Trump’s First Pitch

This post is very delayed and might fail to be current, but I wanted to make sure my Steemit audience was aware that there was a new episode of The Voluntary Exchange Podcast put out over a week ago.

I have been very busy personally, and because of that I have not be mentally focused enough be in the frame of mind to research and discuss large scale humanitarian stories like the ones that need covering.

This episode is called “Trump’s First Pitch” and the majority of is my thoughts on the summit between Trump and North Korea’s Kim. And the shockingly confusing response from the media.

Most of the research I did have time to dive into had to do with Israel, Gaza, and the recent March of Return and bloody response from Israel. It allowed to be spend some time reiterating my position, discuss the facts of the events and provide more context and sources for anyone that wishes to expand their knowledge of the subject. I have included two examples of MUST READS (and watches) and the current state of Israeli society and life on the ground in Gaza:

I spend a few minutes discussing the ongoing deal making in Syria, and update you on the horrors taking place in the forgotten land of Yemen.

Content

This episode can be found here. The full archive can be found on Podomatic and on ITunes.

Sources

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Memorial Day Roundup

This episode was meant to be in two parts. As I was researching, it was clear there were a ton of stories to breakdown. So I decided to do an overview of many, with rabbit-holes-a-plenty linked to within this article.

Iran

The two bureaucratic moves that caught my interest are both positive, if war with Iran is something you wish to avoid.

The EU Commission used a legislative weapon called the “blocking statute”, which in this case forbids EU based companies from complying with the new US sanctions placed on Iran. As insanely authoritarian and dystopian as that is, it does give individual EU companies that wanted to ignore Washington’s orders political and legal cover to do so.

The second act of a legislature came from the US House. Which passed an amendment to this year’s NDAA unanimously stating that the Trump administration has “no legal authorization for war with Iran”. The amendment can be removed in the Senate, where the real war hawks are. The vote is still interesting with a Republican controlled House.

John Bolton’s plans seem to be slowed for another week.

North Korea

This is where things get weird.

Donald Trump continues to drop in Hail Marys, and it’s starting to look like he has a plan. One that our friend John Bolton is not happy about.

To sum up the drama quickly, let’s start with Mr. Bolton. Two weeks ago now, Bolton provided comment about North Korea, including language about how a deal with North Korea should be in the “Libya model”. This translates into “regime change and violent death of former US-backed dictator”; or Iraq, Libya, and attempted Syria. Don’t forget this is same plan Bolton and his neoconservative allies have for Iran.

Needless to say, North Korea did not take kindly to this suggestion from Bolton. Further tension when the Vice President repeated Bolton’s narrative. Leaving to Trump to back things off, and cancel the summit in the process. A move the media attacks him for, when a month ago they were outraged he set it up in the first place. But I move on.

So the world was ending again, in nuclear flame at Donald Trump’s hand. When out of nowhere, South Korean president Mooon Jae-in returns from North Korea on Saturday and confirms that Kim and North Korea are still “committed to the summit” on June 12. The US followed up by sending officials to the truce-village of Panmunjom, to meet with North Koreans officials. Let’s see how this goes.

Israel/Gaza

Bibi is pushing his luck. While he tries (again) to sell the world on Iranian plans for nuclear domination, the domestic events within Israel or the occupied territories are killing Israeli PR in the West.

The move of the US embassy to Jerusalem is actually taking place, and that has of course raised tensions in the West Bank, its the open brutality at the border fences in Gaza that has pierced the minds of a Western (liberal) audience that usually publicly ignores this topic.

I won’t go into the history of this conflict, but the numbers of injured and dead I think speaks for itself. 62 Palestinians killed, with 3200 injured on May 14th. Included in that were 18 paramedics. One of which did an interview with Electronic Intifada, a Palestinian online media operation that clearly has a bias, but does actual journalism. Lacking more and more no matter the slant you come with.

