CALIFORNIA NIGHTMARE: OVER HALF OF THE PEOPLE LIVING IN THE STATE WISH THEY COULD LEAVE (Source In the 1960s and 1970s, the possibility of moving to the west coast was “the California dream” for millions of young Americans, but now “the California dream” has turned into “the California nightmare”.  According to a brand new survey, 53 percent of those living in California are considering leaving the state, and there are certainly lots of reasons to hit the road and never look back.  The cities are massively overcrowded, California has the worst traffic in the western world, drug use and illegal immigration both fuel an astounding amount of crime, tax rates are horrendous and many of the state politicians appear to literally be insane.  And on top of all that, let us not forget the earthquakes, wildfires and landslides that are constantly making headlines all over the world.  Last year was the worst year for wildfires in California history, and these days it seems like the state is hit by some new crisis every few weeks. But none of those factors are the primary reason why so many people are eager to leave. According to a brand new survey by Edelman Intelligence, the main reason why so many are considering leaving the state is the high cost of living.


Preparing to Storm America’s Castle

Preparing to Storm America’s Castle (
The United States is being threatened by hostile nations taking over the Caribbean Sea. Major news sources pay little attention to this region, but the Caribbean is vital to U.S. security. This sea not only connects the East Coast with the Pacific Ocean via the Panama Canal, it guards the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico. Half of America’s seaborne trade passes through the Gulf. So a foreign power that controls the Caribbean could cripple the U.S. economy by restricting its access to oceanic shipping. This geographic reality is why Russia and China want to challenge U.S. dominance in the Caribbean. These aspiring superpowers are forging alliances with socialist governments in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. If these Latin dictatorships become staging grounds for Russia and China, a coalition of nations could potentially cut off U.S. access to the Panama Canal and seal off the Straits of Florida and the Yucatan Channel. As shocking as this scenario sounds, the Bible reveals that enemies will seize control of the world’s most strategic maritime choke points and lay siege to the United States. America is going to lose access to the Panama Canal, the Straits of Florida, the Windward Passage, the Yucatan Channel and many other shipping lanes that its people rely on for food, electronic components, oil, raw materials and other goods. The results will be devastating. Russia offered Cuba a $43 million loan in November to buy Russian military equipment, and it vowed to expand “strategic” ties with the island. On Oct. 10, 2018, Newsweek reported a senior Russian official as saying that Russia is considering building a military base in Cuba. This would be the first Russian base in Cuba since the Kremlin closed a Soviet-era electronic spying outpost near Havana in 2001. Meanwhile, two Russian nuclear-capable bombers flew a patrol over the Caribbean on Dec. 12, 2018, from a base in Venezuela. After this alarming incident, one Russian daily suggested that Russia establish a permanent military presence on the island of La Orchila, northeast of Venezuela’s capital city. The Russian government-owned tass news agency said this presence would “represent one of the largest semipermanent deployments of Russian military equipment in the region since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, which marked the height of the Cold War.”

Former US Air Force agent charged with defecting to Iran

Former US Air Force agent charged with defecting to Iran (Source AFP) The US Justice Department charged a former Air Force intelligence official Wednesday with spying for Iran, saying she exposed a fellow US agent and helped the Revolutionary Guard target her former colleagues for cyber attacks. US officials said Monica Witt, 39, who worked a decade in Air Force counterintelligence, had an “ideological” turn against her country and defected in 2013, turning over information on US espionage operations against Tehran. “It is a sad day for America when one of its citizens betrays our country,” said Assistant Attorney General John Demers, announcing the indictment. “This case underscores the dangers to our intelligence professionals and the lengths our adversaries will go to identify them, expose them, target them, and, in a few rare cases, ultimately turn them against the nation they swore to protect,” he said. The US also indicted four Iranians working for the Revolutionary Guard who, using information Witt provided them, targeted her former colleagues in US intelligence with malware and phishing scams in hopes of accessing their computer networks. The Justice Department has issued arrest warrants for Witt and the four Iranians, who all remain at large. She is believed to be in Iran, officials said. In a parallel action, the US Treasury announced sanctions on the New Horizon Organization, a Revolutionary Guard group that had invited Witt to Tehran in 2012, and a separate company tied to the hacking effort.


