Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Reduced Holiday Posting Schedule

This site will be on a reduced schedule for the holiday season.
If something important should happen, you'll hear about it here!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

NEO – What America is really threatening in Ukraine | Veterans Today

The US has warned Moscow to be “very careful” in its judgments after Vladimir Putin put the armed forces in western Russia on alert in response to mounting tension in Ukraine. This comment is obviously a threat, but of what?

The US is supporting what it hypocritically calls an “anti-terror” operation in the East of Ukraine, despite the fact it inserted snipers to fire indiscriminately on crowds in Maidan Square to achieve its objectives there.

In order to keep this going, NATO assets and US funding is already being overstretched in Syria, the US and the “chocolate soldiers” of the newly-installed Ukrainian government are practically picking kids off the streets of the West of the country, giving them a month’s training and then sending them to the front line as cannon fodder.

So what greater action is being threatened now?


Vietnam Generation

Whenever the US gets involved in a war, someone raises the spectre of Vietnam. Most US politicians of today come from a generation that fought in or protested against the Vietnam War.

Young men, mostly conscripts, were sent to serve their country in a faraway place by fighting for a cause few of them understood or believed in, at great human, moral and financial cost. Those troops went home to public vilification, some as basket cases.

This historic sore explains a number of recent US actions. Having won the Gulf War the US did not topple Saddam, though it is happy to remove other rulers, because it has bitter memories of spending countless millions propping up rulers it installed to pursue its interests, such as Thieu in South Vietnam and Marcos in the Philippines.

Similarly, the US rarely acts alone now, ensuring that its interventions are all NATO operations involving multiple partners. Though these actions further US policy, it does not want to carry the can if the public turns against that policy, and therefore seeks to spread the responsibility so wide it diffuses it altogether.

Complete story at - NEO – What America is really threatening in Ukraine | Veterans Today

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Head of Stratfor, ‘Private CIA’, Says Overthrow of Yanukovych Was ‘The Most Blatant Coup in History’

NoBC4U Note: Hey Mr. Friedman. Criticizing the hand that feed you might not be the best long term strategy.

In a December 19th interview in the Russian magazine Kommersant, George Friedman, who is the Founder and CEO of Stratfor, the ‘Shadow CIA’ firm, says of the overthrow of Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych that occurred on February 22nd of 2014: “It really was the most blatant coup in history.” Perhaps he is saying this because of the videos that were uploaded to the Web which showed it to be so, but this statement by him contradicts the description that is asserted by the U.S. White House and the European Union, and the Western press, which description is that Yanukovych’s overthrow was instead just the result of the U.S. Government’s $5+ billion expense since 1991 to establish ‘democracy’ in Ukraine.

Friedman further says that “The Russian authorities can not tolerate a situation in which western armed forces will be [in Ukraine] a hundred kilometers from Kursk or Voronezh [in Russia]”, and that the goal of the U.S. is to “maintain the balance of power in Europe, helping the weaker party,” which he says is Europe. He furthermore says, “The United States considers the most dangerous potential alliance to be between Russia and Germany. This would be an alliance of German technology and capital with Russian natural and human resources.” So: the U.S. is trying to antagonize Germans against Russia. This will weaken both of them. However, that would be not a “balance of power” but an increasing imbalance of power in favor of the United States. The Russian interviewer failed to catch his inconsistency on that.

Friedman was consistent with the U.S. Government’s line that Russia is a threat to the U.S.; he said: “No American president can afford to sit idly by if Russia becomes more and more influential.” He said that this is especially the case in the Middle East, and regarding Syria. But he then clarified himself, “I'm not saying that Russia's intervention in the Syrian conflict was the cause of the Ukrainian crisis, it would be a stretch.” Regarding Ukraine, he said: “The bottom line is that the strategic interests of the United States are to prevent Russia from becoming a hegemon. And the strategic interests of Russia are not to allow the US close to its borders.” He avoided even to mention the United States as possibly being a “hegemon” itself, one which is trying, along with its NATO allies, to crush Russia for its resisting America’s hegemony — that is, global dominance by America’s aristocracy.

President Obama had something to say about this very question when speaking at West Point on May 28th and asserting (with loaded anti-Russian assumptions and false outright allegations): “Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us. … The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed [sp.: past [[somebody at the White House didn’t even know the difference between ‘past’ and ‘passed’ and still don’t, six months afterward]] and it will be true for the century to come.” So: The U.S. President was telling West Point’s graduating cadets that the U.S. is the only hegemon and will stay that way for at least a hundred years. This was their marching-order, from the U.S President himself, their own Commander-inChief, representing America’s aristocracy (in this alleged ‘democracy’), for whom they will fight and kill, and, some of them, perhaps even die, or else become crippled for life.

Friedman closed by saying, “Russia will not make concessions in the Crimea, this is obvious. But I believe that it could face serious problems with supplies to the peninsula. Yet Moscow can not retreat from some of its requirements with regard to Ukraine. It can not be allowed that Western military appear in Ukraine. This is a nightmare in Moscow. … This is already happening, slowly but occurs. And it will be something that Russia does not accept … The US is not aiming that you need to have control over Ukraine, but that it is important that it is not controlled by Russia.” Here he was repeating his idea that America isn’t seeking to achieve advantage over Russia — that the U.S. has no hegemonic intentions, just “balance of power,” notwithstanding the Commander-in-Chief’s charge, months earlier, to his troops, for them to extend America’s hegemony another century.

Complete story at - Head of Stratfor, ‘Private CIA’, Says Overthrow of Yanukovych Was ‘The Most Blatant Coup in History’CC Photo Google Image Search Source is pbs twimg com  Subject is obama and his mutts

The Vineyard of the Saker: Free Fall of the Ruble – A brilliant ploy of Russian economic Wizards? Who’s chess game?

The propaganda drums tell you Russia is helpless because the world has lost the last bit of confidence in President Putin – of course. Regime change is on the agenda. Mr. Putin must be blamed as the culprit, hoping to discredit him with his people. He is leading Russia into a deep recession; the worst since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The mainstream media show you interviews with average mainstreet Russians saying they have lost all their savings, their salaries and pensions are worth nothing anymore and they don’t know how to survive this coming calamity.

In reality, at least 80% of the Russian population stands solidly behind Vladimir Putin. He has brought them universal education, health care and fixed infrastructure that was decaying after the fall of the Soviet Union. President Putin is literally revered as a hero by the vast majority of Russians – including the country’s oligarchy.

In fact, nobody in the western economic system these days is dealing in rubles. In short-sighted connivance with Washington, the treasuries of the western vassals are releasing their ruble reserves – which Russia does not buy, thereby flooding the market. Russia not only has large dollar reserves, plus the ruble is backed by gold, a fact consistently omitted in the MSM. For now, Russia prefers to let the ruble plummet.

Under another ‘arrangement’ by bully Obama, Middle Eastern oil producing puppets like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States are overproducing and flooding the market with petrol and gas, thereby driving the price down to the ostensible detriment of Russia and Venezuela, both countries where Washington vies for regime change. A double whammy thinks Washington, buying kudos with the stooges. The sheiks that control their energy output apparently have been promised enough goodies from Washington to bite the bullet and take their own losses.

Russia needs rubles. That’s her currency. That is the currency Russia needs for future trading – detached from the western monetary system.

When Russia deems that her currency has reached rock-bottom, she will buy back cheap rubles in the market with massive amounts of dollars. Russia may then flood the western market – with dollars, and by now we know what that does to a currency – and simultaneously buy back rubles from the West. A brilliant move to reestablish Russia’s currency in a new emerging monetary system – which Europe would be welcome to join, but willingly, no by Washington style arm-twisting.

Is this another precursor to war? A nuclear confrontation or Cold War II? – Precursor to a false flag attempting Moscow to fall into the trap? - Not necessarily. Russia is playing a clever chess game, diplomacy at its best. Instead of sabre rattling – Russia is coin rattling. It might lead to a western financial fiasco early in 2015 for the dollar and euro denominated economies. And the winner is…?

