Puppet Masters

Mr. Potato

Lavrov says was not contacted during Swedish submarine hunt, sub could be a 'log'

© AP Photo/ TT News Agency, Fredrik Sandberg
The Swedish minesweeper HMS Kullen, left, and a guard boat in Namdo Bay, Sweden,Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014 on their fifth day of searching for a suspected foreign vessel in the Stockholm archipelago.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday Sweden had not contacted Russia during its week-long hunt for a foreign submarine that allegedly got into trouble in the waters off Stockholm.

Lavrov, who appeared on the Vesti v Subbotu (Vesti on Saturday) show, was asked whether Oslo had contacted Moscow via diplomatic channels following the initial reports, to which he responded with a "no".

The Russian foreign minister said he was surprised by the media hype around the purported distress signal that Sweden had intercepted in its waters.

"Allegations pointing to a Russian submarine came from mass media. Swedish authorities never supported them officially," Lavrov noted.

Comment: See also:

Using the Swedes to tar the Russians: The submarine farce continues


Putin's keynote speech at the Valdai Club

The Valdai Discussion Club was established in 2004. It was named after Lake Valdai, which is located close to Veliky Novgorod, where the club's first meeting took place. The club's goal is to promote dialogue between Russian and international intellectual elite, and to make an independent,unbiased scientific analysis of political, economic and social events in Russia and the rest of the world. 

Full Transcript:

Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, friends, it is a pleasure to welcome you to the XI meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club.

It was mentioned already that the club has new co-organisers this year. They include Russian non-governmental organisations, expert groups and leading universities. The idea was also raised of broadening the discussions to include not just issues related to Russia itself but also global politics and the economy.

I hope that these changes in organisation and content will bolster the club's influence as a leading discussion and expert forum. At the same time, I hope the 'Valdai spirit' will remain - this free and open atmosphere and chance to express all manner of very different and frank opinions.

Let me say in this respect that I will also not let you down and will speak directly and frankly. Some of what I say might seem a bit too harsh, but if we do not speak directly and honestly about what we really think, then there is little point in even meeting in this way. It would be better in that case just to keep to diplomatic get-togethers, where no one says anything of real sense and, recalling the words of one famous diplomat, you realise that diplomats have tongues so as not to speak the truth.

We get together for other reasons. We get together so as to talk frankly with each other. We need to be direct and blunt today not so as to trade barbs, but so as to attempt to get to the bottom of what is actually happening in the world, try to understand why the world is becoming less safe and more unpredictable, and why the risks are increasing everywhere around us.

Today's discussion took place under the theme: New Rules or a Game without Rules. I think that this formula accurately describes the historic turning point we have reached today and the choice we all face. There is nothing new of course in the idea that the world is changing very fast. I know this is something you have spoken about at the discussions today. It is certainly hard not to notice the dramatic transformations in global politics and the economy, public life, and in industry, information and social technologies.

Let me ask you right now to forgive me if I end up repeating what some of the discussion's participants have already said. It's practically impossible to avoid. You have already held detailed discussions, but I will set out my point of view. It will coincide with other participants' views on some points and differ on others.

As we analyse today's situation, let us not forget history's lessons. First of all, changes in the world order - and what we are seeing today are events on this scale - have usually been accompanied by if not global war and conflict, then by chains of intensive local-level conflicts. Second, global politics is above all about economic leadership, issues of war and peace, and the humanitarian dimension, including human rights.

The world is full of contradictions today. We need to be frank in asking each other if we have a reliable safety net in place. Sadly, there is no guarantee and no certainty that the current system of global and regional security is able to protect us from upheavals. This system has become seriously weakened, fragmented and deformed. The international and regional political, economic, and cultural cooperation organisations are also going through difficult times.

Yes, many of the mechanisms we have for ensuring the world order were created quite a long time ago now, including and above all in the period immediately following World War II. Let me stress that the solidity of the system created back then rested not only on the balance of power and the rights of the victor countries, but on the fact that this system's 'founding fathers' had respect for each other, did not try to put the squeeze on others, but attempted to reach agreements.
Eye 2

Washington Post beats the war drums for widening US attack on Syria and overthrowing Assad

Two articles in Friday's Washington Post reporting chemical weapons attacks in Iraq and Syria are part of a general propaganda campaign by the mainstream media to turn the operation against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) into a war to overthrow the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

A front-page article headlined "Jihadist launched chemical assault" reports that ISIS forces deployed chlorine gas in an attack last month against Sunni police officers in the Iraqi city of Duluiyah, approximately 60 miles north of Baghdad. The officers reported being overcome by a cloud of yellow gas which hung low to the ground, consistent with chlorine gas. The attack reportedly sickened at least 11 officers who were taken to a nearby hospital and treated with oxygen and anti-inflammatory medication for shortness of breath.

