Saturday, November 29, 2014

Ukraine Punisher Commanders in DC Now to Ask Warren and McCain for More Guns | OpEdNews

The money they appropriate will go directly into the murder of innocent people, torture, and rape.


Within a few days the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is going to meet with Ukraine's best and brightest. They are coming to ask for money, weapons, and start lobbying for direct intervention. The thought that the halls of the US Congress can be sullied with this kind of people treading on its floors is beyond my imagination. You don't need to care about Ukraine on this issue. American moral authority and the well being (electability) of some good Congressmen that only hear the propaganda might be at stake. Please take the time to read through and if this is not acceptable tell your Senator why.

A few days ago Vadim Troyan, a Battalion Azov deputy commander was appointed Kiev Oblast(Region) Police Chief. Azov Battalion is one of the punisher battalions responsible for rape, kidnapping, and murder of civilians across Donbass. Vadim Troyan has earned some of Ukraine's highest medals in the process.

At their base city of Mariupol just during the month of October 2014 the police department had to report over 200 rapes committed by Azov and the Ukrainian National Guard in a public meeting held at the city police department. According to local residents in Mariupol which is a city of over 500,000; people are constantly going missing.

Young girls are being dragged away in broad daylight and some are never seen again. Azov battalion is taking men off the street that are never returned. In the last week of October twenty people were reported missing.

What is Azov Battalion

Interviewed Azov soldier admits torture on video english subs

Interviewed by Foreign Policy Magazine, Azov Battalion describe themselves as "people with a European identity fighting with Sovietness. But the 'European identity' to which Oleg Odnorozhenko (Azov ideologist) aspires is one estranged from mainstream European and American liberalism. The Azov Battalion, whose emblem also includes the 'Black Sun' occult symbol used by the Nazi SS, was founded by Andriy Biletsky, head of the neo-Nazi groups Social-National Assembly and Patriots of Ukraine."

Complete story at - Article: Ukraine Punisher Commanders in DC Now to Ask Warren and McCain for More Guns | OpEdNews

How the West is boosting Putin’s popularity in Russia. | Vera Graziadei

When a wave of protests started in Russia in response to the 2011 legislative election process, dissident Alexey Navalny, along with many other protesters, argued that ‘in a fair election Putin would be defeated.’ Latest poll findings from the independent Levada Centre prove that if ‘a fair election’ was held today, Putin would come out an indisputable winner. Public support for Putin’s political actions has reached 88%, a stratospheric percentage, when compared to 48% of Americans that approve of Obama’s job performance and meagre 29% of Brits that approve of Cameron-Clegg coalition. The chances of the “Snow Revolution” reviving any time soon are slim, as Russians’ propensity to protest has gone down to a historic low, only comparable to 2000, when Putin first came to power. If things continue like this, Ben Judah might have to re-write the unhappy ending of his romance story “How Russia fell in and out of love with Vladimir Putin” into a happy one.

To many westerners, who are used to seeing Putin either airbrushed with Hitler’s moustache or with make-up on against a rainbow backdrop, these Levada poll results will be confusing, if not alarming. There is only one thing, which is worse than an evil dictator – it’s an evil dictator, who’s backed up by his nation’s majority. And even worse still – an evil dictator, backed up by a majority, who are brain-washed by a ‘zombie-box‘, controlled by that dictator. In case you are panicking, not knowing how to protect yourself against this Demon, who represses at home and aggresses abroad, don’t worry – George Soros has thought of a strategy on your behalf: “All available (EU) resources ought to be put to work in the war effort (in Ukraine) even if that involves running up budget deficits”. Needless to say, George didn’t offer to chip in himself, but we should all tighten our austerity belts, unless we want to see Russian armies marching through Ukraine and all the way to Warsaw and beyond.

By now Russian people must be used to all the open calls to war, hysteria, hypocrisy and double standards applied to their country by western politicians and media. Even before the Ukrainian war started, Russia was bashed for gay rights, following its controversial law on gay propaganda to minors , culminating with major world leaders snubbing the Winter Olympics altogether. Barak Obama was one of the leaders who refused to come to Sochi, explaining: “I have no patience for countries that try to treat gays or lesbians or transgender persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them.” This impatience clearly doesn’t apply to the 13 US states that have “Crimes Against Nature” statute, outlawing sodomy between consenting adults. Nor does it prevent the US president from continuing their ‘long history of friendship” between Washington and Saudi Arabia, where homosexuals are executed.

These hypocrisies and double standards must be truly frustrating for Russian people to witness. Russia is not amongst the ten countries, where homosexuality may be punished by death, like Qatar, where despite the truly draconian law on gays, the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be held. Homosexuality is not banned in Russia like it is in 79 countries worldwide, including 40 commonwealth countries with whom the West is more than happy to deal with. Yes, Russian society is conservative and favours ‘traditional’ family values, but so are most other countries in the former Soviet bloc, where homophobia is as much of an issue, but which are not criticised for it as much.

For example, US and EU-backed Kiev has recently seen an attack against the gay club Pomada (Lisptick), the oldest movie theatre Zhovten went up in flames during a LGBT film screening, while the Minister of Internal Affairs Avakov declared that his party “People’s Front” will only enter into coalition with ‘democracy forces, not queer ones.’ Western politicians and media are turning a blind eye to these statements and attacks, as the Ukraine with their US-puppet government is their ally, but if similar events occurred in Russia, the western media would instantly use these news as a stick for bashing.

Complete story at - How the West is boosting Putin’s popularity in Russia. | Vera Graziadei

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Netherlands Refuses To Divulge Secret MH17 Deal | DeepResource

In Dutch parliament several attempts by opposition parties to get access to the contents of a secret deal between amongst others, the Dutch government, Ukraine and the MH17 international investigation team, have failed. The Dutch government refuses to release information concerning 17 secret documents:


Fake arguments used: privacy of civil servants named in the documents, protecting investigation techniques and tactics as well as stimulating the free flow of sensitive information between the parties involved.

To add insult to injury, the Malayan ambassador on Dutch television (Nieuwsuur) has expressed his dismay yesterday, that his country was not invited to participate in the investigation. Since it was a Malayan airliner that was shot down, Malaysia is a primary stake-holder, but unfortunately not a vassal of the US, unlike those other countries that were invited: Holland, Belgium, Australia and Ukraine (the main suspect). And even the OSCE has criticized the way the Dutch government is handling the MH17 case.

The Netherlands is listed #8 on the global corruption index (#1 = least corrupt). The obvious attempt to cover up the murder of nearly 200 of its own citizens, just because the US insists for reasons of geopolitical opportunism, namely to lift the Ukraine unhindered from the Russian into the Western sphere of influence, should be sufficient reason to kick that country (the Netherlands) a few notches down that ranking. Add the Netherlands to the list of banana-republics. That’s what you get when you hang out with the wrong friends.

As said several times before, the West has no proof that Russian separatists did it, otherwise it would have been shouted from the rooftops. Now they follow plan B: covering the crime up with delay tactics.

Complete story at - Netherlands Refuses To Divulge Secret MH17 Deal | DeepResource

You Won't Believe Which Countries Have The Highest Percentage Of Female Executives

There’s certainly a lot of talk about female leaders going on. But perhaps the most unexpected news about women CEOs today isn’t about how much these women make, but rather where they work.

In Grant Thornton’s newly released International Business Report, the accounting firm surveyed about 6,600 private companies in 45 countries to determine where the most women are in senior management positions. The results were unexpected.

The places topping the list with the most females in charge are countries like Russia, Indonesia, Latvia and the Philippines, where women comprised over 40 percent of those in senior-level positions.

Russia takes home the gold for the highest proportion of women in these high-level job titles, with 43 percent. Japan lags in last with an embarrassing nine percent.

Complete story at - You Won't Believe Which Countries Have The Highest Percentage Of Female Executives

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Russian news: Ukraine Shows Signs of Accepting Novorussia As an Independent Neighbor - Russia Insider

With hopes fading following unauthorised elections on November 2 that Ukraine's eastern Donbass region could be reintegrated into Ukraine, fears are rising in Kyiv that it instead could serve as a bridgehead for further Russian and rebel incursions.