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, the Voice of Russia, now Ria Novosti, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe.
Complete story at - The Vineyard of the Saker: Free Fall of the Ruble – A brilliant ploy of Russian economic Wizards? Who’s chess game?CC Photo Google Image Search Source is EAE0QAAIBAgMDBwULCAcJAAAAAAABAgMRBBIhBTFRBhMiQWFxkTKBobGyByNCUmJyc5KjwdEUFRYzRFNjdCQ0Q4Kz4fElZHWDk6LS4vD  Subject is russian flag

Go West, Young Han — RT Op-Edge

November 18, 2014: it’s a day that should live forever in history.

On that day, in the city of Yiwu in China’s Zhejiang province, 300 kilometers south of Shanghai, the first train carrying 82 containers of export goods weighing more than 1,000 tons left a massive warehouse complex heading for Madrid. It arrived on December 9th.

Welcome to the new trans-Eurasia choo-choo train. At over 13,000 kilometers, it will regularly traverse the longest freight train route in the world, 40% farther than the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway. Its cargo will cross China from East to West, then Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, France, and finally Spain.

You may not have the faintest idea where Yiwu is, but businessmen plying their trades across Eurasia, especially from the Arab world, are already hooked on the city “where amazing happens!” We're talking about the largest wholesale center for small-sized consumer goods - from clothes to toys - possibly anywhere on Earth.

The Yiwu-Madrid route across Eurasia represents the beginning of a set of game-changing developments. It will be an efficient logistics channel of incredible length. It will represent geopolitics with a human touch, knitting together small traders and huge markets across a vast landmass. It’s already a graphic example of Eurasian integration on the go. And most of all, it’s the first building block on China’s “New Silk Road,” conceivably the project of the new century and undoubtedly the greatest trade story in the world for the next decade.

Go west, young Han. One day, if everything happens according to plan (and according to the dreams of China’s leaders), all this will be yours - via high-speed rail, no less. The trip from China to Europe will be a two-day affair, not the 21 days of the present moment. In fact, as that freight train left Yiwu, the D8602 bullet train was leaving Urumqi in Xinjiang Province, heading for Hami in China’s far west. That’s the first high-speed railway built in Xinjiang, and more like it will be coming soon across China at what is likely to prove dizzying speed.

Today, 90% of the global container trade still travels by ocean, and that’s what Beijing plans to change. Its embryonic, still relatively slow New Silk Road represents its first breakthrough in what is bound to be an overland trans-continental container trade revolution.

Complete story at - Go West, Young Han — RT Op-Edge

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Ukrainian journalist suggests Donbas residents be 'mercifully' killed |

NoBC4U Note: Yet another "journalist" from advocating genocide. And is financed by the Dutch and the US government. Nice friends you've got there... journalist Anastasia Stanko suggested a missile and bomb strike be carried out against Donbas

On her Facebook page, she openly put forth this idea as a way to stop the sufferings of the starving people.

Some visitors to her page, the so-called Ukrainian patriots, have openly supported her appeal.

"I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but then I think that they’re our towns and we will have to rebuild them afterwards…however…" one of them wrote.

In late August, Stanko was detained in the Luhansk People’s Republic on suspicion of spying. The "cruel Luhansk terrorists" treated her and her cameraman to a cup of tea with cookies and let them go.

Complete story at - Ukrainian journalist suggests Donbas residents be 'mercifully' killed |

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$300,000 in gold missing from Ukraine Central Bank after swapped for lead bricks — RT Business

NoBC4U Note: You wonder how many things one country can screw up? Ukraine's going for a record.

$300,000 in gold missing from Ukraine Central Bank after swapped for lead bricks — RT Business

Cunning fraudsters have conned the Ukraine Central Bank branch in Odessa into buying $300,000 worth of gold which turned out to be lead daubed with gold paint.

“A criminal case has been opened and we are now carrying out an investigation to identify those involved in the crime,” a spokesman for the Odessa police force is quoted by Vesti.

The news was first reported by Odessa’s State Ministry of Internal Affairs.

READ MORE: Where has all Ukraine's gold gone?

A preliminary investigation suggests the gang had someone working for them inside the bank that forged the necessary paperwork to allow the sale of the fake gold bullion. It’s also been discovered that bank staff were not regularly checked when entering or exiting the premises.

Since the discovery, the National Bank no longer buys precious metal over the counter, as it cannot be sure of its authenticity, says the First Deputy Head of the National Bank of Ukraine, Aleksandr Pisaruk.

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has confirmed the theft of several kilograms of gold in the Odessa region. The cashier involved has apparently fled to Crimea, Vesti Ukraine reports. Criminal proceedings began on November 18, even though the scam apparently took place between August and October.

In November, the Central Bank reportedly lost $12.6 billion in gold reserves, putting the total stockpile at just over $120 million.

However, the Central Bank reports that foreign currency and gold reserves stood at $9.97 billion at the end of November.

Complete story at - $300,000 in gold missing from Ukraine Central Bank after swapped for lead bricks — RT Business

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Monday, December 22, 2014

CrossTalk: The Big Picture in Ukraine

Kiev Forcing Death by Starvation or Relocation in Donbass | Ukraine's New Holodomor

NoBC4U Note: Novorossiya.  Remember them?  Yeah, they haven't been in the news a lot recently, have they?  Lately, it's been Russia, Sanctions, Ukraine, currency wars.  But that doesn't mean things in Novorossiya are returning to normal.  It will be a long, long time before any sense of normalcy returns to that region.

Can the murder of 3 million people go unnoticed by the entire world? Yes it can and unfortunately it has before. More than likely you have never even heard about it. By the end of 1941, the German and Ukrainian nazis had killed over 1 million Jews. This was the beginning of the Holocaust. We all know this.

By the end of 1941, the German and Ukrainian nazis killed 3 million Slavic and Soviet prisoners by using the method Ukrainian nationalists describe as Holomodor, or starvation death.

The Nazi Plan to Kill Slavic Peoples

The Nazi Plan for the East was first tried out on the Slavic and Soviet prisoners. This was their plan to destroy Slavic peoples which included central and southeast Ukraine. Prisoners suffered in cold and famine conditions so harsh they wrote petitions for the nazis to be merciful and just kill them.

According to Professor Timothy Snyder, In the German POW camps in occupied Soviet Belarus, Soviet Ukraine and Poland, prisoners were not even registered by name. As the German quartermaster general of the German army indicated, prisoners who could not work "were to be starved".

In Ukraine and Belarus, Bandera's Ukrainian SS nationalists ran the camps and starved millions of Ukrainians, Russians, and Belorussians to death. The world never even blinked.

It was wrong for the Ukrainian nationalists in the diaspora to create the myth of the 1932-33 Holomodor famine that their own families never suffered through to make it the centerpiece of Ukraine's nation-building program under Yushchenko; especially after Ukrainian nationalists used it as a tactic so effectively in 1941 against Ukrainians; starving three million prisoners to death.

This makes the idea that Ukrainian nationalists in Kiev would use this weapon again on the families of the same population criminal. It has been clearly proven that the nationalists were not in the Soviet Union in 1931-32. It has been clearly proven that the Ukrainian nationalists in service to the 3rd Reich used starvation as part of their genocide program in Ukraine and Belarus in 1941.The population that suffered under both famines were the families in central Ukraine and Donbass today.

Complete story at - Article: Kiev Forcing Death by Starvation or Relocation in Donbass | OpEdNews

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The new European 'arc of instability' — RT Op-Edge

The European Council on Foreign Relations and Berlin think-tank Friedrich Ebert Stiftung have just reached more or less the same conclusion.

If the dangerous stand-off between the EU and Russia over Ukraine is not solved, the EU could face, up to 2030, a military build-up in eastern Europe; a new arms race with NATO as a protagonist; and a semi-permanent “zone of instability” from the Baltic to the Balkans and the Black Sea.

What these two think-tanks don’t – and won’t – ever acknowledge is that a new European “arc of instability” – from the Baltic to the Black Sea, as myself and other independent analysts have stressed – is exactly what the Empire of Chaos and its weaponized arm – NATO – are working on to prevent closer Eurasia integration.

