Today, a quick look at the economy that the Trump administration doesn’t want you to know about – coming rising food prices and falling housing market.
President Trump is about to perform some very important pardons for war crimes.
I’ll present an indepth look at the war rhetoric coming out of the White House and Congress as well as a look at Iran’s and China’s reactions, too. More importantly, we’ll have a look at what is going on with President Trump and John Bolton.
But first, a quick recap so it will all make sense.
Thank you for listening!
Theme music by Mishkanim.
The Trump administration met with Congress this week as tensions continue to rise between the US and Iran. The White House claims to have images of Iranian commercial vessels in the Persian Gulf that it believes are carrying missiles and other munitions. The US government has provided no proof the ships are carrying hidden missiles and other munitions and CNN [said in this article it] has not reviewed the intelligence that has led to the US assessment.
CNN previously reported that multiple officials have claimed that the recent movements of missiles by Iranian vessels do not reflect the typical Iranian pattern of transporting missiles outside the Persian Gulf to Iranian backed forces in Yemen. That unusual movement was part of the US assessment of Iranian threats.
Iran and its proxies may have threatened the US and allies with a rocket fired at the Green Zone in Baghdad, near the US embassy. The US had said, “any attacks by Iran or their proxies against US citizens or our interests will be answered with a swift and decisive response”.
So, was this Iran’s way of taunting Trump?
The question for the US now is whether the rocket fired at the Green Zone was an attack by Iran or its proxies, and who carried it out. It took place after darkness fell in Baghdad on May 19. Iraq’s Defense Ministry spokesman said that a Katyusha rocket fell in Baghdad’s Green Zone; he later said that a launcher had been found near the Technological University, around five kilometers from where the rocket fell.
US President Donald Trump responded twice to the rocket attack, first around two hours after it happened, and then later he retweeted a mention about it. “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again,” he wrote.
Iran-backed Shia militia leaders on Monday distanced themselves from the rocket attack. So, the US has a ‘who-dunit’ on its hands because no one, not even Iran, is owning up to the missile launch. This incident has put Iran’s arsenal front and center and in the US crosshairs because Iran is known to have the Middle East’s largest ballistic missile arsenal.
That’s what has been fueling fears of a global war – WWIII – breaking out. But this mess is just the externals. There is something going on behind the scenes in Washington that is causing more speculation than the mystery missile launch. What is that? Everyone is trying to figure out President Trump’s relationship to John Bolton because almost everyone suspects John Bolton of trying to force a US attack on Iran, something Trump says he does not want.
Last week, I reported that some people view President Donald Trump as a puppet of Mike Pompeo and John Bolton. Several European officials described Mr. Bolton and Mr. Pompeo as pushing an unsuspecting Mr. Trump through a series of steps that could put the United States on a course to war before the president realizes it.
A reader sent me this Mike Hodges article asking if Trump has been the victim of a coup? Hodges states that Trump has angered his Deep State advisors by backing out of Operation Nitro-Zeus to invade Venezuela, an invasion which also included plans to invade two countries halfway around the earth: Syria and Iran.
Because of a “target lock” situation that occurred last weekend, Hodges believes Trump has been set aside as Commander-in-Chief and that John Bolton is now in control of the US military. The “target lock” pertained to the USS Abraham Lincoln Aircraft Carrier Strike Group operating in the Arabian Sea AKA the Gulf of Oman, according to Hodges in what remains an unconfirmed report. According to Hodges, who says he obtained this information through covert intel, the “target lock” signal was stopped before triangulation could complete and the destruction of the USS Abraham Lincoln Aircraft Carrier would be carried out. In other words, the world was seconds away from WWIII last Saturday.
I don’t believe Trump is a puppet of the military industrial complex or John Bolton or the victim of any coup and I’m about to explain why. As I said last week, President Trump’s election campaign included a promise to get America out of the Middle East. He cannot afford to appear to be war mongering if he wants to win the 2020 election. It is necessary for his military industrial complex to appear now to be at odds with him even as he sends mixed messages about whether or not he actually wants war.
