Thursday, October 23, 2014

Made in the USA

New streetcars in Portland, Oregon have large (top to bottom) 'Made in USA' on the full length of the car. Once upon a time - made in the USA was assumed. Now it has to be shouted out. But nevermind they were late in delivery and with excessive cost overruns. And the manufacturer is unique in the USA.

You might want to know, or maybe not - Vegan condoms, and they are fair-trade, are available in Portland. Portland is where young people go to retire. (Question mark deleted.)

The laugh of the century - US State Department

Washington Hopes Crimea Will Participate in Ukrainian Elections: US State Department: "The United States hopes that people from Crimea will vote in the upcoming snap parliamentary elections in Ukraine, a spokesperson for the US Department of State said Thursday."
"'We hope to see wide participations in the elections by all Ukrainians including Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk,' Jen Psaki said during a press briefing, adding that Washington would strongly condemn any interference in this legitimate democratic process and the ability of the people of Ukraine to peacefully choose their own leaders."

Canada uses shooting as a pretext to keep its citizens in fear

Canada to Strengthen Police Surveillance After Shooting: Prime Minister: "The surveillance powers of Canadian police will be reinforced after the recent attacks in the country that claimed the lives of two Canadian soldiers, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday."
"On Wednesday morning, a gunman shot dead a soldier guarding the National War Memorial in Ottawa and then proceeded to Parliament Hill's Center Block where he was killed in a shootout with a policeman."

ISIL Oil sales via black markets

Oil Sales Through Turkey Help Fuel Islamic State: US Treasury Department: "The Islamic State (IS) earns approximately $1 million a day by selling oil into a black market in Turkey and the region, a US Treasury Department official said on Wednesday." So what is being done to stop it?

I'm stunned: Zuckerberg stuns Beijing crowd with 30 minute Q&A session in Chinese

Zuckerberg stuns Beijing crowd with 30 minute Q&A session in Chinese.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

‘Mumia Bill’ violates constitutional free speech.

‘Mumia Bill’ signed in Pennsylvania lets prisoners be sued over speech: "Prisoners serving time in the state of Pennsylvania can now be sued for speaking up from behind bars after Governor Tom Corbett signed into law this week the Revictimization Relief Act that legislatures rushed to approve only days earlier."

Obama admin manipulating news

US Betrays Commitments as Cradle of Media Freedom: Inter-American Press Association: "The US crackdown on the press freedom is particularly disturbing, as Washington has always been seen as a cradle of democracy and freedom of the media, Chairman of the Inter-American Press Association's (IAPA) Freedom of the Press and Information Committee told RIA Novosti on Wednesday."

Russian warplanes intercepted over Baltic Sea

Map of Baltic Sea
Russian defence ministry says Russian warplane did not violate Estonia’s air space: It seems that Russian aircraft (always designated as warplanes) are being intercepted by NATO forces who have, in fact, moved to the Russian doorsteps.

Take a look at the map - NATO has established itself in many of the former Soviet states. The Baltic Sea is the major, maybe primary, natural flight path for Russian aircrafts.

Often purposely overlooked in the media titles is that Russia hasn't violated anyone's airspace. But it makes the news they want us to see and hear. It is all part of the demonizing aspect of the West and its media.




EU to undertake to guarantee Ukraine’s payment of gas debts?

Novak: EU must undertake to guarantee Ukraine’s payment of debts for Russian gas: "The European Union must undertake a commitment to guarantee Ukraine’s repayment of debts for Russian gas, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Tuesday after his talks with Ukrainian Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Yuri Prodan and European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettringer."

Ollie (Oliver Hardy): " Well , here's another nice mess you've gotten me into !" In this case, Ollie is the EU and Stan Laurel is the US.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sanctions have had an effect that maybe US didn't count on

Russian bases to span entire Arctic border by end of 2014: "Russia will have military control of the entirety of its 6,200 km Arctic coastal zone by the end of 2014, just a year after Moscow announced its ambitious plan to build military presence in the region, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has announced."

Russia probably had these plans before, but arguably the sanctions must have caused enough concern to set a faster pace.

HRW: Documents show that Ukraine used cluster munitions.

Kiev’s Use of Cluster Munitions Well-Documented and Confirmed: Human Rights Watch: "There exists a clear and detailed evidence, indicating that Ukrainian government forces used cluster munitions during a recent attack in Donetsk, a senior researcher from Human Rights Watch (HRW) told RIA Novosti Tuesday."

