There have been many wars — terrible wars — fought on Planet Earth over the past 100 years. However, the greatest war of them all could literally be around the corner, unless it is stopped by the people of this planet. The epic confrontation in the Ukraine presents the most dangerous and unprecedented conflict between the world’s superpowers since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Truly, this clash between East and West represents an economic, political and religious battleground that will dwarf every other war save WWI and WWII. If the conflict in the Ukraine is not resolved peacefully, it has the potential of evolving into a full blown World War III scenario.
That may sound like hyperbole until you read what is truly at stake for both sides of thisWar of the Titans. There is a very serious settling of scores going on with this intensifying skirmish that has multiple roots in history. On the one side, the real perpetrators want to get even as they so often do. On the other side, there is the inexorable force of destiny which compels them to assume a courageous stance toward a seemingly intractable situation.
The Ukraine conflict is fundamentally a war between East and West, between radically different cultures, different races, different religious orientations, and between very different people. Because of the profound lack of understanding on the part of the West, as well as the desperate agenda which they are fully committed to, it appears that this war will play out in some fashion no matter what. That doesn’t mean the world will once again be drenched in a hail of bullets and bombs. The post-modern battlefield often migrates into the economic sectors and financial realms, as this one has with the imposition of the Anglo-American sanction regime.
Because of the inherent combustibility driven by numerous historical animosities and cultural hatreds, financial necessities and economic pressures, there is just no telling how this ongoing saga will end up. While there are several weighty co-factors at work, there are also numerous variables which can short-circuit the extremely precarious current trajectory toward full scale war. Were that to happen, this world will be saved from untold trial and tribulation. If on the other hand war does break out, things will change very quickly depending on where one is domiciled on the planet.
Here are some of the primary financial and economic co-factors which have been exerting unparalleled pressures on both the West and the East:
• The Western banking system is broke, busted and disgusted. The banks are living on borrowed time and want more borrowed time before they literally go bust. The ever-increasing number of suicides of high-level bankers stands as testimony as to how disgusted either the bankers are, their bosses are, and/or both are. Because there are now so many banks that have been identified as TBTF (Too BIG To Fail), the amount of necessary support from the Federal Reserve is now untenable. This single dynamic has compelled the Western powers to steal money, precious metals, real estate, and whole national economies (read: the Ukraine) wherever they can.
• The fractional reserve banking system and fiat monopoly money it creates has always had an end date built into the fatally flawed model, which no one ever talks about because it’s simply too scary to consider. With each passing day, the entire civilization gets closer to that termination date. Those who sit at the peak of the Global Economic and Financial Control Matrix (GE&FCM) know the realities which they are personally facing. They also are grimly aware of the ultimate outcomes for the world-at-large. Hence, they do WHATEVER they can to forestall the date of doom.
• Because globalization has inextricably interconnected the financial and economic sectors throughout the community of nations, each and every market is deeply affected by the other markets. Just as the real estate collapse of 2007 and stock market collapse of 2008 demonstrated, the next bubbles that burst will have calamitous effects on all markets. To the extent that any is leveraged by another, will a domino effect be initiated. The most vulnerable markets at this point are derivatives, equities, bonds, commodities (especially precious metals like gold, silver and platinum), currencies and of course real estate.
• The ongoing technospheric breakdown, which is now accelerating due to Global Climate Change, will only add more fuel to this fire. At the end of the day, digital manipulations will only go so far in hiding gold that must be delivered to its rightful owners. Likewise, just as Superstorm Sandy shut down Wall Street, there are many other weaknesses and glitches which can be exploited by both Mother Nature and cyber-hackers alike. The ever-increasing lack of control by the GE&FCM exposes them and the rest of the world to more and more of these risky and perilous unknowns. The rapid advancement of technology is not only fundamentally altering the ‘game’ with each passing year, the obsolete technology and its IT infrastructure must be dealt with in a decisive and meaningful way.
The Ukraine is being staged as The Greatest Show On Earth
What the preceding bullets point to is a highly stressed world which has been experiencing a second Great Depression since 2008. Because there are no simple solutions, and LOTS of unavoidable adversity for many, those who control the GEFCMatrix have no other choice but to create various global dramas in order to distract and divert. It is their hope that these captivating and cataclysmic events will unfold for the rest of their lifetimes so that they will not have to deal with the eventual collapse of civil society.
This is just one reason why the current Ukrainian conflict was purposefully engineered in the financial capitals of the West. The decision-makers actually feel they have no alternative but to manufacture a world war 3 type scenario, much like WWI and WWII were fabricated in the very same capitals. What is at stake this time around, however, is far, FAR greater. The number of stakeholders is also much larger, as are the number and size of nations involved, both directly and indirectly. Simply put, everyone who sits around the Monopoly Board of Planet Earth has a HUGE stake in the ultimate outcome of the collision course in the Ukraine.
Herein lies the crux of the matter: The profusion of propaganda being disseminated by the MSM is so intense and thick that it reveals a profound desperation on the side of the West. Their many actions (and inactions) since the Ukraine first jumped off betray a push to war that exceeds all of their other illegal and engineered wars since 9/11. The big difference this time is that they are bumping up against a fierce and furious bear known as Russia.
Vladimir Putin embodies the will and resolve of Russia; he also represents the East, as well as an overwhelming worldwide consensus.
