Puppet Masters
Map


Info

On economic warfare and ruble exchange rate fluctuations

© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Sergeev
Russian ruble exchange rate changes have all the ingredients of success detective story. On Monday, 15.12. 2014 ruble weakened to a record low since 1998: the dollar cost 64 rubles and 79 rubles to the euro. In recent years, the price of an euro has been hanging around 50 rubles, or 5 000 rubles withdrawn from an ATM for a night of adventures in St. Petersburg would cost around 100 euros.

Last night, the Russian Central Bank raised its base rate drastically from 10.5 per cent to 17 per cent to curb currency speculation. The price of an euro during the day momentarily exceeded the limit of 100 rubles or 80 rubles for a dollar. Now at the end of the market day the ruble has slightly appreciated: $ 1= 72.60 rubles and 1 euro = 90 rubles. The official rates of the Russian Central Bank before tomorrow's market day are $ 1 = 61.15 rubles and 1 Euro = 76.15 rubles

What is this about?

The economic sanctions imposed by the US and the EU prevent granting of loans to Russian companies with a payment period of more than 30 days. As Russian companies have been borrowing money from the West the entire post-Cold War period at a lower rate of interest and the penalties now prevent loan restructuring and follow-up funding, these companies must now get euros and dollars to take care of their loans, thereby creating more demand for foreign currency in the Russian market and thus weakening the ruble.

Also, the fall in the price of oil reduces Russia's foreign exchange earnings, which in a situation of high demand for currency weakens the ruble.

The Eurasian Economic Union comes into force on January 1, 2015. Most likely at the same time the Russian ruble and foreign exchange markets will change drastically, and the Russian economy will take a distance to the dollar and the euro. Now the West is doing its best to weaken the ruble and thus destabilize the Russian economy and the political system before the end of the year. The maxima of the West is to prevent the emergence of the new economic union and closer cooperation within the BRICS. Taking into account the Christmas holidays, the West has little more than a week to succeed.

Comment: See: The biggest threat for Russia and for Putin
The Russian economy in general and the Ruble especially are both under direct attack, not only by official sanctions, but also by speculative operations. The price of oil is collapsing probably under a combination of objective reasons (the world recession) and deliberate US operations, yet Putin is not changing economic course in a fundamental way and he is even complimenting the Central Bank for its activities. Does that not remind you of something?

Personally, this reminds me of what happened during the last months of Anatolii Serdiukov when the Russian military was hit by one scandal after another, yet Putin continued to praise Serduikov and his work. Eventually, of course, Serdiukov was sacked and replaced by the truly outstanding Shoigu, but it took a lot of time and efforts to finally get him sacked (and even today Serdiukov has still not been sentenced by any court for his numerous criminal activities).

Does that mean that Putin is hesitant, weak or confused?

I don't think so. I think that this shows that one of the most difficult and dangerous tasks for Putin is to get rid of the saboteurs in the top echelons of power. The same Mikhail Khazin has recently declared that only now did the "Eurasian Sovereignist" group's power roughly match the one of the pro-US "Atlantic Integrationists" (though he did not quite use these expressions which are mine).

Hopefully Putin is setting up a Serdiukov-like sacking of Nabiulina, but this is not sure at all. The pressure is mounting for him to take dramatic action and to finally begin to de-couple the Russian economy from the western economic orthodoxy known as the Washington Concensus, but there is also a lot of resistance.

This is right now by far the biggest threat to Russia and Putin: the 5th column of saboteurs in the top echelons of power, especially the government. As long as these people will remain in power Russia will continue to remain weak and fragile and very susceptible to western economic warfare.
And it seems that it's not just the Russian currency that is being hit.
Most worryingly, Russia's problems are starting to spread. Ukraine has been in deep trouble all year and it is now teetering on the edge of collapse; its hard currency reserves dipped below $10bn earlier this month, or about 1.3 months' of import cover. The hryvna is down by some 40% since the start of the year and the only thing holding it up now is the promise of more international bailout money in the new year.

Kazakhstan devalued the tenge in February by 18%, but all the wiggle room it created has now been used up. Fears of another devaluation are mounting fast, as Kazakhstan's economy remains closely tied to Russia's as well as being a major oil exporter.

The falling currencies are no longer just hitting countries that are tied to Russia and the contagion is spreading out, leading some to start talking about a repeat of 1998 when oil prices fell to $10. Last week the Turkish lira sank to its lowest levels against the dollar for a year, despite the fact it is one of the big winners from falling oil prices, as it is heavily dependent on oil and gas imports. Likewise, China, another major energy importer. has watched its currency fall by 26% since May, and 7% since the end of October alone.

