Saudi Arabia Wants to Fight Iran to the Last American

By Trita Parsi, The National Interest

Many observers have connected the dots and concluded that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince is seeking to drag the United States into a war with Iran and Hezbollah. But that’s only half the story. Looking at the recent events through a broader geopolitical lens, a much more sinister plan emerges: a Saudi plan to trap the United States in a permanent standoff with Tehran.

While most of the world has been aghast by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s radical actions of this past week, his conduct is only inexplicable when viewed from the wrong lens, such as the Sunni-Shia sectarian frame or the even more absurd attempt to cast this conflict as part of a greater fight against terrorism. After all, Saudi Arabia provided the seed money for Al Qaeda and openly funded and armedAl Qaeda in Syria (Jabhat al-Nusra), according to the U.S. government.

When seen from a geopolitical lens, however, the unlikely alliance between Zionist Israel and the Wahhabi House of Saud, their opposition to the Iran nuclear deal and their coordinated effort to ratchet up tensions in the region suddenly acquire a degree of logic.

Rather than ethnic or sectarian motivations, Saudi Arabia’s ultimate aim is to drag the United States back into the Middle East in order for Washington to reestablish its military dominance and reimpose on the region an equilibrium that favors Tel Aviv and Riyadh. This, however, does not require just a war in Lebanon, but a permanent state of conflict between the United States and Iran.

Israel and Saudi Arabia see this as justified return to the order that existed prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The “dual containment” policy of the Clinton administration established a balance in the region centered on Israel, Saudi and Egypt, with the explicit goal of isolating and containing both Iran and Iraq. Tehran vehemently opposed the order and sought to undermine it by all means, including by targeting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

But despite Tehran’s extensive efforts, Iran failed to bring about the collapse of the U.S.-led order. Instead, it was the United States itself under George W. Bush that—inadvertently—brought about the end of the U.S.-backed balance by committing the disastrous mistake of invading Iraq. The spectacular failure of this endeavor destabilized the region and weakened the United States, to a point where it no longer could restore the old order or foist a new balance upon the region.

The Middle East has ever since essentially been orderless—there is no single dominant power or combination of states that can establish and sustain a new balance. This is precisely why it is experiencing so much instability and violence: the absence of a clear order draws all major powers into a fierce competition to define the new equilibrium. This is also why Israel and Saudi Arabia have found common cause against Iran and why they have been pushing the United States to take military action against Iran.

Israel and Saudi Arabia were the biggest losers of the Iraq war and the collapse of Pax Americana. They enjoyed maximum security and maneuverability under the previous order, and their regional rivals were checked and contained, courtesy of American treasure and blood. Their priority for the last decade has been to compel the United States to recommit itself to the region and restore the pre-2003 balance, or at a minimum re-embrace the role as hegemon over the Middle East.

But while the United States saw benefit in Middle Eastern hegemony twenty years ago, American, Israeli and Saudi interests have sharply diverged over the past two decades. Not only does the United States lack the resources to resurrect the previous balance, the benefits to U.S. national security are increasingly in question. President Barack Obama had ordered a global audit of America’s resources, commitments, challenges and opportunities early on in his presidency. The conclusion was unmistakable: the most strategically vital area for the United States in this century is East Asia. Yet, most of America’s resources were committed to the Middle East in unending wars of increasingly marginal strategic significance. America needed a course correction that reversed its overcommitment in the Middle East and undercommitment in East Asia: a pivot to Asia.

Both Tel Aviv and Riyadh viewed Washington’s reorientation towards Asia with concern. They feared it would weaken Washington’s commitment to their security while also potentially making the United States more inclined to reach an accommodation with Iran. Those fears rose dramatically as Obama resisted the Saudi and Israeli push to bomb Iran, and instead opted for diplomacy. To the Saudis, Obama had sided with Iran. The details of the nuclear deal were irrelevant to Riyadh: the problem was the very idea of the United States striking a deal with Iran, which by definition would signal the end of Washington’s policy of fully balancing Iran and leave Saudi facing its Persian rival without unreserved American backing.

Saudi Arabia’s only prospect of balancing Iran today remains the same as it was ten years ago: by dragging the United States back into the region militarily. If Iran’s nuclear program or its role in Iraq won’t compel Washington to bomb Iran, the Saudis must instigate a crisis that will force America back into the squabbles of the Middle East. Lebanon can serve this purpose precisely because it brings in a critical factor absent in both Iraq and Yemen—the Israeli angle and its American political potency. What the American public needs to fully understand, though, is that Riyadh is not seeking a one-off in Lebanon but rather a perpetual U.S. confrontation with Iran, a never ending war on behalf of Saudi Arabia.

As Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said in 2010, the Saudis “want to fight the Iranians to the last American.” Why the Saudis would see this as attractive is clear. Why Netanyahu would like to go along with this also follows a certain logic. That is not the mystery in this drama. The mystery is why the president of the United States would go along with something that so clearly contradicts U.S. national interest.

It is not the Saudi crown prince that is acting irrationally. It’s the president of the United States.

Trita Parsi is author of Losing an Enemy—Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy. He is the president of the National Iranian American Council.

Read more: How to boycott Saudi Arabia

Protests against imminent eviction of Julian Assange from Ecuador’s London embassy

Protests are being organized in London and internationally in response to credible sources claiming that the Ecuadorian government is on the verge of reneging on the political asylum it granted to WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange and handing him to British police.

Anonymous Scandinavia, a twitter account believed to be closely linked with WikiLeaks, has published a video announcing a “Condition Red” and stating that the “situation is critical.”

This follows a July 20 tweet by Russia Today editor Margarita Simonyan, which stated: “My sources say that Assange will be handed over to UK authorities in the coming weeks or even days…”

In a lengthy article published in the Intercept on July 21, journalist Glenn Greenwald reported that he also had a source “close to the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry and the President’s office” who had confirmed that Julian Assange will be evicted from Ecuador’s London embassy “as early as this week.”

The protest in London will be taking place at 10am, Monday, July 23, at the Ecuadorian embassy. Protests in other cities have been called at US embassies and consulates, to take place the day after Assange was evicted. Rallies are organised so far in Melbourne, Australia; Wellington, New Zealand; Paris; and Los Angeles. Click here for details.

1.) The Underground Resistance calls on everyone everywhere to wear black.

2.) Do not go to work, or to school or to church.

