Friday, February 28, 2014

German economy a process of brutal exploitation: Economist

Dr. Webster Griffin Tarpley
Tarpley PressTV Article
Washington DC, February 25, 2014 – Around the world, dissatisfaction is growing with the Anglo-American economic model, which presents itself as a system of free markets and free trade. There is also growing dissatisfaction with the extreme disparities of individual income this model has created.

Not surprisingly, many observers have seen an attractive alternative in the German social market economy, featuring a highly regulated system in which small and medium export-oriented companies are prominent, and in which trade unions play an integral part, both in factory councils and by placing representatives on corporate boards.

But a closer look at Germany reveals that the social market economy of earlier decades now includes a vast low-wage sector of workers who have become second-class citizens, receiving much the same status which undocumented Hispanic immigrants in the United States would occupy under plans put forward by the Republican Party and supported by many Democrats.  The German low-wage sub-economy has a name: it is called Hartz IV, named after the former personnel boss of the Volkswagen concern, and enacted into law under the auspices of the former Social Democratic Chancellor Gerhard Schröder -- with massive complicity from the neo-corporatist German trade unions -- and successively amended several times, thus accounting for the IV.  German working people have just completed their eleventh year under the yoke of Hartz, which came into full effect in January 2003, and has been expanded and perfected by Europe’s reigning austerity enforcer, Christian Democratic Chancellor Angela Merkel.

 The various Hartz plans started as a response to the permanently high levels of unemployment which have prevailed in West Germany and then in reunified Germany, since the early 1980s. These high jobless levels are themselves a reflection of the slowing of world economic progress in the decade after the demolition of the highly successful 1944 Bretton Woods system, which was terminated by Nixon and Kissinger on August 15, 1971. During the 1980s and 1990s, Germany was afflicted by unemployment in the neighborhood of 3 million, 4 million, and then 5 million workers. 

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College Student Intercepts Food Waste For the Hungry

Heather Callaghan
Activist Post

Maybe you've been reading one too many bleak and scolding articles about drought, waste, gluttony and insane bureaucratic mandates that create food waste and scoop food from hungry mouths. Let's hear about someone who did something about it.

This is one young man who said "to heck with protocol" and started intercepting food before it hit the bin - score! It is now a national network of college students who are intercepting leftovers and feeding the hungry - saving nearly 200,000 meals from the trash.

'Like an animal': Video goes viral of Ukraine nationalist activist attacking prosecutor

Russian Air Force Drills Ukraine Attack Plan

Tension builds as Ukraine accuses Russia of “military invasion”

Image: Russian Fighter Jet (Wiki Commons).
Paul Joseph Watson
February 28, 2014

Russian combat pilots are training to attack “enemy” forces in search and destroy missions as tensions continue to build, with Ukraine’s interim government complaining of a Russian military invasion after armed men seized control of an airport in Crimea.

Following President Vladimir Putin’s decision to order a snap combat readiness drill on February 26, troops and aircraft that were based in the western and central military districts of Russia have been redeployed to operational airfields as far as 500 kilometers away from their permanent bases.

“Crews will participate in search and rescue operations in the designated areas. In the training, pilots will also search for and destroy “enemy” forces and armoured objects on unfamiliar grounds,” reports ITAR-TASS.
The nature of the drills clearly suggests that Russia is prepared to invade Ukrainian territory in the event of an escalation in the crisis, just as it sent troops into Georgia in 2008.

12 Signs That Russia Is Ready To Fight A War Over Crimea

Michael Snyder
Economic Collapse
February 28, 2014

Image: Vladimir Putin (Wiki Commons).
Russia will never, ever give up Crimea without a fight.  Anyone that thinks otherwise is just being delusional.  TheRussian Black Sea fleet’s main base at Sevastopol is far too strategically important.  In addition, ethnic Russians make up approximately 60 percent of the population of Crimea, and most of the population is rabidly pro-Russian.

