Behind The Woodshed Blogcaster – July 17, 2016.

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Movers and Shakers

  • Putin sacks EVERY commander in his Baltic fleet in Stalin-style purge ‘after top brass refusal to follow his orders to confront Western ships’

    Vladimir Putin has sacked every single commander in Russia’s Baltic fleet in what has been described as a ‘Stalin-style’ purge.

    Up to 50 officers of the fleet were fired alongside Vice Admiral Viktor Kravchuk and his chief of staff Rear Admiral Sergei Popov after they reportedly refused to follow orders to confront Western ships.

    Reports in Russia also suggested the purges followed an alleged cover-up of a submarine accident, flaws in recruitment and military construction projects.

     

  • Race to Displace “City of London” Turns into Feeding Frenzy

    As global banks begin scouting for a new European base in the wake of last month’s Brexit vote, it appears that the City of London’s glory days as the world’s most important financial center may be numbered. City-based banks and hedge funds are worried about losing their passporting rights, which grant them full access to the EU’s financial markets. They’re also concerned that the UK might lose its special authorization to clear transactions in euros.

    “In theory, extending third-country AIFMD passporting to the U.K. after Brexit should be straight-forward,” Matt Huggett, a partner at law firm Allen & Overy in London, told Bloomberg. “In practice, it will be a political decision with an uncertain outcome. Many managers would like to safeguard themselves beforehand and set up offices in places like Luxembourg and Dublin.”

    In true beggar-thy-neighbor fashion, many of Europe’s most prominent capitals are bending over backwards to provide global banks with the perfect enticements to lure them away from The City. As the New York Times puts it, “The race is on to be the new London.”

Peak Geopolitical Gamesmanship

  • Turkey coup attempt was no surprise to experts

    An attempted military coup in Turkey overnight Friday was preceded by signs that the government and military were about to clash, particularly over policy in Syria, Turkish Weekly reports.

    Analysts had noticed that tensions between the secular military and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist-influenced government were increasing in the wake of several terror attacks, war with the country’s Kurdish minority, and Erdogan’s attempts to further concentrate power in his hands.

    Afzal Ashraf of the Royal United Services Institute, a London-based think tank, told Turkish Weekly that he had observed a surprising amount of hostility on the part of officers towards the government, which they said was increasingly autocratic and Islamist.

    “For the first time in 15 years, young officers were making comments about their government in cynical terms,” said Ashraf.

    Omer Taspinar, an analyst at the Washington-based think tank Brookings Institutions, warned of a potential coup for months. “Right now, the question is whether the attempted coup is from the top command, with the top brass involved, or a colonel-level or officer coup, from a certain segment of the army,” he told Turkish Weekly. “There are indications right now that it is the latter.”

    While past coups in the country have been led primarily by the chief of staff and other generals, reports suggested that this was not the case.

    “It seems like this is an officers’ coup,” the newspaper quoted analyst Gonul Tol as telling VOA.

    A history of violence

    The coup attempt has drawn attention to the country’s history of takeovers by the army – three in three decades.

  • US-based cleric Gulen suggests Turkey coup may have been ‘staged’

    Erdogan demands US extradite former ally; Gulen slams putsch attempt, denies any involvement

    Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric living in self-imposed exile in the United States, said Saturday he had no involvement in an attempted coup in Turkey, and suggested it could have been staged by the president himself.

    Gulen, a reclusive preacher with a worldwide following who is regularly accused of a behind the scenes role in Turkish politics, lives in Saylorsburg, a tiny town in the Pocono Mountains of the US state of Pennsylvania.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Gulen of being behind Friday’s bloody coup attempt that has killed at least 265 people, and urged the United States to extradite to Turkey the “man who lives in Pennsylvania.”

    “I don’t know who my followers are,” Gulen told The New York Times from his compound, when asked if any of his backers were involved in the coup attempt.

    “Since I do not know these individuals, I cannot speak of their potential involvement. It could be something from the opposition or nationalists. I have been away from Turkey for 30 years and have not been following this.”

    Shortly after the coup attempt began, Gulen had in a statement condemned the military uprising “in the strongest terms.”

    During his rare interview, Gulen said it was “possible” the coup was staged by Erdogan.

    “But as a believer like myself, I cannot make accusations without evidence. It could be a lie, it could be a false accusation and I seek refuge from God in false accusations,” Gulen said.

UNfunding Fraud

  • Britain SHUTS DOWN Its Global Warming Agency

    ABritain’s new government abolished its Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Thursday morning, ridding the country of its global warming bureaucracy.

    Officials stated that the DECC has been abolished and U.K.’s environmental policy is will be transferred to a new ministry called the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Some former DECC’s functions will be outright abolished, while others will be handed back to the new ministry.

