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Defeat of fascism: Putin's visit to Serbia strikes European leaders' nerves

Putin in Belgrade
© REUTERS/ Marko Djurica
Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses during a military parade to mark 70 years since the city's liberation by the Red Army as Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic (R) looks on in Belgrade October 16, 2014.
President Putin's visit to Serbia has received a sour reception from the EU. Though official comment has been muted (it is not as if there is anything to complain about), commentary in European media clearly expresses EU annoyance.

Why should this be so? Why should European leaders be upset that a Russian leader attends a ceremony in celebration of his country's liberation of a European capital from fascism?

In fact Putin's visit strikes on European nerves with a host of issues, warranting the European reaction.

At its most basic, the reminder of Russia's central role in the defeat of fascism and the liberation of Europe from Hitler's yoke is unwelcome to the leaders of certain EU states (e.g., Poland, Romania, the Baltic States) who have spent an inordinate amount of time denying or minimizing the fact and drawing false parallels between Nazism and Communism. That a European country, such as Serbia, celebrates without qualification its liberation by the Soviet army, explodes this false narrative.

Beyond this, there are more immediate political considerations linked to the Ukrainian and Yugoslav crises.

Comment: It is also interesting that no leader from the EU came to Belgrade to participate in the 70th anniversary of the defeat of fascism. For Serbia this day would likely be as important to them as the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landing was to Europe to which all EU and US leaders were present.


Obama to send Reserve troops to fight Ebola: White House

National Guard troops
© Reuters/Scott Eisen
Obama has authorized the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security to use reserve and National Guard troops in response to the Ebola spread in West Africa
US President Barack Obama has authorized the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security to use reserve and National Guard troops in the United States' response to the Ebola spread in West Africa, the White House said.

"I hereby determine that it is necessary to augment the active Armed Forces of the United States for the effective conduct of Operation United Assistance, which is providing support to civilian-led humanitarian assistance and consequence management support related to the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa," President Obama said in the Executive Order released late Thursday on the White House official website.

National Guard troops are comprised of the reserve military force from all US military units of every US state and territory. They are used as an additional military reserve to protect the country during times of national emergency.

The US already has hundreds of boots on the ground in West Africa, and have committed to send up to 4,000 troops to the region to build Ebola treatment centers and to provide logistics and training to local personnel.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday that 4,493 people have died from the current Ebola outbreak, and as of October 12, there have been 8,997 confirmed and probable cases of the disease in seven different countries. The WHO is also predicting that by the end of the week, there will be over 4,500 Ebola deaths and over 9,000 cases of the deadly disease.
Top Secret

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency: The 'transparent' spy organization you probably never heard of

© fas.org
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is a little-known organization under the Defense Department's purview that provides geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) to the spy community. Now it is moving from providing maps to focusing on analysis.

The NGA's mission is to provide "timely, relevant, and accurate geospatial intelligence in support of national security," its website says. "From the discovery of atrocities in Kosovo, to support for the cities hosting the Olympics, through the response to Hurricane Katrina, and our work in Haiti and Japan, NGA has provided critical GEOINT support when our nation needed it most."

With the installation of Robert Cardillo, a 31-year intelligence community veteran, as its director at the beginning of October, the NGA is poised to take a bigger role in the intelligence community. Cardillo took over from Letitia Long, the first woman to head a major intelligence agency, when she officially retired after four years at the helm of NGA and more than 36 years total in the intelligence community.

Comment: Transparent to whom? Obviously the technology on display is over 50 years old. One can only imagine the current technology based on how fast computers, TV, and cell phones have evolved.


Alexa's control of information hits Drudge, WUWT, mostly favors leftist news sites over conservative news sites

As many WUWT readers know, I have been using alexa.com for quite sometime to gauge the performance of WUWT. Reader "Pat" brought this recent strange disparity to my attention. When you see things like the Drudge report plummet and MSNBC soar, you know immediately that something isn't right:
Those who run watchdog news websites are scratching their heads and trying to make sense of the latest data released by a California company that measures website traffic.

