"We are at a serious turning point." This is almost too depressing to discuss. Washington support for Ukraine continues on several fronts. Washington, Kiev, and NATO all seem comfortable with supporting each other about everything from re-writing Russia's history in WW2 to looking positively on NATO military support for Kiev against the Eastern rebels and Russia. Poroshenko has even vowed to retake the Crimea once the Donbass is dealt with effectively by a NATO bolstered Kiev military. Cohen firmly states that the understanding in Russia and to any thinking person is effectively the escalation of a civil war in Ukraine to a proxy war with Russia and the West. Again he emphasizes that all this is going on virtually no press treatment or discussion in the United States. This effectively means that Washington will be going to war without its own population ever being really aware of any real facts behind the conflict. Was the average German citizen in pre-war Germany any better informed? Of additional interest, the Russian economy was discussed; the repercussions of what would happen if Russia was denied access to the SWIFT system were looked at in detail. Cohen has looked into this in similar detail as Paul Craig Roberts and other notables (China would help if necessary) but with the caveat that should Russia be isolated financially, it would be seen as an act of war and that a Russian response could involve confiscation of Western assets with Russia. Again we are reminded that although Russia is hurting, it is far from out for the count and its blow back efforts would hurt the West severely. From my perspective Putin is trying to avoid war with Washington that shows every sign of having war as a goal or is simply too incompetent to deal with the situation. Cohen states that Obama apparently has passed the baton to V.P. Biden and wonders why?
KOMMERSANT: What is the goal of U.S. policy as far as Ukraine is concerned? GEORGE FRIEDMAN: For all of the last 100 years Americans have pursued a very consistent foreign policy. Its main goal: to not allow any state to amass too much power in Europe. First, the United States sought to prevent Germany from dominating Europe, then it sought to prevent the USSR from strengthening its influence. The essence of this policy is as follows: to maintain as long as possible a balance of power in Europe, helping the weaker party, and if the balance is about to be significantly disrupted — to intervene at the last moment. And so, in the case of the First World War, the United States intervened only after the abdication of Nicholas II in 1917, to prevent Germany from gaining ground. And during WWII, the U.S. opened a second front only very late (in June 1944), after it became clear that the Russians were prevailing over the Germans. What is more, the most dangerous potential alliance, from the perspective of the United States, was considered to be an alliance between Russia and Germany. This would be an alliance of German technology and capital with Russian natural and human resources. KOMMERSANT: Today, who in your opinion is the United States trying to restrain? GEORGE FRIEDMAN: Today the U.S. is seeking to block the emergence of a whole range of potential regional hegemons: Serbia, Iran, Iraq. At the same time, the U.S. authorities take advantage of diversionary attacks. For example, in a battle, when the enemy is on the verge of achieving victory, you hit him in the side get him off balance. U.S. does not seek to "defeat" Serbia, Iran or Iraq, but they need to create chaos there, to prevent them from getting too strong.
Mary Noriega heard there would be chicken. She hated being herded “like cattle,” she said, standing for hours in a line of more than 1,500 people hoping to buy food, as soldiers with side arms checked identification cards to make sure no one tried to buy basic items more than once or twice a week.
Russian President Vladimir Putin hasn’t been one to back down in response to sanctions against his country and attacks on his economy. Rather, he has stepped up not only his rhetoric, but his military activities as well. His latest move is yet another show of force to let the West know Russia is prepared to do whatever is necessary to protect its interests. The U. K.’s Royal Air Force scrambled fighter jets on Thursday after a pair of nuclear-capable Russian bombers flew across a busy civilian air traffic corridor above the English Channel. The bombers had their transponders turned off, British officials said, making them invisible to many air traffic control systems. The incident disrupted multiple flights – and ended with the U. K. government demanding the Russian ambassador appear at the Foreign Office to explain the actions. This latest incident comes on the heels of similar flyovers by nuclear bombers along the west coast of the United States from Alaska all the way down to California. It has even been speculated that Russia may have tested a new weapon last year leading to a shut down of Los Angeles commercial air traffic control systems. Earlier this morning former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said that the U. S. and Russia are engaged in another cold war but warned that it could well go hot should tensions between the two nations continue to escalate.
