Putin: It Is Time To Play Your Ace In The Hole

You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em Know when to fold ‘em Know when to walk away And know when to run You never count your money When you’re sittin’ at the table There’ll be time enough for countin’ When the dealin’s done. “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers
The entire world is watching Putin play poker with the Western politicians lead by Obama and followed by Washington quislings in London, Brussels and Berlin. America’s goal since the end of the Cold War has been to weaken by financial, economic and, if necessary, military means any real competition to its global financial and resource domination through the petrodollar and dollar world reserve currency status.
The current trade and economic sanctions against Russia and Iran follow this time-tested action that is never successful on its own, as we know from the 50-plus-year blockade of Cuba. But this strategy can lead to opposition nations retaliating by military means, often their only alternative to end blockades etc., which are an act of war and allow the US and other democracies to bring their ultimate superior military power to bare against the offending sovereign state. This worked for Lincoln against the Confederate States of America, by Woodrow Wilson against the Central Powers before World War One, against the Japanese Empire before World War Two, Iraq, Libya – the list is endless.
Recently the US has created the oil price collapse, working closely with its client state Saudi Arabia, in order to weaken the economic power of both Iran and Russia, the two main nations opposing US hegemony, foreign policy and petrodollar policy. Yes, this will play havoc with the US shale oil industry as well as London’s North Sea oil industry but oil profits pale in comparison to the importance of maintaining Western power over Russia and China.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 12/26/2014.

We’ve Known for 1,700 Years that Torture Produces False Confessions

We’ve Known for Thousands of Years that Torture Doesn’t Work Mark Costanzo (Claremont McKenna professor of psychology) and Ellen Gerrity (Duke University professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences) note in a study published in the journal Social Issues and Policy Review:
As early as the third century A. D., the great Roman Jurist Ulpian noted that information obtained through torture was not to be trusted because some people are ‘so susceptible to pain that they will tell any lie rather than suffer it’ (Peters, 1996)…

This post was published at Washingtons Blog on December 26, 2014.

Watch as This Kangaroo Quickly Dispatches Nosy Drone

As drones become smarter, smaller, and more affordable, they’re quickly becoming an ubiquitous part of everyday life. The implications of such a development have yet to be seen, but it’s clear that drones are quickly becoming the new face of our surveillance society.
Not only are police departments across the country beginning to invest in these machines, but civilian demand for drones is rapidly increasing as well. On the one hand it’s good that average citizens can gain access to technology that was once the sole domain of the government, but on the other hand it’s hard to imagine a world where anyone with a few hundred dollars can buy one of these mobile spy machines.
Fortunately, we are not alone. It appears that the animal kingdom is just as concerned about the future of privacy as we are, and they’re starting to fight back. Recently, a drone captured footage of a marsupial who was not too keen on being spied on. She made sure that the drone operator wouldroo the day he tried to film her joeys.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on December 26th, 2014.

Sneaky NSA Releases Report on Its Illegal ‘Intelligence’ Collection on Christmas Eve

21st Century Wire says…
More and more, it seems like this agency believes it is completely above the law.
Proving it’s true nature as an out-of-control, hi-tech clandestine modern equivalent to the East German Stasi – the NSA quietly, and very cynically released a heavily-redacted report on its illegal intelligence surveillance against US citizens – routinely violating US laws and policy for over a decade….

The NSA, responding to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union, released a series of required quarterly and annual reports to the President’s Intelligence Oversight Board that cover the period from the fourth quarter of 2001 to the second quarter of 2013.
The heavily-redacted reports include examples of data on Americans being e-mailed to unauthorized recipients, stored in unsecured computers and retained after it was supposed to be destroyed, according to the documents. They were posted on the NSA’s website at around 1:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
In a 2012 case, for example, an NSA analyst ‘searched her spouse’s personal telephone directory without his knowledge to obtain names and telephone numbers for targeting,’ according to one report. The analyst ‘has been advised to cease her activities,’ it said.
Other unauthorized cases were a matter of human error, not intentional misconduct.
Last year, an analyst ‘mistakenly requested’ surveillance ‘of his own personal identifier instead of the selector associated with a foreign intelligence target,’ according to another report.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 26, 2014.

