This post was published at SGTreport
‘Those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, don’t have knowledge. ‘ – Lao Tzu
‘Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.’ – Nils Bohr
Last year about this time I did a two part forecast for 2017: A BIASED 2017 FORECAST (PART ONE) and A BIASED 2017 FORECAST (PART TWO). I hadn’t re-read them until today. They were written just after the biggest presidential upset in modern history. Liberal tears were flowing freely and the accusations of Putin throwing the election to Trump had just begun. Two quotes from Part One are as pertinent today as they were then.
‘A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth. Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact.’ – Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
‘It’s frightening to think that you might not know something, but more frightening to think that, by and large, the world is run by people who have faith that they know exactly what is going on.’ – Amos Tversky
This post was published at The Burning Platform on Dec 27, 2019.
2017 was a tumultuous and extremely binary year for a considerable number of Americans. For those who thought everything was going swimmingly during the Obama years, Trump’s election wasn’t simply a shock to the system, but an extinction level event for civilization that handed the U. S. government to bunch of Putin-controlled fascists. In stark contrast, Trump’s election was seen as divine deliverance by his devoted cheerleaders and red hat wearing obsessives. Finally, someone from outside the swamp had successfully trash-talked their way into the Presidency. As such, an imminent restoration of American greatness is all but assured.
Naturally, neither one of these perspectives is remotely accurate. They’re just distinct fairytales that quarreling groups of Americans have enthusiastically embraced within an increasingly insane and divided political environment. The societal pressure to self-segregate into either passionate support for ‘The Resistance’ or ‘Trumpism’ was overwhelming all year and has continued to this day. I recognized this early on, and wrote about it back in February.
Here’s an excerpt from that piece, Lost in the Political Wilderness:
I think the U. S. citizenry is being afflicted by a sort of mass insanity at the moment. There are no good outcomes if this continues. As a result, I feel compelled to provide a voice for those of us lost in the political wilderness. We must persevere and not be manipulated into the obvious and nefarious divide and conquer tactics being aggressively unleashed across the societal spectrum. If we lose our grounding and our fortitude, who will be left to speak for those of us who simply don’t fit into any of the currently ascendant political ideologies?
This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Dec 27, 2017.
Russia’s defense ministry has announced it is now in the process of establishing two permanent military bases in war-torn Syria after President Putin authorized prior deals with the Syrian government to move forward. Though Russia maintains merely up to ten military bases on foreign soil, the installations in Tartus and Khmeimim will be the most strategically located, allowing for a growing and permanent Russian presence on the Mediterranean, something which has already raised eyebrows in the West.
Though Putin formally announced the planned withdrawal of Russian forces from active operations in Syria in early December, there were parallel plans going back to at least early summer to maintain a smaller permanent presence based on an agreement with the Damascus government to host Russian forces for at least 49 more years, which includes the option of being prolonged further. Personnel and military hardware will be stationed at permanent Russian bases in Tartus and Khmeimim – both of which are on or near the Mediterranean.
According to Russian media reports, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu stated at a ministry meeting on Tuesday, ‘We have started the process of formation of our permanent forces [in Syria].” Though Tartus has operated as a Russian naval port since 1971 (referred to as a Material-Technical Support Point and not a “base”) and was until recently minimally staffed mostly by civilian contractors, it will reportedly undergo a massive transformation and expansion, which is to include the capability of hosting nuclear-powered ships.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 27, 2017.
A week after Russian President Putin thanked US President Trump and the CIA for their warnings about a possible terror attack in St. Petersburg, TASS reports that an explosion in a storage locker in a busy supermarket in St. Petersburg has left 10 injured and dozens more evacuated.
Officials are treating the investigation as a potential mass homicide attempt.
Sources told local media that the explosion was equivalent to 200g of TNT.
