We spent a week talking about militarization and growing instability being created in US cities with poverty, black market economies, guns and violence. This is the signature of a third world societal structure and our US cities have been allowed to become this structure.
The riots in Baltimore had two defining elements. First, the anger and frustration of black citizens being denied their civil rights and public justice protested en masse AS THEY SHOULD HAVE. Second, that smaller percentage of citizens using this confusion to loot PHARMACIES of drugs. That looting sparked the few weeks of street violence after the riots as drug cartels fought over control of drugs and markets.
TWO DIFFERENT SETS OF CITIZENS-----LIVES DEEPLY AFFECTED BY LONG-TERM POVERTY, NO LOCAL ECONOMIES, AND HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT.
If one looks at third world nations where protests, violence, crime persist----these same societal elements exist. This is what happens when we allow a 1% and their 2% gain total power as in the US today. WE THE PEOPLE will not be able to stop this devolution into factional fighting and chaos if we do not stop national leaders and policies they are installing to CAUSE ALL THIS INSTABILITY.
No, Obama is not trying to help stop violence in our communities----no, CLINTON/OBAMA Wall Street Baltimore Development 'labor and justice' organizations are not trying to stop this violence. Far-right Wall Street global corporate neo-liberals pushing repressive gun control laws are not doing so to fight gun violence in our US cities. Republican voters tied to NRA and SHOOT IF YOU FEEL ENDANGERED laws are going to LOSE BIG TIME if right-leaning voters do not WAKE UP and look at the BIG PICTURE of goals of global societal instability
Chicago killings: 'It's like crates of guns got dropped off'
7 September 2016 Last updated at 00:55 BST
Killings in Chicago have hit a 20-year high as the grim toll for homicides in the city passed 500.
Rapper Bo Deal is a member of a gang and has spent time in prison - but even he's shocked by the scale of the violence.
"I've never seen so many guns", he told the BBC's Ian Pannell for the digital documentary The Lost Streets of Chicago.
Watch the full film here
IT'S THE STRUGGLING ECONOMY!
Obama came to office elected to hold Wall Street and corporations accountable---bring back the tens of trillions of dollars stolen in fraud and use that to rebuild our local economies. That was his platform and he did the opposite AND THIS IS WHY CRIME AND VIOLENCE IS SOARING IN US CITIES AS UNEMPLOYMENT AND POVERTY SOARS. CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS IN CONGRESS JOINED IN THIS 1% WALL STREET PROTECTION AND EXPANSION OF WEALTH INEQUITY.
No city in the nation has the ability to rebuild its local economy then these cosmopolitan cities of NYC, Chicago, and LA----and mid-size cities like Baltimore and Detroit have just as much ability so to not rebuild is deliberate intent to create these instabilities.
Chicago Disintegrates - Gun Shootings Soar An Unprecedented 89%: "It's The Struggling Economy"
by Tyler Durden
Apr 2, 2016 2:33 PM
Twitter Facebook Reddit While the Obama administration has been vocal about its intentions to limit access to guns for Americans across the nation, in the process achieving the opposite and leading to record gun sales, FBI firearm background checks that just hit an all time high for the month of March...
... and record stock prices of US gun makers such as Smith and Wesson, perhaps it should focus on what has become the epicenter of ground zero for violence and gun homicides in the US: Obama's "home town" of Chicago.
According to a CNN report, gun violence in the windy city is on track to post its worst year in the 21st century, the result of an unprecedented surge in gun deaths in the first three months of the year. By March 31, 141 people had been killed, according to the Chicago Police Department. On Thursday, eight were shot and two of them died in one hour alone, Chicago Police said.
The 141 deaths in the first three months of the year mark a 71.9% jump from the same period in 2015, when 82 people were killed. It's the worst start to a year since 1999, when 136 people died in the first three months the year, according to the Chicago Tribune.
At that pace - an average of three killings every two days - Chicago would have 564 homicides by the end of the year. That would eclipse the 468 killings recorded in 2015 and 416 in 2014.
Overall, shootings have also skyrocketed. According to data provided by Chicago police, the number of shootings in the first three months of the year jumped from 359 in 2015 to 677 in 2016 - an 88.5% increase.
The result are countless stores of personal tragedy. For example, eighty-year-old Betty Johnson has lived in Chicago's Roseland neighborhood since 1968. She raised two children and several grandchildren on the city's far south side, where she has lived her entire life.
After her granddaughter Sabrina was killed in a car accident in 2008, Johnson gained full custody of her great-grandson Andre Taylor.
She looked on proudly as he busied himself with swimming, football and karate. She knew the dangers someone his age faced if he spent too much time on the streets of Chicago.
On a Sunday night in March, her worst nightmare was realized. Andre, 16, was shot in the head and killed just a block from his home.
"It has gotten much worse out here," Johnson says, standing outside her home and looking out onto the streets she knows so well.
There was gang violence when Johnson was growing up, "but you never heard anything like what's going on today," she says.
And it's getting worse. Another example is 14 year old Tyjuan Poindexter.
Michael Gabb knows the pain Betty Johnson feels all too well. He helped raise his grandson Tyjuan Poindexter. The 14-year-old had never been in serious trouble, and Gabb was raising him in his home in the Kenwood neighborhood.
He believes Tyjuan was mistaken for a gang member when he was killed in a drive-by shooting just a few blocks from his home. Gabb told CNN six months ago he was hopeful police would find the people responsible. Mayor Rahm Emanuel even paid a visit to Gabb's home to offer his condolences.
Almost six months later, Gabb is still hopeful his grandson's killer will be found. But he thinks it may only happen if someone steps forward with information.
He hopes things can change so others don't suffer the same fate as his grandson. But how that change will occur and what's causing the violence is something difficult to narrow down to one definitive explanation.
Gabb, like many residents and advocates throughout the city, agree that there are several contributing factors; some old, some new.
What is perplexing is that even the ordinary people are getting it: "I think it's got something to do with economics," Gabb says of the continued shootings. As CNN adds, most residents say communities continue to suffer from an economy that is nowhere strong enough to keep at-risk youths from looking for financial support in the wrong places.
"There's not enough money to sustain certain families and people go into drugs," Gabb says.
However, and very sadly, it is none other than the president who insists that anyone suggesting the US economy is in dire shape is "peddling fiction." In other words, classic denial of what is happening in his own back yard.
It's hard for longtime community pastor Ira Acree to watch. He has been serving the Austin community on Chicago's West Side for 26 years.
"It's horrifying," he says. "It's horrifying to look at the numbers from this winter, because if it's that bad in the winter, we better brace for a long, hot summer."
And since it is indeed the economy's fault, it is about to get much worse. Acree, like Gabb, believes the struggling economy in many communities is a big part of the problem.
"All of the violence is rooted in the illegal drug economy," Acree says. "Many guys have allowed their economic desperation to cause them to resort to these measures. The economy is terrible, especially in African-American neighborhoods."
Acree says the violence is the worst he's seen since the 1990s, and he'd like to see a state of emergency declared for wide areas of the city by President Barack Obama, who called Chicago home for so many years.
The lament is one heard across most poor areas in the US: "I'm hoping that some money is invested in some job creation. We bailed out Wall Street, why not bail out Main Street? It would make a world of difference," Acree says.
"If you really want to stop this epidemic of violence, the best way to stop a bullet is with a job."
Which is odd, because according to the BLS, jobs across the US are growing at a brisk pace of over 200K per month.
What is rarely mentioned, however, is the true state of affairs even for those with jobs, according to which the net income of virtually every social group of Americans has devolved dramatically in recent years. As a recent Pew survey showed, by 2014, median income had fallen by 13 percent from 2004 levels, while expenditures had increased by nearly 14 percent. This change in the expenditure-to-income ratio in the years following the financial crisis is a clear indication of why and how households feel financially strained.
But that will be ignored as the myth of a recovery has to be perpetuated at all costs.
