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What’s Oil Got To Do With It?!, Phase 3

Submitted by Luis Daniel Cortes of

Since 2009, central bank authorities have thrown money at the private banking sector and the sovereign debt market. The Federal Reserve alone threw something in the order of $23 trillion at the private banking sector and central banks elsewhere have also thrown trillions of yuan, yen and euros.

What this did was transfer risk from the hands of the private banking sector and sovereign debt market to the front doorstep of those of us on Main Street. Anyone who has worked in selling insurance like I have knows that risk does not go away, it simply gets transferred to another party or parties that share in the risk.

In the previous post on oil, I shared how oil has been collateralized similar to home mortgages in the early 2000s and I offered an article that illustrated what the drop in oil prices has done to holders of junk bonds and other debt-derived “assets” backed by oil.

Although there has been plenty of private investors who have suffered from the drop in oil prices, the one entity who has a lot of skin in the game and stands to lose big is the nation-state of Venezuela, who happens to already be the leading candidate for a currency collapse. The drop in the price of oil could only aggravate their currency crisis. The news media here in the United States has been silent on Venezuela’s currency crisis, but they have reported on Russia’s ruble which is currently in a free-fall due to the lack of oil revenues.

I did say at the end of my first post on this subject that I would concede if I did see where the dire consequences to the drop in oil prices would lie.

Are there any dire consequences to those of us on Main Street here in the United States? If so, they have yet to be seen or predicted.

// Are you like me? Ever since my first job at the age of fourteen, I’ve been chasing financial security. Not the Bill Gates kind (although that would be nice), but simply a feeling of financial control. I want my financial worries to disappear or at least be manageable and comprehensible.

And like most of you, the way I’ve moved toward my goal has always hinged not just on having a job but a career.

You don’t have to be a self-published author to know that “having a job” and “having a career” do not mean the same thing today as it did when I got my first job fifteen years ago.

Even the basic concept of “getting a job” has changed so radically that jobs–getting and keeping them and the perceived lack of them–is the number one topic among friends, family and for that matter, complete strangers.

So I sat down and wrote this book: The Era of YIPS: Your Interdisciplinary Problem Solver.

It details everything about employment and the emerging economy and lays out an action plan to get you employed.

I am proud of this book. It is the culmination of my practical work experiences and it is useful and practical.

You can learn more about my book by watching the video below:

// Widgets

HUGE GIANT BIG FAT DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site should be construed as investment advice or guidance. It is not intended as investment advice or guidance, nor is it offered as such.


Ace That Job Interview

Rocking a job interview is about three things: preparation, preparation and preparation. You are told that you need to know the company you want to work for and impress the interviewer with that information. I have not found that to be the case in my experience. While I do agree that you should know something about the company, what you really need to know is yourself.

What you should know about the company is what are the key issues and challenges the company faces? Once having that information then that’s where knowing about yourself  and what you have to offer becomes important. What problems can you solve?

Create your pitch from these. Develop specific scenarios that explain how you would be a value to the company, more specifically, create value for that company. Work on answers to all the questions you will be asked and you can go online and find all the questions that employers ask.

Dont be afraid to be social in a job interview. You want to make it as pleasant for the interviewer as possible.

Be succint. And in the meantime, do your best to excel in the soft skills of collaboration, adaptability, entrepreneurship, creativity and professional accountability which are important skills in any sector of the emerging economy.

Tie the Ultimate, All-Purpose Knot

Certain skills should be essential to anyone’s arsenal of survival skills tool set; abilities useful in so many places that once learned, you wonder how you ever got along without them. Tying a bowline knot–sometimes called a bowline hitch–is one of those skills.


The knot creates a loop of rope that can be used to secure a tent, make a snare, or for any of a thousand other purposes.


Hold the line in one hand and the end in another. Loop the end over the line to create a loop and leave enough rope in the end to create a 6. Put the end back through the loop of the six and continue it back under the body of the rope.


Pull it back through the loop (the opposite direction you went through the first time). Tighten the knot by pulling on both sides, and the knot should be cinch down on a loop.


Crimea and The Worlds First War Correspondent

In the past year we have heard about war in Crimea, but most of us were never taught its history at school, that includes me. So I decided to take it upon myself to piece together the history of Crimea and along the way I have learned a lot about war in general and I have learned to appreciate war corespondents, beginning with the first war correspondent in history William Howard Russell.


Sir William Howard Russell was a British-Irish reporter for The Times, and is considered to have been one of the first modern war correspondents after he spent 22 months covering the war in Crimea. Prior to Russell, those who reported about war were mostly soldiers and the time had come for a more neutral and unbiased approach to the reports.

