Dec 20

Rallies staged in over 30 Spanish cities against tough new anti-protest law

- Rallies staged in over 30 Spanish cities against tough new anti-protest law (PHOTOS) (RT, Dec 20, 2014):

More than 30 cities in Spain have expressed their anger over the so-called ‘gag’ legislation that criminalizes social protest and, demonstrators say, curbs the freedom of expression.

The slogan of the movement is “Gag Law, why do they want to shut us up?” and unites several groups of citizens spearheaded by the “We Are Not Criminals” civil platform. Continue reading »

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Dec 15

- Strikes across Belgium cause transport chaos (BBC News, Dec 15, 2014):

A nationwide strike in Belgium has brought air, rail and road transport to a standstill and forced many businesses to close.

Hundreds of flights to and from Belgium have been cancelled, as well as Eurostar services to Brussels.

The widespread industrial action is the latest in a series of strikes protesting against the new centre-right coalition’s austerity policies.

The government plans to save €11bn (£8.7bn) in the next five years. Continue reading »

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Dec 14

French-German-Flag

- Is Germany Already Signaling The Complete (Economic) Collapse Of The European Union? (ZeroHedge, Dec 14, 2014):

In an attempt to try to divert a looming economic stagnation in the European Union, some leading German and French economists have launched some plans to try to revive (read: ‘resuscitate’) the economy of the Eurozone by tackling two issues which might have deteriorated the economic situation in the currency bloc.

Enderlein, an associate at a German school of Governance and Pisani, member of a French think thank have announced some ideas focusing on solving the issue of the rigid French labor market and the lack of government spending on infrastructure projects in Germany. This could be the perfect time to push some of these ideas through as the next elections in both countries are still 2.5 years away which means there’s plenty of time to implement new measures and restoring the popularity of the politicians before the next elections.

Continue reading »

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Dec 13

Frances far-right National Front political party leader Marine Le Pen

- CIA torture is reason for France to exit NATO – Le Pen (RT, Dec 13, 2014):

The shocking revelations of CIA torture techniques give France a reason to exit NATO, National Front party leader Marine Le Pen said on Saturday. The report on the CIA’s former interrogation practices has drawn wide criticism since its release.

If indeed everyone is outraged by the tortures used by the US then, let’s leave NATO,” Le Pen said during an interview with Europe 1 radio channel. She wrote the same statement on her Twitter account.

The US Senate Intelligence Committee’s CIA “torture report,” which details the CIA’s use of torture on prisoners in the wake of 9/11, was released by the Senate on Tuesday. Continue reading »

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Dec 12

Wiener-Philharmoniker-Gold

- Austria Considers Repatriating Its Gold (ZeroHedge, Dec 12, 2014):

And just like that, the list of countries who want to repatriate their gold just increased by one more, because after Venezuela, Germany, the Netherlands, sorry Switzerland, and rumors of Belgium, we now can add Austria to those nations for whom the “6000 year old barbarous relic bubble” is more than just “tradition.”

From Bloomberg:

Austrian Central Bank Mulls Relocating London Gold: Standard

The Austrian state audit court says central bank should address concentration risk of storing 80% of its gold reserves with the Bank of England, Standard reports, citing draft audit report. Court advises central bank to diversify storage locations, contract partners. Continue reading »

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Dec 12

France-Time-Bomb

- Fitch Downgrades France To AA: Full Text (ZeroHedge, Dec 12, 2014):

And the final punch in the gut on this bloodbathy Friday some from French Fitch which just downgraded France from AA+ to AA.

From Fitch

Fitch Downgrades France to ‘AA'; Outlook Stable  

Fitch Ratings has downgraded France’s Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) to ‘AA’ from ‘AA+’. This resolves the Rating Watch Negative (RWN) placed on France’s ratings on 14 October 2014. The Outlooks on France’s Long-term ratings are now Stable. The issue ratings on France’s unsecured foreign and local currency bonds have also been downgraded to ‘AA’ from ‘AA+’ and removed from RWN. At the same time, Fitch has affirmed the Short-term foreign currency IDR at ‘F1+’ and the Country Ceiling at ‘AAA’. Continue reading »

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Dec 12

- ​Germany to be gas powered for next 70 years (RT, Dec 12, 2014):

Germany’s plan to phase out nuclear energy and switch to renewables by 2022 is unrealistic as the country is doomed to remain dependent on fossil fuels like oil and gas for the next 70 years, energy expert Matthias Dornfeldt told RT.

Renewables can’t replace fossil fuels overnight because there’s not enough infrastructure, said Dornfeldt in an interview with RT. He believes the 21st century will be the century of gas, as the 20th century was the century of oil.

