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Moscow calls reports of U.S. diplomats being harassed in Russia 'groundless'


Comment: The anti-Russian propaganda is still running strong. The presstitutes in the media are all too happy to be the lapdog for the psychopathic U.S. government in their witch hunt against Putin and Russia. It's truly pathetic. As it's laid out below, it's another example of the psychopathic accusing its victim of doing exactly what it is doing. Cunning, if you're a psychopath. Maddening to anyone with a conscience.


Reports of US diplomats in Moscow being systematically mistreated are "groundless," Russia's Foreign Ministry said. It also accused US special services of provocations and attempting to recruit Russian diplomats in Washington.

Responding to an ABC "exclusive," the ministry said that voiced "complaints" are "banal fantasies" that"do not reach the level of cheap spy detectives."

"What is outrageous is the peremptory and contrary to the facts statement by the US State Department press secretary that "in contrast to the behavior of the Russians," the American side treats diplomats from Russia with the utmost respect," the Russian Foreign Ministry statement reads.

In a report Monday, ABC News accused Russia of Cold War-style harassment of US embassy diplomats, which included slashing, hacking and breaking into diplomatic apartments.

Reporting on the issue at length, the ABC's Kirit Radia listed a number of cases when US officials - none of whom were named - were targeted by Russia's "aggressive, Soviet-era counterintelligence tactics" of intimidation and harassment "that is believed to be led by Russia's Federal Security Services (FSB), a successor to the Soviet KGB."
Attention

Zombies are us: The walking dead in the American police state

Fear is a primitive impulse, brainless as hunger, and because the aim of horror fiction is the production of the deepest kinds of fears, the genre tends to reinforce some remarkably uncivilized ideas about self-protection. In the current crop of zombie stories, the prevailing value for the beleaguered survivors is a sort of siege mentality, a vigilance so constant and unremitting that it's indistinguishable from the purest paranoia.

~ Terrence Rafferty, New York Times
Zombies
© Terminally Incoherent Blog
How America's psychopathic leaders see ordinary Americans
Fear and paranoia have become hallmarks of the modern American experience, impacting how we as a nation view the world around us, how we as citizens view each other, and most of all how our government views us.

Nowhere is this epidemic of fear and paranoia more aptly mirrored than in the culture's fascination with zombies, exacerbated by the hit television series The Walking Dead, in which a small group of Americans attempt to survive in a zombie-ridden, post-apocalyptic world where they're not only fighting off flesh-eating ghouls but cannibalistic humans.

Zombies have experienced such a surge in popularity in recent years that you don't have to look very far anymore to find them lurking around every corner: wreaking havoc in movie blockbusters such as World War Z, running for their lives in 5K charity races, battling corsets in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and even putting government agents through their paces in mock military drills arranged by the Dept. of Defense (DOD) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Crusader

ISIS: America's mercenary task force

ISIS
Generally historical revision takes place long after events unfold and the victors attempt to bury humiliating or inconvenient truths. Today, in the age of information, these would-be victors are finding it increasingly necessary to revise history in real-time through a strategy of increasingly repetitive, but decreasingly effective propaganda.

Phase I: Justifying Chaos

It was only in 2007 that US foreign policy openly sought to pursue war against Iran, Syria, and Lebanon's Hezbollah, while undercutting pro-Iranian factions in Iraq which at the time the US was still occupying. Failing to accomplish this directly, the US planned a not-so-covert proxy war that would include funding, politically backing, and even arming groups ranging from the Muslim Brotherhood to militants aligned with Al Qaeda itself.

This is perhaps best summarized by the prophetic 2007 report "The Redirection: Is the Administration's new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?" written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh and published in the New Yorker.

Eye 1

Syrian government is in Washington's crosshairs

Bashar al-Assad
© SANA
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
An American antiwar activist says the United States wants to eliminate independent governments in the Middle East and at present the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is in its crosshairs.

Joe Losbaker, a leader of the United National Antiwar Committee, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Tuesday while commenting on the US agenda behind its ongoing offensive against the ISIL terrorist group, which is operating in Iraq and Syria.

"The US has said since the very first days of the War on Terror that its goal is to eliminate governments in the region that challenge US hegemony. And that isn't just Syria, but Syria is in the crosshairs right now," Losbaker said.

"The US has made it clear that they don't want an independent Syria. They don't want an independent Iran, and for that matter, they want the Palestinian people and the Lebanese resistance to accept their domination at the hands of Israel. These are the long-term objectives that the US has," he added.

