesting in this aspect of militarism is Shinzo Abe’s unusual amount of collaboration with Turkey. From 2006 to 2007, Abe served as Japan’s Prime Minister. Five years after this, in 2012, Shinzo Abe got voted in again to serve as Prime Minister. For those five years in between his two terms, Tokyo pretty much ignored Ankara. Shinzo Abe has been showing a distinguished interest in devising plans with Turkey. J. Berkshire Miller, writing in a 2014 report for the Diplomat, writes:

“Abe has put an unusual amount of effort into bolstering the relationship with Ankara through two separate trips to the country since taking office. Abe also welcomed Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Japan this past January. The rapid expansion in Japan-Turkey ties is even more dramatic, given that Ankara was all but ignored by Tokyo in the five years between the Abe 1.0 and Abe 2.0 administrations. Indeed, the last Japanese Prime Minister to visit Turkey (before Abe) was former LDP leader Junichiro Koizumi.”

Turkey built an undersea tunnel that crosses the Bosphorus Strait, called the Eurasia Tunnel, which became operational in December of 2016. The project costed $4 billion dollars. One billion of that was given by the Japan Bank of International Cooperation, the very banking company that is, according to Nikkei Asian Review, putting a bid to have Japan purchase one of the world’s largest producers of enriched plutonium, Urenco. Abe visited Istanbul for the opening ceremony of the tunnel back in 2014, and declared in his speech:

“This project has been accomplished thanks to the cooperation of Japan’s high-technology and Turkey’s experienced labor power. The upcoming year is the 90th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Japan. I hope this project will be the new symbol of the two countries’ friendship.”

An even bigger deal than the undersea tunnel is Japan’s agreement to build the Sinop nuclear power plant in Sinop, in northern Turkey. It is being projected that the first unit of the Sinop plant will be done by 2023, and the fourth unit will be in service by 2028. The project goes back to 2013, when Erdogan and Abe signed an outline US$22 billion deal for the construction of the Sinop Nuclear Power Plant in Turkey. The Sinop power plant will be built by Atmea, a joint venture between Orano, a major multinational company that specializes in nuclear technology, and that is owned by the French government, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).

Turkish defense circles are very excited about this, as is reflected in the top English language magazine from the Turkish military industrial complex, Defense Turkey, which in its own words, is “a bilateral information platform to the Turkish military and defence officials, Turkish decision makers, procurement executives and Turkish defence industry members on the developments of international defence industries, capabilities and technologies.”

In one report published by Defense Turkey, entitled, Defence: Bilateral Franco-Turkish Relationship, it reads:

“For over 5 centuries, France and the Ottoman Empire – now Turkey – have maintained close diplomatic relations, with the exception of some difficult spells. …  The time is right to resume political discussions and strengthen economic relations between the two countries, particularly in the fields of armaments, energy and aeronautics. In 2013 the French Government owned Areva Company and its Japanese partner MHI, won a € 17 billion contract to supply four Atmea nuclear power plants.”

It is very interesting that this magazine connects the building of this nuclear power plant in Turkey by France and Japan, with the long history of military collaboration between France and the Ottoman Empire.

This is a dark reality that is hardly discussed. One very significant moment of this Franco-Turkish alliance was in the 16th century, when the French Valois kingdom made an alliance with the Ottoman Empire against the Habsburgs. In 1536, King Francis I made a coalition with Hayreddin Barbarossa, an Ottoman navy admiral, becoming the first European king to establish an alliance with the Ottoman Empire. The French and the Ottomans joined together to fight against the Italian navy of Genoa that was led by Andrea Doria. The Catholic Church got involved, trying to bring peace between the European countries, with Pope Paul III promoting reconciliation as a direct response against the French and Ottoman alliance.

 

This effort was to no avail. Together the French and the Ottomans attacked the Greek island of Corfu in 1537. In July of 1543, Barbarossa led a fleet of 110 ships, with the French ambassador on board, to partake in a French-Ottoman invasion of Nice (which was then under the control of the Duchy of Savoy). The invasion was, in the words of historian Mark Greengrass, “Christians fighting alongside Ottomans against Christians.”

French and Ottoman troops joining together to fight the Italian Catholics, is a fulfillment of Daniel’s warning:

For the ships of Chittim [Romans/Italians] shall come against him [Antichrist]: therefore he shall be grieved, and return [retreat], and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence [conspiracy]  with them that forsake the holy covenant. (Daniel 11:30)

In September of 1543, the Ottomans requested from the French a port in France in which to make a base. The French fulfilled this request and gave the Turks the city of Toulon. All French inhabitants of the city, with the exception of heads of households, were made to leave. For eight  months, Toulon was an Ottoman military base. (See Greengrass, Christendom Destroyed, ch. 9, pp. 303-304)

Given this historical reality, what are the French up to collaborating with the Japanese to make a nuclear power plant in Turkey?