This was apparently in response to the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Perebiynis' denial:

Russia is a big market even for McDonald’s

McDonald’s Corporation Attributes Losses to Russia: "McDonald’s lost 0.92 percent in diluted earnings in the third quarter of 2014 because of temporary store closures in Russia and Ukraine, the company’s statement stated."

Keystone cops: Kurds' weapons dropped off to ISIL

Right into enemy hands? ISIS shows off new weapons allegedly airdropped by US (VIDEO): "Islamic State has published a new video in which a jihadist shows off brand-new American hardware, which was purportedly intended for the Kurds they are fighting in the Syrian border town of Kobani."

The Polish backstep: Polish ex-FM backtracks on scandalous 'divide Ukraine' claim

Sikorski U-turn: Polish ex-FM backtracks on scandalous 'divide Ukraine' claim: "Radoslaw Sikorski — the speaker of the Polish Parliament and that nation’s former foreign minister — was forced to apologize after claiming that he overheard Vladimir Putin in 2008 suggest that Ukraine should be divided between Russia and Poland."

Germany’s BND: MH17 downed by Ukraine militia. Really?

Germany’s intel agency says MH17 downed by Ukraine militia – report: "Germany's BND foreign intelligence agency says a local militia shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine in July, Der Spiegel reports. The BND is said to possess “ample evidence," though none of it has been made public."

The claim is that "the militia fired a rocket from a BUK defense missile system which it had captured from a Ukrainian base. It then exploded next to the plane, according to the report."

Ukraine: extrajudicial executions; cluster munitions

Amnesty International finds evidence of extrajudicial executions of civilians in Donbass: "A delegation dispatched by Amnesty International to the area of the east Ukrainian city of Donetsk, where the forces loyal to the Kiev government have been conducting a military operation since mid-April, has found strong evidence of extra-judicial executions of 'four men buried into graves near the village of Komunar,' the organization said in a report on Monday. The evidence strongly implicates that Kiev-controlled forces committed these crimes, it said."

Sanctions hurt: Denmark and EU

Denmark acknowledges $680 million loss from Russia’s food embargo: "Danish pig farmers will lose $680 million this year from Russia’s food embargo or twice as much as was earlier expected, Denmark’s Agriculture and Food Council said on Tuesday."

EU sanctions against Russia backfire on tourist industry, retailers: "Anti-Russian sanctions have backfired on the Old World’s tourist industry. Far fewer Russians go to Europe on holiday these days. On some destinations, tourist flow has slumped between 20% and 50% against 2013. Experts see two reasons for this: reluctance to put up with outbreaks of Russophobic sentiment and the ruble’s slump against the euro."

American failure: war on Afghan drugs

America’s $7.6 billion war on Afghan drugs fails, opium production peaks: "Despite Washington spending $7.6 billion on counter-narcotic initiatives in Afghanistan, 2013 witnessed a record surge in the amount of opium poppy cultivation, according to the US inspector general for Afghan reconstruction."

Of course this assumes that the US wanted to win that war. The irony:

Good advice: law should be the rule, not the tool.

China Voice: China should make law the rule, not tool: "As China's ruling party pledges to advance the rule of law at a key meeting on this theme, government agencies and officials should be reminded that the law should regulate the entire society, rather than simply be a tool to justify their administration."

Poland: a host to CIA torturing. What kind of society tortures humans?

October 21, 2014 - RT News: "Poland to appeal European Court ruling on CIA jails - prosecutor general. Warsaw is preparing to ask the European Court of Human Rights to re-consider its ruling that Poland violated its human rights commitments by hosting a secret CIA jail on its soil, Reuters quoted the prosecutor general as saying on Tuesday."

Poland is necessary to the US so that it can continue its torture while denying it tortures. What kind of society tortures humans?

Sweden PM: must strengthen military [remember the submarine hunt]

Sweden Must Strengthen Its Military Capacity: Prime Minister: "Sweden does not consider Russia's military power to be a direct threat, but must consider strengthening its own military capabilities, Sweden's newly elected Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said Tuesday."

Monday, October 20, 2014

Democracy by force - US military weapons, etc.

National Endowment for Democracy Urges US Military Support for Ukraine: "American support for Ukrainian democracy means providing military support for the country, director of the US non-profit organization National Endowment for Democracy (NED) Carl Gershman said Monday."

