Safe

Meet the secretive group that runs the World

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First unofficial meeting of the BIS Board of Directors in Basel, April 1930.
Over the centuries there have been many stories, some based on loose facts, others based on hearsay, conjecture, speculation and outright lies, about groups of people who "control the world." Some of these are partially accurate, others are wildly hyperbolic, but when it comes to the historic record, nothing comes closer to the stereotypical, secretive group determining the fate of over 7 billion people, than the Bank of International Settlements, which hides in such plain sight, that few have ever paid much attention.

The following is an excerpt from TOWER OF BASEL: The Shadowy History of the Secret Bank that Runs the World by Adam LeBor. Reprinted with permission from PublicAffairs.

Comment: So who guides the BIS?


Vader

U.S. sponsorship of neo-Nazi Ukraine and Arab dictators shows true face of Washington is fascism and dictatorship

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© Flickr/ DAVID HOLT
American sponsorship, simultaneously, of Neo-Nazis waging ethnic cleansing in Ukraine and of Arab dictators bombing an impoverished Yemen is stark testimony to the true nature of US power. Unmasked from unctuous vanity and virtuous pretensions, the ugly face of Washington is fascism and dictatorship.

Ukraine and Yemen, to some, may seem disconnected theatres. Not at all. The American-backed lawlessness and barbarity running amok in both countries are an integral function of how US power really operates in the world; not as a recent aberrant phenomenon, but rather going back to the fundamentals of how the American ruling class functions under capitalism.

Let's survey America's partners in practice: first in Yemen, then in Ukraine, and finally integrate the systematic connections.

As the death toll among civilians mounts in Yemen, aid agencies are warning of a humanitarian catastrophe in the Arab Peninsula country. Rundown hospitals can't cope with the droves of injured, many of them children suffering severe burns.

Yet this week Washington announces it is stepping up its weapons supplies to the coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia that has been bombing Yemen for nearly two weeks.

US Army Colonel Steve Warren announced that the weapons are "a combination of pre-existing orders to our partners [sic] and some new requirements."

Bad Guys

Ukraine: a perfect storm of politics and bullsh*t

Once in a while a book appears that forces us to rethink the previous cognitive patterns. To use the celebrated phrase from Thomas S. Kuhn's influential, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), it introduces the paradigm shift. Kuhn's explored scientific revolutions and the shifts produced by, say, Newtonian or quantum physics. The realm of social ideas is not immune to similar breakthroughs. In the twentieth century, Orwell's analysis of a doublespeak and the mutual corruption of politics and language has clearly changed the way we look at modern politics.

Recently, Harry C. Frankfurt's little pamphlet, with its beguilingly simple title, On Bullshit (Princeton University Press, 2005) has pushed Orwell's insights into a higher degree of conceptualization. While written in Orwellian vein and addressing the abuse and manipulation of language, Frankfurt's analysis offers a new way of looking at the old problem. The book open with the following, by now well-known observation: "One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows it. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted. Most people are rather confident of their ability to recognize bullshit and avoid being taken in by it. So the phenomenon has not aroused much deliberate concern, nor attracted much sustained inquiry. In consequence, we have no clear understanding of what bullshit is, why there is so much of it, or what functions it serves."

Without proper understanding of its functions and purposes, we are left, frankly, unarmed to confront and understand bullshit, despite our confidence to recognize it. For Frankfurt, BS is a greater enemy of truth then a lie because a liar does care about truth and thus tries to pass falsehood for truth, while BS artists do not really care about the truthfulness of their statements - they just make assertions to impress, while disguising their real agenda. There are obvious mechanisms to challenge lies: just produce facts. But how does one challenges bullshit and understands its secret agenda? There is no cognitive frame, no intellectual traps into which the bullshitter can be caught.

Comment: Mr. Golstein is oh, so close. What he describes is the classic psychopathic approach to the world, especially when in a position of power. Basic psychopathic traits:
  • Unreliability
  • Frequent lying
  • Deceitful and manipulative behavior (either goal-oriented or for the delight of the act itself)
  • Lack of remorse or shame
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Poor judgment and failure to learn by experience
  • Incapacity for love
  • Poverty of general emotions
  • Loss of insight
  • Unresponsiveness in personal relations
  • A frequent need for excitement
  • An inflated self-worth
  • An ability to rationalize their behavior
  • A need for complete power
  • A need to dominate others



Quenelle

Political repression and resistance in 'Democratic Europe'

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Liberté, égalité, fraternité... parfois
For all its rhetoric about "liberal democracy" and "freedom," Europe has quietly become a hotbed of political repression. While some groups are allowed to express themselves openly - from fascists that praise Nazi collaborators of the World War II period, to feminist and gay rights groups - there is one particular brand of free speech that is simply not allowed: anti-war protest.

