Puppet Masters

Evil Rays

80% of French citizens want a good relationship with Russia

Hollande would be a lot more popular if he did more of the above, and less of what his masters tell him to do.
A group of renegade French MPs recently stunned the world (or at least the few who noticed) by visiting Crimea, thus demonstrating that said MPs are not completely spineless. Crimea, of course, is that alleged victim of an odious, brutal and illegal Russian takeover and military occupation. The poor Crimeans supposedly were forced at the barrel of a gun to vote for joining the Russian Federation, in an un-democratic practice that history would do well to forget, lest large powers get it in their minds that the will of the people can be so shamefully manipulated.

It's all nonsense of course. The reunification of Crimea with Russia was one of the shamefully rare examples of real democracy in generations; it wasn't violent (like Maidan), it wasn't coerced (like Maidan), and there is no military occupation (like Maidan). And the two-day delegation of French MPs to Crimea led by French National Assembly member Thierry Mariani showed just that. Naturally, this raised the ire of his colleagues in the French government.

Che Guevara

Varoufakis is an EU nightmare: an expert economist who actually believes in representational democracy

© Demotix/spirofoto
Yanis Varoufakis
Varoufakis is an exception to the norm precisely because he really believes in representative democracy.

Over the past few months the world has witnessed the short career of a Greek government vainly endeavouring to uphold an anti-austerity platform against the implacable power of the Eurozone's financial institutions. Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek Minister for Finance, was a central player in this drama. Interestingly, this political maverick did not play his part to the standard script. The distinctive characteristics of Varoufakis' mode and purpose in politics are both troubling as regards what they tells us about the norms of contemporary politics, and fascinating as a possible paradigm for a new type of politics in the age of twitter and the blog.

Strangely, one of the most disturbing aspects of Varoufakis' stint as a Finance Minister concerns the fact that he is an economist. One thing we now readily assume is that economics is the language of power. This gives academic economists a status somewhat like a theologian in relation to the practical priestcraft of public office. However, there are very few professors of economics that actually get into office as politicians, just as you seldom get institutionally savvy bishops or mega-church leaders who are serious theologians. When an economist becomes a politician, this is going to be interesting.

In a few short months, Varoufakis completely exploded the idea that economics is the language of power. What we saw when an actual economist landed in the middle of the Eurozone crisis is that the most basic truths about economic reality have nothing to do with power. The idea that asphyxiating Greek banks and killing the Greek state is good for its economy makes no economic sense at all. The idea that continuing to pursue a savagely contractionary austerity agenda will make it possible to generate sustained state surpluses large enough to repay impossible debt burdens, defies any sort of economic rationality. The conviction that it is somehow both moral and necessary to fiscally execute the Greek polity or eject Greece in order to preserve the financial integrity of the Eurozone, is not a stance grounded in economic science.

Snakes in Suits

The Kagans: Seeking war to the end of the World

If the neoconservatives have their way again, US ground troops will reoccupy Iraq, the US military will take out Syria's secular government (likely helping Al Qaeda and the Islamic State take over), and the US Congress will not only kill the Iran nuclear deal but follow that with a massive increase in military spending.

Like spraying lighter fluid on a roaring barbecue, the neocons also want a military escalation in Ukraine to burn the ethnic Russians out of the east, and the neocons dream of spreading the blaze to Moscow with the goal of forcing Russian President Vladimir Putin from the Kremlin. In other words, more and more fires of Imperial "regime change" abroad even as the last embers of the American Republic die at home.

Comment: This pursuit of war and violence by the neocons is really sickening. We need to stop listening to these non-humans if we ever want peace in our world.

Bad Guys

Turkey asks for NATO session during Syraq bombing campaign

© REUTERS/ Amer Almohibany

After launching a second wave of airstrikes against the positions of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants, effectively ending a fragile two-year truce, Turkey has announced that it is calling a NATO meeting next week to discuss regional security concerns.

Ankara sent bombers on a mission for a second night on Sunday to annihilate logistics positions, warehouses, barracks and PKK bases in northern Iraq. Ankara has claimed it is retaliation for PKK attacks against security forces and police last week. The country has subsequently called a NATO meeting to discuss its security concerns not only about Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) but the PKK as well.

