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This Coke Is Not For Drinking… Or For Sale

February 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Here’s a way environmentalists can capitalize on Secretary of State Kerry’s characterization of climate change as the “most fearsome weapon of mass destruction”, a hyperbole he used in a speech in Indonesia last week. Despite the current surfeit of light oil resulting from the shale oil boom, the wave of the future is likely to be increasing production of heavy oil, the stuff that will flow (sluggishly) through the Keystone XL pipeline if it is ever built. That that is where the future lies is demonstrated by our refiners betting hard money on it, having geared up their refineries to process heavy oil coming from Canada’s tar sands and Venezuela’s Orinoco Belt.

One of the less desirable byproducts of refining heavy oil is something called petroleum coke or petcoke for short. Petcoke can substitute for coal and is used in the generation of electricity and the manufacture of various industrial products. But petcoke emits 5 to 10 percent more carbon dioxide (CO2) than coal on a per-unit-of-energy basis, 30 to 80 percent more per unit of weight. Moreover, it often has a high sulfur content, a smog-producer which wafts into the air when petcoke is burnt.

The more heavy oil refined, the more petcoke available to be sold, and the quantity churned out by our refineries has been increasing steadily over the last few years. Exports of petcoke have helped make the United States a net exporter of petroleum products, those exports now totaling over a half million barrels per day. In fact, petcoke contributes more to our export of refined petroleum products than gasoline and is second only to fuel distillates (whatever they are).

The United States provides over one-half of the petcoke traded in the global market. China is our best customer, their purchases having tripled over the last four years. Last year alone China’s purchases increased by 50 percent. With its insatiable appetite for energy and constraints placed on the burning of petcoke in this country, China is likely to import more of our petcoke in the years ahead, despite their frantic efforts to clean their air.

If we are serious about doing something about global warming, shouldn’t we save the Chinese from themselves – and ourselves and the rest of the world at the same time – by banning the export of petcoke? Free marketeers will raise a hue and cry about government intrusion into the marketplace, but they don’t have much of a leg to stand on, considering that we have banned the export of crude oil for some 40 years now. If we are unwilling to make this trivial sacrifice to our bottom line (a few hundred million, maybe billion, a year), how much are we really concerned about the threat from global warming? If we use the vile stuff to fill exhausted open pit mines, banning its export might even make good economic sense in the long run. Buried in the ground, the petcoke would represent an energy stockpile we can tap as needed, if we ever figure out how to burn the stuff cleanly.


Ken Meyercord is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice.

Ken Meyercord produces a public access TV show called Worlddocs which “brings the world to the people of the Washington, DC area through documentaries you won’t see broadcast on corporate TV.” He has a Master’s in Middle East History from the American University of Beirut. He can be contacted at kiaskfm@verizon.net.

After Yugoslavia, Ukraine ?

February 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Public opinion in Western Europe is wrong to regard the Ukrainian crisis as a showdown between Westerners and Russians. In reality, Washington’s goal is not to push the country into the arms of the European Union, but to deprive Russia of its historical partners. To do this, the United States is prepared to ignite a new civil war on the continent.

After having dismembered Yugoslavia during a ten-year civil war (1990-1999), has the United States decided to destroy Ukraine in a similar way? This is what could be inferred from the maneuvers that the opposition is poised to launch during the Sochi Olympic Games.

Ukraine has been historically divided between, in the West, a population turned towards the European Union and, in the East, a population oriented towards Russia, plus a small Muslim minority in Crimea. After the country‘s independence, the government gradually crumbled. Taking advantage of the confusion, the United States organized the «Orange Revolution» (2004) [1], which brought to power a mafia clan, also pro-Atlanticist. Moscow responded by lifting its subsidies on gas prices, but the Orange government could not rely on its Western allies to help pay the market price. Ultimately, it lost the 2010 presidential election in favor of Viktor Yanukovych, a corrupt politician, and on again-off again pro-Russian.

On 21 November 2013, the government renounces signing the Association Agreement negotiated with the European Union. The opposition responds with protests in Kiev and in the western part of the country, which quickly take on an insurrectionary appearance. It calls for early presidential and parliamentary elections and refuses to form a government when approached by President Yanukovych and the Prime Minister resigns. The events are baptized Euromaidan, then Eurorevolution, by Radio Free Europe (run by the State Department).

The crowd control for the opposition is provided by Azatlyk, a group of young Crimean Tatars who returned from Jihad in Syria especially for the occasion [2].

The Atlanticist media champion the cause of the «democratic opposition» and condemn Russian influence. High-profile Western figures turn up to manifest their support to the protesters, including Victoria Nuland (Assistant Secretary of State and former Ambassador to NATO) and John McCain (Chairman of the Republican branch of the NED). For its part, the Russian press condemns protesters who have taken to the streets to overthrow democratically elected institutions.

Torch-lit march of 15,000 Nazis in Kiev on 1 January 2014.

At first, the movement seemed to be an attempt to orchestrate a second «Orange Revolution.» But on 1 January 2014 the power in the street changes hands. The Nazi «Freedom» party organizes a 15 000-strong torch-lit march in memory of Stepan Bandera (1909-1959), the nationalist leader who allied himself with the Nazis against the Soviets. Since this event, the capital has been covered with anti-Semitic graffiti and people are attacked on the street for being Jewish.

The pro-European opposition is made up of three political parties:

  •  The All-Ukrainian Union “Fatherland” (Batkivshchyna), led by the oligarch and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko (serving a prison sentence following her convictions for embezzlement) and currently headed by lawyer and former Parliament speaker Arseniy Yatsenyuk. It stands for private property and the Western liberal model. It garnered 25.57% of the vote in the 2012 parliamentary elections.
  •  The Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (Udar), of former boxing world champion Vitali Klitschko. It claims to identify with Christian Democracy and picked up 13.98% in the 2012 elections.
  •  The All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda” (Freedom), led by the surgeon Oleh Tyahnybok. This political group sprang from the National Socialist Party of Ukraine. It promotes the denaturalization of Jewish Ukrainians. It won 10.45% of the vote in the 2012 parliamentary elections.
  • These parliamentary parties have the support of:

  •  The Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, a Nazi splinter group from the former NATO stay-behind networks in the Eastern Bloc [3]. A Zionist, he calls for the denaturalization and deportation of Ukrainian Jews to Israel. He received 1.11% of the vote in 2012.
  •  The Ukrainian Self-Defense, a nationalist splinter group that sent its members to fight the Russians in Chechnya and Ossetia during the Georgian conflict. It got 0.08% of the vote in 2012.

In addition, the opposition has received the endorsement of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in revolt against the Moscow Patriarchate. Ever since the Nazi Party took over the streets, the demonstrators – many of them wearing helmets and dressed in paramilitary uniforms -have erected barricades and stormed government buildings. Certain elements of the police force have also displayed great brutality, going so far as to torture detainees. A dozen protesters were killed and nearly 2,000 were wounded. The unrest spread to the western provinces of the country.

According to our information, the Ukrainian opposition seeks to import military materials acquired on parallel markets. It is obviously not possible to purchase weapons in Western Europe and bring them in without NATO’s green light.

Washington’s strategy in Ukraine would appear to be a combination of proven “color revolution” recipes with others recently concocted during the “Arab Spring” [4]. Moreover, the United States makes no effort to hide it: it dispatched two officials, Victoria Nuland (deputy to John Kerry) and John McCain (who is not only a Republican senator, but also the chairman of IRI, the Republican branch of the NED [5]) to support the protesters. Unlike Libya and Syria, Washington does not have jihadists on hand to sow chaos (except for Tatar extremists, but they are only located in Crimea). It was therefore decided to lean on the Nazis with whom the State Department worked against the Soviets and has organized in political parties since independence.

The inexperienced reader may be taken aback by this alliance between the Obama administration and the Nazis. However, it must be remembered that Ukrainian Nazis were publicly honored at the White House by President Reagan, including Yaroslav Stetsko, Ukrainian Prime Minister under the Third Reich, who became the head of the anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations and a member of the World anti-Communist League [6]. One of his deputies, Lev Dobriansky, became U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas, while his daughter Paula Dobriansky served as Under Secretary of State for Democracy (sic) during the George W. Bush administration. It is the same Ms. Dobriansky who for ten years sponsored a historical research with the aim of clouding the fact that the Holodomor, the famine that hit Ukraine in 1932-33, also devastated Russia and Kazakhstan, thereby reinforcing the myth that Stalin was determined to eliminate the Ukrainian people [7].

In fact, Washington, who had supported the German Nazi party until 1939 and continued to do business with Nazi Germany until the end of 1941, never had a moral problem with Nazism, not more than it has today in providing military support to jihadism in Syria.

Western European elites, who use Nazism as a pretext to harass firebrands – as seen with the „quenelle“ controversy over French comedien Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala [8] – have forgotten what it really is. In 2005, they closed their eyes to the rehabilitation of Nazism by the President of Latvia, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, as if it were trivial [9]. On the simple strength of statements in favor of the European Union, and wrapped up in their blissful Atlanticism, they now support their worst enemy. Civil war could start in Ukraine during the Olympic Games in Sochi.

Thierry Meyssan – French intellectual, founder and chairman of Voltaire Network and the Axis for Peace Conference. His columns specializing in international relations feature in daily newspapers and weekly magazines in Arabic, Spanish and Russian

Notes
[1] “Washington et Moscou se livrent bataille en Ukraine”, by Emilia Nazarenko and the editorial staff, Réseau Voltaire, 1 November 2004.

[2] “Jihadists in charge of crowd control in Kiev protests”, Translation Alizée Ville, Voltaire Network, 5 December 2013.

[3] This is the cesspool that the father of the “Orange revolution” alighted from. Cf. “La biographie cachée du père du président ukrainien”, Réseau Voltaire, 18 April 2008.

[4] “Coup in Western Ukraine: the Arab Spring unleashed in Europe”, by Andrew Korybko, Oriental Review/Voltaire Network, 27 January 2014.

[5] “La NED, vitrine légale de la CIA”, by Thierry Meyssan, Odnako/Réseau Voltaire, 6 October 2010.

[6] “La Ligue anti-communiste mondiale, une internationale du crime”, by Thierry Meyssan, Réseau Voltaire, 12 May 2004.

[7] See: L’Holodomor, nouvel avatar de l’anticommunisme « européen », by Professor Annie Lacroix-Riz, 2008.

[8] “The Bête Noire of the French Establishment”, by Diana Johnstone, Counterpunch/Voltaire Network, 5 January 2014.

[9] “Latvian President Rehabilitates Nazism”, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 16 March 2005.

Source: Voltaire Network

“Have An Exit Plan”

February 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Matt Drudge, owner and publisher of the “Drudge Report,” recently tweeted a cryptic warning to his readers, “Have an exit plan.” Here is how Susan Duclos reported the story in BeforeItsNews.com:

“The economic indicators are bad, markets, the weakening dollar, banks preventing large withdrawals, news of China banks halting all cash transfers, in fact, economies across the globe are failing, and much more has led to a simple, four word Tweet from American political commentator and the creator and editor of the Drudge Report, Matt Drudge, that chillingly states ‘Have an exit plan.’”

Duclos also wrote, “Drudge’s words should be a warning to everyone, it is coming, it is almost here and ‘have an exit plan’ ready.”

See the report here:

Have An Exit Plan

The Drudge Report is one of the finest news sources on the Web. Matt is well connected. This is the first time I have known of him to write such a warning–as mysterious as it was. No, I do not know what Matt learned to cause him to write this warning; but I do believe we should all pay attention to it.

I know it’s hard for most Americans to believe that something cataclysmic could ever happen to this country, but all of the signs on the horizon indicate that things simply cannot continue as they are for a whole lot longer. The stock markets are being manipulated by the Feds, as are the precious metals markets. Unemployment is vastly greater than what is being officially reported. Hyperinflation is a looming probability. The Feds are printing money like there is no tomorrow. Congress is totally unwilling to control its spending habits no matter which political party is in the majority. Republicans and Democrats alike continue to smash the so-called “debt ceiling.” Federal courts are unwilling to rein-in an out-of-control White House that seems determined to trample and ignore the Bill of Rights. Several countries are desperately trying to find a way to dump the dollar. U.S. foreign policy has made enemies of practically every nation on earth–as has the NSA’s global snooping. Our military is weaker and more demoralized than at any time in recent memory–maybe ever. China and Russia continue to unite militarily. More Americans are expatriating out of the country than at any time in our country’s history. Local and State law enforcement personnel more and more resemble Storm Troopers rather than peace officers. The America that was once the most envied nation in the world is now the most despised. Government corruption at the highest levels mirrors those of banana republics. For the most part, the Church in America is impotent and irrelevant. And, culturally-speaking, honesty and decency are practically non-existent. This is a recipe for disaster.

Unlike the days of America’s first Great Depression, most of us now live in major metropolitan areas. Can one imagine what life would be like in any major city in America today should normalcy be interrupted for more than a few days? Has everyone forgotten what New Orleans looked like following Hurricane Katrina? In any kind of area-wide emergency, there are about four hours (you read it right: HOURS) worth of food and supplies on store shelves–and the same with fuel at the gas pumps. And can you imagine what that big city of yours is going to look like when the welfare checks are not delivered?

I know. I know. Every time I touch on this subject, I hear from hundreds of Christian people saying things like, “Chuck, my exit plan is Jesus is coming” or “God has it all under control,” etc. But most of those same people lock their doors at night and give their teenagers (or even children) cell phones “just in case.” Many have AAA or similar plans for travel emergencies. Most of them have car insurance and homeowner’s insurance. Most have some sort of retirement plan–or wish they did. Most of them tell their wives and daughters to avoid the “bad” parts of town. Every day they routinely put in practice commonsense plans for their family’s safety. So, why is it every time the subject of having a plan for some sort of a national emergency comes up, they get all holier-than-thou and start talking about Jesus coming back?

First of all, most of America’s pastors and churches are doing nothing to help their people make commonsense preparations for any number of looming disasters. In fact, they are fueling the passiveness and indifference most people are drowning in. In the second place, the establishment media is deliberately hiding and obfuscating the truth. In the third place, too many politicians are so consumed with their own lust for wealth and power, that they would do anything to keep the American people in the dark. And, yes, some of them are actually ignorant themselves and are immersed in their own darkness. And, beyond that, the American people continue to turn their backs on honest political candidates–who know what’s going on and would truly make a gallant effort to turn the ship of state around–and elect the same kinds of establishment elitists (regardless of party) who only want to maintain the status quo.

Ladies and gentlemen, this party is almost over. The charade is about to be exposed. Whether it be by divine judgment or the natural result of all of this corruption and graft (probably both), America is going to be forced to pay the bills. And it’s not going to be pretty.

Government agencies are not buying up millions of rounds of hollow-point ammunition for target practice. First it was the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), then it was the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), then the Social Security Administration (SSA), then the Department of Education (DE), then the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and now it’s the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). That’s right. The Post Office is making mega-purchases of ammunition.

See this report:

US Postal Service Announces Giant Ammo Purchase

But when Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) recently introduced a bill that would have overturned a federal ban that prohibits citizens who possess concealed weapon permits from carrying inside post offices, members of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee voted to kill the bill–including Montana Senator Jon Tester, Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor, and Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu. Obviously, elitists love it when government employees are armed but private citizens are not.

And I can tell you for a fact that there is a host of federal law enforcement personnel–who know what is going on–that are personally leading their own families to prepare for bad times. Many economists are doing the same thing.

The Scripture states, “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” (Proverbs 22:3 KJV) Famous Bible commentators Karl Keil and Friedrich Delitzsch quote the verse this way: “The prudent man arises from his perceiving an evil standing before him; he sees the approaching overthrow of a decaying house, or in a sudden storm the fearful flood, and betimes [early] betakes himself to a place of safety; the simple [foolish], on the contrary, go blindly forward into the threatening danger, and must bear the punishment of their carelessness.”

Ladies and gentlemen, America’s house is decaying; there is an evil standing before us; the fearful flood will come; and the sudden storm will strike. How we respond before that happens will reveal our prudence or our foolishness. I’m with Matt Drudge: “Have an exit plan.” This is especially true if you live in or near a big city.

P.S. I highly recommend Joel Skousen’s well-researched book, “Strategic Relocation.” It is chock-full of helpful information regarding dangerous and safe places and what to do about it. Learn about Skousen’s book here:

Joel Skousen “Strategic Relocation”


Chuck Baldwin is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

You can reach him at: chuck@chuckbaldwinlive.com
Please visit Chuck’s web site at: http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com

Caught Red Handed

February 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Secret Tape Reveals US-backed Plot to Topple Ukraine’s Democratically-Elected President…

“In the latest debacle for the US State Department and the Obama Administration, US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was caught on tape micro-managing Ukraine opposition party strategies with US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt. That the Ukraine regime-change operation is to some degree being directed from Washington can no longer be denied….The taped conversation demonstrates in clear detail that while Secretary of State John Kerry decries any foreign meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs, his State Department is virtually managing the entire process.”

– Daniel McAdams, “‘F**k the EU’: Tape Reveals US Runs Ukraine Opposition“, Ron Paul Institute

Washington is at it again, up to its old tricks. You’d think that after the Afghanistan and Iraq fiascos someone on the policymaking team would tell the fantasists to dial-it-down a bit. But, no. The Obama claque is just as eager to try their hand at regime change as their predecessors, the Bushies. This time the bullseye is on Ukraine, the home of the failed Orange Revolution, where US NGOs fomented a populist coup that brought down the government and paved the way for years of social instability, economic hardship and, eventually, a stronger alliance with Moscow.

That sure worked out well, didn’t it? One can only wonder what Obama has in mind for an encore.