Meanwhile Chicago is disintegrating and as long as the culture of denial persists, there is no hope. The local residents know it too.
Jahmal Cole, 32, grew up in the city of North Chicago, about 45 miles from Chicago's South Side. But in 2007, he moved to the Chatham neighborhood on the South Side, one of the toughest, to help young kids most at risk of falling prey to gangs and drugs.
"I think that we've developed a mentality in Chicago -- we see ourselves part of the North Side, South Side," Cole says.
If they tried to learn from others, or immerse themselves in other opportunities, Cole believes lives could be changed. His nonprofit organization, My Block, My Hood, My City, is dedicated to providing young people with opportunities to see things they don't even know exist.
"They don't know what's available," he adds. "They don't know the museum is open Tuesday nights. Many of these kids have never even seen the lakefront in their entire life." Many will never see a lifestyle different from one where squad cars are part of the norm and the constant hovering of police helicopters is more known than a YMCA. It's a way of life he views as "traumatizing" to the children and part of a cycle he is trying to break.
He knows there isn't one easy fix: "I don't think there's a program a policy or a resolution that's going to solve violence in Chicago," Cole says. He believes many teens and residents suffer from what he calls "poverty of imagination." Cole hopes to bring new experiences to one child at a time and hopes that will make a difference.
But for Betty Johnson, as she stands outside her longtime home, thinking about all of the years she's lived in Chicago, there isn't as much hope as there is sadness anymore.
"I feel sorry for all of these young kids coming up today," she says. Johnson wishes she could do more to save her other grandkids from the streets of Chicago and from the same fate as her great-grandson Andre.
"If I wasn't so old, I'd take the other grandkids that are living with me and go so far up in the country, it would take three hours to get to me," she says. "It's just so bad that this is the way we have to live."
Meanwhile, anyone who dares to expose the naked, if heavily armed emperor, will continue to be accused by those tasked with fixing the economy for all, not just for the 1%, as perpetuating the peddling of fiction. Sadly, it may be the ultimate disintegration of this city that forces the administration, either the current one or the next one, to wake from its stupor.
Until then, thousands more will die
THE AMERICAN PEOPLE MUST LOOK AT THE US AS THOUGH IT WAS THOSE COLONIAL DEVELOPING NATIONS BECAUSE THAT IS TO WHERE CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA ARE TRYING TO TAKE THE US.
We remember how over 50 years our US CIA in the early years of empire-building were reported creating these same instabilities in nations around the world Wall Street wanted to control. Latin America has been made a societal wreck from CIA interventions deposing GOOD LEADERS and installing DESPOTS with lots of factionalization and violence in between.
Most of what is written about Lumumba leads people to believe he was that left-leaning candidate wanting to spread the wealth of Congo to citizens creating a civil society. Whether left-leaning means SOCIAL CAPITALISM or socialism ----developing nations simply need stable economic structures. We could post the same articles for Chile, Peru, Guatemala---in each case when a good leader wanting to build civil, stable economies gains control-----the US sends in the CIA to destabilize. It is this instability that allows the 1% and that 2% to capture the DESPOTS willing to hand global Wall Street control in exchange for individual extreme wealth.
As this article states----when the despot was installed all kinds of military weapons and violence followed and this is how a 1% creates a 2% to control the 99% of citizens in any nation----THIS IS NOW HAPPENING IN THE US THESE FEW DECADES.
Patrice Lumumba: 50 Years Later, Remembering the
U.S.-Backed Assassination of Congo's First Democratically Elected LeaderJanuary 21, 2011
This week marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, the first democratically elected leader of what is now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Lumumba’s pan-Africanism and his vision of a united Congo gained him many enemies. Both Belgium and the United States actively sought to have him killed. The CIA ordered his assassination but could not complete the job. Instead, the United States and Belgium covertly funneled cash and aid to rival politicians who seized power and arrested Lumumba. On January 17, 1961, after being beaten and tortured, Lumumba was shot and killed. [includes rush transcript]
TRANSCRIPTThis is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.JUAN GONZALEZ: This week marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Patrice Lumumba. He was the first democratically elected leader of what is now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Congo had been a colony of Belgium since the late 1800s, which ruled over it with brutality while plundering its rich natural resources. Patrice Lumumba rose as a leader of the Congo’s independence movement and, in 1960, was elected as the first prime minister of the country.
AMY GOODMAN: Lumumba’s pan-Africanism and his vision of a united Congo gained him many enemies. Both Belgium and the United States actively sought to have Lumumba overthrown or killed. The CIA ordered his assassination but could not complete the job. Instead, the United States and Belgium covertly funneled cash and aid to rival politicians who seized power and arrested President Lumumba. This is how it was reported in a Universal Studios newsreel in December of 1960.
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS NEWSREEL: A new chapter begins in the dark and tragic history of the Congo with the return to Leopoldville of deposed premier Lumumba, following his capture by crack commandos of strongman Colonel Mobutu. Taken to Mobutu’s headquarters past a jeering, threatening crowd, Lumumba — Lumumba, but promised the pro-red Lumumba a fair trial on charges of inciting the army to rebellion. Lumumba was removed to an army prison outside the capital, as his supporters in Stanleyville seized control of Orientale province and threatened a return of disorder. Before that, Lumumba suffered more indignities, including being forced to eat a speech, which he restated his claim to be the Congo’s rightful premier. Even in bonds, Lumumba remains a dangerous prisoner, storm center of savage loyalties and equally savage opposition.
AMY GOODMAN: On January 17th, 1961, after being beaten and tortured, the Congolese prime minister, Patrice Lumumba, was shot and killed.
For more, we go to Adam Hochschild. He’s the author of King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa and the forthcoming book To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion. He teaches at the Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, is co-founder of Mother Jones magazine, had an op-ed in the New York Times this week called "An Assassination’s Long Shadow." Adam Hochschild is joining us from San Francisco.
Explain this "long shadow," Adam.
ADAM HOCHSCHILD: Well, Amy, I think the assassination of Lumumba was something that was felt by many people to be a sort of pivotal turning point in the saga of Africa gaining its independence. In the 1950s, there were movements for independence all over Africa. There was a great deal of idealism in the air. There was a great deal of hope in the air, both among Africans and among their supporters in the United States and Europe, that at last these colonies would become independent. And I think people imagined real independence — that is, that these countries would be able to set off on their own and control their own destiny economically as well as politically. And the assassination of Lumumba really signaled that that was not to be, because, for Belgium, as for the other major European colonial powers, like Britain and France, giving independence to an African colony was OK for them as long as it didn’t disturb existing business arrangements. As long as the European country could continue to own the mines, the factories, the plantations, well, OK, let them have their politics.
But Lumumba spoke very loudly, very dramatically, saying Africa needs to be economically independent, as well. And it was a fiery speech on this subject that he gave at the actual independence ceremonies, June 30th, 1960, where he was replying to an extremely arrogant speech by King Baudouin of Belgium. It was a speech he gave on this subject that I think really began the process that ended two months later with the CIA, with White House approval, decreeing that he should be assassinated.
JUAN GONZALEZ: And, of course, for most Americans, who — we’re not, perhaps, as familiar with African colonialism, since that was basically a European project throughout the 19th century — the role of Belgium and the importance of the Congo as really the jewel of Africa in terms of its wealth and resources — how did the Congo suffer before Lumumba came to power?
ADAM HOCHSCHILD: Well, the story really begins, in the modern era, in 1885, when — or 1884 to '85, when all the major countries of Europe led — preceded by the United States, actually; we were the very first — recognized the Congo not as a Belgian colony, but as the private, personally owned colony of King Leopold II of Belgium, a very greedy, ambitious man who wanted a colony of his own. At that point, Belgium was not sure that it wanted a colony. Leopold ruled this place for 23 years, made an enormous fortune, estimated at over a billion in today's American dollars. Finally, in 1908, he was forced to give it up to become a Belgian colony, and then he died the following year. And the Belgians ran it for the next half-century, extracting an enormous amount of wealth, initially in ivory and rubber, then in diamonds, gold, copper, timber, palm oil, all sorts of other minerals. And as with almost all European colonies in Africa, this wealth flowed back to Europe. It benefited the Europeans much more than the Africans.
