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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The ties that bind: US training Nazis along with a media full of cover stories


© Unknown

It has become a popular position both in the mainstream and pseudo-alternative media, and among those on the Russophobic left, to downplay the significant fascist influence on the political and military institutions, as well as the cultural character of the ." Quite often, the reality of Ukrainian fascism is obscured by vague assertions that such conclusions are merely "Russian propaganda," that they are simply Kremlin talking points, and not statements of objective reality.

Indeed, influential political figures such as the ever-hilarious John McCain and Jen Psaki, and global media brands like and , have all rushed to the nearest camera or twitter account to proclaim that Ukraine is "free" and that we should "stand united" with it. Carefully embedded in these pleas is the notion that Ukraine is democratic, and that whatever "ultra-nationalists" - coded language for fascists and Nazis - exist, are merely a marginal influence at best.

Such vacuous statements belie the inescapable fact that Nazis make up an important strata of both the political and military establishment. Moreover, they are intended to provide cover for US policy which provides these elements with the support they need to both influence the political development of the country, and prosecute its illegal war against the people of Donetsk and Lugansk.

At issue is not whether everyone in Ukraine is a Nazi, as that is an absurd argument that no one is really making. Rather, the question has to do with precisely which individuals and factions that are unmistakably fascist are being supported, directly or indirectly, by the US and its allies. More to the point, of the US-backed Nazi elements are integral to the continued illegal war against the East, and which figure prominently in the future trajectory of the Ukrainian state.

Arming Nazis to Fight for "Democracy"

The war in Ukraine is being prosecuted by the US-backed government in Kiev using all available means. While of course the regular Ukrainian military forces (also armed and trained by the US) are fighting this war, alongside them, and in concert with them, are outright Nazi elements who, like their regular army brethren, are receiving direct support from Washington.

The Associated Press reported on March 31, 2015 that "The United States plans to send soldiers to Ukraine in April for training exercises with units of the country's national guard... the units to be trained include the Azov Battalion, a volunteer force that has attracted criticism for its far-right sentiments including brandishing an emblem widely used in Nazi Germany." Of course, first and foremost is the fact that US military will be on the ground in Ukraine providing direct support for the Ukrainian military. Isn't that precisely what Washington accuses Russia of doing (while failing to provide evidence), namely providing direct military support on the ground?

But leaving aside such pesky questions as to hypocrisy and accountability, there is still an even more salient point. The language employed in the article essentially whitewashes the true nature of the Azov Battalion: who they are and what they stand for. refers to criticism of the Azov Battalion for its "far-right sentiments including brandishing an emblem widely used in Nazi Germany." Unpack that deliberately, deceptively circumspect language, and it becomes clear that there is a fear, if not outright refusal, to call Azov Battalion what they are: Nazis.

It is not "far right sentiments" that Azov holds.

© AFP Photo / Yuriy Dyachyshyn

Far right sentiments might be American libertarian supporters of Ron Paul, or even supporters of Marine Le Pen in France. Azov Battalion instead has fascist sentiments that include advocating for ethnic cleansing to "purify" Ukraine. They talk of "one nation for one people" and other such Nazi slogans. But don't take my word for it.

As Foreign Policy magazine - not exactly a "pro-Russian" source - quoted Azov Battalion literature in 2014:

Unfortunately, among the Ukrainian people today there are a lot of 'Russians' (by their mentality, not their blood), 'kikes,' 'Americans,' 'Europeans' (of the democratic-liberal European Union), 'Arabs,' 'Chinese' and so forth, but there is not much specifically Ukrainian... The reason for this situation is the mass propaganda of trans-myths that are foreign to us through advertising, television, laws and education. It's unclear how much time and effort will be needed to eradicate these dangerous viruses from our people.

This conception of the nation as rotten and impure because of perceived "degenerate" elements is a hallmark of all fascist organizations, from the Ku Klux Klan in the US to Hitler's Nazi Party. These are most certainly not, as the referred to them, "far right sentiments." Such views are not even "nationalistic" in the broadest sense of the word. They are deeply racist and fundamentally rooted in bigotry.

As an Azov Battalion fighter explained to The Guardian, "I have nothing against Russian nationalists, or a great Russia...But Putin's not even a Russian. Putin's a Jew." Aside from the obvious falsehood of that statement, it is quite revealing in the sense that it illustrates unmistakably the true nature of many, if not all, Azov's members' views; to be fair, they are also deeply anti-Russian, despite what this particular fighter had to say.

Returning to the article, the inexplicable use of the phrase "brandishing an emblem widely used in Nazi Germany" is deeply troubling. An honest description would simply be "brandishing Nazi emblems," a clear statement that would get the point across. Instead, the reader is left with the notion that somehow Azov uses an emblem - in this case the Wolfsangel - that just happened to be used during the Nazi regime, rather than a symbol deeply embedded in the collective memory of Nazism in the region.

This goes hand in hand with the utterly absurd obfuscations of Azov members themselves who claim that their swastikas and other symbols are just indicators of their "interest in Nordic mythology." Or, as one of the Azov members told , "The swastika has nothing to do with the Nazis, it was an ancient sun symbol." While there may be some who are either shockingly ignorant, or simply feign stupidity to mask their fascist ideology, the leadership in Ukraine that relies on Azov and other such groups knows perfectly well who they are and what they believe.

But of course, the mainstream and pseudo-alternative media, along with the liberal and conservative Russophobes, quite often try to deflect the logical conclusions of clear-thinking people who see the fascists for what they are. They argue that Azov Battalion and Right Sector are just "marginal" groups that are held up by "Russian propaganda" to smear Ukraine's government and military. But this is far from the truth.

Even , a publication I have personally critiqued for their anti-Russian lies regarding Ukraine, has confirmed that these are not isolated examples, noting that the Azov Battalion is "one of many volunteer brigades," and that "Azov and other battalions could be integrated into the army or special forces when the conflict is over."

Ukraine's Fascist Future

That Azov Battalion, Right Sector, and other fascist formations do not comprise all of Ukraine is clear. But what is equally clear is that such groups wield tremendous power and influence both through their ability to marshal weapons and use brute force, and for their deep connections to the political and financial oligarch establishment controlling the country.

The Nazi-deniers are fond of saying that, despite the fact that a number of key fascist leaders were elected to Ukraine's parliament, they represent a tiny segment of the political establishment. Dmitry Yarosh, the founder of the fascist Right Sector organization, has been serving as an MP in Ukraine's parliament where he has directly, and repeatedly, threatened Ukraine's oligarch President Poroshenko with a violent overthrow of the government. As recently as late March 2015, Yarosh was quoted as saying that:

Of course, the next [Maidan] will be, let's say, different. People are so heavily armed now that no one is going to sit in tents and wait for a month or two, singing songs or waving flashlights...Our position is that we must walk on a knife's edge. On the one hand we must maintain the state, but on the other, we must make it so that parasites do not drink the blood of the Ukrainian people, as they did before the revolution.

Naturally, in the so called "New Ukraine" such inflammatory language coming from an infamous Nazi criminal is no mere rhetoric, but rather must be understood as a direct threat. However, rather than purging such individuals from the government and putting them on trial, Yarosh is offered a position in the Ministry of Defense.

Other fascist political formations are also prominent, including the well represented Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko, a violent criminal with a history of kidnapping and torture documented even by the pro-Western NGO Amnesty International. The notorious Svoboda Party of Oleh Tyahnybok is also a major player. Though Svoboda's direct political representation in the parliament is low, its influence is substantial as former members have infested a number of other political parties.