Let’s cut to the chase: The US still clings to the idea that it can dominate the world with its ham-fisted military (that hasn’t won a war in 60 years) its scandalized Intel agencies, its comical Rambo-style “Special Ops” teams, and its oh-so-brilliant global strategists who think the days of the nation-state will soon be over hastening the onset of the glorious New World Order. Right. Ukraine is a critical part of that pipe dream, er, strategy which is why the US media puts demonstrations in Kiev in the headlines while similar protests in the US are consigned to the back pages just below the dog food ads. In any event, the crisis is likely to intensify in the months ahead as Washington engages in a no-holds-barred tug-o-war with Moscow over the future of civilization.

For bigwig strategists, like Zbigniew Brzezinski, Ukraine is a war that Washington must win to maintain its position as the world’s only superpower. As he sees it, the US must establish outposts throughout Eurasia to diminish Russia’s influence, control China, and capitalize off the new century’s fastest growing region. Here’s how Brzezinski sums it up in Foreign Affairs in an article titled “A Geostrategy for Eurasia”:

“America’s emergence as the sole global superpower now makes an integrated and comprehensive strategy for Eurasia imperative…Eurasia is home to most of the world’s politically assertive and dynamic states. All the historical pretenders to global power originated in Eurasia. The world’s most populous aspirants to regional hegemony, China and India, are in Eurasia, as are all the potential political or economic challengers to American primacy…

Eurasia is the world’s axial supercontinent. A power that dominated Eurasia would exercise decisive influence over two of the world’s three most economically productive regions, Western Europe and East Asia. A glance at the map also suggests that a country dominant in Eurasia would almost automatically control the Middle East and Africa…

What happens with the distribution of power on the Eurasian landmass will be of decisive importance to America’s global primacy and historical legacy.” ( “A Geostrategy for Eurasia”, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Foreign Affairs, 1997)

Okay, so the not-so-subtle Brzezinski is telling US policymakers that if they want to rule the world, they’ve got to take over Eurasia. That’s pretty clear. It’s the Great Game all over again and Ukraine is one of the biggest trophies, which is why the US has allied itself to all kinds crackpot, rightwing groups that are stirring up trouble in Kiev. It’s because Washington will stop at nothing to achieve its objectives. Of course, there’s nothing new about any of this. The US frequently supports violent, far-right organizations if their interests coincide. Here’s a little background on the topic from Eric Draitser in an article in CounterPunch titled “Ukraine and the Rebirth of Fascism”:

“In an attempt to pry Ukraine out of the Russian sphere of influence, the US-EU-NATO alliance has, not for the first time, allied itself with fascists. Of course, for decades, millions in Latin America were disappeared or murdered by fascist paramilitary forces armed and supported by the United States. The mujahideen of Afghanistan, which later transmogrified into Al Qaeda, also extreme ideological reactionaries, were created and financed by the United States for the purposes of destabilizing Russia. And of course, there is the painful reality of Libya and, most recently Syria, where the United States and its allies finance and support extremist jihadis against a government that has refused to align with the US and Israel. There is a disturbing pattern here that has never been lost on keen political observers: the United States always makes common cause with right wing extremists and fascists for geopolitical gain.” (Ukraine and the rebirth of Fascism“, Eric Draitser, CounterPunch)

Death squads here, jihadis there; what difference does it make to the big shots in Washington?

Not much, apparently.

But, wait, what’s all this talk about the US being on the side of anti-Semites and fascists in Ukraine? Is that true?

It sure looks that way. In fact, there was a funny story in the World Socialist Web Site about Assistant Secretary of State Victoria “Fuck the EU” Nuland which shows how far these people will go to achieve their objectives. In this case, Nuland, who — according to the WSWS — is “the grand-daughter of Jewish immigrants who fled to America to escape pogroms in Tsarist Russia”…was seen “handing out cookies in Maidan square to Svoboda thugs who venerate the mass murderers of Hitler’s SS.” (“Leaked phone call on Ukraine lays bare Washington’s gangsterism“, Bill Van Auken, World Socialist Web Site)

Nice, eh? So Vickie was having a little snacktime with guys who’d probably shove a knife in her back if they were given half a chance. That’s what you call dedication. By the way, Nuland’s “husband is Robert Kagan, the right-wing foreign policy pundit who served as the founding chairman of the Project for a New American Century, the neo-conservative Washington think tank that played a key role in the political and ideological preparation for the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan.”

The fact that Obama and Co. are directly involved in this latest would-be coup, doesn’t surprise anyone. According to a recent poll conducted by the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center, “almost a half (45%) of Russian citizens think that protests in Ukraine have been provoked by Western special services.” By “special services” we presume the survey’s authors mean US Intel agencies and US-funded NGOs which have a long history of poking their noses in other country’s affairs. Here’s a statement by Rep Ron Paul in 2004 to the US House International Relations Committee which helps to throw a little light on the issue:

“It is clear that a significant amount of US taxpayer dollars went to support one candidate in Ukraine. …. What we do not know, however, is just how much US government money was spent to influence the outcome of the Ukrainian election.

Dozens of organizations are granted funds under the PAUCI program alone, (Poland-America-Ukraine Cooperation Initiative, which is administered by the US-based Freedom House.) and this is only one of many programs that funneled dollars into Ukraine. We do not know how many millions of US taxpayer dollars the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) sent to Ukraine through NED’s National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute. Nor do we know how many other efforts, overt or covert, have been made to support one candidate over the other in Ukraine.

That is what I find so disturbing: there are so many cut-out organizations and sub-grantees that we have no idea how much US government money was really spent on Ukraine, and most importantly how it was spent.” (“What has the NED done in Ukraine?“, Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell)

The fact is, the USG gives away tons of money to all types of shady groups who carry out their agenda. As far as Ukraine is concerned, we actually have a better idea of the money that’s been spent than Paul thinks. Check out this video of Nuland addressing various industry groups and admitting that, “Since the declaration of Ukrainian independence in 1991, the United States supported the Ukrainians in the development of democratic institutions and skills in promoting civil society and a good form of government…We have invested more than 5 billion dollars to help Ukraine to achieve these and other goals.” (“Washington’s cloned female warmongers“, Finian Cunningham, Information Clearinghouse)

5 billion smackers to topple a democratically-elected government in Ukraine while 8 million Americans still can’t find a damn job in the US. That tells you a lot about Obama’s priorities, doesn’t it?

Last week’s fiasco surrounding Nuland’s leaked phone conversation has clarified what’s really going on behind the scenes. While the media has focused on Nuland’s obscenity, (“Fuck the EU”) it’s the other parts of the conversation that grabbed our attention. Here’s a brief summary by the WSWS’s Bill Van Auken:

“The call (exposes) the criminal and imperialist character of US policy in Ukraine …What the tape makes clear, is that Washington is employing methods of international gangsterism, including violence, to effect a political coup aimed at installing a regime that is fully subordinate to US geo-strategic interests…

The precise goal of US efforts is to shift political power into the hands of a collection of Western-aligned Ukrainian oligarchs who enriched themselves off of the private appropriation—theft—of state property carried out as part of the Stalinist bureaucracy’s dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. In doing so, it aims to turn Ukraine into a US imperialist beachhead on the very border of Russia, whose territory it also wants to divide and subjugate to neocolonial status as part of its drive to assert American hegemony throughout the strategic landmass of Eurasia…

Nuland makes clear that behind the scenes, Washington is dictating which leaders of the opposition…should enter the government to swing it behind Washington and what role the others will play…”(“Leaked phone call on Ukraine lays bare Washington’s gangsterism“, Bill Van Auken, World socialist Web Site)

Same old, same old. Like we said earlier, there’s nothing new here, nothing at all. All the blabber about “democracy” is just public relations crappola. It means nothing. US elites want to trim Moscow’s wings, set up shop in Eurasia, control China’s growth, be a bigger player in the continent’s oil and natural gas markets, export its financial services model, and make as much money as possible in the 21st century’s hottest market, Asia. It’s all about profits. Profits and power.

But then, you probably knew that already.


Mike Whitney is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com

Cold War Politics In Sochi

February 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

A geopolitically tense atmosphere prevails.

Security is extremely tight. It’s prioritized for good reason. Terrorist attacks are possible. Don’t discount potential Washington shenanigans.

Perhaps raining on Putin’s parade is planned. Obama may want him embarrassed. False flags are a longstanding US tradition. Will Sochi be Washington’s next target? The fullness of time will tell.

It’s a virtual armed camp. Measures in place are unprecedented. Around $2 billion was spent on security.

Ahead of February 6, around 23,000 personnel assured proper measures were in place as planned.

Tens of thousands of police officers are deployed. They’re backed by helicopters, drones, gunboats, submarines, and 70,000 Russian troops.

Hundreds of Cossacks are involved. They’ll check IDs. They’ll detain suspects. Sochi’s proximity to the North Caucasus raised concerns.

Islamist jihadists named it a target. They’re US assets. They’re used strategically. Washington used likeminded ones against Soviet Russia in Afghanistan.

Libya was targeted this way. They comprise America’s anti-Syrian proxy death squads.

Russia raised concerns after December Volgograd bombings killed 34 people. Were Washington’s dirty hands involved?

Is something similar planned for Sochi? Hegemons operate this way. America is by far the worst. Anything ahead is possible.

According to Sochi Organizing Committee chairman Dmitry Chernyshenko:

“Terrorism is a global threat, and for terrorism there is no boundaries, no territories, but here in Sochi from the very beginning of the construction phase the state authorities did their utmost to prepare special measures, starting from the screening of raw materials, checking all the venues and preparing far-reaching security measures to provide the safest ever environment here.”

A controlled zone was established. It covers 60 kilometers. It runs along the coast. It extends 25 kilometers inland.

It includes all venues. They’re heavily guarded. The entire area is for authorized visitors only.

Western anti-Russian sentiment persists. Cold War politics continues. Putin bashing is featured. He’s not about to roll over for Washington.

He wants rule of law principles respected. He opposes Western imperialism. He’s against meddling in the internal affairs of Russia, Syria, Ukraine and other nations.

He stresses Moscow’s “independent foreign policy.” He affirms the “inalienable right to security for all states, the inadmissibility of excessive force, and unconditional observance of international law.”

He and Obama disagree on fundamental geopolitical issues. Key is national sovereignty. So are war and peace. America claims a divine right to fight. Putin prioritizes diplomatic conflict resolution.

Disagreements between both countries play out in dueling agendas. Washington notoriously plays hardball. Putin protects Russia’s national interests. They’re too important to sacrifice.

US media scoundrels target him. They vilify him. They mischaracterize him. They call him a Russian strongman. They make all kinds of baseless accusations.

Lies, damns lies and misinformation substitute for truth and full disclosure. They want him embarrassed. They’re raining on his Sochi parade.

On February 6, the Financial Times headlined “Putin gambles all on creation myth behind Sochi.”

“I am particularly pleased to see what is happening here because I chose this place myself,” he said.

“It must have been in 2001 or 2002,” he added. “(W)e were driving around and arrived at this brook, and I said: ‘Let’s start from here.’ That’s how it all began.”

Putin staked much on the games, said the FT. George Washington University’s Sufian Zhemukhov said “(i)f all goes well, (he’ll) be seen as the leader who resurrected Russia.”

Failure perhaps won’t be forgiven, he added. His forthrightness for peace “made him a force on the world stage,” said the FT.

A January Levada Center poll showed he’d be elected today by a wide margin. At the same time, his overall support dropped.

Excluding undecided respondents, its “higher than ever.”

He’s taking no chances. He’s going all out to make Sochi successful. FT comments were tame compared to America’s media.

The Wall Street Journal headlined “The Putin Games.” He wants them to “showcase…modern Russia.”

“(H)e succeeded (but) not as he intended…What could go wrong?” Sochi is the most expensive Olympics in history.

Around $50 billion was spent. It’s five times the original estimate. It’s double what Britain’s 2012 summer games cost. It’s a fourth more than China spent in 2008.

Much of Sochi’s cost related to building vital infrastructure. It had to be done from scratch. Doing so added enormously to costs.

Major projects are expensive. According to Journal editors, “(t)he games are proving to be a case study in the Putin political and economic method.”

They claim billions of dollars “lost to corruption.” They provide no evidence proving it. They said “Russians call this Olympiad the Korimpiad.”

More Putin bashing followed. It’s standard scoundrel media practice. Journal editors feature it.

They claim he “made it impossible to hold his regime accountable through free elections or media.”

Fact check:

Russian elections shame America’s sham ones. They’re democratic. They not rigged. Monied interests don’t control them.

Outcomes aren’t predetermined. Russian voters decide. US ones have no say.

Don’t expect Journal editors to explain. Or how Voice of Russia and RT (formerly Russia Today) shame America’s corporate media.

They feature news, information and opinion viewers most need to know. They do it forthrightly. They’re polar opposite America’s managed news misinformation.

Truth is systematically suppressed. Demagoguery, propaganda, scandal, sleaze, junk food news, and warmongering substitute.

Journal editors ignore truth and full disclosure. Bias permeates their opinions. They betray readers. They shame themselves doing so.

They claimed billions spent on Sochi left it unprepared. They cite “unfinished hotel rooms, incomplete road work and now the famous photographs of two toilets in a single stall.”

RT.com responded. On February 6, it headlined ”Spread fear, toilet humor? MSM guide to ‘Worst. Olympics. EVAR!” (Repeat: EVAR!)

Even before the opening ceremony, MSM scoundrels drew conclusions “Sports? Not really,” said RT. At issue is malicious Putin bashing. It’s longstanding practice.

It’s MSM’s “own Sochi 2014 moan-athon.” Imagine claiming something yet to occur the “worst Olympics ever.” They beat up on Beijing the same way.

They “never believed in Sochi,” said RT. They called its climate unfit for winter games. They cite corruption with no substantiating evidence.

They claim lax security despite unprecedented measures in place. They discuss possible terrorist threats. They leave unexplained what most worrisome – a possible disruptive US false flag attack.

It bears repeating. Perhaps Washington plans raining on Putin’s parade.

On August 7, 2008, hours before Beijing’s summer Olympics’ opening ceremony, Georgia’s Mikheil Saakashvili invaded South Ossetia. He did so at Washington’s behest. Attacking was strategically timed.

After Soviet Russia’s 1991 dissolution, South Assetia broke away from Georgia. It declared independence. It’s home to many Russian nationals.

Moscow responded responsibly. Conflict continued for days. Then President Medvedev was on vacation. Then Prime Minister Putin was in Beijing.

In half a day before Russia intervened, 1,700 people were killed. Included were 12 Russian peacekeepers.

Moscow was blamed for Georgian aggression. Does Washington plan something similar this time? Will a false flag attack occur?

Will Obama usurp a freer hand in Ukraine? Will he take advantage in Syria? Does he plan other mischief? Is disrupting Sochi planned?

Hegemons operate this way. Washington’s disturbing history gives Russia good reason for concern.

Preparations in Sochi aren’t perfect, said RT. “(F)laws and problems” exist. “But what makes the Sochi Olympics ‘the worst’ so far is…accommodation for the global media elite.”

“See it, slam it,” said RT. “Intrepid Olympic reporters, we thought, would get behind the scenes, unravel the PR.”

“Nope. Not this time. Of global importance were rooms (if they were available), toilets, floors, and shower curtains.”

“Oh – and a request to not flush toilet paper (it’s rarely done in public toilets) had the press pack throwing up.”

Washington Post reporter Kathy Lally was upset about “a tiny, tiny (hotel room) sink.”

It “sits atop an exposed white plastic pipe, stuck to the wall and surrounded by an unruly gob of caulk,” she said.

“The single room has two lamps – which don’t have light bulbs, but that’s okay because they aren’t near any unused outlets.”

Other journalists reported missing shower curtains, lamps, chairs, inadequate heat and hot water, and whatever else they wanted to cite to bash Putin.

Fox News called conditions “laughably bad.” It warned about event coverage being just as dreadful.

MSM scoundrels feature daily “hotel horror stories.” They regurgitate similar tweets to each other. They find new reasons to complain.

BBC journalist Steve Rosenberg tweeted about two sit-down toilets shown side-by-side with no partition. It went viral.

RT calls it a “must have” for every Sochi story. Imagine toilet humor substituting for real journalism. It gets worse.

Whatever is happening in Russia multiple time zones away gets reported. A Moscow school shooting creates Sochi shudders.

So does a derailed gas-laden freight train exploding. It happened 500 miles northeast of Moscow. It made Sochi headlines.

CNN connected Sochi to the September 2004 Beslan school siege. Its February 5 report said:

“Amid the shrill noise of militant threats ahead of the Sochi Olympic Winter Games, the gym in Beslan is now steeped in silence, a monument to the dead, untouched almost.”

Trashing Sochi bashes Putin. MSM scoundrels are deplorable. They disgrace themselves before dwindling audiences.

CNN and other US cable news networks report increasing to fewer viewers. Maybe one day they’ll all tune out.

RT called Sochi the “biggest construction site in the world over the past seven years.”

“Everything there – most of the hotels, sport venues, high-speed rail links, highways, 50 bridges, even the Olympic village itself – was built from scratch.”

It’s an extraordinary achievement in a short time. It’s almost like building an entirely new city in record time. Sochi deserves praise, not criticism.

Toronto Star reporter Rosie Dimanno wrote:

“Mounds of debris, parts of roads unpaved, mesh hoarding to hide the eyesore bits, lots of trash, unreliable power – nothing upsets journalists more than an internet that goes up and down – these have all featured in Olympics over the past three decades, as the Games have grown too big, too gaudy and too complicated.”

“The Olympics are no (place) for old sissies,” she added. “So I’ll take my own advice: Just chill.”

Most MSM scoundrels report as expected. They mock legitimate journalism. It’s verboten in America. It’s lacking in Canada. It’s largely absent in Western Europe. Managed news misinformation substitutes.