And the hope that many people had when independence came all over Africa, for the most part, you know, within a few years on either side of 1960, people had the hope that at last African countries would begin to control their own destiny and that they would be the ones who would reap the profits from the mines and the plantations and so on. Lumumba put that hope into words. And for that reason, he was immediately considered a very dangerous figure by the United States and Belgium. The CIA issued this assassination order with White House approval. And as was said at the beginning, they couldn’t get close enough to him to actually poison him, but they got money under the table to Congolese politicians who did see that he was assassinated, with Belgian help. It was a Belgian pilot who flew the plane to where he was killed, a Belgian officer who commanded the firing squad.
And then, the really disastrous thing that followed was this enthusiastic United States backing for the dictatorial regime of Mobutu, who seized total power a couple years later and ran a 32-year dictatorship, enriched himself by about $4 billion, and really ran his country into the ground, was greeted by every American president, with the sole exception of Jimmy Carter, who was in office during those 32 years. And he left the country a wreck, from which it has still not recovered.
AMY GOODMAN: Adam Hochschild, I want to play a clip of the former CIA agent John Stockwell talking about the CIA’s plans to assassinate the prime minister of the Congo, Patrice Lumumba.
JOHN STOCKWELL: The CIA had developed a program to assassinate Lumumba, under Devlin’s encouragement and management. The program they developed, the operation, didn’t work. They didn’t follow through on it. It was to give poison to Lumumba. And they couldn’t find a setting in which to get the poison to him successfully in a way that it wouldn’t appear to be a CIA operation. I mean, you couldn’t invite him to a cocktail party and give him a drink and have him die a short time later, obviously. And so, they gave up on it. They got cold feet. And instead, they handled it by the chief of station talking to Mobutu about the threat that Lumumba posed, and Mobutu going out and killing Lumumba, having his men kill Lumumba.
INTERVIEWER: What about the CIA’s relationship with Mobutu? Were they paying him money?
JOHN STOCKWELL: Yes, indeed. I was there in 1968 when the chief of station told the story about having been, the day before that day, having gone to make payment to Mobutu of cash — $25,000 — and Mobutu saying, "Keep the money. I don’t need it." And by then, of course, Mobutu’s European bank account was so huge that $25,000 was nothing to him.
AMY GOODMAN: That was former CIA agent John Stockwell talking about the CIA’s plans to assassinate Lumumba. Juan?
JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, Adam, I’d like to ask you — you were in the Congo shortly after Lumumba’s death. Could you talk about — we have about a minute — could you talk about your personal experiences there and what you saw?
ADAM HOCHSCHILD: Yes, I was there. I was just a college student at the time. And I wish I could say that I was smart and politically knowledgeable enough to realize the full significance of everything I was seeing. I was not, and it was really only in later years that I began to understand it. But what I do remember — and this was, as I say, six months or so after he was killed — was the sort of ominous atmosphere in Leopoldville, as the capital was called then, these jeeps full of soldiers who were patrolling the streets, the way the streets quickly emptied at dusk, and then two very, very arrogant guys at the American embassy who were proudly talking over drinks one evening about how this person, Lumumba, had been killed, whom they regarded, you know, not as a democratically elected African leader, but as an enemy of the United States. And so, of course, I, as a fellow American, they expected to be happy that he had been done away with. There was something quite chilling about that, and it stuck with me. But I think it’s only in much later years that I fully realized the significance.
Obama really does exhibit that blending of Clinton Wall Street neo-liberalism with Bush neo-conservatism for a ONE PARTY GLOBALIST-----and Hillary will be worse----as we see Obama superseded Bush in global militarism. Obama placed selling of military weapons and ammunition on steroids overseas. This is done to fuel the instability that global Wall Street then uses to install the DESPOT leaders. So, WE THE PEOPLE now have to listen to national media telling us that this Muslim group armed by the CIA is now a Muslim terrorist group we need to fear----just as they did when they armed Latino groups Wall Street then labelled terrorists.
THIS IS WHAT WE CALL ----CONSTANT WAR.
No one knows better than Obama, Clinton neo-liberals in Congress----our Baltimore Maryland Assembly and Baltimore City Hall pols----that all those military arms overseas have for decades been making their way back to the US via global arms dealer cartels. US military arms dealers drop tons of weapons in East Asia/Europe and they follow the sales by militants to Latin American gun cartels that then push those weapons into the US and to our US cities. It is widely known there is a partnership with some US military weapons dealers and these criminal gun running cartels.-----ALL THIS IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS. This is why gun violence is soaring in US cities----along with deepening poverty and unemployment.
From Clinton/Bush/Obama gun violence in our US cities has grown because military arms sales overseas has soared.
The Obama Administration Has Brokered More Weapons Sales Than Any Other Administration Since World War IIThe world may be in turmoil, but the American arms industry is cashing in.By William D. HartungJuly 26, 2016An F-35 stealth jet built for the Royal Australian Air Force is presented at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo / Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Paul Moseley)
When American firms dominate a global market worth more than $70 billion a year, you’d expect to hear about it. Not so with the global arms trade. It’s good for one or two stories a year in the mainstream media, usually when the annual statistics on the state of the business come out.
This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.com.
It’s not that no one writes about aspects of the arms trade. There are occasional pieces that, for example, take note of the impact of US weapons transfers, including cluster bombs, to Saudi Arabia, or of the disastrous dispensation of weaponry to US allies in Syria, or of foreign sales of the costly, controversial F-35 combat aircraft. And once in a while, if a foreign leader meets with the president, US arms sales to his or her country might generate an article or two. But the sheer size of the American arms trade, the politics that drive it, the companies that profit from it, and its devastating global impacts are rarely discussed, much less analyzed in any depth.
So here’s a question that’s puzzled me for years (and I’m something of an arms wonk): Why do other major US exports—from Hollywood movies to Midwestern grain shipments to Boeing airliners—garner regular coverage while trends in weapons exports remain in relative obscurity? Are we ashamed of standing essentially alone as the world’s number one arms dealer, or is our Weapons “R” Us role such a commonplace that we take it for granted, like death or taxes?
The numbers should stagger anyone. According to the latest figures available from the Congressional Research Service, the United States was credited with more than half the value of all global arms transfer agreements in 2014, the most recent year for which full statistics are available. At 14 percent, the world’s second largest supplier, Russia, lagged far behind. Washington’s “leadership” in this field has never truly been challenged. The US share has fluctuated between one-third and one-half of the global market for the past two decades, peaking at an almost monopolistic 70 percent of all weapons sold in 2011. And the gold rush continues. Vice Admiral Joe Rixey, who heads the Pentagon’s arms sales agency, euphemistically known as the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, estimates that arms deals facilitated by the Pentagon topped $46 billion in 2015, and are on track to hit $40 billion in 2016.
To be completely accurate, there is one group of people who pay remarkably close attention to these trends—executives of the defense contractors that are cashing in on this growth market. With the Pentagon and related agencies taking in “only” about $600 billion a year—high by historical standards but tens of billions of dollars less than hoped for by the defense industry—companies like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and General Dynamics have been looking to global markets as their major source of new revenue.
In a January 2015 investor call, for example, Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson was asked whether the Iran nuclear deal brokered by the Obama administration and five other powers might reduce tensions in the Middle East, undermining the company’s strategy of increasing its arms exports to the region. She responded that continuing “volatility” in both the Middle East and Asia would make them “growth areas” for the foreseeable future. In other words, no worries. As long as the world stays at war or on the verge of it, Lockheed Martin’s profits won’t suffer—and, of course, its products will help ensure that any such “volatility” will prove lethal indeed.