According to data for July through September, almost every major website - from WND to the Drudge Report and Breitbart - saw its rankings drop on Alexa.com while pro-government sites mostly went up.
Source: WND

The claim seems to be true when you look at Alexa's publicly reported traffic graphs. Here's the Drudge Report according to Alexa:

(Lower numbers are better, for example, Google is #1)
© Wattsupwiththat.com

Comment: Simple mainstream media mind control. When you control the flow of information, you control the way people think.

Heart - Black

Obama 'hugged and kissed' Ebola nurses

© Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Barack Obama holds a meeting with cabinet agencies coordinating the government's Ebola response, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington October 15, 2014.
President Barack Obama insisted Wednesday that the US response to the Ebola outbreak is effective and that the chances of the deadly virus taking hold in the United States are "extremely low."

Concerns about health protocols have grown since two nurses that looked after Thomas Eric Duncan, who died of the disease, contracted the virus. Duncan was infected with Ebola in Liberia, where he is from, and then took a flight to the US.

Obama told reporters after a hastily convened meeting with 20 senior White House officials, including Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Vice-President Joe Biden and Attorney-General Eric Holder, that he himself had close contact with health workers treating Ebola patients while visiting Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and felt safe doing so.

"I shook hands with, hugged and kissed not the doctors, but a couple of the nurses at Emory, because of the valiant work they did in treating one of the patients. They followed the protocols, they knew what they were doing, and I felt perfectly safe doing so," said the president.

Obama said it wasn't like the flu virus, which can be transmitted in the air through coughs and sneezes.

He said he was "absolutely confident" that there will not be a serious outbreak of Ebola in the US, but stressed that it will become increasingly difficult to control the epidemic if it is not dealt with at its source in West Africa.

The president held video conferences with the French, British, German and Italian leaders on Wednesday to discuss the international response to the outbreak.

Comment: So why is Obama using the military and the police to control the spread of Ebola?

Arrow Down

Propaganda 101 - How the Pentagon is trying to rewrite Vietnam war history

Vietnam War Montage
© Wikimedia Commons
In case you weren't aware, the Pentagon is set to roll out a 50th anniversary commemoration of the Vietnam War. Personally, it's hard to get excited about commemorating an event that led to the death of over 58,000 American soldiers and more than a million Vietnamese, particularly since much of it was the direct result of well documented lies and deception, such as the Gulf of Tomkin incident.

What's worse, the Pentagon intends to rewrite history by whitewashing this period of civil unrest and government shame from American history. The propaganda is so blatant that it has resulted in many of the era's most well known protestors and activists to come together in order to stop it.

The New York Times reports that:
Red Flag

Former FSB chief: U.S. using old anti-Soviet policy to break up Russian Federation

© RIA Novosti/ Said Tcarnaev
Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev.
The current turmoil in Ukraine and the military conflicts in Georgia and the Caucasus are a direct result of the anti-Russian policy of the US administration, claims the former head of Russia's Federal Security Service.

Nikolai Patrushev who headed the FSB from 1999 until 2008 said in an interview with the Russian government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta that intelligence analysts established a current anti-Russian program being executed by American special services dates back to the 1970s, and is based on Zbigniew Brzezinski's "strategy of weak spots", the policy of turning the opponent's potential problems into full scale crises.

Comment: Remember Brzezinski? Yep, the same guy who treacherously blocked the publication of Political Ponerology in the '80s. We wonder why...

"The CIA decided that the most vulnerable spot in our country was its economy. After making a detailed model US specialists established that the Soviet economy suffered from excessive dependency from energy exports. Then, they developed a strategy to provoke the financial and economic insolvency of the Soviet state through both a sharp fall in budget income and significant hike in expenditures due to problems organized from outside," Patrushev told reporters.

Comment: So national sovereignty is now an open joke. You've got resources in your country and it's not fair to keep them all for yourself!

