What We’re Watching

In no particular order and with no ranking of importance as we see it: Global seismic and geothermal activity. Are the events linked and if so will activity increase? Japanese monetary policy. Will Abenomics finally implode and take the Japanese bond market with it? The US presidential race. What happens with and around Trump may Continue reading »

Tracking Canadian House Prices: July 2016

This article uses data on Canadian house prices taken from: Teranet – National Bank National Composite House Price Index ™ unless otherwise noted. The index is published monthly on or slightly after the 12th of each month at www.housepriceindex.ca. The 6-city index includes Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa-Gatineau, Montréal, and Halifax, while the 11-city index adds Victoria, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Hamilton, and Québec City.

As the August 12, 2016 Teranet newsletter (Communiqués tab) summarizes (note that this link is for the current issue only) (emphasis added):

In July, the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price Index™ was up 2.0% from the previous month, the second largest July increase since the Index series began in 1999. The advance was not very broad-based; prices were up in only seven of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed. Gains exceeded that of the countrywide index in the four markets that have been driving it in recent months: Victoria (3.8%), Toronto (3.1%), Hamilton (2.4%) and Vancouver (2.3%). Gains were also noteworthy in Ottawa-Gatineau (1.7%), Winnipeg (1.6%) and Montreal (0.6%). Prices were flat in Edmonton and down from the month before in Calgary (-0.1%), Halifax (-0.4%) and Quebec City (-1.6%). The Quebec City drop cancelled the 1.7% advance of the previous month. For Vancouver it was the 18th consecutive month without a decline, with a new record set in each month. For Toronto it was the 14th rise in 15 months, with new records in each of the last six months. Prices have set records in each of the last five months in Hamilton, in each of the last three months in Victoria and in the last two months in Winnipeg, after seven consecutive monthly rises in that market. In Montreal, five consecutive monthly rises have taken prices above their previous peak of July 2014.

With the good transit link between Toronto and Hamilton and the high house prices in Toronto we are not surprised to see explosive growth in the Hamilton market.

The American Empire: The CIA As Agent of Clandestine Aggression

In this essay we look at the history of the CIA, not for its intelligence-gathering directive  but for its clandestine operations in subverting foreign governments. Much has been written on this topic so our intention is to provide enough background to readers to allow them to assess the likelihood of CIA involvement in current and future global insurrections.

The Legislative Basis of the CIA

The CIA was created by the National Security Act of 1947 for “the purpose of coordinating the intelligence activities of the several Government departments and agencies”, specifically, from section 102 (d), emphasis added[1]:

(1) to advise the National Security Council [NSC] in matters concerning such intelligence activities of the Government departments and agencies as relate to national security;
(2) to make recommendations … for the coordination of such intelligence activities … ;
(3) to correlate and evaluate intelligence … and provide for the appropriate dissemination of such intelligence … : PROVIDED, That the Agency shall have no police, subpoena, law-enforcement powers, or internal-security functions: PROVIDED FURTHER, That the departments and other agencies of the Government shall continue to collect, evaluate, correlate, and disseminate departmental intelligence … ;
(4) to perform, for the benefit of the existing intelligence agencies, such additional services of common concern as the National Security council determines can be more efficiently accomplished centrally;
(5) to perform such other functions and duties related to intelligence affecting the national security as the National Security Council may from time to time direct.

In short, thew CIA was created to collect, evaluate, correlate, and disseminate departmental intelligence to the NSC. Points 4 and 5 allow for unspecified other activities as may be delegated by the NSC.

The Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949 [2] details the administration of the CIA but does not discuss authorized activities.

The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 in section 104A (d) [3] reiterates the responsibilities of the Director of the CIA as laid out in the 1947 act as to

collect … correlate … evaluate … and provide appropriate dissemination of …
intelligence; perform such other functions and duties related to intelligence affecting the national security as the President or the Director of National Intelligence may direct.

Note that the president has now been given authority to specify the CIA operations. It further instructs the

Secretary of Defense and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, shall develop joint procedures to be used by the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency to improve the coordination and deconfliction of operations that involve elements of both

improve communication and coordination in the planning, execution, and sustainment of operations …[3]

This reference to joint operations with the DOD may be significant in the field.

