Russia is once again ratcheting up the rhetoric, this time to a fever pitch. Just a day after Putin’s Security Council posted a remarkably accurate and amusingly concise assessment of US foreign policy aims on its website, a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry as well as President Putin himself are out with strong condemnations of both the NATO presence in Eastern Europe as well as US plans to arm Kiev.
As Americans, we tend to be pretty full of ourselves, and this is especially true of our young people. But do we really have reason for such pride? According to a shocking new report from the Educational Testing Service, Americans between the ages of 20 and 34 are way behind young adults in other industrialized nations when it comes to literacy, mathematics and technological proficiency. Even though more Americans than ever are going to college, we continue to fall farther and farther behind intellectually. So what does this say about us? Sadly, the truth is that Americans are stupid.
After disappearing for ten days from the public's eye, theories surrounding his absence ranged from the tabloidy (fathering a baby with a Russian gymnast), to the trivial (lower back issues), to the bizarre (another putsch in the Kremlin), to the idiotic (dead). All that can be cast aside when moments ago we saw with our own eyes that the Russian president simply wanted some time away and has now reappeared for his meeting with the Kyrgyz president. But while Putin may have kept a low visibility profile, he was very well heard, and as reported earlier today, the Russian president ordered nearly 40,000 troops in northern and western Russia to be put on full alert early Monday as part of snap-readiness exercises.
This anti-capitalistic mentality has brought about today’s essentially bankrupt “middle of the road” welfare state system, in which governments and big business are in a tight embrace that utterly deadens economic progress. The EU’s latest “Four Year Plan” is yet another in a long list of examples of this prototypical continental tradition (incidentally, Europe’s moribund banking system is one of the end results of these economic policies as well). What is really required is a return to free market principles, not yet another “government plan”.
"Gotland is a big worry for us. It could be overrun by Russia in minutes and then all of us would be highly vulnerable to an attack," warned one politician recently as it appears NATO fear-mongering and Russia sabre-rattling is having a significant effect on many of the Baltic Sea's border nations. As The FT reports, Sweden will put troops back on the strategic Baltic Sea island of Gotland after a decade-long absence and will also step up military exercises around the island involving the army, navy and air force. “Hunting submarines is a priority area," Sweden's defense minister explained, adding that "everything we do is a part of underlining Swedish sovereignty."
When things are this obviously crazy, anything is possible.
NATO's Not Enough! President Juncker Calls For Creation Of European Army To "React Credibly" To RussiaSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/08/2015 21:40 -0400
No lessor official than European Commission President (and liar-when-it's-serious) Jean-Claude Juncker has called for the creation of an EU army... in order to show Russia "that [The EU is] serious about defending European values." Juncker explained an EU army would "help us fulfil Europe's responsibilities in the world," arguing that NATO was not enough since not all EU members are part of the alliance. As one stunned euro-skeptic exclaimed, "we have all seen the utter mess the EU has made of the economy, so how can we even think of trusting them with its defence."
Back in 2009, the United Nations Statistical Commission endorsed a revision to the System of National Accounts (SNA), which sets the international standards for the compilation of national accounts. As a consequence, Eurostat has amended the European equivalent of the SNA, the European System of Accounts (ESA) leading to a revision of GDP figures. Out of nothing but accounting smoke and mirrors, the reclassification has had a positive effect on GDP, increasing it on average by 3.5 percentage points for the EU and the Euro area as whole.
Financial collapse is already baked in, and it's only a matter of time before it happens, and precipitates commercial collapse when global supply chains stop functioning. Political collapse will be resisted, and the way it will be resisted is by starting as many wars as possible, to produce a vast backdrop of failure to serve as a rationale for all sorts of “emergency measures,” all of which will have just one aim: to suppress rebellion and to keep the oligarchy in power.
Overview of the major events in the week ahead.
Who controls NATO, or the IMF? I’m sure you understand it’s not you. Still, when an organization exhibits aggressive behavior in your name, or lends out your money in your name, you should at all times feel that you are in control, through those you elect to represent you. Well, do you? Or are you merely thinking: that’s too far away from me? Organizations, like so many things in life, don’t scale up well, if at all. Beyond a certain critical mass, they become counterproductive, as Illich states. They become predators on their own creators. That goes as much for NATO, IMF and EU as it does for schools and hospitals.
When a Russian bomber flew over international waters some 25 miles off the southwest tip of England last week, UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon called Russia "a real and present danger." The UK government scrambled jet fighters to meet the Russian aircraft as a show of force.
Yet yesterday US combat vehicles conducted a military parade and show of military force just 300 yards -- yards! -- from the Russian border.
US Sends "Tankbuster" Jets To Europe Over Russia Fears After Germany Says "A Large Scale War Could Develop"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/18/2015 12:27 -0400
Karl-Georg Wellmann, a lawmaker in Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union has warned that, despite its efforts to avoid arms being provided to Ukraine, Germany "will no longer be able to stop weapons deliveries from from the U.S. and Canada." Almost too coincidental to these comments, CNN reports, the U.S. Air Force is sending its A-10 "tankbusters" back to Europe in order to "increase rotational presence in Europe to reassure our allies and partner nations that our commitment to European security is a priority." As Wellmann ominously concludes, seemingly confirming Putin's warning yesterday that if Kiev aims at a military solution, war will never end, "a large-scale war could develop out of that."
Prosperity Requires Privacy
The 2015 World Press Freedom Index highlights the worldwide drastic decline in freedom of information in 2014. The rise in overall violations of freedom of information was evident in all continents, but for America - the bastion of press freedom in the land of the free and "the most transparenet administration ever" - fell once again... to 49th!!