3.) No shopping. Do not spend one dime. No buses, no trains and no planes for one day.

The Underground Resistance endorses all protest action against the persecution of Julian Assange and urges its readers to participate.

Ecuador’s President Lenín Moreno arrived in London on July 21 to deliver the keynote speech at the 2018 Global Disability Summit. Greenwald reported in the Intercept: “The concealed, actual purpose of the President’s trip is to meet with British officials to finalize an agreement under which Ecuador will withdraw its asylum protection of Julian Assange, in place since 2012, eject him from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and then hand over the WikiLeaks founder to British authorities.”

Assange was granted political asylum in its embassy by Ecuador in 2012 after his legal appeals against extradition to Sweden, to answer “questions” on manufactured allegations of sexual assault, were rejected by the British courts. Assange legitimately feared that he would be rapidly extradited from Sweden to the US to face charges over WikiLeaks’ publication of leaks that exposed American war crimes and diplomatic intrigues around the world.

If Assange leaves the embassy he will be imprisoned by Britain for breaching bail and almost certainly face an application to extradite him to the United States to stand trial on manufactured charges of espionage.

On the Moreno government’s orders, the Ecuadorian embassy in London has deprived Assange of all external communication, and all visitors apart from his lawyers, since March 28.

After six years of confinement due to the British threat of immediate arrest if he sets foot outside the small building, Assange’s health has been seriously compromised. The deprivation of communication is a vindictive attempt to add immense psychological pressure on him to leave the embassy, as well as to silence him while lurid accusations permeate the American and international media that WikiLeaks was part of a nefarious Russian conspiracy to “interfere” in the 2016 US presidential election.

Ahead of Moreno’s visit to London, his national secretary of political management, Paul Granda, asserted on July 19 that “there is no specific meeting planned on Assange.” The same day, acting Ecuadorian foreign minister, Andres Teran, claimed that Moreno’s government is “not in talks with the United States” over the WikiLeaks editor.

These statements have no credibility. All evidence, reinforced by the Intercept report, points to the opposite conclusion: A conspiracy is well advanced, involving the US, British, Ecuadorian and Australian governments, to have Assange hauled before a show trial in the US.

The American intelligence agencies are determined to prosecute Assange as a “spy.” The campaign to arrest him was escalated to a “priority” in April 2017, after WikiLeaks began publishing the “Vault 7” leaks that revealed how the CIA had developed malware to hack phones, PCs, servers, smart televisions and vehicle computer systems in every part of the world.

Moreno’s government has betrayed Assange as part of its venal attempts, on behalf of the Ecuadorian business elite, to restore economic and political relations with Washington. The London embassy cut off Assange’s communications just one day after top-level meetings in Ecuador with representatives of US Southern Command on re-establishing military cooperation.

Moreno will speak with leading figures in the Conservative government of Prime Minister Theresa May over the coming days.

The UK-Ecuadorian talks will take place amid total hysteria in the American political and media establishment, following Trump’s meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki this week, over purported Russian “meddling” and “interference.”

At the center of the allegations is the July 2016 publication by WikiLeaks of a trove of emails sent by the Democratic National Committee (DNC), revealing that ostensibly impartial party officials conspired to undermine Bernie Sanders’ campaign against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Party primaries.

The information outraged millions of Sanders’ supporters, especially young people who had voted for the Vermont senator due to his claims to be a “democratic socialist” and to oppose the “billionaires.” Top DNC officials were forced to resign in disgrace for their attempt to manipulate and rig the primaries for Clinton’s benefit.

History, however, has since been rewritten by the Democratic Party, the American media and the US intelligence agencies. The DNC leaks were instead transformed into purported “evidence” of a Russian-orchestrated attempt to manipulate the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump. WikiLeaks and Assange were accused of being accomplices of the Putin regime.

On January 6, 2017, the US Office of National Intelligence alleged: “We assess with high confidence that the GRU [Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate] relayed material it acquired from the DNC and senior Democratic officials to WikiLeaks. Moscow most likely chose WikiLeaks because of its self-proclaimed reputation for authenticity.”

Claims of Russian “fake news” and “meddling” also have been used to justify the sweeping and ongoing campaign to censor oppositional publications on the Internet, including WikiLeaks. At the same time, the assertions of Russian “interference” have been used to stoke a frenzy of demands in the American establishment for a stepped-up economic and military confrontation with Russia, threatening to trigger war between nuclear-armed states.

The allegation that Assange is a “Russian agent” is crucial to both the assault on freedom of speech and democratic rights, and to the preparations for war.

A media organization cannot be prosecuted for publishing leaks. So, in November 2010, Vice President Joe Biden labelled Assange a “high-tech terrorist.” In April 2017, CIA director Mike Pompeo, now secretary of state, branded WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence agency.”

If Assange were charged as a Russian spy, it would establish a far-reaching precedent. International media organizations and journalists that publish leaked information could be pursued and prosecuted without recourse to any constitutional and legal protections of freedom of speech.

The slander of Assange as a Russian tool serves definite ideological purposes. It has been seized upon internationally by the ex-liberal and pseudo-left milieu in the media and political establishment to align with US imperialism, the Democratic Party and the American intelligence agencies and justify their refusal to defend WikiLeaks and democratic rights.

The truth is that, regardless of the source, WikiLeaks published information that was both newsworthy and further clarified people as to the corrupt, militarist and big business character of the Democratic Party and its candidate Clinton. Any genuine media organization that received such leaks would have published them.

The immense danger Assange faces was underscored on July 20 by comments made during a media conference held by UK Foreign Affairs Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who was in Britain for annual ministerial talks.

Hunt gloated: “Serious charges have been laid against him [Assange] and we want him to face justice for those charges but we are a country of due process. At any time he wants to, he is free to walk out on to the streets of Knightsbridge and the British police will have a warm welcome for him.”

Bishop exuded the utter contempt of successive Australian governments for the rights of an Australian citizen and journalist being persecuted by the US. She indifferently responded to Hunt’s threats, effectively washing her government’s hands of Assange’s fate. She told the media: “We understand there are still matters where Mr Assange is subject to British legal proceedings so therefore that would be a matter of British law enforcement authorities and agencies.”

In fact, the only “charges” that Assange faces in Britain arise from breaching bail when he sought asylum, a necessary step to avoid the sinister warrant to extradite him to Sweden.

