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 24

FYI.


- George Soros Warns Greece “Is Going Down The Drain” (ZeroHedge, March 24, 2015):

“Right now we are at the cusp,” billionaire George Soros tells Bloomberg TV in this brief clip, the chances of Greece leaving the euro area are now 50-50 and the country could go “down the drain.” The 84-year-old fears that talks between Greece and ‘the institutions’ could “break down,” adding that  “Greece is a long-festering problem that was mishandled from the beginning by all parties,” concluding that the chances of Greece leaving the euro area are now 50-50 and the country could go “down the drain.” Finally, Soros notes, what worries him the most is Ukraine. Continue reading »

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Mar 24

FYI.


- Spy Vs. Spy: Obama Spies On Netanyahu, Discovers Netanyahu Spying On Obama (ZeroHedge, March 24, 2015):

With the controversy surrounding Netanyahu’s inflammatory campaign rhetoric still simmering, and with Washington making it clear that the White House isn’t intent on “pretending like” the Prime Minister didn’t suggest that a two-state solution would happen over his dead body and that maybe Arab Israelis shouldn’t vote, tensions between the US and Israel don’t appear set to dissipate in the near-term. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Israel secretly gathered information regarding nuclear talks between Iran and the US then shared the information with members of Congress in an attempt to undermine support for the talks.

Here’s WSJ: Continue reading »

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Mar 24

- Obama Seeks Fast Track for TPP, Trade Deal that Could Thwart “Almost Any Progressive Policy or Goal” (Democracy Now, March 19, 2015):

Congressional Democrats are openly criticizing the secrecy surrounding the negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), just as President Obama begins a major push to pass the controversial deal. The United States is engaged in talks with 11 Latin American and Asian countries for the sweeping trade pact that would cover 40 percent of the global economy. But its provisions have mostly been kept secret. After the White House deemed a briefing on the trade pact “classified,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut called the measures “needlessly secretive,” saying: “If the TPP would be as good for American jobs as they claim, there should be nothing to hide.” This comes as Obama recently called on Congress to pass “fast track” legislation to streamline the passage of trade deals through Congress. Meanwhile, the AFL-CIO says it will withhold contributions to congressional Democrats to pressure them to vote no on fast-track authority. And some tea party-backed Republicans are saying Obama cannot be trusted with the same negotiating authority that past presidents have had. This spring, the White House has invited Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to address a joint session of Congress in which he may promote the TPP. For more, we speak with by Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, who has been sounding the alarm about the negotiations. She says Congress could vote on the TPP proposal in the third week in April. Continue reading »

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Mar 23

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- US “Loses” $500 Million In Weapons Given To Yemen, Now In Al-Qaeda Hands (ZeroHedge, March 23, 2015):

Nobody could have possibly foreseen that yet another US foreign diplomacy “success story” would turn out to be an epic disaster. Well, nobody, except for those who accurately predict that every US intervention abroad is now a staggering fiasco (for everyone involved except the US military-industrial complex of course). As for Yemen, the outcome was clear long ago:

And, naturally, after noting that “the employees said that more than 20 vehicles were taken by the fighters after the Americans departed from Sanaa’s airport” we asked how long until we have a “tabulation of losses to US taxpayers, just like the great Islamic State ‘robbery’ of hundreds of millions in US military equipment in Iraq?” That, of course, was another epic US intervention success story.

Anyway, thanks to WaPo we have an answer: according to Jeff Bezos’ recent media acquisition, “the Pentagon is unable to account for more than $500 million in U.S. military aid given to Yemen.” Continue reading »

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Mar 23

H/t reader squodgy:

“Relentless vilification of Vladimir Putin by the PTB will lead to eventual nuclear conflict which they want and will be protected from….So, the war will result in the sacrifice of the little people….as always.”


- Top Russia Scholar Stephen Cohen: War between NATO and Russia a Real Possibility (Russia Insider, March 20, 2015):

  • Round Table on “Defining a new security architecture for Europe that brings Russia in from the cold” was held in Brussels on March 2.
  • The organizer of the event was the American committee for East West Accord.
  • Three key presenters were American scholars Professor John Mearsheimer and Professor Steve Cohen, and publisher-editor of The Nation, Katrina Vanden Heuvel.
  • Q&A session was conducted by VIP guest panel which included five Members of the European Parliament from Left, Center and Right party groupings, two ambassadors and other senior diplomats from several missions, a senior member of the EU External Action Service, and Professor Richard Sakwa, author of the recently published Frontline Ukraine.
  • The first speech at the roundtable was delivered by John Mearsheimer, which we wrote about previously.