In Vladimir Putin, the West is confronting a polished warrior who will not be intimidated or threatened, deceived or bamboozled, bulldozed or railroaded … as the Anglo-American Axis (AAA) does everywhere else on the Planet Earth. Because the integrity of Ukrainian sovereignty (or lack thereof) directly affects the security and stability of Russia, there is simply no wiggle room in this evolving confrontation — NONE! When push comes to shove, Putin will be forced to respond with measures that protect Russia and safeguard her people first, second and third.
Surely, Obama, Kerry, Biden, Nuland et al. understand the extremely serious position in which they are putting Putin and the Russian Parliament. It is important to understand that both bodies of the Russian Parliament are completely behind Putin in this matter, without an iota of dissent. It is even more important to be cognizant of the fact that the BRICS Economic Union stands squarely behind Russia, as do perhaps 93 other nations which voted with Russia or abstained from the most recent UN resolution after the annexation of Crimea. Russia considered that critical vote of confidence to be a successful retroactive mandate, which the US then went on to attack as being coerced, even though it was actually Washington who threatened the dissenting nations.
That crucial UN vote alone reveals the massive and unprecedented support that Russia now enjoys among its peers within the UN General Assembly. The NATO powers, as well as the rest of the European Union, were quite surprised by the broad rejection of the coup d’état which the Anglo-American Axis (AAA) executed in Kiev. Each of those dissenting nations knows that they can be the next target of the AAA and their proxies, should they reside on the wrong piece of real estate in this unfolding geopolitical chess game.
The NATO nations have shown — repeatedly and dramatically — that they will attack anyone, anywhere, anytime they want to. The world now knows that NATO will act with complete impunity and total disregard for the opinion of the great majority of the nations of the world. This pattern of behavior has become so disconcerting to the community of nations that Russia is now looked to as the best candidate to stand up to the global bully known as the Anglo-Amercan Axis.
This evolving geopolitical chessboard is actually being set up by the real powers that be so that Russia will fulfill its duties in upholding the dharma of world governance. Putin knows that he has the support of the oppressed countries of the world. He also knows that destiny is on his side, Russia’s side, the BRICS side and the oppressed peoples of the world side. Furthermore, Putin knows that three’s a charm, as Russia was on the winning side of both WWI and II.
History provides an important perspective on the looming World War III.
This is where very few comprehend the significance of how the two previous world wars have set up the current geopolitical dynamic in favor of Russia and her allies. Much of the most relevant history can be reduced to two subjects as follows:
1) The Romanovs versus the Rothschilds (and Rockefellers)
2) The Creation of the Modern State of Israel
Both of these matters are intricately intertwined and can only be properly understood by rewriting volumes of history. Rather than alienate the readership with such accurate revisions, we have taken the liberty of reducing them to a few statements of truth. We leave it up to the reader to corroborate these facts on the internet, as each of them represents major contributing factors to the War of the Titans being played out in the Ukraine.
• Historically, Russia has always gone its own way. For instance, twice in the progress and development of the American experiment known as the United States of America, Russia came to its aid; once during the Revolutionary War, and once during the Civil War. Were it not for the presence of the Russian Navy in both instances, the outcomes of both wars might have been much different. In both cases Rothschild banking interests were heavily invested and affected by the direct intervention of Russia in those two wars of great consequence.
• Russia has been routinely disrespected by the monarchies of Europe as though they are the stepchild of Eurasia. There have always been those who have been tempted to exploit it’s vast size and wealth. Bolshevik Communism was one Western plot which succeeded in doing just that. That chapter known as the USSR was the final gambit in the chess game between the Rothschild family of Europe and the Russian Romanovs. It proved to be a disastrous enterprise which turned Russia into a crucible of pain and suffering. Out of that crucible has emerged a renewed nation, which has learned monumental lessons.
• The establishment of the Modern State of Israel was the primary reason for both World Wars I and II. Difficult though this may be to believe, a close reading of the actual history plainly reveals this purpose. Russian involvement in WWI came begrudgingly and unaware of the plot to use the Balfour Declaration to mobilize Jews towards Israel. What the USSR’s understanding of the hidden purpose behind WWII is unknown. However, no one can deny that the Western powers harbored strong intentions to further encourage migration of Jews to Palestine. Therefore, Russia’s role in this global machination can only be guessed at. Nevertheless, it was the Russian Jews who relocated there in the greatest numbers, which was critical to the establishment of the Modern State of Israel.
• The Ukraine was traditionally a safe haven for Jews throughout the last century … before WWII. While there were sporadic instances of repression, this great nation has served as a melting pot for different religions due to it location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Ukrainian tolerance has always been appreciated and enjoyed by many diverse cultures, religions, races and nationalities. It location, size, agricultural prowess, industrial might, etc. have always been coveted by neighbors and superpowers alike.
• The Ukraine suffered its own Holocaust during WWII, which was fantastically downplayed by the West. The New York Times even employed a ‘reporter’ — Walter Duranty – who explained away the genocide of millions of Ukrainians, known as the Holodomor, in the most casual and misleading way. Whereas this other holocaust was perpetrated by the USSR, it was actually ordered and carried out not by Russians, but by hidden elements within the Communist leadership for specific reasons.