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    The new agency will be headed by Greg Clark, who has a record of opposing wind power, causing environmentalists to panic. British wind companies, particularly ones that specialize in offshore wind power, were already worried that Brexit places the government subsidies and easy access to financing at risk. The industry is deeply dependent on these subsidies to make projects more economically viable.

  • US Republicans vote down funding for global climate fund

    The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday voted down a Democratic push to allow federal spending on an international climate change program.

    Rep. Nita Lowey (N.Y.), the ranking Democrat on the panel, proposed an amendment to the House’s State Department and foreign operations spending bill that would let the federal government contribute to the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund (GCF). Republicans have looked to block that funding.

    “Preventing the U.S. from making a contribution is short-sighted because we cannot solve climate change alone. It requires multilateral partnerships,” Lowey said. “The Green Climate Fund is the only multilateral institution that supports clean, resilient development around the world. It is an institution we should be leading.”

    Lowey’s GCF measure was tucked into a broader amendment restoring funding for a wide variety of Democratic foreign affairs priorities, including refugee admissions, policies toward Cuba and funding for other United Nations offices.

    Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) opposed the entire amendment and said the Green Climate Fund “amendment would strike language preventing the administration from carrying out its harmful climate change policies.” The measure failed on a 20-29 vote.

     

Farce, Foreign and Domestic

  • China Lashes Out At “Washington-led Conspiracy” After Hague Decision “Farce”

    Following The Hague’s ruling that China has no legal claim to most of The South China Sea, authorities have taken to the media to proclaim their disdain for the decision. Editor-in-Chief Wang Xiaohui of The China People’s Daily (quasi-official mouthpiece of the China Communist Party) unleashed a sniping rebuke provaliming: “South China Sea arbitration: A US-led conspiracy behind the farce.”

    Since U.S. President Barack Obama took office, “Pivot to Asia” has become one of Washington’s political pursuits and military strategies. The disputes between China and the Philippines over the South China Sea, which was provoked by former Philippine President Aquino III, came just in time as it offered Washington a good excuse and easy approach to return to the region.

    In January 2013, the Philippines unilaterally initiated arbitral proceedings on the South China Sea issue. To circumvent the law, it secretly changed relative concepts, deliberately separated the Nansha Islands, and asked the tribunal to issue an award over the legal status and maritime claims of some of the islands and reefs that belong to the Nansha Islands as a whole.

    What Aquino III did was a clear violation of international law. However, Washington chose to ignore the facts and the law, giving full support to its flunkey in Asia without hesitation.

    So, we can tell that Washington has taken sides from the very beginning. What has it done before and behind the curtain then? Generally, it took four kinds of actions.

    First, colluding with its allies to rubbish China.

    Regarding the South China Sea arbitration, U.S. government officials and media have expressed many negative opinions of China, so as to portray Beijing as a “violator” of international order. U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter used to say in public that China’s activity in the South China Sea could lead to a “great wall of self-isolation.” Japan, as an ally of Washington, was also active and enthusiastic in helping the U.S. to suppress China.

    Second, showing off military force and putting pressure on China.

    The U.S. has been stepping up military actions in the South China Sea recently. Particularly, in the middle of June, two U.S. aircraft carriers, the USS John C. Stennis and USS Ronald Reagan, launched joint operations in the South China Sea, staging a show of force aimed at China.

    In the meantime, Japan also launched joint military exercises with the Philippines and conducted arms sales with the latter, which is meant to put pressure on China. On July 8, Washington and Seoul jointly announced the deployment of the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) systems in South Korea, and the ulterior motive behind it was obvious enough.

    Third, playing China and ASEAN countries off each other.

    Chu Yin, a research fellow at the Center for China and Globalization said that “the U.S. escalates the tensions in the South China Sea with an essential purpose of containing China.” For the U.S., sabotaging the relations between China and ASEAN countries is an effective way to hinder China’s development, apart from being a best solution with low cost and high efficiency to increase Southeast Asian countries’ dependence on it.

    Fourth, manipulating the international arbitration tribunal and complicating the South China Sea issues into a “dead knot.”

    Once the arbitration tribunal makes a verdict against China, it will amount to fulfilling the U.S. purpose, putting an end to the tranquility in the South China Sea. In that case, the prospects for China-Philippine disputes to get resolved peacefully will be reduced.

    In addition, the United States has been calculating the timing and progress of the arbitration. Initially, the U.S. had the press leak the message that the arbitration result would be announced on July 7, making all involved parties tense. Later on June 29, the secretariat of arbitration tribunal said July 12 would be the date when the verdict on the concrete issues of the Philippine-led arbitration on the South China Sea would be made public.

  • Donald Trump Postpones Naming Running Mate

    Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign signaled strongly on Thursday that he would name Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana as his running mate, but abruptly postponed a long-planned unveiling of the Republican ticket after an attack that left dozens dead in France.