This week, Trump slammed the military industrial complex telling Fox News Steve Hilton, ‘You Do Have a Military-Industrial Complex. They Do Like War’. But he also said he is in favor of another kind of war – the kind that almost always leads to war – and apparently the kind that is Donald Trump’s favorite: economic war.
To a money man, economic war makes more sense than military war. However, the short-sighted view that most economic war proponents don’t see is that it quite often leads to physical war. Iran has been under deep economic sanctions since 1980 and the US has had a lot of trouble with Iran since that time. It may be that Trump is counting on the military industrial complex to be there should he push Iran too hard this time. The truth about economic war, as Obama discovered, is that only the threat of real destruction puts teeth into economic threats. Remember the Ukraine war breakout?
Trump distancing himself from the US war machine while getting tough on Iran to help him win the 2020 election could prove to be a dangerous tightrope walk. But what if that tightrope walk is exactly what Trump is looking for to make Americans be even more impressed with his leadership skills than they already are?
Iran isn’t buying Hodges’ coup idea, either. Iran believes Trump and Bolton are in cahoots to provoke a response to the stiffer economic sanctions. According to TheRealNews.com, Trump and Bolton’s strategy is to bait Iran into a war that Bolton’s wanted for twenty years – says Trita Parsi, President of the NIAC.
Trump’s team, especially since Bolton came on board, has been super aggressive at trying to not only provoke Iran into some sort of action like this to divert from the nuclear agreement, but also to get some sort of a reaction.
Here is how the Trump-Bolton strategy is working in Parsi’s opinion: The Iranians …think that there is a significant difference between Trump and Bolton. Trump wants a negotiation and he [bought] into the idea that by [putting] maximum pressure on Iran, he can get to a negotiation. [Parsi] think[s] he’s wrong but think[s] Trump genuinely believes that and [thinks] that’s what the Iranians see as well. Bolton, however, is someone who has been very clear about his desire for war. And he’s using this strategy in order to get to a war. Now, as long as this current situation continues, the tension between Trump and Bolton is not decisive because Trump is not close to making a decision about going to war.
In other words, Trump may not actually want to go to war, but he must keep Bolton’s strategy close by in case he can’t negotiate with the Iranians. Remember, it was Bolton who made the recent announcement about sending a carrier strike group to “send Iran a message” and is pushing to send 120,000 ground troops into the Middle East. The intelligence leading to the Iraq personnel withdrawal is highly suggestive of Bolton’s style, as well — especially given that some of our allies, in particular the British, have said the threat is being exaggerated.
I believe it is possible that Trump is using Bolton’s warmongering reputation as leverage, a behind-the-scenes threat, to push Iran into another round of nuclear negotiations. It helps Trump’s cause if Iran believes Bolton is a loose cannon and it will play well with the electorate, too, because it will make Trump appear that he has more control than he really does.
This is the reason Trump may be keeping the Bolton military industrial complex strategy at arm’s length. And this does not mean that Trump won’t go to war, either. Rather, Trump is strategizing on economic war followed by military war, if necessary, because he wants to put Iran in its place. The US still needs the Syrian oil and gas infrastructure because he who controls that controls the entire Middle East as long as relations with Saudi Arabia remain stable.
Back to TheRealNews.com article.
So, all of the cost right now is on the shoulder of the Iranians, and Trump is not paying any cost at all. If, however, the Iranians restart their [nuclear enrichment] program and start counter-escalating, this will come to a climax, a very dangerous climax.
Farsi now makes an excellent point that if Trump truly does not want war, he will need to change his strategy, and changing his strategy will then reveal the actual tensions between himself and John Bolton if there are any. At that point, Trump may have to fire Bolton after which a real de-escalation of war with Iran could begin, especially if firing Bolton is seen in a favorable light by Tehran.
The Guardian analyzed the Trump/Bolton relationship, asking the question of whether Bolton is trying to drive Trump to war with Iran? John Bolton, who has been called “the most dangerous man in the world”, was not Donald Trump’s first pick for his national security adviser. But after a series of resignations, he was plucked from a life of Fox News appearances to reprise his career as the foremost military hawk in the US. Now he has his sights set on Iran and has pushed for a buildup of US military assets in the Gulf.