The upshot of these revelations go way beyond what little has been stated here. However, in light of these crucial historical facts, there are major scores being settled by both sides of this evolving geopolitical chess game traditionally known as the Great Game. Whether this game was played out in the Crimea as it once was, or in Central Asia as we now see in Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, or on the North American continent, the pursuit on both sides has always been extremely vigorous, explosive, and of great consequence. After all, it is world supremacy vs. national sovereignty which is and has always really been at stake.
As the West backs Russia into the proverbial corner, they are severely limiting Putin’s options to either an epic military contest or highly destructive economic/financial warfare.
Who would have ever thought that a US President … VPOTUS … Secretary of State … and other high-ranking diplomats would engage in such an exercise of treacherous subterfuge, routine betrayal and incessant prevarication in order to foment war and revolution. The White House, it now appears, will fabricate any story that is required to trigger civil wars or start revolutions. Their conduct throughout the CIA-engineered coup in Kiev serves as the lowest point of statecraft in US history.
What is particularly shocking about Washington’s behavior is that they appear to be both shameless and without conscience as they execute their subversive implementation plans with their every move on the geopolitical chessboard. In so doing, they have tried Putin’s patience. Truly, the Nobel Peace Prize belongs to him (consider Syria), not Obama. Because of US bellicosity, Putin may be forced to launch a pre-emptive military action inside the eastern Ukraine.
In addition to this, Russia is also able to coordinate a series of financial and economic initiatives against the Ukraine which would, for all practical purposes, not only incapacitate the nation but also bring it to economic ruin … as in bankruptcy. The same strategies concerning Russian natural gas supplies, which utilize conduits throughout the Ukraine, would also make life very uncomfortable throughout Europe … as in turning off the lights or turning off the air conditioning and heat for the foreseeable future.
Should Russia decide to coordinate a more global strategy against the US, they may decide to unify the massive leverage which exists within the BRICS nations when acting in concert. Because many of their financial and economic dealings are now done below the radar, the stratagems that the BRICS employ are not telegraphed via the media. They are undertaken by stealth and with as much secrecy as possible. Each of these nations knows, especially Russia and China, that they are under direct attack by the US, EU and their proxies. India, too, has been under assault by the AAA as they experienced with the second indictment against their New York City based diplomat.
The European Union was created to function as a 2nd Superpower after the USA; then Russia and China and India could be marginalized, or at least more easily controlled, so they thought.
The truth be told, this was the very purpose behind the European Union. Creating the largest economic bloc of nations in the world, with the full force of NATO behind it, was the central organizing principle of the EU. Although there are many others, constructing a new unified military power and economic powerhouse is why the European Union was formed in the first place. The EU now serves as a rather monolithic force in matters of negotiation within the economic and financial realms, as well as in matters of war and other geopolitical conflicts. However, the EU takes orders begrudgingly from Washington as a thoroughly passive-aggressive partner, just as each member nation responds to unwanted dictates from Brussels.
The entire Eurozone has lost a tremendous amount of influence since the 2nd Great Depression that started in 2008. Particularly because the EU has been so dominated by Germany has its intended influence waned outside of its borders. Many of the member nations, especially the PIIGS, no longer march in lockstep with Angela Merkel’s financial Third Reich. Such latent animosities are boiling over and undermining the cohesiveness of an economic union that has but one engine — Germany. The PIIGS have simply dropped their oars.
Furthermore, the EU’s substantial reliance on Russian trade during a prolonged ‘recovery’ has lessened its resolve to join the AAA. The prospect of being involved in yet another world war within a hundred year span is not what Europeans want. Their unrepresentative overlords in the European Parliament in Brussels, however, see war as their only way out, just as they did prior to WWI and WWII. Hence, we once again see their drive to Moscow, as if the hard lessons from the Napoleonic Wars, WWI and WWII were not instructive enough!
Given the preceding analysis, it is clear that the Ukraine is shaping up to be the “War of the Millennium”. The opposing forces, which have been pitted against each other over many centuries, are as dug in as such disparate powers have ever been. East versus West are now represented by Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama respectively. Putin truly finds himself between the proverbial rock and hard place. He has the will and the courage to confront the GE&FCM cabal wherever and however he needs to, unlike previous Russian leaders.
Obama, on the other hand, has very little will and lacks the necessary spine to do the right thing. Granted, he is operating under enormous pressures, and risks his and his family’s life by not obeying his masters. Therefore, Obama will likely cave to every order that he is given in regard to launching military attacks and economic assaults against Russia. Unless other influential forces intervene post haste in this matter, it will only escalate, so determined are both sides to come out on top.
It is critical to note that “coming out on top” for Putin simply means neutralizing an existential threat to the Russian Motherland. Russia knows that the West is desperate to forestall the ongoing collapse of the Anglo-American brand of predatory capitalism, even if it means starting World War III. On the other side, the GE&FCM cabal is equally committed to victory in the Ukraine. They are also vulnerable to aforementioned existential threats, which in turn threaten the entirety of Western civilization.
Given the realities of a much larger conflict going on in the Ukraine — one where East and West are at loggerheads in the most profound and fundamental ways — there is very little that can be done on the political level or diplomatic fronts … unless the West relents. Russia, in particular, has been tested and put upon for many years by the West, in ways that are as extreme as they are completely unacceptable by any standards. The final breaking point has arrived, and the Ukraine appears to be the real location ofArmageddon.
