Mar 26

- Saudi Arabia Imposes Naval Blockade On Red Sea Strait, Deploys 150,000 Troops As Iran Condemns Military Action (ZeroHedge, March 26, 2015):

As noted earlier, the biggest significance of any Yemen conflict has little to do with its own domestic oil production, which at 133,000 bpd is negligible, but due to its location, which not only shares a border with Saudi Arabia, but more importantly due to the Bab el-Mandeb strait which connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden: it is the fourth-biggest shipping chokepoint in the world by volume (3.8 million barrels a day of oil and petroleum products flowed through it in 2013) and is just 18 miles wide at its narrowest point. It’s located between Yemen, Djibouti, and Eritrea, and connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea.

bab eo mandeb

And since to Saudi Arabia preserving the logistics of oil supply is critical, it is hardly surprising that as Egypt’s Ahram Gate reported earlier, the Saudi-led Firmness Storm coalition imposed a naval blockade on Bab El-Mandab strait earlier today. The Saudi navy’s western fleet has also secured Yemen’s main ports including Aden and Midi.

saudi navy

It is not just Saudi Arabia: moments ago Reuters reported that four Egyptian naval vessels have crossed the Suez Canal en route to Yemen to secure the Gulf of Aden, maritime sources at the Suez Canal said on Thursday. The sources said they expected the vessels to reach the Red Sea by Thursday evening.

The naval blockade is just part of what so far has been mostly an air-based proxy war. As Al Arabia reported previously, as part of the “Decisive Storm” coalition against the Yemen rebels, Saudi Arabia has deployed at least 150,000 soldiers in preparation for what appears to be a land assault next, an assault that already has the preemptive blessing of the US. As a reminder, Saudi Arabia will be fighting US-armed rebels, but that’s a different story.

Continue reading »

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Mar 24

- US Begins “Big Stick” Negotiations With Iran: Sends The “Big Ships” Into The Persian Gulf (ZeroHedge, March 24, 2015):

Following its “visual to the world” message last night by test-firing an ICBM, America appears to shifting to ‘big stick’ diplomacy. Following Iran’s naval drills last week (attacking a replica US aircraft carrier), Sputnik News reports that as the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 nations come to a head, the US begins Eagle Resolve, a massive military exercise in the Persian Gulf. Eagle Resolve will involve tactical exercises from the US Army, Marines, and various other military branches “with simulated portions of the exercise based on a fictional adversary.” Careful to ensure Obama does not lose his Nobel Peace Prize, a CENTCOM official explained, “the exercise is not intended as a signal to Iran.”

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As Sputnik News reports,

With the support of regional allies, the US moved nearly 3,000 military personnel, as well as “air, land, sea, and special operations components,” into the gulf. Taking place just off the coast of Kuwait, the exercise will continue through the end of the month, and is meant to improve the military’s response time should an incident occur in the region. Continue reading »

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Mar 16


10.03.2015

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Mar 08

- Zionism Is Still Bleeding Around the World (Veterans Today, March 7, 2015)

Related info:

- Israel’s Former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan Calls Netanyahu’s Congress Speech ‘BULLSHIT’

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Mar 04

TargetArm

- Netanyahu’s Nuclear Scam (Veterans Today, Feb 28, 2015):

On occasion, we wonder why we still bother

… by Jeff Smith,  VT Editor   …and former IAEA Nuclear Inspector

Its politics as usual. Israel wants the Arab states to be kept in the stone ages, period. This also includes the rest of the world.

As far as they are concerned they don’t even want anybody to have a light bulb yet alone a refrigerator or a microwave. They are control freaks. End of story.

Clinton Baston was correct in his analysis on Iran, they have a nuclear program not a weapons program. However the two sometimes can cross over. Continue reading »

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Feb 28

Related info:

- Argentina Prosecutor Who Accused Kirchner Had Steady Contact With US Embassy, Leaked Cables Show

- Why Jewish Journalist Damian Pachter Fled Argentina After Breaking The Story Of Alberto Nisman’s Death

- Israel Starting Trouble in Argentina


Vladimir-Putin-Cristina-Fernandez-Kirchner

- Argentina’s Kirchner absolved of Iran ‘cover-up’ (The Times of Israel/AFP, Feb 26, 2015):

An Argentinean court exonerates President Cristina Kirchner of charges that she may have covered up Iran’s involvement in a terror attack against a Jewish community building in Buenos Aires in 1994, in which 85 people were killed and hundreds wounded.

Kirchner was cleared of the charges brought forth by investigator Alberto Nisman, who dedicated many years to the case and was found dead in his home the day before he was expected to address the Argentinean Congress to present his findings. Continue reading »

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Feb 28

Related info:

- Argentina’s Kirchner absolved of Iran ‘cover-up’

- Argentina Prosecutor Who Accused Kirchner Had Steady Contact With US Embassy, Leaked Cables Show

- Why Jewish Journalist Damian Pachter Fled Argentina After Breaking The Story Of Alberto Nisman’s Death

- Israel Starting Trouble in Argentina


- Government Supporters Target of Armed Attack in Argentina (teleSUR, Feb 26, 2015):

Supporters of the left-wing government of President Fernandez are concerned that a coup is in the making.