“We are going to be dependent on oil as well as on gas, as I see, for the next 50, 60, 70 years”, he said, adding there is “a huge impact of fossil fuels on the national economy in Germany.” Continue reading »

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Dec 10

- US Tanks Are Rolling Across Latvia (ZeroHedge, Dec 10, 2014):

Having grown used to images and clips of “Russian” tanks rolling through Ukraine, crossing borders, and generally creating havoc, we thought the following clip was of note. With NATO and Russia rattling sabres ever louder, the site of a trainful of American tanks passing through Latvia will, we are sure, do nothing to calm both sides.

As LiveLeak reports,

According to the representative of national armed forces of Latvia, till December 6 transportation of heavy military equipment of the first cavalry division of army of the USA from Adazhi and Estonia was carried out to Lithuania. Continue reading »

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Dec 10

greece

- GREXIT Fears Spark European Peripheral Contagion, Silver Surging (ZeroHedge, Dec 10, 2014): 

Yesterday’s greek carnage continues as stocks and bonds in the Hellenic State collapse further. The Athens Stock Exchange Index is now down over 18% from Monday’s highs and yields on the 3Y GGB have exploded to 9.35% (pre-bailout levels) and are 75bps inverted to 10Y. The ongoing fear of fallout from a snap-election victory for anti-EU Syriza has also spread to the rest of the perihpery where Portuguese, Italian, and Spanish bond spreads have all started to crack wider. The beneficiary of this risk aversion so far are Bunds and Treasuries and precious metals where silver is surging higher.

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Dec 10

- NIRP In One Picture: €400 Billion In European Government Debt Currently Has Negative Yields (ZeroHedge, Dec 10, 2014):

From Bank of America:

“The chart shows that around €400bn of Eurozone government debt and bills in our bond indices currently have negative yields…. In the topsy-turvy world of negative rates in Europe, it will seem as if credit is becoming the new government debt in places.”

This number is only set to grow as Europe discovers it is Japan.

Nirp bond chart

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Dec 09

greece

- Greece Post Mortem: Worst Day Since 1987 Crash, Banks Destroyed, Bond Yields At Post-Bailout Highs

As the sun sets in Athens, we thought a moment of reflection was worthwhile. Greek stocks are now down 13% – the biggest single-day drop since (drum roll please) the crash of 1987… led by total carnage in Greek banks (down 15-25% on the day). Greek bond yields exploded, 3YR +183bps to a new post-bailout high at 8.32% (and inverted to 10Y).

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Dec 08

Gold-bars

- Belgium Investigating To Repatriate All Gold Reserves (Bullion Star, Dec 5, 2014):

Just after I reported on the repatriation of 122.5 tonnes of gold by The Netherlands from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) and about the Eurosystem allocating as much of its gold reserves as possible – a global run on gold which can only be seen in advance of a reform of the international monetary system, the next Eurosystem member has come forward, Belgium.

In Europe so far; Germany has been repatriating gold since 2012 from the US and France, The Netherlands has repatriated 122.5 tonnes a few weeks ago from the US, soon after Marine Le Pen, leader of the Front National party of France, penned an open letter to Christian Noyer, governor of the Bank of France, requesting that the country’s gold holdings be repatriated back to France, and now Belgium is making a move. Who’s next? And why are all these countries seemingly so nervous to get their gold ASAP on own soil?

VTM-nieuws has just reported the Belgium central bank has confirmed it’s investigating to repatriate all its gold reserves. Continue reading »

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Dec 08

israelis-petition-independent-palestine

- Prominent Israelis join petition calling on Europe to recognize Palestine (RT, Dec 8, 2014):

Three of Israel’s greatest living authors have added their names to an 878-signature petition calling on European parliaments to recognize the state of Palestine.

Amos Oz, David Grossman and Abraham Yehoshua all signed their names to the petition, which was sent to the European and Belgian parliaments on Sunday. Both bodies are expected to vote on resolutions to recognize Palestine later this month.

A copy of the petition was also sent to Ireland’s Dail, the country’s main parliamentary chamber, in the runup to a vote scheduled to take place Wednesday. Ireland’s upper house, the senate, already approved the non-binding motion in October, calling on its government to recognize a Palestinian state. Continue reading »

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Dec 06

- Italy’s credit rating lowered by S&P (The Local, Dec 6, 2014):

Standard & Poor’s on Friday lowered Italy’s credit rating by one notch on concerns about weak growth and increasing debt while maintaining a stable outlook.

S&P dropped Italy’s long and short-term sovereign credit rating to ‘BBB-/A-3′ from ‘BBB/A-2′, the ratings agency said in a statement. Continue reading »

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Dec 06

Prominent Germans urge West to stop sabre rattling toward Russia (RT, Dec 6, 2014):

A group of prominent Germans are urging their country and the West to open dialogue with Russia. They believe this is essential to ensure peace in Europe, rather than further isolate Moscow, which they say would be “dangerous for the world.”

The petition named ‘New war in Europe? Not in our name!’ was signed by 60 people from Germany’s politics, economy, culture and media sectors – among them former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and film director Wim Wenders.