Under Hewson, Lockheed has set a goal of getting at least 25 percent of its revenues from weapons exports, and Boeing has done that company one better. It’s seeking to make overseas arms sales 30 percent of its business.
Good News From the Middle East (If You’re an Arms Maker)Arms deals are a way of life in Washington. From the president on down, significant parts of the government are intent on ensuring that American arms will flood the global market and companies like Lockheed and Boeing will live the good life. From the president on his trips abroad to visit allied world leaders to the secretaries of state and defense to the staffs of US embassies, American officials regularly act as salespeople for the arms firms. And the Pentagon is their enabler. From brokering, facilitating, and literally banking the money from arms deals to transferring weapons to favored allies on the taxpayers’ dime, it is in essence the world’s largest arms dealer.
In a typical sale, the US government is involved every step of the way. The Pentagon often does assessments of an allied nation’s armed forces in order to tell them what they “need”—and of course what they always need is billions of dollars in new US-supplied equipment. Then the Pentagon helps negotiate the terms of the deal, notifies Congress of its details, and collects the funds from the foreign buyer, which it then gives to the US supplier in the form of a defense contract. In most deals, the Pentagon is also the point of contact for maintenance and spare parts for any US-supplied system. The bureaucracy that helps make all of this happen, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, is funded from a 3.5 percent surcharge on the deals it negotiates. This gives it all the more incentive to sell, sell, sell.
And the pressure for yet more of the same is always intense, in part because the weapons makers are careful to spread their production facilities to as many states and localities as possible. In this way, they ensure that endless support for government promotion of major arms sales becomes part and parcel of domestic politics.
General Dynamics, for instance, has managed to keep its tank plants in Ohio and Michigan running through a combination of add-ons to the Army budget—funds inserted into that budget by Congress even though the Pentagon didn’t request them—and exports to Saudi Arabia. Boeing is banking on a proposed deal to sell 40 F-18s to Kuwait to keep its St. Louis production line open, and is currently jousting with the Obama administration to get it to move more quickly on the deal. Not surprisingly, members of Congress and local business leaders in such states become strong supporters of weapons exports.
Though seldom thought of this way, the US political system is also a global arms distribution system of the first order. In this context, the Obama administration has proven itself a good friend to arms exporting firms. During President Obama’s first six years in office, Washington entered into agreements to sell more than $190 billion in weaponry worldwide—more, that is, than any US administration since World War II. In addition, Team Obama has loosened restrictions on arms exports, making it possible to send abroad a whole new range of weapons and weapons components—including Black Hawk and Huey helicopters and engines for C-17 transport planes—with far less scrutiny than was previously required.
This has been good news for the industry, which had been pressing for such changes for decades with little success. But the weaker regulations also make it potentially easier for arms smugglers and human rights abusers to get their hands on US arms. For example, 36 US allies—from Argentina and Bulgaria to Romania and Turkey—will no longer need licenses from the State Department to import weapons and weapons parts from the United States. This will make it far easier for smuggling networks to set up front companies in such countries and get US arms and arms components that they can then pass on to third parties like Iran or China. Already a common practice, it will only increase under the new regulations.
The degree to which the Obama administration has been willing to bend over backward to help weapons exporters was underscored at a 2013 hearing on those administration export “reforms.” Tom Kelly, then the deputy assistant secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, caught the spirit of the era when asked whether the administration was doing enough to promote American arms exports. He responded:
“[We are] advocating on behalf of our companies and doing everything we can to make sure that these sales go through… and that is something we are doing every day, basically [on] every continent in the world… and we’re constantly thinking of how we can do better.”
One place where, with a helping hand from the Obama administration and the Pentagon, the arms industry has been doing a lot better of late is the Middle East. Washington has brokered deals for more than $50 billion in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia alone for everything from F-15 fighter aircraft and Apache attack helicopters to combat ships and missile defense systems.
The most damaging deals, if not the most lucrative, have been the sales of bombs and missiles to the Saudis for their brutal war in Yemen, where thousands of civilians have been killed and millions of people are going hungry. Members of Congress like Michigan Representative John Conyers and Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy have pressed for legislation that would at least stem the flow of the most deadly of the weaponry being sent for use there, but they have yet to overcome the considerable clout of the Saudis in Washington (and, of course, that of the arms industry as well).
When it comes to the arms business, however, there’s no end to the good news from the Middle East. Take the administration’s proposed new 10-year aid deal with Israel. If enacted as currently planned, it would boost US military assistance to that country by up to 25 percent—to roughly $4 billion per year. At the same time, it would phase out a provision that had allowed Israel to spend one-quarter of Washington’s aid developing its own defense industry. In other words, all that money, the full $4 billion in taxpayer dollars, will now flow directly into the coffers of companies like Lockheed Martin, which is in the midst of completing a multi-billion-dollar deal to sell the Israelis F-35s.
“Volatility” in Asia and EuropeAs Lockheed Martin’s Marillyn Hewson noted, however, the Middle East is hardly the only growth area for that firm or others like it. The dispute between China and its neighbors over the control of the South China Sea (which is in many ways an incipient conflict over whether that country or the United States will control that part of the Pacific Ocean) has opened up new vistas when it comes to the sale of American warships and other military equipment to Washington’s East Asian allies. The recent Hague court decision rejecting Chinese claims to those waters (and the Chinese rejection of it) is only likely to increase the pace of arms buying in the region.
At the same time, in the good-news-never-ends department, growing fears of North Korea’s nuclear program have stoked a demand for US-supplied missile defense systems. The South Koreans have, in fact, just agreed to deploy Lockheed Martin’s THAAD anti-missile system. In addition, the Obama administration’s decision to end the longstanding embargo on US arms sales to Vietnam is likely to open yet another significant market for US firms. In the past two years alone, the United States has offered more than $15 billion worth of weaponry to allies in East Asia, with Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea accounting for the bulk of the sales.
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In addition, the Obama administration has gone to great lengths to build a defense relationship with India, a development guaranteed to benefit US arms exporters. Last year, Washington and New Delhi signed a 10-year defense agreement that included pledges of future joint work on aircraft engines and aircraft carrier designs. In these years, the United States has made significant inroads into the Indian arms market, which had traditionally been dominated by the Soviet Union and then Russia. Recent deals include a $5.8 billion sale of Boeing C-17 transport aircraft and a $1.4 billion agreement to provide support services related to a planned purchase of Apache attack helicopters.
And don’t forget “volatile” Europe. Great Britain’s recent Brexit vote introduced an uncertainty factor into American arms exports to that country. The United Kingdom has been by far the biggest purchaser of US weapons in Europe of late, with more than $6 billion in deals struck over the past two years alone—more, that is, than the United States has sold to all other European countries combined.
The British defense behemoth BAE is Lockheed Martin’s principal foreign partner on the F-35 combat aircraft, which at a projected cost of $1.4 trillion over its lifetime already qualifies as the most expensive weapons program in history. If Brexit-driven austerity were to lead to a delay in, or the cancellation of, the F-35 deal (or any other major weapons shipments), it would be a blow to American arms makers. But count on one thing: were there to be even a hint that this might happen to the F-35, lobbyists for BAE will mobilize to get the deal privileged status, whatever other budget cuts may be in the works.
On the bright side (if you happen to be a weapons maker), any British reductions will certainly be more than offset by opportunities in Eastern and Central Europe, where a new Cold War seems to be gaining traction. Between 2014 and 2015, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, military spending increased by 13 percent in the region in response to the Russian intervention in Ukraine. The rise in Poland’s outlays, at 22 percent, was particularly steep.
Under the circumstances, it should be obvious that trends in the global arms trade are a major news story and should be dealt with as such in the country most responsible for putting more weapons of a more powerful nature into the hands of those living in “volatile” regions. It’s a monster business (in every sense of the word) and certainly has far more dangerous consequences than licensing a Hollywood blockbuster or selling another Boeing airliner.
