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


Light Saber

The Greece-Russia overture

© Robert Crc, Subversive Festival Media, Wikipedia Commons
Greece's Alexis Tsipras
Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis visited Moscow on March 29-30, 2015, during which he held several rounds of talks with his Russian counterpart Alexandar Novak and Gazprom's CEO Alexei Miller. Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras is also expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on April 8.

Furthermore, Tsipras will be in Moscow on May 9 to attend the celebration of the allied victory in World War II, while many European leaders have decided to skip the ceremony because of Russia's annexation of Crimea. EU Commission Spokeswoman Mina Adreeva said about the array of visits: "Freedom of speech and assembly exist, so we have no comment on Greek politicians' visits to Russia."

The energy aspect of Greece-Russia negotiations

Lafazanis told Sputnik following his visit to Moscow: "My meetings, especially those with Miller and Russian energy minister Novak, were very substantive, extremely constructive, and, I should say, they opened a new chapter in the energy partnership between the two countries."

Russia provides Greece with around 65% of its natural gas and the latter may ask for a discount on the resource. Greek state-owned gas utility DEPA has already obtained a retroactive 15% cut in gas prices last year.

Lafazanis also declared Greece's support for Turkish Stream, the 63 bcm gas pipeline that Russia is planning to build under the surface of Black Sea en route to Turkey as a replacement for South Stream. He expressed Greece's keen interest in extending Turkish Stream from the Greek-Turkish border into Greek territory.

Clipboard

Russia and Greece vs. the West: A geo-strategic 'game, set and match'?

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© Kremlin.ru
Vladimir Putin meets yesterday with General Director of Aeroflot Vitaly Savelyev. Are the Greece touristic flights warming up? (Kremlin)

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is headed to Russia April 8 to meet President Putin. With Russia and China emerging as an alternative to US-World Bank economics, the safe bet could be on a Russo-Greco bridge.


Greece's Industrial Reform Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis and Syriza MP Thanasis Petrakos were in Moscow the last two days laying the groundwork for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' meet with Vladimir Putin. As a squirming cauldron of edgy bankers, politicians, and generals west of the Bosporus look on with prescience at the prospects, Russia and China have a singular opportunity. As a caveat, Petrakos told Spiegel Online and other media:
"This visit is very important for Greece. We intend to deepen our relationship with Russia in the energy sector and thereby hope to gain a significant advantage."
A couple of weeks ago I reported on Tsipras' acceleration of his meetup with Putin. With talks in Berlin and with Brussels upcoming, the Greek Prime Minister set out to play his country's economic hand with the cards he had been dealt. Holding a Russo-Greco deal over the bankers' heads, this was not genius, only deal-making 101. The follow up report the other day asking if Brussels had "warmed" to Tsipras' ideas of debt consolidation spoke of potential cooperation between Greece and Russia in terms of commodities like gold, and "collateral" to ensure Russia's "yield" on any deal would be guaranteed. What I did not speak of was long term gain for Russia, and all her investment interests, should Athens cement relations with Moscow. Here are some keen observations for predictive measures on the coming meetup.

Comment: Watch. One week after April 9th a false flag attack will be inflicted on Greece. Or, the U.S./troika will be making lame economic deal overtures towards Greece. Or both.


Airplane

Major media outlets claim video of Germanwings flight's last moments verifies official crash theory 100% - French investigators say no such video exists

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Batshit crazy conspiracy rag passing for 'news'
Screams of "My God," metallic banging and the cabin jolting to one side - the final moments of the doomed jet were said to have been captured on video, which several newspapers said they watched. However, French prosecutors say it's a hoax.

German Das Bild newspaper and French Paris Match magazine say they managed to watch the video, found among the wreckage, of the final moments of flight 4U9525 before the tragedy.

However, the outlets didn't post the actual video on their websites.

The phone memory card managed to survive the collision with the mountain, say the outlets, claiming it was found at the site by the investigators.

Das Bild claim the authenticity of the footage is "unquestionable," though the scene on board was "chaotic, totally blurred and no individuals can be identified."

Comment: No, this is not an April Fools' joke, although you will be excused for thinking we're all now inhabiting some planetary Twilight Zone. Das Bild and Paris Match really did make these claims. There is obviously no video showing the things these presstitutes claim it shows, otherwise they'd be ensuring the video's maximum public dissemination.

In perpetuating this conspiracy theory about the co-pilot deliberately crashing the Germanwings plane, Das Bild, Europe's largest publication and most-read news source, has completely broken from reality, and is clearly determined to pull as many people into its schizophrenic orbit as possible.

All we can say is that something really, really strange must have happened to that plane for the Powers That Be to pursue such a risky strategy of spreading lies that are so blatant, French prosecutors are immediately calling them out.

See also:

Germanwings crash: Not the full story?

Friends of Germanwings crash pilot say he is being framed by Lufthansa to cover-up mechanical failings

From found to damaged to lost: Lufthansa now says flight data recorder on Germanwings Flight 9525 'may never be found'