The group, led by former Chancellor advisor Horst Teltschik, former Defense Secretary Walter Stutzle and the former Vice President of the Bunderstag, Antje Vollmer, said that just because Russia and the West are experiencing differences at the moment, it “does not mean that the progress that we have achieved over the last 25 years with Russia should be terminated,” Telschik said. Continue reading »

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Dec 05

Flashback:

- Vladimir Putin Lashes Out At America For Killing Gaddafi And Backing Protests


- West’s action in Libya in 2011 was a ‘mistake’ – Italy’s foreign ministry (RT, Dec 5, 2014):

Western countries made a ‘mistake’ three years ago, when they intervened in Libya to overthrow the Gaddafi regime, according to Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs. The statement came amid reports of the US discussing airstrikes on Libya’s territory.

Three years ago we might have made a mistake, when international forces interfered without thinking through the scenario, what will happen afterwards. Italian voice was too weak,” Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Paolo Gentiloni said in a TV interview with national broadcaster RAI, as quoted by Tass news agency. Continue reading »

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Dec 04

Francisco-Pizarro-New-World

- The New Exodus: 700,000 Young Spaniards Have Left Home Looking For Work Abroad (Sovereign Man, Dec 4, 2014):

When Francisco Pizarro returned to Spain from the New World in 1528, he told King Charles I of the vast material riches that were found in abundance on Peru’s shores.

He petitioned for permission to conquer the new lands in the name of the crown, and was granted governorship over a vast amount of territory as long as he succeeded in conquering it.

Hungry to get their hands on Incan gold, some 168 Spaniards joined him on the conquest.

In the first battle, the Incans lost 2,000 men while the Spanish lost only 5. Continue reading »

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Dec 04

Related info:

- PIMCO Paid Bill Gross & Mohamed El-Erian Over $500 MILLION Dollars In 2013 Bonuses


It’s All Coming To An End, Bill Gross Warns (ZeroHedge, Dec 4, 2014):

Say what you want about Bill Gross, but the legendary bond investor is absolutely spot on in the following paragraph from his latest, December, investment outlook:

How could they? How could policymakers have allowed so much debt to be created in the first place, and then failed to regulate their own system accordingly? How could they have thought that money printing and debt creation could create wealth instead of just more and more debt? How could fiscal authorities have stood by and attempted to balance budgets as opposed to borrowing cheaply and investing the proceeds in infrastructure and innovation? It has been a nursery rhyme experience for sure, but more than likely without a fairytale ending.

Here is the full letter (link): Continue reading »

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Dec 03

- Alarm bells toll for human civilization as world’s 12th largest mega-city to run out of water in just 60 days (Natural News):

The city of Sao Paulo is home to 20 million Brazilians, making it the 12th largest mega-city on a planet dominated by shortsighted humans. Shockingly, it has only 60 days of water supply remaining. The city “has about two months of guaranteed water supply remaining as it taps into the second of three emergency reserves,” reports Reuters. [1]

Technical reserves have already been released, and as the city enters the heavy water use holiday season, its 20 million residents are riding on a fast-track collision course with severe water rationing and devastating disruptions.

nuclear-plant-accident-ukraine

- Accident at largest nuclear power plant in Europe revealed by Ukraine PM (RT):

There has been an accident at a nuclear plant in the southeast of Ukraine, Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk has revealed during the first session of his new Cabinet.

A minor accident occurred at Zaporozhskaya nuclear plant, the largest in Europe, last Friday, according to the facility’s website. A reactor was switched off and put to maintenance as a result.

- CNN: Urgent – Emergency repairs reported at largest nuclear power plant in Europe — Prime Minister: I know that a nuclear accident has occurred (VIDEO) (ENENews)

CNN, Dec 3, 2014: URGENT – Ukraine Nuclear Plant Repairs — Emergency repairs began earlier this week… Details about what caused the problem, which the ministry first reported Tuesday, weren’t immediately available.

NYPD

- Ferguson 2.0? Grand Jury Fails To Indict White NYPD Cop In Fatal-Chokehold Case; Press Conference – Live Feed (ZeroHedge):

UPDATE: Charlie Rangel opines “This is not a black problem, this is a problem we have in our great country.”

Protests planned: 430, Grand Central; 7:00 Rockefeller Christmas Tree

A Staten Island grand jury has decided not to indict white NYPD officer Daniel Panateleo, according to NY1, who allegedly used a banned chokehold and killed Eric Garner, a 400lb black man, who was stopped on suspicion of selling loose cigarettes. Police in New York are preparing for potential protests, There are at least two different demonstrations planned in lower Manhattan Wednesday.

norway-f16-mig31-interception

- Flight fright: Russian MiG-31 jet pulls midair maneuver on Norwegian F-16 (VIDEO) (RT):

Two top guns came into very close contact when a Russian MiG-31 aircraft overtook a Norwegian F-16 fighter and cut practically in front of it, forcing the NATO pilot to veer away sharply.

