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De-Dollarization: Dismantling America’s Financial-Military Empire

  • In the past, any move away from the USD hegemony has always resulted in war. Saddam Hussein’s move to sell oil in other currencies come to mind. Now BRIC and SCO countries are openly challenging the USD hegemony. Will this result in a major war?
     
  • Prof. Michael Hudson opines :
     
    The Yekaterinburg Turning Point
    Challenging America will be the prime focus of extended meetings in Yekaterinburg, Russia (formerly Sverdlovsk) , June 15-16,  for Chinese President Hu Jintao, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and other top officials of the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The alliance is comprised of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrghyzstan and Uzbekistan, with observer status for Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia. It will be joined on Tuesday by Brazil for trade discussions among the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China).     
       …..
    ….. the meeting….. agenda is to replace the global dollar standard with a new financial and military defense system. 
    ….
    The sticking point with all these countries is the US ability to print unlimited amounts of dollars. Overspending by US consumers on imports in excess of exports, US buy-outs of foreign companies and real estate, and the dollars that the Pentagon spends abroad all end up in foreign central banks. These agencies then face a hard choice: either to recycle these dollars back to the United States by purchasing US Treasury bills, or to let the “free market” force up their currency relative to the dollar – thereby pricing their exports out of world markets and hence creating domestic unemployment and business insolvency.           
     
    When China and other countries recycle their dollar inflows by buying US Treasury bills to “invest” in the United States, this buildup is not really voluntary. It does not reflect faith in the U.S. economy enriching foreign central banks for their savings, or any calculated investment preference, but simply a lack of alternatives. “Free markets” US-style hook countries into a system that forces them to accept dollars without limit. Now they want out. 
               
    This means creating a new alternative. Rather than making merely “cosmetic changes as some countries and perhaps the international financial organisations themselves might want,” Mr. Medvedev ended his St. Petersburg speech, “what we need are financial institutions of a completely new type, where particular political issues and motives, and particular countries will not dominate.”           
     
    When foreign military spending forced the US balance of payments into deficit and drove the United States off gold in 1971, central banks were left without the traditional asset used to settle payments imbalances. The alternative by default was to invest their subsequent payments inflows in US Treasury bonds, as if these still were “as good as gold.” Central banks now hold $4 trillion of these bonds in their international reserves – land these loans have financed most of the US Government’s domestic budget deficits for over three decades now! Given the fact that about half of US Government discretionary spending is for military operations – including more than 750 foreign military bases and increasingly expensive operations in the oil-producing and transporting countries – the international financial system is organized in a way that finances the Pentagon, along with US buyouts of foreign assets expected to yield much more than the Treasury bonds that foreign central banks hold.           
     
    The main political issue confronting the world’s central banks is therefore how to avoid adding yet more dollars to their reserves and thereby financing yet further US deficit spending – including military spending on their borders?            
     
    For starters, the six SCO countries and BRIC countries intend to trade in their own currencies so as to get the benefit of mutual credit that the United States until now has monopolized for itself. Toward this end, China has struck bilateral deals with Argentina and Brazil to denominate their trade in renminbi rather than the dollar, sterling or euros,3 and two weeks ago China reached an agreement with Malaysia to denominate trade between the two countries in renminbi.[4] Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad explained to me in January that as a Muslim country, Malaysia wants to avoid doing anything that would facilitate US military action against Islamic countries, including Palestine. The nation has too many dollar assets as it is, his colleagues explained. Central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan of the People’s Bank of China wrote an official statement on its website that the goal is now to create a reserve currency “that is disconnected from individual nations.”5  This is the aim of the discussions in Yekaterinburg.           
     