It's disputed whether or not Albright said the following, in 2007:
"Siberia is too large and rich to belong to one country."
Anyway, said or unsaid, Albright, the NeoCons, and US foreign policy mandarins in general, have clearly had their fangs set on opening up Russia to Western private interests. One year before Putin was made PM of Russia, the American elites sensed something was afoot:
Economy Shift In Russia Worries U.S., Albright Says

New York Times
October 3, 1998

The United States is disappointed by the economic confusion within the new Russian Government of Prime Minister Yevgeny M. Primakov, Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright said today, and she warned Russia about the dangers of an anti-Western policy.

In her first comprehensive review of United States-Russian relations since Mr. Primakov was confirmed as Prime Minister last month, Ms. Albright said Washington was ''deeply concerned'' about Russia's direction and did not think the crisis there would soon abate.

''We have heard a lot of talk in recent days about printing new money, indexing wages, imposing price and capital controls and restoring state management of parts of the economy,'' she told the U.S.-Russia Business Council in Chicago. ''We can only wonder if some members of Primakov's team understand the basic arithmetic of the global economy.''

''Our initial reaction to some of the direction he's going in has not been particularly positive,'' she said.

''More big bailouts are not by themselves going to restore investor confidence in Russia,'' she said. ''In the long run, the gap between Russia's needs and its resources must be met not by foreign bailouts but by foreign investment.''

Ms. Albright sharply criticized as self-defeating the ''many voices in Russia who want to shift the emphasis in Russia's interaction with America and our allies from one of partnership to one of assertiveness, opposition and defiance for its own stake.''
The technocratic jargon she uses needs to be deciphered a bit: When Albright said, "We can only wonder if some members of Primakov's team understand the basic arithmetic of the global economy," she wasn't just being a typically arrogant American. She was making pointed reference to the specific Chicago-school neo-liberal economic formulae Western oligarchs rely on to maintain the status quo of 'ever more for the rich and ever less for the masses'.

Chastizing Russian state bailouts is - in retrospect - richly ironic given the scale of US bailouts of US corporations just 10 years later. More to the point, however, is Albright's subsequent statement:
"...the gap between Russia's needs and its resources must be met not by foreign bailouts but by foreign investment."
Right there we find the same line of thought as the first comment about Siberia being "too big for one country", just formulated slightly differently: Russia should be allowing Western corporations to exploit its resources for private profit, instead of the national state doing so for the benefit of Russia.

What also comes through is the same sentiment regarding the scale of Russia's natural resources: it's 'unfair' that this country has more than it needs, therefore they should allow us - humanitarians of the benevolent and blessed Western oligarchy - to come in and redistribute it on behalf of all humanity.

Like Putin said back in 2006, "Comrade Wolf knows who to eat."

War Whore

Psychopathic warmongers in Washington hunt Russia, ISIS, and Ebola at the same time

© Reuters/Ints Kalnins
The US Secretary of Defense Secretary categorized Russia as a global threat - much like Obama in his UN address last month - in the same breath as Ebola and Islamic State.

For anybody who took at face value the Obama administration's past commitment for a "reset" with Russia, US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's speech on Wednesday should dispel those grand illusions once and for all.

But first, there's the deadly Ebola virus for the US military to contend with.

In commemorating the US military's "global presence and engagement," Hagel said the US Army "will soon deploy as a key part of America's contribution to the global effort to stop the spread of Ebola before it becomes an even more of a grave threat."

The activation of the US Army into the epicenter of a viral epidemic may strike some as an actual dereliction of military duty, not to mention a reckless risk to soldiers. Moreover, judging by the Obama administration's apparent lack of preparedness to handle a few Ebola cases in Dallas, Texas, how will the US Army fare in the midst of a full-blown epidemic in Africa?

Washington's apparent desire to find a military solution even for a medical problem should give the American people some pause. In the event of a full-blown outbreak of Ebola in the United States, would that be the signal for the US Army to introduce martial law on the streets of America? If the answer is no, why then does Hagel believe the US military should activate its forces in a foreign country that really needs armies of doctors, not soldiers?