Saudi Arabia Ready For $20, $30, $40 Oil

Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell 2 and 3.3 percent respectively to start the week and Saudi Arabia is prepared to go much lower in a bid to trim the fat. Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said as much in an interview with the Middle East Economic Survey on Monday. Naimi defended the Saudi position and made clear that OPEC nations will not cut production at any price. His comments dismiss any notion of collusion with the United States and spell trouble for producers everywhere.
Since its November meeting, OPEC production has remained relatively steady while trending upward. Libya has had a few slip-ups and Venezuelan production is hurting, but the 12-member cartel exceeded their collective target for the sixth straight month, pumping 30.56 million barrels per day (mbpd). The price however, has fallen roughly 20 percent in that period and shows no sign of returning to its June highs.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 12/26/2014.

Total Recall: The Neuroscience of Nostalgic Memories Explained

21st Century Wire says…
To this day, very little is known about the brain and how – and even where, deep memories are stored.
Many of our childhood memories drive our adult behaviours, and scientists are keen to discover where they reside in the brain and why.
As we learn below (see article), research is already well underway, supposedly to ‘reduced painful memories’. But what happens when a state or a medical corporation can deploy this new-found technology to either medicate, or even implement a Total Recall scenario to either implant or erase a person’s memories?
Is this merely in the name of science, or is it in the name of profits – or worse – is their a social engineering agenda at play here?
Just how far will ‘science’ go in order to medicate, reduce or erase people’s memories?

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 26, 2014.

60 Prominent Germans Appeal Against Another War In Europe: “It Is Not About Putin. What Is At Stake Is Europe”

Two weeks ago, as the S&P was preparing to surge on the latest round of all time high market-goosing algo trickery by the FOMC, 60 prominent German personalities from the realms of politics, economics, culture and the media were less concerned with blinking red and green stock quotes and were focused on something far more serious to the future of the world: the threat of war with Russia.
In a letter published by Germany’s Die Zeit, numerous famous and respected Germans including a former president and former prime minister write “Wieder Krieg in Europa? Nicht in unserem Namen!”, or, roughly translated, “War in Europe Again? Not in Our Names!“
The open letter to the German government, parliament, and media, excerpted here, was signed by more than 60 prominent German personalities and published in the weekly Die Zeit on Dec. 5. The initiators were Horst Teltschik (CDU), advisor to then-Chancellor Helmut Kohl at the time German of reunification; Walther Sttzle (SPD), former Secretary of State for the Ministry of Defense; and Antje Vollmer (Greens), former Bundestag Vice President. Teltschik said, in motivating the appeal, ‘We are giving a political signal that the justified criticism of Russia’s Ukraine policy should not wipe out all the progress that we have made in the past 25 years in relations with Russia.’
Below is an excerpted translation (source) of the original letter found here.
Nobody wants war. But North America, the European Union, and Russia are inevitably driving towards war if they do not finally halt the disastrous spiral of threats and counter-threats. All Europeans, including Russia, are jointly responsible for peace and security. Only those who do not lose sight of this goal can avoid fatal actions.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 12/26/2014.

Tsunami Keynesianism Sharia Law = Stagnation

After the peace came $7.2bn of relief funds from international donors and the Indonesian government in one of the world’s biggest and most complex disaster reconstruction efforts.
It left Aceh with some of the country’s best roads and hospitals, 140,000 new homes and 1,400 new schools.
The funds also gave a big boost to the economy, turning Banda Aceh, the regional capital, into a boomtown with new hotels, two shopping malls and coffee shops full of students working on laptops and smartphones.
However, the province’s young population is more concerned about the future than the past. Corruption, economic stagnation, environmental degradation and the politicisation of Islam are threatening Aceh’s prospects.
Like the rest of Indonesia, southeast Asia’s biggest economy, Aceh is finding out the limits of an economy built on consumption and natural resource extraction. But its problems are more acute. While Indonesia’s economy grew at 5 per cent in the third quarter, Aceh grew at just 2.7 per cent, the second slowest rate of the country’s 34 provinces. About 18 per cent of Acehnese live below the official poverty line of $0.95 per person a day, well above the national average of 11 per cent.
Rather than tackling the province’s problems, the former fighters who run the local government under a special autonomy deal with Jakarta squabble over contracts, politics and Islamic dress codes for women.
In Aceh’s many mountainous hamlets and fishing villages, people are struggling to make ends meet, facing new threats from floods and droughts, and harassment from the sharia police, who uphold Islamic law.
‘After the tsunami, people made a lot of money from the international NGOs but that ran out after five years,’ says Teuku Ahmad Dadek, the head of planning for the local government of West Aceh, which incorporates Meulaboh. He argues that physical reconstruction was successful but that infrastructure alone does not generate economic growth.
‘Now we have beautiful roads thanks to American and Japanese money but we don’t have any new jobs.’