    In addition to avoiding financing the US buyout of their own industry and the US military encirclement of the globe, China, Russia and other countries no doubt would like to get the same kind of free ride that America has been getting. As matters stand, they see the United States as a lawless nation, financially as well as militarily. How else to characterize a nation that holds out a set of laws for others – on war, debt repayment and treatment of prisoners – but ignores them itself? The United States is now the world’s largest debtor yet has avoided the pain of “structural adjustments” imposed on other debtor economies. US interest-rate and tax reductions in the face of exploding trade and budget deficits are seen as the height of hypocrisy in view of the austerity programs that Washington forces on other countries via the IMF and other Washington vehicles.  
      ……
    Foreigners see the IMF, World Bank and World Trade Organization as Washington surrogates in a financial system backed by American military bases and aircraft carriers encircling the globe. But this military domination is a vestige of an American empire no longer able to rule by economic strength. US military power is muscle-bound, based more on atomic weaponry and long-distance air strikes than on ground operations, which have become too politically unpopular to mount on any large scale.            
     
    On the economic front there is no foreseeable way in which the United States can work off the $4 trillion it owes foreign governments, their central banks and the sovereign wealth funds set up to dispose of the global dollar glut. America has become a deadbeat – and indeed, a militarily aggressive one as it seeks to hold onto the unique power it once earned by economic means. The problem is how to constrain its behavior. Yu Yongding, a former Chinese central bank advisor now with China’s Academy of Sciences, suggested that US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner be advised that the United States should “save” first and foremost by cutting back its military budget. “U.S. tax revenue is not likely to increase in the short term because of low economic growth, inflexible expenditures and the cost of ‘fighting two wars.’”6            
     
    At present it is foreign savings, not those of Americans that are financing the US budget deficit by buying most Treasury bonds. The effect is taxation without representation for foreign voters as to how the US Government uses their forced savings. It therefore is necessary for financial diplomats to broaden the scope of their policy-making beyond the private-sector marketplace. Exchange rates are determined by many factors besides “consumers wielding credit cards,” the usual euphemism that the US media cite for America’s balance-of-payments deficit. Since the 13th century, war has been a dominating factor in the balance of payments of leading nations – and of their national debts. Government bond financing consists mainly of war debts, as normal peacetime budgets tend to be balanced. This links the war budget directly to the balance of payments and exchange rates.             
     
    Foreign nations see themselves stuck with unpayable IOUs – under conditions where, if they move to stop the US free lunch, the dollar will plunge and their dollar holdings will fall in value relative to their own domestic currencies and other currencies. If China’s currency rises by 10% against the dollar, its central bank will show the equivalent of a $200 million loss on its $2 trillion of dollar holdings as denominated in yuan. This explains why, when bond ratings agencies talk of the US Treasury securities losing their AAA rating, they don’t mean that the government cannot simply print the paper dollars to “make good” on these bonds. They mean that dollars will depreciate in international value. And that is just what is now occurring. When Mr. Geithner put on his serious face and told an audience at Peking University in early June that he believed in a “strong dollar” and China’s US investments therefore were safe and sound, he was greeted with derisive laughter.7             
     
    Anticipation of a rise in China’s exchange rate provides an incentive for speculators to seek to borrow in dollars to buy renminbi and benefit from the appreciation. For China, the problem is that this speculative inflow would become a self-fulfilling prophecy by forcing up its currency. So the problem of international reserves is inherently linked to that of capital controls. Why should China see its profitable companies sold for yet more freely-created US dollars, which the central bank must use to buy low-yielding US Treasury bills or lose yet further money on Wall Street?           
      …..
    An era therefore is coming to an end. In the face of continued US overspending, de-dollarization threatens to force countries to return to the kind of dual exchange rates common between World Wars I and II: one exchange rate for commodity trade, another for capital movements and investments, at least from dollar-area economies.           
     
    Even without capital controls, the nations meeting at Yekaterinburg are taking steps to avoid being the unwilling recipients of yet more dollars. Seeing that US global hegemony cannot continue without spending power that they themselves supply, governments are attempting to hasten what Chalmers Johnson has called “the sorrows of empire” in his book by that name – the bankruptcy of the US financial-military world order. If China, Russia and their non-aligned allies have their way, the United States will no longer live off the savings of others (in the form of its own recycled dollars) nor have the money for unlimited military expenditures and adventures.            
     
    US officials wanted to attend the Yekaterinburg meeting as observers. They were told No. It is a word that Americans will hear much more in the future.      