UN: Detroit not ensuring water affordability; water is a human right.

UN Says Detroit Initiatives Insufficient to Ensure Water Affordability: "The measures of Detroit city officials are insufficient to ensure the affordability of water, sanitation, and adequate housing, UN special rapporteur on the human rights to water and sanitation Catarina de Albuquerque told reporters at a press-conference in Detroit on Monday."

UK mirrors capitalism at its best

UK risks future divided by rich, poor: Report: "Britain is on the verge of becoming a divided country in the future between the rich and the poor, a new report by a public advisory organization warns."
"'Absolute child poverty increased by 300,000 between 2010-11 and 2012-13' while experts expect it to soar “significantly” over the next few years."

Obama considers allowing torture overseas — RT USA

Obama considers allowing torture overseas: "The White House is reportedly wrestling over how to interpret a ban on "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” ahead of a meeting in Geneva next month concerning the United Nations charter on torture."

US will not promise not to weaponize Ebola - WHY?

US Army withheld promise from Germany that Ebola virus wouldn't be weaponized: "The United States has withheld assurances from Germany that the Ebola virus - among other related diseases - would not be weaponized in the event of Germany exporting it to the US Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases."

It is important to take notice that "[b]ioweapons were outlawed in the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972 and was signed and ratified by 179 signatories, including Germany, the US and Russia."
"It dictates that signatories, 'under all circumstances the use of bacteriological (biological) and toxin weapons is effectively prohibited by the Convention" and "the determination of States parties to condemn any use of biological agents or toxins other than for peaceful purposes, by anyone at any time.'"

Sweden hunts for Red October

Sweden continues to suffer from Russian submarine syndrome: "Sweden has had the syndrome of Russian submarines since 1981, when a Soviet submarine, due to a navigation error, entered Swedish territorial waters and ran aground near the main base of the Swedish Navy, Karlskrona. Since then, prior to adopting the defense budget, a "Russian submarine" always appears in the Swedish waters. Later, though, it turns out that the submarine was actually a shoal of fish, seals, or abandoned fishing nets," chairman of the St. Petersburg Club of Submariners, Igor Kurdin told Interfax, vest.ru reports.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Military medical team - medical militarization?

Pentagon Prepares Military Medical Team to Fight With Ebola in US: "The US Defense Department said on Sunday that it is preparing a 30-member military medical team to fight with Ebola virus in the United States."

It is almost beyond belief that the military assumes it has to medical knowhow to take on the Ebola crisis in the US. It seems that the US response to everything is military involvement. Health care should never involve the military. The military is not a medical solution.

And this is odd:
"On Monday, the team meant to ensure quick response to the spread of the dangerous virus, will be sent to Texas for a week-long specialized training on infection control. After the training, the military medics will be able to assist doctors treating patients infected with Ebola."
Apparently, they are not presently prepared and they will be after a week long training? And is it only the medics that are trained? And they will assist only US doctors in the US?

CNN reports that the military assistance was requested by the Department of Health and Human Services. But one wonders whether the medical community backs that request. And notice the ease which the US military became involved.

Dangerous precedent but following in the footsteps of US domestic militarization. A conspiratorist might well wonder if a military coup is really that far in the future. In any event this doesn't bode well for US democracy when the military takes on civilian responsibilities.


Ebola fight: Fidel Castro offers cooperation with US

Fidel Castro offers cooperation with US in fight against Ebola: "In his article “Time of Duty,” which was published on Saturday, the retired Cuban leader said that medical staff trying to save lives are the best example of human solidarity. Fighting together against the epidemic can protect the people of Cuba, Latin America, and the US from the deadly virus, he added."
“We will gladly cooperate with American [medical] personnel in this task – not for the sake of peace between the two states which have been adversaries for many years, but for the sake of peace in the world.”
It might sound odd that the small nation of Cuba offering to cooperate with the large nation of America as if they can offer something that America cannot. Well they do offer something - Cuba far out strips the US in providing medical personnel in fighting Ebola and in other disasters. E.g., this from the World Health Organization:
"Cuba is known the world over for its ability to train excellent doctors and nurses who can then go out to help other countries in need. Currently there are more than 50 000 Cuban-trained health workers in 66 countries."
Even John Kerry noted that Cuba was one of the "nations large and small stepping up in impressive ways to make a contribution on the front lines."

