21st Century Wire says… Early this morning, a Russian Airbus A321 passenger jet mysteriously disappeared from radar and was presumed to have crashed. According to reports out of Cairo, Egyptian government officials have confirmed that the Russian passenger plane carrying up to 224 passengers and Russian tourists and 7 crew, has crashed in central Sinai peninsula. The statement has come from the Egyptian prime minister’s office, and also from the Egyptian Aviation Authority. No doubt, considering current events, the location, and the timing with Vienna Peace Talksstarting today, this latest news is certain to trigger a lot of speculation. LATEST: ‘ISIS Video’ Claims To Have Shot Down Russian Airliner In Sinai, Egypt This is just one of many speculative reports to surface in the immediate aftermath of the event. The following was posted on Facebook by one avid plane watcher approximately 1 hour after the news broke, showing the flight commandeered and falling off tracker somewhere at Turkey’s Black Sea northern coast.
Submitted by Fred Reed via AntiWar.com, It appears that Washington, ever a seething cauldron of bright ideas, is looking for a shooting war with China, or perhaps trying to make the Chinese kowtow and back down, the pretext being some rocks in the Pacific in which the United States cannot possibly have a vital national interest. Or, really, any interest. And if the Chinese do not back down? Years back I went aboard the USS Vincennes, CG-49, a Tico class Aegis boat, then the leading edge of naval technology. It was a magnificent ship, fast, powered by a pair of airliner turbines, and carrying the SPY-1 phased-array radar, very high-tech for its time. The CIC was dark and air-conditioned, glowing with huge screens – impressive for then – displaying all manner of information on targets in the air. Below were Standard missiles, then on a sort of chain drive but in later ships using the Vertical Launch System. It was, as they say in Laredo, Muy Star Wars. (The Vincennes was the ship that later shot down the Iranian airliner.)
This post was published at Zero Hedge on 10/31/2015.
Russia’s decision to bomb pretty much everyone opposed to Syria’s Assad regime – including the guys the US was training and funding – startled the West last month. But at least we didn’t have any personnel there at the time, right? Well, that might be about to change: Obama orders US special forces to ‘assist’ fight against Isis in Syria (Guardian) – Barack Obama has ordered up to 50 special operations troops to Syria, US officials announced on Friday, in an apparent breach of a promise not to put US ‘boots on the ground’, to fight Islamic State militants in the country. The Pentagon has also been ‘consulting’ with the Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, to establish a special operations taskforce to fight Isis ‘leaders and networks’ across the Syrian border in Iraq, a senior administration official told the Guardian on Friday. But the White House insisted that its overall strategy to combat Isis remained the same and said the special forces troops would be helping coordinate local ground forces in the north of the country and other non-specified ‘coalition efforts’ to counter Isis rather than engaging in major ground operations. ‘The decision the president has made is to further intensify our support for our forces who have made progress against Isis,’ the White House spokesman, Josh Earnest, said at a news conference.
I was chatting with an Denver-based real estate professional yesterday. This person stated outright that the real estate market was in an insanely overvalued bubble that was going to pop. It’s pretty obvious to anyone who makes the decision to look at the facts. For instance, the media, Wall Street and industry association promotional juggernauts (National Association of Realtors, National Association of Homebuilders) continue to gloat over the supposed continuous price increases being reported by highly statistically unreliable data series like the Case-Shiller housing price index (Even Robert Shiller has admitted to this series’ flaws in the past). Every metric promoted in the headlines is based on ‘year over year’ comparisons. A far different truth emerges when you shine the light on month to month changes in price. In fact, I linked an article in a blog post earlier this week (LINK) which showed that 30% of all homes across the major MSAs lost value over the last year. In many markets, prices have been declining for most of this year to date when measured serially month to month.