In fact, many prominent Crimean politicians are already calling for reunification with Russia.  So if you have been thinking that Russia is just going to fold up shop and go home now that pro-European protesters have violently seized power in Kiev, you can quit holding your breath.  The truth is that Russia is more than willing to fight a war over Crimea.  And considering the fact that vitally important pipelines that pump natural gas from Russia to the rest of Europe go right through Ukraine, it is not likely that Russia will just willingly hand the rest of Ukraine over to the U.S. and the EU either.  If the U.S. and the EU push too hard in Ukraine, a major regional war may erupt which could ultimately lead to something much larger.

Russia and Ukraine have very deep historical ties.  Most Americans may not think that Ukraine is very important, but the Russians consider Ukraine to be of the utmost strategic importance.

As an American, how would you feel if another nation funded and organized the violent overthrow of the democratically-elected Canadian government and replaced it with a government that was virulently anti-American?

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David Icke Dot-Connector: EP 1

‘No takeover’ at Crimean capital’s airport, unidentified armed men on nearby patrol

February 28, 2014

View image on TwitterA group of unidentified armed men in military uniforms have raided Simferopol International Airport in the capital of Crimea, Ukraine’s autonomous region. They claimed to be looking for Ukrainian airlifted forces, the airport press service says.

The airport is currently working without delays.

According to eyewitnesses in the middle of the night at least three KamAZ trucks without license plates drove to the airport with about 50 men.

At first the group cordoned off the airport’s domestic flights terminal, but then pushed forward.

The airport spokesman however refuted reports of a takeover and said that about 50 armed men arrived at the airport to search for Ukrainian airborne troops. However, after finding out that there was no military present on the tarmac, they apologized and left the territory, Igor Stratilati told Echo Moscow radio.

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End The Outages, Bury The Lines

Brandon Turbeville
Progressive Gazette
February 24, 2014

After experiencing the recent ice storm that gripped much of the East Coast in crippling power outages lasting for days, leaving many without access to heat and food, one thing is abundantly clear – changes must be made to the manner in which power is provided and transferred from the source to the American people.

It is well-known that the American electrical grid, even absent natural disasters, is already overtaxed, presenting an enormous risk not only to the living standards of the American people but also a legitimate national security concern. Michael Snyder of the Economic Collapse website has written extensively on the vulnerability of the U.S. power grid. 

Consider his article “If One Storm Can Turn D.C. Dark For Several Days, What Would A Massive EMP Burst Do?” In his article, Snyder details the aftermath of the “derecho” that swept across the Midwest and South, leaving millions without power for almost a week. 

What should be even more concerning is the fact that the American power grid is not so much a grid as it is a patchwork of varying methods of energy provision strung together in haphazard fashion. This is no way for the American people, who rely so much on electricity, to receive power in the 21st century. 

To top it all off, the vast majority of power is provided by private utility companies whose only reason for existence is to make a profit (as is the case for all private companies). Thus, the cost of the utilities provided by these companies is generally much more expensive and the services are generally less efficient than those areas in which power is provided by the municipality.

Controversial Ukraine party receives top positions in new government

Scott Greer
Daily Caller
February 28, 2014

Image: Oleh Tyahnybok (Wiki Commons).
As the fires die down from the turmoil in Kiev, the controversial Svoboda Party is set to reap the benefits of the new government arrangement.

The party, which has been accused of promoting anti-Semitism and xenophobia, will take control of not one, but three ministries in the interim government.

These posts include the deputy prime minister and the heads of the agriculture and environmental ministries. In addition to these positions, a Svoboda lawmaker was appointed the new prosecutor general in the interim government.

Svoboda’s leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, is one of the leading opposition figures during the recent crisis in Ukraine and met with Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain when the former presidential candidate visited the tumultuous country last December.

