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Crossing The Bridge Into 2015

January 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Quick as a wink, Christmas faded into our rear view mirrors. Up ahead, a brand spanking New Year 2015 awaits! New possibilities! Fresh ideas! A new set of 365 days to accomplish something marvelous in your life.

What actions will you take in the New Year? How will 2015 define your life? Good? Bad? Successful? Otherwise?

Do you know which month Americans gain the most weight? Answer: February. After making New Year’s resolutions to trim down, Americans hit recreation centers, personal fitness trainers and strict diets. After four weeks, they lose their discipline as well as their will power.

Their emotions dragged them back to sugar doughnuts and pizzas along with soda pops.

Unfortunately, just like a passenger on an airplane, most Americans carry “baggage” into the New Year. Emotional baggage! They lug it to the airport, toss it onto the conveyer belt and pick it up at their new destination. Regrettably, if you carry your emotional baggage into 2015, you face a repeat of your frustrations, failures and disappointments.

How do you get rid of emotional baggage?

First, forgive anyone and everyone who may have harmed you in 2014. That includes bosses, parents, friends, co-workers and strangers. Shed any anger toward anyone. Forget grievances. Come clean in your mind, body and vibrations toward the world. Forgive yourself!

Second, live in the present moment and be grateful for your health, home, job, friends and food on the table. Most Americans cannot imagine starving daily or being housed in a tent in a refugee camp for years on end. One look at Africa or the Middle East may give you an inkling of your good fortune via your birth into the American opportunity.

Third, if you suffered a poor 2014, decide by your actions to make 2015 good, better and in fact, the best year of your life. It’s up to you. Yes, you may face criticism and personal hurt in 2015. Stand up! Your life-journey calls for personal bravery. Seek the beacon of life. You will become a lighthouse of inspiration for others to follow. Become an example of excellence compared to no one.

Fourth, work out of mediocrity toward your personal best in whatever endeavor you pursue. If you’re a parent, love your kids and guide them with fairness, discipline, expectations for excellence and security. If you’re a student or employee, better yourself by working toward a degree or certificate. Make your mind and body better by your actions.

Fifth, if mean people do unkind things to you at work or play—decide to change their behaviors by changing your involvement with them. If you remember Dustin Hoffman in the movie, “Hook” where he tried to destroy Peter Pan, one of the little girls said to Hook, “You’re so mean; you just need a mommy.” That means we all need to feel loved, needed and purposeful.

Sixth, how do you find your purpose? I am currently reading a book: The Traveler’s Gift—Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success by Andy Andrews. I highly recommend it to you. That book will improve your intellectual vibrational frequencies. Navigate toward the greatest possible you in 2015!

Seventh, write up an itinerary for the New Year. Do you want to lose weight? Make a plan. Make it a day-by-day strategy. Make it a steady commitment. Dine on fruits, vegetables, grains, fiber and whole, organic foods. Avoid fast food, packaged foods, canned foods, GMO foods and sodas of any kind. Get help from top organizations. Change your lifestyle to a lean-style.

Eighth, remember to maintain your body, mind and spirit in a wholesome, meaningful and purposeful combination daily. Take care of your spiritual health by spending time in a church that fits you, meditation that feeds you or a walk in the woods. Maintaining positive emotional, intellectual and spiritual vibrations brings balance to your life.

Ninth, construct a “Vision Board” for 2015. On it, tape pictures and quotes of things you expect to accomplish at work, play and vacations. Place it where you can see it every day and make note of it. Keep those visions in your mind.

Finally, you captain your sailboat through life. Keep a steady hand on the wheel. Adjust your direction as needed as you maneuver through 2015. Make it a good year, a good life and your best ever.

Read this quote daily by Henry David Thoreau: “If you advance confidently toward your dreams, and endeavor to live the life which you have imagined, you will meet with success unexpected in common hours. You will pass through invisible boundaries. You will engage new and liberal laws. And, you will live with the license of a higher order of beings.” (God, Dios, Great Spirit)


Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents – from the Arctic to the South Pole – as well as six times across the USA, coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece.

He presents “The Coming Population Crisis in America: and what you can do about it” to civic clubs, church groups, high schools and colleges. He works to bring about sensible world population balance at his website: www.frostywooldridge.com

Frosty Wooldridge is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

The Future “Former” USA: Just Another Former Soviet Union?

January 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

I just finished reading an article by a guy who had accurately predicted the fall of the former USSR two whole years before it actually happened.  However, nobody back then even believed him.  “The USSR has over-extended itself and is going to collapse!” he kept telling people.  But everyone who heard him just laughed.

Well.  At this point in time, the USA has totally over-extended itself too.  Like some addicted shopaholic set loose with questionable plastic at a shopping mall, the USA has over-charged every single one of its credit cards by at least eleven trillion dollars in order to buy its very favorite consumer product — endless war.  And, in addition, the USA has also spent another ungodly number of trillions on making its uber-rich 1% even richer, and keeping its corrupt bankers happy as clams.

And so, like the former USSR back in 1991, now the USA also has nowhere to go but down either — due to its total over-extension.  And you don’t even have to be a genius to do the math here.  Anyone with a calculator app. on their iPhone can figure this one out.  A couple hundred trillion $$$$ subtracted from zero equals what?  Total collapse.  This is pretty much a given at the rate that our “fearless leaders” on Wall Street and War Street are currently spreading their phony credit-card moolah around.

But what I really want to talk about here is what will actually happen to America (and to you and me) when our country suddenly does become referred to as “The Former USA”.   To know that, all we have to do is look at a model already set before us — what had happened to the Former USSR after it had over-extended itself.

First, you gotta remember that ten percent of all citizens of the Soviet Union actually DIED after the USSR collapsed.  Ten percent!  One in ten.  The old people went first.  And the working poor.  And the kids.  That would be like having about 30 million Americans dead as a doornail because Wall Street and War Street didn’t behave themselves.

Second, a huge number of Soviet public buildings throughout Europe and Asia suddenly became “privatized” and were happily handed over to the lowest bidders — the oligarchs.  But then that is happening here in the USA already.  Let’s take my own downtown Berkeley post office for instance.  It’s being practically given away to oligarchs even as we speak.  And American schools, national parks, mineral-rich lands, public buildings and all kinds of other property that used to be held in the common interest is now not being held in the common interest any more.  And when the USA becomes “Former,” this process will be speeded up even faster.  Say goodbye to Yellowstone, the Statue of Liberty and your local city hall.

Third, after the former Soviet Union fell, people’s teeth began to rot for lack of dental care there.  Suddenly there were no affordable doctors and dentists in Russia, a trend that has also gotten a big head-start here in the soon-to-be Former USA already.  If you don’t take care of your citizens, this is what you get.  Sick people and rotten teeth.

Fourth?  Unemployment in Russia.  Of course we already have a head-start on that one as well.  But it will be getting worse.  Much worse.

Fifth, the USSR’s status as a world super-power suddenly collapsed as its wounded warriors painfully wound their way back home from places like Afghanistan.  The same will happen in the former USA too.

Sixth:  Before its collapse, the USSR used to be a “communist” state — in the sense that only a few people at the very top made all the decisions.  And now, thanks to Citizens United, the USA has already gotten that way too.  We are no longer a democracy either.  So in that respect too we have already started to become like the Soviets right before their big fall.  And it will get even worse here after the fall of the USA as well.  Our current “deep state” shadow governments will be coming out of the shadows and cesspools for sure.  Can you say “President-for-Life Cheney,” boys and girls?

But actually, back during the 1950s, it was America that had been the true communist state — after WW II had reshuffled the cards, dealt new hands to working folks, given our middle class a leg up and redistributed our wealth more equally by taking it from the uber-rich and giving it to the middle class.  But Reagan’s tricky re-stacking of the deck in favor of Wall Street, and Bush’s ace-up-his-sleeve gifts to War Street and sleight-of-hand tax redistribution act of 2003 soon changed all that — and our wealth was then redistributed upwards to the uber-rich once again, ending “communism” in America forever.  No, they don’t call it “capitalism” without reason.  The uber-rich now own all the “capital”.  We don’t.

In order to return to America’s former “communistic” economic glory of the 1950s, three things need to happen.  We need to go back to giving America’s middle and working classes their former leg-up tax breaks — instead of only giving a huge tax leg-up to our 1% “Soviet Commissars” only.  And we need to stop stacking the deck in favor of Wall Street’s insane profit margins.  And we need to shut down War Street completely.  Otherwise, after the USA falls too, we also are gonna have oligarchs coming out our ears — even more than they are now.

Seventh, the USSR ruble collapsed back then — just like the dollar is now collapsing already.  It’s gonna be rather tough around here when the US dollar also becomes worth diddly-squat.

Eighth, consider that wise Biblical saying, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”.  And then become very afraid.  From Hiroshima, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Africa and Latin America to the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza, Ukraine, etc., the first thing that the USA and/or its surrogates do when they attack a country is to bomb its civilian population, take out the water supply, power plants and hospitals, and/or install a ruthless dictator.  Let us just hope that the former USA will not fall into a position to be vulnerable to retaliation, that our former victims will show mercy and that “Do unto others…” will not apply to us like it did to the USSR.

And, ninth, the huge Soviet Union began to break up into smaller states and groups as it fell.  That will definitely happen here too.  Can’t exactly say that I will miss any of the Red States when they leave — but they will sorely miss not being part of the new American Blue States, their current life-line to prosperity.  I can tell you that right now.

All the signs of the eminent collapse of the USA are already here right now, just like they were for the USSR back before 1991.  Go ahead and laugh if you will, but hard times really are coming here too.  The Former USA is practically upon us.  We have already over-extended ourselves too deeply to rationally expect any other result.  Sigh.

Let us just hope that America somehow manages to find another chess master like Putin to lead us After the Fall, and doesn’t get stuck with another drunk like Yeltsin!


Jane Stillwater is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice
She can be reached at: jpstillwater@yahoo.com

Irreversible Decline?

January 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Did the U.S. and the Saudis Conspire to Push Down Oil Prices?

“Saudi oil policy… has been subject to a great deal of wild and inaccurate conjecture in recent weeks. We do not seek to politicize oil… For us it’s a question of supply and demand, it’s purely business.” – Ali al Naimi, Saudi Oil Minister

“There is no conspiracy, there is no targeting of anyone. This is a market and it goes up and down.” – Suhail Bin Mohammed al-Mazroui, United Arab Emirates’ petroleum minister

“We all see the lowering of oil prices. There’s lots of talk about what’s causing it. Could it be an agreement between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia to punish Iran and affect the economies of Russia and Venezuela? It could.” – Russian President Vladimir Putin

Are falling oil prices part of a US-Saudi plan to inflict economic damage on Russia, Iran and Venezuela?

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro seems to think so. In a recent interview that appeared in Reuters, Maduro said he thought the United States and Saudi Arabia wanted to drive down oil prices “to harm Russia.”

Bolivian President Evo Morales agrees with Maduro and told journalists at RT that: “The reduction in oil prices was provoked by the US as an attack on the economies of Venezuela and Russia. In the face of such economic and political attacks, the nations must be united.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the same thing,with a slightly different twist: “The main reason for (the oil price plunge) is a political conspiracy by certain countries against the interests of the region and the Islamic world … Iran and people of the region will not forget such … treachery against the interests of the Muslim world.”

US-Saudi “treachery”? Is that what’s really driving down oil prices?

Not according to Saudi Arabia’s Petroleum Minister Ali al-Naimi. Al-Naimi has repeatedly denied claims that the kingdom is involved in a conspiracy. He says the tumbling prices are the result of “A lack of cooperation by non-OPEC production nations, along with the spread of misinformation and speculator’s greed.” In other words, everyone else is to blame except the country that has historically kept prices high by controlling output. That’s a bit of a stretch, don’t you think? Especially since–according to the Financial Times — OPEC’s de facto leader has abandoned the cartel’s “traditional strategy” and announced that it won’t cut production even if prices drop to $20 per barrel.

Why? Why would the Saudis suddenly abandon a strategy that allowed them to rake in twice as much dough as they are today? Don’t they like money anymore?

And why would al-Naimi be so eager to crash prices, send Middle East stock markets into freefall, increase the kingdom’s budget deficits to a record-high 5 percent of GDP, and create widespread financial instability? Is grabbing “market share” really that important or is there something else going on here below the surface?

The Guardian’s Larry Elliot thinks the US and Saudi Arabia are engaged a conspiracy to push down oil prices. He points to a September meeting between John Kerry and Saudi King Abdullah where a deal was made to boost production in order to hurt Iran and Russia. Here’s a clip from the article titled “Stakes are high as US plays the oil card against Iran and Russia”:

“…with the help of its Saudi ally, Washington is trying to drive down the oil price by flooding an already weak market with crude. As the Russians and the Iranians are heavily dependent on oil exports, the assumption is that they will become easier to deal with…

John Kerry, the US secretary of state, allegedly struck a deal with King Abdullah in September under which the Saudis would sell crude at below the prevailing market price. That would help explain why the price has been falling at a time when, given the turmoil in Iraq and Syria caused by Islamic State, it would normally have been rising.

The Saudis did something similar in the mid-1980s. Then, the geopolitical motivation for a move that sent the oil price to below $10 a barrel was to destabilize Saddam Hussein’s regime. This time, according to Middle East specialists, the Saudis want to put pressure on Iran and to force Moscow to weaken its support for the Assad regime in Syria… (Stakes are high as US plays the oil card against Iran and Russia, Guardian)

That’s the gist of Elliot’s theory, but is he right?

Vladimir Putin isn’t so sure. Unlike Morales, Maduro and Rouhani, the Russian president has been reluctant to blame falling prices on US-Saudi collusion. In an article in Itar-Tass, Putin opined:

“There’s a lot of talk around” in what concerns the causes for the slide of oil prices, he said at a major annual news conference. “Some people say there is conspiracy between Saudi Arabia and the US in order to punish Iran or to depress the Russian economy or to exert impact on Venezuela.”

“It might be really so or might be different, or there might be the struggle of traditional producers of crude oil and shale oil,” Putin said. “Given the current situation on the market the production of shale oil and gas has practically reached the level of zero operating costs.” (Putin says oil market price conspiracy between Saudi Arabia and US not ruled out, Itar-Tass)

As always, Putin takes the most moderate position, that is, that Washington and the Saudis may be in cahoots, but that droopy prices might simply be a sign of over-supply and weakening demand. In other words, there could be a plot, but then again, maybe not. Putin is a man who avoids passing judgment without sufficient evidence.

The same can’t be said of the Washington Post. In a recent article, WP journalist Chris Mooney dismisses anyone who thinks oil prices are the result of US-Saudi collaboration as “kooky conspiracy theorists”. According to Mooney:

“The reasons for the sudden (price) swing are not particularly glamorous: They involve factors like supply and demand, oil companies having invested heavily in exploration several years ago to produce a glut of oil that has now hit the market — and then, perhaps, the “lack of cohesion” among the diverse members of OPEC.” (Why there are so many kooky conspiracy theories about oil, Washington Post)

Oddly enough, Mooney disproves his own theory a few paragraphs later in the same piece when he says:

“Oil producers really do coordinate. And then, there’s OPEC, which is widely referred to in the press as a “cartel,” and which states up front that its mission is to “coordinate and unify the petroleum policies” of its 12 member countries…. Again, there’s that veneer of plausibility to the idea of some grand oil related strategy.” (WP)

Let me get this straight: One the one hand Mooney agrees that OPEC is a cartel that “coordinates and unify the petroleum policies”, then on the other, he says that market fundamentals are at work. Can you see the disconnect? Cartels obstruct normal supply-demand dynamics by fixing prices, which Mooney seems to breezily ignore.

Also, he scoffs at the idea of “some grand oil related strategy” as if these cartel nations were philanthropic organizations operating in the service of humanity. Right. Someone needs to clue Mooney in on the fact that OPEC is not the Peace Corps. They are monopolizing amalgam of cutthroat extortionists whose only interest is maximizing profits while increasing their own political power. Surely, we can all agree on that fact.

What’s really wrong with Mooney’s article, is that he misses the point entirely. The debate is NOT between so-called “conspiracy theorists” and those who think market forces alone explain the falling prices. It’s between the people who think that the Saudis decision to flood the market is driven by politics rather than a desire to grab “market share.” That’s where people disagree. No denies that there’s manipulation; they merely disagree about the motive. This glaring fact seems to escape Mooney who is on a mission to discredit conspiracy theorists at all cost. Here’s more:

(There’s) “a long tradition of conspiracy theorists who have surmised that the world’s great oil powers — whether countries or mega-corporations — are secretly pulling strings to shape world events.”…

“A lot of conspiracy theories take as their premise that there’s a small group of people who are plotting to control something, to control the government, the banking system, or the main energy source, and they are doing this to the disadvantage of everybody else,” says University of California-Davis historian Kathy Olmsted, author of “Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11″. (Washington Post)

Got that? Now find me one person who doesn’t think the world is run by a small group of rich, powerful people who operate in their own best interests? Here’s more from the same article:

(Oil) “It’s the perfect lever for shifting world events. If you were a mad secret society with world-dominating aspirations and lots of power, how would you tweak the world to create cascading outcomes that could topple governments and enrich some at the expense of others? It’s hard to see a better lever than the price of oil, given its integral role in the world economy.” (WP)

“A mad secret society”? Has Mooney noticed that — in the last decade and a half — the US has only invaded nations that have huge natural resources (mainly oil and natural gas) or the geography for critical pipeline routes? There’s nothing particularly secret about it, is there?