Long time followers of this conflict understand that Gaza is in its end game, an 11 year blockade, no airspace, coastline control, sparse electricity, the age of the population; these things taken into account, no matter who you blame for them, pushed these protests. The same story plays out. A violent factor is always included on the Palestinian side, which is a “duh” for me at this point. Israel responses with collective punishment, relying on its cover in the political and media realm.

This is getting harder. With stories and imaged getting out more and more, the everyday voter in the Western world is becomes more aware, and in turn the politician who wants that vote will begin voicing opposition to Israeli “tactics”, which is a start.

Torture Queen

Haspel has been confirmed for some time, so lets not dwell there. Sam Husseini, a writer with Consortium Newsasks an interesting questionregarding the torture that took place during Haspel’s time in Thailand: Was torture the tool to build the Iraq War lie?

Instead of just chalking up the torture of Abu Zubaydah to sadism on Haspel’s part, let’s think for a minute. The tapes of him being waterboarded 83 times in a month are gone. So is the evidence of his head being slammed against the wall. No information was collected from his time there. But what were the questions? Where the tapes destroyed more to cover up the nature of the interrogations then the graphic violence?

Lawrence Wikerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, says that Powell knew the “evidence” he used at the UN was the result of torture. For example, the 2014 Senate torture report makes it known that Ibn Shaykh al-Libi told Egyptian authorities that Saddam had provided Al-Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons assistance. A hilarious story on the face of it. Was he asked this outright? To build on the narrative? al-Libi recanted his statement, after he was sent to America’s buddy Gaddafi. Where Ibn Shaykh al-Libi committed suicide…

Yemen

The war in Yemen has been a topic on my show since I began to take it seriously. My first episode on the conflict is still my most downloaded. In the future, hopefully, Yemen will be Obama’s war crime.

The Shite Houthis from the north of the country are running out of port cities within their control. The last one they hold is the city of Hodeichh. The Yemeni army, backed by Saudi Arabia and the United States, has taken control of a neighboring town and may soon be in position to take Hodeichh.

Hodeichh is the last port in which humanitarian aid can get to the civilian population in the north of the country. The crisis in Yemen has reached historic heights.

The Yemeni ambassador to UNESCO Ahmad al-Sayyad suggests that Saudi Arabia and the UAE(United Arab Emirates) would strike a deal to divide Yemen. The UAE has been involved with the fight against the Houthis in the south of the country, where the capital and government control was concentrated. The Saudi-backed puppet Hadi, who was forced out of power when the Houthis took the capital and now lives under house arrest in Riyadh, would like very much to be placed back on his throne. But the ambassador makes a good point. What do the Saudis care about Hadi’s feelings? They could give concessions to UAE, with a guarantee for continued help in the north fighting the Houthis and “Iranian influence”.

The Great Syrian Highway

While the war in Syria continues to get more complex and closer to exploding on a global scale, on the ground it the same weird stories all wars have.

I read a story by Moon of Alabama about the M5 Highway. This highway is the economic lifeblood of Syria, connecting Turkey to Jordan, and providing most of the traffic between the Gulf States and Turkey. Parts of it have been under rebel and ISIS control, but if you follow the victories and expansion of territory by the Syrian army over the last year you see that almost all of the highway is back under government control.

The highway hits all Syrian major cites: Aleppo, Homs, Hama, and Damascus. Turkey, Russia, Syria, Jordan, the gulf states all want this highway open and functioning. Talks were held in Kazakhstan on May 14-15 between Turkey, Russia and Iran about Syria. This was the 9th of their kind. No progress was made, but the highway might have been a topic of discussion. If not this time, then in the past. Both parties did confirm that the “integrity of Syria” is still the agreed upon plan, kicking the ball back into the United States’ court, since it continues to occupy a good portion of the east of the country.

Content

The episode link can be found here. The full episode archive can be found on Podomatic and on ITunes.

Bibi Youtubes for War

This war is going to be sold a little bit different, but it’s going to be sold.