No charges were ever laid by Swedish prosecutors, who finally agreed to question him in London in December 2016. Sweden abandoned the bogus investigation in April 2017, yet the British authorities and courts refused to drop the now-redundant alleged bail offenses.

The only “serious charges” against Assange are likely to be espionage-related charges in the United States, which could result in life imprisonment or even the death penalty.

The ongoing motive behind the persecution of Assange is to terrorize and intimidate whistleblowers and independent media organizations into remaining silent on imperialist war crimes and intrigues, corporate abuses and corruption, and US-led war preparations.

All defenders of media freedom and democratic rights must step up the fight to demand the unconditional right of Julian Assange to leave the London embassy and the UK unhindered and return to Australia, if he chooses to do so, with a guarantee against extradition to the US.

The author also recommends:

The Campaign to Free Julian Assange

Gun Rights Supporters Are Tailing Parkland Students On Their Gun Control Tour (HBO)

Students who survived the Parkland shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February are on a country-wide bus tour called the “Road to Change”​ this summer to push for gun reform legislation. They’ve gained a following — but not just the one you’d might expect.

The students are now being tailed across the country by a group of gun-rights activists called the Utah Gun Exchange, who travel in a military-style armored vehicle and hold their own counter-protests.

The Utah Gun Exchange is classifieds advertisement website for Utah residents to buy and sell guns and gun parts. And members of the group have been following the March For Our Lives students on their tour in an attempt to engage with students, supporters and activists on the topic of second amendment and school safety issues.

“I honestly cannot hate the March for Our Lives folks. In fact, I love them. They’re kids, to the degree that the kids are actually talking,” said Utah guns rights activist Clark Aposhian at one stop on the tour. ​”I may be the gun lobbyist, but you’re the gun lobby.”

VICE News embedded with both sides as they geared up for an event in Salt Lake City, where the debate was everywhere — on the bus, in the armored vehicle, and even outside the venue, as supporters and opponents faced off in the parking lot.

Want more?

How to boycott the NRA

Call to Action: Protest Terrorist Maxine Waters

By Christopher R Rice

Get your guns and meet me at Maxine Waters place.

I hate to break the news to you right wing nut jobs but rank and file democrats do not support illegal immigration or open borders.

Open borders and illegal immigration are supported by George Soros, California farmers who refuse to pay an honest days wages and multinational corporations who bought politicians on both sides of the aisle from John McCain to Barack Obama.

The protesters do not support separating families at the border. Which is why we were told that Sarah Sanders was asked to leave a restaurant somewhere in Virginia.

But without Sanders telling the story we would have never heard about it. The truth is that Sanders was asked to leave because the staff of that establishment is mostly LGQT (gay) and Trump has said that it is legal for employers to fire people because of their sexual orientation. And is trying to get gays thrown out of the military. Which has only served to increase hate crimes all across America.

After this story broke poverty pimp Maxine Waters thought it would be good publicity to run with it and started telling anyone who would listen:

“If you see anybody from that [Trump] Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them! And you tell them that they are not welcome, anymore, anywhere”

Which is actually how we are suppose to exercise our first amendment right, no one was threatened or harmed (see video below.)

And so then some people did just that, confronted politicians at movie theaters and anywhere they could. It was gorgeous, it was democracy in motion. And it worked. Trump caved and claimed that the family separations would end. And for the record, no one was hurt.

And now you’d think that would be the end of our story but it is not.

The crazy right wing who can’t be happy with winning the White House and just enjoy their victory are instead busy looking for anything they can to throw a fit about. And start up with the death threats.

See where I’m from showing division in public is only helping our enemies and aren’t we at war? And not just with Al-Qaeda but Russia attacked our elections too, right? So to me this fighting among ourselves, in public, is, um, a lot like treason.

But then the Oath Keepers got themselves involved and called for a sustained protest against Maxine Waters- for “inciting violence“. And while there are a million reasons to protest any “career politician” this ain’t one of them.

Now had the Oath Keepers also protested Sarah Palin when she got that Congresswoman from Arizona shot in her face for running as a democrat, (see video above) this would be acceptable. But since the Oath Keepers didn’t protest Palin, this seems a bit hypocritical, doesn’t it?

From the AP: The congresswoman, an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, sparked anger among conservatives after she called on the public to “push back” on administration officials spotted in public.

The Oath Keepers called Waters a “protest terrorist inciter” and said members intended to “stand against terrorism, stand for freedom of speech and association, in support of ICE/Border Patrol as they enforce constitutional immigration laws.”

The gathering was planned for the early afternoon but police said then that authorities had been informed by Oath Keepers that the demonstration was called off.

Does anyone remember when the Oath Keepers first started? You pry don’t but it was beautiful. A group of retired and active LE and military signed a letter saying that they would disobey any order that was un Constitutional. The Oath Keepers were neither right or left they were simply for protecting and standing up for the Constitution.

Something admirable unless you see the U.S. Constitution through the eyes of a native, a woman or a slave.

Then the Oath Keepers wrote about a small handful of Antifa who had peppered sprayed and assaulted someone trying to attend a speech by the right wings favorite racist, pedophile Miko Milo whatever the fuck his name is.

Which is of course the old media trick to find the most extreme element in any group and amplify their behavior and advertise it as representative of the whole group whether that’s true or not.

None of this is really worth my time, though is it? The Oath Keepers found out that they can call for protest all day long they just couldn’t get anyone to show up. Except the counter protesters who felt embolden and stole an American flag from an unsuspecting passerby and set it on fire in front of Maxine Waters office.

And what’s worse? I got one, if you’re anything like my current girl friend you’re asking “who is Maxine Waters?”

SMH. She’s only been your Congresswoman for the last 350 years or so.

If you want a functioning Republic you should respect everyone’s rights not just the one’s you like. The Bill of Rights is more than just one amendment. And if you won’t support my right to protest why should I support your right to bear arms?

You can be divided and conquered but that hasn’t got us anywhere accept backwards.

But what do you suppose is worse than my own girl not even knowing who Maxine Waters is? I’ll tell you because personally I can not see how any American citizen can possibly respect the U.S. military, can you? The best equipped, best trained and best funded military (Americans spend ten times on our military as any other nation) in the whole world can not beat a bunch of goat herders (Al-Qaeda) who do not have an air force, a navy or even a military budget, for 17 years now.

