Monday, October 01, 2012

Empire building, NATO style: Welcome to the billion-dollar Temple of Madness

By Richard Cottrell: A former air force base near Brussels, dedicated to the His Majesty the Belgian King, is gradually being converted at an estimated billion dollars (for now – but just watch those numbers fly) to house the nerve center of the biggest war machine the world has ever known.
For the best part of 50 years the legions of peace keepers have been roughing it in a so called temporary structure, having received the unceremonious order of the boot from the late French president Charles De Gaulle, who grew tired with NATO’s various attempts to bump him off. De Gaulle’s sin was the independent French nuclear arsenal. So he slung NATO out, lock, stock and barrel with a single contemptuous wave of the hand.
The chief command post of the Cold War lost its logical reason d’etre in the instant that the Berlin Wall collapsed, along with the entire Soviet Empire. Yet NATO, like Topsy, just went on growing. Thanks to membership multiplying among converts to capitalism in Eastern Europe, NATO’s borders now lap Russia’s, with 28 members all told and more in the queue. This is a rather strange state of affairs given that the former Public Enemy Number One, the old bogey of communism, gave up the ghost back in 1989.
In normal circumstances, this spanking new structure would need to mount a telescope the size of the one topping Mount Palomar to scour the world for potential enemies. What happened of course is that NATO went looking for enemies under the banner of its new self-appointed role as global humanitarian Protector in Chief.

McGrath: “You Better Look at Reality… and Understand What’s Coming Next”

By Mac Slavo: Everywhere we look the masses are hurting. Whether it be the 100 million Americans dependent on the government safety net to survive, or the millions of Europeans rioting in the streets of Spain and Greece, a sense of serious crisis is in the air.
Over the last four years, slowly and without abatement, the economic outlook across the globe has worsened significantly.
In France, a new 75% income tax on individuals earning over a million Euro ($1.2 million) per year was announced today. Incomes of $150,000 will be taxed at 40%. French business owners and citizens are scrambling to leave the country to avoid the new legislation. This has been done to offset the billions being used to bail out failing banks and reckless government spending.
Similarly, in the United States next year, individuals and small business owners will be hit with massive tax increases as universal health care is implemented across America.
Last week the Spanish Congress had to literally barricade themselves behind police and locked doors as thousands of protesters stormed their Congressional hall demanding the resignations of every representative.
The austerity sledgehammer is coming down hard, and everyone is starting to feel it.

As Legendary Nurburgring Files For Bankruptcy, Broke Greece Launches Its Own Formula 1 Race Track

Tyler Durden's picture There is something very wrong with this story. Two months ago, the world's most legendary race track, Germany's Nürburgring filed for bankruptcy. As AP wrote then: "Germany's legendary Nürburgring racetrack and entertainment complex is effectively bankrupt. The circuit—which hosted Formula One's German Grand Prix last year—is to launch insolvency proceedings amid fears that it could run out of cash while the European Commission considers planned government aid. The state government in Rhineland-Palatinate, which owns the financially troubled Nuerburgring GmbH, decided on the move on Wednesday, the dapd news agency reported.... A state subsidy had been in place since a disastrous development plan left the 'Ring organization saddled with more than 350 million euros in debt. While the Nordschleife—the circuit's famous “North Loop” which covers more than 13 miles—generates healthy operating profits, the income does not cover the interest payments on the enormous debt incurred when the state entered into the plan with two developers, Kai Richter and Jorg Lindner." Sadly such is life in a world in which not everyone is bailed out by the government, and when it comes to the "fairness for everyone, bankruptcy for no one" doctrine, Germany has still not jumped on the bandwagon.
One country which has is the country which many say is alive only due to German generosity, is Greece. And in what may be the biggest slap in the face to Germany, and its recently defunct race track, is the news that Greece is now "unblocking a subsidy" (a subsidy which came from Germany) for €29 billion to, get this, build a Formula 1 racetrack. The same type of racetrack that just went belly up in Germany and cost countless jobs.

Johnson's Ohio Upset, Gitmo's 'Scariest Drug' and GMO Reality Show?


How London Aspired to Be Fraud Capital of the World - Bill Black

London and Wall St. in a dangerous competition to create a more unregulated environment for finance. Apparently since PM Tony Blair the FSA has been soliciting financial business by advertising the loosest regulatory morals on either side of the Atlantic. Not that the US is any paragon of virtue. Timmy is known as the go-to head boy for the biggest banks. But this is no surprise, because as Kansas City Fed governor Hoenig said, for the past twenty five years the selection of the US Treasury Secretary has been done by a de facto private auction to the biggest banks. Source

As Iran Rial Implodes By 20% In One Day, Follow The Death Of A Currency In Real Time

Tyler Durden's picture Iranian clerics' attempts to curb speculation in the Rial and stabilize the currency appear to have backfired as the un-official (real) Rial rate traded as low as 34,250 Rial to the USD this morning - a massive 20% plunge. Demand for gold is surging (as Tehran exchange volume is up almost 18% today) as the population appears to be readying itself for hyperinflationary death - as we wrote yesterday, it really is no fun in Iran. The following tables/links will allow the real-time monitoring of that market's collapse - since Bloomberg's official rates are entirely useless.