The Guardian’s world affairs editor, Julian Borger, tells Anushka Asthana that as tensions rise, so do the chances of an accidental – or deliberate – escalation towards war. The echoes of the drumbeat to war in Iraq in 2003 are [now] all too apparent.
MySanAntonio.com has a different opinion. The sharp rise in tension with Iran cannot be entirely blamed on John Bolton, Trump’s hawkish national security adviser, who has long made clear that his goal is nothing less than regime change. Ultimately, it was Trump who decided to pull out of the nuclear deal, against the advice of his then-defense secretary, James Mattis; Trump who ordered scorched-earth sanctions designed not to cripple but to destroy the Iranian economy; Trump who approved designating a unit of Iran’s armed forces, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, as a terrorist organization.
These actions taken by Trump, not John Bolton, are the real cause of war escalation between the US and Iran. Also, a factor in the situation with Iran is the US alliance with Saudi Arabia, a point well taken from the MySanAntonio.com article.
The president has allowed the traditional U.S. alliance with Saudi Arabia — Iran’s bitter rival for military, political and religious dominance in the region — to be turned into what amounts to a Vulcan mind meld, with the role of Spock being played by the de facto Saudi leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Trump took no effective action against Salman, not even a stern finger-wagging, for ordering the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. The president has turned a blind eye to the near-genocidal war Salman is waging in Yemen. And now Trump appears to be doing the Saudi potentate’s bidding with regard to Iran.
Trump administration talk of sending up to 120,000 troops to the region if Iran or its proxies attack American forces is, at this point, just talk. But ordering home hundreds of nonessential diplomatic personnel from neighboring Iraq, as the administration announced last week, is the kind of concrete step that often precedes hostilities.
The Boston Herald said, If there’s one thing Democrats and ayatollahs agree on these days, it’s that John Bolton is trying to start a war with Iran. President Trump has said that he is open to negotiations and does not want a war, but his mustachioed national security adviser will not abide.
Popular as it may be in Washington, this theory has it backward. Bolton’s antipathy toward Iran is well-known and longstanding, but the current administration strategy is not aimed at starting a war with Iran. It’s designed to avoid one. Nevertheless, the anti-Bolton theme has been the centerpiece of a public diplomacy campaign for Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Zarif’s strategy is transparent: Blame Bolton to take the focus off Iran’s own escalations.
So now, you have heard several different theories about what is going on with Trump and Bolton. I earlier asserted that it is possible Trump is using the Bolton loose cannon as a leverage and threat to bring Iran to the table so a different nuclear deal can be made. This week, Trump offered talks instead of war to Iran, just like a good negotiator should after presenting to the enemy a threat. In negotiations, one wants a big takeaway and a big threat. The takeaway for Iran is continued and worsening economic sanctions. The big threat is war.
The Los Angeles Times wrote, After all the tough talk and menacing warships, Trump’s basic demand of the ayatollahs was almost plaintive: Can we talk?
“What they should be doing is calling me up,” the president said on May 9. “We can make a deal, a fair deal.”
“We’re not looking to hurt Iran,” the president told reporters. “I want them to be strong and great.”
Then, the LA times asks this question: All those collisions raise a question: Why does Bolton still have his job?
I believe it is because Bolton provides Trump with the biggest bully threat and leverage he can get against Iran who will remember that it was Bolton who pushed George Bush into Iraq with false intelligence. Of course, that didn’t turn out well for the US because Iran turned that entrenchment into a grand opportunity to build a prophecy-fulfilling King of the North coalition.
Officials insist that Bolton’s job is not in serious danger. Trump has joked about his advisor’s hawkishness, making it sound as if he enjoys playing the good cop to Bolton’s bad cop, according to the LA times.
So indeed, President Trump offered negotiations to Iran this week, just as would be expected of a negotiator playing the “do what I want or I will take more away from you and could even beat you up” game. But, alas, Iran rejected the offer.
CNN reports, Zarif said. “Iran never negotiates with coercion. You cannot threaten any Iranian and expect them to engage. The way to do it is through respect, not through threats.”