Russia Lashes Out at ISIS Sponsors Who Tried to Seize Chechnya, Georgian Government Determined to Destroy Saakashvili Party & More! *The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits in Central Asia and the Caucasus region between a U. S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players. Former Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili and his nemesis Mikheil Saakashvili have left Georgian politics some time ago, one more voluntarily than the other, but the conflict between Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream and Saakashvili’s United National Movement (UNM) continues to shape the country’s political landscape to this day. In an effort to curtail the UNM’s influence in the media, the Georgian Dream-led government is currently trying to shut down the influential pro-UNM private TV broadcaster Rustavi 2. This amounts to a declaration of war from the UNM’s point of view. The Saakashvili party responded by calling for the resignation of the government and snap elections, to no avail. After Tbilisi’s flirt with Gazprom added more fuel to the fire, the exchange of blows then escalated into all-out war a few days ago, when another Saakashvili-era rape video found its way onto the Internet: UNM regional offices assaulted amid rape video scandal United National Movement’s several regional offices were attacked in Georgia on Monday, in the wake of publication of disgusting video depicting rape of a detainee allegedly during the previous government. Small crowds of 30 to 100 protested at Kutaisi, Batumi, Gori, and Ozurgeti offices demanding to ban the UNM. In several occasions a violent squabble happened between the protesters and UNM members. In Kutaisi protesters broke into the office but police managed to drive them out.
There are several important responses to this question. First, of course, the quality of the information needs to be dependable. And the person receiving the information must be able to analyze it, using logic, to decide whether the author’s conclusions drawn from the information are valid or faulty. The second response is: what is the person receiving the information going to do with it? What are his goals, and how does the information fit into them? Thirdly, does the person have the ability/power to use the information to good effect? I closely considered these issues, when I put together my third collection, Power Outside The Matrix. That’s why I included a long section on the analysis of information; and specific exercises aimed at expanding the power of the individual – creative power, plus increased stability. Logic, imagination, creative power, stability – these are the hallmarks of a better life, and greater success in fulfilling goals.
‘Public relations is all about coordinated actions over a sustained period of time. When it isn’t about that, you’re going to see a brief flame erupt and then die out, and you’re to see a great deal of time, energy, and money squandered on what could have been, but never will be.’ (Notes forDiscussions with Jack True, Jon Rappoport) This is my second article on public relations. You can read the first one here. In the past, I have had some critical things to say about PR efforts by non-mainstream groups. Their work tends to be monochromatic. One-trick. With knowledge, these groups could spend their money and time and energy more wisely. When I consider taking on a client for PR work, I want to know if he can see his mission in terms of multiple vectors. This vision is essential, because coordinating various angles of approach is more effective than simply ringing the same bell over and over. Two attitudes usually infect good and righteous causes, when they are forwarded from outside the establishment: One: ‘We are the underdogs.’ Two: ‘We must convert mainstream people by matching what we say to what they can accept.’ Neither of these attitudes wins the day.
One point we’ve been particularly keen on driving home since the beginning of Russian airstrikes in Syria is that The Kremlin’s move to step in on behalf of Bashar al-Assad along with Vladimir Putin’s open ‘invitation’ to Washington with regard to joining forces in the fight against terrorism effectively let the cat out of the proverbial bag. That is, it simply wasn’t possible for the US to explain why the Pentagon refused to partner with the Russians without admitting that i) the government views Assad, Russia, and Iran as a greater threat than ISIS, and ii) Washington and its regional allies don’t necessarily want to see Sunni extremism wiped out in Syria and Iraq. Admitting either one of those points would be devastating from a PR perspective. No amount of Russophobic propaganda and/or looped video clips of the Ayatollah ranting against the US would be enough to convince the public that Moscow and Tehran are a greater threat than the black flag-waving jihadists beheading Westerners and burning Jordanian pilots alive in Hollywood-esque video clips, and so, The White House has been forced to scramble around in a desperate attempt to salvage the narrative.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on 10/31/2015.
Every day it seems like we take another step towards reliving the Cold War era, and Friday was no different. Dmitry Rogozin, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia’s defense industry, suggested that his government should start preparing civilians for a nuclear attack much like the Soviets did during the Cold War.