In this episode I break down Benjamin Netanyahu’s lies about Iran and how his “evidence” is all old news. His presentation is for a “audience of one” and outlandish in its smugness. He doesn’t even attempt to proof-read or hide the inconsistencies.

I cover the attacks by Israel on Syrian military bases and within the Golan Heights. This war is hot and tensions are high.

Content

The episode link can be found here. The full episode archive can be found on Podomatic and on ITunes.

Sources

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Peace Breaks Out

We now have a streak. Two times in the last month that major geopolitical events have taken place while I slept. Waking up, eating breakfast, driving to the office and THEN finding out that the Korean War had ended. What a weird feeling. Like the I say in the episode, I felt like America should have been off of work and there should have been a parade.

The leaders of both North and South Korea agreed in principal to end the 70 year conflict, signaling a watershed moment in the region. While the motives of the North remain a mystery, I personally could give a shit. The leaders agreed to halt all cross-border propaganda, the North will suspend all nuke tests and begin closing sites, the Red Cross will be allowed to reunite families, and the Koreas declared that the peninsula would be “completely denuclearization”. All this with Kim saying that no American troops need to leave the region!

Now, if only half of what I mentioned above actually takes place (nukes coming first), this is an amazing event and a slow clap is in order for Donald J. Trump

In this episode I also dive into the Sergei Skripal poisoning. An event I didn’t pay attention to initially, and one that I’m far from done reading up on. From the small amount I’ve gotten into so far, the narrative out of the West is bunk and is suspect as soon as the name Christopher Steele shows up.

Content

The episode link can be found here. The full episode archive can be found on Podomatic and on ITunes.

Aftermath of Missiles

When we last left, it was two weeks ago now and Mr. Trump had just ordered late night missile strikes that helps avert WWIII. Yes, the minor scope of the attack was a blessing to all oxygen-breathing lifeforms on Earth. Trump’s lack of interest in getting into nation building won the day, and the media went nuts all weekend.

Then, last Monday came. and the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) got closer and closer to Douma. Even with the West and the UN blocking them at every turn, the OPCW crew arrived and took samples. Nothing has been determined yet, but I haven’t heard a peep about Syria this whole week. Its not surprising, as a war was pushed on the American people with zero evidence and it was completely rejected. Only MSNBC could get part of their audience to sign on. And if FOX News isn’t involved in the war effort, what chance does it have?

The media moved the narrative back to porn-stars and crooked lawyers. Mr. Trump also helped shift the narrative, by having Pompeo make a trip to North Korea and drop a real bombshell on the world: North and South Korea are looking at peace. And even more, the North Koreans are discussing giving up their nuclear program.

In this episode, I talk about the aftermath of the Syria strikes, the incredible events in Korea and of course the never-ending tit-for-tat between Russia and the American Deep State.

The links below contain an amazing reporting job by Moon of Alabama on the media war on honest reporting on Syria.

Content

The episode link can be found here. The full episode archive can be found on Podomatic and on ITunes.

Sources

Image source

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Bombs Dropped, Sun Rises – A Push for War – Part II

Good morning…..

I went to sleep last night very early, around 9. I woke up two hours later for some reason, and found myself up until 3am watching the United States drop missiles on Damascus. Fortunately for everyone, the strike was minimal. No Syrian military or government buildings were hit, nothing Iranian or Russian. So I closed my eyes for a few, and decided at 7:15 this morning to get my thoughts down on tape.

This episode is a short twenty minute reaction to Trump’s strikes, and what the small scale of his “response” to the “chemical attack” means from all sides. There are positive and negatives here, we just need to see what side wins out this time.

Content

The episode can be found here. All episodes are on Podomatic and on ITunes.

Another Push for War

I recorded this episode this past Sunday, after spending a weekend “off the grind” so to speak. I was not aware of the most recent chemical attack in Douma, Syria. The spin was out on Sunday, and I recorded by thoughts that night.