Congress is feeling left out of Trump’s and Bolton’s plans. According to DefenseOne.com, Members of Congress emerged from two closed-door briefings on Tuesday to say that senior Trump officials provided little clarity about whether the administration believes it has the authority to go to war with Iran without additional legislative approval.
Democratic lawmakers have been warning that Iran hawks in the Trump administration are laying the groundwork for armed conflict with Tehran …and pronounced themselves unsatisfied after back-to-back House and Senate briefings by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford.
“Everybody is deeply, deeply concerned about Congress getting cut out of what’s transpiring over there, and they weren’t able to give enough assurance that we would be consulted,” said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., who sits on the House Intelligence Committee. “I think that’s a huge, huge question that’s going unanswered.”
Could it be possible that the Trump administration is not seeking war approval from Congress because it hopes to provoke Iran into starting the war, after which congress would have no choice? Trump asking the Democrats to approve war plans against Iran will remain useless until such time as the US is dragged into a war. And this could be the reason Trump continues to let Bolton set off little explosions everywhere.
The truth is that no one outside the administration truly knows the dynamics happening between Trump and Bolton. Firing Bolton would be a more certain way to prove to Americans in this next election campaign that he is not a warmonger. We will have to wait and see what happens. However, don’t underestimate Donald Trump as a chump, as some news outlets now portray him, or as a President who is no longer President because a coup has occurred. Also, let us also not rule out the possibility of accidental war because Trump played too long and too close to the fire.
Now, let’s spend a moment talking about Dianne Feinstein’s liberal Democratic in-your-face demonstration to let Trump know who’s boss. Here is an excerpt from Politico.com.
SPOTTED: SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-Calif.), who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, walking around the Capitol with her iPhone screen facing outward in full view, and Javad Zarif’s contact page on the screen. Zarif is the name of Iran’s foreign minister.
— TOM MENTZER, Feinstein’s comms director, in response to us asking whether the senator has been talking with Iran’s foreign minister: “I can’t comment on who the senator does or doesn’t speak with.”
— STATEMENT from Feinstein at 2:57 p.m. Wednesday: “War isn’t necessary to solve a problem when both sides want a solution. I urge Secretary Pompeo to reach out to Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who I know doesn’t want to see a conflict with the United States.”
Did Feinstein violate the Logan Act by talking with Zarif herself? She was not seen talking on the phone, only displaying Zarif’s contact information on her phone. So, who knows?
The Logan Act is a federal law that criminalizes negotiation between unauthorized persons and foreign governments that are in dispute with the United States. The violator can be fined up to $5,000 or imprisoned for three years or fined and imprisoned. I vote for both the entire fine and imprisonment for three years for Feinstein if she was on the phone with Zarif. What about you?
As much criticism as I have for President Trump, he is still the Commander in Chief and he deserves that respect and honor from Feinstein and everyone else. Politicians who commit crimes should be put in prison and we know which politicians from the Obama era that should start with, don’t we? Trump isn’t one of those.
Before leaving this subject, there is one more development. A bipartisan letter signed by nearly 400 members from both sides of the aisle in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate was sent to U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday, calling on him to address threats in Syria, in addition to ensuring Israel’s safety.
Calling for ensuring Israel’s safety injects a certain amount of complication into the Iran matter and tying the war in Syria with the Iran problem also complicates matters. These three issues are tangled to together. It is their entanglement that, prophetically, ensures the coming King of the North and South war and the Gog-Magog war.
In any good negotiation, it is necessary to focus on one issue at a time. Syria is one issue. Israel is one issue. Iran is one issue, too, but it is the biggest and most complex issue. Yet, Congress once again runs ahead of the President pushing for more than can be delivered in one stroke.
It appears that Congress is trying to pull President Trump back from the brink of war with Iran by reminding him of the problems that still exist in Syria which is a threat to Israel. Trump needs to keep his eye on the ‘Bolton warmongering toward Iran’ situation now that this is blowing in the wind. The President needs to be allowed to pull one issue aside to handle that first without being pulled away from it and with all the Congressional help they should be willing to provide.