Therefore, whoever is reading this essay — PRAY — for a speedy and successful resolution to this unrivaled “War of the Titans” — ASAP! If ever there was a need for Deus ex Machina, this decisive predicament is it.
State of the Nation 2014
May 1, 2014
If ever there was a geopolitical predicament that possesses all of the right elements for the global bully (aka the Anglo-American Axis) to have the shit kicked out of him, it is the Ukraine. This is the land of the Babushka, the Balaclava, and Beet Borscht. While none of those things may mean very much to those reading this essay, each carries great meaning in this civil war.
The Babushka is not to be messed with as they are the matriachs of the Ukrainian family. Mess with their families and you bring the wrath of God upon you — literally!
The Balaclava is the mask worn by many of those who have rebelled against the coup leaders in Kiev. Ironically, these masks were first known to be used during Crimean War of 1854 by the British troops fighting there. Not only do they keep the head warm, they also conveniently keep hidden the identity of those who now courageously defy the puppet, fascist government in Kiev that was put into power with 5 billion US dollars provided by the US Department of State.
As for Beet Borscht, anyone who understands the power that this food confers upon the nation who eats it regularly, they would also understand that you don’t want to tangle with that populace. The Ukrainians are an extremely robust and strong people. They have unusual perseverance and single-mindedness. Provoking a war between the eastern and western halves of the nation will produce a situation that is as explosive as it is interminable. Mutually assured destruction is all that will result from such a conflict, where EVERYONE loses.
 New York Times reporting by Walter Duranty on the Holodomor in the Ukraine:
“The Ukrainian famine of 1932-33 (Ukrainians call it the Holodomor) was engineered by Russian dictator Josef Stalin — and whitewashed from Duranty’s reporting for the Times. Duranty, who covered the country for the Times from 1922 to 1941, ignored Stalin’s atrocities, including the famine that killed seven to ten million Ukrainians. Duranty, who is “credited” for coining the phrase (referring to Stalin’s purges) “You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs,” said of the famine accusations, which were reported at the time by left-wing journalists like Malcolm Muggeridge: “Any report of a famine in Russia today is an exaggeration or malignant propaganda.” Another choice quote from Duranty: “Stalin is giving the Russian people-the Russian masses, not Westernized landlords, industrialists, bankers, and intellectuals, but Russia’s 150,000,000 peasants and workers-what they really want, namely joint effort, communal effort.’”
(Source: Ukrainians Protest Walter Duranty’s Bloody New York Times Pulitzer)
 Holodomor explained:
“The Holodomor (Ukrainian: Голодомор, “Extermination by hunger” or “Hunger-extermination”;derived from ‘Морити голодом’, ”Killing by Starvation” ) was a man-made famine in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1932 and 1933 that killed up to 7.5 million Ukrainians. During the famine, which is also known as the “Terror-Famine in Ukraine” and “Famine-Genocide in Ukraine”, millions of citizens of Ukrainian SSR, the majority of whom were Ukrainians, died of starvation in a peacetime catastrophe unprecedented in the history of Ukraine. Since 2006, the Holodomor has been recognized by the independent Ukraine and several othercountries as a genocide of the Ukrainian people. ” (Source: Wikipedia – Holodomor)
 The Ukraine as a nation suffered greatly under Josef Stalin’s tyrannical policies. The Ukrainians are as Russian as Muscovites are Russian. In truth, it was the people who bore the brunt of a despotic Communist regime in both places living under the oppressive USSR umbrella. The people cannot be held responsible for the atrocities committed by their rogue and immoral leadership. It is critical to understand who financed the power structure of the USSR, and chose the hierarchy at every point of its development. Therein lies just one of the long-simmering feuds going on in the background of this clash of civilizations.
© 2014 State of the Nation
Permission is granted to post this essay as long as it is linked back to the following url:
The Kremlin is preparing a new culture policy for Russia focusing on its distinctive civilisation and traditional values, which observers say has political ends amid Moscow's standoff with the West.
At the end of four hours of questions Thursday in his annual call-in, President Vladimir Putin waxed philosophical on what it means to be Russian.
Russians not only have their own "cultural code," he said, they also have a unique moral outlook -- unlike Westerners, Russians are selfless and prone to self-sacrifice.
"These are the deep roots of our patriotism," Putin said.
Tapping into perceived "traditional cultural values" of Russian civilisation, the culture ministry is drawing up a government strategy that observers say has all the trappings of a new state ideology, echoing Soviet legacy.
The authors preparing the document, who are kept secret, believe that such a policy must be based on the thesis that "Russia is not Europe" and generously quote from Putin's speeches.
The policy states Russia is at a historical crossroads and must make a choice between cultural extinction or the preservation of its unique "moral and spiritual foundations," which can only be done with a "state culture policy."
An early version of the document has been leaked to the press and is currently being examined by a Kremlin working group chaired by one of President Vladimir Putin's closest allies, chief of staff Sergei Ivanov, a former KGB agent recently blacklisted by the United States.
"Russia is an ancient, independent, distinctive civilisation," culture minister Vladimir Medinsky said at a press conference Wednesday.