The United States is not a “mad secret society with world-dominating aspirations”. It’s a empire with blatantly obvious “world-dominating aspirations” run by political puppets who do the work of wealthy elites and corporations. Any sentient being who’s bright enough to browse the daily headlines can figure that one out.

Mooney’s grand finale:

“So in sum, with a surprising and dramatic event like this year’s oil price decline, it would be shocking if it did not generate conspiracy theories. Humans believe them all too easily. And they’re a lot more colorful than a more technical (and accurate) story about supply and demand.” (WP)

Ah, yes. Now I see. Those darn “humans”. They’re so weak-minded they’ll believe anything you tell them, which is why they need someone as smart as Mooney tell them how the world really works.

Have you ever read such nonsense in your life? On top of that, he gets the whole story wrong. This isn’t about market fundamentals. It’s about manipulation. Are the Saudis manipulating supply to grab market share or for political reasons? THAT’S THE QUESTION. The fact that they ARE manipulating supply is not challenged by anyone including the uber-conservative Financial Times that deliberately pointed out that the Saudis had abandoned their traditional role of cutting supply to support prices. That’s what a “swing state” does; it manipulates supply keep prices higher than they would be if market forces were allowed to operate unimpeded.

So what is the motive driving the policy; that’s what we want to know?

Certainly there’s a strong case to be made for market share. No one denies that. If the Saudis keep prices at rock bottom for a prolonged period of time, then a high percentage of the producers (that can’t survive at prices below $70 per barrel) will default leaving OPEC with greater market share and more control over pricing.

So market share is certainly a factor. But is it the only factor?

Is it so far fetched to think that the United States–which in the last year has imposed harsh economic sanctions on Russia, made every effort to sabotage the South Stream pipeline, and toppled the government in Kiev so it could control the flow of Russian gas to countries in the EU–would coerce the Saudis into flooding the market with oil in order to decimate the Russian economy, savage the ruble, and create favorable conditions for regime change in Moscow? Is that so hard to believe?

Apparently New York Times columnist Thomas Freidman doesn’t think so. Here’s how he summed it up in a piece last month: “Is it just my imagination or is there a global oil war underway pitting the United States and Saudi Arabia on one side against Russia and Iran on the other?”

It sounds like Freidman has joined the conspiracy throng, doesn’t it? And he’s not alone either. This is from Alex Lantier at the World Socialist Web Site:

“While there are a host of global economic factors underlying the fall in oil prices, it is unquestionable that a major role in the commodity’s staggering plunge is Washington’s collaboration with OPEC and the Saudi monarchs in Riyadh to boost production and increase the glut on world oil markets.

As Obama traveled to Saudi Arabia after the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis last March, the Guardian wrote, “Angered by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, the Saudis turned on the oil taps, driving down the global price of crude until it reached $20 a barrel (in today’s prices) in the mid-1980s… [Today] the Saudis might be up for such a move—which would also boost global growth—in order to punish Putin over his support for the Assad regime in Syria. Has Washington floated this idea with Riyadh? It would be a surprise if it hasn’t.” (Alex Lantier,Imperialism and the ruble crisis, World Socialist Web Site)

And here’s an intriguing clip from an article at Reuters that suggests the Obama administration is behind the present Saudi policy:

“U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sidestepped the issue (of a US-Saudi plot) after a trip to Saudi Arabia in September. Asked if past discussions with Riyadh had touched on Russia’s need for oil above $100 to balance its budget, he smiled and said: “They (Saudis) are very, very well aware of their ability to have an impact on global oil prices.” (Saudi oil policy uncertainty unleashes the conspiracy theorists, Reuters)

Wink, wink.

Of course, they’re in bed together. Saudi Arabia is a US client. It’s not autonomous or sovereign in any meaningful way. It’s a US protectorate, a satellite, a colony. They do what they’re told. Period. True, the relationship is complex, but let’s not be ridiculous. The Saudis are not calling the shots. The idea is absurd. Do you really think that Washington would let Riyadh fiddle prices in a way that destroyed critical US domestic energy industries, ravaged the junk bond market, and generated widespread financial instability without uttering a peep of protest on the matter?

Dream on! If the US was unhappy with the Saudis, we’d all know about it in short-order because it would be raining Daisy Cutters from the Persian Gulf to the Red Sea, which is the way that Washington normally expresses its displeasure on such matters. The fact that Obama has not even alluded to the shocking plunge in prices just proves that the policy coincides with Washington’s broader geopolitical strategy.

And let’s not forget that the Saudis have used oil as a political weapon before, many times before. Indeed, wreaking havoc is nothing new for our good buddies the Saudis. Check this out from Oil Price website:

“In 1973, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat convinced Saudi King Faisal to cut production and raise prices, then to go as far as embargoing oil exports, all with the goal of punishing the United States for supporting Israel against the Arab states. It worked. The “oil price shock” quadrupled prices.

It happened again in 1986, when Saudi Arabia-led OPEC allowed prices to drop precipitously, and then in 1990, when the Saudis sent prices plummeting as a way of taking out Russia, which was seen as a threat to their oil supremacy. In 1998, they succeeded. When the oil price was halved from $25 to $12, Russia defaulted on its debt.

The Saudis and other OPEC members have, of course, used the oil price for the obverse effect, that is, suppressing production to keep prices artificially high and member states swimming in “petrodollars”. In 2008, oil peaked at $147 a barrel.” (Did The Saudis And The US Collude In Dropping Oil Prices?, Oil Price)

1973, 1986, 1990, 1998 and 2008.

So, according to the author, the Saudis have manipulated oil prices at least five times in the past to achieve their foreign policy objectives. But, if that’s the case, then why does the media ridicule people who think the Saudis might be engaged in a similar strategy today?

Could it be that the media is trying to shape public opinion on the issue and, by doing so, actually contribute to the plunge in oil prices?

Bingo. Alert readers have probably noticed that the oil story has been splashed across the headlines for weeks even though the basic facts have not changed in the least. It’s all a rehash of the same tedious story reprinted over and over again. But, why? Why does the public need to have the same “Saudis refuse to cut production” story driven into their consciousness day after day like they’re part of some great collective brainwashing experiment? Could it be that every time the message is repeated, oil sells off, and prices go down? Is that it?

Precisely. For example, last week a refinery was attacked in Libya which pushed oil prices up almost immediately. Just hours later, however, another “Saudis refuse to cut production” story conveniently popped up in all the major US media which pushed prices in the direction the USG wants them to go, er, I mean, back down again.

This is how the media helps to reinforce government policy, by crafting a message that helps to push down prices and, thus, hurt “evil” Putin. (This is called “jawboning”) Keep in mind, that OPEC doesn’t meet again until June, 2015, so there’s nothing new to report on production levels. But that doesn’t mean we’re not going to get regular updates on the “Saudis refuse to cut production” story. Oh, no. The media is going to keep beating that drum until Putin cries “Uncle” and submits to US directives. Either that, or the bond market is going to blow up and take the whole damn global financial system along with it. One way or another, something’s got to give.

Bottom line: Falling oil prices and the plunging ruble are not some kind of free market accident brought on by oversupply and weak demand. That’s baloney. They’re part of a broader geopolitical strategy to strangle the Russian economy, topple Putin, and establish US hegemony across the Asian landmass. It’s all part of Washington’s plan to maintain its top-spot as the world’s only superpower even though its economy is in irreversible decline.


Mike Whitney is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

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

Are You Mad Yet?

December 21, 2014 by · 4 Comments 

In the poem, “The Masque of Pandora,” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow has Prometheus saying, “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.” Accordingly, the would-be gods in the GOP leadership in Washington, D.C., must have rank-and-file Republicans slated for destruction, because they are MAD–and for good reason.

In an open letter, long-time Republican activist, Mike Scruggs, wrote, “I have been a Republican County Chairman in both North Carolina and Alabama. I have served countless hard-working hours as a volunteer for Republican candidates.  I am therefore deeply grieved that the Republican Party leadership in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate has seen fit to betray the principles and values of a substantial majority of Republican voters, and the majority of the American people. This last week witnessed both the House and Senate passing budget bills that essentially gave Obama’s unlawful amnesty for five million illegal immigrant workers an effective pass.

“The majorities that passed this essentially special interest budget may not be bothered by conscience, but American workers and taxpayers will suffer, lawlessness will abound, and public safety and national security undermined.  Our liberty and freedoms are being traded for gold in the form of huge special interest political campaign donations.

“What kind of party leadership do we have, when they refuse to defend the Constitution, and thus allow President Obama to get away with an unlawful amnesty for at least five million illegal immigrant workers?  

What kind of party leadership do we have, when they ignore the pain of over 18 million Americans who want a full time job and cannot find one? Yet GOP leaders continue to favor big business special interests that profit by flooding the labor market with foreign cheap labor, both legal and illegal. The wages of American workers have been stagnant for nearly 15 years, held down by an excess supply of foreign labor. The GOP leadership message to American workers is that the Republican Party is not concerned with them. Their message to grassroots conservatives is the same. The users of cheap foreign labor profit $437 billion a year, mostly at the expense of American workers–$402 billion annually, nearly $2,800 per year each for 147 million workers.

“According to the Heritage Foundation, the average unlawful immigrant household receives $14,387 more in government services and benefits paid than taxes paid. This will almost double with amnesty, because of more benefits. This is essentially a taxpayer subsidy to businesses using illegal immigrant labor. How long will we put up with this outrage for the benefit of big political donors. What kind of GOP leadership wants more of these injustices to American workers and taxpayers?

“Speaker of the House John Boehner did not give a pass to Obama’s amnesty and plans to double legal immigrant workers because he feared being blamed for a government shutdown. He wants amnesty so that establishment Republicans can continue to receive huge donations from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other cheap labor lobbying associations.”

Hear! Hear, Mike!

In addition, the Tea Party Patriots released a summary of the “Cromnibus” Bill just passed. It states:

{{*The bill fully funds President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty;

*The bill contains $1.1 trillion dollars in spending;

*The bill gives every federal employee a raise. That means that even the IRS employees who colluded to target tea party conservatives will receive a raise;

*The bill contains numerous crony deals, built-in bailouts, and payoffs to Wall Street, and large corporations;

*The bill continues to fund Obamacare.

|Tea Party Patriots Press Release

}}

Just as I predicted in this column, the Republican Party in Washington, D.C., has not only done NOTHING to stop Obamacare and Amnesty, it has SOLIDIFIED both into law via legislative action.

In the House of Representatives, only seventeen Republican congressmen were needed to keep the bill from going to the floor for a vote. Guess how many voted “Nay”? SIXTEEN! Had only one more Republican voted “Nay”, the bill would have been dead.

Here is the list of your sixteen Republican heroes who voted “Nay,” in the U.S. House:

Reps. Justin Amash (Mich.), Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Dave Brat (Va.), Mo Brooks (Ala.), Paul Broun (Ga.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Paul Gosar (Ariz.), Tim Huelskamp (Kan.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Steve King (Iowa), Raúl Labrador (Idaho), Thomas Massie (Ky.), Bill Posey (Fla.), Matt Salmon (Ariz.) and Steve Stockman (Texas).

See The Hill report here:

High Drama As $1.1T Spending Package Advances By One Vote

No, my fellow Montanans, our illustrious “conservative” House member (and now U.S. Senator-elect), Steve Daines, is not on the list. He voted “Yea” to bring the bill to the floor for a vote and then voted “Nay” on final passage. Typical political flip-flopping to pass big-government spending bills while claiming to oppose them. GAG!

Had Steve Daines voted “Nay” on the first vote, the bill would have never made it to final passage. The excuse he (and the rest of the Republican congressmen who voted for the bill) will use is that they didn’t want to risk a government “shutdown.” Horse Manure! Everyone on the planet knew this bill would fund Obamacare and Amnesty. House leaders could have taken the funding for Obamacare, and especially Amnesty, out of the bill before bringing it to members for a vote had they wanted to. But the truth is, John Boehner and the rest of the GOP leadership want Amnesty as much as Barack Obama and Harry Reid do. And congressmen like Steve Daines want to stay in the good graces of establishment leaders AND their conservative constituents back home. Hence, he played the Potomac Shuffle and voted FOR the bill when his vote could have killed it, then voted AGAINST the bill when he knew his “Nay” vote meant nothing.

No matter what you hear, folks, the ONLY Republican House members who truly voted AGAINST the Obamacare/Amnesty funding bill are the sixteen champions listed above.

ARE YOU MAD YET?

When will the U.S. electorate awaken to the fact that we do not have two parties in Washington, D.C.? And when will conservative Republicans awaken to the fact that their party in D.C. does NOT represent them–and has no intentions of representing them?

At the leadership level, both Democrats and Republicans represent big-money, globalist agendas. Neither party cares a hoot in hades about their constituents–much less liberty and constitutional government.

The toll that amnesty is going to take upon this republic will be horrific. No, more than that, it will forever change the future of our country. And it won’t take long.

Yes, I’m talking about the financial burden that will be placed on the backs of taxpayers at every level of government. I’m talking about escalating crime rates. I’m talking about federally-mandated expulsion of America’s historic Christian culture. I’m talking about rising unemployment for American citizens–especially African Americans. I’m talking about an exponential growth in the numbers of people who are increasingly dependent upon the government for subsistence. In fact, all of the above is ALREADY taking place at a rapid rate.

That African Americans will be among the hardest hit by the invasion of illegals is the dirty little secret that Democrat Party leaders are NOT telling their constituents. As the percentage of Hispanics mushrooms–due to Washington, D.C.’s amnesty provisions–the percentage of African Americans will shrink just as fast. Most experts agree that by 2040, Hispanics will be the majority race in this country. Thanks to the legalization of illegal immigration facilitated by both Democrats and Republicans in D.C., this is now inevitable. It may happen sooner.

But there is one more toll that the acceptance of illegal immigration will exact on this country: the breakup of the Continental United States. This is the toll hardly anyone wants to think about, much less talk about. But, it, too, is inevitable.

Virtually everyone south of the border (and in most American university classrooms) believes that the southwestern United States rightfully belongs to Mexico. Accordingly, the animosity and hatred against America runs very, very deep. If anyone truly believes that the influx of untold millions of Hispanics will NOT eventually lead to attempted secession, they are living in a dream world.

Can one imagine what will happen in the border states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, when the Hispanic population outnumbers all others by significant percentages? For that matter, all of the southern states, including states as far north as Tennessee, are going to be in the crosshairs of La Raza-type “Reconquista.” For example, the State of Tennessee already is one of the southern states that is a favorite landing place for illegals. Just imagine how amnesty will affect states such as Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida?

Count on it: “The-Southern-United-States-Belongs-To-Us” crowd will demand and implement some sort of secession as quickly as possible. I have been saying for years that some sort of secession within the United States is inevitable.  The far-left hate group, the SPLC, and other big-government control freaks, love to claim that it is “right-wing Christian extremists” who are the ones pushing for secession. But, in the end, it will doubtless be the third-world recipients of U.S. amnesty that will be the catalyst.

One does not have to think real far off to imagine what would happen to the rest of the Continental United States should an Hispanic secession movement take shape in earnest. According to recent surveys, nearly one-fourth of the U.S. citizenry already think favorably of secession.

See this report:

Poll: Nearly 1 In 4 Americans Would Favor Secession

And this report summarizes secession sentiments by regions:

These Are The Regions Where Americans Are Most Likely To Favor Secession

In any kind of breakup, big-government toadies in Washington, D.C., (from BOTH major parties) would doubtless attempt to suspend the Constitution and Bill of Rights (especially the Second Amendment) in much the same way Abraham Lincoln did during the War Between the States. And, for the life of me, I cannot imagine the Rocky Mountain States (for one region) submitting to such tyranny. Let your own imagination run wild from there.

Do Big-Government toadies such as John Boehner and Harry Reid envision a Hispanic secession movement as the result of amnesty? Probably not. I doubt seriously they have that much foresight. Reid and his fellow Democrats are thinking about votes, while Boehner and his fellow Chamber of Commerce Republicans are thinking about cheap labor. And, of course, all of them are thinking about pleasing their big-money masters. However, that blanket amnesty will eventually lead to a Hispanic secession movement is inevitable. Mark my words: it is inevitable. Whether those of us over fifty live to see it is irrelevant; it is inevitable.

Remember the words of Prometheus, “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.” ARE YOU MAD YET?

Instead of waiting for an ugly Hispanic-driven secession movement, liberty-lovers within the GOP should get mad enough NOW and secede from the Republican Party, and join the millions of independents who got mad and left years ago. Even GOP-apologist Mark Levin said recently he is “inches” away from leaving the GOP.

