Sunday, 19 April 2015

Greek debt

The Greek "White Knight" Emerges: Putin To Give Athens €5 Billion For Advance Gas Pipeline Fees


18 April, 2015


With Greece teetering on the edge of insolvency and forced to raid pension and most other public funds, ahead of another month of heavy IMF repayments which has prompted even the ECB to speculate Greece should introduce a parallel "IOU" currency, a white knight has appeared out of nowhere for Greece, one who may offer $5 billion in urgently needed cash. The white knight is none other than Vladimir Putin. “Just because Greece is debt-ridden, this does not mean it is bound hand and foot, and has no independent foreign policy,” Putin said previously.



According to Spiegel, citing a senior figure in the ruling Syriza party, Greece is poised to sign a gas deal with Russia as early as Tuesday which could bring up to €5 billion into the depleted Greek coffers.

The move could now "turn the tide" for the debt-stricken country according to a senior Greek official.

As Reuters adds, during a visit to Moscow earlier this month, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras expressed interest in participating in a pipeline that would bring Russian gas to Europe via Turkey and Greece.







Under the proposed deal, Greece would receive advance funds from Russia based on expected future profits linked to the pipeline. The Greek energy minister said last week that Athens would repay Moscow after 2019, when the pipeline is expected to start operating.
Greek government officials were not immediately available to comment on the Spiegel report.

Of course, this being Greece, the probability of actual repayment is negligible: after all the likelihood of a Greek default is astronomical, and €5 billion will do little to change the mechanics of Greek debt sustainability. And Putin very well knows this.

However, the Russian leader is not acting out of the kindness of his heart, but merely engaging in another calculated move, one which kills two birds with one stone:
  • Following the death of the South Stream, whereby the EU pressured Bulgaria to refuse passage of the Russian gas pipeline to Europe, Russia needed an alternative route of bypassing Ukraine (and Bulgaria) entirely, something which according to Kremlin's plan should happen over the next 3 years. And with Hungary and Serbia all eager to transit Russian gas to the Austrian central european gas hub, Greece was the missing link for a landline transit. With this agreement, Russia gets the green light to extend the Blue Stream all the way to Austria and preserve its dominance over the European energy market while leaving Ukraine in a completely barganining vacuum.

  • Perhaps just as importantly, suddenly Russia will energy as the generous benefactor riding to Greece's salvation, in turn even further antagonizing the Eurozone and further cementing favorable public opinion. As a reminder, several weeks ago we showed that Russia already has a higher approval rating among the Greek population thatn the Eurozone. In this way, Russia has just won a critical ally for the very low price of just €5 billion, without even having to restructure the entire Greek balance sheet should Greece have exited the euro and been attracted to the Eurasian Economic Union. Which also means that all future attempts to impose further sanctions on Russia by Europe will fail thanks to the Greek veto vote.

Russia is not alone in seeking to divide the spoils of the collapsing Eurozone: Beijing has also sought to invest in Greece's infrastructure and bought up €100m worth of short-term government debt last week the Telegraph reports.


Ironically, it was none other than Germany's finance minister Wolfgang Schauble who said the Greeks are free to pursue deals with Russia and China as they rush to avoid an impending bankruptcy. Turns out the Greeks decided to do precisely as the German suggested, and the outcome will certainly not be to Germany's liking.


The only question following what may well be another masterful stroke by Putin is what will Europe do, now that Putin has in the span of under one year, not only "annexed" Crimea but fully drawn Greece (and the Mediterranean courtesy of Cyprus) into its sphere of influence.

*  *  *

While we are sure the European leadership will be 'disappointed' at Greece's get-out-of-Troika-jail card thanks to Russia, The Greek people have already expressed their opinion on just who they trust more...


Despite all the western propaganda...


*  *  *

Finally, for those confused about the flow of funds, here it is:

Russia (Gazprom) gives Greece money, which Greece uses to repay the IMF, which uses the Greek money to fund a loan to Kiev, which uses the IMF loan to pay Russia (Gazprom).

A perfect circle.


Operation Jade Helm

One might ask the question, what-the-hell is going on here?