In an interview with the Kommersant daily, Medinsky further added that Russia "is forced to culturally protect itself" from the what he sees as the depravities of Europe's contemporary culture.
"Perhaps Russia will be the last keeper of European culture, Christian values and truly European civilisation," said Medinsky.
"The main idea is that we have to defend ourselves from the West, that the West is evil," said political analyst Alexei Makarkin.
'Russia is not Europe'
"The Crimea events reinforced this trend" after previous attempts to root out Western influence such as the law on "foreign agents" targeting NGOs, he said.
"We lived like that in the Soviet era," he said. "Conservatives like it, those who want a comfortable, airtight world without irritating things like abstract art."
On Wednesday, philosophy scholars of the usually apolitical Russian Academy of Sciences said that the policy violates Russia's constitution by presenting a "required state ideology."
A public letter of 25 academy professors said that the concept "Russia is not Europe" was only an opinion that could not be inferred from Russian history.
"Such a free interpretation of ideas... is absolutely inappropriate in any self-respecting society," the philosophers said, adding that the government should encourage debate and research rather than dictate its views.
Medinsky on Wednesday tried to assuage fears of a return to Soviet-style censorship, where works of art or drama had to be reviewed by Communist party officials.
The Kremlin's new policy will be executed "not by bureaucrats" but by experts and respected culture figures, he said.
One expert sitting on a jury that decides state grants for artists promised to make his judgements based on artistic merit, not political need.
"We're established and independent people, not a military unit," said Eduard Boyakov, founder of Moscow's Praktika theatre who last month surprised many by signing an appeal in support of Putin's actions in Crimea, which was annexed by Moscow in a move condemned by the West.
But Boyakov admitted it remained to be seen how the new culture policy will be implemented.
"If there will be new plays and creative statements, then it means that it's working," he said. "If we all end up writing only about Crimea in iambic pentameter, then that's a different question."
Source: Agence France-Presse
Submitted by Simon Black via Sovereign Man blog,
In the Land of the Free, people grow up hearing a lot of things about their freedom.
You're told that you live in the freest country on the planet. You're told that other nations 'hate you' for your freedom.
And you're told that you have the most open and fair justice system in the world.
This justice system is supposedly founded on bedrock principles-- things like a defendant being presumed innocent until proven guilty. The right to due process and an impartial hearing. The right to counsel and attorney-client privilege.
Yet each of these core pillars has been systematically dismantled over the years:
1. So that it can operate with impunity outside of the law, the federal government has set up its own secret FISA courts to rubber stamp NSA surveillance.
According to data obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, of the nearly 34,000 surveillance requests made to FISA courts in the last 35-years, only ELEVEN have been rejected.
Unsurprising given that FISA courts only hear the case from the government's perspective. It is literally a one-sided argument in FISA courts. Hardly an impartial hearing, no?
2. The concept of 'innocent until proven guilty' may officially exist in courts, but administratively it was thrown out long ago.
These days there are hundreds of local, state, and federal agencies that can confiscate your assets, levy your bank account, and freeze you out of your life's savings. None of this requires a court order.
By the time a case goes to court, you have been deprived of the resources you need to defend yourself. You might technically be presumed innocent, but you have been treated and punished like a criminal from day one.
3. Attorney-Client privilege is a long-standing legal concept which ensures that communication between an attorney and his/her client is completely private.
In Upjohn vs. the United States, the Supreme Court itself upheld attorney-client privilege as necessary "to encourage full and frank communication between attorneys and their clients and thereby promote broader public interests in the observance of law. . ."
It doesn't matter what you're accused of-- theft. treason. triple homicide. With very limited exceptions, an attorney cannot be compelled to testify against a client, nor can their communications be subpoenaed for evidence.
Yet in a United States Tax Court decision announced on Wednesday, the court dismissed attorney client privilege, stating that:
"When a person puts into issue his subjective intent in deciding how to comply with the law, he may forfeit the privilege afforded attorney-client communications."
In other words, if a person works with legal counsel within the confines of the tax code to legitimately minimize the amount of taxes owed, that communication is no longer protected by attorney-client privilege.
Furthermore, the ruling states that if the individuals do not submit attorney-client documentation as required, then the court would prohibit them from introducing any evidence to demonstrate their innocence.
While it's true that attorney-client privilege has long been assailed in numerous court cases (especially with regards to tax matters), this decision sets the most dangerous precedent yet.
With this ruling, government now has carte blanche to set aside long-standing legal protections and even deny a human being even the chance to defend himself.
Naturally, you won't hear a word about this in the mainstream media.
But it certainly begs the question, what's the point of even having a trial? Or a constitution?
When every right and protection you have can be disregarded in their sole discretion, one really has to wonder how anyone can call it a 'free country' any more.
Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog ,
One of the big problems in America today is that a lot of people simply do not seem to care about what they are doing anymore. The level of sloth, laziness and apathy that we are witnessing in this country is absolutely mind-numbing. Of course this is not true of everyone. There are still many Americans that are extremely hard working. But overall, it really appears that people are not taking as much pride in their work as they once did. Some of the examples that I am about to show you are quite funny. Others are more than just a little bit disturbing. But they all have a common theme. Americans from all walks of life are simply giving up. Whether they are teachers, delivery people or fast food workers, the truth is that there are a whole lot of people out there that seem to have mentally checked out.