The two-party duopoly is strangling the life and liberty out of America. If this latest betrayal by Republicans is not enough to make freedom-loving Americans realize that the “gods” in D.C., are targeting them for destruction, I doubt anything will.

SO, ARE YOU MAD YET?


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

Ukraine Is A Long-Term Affair

December 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

In Ukraine the United States presented Russia with its most serious challenge in the last quarter-century. Russia has not responded to that challenge in a timely manner. She proved unable to anticipate and then counter the Maidan scenario last winter, even though the grand rehearsal was presented with the “Orange Revolution” ten years ago. Now Russia’s relations with her strategically essential neighbor – Ukraine – are on the brink of rupture, or a painful restructuring for decades to come.

Normal US-Russian relations would require the recognition that Russia has legitimate interests in her near abroad. To understand the Washingtonian mindset, however, we need to recall a quote from President Obama’s graduation address at West Point in May 2014: “The values of our founding inspire leaders in parliaments and new movements in public squares around the globe.” Evidently he was alluding to the Maidan.

The Founding Fathers would turn in their graves to learn that, according to the president of the United States, their values have inspired Messrs. Tyahnibok, Yarosh, and other blood-soaked heirs of Stepan Bandera who now sit in the Parliament of Ukraine. The mindset is hardly new. In 1999 Senator Joseph Lieberman declared, “The United States of America and the Kosovo Liberation Army stand for the same values and principles. Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values.”

“The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation,” Obama says. “That has been true for the century past, and it will be true for the century to come.” In reality it has never been true, it is not true now, and it never will be true. Madeleine Albright’s famous claim along those lines back in the 1990’s was a sign of her mental instability. It was reiterated in Bill Clinton’s 1996 speech on Bosnia. That Obama has chosen to recycle such inanities is a sign of intellectual and moral bankruptcy, not only his own but also that of a sizeable segment of the American foreign policy establishment. But the march goes on. If some country dares resist the will of the “indispensable nation,” then it is necessarily evil. Susan Rice thus condemned China and Russia at the UN for vetoing the U.S.-supported UN Security Council resolution to bomb Syria as “disgusting,” “shameful” and “unforgivable.” It’s psychotic.

A state’s political, military, economic, and moral resources are conventionally used in a balanced way to protect or enhance its security. The U.S. is practicing a different brand of diplomacy, which is in ample evidence in Ukraine. And Russia, in responding to the initial Maidan crisis, has made a severe miscalculation.

This error now needs to be corrected as part of Russia’s long-term strategy aimed at regime change in Kiev. Let us be clear: Moscow will never obtain Western recognition of its legitimate interests in the near abroad. Moscow should therefore defend its national interests as it deems fit. It should be understood that the sanctions and demonization of Russia’s and Putin personally, of diplomatic abuse and military pressure, will continue regardless of what Russia does. If Russia does not act to prevent the transformation of Ukraine into a Russophobic “Banderistan”, then the return of the Crimea will prove to be scant compensation for the overall weakening of Russia’s geopolitical position. To avoid this, Russia needs to do several things.

First of all, it should fight the regime in Kiev on all fronts – openly and secretly, diplomatically and undiplomatically. No handshakes with Poroshenko. Join the already raging information war. Moscow should constantly remind the world of the false-flag stunt with the Malaysian Boeing in the sky above Ukraine, and insist on a full disclosure of all facts which are still concealed. It should demand an investigation of the massacres in Odessa on May 2 and on May 9 in Mariupol, and an internationally supervised trial. Finally it should tell the world about the ongoing mass murder of ordinary people in southeastern Ukraine, where a ceasefire is supposed to be in operation.

It is necessary to take TV documentaries and feature films revealing these and other Western myths. It is necessary to politically support the Novorussian de facto independence. The Kiev regime has already lost the right to Novorossia, so now it is necessary to support the irreversible changes to ensure its viability. Using the U.S. terminology, Russia has the “Responsibility to Protect.” In my opinion, Kiev should be forced to abandon all hope for the resumption of military operations.

Third, you need to provide political and financial support to the opposition in Ukraine, to the non-Banderist civic groups. These groups are small, but given the fact that Ukraine is facing inevitable economic collapse, there exists a favorable and growing environment for Russia’s use of “soft power.” It is necessary to tighten the screws in economic relations with Ukraine, based on an understanding that there will be no security, no stability, for as long as Kiev is controlled by the current regime. It needs to be discredited, starting with the coup February 21, 2014.

Regime change in Kiev and Ukraine’s de-nazification are a matter of life and death for Russia. Ukraine’s partition is a poor alternative. Even if Novorossiya were to include Kharkov and Mariupol, the Banderist remnant will become even more Russophobic – and it will still include most of Ukraine, on both sides of the Dnieper. That would poison Russian-Ukrainian relations for a very long time. It makes more sense to preserve the unity of Ukraine, but to create conditions for its denazification.

Don’t expect any readiness for compromise from the U.S. They will continue to bait their protégés in Kiev to continue military operations in the east. Not right now, of course, but in the spring of 2015, when NATO rearms Ukraine’s military forces. The chaos in Ukraine is a long-term condition, and this is only one part of the global strategy of the United States based on the notions of global dominance and exceptionality. Instead of calming the situation in the South China Sea, Washington will continue to encourage its Asian satellites Japan, South Korea to be tough with China. But as Obama said two years ago, the national security strategy is to retain full-spectrum dominance, to maintain the ability to counter threats worldwide, and to “confront and defeat aggression anywhere in the world.”

Meanwhile, the Hudson Institute claims that the situation in Kyrgyzstan is critical to U.S. national security, and Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says that the U.S. commitment to Moldova’s territorial integrity is essential if America is not to surrender its position in a key region to U.S. foreign policy.

So there. Ukraine, Syria, gays, lesbians, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova – all of them are among the vital interests of the one indispensable nation. Not one, not even the smallest such “interest” can ever be dropped, for – as Obama said at West Point – “that’s not leadership; that’s retreat. That’s not strength; that’s weakness.”


Srdja (Serge) Trifkovic, author, historian, foreign affairs analyst, and foreign affairs editor of “Chronicles.” He has a BA (Hon) in international relations from the University of Sussex (UK), a BA in political science from the University of Zagreb (Croatia), and a PhD in history from the University of Southampton (UK).

www.trifkovic.mysite.com

Dr. Srdja Trifkovic is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Ruble Takedown Exposes Cracks In Putin’s Defense

December 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Putin’s Next Move Is Crucial…

The plunge of the Russian currency this week is the drastic outcome of policies implemented by the major imperialist powers to force Russia to submit to American and European imperialism’s neo-colonial restructuring of Eurasia. Punishing the Putin regime’s interference with their plans for regime change in countries such as Ukraine and Syria, the NATO powers are financially strangling Russia.” Alex Lantier, Imperialism and the ruble crisis, WSWS

“The struggle for world domination has assumed titanic proportions. The phases of this struggle are played out upon the bones of the weak and backward nations.” Leon Trotsky, 1929

Russian President Vladimir Putin suffered a stunning defeat on Tuesday when a US-backed plan to push down oil prices sent the ruble into freefall. Russia’s currency plunged 10 percent on Monday followed by an 11 percent drop on Tuesday reducing the ruble’s value by more than half in less than a year. The jarring slide was assisted by western sympathizers at Russia’s Central Bank who, earlier in the day, boosted interest rates from 10.5 percent to 17 percent to slow the decline. But the higher rates only intensified the outflow of capital which put the ruble into a tailspin forcing international banks to remove pricing and liquidity from the currency leading to the suspension of trade. According to Russia Today:

“Russian Federation Council Chair Valentina Matviyenko has ordered a vote on a parliamentary investigation into the recent activities of the Central Bank and its alleged role in the worst-ever plunge of the ruble rate…

“I suggest to start a parliamentary investigation into activities of the Central Bank that has allowed violations of the citizens’ Constitutional rights, including the right for property,” the RIA Novosti quoted Tarlo as saying on Wednesday.

The senator added that according to the law, protecting financial stability in the country is the main task of the Central Bank and its senior management. However, the bank’s actions, in particular the recent raising of the key interest rate to 17 percent, have so far yielded the opposite results.” (Upper House plans probe into Central Bank role in ruble crash, RT)

The prospect that there may be collaborators and fifth columnists at Russia’s Central Bank should surprise no one. The RCB is an independent organization that serves the interests of global capital and regional oligarchs the same as central banks everywhere. This is a group that believes that humanity’s greatest achievement is the free flow of privately-owned capital to markets around the world where it can extract maximum value off the sweat of working people. Why would Russia be any different in that regard?

It isn’t. The actions of the Central Bank have cost the Russian people dearly, and yet, even now the main concern of RCB elites is their own survival and the preservation of the banking system. An article that appeared at Zero Hedge on Wednesday illustrates this point. After ruble trading was suspended, the RCB released a document with “7 new measures” all of which were aimed at protecting the banking system via moratoria on securities losses, breaks on interest rates, additional liquidity provisioning, easier credit and accounting standards, and this gem at the end:

“In order to maintain the stability of the banking sector in the face of increased interest rate and credit risks of a slowdown of the Russian economy the Bank of Russia and the Government of the Russian Federation prepare measures to recapitalize credit institutions in 2015.” (Russian Central Bank Releases 7 Measures It Will Take To Stabilize The Financial Sector, Zero Hedge)

Sound familiar? It should. You see, the Russian Central Bank works a lot like the Fed. At the first sign of trouble they build a nice, big rowboat for themselves and their dodgy bank buddies and leave everyone else to drown. That’s what these bullet points are all about. Save the banks, and to hell the people who suffer from their exploitative policies.

Here’s more from RT:

“Earlier this week a group of State Duma MPs from the Communist Party sent an official address to Putin asking him to sack (Central Bank head, Elvira) Nabiullina, and all senior managers of the Central Bank as their current policies are causing the rapid devaluation of ruble and impoverishment of the majority of the Russian population.

In their letter, the Communists also recalled Putin’s address to the Federal Assembly in which he said that control over inflation must not be in the way of the steady economic growth.

“They listen to your orders and then do the opposite,” the lawmakers complained.” (RT)

In other words, the RCB enforces its own “austerity” policy in Russia just as central bankers do everywhere. There’s nothing conspiratorial about this. CBs are owned and controlled by the big money guys which is why their policies invariably serve the interests of the rich. They might not call it “trickle down” or “structural adjustment” (as they do in the US), but it amounts to the same thing, the inexorable shifting of wealth from working class people to the parasitic plutocrats who control the system and its political agents. Same old, same old.

Even so, the media has pinned the blame for Tuesday’s ruble fiasco on Putin who, of course, has nothing to do with monetary policy. That said, the ruble rout helps to draw attention to the fact that Moscow is clearly losing its war with the US and needs to radically adjust its approach if it hopes to succeed. First of all, Putin might be a great chess player, but he’s got a lot to learn about finance. He also needs a crash-course in asymmetrical warfare if he wants to defend the country from more of Washington’s stealth attacks.

In the last 10 months, the United States has executed a near-perfect takedown of the Russian economy. Following a sloppy State Department-backed coup in Kiev, Washington has consolidated its power in the Capital, removed dissident elements in the government, deployed the CIA to oversee operations, launched a number of attacks on rebel forces in the east, transferred ownership of Ukraine’s vital pipeline system to US puppets and foreign corporations, created a tollbooth separating Moscow from the lucrative EU market, foiled a Russian plan to build an alternate pipeline to southern Europe (South Stream), built up its military assets in the Balkans and Black Sea and, finally–the cherry on the cake–initiated a daring sneak attack on Russia’s currency by employing its Saudi-proxy to flood the market with oil, push prices off a cliff, and trigger a run on the ruble which slashed its value by more than half forcing retail currency platforms to stop trading the battered ruble until prices stabilized.

Like we said, Putin might be a great chess player, but in his battle with the US, he’s getting his clock cleaned. So far, he’s been no match for the maniacal focus and relentless savagery of the Washington powerbrokers. Yes, he’s formed critical alliances across Asia and the world. He’s also created competing institutions (like the BRICS bank) that could break the imperial grip on global finance. And, he’s also expounded a vision of a new world in which “one center of power” does not dictate the rules to everyone else. That’s all great, but he’s losing the war, and that’s what counts. Washington doesn’t care about peoples’ dreams or aspirations. What they care about is ruling the world with an iron fist, which is precisely what they intend to do for the next century or so unless someone stops them. Putin’s actions, however admirable, have not yet changed that basic dynamic. In fact, this latest debacle (authored by the RCB) is a severe setback for the country and could impact Russia’s ability to defend itself against US-NATO aggression.

So what does Putin need to do to reverse the current trend?

The first order of business should be a fundamental change in approach followed by a quick switch from defense to offense. There should be no doubt by now, that Washington is going for the jugular. The attack on the ruble provides clear evidence that the US will not be satisfied until Russia has been decimated and reduced to “a permanent state of colonial dependency.” (Chomsky) The United States has launched a full-blown economic war on Russia and yet the Kremlin is still acting like Washington’s punching bag. You can’t win a war like that. You have to take the initiative; take chances, be bold, think outside the box. That’s what Washington is doing. The rout of the ruble is perhaps the most astonishingly-successful asymmetrical attack in recent memory. It involved tremendous risks and costs on the part of the perpetrators. For example, the lower oil prices have ravaged important domestic industries, created widespread financial instability, and sent markets across the planet into a nosedive. Even so, Washington persevered with its audacious strategy, undeterred by the vast collateral damage, never losing sight of its ultimate objective; to deprive Moscow of crucial oil revenues, to crash the ruble, and to open up Central Asia for imperial expansion and US military bases. (The pivot to Asia)

This is how the US plays the game, by keeping its “eyes on the prize” at all times, and by rolling roughshod over anyone or anything that gets in its way. That is why the US is the world’s only superpower, because the voracious oligarchs who run the country will stop at nothing to get what they want.

Does Putin have the grit to match that kind of venomous determination? Has he even adjusted to the fact that WW3 will be unlike any conflict in the past, that jihadi-proxies and Neo Nazi-proxies will be employed as shock troops for the empire clearing the way for US special forces and foot soldiers who will hold ground and establish the new order? Does he even realize that Barbarossa 2 is already underway, but that the Panzer divisions and 2 million German regulars have been replaced with high-powered computers, covert ops, color-coded revolutions, currency crises, capital flight, cyber attacks and relentless propaganda. That’s 4th Generation (4-G) warfare in a nutshell. And, guess what? The US attack on the ruble has shown that it is the undisputed master of this new kind of warfare. More important, Washington has just prevailed in a battle that could prove to be a critical turning point if Putin doesn’t get his act together and retaliate.

Retaliate?!?

You mean nukes?

Heck no. But, by the same token, you can’t expect to win a confrontation with the US by rerouting gas pipelines to Turkey or by forming stronger coalitions with other BRICS countries or by ditching the dollar. Because none of that stuff makes a damn bit of difference when your currency is in the toilet and the US is making every effort to grind your face into the pavement.

Capisce?

There’s an expression is football that goes something like this: The best defense is a good offense. You can’t win by sitting on the sidelines and hoping your team doesn’t lose. You must engage your adversary at every opportunity never giving ground without a fight. And when an opening appears where you can take the advantage, you must act promptly and decisively never looking back and never checking your motives. That’s how you win.

Washington only thinks in terms winning. It expects to win, and will do whatever is necessary to win. In fact, the whole system has been re-geared for one, sole purpose; to beat the holy hell out of anyone who gets out of line. That’s what we do, and we’ve gotten pretty good at it. So, if you want to compete at that level, you’ve got to have “game”. You’re going to have to step up and prove that you can run with the big kids.

And that’s what makes Putin’s next move so important, crucial really. Because whatever he does will send a message to Washington that he’s either up to the challenge or he’s not. Which is why he needs to come out swinging and do something completely unexpected. The element of surprise, that’s the ticket. And we’re not talking about military action either. That just plays to Uncle Sam’s strong hand. Putin doesn’t need another Vietnam. He needs a coherent gameplan. He needs a winning strategy. He needs to takes risks, put it all on the line and roll the freaking dice. You can’t lock horns with the US and play it safe. That’s a losing strategy. This is smash-mouth, steelcage smackdown, a scorched-earth event where winner takes all. You have to be ready to rumble.

Putin needs to think asymmetrically. What would Obama do if he was in Putin’s shoes?

You know what he’d do: He’d send military support to Assad. He’d arm rebel factions in Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Nigeria and elsewhere. He’d strengthen ties with Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador providing them with military, intelligence and logistical support. He’d deploy his NGOs and Think Tank cronies to foment revolution wherever leaders refused to follow Moscow’s directives. He would work tirelessly to build the economic, political, media, and military institutions he needed to impose his own self-serving version of snatch-and-grab capitalism on every nation on every continent in the world. That’s what Obama would do, because that’s what his puppetmasters would demand of him.