Historically, there have been rare occasions of public protest against unbridled arms trafficking, as with the backlash against “the merchants of death” after World War I, or the controversy over who armed Saddam Hussein that followed the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Even now, small numbers of congressional representatives, including John Conyers, Chris Murphy, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, continue to try to halt the sale of cluster munitions, bombs, and missiles to Saudi Arabia.
There is, however, unlikely to be a genuine public debate about the value of the arms business and Washington’s place in it if it isn’t even considered a subject worthy of more than an occasional media story. In the meantime, the United States continues to hold onto the number one role in the global arms trade, the White House does its part, the Pentagon greases the wheels, and the dollars roll in to profit-hungry US weapons contractors.
While the ATF and Holder make a great deal out of a botched ATF border deal on a few hundred guns we all know the crisis in Mexico is fueled by more than those few hundred guns. We know the guns and ammo are US-----and if we read global investigations of military arms deals----we know Latin American drug and gun cartels are buying from overseas----and bringing those Obama weapon drops back to North America.
Here we are talking about assault weapons but these overseas weapon drops are more than military weapons-----US handgun manufactures are overseas dropping as much and that too is coming back to North America.
While the Mexican government shouts at US for fueling all these militarized weapons inside Mexico------Latin American gun cartels are smuggling these same guns into the US -----for money to keep their operations going. Smuggling from overseas to Latin America----smuggled from Latin America to US cities-----and VOILA----US CITY GUN VIOLENCE.
Americans lucky enough not to know what it feels like to be poor---for a short time or long time----you or I-----a Hillary Clinton -----could fall into poverty and WE WOULD be hustling to feed ourselves or our families. No one is immune. Some people are just evil and dangerous----most people are fighting to survive.
Who benefits when these developing nations are thrown into chaos?
Migrating Latino immigrants flooding into America are that cheap labor being used by Wall Street and the 1% and their 2%.
Mexico: U.S. Supplies 90% Of Cartel's Guns
Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan argued against doubts raised by the National Rifle Association that ninety percent of all assault weapons seized in northern Mexican originate from the United States.
The key issue, Sarukhan reiterated on CBS News' on Face The Nation Sunday, is to stop the flow of U.S. firearms and cash, "which is providing drug cartels in Mexico with the wherewithal to corrupt, to bribe, to kill.
"Ninety percent of all weapons we are seizing in Mexico, Bob, are coming from across the United States," he said, citing the high number of Federal firearms licenses a few miles north of the border. "Just on the Arizona and Texas borders with Mexico alone there are approximately 7,000 FFLs, federal firearms licensees. And weapons bought by the drug syndicates, directly or proxy purchases, are coming from those gun shops."
Schieffer noted that the NRA has taken issue with the statistic, and asked the ambassador where the data originates – a question Sarukhan did not directly answer, although he used the example of a recent weapons seizure in a border town to explain how much ammunition U.S. sellers are directing to drug cartels.
"We seized more than 250 assault weapons and half-a-million rounds of ammo, these have just crossed over the border," he explained. "By tracing back these weapons, by looking at the type of weapons, we determined that most of these weapons are coming from the United States."
Pushed by Schieffer about how Mexican authorities can be so sure the majority of the weapons originated in the States, Sarukhan said through research with AFT they discovered that most the grenades are coming from Guatemala, while most of the assault weapons come from the United States.
Schieffer asked if the ambassador would support the U.S. reinstating the ban on assault weapons.
"The assault weapons ban ran out in 2004, Bob," he said, "and since then we have seen a rise of assault weapons being seized in Mexico.
"There is a direct correlation between the expiration of the assault weapons ban and our seizures of assault weapons," he argued.
Sarukhan admitted that the Mexican government cannot determine how Congress and the Obama administration would move on the ban, but he did say that reinstating the ban "is one of the instruments … that could have a profound impact on the number and the caliber of weapons doing down to Mexico."
Who hates immigrants----Mexicans-----illegal aliens the most? Right-leaning voters----who is the 1% Wall Street global pols? Far-right wing Clinton/Obama neo-liberals and Bush neo-cons.
WAKE UP REPUBLICAN VOTERS AND STOP ELECTING THESE EMPIRE-BUILDING MILITARISTIC POLS!
This is why social Democrats see Latino immigrants as refugees and not illegal aliens. WE THE PEOPLE must learn these lessons because what happened in Latin America and Middle-East is now happening in our US cities deemed International Economic Zones-----including BALTIMORE.
As Mexican leaders put the blame on US small business gun sellers-----it is really global gun smuggling from overseas to Latin American cartels responsible for much of these weapons. If we have Latin American drug cartels in all US cities we have Latin American gun cartels as well.
What was small-time involvement by black citizens and drug dealing has now been super-sized with this global drug and gun cartel inside our US cities. Our US cities are now looking like Bangkok, Shanghai, Nigeria, Mexico -----third world----all because we have national leaders that are CRIMINALS THEMSELVES.
THE RICH WHITE GUERRILLA GANG IS FUNDING THE BLACK AND BROWN GUERRILLA GANG TO CREATE INSTABILITY IN OUR US CITIES JUST AS OVERSEAS.
If the US was not DESTABILIZING LATIN AMERICA------we would not have the Latino drug and gun cartels. These problems began when Clinton installed NAFTA---which undermined local Latin American economies.
U.S. cities become hubs of Mexican drug cartels
Jack Riley is a special agent in charge of the Chicago field division of the DEA. The DEA and other federal and local police are targeting Mexican drug cartels in Chicago, and throughout the United States. (Carlos Javier Ortiz /For the Washington Post)
By Sari Horwitz November 3, 2012
A few miles west of downtown, past a terra-cotta-tiled gateway emblazoned with “Bienvenidos,” the smells and sights of Mexico spill onto 26th Street. The Mexican tricolor waves from brick storefronts. Vendors offer authentic churros, chorizo and tamales.
Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood is home to more than 500,000 residents of Mexican descent and is known for its Cinco de Mayo festival and bustling Mexican Independence Day parade. But federal authorities say that Little Village is also home to something else: an American branch of the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel.
Members of Mexico’s most powerful cartel are selling a record amount of heroin and methamphetamine from Little Village, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. From there, the drugs are moving onto the streets of south and west Chicago, where they are sold in assembly-line fashion in mostly African American neighborhoods.
“Chicago, with 100,000 gang members to put the dope on the street, is a logistical winner for the Sinaloa cartel,” Jack Riley, the DEA’s special agent in charge of the Chicago field division, said after a tour through Little Village. “We have to operate now as if we’re on the Mexican border.”
It’s not just Chicago. Increasingly, as drug cartels have amassed more control and influence in Mexico, they have extended their reach deeper into the United States, establishing inroads across the Midwest and Southeast, according to American counternarcotics officials. An extensive distribution network supplies regions across the country, relying largely on regional hubs like this city, with ready markets off busy interstate highways.
Cartels push methamphetamines, heroinOne result: Seizures of heroin and methamphetamine have soared in recent years, according to federal statistics.
The U.S. government has provided Mexico with surveillance equipment, communication gear and other assistance under the $1.9 billion Merida Initiative, the anti-drug effort launched more than four years ago. But critics say that north of the border, the federal government has barely put a dent into a sophisticated infrastructure that supports more than $20 billion a year in drug cash flowing back to Mexico.
The success of the Mexican cartels in building their massive drug distribution and marketing networks across the county is a reflection of the U.S. government’s intelligence and operational failure in the war on drugs, said Fulton T. Armstrong, a former national intelligence officer for Latin America and ex-CIA officer.
“We pretend that the cartels don’t have an infrastructure in the U.S.,” said Armstrong, also a former staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and now a senior fellow at American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies. “But you don’t do a $20 billion a year business . . . with ad-hoc, part-time volunteers. You use an established infrastructure to support the markets. How come we’re not attacking that infrastructure?”
A reported 8.9 percent of Americans age 12 or older — 22.6 million people — are current users of illegal drugs, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — up from 6.2 percent in 1998. Demand for and the availability of illegal drugs is rising.