Tyahnybok and other party leaders have been accused of making numerous anti-Semitic and racist remarks. In 2004, Tyahnybok urged his party in a televised speech  to fight “the Moscow-Jewish mafia ruling Ukraine.”

Full article here

California Police Unveil Armored Surveillance Vehicle

“We are focusing on public areas, we’re not trying to impede anyone’s privacy”

Mikael Thalen
February 27, 2014

Police in Modesto, California unveiled a newly acquired surveillance vehicle this week which will video and audio record local residents throughout the city.

The Armadillo, a refurbished armored truck, is equipped with four high definition cameras, four wide-angle lens cameras and advanced audio recording capabilities.

“We want this to serve as a deterrent or extra eyes out there for us,” police spokeswoman Heather Graves told Fox 40 News. “We are focusing on public areas, we’re not trying to impede anyone’s privacy.”

The vehicle’s surveillance features can also be accessed remotely, allowing officers to park the vehicle in any area of the city and control the cameras’ zooming abilities from a separate location.

“Smile, you’re on camera,” a bold message on the side of the truck reads.

While the vehicle itself was donated by a nearby precinct, Fox 40 notes that the surveillance equipment was purchased with “grant money,” likely from the Department of Homeland Security.

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Russia Cracks Down On Protesters
February 27, 2014

Well, that didn’t last long.

Russian President Vladimir Putin played nice with his own citizens in front of the world in the months leading up to the Olympics. In December, he freed famous political prisoners like Mikhail Khodorkovsky and members of Pussy Riot and Greenpeace.

Related Story: The Russian Prisoner Who Putin Won’t Give Amnesty

The closing ceremony in Sochi was Sunday. The very next day, Moscow police detained more than 200 activists for protesting against Putin, including those same members of Pussy Riot and well-known opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

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Russian spy ship docked in Havana

Photo by Jedimentat44, via Flickr.
Photo by Jedimentat44, via Flickr.
February 26, 2014

A Russian warship was docked in Havana Wednesday, without explanation from Communist Cuba or its state media.

The Viktor Leonov CCB-175 boat, measuring 91.5 meters (300 feet) long and 14.5 meters wide, was docked at the port of Havana’s cruise ship area, near the Russian Orthodox Cathedral.

The Vishnya, or Meridian-class intelligence ship, which has a crew of around 200, went into service in the Black Sea in 1988 before it was transferred seven years later to the northern fleet, Russian media sources said.

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Russia Puts Fighter Jets on Combat Alert as Tensions Mount

Moscow announces massive expansion of global military presence

Image: Russian Fighter Jet (Wikimedia Commons).
Paul Joseph Watson
February 27, 2014

Russian fighter jets along the country’s western border have been put on combat alert as tensions mount over fears that Moscow is preparing to intervene militarily to protect its interests in Ukraine.

“Constant air patrols are being carried out by fighter jets in the border regions,” Interfax quoted a ministry statement as saying. “From the moment they received the signal to be on high alert, the air force in the western military region left for the … air bases.”

The news arrives just a day after the United States warned Russia it would be a “grave mistake” to conduct any kind of military intervention in Ukraine following Moscow’s announcement yesterday that a snap drill involving 150,000 troops would take place in western Russia.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s interim government has also warned Russia against making military movements in Crimea after armed men seized control of government and parliament buildings in the region. Earlier this week, pro-Russia citizens installed a Russian Mayor in the town of Sevastopol as part of a growing backlash against the western-backed coup.

Russia Responds To US Warning: Expands Military Presence Globally

Zero Hedge
February 27, 2014

Shortly after the US warned Russia over its “provocative actions” with regard Ukraine…

Image: Vladimir Putin (Wikimedia Commons).
RiaNovosti reports defense minister Sergei Shoigu saying Russia plans “to expand permanent military presence outside its borders by placing military bases in a number of foreign countries,” including Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, the Seychelles, and Singapore. “The talks are under way, and we are close to signing the relevant documents,” Shoigu told reporters in Moscow.