WSJ editors called Sochi “a shrine to authoritarianism.” They bashed Putin relentlessly. One bald-faced lie followed others.

“(T)he underbelly of Mr. Putin’s regime (was) exposed,” they claimed.

New York Times editors were just as bad. They headlined “A Spotlight on Mr. Putin’s Russia,” saying:

“(T)he reality of (his) Russia…conflicts starkly with Olympic ideals and fundamental human rights.”

“There is no way to ignore the dark side – the soul-crushing repression, the cruel new anti-gay and blasphemy laws, and the corrupt legal system in which political dissidents are sentenced to lengthy terms on false charges.”

Fact check

NYT editors have a longstanding disturbing history. They one-sidedly support wealth, power and privilege. Whenever Washington wages imperial wars or plans them, they march in lockstep.

They long ago lost credibility. They feature mind-numbing misinformation. They violate their own journalistic code doing so.

They invented anti-gay law controversy. Russian gay propaganda law has nothing to do with persecuting people for their sexual orientation.

Everyone’s rights are respected. Russia wants its children protected from malicious anti-gay propaganda, illicit drugs, alcohol abuse and whatever else harms them.

Responsible governance demands it. America leaves millions of children unprotected. Cutting food stamps alone denies them vital nutrition.

Don’t expect Times editors to explain. Or about thousands of political prisoners languishing in America’s gulag.

About torture being official US policy. About rigged US elections.  About impoverishing neoliberal harshness.

About destroying social America. About eliminating America’s middle class. About waging war on freedom.

About unprecedented levels of public and private corruption. About kleptocracy masquerading as democracy.

About out-of-control corporate empowerment. About Washington being corporate occupied territory. About crushing organized labor.

About commodifying public education. About ignoring international, constitutional and US statute laws.

About violating fundamental human and civil rights. About Obama’s war on humanity.

Bashing Putin takes precedence. Managed news misinformation proliferates.

Times editors report like other media scoundrels. MSM ones long ago lost credibility. They replicate the worst of each other.

They support what demands condemnation. They back wrong over right. Readers and viewers demand better.

MSM scoundrels don’t deliver. Sochi games run through February 23. Expect lots more Putin bashing ahead.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Mattress Toxicity: Killing You Softly

February 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Humanity needs sleep and we quickly realize how much we need it after a night of no sleep. Sleep is vital for health, mood, memory, better thinking, stronger immunity, weight, sex and stress.

Dreams are also important to allow our subconscious to express. Science is now uncovering that dreams play a central role in our emotional health, psychological health, our memory, our learning and as a way to help us to find solutions to our problems. If we are seriously sleep deprived, we actually start to dream while awake.

Sleep also may help the human brain get better organized by filing away important memories and discarding unwanted information.

Scientists at the University of Rochester have found one of the reasons our brain needs sleep to survive. Turns out, when we sleep, our brain takes that time to clean out the build-up of brain junk we accumulate during our waking hours. When cells do their daily cell-type work, they produce waste product. The brain has its own garbage men, carried on the waves of cerebrospinal fluid, who surf the leftovers straight down to your liver for elimination. As it turns out, the brain’s garbage men move twice as fast when you’re sleeping, because your neurons shrink by half, making the fluid channels wider.

You spend 1/3 of your life on a mattress. You are drooling, sweating, having sex, lounging around and holding children on a mattress. You are making direct contact with a mattress and if you didn’t know this already, the vast majority of today’s mattresses are made from highly toxic volatile chemicals compounds that are linked to serious health problems. You breathe in these chemicals while you sleep and you absorb them when you sweat through a process of osmosis.

Sleeping disorders in the U.S. are growing at an alarming rate, and have been labeled as epidemic. Is the problem literally staring them in the face at night?

Most people aren’t sleeping well and research shows that 95% will go undiagnosed, and 70 million people in the U.S. report that they suffer from sleep-related pain (Time Magazine). And recent studies have linked poor sleep with the growth of many disease states, specifically: diabetes, obesity, stroke, heart disease, allergies, and fibromyalgia.

Since the mid- to late ’60s, most mattresses have been made of polyurethane foam, a petroleum-based material that emits volatile organic compounds. Most mattresses sold today contain some polyurethane foam and many contain specialty foams such as latex or memory foam, which consistently break down and release chemicals. The most common toxic materials used in making a mattress include petrochemicals, polyurethane, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), formaldehyde, antimony trioxide, phthalates, and boric acid. These chemicals are used for the foam fillers, material adhesives, and for water-resistance. Most are used to make the mattress flame retardant, per federal law, causing mattress toxicity to increase. All these chemicals individually give off their own noxious fumes, commonly referred to as off-gassing.

Sleepers may report smelling the fumes when the mattress is first bought, which eventually ceases; however, although the off-gas smell no longer is detectable, toxins are still continuously being released and inhaled by the sleeper. Studies show that when a person is sleeping on a mattress with such chemicals, the toxins can seep into the body through the skin. This is supported through scientific research that has shown PCDE’s to be found in women’s breast milk in the U.S., a fact that has led many to fear that children are more likely to suffer greater than adults from mattress toxicity.

In 2005, Walter Bader, author of the book Toxic Bedrooms, sent several mattresses to an Atlanta-based lab. A memory-foam model was found to emit 61 chemicals, including the carcinogens benzene and naphthalene. But hey, it’s ok because its government approved? Right.

But there is another troublemaker in your mattress that you should be aware of and that is pesticide residue lurking in the cotton components of your mattress. Non-organic cotton is grown with pesticides, which are neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors that can cancer and nervous-system disorders. There are 107 active ingredients in pesticides still used in the U.S. that are carcinogenic, and 14 are known to cause reproductive problems in animals, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Not “in the mood?” Your mattress may be contributing.

Also, most mattress covers are made with synthetic fabrics that pose more health risks. Man made synthetic fabrics are made of toxic petrochemicals and then sprayed with flame retardants and other dangerous chemical finishes. Using synthetic, non-organic bedding and blankets also contributes to toxicity.

Researchers are questioning the origin of the increased incidences in pediatric respiratory issues, such as asthma, learning disabilities (specifically Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and lower IQ levels. Some have speculated there is a strong correlation between these issues and the materials used in children’s mattress and bedding items. Infants, children and pregnant women require more sleep per day in order to develop and function properly, resulting in an increased amount of exposure time.
Another study, utilizing mice, was conducted to measure the effect of breathing the emission (off-gassing) of four types of mattresses on the respiratory system. This study revealed that all mattresses containing synthetic materials caused upper airways irritation in up to 57% of the breaths measured, and saw decreased air flow by 17-23%.

Taking this information into account, it is then no surprise for many who wake up feeling, sick, tired and stuffy. Chemicals in your mattress and bedding are the culprit and they are also interfering with your much needed rest.

Compound mattress toxicity, with environmental toxins, household toxins, toiletry toxins, synthetic fabric toxins and pesticide ridden foods, it is no wonder people are getting cancer at alarming rates! We are drowning in a toxic soup and a “safe amount” every day soon becomes a heavy burden taking its toll.

But organic mattresses and organic mattress pads do exist! They are made with organic cotton, organic wool, organic latex (comes from rubber trees), with no chemicals of any kind. There are companies that sell mattresses that are completely natural and toxin-free, not just a little bit organic. The best companies will provide you with transparency from harvest to factory to showroom.

A sleep study conducted by Peter R. Dickson (1984) examined sleep quality of participants when sleeping on natural wool (participants slept on a wool pad that was placed under their sheet). He found that participants moved (tossed and turned) significantly less in the night. Additionally, participants in the study reported that they had slept better and that they felt better the next day when sleeping on the wool. Wool is hypothesized to increase sleep quality and reduce tossing and turning because 1) it reduces pressure points; and 2) it regulates body temperature.

Wool has an abundance of air spaces between the fibers that cushion the body and alleviate pressure points. This helps to support the spine and eventually distribute pressure to allow for a night free of tension and full of REM sleep. You will feel the difference.

Wools natural ability to wick away moisture and regulate temperature results in calmer heart rates due to lower humidity next to the skin. This provides for an optimal skin temperature that allows for a great nights’ rest.

Wool is the only fiber that is naturally flame resistant. Its main component, a protein called keratin, coupled with the moisture collected in its fibers, make it difficult to ignite.

The benefits of an organic, natural fiber mattress include: chemical free, hypoallergenic, provides ventilation, sustainable, biodegradable, durable, safe for children and adults, alleviates pressure, itch free, non toxic, absolute comfort, long lasting and coil free. Coils act as cancer-causing radiation antenna.

Don’t trust your government to protect your health. Take control of your own health. Research. Buy wisely.

Source:  Lana Lokteff | Red Ice Creations

Who Wants The Ukraine – And Why

February 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Unless you’ve been in an underground bunker for the last month, you’d have heard that the Ukraine has gone topsy-turvy lately.

They seem to have escaped one old Soviet Union, only be reeled in by a new Soviet in the EU. There is also the problem of organized crime syndicates who have overrun the country.

Understanding the country’s recent history and following the money is important if you want to see which way the wind is blowing in Kiev…

Stalin and Krushchev Wanted Ukraine

For most Europeans, Ukraine is a gas transport corridor for bringing expensive Russian gas to Europe and Ukraine either overcharges Gazprom for gas transit fees, or does not pay Gazprom for the gas it takes for national consumption.

This Russian-Ukrainian gas game occasionally tips into gas embargoes – hitting consumers further down the line. As a geopolitical bargaining chip, conversely, Ukraine had considerable import  - and weight – during the Cold War period which tapered off in 1989-91. Relatively quickly, Russia withdrew “nearly all” of its nuclear-tipped missiles, atomic warheads and nuclear military equipment and component inventories from Ukraine, in the 1990s.

That said, Ukraine is listed by human rights and corruption watchdog NGOs as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, tied with Bangladesh, Cameroon, the Central African Republic and Syria.  Its postwar history following the defeat of Nazi Germany is a tragic story of Soviet megalomania, paranoia and oppression. The Nazi Germans probably killed about 15% of the total population, but about another 600,000 Western Ukrainians were arrested between 1944 and 1952, one-third executed and the remainder imprisoned in Soviet gulags or exiled to the eastern Soviet empire. Among their crimes was “non-performance” in agricultural output.

Administered by the rising political star and soon-to-be rival of Joseph Stalin, Nikita Khruschev, firstly in eastern Russian-speaking Ukraine, the kolkhoz collective-farm system was operated by chiefs selected by Khruschev. He empowered them to expel residents who “under-performed”. The kolkhoz chiefs quickly turned this into a racket protection and vendetta system for expelling their personal enemies, and the weak, the old and other “misfits”.  Well over 10,000 were exiled to the eastern parts of the Soviet Union. For Khruschev, this was a highly effective policy which he recommended it for adoption across the USSR to Stalin, despite it periodically resulting in wide-area famines.

Similar to the “agro-towns” attempted by Ceaucescu of Romania, Khrushchev further destabilized Ukraine’s slowly recovering agricultural output with his scheme for population regrouping, which he later applied in Russia when he became Praesidium chief on the death of Stalin, following a classic Mafia-style power struggle with NKVD chief Beria. Beria was shot and killed with five of his associates by order of Khrushchev in Dec 1953. One of Beria’s proposed post-Stalin reform ideas was to liberate either or both East Germany and Ukraine, in exchange for cash payment by the West

Crime Syndicates want Ukraine

On the surface, mainstream media tells us today’s conflict in the Ukraine pitches the Russian-speaking half of the country in the east (where ailing president Yanukovich’s main support base is) against the more pro-Western, and alleged pro-EU, Ukrainian-speaking half in the west (where imprisoned Yulia Tymoshenko’s main support base is). More precisely, the Ukraine’s rapidly-deteriorating economic situation reflected by rapidly-rising interest rates on its sovereign debt bonds and Fitch’s recent downgrade, and its near-civil war street rebellion have reinforced its organized crime syndicates. Its organized criminals, and their enemies-and-allies in Russian, Bulgarian, Romanian and other east European organized crime syndicates, are vying for control of the State itself, to widen and deepen their lucrative activity.

The past week has seen President Yanukovych accept the resignation of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and his cabinet, repeal anti-protest laws, provide an amnesty to detained protesters, and offer senior government jobs to the opposition – offers that were rejected. Moscow for its part has threatened it may hold back some or all of a promised Ukrainian bond-bailout package and a promised cut in gas prices for Ukraine until a new government is formed. The gas price cut and the loans, totalling $15bn (11 bn euros) were agreed in December, and widely seen as rewarding Yanukovich for Kiev’s rejection of an EU associate country deal for Ukraine.

Ukraine is one of six post-Soviet nations – along with  Belarus, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia – to be invited to cooperate with the EU within a new ‘multilateral’ framework that is high on promises but slim on content. The framework seeks visa-free travel, better human rights, more democracy, and respect for the principles of the market economy and sustainable development – so say the EU websites, but the single most important economic content is a trade pact aimed at cutting tariffs and taxes, which are in any case decreasing on the Ukrainian side due to its membership of the WTO since 2009. Main EU exports to Ukraine include medicine, motor vehicles, mobile phones and other manufactured goods, while main EU imports were of low to mid-value: iron and steel products, vegetable oils, ferro-nickel ores, iron ores and crude oil.

Acting long before the Ukraine’s membership of the WTO, or the 2008 financial crisis – both of which spurred and favoured crime syndicate integration in east Europe, Russia and the EU – the present number of organized crime groups operating in eastern Europe is estimated at about 3,600 with each profiting from such prosaic products as household detergents, to fake medecines, human trafficking, prostiution and the Ukrainian favorites of hard drugs and firearms.Rob Wainwright, director of the EU’s crime-fighting agency, told the Financial Times in June 2013 that only concerning Europe’s black market in counterfeit foodstuffs, fake pharmaceuticals and substandard machine parts, this doubled in value to about €2bn since 2008.

Arms for Drugs and Arms for Cash

From, at latest 2002, US drug enforcement and security agencies warned the Bush administration of the Kiev-Tel Aviv-New York “Axis” of organized crime operating drugs-for-arms trades worldwide. This syndicate particularly focuses South American-source cocaine supplied by Colombia’s FARC and other Andean country crime entities, and Ukraine-source weapons and military equipment. Ukraine’s geographic role and location as a “window to the southern states” of the ex-USSR, makes it highly favoured for operating drugs-for-arms trades, today. Land-route heroin from Afghanistan, South American cocaine and Russian AK47s are the hard currencies featured by this trade.


Godfather of the AK47: Ukrainian Mikhail Kalashnikov.

Ukraine’s front-line status in the Cold War and its own arms-making industries made the country a major source for Russian licit and illicit arms exports, and Soviet-era materiel is still widely available. This ranges from the “iconic” AK47 rifle through to mines, grenades and military explosive-pyrotechnic devices, to night-sighting and communications equipment, and artillery pieces through the low-end range of 35mm-105mm, to also-iconic Soviet 72-ton T72 tanks, a highly depressed market where prices can be as low as scrap value only – about $3.50 per kilogram of weight.

Western security analysts, preferring not to have their names published, also point out that Ukraine is a “wonderland” of nuclear civil-military crossover materials and ordnance. Following the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown, then the collapse and break up of the USSR in 1989-91, they say that large amounts of unaccounted-for nuclear fuel rods, wastes and nuclear military components exist in the country. They also underline the increased technological sophistication of ex-Soviet national mafias and their Middle Eastern opposite numbers, able to produce “binary nuclear” weapons, from nuclear and non-nuclear components, transported separately to reduce detection for final re-assembly when required.

Ukraine’s now accelerating political destabilization creates a classic poker-game challenge for Vladimir Putin at this time. He can act to prevent the country “seceding to the West’, or being partitioned into its western and eastern parts.

Whether Putin clamps down or lets the country fall apart, or the domestic power struggle inside Ukraine continues with no clear winner, the transition interval will certainly feature action by organized crime to further and deepen its already-strong foothold.

Source: Andrew McKillop | 21st Century Wire

Urban War Zones In America

February 2, 2014 by · 4 Comments 

Urban War Zones are now a reality inside many American cities.

It’s no longer necessary to go to Iraq, Afghanistan or Africa to enter a real war zone and have to fight for your life.

Thanks to massive CIA drug trafficking and American Free-trade Treaties like NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT & WTO, many American inner cities have been transformed into actual war zones.

These inner city war zones are infested with drug gangs that outnumber police and out gun them too.

At present these gangs are typically competing and battling with each other for turf and making a living selling drugs and running prostitutes, some captive sex-slaves. At some point if the economy worsens and the SHTF, they could easily start looting and attacking anyone and everyone.

However, in every major city in America at present, violent urban predators prey on the unarmed, old, weak, sick or disabled. And while out of control Police Swat Teams battle these predators and drug gangs, they often tyrannize the innocent which include women and young children, using excessive force all too often. There are numerous incidents of such teams murdering innocents after attacking the wrong home.

The massive War on Drugs was designed as a dualistic program. One hand, the top secret part involves the USG bringing in massive amounts of illegal drugs to raise “off the books money” for covert ops. The other hand uses all serious gang crimes arising as a pretext to militarize the police as justify their deployment as Nazi Storm Troopers.

This second part of the War on Drugs is for public disclosure and consumption. In response to all this massive urban breakdown, the worsening economy and increasing government tyranny from the Department of Homeland Security, the TSA and out of control local police, Americans are arming at an astounding rate. Guns are literally flying off the shelves and ammo sales are at an all time high also.

Americans now arming up in mass in order  to protect themselves from and this increasing USG Tyranny of the USG, DHS and their local militarized and Mind-kontrolled local police (1)  and from increasing and spreading urban crime which includes robberies, car-jackings, home burglaries and home invasions.

