Tuesday, October 25, 2016
A two-year drop in oil prices has inflicted a dramatic blow to the economy of one of the world’s richest countries. If no changes are made, Saudi Arabia, according to some Saudi experts, will go bankrupt in three to four years.
Saudi Arabia Waging 'Clear Economic War on Yemen' Since 90 percent of the kingdom's income is derived from oil exports, the price drop, from over $110 per barrel in mid 2014 to a low of just over $30 recently, is a disaster, as national monetary reserves are depleted at a breathtaking rate. I
n 2015, Saudi foreign reserves were estimated at $654.5 billion, after the Saudi monetary agency lost almost $73 billion following the oil price drop, according to a 2015 Al Jazeera report.
The monetary agency also withdrew some $70 billion managed by overseas financial institutions, and the state budget deficit that year was estimated at $98 billion. This year's budget deficit is expected to be only slightly smaller. Riyadh, in an unprecedented move, offered its first international bond sale last week, worth $17.5 billion, to bring in additional much-needed cash.
Mohamed Al Tuwaijri, the kingdom's deputy economy minister, said during a discussion of the Saudi economy, broadcast on Wednesday night: "If we didn't take any reform measures, and if the global economy stays the same, then we're doomed for bankruptcy in three to four years."
To slow the drain on the kingdom's treasury, Saudi leaders have resorted to cutting costs and expenditures, especially in the social sector.
But Saudis will not starve, it is worth noting, as popular citizen subsidies indicate that a Saudi work ethic is different from that of a country like the United States. "The amount worked [among state employees] doesn't even exceed an hour [a day] — and that's based on studies," Al Tuwaijri said, during the conference. Even with the threat of reduced subsidies, government employees have little incentive to work, as they continue to be paid even if they lose their jobs, according to the Times.
There are frequent additional perks given to civil servants as well, such as the one-time disbursement of the equivalent of two months' pay to every bureaucrat at the time King Salman took the throne in early 2015, amounting to some $32 billion. Some two-thirds of all employed Saudis work for the government, and Riyadh spent some 45 percent of its annual budget, about $128 billion, to pay their wages last year alone.
Meeting Kingdom leaders are very reluctant to change the status quo, preferring, according to RT, to instead introduce a sales tax, charge pilgrimage visas, eliminate many energy subsidies, and introduce new road tolls. However, extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures, and those have arrived. So-called underperforming civil servants can now be fired after three years. At some departments, employees are now required to register their presence in the workplace several times a day, by swiping ID cards.
Read more: https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201610251046684895-saudi-arabia-bankrupt-public-sector/
Read more: https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201610251046684895-saudi-arabia-bankrupt-public-sector/
“Today the path to total dictatorship in the U.S. can be laid by strictly legal means, unseen and unheard by Congress, the President, or the people. Outwardly we have a Constitutional government. We have operating within our government and political system … a well-organized political-action group in this country, determined to destroy our Constitution and establish a one-party state.... The important point to remember about this group is not its ideology but its organization… It operates secretly, silently, continuously to transform our Government.... This group ... is answerable neither to the President, the Congress, nor the courts. It is practically irremovable.”— Senator William Jenner, 1954 speech
Unaffected by elections. Unaltered by populist movements. Beyond the reach of the law.
Say hello to America’s shadow government.
A corporatized, militarized, entrenched bureaucracy that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country, this shadow government represents the hidden face of a government that has no respect for the freedom of its citizenry.
No matter which candidate wins the presidential election, this shadow government is here to stay. Indeed, as recent documents by the FBI reveal, this shadow government—also referred to as “The 7th Floor Group”—may well have played a part in who will win the White House this year.
To be precise, however, the future president will actually inherit not one but two shadow governments.
The first shadow government, referred to as COG or Continuity of Government, is made up of unelected individuals who have been appointed to run the government in the event of a “catastrophe.” COG is a phantom menace waiting for the right circumstances—a terrorist attack, a natural disaster, an economic meltdown—to bring it out of the shadows, where it operates even now. When and if COG takes over, the police state will transition to martial law.
Yet it is the second shadow government—also referred to as the Deep State—that poses the greater threat to freedom right now. Comprised of unelected government bureaucrats, corporations, contractors, paper-pushers, and button-pushers who are actually calling the shots behind the scenes, this government within a government is the real reason “we the people” have no real control over our government.
