Wednesday 31 October 2018

A request for donations

A request

I very rarely put my hand out for donations and run this blog on my own resouces.

However, I do have occasional expenses and my PayPal account is empty.

For example, these days I often have to fork out various amounts of money to get material from people who are dependent on donations for their activity.

I would be very grateful if you have anything to spare to make a donation by using the button on the right side of this page.

Thank you

Why is there a trainload of tanks heading for the US-Mexican border?

It is the contention of Hal Turner, who has been right about some important things and equally wrong about some others that the meaning of the trainload of US tanks on their way to the US-Mexico border is not so much to do with the migrant caravan as to some threat from China and Russia.

I would say that Mr. Turner is on some very thin ground on this and is hardly likely to be right

Video: Trainload of U.S. TANKS Heading to Border w/ Mexico -- Chinese and Russian Troops Massing in Venezuela

30 October, 2018

A trainload of M1A2 Abrams Tanks, self-propelled artillery and other military hardware was captured on video twice since October 29; once moving near the Tehachapi Depot Museum outside of Bakersfield, CA and then today, moving south in the Sonoran Desert, southwest of Tucson, AZ.

Initially, the entity which sent us this video thought it had to do with the so-called "migrant caravans" heading toward the US Border from Mexico. But this struck us as highly unlikely; one does not use tanks and artillery on migrants. Turns out, it is something FAR worse . . .

Last night The Hal Turner Radio Show published a story about Venezuela closing its border with Colombia, after the President of Colombia told Brazil's new President he would support a military action to oust President Maduro in failed Venezuela.

After publishing that story, I was alerted by my former colleagues from my years doing national security intelligence with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, that Brazil was already moving 17,000 troops to its border with Venezuela . . . . BECAUSE China and Russia have begun seriously massing troops inside Venezuela.

It now appears that Venezuela has agreed to become a de facto military base for Russian and Chinese troops, and the reason they are massing troops there is now speculated to be for an invasion of the continental United States.

Yes, you just read those words.

Perhaps that explains why the video below shows a trainload of US heavy armor being moved from near Bakersfield, CA to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona.

There is now ongoing and serious discussion in the Intelligence Community as to the feasibility of Russia and China joining together in Venezuela to stage a massive military build-up, with the purpose of launching a ground invasion of the continental United States, to settle their disagreements with us once and for all.

Hal Turner shows his political colours in the way he discusses the election of a fascist in Brazil.

over Military Action on Venezuela

"With the election of Jair Bolsonaro as President in Brazil, Donald Trump already has a strong ally with which to develop a tailor-made policy for Latin America , especially his plans for the possibility of a multilateral armed intervention to put an end to the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. ..."

A mainstream American view.

The author of this article is from the Venezulan right-wing media.

Russia in Venezuela?

Times have changed in Latin America: China and Russia have a significant military presence in the region. A military intervention in Latin America by the United States may require negotiations with China. The United States is the first military power in the world, but Russia (2nd) and China (3rd) are the next in the list. It should be noted that, although China and Russia have a relevant military participation in Venezuela, Chinese activities are much more extensive than Russian. Until now, the figures of Russian GDP per capita have been better than China, but the trend is changing. In addition to, The Russian economy was strongly hit by Western sanctions after the annexation of Crimea. The Chinese economy is way bigger than the Russian.

According to the Strategic Institute of the United States Army, China at the end of 2008 installed operations commands in Venezuelan military bases, located around Caracas. Huawei has been one of the key companies involved in this project. China funded the training of a group of UNEFA students, supervised by Huawei. In the Military University Institute of Communications and Electronics of the Armed Forces (IUMCOELFA), a $ 54 million laboratory was installed. In 2008, Venezuela ordered 18 K-8 aircraft in 2008. In 2012, the Venezuelan government signed a contract with the company NORINCO. Chinese arms conglomerates such as NORINCO have provided Venezuela K-8 aircraft and JYL-1 radars.

By the end of 2010, Venezuela was evaluating the purchase of a broad range of Chinese systems, including such command and control systems as high frequency (HF), ultra high frequency (UHF), and very high frequency (VHF) communications systems; IGLA missile systems; antiaircraft guns; biodegradable mines bridging equipment; utility aircraft; antisubmarine aircraft; ground-attack aircraft; long-range sea surveillance aircraft; coastal patrol aircraft; frigates; submarines; and more (Evan Ellis, Institute of Strategic Studies, 2011).