This post was published at Tea Party Economist on December 26, 2014.

Why the Bad Guys Keep Winning

How Come They Keeping Getting Away With It?
Why do the bad guys keep getting away with it … even after getting caught again and again?
Reason Number 1: Falling for the Big Fib
People are wired to believe our leaders’ big statements, even if they are ridiculous:
As Adolph Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf:
All this was inspired by the principle – which is quite true in itself – that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.
Similarly, Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, wrote:
That is of course rather painful for those involved. One should not as a rule reveal one’s secrets, since one does not know if and when one may need them again. The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.
Science has now helped to explain why the big lie is effective.
As I’ve previously pointed out in another context:
Psychologists and sociologists show us that people will rationalize what their leaders are doing, even when it makes no sense ….
Sociologists from four major research institutions investigated why so many Americans believed that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11, years after it became obvious that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.
The researchers found, as described in an article in the journal Sociological Inquiry (and re-printed by Newsweek):
Many Americans felt an urgent need to seek justification for a war already in progress Rather than search rationally for information that either confirms or disconfirms a particular belief, people actually seek out information that confirms what they already believe. ‘For the most part people completely ignore contrary information.’ ‘The study demonstrates voters’ ability to develop elaborate rationalizations based on faulty information’ People get deeply attached to their beliefs, and form emotional attachments that get wrapped up in their personal identity and sense of morality, irrespective of the facts of the matter. ‘We refer to this as ‘inferred justification, because for these voters, the sheer fact that we were engaged in war led to a post-hoc search for a justification for that war. ‘People were basically making up justifications for the fact that we were at war’ ‘They wanted to believe in the link [between 9/11 and Iraq] because it helped them make sense of a current reality. So voters’ ability to develop elaborate rationalizations based on faulty information, whether we think that is good or bad for democratic practice, does at least demonstrate an impressive form of creativity. An article yesterday in Alternet discussing the Sociological Inquiry article helps us to understand that the key to people’s active participation in searching for excuses for actions by the big boys is fear:

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on December 26th, 2014.

Putin Ups the Ante: New Military Doctrine Lists US and NATO as Major Foreign Threats

As America’s President prepares to tee off at sunrise in Hawaii today, Russia’s President has sent an unmistakable message to the Pentagon and Western European politicians (via RT):
Russia’s new military doctrine lists NATO, US as major foreign threats
From the article linked above:
Russia has adopted an updated version of its military doctrine, which reflects the emergence of new threats against its national security. NATO military buildup and American Prompt Global Strike concept are listed among them.
The new doctrine was approved on Friday by President Vladimir Putin. Its core remains unchanged from the previous version. The Russian military remains a defensive tool which the country pledges to use only as a last resort.
Also unchanged are the principles of the use of nuclear weapons which Russia adheres to. Their primary goal is to deter potential enemies from attacking Russia, but it would use them to protect itself from a military attack – either nuclear or conventional – threatening its existence.

This post was published at John Galt Fla on December 26, 2014.

FACEBOOK Sued for Scanning YOUR Private Messages for THEIR Profit

FACEBOOK is facing the real possibility of paying its users up to $10,000 EACH, for violating their privacy, if the plaintiffs prevail in a developing lawsuit.
The case is known as Campbell v. Facebook Inc, U. S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 13-5996. The lawsuit was filed by FACEBOOK user Matthew Campbell. The suit is seeking class action status on behalf of all American users who sent or received private messages that included any website addresses in their content. And if Mr. Campbell prevails in court, FACEBOOK users could be in for a $10,000 payday.
According to Reuters, U. S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California, on December 23, delivered an early Christmas present to FACEBOOK by refusing to dismiss FACEBOOK’S bid to dismiss the lawsuit.
The lawsuit, originally filed in December 2013, and alleged that FACEBOOK improperly and illegally scanned the content of users’ private messages for advertising purposes. The lawsuit accuses FACEBOOK of violating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and California’s privacy and unfair competition laws. The lawsuit further contents that users included links to third-party websites in messages. In this scheme, FACEBOOK would allegedly follow the link and search for information to profile the sender’s browsing activity and then sold this private information for private. According to court documents, FACEBOOK would also create a link to a website within a private message. The private message essentially listed the private user as falsely having ‘liked’ that page via the embedded social share option button. Subsequently, the suit claims that the ‘likes’ were then used to compile user profiles, which were then used for delivering targeted advertising to its users

This post was published at The Common Sense Show on December 26, 2014.