Via RiaNovosti,

Russia is planning to expand its permanent military presence outside its borders by placing military bases in a number of foreign countries, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday.

Ukraine warns Moscow against Russian military movements in Crimea

February 27, 2014

Image: Russian Tank (Wikimedia Commons).
Ukraine said on Thursday it would regard any movements by Russian military in Crimea outside the Russian Black Sea fleet’s base in Sevastopol as an act of aggression.

Acting President Oleksander Turchinov issued the warning in the national parliament after armed men seized the regional government and parliament buildings in Crimea, where some ethnic Russians want the region to join the Russian Federation.

Turchinov, who is also the head of Ukraine’s armed forces, appealed for Moscow to adhere to the rules of an agreement which allows Russia’s Black Sea fleet to be based in Sevastopol until 2042.

“I am appealing to the military leadership of the Russian Black Sea fleet … Any military movements, the more so if they are with weapons, beyond the boundaries of this territory (the base) will be seen by us as military aggression,” he declared.

Full article here

Venezuela: Another Western-Backed Destabilization

image source
Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

As Ukraine falls to the control of fascist forces funded by the Anglo-American powers and the world watches with bated breath for the Russian response, a similar sequence of events is currently taking place inside the South American country of Venezuela.

For the record, the people of Venezuela, much like the people of Ukraine, have very real complaints against the leadership in Caracas. A lagging economy and a level of personal freedom that is below par to say the least present clear reasons for Venezuelans to be disgruntled.

This latest Venezuelan “revolution,” however, does not appear to be the result of a popular uprising against an oppressive government but yet another Western-backed destabilization campaign aimed at wrecking the existing government and replacing it with another regime more favorable to the goals of the Anglo-Western interests and international banking cartels.

Russian Volunteers Cordon Off Sevastopol in Ukraine’s Crimea

Acting president of Ukraine says separatists will be punished
February 26, 2014

The Globe and Mail is reporting Russians have established checkpoints dozens of miles outside Sevastopol. The southern Crimean city is home to the Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

“The Globe and Mail saw least a dozen men wearing fatigues – supported by an armored personnel carrier – standing under a Russian flag at a checkpoint erected roughly halfway along the 80-kilometer road from Sevastopol to Simferopol, putting it close to the administrative border that separates the Sevastopol municipality from the rest of Crimea and Ukraine,” writes Mark MacKinnon for the Canadian newspaper. The men, wearing balaclavas, identified themselves as “volunteers.”

On Tuesday it was reported residents of the port city had signed up as volunteers in self-defense and pro-Russian groups. Crimeans are said to fear violence from Ukrainian nationalists in the northern part of the country.

Venezuela's Battle For The Streets Continues

Cop Shoots Elderly Man Reaching For Cane

image source
Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

In a state where it was once commonplace to carry a hunting rifle in the back window of one’s truck at all times, a man has been shot by York County, South Carolina deputies because Deputy Terrence Knox thought that the man was reaching for a rifle in the back of his truck.

The victim, 70-year-old Bobby Canipe, was, of course, not reaching for a rifle but for his cane which he kept in the bed of the truck.

The shooting occurred when Canipe was pulled over by Deputy Knox due to an expired license plate on Tuesday evening. Deputies claim that Canipe got out of the vehicle and reached into the back of his truck, which is when fear overtook Deputy Knox. Knox then fired not one but several shots at Canipe, hitting him once.

Ukrainian Neo-Nazis Declare that Power Comes Out of the Barrels of their Guns

Paul Craig Roberts
February 27, 2014

Image: Ukraine Uprising (Wikimedia Commons).
Reality on the ground in Ukraine contradicts the incompetent and immoral Obama regime’s portrait of Ukrainian democracy on the march.