UN: human rights violations in Detroit?

UN Representatives to Visit Detroit to Inspect Alleged Human Rights Violations: "The United Nations (UN) human rights representatives will visit the bankrupt US city of Detroit, Michigan, for a fact-finding public town hall meeting on humanitarian issues on October 19."
"International and locally known panelists will hear testimony from Michigan residents about water, sanitation and housing issues offered by victims of this crisis."

Saturday, October 18, 2014

US looking for credible allies in Syria -

US Still Searching for Credible Allies in Syria | Military.com: "Despite years of diplomacy and a CIA operation to vet and train moderate rebels, the U.S. finds itself without a credible partner on the ground in Syria as it bombs the Islamic State group."

The obvious ally is the Syrian government, but the US has demonized them so much that it cannot swallow that lump of words and work with Syria to eliminate ISIL. Syria is a legitimate government, even if the US doesn't approve. Governments in that part of the world never know when the US will support them or try to overthrow them. Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, the list goes on and on.

The rule ought to be, oh, that is right it is the rule, that one nation doesn't interfere in the domestic affairs of another nation. Of course, the US has its own book of international laws.

And besides - the US isn't serious about fighting ISIL. Notice that most of the bombing takes place in Syria not in Iraq that requested US aid. And most of the members, at least those taking part in the bombing, are Syrian enemies. Not surprising that they are bombing Syria and have as their primary purpose the overthrow of the Syrian government.

West's promise to Gorbachev about NATO - meaningless

West Fails to Contain NATO as Promised to USSR: Nuclear Age Peace Foundation: "The West has failed to keep its promise, given to the Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, to contain NATO expansion, New York director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF) Alice Slater told RIA Novosti Friday."
"The West is now caught up in a new cold war, having failed to contain NATO as promised to Gorbachev when the wall came down in Berlin and having expanded the missile program into Eastern Europe after the US walked out of its Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia."
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

Meaningless: UN Security Council condemnation of ISIL attacks in Iraq

UN Security Council Condemns IS Attacks in Iraq: "According to the statement issued on Friday, the UN Security Council condemns  'the vicious string of suicide, vehicle-borne, and other attacks in Baghdad and surrounding provinces over the past several days, perpetrated by the terrorist organization operating under the name Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.'"

​FBI director crying wolf claiming the sky is falling

​FBI director wants access to encrypt Apple, Google users’ data, demands law ‘fix’: "The FBI director has slammed Apple and Google for offering their customers encryption technology that protects users’ privacy. “Deeply concerned” James Comey wants to push on Congress to “fix” laws to ensure police can still access private data."

Biden son’s use of cocaine ended Navy stint before it begun

Vice: Biden son’s brief Navy career ended after positive cocaine test: "US Vice-President Joe Biden’s son Hunter was discharged from the Navy Reserve in February 2014 after failing a drug test that turned up positive for cocaine just a month after his commissioning, it’s been revealed."

Pure politics: Ron Klain as Ebola ‘Czar’

Obama to Appoint Ron Klain Ebola ‘Czar’: "President Barack Obama named Ron Klain an "Ebola czar", responsible for dealing with the virus outbreak in the United States, the White House said."

US Cancels visas for Hungarian officials - corruption? Not really

US Cancels Visas for Hungarian Officials Over Corruption Allegations: "The United States imposed sanctions against some Hungarian officials and businessmen over their alleged involvement in corruption, Deutsche Welle has reported, citing US charge d'affaires of the US Embassy in Budapest Andre Goodfriend."

But - "According to the local media reports, the entry ban could target people associated with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and be a response to Hungary's rapprochement with Russia."

The people are not named by the US nor the actual charges. Nothing like guilty until proven innocent. But it is another attempt by the street bully to 'punish' those who disagree with him.

US drone attacks in Pakistan not hitting Al-Qaeda militants

Only 84 of 2,379 US drone attacks victims in Pakistan confirmed Al-Qaeda militants - report: "CIA drones strikes in Pakistan have killed nearly 2,400 people since 2004. But despite US claims it just hits “confirmed terrorist targets,” only 84 of the victims have been named Al-Qaeda members, a report revealed."

IS Jet Fighters: Pentagon hasn't a clue

No Confirmation on IS Jet Fighters: Pentagon: "Reports of Islamic State (IS) pilots flying stolen jet fighters over the Syrian city of Aleppo have not been confirmed by coalition forces, the Pentagon said."