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June 19, 2009 Posted by | Economics, GeoPolitics | , , , , , | Comments Off on De-Dollarization: Dismantling America’s Financial-Military Empire

Extinct Animals Could Be Brought Back To Life Thanks To Advances In DNA Technology

A scene from Jurassic Park III - maybe not too far from the truth !

A scene from Jurassic Park III - maybe not too far from the truth !

  • Jurassic Park technology is about to become real. Some time back I was reading about this project to bring back the woolly mammoth by cloning and using the elephant as a surrogate mother. I wonder what happen to it? There is no doubt that bringing back extinct animals is doable. The Telegraph UK reports :
      
    Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park film may have been pure science fiction – but extinct creatures such as Neanderthals to Sabre-toothed tigers could soon be brought back to life thanks to advances in DNA technology.
      
    The idea of resurrecting extinct animals moved a step closer to reality last year when scientists announced that they had decoded almost all of the genome of the woolly mammoth, from 60,000-year-old remains found frozen in Siberia.
     
    Now New Scientist magazine has named the 10 other beasts most likely to rise again, including the Irish elk deer whose antlers measured 12 feet across, the dodo and Neanderthal man.
      
    Animals that died out thousands of years ago could be recreated using genetic information retrieved from well-preserved specimens recovered from permafrost, dark caves or dry desserts.
     
    There is no chance of bringing back the dinosaurs because genetic information is unlikely to survive more than a million years in any environment. But scientists have just announced they had “resurrected” a gene from the Tasmanian tiger by implanting it in a mouse and examined its function – the first time such a feat had been achieved.
     
    The genomes of several extinct species besides the mammoth are already being sequenced. To revive a long-dead species scientists would have to recover enough DNA from a well-preserved specimen and find a suitable surrogate species similar to that of the extinct animal in which to grow the new baby from an embryo.
     
    “It’s hard to say that something will never ever be possible,”said Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, who is sequencing the Neanderthal genome. “But it would require technologies so far removed from what we currently have that I cannot imagine how it would be done.”
     
    Assuming we will develop the necessary advanced technology, New Scientist has selected 10 extinct creatures that might one day be resurrected. The magazine said: “Our choice is based not just on feasibility, but also on each animal’s ‘megafaunal charisma’ – just how exciting the prospect of resurrecting these animals is.
     
    “Of course, bringing extinct creatures back to life raises a whole host of practical problems, such as where they will live, but let’s not spoil the fun…”

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June 19, 2009 Posted by | Science & Technology | Comments Off on Extinct Animals Could Be Brought Back To Life Thanks To Advances In DNA Technology

China’s Got a New Currency… and It Sure AIN’T the Dollar

  • What have the Chinese government been doing about their US$2T USD denominated assets? It is obvious to all that they are in trouble. Their excessive reliance on the American market for exports has led them into this USD trap. How are they paring down their exposure to the USD in the event of a USD collapse? Quietly and surreptitiously as much as possible until it is time to let go and get the hell out totally. However, it is unlikely they will not suffer any losses. US$2T is way too much for any country to dispose of even in 1-2 years.
     
  • Graham Summers opines :
      
    ….. That’s an unbelievable amount of money invested in the US dollar. Needless to say, the Chinese are not too happy about our Central Bank’s decision to print TRILLIONS of dollars propping up the US financial system.
     
    Indeed, the initial rumblings of what will eventually turn into outright conflict (either economic or war) have already begun. China’s Premier Wen Jiabao recently commented,  “We have lent a huge amount of money to the US…Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” 
     
    Other, former Chinese officials have been less polite in their public statements. Yu Yongding, a former Chinese central bank adviser, recently referred to the US Federal Reserve “as the world’s biggest junk investor… ridden with rubbish assets,” and to Chairman Ben Bernanke as “helicopter Ben.”
     
    The situation has gotten intense enough that Secretary of the State Hillary Clinton flew to Asia to plead with China and other US creditor nations to continue buying US Treasuries. “By continuing to support American Treasury instruments the Chinese are recognizing our interconnection. We are truly going to rise or fall together,” Clinton said at the US embassy there.
     