Russell returned to London and fame. The Times made the gesture every war correspondent dreams of: it put aside his IOUs for advance expenses and told him he could start again “with what tradesmen call a clean slate.” He was placed on the list of Times foreign correspondents at £ 600 a year, providing “you will render monthly accounts of your expenditure showing a clean balance so that we may both know how we stand” (Chestnut, 400). He had breakfast with the Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston, who, mistakenly believing that Russell’s criticisms of the conduct of the war must have been inspired by his having evolved constructive alternatives, disconcerted Russell by asking him what he would do if he were commander-in-chief of the army. After the war Russell’s dispatches were published in book form, and while awaiting new battles to cover he went on a lecture tour.

Although Russell criticized the lot of the ordinary soldier in the Crimea, he was careful not to hammer too hard at a comparison with that of the officers, to whose social class he himself belonged. Russell made the mistake of considering himself part of the military establishment. The one thing he never doubted or criticized was the institution of war itself. He realized he had hit the right note in criticizing the conduct of the war and that his dispatches suited the The Times’ politics of the moment.

Before the Crimean war ended, the British army realized that it had made a mistake in tolerating Russell and his colleagues, but by then it was too late. The war correspondents had arrived in the world, and when the American Civil War broke out, five years later, 500 of them turned out to report the conflict on the Northern side alone.

How the Truman Doctrine Lead to the Demise of Liberal Capitalism and the Building of the Warfare State

In the 1930s and 40s the United States government was so concerned about the configuration of power on the international scene in the specter of communism and what it might do to liberal capitalism yet it was the New Deal policies of Roosevelt and then the further building of the garrison state under the Truman Doctrine which led to the demise of liberal capitalism.

It is during 1947 through 1950 that the United States government began taking on its role of world police and sending financial aid to other nations under the Marshall Plan which was also known as the European Recovery Program. Keep in mind that not long before that the United States had suffered through the Great Depression. Now of course by 1947 Franklin Delano Roosevelt had passed away two years prior but the damage he left to our liberal capitalist way of life was already done.

The Marshall Plan was not supported by most members of the Republican Party because back in this era the Republican Party was still against big expenditures that were not conducive to the prosperity of the United States. They reluctantly supported the Marshall Plan because Republicans knew that the people saw communism as an alien and poisonous ideology.

So how is the United States government able to provide financial aid known as the European Recovery Program right after suffering through the Great Depression? Well, in 1917 they were able to get a law passed to create the Federal Reserve and we should all know by now that they are only good for one thing and that is money printing. Also, in 1947 you had the creation of one of the most evil anti-liberty spy organizations in the world known as the Central Intelligence Agency who along with the State Department used secret funds to intensify splits brewing in the French and the Italian labor movements. Truman implored Congress to pass the European Recovery Program and to enact universal military training and selective service. He declared that the United States had to keep its occupation forces in Germany until the peace in Europe was secure. These policies would cost more money and would continue as with all garrison state U.S. policies, indefinitely. Truman asked Congress for an increase of $3 billion in military spending. The money was to be used for additional military personnel, the procurement of aircraft, the reactivation of bases, and military research and development. Republicans remonstrated against the costs, but passed the Marshall Plan. Republicans objected to universal military training, but passed the Selective Service Act. Republicans lambasted the administration for not reducing taxes, but then appropriated even more funds than Truman requested for a military buildup. It is around this time period that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is formed.

Truman solidified the tyranny begun by Roosevelt by fighting domestic subversives with the support of Republicans. The president instituted a loyalty program requiring all federal employees to pass an investigation by specially created boards in all of the departments of the federal government. General Tom Clark and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover issued a list of subversive organizations and initiated a campaign to deport aliens who were Communists. Truman’s commissioner for education launched a crusade to reassess high school curricula in order to ensure that North American youth were adequately prepared to combat communism.

Even the film industry was targeted by the government as harboring communists and indictments went out until leaders in the film industry had to promise to the government that they would not employ communists or anyone threatening to overthrow the North American government. Thereafter, the film industry hesitated to make movies with a serious social message and concentrated on war films, escapist fantasies, and anti-Communist pictures. For example, take a look at the film Yankee Doodle Dandy which you can purchase to the right of this article here.

So it can be argued that the Truman Doctrine became the final demise of liberal capitalism and the birth of the United States government as the policeman of the world. Different groups supported this role for different reasons. Some shared the beliefs of Truman’s advisors and who were his advisors anyway? There was James F. Byrnes, his Secretary of State. Byrnes was a former senator, supreme court justice, and overlord of the wartime economy. There was also Averell Harriman, the U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union and Secretary of Commerce. Averell Harriman was the son of a railroad tycoon named E. H. Harriman who had recently set up a merchant bank. Averell Harriman was also a member of the Skull and Bones society and graduate of Yale University. These advisors believed if the United States did not take action, the Kremlin could gain preponderant power in Eurasia, thereby threatening U.S. security and forcing it to become a garrison state with a governmentally-controlled economy, which it did anyway, but the Harrimans who were using their political office and manipulating Truman and the public for their own ends never really cared about freedom anyway.