Collapsing currencies around the world, coupled with the "death spiral" of selling in the oil markets, is sparking worries that we are coming to the point where things could spin out of control - and not just for Russia.
See also: Economic warfare: The U.S. Empire of "Frack" versus Russia

Light Sabers

Torture blame game: CIA maybe went too far - Author of interrogation memo

John Yoo
© CNN
As former Vice President Dick Cheney argued on Sunday that the CIA's aggressive interrogation of terrorism suspects did not amount to torture, the man who provided the legal rationale for the program said that in some cases it had perhaps gone too far.

Former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo said the sleep deprivation, rectal feeding and other harsh treatment outlined in a U.S. Senate report last week could violate anti-torture laws.

"If these things happened as they're described in the report ... they were not supposed to be done. And the people who did those are at risk legally because they were acting outside their orders," Yoo said on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS".

As Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel in 2002, Yoo co-wrote a memo that was used as the legal sanction for what the CIA called its program of enhanced interrogation techniques after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Comment: This is simply part of the American political circus. Nothing will change, and soon, another circus will overcome it.

Megaphone

'Stupid' US sanctions won't undo my government: Venezuelan president

Nicolas Maduro
© AFP Photo/Miguel Angulo
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during the broadcast of a TV programme at the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas on December 11, 2014 in this photo from the Presidencia
President Nicolas Maduro charged Saturday that tighter, "stupid" new US sanctions are just further straining to undermine military staff loyalty after Venezuela derailed a bid to oust him.

"These sanctions are a threat -- to see if they can break the morale of leaders of our armed forces ... in March, I announced that we put down an attempted coup d'etat, thanks to our brass' loyalty," Maduro said at a speech in Caracas.

The tighter US sanctions freeze assets and deny visas to Venezuelan authorities responsible for violence and political detentions triggered by the protests.

Comment: Can the psychopathic Western leaders who behave like buffoons, feel shame for being called "stupid" and "idiots"? Not likely. But it's nice to hear the truth told!

No Entry

Freedom of speech in Illinois? Not if you are an attorney

© Nationalreview.com
The Illinois Registration and Disciplinary Commission has just issued a recommendation for a three year suspension of the license to practice law of yet another activist attorney.

The prosecution of attorney JoAnne Denison by the IARDC goes to the heart of the amalgamation of the legal system in the US into one streamlined cruise missile. The weaponization of the legal system has been part and parcel of the general attack on the Bill of Rights and Constitutional protections which have resulted in such actions as President Obama placing kill orders on American citizens and the removal of citizenship from independent journalists.

Joanne Denison's case is one which deserves enormous media attention (which it has not yet received) as well as howls of indignation (a bit muted, those). For the recommendation to suspend Denison's license did not occur due to any act she committed as an attorney. She was not tried for misrepresenting a client, misappropriating funds or even courtroom misbehavior.

Rather, Denison was on trial for running a blog about corruption in probate court. The blog, marygsykes.com, focuses on a particular adult guardianship case in Cook County Court in Illinois and is critical of a number of highly placed individuals in the Cook County legal system. According to the opening statements by IARDC attorney Melissa Smart, attorneys don't have the same First Amendment rights that the rest of us do. Stated attorney Smart:

"This case is not about the Constitution or the First Amendment. You will see, precedent is abundantly clear, as an officer of the court, Ms. Denison cannot just say whatever she wants about judges and judicial officers because attorneys are held to a higher standard. We are held to a different standard."

Last time I checked, the First Amendment to the US constitution stated that free speech in the United States was a God-given right. I didn't see anything about attorneys, doctors, journalists or any other profession having restrictions on those rights to free speech.

Comment: The U.S. public is intentionally being kept in ignorance of corruption at the highest levels of government. A State court is no different.
"In a pathocracy, all leadership positions, (down to village headman and community cooperative managers, not to mention the directors of police units, and special services police personnel, and activists in the pathocratic party) must be filled by individuals with corresponding psychological deviations, which are inherited as a rule."

Andrew M. Lobaczewski, author of Political Ponerology (A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes)


Arrow Down

Ignorance is no excuse for wrongdoing, unless you're a cop

"[I]f the individual is no longer to be sovereign, if the police can pick him up whenever they do not like the cut of his jib, if they can 'seize' and 'search' him in their discretion, we enter a new regime." - U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, dissenting in Terry v. Ohio (1968)
US Cops
© AP Photo/Ben Margot
With Orwellian irony, the U.S. Supreme Court chose December 15, National Bill of Rights Day to deliver its crushing blow to the Fourth Amendment. Although the courts have historically held that ignorance of the law is not an excuse for breaking the law, in its 8-1 ruling in Heien v. State of North Carolina, the Supreme Court gave police in America one more ready excuse to routinely violate the laws of the land, this time under the guise of ignorance.

