China to Surpass USA as World’s Largest Economy THIS YEAR

The Big dog is coming!

As China officially becomes the world's largest economy, recognized by media, no doubt it will want to expand the trade usage of the Yuan in transactional settlements. This will come at the expense of the dollar.

  • This is – rightly – front page news (hat tip to Drudge for the headline) 

Washington's Blog
30 April 2014

China May Actually Have Surpassed U.S. in 2010 or 2011

Financial Times reports:

The US is on the brink of losing its status as the world’s largest economy, and is likely to slip behind China this year, sooner than widely anticipated, according to the world’s leading statistical agencies.

But this is not entirely surprising.

As we reported in April 2012, leading Chinese economic analyst (and American ex-pat) professor Michael Pettis argued in 2011 that China’s GDP might already higher than America’s in terms of purchasing power parity.

And we noted that Arvind Subramanian – former assistant director in the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund, and now senior fellow jointly at the Peterson Institute for International Economics – says that China passed up the USA in 2010.

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The West Prepares: These Are All NATO Aircraft Deployments In Response To The Ukraine Crisis

And when Putin asks, OMG is this all you have?

         Source: @IHS4DefRiskSec

Zero Hedge
By Tyler Durden
29 April 2014

It's all the Russians' fault? This does not exactly look like de-escalation to us...

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Prominent Economists Call for End to Fractional Reserve Banking

Another run at fractional banking. 

A not so novel concept that would eliminate the risk and gambling amongst the banks.

Washington's Blog
30 April 2014

Challenging a Sacred Cow of Banking Dogma

Excessive leverage by the banks was one of the main causes of the Great Depression and of the 2008 financial crisis.

As such, lower levels of “fractional reserve banking” – i.e. how many dollars a bank lends out compared to the amount of deposits it has on hand – the more stable the economy will be.

But economist Steve Keen notes (citing Table 10 in Yueh-Yun C. OBrien, 2007. “Reserve Requirement Systems in OECD Countries”, Finance and Economics Discussion Series, Divisions of Research & Statistics and Monetary Affairs, Federal Reserve Board):

The US Federal Reserve sets a Required Reserve Ratio of 10%, but applies this only to deposits by individuals; banks have no reserve requirement at all for deposits by companies.

So huge swaths of loans are not subject to any reserve requirements.

Indeed, Ben Bernanke proposed the elimination of all reserve requirements for banks:

The Federal Reserve believes it is possible that, ultimately, its operating framework will allow the elimination of minimum reserve requirements, which impose costs and distortions on the banking system.

Economist Keen informs Washington’s Blog that about 6 OECD countries have already done away with reserve requirements altogether (Australia, Mexico, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and the UK).

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U.S. Economic Growth Slows To a Crawl in First Quarter

But all is well. The truth is there is no recovery and has never been one. So when will these Whores stop funding Wars?

  • Frigid Weather, Weak Exports Curtail Activity

The Wall Street Journal
By Eric Morath
and Ben Leubsdorf
30 April 2014

WASHINGTON—The U.S. economy nearly stalled in the first quarter as weakness overseas hurt exports and frigid weather curtailed business investment.

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the economy, grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.1% in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That matched the second-weakest quarterly reading of the nearly five-year-old economic recovery.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast growth at a 1.1% pace for the quarter.

"Not a great start to the year," said Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Sterne Agee.

The broad slowdown halted what had been improving economic momentum during much of 2013. The economy expanded at a 3.4% pace in the second half of last year. The first-quarter reading fell far below even the lackluster average annual gain of near 2% since the recession ended.

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Humor for the day

Boy: *calls 911* Hello? I need your help!
911: Alright, What is it?
Boy: Two girls are fighting over me!
911: So what's your emergency?
Boy: The ugly one is winning.


Teacher: "Anyone who thinks he's stupid may stand up!"
*Nobody stands up*
Teacher: "Im sure there are some stupid students over here!!"
*Little Johnny stands up*
Teacher: "Ohh, Johnny you think you're stupid?"
Little Johnny: "No... I just feel bad that you're standing alone..."


Cop: "Did you kill this man?"
Me: "No, a bullet killed him. Bullets are made of lead, which comes from the ground. The ground is part of nature. He died of natural causes. Case closed."


Americans Want to Pull Back From World Stage, Poll Finds

Why just wait for Americans to tell them? The world is telling them. Rebuild America and go home!

The Wall Street Journal
By Janet Hook
30 April 2014

Americans in large numbers want the U.S. to reduce its role in world affairs even as a showdown with Russia over Ukraine preoccupies Washington, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds.

In a marked change from past decades, nearly half of those surveyed want the U.S. to be less active on the global stage, with fewer than one-fifth calling for more active engagement—an anti-interventionist current that sweeps across party lines.

The findings come as the Obama administration said Tuesday that Russia continues to meddle in Ukraine in defiance of U.S. and European sanctions. Pro-Russian militants took over more government buildings in eastern Ukraine, while officials at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization said satellite imagery showed no sign that Russia had withdrawn tens of thousands of troops massed near the border.

The poll showed that approval of President Barack Obama's handling of foreign policy sank to the lowest level of his presidency, with 38% approving, at a time when his overall job performance drew better marks than in recent months.

Mr. Obama defended his diplomacy-first approach at a news conference Monday in the Philippines, the last stop on a four-nation tour through Asia. He said those who called for a more muscular policy hadn't learned the lessons of the U.S. decision to invade Iraq.

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The White House Wants to Issue You an Online ID

One step closer to no privacy. Yuk, a White House controlled Privacy world? No! No! No! No! NO!

Vice - Motherboard
By Meghan Neal
28 April 2014

A few years back, the White House had a brilliant idea: Why not create a single, secure online ID that Americans could use to verify their identity across multiple websites, starting with local government services. The New York Times described it at the time as a "driver's license for the internet."

Sound convenient? It is. Sound scary? It is.

Next month, a pilot program of the "National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace" will begin in government agencies in two US states, to test out whether the pros of a federally verified cyber ID outweigh the cons.

The goal is to put to bed once and for all our current ineffective and tedious system of using passwords for online authentication, which itself was a cure for the even more ineffective and tedious process of walking into a brick-and-mortar building and presenting a human being with two forms of paper identification.

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Russian forces have returned to permanent positions | The Global Financial Tsunami End Game: The Petro-Dollar Regime is Finished?

Now that the Russians have returned to their bases we ponder the moves and rhetoric over the Ukraine and question what this is all about as often hostilities between nations are something else other than what is being spoon fed to the public to shape opinion. 