But Putin must be more discreet, because his resources are more limited. But he still has options, like the markets, for example. Let’s say Putin announces that creditors in the EU (particularly banks) won’t be paid until the ruble recovers. How does that sound?

Putin: “We’re really sorry about the inconvenience, but we won’t be able to make those onerous principle payments for a while. Please accept our humble apologies.” End of statement.

Moments later: Global stocks plunge 350 points on the prospect of a Russian default and its impact on the woefully-undercapitalized EU banking system.

Get the picture? That’s what you call an asymmetrical attack. The idea was even hinted at in a piece on Bloomberg News. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“Sergei Markov, a pro-Putin academic, wrote in a column on Vzglyad.ru. “Since the reasons for the ruble’s fall are political, the response should be political, too. For example, a law that would ban Russian companies from repaying debts to Western counterparties if the ruble has dropped more than 50 percent in the last year. That will immediately lower the pressure on the ruble, many countries have done this, Malaysia is one example. It’s in great economic shape now.” (Is Russia ready to impose capital controls? Chicago Tribune)

Here’s more background from RT:

“Major banks across Europe, as well as the UK, US, and Japan, are at major risk should the Russian economy default, according to a new study by Capital Economics. The ING Group in the Netherlands, Raiffeisen Bank in Austria, Societe General in France, UniCredit in Italy, and Commerzbank in Germany, have all faced significant losses in the wake of the ruble crisis…

Overall Societe General, known as Rosbank in the Russian market, has the most exposure at US$31 billion, or €25 billion, according to Citigroup Inc. analysts. This is equivalent to 62 percent of the Paris-based bank’s tangible equity, Bloomberg News reported.

Following the drop, Raiffeisen, which has €15 billion at risk in Russia, saw its stocks plummeted more than 10 percent. Raiffeisen also has significant exposure in Ukraine, which is facing a similar currency sell-off as Russia.” (Russia crisis leaves banks around the world exposed by the billions, RT)

So Putin defaults which nudges the EU banking system down the stairwell. So what? What does that prove?

It proves that Russia has the tools to defend itself. It proves that Putin can disrupt the status quo and spread the pain a bit more equitably. “Spreading the pain” is a tool the US uses quite frequently in its dealings with other countries. Maybe Putin should take a bite of that same apple, eh?

Another option would be to implement capital controls to avoid ruble-dollar conversion and further capital flight. The beauty of capital controls is that they take power away from the big money guys who run the world and hand it back to elected officials. Leaders like Putin are then in a position to say, “Hey, we’re going to take a little break from the dollar system for while until we get caught up. I hope you’ll understand our situation.”

Capital controls are an extremely effective of avoiding capital flight and minimizing the impact of a currency crisis. Here’s a short summary of how these measures helped Malaysia muddle through in 1998:

“When the Asian financial crisis hit, Malaysia’s position looked a lot like Russia’s today: It had big foreign reserves and a low short-term debt level, but relatively high general indebtedness if households and corporations were factored in. At first, to bolster the ringgit, Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim pushed through a market-based policy with a flexible exchange rate, rising interest rates and cuts in government spending. It didn’t work: Consumption and investment went down, and pessimism prevailed, exerting downward pressure on the exchange rate.

So, in June 1998, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad… appointed a different economic point man, Daim Zainuddin. In September, on Daim’s urging, Malaysia introduced capital controls. It banned offshore operations in ringgit and forbade foreign investors to repatriate profits for a year. Analysts at the time were sharply critical of the measures, and Malaysia’s reputation in the global financial markets inevitably suffered.

According to Kaplan and Rodrik, however, the capital controls were ultimately effective. The government was able to lower interest rates, the economy recovered, the controls were relaxed ahead of time, and by May 1999 Malaysia was back on the international capital markets with a $1 billion bond issue.” (Is Russia ready to impose capital controls, Chicago Tribune)

Sure they were effective, but they piss off the slacker class of oligarchs who think the whole system should be centered on their “inalienable right” to move capital from one spot to another so they can rake-off hefty profits at everyone else’s expense. Capital controls push those creeps to the back of the line so the state can do what it needs to do to preserve the failing economy from the attack of speculators. Here’s a clip from a speech Joseph Stiglitz gave in 2014 at the Atlanta Fed’s 2014 Financial Markets Conference. He said:

“When countries do not impose capital controls and allow exchange rates to vary freely, this can give rise to high levels of exchange rate volatility. The consequence can be high levels of economic volatility, imposing great costs on workers and firms throughout the economy. Even if they can lay off some of the risk, there is a cost to doing so. The very existence of this volatility affects the structure of the economy and overall economic performance.”

That sums it up pretty well. Without capital controls, the deep-pocket Wall Street banks and speculators can simply vacuum the money out of an economy leaving the country broken and penniless. This nihilistic decimation of emerging markets via capital flight is what the kleptocracy breezily refers to as “free markets”, the unwavering plundering of civilization to fatten the coffers of the swinish few at the top of the foodchain. That’s got to stop.

Putin needs to put his foot down now; stop the outflow of cash, stop the conversion of rubles to dollars, force investors to recycle their money into the domestic economy, indict the central bank governors and trundle them off to the hoosegow, and reassert the power of the people over the markets. If he doesn’t, then the speculators will continue to peck away until Russia’s reserves are drained-dry and the country is pushed back into another long-term slump. Who wants that?

And don’t think that Putin’s only problem is Washington either, because it isn’t. He’s got an even bigger headache in his own country with the morons who still buy the hogwash that “the market knows best.” These are the fantasists, the corporate toadies, and the fifth columnists, some of whom hold very high office. Here’s a clip I picked up at the Vineyard of the Saker under the heading “Medvedev declares: more of the same”:

(Russian Prime Minister) “Medvedev has just called a government meeting with most of the directors of top Russian corporations and the director of the Russian Central Bank. He immediately announced that he will not introduce any harsh regulatory measures and that he will let the market forces correct the situation. As for the former Minister of Finance, the one so much beloved in the West, Alexei Kudrin, he expressed his full support for the latest increase in interest rates.”

This is lunacy. The US has just turned Russia’s currency into worthless fishwrap, and bonehead Medvedev wants to play nice and return to “business as usual”??

No thanks. Maybe Medvedev wants to be a slave to the market, but I’ll bet Putin is smarter than that.

Putin’s not going to roll over and play dead for these vipers. He’s got to much on the ball for that. He’s going to beat them at their own game, fair and square. He’s going to implement capital controls, restructure the economy away from the west, and aggressively look for ways to deter Washington from spreading its heinous resource war to Central Asia and beyond.

He’s not going to give an inch. You’ll see.


Mike Whitney is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

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

American Exceptionalism and American Torture

December 20, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

In 1964, the Brazilian military, in a US-designed coup, overthrew a liberal (not more to the left than that) government and proceeded to rule with an iron fist for the next 21 years. In 1979 the military regime passed an amnesty law blocking the prosecution of its members for torture and other crimes. The amnesty still holds.

That’s how they handle such matters in what used to be called The Third World. In the First World, however, they have no need for such legal niceties. In the United States, military torturers and their political godfathers are granted amnesty automatically, simply for being American, solely for belonging to the “Good Guys Club”.

So now, with the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture, we have further depressing revelations about US foreign policy. But do Americans and the world need yet another reminder that the United States is a leading practitioner of torture? Yes. The message can not be broadcast too often because the indoctrination of the American people and Americophiles all around the world is so deeply embedded that it takes repeated shocks to the system to dislodge it. No one does brainwashing like the good ol’ Yankee inventors of advertising and public relations. And there is always a new generation just coming of age with stars (and stripes) in their eyes.

The public also has to be reminded yet again that – contrary to what most of the media and Mr. Obama would have us all believe – the president has never actually banned torture per se, despite saying recently that he had “unequivocally banned torture” after taking office.

Shortly after Obama’s first inauguration, both he and Leon Panetta, the new Director of the CIA, explicitly stated that “rendition” was not being ended. As the Los Angeles Times reported at the time: “Under executive orders issued by Obama recently, the CIA still has authority to carry out what are known as renditions, secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the United States.”

The English translation of “cooperate” is “torture”. Rendition is simply outsourcing torture. There was no other reason to take prisoners to Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Somalia, Kosovo, or the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia, amongst other torture centers employed by the United States. Kosovo and Diego Garcia – both of which house large and very secretive American military bases – if not some of the other locations, may well still be open for torture business, as is the Guantánamo Base in Cuba.

Moreover, the key Executive Order referred to, number 13491, issued January 22, 2009, “Ensuring Lawful Interrogations”, leaves a major loophole. It states repeatedly that humane treatment, including the absence of torture, is applicable only to prisoners detained in an “armed conflict”. Thus, torture by Americans outside an environment of “armed conflict” is not explicitly prohibited. But what about torture within an environment of “counter-terrorism”?

The Executive Order required the CIA to use only the interrogation methods outlined in a revised Army Field Manual. However, using the Army Field Manual as a guide to prisoner treatment and interrogation still allows solitary confinement, perceptual or sensory deprivation, sensory overload, sleep deprivation, the induction of fear and hopelessness, mind-altering drugs, environmental manipulation such as temperature and noise, and stress positions, amongst other charming examples of American Exceptionalism.

After Panetta was questioned by a Senate panel, the New York Times wrote that he had “left open the possibility that the agency could seek permission to use interrogation methods more aggressive than the limited menu that President Obama authorized under new rules … Mr. Panetta also said the agency would continue the Bush administration practice of ‘rendition’ … But he said the agency would refuse to deliver a suspect into the hands of a country known for torture or other actions ‘that violate our human values’.”

The last sentence is of course childishly absurd. The countries chosen to receive rendition prisoners were chosen precisely and solely because they were willing and able to torture them.

Four months after Obama and Panetta took office, the New York Times could report that renditions had reached new heights.

The present news reports indicate that Washington’s obsession with torture stems from 9/11, to prevent a repetition. The president speaks of “the fearful excesses of the post-9/11 era”. There’s something to that idea, but not a great deal. Torture in America is actually as old as the country. What government has been intimately involved with that horror more than the United States? Teaching it, supplying the manuals, supplying the equipment, creation of international torture centers, kidnaping people to these places, solitary confinement, forced feeding, Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Chicago … Lord forgive us!

In 2011, Brazil instituted a National Truth Commission to officially investigate the crimes of the military government, which came to an end in 1985. But Mr. Obama has in fact rejected calls for a truth commission concerning CIA torture. On June 17 of this year, however, when Vice President Joseph Biden was in Brazil, he gave the Truth Commission 43 State Department cables and reports concerning the Brazilian military regime, including one entitled “Widespread Arrests and Psychophysical Interrogation of Suspected Subversives.”

Thus it is that once again the United States of America will not be subjected to any accountability for having broken US laws, international laws, and the fundamental laws of human decency. Obama can expect the same kindness from his successor as he has extended to George W.

“One of the strengths that makes America exceptional is our willingness to openly confront our past, face our imperfections, make changes and do better.” – Barack Obama, written statement issued moments after the Senate report was made public.

And if that pile of hypocrisy is not big enough or smelly enough, try adding to it Bidens’ remark re his visit to Brazil: “I hope that in taking steps to come to grips with our past we can find a way to focus on the immense promise of the future.”

If the torturers of the Bush and Obama administrations are not held accountable in the United States they must be pursued internationally under the principles of universal jurisdiction.

In 1984, an historic step was taken by the United Nations with the drafting of the “Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment” (came into force in 1987, ratified by the United States in 1994). Article 2, section 2 of the Convention states: “No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.”

Such marvelously clear, unequivocal, and principled language, to set a single standard for a world that makes it increasingly difficult for one to feel proud of humanity. We cannot slide back. If today it’s deemed acceptable to torture the person who supposedly has the vital “ticking-bomb” information needed to save lives, tomorrow it will be acceptable to torture him to learn the identities of his alleged co-conspirators. Would we allow slavery to resume for just a short while to serve some “national emergency” or some other “higher purpose”?

If you open the window of torture, even just a crack, the cold air of the Dark Ages will fill the whole room.

Cuba … at long, long last … maybe …

Hopefully, it’s what it appears to be. Cuba will now be treated by the United States as a country worthy of at least as much respect as Washington offers to its highly oppressive, murdering, torturing allies in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Honduras, Israel, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.

It’s a tough decision to normalize relations with a country whose police force murders its own innocent civilians on almost a daily basis, and even more abroad, but Cuba needs to do it. Maybe the Cubans can civilize the Americans a bit.

Let’s hope that America’s terrible economic embargo against the island will go the way of the dinosaurs, and Cuba will be able to demonstrate more than ever what a rational, democratic, socialist society can create. But they must not open the economy for the Yankee blood-suckers to play with as they have all over the world.

And I’ll be able to go to Cuba not as a thief in the night covering my tracks and risking a huge fine.

But with the Republicans taking over Congress next month, all of this may be just a pipe dream.

Barack Obama could have done this six years ago when he took office; or five years ago when American Alan Gross was first arrested and imprisoned in Cuba. It would have been even easier back then, with Obama’s popularity at its height and Congress not as captured by the Know-Nothings as now.

So, Cuba outlasted all the punishment, all the lies, all the insults, all the deprivations, all the murderous sabotage, all the assassination attempts against Fidel, all the policies to isolate the country. But for many years now, it’s the United States that has been isolated in the Western Hemisphere.

Reason Number 13,336 why capitalism will be the death of us.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria – the “superbugs” – if left unchecked, could result in 10 million deaths a year by 2050. New drugs to fight the superbugs are desperately needed. But a panel advising President Obama warned in September that “there isn’t a sufficiently robust pipeline of new drugs to replace the ones rendered ineffective by antibiotic resistance.”

The problem, it appears, is that “Antibiotics generally provide low returns on investment, so they are not a highly attractive area for research and development.”

Aha! “Low returns on investment”! What could be simpler to understand? Is it not a concept worth killing and dying for? Just as millions of Americans died in the 20th century so corporations could optimize profits by not protecting the public from tobacco, lead, and asbestos.

Corporations are programmed to optimize profits without regard for the society in which they operate, in much the same way that cancer cells are programmed to proliferate without regard for the health of their host.

Happy New Year. Here’s what you have to look forward to in 2015.

  • January 25: 467 people reported missing from a university in Mexico. US State Department blames Russia.
  • February 1: Military junta overthrows President Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. Washington decries the loss of democracy.
  • February 2: US recognizes the new Venezuelan military junta, offers it 50 jet fighters and tanks.
  • February 3: Revolution breaks out in Venezuela endangering the military junta; 40,000 American marines land in Caracas to quell the uprising.
  • February 16: White police officer in Chicago fatally shoots a 6-year old black boy holding a toy gun.
  • March 6: Congress passes a new law which states that to become president of the United States a person must have the surname Bush or Clinton.
  • April 30: The Department of Homeland Security announces plan to record the DNA at birth of every child born in the United States.
  • May 19: The Supreme Court rules that police may search anyone if they have reasonable grounds for believing that the person has pockets.
  • May 27: The Transportation Security Administration declares that all airline passengers must strip completely nude at check-in and remain thus until arriving at their destination.
  • June 6: White police officer in Oklahoma City tasers a 7-month-old black child, claiming the child was holding a gun; the gun turns out to be a rattle.
  • July 19: Two subway trains collide in Manhattan. The United States demands that Moscow explain why there was a Russian citizen in each of the trains.
  • September 5: The Democratic Party changes its name to the Republican Lite Party, and announces the opening of a joint bank account with the Republican Party so that corporate lobbyists need make out only one check.
  • September 12: White police officer in Alabama shoots black newborn, confusing the umbilical cord for a noose.
  • November 16: President Obama announces that Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, North Korea, Sudan, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba all possess weapons of mass destruction; have close ties to the Islamic State, al Qaeda, and the Taliban; are aiding pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine; were involved in 9-11; played a role in the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the attack on Pearl Harbor; are an imminent threat to the United States and all that is decent and holy; and are all “really bad guys”, who even (choke, gasp) use torture!
  • November 21: The United States invades Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, North Korea, Sudan, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba.
  • December 10: Barack Obama is awarded his second Nobel Peace Prize
  • December 11: To celebrate his new peace prize, Obama sends out drones to assassinate wrong-thinking individuals in Somalia, Afghanistan and Yemen.
  • December 13: Members of Ukraine’s neo-Nazi parties, which hold several high positions in the US-supported government, goose-step through the center of Kiev in full German Storm Trooper uniforms, carrying giant swastika flags, shouting “Heil Hitler”, and singing the Horst Wessel song. Not a word of this appears in any American mainstream media.
  • December 15: US Secretary of State warns Russia to stop meddling in Ukraine, accusing Moscow of wanting to re-create the Soviet Union.
  • December 16: White police officer shoots a black 98-year-old man sitting in a wheel chair, claiming the man pointed a rifle at him. The rifle turns out to be a cane.
  • December 28: The Washington Redskins football team finish their season in last place. The White House blames Vladimir Putin.