President Trump isn’t provoking war just with Iran. He is going after China, too.
There is “no chance” President Donald Trump will back down in the U.S. trade war with China, former Trump advisor Steve Bannon told CNBC on Wednesday.
“China has been running an economic war against the industrial democracies for now 20 years,” said the hardline ex-White House chief strategist, who helped craft Trump’s nationalist message.
Under Trump, Washington has taken a tougher stance on China than his recent predecessors. In addition to disputes around trade and the alleged Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property, American intelligence chiefs expressed their distrust of Chinese tech giant Huawei and Chinese telecom company ZTE.
The standoff with China “cuts to the core of what the United States is going to be in the future,” Bannon said. “With ‘Made in China 2025,’ ‘one belt-one road,’ and Huawei’s 5G rollout, this is a master plan to become an economic hegemon,” he added, referring to Chinese policies on its economy and trade.
Beside the usual tit for tat trade battles, this week, the US banned the Huawei brand cell phones in the United States. The US government has long argued that Huawei equipment poses a national security threat, and could be used by Beijing for spying. It’s lobbying allies to exclude Huawei from next-generation 5G wireless networks. And earlier this year, the Trump administration filed criminal charges against Huawei, claiming that the company stole trade secrets from T-Mobile (TMUS) and violated US sanctions on Iran.
Trump has been warned by the West’s most influential economics thinktank, the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), that further escalation of the US-China trade war would unleash significant damage for the American economy, as well as the rest of the world.
The founder of Huawei has said the US “underestimates” the Chinese telecom maker’s strength and that conflict with the US is inevitable in the quest to “stand on top of the world”.
The Chinese company’s top executive in the UK, Jeremy Thompson, said the US move against Huawei was a “cynically timed” blow in the escalating trade war. “The timing of this is to inflict maximum hurt on our organization. We’re a football in between this trade war,” he told the BBC.
The Chinese have already begun their backlash. Zerohedge reports, The Boycott Begins: Chinese Company Orders Employees To “Stop Using American Products, Eating At KFC” …and halt international travels to the U.S.
The escalating trade war between the US and China is leading to a cold war, and possibly worse. China and Iran are on the same side, folks. Trump is pushing buttons on both nations which could lead to a terrible backlash, not just for the global economy but for global war.
China offered strong support to Iran last Friday, with its top diplomat telling Iran’s foreign minister that China opposes unilateral sanctions and supports Tehran’s efforts to safeguard its interests.
U.S.-Iranian tensions have escalated in recent days, bringing increasing concerns about possible conflict.
Iran has said it is committed to its obligations under an international nuclear deal despite the U.S. withdrawal from the agreement last year, and has called the re-imposition of U.S sanctions unacceptable.
Meeting in Beijing, Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi told Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that given the important and rapidly-evolving situation, the two needed to strengthen communication and coordination.
“China resolutely opposes the U.S. implementation of unilateral sanctions and so-called ‘long arm jurisdiction’, understands the current situation and concerns of the Iranian side, and supports the Iranian side to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests,” China’s Foreign Ministry paraphrased Wang as saying.
I see a Chinese army of millions of soldiers and soldiers of Chinese allies marching across the Middle East and into Israel just as YHVH said. I also see China pairing up with Russia – China on the West coast of the US and Russia on the East coast – to destroy America.
As always, we must follow the money. That is not difficult with Donald Trump. He has been a money-monger all of his life. Now that he is President of the United States and leader of the Western world, he has to consider the financial needs of the big New World Order business clique, part of which is big oil.
I have reported to you that Trump’s raison’ d’etre in Golan a few weeks ago had to do with his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and others in his administration seeking to do well in their Genie Oil corporation that drills in the Golan Heights. It turns out that oil is another reason for Trump to want to negotiate with Iran, much to the chagrin of those who want it to only be about nuclear enrichment.
Trump may find out that the problem with engaging in economic war on two fronts is that those two fronts have a good chance of aligning against you as China and Iran are now doing. Their alignment is more than political alliance. For China, it is also a way to reject US policy using Iran’s oil sales.