And our only accomplishment has been to lower the price of street heroin. Heroins never been cheaper, more potent or so readily available. So where does all of the heroin come from? Afghanistan, right?

There are only two groups in Afghanistan, us (the coalition forces) and Al-Qaeda. Now if you believe the governments lies about WMD, Golf of Tolkien, and centrifuges, they also want you to believe that all of this heroin (and all other drugs) come into our country via the terrorist.

But if the terrorist can ship tons of heroin (cocaine and meth) into the U.S., every year, than the terrorist could be shipping anything into the U.S. including suitcase nukes, with that kind of money, right?

But the only terrorist attacks since 9/11 have consisted of a couple in San Bernardino with a lot of guns and a lone attacker in Florida shooting up a gay night club. This doesn’t sound like the work of a multinational drug running terrorist group, does it?

So, where does all of this heroin come from? If you’ve never heard of “the golden triangle,” or “Iran-Contra,” or “Air America” or seen the movie “Scarface,” let me explain there is only one reasonable, logical explanation.

Continue reading: C.I.A. Secrets: Afghanistan heroin

What’s worse than the C.I.A. being the real drug cartel? American Christians are footing the bill. American voters believe that the very system which threw them under a bus decades ago will now allow them the opportunity to vote ourselves out of this mess. And they actually think that a pedophile land developer from Vegas is here to save the Republic. But Trump sent 3,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan after promising us he’d fire his generals? And for what? To protect the heroin supply, that’s what.

War profiteers bleeding American taxpayers dry and for what? They did not stop the Vegas massacre, the Florida shooting, or the Boston Marathon bombing. How can anyone possibly respect the U.S. military? The U.S. military even failed to protect us on 9/11. The U.S. military is a world wide joke and the joke is on us.

Want more?

Opium: The Other Failed US War in Afghanistan

How heroin overdoses exposed Baltimore’s corrupt police the Gun Trace Task Force

People’s Party (United States)

As far as this war with Russia, of course they influenced our elections, wouldn’t you? America started this nonsense first by pouring money into the Ukraine’s elections and buying every government seat. Can you imagine if Russia did that to Mexico? I think America would annex the Gulf of Mexico the same way that Russia annexed Crimea.

White Manager Called Police on Black Customer Over Coupon

By David Z. Morris

CVS has apologized after a white store manager in Chicago called police on a black customer who was attempting to use a coupon that store staff accused her of counterfeiting. CVS said it is investigating the manager, who has himself been accused of fraud in a local political fight.

The incident was first described on Facebook late Friday by Camilla Hudson, the 53-year-old victim, in a post that quickly went viral (though according to Hudson, the post has since been removed by Facebook for unspecified violations).

Hudson, who is black, later described the events in detail to Block Club Chicago, saying that she entered a CVS at 6150 North Broadway, and attempted to make a purchase using an automated checkout machine. She was unable to use a coupon for one of her items at the machine, and was offered assistance by store manager Morry Matson. He called for a second manager, whose name is unknown. That manager, according to Hudson, accused her of counterfeiting the coupon she was trying to use.

“He was nasty, he was unprofessional, he was dismissive, he was accusatory,” Hudson later told Block Club. “His entire tone and demeanor was offensive and problematic.”

Hudson asked that the managers call CVS’s corporate offices to resolve the issue, and followed and filmed one of the managers when he walked away from her. She claimed to Block Club that she was “not yelling, I did not raise my voice, I did not use profanity”. Matson then told Hudson that he had called the police.

Matson then called the police a second time while Hudson stood nearby, capturing the call on video.

According to Block Club, the call was relayed to responding officers as an “assault in progress.” Hudson said the police officers who arrived were “not awful,” but did say that Matson had the authority to ask her to leave the store, which she did.

CVS has since apologized to Hudson, and now says it will conduct an investigation into the incident. The pharmacy chain also stated that it “does not tolerate any practices that discriminate against any customer and we are committed to maintaining a welcoming and diverse environment in our stores . . . Profiling or any other type of discriminatory behavior is strictly prohibited.”

Matson was reportedly a delegate for Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign, and has worked on behalf of the Log Cabin Republicans, an LGBTQ cohort of that party. Matson is also a candidate for alderman of Chicago’s 48th Ward. In campaign literature found by Block Club, Matson emphasizes his alignment with the “Silent Majority,” “Moral Majority,” and “Law and Order.” Despite those purported values, Matson was in a separate instance accused by Chicago’s Board of Election Commissioners of falsifying signatures on a ballot measure.

“As a woman, as a black woman, as a native Chicagoan, I’m just tired of it,” Hudson told Block Club. “I’m tired of it.”

Want more?

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Debt Bubble(s) and the Digitization Of All Trade

By PBS

What we have is a debt bubble. The rising debt is the stimulus funding the rally on Wall Street. QE1, QE2, QE3, Operation Twist, bailouts, handouts, and now $85 billion injected into the system every month. Hmm, I wonder if there is a coincidence between enormous debt creation and 43 new highs in the Dow this year?

No, the stock market is not in a bubble. It is reacting normally to new injections of cash and buyers. The debt bubble, however, is a different matter. These things end badly, historically. Eventually, somebody has to pay the Piper.

The stock market is up, while the economy isn’t. Since the stock market is supposed to reflect the economy, it looks a bit overvalued.

There is also a good reason for over-valuation: the cheap money policy by the Fed means that there is no money in bonds, so many investors have loaded up on stocks, which drives their price up.

The NASDAQ and Russell 2000 are in bubbles right now. Once the fed starts increasing its interest rate, the stock market will drop like a rock.

David Stockman, former director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Reagan, says America has become addicted to debt and that there’s no way to avoid catastrophe.

David Stockman: I think everybody in this generation, and I’m the leading edge of the baby boom — I was born in 1946 — has benefited from a 30-year explosion of debt, which created temporary but unsustainable economic prosperity and a financialization of the system through lower, and lower, and lower interest rates that has created massive rewards to speculation but not real investments so I benefited from it. Almost everyone who has been in the market has benefited but they didn’t earn it.

David Stockman: No. One of the things I say in my book is we need a wealth tax that on a one-time basis is going to take back at least some small fraction of the great windfall that the upper 1 percent, or 5 percent and pay down the government debt, pay back the federal debt because we can’t put this on the next generation or they’re going to be buried paying taxes.