The precarious state of the government in Kiev which tenuously maintains its grip on power is worrying to many around the world - especially in Russia - who rightly fear the possibility of a full-blown fascist takeover from the likes of Yarosh, Lyashko, and oligarchs such as Ihor Kolomoisky, who have paid the salaries of various fascist groups in order to use them as de facto private armies. And it is within this bubbling cauldron of hate and political uncertainty that the United States has chosen to arm and train fighters for a continued proxy war against Russia.

But of course, one cannot blame imperialist "strategic planners" in Washington for pursuing such a dangerous policy...after all, it's what they do.

One can blame, however, a compliant corporate-controlled western media which has abdicated all responsibility to truth in its reporting on Ukraine. The article mentioned above is a very minor example of the sort of propaganda that has passed for journalism on Ukraine since the coup against Yanukovich in February 2014. and the , and , all are equally accountable.

But the lies are only part of the story. It is when those lies cost innocent lives that we must stand up and demand an end to the madness. In Ukraine, sadly, it seems that US policy and media propaganda work hand-in-glove to inflame the situation in a country already on fire.

Strange roar heard Sunday night across southern Wisconsin


© Mikesastrophotos.com

A roaring sound caught the attention of people across a widespread region of southern Wisconsin around 8:15 p.m. Sunday.

The sound seemed louder and longer than an airline plane would make, and it was heard in Beloit, Milton, Evansville, Albany, Monticello and Monroe as well as Janesville, according to Facebook comments.

One commenter from Brodhead said it made her house vibrate.

It was raining but not windy in Janesville at the time.

One commenter suggested the sound was from a meteor, and indeed, roaring sounds have been attributed to meteors in the past, news reports indicate.

The Rock County Sheriff's Office and Rock County 911 center said it had received no calls about the phenomenon or any damage.

A 911 official checked with the National Weather Service in Sullivan, where officials had no radar contacts or weather events that might explain the noise.

How the spin masters construct a hit piece: Bloomberg 'interviews' DPR Leader Zakharchenko

Head of Donetsk People's Republic, Zakharchenko

Bloomberg was perhaps the first western outlet to be given an interview by Zakharchenko but its presentation could hardly be more misleading and dishonest

In a rare western interview of the leader of the Donetsk Republic, Zakharchenko was given 'the full treatment' by Bloomberg. In doing so, they indeed may have violated international law, and committed crimes against humanity and crimes against peace.

Today's article in the US publication was indeed particularly instructive. It tells us how the US and the European Atlanticists will try to spin the actual Ukrainian violations of the Minsk II Agreement and ceasefire. The US and its direct and proxy agents working in the ostensibly 'private/independent' (but de facto state controlled) media are creating the pretext to use the UN Security Council resolution which enshrines the Minsk II Agreement against those which it favors; against those whose battlefield victories made it possible. Barring that, at the very least they are breeding an internal climate and setting the national discourse to justify things which are in violation of international law.

Western media is going to do it by twisting Zakharchenko's words to fit a tremendous lie. Specifically they will do this by taking what he said out of context and then inserting them into a fictional context of western media invention.

As things unfold, we will no doubt hear that 'Zakharchenko himself' said that he intended to break the ceasefire all along.

If you do not mind being insulted or enraged by what passes for news, analysis, or commentary in the west, then we suggest you have a read for yourself : "Gunfire in Donetsk as Rebel Leader Refuses Ukrainian Unity".

In this review, we will highlight some of the most dangerously misleading and dishonest parts of the Bloomberg article. Insofar as these are used to encourage the US public to support the US government in increasing its illegal wars in the world, these are war crimes as understood by the precedent established at Nuremburg and subsequent prosecutions by the ICJ in The Hague in decades that followed.

Naturally, according to the theory of 'trickle down hubris', even the flies yelling 'charge' whilst sitting on the chariot wheel of history, such as the article's author Stefan Kravchenko, embody the imperial arrogance which originates at the very top. It may escape these criminals, big and small, that what they peddle is no different than what Julius Streicher was hung for.

Yes, the convictions at Nuremberg were not just those in the military command, or policy making - but also in media. We must remember Streicher, like Joseph Goebbels - only wrote words. They only created a discourse which justified aggressive wars of conquest.

American media bosses clearly believe they are on the winning side of history, arrogantly assuming they will never be made to account for their documented crimes.

With US power now in decline, we are fast approaching a time when various US statesmen and media tycoons will have to face trial similar to Nuremberg, under the watch of the international community. That will be an important time for truth and reconciliation.

The Minsk II Agreement came at a time when thousands of innocents were being killed by UAF forces, and was later backed by a UN Security Council resolution. Working to undermine this UN enshrined agreement for peace is clearly a crime against humanity and a crime against peace, which are war crimes. In this context we can see what is in fact the most optimal end-game scenario for those in media who are guilty of crimes against humanity and crimes against peace, possibly including Kravchenko and his employer, Bloomberg.

Understanding how US media conducts its propaganda is very important. One of the primary methods is the destruction of the English language. Grammar and words are very important, as these define specific concepts. When words and grammar are butchered, the very concepts and thoughts which these represent are also destroyed.

Additionally, when critical context is subtracted, the impoverished result is a form of language which lowers the cognitive capacity of the reader. It makes us stupid.

Certainly since at least last weekend, we have seen a real uptick in the reports of clashes. Around Donetsk Airport, there have been many hundreds wounded on the UAF side, according to DPR reports. Not only are some of these clashes reported to have occurred between the various forces fighting for the Kiev Junta and the revolutionaries in the Donbass, but also between the various groups of the Kiev Junta. Indeed, the UAF is confirmed to have had a few serious skirmishes with the OUN in the last week alone.

In reading the Bloomberg article, a few things jumped out as critical in defining the US narrative. One of the main 'tactics' used to invent this narrative is to combine only tangentially related facts and quotes into a single sentence or paragraph. These facts and quotes may not even be correlated but are presented as if they are not only this, but but even causal.

Other obfuscations were also glaring, some of these were a matter of spin, others of omission. Others still involved the use of equivocation, a time-honored logical fallacy in western media. We picked out a few highlights from the article in order to help better inoculate the public from the kind of information war being waged by the US media upon the US public. It is our hope that our readers find these useful in disentangling fact from fiction. The most frustrating thing about untangling lies and disinformation is that it requires more text and effort to untangle them than to make them.

Exhibit I

Setting aside that the connotation here for western readers is that smokers, gun toters, and the devoutly religious are highly questionable people (and apparently Zakharchenko is all three rolled in one, on par with David Koresh), the first real lies here are contained in the second paragraph.

To begin with, the 'enemy' that Zakharchenko refers to is not the 'country' of Ukraine per se. Country is a broad and ambiguous term, but clearly expressions like "love your country, not your government" are not possible constructions if they are synonyms.

This might seem like hair splitting to the sufficiently anesthetized or to those whose Adderall has worn off, but these distinctions are extraordinarily crucial, and critical to how international law and specifically the Minsk II Agreement (which some fighting may be in violation of) is understood by those who signed it. These are also important distinctions not to ignore by those at Bloomberg whose circulation is almost one million. Readers of Bloomberg use the information provided to understand the world, and to support or oppose government initiatives, ranging from the relatively banal to the extraordinarily earth shaking, such as making war.

To the extent that Zakharchenko refers to the military of Ukraine, its functions exist within the constitution, i.e. the state, and not the government, which includes as well as the various non-government volunteer brigade and battalions such as the OUN, Pravy Sektor, Aidar, and Azov. These are composed of elements that are all part of the state (as citizens) but are not part of the government per se. Government is a function of the state; all citizens are a part of the state but not all citizens are members of government. A state possesses sovereignty, whereas government's powers are derived from the state. States have, for example - and in the case of Ukraine, a constitution.