So you have Truman, a farm boy from Missouri, World War I veteran, parochial senator from Missouri, fiscal conservative have his doubts after listening to the den of vipers he had for advisors: Clifford, Acheson, Lovett, Marshall and the Bonesman Harriman, who told him that the containment of communism and Soviet power was essential to preserve an open world economy and democratic capitalism in the United States. Truman had his doubts and wondered whether the responsibilities and obligations entailed by hegemonic power might themselves impose burdens that would hurt the North American economy, unnecessarily augment the military establishment, poison the political atmosphere, and undermine its democratic system. Paradoxically, the steps required to contain Soviet/communist power and forestall a garrison state might themselves lead the United States toward becoming a garrison state. President Truman if you had only listened to your instincts more and your evil advisors less. This can be considered a cautionary tale to presidents since Truman including our current one.

My 10 Best-Read Articles for August 2014 on Lew

Greetings all! I am going to begin sharing every month my own personal 10 best articles according to my tastes on the libertarian website of Here are my favorite 10 for the month of August 2014.

1. 10 Skills for Urban Preppers

2. 10 Facts About Vitamin K

3. War Is The Greatest Destroyer of Currencies

4. Reviving the Hollywood Blacklist

5. How To Pick A Lock

6. Mother Faces 11 Years In Prison

7. Surviving A Cop Stop

8. Will Gold Win the Currency War?

9. Dont Wait for the Doctors

10. Christie Will Default on Government Debt

What Argo Left Out

I am sure many of you have enjoyed the Ben Affleck movie Argo. Affleck was as old as I was in 1979 and he claims on NPR that he was a Middle Eastern Studies major. I was not a Middle Eastern studies major but I definitely have a better understanding of what happened during that period and it was not captured in this movie.

With our liberties being threatened since 9/11 and being padded down by TSA when embarking on a flight, I think there are some very important details that would have been nice if it had been captured in this movie, then again, perhaps Affleck does not get padded down at the airport, maybe he takes private jets everywhere like John Travolta, I dont know, but let me share with you what I do know.

Iran was a crucial piece of the geo-petroleum mosaic when actor Ben Affleck and I were only eight years old. And one thing that Affleck should have pointed out in this movie is that where oil is concerned, the Bush Crime Family is not far behind, in particular, George H.W. Bush and his coalition.

In 1979, after years of oppressive rule, the U.S.-backed shah was overthrown, he was given sanctuary in the United States, and angry crowds in Tehran seized the U.S. embassy. The resulting hostage crisis dominated world headlines and began inflicting what would be a mortal wound on Carter’s presidency. It was about this time that a young dark-haired visitor arrived at the offices of a man named James R. Bath, intimate friend of the Bush Crime Family. That dark-haired visitor was an Iranian guy who was ostensibly an aircraft salesman, but he was introduced as His Royal Highness Reza Pahlavi, the shah’s son.

This young man had come to the United States to train as a jet fighter pilot, and spent the previous year at Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock, Texas. But in 1979, with his father overthrown, the shah’s son needed to lay low. The Ayatollah Khomeini had just put out a contract on the shah’s family, and by December, a nephew of the shah would be assassinated in Paris. So Reza was hiding out at Jim Bath’s place, pretending to be an aircraft salesman. His father, Shah Reza Pahlavi, had been installed by two coups–one British (1947), the other North American (1953)–and was incompetent, fabulously corrupt, and gratuitously brutal. The shah’s first national police force, the Gendarmerie, was trained by U.S. World War II veteran General Norman Schwarzkopf, whose son, Schwarzkopf junior led “Desert Storm” on Iraq in 1991 where I and Ben Affleck were in high school by then.

After the 1953 CIA-sponsored coup that toppled a popularly elected prime minister and restored the shah to dictatorial power, it was clear that Reza Pahlavi needed protection against his own people. So the CIA, under Allen Dulles and deputy director Richard Helms, helped train a new Iranian secret police force, the dreaded SAVAK.

Just like JFK was removed from power by the CIA via assassination, Nixon was removed via the assassination of his character through the CIA setup and sabotage of the Watergate break-in where Richard Helms lost his job as CIA director and shipped off to Iran as U.S. ambassador, a bad move for Iran-U.S. relations.

Unfortunately, former President Jimmy Carter kept some bad company by the people he had on his administration beginning with Brzezinski who in October of 1979, as a mouthpiece for the Rockefellers urged President Carter to admit the fleeing shah for medical treatment. This enraged the Iranian populace, which in turn prompted the takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran and the seizure of fifty-two North American hostages there.