So let's ponder a bit through the web of words and smoke. Russia is moving quickly to avoid having to to do anything with the US, whether it is because of mutual meddling or personal differences, matters not as what does matter is what is being done. And it is quite clear that the military opposition to Russia is a dead man's scenario with no winners and a nuclear confrontation is a non starter. In other words, Ukraine is a non event that thus far America has spent $5B to get and create a disaster in the heart of Europe.

Russia has expressed to the Europeans and others like India that they will accept Rubles, Euros or Yuan instead of dollars as payment for both oil and natural gas. Rosneft is in the process of finalizing several deals like this and we already know about the deal with Iran being touted as a barter deal for 500,000 barrels of oil. And the big deal between China and Gazprom thought to be announced late next month is going to be in Yuan, Rubles or some combination of the two, but definitely not in dollars. And what if the rumors of gold backing the Ruble or Yuan in part or in whole bear fruit? And what happens if alternative currencies are used attracting currency speculation and trade to affect currency related exports? Does an increased Rupee value benefit India as an exporter over an importer, a question that will have to be modeled.

The rumor is that the Saint Petersburg Exchange will be used as the vehicle to facilitate this move as oil and natural gas will trade on the exchange in the not too distant future.

We have seen in the past the US reaction to anyone using another currency other than dollars to settle oil trade and what happened whether it was Iraq, Iran or Libya. Can it be logical then that the same reaction is being had towards Russia? It certainly begs both question and answer as it is clear that the upheaval in the Ukraine is quite secondary to the real game. Except calling it a currency dispute puts pressure on the dollar at a time when the dollar and the US are having some difficulties.

So what's next, a Russian move to offer Britain gas in pounds? What do European countries do faced with euro payments vs dollars? And if all or some of the mentioned parties go in direction of using alternative currencies to the dollar what happens to the trade volumes in those currencies as opposed to the dollar?

All questions that will find answers soon. Whatever the collusion, its an Illusion, the dollar in confusion, is doomed.

Russian forces have returned to permanent positions

Kuwait News Agency
29 April 2014

Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Monday that army forces who had started drills near Ukraine's border last week have returned to their permanent positions.

Russia took the decision after Ukrainian authorities had announced they would not be instructing their military to attack civilians, he was quoted as saying in a report by local news agency Interfax.

In a telephone [call] with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, he urged his counterpart to help "turn down the rhetoric" over the Ukraine crisis.

The Russian minister also denied the presence of saboteurs, affiliated with the Russian military, in eastern Ukraine, mostly inhabited by Russian-language speakers.

In response to Shoigu's criticizing of US military deployment near his country's borders, Hagel underlined that NATO's moves are not in provocation against Russia.

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The Global Financial Tsunami End Game: The Petro-Dollar Regime is Finished?

Once trade in oil is no longer denominated in the US Dollar, the bells will toll for the demise of the US Dollar and the global fiat money system.

Global Research
By Matthias Chang
Future Fast Forward
6 April 2014

Prominent Malaysian lawyer and author Matthias Chang

A few weeks ago, I had a private high-level discussion with some experts in geopolitics, economics and global finance and I had only one objective for participating in the discussion – to find out what was not said and or avoided in the discussion by the participants.

I learned early in my political career as a student anti-war activist that more can be learned from anyone and in any situation by what has not been said and avoided than from all the hours of lengthy dialogue. In most cases, I already knew the positions of the participants on the subject matter of the discussion from their writings, interviews, press statements, their educational backgrounds and their careers. Usually anything that is being said in a discussion reflects the latest position on the participant’s previously declared stance on the subject matter.

And quite often, what has been revealed through discussions may not necessarily reflect the entirety of the participant’s stance. The difficulty is to be conscious of what the participant has not said and detect what are his reservations and why the reluctance to disclose his thoughts on the matter. In the day-long discussions, I had only intervened twice and I took no more than ten minutes at the most to elicit the reaction that I had anticipated.

The first intervention was in relation to the inevitable implementation of the “Bail-In” (the confiscation of depositors’ monies in financial institutions to pay the bondholders / other creditors) to rescue the Too Big To Fail Banks (TBTF), the template being taken from the Cyprus experience for which all the relevant global central banks and institutions such as BIS, IMF, the World Bank have prepared the groundwork.

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China criticizes US sanctions against Russia

Now it begins. China, Russia and BRICS stand firm.

File photo of Putin (right) presenting the Russian delegation to President of China Xi Jinping in March last year [PPIO]

The BRICS Post
29 April 2014

Beijing announced its support for a beleaguered Moscow after the US and Canada announced fresh sanctions against Russia for it’s alleged “inaction” in easing tensions in Ukraine.

In a public signal of increasing Sino-Russian cooperation, China called on all parties to resolve the Ukrainian crisis through dialogue rather than sanctions, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Monday.

“We believe that sanctions are inconducive to the solution of problems. On the contrary, they will escalate tensions,” he said.

It is not in line with any side’s interests to impose sanctions, he added. “We call on all parties concerned to continue dialogue and negotiations so to resolve the crisis in a political way.”

Qin told a daily press briefing that China has been in touch with all relevant nations, including G7 nations, since the Ukrainian crisis erupted, and made clear the nation’s stance on the issue.

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In Canada’s immigration law, anyone can be a terrorist

This is sad to see how a great and free country has become an extension of its ugly neighbor.

Oscar Vigil and his wife Carolina Teves. As a university student in El Salvador in the 1980s, Vigil acted as a contact between foreign journalists and rebel leaders during his country's civil war. After 13 years in Canada, Vigil is about to be deported as a "terrorist."     
Photo: David Cooper / Toronto Star

  • It’s called section 34 (1) (f) of Canada’s main immigration law, and it likely would have kept Nelson Mandela himself out of this country.

The Star
By Oakland Ross
27 April 2014

One elderly woman’s only political act was to stitch together uniforms for armed rebels in Ethiopia, then ruled by a murderous tyrant named Haile Mariam Mengistu.

Another man, now in his 60s, once donated the equivalent of $50 to the militant opposition in his country.

Yet another man used to act as an informal contact for foreign journalists who were seeking interviews with anti-government guerrillas in El Salvador.

None of these three people ever engaged in political violence themselves, and yet all of them – along with dozens and perhaps hundreds of others – face the threat of deportation on the grounds that they pose a security risk to the people of Canada, under a catch-all provision of this country’s immigration law that many lawyers decry as unfair and excessive.

“It’s an extreme overreaction,” says Ontario legal-aid lawyer Andrew Brouwer. “Their stories are so compelling. There’s not a single allegation of ever being involved in any kind of violence, much less a terrorist act.”

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Stanley Fischer for federal reserve

No wonder Israel is celebrating. Look, we just got another one in, and still these Americans don't get it.

Right under their nose, another rigged Fed appointment. When will a non Zionist be elected? Ever?