Listen to this MEPC.org article.
As civilizations with deep historical roots, rich cultural traditions and illustrious imperial pasts, Iran and China have a basis for psychological identification. The fact that the two countries have no history of war and conflict, and that both have suffered the humiliating experience of neocolonialism, accentuates their civilizational and political identification. This deep sense of historical identity and national pride may partially explain why Iran and China have experienced several revolutions in the twentieth century in which the themes of anti-imperialism and nationalist self-assertion played a prominent ideological role.
Charles Ziegler puts it, “From 1992 to 2005 the People’s Republic of China went from self-sufficiency in petroleum to dependence on imports for over one-third of total consumption. China is the world’s second largest energy consumer, and in 2004 it surpassed Japan as the world’s number two oil importer.”
This makes it now necessary for China to harden its choice between the Eastern NWO and the Western NWO. Red China, Red Russia and Red Persians – Edomite descendants of Esau’s grandson Amalek – banding together. Not banding together because they like each other necessarily, but because Trump is causing them to have to band together to fight the rising Western colonial hegemony, as they see it.
Iran is the fourth-largest producer of oil in the world, behind Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the United States. Iran also possesses the second-largest gas reserves in the world, trailing only Russia.
Trump is trying to force Red China under Western control through the US-China trade war and the economic sanctions of Iran’s oil exports. What will China do? Go with Iran in defiance of the US? Or go with the US against an oil supplier, Iran?
According to some scholars, there is an emerging “axis of oil” constituting Russia (a major producer), China (a growing consumer) and the nationalist oil-producing states (most notably, Iran, a major producer). Their interests converge, and they are now challenging U.S. hegemony on a wide range of issues globally. The frustration of U.S. efforts to impede Iran’s drive for nuclear power is cited as an example of this new counter-hegemonic petroleum bloc. The creation of the Shanghai Cooperation Council, in which Russia and Iran are members, is partially designed to roll back growing U.S. influence in Central Asia and the Caucasus.
Resistance is now in China’s purview as it has now begun purchasing Iran’s oil despite the Trump sanctions and executive order threatening any nation that defies him.
On the same day that Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif traveled to Beijing for talks on “regional and international issues,” the Chinese oil tanker PACIFIC BRAVO began traveling eastward, having loaded approximately 2 million barrels of Iranian oil from the Soroosh and Kharg terminals in the Persian Gulf over the past few days.
PACIFIC BRAVO is the first major tanker to load Iranian crude after the Trump administration revoked waivers permitting the purchases by eight of Iran’s oil customers. The revocation of the waivers, which sent shockwaves through the global oil market, was a major escalation of Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran.
The purchase of Iranian oil in the absence of a waiver exposes the companies involved in the transaction—including the tanker operator, refinery customer, and bank—to possible designation by the U.S. Treasury Department, threatening the links these companies may maintain with the U.S. financial system.
You need to know that China is now simulating war with the United States.
ANOTHER REASON TRUMP’S WAR MESSAGE IS CONFUSING
Does Trump’s apparent love of war criminals tell a different tale about his view on the military industrial complex, the US war machine?
Trump is reportedly preparing pardons for a Navy SEAL, a Green Beret and Marines accused of war crimes. He could issue a pardon on Memorial Day for Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher, former Special Forces Maj. Matthew Golsteyn, and Marine Scout Snipers accused of urinating on Taliban corpses, the New York Times is reporting.
The president has already voiced support for Gallagher, who is accused of killing a wounded ISIS fighter with his knife, and Golsteyn, who has admitted to killing an unarmed suspected Taliban bomb-maker.
Furthermore, Trump is laying the groundwork to pardon for a Blackwater contractor who had been convicted for his role in the killing of several unarmed Iraqis. What does Trump’s willingness to use his power to wipe clean horrific crimes on the battlefield tell us about him that we might not have already known, this article asks?
It reconfirms his fidelity to the Jacksonian theory of national security, which can roughly be described as: “We don’t want to go to war, but if we do, we’ll kill ’em all and let God sort them out.” It’s a belief that once hostilities are under way, any sort of lethal violence is justified, with the laws of war being an illegitimate restraint on the laws of national sovereignty and self-defense.