"We are capable of protecting our state," Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko told the national security and defence council at an emergency session in the evening of November 4. The security council convened in response to elections staged by rebels controlling Ukraine's eastern Donbass region that many in Kyiv fear is another step in the rebel-held region's move to Moscow's orbit.

Losing Donbass may be the least of Kyiv's worries: together with a reported spike in Russian military activity near the border with and in Ukraine, the unrecognized elections prompted fears that Donbass could become a bridgehead for new Russia aggression against Ukraine.

Poroshenko gave orders to the military top brass to prepare for the worst. "Several new units have already been formed to repel possible attacks in directions of Mariupol-Berdyansk, Kharkiv, area to the north of Luhansk and Dnipropetrovsk region," Poroshenko said, adding that three lines of fortifications around Donbass were currently under construction. "Provision of modern weapons systems and reconnaissance systems, as well as missile targeting systems has been quite effective," Poroshenko said.

Then in the small hours of November 5, Poroshenko signed a presidential decree detailing sweeping measures to strengthen Ukraine's defensive capacities, ranging from reintroducing military training in secondary schools, and increasing the share of defence spending in Ukraine's budget to 3%, to obtaining international security guarantees, along with a number of secret measures.

Complete story at - Russian news: Ukraine Shows Signs of Accepting Novorussia As an Independent Neighbor - Russia Insider

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Kiev Effectively Cedes East Ukraine to Separatists; Poroshenko Withdraws Hospital and School Funding, Bank Card Operations

Scorched Earth Policy

Last week, the government in Ukraine cut off pensions benefits to residents of rebel-held areas until such time as these areas return to Ukrainian control.

Yesterday, in yet another scorched-earth policy move, president Petro Poroshenko announced Ukraine Rebel Areas to Lose State Services.

Ukraine's president has ordered the withdrawal of all state services, including funding for hospitals and schools, from rebel-held areas.

Mr Poroshenko's ruling says all state companies and institutions should end their work in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions within a week.

It also says Ukraine's central bank is to close down all banking services - including card operations - in some areas within a month.

Initial Thoughts
  • Poroshenko just ceded major portions of Ukraine to rebels
  • Expect a run on ATMs
  • Russia will have to intervene for humanitarian reasons
  • Western Ukraine will have a difficult time getting needed coal from the East
Point number two is happening already.

Complete story at - Kiev Effectively Cedes East Ukraine to Separatists; Poroshenko Withdraws Hospital and School Funding, Bank Card Operations

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Propaganda? What Propaganda? Western Media Monopoly vs Alternative and Non-Western Media | Global Research

We have recently been hearing a lot about information wars, propaganda and bullhorns. The pitch of this kind of belligerent rhetoric has increased sharply since the advent of the western-induced crisis in Ukraine.

The mainstream media’s echo chamber claim about Russian media goes something like this: “Russian media is powerful and effective because it is well-funded propaganda.” Really? Having worked in Russian media for well over a decade, I observe it focussing on foreign audiences in a very different way: it challenges the West’s hegemonic grip on shaping and controlling the global media agenda.

Up until recently, western media outlets enjoyed near monopoly in defining the news agenda. It also worked in lockstep with the powers that be. Reading the op-ed pages of the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times one will quickly notice they closely mirror the foreign policies of western governments. It has been a cozy arrangement too. A pliant media whitewashed foreign policy adventurism. In return, major media outlets were given a front row seat to cover wars to be packaged as the West saving the world. This model worked reasonably well until the power of the Internet made itself felt, and until the financial crisis hit, failed wars were exposed, and new and alternative media began to emerge.

I am often asked why new outlets like RT are so popular with audiences around the world. There may be many reasons for this but the short answer is that they offer a refreshingly different perspective.

I believe it important to understand how western media beat the drum of war on behalf of George W. Bush. The echo chamber demonstrated it could be counted on to back acts of aggression around the world with impunity. How many people in media lost their jobs when lying about Bush’s Wars (or Obama’s war for that matter)? We are told to “get over Iraq.” But there is a strong sense today that western media lied to their audiences.

Complete story at - Propaganda? What Propaganda? Western Media Monopoly vs Alternative and Non-Western Media | Global Research

Subject is propaganda posters

Why Living in a Post-Bubble World Is No Fun - Washington's Blog

What do we do when the bubble economy cannot be reflated?

It is generally conceded that we are living in an era of Peak Everything: peak central bank omnipotence, peak powerless of the non-elites, peak wealth inequality, peak media-induced delusion, peak market-rigging, peak bogus official statistics, peak propaganda, peak bread and circuses, peak deception, peak distraction, peak sociopathology, peak central statism, peak debt, peak leverage, peak derealization–need I go on?

Peaks generate bubbles. Bubbles reach extremes and then they pop. There is nothing mysterious about this causal chain: peaks generate extremes that manifest as bubbles, which eventually implode as extremes revert to the mean and mass delusions are shattered by the unwelcome reality that extremes are not sustainable.

The status quo solution to the devastation of a popped bubble is to inflate another even bigger bubble. If debt reached extremes that imploded, the solution is to expand debt far beyond the levels that caused the implosion.

If fudging the numbers triggered a loss of confidence, the solution is to fudge the numbers even more, so they no longer reflect reality at all.

If gaming the system crashed the system, the solution is to game the system even harder.

If the masses protest their powerlessness, the solution is to push them further from the centers of power.

And so on.

Complete story at - Why Living in a Post-Bubble World Is No Fun Washington's Blog

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A brief note to my loyal readers.

I'm going to be taking a break from this blog for a couple of days. Since the beginning, this blog's been a one-man operation. And the beginning was eight months ago. During that time, I've spent way too much time researching, reading, and posting stories that I felt were relevant to the quickly evolving political situations of 2014. It's time for a break.

That does not mean there will be no stories for the next few days. I always seem to have more stories to post than I have time to post them. I'm going to go through some of this backlog and schedule some of these stories for the next few days. Hopefully you'll see something of interest to you. And if there are any very important breaking stories, I'll likely take a break from my break to do some updates.

See you in a couple of days.

Difficult times ahead for Ukraine's upcoming heating season

The de facto third gas war between Ukraine and Russia is only a part of a broader, difficult situation for the whole Ukrainian energy sector. This winter may prove to be one of the toughest for Ukraine, as its survival will require important sacrifices in terms of finances, cross-sectorial coordination, and society’s compliance. The challenge, however, lies not only in enduring the 2014/2015 heating season, but in ensuring that such a situation will not be repeated in the following years. The EU will help Ukraine provided that the latter commits to European rules.

Russian gas, which Ukraine stopped receiving on June 16, may reappear on the Ukrainian market according to trilateral Ukraine–Russia–EU meeting agreements. Gazprom will resume gas deliveries to Ukraine if Kiev covers its debt and pre-pays for deliveries at a price of $378 per 1,000 cubic metres (cm) in 2014, and $365 per 1,000 cm in the first quarter of 2015. Accordingly, but only in the event of significant gas shortages, Ukraine will consider purchasing up to 4 billion cubic meters (bcm), provided that Russia is able to allocate such amounts for export. Nevertheless, Ukraine approaches the heating season with its energy sector heavily undermined by the conflict with Russia, and still unclear prospects for survival during the winter of 2014/2015. The current crisis forced the Ukrainian government to reorganise its energy sector temporarily and, under pressure of the forthcoming winter, to take immediate supply-side and demand-side measures. Even though the status quo is unsustainable as a policy in the long term, the primary goal of the current energy policy is to ensure energy security for Ukrainian citizens.