By the way, the Pentagon excels in fabricating “arcs of instability.” The previous one was – and remains – massive, stretching from the Maghreb to Xinjiang in western China across the Middle East and Central Asia.

Moscow has totally identified the plot; Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, once again, has made it crystal clear, in detail.

And crucially, some influential sectors in Germany also did, as in members of the cultural elite destroying the notion of a new war in Europe: “Not in our name.”

The same applies to those that always preach more transatlantic cooperation, extol the US’s “defining” role in Germany, and effusively praise Germany as the most American country in Europe; that’s the case of the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper – which stands for the core of the political and economic establishment in Germany.

It’s still in an embryonic stage, and has not yet made Chancellor Angela Merkel see the light; but a reverse reengineering of Atlanticist relations is already in progress in Germany.

Complete story at - The new European 'arc of instability' — RT Op-Edge

Me nato emblem

Land Destroyer: The Impending "Russian Maidan"

December 21, 2014 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - The coordinated manipulation of global energy prices, a NATO build-up in Eastern Europe, and the rekindling of terrorism in Russia's southern Caucasus region all appear to be ever-increasing crescendos toward a much larger event - a "Russian Maidan."

The necessary components of a successful Western bid to overthrow the Russian political order include a political front protesting in Russia's major cities, as well as a full-spectrum economic war to put pressure on Russia's population, increasing dissent as well as swelling the ranks of staged protests Wall Street and Washington put in Russian streets. Another necessary component includes armed components to act under cover of "peaceful protesters" to escalate street demonstrations, prevent security forces from restoring order, and to carry out the actual physical overthrow of these security forces.

These elements could all be seen in neighboring Ukraine - a nation in which America and NATO's incessant meddling is a matter of long-standing public record. The Guardian would admit in its 2004 article, “US campaign behind the turmoil in Kiev,” that (emphasis added):

...while the gains of the orange-bedecked "chestnut revolution" are Ukraine's, the campaign is an American creation, a sophisticated and brilliantly conceived exercise in western branding and mass marketing that, in four countries in four years, has been used to try to salvage rigged elections and topple unsavoury regimes.

Funded and organised by the US government, deploying US consultancies, pollsters, diplomats, the two big American parties and US non-government organisations, the campaign was first used in Europe in Belgrade in 2000 to beat Slobodan Milosevic at the ballot box.

Richard Miles, the US ambassador in Belgrade, played a key role. And by last year, as US ambassador in Tbilisi, he repeated the trick in Georgia, coaching Mikhail Saakashvili in how to bring down Eduard Shevardnadze.

Ten months after the success in Belgrade, the US ambassador in Minsk, Michael Kozak, a veteran of similar operations in central America, notably in Nicaragua, organised a near identical campaign to try to defeat the Belarus hardman, Alexander Lukashenko.

That one failed. "There will be no Kostunica in Belarus," the Belarus president declared, referring to the victory in Belgrade.

But experience gained in Serbia, Georgia and Belarus has been invaluable in plotting to beat the regime of Leonid Kuchma in Kiev.

The operation - engineering democracy through the ballot box and civil disobedience - is now so slick that the methods have matured into a template for winning other people's elections.

The Blockade...

Already at work is a coordinated manipulation of world oil prices. Revealed among plunging oil prices is that the entire industry is centrally manipulated not by market forces but by political agendas involving the US and its partners in the Middle East, most notably the enduring dictatorship in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. While any nation possesses the ability to weather such economic measures in the long-term as Iran and Cuba have proven, in the short-term, economic instability is one of the harbingers of political subversion where ranks of street demonstrations can be swelled by those who perceive such economic instability as the fault of the current government, rather than an economic attack from abroad.

Complete story at - Land Destroyer: The Impending "Russian Maidan"

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Ukraine Crisis: Playing Russian Roulette With All The Bullets In The Cylinder | The BRICS Post

There are two main schools of thought in Russia these days about the reasons for the crisis in Ukraine.

The first states that the Cold War never really ended, but lay bubbling in the shadow of the supposedly ‘improving’ relations between Russia and the West.

It has now simply come out into the open, with the US and the EU – weakened by the financial crash and the economic crisis that followed – deciding to go for a gigantic ‘asset grab’ in Ukraine, and installing a pro-Western, fiercely anti-Russian regime in Kiev.

This, they hoped would drag Ukraine into their sphere of influence, with the not so distant aim of turning it into a NATO advanced post on the Russian border.

This school of thinking is shared by quite a lot of people in the Kremlin and the political establishment generally, who have always been saying that the West could not be trusted and that it was a huge mistake to open the doors for Western companies to flood into Russia and occupy serious positions in different sectors of industry.

The crisis in Ukraine, therefore, for these people was a logical result of Western expansionism to the east, with the view of staging some sort of ‘colour revolution’ in Russia itself as the final goal.

The other school of thought states that it was actually Moscow’s fault that its European neighbours were looking westwards, simply because Russia could not really offer them anything attractive enough to counter the influence of the West.

Proponents of this school of thinking believe that oil and gas were important factors that maintained the links between Russia and its eastern neighbours; the Russian consumer market had its attractions as well.

Complete story at - Ukraine Crisis: Playing Russian Roulette With All The Bullets In The Cylinder | The BRICS Post

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No pensions, water, electricity: Ukrainian way to the EU | New Eastern Outlook

We present you the interview regarding the situation in the New Russia with a political analyst and observer of the elections on 2nd of November Ph.D. Mateusz Piskorski. He is the founder of the Center for Geopolitical Analysis.

Igor Plotnitsky, the head of Luhansk People’s Republic, while commenting on Facebook about the decision of Ukrainian authorities to discontinue payments of all social obligations to the residents of Donbas, announced about a possibility of a referendum on accession of LPR into the Russian Federation:

“If people will vote for the accession to the Russian Federation, Russia will have the full right to send to its own territory of the former Luhansk region (today – LPR) a regular army and expel the invaders from our land”.

Is this a realistic scenario?

This is certainly a desire, a dream and an idea, supported by many residents of Luhansk and Donetsk district. This is not feasible at this stage. Russia will not decide to join these republics to Russia and does not take up the scenario that realized in the Crimea. For several reasons, not only geopolitical but also economic. The most likely scenario is the functioning of these republics and perhaps, in the future, a variety of newly appointed People’s Republics within the progressive Ukraine socio-economic crisis.

They may function on the basis of such unrecognized states, of course, receiving some humanitarian support. If we conducted a survey among the residents of these districts, we would see that they are guided by a very simple premises. Some of them recognize that Russia is able to secure the realization of basic needs: social needs, domestic needs, economic, but also the need to provide basic security on the streets. Therefore, they would obviously want to live on the territory of a State that actually works, whose state authorities, more or less efficiently operate.

On the other hand, we have a very large number of people: old people, so just as it was in the Crimea. These people live with a certain sentiment and belief that Eastern Ukraine district form a civilizational, cultural, linguistic whole. And hence they should form a political whole with the Russian Federation. These two factors mean that if we today would held a referendum, the result would likely be very clear and most of the population would favour annexation to the Russian Federation. Whereas, I emphasize that the Russian Federation today is not ready for such a scenario and will not be ready in a next few years.

Abolishing the social benefits, including pensions, shows that the authorities in Kiev have taken a very risky decision, because that decision says that that Kiev at least partially acknowledged that the areas controlled by the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic are no longer part of the state of the Ukraine. Ukrainian State, making such a decision, found that it is not responsible for some part of the population, for providing them the social benefits. Thus, this part of the population now has the full right to organize their state structures independently.

Complete story at - No pensions, water, electricity: Ukrainian way to the EU | New Eastern Outlook

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Inequality In U.S. Today Is Worse than in Apartheid South Africa or 1774 Slaveholding Colonial America - Washington's Blog

Even Slaves Had It Better

Inequality in America today is twice as bad as in ancient Rome, worse than it was in Tsarist Russia, Gilded Age America, modern Egypt, Tunisia or Yemen, many banana republics in Latin America, and worse than experienced by slaves in 1774 colonial America.