Governments come and go, are elected in or out by provisions in the constitution. Typically and as with the case in Ukraine, for a government to change the constitution and remain a constitutional government, it must derive this authority from the state. In democratic republics such as the pre-coup Ukraine, this authority is normally derived from the people, who are all part of the state as citizens. The processes to change to constitutions of this type, as creating new constitutions creates a new state, are often called a referendum.

While these distinctions may seem tedious at first, the point of Bloomberg's destruction of language is meant to combine into 'one feeling' a lot of really distinct concepts, both in practical terms and in law. Among them are the rights of citizens to rise up against the unconstitutional creation of a new state by a puppet government installed by a foreign sponsored and organized coup.

If a government changes the constitution through unconstitutional means, thus bringing in a new state which removes its foundation from the citizens, it is no longer a constitutional government. Citizens, historically and in law, are considered to have the right to rebel using force, otherwise and typically reserved for self defense, against an unconstitutional usurpation of power, as has occurred in Ukraine.

Also there are an array of mercenaries and conflict tourists fighting in the region. In fact, reports to date of violations of Minsk II are those carried out by these volunteer groups fighting on the Kiev Junta. The Minsk II Agreement specifically mandates that these are disbanded. It is equally conceivable that Zakharchenko refers to these illegal groups, and not the state sanctioned and government controlled military of Ukraine (the UAF).

Many of our readers outside of the US will appreciate instantly the distinction between government and state. A corollary point here is that to the extent that Poroshenko is the Supreme Commander in Chief of the state's military - he has this power, according to the rebels, as the head of a government which came to control the state's military as the result of an unconstitutional coup against the state. That government made a new constitution, which makes 'the state of Ukraine' a 'new state'.

Bloomberg, making a case to the public for the illegal US shipment of weapons and trainers to Ukraine, does so here by sleight of hand: the use of equivocation where the words 'government' and 'country' are used as synonyms. Now these very important categories in understanding this US sponsored crisis, (the difference between government, state, and country) have been rolled up together in Orwellian fashion.

That said, the use of the term 'muddied the issue' in the same sentence in question, is classical projection. Muddying the issue is precisely what this passage, indeed this whole article, does its best to do. In fact, the use of this term is extremely bizarre - the 'Pro-Russian' insurgency muddied the issue, is what grammatically this sentence instructs us to infer. This is circular, because logically the issue itself is the insurgency and its causes. What is literally being said is that the issue muddied itself. The author attempts to break our cognitive capacities on the rocks of tautology. Literally, the author has said that the existence of the insurgency has muddied the issue of (understanding?) the existence of the insurgency.

In the last sentence, we are told that "It also plunged Ukraine into an economic crisis ...", we are instructed from the sentence before to choose either from 'the UN' or 'the conflict', with 'the conflict' being most reasonable.

And that point is patently false - the 15bln euro debt which the Ukraine suffered from was one of the causes of Yanukovich's looking to Russia in November of 2013, who by way of China, had arranged for a bail out of that sum. The EU and the World Bank said they were unable to help with this in any substantive way, with any balance of payment aid, restructuring the debt, or other alternatives to payment on the IMF loan. Even the IMF stated in December of 2013:

This already was with an over 40% debt-to-GDP ratio. Bloomberg attempts to rewrite history, and confuse cause for effect.

And what of our 'rebel' insurgency? Because the existence of the insurgency 'muddies the issue' of the existence of the insurgency, we are unable to ask why exactly the "muddy" insurgency declared independence from the new state of Ukraine. Indeed, the social contract was broken by Yatsenyuk and Turchinov under the orders of the US. The new state of Ukraine is an illegally occupied entity, under US administration. The words 'coup', 'backed', 'funded', 'ethnic', 'cleanse', 'murder', 'killed' and 'unconstitutional' appear not once in an article which purports to discuss Zakharchenko's thinking. Indeed, this is a 'muddied' issue.

Exhibit II

Yes, Ukraine is a country in the geographic area where there is both a state of Ukraine and a government of Ukraine. As we can already see, the term 'country' is also intentionally vague.

A country by definition may refer to a sovereign state, or an area of land under occupation, or a formerly sovereign state under foreign occupation. Additionally, 'country' may refer to a part of a state that is disputed by two or more states.

Donetsk, arguably, is a country which is disputed not to be in the state of Ukraine. However, the word 'country' appears nowhere in the Minsk II Agreement, and it's clear why this equivocation fallacy was employed by Bloomberg. Ukraine is a country under foreign occupation by the US, who seized control of the government and brought a new state into existence. It is this state, and not the prior sovereign state of Ukraine, which the rebels are 'rebelling' against.

Bloomberg misinterprets the Minsk II Agreement, misleading the readership which is largely US. The resources at their disposal, the team of lawyers working for them around the clock in other areas, and the relative ease of finding the language of the agreement (it's on Wikipedia) as well as the plain language it's written in, can mean only a few things. In the context of the other willful omissions and distortions which plague this 'article' and impugn the integrity of its author, we are justified in concluding that this 'misinterpretation' is intentional.

Given that it is these lies about the meaning and language of a UN Security Council resolution that can manipulate a population into believing that its own government has a legitimate causus belli when it does not, it is unarguably a war crime. Let's look at the provisions involved here (click image to enlarge) :

While the Minsk II Agreement states that the government of Ukraine is to take control of the state borders, nowhere in the agreement does it state that there is any eventuality to the return of Donetsk and Lugansk (collectively, the Federation of Novorossiya) to the country, the state, or the government of Ukraine. Also, the return of control of the state borders is not an eventuality, but rather is based upon other provisions that require bi-lateral agreement. The reference to the state border is in Point 9 of the agreement. Execution of the article does not occur until the fulfillment of Point 11.

Furthermore, Point 11 requires a new constitution before even the restoration of control of the border to the Ukrainian government can occur. Thus, the word 'the' refers to a future government formed after the creation of yet another new state, because Point 11 must be accomplished before Point 9. It does not refer to 'the' government of Ukraine in the present tense. It does not refer to the present government.

The Minsk II Agreement actually calls for a nullification of the foreign installed coup-government, with federation - i.e. decentralization being the key element of a new constitution. It also requires the representatives of these districts - Donetsk and Lugansk - to agree. The representative of Donetsk within the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group is Zakharhenko himself.

Thus, Bloomberg's interpretation is entirely false. None of these events can transpire without bilateral agreement, and nothing is 'eventual'. But what we understand from this, is that Zakharchenko is 'defiant' in the face of a mandated eventuality, codified by the UN, which makes him seem to be a criminal.

And what of Zakharchenko's 'defiance' in the context of the truce? This is one of those words which is vague, but its intentional use (and placement) reveals the inference. Most generously, defiance can mean as little as 'willingness to fight'. At worst, it means disobedient, non-compliant, and insubordinate. This is perhaps an 'imperial' meaning, i.e. non-compliant to the dictates of the US and its self-defined 'international community'. 'Defiant' is commonly used in western media to characterize global leaders against US empire who we are told are 'very bad men'. Or perhaps - and this is also intentional - they are implying that he is non-compliant with the Minsk II agreement, which is a very dangerous and criminal accusation to make, if it is not true.

They do not need to land on one meaning, because 'defiant' both literally and in this context means all of this.