According to the Iraq Defense Ministry, ISIS has obtained significant quantities chlorine from water treatment facilities where the chemical is used to chlorinate water to prevent the spread of water-borne disease. Improvised chlorine bombs were used previously by Al-Qaeda in Iraq, the predecessor of ISIS, at the height of the Sunni insurgency against the US occupation in 2006 and 2007.

There have been other reports in recent weeks of the use of chlorine gas by ISIS in Iraq. According to soldiers who managed to escape an ISIS attack last month on the Saqlawiyah military base in Anbar Province, chlorine gas was deployed as part of the brutal assault which killed approximately 370 soldiers. ISIS fighters reportedly fired chlorine gas canisters into the base.

Comment: Forget the fact that the US military used chemical weapons against civilians in Fallujah, Iraq to terrible effect. Forget that the US-installed junta in Kiev used white phosphorous on civilians in Eastern Ukraine. And forget that the US-armed IDF has dropped white phosphorous on innocents in Gaza. Now the US humanitarian 'red line' says that Syria mustn't use chemical weapons even if it doesn't have them and it's been shown that the government of Bashar al-Assad never used them even when it did have them. How do you like them apples?!? It's WMD redux.

Further, if you think that the study mentioned in the article from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), and their cronies at the Washington Post aren't coordinating their propaganda lies with the White House's plans for war, and if you think that the White House didn't already plan to use their attack on ISIS to set the stage for attacking the democratically elected government of Assad, we have a very nice bridge that we'd like to sell you.

Lastly, it will be interesting to see what steps Russia take as soon as it becomes more clear that the aggression is being aimed at the Assad government. So far there has been the sporadic destruction of infrastructure that was supposedly in proximity to ISIS, but the psychopaths in Washington will not be able to restrain themselves for much longer. They can't. They've got a serious death wish and, as we know, Russia has already shown that it would not allow the US to attack Assad in September 2013.

Hang on to your hats folks! Between what is occurring now in both Syria and Ukraine the wholesale carnage level is about to jump up a notch or three.

Eye 1

FATCA: More Americans renounce citizenship - 2014 on pace for a record

© Iphoto
Significant numbers of people are continuing to renounce their U.S. citizenship or end their long-term U.S. residency.

There are 776 names on the Treasury Department list published Friday for the third quarter of 2014.

That's the third highest quarterly figure ever, according to Andrew Mitchel, an international tax lawyer in Centerbrook, Conn., who tracks the data. The total number of published renouncers so far in 2014 is 2,353, putting this year on pace to exceed last year's record total of 2,999, adds Mr. Mitchel.

The Treasury Department is required by law to publish a list of the names of people who renounce quarterly. The list doesn't indicate when people did so or why. It also doesn't distinguish between people giving up passports and those turning in green cards, or indicate what other nationality the individuals hold.

Experts say that the growing number of renunciations by U.S. citizens and permanent residents is linked to a five-year enforcement campaign against U.S. taxpayers who have undeclared offshore accounts. The campaign began after Swiss banking giant UBS admitted in 2009 that it had systematically encouraged U.S. taxpayers to hide assets in secret Swiss accounts.

About 100 other Swiss financial institutions are currently in a U.S. Justice Department program designed to uncover other secret accounts. Recently, attorneys representing 73 of them protested that the terms of the program were too harsh.

Comment: FATCA effectively forces foreign governments to act as a tentacle of the global pathocracy:
"It's no secret that several U.S. intel agencies (and the IRS of course) collect data on virtually every aspect of U.S. citizens' lives. The global reach of the NSA notwithstanding, it seems that the Obama administration is using financial terrorism to force foreign governments and financial institutions to become branches of the NSA and collect financial data on both U.S. citizens abroad and foreign nationals in their own country, while protecting US politicians and their corporate cronies who, generally speaking, pay no tax at all."

FATCA what? How to fight the war on tax evasion, one American at a time
See also:

These anti-FATCA countries are giving the US the middle finger

Bad Guys

Analyst: World paying for US military adventures

US Empire
© Duncan Long
The whole world is paying a high price for the US military adventurism across the global, says Dirk Adriaensens, author and journalist from Belgium.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is "totally correct" in saying that the United States is undermining the global security, Adriaensens told Press TV on Saturday.