Lack of intelligence is stunning.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Who is threatening who?

"On Wednesday, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in his keynote address to the Association of the US Army that the US troops must be prepared to deal with Russia "with its modern and capable army on NATO's doorstep".[Pentagon Says Hagel Did Not Threaten Russia].

Hagel did not threaten Russia? What nonsense

Pentagon Says Hagel Did Not Threaten Russia: "There were no threats in the recent statement by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel who said that the US Army "must deal with a revisionist Russia with its modern and capable army," Pentagon said."

"When asked, what did Secretary Hagel mean by calling Russia "revisionist," Kirby [Pentagon Press Secretary] said 'I think what he is referring to there, is that there appears to be in their [Russia's] intentions and in their motives a coming back to the glory days of the Soviet Union.'"

Moscow refutes reports that Russia, US agreed to share intel on ISIS — RT News

Moscow refutes reports that Russia, US agreed to share intel on ISIS: "Russia has refuted media reports that Washington and Moscow have agreed to share intelligence on Islamic State terrorists. The news reports followed Wednesday talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry."

What is going on with the US state department. Secretary of state John Kerry clearly said: “In our discussions today I suggested Foreign Minister Lavrov that we intensify intelligence cooperation in respect ISIL and other counter-terrorism issues of the region and we agreed to do so."

UN chief shocked by Gaza school ruins

Shocked at Gaza school ruins, Ban urges probe: "UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for an independent investigation into Israel's deadly shelling of a UN-run school during the Tel Aviv regime’s latest onslaught on the Gaza Strip."
“No amount of Security Council sessions, reports or briefings could have prepared me for what I witnessed today.”
Unfortunately, the UN chief only has moral authority which will go ignored by countries like Israel and the US. Ban Ki-moon is pissing in the wind.

Norway remove child from parents over lost tooth, but is about immigration

Norway authorities remove child from parents over lost tooth: "Norwegian authorities have snatched away a Russian couple’s young son after he shared the story of a missing baby tooth with his classmates. The parents are accused of child abuse."

Norwegian Child Welfare Services (CWS) is apparently notorious in what can be described as state kidnapping. And it should not be lost that their focus seems to be on immigrants.

Germany sued over US drone attack in Yemen

Yemeni man sues Germany over US drone attack that killed his relatives: "A Yemeni man is suing the German government after two of his relatives were killed by a US drone strike in 2012. He says Germany is liable as they allowed Washington to use the Ramstein airbase, believed to be the nerve center of the operation."

New Zealand journalist targeted

New Zealand Cops Raided Home of Reporter Working on Snowden Documents - The Intercept: "Agents from New Zealand’s national police force ransacked the home of a prominent independent journalist earlier this month who was collaborating with The Intercept on stories from the NSA archive furnished by Edward Snowden. The stated purpose of the 10-hour police raid was to identify the source for allegations that the reporter, Nicky Hager, recently published in a book that caused a major political firestorm and led to the resignation of a top government minister."

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bombing of Kurds wrongful U.S. foreign policy

Bombing of Kurds Shows Everything That’s Wrong with U.S. Foreign Policy - The Intercept: "The PKK [Kurdistan Workers Party] is officially designated as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) by the United States. As reported previously by The Intercept, the NSA under both the Bush and Obama Administrations actively aided the Turkish military in targeting this group and has provided intelligence used to kill its members."

Putin: Western companies may permanently lose their place in Russian markets

Putin Warns Western Companies of Permanently Losing Place on Russian Markets: "It will be difficult for Western companies to come back to Russian markets as their refusal to cooperate with Russia under sanctions would seriously damage their reputation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said."

"In addition, it will make other countries think carefully whether it is wise to invest their funds in the American banking system and increase their dependence on economic cooperation with the United States." 

Medvedev: Russian Troop movements irrelevant to Ukraine crisis

Medvedev: Russian Troops Movements Not Signal to Anyone | Military & Intelligence: "The return of Russian troops, who took part in summer exercises in southern Russia, to their permanent bases is part of Russia's domestic policy and not a signal to anyone, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday."

It is amazing how eager the UN and US can subjectively tie events in Russia to the Ukraine crisis. But it would likely be wrong to assume that there is no message in their military drills and buildup.




Medvedev: Wonders about Obama’s brain aberration.