The quote which follows this accusation of non-compliant behaviour is strangely placed, then, in order to cast his own assessment of what others in Donetsk think as being, instead, evidence of his own 'defiance' of the supposed eventuality of re-unification. We are meant to imagine him to be taking a 'defiant' tone when making the quote that follows, even though the article does not technically say that. It is actually just one line that follows another. This is meant for us to make a clear inference which the article's author could attempt to say was not implied.

Exhibit III

Here in the first line of the exhibit we can see that they are implying that his defiant statement was actually a threat of violence, which we are to assume are underscored (transitive verb; "to make evident") by his actions which resulted in the loss of six Ukrainian soldiers. This phrasing is meant to imply, or rather cause us to infer, that the loss of six soldiers was the result of Zakharchenko's 'defiance' - either willingness to fight, or non-compliance with Minsk II. In short, we are to understand that Zakharchenko launched the attacks. In reality, the OSCE - the only 'legitimate' intergovernmental organization whose findings are meant to be 'objective', on the ground - reported offensive attacks by the Ukrainian forces. The DPR rebels have accused the OSCE monitors of being engaged in intelligence gathering on behalf of the Ukrainian military or the US.

The second sentence has no connection to the first, and is placed next to the first in order to pin Russia as backing Zakharchenko's 'attack' which followed his 'defiant' warning.

The second paragraph is included to imply that while Zakharchenko defiantly breaks the Minsk II agreement, underscoring this with Russian armed and financed attacks which leave Ukrainian soldiers dead, Yatsenyuk is committed to implementation. This is entirely at odds with the data that has been collected to date.

The following is another example of the same pattern, the hinging together of unrelated sentences, placed together to imply a natural connection.

Exhibit IV

The paragraph in this exhibit switches from quoting the official OSCE report to then a Ukrainian government statement via facebook. The first OSCE quote in the first sentence is part of a story which actually confirms that Ukraine has attacked the DPR at the Donetsk Airport in a "full scale tank battle". In the second sentence, placed right after the first for reasons we have discussed in the above, something quite strange happens. The Ukrainian 'National Security and Defense Council' claims that rebels attacked positions. Taken together, this one paragraph is meant to leave the impression that the OSCE and the National Security and Defense Council both agree that attacks were made by rebels on Ukraine positions near Mariupol. Actually the OSCE confirms hearing detonations 20km, from Mariupol:

"While at an observation post located in the outskirts of government-controlled Berdianske (2km west of Shyrokyne, 20km east of Mariupol), between 09:10 and 12:10hrs, the SMM heard 40 detonations in the distance, north of its position."

Given the history of OSCE reports on these kinds of incidents, had there been a way to imply that the DPR was responsible, they would have. In fact, the vagueness of this report, while seemingly objective, may even indicate that they could plausibly deny having certainty that it was the Ukrainian army, while knowing certainly that they wouldn't be able to claim it was the DPR.

The next example from the Bloomberg story is also interesting, because it uses the possessive determiner 'his' in place of the definite article 'the'.

Exhibit V

The intended psychological effect of this sentence upon the reader is clear. It transforms 'the people's republic', which is an entire social process, brought about by objective socio-political conditions, and supported by millions of people, and makes it 'his' people's republic; i.e. something which exists almost purely in the mind of a cigarette smoking, bible thumping, gun toting, defiant madman violator of the Minsk II Agreement.

This is the language of 'demonization', similar to 'Milosevic's Yugoslavia', 'Saddam's Iraq', 'Gaddafi's Libya' or Stalin's Soviet Union.

This is not even arguably a case of varying style in the use of grammar. In no way is the DPR the property of Zakharchenko. He was elected last fall, in an election with sizable turnout. He does not claim that the DPR is 'his', nor does the constitution - ratified by the popular assembly - indicate in any manner that it is. The mechanisms exist to remove him. The language used in the above is meant to give us the impression that he is dictator-ish with a single-track mind. They come very close, if not actually succeeding, in misquoting him as well. Given the general criminality of this article, the lack of journalistic ethics regarding the transformation of a definite article into a possessive determiner within a paraphrasing may seem relatively moot. Yet, it is how all of these pile up in the course of the article which leaves the reader with the unshakable conviction that they have received adequate information regarding the character and aims of Zakharchenko.

Exhibit VI

As we can see in the above exhibit, the lie regarding the ceasefire is repeated. Again, the reintegration of Donetsk and Lugansk into Ukraine is not mandated by the Minsk II agreement; which is much more than a ceasefire. Regarding the 'his desire take to Mariupol', the section that exhibit V is taken from is titled 'Liberation of Mariupol', but only the strange and questionable paraphrase is attributed to him.

Without a verified transcript of the interview, with his own words in the original Ukrainian (or Russian), then - in light of the other serious criminal and ethical problems with this article - it should not be allowed to color our understanding of what he might have said or meant. Nevertheless, a 'desire' does not 'run counter' to the ceasefire, actions do. The article is essentially, in this instance, trying to accuse him of violating the ceasefire based upon thoughts they claim are in his head.

Exhibit VII

Because the Malaysian Airline false flag has been debunked already, we won't belabor the first part. It is the quote from Zakharchenko that is problematic. This interview was not conducted in English, but rather in Ukrainian.

The word that Zakharchenko most probably used for "sadly" was "sumno". This can mean both "unfortunately" or "sadly". Why would "sadly" make any sense, unless to imply that Zakharchenko has regrets that they were unable to shoot down a civilian airplane?

What was meant instead is the rather cold, bureaucratic "unfortunately", as in "unfortunately for those who would accuse us". This is transformed from "unfortunately" into "sadly". The article means for us to come away thinking that the defiant Zakharchenko is sad that his people's republic didn't shoot down the plane.

Exhibit VIII

Again, the Minsk II agreement does not call for Ukraine to "gradually assert more and more control over the breakaway regions until full control is reached by year-end". It practically says the opposite: it mandates that the Ukrainian government move towards the creation of a new state, the constitution of which gives autonomy in defined stages to the ''breakaway regions''. We have provided some of the relevant sections as well as a link to the whole agreement.

There are a series of clearly defined mechanisms, stages, which must be in place for any of this to take place, however. There is no way to interpret this any other way. The language is clear and unambiguous in this regard.

The issue of 'control' is only literally referred to in the section about the border, and even here this relies on bi-lateral agreement between the party's representatives as outlined in the Trilateral Contact Group. At no point in the process do the 'break-away regions' rejoin the present state of Ukraine, nor are they compelled unilaterally to join a future state of Ukraine, nor are the forced to do so by the present or any future government.

This lie is promoted to mislead the US population in the direction of continued and escalated US military support to Ukraine, which is a war crime and also meant to undermine the Minsk II Agreement. The logic of the lie is this: so long as the rebels continue to exist, and don't "gradually assert less and less control'', then they are in violation of Minsk II. They violate it by existing, according this criminal article by Bloomberg.

What Poroshenko signs or doesn't sign is practically irrelevant to the Minsk II Agreement. The agreement calls for a new constitution. Only a new Ukrainian state, organized as a federal state as clearly stated in Point 11 is the mechanism which then triggers the process - one which still requires bilateral agreement - regarding any control of a future Kiev government on the borders, and only the borders of Donetsk and Lugansk, with Russia. This is not about control over the "break-away" regions at all whatsoever.

A new constitution as required by Minsk II means a new state, a federal and not a unitary state; this means essentially that the present government headed by Poroshenko is provisional. A new constitution, and only a new constitution, would lead to the bilateral agreement of the representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk. These aren't the Governors appointed by Turchinov, but specifically those from the Trilateral Contact Group - Zakharchenko et al. These and only these are called for in the Agreement, and would likely require new elections, which would mean a new government in Kiev.