The Russian jet passed the F-16 within a mere 20 meters, causing the Norwegian pilot to exclaim, “What the hell!” before darting away hastily.

bodycam

- This Is The Body Camera That All NYPD Officers Will Soon Wear (ZeroHedge):

As part of the final solution to inner city social unrest across America, President Obama has put forward recommendations that all police offers wear body cameras… this is what the ‘eyes-are-always-on-you’ NYPD police camera will look like. What ever happened to Google Glass privacy concerns?

- Pentagon says Iran bombs ISIS in Iraq, Tehran ‘cannot confirm’ (RT):

Iran has launched airstrikes against Islamic State militants in eastern Iraq in recent days, the Pentagon confirms. According to spokesperson Rear Adm. John Kirby, the strikes were not co-ordinated with the US military and may be the first of their kind.

“We have indications that they did indeed fly airstrikes with F-4 Phantoms in the past several days,” Kirby told AFP.

It may be the first time Tehran has launched manned aircraft from inside Iran to strike Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) targets in Iraq, Kirby told AP.

- US Army Sends 100 Tanks To Eastern Europe To “Deter Russian Aggression” (ZeroHedge):

The ink on Barack Obama’s Chuck Hagel termination letter hasn’t dried yet but already the US president’s new, and seemingly far more hawkish advisors, are having their warmongering presence felt. Case in point: the Eastern European theater of (Cold) war, where Military.com reports that the new Army commander in Europe plans to bolster the U.S. armored presence in Poland and the Baltic states and keep rotations of U.S. troops there through next year and possibly beyond to counter Russia. Lt. Gen. Frederick “Ben” Hodges, who replaced Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell  earlier this month as commander of U.S. Army Europe, said the Army was looking to add about 100 Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles to the forces in Eastern Europe.

fracking-ban-birthplace-texas

- Fracking ban goes into effect in its birthplace (RT):

An unprecedented ban on fracking went into effect Tuesday in Denton, Texas, a town of 123,000 located on top of the natural-gas goldmine that is the Barnett shale formation, the birthplace of the much-maligned oil and gas extraction method.

Denton voters approved the ban last month, making it the first city or county to do so in the energy-rich, fracking-heavy state of Texas.

Shortly after the Nov. 4 vote, the Texas Oil & Gas Association, an energy industry group, and the Texas General Land Office filed a lawsuit seeking to reverse the ban.

don corleone

- $178 Billion In Government Kickbacks: Meet The World’s Biggest Organized Crime Syndicate (ZeroHedge):

Once upon a time it was the Sicilian, or Russian, or Japanese, or Chinese mob that were some of the biggest sources of funding for corrupt government officials (incidentally, most of them). After all, the government is smart enough to realize that it is more lucrative to “cooperate” with the world’s biggest criminal syndicates than to wipe them out and cut off a major source of funding (of course, when it comes to populist optics and reelection, there is always an easy low-level perp walk every week or so to keep the peasants in place… and Diebold).

- ​Anonymous take down Ft. Lauderdale’s site for anti-homeless laws (RT):

The hacktivist group Anonymous is no fan of Fort Lauderdale’s new laws targeting the Florida city’s homeless population, and they took down multiple city websites to prove it.

Another Government Scam

- Another Government Scam – Small Business Administration (SBA) is Exposed as Corporate Welfare to Big Businesses (Liberty Blitzkrieg):

Many people have noted that the more insidious or corrupt a law or agency, the more positive sounding its name. The most egregious example during my lifetime, was naming legislation that stripped Americans of most of their civil liberties the “Patriot” Act.

In a similar vein, which red-blooded American could ever be opposed to something called the Small Business Administration (SBA). We all love small businesses and the entrepreneurial spirit, and even those who abhor big government have a hard time siding against an agency that supports the little guy. As such, the SBA is the perfect vehicle for cronyism, corruption and corporate welfare, which indeed appears to be its primary reason for existence.

My friends at Open the Books have published a key study on the SBA, and the results are ugly. The full report can be found here, but what follows is some analysis of the report by Stephen Moore at Investors Business Daily:

- Chicago – Coldest Year in 110 Years (Ice Age Now):

Not just the day, not just the week, not just the month, we’re talking the entire year.

- Iraqi army ‘had 50,000 ghost troops’ on payroll (BBC):

An investigation into corruption in the Iraqi army has revealed that there were 50,000 false names on its payroll.

Known in the military as “ghost soldiers”, they either did not exist or no longer reported for duty, however their salaries were still paid

- UN: Israeli trade control causes $310 MILLION loss for Palestinian Authority (Al Akhbar):

The Palestinian Authority lost at least $310 million in customs and sales tax in 2011 as a result of importing from or through Israeli-occupied territories, the UN said Wednesday, urging a radical change to the system.

The lost revenue, worth 250 million euros, was equivalent to 3.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and 18 percent of the tax revenue of the authority, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said.