Nicholas Kristof notes at the New York Times that inequality in the U.S. is worse than it was in apartheid South Africa:

The net worth of the average black household in the United States is $6,314, compared with $110,500 for the average white household, according to 2011 census data. The gap has worsened in the last decade, and the United States now has a greater wealth gap by race than South Africa did during apartheid. (Whites in America on average own almost 18 times as much as blacks; in South Africa in 1970, the ratio was about 15 times.)

Complete story at - Inequality In U.S. Today Is Worse than in Apartheid South Africa or 1774 Slaveholding Colonial America ... and TWICE As Bad As In Ancient Slaveholding Rome Washington's Blog

Something Very Different for a Change. Some Food for Thought.

NoBC4U Note: It's quite easy to get so caught up in the here and now that we lose sight of the bigger picture. The human race has great potential; but the greedy, short-sighted, power hungry idiots who unfortunately control things keep screwing things up and stand in the way of humanity reaching it's full potential. Or maybe I'm just dreaming? 

Or maybe the holidays have put me in a more optimistic mood, at least for a while.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Ukraine's Two Big Gas Deals Are Now Both Dry - Washington's Blog

Eric Zuesse

In June, Shell Oil halted its newly dug shale-gas wells at the Yuzivska gas field in southeastern Ukraine, and gave as the reason the civil war there, though only after Ukrainian Government troops had ousted the local residents (who had opposed fracking) was Shell even enabled to dig the wells, so Shell’s departure was puzzling. Then, on 19 June 2014, Igor Alexeev at the oilprce blog presented the reasonable hypothesis of “The Real Reason Shell Halted Its Ukrainian Shale Operations”: “In reality, the truth may be closer to the fact that company is disappointed with the economic viability of what it once thought was a large shale deposit and is looking for a way out.”

The other big gas deal in Ukraine was with Chevron, and it was in the western part of the country, where there was and is no civil war. On Monday night 15 December 2014, Reuters headlined, “Ukraine says Chevron plans to pull out of $10 bln shale gas deal,” and reported that, “Chevron had told the government it was pulling out of the deal,” and that Chevron “declined to give further details.”

All of a sudden, the idea that Obama had taken over Ukraine in a bloody February coup in order to win Ukraine’s gas potential are beginning to sound a bit overblown, or else the White House, where Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden and John Kerry’s friend and family-wealth-fund advisor Devon Archer were hired by a multibillionaire Ukrainian thug and gas-speculator Ihor Kolomoysky for the board of his Ukrainian gas-exploration company, must be very disappointed to have slaughtered so many people who live on the Yuzivska field, all for nothing.

Such are the risks of ‘entrepreneurship.’

Perhaps Obama and Kerry and other promoters of the coup and ethnic cleansing such as John McCain will now send a few flowers to funerals of at least a token number of the soldiers who are dying there so needlessly, and maybe even of some of the thousands of civilians in Ukraine’s southeast who have been killed by them — just to pay their respects, of course, not as any sort of commentary upon those U.S. officials’ sponsorship of the slaughters there. After all, Obama and Kerry and McCain aren’t Ukrainian officials. They’re just observers, and concerned American citizens regarding the misfortunes of America’s newest colony.

Complete story at - Ukraine's Two Big Gas Deals Are Now Both Dry Washington's Blog

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Foreign Bankers Rape Ukraine | New Eastern Outlook

William Engdahl

Rape of an entire country, just as rape of a small child, is murder. It is a form of murder of the soul and ultimately of the child. Forty five million Ukrainians do not deserve such treatment any more than an innocent four-year-old child does.

If it were not for the fact that the lives of some 45 million people are at stake, Ukrainian national politics could be laughed off as a very sick joke. Any pretenses that the October national elections would bring a semblance of genuine democracy of the sort thousands of ordinary Ukrainians demonstrated for on Maidan Square just one year ago vanished with the announcement by Victoria Nuland’s darling Prime Minister, “Yat” Yatsenyuk, of his new cabinet.

The US-picked Ukraine President, billionaire oligarch Petro Poroshenko called “snap” elections at the end of August for October 26. He did so to make sure genuine opposition to his regime of murderers, gangsters and in some cases outright Nazis would be able to push an unprepared genuine opposition out of the Verkhovna Rada or Parliament. Because the parliament had significant opposition parties to the US-engineered February 22 coup d’etat, they had blocked many key pieces of legislation that the Western vultures were demanding, from changing key land ownership laws to privatization of precious state assets. By law, the old parliament would have sat until its five year term ended in October, 2017. That was clearly too long for State Department neo-con Ukraine puppet-mistress Victoria Nuland and her backers in Washington.

Now, with a new parliament that is controlled by the Petro Poroshenko bloc as largest party and the boyish-looking former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who is also new Prime Minister as head of the second largest party, the way was clear to get on with the rape of Ukraine. What shocked some is the blatant foreign takeover that followed, like a Wall Street vulture fund raid on a distressed debtor country of the Third World.

The ridiculous charade

Yatsenyuk, former finance minister in a previous criminal regime, and a suspected senior member of the US-intelligence-friendly “Church of Scientology,” has named three complete foreigners as cabinet ministers in key economic posts. And in an extraordinary act, the three have been made instant Ukrainian citizens by Poroshenko in a ridiculous ceremony. Ukraine is looking more and more like the US-occupied Philippines after the Spanish-American War of 1898 when General Arthur MacArthur, father of the mentally-dis-ordered Douglas, was Washington’s dictator on the spot.

The new Ukrainian Finance Minister, the one who will control the money and decides where it goes, is one Natalia A. Jaresko. She speaks fluent Ukrainian. Only problem—she is an American citizen, a US State Department veteran who is also a US investment banker. Now, the Ukrainian Constitution, prudently enough, stipulates that government ministers be Ukrainian. How then does our sweet Natalia come in?

The President of Ukraine, another Victoria Nuland favorite, the “Chocolate King” corrupt oligarch billionaire, Petro Poroshenko, made her a Ukrainian citizen in a bizarre ceremony the same day just hours before the parliament declared her Finance Minister.

Complete story at - Foreign Bankers Rape Ukraine | New Eastern Outlook

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Russia expels Ukrainian guest workers |

Russia will tighten control over the entry of migrant workers from Ukraine. The latter’s loss is estimated at $11-13 billion.

This statement was made by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

"From January 1, 2015, Ukrainian workers in Russia with off-the-books income that constitute the majority cannot be employed without a permit," the Prime Minister explained.

Russia will tighten control over the terms of stay for migrant workers from Ukraine. According to the Prime Minister, Ukrainian nationals will be allowed to stay in Russia no more than 90 days within a period of six months. Previously, one could leave the country and return to continue working another three months. Now border guard officers will be on the alert for such ‘travelers,’ the Prime Minister promised.

"The reduction in remittance by Ukrainian immigrant workers will lead to losses for Ukraine. Currently, nearly 400,000 workers, including highly qualified specialists and those having a work permit are working in Russia," Mr. Medvedev said.

The total number of Ukrainian guest workers in Russia exceeds the official statistics significantly. On June 20, 2014, Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev reminded Kiev that 6 million Ukrainian nationals are currently employed in Russia.

Complete story at - Russia expels Ukrainian guest workers |

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Hungary’s Cabinet Braces for Open War in Ukraine, Figyelo Says - Bloomberg

NoBC4U Note: I wouldn't exactly classify it as a war between Ukraine and Russia. It's more of a war between a radical ideology in Ukraine and a people who just want to live in peace. But that doesn't take away from the fact that other countries are beginning to get worried about events in Ukraine.

Hungary is in a “war zone” and must prepare for an escalation in the armed conflict between neighboring Ukraine and Russia, said Janos Lazar, the minister in charge of the Prime Minister’s Office.

“We absolutely can’t exclude the possibility of a real war between Ukraine and Russia,” Lazar, who also oversees the country’s secret services, said in an interview published in weekly Figyelo today. The conflict may yet enter a “much worse stage” as war is the most likely scenario, Lazar said according to the transcript of the interview.

Troops in Ukraine, home to more than 100,000 ethnic Hungarians, are fighting pro-Russian rebels as talks on a lasting peace deal have been delayed. Russia’s government denies any involvement in the conflict which has killed more than 4,600 and roiled the two countries’ economies.