I will leave it up to people on the ground to assess what is going on here. I am just the messenger

Caught On Tape: National Guard Troops Patrol California City, Conduct New Jersey "Homeland Response Drill"


17 April, 2015


Late last week, when we covered the various signs that "something big" may be coming, we discussed the one "exercise that people have really been buzzing about" - operation "Jade Helm", an “unconventional warfare exercise” during which the states Texas and Utah will be designated as hostile territory.

As previously profiled, "Jade Helm is a challenging eight-week joint military and Interagency (IA) Unconventional Warfare (UW) exercise conducted throughout Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado,” according to an unclassified military document announcing the training drill, which runs from July 15 through September 15.

Multiple branches of the US military, including Green Berets, Navy Seals, and the 82nd Airborne Division, will participate in the 8-week long exercise, which may result in “increased aircraft in the area at night.”

Troops will be tasked with honing advanced skills in “large areas of undeveloped land with low population densities,” and will work alongside “civilians to gain their trust and an understanding of the issues.”

The exercise, in which some participants will be “wearing civilian clothes and driving civilian vehicles,” lists Texas and Utah as “hostile" territory.

The proposed theater of operations of Operation Jade Helm is shown on the map below:


So while there are still three months until Jade Helm officially opens, various documented reports of substantial national guard drills and troop exercises are starting to trickle in early. As Paul Joseph Watson notes, the first documented proof of National Guard drills comes from Ontario, California where National Guard troops can be seen patrolling residential streets and practicing traffic control.

ol.

In the video troops, followed by a humvee, are seen marching close to an elementary school and single family homes.







I just watched it again and recognized the low block wall and the elementary school! It was right there where my sister and her husband live! OMG how frightening!” one YouTube commenter responded, while others insisted the patrols were a routine occurrence.
However, another respondent insisted that the patrol was not normal.
During the last few seconds I got a quick glimpse of my sister and brother-in-laws house on Fuschia. Ave,” wrote the commenter.”That motorcycle was parked almost in front of their house. They told me they saw this procession going on from their front yard. They have lived in that house for 30 or so yrs and this is the first time they have seen this type of thing in their neighborhood. Might be a common thing to do their training someplace else but not in that area.”

This is not the first such clip: a disturbing video out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida last month also showed military and law enforcement practicing the internment of citizens during martial-law style training.

Meanwhile on the eastern US easboard, the PostStar reports that nearly 600 Army and Air National Guard forces from New Jersey and New York "are preparing for the worst."



They are participating in a homeland response force drill at New Jersey's Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on Friday.
The troops specialize in rescue, security, decontamination and medical treatment.
The units will train to rapidly assess and identify a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear incident.

Of course, the bigger concern is that the real motive behind this major national guard exercise is not a focus on a "defensive" drill from an outside threat, but one dealing with a domestic threat.

How is that possible, some would say? Could the national guard really be preparing for a confrontation with the US population?

Unfortunately the answer is yes, as we reported last August in "Under What Conditions Can The US Army Engage Citizens: The Army's "Civil Disturbances" Primer" which lays out not only when the US Army (and national guard) can engage the US population, but lays out clearly the protocol under which the US army is specifically permitted to engage in "PSYOPs" against the US population.


Here are the salient points, as reported previously, from the primer which begins with the umbrella statement:







Civil unrest may range from simple, nonviolent protests that address specific issues, to events that turn into full-scale riots. Gathering in protest may be a recognized right of any person or group, regardless of where U.S. forces may be operating. In the United States, this fundamental right is protected under the Constitution of the United States...


"Protected" it may be, but as usual, the interpretation of the Constitution is in the eye of the beholder, or more appropriately, gun holder. Because shortly thereafter we further read the following:







The Constitution of the United States, laws, regulations, policies, and other legal issueslimit the use of federal military personnel in domestic support operations. Any Army involvement in civil disturbance operations involves many legal issues requiring comprehensive legal reviews. However, federal forces are authorized for use in civil disturbance operations under certain circumstances.

What circumstances? For the answer we turn to section, 2-8. To wit:





The Constitution of the United States provides two exceptions for which the Posse Comitatus Act does not apply. These exceptions are based upon the inherent right of the U.S. government to ensure the preservation of public order and to carrying out governmental operations within its territorial limits by force, if necessary. These two exceptions are—
  • Emergency authority. A sudden and unexpected civil disturbance, disaster, or calamity may seriously endanger life and property and disrupt normal governmental functions to such an extent that local authorities cannot control the situation. At such times, the federal government may use military force to prevent the loss of life or wanton destruction of property and to restore government functions and public order. In these circumstances, federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances (see DODD 3025.18).