For example, take a close look at the midterm exam posted below. Does anything stand out to you?...
If you can't read the writing in the red box, this is what it says...
"In all honesty, I am already bored with this topic. It is far less interesting than I had hoped and I really don't want to finish this essay. I'm fairly sure you don't really read these so I'm just going to put enough words down to make it seem like I wrote a lot while I kill time. Wanna hear some words that rhyme with time?
Crime, dime, mime, (haha mimes are funny), chime, lime. Aw dude you know what has lime in it? Sprite, it like lemon lime. I could really go for one of those about now, but not sierra mist, that just isn't the same. It tries too hard to be sprite but it just cant pull it off. It should just try to be itself and stop trying to measure up to other sodas."
To be fair, there is a tremendous amount of debate about this photo on the Internet. Some people insist that no teacher would ever be so careless and that this picture must have been photoshopped. Others that have studied this photo insist that there is no sign of alteration and that it is 100% authentic.
I will let you come to your own conclusion.
What is undeniable, on the other hand, is that there are a lot of delivery people out there that simply do not seem to care anymore.
For example, in the YouTube video  that I have posted below, you can watch a postal worker drive her truck on to someone's lawn. She is so lazy that she doesn't even have the energy to take a few steps and place the package at the customer's door...
And in this next YouTube video , another postal worker does not even get out of his truck. He just carelessly tosses a package (which could contain something very expensive) toward the customer's home...
What would cause someone to act like that?
What has caused so many Americans to no longer take any pride in their work?
Another place where this can be seen frequently is at fast food restaurants.
For instance, the photo that I have posted below of a Wendy's employee gulping down soft serve ice cream with his mouth under the Frosty dispenser went viral on the Internet a while back...
I don't know about you, but to me that is absolutely disgusting. Needless to say, that worker quickly lost his job.
And of course there is no shortage of other fast food horror stories out there.
The following is one of my favorite examples ...
Tony Hill, a pastor in Baltimore, Maryland, once got a deep-fried mouse along with his chicken at Popeye's. The old "I found a rat in my fried chicken!" urban legend is decades old - this particular story was given a little credence, however, by the fact that local health authorities confirmed that the Popeye's in question had a rodent problem.
These days even the criminals are getting lazy.
In the little town of Denison, Iowa, a couple of thugs recently shot and killed an elderly couple  while they were attempting to steal some scrap metal...
A Denison man told investigators that he and another man shot two people, then set fire to a trailer with the victims inside, according to court documents.
Jayden Chapman said he and Michael D. Schenk shot Marvin Huelsing, 80, and Alice Huisenga, 81, on Monday, according to a criminal complaint and affidavit filed in Crawford County District Court.
This is the kind of thing that we are going to see a lot more frequently in the years ahead.
Those thugs thought that they would get away with murder by burning the victims inside their own trailer, but they foolishly left behind a receipt from the Wal-Mart where they had just been shopping at the scene of the crime...
A pickup truck more than 200 yards north of the trailer also was burned. Near it, investigators found on the ground a receipt from the Denison Walmart with a debit-card number from a food-stamp card. Authorities determined the card was assigned to Schenck.
In this case, justice was served by the slothfulness of the American people, and I hope that those murderers are given the highest penalty allowed by law.
But in general, slothfulness is a terrible thing. And it isn't just a few people that are being slothful. This is a national disease. I like how Jim Quinn put it in his recent article ...
The government controlled public education system has flourished beyond all expectations of your owners. We’ve become a nation of techno-narcissistic, math challenged, reality TV distracted, welfare entitled, materialistic, gluttonous, indebted consumers of Chinese slave labor produced crap.
But even though so many of us are aware of what is happening to us, we just can't seem to break out of it as a nation.
It really does seem like most people are walking around in a fog these days.
Maybe the fact that 70 million Americans  are on mind-altering drugs has something to do with it.
I don't know.
But unless Americans start taking more pride in their work again and start living their lives with meaning and purpose, it is going to be very difficult to envision a positive future for this country.
The 1950s/60s were not "normal"--they were a one-off, extraordinary anomaly.
If there is one thing that unites trade unionists, Keynesian Cargo Cultists, free-market fans and believers in American exceptionalism, it's a misty-eyed nostalgia for the Golden Era of the 1950s and 60s, when one wage-earner earned enough to buy all the goodies of a middle-class lifestyle because everything was cheap. Food was cheap, land was cheap, houses were cheap, college was cheap and most importantly, oil was cheap.
The entire political spectrum looks back at this Golden Age with longing because it was an era of "the rising tide raises all ships:" essentially full employment, a strong U.S. dollar and overseas demand for U.S. goods combined to raise wages while keeping inflation low.
The nostalgic punditry quite naturally think of this full-employment golden age of their youth as the default setting, i.e. the economy of the 1950s/60s was "normal." But it wasn't normal--it was a one-off anomaly, never to be repeated.Consider the backdrop of this Golden Era:
1. Our industrial competitors had been flattened and/or bled dry in World War II, leaving the U.S. with the largest pool of capital and intact industrial base. Very little was imported from other nations.
2. The pent-up consumer demand after 15 years of Depression and rationing during 1942-45 drove strong demand for virtually everything, boosting employment and wages.