It serves as confirmation that Trump wishes to use his pardon power to signal, in no uncertain terms, that he believes it is good for armed agents of the state to brutalize suspected enemies.
If the Blackwater contractor — a mercenary, basically — gets a pardon, that will be particularly telling. This is not a member of the U.S. Armed Services. The peg to Memorial Day is also questionable: It’s a holiday set aside to honor those who died in military service to the U.S. In this case, Trump would be honoring very much alive men whose victims are very much dead.
There has been some backlash to these expected moves from military veterans. Mark Hertling, who served as commanding general for U.S. Army Europe, wrote for CNN that “those who have been convicted were individuals who either did not understand the requirements of every military member to abide by a professional ethic and a prescribed set of values, or they did not understand the implications such an action has for commanders who have the requirement to constantly maintain good order and discipline in the professional military force.”
What does the Torah say about war?
Deuteronomy 23:9 When you are encamped against your enemies, then you shall keep yourself from every evil thing.
It is an evil thing to desecrate the body of your enemy or to decide on your own that one individual deserves to die for something he has not yet been proven to have done. Therefore, pardoning these kind of men is a disgrace to the Commander-in-Chief, his Presidential office and to Donald Trump personally.
We have to ask ourselves this question: Do these possible pardons really signal a President who is not part of the military complex? No, it does not. It simply points to his personal preference regarding war; not that he does not want to ever go to war. As he said in the news last week, he will be happy to go to military war if the economic war fails.
FOOD CRISIS COMING?
ZeroHedge headline: Farmageddon Looms: Only 30% Of US Corn Fields Have Been Planted, 5 Year Average Is 66%.
2019 is turning out to be a nightmare that never ends for the agriculture industry. Thanks to endless rain and unprecedented flooding, fields all over the middle part of the country are absolutely soaked right now, and this has prevented many farmers from getting their crops in the ground. I knew that this was a problem, but when I heard that only 30 percent of U.S. corn fields had been planted as of Sunday, I had a really hard time believing it. But it turns out that number is 100 percent accurate. And at this point corn farmers are up against a wall because crop insurance final planting dates have either already passed or are coming up very quickly. In addition, for every day after May 15th that corn is not in the ground, farmers lose approximately 2 percent of their yield. Unfortunately, more rain is on the way, and it looks like thousands of corn farmers will not be able to plant corn at all this year. It is no exaggeration to say that what we are facing is a true national catastrophe.
According to the Department of Agriculture, over the past five years an average of 66 percent of all corn fields were already planted by now…
U.S. farmers seeded 30% of the U.S. 2019 corn crop by Sunday, the government said, lagging the five-year average of 66%. The soybean crop was 9% planted, behind the five-year average of 29%.
Soybean farmers have more time to recover, but they are facing a unique problem of their own which we will talk about later in the article.
But first, let’s take a look at the corn planting numbers from some of our most important corn producing states. I think that you will agree that these numbers are almost too crazy to believe…
Iowa: 48 percent planted – 5 year average 76 percent
Minnesota: 21 percent planted – 5 year average 65 percent
North Dakota: 11 percent planted – 5 year average 43 percent
South Dakota: 4 percent planted – 5 year average 54 percent.
Can you imagine what this is going to do to food prices?
Right now, soil moisture levels in the state of Illinois “are in the 90th to 99th percentile statewide”. In other words, the entire state is completely and utterly drenched.
We have never had a year quite like this before, and U.S. food production is going to be substantially below expectations. I very much encourage everyone to get prepared for much higher food prices and a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the months ahead.
So much for the US-China trade war if the US needs to feed hungry American mouths, eh?
HOUSING MARKET HEADED FOR A PLUNGE?
One of the most important economic health indicators is the housing market, not the stock market. Well, guess what?
Existing home sales were down again nationally (4.4%) in April (fourteenth month in a row of declining sales year on year). That is the longest stretch without a single positive month since the housing-market collapse that brought on the Great Recession.