This post was published at shtfplan on January 30th, 2015.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, around 10 percent of family doctors already offer shared medical appointments, sessions that bring together a dozen or more patients with similar medical conditions to meet with a doctor for 90 minutes. With pressure from the government and insurers to bring down the cost of care while treating the increasing number of people with health insurance, patients can expect group visits to become more common. ‘It’s efficient. It’s economical. – From the Bloomberg article: Your Next Doctor’s Visit Could Get Crowded Get ready, this is coming. While this trend was already happening before the passage of Obamacare, it’s not hard to imagine that private medical consultations could soon be a thing of the past for your average American serf. Somehow I doubt members of Congress will be having group visits any time soon… From Bloomberg:
The Sacramento Bee has the story. 1/27/15, ‘Grit and gratitude join reading, writing and arithmetic on report cards,’ by Loretta Kalb: ‘Across the state, report cards are undergoing a sea change in how students are measured for academic performance. Where teachers once graded students [only] on traditional math or English skills, they now judge attributes such as grit, gratitude or being sensitive to others… Districts are changing their report cards to reflect the new Common Core State Standards…’ ‘…when it comes to attributes such as grit or being sensitive to others, they [teachers] give [third-grade] students one of four marks: A for almost always, O for often, S for sometimes and R for rarely.’ Report cards for young children. Grit, gratitude, and sensitivity to others. Welcome to the madhouse. Where are the massive parent protests? Apparently, nowhere. So they’re brainwashed as well. In case I need to point this out: a child of eight isn’t naturally gushing gratitude and sensitivity toward others. In schools, these are taught values, and they are now attached to report-card grades. The child is being conditioned to behave in prescribed ways, in order to earn a ‘gold star.’ It’s all synthetic, artificial. It’s operant conditioning. The baffled clueless child learns to take cues. He learns to speak certain ‘grateful sensitive’ words. He becomes a waddling little duck who’s taught how to quack. They all quack in concert.
Murders reached a historic low in NYC for 2014; overall crime was down across the board by nearly 5%; hell, even the holiday slowdown didn’t really lead to any additional crime. So clearly, now is the time when NYC really needs to implement a new anti-terrorism program which would empower a team of NYPD officers to roam around the city carrying machine guns. What could go wrong? This new squad will be used to investigate and combat terrorist plots, lone wolf terrorists, and… protests. ‘It is designed for dealing with events like our recent protests, or incidents like Mumbai or what just happened in Paris,’ Bratton said, according to CBS. – From the Gothamist article: New NYPD Anti-Terror Unit Will Get Machine Guns To Police Protesters The morphing of ‘terrorism’ and ‘domestic dissent’ into an all encompassing and convenient category known as ‘domestic terrorists’ or ‘domestic extremists’ has been a long time coming. It has always been my contention, and continues to be, that the oligarchs who have funneled all of the wealth to themselves since the 2008 banker bailouts know exactly what they are doing. They also know that it will eventually result in severe domestic unrest during the next cyclical downturn. As such, the agenda has been to utilize the entirety of the intelligence-industrial-military complex created by the ‘war on terror’ against the domestic population once it recognizes how badly it has been looted. All the way back in 2010, in the post, The Dangers of a Failed Presidency, I wrote:
Leon Black’s Apollo Global Management LLC, Carlyle Group LP and a unit of Credit Suisse Group AG have all taken steps in the past two months to create CLOs now that they may be able to refinance after the rules take effect in December 2016 without having to comply with the new regulations, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. The firms are trying to avoid a requirement to hold a stake in the funds they manage. – From the Bloomberg article: Wall Street Creating CLOs That May Bypass Rules: Credit Markets As the U. S. inches closer to a cyclical downturn within the secular theft up-cycle known as the oligarch recovery, the craftiest of financial oligarchs will be scurrying to position themselves as beneficially as possible while not missing out on any crumbs that remain ripe for the taking. As such, it behooves us all to pay increasingly close attention to their shenanigans. In this regard, we have some excerpts from the following Bloomberg article: (Bloomberg) – Wall Street has another rule it’s trying to get around: regulations seeking to limit risk-taking by managers of collateralized loan obligations. Leon Black’s Apollo Global Management LLC, Carlyle Group LP and a unit of Credit Suisse Group AG have all taken steps in the past two months to create CLOs now that they may be able to refinance after the rules take effect in December 2016 without having to comply with the new regulations, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. The firms are trying to avoid a requirement to hold a stake in the funds they manage.