Calling Russia ‘threat to humanity’ puts Obama’s sanity in doubt - Medvedev: “'I am very upset by the fact that President Obama, while speaking from the United Nations’ podium and listing the threats and challenges humanity is currently facing, put Ebola in first place, the Russian Federation second and the Islamic State organization was only in the third place. I don’t even want to comment on this, this is some sort of aberration in the brain,' Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with CNBC television."

But the US has determined that they should cooperate with Russia over ISIL intelligence.

China: Washington is paranoid over Waldorf purchase

Waldorf review reflects Washington’s paranoia: "Washington intervened in the sale of New York's landmark Waldorf Astoria hotel and residences to China's Anbang Insurance Group recently. This deal was announced by Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc last week, but now has to be reviewed by the US government for fear of China's espionage, as the property accommodates a host of US government officials and heads of state."

The rationale: China's espionage as the Waldorf is utilized by US government officials and heads of state.

The article has this concluding paragraph that is full of little digs:
"Chinese companies, like their Western counterparts, are going global to reap benefits. They are also dedicated to creating a convincing sustainable economic network instead of serving under-the-table purposes. As for the US, it should realize that China's economic presence might be the X-factor it needs. China will add real impetus to reviving the US economy."

UN: Mass surveillance violates international treaties and privacy rights

UN Report Finds Mass Surveillance Violates International Treaties and Privacy Rights - The Intercept: "The United Nations’ top official for counter-terrorism and human rights (known as the “Special Rapporteur”) issued a formal report to the U.N. General Assembly today that condemns mass electronic surveillance as a clear violation of core privacy rights guaranteed by multiple treaties and conventions. 
'The hard truth is that the use of mass surveillance technology effectively does away with the right to privacy of communications on the Internet altogether.'”
 “The arguments in favor of a complete abrogation of the right to privacy on the Internet have not been made publicly by the States concerned or subjected to informed scrutiny and debate.”

Iraq’s abandoned chemical weapons

The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons. It is more than a story about chemical weapons found in Iraq, it is a detailed story of military cover up, failure to provide care to US servicemen exposed to mustard gas and sarin, failure to report important data to US Senate committee, and failure to follow international law.

The chemical weapons are not germane to the latest Iraq war, but what is of interest is who supplied the chemicals, the ability to make the weapons, and the munitions carrying the chemicals. Can you say US?

The story is too important to reduce to a few paragraphs here. The US secrecy that hid its own complicity in the manufacturing of these weapons and in doing so caused permanent injury to its servicemen. It is important that the complete story is read in full.

The New York Times has presented a story in the fashion of the old Times when the public could rely on them for journalism. Please take the time to read it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Growing neo-Nazi tendencies in Baltic states and Ukraine

Putin worried over growing neo-Nazi tendencies in Baltic states and Ukraine: “'Regrettably, the vaccine against the Nazi virus developed at the Nuremberg trials is losing its efficiency in some European state,' Putin said in an interview with Serbia’s daily newspaper Politika on Tuesday. 'A vivid example of this is open manifestations of neo-Nazism, which have become routine in Latvia and other Baltic countries.'

What is more worrisome is that the US is using these Neo-Nazi movements to achieve their goals, e.g., Ukraine. The US has time and time again shown that their foreign policy is that the ends that justifies the means. Principles, ethics, morality have no place in the US foreign policy lexicon.

Anti-ISIL coalition: a false flag to reshape Iraq and Syria

Coordinated deceit and destruction across Iraq and Syria: "To those of us who have been closely following developments in the Middle East region, it’s incredibly obvious that there’s been a longstanding relationship between NATO and regional allies to recruit, train, finance, arm and direct foreign mercenary forces to illegally attack and destroy Syria."

And a clown named Sparkles

Cops caught using millions in seized assets on surveillance gear, weapons and clowns: “Police agencies have used hundreds of millions of dollars taken from Americans under federal civil forfeiture law in recent years to buy guns, armored cars and electronic surveillance gear,” Robert O’Harrow and Steven Rich wrote for the Post. “They have also spent money on luxury vehicles, travel and a clown named Sparkles.” [Original story: Asset seizures fuel police spending | The Washington Post].

The gap: richest 1% own 50 percent of world wealth

Richest 1% own 50 percent of world wealth- Credit Suisse report: "World wealth has reached a record $263 trillion but is concentrated in fewer hands. The richest 1 percent have accumulated more wealth, and own almost 50 percent of it, which could trigger recession, according to a new report by Credit Suisse."