The explosion occurred on Wednesday evening in the Perekrestok store in the shopping center on Kondratyevsky Avenue in the northern part of St. Petersburg. As reported by TASS in the main department of the Ministry for Emergency Situations in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, the place is pulled by the operational forces, the evacuation of the building has already been carried out.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 27, 2017.
Authore by Leonid Brershidky via Bloomberg.com,
During Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annual press conference on Thursday, a friendly journalist asked Putin whether the escalating tension in relations with the U. S. and the crumbling of arms control treaties would draw Russia into an unsustainable arms race. “We will ensure our security without engaging in an arms race,” the president replied, citing widely diverging dollar numbers for the U. S. and Russian defense budgets.
That’s a simplistic answer from a politician starting an election campaign (of sorts: Putin is headed for re-election in March without giving anyone else a chance). The more pointed question that should be asked is this: How, with a relatively small and decreasing military budget — 2.77 trillion rubles ($42.3 billion) for 2018, down from some 3.05 trillion rubles this year — is Russia is still a formidable military rival to the U. S., with its enormous and increasing budget of almost $692.1 billion in 2018, up from $583 billion this year?
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 26, 2017.
There are two parts to this article. Part one was written before the recent wave of Mueller-FBI demotion, retirement, and reassignment among key personnel. Part one is a kind of roadmap for whistleblower groups. A way to succeed.
Part two comments on the extraordinary ‘downsizing’ of Mueller-FBI personnel, and its possible connection to FBI whistleblowers within the Bureau.
To paraphrase the Ben Bradlee character in the film, All the President’s Men, nothing much is riding on the Mueller investigation, except the presidency; the role of the mainstream press in politicizing and editorializing its coverage of the White House; the immediate future of US-Russia relations; the future of the Clintons in politics; and the intervention of the Surveillance State in the day-to-day activities of a president and his team.
Did the gunslinger Trump collude with Putin in a secret underground cave, thus placing Hillary on a cross of pain? Did the Clinton Foundation make slimy palm-greasing deals all over the world with high-level crooks and launder their money? Will the knight-puppet Robert Mueller uncover any part of the truth? Will His Excellency, Jeff Sessions, stir from his self-induced narcosis, look around, and find out what’s going on?
– We’ve heard a certain tune before: Honorable government employees will soon expose the crimes of such-and-so, they’ll present the evidence and testimony, and they’ll bring down the house on the heads of corrupt agencies. And then…it doesn’t happen.
This post was published at Jon Rappoport on December 25, 2017.
The Strangelovian palaver of Russia-gate is embraced by many liberals as some totem to ward off the vile Donald Trump, but this dishonest process only furthers the cause of American Empire and risks global destruction…
The effects of humankind created climate chaos are proving to be more devastating than even the grimmest predictions. Today’s wealth inequity is worse than in the Gilded Age. Around the world, the U. S. empire wages perpetual war, hot and cold, overt and covert, including military brinksmanship with the nuclear power, the Russian Federation.
Speaking of the latter, the U. S. media retails a storyline that would be considered risible if it was not so dangerously inflammatory i.e., L’affaire du Russia-gate, wherein, according to the lurid tale, the sinister Vladimir Putin, applying techniques from the Russian handbook for international intrigue, Rasputin Mind Control For Dummies, has wrested control of the U. S. Executive Branch of government and bends its policies to his diabolical will.
Ridiculous, huh? Yet the mainstream press promulgates and a large section of the general public believes what is clearly a reality-bereft tale, as all the while, ignoring circumstances crucial for their own economic well-being; their safety, insofar as a catastrophic nuclear exchange; and the steps required to maintain the ecological criteria crucial for allowing the continued viability of human beings on planet earth.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 24, 2017.
Do you know Binomo?’ the impersonator asked. ‘They have declared independence. They had elections, and we suppose Russians had its intervention.’
‘Yes, of course they did, absolutely,’ Haley confidently replied.