- 100,000 Czech travelers stranded due to freezing arctic weather (Ice Age Now):

People forced to spend the night in cold trains and railway stations when temperatures dropped to minus 7.3 C (19.4 F).

Obama-Putin1

- Made in the USA – How the Ukrainian Government is Giving Away Citizenships so Foreigners Can Run the Country (Liberty Blitzkrieg):

Claims that the new government in Ukraine is nothing more than a Western puppet Parliament have been swirling around consistently since February. Nevertheless, I think it’s very significant that the takeover is now overt, undeniable and completely out in the open. Nothing proves this fact more clearly than the recent and sudden granting of citizenship to three foreigners so that they can take top posts in the government.

- Forget Stocks, This is the REAL Crisis That’s Coming (ZeroHedge):

The 2008 crash was a warm up.

Many investors think that we could never have a crash again. The 2008 melt-down was a one in 100 years episode, they think.

They are wrong.

The 2008 Crisis was a stock and investment bank crisis. But it was not THE Crisis.

THE Crisis concerns the biggest bubble in financial history: the epic Bond bubble… which as it stands is north of $100 trillion… although if you include the derivatives that trade based on bonds it’s more like $500 TRILLION.

The Fed likes to act as though it’s concerned about stocks… but the real story is in bonds. Indeed, when you look at the Fed’s actions from the perspective of the bond market, everything suddenly becomes clear.

Budapest – Freezing rain leaves 40,000 homes powerless (Ice Age Now)

- Central Bank Buying Of S&P 500 Futures Extended Until End Of 2015 (ZeroHedge): 

We have some bad news. According to a modification of the Central Bank Incentive Program, central bank rigging of, well, everything and certainly the E-mini S&P future, will go on for a much longer time, with the revised deadline now going through December 31, 2015. 

- Romania – More than 1,000 people stuck in snow (Ice Age Now)

Panic-Button

- Plummeting Oil Prices Could Destroy The Banks That Are Holding Trillions In Commodity Derivatives (Economic Collapse):

Could rapidly falling oil prices trigger a nightmare scenario for the commodity derivatives market?  The big Wall Street banks did not expect plunging home prices to cause a mortgage-backed securities implosion back in 2008, and their models did not anticipate a decline in the price of oil by more than 40 dollars in less than six months this time either.  If the price of oil stays at this level or goes down even more, someone out there is going to have to absorb some absolutely massive losses.  In some cases, the losses will be absorbed by oil producers, but many of the big players in the industry have already locked in high prices for their oil next year through derivatives contracts.  The companies enter into these derivatives contracts for a couple of reasons.  Number one, many lenders do not want to give them any money unless they can show that they have locked in a price for their oil that is higher than the cost of production.  Secondly, derivatives contracts protect the profits of oil producers from dramatic swings in the marketplace.  These dramatic swings rarely happen, but when they do they can be absolutely crippling.  So the oil companies that have locked in high prices for their oil in 2015 and 2016 are feeling pretty good right about now.  But who is on the other end of those contracts?  In many cases, it is the big Wall Street banks, and if the price of oil does not rebound substantially they could be facing absolutely colossal losses.

It has been estimated that the six largest “too big to fail” banks control $3.9 trillion in commodity derivatives contracts.  And a very large chunk of that amount is made up of oil derivatives.

- Austria – Rare ice storm hits Waldviertel (Ice Age Now):

Some trees 3 ft (1 m) in diameter – Few in the fire service could recall so many ice-damaged trees. Trees breaking like matchsticks.

H/t reader squodgy:

“Jeeeeeeeeeeezuss!”

H/t reader squodgy:

“WOW!!!….of course….the last resort measure to trigger the war they so desperately need to smokescreen their escape from blame for this entire BANK CREATED MESS.”

- Falling Oil Prices Could Cripple ‘Vulnerable’ Russia, Trigger World War III (The Daily Sheeple):

The Cold War 2.0 is going hot, and while it may someday be fought with planes, tanks, guns and bombs, the first front is being fought with oil and shale gas.

The U.S. and European sanctions against Russia will become more severe and crippling in the face of drastically falling oil prices – prices which are falling drastically because of the unprecedented boom of shale gas fracking both domestically in the U.S. and abroad in Ukraine and other locales. The oil & gas giants like Chevron and Exxon Mobil have created revolutionary conditions with now direct consequences on U.S. foreign policy and global war for dominance. Via Bloomberg:

There will be blood

- New US Oil Well Permits Collapse 40% In November, Fed Still “Not Worried”? (ZeroHedge):

Houston, we have a problem-er. With a third of S&P 500 capital expenditure due from the imploding energy sector (and with over 20% of the high-yield market dominated by these names), paying attention to any inflection point in the US oil-producers is critical as they have been gung-ho “unequivocally good” expanders even as oil prices began to fall. So, when Reuters reports a drop of almost 40 percent in new well permits issued across the United States in November, even The Fed’s Stan Fischer might start to question his lower oil prices are “a phenomenon that’s making everybody better off,” may warrant a rethink. New permits, which indicate what drilling rigs will be doing 60-90 days in the future, showed steep declines for the first time this year across the top three U.S. onshore fields: the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford in Texas and North Dakota’s Bakken shale.