Guttenberg: An Expert on Financial Crises

Guttenberg: An Expert on Financial Crises? (Source Between January 16 and 18, St. Moritz, Switzerland, hosted the 2019 Crypto Finance Conference. The event, which focuses on the financial system of the future, hosted some of the world’s most high-profile investors. One of the conference’s keynote speakers was Germany’s former economics minister and defense minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. The Crypto Finance Conference website states that the event offers attendees “educational keynotes by industry experts, insightful panel discussions about current and future trends, as well as unique networking opportunities.” Cryptocurrency is one of the world’s emerging technologies. Some expect it to transform business transactions as we know them.

Guttenberg is seen by many as an expert in the field. His understanding of politics and digital trends, plus the influence he holds in Europe, have earned him considerable respect. Guttenberg is regularly invited to speak about global trends. His keynote speech on January 17 is worth paying particular attention to. The title of his speech was “Blockchain and Geopolitics: A Powder Keg or a Solution for Global Crisis?

Financial technology experts believe that blockchain technology will transform the world’s banking. Financial visionaries of the world believe that whoever gains the upper hand in the development of this technology may soon lead the world into a transformed future.

Guttenberg believes the same and has promoted the technology as one of the solutions to Europe’s crisis. He believes that if Europe takes the leading role in digitalization, it could soon lead the whole world and solve the global geopolitical crisis.

A looming financial crisis currently threatens the world. If America continues on its current course, it is only a matter of time before another financial collapse occurs. This would throw Europe into a massive financial crisis.

But new financial technologies could enable Europe to create a financial system that operates independently from the U.S., saving Europe from financial crisis.

Russia Conducts New Test of Nuclear-Powered Cruise Missile With Virtually Unlimited Range 

Russia Conducts New Test of Nuclear-Powered Cruise Missile With Virtually Unlimited Range (Source Popular

Mechanic) Russia conducted a new test of the Burevestnik (“Storm Petrel”) nuclear-powered cruise missile. The test of the missile was the first in nearly a year. The missile is designed to evade U.S. defenses, flying for hours or even days to exploit holes in missile defense networks that most weapons can’t reach.

According to The Diplomat, the test took place on January 29th, 2019 at Kapustin Yar, one of Russia’s major weapon testing grounds. The missile is known to the U.S. intelligence community as the KY30, or the SSC-X-9 “Skyfall.” The missile was announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin in March 2018. Putin stated “The launch and the set of ground tests allow to get to creating a radically new type of weaponry – a strategic nuclear weaponry complex with a missile fitted with a nuclear powered engine.” Putin further described the missile as having “unlimited range and unlimited ability to maneuver.”

In the early 1960s the United States attempted to build a similar nuclear-powered missile. Known as Project Pluto, the program would have resulted in the Supersonic Low Altitude Missile, or SLAM, designed to fly at Mach 3.5, low altitude, and eject a payload of H-bombs over enemy targets over the course of a long flight. Project Pluto was killed off by the advent of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and the fact that there was no way to practically test it without spewing radiation over a wide area.

Russia’s missile may not fly at Mach 3.5 or carry racks of H-bombs, but it would have one of the major advantages that lead the U.S. to pursue Project Pluto: unheard of range for a powered flying object. Modern cruise missiles use turbojet or turbofan engines and typically have ranges of 1,000 miles or so, a range largely dictated by their fuel supply. A nuclear-powered cruise missile could fly for much longer, perhaps even days flying intricate routes to exploit holes in enemy air defenses. If Burevestnik becomes operational Russia could launch cruise missiles from the Asian mainland, program them to cross the Pacific, go around South America, and penetrate U.S. airspace from the Gulf of Mexico. Really long, previously unheard-of flights would become a reality. This would force the U.S. to fund a number of expensive upgrades to its air defense network, which has commonly assumed that air attack would come from the north, west, and east, but not the south.