It is a two part episode. I discuss the real reason behind the US/Russia conflict in Syria, its background, and how the invasion of Iraq in 2003 got us here. I touch on John Bolton and the others pushing us to war (again). And I plead with the American people not to buy this one.

I’ll have another episode coming at the end of the week. I want to let this situation play out a bit, but it does seem like we are headed for a real conflict in Syria.

Dangerous times.

Content

Episode link

The full episode list can be found on Podomatic and ITunes.

Sources

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The Voluntary Exchange Podcast: The Lost Tapes Vol. 1

It’s been awhile since I have posted an episode of the podcast, and this “episode” isn’t anything I normally release. The recording is part of a conversation between my cousin and myself. We were just hanging out in the park, eating Italian subs and talking shit. The recording was surprisingly good so I thought I would share it.

The whole recording is about 20 minutes long. We cover our love for no-bullshit approach of Michael Scheuer (and even share his appearance on Bill Maher), Seth Rich, the surprising story about the FBI-Informant fatherof the Orlando Night Club shooter, Americans grasp on politics in general, the Netflix show “Mechanism“, and other “deep thoughts” about the political scene in my country. I hope you get some entertainment out of it.

P.S. Alex Jones is on in the background throughout most of 20 minutes :/

The episode can be found here and the full archive can be found on Podomatic and ITunes.

Show Notes:

The Voluntary Exchange Podcast: Vietnamese Takeout & Political Musings

I haven’t recorded in awhile, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been paying attention. I couldn’t wait any longer without the topics turning from news to history, so this recording takes place while I drive to pick up dinner.

In this episode, I hit on the following topics in no particular order.

  • Gun Control
  • Trump’s week
  • Hysteria of domestic politics
  • The breaking up of Syria
  • Israeli House of Cards

Content

Episode can be found here, with the full archive on Podomatic and ITunes.

What I’m Reading Today

Honduras

A country that is never in the new here in the United States, but one that is a perfect example of United States soft-imperialism, and another place in the world that Hillary Clinton has left her mark on.

For no real reason that I can understand, the United States in 2009 (with Mrs. Clinton in the State Department) decided it needed to perform a good old 1980s style Central American coup. The dual elected president Manuel Zelaya was replaced by Juan Orlando Hernandez. Since the coup, Hernandez has been reelected in elections marked with fraud.

From the article I’m referencing, it makes it clear that American involvement in Honduras never really went away. Washington has had an “alliance” with the land-owning oligarchies in the country, coming to their aid when asked, in exchange for US corporate access to the country’s natural resources. US ambassadors work was “shadow presidents” of Honduras, helping to secure military aid to the Hernandez regime. The military is used strictly on the people of Honduras, as there is no external threat to the small nation. The country receives more direct military funding than any other nation in the Americas at this time, thanks Secretary Clinton!

The article sourced here is actually an interview with journalist Jesse Freeston. Freeston has been working in Honduras since the coup, and has produced a documentary in that time, “Resistencia: The Fight for the Aguan Valley”.

Source

The Fight Over Yemen & The War Powers Act

It doesn’t seem to go away. What Rand Paul began over a year ago has since spread to the House and now back to the Senate.

new bill is making it’s way through the Senate demanding a vote on US involvement in the Saudi slaughter in Yemen. This time, Bernie Sanders, Mike Lee, Chris Murphy and Rand Paul have put up a bill to have the Senate vote on the use of the War Powers Act as an excuse for US support for this war.

Source

Upcoming Podcast

Hopefully, tomorrow I will have this cough kicked and I can record a podcast. I have been reading non-stop for weeks, to the point where I haven’t taken notes and just need to get some of my feelings out. So this week’s podcast will be off the cuff, with me hitting the following points of interest:

  • Israel’s House of Card/ The Israel Lobby & American Policy Conference
  • Gun Control
  • Syria
  • Alex Jones and Free Speech
  • Trump’s Aluminum Problem

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