Also given as an important reason for arming up for the first time when asked, is a fear of possible impending economic collapse with an associated SHTF occurrence. Many express a salient and absolute need to be able to protect themselves and/or their family members from possible looters and armed home invaders which would likely accompany a SHTF urban breakdown situation.

And who should be credited with creating such a foreboding urban environment? It is the Globalist Traitors and infil-Traitors who have hijacked the political process and Banking in America.

These Globalist “enemies within” have rammed through economically disastrous Free-Trade Agreements and forced Diversity, Perversions and Political correctness accompanied by massive immigration, most illegal. All this has been designed to destroy the borders, language and culture of America, to neutralize its Constitution, Bill of Rights and Rule of Law while transforming America into a economically distressed Third World Nation.

These Globalist enemies within the Gates have been working very hard to transform America into a Democracy (Mob rule by the masses) from the Republic which was set up by our Founding Fathers.  Obviously any real enforcement of the US Constitution would assure that American would remain a republic the way it was set up.

Since the imposition of so-called “Free Trade” policies upon the American Republic, urban decay and blight have become epidemic in major American cities. Many cities have turned into Urban Jungles, where only the strongest survive. In these Urban Jungles, violent gangs prevail and the weak are parasitized and consumed, afraid to go out of their homes, especially after dark.

Take Chicago, which has become a “kill or be kill” free fire Urban War Zone in some of its Urban areas. Chicago is the one of the most gun restricted areas ever, but the only ones that do not carry guns to defend themselves are law abiding citizens.

Gang members have all the guns they want, supplied by drug gangs and the CIA and BATF.http://www.cbsnews.com/news/gang-wars-at-the-root-of-chicagos-high-murder-rate/

Some of these areas such as Washington DC have been rated as having a 300% chance of being mugged if out after dark in certain areas, which means you could likely be robbed three times in a single block if you have a victim profile (old, young, weak, disabled, female). The real unemployment rate is 37%, despite phony USG that it is 7% or less.(2)

And now Detroit has been declared Bankrupt. It has been reported that retired police and City workers will now receive approximately 13% of their pensions due.

The Ruins of Detroit:

The ten Most Dangerous American Cities which are truly Urban Jungles at Night:

There are areas in Detroit, South Chicago and St. Louis that are so violent and infested with violent gangs that even the police refuse to enter unless ordered and then do so with major forces.

Until recently parts of Detroit was so violent that police and ambulances refused to provide service during the night hours and often found abandoned dead bodies (murder victims) days later. Detroit, known as “Iron City”, the jewel of America, used to be prosperous beyond measure based on the manufacture of the world’s finest cars.

Remember what a 1965 Olds Starfire coupe was like, or a mid 60′s Buick Wildcat or Pontiac Bonneville was like.  How about a mid 60′s Chevy with a HP409 engine or a Plymouth Belvedere with a 426 Hemi or 440 Wedge engine?

That all changed in 1971 with the introduction of very extreme anti-pollution “clean air” laws which reduced automotive engine compression ratios from approximately 10.5 to 8.5, required the installation of retarded, goofy extremely inefficient camshafts.  The result was garbage engines that had little power, consumed huge increases in gasoline and a major shift in chassis quality to near complete crap. At that point American automotive quality was gone and is only starting to come back now forty years later.

This is but one symptom of the covert Globalist engineering of American Society on behalf of the City of London zionist Central Banksters.

This of course created a great opportunity for the Japanese Auto manufacturers, secretly owned and controlled by the super-elite American Banking families. When W. Edwards Deming, an astute American engineer approached American Automotive Manufacturers in Detroit and proposed his plan to drastically reduce defects and lemons, he was rebuffed because it was felt his plan was too expensive and too slow.

Deming’s plan required 100% quality checks and verification of all parts from every supplier instead of the approximately 1% or less sampling. When Deming approached the Japanese, who had already shown a new coming expertise in motorcycles and quality circles in their electronics manufacturing, his program was accepted and implemented.

The rest is history, and after about 15 years, the American Automotive manufacturers have been playing a catch up game ever since for quality with the Japanese Auto manufacturers.

And now the Korean Automotive Manufacturers have hired retired Japanese automotive engineers as consultants and have adopted many of their same practices and principals to their automotive manufacturing.  The result?

Some Autos manufactured in South Korea have attained the same quality as the Japanese which are considered to currently be the highest quality in the world. As many automotive enthusiasts suggest, if you want the best performance buy German, if you want the highest quality buy Japanese.

It is a fair assumption that Globalism and the Free-Trade Agreements it produced, have resulted in the exportation of most American heavy industry, manufacturing and millions of good paying jobs. This alone has seriously harmed the American economy and set America on a path of destruction, starting first with its Urban Centers which have become urban wastelands and jungles, and now progressively spreading to middle class and upper middle class outlying suburbs.

Fair Trade with suitably adjusted reasonable Tariffs to protect American Jobs are necessary to America’s economic survival and prosperity. Free Trade is not Free at all and is an abomination to the American republic and its Sovereignty.

It is a tool of the Globalists to enhance the earnings of their international offshore Globalist corporations at the expense of the American worker.  It is nothing less than a secret war against America’s Sovereignty and the Republic itself.

The only other globalist tactic to destroy America that approaches its effectiveness are the policies of unrestricted illegal immigration, forced diversity, cultural programming that perversion is good, required perversion programming in the public schools that it is normal, and political correctness.

Obviously these are all Globalist weapons of covert war waged against America to destroy its borders, language and culture and gut it economically.  These Globalist weapons have been deployed against Americans in order to transform America into a Third World “Democracy” instead of the Republic that it was set up to be by the Founding Fathers.

These Traitors and Infil-Traitors in Congress and the Administration keep financing and running foreign wars for Israel in order to establish Democracy like they keep claiming we have in America. We have never had a democracy but they have been doing their best to kill the Republic on the behalf of their zionist owners and masters This is of course one of the biggest lies ever told.

America has always been a Republic, a democracy is mob rule. Of course bringing in 30-60 million illegal immigrants and millions of legally sanctioned foreign workers has quickly undermined American culture and tradition and established a real base to elect politicians who appeal to the masses. The election of President Obama was the first of such travesties.

Up until recently when American aircraft manufacturers starting buying foreign parts, American aircraft were the best in the world, especially the military aircraft and fighter/interceptors. Now we have an F-22 with a contaminated O2 system from China that causes some pilots to start passing out and a Boeing Dreamliner with a faulty battery system that was imported.

For years St. Louis has been so poor that some of their police radio don’t work properly and their squad cars are in disrepair. In East Los Angeles, despite how tough and well armed the LA Police Department is, top police officials know that they are completely outgunned by Mexican drug gangs allowed to enter and do business inside America and also provided arms shipped by the CIA and the BATF.

It’s not as if Americans weren’t duly warned what such Free-Trade Treaties would produce, because Presidential Candidate Ross Perot went public with what was coming.  He described the effects as a “giant sucking sound” for American jobs as they would leave America in droves.

But despite Perot’s grave warnings, President George HW Bush signed NAFTA on Dec. 17, 1992 with full Congressional support. The NAFTA Treaty was ratified after Bill Clinton became President. Soon after the sucking sound started, with shocking support the the US Department of State which provided massive grants to major corporations to move manufacturing to Mexico.  These grants continued at American taxpayer expense under the subsequent Trade Treaties that were subsequently signed and ratified such as CAFTA, GATT, and WTO.

Unbeknownst to most Americans, President Obama is now deeply involved in secret negotiations to pass the Trans Pacific Partnership Treaty (TPP) which experts have described as “NAFTA on Steroids”. TPP is far more than just another Free Trade Treaty which continues to lower the value of American wages to the “rock bottom” levels in third world  countries. If signed and ratified by Congress, the TPP would be the complete end to any remaining American Sovereignty.

What established this frenzy for Free-Trade Agreements? It is now known that The last duly elected President of the United States of America was Ronald Reagan.  It is also known by seasoned intel officers that Ronald Reagan distrusted American Intel in general and especially his Vice President George HW Bush.

In fact it has now been discovered that President Reagan distrusted the CIA and American Intel so much, he set up his “Kitchen Cabinet” and brought in Lee Wanta as his Secret Agent under the Totten Doctrine (3).

George HW Bush was illegally elected later as President, since his father Prescott Bush had signed an Immunity Agreement that no future Bushes (Scherfs) would ever run for office after he was arrested for “aiding the enemy” and his Union Bank assets were seized by FDR during WW2.

It is also known that George HW Bush ran his own private CIA inside the CIA which served the specific needs of the zionist City of London Central Banksters and their franchisees, the American private Federal Reserve and major Wall Street Banksters.

Some former top American Intel believe that it was this private GHW Bush Intel organization that tried to assassinate President Reagan, by using their man, a secret service man who fired a high speed plastic disc from a compressed air powered disc-gun, the type displayed by William Colby in Congressional Hearings on the abuses of American Intel.

PBS Judy Woodruff had reported this of seeing the SS man fire a gun from a second story window that night on PBS but the story was quickly squelched and she changed it after a very convincing “not to worry visit” from some very serious American Intel agents. President Reagan, despite a long slow disjointed route to the hospital, survived. This assassination attempt however signaled that the Treasonous Bush Cabal had attained a major power base inside the Military and Congress.

The sad thing is that all the political power and influence  necessary to accomplish this and to transform the American Congress into Traitors was due to the vast money provided to K Street Lobbyists and zionist espionage groups like AIPAC, ADL, B’nai B’brith, and the like by the Central Banksters and the various Judaic groups shaken down and manipulated by zionist for donations.

So the first beach-head of the Globalists (aka zionist City of London Central Banksters and the “Old Black Nobility” they represented) was established with a bought, owned and controlled US Congress.  Once GHW Bush was elected President, the circle of control was complete.

One of George W. Bush’s major assignments was to take American further down the Globalist path by fighting more Mideast wars for Israel. Another was to destroy the Republic party by being the worst President ever and fully debasing the Republican, which he did. Now the Republican leaders in Congress are tricking the Republican Party into committing suicide by agreeing to back the Democratic legislation for making illegal immigrants legal and future citizens.

So it is now obvious that the Republic Party is finished and Americans need to rise up and form a new Third Party. Otherwise you can be assured that just like in the last Presidential election, both candidates will be owned by the Bush Cabal.Unless the Bush Cabal has been fully exposed and displaced by then which is now  real possibility.

It has been estimated that there are now approximately 30 million illegal immigrants inside Americaallowed in by a Globalist controlled USG who prevented border enforcement and liberal immigration laws which are not enforced. With the the passage of the currently proposed Democratic plan for legalizing illegal immigrants, this number could easily grow to 60 to 100 million.

In most major American Cities, Police are not allowed to arrest suspected illegal immigrants for minor traffic violations or check their identification for legal status. Not so for those whose license plates are run and show up as actual American Citizens. And this is all due to orders coming down from a few top policy-Makers who operate at the nexus of the Secret Shadow Government (SSG).

GHWB could now institute major efforts to undo all the excellent plans for the economic and industrial reconstruction of America that President Reagan had set in place and activated. As has been disclosed in a previous article (4), President Reagan had brought in Lee Wanta to serve as his Secret Agent because he didn’t trust the CIA which had been corrupted and hijacked by GHWB.

It should now be exceedingly clear to those who are well informed about the degradation of the American economy and rule of law accompanied by increasing tyranny, deployment of DHS, TSA and the passage of all the unConstitutional draconian laws (like the so-called Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and NDAA 2014).

All this is being engineered by foreign controlled Globalist traitors and infil-Traitors who have hijacked America and worked hard to export  heavy industry, manufacturing and jobs.

And that they are doing this to asset strip America, destroy it’s economy and the Republic itself in order to Balkanize America and prevent it from ever rising in economic strength again and operating as a Republic “of the people, by the people and for the people”.

Their motives for all this?  To covertly re-fight the Revolutionary war that was lost and retake America on behalf of the zionist City of London Central Banksters and their Kingpin overlords the Old Black Nobility (OBN).  These hidden masters of the world-wide occult network which runs the IZCS prefer to stay hidden in the background where they can pull all the strings of several top Policy-Makers in America with no personal risk to themselves.

What can be done to turn this around? Obviously the first step is to get rid of all Free-Trade Agreements. In order to do this all the zionist espionage fronts inside America such as AIPAC, ADL, B’nai B’rith and the like must be fully exposed and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. In order to do this zionist Israeli-American dual citizens inside Congress and the USG and its Agencies must be exposed as traitors and agents of foreign espionage and routed out of power.

America has to stop fighting Israel’s illegal Mideast wars and withdraw all aid and support for Israel as long as it is a criminal, racist apartheid state persecuting and murdering Palestinians and stealing their land incrementally.

Lee Wanta, a great American Heroe that served as President Reagan’s Secret Agent under the Totten Doctrine and was instrumental in bringing down the evil Soviet Union

We need to re-institute the Wanta Reconstructing America Plan based on the Maglev High Speed Rail System which has the necessary funding already available. (5)

And it is time to also re-establish the Want Economic Recovery Plan for America that was also set up under President Reagan, but later stopped cold by George HW Bush and his Cabal when they instituted a secret coup to take over the whole USG on behalf of the City of London zionist Central Banksters and their Wall Street and Federal Reserve Franchisees.(6)

In fact it is a reasonable assumption that the massive Free-Trade attack on America’s economy was largely a reaction by the Bush Cabal to these amazing economic reconstruction plans President Reagan had put in place through his Secret Agent Lee Wanta, who was the master strategist that took down the Soviet Union for President Reagan.

Recent respected surveys show that a majority of American are disgusted with the current administration and rating of the lowest ever experienced in America in the last century. Congress is also rated at an all time low with only 9% approving of it. Many view the current President as an alien imposter with no traceable past.  Some alternative media writers have stated that he is a sheep-dipped CIA creation just like Bill Clinton. All this is a mute point.  Why?

Because Ronald Reagan was the last duly elected President of the United States of America, the Republic, all presidents since have been fraudulently elected and owned by the Bush Cabal. And this Bush Cabal is the Action Agent of the City of London zionist Central Banksters and their International Zionist Crime Syndicate (IZCS).

The IZCS is centered in Israel where most intel is done by privatized Israeli corporations serving as American Defense and Intel contractors.  It is these private Israeli contactors who control all NSA raw intel and almost all American communications including internal White House phone calls and messaging, as well as all Pentagon and DOD communications.

Obviously the Bush Cabal has been able to install its own Presidential puppets and run a lucrative illegal drug trafficking operations into America.  All done to destabilize and “dirty up” American Cities while absorbing a great deal of the Welfare dollars and capturing vast “off the books” funds for their own covert operations and bribery of Congress. It is a fair conclusion that the Bush Cabal has destroyed the American Rule of Law, debased any true enforcement of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights and has corrupted every institution and agency of the USG.

However there is good news.  A growing force for good has emerged in the Alternative Media now transmitted everywhere instantly on demand by the worldwide Internet, the new Gutenberg Press and the NWO Globalist’s Achilles Heel. Yes, the Controlled Mass media (CMMM) has been a propaganda mouthpiece for the Bush Cabal and the IZCS, but is now losing its appeal and credibility. The CMMM keeps feeding lies and crap to the American public that are obviously false, like the Mideast American wars are wars to establish Democracy.  More and more Americans now realize this is complete BS, that we are there to fight Israel’s wars and defend British Oil interests.

Compare the articles of Veterans Today and other respected truth media now which are being published and read by millions inside America and all over the world with the CMMM. You will see the gap between the alternative media truth and the CMMM lies is ever widening and we are starting to see Alternative Media’s popularity driving stories into the CMMM, even thought the CMMM usually attempts to neutralize their significance.

Many thousands of brave American Soldiers who were lied to and deceived into fighting these illegal, unConstitutional, unprovoked, undeclared wars for Israel and Big Oil, thinking that they were defending America and its freedom. Few greater lies and deceptions has ever been predicated on Americans than this complete lie.  Many thousands of Americans have been killed and horribly wounded and disabled in this war.

If the American Military ever fully realizes that all these wars were phony and based on a lie and that Israel did the 9/11 attacks with the help of a cabal within the USAF and JCS, there will be hell to pay for all those perps involved. And now there is good reason to believe that day is coming in the not too distant future.

As most Americans are beginning to realize, America has been infil-Traited by Traitors and Infil-Traitors in the highest positions of the USG.  The major economic deterioration and loss of assets to the Wall Street Banksters and the private Federal reserve through financial Fraud have been staggering and Americans are catching on the the BLATANTLY OBVIOUS.

When American society reaches a critical mass awakening to this obvious situation that Globalists have been doing everything they can to destroy America, there will be major Blow-back of astounding proportions. When 12% of Americans are awakened, a critical mass and major turning point will be reached and you will begin to see major social change like never conceived, and this will all be due to major Blow-back from awakening.

The elites hate to acknowledge it, but when large numbers of ordinary people are moved to action, it changes the narrow political world where the elites call the shots. Inside accounts reveal the extent to which Johnson and Nixon’s conduct of the Vietnam War was constrained by the huge anti-war movement. It was the civil rights movement, not compelling arguments, that convinced members of Congress to end legal racial discrimination. More recently, the townhall meetings, dominated by people opposed to health care reform, have been a serious roadblock for those pushing reform…. A big turnout … can make a real difference….When someone tells you to stop imagining that you are having an impact, ask them to please direct their energy into getting 10 friends to join you in doing what needs to be done. If it has no impact, you’ll have gone down trying. If it has an impact, nobody will tell you for many years. (7)

This coming complete awakening will be due to information dispensed and diffused by the Alternative Media and the worldwide Internet as well as word of mouth. it is best viewed as a byproduct of a new and powerful emerging worldwide populism which has now reached the point it is unstoppable. One recent study has established 10% as a critical mass, turning point for Society.(8)

I believe we are already at 11% and when we reach 12%, the days of the Bush cabal will be dated. They know it too and are scared sh*tless. That is why they have been going for broke trying to ram the NWO down our throats and militarize local police and build up DHS to oppress and then mass murder us.