Professor Stephen Cohen is one of the most respected authorities on Russia among American and Western scholars. He is an American scholar of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University. His academic work concentrates on modern Russian history and Russia’s relationship with the United States.

The key points of Cohen’s extraordinary speech: Continue reading »

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Mar 23

FEMA-camp

- BE VERY AFRAID! – Supreme Court Green Lights Detention of Americans (The Last Great Stand, May 2, 2014)

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Mar 22

michelle-obama-handsign

- Feds to Weigh Children in Daycare (Washington Free Beacon, March 20, 2015):

USDA collecting data for study mandated by Michelle Obama’s healthy eating law

Bureaucrats from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will weigh and measure children in daycare as part of a study mandated by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.

The agency published a notice in the Federal Register on Friday proposing data collection on what meals are served in professional and home daycare facilities and how much physical activity children perform.

Aside from assessing how healthy the food in daycare is, the USDA will also check the weight and height of roughly 3,000 children. Continue reading »

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Mar 21

poroshenko_obama

- US Taxpayers To Fund Ukraine Bailout With Bond Guarantee (ZeroHedge, March 20, 2015):

Last week we reported that as part of the latest “check kiting” bailout scheme, Greek pensioners (and now utility companies) are being raided by the Greek government so that it can repay its debts to the IMF, which in turn would go ahead and fund a part of the recently approved $17.5 billion bailout of Ukraine, which then would have the money to pay its debts to Russia… and the IMF. And, as we also noted, “The only question is how long will it take the current puppet government to syphon off enough funds into various illegal ventures and offshore accounts before the IMF has to step back in a la Greece with bailout #2.”

Turns out the answer is about a week, because as Reuters reported earlier today, CCC-rated Ukraine is preparing to issue more debt, debt with a Aa+/AAA rating because it will come with the explicit guarantee of the United States of America. Continue reading »

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Mar 21

10-Charts-Economic-Crisis

- 10 Charts Which Show We Are Much Worse Off Than Just Before The Last Economic Crisis (Economic Collapse, March 18, 2015):

If you believe that ignorance is bliss, you might not want to read this article.  I am going to dispel the notion that there has been any sort of “economic recovery”, and I am going to show that we are much worse off than we were just prior to the last economic crisis.  If you go back to 2007, people were feeling really good about things.  Houses were being flipped like crazy, the stock market was booming and unemployment was relatively low.  But then the financial crisis of 2008 struck, and for a while it felt like the world was coming to an end.  Of course it didn’t come to an end – it was just the first wave of our problems.  The waves that come next are going to be the ones that really wipe us out.  Unfortunately, because we have experienced a few years of relative stability, many Americans have become convinced that Barack Obama, Janet Yellen and the rest of the folks in Washington D.C. have fixed whatever problems caused the last crisis.  Even though all of the numbers are screaming otherwise, there are millions upon millions of people out there that truly believe that everything is going to be okay somehow.  We never seem to learn from the past, and when this next economic downturn strikes it is going to do an astonishing amount of damage because we are already in a significantly weakened state from the last one.

For each of the charts that I am about to share with you, I want you to focus on the last shaded gray bar on each chart which represents the last recession.  As you will see, our economic problems are significantly worse than they were just before the financial crisis of 2008.  That means that we are far less equipped to handle a major economic crisis than we were the last time. Continue reading »

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Mar 21

ouroboros tomb

- One Last Look At The Real Economy Before It Implodes – Part 3 (Alt-Market, March 18, 2015):

In the previous installments of this series, we discussed the hidden and often unspoken crisis brewing within the employment market, as well as in personal debt. The primary consequence being a collapse in overall consumer demand, something which we are at this very moment witnessing in the macro-picture of the fiscal situation around the world. Lack of real production and lack of sustainable employment options result in a lack of savings, an over-dependency on debt and welfare, the destruction of grass-roots entrepreneurship, a conflated and disingenuous representation of gross domestic product, and ultimately an economic system devoid of structural integrity — a hollow shell of a system, vulnerable to even the slightest shocks. Continue reading »