The Search for Gas Supplies. Ukraine’s main problem is the availability of sufficient gas supplies, since domestic production and gas stocks can cover only 50–70% of Ukraine's needs. Ukraine’s own production of around 20 bcm annually has little (2–3%) margin to be increased this year. Possessing the largest gas storage facilities in Europe (31 bcm), Ukraine managed to pump nearly 17 bcm into storage, but from the beginning of the heating period on October 20 had already started withdrawing gas from it. The total amount includes active and buffer gas (5–6 bcm), which is important for the undisrupted functioning of underground gas storage facilities (UGSF). There are claims on ownership (made by oligarch Dmytro Firtash’s Group DF) of around 5 bcm gas in UGSF, challenging the further availability of sufficient gas for the winter.

In the absence of Russian gas, Ukraine has for the past few months been relying on reverse flows from Slovakia, Hungary and Poland, which currently account for the annual technical capacity of respectively 11.5 bcm, 6 bcm and 1.5 bcm. These are however short-term (often interruptible) contracts for the de facto re-export of Russian gas, subject to fluctuations due to pressure by Gazprom, which questions their legality. Finally, the short-term and relatively small-volume deal signed on October 3 with Norwegian Statoil allows Ukrainian Naftogaz to acquire 11 million cubic meters (mcm) of gas per day (for around $340 per 1,000 cm), under the mechanism of volume substitution through Slovakia. The outlook, though more positive, still does not guarantee closing the 3–4 bcm gap.

Complete story at - Difficult times ahead for Ukraine's upcoming heating season

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Hungary to start South Stream construction in 2015 despite Western pressure — RT Business

Hungary plans to break ground next year on its stretch of the South Stream pipeline to send natural gas from Russia to Europe. It is in defiance of EU and US calls to halt the project over frosty relations with Moscow.

One major reason Hungary has thrown its support into South Stream is the lack of a better option since the EU-backed Nabucco pipeline, which was supposed to deliver gas from Azerbaijan to Europe, failed.

"Nabucco will not be built and after nearly 10 years of hesitation, and especially in light of the Ukraine situation, we need to act. This is a necessity," Hungarian Energy Minister Andras Aradszki told Reuters.

Earlier Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that Washington is putting pressure on Budapest for cooperating with Russia over energy.

READ MORE: Hungary under ‘great pressure’ from US over its energy deals with Russia

Gazprom’s $45 billion South Stream project will deliver about 64 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe, Russia’s biggest client, without unreliable passage through Ukraine.

Russia is Hungary's biggest source of natural gas, and in 2013 the country bought 6 billion cubic meters. Hungary hopes the pipeline will be complete by 2017.

Ministers from Russia also confirmed construction will begin in 2015.

Complete story at - Hungary to start South Stream construction in 2015 despite Western pressure — RT BusinessNewImage

Food Fascists: GMO and Pesticide Manufacturers Down and Dirty

Richard Gale and Gary Null PhD
Progressive Radio Network

After decades of rearing hogs, Danish farmer IbBorup Pedersen was alarmed at the growing incidence of malformations and biological defects among his newborn piglets. Deformities included gaps in piglets’ skulls, deformed bones, missing limbs and even a female piglet with testicles. Never having witnessed such large numbers of deformed pigs before, Pedersen realized that it was after switching three years earlier to Monsanto’s GMO feed– which had been grown with glyphosate–that these birth defects began to appear. Pedersen had the piglets’ bodies sent to a Danish laboratory for analysis. The results were clear; there were high concentrations of Monsanto’s glyphosate pesticide, commonly known as Roundup, in the piglets’ organs.[1] The analyses’ findings were subsequently published in a recent Journal of Environmental and Analytical Toxicology,[2]

Pedersen’s experience is another blow against Monsanto’s public relations campaign to convince governments, farmers and consumers that Roundup is one of the world’s safest pesticides and poses no risk to animal and human health. For many years Monsanto has stood by this myth with fanatical religious fervor against all existing independent evidence to the contrary.

While there are an increasing number of studies in the scientific literature identifying the health risks associated with GMO consumption and glyphosate independently, no research has yet been conducted to assess the combined synergistic adverse effects of GMOs and pesticides in animal models and humans. The original foundation of agricultural biotechnology was to advance sales of pesticides by engineering crops to become immune to toxic spraying. While weeds and insect pests would be eradicated, targeted crop would be spared, thereby allowing farmers to spray massive amounts of chemicals on soy, corn, cotton, sugar beets and other agricultural foods without injury. This was the assumption that led to the agro-genetic revolution. Only during the past decade with more and more GM products in our diets, and more and more farm acreage being sprayed with glyphosate and other toxic pesticides and herbicides, are the long term health risks to animals, humans and the environment being more fully recognized within the scientific community.

Annual runoffs of pesticides into rivers, streams and reservoirs have complicated the extent to which humans are being exposed to life threatening chemicals on a daily basis. It was never the mission of Monsanto and the cartel of agro-chemical seed companies to increase yields and produce drought resilient crops. The evidence of higher GM crop yields was an aftereffect. However, data are now coming in from independent agro-science community showing that the years of higher GM yields are short lived and drop dramatically thereafter to levels far below those yields harvested from traditional, organic farming methods.

Complete story at - Food Fascists: GMO and Pesticide Manufacturers Down and Dirty

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Libya: Ten Things About Gaddafi They Don’t Want You to Know | Global Research

What do you think of when you hear the name Colonel Gaddafi? Tyrant? Dictator? Terrorist? Well, a national citizen of Libya may disagree but we want you to decide.

For 41 years until his demise in October 2011, Muammar Gaddafi did some truly amazing things for his country and repeatedly tried to unite and empower the whole of Africa.

So despite what you’ve heard on the radio, seen in the media or on the TV, Gaddafi did some powerful things that are not characteristic of a “vicious dictator” as portrayed by the western media.

Here are ten things Gaddafi did for Libya that you may not know about…

1. In Libya a home is considered a natural human right

2. Education and medical treatment were all free

3. Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project

4. It was free to start a farming business

5. A bursary was given to mothers with newborn babies

6. Electricity was free

7. Cheap petrol

8. Gaddafi raised the level of education

9. Libya had It’s own state bank

10. The gold dinar

Complete story at - Libya: Ten Things About Gaddafi They Don’t Want You to Know | Global Research

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The Sunday Shows Are Completely Infatuated With War - The Intercept

The likes of Chuck Todd and Candy Crowley must have a hard time finding pacifists to interview.

In a two-week, three-episode span in September, America’s prominent Sunday news talk shows featured 89 guests talking about U.S. military options in Syria and Iraq. Only one of those guests, The Nation’s editor Katrina vanden Heuvel, would count as “anti-war.” The situation barely improves if you add in cable talk shows: Out of a total 205 guests discussing military options in the same period, just six opposed intervention, versus 125 who spoke in favor of it.

The numbers, compiled by progressive media watchdog group Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), show how out of touch these shows are with the country as a whole, even as they remain Beltway obsessions. They also illustrate in stark terms how little has changed in the decade since monotonous, stenographic journalism paved the way for the Iraq War. Apparently, for these DC programs, being perceived as “serious” still trumps the opportunity to introduce fresh voices and contrarian perspectives.

FAIR’s research, which was the period from September 7 to September 21, included the Sunday shows Meet The Press, from NBC; CBS’ Face The Nation; ABC’s This Week; Fox News Sunday; and CNN’s State of the Union. Weekday cable shows surveyed include MSNBC’s Hardball, CNN’s The Situation Room, and MSNBC’s Special Report.

Complete story at - The Sunday Shows Are Completely Infatuated With War - The Intercept

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New bill passed: Did this just happen in the Land of the Free? Yes, it did.

November 24, 2014
Santiago, Chile

Science is about truth. It’s about fact.

It’s about forming hypothesis and either proving or disproving that hypothesis through what we can observe, test, and measure.

For thousands of years it’s been through this method that humanity has progressed. And history shows that every time “authorities” get involved, it invariably arrests this process.

Human civilization lost centuries of progress in the “Dark Ages” (a bit of a misnomer, given that societies were flourishing in Asia at the same time).

European governments would burn anyone at the stake who dared to write that the Earth wasn’t the center of the universe.

We’d like to think we’ve come a long way since then. But have we really?