Christmas-Gifts

- How Did Christmas Become A Festival Of Greed? (Economic Collapse):

For most people, Christmas is all about the presents. But how did such a supposedly sacred holiday become a festival of greed? Not many people know the history behind Christmas gift giving, and it will probably shock you. This year, Americans will spend somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 billion dollars on Christmas, but most people have no coherent explanation for why they are buying all of these gifts. Those that are Christian will tell you that they are doing it to celebrate the birth of Christ, but as you will see below, gift giving on this holiday originated long before Christ was born. Others will tell you that they are just following tradition, but most of them have absolutely no idea where the tradition of Christmas gift giving originally came from. And the truth is that most people simply don’t care about the history. They are just excited about all of the stuff that they are going to get on December 25th. But if you are curious to learn how Christmas became a festival of greed, just keep reading…


- London Property Bubble Primed To Burst – Consequences For UK Economy and Sterling (ZeroHedge):

The ongoing slump in oil prices looks set to take their toll on London’s “super prime” property markets with attendant consequences for the rest of the London property market. Foreign money that had been flooding into the UK from a whole array of international sources and parking in London real estate is drying up.

war-in-syria

- Syria Goes Dark (Acting Man):

Syria Then and Now

“Arab Spring” situations have an inexorable tendency to go pear-shaped (Tunisia, the first country to experience one is the lone exception, but even there the “old guard” is reportedly making a comeback, so the whole thing was essentially for nothing in the end). In Egypt, the revolution went from bringing an Islamist to power whose economic policies were either useless or were sabotaged by the organization that actually owns Egypt (the army controls 40% of the economy), back to someone who suspiciously looks like the old boss, with the only difference that he’s even worse. Nothing about the situation even remotely resembles democracy at this juncture. Getting jailed and tortured in Egypt and getting sentenced to death in mass show trials is once again par for the course.

 

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Nov 30

Sure!:

- Retail Disaster: Holiday Sales Crater by 11%, Online Spend Declines: NRF Blames Shopping Fiasco On “Stronger Economy”:

In fact, it was worse: “Shoppers spent an average $159.55 online, down 10.2% from $177.67 last year.”

But the propaganda piece de resistance is without doubt the following:

“A highly competitive environment, early promotions and the ability to shop 24/7 online all contributed to the shift witnessed this weekend,” Mr. Shay said.

So to summarize: holiday sales plunged, and Americans refused to shop because the economy is “stronger than ever” and because Americans have the option of shopping whenever, which is why they didn’t shop in the first place. That, and of course plunging gasoline prices leading to… plunging retail sales, just as all the economists “correctly” predicted.

Goebbels approves.

Hmmh …:

- Swiss Gold Referendum Fails: 78% Vote Against “Protecting The Country’s Wealth” (ZeroHedge):

Whether as a result of an unprecedented scare campaign by the Swiss National Bank (most recently reinforced by Citigroup), or due to confidence that Swiss gold is as safe abroad as it is at home, or simply due to good old-fashioned “hanging chads”, today’s most awaited event has come and gone and the result – according to early projections by Swiss television SRF - is that the Swiss population overwhelmingly rejected a referendum to force the Swiss National Bank to hold some 20% of its reserves in gold in a landslide vote, with about 78% voting against what AP politely termed “protecting the country’s wealth by investing in gold.”

- Cops Caught Setting Fires In Ferguson (Video)

- Guess What Happened The Last Time The Price Of Oil Crashed Like This?… (Economic Collapse):

There has only been one other time in history when the price of oil has crashed by more than 40 dollars in less than 6 months.  The last time this happened was during the second half of 2008, and the beginning of that oil price crash preceded the great financial collapse that happened later that year by several months.  Well, now it is happening again, but this time the stakes are even higher.  When the price of oil falls dramatically, that is a sign that economic activity is slowing down.  It can also have a tremendously destabilizing affect on financial markets.  As you will read about below, energy companies now account for approximately 20 percent of the junk bond market.  And a junk bond implosion is usually a signal that a major stock market crash is on the way.  So if you are looking for a “canary in the coal mine”, keep your eye on the performance of energy junk bonds.  If they begin to collapse, that is a sign that all hell is about to break loose on Wall Street.

It would be difficult to overstate the importance of the shale oil boom to the U.S. economy.  Thanks to this boom, the United States has become the largest oil producer on the entire planet.