The War of Lies rages on as Washington looks for a place to hang more of its sanctions against Russia… As 21WIRE reported previously, the West have been repeatedly accusing Russia of positioning its military assets in the Ukraine, even though those accusations have no basis in reality. As part of the West’s PR and propaganda strategy, Washington, EU and Kiev have carefully stopped short of labeling the non-event as an invasion, instead calling it ‘Russian aggression’, or a’cross-border incursion’ to aid ‘separatists’, with the all-important caveat of ‘unconfirmed report’. Who’s managing this giant disinformation campaign coming out of Kiev? The CIA are currently in residence inside the top floor of the Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense building. Some desperate members of the US media seized upon the recent admission (see report below) that the are ‘No Russian Troops Fighting in the Ukraine’ made by the Ukrainian General Muzhenko, re-spinning it for US audiences as, ‘There are troops, he said no ‘Russian Units’ but what he really meant is that individual Russians soldiers are spread out throughout eastern Ukraine’.
It has been said that birds of a feather flock together, and proof of that statement can be seen in the fact that terrorist sympathizer John McCain was recently forced to act as Knight in Shining Armor for famed mass murderer Henry Kissinger as the latter was attempting to give yet another speech to the Senate Armed Services Committee. Kissinger’s arrival, as well as the beginning of his speech, was interrupted by protesters from Code Pink, who attempted to list off the crimes of Henry Kissinger but were unable to continue their presentation for the requisite number of days it would take to do so due to the fact that Capitol Hill police were called in to remove them. McCain, always a friend to those who have committed or are doing their best to commit atrocities on a mass scale, erupted in typical angry fashion screaming at protesters, ‘You know, you’re going to have to shut up, or I’m going to have you arrested.’ As the protesters were being removed, McCain also screamed, ‘Get out of here you low-life scum.’ McCain went on to apologize to Kissinger by stating that ‘Dr. Kissinger, I hope on behalf of all of the members of this committee on both sides of the aisle – in fact, from all of my colleagues, I’d like to apologize for allowing such disgraceful behavior towards a man who served his country with the greatest distinction. I apologize profusely.’
Just out from Hugh Hewitt: I’ve been emailed this text of remarks Mitt Romney will be making to his supporters shortly: * * * Let me begin by letting you know who else is on this call, besides Ann and me. There are a large number of people who signed on to be leaders of our 2016 finance effort. In addition, state political leadership from several of the early primary states are on the line. And here in New York City, and on the phone, are people who have been helping me think through how to build a new team, as well as supporters from the past who have all been kind enough to volunteer their time during this deliberation stage. Welcome, and thank you. Your loyalty and friendship, and your desire to see the country with new, competent and conservative leadership warms my heart. After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the Party the opportunity to become our next nominee. Let me give you some of my thinking. First, I am convinced that with the help of the people on this call, we could win the nomination. Our finance calls made it clear that we would have enough funding to be more than competitive. With few exceptions, our field political leadership is ready and enthusiastic about a new race. And the reaction of Republican voters across the country was both surprising and heartening. I know that early poll numbers move up and down a great deal during a campaign, but we would have no doubt started in a strong position. One poll out just today shows me gaining support and leading the next closest contender by nearly two to one. I also am leading in all of the four early states. So I am convinced that we could win the nomination, but fully realize it would have been difficult test and a hard fight.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on 01/30/2015.