It was just a few years ago that the EPA was slammed in a scandal for putting political pressure on scientists to influence their work.

And just last week, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill that effectively kicks the scientists out of the EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board, and makes room for industry insiders.

Complete story at - New bill passed: Did this just happen in the Land of the Free? Yes, it did.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

CrossTalk: Empire of Chaos (ft. Pepe Escobar)

Fort Russ: Galicia native Brzezinsky rules US foreign policy for decades

Alexey Pleshanov for

The famous American cold war ideologue Zbigniew Brzezinski turned 86 years old on March 28, 2014. But despite his age, the man who was called "the gravedigger of the Soviet Empire" is still full of energy to change the world.


A decisive influence in shaping the persona of a future ideologist of US foreign policy played his father. A prominent diplomat, Consul General in Canada, Tadeusz Brzezinski was forced to become a defector after WWII when communists came to power in Poland. It so happened that because of the diplomatic service of his father, Zbigniew only lived in his native country for three years, and Brzezinski senior was very worried that his son will lose the connection to his own people. Brzezinski was brought up in the spirit of patriotism and devotion to motherland. From his father the future politician received the first lessons of strategy, policy analysis and diplomacy, as well as learned the value of political errors.

Tadeusz Brzezinski considered the Soviet Union the main threat to Poland, where, incidentally, he was a Consul in 1936 and 1938. The father told little Zbigniew about the totalitarian nature of USSR, Stalin's repressions, imperial, expansionist character of Russia. The diplomat was sure that Poland can protect its independence against Stalin's ambitions only through a union with Germany. Occupation of the Republic of Poland by Hitler in September 1939 was a real tragedy for Tadeusz Brzezinski. At that time he was Consul General of Poland in Canada, and was cut off from the political process. The lessons of his father played a major role in shaping strategic thinking of Zbigniew Brzezinski.



"Sooner or later Ukraine will become a part of democratic Europe, and Russia will follow it, if it will not isolate itself and will not become a "striped imperialist relic" " - wrote Zbigniew Brzezinski. He had always believed that without Ukraine Russia will never be able to restore its imperial status. We must admit, that Brzezinski's connection to Ukraine is not purely on the issues of global strategy. The ancestral home of Brzezinski family is located in today's Ternopil region in the town of Berezhany (in Polish Brzezany). Father Brzezinski was born in the town of Zolochiv, which was once part of Austro-Hungary and is now located on the territory of Lvov region, and was educated at Lvov University. Interestingly, father Brzezinski even fought in the Polish army with the Ukrainian Galician army in the battle of Lvov in 1918, and in 1920 fought for Ukrainian lands in the Soviet-Polish war.

By the way, there is a theory that Zbigniew Brzezinski was born not in Warsaw, but in Soviet Kharkov, where his father served in the Polish Consulate. Interestingly, Brzezinski is currently the only non-Ukrainian honorary citizen of Lvov. The two sons of the American politician even managed to reside on the territory of modern Ukraine, and the youngest, Mark, even married an ethnic Ukrainian Natalia Lopatnyuk. Zbigniew Brzezinski himself openly admits his warm feelings towards Ukrainians. Interestingly, he highly regards Yulia Tymoshenko, whom he considers a very promising politician and a very attractive woman.

Complete story at - Fort Russ: Galicia native Brzezinsky rules US foreign policy for decades

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A modest proposal to future mass murderers: Learn from Ukraine | Vera Graziadei

This article is by Vladimir Golstein, an Associate Professor of Slavic studies at Brown University. He was born in Moscow and emigrated to the United States in 1979.

If you intend to kill your opponents on a massive scale, don’t just arm your people with machetes, iron rods or AK47s and start killing. With photos of atrocities flooding the Internet, the world community might eventually stop and even punish you.

This old-fashion method of mass killing is hard to sell in today’s world of freedoms and individual rights. A much better way to succeed in mass violence is to connect your victims to Russia, by denouncing them as the enemies of freedom and democracy and by calling them Russian terrorists and puppets in the hands of the current leader of Russia, whom you should call Stalin incarnate. Hitler incarnate works as well, but since Hitler was the leader of Germany – the country that is currently at the forefront of democracy – that might confuse the issue. The new Stalin is a more effective label.

Once your enemies are associated with Russia and its evil leaders, you can explain to the West that your killings are necessary not because of your burning hatred for your victims, but because you want to embrace liberal values and join the EU, while it is those whom you kill who are the proponents of tyranny. Never forget to suggest that all your killings were provoked by Russia. Your western backers will surely add their authority to the blame. You can also imply that the territory vacated after your attacks can be used for a NATO base. To facilitate your efforts, it is important to enlist the help of some old Cold War warriors and neocons, such as Senator John McCain or Victoria Nuland, by explaining to them that the failures of your economy is the result of Russian sabotage. It is the remnants of their socialism that is destroying your country, and not your looting.

I also encourage you to find a Jewish person among your population, preferably someone with close ties to your regime; you can also export an adviser whose ancestors ran away from the Tsarist pogroms. This person should testify to The New York Times that your regime is very friendly to Jews, as opposed to your victims who still live by some primitive nationalistic values. That will score plenty of points with your neocon audience, who will in turn secure American supporting your fight against anti-Semitism. Calling your enemies“sexist”or“homophobic”can also boost your cause, but frankly, it would be overkill. Since your goal is to accomplish overkill on the streets of your towns, don’t waste all your energy on propaganda wars.

But make sure you enlist the help of some former dissidentsor political leaders from Eastern Europe. Their memories of being abused by the Evil Empire are so strong, that it would be easy to convince them that those who are laying on the streets, burned, shot, or chopped to death, were Russian agents, intent on perpetuating Soviet-style tyranny. The hard-worn moral authority of these allies will surely silence your critics.

Complete story at - A modest proposal to future mass murderers: Learn from Ukraine | Vera Graziadei

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The Kremlin Stooge | The Rebellion in East Ukraine Is a Civic Revolution, Not an Ethnic Insurgency

Have you noticed how the English-language media describes the rebels in Donbass? Most of the time it deems them “pro-Russian rebels” which is a little bit like describing the Patriot faction of the American Revolution the “pro-French rebels”. Surely the rebels see Russia in a positive light, but surely that is tangential to what really makes them tick. However, a designation of this sort must at least be commended in the sense that it is an admission on the part of the English-language press of how little it is certain of. Most of the time all it knows is that the rebs like Russia, and does not to try to guess at the rest.

It is at other times that the media has feigned knowledge where they could have done real damage. In a minority of cases, reports and commentary have designated the rebels the “ethnic Russian rebels”. This seems convenient, and doubtless gives the outsiders a sense of clarity and certainty, but that is precisely what is so dangerous about this extraordinarily misleading characterization.

Once the anti-government faction is deemed to be made up of “ethnic Russian rebels” the story becomes a familiar one. The rebels are Russians and they are fighting because they are Russians. It is an inter-ethnic conflict between Russians and Ukrainians. Only, it is not.

Regardless of how great or important one thinks the differences between Ukrainians and Russians are, the fact is that in the limited geographic space of south-eastern Ukraine, and particularly in Donbass, this distinction is neither great nor significant to the people who live there. Ukrainians and Russians in south-eastern Ukraine are part of the same ethnic coalition, and have been amalgamating into one body ever since these lands were first opened to colonization from historic Ukraine and Russia proper. The British-Ukrainian historian Taras Kuzio put it this way[1]:

“Identities in eastern-southern Ukraine are a mixture of local, east Slavic and Soviet. While recognising that they are different to Russians living across the former Soviet internal administrative, now Ukrainian-Russian, interstate border they do not differentiate between Russians and Ukrainians within eastern-southern Ukraine. They are all, after all, Russian-speakers in a region where all national cultures had largely been eradicated in urban centres and where few people are religious. Linguistic, religious or cultural markers of separate identity between Ukrainians or Russians in eastern-southern Ukraine do not therefore really exist.”