A political movement affiliated with the ruling coalition in Argentina was the target of an armed attack Wednesday. Continue reading »

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Feb 26

And here is why Israel will have to hurry up if they want to attack Iran:

- Russia Offers Iran Antey-2500 Missiles (An Upgraded Version Of The S-300)

Related info:

- Israel’s Netanyahu Lied About Iran With Infamous “Clear Red Line” Threat, Mossad Leak Reveals

Flashback:

- Netanyahu Orders Israel Army To Prepare For Possible Military Strike Against Iran In 2014

- Former PM Olmert: Netanyahu Wasted Billions On Iran ‘Hallucinations’

- Israeli Military Chief: Iran Won’t Develop Nuclear Weapons, Warns Against ‘Hysteria’ As Netanyahu Threatens Attack Again

- Heads Of Mossad And Shin Bet May Have Leaked Plans For Attack On Iran, PM Netanyahu Orders An Investigation (Guardian, Nov. 3, 2011):

… the main suspects are the former heads of the Mossad and the Shin Bet, respectively Israel’s foreign and domestic intelligence agencies.Netanyahu is said to believe that the two, Meir Dagan and Yuval Diskin, wanted to torpedo plans being drawn up by him and Ehud Barak, the defence minister, to hit Iranian nuclear sites.

In January the recently retired Dagan, a hawk when he was running the Mossad, called an attack on Iranthe stupidest idea I’ve ever heard“.

- MP George Galloway: The Case Against War With Iran (Must-Listen!!!):

‘Iran Hasn’t Invaded Another Country In More Than 300 Years.’

What could possibly go wrong?

- China To Protect Iran Even If It Means World War III:

“China will not hesitate to protect Iran even with a third World War”
– Major General Zhang Zhaozhong

- Russia: “Should Anything Happen to Iran … This Will Be a Direct Threat to Our National Security”:

Russia and China Would Consider An Attack On Iran – Or Syria – As An Attack On Their National Security


saudi

- Saudis ‘would let Israeli jets use their air space to attack Iran’ (The Ugly Truth, Feb 25, 2015):

Kingdom merely wants ‘some sign of progress’ on Palestinian issue, according to unnamed senior European source in TV report

Times of Israel

Saudi Arabia is prepared to let Israeli fighter jets use its airspace if it proves necessary to attack Iran’s nuclear program, an Israeli TV station reported Tuesday, highlighting growing ties in the shadow of Tehran’s nuclear drive.

Riyadh’s only condition is that Israel make some kind of progress in peace talks with the Palestinians, Channel 2 reported Tuesday, citing an unnamed senior European source.

“The Saudi authorities are completely coordinated with Israel on all matters related to Iran,” the European official in Brussels said. Continue reading »

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Feb 24

Related info:

- MP George Galloway: The Case Against War With Iran (Must-Listen!!!) (YouTube):

‘Iran Hasn’t Invaded Another Country In More Than 300 Years.’


- Israel’s Netanyahu Lied About Iran With Infamous “Clear Red Line” Threat, Mossad Leak Reveals (ZeroHedge, Feb 23, 2015):

It was just over 12 years ago today when then Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke to the U.N. Security Council on February 5, 2003, and lied to a packed auditorium of world leaders and the entire world, making the case that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

colin powell UN

It was only after the second US invasion of Iraq (not to be confused with Obama’s third) that we learned that not only did Saddam not have WMDs, but that the whole invasion was merely a pretext for the US to gain control of yet another middle-eastern regime and one of the largest producers of crude oil at the time. What was also revealed as the NYT Examiner reported is “how easily truth becomes irrelevant in the process of going to war.” Continue reading »

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Feb 22

CIA

- CIA-planted ‘evidence’ may force IAEA review of Iran’s alleged nuke arms program – report (RT, Feb 21, 2015):

Doctored blueprints for nuclear weapon components supplied to Iran by the CIA 15 years ago could force the IAEA to review its conclusions on Iran’s atomic program, which was potentially based on misleading intelligence, Bloomberg reports.

The details of the Central Intelligence Agency operation back in 2000 were made public as part of a judicial hearing into a case involving Jeffrey Sterling, an agent convicted of leaking classified information on CIA spying against Iran. Continue reading »

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Feb 21

Watch the video here:

- Meet Iran’s first woman vice president (CNBC, Feb 19, 2015)

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Feb 17

Related info:

- Intel’s New Mobile Chips Are Always Listening

- Russia To Swap Intel-AMD Processors For Local Technology

- First Cisco And Microsoft, Now IBM: China Orders Banks To Remove High-End IBM Servers


nsa-321

- Russian researchers expose breakthrough U.S. spying program (Reuters, Feb 16, 2015):

The U.S. National Security Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers, giving the agency the means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world’s computers, according to cyber researchers and former operatives.

That long-sought and closely guarded ability was part of a cluster of spying programs discovered by Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based security software maker that has exposed a series of Western cyberespionage operations.