Notes

  1. Associated Press, December 11, 2014
  2. New York Times, December 11, 2014
  3. Los Angeles Times, February 1, 2009
  4. New York Times, February 6, 2009
  5. New York Times, May 24, 2009
  6. Washington Post, December 11, 2014
  7. National Security Archive’s Brazil Documentation Project
  8. Washington Post, December 10, 2014
  9. See note 7
  10. Washington Post, December 13, 2014


William Blum is the author of:

  • Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2
  • Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower
  • West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir
  • Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire


Portions of the books can be read, and signed copies purchased, at www.killinghope.org

Email to bblum6@aol.com

Website: WilliamBlum.org

William Blum is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

The Oil Coup

December 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

US-Saudi Subterfuge Send Stocks and Credit Reeling…

U.S. powerbrokers have put the country at risk of another financial crisis to intensify their economic war on Moscow and to move ahead with their plan to “pivot to Asia”.

Here’s what’s happening: Washington has persuaded the Saudis to flood the market with oil to push down prices, decimate Russia’s economy, and reduce Moscow’s resistance to further NATO encirclement and the spreading of US military bases across Central Asia. The US-Saudi scheme has slashed oil prices by nearly a half since they hit their peak in June. The sharp decline in prices has burst the bubble in high-yield debt which has increased the turbulence in the credit markets while pushing global equities into a tailspin. Even so, the roiled markets and spreading contagion have not deterred Washington from pursuing its reckless plan, a plan which uses Riyadh’s stooge-regime to prosecute Washington’s global resource war. Here’s a brief summary from an article by F. William Engdahl titled “The Secret Stupid Saudi-US Deal on Syria”:

“The details are emerging of a new secret and quite stupid Saudi-US deal on Syria and the so-called IS. It involves oil and gas control of the entire region and the weakening of Russia and Iran by Saudi Arabian flooding the world market with cheap oil. Details were concluded in the September meeting by US Secretary of State John Kerry and the Saudi King…

..the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has been flooding the market with deep discounted oil, triggering a price war within OPEC… The Saudis are targeting sales to Asia for the discounts and in particular, its major Asian customer, China where it is reportedly offering its crude for a mere $50 to $60 a barrel rather than the earlier price of around $100. That Saudi financial discounting operation in turn is by all appearance being coordinated with a US Treasury financial warfare operation, via its Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, in cooperation with a handful of inside players on Wall Street who control oil derivatives trading. The result is a market panic that is gaining momentum daily. China is quite happy to buy the cheap oil, but her close allies, Russia and Iran, are being hit severely…

According to Rashid Abanmy, President of the Riyadh-based Saudi Arabia Oil Policies and Strategic Expectations Center, the dramatic price collapse is being deliberately caused by the Saudis, OPEC’s largest producer. The public reason claimed is to gain new markets in a global market of weakening oil demand. The real reason, according to Abanmy, is to put pressure on Iran on her nuclear program, and on Russia to end her support for Bashar al-Assad in Syria….More than 50% of Russian state revenue comes from its export sales of oil and gas. The US-Saudi oil price manipulation is aimed at destabilizing several strong opponents of US globalist policies. Targets include Iran and Syria, both allies of Russia in opposing a US sole Superpower. The principal target, however, is Putin’s Russia, the single greatest threat today to that Superpower hegemony. (The Secret Stupid Saudi-US Deal on Syria, F. William Engdahl, BFP)

The US must achieve its objectives in Central Asia or forfeit its top-spot as the world’s only superpower. This is why US policymakers have embarked on such a risky venture. There’s simply no other way to sustain the status quo which allows the US to impose its own coercive dollar system on the world, a system in which the US exchanges paper currency produced-at-will by the Central Bank for valuable raw materials, manufactured products and hard labor. Washington is prepared to defend this extortionist petrodollar recycling system to the end, even if it means nuclear war.

How Flooding the Market Adds to Instability

The destructive and destabilizing knock-on effects of this lunatic plan are visible everywhere. Plummeting oil prices are making it harder for energy companies to get the funding they need to roll over their debt or maintain current operations. Companies borrow based on the size of their reserves, but when prices tumble by nearly 50 percent–as they have in the last six months– the value of those reserves falls sharply which cuts off access to the market leaving CEO’s with the dismal prospect of either selling assets at firesale prices or facing default. If the problem could be contained within the sector, there’d be no reason for concern. But what worries Wall Street is that a surge in energy company failures could ripple through the financial system and wallop the banks. Despite six years of zero rates and monetary easing, the nation’s biggest banks are still perilously undercapitalized, which means that a wave of unexpected bankruptcies could be all it takes to collapse the weaker institutions and tip the system back into crisis. Here’s an excerpt from a post at Automatic Earth titled “Will Oil Kill the Zombies?”:

“If prices fall any further, it would seem that most of the entire shale edifice must of necessity crumble to the ground. And that will cause an absolute earthquake in the financial world, because someone supplied the loans the whole thing leans on. An enormous amount of investors have been chasing high yield, including many institutional investors, and they’re about to get burned something bad….. if oil keeps going the way it has lately, the Fed may instead have to think about bailing out the big Wall Street banks once again.” (Will Oil Kill the Zombies?, Raúl Ilargi Meijer, Automatic Earth)

The problem with falling oil prices is not just mounting deflation or droopy profits; it’s the fact that every part of the industry–exploration, development and production — is propped atop a mountain of red ink (junk bonds). When that debt can no longer be serviced or increased, then the primary lenders (counterparties and financial institutions) sustain heavy losses which domino through the entire system. Take a look at this from Marketwatch:

“There’s ‘no question’ that for energy companies with a riskier debt profile the high-yield debt market “is essentially shut down at this stage,” and there are signs that further pain could hit the sector, ” senior fixed-income strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, Dan Heckman told Marketwatch. “We are getting to the point that it is becoming very concerning.” (Marketwatch)

When energy companies lose access to the market and are unable to borrow at low rates, it’s only a matter of time before they trundle off to extinction.

On Friday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) renewed pressure on prices by lowering its estimate for global demand for oil in 2015. The announcement immediately sent stocks into a nosedive. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost 315 points by the end of the day, while, according to Bloomberg, more than “$1 trillion was erased from the value of global equities in the week”.

The world is awash in cheap petroleum which is wreaking havoc on domestic shale producers that need prices of roughly $70 per barrel to break-even. With West Texas Intermediate (WTI) presently headed south of 60 bucks–and no bottom in sight–these smaller producers are sure to get clobbered. Pension funds, private equity, banks, and other investors who gambled on these dodgy energy-related junk bonds are going to get their heads handed to them in the months ahead.

The troubles in the oil patch are mainly attributable to the Fed’s easy money policies. By dropping rates to zero and flooding the markets with liquidity, the Fed made it possible for every Tom, Dick and Harry to borrow in the bond market regardless of the quality of the debt. No one figured that the bottom would drop out leaving an entire sector high and dry. Everyone thought the all-powerful Fed could print its way out of any mess. After last week’s bloodbath, however, they’re not nearly as confident. Here’s how Bloomberg sums it up:

“The danger of stimulus-induced bubbles is starting to play out in the market for energy-company debt….Since early 2010, energy producers have raised $550 billion of new bonds and loans as the Federal Reserve held borrowing costs near zero, according to Deutsche Bank AG. With oil prices plunging, investors are questioning the ability of some issuers to meet their debt obligations…

The Fed’s decision to keep benchmark interest rates at record lows for six years has encouraged investors to funnel cash into speculative-grade securities to generate returns, raising concern that risks were being overlooked. A report from Moody’s Investors Service this week found that investor protections in corporate debt are at an all-time low, while average yields on junk bonds were recently lower than what investment-grade companies were paying before the credit crisis.” (Fed Bubble Bursts in $550 Billion of Energy Debt: Credit Markets, Bloomberg)

The Fed’s role in this debacle couldn’t be clearer. Investors piled into these dodgy debt-instruments because they thought Bernanke had their back and would intervene at the first sign of trouble. Now that the bubble has burst and the losses are piling up, the Fed is nowhere to be seen.

In the last week, falling oil prices have started to impact the credit markets where investors are ditching debt on anything that looks at all shaky. The signs of contagion are already apparent and likely to get worse. Investors fear that if they don’t hit the “sell” button now, they won’t be able to find a buyer later. In other words, liquidity is drying up fast which is accelerating the rate of decline. Naturally, this has affected US Treasuries which are still seen as “risk free”. As investors increasingly load up on USTs, long-term yields have been pounded into the ground like a tentpeg. As of Friday, the benchmark 10-year Treasury checked in at a miniscule 2.08 percent, the kind of reading one would expect in the middle of a Depression.

The Saudi-led insurgency has reversed the direction of the market, put global stocks into a nosedive and triggered a panic in the credit markets. And while the financial system edges closer to a full-blown crisis every day, policymakers in Washington have remained resolutely silent on the issue, never uttering as much as a peep of protest for a Saudi policy that can only be described as a deliberate act of financial terrorism.

Why is that? Why have Obama and Co. kept their mouths shut while oil prices have plunged, domestic industries have been demolished, and stocks have gone off a cliff? Could it be that they’re actually in cahoots with the Saudis and that it’s all a big game designed to annihilate enemies of the glorious New World Order?

It certainly looks that way.


Mike Whitney is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

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

Mystery, Fear, And Confusion

December 14, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

The Product of The American Government…

I have vowed not to watch programs on TV Channels that select the majority of their participants from two particular racial minorities. C-Span has been guilty of that distortion and I have purposely neglected it as a result.  However, I like Brian Lamb’s interviews when he is not stuck with the anointed races.  Recently he interviewed James Risen http://www.c-span.org/video/?322401-1/qa-james-risen , a New York Times writer and the author of a couple of investigative books that have gotten him indicted by our tyrannical government.

It is difficult to comprehend how in about two centuries the United States of America has evolved from a new nation whose leaders advised that it not become involved with foreign intrigues to a nation that seeks to dominate the entire world.

There were clues.  Even in its infancy it was avaricious.  Expansion seemed to be in its blood.  It captured the land from the Atlantic to the Pacific and garnered the Far Eastern island of the Philippines, Cuba in the Caribbean, and Alaska to our North.  It imposed its will on South American nations and fought several wars including one with our Southern neighbor, Mexico.  It even tried to annex Canada.

Following the devious imposition of the Federal Reserve System it flowered into international leadership.  Wars became a means for gaining control over other nations and no longer had anything to do with the nation’s welfare.  From that time on a mysterious power seemed to have hand on the rudder of the America ship.  The League of Nations, founded after WWI, was unable to gain widespread support but following WWII the United Nations, a second similar organization, emerged and has been working behind the scenes to gain control over various entities within nations around the world.

Suddenly, after the mysterious 9/11 event, United States separated itself from the United Nations and became the leader of an operation called the “War on Terror”.  The War on Terror did not specify an enemy; the dictionary defines terror as a “state of intense fear”.  From that definition it appears that the United States has embarked on a mission to eliminate fear by bombing, invading, and tyrannizing a series of Middle Eastern nations most of which are Muslim and enemies of neo-Israel.

While we fight the endless war on terror Muslims have been encouraged to immigrate into Western nation in both Europe and America.  Allowing the so-called enemy to infiltrate the adversary’s borders is a seeming contradiction in intent and has caused serious conflicts.

Near the end of the interview with Brian Lamb, Risen tells Lamb that the purpose of the War on Terror is mysterious and that many things are hard to understand.  He says it is difficult to determine what is real and what is fiction.  Lamb made no comment and did not pursue the subject.

Risen recounted a story about Senator Ron Wyden who for several months spoke of some injurious action that would upset the American people but he could not say what it was.  Only after Edward Snowden’s NSA revelation did the Senator admit that this was the thing he had not mentioned.  Risen used this to illustrate the lack of oversight that surrounds our intelligence agencies and the war in general.

If James Risen with his extensive investigation cannot understand the war on terror it is not wonder that United States citizens neither understand it nor pay much attention it.  Life goes on as if continuous war is normal. Trillions of dollars of debt accumulate to the account of American citizens and neither congress nor the people, nor the press mounts a substantial challenge.

This mysterious war on terror has caused the structure of a police state to rise over freedom.  Most of the laws enacted to protect the people from the government have been abolished and the structure that has been erected can be activated at will.

Risen has challenged a tiny part of the monster.  He seeks freedom of the press as indispensable for the maintenance of a free nation.  He is not challenging the entire series of questionable events that have brought us to this point nor the pervasive press control that has saturated all of our news outlets. The destruction of the World Trade Centers has never been properly investigated.  The evidence available defies the government’s story but our timid elected officials fail to provide a challenge. The mysterious power that seems to control us has frightened everyone and the highly visible, small, though brave, challenge Risen has mounted is a drop in the bucket.

As airplanes fly over our cities and create long slender clouds citizens ignore them.  The mention of this startling operation brings a hush to the conversation.  People know that a mysterious force is operating and are afraid of it.  In previous times a shocking appearance of this kind would have brought a crowd to government offices demanding to know what was going on.  Today, like frogs in the boiling pot we are accepting more and more serious infractions without protest.

The Bush family has been pawns in the quest for world tyranny for several generations.  In the coming national election Jeb Bush, the former Governor of Florida, is positioning himself to be the Republican nominee.  The American people will not be given a choice.  Jeb Bush affixed his signature to the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century  This organization bears substantial responsibility for the war on terror.  It signers and crafters were stained with the philosophies of Leon Trotsky.

As a presidential election looms the press and media begin to give the pre-selected candidates free publicity.  Widely hated former President George W. Bush wrote a book and is now seen on TV doing light and jolly sessions with former President William J. Clinton.  Though Jeb Bush is not shown the publicity is designed to create a favorable impression of the candidate in the minds of the public.  It is effective.  One need only look to the inappropriate candidacy of President Barak Obama to understand the ability of the press and media to manipulate the electorate.

Any candidate for President of the United States that sincerely means to act in the best interests of the people of the United States will be purposely marginalized by the press and media.  Both Congressman Dr. Ron Paul and Patrick Buchanan had to fight a negative press.  Though these candidates had a sizeable following their platform was never given serious coverage.  They were lucky to be allowed to join the presidential debates and when they did they were marginalized and were made to look foolish.

The next President of the United States of America will continue the policies set in place by President George W. Bush and President Barak Obama.  Massive debt will continue to accumulate, perpetual war will continue, moral deterioration will progress, the presidency will increase in power, and freedom will continue to deteriorate.  It is in the best interests of the world power seekers to maintain peace but that does not mean the riots will not continue.  Trotskyites in the press and media view riots as an opportunity to consolidate power.

We have forgotten the Creator, the Triune Christian God who was the power behind the founding of our nation.  We have forsaken the humility of the creature and usurped the station of the Creator, a position we are ill equipped to occupy.  We are created beings, unable to govern ourselves; the confusion of cognitive dissonance is a result.   Peace tarries until we begin to allow the Master to assume His role of King and Ruler.


Al Cronkrite is a writer living in Florida, reach him at: trueword13@yahoo.com

Al Cronkrite is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Will Falling Oil Prices Crash The Markets?

December 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Shale Leads The Way…

Crude oil prices dipped lower on Wednesday pushing down yields on US Treasuries and sending stocks down sharply. The 30-year UST slipped to a Depression era 2.83 percent while all three major US indices plunged into the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) led the retreat losing a hefty 268 points before the session ended. The proximate cause of Wednesday’s bloodbath was news that OPEC had reduced its estimate of how much oil it would need to produce in 2015 to meet weakening global demand. According to USA Today:

“OPEC lowered its projection for 2015 production to 28.9 million barrels a day, or about 300,000 fewer than previously forecast, and a 12-year low…. That’s about 1.15 million barrels a day less than the cartel pumped last month, when OPEC left unchanged its 30 million barrel daily production quota…

The steep decline in crude price raises fears that small exploration and production companies could go out of business if the prices fall too low. And that, in turn, could cause turmoil among those who are lending to them: Junk-bond purchasers and smaller banks.” (USA Today)

Lower oil prices do not necessarily boost consumption or strengthen growth. Quite the contrary. Weaker demand is a sign that deflationary pressures are building and stagnation is becoming more entrenched. Also, the 42 percent price-drop in benchmark U.S. crude since its peak in June, is pushing highly-leveraged energy companies closer to the brink. If these companies cannot roll over their debts, (due to the lower prices) then many will default which will negatively impact the broader market. Here’s a brief summary from analyst Wolf Richter:

“The price of oil has plunged …and junk bonds in the US energy sector are getting hammered, after a phenomenal boom that peaked this year. Energy companies sold $50 billion in junk bonds through October, 14% of all junk bonds issued! But junk-rated energy companies trying to raise new money to service old debt or to fund costly fracking or off-shore drilling operations are suddenly hitting resistance.