Overall, the agency was created as a foreign intelligence gathering agency. If there is any legislative basis for subversion of foreign governments through coups, assassinations, and the provision of intelligence and material support to organizations acting subversively in foreign countries, I haven’t found it.

Off the Reservation?

While one might think, given the above background, that the CIA is strictly an intelligence gathering and processing entity, it has a much darker side. This section lists CIA operations that have been identified that have had significant geopolitical impact. How big the skeleton closet is we may never know.

As we go through, we will try and identify at what level these ‘other functions and duties’ are sanctioned.

The Coup in Iran in 1953

In August, 1953, the CIA organized operation TPAJAX, a military coup against the government of Iran over the issue of state control of Iranian oil and the possibility of a tilt towards the USSR.

As a declassified CIA document says:

the military coup …  was carried out under CIA direction as an act of U.S. foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest level of government[7].

The coup was carried out by the U.S. administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower in a covert action advocated by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, and implemented under the supervision of his brother Allen Dulles, the Director of Central Intelligence.[82]

It was a last resort after all normal rational methods of international communication and commerce had failed. The document states that Prime Minister Mohammad Mosadeq

had become so committed to the ideals of nationalism that he did things that could not have helped his people … [1]

The Americans believed that Mosadeq’s actions could not have conceivably helped helped his people. As well,

the professional politicians of the British government … believed, with good reason, that cheap  oil for Britain, and high profits for the [Anglo Iranian Oil] company were vital to their national interests.

When the British couldn’t get their way they were prepared to wait until the Iranians, needing money, came back to the table. The U.S., however, was afraid that the Iranians would turn to the USSR.

So the motivation behind the coup was to further American strategic interests and British economic interests with a token reference to assumed Iranian interests.

The Methodologies of Subversion

Author Nicolas J.S. Davies  gives extensive descriptions of three techniques for fomenting violence for overthrowing foreign governments. These are[11]:

  1. Creating and strengthening opposition forces;
  2. Violent street demonstrations; and
  3. The coup d’etat.

 

References

  1. National Security Act of 1947. Google. July, 1947.
  2. Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949. Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
  3. Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
  4. History of the Central Intelligence Agency. Wikipedia.
  5. Central Intelligence Agency. Wikipedia.
  6. 1953 Iranian coup d’état. Wikipedia with an extensive reference list.
  7. Declassified CIA document. Source not established.
  8. “Review of All the Shah’s Men by CIA staff historian David S. Robarge”. Archived from the original on 22 June 2009. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
  9. 35 countries where the U.S. has supported fascists, drug lords and terrorists,
  10. Mapped: The 7 Governments the U.S. Has Overthrown. J. Dana Stuster
  11. America’s Coup Machine: Destroying Democracy Since 1953. Nicolas J.S. Davies, AlterNet, April 8, 2014.
  12. Oliver Stone: CIA Fingerprints All Over Ukraine Coup. Daniel McAdams, Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, Thursday January
  13. Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II William Blum, July, 1995.

WIDENING DIPLOMATIC HORIZONS FOR ISRAEL

***The History of the State of Israel: A Brief Version.

In this essay,Paul’s updates Israel’s options in the Middle east in light of recent geopolitical developments. We present this essay reprinted by permission of Paul and from The Bayview Review. See the links at the end for direct access to the rest of Paul’s work.

In May of 1948 the newly-proclaimed State of Israel was forced to defend its right to life as its neighbours, the five Arab nations of that time, assisted by volunteer legions from around the Muslim world, invaded it with the purpose of strangling it in its cradle.

With the exception of Egypt, the Arab nations of that day were not significantly older than Israel was. They had come into the world in consequence of the withdrawal of Britain and France from the responsibilities of imperialism. Egypt had of course been around for a very long time; but the last King of Egypt (does anyone here remember King Farouk?) lost the last few shreds of his dignity when his armed forces failed to crush the Jewish state and he was quickly overthrown (1952.) As for the other Arab nations, the Kingdoms of Iraq, Jordan and Syria,  all had been in effect colonies of either Britain or France until granted independence:  Iraq in 1932, Syria in 1945, Jordan (then Transjordan) and Lebanon in 1946.