Former Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer (photo credit: Courtesy JPC)

  • Former governor of Bank of Israel endrosed as vice chairman of US central finance system

The Times of Israel
29 April 2014

The Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday endorsed Stanley Fischer to be vice chair of the US Federal Reserve, a nomination that needs confirmation from the full chamber.

Members of the committee gave the green light by voice vote to Fischer, tapped by President Barack Obama in January to be Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s number two.

The panel also approved Lael Brainard, a former Treasury official, to join the Fed’s Board of Governors, and endorsed current board member Jerome Powell for another term.

All three are expected to win Senate approval.

Fischer is a dual US-Israeli citizen who until last year served as the governor of Israel’s central bank.

The 70-year-old was also deputy managing director at the International Monetary Fund, from 1994 to 2001, and prior to that served as chief economist for the World Bank.

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17 Facts To Show To Anyone That Believes That The U.S. Economy Is Just Fine

This is the now Sad reality in America. This says volumes about a country in total denial about what it has become and what it is. The ability to project power is tempered by economic strength or the lack thereof. Unless they raise the bar and elect QUALITY Leaders, this next Presidency will see it all go down the toilet. 8 years of a clueless, narcissist Puppet , minus even a Birth Certificate, has been a disaster for America. And still 50% of these Voting Idiots don't get it.

The Economic Collapse
By Michael Snyder
29 April 2014

No, the economy is most definitely not "recovering". Despite what you may hear from the politicians and from the mainstream media, the truth is that the U.S. economy is in far worse shape than it was prior to the last recession. In fact, we are still pretty much where we were at when the last recession finally ended. When the financial crisis of 2008 struck, it took us down to a much lower level economically. Thankfully, things have at least stabilized at this much lower level. For example, the percentage of working age Americans that are employed has stayed remarkably flat for the past four years. We should be grateful that things have not continued to get even worse. It is almost as if someone has hit the "pause button" on the U.S. economy. But things are definitely not getting better, and there are a whole host of signs that this bubble of false stability will soon come to an end and that our economic decline will accelerate once again. The following are 17 facts to show to anyone that believes that the U.S. economy is just fine...

#1 The home ownership rate in the United States has dropped to the lowest level in 19 years.

#2 Consumer spending for durable goods has dropped by 3.23 percent since November. This is a clear sign that an economic slowdown is ahead.

#3 Major retailers are closing stores at the fastest pace that we have seen since the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

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Iraq gears up for bitter, bloody election battle

This is to help our Dinarian readers and holders understand some of the core issue here.

The Washington Post
By Loveday Morris
27 April 2014

BAGHDAD — His campaign poster, jostling among the thousands that line the streets of the capital, has a message of unity: “Together we build Iraq.”

But as the country prepares for its first elections since the withdrawal of U.S. troops, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s political rivals accuse him of the opposite: stoking sectarian divisions and dismantling its hard-won democracy.

No party is expected to win a majority in Iraq’s parliamentary elections Wednesday, the first since the last U.S. troops pulled out of the country nearly 21 / 2 years ago, which makes the results difficult to forecast. The unpredictability of Iraqi politics was underlined in the last elections four years ago, when the bloc that won the greatest share of the vote lost the premiership to Maliki in the political horse-trading that followed.

Most observers agree on two things, however: Maliki is unlikely to give up without a bitter fight, and he has unrivaled power and resources to help him hold on.

Since he took office eight years ago, in the country’s first elections after the U.S.-led invasion, his critics have accused him of centralizing power.

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Solar Hydrogen Trends Inc. Invents Groundbreaking 100% Carbon Free, Clean Air Hydrogen Reactor

Solar hydrogen breakthroughs but who will allow it for public use now? Lose tax grabs?

Thanks to our Greek friends for submitting.

"Our hydrogen reactor technology could very well 
be the biggest breakthrough of our time"

  • Solar Hydrogen Trends, Inc. develops innovative breakthrough technology with the world’s first hydrogen reactor for production of unlimited hydrogen; reactor uses water as main fuel and is 100% carbon free! “Endless fuel from water…”

PR Web
By J. Jacobsen
29 April 2014

March 5, 2014 – Menlo Park based technology firm Solar Hydrogen Trends, Inc. ( today announced that it has revolutionized the world of energy production with their invention of the world’s first hydrogen reactor for the production of unlimited hydrogen (patent pending). The hydrogen reactor uses water as a main fuel and is 100% carbon free.

The groundbreaking technology can be used as hybrid solution for energy savings up to 95% when coupled with coal, natural gas, gasoline, biofuels, diesel power plants or incinerators (three to five times cheaper than coal power plants – two to three times cheaper than nuclear, WITHOUT hazards to the environment). In addition, the reactor can be coupled for production of amplified energy output with Hydropower, Solar or Wind farms in peak hours.

Jack Aganyan, Founder and President of Solar Hydrogen Trends commented that “This is a critical step in the development of alternative, clean air energy. As the nation continues its drive to reduce air pollution and mine more cost-effective energy production, we are excited to launch our groundbreaking hydrogen reactor, which provides a formidable solution to these green initiatives. We believe this technology is of national strategic importance. It is clean, efficient, scaleable, and can help the dollar gain back its strength.”

Konstantine Balakiryan, Founder, CEO/Chief Scientist and driving force behind the seven models of the hydrogen reactor, added “With our technology, a hydrogen plant with 150 million cubic feet per day production would provide enough hydrogen to power 200 thousand homes. With only 500 watts/hour of input energy we produce 2,797 cubic feet or 79,098 liters per hour of hydrogen or 221 kWh energy equivalent - at the cost of only $1.80USD. Our hydrogen reactor technology could very well be the biggest breakthrough of our time.”

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How We Almost Cured Addiction: The Strange History of the Ibogaine Movement in the United States

So, the CIA and others don't want to cure drug addiction?

Thanks to our Greek friends for submitting. 

The Daily Transmission
26 April 2014

The story I want to share here is a little shocking – or at least it was to me. It makes one question the most basic assumptions commonly held about how rational science and modern medicine operate, to find out that a substance like ibogaine could go through all this scrutiny and still end up far from the hands of those who need it. Here is the story of how we almost cured addiction.

To begin I must introduce our main character: a little-known shrub native to Western Africa (mostly Gabon and Cameroon) called tabernanthe iboga. The legend has it that the pygmies first discovered the magical powers of the iboga root, which is powerfully hallucinogenic. The pygmies are said to have taught this knowledge to others, eventually becoming the practice of Bwiti, a spiritual tradition that revolves around the use of iboga. Bwiti belief is animistic, and iboga is used to contact the spirits and the ancestors as well as to heal the sick. Bwiti revolves around a three-day initiation in which the initiate consumes copious amounts of this revolting tasting bark. I should know, I was initiated into the Bwiti last year (but let’s save that for another post).