    In simple terms, China owns a TON of dollar denominated assets. And the Fed is doing everything it can to devalue the dollar. Thus China has a few options:
     
    – Openly sell the dollar, thereby destroying the value of its reserves and inviting open war with the US.
     
    – Quietly shift away from the dollar without openly attracting attention or threatening the US publicly.
     
    The Chinese government, particularly its Premier, has been floating option #1 in the media, discussing the potential for dropping the dollar standard along with Russia and Brazil.
     
    However, this boils down to nothing more than grandstanding. The Chinese are not idiots. And they know that dropping the dollar standard would destroy a HUGE portion of their foreign reserves, since everyone and their mother would follow suit.
     
    Indeed, abandoning the dollar for another currency (say the yen or euro) would serve no benefit from an economic standpoint. It would crush China’s Treasury denominated reserves as the dollar plunged.  It would also be akin to trading one problematic investment for another: no major world currency is backed by gold or any asset of real value.
     
    No, to my way of thinking, the Chinese are merely posturing with these statements, trying to draw attention away from the fact that they’re already begun pursuing option #2 (diversifying away from the dollar in private). Indeed, China has already begun moving into a new currency, one that is neither fiat nor flawed. And they did it in their usual manner: under the radar with great focus and determination.
     
    That new currency is natural resources. Throughout 2009, China has been buying up natural resources, commodities, and other real assets at a break-taking pace: copper imports hit a record 329,000 tons in February, only to be eclipsed by a new record of 375,000 tons in March.
     
    The copper story is just the latest and most obvious display of China’s new currency binge. The Chinese have been buying up mines, metal ore (57 million tons of iron in April alone), and other resources for years now. The headlines were right under the world’s collective nose, but no one was thinking “diversification away from the dollar.” Instead they were thinking, “purchases needed to fuel economic growth.”
     
    Truly, it wasn’t until the world noticed that China was still buying commodities in record amounts even after its economy took a hit that the media began to connect the dots. Here’s a few dots to consider…
     
    – Feb.10, 2009: China buys Oz Minerals, the world’s second largest zinc miner for $1.7 billion
    – Feb. 12, 2009: China buys $20 billion worth of Rio Tinto, one of the three largest iron ore producers, giving it the potential to raise its stake to 19%.
    – Feb. 24. 2009: China buys 16% of Fortescue Metals an Australian iron ore company.
    – April 1, 2009 China buys $46 million worth of Terramin Australia’s lead and zinc supplies in Algeria.
    – April 15, 2009: China buy 51% of Ontario’s Liberty Mines: a nickel producer.
     
    One should also consider that these are merely the transactions that are publicly displayed. The Chinese government has proved adept at buying assets below the radar via foreign holding companies and other complicated business structures. Informal accounts posit that China has in fact scooped up even more natural resources and mines via these methods today.
     
    The reasoning here is simple. Unlike paper currencies, natural resources and commodities cannot be reproduced ad infinitum by central banks. Thus they are inflation proof. In addition, natural resources actually offer a direct benefit to China’s economy whereas an investment in a foreign currency (the dollar or otherwise) is merely a means of parking cash for a return.
     
    Finally, and most notably, natural resources allow the Chinese to diversify away from the dollar without damaging their current dollar holdings: or their relationship with the US: if word got out that the Chinese were dumping Treasuries, the Treasury market would implode, destroying the value of China’s current investment.
     
    Make no mistake, the Chinese have already begun diversifying away from the dollar. They just haven’t advertised the fact openly. Chinese students openly laughed at our Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner when he gave a talk there promising that “Chinese assets were safe” in the dollar.  If Chinese STUDENTS can figure the Fed’s moves out, what do you think the Chinese GOVERNMENT is doing?
     
    I think we both know the answer to that.

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June 19, 2009 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

GEAB: 3 Rogue Waves of Economic Destruction Coming in Summer 2009

  • I have always found GEAB forecast and economic assessment fascinating. Not least because they have been right many times. Also, because their analyses are largely free from propaganda and they tell it like it is. Their latest forecast jives with what I feel is about to happen worldwide. The ‘green shoots’ talk is premature and overdone. A Summer of Hell is lurking around the corner and about to be revealed.
     
  • Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin (GEAB) comments :
     
    Global systemic crisis in summer 2009: The cumulative impact of three « rogue waves »
     
    … on the eve of summer 2009, the question of the US and UK capacity to finance their unbridled public deficits has become the central question of international debates, thus paving the way for these two countries to default on their debt by the end of this summer.
     
    At this stage of the global systemic crisis’ process of development, contrary to the dominant political and media stance today, the LEAP/E2020 team does not foresee any economic upsurge after summer 2009 (nor in the following 12 months) (1). On the contrary, because the origins of the crisis remain unaddressed, we estimate that the summer 2009 will be marked by the converging of three very destructive « rogue waves » (2), illustrating the aggravation of the crisis and entailing major upheaval by September/October 2009. As always since this crisis started, each region of the world will be affected neither at the same moment, nor in the same way (3). However, according to our researchers, all of them will be concerned by a significant deterioration in their situation by the end of summer 2009 (4).
     
    This evolution is likely to catch large numbers of economic and financial players on the wrong foot who decided to believe in today’s mainstream media operation of “euphorisation”. 
      ….

    LEAP/E2020 believes that, instead of « green shoots » (those which international media, experts and the politicians who listen to them (5) kept perceiving in every statistical chart (6) in the past two months), what will appear on the horizon is a group of three destructive waves of the social and economic fabric expected to converge in the course of summer 2009, illustrating the aggravation of the crisis and entailing major changes by the end of summer 2009… more specifically, debt default events in the US and UK, both countries at the centre of the global system in crisis. These waves appear as follows:
     
    1. Wave of massive unemployment: Three different dates of impact according to the countries in America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa
     
    2. Wave of serial corporate bankruptcies: companies, banks, housing, states, counties, towns
     
    3. Wave of terminal crisis for the US Dollar, US T-Bond and GBP, and the return of inflation
     
      
    In fact, these three waves do not appear in quick succession like the « sisters rogue waves ». They are even more dangerous because they are simultaneous, asynchronous and non-parallel. Hence their impact on the global system accentuates the risks because they hit at various angles, at different speeds and with varying strength. The only certain thing at this stage is that the international system has never been so weak and powerless to face such a situation. The IMF and global governance institutions’ reforms announced by the London G20 are at a standstill (7). The G8 becomes more like a moribund club whose utility is increasingly questioned (8). US leadership is the shadow of what it used to be, mostly concerned by desperately trying to find purchasers for its T-Bonds (9). The global monetary system is in a process of disintegration, with the Russians and Chinese in particular accelerating their positioning in the post-Dollar era. Companies foresee no improvement in the business climate and speed up the pace of layoffs. A growing number of states falter under the weight of their accumulated debt created to “rescue banks” and are about to be faced with a welter of failings by the end of this summer (10). And, last but not least, the banks, once they have squeezed money out of naive savers thanks to the market upsurge orchestrated in the past few weeks, will be have to admit that they are still insolvent by the end of summer 2009.
     
    In the United States and United Kingdom in particular, the colossal public financial effort made in 2008 and at the beginning of 2009 for the sole benefit of large banks became so unpopular that it was impossible to consider injecting more public money into banks in spring 2009, despite the fact that they were still insolvent (11). It then became necessary to invent a “fairy tale” to convince the average saver to inject his/her own money into the financial system. By means of the « green shoots » story, overpriced stock indices based on no real economic grounds and promises of « anticipated public funding repayment », the conditioning was achieved. Hence, while big investors from oil-producing and Asian countries (12) withdrew capital from these banks, large numbers of small individual investors returned, full of hope. Once these small investors discover that public funding repayment is only a drop in the ocean of public aid granted to these banks (to help them dispose of their toxic assets) and that, after three or four months at best (as analyzed in this GEAB N°36), these banks are again on the verge of collapse, they will realize, powerless, that their share is worth nothing once again.
     