The Heien case, which started with an improper traffic stop based on a police officer's ignorance of the law and ended with an unlawful search, seizure and arrest, was supposed to ensure that ignorance of the law did not become a ready excuse for government officials to routinely violate the law.

It failed to do so.

In failing to enforce the Constitution, the Court gave police the go-ahead to justify a laundry list of misconduct, from police shootings of unarmed citizens to SWAT team raids, roadside strip searches, and the tasering of vulnerable individuals with paltry excuses such as "they looked suspicious" and "she wouldn't obey our orders."

When police handcuffed, strip-searched and arrested a disabled man for no reason other than he sounded incoherent, it was chalked up as a mistake. Gordon Goines, a 37-year-old disabled man suffering from a Lou Gehrigs-type disease, was "diagnosed" by police and an unlicensed mental health screener as having "mental health issues," apparently because of his slurred speech and unsteady gait, and subsequently handcuffed, strip searched, and locked up for five days in a mental health facility against his will and with no access to family and friends. This was done despite the fact that police had no probable cause to believe that Goines had committed any crime, was a danger to himself or others, nor did they have any other legitimate lawful reason to seize, arrest or detain him. When Goines was finally released, police made no attempt to rectify their "mistake."

"I didn't know it was against the law" was the excuse police used to justify their repeated tasering of Malaika Brooks. Eight-months pregnant and on her way to drop her son off at school, Brooks was repeatedly tasered by Seattle police during a routine traffic stop simply because she refused to sign a speeding ticket. The cops who tasered the pregnant woman insisted they weren't aware that repeated electro-shocks qualified as constitutionally excessive and unreasonable force. The Supreme Court gave the cops a "get out of jail" card.
Hardhat

Go West, Young Han

© Bloomberg via Getty Images
As Washington "Pivots" to Asia, China Does the Eurasian Pirouette.

November 18, 2014: It's a day that should live forever in history. On that day, in the city of Yiwu in China's Zhejiang province, 300 kilometers south of Shanghai, the first train carrying 82 containers of export goods weighing more than 1,000 tons left a massive warehouse complex heading for Madrid. It arrived on December 9th.

Welcome to the new trans-Eurasia choo-choo train. At over 13,000 kilometers, it will regularly traverse the longest freight train route in the world, 40% farther than the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway. Its cargo will cross China from East to West, then Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, France, and finally Spain.

You may not have the faintest idea where Yiwu is, but businessmen plying their trades across Eurasia, especially from the Arab world, are already hooked on the city "where amazing happens!" We're talking about the largest wholesale center for small-sized consumer goods -- from clothes to toys -- possibly anywhere on Earth.
USA

Forget the redacted 'torture report', Abu Ghraib video shows young boys raped in front of their mothers

Hersh
© Press TV
Journalist Seymour Hersh
After Donald Rumsfeld testified on the Hill about Abu Ghraib in May, there was talk of more photos and video in the Pentagon's custody more horrific than anything made public so far. "If these are released to the public, obviously it's going to make matters worse," Rumsfeld said. Since then, the Washington Post has disclosed some new details and images of abuse at the prison. But if Seymour Hersh is right, it all gets much worse.


Comment: No shit, Rumsfeld! Things really do get 'worse' for people like Ted Bundy when the atrocities they perpetrate on other humans come to light. The question is this: does the fact that things will get worse necessarily mean that's a bad thing? The answer is simple: absolutely not.


Comment: We said it in both our SOTT Radio Network shows this last weekend (Behind the Headlines and The Truth Perspective): the details released in the Senate CIA torture report are just the tip of the iceberg; they have done and are doing far worse. And here it is: raping young boys in front of their mothers. These psychopaths' depravity knows no bounds. They and the scumbags covering up for them need to be exposed, identified, prosecuted, and punished. Anything less is simply unacceptable. Details like this only go to show that the American empire is not just dying: it is dead. And as long as it continues to infect the world with the stench of its corruption, the world will suffer.

USA

Psychopath Obama belittles US military with tasteless joke to troops


Comment: Not content with the "fight them over there to keep us safe here" BS, President Obama recently tried to cover up the fact that US soldiers are used as cannon fodder to line the pockets of the political and corporate elite by suggesting they were like "Santa in fatigues" for deploying abroad to kill innocent civilians at Christmas time.


Monday, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, during an address to the troops, President Obama made a joke that they are like "'Santa in Fatigues," which was received with complete silence, prompting the president to nervously name-drop the military aircraft C-130 to evoke a response.