Complete story at - The Kremlin Stooge | The Rebellion in East Ukraine Is a Civic Revolution, Not an Ethnic Insurgency

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Fort Russ: Donetsk Republic will start paying social benefits to all needy categories next week


The government of Donetsk People's Republic is preparing to start paying out benefits for all categories of population who are in need.

"Likely next week we will begin paying out social benefits, unfortunately - not yet in full, but 500 UAH to all categories of individuals who are eligible for such payments. These are retirees, disabled and all other categories. Of course, it's not enough and not the amount that everyone is entitled to, but that's all we can do today. At least a little, to give people money for their urgent needs", - said Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of DPR on Social Policy Alexander Karaman.

PS Earlier Kiev officially cut off all benefit payments to Donetsk and Lugansk Republics, but de facto many haven't been payed since July or August. Poroshenko announced that it is part of the strategy to win the war, without which it wouldn't be possible. Government officials said on record that they don't know of such places as Donetsk and Lugansk Republics. Months ago many residents of the new republics reported that when inquiring about their benefits on the phone, they were told that their location was not on the list of Ukrainian towns and cities, were benefits could be paid: "Your town does not exist!"

Complete story at - Fort Russ: Donetsk Republic will start paying social benefits to all needy categories next week

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Russian news: The Experts Agree - Ukraine's Economy is in Cardiac Arrest - Russia Insider

"Unless actions are taken pretty soon, the odds of Ukraine falling into financial and economic collapse are very, very large," said Lubo Mitov, chief economist of the Institute of International Finance.

Over the next six months, Ukraine needs $10 billion to $15 billion more than what has been promised by international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, the IIF said. Without an injection of cash soon, "people will start freezing in the winter," because the country won't have the cash to pay for natural gas.

Between this year and next, the IIF expects the Ukrainian economy to decline by at least 20 percent, causing a huge drop in tax revenue. The steep decline is expected in part due to the loss of eastern Ukraine to militant separatists that are widely believed to receive support from Russia.

Mitov dismissed Ukraine's better-than-expected 5.1 percent economic contraction in the third quarter of this year, saying that hard data related to industrial production, exports, tax revenue and real incomes are registering "double-digit declines."

Complete story at - Russian news: The Experts Agree - Ukraine's Economy is in Cardiac Arrest - Russia Insider

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Russian news: Ukraine Braces for Default - Russia Insider

The International Monetary Fund faces a fresh debacle as Ukraine burns through an $17bn rescue package agreed in April and spirals into a full-blown currency crisis, with credit markets already bracing for likely default.

The country's foreign reserves have dropped to $12.6bn, barely enough to cover six weeks worth of imports. Its currency has been in freefall since it became clear that the Minsk ceasefire deal with rebels in the Donbass region was breaking down.

The Hyvrnia has crashed 20pc against the dollar over the past week and has lost almost half its value this year, making it much harder for Ukrainian companies, banks and the state to service $60bn of foreign debt, mostly in dollars.

The economy is expected to contract by 10pc this year, twice what the IMF expected when it first approved the bailout. Ukraine still has another $10bn of IMF aid to come but the pace of disbursements is too slow to keep the country afloat.

Ukraine is in such dire straits that officials are holding back on pre-payments to Russia for gas imports, keeping their fingers crossed that the warm weather will last long enough for Ukraine to make it through the winter, relying on gas stocks and limited flows from Slovakia and Poland through “reverse pipelines”. This is a risky strategy since climate experts are predicting the coldest winter in more than 30 years.

Complete story at - Russian news: Ukraine Braces for Default - Russia Insider

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Fort Russ: The failed Ukrainian blitzkrieg that everyone failed to notice

Poroshenko announced yesterday about his desire for peace. He does not want that somebody somewhere would provoke WWIII. Who is he talking about?

Briefly will explain how we understand it.

At first glance, it may seem that Poroshenko took no less than six months to arrive at contemplating peace.

Actually it took him only a week. Last week.

In late October, Ukrainians, pressured by advisors from abroad, decided to go for a blitzkrieg. To solve the problem of separatism once and for all.

Our analysts wrote that blitzkrieg would happen immediately after Ukrainian elections - but it would be too much: the entire Ukraine was full of foreign observers, at the same time when it was necessary to arrange a mass bombing.

So they decided to wait a week after the elections for the votes to get counted and then strike.

In any event, this was madness. By modest estimates, in Donetsk there was up to ten thousand militia - guys with the most combat experience, and in Lugansk another five thousand.

Complete story at - Fort Russ: The failed Ukrainian blitzkrieg that everyone failed to notice

Monday, November 24, 2014

How the Israel Lobby Protected Ukrainian Neo-Nazis | Alternet

November 18, 2014 |

AlterNet has learned that an amendment to the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would have forbidden US assistance, training and weapons to neo-Nazis and other extremists in Ukraine was kept out of the final bill by the Republican-led House Rules Committee. Introduced by Democratic Representative John Conyers, the amendment was intended to help tamp down on violent confrontations between Ukrainian forces and Russian separatists. (Full text of the amendment embedded at the end of this article).

A USA Today/Pew poll conducted in April while the NDAA was being debated found that Americans opposed by more than 2 to 1 providing the Ukrainian government with arms or other forms of military assistance.

If passed, Conyers' amendment would have explicitly barred those found to have offered “praise or glorification of Nazism or its collaborators, including through the use of white supremacist, neo-Nazi, or other similar symbols” from receiving any form of support from the US Department of Defense.

The amendment was presented by congressional staffers to lobbyists from Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, two of the country’s largest established Jewish pressure groups. Despite their stated mission to combat anti-Semitism and violent extremism, the ADL and Wiesenthal Center refused to support Jeffries and Conyers’ proposal.

According to Democratic sources in Congress, staffers from the ADL’s Washington office and the Simon Wiesenthal Center rejected the amendment on the grounds that right-wing Ukrainian parties like Svoboda with documented records of racist extremism had “moderated their rhetoric.” An ADL lobbyist insisted that “the focus should be on Russia,” while the Wiesenthal Center pointed to meetings between far-right political leaders in Ukraine and the Israeli embassy as evidence that groups like Svoboda and Right Sector had shed their extremism.

The ADL’s Washington office and the Simon Wiesenthal Center did not respond to numerous requests by email and telephone for comment.

Complete story at - How the Israel Lobby Protected Ukrainian Neo-Nazis | Alternet

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Russian news: Europe's Next Energy Crisis Is Now Assured - Russia Insider

Russia inked a second blockbuster deal with China that will starve Europe for natural gas in just a few short years. It's now increasingly clear that 2018 will mark the beginning of the end for any hopes Europe had of returning to robust economic growth.

It was by far the biggest news of the day. While it did make headlines, you might have missed it because not much was made of the affair beyond the announcement. The story came and went as if Russia has oodles of natural gas (NG) to send to China.

It doesn't. And the supplies it has now contracted to send to China will be pulled from supplies that currently go to Europe.

For the people who understand global energy markets -- that energy is the one non-negotiable substance required for economic stability and growth -- this announcement was a huge deal.

Here's what was announced:
Moscow and Beijing signed an agreement to supply gas from western Siberia to China, in a deal that could eventually see more of Russia’s gas flowing to its vast eastern neighbour than to its traditional European markets.

Assuming crucial details such as price are agreed, the deal would mark another big step in President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to build a closer energy relationship with China to offset increasing isolation from the west.

It would see Gazprom, the Kremlin-controlled energy group, supply China’s state oil company CNPC with 30bn cubic metres of gas per year. That would be on top of the 38bcm/y Russia agreed to sell China in a $400bn agreement signed in May.
Complete story at - Russian news: Europe's Next Energy Crisis Is Now Assured - Russia Insider

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Russia Can Survive An Oil Price War | naked capitalism

Yves here. This article is an important sanity check on the impact of the current oil price war on Russia. We’ve seen similarly skewed conventional wisdom on the Saudis: “No, they can’t make it on a fiscal budget basis at below $90 a barrel,” completely ignoring the fact that the Saudis clearly believe it is in their long-term interest to suffer some costs to inflict pain on some of their enemies, and render some (a lot) of shale oil and alternative energy development uneconomical, which increases their ability to extract more in the long term from their oil asset.

