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Archive → December 26th, 2017

The Real deplorables / Upstream Ideas

Al Franken, accused by several women of inappropriate behavior said he would resign despite his repeated assertions he did nothing wrong. But if he did nothing wrong—why is he resigning? Because he is a spineless preener, hypocrite and sycophant. He can’t bear the idea that his colleagues would shun him—or that people would look at him askew. Pat Hughes calls out the real deplorables in this week’s Two Minute Warning.

Source: Will County News

Yes, there is a shadow government

Yes, there is a shadow government

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New documents released from the FBI reveal that shadow government officials working for the State Department under John Kerry conspired to help Hillary Clinton avoid serious consequences for her mishandling of classified documents.

New documents released in the FBI Vault, the agency’s FOIA repository, reveal that Kerry’s Deputy Secretary of State, Patrick F. Kennedy, changed dozens of emails contained on Clinton’s private server from “classified” to “unclassified” to lessen scrutiny on the former secretary of state.

As reported by Infowars:

Reading the FBI source documents make clear that Kennedy was determined to recruit not only the FBI but the CIA and other intelligence agencies to engage in a “quid pro quo” cover-up scheme aimed at hiding the truth that Clinton did transmit classified State Department documents over her private unsecured email server.

The FBI source documents make clear the FBI had evidence suggesting Clinton had committed criminal violations of national security laws regarding her transmitting of State Department classified information over her unsecured private email server in July 2015 – a year and a half before the Nov. 2016 presidential election – information that had it been made public at that time most likely would have derailed Clinton’s bid to win the DNC’s presidential nomination.

The entire analysis is definitely worth a read. 

Source: Will County News

Choosing to fight

Choosing to fight

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Fight
This article was originally published on usconcealedcarry.com on December 8, 2017.

There has been a lot of talk recently about whether or not crime victims should fight back against their attackers. Some folks say your wallet, your credit cards or your car keys are simply not worth your life. This is true. But how do you know where the attack will stop?

You know where I stand on this topic. I believe the only way to stop crime is to fight back immediately as crime is happening. But this is not a blanket statement. You should still consider all your options and try to avoid conflict when you can. Every self-defense situation is different, and it is up to you to determine what you should do and when you should do it.

Even though each situation is unique, there are some universal truths. One of these is that you should never try to draw your gun against someone who already has his gun drawn. In such a situation, you are likely much better off pretending to comply while you look for an opportunity to counter-attack. If that opportunity never comes, well, then, your compliance will likely help you get out alive. If the situation appears to be going from bad to worse, keeping a clear head and waiting for the opportune moment gives you a great tactical advantage. Use it.

Carrying concealed helps you maintain that advantage. Keep your gun hidden until you decide to bring it into action. At that point, the gun becomes a very unpleasant surprise for your attacker and can tip the balance of power in your favor. This is just another of the many reasons I favor concealed carry over open carry. Keeping your weapon concealed offers the criminal, in the words of Massad Ayoob, “the ultimate opportunity to make a fatal error in the victim-selection process.”

Choosing to fight is incredibly personal and no one should ever second-guess your decision. By choosing to carry a concealed handgun, you have already made the decision that, given the opportunity, you will be able to fight. But when it comes time to actually pull that gun, everything is up to you. This is where your training is so important.

Punching holes in paper is target practice. Yes, marksmanship is important. Learning the basic skills of handling your defensive firearm should be done on a static range and should be repeated often enough that the mechanical aspects of operating your gun become automatic. But your training should include dynamic shooting and, if possible, scenario-based training that requires you to shoot on the move and make decisions during the fight. You will almost never get to stand still during a gunfight. Don’t train yourself to stand still while shooting.

Defending yourself is a choice. You have taken the first step by choosing to carry a gun. Get training. Get more training than you think you need. Then, when the time comes, you get to make the choice as to whether or not you engage.

Stay safe. Train hard.