The Cool War

The Hungarians are living as “hostages” in Ukraine, which is “lethally dangerous,” Lazar said. A U.S. decision to provide arms to Ukraine would be “very dangerous and distressing,” Lazar said, adding that Hungary won’t transport any arms itself.

Complete story at - Hungary’s Cabinet Braces for Open War in Ukraine, Figyelo Says - Bloomberg

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Wage arrears in Ukraine, as unemployment hits new highs |

Public sector workers in Ukraine have not seen their wages in months

Teachers and doctors say their wages are paid in installments, they have lost their bonuses, and it is unknown whether they will see their money before the end of the year.

Teachers in Ternopil gathered outside the regional administration building demanding the payment of back-wages and a 20-percent bonus. Local media reports say that public sector employees across the country either are not paid their wages at all, or are paid in installments with significant delays.

Meanwhile, in some parts of the country, unemployment is setting new records. Vasyl Barilyuk, the director of the Lviv regional employment center, told the newspaper Vesti that there are almost 23,000 unemployed individuals in the Lviv region with 13-16 applications for one job.

"In the past there used to be 1,500-2,000 vacancies, but now there are two or three times fewer," city employment center head Oleh Risnyi adds.

Economic decline is only one reason; refugees are another, he said. Officially, there are 9,000 refugees in the region, but in reality their number is three times as large.

Complete story at - Wage arrears in Ukraine, as unemployment hits new highs |

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Russian news: Merkel Digs Own Grave, Doubles Down With Harsh Anti-Russia Rhetoric - Russia Insider

As we reported last week, Angela Merkel has come under fire by her three predecessors – Schroeder, Kohl and Schmidt – over her uncompromising stance towards Russia.

Those wondering how she will react to such criticism did not have to wait for long.

Die Welt am Sonntag has just printed an interview with her under the header: „Angela Merkel blames Moscow for the destabilization of Eastern Europe“.

Those still hoping that her words had somehow, sometimes been equivocated, or even mistranslated, will now have to face facts: Angela Merkel really is a staunch servant of the American empire.

Merkel's words leave no room for dialogue and compromise. She is right, her critics are wrong, and Putin is a evildoer who must pay the price for his actions.

Complete story at - Russian news: Merkel Digs Own Grave, Doubles Down With Harsh Anti-Russia Rhetoric - Russia Insider

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American economist: Ukraine failed to establish itself |

Timofiy Mylovanov, an American economist of Ukrainian origin, said this in an interview with Kraina

Mylovanov believes that the country is failing to give attention to key issues and is not discussing reform in a meaningful manner.

"We discuss Donbas, and whether they like us there. But these are not the fundamental issues that Ukraine is facing. It’s not at all essential if we don’t know what kind of reform to pursue and how to exit the present condition. The former regime is partly to blame here. But all in all, this is the result of our country’s policies for 23 years. The country has failed to establish itself. It has failed to reimagine itself," the expert said.

Ukrainian historian and journalist Danilo Yanevskiy shares Mylovanov’s opinion. He believes that the Ukrainian crisis has spiraled out of control and nothing can be done to help it now.

"When a lynching begins, it cannot be stopped. The sooner they bury this state, the better. There is no stabilizing the political system. It has failed on all levels – in technology, the economy and philosophically,"- Yanevskiy said.

Complete story at - American economist: Ukraine failed to establish itself |

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War By Media And The Triumph Of Propaganda


Once again, the evil empire is coming to get us, led by another Stalin or, perversely, a new Hitler. Name your demon and let rip.

The suppression of the truth about Ukraine is one of the most complete news blackouts I can remember. The biggest Western military build-up in the Caucasus and eastern Europe since world war two is blacked out. Washington's secret aid to Kiev and its neo-Nazi brigades responsible for war crimes against the population of eastern Ukraine is blacked out. Evidence that contradicts propaganda that Russia was responsible for the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner is blacked out.

And again, supposedly liberal media are the censors. Citing no facts, no evidence, one journalist identified a pro-Russian leader in Ukraine as the man who shot down the airliner. This man, he wrote, was known as The Demon. He was a scary man who frightened the journalist. That was the evidence.

Many in the western media haves worked hard to present the ethnic Russian population of Ukraine as outsiders in their own country, almost never as Ukrainians seeking a federation within Ukraine and as Ukrainian citizens resisting a foreign-orchestrated coup against their elected government.

What the Russian president has to say is of no consequence; he is a pantomime villain who can be abused with impunity. An American general who heads Nato and is straight out of Dr. Strangelove - one General Breedlove - routinely claims Russian invasions without a shred of visual evidence. His impersonation of Stanley Kubrick's General Jack D. Ripper is pitch perfect.

Forty thousand Ruskies were massing on the border, according to Breedlove. That was good enough for the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Observer - the latter having previously distinguished itself with lies and fabrications that backed Blair's invasion of Iraq, as its former reporter, David Rose, revealed.

Complete story at - War By Media And The Triumph Of Propaganda

Me propaganda CorporateNews

The NATO paper tiger |

Regnum commentator Alexander Zapolskis looks at how strong the North Atlantic alliance really is

The Chinese term "paper tiger" means something that seems strong but is actually weak. I was reminded of it when I read about the comparative analysis of NATO and Russian military capabilities done by the Polish network TVN24. On paper, NATO compared to Russia is like an elephant to a pug. Take, for example, military budgets: the alliance spends $950 bn a year, while Russia spends less than $90 bn.

Or the overall numerical strength of the armed forces: 3.5 mln NATO personnel to Russia’s 766,000. The North Atlantic alliance looks superior to Russia on all counts. But is this really the case? After all, on paper, as of February 2014, Ukraine’s army was the sixth largest in the world in manpower and equipment.

And yet it was routed by the Donetsk self-defense forces, commanded by musicians, blue collar workers and even a historical reenactment fan.

But if you take all the key indicators of NATO armies and list them in a chart, the picture will look somewhat different. At first glance, looks fine. There are 28 countries in the bloc with a total population of 888 mln people. They have 3.9 mln troops between them, over 6,000 warplanes, around 3,600 helicopters, 17,800 tanks, 62,600 armored fighting vehicles, 15,000 artillery pieces, 16,000 mortars, 2,600 multiple launch systems and 302 warships (all major classes, including submarines). The trick, however, is that it includes more than just NATO. There’s some deceptive accounting.

Complete story at - The NATO paper tiger |

Me nato emblem

Malaysia Airlines jet hit by ‘Ukrainian missile’ |

In a video posted on the Internet, a former Ukrainian army sergeant says the controversial Buk surface-to-air missile (SAM) system that purportedly downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MN17 belonged to the Ukrainian Armed Forces

The sergeant was interviewed by Ukrainian reporter Anatoly Sharyi.

According to the serviceman, when the Malaysian Boeing crashed, Ukraine tried to attribute the system to the self-defense forces or the Russian army.

"We were deployed in the field. First, in Kramatorsk (…). This is definitely a Ukrainian Buk. I personally know this machine. The Buk picture that I sent from Luhansk shows the Yubileinaya coalmine in the background. The military unit is in the town of Metallist. It was ridiculous when Kiev said the Buk belonged to the Russians or the self-defense forces," the sergeant said.

He also deciphered the digits in the self-propelled system’s ID number: "3" is the number of the Ukrainian army subdivision (Luhansk), "1" is the battery number, and "2" is the crew ID number.

"It is totally incomprehensible why a SAM system is necessary in the anti-terrorist operation zone," the soldier concluded.

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Ukrainian football player refused to wear “Glory to the Ukrainian Army” t-shirt before the match - Truth about situation in Ukraine

9th of December, 2014. Ukraine.

The Ukrainian football player Alexey Gai (Oleksiy Gai in Ukrainian) refused to wear “Glory to the Ukrainian Army” t-shirt before the match on the 7th of December. Other football players of “Chornomorets Odesa” FC supported the Ukrainian Army and wore the t-shirts.

During the TV show about football Alexey Gai said: “I didn’t understand the meaning of the action. The football is out of politics.”