In a speech to a group of political scholars in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi on Friday, the Russian president said US foreign policy has made the world a more dangerous place.

Citing the wars in Iraq, Libya and Syria, Putin said the United States was now "fighting against the results of its own policy."

As part of the strategy put forth in 1997 by the Project for New American Century, the United States is attacking, occupying, and intervening in "some fourteen countries," Adriaensens said.

With respect to "the investment in the military and national security," he said, "no other country comes within light years of the United States."

"The defense budgets of the next 30 countries combined are less than the budget of the Pentagon," Adriaensens continued. "They have military bases everywhere."

"Who is flying drones and bomb(ing) people on foreign soils?" he asked. "It's not Vladimir Putin, it's the United States."

Comment: See also:

Telling it like it is: USA has 'shaped the world' according to its interests - Putin

Putin: World is being destroyed by U.S. and its satellites, who pass themselves off as 'the international community'


Wisconsin governor obeys his masters: Denies workers a living wage based solely on corporate study

Under pressure to raise the state's minimum wage, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker confidently declared that there was no need. Low-wage workers had filed a complaint charging that the state's minimum wage -- $7.25 -- did not constitute a "living wage" as mandated by state law. But the Republican governor's administration, after examining the issue, announced on Oct. 6 that it found "no reasonable cause" for the workers' complaint.

That official government finding, according to documents reviewed by the International Business Times, was largely based on information provided by the state's restaurant industry -- which represents major low-wage employers including fast-food companies.

The Raise Wisconsin campaign, which is pushing for a higher minimum wage, requested all documents on which the state based the "living wage" ruling. And the only economic analysis that the administration released in response was one from the Wisconsin Restaurant Association -- a group that lobbies against minimum wage increases, and whose website says it is includes low-wage employers such as "fast food outlets" and "corporate chain restaurants." The restaurant association's study argued that a minimum wage increase would harm the state. It did not actually address whether workers can survive on the $7.25 minimum wage.

Comment: The governor knows who fills the coffers of his campaign fund, and is following the dictates of his corporate masters. And, like most psychopaths, he considers the rest of humanity to be little more than useless eaters.

The real welfare queens: Low wage employers shift labor costs to taxpayers by impoverishing employees

A whistleblower's tale of the new minimum wage economy

Dollar Gold

What financial journalism won't ask and central banks won't answer

Chris Powell Secretary/Treasurer - GATA
For many years this conference [New Orleans Investment Conference] has bravely invited GATA Chairman Bill Murphy and me to speak here about the evidence of manipulation of the gold market, particularly manipulation undertaken directly or indirectly by central banks, and every year there has been new documentation to report. This documentation has been compiled at GATA's Internet site, GATA.org, whose home page you can see here --


-- with the "Documentation" section noted at the top left, along with a section called "The Basics," which summarizes the documentation as well as the purposes and history of central bank policy of suppressing the price of gold, gold being a currency that competes with government currencies.

The last two months have brought confirmation that, as we long have suspected, GATA has outlined only a small part of the surreptitious market manipulation being undertaken by central banks -- that this manipulation is actually comprehensive, that it covers nearly every major market in the world.

This confirmation is largely the work of Eric Scott Hunsader, founder of the market data and research company Nanex in Winnetka, Illinois, who publicized, through the Zero Hedge Internet site, documents recently filed with the U.S. government, two of them with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and one with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

U.S. Federal Reserve the largest holder of U.S. Treasury bonds

Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen
Janet Yellen, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, opened the door to keeping a multi-trillion-dollar portfolio for years, saying a decision on when to stop reinvesting maturing bonds depends on financial conditions and the economic outlook.
Quantitative easing may turn out to be a gift that keeps on giving for the U.S. economy.

As the Federal Reserve prepares to end its third round of bond buying next week, the central bank plans to hang on to the record $4.48 trillion balance sheet it has accumulated since announcing the first round of purchases in November 2008.

That will continue to keep a lid on borrowing costs, helping the Fed lift inflation closer to its target and providing support to a five-year expansion facing headwinds abroad, from war in the Mideast to slowing growth in Europe and China.

Holding bonds on the Fed's balance sheet limits the supply of securities trading on the public markets, which helps keep prices up and yields lower than they otherwise would be. That provides stimulus to the economy just as a cut in the Fed's benchmark interest rate would, according to Michael Gapen, a senior U.S. economist for Barclays Plc in New York and former Fed Board section chief in charge of monetary and financial markets analysis.