ISRAEL’S CAUSE IS THE CAUSE OF CIVILIZATION

Viewing the history of Israel, Paul notes the contrast between the idealism that created the state and the widespread antisemitism that imbues western academia, the MSM and the UN. We present this essay reprinted by permission of Paul and from The Bayview Review. See the links at the end for direct access to the rest of Paul’s work.

The Creation of the Modern State of Israel.

Israel was a brand plucked by the United Nation General Assembly from the wreckage left behind by Europe’s second failed suicide. CF

The decision to Partition the Palestine Mandate, carried by a two-thirds majority of the members of the United Nations General Assembly (November 29, 1947), was in fact the first matter of substantial geopolitical significance made by the brand new organization that called itself “The Parliament of Mankind.”Realistically speaking it was made possible because a commanding portion of the leadership of the United Nations was held, in those earliest days, by nations of the West, most of them democracies, and the most important of these ribs-out-of the side of the British Empire.

THE ERADICATION OF WESTERN CIV AND THE TRIUMPH OF MINDFULNESS.

Paul discusses the dumbing down of university arts curricula and the eradication of Christian values. We present this essay reprinted by permission of Paul and from The Bayview Review. See the links at the end for direct access to the rest of Paul’s work.

How Mindfulness  Replaced Christian Faith.

Up until about sixty years ago, all Universities in our part of the world regarded themselves as the ultimate custodians of the best parts of our intellectual tradition. Another way of saying the same thing was that they embodied Western Civilization. 

One way in  which most of them discharged their responsibility (or so they thought) was to impose a required core curriculum, in which a fixed component was the course in History of Western Civilization.

AUTONOMOUS ASSYRIA: The Only Possible Solution to the Arab World’s Terminal Disorder.

WHY THE MIDDLE EAST IS FLYING APART

In this essay Paul returns to the topic of the Middle east. We present this essay reprinted by permission of Paul and from The Bayview Review. See the links at the end for direct access to the rest of Paul’s work.

Who can doubt that the entire Middle East is getting closer every day to the brink of chaos?

The Syrian Arab Republic. .

Inevitably, some parts of the Middle East are closer to that day than others. But to get some sense of how rapidly things move from apathy to chaos in that region, we recall that when, back in December 2010, the presenters on global television news-shows discovered  the arrival of the Arab Spring,  all the experts to whom they turned agreed that the most secure regime in the region was that of the Bashir al-Assad in Syria. American governments going back at least to Nixon and including the current Obama government had publicly declared their confidence that the Assad regime was making a deliberate and cautious transition to democracy – very soon. Even as the first signs of “Spring” were appearing in Damascus, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a statement of March 27, 2011, expressed agreement with “many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months [and] have said they believe he[Bashir al-Assad] is a reformer.” (“The Impending Implosion of Syria,” August 12, 2012.)

The Japanese Economy: Harikari in Slow Motion

Motivated by three recent articles by Zero Hedge and Mike Shedlock: In Shocking Finding, The Bank Of Japan Is Now A Top 10 Holder In 90% Of Japanese Stocks, Bank of Japan Owns Over Half of Japanese ETFs; Why Stop There?, and Bank of Japan Corners 33% of Bond Market: All Japanese Bonds, 40 Years and Below, Yield 0.3% or Less, we decided to take a closer look at the Bank of Japan (BoJ), particularly its balance sheet.

There is widespread agreement that this will end badly. No one, however, has any idea whether it blows up this month, this year or whenever. In this article, we explain the the nature of the problem and possible signs of the tipping point being reached. When it does blow, the shock waves will cascade through all economies.

What We’re Watching

In no particular order and with no ranking of importance as we see it:

  1. Global seismic and geothermal activity. Are the events linked and if so will activity increase?
  2. Japanese monetary policy. Will Abenomics finally implode and take the Japanese bond market with it?
  3. The US presidential race. What happens with and around Trump may be pivotal.
  4. Economic themes. NIRP, the cashless society, the inflation debate and bail-ins.

The Ontario Jobs Picture in March: Treading Water – Sharks Nibbling

This month we change our reporting format to more of a streamlined summary. For data we use the Ontario labour market component  from Statistics Canada: CANSIM Table 282-0087, Labour force survey estimates (LFS), by sex and age group, seasonally adjusted and unadjusted monthly, and CANSIM Table 282-0088, Labour force survey estimates (LFS), employment by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), seasonally adjusted and unadjusted.

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