That didn’t take long: following the worst Russian airplane disaster in history, the question everyone was asking is who is responsible. Moments ago we may have gotten the answer. A militant group affiliated to Islamic State in Egypt claimed responsibility for the downing of a Russian passenger plane that crashed in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula on Saturday, the group said in a statement circulated by supporters on Twitter. Below is the full statement from a group alleging to speak on behalf of Islamic State, posted on their affiliate site, translated by the Guardian’s Jahd Khalil. It offers no evidence that the group brought down the plane, apart from their word. Breaking: Downing of Russian airplane, killing of more than 220 Russian crusaders on board. Soldiers of the Caliphate were able to bring down a Russian plane above Sinai Province with at least 220 Russian crusaders aboard. They were all killed, praise be to God. O Russians, you and your allies take note that you are not safe in Muslims lands or their skies.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on 10/31/2015 –.
This is exactly what I’ve been very worried about for more than 20 years. It’s a concern that has plenty of merit too, particularly given the durability of data in the “big data” social universe. Thomas Insel, who has been director of the National Institute of Mental Health for 13 years, is leaving at the end of the month to join Google. A major force behind the Obama administration’s BRAIN Initiative, he stirred major controversy by pressing for an overhaul in the way mental illness is diagnosed. At Google, he’ll be exploring how the company’s technological expertise can be applied to mental-health issues. Uh huh. Think about what he’s saying for a minute here folks:
On Friday, The White House announced that the US is set to put boots on the ground in Syria. Predictably, virtually no one in the mainstream media is asking the right questions. A painful Q&A with Josh Earnest saw the White House Press Secretary attempting to explain to reporters that there’s a distinction between ‘advise and assist’ and ‘combat.’ In short, everyone was keen on documenting the stark contrast between placing spec ops troops in harm’s way and Obama’s 2013 pledge to ‘not put boots on the ground’ inside Syria. While documenting the purported ‘shift’ in strategy may make for good weekend reading for America’s clueless masses, it completely misses the point. As recently released helmet cam footage clearly demonstrates (assuming it actually depicts what Washington says it depicts) 30 Delta Force commandos were involved in a single operation in Iraq. That is, nearly as many troops as Obama is now set to send to Syria fought just last week in one battle against ISIS. And while that’s Iraq and we’re now talking about Syria, the distinction is to a large extent meaningless – there are American boots on the ground in the region and there have been in one capacity or another for at least 12 years. The real questions revolve around where these troops are going to be placed, what their objectives are, and ultimately, how the Pentagon plans to do this without putting them in the crosshairs of either the Russians, the Turkish air force, or Hezbollah. Here’s a bit of color from WSJ on what the ‘plan’ is: Up to 50 U. S. special-operations troops will assist Syrian rebel units spearheading what the Pentagon says would be a new military offensive against the militant group, marking a sharp escalation in the level of direct U. S. involvement on the ground inside Syria. The American forces are to link up with local forces in Kurdish-controlled territory whose mission will be to choke off supply lines to Islamic State militants in their Syrian stronghold of Raqqa. The first phase of the new campaign is expected to kick off with an operation in northern Syria as early as next week, officials said. U. S. drones and fighter planes will provide the Syrian fighters with air support.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on 10/31/2015.
That didn’t take long: following the worst Russian airplane disaster in history, the question everyone was asking is who is responsible. Moments ago we got the answer. AFP reports that the Islamic State group’s affiliate in Egypt has claimed it had downed the Russian passenger plane that crashed Saturday in the Sinai Peninsula, where the jihadists are waging an insurgency, killing all on board.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on 10/31/2015.
