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Piggy Bank

Kiss your pension fund goodbye

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I have warned for some time that government was eyeing up pensions. There is about $19.4 trillion dollars in private pension funds. How will they justify taking over these funds to the people? This is the question debated in secrecy behind the curtain. I have warned that if government seizes pension funds, it will come after 2015.75. The Supreme Court, without any justification constitutionally, just determined how that will be accomplished.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week in the unanimous 8-page decision, Tibble v Edison, stating that employers have a duty to protect workers in their 401(k) plans from mutual funds that perform poorly or are too expensive. That is simply astonishing since there is no constitutional requirement for even government to provide social benefits. The Supreme Court held in the 1980 case HARRIS v McRAE, that there is no duty imposed upon the state to provide a public program, for that would convert the constitution from a negative restrain upon government to a positive obligation to provide for everyone.

Comment: This is an interesting development but as for the author's conclusion, we will have to wait and see. Meanwhile, consider other means of protecting your investments.


Hardhat

Russia digs 100 km ditch along border with south-eastern Ukraine

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© RIA Novosti/Valeriy Melnikov
Izvarino border crossing point in Lugansk Region, Ukraine.
Russia has erected 40km of fortified walls, and more than 100km of defensive trenches on its border with the rebel Ukrainian regions of Lugansk and Donetsk.

"The engineering fortification of the state border is aimed at ensuring stability in the Rostov region, and preventing the illegal circulation of firearms," Russia's border service said in a statement.

The government agency said that it intercepted over 60 illegal weapons shipments across the border since the beginning of the year. In doing so, it confiscated 40 firearms, 200 grenades, 100 shells and 40 landmines.

Comment: Lysenko is certainly delusional here but certainly isn't a surprise.


Attention

The NSA's Technotyranny: One nation under surveillance

"The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control."—William Binney, NSA whistleblower
© truthalerts.com
William Binney
We now have a fourth branch of government.

As I document in my new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, this fourth branch came into being without any electoral mandate or constitutional referendum, and yet it possesses superpowers, above and beyond those of any other government agency save the military. It is all-knowing, all-seeing and all-powerful. It operates beyond the reach of the president, Congress and the courts, and it marches in lockstep with the corporate elite who really call the shots in Washington, DC.

You might know this branch of government as Surveillance, but I prefer "technotyranny," a term coined by investigative journalist James Bamford to refer to an age of technological tyranny made possible by government secrets, government lies, government spies and their corporate ties.

Beware of what you say, what you read, what you write, where you go, and with whom you communicate, because it will all be recorded, stored and used against you eventually, at a time and place of the government's choosing. Privacy, as we have known it, is dead.

The police state is about to pass off the baton to the surveillance state.

Having already transformed local police into extensions of the military, the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and the FBI are preparing to turn the nation's soldier cops into techno-warriors, complete with iris scanners, body scanners, thermal imaging Doppler radar devices, facial recognition programs, license plate readers, cell phone Stingray devices and so much more.

This is about to be the new face of policing in America.

The National Security Agency (NSA) has been a perfect red herring, distracting us from the government's broader, technology-driven campaign to render us helpless in the face of its prying eyes. In fact, long before the NSA became the agency we loved to hate, the Justice Department, the FBI, and the Drug Enforcement Administration were carrying out their own secret mass surveillance on an unsuspecting populace.

Just about every branch of the government—from the Postal Service to the Treasury Department and every agency in between—now has its own surveillance sector, authorized to spy on the American people. Then there are the fusion and counterterrorism centers that gather all of the data from the smaller government spies—the police, public health officials, transportation, etc.—and make it accessible for all those in power. And of course that doesn't even begin to touch on the complicity of the corporate sector, which buys and sells us from cradle to grave, until we have no more data left to mine.

Target

Chinese state paper warns of war with U.S. over South China Sea dispute

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© REUTERS/U.S. NAVY/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS
Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Fiery Cross Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the United States Navy May 21, 2015.
Whereas over the past year, ever since the outbreak of the hostilities over the fate of Ukraine following the Victoria Nuland orchestrated presidential coup, relations between Russia and NATO have devolved to a Cold War 2.0 state as manifested by countless interceptions of Russian warplanes by NATO jets and vice versa as depicted in the following infographic...