  • Protection of federal property and functions. When the need for the protection of federal property or federal functions exists, and duly constituted local authorities are unable to, or decline to provide adequate protection, federal action, including the use of military forces, is authorized.
2-9. Laws passed by the U.S. congress include four exceptions to the Posse Comitatus Act. With the first three laws discussed below (10 USC 331–333) there is a prerequisite that the President must take personal action, including the issuance of a proclamation calling upon insurgents to disperse and retire peaceably within a limited time. The four exceptions, based on law are—
  • 10 USC 331. When a state is unable to control domestic violence and they have requested federal assistance, the use of the militia or Armed Forces is authorized.
  • 10 USC 332. When ordinary enforcement means are unworkable due to unlawful obstructions or rebellion against the authority of the United States, use of the militia or Armed Forces is authorized.
  • 10 USC 333. When a state cannot or will not protect the constitutional rights of the citizens, due to domestic violence or conspiracy to hinder execution of State or Federal law, the use of the militia or Armed Forces is authorized.
  • House Joint Resolution 1292. This resolution directs all departments of the U.S. government, upon request of the Secret Service, to assist in carrying out its statutory duties to protect government officials and major political candidates from physical harm.
In other words, if and when the US Armed Forces decide that rioting infringes upon any of these exclusions, then the constitution no longer applies and the use of lethal force becomes a viable option against US citizens.


It gets worse, because whereas one would expect that a "Constitutional expert" such as the president, Barack Obama would be the one tasked with interpreting if and when the Constitution no longer applies, the primer is quite explicit in handing over responsibility to "federal military commanders":







... federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situationto engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbance.


So should Obama resume his vacation even as things in Missouri escalate dramatically, and be "unreachable", it may well come to pass that Obama's opinion will be irrelevant not only whether the National Guard should be unleashed in Ferguson, but whether Posse Comitatus is suddenly null and void.


The good news: the use of lethal force is not the only option the US Army would have if and when it engages with the population. US citizens may simply  be herded into "temporary internment camps" for reindoctrination purposes under the supervision of PSYOP Officer (no really, they used that word), as follows from the Army's FM3-39.40 "Internment and Resettlment Operations"manual:







Internment and Resettlement (I/R) operations facilitate the ability to conduct rapid and decisive combat operations; deter, mitigate, and defeat threats to populations that may result in conflict; reverse conditions of human suffering; and build the capacity  of a foreign government to effectively care for and govern its population. This includes capabilities to conduct  shaping operations across the spectrum of military operations to mitigate and defeat the underlying conditions  for conflict and counter the core motivations that result in support to criminal, terrorist, insurgent, and other destabilizing groups. I/R operations also include the daily incarceration of U.S. military prisoners at facilities  throughout the world.
An adaptive enemy will manipulate populations that are hostile to U.S. intent by instigating mass civil disobedience, directing criminal activity, masking their operations in urban and other complex terrain, maintaining an indistinguishable presence through cultural anonymity, and actively seeking the traditional sanctuary of protected areas as defined by the rules of land warfare. Such actions will facilitate the dispersal of threat forces, negate technological overmatches, and degrade targeting opportunities. Commanders will use technology and conduct police intelligence operations to influence and control populations, evacuate detainees and, conclusively, transition rehabilitative and reconciliation operations to other functional agencies. The combat identification of friend, foe, or neutral is used to differentiate combatants from noncombatants and friendly forces from threat forces.