A week ago we learned that the king of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, passed away at the age of 90. Following the announcement, crude oil immediately spiked 2.5 percent over uncertainty of how this might affect the Middle Eastern kingdom’s position on keeping oil production at current levels. But the new leader, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has already tamped down this uncertainty, stating that Saudi Arabia will hold to the decision made at last November’s Organization of Petroleum Exporting Country (OPEC) meeting. All of this speculation just shows that Saudi Arabia is indeed the 800-pound gorilla when it comes to oil. Until very recently, it was the world’s top oil producer and exporter, before the American shale boom catapulted the U. S. into first place. Now, however, with prices less than half of what they were in July, many U. S. oil companies have been forced to shut down rigs, effectively slowing down output. These events got me curious to dive deeper into Saudi Arabia’s economy and the extent to which it’s dependent on crude revenues. Below are some of the most interesting facts, gathered from a September case study by Richard Vietor and Hilary White of Harvard Business School. Despite beliefs to the contrary, Saudi Arabia requires a breakeven price of $80 per barrel of oil. True, the stuff is easy and inexpensive to extract in Saudi Arabia’s desert – the prevailing notion is that one need only stick a straw in the ground and oil comes gushing out – but to afford its bloated social spending program, the government needs prices to be much higher. Right now, oil revenues make up a whopping 90 percent of the country’s budget.
This post was published at GoldSeek on 30 January 2015.
[This article is adapted from a talk presented at the Houston Mises Circle, January 24, 2015.] Presumably everyone in this room, or virtually everyone, is here today because you have some interest in the topic of secession. You may be interested in it as an abstract concept or as a viable possibility for escaping a federal government that Americans now fear and distrust in unprecedented numbers. As Mises wrote in 1927: The situation of having to belong to a state to which one does not wish to belong is no less onerous if it is the result of an election than if one must endure it as the consequence of a military conquest. I’m sure this sentiment is shared by many of you. Mises understood that mass democracy was no substitute for liberal society, but rather the enemy of it. Of course he was right: nearly 100 years later, we have been conquered and occupied by the state and its phony veneer of democratic elections. The federal government is now the putative ruler of nearly every aspect of life in America. That’s why we’re here today entertaining the audacious idea of secession – an idea Mises elevated to a defining principle of classical liberalism.
The new Greek government has agreed to impose more EU sanctions on Russia, while defending its right to shape European foreign policy. Foreign ministers in Brussels on Thursday (29 January) extended the Russia blacklist for six months, promised to add extra names, and began preparations for a fresh round of economic sanctions. The new names – individuals and entities – are to be added by 9 February at the latest. Leaders will decide whether to move ahead on economic sanctions most likely at a summit in mid-March.
The following video was published by Greg Hunter on Jan 29, 2015 The EU wants to put another round of sanctions on Russia; and get this, Greece is signaling it will veto that action. So, not only does the recently elected Greece leadership want debt forgiveness, it also looks like it is going to side with Russia over more sanctions. Greece is a NATO country, and it’s making noises that may close NATO military bases and withdraw from the alliance. All this is destabilizing the EU economy and the geopolitical situation there. There is no doubt that part of the world is inching towards more war over Ukraine. Want more war possibilities? Look no further than the Middle East. The hottest of hot spots is looking more and more like Israel. Ever since Israel bombed Hezbollah positions in Syria near the Golan Heights, the shooting has been picking up on both sides. This is all part of the reason why the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, is going to talk to Congress about Iran, its nuclear program and more sanctions. The President is furious over this, and I think it’s because there may be enough votes on both sides of the isle to override a veto. Congress will no doubt pass legislation to strengthen sanctions against Iran if talks fail to curtail Iran’s nuclear program. Finally, CNN is pushing for a North American Union in an opinion piece posted on CNN.com. Remember when people said this was crazy conspiracy theory talk a few years ago? Well, now it’s real and backed by CNN!
Yesterday we reported that in less than 1 month in 2015, so far a whopping 13 countries have proceeded with “surprising” rate cuts: Singapore, Europe, Switzerland, Denmark, Canada, India, Turkey, Egypt, Romania, Peru, Albania, Uzbekistan and Pakistan. As of this morning, make that total 14, because in one of the more “surprising surprises” so far, it was none other than the Bank of Russia which cut its main interest rate from the 17% shocker it instituted at an emergency session on December 17 to halt the Ruble collapse (as a result of the crude price plunge) to 15% less than an hour ago. At the same time it cut the deposit rate to 14% and the repo rate to 16%. More rate cuts may be coming: NABIULLINA SAYS 15% RUSSIA’S KEY RATE STILL FAIRLY HIGH Not surprisingly, the ruble tumbled in response with the USDRB jumping to 72, while the RTS stock index was down 2% at last check. The question why Russia decided to cut rates now is relevant, and likely has to do with both the recent stabilization of crude prices in the mid-$40s, coupled with pressure from the administration to lower rates which have led to the Russian economy and banking sector grinding to a near halt.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on 01/30/2015.