Comment: See also: Attack on Syria: War against Russia is always the main agenda for US

Arrow Down

And the loser in Brazil is - neoliberalism

Dilma Rousseff
© AFP Photo/Evaristo Sa
Re-elected Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff waves following her win, in Brasilia on October 26, 2014.
Sun, sex, samba, carnival and at least until the World Cup hammering by Germany, the "land of football". And don't forget "vibrant democracy". Even as it enjoys one of the highest soft power quotients around the world, Brazil remains submerged by cliches.

"Vibrant democracy" certainly lived up to its billing as President Dilma Rousseff of the ruling Worker's Party (PT) was re-elected this Sunday in a tight run-off against opposition candidate Aecio Neves of the Social Democracy Party of Brazil (PSDB).

Yet another cliche would rule this was the victory of "state-centric" policies against "structural reforms". Or the victory of "high social spending" against a "pro-business" approach - which implies business as the privileged enemy of social equality.

Exit cliches. Enter a cherished national motto: "Brazil is not for beginners".

Indeed. Brazil's complexities boggle the mind. It starts with arguably the key, multi-layered message a divided country sent to winner Dilma Rousseff. We are part of a growing middle class. We are proud to be part of an increasingly less unequal nation. But we want social services to keep improving. We want more investment in education. We want inflation under control (at the moment, it's not). We support a very serious anti-corruption drive (here's where Dilma's Brazil meets Xi Jinping's China). And we want to keep improving on the economic success of the past decade.

Rousseff seems to get the message. The question is how she will be able to deliver - in a continental-sized nation suffering from appalling education standards, with Brazilian manufacturing largely uncompetitive in global markets, and with corruption run amok.
Arrow Down

Now that 'quantitative easing' is ending, what will happen to the economy?

It is widely expected that the Federal Reserve is going to announce the end of quantitative easing this week. Will this represent a major turning point for the stock market? As you will see below, since 2008 stocks have risen dramatically throughout every stage of quantitative easing. But when the various phases of quantitative easing have ended, stocks have always responded by declining substantially. The only thing that caused stocks to eventually start rising again was a new round of quantitative easing. So what will happen this time? That is a very good question. What we do know is that the the performance of the stock market has become completely divorced from economic reality, and in recent weeks there have been signs of market turmoil that we have not seen in years. Could the end of quantitative easing be the thing that finally pushes the financial markets over the edge?

After all this time, many Americans still don't understand what quantitative easing actually is. Since the end of 2008, the Federal Reserve has injected approximately 3.5 trillion dollars into the financial system. Of course the Federal Reserve didn't actually have 3.5 trillion dollars. The Fed created all of this money out of thin air and used it to buy government bonds and mortgage-backed securities.

If that sounds like "cheating" to you, that is because it is cheating. If you or I tried to print money, we would be put in prison. When the Federal Reserve does it, it is called "economic stimulus".

Comment: From the author's article: Why are the banksters telling us to sell our gold when they are hoarding gold like crazy?
Anyone that thinks that gold and silver are bad investments for the long-term when the central banks of the world are being so reckless should have their heads examined.

However, I do believe that gold and silver will experience wild fluctuations in price over the next several years. When the next stock market crash happens, gold and silver will go down. It happened back in 2008 and it will happen again.

But in response to the next major financial crisis, I believe that the central banks of the globe will become more reckless than anyone ever dreamed possible. At that point I believe that we will see gold and silver soar to unprecedented heights.

Yes, there will be huge ups and downs for gold and silver. But in the long-term, both gold and silver are going to go far, far higher than they are today.


Info

Putin's rating falls below 50 percent in September but performance rated 7.33 out of 10

© RIA Novosti / Sergey Kuznecov
After reaching an all-time high in August President Putin's approval rating has fallen in September according to the latest research. The Kremlin says it is a natural fluctuation.

According to the influential independent pollster Levada, 49 percent of Russians said they were ready to vote for Putin should a presidential election be held next weekend. In August he was polling 57 percent - the highest in history. Regardless of the share of supporter in society Putin has topped the presidential ratings since his election as president in 2012.

Vladimir Putin's press secretary and deputy head of the Presidential Administration, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters that changes in public mood were a normal thing.

"Ratings are not some sort of a constant, but a figure that is subject to fluctuations. Putin's rating achieved considerable heights and it is now fluctuating on this level," the TASS news agency quoted Peskov as saying. He added that ratings were not topping the list of Putin's interests or the everyday agenda of his administration.

Deputy Director of the Levada pollster, Aleksey Grazhdankin, told reporters that the current dive was normal. He said a fall in two polls in a row could be reason to worry, but in late October, when the research was released, it was too early to suggest this.

The Levada Center looked at Russians' opinion of President Putin's performance as leader. The study released in mid-October showed the average mark given to Putin by citizens was 7.33 out of 10. This figure has been higher only once before - a mark of 7.49 reached in January 2008 at the very end of Putin's first two terms as president.