In Gabon, iboga is seen as a sacred medicine (the original word boghaga literally means “to care for”). Sometimes referred to as the “Holy Wood”, each community has a nganga (chief healer) who is responsible for leading ceremonies of initiation and other healing ceremonies. Iboga has been used as a sacrament by the Bwiti for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

In 1864 a French doctor is the first Westerner to discover the root and bring it to France, where a botanist names it Tabernanathe iboga H. bn (as is often done, he gave the plan his initials, because clearly he discovered it even though African people have been using it intentionally for eons).

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Adult Humor | the footless parrot

Ok, now this is bad....but SO FUNNY!

A guy is browsing in a pet shop, and sees a parrot sitting on a little perch.

It doesn't have any feet or legs.

The guy says aloud, 'Jeesh, I wonder what happened to this parrot.?'

The parrot says, 'I was born this way. I'm a defective parrot.'

'Holy crap,' the guy replies. 'You actually understood and answered me. !'

'I got every word,' says the parrot. 'I happen to be a highly intelligent,
and a thoroughly educated bird'

'Oh yeah?' the guy asks. 'Then answer this, how do you hang onto your perch, without any feet.?'

'Well,' the parrot says, 'this is very embarrassing, but since you asked,
I wrap my weenie around this wooden bar, like a little hook.
You can't see it, because of my feathers.'

'Wow,' says the guy. 'You really can understand, and can speak English, can't you.?'

'Actually, I speak both Spanish and English, and I can converse with reasonable
competence on almost any topic, politics, religion, sports, physics, philosophy.
I'm especially good at ornithology.
You really ought to buy me, I'd be a great companion.'

The guy looks at the $200.00 price tag. 'Sorry, but I just can't afford that.'

'Pssssssst,' says the parrot, 'I'm defective, so the truth is, nobody wants me,
cause I don't have any feet.
You can probably get me for $20, just make the guy an offer.!'

The guy offers $20, and walks out with the parrot.

Weeks go by.

The parrot is sensational.

He has a great sense of humor, he's interesting, he's a great pal,
he understands everything, he sympathizes, and he's insightful.

The guy is delighted.

One day the guy comes home from work, and the parrot goes,
'Psssssssssssst,' and motions him over with one wing.

'I don't know if I should tell you this or not, but it's about your wife, and the UPS man.'

'What are you talking about,?' asks the guy.

'When the UPS man delivered a package today,
your wife greeted him at the door, in a sheer black nightie.'

'WHAT???' the guy asks incredulously.

'THEN what happened?'

'Well, then the UPS man came into the house, and lifted up her nightie,
and began petting her all over,' reported the parrot.

'NO!' he exclaims, 'and she let him.?'

'Yes. Then he continued taking off the nightie, got down on his knees, and began to kiss her all over.'

Then the frantic guy demands, 'THEN WHAT HAPPENED.?'

DUNNO?!? I got a hard-on, and fell off my perch.!'

The West’s War on Middle East Christians

Another day in the Middle East. It's truly sad when harmless Arabs simply seeking to practice Christianity in the Middle East are being brutalized, tortured and even beheaded, yet the West does nothing. Are all not sons of God and sons of man? Who will speak for them?

New Easren Outlook
By Ulson Gunnar
27 April 2014

TIME Magazine’s article, “Christians and Tyrants: Why the Middle East’s Persecuted Minority is Making Unholy Choices,” is an attempt to explain to impressionable Western audiences why Christians (and other minorities) have stalwartly backed both the military-led government in Egypt and the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria for now over 3 years.

TIME implies in title alone, that they’ve erred or compromised themselves by doing so. But as we will soon see, nothing could be further from the truth, and the support these minorities exhibit for their respective protectors now is a result of protection offered to them by secular leaders against foreign-backed sectarian extremists for decades.

TIME’s Tall Tale

TIME begins by describing the overrunning of the Syrian town of Raqqa. It claims that the Islamic State of Iaq and Greater Syria (ISIS aka Al Qaeda in Iraq ‘AQI,’ a US designated terrorist organization) overpowered “more moderate rebel brigades,” and subsequently subjected Christians to persecution under their rule.

Some 3,000 Christians fled, leaving only small number behind to be beheaded, flogged, and otherwise abused, tortured, and systematically exterminated. TIME claims Al Qaeda has even disavowed ISIS for its extreme violence, perhaps hoping readers don’t realize ISIS is in fact Al Qaeda, and that Al Qaeda’s other brands in Syria, including the al-Nusra front, is similarly abusing other minorities across Syria, including most recently in Kessab in the north, with NATO backing.

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US hits Russia's oil kingpin Igor Sechin with first energy sanctions

So, they can isolate and go after Russian elite, but not the Cabal. Russia will just speed up the Eurasian market development and BRICS, totally out of the Petro dollar. The Kremlin does not need the US any longer, so it's a rash move. Now can the EU take an energy price hike just to satisfy WH egos.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (left) and Igor Sechin    Photo: AFP

  • The US Treasury blacklisted Igor Sechin, the mastermind of the Kremlin’s energy strategy and Russia’s second most powerful man

The Telegraph
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
29 April 2014

The US has tightened the noose yet further on the Russian economy, imposing sanctions on the kingpin of Russia’s oil industry in a move that could have serious consequences.

The US Treasury blacklisted Igor Sechin, chairman of Russia’s top oil producer Rosneft and a former KGB official from the inner circle of Russian president Vladimir Putin. He is thought to be the mastermind of the Kremlin’s energy strategy and Russia’s second most powerful man. It also targeted his deputy.

Rosneft is the world’s biggest traded oil company, producing 2.5m barrels a day and paying $75bn a year in taxes to the Russian state. The move by Washington creates a legal and political tangle for BP, which owns 19.75pc of Rosneft’s shares under a legacy deal from the TNK-BP venture.

Market reaction to the news was muted. Rosneft’s shares fell to a 10-month low in Moscow, while yields on its benchmark 2022 bond spiked to a record high, but damage was light by the end of the day.

Russia’s MICEX index of equities rallied as the package of US sanctions was dismissed as thin gruel by traders. The list excluded major banks, instead targeting 17 corporate bosses, companies and political operatives at the Kremlin, as well as an export ban on hi-tech defence goods.

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All Stock Market Indices are Fata Morganas

Before we try to regulate a market, first we need to understand it, and it all fails there when we don't.

A Fata Morgana is an unusual and complex 
form of superior mirage that is seen in a narrow 
band right above the horizon. (Wikipedia)

One World of Nations
By Wim
29 April 2014

Have you ever wondered what information a stock market index actually gives? An index point is not a fixed unit in time and does not have any historical significance.