Presenting army camps, hopefully not in a city near you:







Detainee facilities, an important planning consideration, are treated in the same basic fashion as any base camps. The same basic planning considerations are taken into  account. Some detainee facilities will be subordinate to a larger base camp but they may also be at a separate location.
Of course, none of this will be needed if the Army's Psyops work as required:







The PSYOP officer in charge of supporting I/R operations serves as the special staff officer responsible for PSYOP. The PSYOP officer advises the military police commander on the psychological impact of military police or MI actions to prevent misunderstandings and disturbances by detainees and DCs. The supporting I/R PSYOP team has two missions that reduce the need to divert military police assets to maintain security in the I/R facility.  The team—
  • Assists the military police force in controlling detainees and DCs.
  • Introduces detainees or DCs to U.S. and multinational policy.
  • Develops PSYOP products that are designed to pacify and acclimate detainees or DCs to accept U.S. I/R facility authority and regulations.
  • Gains the cooperation of detainees or DCs to reduce the number of guards needed.
  • Identifies malcontents, trained agitators, and political leaders within the facility who may try to organize resistance or create disturbances.
  • Develops and executes indoctrination programs to reduce or remove antagonistic attitudes.
  • Identifies political activists.
  • Provides loudspeaker support (such as administrative announcements and facility instructions when necessary).
  • Helps the military police commander control detainee and DC populations during emergencies.
  • Plans and executes a PSYOP
In other words, if and when the time comes to "override" Posse Comitatus, random US citizens may have two options: i) end up in the US version of a Gulag or, worse, ii) be shot. For now, however, just keep an eye on the various drill videos to get a sense of the US army's preparedness in dealing with "civil disobedience."

This is from a couple of days ago

Signs That 'The Elites' Are Feverishly Preparing For Something Big
Michael Snyder

Police State Riot Control Exercise - Public Domain

17 April, 2015


What in the world are the elite up to?  In recent days, we have learned that the New York Fed is moving a lot of operations to Chicago because of concerns about what a “natural disaster” could do, the federal government is buying 62 million rounds of ammunition commonly used in AR-15 semi-automatic rifles for “training” purposes, and NORAD is moving back into Cheyenne Mountain because it is “EMP-hardened”.  In addition, government authorities have scheduled a whole host of unusual “training exercises” all over the nation.  So are the elite doing all of this in order to prepare for something really BIG, or should we just chalk up all of this strange activity to rampant government paranoia?

First, let’s talk about what the New York Fed has been doing.  What kind of natural disaster would be bad enough to completely shut down the operations of the New York Federal Reserve Bank?  It would have to be something very unusual, and apparently the New York Fed is very concerned that such an event could happen.  According to Reuters, the New York Fed has been transferring personnel to Chicago and building up its satellite office there just in case a “natural disaster” makes it impossible for normal operations to continue in New York…



The New York branch of the U.S. Federal Reserve, wary that a natural disaster or other eventuality could shut down its market operations as it approaches an interest rate hike, has added staff and bulked up its satellite office in Chicago.

Some market technicians have transferred from New York and others were hired at the office housed in the Chicago Fed, according to several people familiar with the build-out that began about two years ago, after Hurricane Sandy struck Manhattan.

Officials believe the Chicago staffers can now handle all of the market operations that are done daily out of the New York Fed, which is the U.S. central bank’s main conduit to Wall Street.

This seems very odd.

In all of U.S. history, there has never been a natural disaster in New York City that would have been bad enough to totally shut down the operations of the New York Fed for an extended period of time.

So why are they so concerned?

Well, I can think of one event that could cause such a disruption…

An east coast tsunami.

This is something that I wrote about in this article.  But other than that, it is hard to imagine a natural disaster which could shut down the New York Fed for an extended period of time.

Another very odd thing that we learned about this week is an absolutely massive purchase by the government of ammunition that is commonly used in AR-15 semi-automatic rifles.  The following comes from an article by Paul Joseph Watson


The Department of Homeland Security is set to purchase over 62 million rounds of ammo typically used in AR-15 semi-automatic rifles, just weeks after the ATF was forced to back down on a ban on M855 bullets.

A posting on FedBizOpps.gov this week reveals that the DHS is looking to contract with a company to provide 12.6 million rounds of .223 Remington ammunition per year for a period of five years – totaling 62.5 million bullets.

The solicitation explains that the purchase is intended, “to achieve price savings over the current .223 Rem duty ammunition.” The bullets will be used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents nationwide for “training” purposes.

Why in the world would U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents nationwide need such a massive amount of ammunition for “training” purposes?

That seems very odd.

Something else that seems very strange is the fact that NORAD is moving back into Cheyenne mountain after all these years…


It shut down nearly ten years ago as the threat from Russia seemed to subside, but this week the Pentagon announced that Cheyenne Mountain will once again be home to the most advanced tracking and communications equipment in the United States military.