And the erstwhile booming leveraged loans, the ugly sisters of junk bonds, are causing the Fed to have conniptions. Even Fed Chair Yellen singled them out because they involve banks and represent risks to the financial system. Regulators are investigating them and are trying to curtail them through “macroprudential” means, such as cracking down on banks, rather than through monetary means, such as raising rates. And what the Fed has been worrying about is already happening in the energy sector: leveraged loans are getting mauled. And it’s just the beginning…

“If oil can stabilize, the scope for contagion is limited,” Edward Marrinan, macro credit strategist at RBS Securities, told Bloomberg. “But if we see a further fall in prices, there will have to be a reaction in the broader market as problems will spill out and more segments of the high-yield space will feel the pain.”…Unless a miracle happens that will goose the price of oil pronto, there will be defaults, and they will reverberate beyond the oil patch.” (Oil and Gas Bloodbath Spreads to Junk Bonds, Leveraged Loans. Defaults Next, Wolf Ricter, Wolf Street)

The Fed’s low rates and QE pushed down yields on corporate debt as investors gorged on junk thinking the Fed “had their back”. That made it easier for fly-by-night energy companies to borrow tons of money at historic low rates even though their business model might have been pretty shaky. Now that oil is cratering, investors are getting skittish which has pushed up rates making it harder for companies to refinance their debtload. That means a number of these companies going to go bust, which will create losses for the investors and pension funds that bought their debt in the form of financially-engineered products. The question is, is there enough of this financially-engineered gunk piled up on bank balance sheets to start the dominoes tumbling through the system like they did in 2008?

That question was partially answered on Wednesday following OPEC’s dismal forecast which roiled stocks and send yields on risk-free US Treasuries into a nosedive. Investors ditched their stocks in a mad dash for the exits thinking that the worst is yet to come. USTs provide a haven for nervous investors looking for a safe place to hunker down while the storm passes.

Economist Jack Rasmus has an excellent piece at Counterpunch which explains why investors are so jittery. Here’s a clip from his article titled “The Economic Consequences of Global Oil Deflation”:

“Oil deflation may lead to widespread bankruptcies and defaults for various non-financial companies, which will in turn precipitate financial instability events in banks tied to those companies. The collapse of financial assets associated with oil could also have a further ‘chain effect’ on other forms of financial assets, thus spreading the financial instability to other credit markets.” (The Economic Consequences of Global Oil Deflation, Jack Rasmus, CounterPunch)

Falling oil prices typically drag other commodities prices down with them. This, in turn, hurts emerging markets that depend heavily on the sale of raw materials. Already these fragile economies are showing signs of stress from rising inflation and capital flight. In a country like Japan, however, one might think the effect would be positive since the lower yen has made imported oil more expensive. But that’s not the case. Falling oil prices increase deflationary pressures forcing the Bank of Japan to implement more extreme measures to reverse the trend and try to stimulate growth. What new and destabilizing policy will Japan’s Central Bank employ in its effort to dig its way out of recession? And the same question can be asked of Europe too, which has already endured three bouts of recession in the last five years. Here’s Rasmus again on oil deflation and global financial instability:

“Oil is not only a physical commodity bought, sold and traded on global markets; it has also become an important financial asset since the USA and the world began liberalized trading of oil commodity futures…

Just as declines in oil spills over to declines of other physical commodities…price deflation can also ‘spill over’ to other financial assets, causing their decline as well, in a ‘chain like’ effect.

That chain like effect is not dissimilar to what happened with the housing crash in 2006-08. At that time the deep contraction in the global housing sector ( a physical asset) not only ‘spilled over’ to other sectors of the real economy, but to mortgage bonds…and derivatives based upon those bonds, also crashed. The effect was to ‘spill over’ to other forms of financial assets that set off a chain reaction of financial asset deflation.

The same ‘financial asset chain effect’ could arise if oil prices continued to decline below USD$60 a barrel. That would represent a nearly 50 percent deflation in oil prices that could potentially set in motion a more generalized global financial instability event, possibly associated with a collapse of the corporate junk bond market in the USA that has fueled much of USA shale production.” (CounterPunch)

This is precisely the scenario we think will unfold in the months ahead. What Rasmus is talking about is “contagion”, the lethal spill-over from one asset class to another due to deteriorating conditions in the financial markets and too much leverage. When debts can no longer be serviced, defaults follow sucking liquidity from the system which leads to a sudden (and excruciating) repricing event. Rasmus believes that a sharp cutback in Shale gas and oil production could ignite a crash in junk bonds that will pave the way for more bank closures. Here’s what he says:

“The shake out in Shale that is coming will not occur smoothly. It will mean widespread business defaults in the sector. And since much of the drilling has been financed with risky high yield corporate ‘junk’ bonds, the shale shake out could translate into a financial crash of the US corporate junk bond market, which is now very over-extended, leading to regional bank busts in turn.” (CP)

The financial markets are a big bubble just waiting to burst. If Shale doesn’t do the trick, then something else will. It’s just a matter of time.

Rasmus also believes that the current oil-glut is politically motivated. Washington’s powerbrokers persuaded the Saudis to flood the market with petroleum to push down prices and crush oil-dependent Moscow. The US wants a weak and divided Russia that will comply with US plans to increase its military bases in Central Asia and allow NATO to be deployed to its western borders. Here’s Rasmus again:

“Saudi Arabia and its neocon friends in the USA are targeting both Iran and Russia with their new policy of driving down the price of oil. The impact of oil deflation is already severely affecting the Russian and Iranian economies. In other words, this policy of promoting global oil price deflation finds favor with significant political interests in the USA, who want to generate a deeper disruption of Russian and Iranian economies for reasons of global political objectives. It will not be the first time that oil is used as a global political weapon, nor the last.” (CP)

Washington’s strategy is seriously risky. There’s a good chance the plan could backfire and send stocks into freefall wiping out trillions in a flash. Then all the Fed’s work would amount to nothing.

Karma’s a bitch.


Mike Whitney is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

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

African-Americans Self-Destructing In America: Here’s Why

December 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Ferguson, Missouri with its race-riots; Chicago, Illinois with its 50 black on black shootings over the 4th of July weekend and New York City’s latest African-American death portend something deeper and much deadlier than a Grand Jury verdict that exonerated a white police officer.

Today in America, a sizeable population of Americans shoplift $25 million daily out of mercantile stores. Millions drive drunk in the face of strict and punishing laws for intoxicated driving. Tens of thousands text while driving at 70 mph, which kills 3,000 people annually. It matters not that it’s against the law and against common sense. Thousands of black on white and black on black murders accelerate into the national news. Black on black rapes, black on white rapes and violence toward children in the inner cities continues without causing riots or national concern.

In Detroit, Chicago, New York, Denver, LA, New Orleans and elsewhere across America, black schools suffer 50 to as high as 76 percent flunkout-dropout rates. Result: millions of teens hit the streets illiterate every June. Currently in America today, 42 million people cannot read or write—which equates to functional illiteracy. Note: we feed 48 million people on food stamps because they cannot earn money with a job.

A profoundly disturbing 73 percent of African-American children arrive out of wedlock to single mothers who subsist on welfare. One famous video of an African-American woman in Florida with 15 children living in a motel defies understanding. She screamed at the news reporter, “Somebody’s got to take responsibility for all these kids.”

A sense of personal responsibility and accountability never occurred to her. It’s everyone else’s fault that her illegitimate kids don’t enjoy a home or three meals a day or a father(s).

In Ferguson, 6’4”, 290 pound, 18 year old, African-American Michael Brown robbed a convenience store, and nearly choked the storeowner when the owner tried to stop Brown. A few minutes later, Officer Darren Wilson stopped the giant of a teenager who boasted a rap sheet history of robberies. The teen attacked the officer in his own squad car. Then, minutes later, after being shot in the hand, the teenager ran, but turned back to charge toward the police officer. After many shouts to halt, the officer, fearing for his life, shot the young man dead.

A Grand Jury, including six African-Americans, heard all the facts and all the witnesses to the case. They voted to not indict Officer Wilson because the behemoth of a man charged toward him with the ability to crush the officer, take his gun and kill the officer.

That decision, made by lawful citizens, morphed into the Ferguson riots and burnings. It caused race-baiter Al Sharpton to create the false flag of, “Hands up, don’t shoot” motto.

Also, when the 6’4”, 350 pound, 45-year-old Eric Garner, died because of an arrest chokehold that cut off his air, more demonstrations raged across the country.

While emotions ran high, Sharpton raced to the head of the crowd to claim his almighty righteousness. Burning buildings and cars costs millions, but settles nothing. Blaming everyone else for personal behavior solves nothing.

When a police officer stops me for a traffic infraction, I say, “Yes sir and yes ma’am.” I don’t argue. I don’t make excuses. I don’t attempt to fight them. I don’t try to pull their gun. I keep my hands on the wheel and look them in the eye. If I get a ticket, I sign for it and pay for it. Yes, it ruined my day, but I got caught speeding. I am responsible. When a police officer has you in his or her sights, you don’t argue because they command you for time being. If you don’t want a police officer to stop you, obey the law.

Both Brown and Garner broke the law and fought the police officers. If they chose to put their hands into cuffs and be led away to their day in court, both would be alive today. They didn’t so they died. If you break the law, you pay the consequences.

That’s why we engage laws to maintain a civil society.

Right now, the African-American community, black on black crime, suffers 6,000 murders annually. You never hear a word about it. With 73 percent of African-American children living with a single mother, the African-American “family” lives in shambles that create more anger, illiteracy, violence, poverty and killings. It’s the greatest tragedy since slavery. But in this case, African-Americans do it to themselves. No other ethnic group in America suffers so much death and poverty. Why? My bet: it started with Lyndon Baines Johnson’s “War on Poverty” and the “Great Society” that created endless welfare for those who enjoy doing nothing with their lives.

How about this idea? Why doesn’t the Congressional Black Caucus investigate the “whys” of black poverty, crime and killings? Then, pass laws to create jobs, fund schooling and vocational training. How about a national network to educate teen African-American girls on the dangers of early pregnancy. Intense-disciplined training and schooling must be introduced into the inner city ghettos. Separate male and female schools to cut down on the sexual intrigue that creates so many fatherless children.

How about the African-American educated leaders like Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Colin Powell and mega-rich black entertainers step up to the plate to solve the problems facing African-Americans in America—rather than ignore them as they have for the past 40 years?

Instead of sending foreign aid over to countries that hate us, why not spend it on our own citizens for their and our benefit? Instead of 10 to 13 year wars overseas that accomplish nothing, why not use the money for jobs and training for African-Americans? And all our poor citizens?

How about a Master Mind Group Think Tank that coordinates to discover the causes of black poverty and crime—then solve it, change it and turn it around?

We cannot endure high school kids marching down the streets of our cities yelling, “F*** the cops.”

I think Bill O’Reilly presented America with the best five-minute speech on the African-American predicament.

We need to teach young people personal accountability, personal responsibility and a sense of community. We need to teach respect for law. We need to teach all teens the ramifications of teen pregnancies and how to prevent them. We need to examine ourselves as a society, what means something to us, and how to regain the family unit.

If not, millions of Michael Brown’s and Eric Garners will kill each other, steal and cheat, and impregnate endless teen girls into motherhood without fathers. We need to get this done. If not, more Ferguson riots face all of them and all of us.


Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents – from the Arctic to the South Pole – as well as six times across the USA, coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece.

He presents “The Coming Population Crisis in America: and what you can do about it” to civic clubs, church groups, high schools and colleges. He works to bring about sensible world population balance at his website: www.frostywooldridge.com

Frosty Wooldridge is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

When Liberal Preferences Meet Islamic Principles

December 14, 2014 by · 13 Comments 

There was a recent scandal that, as much as anything else, illustrates the intellectual emptiness and moral ennui of the modern liberal man. It occurred in Britain but reflects a wider phenomenon; what can be said about it can be said about happenings in Sweden, France, Holland, Canada or Belgium — or the United States.

It was discovered recently that Muslims in seven London schools were indoctrinating children with Islamic propaganda, ignoring Western culture and refusing to inculcate the “British values” of the moment. The situation was such that all of one school’s library books were in Arabic and many students couldn’t tell investigators whether they should follow British or Sharia law or which was more important. And one of these schools, mind you, was a state-run Church of England institution — that happens to now be upwards of 80 percent Muslim.

When hearing about the subordination of British law to Sharia and other such Islamic cultural inroads, one of my instincts is to say “So what?” Cry me a river of multiculturalist tears.

Multiculturalism, we’ve been told, dictates that all cultures are morally equal and deserve the same respect and footing within “Western” civilization. Never mind that the ideology is self-defeating. After all, since different cultures espouse different values, not all cultures can be “morally” equal unless all values are so. This makes multiculturalism not only a corollary of, but also a Trojan horse for, moral relativism. And consider the implications. If all values are equal, how can showing cultures equal respect be superior to cultural chauvinism? And what if another culture does prescribe the latter? It then follows that the people within it cannot both have their own culture, unaltered, and accept multiculturalism.

Nonetheless, since multiculturalism is considered enlightened by Western pseudo-intellectuals, it’s time for some personal petard hoisting. A Daily Mail piece on the Londonistan school situation tells us that some students told inspectors “it would be wrong to learn about other religions” and that “it was a woman’s job to cook and clean.” The paper furthermore reported that schools were criticized for “failure to give girls equal opportunities,” narrow curricula, not preparing students “for life in a diverse British society,” not encouraging students “to respect other people’s opinions” and for creating a situation in which students’ “understanding of the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance, is underdeveloped.”

And the problem is…?

What if these Muslims’ faith and culture dictate that women should be steered toward domesticity and shouldn’t have equal opportunity; that there should be not diversity but Islamic homogeneity; that not all opinions should be respected and that it is wrong to learn about other religions; and that Islamic theocracy is preferable to democracy? And the matter of “tolerance” is an interesting one. Since the term implies a perceived negative — you wouldn’t tolerate a delectable meal or fine car, but would have to tolerate a stubborn cold or bad weather — the reality is that tolerance is only admirable under two circumstances:

  • When something you dislike isn’t objectively bad, such as when you tolerate a vegetable you’re not partial to for health reasons.
  • When you’re powerless to change something that is objectively bad, such as an irremediable crippling condition.

But if something is objectively wrong and can be eliminated, it is an abdication of moral responsibility to refuse to do so. And has it occurred to anyone that pious Muslims may instinctively realize this and, considering Western culture a misbegotten force (their perspective), view changing it a divine mission?

Be that as it may, given that multiculturalism espouses cultural equivalence and its correlative moral relativism, by its lights none of the bemoaned Islamic curricula standards and outcomes can be any worse than what secularists prefer. So what gives? Are you liberals denying these Muslim immigrants their culture and creed?

You certainly are. But this hypocrisy is nothing new. Multiculturalism has been used for decades, at every turn, as a pretext for denuding Western traditions and Christian symbols and messages from our cultural landscape, using “tolerance” and “diversity” as rallying cries. Even as I write this, a Washington state high-school senior faces expulsion from school for sharing his Christian faith, the idea being that such expression is “offensive.” Multiculturalism was always nonsense. “Anything goes” — as long as it’s branded “culture” — could never be a recipe for organizing anything because it doesn’t allow for distinguishing between anything and any other thing. A standard of some kind must be applied when devising laws, regulations and social codes; and standards, by definition, involve the upholding and imposition of values.

This is why G.K. Chesterton once noted, “In truth, there are only two kinds of people; those who accept dogma and know it, and those who accept dogma and don’t know it.” Except for leftists possessed of evil genius, most are in the latter camp. Multiculturalism certainly felt right when useful for purging an element of tradition contrary to the liberal agenda; it doesn’t quite have the same glitter, however, when it would allow the institution of such an element. Multiculturalism is for use on other people’s dogmas; it’s not for use on the Left’s own.

Now, one pitfall of being a slave to one’s age who unknowingly embraces its dogmas is that you generally make the mistake of mirroring. This is when you project your priorities, feelings and basic suppositions onto others; in a nutshell, you assume that they take for granted the things you do.

Consider, for instance, Muslims’ subordination of host-country law to Sharia law. Outrageous? Impudent? Perhaps.

Shocking?

In reality, you should expect nothing less — or more.

When pondering this, realize that devout Christians (of which I’m one) are very similar to Muslims in this regard. This statement may raise eyebrows and even some dander, but just consider the recent cases in which Christians have accepted career destruction and punishment rather than be party to same-sex “weddings” or homosexual activism. Why are these Christians opposing the “law of the land”? And what standard informs them man’s law is wrong? What standard are they subordinating the law of the land to?

What they see as the only law that could be, and must be, above it: God’s law.

This isn’t to say Christians and Muslims are the same. They certainly have different conceptions of God’s law. And in keeping with this, Christian law generally didn’t clash with Western “secular” law — until secularists started holding sway — because our secular law reflected Christian morality; it was authored by Christian men, such as the Founding Fathers, who naturally imbued their system of law with their world view. As an example, the Declaration of Independence enunciates the basis for our constitutional rights, stating that men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”

The situation with Sharia is far different. Since the tree of Western secular law wasn’t germinated from the seed of Islam, it was traditionally and remains today largely incongruent with Muslim principles; thus is a clash, in which Islam will ever try to burn that tree root and branch, inevitable.