Bloomberg attempts to turn reality on its head. This US initiated conflict has already cost the lives of 50,000 people according to German intelligence estimates, as well as over a million displaced refugees according to the UN. In so egregiously misinforming and disinforming the readership in a matter of this magnitude, and misrepresenting facts, quotes, and placing sentences together in ways meant to communicate a message other than the truth, Bloomberg's writers, editors, and owners can be charged with war crimes: crimes against humanity and crimes against peace.

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Eight things you wouldn't think are spying on you, but are

© stuckathomemom.com
Making eye contact...no longer a liberty!

The next time you take a trip to the mall, make sure you give those man­nequins a big smile. The sur­veil­lance industry's lat­est recruit—joining the ranks of the Statue of Lib­erty, vend­ing machines, Kinect, and a litany of other seem­ingly innocu­ous retail products—is store man­nequins. The $245 bil­lion dol­lar lux­ury goods indus­try cur­rently avails itself of five com­pa­nies in Europe and the U.S. that use the Eye­See poly­styrene frame man­nequins, whose eyes are equipped with police grade face-recognition cameras.

Ital­ian man­nequin maker Almax SpA sup­plies these bionic odd­i­ties, offer­ing com­pa­nies the holy grail of retail: "per­son­al­iz­ing" their sales offerings.

© http://bit.ly/1Pek3n9
Your personal barcode: facial recognition software produces a "faceprint" that can be used for public surveillance, border security, crime fighting, NSA database tracking...and it is not foolproof!

More than just sur­veil­lance cameras

Most shop­pers think store cam­eras are just used to detect and deter shoplifters, but now some stores are track­ing shop­pers to gather infor­ma­tion about tar­get mar­kets, and what prod­ucts shop­pers like and don't like.

Shop­per­cep­tion is another high-tech com­pany offer­ing this type of tech­nol­ogy, and it's being used at large retail­ers like Wal­mart. This tech­nol­ogy uses motion-sensor cam­eras placed in the eyes of man­nequins. These cam­eras come equipped with facial recog­ni­tion soft­ware and track cus­tomers' demo­graph­ics, what they pur­chase, and how long it takes con­sumers to buy cer­tain items.

Another pop­u­lar tech­nol­ogy uses heat maps that are put on top of secu­rity cam­era images to see what items cus­tomers are drawn to the most. Dif­fer­ent col­ors like orange or red detect inter­est in a prod­uct; this is deter­mined by the length of time the con­sumer has stood in front of and han­dled the product.

Ques­tions of privacy

Although shop­per sur­veil­lance devices hid­den in a mannequin's eyes are not viewed as a pri­vacy vio­la­tion by many, some retail­ers are upping the ante and have begun track­ing cus­tomers via infor­ma­tion from their cell phones. Many see this as an inva­sion of privacy.

But retail­ers like Nord­strom, who use WiFi sig­nals from cus­tomers' cell phones to track shop­ping habits, argue that it is a great way to learn about cus­tomer habits and how they can improve the ser­vices offered in the retail setting.

New pri­vacy laws and code-of-conduct agree­ments are gov­ern­ing the use of retail sur­veil­lance prac­tices. These agree­ments are designed to pro­tect cus­tomers, while also allow­ing retail­ers to col­lect data for mar­ket­ing reasons.

Among con­sumers, cell phone track­ing has proven the most trou­ble­some, and many feel this prac­tice should only be con­ducted with full dis­clo­sure and per­mis­sion given by the con­sumer. This is espe­cially impor­tant because shop­pers don't know how the track­ing infor­ma­tion is stored, used and sold. With recent dis­clo­sures regard­ing cor­po­rate and gov­ern­ment col­lu­sion in data min­ing oper­a­tions, the motives and ethics behind tar­geted mar­ket­ing must be reexamined.

The fol­low­ing are also involved in feed­ing the 100 bil­lion dol­lar data min­ing industry:

Statue of Liberty

That's right, Lady Lib­erty, the mono­lithic struc­ture that greets our poor, tired, hud­dled masses, is part of Big Brother's sur­veil­lance enter­prise. Actu­ally, it has been since 2002, when early face-recognition soft­ware was installed. Since then, the tech­nol­ogy has evolved and so has the amount of money infused into the sur­veil­lance indus­try. In 2012, con­trac­tor Total Recall Corp. out­fit­ted our fair lady with FaceVACS-VideoScan soft­ware, which tracks mil­lions of New York­ers' faces in real-time, pin­point­ing race, gen­der, eth­nic­ity, age, and even "client behavior."

There's cer­tainly a bit of irony in the gov­ern­ment using a larger than life sym­bol of lib­erty and democ­racy for arguably uncon­sti­tu­tional domes­tic sur­veil­lance practices.

Vend­ing Machines

In Tulsa, a vend­ing machine rob­bery was solved after the crim­i­nals' faces were cap­tured on a cam­era sit­u­ated inside. The cam­eras are owned and installed by the vend­ing machine com­pa­nies them­selves. The pur­pose - besides law enforce­ment - is unknown but is likely related to tar­get mar­ket research.


Every­body knows that Kinect, the motion-sensing con­sole fea­tured in mil­lions of fam­ily liv­ing rooms, has a cam­era. Of course it does, that's how it senses your move­ments, but what if you found out that not only is Kinect record­ing and stor­ing your activ­ity, it may also be record­ing and stor­ing the con­ver­sa­tions you have while you're play­ing — and even while it's turned off?

Microsoft offi­cially denies that Kinect records con­ver­sa­tions, but then in the same sen­tence they brag about the device's abil­ity to read your heart­beat and rec­og­nize indi­vid­ual voices!


The com­pany Immer­sive Labs has cre­ated soft­ware for dig­i­tal bill­boards that allows them to watch your face and then tai­lor a spe­cific ad based on your facial features.

Jell-O, Adi­das and Kraft

Jell-O, Adi­das and Kraft all use facial recog­ni­tion soft­ware in super­mar­kets to help them craft more effec­tive TV com­mer­cials. The creepi­est part of this is the cam­eras are actu­ally linked up to Face­book as well, so the com­pany could hypo­thet­i­cally cou­ple their video sur­veil­lance with social media pro­files for an even juicier data grab.

The Big Bang Theory

As of April 2013, Ver­i­zon had applied to patent a new cable box that uses infrared cam­eras and micro­phones to track the activ­i­ties of view­ers dur­ing blocks of

The City of Seattle

A new appa­ra­tus that is capa­ble of hi-tech sur­veil­lance (and more) will be installed at many of the major inter­sec­tions in down­town Seat­tle. So what, all cities have sur­veil­lance, right? Well, rumor has it that there is a new tech­nol­ogy being used here that involves tri­an­gu­lat­ing our cell phones, so that we essen­tially become rogue devices.

Rare quadruple rainbow photographed over Long Island, New York

© (@amanda_curtis via Twitter, CEO NineteenthAmendment.com

While waiting for her train this morning at the Glen Cove train station in Long Island, NY, Amanda Curtis grabbed her phone and snapped a photo of an incredibly rare atmospheric phenomenon: A quadruple rainbow.

When she posted the photo on Twitter - where it went viral, some folks were incredulous. They said the photo was photoshopped or that Curtis had shot it through glass, causing a reflection.

But, in the interview posted below, Curtis told The Weather Channel the image was authentic and taken in the open air:

At first we thought this quadruple rainbow picture was fake, but then we were blown away. For more amazing weather stories, check out the AMHQ with Sam Champion page on Facebook.