Ottawa 'Terror Attacks' Lucky Break for Harper and the Warmongers

At what point do we start getting suspicious?

Three weeks ago, on October 3rd, Canadian PM Stephen Harper's Conservative party narrowly passed a motion to "launch combat missions" in Iraq alongside other Western warmongering nations and their clients in the Middle East. The motion was passed (157 for to134 against) despite stiff opposition from the NDP and Liberal opposition parties and a Canadian public traditionally averse to any kind of foreign military campaigns. On the day of the vote, an online poll showed almost 60% of respondents were against Canada joining the 'coalition'.

NDP opposition leader Tom Mulcair said that the Harper government was "plunging Canada into a prolonged war without a credible plan" and that bombing ISIS "will only create more recruits for ISIS and can, in fact, prove to be disastrously counterproductive". On Monday, former prime minister Jean Chretien again criticized Canada's military involvement in Iraq saying that it was "just the latest in a long history of interventions by western countries that have left "scars" on the Middle East" and that "Canada should be putting its emphasis on humanitarian assistance for the refugees in the region."

The pusillanimous PM Harper responded by reading a gospel from the Neocon book of public scaremongering:
"It is imperative that we act with our allies to halt ISIL's spread in the region and reduce its capacity to launch terrorist attacks outside the region, including against Canada. As a Government, we know our ultimate responsibility is to protect Canadians, and to defend our citizens from those who would do harm to us and to our families.
In urging all parliament members to support the motion, Harper admitted that involving Canada in another war was not only unpopular but politically risky in the run up to next year's general election. Then again, given the widespread allegations of vote fraud leveled against Harper's Conservative party during the last general election, Harper may not have much to worry about.

Have the thought crimes laws been passed? Can I come out now?

Two days ago, having finally emerged from the broom closet into which he bolted during the gunfire in the Parliament building, Harper responded to the two "terror attacks" saying that the events were "a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world, and that the attack(s) would only strengthen Canada's response to terrorist organizations". Harper also pledged to speed up a plan already under way to bolster Canadian laws and police powers in the areas of "surveillance, detention and arrest. We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated."

But of course, as a result of two very well timed 'terror attacks', Canada, or rather Canada's public, its military and its political class, have been intimidated (or rather manipulated) into backing down in the face of Harper's warmongering and becoming accomplices in more corporate war-for-profit and the destruction of their civil liberties.

Complicit Western media stay silent on the killings of journalists that are not an 'appendage' of U.S.-NATO

© Screenshot YouTube video by PressTV
Press TV reporter Serena Shim was killed in Turkey after reporting that ISIS terrorists were entering Syria from Turkey as 'undercover NGO activists'
The suspicious death of US-born journalist Serena Shim, and the deafening silence on the story in the US, is merely the latest example of the blatant double standard employed by the Western media.

Shim, a 29 year old American journalist of Lebanese descent, had been covering the ongoing war in Syria, specifically the current battle between ISIS militants and Kurdish forces near the Syrian town of Kobani, from the Turkish-Syrian border. Shim was traveling in a rental car back to her hotel after reporting from the Turkish town of Suruc near the Syrian border, when the car was allegedly struck by a heavy vehicle, killing Shim.

While Turkish authorities quickly contended that her death was an accident, many around the world, including executives and senior staff members of Press TV - the Iranian news agency for which Shim was working - have expressed doubts about the circumstances of her death, describing it as"suspicious."Such suspicions are clearly warranted as the alleged accident came just one day after Shim expressed fears for her own safety after receiving death threats from Turkish intelligence (MIT). In an interview with Press TV just after being accused of being a spy and receiving the threats, Shim stated:
"I'm very surprised at this accusation - I even thought of approaching Turkish intelligence because I have nothing to hide... I am a bit worried, because...Turkey has been labeled by Reporters Without Borders as the largest prison for journalists...so I am frightened about what they might use against me... We were some of the first people on the ground - if not the first people - to get that story of...militants going in through the Turkish border...I've got images of them in World Food Organization trucks. It was very apparent that they were militants by their beards, by the clothes they wore, and they were going in there with NGO trucks."

Comment: Let's remember all these reporters that were journalists in the true sense of the word, like Serena Shim, Andrey Stenin, Anatola Klyan, Maya Nasser and others. They reported the facts on the ground, the Truth and had to pay with their lives:

Western intel op? Press TV reporter killed after reporting that ISIS terrorists are entering Syria from Turkey as 'undercover NGO activists'

Russian war photographer Andrei Stenin was killed in Ukraine one month ago, Kiev lied