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... at least China was mercifully allowed to stay out of the fray between the Cold War enemies.

This all changed this month when first the Pentagon's annual report to Congress this month cast China as a threat to regional and international peace and stability, followed several weeks ago when, with China aggressively encroaching into territories in the South China Sea claimed by US allies in the region such as Philippines, Vietnam and Japan, the US decided to get involved in yet another regional spat that does not directly involve it, and started making loud noises about China's territorial expansion over the commodity-reach area.

China promptly relatiated by threatening a US spy plane during a routine overflight, while immediately thereafter the US retaliated at China's escalation, and warned that building sea "sandcastles" could "lead to conflict."

TV

South Front Crisis News 26 May 2015: Yemeni troops destroy tanks in Saudi Arabia, fighting continues in Palmyra, Syria

The Yemeni army, backed by popular committee forces, has destroyed four Saudi battle tanks after storming a base in Saudi Arabia's southwestern city of Jizan. Yemen's Arabic-language al-Masirah satellite television network reported the development late on Monday. It also reported that the Yemeni army targeted three Saudi vehicles in the southwestern Saudi city of Najran, which is located near the border with Yemen, with rockets and artillery shells. Meanwhile, at least six people were killed and a woman sustained injuries in the US-backed Saudi airstrikes on a village in the district of Harad in Yemen's western province of Hajjah early on Tuesday. We remember, Saudi Arabia is continuing its US-backed military aggression against Yemen since March 26, 2015.

The Syrian army has launched a major offensive against the ISIL Takfiri terrorists who recently overran the city of Palmyra in central Homs province. According to the military sources, the air force struck more than 160 Islamic State's targets, killing and wounding terrorists and destroying weapons and vehicles equipped with machine-guns. Moreover, various military operations are also being carried out in the areas around the al-Suknah, the Arak, and al-Hail gas fields and all the roads leading to Palmyra. Over 50 ISIS militants have been killed during the offensive aimed at regaining the city from terrorists' control, the Syrian state television reported.


Map

Moscow and Tokyo preparing Putin's visit to Japan

© www.rferl.org
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida will lay the groundwork for President Putin's visit to Japan.
A visit of Japanese FM Fumio Kishida to Moscow could be considered a stage of preparation for the visit of Vladimir Putin to Tokyo.

Moscow and Tokyo are discussing Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Japan, but dates have not been set yet, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said Tuesday.

"Already last year we agreed on a schedule of political contacts, which includes the visit of Japanese Foreign Minister [Fumio] Kishida for a meeting of the bilateral intergovernmental commission, and for talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Viktorovich Lavrov," Morgulov told RIA Novosti.

According to the politician, "this schedule has not yet been implemented, and this is not our fault." Russia adheres to the agreements and waits for Kishida to visit Moscow, he said.

"And of course this visit could be considered a stage of preparation for the visit of the Russian president to Japan, which has been discussed between the parties, but the dates for which have not been set so far," Morgulov added.


Comment: One issue speculated to be on the table is the disputed Kuril Islands. Russia and Japan do not have a permanent peace treaty for the four islands in the Sea of Okhotsk - Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai (Russia: Southern Kurils, Japan: Northern Territories). The status of the Southern Kuril Islands was set in the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty that handed over control of the islands to Russia. In February, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to reclaim the islands. Russia has been their caretaker but Japan still lays claim to them. So far Putin has not changed his position, but is apparently open to dialogue. Also on the agenda will be ways to expand economic cooperation. Lavrov and Kishida are now scheduled for a November 2 meeting.


Comment: According to analysts, Putin is working on closer ties to Japan through developing energy resources and trade opportunities. Some say this is to counter China's rising military power - but perhaps it also complicates the US/Japan/China mix as well!


Bulb

Russian MPs suggest prison sentences for selling unmarked GMO products

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© Reuters / Jim Young
A number of Russian MPs have suggested altering the current legislation and introducing criminal responsibility for illegal trade in GMO products. The idea is to mete out prison terms of up to two years for repeated offenders.

The bill tightening the rules for selling genetically modified products has been prepared by lawmakers representing the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, known for its nationalist stance. The draft has already been forwarded to the government and Supreme Court for assessment, and it will then be submitted to parliament.