David Stockman: I wouldn’t do it. I think it’s a very dangerous place to be at the present time. In fact, the stock market today is almost identical to where it was in October 2007 and then there was a $7 trillion crash and before that in March 2000. In other words, the stock market today is identical to where it was 13 years ago and we’ve had two massive crashes in between. The middle class has been invited to come and buy stocks and get sheared like so many sheep. They’ve done it twice and I certainly hope they’re not lured into this again because it’s not sustainable because our economy really is failing. Yes, in the short run it’s recovered, or recreated jobs that existed in 2005. You know, the number of jobs today is the same as it was in 2005.

David Stockman: There was a massive bubble in Japan. Half the real estate value in the world in 1989 was in Japan. It crashed. Real estate in Japan has been declining ever since. It’s one of the great deformations, malinvestments, that’s ever occurred in world history. The stock market in Japan was half the world market and where has the Japan economy gone since the 1990s? Nowhere. They’ve been struggling for two decades in the aftermath of a massive bubble that’s collapsed. They’ve tried to work their way out of it by printing even more money and it hasn’t worked. Now, I’m saying this is what all the central banks are doing. There is no honest interest rate in the world today.

David Stockman: The problem is that you’re creating a system of bubble finance where interest rates are so low that people can speculate. An asset value goes up. You put it up as collateral. You borrow against it. You buy more of the asset. You then take the rising asset. You borrow against it again. This is the nature of what’s going on in the world. This isn’t an excess of real savings. This is an excess of artificial credit that’s being fueled by all the central banks.

David Stockman: Because, you’re in a race to the bottom by all the central banks in the world that are expanding their balance sheets at rates that have never been seen before. This money is not leaving the financial markets. All of the liquidity the Fed has pumped in, this balance sheet has gone from $800 billion to $3.2 trillion in just a few years, all of that liquidity is just circulating through the canyons of Wall Street. A lot of it comes back as excess reserves in the banking system which gets deposited at the Fed. It doesn’t go into credit on Main Street because Main Street is already saturated with debt. But, it does suppress interest rates and it makes gambling highly rewarding. When you put interest rates at zero, you’ll buy anything that’s going up and fund it with zero cost money. You will buy anything with a yield and fund it 98 percent, $0.98 on the dollar with zero cost money. So what this is, is a gambler’s dream. The 1 percent are just laughing all the way to the bank.

David Stockman: I think we’re so addicted to bubble finance at the Fed that they can’t get out of the corner they painted themselves into. I think the Fed is making federal debt so cheap that Congress has no interest, Washington has no incentive to ever face up to our massive fiscal gap that is going to grow, and grow as we go forward in time and so we have a paralyzed system.

David Stockman: Well, a lot of people said in 1999, “Yeah, maybe there’s a little bit of froth out there.” But, you don’t understand this time is different and then within three months, devastating collapse. Remember they called it the “Goldilocks Economy” in late 2007/2008? You had the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors saying, “No recession in sight anywhere,” in June. Okay, so no one sees it coming until suddenly there is an event, a black swan, something unexpected or unpredicted that tells everybody that the emperor is naked. You know who is naked? The Fed. They’re running a con game.

via David Stockman: We’re Blind to the Debt Bubble | Making Sen$e | PBS NewsHour | PBS.

Economic Collapse and the Digitization Of All Trade By Brandon Smith Alt-Market

People need to understand the threat is at their doorstep. It’s not a few years off or a decade away; it’s here now. We are right in the middle of collapse.

The appearance of prosperity means nothing if the fundamentals do not support the optimism. That is to say, a bullish stock market, a high dollar index and a low unemployment percentage mean nothing if such stats are generated by false methods and fiat.

I relate these points because the future I am about to suggest here might sound outlandish to some, because it is so contrary to the “official” accounting of our current financial world.

The stock market, the greatest false indicator of all time, is on the verge of implosion; and the banking elites are positioning themselves to avoid blame for this implosion while the rest of us are being sold on the most elaborate recovery con-game ever conceived.

The globalists have stretched the whole of the world thin.  They have removed almost every pillar of support from the edifice around us, and like a giant game of Jenga, are waiting for the final piece to be removed, causing the teetering structure to crumble.  Once this calamity occurs, they will call it a random act of fate, or a mathematical inevitability of an overly complex system.  They will say that they are not to blame.  That we were in the midst of “recovery”.  That they could not have seen it coming.

Their solution will be predictable.

In our highly interdependent system in the West in which more than 80 percent of the population has been domesticated and is psychologically incapable of self-reliance, it is very likely that a disruption of normal supply chains and services would result in considerable poverty and death. Such a threat would invariably lead frightened and unprepared people to demand increased government controls so that they can return to the level of comfort they have grown accustomed to.

The elites will argue that the banks and bankers are not necessarily to blame. Rather, they will accuse the “system” of being too complex and chaotic, leaving itself open to greed, stupidity and overall unconscious sabotage. The fact that the crisis was engineered from the very beginning will never be mentioned.

The more independent elements within any system, the more chance there is for unpredictable events that lead to supposed disaster. Ostensibly, the solution would be to streamline all systems and remove the free-radicals. That is to say, complete centralization is the answer. What a surprise.

What this means on a micro-level is the activation of bail-ins; that is to say, the legalized confiscation of bank accounts, pension funds, stock holdings, etc. as a method for prolonging a collapse event. We have seen this already to some extent in Europe, and it will happen in the U.S..

While the initial scenario we face in America will be one of stagflation, many necessities and the means to produce those necessities will skyrocket in cost.  There may not be inflation in every sector of the economy because imploding demand could offset some of the effects of falling currency value, but there will be extreme inflation in the areas that hurt common people most.

Digitization Of All Trade 

Despite all the failings and control mechanisms involved in fiat money, there are still worse systems to be had. Last month more than 100 executives from the world’s largest financial institutions met privately at the Times Square office of Nasdaq Inc. to discuss the future of money; more specifically a software apparatus called “Blockchain.” The goal is to implement Blockchain as a medium to fully digitize monetary transactions around the world and in a way that is traceable and foolproof. In other words, the goal is put an end to all transactions involving physical cash.

The establishment of a cashless society would mark the end of all privacy in trade. Even supposedly anti-centralization digital currencies like Bitcoin are hindered by the blockchain feature, which requires the tracking of ALL transactions in order for the currency to function. While methods for anonymity could be argued, the fact of the matter is, digital currency by its very nature is a destroyer of the truly private trade offered by cash and barter. When all trade is tracked, and all savings digitized, whoever owns the keys to the core of the blockchain will have the power to wreak havoc on the life of any participant at will.