— Kevin Michalowski

Source: Will County News

Illinois’ unpaid bill backlog has climbed to more than $14 billion

MAY 17, 2017
New numbers from the Illinois comptroller’s office show that Illinois’ unpaid bill backlog has climbed to more than $14 billion. In August 2016, Moody’s Investors Service predicted Illinois’ bill backlog would reach $14 billion by summer 2017.

Illinois’ unpaid bill backlog has increased to $14.3 billion from a previous balance of $13.3 billion. The Illinois comptroller’s office announced the staggering $1 billion jump in unpaid bills in a May 17 press release.

In August 2016, analysts from Moody’s Investors Service, a prominent credit rating agency, predicted Illinois’ stack of unpaid bills would reach $14 billion by summer 2017.

In March, Moody’s warned that Illinois’ ongoing budget gridlock and failure to pay its bills could lead to further credit downgrades, which could result in Illinois becoming the first “junk”-rated state in the nation.

Illinois’ mounting pile of unpaid bills reveals that the state continues to spend money faster than it takes it in.

Many Springfield politicians think a tax hike would solve this problem. But more tax revenue would just paper over the state’s spending problem.

“Grand bargain” 2.0 offers no spending reforms

Recent tax hike proposals coming out of Springfield prove lawmakers learned nothing from the 2011 income tax hikes, which were unaccompanied by real spending reform.

State Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, has introduced a new proposal to supplement the “grand bargain” budget deal. Brady’s plan calls for retaining the grand bargain tax hikes, which include an income tax increase and an expansion of the sales tax that would be expected to bring in $5.4 billion and $300 million in tax revenue, respectively, as well as casino expansion fees, which would bring in an estimated $1 billion.

Brady’s plan may also rely on revenue gathered from the sale of the Thompson Center, estimated at $200 million.

But more money will not solve Illinois’ structural problems. New revenue will only delay the needed reforms to deal with Illinois’ massive cost drivers.

Illinois politicians don’t use tax hikes to pay down unpaid bills

DEAR READER:

To make informed decisions, the public must receive the unbiased truth. Unfortunately, that isn’t what we often get out of our elected officials or the legacy media. At the Illinois Policy Institute, that is something we are going to fix.

We are an independent nonprofit consisting of more than 20 writers and policy experts. Our mission is to generate public policy solutions that promote personal freedom and prosperity in Illinois.

  • We have produced the only viable plan to balance the state budget while also reducing the tax burden placed on residents like you.
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If you want to see a more prosperous Illinois for your family and friends, please take a minute to help make a difference. Thank you.

Springfield politicians infamously sold the 2011 income tax hikes as a way to pay down Illinois’ debts. But despite taking in $32 billion in new tax revenues, lawmakers did not solve the state’s pension crisis or clear the bill backlog; instead, the new revenue acted as a stalling mechanism in order for politicians to put off needed reforms.

Illinoisans are tired of tax hikes. Polling conducted in February and March by Fabrizio, Lee & Associates and commissioned by the Illinois Policy Institute shows that a majority of Illinois voters want the state to balance the budget without tax hikes.

Illinois policymakers should rally around plans that actually reform the state’s finances without having to go back to taxpayers. Tax hikes would not only be unfair to residents, but would also be ineffective at solving Illinois’ budgetary issues.

At some point Illinois’ unpaid bills will have to be refinanced to save money, but that can’t happen until the state gets its spending problem under control – otherwise lawmakers will continue recklessly wasting tax dollars.

The Illinois Policy Institute has provided a reform road map that balances the budget without tax hikes. The plan provides tax relief to struggling homeowners through a comprehensive property tax reform package and makes changes to curb bloated administrative expenses in higher education and the state’s excessive number of local government entities.

Most importantly, it addresses Illinois’ pension crisis by implementing a 401(k)-style retirement plan for government workers going forward, a solution that’s been under lawmakers’ noses for nearly 20 years.