According to the data of the Strategic Studies of the United States, between 2001 and 2013, Russia could have received 14.5 billion dollars for the sale of arms in Latin America (11 billion from Venezuela). The export of Russian weapons has been hit by the crisis in Venezuela, according to Evan Ellis. China could have taken advantage of the situation to position itself in a market that, until 2013, had been dominated almost exclusively by Russia. Since 2006, Venezuela and Russia have signed contracts for the establishment of military training centers in the Caribbean country. The Russians have trained the Venezuelans to handle the Russian helicopters. The Russian companies Tranzas and KamAZ have also operated in Venezuela.

However, this information does not match that provided by Alexander Sevostyanov, Advisor on Latin American Affairs of the Russian-Venezuelan bank Evrofinance Mosnarbank. According to Sevostyanov, the figures have been exaggerated by Evan Ellis. Russia, in reality, only received 6 billion dollars for the sale of arms to Latin America - 4 thousand from Venezuela. Mr. Sevostyanov, however, made it clear that Venezuela is the most reliable client in Latin America. The purchase of Russian weapons was financed through the intergovernmental credit granted by the Russian Federation to Venezuela.

The investigations of the United States Army and the official information provided by the embassies, binational banks, and foreign workers in Venezuela coincide in something: Venezuela is an essential strategic ally for the geopolitical interests of China and Russia. The Caribbean country has a privileged geographic location and the emerging powers have positioned themselves militarily in our territory. For better or worse, the Venezuelan armament park is very well diversified and a military intervention to solve the Venezuelan crisis may require a negotiation among world powers. It seems that the key to ending the humanitarian and political crisis in Venezuela is held by the Chinese.

The Embassy of the Russian Federation in Venezuela, according to its official website, has a section of military attachés. The Venezuelan military, in its various areas, has the advice of the Russian military. The most important are: Pavel Trofimov, Alexey Ovsyannikov, and Andrey Zima. Russia, the second most important military force in the world, provides assistance to Venezuela.

The possibility of military intervention in Venezuela should not be taken lightly; No one here is playing and no option has been ruled out. We must take into account, that Shannon O'Neil, Senior Partner of Latin American Studies of the Council on Foreign Relations, has compared the possible intervention in Venezuela with Iraq. The consequences of the intervention in Iraq are still visible to all.

China matters. At some degree, the solution of the crisis in Venezuela lies with United States, China, Russia, Iran, India, Colombia, Brazil, and Cuba. Until 2015, Forbes commented that Venezuela was the main destination for Chinese investments in Latin America. According to Open Democracy NGO, the costs of intervening militarily in a country that is an ally of China without the latter’s consent could prove catastrophic in the long-term, and largely exceed the benefits that could be reaped.

At this point, nobody knows exactly what is going to happen in Venezuela. No political leader controls all internal and external variables to predict what this will end up with. The truth is that you can not underestimate the role of Beijing in a possible way out of the Venezuelan crisis. The future of Venezuela is, to some extent, in the hands of China. The United States and the Western world have to negotiate. What will happen in Venezuela?