To the extent that government exists in post-coup Ukraine, it is laws dictated by gun and threat wielding thugs of the neo-Nazi, Russophobic, ultra-nationalist, right-wing parties. Watch the video of the armed thug, Aleksandr Muzychko, who boosts of killing Russian soldiers in Chechnya, dictating to the Rovno regional parliament a grant of apartments to families of protesters.

Read about the neo-nazis intimidating the Central Election Commission in order to secure rule and personnel changes in order to favor the ultra-right in the forthcoming elections. Thug Aleksandr Shevchenko informed the CEC that armed activists will remain in CEC offices in order to make certain that the election is not rigged against the neo-nazis. What he means, of course, is the armed thugs will make sure the neo-nazis win. If the neo-nazis don’t win, the chances are high that they will take power regardless.

Members of President Yanukovich’s ruling party, the Party of Regions, have been shot, had arrest warrants issued for them, have experienced home invasions and physical threats, and are resigning in droves in hopes of saving the lives of themselves and their families. The prosecutor’s office in the Volyn region (western Ukraine) has been ordered by ultra-nationalists to resign en masse .

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ukraine’s Sickness and Europe’s Cure: Neo-Liberalism and Neo-Fascism Join Hands

Eric Draitser
February 25, 2014

ukraine_europe_asia_415_267The situation in Ukraine is evolving by the hour.  Right wing ultranationalists and their “liberal” collaborators have taken control of the Rada (Ukrainian parliament) and deposed the democratically elected, though utterly corrupt and incompetent, President Yanukovich.

Former Prime Minister, and convicted criminal, Yulia Tymoshenko has been freed, and is now making common cause with Noe-Nazi Right Sector, Svoboda, and other fascist elements, while the opposition’s nominal leaders such as Arseny Yatsenyuk and Vitali Klitschko begin to fade into the background. 

In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin undoubtedly watches with anxiousness.  In Washington, Victoria Nuland and the Obama administration rejoice.  However, perhaps the most critical development of all is soon to emerge in Europe, as the forces of Western finance capital prepare to welcome Ukraine into the fold.  They will come bearing the usual neoliberal gifts: austerity and “economic liberalization.”

With the overthrow of the Yanukovich government, the $15 billion of promised Russian financial assistance to Ukraine is in doubt.  According to Moody’s rating agency, “Ukraine will require $24 billion to cover a budget deficit, debt repayments, natural gas bills and pension support just in 2014.”  Without Moscow’s continued bond purchasing and other forms of financial aid, and with pro-EU forces taking control of the country’s economic and foreign policy, the outcome is not hard to predict: a rescue package from Europe and the IMF with all the usual austerity conditions attached.

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Lebanese media: Israeli air raid hits Hezbollah ‘missile site,’ kills ‘militants’

map-lebanon2Jerusalem Post
February 25, 2014

Israeli warplanes have struck Hezbollah targets near the Lebanese-Syria border, the Lebanese press reported late Monday evening.

“A number” of Hezbollah militants were killed in the airstrike, according to pan-Arab news channel Al Arabiya.

The target was a “missile base,” Al Arabiya quoted the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying.

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Russian Troops Take Up Positions In Sevastopol As Ukraine Teeters On The Brink Of Civil War

Michael Snyder
The Truth
February 26, 2014

Russian APC In SevastopolRussian military vehicles have been photographed in the main square of Sevastopol, and there are fears that Ukraine is about to plunge into a very bloody civil war.  The pro-Russian eastern half of Ukraine is in a state of shock, and many living there are openly calling on Russia to militarily intervene to protect them against the protest groups that have seized power in Kiev.

Down in the Crimea, where approximately 60 percent of the population is ethnically Russian, militia groups have formed to protect their region from the “fascist scum running around in Kiev with swastikas“.  That quote is from a recent Time Magazine article, and it demonstrates the extreme level of tension that exists between the two halves of Ukraine right now.  Perhaps a peaceful resolution can still be achieved, but at the moment a civil war seems quite likely.  And if war does erupt, the truth is that it is going to be exceedingly difficult for Russia to stay out of it.