Author Jamie Bartlett joins me to discuss the ‘dark net,’ that corner of the Internet that can be accessed only with a special browser. What goes on there, and why is it important for the cause of freedom? PLEASE CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
Rwanda has never, since its independence from Belgium, experienced peaceful transfer of power from one ‘elected’ president to another. Each president that grabs power declares himself the only Rwandan capable of ruling. Each regime comes in power because they want to remove the dictator from power and hand the mantle of state power to ‘the people.’ Change from one regime to another has always been bloody in Rwanda. In 1994 General Paul Kagame defeated General Habyarimana after a bloody four year civil war. General Habyarimana had made himself ‘the father of the nation’ and an irreplaceable president of Rwanda. General Kagame and his RPF/A waged the 1990-1994 war because General Habyarimana had closed all the possible venues for peaceful transfer of power. General Kagame and his RPF/A sounded determined to hand power over to ‘the people’ after the war. Over a million Rwandans perished during the war. General Kagame and his Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) party: More of the same After the war and massacres that brought Gen Kagame and his RPF/A into power, Gen Kagame’s diagnosis of Rwanda’s problem was ‘bad political leadership and clinging on to power.’ To address this problem, Gen Kagame and his RPF/A wrote the 2003 Rwanda Constitution. Article 101 of the 2003 Constitution provides, inter alia , ‘no person shall be president for more than two terms’. Each term is 7 years under the 2003 Constitution of Rwanda.
Ben Carson leads Trump in the Iowa polls. Here is how U. S. News & World Report covers this story. This is a click-through advertisement on this page. It takes you to this page. In 1952, a novel by a black ex-Communist appeared: Invisible Man. The author was Ralph Ellison. It won the National Book Award in 1953, and it has been in print ever since. The book’s title is its main theme: the protagonist’s social invisibility. FRAMING THE DISCUSSION Trump has blown his lead to Carson. The media’s response: stories on Rubio. A black physician, without $5 billion of his own money to tap into, is leading in the Iowa polls. This cannot be. It breaks with the MSM’s Party Line on Republican racism. Democrats are color blind. They are liberal. They have Obama to prove it. But Republicans? It’s still 1952 for them. How is it possible for a Right-wing black to be leading in the Iowa poll? It is not possible. So, it isn’t happening. This is the oddest political story in this generation. Two men without any political background have over half of the Republican support in Iowa. The politicians — Senators and Governors — are also-rans. More to the point, this is why they are also-rans. They ran. They won. Now they are losing. This has never happened before in American politics. A political party is allowed such a candidate, but only one per election. William Howard Taft was one in 1908. Teddy Roosevelt picked him to succeed him. Herbert Hoover was one in 1928. He was beloved of the media. He had been given newspaper coverage for almost a decade: “the man who fed Europe.” He had been vetted by the Republican establishment. The Democrats had John W. Davis in 1924, a New York lawyer and a founding member of the Council on Foreign Relations, but he won the nomination only on the 103rd ballot — the darkest dark-horse candidate in American history. (Note: lawyer Davis lost Brown v. Board of Education, 9 to 0, in 1954 — the most famous reversal in Supreme Court history. He made the case for school segregation.)
This post was published at Gary North on October 31, 2015.
Liu Guofa lost his only child five years ago. The boy was only 17 when he died, but by then it was too late for his parents to try for another baby. Liu, now 46 and unemployed, is bracing himself for a lonely and impoverished old age, without the support and love his son was expected by society and tradition to provide. Liu is one of millions of people whose lives were scarred by the Chinese government’s one-child policy. They include ‘orphaned’ parents, who feel abandoned by the state after losing their only offspring, and ‘illegal’ children, born into a life of legal limbo. For many of them, the abrupt end to the 35-year-long policy announced by Beijing on Thursday came too late to stir up anything more than bitter memories. ‘It is too late for us now,’ said Liu, who lives in central Henan province. ‘We can’t have another child. I feel helpless.’ China has always allowed bereaved parents to have a second baby, but many lost their son or daughter at an age when that was no longer possible. Liu and his wife had decided years before their bereavement that having a second baby was too risky in their home area, where family planning officials applied the policy ruthlessly.