Fascism in Latin America on the march

Fascism on the March

by Peter Koenig for The Saker Blog
Saker drawing from community
30 October, 2018

Latin America is re-converting into Washington’s backyard and as a sideline is returning to fascist rule, similar but worse than the sixties seventies and eighties, which stood under the spell of the CIA-led Operation or Plan Condor. Many call the current right-wing trend Operation Condor II which is probably as close to the truth as can be. It is all Washington / CIA fabricated, just with more rigor and more sophistication than Plan Condor of 40 and 50 years ago. As much as it hurts to say, after all the glory and laurels sent out to Latin America – with Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, Rafael Correa, Evo Morales, Lula, the Kirchners, José Mujica, Michelle Bachelet – more than 80% of the population of Latin America were living for some 15 to 20 years under democratically elected mostly left-leaning governments, really progressive. – Within no time, in less than 3 years the wheels have turned.
Latin America was for about 20 years the only western part of the world, that was fully detached from the fangs of the empire. It has succumbed again to the forces of evil, to the forces of money, the forces of utter corruption and greed. The people of Latin America have betrayed their own principles. They did it again. Humans remain reduced as in ancient times, to the unfailing powers of reproduction and ego cum greed. It seems in the end, ego and greed always win over the forces of light, of good, peace and harmony. That’s why even the World Bank calls corruption the single most hindrance to development. They mean economic development; I mean conscientious development. This time the trick is false and fraudulent election campaigns; bought elections; Washington induced parliamentary coups – which in Brazil brought unelected President Temer to power, a prelude to much worse to come, the fascist, misogynist, racist, and self-styled military man, Jair Bolsonaro.
The 2015 presidential election in Argentina brought a cleverly Washington manufactured win for Mauricio Macri, a friend and one-time business associate of Donald Trump’s, as it were. The election was manipulated by the by now well-known Machiavellian Cambridge Analytica method of cheating the voters by individualized messages spread throughout the social media into believing all sorts of lies about the candidates. Voters were, thus, hit on the head by surprise, as Macri’s opponent, the left-leaning Daniel Scioli of the Peronist Victory Front, the leader in the polls, was defeated.
Today Macri has adopted a fascist economic agenda, indebted the country with IMF austerity packages, increased unemployment and poverty from12% before his election in 2015 to close to 40 % in 2018. He is leading Argentina towards a déjà-vu scenario of the 80s and especially 1990’s when under pressure from the US, IMF and World Bank, the country was to adopt the US dollar as their local currency, or to be exact, Argentina was allowed to keep their peso, but had to commit to a one-to-one parity with the US dollar. The official explanation for this, in economic terms, criminal move (to impose the use of the currency of one country for the economy of another country is not only insane, its outright criminal), was to stop skyrocketing inflation – which temporarily it did, but to the detriment of the working class, for whom common staple and goods became unaffordable.
Disaster was preprogrammed. And the collapse of Argentine’s economy happened in 2000 and 2001. Finally, in January 2002, President Eduardo Duhalde ended the notorious peso-dollar parity. The peso was first devalued by 40% – then it floated towards a 70% devaluation and gradually pegged itself to other international trading currencies, like the euro, the Japanese yen and the Chinese yuan. Eventually, the newly floating currency allowed the Argentine economy to get a new boost and recovered rapidly. Perhaps too rapidly, for Argentina’s own good.
The economy grew substantially under the left, fully democratically elected Kirchner Governments. Not only did the economy grow rapidly, it also grew in a widely ‘distributive’ mode, meaning reducing poverty, assessed at almost two thirds of the population in 2001, cutting it to about 12%, just a month before Macri was catapulted into office, by Washington and Cambridge Analytica in December 2015. Argentina has become rich again; she can now be milked again and sucked dry by the banking sector, and international corporatism, all protected by three to be newly established US military bases in the provinces of Neuquen, Misiones and Tierra del Fuego. They will initially be under the US Southern Command, but most likely soon to be converted into NATO bases. NATO is already in Colombia and may soon spread into Bolsonaro’s Brazil.
Though nobody really understands what the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has to do in South America – the answer is unimportant. The empire suits itself with whatever fits the purpose. No rules, no ethics, no laws – everything goes under neoliberalism. NATO is to become a world military attack force under Washington’s control and directed by those few “enlightened”, pulling the strings from behind the curtains, form the deep dark state.
Macri marked the beginning of Latin America’s new fascism. South America struggled for 15 -20 years to become independent from the neoliberal masters of the north. It has now been reabsorbed into the northern elite’s, the empire’s backyard — yes, sadly, that’s what Latin America has become for the major part, a mere backyard of Washington.
Argentina’s Washington imposed right-wing dictatorship was preceded by Paraguay’s 2012 parliamentary coup that in April 2013 brought Horacio Cartes of the right-extreme Colorado party to power. The Colorado Party was also the party of Alfredo Stroessner, the fascist brutal military dictator, who ruled Paraguay from 1954 to 1989.
In Chile on 9/11 of 1973 a democratically elected socialist, Salvador Allende, a was overthrown under the guidance of the CIA and a brutal military dictator, Augusto Pinochet installed for almost 30 years. After a brief spring of center and left-leaning governments, Chile, in December 2017, has returned to right-wing, neoliberal politics with Sebastian Piñera, a former associate of Pinochet’s. With the surroundings of his neoliberal friends and close accomplices in Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Peru and even Ecuador, to be sure, he will move to extreme right, neo-fascist economic rules and, thus, please Washington’s banks and their instruments, the IMF and the World Bank.