OPEC May Cull Weaker Members

While much has been made of the oil price war theories lately, whether it is a direct competition between the United States and Saudi Arabia, or whether the two are in collusion to cripple the Iranian and Russian economies, there is another aspect to the current situation that is worth considering.

In this chart, we see OPEC revenues declining by approximately 8% from 2013 to around the $700 billion mark. With the recent PR campaigns by OPEC oil ministers explaining the cartel’s November 27th decision not to cut output as good capitalism and claiming that they never will cut regardless of the price of crude, the forecast for OPEC revenues for 2015 may beg to differ.

This post was published at Wolf Street on December 26, 2014.

Putin Signs New Military Doctrine: Names NATO, US As Main Foreign Threat; Test Fires New ICBM

Last week, after the unanimous passage of the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014 in Congress, which made legal the provision of US “lethal aid” to Kiev and which Russia blasted as an act of aggression and promised that it would merely accelerate the deterioration of relations between Russia and the west, we wrote that “World Awaits Russian Response As Obama Makes “Lethal Aid” To Ukraine Legal.” We didn’t have long to wait: one short hour ago, Putin adopted an updated version of its military doctrine, which “reflects the emergence of new threats against its national security” and which names both the NATO military buildup on Russia’s borders, as well as the US and the destabilized situation in some regions (read Ukraine) as the main foreign threats to Russian security. The doctrine update also, for the first time, put protection of Russian national interest in the Arctic (read oil and nat gas) among the key priorities for Russia’s armed forces.
In other words, Putin is not only not backing down, but has once again explicitly warned NATO that any western action, either in Ukraine or elsewhere, will have a proportional response.
Among the highlights of the new doctrine:
Russia’s military doctrine names NATO military buildup, destabilized situation in some regions among main external threats to security Russia’s new military doctrine puts protection of national interests in Arctic among priorities for Armed Forces for the first time Territorial claims to Russia and its allies, intervening in domestic policy main military threats Likelihood of large-scale war against Russia decreased, but some security threats continue to grow Anti-missile shields, ‘global strike’ concept, plans of placing weapons in space are external military threats to Russia Attempts to destabilize situation in Russia, terrorist activities are country’s main internal threats

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 12/26/2014.

Where Did the Parents of America Go Wrong?

Sometimes I wish I could be a sheep. If I could, I would be in better shape and would probably still be coaching college basketball and I would get to sleep in more. However, I cannot be a sheep because I have a family and I know the children of this nation have no future unless the adults stand up and take back what we have lost.
Mark my words America, if we do not defeat the banksters who have hijacked our government, our children are going to be condemned to a life of poverty, hopelessness, shorter lifespans and abject misery.
When you sheep are watching reality TV or playing fantasy football, do you ever think about your child in the next room who needs your help because the globalists have stacked the odds against them?
A Rudderless Generation
Growing up is filled with challenges, disappointments, excitement and anticipation of the future. Growing up should contain some measure of enjoyment and the self-satisfaction that the pride in our own personal growth can bring. However, for too many of our soon-to-be young adults, life is filled with misery, disappointment and a sense of hopelessness.
Society is responsible for providing an environment which fosters growth and the freedom to explore one’s limits. And for decades, America produced children which surpassed the accomplishments and life-style amenities of the previous generation. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. At one time in this country, parents formed the backbone for child development along with teachers and clergy. Today, the influences on our youth are not what they should be. Today’s sheep have largely forsaken their duty as parents. Take a look at what children say about the influences in their lives…

This post was published at The Common Sense Show on Dec 25, 2014.