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Mar 21

CIA-Amazon

- Cisco is Shipping Equipment to Fake Addresses to Protect Customers; Meanwhile Amazon Refuses to Provide Any Transparency (Liberty Blitzkrieg, March 20, 2015):

Examining the distinct ways in which various technology/internet companies have responded to revelations that the U.S. government is grossly violating American citizens’ 4th Amendment rights with its unconstitutional mass surveillance can be quite telling. A really interesting case in point came across my screen today.

On the one hand, we have Cisco, which seems to be trying its best to get hardware from one place to another without the NSA intercepting it and implanting malware. On the other hand, we have Amazon, which refuses to provide even the most basic transparency report when it comes to government data requests. Thanks for nothing Bezos.

Let’s start with Cisco. The Register reports that:

Cisco will ship boxes to vacant addresses in a bid to foil the NSA, security chief John Stewart says. Continue reading »

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Mar 21

Hacked

- FBI Moves to Broaden Hacking Authority – Google Says it Poses “Monumental Constitutional Concern” (Liberty Blitzkrieg, March 18, 2015):

A judicial advisory panel Monday quietly approved a rule change that will broaden the FBI’s hacking authority despite fears raised by Google that the amended language represents a “monumental” constitutional concern.

The Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules voted 11-1 to modify an arcane federal rule to allow judges more flexibility in how they approve search warrants for electronic data, according to a Justice Department spokesman.

The FBI wants the expanded authority, which would allow it to more easily infiltrate computer networks to install malicious tracking software.

– From the National Review article: FBI’s Plan to Expand Hacking Power Advances Despite Privacy Fears

If we’ve learned anything about the FBI over the past several years, it’s that the agency is extraordinarily skilled at finding mentally ill, dead-broke young Muslims and convincing them to become terrorists and by taking part in FBI created and funded terrorist plots. Continue reading »

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Mar 21

And Then I Told Them There Would Be Change

- Peak Idiocy – Obama Suggests Making Voting Mandatory (Liberty Blitzkrieg, March 19, 2015):

The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.
- Joseph Stalin

If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.
– Emma Goldman

Of all the idiotic things Obama has muttered during his almost inconceivably painful 6 years as President, the following may take the cake. It’s as if he’s just completely given up. Back to the golf course man, please.

From CNN:

The president whose major policy achievement is mandatory health insurance thinks maybe voting should be mandatory, too. Continue reading »

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Mar 20

From the article:

“[W]e encourage those institutions to consider whether to take more action: specifically, to alert law enforcement authorities about the problem, who may be able to seize the funds, initiate an investigation, or take other proactive steps.”

So what exactly constitutes ‘suspicious activity’? Basically anything.

It’s utterly obscene. According to the Justice Department, going to the bank and withdrawing $5,000 should potentially prompt a banker to rat you out to the police.


change-we-can-believe-in

- Justice Department Rolls Out An Early Form Of Capital Controls In America (ZeroHedge, March 20, 2015):

Something stunning took place earlier this week, and it quietly snuck by, unnoticed by anyone as the “all important” FOMC meeting was looming. That something could have been taken straight out of the playbook of either Cyprus, or Greece, or the USSR “evil empire”, or all three.

This is how the WSJ explained it:

The U.S. Justice Department’s criminal head said banks may need to go beyond filing suspicious activity reports when they encounter a risky customer. Continue reading »

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Mar 20

Putin chessProvoking World War III - Antagonizing the Dragon and Bearobama-putin-middle-fingerWW3-World-War-3-WWIII-WW-III

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

- Russia Under Attack (Paul Craig Roberts, March 20, 2015):

Dear Friends,

This is my quarterly call for your support. This website has achieved some stability because a number of readers contribute monthly. However, as our readership expands, the percentage of readers who support the site has declined. This is known in economics as the “free rider” problem. “Free riders” are people who partake of the benefits but do not contribute to covering the costs.