Complete story at - 9th of December, 2014. Ukraine. The Ukrainian... - Truth about situation in Ukraine

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The Vineyard of the Saker: Confusion about AngloZionist sanctions against Russia

There seems to be a lot of confusion about the effectiveness of sanctions against Russia and I think that this is a good time to clarify a few things about my take on them.

First, the original sanctions were a total joke. However, the latest sanctions (including the denial of credit) are definitely hurting Russia.

Second, next to the official sanctions, there are unofficial ones, such as the carefully orchestrated drop in the prices of oil which itself triggers a fall in the value of the Ruble against the Dollar and the Euro.

Third, there is also a great deal of speculation against the Ruble which itself does also contribute to the problem.

Fourth and last, but not least, the three factors above contribute to a nervousness and lack of trust into the Russian currency and economy which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

However, the thing which those who stick to a simplistic assessment of the sanctions are missing are the following:

1) Whom are these sanctions hurting more, Russia or the West?
2) What is the Russian staying power to put up with these sanctions?
3) Will time make these sanctions harder or easier for Russia to put up with?

I would argue that these sanctions are much more damaging to the the US European colonies (known as the "EU") than for Russia. I would argue that the Russian people have a formidable resistance to hardship and that western societies are, in comparison, soft, hedonistic, lazy, spoiled and generally weak. Russians have a staying power which is simply unimaginable for a west European person (the horrible siege of Leningrad lasted 900 days!!!). Lastly, I believe that time will allow Russia to take adaptive measures to basically render these sanctions irrelevant.

Complete story at - The Vineyard of the Saker: Confusion about AngloZionist sanctions against Russia

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Unfortunately US Neo-Cons Have Not Reversed A Confrontationist Course Towards China

The goal of the Obama administration’s ‘pivot to Asia’ was encircling and containing China. This was officially denied but was evident from the facts and, therefore, naturally was transparently clear to China’s leadership,consequently considerably increasing tensions in the Pacific region.

A new element in the ‘pivot’ was the clear US administration calculation that China was now sufficiently strong that the US alone could not by itself feel sure of winning a contest with China in the Pacific. Therefore the US administration attempted to construct an ‘anti-China alliance’

US policy steps in line with the ‘pivot’ only made sense in that framework - stationing US military forces in Australia; announcing the Diaoyu Islands were included in the military alliance with Japan; stating 60% of US military forces would be in the Pacific; encouraging Philippine challenges to China, seeking agreements with Vietnam clearly de facto aimed against China.

China undoubtedly attempted to persuade the US against a course of confrontation. In June 2013, shortly after becoming president, Xi Jinping went to California, for a summit with President Obama, to try to establish US-China relations based on what China terms mutual respect for 'core interests'/a ‘new type of relation’ between powers. Regretfully the US did not change its policies. If there was a personal coolness at the Xi-Obama press conference after the APEC summit, as some commentators have suggested, this was possibly due to the fact that Xi’s personal attempt to head off a US-China confrontation had been rebuffed.

Slightly over a year later, around the APEC and G20 summits in November 2014, it is evident that China’s growing strength has won a decisive victory against the US confrontationist policy. But, regretfully, as will be seen, US neo-con forces have not concluded this fight is strategically damaging but merely that the terrain of confrontation with China must be shifted.

Complete story at - Key Trends in Globalisation

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

"Death is roaming Ukraine" |

LIVA magazine publishes a German reader’s letter written under her impressions of the news and reports of the civil war in Ukraine

Ukraine, where death has settled down, is quite close to us. Death gained a firm foothold there: machine guns are firing and bombs are falling, tanks are driving around and cannons are shelling.

Death lives there, people are bleeding there and get crippled. They are killed by shrapnel, they die in the streets, burn inside buses and cars. At the bus stops, on a football pitch, under debris of destroyed houses – death awaits them everywhere.

Death is following you, stalking you – you have to constantly hide behind walls, in the bunkers and cellars. Death has set his foothold here – here in Ukraine – the black demon of death is in the air. He stares at you ever and ever again – at night and in the daytime. It makes no difference – whether workers go to work or schoolchildren go to school. He does not care. He comes for you – he is looking for you every day. He doesn’t care if you want to see him or not, if you feel it or not. It makes no difference to him.

He doesn’t care about your age. He doesn’t care what you are doing now. He doesn’t care about your wishes.

He is always near here – he is waiting for you while the shells explode around. You do not know where, when and how he is going to grasp you.

You are given to him for slaughter.

Death is ruthless, merciless and cold-blooded. Blood is freezing in the veins – here children and adults scream of pain and fear.

The terror is overwhelming their hearts.

Complete story at - "Death is roaming Ukraine" |

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Going To The Dogs — IMF, World Bank Halt Lending To Ukraine | Dances With Bears

Multi-billion dollar lending to Ukraine by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank has stopped amid growing doubts among country board directors at the two international organizations that the Ukrainian Government can meet repayment commitments and loan covenants for 2015, or deliver on reform promises and budget financing targets tabled in Kiev this week.

For the first time since the change of government in Ukraine last February led to civil war in the east of the country, European bankers and multilateral fund sources acknowledge that Kiev is now likely to default on its international debts, and will seek a reorganization of its bond debt. This will hit Franklin Templeton, the US investment fund which has accumulated up to $9 billion in Ukrainian bonds on a wager to make a $4 billion profit – if the US Government guarantees full and timely repayment.
IMF officials refuse to elaborate on the new terminology which the Fund began issuing last week to describe the suspension of cash disbursements under the Fund’s existing $17.1 billion programme, started last May. For the fine print of the IMF programme, read this and more.

David Lipton (below, left), the former US Treasury and White House official who is now deputy chief executive of the Fund, announced in Kiev on Friday: “A Fund team conducting technical discussions is expected to conclude its work by the end of the coming week. A mission to conduct policy discussions in the context of the Fund-supported program is expected to return to Kyiv early next year.” He said this after meetings with President Petro Poroshenko, Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk, Minister of Finance Natalie Jaresko, and Minister of Economy Aivaras Abromavicius. Jaresko (below, right) is an American national; Abromavicius, Lithuanian.

A spokesman for the IMF in Washington was asked to say who is in charge of the current “technical discussions”, who will head the delayed “policy discussions”, and what the difference is between them. The spokesman said this morning: “The head of the IMF technical mission, which is currently working in Kiev, is Mr. Gueorguiev, and he will also lead the mission for policy discussions early next year. Technical missions focus more on collecting data and discussing technical issues while missions for policy discussions focus on policy discussions.”

Complete story at - Going To The Dogs — IMF, World Bank Halt Lending To Ukraine – $4 Billion Ukraine Bond Wager Goes Bad For Franklin Templeton | Dances With Bears

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U.S. Taxpayers Now Alone in Financing Ukraine's Ethnic Cleansing Campaign - Washington's Blog

Eric Zuesse

The IMF has concluded that it was too optimistic when loaning Ukraine $17 billion at the end of April, and that the Ukrainian Government’s economic condition is far worse than the IMF expected, and also that the Government’s anti-corruption program is too weak to justify the planned loan-installments or “tranches” going to Ukraine. Therefore, “even providing the program of the next two tranches is open to question.”

However, this only confirms an earlier assessment, made public on October 28, about which Reuters headlined at the time, “Ukraine unlikely to receive IMF loan tranche this year: finance minister.” And this was already “after warning in September that if Ukraine’s conflict with the separatists runs into next year, the country may need as much as $19 billion in extra aid.” Ukraine has made clear that it will continue the war, and so the additional $19 billion will also need to be paid to Ukraine in order for its war against the “separatists” to continue.

This rejection comes as a severe disappointment to the Ukrainian Government, whose central bank chief said on November 16th, “I am still optimistic about us being able to do it [to receive the third tranche] this year.” Clearly, that expectation won’t be able to be met.