Four Turkish F-16 fighters took off from the Diyarbakir air base and hit PKK targets in Hakurk in northern Iraq, the sources told Reuters. Local media reports confirmed the airstrikes.

Comment: It looks like visions of "Greater Israel" and Washington's "Empire of Chaos" have been rubbing off on pathologicals in power in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Germany. Everyone's out for blood now.

Stock Down

Ukraine's social and economic abyss

© Reuters / Oleksandr Klymenko
There's always money for war
A glimpse into financial realities of Ukraine and its empoverished population gives an impression of a country on the brink of something very, very bad:
  • Finance minister Yaresko is preparing the population for a default...
  • ...which many papers and some politicans have been calling for a while
  • A monthly pension is $43
  • Minimum wage is $48
  • Just 9% of the population still classifies as "middle class"
  • Political events draw attendees by distributing free groceries
  • Desperate pensioners have actually killed themselves after receiving utility bills with new prices
  • Meanwhile the top state managers like Yaresko and Poroshenko are at least multi-millionaires

Che Guevara

Greek bailout talks to begin as Varoufakis sets up parallel banking system

© AP Photo / Giannis Papanikos
Negotiations are due to get underway Tuesday over a $95 billion third bailout for debt-stricken Greece as reports emerged that the left-wing Syriza government is actively considering setting up a parallel currency ready for a return to the drachma.

Crucial talks over the bailout were due to have started last Friday, but a number of factors — neither diplomatic nor logistical — meant that they have been delayed. The three creditors — the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Eurozone countries will meet to discuss the latest bailout plan, which has required emergency legislation in Athens, as swell as a series of even worse austerity measures than the Greeks rejected in the referendum.

The Greek Government is meeting Monday to discuss the latest plan, as it emerged that former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis called a telephone conference on 16 July, during which he said that he had hired an IT expert to set up a parallel banking system.

Comment: Very interesting developments - hopefully Syriza will be able to maintain their relevance in the eyes of the people, and not lose out to more radical elements in Greek society. The State Department would love to see neo-Nazi thugs like Golden Dawn in power. Also see:

Eye 2

Top secret files on VIP child sex ring could shed new light on horror at Kincora Boys' Home in Belfast

Sir Leon Brittan was named in files

Key Westminster figures - including former Home Secretary Sir Leon Brittan - have been named in top secret files about a VIP paedophile ring.

And the series of documents are expected to shed new light on horrific abuse of children at Kincora Boys' Home in east Belfast.

Sky News reported that after months of requests, the Government had finally revealed that papers exist naming senior figures in the 1970s and 1980s.

They include Margaret Thatcher's former parliamentary secretary the late Sir Peter Morrison, former diplomat the late Sir Peter Hayman, former minister the late Sir William van Straubenzee and Brittan.

One of the files relating to Hayman was held by the Cabinet Office but "overlooked" during a previous trawl for information.

In January the Government was forced to release details about a file prepared for Mrs Thatcher's office on the "unnatural" sexual behaviour of Sir Peter, named in the Commons as a paedophile by Geoffrey Dickens MP in 1981.

The latest documents reveal there was further official discussion about the senior MI6 operative.

Comment: Even the Royal household will not be exempt from scrutiny over pedophile allegations and may be asked to provide evidence to the newly launched child sex abuse inquiry led by Justice Lowell Goddard. Although it is stated that "authorities will investigate every level of British society including local authorities, the police, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the NHS, the media and armed forces", there seems to be a deliberate attempt at excluding investigations at the notorious Kincora Boys' Home in Belfast.

Could it be because of the alleged link of atrocities committed there and a connection with MI5? Recent documents revealed that a letter written by the head of MI5 in 1986 stated, "the risk of political embarrassment to the Government is rather greater than the security danger".

Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty's Northern Ireland Program Director told RT:
The allegations could scarcely be more serious - that MI5 used a pedophile ring at the boys' home for its own intelligence-gathering purposes and then blocked police investigations which could have ended the abuse years before it was finally stopped.