Charles Bowden, who has written several books about Mexico and drug trafficking, said policy failures have exacerbated the problems. “The war on drugs is over,” he said. “There are more drugs in the U.S. of higher quality and at a lower price.”
A national network Of the seven Mexican organized crime groups that traffic drugs across the United States, the Sinaloa cartel dominates the business, selling most of the heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine and cocaine. One Mexican national-security expert estimated that the cartel moves a kilo of cocaine over the U.S. border about every 10 minutes.
A photograph appears on a television screen at the Chicago DEA office of Joaquin Guzman. Guzman is a fugitive Mexican drug lord who heads the world's largest and most powerful drug trafficking organization, the Sinaloa cartel. (Carlos Javier Ortiz /For the Washington Post)The Sinaloa, named after a Mexican Pacific coast state, is headed by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, one of the world’s most brutal and sought-after drug lords.
Officials say the Sinaloa cartel typically sends its drugs across the border to distribution cells in cities such as Los Angeles. From there, dozens of operators — including truck drivers who conceal the packages amid shipments of fruits, vegetables and other consumer goods — bring the drugs east and north, unloading them at nondescript warehouses, condominiums and duplexes managed by the cartel.
All of the hype in guns sales in the US after a mass shooting brings gun sales----but what also is bringing gun sales is growing Federal authoritarian control and systemic corruption that has Americans feeling unsettled. While US cities implode with violence around street crime---middle-America is feeling an implosion of crime at the top of the income ladder with everyone feeling a need for self-defense.
ALL THIRD WORLD NATIONS HAVE CITIZENS FEELING THIS WAY.
What is important to think about beyond what media is telling us----where are US gun manufacturers making much of their guns sales? OVERSEAS MARKETS. So, indeed Obama has been good for gun sales because he further DEREGULATED ARMS SALES and now US gun manufacturers like Smith and Wesson have expanded overseas and are earning hundreds of millions.
Now we are hearing the NRA lobby is starting to back off in the US----not as worried about American gun sales as they have their markets now globally. It was Republican think tanks like neo-conservative Johns Hopkins----writing the repressive gun control laws adopted by Obama. The far-right uses gun control to create the next WAR ON PEOPLE----THIS TIME THE WAR ON GUNS.
Did you know a very neo-conservative Johns Hopkins wrote Obama's gun control policy and it is heavily based on sending people to jail for longer and longer times---zero tolerance for guns as for drugs. Did you know a very, very neo-conservative Johns Hopkins is partnered in many ways with global military arms deals and dealers? Writing repressive gun control laws while tied to the soaring military and arms deals abroad leading to the flow of guns by cartels back into our US cities.
Gunmaker Smith & Wesson up almost 100% in 2015
December 3, 2015
On Wednesday, the San Bernardino shooting added to an already tragic lineup of gun violence this year that includes Charleston, South Carolina and Colorado Springs, Colorado, where just this week, a gunman killed three people at a Planned Parenthood Clinic.
As details of the latest tragedy continued to unfold, the market sell-off on Wednesday steepened amidst uncertainty about the motive in the San Bernardino shooting.
But one stock that continued to rise through much of Thursday and throughout gun-related violence headlines this year? Gunmaker Smith & Wesson (SWHC)—which clocked in over $500 million in sales last year—up 93% since January.
The company, which is a leading manufacturer of pistols, revolvers, tactical rifles, and black powder firearms, as well as hunting rifles, said in its latest conference call that strong sales are the result of increasing demand.
Since 1980, the number of guns in possession in the United States has essentially doubled to 350 million, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Wedbush Securities estimates that wholesale sales of handguns and long guns (which includes shotguns and rifles) totaled about $4 billion in 2014, based on data released by the Department of Treasury on the collection of the Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax. This marks a CAGR of 12% from 2005 to 2014, mostly driven by handgun sales, which comprise more than 70% of Smith & Wesson’s business.
The demand is not coming from hunters. In the 31 years since the 1982 peak, the number of U.S. hunting license holders has declined 13 percent to approximately 14.6 million in 2013, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
And this increase has become more highly concentrated in a smaller group. Despite the continued growth in the total number of firearms in the U.S., the percentage of households that own a gun has fallen from 47% of households in 1980 to 31% of households, according to the NORC at the University of Chicago. This math would suggest that the number of guns per gun owner has increased from less than two to more than three.
Furthermore, the current number of concealed-carry permits in the U.S. stands at about 13 million, versus 4.6 million in 2007, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center.
Wednesday's rise in shares of Smith & Wesson through most of the day, amidst unfolding news of the San Bernardino shooting, reflects data showing strong gun demand after tragic events.
The chart below highlights some of the most widely reported tragic events and the spike in background checks following the violence.
The largest month of growth for firearm background checks was January 2013, which saw an increase of more than 90 percent, according to Wedbush. This demand surge was prompted initially by the re-election of President Barack Obama, who had made tighter gun control legislation a part of his platform during the 2012 campaign and in the aftermath of the July 2012 shooting in Aurora, CO. The Newtown, CT tragedy a month after the November 2012 election further prompted an effort to ban assault rifles and high-capacity magazine pistols. These events caused a flood into stores, but no ban materialized given lack of support in Congress.
And when it seemed demand trickled off a bit, a handful of high-profile tragedies (beginning with the tragedy in Charleston, SC) hit the news in fairly quick succession, sparking a renewed interest by many to enact new gun regulations. The industry saw double-digit growth over the summer.
Data suggests, contrary to common sense, that Democratic presidents have been very good to the gun industry, at least in the short run, according to Wedbush securities. The drive? The National Rifle Association has seized on regulatory comments that prey on gun advocates’ fear of governmental confiscation of guns. Yet, still, the likelihood of any actual gun legislation is exceedingly low, according to Wedbush.
When Clinton and Republicans reformed Welfare creating Welfare to Work they both were pushing our US corporations overseas knowing high unemployment would follow and citizens would not be able to find those jobs. At the same time they installed ZERO TOLERANCE putting the most American citizens in prison than anywhere in the developed---and many undeveloped nations. Create the unemployment and poverty while installing zero tolerance ----social progressives were pushing gun control in the 1960s---we have always wanted basic gun control laws. Our approach to gun violence is to lift people out of poverty and employ them----not to jail them with ever-longer sentences.
Citizens wanting gun control must step back and think what an administration leading the world in arms sales knowing these arms are coming back to our US cities----will do with these twenty or more gun control policies. We know they will be use repressively---selectively----at a time when we cannot control the inflow of weapons to our US cities.
Johns Hopkins in Baltimore creates the stagnant and dead community economies and fuel the high unemployment of Baltimore citizens. At the same time Hopkins is partnered with Bush/Cheney and global military arms dealers making these Obama decisions to super-size global arm sales. Hopkins is tied to the militarized CIA actions causing instability in Latin America----so please QUESTION WHAT A WAR ON GUNS WILL DO.
The gun control laws being pushed by 1% Wall Street global corporate neo-liberals Obama and O'Malley were written by a very, very, very neo-conservative Bloomberg Johns Hopkins. No one has worked harder to create this decaying, crumbling Baltimore infrastructure than O'Malley --
O'MALLEY CREATED THE CONDITIONS OF DEEP POVERTY AND LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYMENT THAT DRIVES THE CRIME AND VIOLENCE 1% WALL STREET NOW PRETENDS IT WANTS TO FIX.
"Gun violence is a public health issue. It's about the health of our children, our schools, our neighborhoods, our communities, our cities and towns. Perhaps there is no way to completely prevent the next tragedy, but that cannot be an excuse that keeps us from doing commonsense things such as preventing violent crime, locking up bad guys, and keeping assault weapons from falling into the hands of disturbed people who are a danger to others. This isn't about ideology. It's about dignity."