So, since Ukraine is nonetheless now gearing up, with American taxpayers’ money, to replace its weapons-supply that was used-up or destroyed in the war to-date, and also to build an immense new military graveyard for a planned 250,000 corpses of Ukrainian soldiers in the next and future rounds of invasions against the rebelling region in Ukraine’s (former) southeast, the IMF is basically quitting continued financing of that ethnic-cleansing campaign against the residents in that region. The EU has already quit funding it, other than a token half-billion-euro donation delivered on December 10th. Only the U.S. remains committed to funding it, by donating whatever weapons and military guidance are deemed necessary in order to conquer, and/or to expel, the pro-Russian residents in Ukraine’s former southeast. 98% of the U.S. House voted for it, and so did 100% of the U.S. Senate. At least 67% of the U.S. public are against it.

Complete story at - U.S. Taxpayers Now Alone in Financing Ukraine's Ethnic Cleansing Campaign Washington's Blog

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America: Australia's Dangerous Ally | The National Interest

Australia should not embrace America, writes its former prime minister, but preserve itself from Washington’s reckless overreach.

IT IS time for Australia to end its strategic dependence on the United States. The relationship with America, which has long been regarded as beneficial, has now become dangerous to Australia’s future. We have effectively ceded to America the ability to decide when Australia goes to war. Even if America were the most perfect and benign power, this posture would still be incompatible with the integrity of Australia as a sovereign nation. It entails not simply deference but submission to Washington, an intolerable state of affairs for a country whose power and prosperity are increasing and whose national interests dictate that it enjoy amicable, not hostile, relations with its neighbors, including China.

As painful as a reassessment of relations may be for intellectual and policy elites, there are four principal reasons why one is long overdue. First, despite much blather about a supposed unanimity of national purpose, the truth is that the United States and Australia have substantially different values systems. The idea of American exceptionalism is contrary to Australia’s sense of egalitarianism. Second, we have seen the United States act in an arbitrary, imprudent and capricious fashion. It has made a number of ill-advised and ill-informed decisions concerning Eastern Europe, Russia and the Middle East. Third, at the moment, because of U.S. military installations in Australia, if America goes to war in the Pacific, it will take us to war as well—without an independent decision by Australia. Finally, under current circumstances, in any major contest in the Pacific, our relationship with America would make us a strategic target for America’s enemies. It is not in Australia’s interest to be in that position.

American fecklessness has produced this state of affairs. As the recent twenty-fifth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall reminds us, the breakup of the Soviet Union created a different world. It was a world bursting with opportunity, as was first described by President George H. W. Bush in a speech to Congress after the first Gulf War. Bush was then talking about a new world, one in which there would be much greater cooperation between nations large and small. It was the kind of speech that many people worldwide wanted to hear from an American president. However, the purposes and commitment expressed in that speech were to be cut short. The presidents that followed—Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama—may have differed in tone but not in substance. They have all adhered to the illusion of American omnipotence.

It was Morton Abramowitz of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a former U.S. ambassador and one of the prime movers in establishing the International Crisis Group, who wrote in 2012 that “American exceptionalism dooms U.S. foreign policy.” Nothing has altered since then. Even President Obama has embraced the idea of exceptionalism, telling the UN General Assembly in 2013, “I believe America is exceptional.” A nation better than any other, innately motivated to do good; what America does is right because America does it. The idea of American exceptionalism, which has always been present in the United States, has gone far beyond all comprehension in the years of America’s absolute supremacy. It has created a different nation, a different society. Such ideas influence American foreign policy in ways that make it much more difficult to achieve a secure and safe path in the future. Our task is not to embrace America, but to preserve ourselves from its reckless overreach.

THIS IS not a message that the Australian government appears to endorse. The 2014 Australian Defence Issues Paper, for example, suggests we have shared values with the United States. This is nonsense. America’s views of itself have no part in Australia’s values system. They represent an important point of difference between the United States and Australia. They affect the United States’ strategic thinking and policies and drive America in directions that at times have not been in Australia’s interest.

No doubt our alliance with the United States made sense in the Cold War years. The Soviet Union was regarded as a global Communist threat. The battlegrounds of the Cold War spanned the world, including in our own region. Australia, with limited resources, was quite correct in wanting a close association with a major power in these circumstances.

Ending the Communist threat was only one consequence of the breakup of the Soviet Union. A greater one, perhaps, was the absolute supremacy of the United States as a military and economic power. Before that time, each superpower acted as a restraint on the other. Neither wanted a nuclear war, and both took care to avoid the kind of provocations that would inevitably lead to war. After 1991, the United States was under no such restraint. Russia was down for the count, so far as global influence was concerned.

After the breakup of the Soviet Union, it was a time for generosity. Recalling the spirit of the Marshall Plan and the post–World War II enlightenment, it was a moment for magnanimity to prevail; it was not a time to revive the spirit of Versailles and exact vengeance on a fallen foe. Unfortunately, Europe and the United States chose the wrong path. Many ways could have been found at that time to secure the independence of states freed from Soviet domination. NATO and the United States chose what turned out to be the most dangerous and provocative mechanism, and worked to include much of Eastern Europe within the confines of NATO itself. This approach ignored history and past strategic relationships. The results speak for themselves.

Complete story at - America: Australia's Dangerous Ally | The National Interest

Ukrainian lawmakers propose firing people for 'separatism' |

Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada plans to legalize the persecution of anyone who does not support the Kiev regime

The Ukrainian parliament has registered a new legislative initiative that would change several previous acts to allow dismissing civil servants from service for separatism.

The new bill, published on the Verkhovna Rada website, was proposed by a group of lawmakers from the ultra-right Svoboda (Liberty) party. They are pushing to extend the list of potential reasons for firing public officials so that it includes "evidence found of the person’s involvement in a violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, a forceful change or overthrow of the constitutional order or a seizure of power."

The authorities in Kiev have long started a crackdown on anyone who does not support their rule or the civil war in Ukraine. This, in particular, concerns educational institutions. A school teacher in Odesa was fired after telling her class about the atrocities committed by the Ukrainian army.

A student at Karazin University in Kharkiv has complained that professors get fired and students expelled for supporting Donbas and refusing to recognize Russia as the "aggressor."

It should be noted that the current Kiev government actually came to power through a "forceful takeover." An armed coup took place in Kiev in February 2014, overthrowing the legitimately elected president.

Complete story at - Ukrainian lawmakers propose firing people for 'separatism' |

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Chronicles of the Collapse of Kiev - Edition 2014-1

Kiev, Ukraine: Nov 27 - Dec 16

by NoBC4U (No Bread & Circuses for You)

Kiev of course has not collapsed yet, and it may somehow make it through it’s recent troubles relatively unscathed. But from what I’m seeing, this outcome seems less and less likely as time goes by. Still, it’s hard to wish this kind of trouble on most people. But sadly, a small, hard core group of idiots can force a whole nation to sink under the waves into the Ocean of Oblivion.

Ukraine is a country that doesn't have much of a reason to exist. Its whole Raison d’être is defined as anti-Russia. Beyond that, they’ve rarely had a country; never been much of anything; never aspired to be something. Their only aspiration is to not be Russia. They're the anti-Russia. Just like matter and anti-matter cannot coexist; Russia and anti-Russia cannot coexist.

News from Kiev and Ukraine

Skilled Professionals Are Leaving Ukraine.

Well, should we really be surprised? Exactly what do they have too look forward to by remaining in Ukraine? A sinking economy? Deteriorating infrastructure? Continuing dysfunctional government? A nice 2 meter deep hole with one’s name on it? A Jekyll and Hyde educational system that metastasizes every couple of years depending who is in charge? A government run by Nazis? You can have all of this and a whole lot more if you remain in Ukraine; but if this isn't exactly your cup of tea, you're a whole lot better off somewhere else. And the exodus has begun.

The Antonov aircraft plant ceases production.

Well, it's certainly not the first, nor will it be the last industrial operation to shut down. But it’s certainly one of the largest industrial operations in all of Kiev. And now it's no more, at least temporarily. Because it seems the Boeing Corporation may be interested in taking over this plant. But trying to take over of vibrant operation with a lot of orders is a lot more expensive than taking over a factory that is idle. But from the USA's point of view, this is what the whole Ukrainian revolution was for. Ruin the economy, force formally vibrant companies to shut down operations, and let foreign corporations buy the whole operation for kopeks. And by buying into a depressed economy such as Ukraine, you can pocess a workforce that costs 50% less than a it would have cost two years ago.