Fascism is on the march. And this despite the fact that 99.99% of the population, not just in Latin America, worldwide, want nothing to do with fascism – so where is the fraud? Why is nobody investigating the scam and swindle in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia? – and then putting the results up for everyone to see?
In the meantime, we have learned about Cambridge / Oxford Analytica (CA & OA). How they operate and cheat the electorate. They themselves have finally admitted to the methods within which they operate and influence voters with lies – and with data stealing or buying from social media, mainly facebook; millions and millions of personal data to target electronically special groups of people – bombarding them with lies to promote or denigrate the one or the other candidate.
And precisely this happened in Brazil. A week before the run-off election that took place this past Sunday, 28 October, Fernando Haddad, (PT), launched a criminal investigation precisely for that reason against Bolsonaro’s campaign. Of course, nothing happened. All the judges, courts and lawyers are under control of the unelected corrupt right-wing Temer Government – which came to power by a foreign directed ruthless parliamentary coup, impeaching under totally false pretenses democratically elected Dilma Rousseff.
And now – there is nobody investigating what happened in Brazil, bringing a military boy, Jair Bolsonaro to power? The left is dead? Flabbergasted into oblivion -indeed? – How come? With all the lessons to be learned around the world, and not last in Argentina, the neighbor – why can the Brazilian left be so blind, outright naive, as to not understand that following the criminally legalized system in their country is following the path to their own demise and eventually to shovel their own grave?
From day One, the US firmly counts on Bolsonaro to encircle Venezuela, together with Colombia. President Trump has already expressed his expectations to work ‘closely together’ with the new Bolsonaro Government in “matters of trade, military – and earthing else.” Bolsonaro has already met with Mike Pompeo, the US Foreign Secretary, who told him that the situation in Venezuela is a “priority’ for Brazil. There you go; Washington dictates foreign leaders their priorities. Bolsonaro will oblige, for sure.
Wake up – LEFT! – not just in Latin America, but around the world.
Today, it’s the mainstream media which have learned the tricks and cheats, and they have perfected the Cambridge and Oxford Analyticas; they are doing it non-stop. They have all the fake and fiat money in the world to pay for these false and deceit-campaigns – they are owned by the corporate military and financial elite, by the CIA, MI6/5, Mossad – they are owned and directed by the western all-overarching neoliberalism cum fascism. The rich elite groups have free access to the fake and fiat money supply – its government supplied in the US as well as in Europe; debt is no problem for them, as long as they ‘behave’.
Yes. The accent is on behaving. Dictatorial trends are also omni-present in the EU, and especially in the non-elected European Commission (EC) which calls the shots on all important matters. Italy’s Fife-Star Eurosceptic Government presented its 2019 budget to Brussels. Not only was the government scolded and reprimanded for overstretching its accounts with a deficit exceeding the 3% EU imposed debt margin, but the government had to present a new budget within 3 weeks. That is how a not-so-well behaving EU government is treated. What a stretch of authoritarian EU rule vis-à-vis a sovereign government. And ‘sovereignty’ is – the EU boasts – the key to a coherent European Union.
On the other hand, France has for years been infringing on the (in)famous 3% rule. And again, for the 2019 budget. However, the French government received a friendly drafted note saying, would you please reconsider your budget deficit for the next year. No scolding. One does not reprimand a Rothchild Child. Double standards, corruption, nepotism, are among the attributes of fascism. It’s growing fast, everywhere in the west. It has taken on a life of itself. And the military is prepared. Everywhere. – If only they, the military, would wake up and stand with the people instead of the ruling elite that treats them like their peons. Yet, they are part of the people; they belong to the most common of the people. In the end, they get the same shaft treatment as the people – they are tortured and shot when they are no longer needed, or if they don’t behave as the neocon-fascists want.
So, Dear Military Men and Women – why not pre-empt such risks and stand with the people from the very beginning? – The entire fake and criminal system would collapse if it wouldn’t have the protection of the police and the military. You, dear Men and Women form the Police and Military, you have the power and the moral obligation to stand by the people, not defending the ruthless, brutal elitist and criminal rulers – à la Macri, Bolsonaro, Piñera, Duque, Macron, May and Merkel. And there are many more of the same blood.
One of the first signs for what was to happen throughout Latin America and spreading through the western world, was the “fake election” of Macri, in 2015 in Argentina. Some of us saw it coming and wrote about it. We were ignored, even laughed at. We were told – we didn’t understand the democratic process. Yes, right. In the meantime, the trend towards the right, towards a permanent state of Emergency, a de facto Martial Rule has become irreversible. France has incorporated the permanent state of emergency in her Constitution. Armed police and military are a steady presence throughout Paris and France’s major cities.
There are only a few, very few exceptions left in Latin America, indeed in the western world.
And let’s do whatever we can to save them from the bulldozer of fascism.
Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; TeleSUR; The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, the New Eastern Outlook (NEO); and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