— Martin O'Malley, Governor of Maryland
Obama’s gun-control proposals
President Obama proposed expansive gun-control policies aimed at curbing gun violence. The Obama administration can implement about half of the proposals, but the others — arguably some of the more critical initiatives — will require congressional approval. Read related article or Obama's full remarks on the proposals.
Gun violence research
88 percent of Americans support background checks on people buying guns at gun shows.
proposalaction required by
Require universal background checks for all firearm sales.
Send a letter from ATF to licensed dealers with guidance on how to facilitate background checks for private sellers.
Direct U.S. attorney general to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun and make recommendations to ensure dangerous people aren't slipping through the cracks.
Invest $20 million in fiscal year 2013 to give states stronger incentives to share background data.
Hold federal agencies accountable for sharing reliable data with background check system.
Remove barriers that prevent states from reporting information on people prohibited from gun ownership for mental health reasons.
Military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines
58 percent of Americans support a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons.
proposalaction required by
Reinstate and strengthen the ban on assault weapons.
Limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds.
Ban possession of armor-piercing ammunition by anyone other than the military and law enforcement.
Gun violence researchproposalaction required by
Direct the Centers for Disease Control and scientific agencies to conduct research into the causes and prevention of gun violence.
Provide $10 million to CDC for additional research on relationship between video games, media images and violence.
Provide $20 million to expand the National Violent Death Reporting System to all 50 states.
Gun safetyproposalaction required by
Launch a national campaign to promote common-sense safety measures.
Review and enhance safety standards for gun locks and gun safes.
Direct attorney general to review gun safety technologies.
Challenge private sector to develop gun safety technology.
55 percent of Americans support placing an armed guard in every school.
proposalaction required by
Provide incentives for police departments to hire school resource officers through COPS hiring grants.
Give $150 million to school districts and law enforcement agencies to hire school resource officers, school psychologists, social workers and counselors.
Provide $30 million in one-time state grants to help school districts develop emergency management plans.
Give schools and other institutions a model for how to develop and implement emergency plans.
Provide $50 million to help 8,000 more schools train their teachers and staff to create safer and more nurturing environments.
Share best practices on school discipline.
56 percent of Americans think inadequate treatment of mentally ill people contributes a great deal to gun violence.
proposalaction required by
Provide $55 million for new initiative (Project AWARE) to make sure students get treatment for mental health issues.
Provide $25 million for state-based strategies supporting individuals ages 16-25 with mental health or substance abuse issues.
Provide $25 million to offer students mental health services for trauma or anxiety.
Provide $50 million to train 5,000 additional mental health professionals serving children and young adults.
Clarify that the health-care law does not prohibit doctors from asking their patients about guns in their homes.
Launch a national dialogue about mental illness.
Finalize requirements for private health insurance plans to cover mental health services.
Ensure that Medicaid recipients get quality mental health coverage.
Whether one believes there will be an economic crash----whether one believes how deep or long this coming crash will be----we can surely agree that deepening poverty and higher unemployment is coming----hitting our US cities and rural towns---and all of this is the making of great societal instability. We see a global flooding of weapons---we see those weapons coming back to the US and our cities----we see very repressive gun laws hitting while all this is happening knowing an economic collapse is on the horizon---OUR CONGRESSIONAL POLS AND OBAMA WORKED HARD TO INSTALL ALL THESE FACTORS---but couldn't do it without our Maryland Assembly and Baltimore City Hall pols---Wall Street Baltimore Development 'labor and justice' organizations.
By John Whitefoot, BA
Published: June 24, 2016
Warren Buffett Predicting Upcoming Stock Market Crash?
Billionaires Dumping Stocks; Stock Market Crash on the Way
When it comes to investing in the stock market, we’re told to follow the smart money. Who might that be? The most influential investors/businessmen in America today are Warren Buffett, John Paulson, and George Soros. Their investing acumen has helped them amass billions of dollars and millions of followers.
With the stock market trading at record highs one would think they’re still snapping up U.S. stocks. The NASDAQ is up 232% since the markets bottomed in March 2009, and the New York Stock Exchange is up 126%.
The most important stock market indices are keeping pace. The S&P 500 has climbed more than 180% (and closed above 2,000 for the first time ever in August 2014). The Dow Jones Industrial Average has increased 145%.
But should we follow the smart money when they’re shedding American stocks? Some of the most visible and vocal billionaire investors are turning their backs on U.S. stocks. Are they preparing for a stock market crash in 2016? And should we follow suit?
Over the last couple of years, Warren Buffett’s holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, has been dumping its exposure to American stocks that rely on consumer spending.
For example, at the end of the second quarter of 2012, Berkshire Hathaway held 10.33 million shares of Johnson & Johnson.(1) At the end of the second quarter of 2014, it held only 327,100 shares.(2) Over a two-year period, Buffett’s holding company sold off 96.8% of its holdings in Johnson & Johnson.
Berkshire Hathaway also culled its holdings in Kraft Foods Group, Inc. (NASDAQ/KRFT). In the second quarter of 2012, Warren Buffett’s holding company held 58,826,390 shares; two years later, it held just 192,666 shares. That represents a 99.7% sell-off.
In position number seven, The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE/PG) is still one of Warren Buffett’s top holdings. That said, Berkshire Hathaway currently owns 52,793,078 shares of Procter & Gamble, or two percent of the company. But four years ago, it held 59.6 million shares. In just four years, Warren Buffett has dumped 11.5% of his holdings in Procter & Gamble.
What stocks does Warren Buffett think will do well in a correction? Since the beginning of 2012, Berkshire Hathaway has increased its holding in Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE/WFC) by 23%, U.S. Bancorp (NYSE/USB) by 23%, and still has a huge stake in American Express Company (NYSE: AXP).
It appears as though other well-known billionaire investors are predicting a major correction and shedding their once-heavyweight U.S. stocks, too. Billionaire investor John Paulson’s hedge fund, Paulson & Co., is unloading certain U.S. stocks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE/JPM), Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE/FDO), and The Sara Lee Corporation.
Billionaire business magnate George Soros is the Chairman of Soros Fund Management, which sold out its holdings in several banking giants in the first quarter of 2014, including JPMorgan, Bank of America Corporation (NYSE/BAC), and Citigroup Inc. (NYSE/C). Between the three banks, Soros Fund Management sold more than a million shares.(3)
It didn’t take long for Soros to lose faith in the U.S. markets. The divestiture comes only a quarter after his fund purchased a stake in JPMorgan and Citigroup. The fund also eliminated its stakes in Alcoa Inc. (NYSE/AA) and J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE/JCP), and decreased its stakes in Liberty Global plc (NASDAQ/LBTYA), General Motors Company (NYSE/GM), and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ/MSFT). The fund’s decreased holding in Microsoft comes just two quarters after it actually increased its stake significantly.
Stock Market Lurching Toward Crash as Economic Outlook WeakensDespite the stock market’s record run and Washington’s assurances that the economy is getting better, some of America’s wealthiest billionaires aren’t convinced. In fact, their recent actions suggest some sort of market crash is on its way. Do they know something you don’t? Not really. The data is out there for everyone to see. Unfortunately, Wall Street is too busy ignoring the warning signs.
The stock market is supposed to be a reflection of the economy, but right now, it isn’t. That’s because most Americans aren’t even aware we’re in the midst of a recovery.
Not unlike the stock market, the U.S. economy looks good on paper. The U.S. unemployment rate is under six percent, interest rates are low, and the economy is picking up steam.(4)
Dig a little deeper, though, and you’ll discover that the underemployment rate is still at an unacceptable 14.6%(5), wages are stagnant, personal debt levels are high, and one in seven Americans are on food stamps.(6) Plus, more than half of Americans are still living paycheck to paycheck.(7)
For the world’s biggest economy, these are not the makings of an economic recovery. Nor are they the foundation for sustainable economic growth, especially when you consider the fact that the U.S. gets more than 70% of its gross domestic product (GDP) from consumer spending. This might explain why some of the country’s wealthiest investors are dumping certain U.S. stocks.