And with that US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley got punked by well-known Russian comedians and professional pranksters Vovan and Lexus (Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov) – sometimes called “The Jerky Boys of Russia” – who had previously phone pranked figures ranging from Elton John to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Rep. Maxine Waters to Senators Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain.
The duo reportedly phoned Haley’s office hours after the UN voted to condemn Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Thursday, pretending to be Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister of Poland, in what ended up being a 22-minute conversation.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 24, 2017.
Authored by Andrew Korybko via Oriental Review,
Trump saved St. Petersburg after the CIA tipped off the FSB about an impending terrorist attack there.
Russia immediately acted on the information and arrested several terrorist suspects who were said to be plotting an attack on the famous Kazan Cathedral, and President Putin was so grateful for the many lives that were saved as a result of this joint cooperation between the two Great Powers that he even called Trump and extended his personal thanks to the CIA and its Director.
This was a model-breaking moment for some because it shattered their worldview of the US, Trump, and especially the CIA as inherently evil forces obsessed with plotting against Russia.
That’s not to say that these three are angels, but just that the pursuit of their interests can sometimes take surprising forms such as the recent example of high-profile anti-terrorist cooperation with Russia that was so useful to Moscow that President Putin felt obliged to thank the CIA, something which would have otherwise been unthinkable for the former head of the FSB to do in the presently tense atmosphere of the New Cold War.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 23, 2017.
Multiple Russian state media outlets are reporting that President Vladimir Putin has stressed that Russia has a right to respond to US military build-up in Europe while furthering its strategic nuclear deterrence capabilities in a speech delivered before a Defense Ministry meeting on Friday in the city of Balashikha outside of Moscow.
At the same meeting Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that NATO has doubled the number of its military drills since 2012 in the vicinity of Russia’s borders, noting that Russia is carefully monitoring what it considers hostile NATO build-up and intensified surveillance operations along Russian borders. The defense minister further indicated that the number of NATO-member country troops stationed near Russian borders has tripled, growing from 10 to 40 thousand in three years, saying “In the Baltic states and Poland, four battalion-tactical groups, an armored brigade of the US Army, headquarters of NATO multinational divisions in Poland and Romania are deployed.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 22, 2017.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has instructed DOJ prosecutors to begin asking FBI agents for explanations regarding evidence pertaining to a dormant criminal investigation into the controversial Uranium One deal linked to Bill and Hillary Clinton, according to NBC.
The order comes as part of a promise made last month by Sessions to examine whether or not a special counsel was warranted in the deal which saw 20% of American Uranium sold to a Russian state-owned energy company in a 2010 transaction allowed by the Obama administration. Prior to the deal, individual connected with Uranium One deal had donated over $140 million to the Clinton Foundation. Moreover, Bill Clinton gave a $500,000 speech to a Russian bank which issued a favorable rating on Uranium One stock. Clinton and Putin met the same day of the speech at the Russian leader’s private homestead.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 21, 2017.
In the annals of Russian-American relations, it is difficult to recall a precedent for the Kremlin leader calling his White House counterpart to convey his personal gratitude and appreciation for the profound contribution made by the US’ Central Intelligence Agency and its director to Russian national security.
The great irony is that the incumbent Kremlin boss is a former KGB officer. Vladimir Putin never ceases to surprise.
The Kremlin readout of Putin’s phone call to US President Donald Trump on Sunday should be an eye-opener to anyone who bought the US propaganda that Putin is a demon preparing to devour the West – or Russian propaganda that encourages an impression to be formed among the nave and the gullible that the world is carved into two neat halves, namely the good and the evil.
Countries like Turkey, Iran and Egypt – and Venezuela and North Korea – should take particular note that the world situation and the emerging international order are a lot more complicated than some among them would like to think. What prompted Putin to make such an extraordinary move?