If passed the bill would amend the existing article of the criminal code that orders punishment for concealing any information about potential hazards for human life and health. It would include violation of the rules for marking goods containing GMO material. Those found guilty would face fines of up to 300,000 rubles (about $6000), or up to two years in prison or penal labor. The bill specifies that, depending on the crime's circumstances, the punishment could be applied to the head of the company and the workers involved in the violations.

War Whore

Another proxy army: U.S. and Turkey begin program to train 15,000 anti-Syrian rebels

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Turkey and the United States have started a program for training and equipping Syrian rebels in Kirsehir province of central Turkey, local daily HaberTurk reported on Tuesday.

"We have started the train-equip program with a small number (of Syrians). The reason of delay was logistics, it was about personnel and equipment transferred from the U.S.. Our soldiers and the U.S. soldiers are providing the training," the report quoted Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as saying.

The program has been delayed several times since Turkey and the U.S. signed the agreement in February.

The program aims to train a total of 15,000 Syrian opposition fighters during a three-year period, 5,000 of whom will be trained at Hirfanli military base in Kirsehir.

Comment: Apparently the fact that the Syrian government was democratically elected is of no matter to the U.S. They want to control Syria and if they can't do it covertly, they'll just openly create an army to takeover the country. You can bet that there will be plenty of civilian casualties in whatever actions this army takes in Syria too.


Vader

U.S. and UK governments hide behind national security excuse to cover up war crimes

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© Washington Post/Getty Images
Colonel Ian Henderson was a British official dubbed "the Butcher of Bahrain" because of atrocities he repeatedly committed during the 30 years he served as chief security official of that Middle Eastern country. His reign of terror began in 1966 when Bahrain was a British "protectorate" and continued when the post-"independence" Bahraini King retained him in the same position. In 1996, The Independent described him as "the most feared of all secret policemen" in Bahrain, and cited "consistent and compelling evidence that severe beatings and even sexual assaults have been carried out against prisoners under Henderson's responsibility for well over a decade."

A 2002 Guardian article reported that "during this time his men allegedly detained and tortured thousands of anti-government activists"; his official acts "included the ransacking of villages, sadistic sexual abuse and using power drills to maim prisoners"; and "on many occasions they are said to have detained children without informing their parents, only to return them months later in body bags." Needless to say, Col. Henderson was never punished in any way: "although Scotland Yard launched an inquiry into the allegations in 2000, the investigation was dropped the following year." He was showered with high honors from the U.K.-supported tyrants who ran Bahrain.

Prior to the massacres and rapes over which he presided in Bahrain, Henderson played a leading role in brutally suppressing the Mau Mau insurgency in another British colony, Kenya. In the wake of his Kenya atrocities, he twice won the George Medal, "the 2nd highest, to the George Cross, gallantry medal that a civilian can win." His brutality against Kenyan insurgents fighting for independence is what led the U.K. government to put him in charge of internal security in Bahrain.

Light Sabers

Favor for a favor: Clinton Foundation found to have received donations from repressive nations at the same time Hilary's State Dept. approved arms deals

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© Reuters / Jim Young
Nations openly chastised by the US for dismal human rights records donated billions to the Clinton Foundation, while gaining clearance for weapons deals approved by the Hillary Clinton-led US State Department, according to a new report.

As the Obama administration increased military weapons exports, Hillary Clinton's State Department approved transfer of more than $300 billion worth of arms manufactured by US defense contractors to 20 nations that were or have since become donors of the Clinton Foundation, a major philanthropic organization run by the Clinton family. According to a review of available records of foundation donors by the International Business Times, those countries included governments that have received frequent criticism by the State Department for repressive policies.

"Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar all donated to the Clinton Foundation and also gained State Department clearance to buy caches of American-made weapons even as the department singled them out for a range of alleged ills, from corruption to restrictions on civil liberties to violent crackdowns against political opponents," IBT wrote.

Algeria, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar were nations that directly donated to the Clinton Foundation during Clinton's term as secretary of state, even as they were requesting weapons shipments. The donated money represents a loophole in US law regarding political contributions.

"Under federal law, foreign governments seeking State Department clearance to buy American-made arms are barred from making campaign contributions -- a prohibition aimed at preventing foreign interests from using cash to influence national security policy," IBT noted. "But nothing prevents them from contributing to a philanthropic foundation controlled by policymakers."