    Mr. Trump said on Twitter that he was delaying his announcement after the “horrible attack” in Nice. He did not specify when the event would go forward.

    Before the attack in southern France, Mr. Pence, a mild-mannered Midwesterner popular with conservatives and evangelical Christians, appeared to be all but locked in as the Republican nominee for vice president — the last man standing after a madcap selection process unlike any in recent presidential politics.

  • Governor Pence Urges Congressional Delegation To Support Trade Promotion Authority And Trade Agreements

    In a letter sent to members of the Indiana Congressional Delegation today, Governor Mike Pence urged them to support Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation, as well as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). TPA legislation is expected to be introduced and considered in Congress later this year, clearing a path forward for future consideration of TPP and TTIP.

    “As you know, my administration has made job growth job number one. We passed the largest state tax cut in Indiana history, lowered the corporate income tax, reduced the regulatory burden, and have taken numerous other measures to improve the business environment and the education and workforce skills of Hoosiers,” Governor Pence wrote. “Those are things we can do at home, but reducing tariffs and other trade barriers so that Indiana businesses can enjoy increased market access and fairly compete on the world stage is something that Congress must do. I encourage your support for Trade Promotion Authority, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and any other trade-related measures when they are brought before the Congress for consideration.”

     

  • MY VP PREDICTION: TRUMP’S FIRST MISTAKE

    My vice presidential prediction is: Trump is about to make his first mistake. I knew this would happen as soon as he hired campaign consultants, rather than relying on his gut. If these campaign consultants were any good, their first piece of advice to Trump would be, “Fire us immediately!”

    Trump’s advisers are undoubtedly telling him he’s got the “outsider” image covered. He needs someone with experience in Washington — as if presidents don’t have staffs — an elected Republican official with solid standing in the GOP, preferably a sitting senator or governor, who will give the ticket gravitas and heft.

    This is completely wrong. Trump isn’t a standard-issue GOP, trying to balance the ticket to get his party into power. He’s starting a new party! He’s just blown up the old GOP. Instead of a party for, by and of globalist plutocrats, the new Trumpian party is a party of Americans for America.

Foreign Troops Could Occupy USA Soil

  • U.S. approves UN use of force to protect civilians in conflict

    The United States has announced its support for a set of principles that give a green light for U.N. peacekeeping troops and police to use force to protect civilians in armed conflicts.

    U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told a high-level U.N. meeting Wednesday focusing on the responsibility to protect civilians that the United States was “proud” and “humbled” to join 28 other countries that have pledged to abide by the 18 pledges.

    U.N. peacekeepers from these 29 countries are now required to act in cases where civilians are in danger.

  • U.S. Approves United Nation’s Use of Military Force on American Soil

    United Nation military troops may soon arrive and see action on American soil following the United States’ announcement of support for “a set of principles that give a green light for U.N. peacekeeping troops and police to use force to protect civilians in armed conflicts,” Military Times reports.

    U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told attendees at an important U.N. meeting that the United States was “proud” and “humbled” to be a included in the new agenda and promised to follow by the 18 pledges, Fox News reports.

    The arrival of the United Nations requires federalization of police in order to set a global standard of law enforcement. President Barrack Obama has pounced on the opportunity to exploit recent shootings to push for the federalization of local police forces.

    More federalization of local police, collaborated with the arrival of the United Nations military presence, could mean big trouble for liberty and freedom of speech in America.

    Videos are flooding the internet documenting the slow-moving invasion of United Nations military-like vehicles across America.

  • U.S. Proposes Allowing Foreign Officials to Serve Warrants on Internet Firms

    The Obama administration is working on a series of agreements with foreign governments that would allow them for the first time to serve U.S. technology companies with warrants for email searches and wiretaps—a move that is already stirring debates over privacy, security, crime and terrorism.

    Brad Wiegmann, a senior official at the Justice Department, discussed the administration’s efforts during a public forum on Friday at a congressional office building in Washington, D.C. The first such agreement is being assembled with the U.K., he said.

    Word of the plans came one day after a federal appeals court ruled that federal warrants couldn’t be used to search data held overseas by Microsoft Corp., dealing the agency a major legal defeat.

    The Justice Department has indicated it is considering appealing the Microsoft ruling to the Supreme Court.

    Meanwhile, Justice Department officials are pressing ahead with their own plan for cross-border data searches.

    Under the proposed agreements described by Mr. Wiegmann, foreign investigators would be able to serve a warrant directly on a U.S. firm to see a suspect’s stored emails or intercept their messages in real time, as long as the surveillance didn’t involve U.S. citizens or residents.

    Such deals would also give U.S. investigators reciprocal authority to search data in other countries.