Lenin would be screaming IMPERIALISM.

German economy growth rate slashed to 1.2%. Can you say sanctions?

German economy in ‘choppy waters’, as growth forecast slashed to 1.2%: "'The German economy is in choppy waters concerning foreign trade,' Sigmar Gabriel, Minister for Economics and Energy, said in a statement. Better growth will largely depend on international factors improving, he added. The continuing standoff with Russia over Ukraine that turned into a so-called ‘sanctions war’ with the West is eroding growth everywhere, the ministry statement said."

I wonder when nations will start putting the interests of their people before the interests of the Obama administration?

US Soldiers from Ebola-Hit Africa to stay in its military bases in Spain?

US Asks Spain to Allow US Soldiers From Ebola-Hit Africa to Stay in Its Military Bases: "The American authorities, the spokesperson added, want their soldiers to rest in the Rota and Moron de la Frontera bases located in southern Spain."

Why should Spain take this risk? It is a bogus justification - need for soldiers to rest. What the US wants is essentially a place of quarantine to see if any of the soldiers show signs of the disease.

US Authorities Promise Full Due Process to Snowden - Sure.

US Authorities Promise Full Due Process to Snowden If Whistleblower Returns to Country: "The US government is ready to grant National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden full due process and protections, if the whistleblower returns to the United States to face his charges, Department of Justice's National Security Division spokesman Marc Raimondi told RIA Novosti on Tuesday."

What is the angle here? US embarrassed that Snowden found refuge in Russia? Get him back and make an example of him? Why should he return. I can't think of any reason. He is doing more for press freedom and government transparency from his home in Russia than he could in the US. The US government, especially the Obama administration, cannot be trusted. End of story.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Korean War US Soldiers' remains being lost never to be recovered

Korean War US Soldiers' Remains Being Lost to Flooding, Construction, Land Development: "The recovery program was first halted in 2005 by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who cited nuclear tensions and security concerns for recovery teams. The project resumed briefly in 2011, but was suspended a year later after North Korea’s rocket launch."

To hear the US rhetoric - recovery of military remains from the Korean War is absolutely necessary, yet they continue to look for rationales not to recover the remains still in North Korea since the Korean War. Now the remains are being lost never to be recovered. What matters is to play politics.

Financial Times fails to publish Russian Ambassador’s letter on Ukraine

FT cannot muster political will to publish Russian Ambassador’s letter on Ukraine: "Since 3 October the Russian Embassy in the UK has been waiting for a positive response from the Financial Times on publishing a letter from Ambassador Yakovenko’s as part of the debate on Ukraine. We have only heard that it is under consideration."

If a letter by the Russian Ambassador to the UK is not worthy news - then what is.And why could or would there be any reluctance on the part of the Financial Times? Waiting for the government to approve?

The letter is in the article and can be found here too.


‘Palestinians skeptical - as well as they should

‘Palestinians skeptical about promised financial aid’: "Many Palestinians are skeptical about the $5.4 billion aid pledged for the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip, as they understand that conditions might be set for them to get the money, Hani al-Bassous from the Islamic University of Gaza told RT."

Pledges are interesting. They make the country look magnanimous while making no real commitment. There will be no one to follow up and point fingers at those countries that fail to follow through. And, Aid especially from the West comes with conditions often implicit.

Palestinians have to be skeptical. Promises are worthless.

ISIL appears to have used chemical weapons against Kobani Kurds

ISIL used chemical weapons against Kobani Kurdish fighters: Report: "Recent photos of Kurdish fighters killed in battles with ISIL Takfiri militants in the Syrian town of Kobani suggest that the terrorists have used chemical weapons against the Kurds."

Photos of the "bodies of three Kurdish fighters were not damaged by bullets, but instead were marked by burns and white spots without any visible wounds or external bleeding."

"The Syrian ambassador to the United Nations has accused Turkey and Saudi Arabia of providing weapons of mass destruction for the terrorists operating inside his country. [...] Ankara and Riyadh are involved in giving chemical weapons to the militants, adding that Turkey supports over 100 terrorist groups in Syria."

Meanwhile the US accuses Syria of using chemical weapons. But no accusations against ISIL. More and more it seems true that the ISIL is a creature of the US and its Western partners. US actions against ISIL are more directed at Syria, not the ISIL.