By Colin Chilcoat, a writer at OilPrice. Originally published at OilPrice

After a frosty reception at the G20 summit in Australia this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin required some much needed rest, at least according to the official explanation given for his conspicuously early departure from the proceedings. All things considered it could have been a lot worse. Russia finds itself in familiar territory after a controversial half-year, highlighted by the bloody and still unresolved situation in Ukraine. Nonetheless, the prospect of further sanctions looms low and Russia’s stores of oil and gas remain high.

Shortsighted? Maybe, but Russia has proven before – the 2008 financial crisis for example– that it can ride its resource rents through a prolonged economic slump. Higher oil price volatility and sanctions separate the current downturn from that of 2008, but Russia’s economic fundamentals remain the same – bolstered by low government debt and a large amount of foreign reserves. Moreover, Western involvement in Russian oil and gas plays is more pronounced than ever.

Economic diversification has not come easy for Russia, arguably for a simple, but effective reason; oil and gas are a source of tremendous wealth for the country. However, the dire straits of the 2008 global crisis illustrated the importance of financial diversification. Since then, Russian state-owned oil and gas giants Rosneft and Gazprom have increasingly allowed Western majors like BP, Eni, Exxon, Shell, Statoil, and Total access to some of Russia’s underdeveloped, but prized projects. Western companies have an estimated $35 billion tied up in Russian oil with hundreds of billions more planned and service providers Halliburton and Schlumberger each derive approximately five percent of their global sales from the Russian market.

The Western majors remain committed to their extra-national ventures and these powerful relationships ultimately limit the sanctions’ scope. Still, with their cooperation put on hold, Russia has been forced to look elsewhere, and increasingly within. Rosneft is set to announce new Arctic partners by the end of the year, a role formerly dominated by Exxon. China appears a likely suitor as the two countries have already embarked on a promising oil partnership in Russia’s Far East in addition to the highly publicized long-term gas deals. Domestically, Rosneft and Gazprom have strengthened their alliance and Putin has approved the creation of a state-owned oil services company.

Complete story at - Russia Can Survive An Oil Price War | naked capitalism

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Fort Russ: After eliminating competition Kiev edges closer to anarchy by battling with itself

The expert community had awakened. Almost all. Even yesterday's pessimists are no longer arguing about for how much and how will Novorossia be sold out, but solely on the timing of the beginning of Kiev's battle with itself.

It is a comforting fact. Not because the experts finally saw the obvious, but due to the fact that the spectrum of solutions of Kiev authorities narrowed so much that the options can easily be calculated by even people who have a distant view of chess and confuse geopolitics with immediate desires. The countdown is down to days, maximum weeks.

Lets try to play for Kiev, and see what kind of resources for prolonging the agony it has left.

The current situation was predetermined at the time when Poroshenko decided to fight for early parliamentary elections. I wrote many times that the old Rada was not an obstacle to him, on the contrary was even more controllable than it could become and has become. Also in May, when Peter Alexeyevich first announced the intention to dissolve the Parliament, I warned that he will get destabilization in the controlled territories and a split between the parties and the leaders of Maidan. I will not once again explain why this was inevitable. During the election campaign, the inevitable became a reality.

What do we have in Kiev and the surrounding areas today?

Complete story at - Fort Russ: After eliminating competition Kiev edges closer to anarchy by battling with itself

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Gold Rises After Unusual Russian Central Bank Gold Buying Announcement

NoBC4U Note: Embedding Twitter tweets seems to work most of the time, but not always.  If it doesn't show right away, wait a little while, or reload the page. 

Where Genocide Is Most Likely To Happen Next - Defense One

NoBC4U Note: I'm posting this as a resource about genocide.  Otherwise, this source seems highly dependent on the Military-Industrial Complex.

Twenty years after the horrors of the Rwandan genocide, researchers at The University of Sydney have created a model predicting which countries will experience targeted mass violence across the globe.

Known as the Atrocity Forecasting Project, the model plugs in more than a dozen “instability variables,” which include statistics on civil wars, regime changes, assassinations, neighboring state conflicts, infant mortality rates, and instances of previous genocides. It is similar to the Pentagon-funded Integrated Crisis Early Warning System (ICEWS), a data tool used to forecast a variety of international emergencies.

The project could help “major players” like the United States, European Union, or the United Nations, “by giving them an early warning to increase readiness for military intervention, when necessary to stop such violence soon after it starts,” Ben Goldsmith, one of the chief researchers, told Defense One.

And their latest projections have proven remarkably accurate. As a control, the model was first applied to atrocities falling between the years 1988 to 2003. Their results turned out to be 90.9 percent accurate in predicting when major genocides like the ones in Rwanda, Yugoslavia and Sudan, actually occurred.

Complete story at - Where Genocide Is Most Likely To Happen Next - Defense One


Poll trolls' GCHQ script sock puppets manipulate muppets • The Register

A group of security professionals/online miscreants have found and themselves created thousands of online accounts to manipulate forum posts, popular news articles and mailing lists using techniques pioneered by the UK's GCHQ spy agency.

Researchers Azhar Desa, Harron Meer and Marco Slaviero of Thinkst found posts created around controversial topics such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were being heavily manipulated by commentary developed by bash scripts using newly-registered accounts.

Using a since patched flaw in comment platform Disqus, researchers plucked email addresses from suspect profiles used in "sock-puppet" commentary and found those in question had identification numbers in sequence, were used across the same forums, repeated comments and bumped up each other's posts.

The identity of those behind the aliases was unknown.

The fake accounts were designed as supporters of Palestine and Islam, and opponents to Israel, Syria, Christianity and US President Barack Obama.

Researchers also found separate puppet armies influencing articles on Reddit, CNN, Al Jazeera and the Jerusalem Post generated by simplistic means that admins appeared unable to identify.

"Who is this sock puppet army? It's difficult to speculate – it's a simplistic attack, so we're not sure if this is because they lack the skills set, or if they were intending to be found," Slaviero told delegates at the Hack in the Box conference last month, (slides) Digital News Asia reported.

The team, which was developing free tools to let everyone troll more effectively, used similar techniques to successfully influence popular news stories on the front page of The New York Times, South Africa's popular Mail and Guardian, Reddit, and mailing lists.

Complete story at - Poll trolls' GCHQ script sock puppets manipulate muppets • The Register

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Cynics, Step Aside: There is Genuine Excitement Over a Hillary Clinton Candidacy - The Intercept

It’s easy to strike a pose of cynicism when contemplating Hillary Clinton’s inevitable (and terribly imminent) presidential campaign. As a drearily soulless, principle-free, power-hungry veteran of DC’s game of thrones, she’s about as banal of an American politician as it gets. One of the few unique aspects to her, perhaps the only one, is how the genuinely inspiring gender milestone of her election will (following the Obama model) be exploited to obscure her primary role as guardian of the status quo.

That she’s the beneficiary of dynastic succession – who may very well be pitted against the next heir in line from the regal Bush dynasty (this one, not yet this one) - makes it all the more tempting to regard #HillaryTime with an evenly distributed mix of boredom and contempt. The tens of millions of dollars the Clintons have jointly “earned” off their political celebrity - much of it speaking to the very globalists, industry groups, hedge funds, and other Wall Street appendages who would have among the largest stake in her presidency - make the spectacle that much more depressing (the likely candidate is pictured above with Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein at an event in September).

But one shouldn’t be so jaded. There is genuine and intense excitement over the prospect of (another) Clinton presidency. Many significant American factions regard her elevation to the Oval Office as an opportunity for rejuvenation, as a stirring symbol of hope and change, as the vehicle for vital policy advances. Those increasingly inspired factions include:

Wall Street - <more>

The Israel Lobby - <more>

Interventionists (i.e., war zealots) - <more>

Old school neocons - <more>

Complete story at - Cynics, Step Aside: There is Genuine Excitement Over a Hillary Clinton Candidacy - The Intercept

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

‘Donbass’ International Brigade — 7 Profiles of Courage — RT Op-Edge

The strength and whereabouts of the International Brigade operating in east Ukraine is a secret. Yet it is possible to interview the unit’s ragtag troops. They have no single ideology or political affiliation.