It’s time to speak up to all your family, friends and associates that we need to abandon the Republican and Democratic political Parties.  Both parties are owned and controlled by the same Overlord, the IZCS who bought them and can blackmail them with NSA provided intel.

Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, who is also a Vet and a Navy Seal/UDT man had it right in his book of the Replican and Democrat Political Gangs in America, DemoCRIPS and ReBLOODlicans (9).

Gov. Ventura recommends Americans dump both political Parties which serve the same corrupt masters and start electing alternative candidates only who are not associated with either of the two parties.

Conclusion:

It should now be exceedingly clear to those who are well informed about the degradation of the American economy and rule of law accompanied by increasing tyranny, deployment of DHS, TSA and the passage of all the unConstitutional draconian laws (like the so-called Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and NDAA 2014), that all this is being engineered by foreign controlled Globalist traitors and infil-Traitors who have hijacked America and worked hard to export  heavy industry, manufacturing and jobs.

And that they are doing this to asset strip America, destroy it’s economy and the Republic itself in order to Balkanize America and prevent it from ever rising in economic strength again and operating as a Republic “of the people, by the people and for the people”.

Their motives for all this?  To covertly re-fight the Revolutionary war that was lost and retake America on behalf of the zionist City of London Central Banksters and their Kingpin overlords the Old Black Nobility (OBN).  These hidden masters of the world-wide occult network which runs the IZCS prefer to stay hidden in the background where they can pull all the strings of several top Policy-Makers in America with no personal risk to themselves.

(1) http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/02/17/robocops/

(2) http://www.tpnn.com/2014/01/22/actual-unemployment-rate-37-2-not-6-7-says-wall-street-adviser/

(3) TOTTEN DOCTRINE [ 92 U.S. 105, 107 (1875) ]

(4) http://www.veteranstoday.com/2014/01/05/the-wanta-reconstructing-america-plan/

(5) http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/12/28/high-speed-rail/

(6) http://wantarevelations.com/2014/01/wanta-plan-macro-financial-economic-check-list/

(7) http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2014-01-31/powers-be-are-secretly-terrified-people%E2%80%99s-power-%E2%80%A6-and-only-pretend-they%E2%80%99re-fi

(8) http://scienceblog.com/46622/minority-rules-scientists-discover-tipping-point-for-the-spread-of-ideas/

(9) http://www.amazon.com/DemoCRIPS-ReBLOODlicans-More-Gangs-Government/dp/162087587X/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391327762&sr=1-2&keywords=jesse+ventura+democrips+and+rebloodlicans

Source: Preston James | Veterans Today

Everyone Loves A Police State

January 31, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

A few years ago, Reuters News reported that a nationwide poll conducted of the Russian people found that former dictator Josef Stalin was voted the third most popular historical figure. Over one-third of the Russian population participated in the poll.

See the report here:

Dictator Stalin Voted Third Most Popular Russian

Can you imagine? Stalin just might be the greatest mass-murderer in human history. Estimates of the body count during Stalin’s reign of terror range anywhere from 20-60 million, and that doesn’t include the millions of people who were starved, imprisoned, and tortured but who didn’t die. Only China’s Mao Tse-tung rivals Stalin’s butchery. Then, again, many Chinese people still love Mao Tse-tung, too.

How is it that people can laud and honor tyrants and butchers? How can people so easily submit to slavery and despotism?

No tyrant rises to power calling himself a tyrant. Tyranny is never sold as tyranny. Every tyrannical regime of history considered itself to be patriotic and compassionate; and the people who supported and submitted to such regimes considered themselves to be patriotic and compassionate, as well. The police state is never called that by those who promote it; they call it “law and order,” “keeping the peace,” “protecting the homeland,” etc.

Ask the average American today about the possibility that our country could become a police state and the common response is, “That could never happen here.” But, ladies and gentlemen, it is already happening here. And, furthermore, it seems that the vast majority of the American people are all in favor it. Republicans love it; Democrats love it; Christians love it; politicians love it; police officers love it; pastors love it; school teachers love it; businessmen love it; everyone loves a police state.

Threaten to remove Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty, and Christians and conservatives come out of the woodwork in righteous indignation. Threaten to put a Nativity scene on some courthouse lawn, and Democrats and liberals come out of the woodwork in righteous indignation. But propose laws that strip the American people of their God-ordained liberties protected by the Bill of Rights, and conservatives and liberals alike, Christians and unbelievers alike, think it’s just about the greatest thing since sliced bread.

You don’t believe that? Try this news story on for size:

According to a World Net Daily report, “The 2014 NDAA was fast-tracked through the U.S. Senate, with no time for discussion or amendments, while most Americans were distracted by the scandal surrounding A&E’s troubles with ‘Duck Dynasty’ star Phil Robertson.

“Eighty-five of 100 senators voted in favor of the new version of the NDAA, which had already been quietly passed by the House of Representatives.”

The report continued saying, “Section 1021 allows the detention of anyone, including American citizens, by the military, if the president considers that person to have helped with terror.”

The report further said, “Congress specifically expressed its desire for the detention provision to apply to American citizens even on American soil by rejecting multiple amendments that would have exempted them.”

So, where are the notable leaders of the Religious Right? Where are the liberal groups? Where is the national media? Where are the talking heads from the right and the left? With precious few exceptions, they are absolutely silent on the subject. Why? Because they like it.

Liberals never met a big-government program or proposal they didn’t like. If it increases the size and scope of government, liberals love it. Conservatives love anything that smacks of “law and order.” (A word of caution: you never want to be the defendant in a courtroom where the jury is stacked with conservatives. If you do, you’re dead meat, friend.) And Christians get goose bumps up their spine about anything they think resembles Romans 13. Give government more power over our lives and listen to the Hallelujahs ringing out from the all of these 501c3 churches. And ditto for most of the talking heads on radio and television and the vast majority of the pundits and spokesmen from the national news media. Like I said, everyone loves a police state.

Well, not everyone, thank God!

The same WND report mentioned above states, “Some of the nation’s most respected legal teams are asking the Supreme Court to take up a challenge to the indefinite-detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act, charging the law has created the framework for a police state.

“The controversial provision authorizes the military, under presidential authority, to arrest, kidnap, detain without trial and hold indefinitely American citizens thought to ‘represent an enduring security threat to the United States.’

“Journalist Chris Hedges is among the plaintiffs charging the law could be used to target journalists who report on terror-related issues.

A friend-of-the-court brief submitted in the case states: ‘The central question now before this court is whether the federal judiciary will stand idly by while Congress and the president establish the legal framework for the establishment of a police state and the subjugation of the American citizenry through the threat of indefinite military arrest and detention, without the right to counsel, the right to confront one’s accusers, or the right to trial.’

“The brief was submitted to the Supreme Court by attorneys with the U.S. Justice Foundation of Ramona, Calif., Friedman Harfenist Kraut & Perlstein of Lake Success, N.Y., and William J. Olson, P.C. of Vienna, Va.”

See the report here:

Congress Grants Obama Free Rein For Martial Law

Believe it or not, there was a time in this country when people from both sides of the political aisle believed in freedom. I know it’s hard to imagine, but there was a time in this country when pastors from virtually every denomination believed in freedom. Not only did they believe in it; they fought for it. It seems like a long time ago.

Have you taken a close look at your State and local police agencies lately? More and more, our police officers and sheriff’s deputies resemble soldiers more than they do peace officers. I challenge you to Google “police abuse.” What you will discover will shock you. And, for all intents and purposes, the folks who live in many Northeastern states—along with California and Illinois–are already living in a State that is more controlled than many foreign countries, including some of the countries that we would call oppressive. And even our freer states are feeling the heavy hand of Big Brother more and more each day.

In fact, if you want to really get a taste of a police state, just move into some neighborhoods with their Gestapo-like Home Owner Associations (HOA). I’m telling you, some of these HOA rival anything Adolf Hitler could dream up.

Folks, take a good, hard look at reality: America is already in the beginning throes of a police state. Orwell’s “1984” and Huxley’s “Brave New World” are here. And far, far too many people seem fine with it.

I tell you the truth: I am to the point where I don’t know what to call myself. “Conservative” means nothing today. Nothing! One can be a “conservative” and believe in Big Government, undeclared wars of intervention, debt-driven economics, socialized medicine, increased taxes, and, of course, a police state. Likewise, “Christian” means nothing today. Nothing! One can be a “Christian” and believe in Big Government, undeclared wars of intervention, debt-driven economics, socialized medicine, increased taxes, and, of course, a police state. Oh, many “conservatives” and “Christians” might SAY they don’t believe in these things, but their actions (or lack of them) speak louder than their words.

A big THANK YOU is in order for Bill Olson, Herb Titus, Chris Hedges, et al. And THANK YOU to all of you folks out there who see what’s going on and are actively engaged in “the holy cause of liberty.” (Patrick Henry) I am your brother and compatriot, no matter what you call yourself. At this point, we aren’t conservatives or liberals, Christians or unbelievers; we are freedomists or statists.

Tyrants such as Joe Stalin and Mao Tse-tung might be popular with some people, and a burgeoning police state might be popular with some people, but there is a whole host of us in these United States who aren’t going to the gulags and gas chambers peacefully. And unlike the peasants of Europe and Asia, we aren’t surrendering our means of self-defense, either.

No, not everyone loves a police state.


Chuck Baldwin is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

You can reach him at: chuck@chuckbaldwinlive.com
Please visit Chuck’s web site at: http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com

Is Netanyahu Getting Back At Putin With Volgograd Bombings?

January 29, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

As the Russian Sochi Winter Olympics date approaches, a wave of suicide bombings in Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad, site of the decisive resistance to German invasion in 1942), have wreaked death and uncertainty in the region. On 29 December 2013 a suicide bomber exploded at the Volgograd railway station, killing the bomber and 16 more. A day later another suicide bombing on a trolleybus killed at least 15 people. The attacks come just a few weeks before the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics begin on February 7 on the Black Sea near the border to Georgia.

Those most recent attacks followed an October 21 suicide attack in which a bomb carried by a female suicide bomber exploded on a passenger bus carrying 40 people. The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry, reported that at least 5 people died in the blast and 17 others were injured. The suicide bomber had been identified as 30-year-old Naida Asiyalova of Dagestan. Since 1999 Mujahideen Sunni Salafists, often from Saudi Arabia or other Arab countries, have tried to incite an Islamic revolution and install Sharia law in Dagestan from neighboring Chechnya as well as in Chechnya.

The recent new wave of suicide bombing attacks in the region has led many to believe they are the work of radical Mujahideen Salafist Sunnis led by an erratic Jihadist from Chechnya, Doku Umarov, who sometimes goes by the Arabized name, Dokka Abu Usman. Umarov has unilaterally proclaimed himself underground President of the unrecognized Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (ChRI), and later, the self-proclaimed Emir of the Russian North Caucasus, declaring it an Islamic state of the Caucasus Emirate. In doing so he announced, “I will serve the word of Allah and work to kill the enemies of Allah in all the time that he gives me to live on this earth.” [1]

In Russia he is called the “Russian bin Laden.” In March 2011, the United Nations Security Council Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee added Umarov to the list of individuals allegedly associated with al-Qaeda, the Saudi-financed loose network of international Jihadist bands which had been trained during the 1980’s Afghan war against the Soviet Union by CIA, Saudi, Israeli and Pakistani intelligence services. AL-Qaeda is a name for a database set up by Saudi intelligence to keep track of all the Arab and other Muslim mercenaries working in defeating the Russians in Afghanistan during the 1980s.

Umarov has claimed responsibility for gruesome suicide bombings, using women called ?black widows” whose husbands had been killed fighting Jihad against Russian security forces. Umarov openly claimed responsibility for the 2010 Moscow Metro bombings and the 2011 Domodedovo International Airport bombing in Moscow. The person who did the Metro bombing was a 17-year old Mujahideen widow, Dzhennet Abdurakhmanova


Dzhennet Abdurakhmanova, 17, posing with her late husband Umalat Magomedov. She became a “black widow”  suicide bomber, carrying out the Moscow metro bombings in April 2010 (Reuters)

In June 2013, Umarov called for his followers in and outside the Caucasus to use “maximum force” to ensure the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics do not take place: “They plan to hold the Olympics on the bones of our ancestors, on the bones of many, many dead Muslims buried on our land by the Black Sea. We as Mujahideen are required not to allow that, using any methods that Allah allows us.” [2]

All indications point to the terrorists controlled by Umarov being behind the latest “Black Widow” suicide bombings in Volgograd. Naida Asiyalova, who blew herself up in the suicide bombing in Volgograd in October, is from Dagestan. She was reported “in love” with another suicide bomber before she “did her duty” to the jihad of Umarov. She was also a close friend of the woman implicated in the most recent Volgograd station bombing.[3]All indications to date point to Doku Umarov’s Chechyn terrorist organization for these recent terror bombings in Russia.

The US State Department has just issued an Advisory Alert to US citizens going to Sochi as a response even though Volgograd is several hundred kilometers away.

Russia’s Mujahideen terrorists

Soon after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Halliburton, the world’s largest oil services company, then led by Dick Cheney, determined that the Caucasus and the region around the former Soviet Union’s Caspian Sea contained staggering volumes of untapped oil. Some said it was a “new Saudi Arabia.” As part of broader Washington strategy of then-president George H.W. Bush, US intelligence began moving veterans of the bloody Afghan Mujahideen campaign into the Caucasus and Caspian region to facilitate independence from the Soviet Union and open the door for US and British oil companies to control the key oil regions.

Two “retired” CIA operatives close to former CIA head Bush, Ted Shackley and General (Ret.) Richard Secord set up a CIA “front” fake Azeribaijan oil company called Mega Oil. It was a cover to fly in hundreds of Mujahideen veterans from Afghanistan as “oilworkers.”

In 1991 Richard Secord along with veterans of US operations in Laos, and later of Oliver North’s operations with the Contras, turned up in Baku, Azerbaijan under the cover of MEGA Oil. This was when George H.W. Bush supported an oil pipeline stretching from Azerbaijan across the Caucasus to Turkey. Dick Cheney was then Bush senior’s Defense Secretary. MEGA never found oil. But MEGA operatives in Azerbaijan engaged in military training, passed “brown bags filled with cash” to members of the Azeri government, and set up an airline on the model of the CIA’s Vietnam era Air America which flew hundreds of mujahedin mercenaries from Afghanistan into Azerbaijan and the Caucasus, especially Chechnya. [4]

A faction of the CIA and US intelligence tied to the neo-conservatives and the US military industrial complex, have been involved in bringing fanatical Jihadist Islam into the traditionally Sufi peaceful Islam of the Caucasus region. Osama bin Laden actively moved from Afghanistan into Bosnia, then Kosovo and on into Chechnya after 1995, where his principal ally, fellow Saudi Jihadist, Ibn al-Khattab was leader of the Arab Mujahideen in Chechnya fighting the Russians. Chechnya happened to be the transit region for a major Russian oil pipeline from Baku into Russia for Caspian oil, something Washington was determined to block. Journalist Ali Soufan notes that by 1996, “the United States had been on the side of Muslims in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Chechnya.”[5]

At the time of the Beslan school massacre in Russia near the Georgia border in September 2004, Umarov’s Jihadists, including Arab Mujahideen, were partly financed with US money via a Washington-based NGO called ACDI/VOCA. Much of the money that the US Government-funded NGO received for the project reportedly came from a US Department of Agriculture Food for Peace Project.[6] Apparently the food they dispensed was in the form of Kalashnikovs and hand grenades, not grain and apples.

According to veteran Caucasus-based journalist Jeffrey Silverman, Doku Umarov is today an “asset” controlled and guided by a Washington-based think-tank called Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.[7] The board of the Potomac Institute reads like a who’s who of retired US military and intelligence people. According to Washington insider reports, Potomac is not entirely what it appears to be.

It is rather, these sources report, a front for Israeli intelligence, a group of US neo-conservatives, both working with Saudi Arabian intelligence. Two of Potomac’s key people involved in the Caucasus are reported to be Prof. Jonah Alexander, who heads the institute’s International Center for Terrorism Studies, and Ambassador (ret) David Smith.

Alexander has taught at Tel Aviv University and headed an interesting-sounding project, “Terrorism, Gray Area and Low Level Conflict,” for the US Global Strategy Council, a group founded by Ray Cline, former Deputy Director of the CIA.[8] David J. Smith is Director of the Georgian Security Analysis Center (GSAC) at the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies in Tbilisi, Georgia. Between 2002 and 2006 Smith was US Member of the International Security Advisory Board, assisting Georgia to “build democracy and establish functional national security institutions.”[9]  By all indications, he did a rather poor job if that really was what he was building.

Many of the Arab and Chechyn Jihadist terrorists plaguing Russia in recent years have been infiltrated into Chechnya from the Pankisi Gorge region across the border in Georgia, where a pro-US Saakashvili regime at the time obviously “looked the other way.” Reportedly Saakashvili’s brother worked in London for BP, the head of the Anglo-American oil pipeline consortium that owns the BTC pipeline from Baku through Georgia to Turkey.[10]

Contrary to outward appearance, there has been intimate cooperation between Saudi and Israeli intelligence services on matters of common strategic interest for years. Reportedly the ties began when Prince Bandar was Saudi Ambassador to Washington.[11]

If all this is true, it would suggest that Umarov’s latest suicide attacks in Russia are part of a “revenge” operation of Netanyahu and Saudi Intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, to sabotage the Sochi Olympics, for Putin’s role in winning Obama away from war against Syria last fall and openly seeking a diplomatic resolution of the Iran nuclear problem. Saudi Arabia’s Bandar and Netanyahu, who admitted they were in cooperation, both were reportedly livid against Putin for sabotaging their Jihad in Syria.