Masking the repression of anti-war, anti-NATO, and anti-imperialist groups behind defamatory rhetoric and demonization, the mass media in Europe attempts to portray such activists as little more than "pro-Kremlin" puppets whose strings are secretly being pulled by the wicked villains of Moscow. Rather than engaging with the critical issues raised by such groups, the political and media establishment instead targets them for repression.

Police and state repression, often of a violent nature, has been carried out under the auspices of "fighting terrorists" in Ukraine all throughout the conflict that erupted in early 2014. So too has such repression reared its ugly head in Lithuania in recent months, as anti-imperialist leftist organizers have been singled out for political persecution by the vehemently Russophobic, Euro-sycophant government. Additionally, Estonia has continued its systematic oppression of its Russian-speaking population which has been forced to exist as second class citizens, with dubious legal protections to say the least.

Eye 1

Zombie Nation: Comedian John Oliver lays out full horror of NSA surveillance programs, and interviews Edward Snowden in Moscow - No one in U.S. even notices

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In this episode of Last Week Tonight, comedian John Oliver lays out the various government surveillance programs in an easy-to-understand way, reminding Americans of the information that was released by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden. His random sample of Times Square tourists asking them who Edward Snowden was is an indictment of how the corporate media keeps people ignorant, and/or how most Americans just don't give a f**k.

The second half of the episode is an interview with Edward Snowden; it's hilarious and scary at the same time.


Eye 2

South Carolina cop executes black man for broken taillight, then plants evidence near body (VIDEO)

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A white North Charleston police officer was arrested on a murder charge and the FBI opened a civil rights investigation Tuesday after video surfaced of the lawman shooting eight times at a 50-year-old black man as he ran away.

Walter L. Scott died Saturday after Patrolman 1st Class Michael T. Slager, 33, shot him in the back.

The video footage, which The Post and Courier obtained Tuesday from a source who asked to remain anonymous, shows the end of the confrontation between the two on Saturday after Scott ran from a traffic stop. It was the first piece of evidence contradicting a statement that Slager released earlier this week through his attorney.

The U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement that FBI investigators would work with the State Law Enforcement Division, which typically investigates officer-involved shootings in South Carolina, and the state's attorney general to investigate any civil rights violations in Scott's death. North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said during a news conference that Slager had made a "bad decision."

"When you're wrong, you're wrong," Summey said. "If you make a bad decision, don't care if you're behind the shield or just a citizen on the street, you have to live by that decision."

WARNING: Unedited, graphic footage of the April 4, 2015, shooting of Walter Scott by North Charleston Patrolman 1st Class Michael Thomas Slager taken by an anonymous bystander.


Comment: The above article doesn't actually mention why Scott was stopped to begin with: we have to go to Russian media to learn that he was stopped because his car had 'a broken taillight'.

The US media instead 'fills in' the story with details about the victim's alleged past misdemeanors, the implication being, of course, that he 'is a criminal and therefore deserved to die'.

Scott isn't around anymore to defend himself from all the spurious accusations the police will throw at him. After all, dead men tell no tales.


Pirates

No Nazis in Ukraine? Right Sektor leader Yarosh is not an 'army adviser', he's a war criminal


Kiev's "anti-terror operation" in three sentences.
I'll be brief.

I spent the last few days in Donetsk and surrounding villages. When I read yesterday that Dmytro Yarosh had been appointed an advisor to the Ukrainian Army's General Staff, I nearly vomited in my mouth.

If you want to know what kind of sage "advice" Yarosh will be providing the army with, just visit the village of Stepanovka, where Pravy Sektor shot at civilians and the Ukrainian Army. After all, Pravy Sektor is "highly-trained and known for their tough discipline," according to AFP.

I will now defer to the elderly woman I filmed waiting in line for humanitarian aid, who summarized Pravy Sektor's world-famous discipline quite succinctly:


Comment: At least now we can say Kiev is officially Nazi...