But they do believe in accepting volunteers regardless of their background and religion.

The brigade’s ranks include Christians, Muslims and atheists; miners and novice monks; young and old; loners and family men. It even has a few young women.

Most of them have never even heard of the Spanish Civil War where the term “International Brigade” springs from. They have no idea of Communism or Socialism. Sticking to the old Soviet mindset, they still regard Nestor Makhno, the Donbass-born Civil War hero, a symbol of anarchy, while seeing Joseph Stalin as the epitome of order. They have no idea that it was Stalin who stopped aiding the International Brigades in the middle of the Spanish Civil War, effectively enabling General Franco’s Nationalists to win.

And if today’s International Brigade fighters are to win their war, they have yet to develop an ideology to underpin their unity. The only ideology they currently share is their brotherhood in arms.

Complete story at - ‘Donbass’ International Brigade — RT Op-Edge

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Walls in central Kiev painted with slogans supporting Novorossiya |

Slogans supporting the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics and against the Ukrainian government have appeared on walls in the center of Kiev

Residents living in the central areas of the Ukrainian capital reported the appearance of the slogans via Facebook.

"First, someone placed a Donetsk People’s Republic flag not far from my home. Then slogans appeared on the walls of my building. And today, they were spotted near my daughter’s school," Kiev resident Miriam Dragina wrote on her Facebook page.

The following slogans were painted in black on one of the walls in Russian: "Glory to Donetsk People’s Republic," "We Will Hang You" and "Forward Novorossiya."

Earlier, similar slogans supporting Novorossiya appeared on Trukhanov Island in Kiev. They called for peace and an end to the so-called anti-terrorist operation in eastern Ukraine. Several weeks ago, a flag of Novorossiya was flown in Kiev’s Lviv Square and remained there for several hours. The law enforcement agencies have failed to detect who installed the flag and how.

Complete story at - Walls in central Kiev painted with slogans supporting Novorossiya |


Is The Breakup Of Ukraine Inevitable?

Ukraine is the very definition of the word “inevitable” — that which cannot be avoided. Ukraine is going broke. It may lose more of its territory. Investors are running for the door, betting that things are going to get worse. All of this is now unavoidable. The market used to think the Ukraine crisis would cool down by the December. All bets for that outcome are now off the table.

Ukraine is shrinking, in more ways than one.

On March 16, 2014, Ukraine saw a large chunk of its territory annexed by Russia. The Crimea peninsula, then an autonomous region of the country, voted to secede after a perceived anti-Russia government took over Kiev. Crimea is dominated by ethnic Russians. Now, two regions continue to keep Ukraine in the news: Luhansk and Donetsk. Leaders there have decided it is best to become autonomous republics too. Like Crimea, this may very well be another way of saying goodbye to Kiev, if not Ukraine altogether.

Even if territorial integrity remains, Ukraine’s finances are deteriorating. The nation’s currency, the hryvnia, has lost 46.92% of its value so far this year, falling rapidly after the Central Bank decided on Nov. 4 to abandon its 12.95 peg to the dollar. The BNY Mellon Ukraine Index is down 40.18% year-to-date, much of it coming after the Bank’s decision. It’s panic time for Ukrainian money.

“Economically, Ukraine is being transmogrified into a failed state,” says Vladimir Signorelli, co-founder and senior international economist at Bretton Woods Research in New Jersey.

Complete story at - Is The Breakup Of Ukraine Inevitable?

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The haunting pilgrimage site of Saur Mogila - Telegraph

More than two months since the last shots were fired in anger on the bare hillside of Saur Mogila, a burst of automatic fire broke the silence.

A trio of rebel fighters, huddled in padded jackets against the driving rain, waited for the salute to fade before trailing back to their car.

The fighters were paying a personal tribute to comrades killed here during one of the bloodiest battles of the six month conflict between the Ukrainian government and Russian-backed separatists.

But the history of this battlefield means it could become a place of pilgrimage and a key symbol in a new national identity rebel leaders are scrambling to build following their declaration of sovereign governments after elections earlier this month.

It is a haunted place. Even the name - mogila means "tomb" in both Ukrainian and Russian, and the hill is topped by a prehistoric burial mound - lends itself to ghosts.

Destroyed flak guns, discarded ammunition boxes, and bits of incoming rockets lie amongst the shattered rubble of what was once a vast war memorial.

The towering obelisk is on its side, the larger-than life statues of the Soviet memorial shattered by bullet and shell holes, while fresh graves bearing the emblems of separatist fighting units have been dug into the slopes. On the processional avenue leading up the hill, a charred armoured personnel carrier stands where it crashed into a tree.

Complete story at - The haunting pilgrimage site of Saur Mogila - Telegraph

NewImageThe ruins of the Second World War memorial on the heights of Saur Mogila (Roland Oliphant)

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Climate Model Predicts Very Cold Winter in Northern Hemisphere; Another Record Breaker?

There is a huge buildup up of snow in Siberia this year like last. Meteorologists believe that portends another brutal winter.

Bloomberg reports Climate Model Predicts Very Cold Winter in Northern Hemisphere.
About 14.1 million square kilometers of snow blanketed Siberia at the end of October, the second most in records going back to 1967, according to Rutgers University’s Global Snow Lab. The record was in 1976, which broke a streak of mild winters in the eastern U.S. In addition, the speed at which snow has covered the region is the fastest since at least 1998.

Taken together they signal greater chances for frigid air to spill out of the Arctic into more temperate regions of North America, Europe and Asia, said Judah Cohen, director of seasonal forecasting at Atmospheric and Environmental Research in Lexington, Massachusetts, who developed the theory linking Siberian snow with winter weather.

“A rapid advance of Eurasian snow cover during the month of October favors that the upcoming winter will be cold across the Northern Hemisphere,” Cohen said in an interview yesterday. “This past October the signal was quite robust.”
Complete story at - Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Climate Model Predicts Very Cold Winter in Northern Hemisphere; Another Record Breaker?

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Wolf Richter: Italy’s Crazy New Economy from Hell | naked capitalism

Yves here. Italy provides an intriguing example of how austerity inflicts damage on businesses. Here, one of the ways that the government is making its fiscal deficit look better is by paying companies that provide services to it slowly, or not at all.

By Wolf Richter, a San Francisco based executive, entrepreneur, start up specialist, and author, with extensive international work experience. Originally published at Wolf Street.

Italy is a country of entrepreneurs and of vibrant small enterprises. Or was. Now these businesses are dying.

Of its 5.3 million companies (as of December 31, 2013), 3.3 million are small, often family-owned outfits, according to Rome-based credit information provider Cerved Group. And another 900,000 are sole proprietorships, or 17% of all companies, a larger percentage than anywhere else in the EU, ahead of France (12%), Spain (10%), and Germany (10%). The remaining 1 million companies are corporations of all sizes.

And life in Italy has been exceedingly tough for small outfits.

Consumer spending has dropped sharply since the onset of the crisis. Industrial production continued its downward spiral in September and is down 0.5% for the first nine months of 2014 over the same period a year ago. Unemployment is 12.6%, and rising. Youth unemployment is at a catastrophic 43%, up from an already terrible 26% in 2010.

It doesn’t help that the government refuses, and I mean refuses – due to “technical” problems, as a minister explained – to pay its long overdue bills to these already strung-out businesses. It’s a shell game to lower Italy’s overall indebtedness and thus pacify the financial markets and Italy’s masters in Brussels [Italy “Would Love To” But Can’t Pay Its Bills This Year].

So this shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that the largest customer in the country, the government, refuses to pay its bills to the members of the private sector which then can’t pay their own bills: in September, non-performing loans held by Italian banks jumped 19.7% from a year ago, according to the Bank of Italy. At the same time, loans to the private sector dropped 2.3%.