Against Obama too

That the Saudis and Israel’s Netanyahu are actively working as well to sabotage Obama’s Iran diplomacy is also clear. On October 30, 2013, Sheldon Adelson, an Israeli-American billionaire with dual passports, a financier friend of Netanyahu who owns Las Vegas casinos, called on US Congress. He reportedly told his friends in Congress to pass new sanctions against Iran designed to sabotage the Iran-Obama talks. Adelson was the main financial backer in 2012 of Mitt Romney to defeat Obama, who has become a bitter Netanyahu foe. Adelson apparently feels that Obama has slowly been distancing from Bush and Cheney’s strong tilt to the hawkish US neo-conservatives tied to the US-Israeli military industrial complex around Netanyahu’s Likud Party.[12]

The Republican Jewish Coalition — led by GOP financial donor Sheldon Adelson — is asking its members to call their senators and urge them to pass a new round of sanctions on Iran amid efforts from top Obama administration officials to persuade Congress to delay such measures to allow time for negotiations with the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program to “gain traction.” [13]

The Volgograd bombings are a part of a global political shift taking place with factions declaring war inside major governments. Washington is split today between a “pro-Israel” faction largely in Congress, and on the opposite side, a mix of nationalists who seem to be trying to define a genuine American interest in all the wars around the world. Reportedly General Martin E. Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the military’s highest body in the Pentagon, and others around President Obama are moving to distance Washington from the Saudi-Israeli war strategy which they have realized as against American interest.

The realization in and around the White House and State Department that the US Government was being manipulated by Israeli and Saudi false intelligence was the real reason, according to Washington reports, for the abrupt decision by President Obama last summer to halt the planned war against Syria. Obama was told that the “evidence” of a Syrian government chemical weapons attack on civilians had been doctored by Saudi and Israeli intelligence to force Obama to finally declare war. [14]

That was why Obama surprisingly and inexplicably embraced the Putin mediation offer to remove the chemical weapons and why Assad quickly agreed. Obama was himself strongly against military action in Syria. The chemicals used in Syria reportedly were supplied by Prince Bandar to the rebels, not from Syrian Government forces. [15] The intelligence intercepts given President Obama purporting to be tapes of Syrian Army commanders discussing the chemical attack were given to Washington by Israeli intelligence by Israeli Defence Forces’ 8200 unit and were also reportedly faked.[16]

Now this same network seems to have activated a revenge attack against Putin and Obama for foiling their stratagems. It’s a high risk gamble by Netanyahu and Saudi Prince Bandar that could severely boomerang against them.

In a noteworthy footnote to the entire gruesome Doku Umarov drama, on January 17, Moscow Times reported on a social media message sent out by Chechen president, Ramzan Kadyrov, claiming that he had “new evidence” that rebel leader Doku Umarov was dead. Kadyrov wrote in an Instagram, “According to our information, Umarov is dead and we are looking for his body.” He claimed that Umarov had been killed during a Russian Special Forces operation.[17] The report has not been confirmed by Moscow. The Kadyrov report has to be taken with more than a little grain of salt. The flamboyant Chechyn President has issued such messages before, the last time in December, when he wrote that Umarov was “mostly likely already dead or will be soon.”[18] Whether dead or alive, it seems most likely that Doku Umarov is little more than a “cover” for the darker networks running terror against Putin’s Russia in the Caucasus, and that darker network is Moscow’s real problem.

Endnotes:

[1]Al Jazzera English, Chechen rebel chief denies quitting ­ Europe, Al Jazeera English., August 12, 2010.
[2] Miriam Elder. Russian Islamist Doku Umarov calls for attacks on 2014 Winter Olympicstheguardian.com. August 12, 2013.
[3] EIN News, Russia’s deadly black widow cult that threatens Olympians, January 02, 2014, accessed in
http://world.einnews.com/article/183473672/k-vWy4dXMol6ijtf?afid=777&utm_source=MailingList&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Breaking+News%3A+world583-Thursday.
[4] Peter Dale Scott, The Falsified War on Terror: How the US Has Protected Some of Its Enemies, The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 40, No. 2, October 7, 2013.
[5] Ali H. Soufan, The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda (New York: Norton, 2011), p. 62.
[6] Henry Kamens, Did CIA train the Boston Bombers in Georgia?, April 2013
[7] The information on the Potomac Institute and Umarov was made available to the author from Jeffrey Silverman, an investigative journalist based in the Caucasus who has researched the subject for more than twenty two years.
[8] SourceWatch, Global Strategy Council, 23 July, 2013, accessed in  http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Global_Strategy_Council
[9] Ibid. ; As well, for bios on Smith and Alexander, the website of Potomac Institute accessed inhttp://www.potomacinstitute.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=226:smith&catid=61:fellows-&Itemid=537.
[10] Jeffrey Silverman, op. cit.
[11] Umberto Bacchi, Israel Negotiating Historic Alliance with Saudi Arabia over Iran’s Nuclear Weapons, Ooctober 3, 2013, accessed in http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/511160/20131003/israel-saudi-arabia-gulf-alliance-iran-nuclear.htm.
[12] Stephen J. Sniegoski , Would Romney Pursue a Neocon War Agenda?,  accessed inhttp://home.comcast.net/~transparentcabal/article36.html.
[13] Ben Armbruster,  Group Led By Billionaire Sheldon Adelson Pushes Congress To Undermine Iran Talks,  October 30, 2013, accessed in http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/10/30/2859711/rjc-adelson-iran-sanctions/.
[14] Dale Gavlak and Yahya Ababneh, Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack, MintPress,  August 29, 2013, accessed in http://www.mintpressnews.com/witnesses-of-gas-attack-say-saudis-supplied-rebels-with-chemical-weapons/168135/.
[15] Ibid.
[16] Seymour Hersh, Whose Sarin?, London Review of Books, August 12, 2013, accessed inhttp://home.comcast.net/~transparentcabal/article36.html.; see also Harriet Sherwood, Israeli intelligence intercepted Syrian regime talk about chemical attack,theguardian.com, 28 August 2013, accessed inhttp://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/28/israeli-intelligence-intercepted-syria-chemical-talk.
[17] Moscow Times, Chechen Leader Kadyrov Again Says Rebel Leader Umarov is Dead, 17 January 2014,
RIA Novosti, accessed in  http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/chechen-leader-kadyrov-again-says-rebel-leader-umarov-is-dead/492910.html#ixzz2qf7FqJzz.
[18] Moscow Times, Chechen Leader Says ‘Rat’ Rebel Chief Is Likely Dead, 20 December 2013, accessed inhttp://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/chechen-leader-says-rat-rebel-chief-is-likely-dead/491867.html

Source: F. William Engdahl | Veterans Today

Is This The Big One?

January 29, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The New Wave of Financial Instability…

Global stocks were hammered on Friday for a second straight day on news of a slowdown in China and turbulence in emerging markets. The Dow Jones Industrials suffered its worse drubbing in more than two years, tumbling 318 points on Friday to end a 490 point two-day rout. Emerging markets currencies were whipsawed by capital flight as foreign investors fled to the safety of U.S. Treasuries. Turkey’s lira and the Argentine peso were particularly hard hit setting record lows in the 48 hour period. The scaling back of the Fed’s $85 billion per month asset purchase program, called QE, has altered the dynamic that made emerging markets the “engines for global growth”. The policy reversal has triggered a selloff in risk assets and sent EM currencies plunging. Here’s a summary from Bloomberg:

“The worst selloff in emerging-market currencies in five years is beginning to reveal the extent of the fallout from the Federal Reserve’s tapering of monetary stimulus, compounded by political and financial instability.

Investors are losing confidence in some of the biggest developing nations, extending the currency-market rout triggered last year when the Fed first signaled it would scale back stimulus. While Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa were the engines of global growth following the financial crisis in 2008, emerging markets now pose a threat to world financial stability.” (“Contagion Spreads in Emerging Markets as Crises Grow,” Bloomberg)

Paradoxically, Bloomberg editors blame the victims of the Fed’s failed policy for the current ructions in the markets. In an article titled, “What’s Behind the Emerging-Market Meltdown” the editors say,”emerging-market governments … should recognize that this week’s financial-market turmoil was, to varying degrees, their own fault.” … “the best way for emerging-market governments to restore confidence would be to improve their policies.”

Logically, one would assume that the editors would throw their support behind capital controls or other means of stemming the destructive flow of speculative capital into domestic markets. But that’s not the case. What the editors really want, is policies that trim deficits, slash public spending, and allow foreign investors to continue to wreak havoc on vulnerable economies that follow their free market diktats. The article is a defense of the status quo, of maintaining the same ruinous policies so that profit-taking can continue apace.

The Fed was warned early on that its uber-accommodative monetary policy was spilling over into emerging markets and creating conditions for another financial crisis. Take a look at this excerpt from an article in Bloomberg back in 2010 where Nobel prize winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz, explicitly warns the Fed of the dangers of QE.

Bloomberg:

“The U.S. Federal Reserve’s plan to boost purchases of bonds poses “considerable” risks by increasing capital inflows to emerging markets, Nobel Prize- winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said in Santiago today.

“All this liquidity that they’re creating is not going back to grow the American economy and is going to Asia and other emerging markets where it’s not wanted,” Stiglitz said…..Increased capital inflows could cause emerging market currencies to appreciate and could create asset bubbles, he said.” (“Stiglitz Says Fed Stimulus Poses `Considerable’ Risks for Emerging Markets,” Bloomberg, Dec 2010)

Events have unfolded exactly as Stiglitz predicted they would, which means the Fed is 100% responsible the carnage in the stock and currencies markets.

The policy has pumped nearly “$7 trillion of foreign funds” into EMs since QE was first launched in 2009. According to the Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, “much of it “hot money” going into bonds, equities and liquid instruments that can be sold quickly….Officials are concerned that this footloose capital could leave fast in a crisis, setting off a cascade effect,” Pritchard adds ominously.

Whether last week’s bloodbath was just a prelude to a bigger crash is impossible to say, but it is worth noting that the Fed has only reduced its purchases by a mere $10 billion per month while still providing $75 billion every 30 days. That suggests that markets will probably face greater turmoil in the months ahead. Check out this clip from USA Today:

“Emerging markets need the hot money but capital is exiting now,” says (Blackrock’s Russ) Koesterich. “What you have is people saying, ‘I don’t want to own emerging markets.’…

The bigger fear is if the current crisis in currency markets morphs into a full-blown economic crisis and leads to financial contagion, says Matthias Kuhlmey, managing director of HighTower’s Global Investment Solutions.

“The currency story is fascinating and can be a slippery slope – be cautious,” says Kuhlmey, adding that the Asian crisis in the summer of 1997 that started with a sharp drop in the value of Thailand’s baht, turned into a broader economic crisis that engulfed Indonesian, South Korea and a handful of other countries. It also rocked financial markets.” (“Why emerging markets worry Wall Street,” USA Today)

So, is this the Big One, the beginning of the next financial crisis?

It’s too early to say, but investors and analysts are worried. Fed tightening (via “taper”) will be felt in markets around the world. The trouble in emerging markets will intensify deflationary pressures in the Eurozone and put a damper on China’s growth. Slower global growth, in turn, will create balance sheets problems for undercapitalized and over-leveraged banks and other financial institutions which will increase the probability of another Lehman Brothers-type default.

According to Reuters, a normalizing of interest rates in the US, (which most analysts expect) “could cut financial inflows to developing countries by as much as 80 percent for several months. In such a case, nearly a quarter of developing countries could experience sudden stops in their access to global capital, throwing some economies into a balance of payments or financial crisis, the Bank said.” (“Rout in emerging markets may only be in Phase One,” Reuters)

Clearly, the potential for another financial meltdown is quite real.

For more than four years, the Fed has buoyed stock prices and increased corporate margins through massive injections of free cash into the financial markets. Now the Central Bank wants to change the policy and ease its foot off the gas pedal. That’s causing investors to rethink their positions and take more money off the table. What started as a selloff in emerging markets could snowball into a broader panic that could wipe out the gains of the last four years.

The Federal Reserve is entirely responsible for this new wave of financial instability.


Mike Whitney is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com

The Selling of Energy Independence

January 29, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Any analysis of domestic fossil fuel production and use must acknowledge that independence for U.S. energy has not been the national goal. Contrary to utopian dreamers and radical environmentalists, oil, natural gas and coal are the backbone of power in any modern economy. This power extends both to the fuels themselves and to the political security that is required for any economy to prosper. Therefore, it seems counterproductive to encourage corporatist to export our own precious resources for the mere motive of higher profits. Unfortunately, their ill-conceived greed is at the core of much of our countries instability.

Often ignored, coal was once the dominate resource in the generation of electricity. The utterly destructive and suicidal EPA regulations and Obama’s determination to bankrupt the coal industry has put into motion an export strategy that threatens the entire utility sector.

The Motley Fool writes in the article, Can Exports Save U.S. Coal?

“Although it remains the country’s largest private sector provider of jobs, the U.S. coal industry is hurting. Domestic utilities are turning to lower-priced natural gas. Environmental opponents are working hard to keep the mineral in the ground.

The idea of expanding exports to the world’s biggest customers — currently China, the Netherlands (a large transshipment point), the U.K., South Korea and Brazil — sounds good. And the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports shipments of 6.3 million short tons of steam coal and 7.4 million short tons of metallurgical coal in March set a monthly record. Increased Asian demand contributed to the standout month.”

The absurd notion at clean coal is impossible; drive this train directly to ports that ship our own most prolific natural resource overseas. So much for national security considerations and who in their right mind thinks that advance scrubbers will be used in all the Chinese plants being built.

1995-2011-us-gas-exports.jpg

Natural gas is the new boom fuel, especially because of the questionable hydrofracking process. Leaving aside the risks to our finite water aquifer, extraction from deep field using this fracking method is the primary argument to drill. In the essay, Hydrofracking Boom or Bust, cites Deborah Rogers, points out the most significant economic consequence from hydrofracking.

“Exporting is a last ditch effort to shore up a failing balance sheet. Exportation will drive the price higher in the U.S. There’s no doubt about it. The question is how high will it go. When you are producing a commodity and have produced it to such a high extent, you want to find someone who will buy it, and in this case, it will be the Asians.”

The Wall Street Journal reports how this economic model will take place in, U.S. Approves Expanded Gas Exports.

“The decision reflects a turnaround in the U.S. energy trade. Five years ago, many companies built natural-gas import terminals, anticipating greater U.S. demand for imported fuel.

Proponents of greater exports, including the oil and gas industry, say that exporting inexpensive natural gas will help the U.S. trade balance, help advance the adoption of clean-burning fuels around the world and shore up energy-poor U.S. allies.”

Let’s be real. The corporatist only care about the margins they can squeeze out of any resource extracted from mother earth. Importing when the price is right or exporting when the world price goes the other way, but never any concern about energy INDEPENDENCE for our own people and country.

IEA-forecast.jpg

Now look at the grand daddy of all, petroleum. The Oil Roustabout Economy explains the way the oil policy actually plays out. Virtually no real apprehension for domestic oil autonomy is factored into the economic schemes, that drive the economic, political and foreign policies, which keep the global a permanent tinderbox. “Remember that drilling in Anwar is prohibited, while waging war for oil is celebrated.”However, the scale of refining raw crude into a range of utilitarian end user products, lends merit to the resale for export, especially if the original crude comes from an imported source. A valid benefit is achieved by enhancing a natural resource, with value added functionality for exporting. Nonetheless, draining your own oil fields for an immediate infusion of short-term profit, only hastens the day when domestic oilfields run dry.

The Washington Post illustrates the latest insanity coming out of the political class servants of the oil barons. The article, U.S. oil exports have been banned for 40 years. Is it time for that to change?, has a chilling message.

“Some people think so — especially now that the United States is producing more oil than it has in decades. Overturning the ban, in theory, would allow companies to sell even more oil and keep expanding.

On Tuesday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) gave a speech at the Brookings Institution calling on the Obama administration and Congress to loosen restrictions on crude-oil exports in order to boost domestic production. “We need to act,” she said, “before the crude export ban raises problems and hurts American jobs.” Jack Gerard, the head of the American Petroleum Institute, expressed similar sentiments later in the day.”

Ah, that long journey to save jobs cry is most flexible depending where the campaign contributions come from. When was the last time you heard a national debate on the necessity to conserve and the prudent use of our own energy resources, strictly for domestic usage?

Not in this lifetime, instead of exporting our natural gas overseas, what happened to How to Convert the Country to Natural Gas, by T. Boone Pickens. Read the Pickens Plan and ask where are all those converted from diesel to LNG trucks?

Folks, the selling of our coal, gas and oil resources for export are more important to the internationalists that own the corporate businesses, which control the global resources, than true national energy independence. It is that simple. The establishment plutocrats are the designers, perpetuators and exploiters of an American economy that is held hostage to energy extortion. Not until this pattern is broken, will genuine prosperity return.


Sartre is the publisher, editor, and writer for Breaking All The Rules. He can be reached at: BATR

Sartre is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

The Sharing Economy: An Introduction To Its Political Evolution

January 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Can the sharing economy movement address the root causes of the world’s converging crises? Unless the sharing of resources is promoted in relation to human rights and concerns for equity, democracy, social justice and sustainability, then such claims are without substantiation – although there are many hopeful signs that the conversation is slowly moving in the right direction. 