This is your site. Our agreement is that I write for you as long as you support the site. The articles require a lot of effort and cause me much grief. I have no confidence that there is an ounce of integrity or morality anywhere in the US government.

Those of you who are committed to the website are deeply appreciated. The rest of you need to show your support.

Readers ask me, “what can be done.” All that can be done is that people become informed so that when economic collapse or military defeat causes a loss of confidence in the ruling elite, Americans will have some chance of retrieving the situation.

Russia Under Attack

Paul Craig Roberts

While Washington works assiduously to undermine the Minsk agreement that German chancellor Merkel and French president Hollande achieved in order to halt the military conflict in Ukraine, Washington has sent Victoria Nuland to Armenia to organize a “color revolution” or coup there, has sent Richard Miles as ambassador to Kyrgyzstan to do the same there, and has sent Pamela Spratlen as ambassador to Uzbekistan to purchase that government’s allegiance away from Russia. The result would be to break up the Collective Security Treaty Organization and present Russia and China with destabilization where they can least afford it. For details go here: http://russia-insider.com/en/2015/03/18/4656

Thus, Russia faces the renewal of conflict in Ukraine simultaneously with three more Ukraine-type situations along its Asian border.

And this is only the beginning of the pressure that Washington is mounting on Russia. Continue reading »

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Mar 19

change-we-can-believe-in


- US sets new record for denying federal files under Freedom of Information Act (Guardian, March 18, 2015):

Obama administration redacted and denied government files in record numbers for the second consecutive year, AP analysis finds

The US has set a new record for denying and censoring federal files under the Freedom of Information Act, analysis by the Associated Press reveals.

For the second consecutive year, the Obama administration more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them under the open-government legislation. Continue reading »

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Mar 19

Patriot

- Washington Retaliates: Shifts Anti-Missile Battery Into Poland, Begins Rapid-Response Drills (ZeroHedge, March 18, 2015):

In yet another sign that Washington is keen on preserving the sanctity of sovereign nations’ right to choose peaceful democracy over violent tyranny, the US is set to use Poland as a staging ground in an effort to prove (because some folks weren’t sure) that despite the UK’s inexplicable reluctance to engage in an arms race with Russia and China, the US can still blow things up at the drop of a dime.

Here’s The State Dept with more: 

This week the U.S. Army deployed to Poland about 30 vehicles and 100 troops from the 5th Battalion/7th Air Defense Regiment, based in Germany. The U.S. soldiers will train for several days with Polish troops from the 37th Missile Squadron of Air Defense, the 38th Support Squadron, and the 3rd Brigade of Air Defense Command.  

The American forces will set up their Patriot air and missile defense assets in Poland to demonstrate the U.S. Army’s capacity to deploy Patriot systems rapidly within NATO territory.  Training elements will include defending high value assets, ground forces, and population areas from ballistic missiles and air strikes. Continue reading »

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Mar 19

Sheeple


- The Wolf Is Guarding the Hen House: The Government’s War on Cyberterrorism (The Rutherford Institute, March 17, 2015):

The game is rigged, the network is bugged, the government talks double-speak, the courts are complicit and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
—David Kravets, reporting for Wired

Nothing you write, say, text, tweet or share via phone or computer is private anymore. As constitutional law professor Garrett Epps points out, “Big Brother is watching…. Big Brother may be watching you right now, and you may never know. Since 9/11, our national life has changed forever. Surveillance is the new normal.”

This is the reality of the internet-dependent, plugged-in life of most Americans today. Continue reading »

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Mar 18

1-Hillary

- Our Lawless Government – Hillary Edition (The Daily Sheeple, March 17, 2015):

The WSJ points out something I’ve noted to friends and have mused over doing an article on for a while now with regard to Hillary’s emails: The utter lawless nature of her acts before and after the fact.

The fact that Hillary Clinton exclusively used a private server in her home, rather than a secure government server, to send emails during her four years as secretary of state has raised many questions. She now says that it was a mistake but also emphasizes that she broke no law. News reports typically describe her offense as not following “policy.”

This, as Ronald goes on to point out, isn’t the point. In fact Hillary has admitted to intentionally destroying many of the emails on that server — some 30,000 of them, to put not to fine a point on it. Continue reading »

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