Russia, China, Or America? “An Oppressed People Ruled By Others For Others”

‘I’ve long thought that he has pursued a pre-World War Two course which could only end badly – a course in which his power is maximized by crushing internal opponents, expanding empire and using the military to frighten neighboring countries into submission.’, writes John Lloyd of Reuters. I read this excerpt from his recent article and thought finally someone in mainstream media is honestly discussing the foreign policy of America, just to eventually find out he is actually talking about Putin. However, Lloyd does go on to imply American foreign policy can be described much the same way.
Unfortunately the rest of the article is basically ‘informing’ the reader that Putin has two options; 1. he can lose or 2. he can lose badly. John Lloyd’s coverage must be a bit disappointing to all those readers that purchased Lloyd’s 2004 book ‘What the Media are Doing to our Politics’. It is clear that John Lloyd is nothing more than yet another mainstream media muppet of the neocon storyline. The more they say it apparently the more true they believe it becomes. In any case, I suppose I could overlook the obvious hypocrisy if it were well thought out. However, Lloyd seems to miss the one most likely option, the China factor.
‘Russia has the capability and the wisdom to overcome the existing hardship in the economic situation,’ Foreign Minister Wang Yi told journalists, China Daily reported Monday. ‘If the Russian side needs it, we will provide necessary assistance within our capacity.’ In a recent piece I published, I discuss the clear motivation of the Western Alliance to crush Russia is an attempt to contain the obvious new world dominating force, China. You see China has just surpassed the US as the world’s top economy. Its military is by far the largest military in the world though probably not the most sophisticated, yet. But there is no rational mind that argues China will not be the world’s single superpower in a mere 20 years if not sooner. The Western Alliance (which is the collective of Western leaders that have long controlled global policies), however, is not so rational. The central banking cartel along with the Western Alliance are not going down without a fight.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 12/25/2014.

Latin America Has a Few Lessons for the US On Torture

The world quietly celebrated Human Rights Day (December 10) earlier this month. That week, two big, interrelated human rights events occurred.
The first was the well-publicised revelations that America’s CIA ran and participated in a global torture program which, more than anything, produced vast ambivalence – especially from the top.
The US Senate report recounted, in at times excruciating detail, the CIA’s program after September 11. The program detained – often incorrectly – and tortured those suspected of terrorism. This report not so much provided a watershed moment in America’s self-understanding, but rather revealed how much further it has to go. The report did not lay to rest the public debate on torture: former vice president Dick Cheney said he had ‘no problem’ with detaining innocents.
The second was not so well-publicised, but equally as significant. In Brazil, the National Truth Commission submitted its final report. It was the first time that the Brazilian state began to account for its human rights violations and atrocities during the military regime of 1964-85. This forced a public discussion on a regime that Brazil had previously buried in the past.
As history can strangely often do, these serendipitous events provide a snapshot of where countries are in their national reckoning.

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on December 25, 2014.

Ukraine Crisis Year In Review

Back on Tuesday, Batchelor and Cohen took time to discuss the events of 2014 as well as look ahead to what promises to be a volatile 2015.
As usual, please be sure to give this a thorough listen. Nowhere else in mainstream media will you find a more balanced and educated discussion of the ongoing Ukraine Crisis.

This post was published at TF Metals Report on December 25, 2014.

College Students Across America Protest Santa Claus

After weeks of preparation by an umbrella group that calls itself the Santa Claus Repudiation Organization Offering Greater Education, students at campuses across America spent Christmas Eve protesting what they consider a dangerous symbol of everything that is wrong with the world today.
For some, the fact that Santa is a white male was reason enough to be angry. As one student put it: ‘Why can’t a mythical figure invented in Christian Europe be Middle Eastern looking or of Asian descent? Clearly Santa got the job thanks to white privilege’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 12/25/2014.

Missouri Residents Vote to Ban Speed Cameras

It should come as no surprise to most drivers, that speed cameras are not being installed on your roadways to make your life easier (and they are your roadways. Your taxes paid for them). As much as the government would like you to think that they have your best interest at heart, these devices do not make our roads safer. If anything they may make intersections even more dangerous, and they really don’t serve any purpose beyond generating revenue for the city and the police department.
One Missouri county has had enough, and decided to hold a referendum to ban the use of red light cameras. The measure passed with 73 percent of voters in support of the ban. However, some elected officials aren’t happy with the new bill, and have decided to bypass the will of their voters.
St. Peters, O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, and a councilman from O’Fallon are filing a lawsuit in attempt to block a ban on red light cameras in St. Charles County.
Voters approved the ban November 4, with 73 percent of those who went to polls supporting the measure. However, those suing maintain the county has overstepped its legal bounds.
‘Seventy-three percent of the voters pass a ban on red light cameras so what these cities are doing are suing 73 percent of the voters in St. Charles County, within their own cities. They’re suing their own residents,’ said St. Charles County Councilman Joe Brazil.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on December 25th, 2014.