And Russia is not just sitting back and waiting to see what will happen.  They are actively moving military forces into position for a potential conflict.  Just check out this excerpt from an International Business Times article entitled “Russian Ships Arrive On Ukraine’s Crimean Coast As Fears Mount Over Russian Invasion In the Region“…
According to Russian news site, Russian military ships carrying soldiers have arrived on Ukraine’s Crimean coast in what some are claiming could be the early signs of a Russian coup in the hotly disputed autonomous region of the Crimea.
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There are No Neo-Nazis in Ukraine. And the Obama Administration does not support Fascists

 Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research.

Svoboda is a Neo-Nazi Party, Ukraine’s fourth biggest party holding 36 seats out of 450 in parliament.

They’re also part of the Alliance of European National Movements along with the BNP and Jobbik.
Svoboda is supported directly by Washington.

This is Svoboda, the Neo-Nazi group that is doing the fighting in Ukraine.

Update February 24. The BBC headlines read: “We are putting our hopes in a new generation of politicians” amidst unconfirmed reports that an arrest warrant has been issued for the democratically  elected president.

Speaker of the Parliament Oleksandr Turchynov who allegedly issued the arrest warrant directed against President Viktor Yanukovych stated “We must move towards a national government by Tuesday”. That government, were it to be formed, would be integrated by Svoboda.

Scroll down to meet the “new generation of politicians” supported and financed by the Obama administration.  

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Is the U.S. Backing Neo-Nazis in Ukraine?

Exposing troubling ties in the U.S. to overt Nazi and fascist protesters in Ukraine.

Max Blumenthal

February 25, 2014 

"Information Clearing House - As the Euromaidan protests in the Ukrainian capitol of Kiev culminated this week, displays of open fascism and neo-Nazi extremism became too glaring to ignore. Since demonstrators filled the downtown square to battle Ukrainian riot police and demand the ouster of the corruption-stained, pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich, it has been filled with far-right streetfighting men pledging to defend their country’s ethnic purity.

White supremacist banners and Confederate flags were draped inside Kiev’s occupied City Hall, and demonstrators have hoisted Nazi SS and white power symbols over a toppled memorial to V.I. Lenin. After Yanukovich fled his palatial estate by helicopter, EuroMaidan protesters destroyed a memorial to Ukrainians who died battling German occupation during World War II. Sieg heil salutes and the Nazi Wolfsangel symbol have become an increasingly common site in Maidan Square, and neo-Nazi forces have established “autonomous zones” in and around Kiev.

An Anarchist group called AntiFascist Union Ukraine attempted to join the Euromaidan demonstrations but found it difficult to avoid threats of violence and imprecations from the gangs of neo-Nazis roving the square. “They called the Anarchists things like Jews, blacks, Communists,” one of its members said. “There weren’t even any Communists, that was just an insult.”

“There are lots of Nationalists here, including Nazis,” the anti-fascist continued. “They came from all over Ukraine, and they make up about 30% of protesters.”

One of the “Big Three” political parties behind the protests is the ultra-nationalist Svoboda, whose leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, has called for the liberation of his country from the “Muscovite-Jewish mafia.” After the 2010 conviction of the Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk for his supporting role in the death of nearly 30,000 people at the Sobibor camp, Tyahnybok rushed to Germany to declare him a hero who was “fighting for truth.” In the Ukrainian parliament, where Svoboda holds an unprecedented 37 seats, Tyahnybok’s deputy Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn is fond of quoting Joseph Goebbels – he has even founded a think tank originally called “the Joseph Goebbels Political Research Center.” According to Per Anders Rudling, a leading academic expert on European neo-fascism, the self-described “socialist nationalist” Mykhalchyshyn is the main link between Svoboda’s official wing and neo-Nazi militias like Right Sector.

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