The Deep State, which “operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power,” makes a mockery of elections and the entire concept of a representative government.
So who or what is the Deep State?
It’s the militarized police, which have joined forces with state and federal law enforcement agencies in order to establish themselves as a standing army. It’s the fusion centers and spy agencies that have created a surveillance state and turned all of us into suspects. It’s the courthouses and prisons that have allowed corporate profits to take precedence over due process and justice. It’s the military empire with its private contractors and defense industry that is bankrupting the nation. It’s the private sector with its 854,000 contract personnel with top-secret clearances, “a number greater than that of top-secret-cleared civilian employees of the government.” It’s what former congressional staffer Mike Lofgren refers to as “a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies”: the Department of Defense, the State Department, Homeland Security, the CIA, the Justice Department, the Treasury, the Executive Office of the President via the National Security Council, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a handful of vital federal trial courts, and members of the defense and intelligence committees.
It’s every facet of a government that is no longer friendly to freedom and is working overtime to trample the Constitution underfoot and render the citizenry powerless in the face of the government’s power grabs, corruption and abusive tactics.
These are the key players that drive the shadow government.
This is the hidden face of the American police state that will continue long past Election Day.
Just consider some of the key programs and policies advanced by the shadow government that will continue no matter who occupies the Oval Office.
Domestic surveillance. No matter who wins the presidential popularity contest, the National Security Agency (NSA), with its $10.8 billion black ops annual budget, will continue to spy on every person in the United States who uses a computer or phone. Thus, on any given day, whether you’re walking through a store, driving your car, checking email, or talking to friends and family on the phone, you can be sure that some government agency, whether the NSA or some other entity, is listening in and tracking your behavior. Local police have been outfitted with a litany of surveillance gear, from license plate readers and cell phone tracking devices to biometric data recorders. Technology now makes it possible for the police to scan passersby in order to detect the contents of their pockets, purses, briefcases, etc. Full-body scanners, which perform virtual strip-searches of Americans traveling by plane, have gone mobile, with roving police vans that peer into vehicles and buildings alike—including homes. Coupled with the nation’s growing network of real-time surveillance cameras and facial recognition software, soon there really will be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.
Global spying. The NSA’s massive surveillance network, what the Washington Post refers to as a $500 billion “espionage empire,” will continue to span the globe and target every single person on the planet who uses a phone or a computer. The NSA’s Echelon program intercepts and analyzes virtually every phone call, fax and email message sent anywhere in the world. In addition to carrying out domestic surveillance on peaceful political groups such as Amnesty International, Greenpeace and several religious groups, Echelon has also been a keystone in the government’s attempts at political and corporate espionage.
Roving TSA searches. The American taxpayer will continue to get ripped off by government agencies in the dubious name of national security. One of the greatest culprits when it comes to swindling taxpayers has been the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), with its questionable deployment of and complete mismanagement of millions of dollars’ worth of airport full-body X-ray scanners, punitive patdowns by TSA agents and thefts of travelers’ valuables. Considered essential to national security, TSA programs will continue in airports and at transportation hubs around the country.
USA Patriot Act, NDAA. America’s so-called war on terror, which it has relentlessly pursued since 9/11, will continue to chip away at our freedoms, unravel our Constitution and transform our nation into a battlefield, thanks in large part to such subversive legislation as the USA Patriot Act and National Defense Authorization Act. These laws completely circumvent the rule of law and the rights of American citizens. In so doing, they re-orient our legal landscape in such a way as to ensure that martial law, rather than the U.S. Constitution, is the map by which we navigate life in the United States. These laws will continue to be enforced no matter who gets elected.
Militarized police state. Thanks to federal grant programs allowing the Pentagon to transfer surplus military supplies and weapons to local law enforcement agencies without charge, police forces will continue to be transformed from peace officers into heavily armed extensions of the military, complete with jackboots, helmets, shields, batons, pepper-spray, stun guns, assault rifles, body armor, miniature tanks and weaponized drones. Having been given the green light to probe, poke, pinch, taser, search, seize, strip and generally manhandle anyone they see fit in almost any circumstance, all with the general blessing of the courts, America’s law enforcement officials, no longer mere servants of the people entrusted with keeping the peace, will continue to keep the masses corralled, controlled, and treated like suspects and enemies rather than citizens.