To be sure, the “blockchain” that the elites have in mind will never allow for anonymous transactions, because digital currency is not about anonymity or “convenience,” it is about control.

Corrupt government is the tool by which globalists can extort goods and labor from a population as well as exert force to subdue rebellion.  It is highly unlikely that the global reset will result in a collapse of government.  On the contrary, it is usually during economic collapse that governments grow in power to the point of totalitarianism.  There will always be a new currency mechanism or financial structure to replace the old, and the globalists will always have a way to pay off armies and useful idiots to do their bidding.  No one should be counting on the idea that the elites face collapse as we face collapse.  This is naive.  The elites created the collapse; they plan to be ready to use it to their advantage.

Eventually, they will also have to limit or outlaw barter and alternative currencies in order for the digitized economy to work.

This is the age old strategy of Centralization; to remove all choices within a system, by force or manipulation, until the masses think they have nothing left but the choices the elites give them.  It is the bread and butter of elitist institutions like Rand Corporation, and is at the core of the push for globalization.

With almost every major economy on the globe on the verge of collapse and most now desperately inflating, taxing, or outright stealing in order to hide their situation, with multiple tinderbox environments being facilitated in the Pacific with China, North Korea, and Japan, and in the Middle East and Africa with Egypt, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Yemen, Mali, etc., there is no doubt that we are living in a linchpin-rich era.  It is inevitable that one or more of these explosive tension points will erupt and cause a chain reaction around the planet.  The linchpin and the chain reaction will become the focus of our epoch, rather than the men who made them possible in the first place.

Each major global hot-spot today can easily be linked back to the designs of international corporate and banking interests and the puppet governments they use as messengers.

Governments of America, Russia and China are actually complicit in the formation of a global currency and global government controlled by the IMF.

China in particular has loudly pronounced a need for a global currency system to replace the dollar, and they have suggested that this system be controlled by the IMF:

The world economic crisis shows the “inherent vulnerabilities and systemic risks in the existing international monetary system,” Gov. Zhou Xiaochuan said in an essay released Monday by the bank. He recommended creating a currency made up of a basket of global currencies and controlled by the International Monetary Fund and said it would help “to achieve the objective of safeguarding global economic and financial stability.”

China is NOT anti-establishment or anti-new world order, nor is Russia. American opposition to the NWO is a lie. Period. In fact, the BRICS have argued only for greater inclusion in the IMF system and have no intention of developing a legitimate alternative to “Western” globalization. If you do not understand that the BRICS are part of the NWO, not opposed to it, then you do not understand a thing. Continue reading: ActivistPost

How much does the US owe? By Christopher R Rice

The year was 1982 and America was the largest creditor nation on earth. By 2005, the U.S. was the largest debtor nation on earth. In 1980, the national debt had yet to eclipse the $1 trillion mark and had accumulated around $850 billion during the first 204 years of this republic.

By 2007 or 24 years later, our debt had risen to more than $7 trillion and continues straight up. Today, The U.S. government reports its debt at more than 19 trillion dollars, China alone purchases in excess of $1 billion per day of our debt. Japan owns billions and billions of U.S. debt instruments as do the Arabs and so on. But, these are reasonable countries and I believe that they would understand that we are broke and just forgive all of those billions; right after we gave them California and Yellowstone Park.

So far, I have been talking about funded debt. Unfunded debt is $205 trillion at current levels…and rising hourly. This is the figure that the CBO does not want the general public, meaning the financial media, to be aware of. This is the debt that we owe to ourselves in the way of Medicare, Social Security, government retirements and so on. In other words, promises that can’t be kept and so they won’t. As a reminder, the unfunded debt is greater than the total wealth of all American households. Many people want to blame one administration or another because that’s easy. It isn’t true, it’s not any one administration, the system isn’t broke, it’s rigged.

AMERICAN’S are BEING ROBBED (and this has only been accelerated under Trump)

The U.S. was the largest creditor in the world. Now the debt is in the trillions of dollars. Trillions of dollars transferred from the worlds richest and most powerful country. This is a form of destructive economic management at a level of graft and corruption that has NO parallel. There’s nothing comparable to that in history.

It’s not the result of mysterious global forces, or technology, or China, or structural problems concerning the skills and education of our workforce.  Rather, it is the direct result of policy choices made by Democrats and Republicans alike.

The bailouts resurrected high finance and the inequality it inevitably spawns. Instead of putting our foot back on the neck of finance, we’re talking about slashing social programs. Rather than dramatically increasing taxes on the super-rich through a wealth tax, we’re debating how to slash Social Security and Medicare benefits.

The U.S. policy (includes tax policy, financial deregulation, trade policy, anti-labor policy, and much more.) for the past 30 years has been aggressively dedicated to shifting income share away from the poor and middle class and into the pockets of the already rich.

During an era in which the rich were getting richer anyway, we deliberately set out to reduce their tax burdens so that they could become even richer.

In 2010, the top hedge fund manager earned as much in one HOUR as the average (median) family earned in 47 YEARS.

The top 25 hedge fund managers in 2010 earned as much as 658,000 entry level teachers.

In 1970 the top 100 CEOs made $40 for every dollar earned by the average worker. By 2006, the CEOs received $1,723 for every worker dollar.

As Citizens for Tax Justice and USPIRG reported, 280 large and profitable corporations contributed $216 million to Congressional campaigns over four election cycles and got nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars in tax breaks.

That’s a terrific investment for them – a return of more than a thousand to one – but it’s a bad deal for the American people.

The official, or “statutory,” corporate tax rate is 35 percent. But the actual rate paid by American corporations is only 12 percent, less than that paid by many middle-class Americans.

In fact, US Corporations pay less tax as a percentage of the GDP than corporations in Canada. Or Japan, South Korea, Norway, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Israel, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, and Italy.

(Source: OECD StatsExtract interactive database.)

Tax breaks for Exxon Mobil: $4.1 billion between 2008 and 2010. The company paid no taxes at all in 2009.

In 2010, corporate giant GE made a profit of $14.2 billion but it paid not a penny in taxes because the bulk of those profits, some $9 billion, were offshore. In fact, GE got a $3.2 billion tax benefit.