Kaspersky said it found personal computers in 30 countries infected with one or more of the spying programs, with the most infections seen in Iran, followed by Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen and Algeria. The targets included government and military institutions, telecommunication companies, banks, energy companies, nuclear researchers, media, and Islamic activists, Kaspersky said. (reut.rs/1L5knm0) Continue reading »

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Feb 17

H/t reader John:

“Not sure about the source but I bet its true.

The slime does not want peace.”


netanyahu-not-wrong-just-evil

- Report: Netanyahu may have leaked US secrets to hurt Iran negotiations (Vox, Feb 16, 2015):

  1. US officials believe that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has authorized his government to release secret details of the US nuclear negotiations with Iran to the Israeli press, according to Washington Post columnist David Ignatius.
  2. The alleged leaks would appear designed to undermine the negotiations, which Israel opposes.
  3. In response, according to Ignatius, the US has decided to “reduce the exchange of sensitive information about the Iran talks” with Israel.

This would be a major new low in the US-Israel breakdown

Continue reading »

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Feb 05

Related info:

- Islamic State operative confesses to receiving funding through US

- Pentagon Dispatches First Batch Of US Forces To Train Syrian ‘Rebels’ (Al-Nusra = Al-Qaeda & ISIS)

- Pentagon To Deploy 400-Plus Troops To Train And Equip Syrian Opposition (= ISIS, Al-Nusra & Al-Qaeda Terrorists)

- Syria: 3000 ‘Moderate Rebels’ Defect To ISIS … US Plans To Train 5,000 More …



Apr 12, 2007

Description:

Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh talks to Democracy Now about his explosive new article in the New Yorker Magazine. Hersh reports that John Negroponte’s decision to resign as National Intelligence Director was made in part because of the Bush administration’s covert actions including the funding of radical Sunni groups – some with strong ideological ties to al-Qaeda – to counter Shiite groups backed by Iran. Hersh also reports the Pentagon has established a special planning group to plan a bombing attack on Iran and U.S. military and special-operations teams have already crossed the border into Iran in pursuit of Iranian operatives. Continue reading »

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Feb 01

H/t reader squodgy:

“Looks like old Nisman was set up by mossad/CIA to create an excuse for more NATO aggression on Iran.

What a dirty world.”


- Argentina Prosecutor Who Accused Kirchner Had Steady Contact With US Embassy, Leaked Cables Show (VICE News, Jan 30, 2015):

Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor who accused Argentina’s president of a cover-up plot over the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center before being found shot to death, met repeatedly with the US embassy in Buenos Aires during his investigation, leaked diplomatic cables show.

Nisman gave US officials advanced notice on his procedural moves and was apparently coached by the embassy in “improving” his requests for arrest warrants for Iranians that Nisman suspected of carrying out the deadly attack against the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association, or AIMA, according to cables published by Wikileaks. Continue reading »

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Jan 24

Related info:

- Russia And Iran Sign Defense Deal, … ‘May Resolve’ S-300 Missile Delivery Issue (RT, Jan 20, 2015)


- De-Dollarization Complete: Iran Abandons US Dollar In Foreign Trade (ZeroHedge, Jan 24, 2015):

Since last May (and likely long before) when the topic of “de-dollarization” was first uttered in official circles (and not just tin-foil-hat-wearing blogs), the rest of the world (un-isolated as they are) has been warming to the idea that perhaps – just perhaps – it is time to de-dollarize (more or less depending on the despotic region in question). From currency swap agreements to bi-lateral trade agreements to selling US Treasuries and greatly rotating USD reserves into gold, the world’s nations (small and large) appear less and less comfortable holdings dollars in this tempestuous world. Among the supporters of that first “de-dollarization” meeting were China and Iran and while the former continues to work down its exposure, the latter – Iran, according to Tasnim news agency, has almost entirely eliminated USDollars from its reserves and is no longer using dollars in foreign trade.

Nothing lasts forever… Continue reading »

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Jan 21

Vladimir-Putin-smile-sunglasses

- Russia and Iran sign defense deal, ‘may resolve’ S300 missile delivery issue (RT, Jan 20, 2015):

Moscow and Tehran have signed military cooperation deal that implies wider collaboration in personnel training and counter-terrorism activities. It may also resolve the situation concerning the delivery of Russian S300 missiles, Iranian media reported.

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and his Iranian counterpart Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan, signed the document during a visit by Russia’s top brass to Iran’s capital on Tuesday.

Under the new agreement, the broadened cooperation will include military personnel training exchanges, increased counter-terrorism cooperation and enhanced capabilities for both countries’ Navies to use each other’s ports more frequently. Continue reading »

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Jan 03

2015 Will Be All About Iran, China and Russia

- 2015 Will Be All About Iran, China and Russia (Sputnik International, Dec 31, 2014):

By Pepe Escobar

Fasten your seatbelts; 2015 will be a whirlwind pitting China, Russia and Iran against what I have described as the Empire of Chaos.

So yes – it will be all about further moves towards the integration of Eurasia as the US is progressively squeezed out of Eurasia. We will see a complex geostrategic interplay progressively undermining the hegemony of the US dollar as a reserve currency and, most of all, the petrodollar. Continue reading »

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Dec 20

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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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