SWAT team raids. With more than 80,000 SWAT team raids carried out every year on unsuspecting Americans by local police for relatively routine police matters and federal agencies laying claim to their own law enforcement divisions, the incidence of botched raids and related casualties will continue to rise. Nationwide, SWAT teams will continue to be employed to address an astonishingly trivial array of criminal activity or mere community nuisances including angry dogs, domestic disputes, improper paperwork filed by an orchid farmer, and misdemeanor marijuana possession.
Domestic drones. The domestic use of drones will continue unabated. As mandated by Congress, there will be 30,000 drones crisscrossing the skies of America by 2020, all part of an industry that could be worth as much as $30 billion per year. These machines, which will be equipped with weapons, will be able to record all activities, using video feeds, heat sensors and radar. An Inspector General report revealed that the Dept. of Justice has already spent nearly $4 million on drones domestically, largely for use by the FBI, with grants for another $1.26 million so police departments and nonprofits can acquire their own drones.
School-to-prison pipeline. The paradigm of abject compliance to the state will continue to be taught by example in the schools, through school lockdowns where police and drug-sniffing dogs enter the classroom, and zero tolerance policies that punish all offenses equally and result in young people being expelled for childish behavior. School districts will continue to team up with law enforcement to create a “schoolhouse to jailhouse track” by imposing a “double dose” of punishment: suspension or expulsion from school, accompanied by an arrest by the police and a trip to juvenile court.
Overcriminalization. The government bureaucracy will continue to churn out laws, statutes, codes and regulations that reinforce its powers and value systems and those of the police state and its corporate allies, rendering the rest of us petty criminals. The average American now unknowingly commits three felonies a day, thanks to this overabundance of vague laws that render otherwise innocent activity illegal. Consequently, small farmers who dare to make unpasteurized goat cheese and share it with members of their community will continue to have their farms raided.
Privatized Prisons. States will continue to outsource prisons to private corporations, resulting in a cash cow whereby mega-corporations imprison Americans in private prisons in order to make a profit. In exchange for corporations buying and managing public prisons across the country at a supposed savings to the states, the states have to agree to maintain a 90% occupancy rate in the privately run prisons for at least 20 years.
Endless wars. America’s expanding military empire will continue to bleed the country dry at a rate of more than $15 billion a month (or $20 million an hour). The Pentagon spends more on war than all 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety. Yet what most Americans fail to recognize is that these ongoing wars have little to do with keeping the country safe and everything to do with enriching the military industrial complex at taxpayer expense.
Are you getting the message yet?
The next president, much like the current president and his predecessors, will be little more than a figurehead, a puppet to entertain and distract the populace from what’s really going on.
As Lofgren reveals, this state within a state, “concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue,” is a “hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose.”
The Deep State not only holds the nation’s capital in thrall, but it also controls Wall Street (“which supplies the cash that keeps the political machine quiescent and operating as a diversionary marionette theater”) and Silicon Valley.
This is fascism in its most covert form, hiding behind public agencies and private companies to carry out its dirty deeds.
It is a marriage between government bureaucrats and corporate fat cats.
As Lofgren concludes:
[T]he Deep State is so heavily entrenched, so well protected by surveillance, firepower, money and its ability to co-opt resistance that it is almost impervious to change… If there is anything the Deep State requires it is silent, uninterrupted cash flow and the confidence that things will go on as they have in the past. It is even willing to tolerate a degree of gridlock: Partisan mud wrestling over cultural issues may be a useful distraction from its agenda.
In other words, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, as long as government officials—elected and unelected alike—are allowed to operate beyond the reach of the Constitution, the courts and the citizenry, the threat to our freedoms remains undiminished.
So the next time you find yourselves despondent over the 2016 presidential candidates, remember that it’s just a puppet show intended to distract you from the silent coup being carried out by America's shadow government.
Credit to Zero Hedge
America is never going to be great again until we deal with the wickedness in our own hearts. In recent days I have listened to so many national leaders tell us that Donald Trump is going to win the election and that this will usher in a new golden age of blessing and prosperity for America. Supposedly this is going to happen even though we continue to slaughter babies on an industrial scale, sexually-transmitted diseases are spreading at the fastest pace in decades, the percentage of births out of wedlock is more than 10 times higher than in 1940, and approximately two out of every three Christian men watch pornography on a regular basis. Even though there aren’t any signs of widespread national repentance, we are supposedly going to be showered with wealth, favor, protection and good times for as far as the eye can see. You can believe this if you want, but it doesn’t have any basis in reality.