Complete story at - Wolf Richter: Italy’s Crazy New Economy from Hell | naked capitalismCC Photo Google Image Search Source is svgconv blasiussecundus me  Subject is Flag map of Italy  1

This Crisis Was Foreseeable … Thousands of Years Ago Washington's Blog

We’ve known for 5,000 years that mass spying on one’s own people is always aimed at grabbing power and crushing dissent, not protecting us from bad guys.

We’ve known for 4,000 years that debts need to be periodically written down, or the entire economy will collapse.

We’ve known for 2,500 years that prolonged war bankrupts an economy.

We’ve known for 2,000 years that wars are based on lies.

We’ve known for 1,900 years that runaway inequality destroys societies.

We’ve known for thousands of years that debasing currencies leads to economic collapse.

We’ve known for millennia that torture is a form of terrorism.

We’ve known for thousands of years that – when criminals are not punished – crime spreads.

We’ve known for hundreds of years that the failure to punish financial fraud destroys economies, as it destroys all trust in the financial system.

Complete story at - This Crisis Was Foreseeable … Thousands of Years Ago Washington's Blog

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Friday, November 21, 2014

EuroMaidan - One Year Later. A Trip Down Delusion Lane...

EuroMaidan – one year later.

The one year anniversary of the start of EuroMaidan is upon us, so I thought it would be an interesting exercise to go back and see if some of those who strongly supported it last winter was still standing behind it, or if they have moderated or changed their views to any great extent. Of course by necessity, this will be a rather limited sampling because I don't have insider access or any kind of access to a lot of the so-called movers and shakers behind this event. So here are the methods when analyzing the Euro delusions madness.

My Methodology: - Or just skip ahead to the delusions!

1) I will be analyzing public posts from Facebook. Some of these posts have been made by people who I have "friended." Some are by people I have not “friended.” There are not any "Johnny-come-lately's" in this group. They must have been supporters of EuroMaidan since the very beginning. Indeed, some were very vocal in their support and indeed supported it with money or organizing events or allowing their extensive mailing lists to be used. These posts I show below were all made by individuals; none were made by media or the US Embassy in Kiev. The posters name and image has been blurred out; likewise so has the name and image of commenters, when posted.

2) I limited my selections to Facebook posts made within the last 30 days. I wanted to make sure I didn't go back two or three months for posts that might not necessarily reflect a person’s current views.

3) the posts I will be analyzing all made by the English-speaking ex-pat community, many of whom are in Kiev. In Ukraine, Kiev is the most elite of cities; and the English-speaking ex-pat community are in many ways among the elite of Kiev. Although they by no means fall into the category of oligarchs by the local meaning of the word, I wouldn't be surprised if at least a couple of these posters rank in the most elite 5% of the country.

4) I believe it's quite safe to say that the local ex-pat community considers the wishes of the average Ukrainian just about as much as they consider the wishes of the average slum-dweller in Calcutta. Not to be overly cynical of course, but some probably thought about what was best for their business interests over what was best for Ukraine and its people.

5) the list doesn't necessarily reflect the 12th worst to the worst. Some of the delusions ranked quite equally.

So, let the delusions begin!

The top 12 Euro delusions of the last 30 days.

12. Here's a fun one. Makes it feel like you're back in the seventh grade! Ahhh, the memories…

Notice too how it states authoritatively “Putin’s motorcade after the inauguration 2012.” Maybe that’s true… or maybe not. That’s what’s so great about the internet. You can take any picture and claim it to be just about anything you want it to be.


11. J’Accuse those that support Russia? We will all be judged by history! True, and Russia supporters we will be judged as correct. Makes you want to shake in your boots.


10. Hey, what good is a revolution if you can't make a few bucks off of it. Am I right? State that you stand behind dysfunctional government, corruption, and war crimes! Get your own Ukrainian patriot email address!


9. The next delusion concerns Russia’s objectives. Did you know that their objective is the destruction of the EU? Neither did I. It seems that the EU is doing a super job destroying themselves. They really don't need Russia's help.


8. This delusion is obviously a transference of guilt. Ukraine has a long record of voters receiving bribes in exchange for their vote. I wouldn't be surprised if this graphic originally had a Ukrainian flag on it.


7. Here is a Halloween themed delusion. It seems if Ukraine doesn't treat Russia to more of its land and people, Putin’s army will trick it out of them. Huh? That doesn't even make sense. But then he goes on to quote Dmitri Tymchuk, who has a track record of not making sense. So maybe that does make sense? For more about Dmitri Tymchuk, see this article... How Full of Shit Would You Have To Be, To Be More Full of Shit than Dmitry Tymchuk? Ydd07

6. Here's a delusion that's totally assed backwards. Everything that they claim to be wrong with Russia is actually what's wrong with the countries of the West. Russian culture enables Vladimir Putin's global aggression? A more realistic headline would be American culture (or lack of it) enables Obama's global aggression.


5. Indeed. We will screw the Russians if and only if he ever get finished screwing ourselves. Slava Ukraina!


4. Oh, it’s a photoshopped picture that puts Medvedev, Putin and Strelkov on trial at Nuremburg. Photoshop, is there nothing you can't do?


3. Oh goody! A commemoration of EuroMaidan on it's one year anniversary! Will there be a parade of Nazis? Don't forget to BYO tires to burn!

And get a load of the description. It seems that EuroMaidan led to "freedom in Ukraine after the horrible and ongoing sacrifices." Anyone who's been paying attention would understand that the horrible and ongoing sacrifices are just beginning. But hey, all you so-called "people with dignity," come out and commemorate this historical event! Although if you really do have dignity you'd be a whole lot wiser to stay home.

Note that this is an event organized by foreigners in Ukraine. There is a larger event going on the evening of November 21st.

UPDATE: The number of listed attendees is up to 279.

Delusion  2

2. Supporting Russia is supporting crimes against humanity? Say it ain't so! Well if those pictures are the worst examples they can come up with, I'd have to say Ukraine and its supporters have a much worse record. And I'll say that IS so!

Besides, these photos were not taken in Russia. They were taken in Novorussia. Novorussia, Russia. What's the difference? Both contain the letters r-u-s-s-i-a. So, no difference, by the average Ukrainian thinking...


1. When you write an article like this, you always hope that somebody steps up big with a delusion that stands well above the rest. And thankfully, somebody stepped up and took on that challenge in a big way!

Our number one euro delusion winner is feeling guilty that he cannot be a part of the "ATO." (Anti-Terrorist Operation) To which I have to ask, "why?" If two teenage girls from Austria can figure out how to join ISIS, it would seem to me that someone who has his own mini business empire could figure out how to join the ATO. There are any number of foreigners who have already joined the fight, either on the Ukrainian side or on the Donbass side. So it's not that it can't be done; it's that the author hasn't put much effort to stand behind what he claims to believe in.

But hey, I'm sure that pretending to be all gung-ho about the ATO does not hurt his business interests in Kiev in the least.

Delusion  1aDelusion  1b

Thanks for taking this trip down Delusion Lane. Hopefully you're living somewhere more attached to reality. Until next time!

Recommended Reading via Amazon

If you're seeking more information about how the world really works, and not how the media would want you to believe it works, these books are a good start. These are all highly recommended.

If you don't see pictures above, you likely have an adblocker running.  If so, here are the links.

1. The Shock Doctrine - Naomi Klein
2. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man - John Perkins
3. Manufacturing Consent - Edward Herman, Noam Chomsky
4. Gladio - NATO's Dagger at the Heart of Europe - Richard Cottrell
5. Profit Over People - Noam Chomsky
6. Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives - Stephen Cohen
7. The Divide - American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap - Matt Taibbi

How this works.  Follow one of the links.  Should you decide to buy that item, or any item, I get a small percentage, which helps to maintain this site.  Your cost is the same, whether you buy from my link or not.  But if the item remains in the cart too long, I don't get a thing.  
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