- Crude Carnage Goes Contagious As Brevan Howard Liquidates Underperforming Commodity Fund (ZeroHedge):

The entire commodity complex is seeing major contagion-like price declines in early trading. WTI Crude is back below $65 for the first time since May 2010 – now down 16% since the initial leaks of OPEC’s decision last Wednesday. Gold and Silver are getting whacked and copper has plunged below 300 – back at its lowest since June 2010. The news over the weekend that Brevan Howard is liquidating its $630 million commodity hedge fund following recent poor performance is also likely not helping as what looked like late-Friday margin call liquidations are extending notably this evening.

- Woman Killed Following Black Friday Shooting In Downtown Chicago Nordstrom (ZeroHedge):

For most people “a deal to die for” is just a saying, but tragically for a 22-year-old woman who was working in a Chicago Nordstroms off North Michigan Avenue it became all too real when she shot during Black Friday shopping and died a day later, in what according to initial reports was a domestic-related incident leading to a panicked stampede out of the store by holiday shoppers who were convinced they were caught in the latest Chicago consumerism-gone-wild crossfire.

- Bird Bomb? Afghan Police Kill Bird Bearing Antenna, Explosives (NBC News):

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan police said they are investigating how a wild bird came to bear an antenna, electronic devices and explosives. Police came across the strange sight around 8 a.m. in the northern Faryab province, a volatile region ravaged by Taliban violence. When police spotted the white bird — which isn’t native to the area and appeared larger than an eagle — walking along a highway, they noticed it had an antenna and decided to shoot it, provincial police chief Maj. Gen. Abdul Nabi Ilham told NBC News on Saturday. The bird then exploded, he said, and “suspicious metal stuff” scattered around.

“We are gathering all the stuff, but found parts of what looks to be GPS and a small camera,” Ilham said. He added that this was the first time police have made such an encounter. Police added that it is possible the bird had been “deployed” on a surveillance mission. Using animals in warfare or for suicide missions is unusual but not unheard of. Hamas militants reportedly put explosives on a donkey and pushed it in the direction of Israeli soldiers as fighting intensified this summer in Gaza.

- California government elites use 500% more water than citizens (Natural News):

At at time when water conservation should be a high priority in drought-plagued California, it would appear that something else has been deemed a high priority: an elitist mind set whereby people self-appoint themselves as an exception to the rule.

In the drying up state, this disturbing way of thinking is taking place at the Los Angeles mayoral mansion, Getty House, where it’s been reported that approximately 2,100 gallons of water are used per day.

You read correctly.

Vladimir Putin

- Dmitry Orlov: Russia’s Patience Is Wearing Thin (PeakProsperity):

Having lived in the former USSR before immigrating to the US, Dmitry Orlov has an invaluable perspective on both the US and Russian perspectives, as well as Ukraine.

With the western propaganda flying thick and heavy, it’s more important than ever to cut through the chaff and learn what we can about the most important geopolitical realignment (and renewed tensions) in recent memory.

Click the play button below to listen to Chris’ interview with Dmitry Orlov (51m:10s):

 – “Panic Selling” Saudi Stocks Crash Into Bear Market Following OPEC Decision (ZeroHedge):

It’s not just Shale oil stocks in the US that are hurting. Following the OPEC decision to not cut production and squeeze US producers, Saudi Arabia’s major stock market index has tumbled into a bear market, giving up all the year’s gains. As one analyst noted, “investors are afraid if oil stays where it is, it will negatively impact the government revenues, thus creating potential headwinds on government spending.” Dubai stocks – our long-time favorite bubble index – has also been hammered, down over 7% intraday at its worst

- Jeb Bush’s Four Mysterious Companies Share The Same Address And Have Never Done Any Known Business (Think Progress):

Jeb Bush and his capital investment company have set up several companies that, despite being registered to his office and being approved for “any and all lawful business,” have seemingly not yet done anything. A ThinkProgress review of corporate registration records with the Florida Department of State revealed several companies registered in Bush’s name but little additional information.

In addition to his lengthy and troubled history as a business consultant and corporate board member, in recent years former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) has ventured into a new territory: capital investment. Since 2008, he and his partners have registered a lengthy array of secretive companies with the state of Florida.

- Water temperature of the Great Lakes is over 6 degrees colder than normal – threatening an even earlier and COLDER winter in Midwest (Daily Mail):

  • Michigan residents may see winter arrive sooner this year, possibly due to lower temperatures in the Great Lakes
  • Both Lake Superior and Lake Michigan saw their average surface temperatures drop 6.1 degrees last week
  • Residents may need to bundle up sooner to brace both November and December chilly weather as a result of cooler lakes
  • Lakes may also ice up sooner because of the extra chilly water temperatures 
  • On Friday, the Coast Guard cautioned boaters against the lower Lake Michigan temperatures

- 35 Years Of Unprecedented Melting Has Left More Sea Ice On Earth Than 35 Years Ago (Real Science):

The area of sea ice on Earth is higher now than it was on this date 35 years ago. This is the exact opposite of what 97% of climate experts predicted. It is also the exact opposite of what 97% of climate experts report is happening.