Two measurements during a marathon

Imagine the following two measurements:

- In the first measurement, the average time is measured which 30 runners need to run a marathon.

- In the second measurement the same runners start a marathon. However, after 10 kilometres the 10 slowest runners are replaced by 10 fresh. After 20 kilometres again the 10 slowest runners are replaced by 10 fresh and after 30 kilometres this happens again. Again the average time is measured.

In which measurement will the average time over 30 runners be the smallest?
And what will happen to the average time if the stopwatch is running more slowly during the second measurement? In the beginning of the second measurement, there are 60 seconds in a minute and at the end this increased to 380 seconds in a minute. Does it still make sense to compare the two measurements?

If your answer to this question is no, you will probably have no problem qualifying stock market indexes such as the AEX, DAX, S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average as fata morganas.

All Stock Market Indices are Fata Morganas

The parallel with stock market indices is easy to draw. An index is calculated on the basis of a set of shares. Every index has its own formula and the formula results in the number of points of the index. However, this set of shares changes regularly. For a new period the value is based on a different set of shares. It is very strange that these different sets of shares are represented as the same unit. In less than ten years twelve of the thirty companies (i.e. 40%) in the Dow Jones were replaced. Over a period of sixteen years, twenty companies were replaced, a figure of 67%. This meant that over a very short period we were left comparing a basket of today’s apples with a basket of yesterday’s pears.

Even more disturbing is the fact that with every change in the set of shares used to calculate the number of points, the formula also changes. This is done because the index, which is the result of two different sets of shares at the moment the set is changed, must be the same for both sets at that point in time. The index graphs must be continuous lines. For example, the Dow Jones is calculated by adding the shares and dividing the result by a number. Because of changes in the set of shares and the splitting of shares the divider changes continuously. At the moment the divider is 0.15571590501117 but in 1985 this number was higher than 1. An index point in two periods of time is therefore calculated in different ways:

Dow1985 = (x1 + x2 +..+x30) / 1

Dow2014 = (x1 + x2 +.. + x30) / 0.15571590501117

In the 1990s many shares were split. To make sure the result of the calculation remained the same both the number of shares and the divider changed. An increase in share value of 1 dollar of the set of shares in 2014 results is 6.4 times more points than in 1985. The fact that in the 1990s many shares were split is probably the cause of the exponential growth of the Dow Jones index. At the moment the Dow is at 16,437 points. If we used the 1985 formula it would be at 2,559 points.

The most remarkable characteristic is of course the constantly changing set of shares. Generally speaking, the poorly performing companies are removed from the set and companies in the growth phase, which perform well, are added. This greatly increases the chance that the index will rise rather than go down, you don’t need a probability calculation

Should the European Union reindex the stock markets?

It makes no sense to compare the number of points with the number of points of a stock market index from 30 years ago. The time is ripe for the European Union, after the introduction of the euro, to reindex European stock markets to 100 points. A fata morgana is an optical phenomenon, and so is the graph of a stock market index.

Suspicious Deaths of Bankers Are Now Classified as “Trade Secrets” by Federal Regulator

Interesting. As suspicious as O's Birth Certificate maybe.

(Left) JPMorgan's European Headquarters at 
25 Bank Street, London Where Gabriel Magee 
Died on January 27 or January 28, 2014

Wall Street On Parade
By Pam Martens
and Russ Martens
28 April 2014

It doesn’t get any more Orwellian than this: Wall Street mega banks crash the U.S. financial system in 2008. Hundreds of thousands of financial industry workers lose their jobs. Then, beginning late last year, a rash of suspicious deaths start to occur among current and former bank employees. Next we learn that four of the Wall Street mega banks likely hold over $680 billion face amount of life insurance on their workers, payable to the banks, not the families. We ask their Federal regulator for the details of this life insurance under a Freedom of Information Act request and we’re told the information constitutes “trade secrets.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the life expectancy of a 25 year old male with a Bachelor’s degree or higher as of 2006 was 81 years of age. But in the past five months, five highly educated JPMorgan male employees in their 30s and one former employee aged 28, have died under suspicious circumstances, including three of whom allegedly leaped off buildings – a statistical rarity even during the height of the financial crisis in 2008.

There is one other major obstacle to brushing away these deaths as random occurrences – they are not happening at JPMorgan’s closest peer bank – Citigroup. Both JPMorgan and Citigroup are global financial institutions with both commercial banking and investment banking operations. Their employee counts are similar – 260,000 employees for JPMorgan versus 251,000 for Citigroup.

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Russia and Iran strike $10bn energy deal

America used to make deals, now they procrastinate and Russia mops up. As does China.

American sanctions sound good perhaps to some parties but clearly not Europe, but 10B in a power deal, 20B in an oil deal, and trade potential rising to 40B from 5B. Seems like a win win proposal before any backlash from Russia over new sanctions. And one can assume that USD will not be present. So whose lost opportunity is this?

It seems once upon a time America led the world in doing deals like this to grow the economy. What happened to this type of deal making?

RIA Novosti/Dmitry Astakhov

28 April 2014

Iran and Russia are negotiating a power deal worth up to $10 billion. The construction of new thermal and hydroelectric plants and a transmission network are in the works.

Iran’s Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian met his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak in Tehran to discuss the power deals, according to the Mehr news agency. They include the possibility of Russia exporting 500 megawatts of electricity to Iran.

Moscow is discussing with Tehran the trade of 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil for Russian goods. The deal could be worth as much as $20 billion, and has rattled Washington because it could bring Iran's crude exports above a one million barrels a day which is the threshold agreed upon in the nuclear deal.

Tehran’s ambassador to Moscow Mehdi Sanaei said on Friday that the implementation of Iran-Russia energy agreements hold the key to economic expansion.

Sanaei underlined the importance of promoting of Iran-Russia cooperation and called for the implementation of oil, gas and electricity deals, according to Press TV.

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Russian and Ukrainian armies shaping up for initial military clash over Slavyansk

As the drumbeats of war are stirring how will it go if it kicks off? Ukraine will fold, NATO will get pounded, and the US will wimp out.

Oh how the big dogs have grown old and impotent now.

DEBKA file
27 April 2014

Russia and Ukraine were heading Sunday, April 27, for their first battle over the rebel-held flashpoint town of Slavyansk, debkafile’s military and US sources report. The outcome will determine who controls the Donetsk region and possibly all of East of Ukraine – the separatists or the provisional government in Kiev.

With a superior, professional and well-trained force armed with a preponderance of fire power, the Kremlin has several options to choose from for this engagement:

1. To order the 11,000 troops, based at Rostov on Don 40 kilometers from the Ukrainian border, to cross over and head for Slavyansk and Donetsk.