Zaporizhia nuclear power plant has an accident.

Boy, that sounds so innocuous, doesn’t it? Just like Little Bobby had an accident.  (Except it's a whole lot more serious).

Luckily, it's not something very serious; certainly nothing close to the scale of a Chernobyl. Yet the authorities here are playing with fire. They are trying to use nuclear fuel sourced from the USA in Soviet era nuclear reactors. There have been numerous warnings stating that this could cause a disaster, but when the choices are using compatible and well tested products from Russia, or using untested products from the USA, the chance to thumb your nose at Russia was just too big for some of the idiots in charge around here to pass up. But don’t blame the current government for this one. This decision goes back to 2005, when the “Orange Revolution” government was in charge. So then, as now, go for the highly modified and untested products from the USA, screw Russia, and hope for the best.

Kiev faces power outages.

According to Kiev energy, lack of sufficient coal to power power plants is leading to some short-term problems. Kiev energy assures us that outages will only affect industrial operations and will last for no longer than two hours at a time. Surprise Surprise! They were wrong. There already are reports of numerous residential outages, often for 3 to 4 hours at a time, and often 2-3 times a day. Now that may have something to do with the nuclear power plant incident mentioned above, yet that has been no update of the original announcement. And the outages are still continuing.

Kiev schools to shut down for an additional week for winter break.

Well, no surprise here. The one week fall break magically turned into two weeks, and now the two week winter break magically morphs into three weeks. And this will apparently save Kiev 1/3 of $1 million. By the middle of January, children will have already missed two weeks of regularly scheduled school time. But don't fret! Rest assured that they will just accelerate the curriculum to make up for lost time. Of course, your children don't learn all that much during the regular paced curriculum. But students are sure to be motivated to learn a lot more when the pace picks up. And all this will be done by teachers who have historically been poorly paid and is now being paid even more poorly under the auspices of the new government.

Ukraine gets its own "Ministry of Truth."

Yes, it's 1984. And Ukraine has a new ministry. Officially, it's known as the "Ministry Of Information Policy." But journalists here and elsewhere are already referring to it as the "Ministry of Truth." The term “Ministry of Truth” comes from George Orwell's novel 1984, where the Ministry of Truth had absolutely nothing to do with the truth. It was strictly the propaganda arm of the government. So it was in the novel; so it is in Ukraine today. Journalists are up in arms about this new ministry, but really, they have no reason to complain. This is just the formalization of what's been happening ever since the junta came to power. I guess propaganda is just fine up to that point where the government gets to give its approval or disapproval. It makes you look less independent.

Luxuries, like meat and medicines, are being priced out of the range of normal citizens.

Well, what can you say about this one? I guess one might consider meat as a luxury that you can cut back on. But medicines? While that certainly seems to be more of a necessity than a luxury, if you can't afford them, or if it just not available, what choice do you have? I wrote a while back that not only on medicines more readily available in Moscow, they can often be purchased for 50% less. With the continuing devaluation of the local currency, these medicines will only become more costly and more difficult to find.

Propaganda trucks on the prowl.

It's getting more than just a little bit annoying by now, but three, four, five times a day, propaganda trucks go driving by with big PA speakers on the roof, informing everybody of what they should be outraged about today. But who has time for outrage when survival is on the line. I did see the local propaganda truck parked at a nearby police station a couple of days ago, and the propaganda stopped. But the trucks are back with your daily dose of propagandist thought.

Kiev cheers the demise of "South Stream."

Well, clueless is as clueless does I guess. Someone here in Kiev seems to believe that the demise of South Stream is good for Ukraine. And somehow this is a recognition by Putin that Ukraine is a reliable partner when it comes to gas deliveries. Poor, poor Ukraine. They just don't get it do they? One way or another, Russia will make Ukraine irrelevant when it comes to gas deliveries to Europe.

For only 200 hryvnias (about $13), you can help the Ukraine create a siege of Moscow.

How delusional can you get? A local aspiring “entrepreneur,” or whatever he wants to call himself, recently had to give his up his hopes of a military invasion of Moscow because nowhere near 25 million Ukrainians decided to pitch in the money. There's been no word on exactly how many did donate, or what will be done with any funds that have been donated.

Ukraine still has high hopes for liquid natural gas.

One of the earlier schemes of the Kiev junta and the US State Department involved shipping liquid natural gas from the USA to a new port to be built in Odessa, Ukraine. But it seems no one consulted with the Turks about this. The only way to get such ships into the Black Sea is through the Bosporus, and Turkey does not permit these types of ships to pass. Oh well, I guess there's always room for another color revolution. In Turkey. But it seems Ukraine’s plans for this port are still going ahead, undeterred.

Ukrainians are starting to refuse to pay utility bills.

As if the end of November, utility debt in Ukraine already totals 11.8 billion hrynias. Translated to dollars, this is about $800 million! While some of this is likely due to some people not being able to afford to pay, some of it is definitely a boycott of the current costs, plus another 50% increase that is supposed to go into effect on January 1. And this indebtedness is only likely to grow more quickly in the upcoming months. But this is nothing new here. During the days of Kravchuk and Kuchma (Ukraine’s first two presidents), a good number of people did not pay their bills for three years or more. It looks like the good old days of post-Soviet collapse have returned.

I expect to have more about this shortly.

The EU. A day late, a ton of Euros short.

Some in the EU are now claiming "it's only a minor misunderstanding. South Stream is just a matter of not being compliant with legislative action." Looks like Russia was tired of being jerked around by the EU and found more willing partner to deal with.

Churches continue to go up in flames.

Astute readers are already well aware that numerous Orthodox churches in the East of Ukraine have been deliberately bombed by the Ukrainian Army. But there are other fascists at work too. A church near the Babi Yar memorial complex was deliberately firebombed on December 2nd. For those who are not familiar with the history of Babi Yar, it's only the site of the largest two-day Nazi massacre of World War II.

Not surprisingly, petty crime is on the rise.

A friend of my wife's father recently reported that he had a tire slashed on his recently purchased vehicles. The scam goes like this. The perpetrators look for either older men or women of any age driving in high priced vehicles. The driver stops, goes into a store, and then when you come out you find a tire slashed. Older men and women of any age will most likely need help to replace the tire. The perpetrator and a couple of buddies offer their help. While the owner and the perpetrators change the tire, another buddy grabs whatever he can from the car while your attention is distracted. So, why men? Here men often carry valuables in a small handbag and not in their pockets.

The American carpetbagger in the finance ministry gets to work.

Well, that didn't take long did it? Here is some of the shock and awe in store for the citizens of Ukraine. No more free education and health care for you. Compulsory education is reduced from 11 years to nine years. Most students and teachers will lose access to free transportation. Most students will lose access to stipends and for the few that continue to get that, they will not be adjusted for inflation. Teachers with additional titles and degrees will no longer get extra pay for that. And many experienced teachers will see their pay drop to the level of a new graduate. Retirement age will be increased by 10 years for women and by five years for men. Those who worked during Soviet times may see an additional pension decrease because they were "working for the occupier country" during Soviet times.

On the taxation side, you'll be asks to prove the source of your income for any purchase over approximately $800. And if the value of the hrynia continue to decrease, that $800 valuation will be even less. If you can't prove the origin of your income, it will automatically be assumed to be undeclared income and you will pay an additional 30% for that purchase. Saving diligently or having relatives outside the country sending you funds will not be sufficient reasons to avoid the tax.

This is of course is just scratching the surface of life in the new Ukraine.

A Personal Thought.

I’ve thought back a couple of times to those days when I was younger, and this song has popped into my head on a few occasions. It’s a song from 1981 called “Part of a New America” by the Groceries. I remember then having the feeling that things were going to change for America, and definitely not for the better. I sometimes find myself singing this song, but with new words…

“I’m part of the New U-krai-ni-a.” Definitely changing, and not for the better.

That's the news from the past two weeks. Further dispatches will hopefully be on a weekly or biweekly basis. Until then, hope for the best, but expect the worst. Signing off from Kiev for now.

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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