3. The Federal government had put tens of millions of people to work (12 million in the military alone) during the war, and with few consumer items to spend money on, these wages piled up into a mountain of savings/capital.
4. These conditions created a massive pool of qualified borrowers for mortgages, auto loans, etc.
5. The Federal government guaranteed low-interest mortgages and college education for the 12 million veterans.
6. The U.S. dollar was institutionalized as the reserve currency, backed by gold at a fixed price.
7. Oil was cheap--incredibly cheap.
All those conditions went away as global competition heated up and the demand for dollars outstripped supply. I won't rehash Triffin's Paradox again, but please readThe Big-Picture Economy, Part 1: Labor, Imports and the Dollar (September 23, 2013).
In essence, the industrial nations flattened during World War II needed dollars to fund their own rebuilding. Printing their own currencies simply weakened those currencies, so they needed hard money, i.e. dollars. The U.S. funded the initial spurt of rebuilding with Marshall Plan loans, but these were relatively modest in size.
Though all sorts of alternative global currency schemes had been discussed in academic circles (the bancor, etc.), the reality on the ground was the dollar functioned as a reserve currency that everyone knew and trusted.
But to fund our Allies' continued growth (recall the U.S. was in a political, military, cultural, economic and propaganda Cold War with the Soviet Union), the U.S. had to provide them with more dollars--a lot more dollars.
Federally issued Marshall Plan loans provided only a small percentage of the capital needed. As Triffin pointed out, the "normal" mechanism to provide capital overseas is to import goods and export dollars, which is precisely what the U.S. did.
This trend increased as industrial competitors' products improved in quality and their price remained low in an era of the strong dollar.
Long story short: you can't issue a reserve currency, export that currency in size and peg it to gold. As the U.S. shifted (by necessity, as noted above) from an exporter to an importer, a percentage of those holding dollars overseas chose to trade their dollars for gold. That cycle of exporting dollars/importing goods to provide capital to the world would lead to all the U.S. gold being transferred overseas, so the dollar was unpegged from gold in 1971.
Since then, the U.S. has attempted to square the circle: continue to issue the reserve currency, i.e. export dollars to the world by running trade deficits, but also compete in the global market for goods and services, which requires weakening the dollar to be competitive.
In a global marketplace for goods and services, all sorts of things become tradable, including labor. The misty-eyed folks who are nostalgic for the 1950s/60s want a contradictory set of goodies: they want a gold-backed currency that is still the reserve currency, and they want trade surpluses, i.e. they want to export goods and import others' currencies. They want full employment, protectionist walls that enable high wages in the U.S. and they want to be free to export U.S. goods and services abroad with no restrictions.
All those goodies are contradictory. You can't have high wages protected by steep tariffs and also have the privilege of exporting your surplus goods to other markets. That's only possible in an Imperial colonialist model where the Imperial center can coerce its colonial periphery into buying its exports in trade for the colonies' raw commodities.
And very importantly, oil is no longer cheap. The primary fuel for industrial and consumerist economies is no longer cheap. That reality sets all sorts of constraints on growth that central states and banks have tried to get around by blowing credit bubbles. That works for a while and then ends very badly.
The 1950s/60s were not "normal"--they were a one-off, extraordinary anomaly.Pining for an impossible set of contradictory conditions is not helpful. We have to deal with the "real normal," which is a global economy in which no one can square the circle for long.
The senior lawyer for the National Security Agency stated unequivocally on Wednesday that US technology companies were fully aware of the surveillance agency’s widespread collection of data, contradicting months of angry denials from the firms.
Rajesh De, the NSA general counsel, said all communications content and associated metadata harvested by the NSA under a 2008 surveillance law occurred with the knowledge of the companies – both for the internet collection program known as Prism and for the so-called “upstream” collection of communications moving across the internet.
Asked during a Wednesday hearing of the US government’s institutional privacy watchdog if collection under the law, known as Section 702 or the Fisa Amendments Act, occurred with the “full knowledge and assistance of any company from which information is obtained,” De replied: “Yes.”
When the Guardian and the Washington Post broke the Prism story in June, thanks to documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, nearly all the companies listed as participating in the program – Yahoo, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and AOL –claimed they did not know about a surveillance practice described as giving NSA vast access to their customers’ data. Some, like Apple, said they had “never heard” the term Prism.
De explained: “Prism was an internal government term that as the result of leaks became the public term,” De said. “Collection under this program was a compulsory legal process, that any recipient company would receive.”
After the hearing, De said that the same knowledge, and associated legal processes, also apply when the NSA harvests communications data not from companies directly but in transit across the internet, under Section 702 authority.
The disclosure of Prism resulted in a cataclysm in technology circles, with tech giants launching extensive PR campaigns to reassure their customers of data security andsuccessfully pressing the Obama administration to allow them greater leeway to disclose the volume and type of data requests served to them by the government.
Last week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said he had called US president Barack Obama to voice concern about “the damage the government is creating for all our future.” There was no immediate response from the tech companies to De’s comments on Wednesday.
It is unclear what sort of legal process the government serves on a company to compel communications content and metadata access under Prism or through upstream collection. Documents leaked from Snowden indicate that the NSA possesses unmediated access to the company data. The secret Fisa court overseeing US surveillance for the purposes of producing foreign intelligence issues annual authorisations blessing NSA’s targeting and associated procedures under Section 702.
