Wednesday, June 1, 2016

June 1, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web


Firearms:
Below is a statement was prepared the FBI Training Division to answer those questions and was intended for dissemination to law enforcement agencies. It was not classified Law Enforcement Sensitive and has spread to civilians. I have confirmed its origin and feel that its release poses no threat to law enforcement while providing enlightening science, paid for by taxpayer dollars, to the public.


Other Stuff:
For decades, the story of Saudi Arabia recycling petrodollars, i.e., funding the US deficit by buying US Treasuries with proceeds of its crude oil sales (mostly to the US), while the US sweetened the deal by providing the Saudis with military equipment and supplies, remained entirely in the conspiracy realm, with no confirmation or official statement from the US Treasury department.

    Now, that particular "theory" becomes the latest fact, thanks to a fascinating story by Bloomberg which gives the background and details of secret meeting between then-US Treasury secretary William Simon and his deputy, Gerry Parsky, and members of the Saudi ruling elite, and lays out the history of how the petrodollar was born.
      Many Venezuelans trapped in lines these days come from poor, crime-ridden districts and travel vast distances to better-stocked markets in safer areas, a sensible precaution in a nation with a homicide rate among the highest in the world.
        One of the planet’s great oil producers is now unable to pay for basic commodities, like milk, flour and rice, which are mostly imported, triggering the severe shortages. Inflation next year is projected to hit 1,200%.
          With the country’s largest-denomination note, the 100-bolivar bill, now worth about 10 U.S. cents on the free market, many Venezuelans must make daily trips to the bank just to have some carrying cash. The predictable result: prolonged lines at ATMs.
            By the second millennium BC, civilisation had taken hold throughout the eastern Mediterranean. The Egyptian New Kingdom coexisted with the Hittites of central Anatolia and the Mycenaeans of mainland Greece, among others.
              In little more than a single generation, they had all collapsed. Was the culprit climate change? Some sort of earthquake storm? Social unrest? Archaeologists can’t seem to agree.
                Eberhard Zangger, head of international non-profit, Luwian Studies, based in Zurich, Switzerland, says that’s because one crucial piece of the puzzle is missing. Another powerful civilisation in western Anatolia played a crucial role in the downfall.
                  That civilization was called the Luwians, who lived in western Anatolia. The article continues:
                    We know from Hittite texts that the Luwian kingdoms sometimes formed coalitions powerful enough to attack the Hittite empire. Zangger thinks that 3200 years ago the Luwians did just that and destroyed the Hittite Empire (see map, above).
                      Shortly after the demise of the Hittites, Egyptian texts document an attack force they termed the “Sea People”. Zangger says it makes sense to view these Sea People as the Luwians, continuing their campaign for wealth and power and, in the process, weakening and destabilising the Egyptian New Kingdom.
                        The Mycenaeans, perhaps anticipating an attack on their territory, formed a grand coalition of their own, says Zangger. They sailed across the Aegean and attacked the Luwians, bringing down their civilisation and destroying its key cities like Troy – events immortalised in Homer’s Iliad.
                          On returning to Greece, however, and in the sudden absence of any other threat, Zangger believes the Mycenaeans squabbled and fell into civil war – events hinted at in Homer’s Odyssey. Their civilisation was the last in the area to collapse.
                          My reading on the subject indicates a more complicated story than just a single warlike race. The Minoan civilization had struggled after the eruption at Thera, with competing religions arising, suggesting internal dissent and social upheaval. Records from Egypt suggest that invasion by the "sea peoples" were prior to the general collapse of civilizations. (It should be noted that Egypt didn't collapse, per se, but was permanently weakened). There is also evidence that there were internal revolts in other of the Bronze Age civilizations. I've noted that the onset of the collapse may have been about the same time as the Exodus, which suggests that the sudden loss of hundreds of thousands of slaves may have contributed to the overall collapse.
                           (Update: 6/2/2016: corrected typographical error)

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