If true, that means that the UK security services used vulnerable boys as nothing more than sexual bait in a blackmail trap. Some people talk about a 'dirty war' in Northern Ireland - but these allegations are stomach-churning and must be fully investigated with an inquiry with the full-powers to do so.
See also:

Ex-Army Intelligence officer: MI5 covered up child sex abuse in Belfast, Ireland care home
Child sex abuse survivor says MP's linked to boys trafficked from Belfast to London
MI5 being investigated for covering up child sex abuse in Northern Ireland
UK 'Establishment': Unmasking psychopathic faces - Pedophilia and murder in VERY high place

Light Saber

Indian PM Modi endorses opposition lawmaker's call for British reparations

Shashi Tharoor, a member of the Congress Party, argues Britain owes India an economic and moral debt.
© Adnan Abidi/Reuters
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks to the media on the opening day of the monsoon session of the Indian parliament in New Delhi, India, July 21, 2015.
It has almost been seven decades since Britain withdrew from India following the disintegration of the British Empire. They have never paid reparations.

Indian parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor, who recently spoke at an Oxford Union Society debate on whether Britain owes reparations to her former colonies, has not forgotten.

"India's share of the world economy when the UK arrived on its shores was 23 percent; by the time the British left it was down to about 4 percent," Tharoor said at Oxford. "Britain's rise for 200 years was financed by its depredations in India."

Tharoor noted the economic and military power Britain absorbed from India: he said by the end of the 19th century, India was the world's biggest purchaser of British goods. One-sixth of British forces during World War I were Indian. 2.5 million Indians contributed to the British military effort during World War II.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India was one of more than 1.5 million viewers of the 15-minute speech, available on YouTube, according to The Guardian. He recently endorsed the politician's argument in a rare show of transcending party lines; Tharoor belongs to the opposition Congress party.

Comment: Don't expect Britain to apologize or pay reparations for its plunder of India (or any other country) in the name of "Civilizing the Barbarians". British elites have neither the moral compass to consider it nor the means to pay it.

Nevertheless, this is a long overdue statement by Indian leaders.

Light Sabers

Iran hits out at Kerry's 'empty threats' over nuclear deal

© AFP Photo/Behrouz Mehri
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks in parliament in Tehran on July 21, 2015, to defend the Vienna accord on Iran's nuclear programme
Iran hit out Friday against US Secretary of State John Kerry, accusing him of threatening military action against Tehran if it fails to respect a historic nuclear deal sealed on July 14.

"Unfortunately the US Secretary of State once again talked about the rotten rope of 'the ability of the US for using military force'," said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a statement.

Comment: Well, we can't expect anything better than empty threats from Washington's paperboys on the behalf of Powers That Be.

Zarif decried what he called the "uselessness of such empty threats against the nation of Iran and the resistance of the nation of Iran", and said such remarks should be consigned "to the last century".

Despite the agreement reached with Iran on putting the nuclear bomb out of Tehran's reach, several US officials, including Defence Secretary Ashton Carter, have signalled that military force remains on the table to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Comment: See also:

The imperial designs on Iran

Persia's approaching gold rush

Ice Cream Bar

UK: Marijuana legalization petition gathers over 130,000 signatures; enough for parliament debate

© Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters
A petition for the full legalization of marijuana in the UK has gathered more than 130,000 signatures in just four days, which means that the lawmakers must now consider debating it in Parliament or at least officially respond to the query.

The electronic petition, created by James Richard Owen, calls for the legalization of the production, sale and use of cannabis and currently has close to 135,000 signatures since being launched on Tuesday.

"Legalising cannabis could bring in £900m ($1,396m) in taxes every year, save £400m ($620m) on policing cannabis and create over 10,000 new jobs," the appeal on the government's website says.

The campaign also argues that the drug is "safer than alcohol," has been used by mankind for over 4,000 years, and was outlawed in the UK only in 1925.

Since the e-petition reached the required minimum of 100,000 signatures the MPs will now be forced to debate the declassification of the substance.

"There's roughly three million adult [cannabis] smokers in the UK and I don't think it's right for the government to be criminalising such a large section of society," Owen, an economics student at Aberystwyth University, told the Guardian.

Comment: A tax boost is just part of the picture. Note the effects of smoking pot:
  • Distorted sense of time; short-term memory loss;
  • Increased appetite (munchies);
  • Paranoia;
  • Delusions and magical or "random" thinking.
It seems to be another method the powers that be use to keep people completely oblivious to the world as it is and what is probably going to happen on this planet very soon.