Via Reuters:
The rial's losses have accelerated in the past week after the government launched an "exchange centre" designed to supply dollars to importers of some basic goods at a special rate slightly cheaper than the market rate.

Instead of allaying fears about the availability of dollars, the centre seems to have intensified the race for hard currency by linking the special rate to the market rate, meaning that even privileged importers will face sharply higher costs.

"The government's initiative ... brought to the surface a tremendous lack of confidence in its ability to manage the currency," said Cliff Kupchan, a Middle East expert at the Eurasia Group, a political risk research firm. "The attempt to fix it triggered a worse crisis via market psychology."

"20 American embassies are under attack!" Media Have Become an "Enemy of the American People" Pat Caddell

In recent remarks to an AIM conference, "ObamaNation: A Day of Truth," former Democratic pollster and analyst Pat Caddell said, "I think we're at the most dangerous time in our political history in terms of the balance of power in the role that the media plays in whether or not we maintain a free democracy." Caddell noted that while First Amendment protections were originally provided to the press so they would protect the liberty and freedom of the public from "organized governmental power," they had clearly relinquished the role of impartial news providers.
Nowhere was this more evident than during the tragic death of a U.S. ambassador in Libya that was lied about for nine days, because the press and the administration did not want to admit it was a terrorist attack.
"We've had nine days of lies over what happened because they can't dare say it's a terrorist attack, and the press won't push this," said Caddell. "Yesterday there was not a single piece in The New York Times over the question of Libya. Twenty American embassies, yesterday, are under attack. None of that is on the national news. None of it is being pressed in the papers."

The Dangerous Health Effects of Eating GMO Foods + 'Death By Medicine' + 2 minutes on MonSatan

California's proposition 37 mandatory gmo labeling measure gaining speed and more.Dr. glidden breaks down the dangerous effects of eating gmo food and tells alex's listeners a better, alternative choice the government hopes you never find out about.

Report From The Turkish Syrian Border

Morris: A very real feel and account of the situation in Turkey from a Turkish man living on the border. Source

Is China’s Communist Party Doomed? - Could Beijing's ruling elite succumb to the same fate as those in the former Soviet Union? Perhaps

Minxin PeiBy : Last Friday's announcement in Beijing that the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will convene its 18th congress on November 8 has brought much relief to those concerned that political scandals and power struggle at the very top of the Chinese government have derailed the once-in-a-decade leadership transition.
Finally, the party's top leaders seemed to have agreed on what to do with the disgraced former Chongqing party boss Bo Xilai (likely off to jail) and on whom to promote to the Politburo and its more powerful standing committee.
For all the obvious reasons, China's ruling elites will do their best in the next few months to project an image of unity and self-confidence, and to convince the rest of the world that the next generation of leaders is capable of maintaining the party's political monopoly.
That is, unfortunately, a tough sell.  Confidence in the party's internal cohesion and leadership has already been shaken by the Bo affair, endemic corruption, stagnation of reform in the last decade, a slowing economy, deteriorating relations with neighbors and the United States, and growing social unrest.  The questions on many people's minds these days are how long the party can hold on to its power and whether the party can manage a democratic transition to save itself.
These questions are by no means the products of idle minds.  By many measures, the party's rule is about to enter a decade of systemic crisis.  Having governed China for 63 years, the party is approaching, within a decade, the recorded longevity of the world's most durable one-party regimes — the former Communist Party of the Soviet Union (74 years), the Kuomintang (73), and the Revolutionary Institutional Party of Mexico (71).   Like a human being, an organization such as the CCP also ages.

Shock To The System


CNN Exposed! Caught Producing "State Sponsored News" in Bahrain

The Amber Lyon story is just the latest in a series of articles that expose the total Joseph Goebbels like censorship rampant in mainstream media today. The first one I posted several weeks ago exposed how the NY Times basically just regurgitates whatever government officials tell them, while the other showcased how an NPR reporter covering D.C. had to leave and do her own thing out of frustration. This is precisely why alternative media sites are taking off. They provide the only outlets left for genuine journalism.
http://www.amberlyonlive.com/

So back to Amber. Back in March 2011, CNN sent a four person team to Bahrain to cover the Arab Spring. Once there, the crew was the subject of extreme intimidation amongst other things, but they were able to record some fantastic footage. As Glenn Greenwald of the UK's Guardian writes in his blockbuster article from today:

"In the segment, Lyon interviewed activists as they explicitly described their torture at the hands of government forces, while family members recounted their relatives' abrupt disappearances. She spoke with government officials justifying the imprisonment of activists. And the segment featured harrowing video footage of regime forces shooting unarmed demonstrators, along with the mass arrests of peaceful protesters. In sum, the early 2011 CNN segment on Bahrain presented one of the starkest reports to date of the brutal repression embraced by the US-backed regime.