Some moderns will now say that this is why no “religious” law should influence society. But not only is this a philosophically unsound position that fails to recognize the basis of just law (Absolute Truth), it also places a person in bad company: The Marxists and Nazis also aimed to neuter the Church and squelch belief in religious law. After all, a devout statist wants the state’s law to be pre-eminent; “Thou shalt have no gods before thy government.” And this won’t happen if people recognize a higher law.

And this recognition is what believing Christians, Muslims and Jews all have in common. It is also why it is silly, in the extreme, to expect Muslims to subordinate Sharia to Western secular law. You are literally asking them to place government ahead of what they see as God. This simply isn’t going to happen, and no amount of blather about “tolerance,” “diversity” and multiculturalism — which is just another way of saying “Accept our liberal dogmas” — is going to change that. And when the population of believing Muslims becomes great enough in a Western land, they will succeed in Islamizing governmental law.

German chancellor Angela Merkel announced in 2010, finally, that multiculturalism in her country had “utterly failed.” Talk about being a biblical day late and a budget deficit short. And she and other Western leaders still don’t get it. One can’t understand ideologies such as multiculturalism if he views them as disconnected social mistakes; they are all part of a deep philosophical/spiritual malaise. It isn’t just that the multiculturalist branch needs to be pruned or even cut off. It’s that the devout Muslims are right: the liberal-secularist tree, that Gramscian mutation, must be pulled up and incinerated in the Hell fires whence it came. And it will be. The only question is whether we will return to our roots or allow the complete erasure of Western civilization.


Selwyn Duke is a writer, columnist and public speaker whose work has been published widely online and in print, on both the local and national levels. He has been featured on the Rush Limbaugh Show and has been a regular guest on the award-winning Michael Savage Show. His work has appeared in Pat Buchanan’s magazine The American Conservative and he writes regularly for The New American and Christian Music Perspective.

He can be reached at: SelwynDuke@optonline.net

Selwyn Duke is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Grateful That I’m Not A Wealthy Widow In Chicago (and not a Ukrainian or Syrian either)

December 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Author’s note:  I haven’t had much to be grateful for this past Thanksgiving because I spent that time recovering from an operation that involved re-breaking my arm, realigning the bones in my left hand and having nine pins, a bone graft and a titanium plate installed.  Ouch!  So now I’m all busy trying to make up for lost time and dreaming up things to be thankful for.  Here are a couple of items I’ve come up with (besides my wonderful family of course).

To paraphrase that song by Kermit the Frog, “It’s not easy being old.” There just aren’t that many perks involved.  Your teeth fall out.  Your joints freeze up.  Say goodbye to your sex life, no matter what they claim about Viagra.  Plus no one ever invites you to parties any more and you can no longer Twerk.

However, having enough money to make yourself comfortable in your old age can surely help alleviate all those various aches and pains associated with old age — unless of course you are an elderly widow living in Chicago and have 100K or more in your savings account.  Because if that is you, then getting old is really really gonna to suck eggs.

“But, Jane,” you might ask, “why is that?”  Let me tell you.

You’ve heard of ambulance-chasing lawyers before, right?  Well, in Chicago they also have rich-widow-chasing lawyers.  These heartless scoundrels actually go out and scour through various tax and real estate records until they find clues to locating financially-solvent yet vulnerable senior citizens, preferably rich widows.  And then they move in for the kill.

The first thing they do is have their target victims declared incompetent — which is not all that hard to do when you have Chicago’s probate courts helping you out.  Then they get themselves appointed Guardian ad Litems for these vulnerable wealthy elders.  And then the fun part begins.

“First they pop these poor souls into rest homes where they are warehoused, starved, fed tranquilizers and ignored,” said one family member whose mother had been victimized in Chicago.  “Then they sell their victim’s home, empty her bank accounts and pocket the profits — calling all these ill-begotten gains their ‘fees’ for services rendered.  And then, when the victim has no more money left, they then throw her unceremoniously out of the rest home and onto the cold streets of Chicago — that is, if she is still alive.”

But there is hope.  Some relatives of the victims and other conscientious local attorneys are starting to fight back.  For instance, Joanne Denison, an honest Chicago attorney with a conscience, stumbled onto this racket about three years ago by accident and tried to do something to stop these malfesiants.  “So what did she do?” you might ask.  Denison started a blog.  That’s all she did.  She started a blog to try to expose some of these worst practices and blow the whistle on said legal vultures.

According to Denison’s blog, “40% of all psychotropic drugs are sold to nursing homes as illegal chemical restraints, and no one ever seems to do anything about it, even though they are deadly dangerous to most elders and the FDA says they are contra-indicated or not recommended for those under 20 or over 60.”

“So what happened to attorney Denison as a result?” you might ask next.  What do you think happened to her?  This is Chicago — not Utopia.  Her attorney’s license has just been suspended for three years.

Now we all know that Rush Limbaugh and Fox News can tell any lie that they want over public airwaves and/or on the internet and get away with it, right?  But if you ever dare to tell the truth and expose corruption in Chicago, you had better watch out.

And if you are a wealthy widow in Chicago, you had better really watch out!

So during this week after Thanksgiving I’m gonna be super-grateful for a lot of things — and one of those things is going to be that I’m not a widow, am not wealthy and don’t live in Chicago!

“What else are you going to be grateful for?” might be your next question.

“That I don’t live in Ukraine or Syria or any other foreign country that the US or NATO or BIBI has its eyes on.”  If there’s just one take-away that I’ve learned after enduring all this pain in my left arm, it’s that injuries to our bodies can really really hurt, really hurt a lot.  And that a human body will probably hurt even a hecka lot more if you are hit by a NATO smart-bomb in Ukraine or if an American-made cruise missile lands on you in Gaza or if you get gang-raped by American-funded ISIS in Syria — and have no pain-killers or hospitals or doctors to help you out like I did.

Do I think that the rich widows of Chicago have it bad?  Yeah.  But this sad injustice is almost minimal compared to having the vultures of Wall Street and War Street eying your assets and trying to steal them by torturing, raping and blowing up yourself and your kids.

At least the rich widows of Chicago don’t have to worry about getting hit with NATO smart bombs or having their heads chopped off!

Not really sure why I’m worried about getting old.  It’s probably not gonna happen to any of us anyway — at least not while the deep-state neo-cons who now control America, Israel and NATO are all so bound and determined to try to pick a fight with Russia, China and Iran (one that they truly can’t win).

And if all this current saber-rattling foolishness doesn’t kill us all off in a mass wave of war-induced grim reaping, then don’t forget that climate-change-run-a-muck will be sending us off to the happy hunting ground soon too.

Have the oligarchs of DC and NATO and BIBI totally lost their minds — or do they just have a death wish for peons like you and me?  Either way, these malfesiants now hold all the power and the rest of us are all screwed.

But here is the good news.

Perhaps facing WW III and/or the coming climate apocalypse might end up being a good thing.  “But how?”  Because now we’re all going to have an air-tight excuse to run down to the mall, max out our credit cards and buy all kinds of new gear to wear to the show.  https://hughw.net/h2o/texas-water-well-level-movie.html  How’s that for positive thinking!

And here’s another positive thought.  Extinction of the entire human race will surely mean that we won’t have to worry about who is gonna pay for our funeral — because there will be no one left alive to attend it!  Sorry, guys, but there won’t be any “handsome corpses” on display at the local funeral chapel any more.  Rats.  I was really looking forward to that.

I am so freaking bored from sitting around doing nothing while waiting for my arm to heal that I actually checked Thomas Piketty’s new book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” out from the library.  If I’m going to be bored, I might as well be really bored.

“The main driver of inequality today [which appears to be wanky pseudo-capitalism run amuck] threatens to generate extreme inequalities that stir discontent and undermine democratic values,” sez the dust jacket.  Just one more reason why I won’t have to worry about paying for my own funeral — I won’t be able to afford it.  And neither will you.

“But if you’re so bored, then why don’t you just go see the film ‘Interstellar’ instead,” suggested one of my kids.  Good idea.  Now I can go watch our planet die on the big screen instead of having to wait to watch it die in real life.  http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/sep/21/-sp-thomas-piketty-bestseller-why


Jane Stillwater is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice
She can be reached at: jpstillwater@yahoo.com

It’s Not Over

December 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

That America is spiraling on a collision course with calamity seems certain. We seem to be ignoring virtually all of the lessons of history, and, well, you know what one fellow said about the folly of doing that. I join the consensus of patriots and freedom-lovers throughout the country who believe America’s future is filled with all sorts of stormy weather. As a matter of fact, the storms are all around us already.

For one thing, most of the people who should be helping us in the freedom fight cannot see past the end of their ballot. They think, as long as they elect “conservatives” to public office, all is well with the world. And since the GOP now controls both houses of Congress in Washington, D.C., the vast majority of our good brothers and sisters are already all tucked in for extended hibernation. They will reemerge from under their blankets about three months before the general election in 2016 and start screaming their support for whomever the neocon candidate happens to be. Why, they are already ignoring the fact that the precious Republicans they just elected to the House and Senate a few weeks ago are already signaling that they will to do NOTHING to thwart Barack Obama’s executive amnesty, which was the single most defining issue that helped give the Congress to the GOP. Republicans on Capitol Hill are famous for doing NOTHING to fulfill the promises they made on the campaign trail to their constituents. And Republican voters are famous for reelecting them anyway. Good grief! Republicans in South Carolina can’t even get rid of Lindsey Graham; and Republicans in Arizona can’t even get rid of John McCain.

Even the great Republican “conservative,” Mitt Romney, is now on record saying that the GOP should “swallow hard” and pass a PERMANENT amnesty bill. And even though he says he is not running for President in two years, he continues to be the frontrunner in most of the GOP preference polls. What does that tell you?

See the report here:

Mitt Romney: Republicans Should ‘Swallow Hard’ And Pass ‘Permanent’ Amnesty Bill

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann had the guts to tell the truth about what the GOP plans to do regarding Obama’s blatantly illegal executive amnesty decision. Bachmann told Breitbart.com that House Speaker John Boehner and the GOP leadership have “no intention” of resisting Obama’s executive amnesty. And she is right.

See the report here:

‘We Will Not Engage’: Michele Bachmann Reveals GOP Plans To Ignore Executive Amnesty

Staunch anti-amnesty senator, Jeff Sessions, said this past Tuesday that the GOP House was about to break their 2014 campaign promises to stop Obama’s executive amnesty. Also on Tuesday, Breitbart.com reported that House Speaker Boehner appears ready to deal with Democrats in order to cut a deal to SAVE amnesty. See the report here:

Boehner Poised To Deal With The Devil To Avoid Shut-Down?

Oh, we can expect Boehner and Company to blow a lot of smoke and pass some frivolous and toothless legislation or resolutions that will be designed to placate a gullible and naïve Republican constituency, but that will do absolutely NOTHING to stop Obama’s amnesty. The only thing John Boehner and his ilk in Congress don’t like is Obama beat them to the punch by issuing executive amnesty to illegals. GOP leaders were hoping to pass legislative amnesty. So, now that Obama has beaten them to the punch, Boehner and his fellow establishment Republicans will quickly fall in line.

But what the U.S. House of Representatives ought to do (if they had any guts, which they don’t) is impeach this President for his executive amnesty.

Barack Obama’s executive amnesty is the worst kind of abuse of power and illegal conduct. The President of the United States is charged with “executing” the laws of our country. He has no lawful authority to set those laws aside with an Executive Order, which is exactly what he did. Compared to the crimes of Barack Obama, the impeachment charges against Bill Clinton look pale. Then again, compared to the Congress of 1994, this Congress looks pale.

The effect of our government’s refusal to respect our nation’s borders and laws over the next several years will be devastating consequences to the very fiber and fabric of this once great republic. The toll on State and local budgets, education quality, crime rates, employment opportunities, and quality of life will be incalculable. And this is just one menace that the miscreants in Washington, D.C., are inflicting upon us.

For much of the Twentieth Century (and now into the Twenty-First Century), Americans repeatedly choose to elect irresponsible, power-hungry, egotistical, self-centered sycophants (from both major parties) to public office. In addition, most of our churches are little more than glorified social clubs, entertainment centers, playgrounds, and government corporations. Our major media, in both the national and most local markets, are largely government propaganda outlets–as are most of our educational institutions. Furthermore, Christians and unbelievers, pastors of all stripes, Republicans and Democrats, and conservatives and liberals alike, are sitting back passively and indifferently as our country is being turned into a humongous Police State. Absent a significant shift in the hearts and minds of the American people, our liberties cannot long endure.

However, with all of the above said, I still refuse to join the ranks of Chicken Little.

For some reason, known only to God, we still have a semblance of freedom in this land. Granted, it’s only a semblance, but the curtain has not yet fully fallen on liberty. God knows we don’t deserve even the semblance of freedom that we still enjoy. Over the last sixty-plus years, we have been doing our best to throw America into the garbage heap of history. But, for some reason, the curtain has not yet fallen completely.

I would like to proffer five suggestions as to why the curtain has not yet fallen on liberty.

1. I believe God is still honoring the faith, courage, commitment, and sacrifice of America’s Founding Fathers. If God would bless Old Testament Israel for the sake of Abraham, Moses, and David, I believe He would bless the United States for the sake of George Washington, Patrick Henry, and Samuel Adams.

From the days of the Pilgrims through the days of the Patriots, several generations of men and women were willing to pay, many times, a horrific price for liberty. There is no doubt in my mind that these modern generations of Americans are still clipping the coupons from the extraordinary faith and courage of our forebears.

2. More than one hundred million American citizens possess over three hundred million firearms. And a good percentage of these people not only possess a gun; they possess the mental, emotional, and spiritual resolve to use those weapons against any government that would seek to take them. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the deeply-rooted heritage of the American people to keep and bear arms has been largely responsible for the preservation of whatever liberties we have left. Without a heavily-armed populace within this country, there is absolutely no doubt that America (and the rest of the “free world”) would have been totally enslaved decades ago.

3. The Internet. For all of the baloney, malarkey, and rubbish that can be found on the Internet, there is absolutely no question that the Internet has very successfully circumvented and shattered the monopoly of the government shills of the mainstream media. For all intents and purposes, the Internet is to America today what the “Committees of Correspondence” were to Colonial America.

Many are even predicting that the major television news networks will be out of business within the next couple or three decades–as will many of America’s newspapers. CNN was once a cable dynasty; now it is barely broadcasting. MSNBC’s ratings are so poor that its days are also numbered. And while FOX NEWS is currently enjoying the zenith of its existence, more people are getting their news and newsworthy information from the Internet than from all of the above combined. For all of its negatives, the Internet is a huge net positive for freedom.

4. There is still a host, and I mean a huge host, of liberty-loving people in this country who have not (and will never) accept the shackles of tyranny around their hearts. Big-Government toadies can impugn them all they want, but people such as Ron Paul, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Senator Mike Lee, Congressman Justin Amash, and millions like them, are keeping the torch of liberty burning.

The media would have us believe that old-fashioned, red-blooded freedomists have gone the way of the Brontosaurus. Or, that if any do yet exist, their numbers are so small as to be placed on the list of endangered species. Don’t you believe it!

In every occupation and vocation–including in our U.S. military and federal police agencies–in virtually every village and hamlet dotted across the fruited plain, and in every age bracket, reside innumerable freedom-loving Americans in whose hearts the love of liberty reigns. Before the chains of tyranny can be placed around a person’s neck, they must first be placed around their hearts. And the people I’m talking about will NEVER allow those chains to be placed around their hearts.

5. I believe the curtain has not completely dropped on liberty in this country because of the grace and sovereignty of our Creator-God. Thomas Jefferson (himself an unbeliever in the traditional sense) was exactly right when he said that liberty is the gift of God. That we still enjoy a semblance of freedom in this land indicates that His divine protection still rests upon us.

Those of us who have a Christian perspective realize that Holy Writ tells us: “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13) This means that the deeply-seeded love of liberty in our hearts was planted there by our Creator. Our WILL for liberty is God-breathed. That fact, by itself, demonstrates that it’s not over.

There is a line from the 2012 version of the movie “Red Dawn” that I really love. A U.S. Marine fighting with the “Wolverines,” said, “I’m still breathing, so, it’s not over.” Indeed. You and are still breathing, folks, so, IT’S NOT OVER.


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

Russia’s Sergey Lavrov “Clash of Civilizations”

December 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Since the Western Press has directed their wrath at Vladimir Putin as their latest villain, while his approval rate soars to 88% in Russia, most Americans are not familiar with Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov, much less know his public statements. Lavrov is a thoughtful contrast to the rigid and contemptuous foreign policy spokesmen’s from the Soviet era. It is well worth the time to investigate the actual sentiments that Lavrov has expressed throughout his diplomatic career. An insight of the mindset that underpins his thinking is revealed over two years ago, in the Voltaire Network, which published Sergey Lavrov’s account, On the Right Side of History and provided the following assessment.