Posted by The Weather Channel on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The photo was convincing to Paul Neiman, who works as a research meteorologist at NOAA's Earth System Research Observatory.

He posted this very helpful explanation on his Facebook page, which he allowed me to republish:

This is an outstanding example of a primary and secondary rainbow (relatively common) occurring together with their reflected-light counterparts (quite rare). Allow me to elaborate.

A typical primary rainbow is caused by refraction and one internal reflection of sunlight within raindrops, resulting in a rainbow that is positioned 41 arc degrees from the anti-solar point (i.e., the point directly opposite the sun - for example, if the sun is 10 degrees above the horizon at your back, the anti-solar point is 10 degrees below the horizon directly in front of you). The refraction causes the separation of white sunlight into its component colors, with red on the outside of the rainbow and violet on the inside.

The secondary rainbow, which is centered 51 arc degrees from the anti-solar point (i.e., the larger of the two bows during a typical display), involves two internal reflections of sunlight within the raindrops rather than one, resulting in a reversal of the color sequence (red on the inside and violet on the outside). We can usually only see the portion of these rainbows above the horizon, because there isn't a sufficient density of raindrops between the observer and the ground to see the rainbow below the horizon (exceptions include full-circle rainbows viewed from locales such as airplanes and mountain tops).

So far, so good. For the much rarer reflected-light rainbows shown in this spectacular photo, a large glassy-smooth water surface is required behind the observer. This smooth water surface reflects the sun, such that a second solar light source is generated. This reflected sun, which is located the same the number of arc degrees below the horizon as the real sun is above the horizon, creates a second primary and secondary rainbow on the opposite side of the sky from the sun, but with the center of these reflected-light rainbows above the horizon. The geometry dictates that the regular and reflected-light rainbows will join at the horizon, as this photo shows.

Neiman's explanation requires a body of water to be behind the observer. And, indeed, Oyster Bay - located about 2 miles east-northeast of the train station "likely provided the reflective surface to create the reflected-light rainbows", he said.

Neiman said he was "awe-struck by this photo", so too apparently were the thousands who shared it on social media.

Scientists warn of supervolcanos with ability to destroy humanity, urge global governance to prepare


Mount Redoubt Eruption on April 21, 1990


A report presented by experts at a leading scientific foundation details the possibility of a supervolcano that could return humanity to pre-civilization state, urges global community to prepare.

Special Report

A report by the European Science Foundation has concluded that a large volcanic eruption poses the greatest risk to humanity and that an, "informed global governance system," is needed to prepare for the possibility.

Calling the threat of low-frequency, high impact events, "grossly underestimated," in disaster risk reduction plans worldwide, the report highlights the fact that, "large volcanic eruptions have the potential to impact climate, anthropogenic infrastructure and resource supplies on a global scale."

The 72 page report is chalked full of interesting facts and, overall, paints a picture of a world struggling to grasp the dangers posed by these rarely occurring disasters. Although the report should be read in full by anyone seeking the whole picture, the authors did incorporate a section with their key findings.

They include:

Extreme geohazards have the potential to generate global disasters.

Recent large earthquakes have illustrated the extent of the destruction that extreme geohazards can inflict on a modern society, particularly through cascading effects and chains of failure.

Disaster risk reduction (DRR) focuses on the risk associated with relatively frequent hazards with major impacts, while the risk associated with low-probability, high-impact events is not sufficiently considered.

Threats from low-frequency, high-impact events are grossly underestimated in DRR.

This is particularly true for volcanic eruptions. So far, modern civilisation has not been exposed to an eruption comparable to the most extreme events that occurred during the Holocene.

Under today's circumstances, these events are associated with extreme disaster risks, comparable to other possible mega-disasters from extreme droughts, floods, pandemics and asteroid impacts.

A global volcano-monitoring system is required as a basis for an early warning system to provide timely warnings to mitigate impacts on transportation and food security.

Presented in Vienna to the European Geosciences Union, the report explores other natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods but concludes that a large volcanic eruption poses the most extreme threat to the world with a 5-10% chance of happening within the century.

Among geohazards (volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, floods, droughts, and bolides), large volcanic eruptions pose the most severe threat.


Under the present conditions of a globally connected civilisation facing food, water and energy scarcity, the largest eruptions during the Holocene would have had major global consequences.

Events on the scale of the Toba eruption 74,000 years ago could return humanity to a pre-civilisation state. Volcanic eruptions can have more severe impacts through atmospheric and climate eff ects and can lead to drastic problems in food and water security, as emphasised by the widespread famine and diseases that were rampant aft er the Laki 1783 and Tambora 1815 eruptions.

Hence extreme volcanic eruptions pose a higher associated risk than all other natural hazards with similar recurrence periods, including asteroid impacts. (emphasis mine)

During the Holocene, at least seven VEI 7 eruptions took place [VEI: Volcanic Explosivity Index]. All but one occurred at a time when the global population was far below 1 billion; with a population above 7 billion and heading for 12 billion, a recurrence of a VEI 7 eruption could have extreme consequences.

The probability of such an event occurring in the 21st century is 5 - 10%.Consequently, VEI 7 and larger eruptions represent a severe threat for our modern society.


Major volcanic eruptions during the last 2,000 years and selected eruptions during the last 2 Ma. Photo from European Science Foundation Report – “Extreme Geohazards: Reducing the Disaster Risk and Increasing Resilience”

The report makes clear that in the event of a large-scale volcanic eruption no individual country would be able to deal with the consequences on its own. Hinting at the need for international cooperation (global governance), the report notes:

Due to their far-reaching effects on climate, food security, transportation, and supply chains, these events have the potential to trigger global disaster and catastrophe.

The cost of response and the ability to respond to these events is beyond the financial and political capabilities of any individual country.

An international geopolitical response will be required, where science has a unique and key role in preparation, response and mitigation.

Numerous actions that the scientists believe the world should take to prepare are listed in the report, including everything from money to global scientific frameworks and governance.

"Several elements are needed to reduce the global risk associated with extreme geohazards:"

  • a global scientific framework for strategic extreme geohazards science in support of warnings, preparedness, mitigation and response to minimise the impacts of extreme geohazards
  • scenario contingency planning to create the knowledge needed to reduce the risk by addressing systemic weaknesses that could lead to cascading effects
  • increase of risk awareness through dissemination of information on the global risk associated with extreme geohazards
  • a global monitoring system to provide early warning for emerging extreme volcanic eruptions
  • an informed global governance system capable of responding to emerging global threats and coordinating measures to increase preparedness and general resilience with the goal of reducing the global disaster risk.
Sadly, with a news media heavily focused on global conflict, internal political struggles, and celebrity worship preparing for or even talking about an extinction level event happens all too infrequently. The release of this report and coverage by the alternative media may change that.

Yellowstone National Park - Supervolcano on the Brink?

Here in the United States most of the talk around volcanos surrounds Yellowstone National Park. The Yellowstone Caldera, located in northwest Wyoming, last erupted some 640,000 years ago. Signs of its awakening have significantly increased in the last 15 years.

The History Channels Mega Disasters provides background information:

Yellowstone National Park lies on top of a magma chamber that is 35-miles wide, waiting to erupt.

The Yellowstone Caldera is the volcanic caldera and supervolcano located in Yellowstone National Park in the United States, sometimes referred to as the Yellowstone Supervolcano. The caldera is located in the northwest corner of Wyoming, in which the vast majority of the park is contained. The major features of the caldera measure about 34 by 45 miles (55 by 72 km). The caldera formed during the last of three supereruptions over the past 2.1 million years. First came the Huckleberry Ridge eruption 2.1 million years ago, which created the Island Park Caldera and the Huckleberry Ridge Tuff. Next came the Mesa Falls eruption 1.3 million years ago, which created the Henry's Fork Caldera and the Mesa Falls Tuff. Finally came the Lava Creek eruption 640,000 years ago, which created the Yellowstone Caldera and the Lava Creek Tuff.