2. To send a tank column against the 15,000 Ukrainian troops deployed over the weekend around Slavyansk. According to Russian sources, the force from Kiev is armed with 160 tanks, 230 armored personnel carriers and 150 pieces of artillery and missiles.

3. To send warplanes and helicopters from the giant Russian airbase of Tsentralniy - a prospect gaining ground in recent hours. This action would broaden the engagement into a major war operation between Russia and Ukraine.

4. Moscow, Kiev and their backers may understand how such a war began, but once it is under way, no one can tell how it will end.

5. In the event of a major escalation, Moscow ill have to decide whether to throw into battle the special rapid deployment and paratroop units stationed at Tsentralniy, which are held ready for intervention in the Middle East and are now in reserve for action in Ukraine.

6. The Kremlin must decide whether to go for an overall invasion of Ukraine. debkafile’s military sources report that the force poised on the border is smaller than the 40,000 estimated by Kiev. It consists of 15,000 armored corps soldiers with T-72B tanks and one division each of infantry and paratroops.

A Russian invasion would bring about the partition of Ukraine between the Russian-controlled East + Crimea and the sector ruled by the pro-Western administration of Kiev.

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Bank of America Suspends Buyback and Dividend Increase

Bank of Numpty land more likely. Who cant make the cut now?

A Bank of America branch in New York.    Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The New York Times
By Michael Corkery
28 April 2014

Bank of America said on Monday that it was suspending its share buyback program and a planned increase in its dividend after it discovered flaws in the information it submitted to the Federal Reserve as part of the stress test process.

In a statement, the bank attributed the error to an incorrect adjustment related to the treatment of structured notes assumed in its acquisition of Merrill Lynch in 2009. As a result of the error, the bank said, its capital levels are lower than what it had disclosed to the Fed.

After the bank notified the Federal Reserve of the mistake, the Fed “is requiring the Bank of America Corporation to resubmit its capital plan and to suspend planned increases in capital distributions,” it said in a statement.

“The Federal Reserve can require a banking organization that is part of the annual Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) program to resubmit its capital plan at any time if there is a material change that could potentially lead to an alteration in a firm’s capital position,” the statement said. “Bank of America must address the quantitative errors in its regulatory capital calculations as part of the resubmission and must undertake a review of its regulatory capital reporting to help ensure there are no further errors.”

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German Ship Captain Swamped in Debt Underscores Bank Risk

Reality is now coming home in the shipping business. A complete bloodbath is unfolding, one that will tremble throughout the whole supply chain of boat building. Many shipyards will go under as a result of a lost decade of shipping volumes and the advent of a new "silk" road via rail from China to Germany will only cause more hurt to the industry in lowering prices.

The Silk Road will be faster and cheaper reducing the need for ships and offering a faster cash turn around.

With it will go the shipping industry but with it along the route, new cities and industries will emerge. Time to think outside the box, but Germany and Russia will become very big new players now.

Shipping containers and container cranes are seen in the Port of Hamburg. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

By Nicholas Brautlecht
27 April 2014

Reederei Heinrich, a 149-year-old German shipping company, risks losing two of its three vessels unless it repays loans as financial stress in the industry spreads to banks facing a European Central Bank review.

The company, established near Hamburg, Germany’s biggest port, has endured misfortunes such as the death of a family member struck by anchor chains and ships that ran aground. Now General Manager Jens Robrahn says he’s concerned that HSH Nordbank AG may call in 22 million euros ($30 million) of outstanding debt and seize two boats acting as security.

“I currently get 4,000 euros a day for a vessel, which covers operational costs and interest payments, but I don’t have the money to pay back the loan,” Robrahn, 73, a ship captain, said in a phone interview from his office in Jork, 25 kilometers (16 miles) west of Hamburg. Smaller container vessels like his Anna Sirkka and Page Akia need to repay about 1 million euros in debt a year, he said. Robrahn and HSH Nordbank, the world’s largest maritime lender, declined to provide further details.

BP and Shell exposed as US prepares first warning shot against Russia's oil and gas industry

The G7 US dominated group appear to be backing moves to impair Russia's energy markets. That will just drive up Gas prices for the EU, not the smartest move.

Around 30 per cent of European gas comes from Russia and roughly half of it passes through the Ukraine     Photo: REUTERS

  • Firms may be forced to curtail operations as G7 powers prepare to launch new sanctions

The Telegraph
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
27 April 2014

Britain’s top energy companies face an extremely delicate situation as the world’s G7 powers prepare to launch the next wave of sanctions against Russia, and may be forced to curtail operations or freeze certain commercial ties with the country.

The US, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada have agreed to "intensify targeted sanctions to increase the costs of Russia's actions" – possibly as soon as Monday – unless the Kremlin takes immediate steps to defuse the crisis in Ukraine.

The G7 is for now holding back Iranian-style "stage 3" sanctions against the whole Russian banking system, mining industry, or the oil and gas nexus. This nuclear option will be deployed only if Russia escalates from black operations in Eastern Ukraine to an outright invasion, said Alastair Newton, head of political risk at Nomura.

Yet diplomats say the Obama administration has the means to choke Russia's bond market and greatly disrupt the energy sector even under limited "stage 2" sanctions, and intends to do so in a step by step escalation.

Sources in Washington say the US Treasury may soon extend the black list to Igor Sechin, president of the oil giant Rosneft, the biggest traded oil company in the world. Any such move would be a costly headache for BP, which owns 19.75pc of Rosneft’s shares under a deal reached in 2012 ending its stormy misadventures in TNK-BP.

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Cyril Smith abuse: council may face cover-up investigation

Again the more exposure this gets the greater the chance of real investigations and arrests.

Cyril Smith was a Liberal, then Liberal Democrat, MP for Rochdale from 1972 to 1992. 
Photograph: Pa/PA Archive/Press Association Images

  • Greater Manchester police is examining whether to widen inquiry surrounding abuse of boys by the late Liberal MP

The Guardian
By Ben Quinn
28 April 2014

Police are reportedly reviewing whether there is evidence that alleged sexual abuse committed by the late Liberal MP Cyril Smith was covered up by individuals at Rochdale council.

An investigation is already under way into allegations that Smith raped boys at Rochdale's Knowl View residential school, which closed in 1992, and abused boys at the privately run Cambridge House children's care home, which closed in 1965.

Greater Manchester police is now examining whether to widen the force's inquiry to look into whether there was a coverup by individuals at Rochdale council, one of the local authorities that ran the Knowl View school.

Tim Farron, the president of the Liberal Democrats, said on Saturday that the party needed to answer serious questions about who knew that Smith faced allegations of sex abuse. Farron said a police investigation was the best way of dealing with the claims against the politician, who died in 2010 aged 82.