Source: Will County News

A review of the most disturbing events of 2017

A review of the most disturbing events of 2017

With events like the British vote to leave the EU, the peak of the mass Muslim immigration into Europe, the “surprise” (for some people) upset win of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election and the subsequent leftist riots, it may be difficult to top the absolute geopolitical and social mayhem of 2016. However, when examining recent history and ongoing trends, it’s important to understand that these shifts are often cumulative; they tend to build upon each other like sheets of ice on a mountainside, storing up energy for a great avalanche.

We witnessed what I would consider a moderate build up and “avalanche” in the economic world in 2008, and of course this merely set the stage for an evolving form of fiscal collapse for the ten years that followed. This time around though, that ongoing collapse will most likely surface in the form of currency crisis and treasury bond crisis, as well as all the international tensions and conflicts that come with these financial atom bombs. If I was to define the year of 2017 and its place in the grand scheme, I would say it represents the moment that the path became rather obvious for the next decade, at least for those that have been paying attention.

There have been some incredible revelations this year, things that will change the face of global economics and international relations, but most them have gone unnoticed in the mainstream overall. Here are just a few of the earth shattering events that will lead to unprecedented instability in 2018, probably through to the year 2030.

Coup in Saudi Arabia

I outlined the implications of this powder keg in the Middle East in considerable detail in my articles ‘Lies and distractions surrounding the diminishing petrodollar‘ and ‘Saudi coup signals war and global economic reset‘.  But, I don’t think that the gravity of the situation is being taken seriously by very many people yet.

The rise of prince Mohammed Bin Salman to the status of dictator in the Saudi government is disturbing enough. That said, let’s not forget some of the most important details. For example, Salman’s “Vision For 2030,” which includes the decoupling of the Saudi currency system from the U.S. dollar (perhaps sooner than many predict), thereby killing the petrodollar relationship that has sustained the U.S. economy for decades. And, the fact that Salman has the extensive backing of globalist corporations like The Carlyle Group, Goldman Sachs and Blackrock through his Public Investment Fund (PIF). This indicates a blatant support by international financiers for the eventual death of the dollar’s world reserve status, yet very few people have dared to mention it.

Along with Prince Mohammed’s banker-boosted rise to power, turmoil in the region is inevitable. It is clear that a new large scale war in the Middle East is intended. War rhetoric is heating up by the Saudis against Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iran. War propaganda out of the oil kingdom is becoming laughably overconfident, to say the least. Just take a look at this video widely spread by the Saudi media.

Crisis in Saudi Arabia, just as with crisis in Syria, will change the face of the region forever, and it will have far reaching consequences around the globe as the U.S. dollar’s petro-status is placed on the chopping block.

Russia pulling troops out of Syria, leaving Assad vulnerable

I have been warning for years about the false East/West paradigm and I think the reality of it is finally starting to set in with many liberty activists as behavior on the part of Eastern “saviors” falls right in line with what the globalist banking syndicate desires.

For example, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank which so many people claimed was going to “bring down” the establishment power structure is now working directly with the establishment power structure through World Bank and the IMF. China is now the flagship nation for the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights basket system and has openly called for a global currency controlled by none other than the IMF.

In 2017, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan became the top investment banks in Russia. Rothschild and Co. firms continue to operate in Russia as they have for at least a decade uninterrupted, despite all the nonsense we hear in the activist sphere that Putin “booted out all the bankers.”

This along with a veritable mountain of evidence led me to suggest recently that an invasion of Syria by either Saudi Arabia or their recently revealed ally Israel could be used to draw Iran into conflict. I also suggested that Russia would step aside if the globalists deemed it advantageous. And suddenly, we have Russia announcing that the war on ISIS is over and a “significant portion” of troops will be pulled out over the coming months. This leaves their ally Assad rather vulnerable and makes little sense unless you understand that this is not about Russia, Assad or East versus West. This is about geopolitical theater, and the show must go on. Act three appears to be expanded widespread war in the cradle of civilization, and the Russians are opening the door for this to happen.