2019 Year of the Pig is welcomed across Asia

2019 Year of the Pig is welcomed across Asia (Source Asia welcomed the lunar Year of the Pig on Tuesday with visits to temples, family banquets and the world’s biggest travel spree. Celebrations took place throughout the region, from Beijing and Seoul to Hanoi and Singapore. The streets of Beijing and other major Chinese cities were quiet and empty after millions of people left to visit relatives or travel abroad during the year’s biggest family holiday.

Families gathered at home for multigenerational banquets. Companies, shops and government offices closed for official holidays that ranged from two days in South Korea to a week in China. Worshippers stood in line for hours at Hong Kong’s Wong Tai Sin Temple to welcome the new year by lighting incense. Lana Wong, a prominent Hong Kong actress, wore a pig costume for the event.

“My first wish is for world peace,” said Wong, 88. “Everyone has food to eat, employment and houses to live in. The elderly also hope the government will take better care of them.” In Beijing, performers in traditional Qing dynasty robes strummed zithers for a re-enactment at sunrise of a sacrificial ceremony at the Chinese capital’s Temple of Earth park.



Four banks in the Islamic Republic of Iran have developed a gold-backed cryptocurrency called PayMon, financial news website Financial Tribune reported on Jan. 30.

According to the article, the crypto asset has been developed in cooperation with the Parsian Bank, the Bank Pasargad, Bank Melli Iran and Bank Mellat. Iran Fara Bourse, an over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency exchange, will reportedly list the new cryptocurrency.

The director of Kuknos, the blockchain company taking care of the technical aspects, said that the new crypto asset is a way to tokenize assets and excess properties of the banks.

A billion PayMon tokens will be initially released, according to the article. As Cointelegraph recently reported, Iran is allegedly negotiating with Switzerland, South Africa, France, the United Kingdom, Russia, Austria, Germany and Bosnia to carry out financial transactions in cryptocurrency.

Recently, rumors spread that Iran could unveil its state-backed cryptocurrency at the Electronic Banking and Payment Systems conference that took place last week in Tehran, but the announcement has not been made as of press time. In July 2018, it was reported that the country confirmed that it will create its own state-issued cryptocurrency to circumvent United States sanctions.

Cointelegraph reported that Alireza Daliri, deputy for management development and resources at the vice presidency for science and technology, said that blockchain can help improve the country’s national economy.



Dead Hand: This Might Be Russia’s Scariest Doomsday Weapon

Dead Hand: This Might Be Russia’s Scariest Doomsday Weapon (Source The National Interest)

This system would automatically launch missiles—without the need for a human to push the button—during a nuclear attack. Dead Hand: This Might Be Russia’s Scariest Doomsday Weapon. Here’s what we know. Russia has a knack for developing weapons that—at least on paper—are terrifying: nuclear-powered cruise missiles, robot subs with 100-megaton warheads. Perhaps the most terrifying was a Cold War doomsday system that would automatically launch missiles—without the need for a human to push the button—during a nuclear attack. But the system, known as “Perimeter” or “Dead Hand,” may be back and deadlier than ever. Moscow is fearful that America will once again, as it did during the Cold War, deploy nuclear missiles in Europe. Because of geographic fate, Russia needs ICBMs launched from Russian soil, or launched from submarines, to strike the continental United States. But shorter-range U.S. missiles based in, say, Germany or Poland could reach the Russian heartland. Viktor Yesin, who commanded Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces in the 1990s, spoke of Perimeter/Dead Hand during an interview last month in the Russian newspaper Zvezda. Yesin said that if the United States starts deploying intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Russia will consider adopting a doctrine of a preemptive nuclear strike. Yesin: “The Perimeter system is functioning, it has even been improved. But when it works, we will have little left – we can only launch those missiles that will survive after the first attack of the aggressor.” Perimeter works by launching specially modified SS-17 ICBMs, which transmit a launch signal to regular nuclear-tipped ICBMs in their silos.