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Lib Dems must answer 'serious questions' over Cyril Smith, Tim Farron says

In a move which will shake the foundations of the British coalition government, its MPs are now demanding a full historical investigation into cover ups with sex abuses in Children's Homes. Thank God for the integrity and freedom of speech in Parliament to force home this new investigation and bring them all to justice.


  • The Liberal Democrat president Tim Farron said his party must find out who knew what about the allegations of sexual abuse against former MP Sir Cyril Smith

The Telegraph
By Miranda Prynne
26 April 2014

The Liberal Democrat president said his party must “answer serious questions” over who knew of the allegations of sexual abuse against its former MP Sir Cyril Smith.

Tim Farron, who was elected party president in 2010, insisted fears that Smith’s abuse of young boys was hushed up must be fully investigated.

His comments came just a day after the party leader Nick Clegg called for police to probe allegations that senior politicians had covered up decades of abuse by “an organised paedophile ring” at the heart of the British establishment, which included Smith.

In 2012, Greater Manchester police revealed Smith, a former Rochdale MP, who died in 2010 aged 82, had abused eight young boys at a hostel he helped run in the town in the 1960s.

Accusations later emerged of a "network of paedophiles" operating in the Commons who were protecting Smith.

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AIPAC gambling boss may flee US

So another one of them may flee to Israe-hell to avoid justice.

Activists protesting outside an AIPAC policy conference in Washington carry signs highlighting Israel’s rights violations.

Press TV
By Gordon Duff
26 April 2014

Yesterday, federal officials took into custody the reputed partner of gambling boss Sheldon Adelson, the chief financial backer for the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and primary financier for America’s GOP or Republican Party.

Sources at the Department of Justice say Adelson is accused of laundering $364 million dollars, much of which went into the pockets of politicians in Washington “friendly” to Israel.

If Adelson is indicted, and sources in the Justice Department say this process is well underway, politicians around the US, all Republicans, will be required to return millions in what would then be not only illegal campaign contributions but clearly proof of ties between the GOP and organized crime.

Many of the politicians Adelson has supported on state government level have worked to suppress wages and workers’ rights, blocked regulations protecting consumers from mortgage and investment fraud and supported questionable gambling initiatives.

Adelson’s extremist politics have been a dark stain on the soul of America.

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Full Mobilization: Either Russia Is Positioning Troops for a Massive Offensive… Or This Is The Most Expensive Military Exercise in World History

Russia has demonstrated in the past they are not afraid, regardless of the losses, when threatened. So now take it as the Gauntlet is down and Russia wants to test out the US and Europe head on. Russia and China both WANT to blow the US to hell. Putin WILL go for it.

By Mac Salvo
25 April 2014

If you’re paying attention to geo-political and economic affairs at the moment, then you can't ignore the gathering storm clouds in Europe.

No one at the White House will officially admit it, but we may well be sitting on the cusp of a widespread conflagration. To suggest otherwise is simply naive. The chess game is, without a doubt, in full swing.

After having threatened Vladimir Putin’s $40 billion personal fortune with asset forfeiture last week, the United States continues to push forward with a variety of sanctions against anyone and any nation believed to be providing material support to pro-Russian interests. This morning the S&P ratings agency, likely with the support of U.S. officials, fired a shot across the bow of the Russian economy by downgrading the country to just above “junk status,” a move likely designed to scare foreign investment interests and bank capital to flee the country.

Russia retaliated almost immediately by proposing a scorched earth policy reminiscent of their tactical withdrawal against the Germans in World War II. In essence, should the United States continue its attack on the Russian economy and individual wealth, the country will begin to divest itself completely of Western influence by withdrawing all dollar and Euro denominated assets, selling investment bonds of any country supporting the sanctions, and engaging in global trade through exchange mechanisms that do not involve the dollar.

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Humor | Obama Private Plane Flight

Obama took a private plane flight over an Indian Reservation in Oklahoma…..

Bank of Nova Scotia to get visit from British watchdog as scrutiny of London gold fixing grows, sources say

As Gold fixing rigging continues, more suits travel to investigate, but real rigging is much more cunning than that.

Thanks to our Brazilian friends for submitting.

The century-old London gold fixing is led by representatives of Barclays Plc, Deutsche Bank AG, Bank of Nova Scotia, HSBC Holdings Plc and current chairman Societe Generale. Bloomberg

Financial Post
By Suzi Ring
and Nicholas Larkin,
Bloomberg News
25 April 2014

Regulators are stepping up their scrutiny of how gold prices are set, with officials from Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority visiting all five member banks including the Bank of Nova Scotia to observe the so-called London fixing process, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

Investigators visited the Societe Generale SA’s U.K. offices in recent weeks for the morning and afternoon conference calls, during which the reference price used by miners, jewellers and central banks is set, the people said. The watchdog is visiting all five member banks involved in the London fixing as part of its review of gold benchmarks, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

The century-old London fixing is led by representatives of Barclays Plc, Deutsche Bank AG, Bank of Nova Scotia, HSBC Holdings Plc and current chairman Societe Generale. They hold conference calls at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. where they discuss buying and selling the metal, starting from the dollar spot price, until a rate is agreed upon.

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EUCOM dismisses reports of secret U.S. base in Crimea

More dirty little secrets coming out.

This is why and what they do not want you to know. Russia was being boxed in and it was the people of the Crimea who chose a different road. The rest of the Ukraine will suffer immensely in what tragedy is about to befall them. And parties on all sides will cry.

A combat vehicle with pro-Russian gunman on top runs through downtown Slovyansk, Eastern Ukraine, Friday, April 18, 2014. Ukraine is hoping to placate Russia and calm hostilities with its neighbor even as the U.S. prepares a new round of sanctions to punish Moscow for what it regards as fomenting unrest. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) (Efrem Lukatsky / AP)

Air Force Times
By Michelle Tan
25 April 2014

Military officials in Europe are pushing back against reports the U.S. was conducting humanitarian assistance projects in Crimea as a ruse to establish a military base in the region.

“Recent media speculation has questioned the cancellation of humanitarian assistance projects in Crimea,” according to a statement released Thursday by European Command. “The school and hospital renovation projects in question were part of EUCOM’s HA program and would have been solely for the benefit of the local school children and community. Rumors that these projects were an attempt to establish a U.S. military base in the region are patently false.”

European Command works hand-in-hand with the Offices of Defense Cooperation and embassies of 17 countries in its area of responsibility to identify humanitarian assistance projects to benefit the civilian population, according to the EUCOM statement.

The projects have been canceled because of “the uncertain security situation in Crimea, which has deteriorated significantly due to Russia’s military intervention, illegal annexation and occupation of that part of Ukraine,” according to the EUCOM statement.