We cannot know everything as far as their motivation goes. But what we do know for certain is that it is being done for profit, just as the French in the past allied with the Ottomans for profit and power.

At the end of the day, the international military industrial complex is about making profit, even if it has to kill countless lives.

The whole earth is going nuclear. The chairman and CEO of the company that is making the Sonip nuclear power plant in Turkey, Atmea, is Stefan von Scheid, a member of the Presidential Council of the German Atomic Forum.

Another member of the Council is Winfried Petry, who was actually elected as vice-president of the Council in 2009. Petry was also the scientific director of the Forschungs-Neutronenquelle Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (Research Neutron Source Heinz Maier-Leibnitz). Upon being elected vice-president, Petry spoke of some very interesting things: he talked about how Germany is becoming a center for nuclear research:

“In my time as vice president I want to emphasize the high value of science and research in the nuclear field for a leading industrial nation as Germany. Despite the planned nuclear power phase-out in, Germany has to continuously take a leasing role in the nuclear research. Thus we have enough power to influence international standards and attract researchers from all over the world to Germany, which offers the necessary know-how”

Remember what the 2008 document said: if Japan or Germany express distrust for the United States security umbrella, they will begin to question old policies on nuclear weaponry, implying that they will pursue the possession of nuclear weapons. Talk of distrust towards the United States has already been happening in Germany. Remember what Merkel said in May of 2017:

“The times in which [Germany] could fully rely on others are partly over. I have experienced this in the last few days… We Europeans really have to take our destiny into our own hands.”

Distrust is a minor issue, in comparison to the ability to have power to revive the wounded beasts of the past.  Roderich Kiesewetter, a member of the German parliament for the Protestant Christian Democrats — the same party of Angela Merkel — wrote an article for the Right-wing publication, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, stating that now is the time to contemplate “the altogether unthinkable for a German brain, the question of a nuclear deterrence capability, which could make up for doubts about American guarantees”.

With major German officials expressing distrust for the United States, and interest in creating nuclear weapons, and in the wake of the most prestigious scientific establishment in Germany, the Max Planck Institute, creating the nuclear fusion reactor, the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator; and with Japan also showing more military independence, and the fact that Japan, in April of 2013, refused to sign a joint-statement on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, presages what the future holds: nuclear war.

In East Asia, you have two polls of power — Japan and China — vying for domination of that area of the continent. Historically, these two countries have been wanting to be the biggest dog in the pound, fighting for the same bone of power. The Chinese statesmen, Yuan Shikai, wrote in the year 1913:

“In the hands of such a [strong] government China will soon become a World-Power, easily able to hold her territory against aggression … With her wealth of internal resources and her teeming millions, a Westernized China must sooner or later count as the controlling factor in industrial and military struggles of the world.”

In an old Japanese school song, popular in the first half of the twentieth century, we read:

“From Karafuto and the Kuriles in the north to Taiwan and Pescadores in the south, Korea and all Japan … the nation our taikun [commander] rules, and the fifty million countrymen over whom waves the flag of the rising sun.” (See Emmerson, 1913)

With two great powers struggling for the same region, the two are bound to clash inevitably. Japan warred against China in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), and again in the Second World War. Who is to say that such powers will not war with each other again?

That which has been is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done,
And there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9013

Unprecedented Global “4th Turning” Unites The World Against Globalist Threat

Old-Thinker News | Feb. 6, 2018

By Daniel Taylor

Because of globalization and world-wide communication, 4th turning cycles around the globe appear to be synchronized and are in fact leading to a dramatic global crescendo.

A week after Donald Trump was elected, Old-Thinker News warned that the President was elected during a dangerous 4th turning historical cycle, while facing a presidency plagued by agitator George Soros.

All signs are pointing to the fact that America is in the midst of a 4th turning cycle.

Authors William Strauss and Neil Howe document these historical patterns in their 1997 book The Fourth Turning.

A Fourth Turning (occurring approximately every 80 years) happens when national issues that have been boiling without resolution for years explode. “Subliminal fears… become urgent” heading into the Fourth Turning. During this revolutionary time, groups entrench themselves in the power structure to support it while others organize to resist it.

Famous Fourth Turnings of the past include: The Wars of the Roses (1459-1487), The American Revolution (1773-1794), The Civil War (1860-1865), and the Great Depression and World War II (1929-1946)

A Global 4th Turning

Because of globalization and world-wide communication, 4th turning cycles around the globe – including many different countries, cultures and governments – appear to be synchronized and are in fact leading to a dramatic global crescendo.

Previous 4th turning revolutions were directed at the leadership of individual nations. Deadly wars were fought and a new era began afterwards. While this remains true now, the revolution is against Globalists who represent a power structure that threatens all nations equally, at the same moment in history. It is this threat that binds like minded traditionalist and nationalist individuals across the globe. It is a truly unprecedented time period in human history.

Fortunately, this war has been an information war so far. We should be thankful that we have the ability to take down entire establishment structures using instant communication technology at our fingertips. Our ancestors had to take up arms and shed their own blood when tyranny had a chance to metastasize.