Seventeen percent of all respondents think Putin deserved the top mark - 10 out of 10 - for his work.

In the same research, the overwhelming majority of respondents denied that the president's popularity was turning into a personality cult. Only 19 percent said they had noticed features resembling a cult, compared to 27 percent a year ago.
Bad Guys

"Canada the good" no more: Turns militaristic - blowback follows

harper canadian military
In 1968 the government of Canada decided to openly admit Americans seeking to avoid being drafted into the US war on Vietnam. Before, would-be immigrants were technically required to prove that they had been discharged from US military service. This move made it easier for Americans to escape President Johnson's war machine by heading north.

Although a founding member of NATO, Canada did not join the United States in its war against Vietnam. The Canadian government did not see a conflict 7,000 miles away as vital to Canada's national interest so Canada pursued its own foreign policy course, independent of the United States.

How the world has changed. Canada's wise caution about military adventurism even at the height of the Cold War has given way to a Canada of the 21st century literally joined at Washington's hip and eager to participate in any bombing mission initiated by the D.C. interventionists.

Considering Canada's peaceful past, the interventionist Canada that has emerged at the end of the Cold War is a genuine disappointment. Who would doubt that today's Canada would, should a draft be reinstated in the US, send each and every American resister back home to face prison and worse?

As Glenn Greenwald pointed out this past week:
Canada has spent the last 13 years proclaiming itself a nation at war. It actively participated in the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and was an enthusiastic partner in some of the most extremist War on Terror abuses perpetrated by the U.S.
canadian military
© Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Canada has also enthusiastically joined President Obama's latest war on Iraq and Syria, pledging to send fighter jets to participate in the bombing of ISIS (and likely many civilians in the process).

But Canada's wars abroad came back home to Canada last week.

Though horrific, it should not be a complete surprise that Canada found itself hit by blowback last week, as two attacks on Canadian soil left two Canadian military members dead.

Comment: Rather than "blowback", it's far more likely that the Ottawa shootings were a psyop to herd the Canadian public into line with neocon leader Harper's plans.

War Whore

Pentagon spends $8.3M per day on war against Islamic State

Salon Pentagon
© Salon/Reuters
The Pentagon has revised its estimate of the cost of the US air war in Iraq and Syria, saying the price tag for the campaign against the Islamic State group comes to about $8.3 million a day.

Since air strikes began on August 8, the campaign - which has involved about 6,600 sorties by US and allied aircraft - has cost $580 million, said Pentagon spokesman Commander Bill Urban.

The Defense Department had previously put the average daily cost of the military operation at more than $7 million a day.

The higher figure reflected the increased pace of air strikes and related flights, a defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP.

But independent analysts say the Defense Department is underestimating the genuine cost of the war effort, which began in mid-June with the deployment of hundreds of US troops to secure the American embassy in Baghdad and to advise the Iraqi army.

Comment: So despite a collapsing economy, crumbling infrastructure, millions of people unemployed and living in poverty, the US has unlimited funds to foist 'democracy' on sovereign nations states, so that these countries too may experience the 'wonders' of American-style democracy. See anything wrong with this picture?

Bad Guys

At least 70 Syrian Army leaders 'slaughtered' as ISIS and Nusra Front militants storm Idlib

© Karam/NurPhoto/REX
Grim toll: A reported 70 senior Syrian army officers were beheaded when members of ISIS and the Al-Nusra front launched simultaneous attacks in the city of Idlib.

Syria almost lost its second city to the jihadists of Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra last night when hundreds of fighters stormed into the provincial capital, Idlib, captured the newly installed governor's office and began beheading Syrian army officers.

By the time government troops recaptured the building, at least 70 soldiers - many senior officers - had been executed, leaving one of the oldest cities in Syria in chaos. "They were slaughtered," a message to Damascus said before the army was able to declare Idlib saved.

The eastern city of Raqqa has been in the hands of Isis for months, but Idlib lies strategically placed between Aleppo and the coastal city of Latakia - both of which are still held by President Bashar al-Assad's regime. Idlib's fall would have been a devastating blow to the government.

At one point, the Assad administration was told the city had fallen after police and security officers in the headquarters of governor Kheir Eddib Asayed defected to the rebels. Many did, in fact, surrender the building. But by chance soldiers on the city's perimeter did not receive this news and continued to fight hundreds of jihadis trying to break into Idlib. They were still holding off the attackers when the governor's office was recaptured.

Idlib lies scarcely 30 miles from Syria's largest city, Aleppo, and is home to more than 200,000 people. Its museum is well known to long-ago tourists wishing to see the treasures of the so-called Roman "dead cities" of northern Syria, and it has been in a virtual stage of siege for well over a year.
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