Less well known is that David and Nelson Rockefeller used the takeover as a pretext to prevent the Iranian revolutionaries from withdrawing petrodollars from the Chase Manhattan Bank in London, where the shah kept most of his assets.

Again under intense pressure from the Rockefellers, the Carter administration seized all of Iran’s assets.

President Jimmy Carter was a sharp fellow, and no pushover. He had been elected with a mandate and an ambition to open up the government. He would not stand in the way of the ongoing congressional inquiries into abuses of power by federal agencies, in particular, the CIA. In fact, one of Carter’s first steps was to try to reform the intelligence agency. I dont think Carter understood that the CIA exists to protect the oil interests of wealthy families and will do whatever it takes to remain in existence, nevertheless, Carter was determined to regain White House control over the CIA. Carter’s administration ousted officers from the Operations Division–the perceived “rogue element”–along with their paid outside agents. There had already been some previous purges on the part of past administrations so there were a lot of angry ex-spooks.

For an organization that has staged coups and political assassinations across the globe and right here at home with JFK, they were not going to just go away and in 1977, former CIA counterintelligence czar James Angleton and some former colleagues started an organization, the Security and Intelligence Fund (SIF), ostensibly to defend U.S. security and intelligence organizations. Notice it wasn’t created to protect the Constitution or the people of the United States, but instead raised money for the defense of two FBI officers then under indictment. Of all these disgruntled ex-CIA officers who had been turned out from their home, none was more disgruntled than the immediate past CIA director, George H.W. Bush.

So just like Nixon’s career was deliberately ruined by the CIA and the Bush Crime Family and just as JFK was assassinated by them, President Carter got his as well via a two-pronged attack and I will get into both.

The first was by looking into the Carter appointed director of the Office of Management and Budget, Bert Lance. At issue were loans Lance had used to comply with terms of his stock purchase with the National Bank of Georgia. It was a highly technical matter.

Shortly after Labor Day 1977, Lance resigned as director of the Office of Management and Budget. He was out of work and nearly broke–and susceptible to being compromised further. It was at this time that he was introduced to Agha Hassan Abedi, the Pakistani who headed the now infamous BCCI or the Bank of Credit and Commerce International. Abedi ostensibly wanted to use Bert Lance as a front man for acquiring a banking operation in the United States, something foreigners then could generally not do under U.S. law.

In November of 1977, Lance met a young Saudi through Abedi named Ghraith Pharaon who was interested in buying Lance’s bank stock–which Pharaon, unlike Abedi, could do because he had already been approved by North American regulators and had already acquired substantial interests in domestic banking. Lance, who was deeply in debt, agreed enthusiastically, and Pharaon bought out his shares in the National Bank of Georgia at a 25 percent premium over market value.

Around the same time in 1977 that BCCI bought out Bert Lance’s bank shares, he was approached separately by a purportedly disgruntled shareholder faction of the giant Washington-based Financial General Bankshares (FGB), a bank with deep connections in the intelligence community. The FGB wanted Lance to assist them in identifying a bank to acquire their FGB stock. This would expose Lance even more and any scrutiny of Lance’s role could not help but point a finger at his close friend and former business associate Jimmy Carter. So Lance and Carter are deep in it to the extent where Abedi even donated five hundred thousand dollars to help create the Carter Center at Emory University.

As if the scandal over Lance’s banking dealings weren’t enough of an embarrassment for Jimmy Carter–seriously tarnishing his image of rectitude–intermediaries connected with North American and Israeli intelligence managed to woo Carter’s brother Billy into a lucrative arms deal with the reviled Libyan dictator Mu’ammar al-Gadhafi.

I am not saying that Carter was a great guy, but he and his administration was being embarrassed in this way and coerced so that he wouldn’t be reelected because the Bush Crime Family and the CIA had other plans for the future of the United States. The next step in this chess game was some information that you dont see in the movie Argo on what happened behind the scenes during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.

The greatest fear that Bush and his fellow Republicans had was that the Carter White House would resolve the Iranian hostage crisis in the final weeks of the 1980 campaign and throw the election back to the Democratic incumbent. Within the Reagan-Bush campaign, this threat was termed the “October Surprise.”

Above is a video of Gary Sick, Carter’s National Security Council expert on the Middle East, who contended in his book October Surprise that William Casey, then manager for the Reagan-Bush campaign, worked out a clandestine deal with the Iranians during the summer and fall of 1980. This involved a quid pro quo: if the fifty-two North American hostages were held until after the election, the Republicans vowed to deliver desperately needed arms and spare parts to Iran. This is the story Ben Affleck should have made a movie about, because the 1980 election involved, in Sick’s words, a “political coup” that handed the Reagan-Bush ticket the White House.