The shift to the Cheyenne Mountain base in Colorado is designed to safeguard the command’s sensitive sensors and servers from a potential electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, military officers said.

The Pentagon last week announced a $700 million contract with Raytheon Corporation to oversee the work for North American Aerospace Command (NORAD) and US Northern Command.

Admiral William Gortney, head of NORAD and Northern Command, said that ‘because of the very nature of the way that Cheyenne Mountain’s built, it’s EMP-hardened.’

So the U.S. military is concerned about an EMP attack all of a sudden?

Spending 700 million dollars to move back inside a mountain just because it is “EMP-hardened” is a pretty big deal.

Do they know something that we on’t?

On top of everything else, we have been seeing lots of strange “training exercises” being scheduled all over the nation recently.

For example, the following is from a news story about one being held in Iowa


This week you may notice extra emergency vehicles and public safety officers running around in tactical gear, Hazmat suits, and bomb suits. It’s a part of a statewide drill Des Moines is hosting Tuesday and Wednesday to prepare emergency personnel for dealing with weapons of mass destruction.

Brian O’Keefe with the Des Moines Fire Department said emergency officials in Iowa need to be prepared for anything.

You know we’re number one seed producer with corn and soy, chicken embryo development, middle of the country heartland. So I’m sure all states access it. But we’re a target like any other large community,” said O’eefe.

And here is an excerpt form a news story about an exercise known as “Northern Exposure” that is being held in Michigan


The National Guard event is called Northern Exposure, which is taking place across Michigan during the month of June, he said. According to the Michigan National Guard website, Northern Exposure is “a major exercise in Michigan where the military provides defense support to civilian authorities.”

In addition, the U.S. military will be conducting some “unusual” training activity out in Arizona and California


If you see some unusual helicopters overhead in the next couple of days, there’s nothing to worry about.

The I Marine Expeditionary Force G-7 will be conducting a Realistic Military Training this week, using the Prescott Municipal Airfield as a helicopter refueling point in order to facilitate a Long Range Raid at Camp Navajo, Arizona.

This Certification Exercise (CERTEX) is directed to be conducted from April 8-21, 2015 at various training locations throughout California and Arizona. The training at Prescott will take place on April 15, 16.

All of this is in addition to the exercise that people have really been buzzing about.  It is called “Jade Helm”, and in this particular “unconventional warfare exercise”, the states of Texas and Utah will be designated as “hostile territory”

Jade Helm is a challenging eight-week joint military and Interagency (IA) Unconventional Warfare (UW) exercise conducted throughout Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado,” according to an unclassified military document announcing the training drill, which runs from July 15 through September 15.

Multiple branches of the US military, including Green Berets, Navy Seals, and the 82nd Airborne Division, will participate in the 8-week long exercise, which may result in “increased aircraft in the area at night.”

Troops will be tasked with honing advanced skills in “large areas of undeveloped land with low population densities,” and will work alongside “civilians to gain their trust and an understanding of the issues.”

The exercise, in which some participants will be “wearing civilian clothes and driving civilian vehicles,” lists Texas and Utah as “hostile” territory.
Should we be alarmed by these exercises?

Some people sure think so.

Another thing that has people scratching their heads are the weird closures of Wal-Mart stores all over the nation for supposed “plumbing problems”…


Not just one, but five Walmart stores across the U.S. are closing their doors due to plumbing problems that, in some cases, will take four to six months to repair.

Those closing include locations in Livingston and Midland, Texas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and near Los Angeles.

For the Brandon Walmart, I talked to Hillsborough County and Walmart to get answers about why these plumbing repairs will take so long and whether the issues are connected, but local customers are already skeptical.

Why is it just plumbing problems? It’s gonna take them six months to fix up the store?” asked customer John Mambrl.

Yes, is it really going to take them six months to fix the toilets?

Either someone at Wal-Mart is extremely incompetent, or there is something fishy going on here.

In the end, perhaps there is nothing to any of this.

Perhaps all of these examples are just unrelated coincidences.




If it weren't for slightly saner heads I would end to dismiss this. I will leave you with Alex Jones who will milk this for all it is worth