Yellowstone volcano on "high" alert

USGS: Yellowstone Super Volcano Threat Set To "High"

30 October, 2018

The United States Geological Survey has increased the Yellowstone supervolcano threat to “high.” This is the first time that the USGS has updated its volcano threat assessments list since 2006.

The USGS said that 11 of the 18 volcanoes they have classified as a “high threat” or a “very high threat” are located in Washington, Oregon, or California, “where explosive and often snow- and ice-covered edifices can project hazards long distances to densely populated and highly developed areas.”

According to the 
Epoch Times,
 the danger list is topped by Kilauea in Hawaii, which has been erupting continuously in 2018.  Mount St. Helens as well as Mount Rainier in Washington, Alaska’s Redoubt Volcano, and California’s Mount Shasta are also in the top five, according to what the USGS has said.
Although the Yellowstone supervolcano is a “high” threat, it’s only the 21st most dangerous volcano in the United States.  

According to Forbes, the assessment that Yellowstone supervolcano was only high was not assigned on a whim. While theYellowstone supervolcano does have the potential for a large eruption, other factors are at play. Such as the fact that it erupts so infrequently, shows no signs of increasing eruption risk today, and is located in a relatively sparsely populated area of the United States which decreases the threat. To be clear, the USGS still ranked the supervolcano as a “high” threat, but it is clearly not the most dangerous volcano in the United States.

Despite the recent gradual uptick in thermal activity in the caldera directly below the supervolcano, the new USGS threat assessment is showing Yellowstone as stable, but dangerous when it does happen to erupt in the future, according to a report by the Missoulan.

The Yellowstone supervolcano is one of the most feared volcanoes on the globe, however, scientists are constantly reminding everyone that the chance of it erupting in a violent and globally devastating fashion is rather small, even though it is said to be “past due” for such an explosion.

A Bill Ending Birthright Citizenship in the US

Lindsey Graham To Introduce Bill Ending Birthright Citizenship

Zero Hedge,
30 October, 2018

With one week left before the Nov. 6 midterm vote, President Trump and his allies in Congress have managed to establish immigration policy as the de facto dominant issue with the revelation that Trump is planning an executive order to eliminate birthright citizenship in the US. But in the event that Trump's order is challenged and overturned by the federal courts (which is extremely possible despite the confirmations of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh), South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a former adversary turned staunch Congressional ally, said Tuesday that he would introduce legislation to eliminate what he described as an "absurd" policy.

First, Graham - who is rumored to be on Trump's shortlist of candidates for a cabinet role after a post-election cleanout - applauded Trump for his decision (which he made public in an Axios interview published Tuesday morning)...

...then followed this up by declaring that he has always supported eliminating birthright citizenship, noting that the US is "one of only two countries in the world" that establishes citizenship by birth (though the accurate number is closer to 30). He argued that the policy is a magnet for illegal immigration and is "out of the mainstream" for the developed world and "needs to come to an end."
I’ve always supported comprehensive immigration reform – and at the same time – the elimination of birthright citizenship.
Finally, a president willing to take on this absurd policy of birthright citizenship.
The United States is one of two developed countries in the world who grant citizenship based on location of birth.

This policy is a magnet for illegal immigration, out of the mainstream of the developed world, and needs to come to an end.

To help eliminate birthright, Graham said he would introduce legislation "along the same lines" as the executive order.
In addition, I plan to introduce legislation along the same lines as the proposed executive order from President @realDonaldTrump.

While some have speculated that eliminating birthright would require amending the constitution, Trump has insisted that this isn't the case, and given the conservative majority on the Supreme Court, many legal experts believe an act of Congress would more than suffice (though the court could also choose to uphold an executive order and toss out any lower court ruling as well).

As Trump deploys thousands of additional troops to the border to brace for the arrival of two caravans of migrants (who almost certainly won't arrive before the vote, but instead will most likely reach the US months later) it's becoming increasingly clear that immigration has become the dominant issue of this election cycle - which bodes well for Republicans, since Trump's hardline immigration policies have been credited for helping distinguish his campaign from the other Republicans seeking the nomination. Meanwhile, Democrats have sought to make health care the defining issue of the election cycle, to mixed results (of course, their efforts were complicated by preliminary data showing that ObamaCare premiums are set to fall next year for the first time since the law came into effect in 2014).

Harry Reid 1993: 'No Sane Country' Would Do Birthright Citizenship; 9-20-1993