North Korean ICBM launch

Tensions with North Korea are going to continue if not explode going into 2018, and the primary reason is the recent ICBM test launch by Pyongyang. One of the mainstream arguments against war in North Korea was that their missile technology was not sufficient enough to pose a threat to the U.S. mainland and that a U.S. military response would be extreme as well as disastrous for everyone involved given the minimal threat North Korea poses. This rationale has now been erased, perhaps conveniently for the neo-con warhawks advising the Trump administration.

North Korea’s missile and nuclear tech has made an astonishing quantum leap in 2017 (It’s almost as if they’ve been getting help…) and their latest ICBM has the capability to strike the Eastern U.S., or almost anywhere else in the world for that matter. So, for American citizens in particular, the threat suddenly becomes more personal. Any major U.S. city could see a quarter of its population vaporized in a flash and another quarter killed by radiation exposure in due course. With images of mushroom clouds dancing in their heads, Americans, who are predominantly tired of war after nearly two decades in the sandbox farce, now have a reason to cheer for yet another one rather than argue against it.

All that is left is a little “push” to motivate the U.S. populace to take that first terrible step into the abyss of an Asian mountain conflict.

China leaves the door open to regime change in North Korea

It’s amazing how a few carefully placed words in a major geopolitical statement can leave the door open to considerable calamity. The state-owned Global Times is quoted as saying China will not allow regime change in North Korea by the U.S., but, if North Korea attacks first, then China will remain neutral. This to me is perhaps the most astounding statement made by the Chinese government since they called for a world currency controlled by the IMF.

The message is clear — North Korea is on the table, it is not going away and a false flag or provocation is likely. When this occurs, China has already established that it will not intervene, which means there is no political deterrent. Yes, another example of how the East/West paradigm between governments is as fraudulent and the Left/Right paradigm is between political parties, but also an extremely disturbing development. This would indicate that a conflict in the region is near at hand, and for those that understand the strategic obstacles in North Korea, at least a decade long quagmire would follow along will millions of civilian deaths.

Federal Reserve reducing its balance sheet

The final stage of the Fed’s program to pull the rug out from under stock markets has arrived. Interest rates continue to be increased, and I hope liberty activists will finally be able to accept the fact that these hikes will continue and that the Fed does not careabout the continued bull market in equities or the continued support of U.S. bonds. The results of Fed tightening are slow, to be sure, but effects have also been obscured for months now by yet another distraction — namely the Trump tax reform bill.

Trump’s bill has been acting as a placebo for markets going into the end of 2017, mostly because the assumption among investors is that corporations will use the profits from tax cuts for continued stock buybacks. For those unaware, it has been stock buybacks fueled by no interest Fed loans that has allowed for the seemingly endless stock market bull rally the past few years. This is essentially open manipulation of equities by corporations coordinating with the central bank. However, with interest rates rising even marginally, the billions (if not trillions) of dollars required to sustain such a rally are no longer affordable. They must be free in order to be exploited.

The Fed’s balance sheet rise corresponds almost exactly with the explosion in the Dow Jones. If the correlation continues, then it only follows that the Dow will fall as the balance sheet is reduced. Faith in Trump’s bill to prop up stocks is misplaced, and the rally is purely driven by blind assumption. It would take at least a couple of years of tax cycles before tax cuts could be utilized effectively to fund buybacks, and the effect would be nowhere near comparable to that produced by zero cost fed capital.

When historians look back on 2017, they will say that this year was the beginning of the end of the greatest economic bubble of all time.

To be sure, there have been many more events this past year with wide ranging implications for the future, but I felt that those listed above would have the largest impact over the longer period of time.  2017 has been a foundation year. 2018 will likely be a year of actions and consequences.

Source: Will County News