    Intoxicated by financiers, world political leaders will be surprised – once again – to see all the problems of last year reappear, all the more severe since they were not addressed but only buried under piles of public money. Once that money has been squandered by insolvent banks compelled to « rescue » even more insolvent rivals, or by ill-conceived economic stimulus plans, problems will re-emerge, further exacerbated. For hundreds of millions of citizens in America, Europe, Asia and Africa, the summer 2009 will be a dramatic transition towards lasting impoverishment due to the loss of their jobs, with no hope of finding new ones in the next two, three or four years, or due to the disappearance of their savings invested in stocks or capital-based pension funds, or in banking investments linked to stock markets or denominated in US dollars or British pounds, or investment in shares of companies pressured to desperately wait for an improvement not coming soon. 

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June 19, 2009 Posted by | Economics | , , , , | Comments Off on GEAB: 3 Rogue Waves of Economic Destruction Coming in Summer 2009

29 Structural & Civil Engineers Cite Evidence for Controlled Explosive Demolition in Collapses of All 3 WTC High-Rises on 9/11

  • 9/11 was an inside job. All 3 WTC towers were brought down by controlled demolition. The real reason is OIL. The Powers That Be wanted a reason to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. Unless, they have this event the American public will not support these needless wars. Iraq is for the oil fields. Afghanistan is for the oil pipeline that needed to be build.
     
    Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth :
      
    More than 700 architects and engineers have joined call for new investigation, faulting official collapse reports.
      
    The facts are in. The evidence is conclusive. These experts lay it all out. For Some, the Doubts Began Early. “Something is wrong with this picture,” thought Nathan Lomba, as he watched replays of the Twin Tower collapses on television on September 11, 2001. A licensed structural engineer trained in buildings’ responses to stress, Lomba saw more on the screen than you or I. He puzzled, “How did the structures collapse in near-symmetrical fashion when the damage was clearly not symmetrical?” Lomba was hardly alone in his discomfort. Most structural engineers were surprised when the towers fell. They mainly kept their misgivings to themselves, though, as Scientific American and the Journal of Engineering Mechanics, and government agencies such as FEMA and NIST offered varying and often imaginative theories to explain how fires brought the towers down.
     
    In 2006, San Francisco Bay Area architect Richard Gage, AIA, began raising technical questions among his professional colleagues about the destruction of the Twin Towers and 47-story WTC Building 7. Those who take time to look at the facts overwhelm-ingly agree that vital questions remain unanswered, Gage has found. Today more than 30 structural engineers, experts in what can and cannot bring down buildings, have joined almost 700 other Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth in signing the petition demanding a new investigation.
     
    They cite a variety of concerns about the “collapses” and the inadequacies of official reports. Many, like Lomba, find the unnatural symmetry of all three collapses suspicious. The rapidity of collapse –acknowledged by the government as essentially freefall acceleration – was troubling, too. Some note that the fires were weak; others ask how the tilting upper section of WTC 2 “straightened” itself. Everywhere you look, pieces of the puzzle don’t fit what we’ve been told.
       
    New evidence mounting over the years only validated initial discomfort: eyewitness testimony of explosions, unexplained molten iron in the debris pile, and chemical evidence of steel-cutting incendiaries – all omitted from government reports. Many engineers attack implausibilities in the Bažant pile driver model, the 2002 FEMA report and the 2005 NIST report, and also slipshod and dishonest methodology. Finally, the collapse of WTC 7, not hit by any airplane, mystified others. The repeated postponement of the government’s report seemed to add fuel to the fire. 
      Continue reading Here!
     
  • See also:
     
    Major 9/11 Truth Breakthrough KBDI Denver Airs 9/11 Press for Truth
    9/11 Blueprint for Truth
    Ex-Italian President: 9/11 Was CIA/Mossad Operation
    Danish Scientist Niels Harrit: Nano Thermite (Explosives) in the WTC Dust !
    Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe
    Medical Professionals for 9/11 Truth
    Political Leaders for 9/11 Truth 

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June 19, 2009 Posted by | GeoPolitics | , , | 23 Comments