Passed in 2008, Section 702 retroactively gave cover of law to a post-9/11 effort permitting the NSA to collect phone, email, internet and other communications content when one party to the communication is reasonably believed to be a non-American outside the United States. The NSA stores Prism data for five years and communications taken directly from the internet for two years.
While Section 702 forbids the intentional targeting of Americans or people inside the United States – a practice known as “reverse targeting” – significant amounts of Americans’ phone calls and emails are swept up in the process of collection.
In 2011, according to a now-declassified Fisa court ruling, the NSA was found to have collected tens of thousands of emails between Americans, which a judge on the court considered a violation of the US constitution and which the NSA says it is technologically incapable of fixing.
Renewed in December 2012 over the objections of senate intelligence committee members Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, Section 702 also permits NSA analysts to search through the collected communications for identifying information about Americans, an amendment to so-called “minimisation” rules revealed by the Guardian in August and termed the “backdoor search loophole” by Wyden.
De and his administration colleagues, testifying before the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, strongly rejected suggestions by the panel that a court authorise searches for Americans’ information inside the 702 databases. “If you have to go back to court every time you look at the information in your custody, you can imagine that would be quite burdensome,” deputy assistant attorney general Brad Wiegmann told the board.
De argued that once the Fisa court permits the collection annually, analysts ought to be free to comb through it, and stated that there were sufficient privacy safeguards for Americans after collection and querying had occurred. “That information is at the government’s disposal to review in the first instance,” De said.
De also stated that the NSA is not permitted to search for Americans’ data from communications taken directly off the internet, citing greater risks to privacy.
Neither De nor any other US official discussed data taken from the internet under different legal authorities. Different documents Snowden disclosed, published by the Washington Post, indicated that NSA takes data as it transits between Yahoo and Google data centers, an activity reportedly conducted not under Section 702 but under a seminal executive order known as 12333.
The NSA’s Wednesday comments contradicting the tech companies about the firms’ knowledge of Prism risk entrenching tensions with the firms NSA relies on for an effort that Robert Litt, general counsel for the director of national intelligence, told the board was “one of the most valuable collection tools that we have.”
“All 702 collection is pursuant to court directives, so they have to know,” De reiterated to the Guardian.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, many hoped the cold war ideology could be put behind, and that the powers could work for a more co-operative and a better world. Nato had done its job.
There were many ways in which the former members of the Soviet Union in eastern Europe could have been given security for the future. Nato chose to provide that security by moving eastward to the borders of Russia. The then president, Gorbachev, in negotiating with secretary of state, James Baker, had insisted that Nato should not move one foot east – this was an area of traditional Russian influence. President Clintonpushed to expand the Nato alliance to the very borders of Russia. There was talk of Ukraine and Georgia being included.
The move east, despite the negotiations held with Gorbachev, was provocative, unwise and a very clear signal to Russia: we are not willing to make you a co-operative partner in the management of European or world affairs; we will exercise the power available to us and you will have to put up with it.
The message was re-emphasised years later, when President Bush sought to placeelements of the anti-ballistic missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic. America said this was aimed at Iran. Russia would not have believed that. The west was acting as though the cold war still persisted.
What happened a while ago in Georgia, and what is happening now in Crimea, grows directly from those early mistakes made by the west. The west has been angling over the years to draw Ukraine into Nato. It has been doing whatever it could to support a pro-European government in the Ukraine, and to oppose or to bring down a pro-Russian government.
In January, Seumas Milne described those fighting against the then government. If but a small part of what he then said was correct, the west has once again chosen some unsavoury partners and that does not augur well for the future. Milne then described the elements then fighting the government as pro-fascist, pro-nazi, anti-Jew.
The west has again been flat-footed and unprepared. There is a significant Russia minority in Ukraine; Russia would be bound to take steps to protect that minority. In addition, if Putin thought that the west was angling to get the Ukraine into Nato, he certainly would have taken steps as he has to guarantee access to the Black Sea ports in Crimea and to safeguard military establishments which could be used to threaten that access.
To protect assets in Crimea will always be a Russian objective. Western leaders and western media mostly paint the whole dispute as totally one-sided: it is all Russia’s fault, and Putin is preventing a true democracy emerging. The steps taken in the early days after the fall of the Soviet Union, the breach of what Gorbachev (I accept almost certainly mistakenly) believed to be a firm agreement that Nato would not move east, was bound to create difficulties for the future.
There will be no way out of this, unless the history and the west’s past mistakes are understood by those who are trying to grapple with the present intractable, difficult and extraordinarily dangerous problem.
There is another aspect of this which should give western powers even greater concern for the future. The US has embarked on what many regard as a foolish and dangerous policy in the western pacific: a policy of containment of China. Even Joseph Nye, a former Pentagon official, has said containment is the wrong approach to a rising China – the US policy should be one of co-operation. There have been discussions about possible strategic arrangements between China and Russia. Are the mistaken policies of the US and the unfolding drama in Ukraine going to push both Russia and China towards a strategic partnership?
Those who thought the cold war was over and hoped for a better world are being proved to be wrong. Those in charge of current policy are showing an inadequate understanding of the events unfolding before their eyes, and an inability to work co-operatively to guide the world more safely.