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Time Germans too demand referendum – for independence from US yoke

So should the whole world now.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Barack Obama

Press TV
By M. I. Bhat
26 April 2014

While Europe is still in the process of consolidating and expanding its Union to cover each of the former east European Soviet states in its fold, several of its nation states are experiencing a season of referendum and secession demands.

Thus you have Scottish demanding to secede from England, Flemings from Belgium, Catalonians from Spain, and Venetians from Italy. Crimean example could only energize their resolve.

Crimeans may consider themselves lucky to have realized their wish without any bloodshed. But the influence it cast over the Russian-speaking majority in the Eastern Ukraine, prompting them to follow the Crimeans lead, has pitched Russia against US and EU with a potential to turn Ukraine into a vicious war theater and throw the whole world back into the Cold War era uncertainty and instability.

The Unites States and the European Union, while ruling out any military response, have already imposed some for-show-type sanctions (to appease domestic audiences) on Russia following Crimean accession, and are now repeatedly threatening to impose sweeping economic and financial sanctions if it doesn’t stop supporting pro-Russians in the Eastern Ukraine. Meantime, US and NATO started moving military assets and troops to Black Sea and some NATO-member countries close to Russia ostensibly to reassure allies there.

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The Obama Game | Is Putin Being Lured Into a Trap?

Forget Hollywood, Real world Russia is a fearsome foe.

A dated article but worth reading to put perspective on where we are now which is basically with two superpowers cutting off communications. If you have doubts about who will move first you are wrong. Never since the Cuban crisis has the world come this close to real war, thanks to American imperialism and greed.

Counter Punch
By Mike Whitney
15 April 2014

“Russia … is now recognized as the center of the global ‘mutiny’ against global dictatorship of the US and EU. Its generally peaceful .. approach is in direct contrast to brutal and destabilizing methods used by the US and EU…. The world is waking up to reality that there actually is, suddenly, some strong and determined resistance to Western imperialism. After decades of darkness, hope is emerging.” – Andre Vltchek, Ukraine: Lies and Realities, CounterPunch

Russia is not responsible for the crisis in Ukraine. The US State Department engineered the fascist-backed coup that toppled Ukraine’s democratically-elected president Viktor Yanukovych and replaced him with the American puppet Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a former banker. Hacked phone calls reveal the critical role that Washington played in orchestrating the putsch and selecting the coup’s leaders. Moscow was not involved in any of these activities. Vladimir Putin, whatever one may think of him, has not done anything to fuel the violence and chaos that has spread across the country.

Putin’s main interest in Ukraine is commercial. 66 percent of the natural gas that Russia exports to the EU transits Ukraine. The money that Russia makes from gas sales helps to strengthen the Russian economy and raise standards of living. It also helps to make Russian oligarchs richer, the same as it does in the West. The people in Europe like the arrangement because they are able to heat their homes and businesses market-based prices. In other words, it is a good deal for both parties, buyer and seller. This is how the free market is supposed to work. The reason it doesn’t work that way presently is because the United States threw a spanner in the gears when it deposed Yanukovych. Now no one knows when things will return to normal.

Check out this chart at Business Insider and you’ll see why Ukraine matters to Russia.

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Pentagon: Russia is ignoring us

Ignoring us? Wow, You think 2 fingers up is ignoring you? How about the world has said enough and is ready to fight soon? Putin knows he has Radar superiority already. China and Russia will kill the satellites.

This is what happens when arrogance and self importance blind reason. Ask yourself when the last time was that Russia and the US were not on speaking terms on the military front? When either Putin or Obama stop speaking with the other, it will be on and there is really nothing to speak about. Perhaps we are already there, and if so the world is about to change.

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel

Press TV
26 April 2014

The Pentagon says Russia’s Ministry of Defense has ignored US efforts to set up a phone conversation between the two countries’ top military officials.

According to Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren, Russia has not responded to US military officials’ requests for a phone call between US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu.

Over “the past 24 hours,” said Warren, “we’ve tried to make clear to the Russians that Secretary Hagel is available for a phone call anytime, but we have not heard back.”

This comes as Russia and the US have been flexing their military muscles over the crisis in Ukraine and the Kremlin has ended high-level contact with the administration of US President Barack Obama.

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Russia launches spy satellite for Egypt

Russia now controls space.

What is interesting about this is one, that Egypt bought the system and two the other European partners who contributed to the project.

Russian Space Web

The launch of the Soyuz-U rocket took place as scheduled on April 16, 2014, at 20:20:00 Moscow Time (12:20 EST) from Site 31 in the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The launch vehicle was carrying a Russian-built Egyptsat-2 satellite designed to provide high-resolution imagery for the Egyptian military and other government agencies in the country.

The spacecraft was successfully delivered into its planned orbit 520 seconds after liftoff.

The development and launch campaign for Egyptsat-2 has been conducted largely in secret. Only one visual of the operational spacecraft was released to the public by its manufacturer RKK Energia after the successful launch. Notably, in its post-launch press-release, the company avoided the use of name Egyptsat-2, instead identifying the satellite as a "spacecraft for optical-electronic observation developed for the foreign customer."

RKK Energia announced that the satellite had been inserted into a 720 by 440-kilometer orbit with an inclination 51.6 degrees toward the Equator. Its ground facility established control over the satellite at 21:52 Moscow Time, the company said. Western radar detected two objects in orbit with similar parameters, probably representing the satellite and the third stage of the Soyuz-U launch vehicle. The satellite was expected to use its own propulsion system to enter a final operational orbit.

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Egypt Signing Unprecedented $3 Billion MiG-35 Deal with Russia

More are flying the coup.

Recent displays of Russian hardware make it a much easier sell and each dollar of military hardware is another dollar of sales lost by the west in particular America, and therefore jobs.

On one side while China has seized all the low hanging fruit of manufacturing, Russia is now seizing the military hardware sales that were the domain of America.

The assault against the dollar comes on many fronts and it is interesting to watch where the money comes from. As in this case the Saudis are paying for the planes. And that action speaks loudly.

The Jewish Press
22 April 2014

Ehud Ya’ari of Israel’s Channel 2 News reported on Tuesday night, that Egypt and Russia will be signing an unprecedented military agreement.

In this agreement between Cairo and Moscow, Egypt will receive 24 of Russia’s advanced Mikoyan MiG-35 fighter jets, along with military and strategic advisers, as well as training for the Egyptian Air Force.

The deal is worth $3 billion.

It follows in the footsteps of a $2 billion arms deal that Egypt signed with Russia in February, and was primarily funded by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The deal itself has been in the works since November, as reported when Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited Cairo and Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and developed in response to decreased US military aid to Egypt.

This deal is a major setback to US policy and diplomacy in the Middle East, and is a direct slap in the face for U.S. President Obama.

In related news, the U.S. is sending 600 troops to Eastern Europe for an exercise, to try to reassure its NATO allies, following Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

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