The 10 most profitable U.S. companies paid an average federal tax rate of just 9 percent last year. The group includes heavyweights Exxon Mobil, Apple, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase and General Electric.

Trump’s tax cuts: massive cuts for the 1%

Trump’s tax cuts will exacerbate America’s already chronic income inequality. Trump’s “tax reform” and deregulation do not benefit the public. They only benefit big companies that can afford high-priced lobbyists.

Contrary to the promised “peace dividend,” the U.S. has maintained its military arsenal and used it to enforce its agenda with successive and intensifying military interventions–from the use of conventional troops in Iraq, to “humanitarian intervention” in Haiti, to Obama’s drone wars in Central Asia.

Inequality in America grows more extreme each day. Even the great financial crash didn’t derail this trend. The richest 400 Americans, for example, increased their wealth by 54 percent between 2005 and 2010, while the median middle-class family saw its wealth decline by 35 percent.

“The Trump tax plan is heavily, heavily, skewed to the most wealthy, who receive huge savings,” said Lily Batchelder, a law professor and tax expert at New York University. “At the same time, millions of low-income families – particularly single-parent households – will see an increase.”

32% of African American families will see a tax increase compared with 19% of whites, this is mostly due to African American families being more likely to share the burden of childcare within the family and hence not benefit as much from Trump childcare credits.

While the poor will see tax increases, the Tax Policy Center research said the rich will receive big tax cuts that get even bigger as you work up the income scale. The top 20% of earners receive an average annual tax cut of $16,660 compared with an overall average cut of $2,940.

The richest 1% collect 47% of all the tax cuts – an average saving of $214,000.

The tax savings of the super-rich will increase further in future, with the 0.1%’s estimated 2025 tax bill to fall by $1.5m.

“Listening to Trump’s rhetoric, most Americans probably don’t realize at all the impact of Trump’s tax cuts,” Matt Gardner, a senior fellow at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) said. “Any way you slice it, the very best-off Americans will be the only beneficiaries.

Deficits are going much higher—and this time, there’s no recession. In fact, the economy’s in good shape. Still, the tax cuts signed by President Trump at the end of 2017, along with a big new boost in military and domestic spending, will send annual deficits soaring to close to $1 trillion in 2018, and probably beyond $1 trillion in 2019 and 2020.

Rising federal debt threatens to choke economic growth within a decade, beginning a death spiral that will sap revenue from government programs even as demands grow, forcing the government to borrow even more, Congress‘ budget watchdog said in a frightening report.

The CBO said federal debt is poised to rise to record levels when measured against the size of the U.S. economy, matching the amount accrued at the end of World War II. But the government quickly paid off that debt and entered decades of prosperity, whereas the current pace suggests unsustainable debt levels for the foreseeable future.

On a per capital basis, the national debt amounted to $19,948 per person in 2000, and $43,733 in 2010. By 2019, it will be around $68,000 per person.

We’ve allowed our country to be taken from us, for the benefit of the few and the total decimation of the vast many.

As things stand now, with federal taxes, state taxes, county tax, sales tax, property taxes, car tax, gas tax, phone taxes, etc. “They” take 4 months of our wages every year in taxes. For that kind of money we should have the best schools on the planet, right? But every year 30 to 50% of our kids get left behind. Let me repeat, taxes take 4 months of your wages away from you every year. That’s true under Republicans or Democrats!

It really doesn’t matter who wins in November because our government is no longer “of the people, for the people, by the people” and neither candidate plans to return our rights to us. Our rights were not won because some Congressmen or woman wrote them down in a law. Our rights were won by struggle. And we can only regain our rights and our country through struggle.

We can not vote ourselves out of this mess. Only militant, 24/7 wide-spread non-violent resistance can save liberty and freedom from the dystopia that Washington has created in order that a handful of mega-billionaires can enjoy lording over the planet.

Speak Truth to Power. Join the Fight. Spread the Word.

One of the most effective ways to take action is to raise awareness around these issues. And it won’t cost you a dime. Simply re post this link into your social media accounts, leave in comments and email the link to your friends.

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Trump’s War on the Environment

By Christopher R Rice

President Trump released a statement on Earth Day declaring that his administration is committed to maintaining his personal wealth at the expense of the environment.

“My Administration is committed to keeping our air and water polluted, to giving away our forests, lakes, and open spaces to Big Oil and to killing off those pesky endangered species,” the statement read.

The Environmental Protection Agency deregulated some major sources of toxic air pollution, which could have huge implications for public health.

Under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act, the EPA is required to regulate facilities that emit one or more of 189 hazardous air toxics like benzene, dioxin, and lead that cause health problems such as cancer and birth defects.

“The possibility seems very likely that some [downgraded] sources could actually increase their emissions as long as they don’t hit the cap,” said Janice Nolen, assistant vice president for national policy at the American Lung Association, who added that changing these rules has removed an important tool for the public to enforce air quality laws.

In a press release, Bill Wehrum, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, said the policy was intended to “reduce regulatory burden for industries and the states.”

Changing the “once in, always in” rule has been a long-running project for the EPA’s Wehrum.

He previously spent six years in the EPA’s air office under President George W. Bush. In between his previous and current government posts, Wehrum represented clients including the American Petroleum Institute, the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, the American Chemistry Council, and the Utility Air Regulatory Group, many of which wanted to end the “once in, always in” rule.

Senate Republicans sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt asking repeal the air pollution policy, and Wehrum, who rejoined the EPA in November, obliged.

NYTimes: Since taking office, President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration, with help from the Congress, has often targeted environmental rules it sees as overly burdensome to the fossil fuel industry.

To date, the Trump administration has sought to reverse more than 70 environmental rules, according to a New York Times analysis, based on research from Harvard Law School’s Environmental Regulation Rollback Tracker, Columbia Law School’s Climate Tracker and other sources.

The Environmental Protection Agency has been involved in more than a third of the policy reversals identified by The Times. Scott Pruitt, the head of the E.P.A. who spearheaded the administration’s agenda of environmental deregulation, resigned after facing a number of ethics scandals. Andrew Wheeler, the new acting chief of the agency, is a former coal lobbyist who also wants to roll back environmental regulations.

All told, the Trump administration’s environmental rollbacks could lead to at least 80,000 extra deaths per decade and cause respiratory problems for more than one million people, according to a recent analysis conducted by researchers from Harvard University. That number, however, is likely to be “a major underestimate of the global public health impact,” said Francesca Dominici, a professor of biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health.