David Hoffman, author of “The Dead Hand,” the definitive book on Perimeter, describes Perimeter in this way: “Higher authority” would flip the switch if they feared they were under nuclear attack. This was to give the “permission sanction.” Duty officers would rush to their deep underground bunkers, the hardened concrete globes, the shariki. If the permission sanction were given ahead of time, if there were seismic evidence of nuclear strikes hitting the ground, and if all communications were lost, then the duty officers in the bunker could launch the command rockets. If so ordered, the command rockets would zoom across the country, broadcasting the signal “launch” to the intercontinental ballistic missiles. The big missiles would then fly and carry out their retaliatory mission. There have been cryptic clues over the years that Perimeter still exists. Which illustrates one of the curiosities of this system, which is that the Soviet Union kept its existence secret from the American enemy whom it was supposed to deter.

What is unmistakable is that Perimeter is a fear-based solution. Fear of a U.S. first-strike that would decapitate the Russian leadership before it could give the order to retaliate. Fear that a Russian leader might lose his nerve and not give the order. And if Russia is now discussing Perimeter publicly, that’s reason for the rest of us to worry.



 Trump boosts bills to teach his favorite book — the Bible — in public schools

Trump boosts bills to teach his favorite book — the Bible — in public schools (Source Yahoo News) President Trump signaled his support on Monday for state bills that would allow public schools to teach courses in the Bible, which he once proclaimed was his favorite book. Trump’s tweet came minutes after “Fox & Friends” aired a segment Monday morning on pending legislation in six states — Florida, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Virginia and West Virginia — that would allow Bible literacy courses to become a part of a public school education. “Nothing beats the Bible,” Trump famously said on the campaign trail in 2015 — not even “The Art of the Deal.” The Christian activists who crafted the template for inserting the Bible into public school curricula celebrated the president’s endorsement of the idea.“We were excited to see it happen,” Steven Fitschen, president of the National Legal Foundation, told Yahoo News. “The model bill that we were involved with is for the state level, but we were excited to see him use his bully pulpit, so to speak.”Fitschen said the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation — a nonprofit group formed by former Virginia Republican Congressman J. Randy Forbes to promote “restoring Judeo-Christian principles” — hired him to help draft the text of legislation that could withstand First Amendment challenges to teaching the Bible in schools.


Nuclear Threat With Russia at ‘Dangerous Levels,’ Nunn Says

Nuclear Threat With Russia at ‘Dangerous Levels,’ Nunn Says (Source Bloomberg)

The potential for cyber interference is raising the threat of a nuclear war between Russia and the U.S. to ‘dangerous levels,’ according to former Senator Sam Nunn, a longtime national-security specialist. A false warning stemming from cyber interference from another country or sophisticated hackers heightens the prospect of nuclear attack, Nunn said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s David Westin and with reporters in the Atlanta bureau. “A blunder is much more likely than a premeditated, calculated attack,” said Nunn, noting that 90 percent of nuclear weapons are in the hands of the U.S. and Russia. “We have had false warnings before and so have the Russians, and by the grace of God have avoided having a nuclear response to what people thought for a while was a real warning. But cyber makes it much harder.” Nunn, who co-chairs the non-profit Nuclear Threat Initiative which works to prevent catastrophic attacks, also called it a “bad mistake” to let the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty expire. That could lead to Russia putting missiles “all over Europe,” he said. A U.S. official said Monday that the U.S. plans to suspend its obligations under the treaty after a deadline passes this weekend and the Trump administration inches closer to full withdrawal from that pillar of Cold War diplomacy.

Given the tensions between the U.S. and Russia stemming from the Mueller investigation into interference in the 2016 presidential election, Nunn said Congress needs to take the lead “and create some political space for a dialogue to take place, particularly military-to-military. We’re not talking to Russia like we did even during the Cold War and into the 1990s.” “We’re in a race between cooperation and catastrophe,” Nunn said.