Andrey Afanasyev, a Russian journalist and media personality, appeared on the Alex Jones show recently. Afanasyev stated that we are “…in a state of global civil war. It means that technically all the world now… is a battlefield of ideas…” between globalists and nationalists.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9011

Is the UN planning to occupy the US following an EMP attack?

Mike Adams recently wrote an article in which he reported what is now sinking in with the rest of the media, namely, North Korea has a hydrogen bomb and advanced EMP weapons. Allow this to serve as a backdrop for the following article, which makes the case that the UN is operating on US soil, in places like Rawlins, Wyoming and Hagerstown, Maryland, and they are prepared to survive an EMP attack prior to asserting their authority over the people of the United States.

The United Nations Personnel and Vehicles Are Seemingly Everywhere

The United Nations is clearly on the move across the United. I am getting reports and photos from Georgia, Alabama and Texas. However, the most interesting photos are coming out Rawlins, Wyoming and Hagerstown, Maryland.

Rawlins, Wyoming: UN Command and Control with EMP Proof Communications

Over the past 18 months, the small town of Rawlins, Wyoming has come to my attention because of its intimate association with DHS and the UN. Further, this small town of under 10,ooo people has played host to some very large scale bioweapon response drills as well as testing the efficacy of the Federal authorities to be able to respond to a terrorist chemical attack.

I have taken the following photos to military personnel who tell me this is an United Nations operation. The particular equipment you are looking at is designed to operate and persevere through an EMP attack. Most recently, Paul Martin and myself have received an identical communication from the Rawlins area. Please take note the following photos:

In addition to this development, we should consider the many interviews that Paul Martin and I have done regarding foreign troops in Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming.

Here is a sample of what Paul Martin have been discovering in this region. On December 16, 2016, Paul revealed to my audience that Warren AFB has been cross-training non-combat personnel to be prepared to fight in an urban warfare situation. Here is the interview:

Here is Paul Martin’s interview.

Rawlins is a town where the locals are afraid. They are innundated with the types of events that I have reported here. For example, look at the following email and picture from last year.

Sent: Wednesday, May 11, 2016 4:11 PM
To: Katy W
Subject: Look What Came To Our Town

This military convoy was here May 2016 Wednesday today. At our fairgrounds in Rawlins. This is only a beginning of the convoy there’s more and throughout the whole day we have been swamped with military convoys coming in and we don’t even have a military base.

My former English teacher, Mrs. Chaffin, said this about, Rawlinsm her hometown:

  • “On Halloween, my sibling and myself used to hide in our house, not daring to sleep in our beds, for fear that witches would find us for human sacrifice.
  • She spoke of witches gatherings behind the prison gates.
  • She said the teachers and the police made certain that everyone acted as they were supposed to.
  • Free speech was not tolerated and I am glad I escaped.”

Now we see UN EMP proof communications in this very bizarre place. What an optimal environment for the UN to operate in.

UN Vehicle Storage Area In Hagerstown, MD.

The following video speaks for itself. The following is oe of many UN staging areas. Please note the medical vehicles, but also note the vehicles associated with war. This is on American soil, where our DHS is allowing foreign military entities to act with impunity on American soil. I have learned that this facility is owned by the State Department (ie Deep State).

What makes sense here is that a catastrophic event(s) is/are coming America’s way in the form of false flag events designed to create a crisis, in which the great purveysors of humanitarian aid, will come like a thief in the night to offer humanitarian aid, followed by gun confiscatio, followed by martial law. This is shaping up to be America’s darkest moment.

Here is an email from the person that sent me the following photos:

Hey Dave,

This area has been used for storing UN vehicles for at least the last year. If you check out this address on Google Maps you will see some Vehicles there as well. 11841 Newgate Boulevard Hagerstown Maryland 21740. You can’t tell from the pictures but behind the pickup trucks are some armored AMRAP type vehicles. My name is Steven Myers. Please keep up the good work and may God protect and watch over you. (note: Somebody did send me those photos too, look at the top photo at the top of the page).

The following video contains 10 photos sent by Mr. Meyers. These vehicles are, again, a combination of medical and military assault vehicles. As I stated earlier, I am getting similar reports out of Alabama, Georgia and Texas.

Connecting the Dots

I interviewed Mike Adams last night. Mike said he also feared an UN takeover which would be ushered in under the guise of a humanitarian response to some manufactured crisis (ie false flag). I believe that what we are seeing in this report is that the UN plans on making their presence known following an EMP attack upon the United States. As with other UN occupatons, the humanitarian mission quickly gives way to gun confiscation and worse.

Certainly , the Un equipment in Rawlins would allow the UN to maintain their command and control following an EMP attack.

Finally, if i were to try and think like a globalist. I would think of terms of bad things happening in threes:

  1. Hurricane Harvey
  2. Hurricane Irma
  3. The failure of the Orville Dam

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8916