Bad Guys

Islamic State is the cancer of modern capitalism

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© AA
In Iraq and Syria, where IS was born, the devastation of society due to prolonged conflict cannot be underestimated.
The brutal 'Islamic State' is a symptom of a deepening crisis of civilisation premised on fossil fuel addiction, which is undermining Western hegemony and unravelling state power across the Muslim world.

Debate about the origins of the Islamic State (IS) has largely oscillated between two extreme perspectives. One blames the West. IS is nothing more than a predictable reaction to the occupation of Iraq, yet another result of Western foreign policy blowback. The other attributes IS's emergence purely to the historic or cultural barbarism of the Muslim world, whose backward medieval beliefs and values are a natural incubator for such violent extremism.

The biggest elephant in the room as this banal debate drones on is material infrastructure. Anyone can have bad, horrific, disgusting ideas. But they can only be fantasies unless we find a way to manifest them materially in the world around us.

So to understand how the ideology that animates IS has managed to garner the material resources to conquer an area bigger than the United Kingdom, we need to inspect its material context more closely.

Eye 1

Pepe Escobar: Cold War 2.0 - Eurasian emporium or nuclear war?

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A scene from the war-room in Kubrick's classic movie, 'Dr. Strangelove'

General Buck Turgidson: Mr. President, we are rapidly approaching a moment of truth both for ourselves as human beings and for the life of our nation. Now, truth is not always a pleasant thing. But it is necessary now to make a choice, to choose between two admittedly regrettable, but nevertheless *distinguishable*, postwar environments: one where you got twenty million people killed, and the other where you got a hundred and fifty million people killed.

President Merkin Muffley: You're talking about mass murder, General, not war!

General Buck Turgidson: Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks.
A high-level European diplomatic source has confirmed to Asia Times that German chancellor Angela Merkel's government has vigorously approached Beijing in an effort to disrupt its multi-front strategic partnership with Russia.

Beijing won't necessarily listen to this political gesture from Berlin, as China is tuning the strings on its pan-Eurasian New Silk Road project, which implies close trade/commerce/business ties with both Germany and Russia.

The German gambit reveals yet more pressure by hawkish sectors of the U.S. government who are intent on targeting and encircling Russia. For all the talk about Merkel's outrage over the U.S. National Security Agency's tapping shenanigans, the chancellor walks Washington's walk. Real "outrage" means nothing unless she unilaterally ends sanctions on Russia. In the absence of such a response by Merkel, we're in the realm of good guy-bad guy negotiating tactics.

The bottom line is that Washington cannot possibly tolerate a close Germany-Russia trade/political relationship, as it directly threatens its hegemony in the Empire of Chaos.

Comment: Nah, nuclear war isn't their preferred option; that's just a decoy.

Their preferred option is financial armageddon; they're going to pull the plug on the dollar.


Stock Down

Russian economist Mikhail Khazin: World faces recession exceeding Great Depression by 2.5x

The trend of centralization of the global economy will remain in the past. It will be replaced by regionalization. In today's economic instability, only systems with 0.5 to 1 billion people can be effective, - says the economist, member of the Izborsky Club, Mikhail Khazin. According to him, the formation of such systems will begin after the onset of the crisis, and the first prototypes have already appeared.

Khazin noted that the world economy has developed in the framework of expanding markets over the last 400 years. As a result, today it is in a very unstable state, since household spending is several times higher than income: by $3.3 trillion in the US and $2.5 trillion in the EU. The purchasing power of the average salary in the U.S. is at the level of 1958, all the rest - is induced demand due to the growth of private and public debt, said Khazin.

"The global economy harbors a potential recession, exceeding the scale of the Great Depression by 2.5 times," - said the economist.

Globalist tendencies are replaced by regionalization trends, smaller systems become more cost-effective.

"A norm is an economic system with 0.5 to 1 billion people. This means that the world economy should fall into 5-6 relatively independent units as a result of the crisis. An additional factor is that the dollar ceased to be the investment asset for the world economy. The value added generated by the economy today, is insufficient to ensure the normal investment process," - explains Khazin.

Comment: Khazin knows what he's talking about: SOTT EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Russian economist Mikhail Khazin: On gold, the imminent collapse of Western neo-liberalism, and Eurasianism