In recent years, the concept and practice of sharing resources is fast becoming a mainstream phenomenon across North America, Western Europe and other world regions. The internet is awash with articles and websites that celebrate the vast potential of sharing human and physical assets, in everything from cars and bicycles to housing, workplaces, food, household items, and even time or expertise. According to most general definitions that are widely available online, the sharing economy leverages information technology to empower individuals or organisations to distribute, share and re-use excess capacity in goods and services. The business icons of the new sharing economy include the likes of Airbnb, Zipcar, Lyft, Taskrabbit and Poshmark, although hundreds of other for-profit as well as non-profit organisations are associated with this burgeoning movement that is predicated, in one way or another, on the age-old principle of sharing.

As the sharing economy receives increasing attention from the media, a debate is beginning to emerge around its overall importance and future direction. There is no doubt that the emergent paradigm of sharing resources is set to expand and further flourish in coming years, especially in the face of continuing economic recession, government austerity and environmental concerns. As a result of the concerted advocacy work and mobilisation of sharing groups in the US, fifteen city mayors have now signed the Shareable Cities Resolution in which they officially recognise the importance of economic sharing for both the public and private sectors. Seoul in South Korea has also adopted a city-funded project called Sharing City in which it plans to expand its ‘sharing infrastructure’, promote existing sharing enterprises and incubate sharing economy start-ups as a partial solution to problems in housing, transportation, job creation and community cohesion. Furthermore, Medellin in Colombia is embracing transport-sharing schemes and reimagining the use of its shared public spaces, while Ecuador is the first country in the world to commit itself to becoming a ‘shared knowledge’-based society, under an official strategy named ‘buen saber’.

Many proponents of the sharing economy therefore have great hopes for a future based on sharing as the new modus operandi. Almost everyone recognises that drastic change is needed in the wake of a collapsed economy and an overstretched planet, and the old idea of the American dream – in which a culture that promotes excessive consumerism and commercialisation leads us to see the ‘good life’ as the ‘goods life’, as described by the psychologist Tim Kasser - is no longer tenable in a world of rising affluence among possibly 9.6 billion people by 2050. Hence more and more people are rejecting the materialistic attitudes that defined recent decades, and are gradually shifting towards a different way of living that is based on connectedness and sharing rather than ownership and conspicuous consumption. ‘Sharing more and owning less’ is the ethic that underlies a discernible change in attitudes among affluent society that is being led by today’s young, tech-savvy generation known as Generation Y or the Millennials.

However, many entrepreneurial sharing pioneers also profess a big picture vision of what sharing can achieve in relation to the world’s most pressing issues, such as population growth, environmental degradation and food security. As Ryan Gourley of A2Share posits, for example, a network of cities that embrace the sharing economy could mount up into a Sharing Regions Network, then Sharing Nations, and finally a Sharing World: “A globally networked sharing economy would be a whole new paradigm, a game-changer for humanity and the planet”. Neal Gorenflo, the co-founder and publisher of Shareable, also argues that peer-to-peer collaboration can form the basis of a new social contract, with an extensive sharing movement acting as the catalyst for systemic changesthat can address the root causes of both poverty and climate change. Or to quote the words of Benita Matofska, founder of The People Who Share, we are going to have to “share to survive” if we want to face up to a sustainable future. In such a light, it behoves us all to investigate the potential of sharing to effect a social and economic transformation that is sufficient to meet the grave challenges of the 21st century.

Two sides of a debate on sharing

There is no doubt that sharing resources can contribute to the greater good in a number of ways, from economic as well as environmental and social perspectives. A number of studies show the environmental benefits that are common to many sharing schemes, such as the resource efficiency and potential energy savings that could result from car sharing and bike sharing in cities. Almost all forms of localised sharing are economical, and can lead to significant cost savings or earnings for individuals and enterprises. In terms of subjective well-being and social impacts, common experience demonstrates how sharing can also help us to feel connected to neighbours or co-workers, and even build community and make us feel happier.

Few could disagree on these beneficial aspects of sharing resources within communities or across municipalities, but some controversy surrounds the broader vision of how the sharing economy movement can contribute to a fair and sustainable world. For many advocates of the burgeoning trend towards economic sharing in modern cities, it is about much more than couch-surfing, car sharing or tool libraries, and holds the potential to disrupt the individualist and materialistic assumptions of neoliberal capitalism. For example, Juliet Schor in her book Plenitude perceives that a new economics based on sharing could be an antidote to the hyper-individualised, hyper-consumer culture of today, and could help rebuild the social ties that have been lost through market culture. Annie Leonard of the Story of Stuff project, in her latest short video on how to move society in an environmentally sustainable and just direction, also considers sharing as a key ‘game changing’ solution that could help to transform the basic goals of the economy.

Many other proponents see the sharing economy as a path towards achieving widespread prosperity within the earth’s natural limits, and an essential first step on the road to more localised economies and egalitarian societies. But far from everyone perceives that participating in the sharing economy, at least in its existing form and praxis, is a ‘political act’ that can realistically challenge consumption-driven economics and the culture of individualism – a question that is raised (although not yet comprehensively answered) in a valuable think piece from Friends of the Earth, as discussed further below. Various commentators argue that the proliferation of new business ventures under the umbrella of sharing are nothing more than “supply and demand continuing its perpetual adjustment to new technologies and fresh opportunities”, and that the concept of the sharing economy is being co-opted by purely commercial interests – a debate that was given impetus when the car sharing pioneers, Zipcar, were bought up by the established rental firm Avis.

Recently, Slate magazine’s business and economics correspondent controversially reiterated the observation that making money from new modes of consumption is not really ‘sharing’ per se, asserting that the sharing economy is therefore a “dumb term” that “deserves to die”. Other journalists have criticised the superficial treatment that the sharing economy typically receives from financial pundits and tech reporters, especially the claims that small business start-ups based on monetised forms of sharing are a solution to the jobs crisis – regardless of drastic cutbacks in welfare and public services, unprecedented rates of income inequality, and the dangerous rise of the precariat. The author Evgeny Morozov, writing an op-ed in the Financial Times, has gone as far as saying that the sharing economy is having a pernicious effect on equality and basic working conditions, in that it is fully compliant with market logic, is far from valuing human relationships over profit, and is even amplifying the worst excesses of the dominant economic model. In the context of the erosion of full-time employment, the assault on trade unions and the disappearance of healthcare and insurance benefits, he argues that the sharing economy is accelerating the transformation of workers into “always-on self-employed entrepreneurs who must think like brands”, leading him to dub it “neoliberalism on steroids”.

Problems of definition

Although it is impossible to reconcile these polarised views, part of the problem in assessing the true potential of economic sharing is one of vagueness in definition and wide differences in understanding. The conventional interpretation of the sharing economy is at present focused on its financial and commercial aspects, with continuous news reports proclaiming its rapidly growing market size and potential as a “co-commerce revolution”. Rachel Botsman, a leading entrepreneurial thinker on the potential of collaboration and sharing through digital technologies to change our lives, has attempted to clarify what the sharing economy actually is in order to prevent further confusion over the different terms in general use. In her latest typology, she notes how the term ‘sharing economy’ is often muddled with other new ideas and is in fact a subset of ‘collaborative consumption’ within the entire ‘collaborative economy’ movement, and has a rather restricted meaning in terms of “sharing underutilized assets from spaces to skills to stuff for monetary or non-monetary benefits” [see slide 9 of the presentation]. This interpretation of changing consumer behaviours and lifestyles revolves around the “maximum utilization of assets through efficient models of redistribution and shared access”, which isn’t necessarily predicated on an ethic of ‘sharing’ by any strict definition.

Other interpretations of the sharing economy are far broader and less constrained by capitalistic assumptions, as demonstrated in the Friends of the Earth briefing paper on Sharing Cities written by Professor Julian Agyeman et al. In their estimation, what’s missing from most of these current definitions and categorisations of economic sharing is a consideration of “the communal, collective production that characterises the collective commons”. A broadened ‘sharing spectrum’ that they propose therefore not only focuses on goods and services within the mainstream economy (which is almost always considered in relation to affluent, middle-class lifestyles), but also includes the non-material or intangible aspects of sharing such as well-being and capability [see page 6 of the brief]. From this wider perspective, they assert that the cutting edge of the sharing economy is often not commercial and includes informal behaviours like the unpaid care, support and nurturing that we provide for one another, as well as the shared use of infrastructure and shared public services.

This sheds a new light on governments as the “ultimate level of sharing”, and suggests that the history of the welfare state in Europe and other forms of social protection is, in fact, also integral to the evolution of shared resources in cities and within different countries. Yet an understanding of sharing from this more holistic viewpoint doesn’t have to be limited to the state provision of healthcare, education, and other public services. As Agyeman et al elucidate, cooperatives of all kinds (from worker to housing to retailer and consumer co-ops) also offer alternative models for shared service provision and a different perspective on economic sharing, one in which equity and collective ownership is prioritised. Access to natural common resources such as air and water can also be understood in terms of sharing, which may then prioritise the common good of all people over commercial or private interests and market mechanisms. This would include controversial issues of land ownership and land use, raising questions over how best to share land and urban space more equitably – such as through community land trusts, or through new policies and incentives such as land value taxation.

The politics of sharing

Furthermore, Agyeman et al argue that an understanding of sharing in relation to the collective commons gives rise to explicitly political questions concerning the shared public realm and participatory democracy. This is central to the many countercultural movements of recent years (such as the Occupy movement and Middle East protests since 2011, and the Taksim Gezi Park protests in 2013) that have reclaimed public space to symbolically challenge unjust power dynamics and the increasing trend toward privatisation that is central to neoliberal hegemony. Sharing is also directly related to the functioning of a healthy democracy, the authors reason, in that a vibrant sharing economy (when interpreted in this light) can counter the political apathy that characterises modern consumer society. By reinforcing values of community and collaboration over the individualism and consumerism that defines our present-day cultures and identities, they argue that participation in sharing could ultimately be reflected in the political domain. They also argue that a shared public realm is essential for the expression of participatory democracy and the development of a good society, not least as this provides a necessary venue for popular debate and public reasoning that can influence political decisions. Indeed the “emerging shareability paradigm”, as they describe it, is said to reflect the basic tenets of the Right to the City (RTTC) – an international urban movement that fights for democracy, justice and sustainability in cities and mobilises against the privatisation of common goods and public spaces.

The intention in briefly outlining some of these differing interpretations of sharing is to demonstrate how considerations of politics, justice, ethics and sustainability are slowly being allied with the sharing economy concept. A paramount example is the Friends of the Earth briefing paper outlined above, which was written as part of FOEI’s Big Ideas to Change the World series on cities that promoted sharing as “a political force to be reckoned with” and a “call to action for environmentalists”. Yet many further examples could also be mentioned, such as the New Economics Foundation’s ‘Manifesto for the New Materialism’ which promotes the old-fashioned ethic of sharing as part of a new way of living to replace the collapsed model of debt-fuelled overconsumption. There are also signs that many influential proponents of the sharing economy – as generally understood today in terms of new economic models driven by peer-to-peer technology that enable access to rather than ownership of resources – are beginning to query the commercial direction that the movement is taking, and are instead promoting more politicised forms of social change that are not merely based on micro-enterprise or the monetisation/branding of high-tech innovations.

Janelle Orsi, a California-based ‘sharing lawyer’ and author of The Sharing Solution, is particularly inspirational in this regard; for her, the sharing economy encompasses such a broad range of activities that it is hard to define, although she suggests that all its activities are tied together in how they harness the existing resources of a community and grow its wealth. This is in contradistinction to the mainstream economy that mostly generates wealth for people outside of people’s communities, and inherently generates extreme inequalities and ecological destruction – which Orsi contends that the sharing economy can help reverse. The problem she recognises is that the so-called sharing economy we usually hear about in the media is built upon a business-as-usual foundation, which is privately owned and often funded by venture capital (as is the case with Airbnb, Lyft, Zipcar, Taskrabbit et cetera). As a result, the same business structures that created the economic problems of today are buying up new sharing economy companies and turning them into ever larger, more centralised enterprises that are not concerned about people’s well-being, community cohesion, local economic diversity, sustainable job creation and so on (not to mention the risk of re-creating stock valuation bubbles that overshadowed the earlier generation of dot.com enterprises). The only way to ensure that new sharing economy companies fulfil their potential to create economic empowerment for users and their communities, Orsi argues, is through cooperative conversion – and she makes a compelling case for the democratic, non-exploitative, redistributive and truly ‘sharing’ potential of worker and consumer cooperatives in all their guises.

Sharing as a path to systemic change

There are important reasons to query which direction this emerging movement for sharing will take in the years ahead. As prominent supporters of the sharing economy recognise, like Janelle Orsi and Juliet Schor, it offers both opportunities and reasons for optimism as well as pitfalls and some serious concerns. On the one hand, it reflects a growing shift in our values and social identities as ‘citizens vs consumers’, and is helping us to rethink notions of ownership and prosperity in a world of finite resources, scandalous waste and massive wealth disparities. Perhaps its many proponents are right, and the sharing economy represents the first step towards transitioning away from the over-consumptive, materially-intense and hoarding lifestyles of North American, Western European and other rich societies. Perhaps sharing really is fast becoming a counter-cultural movement that can help us to value relationships more than things, and offer us the possibility of re-imagining politics and constructing a more participative democracy, which could ultimately pose a challenge to the global capitalist/consumerist model of development that is built on private interests and debt at the cost of shared interests and true wealth.

On the other hand, critics are right to point out that the sharing economy in its present form is hardly a threat to existing power structures or a movement that represents the kind of radical changes we need to make the world a better place. Far from reorienting the economy towards greater equity and a better quality of life, as proposed by writers such as Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, Tim Jackson, Herman Daly and John Cobb, it is arguable that most forms of sharing via peer-to-peer networks are at risk of being subverted by conventional business practices. There is a perverse irony in trying to imagine the logical conclusion of these trends: new models of collaborative consumption and co-production that are co-opted by private interests and venture capitalists, and increasingly geared towards affluent middle-class types or so-called bourgeois bohemians (the ‘bobos’), to the exclusion of those on low incomes and therefore to the detriment of a more equal society. Or new sharing technology platforms that enable governments and corporations to collaborate in pursuing more intrusive controls over and greater surveillance of citizens. Or new social relationships based on sharing in the context of increasingly privatised and enclosed public spaces, such as gated communities within which private facilities and resources are shared.

This is by no means an inevitable outcome, but what is clear from this brief analysis is that the commercialisation and depoliticisation of economic sharing poses risks and contradictions that call into question its potential to transform society for the benefit of everyone. Unless the sharing of resources is promoted in relation to human rights and concerns for equity, democracy, social justice and sound environmental stewardship, then the various claims that sharing is a new paradigm that can address the world’s interrelated crises is indeed empty rhetoric or utopian thinking without any substantiation. Sharing our skills through Hackerspaces, our unused stuff through GoodShuffle or a community potluck through mealshare is, in and of itself, a generally positive phenomenon that deserves to be enjoyed and fully participated in, but let’s not pretend that car shares, clothes swaps, co-housing, shared vacation homes and so on are going to seriously address economic and climate chaos, unjust power dynamics or inequitable wealth distribution.

Sharing from the local to the global

If we look at sharing through the lens of just sustainability, however, as civil society organisations and others are now beginning to do, then the true possibilities of sharing resources within and among the world’s nations are vast and all-encompassing: to enhance equity, rebuild community, improve well-being, democratise national and global governance, defend and promote the global commons, even to point the way towards a more cooperative international framework to replace the present stage of competitive neoliberal globalisation. We are not there yet, of course, and the popular understanding of economic sharing today is clearly focused on the more personal forms of giving and exchange among individuals or through online business ventures, which is mainly for the benefit of high-income groups in the world’s most economically advanced nations. But the fact that this conversation is now being broadened to include the role of governments in sharing public infrastructure, political power and economic resources within countries is a hopeful indication that the emerging sharing movement is slowly moving in the right direction.

Already, questions are being raised as to what sharing resources means for the poorest people in the developing world, and how a revival of economic sharing in the richest countries can be spread globally as a solution to converging crises. It may not be long until the idea of economic sharing on a planetary scale - driven by an awareness of impending ecological catastrophe, life-threatening extremes of inequality, and escalating conflict over natural resources – is the subject of every dinner party and kitchen table conversation.


References:

Agyeman, Julian, Duncan McLaren and Adrianne Schaefer-Borrego, Sharing Cities, Friends of the Earth briefing paper, September 2013.

Agyeman, Julian, Just sustainabilitiesjulianagyeman.com, 21st September 2012.

Bollier, David, Bauwens Joins Ecuador in Planning a Commons-based, Peer Production Economy, 20th September 2013, bollier.org

Botsman, Rachel, The Sharing Economy Lacks A Shared Definitionfastcoexist.com, 21st November 2013.

Botsman, Rachel, The Sharing Economy Lacks a Shared Definition: Giving Meaning to the Terms, Collaborative Lab on Slideshare.net, 19th November 2013.

Childs, Mike, The Power of Sharing: A Call to Action for Environmentalists, Shareable.net, 5th November 2013.

Collaborativeconsumption.com, Shareable Cities Resolution: Passed, 26th June 2013.

Daly, Herman and John Cobb, For the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy toward Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable Future, Beacon Press, 1991.

Eberlein, Sven, Sharing for Profit – I’m Not Buying it Anymore, Shareable.net, 20th February 2013.

Enright, Michael in interview with Benita Matofska and Aidan Enns, Sharing, Not Buying at Christmas (Hr. 1), CBC Radio, 16th December 2012.

Friends of the Earth, Big Idea 2: Sharing – a political force to be reckoned with?, 26th September 2013.

Gaskins, Kim, The New Sharing Economy, Latitude, 1st June 2010.

Gorenflo, Neal, What’s Next for the Sharing Movement?, Shareable.net, 31st July 2013.