35 Years Of Unprecedented Melting Has Left More Sea Ice On Earth Than 35 Years Ago

arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/timeseries.global.anom.1979-2008

- Hong Kong police pepper spray protesters as hundreds try to surround govt office (RT)

FYI: #TIMEPOY: Ferguson protesters lead TIME’s Person of the Year poll (RT):

With just over a week before TIME names its person of the year, the Ferguson protesters have surged ahead to first place in the magazine’s symbolic annual reader’s poll.

- Brown bears, other wildlife back in radiation-exposed Chernobyl zone (RT):

Brown bears and other critters have returned to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone for the first time since they were recorded there 100 years ago. The researchers hope this can help to find a link between field radiation exposure and radiation effects.

- Putin confirms support for Palestinian statehood (PressTV):

Russian President Vladimir Putin has pledged continued support for Palestinians’ legitimate right to establish an independent state.

“Russia has consistently advocated in favor of the earliest execution of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians for establishment of an independent, contiguous and viable state,” Putin said in a letter sent to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on Saturday.

“We believe that Palestine’s acquisition of national sovereignty on the common international legal base will be an important factor in ensuring comprehensive, just settlement in the Middle East,” he added.

- Portugal supports Palestinian rights (Middle East Monitor):

The Portuguese parliament has confirmed its support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinians, including the right for self-determination. According to Quds.net, which reported the news, a parliamentary statement called on Israel to comply with international law for a solution based on two states and relevant UN resolutions.

In its statement issued on the occasion of the global day of solidarity with the Palestinian people, the Portuguese parliament said that it supported the peace process in the Middle East, leading to the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders and reaching just solutions for all final status issues.

The parliament welcomed the announcement by the UN that 2014 is the year of solidarity with the Palestinians. Its members stressed the importance of implementing international law and General Assembly resolutions regarding Palestine.

Like Sarkozy, Obama, Bush, Clinton, Cameron & Merkel …. Hollande is just another elite puppet.

The two biggest wimps on the world stage today
The two biggest wimps on the world stage today….

- French President: I’m a US Poodle – Commits Political Suicide (Russia Insider):

    What a pathetic wimp of a man…
  • De Gaulle must be spinning in his grave

France has lost it’s sovereignty, as Hollande has made a decision that will be the nail in his own political coffin. Unfortunately Hollande’s coffin will also be the demise of many working class French citizens, who will lose their livelihood from the imminent dismantling of France’s military industry.

Instead of building their own weapons, France can now buy US made weapons. The US military industrial complex has also removed a competitor in the weapons space.

I guess Ukraine is much more important to French President Hollande than French jobs and industry.

- Newest data shows babies missing brains at 2,500% above average in county by nuclear site — Mother: Officials “shut me down the minute I mentioned Hanford!… We need answers!” — Experts: No birth defect is more extreme; It’s the most significant negative impact of radiation on developing embryos (AUDIO) (ENENews)

- Mother of German MH17 crash victim sues Ukraine in EU court (RT):

The mother of a victim killed in the Malaysian plane crash in eastern Ukraine has started legal proceedings to sue the Ukrainian authorities in the European Court of Human Rights, demanding about $1 million for pain and suffering.

The mother of “Olga L.”, a German citizen, submitted her case against Ukraine to the European Court of Human Rights last week. She is demanding €800,000 (roughly $1 million) for negligent homicide, reports the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

The woman insists that Ukrainian authorities should have shut the country’s airspace to civilian flights due to the heavy fighting between Kiev troops and militias in the country’s east.

She argues the Kiev government failed to do this because they didn’t want to lose out on overflight fees. According to Bild, around the time of the disaster about 700 flights were crossing Ukrainian territory daily, accruing several millions of euros in revenue a month.

The victim’s mother is being represented in court by Elmar Giemulla, a professor of aviation law. Giemulla is also acting for other German families of MH17 victims, who announced in September that they are also planning to sue Kiev in court.

The New World Order RAP:

Nov 29, 2014

Description:

The New World Order: They control the world’s governments; THEY rule over all of us from the top of the pyramid. And WE are the victims. Right? Today we blow open the truth about the NWO in order to shed light on this widespread conspiracy which has frequently been invoked to explain the state of our world. Join intrepid host Robert Foster as he takes control of the lever of critical inquiry, alongside special guests Russell Brand, conspiracy guru Terrence Moonseed, and NWO representative William De Berg, in order to ask: who is the New World Order? And how can we stop it?

- Malaysia Becomes Angry About Exclusion from MH17 Investigation (RINF):

Now nearly five months after the Malaysian Airlines MH17 passenger plane got shot down in Ukraine (killing all 298 onboard), Malaysians are going public with their anger about having been excluded from the investigation-team that is to write the official report on the disaster (or possibly mass-murder).

How to let people know you love them, Zoot Zoot! Zooties! by Amanda Gore

Why woman are different from men and vice versa By Amanda Gore

Billboard-Rich-FV

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