BusinessInsider: Trump signed a bill repealing an Obama-era regulation that prevented coal mining companies from dumping debris and toxic waste into streams and rivers

Trump appointed Scott Pruitt, who said that carbon dioxide is not a primary contributor to climate change, to head up the Environmental Protection Agency

The Trump administration refused to ban a common pesticide used in food that has been shows to affect the development of children’s brains

The White House’s budget proposal slashed funding for federal programs aimed at environmental protection, like the EPA

Trump canceled a requirement for oil and gas companies to report methane emissions.

Loosened a Clinton-era rule designed to limit toxic emissions from major industrial polluters.

Trump revoked a 2015 rule that prohibited the use of hydrofluorocarbons – powerful greenhouse gases – as a replacement for ozone-depleting substances.

Changed rules for oil and gas facilities to allow methane leaks to go unrepaired during unscheduled or emergency shutdowns, and proposed withdrawing guidlines that reduce emissions from existing sources.

Trump lifted a freeze on new coal leases on public lands.

Trump rescinded water pollution regulations for fracking on federal and Indian lands.

Trump withdrew a requirement that Gulf oil rig owners prove they can cover the costs of removing rigs once they have stopped producing.

Trump opened up drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In April 2018, the Interior Department announced it was taking steps to prepare for a lease sale in the refuge.

Trump wants to make it easier to drill in national parks. Trump ordered review of regulations on oil and gas drilling in national parks where mineral rights are privately owned.

Trump proposed changes to regulations for oil well control and blowout prevention systems implemented after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.

Trump recommended shrinking or opening to commercial fishing three marine protected areas.

Trump revoked directive for federal agencies to cut impacts on water, wildlife, land and other natural resources of development projects.

Trump revoked a 2016 order protecting the northern Bering Sea region in Alaska.

Trump said that his executive order reversed Obama’s “Arctic leasing ban.” It directed the Interior Department to reconsider actions by Obama that put large swaths of the Arctic Ocean off limits to oil drilling. The tribes say the Obama order was prompted to address the effects of climate change and increased shipping.

AnchorageDailyNews: “Everything we have worked for has pretty much gone out the window,” said Frank Oxereok, from Wales and an elder from the group, in the statement. “Indigenous people rely on resources in areas that we live.”

Oxereok singled out Murkowski, chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, for particular criticism.

“This may destroy our way of life and I’m really disappointed in Lisa Murkowski, who was standing next to the president when he signed this order,” he said.

Trump removed a number of species from the endangered list (including the Yellowstone grizzly bear.)

Trump withdrew proposed limits on endangered marine mammals and sea turtles unintentionally caught by fishing nets on the West Coast.

Trump proposed elimination of two programs limiting children’s exposure to lead paint, which is known to damage brain and nervous system development.

Trump withdrew a proposed rule reducing pollutants, including air pollution, at sewage treatment plants.

Trump suspended a rule, known as Waters of the United States, that protected tributaries and wetlands under the Clean Water Act.

Trump reversed restrictions on the sale of plastic water bottles in national parks designed to cut down on litter despite a Park Service report that the effort worked.

Reuters: Environmental groups sued the Trump administration on Wednesday challenging moves they say weaken protections for rivers, wetlands and other waterways.

The actions follow an executive order by President Donald Trump in February 2017 that directed the Environmental Protection Agency to work toward rescinding a clean water rule.

“This is yet another gift by the Trump administration to big agribusiness operations, allowing more agricultural pollutants on our food and in our environment,” Adam Keats, a senior attorney at the Center for Food Safety, said in a statement online.

“The EPA’s mission use to be to protect public health and the environment, but under Trump the EPA’s new mission is to protect corporate earnings. It’s very concerning to see.”

Trump signed a bill repealing an anti-corruption rule that required energy companies to disclose payments to foreign governments.

Trump signed an unusual act of Congress rolling back a regulation to protect streams from mining pollution, President Donald Trump made good on his promise to ease up on coal mining.

The repeal will mean more greenhouse gas pollution from burning coal. It’s also bad news for scores of little-known imperiled species, such as nearly 50 types of freshwater mussels that live in waters affected by mining.

As with so many regulations, the rules being overturned are costly to industry but have far-reaching environmental benefits.

One of Bernhardt’s recent papers found that in southern West Virginia alone, coal companies had blasted apart more than 1.5 cubic miles of bedrock and dumped it into 1,544 valleys. An earlier study found that by 2005, 5 percent of southern West Virginia’s land surface had been consumed by mines while 6 percent of its streams had been buried in “valley fill.”

The debris leaches heavy metals and minerals that elevate the water’s salinity for miles downstream.

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Mexican man, 92, attacked in CA by woman who told him ‘go back to your country,’ witness says

By CNN

Authorities are searching for multiple suspects following an attack on a 92-year-old man in South Los Angeles last week that a witness said was racially charged.

Rodolfo Rodriguez, a Mexican national who was visiting family, said he was attacked as he was taking a walk on the Fourth of July.

Through a translator he said he was “just walking to the park” when he brushed by a woman with her young daughter.

“He accidentally tapped the little girl by accident when he was walking,” past them, the translator said.

Then the woman attacked him with a concrete block.

“She just tossed him to the floor and she started beating him,” the translator said.

Rodriguez said a bystander photographed the attack with her phone and drew the woman’s attention.

She then threw the block at her.

“If it wasn’t for that lady that helped him, she would’ve probably killed him,” the translator said.

The witness spoke to KCBS in L.A. and said she asked the woman why she attacked the man.

“When I take the picture, she said, ‘Oh, he tried to touch my girl,’” she said. “I saw everything, this is a lie.”

She added that she heard the woman saying “go back to your country” to Rodriguez.

Rodriguez suffered a broken jaw, two broken ribs and broken cheek bones.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said there were possibly three to four other men who joined in the attack.

The sheriff’s office is reviewing the cellphone images.

Copyright 2018 CNN. All rights reserved.

Laquisha Jones was arrested Tuesday night and charged with assault with a deadly weapon in the brutal mob attack on 92-year-old Rodolfo Rodriguez, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Jones is being held on $250,000 bail.

Authorities are still searching for four other assailants allegedly involved in the beating of Rodriguez, who is recovering from bruised ribs, a broken cheekbone, and face and head injuries, according to KTLA.

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