Grahl, Jodi (trans.), World Charter for the Right to the City, International Alliance of Inhabitants et al, May 2005.

Griffiths, Rachel, The Great Sharing Economy, Co-operatives UK, London UK, 2011.

Grigg, Kat, Sharing As Part of the New Economy: An Interview with Lauren Anderson, The Solutions Journal, 20th September 2013.

Heinberg, Richard, Who knew that Seoul was a leader in the sharing economy?, Post Carbon Institute, 12th November 2013.

Herbst, Moira, Let’s get real: the ‘sharing economy’ won’t solve our jobs crisis, The Guardian, 7th January 2014.

Jackson, Tim, Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet, Routeledge, 2011.

Johnson, Cat, From Consumers to Citizens: Welcome to the Sharing Cities Network, Shareable.net, 9th January 2014.

Kasser, Tim, The High Price of Materialism, MIT Press, 2003.

Kisner, Corinne, Integrating Bike Share Programs into a Sustainable Transportation System, National League of Cities, City Practice Brief, Washington D.C., 2011.

Leonard, Annie, The Story of Solutions, The Story of Stuff Project, October 2013, storyofstuff.org

Martin, Elliot and Susan Shaheen, The Impact of Carsharing on Household Vehicle Ownership, Access (UCTC magazine), No. 38 Spring 2011.

Matofska, Benita, Facing the future: share to survive, Friends of the Earth blog, 4th January 2013.

Morozov, Evgeny, The ‘sharing economy’ undermines workers’ rights, Financial Times, 14th October 2013.

Olson. Michael J. and Andrew D. Connor, The Disruption of Sharing: An Overview of the New Peer-to-Peer ‘Sharing Economy’ and The Impact on Established Internet Companies, Piper Jaffray, November 2013.

Opinium Research and Marke2ing, The Sharing Economy An overview with special focus on Peer-to-Peer Lending, 14th November 2012.

Orsi, Janelle and Doskow, Emily, The Sharing Solution: How to Save Money, Simplify Your Life and Build Community, Nolo, May 2009.

Orsi, Janelle et al, Policies for Shareable Cities: A Sharing Economy Policy Primer for Urban Leaders, Shareable / The sustainable Economics Law Centre, September 2013.

Orsi, Janelle, The Sharing Economy Just Got Real, Shareable.net, 16th September 2013.

Quilligan, James B., People Sharing Resources: Toward a New Multilateralism of the Global Commons, Kosmos Journal, Fall/Winter 2009.

Schifferes, Jonathan, Sharing our way to prosperity (Part 1)rsablogs.org.uk, 6th August 2013.

Schifferes, Jonathan, Profiting from sharing (Part 2)rsablogs.org.uk, 6th August 2013.

Schor, Juliet, Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth, Tantor Media, 2010.

Simms, Andrew and Ruth Potts, The New Materialism: How our relationship with the material world can change for the better, New Economics Foundation, November 2012.

Standing, Guy, The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, Bloomsbury Academic, 2011.

Tennant, Ian, What’s in it for me? Do you dare to share?, Friends of the Earth blog, 8th January 2014.

Wiesmann, Thorsten, Living by the Principle of Sharing – an interview with Raphael Fellmer, Oiushare.net, February 2013.

Wilkinson, Richard and Kate Pickett, The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone, Penguin, 2010.

Yglesias, Matthew, There Is No “Sharing Economy”, Slate.com, 26th December 2013.


Adam Parsons is a guest columnist for Veracity Voice

Adam Parsons is the editor at www.sharing.org

Death Race To Damascus Continues

January 22, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

On Wednesday, January 15, 2014, the highly anticipated Senate Intelligence Committee report on the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans was released. The primary investigative report, including redactions, consists of 42 pages with an additional 16 pages of appendices and another 25 pages of additional “majority views.” While the report validates much of what I’ve written well in advance of media reports, it also appears to be deliberately deficient in a number of critical areas.

The report acknowledges that there were no protests over an obscure internet video at this facility in Benghazi, which was neither an embassy nor a consulate. As I initially exposed, the report confirms on page seven that the Benghazi facility was an undercover CIA compound. It was only somewhat known to be a U.S. asset in the region, but had no U.S. flag flying anywhere on the property, and did not serve any diplomatic operational function as would an embassy or consulate. Therefore, no one “in the know” could reasonably believe or even suspect that this location would be the site of any protests about an obscure internet video. Yet, the deliberate mischaracterization of not only the site of the attacks, but the reason behind them, continued to be shamelessly peddled by the politicians and media alike. It was not only a lie, but a contemptible lie.

The critical issue of the actual function that CIA compound served remains the “third rail” of our elected leaders and their obedient media. The report focuses on accountability for the lack of security and later, the lack of response to a critical incident. However, it fails to address that the U.S., under the direction of Barack Hussein Obama in the Executive branch, and Hillary Rodham Clinton as the Secretary of State, were spearheading a weapons running operation to arm the anti-Assad factions in Syria by way of Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. As I detailed on November 5, 2012, reasonable estimates suggest that between 30-40 million pounds of missiles, guns and even chemical weapons (gas) had been confiscated in Libya and shipped to various prepositioning locations in Turkey and directly into Syria for use by anti-Assad “rebels.”

The function of this compound was far different than the legitimate function of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli. The compound in Benghazi served as a logistics hub to arrange the crisscrossing supply lines of Gadaffi’s weapons, under the control of Muslim Brotherhood factions, to the Libyan port city of Dernah, the chokepoint of the arsenals. This was appropriately named the “Ho Chi Minh Trail of Muslim Brotherhood supply lines” as referenced in an October 5, 2012 article by Michael Reagan titled “Building on a kernel of truth.”  Despite this exposure, senate and congressional investigators, whose job it is to uncover the truth, still don’t seem willing to ask the correct questions. Why?

While the political pundits and the corporate media will continue to shamelessly play political football with not only the bodies of four dead Americans, but with the future of all Americans and everyone in the West, Obama and his operational staff of globalists will continue to advance the U.S., and the world, on a certain course that will take us headlong into World War III. By not addressing the core issues of the larger agenda, the attention of the American people continues to be held captive by a single act of a larger play. As I’ve written before, the lies are much bigger.

As I have consistently maintained, the attacks in Benghazi were proxy attacks at a nation-state level in response to our arming the anti-Assad terror organizations. They were not the result of an angry protest over an Internet video, although understanding how that video was used provides insight into the role of the CIA and certain other key players in the cover-up. You will find that the video is directly tied to a CIA operation that was to be used as cover at an appropriate moment.

They were also not the result of some false flag operation with plans to kidnap an American ambassador to swap him for the blind sheikh, although kidnapping did played a role in the attacks as I previously detailed. The kidnapping to which I refer, of course, is related to the abduction of seven Iranian-citizen ICRC workers in Benghazi on July 31, 2012. At least that incident earned a footnote in the Senate report. The curiosity regarding the number of attacks on September 11, 2012, combined with the withholding of heavy artillery suggests that the attackers were looking to rescue their compatriots that were held captive until their mysterious release after the attacks.

Even as the merits of this report are debated in the fictional right-left paradigm and the captive press, the agenda for which this CIA compound served continues. The glee shown by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in October 2011 when she laughed about the murder of Gaddafi and the destabilization of Libya will likely be absent when Assad falls. Syria remains the target of this game of Risk among the globalists.

The recent actions of new Secretary of State John Kerry are as insidious as his predecessor’s, although perhaps not as overt or easily identifiable in this hall of mirrors of Middle East politics. By stating that the U.S. would not militarily intervene in the take-over by al Qaeda and related terror groups of the Al Anbar Province of Iraq, where many Americans died for the ostensible cause of freedom for the Iraqi people, he has given them a green light to open another front against Syria. The opening a front to the southeast of Syria via Iraq is actually one of many contingency plans, as blaming the use of chemical weapons on Assad did not work as planned as enough people saw that for what it was.

As I have written many times, the goal has always been Syria. Now, if someone thinks that the Russians, Iranians and Syrians are going to be fooled about who’s actually behind this proxy eastern front being opened up against Assad, I’d like to ask now, a year-and-a-half later, do you think they were ever fooled about who was behind the arms running operation out of Benghazi and eastern Libya where this all started?  No and HELL NO.  This latest front, just as the first and now failed fronts in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, is all about plausible deniability, or PD as it’s known in the tradecraft. It’s the magic act where sleight of hand and deception rule the day in “the hall of mirrors” that is Mideast politics, a reference again to the aforementioned article written by Michael Reagan.

Syria will not implode and it will not succumb to some rag-tag army of militants. The anti-Assad operation needs Western and external assistance. Putin is aware of our machinations, as are other leaders.  So, when all of this comes unraveled, and it will, look for it to explode eastward into Saudi Arabia, into the Arab sea, north into Iran and all the way to the Strait of Hormuz. And when, not if it does, that attack will not just damage shipping and the free flow of oil into Western markets, it will crush the dollar and with it the hopes and dreams not just of the U.S., but western civilization itself.

If you continue to sleep now America, sleep well. Because when you do wake up, it just might be a long while before you sleep well again. The prematurely darkening sky you see is not just the announcement of evening in America. Those are blustering storm clouds, and the claps of thunder will be along shortly.  And they will most likely be hard to miss.

Source: Douglas J. Hagmann

Ben Bernanke’s Banksters Legacy

January 22, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

With Ben Shalom Bernanke set to depart on the last day of January 2014, the critique and speculation of his tenure as Chairman of the Federal Reserve begins. The mainstream financial press is giving mostly favorable accounts. Heretofore, such praiseworthy acclamations strike a shape contrast with the actual record of the state of the economy. However, the admirers of the Fed and his specific enactments live in a time warp that only masters of the universe encounter. For the remaining population, an intense struggle for survival is the actual experience, remembered from the Bernanke years.

Investopedia expresses a complimentary score of The Legacy Of Ben Bernanke, and cites distinguished highlights and concludes that “Under Bernanke’s stewardship, the Fed became the most transparent it has ever been in its history.”

Yet, they are compelled to mention that from 2008 onward, Bernanke and the Fed embarked on a series of unparalleled – and often unconventional – rescue programs and stimulus measures. These included:

  • ratcheting interest rates down to the lowest levels in American history;
  • force-feeding the U.S. economy with trillions of dollars through successive rounds of “quantitative easing”;
  • bailing out troubled Wall Street firms and institutions;
  • orchestrating the rescue of other troubled financial institutions through shotgun weddings; and
  • lending funds to diverse sectors of the U.S. economy to revive stalled credit markets.

Ben Bernanke’s Great Inflation Coverup, is an assessment that one would expect from the Mother Jones publication.

“Bernanke’s problem is pretty simple here: he almost certainly wants higher inflation . . . Once the Fed has reduced interest rates to zero, it can’t go any further. But what if the economy is so bad that all the standard models suggest you need negative interest rates to get the economy back on track? The only answer is higher inflation. If inflation is running at 2% and interest rates are at zero, the real interest rate is -2%. If you borrow money, you’re effectively being allowed to pay back less than you borrowed.”

Then there is the valid point made by Bill Sardi in LewRockwell.com. “The Fed been printing new money at the rate of $85 billion a month which is being distributed to close member banks who are gambling it on the Wall Street stock market to recapitalize themselves rather than lending it out into the economy so citizens can buy new homes, automobiles.”

The example of Paying back retirees with cheaper dollars illustrates the real costs of built in systemic inflation, not just for citizens on a fix income, but for everyone. This lost in purchasing value of the currency is obvious to any honest person.

“The average social security check was $321 in 1980 and in 2011 it was $1183 (adjusted for inflation). But if that $321 pension check were to be fully adjusted for inflation according to way inflation was calculated in 1980 (cost of gasoline and food included), then that $321 should be $3636 to have the same purchasing power today.”

The severity of income disparity has reached staggering levels. Elite insiders game the system with insider speculation certainty, while the constructive producers that keep the real components of the economy functioning, are pushed to the margins.

Bernanke’s real legacy produced the following outcomes. The always-reliable ZeroHedge site states some undeniable facts under Bernanke’s watch.

  •  The US has never experienced 3% GDP growth.
  •  The labor participation rate has fallen to levels not seen since the ‘70s.
  •  Inflation-adjusted median incomes have fallen 7%.
  •  The US’s debt load has risen from $8.4 trillion to over $16 trillion.
  •  The Fed’s balance sheet has increased from $800 billion to over $4 trillion (larger than the economies of Brazil, France and even Germany).
  •  Food prices have hit record highs fomenting revolutions in the Middle East and untold suffering around the globe.
  •  The Fed has funneled trillions of Dollars into both US banks and European banks.
  •  The Fed has allowed fraud, insider trading, and corruption.

The banksters demanded a bailed out because their derivative greed exacted losses that required an immense infusion of liquidity to rescue their balance sheets. Under Bernanke, the titans of finance have an unlimited line of near zero rate interest of new credit. When the establishment financial press applauds the savior of the economy, their loyalty towards corporatist governance, dictates that the economic interests and the public welfare of ordinary people is expendable.

Look to a prime example of this concentration of wealth and control. The Global 1%: Exposing the Transnational Ruling Class by Peter Phillips and Kimberly Soeiro, focus on BlackRock.

“BlackRock is one of the most concentrated power networks among the global 1 percent. The eighteen members of the board of directors are connected to a significant part of the world’s core financial assets. Their decisions can change empires, destroy currencies, and impoverish millions. Some of the top financial giants of the capitalist world are connected by interlocking boards of directors at BlackRock, including Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, PNC Bank, Barclays, Swiss Reinsurance Company, American International Group (AIG), UBS A.G., Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, J. P. Morgan Chase & Co., and Morgan Stanley.”

These crony capitalists are the prototypes that benefited from Bernanke decisions.

During the Bernanke era, the debt bubble entered the point of no return to solvency. His place in the history of shame sets the stage for further economic turmoil. The Federal Reserve after Ben Bernanke article indicates that the Fed is boxed into a pattern that is likely to escalate out of control.

“With the uninterrupted, increase in federal debt, much of which is held by the Federal Reserve, the prospects of achieving prosperity by growing the economy, when interests rates have been near zero, failed miserably. It becomes almost absurd to believe that higher rates on Treasury Bonds will succeed. The new chair of the Fed will be hard pressed shutting down Quantitative Easing.”

A depression in the real economy is foreordained with the retraction of credit to most enterprises. This starving of access to funding is a conscious and deliberate strategy to force competition out of business. The grand scale that the banksters operate on has little room for upstarts or hanger-on’s. At the end of this very destructive Bernanke term, the rich got fabulous more wealthy, as the country sinks into decline on so many levels.


Sartre is the publisher, editor, and writer for Breaking All The Rules. He can be reached at: BATR

Sartre is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Obama Regulations To Shut Down 40 Percent of Nation’s Electricity

January 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Obama administration regulations could force power plants that make 40 percent of the nation’s electricity to shut down.

At issue are EPA restrictions on emissions that would close hundreds of coal-burning power plants which represent around 40 percent of the nation’s electricity.

If that wasn’t bad enough, some observers think the regulations could double electricity rates for average households. The rates would increase because utilities would have to pass the cost onto ratepayers of replacing coal burning power plants or modernizing them to comply with the regulations.

The EPA rules — Carbon Pollution Standards for New Power Plants — are part of Obama’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which the agency says contribute to global warming.

Obama Admitted Plan Would Raise Electricity Rates

There is some evidence that President Obama has a deliberate strategy of increasing electricity rates and destroying the coal industry.

“Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,” Obama told the editorial board of The San Francisco Chronicle in 2008. “Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to, retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.”

“So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them,” Obama said, “because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

Harness the power of the sun when the power goes out…

Obama’s prediction about coal plants have been proven true. As Off The Grid News previously reported, in October 2013, FirstEnergy Corp announced that it would shut down two coal-fired powered plants in Pennsylvania because it said the cost of complying with EPA regulations was too high.

Reuters estimated that coal-burning power plants capable of generating 15,000 megawatts of electricity have shut down since Obama took office in 2009. The news service also estimates that power plants that generate around 37,000 megawatts of power will close in the next 10 years. One megawatt can provide electricity to up to about 1,000 homes.

Awfully Expensive Electricity

Those plants will be closing at a time when demand for electricity is increasing. That will force utilities to build power plants that burn other fuels such as natural gas. It will add additional cost to electricity rates at a time when the rates are already going up dramatically.

“It could get awfully expensive,” Daniel Simmons of the Institute for Energy Research told World Net Daily. “Some people might see their electricity rates double. If there’s no backup power plants, that means electricity is going to get awfully expensive when you have shortages around the country.

Another Obama Plan To Raise Your Electric Bill

“We’re talking about dramatically increasing the cost of electricity all to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. I think that is the real goal,” Simmons said.

Another Obama administration plan to reduce greenhouse emissions, Carbon Capture and Sequestration, or CSS technology, could raise electricity costs even more, Simmons predicted. He noted that a an experimental CSS power plant in the United States will cost an estimated $4.3 billion to build and the EPA doesn’t know if the technology would work.

“The technology is awfully expensive because it hasn’t been tried anywhere, and that’s to try to capture the carbon dioxide as it comes out after they burn the coal.” Simmons said of CSS.

CSS involves the use of filters to divert carbon emissions from the air – and every taxpaying American will pay. The CSS plants under construction will require $300 million in taxpayer subsidies.

US Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has been critical of the Obama administration’s policy on coal.

“This Administration is trying to hold the coal industry to impossible standards,” Manchin said. “Never before has the federal government forced an industry to do something that is technologically impossible. Forcing coal to meet nearly the same emissions standards as gas when experts know that the required technology is not operational on a commercial scale makes absolutely no sense and will have devastating impacts to the coal industry and our economy.”

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