It’s quite possible that Warren Buffett, John Paulson, and George Soros also think U.S. stocks are in a bubble. And why not? Stocks have a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.67. Over the last 10 years, that average has been 15. Stocks are currently priced 71% higher than their 10-year average.(8)
If the economy and strong corporate earnings and revenues haven’t been driving the stock market higher, then what is? The stock market has been doing well because it’s the only avenue investors can turn to.
Federal Reserve Shuts off Tap That Propelled Stock Market HigherIn 2008, the Federal Reserve introduced its first round of quantitative easing (QE) to help kick-start the U.S. economy after it slipped into a recession. It was hoped that by artificially lowering the short-term lending rate to nearly zero, banks would more readily lend money to both businesses and individuals.
The low-interest-rate environment did three things: it essentially took “income” out of once-reliable, stable, fixed-income investments like Treasuries, bonds, and CDs; it made it easy to borrow money; and it also meant that the stock market was the only avenue for investors looking to make money.
After six years, the Federal Reserve has turned the easy money taps off. This is bad news for investors since the low-interest-rate environment is generally recognized as being the fuel that has propelled the stock market increasingly higher.
Overvalued stocks are going to have to rely on real revenues and earnings to propel them higher. Judging by the shape of the U.S. economy, this is going to be a difficult task. In 2013, the year that the overall markets soared, U.S. GDP growth was just 1.9%. For 2014, U.S. GDP grew 2.4%. In 2015, the advance estimate for U.S. GDP growth was 2.4%, the same rate as in 2014.(9)
The global economy could have a real drag on the U.S. economy in 2016. The IMF cut its outlook for global growth in 2016 to 3.4%.(10) This is bad news when you consider that roughly 40% of the public companies that make up the S&P 500 get sales from Europe.
The outlook for the stock market looks bleak. Buffett, Paulson, and Soros understand this. And the reality of the U.S. economy has led them to see there is a real good chance the U.S. markets could experience a crash or serious correction in 2016.
Hopefully, everyday investors will be able to see the same thing and put their money in more stable investments. After all, there’s never been a crash the stock market hasn’t recovered from.
If we remember 2008 Presidential election we had the FED bringing on that economic crash and today Wall Street and the FED are doing the same. If we look at the big picture----global arms sales----asymmetric warfare---US cities filling with guns and violence----while executive order makes gun control policies that are very regressive and repressive.
WE MUST COME TOGETHER AS A 99% VS THE 1% AND WE CANNOT DO THIS IF WE ARE ALLOWING INJUSTICES TO GROW FOR ONE GROUP---THEN ANOTHER GROUP---THEN ANOTHER.
Below is an example of the media play on what is a very serious event. This is why the 2016 Democratic primary election fraud and rigging MATTERS!
ECONOMIC MELTDOWN 2016 DATE REVEALED: Financial armageddon is weeks away
ECONOMIC experts have warned the world is heading towards a financial ARMAGEDDON and the collapse is imminent.
By Rory McKeown / Published 16th March 2016
MELTDOWN: The economic collapse could unfold in two months timeGlobal stock markets have endured a torrid start to 2016 following a slow end to last year.
China’s economy is in turmoil and America’s stock markets got off to their worst ever start.
Daily Star Online revealed how a global financial crash could be imminent, according to various financial commentators.
But on the day Chancellor George Osborne outlines his next Budget, that financial catastrophe could be just around the corner.
Some financial spectators say it’s not a question of “if” but “when” the unthinkable happens.
And fears have emerged the implosion will occur on Saturday May 28, 2016.
MELTDOWN: China and America's stock markets got off to a slow start in 2016 GETTY
RED BRIEFCASE: Chancellor George Osborne is preparing for the BudgetTheories have spread like wildfire since the turn of the year claiming this will be the day the world’s economy spirals out of control.
And they have pinpointed this date as it coincides with a phenomenon called the Shemitah – a period of financial spiral some experts claim will result in a "stock market crash like we’ve never seen before".
It means the UK’s spring bank holiday weekend could be a bleak one.
Economist Peter Schiff foresaw the economic turbulence approaching eight years ago.
He published a book in 2007 – a year before the global recession – entitled Crash Proof: How to Profit from the coming Economic Crash.
In 2012, he released another book called The Real Crash: America’s Coming Bankruptcy.
This time he said the Great Recession of 2008 will need a new name following a forthcoming “greater recession”.
That year saw the worst financial period since the Great Depression following the stock market crash of 1929.
Huge investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in September 2008, which played a major part in the unfolding of the 2008 global financial crisis.
Other financial institutions fell across the world – prompting desperate customers to form huge queues outside banks to grab their cash.
And it's feared this could happen again.
An economic meltdown in America would have disastrous consequences for the rest of the world.
ANGUISH: Customers queue up outside the fallen Northern Rock bank in 2008 GETTY
PAIN: An investor looks on as stocks crash in 2008Mr Schiff said in an interview earlier this year how the blame should like with the US Government’s Federal Reserve, which is called the Fed in financial circles.
Mr Schiff, the chief executive of Euro Pacific Capital, said: “Before the federal reserve made the mistake of raising rates, I said that three things were going to happen in the markets.
“The US stock market would go way down, that gold would go down, and the dollar would go down.
“All three of those forecasts have come true.
“The stock market i believe is already in a bear market and the US is in a recession right now and this recession is going to last even longer than the recession of 2008 and 2009.
“The only reason jobs are being created is because so many Americans have two or three part time jobs.
“The national debt has doubled under the Obama administration. The debt went past £19trillion.”
Mr Schiff claims the American economic system would fall below Europe and markets in the Far East if the trend continues.
He added: “If the Fed raised rates, the next thing they would do is cut them.
“We are going to go negative, we are going to go below Europe or Japan.
“All of this is counter productive. It’s all like throwing gasoline on a fire.
“It’s all this cheap money that is the biggest problem with the global economy. The answer is not more cheap money the answer is to reverse course.
“Governments need to balance their budgets and expect central banks to keep monetising them.”
It’s not just financial analysts that have warned of an impending collapse.
Former presidential candidate Ron Paul himself broadcast a message directly to American citizens to prepare for the worst.
Mr Paul, who served in congress for 40 years and was a Republican presidential candidate twice, said people need to face the truth.
He said: “The actions of the Fed in the last two white house administrations have gone beyond anything i could have imagined.
“The past six years we have created £4trillion of money out of thin air.
WARNING SIGNS: Ron Paul has urged the world to prepare for a collapse“We are almost certain to have a major stock market crash and a currency collapse too”
American politician Ron Paul“Sometime in the next few years we will experience a new type of financial crisis, and this one will be very different to the crisis of 2008. because this time it won’t be just a banking and mortgage problem but a full-blown currency crisis.
“This is because investors around the world are catching on to the fact that the US dollar is not the safe haven it once was.
“As a result, we are almost certain to have a major stock market crash and a currency collapse too.
“And when our currency collapses nearly everything else will go with it. Stocks, bonds, commodities, you name it.
“When you destroy the currency, you can destroy the entire economy, you can destroy the whole nation.
“The question is not ‘if’ but 'when'.
BURDEN: Vladimir Putin said the world is carrying the weight of the US' debt“The piling up of unfathomable debt and endless money printing is going to come to an end, and it’s going to happen much sooner than most people think.”
“Printing and borrowing money to such levels always led to financial and economic crisis.”
The level of US debt was slammed by Russian president five years ago, claiming it put a “burden on the entire world”.
The debt then was at $14trillion – and is now a staggering FOUR TRILLION more.
STARK WARNING: Experts warn poverty could increaseSpeaking at an event, he said: “There’s nothing good about it.
“It just postpones making more systemic decisions.
“This colossal debt, $14trillion or more, means that the country has been living on credit, which is really bad for one of the world’s leading economies.
“This means they live beyond their means and put a burden on the entire world’s economy.”