“Western propaganda continues to distort Russia’s position in respect of the Syrian crisis. It accuses Moscow of supporting Damascus for profit motives, or even criminal solidarity. In this piece, Sergey Lavrov does not expound on his country’s strategic choices, but rather on the principles that underpin his diplomacy. He responds imperturbably to the inanities spouted by Western media, underscoring Moscow’s commitment to international law and its pledge to support people. Lavrov counterpoints the massive popular support enjoyed by President al-Assad and the illegitimacy of the sectarian armed opposition, sponsored from abroad.”

Quoting from the Lavrov test:

“Back in the 1990s in his book The Clash of Civilisations, Samuel Huntington outlined the trend of the increasing importance of identity based on civilisation and religion in the age of globalization; he also convincingly demonstrated the relative reduction in the abilities of the historic West to spread its influence. It would definitely be an overstatement if we tried to build a model of the modern international relations solely on the basis of such assumptions. However, today it is impossible to ignore such a trend. It is caused by an array of different factors, including more transparent national borders, the information revolution which has highlighted blatant socio-economic inequality, and the growing desire of people to preserve their identity in such circumstances and to avoid falling into the endangered species list of history.”

From the official site of THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION, read the entire remarks by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the latest Council on Foreign and Defense Policy meeting. The information contained in these annotations requires a serious evaluation.

Watch the video, ‘Western sanctions aimed at regime change in Russia’ – Lavrov that supplements the text account. Interrupting the significance of this presentation, the blog – The Vineyard of the Saker writes an account of the Remarks by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the XXII Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, Moscow, 22 November 2014.

I have bolded out what I consider to be the most important statements made by Lavrov that day.  I would just like to add the following:

1)  Lavrov is considered very much a “moderate” and his language has always been strictly diplomatic.  So when you read Lavrov, just imagine what folks in other Russian ministries are thinking.

2) Lavrov makes no secret of his view of the USA and of his plans for the future of our planet.  When you read his words, try to imagine what a US Neocon feels and thinks and you will immediately see why the US elites both hate and fear Russia.

3) Finally, Lavrov openly admits that Russia and China have forged a long-term strategic alliance (proving all the nay-sayers who predicted that China would backtstab Russian wrong).  This is, I would argue, the single most important strategic development in the past decade.

4)  Finally, notice the clear contempt which Lavrov has for a pseudo-Christian “West” which dares not speak in defense of persecuted Christians, denies its own roots, and does not even respect its own traditions.

Complimenting this viewpoint is the YouTube, Lavrov: West stuck with Cold War mentality (UN Gen Assembly Full Q&A). If Lavrov is correct that the NeoCon American foreign policy after the collapse of the Soviet empire has positioned itself to become the single dominating armed force on the planet, what other results but an unending warfare environment can one expect? Longing for an enemy to keep the military machine in high gear certainly is perceived by the rest of the world as threatening.

Blogger Nick Freiling presents an assessment in, What the others are saying, of the following Lavrov quotation.

“In attempting to establish their pre-eminence at a time when new economic, financial and political power centres are emerging, the Americans provoke counteraction in keeping with Newton’s third law and contribute to the emergence of structures, mechanisms, and movements that seek alternatives to the American recipes for solving the pressing problems. I am not referring to anti-Americanism, still less about forming coalitions spearheaded against the United States, but only about the natural wish of a growing number of countries to secure their vital interests and do it the way they think right, and not what they are told “from across the pond.”

Mr. Freiling writes his own comments.

“It’s worth noting that perspectives like these aren’t totally absent from mainstream punditry in the U.S. Libertarians, for one, have long warned about the dangers of stretching American resources too thin in pursuit of foreign policy initiatives that don’t have immediate national security implications. Politicians like Rand Paul have even brought hints of such sentiments into the mainstream.

But this is still a far cry from what most Americans consider an “orthodox” perspective on U.S. foreign policy, even if most people agree we’re overextended in many world arenas.”

The fourth point that the Vineyard of the Saker makes, is expanded upon in the Radical Reactionary essay, Western Secularism vs. Russian Christian Revival where the background and recent direction in Russia is traced.

If you expand your analysis beyond mere political and economic context, the Lavrov foreign policy initiative has a component of emphasizing a traditional and historic cultural motivation. While a religious factor may not have anything to do with forging a new Russia and China alliance, dismissing a spiritual and inward revival in Russia would be a profound error.

Radio Free Europe in the article, Orthodox Churches Fight Back As Eastern Europe Pushes To Modernize, Secularize, makes the case and linkage in Tradition of Religious Nationalism parallels Lavrov’s cultural autonomy.

“Geraldine Fagan, a Moscow-based correspondent for the religion-focused news agency Forum 18 and author of the new book “Believing in Russia: Religious Policy After Communism,” says that religious nationalism, although condemned as heresy in the 19th century, is a profound tradition in Orthodox cultures.

“In many cases, Orthodox churches were ministering to a single ethnic group, and this gave rise to nation-states,” Fagan told RFE/RL in an e-mail. “And there is a lingering sense in places across the Orthodox world that national security depends in a profound — even mystical – way on the nation remaining Orthodox.”

The difference of a nation state from an empire is crucial for comprehending the nature of a legitimate government. The fall of the Soviet empire was inevitable. The notion that an American empire will avoid the same fate is absurd.

This “Clash of Civilizations” is understandable not because either empire rode the high moral road, but because both abandoned the fundamental principles that create a viable society and nation.

Civilization is fragile and requires a deep commitment to institutions that practice and administer legal justice, traditional social values and high moral standards. Maintaining governments that earn the rightful consent of its citizens is difficult and usually breaks down over time.

International affairs are even more delicate than internal equilibrium. Countries do not have permanent allies, they only have interests. Russia has a litany of problems and is no more a friend than any other regime that is exerting its own national self-interest.

The intrepid Brother Nathanael Kapner points the finger at THE ZIONIST HATE CAMPAIGN AGAINST RUSSIA, for an explanation why the pressitute media wants to suppress Russian nationalism. The orthodox cleric is echoing Sergey Lavrov when he cites “For it is NATO that Moscow is opposing owing to its creeping encroachment upon Russia’s borders.”

Americans need to oppose foreign policy adventures and certainly one that risks a global holocaust. Ready for World War III with China?, essay is just as valid when Russia is substituted. What effect would a Russian and Chinese strategic alliance have as the NWO juggernaut continues on it current path to destruction?

Transnational Opposition to Russian Sanctions illustrates why Western countries are playing a dangerous game.  Lavrov’s latest address provides a road map for what Russia is embarking on and what the international community should do to lower the tensions and restore constructive economic and political stability.

It is not too far fetch to imagine a current day, Western version for pounding of shoes, with the message “We Will Bury You” reverberating from the halls of the UN. If this seems ridiculous, ask why pushing a Clash of Civilizations is any different?


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

Talking Turkey

December 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Putin Gobsmacks Obama and Euro-Leaders with Surprise Gas Deal…

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin clinched a groundbreaking deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that will strengthen economic ties between the two nations and make Turkey the major hub for Russian gas in the region. Under the terms of the agreement, Russia will pump additional natural gas to locations in central Turkey and to a “hub at the Turkish-Greek border” which will eventually provide Putin with backdoor access to the lucrative EU market, although Turkey will serve as the critical intermediary. The move creates a de facto Russo-Turkey alliance that could shift the regional balance of power decisively in Moscow’s favor, thus creating another formidable hurtle for Washington’s “pivot to Asia” strategy.  While the media is characterizing the change in plans (Putin has abandoned the South Stream pipeline project that would have transported gas to southern Europe) as a “diplomatic defeat” for Russia, the opposite appears to be the case.  Putin has once again outmaneuvered the US on both the energy and geopolitical fronts adding to his long list of policy triumphs. Here’s a brief summary from Andrew Korybko at Sputnik News:

“Russia has abandoned the troubled South Stream project and will now be building its replacement with Turkey. This monumental decision signals that Ankara has made its choice to reject Euro-Atlanticsm and embrace Eurasian integration.

In what may possibly be the biggest move towards multipolarity thus far,..Turkey, has done away with its former Euro-Atlantic ambitions. A year ago, none of this would have been foreseeable, but the absolute failure of the US’ Mideast policy and the EU’s energy one made this stunning reversal possible in under a year. Turkey is still anticipated to have some privileged relations with the West, but the entire nature of the relationship has forever changed as the country officially engages in pragmatic multipolarity.

Turkey’s leadership made a major move by sealing such a colossal deal with Russia in such a sensitive political environment, and the old friendship can never be restored…The reverberations are truly global.”  (“Cold Turkey: Ankara Buckles Against Western Pressure, Turns to Russia”, Sputnik News)

Korybko seems to be alone in grasping the magnitude of what happened in Ankara on Monday, although –judging by the Obama administration’s silence on the topic–the gravity of the transaction is beginning to sink in.  Grandmaster Vlad’s latest move has caught US powerbrokers flat-footed and left them speechless. This is a scenario that no one had anticipated and, if it’s not handled correctly, could turn out to be a real nightmare. Here’s more on Monday’s press conference from Russia Today:

“Putin said that Russia is ready to build a new pipeline to meet Turkey’s growing gas demand, which may include a special hub on the Turkish-Greek border for customers in southern Europe.

For now, the supply of Russian gas to Turkey will be raised by 3 billion cubic meters via the already operating Blue Stream pipeline…Moscow will also reduce the gas price for Turkish customers by 6 percent from January 1, 2015, Putin said.

“We are ready to further reduce gas prices along with the implementation of our joint large-scale projects,” he added.”  (“Putin: Russia forced to withdraw from S. Stream project due to EU stance”, RT)

How can this happen? How can Putin waltz into Ankara, scribble his name on a few sheets of paper, and abscond with a key US ally right under Washington’s nose?  Isn’t there anyone at the White House who’s smart enough to anticipate a scenario like this or have they all been replaced with warmongering ding-dongs like Susan Rice and Samantha Powers?

The Obama administration has been doing everything in its power to control the flow of gas from east to west and to undermine Russian-EU economic integration. Now it looks like the nimble Putin has found a way to avoid the economic sanctions, (Turkey rejected sanctions on Russia)  avoid US coercion and blackmail (which was used on Bulgaria, Hungary, and Serbia), and avoid Washington’s endless belligerence and hostility, and achieve his objectives at the same time.   But– then again– isn’t that what you’d expect from a level-headed martial arts pro like Putin?

“I won’t beat you,” says Bad Vlad.  “I’ll let you to beat yourself.”

And, so he has. Just ask the befuddled Obama who has yet to prevail in any of his encounters with Putin.

But why the silence? Why hasn’t the White House issued a statement about the big Russian-Turkey gas deal that everyone’s talking about?

I’ll tell you why. It’s because they don’t know what the hell just hit them, that’s why. They were completely blindsided by the announcement and can’t quite figure out what it means for the issues that are on the very top of their foreign policy agenda, like the pivot to Asia, or the wars in Syria and Ukraine, or the much-ballyhooed gas pipeline from Qatar to the EU, that was supposed to transit– you guessed it– Turkey.  Is that plan still in the works or has the Putin-Erdogan alliance put the kibosh on that gem too?   Let’s face it, Putin has really knocked it out of the park this time. Team Obama is clearly out of its league and has no idea of what’s going on. If Turkey turns eastward and joins the growing Russian bloc, US policymakers are going to have to scrap the better part of their strategic plans for the coming century and go back to Square 1. What a headache.

There’s a good article in Wednesday’s New York Times that summarizes Washington’s ambivalence towards South Stream perfectly. Here’s an excerpt:

“Moscow has long presented the project, proposed in 2007, as making good business sense because it would provide a new route for Russian gas to reach Europe. Washington and Brussels have opposed the project on the grounds that it was a vehicle for cementing Russian influence over southern Europe and for bypassing Ukraine, whose price disputes with Gazprom twice interrupted supplies to Europe in recent years.”

Putin’s Surprise Call to Scrap South Stream Gas Pipeline Leaves Europe Reeling”, New York Times)

This has been the argument from the get-go, that selling gas to people in the EU somehow strengthens Putin’s maniacal grip on the continent. What a joke. Would you, dear reader, be willing turn off the heat, tear up your energy bill, and freeze to death in the dark to prove to your gas company that you’re not willing to capitulate to their tyrannical rule?

Of course not, because the idea is ridiculous. Just like blocking South Stream is ridiculous. Putin is selling gas, not tyranny.  He doesn’t want people clicking their heels and goosestepping to work. That’s just propaganda from the people in the oil industry who lost the competition for supplying fuel to the EU. Call it sour grapes if you want, because that’s what it is. Their pipeline failed, (Nabucco) and Putin’s won. End of story. It’s called capitalism. Deal with it.

And here’s another thing: The countries that South Stream would have served, do not have a back-up supplier to meet their growing gas needs. So by following Washington’s lead, they’ve basically shot themselves in the foot. Analysts figure that any replacement for Russian gas will probably be 30 percent more expensive then they would have paid Gazprom.

Hurrah for the US! Hurrah for stupidity!

The US has been determined to sabotage South Stream from the very beginning, mainly because Washington wants its corporations and banks to control the flow of gas to the EU market through privately-owned pipelines in Ukraine. That way they can rake in bigger profits for their moneybags shareholders. Without going into too much detail about the various methods the US has used to torpedo the project, there’s one story that’s worth a look. This is from Zero Hedge:

“…two months before the Ukraine government was overthrown the prime  minister of Bulgaria, Plamen Oresharski,  ordered a halt to work on the South Stream on the recommendation of the EU. The decision was announced after his talks with US senators.

“At this time there is a request from the European Commission, after which we’ve suspended the current works, I ordered it,” Oresharski told journalists after meeting with John McCain, Chris Murphy and Ron Johnson during their visit to Bulgaria on Sunday. “Further proceedings will be decided after additional consultations with Brussels.”

At the time McCain, commenting on the situation, said that “Bulgaria should solve the South Stream problems in collaboration with European colleagues,” adding that in the current situation they would want “less Russian involvement” in the project.

“America has decided that it wants to put itself in a position where it excludes anybody it doesn’t like from countries where it thinks it might have an interest, and there is no economic rationality in this at all,” (said)Ben Aris, editor of Business New Europe told RT.”  (“Europe Gives Bulgaria A Bank System Lifeline As Battle Over “South Stream” Pipeline Heats Up”, Zero Hedge)

Let me get this straight: Madman McCain strolls into town and immediately starts ordering people around telling them he wants  “less Russian involvement”, and that’s enough to bring South Stream to a screeching halt? Is that what you’re telling me?

Yep. Sure sounds like it.

Does that help you see what’s really going here? This isn’t about Putin. It’s about gas, and who’s going to profit from that gas, and in whose currency that gas will be denominated. That’s what it’s about. The rest of the nonsense about “Russian involvement” or terrorism or human rights or national sovereignty is just gibberish. The people who run this country (like McCain), don’t care about that kind of stuff.  What they care about is money; money and power. That’s it.

So what are they going to do now?  How are the big powerboys in Washington going to express their rage over this new threat created by Putin and Erdogan?

It doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out, after all, we’ve seen it a million times before.

They’re going to go after Erdogan hammer and tongs. That’s what they always do, isn’t it?

The only reason they haven’t started in already is because they’re getting their propaganda ducks in a row, which usually takes a day or two. But as soon as that’s taken care of, they’ll start dismantling old Recep one excruciating headline at a time. Erdogan is going to be the new Hitler and the greatest threat to humanity the world has ever seen.  You can bet on it.

Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds thinks that Washington has had-it-in for Erdogan a long time now, dating back to a  dust up he had with the CIA a few years back. In any event, she gives a pretty good account of what we can expect now that Erdogan is on Washington’s enemies list.  Here’s a clip from her post at Boiling Frogs:

“We all know what happens to those puppets when they end up in a rift with the CIA. Don’t we? The rift always brings expiration. Once a puppet is considered expired, then lo and behold, all of a sudden, the reversal branding and marketing begins: All old skeletons are dug out of the deep closets and leaked to the media. His previously overlooked human rights violations are looked at and scrutinized under a microscope. The terrorist card is brought into the equation. And the list goes on…

… All Empire-installed puppets and regimes must commit to the Empire’s commandments….Thou shall not violate the Imperial commandments. Because if you do, thou shall be disgraced, exposed, uninstalled, and may even be given death. All you have to do is look at the past century’s history. See what happens when an installed puppet gets too confident and inflicted with hubris, and ignores one or more commandments. This is when they are reborn as dictators, despots, torturers, and yes, terrorists. This is when their backyards get dug up to find a few grams of weapons of mass destruction.”…

No matter how we look at it Erdogan’s days are numbered … Anyone who ever dares to be this reckless will be punished and made an example for all other installed-puppets…”  (“Turkish PM Erdogan: The Speedy Transformation of an Imperial Puppet”, BFP)

So there it is. That’s what you can expect by the end of the week when the media starts their full-throttle demonizing of Erdogan, the man who dared to act independently and put the interests of his own people above those of the Washington mob bosses.  As anyone who’s followed US foreign policy for the last 60 years will tell you; that’s a big no-no.


Mike Whitney is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

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

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