The last full-scale eruption of the Yellowstone Supervolcano, the Lava Creek eruption which happened nearly 640,000 years ago, ejected approximately 240 cubic miles (1,000 km3) of rock, dust and volcanic ash into the sky.

Geologists are closely monitoring the rise and fall of the Yellowstone Plateau, which measures on average 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) yearly, as an indication of changes in magma chamber pressure.

The upward movement of the Yellowstone caldera floor between 2004 and 2008 — almost 3 inches (7.6 cm) each year — was more than three times greater than ever observed since such measurements began in 1923. From mid-summer 2004 through mid-summer 2008, the land surface within the caldera moved upward as much as 8 inches (20 cm) at the White Lake GPS station. By the end of 2009, the uplift had slowed significantly and appeared to have stopped.

In January 2010, the USGS stated that "uplift of the Yellowstone Caldera has slowed significantly" and that uplift continues but at a slower pace. The U.S. Geological Survey, University of Utah and National Park Service scientists with the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory maintain that they "see no evidence that another such cataclysmic eruption will occur at Yellowstone in the foreseeable future. Recurrence intervals of these events are neither regular nor predictable."

This conclusion was reiterated in December 2013 in the aftermath of the publication of a study by University of Utah scientists finding that the "size of the magma body beneath Yellowstone is significantly larger than had been thought." The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory issued a statement on its website stating,

" Although fascinating, the new findings do not imply increased geologic hazards at Yellowstone, and certainly do not increase the chances of a 'supereruption' in the near future. Contrary to some media reports, Yellowstone is not 'overdue' for a supereruption. "

Other media reports were more hyperbolic in their coverage.

A study published in GSA Today identified three fault zones that future eruptions are most likely to be centered on. Two of those areas are associated with lava flows aged 174,000 - 70,000 years, and the third area is a focus of present-day seismicity.

[embedded content]

In 2012 a study identified the fault lines within Yellowstone that were most likely to produce an eruption. This enabled officials to know which areas of the park to monitor more closely although other scientists noted that the patterns could change rather quickly. National Geographic reported:

The natural beauty of Yellowstone National Park may appear serene, but it's rooted in a violent volcanic past. Now, geologists have identified which parts of the park are most likely to erupt again someday.

Yellowstone's next major eruption will probably be centered in one of three parallel fault zones running north-northwest across the park, a new study predicts.

Two of these areas produced large lava flows the last time the supervolcano was active—174,000 to 70,000 years ago—while the third has had the most frequent tremors in recent years.

A detailed April 2014 article by Michael Snyder about what an eruption of Yellowstone would actually look like included a startling list of known facts. Clearly most Americans have absolutely no idea how extremely horrific it would actually be.

#1 - A full-scale eruption of Yellowstone could be up to 1,000 time more powerful than the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980.

#2 - A full-scale eruption of Yellowstone would spew volcanic ash 25 miles up into the air.

#3 - The next eruption of Yellowstone seems to be getting closer with each passing year. Since 2004, some areas of Yellowstone National Park have risen by as much as 10 inches.

#4 - There are approximately 3,000 earthquakes in the Yellowstone area every single year.

#5 - In the event of a full-scale eruption of Yellowstone, virtually the entire northwest United States will be completely destroyed.

#6 - A massive eruption of Yellowstone would mean that just about everything within a 100 mile radius of Yellowstone would be immediately killed.

#7 - A full-scale eruption of Yellowstone could also potentially dump a layer of volcanic ash that is at least 10 feet deep up to 1,000 miles away.

#8 - A full-scale eruption of Yellowstone would cover virtually the entire midwest United States with volcanic ash. Food production in America would be almost totally wiped out.

#9 - The "volcanic winter" that a massive Yellowstone eruption would cause would radically cool the planet. Some scientists believe that global temperatures would decline by up to 20 degrees.

#10 - America would never be the same again after a massive Yellowstone eruption. Some scientists believe that a full eruption by Yellowstone would render two-thirds of the United States completely uninhabitable.

#11 - Scientists tell us that it is not a matter of "if" Yellowstone will erupt but rather "when" the next inevitable eruption will take place


© Jeff Gunn/Flickr
Yellowstone National Park

Intellihub News Founder Shepard Ambellas has spent years detailing events around Yellowstone including rumors of censorship of data by the USGS and predictions by officials in early 2015 that it could blow anytime after the next, "two weeks." In fact, events in 2014 and early 2015 led many to believe the park was on the literal brink of eruption. Obviously that didn't happen but, regardless, all the facts that were exposed remain.

In April 2014, a Pakistani publication claimed that the African National Congress had turned down a disaster management plan that would have housed American citizens in the event of a Yellowstone super volcano eruption. Shepard reported, "the African National Congress (ANC) recently turned down a $10B a year disaster management plan offered by the United States to house American citizens who may become displaced in the event that the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts.

The U.S. plan for relocation was formulated after a recent scientific analysis of the park revealed that Yellowstone's supervolcano has the potential to violently erupt within the next 10-years as noted by others including the famous astrophysicist Michio Kaku."

On January 29, 2015 Yellowstone Park geologist Hank Hessler was asked when he thought an eruption could happen and his answer showed how soon it actually could.

"Now what do we mean by foreseeable future? I would say, you know a couple of weeks, and that's what I would say with certainty."

In an article about Hessler's comments Shepard highlighted claims that the USGS was censoring data. "Although there is no way I can vouch for the information, according to a random individual who posted a video on YouTube, the USGS has likely been ordered by Washington to suppress information regarding recent seismic activity and gaseous releases in and around the Yellowstone region." Parts of the information in the video may provide hints going forward.

[embedded content]

No one knows when Yellowstone or another major volcano in the world will actually erupt. Nonetheless, the fact remains that many leading scientists believe this is a major threat and that the worlds governments are not taking the threat serious enough.

"What would happen if America's dormant supervolcano erupted one day?"

[embedded content]

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Why Europe lets people drown

That Europe let almost 1000 people die in the Mediterranean in one night shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, at least not to those who are still occasionally awake. The Club Med migrant crisis has been going on for a long time, and the EU's only reaction to it has been to slash its budget and operations in the area, not to expand them.

So when the opens with "European leaders were confronted on Monday with a humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean.", they're a mile and a half less than honest. Brussels has known what was going on for years, and decided to do less than nothing.

The onus was put on Italy, Malta, Greece and a handful of private compassionate activists to handle the situation, as if it was some sort of local, or even tourist, issue, while Europe's finest went back to festive gala openings of their €1 billion+ 'official' edifices, and back to forcing more austerity on member nations. Somebody has to pay for those buildings.

The EU took over rescue operations from Italy late last year and promptly cut the budget by two-thirds. Saving migrant lives was deemed just too expensive. You don't survive in European politics if you don't get your priorities straight.

On March 8, I wrote 'Europe, The Morally Bankrupt Union', and things have only deteriorated from there. If the international press, and various world leaders, wouldn't have called them out over the weekend, the Brussels class would still not do a thing about the migrant drama, and would still feel comfortable hiding behind the factoid that most migrants drown outside European waters.