Manipulation of oil prices and supporting terrorism

S Arabia manipulates oil price for political gains: Russian official: "'The current price dynamic, which has been developing for the last few months, may not reflect the objective trend,' Mikhail Leontyev, vice president of Russia's state-owned oil giant, Rosneft, told the Russkaya Sluzhba Novostei radio station on Sunday. 'Prices can be manipulative.'"
"First of all, Saudi Arabia has begun making big discounts on oil. This is political manipulation. The second factor is the stolen ISIL oil, which reaches the market through Turkey and Israel with a triple discount. It is not much, but it is stolen, so it is cheap."
It is not surprising that Saudi Arabia is manipulating oil prices. It coincides with what the US would like to see because it devalues Russian oil too. But the interesting part is the ISIL stolen oil. It makes its way to market via Turkey and Israel. No matter how one looks at that - it is supporting terrorism. Yet we hear nothing from the US. And the UN Security Council passed a resolution recently to prohibit member nations from such activity.

Iran is correct the US efforts against ISIL not real.

Russia's special aviation to transport Ebola infected

Russia - Russia to continue fight against Ebola — Putin: "Putin also said Russia and European countries might use special aviation to fight Ebola, adding that experts are studying the possibility of working together. Earlier, some European countries asked Russia to use special aviation and capsules for transporting the infected people.

Vladimir Putin said Russia has got the necessary means. Last week the Russian Emergencies Ministry presented special equipment for safe transportation of Ebola-infected people to German virologists, who showed interest in special kits, isolation chambers and special protective clothing."

Need to know more. And "Russia will send the new anti-viral drug triazavirin to West Africa to help in the struggle against the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said Monday." [Russia to Send New Ebola Drug to West Africa: Health Ministry].

No smiley faces in ​Denmark set to ban bestiality.

​Denmark to ban sex with animals: "Denmark is planning to banish bestiality, following the recent examples of Germany and Norway, said the country’s food and agriculture minister. The bill was long-awaited both inside the country and abroad."

It is hard to imagine that it is such an issue that legislation would be needed. But look at who announced the plan: Denmark's food and agriculture minister.

Afghans dispute airstrikes - civilians not militants killed

7 civilians or 8 militants dead? NATO, Afghans dispute airstrike: "NATO and Afghan officials are disputing an airstrike in E. Afghanistan that killed at least seven people. An Afghan official said all the dead were civilians, including a 12-year-old child, but NATO said the “precision” strike only killed militants."

NATO has no troops on the ground to verify. Apparently villagers in the Paktia province where the strike took place found seven bodies. "Locals say they were gathering firewood on a mountain side when NATO forces fired upon them on Sunday. An eighth person was reportedly wounded."

Of course NATO, like the US, makes no mistakes.

Ukraine leaders - a dearth of intellect

Ukraine Refuses to Pre-Pay for Russian Gas: Energy Minister: "Ukraine is not willing to make pre-payments for deliveries of Russian natural gas as it contradicts the existing contractual conditions, Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan said Monday."

Ukraine has refused to pay for the gas it has received from Russia running a tab of over a billion, yes billion, of dollars. Because they will not pay - Russia has said from here on out and until the debt is paid to receive gas you must prepay.

The energy minister wants to abide by the parts of the original contract he likes and disregard that he doesn't like. Does he have any concept of contracts?

Stating the obvious obliquely: Ukraine downed MH17

Bundestag Member Questions Russia, Ukraine Militia Involvement in MH17 Crash: "The party responsible for the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine, has still not been identified and Russia or Ukraine independence supporters do not seem to be responsible.' Germany's Bundestag Member Alexander Neu said in an interview with International Information Agency Rossiya Segodnya Monday."
"I'm pretty sure that if it was Russia or the rebels in the east of Ukraine to blame, the West would have known that and all that would have been used, and it would be known by the world community... Since this has not yet happened, the question remains, who is to blame, really?" 
You betcha!

​MasterCard to remain in Russia - CEO

​MasterCard to comply with new rules and remain in Russia - CEO: "The MasterCard international payment system will continue operating in Russia and comply with the new rules set out by the Central Bank of Russia, CEO Ajay Banga has said."

Previously in April 2014 Mastercard: "US-based financial services giant MasterCard said Friday it was concerned about the future of its business in Russia in light of a new legislation on introduction of a national card payment system in the country."