For a start, the Kremlin senses that the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the US election last November is meandering aimlessly and may have to be wound up sooner rather than later. That being the case, a future is conceivable in which the tidal wave of Russophobia in the US recedes, leaving behind much devastation and debris but also the opportunity to begin rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Most certainly, Putin understood the great symbolism and meaning behind the gesture by the CIA to pass on crucial intelligence relating to the security of his hometown, the city of his heart’s desires, and the pride of all Russian people.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 20, 2017.
Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times,
At his trademark annual year-end press conference in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin once again let drop selected foreign-policy nuggets essential to understanding what lies ahead on the turbulent Eurasian geopolitical chessboard.
By now it’s well known that Putin will run again in the presidential elections scheduled for March 18 (‘it will be self-nomination’ and ‘I hope for the overall support from the public’). The Man in Charge might as well continue to be in charge. So it’s always enlightening to bring down the (spin) noise: sit back, relax, and just listen.
On President Trump: ‘I am on first-name terms with Trump; yes, we would probably use the familiar ‘you.’ I hope he’ll get the opportunity to improve relations with Russia. Look at the markets, how they have grown. This means that investors trust the US economy, this means they trust what he [Donald Trump] is doing in this field.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 20, 2017.
Russian president Vladimir Putin is bracing himself and his country for a third world war by stockpiling tanks and nuclear weapons. Russia has also carried out joint military drills with China, Russia admitted the main target of the joint exercise is the United States.
As tensions around the globe rise to almost intolerable levels, some nations are preparing to take the United State’s place on the top as a military superpower. The country’s Defence Ministry will prioritize the stockpiling of nukes, tanks, and army hardware until 2027. But this isn’t the first time Putin has decided to stockpile weapons of mass destruction. In 2016, the Daily Beast reported that as Barack Obama disarmed the United States’ nuclear weapons, Putin added more.
Russia will also expand, modernize, and upgrade their underground bunkers in preparation for a devastating third world war. Russia is fortifying the underground facilities for command and control during a nuclear conflict. One official said the alarming expansion indicates Russia is preparing to break out of current nuclear forces constraints under arms treaties, including the 2010 New START and 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaties. Russia has since violated the INF accord by testing an illegal ground-launched cruise missile.
This post was published at shtfplan on December 19th, 2017.
Although not as intense as the US mainstream media, the UK mainstream outlets are producing their share of fabricated narratives intended to stoke fear into the minds of the British public.
This latest fish tale comes from The Guardian newspaper, as ‘defense correspondent’ Ewen MacAskil attempts to revive a two year-old mainstream media conspiracy theory about a secret Russian plot to cut transatlantic undersea internet cables which connect Britain and the United States. MacAskil writes:
‘Russia could pose a major threat to the UK and other Nato nations by cutting underwater cables essential for international commerce and the internet, the chief of the British defence staff, Sir Stuart Peach, has warned.
Russian ships have been regularly spotted close to the Atlantic cables that carry communications between the US and Europe and elsewhere around the world.’
It turns out that this latest attempt by The Guardian to stoke fear in the minds of the British public – is a recycled version of a 2015 piece of mainstream fake news, apparently stitched together by the New York Times. It reads like something out of Cold War B movie, with shades of the Hunt for Red October:
‘Russian submarines and spy ships are aggressively operating near the vital undersea cables that carry almost all global Internet communications, raising concerns among some American military and intelligence officials that the Russians might be planning to attack those lines in times of tension or conflict.
This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 18, 2017.
Authored by Eric Margolis via EricMargolis.com,
At a time when the United States is convulsed by anti-Russian hysteria and demonization of Vladimir Putin, a trove of recently declassified Cold War documents reveals the astounding extent of the lies, duplicity and double-dealing engaged in by the western powers with the collapsing Soviet Union in 1990.
I was covering Moscow in those days and met some of the key players in this sordid drama. Ever since, I’ve been writing that the Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Foreign Minister, Eduard Shevardnadze, were shamelessly lied to and deceived by the United States, Britain, and their appendage, NATO.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 18, 2017.