In their meeting on Monday, a bunch of EU interior and foreign ministers once again didn't reach any meaningful conclusions; it'll be up to presidents and prime ministers to do this on Thursday. One might almost hope for another huge tragedy before that date, just so the cynical hypocrisy that rules Europe would be exposed once again for all to see. From my March 8 piece:

To its south, the EU faces perhaps its most shameful -or should that be 'shameless'? - problem, because it doesn't do anything about it: the thousands of migrants who try to cross the Mediterranean to get to Europe but far too often perish in the process. The Italians spend themselves poor, trying to save as many migrants as they can (170,000 last year!), and there are private citizens - Americans even - pouring in millions of dollars, but the EU itself has zero comprehensive policy as people keep dying on its doorstep all the time. The official line out of Brussels is that the EU polices only the European coastline, but the drownings mostly take place off the Lybian coast. At least Italy and others do sail there to alleviate the human misery.

And now the problem threatens to expand into a whole new and additional dimension, with Muslim extremists like ISIS set to travel alongside the migrants to gain entry into Europe with the aim of launching terror attacks. Having turned a blind eye to the issue for years, Europe will now find itself woefully unprepared for this new development. Still, expect more bluster and brute force where there was never any reason or need for it. That the EU's MO today.

And whaddaya know: brute force it is.

EU To Launch Military Operations Against Migrant-Smugglers In Libya

The EU is to launch military operations against the networks of smugglers in Libya deemed culpable of sending thousands of people to their deaths in the Mediterranean. An emergency meeting of EU interior and foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday, held in response to the reported deaths of several hundred migrants in a packed fishing trawler off the Libyan coast at the weekend, also decided to bolster maritime patrols in the Mediterranean and give their modest naval mission a broader search-and-rescue mandate for saving lives. A summit of EU leaders is to take place in Brussels on Thursday to hammer out the details of the measures hurriedly agreed on Monday. [..]

The meeting "identified some actions" aimed at combating the trafficking gangs mainly in Libya, such as "destroying ships", Mogherini said. Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European commissioner for migration issues, said the operation would be "civil-military" modeled on previous military action in the Horn of Africa to combat Somali piracy. The military action would require a UN mandate. No detail was supplied on the scale and range of the proposed operation, nor of who would take part in it. But European leaders from David Cameron to Angela Merkel and Matteo Renzi, the Italian prime minister, were emphatic on Monday in singling out the fight against the migrant traffickers as the top priority in the attempt to rein in a crisis that is spiraling out of control.

That not everyone on this planet has completely lost their sense of moral values doesn't count for much if those who have none left are time and again 'elected' to the highest posts. But still:

[..] Save the Children accused the EU of dithering as children drowned, after they failed to agree immediate action to set up a European search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean. Save the Children CEO Justin Forsyth said: "What we needed from EU foreign ministers today was life-saving action, but they dithered. The emergency summit on Thursday is now a matter of life and death. "With each day we delay we lose more innocent lives and Europe slips further into an immoral abyss. Right now, people desperately seeking a better life are drowning in politics. We have to restart the rescue - and now."

That is very true. But drowning in politics is precisely what the EU elite, as well as Cameron, Merkel and Renzi have made a career of. They would like nothing better than to drown everyone around them in it too, and they certainly would feel no qualm about a few nameless and faceless poor sods their voters may not have enough sympathy for to give them a slice of moldy bread.

Ironic, since, as Patrick Boyle rightly remarks today: "We fear the arrival of immigrants that we have drawn here with the wealth we stole from them." But that may never be recognized.

Instead of making sanity heard, Europe's leaders grow more wary by the day of the potential electoral losses that may result from the growing xenophobia spreading around the continent. Politics is a calculated game ruled exclusively by the lowest common denominator. Not by morals.

But of course, they still know how to talk the talk, as the reports :

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the 10-point package set out at talks in Luxembourg was a "strong reaction from the EU to the tragedies" and "shows a new sense of urgency and political will". "We are developing a truly European sense of solidarity in fighting human trafficking - finally so." [..]

That Europe has the guts to say such things says a lot about who their audience is: the vast majority are people who are not paying any attention, who don't give a damn, or who think the fewer Africans make it to Europe, the better.

In a functioning democratic system, you would say throw out those who failed, let them as it used to be called "face the consequences of their actions", but Brussels has no such system. Mogherini should obviously be put out by the curb, since the final political responsibility for the tragedy is hers, but she won't go.

And there is certainly no mechanism for throwing out the leaders of the various member governments. Other, perhaps, than elections that are mostly years away, by which time their disgraceful behavior will have either long been forgotten or overshadowed by 'more important' issues like road building, gasoline taxes and pension cuts.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said Sunday's disaster off Libya was "a game changer", adding: "If Europe doesn't work together history will judge it very badly."

No worries, Mr. Muscat, history will judge the EU very badly regardless of what it does from here on in, and for many reasons. Homicidal negligence is but one of many.

Meanwhile Martin Schulz, apparently not the fastest cookie in the jar, volunteers to indict himself:

Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, expressed dismay at what he characterized as European apathy over the migration crisis. "How many more people will have to drown until we finally act in Europe?" he asked in a statement. "How many times more do we want to express our dismay, only to then move on to our daily routine?"

Indeed, Mr. Schulz, how many more times will you? I'm thinking, if given a chance, you will do just that a lot more times. And I don't hear anyone calling for your resignation, so you would seem to be off the hook too. If, on the other hand, you'd like to claim that even the president of the European Parliament doesn't have the power to save human lives, you have us wondering why such a parliament exists, and has a president, in the first place.

You either have the power or you don't. And if you do have the power, you have the responsibility too. That's how politics used to be structured, and for good reason. If and when people die because of what you either do or neglect to do, you "face the consequences". The fact that such a mechanism doesn't even begin to exist in the EU speaks volumes about how poorly and badly it was constructed in the first place.

And neither does the EU just fail spectacularly in the waters of the Mediterranean. It fails as badly in Greece, where it keeps pushing demands for more austerity on people going hungry, and in Ukraine, where the EU is an accomplice, through a 'government' it supports, to the loss of what German intelligence claims are as many as 50,000 human lives.

The body count is rising, and Brussels itself will never call it quits. It really is high time to halt this unholy union.

Chase joins the war on cash

The war against cash has, up to now, been waged almost exclusively by national governments and official international organizations, although there are exceptions. Now the war has acquired a powerful new ally in Chase, the largest bank in the U.S. and a subsidiary of JP Morgan Chase and Co., according to , the world's third largest public company.

Of course , it is hardly surprising that a crony capitalist fractional-reserve bank, which received $25 billion in bailout loans from the U.S. Treasury, should want to curry favor with its regulators and political masters and, in the process, ensure its own stability by helping to stamp out the use of cash. For the very existence of cash places the power over fractional-reserve banks squarely in the hands of their depositors who may withdraw their cash in any amount and at any time, bringing even the mightiest bank to its knees literally overnight (e.g., Washington Mutual).

What is a surprise is how little notice the rollout of Chase's new policy has received. As of March, Chase began restricting the use of cash in selected markets, including Greater Cleveland. The new policy restricts borrowers from using cash to make payments on credit cards, mortgages, equity lines, and auto loans. Chase even goes as far as to prohibit the storage of cash in its safe deposit boxes. In a letter to its customers dated April 1, 2015 pertaining to its "Updated Safe Deposit Box Lease Agreement," one of the highlighted items reads: "You agree not to store any cash or coins other than those found to have a collectible value." Whether or not this pertains to gold and silver coins with no numismatic value is not explained.

As one observer commented:

This policy is unusual but, since Chase is the nation's largest bank, I wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing more of this in this era of sensitivity about funding terrorists and other illegal causes.

Bet on it.