    “They wouldn’t be going to the U.S. government, they’d be going directly to the providers,” said Mr. Wiegmann. Any such arrangement would require that Congress pass new legislation, and lawmakers have been slow to update electronic privacy laws.

    That U.K. agreement, which must be approved by the legislatures of both countries, could become a template for similar deals with other countries, U.S. officials said.

    Mr. Wiegmann said the U.S. would strike such deals only with nations that have clear civil liberties protections to ensure that the search orders aren’t abused.

    “These agreements will not be for everyone. There will be countries that don’t meet the standards,” he said.

  • UK Parliamentary Report Finds US Allies Are Covertly Funding ISIS

    A British parliamentary report released on Tuesday has concluded there is “historical evidence” the Islamic State (IS) group received funding from within Arab Gulf states.

    In evidence submitted to the foreign affairs select committee, the Ministry of Defence said: “[There] is historical evidence of financial donations to Daesh [IS] from within Gulf states. Furthermore, it is understood that family donations are being made to Daesh, through the unregulated Alternative Value Transfer Systems (AVTS).”

    AVTS include ways of globally transferring money that includes little information about the individuals involved in the transaction – examples include the open source online currency Bitcoin.

    The MoD cited as evidence an incident in September 2014 when an IS official was sanctioned by the US Treasury Department after receiving a $2m donation “emanating from the Gulf”.

    The MoD also said in its evidence that private donations to IS are “minimal” compared to its other revenue streams, which include oil and taxation.

    The committee said in an assessment of IS finances that Britain should be able to “ask hard questions of close friends” when discussing how donations have reached the Syria-Iraq based militant group.

    The report concluded that IS has been put under severe financial pressure after a sustained international campaign that has forced the group to turn to “gangsterism and protection rackets” for money.

Reality Prevails

  • Crippled Atlantic currents triggered ice age climate change

    The last ice age wasn’t one long big chill. Dozens of times temperatures abruptly rose or fell, causing all manner of ecological change. Mysteriously, ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica show that these sudden shifts—which occurred every 1500 years or so—were out of sync in the two hemispheres: When it got cold in the north, it grew warm in the south, and vice versa. Now, scientists have implicated the culprit behind those seesaws—changes to a conveyor belt of ocean currents known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC).

    These currents, which today drive the Gulf Stream, bring warm surface waters north and send cold, deeper waters south. But they weakened suddenly and drastically, nearly to the point of stopping, just before several periods of abrupt climate change, researchers report today in Science. In a matter of decades, temperatures plummeted in the north, as the currents brought less warmth in that direction. Meanwhile, the backlog of warm, southern waters allowed the Southern Hemisphere to heat up.

    AMOC slowdowns have long been suspected as the cause of the climate swings during the last ice age, which lasted from 110,000 to 15,000 years ago, but never definitively shown. The new study “is the best demonstration that this indeed happened,” says Jerry McManus, a paleo-oceanographer at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and a study author. “It is very convincing evidence,” adds Andreas Schmittner, a climate scientist at Oregon State University, Corvallis. “We did not know that the circulation changed during these shorter intervals.”

    To assess the strength of ancient ocean currents over the course of 35,000 years in the middle of the ice age, McManus and his colleagues examined a 10-meter section of a 38-meter sediment core drilled from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. The core came from an elevated patch of sea floor known as the Bermuda Rise, where sediments accumulate abnormally fast. The thick layer allows for a more detailed reading of chemical changes within the sediments when they were buried.

    Circulation slowdown

    Ice Age climate swings may have come from the weakening of powerful Atlantic currents, in which shallow, warm waters move north (red), and deep, cold waters move south (blue).

    The researchers measured the ratio of two products of radioactive decay: protactinium-231 and thorium-230. These daughter isotopes come from trace amounts of uranium that are dissolved everywhere in seawater. If the ocean were as still as a bathtub, the two daughter isotopes would bind to sediment particles, settle downward, and become buried at a constant ratio. But thorium gloms on to particles more readily than protactinium. It is therefore buried more readily, whereas protactinium tends to be carried away by ocean currents for burial elsewhere. At places like the Bermuda Rise, where the Atlantic conveyor belt is typically strong, little protactinium ends up in the sediments—except for four instances when the ratio to thorium rose sharply in a matter of decades to centuries, indicating the AMOC’s sudden weakening.

     

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  • The people know that they have created this farce and financed it with their own taxes (consent), but they would rather knuckle under than be the hypocrite. Factor VI – Cattle Those who will not use their brains are no better off than those who have no brains, and so this mindless school of jelly-fish, father, mother, son, and daughter, become useful beasts of burden or trainers of the same.
  • Mr. Rothschild’s Energy Discovery
    What Mr. Rothschild [2] had discovered was the basic principle of power, influence, and control over people as applied to economics. That principle is “when you assume the appearance of power, people soon give it to you.”

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