Comment: The U.S. government only knows how to use force. It deploys the military to fight an infectious disease, even if it makes no logical sense, because all it knows is take over, control, and threats.


Justice for sale

Justice for Sale
© A Little Reality Blogspot
At first glance, Lanell Williams-Yulee's legal fight against the Florida Bar has an appealingly underdogish aura about it. In 2009, Williams-Yulee declared her candidacy for county court judge in Hillsborough County, launching her campaign with a mass-mail fundraising letter that asked for "an early contribution" to help her "raise the initial funds." Plenty of campaigns start with this kind of gentle panhandling, of course. But Williams-Yulee was running to be a judge, and the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct explicitly states that judicial candidates "shall not personally solicit campaign funds." Williams-Yulee was charged with professional misconduct and fined $1,860.30. The judgeship went to another candidate.

Williams-Yulee was running a modest campaign for an obscure seat. But with that single letter, she waded into a controversy that pits democracy and free speech against judicial ethics and due process. That controversy will soon come to a head at the Supreme Court, as the justices recently agreed to review Williams-Yulee's case. And when the court hears the case later this term, it seems overwhelmingly likely that the justices who brought you Citizens United will take their First Amendment bushwhacker to judicial elections.

To see why Williams-Yulee's letter tripped this particular wire, you have to understand that judicial elections are one of the more idiosyncratic and hotly debated features of American democracy. In virtually every other country, judges are appointed, not elected, to prevent angry voters from punishing them for unpopular rulings. Even in the United States, the framers of the Constitution took care to insulate federal judges from the majoritarian will, granting them lifetime appointments and shuddering at the possibility that they might "consult popularity" and "the people" instead of "the Constitution and the laws." When it comes to picking judges, more democracy does not necessarily mean more justice.

But throughout most of the United States, judges have no choice but to consult "the people" from time to time - it's the people, after all, who gave them their jobs. Thirty-nine states put their judges up for election, forcing them to campaign on the contradictory promise that they will both respect the wishes of the people and maintain judicial independence. All that campaigning, of course, requires cash, often a great deal of it. Today, 30 states (including Florida) forbid judges from personally soliciting campaign funds, requiring them instead to set up committees to keep candidates a step removed from money matters. The premise behind these laws is that when judges beg for money, they diminish the impartiality of the judiciary.
Control Panel

Putin puts his foot down: If Ukraine siphons gas from pipeline, Russia will reduce Europe supplies

Ukraine steals gas
© Reuters/Marko Djurica
Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on during a meeting with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic (not pictured) at Serbia Palace building in Belgrade October 16, 2014.
Moscow will reduce gas supplies if Kiev starts siphoning deliveries destined for Europe, said Russia's President Vladimir Putin during a visit to Serbia.

"There are large transit risks. If we see that our Ukrainian partners start illegally taking our gas from the export pipeline as it was in 2008, we will equally reduce the amount of supply as happened in 2008," warned Putin on Thursday at a news conference in Belgrade, stressing he was "hopeful" it would not come to that.

However, the Russian president pledged that Moscow will supply enough gas to Europe this winter.

"I can tell you for sure, and I am saying with absolute responsibility, there will be no crisis in Europe due to the fault of Russian participants in energy cooperation," Putin stressed.

"Russia has always been a reliable supplier, we have enough resources."

Given the threat of gas disruption, the South Stream project starts looking increasingly attractive and "beneficial for European consumers," Putin said. The issues connected with the delay of the construction of South Stream are "of a political character" only, he added.

"In this case politics hurt the economy for sure, causing damage to a certain extent, even reducing the competitive advantages of the European economy in comparison with other regions of the world."

Putin requested support from his European partners, saying Russia couldn't "unilaterally construct a pipeline system worth billions of dollars if our partners are still thinking whether to develop the project or not."

Comment: If the EU wants Ukraine then Putin is making them responsible for its good behavior. It will be interesting to see how well it goes.