President Obama said, "We are free and safe and secure over here because you are willing to serve over there," adding "You never stop serving, you never stop giving, you guys are like Santa in fatigues. Although I bet one of those C-130's is a little more efficient then Santa's sleigh."

Pirates

They hate us for our chocolate? Sydney store siege another staged "lone Islamic wolf" attack?


Suspect had multiple aliases, granted political asylum by Australian government, interviewed by Australian media, spent years as fake pro-Western "Shia'a cleric" condemning Iran and Syria before recently "converting" to Sunni and supporting ISIS.


Another embarrassing chapter has unfolded for Western intelligence and security communities in the wake of the so-called "Sydney Siege."

The suspect named by the media as "Man Haron Monis" also has gone by the names "Manteghi Boroujerdi" and "Mohammad Hassan Manteghi" and was an individual now confirmed to have long been on the radar of the Australian government, media, law enforcement, and court system since his arrival on Australian shores almost two decades ago.

Claiming he was a "lone wolf" attacker whose violence and extremism could not have been foreseen is betrayed by an extensive criminal record including murder, preceded by the suspicious circumstances that brought him to Australia to begin with.

Comment: This siege smells very much like another setup by authorities, much in line with the Sandy Hook school massacre and the Boston Marathon bombing. Especially the "lone wolf" theory, or the claim that the suspect was just a "fruitcake" raises a red flag.

Interesting also how the Australian media reacted to this attack:
"Australian security analyst Rory Medcalf of the Lowy Institute for International Policy, a foreign-policy think tank based in Sydney, said the siege would likely damp opposition to the government's recent counterterrorism measures. It wasn't clear whether authorities would seek to tighten the laws further."
Source: Australia Confronts Security Challenge After Sydney Siege

For more information about the Sandy Hook massacre and the Boston Marathon see:
Sandy Hook psy-ops: Police state here we come
Sandy Hook hoaxes and the terror of the situation
Were The Boston Marathon Bombers 'Mind Controlled'?

Eye 1

Slaughter in Pakistan: Who put the Taliban into power? Who is funding them now?

© Unknown
Taliban militants stormed an army public school in the northern city of Peshawar, killing over 100, including many young students. It is believed up to 10 militants took part in the attack, dressed as soldiers to first infiltrate the school's grounds before beginning the attack.

While the details of the attack are forthcoming, the background of the Taliban and the persistent threat it represents is well established, though often spun across the Western media.

Who Put the Taliban into Power? Who is Funding them Now?

In the 1980's the United States, Saudi Arabia, and elements within the then Pakistani government funneled millions of dollars, weapons, equipment, and even foreign fighters into Afghanistan in a bid to oust Soviet occupiers. Representatives of this armed proxy front would even visit the White House, meeting President Ronald Reagan personally.

The "Mujaheddin" would successfully expel the Soviet Union and among the many armed groups propped up by the West and its allies, the Taliban would establish primacy over Kabul. While Western media would have the general public believe the US rejected the Taliban, never intending them to come to power, it should be noted that the Afghans who visited Reagan in the 1980's would not be the last to visit the US and cut deals with powerful American corporate-financier interests.

In 1997, Taliban representatives would find themselves in Texas, discussing a possible oil pipeline with energy company Unocal (now merged with Chevron). The BBC would report in a 1997 article titled, "Taleban in Texas for talks on gas pipeline," that:
A senior delegation from the Taleban movement in Afghanistan is in the United States for talks with an international energy company that wants to construct a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to Pakistan.
A spokesman for the company, Unocal, said the Taleban were expected to spend several days at the company's headquarters in Sugarland, Texas.
© Unknown
Unocal, now merged with Chevron, had attempted to build a pipeline across Afghanistan in cooperation with the Taliban and with the expressed backing of the US government - then operating under the Clinton administration.

Comment: For more background on the Taliban attack in Pakistan see: At least 126 killed after Taliban militants stormed an Army school in the Pakistani city of Peshawar

For more information on U.S. sponsoring of terrorist groups see: "Game" of Wars: US "fighting" terrorists it fostered
Since at least the end of the Second World War, the US has been directly and indirectly fostering, aiding, funding and training fighting militias and groups in different regions of the world to further its own interests. However, the irony of this policy is that in most of the cases, the US ended up fighting, in the name of establishing peace, these very forces of destruction. History is replete with such examples. As the 'sole' super power of the world, it has actually been fighting the war of its own survival, that is, to continue to survive as the 'sole' super power. As such, not only does it 'invent' enemies, but also reasons to fight them. Let's have a look at some of these 'invented' wars.


Top