The truth is that we live in a nation where just about every type of evil that you can possibly imagine is spreading like wildfire. Just look at the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. According to the CDC, there are 20 million new cases of sexually-transmitted disease in the United States every year. And last year, cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis grew at a very alarming pace…
Cases of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States have reached new highs, including an increase in syphilis not seen since the mid-1990s, federal health officials said in a report this week.There were 1.5 million chlamydia cases in 2015 — the last year that numbers were available — a 6 percent increase from the year before, and about 400,000 infections of gonorrhea, or a 13 percent rise, according to a report by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.But syphilis cases increased to levels unseen since the mid-1990s. There were nearly 24,000 cases of primary and secondary syphilis cases last year, a 19 percent hike compared with 2014.
We are a nation that has fully embraced the “free love” philosophy of the 1960s. We have sex with whoever we want, whenever we want, and we don’t seem to care about the consequences.
As a result, the nuclear family is rapidly being destroyed.
Back in 1940, 3.8 percent of all babies were born to women that were not married.
Today, that number is over 40 percent.
2008 (the year Barack Obama was elected) was the very first year in our history when 40 percent of all babies were born to unmarried mothers, and we have now stayed at that level for eight straight years.
If we want to make America great again, we can start by not sleeping with people that we are not married to.
But of course an increasing number of Americans (especially our young people) are discarding traditional notions of love, marriage and sexuality completely. At one time we were told that the choice was between “gay” and “straight”, but now many people have decided that they want absolutely no limits. Miley Cyrus is among those that are now identifying themselves as “pansexuals”. The following comes from a recent article by Jennifer LeClaire…
“My mom is like an ’80s rock chick—big blonde hair. … She loves being a girl,” Cyrus said. “I never felt that way. I know some girls that love getting their nails done. I … hated it … I don’t wax my eyebrows. I never related to loving being a girl. And then, being a boy didn’t sound fun to me. I think the LGBTQ alphabet could continue forever. But there’s a ‘P’ that should happen, for ‘pansexual.'”
According to Google, a “pansexual” is “not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity.”
Millions of young girls look up to Miley Cyrus as a role model. We knew that this sort of thing was coming in the last days, but it is still hard to grasp how far America has fallen.
And if you try to speak out against this wave of evil, you might just lose everything.
For instance, the bakery in Oregon that didn’t want to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple has been forced to close their doors permanently…
The Oregon bakery that made news after it refused to make a cake for a lesbian couple’s wedding has closed after legal battles left the business financial devastated, according to a Christian news site.Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes By Melissa, have shut down their bakery, according to the store’s Facebook page.‘We have closed Sweet Cakes. We appreciate everyone’s continued prayer and support,’ the post said.
We live in a nation where the culture has been fundamentally transformed. According to a newly released Pew Research Center survey, an all-time high 57 percent of all Americans believe that marijuana should be legalized and only 37 percent are against it. With that kind of a margin, it is only a matter of time before marijuana is legalized all over the country.
We also live in a nation that is absolutely addicted to watching other people have sex. And most Christian men cannot even speak out about this epidemic because they are doing it themselves. According to Charisma News, one survey found that an astounding 68 percent of all Christian men admit that they watch pornography on a regular basis.
But even if we turned away from all of the other behaviors that I have just mentioned, there would still be no hope for our nation as long as we continue to murder babies on an industrial scale.
Did you see the final debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton? During that debate, Clinton made it exceedingly clear that she is in favor of abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy. The Democratic platform openly calls for taxpayer funding of abortion and a complete repeal of the Hyde Amendment, and Bill and Hillary Clinton have made abortion one of the central pillars of their very long political careers. Their hands are absolutely drenched with the blood of dead children, and the American people are about to reward her by making her the next president of the United States.
So no, I don’t buy it when people try to tell me that America is on the verge of a new era of greatness.
The truth is that we are a cesspool of wickedness and filth, and unless we repent we are going to reap a very bitter harvest from what we have sown for so many years.Credit to End of the American Dream