This is a question for those among us who still believe that America can be ‘saved’ by voting. If you’ve already figured out a long time ago that both sides of the aisle are thoroughly corrupt, bought out puppets for banks and megacorporations, then you don’t even have to read this article unless you just want to see further proof than Rand Paul is exactly just such a puppet. Protesters recently disrupted a senate hearing over the fast-tracking of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), waving banners that said things like ‘TPP FAST TRACK – JOB KILLING ACT’ and screaming things like, ‘they’re going to ship more of our jobs overseas and lower our wages!!!’ NAFTA already helped facilitate a lot of that and we’ve been in a steady decline ever since. The TPP is NAFTA on steroids.
It only took a few hours before the mainstream media faux journalists began to peddle the statist excuses for the National Weather Service epic failure. In a shocking development, the government loving Keynesian control freaks blame lack of funding for the complete and utter failure of a government agency to correctly predict the weather three hours in advance. Marketwatch printed this drivel by Tuesday afternoon: The search is on for scapegoats after a missed weather forecast turned the City That Never Sleeps into a ghost town on Monday night. One prime suspect: budget woes at the National Weather Service. The weather agency’s budget has hardly risen over the past five years, topping slightly over $1 billion for the current fiscal year. In the past decade, its budget has increased much slower than overall federal spending. The NWS was also was hurt by the so-called budget sequester in 2013 that required most federal agencies to cut spending and impose a hiring freeze. The article blamed the awful austerity imposed on the NWS as the reason their computer models weren’t able to predict what would happen in the next six hours. Of course, their own words undercut their argument. The NWS uses multiple computer models to verify their forecast. They use the European model, along with their own models. Of course, all the models were wrong.
‘In many parts of the country, teachers are viewed as beyond reproach, much like doctors, police officers, or clergy … and, therefore, are rarely challenged about their classroom conduct. In some cases, this means that actions that would be considered criminal if committed by a parent remain unchallenged by law enforcement if they occur in a school setting.’ – Senator Tom Harkin, ‘Dangerous Use of Seclusion and Restraints in Schools Remains Widespread and Difficult to Remedy: A Review of Ten Cases’ Roughly 1500 kids are tied up or locked down every day by school officials in the United States. At least 500 students are locked up in some form of solitary confinement every day, whether it be a padded room, a closet or a duffel bag. In many cases, parents are rarely notified when such methods are used. On any given day when school is in session, kids who ‘act up’ in class are pinned facedown on the floor, locked in dark closets, tied up with straps, bungee cords and duct tape, handcuffed, leg shackled, tasered or otherwise restrained, immobilized or placed in solitary confinement in order to bring them under ‘control.’ In almost every case, these undeniably harsh methods are used to punish kids for simply failing to follow directions or throwing tantrums. Very rarely do the kids pose any credible danger to themselves or others. Unbelievably, these tactics are all legal, at least when employed by school officials or school resource officers (a.k.a. police officers) in the nation’s public schools.
The following video was published by X22Report on Jan 29, 2015 The new Greek government finds no wireless or toilet paper in its residence. Russia responds to Greece, we will give financial aid if needed. Jobless claims decline dramatically. Pending homes sales implode. Central bankers pushing North American Union. Anti terror bill in England could undermine free speech. Ukraine video Nov 2013 warning the Ukraine government of a US coup d’etat. Sanctions on Ukraine continue and Ukraine is asking US for 3 billion instead of 2 billion dollars. Yemen people take over military base where U. S. advisers had previously trained counter-terrorism forces. DHS warning of a terrorism attack during the Super Bowl.